Between 2008 and 2012 I overcame my own laziness and dismissive judgments to embrace a lifestyle of fitness and wellness. As someone who grew up without being particularly athletic or attune to my health, I always harbored a self consciousness, thinly veiled in apathetic pretense. It would not be uncommon for me to privately chide those who were secure, comfortable with and proud of their physique as vein, egotistical and over-compensating for a lack of depth. The world of health and fitness was far outside my comfort zone and the fear of judgment often kept me on the sidelines of any situation where physique might be on display.
A turning point came when I moved into a house with two of my friends from high school who at the time were working as personal trainers. Immersion seems to have been the catalyst to overcoming this fear and avoidance of things physical, but the pervasive elements of insecurity were not cast off all at once. As an example, I bought a weight bench with some weights on Craigslist as my interest began to peak and although I don’t remember actually having this thought, I was in college at the time with access to a state-of-the-art gym facility, yet I decided to buy my own setup. It surely must have, at least subconsciously, been intimidated by the idea of working out publicly.
As time went on, slowly but surely my interest grew and expanded into holistic change of body, mind and lifestyle. I created a challenging 6 day a week schedule which I maintained pretty much without fail. I began taking protein supplements, creatine, glutamine, pre-workout energy boosters, and anything that I thought would help me create the transformation I was seeking. When I started developing tendinitis in both shoulders from the heavy weights, high intensity, and admittedly lackluster stretching and warm-ups which I had been practicing for 5 months I began to incorporate two days of yoga into my routine. I started watching calories, fat intake, eating times and food combinations in order to reduce my body fat, while keeping my protein intake high to ensure muscle development and recovery. I removed most starches and sugars from my diet, and tried to even limit whole grains to early in the day.
Ultimately, overcoming this fear of the physical and athletic arena led to the development of a radically different lifestyle at which fitness and health is an organizing and foundational principle. From the moment I wake up in the morning, every decision I make about what goes into my body and how I use my body revolves around questions and principles of health and wellness.