How I regained control of myself after a plateau and how I now keep motivated

We all start super motivated.

Of course we do !
Personally, I invested $199 to join the CSIRO Total Well Being program, to improve myself.
I wanted to get healthy, to lose weight, to improve my self esteem, and above all, to be around for my family (even if it is just to annoy the kids).

Huge success - straight away !

In my first week, I lost an outstanding 4.6 kilos !
I was over the moon - super pumped.

Week 2 was also outstanding, another 1.5 kilos just in that week.
Two weeks in and I had lost 6.1 kilos.
That's twelve tubs of butter !!!

And then the weight loss slowed down.

By week 3, the weight loss had slowed down. Only 200 grams !!!
Seriously !!!
I was working my butt off and eating healthy, but it didn't show on the scales.

Week 4 was 500g loss, pretty good, but I wanted that feeling from Week 1.
I know that it is unhealthy to lose more than 1.5 kg a week, but of course I want to MAXIMISE my weight loss.
I was sick of ALL THIS FAT on my body, and I couldn't get rid of it fast enough.

Fast forward to week 8 and I had lost 10.3 kilos, that's a solid effort.
More than a kilo a week. I had my groove and I was over the moon.

Come to week 13, I was pretty happy with my quarter year success.
I was down 16.2 kilos - Woo Hoo !
I couldn't have asked for a better result.

I also got my refund.
Yes !!!
I had lost 16.2 kilos and it cost me NOTHING - Zero - Not even one cent.

If was 60 kilos lighter, I may have even done a cartwheel !


My first DEXA scan

As part of tracking my progress, I decided to get a DEXA scan.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, I highly recommend them.

The DEXA scan is a full body scan that measures your exact weight, your lean mass (muscle) and body fat, and it is extremely accurate.

The biggest shock I had was my Visceral Fat (belly fat). This is the dangerous fat under your skin and surrounds your organs. - Link

100 is the goal for a human being, and my number was 387.
I knew I had to lose a lot more weight, and I wish I had done a DEXA scan at week 1, but I didn't even know they existed.

It would have been amazing to see my original numbers on the DEXA.


And then I lost focus

I no longer uploaded photos -
As I had hit my first 12 weeks and I didn't HAVE to upload a photo to get a refund, I didn't.

I decided it was becoming 'too hard' and too much of a hassle to take a photograph weekly, so I changed to monthly photos, for myself.

In fact, I only have photos from Week 13, Week 17 and Week 20.
I then skipped to Week 26 for a six month update photo.
Once again, the photo was only for myself.

Sure I took my milestone photos (one, two and three bags of dog food) to help motivate me, but looking back now, I realise how important those WEEKLY photos are to keeping me motivated.

Upon reflection, I now know that no longer taking photos was just the tip of the iceberg.

I was following the diet, but not REALLY following it like I should.
I was still losing weight, but just accepted that that was just what happened, we all plateau and have small gains sometimes. That really is part of the journey.

But the truth is, I lost focus and got slack.

I no longer HAD to take photos and upload them.
So I didn't.

I no longer weighed myself regularly.
Personally, I usually weigh myself daily. Yep, the weight goes up and down during the week, but daily weighing works for me (until I get slack and don't do it).

I no longer HAD to upload my weight.
I did do that most weeks, but it wasn't part of my weekly routine.

I no longer weighed my food.
I would be fairly accurate with measurements, but I wasn't really accurate like I knew I should be.

I no longer tracked EVERYTHING I ate.
Sure, I made healthy choices MOST of the time, but not ALL of the time.

I was still doing ZERO exercise. 
Yep - Nothing.
As in how much a politician cares about us... Zero.


My follow-up DEXA scan

At week 26 I decided to get a follow up DEXA scan. The DEXA scans are an awesome way to get a full understanding of your body via a full body scan (don't worry, the family jewels are all covered up in those images).

The operator reviewed the scan results and showed me how much body fat, muscle, lean mass and bones make up this magnificent body of mine.

I was astounded to realise that I had only lost 4.6 kilos between week 13 and week 26.
What the .... was I doing on this diet if I only lost 354 g per week !!!

In the first 13 weeks I lost over a kilo a week and the next 13 weeks I only lost a third of a kilo a week.

After the DEXA results, I had really mixed emotions.
On one hand, I did have excellent results. I had lost 20.6 kilos in six months !
But on the other hand I was REALLY disappointed in myself.

