Eight weeks ago he clocked the scales at 126kg, more than 20 kilos heavier than what he weighed at the height of his AFL career, and people had started to notice.
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Weight loss company Jenny Craig got in touch, offering Fevola an endorsement opportunity.
“It was something I obviously needed. My manager sent me an email with a laughing emoji saying ‘I think you might need this’,” Fevola, 36, told news.com.au.
Brendan Fevola is Jenny Craig’s new ambassador.Source:Supplied
He’s pictured two months ago at 126kg.Source:Supplied
Brendan Fevola after losing 14kg over the past two months.Source:Supplied
Jenny Craig has a long history of paying celebrities hundreds of thousands of dollars to lose weight and later be publicised as the brand’s success story.
Rebel Wilson, Magda Szubanski and Mel B have all fronted Jenny Craig campaigns in Australia. Mariah Carey and actor Kirsty Alley have done the same in the US.
Fevola, who currently hosts breakfast radio in Melbourne, started the program eight weeks ago and has lost 14kg.
He does not exercise, but eats the pre-prepared meals offered on the program and chooses healthy menu options when eating out.
“It’s just diet. I’ve done no exercise, because I had surgery on my achilles and was on crutches for the last two months,” Fevola said.
“I lost 14kg just literally by eating the right food. I got hungry for the first couple of days but there’s plenty of food to eat.
“Even when I go out for dinner, I used to always have a steak with the sauces and eat all the chips. But lately I’ve been having grilled salmon and making healthy choices, instead of getting a massive bowl of pasta.”
Fevola pictured in 2000 when he played for Carlton.Source:News Limited
Pictured in 2009 during his footy career. Picture: Jackson FlindellSource:News Limited
Fevola wants to lose another 9kg to achieve his goal weight of 103kg. The challenge then will be keeping the kilos off, something he’s struggled to do in the past.
“I went into the jungle on of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here [Fevola went on to win the show in 2016] at 122kg and I lost 10kg, just through diet.
“It was too hot to exercise and we just ate rice and beans. I felt amazing, but I was pretty keen to get stuck into some other food though.
“This time I’ll be pretty keen to keep it off. I’m getting old and my three daughters are very active.
“I used to be light when I played footy. When I was ripped I was 105kg. I could eat whatever I wanted because I was training so much.
“I’m sick of being 125kg. Sometimes I just can’t get off the couch, because I have no energy. “But now I’ve been saying to [my wife] Alex, ‘I’ve never felt like this’. I have more energy. I cleaned the house yesterday and she was like ‘What’s happened here?’ She was so shocked. and I just said I have more energy.”
Pictured in 2016 after he won I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! and lost 10.2kg in the jungle. Picture: Dylan RobinsonSource:News Corp Australia
In 2011, Magda Szubanski was famously dropped by Jenny Craig after she regained the 36 kilos she initially lost while on the program, citing “calorie amnesia” as the reason for her weight gain.
Brendan and Alex Fevola at Crown in August this year.Source:Supplied
Brendan Fevola with his girls, Mia (17), Lulu (7) and Leni (10). Picture: Jay TownSource:News Corp Australia
Fevola is aware that he needs to keep losing weight to keep his endorsement deal.
“You can’t really go outsaying ‘I’m going to lose weight’ but then go on the radio and say ‘Oh hey, I’m getting fatter’. It’s not great for the brand,” he said.
“But I look at people like the other [Jenny Craig] ambassador Mel B and she’s kept it off. She looks amazing.”
He will begin exercising again over the next few weeks.
“I can’t wait to start to get active and hopefully it just falls off me,” he said.
“Footy training has started again. I have to start going but I haven’t played footy in ages. I’m actually looking forward to starting.”
He says the most rewarding part about his 14kg weight loss is being able to fit into his old clothes again.
“I had a Carlton function to go to the other night and I put on a suit that I wore around Spring Racing Carnival [in October and November] and it was massive. It was too big, even with a belt.
“So I tried on a suit I hadn’t worn for about four years and it fit perfectly. I strutted out like a supermodel, I was so happy. It just makes you feel better, like ‘Yes, I’m back’.
FORMER AFL star Brendan Fevola is the first to admit he has spent the years since retiring from footy “getting very large”.
This content was originally published here.