Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 294 Motivation Tuesday-Meet Gary Brennan, the 39 Stone Cyclist!

This week for Motivation Tuesday, I have one of the most amazing stories to share with you. Gary Brennan lives in the UK, and is known as the "39 Stone Cyclist." For some of us that don't know what a "stone" is, it is still commonly used as a weight measurement in the UK equal to about 14 pounds. So, when Gary decided to make a change in his life, he weighed around 560 pounds! Imagine knowing that you weighed a quarter TON!

He was heading towards the path of gastric by-pass surgery to help get his weight under control. He says that walking to the bathroom would literally leave him out of breath!

Well, he did make a change, but it wasn't with surgery. Gary, also known as "Gaz," decided to jump on a bike and he has never looked back. Today at 180 pounds, he looks great! But he has worked hard to get where he is. In the following interview I asked him what he did during the cold winter, he simply said he put studded tires on his bike and continued to bike...amazing! That is true dedication.

I encourage you to go to Gaz' website after reading this interview, and read into a few more details of his life and what he has overcome...there are other obstacles that he has learned to get a handle on.

Sit back and be inspired!

Meet Gary Brennan...


Tell us a little about yourself
I'm Gaz, I used to weigh 39 stone (560 LBS). I fell in love with cycling and now weigh 180lbs, standing 6ft 3"it's a good weight to be. I've lost diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. Also with losing the weight , I've overcome the battle of an eating disorder of 27 years. I'm 32 years old, separated, and have 2 kids.

How long has your weight loss journey taken?
It took 2 years to lose the weight and it's been 2 years of keeping it off so far.

 What was the determining factor that made you want to get rid of your weight?
I was really ill. I have 2 amazing kids and I needed to be here for their future.

What motivated you to start bike riding?
I saw it as a new lifestyle as opposed to something that I was forced to go to , such as the gym.

Were there times you wanted to give up?
Not really, only on some looooooooooong hills. But once I have the bit between my teeth I simply refuse to give up, ever.

Did you ever hit a plateau and how did you get past it?
There were a few but it was a marathon, not a sprint and as long as I wasn't headed in the wrong direction then I was happy enough.

What forms of exercise did you do, besides riding?
I did a tiny bit of running but 99.9% was, and still is cycling.

In colder months, how did you exercise?
I got studded tires, 6 layers of clothes and just went for it, it was darn hard but it helped me become who I am today.

How do you find time to workout?
I cycle to and from work, daily. It's certainly become a lifestyle change.

How do you motivate yourself when you don’t want to workout?
Getting home to my super awesome kids.

What does a typical day of working out look like for you?
Get up, ride to work, work, then ride home :D

When you were losing weight, what was your diet like?
Rubbish! I had a selective eating disorder, meaning I only eat crisps and chocolate, but just much, much less than before. Now I'm happy to report I have normal eating habits.

What is your philosophy about eating now?
Try new things daily and don't ever let an eating disorder take hold again.

What is your post-ride nutrition?

What basic weight loss tips would you offer?
Eat less then you use, it's so simple but true. If I can drop huge numbers on such a poor diet then anyone can do it.

What sort of competitive riding do you do now?
I'm looking at taking up racing in 2013.

What advice would you offer to someone that wants to make a change in his or her physical activity?
Make it a lifestyle change and you'll never look back.

What goals do you have for yourself in the near future?
Enjoy my kids and look forward to happy times. I'm out of a real messy split , so there's still battles to fight. I'll enjoy some down time soon though.

What brand of bike do you ride?
Ribble, Cannondale

Where can we follow you on your journey (website, blog?)

@39stonecyclist on Twitter

Any parting words of advice?
Go for it, never look back and enjoy the new you. It's hard work, but worth it!


I think it would be inspiring to meet Gaz someday. I am proud of him and he is an inspiration to me, and I am sure to you.  It's great to see another brave soul taking on their demons and kicking them to the side of the road.

Next Tuesday, enjoy Christmas. And let that day be your Motivation Tuesday!

Merry Biking!


Gary Brennan (Gaz): The picture that started it all-560 pounds!

Gaz before his transformation

Gaz is now literally 1/3 the size of what he used to be!

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