Jeff and his wife Megan celebrate their new lifestyle
When Jeff wasn’t able to complete the treetop adventure course his wife had given him as a birthday gift, he decided it was time to turn his life around. After losing 16 kilos in his first round of 12WBT, he’s never looked or felt better.
Some 12WBT Members can name the precise moment they realised they had to make some serious changes in their lives. For Jeff, that “light bulb moment” occurred as he hung helplessly from a tree in the middle of an obstacle course that had gotten the better of him.
“For my 41st birthday last August, my wife Megan bought us one of those treetop adventure days where you climb on ropes and do zip lines,” says Jeff. “There were four obstacle courses ranging from easy to very hard. After the first three, I was absolutely shattered as they require a lot of upper body strength and balance. When it was time for the last one, I really struggled. But once you’re up there, you have to complete the course. At one point, I fell and I was just dangling in my harness, and I said, ‘I hate being fat sometimes!’ My wife turned around and said, ‘I’ve never heard you say that about yourself before.’ It was a big moment.”
A Change of Routine
After the treetop challenge that changed it all.
For several years, Jeff had been coming home exhausted and ravenous after working a 10-hour shift on his feet as a production manager. After tucking into a huge dinner, he’d head to bed and have a restless night.
The next morning, he’d wake up exhausted, skip breakfast and drag himself to work. By mid-morning, he’d hit the vending machine for a chocolate bar. Although lunch was a relatively healthy sandwich and muesli bar, he didn’t eat anything else until dinner – and the cycle would start all over again.
“My problem was mainly portion size, not bad food,” says Jeff. “Megan is gluten, wheat and dairy-intolerant, which eliminates a lot. We’ve never been into takeaway because burgers contain wheat and fries contain gluten, but we would always get into a big dinner. I was probably undereating during the day and compensating during the evenings.”
But after his treetop epiphany, Jeff decided it was time for a change. “It kept playing on my mind that I couldn’t complete this course,” says Jeff. “Then I started thinking, I’ve been buying larger trousers for the last couple of years, and I’ve gone from a size 34 waist when I was in my 20s and to a size 40 in my 40s. When did that happen?”
Jeff wanted to be more active for his daughter Grace.
His wife and three-year-old daughter Grace were also major sources of motivation for him to take control of his health. “I kept thinking, I want to see Grace grow up and get married one day,” he says.
“And Megan is a nurse, so she’d tell me, ‘The bigger you get, diabetes is going to be an issue and your joints are going to play up,’ and I’d had trouble with my back for a while. So I knew it was time.”
Taking the Plunge
Jeff called Megan’s cousin, who’d just completed a Round of 12WBT. “I asked her what she thought of the program,” says Jeff. “She’d lost 27kg and said it was the best thing she’d ever done. She’s now smashing it doing half marathons and mud runs, and she looks fantastic. I thought, let’s get signed up.”
And so he put his name down for Round 1, 2013, but there were four weeks left to go until it started. Keen to kick-start the process, he borrowed an exercise bike from his in-laws and lost 4kg during the four weeks of Pre-Season.
He and Megan struggled with the 12WBT menu and food plan for the first few days because it wasn’t as easy as throwing something unhealthy in the oven. But he says they quickly got the hang of it and really began enjoying their meals. Even little Grace was a fan!
Jeff diligently wrote down everything he ate in a food diary and kept track of all his calories. He was astonished at how much he could actually eat and how much better he felt when he made the right food choices. “Now, breakfast is a big part of my day,” he says. “And I take a bag full of food to work every day. Everyone’s amazed at how much I eat throughout the day!”
He got right into the exercise as well. “I bought a road bike and got out on it at least twice a week,” he says. “I also have free weights in my garage, and then I started smashing out Michelle Bridges’ online cardio videos. At first, it felt weird as a man doing videos in the garage, but I started to love them. I invested in a heart rate monitor as well to create a little competition for myself and see how many calories I could burn each session.”
All Jeff’s hard work paid off – he lost 16kg in his first Round. He was even able to fit into skinny jeans for the first time in years. “I bought three pairs – I couldn’t believe it!” Jeff says.
Brand New Goals
Jeff looks as good as he feels
While he was thrilled with his results, Jeff was keen to continue improving his fitness, so he signed up for the Intermediate Program in the next 12WBT. “I want to try to increase my kilometres on the bike and get rid of the spare tyre I still have around the middle,” he says. “My goal weight is 80kg, but I mainly want to get fitter and more toned, so I’d be happy with 80 to 85kg.”
And that treetop course? “I redid it a while ago and I smashed it!” says Jeff. Right on!
Jeff’s Top 12WBT Tips
- Keep a food diary every day and write down every single thing you put in your mouth, even down to how much water you’re drinking. Also, write down what you’re planning to eat on a day-to-day basis so you make sure to take it with you to work. My food diary is my new bible.
- I downloaded a great app for my phone that converts kilojoules to calories. It really helps because food packets have kilojoules on them.
- If you can get the support of your friends and family, it makes all the difference because you don’t have mates trying to force another beer into you. And if you can get your partner behind you, that’s everything.
Your life could look dramatically different in 12 weeks time. Register your interest in the next 12 Week Body Transformation today!