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Lego Master Bilsy Advocates for Bariatric Surgery


Lego Master Bilsy Advocates for Bariatric Surgery

Felicity Cohen: Hello, I’m Felicity Cohen. I’m so excited to introduce you to my Wellness Warriors Podcast. For over 20 years, I’ve been a passionate advocate for helping thousands of Australians find solutions to treating obesity and health related complications through surgical intervention and holistic managed care.

My podcast is dedicated to all the people past, present, and future who has helped shape my journey and continue to inspire me to work consistently to achieve a healthier Australia in both adults and future generations. I hope you enjoy it.

Hello. My name is Felicity Cohen. I’m the CEO of WeightLoss Solutions Australia.

Welcome to my Wellness Warriors Podcast. On the podcast series, it’s going to be my absolute pleasure to introduce you to patients who’ve touched my life over the course of my career, spanning over 20 years. Some of the patients I’m going to introduce you to, may have had surgery close to 20 years ago, and some of them more recently in the last couple of years or so.

Each of them has stories to tell that it’s so empowering and different and varied, but I know they’re going to resonate with those of you who are struggling also with being overweight. Whether it be just a little bit of weight, excessively overweight or morbidly obese. Also on the series of podcasts, I would love to introduce you to medical professionals, surgeons, and others connected to the wellness story.

So please stay with me. Today, I would like to introduce you to Adam Bilsbrough, commonly known as Bilsy. His story is phenomenal.

His story in life has been absolutely so fascinating to watch. Many of you might know, of Bilsy as a Lego Master. He recently appeared on the television series, Lego Masters, and he’s an absolute champion, but a champion in so many areas of his life.

And probably one of the things that was letting him down the most was his weight. Holding him back from really achieving many of his life goals, watching him going through this weight loss journey and facing those troubles, dealing with them moving forward and achieving so much more as he’s gone through the last couple of years has just been empowering, exceptional and beautiful to watch.

He’s welcomed a beautiful daughter, who’s now one year of age. Which is just fabulous. And I know he’s got more energy than ever before to be able to deal with a growing family and the demands that we all know what that looks like as parents and as individuals managing work life balance.

Please make Adam welcome.

Adam Bilsy: Hey, I am Bilsy. You may remember me, or have seen me from the very famous, world famous TV show, Lego Masters. I’m now two years post op and I’ve lost 65 kilos in total and hopefully still coming down.

For me in the last two years, it has been crazy and mind blowing and unbelievable. Obviously when I first got the surgery, you know, I started losing weight, started feeling better and all that kind of, you know, the general weight lost stuff was happening and I was very happy with it. And then all of a sudden, I don’t know if it was because I’ve lost the weight or I feel better about myself or, you know, maybe people might look at me different, so many doors have opened up for me since then.

I’ve been, obviously I’ve been on the Lego Masters TV show. Now obviously I’m very, I’m obsessed with Lego. We can say that safely. But, you know, I, would’ve never tried to go for any sort of competition or anything before.

I have a newborn baby or she’s four to five months old now as well. I’ve bought a house. We’re geting married. It’s just, it’s a big roller coaster, but it’s only getting better and better.

I think the weight loss has significantly contributed to the way my life and lifestyle is because as I’ve lost weight and started to feel better about myself, I start to get more confident. I had confidence, you know, but before I had, but I didn’t have this level of confidence, or this level of risk taking.

I guess, before I had, you know, the weight loss stuff and the more weight I lose and obviously, you know, you start to feel better about yourself. I start to do things that I didn’t even think I could do before. And then it makes me always think, okay, what can I do next? How can I push myself even further?

And when I get to a point and I think, you know, I’ve got the best I can be, you know, I’ve come to this level. And then all of a sudden, no, I push that boundary again. So it’s worked hand in hand with me pushing myself and you know, even with weight loss, I lose more weight again.

I start feeling better. I do something different with athletics or, you know, in exercise and being active. And it’s like, I didn’t think I could do that. Like last time we talked, we were doing the electric skateboard stuff. Now I’m riding bikes, 5, 6, 7km further than I thought I would, you know what I mean?

It’s actually finding a new door, the next door and, and finding what’s next.

So Lego Masters was filmed last year. It was on air TV this year. We started in October and I went for two and a half months. So from October all the way almost until Christmas. And, it was six and seven days, sometimes of straight filming from morning to night.

