In my thirty odd years of existence, I’ve generally been in pretty good shape.
While still at school I played a lot of different sports and enjoyed a lot of different activities from tennis, rollerblading and muay thai kickboxing to swimming, BMX, motorcross and running. When I finished high school I weighed in at 89kg and was lean.
Fast forward to university and things were staying fairly on track for the first few months. I joined the University of Southern Queensland gym located at the Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre. It was the first gym that I’d really used with any sort of frequency and before I knew it, I’d put on about around 10kg of muscle and was knocking on the door of 100kg. As university life settled in though, there was a whole lot less sport, a whole lot of inactivity and a world of bad food and drinking. While I don’t know exactly what my weight would have reached while at university, looking back on some photos not so long ago makes me think it would have been 120-125kg.
When I moved to the Gold Coast in 2004, I didn’t join a gym initially however the fact that I was removed from the university lifestyle meant that I lost a little bit of weight and came down to around 115kg, not a small fry by anyone’s measure. Over the next couple of years I’ve walked of a morning on and off, used a couple different gyms that were close to where we were living and as a result I’ve had a fairly consistent and steady weight of 109-110kg.
While I wasn’t unhappy at that weight specifically, it was causing me other issues. For example, when going for a fast walk my shin muscles would get so sore and fatigued that I couldn’t even lift my toes to walk heal first. I also noticed that the ligaments below my kneecaps joining the top of my shin bones would get quite sore whenever I did high impact exercises, which was more of an annoyance than anything.
I think as a by product of playing so much sport as a youngster, I’m a fairly competitive person by nature. One sport that I have really enjoyed playing since moving to the Gold Coast has been squash. One of the key components to being a successful squash player, outside of hitting the ball well, is undoubtedly fitness and agility on the squash court. As my squash skills have improved over the last couple years and I’ve moved up in the squash grades, it has been getting increasingly difficult to win because I simply didn’t have the cardiovascular fitness or the agility to adequately compete – which frustrated me no end.
Around June last year I decided that I’d start keeping track of my weight on a semi-regular basis. I was surprised to find out that with the very limited amount of exercise I do and with virtually no care for what I was eating, that my weight seemed to hover around the 108-109kg mark.
I’m still not sure exactly what it was that triggered me to start tracking my weight, but I know if you don’t measure something it makes it that much harder to improve it. It turns out that like a lot of things, starting is the hardest part and committing to measuring my weight regularly made me accountable.
I’m happy to report that after doing nothing about my weight for so long, that I’ve made a start.