Dan Barker / Transformation

Dan Barker's amazing MAX'S Challenge transformation

  • Before
  • After



189 cm


Get Lean & Ripped - Beginner

Reason to start The Challenge

Reason for joining is a very simple one, to stay alive and see my kids grow up. Sounds dramatic but its the truth. I am obese and in desperate need to drop 65 kgs, I have done this challenge, or sorry joined this challenge probably 8 times and never completed it. I need to change my life and this is the first step, Im going to use the next 12 weeks to drop a bulk of this weight. I want to finish the challenge this time and give it my all, I need to show the kids what I am made of. At the moment I am a big disappointment and I feel so low, I cant even get out and play with the kids and now even walking for 15 mins is hard. This is going to hurt and I'm looking forward to it. Currently I'm broken and needs to be mentally strong to get over this hurdle.

So my goal is to finish, lose 50 kgs and get in the top 10. I want to be the first obese person to make the top 10.

What did you like most about The Challenge?

The MAX community, they are awesome people. They helped me so much along with my awesome coach Helen. I have friends for life even when this transformation is complete and I go into maintaining. I also enjoyed the mental and physical challenges I faced, at the time I was fighting it but I learnt how to focus and get over any hurdles. Getting my mental strength back after a long time off is awesome, I feel I can now attack anything in life. Im back.

What was the hardest thing about your Challenge?

Changing my bad habits I had formed, getting up at 6am every day and walking was extremely difficult in the first half of the challenge. Now I can sleep past 6am even if I want a little sleep in on a rest day. Being the size I am nearly everything was difficult at the start, even doing 3000 steps. But we battled through it and pushed hard, on the last day of the challenge I did 20,000 steps and really enjoyed it.

What impact has The Challenge had on your life?

This one is very simple for me "It allowed me to continue living and see my kids grow up". Nothing more to say.

What would you say to people who are thinking of doing The Challenge?

DO IT, it will change your life. I certainly changed mine for the positive. Im obese and I got through it with 30 kgs lost, if I can do that anyone can do it. No excuses, look yourself in the mirror and just get it done. You will feel so good about yourself at the end. I have already planned for the Sept challenge, Im so excited.

Anything else you would like to tell us about your Challenge?

I still have a long way to go but this was a very solid start. We had alot of hurdles to start with, me battling with every aspect even to just get me moving. I had surgery on a bad toe, tore a hamstring and I wanted to quit on so many occasions. But I didnt want to let myself down, my family or people helping me. I had started this challenge 5 times and never got past the 4th week. That wasn't an option this time. I was a heart-attack waiting to happen and this challenge has basically kept me alive, dramatic yes but its the truth. I am now playing basketball with my son, you should see his face when the big boy does a lay up :-). Still not pretty but Ill get there. I am now going on long walks along the beach with my daughter, she holds my hand cause she said she wants everyone to know Im her Daddy, I had a small tear when she said that. And Im taking the load off my wife and getting off the couch and contributing. I cant stress enough I had my battle throughout the 12 weeks but Helen and I came through the other side. This is now my life, Im not stopping here. Thanks to all for the support, you all got me through this. Lots more to come from me.


  • Dan Barker
    5 Aug 2018
    2:00 PM


    Final Day and the results are in - 30.4 kgs lost and 53.5 cms lost from my body. Clothes all to big now and had to go shopping.

  • Dan Barker
    8 Jun 2018
    5:21 PM

    Hard at it in the gym and shopping after it. What a change since my last post, been the the gym every morning at 6am and now Im loving it. I am feeling awesome right now.

