Over the last few years, the body positivity movement has gained widespread support not only in the United States but across the world as well. This makes a lot of sense, particularly when looking at the pain that Anthony Bayer had to endure due to constant bullying because of his weight. But after one girl made his life a misery, Anthony took it upon himself to make a change — and in the end, he was the one who got the last laugh.
Hailing from Gold Coast, Australia, Anthony struggled with food addiction throughout his teenage years. Due to a heavy fast-food diet, Anthony weighed over 300 lbs and had to wear size 42 pants and 3XL shirts. But he wasn’t just having a few Big Macs every now and then.
Every morning, the young man would eat two foot-long meatball subs for breakfast and wash it all down with a large bottle of Coke. This was accompanied by a burger meal from KFC and Magnum ice cream bars for lunch, and finally, two pepperoni pizzas for dinner.
Because of his weight, Anthony was taunted and teased by many of his classmates. To make matters worse, even some of Anthony’s teachers would make subtle comments and get in on the jokes rather than stop the bullying. Yet even all this wasn’t enough to stop Anthony from continuing along his unhealthy path.
Rather than address the torment he was experiencing, Anthony decided to put up a wall around himself, blocking out all of the ridicule he was receiving. Unfortunately, this strategy wouldn’t work, as the worst bullying was still to come.
No matter how hard Anthony tried to ignore his tormentors, his feelings of loneliness and rejection only worsened over time. Now in an exceptionally dark mental space, Anthony felt as if things could not possibly get worse. But unfortunately for the young man, they were about to.
Most high schoolers view their prom as a defining moment of their high school experience; Anthony, however, didn’t feel any excitement and considered skipping the event altogether. Yet as the young man felt the jubilant atmosphere in the school hallways, he couldn’t help but think that, just maybe, prom wouldn’t be so bad.
As Anthony teetered on the fence, something entirely unexpected happened to him in math class: he was approached by a girl he had a crush on. That’s when Anthony was struck with a bold but risky idea.
While Anthony would normally never consider doing this, he decided to put himself out there by asking this girl to the prom. But before he could even get the words out, his crush asked him a question that left him speechless.
Out of nowhere, she asked if he would go to the prom with her! Considering she was the girl every boy in school was after, Anthony immediately accepted her unlikely invitation. Sadly, things would not go so smoothly on the big night.
As prom approached, Anthony knew he needed to look his best for his date. He got a fresh haircut, rented a fancy suit, and even went above and beyond by renting a limousine for the night to impress his beautiful date. Little did Anthony know what laid in store for him.
As he saddled up to his date’s door and rang the doorbell, Anthony discovered the nasty truth about what was really going on. Looking beautiful in her prom dress, the girl opened the door and burst into laughter, as did the group of teenagers behind her. Moments later, the mockery started, and a devastated Anthony rushed home — this marked the turning point of his life.
The next few days proved exceptionally difficult for Anthony. Not only had the teasing reached its peak, but his “date’s” words kept playing in his mind. “Sorry, you’re too fat to fit through the door,” she mercilessly ridiculed. Surely, Anthony had to take action to get his life back on track.
Yet after facing all of his laughing schoolmates on Monday, Anthony turned to food once again as a source of comfort as he spiraled into a deep depression. This sadness continued to follow Anthony for years, even after his high school graduation, until one day, he decided to turn his life around.
During a doctor’s visit, Anthony was forced to face an alarming truth — he was on the verge of developing diabetes. As Anthony broke down in tears, he realized that he could no longer afford to live such an unhealthy lifestyle. But how could he undo all the damage he had done to his body so much later in life?
Following his shocking revelation, Anthony finally felt motivated to spring into action. While still self-conscious about his weight, he decided to try out his local gym. Regardless of what anyone thought of him, Anthony knew that his future lay in his own hands.
Despite being out of his comfort zone, Anthony persevered with his gym workouts. Knowing that he was finally on the right track, the anxious young man started to see some significant results. Yet there was still one issue he needed to address — his unhealthy diet.
While Anthony’s workouts began producing real results, that was just half the battle: he also needed to kick his unhealthy fast food addiction. He decided to improve his cooking skills, thereby giving himself the ability to make hearty, nutritious meals on a daily basis. But these were still just the early stages of his transformation.
After many tough days, Anthony had completely replaced the KFC and pepperoni pizzas in his diet with grilled chicken, vegetables, oats, and green tea. That, together with many hours of gut-busting gym workouts, helped Anthony lose a jaw-dropping 130 lbs! Soon, his amazing transformation would evoke a response from a very unlikely individual.
