Proud of his new svelte figure, he’s become more fashion conscious and recently became an ambassador of the men’s fashion brand Johnny Bigg, along with Dan Conn and George Rose.
The Carousel caught up with Gus and asked the Radio and TV presenter to describe his typical day, and take on men’s fashion, faux pas and health.
What does a day in your life look like?
The alarm goes off at 3.30am, I arrive at work about 4.45am. I go through the show with the producers and with (fellow radio hosts of the Grill) Matty and MG and get ready to go on air just before 6am. The show goes from 6-9am and then have we have an after-show meeting from 9am to 10am. After the show, I normally go to the gym or meet my wife to take the dogs for a walk and a run. After that, I head home, have lunch, go to the office do some paperwork and research for the next day. The kids come home from school between 3pm and 4pm and I organise some afternoon tea for us all. My wife and I then take the kids to various after-school activities and sport, and then we come home and have dinner. I’m always in bed between 8.30-9.00pm.
What is the best part of your day?
I would have to say when my wife and I have our three kids home safely from school and they are scoffing afternoon tea, getting dressed for their after school activities. That to me, is the best feeling. We’ve all got through our days and then I get to watch them go off and have fun with all of their after-school activities. I also love Sunday mornings after I come back from training. I bring back the papers, a coffee for me and my wife, then I cook a big breakfast for the family. I love Sunday mornings with my family too.
You recently became an ambassador for the fashion brand Johnny Bigg. Tell us more about your involvement.
For me it’s an easy fit (literally!). I was actually buying Johnny Bigg stuff off the internet before I was approached to be an ambassador. I’ve reached a stage in my career where I will only become an ambassador for brands that I really believe in. Johnny Bigg is perfect for me as it makes me feel fashionable and smart, it is a brand that has given us 110kg-plus blokes a voice. The range has smart suits for the events I do and also a comfortable casual range, for when I’m out doing things with the family. At last I’ve found a brand that gives me a bit of credibility with the kids. They’ve told me for me years that I look like I’ve been wearing a marquee and at last, I finally have a bit of street cred with the kids – and let me tell you, that is hard to get!
Describe your own fashion style
With some the events I do where I’m MCing, there is definitely an expectation to look smart. It’s actually really difficult to find suits at the right price that make you look smart. I like to wear different coloured suits so I stand out a bit a more. Johnny Bigg have a range of suit colour combinations, which makes suit shopping easy. When I’m on the radio I’m a lot more casual, but when I’m out on the weekends with my wife and kids, I’ve got a go-to range of smart-casual gear that I can wear, no matter what the occasion.
Should men pay more attention to how they dress?
It’s difficult to answer, as most of the time blokes are wearing work gear. It’s nice for blokes to have a couple of go-to outfits to wear for special occasions. Men need to be able to dress up when they need to and also have a variety of options to wear that also cater for bigger guys and make them look great too. I’m taking more of an effort to dress nicely now. With Johnny Bigg, I have a one-stop shop to go to, once a year to deck myself out. It’s important to note that most blokes don’t like to shop and that it’s simply too hard to go to multiple shops. Finally we can get all of the gear we need, in one place and dressing nicely becomes much easier!
Do you all find that bigger/taller men struggle to find clothing? Is there a gap in the market?
No doubt there has been a gap in the market for a long time. The world has been really slow on the uptake of the plus-size male, who has been left behind. For over a decade, plus-sized females have been looked after, and it was only a matter of time for the gap to be filled. It’s not just about the clothes, it’s about the whole experience behind shopping for yourself. Johnny Bigg is a brand that makes you feel comfortable about shopping. Once you’ve got your sizes right in-store, you can then go buy stuff off the internet and shopping becomes even easier again!
Do you find that a lot of men struggle with body image and is it talked about enough in media/fashion?
I definitely believe men struggle with body image, not all blokes, but I know because I’ve struggled. I’ve had my moments when I’ve reached a certain weight and nothing quite fits – you almost feel like giving up thinking that fashion is just not for me. The media don’t touch on this topic enough, women’s fashion is much more discussed than men, but men too should be proud of who they and their bodies.
Who is your male fashion icon?
I don’t have a male fashion icon, although, when I first went on the Johnny Bigg website and I saw the model, and it resonated with me that a guy that looks like a bigger guy, still looks really smart. The Johnny Bigg model was looking sharp, which gave me a lot of confidence that I could look that smart too.
Biggest fashion faux pas… and don’t be shy.
My daughter told me the other day that wearing socks with crocs is not a good a look. I was ducking out to get some milk and bread on a cool morning and thought socks with crocs was a comfortable option. My daughter has told me that cannot happen again.
Describe your take on health.
I’m much healthier now as a 48-year-old than I was when I was 40. My health philosophy has changed a lot in the last couple of years. I’ve gone from 145kg to 110kg. It still means I’m a big guy, but I’m healthier person. I’m still running marathons and triathlons, and while I’m never going to win, I’m still healthy enough to compete and participate and it keeps me on track. I still watch what I eat and drink but I’m not a slave to eating healthy. I’ve got a balance in my life. I’m about to meet up with a client and we’re going for a walk rather than sitting down in a café. I’m also putting together a team for Tough Mudder.
What does your exercise regime consist of?
I try to do between 10,000 and 15,000 steps per day and on the weekends I do 25,000 steps each day. I like to do a long run on Saturday and Sunday. After my walk/run, I do 18 minutes running with 2 minute walking intervals – I do that 3 times. After my run I do 10 x push ups and 10 x sits ups in lots of 3, every day. I keep it really simple, that way I can’t get myself into too much trouble.
Cakes! Anything in a cake shop. Pies, sausage rolls, vanilla slice, scones. If I’m having a weak moment I can’t go anywhere near a bakery. I’ve learnt to stay away (most days).