Wednesday, 16 January 2013


BORN on one of the minor islands of Fiji, Rob Kilburn spent his first two-a-half years on a Pacific island before his family settled in Warminster, Wiltshire. On leaving home he moved to South Wales where he married twice, and had two sons, Ben and Macawley. He moved to Weymouth in 2007 where he started work for Dorset County Council, specialising in IT. He now lives in Cerne Abbas. Rob hit the news when, seriously overweight, he lost over 10 stone, transforming his life in the process.

WHAT do you think caused you to struggle with your weight?
I have always been big, but weight seemed to get worse as a teenager. After discussing it with a few experts, it seems that my struggle was with different emotional times in my life, both good and bad. You could say that through certain periods of my life food became my friend and I sought solace in it. But now food is fuel and I only eat what I need to function. 

WHAT made you decide to lead a healthier lifestyle – was there a turning point?
A very good friend at work left me a clipping on my desk advertising participation in a reality TV show for obese people. After sending some pictures and answering some questions I was invited to a casting session and was then given a place on the TV show. It was a great experience, being tested by a team in one of the top sports facilities and being filmed. Unfortunately there was only room for 10 participants out of the 12 of us and I was released from the programme in April and all the support that went with it. I think it was also a realisation that I could do something but more than that I needed to do something.

HOW did you do achieve the weight loss?
I cut down on portion sizes and also the types of foods I was eating. I would scour the shops looking at all the food before I would buy it, checking carb sugars, fat content and other unnecessary ingredients 

WAS there a low point during the fitness/health regime?
The start was very tough, the physical exercise was demanding and the food was smaller portions and different than I was used to, but the low point was after steadily losing weight I ended up putting over half a stone on in one weekend, after bingeing on fruit. The weight came off in the week that followed but it was quite upsetting 

What was the high point?
The high point is seeing people for the first time since losing the weight and also losing 18 inches from my waist and taking clothes from the rail in the shops, but there are more high points to come, including finding love.

HOW has it changed your life?
I am a totally different person, I can walk long distances and also do more physical things than I used to but doing normal things like sitting in a normal car or the chair at a hairdressers, these things are brilliant. I feel more alive and feel that I can take on the world every day now, my life has started again. 

WHAT do your friends and family think?
My friends all mention that they like the new me, they all comment on how well I look. My family are happier and were worried about my health, but do not worry now. 

WHAT are your tips for anyone wanting to get healthy?
Look at what you are doing in your life. Think about what it is that you want and be positive about the fact that you can achieve it. I started out a bit daunted but I have believed in myself and this has pushed me forward. You will find it hard to start with but it gets easier and it will be fun!

HOW important is your time in the air cadets to you?
My time in the air cadets brought me discipline and also comradeship. This has helped me in my lifestyle change as I have had some support from the leisure centre and also from my trainer but the majority of the work I have had to do myself and have had to pull it out of the bag. These attributes I gained from the cadets has helped immensely. 

WHO would play you in the movie of your life?
I think that I would like to be played by John Goodman as I feel we have similar mannerisms, although he would have to slim down a bit for the last bit of the movie, ha ha!

DO you have a hero, living or dead?
I think that there have been many strong people in history and I think that Scott and his team when they went to the Antarctic, with the little equipment that they had, that took a special kind of person. 

YOU have just won a 'Life Oscar' for being you. Who do you thank?
I would thank everyone whom I have met, because your life is a journey and you get experiences from all people whether they were good or bad. But specific people are my family, my mum and dad especially, lots of friends who have given me their support without prompting and my two sons, who are the real inspiration for this life change. Thank you all.


  1. How brave to be so open about your struggle. An inspiration - just what I need post-Christmas.

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