I grew up in a family without sports, so I didn’t do any sports for a long time.
As a teenager that wasn’t a problem for a long time: I ate what I wanted and stayed slim. Until I was 20 years old – that’s when I started putting on extra pounds.
My training certainly also played a role, because I worked in shifts. In addition to unhealthy food, there was a lack of sleep and that took its toll: within 2 years I gained a good 15 kg.
I tried to integrate exercise into my everyday life, wanted to eat healthier, subscribed to Mark’s stay-on newsletter – but I did somehow I didn’t make the turnaround.
Today I know I just wasn’t ready.
The last year began for me with a career change – without shift work. I took that as a motivation to finally slim down.
I ran into unforeseen hurdles. I didn’t enjoy the job and at the same time I was surrounded by unhealthy snacks. I compensated for the frustration at work with food.
Result: My waist size increased, and with it my dissatisfaction.
I hated my body, I hated the gym classes – where I saw myself in the mirror, I hated my clothes that didn’t fit anymore, the photos of myself and finally I hated that I hated all of this. In this confused situation I consoled myself to top it all off … with food.
Then something strange happened.
I went to the outdoor pool for a swim at 7 o’clock in the morning. Me, the morning grouch – but I wanted to go swimming and the time was no different.
This moment, in the morning in the outdoor pool, changed my life.
The outdoor pool was still empty at this time and I just felt good and had a lot of fun. I felt such a deep inner calm when swimming that it turned from a single time to twice a week.
At first I swam 500 meters with difficulty, but I felt myself getting fitter week by week and covering longer distances in less time.
With every lap I swam, my brain worked: Why did I have to reward myself with food? Why did I eat things that weren’t good for me? Why did I harm myself? Why didn’t I treat myself better?
So I lost 3 kilos in August, which gave me a lot of motivation. With this feeling I went on a four-week vacation trip to China.
Without having planned it beforehand, I moved around a lot in China. We climbed four of the five sacred mountains in China, the peaks of which can only be reached by stairs.
At first I sweated and swore, I often had to pause and was overtaken non-stop. But at some point I began to enjoy the exertion.
I was most impressed by a hike on the great wall, which is damn exhausting due to the many steps.
But every tower , Every new view rewarded me with a deep feeling of satisfaction that carries me to this day.
Perhaps the descent to the very bottom is sometimes simply necessary in order to turn around and climb back up again. Paired with healthy food – which is admittedly easy in China – at the end of the four weeks I returned 8 kilos lighter and equipped with a new mindset.
Since then, I’ve been working on maintaining my largely sugar-free diet and integrating exercise into my everyday life.
I was able to lose another three kilos of fat and watch my thoughts to identify and eliminate old excuses.
Most of all, I have in my everyday life Eliminated a lot of friction, so that it is easier for me to stick to my fitness routines:
I have expanded my gym contract so that I have shorter journeys.
I have set up two sports drawers in my closet so that I can find my workout gear immediately and pack my gym bag quickly.
I’ve bought Bermuda shorts for swimming in case my head should come back with the “no swimming is not possible, the bikini zone is unshaven” excuse comes.
Last but not least, I subscribed to the stay tuned newsletter for my restart under a new email address.
I realized that for a long time I had seen sport as an achievement that I had to achieve have. I used to see sweets and food as a reward that I had earned through night shift or training.
After night shift, I still treat myself today. But I reward myself with sports that I enjoy – especially swimming!
For me, that was a crucial finding: exercise can be fun. Exercise can take on the role in my life that sweets used to have.
Movement has given me a whole new body awareness. I feel at peace with myself.
I’m actually damn proud of that and this feeling accompanies me during every training session.
“My body is my temple!” How true this sentence is. I am glad that I was able to see that. Even if it took a little longer.
Many thanks to you, Mark: You and your work, you played a major role in the creation of my new “me”!