3 Years ago today, to the exact minute this goes to post (6:30am) I showed up in what was a very non descript building in the middle of Tenneriffe. I was tired, I was a tad scared and I didn't know what to expect. It was my first ever session with a Personal Trainer. I wasn't sure what was going to happen, only that I knew one thing for certain. I was in for the long haul. I stuck it out, through thick and thin (hehe lol) and now look at me. 3 Years and 90kg later I stand before you (well pretend i'm standing) a very changed person. Three years ago this was me: I weighed in at a whopping 172kg (380lb for my American friends) and I was someone who drank copiously. This is me now (albeit about 2 weeks ago but you get the idea) A lot has changed as you can see. I got down to roughly 80kg (176lb tho I have been as low as 165lb) and thats where I have sat now for quite some time. It was NOT an easy journey. But I am thoroughly glad I did it. I am sure I could spend hours guiding everyone through what I did and how I did it but, that not what today is about for me. Today is about looking back over those 3 years and knowing that yes it has been a hard slog, I don't regret it one single iota. Today is also about thinking about those who have helped me with my journey, thanking them for their support, their love and their honesty throughout the whole process.. so here goes: First and Foremost the biggest thanks goes to someone I am eternally grateful to. Andrew Burnes. He was my "Boss" back in Australia. It was his offer and inspiration that drove me to take that first step. I asked him back after he made his offer what the "catch" was and what did he expect in return. His words to me were simple and stuck with me throughout everything "I want you to be healthy." So I took him up on the offer and I did my best not to let him down. Andrew made a serious investment in me and I sure as hell did not want to make that investment a failure. Seemingly it took Andrew's push to throw me over that ledge, so to you Andrew Burnes I owe you my life. Word's can not express just how much I have to be thankful for now, and you are to thank for it. Secondly thanks goes to someone who stuck by me from Start to Finish. Day in and day out. Even when I had lost all the weight, he was there to keep me going, keep me inspired, keep me on track. Pushing me to do the things I didn't want to do. That person was my trainer and friend, Andie. In saying that he was there every step of the way is no joke. I ran 10k at the Gold Coast Marathon, he was there by my side the entire time, the only time he wasn't there with me during that run was as we approached the finish, he told me to finish off in style and he let me sprint the end, but he was only a few steps behind. Then there was Kokoda. 8 Days slogging it up and down mountains in the mud, he was there by my side the whole time. Here's proof: Not to say that Andie was always a kind guy to me. He knew when to back off, but he knew how to push my buttons enough to make me dig harder. Anytime I boxed with him, that grin on his face just made me want to smack it. He constantly was giving me crap to keep me in order, to keep me grounded. But Andie kept me going. He pushed me to do things I never thought I could do, one of those was to ride a bike. If I hadn't of taken that step to learn to ride a bike (and I copped a whole slog of crap when I was learning mind you) I am sure I would never hear the end of it. Andie, my friend, you are the reason I look the way I do now. If it wasn't for you keeping me on track, on target each and every day, I don't know how I would be now, so I say in the most manliest fashion possible.... Thank you The third biggest lot of thanks goes to Julie Gilbert my Nutritionist. I definately would not be here the way I am without you. That first day we sat down, you weighed me in and we talked about our plan. It wasn't a diet. You taught me that. You taught me to eat properly, to change my way of life, you taught me how to manage my food, manage my appetite. You changed the way I thought about food. But the most important thing, you help me change, me. I would not have the same look at food now, if you had not of helped me out. I wouldn't look at a pile of fries and think "To Greasy, To Salty", I would see it and think.. yum. Now I look at a pumpkin and think of a million ways to cook that and enjoy it. I have changed the way my tastebuds work, the way my brain works, the way my cravings work, all from your help. Without you, I would't be the person I am now, so Julie... thank you. Your all thinking, wow 3 strangers and he hasn't yet thanked his friends or family. I do thank my friends and family each and every day. When I get up in the morning and I am alive, I thank my family and friends for being there and supporting me through it all. From Trent and Bianca who gave up their Sunday mornings to go walking with me along the river. To Adrian who ran the Gold Coast 10k with me in shoes that didn't fit right and weren't his. To Ross, Suzanne and Brendan who accomodated my needs when we went out and caught up. To Alisha who listened to me bitch and moan through all my crazy mornings after working out on very little sleep and coming straight to work feeling like crap. Who also took me shopping and showed me that it is not scary to be able to go into a shop with normal people and be able to buy things. To Shannan who helped me by supporting me, coming to me for guidance in how she can change as well and just being someone who would listen when I was having a rough day. But there is my mum and dad. Each day I was able to keep on track and on target because they supported me, they supported my decisions, they helped change the way I am. Ultimately they also changed the way they are to. Dad lost a bit of weight, so did my mum (not much, I couldn't get them to kick all their dirty habits). My mum can't drink full cream milk now, Dad thinks differently when he cooks. So not only did everyone help support me change, they helped change my folks as well. Now I sit here, in my apartment on the other side of the world to these people. There help paid off in making me take leaps of faith and do things I never thought I could do. But now I have a new challenge in life. I need to keep this going without them. The last couple of weeks don't count in the struggle, but I have managed to keep it on track. I have a new trainer over here, I have a new passion for running (I have had 2 Five Km races so far this year with 1 more to go), I want to get back on my bike when the weather gets better. Life over here in the PNW is full of active people, I am going to stick with it and be one of those people. I want to enjoy life to every moment. So much stuff has happened in the last 7 months (yep Sunday is 7 months in the USA) that I have that one faithful day 3 years ago to thank. 3 years ago I walked 2km in 30 minutes, a Year later I ran it in 12. just over 6 weeks ago, I ran 5k in a little over 26 minutes. How time changes things is totally uncanny. Who knows if I will get any faster, I sure as hell don't think I can but we shall see. I haven't stepped back from a chanllenge in 3 years, so why the hell not! 3 years ago I set myself 4 simple goals: 1. Get to 100kg 2. Run 10k 3. Get some strength in my arms 4. Trek Kokoda I did all of these things, I set myself new goals, goals that would challenge me and change me. So before the whole New Years Resolution thing happens I am going to set my goals for 2013 (I will recap my 2012 goals as the year draws to an end). 1. Run the Marine Corp Marathon 10km 2. Do a Triathlon 3. Do my first real mileage Run I think the first two will keep me training and keep me fit and #3, well that's a whole other story. To Andrew, Andie, Julie, Alisha, Shannan, Ross, Brendan, Suzanne, Trenton, Bianca, Adrian, Yena, Jeremy, Ashina, Stuart, Michelle and every other person who was there to support me, by my friend, help me change who I am and just be the best they could be over the last 3 years.