Being rather honest here, I have never been known to be the disciplined sort. In fact, I doubt the word ever existed in my vocabulary and I reckon I’d be closely associated with the words couch potato and lazy. It came to a point a few months ago that McDonald’s delivery and FoodPanda were an almost daily affair because I was just too lazy to go out or cook. And naturally, I grew, sideways.
Then like most things that sparked a change in our lives, a major life changing wake up call came in the form of a simultaneous quadruple blow I suffered from May 2018. An unhealthy lifestyle finally led to a pain stricken mad dash to the emergency ward and a painful short stint in hospital, personal finances were hit due to a myriad of reasons including but not limited to some bad habits, the company’s performance was way below our targets and we had to make the hard call of letting people go, and the icing on the cake was that a very important relationship in my life crumbled. Words cannot describe the severity of the situation I was in, and the episode sent me spiralling into a state that was borderline dysfunctional, days turned to night and sleep deprivation became a norm.
So one night, I decided to get out of the house and took a walk around the block. Little did I know that that night would help spark a mindset shift. A shift to be aware of and focus on breaking existing patterns, disrupting bad habits, and diligently creating new positive habits for myself. It would also be part of a process that helped me lose 15 kgs and shave three inches off my waist in the span of four odd months, raise my energy levels, made a lot of new friends, rekindled old friendships, and not to mention cost me an arm and a leg in revamping my wardrobe!
If you are like the average human being then we are all plagued by this same issue. We look at our lives or a situation and get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of changes or things that we have to address. It is like clearing your store room, you open the door and you look at the amount of junk and because there’s so much, you don’t know where and how to start so you tell yourself you will come back to it another day when you have more time, and you never do. By the time you are forced to, it’s too late and the store is now home to a family of rodents and roaches!
Our lives aren’t perfect and while we dream of living a different lifestyle, we look at our lives and realise that there are so many parts we need to fix; our income, health, family, career, relationships, the list is endless. And we are paralysed because each of these sections of our lives requires massive amounts of steps and efforts to change or improve upon. A good example was for the last few years I was overweight and clothes were too tight and I looked hideous in a button shirt, i knew all that but the effort required to get to the gym or discipline to watch my diet was just too much and like most people, I took the path with least resistance, tucked out my shirt, wore t-shirts more and ballooned further.
Then I was reminded of this phrase, “you’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.” And that first walk helped clear my mind and I decided to do it again the next day, and the next, and then the next. When I started seeing positive results, I started to take notice and be more aware of not just the improvements in energy and shrinking belly but also everything else that was happening in my life. By being aware of the positive changes, I soon discovered that a lot of good things were happening for me. The biggest mindset change I had, the one change that made the most impact for me was that I started to take care of myself, and put myself as a priority.
It takes serious dedication and super power to make radical changes and improve every part of your life, and as I am no Superman, I discovered to make substantial changes in your life, you just have to start with one.
Start With One. Start with the easiest and most important one in your life, health. Then I looked at my tubby friends who were hitting the gym for over a year and on crazy weekly meal preps, and they still looked tubby (maybe now they just look chunky fat). Then I realised that everything and anything works, it just doesn’t work for everyone. As I took time to reflect back, I realised I couldn’t make it to the gym because it took effort, pack the bag, get dressed, and then I had to get to the gym – my brother who is a fitness junkie also told me its highly demoralising, and requires substantial effort and willpower. I couldn’t keep my cycling consistent as well because I had to gear up and locate all my gloves, helmet, water bottle, etc. When I started walking, which I later added intervals, stair climbs, and hills, I discovered I could keep at it everyday because I only needed a pair of shoes, minimal or no gear to put on and I didn’t have to travel anywhere.
It was the ease of getting started that made it work. So my advice is that if you want to start and don’t have a consistent daily exercise regime or an exercise habit yet, don’t go with any internet fads, gyms, equipment or anything you read on the celeb net, just keep it simple stupid. Start with one simple exercise and get into a regime and build a habit first – if I remember correctly both my brother and fit guru Roger of Figure Fuel shared the same advice. Get it into a consistent rhythm for a few consecutive months before you even start thinking about going to the gym or other training. Once you’ve got a regime going with results, it is much easier for you to start introducing other workouts into your schedule.
Just Do It. Regardless of what happens or how you feel, schedule it and just do it. Get up and move, and you must move daily. If you’re a fat boy like me, you have to move every single day. Whether it be an hour’s walk or a short jog, move! Get out and move. Fix a non-negotiable hour or more a day to walk or run. Don’t be stressing yourself out counting calories or steps, keep it simple stupid and just move for an hour or more.
Vanity for accountability. Ok, so this is going to take some stepping out of the comfort zone. I’m merely sharing what worked for me and you may have some other form of accountability. Just make sure you do establish some sort of accountability system going on or you’ll lose steam. I took to my insta stories as a form of accountability for myself. Putting it all out there and going public with what i’m doing and also the progress. With the bulk of my friends now being my accountability partners in ensuring that I don’t shapeshift back a size up!
Share and take the small wins. I have always been known to be rather unhealthy and chubby so when I started posting my exercise regime and shots of my progress everyday on social media, I started receiving shocked responses followed by compliments. What was most encouraging was by sharing often and consistently, some friends have started to join me on my morning walks! People who are in the worst of body shapes and never exercised are joining me at 7.00am every day! That’s impacting lives! My simple routine is changing other peoples’ lives for the better! Even if it’s just one, it feels really good when your positive change influences others.
When you are struggling in a battle, especially one to do with the bulge, you are going to need every single bit of encouragement to ensure you keep the fight. While cultural norms have taught us that it is good to be humble and down play compliments, now is not the time! Embrace it and take in the wins, especially all the small wins. Celebrate! Jump for joy, clench your fist and shout out “YES!” every time you put on your pants and it feels a little loose! Punch the air and shout out “YES!” when you button your shirt and it doesn’t look like the button may fly off and hit your date in the eye! F*****g take it all in and celebrate all the small wins! Simply because you deserve it. Oh, please be polite and say ‘thank you’ every time someone says you’ve lost weight or that you look good.
That’s impacting lives! My simple routine is changing other peoples’ lives for the better! Even if it’s just one, it feels really good when your positive change influences others.
Get a good pair of shoes. I’m a shoe fan but I’ve never gotten round to actually owning a good pair of sports shoes because I never did any sports serious enough to warrant a good pair maybe. Hahaha. So I got myself a cheap pair when I started with my runs/walks/sprints which were purchased solely because I thought the colour way was too cool for the price! Then my fitness fanatic brother who has always been one of my biggest supporters in everything I do, took notice of my efforts and got me a pair of Ultra Boost.
He swore it would be one of the best shoes for the workouts I was doing. And he was right! Big difference in comfort right off the first walk! With shoes that provide good support and comfort, you can exercise without the annoying pains that may come with ill fitted or cheap shoes. Buying the best shoe you can afford that can cause any discomfort will make it all too easy for you to give up or make an excuse.
If you are serious about shapeshifting and want to learn more, leave us a comment or drop me an email and we can talk more over a cup of coffee and cake. Or better yet, I’ve managed to get a small rotating group of really wonderful people to join me almost every morning (6-days a week!), and I’m inviting you to join us too! Want to change your life? Change your daily habits, and start with one.