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Blog Austin | From Couch Potato to practically a Chef



Austin | From Couch Potato to practically a Chef

  • by David O' Connor
  • April 26, 2017

After years of being active, playing sport and staying Lean all his life, Austin all of a sudden was tipping 15stone in late 2015 and his story is a nice little kick for Men out there that find themselves where Austin did back then ?

And more importantly, what to do about it. 

Enter Austin ?

What Kind of Position where you in before you started?

Before I joined DOC Fitness I had already lost weight but not in a controlled way.

Difficult personal life made me loose appetite. I was also not fully recovered from a bad knee injury the year before, achieved from ‘mid-life crisis 5-a-side soccer’.

I’ve always been competitive, beit it years of rugby, hobby soccer and those superb fitness orientated sports of darts and snooker. The knee injury required CT scans, lots of physio etc. but I kept putting them off.

All combined I was now lethargic, grumpy and for me, unusually quiet and distant to those around me.

Today, I read a quote from Ian Keatley talking about his lack of form;

“I wasn’t cracking jokes anymore, I wasn’t listening to music. In my car the radio was off. I was constantly thinking. Weird things go through your head. I wondered, ‘why am I putting myself through this?'”..that was me.

One of my 5-a-side friends was a DOC member and he knew me well enough to tell me, DOC Fitness is exactly what you need.

The investigation began, the first step email was sent – the speed and quality of reply drew me in…and the rest, as they say.. is the future.

What was Holding you back from Joining (if anything)?

Actually what surprised me initially was that nothing held me back… I knew I had to do something.

I did road cycling – boring, couldn’t run properly because of my knee – anyway road running was also boring.

While the soccer was a bunch of 40+ men, we were all ex-team players, be it hurling, rugby, soccer – so it was a full tilt, full contact no holes barred ‘f*&k you’ hour under lights and I loved it and now I missed it.

A regular gym was ruled out because I hadn’t a clue what to do.

The treadmill, bikes and rowers were out because of the knee and I didn’t want to just rock up and look the twit… supervised training was the only answer and all the reports for DOC were positive. It also was out of Gort, I’d know less people. Small talk minimised. I liked that the most…. now its all small talk and thats the fun of it!

What made you decide to try Doc Fitness?

I saw the videos, I read the online comments, spoke to friends, liked that I wasn’t going to be out of place, age or fitness wise.

But as I said, one of the main reasons for me was that it was out of Gort. I do like some anonymity, Im fairly private so this distance coupled with the need to get some form of my life back on track.. culminated in me taking the plunge.

What Were your Results like?

I grew up skinny. Hated it. Have always been weight conscious.

My first love sport has always been rugby but I missed out on years of underage because, sure I’d look stupid with all the big guys.

My other love was food. My appetite was (and I just smiled now that I’ve typed ‘was’) unreal. I gave myself an Ulcer years ago with eating piles of crap, especially late at night after beers etc.. and of course Im a social’aholic – love being out, music, beers, laughs and then the mandatory chipper.

I’m not actually a heavy drinker, don’t do the ‘very pissed’ thing too often, so I’m lucky there. And when I’m not happy, I rarely drink which thankfully was a huge positive.

I can remember weighing myself after around October 2015 and I was close on 200lbs/ 15 stone. I had a gut, double chin. Little sport, vibrant social life and now very little self esteem.

I never stopped being active, Im always on the go.. the kids kept me busy but my diet, office job and flat lined exercise were combining and things were getting worse.

When I joined I had lost weight but not through exercise, I was 195lbs*.

As of this morning (03/04/17) I’m 177lbs and maintaining myself between 176 (my lowest) and 180 (my usual Monday morning weight), Ive fixed my appetite but I’m still a social’aholic!

Another result from Doc Fitness is the new wardrobe. I have in one of the spare rooms collected all my suits, jeans, jumpers and shirts that are now far too big for me. It’s an impressive expensive amount of kit to be going nowhere, now that I’m writing this I’m thinking a ceremonial clear out might be a good thing to do.

