My Mea Culpa – Explaining My Absence
I’ve worked hard to build this website into a unique resource for learning anything and everything about kettlebells. When I first launched Kettlebell Krusher I was posting around two to three times a week. Granted, many articles were commentary-based referencing other kettlebell news items. I then began to transition to writing original pieces by studying and researching the many benefits of kettlebell exercises. I’ve done interviews and experiments to promote this belief which has attracted a small audience of international visitors.
As time passed, I realized that my goal of using this platform to detail my personal weight loss journey became something bigger. No longer did I feel that it was just about me, but rather you (the reader). I’ve always enjoyed helping people and those who desire self-improvement. It’s not easy changing your lifestyle and by opening up in this post I’ll explain my regressions and faults.
Long story short, I’ve been somewhat depressed and very stressed for the better part of several months now. As a result, I’ve gained a significant amount of weight back. At my lowest, I believe I hit 163 lbs. earlier last year year. Most recently, when I weighed myself this morning the scale read 213 lbs. While some of this gained weight is surely new muscle, I suspect most of it is fat.
For the most part, I’m still regularly exercising with kettlebells. Perhaps not as much as I used to (5 days a week) which is slightly due to lack of motivation but more so bad time management. The main issue stems from terrible eating habits combined with a crappy metabolism. I’ll get into that in a bit but first, allow me to explain what’s happened lately.
The Past Several Months
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a complete doom and gloom rant. In fact, I’ll detail the positive things that have happened. Good things that I can reflect upon and if you’re in a similar rut maybe you’ll find it helpful too. I’ll do my best to make this a coherent flow of events without getting too sidetracked.
Lockdown & Political Fatigue
This is a topic which I’m certain the majority of people can relate to. We’re approaching almost a year since the world was forced to shut down. Not being able to do simple things such as going out to eat has taken a great mental toll. I try hard to keep my personal feelings and political thoughts to myself. However, when prodded about these issues I refuse to bow down and agree with the “consensus”. I’ve lost friends and acquaintances for not being on their side even though I myself respectfully disagree but hold no grudge.
I worry about the direction of my country and the world as well. This is a new era where facts and reasonable assumptions get tossed aside in favor of fear and corruption. It reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials were all it took was the pointing of a finger to label someone as such. However, instead of executions, we have cancellations and condemnation with no recourse.
Where I Stand
Let it be clear, that I am against ANY form of censorship. That includes the truly horrible and vile stuff like actual hate speech. Why? I believe it best to learn bad from good and that you must face such things to form your own opinion. Erasing or eliminating what is deemed bad sets a bad precedent for abuse. My advice would be to educate not indoctrinate others to research non-biased resources. Make your own conclusions and know that it is okay for skepticism if proof does not exist.
All I want right now is a fair view and transparency of what took place in the 2020 U.S. elections. Mountains of evidence of voting irregularities have gone unheard, not due to merit but rather “lack of standing”. The unwillingness to investigate these issues reeks of corruption and does nothing to unify this nation. What I saw transpire does not pass the eye test but unacceptance is considered lunacy and thus my feeling of helplessness.
The above concerns are on my mind when it comes to what world my children will grow up in. Although, my troubles with awful eating habits are related to the stresses of having a new baby. These challenges are certainly ones that all parents go through. I know that fatigue and exhaustion go hand and hand with babies and everyone handles that differently. For me, it has amplified stress eating greatly.
My daughter Lydia.
The sweet moments make it all worth it.
I touched on food temptation in a previous post detailing my top 3 obstacles during my weight loss journey. I don’t do drugs nor abuse alcohol – my vice is junk food. Waking up several times a night tending to baby usually results in snacking on something. Lately, I’ve resorted to lots of ordering pizza and binge eating as a way to cope with stress in general.
Realistically, I’d need to work out much longer or have a very active job to offset such a bad habit. That’s not going to happen. It’s especially hard to avoid temptation during moments of hunger too. I’m reminded of a quote from the character Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies: “I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat.” What many people interpret as a humourous moment comes off as poignant to me. It is a vicious cycle.
Responsibilities vs. Passions
I enjoy my job as a web designer, I really do. However, it consumes a lot of my time and when it comes to priorities, the bills must be paid. Despite the craziness that was 2020, business was very good for me. I consider myself fortunate during a time which a lot of people are struggling. The problem is that I’ve had to neglect Kettlebell Krusher and concentrate on completing as much work as possible.
It’s Not Just a Hobby
Why don’t I make more time for this website you ask? For one, sleep is a necessity – I can’t function on 4 or 5 hours alone. I’ve already drastically reduced other hobbies I enjoy such as gaming. Honestly, I need a lot of time out of the day to create any meaningful content. Writing, designing, and editing posts (even this one) takes hours. If I want to create a video or social media images that adds even more time.
Keeping up with the monetization of Kettlebell Krusher takes a considerable amount of time too. As an affiliate, I find that I’m in a constant battle with vendors. Physical items convert really well and generate the most revenue. I wish that wasn’t true as there are plenty of great services and digital goods I promote just as heavily. The issue I have is that I invest so much time in promoting a kettlebell or accessory and then it disappears from inventory. It pisses me off! There is a great demand for these products but manufacturers are still reliant on outsourcing for production and there is nowhere for consumers to go. Restock dates are frequently pushed back – goal posts shifting – and it’s become quite tiresome.
