It’s the kind of situation when you say to yourself “but if only I started sooner I’d be x by now”. As I looked at myself in the mirror those were the kind of thoughts that once consumed my mind. That was back in January of this year – a blowout in the months leading up to the New year meant that I was now a stone heavier than I was six months previous and all of it was my own doing.
To be fair I wasn’t excessively overweight by any means anyway. But my belly was beginning to grow out from my waist and clothes that once fit comfortably where starting to feel a little tight. For the first time that I can remember I was beginning to feel uncomfortable in my appearance and that was spilling over and negatively impacting others areas of my life.
Having turned 27 in November of 2016 it wasn’t the end of the world by a long shot. Time is in my side – I get that. However, finding myself in that situation was still far from ideal and I knew that some changes needed to be made so in perhaps in 3 years time at the ripe old age of 30 I can look back and say “I’m happy I started sooner!”
Having envisioned my future self as an unhealthy, overweight, inactive human being was a bit of a shock if I’m honest. I love being outdoors having fun, hiking hills and spending time with family and friend’s. Being unable to experience life like that due to poor mobility, unhappy etc. was a disturbing prospect and something that wasn’t far off should I continue making the same silly choices while expecting everything to be fine.
Things were not going to be fine, the days of late teens/early twenties extremities, heavy drinking minus the hangovers, binge eating rubbish food and staying up all night had now run it’s course (athough some of this had been diluted over the years and became less extreme). The body was beginning to respond with signs that this way of living cannot continue without dire consequences to my health. Something clicked and that vision really hit home and provided a glimspe of what life could be like continuing down that path. There had been attempts in the past to get “fit & healthy” usually due to external forces such as holidays abroad or weddings. Events like these are planned way ahead of time allowing a time frame to be set and a target to be achieved which (for me) usually conclude in a blow out and falling completely off the wagon for weeks if not months on end. This time it was different. The feeling for change came from the inside. Not only was there a need for change but a desire to “want” to change. Not for holidays or weddings or … instead for me, to feel, move and look better. No more half-arsed attempts. This time is real, now more important then ever before. At this age there’s still a good chance to write some wrongs, get my shit together and become a better version of myself.
Accepting the long road
Fully accepting that change doesn’t happen overnight was like a revelation when it occurred. The journey ahead was going to be a long one. No quick fixes!! I didn’t want to change overnight either. I want to see progress overtime. Slowly the results will show and in that I will also have the time to make amendments when needed.
Most importantly I wanted to enjoy the process and of course learn from it too. No doubt there will be setbacks but that’s the challenge I want. There is no rush. Time is on my side, for now anyway. I say that because I’m not interested in just becoming “shredded” that will hopefully come as a result of being a fitter and healthier person. First and foremost health, be it physical or mental is my primary goal. Physical in reference to mobility and functionality of the body. Mentally – simply being happy. Looks and appearance: although they are secondary I’m not completely writing them off either 😉
January 2017 – all of this excitement of change is very encouraging and the initial reaction is to jump headfirst and balls deep into it changing everything overnight. Which is all well said and done until it starts to become undone 3 weeks when the excitement wears off and reality starts to begin.
Having been through this before I knew it was coming so the plan was to pace myself and not get to ahead of to quickly. Small changes and small wins will become big changes and big wins overtime. Consistency is key, not perfection. Sounds corny?! Recently I read in a book that eventually your thoughts become your actions and your actions become your habits. No doubt that remembering these phrases or others like it have been a source of motivation towards staying on the right track.
Having not done any physical activity/training in the previous 3-4+ months it was going to be a struggle to get going again. Establishing a routine around eating, sleeping, hydration and training alone can sometimes feel like a part-time job. What’s more is a fulltime unpaid internship and part-time minimum wage job had now began peeking over the horizon. I was already feeling overwheled. Adding all of this on top was throwing fuel on the fire. The next 15 weeks from January – April would be a challenge. The hardest thing for me to do now was actually get my head down and in the game. First things first make a plan of action.
To be continued in part 2. How I intended to plan my meals and the food that I eat. Training splits and finding a personal trainer.