Burn Fat & Build Muscle: How This Reader Supercharged His Mindset and Lost 27kg

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Weight-Loss

In the wake of the pandemic, Shaquil Mohamed (27) was in dire straits. The Boksburg entrepreneur’s business had crumbled and his relationship had ended: “I was at an all-time low,” he admits. He needed a coping mechanism and excessive drinking, junk food and long evenings puffing on a hookah pipe provided the perfect antidote. For a guy who had always been fit, this was a serious nosedive. “I was struggling with my mental health,” he says. “I was suicidal, and I couldn’t see a way out.” The goal was simple: he needed to drop the bad habits, find his purpose and burn fat fast.

The Problem

“At some point, everything in my life just stopped making sense,” says Mohamed. Deprived of a sense of purpose, his days felt directionless, and stepping on the scale and seeing “120kg” was a constant reminder that he was letting things slide. Despite his depressive state, he knew something had to change. “I needed to give my life meaning again,” he says.

READ MORE: This Reader Kicked His Cravings and Lost 13kg!

There was no distinct moment where his perspective shifted, just a quiet voice in the back of his head that was fighting against his slow circling dance around the drain. The message was clear: he had to start improving, even if it was just a little bit each day. “I think it’s normal to lose your sense of self-worth and purpose when something bad happens,” he says. “The only solution is to put together a gameplan and stick to it.”

The Plan

Shaquil Mohamed working out at the gym to burn fat

He hit the brakes almost immediately, trading his rotating cast of takeaway grub for one healthy meal each day in an effort to burn fat. Stints over the bottle were replaced with gruelling sessions under the bar. He worked through a programme of training one specific body part per day.

It kept his gym visits varied and interesting, and when he wanted to throw in the towel he reminded himself why he was there: “Just work on improving.” He would train in combat sports with a group of guys every week. These fighters became his support network, with post-workout cooldowns giving Mohamed a chance to open up (and heed their advice).

READ MORE: This Reader Used Simple Diet Fixes and Lost 61kg!

He started to burn fat one rep at a time. He managed to get his business aspirations back on track. He was building a new foundation over the wreckage of his old life. There was healing in his weekly reps, a sweat-fuelled restoration of his self-image and self-belief. Life made sense again. 

The Prize

Shaquil Mohamed in text before after
In the space of a single year Mohamed had transformed both his life and physique.

Mohamed is happy that he fits into his old clothes. And it’s a serious confidence-builder to walk past the XXL section at the clothing store. But these shifts of centimetres and inches pale in comparison to the extreme makeover in his head. He doesn’t recognise the guy who ended 2022 with his fingers glued to the bottle.

The goal is no longer just to cope, but to thrive. “My focus is back on personal development,” he says. “I take pride in what I do and what I believe I can do.” For guys struggling right now, he offers a few words of encouragement: “Don’t give up. Whatever situation you’re in, look for ways to build progress,” he says. Even the smallest shifts can move mountains. The proof? Mohamed was able to engineer his comeback in just nine months.

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