Trav’s Year of Health & Fitness for 2011

Hey guys! It’s Christmas in a few days! Can’t believe it snuck up on me that fast.

So with only a week or so left in the year I thought I’d recap my health and fitness progress for the year and hope you will do the same. It’s pretty long, but pretty interesting.

2011 started for me while I was taking 2 weeks off over Christmas. It was my rest time and I was knackered after the majority of 2010 struggling with Chronic Fatigue. I ate too much icecream but I was surfing most days over my Christmas break and I felt pretty good.

On January 1, I weighed 75.2 kilos at 13.9% body fat. I began No Junk January to drop some body fat on a challenge with a friend.

In early January I got some functional diagnostic testing done to show where my hormone levels were and found out I had stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue. Not good. Had to learn to slow down even more.

I also started seeing a Chinese Doctor who used acupuncture and Chinese herbs to keep me going week to week. It was a life saver and I kept it up until November. It has helped me recover fairly quickly despite being rather expensive.

Back to Bootcamp and things started to get busy again, but Shaun was still helping me out running a few Bootcamps a week and that helped.

I had at least one massage every week from my Occupational Therapist Jacqui who I am heavily indebted to. That continued the whole year except when I was overseas or when I saw her twice a week including this week which would have been 2-3 months in total.

On Feb 1 I ate Junk food and it was awesome. Then started again the next day with no junk food the rest of February.

By the end of February I had dropped to 11.9% body fat, my lowest level in 7 years.

Over February, March and April I had migraines every week, and sometimes twice a week with crippling pain through my shoulders and neck. It wasn’t any fun. Most of my limited training stopped. I couldn’t stand bright lights or loud noise. No radio and sometimes even no TV.

On the advice of another personal trainer who has suffered Chronic Fatigue I was to watch no news, drama or crime shows on TV either. They’re too negative. I’m limited to watching comedies. I proceed to watch everything my local Video Ezy has in their comedy section.

So the no junk food thing didn’t last with the migraines. I ate whatever I could to just keep me going. I relied on Chicken Treat and pizza just to get dinner. Breakfast and lunch food was still pretty good. On the odd occasion I ate icecream for breakfast. I really was in a bad way.

In April Melanie started working with us running Bootcamp a few mornings and evenings in anticipation of my US trip.

I was very run down and ready to go away by the time June rolled around. I was a wreck and running on about 10% of my energy reserves. I had the flu for a couple of months and couldn’t shake it and spent a ton of time in bed with no social life at all. It was bad.

I survived until my holiday in June and eventually made it to Perform Better in Chicago, the best fitness conference in the USA. I barely slept while I was there cos I was too excited. It was worth it.

I then travelled to Hawaii for 4 weeks of relaxing and warm weather so my immune system could recover. I slept a lot. I didn’t do too much and had naps every day along with early nights. It was great. I only surfed 3 or 4 times cos I didn’t have the energy to surf every day and often felt dizzy if I surfed too long.

By the time I made it home at the end of July, I felt pretty good. I was back to around 50%.

I started adopting the Ten Food Rules gradually and my nutrition improved significantly. I started dropping body fat after it had crept up to around 16% when I was away. I was still eating a quite strict and limited diet.

By the end of August I could start listening to music again and after a month of being home went out for one night each weekend. It was great to regain some social life! I also started regular training again. It was very limited and caused a few migraines over the first few months but as I tweaked my workouts, I was able to avoid migraines more often than not.

My training involved a few basic exercises mostly to keep my shoulders and back strong enough to keep my posture straight. I trained 5 days a week before lunch so once I finished I could eat and then sleep for an hour or so. My routine is still the same now.

Over September, October and November I have been stricter with my diet than ever before.

It has provided me with increased energy and my body fat has dropped to around 12% plus I feel like it’s helped me getting better. I’ve been gradually going out more and more, but I still sometimes overdo it.

Unfortunately I’ve lost 5kg of muscle over the course of the year, am down to just over 70 kilos and feel quite weak compared to a few years ago due to my digestive system not absorbing nutrients from my food and in turn using muscle as its fuel. Not good.

However I have been training regularly and am only in the last few months starting to get stronger. I was only able to do 2 sets of 10 pushups every week for about a year.

5 weeks ago I tried to bench press 40kg. It felt alright so I tried 60kg with little hope of doing it, but I got 2 reps. So I started a bench pressing program doing 10 reps per session at increasing loads to see if I could bench press my bodyweight by Christmas time. I’d had shoulder problems and never done it before and it was only 7 weeks away. I did it in 4.

I have had more tests done that show what else is going wrong with me and have started a new supplement protocol and even stricter diet after finishing up with the Chinese Doctor.

What’s Your Health Worth To You?

I spent over $10,000 in 2011 on health treatments, mostly unable to be claimed through private health insurance.

Occupational therapy appointments: 56

Acupuncture visits and herbs:
25-30 visits @ $200-350 per visit

Functional tests in January
1 x hormones
1 x metabolic assessment

Functional tests in Sept, Oct, Nov
1 x hormones
1 x heavy metal toxicity
1 x gut function

Things I have achieved in 2011.

After years of rehab, soft tissue and corrective work, my shoulders are the best they have been in the last 6 years.

I bench pressed my bodyweight.

I rectified a lower ab issue by doing cat vomits and weighted lying leg raises.

The tests I have done identified what’s wrong so now I know how to treat it and have a definable time period of recovery. I aim to be close to full health by mid 2012.

I had a relaxing 4 week holiday in Hawaii.

I survived 2 months without any junk food.

Despite Chronic Fatigue I’m still fitter than most people I know and can still train a bunch of people through my business.

To you my 2011 may sound bad, but to me I’m very happy with my year.

I have made forward progress.

Sure there is some backwards progress in some areas but I have dropped and maintained low body fat. I am feeling better than I have in around 2 years. I am back having a social life and listening to music again and even survived the Foo Fighters concert last month.

So what are my health and fitness goals for 2012?

Top of the list is full recovery which I aim to do by midyear.

I also want to write a book about my Chronic Fatigue recovery so I can help others. I’ve got a ton written down already so I’m itching to finish that story.

I want to be up to around 80kg at 9% bodyfat by the year’s end, but I’d be happy if I got to 75kg at full health.

I want to play basketball again. Even if it’s just a few games, I’m itching to play.

I want to surf more, and not feel so weak in the water.

I want to get back to doing some salsa dancing again. Because it’s run kinda late and I’ve needed my sleep it’s been off the cards for the whole year.

I want to be able to train at full intensity again. I want to be able to do the exercises I like and I’d love to be able to join in Bootcamp and train alongside my friends. I haven’t been able to do that in almost 2 years.

Now take 5 minutes before the year ends and reflect on your year of health and fitness.

Write down what your goals were and what you did along the course of the year.
Write down what worked for you and what didn’t.
Did you commit fully to those goals or not?
You can earn more money, but you cant buy more time.

Remember, you will always do the things that line up with your values. For me my health is my number 1 priority because without it I can’t earn money, can’t see my friends and can’t do the fun things I want to do. So I eat well and exercise when I should because my values dictate I should.

If health is not right up there for you, maybe you should think about changing it.

Putting health as one of your key values WILL have a huge impact on how close you get to your goals.

All the best for an awesome Christmas and New Year.
Have fun with your family and friends.
Eat, drink and do burpees!

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