Name: Harry Cuthbertson
Job: church pastor
Lives: Wynyard, Tasmania
“I’ve performed a transformation of biblical proportions”
For as far back as I can remember I was always the biggest kid in the room. There was always food on the table and I never failed to eat heaps of it.
After leaving school and starting a full-time job, my weight woes compounded. Running youth groups at night, I was always short on time to exercise, but never short on food. Chowing down on pasta and other carb-heavy foods was a habit, while trips to fast-food establishments were a way to pass the time.
After getting my driver’s licence, jumping in the car and going to Maccas was just something to do, even if I’d already eaten a massive dinner. Eating four huge meals in a day was a sinful habit. After getting married, I ballooned out to 135 kilos. With me running the church, there were big guys both upstairs and down.
I’d thought about losing weight for a long time, now and again managing to shed a few pounds. But I never realised that I had to overhaul my entire lifestyle. There are always “easy” fixes being promoted on TV, but they never worked. And with a hectic schedule and a newborn daughter, I was constantly feeling exhausted.
After a scare around type 2 diabetes, my doctor raised lap-band surgery. I was stunned. She clearly didn’t think I could lose enough weight on my own – and that was just the motivation I needed.
From then on, every decision I made was based on choices I could sustain for the rest of my life. Diet was king. You can’t outrun a bad diet, so the first thing I did was give up fizzy drink. Five kilograms practically fell off me. Every Sabbath I would prepare my meals for the week.
I was really just eating for sustenance, pretty much the same things every day, and I gradually decreased my portion sizes. Bread was out, and I swapped anything “white” for “brown”. I also started playing basketball and indoor soccer, while taking Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes. It wasn’t about exercising religiously; I wanted it to be enjoyable and something to look forward to.
I’ve performed a transformation of biblical proportions! In the process, I’ve realised how much of a mental burden it is to be overweight. It was always at the back of my mind.
I’m being treated differently too. I don’t think people do it on purpose, and maybe it’s my confidence coming through, but I feel I’m being treated with far more respect. I’m now incorporating health and nutrition into my services, and have started a chef’s apprenticeship. I’ll be teaching people to treat their body as a temple.
Don’t make huge, sweeping changes. Make a small one often, and replicate it each and every day as you slowly reconfigure your lifestyle.
Shop around the edge of the supermarket. The inner aisles are lined with processed junk, while the fresh produce is around the fringes.
Brown For White
How moving to wholegrain varieties of these common foods help you say adiós fat
= More fibre
= slower digestion
= steadier energy supply
= less hunger