“We Decided To Go On A Journey Together And Lost 52 Kilos”


Karomaza |

Olympic distance triathlons, sprint triathlons and half Ironmans: these are just some of the activities that now fill Inge Hansen and Matthew Tintinger’s weekends.

It’s a big change from 2010, when Inge weighed 86kg, Matthew tipped the scales at 138kg and you were more likely to find them on the couch than on their feet. “We have never felt so good,” says Inge. “We’ve turned our relationship, our health and our lives around.”

Inge Hansen
Before: 86kg
After: 61kg
Height: 1.68m
Time required to reach current weight: 1 year
Secret weapon: Triathlon group training as a couple

Matthew Tintinger
Before: 138kg
After: 111kg
Height: 1.92m
Time required to reach current weight: 1 year
Secret weapon: Triathlon group training as a couple

The Gain

Irregular office hours left this desk-bound couple drained. “Our biggest problem was the weekends: we’d come home at the end of the week with six DVDs, two pizzas and a two-litre fizzy drink – that was how we relaxed,” says Inge. And although their main meals were relatively healthy, snacking was their downfall. “At our heaviest we went through lots of chips, cakes and cheese boards with wine,” she admits. By December 2010, their mutual love chub weighed in at 224kg.

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The Change

“We both suffered from insomnia, indigestion, headaches and back pain. I experienced migraines six or seven times a month,” says Inge. “The worst part was that I had no body confidence. Matt didn’t care how I looked; he was just concerned about how the weight was affecting my health. So when a friend of mine asked if we wanted to try Embark’s beginner triathlon programme, something in my head just said ‘yes’.”

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matthew-inge-now

The Lifestyle

To avoid injury, Inge and Matthew had to build up their base fitness, so they attended swimming, running and cycling sessions three times a week. “As you progress, you receive a weekly programme to complete in your own time, while still doing classes. Slowly you build up your fitness and endurance, and before you know it you’re training six days a week.”Within the first week Matthew had lost four kilos; Inge shed three.

To complement the training, they had to change their eating habits. “We didn’t want to feel as deprived as we had on previous diets, so we just cut down and switched to more wholesome food: quinoa instead of rice, sweet potato instead of potato, cottage cheese instead of Cheddar.” And as for two-pizza Fridays, they now enjoy a single pizza together.

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The Reward

“With Embark’s guidance, we completed our first half Ironman 70.3 in East London in January. It’s been an amazing journey. Being part of a training club and doing triathlons – these are things I would never have dreamt possible a year ago,” says Inge. “And neither of us takes medication for health ailments anymore,” she adds. “We’ve both dropped five clothing sizes. Awhile back Matt wouldn’t be caught dead in Lycra–now he looks sexy in it.”

Inge’s Tips

Form a tag team. “If one person doesn’t want to get out of bed to train, the other needs to be the cheerleader that day, and vice versa.”

Find a mentor. “A coach worked incredibly well for us – they keep you motivated and engaged with your new lifestyle.”

Snack smart. “Find new, healthy, delicious treats – they do exist!”

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