In two week’s time I will begin the next stage of my career in the fitness industry as a Duty Manager. As I think about my new challenge, I also reflect on the last eighteen months. In that time not only did I return to the fitness industry after an unplanned career break, I also had the opportunity to get my confidence back as a Fitness Instructor. I am grateful for the fact that I was able to once again work in the industry that I love, instead of taking any job I could simply for a wage. I am fully aware that some people never get one opportunity to live their dream, let alone two. Some people spend their entire working life going from job to job, never really knowing what they want to do with their lives. If that makes them happy then that is fine. For me I need to be doing what I enjoy, not just for my mental health but for my personal satisfaction.
What is the meaning of life? For me it is finding your passion and then to share it with the world.
I have had my first week in my new place. It might not be very big; however, it feels so nice to have a place of my own again after two and a half years of living in shared accommodation. The last two weeks of my life have been a bit up and down. A customer at work had a cardiac arrest and we had to use the defibrillator on him and carry out CPR while we were waiting for the paramedics to arrive. The member is recovering well though and it looks like he will make a full recovery. Later that same day I was offered and accepted a promotion. I am now in the limbo period of knowing I have the job; I’m simply waiting for the required paperwork to be completed and a start date set. Once this has been completed it will begin to feel real. My new job will be as a Duty Manager in a small leisure centre. It will be a great place to start my Management journey as the team that are already working at the centre are friendly and helpful.
I am also fortunate that friends and family donated items to me such as a bed, pots, pans and plates for my new place. It came with a cooker, washing machine and fridge-freezer already installed, however it is an unfurnished property, so the donations were greatly appreciated.
On Saturday I went to my hometown to visit my best friend, his wife and my amazing God sons. They have recently bought their first house and it is looking really nice. It might not quite be exactly how they want it, but it will be soon. Saturday was a warm and sunny day, so the paddling pool came out and the boys had a great time splashing around and turned their garden slide into a water slide. It was the first time this year I was able to get through. I found it hard to believe how big all three of my friend’s boys have grown since I last saw them. What didn’t surprise me was how much energy they have. Like most young children they seemed to get more energetic as the day went on. In the evening we went to my friends Dad’s house and all had a catch up. I have known the Tebay family for thirty years so to see my friends Dad again was great. Both myself and my friend’s Dad like to lift weights so whenever we meet up the conversation soon leads to gym training. It was a great way to end my first week in my new home.
June 2019 will be the point where I stop thinking about who I want Michael Patterson to be and how he will be different to Michael Mckellar. From June 2019 forward I will focus on turning who I want Michael Patterson to be into who I actually am.
1. Michael Patterson will be a lot more confident. In time I will learn to think less about what other people think of me and more about how I can improve my life. I will learn to be brave enough to follow my own path.
2. Michael Patterson will make the most of each day. Once I finally get an official diagnosis, I will learn to turn my mental health issues into a driving force instead of allowing them to hold me back.
3. Michael Patterson will not be taken advantage of. I have frequently been told that I am too nice or too humble. One of the reasons I was given for being made redundant by the Meridian Leisure Centre was that I was too humble. I personally feel that humility is a strength. I know that I am one of the best Fitness Instructors the Link Centre, Meridian Leisure Centre and City of York Council has/ will ever have. I do not need to tell everybody how good I am.
4. Michael Patterson will stick to the recovery plan. Every three months I will learn something new, visit somewhere new and try something new.
5. Michael Patterson will be more positive. I will reduce my exposer to negative situations/ people as much as possible.
6. Michael Patterson will only ever have a Plan A. If something doesn’t work I will learn the lessons needed and apply them to Plan A before trying again.
I am two weeks into my DDP Yoga journey. In that time, I have lost 1kg in weight and feel a bit more positive about how my life is going. Part of this will be because I will be moving into my own place in five days. Part of this will be the DDP Yoga programme itself. At the end of each workout I feel really calm which is great for my mental health. As well as providing motivational workouts the DDP Yoga programme also provides nutrition advice, motivational video’s, an easy to use mobile app which I am using and the option to buy the programme in DVD format. I also like the fact that throughout the workouts DDP reminds you to make the workout your own, meaning you can modify some of the exercises to match your ability.
Although I am following the DDP Yoga plan I am continuing my weight training. I am using the DDP Yoga plan to enhance my mobility, core stability and strength. Each DDP Yoga workout I have completed has been twenty to thirty minutes long. This suits me well as I like to keep my weight training and cardio sessions short and intense, usually between thirty to forty-five minutes long. Before I started DDP Yoga I would usually spend twenty minutes stretching after each workout, so by turning that time into a yoga workout my overall workout time is broadly the same.
I intend to update everybody reading every three months on my progress. In time I am sure that I will soon see the physical benefits as well as the mental ones.
Over the last month I have been talking to some of the few people who have broken through my barriers and they helped me realise that I needed to make some changes in my life to get me back on track. Sometimes we need somebody to kick our asses for us to remember why we started on our journey in the first place. In this instance the person in question helped me realise it was time for me to find my own place again instead of living in a house share. A house share was fine when I left home at seventeen, however I am in my mid-thirties. I had my own flat when I was living in Louth and it was great, since moving back to Swindon I have been living in shared accommodation which was fine to begin with, however it is time I had my own space again. Another person who was able to break through my barriers said they were impressed with how quickly I can make changes in my life when I need to.
Changes in life to make them better do not have to be as dramatic as moving to a new house or in the case of when I moved back to Swindon moving 250 miles on a weeks’ notice. It can something as simple as taking up a new hobby. Whatever it is you choose to do in order to improve your situation give it your full attention and be prepared for the potential of set backs I missed out on the first place I looked at, however I did get the second so now its simply a case of waiting till June 22nd to move in.
A family member recently asked me for nutrition advice. Nutrition is one of my passions, so I was happy to help. Nutrition is an important factor in any well-balanced fitness plan. I personally feel that the saying of 80% nutrition and 20% training is complete rubbish. For me there are four factors to a successful healthy living plan, and they are equally important. These are:
• A goal specific exercise plan.
• A balanced nutrition plan.
• Rest between workouts.
• Getting enough sleep.
If one of the above four are not considered, you are setting yourself up for failure.
• To lose ½ kg of body fat a week you need to burn 3500 calories a week more then you take in. This works out to 500 a day. Use smaller plates to reduce portion sizes and be more active in your day to day life.
• Keep a food and activity diary such as myfitness pal.
• Keep processed foods and drinks to a minimum.
• Eat a rainbow of different coloured fruit and vegetables.
• Choose fibre rich food sources to feel fuller for longer and to increase bowl health.
• Aim for lean protein sources.
• Don’t avoid fat, choose healthy fat sources. Healthy fats are usually liquid at room temperature. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature. The World Health Organisation suggests that fat makes up roughly 20- 25% of total calorie intake.
• Take a refillable water bottle to work with you and keep it on your desk.
• Sugar in its natural form is fine such as the sugar found in fruit. Processed sugar should be kept to a minimum.
• Try to reduce alcohol and caffeine intake.
• Steam veg and fish when possible, grill meat and make your own dressings with olive/ rapeseed oil and add herbs or spices to taste.