Gardening helps Richard fight flab

Richard Moran has lost 30 kilograms through healthy organic eating and exercise. He now runs workshops on eating healthily and growing the food to do it. Picture: GREG TOTMANGreen thumb Richard Moran has had some home-grown success fighting flab.

He has melted away 30 kilograms with hard work, a good attitude and his vital ingredient – food from his soil.

Mr Moran now spreads the word – and his seedlings – to show people struggling with their weight that organic food is the way to a happy mind and a slimmer waistline.

‘‘One day I woke up and decided ‘That’s it’. I was tipping the scales at 100 kilograms,’’ the Albion Park horticulturist said.

‘‘I thought ‘Gee, I’m a fat bastard’. The weight just kept piling on. I had health issues, but that’s just an excuse. It’s what you put in your mouth.’’

A random phone call from a nearby gym for potential customers came at just the right time.

‘‘It was one of those random things. I said ‘you have called me just on the right day – sign me up’.’’

Entering a gym full of ‘‘muscle-bound fitness freaks’’ was daunting for someone overweight but ready to change his life.

Mr Moran soon hooked up with a personal trainer and dropped to 70 kilograms.

‘‘I’ve always been into horticulture and growing my own vegetables, and the more weight I lost the more I researched food and healthy eating. I want to be fit and fabulous at 50, not fat and flabby at 50.’’

It seems Mr Moran is not alone; his classes at Wollongong Wholesale Nursery have been filling up fast with Illawarra residents wanting to cultivate their own healthy lifestyles.

‘‘I’ve been teaching for 12 months at Jamberoo and now we are about to start classes at the nursery. The first classes are booked out already,’’ Mr Moran said.

‘‘Classes will change each month. It’s all about hands-on practical stuff, citrus trees and vegies at home … all kinds of things, like growing stir-fry vegies; how quick and easy they can be.

‘‘I’ve got all this knowledge in my head so when a customer suggested I start teaching people I thought ‘why not’.’’

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