Mike started on his weight loss journey after a fall on holidays in Bhutan left him with a fractured ankle. Having not been to a gym since high school, his physiotherapist suggested he get on an exercise bike to exercise the healed injury.
After his initial intimidation at returning to a gym after so long, a 120kg Mike began seeing results from his training sessions and got motivated to do more. Whilst on a weekly business trip to Sydney, he asked his boss for advice. His boss suggested Mike head to his Personal Trainer, Jake, for some guidance and a training regime that would deliver him some better results than the bike alone.
“I played a lot of golf and swam but I certainly had no structure to my physical activity at that point,” says Mike.
Mike began losing weight fast with Jake (more than a kilo a week), who one day suggested he should couple his training with nutrition advice from a dietitian at the Wesley LifeShape Clinic back home in Brisbane.
“After a consult at the Brisbane City clinic, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’ve always been a meat and potatoes kind of guy and I was given all this advice on things like vegetable portions. I wouldn’t say I liked the sound of the program,” laughs Mike. “However I was interested in it and very motivated to do more.”
While he had some reservations, Mike went into the program wholeheartedly and the weight started to fall off. In his first few weeks, he and his Brisbane City Dietitian worked out 10kg would be a great goal to aim for on his LifeShape 6 program. However this was quickly revised as he surpassed the 110kg, 100kg and 90kg milestones^.
After six months on the program, Mike has now lost approximately 35kg^ and is now on maintenance.
“Clearly, I feel fantastic. I don’t sit still for very long anymore. Having 35 less kgs^ opens up possibilities. However it’s stuffed my golf game,” laughs Mike. “Golf is all about dynamics, but all things considered that’s a pretty small downside! I was recently away for a week and for six days on the course, I didn’t get any shin splits as I had in the past and had no trouble walking the course. I tracked all of my physical activity with my FitBit. I played a crap game of golf though!”
Mike’s found part of his success is due to continuing to track his eating and activity with his FitBit and the My Fitness Pal phone application.
“What’s worked for me is the discipline. I was set up with a plan and I’m accountable to others. Between appointments at the Brisbane City clinic I kept track of how I was going and at my weekly appointments I would go through it with my Dietitian who suggested I could be doing this or that differently,” says Mike. “I also saw Jake most weeks who would work through my exercise program with me.”
One of the biggest benefits for Mike was that the program was flexible enough to tailor around his busy lifestyle and weekly business trips.
“I had reservations about whether I could stay on track while travelling to Sydney every week,” concedes Mike. “However I would just make sure I booked far enough in advance. I would also book a weekly consultation on Friday around 11.30am so I wouldn’t be tempted by boozy Friday lunch meetings.”
Also found local restaurants in Sydney that served fresh, healthy meals while he was travelling such as a Thai restaurant with a healthy salmon dish on the menu and a local place that served great soup. A skill he learned from his LifeShape program.
“I’ve been able to adapt this to real life. If I want to have a night out, I will. It’s not about locking myself away, I just have balance now. If I have a treat, I’ll just work a bit harder to counter it,” explains Mike. “LifeShape didn’t impact the way I live my life, I just make better choices now and eat better quality food, I read food labels and have a greater awareness of food.”
When Mike looks back at photos of himself, he says he didn’t have an awareness of his size but he did know he felt uncomfortable at that weight. Although his doctor had told him repeatedly to lose weight, Mike still felt his quality of life was good at 120kg.
“Although my initial goal when I joined the program wasn’t to lose weight, my life has improved in ways I wasn’t expecting. I feel better, I sleep better, get around better. All aspects of my life are now so much better. I’m more confident and get so many compliments from colleagues,” says Mike. “Sometimes I run into people on the street and it takes them a moment to realize who I am.”
When people ask what Mike’s been doing, he’s happy to admit he’s just eating well and exercising. He isn’t on a diet and doesn’t starve himself for days.
“It’s healthy, good quality food and exercise. It’s no more complicated than that,” says Mike. “I have never dieted in my life, but I didn’t realise how good just being healthy could feel. I didn’t use meal replacements; I did the entire program using a meal plan. LifeShape helped me find things I enjoyed like soups and omelets, I eat more fish now and love pumpkin! But I can still have a treat if I want like some dessert, and feel good about it.”
Mike’s the first to admit he didn’t have high expectations of the program and really didn’t go into it with the mindset he wanted to lose a lot of weight. He felt his life was great as it was but is now happy to admit how much better he feels.
“I only wish I’d done it sooner. I thought my quality of life was good. I could still do things. But now I can do more and do it better. If you’re thinking about doing the program, go into it with the right attitude and give it a good go,” implores Mike.
*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.