This wasn’t really the example I wanted to model for my son. Christmas 2017 we also made a trip home to Northern Ireland to spend Christmas with the family. A few weeks before the trip we found out that my mum had cancer and she was in the middle of her treatment when we went over – that trip took on a whole different meaning because when it came time to say goodbye we really didn’t know what the future had in store for my mum. It was an emotional and difficult time. Being with the family was also a very grounding experience because my mum and sisters were not backwards in coming forwards about my expanding waste line! I found myself avoiding photos that Christmas because I really didn’t like the way I looked.
My wife had been training at It’s Personal Transformation for a while and talked me into starting. That was a big step – I had very successfully managed to avoid gyms all my life and having some anxiety which became worse every time I even thought about setting foot in a gym I wasn’t in a rush to start. To me, gyms were full of posers and people with fit bodies who would take one glance at me and a quickly turn away laughing. I dubiously decided to give it a go and soon realized that there was good reason for my anxiety. No sooner had I started and a freak accident during a squat crushed my thumb when is became trapped between the safety arm and the Olympic bar. It was broken of course; I never do things by half! Following surgery to pin it back together, I was out of the gym for the remainder of that training block. On the positive side, it gave me time to focus on my nutrition.
To me the nutritional changes were really common sense – If it grows from the ground or it comes from an animal eat it – If not leave it alone. I became much more calorie aware and started to take notice of the nutrient value of foods. I also started to take notice of how certain foods were affecting my body. Things like pizza for example which in the past I wouldn’t think twice about eating now leave me feeling uncomfortable, bloated and unsatisfied. I’ve realized I neither like or need that. I’ve also realized that my body is very good at masking the effects of poor food choices. It took a bit of pushing through and being consistent in cutting out the junk before before my mind accurately registered the feelings I was experiencing if I snuck a bit of junk back in. Now I’m much clearer about how my body responds to certain foods which is very empowering in the choices I now make.
Three F.I.R.E blocks later, I enjoy reaping the rewards from my training. I would be lying if I said I enjoy F.I.R.E all the time, but I do get satisfaction from seeing the progress in my strength and in my changing body composition. How I feel within myself though has been the most rewarding for me. I can look at myself in the mirror and feel proud. I feel honored that my transformation has been chosen to be showcased and my parents and sisters back in Ireland are amazed at my progress pictures. And my son Archie who’s spent many hours coming to training sessions with us is subtlety learning from both his parents what a healthy lifestyle is really all about. Now that he’s got his fitter and healthier dad who’s 23Kg lighter he’d better watch out because I’ve picked up my tennis racket again and this time he’s got a dad he can be proud of and who’s going to last the entire match. Watch out son I’m back in the game!