I have always been over 90kg. Well, not always but for as long as I can remember, I have always been over 90kg. When I first began training Muay Thai in May of 2014, I was about 95 kilos and hovered there the whole time. There is one simple reason that my weight never reduced and that is because I ate like a dick.
When I say I ate like a dick, it may sound a bit extreme but realistically, I can reflect now and say that, yes, I was eating like a dick. I feel good saying that (kind of). I mean, if nothing changes, how do you expect to see change? I weighed myself yesterday at the gym and a couple of days prior and I was hovering around 89-89.5kg.
This for me is monumental because I have never been as low as this in a very long time. There have been a few things that have helped me get there and I wanted to share these with you. There have been some changes made over this past couple of months that will be now reflecting on the scales and in my now, new and improved body shape.
Eating healthy and cutting out the crap
This may sound like a bit of an obvious one but it’s a necessary one that will have needed to happen to give me the changes I have had so far. I mean, let’s be frank, you can’t out train a bad diet. This had probably been and will continue to be the hardest thing for me.
I stress eat. So, when I feel stressed, I instantly reach for something snacky, sugary and sweet. I have a tendency to binge too, so when I’ve had a good couple of days I think, ‘ah well, I’ve had a good couple of days, I’ll reward myself.’ This reward turns into a takeaway pizza, a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and some Oreos to wash down with my coffee (all things variable). I mean, it doesn’t happy ALL the time but when it does. It does.
In the grand scheme of things, I am good though. I mean, I have made a conscious effort to be better, not snack or comfort eat and with the help of Premier Nutrition, having those delicious healthy meals at home has made it so much easier. I haven’t tracked my meals up to now but only within the past couple of weeks have I began to do this.
This has helped me stay accountable and cut out the stuff I don’t really need. The luxuries. Having to key everything into My Fitness Pal is a nightmare so cutting out 4g of brown sauce is easily done because I just can’t be arsed with the chew.
Getting to the gym more
This is probably the most enjoyable point of the points I will be covering today. They say that the hard work is put in at the gym, when, yes, it is, however, the hard work for me is staying on track with my food. Because I haven’t actually started ‘fight camp’ yet, it has just been a case of increasing my fitness and strength, which has definitely improved.
I have felt a huge improvement in the way I handle and hold myself. I know that 6kg isn’t a dramatic weight loss in 12 weeks but there has been a definitive change in my physique and I can only associate that with muscle growth too. Which also weighs more than fat (or so I’m told). Fun me, the fun part is learning all these new things. Learning to push myself further, harder and for longer. Growing the peripherals when sparring to see and assess whats coming.
I have felt a huge improvement, even from a few weeks ago when I was sparring with Jamie, Juan and Jake, with my fitness levels and ability. With so much more improving to do, I am so excited where the journey is taking me. Lee from T4 Training, a personal trainer who trains me at Mayfair Gym in Sunderland, has been working on building my muscle groups and is there to give me the kick up the arse when I need it.
Craig and my fellow team at Northern Kings, push me every session, with some of them in training camp themselves, it is an environment that breeds success. I consistently learn and push to learn more. Especially when it comes to Muay Thai. I love it. Most recently Craig had told me to get used to the way the bag moves when doing some rounds on it.
That was it, I got completely lost in working on my movement and moving with the bag. It was a good few rounds before I knew it and I was sweating and the timer had run its course. It was really strange, I wasn’t going hell for leather, just working on getting the timing of the movements right and with the restriction of my knee (I injured it sparring on Saturday), I had to concentrate on not throwing my kicks. It was awesome, I love it! I wonder what this week will bring!
Having a support network around me
Having a group of people who regularly support you is key. I am lucky in the respect that I have you guys. I have everyone reading my blog posts, watching my videos, messaging me on Facebook (which is actually crazy the number of people who have!). I can imagine it can be a very lonely place. Fight camp and preparation.
It would have to be intrinsically motivated from within. However, having your personal trainer, coach, friends and family all by your side giving you quiet words of positive reinforcement and telling you that you’re doing a great job is a brilliant feeling. Knowing the hours that you put in, the sacrifices that you make all made worthwhile, by having your wife saying that you’re looking in great shape, keep it up!
Which, for me, brings a question to the forefront of my mind. With Fat Lad to Fighter, I am documenting my journey into my first fight. Sharing my experiences along the way. I am not an active fighter at the top of my game (yet ;)) but it would be amazing to see a fighter doing something similar.
Regular updates on Instagram and Facebook to show their fans an insight into their world and into what they get up to week in week out. It’s mad that the UK number one can be, well, the UK number one, fight at the weekend, defend his spot and then be back at work on Monday as a plumber, a lorry driver or a mechanic or something like that.
It boggles my mind to think that an athlete of that level still has to go to work a day job to fund his day to day life. But, as all people know who are involved in Muay Thai, it’s for the love of the sport that we do it, not for the payday and this is something I have very quickly come to realise myself.
That’s why having those people around you that remind you why you are doing it are so important and play such a key role in your day today. Yes, you can be the hardest guy. Yes, you can be the best dad. Yes, you can make it to the top but they all take sacrifice, they all take hard work and as The Beatles famously sang, “we get by with a little help from our friends.”