October 31, 2015In Paul's JourneyBy Paul Cocker5 Minutes

When I decided to start writing a blog about taking control of my health and fitness, I didn’t do it to blow my own trumpet or get a load of compliments (not going to lie – they help!).

I wanted to give an honest account of just an average bloke in his late 30’s who had fallen into a lazy life style, and how just a few simple steps and regaining control can have huge benefits both physically and mentally.

When I started this journey I didn’t set myself a timeframe; I avoided things like “6 weeks to this body” and various other quick fix promises. In my head I put it as a project like rebuilding a beaten up classic car! I knew it would take time to repair all the damage I had inflicted by not being responsible with my health over a lot of years, and like any old banger it would require a lot of maintenance.

“Slowly slowly catchy monkey”

A phrase I quite like, and so with that in mind this set me up to try to keep my motivation firing.

Over the last two blog posts (Read: Part 1Part 2) I didn’t mention anything about how long it was between the header pictures, nor did I put any weight measurements. This was because I felt it wasn’t of as much importance as the general message behind the two pieces of just getting started and seeing where it takes you.

If you are curious it was fourteen months exactly between the pictures, and the weight at my heaviest was 14st 1lb (90kgs or 198lbs). I weighed in at 12st 2lbs (78kgs/171lbs) when the second picture was taken.

I didn’t weigh myself a lot during the 14 months; I don’t see the point in becoming obsessed with pounds gained or lost in a week, as I feel you are setting yourself up for a fall or the risk of disappointment.

I did take pictures instead. Not every week, but once a month or so to gauge progress that way. And also your clothes don’t lie to you, so if they are getting loose you are doing something right.

So was I happy at the end of fourteen months?

Obvious answer is YES, of course I was!

I liked how I looked again and more importantly I felt comfortable in my own skin, and this is something I hope everyone can get to. I am not saying settle for something or make peace with feeling overweight or unhealthy, but find your own motivation to change. It could be anything in your life that spurs you on to grab your life back; take a few minutes and think about what you really want from life! It could be you want to be able to run around with your kids and not feel like you are going to pass out after 2 minutes! It could be you always wanted to run a half marathon! Even right down to general well-being and feeling right in you.

Everything starts with a first step or a choice to take control of a situation, because no one is going to hand you results. Not even the best personal trainer in the world can help you without you doing the donkey work. And let’s be honest, it is hard going and it will be a long process filled with moments of doubt. But those moments vanish when you start to feel and see the results of your hard work.

Finding a healthy sustainable lifestyle was my aim, and I feel I am definitely getting there gradually. It’s not been black and white, and everyone is different, so you have to find what works for you and your body. But the main thing is to be consistent and be honest with yourself.

Don’t cheat yourself, but don’t punish yourself if you take a step backwards.

Just stop, refocus and step forward again.

Be happy, be healthy, and be the best version of you.