Consider the following timeline:
In my school days:
- Fat chubby boy
- Not a very active lifestyle (my parents would lock me up at home)
- 9th grade I accidentally got into track & field events and got introduced to the concept of exercise
In my early 20's
- From 52kgs — I went all the way to 112kgs in body weight (courtesy steroids also)
In my early 30's
- Thanks to years and years of super heavy ego driven lifts, I had multiple injuries.
- Severe lower back, elbow & multiple knee injuries resulted in being unable to do any form of exercise for many years.
- I lost all my muscle shape & size and it got replaced with muscle and fat.
In my 30’s (35 years to 38 years of age)
After being unhealthy, fat & out of shape, I once again decided it was time to keep fit. And so from being a guy who couldn’t run 100 meters, I got into
- Barefoot running (48kms)
- Half Marathon Training (Best timing 2 hours)
- Triathlon (Competed at International Events as an Amateur)
- Swimming (2kms in the Ocean)
- Cycling (80kms)
I was the best, the fittest & the fastest I had ever been.
My health was by far at its peak.
And I felt like a million dollars.
However, I was following an unsustainable lifestyle
- I was exercising 4 to 6 hours a day
- I was investing too much money, too much time and too many resources to my new found hobby
- My obsession to keep fit was severely affecting other areas of my life.
Age 38 to 40
This was the phase I moved from Dubai, UAE to Koh Samui, Thailand.
- I had stopped exercise completely.
- Thanks to my Thai wife who loved cooking delicious food, my weight had ballooned out of control.
- I was now 108kgs with a nearly 50 inch waist.
- I had heavy breathing problem, growing risk of diabetics & blood pressure. I knew I had to do something fast…
At the age of 40
- I chose to undergo Bariatric Bypass Surgery.
- In 5 months, I lost 30kgs.
- My weight from 108kgs came down to 78kgs.
- Since the surgery, my diet has reduced sugar, carbs, processed foods, fizzy drinks & junk food by 90%.
- And now I have started doing slow runs — 2kms to 3kms everyday
LESSONS LEARNED AFTER 21 YEARS….
So what I have learnt after going through nearly 20 years of doing exercises, diets, weight loss & weight gain programs and yes experimenting with Steroids?
- There is no one universal diet, exercise, system or solution that is a one-size-fits-all for everyone. What may work for most other people, may not work for you.
- It is not exercise but your diet that is responsible for your bad health & weight gain. Diet is 90% of the problem always.
- 99% of supplement are absolutely rubbish, misleading & waste of money.
- If you are thinking of taking supplements — always go in for vitamins & minerals but only if you are into exercising. And yeah — always check the labels.
- Protein powders — almost all of them are total nonsense.
- Creatine does help in muscle building.
- Caffeine is powerful agent to help you focus before exercise.
- Its all in the DNA — There are some people who will stay fat & unhealthy no matter how much they diet, how much they exercise and how much self-control they practice.
- Fat people are not fat because they have less self-control or they lack discipline. Their bodies & appetites are built that way.
- The only solution for really fat people is surgery — Bariatric Surgery.
- Steroids have different kinds of results on different people. However, I strongly believe what comes in easily, goes away easily. And when something isn’t natural to you — it is never good. (I do not endorse or recommend anyone taking steroids)
- The success of any diet & any exercise is consistency.
- The best form of exercise is always the not-so-glamorous forms of exercise like Yoga, stretching, walking and long distance running have greater benefits than going to the gym to pump muscles or dancing.
- Doing some exercise or movement is better than doing nothing.
- If your family & your lifestyle doesn’t support your decision to lose weight or stay healthy — it is impossible to succeed
- The biggest killer is Sugar
- The second biggest killer is processed foods — ALL and I mean ALL of them.
- The third biggest killer is junk food
- The fourth biggest killer is lack of exercise & lifestyle
- The fifth biggest killer is smoking, drinking alcohol & drugs
- The sixth biggest killer is Stress
- The most dangerous & irresistible combination used in foods is Fat, Sugar & Salt.
- Sleep is the most under-rated and overlooked aspect to good health
- Fasting helps the body reset itself
- Meditation does wonders for your health
- Breathing deeply for 15 minutes a day has immensely benefits to your body. How do you do this? Just breath in deeply through the mouth & exhale fast. Do this for 15 minutes.
- When you sleep — it is time to sleep. Sleep in a sound proof & dark room.
- Switch off all electronics 60 minutes before sleeping
- Fresh Green vegetables eaten raw has incredible health benefits.
- Dedicate a whole month of eating only raw fruits & vegetables. You will be shocked at the results.
- The word ‘detox’ is used very loosely by the Health Industry so much so that any mindless new fad is called ‘detox’
- As you grow older, low impact activities & exercises should take priority
- Get yourself regular checks up. Once a year if you are in your 30’s. Twice a year once you reach 40’s.
- When you have a bath — have bath in ice cold water.
- If you can immerse yourself for 15 minutes in ice cold water — it is amazing for your body.
- When you have a bath — pamper yourself to a really luxurious bath.
- Eating less is always recommended than eating more
- Once a year — go for a total 7 day fast — total fast where you have nothing else but water. And water only.
- Keep in mind — if your parents had a particular disease & your grandparents also had a particular health related disorder — you too would most probably get it.
- Preventive solution is always better than cure any day. Take all necessary steps in advance as you get older.
- Keep a journal to know how your body responds to diets & exercises.
I hope sharing these bits of knowledge, experience & perspective helps you. Like any other disclaimer & warnings — please remember — before you attempt to follow or do any exercise — please contact your doctor. Because like I always say — everyone is unique and everyone’s body is different.
I hope you find the ultimate solution to your health & well-being.