As a small business owner, Brad was always kept busy in the warehouse packing products. However as his business grew, his activity decreased as his role became less physical and more administration focused. Frequent travel away from home also left him pressed to find food on the road. Often stuck in a car for days, the easier option was grabbing a pie and chocolate bar from a servo. However, it was an annual check-up with his doctor that got him thinking it was time for a healthy change.
“Growing up quite active and involved with Rugby League, I got a bit of ribbing from friends for being overweight the last few years,” says Brad. “However I realised it was falling ill with meningitis in 2009 that had led me to subconsciously hold onto a bit of padding as an insurance policy of sorts. While I was sick, I lost over 15kgs and took over six months to recover. So I subconsciously thought the extra baggage I gained back was ok, in case I ever got sick again; until I realised if I didn’t do something about it, my weight would get out of control.”
Brad acknowledges that his health and weight weren’t something he had to think a lot about in his younger days.
“When I was younger, I was playing sports and working in plumbing and construction, it didn’t matter what I ate. Working in those industries you want convenience food that you don’t have to touch. So you’d never find me eating things like fruit. Once I hit my mid 40s, I was still eating the same volume of food for my previous activity level when I just didn’t need it.”
Brad had seen Wesley LifeShape Clinic advertised in the paper before, however it was after the clinic popped up on Facebook that he decided to make the call.
“After doing a bit of background research, I thought, yeah that’s something I need,” remembers Brad. “Wesley seemed right to me. I liked the holistic approach of nutrition with exercise, medical and psychological advice incorporated into their programs, as well as the weekly accountability to have someone keeping you on track. I am very goal orientated, so it was great to have an expert set me realistic goals to aim for, rather than setting something I only thought was right on my own.”
On top of having a team of experts arming him with a plan of attack, Brad also says it was beneficial to understand why he was aiming for those goals.
“It was explained to me that by reaching my goal weight, my risk of illnesses would be reduced to virtually nothing from say 30 or so conditions. I really wanted to remove that risk from my health,” admits Brad. “Having that cause and effect laid out for me was all I needed. I was like give me the rules and the tools, and I can do it!”
Even with a few pre-existing injuries limiting his capacity to exercise, Brad was quick to see results simply by eating more mindfully.
“It really is as simple as putting less in your cakehole,” laughs Brad. “Before my LifeShape program, I would think nothing of pulling into a drive thru to grab a burger, shake, fries and an ice cream. When my primary Dietitian assessed what I was eating he explained that it was just far too much for my body’s needs. I was basically eating a day’s worth of food in one meal. Now I simply have a better awareness of what I’m putting into my body.”
One of the things that surprised Brad the most was how quickly he saw results.
“The results were pretty much instant. From the start I was losing around 1kg per week,” says Brad. “For me it was relatively easy. I really just stuck to the advice I was given and saw the results which was so motivating. I never deprive myself because there’s nothing I can’t have. If I want some chocolate I break a piece off and enjoy it, rather than polishing off the block like I used to.
“So much of what I was doing previously were simply unhealthy habits. For example pulling into my favourite pie shop, even when I wasn’t hungry. Or eating a huge portion of dinner because I was raised to finish everything on my plate. They were habits learned over a lifetime.”
Thanks to his LifeShape program, Brad has gained more than just a healthier approach to eating.
“I really enjoyed the demonstrations in the LifeShape Kitchen,” says Brad. “My wife is such a good cook, so I never really did much cooking. However Chef Tony is so entertaining I was inspired to go out and buy new knives and a nice chopping block. I’ve knocked up a few things at home which were popular with the family. Access to the demonstrations showed me cooking healthy isn’t that hard and I actually find it really relaxing.”
When he knows he has a busy time ahead, Brad has also been armed with simple strategies to get him through.
“When I go grocery shopping, I go straight past the confectionary isles and stock up on healthy frozen options to fall back on,” says Brad. “This means I always have a portioned meal on hand that only takes 10 minutes to heat up. Previously I would have rung for a pizza, eaten the whole thing not thought twice about it. However I don’t think I even enjoyed eating it!”
Since finishing his core program, Brad has opted for a Support package, for some ongoing direction from his clinical team post-program.
“I have learned enough to keep this healthy lifestyle up long term,” says Brad. “But it’s good to know I have check in points with my Dietitian over the next few months to stay on track. I am feeling the benefits of being healthier, I haven’t even been sick since starting the program. I’m also fitter and don’t want to go back to being lethargic simply because of what’s going in my mouth.
“I have a half dozen cars, which I only put the best fuel in. I know if I put poor quality fuel in them, they’re going to break down in the middle of nowhere. But I was putting junk into my own tank! Now I understand the benefits of using the right fuel for my body. I’ve recommended the program to a number of people and I feel great telling them I’ve simply been making healthier choices.”
^Your results may vary. To find out what you can achieve on your LifeShape Program book a no obligation initial assessment with one of our Dietitians, call 1800 567 348. Alternatively you can register your interest online.