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  • Yes, I know. This is a pretty dramatic title, but it's not clickbait, honestly.

  • 2019 has been a very transformative year in my life.

  • Probably one of my toughest, but I've done a lot to change.

  • Really a lot and I wanted to share that with you in this video.

  • I also want to elaborate on this title a little bit.

  • It's not that I changed my life because I lost 20 pounds.

  • I changed my life and I lost 20 pounds.

  • The weight loss was the side effect.

  • It wasn't even the main goal. It wasn't even on my mind.

  • So I'm gonna tell you what I did to change my life

  • and how I lost those 20 pounds as a result.

  • However, this is a long story, as you can see by the length of the video.

  • So, if you're a casual viewer and not interested in the backstory:

  • You could click on the time stamp right here,

  • and that'll fast-forward you to the quicker conclusion.

  • So let's talk about change.

  • 2019 started off absolutely terribly for us.

  • Martina's father just died.

  • His illness is quite possibly the worst disease that I have ever heard of or I can even imagine.

  • It's called Chrono Basal Degeneration.

  • It's a degenerative brain disease and it's horrific.

  • It's truly, deeply horrific.

  • The grief that Martina went through before her father passed

  • and the grief that she's continuing to go through now,

  • even almost 11 months later,

  • has been really challenging.

  • For her, primarily.

  • But also for me, as a spouse, to see what she's going through.

  • And to tie that in also with Martina's worsening condition,

  • because as she gets older

  • there are all these new symptoms that are manifesting with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

  • And it's really challenging for the both of us.

  • It's very difficult for me as a spouse to see this

  • and I'm not sure if I handled all this well.

  • But here's what I did.

  • So, for starters, I made this primary decision

  • to try to fix myself, to try to improve myself,

  • to try to be better.

  • It's immensely frustrating that I can't do anything to help Martina's condition

  • and that I couldn't do anything to help with her father.

  • And this feeling of helplessness is super f____ing frustrating.

  • Truly. And so I didn't want to just sit with it.

  • And so I figured, let me put my energy into trying to make myself better.

  • And so the first thing that I started to do was I got back into reading.

  • That's what I used to do a lot when I was younger.

  • I was very much into books.

  • But as soon as I moved to Korea,

  • then that pretty much went to the sideline as I just focused on YouTubing.

  • So this year I decided. Hey, I'm gonna really try reading again.

  • And amongst the many interesting books I read,

  • one of them is called "Why We Sleep."

  • It's a book all about sleep, by like the number one scientist when it comes to sleep, Matthew Walker.

  • If you don't have time to read it, I'm just gonna give you a really short note on it.

  • Sleep is super [ ????????! ] important!

  • Like, unbelievably so!

  • More than we've ever been taught!

  • And so if I wanted to be better,

  • if I want to be healthier, if I want to be stronger, if I want to think clearer, if I want to be more alert

  • then having a good night's sleep is very important.

  • And I realized that I had a bad habit that really got in the way of that,

  • that I just learned about through the book,

  • And that was drinking alcohol.

  • Alcohol really, really messes with your sleep.

  • And so I decided, why don't I just try cutting it out?

  • Not altogether.

  • I'll still drink on special occasions for events or like birthdays or whatnot.

  • But back in the day, hell, even just like back a few months ago,

  • I would drink, still, everyday.

  • Not heavily, but just a glass here, maybe another glass there.

  • And I realized hey, maybe this is a bit too much.

  • Let's cut back on the drinking.

  • And to be honest I feel a lot better for it, truly!

  • I truly feel a lot better for it.

  • The benefit that you would get from drinking, that little feeling,

  • that is not nearly as good as the clarity that I feel the next day from not drinking.

  • There was a sluggishness that came with me into the next day

  • and I don't really have that anymore.

  • And to be honest,

  • as soon as you're in your 30s, when you get a hangover,

  • that [ ?????! ] lasts the entire day!

  • There is no cure for it!

  • None of this orange juice!

  • None of this greasy stuff in the morning!

  • There is nothing that could stop you from suffering the pain of a brutal hangover!

  • And it just gets worse with age.

  • Honestly, I cut out drinking and I don't miss it.

  • So that's the first major change.

  • The second change is I do intermittent fasting.

  • Pretty much I only eat from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

  • and then I just drink water from 10:00 p.m into 2:00 p.m. the next day.

  • I've read so much about it, about the major benefits over longevity.

  • And honestly, I don't think we need to eat three full meals a day.

  • Back in the day, like 200 years ago, we'd be lucky if we ate one meal a day!

  • I kind of think that we might be eating a bit too much.

  • And I found that, hey, cutting out breakfast

  • I actually don't feel too bad for it. I feel a little bit better.

  • And now I find when I do eat breakfast,

  • whenever I'm out somewhere on occasion, like a hotel, you always want to eat a free hotel breakfast,

  • I don't feel that great afterwards.

  • So I like this kind of feeling that I have going on right now.

  • So the first couple of changes of reading and cutting back on drinking are kind of easy to explain.

  • But the next ones are the ones with the biggest impact on my life.

  • I changed the way that I exercise.

  • Some of you have seen the gym that I have in the backyard, I've included it in a couple of our videos.

  • And some of you also might know that I've started weightlifting for Martina.

  • Because as she gets older, her abilities are kind of

  • ...faltering a bit.

  • And so I figured I would start weightlifting so I could be stronger for her.

  • I want to be her rock!

  • I want to be able to carry all the groceries from the car to the door in one trip!

  • I want to be healthy. Not just now but 10 years from now, 20 years from now.

  • I'm afraid of the ravages of aging.

  • And I'm even more afraid of becoming a burden to Martina, somehow in the future.

