How An Aussie School Teacher Lost Nearly 20kg In Nine Months

How this Aussie school teacher lost nearly 20kg in nine months

Not long ago, Sydney high school teacher Dean Glanville was “the least confident I had ever been in my body." Now, he’s shed 17.8 per cent of his body fat and feels better than ever. He tells Men’s Health how he did it.

MOST STORIES ABOUT weight loss transformations are bookended by calls to action, claiming that, with the requisite amount of grit, determination and resolve, anyone can achieve their lofty aspirations. These optimistic assertions are typically preceded by a story about someone who either quit their job to focus on their health full-time, went to the gym every day of the week for a year, or lived off an almond a day for sustenance to achieve their desired physique.

Sure, these stories can be inspiring, but how can the average person ever hope to replicate them? Thankfully, not every weight loss transformation follows the same format. Some, like that of Dean Glanville, prove that anyone can conquer their fitness goals in a more manageable structure. Let there be no confusion though, Glanville’s transformation required no less dedication and discipline.

A decision to change

Like many who decide to undergo wholesale physical transformations, Glanville, a 34-year-old high school teacher from Sydney, can trace his realisation that he needed to make a change to a single moment. “I was holidaying with my partner in Brazil and I was not confident to take off my top at a beach party, and I realised that this was the least confident I had ever been in my body,” Glanville says. “I knew something had to change.”

While that was Glanville’s turning point, he wasn’t oblivious to his problems beforehand. “I was low energy and mood, and my self-confidence was low in different areas of my life, including my work,” he says. “I was a binge eater for many years, and would emotionally eat; when I was happy, sad or stressed, food would be an outlet for me to process how I was feeling.”

Glanville had been a personal trainer in his early 20s and figured weights and resistance training would give him his best chance of reaching his goals. He sought out Sydney’s Ultimate Performance gym as his base of operations, but was initially hesitant to seek expert guidance. “I think [my background as a personal trainer] caused some resistance in hiring a trainer for myself,” Glanville says. Eventually, he did find a trainer, who overhauled his entire regime.


Dean Glanville

The plan

Glanville, with the support of his trainer Liz, began working out four days per week. “Two with my trainer and two independent workouts,” he says. “I was doing mostly resistance training with some cardio here and there, usually in short bursts at the end of a weights session.”

Every gym-goer has an Achilles heel. For Glanville, it was dumbbell lunges. “I definitely found dumbbell lunges the most challenging at first—I was really struggling to do 6 reps on each leg with very low weight.” Glanville soon overcame all of his challenges, and while committing to regular training was an important step, learning correct form and striving to get better each and every week is what kept Glanville motivated. “I found learning the correct form for a deadlift was incredibly beneficial,” he says. “It was really motivating to learn the correct form and build upon this every week.”

Glanville’s diet was also in need of a rework. Previously a frequent binge eater, Glanville began counting his calories and measuring his macro-nutrient intake. “I was surprised when counting my macros by how much food I could actually eat in a day, and I found the food more satiating and felt fuller for longer,” he says.

Additionally, Glanville learnt that it’s important not to get hung up on cheat days and lapses from his diet. “I really learned what to do to plan for and recover from events where I might be drinking, or eating high carb/high fat foods,” Glanville says. “I also learned that slip-ups will happen. Before working with Liz I would definitely throw the baby out with the bath water, and if I had a slip-up, I would then resign to it and let it continue. Liz showed me that you can shake it off and pick yourself right back up again.”

Ultimately, Glanville credits much of his success to the unwavering support of his Ultimate Performance trainer, who helped him through every step of his journey. “Liz was the defining factor, having that regular accountability was invaluable,” he says.


Dean Glanville

The results

All in all, Glanville managed to lose 18.3kg in less than nine months—a monumental accomplishment. But for all the life-changing differences to his physical state, Glanville has also noticed marked changes to his mental state. “My overall confidence and self-esteem has improved greatly, and my energy levels are so much higher than before.”

Of course, Glanville also looked and felt supremely better, and his physical turnaround didn’t go unnoticed. “My friends and family were shocked when I saw them for my last visit,” he said. What’s more, Glanville isn’t done yet. He’s now switched his focus from losing weight to gaining muscle and is aiming to add 5kg of brawn to his frame.

For those hoping to replicate Glanville’s transformation, he has some words of advice. “I really believe in the investment of getting a trainer for the first year of the journey—the lessons that you learn are invaluable, and it helps you jump hurdles that you couldn’t have alone,” he says. Don’t outsource all of your motivation though, as Glanville recommends, “Find ways to be your own mind coach with a clear goal in mind, to help you through times of plateau and low motivation. You learn a lot about what you can achieve mentally, and often, all that’s standing in your way is yourself!”

Now we’ve reached the conclusion, the part where we inevitably proclaim that “you can do it too!” Except, this time it’s actually true. Glanville didn’t need to go to unhealthy extremes and uproot his life to get in shape. He did it with a firm commitment to his goals and by finding the right guidance. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same.


Dean Glanville



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By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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