Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Andrew Websdane is one of Renouf’s greatest success stories.
The 38-year-old lawyer has shed over 40 kilograms since becoming a student of the Applecross-based personal training studio three years ago. And along the way he has taken out the title of “biggest loser” on two occasions for his remarkable body-transformation results.
Andrew became the inaugural “biggest loser” when he lost an unfathomable 23.2 kilograms and 19.4 per cent body fat during the fitness centre’s first eight-week “Best Body Challenge (BBC)” in May/June 2010.
And as if that wasn’t enough, he reclaimed the title during Renouf’s third instalment of the BBC in October/December last year, after dropping 14.5 kilograms and 17 per cent body fat.
I decided to investigate what drove the change and how Andrew's life has improved since he first stepped inside the boutique gym in February 2008.
When I first sat down with Andrew Websdane, he was partway through his second attempt at Renouf Applecross’ eight-week “Best Body Challenge (BBC)”. It was November, 20, 2010. And I remember being slightly confused - if not offended - when he turned down my generous offer to shout him a coffee before the formal proceedings of the interview process began. After all, he had – in a previous conversation – told me of his passion for a fine cup of the good stuff.
“Before starting the first Challenge I did some research and discovered that when trying to lose weight it’s best to avoid alcohol because otherwise the liver has to work overtime to digest the alcohol and the body doesn’t break down fat effectively.
“So not only did I commit to exercising religiously and eating properly during the Challenge, but I decided it was a good opportunity to give my body a full detox, so I gave up alcohol and coffee as well.”
Andrew's meticulous method worked wonders the first time, so it stood to reason he’d follow the same protocols the second time around.
And thankfully my kind offer wasn’t entirely rejected as Andrew opted for a soothing pot of cancer-fighting white tea instead.
So, just a short time into our rendezvous, I realised that here was a man who was clearly driven to be healthy. And he seemed to have a pretty good grasp on how to do it.
But it wasn’t always the case.
Andrew was a talented (and lean) schoolboy and junior rower. But a busy, stressful and unhealthy lifestyle as a commercial lawyer caused him to stack on 50 unwanted kilograms in his twenties and early thirties (he was 140kg at his heaviest).
“The thought of eating first thing in the morning made me sick, so I used to have a cigarette and a coffee for breakfast,” Andrew recalled.
“I’d eat infrequently but when I did eat I’d have big meals to compensate. And I didn’t allow time to exercise.”
Thankfully that all began to change a few years ago when Andrew heard a Renouf radio advertisement offering guaranteed body-transformation results.
“Guaranteed results were exactly what I needed,” he said. “I didn’t have time for it to be any other way.”
“In fact I was so pushed for time that I had to get my secretary to ring up and get more information. She came in (to Renouf) and did a few sessions to see what it was all about and then she signed me up.”
Andrew steadily lost 20 kilograms over a two-year period thanks to tri-weekly personal training sessions and a gradual diet and lifestyle overhaul.
Then, in May 2010, he took the plunge and enrolled in Renouf Applecross’ eight-week Best Body Challenge, which incorporated the Precision Nutrition system.
“I asked Aaron (Mounier, owner of Renouf Applecross) how much weight I could realistically expect to lose in eight weeks,” Websdane recalled. “He said there was no reason I couldn’t lose 10 kilograms, so I aimed for 15.”
Incredibly, 7.5 kilograms dropped off during the first fortnight and by week six, Andrew had reached his goal weight.
“I had to set a new target!” he boasted.
By the end of the eighth week, Andrew arrived at a lean 96.6 kilograms. And although mentally and physically exhausted, he was understandably “thrilled” with his new-found lighter frame (as was the St Vinnies charity, which received the contents of his entire wardrobe).
But over the next few months - and without the structure of the fortnightly weigh-ins offered by The Challenge – Andrew found the weight coming back on.
Not wanting his weight to spiral out of control again, Andrew bit the bullet and signed up for Renouf Applecross’ third instalment of the BBC.
“I realised I needed the structure of the Precision Nutrition system and the support of the staff at Renouf to get back on track.”
And, just as he had in the first Challenge, Andrew recorded a massive weight-loss during the first fortnight – this time 8.6 kilograms.
In the following six weeks he shed a further 5.9 kilograms to finish the competition on 97.7 kilograms. (N.B. while Andrew actually recorded a lower body weight at the end of the first Challenge, he attributed that to being in a dehydrated state. At the end of the second Challenge, his body was fully hydrated).
The self-confessed “foodie” said the best thing about Renouf and the Precision Nutrition system was that - not only was he eating properly, but - he had learnt how to prepare and cook healthy and wholesome meals.
“I’ve always been pretty handy in the kitchen, but the Precision Nutrition system has helped me become better organised in preparing quality food,” Andrew said.
“The guide is informative and very easy to follow. The recipes are simple to make and delicious, and I’ve never felt like I was starving myself.”
"I fully recommend the Challenge to anyone who wants to lose weight, eat better and feel fantastic.
“It’s great for busy people who are time poor as the structures are in place,” he said. “So you don’t have to think about it, you just have to commit to it.”
Andrew is under no illusion that the maintenance phase of his weight-loss journey is going to be easy, but there’s no doubt he’s got the determination, the skills and the support to make it a smooth and successful transition.
“I will eat pasta again, I will eat rice again. I love food!” he admitted.
“But I will always try to eat six smaller meals a day and I’ll definitely have to keep up the cardio training. It will be a lifelong commitment, but one I’m more than happy to make.”