Why did I let myself down so much?
Why did I stop focusing on health as a priority?


How did this happen?

So I decided to sit down and have a really good look at what I was doing, and I found this.

I no longer took weekly photos.
I no longer set my health at priority number one.
I no longer made healthy choices ALL the time.
I no longer weighed myself regularly

I remember the guy reviewing my DEXA scan mentioning that I should try exercising in the pool as it is excellent cardio. He added that the water will support me and relieve pressure on my joints to minimise the potential of injuring myself.

After reviewing the DEXA and thinking about the exercising, I decided to turn myself around.

Then I remembered the date, 19 December, my wife's birthday.
Crap, dinner at a restaurant, that is not good for my diet.

Then I remembered the upcoming celebrations -
Ah crap, we have a family get together for Christmas.
Ah double crap, we have a family get together for Boxing Day.
- There was crap everywhere...

How on earth am I going to be able to lose weight over the next few weeks ?!?


December had already been a nightmare!

On December 01, I weighed 162.8 kg,
On December 07, I officially weighed 162.6 kg - but I was overeating, and I was not eating healthy.
On December 10, I actually stopped weighing myself daily as I couldn't accept my own failure.
By December 14, I officially weighed 165.2 kg - I had put on 2.6 kilos in one week....

Holy... Crap - I gained 2.6 kg in a week.

That's more than FIVE TUBS OF BUTTER !!!


This had shocked me, so I refocused myself and lost around 500g between December 14 and December 19.


So, let's recap with a quick summary -

- I lost 4.6 kilos in Week 1
- I lost a total of 16 kilos in 13 weeks
- I only lost 4.6 kilos in the next 13 weeks - total 20.6 kilos lost in 26 weeks
- I gained 2.6 kilos in one week in the middle of December

After the results of the second DEXA scan, I realised that my health and fitness were no longer a priority to me.

I needed some drastic changes.


So I created my own mantra -


My health and fitness are the number one priority in my life.

Yes, you read right, the NUMBER ONE priority in my life.

More important than my wife and kids? - ABSOLUTELY -

Because if my health and fitness are not my number one priority, I am at risk of premature death due to being super-obese.

There... I said it.

I am super-obese, and I don't want to die !

And if I die prematurely, I won't actually be around for my wife and kids.


So, repeat after me -

"My health and fitness are the number one priority in my life."

Go on, say it ! - "My health and fitness are the number one priority in my life."


Now download this document, and print it up. - RIGHT NOW !
- Stick a copy next to your bed
Stick a copy on your fridge
- Stick a copy on your cupboard.
- Stick a copy on your computer 
- Stick a copy up at your work desk
- Stick a copy in your car

This is your new mantra - 
- Look at it in the morning when you wake up.
- Look at in when you are deciding what to eat from the fridge
- Look at in when you are deciding what to eat from the cupboard
- Look at during your work day just before eating or drinking
- Say it out loud every morning when you wake up to remind you of your number one priority - YOU

Because if your health and fitness are NOT the number one priority in your life, then you are doing a great disservice to yourself and your loved ones.

Now your main living areas should look like this - 

Your fridge

Your cupboard

Your computer / work area

Basically, you need to have this sign where you will see it the majority of your day.
It is critical that you have the sign on your fridge and food pantry / cupboard.
I also find it extremely helpful to see it first thing in the morning when I wake up.

Side note - Deadpool and Game of Thrones are awesome...

Sorry, I got distracted.

Have you downloaded the sign?

If not download and print it now - This will help you reach your goals !

Download it here - Link


So Terry, explain more why your health and fitness is more important than your partner or family?

A couple of reasons actually -
- Quite simply, if I die young, I can't look after my family.
- If I get lifestyle diabetes and lose a foot or my eyesight, I can't look after my family.

It really gets down to the fact, that for me to LOOK AFTER my family, I need to set my number one priority to my health and fitness.


OK, that makes sense now...

So Terry, what did you do to make your health and fitness the number one priority in your life?

Well, I'm glad you asked.
Here's what I did.

- I exercised first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
- I chose healthy options for my food intake.
- I recorded my food intake - everything.
- I recorded my exercise.
- I stuck to my menu plan, no cheating.
- I recorded my weight regularly - no missing weigh-ins.
- I took weekly photos of myself.
- I created a before and after photo comparison of myself - EVERY WEEK.
- I constantly reviewed my progress


Awesome... Did it work ?

Yep, I smashed it !

