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34 kilograms got in the way of a better connection with my son and now is the time to enjoy healthy leisure and fun outdoors playtime during the upcoming holiday season.
What will inspire YOU to make a change?
Over the last few weeks I have shared my transformational personal journey that I have taken during this year.
Last week we ran our final leadership forum for the year, where I unveiled our new program – Creating Healthier Workplaces, an integrated health and well-being program combining the psychological aspects as well as the physical aspects of making health changes.
As we head towards the holiday season, I thought I would share with you an insight into a major change I have experienced which cannot be accounted for by a waist measurement, weighing scales or the time to complete a run.
Too often in life, we can default to accepting the mediocre and end up living a life of limited and partial enjoyment. Most likely this is because we forget the fundamental benefits of an integrated commitment to our long term health and well being practices.
This pattern, of limited focus on personal health routines, coupled with our negative capacity to psychologically minimise, justify and rationalise away any slackness or poor decision making; simply habituates us to our less than optimal stateof well-being.
We justify it thus…
It’s just because I am busy at work and getting closer to fifty that I have put on all this extra weight and one day.......in the never, never land of some mythical, fanciful retirement future......., I will then finally be able to work less and enjoy more relaxing leisure time.
My anecdotal story below is a small personal example of the bounty that unfolds when we give ourselves permission to make health and well-being a priority in our lives - NOW !
My 20 year old son recently moved back into the family home to relax on his holiday break for a couple of weeks, after a big year of living out of town & ( allegedly ) studying hard as a full-time university student.
To my delight he has stayed reasonably healthy while living on campus and playing lots of college sports throughout the year, in between a few social drinks no doubt.
He has always been a much better surfer than I, and as a born and bred Gold Coast boy, a big priority on his holidays has been to catch up on a few waves. Luckily for me, I get invited to come along for a paddle as well sometimes, and here is where the tale of our recent beach trip early last weekend morning gets really interesting...
Thanks to my transformational health & wellness journey throughout 2013, I am now 34kgs lighter than I was in January.
In the past, with that much extra bulk pushing down on my mini-mal board I would have typically been pounded in the break, paddled desperately hard like a panting dog struggling to get through the break and maybe eventually staggered out the back in an exhausted state to rattily catch two or three rides before I was spent!
However what a magnificent difference this time, pacing smoothly with my athletic son and flying effortlessly out the back together. Next, powerful full strokes with easy breathing as I paddle joyfully onto wave after wave after wave and almost no fatigue!
Just pure fun that had been missing for me for far too long!
Remembering my out of shape body and limited strength, coupled with easily losing vitality and quickly fatigued - from back in January - I laughed about how after even catching one wave in to shore back then, would have resulted in: an out of breath; poor recovery struggle as I got washing machine pounded back in the dump zone like a big, fat, floundering fish.
My point is that my hard work of the past 11 months to get fit, lean and healthy again was fully repaid in just that one joyful shared experience last weekend of surfing effortlessly for an extended time in a graceful, relaxed fun activity with my son.
Whatever health and wellness goals you are currently working on, may I respectfully encourage you to focus on the benefits, pleasure and delight you will experience as you become, fitter and stronger and playfully step up into more and more fun outdoor healthier activities....this makes the journey so rewarding, satisfying and worthwhile... just keep going and enjoy the rewards !
What will inspire you to make a change?
I’d love to hear you comments, and what precious activity you would like to claim back, please feel free to share with us in the comments.
This is the fifth and final blog in the series about my journey to find increased health and happiness over the past 11 months.
If you’ve missed the other blogs, here are the links:
- Post 1: Sick to Death of Myself;
- Post 2: Self Sabotage: Fear of Looking Good;
- Post 3: Letting my Light Shine.
- Post 4: I am an Athlete
Creating Healthier Workplaces Program Launch
When I started my journey I thought I was going to lose some weight and get a little fitter.
However, in the process I have discovered so much more including a desire to share my insights to help others.
