In my About Me write up I (Gordon Brebner) told you about my now not so 3 step secret to Effective Health. In this article I want to explore how to get motivated to change your lifestyle and share with you my wanting to change from being a sloth to now being the healthiest I’ve ever been. I suppose this will also include the sustainability piece too because over 2 years have passed so this can’t just be a passing fad!
Talk to the hand
To recap, I knew I was technically BMI ‘obese’ because the doc kept reminding me on my yearly medicals. I had a blip of hypertension range blood pressure but likewise with me being overweight I chose to ignore and do nothing about my weight. I didn’t do any exercise, I ate and drank as per the western diet, I was I suppose your average joe when it came to my diet and health.
So at this stage my head still wasn’t in that ‘change’ space.
Then in September 2012 (age 42) I had flutters in my chest almost constantly for 2 months. Very disconcerting; was I experiencing the start of heart failure? Well, after I saw a cardiologist who gave my heart the once over with an ultrasound he declared I had a healthy heart; not long after that the flutters virtually disappeared… thankfully. In 2013 I was diagnosed with Glaucoma. In addition work stank and a friend no longer wanted to be friends. I was it seems falling apart physically and mentally; not drastically about enough to fear me. I was statistically in that age range where my health could all start going horribly horribly wrong.
I have 2 young children and I wanted to be around long enough to see them grow up and have families of their own.
The Turning Point
May/June 2013 was my turning point; the (mild) health scares, being in that age bracket where I could fall over at any moment and recognising mentally that I was at a low ebb culminated in me deciding to take myself by the scruff of the neck and sort myself out. I was now starting to think about extending the end game and making sure that my life support system, my body, was in shape to see me through to a healthy ripe old age. I’m sure some of you will tell me that I hit my midlife crisis!?, but whatever it was it worked; I had made the decision to change. Nobody forced me into doing something I wasn’t keen on, it was all my own doing.
Support came from my wife Jill, she’d just taken out a gym membership and was attending regularly. If she could do it so could I. But what was I going to do at the gym? I wanted something that was going to shed the pounds, burn fat and put some muscle on. I wanted something sustainable and effective. Internet research quickly found PEAK 8 interval training; perfect!
Diet was to be a lifestyle change too i.e. sustainable. Diet has everything to do with food. And nothing to do with food! I was aware that many many diets failed due to them being too much like hard work, a punishment and deprivation.
I wasn’t out to punish or deprive myself I wanted mine to feel right.
The combination of effective exercise and effective diet was not just about losing pounds but I was after other benefits too that we sometimes overlook. These being lower blood pressure, no more back ache (I used to be bothered with lower back pain), improved lung function (I used to be quite wheezy and asthmatic), body satisfaction, general life satisfaction, improved mental function, getting my mojo back and being resilient. Somehow I knew these would all come in due course. I didn’t want to rush it and overdo it; slow and steady wins the race as they say and slow and steady is sustainable. My lifestyle change was not about a tyre squealing hard left turn, but a more about a controlled and thought out drift into a new lane of thinking.
The long game
So for me the goal was and still is the long game and always thinking about the greater benefits over the short term gains and that’s what keeps me motivated to stay the course.
Your goals are possibly similar to mine, maybe they are not. My motivation to change came because I was scared of what the future held in store for me. Yours may well be different. But all I can say is that its never too early or its never too late to change if you desire to. Everyone has an opinion on what you should do but ultimately the desire and decision is down to you; the silver bullet comes from within.
For me, it’s been totally worth it and I often contemplate why I hadn’t started the journey earlier, but no matter I’m on it now and not about to get off anytime soon; why would I, my future is healthy.
I guess reading back on this it appears my stars aligned at a specific juncture and I’m just glad that I noticed them.
What’s motivated you to change and keep your change sustainable? Please leave a comment with your own experience.
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