Weight loss inspiration now helping others in the same boat

Weight loss inspiration now helping others in the same boat

At 141kgs, 36-year-old Takanini man Francis McCormick struggled to get out of bed in the
morning and make it through a day at work.

Two years later and 38, Francis has lost 65kgs, completed two half marathons and a full
marathon, and has plans to compete in an Xterra off-road trail race and his first triathlon early
next year.

More than that, the former recruitment worker-turned-personal trainer says, he has a completely
new outlook on life.

“I used to shy away from challenges or anything I thought was too hard, but now I think ‘bring it
on’,” he says.

“When I was my heaviest at 141kgs, a typical day would see me crawl out of bed and straight
into a cup of coffee before getting to my desk by 6am. At about 8:30 I’d go looking for my next
coffee, and usually a muffin or a pastry to go with it. By noon I’d be craving lunch which would
be something deep-fried from the food court, then have another sugary snack at 3pm to make it
through the rest of the day.”

Today, his routine couldn’t be more different. He’s up early to eat breakfast, usually oats and
fruit, followed by a training session. Lunches and dinners are made up of lean meat and
vegetables or salad.

He says the realisation he needed to change came to him suddenly.

“I remember that moment the penny dropped so clearly. I was meeting up with a friend I hadn’t
seen in ages and I noticed she had put on a bit of weight, but I had to stop myself because I
realised that actually, so had I.”

McCormick started his journey by joining his local gym, Anytime Fitness in Takanini. There he
met with a trainer who created an exercise and nutrition programme for him, and he got started
straight away.

“I knew I was going to be able to do this when I found myself thinking, ‘I’m not going to wait until
tomorrow to start, or for Monday to come around, I’m going to start right now’,” he says.
“At 141kgs I was really nervous about stepping foot in the gym for the first time but as I’m
always telling people, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. That was my motivation.”
He says his fear of joining a gym was unfounded and he found himself welcomed into a new
“gym family” and loved the experience so much he went on to study personal training.
“As the weeks and months passed, the weight was coming off, I was getting fitter and stronger,
and seeing the results kept me going,” he says.

Nearly a year into his journey, McCormick saw a job come up as Anytime Fitness’ gym
manager, and he jumped at the chance to apply.

“Luckily Anthony, the gym owner, thought it was a good idea too so I got the job. I figured I was
in the gym so much, they might as well put me on the payroll.”
With weight loss no longer his goal, he’s set his mind to challenges that combine fitness with
fundraising, recently completing the Auckland half-marathon to raise money for the Auckland
branch of Diabetes New Zealand.

McCormick is also supporting the efforts of Anytime Fitness New Zealand, a key sponsor of
Diabetes New Zealand, during Diabetes Action Month in November. Anytime Fitness gyms
around the country are hosting open days and a variety of events to help raise money for
Diabetes New Zealand.
Anytime Fitness Takanini has an initiative running where people can climb the same number of
stairs in the Sky Tower during November for a small donation to Diabetes New Zealand, along
with a series of other challenges promoting wellbeing.
McCormick believes talking about his own journey is an important message to share in support
of Diabetes Action Month.
“While I didn’t have diabetes, I was certainly on a fast track to it thanks to no exercise and too
much junk food,” he says.
“I wanted to share my story because I know better than anyone that it’s not an easy journey, but
it’s so worthwhile when you think of everything you gain.
“I’ve worked too hard to go back to where I was.”

About Anytime Fitness and Diabetes Action Month

Anytime Fitness is a champion sponsor of Diabetes New Zealand. Held every November,
Diabetes Action Month aims to raise awareness about diabetes, the fastest-growing health
issue in New Zealand with nearly 250,000 New Zealanders currently living with diabetes.
This year’s theme is ‘Act Now to Live Well’ which urges immediate action in order to help people
reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, live better with type 1 diabetes, or support
someone who is affected by diabetes.
Throughout November, participating Anytime Fitness gyms around the country will host a series
of open days where members of the public can attend free nutrition and fitness seminars, tour
the gyms, and take part in challenges to raise money for Diabetes New Zealand.
For more information on what’s on during Diabetes Action Month, visit your local Anytime
Fitness club on Facebook.