Rock bottom to rip city: Tradie’s epic transformation
EIGHT weeks ago, Sam Braiden had hit rock bottom.
His weight had blown out to 111kg, his mental health a shadow of its former self and the tradesman struggled to get out of bed.
But when Mr Braiden recently stepped off the scales an incredible 27.2kg lighter and without 25 per cent of his previous body fat, his fellow Mooloolaba F45 gym members and staff were brought to tears.
He credits a cardio-based routine and vegan diet for his weight loss.
Mr Braiden was overcome with emotion for his final weight in, detailing a long battle with depression and loneliness which led to suicidal thoughts.
"This year has been a sad one, I've really struggled with my mental health," Mr Braiden said.
"Small stuff really got to me, like girls not texting back, work life, it just really got to me and I hit a low point."
Mr Braiden said harnessing his focus to the gym and the guidance of his "F45 family", the weight came off, and quickly.
"It was the best moment of my entire life," he said speaking about the weigh-in.
"I didn't realise how unfit I was, I could only do one pull up, now I can do eight.
"I've been vegetarian for years but I've turned vegan for the challenge which helped incredibly.
"Now I'm waking up before my alarm naturally full of energy."
F45 Mooloolaba owner Sonny Ivanovich said Sam's transformation represented everything the eight-week program was about.
"Literally everyone in the gym started to cry, it was more than about the results," Mr Ivanovich said.
"When you start to peel back the layers, his life was spiralling out of control, but he got it back.
"Simply by training his butt off. We are so proud of him."
More than 350 people took part in the challenge and Mr Braiden walked away with a new Volkswagen as a prize.