Named Sydney Uni Sports & Aquatic Centre Member of the Month for October, Peter Bouzianis has worked consistently to improve his physical fitness which he says has had a hugely positive effect on his general health and wellbeing. Susannah Walmsley sat down with Peter to discuss his fitness journey at SUSF.

What inspired you to join the gym?

I’d had enough: I made the tough but long overdue decision to start making necessary changes that would help improve my general wellbeing and outlook on life. Weight had crept up on me to the point I found it easier to park the problem and not deal with it. This exacerbated the situation, not just physically but mentally.

When everyday things started hindering my daily life, I knew I had to make changes and face hard truths. I came to the realisation that it was imperative to look after myself in order to continue to look after others.

In December 2016, I visited my local GP for a full health check and had a chat about how to get started on a fitness program. He referred me to see an exercise physiologist at Sydney Uni.

Is there anyone in particular who has helped you on your fitness journey at SUSF?

I was welcomed by Carmel who professionally put me at ease, and soon tailored me an exercise program, consisting of a mix of cardio and resistance training but not too much to overwhelm me. During the first few months I met with Carmel regularly. She was always encouraging and patient, and with my ongoing progress, adjusted my exercise program as needed. This was particularly helpful and made me comfortable with the gym environment enough to become a member in early 2017.

Have you had to face any obstacles when reaching your goals?

Mainly aches and pains which are easily managed through continual training and stretches learnt from staff at the gym.

What drives you to stay motivated?

The results! I’m 45 kilos lighter, healthier, fitter and stronger, both mentally and physically. I see how proud my son is as a result of my achievements which make me feel like a better role model.

I’ve managed to maintain my goal weight this past year by being a regular at the gym and now have the tools to help maintain my weight and fitness without looking back.

Have you found that leading a more active lifestyle has improved your life in other ways?

Being active has improved my outlook on life immensely. I now embrace opportunities, experiences and have that get up and go attitude. This benefits not just myself but those that surround me in my day to day life as I am able to enjoy activities and be more active in their lives.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at the gym?

I enjoy being a family man and engaging with my son’s interests, sporting activities and events. Cooking is another passion of mine because I love to eat (don’t we all). I enjoy cooking for family and friends and am constantly exploring different cuisines of the world and experimenting with spices and ingredients.