Merging my own corporate experience with health and wellbeing insights gained through working with a personal trainer this year, has led me to develop the Creating Healthier Workplaces program.
This is a program to assist business owners and managers to get so much more out of their own lives, as well as making their:
- work environments healthier;
- more appealing to employees;
- and more conducive to higher thinking and productivity.
So much has changed in my life - much more than I could have foreseen or dared to hope for. So, as is fitting with my new philosophies, I am just going to get straight into it…
Beyond Limits - The Inspiration that Sets Your Spirit Free
Just like me, each and every person has the ability to make better choices and take steps to realise the potential that lies within.
An inspiring sense of freedom and lightness of living becomes available at this level. The banality of social facades and the tiresome games based on other people’s narrow rules and fearful expectations, drop away.
Physically: In a physical and energetic sense I now have a continuous connection to endurance, power, flexibility and speed within my fit, healthy body.
Emotionally: At the emotional level I consistently feel more joy, gratitude, respect, appreciation, reverence and delight - whatever the ebb and flow of life’s events and circumstance.
Intellectually: At the intellectual level I have a higher level of confidence - this confidence is driven by a non wavering sense of personal power that is strong, resolute, certain, assured, breathtakingly expansive and inclusive of others.
The source of my new levels of energy is inextinguishable - the equivalent of fuelling a fireplace with the inner slow burn logs of deep energy and a sustaining flame.
This is very distinct from my past spluttering, flickering surface actions, and my previously erratic energy bursts of short, frantic activity.
Eleven Months Later ...
Now that I am eleven months into my health and wellness journey, the exercise and nutrition rituals I have learnt from my inspirational personal trainer, have become a habit. This creates the confidence for me to move beyond limits - toward expanding success and wellbeing that previously would have seemed impossible.
Indeed the only way to discover the limits of the possible is to choose to go beyond them into the allegedly impossible!
Because I am so much healthier, it is easier for me to integrate a disciplined pattern of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual practices into my life. I no longer struggle to remember to do them.
I actively seek out uplifting situations and environments, particularly in outdoor and wilderness environments, because moving about in natural settings is so much physically easier and rejuvenating for me now.
My renewed energy means I have the focus and clarity to more easily discern the right people and choices that resonate with my core intentions and life purpose. It is simply more and more straightforward to draw forth the best of myself.
Like all of us, setbacks will still cross my path from time to time. I am now much more likely to smile with acceptance and grace in such times of adversity. There’s a knowing that "this too will pass" soon enough, as I continue to grow and learn that I am more physically and mentally tough, endurable, powerful and unbreakable than I had previously realised.
As I enjoy this sense of an upwards spiral through having a much healthier lifestyle, I experience increasing time of joy.
It is increasingly difficult to remember or recognise the version of myself in blog one from January this year: misguided, stubborn and limited. Back then I did not know what I did not know. I was foolishly covering up all of this with false arrogance and bravado!
My health and wellness journey has fully evolved to become a true partnership with my extraordinary personal trainer - because as a psychologist, I recognise that it is important to admit it times we can't do it all on our own, and there are resources available if we choose to draw on them.
In addition to teaching me a healthier way of life, my personal trainer reminded me to reconnect to my true self; and to remember that the door to each person’s dreams is always open.
I trust my reflections in this blog have been good food for thought and wherever your dreams may lie at this point in your life; may I respectfully encourage you and ask.....
Sometimes a psychologist needs help too!
The fourth in a series of posts, sharing my personal journey from a fat and grumpy sad sack during nine months of personal training sessions ... to something much better!
At the beginning of this year, I embarked on a new lifestyle path because I finally became so sick to death of myself that I knew I needed to do things differently.
Having tried and failed many times before, I finally came to terms with the main saboteur in my life – ME! By doing some intense self-reflection whilst consistently working with my trainer, I was able to make a major breakthrough that unleashed my inner light.
The biggest bonus from this stage is the energy I now exude which I can focus on almost any task – mental or physical. I seem able to achieve more than I had previously allowed myself to dream possible.
