LIFE CHANGING TRIUMPH
For BROTHER and SISTER
Matt Glasse (35) and his sister Sarah Crawford (43) grew up on farms in Hawkes Bay and the Bay of Plenty. “We rushed about playing with our two sisters, helping Dad and doing the things farm kids do. ”say’s Matt “It was a healthy lifestyle; we were just average size kids.”
Sarah remained slim into her teens and early adulthood, whereas Matt remembers sitting in assembly at high school, thinking...“my thighs are twice as wide as the other guys.” By the time he left school and entered the work force he was 6’ 4” and affectionately known as ‘Big Matt’.
Self conscious, Matt confesses to eating too much and avoiding exercise. “I hid my body beneath bulky jackets even in summer. I ate everything in moderation, McDonalds, KFC and Burger King. I considered Pizza Hut ‘All you can eat for $10.50’ a worthy challenge.” he jokes.
In 2006, married, living in Rotorua and about to become a Dad, Matt, weighed in at an alarming 163kg. “I suddenly realised if I ran around with my first child I would probably suffer a heart attack.” Something had to change.
Failing to be impressed by costly dieting options, his GP provided the answer. “The doctor prescribed four words, ‘Energy in, energy out’.” Matt explains “It was very simple; I had to either change my diet to take in less energy, or exercise to burn the energy off.” He decided to concentrate on the ‘energy out’ option, as well as some dietary adjustments.
Matt began by walking around the block, widening the circuit a little each time. Following some months with this regime he began to jog then run. When he moved with his wife and two girls to Whakatane in 2008 he was running up to 10k, 3 times a week.
Meanwhile Sarah, living in Ngongotaha with husband Andrew and three children weighed in at a life threatening 175kg. “The weight had just loaded on bit by bit, year after year.” Sarah confesses, “I felt like life was passing me by, I was deeply ashamed and I covered my lack of self love by being the quintessential fat jolly person.”
Sarah got what she calls ‘My 41 year old shocking reality check’. She tearfully admits, “One day I just didn’t recognise the person in the mirror, I got so angry with myself for letting this happen.”
Despite her busy life as wife and mum, Sarah began walking daily in the Rotorua Redwoods. “I found it very hard at first but after a while began to enjoy the exercise, now my daily walk is amazing.” She adds, “I drastically changed my diet, watching what I ate and how much.”
Encouragement from friends and family and her strong faith were invaluable. “People could see a change in me and their positive comments washed away the old negatives.”
Brother and sister began their journey with a combined weight of 338kg. Today they joke “We have each lost the equivalent of twice the weight of our 89 year old Nana.
Matt has lost 53kg; he feels good at just over 100kg but believes he should still lose a further 10kg. Sarah lost over 80kg, she hit a plateau a few months ago at 95kg but her weight is slowly dropping again. She also would like to lose another 10 to 15kg. They have literally walked the talk.
Now Matt enjoys energetic, fun times with his two daughters. He has competed twice in Whakatane’s Toi Challenge race and is planning to take on a marathon.
Sarah says “Until you have your own ‘light bulb moment’ and realise that this is not merely a diet, or an exercise regime, it is a forever lifestyle change...nobody will convince you to stick with it.”
When Matt completed the gruelling 18k Toi and Sarah finished well up in the placings at this year’s Rotorua quarter marathon, their family were there to cheer them over the finishing lines. An amazing achievement and one that personally makes me so proud...
I was there, I’m their Dad.
1. Don’t do it for other people, do it for you.
2. My motto is ‘add an hour’. Get up one hour earlier and walk.
3. Make a graph of your weight loss.
4. Motivate yourself ‘get up, get motivated and get moving’.
5. Don't make excuses NOT to do it, have reasons to do it.
1. You do not need special equipment or a personal coach,
2. Scout out your local walking tracks, explore them, enjoy them.
3. Get out and exercise every day.
4. Make wise eating choices and use restraint.
5. When you hit a plateau. Push through.