Half the man he used to be

11 May 2019

In 2014, Adrian Campbell weighed just under 200 kilograms. Five years later, he weighs 99.6. Photo / Supplied

In 2014, Adrian Campbell weighed just under 200 kilograms. Five years later, he weighs 99.6.
Photo / Supplied


When he was 25 years old, Adrian Campbell weighed almost 200 kilograms.

His 199.6kg frame didn't stand out to him as much as it did to others.

Campbell referred to himself as a capable fatty who could exercise and who felt fine most of the time.

At that time in July 2014, Campbell was willing to admit the size of his belly affected his ability to do things, but he was about to get a reality check.

It came from his friend, Jo Giddens.

"We sat down in her back yard and she just laid it out on the table. She was concerned about how big I'd gotten, especially over that year," Campbell says.

"It was almost like having the wind knocked out of me. I sat and listened. I was there for a while, we had little discussions and a bit of a tangi, a bit of a cry.

"After I left, I got mad. I got mad at her, I got mad at myself, I got mad at the situation. I didn't know what to do or how to figure this out."

Campbell was born in Whanganui, but moved to Morrinsville for a time, which is when he became less active.

He returned to the River City aged 15, attended Whanganui High School and then the Whanganui School of Design, which is when he "really started packing it on".

At his most recent weigh in, Campbell realised his dream of losing 100kg. Photo / Supplied
At his most recent weigh in, Campbell realised his dream of losing 100kg. Photo / Supplied


After what Giddens said to him, Campbell went away and thought about what it was that wasn't doing his size any favours.

The obvious answer was his diet, but more specifically sugar, so he went sugar free and began reading "I Quit Sugar" by Sarah Wilson.

In year one of his weight-loss journey, Campbell shed 15kg without exercising and a year later he joined Inspire Health and Fitness Centre on Wilson St.

"I went there because my friend Selina Kaipo worked there and she's someone that had known me for a long time.

"It was good to know I wasn't laying my soul bare to a stranger."

From there, Campbell continued to increase his training, this time with bodybuilder Kirsty Harvey, who helped him lose 30 more kilograms in his third year.

For the past two years, Campbell has been training at Awa Kings Muay Thai on Guyton St.

He has known operators Kat Hiroti and Lee Ashford for about 10 years and said they are like family to him now.

"Awa Kings was another safe place for me. I knew I wasn't going to get heckled there like I had in public," Campbell said.

"Going there was a good step and I built up a lot of confidence. It's a family environment, you're not there to be judged, people are just there to help."

Five years after he bought a book, writing down his goals and his feelings, Campbell has achieved his main objective.

He has lost 100kg and is doing things he never thought he would do in his life, including getting in the ring for two fights.

Campbell is also instructing others and having people approach him for advice, which he is more than willing to share.

He wanted to thank all of the people that helped him along the way, so he is hosting a fundraiser at Awa Kings as a way of giving back.

There will be raffles, a bake sale and Campbell will be sparring 100 rounds with other club members or anyone else who wants to give it a go, all they need is a mouthguard.

Participants will pay a set price or a koha and the money raised will go towards new equipment for Awa Kings because Campbell says what they have gets "thrashed".

Campbell will also be losing a little more weight in the big bushy beard he has been growing since his journey began.

It will be sectioned off and, for a koha, people can shave a portion of it off themselves.

The second part of Campbell's fundraising will go towards the Ngā Tai o te Awa Pink Ribbon Breakfast because that is where he works as a graphic designer.

Reluctantly, Campbell will look at keeping what is left over for himself.

"Kat said we also have to make it about me and that she wanted to make sure I take some of it.

"I said to her I didn't really want to because that's weird to me, but I agreed as long as that's not the main focus."

Campbell said he could look at using the funds for things like new clothes or possibly skin surgery at some stage later on.

The fundraiser is on Sunday, May 19, with the doors opening at 10am. Further information can be found on the Awa Kings or Ngā Tai o te Awa Facebook pages.

By Jesse King
Whanganui Chronicle 11/5/19