(Note: this is the first in a three part series that I’ll post over the next couple of weeks!)
Those of you that have trained with me in the last couple of years know me as I am today – easygoing, energetic, fit, healthy – but not so long ago I was very different.
Many, many years ago I apprenticed as a carpenter, and that was my career for more than 15 years.
Like many young men I thought I was pretty much indestructible, so I didn’t worry too much about looking after myself on building sites. Oh, I always followed all the basic health & safety requirements (I wasn’t that silly!), but otherwise I didn’t bother. When it came to things like pushing, pulling and lifting, just getting the job done came first.
Good health & nutrition weren’t exactly high on my agenda in those days either. Along with some of the other tradies on the building site I often ate fast food for lunch, washed down with fizzy drinks.
I drank regularly after work.
I didn’t take my sleep very seriously.
I did go to the gym, but inconsistently, and I thought I’d get the best results and make up for all the sessions I missed if I just trained harder when I did go. Which meant that usually I over-trained and did myself more harm than good.
By the time I got to my early 30s, these bad choices were starting to catch up with me.
I had a bad back from repetitive physical work and bad knees after a knee reconstruction. I was overweight and constantly exhausted. I didn’t have the energy to spend quality time with my family.
My bad choices were affecting my quality of life.
Not only that, it was impacting my family as well.
Around that time, someone in my immediate family was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. That’s not the type of diabetes that you’re born with, it’s the type that is caused by lifestyle factors. It’s a very, very serious disease – common complications include blindness, limb amputation and heart disease.
An estimated 1.5m people in Australia have Type 2 diabetes – more than 1 in 20 – and it’s the fastest growing chronic condition in the country. Every day, 280 more people develop diabetes – that’s about one every five minutes!
I realised, and I was told by those close to me, that if I didn’t change my path then I was headed in exactly the same direction. The longer I kept going as I was, the more likely that some day, I would be one of 280 people to develop diabetes on that day. That would almost certainly mean a shorter lifespan and a lower quality of life.
That was not something I wanted for myself or my family.
I want to grow old together with my wife. I want to see my kids grow up and maybe have children of their own. If they do, I want to be a healthy, active, fun grandad, not a chronically ill one or, even worse, one who isn’t there at all.
So it was then and there that I vowed to make some changes in my life.
What decisions I made, and what happened as a result, will be covered in the next post. 🙂
As you can see from my background, I’m not a lifelong gym junkie or superhuman athlete.
I’m an ordinary bloke who found myself in a position that many of us face – not as healthy as I should be, because of the bad decisions I kept making – but who decided to change my path rather than accept the long term consequences of those poor lifestyle decisions.
If I can do it, so can you!
Don’t accept a future of poor health and chronic illness. Take control of your life, make healthy choices and live your life to its fullest for as long as you can.
You might think it will be difficult, and that might be true. It might be tough. BUT believe me, it will be worth it.
And you don’t have to do it by yourself.
I’ve spent the last 10 years learning as much as I can about health, fitness, nutrition and lifestyle, so that I can help you find a holistic approach to building a future full of health and happiness.
You only get one life. Make the most of it!