No Excuses: My Story

No Excuses: My Story

From Crime to Community and Fat to Fit

Dave Letele
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The amazing true story of Dave "the Brown Buttabean" Letele and how he turned his life around. Dave Letele' s incredible life has taken him from footy to failure, crime to community, fat to fit and riches to rags -- and back again. Today, he is an award-winning community leader and life coach who, as the face of Buttabean Motivation, helps literally thousands of ordinary people achieve their goals. He provides targeted health and fitness programmes, helps young people find jobs, and runs a foodbank for those in need. But it wasn' t always like that. He has overcome poverty, obesity, intergenerational trauma, depression, the lure of a life of crime and his own demons. Like Dave says, "I' ve been at the bottom and I' ve been at the top, and everywhere in between . . . If I can do it, you can. No excuses. "This is his story.
Dave Letele (Ngati Maniapoto, Samoa) is a community leader, life coach and motivational speaker based in Tamaki Makaurau, Auckland. Born the son of Auckland Mongrel Mob leader Big Dave Letele, he once said, "I should definitely be in jail or dead, one of the two . . . but because I' m not, I feel like I' m blessed. I share my story to give hope and help to others. "He played representative rugby league in New Zealand, and professional rugby league in Australia, with teams including the North Sydney Bears, Cootamundra Bulldogs and AS Carcassonne in France, and achieved notoriety as heavyweight boxer The Brown Buttabean. In 2014, Dave started a 100kg weight-loss journey that would gain him thousands of followers. This led to him creating Buttabean Motivation (BBM) which has helped thousands more achieve their goals and break the destructive cycles and patterns in their own lives. Today, Dave delivers targeted health, nutrition, and fitness programmes, youth employment programmes, runs the BBM Foodshare, and fundraises and advocates on behalf of communities in need. He won the 2022 Kiwibank New Zealand Local Hero Of the Year Award Te Pou Toko o te Tau for Auckland Tamaki Makaurau. He lives in Henderson, Auckland with his wife Koreen and four sons.