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Dominic Panzera's Story

“Being healthy and fit isn’t a fad or trend it’s a lifestyle” 

Have you ever achieved a weight loss goal in the initial stages of your program only to revert back to old habits a few months later?

Unfortunately, this happens when our focus shifts depending on what we prioritise as most important at the time.

So what is the key to getting results and keeping them in challenging times?

This month, we spoke to our ‘Member of the Quarter’ award recipient, Dom, about what kick-started his search for a better lifestyle for him and his young family, but most importantly, how he continued to stay on track during the Covid-19 pandemic

HOW AND WHY DID YOU START THIS JOURNEY?

I broke my left arm where it joins the shoulder, four years ago in a bicycle accident. There was a 50% chance that I would need a joint replacement. That started my journey into looking at diet and lifestyle changes to optimise the healing of my injury.

I made impressive progress in the first 3-4 months, I didn’t need a joint replacement but I didn’t have full range of movement in my left arm. At that time, we were doing a major house renovation, I took my foot off the pedal and slowly I reverted to old habits.

Four years after my accident I was back where I started. I wasn’t happy with the stagnated progress of the healing of my arm injury. I’ve been told by various doctors my injury is as good as it gets.

I don’t accept the doctors’ option.

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT US?

I stumbled on Mana through my son’s rugby club and I believed that Mana Fitness could provide the support, education and methods to create a sustainable fitness and healthy lifestyle that could help return my arm back to normal. The back and shoulder muscles around my injured arm had atrophied.

WHAT DID YOU FIND HARD ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR?

The lifestyle change I wanted is simple, applying it every day is the hard part.

HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?

To keep myself accountable to my goal, every day I keep a detailed food log and take measurements of the goal I’m trying to achieve. This allows me to track and chart the outcome of my actions and whether they are taking me to my goal or away from it. Also I plan and cook my meals on a Sunday for the week ahead, including freezing the meals for the latter part of the week.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY THE MOST?

Working out with my sons and the Mana Men.


WHAT WAS THE NUMBER ONE HABIT THAT YOU DIDN’T FEEL COMFORTABLE TO LET GO OF?

Snacking while watching TV.

IS IT STILL HOLDING YOU BACK OR HAVE YOU CONQUERED IT? HOW?

Friday night is my indulgence when I have my favourite takeaway watching my favourite shows on TV. Other nights of the week I make healthy meal choices when watching TV.

ARE THERE ANY LESSONS THAT YOU LEARNED?

It’s hard making a change on your own. Having the Mana team coaching me has made the difference. After training with Mana a few months, muscle definition and strength around my injured arm has returned almost at parity to my healthy arm.

I was sceptical about 'deloading' (built-in rest & recover period between strength programs) but I was still seeing tremendous progress during that time.

This program will be the lynchpin on future success.

I've never spent more than 6 months on a lifestyle change. At the end of this program it would be 9 months into my new lifestyle. As a stretch, my goal for this program is to get my BMI down from overweight to healthy weight. That would be a target of 89 kgs. My goal for this (current) program is 91 kgs

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE IN THE SAME POSITION AS YOU WERE, BEFORE STARTING THIS JOURNEY?

Be ambitious in your goals, make any first step, allow yourself time to develop a new lifestyle, try different things to see what works for you and be patient with yourself.

WHAT LEGACY WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEAVE BEHIND?

I want the time working out together with my boys to be a bonding experience and a pleasant memory of a shared experience.

The lifestyle change I have made has motivated my family to make healthier food choices and exercise more. I think my kids are quietly proud of me and are looking forward to me having a six-pack.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE?

“Being healthy and fit isn’t a fad or trend it’s a lifestyle”

TELL US ONE THING THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOU?

I once had long hair.

FINALLY, YOUR TOP TRANSFORMATION TIP?

Take control of your diary and schedule!

I block out my diary to allow for ‘’me” time to eat and to train; over the weekend to prioritise the planning of weekly meals and to spend time with my wife and kids.The reward is establishing a sustainable lifestyle habit that can be an example to my children.

Thank you Dom for sharing you story with us. Congratulations on a fantastic transformation so far.

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