When we sat down with Bruce, he had recently completed a 350km charity bike ride, something he would never have contemplated prior to his LifeShape 6 program.
“Prior to joining a program, I had a few health issues and my doctor had advised it would be good to get some weight off to ease my knee pain,” says Bruce. “A specialist had also advised weight loss would help my snoring and reflux, but still I hesitated. My wife, who had recently completed a LifeShape program, sent an enquiry on my behalf and I got in and had my initial assessment right away. Once I learned more, I liked the sound of the structure and how the program can work with anyone’s lifestyle.”
One thing Bruce liked most about the LifeShape program from the beginning was the medically supervised use of dietary replacements in the initial stages.
“Usually, when you go on a ‘diet’ you expect to be hungry all the time,” says Bruce. “But that wasn’t happening. One of my worst habits is snacking. But I didn’t feel hungry in those early stages, so I didn’t feel the temptation to stray. Obviously the nutrition of the products is heavily researched with regards to the levels of nutrients. I got into a routine quickly, and the structure of not having to worry about what to eat each day helped me break bad habits like eating when I didn’t need to.”
On top of this, Bruce was spurred on by his results from day one, even feeling the changes in his body without needing to jump on the scales.
“I got results from my first month, and I really feel like I stuck to my program because of it,” remembers Bruce. “The results reinforce your desire to keep going. I knew even without weighing myself what I had lost each week. However, seeing a Dietitian, looking someone in the eye and talking about your week and being accountable were a big part of my success.”
Due to knee pain, Bruce found some forms of cardio difficult, however he found enjoyment in bike riding which quickly became a passionate hobby.
“I started with riding to and from work, 4 km each way, weekend rides and loops to the city and back,” says Bruce. “Then progressed to challenges like the ‘Greater Brisbane Bike Ride’ which was 75km. Before this, I had never done more than 50km, but I didn’t think it was a bad thing to sign up to and have a target to aim for. The charity bike ride I completed just last month was 350km over three days. I had six months to train, and my weekend rides quickly went from 60, to 70 and 80km plus riding before work a couple of times a week.”
Due to his hard work and dedication, Bruce completed this challenging ride, finishing strongly with riders much younger and more experienced, and now continues to ride as a hobby.
“It’s been a complete lifestyle change for me,” says Bruce. “Am I perfect? No. But am I ever going to be? No. If I have a couple of bad days, it’s okay. I know to balance the rest of my week. The big thing is, we know what’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’. We know eating a whole bag of chips isn’t good for us. But it’s all about portion size and just thinking about what’s going in your mouth. Be more conscious of the snacking and ask yourself why am I eating this?”
Bruce has been able to take away many other key learnings from his LifeShape program and how to adapt them to his everyday life.
“I’m not one to say I won’t have things, that doesn’t work,” explains Bruce. “If I want a bag of chips and a beer I will, I just won’t have ten. Sensible, healthy eating is not just eating lettuce and water! It’s all about the balance about knowing food groups. I also think the resistance training was very valuable. Not only does it help with the weight loss, but you can see the results in your strength and muscle tone. This is very motivating to keep up these activities in combination with some kind of cardio exercise.”
Since losing 18.3kg, many people compliment Bruce on the positive changes he’s made.
“Not only my family have been supportive, but also my work colleagues,” says Bruce. “The continual positive reinforcement from the people around me was great. I decided right from word go that the more people that knew, the better. I started a bet around the office about how much weight I would lose to get my colleagues involved. There was a constant conversation about how I was going each week. People I know have signed up to the program on the back of speaking to me and seeing how I’ve changed my lifestyle.”
Bruce’s advice for anyone thinking about joining a program?
“Get into it early,” urges Bruce. “You’re going to get results really quickly. Using meal replacements in the early stages helped me get weight off quickly which gave me a boost to my confidence and reassurance this would work. Cost was also a motivator for me. I feel accountability because I don’t want to have wasted money to go back where I was. My knees are no longer sore, I snore less, have no gastric reflux and reduced my risk of cardiovascular disease. Because my wife had successfully done it before, I also knew what to expect and that it works.”
From here, it’s onwards and upwards for Bruce, who’s committed to continuing his new, healthier lifestyle for the long term.
“If you’d told me eight months ago I’d be doing a 350km bike ride, I’d have said yeah right,” admits Bruce. “Maybe only if my life depended on it. However now I’m in much better shape to do physical activity. I feel like this lifestyle change has enabled me to take a fork in the road and live the much happier, healthier lifestyle I should be living. I was headed for semi-retirement, but I chose to be healthy and active. Now I’m looking forward to a future with my wife and extended family.”
Need Help Finding A Healthy Balance for You?
If you need a little extra help finding a healthy balance for you, consider seeking the help of an Accredited Practising Dietitian for tailored advice. A healthier, happier you starts with just one phone call to 1800 567 348. Alternatively you can register your interest online.
^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.