Dave and Liz’s 12WBT Story

Community // Naomi Jaul // 15 March 2013



When it comes to overhauling your lifestyle, this Queensland couple discovered that sharing the journey is the way to go.

Dave had seen his wife, Liz, looking determined before, but he’d never quite seen her look quite so committed as the day she told him she was signing up for the 12WBT – and wanted him to join her. “I asked him, what’s it going to take?” remembers Liz. “We were just getting bigger and bigger, we didn’t have any energy and it felt like we were just going through the motions without having any fun. Something just snapped and I decided it needed to change.”

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Dave and Liz in 2007, before they had their two daughters and before 12WBT.

At first, Dave, who’d tried everything from fad diets to weight loss pills, was hesitant. “My weight had been a problem my entire life, and I just accepted that I’d always be big,” he recalls. “But I wasn’t keeping up with our two energetic daughters, who are three and two. We’d be lucky to walk to the playground with them once a week, and we noticed they were sitting around a lot, too. In the days after Liz laid it on the line, I thought about how I wasn’t taught how to be healthy as a child, and I realised that the last thing I wanted was for my girls was for them to experience the childhood of ridicule and criticism that I had, because of something I hadn’t taught them.”

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Dave at the age of seven.

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Dave back in 2008

It was that realisation – and witnessing his wife cranking out her very first Super Saturday Session as he trailed behind with the kids – that made up his mind. Steak and chips for dinner were swapped for healthy meals, something that he initially struggled with. “I grew up eating hamburgers and hot dogs and I rarely ate vegetables even as an adult,” he admits. “So it was tough to change my habits. But Liz made the point that the kids watch us eat, and if we’re refusing something we want them to eat then they’ll never try it and they’ll grow up in the same rut I did. So I went for it, and I surprised myself by enjoying it.”

THE POWER OF TEAM WORK

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Dave, Liz and their two daughters in March 2012, before starting 12WBT.

Dave returned the motivational favour to his wife on mornings that Liz struggled to get out of bed. “When the alarm went off at 5am, Liz would sometimes roll over. I’d yank the blanket off her and say, ‘Look, if you don’t do it now the kids are going to be running around you later, so just get up, crank it out and in an hour when they get up we’ll be done,” he says. “That was hard,” laughs Liz, who says she put on weight when she stopped playing sports after high school, and moved to the US where portions are large and junk food is cheap. “Finding the time to exercise with the kids was a massive challenge for me,” she adds. “I would do Michelle’s videos and run on the treadmill at home while the kids ran circles around me, and I had to learn how to block them out.”

From that very first week, the pair started noticing changes – and not just in their bodies. “Doing it together was a real bonding experience,” says Liz. “We discovered new interests and things to talk about. And our lives stopped being centred around food – times when we used to go out to eat, we started going out for a hike. We’d even find someone to babysit the girls on Saturdays just so we could do our SSS together, which was like our time every week. I guess we just started talking more, and that improved our relationship.”

A NEW WAY OF LIFE

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Liz fits one of her daughters in her old jumper.

As well as discovering new activities, the couple also found ways to give their much-loved habits a makeover. “We love going to the movies together, but we used to eat popcorn and lollies,” says Dave. “So we started to eat something healthy before we went, and took in water and healthy snacks. We still wanted to do the things we loved, but having this new knowledge made it fun, not damaging.”

As the weeks went by and their new habits became more entrenched, their hard work started to pay off. “Every time we took our measurements, we had to go down a clothes size,” says Dave. Adds Liz, “I hadn’t been a size 12 since I was 16, so when I picked up a pair of pants that size I didn’t think they’d fit. But they did! It just blew my mind.”

A DOUBLE REASON TO CELEBRATE

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Training is now a family affair for Dave and his family.

Three rounds on, and the pair have lost a combined 76 kilos, each achieving their goal weight. They are now using 12WBT to concentrate on gaining strength and toning up through the Lean and Strong (Advanced) program.

For the first time in his adult life, Dave is shopping at standard-sized clothes stores. “The way I feel when I wake up in the morning is fantastic,” he says. “I can’t believe what I can do now. I couldn’t even run a kilometre before, and now I can run 10 – and I really enjoy it!”

“The fact that it’s improved our relationship has been the best thing. Losing weight has just been a bonus,” says Liz. “To watch Dave discover and build his self-confidence, and become a person who stands tall and looks people in the eye has been the most amazing thing. It’s priceless. Now we’re the kind of examples our kids need in their lives.”

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Dave, Liz and family before the 12WBT Round 4, 2012 Finale in February.

What Dave and Liz Learnt with 12WBT

  1. Even if you’ve tried and failed before, anything is possible. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, you don’t have to accept a life you don’t want. If you can make a commitment to yourself, you can do it.
  2. You’ve got to want it but also recognise that you have to work for it. There is no magic bullet – there’s just hard work and a lot of knowledge.
  3. Once I [Liz] started losing the weight, I had a lot of people telling me to stop, telling me that I was losing too much weight too quickly. I found myself being dragged down by people’s opinions and negative comments. It’s hard, but you just have to learn to ignore them, block them out and focus on what you and only you want from your life.

Dave’s Stats

Start weight: 130kg
Total weight loss: 46kg
Current weight: 84kg

Liz’s Stats

Start weight: 85kg
Total weight loss: 30kg
Current weight: 55kg

You too could change your life, register your interest in the 12 Week Body Transformation.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. kiwikelrox@hotmail.com Reply

    Dave and Liz you are such an inspiration, not only have you transformed yourselves but you have changed your friends lives as well. Because of you and the 12wbt we are happier healthier and loving life.
    Anyone who wants to make a change then this is it you will not look back, take the challange and commit to it all the way!! Way to go guys!

  2. Virginia O'Dea Reply

    You really are wonderful parents realizing what role models we are more by what we do rather than what we say.

  3. Meagan Wilkins Reply

    You are both an inspiration to myself and I’m sure to others as well. Keep up the great work. Your girls now have a future of being healthy and active but also being able to grow up with both their parents. You inspire me to work/try harder to reach my goals.

  4. disqus_NBTN1tkLjN Reply

    Well done Iam so proud of you but then I always have been,glad you told me about 12WBT, and even happier I joined.
    Love Dad.

  5. liz Reply

    Thanks everyone for your kind words!

    Keep up the hard work Kel, we will be back in two weeks to kick your ass! Dad you are looking awesome, i am so glad you joined up too and are kicking ass!

  6. Rachel Birch Reply

    Woohoo! You are so inspirational!

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