Sometimes , its important to put things in perspective. Its important, because if we don’t create landmarks for ourselves, who will? We cant rely on others to do these things for us, so taking ownership of our own progress.
A year ago I weighed 78 kgs, and was leading the life of your typical and sedentary office worker in Japan. Moving to Jersey in the English channel for ten months presented me with the opportunity to take a clear break from the last two years of concrete jungle lifestyle and excess, with little or no regular exercise, too much fatty and fast food, and an overwhelming listlessness for the way my life was heading.
I had pains in my body during the night especially in my organs, I slept badly most of the time and had no energy to do anything except sit around the house and watch tv in a near constant state of depression and worry.
Everything was out of control- my work, my relationship, and most importantly, my ability to take care of myself.
Suddenly, I was transported to the island refuge of Jersey, and with that change I made a commitment with myself that I would deal with all the stresses that were controlling my life and start to take charge of myself again.
I started with body weight resistance exercises, daily bike rides in and from St Helier ( about 20-30 kms a day) and running along the beach. I wont lie to you and tell you it was easy. I felt old and out of touch with what was happening in my body, and everything that I did just seemed to cause pain.
I started off light, not making too much pressure on myself, and started to observe how I functioned on a daily basis, and how exercise and my state of mind fit around that. I lived for the first few months with an absolutely outstanding family that just drew me in to the center of their life, and this was also one of the reasons that I made progress so rapidly.
I was eating at regular times of the day and eating well, so much fresh produce that I remembered what having so much fresh food in your diet can do. I got a lot of help from my friends: support, guidance, materials to read, things to listen to.
No man is an island- never forget that.
I read a lot- discovered Pavel Tsatsouline’s work on body weight resistance training and discovered the kettlebell, which I fell in love with immediately. I had lots of time for long walks along the beach and bike rides across Jersey’s beautiful countryside, and time to just be with myself and take of one by one the layers of stress that had been controlling my life.
There was a lot of soul searching, and a lot of problems in my life that I realised were my own creation, and would only change through my attitude and actions.
I took things into my own hands, and haven’t stopped since. I initially dropped twelve kilograms over 4/5 months, but now am in a muscle gain period and have stabilised myself at 150 lbs/ 65 kgs of lean muscle.
Coming back to Japan a couple of months ago, some of my friends were worried that all the gains that I have made personally getting my life together would be lost once again. I wont say that it has been easy- it hasn’t, and in this current economic climate, it looks as if daily life is going to be tough for the time being.
But as for me and my state of mind, I am a lot healthier, a lot more present with the ups and downs of every day living, and a lot more thankful at the opportunities I have each day.
I now weight 68 kgs, 12% bodyfat and getting leaner every day. 10% is my goal- and hey, everyone needs goals right?
Our struggle defines us.