Published on January 19th, 2013 | by Arnout
A new start
So about 9 months ago I crashed and burned out, it was a big wake up call. All the activities, behavioral patterns and lifestyle choices that had brought me to the phase in my life I was in culminated into the candle dying out. In April 2012 I just couldn’t get out of bed anymore. At first I thought it might had been caused by some negative feedback I received regarding my performance but I soon understood that one event could not cause the depleted feeling I had. The negative feedback was only the first bell that rung hard enough for me to hear it. I needed a new start to get back at my game but had no idea what that should be.
So for three months I watched every TV series and film that I could get my hands on. I was in very vegetative state. My company physician suggested me 2 things, go see a psychologist (I did) and start something that will release my negative energy. My main hobby at the time was running so when my energy levels allowed it I picked that up again.
The psychologist I started to see helped me analyse my behavioral patterns and their effects on my well-being, both physical and mental. She basically opened me up to the new road ahead, which was very cloudy at the time. She also introduced me to methods to get a better measurement of my state of mind and energy and most of all she helped break with my old patterns.
But I felt that it just wasn’t enough, something else needed to happen. If I wanted to get back into my positive energy and regain my mental and physical strength, something had to change. So I applied for the IWKA and started practicing Wing Tjun Kung Fu. Wing Tjun has added a lot to my life, the Principles that I have mentioned before on my blog help me navigate and act in situations. But what has helped me in the long run was the discipline of showing up and making the effort. Allthough there are boundaries (like soreness or injuries) the body can always do more than you initially think it can do and by enduring also the mind grows. And both my mental and physical strength have grown significantly. That growth however needs to be fed, the physical body can only grow if it receives enough of the right nutrients and mental energy can only grow if those nutrients are healthy and free of “toxic” substances.
So the first thing I did was quit sugar, and by that I mean refined sugar otherwise couldn’t even eat an apple or a grape. And I started eating the way my girlfriend does (check: chantalsoeters.com) she is working to setup her own health practice in Amsterdam. Basically that added another big ban, dairy products, in our country people culturally drink lots of milk and eat lots of dairy but that is meant for baby cows, and a grown man is not a baby cow. I also stopped drinking coffee. I have to admit that I did enjoy a great cappucino sometime but not nearly as many as I did before. On top of that I started eating more green leafed vegetables (kale, rocket, spinach, etc.) and we started doing our grocery shopping at entirely different stores, where the products are fresh and organic and the natural nutrition value and taste are more important than industrial profits.
And now 9 months later, I can proudly say I feel more than a 100% of what I was before, I have more energy and a better lifestyle and I can feel that in my entire being. I know that I am not perfect, but I also know I am good enough the way I am. And above all I know that balancing my energy is the most important thing I have to do. But because of my changes I have more energy than ever before and I don’t have to spend it all at once to make my life happen. And apparantly it shows as I am starting in a new job the coming weeks and on my current job I am leaving on a great flow that has lasted for 3 months now.
Looking back that this period of change now it feels great. And sometimes people ask me: “how did your recover from the burn out so fast?”. I believe it’s because I dared to change my lifestyle really drastically. Burning out showed me that what I was doing was all but sustainable. My body and spirit needed a different lifestyle and life philosophy and I believe I have found it.