Kasim's incredible transformation proves nothing is impossible

Completing a triathlon might seem like an insurmountable task to many people – but Mohammed Kasim hopes his incredible story can prove to others that anything is possible.

Matt Jones
by Matt Jones
1st March 2017

article:1st March 2017

Mohammed Kasim.
Mohammed Kasim.

Three years ago the Emirati weighed just shy of a whopping 200kg, thanks in large part of a regular fast food diet that would often see him consume three triple whopper burgers in one sitting.

His obesity was so alarming he required surgery because he was struggling to walk. However, it was just the wake-up call he needed.

The 32-year-old lost 100kg in 12 months and is now preparing to compete in the Olympic distance of the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Kasim will undertake a 1,500m swim, 40km cycle and 10km run around the event’s revamped Yas Island route – the same distance that the elite male and female athletes will be competing in.

It comes a month after Kasim completed the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon in a very respectable time of five hours and eight minutes, having only entered three weeks beforehand.

“If I can do it anyone can, and this is what I want to do. I want to inspire others to do the same,” said Kasim, who is head of corporate communications for a government sector in Dubai.

“I was obese, I accepted that. My life has completely changed since I started training when I was 29. I lost the weight so it’s like since I turned 30 I’ve entered a new life. The lesson I’ve learnt is nothing is impossible and start small. No matter where you start.”

Kasim puts his transformation down to coach Marcus Smith and his team at Dubai-based gym Inner Fight, where he started taking up CrossFit in a desperate bid to shed the pounds.

“I am willing to support anyone. It changed my life and I hope I can change others’ lives,” added Kasim, who joked the Dubai Marathon was “the longest run of my life”.

“My friends have since started losing weight and training. I have a friend who was 220kg and he was only 22. He started coming to the gym with me. He has lost 40kg in a few months already.”

As well as dedicating himself to training, transforming his diet dramatically has also been key for Kasim.

“Before I would eat white bread for every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he adds.

“I would have a sweet with every meal, whether it was fruit or cake, chocolate and sweets. Dinner would mostly be fast food or eating out at a restaurant.

“I would go to a fast food restaurant in the evening and would have three triple whopper burgers. So nine burgers altogether. Sometimes I would eat two but if I did not feel satisfied I would eat three. A minimum of two and maximum of three, with one or two portion of fries.

“Now I eat maybe a boiled egg and banana for breakfast. At lunch half a kilo of salmon or grilled chicken with salad or quinoa. For dinner lentil soup, nothing too heavy, perhaps chicken breast with sweet potato.

“Hydration was a big point too. I would not drink a lot of water. People think if you drink water you put on weight. You should drink three litres per day or four to five if you’re doing exercise.”