Andrew rethinks lifestyle, sheds 40kg, after bypass

HEALTHY LIVING: Rockhampton’s Andrew Johnson kicked his unhealthy habits after undergoing bypass surgery and doctors telling him he would be diabetic if he didn’t take care of himself.
HEALTHY LIVING: Rockhampton’s Andrew Johnson kicked his unhealthy habits after undergoing bypass surgery and doctors telling him he would be diabetic if he didn’t take care of himself. Chris Ison Rokcheart

ANDREW Johnson used to struggle mowing his lawn.

Two years later and 40kg lighter, the same man is cycling more than 200km a week and playing tennis.

This isn't something that Andrew ever imagined he could do.

It was a health scare from his doctor telling the Rockhampton man that he would become diabetic if he didn't change his unhealthy ways.

So he started riding his bike, just one kilometre would leave Andrew breathless.

After a ride one day he felt tightness in his chest, and it was back to the doctor. This time the news was worse; he had eight blockages in his arteries and needed bypass surgery.

"It was definitely scary to get those surgeries; the scariest moment was prior to surgery when the doctors told me they lose 2% of (bypass) patients," he said.

After 12 weeks of recovery, Andrew was back on his bike, determined to lead a healthy lifestyle.

"I do all the cooking at home, even my wife lost 20kg because I changed what we were eating," Andrew said.

"I said to myself that I'd cut out the worst things for me, and that was having an iced coffee and buying biscuits and chocolates.

"Without doing anything else the weight started to come."

Andrew did go to a dietician and fitness counsellor which he said were a big help in getting the weight off.

But he never went on a diet; he said he simply became more conscious of what went into his meals.

Not only did he go from 127kg to 85kg, he quit smoking and hasn't touched a cigarette for two and half years.

"I feel fitter and healthier than I have in the past 30 years," he said.


Get active. Start small by putting exercise into your daily routine; take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Eat better. Eating the right foods can help you control your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol; half your plate should be fruits and vegetables.

Manage blood pressure. Do this by exercising regularly; not smoking; limiting salt and alcohol.

Stop smoking. One in five deaths are caused by smoking; going smoke-free can help prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Topics:  weightloss

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