"Since a young age, I carried a lot of excess weight due to a combination of eating unhealthy foods (fast foods, sugary drinks), huge portions and no exercise! I did lose a bit of weight just before my wedding through an unsustainable diet where I was only eating soups and salads – unsustainable because I put the weight back on in 4months.
With married life and kids, complacency set in and was my main downfall. I got heavier; exercise was non-existent and had all excuses under the sun. My family would often tell me to watch what I was eating and move my body but I was in a world of denial – and kept thinking that I was not putting weight on. In my head, I took them as very negative criticisms and I think as a man hearing such views were hard to accept (albeit them being constructive) and I quickly ignored them.
COVID & lockdowns hit and made things even harder, We would bake every day – this led me to gain weight again and put my at my heaviest – ballooning to 104kg.
A combination of mental health issues (I was horrible to be around), medical tests showing a fatty liver and last encouragement by my wife were a defining moment that made me decide to change my life around. Hearing about the 28 by Sam Wood challenge on the radio felt like a sign. Though the initial aim was to lose weight to win $10,000, I very soon realised that this healthy change was a long-term process to change both your mind and body! When I came to this realisation, all felt into place, and have not looked back since.
I have lost 30kg in total (19.6kg of body fat) and it took me 7months to lose this. However, more importantly, I have been able to maintain that weight loss. Once you understands and really, anchor in your mind that your health is a priority, making good choices becomes second nature."
Day on a plate
Breakfast would normally be a smoothie (my favourite one is the Crew Choc Smoothie, which just tastes like a chocolate milkshake); for lunch, I’d eat a wrap/ sandwich or a salad or leftovers. Dinner would be roast veggies and some sort of protein (chicken, fish, pork or beef) or curries (my favourite one is Woody’s Butter Chicken). Throughout the day, I’d also eat a protein ball or a boiled egg as a snack just to keep me full throughout the day.
Working out is my non-negotiable and is my daily me time. During weekdays, this consists of the 28 HIIT workout 3 days/week and two strengthening sessions at the gym. On the weekend, I would go for a long run. I always thought that runners were crazy but have since done a 360 and found a passion for running– I am running my first ever half marathon on the 2nd of May.
I learnt a lot about how determined and resilient I can be once I commit to something. I also realised that looking after myself did not make me a selfish person – to the contrary, by doing so, it allowed me to become selfless and be present for my wife and my two beautiful boys. I feel like I am now a proper husband and father and can lead by example.
I also realised that a healthy lifestyle change (I hate the word diet as it’s a negative word in my opinion) can still be enjoyable & fun. Bad days can (and will) happen and it’s ok, I just turn the page and start fresh. At the end of the day, I am human.
I learnt not to be submerged by guilt when I eat something ‘unhealthy’. When I started to look at food not as an enemy, (the enemy is my mind) but more as source of fuel, it helped. ‘Working out’ the mind is even more difficult than a normal body workout!