A little more than a decade ago, Graham Winder made the wise decision to quit smoking and get healthier. As a first step, Winder, 46, who works as a director of strategic alliances for a software company in Sydney, Australia, took up cycling. He loved the natural high he experienced from exercise, and it eventually led to him taking up triathlon training.
Following the birth of his daughter, however, Winder understandably found it more difficult to make time for his workouts. He grew what he calls “time poor” due to family and work obligations—and the decline in his overall fitness didn’t sit well with him. “I want to be a role model and enjoy play-time and quality beach time,” Winder says. “You don’t want to be the dad huffing while chasing after kids.”
After a few years of feeling tired, unwell, and generally disappointed in himself, Winder realized he wasn’t leading the life he wanted anymore, and he vowed to make a change. His first step: He needed to dramatically overhaul his diet. He started by eliminated things that got in the way of his weight loss goals—carbohydrates from grains, pasta, and beer. He also adopted a keto diet, consuming meat, fish, vegetables, salads, and good fats from seeds, nuts and avocado.
“I don’t miss beer or carbs such as pasta, bread or rice at all. I feel better without them and it’s easier to manage my weight,” Winder says. Next, he looked for a way to get back in shape without spending hours upon hours at the gym so he could spend that precious time with his daughter instead. He found the solution with his gym, Ultimate Performance Fitness.
UP—as it’s known—paired him with a personal trainer to create customized weight training sessions using the German Body Composition training method, along with cardio sesssions in his own time. “I started seeing results within weeks,” he says. “I was like, wow, I’m really doing this.” But Winder was still a busy man. So he made sure to stack the deck in his favor: He started using his commute to add in a bit more exercise on his bike. He made sure to add his UP training into his calendar—like an appointment he couldn’t miss—and when he traveled for work, he picked hotels with decent gyms.
“I would always make sure I had some good food in the room like yogurt, berries, and nuts,” he says. “The trick is to create your new normal and don’t let others derail you.” Winder saw all this work as his last attempt at getting in killer shape. At 46, with a daughter in tow and a busy work schedule, he didn’t think it was possible.
But thanks to his rigorous training plan paired with his much leaner diet, the weight fell off quickly: In total, he lost about 10 percent of his body fat, going from 21 percent to 10 percent. “My daughter made me laugh one day when she said, ‘Daddy, you have bumps on your tummy like a superhero.”
Mentally, Winder feels strong and content with his new life, and that’s a feeling he hopes to pass along. His best advice? “Have a plan and engage a nutrition coach and trainer that will hold you accountable,” he says. “Nutrition and food is 80 percent of it, so you really have to change your habits and routine.”
He notes, there are no shortcuts or magic pills. “You just have to trust the process and you’ll create new habits that will become your new normal. It’s a lifestyle change, vocalize it to your friends and family and wait for the compliments to roll in.”