Before... A little podgy round the waist perhaps? ...After... Trimmed and ready for the loincloth. *Photos by Kageaki Smith
Before... A little podgy round the waist perhaps? ...After... Trimmed and ready for the loincloth. *Photos by Kageaki Smith
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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23: After three and a half gruelling months of intense training, the Bermuda Sun’s Gary Skelton feels ready to take to the stage wearing just a loincloth for his upcoming acting role as Jesus Christ.

He shares the highs and lows of his preparation for the opening of Jesus Christ Superstar at City Hall on October 6.


It is finished!... well almost.

I honestly had myself penned as one of those guys who would say “I really should go to the gym this year” every January 1st then I reach 60 and never have actually done it.

To all those who are cut from the same mould as me, I have to tell you that if you can find the motivation from somewhere, the value gained from getting your body fit is priceless.

To recap, I am playing the title role in Jesus Christ Superstar, opening at City Hall on October 6th. In preparation for my time in a loincloth, I have spent the last few months training at the Olympic Club under the excellent instruction of Scott Stallard and Don Peden. You can read the previous articles charting my journey here on bermudasun.bm (Month 1; Month 2; Month 3), as well as Sarah Lagan’s interview with Stephen Notman (who plays Judas) and myself regarding our roles in the record-breaking rock-opera.

With the opening night a few weeks away, am I ready to stand in front of crowds of theatre-goers baring almost everything?

Actually, yes! That’s my opinion, anyway — you can judge for yourselves.

Embarrassing as before-and-after photos may be, I can’t help feeling a sense of achievement. Although I did not ‘weigh-in’ at the beginning of training, I know that I was over 200lb before last Christmas. I am now 172lb (12 Stone, 3 pounds). I have not been under 13 stone for at least ten years. In terms of clothes size, I have dropped from a slightly tight 38 waist to a comfortable 34.

In addition to the loss of body fat, I have certainly developed some muscle and am lifting 30 to 50 per cent more than I was three months ago.

These figures, however, hide some of the real day-to-day benefits of my exercise regime. Many of the twinges and creaks I obtained in my 30s have lessened or disappeared. The combination of increased cardio and muscle fitness means that dodgy knees and a tender lower back now hardly present themselves and I also have much more energy (a wonderful bonus when chasing and lifting my 18-month-old son).

So, for those of you who sponsored my efforts, take a look at the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ photos.

If you are now a believer that I can physically represent The Saviour on stage, feel free to donate  to a good cause by e-mailing: gskelton@bermudasun.bm. All proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda.

Fit for life?

But what of my KFC-loving compadres who long to lose their love handles? If I am honest, I am not content to stop the training even if I do feel ready to be stripped on the stage. That little ring of podge around the lower waist is still present, even if mightily reduced. And I cannot overstate the benefit of a personal trainer to both encourage and direct your regime. Don Peden’s advice has been simply fantastic for me.

‘But what’s my motivation?’ you ask. It’s true that the prospect of virtual nakedness is a huge kick up the backside when it comes to getting oneself in shape.

I am therefore considering forming the Men’s Underpants Association; a group of blokes who will march through Hamilton once-a-month in nothing but a pair of tighty-whities. How’s that for impetus?