Do­ing It For The Fam

Al­ways want­ing to be there and to pro­vide for his loved ones, Izwan Ishak is proof you just need to find the right rea­sons to fuel your mo­ti­va­tion

Men's Health (Malaysia) - - Fitness - IZWAN ISHAK HAS HAD A LIFE­LONG

strug­gle with his weight. When he hit his teen years, he tried swim­ming and go­ing to the gym, but the scales wouldn’t budge. “There was a time when I stopped eat­ing rice and all other forms of carbs for 25 days, yet I still didn’t man­age to shift any weight,” he re­calls. Out­door ac­tiv­i­ties like jun­gle trekking and hik­ing also wore him out eas­ily. “I didn’t have the stamina and I ex­pe­ri­enced short­ness of breath,” he adds. “I just felt re­ally un­com­fort­able.”

But be­ing 40 and un­fit with var­i­ous health prob­lems was Izwan’s great­est fear. “I re­ally wanted to be a healthy fa­ther and hus­band,” he says. “I felt the pres­sure to stay fit for the sake of my fam­ily be­fore it was too late.”

It wasn’t un­til 2015 – when he man­aged to carve out time for jogging and run­ning from his busy sched­ule at MEASAT – that he fi­nally saw pos­i­tive re­sults. Now that he has, Izwan is de­ter­mined not to fall back into old habits when temp­ta­tion is every­where.

For ex­am­ple, his job re­quires him to travel fre­quently and dine out. “I can’t con­trol what lands on my plate when I’m trav­el­ling for work, net­work­ing and en­ter­tain­ing clients,” he says. “Weight gain is in­evitable, es­pe­cially dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son, but you need to be dis­ci­plined when it comes to eat­ing right and ex­er­cis­ing right.”

When he’s at home, Izwan wakes up at 7.30am for a run in the park ev­ery week­end. When he’s on busi­ness trips, he drags him­self out of bed as early as 6.30am so he can hit the gym be­fore his day starts.

As painful as it might sound (who doesn’t pre­fer be­ing tucked away in bed at that hour?), all the hard work has paid off. “Af­ter two years, I feel fit and full of en­ergy. To my sur­prise, I re­ally en­joy run­ning, swim­ming, hik­ing and do­ing weights in the gym,” Izwan says, be­fore adding that ex­er­cise is his ther­apy for stress. He no longer feels slug­gish, and that means more qual­ity fam­ily time. “I can go jogging in the park with my daugh­ter and still have a tremen­dous amount of en­ergy left for my wife and kids,” he notes.

Need­less to say, Izwan’s fears of be­ing over­whelmed by a litany of health is­sues when he hits the big 4-0 are no more. He has reached his goals at only 38. “Do what it takes to stay fit and healthy,” he says . “Los­ing weight is a bonus; that shouldn’t be your main goal.” As long as you make healthy liv­ing a part of your life­style, stay­ing mo­ti­vated will be a piece of cake (mi­nus the calo­ries, of course!).

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