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6 MONTHS TO BALANCE: The challenge, the journey and the after photo

The 6 month campaign has come to an end. So how did Dan do?

We’ve been working with the folks over at Wests for over a year now and about 5 months ago we started chatting with the them about their Balance Collective Gyms.

I decided, as a 39 year old over weight, stressed and under active man, to put my hand up and undergo 6 months of training to see if I could get my life back into balance. 

In this post I’ll be wrapping up my experience, letting you know how I went and look forward to what it all means for my future. 


At the time of starting this challenge I was the biggest I’d ever been in my life. I was feeling depressed and heavy and it started to affect my life like never before.

The challenge wasn’t necessarily to lose a bunch of weight. Although I did hope that was a side effect, it was more of an adjustment I was after.

My goals were to learn how to respect my body, move effectively, and use exercise to improve my overall mood, outlook on life and well being.


It’s been hard work, both physically and mentally. I have pushed my body and mind past the limits I had set for it over years and years of neglect. Changing that mindset and strengthening my body to push beyond those limitations has been the biggest challenge.

And now for a couple of shoutouts.

  • Firstly to my personal trainer, Will. I’ve never been one for “motivational chats” but the time Will has taken to support me has been invaluable in this journey. He got my mind in the right spot to take on the hard work. I am forever grateful.
  • Secondly to my training buddy, Marty.  You know it… I know it. 
  • Anyone who’s ever wanted to lose weight will tell you how awesome it feels when someone notices all your hard work. So I have to give a shout out to my mate Mel who pointed out, what she called, my “skinny arms” one day at work. It was a huge motivator! 
  • I also have to give a shout out to my long-suffering wife and two children. They are always in my corner, always encouraging and telling me how proud they are of me. When I went through a low point and binged on a bunch of junk food, my wife sent me a daily text message. She doesn’t know (until now) that I took screenshots of the messages and I read them when I’m feeling low. It was truly an amazing thing to do. 


So here it is – my after photo. Doesn’t look much different does it? But you know what I see? A happier person.  

In total I’ve lost around 17 KG. And while that’s a LONG way from the 40kg goal I set myself I’m really happy with where I’m at. I feel like I achieved my real goal – to feel like I had balance within my life. Balance between forgiving myself and discipline, balance between mindlessly drinking too many beers and caring about what I put into my body, balance between sitting on the couch and getting active.

Over the past seven weeks, Dan’s progress has been amazing, that said it hasn’t come without a few mental and emotional hurdles.

You see training to your limits and testing yourself beyond is more mental and emotional strength than the physical.

Dan’s new-found self-belief is beginning to convert his life into living and sharing time with the people he cares about most. Watching Dan & Marty motivate and support each other is inspiring

Will – Balance Collective

It’s not your typical “after photo”.  It’s a selfie of my daughter and I being active together. I took it just after she ran inside to get me a towel to “wipe up your sweat daddy”. Being more active with my kids is really great and if there’s one thing I could point to that I’m most proud of it’s that.

I wanted to show more than just the physical progress I’ve made in the last 6 months, because it’s how I feel about myself and my body that’s changed the most.


If this has inspired you to start your own journey, you can give our mates at Balance Collective a call on 02 4903 6200 or visit their website

Written by Newcastle Live

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