And I’ve got to cut back to the weight loss things if I was, you know, before surgery, big, overweight, there’s no way I would have been able to stand up and build Lego or, you know, go backwards and forwards to the build table. Or stay awake that long or, you know, be half active and all that’s only building Lego because it’s such long days of filming and day in, day out, day in, day out, didn’t stop.

You know, I felt that, it did help a lot in the weight loss side of things. That and I guess, you know, I’ve got no big gut in front of me that’s knocking Lego over on the table. Being on Lego Masters, you know, you get noticed as a person as well. And I wanted to make notice and put it out there from day one that, you know, I actually had weight loss surgery. That’s part of my backstory, you know, get to know me more.

And I’ve had plenty of magazine features, I’ve been on different podcasts. And I’m more than happy to come out and talk about the weight loss side of things. And even if people have found me through Lego Masters, and then now, you know, they might need weight loss surgery, or they want to know more about it, I want to use that, to my strength.

I want to get the name and the word out there. For other people that, you know, they can contact me and we can talk about the weight loss surgery, the ups, the downs and all that kind of thing. So in a way, you know, yeah, Legos’ helped, Lego’s awesome. But I feel that it’s even better for me that now it’s going to help me get a bigger reach, to a bigger audience, you know, for the weight loss.

I made it in to some magazines, and one of the, I guess, one of Australia’s biggest magazines, I made it onto TV week. You know, whether it’s a good thing or a funny thing, or, you know, “Oh my God man!”, I’ve made on the front cover of a magazine for TV week for the weight loss. And they wrote a feature about my weight loss and stuff like that.

So for me, first off, it was crazy that, you know, I’m on TV for Lego masters, but mainstream media want to talk to me about weight loss and the best thing about that is, and reaching it out there, that they weren’t afraid. And they wanted me to talk about the actual weight loss surgery. And as you know, it’s been a very taboo subject or a bit, you know, you can’t talk about weight loss surgery, you know, people look down on you and stuff like that.

But from day one, I’ve always wanted to be the one to put myself out there to, you know, get people to recognize and realize it’s not you know, as bad as you think. It’s not as black and white as you think. It’s not a cheap or an easy way out.

So to have the mainstream media contact me, sit down and have a chat about, you know, weight loss surgery, and how it’s affected me and from here on it was, it’s a good eye opener and it’s a start. You know what I mean?

Like give it a few years ago, this would have been buried. I wouldn’t even had a magazine interview let alone, not for Lego Masters for the weight loss stuff. So for me, I think this is an amazing step in the right direction.

So yeah, when we did last chat and I told you that I was very happy with radio, happy sitting in my little studio behind the box, behind the mic, you know, using my voice as me. I was, I was very happy doing that. But now once, you know, my whole lifestyle has changed, and the way I think about myself has changed. Where whether it be I’ve lost weight because my ego is getting bigger or I feel better about myself, whatever you want to call it, it’s I want to be on stage in front of cameras now.

I was on TV for the, you know, the Lego Master’s show. And one thing, if anyone’s like, you know, is there anything you regret or you miss, or you wish you’d done more?

I wish I was on TV more. I wish more people see me on TV, you know what I mean? So taking from there, it’s kind of given me the bug where it’s like, “Okay, I want to work on TV now”.

I want to be, I would love to be a children’s TV show presenter. I think that’s what, yeah, I think out of all the TV options you could have, I think that would be one of my favorite gigs that I’d aim for next.

My life now, getting noticed as a celebrity, it’s funny. Because I’ve been on radio for 10 years. So a lot of people know my voice, but it’s not like I walk around saying, “Hey, what’s up, my name’s Bilsy, how you going?”.

You know what I mean? But now walking around because people know what I look like and they’re picking up my visual features. Just today, I’ll be walking in a shopping center, you know, there’ll be kids and moms say, “Hey, that’s Bilsy from Lego Masters. Can we go say hello? Can we get a photo and stuff?”.

And I’m more than happy to stop and take photos, but I like it. I mean, I’m not gonna lie. You know, it’s with open arms. It’s a good feeling too, to walk around and people notice me, but not be ashamed of what I look like at the same time.

There’s a lot of. limitations, you know, when you’re so fat. Bottom line is, you know, you just, you’re extremely obese, life puts, you pause. What can you do? Other than sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. So for me, I tried to push myself to go out and experiencing how, you know, fun days and theme parks and stuff.

