Keeping Up With Jonesy: Foundations

Tue 4 Mar 2014

Last week we introduced to the latest brainchild of our videographer Dan Jones. The mastermind behind your favorite cycling videos including Backstage Pass, the #OGERocks music videos and My Piece of the World recognized he was in serious need of a lifestyle change, so he embarked upon a personal challenge to get healthy. These weekly posts are Dan’s attempt to share his journey with you.

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This week has really been about setting up a good foundation.  To lose 20 kilograms in 18 weeks, I suppose I should have realised we needed to have things dialed in from day one, but I didn't expect things to move from first gear to fifth gear in week one.

"Get your sweat pants on mate were starting now!"  I had casually woken Monday morning, had a nice shower and was changed into my jeans ready for the day, but old Andy Gerrans had different plans.  I thought the program he was putting me on was mainly around diet and some long walks in the afternoon. I didn’t know I had signed up for full on training session.

The morning started with a one hour workout at the park that included circuits of push ups, dips and planks – stuff that I really hadn't done since playing Australian Rules football back in 2003.  Over the week we have trained for an hour each morning capped off with a strict diet eliminating all unnecessary sugars and most carbs (bread, pasta, rice).  I almost threw on some black armbands when I saw him clean out the cupboards of all junk food.  It was like watching my favorite pub burn down. But keeping the junk out of the house definitely helps eliminate all temptations.

I really think that giving up the alcohol for a month (because of Febfast) before this all started has been a great move for three reasons.  The first being I don't have any peaks and troughs in energy throughout the day. The engine is slowly molding from a from a two stoke unleaded busted lawnmower into a diesel powered Volvo.  (Are there any kick backs for the plug there?) Making a drastic change to the diet would have been a lot harder if I had serious sugar cravings and a like, but to be honest it hasn't been that bad at all.

The second reason Febfast was a helpful prelude is it taught me how to resist temptation.  It was hard at times to say no to a beer with friends or even a nice drop of red at dinner, but I managed – and having gotten to the end of the month, I thought "well if I can get through that, surely I can say no to dessert."  This week has been full of tests, especially here in Girona with a bloody pastry shop on every corner.  And yes the pastries here are amazing!  

The final benefit to my month without alcohol is an increased clarity of thoughts.  I find that having the month off makes the brain that little bit sharper.  Doctor Barnes will explain why in detail below.  After having a month to really reflect on things, more specifically my lifestyle, I realise the time to change was now.  Not tomorrow. Not next month. Right now.

Now back to this week. Given that I am a fan of most sports we decided to have a hit of tennis to mix up the workouts a bit.  I was pretty pumped as I used to be right into having a weekend wack, especially around the late 90s when old Pat Rafter was at the top of his game.  Little did I know Andrew is a former A grade player who had coaching for six years as a kid.  Looks like I was in for a hammering in three sets but I was up for the fight.  In short, I smashed my brand new €100 racket in the second set after trying to send down a 180kmph scud missile first serve.  The bloody thing slipped straight out of my hands and into a thick metal pole.  I was rolled 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 and went home with a busted racket but unlike Bernard Tomic, I finished the match.

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So you might be wondering how is the weight going?  Well, I’m happy to say the weight has dropped from 105.5kg to 102.3kg in a week.  I expect with such a sudden diet and lifestyle change it will shred in the first month or so, but then we’ll need to amp things up a bit to keep the weight falling off at the same route.

Thanks again for those who have donated to the cause and joined our ORICA-GreenEDGE fundraising team. During the first week, we've welcomed nine team members and raised $938.90 for Bravehearts, Inc. I’m really grateful to have so much support and tackle this challenge alongside all of you. Stephanie, Belinda and Virginia - you three have been particulary inspiring this week. Also if you have any specific questions send a tweet to Andrew (@Andrew_Gerrans).  Catch you guys again next week, hopefully close to getting under the ton!


In this first week I really wanted to get Jonesy off to a good start by helping him create an optimal home environment to support his healthier lifestyle. 

