The 26 Week Challenge

On Saturday 13 Sept 2014 I woke up changed and determined. Something in my mind told me it’s time to adjust my attitude and priorities and to stop making excuses. I realised I needed to make serious changes to improve my health and wellbeing.

For the first time in years I found myself at the apartment gym working out on the stepper. A plan was starting to form and I realised you need time and commitment to really make improvements. I decided I’d start with a 26 week personal challenge. Later I’d work that this finishes on 21 March 2015 about 4 weeks before my Japan and India trip which is ideal.

Today is the start of week 6, over the first 5 weeks I’d managed to lose the first 10 kilos of the 40 I’m aiming for. While that is more or less on track I know it will get harder. I’m hoping after 5 weeks I’m locked into a positive pattern.

The improvements I determined I need are in:
1) Work-life balance
2) Health
3) Fitness
4) Weight

Work-life balance
Work has been a big priority over the last 12 months. One in eight employees have been made redundant during that time. My position was at risk and my workload increased substantially. I was working very long hours and weekends. I took almost no leave.

That had to change. First up I’ve only taken my work laptop home one weekend. I also didn’t take it for recent Sydney trip. Working at 11 pm isn’t healthy, whatever the issue either I or my staff can deal with it the next day. I also took 4 days off in the middle of September which gave me a chance to go bowling with my sister Kara, brother-in-law Jason and Niece Erin. That’s a better balance and helps mental health.

It’s time to reduce and stop the fast food, no more KFC, McDonalds or Red Rooster. Time to reduce the cheese and chocolates and moderate others as well. It was time to increase other food groups including wheat/bread and fruits. Recently a good friend started making me healthy smoothies with vegetables and fruit, which I started this week. Hopefully this better food balance will lead to better energy levels. So far it’s looking good even if I’m struggling with the ‘grass’ taste of the vegetable smoothy it is getting easier.

The first change and the biggest. I now workout at my apartment gym, or hotel if travelling, for at least 10 minutes, normally 25 minutes but sometimes 45 minutes, every morning. I’m not a morning person but I was always exhausted at night to go down to the gym. I know people who do this in the morning and swear it sets them up for the rest of the day so for 33 days out of 35 days short gym sessions are in. Normally it’s the stepper, sometimes the bike.

Outside the gym I aim for a minimum of 20,000 steps per day. On workdays when located in Moonee Ponds I walk home taking 1 hour 40 minutes and 10,000 steps. The rest of the steps are made up with lunch walks, walks to train stations, movements during the day. My best day so far is 37,000 steps. It’s getting easier. The mental side is the key, every day I can achieve something, every day is an opportunity.

All of the above, better diet, better life balance / less stress, and better fitness lead to weight lose. The aim is 40 kilos to get down to ideal weight (at top of the range). So far I’m 1/4 of the way there. Hopefully the above plans pit in place will lead to long term improvements.

I’m told it takes 3 years to retrain your taste buds and you mind so we will see how I go.

One way or another I think I’ll enjoy my next world trip better if I meet my goals.


About Nathan

An Australian World traveler who has been fortunate enough to experience 56 countries so far.
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