Yesterday was a very momentous day in our house. Not only was it my little man’s 6th birthday, it was also 1 year to the day that Julie and I started our transition from fat, unhealthy and unhappy people back to the land of the living. This was when my journey out of the dark started. I had no idea how it was going to go, or how long it was going to take. In actual fact I was sceptical that it would happen at all and whether or not the 12WBT was going to actually produce the goods.
Fast forward 12 months and many that have read this blog are obviously aware of the changes I have made to my life and the sometimes bumpy road I have travelled to get here. The important thing is that I am here. I am fortunate enough that I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been there for a little while, but I have slowed in my progress towards it. The key thing there is that I have only slowed, not stopped or turned around to head back into the dark.
This metaphor is an important one for me, because it highlights just how far I have come in the last 12 months. Please do not think that I am referencing here any form of depression or making light of it as I know people that are suffering this illness will also use the term being in the dark of having a dark place. I don’t believe I was ever in that state. The reason I use this term is because I was exactly that. I was in the dark about my physical health. I paid it no interest, nor did I think about the issues I may have been causing myself in the future for not looking after my health. I was simply living in the moment and slowly killing myself. Sadly this continued after I met my wife and we had 4 beautiful children. Whilst we had on occasion tried to lose weight, it was not a successful. This is simply due to the fact that we would lapse back into our old ways and put the weight back on. For 20 years I had no regard for what was being put into my mouth (it tasted good so it is okay) or the obvious lack of movement (not even exercise, just movement) that I was doing. Then we get into the obvious vicious cycle where we are to tired and lazy to move and it keeps getting worse.
If I look back at what has happened in the last 12 months, I am blown away by the changes, achievements and goals I am setting for myself. This is a huge leap forward for me and my family. I have been very fortunate that my awesome, supportive and loving wife has been along for the ride. Between us we have dropped 70+ kilos in 12 months. We have changed our attitudes towards a lot of things, diet/nutrition for all 6 of us (yes the kids eat most of what we eat), our outlook on exercise and the way in which we prioritise our weekends/holidays, so we still get exercise in. Julie and I went to Sydney for a weekend for our wedding anniversary and proceeded to do a 12km walk from Maroubra to Bronte Beach because we could. If we had went 12 months earlier we would have found the first pub and stayed until closing time or when we were kicked out, which ever was first.
I have mentioned previously about the support I have received from the 12WBT community and without this it would be a lot harder to succeed. Perhaps that is part of this issue with what we have done previously, we never had the external support. I will say that my wife has been an amazingly supporting during this last 12 months and without her I would not have achieved half of what I have. Thank you and I love you dearly. I have also made some amazing friends and they keep me accountable on a daily basis. Dayna and Bec are always there making Julie and I check in, training with us and spurring us on. Dayna is responsible for getting me out to do my first fun run in February this year. So I blame her for me now taking on crazy ideas like running a half marathon, which I did 8 weeks later. I also thank her for making me get of my shrinking arse and DOING IT and proving to myself that I can and I am a runner. Sadly that was the same day she injured herself, which she has not come back from. Both Dayna and Bec are awesome friends and we are glad that we met you in Perth at our first finale. Outside of the BFF’s, I have been fortunate enough to have a hugely supportive local group that we have found and bonded with. My Western Suburbs Warriors are an amazing bunch of people. Whether we get together to train or not we are all in each other’s corner everyday. I thank you all for your ongoing support and I can’t wait until the group of us (8 or 9) smash out the Run Melbourne Half Marathon in 7 weeks. What an achievement that will be and what a great bunch of people to share it with. “Once a Warrior, Always a WARRIOR!!!”
Finally, I can’t talk about the support network without mentioning the wonderfully amazing people in cyberworld. The facebook groups have been incredible. Admittedly I have distanced myself unintentionally from the forums, but have found these groups amazing for pepping me up, giving me an opportunity to assist where I can but also just be astonished at the support. I am fortunate enough to have made a number of awesome friends in here who keep me accountable and up the top of that list is Cathy Sheargold. Besides being an inspiration herself, she keeps me on my toes. She is always setting me challenges (thank god they are nothing like her and Miss McGee carry out) but the constant reminders and support are appreciated. Sarah is another lady that keeps me going. She is the quiet assassin in my books. Starting a new life in a new state has seen her become very quiet on social media but she is still there for the support and reminders and still amazes me with what she has achieved. Finally we have the lovely Cocogirl. Yes Kate, I couldn’t do this post without thanking you. You have been amazing support for both Julie and I and we love you dearly. It is awesome how it is only 3 months until we get to catch up each time.
The last part of this entire 12 months that has blown me away is this little blog. I only started it due to the weekly surprise in week 2 of my first round. I was fortunate enough to be nominated for the weekly surprise and then have my blog put on the 12WBT facebook page. Following on from that I was lucky enough to win the blogger award for the round and got to be on stage with Mich and 19 other amazing 12WBTers. I have found the blog very therapeutic and have been fortunate enough to build up a few readers/followers, which I have been very grateful to meet at the finales. Thank you for reading this and thank you for having my blog reach over 18,000 views in 12 months. That has blown me away.
So with the light at the end of the tunnel clearly visible, what will my journey bring when I get to the opening and can see what the world has to offer? Well this is yet to be determined as I have so many ideas about what I want to achieve, most of them around athletic achievements at the moment. I have my 6 Ride to Conquer Cancer rides between August and November. I have plans/dreams to take part in the Geelong Half Ironman triathlon in February 2014 but after that the world is my oyster. I am still trying to work out where my new healthy outlook on life will take me from a personal sense though. Will this mean a change in career? I honestly have no idea. There are a lot of PT’s out there at the moment and it is a tough market. Not sure I want to go down that path, but there is a lot to ponder over the next 12 months before my 2nd Fitaversary.