  • Dan Barker
    5 Jun 2018
    5:14 PM

    Day 23: Had a good hard think last night after seeing my Before pic and my end of week 3 pic side by side and I couldn't notice a massive difference. I know 15 kgs will come off my legs before Ill even notice it from anywhere else but I was still disappointed. The question I kept asking myself was did I give it 100%? did I do everything I possibly could have, did I follow the plan perfectly, train how I should have. The answer was a massive NO. I did OK and stopped drinking and ate clean considering what I had been doing 3 weeks earlier. But I need to do more, I figured it out the end of week 3. Which is good because its not to late and I can now up the ante. Im now much more focused and going to smash this. I have changed my mindset again for the better. I keep learning through this experience, when I think Im doing OK I can be doing better. And Im sure Ill learn even more in the next phases. I feel better getting this out. Thanks to all reading and liking these updates. I get excited when I see it. 1st pic - Torn hamstring. But no more excuses this morning I did weights and bike without much issues. It hurt but thats ok. 2nd Pic - Gym this morning - dark outside at 6am. 3rd pic - awesome dinner

  • Dan Barker
    4 Jun 2018
    1:42 PM

    Day 22: Iced leg and rested all weekend and straight to the physio this morning to see the damage to the hammy. Second picture to prove it :-) , anyway its a tear as I thought. So more ice and rest and they bandaged it all up for support. I did ask what I can do in regards to training and upper body weights, I can do this which I was stoked about. So being careful I should be ok, Im not going to be off doing 10km walks in the next few weeks but at least I can so upper body and light cardio work on the bike. The only thing restricting me is the pain, I cannot damage it anymore, I can handle the pain so i was stoked. Had fish n salad for dinner and 3rd pic is my snack for morning tea. Im going to have a MASSIVE week. I try not to talk it up but Im gunning for a 5 kgs loss this week to get me to 15 kgs for the 4 week mark. Not all about the scales I know (Adam Gee) hehe. I have started to notice my jeans falling down and shirts fitting better. I put on my "fat suit" this morning and I could do the jacket buttons up without feat of taking out someones eye :-). Anyone who has weight on will understand what I mean when I talk about my "Fat clothes" in fact I saw someone mention it on the forum today and I had a chuckle. So all good, I feel awesome.

  • Dan Barker
    3 Jun 2018
    9:15 AM


    Day 21: Weighed in this morning and was happy but disappointed at the same time, I wanted to hit 173.7 kgs which would have been a 10kg loss in 3 weeks. I was 200 gms off. 10 kgs in 3 weeks is pretty good but I was hoping for more if Im being honest. I had planned about 15 kgs. But I think this is my whole problem, I set myself stupid and unrealistic goals and when I dont hit them I get disillusioned by it all and quit. If I look at it 10 kgs in 3 weeks, if I keep on track with this over 12 weeks this is 40 kgs. Thats massive. I could lose that in 12 weeks Id be stoked. So Im actually over the moon right now. And if I assess for first quarter of the challenge I have been good in regards t nutrition but my training has been close to non existent due to injury. So I did 10 kgs 95% based on what I ate and drank. Unfortunately yesterday I was rushing and had a massive stack on some wet tiles, I hot the ground hard and looks like strained/torn my hamstring. I can only just walk and its unstable. So I spent yesterday in bed icing all day. So Im pretty shattered. This Wednesday I was getting my stitches out of my toe and was looking forward to getting back into full training. So just another setback another hurdle but I dont care. Im not stopping, I wont quit. I would usually started drinking last night and hated the world and say its not my time. But this time I did the right thing, now I just need to watch my nutrition even more and Im booked into the physio for tomorrow. Anyway been a good week and cant believe Im still going. Its like Im addicted. I bounce out of bed at 6am and want to start the day. Im loving this feeling. Anyway Ill stop dribbling on. PUMPED. Pic is of my awesome breaky this morning. And thanks to all my followers, since MAX's shared my story I have had much love and support and its you that are keeping me going.

  • Dan Barker
    31 May 2018
    7:52 PM

    Day 18: Woke up at usual time 6am and was meant to go to the gym, 100% honest I was tired and went back to sleep until after 8am. I must have needed it but I was pretty down and shattered I let myself down. I ate perfect all day again, but in the afternoon I really had the urge to have a drink tonight. I battled it for ages and finally came out on top. So was very proud of myself, in the past I would still be drinking now and this whole challenge would have been over. But I stuck strong, went for a ride to clear the cobwebs. Pic is of both my main meals today and the other is of my kids. Besides myself this is the reason Im doing this. I love them dearly and want to see them grow up. Having my green tea again now watching the footy, and have alarm set for 6am to head to the gym.

