Why watch The Biggest Loser when you have an inspiring weight loss story right here in Echuca’s backyard?
Given two choices, go under the knife or get disciplined about diet and exercise, Chris Russell chose the latter to spark his weight loss journey.
Chris has lost more than 40kg — almost a third of his original 134.5kg.
In 2015 Chris hyper extended and badly injured his knee playing football and decided to avoid a knee reconstruction by dropping weight and strengthening the knee in the gym.
It hasn’t always been easy — frustrated because of weight loss stagnation Chris sought the help of Next Level Gym’s Brianna Cook, who is a qualified nutritionist.
‘‘I dropped 12kg over three to four months from working out and I plateaued from there.’’
On the nutrition plan, Chris dropped 2-3kg every week until Christmas.
‘‘I didn’t have a cheat day until Christmas day and I was very proud of that because it was incredibly hard.’’
Despite test and temptation, Chris stuck to his plan to reap the rewards and lost a further 25kg in that period.
Friends were behind him all the way, mate Luke Fuller made Chris a deal — drop 40kg and he would pay to go sky diving at St Kilda beach.
When he hit the target Luke paid up and Chris joined him on the jump in January.
‘‘It was a thrill and a half and I loved it.’’
Changing gym programs, Chris is now focusing on adding muscle and toning to reach his second goal by the end of May.
‘‘I’m going on a holiday to Bali and I want to be in the mid 80s.’’
Chris is keeping his loyalty to the Tocumwal footy club and with his knee better has gone back for a season.
‘‘Those guys had me the way I was and I’d love to play for them now I can do a bit more and I’m a bit fitter.’’
Working at Evans Shoes Echuca warehouse, Chris said day-to-day life activities like work are so much easier after dropping the weight.
‘‘I have to thank Bri and Luke at Next Level who encourage me and keep me on track.
‘‘I’m looking at doing the 10km circuit in the Melbourne Marathon which is something I would never have attempted before.
‘‘The support has been great from family, friends and even strangers who knew about my journey.’’
Chris is taking his new-found lease on life a step further and is currently studying to become a personal trainer.