Welcome to my Health Journey - I've now lost 100 kilos in less than two years !

After two years I have reached my goal of losing 100 kilos and I am now on maintenance.




This animated gif shows exactly how much I have changed physically over my health journey.
As my 11 year old son delightfully advised me, "You can now see your ears".
This image still blows my mind as it really shows how much my physical size (my chest, arms and face) have changed over this journey.


And here you can see the comparison of images from my DEXA scans for the last 21 months (I only discovered the DEXA scans three months into my journey).
I love how you can see the 'yellow fat' disappearing from my body over time.

And it is amazing that I was so huge, I didn't actually fit in the scanning area originally, and the technician had to 'cut my body in half, and then mirror it' to get as accurate a scan as possible.

This graph, which is part of the DEXA, shows my fat vs lean mass change over time. Note that as I started my DEXA scans three months in, my start weight was 'only' 169 kg, not the 185.5 kg three months earlier. 
I really wish I had started the DEXAs from day one to really understand my how unhealthy I was at the start of my journey.


My weight loss tracker.
This is another great visual to show how much I have progressed over time.
This shows my start weight at 185.5 kg and finish weight of 85.5 kg and my journey over the two years.


I have been privileged to have my journey featured on several TV shows, including

Today Show appearance video - Link











Sunrise appearance video - Link


Channel 7 News story video - Link


Channel 9 News story video - Link 


CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Success Story video - Link











All my Facebook Videos - Link

I have also been featured on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet blog
Success Story - Link


My health markers - 
My DEXA comparions show the huge improvement in my health markers from Sept 2018 to June 2020

Weight - 84.8 kg -                             Previously - 167.8 kg
Fat % - 16%                                      Previously - 48%
Body Fat - 13.6 kg                            Previously - 81 kg
Lean Mass - 67.6 kg                         Previously - 83.25 kg
VAT - 85.6 cm2                                Previously - 387 cm2 
 - VAT is the really bad fat around my waist - anything under 100 cm2 is considered healthy.
 - My VAT was originally nearly four times the healthy measurement

Blood Pressure -  123 / 72                 Previously - 146 / 100
No longer pre-diabetic

Shirt -  Medium - 95 cm - 38 inch     Previously - 9XL - 142cm - 56 inch
Pants - 92 cm - 36 inch waist             Previously - 157 cm - 62 inch waist

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So how did I get to my starting weight of 185.5 kg?

This really is a journey for me. I have struggled all my life with obesity.
In 2002, I was named the joint winner for the 'Male Australian Weight Watcher of the Year'.
I lost 54 kilos in 60 weeks - going from 143.7 kg down to 89.7 kg.

But over the next 16 years, I ballooned from under 90 kg right up to over double that size to 185.5 kg.

In June 2018, I hit rock bottom.
I knew it was time to do something.
I didn't really have a defining moment like a health scare, I just knew I had to do something.

I jumped on the scales, and they displayed - OL -

WTF is OL ?

I had no idea, but I assumed it means - Overload.

I had to go and buy a new set of scales, ones that went higher than 180 kilos.
Talk about a wake-up call.

The new scales said it all - 185.5 kg - 

Like the majority of people that lose a lot of weight, I had piled it back on.
Over the last 16 years, I ballooned (literally) to 185.5 kg.
Yep, I put back the 54 kg I lost and then piled on ANOTHER 42 kilos as well.

Yep, I put on over 95 kilos !

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I am now in the maintenance part of my journey.
I have lost 100 kg in two years and I am now the lightest and healthiest I have been in over 30 years !

Check out this blog post for some great comparisons on how much weight I have lost - Link
Here's a snippet from this post -

44 blocks of this fat
This is an anatomically correct representation of 2.2 kilos - 5 pounds of human body fat.
I've lost 44 of these !


Along the way I have made some videos to show just how much weight had lost at that point.

One of my favourites is the milestone video where I had lost 36.5 kg in 40 weeks !
That's the equivalent of losing the weight of my son!


Click the image to go to YouTube video




Click the image to go to YouTube video

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Join us in the Facebook Groups to share your journey.

So come on and join my private Facebook Group (only members can see what you post). 

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I'd love to hear about your health journey, so come on and join my private Facebook Group (only members can see what you post). 
There are now over 1,700 members in this group and we would love to hear from you!

So c'mon and join me on my journey, I look forward to connecting with you via -

Facebook - @HealthJourneyOz - https://www.facebook.com/HealthJourneyOz
Facebook Community Grouphttps://www.facebook.com/groups/HealthJourneyOzCommunity
Facebook Videos - https://www.facebook.com/pg/HealthJourneyOz/videos/

Sunrise appearance video - Link
Channel 9 News story video - Link 
Channel 7 News story video - Link
Today Show Video - Link 
Today Extra 3 year journey - Link 


Success Story - Link 
Success Story Video - Link 

My Top Ten Tips for successful weight loss - Link 
Podcast - Top Tips - Link 

YouTube channel - Link 



How I create my own meal plans following the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet guidelines.

 


How to Freestyle and create your own meal plans following the
CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet guidelines.