With pictures of his shredded physique posted on social media, Anthony soon became something of a ladies man. “I went from having three matches on Tinder to now having over 1,000 matches with girls. It’s crazy,” Anthony shared. But little did he know that one of his admirers was a blast from his troubled past.
Out of nowhere, Anthony received a text message from the high-school crush who’d pranked him so horribly. Now impressed by his athletic build, the woman apologized for mistreating Anthony and even asked if she could take him on a date to make up for it. “I couldn’t believe it and didn’t even reply,” he revealed. “I’ll forgive, but I would never forget.”
Now that Anthony has achieved his goals, he hopes to help others who are struggling with similar challenges. Today, Anthony runs his own personal training business called Transform Your Future. “I’ve gone through a lot, but my experiences have made me the man I am today,” Anthony shared.
Many people have followed Anthony’s weight loss journey, but one of his fans, Mark Webster, was especially struck by his message. As Mark’s 37th birthday rolled around, he sensed that he needed a change. He had a loving family and a number of successful business ventures, including a booking service that he sold to Groupon. Still, Mark felt one piece of his life was inadequate.
Himself. Mark stayed in fantastic shape throughout his 20s, but he let himself go after becoming a dad. Though he’d improved in the past couple years, Mark wanted to really kickstart his fitness. If only he could find some inspiration.
In early 2016, Mark came across some details about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. That wasn’t unusual, as Dwayne was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But Mark learned about the electrifying man’s intense workout and diet routine.
Mark took a long, hard look at himself in the mirror. He was no Dwayne Johnson, that was for sure. But maybe, he figured, if he borrowed some of the actor’s rules and habits, he could take the dramatic physical leap he was looking for?
Doctors gave Mark the green light to follow in The Rock’s footsteps. Dr. David L. Katz of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center explained, “It’s intense — but that can be a good thing.” As long as Mark knew what he was getting into, he would be okay.
Knowing that taking on too much at once would break him, Mark made himself a promise: he would follow the Rock’s intense routine for 30 days, no exceptions. It was a tremendous plan — but would it be too hard to execute?
It began immediately the next morning, as Mark awoke to his new daily alarm set at 5 am. He groggily rolled out of bed, knowing he wouldn’t be getting back under the sheets until 10 pm, 17 hours later. Next, Mark had to hit the gym.
Every morning for the next month would start with a serious workout. While Mark reviewed the list of exercises he would go through, it occurred to him that his body was going to feel very, very sore.
Each session began with almost an hour of high-effort cardio. As if that weren’t enough, Mark followed his cardio with up to 90 minutes of lifting, with each day targeting a different muscle group.
But Dwayne Johnson didn’t build up his massive biceps solely by pumping iron. To develop that kind of muscle mass, he had to fuel his body with the proper amount of nutrients. Essentially, that came down to eating a ton of food.
If Mark initially thought that eating a lot sounded like the perfect diet, he soon got a reality check. Though Mark’s food intake was high, his plan limited him to bland, healthy food. For example, dinner was a plate of plain cod and steamed vegetables…
…over and over again! Mark watched as his kitchen turned into an assembly line while he prepared massive batches of food that would make up the seven meals he ate each day. Even then, Mark’s menu wasn’t complete.
Before his early bedtime each night, Mark had to down a large whey protein shake. From the first post-workout bite to the final slurp, he took in 5,000 calories every day! Honestly, Mark had doubts as to whether he could keep this up.
Aside from getting sick of fish, the diet drained Mark’s bank account pretty quickly. The cod — which was the main ingredient of most meals — cost $7 per pound.
This was of course no problem for Dwayne’s movie star money, even though he ate about 821 pounds of cod every year. Mark, on the other hand, really had to sacrifice to make it work.
Nevertheless, Mark kept eating his cod calories and setting personal records in the weight room. Like with any commitment, he could think of a thousand reasons why he should quit. But deep down, he knew sticking to it would make him a better man.
At long last, the 30th day of Mark’s Rock routine approached. He eagerly awaited the chance to gorge on some junk food, and to sleep until a decent hour. But what he really looked forward to was the chance to analyze his final results.
While Mark didn’t bulk up anywhere near the level of Dwayne Johnson, which was fine, he did manage to simultaneously slim down and pack on a ton of lean muscle. He wasn’t the only one to notice the big improvement either.
As Mark chronicled his fitness journey online, The Rock himself heard about the plan! He never expected some average Joe to follow his grueling regimen, so he congratulated Mark for coming such a long way.
As thrilled as Mark was to hear from Dwayne Johnson, his biggest supporters were his family. Mark felt incredibly grateful to earn himself a happier and healthier life with his wife and daughter for years to come. That fact made him feel like a real action hero.