Gypsy King Tyson Fury made the biggest of boxing comebacks after depression led him to his darkest moments and saw his weight balloon to a whopping 28 stone. He turned his life around with help from trainer Kristian “Old Baldy head” Blacklock, and in his book The Furious Method – exclusively serialised here – Fury tells of the power of exercise and positive thinking.
Within a month of being crowned world heavyweight champ I was an emotional wreck, on my way to a heart attack thanks to Class A drugs, junk food and alcohol.
I had my epiphany in a pub on Halloween night in 2017, hopelessly overweight and humiliated, wearing a badly fitting skeleton outfit that was skin-tight and emphasised my full 28st.
Although I’d started training again, I was still drinking and going on benders and making life a misery for my wife, my children and those closest to me.
Looking around the pub at people half my age I felt like a disgrace and I knew things had to change.
I left the pub early and later that night I stood in my bedroom in my underpants, fell on my knees and cried out to God to help me.
Tears were running down my face. When I got back up, I knew the comeback was on because I was finally asking for God’s help and being
honest that I had a serious problem.
My mental health and marriage were both hanging by a thread. Everything I previously despised – including drugs – I now did. That’s how much I had come to loathe myself.
Until then I’d never taken my eyes off being a decent father to my kids, nor had I taken cocaine. And yet here I was keeping the cartels of Colombia afloat while also trying to drink myself into a very early grave.
I appreciate not everyone will share the same desire to get into the ring and knock ten bells out of someone. But I believe the building blocks of my successful comeback can be useful for anyone.
I look like an average Joe – bald and a bit fat around the midriff. In the depths of my depression I was suicidal. But thanks to support from my family and friends, and by seeking professional help and focusing on a positive outlook on life, I got healthy in body and mind.
The quality of our thinking informs everything we do, from the moment we get up in the morning to whether we get up at all.
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Being a fat, lazy bum with millions in the bank is no way to live.
But being hungry, fit and really alive in the middle of life’s journey – now that’s worth fighting for!
Every morning as I look out from the balcony of our house at the nearby sea, I count my blessings.
They say your life is a reflection of what you hold inside of you. And these days I’m glad to say it is light not darkness. Exercise, positivity, being in a happy environment and hitting goals are my remedy to depression. And they’ve made me a sunnier, more enthusiastic person in all my roles – as a dad, a husband, a son and a brother.
Up until I began training for the first Deontay Wilder fight I was drinking 20 to 30 cans of Diet Coke per day. It sounds ridiculous but I loved it. Now I know better – it’s up to us to educate ourselves.
My mental health is directly linked to exercising and Kristian’s helped me with both. So I’ll finish with three takeaways from Old Baldy Head for a healthy life:
● Have a routine. People with good routines in their life are generally happier and more consistent in what they do.
● Hydrate regularly. This might sound absurdly simple, but so many people don’t drink enough water and as a result it makes them hungry and they eat more.
● Take one day at a time and each day as it comes.
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