RAISE A FIT­TER FAM­ILY

TO LOSE WEIGHT, YOU NEED TO MAKE SOME BIG CHANGES. YOUR FAM­ILY MIGHT JUST BE THE IN­SPI­RA­TION YOU NEED TO SUC­CEED.

Men's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY PAIGE CARLOTTI

Be­come your fam­ily’s in­spi­ra­tion.

KKeep­ing up with your kids can be tough. Just ask Chris­tian Biz­zotto. He’s the proud fa­ther of Milla Star Biz­zotto, the youngest com­peti­tor in the 24-hour Bat­tleFrog Ex­treme, a gru­elling ob­sta­cle race de­signed by US Navy SEALs. Biz­zotto, 38, is right there next to his mud-cov­ered daugh­ter as they cross the fin­ish line to­gether. And this isn’t the kid­die race: 10-year-old Milla runs with the adults – and beats most of them, too.

Just eight years ago, Biz­zotto wouldn’t have dreamed of tak­ing on such a chal­lenge. When Milla was a baby, a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent left him with a bro­ken back, a her­ni­ated disc, a bro­ken foot and hand, and – once he could move again – a bro­ken heart. His wife left him as soon as he re­cov­ered.

“I was bro­ken in ev­ery sense of the word,” says Biz­zotto. He knew he had to make a change. “I had this lit­tle kid who looked up at me ev­ery day like I was a su­per­hero. But to my­self I was a su­per noth­ing,” he says. “I wasn’t any of the things she prob­a­bly saw when she looked up at her dad.”

So Biz­zotto started by ditch­ing his diet sta­ples of fast food, cooldrinks, sweets, chips, and sug­ary ce­re­als. Now he guz­zles wa­ter when he’s thirsty, and eats mostly or­ganic eggs, av­o­ca­dos, nuts, kale, spinach, and chard.

His fit­ness jour­ney be­gan sim­ply: by run­ning be­tween two dust­bins at the beach. First they were 15 me­tres apart, then 30 me­tres, then 150, then 1 500. Even­tu­ally he was do­ing 20-kilo­me­tre trail runs “for fun”. Now 45 kilo­grams lighter, Biz­zotto co-owns Fo­cused Move­ment Academy, a train­ing fa­cil­ity in Mi­ami. Milla’s am­bi­tions keep him go­ing.

Hit­ting the gym with a friend can dou­ble the du­ra­tion of your work­out, ac­cord­ing to re­search from Michi­gan State Univer­sity. For the Biz­zotto fam­ily, it’s more like quadru­ple.

“Prac­tis­ing what you preach is ev­ery­thing,” says Sean Garner, a trainer with Anatomy at 1220 in Mi­ami, and a fa­ther of two. You can’t tell your kids to eat healthily and then let them see you choke down pizza and beer ev­ery week­end.

“They’re watch­ing you, whether you re­alise it or not,” he says.

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