(This post was originally due to come out a couple of weeks ago, I just couldn't align my thoughts until now. Enjoy!)
I came to a realisation the other night. I am the funniest and most awesome blogger that you have ever read! Just kidding… That is not the realisation that I came to, that would just be arrogant… :-)
Although I have explained that I lost a lot of weight, very few people actually know the full story and a simple blog post won't cover it all. I have given a brief overview in my YouTube transformation video <click here> but I will be getting a better, more detailed and amusing story out to you soon.
A lot of people who get to know me think that I have only just lost a lot of weight once in my life, there have actually been multiple phases. Once when I was in primary school. I became really skinny due to a kidney infection as a child then after that became really fat at primary school.
I got thinner towards the end of primary school, then I got bigger throughout high school and even bigger when I moved to the UK in 2005. After spending a year treading water I realised that I was not going to get to America for golf without some serious work on my fitness and looks. I started getting fitter, then I started to suffer with quite bad anxiety about food choices. I started really restricting myself and becoming overly obsessive about food and exercise.
Below is what a typical day would be for me when I was at my thinnest - 69 kg (10 stone 8 lbs)
6-7km run in the morning
Bowl of fruit for breakfast
Work - tea and coffee
1 slice of rye bread and cheese for lunch with a handful of grapes
More tea and coffee
Golf in the evening after work
Main balanced meal for dinner
Some people struggle to remember what they had from breakfast, let alone what the average day looked like in terms of food and exercise in 2006. I remember vividly because I was so focused on restricting myself as much as I could, in fear of gaining weight. Here are some pictures of my process.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom and calorie restriction; once a week I would have ice cream or dessert after a main meal. Sometimes I would eat a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough. Sometimes I would have a bowl of porridge in the morning instead of the fruit. The point is I got into such a routine with it that I even talked myself into the thinking that my body still had fat to burn off. The reality of the situation was that my body was holding onto what little body fat it had left and I was eating away at my muscles. Check out the picture below of where I got to.
Just do me a favour and forget about the facial hair.
So what is my point? Well the first point is to give a bit of context to my story as a whole, there is always more to everyone's story and life than meets the eye. The second thing is that I was chasing an aesthetic, what I thought was an ideal body, all I was really doing was blindly following my own advice. Sometimes you need to take a step back from things and look at the big picture.
I see a lot of people in a simliar mental boat to where I was back then; whether they are big, small, short or tall they seem to be chasing an ideal goal, an ideal physique or short term solution. I have learned a lot in my short stint on this earth, having to deal with my own body image issues; as far as I can see there is never going to be the perfect body.
We are all going to have some kind of psychological obstacle to overcome at some point in life. The question is, can we overcome said obstacle through loving ourselves?
Finding balance within an exercise regime and healthy relationship with what nutrients I put in my body was the best thing that I ever did for myself. It taught me that there are a lot of physical things that I can control and there are some that I can't. The trick is to enjoy being healthy and use that happiness in yourself to drive you over any obstacles that come your way.
Don't go out there looking for the magic pill for weight-loss or the latest fad to get you the body of a cover model, go out there and be the best possible you that you can be!
I hope that serves you with some motivation this fine Monday morning, I hope it reminds you to find balance and love yourself for who you are. Have a great week ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving.
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.