Week 21

Routine, habit and repetition are the bedrock of success. Quick fix diets always seem to reverse. Get rich quick schemes usually end up with lots of people being poor. Bubbles burst. I’ve spent some time communing with nature this week and I’m always in awe of the work that the ocean, rivers and glaciers have achieved over millenia carving out smooth natural curves and towering peaks. When I feel that my challenge is not moving me in the right direction it has been good to reflect that permanent change takes time and developing the movement, discipline and eating habits that I am slowly setting into my life like a river through rock will be the real prize at the end of all this.

Week 20

A few mornings this week it was a struggle to get out of bed. The dark mornings. The mental effort to start the day. I had a momentary dip into a pretty miserable spot. The end of the week was topped off by amazing game of rugby with a team I’ve recently joined. The joy of being with a group of like minded people with a common purpose dragged me out of any gloom that I was still in.

Having a workout buddy or partner, someone to keep you going when you don’t want to is often underrated. We can fetishise the brave soloist enduring challenges with a stoic stiff upper lip but most people succeed in life with the support of others, with a network. Studies have shown that working out with a friend helps you stick to your goals and aims.

I am a positive person, sometimes to a fault, so I practice gratitude when I need to. I am grateful to my friends and family and the people that message me here and on Instagram that keep me going and support me and encourage me. I might not have a training buddy here in Brisbane I feel like I have dozens and dozens with me every step of the way.

Thank you.

Week 19

One of the questions I was asking with my challenge is can a person get “fit” with just one exercise. I’d often heard the mantra that if you only do one exercise then swim or deadlift or do kettlebell swings.

So 95 days of kettlebell swing done and 155 days to go, what do I think so far. Well I feel fitter for a start. I have better muscle tone but no significant weight loss (at least not by what I was hoping for). Mentally I am stronger and more capable of just getting on with it. I am better at swinging kettlebells plain and simple.

But I’m not “functionally fit” as I discovered when I crossed the whitewash for the first time in over twenty years to play a game of veterans (old people not soldiers) rugby with Easts Toothless Tigers. Sprinting, or fast trundling at least, tackling, being tackled, twisting, turning all of the movements I haven’t practiced with a kettlebell in my hand left me a little broken by Sunday morning and moving like a rusty tinman.

So if can only do one exercise what should you do? Well frankly, in my opinion, you should stop listening to your own bullshit about being restricted to one exercise and find a rounded routine that covers strength, flexibility and endurance. If you have a specific goal, train for that goal but add things that are outside your normal range. This was the original concept behind cross training, training across disciplines.

Can you get fit with just one exercise? Probably but not as fit as you’ll get with a plan.   

Week 18, Month 4

A third of the way through the challenge and I seem to have passed the weight loss plateau at last. I always knew I’d get there but it is soul destroying looking at those scales and seeing nothing happen. The image I see in the mirror is tough to gauge as I look at it every day and when you do that you can’t see changes. Sometimes you have to look away for a while before looking back to see the shift. I should probably put some before and after photos side by side for a little motivation.

Throughout the month I’ve started to re-examine my eating (and drinking) habits, I have pushed myself to catch up with the days missed because of illness and travel and I have considered reducing rest periods and investing in a heavier kettlebell. I’ve also been blown away with the community of people who constantly encourage and inspire me to keep going when I get frustrated and bored.

May will be a big month for me as I try to be disciplined with my diet and nutrition especially as two of my kids are visiting for a week and there will be not much time and lots of pizza. Having company I love always sways me towards the instant gratification over the long term benefits but they are fully behind my challenge too and I know they’ll keep me strong.