We’re down to our eighth podcast and we’re joined by Brendan Reid.
Brendan Reid: The Fat Ginger Nerd
Brendan Reid isn’t shy about starting the conversation on nutrition and lifestyle by sharing his life story. When he was born in 1978, he admits he was a big baby of nine pounds and six ounces. In the 80’s he was one of the fat kids in his school. According to him, he “stood out like a sore thumb” and kids called him names.
While Brendan knew that there was something visibly wrong with him, he didn’t completely understand what it was. There was also “no shortage of advice” and he had people who wanted to help him. However, the advice was all about “eating less and moving more”. There were a lot of aerobic exercises on TV, jumping rope for heart exercises, and skipping rope exercise campaigns. But none of that worked for him.
Even as a child, he made attempts to lose weight by trying to eat healthily. He shares that back then, healthy foods were those that were low in fat. He also tried playing rugby and cricket and other outdoor sports. However, he just couldn’t keep up and drifted apart from sports and eventually friends.
The First Appointment With A Dietitian
Brendan was 12 when he first had an appointment with a dietitian from the local hospital. He was hopeful that he would finally get the advice that he needed. The dietitian introduced him to the “healthy food pyramid”, pointing out that he was too fat because he was eating too much of the wrong food. He was advised that he had to get rid of whatever it was that was making him fat and to eat fruits, veggies, and grains instead. However, he still gained weight. He was also your typical kiwi who added tomato sauce to everything, because tomatoes are a vegetable, right?!
Working As A Radio Announcer
After school, Brendan worked for seven to eight years as a radio announcer for different stations. He thought it was the “perfect job for someone in [his] position.” Brendan was already horribly overweight by late high school. So he sought comfort in hiding away in a radio studio as his voice was the only thing needed. However, Brendan eventually got into a breakfast show. Since then, his public profile slowly grew and he was in newspapers. He shares that many were then surprised and “undoubtedly disappointed” at his appearance, while they never stated it.
Over the years, his weight continually crept up and he “never lost weight at all in my life.”
Road to Change for Brendan Reid
It was sometime in 2000 that Brendan heard about the Atkins Diet. But he initially avoided it after hearing what experts said that it was “crazy, dangerous, it’ll kill you.” A few years later, he then heard about how sugary drinks were not good and decided to quit soft drinks. For the next five to six months, Brendan lost five kilos, which was “the first time in my life that [he’d] lost any weight.”
In the Easter of 2015, he lost another 5 kilos and decided on setting an appointment with the gym. However, he was told that if he signed up, he could lose a few kilos, but the gym wasn’t what he really needed. Brendan was surprised that the gym owner had told him his! He was also suggested to view a website with something called “The Real Meal Evolution”, which he found similar to the Atkins diet. Initially, Brendan was upset and couldn’t reconcile the idea of the Atkins diet.
But eventually, he gave it a shot.
He searched for resources, videos and books, papers, journals. Everything he could get his hands on.
Today, Brendan Reid is still figuring out how to use his new-found freedom when it comes to life. Things as simple as shopping for his clothes, how to pair his clothes, and how to carry himself. Travelling overseas, going to concerts, and generally living a life he didn’t expect to after loosing over 100kgs.