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We love it when you tag us in your medal photos and each month we choose our favourite pic to showcase as our 'Medals of The Month'.

 

We know that every medal collection is a visual representation of huge personal achievement.

 

This month's winner, Simon Cox, is the perfect example of that! By being disciplined and finding a sport that works for him, he was able to dramatically improve his health and lifestyle.

We caught up with Simon and he kindly shared his story...

Simon, thanks for taking part in our Medals of The Month! You previously mentioned that you’ve become a much healthier weight through your fitness journey, congratulations! They say healthy bodies are made in the kitchen, can you talk us through any particular dietary practices that have been working well for you?

In 2020, I did nothing. I was walking but not dieting. I was diagnosed with having diabetes because of all the weight I had put on.

So to start... lots of commitment and saying NO.

A good friend of mine gave me some pointers to get started. Your calorie input needs to be much less than the calories burned. You burn more calories when you are active, but you still burn calories doing nothing.

No dairy (no cheese, doh). Limited amounts of bread. I have 1 or 2 slices of wholemeal or light rye for breakfast. No butter or marg, just, Promite, Vegemite or Nutella. One slice of each. I don't have sugar, salt and avoid soft drinks, but that has always been the case. Bananas are a complex sugar and slow release sugar, so it's good to eat.

Smaller portions, meal replacement shakes...at least 1 per day. I went with the Man Shake Challenge . (it was free for 30days if I purchased their shakes online. Lots of pointers recipes etc., weekly weigh ins., but I did a lot of my own things rather than follow them solely. However Aldi shakes are the best of all of them. Some shakes are milk powder based (not good).

Lunchtime is the main meal of the day, what you eat, will then make up your mind if you have a shake or nothing for dinner. Exercise each day, twice if you eat something you shouldn't have. All mingled with a Keto diet. Skip an occasional evening meal to let Keto work at burning fat off.

Wow, you’ve certainly put a lot of work in to figuring out what works for you on the food front and you’re seeing the rewards! How about on the exercise side of things, where have you found success in that department?

I walk a lot, and have done masses of virtual walks where you get a medal for completing the distance. My daughter put me on to this at the start of Covid in 2020.

Reality is, you are paying for the medal, but at least it's an incentive to go the distances. Virtual walks have maps that show where you are on the walks.

Some require going a distance in one go, no breaks. 12km was my biggest for this type of thing(walking). I got a 007 medal for 7miles.

I live on the beach and walk the surrounding hills and cliffs. Lots of walking trails in my area.

That sounds great, Simon. Virtual Runs & Walks can be a great motivation, especially in the last year or so when other exercise options haven’t always been available due to restrictions! Other than clocking up the km’s for the Virtual Walks, are there any other ways to track your progress that you would recommend?

Weigh in at least twice a week and measure your waist too. Do it the same time of the day each time, and wear or not wear the same items. Your weight will plateau for a week or more sometimes, then suddenly start losing again.

Don't be too concerned if your weight goes up a little. You can still have pizza and a drink, I have it once a week or so, (but only a quarter). Calorie check everything.

Drink lots of water, however water will give a false weight reading if you drink too much. So don't take water before a weigh in. 1 litre = 1kg.

If you have chocolate shake meal replacements, and you enjoy coffee, add powdered coffee to the shake (tip from my mate Mark).

I wear a Garmin watch (B'day pressie in 2020 that Aurie and I went halves in) which records most of the essential stuff including sleep, stress, heart, fluid intake, weight, climbing, walk, run(no idea what that is) cycle and other stuff. It sends the results to the site where I am doing virtual walks.

Your gut is the last thing to go, it does get a bit smaller, but remember it took a while to build up a fat body.

I love that you’ve created such a comprehensive routine around your health goals. It’s more of a lifestyle than just a diet and it seems to really be working for you, would you agree?

When I first started, I couldn't do crunches let alone squats. My fat gut got in the way. I still have problems getting off the ground but that is more age related and a bad knee than anything.

I still have chocolate but I have 85% cocoa one (it's allowed, 2 squares as a snack). I make my own Greek yoghurt, and I am allowed 200gm a day as a snack. 2 snacks only a day.

A visual representation of my weight loss, is a 24x600ml pack of water, plus 3kilos of margarine. No wonder my back hurt a lot, carrying all that extra weight around. I have lost 17kg since March, and 26cm off my waistline.

That is a crazy amount when you put it like that! Simon, thank you so much for taking the time to share your fitness journey and tips with us. When it comes to diet, what works and what is achievable is going to be different for each individual and we’re absolutely stoked that you’ve figured it out and it’s working so well for you.

Thanks again and we wish you all the best for achieving even greater things in the future!



 

Would you like to be featured in our Medals of The Month?

Our mission is to help celebrate wins and inspire many more, by hanging medals properly.

Keep posting photos of your Medal Displays to our Facebook page or tag @MedalDisplays on Instagram for your chance to be featured and earn yourself a free Medal Display!

Plus, you never know who you might inspire!

We're super excited about this as we know that behind every collection of medals is an awesome story!