The end of my weight struggle
In September of 2017, I weighed 207 pounds. I didn’t realize it. I never weighed myself. And my weight gain didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow growth. I was working a desk job where I could graze absentmindedly while I stared at a computer, (even more absentmindedly.) My training sessions were replaced by teaching sessions. My workouts were reduced and my lifestyle became far less active.
This was me:
I talk a lot about the difference between “explanations” and “excuses.” Example: Your partner may be abusive toward you. And maybe the reason they are, is because they were raised in an abusive household and lived through abusive relationships, and that’s all they know. That would certainly EXPLAIN their behavior. But it doesn’t excuse it.
I was stressed. Ohhhh how I was stressed. And I was a career martial artist. I started training when I was 10 and cross-trained in countless active movement styles, ranging from other martial arts to dance and acrobatics, and everything in between. So I was just used to moving all the time and used to being able to eat anything I want and suffer minimal consequences, in the short term.
I allowed the explanations to become excuses and again, the fallout wasn’t instantaneous; it took time. It took seeing this picture, (which was taken at a wonderful family dinner,) to make me realize how far off the rails I had gone.
This photo was taken the same month that I had quit my desk job and signed the lease on my business. Within a matter of months, I had lost a fair amount of weight, but it wasn’t because I was trying. I stopped the grazing because instead of being glued to a desk, I was hammering and sawing and assembling a brand new facility.
By the time of my business’s Open House, my divorce was imminent and the stress had caused an odd paradox of simultaneous weight loss and weight gain. In other words, I gained the wrong weight and lost the wrong weight. So although I was lighter, I certainly wasn’t healthy.
And then my teaching began and I got stronger, because I was physically demonstrating so much in each class. But my stress level was through the roof, so the great physical workouts were undermined by worse comfort eating. And even when a lot of the stress in my personal and professional life began to subside a bit, I was simply too tired to take care of myself the way I should have.
I said the same things that everyone says:
“I’m going to make a change.”
“This time, it’ll be different.”
“I just need to get through ABC and then I can focus on XYZ.”
I was a far cry from that 207, but I wasn’t nearly where I should be. I was fluctuating between 190 and 195 most of the time.
Recently, I made some major changes that I didn’t expect would springboard me dramatically into the direction I needed to go. I began to stand up for myself. I stood my ground on the things I need and deserve and, little by little, the wrong people began to exit my life. I was left with just as much stress, but greater positivity.
My motivation to improve increased, but my stress levels were just as high. I was starting to feel like I was never going to get my head above water; that my goals were always going to stay just out of reach. I had the kinds of thoughts that make you worry about depression and cause you to make statements like “Why can’t I catch a break?” or “when it rains, it pours,” or “I just need ONE thing to go right this week!”
Then a friend of mine told me she had gotten involved with something she referred to as an “accountability team.” I had no idea what that was, and I have little patience for new-age lingo. And I figured it was more self-help jargon that I didn’t need, but because I liked and respected her, I listened.
She gave me this product to try. If you’ve been following my posts lately, you know what this is. This was a greens-based health supplement. I think I managed to keep the ugly look off my face when she told me, but I was definitely sneering inside my head.
“I’ve taken plenty of supplements and there’s no such thing as a magic cure.”
But the conversation wasn’t just about the greens. I knew I’d try them, if only just to be polite. But she talked about this team she had joined. It was a group of business professionals that spanned the experience level gamut between the completely novice team member, and literal multi-millionaires. Everyone involved had the same goals - healthier living, financial independence, supporting their team.
I knew this wasn’t just a sales pitch but it still sounded a little too new-agey for my taste.
So I thanked my friend, took the samples and figured that would be the end of it.
But it wasn’t.
I tried the greens and I was shocked to find that I liked them. And please understand that I’m a man who refuses to ever eat a salad unless it’s preceded by the word “fruit” or “taco.” But amazingly, I liked this stuff.
After only 3 days of taking the greens, I felt a dramatic change. I felt more upbeat. I felt lighter on my feet. I felt clear-headed in my thinking. And I didn’t have the same desire to chase those comfort foods or excuses.
So I signed up on the cheapest level required for this group, thinking I could benefit pretty quickly from the retail sales compensation, just because of the field in which I work. And I continued to take the samples. And I continued to feel better. I had more energy to put into my workouts, so I joined a HIIT class program at a new gym. I felt like I was going to die in every class, but I recovered quickly and was still able to go rock climbing and teach parkour. And my mood improved.
I started talking more to the other members of this “accountability team,” specifically the people who had the most wealth, who could fly across the country for a conference with no notice, who had the houses and the cars and the vacations that I wanted. Not only were they on my direct team, but they were all incredibly down-to-earth, eager to help me, and went out of their way to reach out and supported me….like an equal.
These were people who genuinely care about helping to raise up the entire team. It wasn’t about padding the wallets of the people on top. The support on all fronts was unbelievable. It was an easy decision to upgrade my account so I could get more involved and see the profits start to come in much faster. And they did.
I never thought I would get involved with a group like this but when you keep your mind open and you take care of your health on all three fronts - physical, mental, spiritual - you can see more possibilities than fears.
I simply KNEW the weight would now come off. I KNEW I would fix my financial situation.
I KNEW I’d be looking at myself in the mirror and be proud of who I had become.
And I KNEW that I would finally be able to give my kids the life they deserve.
So here’s me today. I rarely show a selfie of myself that isn’t purposed for showing off my kids or my dogs or my students. But I am officially in the best shape of my life now. Today, I weighed in at 179.5 pounds. I haven’t been sub-185 in over 10 years and I haven’t been sub-180 since my 20s. But that’s what I weigh today, and with way more muscle than ever before.
Here's me today:
I’m going to lose friends over this business. I know that. People are going to be annoyed that I’m talking about this all the time and I can’t stop sharing it. But that’s okay. This business and these people have steered me out of darker waters and I am headed toward goals I’ve had for my whole life that have thus far been so out of reach. And that’s what I want for the people in my life who need and deserve the same.
I hope to have so many conversations about this with the people in my life who are ready to finally get what they want. I want to be the person who shows them that this is possible, just like my team has shown me.
I can’t wait to build this new business with you, not just because of the money and the health, but because I have simply never felt better.
Spin over to our Nutrition & Gear page to see some more information, or reach out to me directly so I can chat with you about where you want your life to be headed.
Talk soon, friends...
Nathan Fleming - Head Instructor at Fusion Parkour