by Shane Jones
JASON Templeman knows if he didn't change his life over the past 12 months he might not have been here to tell his incredible story.
Templeman is currently weighing 97kg after losing 113kg over the past year through gastric sleeve surgery, fitness and a healthy diet.
But it was a completely different story just under two years ago.
The former rugby league coach and organiser of this weekend's Cycling Spectacular, weighing in at 210kg, was on the brink of death. It wasn't a matter of if but when he was going to die as Templeman had to weigh himself on truck scales at a local fruit and vegetable shop.
"I was sick, I'd been diagnosed with clinical depression and diabetes," he revealed.
"The doctor said 'you need to go away and consider what you want to do and whether you want to live any more.'"
Templeman ignored the doctor as first until a light bulb moment came when he was in hospital one night in May 2016.
"I was laying in hospital and I thought I was having a heart attack," he said.
"I had chest pains and everything like that and that was the moment it clicked into my head 'what have I done to myself, I've got to do something to help myself.'"
The only issue was Templeman needed to start losing weight himself to start the process towards gastric surgery.
The surgery, which removes 85 percent of the patients stomach, helps to reduce food intake for those that want to lose weight quickly.
"The doctor told me I had to be under 200 kilos to safely have the operation performed," he said.
"That was my first goal, January to May (2017) was to get under 200 kilos."
"Little did I know the doctor actually wanted me realistically at 180kg."
Templeman went on a pre-surgery diet and impressively got to where he needed to be.
"The day I walked into surgery I was 174.3," he said.
"I had to rid my liver of all the fats so they could get to my stomach."
Since the surgery, Templeman has lost a further 77kg.
But he admits there have been brutal times along the way.
"Mentally it's been the biggest battle and biggest challenge of my life," he said.
"It's not just about the surgery, it is about finding myself as a human being.
"It's rediscovering a self belief, you can do it." Templeman said walking helped him get over the challenge.
Whenever he had an issue, he put the headphones on and cleared his mind with a walk.
"Before the weight loss I couldn't even walk three-400m without stopping and resting," he said.
"Today as I stand right at this moment I do 10km minimum a day," he said.
Templeman's said this year was about maintaining his weight.
"I'm not doing this for five seconds of fame," he said. "I'm hoping this story can inspire others to do the same. It's never too late and never say you can't, you've just got to do it."