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‘Why I lost it!’

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Bryan Hann, WA PATY winner, opens up about his weight loss journey; and how his own success helped him improve how he helps customers managing their weight.

To lose approximately 22kgs is no mean feat by anyone’s book! To put it in perspective, it is like losing your entire checked-in luggage allowance on a domestic flight. Nevertheless, that’s what Bryan Hann has done: shed the equivalent weight in physical and emotional ‘baggage’, going from a size 38 to 30—an incredible five pant sizes!

Bryan says health issues and the realisation that being overweight was making him unhappy, triggered his decision to do something about it—and the result has been overwhelmingly positive for him personally and professionally.

 “My blood pressure wasn’t what it should be for a 24 year old; instead it was like that of an older person! I also had my BMI done and the GP told me that my results were in the obese range—not the sort of thing you want to hear. On top of this I was in a bad relationship too, so as people say, ‘fat can be a protection’.”

However, another catalyst came in the form of his brave decision to nominate himself for the PATY Award. From there winning the WA title, and the impending national finals, bolstered his determination to push on with his quest.

“Actually, I think with any decision we always tend to overthink it and make it a bigger issue than it really is. So yes, I did believe it was going to be hard, but once I started, it became easier. On top of that, I began to see improvements in my mental state and a growing sense of achievement that I was doing this for myself. (I personally felt if I ‘failed,’ I would only be letting myself down and no one else.)

“I started to believe in myself again and take on board the good comments I received through the PATY process. I began to think, ‘Yes, I am good enough’.

 “I also have epilepsy so I can’t drive at the moment so if I have a craving for chocolate or sugar (as I don’t have it in the house) I have to walk for it. In addition, when people ask if I went on a ‘diet’, I tell them I didn’t, but I do think you have to take things in moderation. But it comes down the fact that if I am going to ‘splurge,’ then I am going to have to exercise.”

For exercise to be sustainable, it had to become part of his daily routine, he says.

“I think the fear of weight loss for many is the fear of going without. However, I’ve look at as way of rewarding yourself for reaching a particular milestone; and if you know you are going to have a big weekend you offset that by going for a longer walk, for example.”

Bryan now enjoys playing indoor volleyball A-Grade level throughout winter and social beach volleyball, and tennis in the summer.

He also says his own experience has helped how he talks to his customers about weight loss.

“I always warn people especially when it comes to anything from weight-loss shakes and even vitamins—nothing is going to be a quick fix.

 “But as I said at the WA PATY finals, in a small town a pharmacy is a major community health hub. Customers value having someone they are comfortable with to talk about their weight knowing they will understand their issues and concerns.”

Plus, customers can see for themselves that it is possible to lose weight and keep it off, he says.

“One of the best feelings has been several customers noticing. I would say the only ‘downside’ has been that nothing fits me anymore! My fortnightly wages goes towards new clothing but it’s worth it because I am happy and self-confident!”

This is an edited extra of an article which appeared in the August print issue of Post Script.

If you have a story to share, contact the editor, Janet.doyle@appco.com.au