Follow the Fuzz: Episode 4 – The Five Things

Starting Weight: 134kg
Previous Weight 128kg
Current Weight: 119.8kg

How is it already almost June? With the cold of winter firmly set in, I was reminded of the need to update you, my loyal reading audience, on my 12 month wellness journey. If you have been following me on Instagram (@fuzz.ali) you have no doubt been prithee to my whinging, euphoria, failures, and triumphs – yes, it has been a journey akin to Dickins’ oft quoted (and misapplied) opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities, and I am the city, in the midst of emotional, psychological, and physical revolution. 

In seriousness though, anyone thinking of committing time towards understanding wellness must ride the rollercoaster that comes with figuring out what works best for them. The reality also is that what may work for someone else, may not work for you. As you will know if you have been following along on my journey, I have dragged my partner, Ilai, along, to reinforce the fact that this process, even though it can be undertaken together, ultimately has individual outcomes. 

The five things

So far, my exploration of wellness has been fruitful – I am stronger in the gym, have better mental clarity, and have lost a total of 14.2kg since the start of this journey in December 2023. The reality is that it took me about 3 months to actually commit after committing, and I know that you know what I’m talking about.

The first months saw cosmetic changes to my wellness routine – I drank some green smoothies, went to the gym, and tried to move a little bit more. My diet changed marginally, but not really, and I didn’t consider wellness as a whole thing, but rather a thing in parts. 

It became apparent by March that whatever I was doing wasn’t working. I felt stronger, but I hadn’t lost very much weight, and more often than not I was lethargic and unmotivated. Upon reflection of the journey to that point, I noted five things that I had focused on as individual efforts, at disparate times, but never all at once.

You don’t necessarily need a medical professional to tell you what isn’t good for your body, because your body will tell you. I’m not talking about genuine allergies, I am talking about foods that just make you uncomfortable. We are all built differently, and some things just aren’t for us, and can affect our gut health, which ultimately has an impact on our motivation, mood, and energy levels.

For example, I have always known that wheat does not agree with me. I am not a coeliac, and if I wanted to I could eat croissants all day everyday. The reality is though that if I do eat wheat and wheat products, I am often left feeling bloated and lacking in energy. Now I do enjoy a croissant here and there, but I limit my body’s exposure to wheat.

Another interesting thing to consider for nutrition is the importance of your gut microbiome. The bacteria that exists in your gut has a massive influence on the foods you crave. Eating a diverse range of fruits and vegetables, increasing my intake of fermented foods (kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut), and limiting processed sugar and wheat has fundamentally changed my relationship to food. Think of your gut as an organ that thinks, just like your brain does – whatever you feed it is what it (eventually) tells you it wants to eat.

Finding multiple ways to move that you enjoy is central to moving more. I no longer think of it as exercise per se, I just think of it as moving and strengthening my body.

Also, just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t mean it’s for you. I live in Sydney, and people are always running, and I LOATHE running! But I love strength training, and I really enjoy boxing. The combination of these two things alone have been excellent in building my muscle strength and increasing my cardio capacity. 

Finally, movement doesn’t have to be structured. Incidental movement, like walking, is excellent, and a goal of 10,000 steps a day may sound like a lot, but it isn’t. As cliché as it sounds – choose the stairs, catch public transport, and if you drive, park a distance away from your destination. It all adds up, and the results are wild.

Follow the Fuzz Episode 4 The Five Things

Combining the physical with the intellectual is super important. I love to read, so getting into it, and setting time aside everyday to read wasn’t a major life change for me. Being intentional about it though is probably the difference. I read not just to entertain my thoughts, but because I know that it is good for my mind, and my mind receives it like that.

If reading isn’t your jam, make some time everyday to learn something new, or perfect a skill you already have. The effect on the mind is the same, if you are intentional about what you are doing.

I have always been a terrible sleeper, or so I thought. What changes do you ask? Nothing. I literally just took myself to bed earlier. This is a tough lesson for those of us who feel like we need to be awake until 3am to get to bed, or who doom scroll in an effort to fall asleep – nobody is going to tell you to go to bed as an adult, and no one will hold you accountable.

This was the realisation I had, and I knew that if I wanted to perform at my best, considering my busy work and social schedule, and my increased commitment to working out to lose weight, I needed to get more sleep. 

At first, it is hard, but eventually your mind and body learn the benefits of being rested, and you just fall into better sleeping habits. Sure, sometimes I’m still up into the early hours, but I have learned to make up for it on the days that follow.

  • Spiritual/Meditative Practice

The theme developing over the previous four things discussed is the idea of balance as a human being – finding a sense of equilibrium between all the things that make you, you. The final weight on the scales is adding some sort of spiritual or meditative practice to your everyday life.

I am a person of faith, so I start my day in prayer, which is essentially meditation on the divine. This feeds that part of me that isn’t tangible or physically identifiable in any way, other than to be described as my essence. You could find this through the same means, or through meditation, or through daily breath work. The idea for this fifth thing that completes your sense of wellness is to continually re-centre yourself.

Conclusion

What I have found is a consistent commitment to these five things, done consecutively and parallel to each other is what achieves results. You feel better and perform better when you feel balanced as a person in the world. 

Do I manage to do all these things everyday? Of course not! But I try, and at least 90% of the time now, I manage to do it all, and it works. 

Next time

In Episode 5, I will be discussing cosmetic procedures as a form of wellness. Until then, be well!


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