My Health & Fitness Lifestyle Journey sounds like a bit of an epic title to this post but it is actually very simple really.
When I was young I was a thin kid, not many friends at all, maybe one or two but I was ok with that, I liked the quiet life after all. I was brought up to eat what I was given which I always did, never left an empty plate.
I went to university as a mature student, 23 years young and it was here that I learnt about alcohol, yes I know I started late in life but I am a slow learner. The student union bar was my local and yes before you ask I did go to all my lectures, not skipping any although I did fall asleep in a lecture once.
As an active member of the student fraternity, I pretty much lived in the bar, having the occasional drink or 6, not the healthiest thing to do I know. In addition to this, I didn’t eat healthily, I do believe if it wasn’t for me the local fish n chip shop or curry house would have been out of business. What I’m trying to say is I didn’t follow a healthy lifestyle one bit and in those years I weighed 16 to 17 stone because of this. I had trouble walking up and down stairs, I was a proper couch potato and this continued after I left university for many many years.
Fast forward about 10 years to when I was 36 or 37 don’t remember exactly, all I know was it was a hot summer. When it’s hot you don’t always want hot food like a curry, fish n chips, burger or fast food you may fancy something cold like a salad, well on this fateful day this is what I wanted. I drove down to the supermarket and looked up and down the isles, not even looking at the processed food or meal for one which I always chose. I actually bought some fresh salad, I was very happy with myself and you know what, it was beautiful. I continued on this eating healthier food with appropriate portion sizes and in the space of a few months I lost 1 1/2 stone, I was a very happy man.
That same summer, on a beautiful day I went for a little walk around Chasewater my local lake. I had never been one for sports after I left school although I was a pretty good sprinter and not bad at school cross country. Anyway, my little walk around Chasewater turned into a jog. I jogged and walked halfway around the lake which was about 1 1/2 miles to the convention center and then walked the rest of the way home. I was very happy with myself, this was the first exercise I had done for many years, I was now on a mission to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Over the coming weeks, I repeated my jog walk around Chasewater 3 times a week. Each time I ran a little bit further and walked a little less until finally, I ran all the way around the 5km route. To say I was proud of myself was an understatement but I had to continue my new journey to push myself that little bit further.
To continue my journey I joined my local gym where I could go on the treadmill, bike and resistance machines. I must admit I wasn’t a fan of the gym and never will be. Going on a treadmill and staring at the same wall for 30mins wasn’t what I called exciting, my love is and will always be for the outdoors.
I joined my local running club Chase Harriers who were very supportive. I loved the club runs partly because it felt like a social event and also because I got to run through Cannock Chase which is an area of natural beauty. Over the coming years my running improved, my lifestyle had totally changed, I wasn’t a couch potato anymore, I enjoyed life and was healthier for it.
I have had blips everyone does, that is life, you learn from these setbacks and come back stronger. When I was 40 I did a lot of travelling up north each day and as such, I wasn’t following a healthy lifestyle, I was eating rubbish and not finding the time to exercise. You can see where this is going, yes all the weight I lost, I put back on and I wasn’t in a happy place. After a few years, I stopped the long distance travelling and restarted my journey. I changed my lifestyle once more, eating healthily and restarted my running and have not looked back since.
In the last 6 years I have taught beginner running which we called the Walk 2 Run. This was an 8 week progressive course which gradually got people from walking to running for 30mins by the end of the course. This is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done seeing how people have improved over the weeks. If only I had had this sort of course when I first started running it would have been so much easier.
In the last 2 years I setup ChaseLife.uk with my wife Sarah who is my rock. This was originally meant to be a one off Walk 2 Run course but due to popular demand it kept going and here we are today.
I have always struggled with food, I enjoy it too much. I have always struggled with my weight, I always have and always will but I’m learning not to be obsessive about it. I have learnt that fad diets don’t work because as soon as you stop the diet, the weight will come back on. If you ever think about dieting, don’t do it. All you have to do is eat healthy fresh food with moderate portion sizes from all the food groups and moderate exercise at least 3 times a week. It’s all about changing your lifestyle, not just your diet.
I have learnt a lot in my time; you will have ups, you will have downs, its not easy but if you put the effort in and you have the support of others you will be stronger, healthier and ultimately happier all of which is down to following a healthy lifestyle. If your sitting at home reading this and you want to make changes to your lifestyle, take that first step, if I can do it, so can you! #BelieveAchieve