“I believe if I can encourage just one person to live a healthier, fuller life, then I have achieved something,” Anthony said.

Anthony is one of Foodbank Queensland’s Drivers, driving Foodbank’s purple trucks to rescue and deliver essential food and groceries across Queensland to those who need it most. Just over one year ago, on 1 May 2020, Anthony had gastric sleeve surgery, removing 70 per cent to 80 per cent of his stomach.

“I chose to get the gastric sleeve surgery because I was sick and tired of struggling in life carrying the excess weight. Everything was harder, from simple things like getting in and out of a car to moving pallets in the back of a truck. My body was starting to break-down, having a fatty liver, gall stones and living in constant pain. Something had to be done and diet and exercise just weren’t enough. I needed medical intervention. Then, within a few months, even during the pandemic, I was able to get surgery and change my life completely,” Anthony said.

At his heaviest in 2015, Anthony weighed 160 kilograms and couldn’t run to the end of his driveway without getting exhausted. Prior to the surgery, Anthony had a personal trainer for two years was able to lose about 15 kilograms of body fat. He also participated in two five-kilometre parkrun events but had to walk 90% of the course. Since participating in his first parkrun in 2016, he has improved his 5-kilometre parkrun time by an incredible 21 minutes.

Anthony is now a healthy 89 kilograms and runs two to four times every week, at least five to 10 kilometres each time. He is training to run in the Gold Coast half marathon, which is 21 kilometres in under three hours.

“I used to hate running, but now I can’t live without it,” Anthony said.

“After having the surgery, it was really tough mentally, especially as I could only fit no more than 50ml of liquid in my stomach at a time.”

“One year on, I am a completely new person. I am living a healthy active lifestyle and enjoying my time with my family. I now go bike riding with my kids and go on more adventures as a family. My confidence has grown amazingly, and I will give anything a go now. Before the surgery I would live like a hermit, never wanting new experiences,” Anthony said.

Anthony is also doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) and a weightlifting session at the gym at least one day a week to continue losing body fat and increasing muscle mass. This year, Anthony has signed up to be a Hunger Fighter and run The Sunday Mail Transurban Bridge to Brisbane for Foodbank Queensland to help raise vital awareness and funds to support Queenslanders suffering from hunger.

“I am really excited to be participating in The Sunday Mail Transurban Bridge to Brisbane, especially representing Foodbank. I have been with Foodbank for nearly three years now and have seen firsthand the positive impact that Foodbank has in the community, helping to feed hundreds of thousands of people all across Queensland,” Anthony said.