  • Dan Barker
    29 May 2018
    8:03 PM

    Day 16: Some of my meals for the day and I had 4 litres of water as well. Wife reminded me that I cant have diary so the yogurt wasn't the best option. Small things to keep in mind so lesson learned. Didn't train today as I wanted to rest my toe but I did do some stretching and some resistance with bands. But was up at 6am again after a terrible sleep and felt good all day, Im just feeling so good right now. In two weeks I cant believe my whole attitude is turning around. Im loving getting out of bed, I wake up in the middle of the night and get upset when its 2am cause I want to get up and weigh in. Not getting hungry and no headaches, getting bit hungry at about 9pm or so but smash down my night time shake and all good. And last night MAX's shared my story on Instagram and I was humbled by the reaction and the fact people cared and encouraged me so much. I cant quit now as Ill have the whole MAX army coming for me :-). This is really pumping me up and makes keep pushing. Thanks to all it really means alot to me.

  • Dan Barker
    28 May 2018
    7:17 PM


    Day 15: Weighed in this morning for the start of week 3 and was pretty happy with a weekly loss of 3.7 kgs and total of 8.5 kgs for the challenge. My goal was 10 kgs so I have some to make up this week. But as the coaches say its not all about the scales, I lost a total of 15 cms around my body with the measurements added up. That's half a ruler as Helen said :-). So I had to get a pic. Had my toe surgery today which will kept me off my feet today but if it feels ok tomorrow Im going to go to the gym after hours (not staffed and I can wear thongs and nobody will catch me) and also do some boxing during the day. This wont slow down my progress and of course my nutrition needs to be spot on as it was today. Funny story when I was in recovery the nurse put down a lovely turkey and cranberry sandwich. I said it looks great but I cant have that, and she said why did the Dr tell you that. And I just replied that "no my MAX's challenge doesnt allow me to have white bread" She laughed and went and got wholemeal bread, it was cool cause Im not even meant to have that but I couldnt leave until I ate, I felt guilty and thats a good mindset. Bring on week 3

  • Dan Barker
    27 May 2018
    6:19 PM

    Day 13/14: What a great weekend off the grog again, I feel great right now. But trust me it wasnt easy, on Saturday I had planned months ago to meet a mate at the local rugby and have a few beers. The day was awesome, sun out and just a fantastic day. I was torn, I was going to go and do it and made all the excuses under the sun. " I haven't seen this guy for so long", "Ill let him down", "Ill train harder tomorrow and eat perfectly". Anyway I got over it, I just drank water and went for a walk on my massively stuffed toe. It took some mental strength, called my mate and told him whats going on and he was really supportive. Anyway ended up going to a 40th later that night and it was my wifes cousin. I told her Id drive, she said its the first time in 15 years I have driven her home and not drunk. So as you can see I packed my goodies and snacked on my celery and carrots and sipped on water. Yes I was copping it from everyone but I didnt care. I even made my own MAX's spicy stir fry and took that, as people were smashing Red Rooster chicken pieces with chips I heated mine up. And I love Red Rooster. So in all the weekend was a great success and I felt better this morning. Im just a bit disappointed with my training still, I could be doing more. Yes Im injured but I can be doing more so something for next week. No excuses. Nutrition been good and happy with it. Bring on week 3. Cant believe Im still here, usually pulled the pin by now. This time I am different. Still early days and sure my mind will wander but I have the support with me this time.

