In this month’s client Q&A Andy shares how he changed his mindset, nutrition and relationship with exercise to avoid obesity, improve his productivity at work and to get lean.
Over the past several months you've managed to drop a good deal of body fat and really lean out while having a demanding job and active personal life. How have you managed to make fitness a priority?
When I re-joined the gym in July 2018 I was at a low point physically. A combination of stress at work, bad diet and lack of exercise took a toll on my health and weight. It’s like a vicious downward cycle, the stress at work made me eat more unhealthy foods (since they generally taste better) and at later time of the day. That only made me more tired and less productive the next day, which meant I had to work longer to have the same productivity.
When I started my journey to regain control of my health and to be more active nine months ago, my key to making fitness a priority was developing a schedule and sticking to it. For me, that means starting the day earlier, so I can work out for 45 min in the morning. It took a few months before my schedule became a routine, and I started to wake up naturally around 5:30, and the early morning no longer feels difficult (except on cold and rainy days).
What has been most effective for you in terms of working out and nutrition that has helped you achieve your goals so far?
Having a balanced diet and enlisting professional help are instrumental in me achieving my goals.
A balanced diet is as important if not more than working out in terms of weight loss. I followed two simple rules when I first started changing my diet, more green vegetables and less meat. It worked wonders when combing with a more active lifestyle.
Getting professionals, like JJ, to help me develop a safe yet challenging fitness plan accelerated the time it took to achieve my goal. I was clueless when I first started my journey. JJ helped me developed a routine with some dietary tips. When it was difficult in the beginning, the monthly improvements encouraged me to keep going and sticking with it.
What has been the biggest hurdle for you in terms of staying on your path?
The biggest hurdle was breaking with my old routine and transitioning a new one. Old habits die hard, my wakeup call was when my doctor told me that I am borderline obese. That’s when I finally stopped sugar coating my health situation and finding excuses for myself not being active and do something about it.
What's next for you in terms of priorities for your health and fitness goals?
My next fitness goals are to maintain my weight and incorporate more mobility workouts. I quite enjoy cycling, and the mobility workouts JJ and I worked on helped me cycle longer and easier.
What advice do you have for someone who might be thinking about starting on a similar journey but who is hesitant to dive in?
I have two tips:
Take the first step. Before I started my journey back in July 2018, I was well aware of my weight gain over the years, but each time I thought about doing something about it, a little voice always convinced me to do it at a later time (when work is less hectic, when holidays are over), and that later time turned into never, and my thought remained just a thought with no action. It takes time to achieve a goal, but the first step is always the hardest. But once you start, you’d be surprised on what you can accomplish.
Find an exercise you enjoy along the way. I tried all kinds of classes when I first re-joined the gym, and along the way, I found myself enjoying cycling a lot. By find something I like doing, it motivates me to keep going back and make the lifestyle transition easier.