I lost more weight in those 3 weeks than the last 13 weeks before.
- Week 13 to 26 - 4.6 kilo weight loss
- Sunday December 16 to Sunday January 6 - 4.9 kilo loss -
- In 3 weeks I went from 164.2 kg to 159.3 kg
- And this includes Christmas Day and Boxing Day family get togethers.

Yep, in the last 3 weeks, I have lost 4.9 kilos. 
And I lost only 4.6 kilos from week 13 to week 26


So what was the biggest factor in the massive improvement ?

Probably three factors - 

Diet and Exercise - Surprise !!! - (Well, actually, no real surprise there).
Constantly reviewing my progress

But all the other factors REALLY contribute to the change in my motivation.

I am really determined to smash this.
I am really motivated to achieve my goals
I am really focused on my health and fitness.


So tell me exactly how you turned yourself around.

Pretty much with hard work and determination. Yeah I know, boring right.

There is no magic Keto Dust.
There is no magic Red Tea.
There is no magic pill or scented oil
There is no Santa Claus (sorry to burst that bubble, I hope you already worked that out yourself).

It really is hard work and determination. (Sorry)


So here is what I did, with a little bit more detail.

I exercised first thing in the morning, before breakfast.
Every day, from December 19 till January 12, I exercised, slowly at the start and then increasing up to one hour cardio each day.
Yep, EVERY DAY, including Christmas Day and Boxing Day

I chose healthy options for my food intake.
Family Christmas get togethers were REALLY challenging, I enjoyed my food and focused on the company (not focus on the food like previous years). I would make my indulgences healthier by replacing the Jatz with VitaWeets 9 grain crackers when enjoying my wife's awesome cheese ball.
Sure I ate more indulgences than normal, but it was CHRISTMAS DAY !!!

I recorded my food intake - everything.
Except Christmas Day and Boxing Day - I'm not insane !
All the other days, I tracked every piece of food or drink and put into the food tracker

I recorded my exercise.
Every day, I record my exercise. This record is an important part of being focused as I can review my progress later.-

I stuck to my menu plan, no cheating.
As a freestyler on the CSIRO TWD plan, I create my own food plan rather than following the meal plans on the program. After refocusing, I ensured that I stuck to my recommendations for portions and food units across the day (Protein Balance Plan 3).

I recorded my weight regularly - no missing weigh-ins.
Personally, I weigh myself every day, except when I knew I wouldn't like the results (like what happened in early December). After my refocus, I decided that I would no longer fool myself and ignore the consequences of my actions, so I committed again to daily weigh ins.
It doesn't matter if you weigh weekly, just make sure you commit to the regime and stick to it.

I took weekly photos of myself.
After my first twelve weeks there was no REAL need to take photos anymore. I got my refund, so no big deal. I would take them most weeks, but on a bad week, I didn't want to be reminded of my failings. But once again, after my refocus, I have committed to weekly photos. This has been CRITICAL to my continued success.

I created a before and after photo comparison of myself - EVERY WEEK.
This is also a critical step in keeping me motivated. Having the before and after comparison photo EVERY week keeps me focused on the journey and focused on my goal.
You don't need Photoshop as there are many photo collage programs out there. The point is that I do this weekly to monitor my progress.

I constantly review my progress
See above !
Everything I do helps me to review my progress.
I even create tables to summarize my progress and help keep me on goal.

Join us in my Facebook Group to share your journey.

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


New Video - My strategies for getting back on track after a weight gain - Link


Join us at my Facebook motivation and support group (Private) 
Facebook Group -
We now have over 2,800 members!

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 2,800 members in this group and we would love to hear from you!

More about Terry and his media appearances and interviews - Link 


  1. Great read Terry, don’t know how I haven’t been here before. Am joining your group if you except me. Hubby is on the weight journey with me but not into sharing and fb much. Just recording his meals and eating healthier after us both visiting a dietitian. I joined the CSIRO because I need to be more accountable and need more support. Catch you soon. Love what your doing and sharing.

  2. Thanks for your kind works Monika.
    Look forward to catching up in the FB group.
    Keep us updated on your journey !!!

  3. Thanks Terry ... i have my printouts ready to get started! I have done the diet before and lost 10 kg but then put some back on and am back to where i started. I will take it more seriously this time and hope to have great results like yourself x I have requested to join your fb group

  4. Thanks Terry. Great post! Busy printing my signs. Looking forward to smashing this plateau