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Kane Dunleavy – Reflections On My Transformation

 

Before we get started with Kane’s blog I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate Kane and Rhiannon for the amazing results that have been achieved, It takes showing up week after week, putting in every session and a determined mind to work around obstacles to do what needs to be done! Great work guys! A huge thank you for Kane for sharing and inspiring the community you my friend are a true definition of a legend!

With-out further ramblings from me here is Kane’s blog

 

In the beginning

May 2015 – I started PT as support for my partner. “Something we could do together” she said. “It will be fun” she said. So Wednesday night PT sessions with Rhiannon began…

A pushup – yeah I could do 5 of those, a burpee? What the hell is that?

I could run, I enjoyed running, I would get out for a run once, maybe twice a week and enter the odd fun run. I had a gym membership once, I think I visited that gym 3 times in 6 months – I just didn’t have the motivation or someone to show me what to do, but that was a while ago…

My diet, I thought it was good. It wasn’t perfect, but I ate fruit and enjoyed my veggies however I ate out at restaurants a fair bit, bought my lunch every day and drank alcohol frequently. I never saw myself as being overweight, but I had a beer belly, and if I was to be honest, maybe the forming of an additional chin or two…

Getting into a regular fitness regime started off well, PT was fun, I would end a session dripping with sweat and be sore for the next two days, it felt good, it felt like I was working hard and my body was telling me I was using muscles that I hadn’t used before. I looked forward to every week. I started running more often than not and felt guilty when I missed a scheduled run due to “something else getting in the way.” I also started to “practice” the strange exercises that Rhiannon had us doing each week, just trying to get my body to move the way it was supposed to and hopefully show some improvement on my form each week. (I didn’t want two girls telling me my form was all wrong!)

Rhiannon hinted at looking at what I ate, I was open to reducing the alcohol intake but there was no way I was giving up my daily brekkie of 6 weet bix with milk and sugar! Slowly though, I opened up to “looking at” my nutrition overall and my intake of food and drink…

 

 

Kane Dunleavy

Fast forward to January 2016, with my partner deciding to take up gym closer to her work, I continued to enjoy my weekly PT session with Rhiannon. My running increased from once a week to two to three times a week as well as regular home “practice” sessions. My alcohol intake had reduced to now only a few drinks a week, my diet had become more focused and I was doing without those “extra snacks…” or eating to fuel my body rather than answering a craving for taste.

Rhiannon suggested that I take on the Max’s 12 week Challenge saying that it would be good for me and a great way to challenge myself. Initially I thought “no way! – I’m enjoying this fitness stuff, but I don’t want to be a weight pumping, supplement taking gym junkie” also I thought that 12 weeks was a massive commitment.

Before long the challenge had started and I was on board. I figured 12 weeks was a drop in the ocean in the whole scheme of things. I reflected on the real motivators behind continuing PT after Ange had wanted to discontinue. I wanted to challenge myself, I wanted to push myself – this was the opportunity to do just that.

The numbers that back up the work

A regular check up with my GP shocked me with a blood test showing high cholesterol – at levels that the GP wanted to put me on medication immediately. With a family history of high cholesterol, it wasn’t a total surprise but I really didn’t think I ate that badly. It was pure coincidence that around that same time I had just embarked on the Max’s 12 week challenge.  I convinced my doctor to hold off on the prescription for 3 months as I described the diet and exercise program that I was implementing.

As the 12 week challenge drew to an end I was nervous about getting another blood test, I didn’t want to have to take medication. However, the results of the test baked up the work I had put in both in diet and in regular exercise.

  Jan 2016 June 2016
Cholesterol: 6.4 4.7
Triglycerides: 5.4 1.4

 

If eating healthy and regular workouts can provide these results, then it’s enough for me to continue as normal everyday habits.

Whilst the two events are quite some years apart my personal best for a 10km run previously was 49.35 which was my last run I completed before I left shanghai in 2011. Although not during the timeframe of the 12 week challenge, just a few months after in July of this year I set a new PB for a 10km run of 47.44 which can only be due to the diet, running and strength and core training that I have been doing. Next year I will improve on this again, I know I will!

 

Work travel / Commitments / Events

Travel is part of my work. I am sometimes interstate for anywhere from a day to a week depending on the project. During the 12 week challenge I had a few trips away to Adelaide, but I didn’t let this get in the way of my training.

