As I look back on the year that was, my journey into the realm of fitness stands out as a defining chapter in 2023. It all began with a significant decision – signing up for the gym alongside a friend, a venture into uncharted territory for me. However, the initial camaraderie soon gave way to a realization that going solo was more aligned with my rhythm.
Setting a specific, outcome-oriented goal became the cornerstone of my fitness journey – aiming to bench press 5 times my body weight of 80kg. This objective not only provided a clear path but also dictated my training routine until I reached the desired benchmark. Yet, the road to success was not without its challenges.
One of the toughest hurdles I faced was ensuring an adequate protein intake, especially as I leaned towards a predominantly plant-based diet. The culinary landscape of Sri Lankan dishes, rich in carbs and low in protein, prompted a temporary return to dairy and an increased inclusion of meat. The journey toward a balanced protein consumption is ongoing, and my plan involves gradual replacements with plant-based alternatives once comfort is achieved.
The persistent threat of minor illnesses, often hindering my gym routine, brought forth a crucial realization. Waiting for that last 10% of recovery before resuming workouts proved counterproductive, leading to a perpetual cycle of interruptions. Ignoring the advice to stay home until completely well, I opted for a mindful approach, focusing on muscle training and promptly halting sessions if accompanied by a persistent cough.
Fast forward a year, and the results are tangible – a consistent weight, but a noticeable reduction in body fat. While I refrain from sharing before-and-after pictures, the transformation is palpable, and I invite you to take my word for it.
Two factors proved instrumental in maintaining consistency throughout this journey. Firstly, a WhatsApp group with my brother and two nephews provided a supportive community for our shared fitness challenge. The consequence for the non-achievers was consuming Surströmming, a Swedish fish dish notorious for its pungent odor and taste. The second factor, and perhaps the most pivotal, was the proximity of my gym, a mere 5-minute walk from home – a low barrier that made it easy to stay committed.
As I bid farewell to 2023, I carry with me not just physical transformations but a newfound understanding of commitment, resilience, and the importance of setting achievable yet challenging goals. Here's to another year of growth, both inside and outside the gym!