Eleven years ago I decided enough was enough and thus began the journey that would change my life forever. There have been so many ups and downs that I can’t even recall them all, but here we are, over a decade later, and I’m still on this journey.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have great support over the years and I’ve worked extremely hard to be successful, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that once the weight is off, you’re not done, you’ve actually only just begun!
I’m a fan of shows like the Biggest Loser because it helps inspire people who may not otherwise start a journey towards health and fitness, however, it also sets up a lot of false expectations for and false hopes out there for those people who don’t realize that what they do on these shows isn’t realistic for 90% of the population. The issue I have with “reality” tv is that they don’t show us what is actually done to have these people lose so much weight, so fast. They are put on very restrictive low calorie diets and have them workout 8 hours a day, which isn’t realistic, or in my opinion, healthy.
We run a program at our gym called Life Change Yellowknife and we really stress and teach the fact that there are no fad diets, no magic pills. We educate people that the way to lose weight, get fit and be and stay healthy, is by hard work, dedication, exercise and a healthy lifestyle. We don’t make promises of losing 20 pounds in 6 weeks, because we can’t make that promise. We want to give our gym members the tools and training and education for the rest of their lives, not for them to drop a tone of weight fast, only to put it back on down the road.
We have definitely had people lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks during this program because they committed to put in the work outside of the gym and at home, but we aren’t there to count their calories, cook their meals, hold their hands and make sure they do everything they’re suppose to do. What we do is give them the education and the opportunity to be successful, and they do the work.
All of the above may have been the toughest thing for me to learn. It’s not about fad diets, it’s not about losing weight fast, it’s not about false expectations, it’s about education and application. learn something every day; whether it’s in a book, online, on tv, from my business partner, or my wife, my goal is to learn and apply something new every day. What I learn could be that I can’t eat bread because it bloats me, causes me to gain weight and makes me very ill (more to come on this in a post soon), that overhead squats hurt my back, how to modify a movement for an injured shoulder, that aspartame may or may not be good for me, or maybe that icing injuries isn’t the way to help them heal (more to come on this as well in a post soon)… regardless of what it is, I’m always learning and I’m always on my journey. This isn’t just my passion, this is my career and my life, and I’m always learning.
Even with all of this education and training, I really do think that the biggest thing I have to remember is that I’ve come so far in the last 17 years. 110 pounds gained, 100 pounds lost, a rollercoaster of food addiction, borderline alcoholism, bad relationships, smoking over a pack of cigarettes a day, good relationships, friends and family come and gone, healthy and then not healthy again and back to healthy, finally being happy with myself, meeting the woman I love, traveling abroad, moving 3,800km away from our family, changing my career, becoming a co-owner of a gym, co-creating a meal prep company, a supplement store, a clothing brand and an MMA Fight league/promotion and now about to have my first and second child. I’d say this has been a journey… and I can’t wait for the next step. I can’t wait to teach my kids how to walk, run, jump, throw a ball, stop a hockey puck, to be healthy, eat clean, promote happiness, hug them when they’re scared, hold them when they fall and cut their knee, the first day of school… God, it’s just amazing to think about.
The journey has just begun!