  • Dan Barker
    25 May 2018
    7:31 PM

    Day 12: Another Friday night with green tea and I feel awesome tonight, I nearly had the perfect day. Woke up at 6am, was at the gym going weights by 09:00 with 15 mins cardio. Took son to footy training this afternoon and walked around the oval for 45 mins for another 4500 steps. So didnt quite reach the 10,000 steps but hit 6283. I was hurting walking, legs were cramping, have ingrown toe nail Im getting surgery on next Monday but I kept pushing on. Put my tunes on and off I went. I also followed the nutrition 100% today. So I did say I was going to get organised and it is so much easier. Wow. Now I just need to do it all again tomorrow. Pic is me in my new MAX's shirt that I got, 3XL and as you can see very tight :-). And thats good because at the 12 week mark Ill be wearing that shirt out to the shops and it wont look silly on me. Today it was like a tight wet suit and my belly even came out the bottom. Yuk. So all good feeling really really satisfied and happy tonight.

  • Dan Barker
    24 May 2018
    8:16 PM

    Day 11: On a week off before I start my new job and it felt awesome to be able to breath. Just have so much going on with wrapping up work and Im starting my own company which is pretty stressful. No excuses at all I needed to get so much more organised. So today i rested and just sat here documenting everything. Got my calendar setup on when stuffs due and wrote a to do list for tomorrow. I must do everything on the last and the time it says it, break down into smaller parts. I know when to wake, when to go to the gym, what to do there, when to have shake, breaky and all my meals. They are all in the fridge ready to go. So thats the plan tomorrow and Im actually really excited about it. First goal is to be up at 6am and in the gym doing weights/cardio for 45 mins. Then shake and take kids to school. So there it is, otherwise been eating well but need to sort my training out. I give myslef 5/10 for that, but its cliche' I know I will start tomorrow. Weights and 10,000 steps is the goal and I cant sleep tomorrow night until I tick that box. In fact I have to get a pic of the 10,000 steps and email it to Helen my awesome coach. So she will keep me in line fi I dont do it. So the pic is of a MAX's beef stir fry recipe (YUM) and I love my night time shake. The last pic is my nutrition plan on the fridge so I know what the hell Im doing but more importantly I have 2 pictures of when my wife and I were slim and fit. This is when we first met, she to has put on weight and doing this with me. So we both use that to pump us up and get back to that. My 7 year old daughter only knows me as fat, so when she saw the pic she laughed and didnt know who it was. Had a tear in my eye and now I picture her when I dont want to get out of bed.

  • Dan Barker
    22 May 2018
    6:14 PM

    Day 9: Stayed in Sydney and went for a walk as you can see in the second pic. Wasnt able to weigh in this morning as they didn't have scales that went to my weight. But as you can see I opened up the cupboard and look what was there, wow. I would usually have had a few beers and smashed alot of that food. But I just smiled and said no thanks so I was pretty proud of myself. And then today I went out to lunch for work and there was pizza and pasta and beers/wine for my farewell. I would usually have led the party all day and indulged but I ordered a lentil soup. Should have seen everyone's faces and they encouraged me as they want me to get fit. The soup came with the beautiful white bread whcih was all crusty and heated int he oven with heaps of butter. My mouth watered and I gave it to my mate as I sipped on water. I have turned a corner but need to keep trucking. I am still at work now and feel like going home and relaxing and seeing the kids as I was away.But Im going to go to the gym and work out. Then Ill see more of my kids when I stay alive. Sounds drastic but its true and I know that. And I just want to comment on how bloody good to max protein bars taste, it feels like Im cheating the system but Helen assures me Im safe :-). Good day Im pumped.

  • Dan Barker
    21 May 2018
    6:18 PM


    Day 8: Was in two mins when I weighed in this morning, happy that in total I have lost over 5 kgs but could have done better. I was pretty unorganised when I look back at the week and I was duly reminded :-). And I lost 5kgs just on good nutrition alone as I didnt train much. So thats what Im going to fix this week, train every day and follow max food plan 100%. But Im still here and not tempted by alcohol yet which is massive for me. Im usually ok going into week 2 but I tend to start to let my mind wander a little. But right now Im razor sharp and still committed 100%. Im really excited for this week, Im going to go hard. I need to get down off 170kgs mark now, thats my next mini goal.

