As Tamworth plunges into the heart of winter, it seems inevitable that locals will pile on a few extra kilos.
Not so for Paul Day, a corrective services officer who has shed 40kg – and counting – in the past two years.
He was motivated to lose weight when he saw a photo of himself at a rugby game.
“I looked at it and I said, ‘Is that me?’”
Mr Day joined the gym – “the best thing I ever did” – and with his personal trainer, Melissa Tapp, began to lift his fitness.
He remembers the first excruciating kilometre he ran, but now he has completed triathlons.
“Next year I’m hoping to do an Olympic-sized triathlon, which is a 1.5km swim, 40km ride and a 10km run,” Mr Day said.
“I had never done that stuff before. Running was out of the question for me.
“Who would have thought a 45-year-old smoker could do that? I didn’t, I really didn’t.”
For Mr Day, it was important to have a good rapport with his trainer and to set goals, not to drop the weight fast.
“It took me 30 years to put on, so if it takes 10 years to come off, who cares?”
Lily Jackson, a dietician at 360 Fitness Club, said people should not be fixated on quick weight loss.
“The quicker the weight loss is, the more likely they’re going to put it back on,” Ms Jackson said.
“It’s what you do every day that counts.”
She said healthy diets suffer a downturn in the winter months, as people are less organised and choose more takeaway options rather than cooking stews and casseroles packed with veggies.
She suggested cooking in bulk so there will always be a healthy, easy option sitting in the freezer.
She said drinking plenty of water and limiting caffeine (which dehydrates and causes cravings) are high priorities, as is “eating mindfully”.