What was your motivation to start training with us here at Red E?
My main motivation was that I could start to see my health taking a serious turn for the worse after years of neglect. I found myself wheezing at the top of a flight of stairs and making involuntary grunting noises as I got up out of a seat – I thought to myself ‘I am starting to sound like my 60 year old Dad, surely I’m not that old yet?’
I was in a sort of continuous work hard/ play hard cycle which had been going on for several years. I smoked, I drank every night of the week, I had extremely inconsistent eating patterns and would grab whatever was on-hand when hunger struck – needless to say this was usually fast food. By starting at Red E I thought I may be able to address some of these unhealthy patterns.
All that, and I really was starting to become a fat bastard.
What were your goals?
I’ve always struggled a little bit with identifying goals. For me, at least, it really wasn’t about wanting to loose ‘X’ amount of kilos, or be able to do 20 pull-ups or whatever. I know myself, I am an extremely slow learner. It takes me a lot longer than most people to be able to pick up and permanently adopt positive changes. On the positive side of the coin, however, once I’ve finally got it through my thick head what needs to be done and have done it for a long time, I tend to keep doing it.
My goals, I suppose, were therefore just to start along the long road to recovery. Slowly and consistently trying to pick up positive fitness, diet and lifestyle changes from the good people of Red E and making them part of my everyday life.
How have you gone with your goals?
It has been a looong road, however I am much closer to where I want to be than I was at the beginning. Achievements wise, I certainly have lost a bit of weight, I can now do 20 push-ups without lapsing into a coma-like state and my breathe is no longer a noxious combination of that horrible plastic McDonalds cheese and cheeseburger pickles.
Feeling great… really. At the risk of sounding like a thousand self help fitness articles we’ve all read before, the act of exercising really does clear the mind from all the continuous worries of everyday living, in turn leading to better sleep and more energy. I find the extra energy really does affect the way you see the world and how you communicate with people, promoting a much more positive and confident outlook.
What did you do to achieve your results?
Well, turned up to Red E for a start. Unfortunately work does take me away from home often, however I can usually get 2 sessions a week in without too much hassle. Initially, even a light training session (especially cardio!) felt like it would almost kill me, so you can appreciate that, on occasion, it did take a little bit of self-discipline to turn up, however over time it has become a genuinely pleasurable experience and I actually look forward to going each week.
The other major factor would be diet. I have a bit of a policy of always telling the truth to the trainers and when they would enquire as to the last time I had eaten breakfast, or how much take away I had eaten today, I would often make them wish they hadn’t. Initially, the horror I would see on their faces was slightly amusing, but, over time, it gradually sunk in that there was no humour in this expression, just genuine concern.
As I said before, I am a slow learner and have slowly taken their advice on board. I do still have a long way to go, but have managed to at least stabilise my eating patterns and moderate my partying ways.
What permanent lifestyle changes have you made?
I have finally kicked the curse of smoking. The preparation of breakfast and a healthy lunch have also become permanent fixtures of my daily routine. I have actually lost the taste for the fast food I used to enjoy so much – something with the sweet, cheesy, greasy, salty flavour that most of the take away chains seem to use as a generic base for most of their products actually repulses me these days.