Describing himself as “massively” overweight, former taxi driver Darren Frazer, from the UK, had all but given up on his own self by 2017.
A sedentary lifestyle and junk-food addiction had pushed his weight past the 270-pound mark. When it became a struggle to play with his 7-year-old daughter Grace, that was his wake-up call.
Frazer, 43, found a gym program that worked for him and he began to shed pounds—gradually restoring his confidence and eventually landing him a brand-new career in fitness.
Joining JG Fitness near his home in the English town of Walkerdene, Newcastle, Frazer met gym owner James Garrity. And something clicked.
“James saved my life,” Frazer told Newcastle Chronicle Live. “He helped me change my life around by losing weight and getting fitter and healthier.”
As a taxi driver, Frazer wasn’t happy.
Often eating two fast-food takeout meals for breakfast, more takeout for lunch, all while snacking on chocolate and chips during the day, Frazer’s sole source of nutrition came from a home-cooked meal in the evening with his wife, Fiona.
Under Garrity’s guidance, though, he swapped out his high-calorie diet for healthy proteins—such as chicken, tuna, and eggs—and more vegetables. Together, they devised a high-intensity interval and progressive overload training program; and slowly but surely, Frazer shed over 40 pounds.
At Frazer’s self-proclaimed halfway point, his trainer celebrated his progress in an Instagram post.
“Darren has gone through a very tough time personally but he has learned so much about himself through training,” the trainer captioned. “Not just physically but emotionally, psychologically, and he has realized he is a lot stronger on all levels than what he first thought he was … This man is literally my hero.”
Claiming to feel “alive and happier,” Frazer says his mental health also improved dramatically. But perhaps most importantly of all, he can now enjoy quality time with his daughter—who, after treatment for brain tumors at the age of 3, was diagnosed with acute brain injury and showed signs of autism and ADHD.
Frazer’s remarkable turnaround also inspired his wife.
Seeing her husband regain a zest for life, Fiona, 37, signed up for personal training sessions at JG. She suffers from multiple sclerosis and battles fatigue every day; yet despite working full time and caring for her daughter, the mom of one found time to work out.
“I didn’t like my body or the way I looked but couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it,” she told the outlet. “Exercise certainly wasn’t on the agenda … We were comfortable at our heaviest.”
Just as susceptible to heavy lunching and snacking as her husband once had been, Fiona implemented changes for the sake of her health. Since July 2018, she’s shed 80 pounds—dropping from 234 pounds to a healthy 154 pounds—and now fits into a UK size 12.
She says she’s never felt better.
Impressed by his own and Fiona’s lifestyle overhauls, Frazer let Garrity know he wished to help others as Garrity had him. So, the fitness coach encouraged the driver to enroll in a personal training qualification course.
And that’s just what he did.
“I signed up and qualified a year ago,” Frazer said.
Then, when a JG Fitness coach took a temporary leave of absence, Garrity asked Frazer to step in; the taxi driver gave up his day job and now works at the gym full time.
“I love helping people every day,” Frazer said. “There is a saying, ‘Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.’ This is so true for me.”