I was thirteen when I started smoking. Peer group pressure and the joys of puberty convinced me that this made me ‘cool’ and that I fitted into the cool group at school. How wrong I was.
Fast forward 22 years and at the age of 35 I was smoking a packet a day and drinking almost a bottle of wine of an evening. (That’s not including the social drinking). McDonald’s 3-4 times a week. I started to put on weight. After another failed attempt at quitting smoking, I finally realised I needed to drastically change my life, or there would not be a life to live.
I quickly realised that the quit smoking gimmicks out there were exactly that ‘gimmicks’ so it was cold turkey all the way. This was the start of my journey to getting fit.
At my heaviest, I weighed 93kg.
This was 20 kgs heavier than what I sat the whole decade of my 20’s. My entire 20’s I would eat what I wanted, when I wanted and not a single change in my body weight.
This was the dream, the ideal lifestyle. Eat, drink, smoke, party. Isn’t that what we all want? Not me, not anymore!
When I entered my 30’s, everything went in the opposite direction. Almost overnight I gained 5kg and it went up and up and up from there.
I never really felt like I had to change anything in my life up until this point, but the good angel that sits on my right shoulder (my conscience) would constantly remind me that I needed to quit smoking and I needed to get healthy.
I wasn’t that interested in sports, so I needed some sort of exercise that I would enjoy and not give up on, if it became hard. So, I bought myself a road bike and started cycling as I believed that cardio was the silver bullet to getting fit. The fresh air and the sun pelting down on me while I cycled was awesome. This was it. This was what my life was missing. Add in a couple of gym sessions a week and eating lots of tuna salad and I was sure that this was going to keep me in shape.
Crossfit was my first attempt at training and the first time I had a personal trainer. It was hard, but I was kicking goals and God it felt good. 3 years passed and I was down to 78kg. ‘This is good’ I thought ‘I’m happy with this’. Throughout the 3 years I had stopped and started smoking at least another 3-4 times but I was determined to kick the habit.
2013, Aaron Luxmoore entered my life. Energetic and enthusiastic and 3 years older than me and full of life. Aaron convinces me to change my training techniques and we both joined a new gym and a new trainer. For the next 3 years, we trained 2-3 times a week with our trainer and I cycled at least twice a week. I had completely kicked smoking out the door and f*&k it felt good.
Then I turned 39.
2017 was filled with lots of big events – a new career, moving house twice, 3 destination weddings and 1 local and friends popping out babies left right and centre. It was pretty full on and as a result, so was the weight gain. Cycling was just not going to cut it anymore, I was really unhappy with how my body was changing.
I didn’t want to be that 40-year-old who just gave up and let myself go, because that’s what generations before me did, that was the norm. I wanted to be the best possible version of myself; someone that I could be proud of; someone I could pat on the back when I looked in the mirror.
Welcome to Enterprise Fitness.
7th of October 2017. Day 1 – Aaron and I joined Enterprise Fitness.
He was young, but Lewis Franz (my new trainer) captured me from the minute I walked in. He was confident and knew his sh*t. Lewis was in touch with today’s training methods with a fresh, open mind – this was exactly what I needed. Enough years of experience but young enough to be full of energy.
Lewis pushes me hard and has taken me to limits that I didn’t know my body (or mind) could or would endure. My only request was ‘no f*&ken burpees’. 5 months down the track and still no f*&ken burpees. 👏🏻
I’ve taken the challenge to enter a fitness physique competition on May the 20th 2018 -8 days after my 40th birthday. Dedication and perseverance has brought me this far and that’s exactly what will get me to the 20th of May. I’ll be celebrating my 40th birthday on the 21st of May instead.
Don’t let anyone put you down or stop you from achieving your goals. You will face many hurdles in your lifetime, but it’s your choice if you choose to jump over them or stop in front of them.
Thank you, Lewis, Mark, and the entire Enterprise fitness team from making me believe in myself, helping me to understand that age is no barrier, and that nutrition and health is not about reducing your food intake and doing lots of cardio, but eating the right foods, more of them, and training with the best technique!
See you on the big stage!