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Goal-setters... Discussing lifestyle changes are (from left) Gore and Districts Weight Watchers Group coach Claire Wards, Constable Dwight Grieve and fellow coach Louise Heslip. PHOTO: MARGARET PHILLIPS

A man who dropped from more than 90kg to about 70kg and has been chosen for the New Zealand team to compete at the World Mountain Running Championships in Andorra in September has urged people to set goals.

Police Constable Dwight Grieve, of Te Anau, spoke at the Gore and Districts Weight Watchers meeting on Tuesday of his incredible life-changing journey.

He was “cruising” along in life, married with two children, and was overweight and unfit. But he turned 30 and began to turn his life around.

He started gaining weight as a child when he had an injury and physical activity was restricted.

As a young adult, he would buy a box of beer and a pile of fast food on a Friday night, which would last him the weekend.

He regularly ate two pies during the course of his work day.

Then he decided he might like to join the police – he knew he would have to work on his fitness, and there the journey began. He lost 16kg during his initial weight-loss period.

Although not a member of Weight Watchers, he used the organisation’s point system to improve his eating.

Before, his knowledge of nutrition was limited.

“I didn’t understand what I was eating,” Const Grieve said.

He was accepted by the police and continued running, maintaining his healthy eating programme.

The Gore Half Marathon and the Hokonui Moonshine Trail were among the first runs he competed in.

From there his scope widened and he has competed in events such as the Kepler Challenge, and completed 185km in 24 hours in the Sri Chinmoy New Zealand 24-hour race in Auckland.

“That’s the toughest thing I’ve been through in my life,” he said.

Positivity was one the most important ingredients in achieving goals, he said.

A complete change in mindset had helped him do that.

The first big change he made was to start running three times a week.

“I ditched the biscuits and read the backs of packets.”

He checked food wrappers for ingredients such as added sugars.

His favourite meal now was wild venison and salad.

“These small differences make the biggest difference.”

He now trained seven days a week and would run more than 100km in a week, he said.

Eating little and often was a good habit, but he still had occasional treats.

Planning meals was a necessary component of eating healthily.

As well as competing, and working in the police, he also appears in the TVNZ programme Highway Cops

“The programme is really cool.”

He encouraged people to make their goals a reality.

“You can do anything you want to.”