I would wake up 30mins earlier than I normally would, push back the coffee table in the hotel room to clear some space, lay a towel down on the floor, and do a workout before getting ready for the day. Pushups, sit ups, lunges, squats, dips, planks I did them all! I even scheduled in some runs.

Have you ever noticed all the crap they put in the mini bar fridges?   Not that I ever have anything from the mini bar when I travel, but what I did do was use the fridge. I pulled all that stuff out, the beers, the soft drinks, the chocolates and replaced them with bottled water, small tubs of yoghurt, milk, bananas, carrots, celery etc.

Client entertainment is also part of the job. I was initially worried how I could go through a dinner with a client and survive eating clean and not drinking alcohol. They say honesty is the best policy and in this situation it was no different. When the waitress asked for drinks, I said “just water thankyou” boldly and confidently. This started the expected questions by the client. I explained the challenge I was doing and was surprised of the support I got. We spoke about fitness and lifestyle and eating healthy for a good part of half an hour!   The client ended up having 6 beers that night, but I held strong to my cause!

 

Current lifestyle habits

To say the 12 week challenge is a life changer is true.   Could I have pushed harder and done more? The answer simply is yes. A 30min workout could have been an hour long workout, I could have worked out every single day, I could have ran further, more often but the power of hindsight is a beautiful thing.   I dropped 5.4kgs over the time frame and the drop in cholesterol levels demonstrate that I cleaned up my diet. I became fitter, the push up numbers attest to that, I had more energy and am more motivated. But the biggest transformation of all was my mindset.   I am now actively thinking about my health and fitness on a daily basis, and I am continually taking steps to change my lifestyle and my eating, drinking and work out habits.

  • Drinking 2 litres of water daily is now the norm, not the exception. I carry a drink bottle with me everywhere to stay hydrated.
  • At home we are preparing more food. We bought Tupperware lunch boxes and regularly meal prep for the week for our lunches. This eliminates the bought lunches, last minute unhealthy choices and saves money!
  • I am running 2 -3 times a week now religiously. I meet up with a mate to run on a Saturday morning, I have a regular Sunday morning run, I sometimes even run to and from my PT sessions rather than drive the car   (1.5km each way)
  • I joined a gym!   A mate suggested I go along to a gym session with him, and I really enjoyed it. I now attend a RPM (bike / spin) class on a Tuesday morning and a functional gym session on a Friday! These classes give me some cross training to my running and I am really enjoying the new exercises each week that challenge a new part of my body.
  • From being a 1 can of coke / day man to not having ANY soft drink for 2016
  • No more weet bix for Breakfast! I am now mixing breakfast up – I have so many choices, some weeks I don’t even eat the same thing more than once a week! Eggs, muesli, yogurt and fruit, omelets combinations are endless!

 

Motivation

Motivation for me came from many sources. The fit bit challenges in the early stages of the challenge were good, I was never the top scoring on steps, but seeing what others did spurred me into action. I love technology and it was during the time of the challenge that I thought it good time to upgrade my GPS running watch.   I just love seeing the stats, the heart rate, km’s ran, KJ’s burnt and the little maps that show the tracks that you have run. A mate has the same watch and now we regularly compare our stats after a workout.

There are two types of people out there those that support you and those that just can’t see the point to what you are doing.   Both of these I use as motivation. The people I can rely on to support me and encourage me when I tell them of a workout or a goal I wish to achieve. Then the disbelievers in their own way also add to my motivation without them even knowing it. It’s their negative comments and their lifestyle habits that encourage me NOT to be like them! It’s not that they are wrong or their choices are wrong, just that they are not right for me and as I learn and grow, I can make better choices in my lifestyle.

I believe that I am a very self-motivated and driven, active person. I don’t like to be doing nothing. By setting goals like a 10km fun run or a half marathon or a target of being able to do 50 pushups in a row keeps me focused on the things that I want to see myself achieve.   I haven’t yet got my 100 pushups nor my one handed pushup, but they will come, and maybe even a marathon…

The final motivator I have is my awesome PT Rhiannon, through our weekly sessions and chats about diet, running, and our sessions, she keeps me on track and very subtlety   reminds me of the goals and targets that I have said I want to achieve.

 

 

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