Hi, My name is Brian Randall and 16 months ago I weighed 188kgs. Fast forward to now and I am proud to say that I weigh in at 99kgs. Let me tell you what happened…
So, on August 11 2014, I signed up with Planet Fitness with the goal to change myself for the better. I was in a rut and was eating myself to death. I was depressed and felt alone even though I constantly had people around me. I was planning on doing 100 days straight of gym work, but just like all my great plans that would get stalled or cancelled. Until one day I went to my friend’s wedding and saw all my mates in relationships, having children… happy. I want that for myself one day and I realised the only way to have it is if I am first happy with myself.
On the very next day, August 25, I walked back into the gym for the first of what turned out to be 108 continuous days of exercise. What made this plan different to the others I have had? I announced it to the world. I told my friends and family and set up an Instagram account. Finally, I had people who could hold me accountable because I know I couldn’t trust myself. What happened next was amazing, everyone got behind me. The amount of support I received from everywhere was overwhelming, it was a great boost and for the first time in a long time I felt like I was no longer alone.
An incredibly big influence in my journey was Ben Larner. I partnered with him by chance and I have never been so lucky. He made me go to see a GP and dietician, luckily for me, because my blood pressure was at a stroke level and my eating habits needed to be improved. He taught me that weight training helps in burning fat and has given me confidence and has also been there for me. He is someone who I can bounce ideas off and speak general life with.
It’s the same as the staff at Planet, they go above and beyond in terms of what I initially thought their jobs would be. I am blessed to have picked this gym to walk into, because the payoff is incredible. They are supportive, kind, caring and interested in your goals. They are there to offer advice and provide you with some alternatives to your workouts.
Well, at the end of my first challenge I had gone from 188kgs to 148kgs. I had lost about 20cm from my waist and instead of wearing 8XL shirts I was now in 4XL. But that wasn’t enough, I wanted to be under 100kg. My next challenge had to be bigger and better. So, on 1 Jan 2015, I started what would become 365 days of fitness. I did some form of exercise every day for the entire year. It wasn’t easy, to get through it I knew I would have to be smart. I knew every day couldn’t be a marathon. Some days I would go for a walk, some days I would smash myself on the weights, but every day I would be active.
My body hated me sometimes, hell, I hated me sometimes! But, that just motivated me to keep on going. I have learned more about myself and my body in the last year than I have in the previous 31. I found my limits physically, but that is only because I dared to push my limits.
The biggest challenges I found in completing the 365 days was routine, I was consistently doing the same stuff day in and day out and was starting to get tired of it. Then Louise introduced me to the classes. My first class I did was the Hi Energy with Olivia on Friday, and man oh man did that shake up my routine. I didn’t stop there, I started going to Spinn and Body Pump. My initial nerves about looking foolish in front of people were cancelled out by my desire just to survive each perilous journey in their classes.
It’s not always about the gym either, there were days when I couldn’t make it to the gym so I had to be creative. I walked a lot, I did treks out to Glenrock and walked along Newcastle beach several times. I did a week where I only rode my bike the entire week, which was tough when I had to do dinner with my Dad in Raymond Terrace. It was all about mixing it up challenging myself and at the end I grew out of each experience. Although, I do have to say that the stairs at Merewether can go and root a boot, oh god I hated those days!
On December 6 2015, I stood on the scales and for the first time in 13 years I weighed in under 100kgs. Almost 16 months since I started my journey into fitness and self-repair I had achieved my goal.
If I was going to provide someone with tips for what I have done. The first thing would be to talk to someone, whether it be your GP, a PT or EP, or even the guys at the gym. Talk to them about your goals they are the best people qualified in helping you achieve them. Seeing a dietician is always a good gauge as well. Diet does not mean you have to cut out all the good stuff and your dietician will guide you what you can have, what you probably shouldn’t have and what not to have. Next, after working out your goals – make it public, announce to the world what you are planning to do, make yourself accountable. You’ll find support that you didn’t know was there and it will help provide an intense amount of motivation to see your journey through to completion. Most of all try to be happy in yourself. If you are not feeling the gym on any particular day, go out for a short walk, do something, something is more than the old you would do.
I have been incredibly lucky this last year in the support I have received and the goals I have met. Even winning the first Fit for Life membership. I feel like I have worked hard at changing myself for the better and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.