Andrzej Gardner finds his way back to fitness | Lifestyle

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Andrzej Gardner has always been athletic, playing basketball, football, mixed martial arts, and badminton while growing up. But, somewhere along the way, he lost interest and started gaining weight. But he took a hard look in the mirror and decided to make a change. Today, he is close to 60 pounds, and counting, lighter.

“Growing up, I dabbled in different sports which fuelled my competitive nature from an early age. So I always pushed myself to be stronger and faster than my competition. But then my life took some unexpected turns which didn’t allow time for the things that I love, such as sports and training my body. I found that you can’t make time,” he told The Gleaner.

Because life comes full circle, he began prioritising himself again, rekindling a focus that would bring his mind and body back into shape.

His new regime starts at about 5 a.m. when he rises from slumber and wakes up his organs with water. “I have a mobility routine that I practise in the mornings which mostly focuses on the hamstrings and lower back,” he said.

Mornings may include a cardio-intensive workout, and evenings welcome that same route, along with strength training, “Usually I train for two hours max and my week consists of four workout days, sometimes five, depending on what’s happening. I work my muscles in order of chest, shoulder and triceps, back and biceps, hamstring, quads, and calves. Variation training is a must.”

He also practises fasting up to 1 p.m. He will progress to eating a light meal an hour and a half before hitting the gym. Once he has completed that workout, then it’s back to a regular fasting programming.

“During the hours of the fast, I only drink water and coconut water. My workout time starts anywhere between the hours of 5:30 p.m and 7: 30 p.m, whether it’s at the gym or home,” he revealed.

Concerning his meals, he lives by the mantra, “If God nuh mek it, don’t eat it”. If it is not natural enough to be picked from a tree or the soil, he wants no part in its consumption. The plant-based diet has proven to be effective for the fitness enthusiast. And, for his efforts, he treats himself to his favourite dishes, all in the name of moderation.

Since starting his journey on April 14 at 267.4 pounds, he had lost 59 pounds, dropping him to 208 pounds. To shed this excess weight feels like he has been given a new lease on life.

“It’s as if the hands on the clock have started to rewind and I’m feeling more youthful these days. There are way less aches and pains in my joints. My performance is better during physical activities. My breathing has improved and also my confidence has been boosted tremendously. It is a superb feeling when you step out of the house and walk into a world filled with people complimenting you about your achievements,” Gardner declared.

His favourite moment to date is being able to fit into clothes that he wasn’t able to wear in the last five years. And seeing that new look in the mirror. While he is happy with his results, the journey is far from over. “Honestly, I didn’t feel as if I was big when I was actually huge, and, now that I’ve slimmed down, I still want to push my body while avoiding a comfort zone, and continue to sculpt myself.”

Although he is a work in progress, Gardner knows first-hand the joys of achieving positive change. So he embraced a new calling of helping others to accomplish their fitness goal. “It wasn’t my aim to enter the wellness industry,” he said, adding, “… but people have seen me throughout the journey and know where I was coming from and the weight I was struggling with and asked for my help. It’s fulfilling to share that joy with others.” He hopes to continue on that inspiring path and see where it takes him.

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