Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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.