And one thing out of a lot of the, I guess negatives of being overweight was I couldn’t go on fun rides. You know, you go to a theme park and you’d see everyone having fun. I went to Japan with my partner and Disneyland and Universal, and went to all the big ones, but I could never go on in any rides.

Because the safety catches couldn’t fit. You know, it’s not safe. You’re not going to be allowed on. So literally one month ago, me and a couple of friends went to Japan and we did Disneyland, we did Universal. We went to a Legoland. We went to a rollercoaster theme park and we rode everything.

It was the best. And it was like, you know, I didn’t even have to worry about checking the seats. Its just go line up, get on the ride, go line up, get on the ride. And then it’s like, I’m lining up again. We’re going again. We’re going again. So now it’s catch up time. It’s you know what a theme park haven’t I done? What one can I go to next, you know?

And it was a good feeling and it got to the point where it’s like, you know, yeah cool. I get, you know, rollercoasters are scary for people, you know, the adrenaline rush and it’s like, “I need more now I can fit in!”.

What’s next, you know, what’s the next weight limit thing. And it just becomes addictive, I guess. And now, lucky I live on the Gold Coast, I’ve got three theme parks just down the road, which I haven’t gone to yet. So they are the next on the list.

So one thing that did definitely come up when, you know, when a lot of people talk to me first about weight, and, you know, heaps of people I can relate, is obviously, I was that big guy you don’t want to sit next to on a flight, you know.

My sides rolled over your handle or, you know, my legs are that wide that they’re touching your legs, you know? And I was that guy. “Oh my God, I don’t want to sit next to him.”.

And it made me feel bad. Cause you know, you don’t want to upset, you know, someone else that might be going on their holiday of their lifetime. But for the first couple of hours on the flight, they were like, yeah, “Ahhh”, you know what I mean?

Now, to me, economy feels like business. It’s like there’s, this is leg room, you know, what’s this leg room and, you know. I’m comfortable, I can fit and sit, and it’s just, it’s funny because I was so big mid body, you know, big butt, big legs. You know, you kind of, you pushed in and you, the seat kind is right here, you know?

The seats didn’t move. The seats didn’t change, but I changed. I got thinner. So for me, it’s kind of like, okay, I’m sitting back now. There’s more, the drop table never used to be able to come down. I never used to be able to have the table tray. That was always, nah. You know, you’ve got to kind of eat like this, so to speak. Now I can drop it down and bring it forward.

From day one, pretty much of my journey because I was, I wanted to be so open about it and transparent. I started a YouTube and a Instagram channel called The Losers Bench. So you can follow me on The Losers Bench AU.

And I wanted to document and vlog every step, every milestone as it went through. One for me to look back and realise how far I’ve come, because when you lose weight, you know, you could tell you’re losing weight, but you don’t realize the weight you’ve lost or even your journey from how much you’ve covered until you know where you’re at.

But you go back and I want to look and see different milestones that I was at. And one thing with my vlogs because they’re getting shared quite well. I’ve had a lot of people approach me saying, “Oh, I love this video about, you know, you showed us how to eat this, this and this”, or “I love this video about exercising differently compared to, you know, someone who’s very fit”, or in general, just lifestyle stuff.

And it’s really good because I’ve had a lot of people, and most of them have either one out of two questions. One is always, they want to be part of the video or, you know, “Can you help me? Cause I want to document my own journey”, or two, is that, you know, there’s a few major questions where people are like, you know, “How do you feel after surgery?”.

But more people that haven’t had the surgery yet that are looking to jump into it. And I’d love to help them and tell them and guide them, you know, the ups and downs. But overall, I tend to get people to watch most of my videos. So I’ve covered a lot of subjects in my videos. So yeah, almost every question is answered, but it’s still a really good, that people come to me saying that they either got inspiration or “You’re the reason, I was thinking about it for the last three or four years. But after watching your videos, I’ve decided, yep, let’s do it.”.

And I’ve almost lost count of how many people that, you know, I mean, not helped, but hopefully, enticed or encouraged because I was so scared about getting the surgery, you know, I want it to be living proof of, you know, “Yes, you can.”.

Well see one crazy thing, this kind of puts everything in massive perspective and kind of joins it all together. I’m actually getting married in New York, so it ticks off the flight. It ticks off, traveling. It’ll tick off the suit. So, and it’ll tick off the photos, you know.

I know, give myself a big head, I know I’m going to look good in my wedding photos. If not, we’ve got Photoshop.

