Sometimes you just need a push to do what you know you should do.
I’m guessing my story is similar to many other people who have been active their whole life but struggled to get the lasting fitness results they thought they should be achieving. I’ve ran full and half marathons, getting in good cardio condition only to fall quickly back out of shape when my enthusiasm waned. I had times where I put on muscle size but carried too much fat in the process. I would build up to a level of fitness only to get injured in the process. I had accumulated so much fitness “wisdom” that actually putting the pieces together just became confusing and difficult. Having done all of this, you would think I should be able to figure it all out and get the right approach to my health in place!
For my 44th birthday, my very supportive wife Leanne and family connected me with Neil to help sort that out for me. (I’m guessing that the fact I contemplated doing something like this but never acted on it was driving her crazy!) Though weight training consistently for about 3 years prior, my results had stalled out and I wasn’t sure what to do next or even what a realistic goal would be. When I started with Neil I thought if I could lose 10 pounds over the course of 12 weeks that would be great and I would be close to where I envisioned I would feel my best. Five weeks in and that goal was met and here I am now, eight months later, down 26 lbs! (mind-blowing to me!), stronger than ever without suffering any major injuries or setbacks. “Probably starving though!” you might think but the opposite is true. I can count on one hand the times I really felt like I needed to eat more. Has it been easy? Not really. Has it been really hard? Not really!
Avoiding making radical changes in diet, training and mindset all at once seems to have worked for me and Neil has been a big part in helping to put the pieces together. I have yet to feel like I am being pushed to any uncomfortable zone whether it is on diet or training. Workouts are challenging but I have never felt “destroyed” after a workout (well, maybe aside from those first few workouts when the training routine is switched-up!). The approach to nutrition has allowed me to adjust to a new way of eating that works for me. I still have the occasional donut or beer but I can make subtle adjustments to my diet to accommodate. After a while, the desire for those “treats” dissipates. I’m never forced to eat food I don’t like but I am more conscious of what food is the better alternative.
Accountability for me is key and the weekly check-ins are times to celebrate and not dread. When I had a great week we celebrate that success! If I had an off week, we don’t dwell on it but instead refocus and move on! Neil is great at pointing out positive things that you may have not noticed and providing helpful hints at getting you back on track. No judgment, no yelling (or emails in ALL CAPS). There were times I thought Neil’s suggestion that maybe I could push a little bit further on my diet was questionable – I mean how much more could I go! After a week of not starving, dropping weight and looking even leaner you learn to trust the process.
So if you are on the fence about taking on the challenge of trying to do something you didn’t think you could, do it! Invest in yourself, see how much more potential you have and you will be amazed by how far you can go.