Getting started on a weight loss or fitness programs can be daunting at first but knowing that complications such as diabetes and heart disease can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is a great incentive. This inspiring interview with one of our readers shows clearly the amazing transformation that can take place when you replace an unhealthy life with lifetime fitness.
This is a great story because Darren (33) has not only completely changed his life and appearance but he is now commited to a healthy lifestyle and wants to inspire others to take the same path.
I love Darren’s enthusiasm for life now that he is fit and eats well and I like his honesty in saying that sometimes he still has to push himself to begin to exercise, even though he knows how good it is for his body. We all need some extra fitness motivation sometimes – from beginners to those that have made it their life. And for me thats inspiring because it lets me know I am normal!
Hi Darren, thanks so much for sharing your story with us!
Can you tell us when you first decided to become fitter and healthier?
In June 2010 I started with my healthier lifestyle, although I had been contemplating change for a number of years but it never seemed to happen because I guess I never really felt I needed to make changes.
What was it that provided your initial motivation – was it one moment or a buildup of reasons over time?
After a visit to the doctors the harsh reality of how my unhealthy lifestyle was affecting me finally hit home. The doctor told me I had high blood pressure and wanted to do tests for cholesterol and diabetes, that was enough for me to make a change and on that same day I went out and bought a cross trainer which I have used every day since. Within one week of exercise consisting of 15 minutes on the cross trainer and walking daily along with a dramatic change in my diet my blood pressure was back to normal.
What do you love most about the lifestyle that you have now and why?
Everything is easier now, simple things like tying shoelaces were hard work before, I was breathless and uncomfortable in my body, now I’m happy and relaxed in my skin which has impacted on my whole daily living above all else what I love the most is how much more positive and confident I am..
What keeps you motivated?
The feeling of being energized I get from exercise is more than enough to keep me motivated but also the fear of going back to the weight I used to be and the feelings and health concerns that brings keeps me focused.
Some days I do feel like not exercising or beginning my routine and want to give up as soon as I start but when I start it seems so normal and the motivation returns quickly. Also I have to say a good playlist on my iPod impacts on my drive and enthusiasm and enables me to enjoy my routine and keep going.
Have you ever had any problems along the way?
I have not suffered any injury and I put this down to the gradually increased intensity of my workout, starting with low impact exercise supported my large frame and low fitness levels, I listened to my body and built up my routine accordingly.
I have however got pressure sores on the balls of my feet recently due to repetitive pressure during exercise this has been sorted easily with insoles in my shoes prescribed by a chiropodist.
Have your friends and family have been supportive of your decision to change your life for the better?
I have had ongoing support and lots of praise from my family. They were concerned for my health when I was bigger I was continually unwell and suffering aches and pains so they are so happy I feel healthy and look so well. Friends I have known for a lifetime have walked past me not recognizing me with the weight loss which is funny and also satisfying! They have also asked if I’m unwell because it’s hard to believe what I’ve accomplished through hard work and diet! Overall people are amazed and complementary of my achievement which feels great.
What tips would you give to anyone who would like to begin exercising regularly?
Do it NOW…..Start now and don’t put it off!! Don’t look at it as a diet to rebel against just look at it as a new lifestyle. Don’t let old friends persuade you to revert back to your old ways be dedicated and believe in your goal and you can get there just like I did. Look for someone to confide in and ask questions, to offer support and encouragement who knows a bit about health and fitness in my case my Brother filled this role but the web has lots of good advice out there also like Fitness Motivation Today! 😉
What are your plans for the future, and how does fitness fit into this?
Ideally I would like to help other people with health and fitness and encourage people to be motivated to change as I have been; I would love a career in nutrition and health. My overall aim is to continue to be healthy and of ideal weight and hopefully to have surgery to remove excess skin which I have following my weight loss that would make me feel very satisfied.
Exercise will always now be part of my life, its part of my routine and now something I enjoy.