In the depths of the cold Melbourne winter, I began planning a November tropical holiday. I was looking forward to family time in the Balinese sunshine. What I wasn’t looking forward to was feeling self-conscious about my body, instead of relaxing. I knew I’d have to start tasting my own medicine and get serious about my training. Prior to opening Kaya, Koula and I trained regularly and made time to nurture ourselves. This changed when the Prahran club doors opened, our baby Lucas was born, and we opened the Emporium club. Our priorities completely shifted. Our focus was the clubs, our members and our Lucas.
Now that things have settled (at least until baby number two arrives next year), I’m making more ME time. I’ve had to make myself a priority and put my training first. I’d always preached exercise and wellness to others. It was time to start practising what I’d been preaching (and MISSING) for so long.
Growing up, I was overweight. I absorbed all the wellness information available at the time, and quickly learnt to associate ‘food’ with ‘fat’, and ultimately as ‘bad’. Realising this damaging thought process from my childhood was lingering shocked me. My belief in adulthood was still that the less food I consumed the more fat I would burn for fuel. Case closed. I recently came to learn I was starving my body, inadvertently slowing my efficiency at breaking down fat cells, and increasing my body’s urgency to store energy. With my body under the impression it was entering a famine, it was conserving all the energy it could and slowing down regeneration of muscle tissue. It’s a cycle of cutting calories, and tearing your hair out wondering why you feel less toned than ever!
My personal turning point was realising I couldn’t ‘trick’ my body. It knew what was going on better than I did. I had to play by the rules.
I developed a fitness regime and connected with a training partner who I could share my goals with, who could keep me on track, and who would give me that little extra push and encouragement. For the bigger pushes I had the help of one of our many talented Resident Personal Trainers, Billy, who made sure we took before and after photos so I could witness the progress.
Yoga has assisted me to RELAX. Anyone who knows me would say that I’m an ‘Energiser battery’. However, I do go flat from time to time and need recharging. Yoga, and training in general, keeps my moods and energy in check. My mindset had completely shifted back to where it was prior to opening Kaya. I now make fitness a priority, training 5 days a week. It makes me feel good and provides me with the clarity and energy I need to continue driving the Kaya bus and caring for my family.
I’ve learnt to balance my intake of food. Although it felt counterproductive to eat more when I was trying to lose weight, I knew that I had to eat smarter. I cut out sugar and minimised my carb intake (no carbs after lunch). I massively increased my consumption of protein and fresh veggies (less fruit as it contains sugars). Increasing my water intake is still a ‘work in progress’.
The common problem when beginning a new fitness regime seems to be perspective. My approach to personal fitness was skewed – I was looking for a quick fix to a superficial problem, rather than a lifestyle recharge to revamp my health and wellbeing. Often, as I experienced myself, we start out with high hopes, big goals, and rigorous fitness and diet plans to adhere to. After a couple of weeks, if there aren’t any dramatic changes, we go out for a decadent meal or we skip the gym for a few days. Then we condemn ourselves and give up. We aren’t thinking about our health and fitness long term, as a lifestyle. We’re thinking of it as a temporary endurance, especially if we have a negative perspective where the changes are spurred by a sense of unhappiness. For me, the unhappiness was the dread of holiday photos without a ‘toned and fit body’. I had to learn to shift my perspective and view my personal fitness journey as a new and refreshing addition to my lifestyle – rather than a chore to get out of the way (or to get out of). I didn’t have to force myself to do exercise anymore. Fitness became the most rewarding part of my day. With the support of Billy, Chaz and Koula, I stayed committed to my goals, and I love it more and more each day.
My advice to anyone who is in a ‘training/exercise rut’ at the moment: FIGHT IT! Start small, with two sessions a week. Do classes or training that you really enjoy, or new ones instead of the same old. Find a training partner, as this will keep you accountable. And be PERSISTENT! Good things take some time! I’m a studio owner, and I fell into the ‘training rut’! It really can happen to anyone. Don’t be hard on yourself. Set yourself a GOAL like I did. It worked for me and now I won’t look back. Until next time, see you in class or on the training floor. Christian