Every aspect of my life is reaping the rewards. My family find me more present, as I share special times with them I could only dream about before, and my work life is vibrant and exciting once more.
I have discovered a fresh enthusiasm for helping others reclaim their own energy, vibrancy and joy.
For many years we have encouraged our own staff in their healthful endeavours, but now my attention is focused on creating cultures of healthier workplaces within our client base of small, medium and large employers. I am equally excited to be applying our health and wellness approach to assist both profit and not-for-profit organisations.
I am finding this to be a win-win-win scenario for businesses who participate in our programs, with the benefits stretching far wider than can even first be imagined.
While many people are bemoaning the stresses of modern living, imagine a workplace that:
- supports healthier choices,
- creates a nurturing community,
- has reduced absenteeism,
- sees boosted productivity,
- and has the ability to retain staff with incredible loyalty, because it is such a desirable place to work.
This is my vision for healthier workplaces, and my passion is to help management and business owners to create them.
6 Months – A Different Me Emerges
Meanwhile, I have been making progress on my own journey to health and vitality ...
July 2013: How magnificent, rewarding, invigorating and inspiring to myself, do I feel, each day?
I am amazed as my physical speed, strength, power, endurance and flexibility almost effortlessly continue to increase. It is a far cry from the sad, fat, tired me of January!
This committed focus on my health, exercise and nutrition routines has become a delightful new way of life.
Most importantly, these positive changes in behaviour have become an integrated and habit-based part of my identity.
In particular, I now have the confidence and self belief to visualise myself as a developing athlete.
Yet again, the initial daring and guidance to step into this deeper identity has come from my gifted personal trainer - an athlete whom I have recently, come to see as “just like me”.
In other words, I know I am good enough, after our 6 month journey together of reshaping my body and coaching my deeper mental discipline, to train and perform at a similar level to this fitness industry professional.
Even better, the sincerity, wisdom and openness with which my trainer has modelled the behaviours and patterns of their own healthy ways to me, means I routinely now think a lot like an athlete would.
I can immediately tell the difference that proper rest and nutrition and right training technique makes to my physical results and appearance.
I will always make time for my proper health
Psychologically, I now understand within every fibre of my being, that I will always make time for my proper health, and that this needs to be my first foundation or fundamental priority.
My trainer still has to guide me on tolerance, patience and acceptance of my current physical limitations and self distractions, that can occasionally take me off track.
Otherwise the “little boy” born again youthful excitement of pure athletic activity, just for the fun of it, might lead me to over training, injury and/or frustration in trying to overreach too far too soon.
I Am An Athlete
So with the proper guidance, I tap patiently and respectfully into my body’s own wisdom and patterns at a deeper and deeper level. Becoming more aware, that I am retraining my brain patterns, muscle receptor triggers and neurophysiology at a profoundly significant level.
Indeed, I have the very clear realisation, that I have already mentally created and visualised the feel and delight of being an athlete. An athlete, not to compete against others, but to just powerfully feel energetically alive.
My work with my trainer is now a much more equal partnership, as we seek out how to bring forth from within myself, the beautifully strong and inbuilt physical capacities of my own body.
I sense that my body is like a fine marbled block of granite - very strong and with deep potential.
The fun work for us, is to sculpt, chisel and fine tune. To bring clearly and more translucently to the surface, the personal delight of living in a fit athletic body.
This is a truer body that has always been mine. Simply hidden over the years by layers of poor choices and misinformation, that I previously falsely held onto for far too long.
I now see it as normal and routine to consult with allied health professionals ( eg physiotherapists, nutritionists).
In partnership with my trainer, I tap into a network of motivated professionals who are part of this great new world to me of health, wellbeing and athletic fitness/higher performance, as a natural part of everyday life.
Yet again, I am delighted, and appreciate at a pure instinctive level, that I have found the right personal trainer for me, a professional who can resonate with and guide me into stepping deeply into my true potential. Seeing these capabilities in another, is profoundly changing my life for the better!
