Fitness Is My Passion How To Take Pride In Your Health

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Fitness is my passion.
How to take pride in your health.

“Fitness is my passion” is a term used by everyone from fitness influencers to people just starting their fitness or weight loss journey.

As my first blog post, I am going to share my story on how I changed my outlook on health and fitness, lost a large amount of weight, and became a happier and healthier individual. My journey has had its ups and downs like everyone else’s, and I hope my story can help inspire others to make changes for the better.

My stages of fitness and health

“Fitness is my passion” is a term used by everyone. From fitness influencers to people just starting their fitness or weight loss journey.

 To me this used to be a generic term I used to describe my fitness hobby, but over time this became a toxic push for perfection.

I have battled depression and anxiety since I was a child. It made me hermit away and stay in my “safe space”. Despite this, all through my teenage years I was an active kid. I played more sport than studied. Played sport at school, martial arts after school and rugby on the weekends.

 After my schooling was over and I fell into adult life. I had more important things to do than sports. I had to work for free to try and keep my parents’ business alive (no hard feelings towards my parents, I did this willingly to try help them out). Because of this, I had no money to go to the gym or continue the other sporting groups I loved. Later meeting my future fiancée I was more concerned with spending my limited free time with her as opposed to working out. After years of doing less and less activity, I gained a large amount of weight.

I know this doesn’t sound much like a story about “fitness is my passion” but it is just around the corner.

I proposed to my fiancée while on vacation and recorded the proposal to keep as a treasured memory forever. It wasn’t until I watched the recording of my proposal video that I realised how much weight I had gained and was disgusted with how I looked. I was 130kgs (286 Lbs) and never noticed before.

I was Disgusted with how I looked.

As soon as I got home I absorbed as much information as possible.  Followed typical bro bodybuilding logic, I only ate bland chicken, steamed rice and vegetables, I worked out 5 to 6 times a week often with 1 weight lifting session and 1 cardio session a day. And ended up having a close to full time job just working out.

me doing a workout at home

I dropped to 77kgs after a year of diet and exercise. Did calisthenics, tonnes of pull ups and every variation of push ups you could think of. I did things like planches and front levers, and then I moved to weights. Bulking up until I weighed 88kgs in fighting shape.

My unhealthily desire for perfection was leading me towards furthering my depression.

I had a serious case of body dysmorphia. Thought I was never lean enough and I was never muscular enough. 

I didn’t look like the people in the fitness magazines and, even though I knew the magazine fit looking body was a product of “extra supplements”, I still aspired to look like them. Still, it did not stop my outlook on my fitness.

 My unhealthily passion for fitness was leading me towards furthering my depression.

I became a personal trainer working at a “big brand fitness” gym and worked with other people who had my “passion” for fitness. It was highly competitive environment where you were immediately judged on your looks rather than how strong you are, how far you could run, your knowledge base, or what you could do to impart your knowledge of health and fitness to your clients.

big box gym losing the fitness is my passion

I continued this way for a long time. Lamenting the toxic people who would talk about their passion for fitness. While behaving in a way that clearly showed exercise has no effect on the way we treat each other. It was during this time I re-entered martial arts training in kyokushin karate. This only ramped up my training. At the time I was working out in the gym lifting weights and running on the treadmill in addition to training at kyokushin 4 days a week.

Fitness is my passion, right? So why did it feel like it was becoming a choir every day.

ladies who helped me reimagine the term fitness is my passion

I got sick of the big brand gyms and my colleagues, and I went out on my own. No gym and no place to train. Moved to training my clients outdoors on ovals, in parks and at their houses. And I noticed that my client retention went up. Most people preferred this way of training. Their fitness passion wasn’t in getting bigger numbers on the bench or even looking a certain way. It was moving. Moving in fresh air.

That should have been my wake up call for me but I was still chasing the same things as before. Getting leaner, getting bigger and now preparing to fight giants at the Australian kyokushin titles. I was trying to just stay together at this point. I was nursing golfers’ elbow and other various small overuse injuries. Sprained my knee weeks before the kyokushin tournament but even that didn’t stop me. I somehow managed to survive all my fights winning the heavyweight trophy but causing a lot of pain that lasted me years.

doing my fitness passion karate

It didn’t change my lifestyle until I couldn’t walk properly anymore. I was dealing with knee pain. I had developed Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Every step I took hurt. It was during my rehab. A tonne of anti inflammatories and injections I realised that my chase for the perfect body and the best at everything was destroying my body.

How long could fitness be my passion for if I couldn’t do my passion anymore?

During recovery I gained some weight and had to change the way I exercised. I was still passionate about fitness and wanted to train but it was now for me. My goals were about lowering problems that I always harboured under the surface. Using cardio, rather than to get trim, but to make my heart stronger, to lower my general levels of anxiety and to enable me to experience more of this world. Dropping the weights to higher repetition instead of 3 – 5 repetitions to get as strong as possible, I was 12 – 30 repetitions strengthen my tendons as well as my muscles. I was more lenient on myself with diet, eating clean 80 percent of the time but still enjoying meals with my family.

I still did everything I did before, just a little less and with a different outlook. Fitness became more than a passion. It was also a lens in which I could experience more with life.

This is not an attack on bodybuilding or any version of fitness that a person trains in. This is about my toxic behaviour towards my passion, how it negatively affected my physical and mental wellbeing and how I have seen this in a lot of people I trained with and helped.

Fitness can and should be a passion for everyone, but a passion can be poison.

You need your fitness to serve you and make your body serve you.  Fitness is a powerful tool that can uplift you, it can give you mental clarity, fortitude and the ability to push through things previously thought undoable. It can make you a better person and improve your overall quality of life.  Everyone should do things that makes them happy and brings meaning and purpose to their life.

Fitness is my passion and I hope it can be yours too.

If you would like to see what I recommend for your home gym to start or continue your fitness journey, you can get a basic overview HERE.

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6 thoughts on “Fitness Is My Passion How To Take Pride In Your Health”

    1. Thanks Jacob. I think a large problem with the fitness industry is this sheen of perfection that really needs to be stripped away. People need to see humans they can relate to.

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