In my life prior to the craziness of the last years lockdowns I travelled a lot for work, so I generally ate out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Access to ‘healthy’ food is sometimes limited and the ease of comfort food usually became my standard. I had always been a large size from as far back as I could remember during my days at school and other than some casual activity with my daughter I was rather inactive in my day to day activities.
If you had asked me at the time I would of said I was feeling ‘fine’ and ‘healthy’ but deep down knew I wasn’t in the greatest headspace and essentially sticking my head in the sand about it all.
Starting a family with my wife was a great feeling but I had begun to notice I wasn’t giving my all to them, nor was I providing them with what they deserved from a father and husband. Instead of going to the park with my young daughter, at the end of the day I was crashing on the couch in front of the TV, and being so impressionable at that young age it hit me that I was setting a bad example for her.
When she started to mirror a few of these bad habits I realised I actually needed to fix them in myself and set a healthy example for her.
Add to that an ever increasing list of health problems, I finally acknowledged I needed to do something so that I could be around for my family instead of ending up in a grave ahead of my time.
Essentially it has taken 12months to lose the weight and I have been maintaining it now for 3 months.
The bulk of my weight loss has been due to controlling my diet.
With no travel due to Covid I was able to organise and plan my meals, being prepared day to day allowed the control of my calories and cut excess from each day instead of just eating what was convenient.
I only focused on exercise late last year getting into training in September with a great Movement Coach as a starting point and then extending that with a new challenge of CrossFit with a supportive local crew.
When I first met with Rob from Movement and Health solutions, I was very open about previous lack of will power to stay on a Gym exercise Program and didn’t want to be yelled at and flogged during the process. I never really responded well to that style of coaching.
So we worked through what I wanted to achieve by using his business.
Creeping up on 40 I really just wanted to be healthy and extend my life, I knew I was never going to be a competitive weight lifter or have a svelte beach body so he essentially asked me ‘Do I want to be able to walk downstairs and be physically self-sufficient in my 80’s and beyond’?
With that we focused on my lack of flexibility and the movements needed to get my body back on track for more rigorous exercise and greater distances in running.
Once I started doing some intense exercise with CrossFit FeelGood in Hornsby (about 3 months later) I came across a whole new world of muscles that hadn’t been worked in years. So Rob would adjust my weekly stretches and movements to allow them to engage properly. This then in turn allowed me to really work on improving my techniques.
By the books my stats have been fairly slow on the development of strength but thinking back to my first session with Rob - I didn’t want to be champion lifter, I just wanted to be able to do the exercises properly. I am certain that if I looked at my first squats and various CrossFit movements etc. compared to now, they would be vastly different. Still can’t do a lot of it but I'm getting a lot closer than ever before.
A week in workouts
With Rob he would give me some ‘homework’ to focus on via our in person sessions and also a range of movements from videos shared through messages.
I could probably label each session one giant stretching course but I would always come away with a sweat and no doubt my core had been engaged.
We often joke about getting his clients shirts that say ‘This is harder than it looks, try it’ as everything looked so unassuming on the surface when he showed me but by about the 3rd set it was burning.
And those damn Vipers, he loves Vipers. I know they are a very useful piece of equipment but so hard to hide behind. They really show up my in abilities in my movement.
Each week I had been aiming for 1 session with Rob, 3-5 CrossFit classes and 3-4 runs per week with a mix of short and sharp (3-4kms) and then longer distance (well longer for me around 6-7kms). I have not paid much attention to my pace just yet and really just trying to find my happy place for speed that will allow me to keep running and not burn out.
I don’t go to the level of counting calories and Macros as I don’t really have the patience. My choices now are just what would perceive as a healthy more sustainable option compared to strict counting of numbers.
Typically my day would consist of the following meals:
Breakfast: Chobani Greek Yoghurt with mixed berries and scoop of Brookfield Museli (this stuff is the bomb).
Mid-Morning: assorted nuts and or Banana.
Lunch: 100grams of Protein, left over veggies from previous dinner or fresh salad in wraps. Love my Tomato, Cucumber, Baby Spinach and bit of Feta with lunch or various homemade soups.
Afternoon Tea: This was always the toughest part of the day, had to fight the snacky urges. So would try for a small amount of Cheese, nuts or meat again.
Dinner: again various meats with salad or veggies.
I didn’t go for a Keto diet ( I don’t measure carbs etc.) or intentionally left out Breads and pastas etc. But they are foods that pushed my cravings in the past so I personally choose to stay away from them now.
By trying to make my new lifestyle part of my day to day routine I do forget where I have come from so I really do have to step back and acknowledge what I have achieved before I realise how much better I feel, and I'm really loving my new positive outlook and attitude.
My ultimate goal is to just portray a healthy message to my daughters and be there for them when it matters in the future as they grow up.
My goal for the race is to finish it unbroken under 70mins, however the whole idea is still so absurd compared to what I would of contemplated 18months ago that even if I have to stop 10 times and take 2 hours I'm going feel amazing crossing the finish line and having my wife and girls waiting for me at the end.
What is my next goal? I really don’t know but it’s exciting to think that one day I might attempt a half marathon one day, if I have a moment of craziness and sign up for one.
It’s a comment that gets thrown around a lot but it is so true and one that you don’t appreciate until you have done it. ‘I just wish I had started sooner’.
So all I can say is get out there and just take the first step. Make it a little one ,and then another little one after that and then before you know it you have come further than you could of imagined.