Incredible transformations command a certain level of respect. It takes courage to embark on a transformation, physical or otherwise. The decision to transform, in itself, involves awkward,
often confronting inward reflection. ‘What about myself needs improvement?’ The process is no picnic, either, involving months of commitment, sacrifice, sweat and more often than not, tears.
I’ve recently commenced my own transformation based on some quite brutal self-reflection. While the result will provide content for a future issue of Men’s Health, the reason behind the decision to change has meant this challenge has become one of the more mentally taxing undertakings I’ve committed to in the name of journalism. I’ve been able to draw inspiration, however, from a number of transformations found within this issue. From comedians Rob McElhenney (p90) and cover star Joel Creasey (p60), to singers Guy Sebastian (p16) and Busta Rhymes (p38), stories of transformation and self-improvement are not in short supply this month.
Back in 2018, when Rob McElhenney initially shed over 30kg in the name of comedy, he famously took to social media saying “it’s not that hard”. McElhenney joked that all you need for a full-body overhaul is to “lift weights six days a week, stop drinking alcohol, don’t eat anything after 7pm, don’t eat any carbs or sugar at all, in fact just don’t eat anything you like, get the personal trainer from Magic Mike, sleep nine hours a night, run three miles a day, and have a studio pay for the whole thing over a six to seven month span”.
Three years on McElhenney sings a different tune. The idea of rapid weight loss may have provided fodder for jokes in the beginning, but what he’s discovered since is that sustainable routines and habits are the key to maintaining a healthy body and mind. The same can be said for former cover man Guy Sebastian, who completed his own MH transformation for a 2017 cover. Having remained in cover-man shape, Australia’s original ‘Idol’ credits the knowledge he acquired during his transformation period to his ability to maintain his healthy physique. Knowledge he’s now passing on to another generation of Sebastians.
For proof that a dramatic transformation can be achieved without Hollywood studio budgets and hours of free time, you need only look to Australia’s own funnyman, Joel Creasey. Yes, even a man juggling three high-pressure jobs, as Creasey does, can turn his life around with the right mindset. All you need is a solid ‘why’. For Joel, the brutal Melbourne lockdown, a 30th birthday and some lingering self-confidence issues ignited the spark for change.
While the effects of embarking on a metamorphosis such as Joel’s are outwardly evident, as is the case with all our transformation tales, the biggest evolution occurs within. Right where it starts.