Chew On It: New Habits To Success

For many years, I lost my motivation to eat well and train regularly. Fortunately, I rediscovered my long-lost discipline with my desire to delay death for as long as possible. A major motivation came from losing my wonderful brother last year to a massive stroke. He suffered the same tragic demise as our father. I would have been on the same track if I did not make a drastic change to my lifestyle.

Fortunately, I have managed to drop over 15 kilos of pure unadulterated fat. My son Dennan found me a dietitian, who initially proposed that I avoid carbs for two out of seven lunches a week. That seemed realistic so I went for it. We gradually built it up to 3-5 lunches and also reduced my overall carbs.

Being a Chinaman, I never thought I could eat Asian meals without rice. Or eat lots of colourful vegetables. But I realised I am capable, and now I have now developed a habit of sensible eating and lots of plant-based foods.

I’ve also been running, which I absolutely detest, but to date I have not missed a session. I’m doing three runs per week which I started during the lockdown (I had the club all to myself!) The many little successes spurred me on to continue as I did not want to lose the achievements.

Overeating, eating badly, and sugar are addictions that I developed when I was 8 years old. My mum planted the seed in my head that a fat kid was a healthy kid! She used to make me sandwiches with white bread, heavy butter, and lots of white sugar.

When I was 10, I came second last in cross country my year and only because there was a kid fatter than me. I came to Sydney at 11 and my life totally changed for the better, except for the first few weeks when I discovered milkshakes and chips!

Boarding school, foreign food and sports were the reasons for the beginning of my transformation. I remember my huge achievement of running around the 400m oval without stopping. This torturous run led me to become a decent athlete, culminating in playing for my school in the firsts rugby, and firsts basketball.

I had to do the torturous run again, half century later, during lockdown. My first jog on the treadmill was 600m at a blistering pace of 6km/hr. Every week I increased the speed and distance. My progress was slow but sure, as I am now running 1.8km at over 8km/hr. My aim is to run 2km as I continue to increase the speed.

I do not like running but I love the results. I feel so much better about myself and feel proud that I have regained my discipline.

Should you wish to develop a new habit to success, here are my suggestions:

• Find your motivation and/or inspiration.
• Set your plan with easy achievable goals. As you succeed with your goals, you will gain confidence and encouragement.
• Commit to it and “do it.”
• Don’t try… Trying is something you do when you test ice cream flavours.
• Be tolerant and kind to yourself, as there will be failures along the way. They are just speed humps.
• Persistence is essential

I am happy to assist if you wish. Just contact me via the front desk or speak with me when you see me wandering around the club aimlessly.