A man has told how he went into the “wilderness and off the grid” to go on a strict diet and fitness regime leaving his family shocked by his 10 stone weight months later.
Bryan O’Keeffe, 34, from Cork, Ireland, decided he needed to change his life after reaching his heaviest weight of 24 stone 2lbs towards the end of 2021.
And the entrepreneur spent seven months away in Majorca secretly transforming his body through diet and exercise.
Having tried “all the diets and exercise fads” and a failed gastric balloon inserted into his stomach, Bryan knew it was time to take “a different approach”.
So last November he moved to the Balearic island and cut communication with friends and family.
For six months straight he stuck to a calorie limit of 2,200, which he dropped to 1,750 a day for the final month, and exercised for about five hours each day.
“So I decided to move out to the wilderness and go off the grid where I could have no excuses. I called my friends and family and told them I wouldn’t be talking to them and got to work,” he wrote on Instagram.
And on a video he can be seen showing off his new slim look to his loved ones, weighing 14 stone 5lbs.
He said: “In seven months, I never took a day off. I lost count of the amount of injuries I got but I refused to quit and just kept training through the pain. Every day, I just tried to do one more rep, one more length, one more kilometre – whatever I could do to get one per cent better.”
Bryan began with gentle exercise, walking about 90 minutes a day for the first two weeks. That transformed into a more gruelling five-hour-a-day regime.
He introduced weight-lifting six days a week, swimming three times a week, and running three times a week – using the NHS Couch to 5K app.
Nine weeks after moving into rural Mallorca, Bryan, then 21 and a half stone, was able to run his first 5K in 34 minutes.
At 20 stone, Bryan completed a triathlon in one hour and 47 minutes. He also slowly increased his running distance, first running a half marathon around the village where he was living in early July of this year.
Bryan said: “It was months of absolute suffering. The first three months I couldn’t do anything other than eat, sleep and exercise.
“The rest of the time, I was lying on my sofa. I was hobbling just to try to go to the toilet. After the fourth month, my body got used to the constant pounding and it wasn’t quite as bad.”
During the seven months, Bryan only told one person, his friend Colm Keenan, about his weight loss journey. He called home twice a week to speak with his dad who has Alzheimer’s disease when he knew his mum was out of the house.
The entrepreneur first moved out to Mallorca in October 2020 to work remotely near Palma, but he was still unable to shift the pounds until he moved into the “wilderness” in November 2021 and dedicated all of his time to the feat.
He added that the transformation must have seemed like a “miracle” when he returned home to Cork in mid-July of this year to visit family and friends.
Bryan credits a lot of his motivation to the book Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. He said the book helped him analyse his “failures” to see where he was going wrong when trying to drop the pounds.
He said doing this analysis helped him realise that a lot of his calories were consumed with friends and family whilst out drinking or enjoying a meal.
He also struggled with the temptation of living in a “food delivery zone” with tonnes of takeaway options. To combat this Bryan decided that the isolation of rural Mallorca would be necessary to break his bad habits.
Explaining how he changed his diet, he said: “I actually ate delicious foods like hacked versions of burgers and chips, hacked protein ice cream, and protein brownies. I am a cooking fanatic so I spent a lot of time finding recipes that made me feel like I wasn’t on a diet. I would save most of my calories for the end of the day which meant I could still get that feeling of being full.”
This content was originally published here.