Men's Health (Australia) - - MH DAD -

BEANPOLE. WEAKLING. UNCO. Th­ese were all in­sults directed at me when I was a kid. I was tall and gan­gly with barely a gram of mus­cle on me. Al­ways the last to be picked for the sports team, I was de­ter­mined to fill out.

My wish was granted in my mid-twen­ties, but not quite in the way I would have liked. At the time I was work­ing as a break­fast ra­dio pro­ducer and the 4am starts played havoc with my me­tab­o­lism. Sud­denly I found my­self the not-so-proud owner of a belly. I would go to the gym spo­rad­i­cally and make half-hearted at­tempts to stay in shape, but all I was re­ally do­ing was slow­ing my ever-in­creas­ing weight gain. Even­tu­ally I got to 96.3kgs. I’m 190cm tall so I could hide it quite well, but the spare tyre around my waist kept on in­flat­ing.

My two kids have so much en­ergy. On the week­ends they aren’t con­tent with just sit­ting at home watch­ing TV all day (which I could quite hap­pily do). They want to go out and play in the park, go on bush­walks and ride their scoot­ers. If I’m to share some of this im­por­tant bond­ing time with them, I need to get into shape.

Start­ing on the trans­for­ma­tion with Chief and Em­i­lie, the thing that scares me the most is the change of diet. No chips for lunch, snack­ing on choco­late or even diet soft drinks. In their place come large serv­ings of veg­eta­bles, smaller ones of meat and wa­ter. Lots of wa­ter. Our lunches and din­ners, which are sup­plied by THR1VE, are not only de­li­cious but take the stress out of meal plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion. For break­fast I make ba­con and eggs with av­o­cado on toasted pro­tein bread or a two-egg omelette with smoked salmon and spinach.

Ten min­utes into my first gym ses­sion with Chief I think I am go­ing to vomit. Even af­ter hav­ing a gym mem­ber­ship for 15 years, I had never trained so hard. “You’ll be dream­ing of days like to­day in a few weeks time,” says Chief as he’s try­ing to squeeze the last bench press out of me. Chief is right – it does get more in­tense, but my abil­ity to han­dle it vastly im­proves. We train five days a week for 45 min­utes and I back it up with a run or bike ride on Sun­day.

The speed of my weight loss takes me com­pletely by sur­prise. De­spite be­ing told to stay off the sales, I am just too cu­ri­ous to see how my body is chang­ing. I drop three ki­los in the first week. Over the next seven weeks my sur­plus bag­gage con­tin­ues to steadily fall off.

There are a cou­ple of blowouts – so­cial events where the lure of a glass of wine, French fries or ice-cream is just too great to re­sist. I’m only hu­man! But I

al­ways make sure to get back on track af­ter­wards and my weight con­tin­ues to drop as new mus­cles and def­i­ni­tion on my chest, arms and legs start to ap­pear. Even my abs are start­ing to come out of hi­ber­na­tion. The other day I bought some new jeans. They were two sizes smaller: I’m now the proud owner of a 32-inch waist. In­cred­i­ble.

Now that I’ve lost the weight, my great­est fear is slip­ping back into old habits and putting it all back on. My old nightly habit of a wine or three and ice-cream af­ter the kids go to bed is some­thing I can’t go back to if I want to main­tain my new physique. It will be a chal­lenge, but one I’m de­ter­mined to win.


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