One individual losing weight can be good news for others too – in fact, when Jason Bragg of Manly lost 42kg, it not only improved his life and health but also turned around a family problem with obesity that had already affected two generations.
Jason was just 14 years old when his father (aged 44) died of coronary heart disease.
“My only memories of Dad was being a big guy, smoking, drinking soft drinks and eating takeaways,” Jason says. “He was obese and as a result couldn’t run around and do things the way a young fella wanted him to. He was an easy mark for tag!”
“He was my best mate and I still miss him, 31 years after his death.”
Jason says he began gaining weight himself in his late 20s and didn’t care about it until he got very fat.
“I make no excuses. I just ate too much so despite being in an active job in the construction industry, I put on weight. Before I knew it, in my late 30s, I was 130kg. I couldn’t tie my laces, was always getting puffed and didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I felt like a sprightly young thing on the inside, but that didn’t match the outside any more.”
Although he knew the solution was simple in theory – to eat less and move around more – Jason understands first hand that it can be a momentous challenge.
“It’s not easy because people feel as though they have to climb Mt Everest, but you have to break it down into a series of hills,” he says.
Jason says he was obese for around eight years in total. Now aged 45, he began to lose the weight five years ago by eating more sensibly and exercising more.
“I would discourage anyone from starting a diet,” Jason says. “You should eat what you enjoy but less of it. There is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food – it’s all about the quantities.”
Now at a healthy weight and very fit, Jason says he is a far better role model for his children. “My children motivated me to do it – I looked in the mirror and saw Dad. I couldn’t put my kids through what I’d gone through when Dad died. I’d had enough.”
These days, his children are proud of their new look, healthy Dad who can outrun them.
Jason firmly believes that you can’t tell someone to lose weight, they have to come to a place where they want to change. And he is ready to help, having left the construction industry for a job as a fitness professional. A recent graduate of the Max International College for Fitness Professionals, Jason has started his own studio to help other Dads lose weight.
“A lot of my clients are depressed with low self-esteem. They avoid social situations. I was the same – I never took my shirt off and went for a swim in public when I was overweight, so I know how they feel. My focus is on introducing healthy habits. As long as you pick a form of exercise that people enjoy, they’ll stick with it.”
“There are lots of guys out there like my Dad who don’t know what to do to improve their health, and the side effect of helping them is helping kids not go through the heartache of losing a parent at a young age.”
Info: Bragging Rights Weight Loss Specialist, phone 021 802 590 or look for Jason Bragg on Facebook.