What 3 Biggest Areas of your Life has this Impacted?

Straight away, Confidence.

I feel good, I get compliments (I’m useless when being complimented, but it does feel nice). Not just confidence in looking better, I have confidence ahead of a challenge.

I’m fitter. I’ve run a couple of 8k races – this was alien to me. Now I’m looking at 5k charity runs or my own jogs around the country roads near home and I’ve no fear of them. I do them and get on with the day. A year ago, I’d foal a goat after 1k. I now have times to beat, the competitive nature has cultured. I even time myself for cutting the grass for gods sake!!

Thankfully, while I’m competitive, I couldn’t care less if I lose, just so long as Ive tried my best.

Energy (physical and mental)

I was still annoyingly active when I wasn’t fit. Now I’m just horrible. You know when your mind says ‘ah I’ll do it later’, now I’ve it done straight away. That could be as simple as hoovering the house, cutting the grass or sorting out a difficult work issue.

Mentally I’m a lot stronger. The training sessions have become a form of therapy for me. Getting through tough sessions, or James singing has exercised my brain. Tough decisions are easier make, I feel strongly mentally to fight the recoil.

Jobs up the town I now leave the car and walk almost exclusively. Last week I came back without the car one day as I was so used to not using it.

The 5 hour ‘Black Head’ Loop Hike was a massive and exhausting physical and mental challenge. But it’s done and more like it are being planned.


I’m now enjoying becoming a cook. Not saying that anyone would eat what I cook but now I love cooking. I love eating healthy, even when out. Yesterday in Galway I ate poached egg and crushed avocado for breakfast, ignoring the near automatic Full Irish.

The influence my new hobby has on the rest of my day is significant. I shop each day specifically for what I’ll eat that evening.

I’ve ingredients in the house that I never bought before in my life. I love seeing the foods other DOC users post as I try to see if I can do that too.

In the last few days Ive started recording the meals on My Fitness Pal App also and this is proving more easier and interesting than I expected.

The Confidence and Energy improvements combine here also in that I’m willing to try new foods, experiment and I am happier not to take the easy lazy option and eat out or buy TV Dinners.

I’ve also the confidence to post what I cook publicly, it helps me keep myself accountable and hopefully encourages others to do the same. There are other impacts DOC has made which include mainly the new friendships I have made…the banter makes the sessions. There is no ‘Embarrassment’ at DOC, everyone tries their best…what else do you want.

What’s your favourite thing about Doc Fitness?

The Times. Yes, I could say the great laughs and the banter, the classes themselves, the online fun trolling etc. but for me and my life and its complicated schedule I have to say the 6.45am and / or the 5.50pm, with options for earlier or later if necessary make going the 30 mile round trip, feasible in the first place.

I do have to add that the sense of being in a team works for me, there is a community spirit.

The Instagrams, Emails, Facebook, Youtube Vids etc. together with the social events and banter online all make you feel constantly in touch with the mothership. This works for me.

I have to add, Mid last year I had a very sore and difficult Rotator Cuff injury, missed lots of classes but I was very impressed with the regular check-ins to see how I was from the coaches, the advise and encouragement meant a lot.

Lastly, what would you say to someone who’s sitting on the Fence about Joining?

Its all inclusive – for all ages, all sizes, “theres nothing to be afraid of”….other than the dodgy singing ?


We know the first step is usually the hardest, so we make it easy 🙂 Click the link below which will bring you to our page where you can see which coaching program might be for you;




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David O' Connor
CEO | Head Coach
David's passion lies in coaching you through the easiest path to losing weight, toning up & getting back the confidence that's been hiding for a while. Head Coach & Head of Nutrition at Doc Fitness, if you don't find him there, he's probably training, sipping coffee writing Nutrition articles or playing Hurling for Ballinderreen.