I’m sure there are a lot of dead or broken links I’ve yet to find which leads to less revenue. I’m not trying to sound money hungry but creating different streams of income is important in case my bread and butter job goes dry. I suppose I may need to evaluate my affiliate structure but I’m still hopeful that things will stabilize. One thing I want to avoid is implementing Adsense or other generic ad placement sitewide. I do my best to integrate products and services that are relevant or beneficial to the reader.
Reasons For Positivity and Optimism
Now that my griping and venting is out of the way, it’s time to acknowledge the upside of things. First and foremost I have a roof over my head and a steady income. 2020 was actually a great year financially for me. I’ve been able to pay down some debts and put aside some money. Before my daughter was born this past October my wife and I agreed it would be best that she stay home full-time. Having the ability to provide for my family is deeply satisfying and not an option for some families.
I’m not ignorant to the fact that a lot of folks around the country and world have lost their jobs and homes. I’m empathetic to their situation and believe that everything is interconnected in one way or another. Aside from my emotional feelings, if things don’t improve I do think there is a possibility of a trickle-down effect on my business. That leads me to my first point of attempting to reduce stress.
Focus on What You Can Control
I have very little say in what policies are passed in my city, state, and country. Accepting this fact will ultimately be beneficial for my mental well-being. Things are changing outside of my personal sphere at a lightning pace. So far, I haven’t been impacted directly. I suspect that will change eventually. For now, it’s best to focus on the things I do have a direct influence on.
Raising my new daughter with my wife gives me confidence that we will do everything in our power to make her independent. We have the foresight of knowing what institutions may peddle their own ideas instead of objective learning. I will teach her to respect others she disagrees with and to always question the ambiguities of life. There’s nothing wrong with healthy debate and no one should be ridiculed for their beliefs.
Weeding out Facebook “friends”.
Also, what I do and say and who I interact with is my choice. I’ve unfollowed and unfriended many people spouting off on Facebook with things I vehemently disagree with. In the past, I attempted to have a conversation but when others chime in and it falls on deaf ears, it’s time to let go. One of the bright spots on Facebook is reading and watching posts & videos from kettlebell group members. There’s no politics or animosity – just people excited to share their own journey and improvement.
Revisiting Personal Accomplishments
During this whole ordeal over the past several months, I’ve attempted to perform several new challenges to no avail. I had the idea that doing 30 kettlebell swings every hour 9-to-5 would rev up my metabolism. To be fair, I only tried that a week at a time here or there. I wasn’t actively monitoring my caloric intake either.
Perhaps it’s time to revisit my successful 30-day weight loss challenge where I dropped 18 pounds in that time. During that challenge, I used my stubbornness as an advantage. My determination in sticking to the rules fueled that success. Writing about it and providing updates meant accountability which is something I haven’t felt lately.
This time around I have the advantage of several new kettlebell techniques in my repertoire. Using a pair of 12 kg or 16 kg kettlebells, alternating timed sets of 5 minutes and 2.5 half minutes of clean and jerk is a task needing not much thought or planning. Yet it is highly effective at working up a sweat!
Keeping The Dream Alive
I’ve been wanting to do a redesign of this website for many months now. In fact, I started the color scheme and created a new logo that seems like an eternity ago. As I previously stated, the purpose of Kettlebell Krusher has shifted. I want to reflect that in this new design. I will keep all of the existing content of course. The tricky part is completely reformatting this content to fit the new scheme. It’s going to be a massive undertaking.
Rather than installing a new theme on this site, the plan is to import what I need to the new staging website and eliminate all the crap that is unnecessary. Ensuring that fast load times and proper formatting on every device is a must. I’ve absolutely learned some new tricks as a designer and now it is just a matter of finding the time after professional and personal obligations are fulfilled. That means life first, then job, then new content for this site and finally working on the redesign.
This Lingering Idea
Never let a good idea go to waste.
Another thing that’s constantly been on my mind is an idea I had for kettlebell workouts. I believe it has the potential to be revolutionary (yes high hopes!) but also requires extensive familiarity with production and execution. I posted a poll way back inquiring about the interest relating to this idea and the results were extremely encouraging.
The first thing would be to create a test or a sample for review of this idea and gauge its popularity. I’d promote the hell out of it on social media for a fair assessment. If that takes off then the next step would be to enhance accessibility. My main goal is still bringing awareness to visitors across the globe of the benefits of kettlebell training. It’s an exciting prospect which I hope comes to fruition some day.
Thanks For Reading
Seriously, I started writing this not knowing how long it would take. I hope this clears up what’s been going on in my life for those of you who were wondering. If anyone is having their own difficulties in life, please feel free to comment below. My key point is that no matter how bad things may be, someone surely has it worse. I try to remember that and be grateful of what I do have.
The good news is that I am feeling a little caught up in routine with work and life responsibilities. If I become absent it’s not for a lack of caring. I’d like to pick up the pace again in providing useful and helpful information on Kettlebell Krusher. To those of you who have reached out, thank you for your support!