19 months ago I felt like Thomas Edison when I had my light bulb moment. This moment opened up an entire new world for me and the changes in my life have been nothing short of extreme. I have seen the most amazing transformation in my mind and body, but it has not all been positive. Whilst this road of discovery has in general seen a lot of good things happen to me, there have been some moments (quite a few lately) which have left me questioning myself and my ability to complete the journey I set out on. Strangely enough, I can look at these times and still take the positives out of them when 20 months ago I could not and would have imploded.
Followers of this blog for any length of time will know that my first round was hugely successful. I managed to lose 24.5kgs in 12 weeks, change my mindset, meet Michelle Bridges when I was on stage at finale and make an entire new group of friends. This was a huge achievement and time in my life. I had gone from being morbidly obese and on the way to changing my life and those of my family for the better. It was during this period that the light bulb moment happened and I am ever so grateful that it did.
Fast forward 9 months and this is where the picture starts to blur a bit and the light bulb starts to dim. Now I am not saying that all has been bad in the last 6 months, but it hasn’t been amazing either. I have struggled with the reasons why I was stuck in a rut, but I think I have recently worked it out, with the help of my wife (who strangely enough is not afraid to tell it how it is with me, but not with anyone else.)
As everyone is aware, I am taking on the challenge of riding in all 6 Ride to Conquer Cancer Rides. When I signed up for this, our team captain said that our fundraising would be covered by corporate donors, hence the reason I signed up. I made it clear that I was not capable of raising $15,000 on my own to do these rides. So with his assurance I signed up. Low and behold, the corporate sponsorships did not come running through the door throwing cash at us. I wanted to do it, so had to make sure that I raised as much as possible myself to complete this achievement. This is where it all started to go pear shaped.
The concept of riding 1200kms in 12 days was daunting enough, but having to raise this money on my own was scary. In fact without me knowing it consumed me. This led in part to me becoming stressed by it. I was worried as to how I was going to raise this cash. If I didn’t raise it, I couldn’t take part in the rides. These rides are very important to me, with my father in law battling cancer as we speak. I have some other friends that are going through their own battles as well. I wanted to do this for them, but I also wanted to do this for ME. This was my way of giving back. How was I going to do it? Looking back now I can see that this is where it started to unravel. My diet was falling apart, my training was spasmodic and my mindset was all over the place. To make things worse I also had a half marathon to train for. Whilst I managed to train and complete this, it wasn’t to the level I originally wanted to do so. Now with all this going on, throw in the fact that the scales started to go in the wrong direction. Talk about a mind F&*K of epic proportions. How was I going to deal with this?
Well to be totally honest I didn’t. I kind of buried my head in the sand and thought it would all correct itself to some degree. The evil vice of wine came back all too often into my life, along with crappy take away foods and just general shitty eating. It appeared all the lessons I had learnt just disappeared and I was back to the old me. Holy cow, it seems Mr Edison and his light bulb had burst and I couldn’t find the new one. Really need to add new light bulbs to the shopping list for instances like this in the future.
Now all of the above looks a bit like a train wreck, and to a certain extent it is. A lot of hard work had gone into to getting me to where I was and I had basically thrown part of it away by putting on 10kgs. The positive I like to take out of it is that I am here talking about it, understanding what happened and with the support of my wife and buddies (Yes you Bec and Dayna) working on kicking it up the arse and getting back on track. This would not have happened in the past.
Now that I have managed to raise the $15,000 and all I have to concentrate on is riding my bike (which is my favourite form of exercise ever) the weight has been lifted off my shoulders. After a discussion with Julie we worked out that one of my issues was the fact I was so involved in this fundraising and had forgotten certain things. With this stress gone, we have decided to hit the next few weeks hard. I worked out that some of the things I have let slip are being prepared, being meticulous with my food (weighing and following a plan) and having workouts planned in advance. One great thing for me I have decided will be that once my bike rides are done, I will be in preparation for my runs next year and will sit down with my mate and work out a plan for the next 8 months to ensure I am prepared and capable of doing the marathon in July 2014 on the Gold Coast.
I need to look at everything (food, water intake, exercise) and have a plan. I have always been known to wing it and this seems to be one thing that has come back to bite me in the butt. Not being prepared or organised is one thing that is destined to set you up for failure and it is showing the early signs of that for me now. So with a new start comes new plan. October will see me go dry for the month. No alcohol at all (well that is the plan) which will be tough considering I have 3 bike rides with my crazy Vision Crusaders team in 3 different states. I am going to sit down and plan my workouts around my travel calendar and Julie’s work schedule. This may mean a few early morning runs, but so be it. I will have 3 weekends where I will burn in excess of 6000 calories on each weekend, so no excuse not to be losing weight (although I will be eating in excess of 2000 calories on each day to get me through the rides). I will be drinking more than 2.5 litres of water each day and I will be getting back on track. This is my time to right the wrongs of the last 6 months, get back to where I was and beyond that point and to once again feel good about myself.
In looking for some images for this blog I was reading through some of Thomas Edison’s quotes, which I have scattered throughout the post. Whilst this amazing man was not worried about my weight loss journey some of his more famous quotes can translate across from what he was trying to achieve perfectly to what we were trying to achieve. They are exactly what I needed to read today to help me realise that the light at the end of the tunnel is not as far away as I thought. There is a cupboard full of new light bulbs, I just need to open the cupboard and get them out. This month is exactly that turning point.