With a meal that included pizza and soda for breakfast, Rodrigo Babrikowski, 37, never worried much about his weight and reached 162 kg. The inspiration for change came only when his wife, Kelly, discovered breast cancer and took the disease very positively. When she finished the treatment, the two decided to improve habits and take care of the body. Next, the IT analyst tells how he lost weight:
“I grew up with a wrong concept of eating and I took it for most of my life. In childhood, I ate a lot of bullshit, but I was never a fat child because I played sports regularly. As a teenager, in clothes, I looked thin, but I already had a lot of belly, but it was from the age of 20, when my eating habits worsened and I developed binge eating, that I lost control of the scale.
I drank four liters of soda a day and only ate fast food. I ordered pizza for dinner and what was left over was also my breakfast. In fact, sometimes I even ate McDonald’s snacks early in the day, the first meal of the day. At lunch it was not much different and my menu had sfiha, beirut and biscuit stuffed with Nutella, for dessert. Eating was an addiction.
At 35, I was 140 kg and I knew I was obese, but I had no idea how much. I only started to realize when people started to speak clearly that I was fat. There was a day when an aunt commented: “Wow, Rodrigo, how different you are, you’ve gained too much ‘.
I tried all kinds of possible diets to lose weight: egg, low carb, paleolithic, ketogenic. I also followed nutritionists’ menus, did treatment with endocrines, took medicine to lose weight and tried to do a lot of aerobic exercise. In all attempts, the result was the same: she lost weight and then gained twice as much.
Soon, obesity started to cause bigger problems than my aunt’s comments … The tests showed that my health was bad. He had fat in his liver, he had metabolic syndrome, diabetes and high cholesterol. I avoided leaving the house, because people looked at me as a tourist attraction and, to get an idea, I barely fit in a restaurant chair. Since I couldn’t find a solution to my problem, I went into depression.
In November 2018, my wife Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37. It was an absurd shock. I’ve always been terrified of cancer and, worse than having the disease, it’s the person you love to have and you see yourself suffering. Kelly’s treatment lasted ten months. I dedicated myself to taking care of her during this period and we agreed that when she was discharged, we would adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The way Kelly reacted to the treatment, always showing a lot of strength, positive determination and good humor was a great inspiration. I saw that my problem was very small compared to hers and that I would be able to lose weight.
At 36 years old and at 162 kg, my first step was to change my diet. As I love cinema, series and I’m a fan of superheroes, I started to research what kind of training and diet the actors followed to prepare for these roles. I found that most of them followed an eating plan that aimed to control the macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrate) consumed.
With a less restrictive and more flexible diet, I cut snacks, pizzas and soda and started to regulate the amount of nutrients that I ingested. Based on my basal metabolic rate, in the beginning, I could only eat 2,000 calories a day. Sometimes, I did intermittent fasting for 16 hours. He dined at 8pm and had lunch the next day at 12pm. When I was not fasting, my breakfast ranged from scrambled eggs, half a slice of bread, pancake and whey protein. At lunch and dinner, the menu always had a portion of protein (ground duck or chicken), French bread, light curd, broccoli, rice, potato, sweet potato and salad.
I usually ate fruit after training and drank three to four and a half liters of water a day.
As I was very ashamed of going to the gym because of my size, I started training at home. I bought dumbbells, rings and bars and started doing weight training at home. In addition, I practiced 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, on the elliptical trainer that I also bought.
In the first two months, I lost 20 kg. As I lost weight and gained more resistance, I changed the training and made adjustments to the diet. I started researching each food and learned to cook. I fell in love with this area so much that next year I’m going to go to college in nutrition and I want to specialize in sports nutrition.
In total, I lost 73 kg in 11 months, I have 89 kg. Kelly followed the same diet and training and dried 20 kg, is 74 kg. Today, thinking on the positive side, my wife and I understand that the cancer she had gave us start in changing habits and made us have a better life, with much more health and well-being. It was a double journey of overcoming that allowed us a second chance together. “
The couple shows their daily lives on Instagram @duplodesafio.