I’ve been a fairly heavy guy for most of my life but after a particularly turbulent stage in my life, I had gained a considerable amount of weight. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a little fat and I find chunky far more attractive than skinny but I was over twenty stone – 290lbs for all the lovely folk across the pond – and it was not a case of big bones and muscle, no; this was just one large individual and the truth is…if fat was a competition then I was winning. (#CharlieSheen)
The simple fact is, being that size was very unhealthy and there are things I wanted to do which required me to lose some weight. So I did.
It may sound redundant to say but eating – and eating properly – is naturally conducive to good health and will effectively determine the type of body you have due to the way in which the body reacts to food or, in my case, lack thereof.
Studies show, eating infrequently can be just as damaging to your body as eating too often. When you do not eat regularly enough your body is sent into an alarm state by its natural survival mechanism and it begins to operate in fat storage mode so any time you do eat, it holds onto as much of what you took in as possible. At this stage in my life I was eating once a day if not once every couple days. Fail.
So, with the food related issue on the mend, I began jogging everyday and that helped me shave off a few pounds but I needed something more. Something hard-hitting. I began to research weight loss methods – and I don’t mean things like weight-watchers or the multiple weight loss pills you hear about and I am not one for dieting so I simply wanted something that would give me results as long as I was willing to put the work in. It was at this point I found, what is simply known as, “’Insanity’.
Insanity is a high intensity cardio workout that flips the traditional method of ‘interval training’ on its head and it claims you can transform your body in just 60 days. My first thought was “bullshit”, until I watched an infomercial and thought…wow. It looked absolutely insane but I wanted something hard hitting right? I wanted something that would give me results if I put the work in right? So I got a hold of the program and I started straight away.
July 21st 2012 was day one and let me tell you this right now, half way through I honestly felt like I might cry. It was HARD! When I finished the first video I found myself laid out in a puddle of my own sweat, body trembling, heart racing and my mind screaming at me saying “Boy what in the blue hell were you thinking?!!” I struggled to get myself up and into the shower but honestly, as I stood there I felt more alive than I had done in quite some time and as the day progressed I actually found myself excited and looking forward to the next day’s workout! Every day I came back and every day I sweat like a cotton-field slave in the sun. Seriously; it was hard. I literally screamed at the screen a few times, frustrated as the trainer, Shaun T, would hurl encouragement at me; “You can do it!” he said, ‘Dig deeper!, he says and I’m like…”shut up you’re not even doing it right now you’ve taken more breaks than anyone else you bastard leave me alone!!” *clears throat and straightens tie* But…I kept moving. I kept pushing. 6 days a week and on day 64 – one day post Insanity – I stood on the scale; shocked. July 21st I was 19St 11lbs. When I finished: 17St 7lbs. I am just going to leave that there for you to take in.
So where am I now?
I currently weight 17St 3bs. It has been a difficult journey, one which is far from over, and I have had moments were I’ve gained weight that had to be lost all over again but I assure you that is normal and happens to most of us so if it happens to you, do not be discouraged.
You should also be aware of body plateaus. This can occur if you do the same type of workout with little to no variance. Your body will basically become accustomed to what you have been doing and will no longer react to it, which will mean all the hard work you put in during those sessions will have no affect. It is for this reason I began to lift weights after Insanity and I have recently added DDP Yoga to my workout regime. Yes, that’s right folks, I said Yoga; and let me tell you, if ever you doubted Yoga…if ever you looked at it and thought it was some hippie spiritual nonsense or if you’re one of those guys that thought “What? Yoga? Nah fam, allow them talks yeah.” I must tell you that you could not be any further from the truth if you tried.
Now bear with me a moment, I want you to see something. These are not going to be the most attractive of images but they are necessary for you to see so you can understand why I believe Yoga could really help me kick this transformation into a new gear. Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves; I am about to get naked…
DDP Yoga uses no weights, has no high impact moves and the workouts generally last just 20 minutes. Plus, looking at the workout schedule shows that you only need to do this 3 times a week. That’s right. Three times. So at the moment I am doing it during off days from the gym. With those images, I want you to take particular note of my hand. This is not at all how my hand normally looks. All of this and no weights? Well how the hell does it work? Simple. Dynamic resistance. It uses your own body to create the weight and this allows it to really elevate your heart rate and put you into your fat burning zone. I am hoping that the combination of this and the weight training I am doing will really help me along this journey. I cannot, at this point, tell you DDP Yoga will work for you as I have only done 3 days so far but I can certainly see why it would work and I guaran-damn-tee that Insanity WILL for the millions (and millions!) that are willing to work for it. It is not easy, and it is very aptly named as some level of insanity is required to do this thing but if you want it you can and you will do it. Each day you will get better, faster, and stronger and be able to push yourself harder and dig deeper. Believe that.
If you want something then you need to take the steps to make it happen because nobody else can do it for you. You need to be aware it may be hard and you may fall but as long as you don’t stop believing (jazz hands everyone) and you keep pushing yourself, you will get to where and what you want. That sounds too much like optimism right? Well I am not an optimist. I am a realist and realistically speaking you can change your life IF you take the steps toward doing so. I have taken the steps and with each step I get closer to my goal. I am not there yet, but I am getting there. Folks, let me make one thing clear: this is not a story of success. Nor is it a story of failure or even overcoming. This is a story of progress. Why you say? Well that is simple; progress is the journey. It is the journey that holds the highest level of importance because that journey makes where you came from and where you are relevant. I am still on my journey. Why not start yours?