Introduction to Freestyling -
Freestyling is what most people call it when we create our own meal plans based on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet guidelines. When I first joined TWD in June 2018, I determined that the suggested meal plans didn't appeal to me, so I decided to create my own meal plans based on their guidelines. 

It really is important to understand that you don't need to blindly follow the meal plans to have success. Losing weight in a healthy way is NOT about eating a particular brand of bread or only eating a type of low fat cheese with 15% fat, or one brand of high protein milk.

It's about making healthy, sustainable choices that fit YOUR taste preferences.
Once you do this, it changes from a diet to a lifestyle and becomes SUSTAINABLE...

For example, I know that chicken breast is 'healthier' as it has a lower fat content, except I find it dry and unpalatable. If I forced myself to eat this, I would not enjoy my meals, and then I might binge on something unhealthy. So instead, I choose chicken thighs, and just adjust my portion size to meet the TWD guidelines. It means I may eat a smaller portion, but the meal plan will be sustainable to me.
The same for dairy. I find low fat cheese flavour-less, so instead, I choose a smaller portion of cheese I enjoy the taste of.

A healthy diet is about eating food from all food groups (including carbs and indulgences).
It's about understanding and practicing portion control, especially with my indulgences.

It's about making healthy choices the majority of the time.
It's about accepting that I am a food addict, and that sometimes I'm NOT perfect, and overeat my indulgences. When I do over-indulge, I need to accept that I am human, refocus, track my food intake and ensure that I make healthy choices the MAJORITY of the time.

A healthy diet is NOT about restriction.
Restriction quickly becomes unsustainable to me and will lead to binge eating, which I definitely want to avoid.
I want a healthy relationship with food, one where 'I control food', and 'food does not control me'.
I want to 'eat to live', not 'live to eat'.

Portion Control is critical.
A key component of my success is portion control.

This means I 
- Weigh EVERYTHING
- Measure EVERYTHING
- Track EVERYTHING

I then ensure I reach but not exceed my daily food units, except for vege units which are unlimited.
This ensures I have a healthy balanced diet, and as a benefit of this, I reach my health goals.

Can you lose weight freestyling?
Well, here's my personal results from freestyling since Day 1.
I lost 100 kg in just under two years, and have kept it off 15 months now (September 2021)



TWD has an official guide available on their website which is available here
 - Link 

Important -
Some screenshots and info below are from over three years ago when I started my journey weighing in at 185.5 kg. I started on the highest plan with the highest food intake, so it is critical to your success that you follow your recommended food unit values and not go by my totals in the images below. I have provided my original plans below to give you a guide to my thought processes on how I planned my freestyling.

Freestyling - Getting Started - 

My first step was to look at the TWD template (available when you sign-up) to see what my daily food units were, and to look at how the food units were spread across the day.

I then made a list of my favourite foods and used the Food Search to determine how each food tracked, and calculated the amount of how much of each food equaled one food unit. 

Examples - 
I was allowed five bread units a day.

Examples of one bread unit are -
One slide of multigrain bread equals one Bread Unit.
70 grams of cooked Basmati Rice equals one Bread Unit. 
150 gram potato equals one Bread Unit

The screenshots below are from an Excel spreadsheet I created to help me plan my initial meal plans before I finalised my daily meal plans and then entered my meals in the TWD Food Tracker. 

DISCLAIMER - These food unit values are over three years old and may have changed.
Make sure you use the tracker when entering your foods as these values may have changed.

Bread units - Five per day
- Tip - Basmati Rice and pastas are low GI. Low GI is one of the primary focuses of the TWD plan.


Dairy - Three per day
I just eat cheese for my dairy now days.
It might be a bit boring for some people, but that is the beauty of freestyling, you can just change the meal plan to what YOU want.
As long as you meet but don't exceed your daily units, you're following the plan and making it sustainable FOR YOU.


Meat / Protein - Three per day
Note that these are original screenshots from three years ago and some food values have changed.
I have included this to show you the methods I used to create my meal plans, so please don't use these values, enter them into the Food Search / Food Tracker to get the current values.


Healthy Fats and Oils - 5 per day


Veges - 2.5 per day - MINIMUM


Fruits - 2 per day


Healthy processed foods.
I broke up my favourite processed foods to help with my meal plan creation.
I could then plan out my days taking into account the Bread units and Healthy Oil units as well as the Meat / protein units,  to ensure I met but didn't exceed my daily unit totals.



Protein / Meat comparisons
To allow me to understand my choices better, I added many different meat / protein options and used the tracker to create this table with comparisons of the calories, fat, protein, TWD units etc for a 100 gram serve.

I put them in order of Calorie values and it is amazing to see the differences, especially when comparing the highest and lowest. Of course the highest is a highly processed Kofta, and when compared to Basa fish, there are over triple the calories for the same 100 gram raw serve and over ten times the saturated fat content.

This is one of reasons I prefer fresh home made meals over processed foods, and why TWD scores a lot of processed foods as indulgences rather than protein (deli ham etc). Although the Koftas track as meat / protein only, you can see in the comparison table below the health benefits in preparing fresh foods against processed foods.