How often are we incredibly hard on ourselves to the point where we nearly give up on reaching for the things we want to accomplish? Well, I can honestly tell you that I have been in that boat more times than I can count, and I wasted a lot of time wallowing in self-doubt and self-pity. I say NO MORE!! Who’s with me?!
These past few years have been some of the most important years of my life because I truly embraced what I want out of life and where I want to push myself. I did things that I had, at one point or another, decided I would never be able to experience: getting married to an amazing lady, having a child, buying a house, and opening a martial arts studio. Yes, these are all things I had told myself would never happen, and I possibly didn’t deserve. Honestly, it got quite depressing and manifested itself in emotional negativity, lack of real decision-making power, and weight gain like I’d never experienced.
Now, I’m the type of person who truly wants to help those around me and bring positive energy to all my interactions. For as long as I can remember, I have gone out of my way to help others, but when it came to taking care of myself, I shut down and avoided the reality of my own needs. I would never want to shut off my sense of compassion and helpfulness, but how can I fully be there for others if I’m not taking the time to focus on my own needs and development?
One major goal that has almost always fallen short for me has been managing my weight. Among all the other challenges associated with the Ultimate Black Belt Test, gaining control over my weight will be my greatest struggle and, possibly, my biggest success. In the past, it would not be out of character to grab a breakfast burrito on my way in to work, head out to eat for lunch, often times for Mexican food, then hang out with friends for dinner, which, like the rest of the day, was not full of healthy choices You could probably imagine what that did to my energy levels and sleep patterns!
One of the most important reasons I wanted to open my own martial arts studio was because it would force me to improve my health, for myself, for my family, and for the people I would come to serve. Now, for those of you that know me, I’m not small….ever. Even at my best, I hover close to 300 lbs, but I am capable of things someone my size should not be able to do. In recent years, I got as high as 380 lbs. Since starting Dynamic Martial Arts, I am proud to say that I am down over 40 lbs and excited for the next 60 lbs to come off. My ginormous goal for this year is to get to my lowest weight in well over 20 years--the 280s. At that weight, my body composition should be relatively low, my energy levels near unstoppable, and my strength will have me feeling like the Incredible Hulk!
Where do I want to be? The weight number is just that: a number. The ultimate goal with losing the weight and getting in shape is not to reach that mark and allow myself to revert back to old habits, but rather to adjust my lifestyle, one habit at a time, to one that provides me with the energy to do the things I love, like teaching my best martial arts classes, playing with my daughter, and being active with my wife. Knowing that the majority of my success (or failure) will happen in the kitchen has made me realize where the majority of my focus needs to be. The success I’ve experienced thus far has been from a combination of keto style nutrition and intermittent fasting. I’m certainly no expert in either of these, but am doing my best to learn the science behind why they have been working for me. It’s a work in progress that I’ll be sharing along the way and in future posts to keep me motivated and accountable and hopefully inspire others along the way.
As Arthur Ashe once said, “success is a journey, not a destination.”