Today I had the absolute pleasure of reconnecting with an old friend I haven’t seen or spoke to properly for some time. It has been over a year since our last meeting and the both of us have gone through such radical and immense change it was almost as if we were meeting again for the first time.
In the interest of this piece let’s call my friend Terry. He has gone through a massive physical change, and mine was spiritual. Terry did the most terrifying thing imaginable and shed some serious weight, like 20kgs+! It wasn’t just weight loss though it is also a daily gym and exercise routine as well as healthy eating, nutrition and building his own garden to not only save money but to also know what he is eating and where it is coming from.
As we sat in the car heading to our destination I asked him questions that everyone else had “How did you do it?” “How did you stay motivated?” “What food did you eat?” You know the usual stuff, as usual I was looking for the magic formula, the instant gratification answer, even though deep down I knew it was nothing but pure self control, determination and willpower.
Listening to the story of his journey (I will not recount it here as it is not mine to tell!) I kept reflecting on the last year of my life and how many things have changed. So many circumstances and places I was in have completely changed for the better and I barely recognise myself after a very turbulent 12 months. Please do not misunderstand this post, this is not a whinge just a simple reflection on what has changed in my life.
12 months ago I was working in a crappy call centre for a greedy health insurance company who cared more about profits than the health and well-being of their employees. I was eating my feelings, living in a crappy apartment and in a degree that I was unsure had any future. By pure universal force my job was taken away from me and I was forced to move back home with my parents (I know!) so I decided to make my life over. I sold everything that I had and made a conscious decision to change everything and become who the person I want to be.
While this transformation has not been easy, and I am still a long way from being complete, I can honestly say that I am a lot happier with myself now than I ever have been. I remember being scared about turning 30, worried that the person I envisioned myself to be at the age of 30 was not who I was. This scared me but I look back now and cannot believe how much happier I am.
While Terry’s changes are physical (and seriously the arms, WOW!) he is considering embarking on a no dating/guys challenge for 12 months. I am 9 months into that challenge (nearly 10!!!) and while it has been good for me, I am really ready for it to be over. As I embark on my own physical challenge starting in one day (October 1st!) it is so inspiring to know that the results are achievable and getting into that fitness routine will get there.
Now don’t get me wrong I am not doing this to fit a stereotype or expectation from the gay community, but rather to feel good about myself, to look in the mirror and be happy with myself inside and out. Also the avoidance of things like heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer will be a nice bonus, along with living past the age of 55.
I was a really skinny child and teenager, it wasn’t until I quit smoking that I started stacking on the weight. Put simply I got rid of one addiction and moved on to another. After I got into my first relationship the weight started coming back on as the years and unhappiness went on, I never lost it.
Many times I have tried diets, exercise plans and so many gym memberships that have gone to waste, so what makes this time different? I have a different mindset now, I have a clear goal in mind and nothing and no-one will stop me from doing that. I am the person that can change this situation and I will, I have created a supportive network of friends who will support me through this and I can’t wait to be the best version of myself I can be.
Terry had a horrible weekend and told me that this day had turned things around for him, but for me it was the opposite. This day had helped give me the boost that I needed to get things moving again. To stop being this stagnant, whining, needy person who is always going to do something and start actually doing it.
Thank you Terry for helping me today to realise this, and for reconnecting and hopefully continuing this friendship that came out of nowhere but is now something that I treasure and hope will continue to grow.
Here is a pic of us today, both happy, both different and both moving forward.