Science teacher Michael Caspar (57) decided to lose weight when he realised it was time to buy a new suit – but did not want to buy one in the shape he was in. Little did he know that within the next 12 weeks, he’d fit back into a lot of clothes he’d given up on, get down to a healthy weight – to the dismay of his family and friends, as we’ll learn below.
He chose to join the Total Wellbeing Diet because he trusted the science and the integrity of the CSIRO and to date he’s lost an impressive 26 kg*.
*In 18 weeks. Individual results may vary.
Q. How did you put on the weight?
A. My weight had been creeping on since I finished playing football at 40. I tended to be constantly sitting marking work, planning curriculum, assessing exams. Most recently I went on a 10-day cruise last Easter and appreciated the availability, quality and quantity of food available putting on more weight.
Q. What did you eat on a typical day before your weight loss?
A. At school, I rarely had lunch and I think because I was famished when I got home I would have a couple of vegemite sandwiches whilst cooking dinner. I was always keen to do what I thought was right in meal preparation, filling a plate with a pallet of vegetables. But as I was catering for a concreter son as well as myself, I would serve up pretty large meat portions too.
Q. Have you tried other diets in the past and how was your experience?
A. I had my jaw broken in 1981 and while wired up, lost some weight, but wouldn’t recommend this as a strategy. I have even tried hypnotism, having successfully given up smoking via that strategy in 1994 but this made no impact on my health.
Q. Why did you decide you finally had to lose the weight?
A. My motivation amongst everything else was that my suit – a 40th birthday present from my family – was wearing out and needed replacement, but I was absolutely unwilling to buy a replacement in the shape I was in.
The moment of truth was when THE NUMBER came up on the scales. That was the line in the sand. No more!
Q. Why did you decide to join the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet?
A. I have always had a high regard for CSIRO, being a Science teacher and thought that the legitimacy of the organisation and the purity of its motives rather than purely the commercial interest meant that I was confident that it wouldn’t be a gimmick.
Q. What do you like about the TWD Online?
A. I have found the TWD weight loss program a very supportive program, and to me the perfect vehicle. It has seemed very easy actually. The diary is my favourite feature. Previously, I was challenged to write a food diary, but the ingredients and quantities were a mystery so it didn’t survive.
With the Total Wellbeing Diet tracker, ingredients are recognised and many foods, both commercially available and part of the menu plans, have been pre-analysed and divided into the food groups. I can add my own favourites as well and the program sorts into the groups.
The forum is fabulously supportive, providing motivation, support and the sharing of ideas. People are really positive and supportive, and the administrators are able to offer advice on any higher level questions. Everyone is there to support each other’s journey.
Q. How has your life changed now that you have lost the weight?
A. One major change is that I have prioritised my health over lots of things that used to take precedence. I used to work all day, missing lunch because I didn’t have time, get home after 6, have a couple of vegemite sandwiches whilst cooking dinner, then sit down to planning or correction till late.
The new me has lunch each day, doesn’t get home ravenously famished, and sets up time to walk or exercise. Some things are too important to miss! I am back playing tennis and going to ballroom dancing lessons!
Q. Describe a typical day now in terms of what you eat and exercise?
A. I drink a litre of water when I wake up, then have for breakfast a low GI cereal or porridge and milk or boiled eggs, and a cup of tea. For lunch at school I regularly have a small tin of tuna and one of the steam vegetable sachets and a cup of tea.
I walk briskly every day, for between 30 minutes and an hour and do try to follow the exercise program. I just enjoy it and actually found I was doing it a bit easy, so I now wear a 6 kg weight belt around my waist to increase my work effort.
Q. Have your family and friends been supportive of your weight loss?
A. My family and friends have been very supportive of my weight loss, and are very happy for me. At work, people are commenting regularly how much better I look. They see it means a lot to me to be healthier and less self-conscious. I think though they are a little concerned that some of the old clothes re -emerging from the “too small” drawer may be a little out of fashion!
Michael's tips to losing weight
- Identify your motivation. Have a strong reason for really wanting it.
- Prioritise yourself. Your health should be your most important consideration, justifying the time you take preparing unfamiliar menus or the time you dedicate to exercising or the extra costs of real ingredients.
- Have faith in the program. There are times when you may plateau, but it absolutely works.
*Individual results may vary