What’s truly amazing about Greg’s story is that he has the kind of routine that would make a lot of people throw their hands in the air and say “There’s no WAY I have time to stick to a health program”. He works long hours, travels a lot and lives and works in Brisbane during the week, heading home to Adelaide on weekends to be with his wife and two kids.
Greg shared with us why the 12WBT has proved ideal for his busy lifestyle.
What led you to the 12 Week Body Transformation?
I’ve always been sort of solid and muscly. I used to play AFL and even back then when I was really fit, I was still 95 kilos. Before the 12WBT, I don’t think you would say I was obese but I felt way too big.
Part of the weight gain happened when I first started starting to travel back and forth from Adelaide to Brisbane for work. I’d been living by myself, travelling quite a bit around the place, and eating too much. I don’t drink but I had been having big breakfasts at hotels and things like that. I knew I had put on weight because I was starting to get to the point where I couldn’t get business shirts to fit me!
But really there were two things that led me to join 12WBT. I went for a medical check up in Adelaide in December 2011 and the doctor said, “You’ve got to lose some weight, your blood pressure is too high”.
Then I had a conference in Perth and we had a group photograph. Up until then I’d been avoiding photos. But I saw the photo in our company newsletter a couple of weeks later, and I almost didn’t recognise myself. I thought “I have to do something.”
I did some research and found the 12 Week Body Transformation online and thought I might give it ago.
I hadn’t consistently exercised for a while. I’d go for a run every now and then or the odd walk on a weekend, but nothing really regular.
Were you much of a cook?
Yes, but I’d always use lots of butter. I’d eat custard, white bread with lots of butter, big pieces of steaks, entrees and desserts… all the stuff I don’t eat now! Then there would always be one night a week where I’d have takeaway – chips with the kids – KFC or a hamburger.
I ate twice as much as what I actually needed to and wasn’t having enough good food or fresh fruit and vegetables.
What did your family think when you started the program?
I initially kept it very low key. I didn’t even tell my wife to begin with! I started on the Advanced Lean & Fit Program in Round 2, 2011 and I’d come home on weekends and follow 12WBT Nutrition Plans. But I didn’t actually tell my family. I just said in the first week of the program, “How about I cook on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights while I am in town?” Of course my wife said “That would be fabulous!”
I had been doing 12WBT for a few weeks and came home to Adelaide one Friday night and my wife said “Have you been losing weight?!” The weight was just starting to fall off – I think by that point I’d lost about six kilos in three weeks. She said “Your face is looking thinner, you don’t look as tubby,” and I said “Yeah… I’ve just started doing this program.”
I think another three weeks went by and another six kilos were gone and she said “What are you doing?! How are you losing weight?” and I said “Oh I’m doing this 12WBT program.” I think she was worried something was wrong or I’d started on some cult thing or something because the weight loss was so rapid!
After you explained, what was her reaction?
My family has been very supportive.
He is now completing the Advanced Lean & Strong program and says he is leaner and stronger than when he was playing Aussie Rules three decades ago.
Normally I plan my menu and shopping list on the plane over from Adelaide to Brisbane or on the return flight on the Monday morning. I go straight to work in Brisbane on Monday then go shopping that night for the whole week having already worked out how many days I’ll be in town.
I need to be really organised, and that’s one of the reasons that I really like this program, it is all laid out for you. Particularly in the first 12 weeks, when I was really trying to get my weight down, the fact that there was there Shopping List just made it easy. The Nutrition Plan generally has recipes for two people but I’d just go through the Shopping List I was given and cut everything in half.
How do you stick to the 12WBT Program when you are travelling for work?
I joined a gym that has got branches around Australia and if there isn’t one where I am going, I’ll book a hotel that’s got a gym. I work my meeting schedules so I can either exercise in the morning or the evening when I get back to the hotel.
The hardest part is making good decisions at night. Breakfasts are easy as most hotels have got a continental breakfast menu. It’s the dinners that are the hard bit. If I have to go out with clients I just have to make sure I’m careful. I won’t have two courses and I make sure I pick the right sort of things off the menu.
I have learnt to be very disciplined. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve had McDonald’s chips, for example. But I still look at them sometimes and think “Oh I’d kill for one of those…”
Everyone has those moments!
Chocolate is still my weakness, but that’s another story…
We would say everything in moderation!
How much weight did you lose that first Round?
17 kilos. I went from 108kg to 91kg.
If you had been so successful losing weight in those first 12 weeks, why did you decide to return for another Round?
I came back because the Program worked really well with my lifestyle. It gave me a workout plan and my week’s menu. I now don’t waste food. I shop just for what I need for that week and not for any extra. And actually because I eat relatively efficiently at home and cook for myself all the time, I find it saves me money because I’m not eating out.
The temptation when you live alone – as I do during the week – is not to cook but to go and get a takeaway or pizza for dinner. But the good thing was even if I was working late in Brisbane, I knew there was enough food at home plus recipes that I could cook myself a good meal.
So it has been really, really good and I thought after I first lost the weight “Why not continue?” I had read about the Advanced Lean & Strong program and I thought since I was at my goal weight – or what I thought was my goal weight – I’d try to work on my strength.
I then lost another four or five kilos on that program – which was unexpected! When I was fit and playing football in my late twenties I was heavier than I am now. I’ve been 87kg for the past six months.
Greg and a very proud Laura
My daughter is very proud. My 20 year old son is a bit peeved…
…Because dad’s more cut than he is.
He had a whole bunch of friends over to our house for an Australia Day party. There were some girls there that I’d known since they were about 14. My son and his mates were standing around and one girl saw me and said “My God, look at you!” Then she turned to the boys and said “You should all take a leaf out of your father’s book and get healthy!” They weren’t very impressed.
You are 54 but you do look about 15 years younger in recent pictures. It’s pretty amazing.
I know. It’s been quite bizarre. A year ago, if someone said to me I was going to lose close to 20 kilos I would have thought I’d look terrible and have heaps of loose skin flapping around. But I don’t. It just hasn’t been like that. The 12WBT has been a very healthy way to lose weight. My daughter in particular is very, very proud of me. She is 12 and she wants me to be around for a long time so she thinks it’s pretty cool that dad is looking so fit and healthy!