Stories to inspire: How Shillong banker went from obese to ripped



Meet Daryl Marak, a resident of Tura in West Garo Hills and a banker by profession. He weighs 59 kgs, is 5’6” tall and has abs to die for.

However, things were never easy for him, especially in 2020.

This is his story.

“I belong to Tura and am presently living here because of my job. I graduated from St Edmunds College, Shillong in the year 2008. I have always been average when it came to sports and athletics, though I was extremely fond of table tennis,” said Daryl.

Before his amazing transformation, Daryl weighed 73 kgs.

Daryl Marak(73 kgs)

He works as a manager of a well-known bank in the country, and this job requires him to sit for long hours at his desk.

Apart from the long work hours, regular consumption of alcohol after work added to his troubles and left him overweight.

With obesity came health problems. In mid-2019, Daryl visited a doctor after complaining of sudden pain and inflammation in his chest. The news from the doctor was no good.

“They said I had high triglycerides, which mean lots of fats in my blood, a sign of heart disease and diabetes. They advised me to exercise and also to give up alcohol. However, giving up is never easy. I started procrastinating and days became weeks and weeks became months, but as the adage goes, old habits die hard,” admitted Daryl.

However, for the banker, the lockdown changed everything.

“The crisis was the turning point in my life. Being part of essential services, I had to go to work every day. The working hours were considerably shorter, as they advised us to close early. Being used to long hours, I suddenly felt useless and bored,” he added.

Tomorrow finally arrived for Daryl!

“In April this year, I started walking three to four kilometres every day for nearly three weeks. I felt better physically but didn’t see any changes. My expectations for drastic results were unrealistic, in hindsight,” felt Daryl.

One day, he saw a few boys running and decided to test himself. He began enjoying the run.

“Running was good. I finally felt I was losing weight and feeling lighter. Soon enough, I started running 10 kilometres for four days a week. Meanwhile, I started changing my eating habits. While all this was fine, I still had no idea about what I was doing,” said the Tura lad.

After two months of regular running, he lost eight kilograms and was finally under 65 kgs.

Daryl Marak(65 kgs)

“My BMI was normal. I felt lighter, my face changed, as did my arms. However, my belly continued looking like an extra-large pizza. Despite the exercise, my belly would not desert me.”

This was when he met Freddy - a friend who was happy with the changes he had made.

Freddy advised him to start HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and resistance training (weight training).

Taking Freddy’s advice, Daryl bought a pair of dumbbells and a barbell and started training at home while also looking for videos on YouTube.

“I learnt then that simply exercising wasn’t enough. An excellent combination of rest/sleep and calorie deficit diet was the key. Initially, it was tough, and the progress was slow, but I was adamant,” said the now lean man.

With continued exercise, the strength and growth of his muscles became clear and he continued challenging himself with harder forms of exercises and increased weights.

“In three months, the changes became quite clear and with it came the realisation that it only works if you challenge yourself,” added Daryl.

Talking of the challenges he faces in continuing his lean form, the biggest hurdle, as per Daryl, was the management of time.

“I had to make time and so started waking up 40 minutes earlier than usual. I divided my exercise timings in such a way that I could work out twice daily, five days a week,” said Daryl.

“We tend to undervalue the importance of rest, recovery and sleep. Diet also plays a crucial part. Diet may be the biggest stumbling block for many when it comes to embracing a healthier lifestyle. I am currently keen to learn callisthenics (strength training). What started for me as a challenge has slowly turned into a hobby that has paid huge dividends in improvements in my quality of life,” he added.

(Edited by Andre Kongri)