I found that the number one problem with a lot of people, they’re scared to have surgery. They’re scared of dying on the surgery table. They’re scared of the complications afterwards. If you asked me now, honestly, out of all the things directly related to the surgery, what would I regret?

Nothing at all. Nothing at all. Yeah, you know, you’re in bed for two or three days. What’s two or three days for the rest of your life. But there’s not one thing that I regret and I actually wish I got it done earlier. And anybody that asks, “You know, I’ve been thinking about it, you know, should I get it?”. Totally.

I want to back everyone a hundred percent. And this is where it comes back to my videos or to having chats or to meeting people in the street, you know. I’m here, I’m an open book, whatever question you have, hit me up with it. Ask me, you know, cause some people are like, you know, so another question is their family look down on them.

About, you know, my family don’t like me getting surgery. They think I’m cheating as the easy way out. It’s not, it’s not a miracle, you know. You’re not gonna become an athlete in a year’s time and lose weight. You still have to work on your food. You still have to work on your exercise, but your family might be a bit angry at first or your partner might be angry at first, but in 12 months, two years time, you know, you’re there, you’re healthier.

You’re not laying in bed dying. You’re doing things together more often. So sometimes you kind of got to bite your bottom lip and just be like, you know, just do it.

Just yes. Get in there, do it, get it done. You might upset a few people at first, nah you know, that could be a hiccup, but it’s well worth the pay off in the end.

I’ve seen people that their partners, like “If you get the surgery, I’m leaving”, you know. First off should they be a partner really? But a family, you know, you can’t, you can’t pick and choose your family. And I know a lot of families get upset with some people that are like, you know, “Don’t get the surgery, you’re cheating, you know, we don’t want to go under the knife or this, this, and this can happen.”.

But you find a lot of them, people are very old school as well you know, with the older surgeries that don’t really work very well anymore. Or just, all a lot of people remember are bad stories, you know what I mean? I can give you 100 success stories for every one bad story, but it’s just the way people think. You know, there’s a lot of bad stories, and that’s what they stick to.

But at the end of the day, you’re doing this for no one else, but yourself. You know, you block out all the bad thoughts, block out everything because there really is no downsides to it. You know, you’re changing your life for a, 100% better life. Even if you don’t, it was as much weight as I did.

Even if you lose more than I did, you know, there’s, take the weight out of it. You’ve lost the chance of you might have diabetes getting into it. So I’m, you know, I’m 35. If I stayed fat, I guarantee I would have had type two diabetes by now. No doubt about it, you know?

Take the social side of things. When was the last time you went to the cinemas and felt comfortable? The last time you took a flight and didn’t upset the person next to you? You know what I mean? So you can go from a medical point of view, a social point of view, wearing your clothes point of view. And like I said, I don’t even know what doors, I never knew last year, that Lego Masters was going to open the door for me. You know what I mean? And now national TV, what can open for you?

People don’t, you don’t realize what’s in front of you until you do it. So, you know, get it done and then just sit back even, and watch your life change. There’s not one person I haven’t met that hasn’t changed their life drastically. Not to plan. You know what I mean?

No one had the weightloss surgery and think I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to become a pilot and instructor and I’m going to go and do all these amazing, crazy things. You know, you lose the weight and you let the good stuff happen.

One big statement I want to put out there is yes, you can get the surgery. Yes, you can go into the future blind.

Because everything that happens from that weight loss is amazing. So, you know, yes, you can look forward to what you don’t know. Yes, you can do it cause you’re doing it for yourself. Don’t worry about outside influences. Don’t worry about friends and family. Worry about friends and family, but know at the end of the day that yes, you can get this done on your own accord, on your own merit because you know, it’s going to be better for you.

You want to be a Lego Master? No, you can’t.

Felicity Cohen: Thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today, Adam, and thank you to our listeners for joining us also. I really think some of the most fascinating parts of Adam’s story, that weight loss has been a key for him to being able to be exposed on a national television program and gaining the notoriety that’s gone with that.

Had he not lost the weight, I don’t believe that Adam would ever have had the self confidence to even approach something like Lego Masters. So to see this as an incredible achievement in life post weight loss has been absolutely fantastic. It’s been a pleasure for me to introduce Adam to you today. If you’ve enjoyed the podcast, please subscribe to Wellness Warriors and share with all your friends.

Thank you for joining the Wellness Warriors Podcast. It’s been a pleasure to have you online with us. If you enjoyed the series, please leave your review, subscribe and follow, and we look forward to sharing many more stories with you in the future.

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