How this man lost 50kg and became a title-fighting boxer
CHRISTMAS Day, 2015.
It is supposed to be one of the happiest days of the year.
For former rugby league front rower Robert Quinlan, then a staggering 120kg, it is the day his life changed.
"I gave up Christmas Day to start my training regime," Mr Quinlan says as sweat flows down his face.
"When everyone was enjoying themselves, I said 'stuff it' and went running."
The Robert Quinlan who hits Hervey Bay PCYC Boxing Gym's punching bags with immense power for the Chronicle's cameras is a completely new man.
Mr Quinlan has gone from an overweight former footy player with genuine fears of an early heart attack to an active 73kg boxer with the chance to win a title.
"I was unhappy with myself, my appearance and my fitness at the time," Mr Quinlan said. "I was leading towards a heart attack as a young man."
Mr Quinlan fell into the sport of boxing. He took his daughter to the O'Rourke St centre for boxing and, within weeks, had joined in.
Now, 18 months later, he will fly to Sydney for a shot at a New South Wales masters' middleweight title.
Prior to his extraordinary weight loss, Mr Quinlan had undergone three knee reconstructions, had three discs removed from his back, and six pins in his hip. He says it feels fine now.
"When I had the weight on, I had a lot of pain and it wasn't a good feeling, but I'm fine," Mr Quinlan says during a short break. "I'm a new man: new outlook, new everything."
His weight-loss method was to keep his energy output higher than the food he ate, along with determination, dedication, and a lot of hard work to make it happen.