‘I feared I’d be next in the grave’
A FEAR of not being around to see his 13-year-old daughter grow up inspired a Bli Bli father to make a drastic change in his life for the better.
In July last year Jeff Parker weighed almost 157.8kg, a number no matter what he tried, was not going down anytime quick.
After losing a few close friends, the 48-year-old decided if he didn't do something about his weight he would "be the next one in the grave".
"I was just wasn't in a good spot, for a while I hadn't had a good head," Mr Parker said.
"I lost a business a couple of year ago and things sort of escalated, I was drinking and eating a lot."
"I've lost a couple of mates over the years, a mate in Sydney last year and a mate up here as well and he's left behind a couple of little kids and it made me start thinking otherwise I'll be the next one in the grave."
Inspired by another friend, the school groundsman decided to sign up for an eight-week challenge at F45 Bli Bli.
"I walked into F45 and haven't looked back," he said.
"I've tried (to lose weight) before but there was just that real light bulb moment."
Mr Parker lost 21kg in the first eight weeks, changing his routine and his life and giving 100 per cent commitment to the task at hand.
"It was bloody hard," he said.
"I just decided to do it, I put the blinkers on and I just decided to focus."
"I followed the meal plans and I trained every day; it was hard, it was tough, but in my head I was fully focused."
Come October and F45 Bli Bli was preparing for another eight-week challenge. Mr Parker went on to lose another 14.5kg, winning the competition overall for his gym.
He has now lost 38.5kg since joining and is ready for the next challenge with his goal to weigh in below 100kg by the end.
"I'm really pumped for this one," he said.
"Everyone has been really positive, I've inspired another mate and he's coming to next challenge."
While the weight lose is a visible achievement, Mr Parker said he has ticked several personal goals off his list since beginning his health journey, the biggest climbing Mt Coolum.
At 4.30am on New Year's Day Mr Parker was ready for the trek with the support of F45 Bli Bli owner Bradd Hearfield.
"It was just one of those things I've never done before," Mr Parker said.
"I tried once and got half way up and just thought I want to get up the top of it and thought let's start 2020 with something I've never done before."
"It was lovely and I was pretty chuffed with that, getting up there."
"Last week I started doing burpees too. I haven't done a burpee for, oh, I wouldn't have a clue!"
"They are little wins for me."
Mr Hearfield, who opened the Bli Bli studio eight months ago, said Mr Parker's commitment was an inspiration to others and one of the reasons he loved his job.
"Every time Jeff and I talk about how well he's progressed we both get emotional, it's the reason I love doing what I do at F45 and changing people's life," Mr Hearfield said.
"He actually couldn't physically hop on to a rower so to see the change, he is on the rower and doing burpees, is really inspirational."
"To see how happy Jeff is now, the change is inspirational, every day he is in the studio and he is pushing and pushing."
"He's on track to be under 100 kilos at the next challenge."
With 30 years in the industry Mr Hearfield said for people to see results they need to be fully committed mentally and surround themselves with like-minded people.
"The biggest advice I can give to anyone is don't doubt yourself and don't surround yourself with people who aren't supportive."
"Everyone's story's different, everyone's home life is different, it's about making that change for yourself, you've got to make that decision first."
"Jeff's committed to the change, so to see a story like Jeff out there, it brings people hope that they can too."
Mr Parker said for others wanting to make the change to "be true to yourself and give it a crack".
"Just do it, just give it a go. I'm 48 and I can still do it."
"After four weeks you can see the change in front of you."
"Even your mental health, it just made my head so much better and think clearer. It's not just the weight, it's everything."
The next eight-week challenge begins on Monday, February 3 across all F45 studios.