  • And so I figured that

  • weightlifting was a good way of me sneaking in a few more years of good health into my life.

  • But here's the thing,

  • I've been lifting weights for the past five years now,

  • and to be honest, it doesn't really show!

  • I mean, I've seen lots of pics online about like, 1 year transformations, 2 year transformations,

  • people look very, very different. Like huge.

  • But five years?

  • Like, not anyone's gonna be like, "Man, you must be a bodybuilder!"

  • I mean, it's all right, but it's not where I would imagine that I would be after five years!

  • And to be honest, that was a little bit frustrating.

  • And so I looked into what I was doing wrong.

  • And one of the things I noticed was that

  • in between my sets, after I'd squat, I'd wait for a bit into the next set

  • and I would just be gasping for air!

  • My heart would be pounding.

  • And I was just really struggling through this all.

  • And then I learned that,

  • hey, you need to do cardio on your off days as well.

  • And I'm sure that might seem obvious to some of you,

  • but it took me five years to figure out!

  • Alright, finally got it.

  • Cardio is important.

  • So this next big change is probably the most important one that I've made,

  • the one that has had the biggest impact on my overall well-being.

  • I started running.

  • I ran for a while back in Korea and I hated it with almost every single fiber of my being!

  • Running sucks.

  • But I started again and I'm really thankful that I did

  • because now I run in a different way than how I used to run.

  • And before I explain it, let me just say that this is not a paid product placement.

  • I have not accepted any compensation for what I'm about to say.

  • I just truly use this and it has helped me a lot.

  • It's the Nike running app.

  • And it's probably the nicest thing I've done for myself in years.

  • So it has these kind of guided runs where you go for a run with your headphones on,

  • and then you listen to a coach guide you through it.

  • Coach Bennett is the one that does most of the speaking on the app.

  • And he just has a different kind of coaching than any that I've ever heard before.

  • All of my coaches in the past were drill sergeants.

  • They were mean and nasty!

  • They always make you push harder, they never cared about how you were feeling.

  • But on the Nike running app,

  • Coach Bennett offered a different kind of coaching.

  • I felt encouraged to run.

  • I felt congratulated for my run.

  • I was constantly reminded of my successes.

  • And that for me was huge,

  • because for so many years I've been very focused on my failures.

  • My failures as a husband,

  • my failures as a business owner,

  • my failures in weightlifting,

  • just

  • always and forever thinking about how [ ????? ?????! ] I am.

  • And how impossible it is for me to improve,

  • How I could see where I want to be but how I could never get there.

  • And this was my mentality for a very long part of my life.

  • But now for 30 to 60 minutes every other day, I run with the Nike running app,

  • and I don't think about everything that's wrong.

  • Instead, I celebrate my victories

  • and I've really fallen in love with that feeling.

  • It was a very new feeling to me.

  • So it was a great feeling.

  • You know, even for my first runs, back then, for the first few runs,

  • I cried a lot lot while running.

  • And let me tell you it's very difficult to maintain proper running form when you're sobbing.

  • And I'm sure that the other people around my neighborhood were looking at this big bearded foreigner,

  • in his neon clothing,

  • running around the streets and sobbing,

  • and they must have thought to themself, "Man, that guy really hates running."

  • But I don't, I love it.

  • I love running now.

  • Honestly, I'd never thought I could get to the point that I actually enjoy running.

  • I love going for a run and feeling like I'm accomplishing something.

  • I love the feeling that I'm getting better at something.

  • Like, no matter what else happens that day--

  • nothing can take away this little bit of success that I have!

  • I used to barely be able to run 1k without stopping and gasping for air

  • and now I run 10k.

  • And I hope one day I might even be able to run a marathon.

  • I'm not there yet

  • but maybe one day.

  • And this attitude that I had for running,

  • I transferred over into my weightlifting and I stopped approaching the barbell with so much fear.

  • I would always be super worried that maybe this is the day that I permanently injure my back

  • and I forever become a burden to Martina.

  • I was always so afraid about all the ways that I would mess things up,

  • all the ways that I would hurt myself.

  • But I don't think about that anymore.

  • Now, I approach a barbell excited.

  • I feel like, what am I going to be able to lift today?

  • And as a result, I've been hitting new personal records almost every month now

  • because I like doing this now.

  • And that has been such a huge change for me.

  • I think the biggest step is that I'm no longer just doing this for Martina,

  • I'm starting to do this for myself.

  • And that's a great feeling.

  • And it's a very big step towards my own improvement.

  • But that's only one step

  • because there's still a lot more that I got to discuss!

  • So also on this Nike running app they have these runs called "Running with Headspace,"

  • which is basically meditating while running.

  • Which to me, sounded very strange at first

  • and I avoided those runs as long as I could.

  • Until eventually I ran out of material to run to so I figured I give these runs a shot.

  • And oh, boy. I'm very glad that I did.

  • During these runs, I would hear the coaches talk about focusing on the run.

  • Focus on your form.

  • Focus on your feet hitting the ground.

  • Focus on your breathing.

  • This isn't time to focus on all the things that happened before the run.

  • It's not time to think about all the things you're going to do after the run.

  • Just focus on the run,

  • on what you see around you,

  • on the surroundings,

  • on the sounds, on everything you smell.

  • Just focus on the present moment.

  • And this really helped ground me in the moment.

  • I felt a sense of relief about all the things that I didn't have to think about at these times.

  • These runs became something that I enjoyed so much more

  • because it's not just me improving.

  • It's also me just being free for a second from all the thoughts that are going on in my head.

  • And I really, really like that feeling.

  • And I want to see how can I apply this presence of mind outside of running,

  • and so I got into meditating.