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Artist Simon Richardson proves if you have the right mindset, you can achieve incredible weight-loss and fitness results.

He didn’t even use a gym and still drank beers!

Full disclaimer: Simon, 44, is one of my super-star clients I coach. He’s a multi-award-winning painter.

When I started coaching Simon in February, his goal was to lose 9kg to reach his goal weight, 79kg. The only exercise he had done was running. But he was losing the love for this sport because he constantly had sore legs.

I coached Simon remotely via phone or Skype. I’m in Auckland; he’s in Dunedin.

I put Simon’s nutrition, fitness and lifestyle under a microscope. I checked in with him weekly to update his plan and gave him new tips that were achievable, relatable and sustainable. I made sure his plan always aligned with his goals.

Simon can’t access a gym as he lives on a remote peninsula, so I got him doing body-weight training and cut his run days in half. He had a rest day weekly for recovery.

Simon loves his Friday night beers and so I kept these in his plan. I believe in sustainable lifestyle changes and loathe deprivation.

After six weeks’ coaching, I got this text from Simon: “I can fit all my jeans again!”

I was even more excited than him. As a coach, it’s even more of a buzz helping clients reach their goals. Helping others is a heart-led thing. Within two months he reached his goal weight. He is also stronger, fitter and running faster too. The best ripple-effect is he is sharing his new-found nutrition knowledge with his family.

I still coach Simon. I credit his ongoing success to his incredible determination. I was merely a guide in the process.

I asked Simon some questions about his health journey:
• What has been the hardest part of the journey?
Nutrition! I had to learn to be disciplined.

• What do you love?
The variety of CrossFit-style exercises I get to do.

• What helped you on your journey?
Having a coach. It was great to have someone telling me what I should be doing. I found that fantastic and really motivating.

• What do you love about your transformation?
Having muscles. I’ve never had that before.

• What’s your advice to others wishing to be fitter or healthier?
You shouldn’t give up on yourself if you get to your 40s or 50s. Look after your body!

Article originally published in The New Zealand Herald