Over the last few years I’ve made a lot of changes to my life – this is a brief piece that was originally an introduction to another post looking at the changes to my life. After all, with the New Year approaching this is the traditional time for self-analysis.
Go back four or five years and I was on the traditional carb-heavy active person’s diet (porridge each morning, pasta salads and bakes for lunch, pasta and rice-laden meals at dinner). I was living in my trainers, had lots of stress from day to day, plenty of cardio through walking and cycling, no weights, no supplements. I couldn’t even overhead press an empty dumbbell handle weighing a hefty 1kg. As for my body weight, I had weighed 50kg for about 10 years, despite being 5’6”, with it never going either up or down.
Since then I’ve been through a journey of discovery.
I’ve converted to an almost carb-free existence for a while to learn to be a fat-burner, I went strictly paleo for long enough that I can now get away with the odd non-Paleo diversion from time to time but know that I’m looking after my body the rest of the time.
I care for myself better, both mentally and physically. I have learned to control my stress levels better and know how to recognise my stress characteristics and manage them. I can feel different muscles in my body working with an awareness I never had before and, as a result I can use self-massage techniques to keep my body feeling as free and relaxed as possible.
Elsewhere in my life I’ve converted to living in Vibram KSOs whenever I can get away with them. I still cycle and walk a huge amount but I balance it now with a programme of lifting weights. I’m push-pressing a 20kg kettlebell for reps, squatting safely over my national qualifying weight (with the BDFPA) and happily hip thrust 140kg for reps.
As for my body composition, I’ve gained an enormous amount of muscle and struggle to keep my weight near 56kg because my love of food, when put alongside the hours I spend sitting still in my desk job mean that it tends to drift up a kilo or two at times, despite the fact that I’m carrying less body fat than I was when I weighed 50kg. I definitely can’t fit my quads, hamstrings or glutes into any of the jeans I used to wear (which is actually a bit frustrating, but never mind).
It’s a lot of changes in a surprisingly short space of time and that’s just what I’ve achieved without removing the full time desk job from my life. I expect that a lot of others who read this blog have come through similar journeys of self-discovery and change in the recent past.
Have you adopted some changes to diet, training or lifestyle and seen similar massive changes and benefits to your overall being?