by Stu King
2020 was an unusual year for just about everybody on the planet… to put it mildly. Profound changes came in wave after wave. We all felt like we lost control over our lives. In the midst of all this though, I realized that no matter what, we still have control over:
1) Our happiness
2) Our ability to be kind to others
3) Our discipline
With that in mind, let me tell you the story of how 2020 changed me for the better. See below!
Me and my Routine
First, let me introduce myself. I work for a top tier IT firm, running a multi-billion dollar business across Asia Pacific and Japan. Pre-Covid, travel consumed 75-80% of my time. I also crossed the 50 year milestone in Jan 2020. More than anything, this shook me awake even before Covid struck. I committed to making 2020 the year when I’d make positive changes to my health. The Covid travel ban came as a blessing in disguise.
I have always been someone who exercised. I grew up on rugby and swimming. Later, I added weightlifting and triathlon. That said – I was rarely able to keep weight off. Like most of us, I love food… perhaps a little too much! With no travel during 2020, I was able to religiously join Ann at Tribody 5 days a week. But as you know, this is only 30% of the equation when it comes to losing weight.
The Nutrition Plan
I made another change in 2020 that came in handy. At age 50, I realized that I still didn’t know much about the chemistry that makes our bodies work. So in early 2020, I embarked on getting a new degree: Bachelor of Health Science, Nutrition & Exercise, at the University of South Australia. And I went on a Keto diet to see if it worked for my body and chemistry type. I did get good results, but something didn’t “feel right” about so much meat and saturated fats. I kept looking and found a book called “Ketotarian”. This is about a hybrid diet. It is mainly pescatarian and limits carbs to ~ 10-15% of your daily calorie intake – and gave me some amazing results:
1) Weight loss continued and accelerated (-20Kgs this year)
2) Energy and stamina levels increased dramatically due to massive reduction of internal inflammation. My blood pumped easier, hence my heart rate reduced, and my stamina increased accordingly.
3) My cholesterol levels dropped to a level never seen in my life (I have taken statins since my 30s but no longer need them)
4) My blood pressure is 110/70 (apparently the golden ratio)
5) I have achieved a sub 20% body fat ratio, and a BMI in the upper 23’s
The Support Network
It goes without saying that my wife and friends have been very supportive of my journey, with some friends also moving to a pescatarian or plant based diet this year. Ann at Tribody was a key supporter. She kept me focused, suggested workout adjustments, and treated my injuries throughout the year. As they say, it takes a village – and Joo Chiat Village has been very valuable and motivational to me.
If I can do it, anyone can do it…. 😊 Medically, any weight loss is not considered permanent until 18 months of stable weight maintenance… with that said, I guess I have a few more months to prove I have medically lost the weight for good. What’s more important than weight are the changes to my body composition – less body fat, less cholesterol, less blood pressure, more stamina, more energy.
Thanks to Ann and all the Tribody crew for cheering me on. My new goal: dropping below 15% body fat in 2021!