my story - Greg, 56
“I’ve joined a group called My health for life and it has given me inspiration – it really has.’’
A photograph was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and made Greg, 56, of Caboolture, realise that life was passing him by in a way he never intended.
He was piling on the kilos, feeling depressed and his body ached from all his years of hard labour as a builder.
Back and knee issues only made the situation worse and a major business setback, then an accident robbed him of any motivation.
“I was in a pretty bad rut and was having trouble getting out of it,’’ he says.
“I looked at that picture and all I saw was a blimp. I’ve always been a big sort of a person but now I’m too big.
‘It was affecting me in all sorts of ways – apart from struggling to climb a ladder, I would just like it if I could see my toes!”
The self-confessed clown who volunteers at an aged care facility to bring joy to others, was getting increasingly concerned about his own mood. He was also aware that his lifestyle put him at high risk of developing a range of serious conditions, even the possibility of a stroke or heart attack. He could not stand the thought of things getting worse.
His pharmacist suggested joining the My health for life program which was being tested in his local area. Reluctantly, he decided to give it a go.
The program helped Greg set some realistic goals for improving his health, including walking more, eating less and drinking less alcohol. Greg then identified ways he could action those goals that best worked for him, so was helped in developing an action plan.
The focus was on achieving some wins by making change, little bit by little bit.
Greg began walking laps of his local shopping centre, slowly increasing the laps and completing them in a shorter timeframe. He now has set a personal best of 20km in a day. He filled in a food diary and was surprised at the true picture it revealed of the type and quantity of food he was eating. He started becoming more active and watching less television, using his time better.
An initial loss of six kilos has spurred him on even further. He may join a gym or even take up ballroom dancing.
“In my younger days I didn’t have any hobbies because it was all about work. As a builder, I sometimes had 35 houses on the go but I’m thinking that in the future it could be fun to try something like dancing.’’
Greg acknowledges he has a long way to go to “find his mojo” but is more optimistic than he has been in months and is already feeling better for it.
“I’ve joined a group called My health for life and it has given me inspiration – it really has,’’ he says with a smile.
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