Keeping Up With Jonesy: Building a Support System

Fri 21 Mar 2014

Dan Jones, the mastermind behind your favorite cycling videos including Backstage Pass, the #OGERocks music videos and My Piece of the World, has embarked upon a personal challenge to get healthy. Three weeks into the program and Dan has not only lost weight but he is feeling healthier and more energetic.  These weekly posts are Dan’s attempt to share his journey with you. This week Dan faces his first hurdle, maintaining his new lifestyle whilst on the road at Tirreno Adriatico.

3 - Unnamed 


Leaving Andy for two weeks on the road was a bit like saying goodbye to Dad before heading off to school camp. It had been a pretty highly monitored program in Girona but now I’m at the races it’s time to step up to the plate and keep the program going on my own.

We asked Whitey a couple of weeks back to help kick me into shape during Tirreno and Milan San Remo. Over the last couple of years we have enjoyed a few sporadic training sessions but from this point on, we are doing something every day. We also knew how hard it would be to keep on track with the diet.  I mean, Italy, are you kidding me? - it’s like the home of carbs!!

The soigneurs are now making salads for Whitey and I to eat in the car instead of the traditional carbo loaded baguettes. The salads have actually been pretty good, except for the one day Axier forgot to give us some dressing and they ended up as dry as the Sahara.

Most of the staff have been really respectful of my program. They eat their junk food in private places! Our bus driver Gary, and his brother and soigneur, Axier, have been quite the opposite! Every night for dinner they send over a dessert and stick it under my nose. Axier deliberately puts chocolate bars in Whiteys lunch pack and finally Gary put a house brick in my suitcase as I ‘needed the exercise.’ But as they say, what goes around comes around so I am planning something big this week using tobasco sauce and chilli in their food.

Till next week,

2 - Unnamed


I was keen to help out with the challenge and take the captain’s badge from Andrew. I have known Jonesy for almost 10 years now and I can remember when he was fit, only just, and keen for him to get back to his football playing weight. There is still time to join the Hawthorn Hawks rookie list!

In general the week has been a success. Every day we have been for a walk between 5 and 10km daily. We have boxed, kicked the footy, and Jonesy has done very well to watch what goes down the hatch. In fact the XXXXL Craft jacket he's got is swimming on him now. 

I have also tried to test the big fella with some desserts and the odd drop of Vino but he's holding very strong indeed. Milan San Remo weekend will be tough for him to hold off the Vino though, especially if we win!

It’s definitely harder to keep a program going on the road as they are pretty long days here, sometimes working from 7am to 10pm but the lifestyle program has to take a high priority, and we are both motivated to keep it going.


Life on the road with a professional cycling team presents a few challenges for Dan. Not only does he have almost unlimited access to a mass of high energy snacks, drinks, and hotel buffets, but the notorious early starts and late finishes can make it very hard to keep a normal routine, particularly with respect to training.   

Knowing the difficulty of eating a low carb diet in land of pizza and pasta, I hoped we could at the very least balance this out if Dan maintained his daily training sessions, even moderately increasing the intensity of his training.

To do this we recruited a good mate and Sports Director, Matt White. Whitey’s background as a professional cyclist makes him a perfect training partner for Dan. He knows the right way to motivate and push Dan but equally important, he knows not to break him. 

Having a network of people around to support you whilst changing your lifestyle for the better, particularly in the early stages, is perhaps one of most important factors in its success or failure. One study by Indiana University found that the drop-out rate after 12 months of those training with a partner was only 6%, compared to 43% of those who exercised alone.

Training with a partner is not only more social but it’s easier to add variety in the training sessions by including some boxing as Dan and Whitey have done for example, or setting little challenges for each other. Getting out of bed in the morning when it’s cold and raining outside might also be a bit less painful knowing your mate will be knocking on your door in 5 minutes to head out with you.   

On top of that, two inherently competitive personalities such as Dan and Whitey will naturally push each other that little bit harder in their training sessions, than if they were to train alone.

Another hurdle for Dan in these early weeks is learning how to deal with those around him who might be resistant to him changing his old ways. As we have seen this week with Dan it’s been a couple of the guys, in good humour, tempting him with chocolates or giving him a hard time when dessert is served up. This is a really common story from people who decide to go on a diet or embark on major lifestyle change as Dan is. It’s thought that this ‘sabotage’ often occurs when a family or friend is (consciously or subconsciously) concerned that they will lose something of the old person they are familiar and comfortable with, and attempt to keep them the way they are.

It’s important for Dan to make it clear to those around him how important it is to have everyone’s support, and that the only thing that this lifestyle will change to Dan as a person, will be his waistline.

We’re all looking forward to next week’s weigh in, but until then keep the messages of support coming via twitter to @ozDanJones and @Andrew_Gerrans, and thanks again to those who have donated to our every day hero page, Keeping up with Jonesy.


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.


Fueling a Fat Burner