Max bares his bod to help you shed any excess kilos

In early 2018, and at 71 years old, my weight had increased after the Christmas and New Year celebrations, exacerbated by a subsequent road trip to Queensland with lots to eat and drink.

I always stack it on during these times. My girth had ballooned past the critical 100cms measurement, and my blood pressure had skyrocketed. It was up to me to do something about this, otherwise I reckoned I would be heading for an early grave. And we were travelling to Bali in June of that year, so I didn’t want to ‘bare the bod’ with a large overhang.

Over the following 12 weeks, I lost 11 per cent of my body weight – from 88.5kg to 78.8kg, and my blood pressure dropped into the normal range. I felt great with my new body.

Some time later, I read a YourLifeChoices story by Ben Hocking – Study finds age is no barrier to successful weight loss – which has prompted me to belatedly tell you about my successful weight-loss experience.

I worked at the CSIRO for many years and have followed one of its more successful initiatives since 2005, when the first publication of The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet hit the bookstores.

I signed up to the 12-week high-protein Total Wellbeing Diet. One of the incentives was that they would refund the $199 sign-up fee if certain conditions were met. Namely: upload a weekly online photo; record weekly body measurements and weight; achieve a net weight loss (any loss is okay), and complete an end-of-program survey. This was a win/win situation. They got the data and I got the free program.

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The program provided all recipes and quantities for breakfast, lunch and dinner and a weekly shopping list. I usually shopped for the week and pre-organised all my meals (with wife Jenny’s help, of course).

The meals were substantial and tasty and were diverse enough not to become boring. I can honestly say that from about week two, I never felt hungry after eating the prescribed meals, which I generally stuck to, although I did swap some meals (this is allowed).

Also, I was able to have my daily large skinny cap and the occasional glass of red (part of the program’s ‘pat on the back’ incentive). Once the program was completed, and having provided all the information requested, I received a refund in full – a great incentive for taking this on apart from the obvious weight loss and health benefits.

In the first couple of weeks, I pre-ordered my food from our local supermarket – which you can do as a program option. I found that the produce was poorly sourced and low quality. I then got into the routine of selecting and buying all the week’s supply of food myself (okay – with Jenny).

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Fast forward three years and I have put some weight back on – about four kilos (which I am currently working on losing). I blame this on COVID and no gym to go to. The truth is that I was eating and drinking too much during those long lockdowns, and getting back to a normal life again was, and is, a slow and somewhat daunting task.

However, I did lots of walking during this time (built up from 10,000 to 20,000 steps a day) and to this day still fit into my smaller-sized pants. The downside is that I have recently felt some hip soreness and may need a new one soon (Jenny thinks that I am a silly bugger who has overdone it. I would have to reluctantly agree).

I should feel embarrassed showing the before photo, because in my mind I think it’s gross, but I reckon I’ll put my feelings and ego on hold for the sake of getting the message across that weight loss can be very beneficial for many reasons. I hope this story gives you some incentive and motivation to rid yourself of that COVID weight. 

Did you put on weight during COVID lockdowns? Do you gain and lose weight easily? Are you a good dieter? Why not share your experiences in the comments section below?

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