Dan and I started the week with a clean out of the fridge and cupboards, making a concerted effort to get rid of anything that didn’t fit in with our program.  We basically threw out (or gave away) any food where we didn’t recognise the ingredients on the back of the packet, and with the exception of natural sugars such as honey and agave, we ditched anything with more than 15gm/100gm of sugar.

We upgraded the kitchen by purchasing a decent blender/food processor, a better set of knives and we cleared the liquor bottles off the bench to create some more space for our cooking prep.  Out of sight, out of mind!

We bought a couple of tennis racquets, a GPS heart rate monitor, and dusted the cobwebs off his boxing gloves.

Jonesy’s training is mostly low intensity cardio, keeping his heart rate predominately under 75% of his max.  Given Dan’s current lack of condition and history of shin splints, we have kept the jogging to an absolute minimum, and what jogging we have done has been on a forgiving surface with an emphasis on technique.

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Each session I have thrown in three or four sets of short, higher intensity efforts to shock his body, alternating between upper and lower body resistance exercises, including some core work in there as well. Oh, and speaking of three short sets, I gave him a hiding on the tennis court to keep him honest too!

Our local park is a five minute walk away from home with a 700 metre lap around its outside.  It has a mixture of surfaces and plenty of equipment to utilise for the first part of Dan’s program.  The best part is that it’s outdoors, it’s free, and it’s open 24 hours a day! No excuses!   

Looking more wholistically than just weight loss, this week has been a real success.  Dan has come out of his first week without any injuries, his energy levels have improved, and his overall attitude toward exercise and nutrition is changing for the better every day.  Next week I’ll talk a little more about what we are eating, and include a list of staple items in our pantry and fridge.  Until then, keep your messages of support coming, and thanks to all


Medical authorities and Alcohol related illness studies work on the basis of Moderate/”Safe”/ acceptable drinking habits consisting of no more than four standard drinks in any one day (more than four in one day is considered a “binge”) or no more than 14 standard drinks per week. An alcohol intake above these levels is considered excessive and is associated with increased risk of alcohol related illness.

Excess alcohol can affect many different parts of the body.  In particular, the heart, liver, pancreas and brain.  Alcohol shrinks individual brain cells and shrinks overall size of brain causing poor memory, slower learning, poor coordination, mood changes, and tremors.  Your immune system is also compromised for 24 hours after a binge drinking session, making a person susceptible to viral and bacterial infections.

Binge drinking also increase your risk of cancer (especially in association with smoking) as well as a 40-50% increase risk of stroke.

Alcohol can also contribute to obesity.

1 Standard drink = 10 grams of alcohol
7 Kcal per gram of alcohol = 70 Kcal/ standard drink

So your half a dozen beers at the pub equates to significant portion of your daily calories if you are on a serious weight reduction diet.  Also when drinking to excess there is a tendency to make poor food choices.


Keeping Up With Jonesy offers up a record of Dan’s quest from his personal perspective as well as shares the perspective of the man behind his mission – Andrew Gerrans. Andrew, Simon Gerrans’ younger brother, is the team osteopath and a self-described fitness nut with a nutrition background, and he has been charged with overseeing this project.

We know many of you have your own personal health-related projects. Whatever your mission is, we want to support you. We’re offering up weekly prizes, tips and tricks, a fun team and a cause to rally around in your effort to achieve goals of your own. In the process of encouraging health and wellness, we’re also raising money for one of our favourite charities: Bravehearts, Inc.

Join our fundraising team or donate to your favourite fundraisers. Every dollar raised goes directly to Bravehearts, Inc. The non-profit is Australia’s only children’s charity holistically dedicated to the issue of child sexual assault. They offer comprehensive counselling and education for children and young people plus parental support for non-offending family members along with advocacy for adult survivors. Bravehearts also invests in extensive training and research developing strategies better able to combat the complex issues associated with child sexual assault.




Belinda Giles