Meet the Fat Silver Fox

Wednesday 06 April 2016

Let's cut to the chase; I'm fat.

And it didn't just happen overnight, it has taken years of hard work and dedication to a lifestyle of sitting on my backside and eating nothing but rubbish to get this bad at walking up stairs.

I have excuses of course – I've been busy, tired, distracted, focused on a new job or had days where I'm feeling a bit too down to pick myself up and make the necessary healthy choices. Some of those excuses are even true, but none of them change the fact that – like almost 2/3 rds of Australian men* - I am overweight.

How overweight? Well… I couldn't tell you, because (like another 2/3 rds of Australian men aged 24-44**) I haven't seen my GP in over a year. But the signs are there. I've slowly had to replace all my clothes - to the point where I had to attend a funeral in jeans and a polo shirt because my formal wear just won't button up anymore - and picking my pet cat up off the floor is a lot more work than it used to be.

The signs that I need to change how I live my life don't stop there: In the last 12 months, my dad has been treated for an aggressive prostate cancer, had a blood clot removed from his leg, and discovered that his family has a long history of heart complications (one of the symptoms of which is… just dropping dead). All of these are more likely to happen if you have a family history, or if you are overweight, or worse if you have both.

To top this all off, more recently I had a brother admitted to hospital for an irregular heartbeat caused by drinking too much caffeinated soft drink too often. Did I mention I drink an average of 1.5 litres of energy drink a day? In the last month alone, I 'drank' 5kg of processed sugar.

It really is time I stopped kidding myself – I need to make a change to how I live my life.

That's why I've set myself a challenge – something that would be absolutely impossible if I tried it today – I've signed up to the Spartan Race 'Brisbane Beast': a 20km obstacle course with up to 30 obstacles. So where to from here? I have absolutely no idea, and with only 12 weeks to the Spartan Race, I don't have much room for error.

That's why I'm enlisting the help of the health professionals at the Princess Alexandra Hospital to guide me through this journey in the most sensible and medically sound way possible. No fad diets. no magic fitness powder. Just proper, professional advice from people who have my best health interests at heart, with regular testing and measurements along the way to demonstrate just how this change in lifestyle impacts my immediate and long-term health.

As I sit here looking down the barrel of a 12 week turn around on years of bad habits, I can say one thing for certain: this is going to be really, really hard work. So please follow along - I definitely need the support – and who knows? Maybe we'll both learn something along the way.


The Fat Silver Fox.

*ABS National Health survey 2014-2015: 63.4% of Australians aged 18 and over were overweight or obese, with Males averaging higher than Females.

**ABS Exercise Survey 2011-2012: 61.3% of Adult Australian men only have 'low' or 'sedentary' levels of exercise.