I had a smile like a split watermelon when I saw my old rugby team mate make a major life changing decision, and shed the weight that basically made him famous.
I played with Matt Dunning at the NSW Waratahs from 2000-2002 (that’s me swimming in the number 13 jersey above) and he was certainly an anomaly. Despite his 125kg (275lbs) robust, yet slightly Mr Stay Puft type frame, he was one of the quickest, most skillful players in the forward pack.
Not only was he a great player, but he was an entertainer. Nicknamed “Tucky” after Friar Tuck from Robin Hood, he was more like a cartoon character than a rugby player and he soon became a crowd favorite with his lovable personality and unlikely rugby playing ability. It was as if his body shape defined him and certainly set him apart from the rest, particularly in the eyes of the fans and media.
Yet since retiring due to a career ending injury, his super-sized physique no longer served him the way it did during his Professional Rugby days. Furthermore, he was no longer carrying the same kind of muscle thanks to the lack of a rigorous daily training schedule in his heyday.
And now at 35, the commencement of his YOG years, he decided enough was enough. Perhaps the YOG blog inspired him, perhaps not, but I’m sure it secretly did…either way, he found the strength to embark on a personal journey of self improvement and life enhancement. He decided to become the YOG he was destined to be.
Watch the following video and see his amazing transformation for yourself.
I asked Matt for some more information on how he achieved this amazing feat. His diet initially consisted of a combination of low calorie meal replacement drinks, meat and veg, and 4 cleanse days a month.
Matt admitted that he wasn’t always able to stick to the caloric guidelines, but a big part of his weight loss was the 4 cleanse days, as they “get rid of impurities and toxins from our bodies. We store fat to protect ourselves from these so getting rid of them allows us to shed more fat.”
He still maintains the 4 cleanse days, although he has increased his calorie intake to between 2000 and 2500 per day.
He said one of the hardest thing to do was giving up his beloved Diet Coke for the first 4 months. However when I asked if he gave up the booze he said “mate I drank like a fish for the first 5 months! Haven’t drunk for last 3 months. I’d already lost 36kgs of 41kgs when I gave the booze a break.”
He also said despite wanting to quit coffee, he still drinks it because he “enjoys the social side too much”.
Matt at day 180
This goes to show that a balance can be achieved between making sacrifices to achieve your weight loss goals, yet still enjoying yourself and the guilty pleasures in life.
Obviously his metamorphosis would not have been possible without exercise. Being an ex-pro athlete meant that Matt could devise himself a program which he knew would work for him and also have the ability to execute with proper form and discipline.
What’s surprising is that he didn’t start his training program until about the halfway mark, which looked something like the following:
So as you can see, this wasn’t a flash in the pan Hollywood quick fix regime, nor was it a socially crippling, soul crushing strictathon. Matt Dunning is essentially still Matt Dunning…just with a new wardrobe and cheekbones.