Bold ‘Strip the Mayor’ bid for Ballarat health

POWER WALK: Des Hudson with support crew in wife Anne, daughters Molly and Emily, Leeanne Wilson, David Westaway. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

POWER WALK: Des Hudson with support crew in wife Anne, daughters Molly and Emily, Leeanne Wilson, David Westaway. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

UNABASHED Ballarat mayor Des Hudson is publicly putting his new health regime – and his weigh-ins – up for public consumption.

This is a resolution Cr Hudson will honestly document daily via his social media channels, partly so his constituents would hold him accountable but primarily to champion this city’s health with his own unfolding story under the working title ‘Strip the Mayor’.

He started New Year’s Day and hit a set-back with his first weigh-in. Old bathroom scales indicated called 94 kilograms. A new digital set (and a second borrowed digital set) put Cr Hudson’s start point at 99kg.

Not a setback, he said, just a bigger challenge.

“A few in the team (at town hall) said it was a big move actually telling people my weight but I guess, if you’re one foot in then you might as well get both feet in there doing this,” Cr Hudson said. “For me, it’s about trying to be a bit more active and hopefully inspire people. So too often it’s easy to get busy.

“This is about being disciplined enough to make sure I have at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day.”

The idea was sparked when taking up mayoral duties and speaking with former Ballarat mayor Craig Fletcher on how quickly you could fall into the trap of tempting indulgences with constant civic duties through the day, almost every day.

Cr Hudson said given the fact he was a larger stature taking on the job, he wanted to set good habits. Rather than focus on weight-loss, Cr Hudson wants to centre his campaign on healthy lifestyle.

Unsure where the journey might lead him, Cr Hudson is considering offers to share professional nutrition and health advice and new exercise methods in his blogging. For now, Cr Hudson has started simple with daily walks about Lake Wendouree with his wife Anne while his daughters Emily, aged 12, and Molly, 7, rode their bikes alongside.

Cr Hudson hoped to also get back into Muay Tai boxing and some pool work at Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre, more powering along with a kick-board than swimming.

“It’s been really pleasing since I’ve put it out there, the positive feedback I’ve got from people following me and from the health industry,” Cr Hudson said. “I want to be held accountable and I aim to go all the way through the year. This is not all about diet. It’s about enjoying all things in life in moderation and planning to be there for family in the long-term.”

Cr Hudson’s pitfalls: milk (he slurps up about six litres a week) and soft, fresh bread.

Follow Cr Hudson’s journey with his daily updates on Twitter @BallaratMayor and #FitMayor2016 or on Facebook page Mayor of Ballarat.