It's been described as the greatest Australian weight loss story ever told: Jordan Tirekidis, once Australia’s heaviest man, has shed an incredible 200 kgs from his frame.
Two years ago, Tirekidis tipped the scales at more than 300 kgs. Incredibly, Tirekidis achieved this feat without the aid of stomach stapling or lap band surgery. Rather, he owes his spectacular weight loss — an antipodes record — to hypnotherapy.
At his heaviest — 310kg to be exact — Jordan drove in a specially adjusted car. He had to be weighed at the local tip, as usual scales top out at 180 kgs. He had no girlfriend, and couldn’t remember the last time he’d been to the beach, a park or a restaurant. He was 44.
Dr Stephens uses a variety of techniques, including telling his patients they have ‘imaginary lap band surgery’ and encouraging them to associate their favourite unhealthy foods with bad smells and foul images. The philosophy was simple: to focus on Tirekidis’ mind, through regular hypnotherapy and meditation, so that his behaviours and weight loss would follow.
There were scares along the way — his blood pressure would drop dramatically during exercise sessions, requiring emergency trips to hospital — and times when he fell off the wagon and hoarded unhealthy food. But regular hypnosis slowly changed his habits.
Speaking to Perth Now in 2012, Tirekidis detailed his daily diet that caused his weight to slowly grow: 10 hash browns and two large coffees for breakfast, two Big Macs with fries for lunch and four Whopper burgers for dinner. Sweets and desserts would come between meals, all washed down with almost a litre of Coke.
At his heaviest, Jordan wore custom-made 12XL clothes and could only stand for very short periods of time.
Tirekidis said that it was having his tonsils removed as a nine-year-old that he believes triggered his morbid obesity. He was only able to eat sweet, creamy treats after surgery and those foods soon became part of his life.
Now, he grows his own vegetables and cooks his own healthy meals. He now weighs in at 107.6kg, well under his original goal of 120kgs.
Jordan’s got a different problem nowadays, with so much excess skin on his body. He’s just undergone the first of many body sculpting operations, as excess skin is removed and ironically, fat is pumped back into his now-gaunt cheeks.
Asked about his weight loss journey, Tirekidis says it felt “like standing at the bottom of Mount Everest and having to climb up wearing thongs.”
His new goal is to put on 20kgs of muscle. As for his old, oversized body?
“It’s just a bad memory.”