February 08, 2020

If it's not one thing, it's another

Sled-dragged 150 kilos (330 lbs!) at the gym this morning
I had lunch with a friend-coworker today and he asked me if I'd been to a particular restaurant in Hong Kong and... I hadn't. In fact, I haven't been to most best-of, hottest, newest, top, buzzy restaurants in town. Me a year ago would have balked at this, but me a year ago was a very different person. I think I'll do a more in-depth post about before/after results at a later date—because I don't feel like I'm anywhere near 'done' yet, and I want to wait to see where I land—but since June 2019, I've been on what the internet would call A Wellness Journey.

For years, and right up until I moved to Hong Kong, I worked in food. I've had two food editorial jobs in the past ten years—first, at Epicurious, which is mostly about home cooking, and later (and most recently) at Food & Wine, which, at the time I worked there, was very much about restaurants, chefs, and wine. Before food, and in between my food gigs, I worked in fashion media. Suffice it to say, I ate well. Fashion people throw great dinners, and depending who you are, you eat or you don't eat (I ate). Food and wine people throw spectacular dinners, and everyone eats. Plus I was living in New York, which has amazing food. Food has always been one of greatest loves; I still love food, but by early last year, in my early-40s, my relationship with food was getting to be a little one-sided, a little toxic.

In June, when the protests started to become more and more of a regular thing here in Hong Kong, I was looking for a hobby, something regular to do outside work, something I could count on, that might contribute to self-improvement (I have a lot of self-improving that needs doing). So I signed up for a 12-week package at Ultimate Performance, an international private training gym that has a location not far from where I live here. UP specializes in transformations, and the brand's KPI-driven approach to health and wellness really appealed to me (there are a lot of charts and a lot of data used in the process; I love charts and data!). My trainer, Moz, is a body composition specialist, and from our very first meeting, has completely micromanaged my life: everything I eat, every step I take, everyday—which was totally annoying, but I definitely need it.

Fast forward seven months later and I'm still training with Moz three times a week. I'll talk numbers in a future post, but this month I've been especially proud—not even of the weight and body fat percentage I've dropped, but of how much I can push and pull on the prowler and sled drag! This morning I pulled 150 kg (330 lbs!) on the sled drag, and for the past few weeks I've pushed 120 kg (265 lbs!) on the prowler. Never in my life have I been able to lose weight and get healthier while feeling progressively stronger week on week. Being able to push and pull that much weight across a room is... weirdly satisfying in the best way. I never thought I'd be this type of person, but I think that my gym is one of my favorite things about living in Hong Kong.