When you are stuck in weight gain and the often discussed jojo-loop, a personal trainer can help you a lot. I had and still have a personal trainer for whom i am forever grateful and we still have to go a long way together. We managed to stop my several years of constant weight gain and turn it around seven years ago and slowly, but surely i have lost weight. Without this support and guidance i might not be here to write this post anymore. We walked, we talked, we changed my diet and we exercised. I will write more about that and the original reasons for my weight gain later.
Getting your mind behind it
All of this is hard work for your personal trainer and also for the people around you. The trick and the challenge is that you need to get your own mind behind it. Of course, rationally you know what is right and what would be needed, but your mind is a different thing altogether.
In my experience the right thoughts and incentives need to come together in the right moment for your mind to click and get engaged. After this you run on a whole different level of motivation. For me this moment came when i had a good talk with my dear and wonderful business partner and following this talk she had presented me with a challenge. I was to start with however many push-ups as i managed at this point and to increase by one each day for the following 44 days, i also was to loose 1 kilo per week. Along she gave me some reminders about healthy habits and eating. For me, this was it. I tried out how many push-ups i could make. Guess how many i managed? Just three very crappy ones and i felt totally exhausted! I had not done push-ups in 15 years! Well, that was the starting point. A severe punishment and a promise of reward was declared to make the challenge interesting. I was to send push-up videos and photos of the scale each day. I can’t value enough that she made herself available for that. Here came the click i had been waiting and hoping for for at least seven years.
34 days, the change
But 44 days, starting from three and adding one each day, that would mean 47 push-ups in the end. I thought that would be impossible and i negotiated for 15 to be the target and then keep it at that!
But how wrong i was! Our body is an amazing friend! Given the right nutrition, attention and exercise, even after all the years of neglect and abuse, it kicked right into reboot mode! The push-ups just kept increasing and by the end i had done 53! One day i even did three sessions, one at 48, one at 15 and one at 49, so 112 on that day.
I also changed my nutrition. Here my personal trainer gave me great advice, to change my morning fruits to a smoothie, which would keep the hunger away longer. I was shy of Yogurt based smoothies, because i am vegan, since i do not want to torture and kill animals, neither be responsible for that. I got reminded of vegan options for yogurt and adopted them and the smoothies containing fresh pressed orange juice, ginger and coconut water worked fine! Apart from that i ate salads and Vietnamese rice paper rolls with ginger, avocado and tofu for lunch and some humus in the evenings. During this period i was very grateful for my wives and daughters patience and a new friends support and cheering online. After 34 days i had reached the goal, i had lost seven kilos, one more than required in the challenge.
10 days, the fast
So now this was starting to be fun! I had 10 days left in the challenge, what to do next? Well, the flow i was in made me decide to go on to a fast. I booked a trip to a sunny island on short term and was looking forward to surprise my business partner. Of course, this was a great boost to my already existing motivation, but during a fast you have euphoric days and you also can have some difficult hours. For those hours you need discipline and for this you will gain the highest rewards. I kept reminding myself of that and pushed through.
I was drinking fresh juice for vitamins and not-too-thick lentil soup for minerals and of course a lot of water. I was reading books and mostly going with how i felt, but also did one hour of swimming in the sea, one hour of walking, my push-ups and some stretching exercise every day. I also did some creative work, since i felt fresh in my mind and inspired. I went to the local pharmacy to check my weight every day, some days i lost only 400 grams, but on others up to 800 grams. In the end of the 1o days fast i had lost another seven kilos.
The reward was manyfold, my business partner was amazed how well i had managed with the challenge she had presented, my family was visibly happy for me and i noticed how my body had changed. New clothes fitted me and when i was stretching my thighs now, my feet could for the first time after many years easily touch my bum again! And suddenly i started to feel the urge for running again! So today, i went for the first run with my trainer. Just 4900 meters and with some walking in between, but it felt great and i am confident to be reducing the walking parts and increasing the running parts day by day now. What i am not so confident about is if i can keep it up with the healthy food diets. I am still on the fast and trying to make sure not to glide into unhealthy habits again when ending it and so i am now working out a diet plan. There is great opportunity to start a new and better life after every fast, i don’t want to let that chance pass me by.
So stay tuned for updates if you are interested in my journey and to find out whether i succeed to go all the way, because there is still a lot of work left to do!
Christian Thibault, August 2nd, 2019
For inspiration and advice on how to gain motivation, deal with challenges, maintain a healthy vegan diet and get your mind to align with your needs and goals, CHECK OUT NORDIC DIVERSITY TRAINERS ONLINE COURSE: “Managing Negative Emotions: Increase positivity in your life”