EXTRA SPARK: Mechanic Bradley Cartwright lost more than 20kg in just 12 weeks on the plan and has never felt better.
EXTRA SPARK: Mechanic Bradley Cartwright lost more than 20kg in just 12 weeks on the plan and has never felt better.

Truck mechanic loses 23kg in 12 weeks

BRADLEY Cartwright only had to walk down the main street of his home town of Tongala in Victoria to realise just how radical his summer weight-loss transformation had been.

Long-time friends the 47-year-old hadn’t seen recently didn’t even recognise the popular mechanic from the local McColl’s Transport depot.

That was hardly surprising.

In just 12 weeks, Bradley had dropped a life-changing 23.5kg after signing on for McColls’ first 12-week fitness challenge in the lead up to Christmas.

All staff at McColl’s Transport were invited to participate and between them they managed to shed a massive combined weight of 165kg.

Bradley took out the top honour of Best Transformation, and is so inspired by the lifestyle changes, he has since lost a couple of extra kilograms to boot, now tipping the scales at a trim 85kg.

“I only wish I’d done this 30 years ago – I’m more active than before and have never felt better,” said Bradley.

Bradley had been around trucks all his life – his old man was a truckie – and admits the lifestyle makes it hard to make healthy choices.

Although an avid walker on his day’s off, Bradley said working 12-hour days and eating on the run had seen his weight balloon out to 119kg at his heaviest, a little over 12 months ago.

The turning point came when his 19-year-old daughter spotted the McColl’s challenge in a company newsletter and encouraged him on to sign up.

“I’d been a big bloke all my life, since primary school, so I thought this is my chance to get rid of it.”

Using the exercise and diet guidelines of the program’s Health and Wellness Co-ordinator Megan Taylor, Bradley’s weight started to plummet at the rate of 2kg per week.

He took to the weight/exercise program with gusto – doing daily 40-minute sessions, rather than the recommended four weekly workouts – and had no problem cutting out two of his favourite dietary vices, beer and bread.

McColl's fitness guru Megan Taylor devised a truckie-friendly exercise program for the 12-week challenge.
McColl's fitness guru Megan Taylor devised a truckie-friendly exercise program for the 12-week challenge.

“I really enjoyed it, both learning about the food and the exercise,” said Bradley.

“We work 12 hours shifts so it can be hard to find time to exercise, so it was important to be organised and work out how to fit it into my life.

“My family were a fantastic support, with my wife [Kerry] making sure she helped by preparing my food, so I didn’t fall off the wagon.”

Although he’s more relaxed about his diet now the challenge is over, Bradley is determined to keep the weight off and make permanent changes.

“My tastebuds have definitely changed; I’m eating stuff now that I would never had have eaten before, like broccoli salad.

“Six months ago I wouldn’t have even thought about eating broccoli.”

Megan Taylor, who is a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist, said the combined weight loss was a fantastic result and McColl’s hoped to continue the program again this year.

Megan said it was great to see the McColl’s team embrace the challenge with such enthusiasm.

“A lot of our staff are drivers, so they can sit in a truck for hours on end with little opportunity to exercise,” she said.

“What we did find though is that even those who could only manage to do one thing or the other, that is focus on either their food or exercise, they still achieved results.

“While the weight loss is a fantastic effort, one of the most rewarding things is seeing changes in overall health, such as blood glucose levels and mental health improving.

“The challenge provided our people with guidelines on how they can change their lifestyle for longer than the 12 weeks and it’s great to see so many of our people continue this.” McColl’s CEO, Simon Thornton said the company made the decision about a year ago to employ a Health and Wellness Co-ordinator.

“We have a very loyal and dedicated team here at McColl’s and we felt it was important to do what we could to ensure they are not only happy in their job but also have an opportunity to be healthy,” he said.

“Truck driving can be a really tough job and the industry has one of the highest rates of diseases like stroke, coronary artery disease and heart failure.

“I’m really pleased so many of our staff took part in the challenge and stuck with it and I’ll be encouraging everyone to take part again in 2020.”

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