Much thanks to my friend Matej who shared his ups and downs of finding a healthy living plan that works. I hope his story will provide you with the motivation to make the changes that will make your life healthier and more satisfied.
Anita and I met at the gym where we occasionally said hello and then hit one of the cardio machines that help you get rid of extra pounds, and where you can (in my case) gain at little bit of muscles. Sometimes we were »suffering« with a small group of people doing the Crossfit. Working out in a small gym makes it impossible to hide from anyone, least of all from the trainer who is making you push it to the limits.
Anyway, when you workout in the same gym for some time, you mostly meet the same people. You know their faces, but personally you don’t know any of them. While exercising you got to know their habits and you can almost anticipate what movement they are going to do next, yet they still remain merely casual acquaintances.
This is how my friendship with Anita started. We would usually run into each other doing the cardio on the Crossramp (our favorite piece of cardio). Anyhow, it just so happened that one day both of Crossramp machines were occupied, so we switched over to the elliptical trainer where we established how much less efficient the elliptical trainer is compared to the Crossramp. The next hour went by surprisingly fast, talking mainly about fitness. We talked about persistency and healthy eating habits. We agreed that people usually look for the short cuts, when it comes to eating clean and being persistent in their workout routine. Soon we discovered that we share the same values. I can tell you that one of the best ways to pass time while doing cardio is to be engaged in a conversation. Not having Anita around (which sometimes happens) I find fitness a little bit dull.
The reason I’m writing these lines is because Anita asked me to share my story with all of you who are working hard to lose weight. Since I achieved quite a lot in the past two years, I said “why not”. So this is my story.
As far back as I can remember I was always chubby. When I was in elementary school they called me »Fatso«. However, I was never really fat but chubby enough to often serve as a subject of conversation and mockery. In spite of all that I always seemed to be able to find the way to fit in. I didn’t face any major problems during my adolescent years until girls stepped onto the scene, of course. It was only then that I noticed that I was lacking in the self-confidence department. Having a strong character helped me not to fall into despair and enabled me to find a girlfriend in high school. She later on became my wife and a mother of my now already grown-up daughter.
When my wife and I reached our late 30s we began to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. We were caught up in the same routine, day after day; going to work, getting back home and having an abundant late lunch, spending some quality time with our daughter and going to bed. Despite the fact that my daughter kept me in motion every day, I was gaining weight due to unhealthy eating habits. So slowly I gained 275 pounds.
Losing a job to the circumstances came as a blessing in disguise. This has enabled me to find a job in my hometown, which made it possible for me to walk to work or take a bicycle. This is how I lost 66 pounds in one year, not to mention that I felt much better and gained back some self-confidence. I was also eating less and exercised more but without any plan. So things got monotonous and I was slowly losing motivation which in the end got me off the track. I started to exercise less and began to eat junk food once again in front of the television. I gained 33 pounds and was starting to look like the old me.
Then two years ago I won a 3-month fitness training program under the supervision of professional trainer as a prize on the local radio. The rest is history. Before I started fitness program, my personal trainer took my measurements and asked me what my goals were. At the time I weighed 235 pounds, my BF was 31,3% and I measured 45 inches around my waist.
I was persistent in training for two years. During that time I developed healthy eating habits and eliminated white flour, sugar and trans fats. In short, I’ve completely changed my lifestyle. However, I have to say that my biggest supporter was my partner for which I am incredibly grateful. She was there for me every step of the way, helping me with motivation and menu planning. So after two years of quite straining fitness I weigh 200 pounds, my BF is 18% and my waist is 38 inches.
In the end I would like to say that I didn’t strictly follow all the rules. If I did the results would be much better I suppose. But the one thing I did was being persistent and now I can say that fitness became the way of life for me.
Last but not the least, all this time my partner and I were training Aikido, Japanese martial art, where we also met. I’ve been intensely training over the past five years now and I’m proud to say that my partner and I recently got a black belt.
»If you fall down seven times, get up eight.« Japanese proverb