What brought you to Health and Wholeness?
I was coming home from a Weight Watcher’s meeting, where I had just found out that I had not lost weight that week…again! I was down 20 pounds from when I had started with them, but I wasn’t really getting much exercise to go with the better diet, and my progress was stalled. So, while sitting at a stop light I looked up “fitness boot camp Arlington, VA” on my phone and Health and Wholeness was one of the first listings. I called and left a message, and the rest is history.
How many days a week do you train?
I train with Christian twice a week, but my training really happens every day. When I first started I bought a Fitbit on Christian’s advice, and he suggested I try to get 10,000 steps per day. That was really hard at first, but we just increased it to 15,000! Plus, I like to try to get a bike ride in at least once a week, and my wife and I love to hike on the weekends. It isn’t unusual for us to get 12 miles or more in a weekend!
What are your biggest motivators?
My overall health was my first and biggest motivator for starting this process, and it still is a very important motivating factor. But what I have found lately is that next week is my biggest motivator. What I mean is that every week I get a little more energy, a little more stamina, my clothes fit just a little bit looser, and I feel much better. Every week! This process isn’t like working toward a big promotion at work, or saving up for a nice vacation. Those are great goals, but you don’t experience any of the payoffs until the very end. I’m concentrating on next week, when I lose another pound, bench another 10 pounds, and beat Lang White’s tire pull record! I have a long way to go, but thankfully there are a lot of things to be excited about on my way there. I’m not sure I could do it otherwise.
What is the most significant change you have noticed since you started at Health and Wholeness?
It has got to be my energy level. I was just telling Christian a few days ago that this time last year the most active thing I did during any given week was mow the lawn. Now, mowing the lawn is so easy that I don’t even count it as exercise. My wife and I have a lot of interests, hiking, vegetable gardening, travel, just to name a few and my lack of energy was holding us back in every facet of our lives. Now, not only can I do those things, I can do them better and they are fun instead of just a hassle!
What have you learned about yourself since you started working with us?
I have been overweight for 15 years and obese for the last 6 of those. When you are that overweight for that long you really start to lose respect for your body. I had completely stopped caring, not only about how I looked, but that I wasn’t able to play softball with my friends, that I couldn’t hike more than a few miles, and that I simply never felt comfortable. Now, even though the ultimate goal is a long way away, I have discovered that I have some pride in my physical strength and conditioning. I actually care about how much I can bench press, how quickly I can push that darn prowler, and I absolutely love that a 3XL shirt is way too big for me now!
What advice would you have for others just starting their own health journey?
Do EVERYTHING your trainer tells you to do! Maybe that sounds silly, but you are paying for their knowledge, and their ability to hold you accountable, if you knew better than they do what you should be doing, you wouldn’t have needed to hire them. Also, have a good attitude. There are plenty of things in our modern world that we have no control over, so take the opportunity to seize control of your attitude. No person or set of circumstances has any control over your attitude except you, and if you feel too sick, too tired, or your back hurts too much to have a good attitude…fake it ’til you make it. For me, it took a lot of self-indulgence to get to my low point and although I’m far from perfect, I try hard not to allow myself the indulgence of a poor attitude.
What would you want others to know about Health and Wholeness?
Ernest Hemingway said, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Gender specificity notwithstanding, Hemingway was absolutely right. I leave Health and Wholeness on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons utterly destroyed, but further from defeat than I have ever been in my life!
Andrew trains at Health and Wholeness – a multifaceted fitness and wellness business in Arlington, Virginia featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training as well as Pilates, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.