Tipping the scales at 210kg, Dave Letele knew he needed to change.
Sleeping on the floor in a community home, Dave Letele's bed had just collapsed under his weight. It was 2014 and Dave, like his bed, was broken. "Broke, broken and broken-hearted."
As he lay there on the floor he thought, "This can't be my life. I am meant for more than this."
He thought about his kids. About being a better example for them. And then he got up and started walking. First, he walked around One Tree Hill. Eventually he started walking twice a day. He stopped drinking fizz and started focusing on his nutrition, limiting takeaways and white bread. Next, he added boxing and high intensity sessions at the gym - and always finished his workouts with a long walk.
Soon training became his therapy. "When I was training I forgot about how crap my life was." So he trained as much as he could.
Despite plenty of moments where he felt like giving up, Dave persevered. "I would cry myself to sleep most days. Especially at the start of my journey."
But by the end of that year, Dave found himself in a new body - 100kg lighter - and with a new purpose. He wanted to help others achieve what he had.
From the exercise and diet plan he knew had worked for him, he developed Buttabean Motivation, a series of free community boot camps in Auckland. The programme's promise is weight loss in a healthy, sustainable way.
The history of boot camps is rooted in military training, developed as a way to instil discipline and improve soldiers' fitness and strength.
In 1888, inmates at a New York reformatory were introduced to military-style training to keep them active and avoid boredom.
In the late 1950s, Canadian Dr Bill Orban designed an 11-minute exercise plan for pilots in the Royal Canadian Airforce. Many were stationed in remote areas without equipment but Orban's Five Basic Exercises, built up over progressive exercise charts, could be done without weights or machinery. It was Orban's research at the University of California that determined that high intensity training was more beneficial for cardiovascular fitness than running a treadmill.
In the 60s and 70s the US Army Correctional Training Facility was built in an effort to rehabilitate criminals, rather than simply confine them. They were put through intensive eight week training programmes which included boot camp-style activities such as confidence courses, road marches and field training exercises.
While the early 2000s gave rise to reality TV shows such as Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp, where overweight stars competed to reach target weights, boot camps began popping up off-screen too. The UK was introduced to the military style workouts by a retired British Army officer. Eventually their popularity went global and boot camps, including Dave's BBM programmes, are now a common alternative to gym workouts.
Independent New Zealand health company WellMe has assessed members of Dave's programme, taking 3D body scans, measuring mental health, weight, glucose levels and blood pressure.
Recent results showed a group of 36 boot camp participants collectively lost 852kg after completing a 12-week programme. All participants' blood pressures and resting heart rates were measured as returning to normal ranges and individuals registered as happier than when they started.
One participant, a woman battling Type 2 diabetes for 15 years, finished the programme and reversed her condition. Her doctor discovered she no longer had the disease and was able to take her off her medication.
At 210kg, Dave started his weight loss journey with nothing; no equipment and no programme. His access to gym training was offered for free by a friend.
At the same time as he began his weight loss journey, Dave was competing on the under card of Joseph Parker's fight nights. "People noticed I was losing weight each fight ... I was getting messages wanting to know what the secret was."
Most were shocked when he told them he'd simply started walking and stopped drinking fizzy drinks.
"I have lost over 100kg and kept it off. I use what I learned here when I started my boot camps. Everything we do is what I have done on my journey."
According to the Ministry of Health, one in three New Zealanders over 15 are obese. Of those, 47 per cent of Māori and 65 per cent of Pacific adults were classified as obese.
Recently Dave spoke at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians congress. He listened to a doctor tell the audience there is no other option for managing obesity but bariatric surgery. He disagrees.
"What we have created is a community that is there for each other, much like a marae or a village in the Pacific islands."
Dave's programme, which has also been set up in Hawkes Bay, Bulls and Niue, now has over 1000 participants. A free online group, BBM Motivation, has over 11,000 members.