Exercise, sleep and self-care may have transformed Osher Günsberg’s life, but it is the fierce love and dedication he has for his family that brings him the greatest joy.
There was a time when Osher Günsberg’s drug of choice would have been vastly different to what he admits it is now: sleep.
The television presenter is not only juggling a challenging work schedule, which includes hosting gigs for a slew of Network TEN reality shows, like The Masked Singer and The Bachelor. But he is also on a steep learning curve as he grasps the fundamentals of parenting his nearly one-year-old son. “Anyone who has kids knows that your days of sleeping until you’re ready to wake up are gone. That’s the deal,” Günsberg tells Body+Soul with a laugh. “You will be changing nappies. You will not be getting enough sleep. You need to relish it and be happy for it.”
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Happiness is an emotion the 46-year old has readily embraced in recent years.
He has never shied away from speaking on the pitfalls of his past – various drugs, copious amounts of alcohol, unhealthy eating, denial of his mental health issues – but all that is now firmly tucked away as Günsberg talks about how he has transformed his life.
“I watch my input of what I look at, read and listen to, and also the people I spend time with. I have to be so careful with that. I know I’m an addict. I’m an alcoholic. I don’t have addictive things in my house. I haven’t owned a gaming console since 2008, because I know that I’ll lose myself in one of those games,” he says. “For my mental health, prioritising sleep is the most important thing. It resets our brains and heals our bodies. The next one is exercise.
That’s what I make sure I do – I sleep and I train so that when I do lie in bed, I feel that sense of ‘Oh, finally.’”
The presenter, who adheres to a vegan and coeliac diet, is as careful of what he puts into his mouth as what he puts into his brain. “I’m careful I don’t eat crap – lean and green. I drink coffee and water, that’s it. I don’t drink alcohol anymore.”
And while Günsberg admits there is a certain pressure to maintain a standard of body type for his job, he knows he is nowhere as “ripped” as he was when he underwent a body transformation for Men’s Health magazine two years ago.
“To maintain that level of body-fat percentage, my goodness me… that was hard to do. I enjoy eating too much,” he laughs. “There’s no way I’m getting my shirt off on Instagram. But I’ve got more muscle now because I lift a lot more weights and I lift differently. I enjoy the feeling of being stronger, of having a little more mass on my legs and arms. I enjoy riding my bike. I’m not really training at all for any kind of aesthetic – I do it to make sure my head works right.”
That, and to ensure he fits his on-set wardrobe. “I have to wear different suits for different shows and I get these suits tailored for me. And when you get your suits tailored, they’re stitch perfect. Your suit will tell you if you’ve put on a kilo.”
Most of all, Günsberg credits his life transformation and happiness to his wife Audrey Griffen, stepdaughter Georgia, 16, and son Wolfgang. “When Georgia came into my life, it was no longer about me. It became all about how I can feed, clothe, protect and educate this young woman,” he says. “I can still be a selfish a*hole, don’t get me wrong, but the focus isn’t about what can I get for myself. That has doubled down now that Wolfie’s shown up.”
As for his wife, Günsberg can’t stop gushing. “When I first met Audrey I didn’t know what to do with the level of kindness coming my way. Now I feel a lot more comfortable with feeling deserved and worthy of the love she shows me.”
Griffen agrees that her husband has become more accepting of himself. “If I had to pick one word to describe Osher as a husband and father, it would be ‘committed’,” she says. “He’s committed to being the best father, stepfather and husband that he possibly can be.”
This time in lockdown has reaffirmed the lesson Günsberg has long since learnt about his family. “The best thing ever isn’t a new toy or thing that Instagram is saying I should buy, or a holiday to someplace where I can stand and get the same photo that everyone else has,” he says. “It’s right here. It’s in my house. And it’s amazing.”
The Masked Singer returns August 10 at 7.30pm and The Bachelor returns August 12 at 7.30pm on Network 10.
Osher Günsberg’s top-three pieces of advice he has learnt over the years…
1. You get out what you put in
It’s simple physics: eat garbage, your body’s going to feel like garbage. Eat great, you’re going to feel great. If you spend all day deep diving into YouTube vortexes on conspiracy theories, you’re going to be jumping at spiders and terrified of the world. Be careful of what you put into your mouth, your eyeballs, your heart; you’re going to reflect that back out.
2. Stay flexible
In your body, mind, attitudes and behaviours. We can become trapped by habits of thinking and action. Try not to be too rigid in behaviours that do not serve your health and your family.
3. Shift mood states with exercise
You don’t have to become a CrossFit champion. Do enough that when you get into bed at the end of the day you go, “Ah, man, that feels good.” For some people that can be a walk around the block, and that’s fine. It’s not only good for you, it’s good for the people you love and live with, too.