It is with a fond missing that I put up Colin’s guest post on this blog. Many of you will know Colin as the now missing unforgettable voice of morning radio in PEI. Some of you will miss his friendly frankness and charm in the studio. I miss his sweaty paw prints all over the studio mirrors and his torn muscle shirt (so we could all appreciate those surfacing muscles), his self-effacing humour and the raw pleasure he found in his changing lifestyle.  Colin stepped up to his life every day. In August of 2010 he walked into the studio and, with the exception of his grand european vacation, he committed to continuous unlimited kettlebell training in the studio until he left us, and PEI, at the end of December.  Make no mistake, Colin preferred a burpee to a kettlebell swing any day. But, swing those buggers he did. (I made some minor editorial changes to his post)

I hate swings. They suck. They are a pain in the ass.

I don’t weigh myself, so I don`t know how heavy I was when I started kettlebell training or what the scales would say today. The only thing I knew? I started to not fit in my clothes and I had no definition.

I called kettlebell trainer Wendy. I told her that while I knew I had to change many things in my life, like eating properly and exercising more, there was no way I was giving up eating pizza and drinking beer.

But the onus was on me to change my lifestyle. So I did.

I walked passed ‘pizza from a box’ at the grocery store and started buying frozen fruit.  I walked everywhere. I just tried to move more, even though I was always tired. I woke up for my job at 3:15am every morning. Try doing those damn swings at 6 at night when you’ve been working all day and your alarm went off at 3:15am. I stopped being a slug.

the Colin of old

It was tough. The will power to say no, walking nearly 3 kms to buy groceries and carry them home, ignoring the munchies at 10 at night, doing all those effing swings, just a huge amount of commitment on my part to look and feel better.

I think I started with a 20 lb kettlebell. Next thing I know I`m doing a over 100 push ups, I’m pressing 2 20kg kettlebells and I feel fit. I still hate swings even after a year and a half of training.

It wasn’t easy, but with all the different kettlebell moves, I stuck with it, sometimes going 3 times a week. I walked to my workout. I also walked to where there was beer being sold.

I didn’t stop eating out, I didn’t stop eating pizza, but I stopped how much. I would go for pizza once a week, I would eat at my favourite pub once a week, Hunters Ale House where there’s lots of everything —  huge beer, huge plates of food. I still drank a gallon of beer, but I moved more, walked everywhere. I parked on the far side of the parking lot. If it was within 3 kms, I would walk. I dressed warm, wore gloves and hats, bought an umbrella, used backpacks and I used iPod to help kill time while walking.

Probably the biggest change I made was what I ate at home. I bought fresh fruit, frozen fruit for when I got the munchies, fresh vegetables and frozen vegetables. I stayed away from high sodium, high fat food (read labels!). I ate more meat, fish, pork. I really mixed up my food. I stayed away from the pre-made, high salt & high sugar foods. I was on the “I only eat things from Tupperware containers” plan.

I started cooking more and freezing meals because I could just pull out a frozen home cooked meal for work. I prepared my lunch the night before and I kept the portions small.  At work,  I ate more fruit & less junk food. I made sure to drink a lot of water. I drank the Charlottetown Harbour dry when it came to staying hydrated (those freakin’ swings will make you work up a sweat!).

I started seeing results prettyquickly from kettlebell. My clothes were becoming baggy, my body’s side handles started disappearing and I wasn’t always so tired.

It took discipline and I knew it would take time. It took me 33 years to be unhealthy and overweight, so it wasn’t going to take me 2 weeks of kettlebells to get to where I should be.

I really enjoy kettlebell training. It’s a different work out than with free weights.

Just be prepared to hate swings.