It’s always heartwarming to see a person reach their fitness goals in a way which improves both their confidence and health.
However, sometimes, the transformation can be so profound, a person’s life changes forever in brilliant and unexpected ways.
Ilija Rajkovcevic, a student at Goce Delcev Business College, in Macedonia, looked like a completely different person entirely after shedding half his body weight.
The teenager weighed 150 kilos, but made the conscious decision to begin working out – and the results have been genuinely remarkable, both inside and out…
The once 26-stone Ilija knew a change was needed when he realised he couldn’t bear to look at himself in the mirror any more:
I could not look at myself in the mirror and look at myself sinking further, lonely with food .
From that day, I have been going to the gym every day, and fitness and practice became my way of life.
In under a year, ultra determined Ilija dropped an unbelievable 90 kilos, and his appearance has since become far more lean and muscular.
Now, Ilija puts time into hitting the gym, carefully sculpting his muscular bod. He also makes sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Most importantly of all, this transformation has given Ilija a much needed dose of self-belief.
The teen explained:
It seemed to me that I didn’t have a strong character. I did everything with fear. I have been lonely my entire life, a target of jokes and mockery of others. One day, I told myself, that’s enough.
Finally, I was mentally prepared to cope with my kilograms, and I became mentally stronger as they melted.
Today I am a completely different man, full of confidence and self belief.
Ilija now inspires others to turn their lives around through his motivational YouTube videos, where he’s amassed thousands of followers.
The video where he shares his amazing weight loss journey, has so far had over four million views, with many new fans commenting to show their admiration.
One person joked:
Wow! Your transformation is as if it’s two different people. If police were looking for you, you’re safe now! They’ll never find you hahaha
While aother empathised:
I’m on a journey myself and know what it takes. Kudos to you for an amazing transformation.
According to the NHS website:
We put on weight when the amount of calories we eat exceeds the amount of calories we burn through normal everyday activities and exercise. Most adults need to eat less and get more active.
The only way to lose weight healthily and keep it off is to make permanent changes to the way you eat and exercise. A few small alterations, such as eating less and choosing drinks that are lower in fat, sugar and alcohol, can help you lose weight.
There are also plenty of ways to make physical activity part of your life.
If you’re overweight, aim to lose about 5-10% of your starting weight by losing 0.5-1kg (1-2lb) a week. You should be able to lose this amount if you eat about 500 to 600 fewer calories than you need a day.
An average man needs about 2,500 calories a day and an average woman about 2,000 calories to stay the same weight.
Ilija is now an incredibly healthy looking hunk, who clearly knows his way around a gym. But most importantly of all, he’s happy and comfortable with himself.
If you’ve been affected by bullying, and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Bullying UK (Part of Family Lives) on 0808 800 2222. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications. When not Lad-ing about, she enjoys cooking, reading and trying not to fall over in Yoga.