Sam thanks a very steep hill in a quaint Victorian town for kick starting his weight loss with us - and what a trip it’s been so far, read on for Sam's before and after weight loss story! In 12 weeks, Sam lost 17 kg* and has found a diet he will stick to for life.
*In 4 months. Individual results may vary.
How did you put on the weight?
I was born in Europe shortly after the war and to my parents, food was very important, possibly due to hardships they suffered during the war.
We were always made to feel guilty if all our meals were not finished and there was always the lure of desert in the form of yummy cakes at the end of every meal. It is still very difficult for me to leave food on the plate and I am very envious of people who are able to control their intake.
Slowly, over the years, I grew chubbier and chubbier and more and more unhappy with my weight which only resulted in me eating even more.
What was your life like before the weight loss?
When I began school in Australia, I realized that being chubbier than other kids made me a sought after target for teasing and bullying. My choice was either to lose weight or continue to put up with harassment. Academically I had no problems but emotionally I couldn't cope very well so I began to stay away from school - initially for a few days and eventually, few weeks at a time.
Throughout my teenage and early adulthood years, obesity was always at the forefront of my social life and although I appeared jovial with other people, I was quite miserable inside.
What was ‘your moment of truth’ that made you decide you finally had to lose the weight?
My big 'moment of truth' came about 6 months ago in a quaint Victorian country town called Daylesford. I walked with my wife Lily down a steep hill leading to a beautiful spot called Tipperary Springs.
The walk back, climbing up the hill for about 1 km was however not so beautiful. I felt my blood pounding in my head and my breathing becoming more and more laboured. I had a feeling I was about to collapse but my manly pride prevented me from saying anything.
At the time I was about 18kg overweight and trying to keep up with Lily who had no idea what was going on. When we finally reached the top, I told her and I decided there and then I will lose the weight and improve my fitness and every few months we will return to that hill and repeat the walk.
Why did you choose the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online?
One day, I saw a TV segment on a current affair program about a new method for losing weight proposed by CSIRO. Having worked in research myself, I knew and respected the work carried out by this organization.
There was one particular feature of the program that drew my attention. That feature was the promise to reimburse the initial $149 joining fee provided I made a conscientious effort to lose weight by following the simple directions.
I happen to love challenges and here was a challenge that promised to change my lifestyle, make me fitter and healthier, teach me simple, easy-to-follow techniques and supply me with motivational tools to keep track of my progress. I spoke to Lily who sensed my enthusiasm, reminded me of the hill in Daylesford and almost insisted I join.
How has your life changed now that you have lost the weight?
Having now lost the weight to a level I wanted, I can openly say that I feel happier, more confident and more satisfied with life. Health risks such as blood pressure and cholesterol have come right down and I feel extremely fit and ready to race the grandkids. Life can indeed be fun just by eating more vegies and less cake.
What do you do now that you never thought you would be able to do before?
I always used to think that the main purpose in losing weight is to look good but I now believe that it’s about living a satisfying and wholesome life.
Losing weight is not simply to be thinner but to be fitter and healthier. For example I can now run 10 km and not run out of breath. I can play footy with our grandkids and not run out of puff. I can even cross my legs quite effortlessly but most of all I always remember Tipperary Springs Road in Daylesford.
Sam’s 5 weight loss tips
- I decided to try and stay active throughout each day. If I could walk, I didn't drive. I selected targets such as a library which acted as a focal point to get to, receive a reward (book or DVD) and walk back home.
- I made a pact with myself that I WILL MAKE IT. Our mental attitude can make us enjoy the journey or struggle with each step. Next time you walk uphill, think and believe you're walking downhill. The results may surprise you.
- Make sure to complete the online Wellbeing Diet diary every single day and insert all the records required (including a photo) on your weekly weigh-in day. The diary will definitely become a motivational tool and keep you constantly aware of how much food you actually consume.
- Sometimes I got a little depressed due to lack of progress. Reading the letters on the forum revealed other members going through the same anguish. Sometimes I expressed my disappointment to the group and always received plenty of support and encouragement.
- There were days when I simply ran out of time to do my daily run. It didn't suit me to do it after mealtimes and I like my exercise to be at a regular time each day. I rescheduled my run to 6am when it wouldn't interfere with anybody else and I actually got to like it.
*Individual results may vary