  • Dan Barker
    19 May 2018
    4:20 PM


    Day 6: OK here is my pic I promised. Truth be told I haven't done any cardio for over 3 years. The last time I trained was when I basically trained myself into the ground with another gym challenge I did. I was so hell bent on training I over trained and when the challenge was completed I didnt get on a machine oor lift weights again. Every time I thought about it I felt sick. So goes to show I was being silly and it was realistic. So all the weight came on plus another 40 kgs. So this time Im doing it as a lifestyle change, no quick fixes. I want to do this for the rest of my life. So today I jumped on my bike (poor tyres) :-) and rode for 5 kms. Not much at all but got the heart rate up and the blood flowing though my legs. And I felt awesome, very proud. Then I came up and smashed a MAX shake and have my steak n salad for lunch. Green tea again and very tired.

  • Dan Barker
    17 May 2018
    8:47 PM


    Day 4: Up thins morning bright and early and weighed in, was so happy to break the 180 kgs barrier. Small steps but this was one I wanted week 1. Today my nutrition was again spot on and actually enjoying it. Had a MAX's cookie n cream cookie on my way home from work and that was awesome. Ate it slow and enjoyed it immensely, felt like I was being bad but it was def a max cookie. Lost just over 4kgs and stoked, massive amount more to go but Ill do it. Now for the not so good: I said to myself at the start of this challenge I would train every day. I have so much weight to lose, even if its a 10 min walk or even stretching my tight body for 15 mins counts as doing something. But Im day 4 in and I haven't besides 2 small ones. So I am a bit disappointed in myself. Usually this would kill me and potentially quit. But Im focused and excited and I will not quit. I have my goals and I will hit them. But I will make a promise to anyone reading this. I will do a 15 min bike ride tomorrow. No excuses and Ill get a pic.

  • Dan Barker
    15 May 2018
    7:17 PM


    Day 2: Feeling good. Last night I got hungry after dinner at approx 9pm and I went to the fridge. I was going to have some more protein but that would have put me over the top so I slowly drank water, had a green tea which fixed me. I went to be feeling content and excited about the next day. Woke up this morning pumped, went to the gym and did weights. Went to work and resigned (long story) and usually I would "have to have a drink to celebrate". But I thought it through and I didn't even struggle this time around. It was a no brainer, easy on day 2 while everything is shiny and new the real test will be around the corner. But thats when Ill use the tools the trainers and MAX site are giving me. So in all Id give this day a 9/10. Having a green tea now and pumped for 5am tomorrow to get up and weigh in. I know Im not meant to weigh in every day but it keeps me going so Ill continue to do it and post it most days.

  • Dan Barker
    13 May 2018
    9:26 AM


    Bloody hurts to put these up but again Im at the point I just dont care as this weight will be coming off this year. My plan is to use the next two challenges to get to my goal weight as I have over 70 kgs to lose and then enter again at my goal weight and rip it up. I can just imagine the before pics (these) and the after. Keeps me motivated. I was good all week and ate well and started some training and lost a bit of weight, last night did have a few drinks as a last hurrah because I plan to stay of it for 12 weeks. And some bacon n eggs this morning, but instead of having a massive plate for 3 I exercised portion control and drank cold water. So I am getting there. Bring on tomorrow morning, 05:00 is set for the next 12 weeks and off to the gym I go in the cold. Good luck to all.

  • Dan Barker
    9 May 2018
    8:07 PM


    Day 3: Started out as a usual day and had a phone call with some fantastic news and a wonderful opportunity. So now I have a spring in my step even more, I have attached this pic as this was me about 5 years ago. I was at approx 118 kgs. I wont reach it this challenge but my overall goal and walk around weight should be between 108-112 kgs. Seems heavy but keep in mind I was 105 kgs when I was 16 with body fat at 10% playing footy. Anyway has been a great day and looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks.

  • Dan Barker
    8 May 2018
    7:19 PM


    Makes me sick to post these but its all a part of the process, I just cant wait to look back at these in 12.5 weeks and smile. Be proud of the weight I have taken off. As I have said I'm a broken man right now and not a very good role model for my kids. I'm going to show them that hard work and some mental strength pays off. I'm so excited.

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