Reflections on 2022
So 2022 is nearly done. It is Boxing Day and I am reflecting on the year. Overall it has been a year of blessings and I am truly grateful. It has also been a year of self-discovery and beginning to face some uncomfortable truths about myself, a year of transition in work and home life and a year of lost progress physically.
They say that you are never too old to learn new things and I am finding out that this is true. Things about my character; my reactions to people and different circumstances. I find myself asking myself questions like, am I behaving in a way that aligns with my beliefs? What is my real motivation for remembering the things I like, and forgetting about other items? Why do I react with anger when I just need to own up to my own screwups? I wrestle with these questions but I know that this journey will make me a better Christian, husband, father, son, and man.
It has also been a year of transitioning in work. I am moving away now from doing hands-on tasks to empowering people to excel in their work. This is a good transition as I pick up more and more responsibility. This allows me to grow other leaders and it also allows me to grow in new directions - thinking strategically and learning more of the business side of my job.
Then there has been the transition in school for my kids who have been in three different schools with three separate sets of expectations. As parents we are trying our best to help all our kids succeed while we continue to learn the British education system, which differs significantly from the North American system. It has definitely been a juggling act.
All this leads to a crap workout schedule. Add to that the injuries I have had and I have just gone backwards this year. Sometimes when there are too many changes in your priorities, despite your best effort something is dropped. Fortunately, dropping the gym is like dropping a stone. There are consequences to my health but the stone does not shatter. I can pick it up again and get going and that is just what I intend to do.
I have a pressing need to drop 20 lbs. Right now I have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic, which is hilarious because two of the things that I have appreciated about moving to the UK are that I am walking so much more than I did in Canada, and my vegetable intake has skyrocketed. Still, you cannot fully escape genetics. From my parents and both sets of grandparents, everyone has had diabetes. I aim to be the first to forego this but it will mean making cutting my top priority.
So, what does this mean as we look forward to 2023?
Joining the Gym
So my wife and I decided to join the gym this year. It is our first time back since the pandemic. Our plan is to do a combination of home workouts and gym workouts. Why is this?
First, for alternative exercises. We have both found that we needed some of the machines at the gym to give us alternatives to hit muscles more effectively. This is especially true as both of us have had shoulder and wrist issues.
Second, for additional weight. This I think is obvious. There is much more weight available in the gym and we need the challenge!
Third, for proximity. The gym is close by - it is an easy drive, bus ride or run (once I am up to it!). In the good weather of course..
Finally, there’s the cost. I have a discount through work so I am only paying £15 a month for a 24 hour gym which is a great deal! And we are usually coming during off peak hours anyway, which is good for me.
The Big 4 Workout
Right now we are working on a strong foundation. Three days a week, we do the Big 4 workout - everything for 3 sets of a minimum of 10 reps:
On the other two days we do the following in 3 supersets of a minimum of 10 reps:
We go to the gym for the Big 4 days ( Mon, Wed, Fri) and do the other two days at home or the gym depending on circumstances.
For cardio, we are trying to get in 20 minutes every day at the gym and another 15-20 minutes at home daily. We have a boxing bag and an air bike that I will be using. On days when we don’t get to the gym, the goal is two sessions of cardio at home.
Diet & Supplementation
It is back to intermittent fasting! I admittedly fell off the bandwagon with a lot of late nights… eating was my way to stay up. I am not going to start until after New Year's though. Starting before just seems like setting myself up for failure. Better to be wise and start well.
This has been a year of challenge and change. I have faced some really good challenges that continue to push me to grow as a person. Though I have admittedly fallen off the bandwagon workout wise, I am getting back up and with a new and very hard goal to meet: drop 20 lbs.
Last year I found it hard to get below 182 lbs, so this is the challenge that I hope to meet by July 2023. Whatever challenges you have faced in 2022 I encourage you to refresh your goals and start working toward them this new year.