It is our pleasure to introduce our readers to Lagos businessman Adejare Adegbenro, a man that has achieved in 4 months what a number of people struggle with everyday, weight loss. Dejare has gone through a remarkable transformation in that time, losing a whopping 48kg, living proof of what can be achieved through self-belief, motivation and support. Eden Lifestyle got the opportunity to have a conversation with him as to exactly how he managed this incredible achievement.
EL: Tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
AA: I’m Adejare Adegbenro and i’m into logistics for the oil and gas and banking industries, predominantly i supply cash-in-transit armoured vehicles to banks and to VIP personnel.
EL: Why did you embark on this journey to try to lose weight?
AA: I have to say that the first reason was probably because of my family, predominantly my wife, and the second thing was health issues. I went for a check up last year at a friend’s wedding in Dubai in November, and the doctors told me that I am borderline diabetic and if I don’t lose weight immediately, I will have to start injecting insulin in the next 3 months. So knowing that my family has a history of diabetes, my father went into a diabetic coma 2 years ago, I said to myself ‘that will never be me’, I will not go through that. The doctor told me that I have to change a lot of things in my life, first of all I must get my weight down drastically.
Dejare before his weight loss
EL: So what changes did you make?
AA: I worked closely with an excellent dietician and nutritionist, a lady called Sherese Ijewere (who also happens to be one of Eden Lifestyle’s contributors). I was put on a severe diet of liquids and raw foods which I did for almost 4 months, and my weight dropped from 149kgs to 101kgs.
EL: That is quite simply amazing. It cant just have been the diet, what exercise do you do?
AA: I do a lot of exercise too, boxing, tennis, but mainly walking. I walk for an hour and a half every other day.
EL: You talked about your family and wife motivating you to start this journey, tell us more about this.
AA: My wife was always worried about my health, being obese back then i suffered from a disorder called Sleep Apnea, which a lot of people are not aware of. My breathing would just stop and she was worried, even when I would be in the bathroom having a shower if she didn’t hear any sound she would come rushing in and wonder what was going on. She would look at me like what am I doing to myself, she wasn’t happy about it but being her husband she knew she had to tread carefully about my weight. So i just felt enough is enough.
EL: Tell us a little more about your exercise schedule.
AA: Well I have a personal trainer who is a professional boxer and he focuses heavily on cardio. We start with walking for about 40 minutes then we do boxing circuits which involves skipping and shadow boxing. Then the focus switches to core exercises like situps and we spend the last 10 minutes of our sessions on weight lifting.
EL: Sounds intense. What drives you to keep going, because I’m sure there are days you don’t feel like doing anything?
AA: Apart from the fact that i feel good about myself, when you’re obese like I was its difficult to get clothes that fit unless you buy online or made to measure. Now I can walk into a store and pick up anything I want in my size, that’s priceless! I’ve never felt this good in my life, so I watch what I eat and I’m ready to train because I know I have to wear these clothes. I look at pictures of myself back then and I think ‘my goodness was I really this big and nobody ever told me’. I go out to eat and I look at the way people around me are eating, especially Nigerians, and I say to myself that I’m never going back down that road again…EVER.
EL: You mentioned a liquid diet, tell us more about what you were on and what your eating habits are now.
AA: When I initially went for my medical, because I had to make a drastic change, the doctors told me that I could only have a liquid diet, comprising mainly of broth or soup for the first 6 weeks. After that I could get a little fancier with the soups, like seafood or pepper soup, which I was on for the next 4 months. Then I was able to start on real food, I would have my biggest meal in the mornings, then at lunchtime something grilled and finally just soup or a salad for dinner.
EL: How do you combat hunger at night?
AA: When you change your eating habits, it becomes harder to go back to how you used to eat. But yes, at night sometimes you do feel like binging. So when that happens and you do end up eating badly at night, you know that first thing in the morning you’re hitting the gym. It is only natural to have those cravings. Its a lot of discipline, because before I would have a lot of chocolates and biscuits, now I don’t have those cravings anymore.
EL: What food is your biggest weakness?
AA: I would have to say rice, but my nutritionist has completely cut that out of my diet, so I haven’t tasted it in the last 5 months. She gives me a different meal plan every week. I also don’t drink anymore, alcohol has a lot of calories in it. 5 glasses of sweet champagne is the equivalent of your total calorie count for an entire day.
EL: That’s good information. What advice would you give to someone struggling with motivation to exercise or diet?
AA: I get a lot of calls from people that know me, asking for tips because there’s something different about seeing this happen to someone you know and not just on tv or reading about it. Also most Nigerians don’t go for check ups, so i advise you go for assessments do know where you stand. Also I advise you have some form of support, my nutritionist, Sherese, is very strict with me. I weigh in every saturday and if I haven’t progressed she’ll call me out. You need support if you want to take it seriously, and surround yourself with like minded people.
EL: Wonderful. So what food do you have in the house now?
AA: Everything that we have in the house now is healthy, no temptation anywhere. Plus now we only cook for what we’re going to eat that day, so there are no leftovers in the fridge. Nothing there that will scatter the whole matter!
EL: Does your family eat like you or does the cook make separate food for them?
AA: My wife has started to eat like me now, and we have introduced it to the kids also so they eat a lot more greens now. Once you start something with children it becomes easier for them when they’re older. Nowadays one of the biggest problems children have is obesity, you can see a 5 year old wearing clothes for age 10. So we have no sodas in the house and they are only allowed sweets one day in a week.
EL: This certainly accounts for how healthy your family looks. Thank you for your time and for sharing this very personal story with us.
AA: It was my pleasure.
Inspiration is all around us, and we all have it within ourselves to be motivated to live healthier lifestyles. Dejare’s achievement in weight loss is down to determination and love for family, as well as the love and support he received.
If this story motivates even just one person, then our job is done.
Please share with us anything you may be struggling with, sometimes all it takes to make a change is to know you’re not alone