Spencer's Swapper Story 18th September 2012
“I actually for the first time understand what people mean when they say – if you exercise, you have more energy… that never made sense to me… it’s changed my life.”
He likes to exercise on a bike, in front of the TV, with the radio on.
It may not be the way we all do it – but it’s how 612 ABC Brisbane’s Spencer Howson lost 15 centimetres from his waistline in less than 12 weeks.
The breakfast radio presenter led a team of 12 listeners on a challenge to win by losing the most centimetres from their waistline – in the 612 ABC Brisbane Swap It challenge. Queensland’s peak diabetes, heart, nutrition and cancer bodies support the national Swap It, Don’t Stop It campaign through their Queensland Non-Government Organisations’ Swap It Program.
By committing to making small swaps daily (like swapping fried food for fresh, getting off the bus one stop early and walking the rest of the way, and swapping sitting for standing), Spencer’s Slimmers took the lead against four other teams for the majority of the challenge, finishing strong as joint-winners, with an 8.3 per cent reduction in their collective waistline.
Spencer took up walking to collect his son from school, cut down on fatty foods and made an appointment to see his GP – an office he hadn’t walked into in 15 years. He was honest from the start that some lifestyle changes wouldn’t last beyond the 12-weeks, but at halfway, his health was looking up.
“After six weeks, I don’t crave fast food. I’m barely eating chocolate. I’m walking much more. I’m eating much less. And I am seeing results. You should try it!” Spencer said.
There’s no doubt that when such a high-profile personality (Spencer rates number one in breakfast radio in Brisbane) takes up such a public health challenge, people will take notice – and perhaps make changes along with him.
The influence was immediately seen in fellow team members (one went from 122cm to 109cm and another from 97cm to 90cm), and no doubt hundreds of listeners who made changes big and small away from the microphone.
While getting measured every Tuesday morning on-air might have kept the motivation up for the 12 weeks, we’re hoping Spencer will continue swapping his way to good health when the public eye isn’t watching.
And who knows? He just might get a surprise knock on the studio door one week from a swapper – with tape measure in hand…
Watch Spencer Howson talk about his slimming secret at 612 ABC Brisbane.