The Transformation continues...
You would think my transformational journey is finished with this new inner belief and patterns I have embraced. I have already achieved more than I believed possible just six months ago … but my transformation is NOT finished.
There is one more stage beyond my realisation of my own physical capabilities, latent potential and new core inner beliefs. It has taken me to places I really did not dream possible. The final blog will share my insights into this final stage of my ongoing transformation and I will reveal my progress to date as well as the raw insights I have thus far seen.
The momentum of my transformation has almost become exponential and would have thought it was nearing an end … but now I realise… this is just the beginning …
My personal transformational journey with its highs, lows, successes, failures, intense reflections and massive education in the realms of health and allied concepts from my personal trainer, along with the my professional expertise, psychological insights, knowledge and business focus, mean that I am now more than ever impassioned to create a committed and integrated health, wellbeing and coaching offering for businesses.
This unique modular approach marries healthier lifestyle practices into a business or workplace setting, to create real and enduring change.
Ritualising the approach to a whole, participating individual through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing, the objective is to create enhanced communication, higher functioning and thinking, and an environment that nurtures creativity, cements loyalty and overall creates a healthier workplace for all.
Stepping out and beyond traditional workplace health programs, our modular program is more than just a personal trainer, membership at the gym or coaching sessions. Aside from my own results, we are seeing real results in workplace settings.
Please feel free to comment below, or contact me directly for more information on our innovative new program especially designed for forward thinking workplaces looking for the edge in human resourcefulness.
Sometimes a psychologist needs help too!
The third in a series of posts, sharing my personal transformation from a fat and grumpy sad sack to a happier, healthier, and stronger human being during nine months of personal training sessions ...
In January I embarked on a new lifestyle path because I finally became so sick to death of myself that I found a compelling reason and a means to make changes.
I have tried and failed many times before and in my last post, I finally came to terms with the main saboteur in my life – ME!
Support is the Key to Change
After much measured self-reflection and with my trainer (my secret weapon!) consistently supporting me, I have finally broken through and can see that I have already made great progress in breaking the cycle of struggle in all areas of my life:
- and spiritually.
This time, I'm exploring the rewards, both tangible and intangible of this stage of my personal transformation. It's also been a time of consolidating and internalising my motivations, as well as the more obvious physical changes.
One of the biggest bonuses from this stage is the clarity I now have.
This clarity shines a light both looking forward and backwards.
I look forward to what I can now see, I can achieve; as well as looking backwards to my journey so far and the incredible insights this has afforded me.
This new clarity has led me to a renewed passion to help others reclaim their energy and their lives, as I have done.
Part of this is a desire to encourage businesses to create healthier workplace environments to support their workforce, community, productivity and profitability in our stressful and demanding times.
12 Weeks - No Need to Count anymore
Early April 2013: Reluctance & Reliance turns to Joy & Expectation
I am now approximately twelve weeks into my personal training journey and WOW! I am delighted I have stayed committed for a whole three months - and loving it.
My previous life-long pattern would have been a short burst of intense but brief enthusiasm, meaning that by this stage I would have fizzled out and slipped back to minimum physical activities.
Furthermore I would have justified this reneging on myself with some convenient false belief, like:
"Poor me I just have too much in my work/family diary at the moment to keep exercising and I will get back into it again soon ...blah blah blah."
Fortunately for me, my Trainer’s contagious enthusiasm and sheer joy in participating in energetic, fun physical routines, keeps me on track.
I now can sense my increased mental toughness and expanding desire to challenge myself physically. I have a deeper self belief in my abilities and capabilities.
I look and feel stronger and can connect to the movement of my muscles much better.
I look forward to my regular training sessions as the most important and inspiring use of my time each week.
On each occasion my trainer is subtly educating me with physiological and nutritional advice that generates clear and specific health benefits for me.
- I have an expanding sense of ease, enjoyment and excitement that transfers through training into my life in general.
