March Member Journey, Meet John O’Halloran. You will want to read on!

My name is John O’Halloran. I am a 30-year-old nurse from Ireland and have happily adopted Christchurch into my life for the last four years.

My fitness journey has been a rollercoaster.

I was born in 1991 in the Bon Secours Convent in Cork City. I was the fattest baby born in the hospital that year at over 12 pounds. The nuns were stunned! From there I thrived. There are pictures of me on my first birthday and I am just rolls of fat in my high chair, bursting out at all sides. I continued this way all through my life. My father is a passionate sportsman and pushed me into all kinds of sports, mainly Gaelic sports, hurling being the game of choice. I largely disliked it mainly as I was too unfit and disinterested although I played it until I was eighteen as I enjoyed the banter with the lads!

As I progressed through my teens I continues to expand. I went to India with the Christian Brothers in 2013 as part of a program my school used to run called the Indian Immersion project. I attended a Christian Brothers School and we raised money for their schools in India and experienced life within them, mainly Calcutta. When I went to India, I was seventeen years old and pushing 18 stone. I planned on losing 2 stone while I was there with a good dose of Delhi Belly… This did not happen. My school mates and teachers all got sick, I thrived making best friends with the house chef who would take me to the markets with him and cook me my own meals. I came from India three pounds heavier then when I left!

Roll forward four years and it is my 21st birthday. I am heading on 22 stone. (140kg) I had a big personality which covered the limitations of my size physically. Largely I did not get bullied. I did have an aunt who when I was training, told me I would never get a job as a nurse because if I fell at work, I would smother a patient! Then the pictures came out of my 21st birthday. It was the first time I said to myself

“Damn you are bursting out of that shirt”.

And here is where my weight loss journey began.

I slowly pottered away myself. I joined a weight loss clinic, got a program and dropped out after a week. I hated it. It felt like being on Fat Fighters in Little Britain! I did keep the meal plan though and joined a gym. I had flirted with gyms in the past. Word of warning to PT’s… I did not get fat from loving exercise! I found I would go with a PT and they would work me super hard and I would lose weight. However subconsciously I would be in hell and eventually quit. To overcome this, I developed my own little program involving the cross trainer, rowing machine and some machine weights. I did this program three to four times a week every week…

until April 2020. The first lockdown!

Oh, and by the way… It worked. Throughout those nine years I lost 44KG’s and have more or less maintained it with a few fluctuations along the way. I now have a max weight of 100KG where I cut instantly if I reach that! Despite this triumph of losing weight, I had never developed any dynamic core strength.

My Bodyfix Journey began in March 2020. I “borrowed” the Bodyfix workouts through a friend and ended up doing my first HIIT class. It was terrible. I couldn’t do a burpee. That evil voice “Metafit” combined with Moo and Steve screaming gave me nightmares. Slowly as the weeks rolled by, I got better. And so when the gym re opened, I went back with them.

(a note from the team, John had a major fear of commitment, he dipped his toe in with concessions cards and casual visits before jumping into a membership with us!)

I kept my membership up at my old gym for a year after for detachment sensitivity from the Technogym Cross-trainer. I now am addicted to Spin and have even taken up road cycling. I regularly do HIIT also. I can do endless burpees and now have started doing free weights. I have muscles in my body I never had and can move in ways I only imagined.


I love going to Bodyfix and how the welcoming environment from all the staff has made it become such a large part of my New Zealand experience. I have introduced other people to Bodyfix and they could share similar stories like me. I do not know what the future holds but if I make the fitness gains I did in my twenties, through my thirties, I will have a banging body at forty!

Article by Jessica McDonald

Hi, I am Jess, Gym member, staff member, and customer service ninja here at Bodyfix. You might have seen my face behind the desk, online or simply around the gym. I love that I get to have conversations with our Members and Staff alike to bring you these stories. No matter where you see me, I am always up for a Hello!

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