- I am increasingly aware of my reliable progress and understand clearly, that if I consistently do the work (food, rest, exercise, stretching) I will always see the results.
- I start to notice a maturation in my use of power and focus, becoming much more insightful about aligning more gently with subtle physical (plus psychological) energy.
- I nurture and flow with the rhythm of my body during exercise sessions, and thus start to tap into a much more sustainable and enduring source of core strength.
- My laughter and playfulness expand because am no longer just driven by fierce brute male force or aggression.
I so much look forward to each training session, that it has now become clear to me that I have definitely stepped into a new way of life.
People around me comment that I look younger and fitter and stronger. I smile appreciatively, because every deep fibre of my renewed healthier self knows this is true.
In work and social settings I've noticed a more grounded and inspired personal presence, but without the ego or arrogance.
How My Life Has Changed
My lifestyle benefits and simpler easier ways of getting things done are also worth acknowledging.
Mundane but delightful advantages like now being able to…
- athletically climb up a back yard ladder effortlessly;
- spring onto the tin roof at home;
- and spend an energetic Saturday morning pruning the large overhanging palm fronds.
All this and more has become easy and graceful.
Because by now I am more than 20 kilograms lighter, I no longer shuffle gingerly on the tin roof sheeting as I once would have.
I no longer feel unsafe, tense and poorly balanced as I previously sensed the danger of my excessive weight buckling the tin sheets and collapsing through the structure.
I feel truly blessed to be guided by such an inspirational trainer, who has respectfully walked beside me on the journey of the last 3 months and reminded me that it is natural and delightful to truly prioritise health and wellbeing practices into the daily rituals of my life.
Looking after You Honours Others
Investing in myself this way is also an excellent way to honour the other people in my life who I love and care about.
I am truly enjoying giving myself permission to enjoy doing the training that is rekindling my joy and vitality - my inner light.
This light burned brightly in the heyday of my past energetic youth and is now is once again beginning to shine brightly!
At the beginning of July 2013 I participated in the Gold Coast Marathon, the culmination of this phase and the embodiment of letting my light shine through. This day signifies the start of the next phase of my transformation, which I will be sharing in the next blog in this series, as I transform my beliefs about myself with a realisation that truly aligns my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self with a common purpose.
As a result of my own personal journey with its successes, failures, reflections and education in the realms of health from my personal trainer and the rigors of my professional expertise, knowledge and business focus; I have become impassioned to create a committed and integrated health, wellbeing and coaching offering for businesses.
This unique approach marries healthier lifestyle practices into a business or workplace setting that is enduring and creates real change.
Ritualising the approach to a whole, participating individual through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing, the objective is to create enhanced communication, higher functioning and thinking, an environment that nurtures creativity, cements loyalty and overall creates a healthier workplace for all.
Stepping out and beyond traditional workplace health programs, our modular program is more than just a personal trainer, membership at the gym, or some life coaching sessions. Aside from my own results, we are getting real results in workplace settings.
Please feel free to comment below, or contact me directly for more information on our innovative new program especially designed for forward thinking workplaces looking for the edge in human resourcefulness.
Sometimes a psychologist needs help too!
The second in a series of posts, sharing my personal journey from a fat and grumpy sad sack during nine months of personal training sessions ...
To stop this year ending up like the last few (or rather many) years, struggling to keep my head above water physically, financially and at times emotionally, I have embarked on a new journey.
And I’m doing something different ... at the same time I’m personally experiencing the stages of creating enduring change, breaking bad patterns, and reclaiming my life, that as a psychologist I often find myself teaching to others!
This is the second of 5 blogs recording the different stages of my own personal transformation, and how that has led me to insights that I now use to help individuals reclaim their energy and their lives. It has also given me a passion to help businesses to create healthier workplace environments to support their workforce, community, productivity and ultimately their own profitability.
The sad sack, fat and negative old bastard, I started the year as, has to some extent, moved aside.
I’ve kept up training and healthier eating for 6 weeks and there’s some real improvements being made.
Physically, especially, there’s progress … but then there’s this massive roadblock that I just didn’t expect – which is odd because I’ve seen it before!
6 Weeks And Counting…
Mid February 2013: Development and Disruptions
I have to acknowledge that six weeks into my training routine, I am starting to sleep better and feel less stressed.
Nevertheless, there is still no way I would reliably get out of bed early each week to work out hard in the local park.
For that, I still rely upon, my motivating personal trainer, who continues kindly sending me text reminders and regular snippets of information and encouragement during the week.
The Power of Modelling and Example
My trainer’s contagious positive enthusiasm, happiness and zest for life is having a vicarious effect on me. I'm seeing firsthand the power of modelling, and becoming the average of those you surround yourself with …
Her strength of belief in my progress and capacity is a much-needed substitute for my own self doubt, excuses and long entrenched habits of self-sabotage. Left unchecked, I am sure, I would already be falling back into my old unhealthy ways.
Dare I say it … I am even starting to look forward to nutritional and physiological information and advice from my trainer.
I am starting to reluctantly agree... this integrated approach slowly seems to be working!
I am also becoming more interested in the concepts of recovery and strain prevention.
I’m starting to honour and nurture the rhythms of my physical body, and am replacing my old views of seeing my physical self as an external obstacle, to forcefully discipline with brute strength and aggressive demands.
I am even starting to notice that the touch of my own body feels different in the shower, with more toned muscles and sleeker awareness of bones and torso outlines.
Could this be the beginning emergence of my true, real and long lost healthy self???
AND THEN, suddenly into my awareness my biggest sabotage fear rears its hidden tentacles from my deeper subconscious
The Fear of Looking Good!
I had become comfortable and willing to settle for my big belly, beer drinking social self, as an easier way of living.
Believe it or not, I was now becoming scared about the loss of my old self and social identity, if I started looking like a healthier, fitter and younger man.
Around this time of emerging doubt about my desire to truly change my physique, extended family relatives started to criticise and ridicule my efforts ...
- It won’t last Peter, just have a beer or two with us at the weekend BBQ and let your hair down for a while.
- This is a special family/social occasion, surely you can eat a big meal with everyone and have a few social drinks to relax and celebrate in style?
- Don’t overdo this training Peter, maybe you are pushing yourself a bit too hard.
- These personal trainers can be an expensive luxury Peter are you sure you can afford it? Do you really think its worth the money?
I worried about the loss of my old familiar "big boy" social identity, as the host and hearty provider of plenty of good food and cold drinks for everyone - and the more the merrier at our family feasts!
The Inner Voice of Self-Sabotage
I started finding ridiculous justifications to trick myself into backing away from ongoing sessions.
- Gee as my waist size decreases I will be up for the expense of a heap of new business clothes, I cannot afford all that.
- Do I really believe I am worthy to be a superbly fit and healthy guy, or is that just the territory of youth? Am I just kidding myself by thinking I can turn back the clock?”
Through all of this, my trainer listened to my doubts, regularly smiled and gave me new health knowledge.
And most importantly of all:
- Simply held me accountable;
- Kept demonstrating and insisting that I do the exercises and physical routines; and
- Encouraged me to keep modifying the types of food I regularly ate.
Furthermore, my trainer modelled and embodied the truth of her own techniques.
In other words, there was an integrity and congruence around the health and vitality of her joyful lifestyle that deeply resonated with me. It was hard for me to ignore, minimise, justify or rationalise away this embodiment of lifestyle alignment, with my litany of weak excuses for quitting on myself.
Guess what, when you persist with the routines, and have a genuine role model, you continue to get the results.
Bit by bit I started to leave my doubts behind and notice the beginning emergence of the joy and enjoyment of fitness training, as a regular and natural part of my daily life.
Breaking through this self-sabotage syndrome and barrier of doubt means that I am truly ready for my health and well being takeoff. I’ll be sharing this phase in the next blog - "Letting My Light Shine".