Hey Team! I am so excited to introduce you to this weeks guest blogger! Chris Warrior. Last year he was named one of the most influential Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders on Social media in the fitness space by NITV. He is the founder of Black Fitness and is on a mission to share our stories of positive health and well being in order to motivate and inspire the rest of our mob and Australia to change the way we see our health and fitness and get us living our best lives ! He has shown us nothing but support and love here at Team Storm so it is my pleasure and privileged to bring his story to you.
- Coach Jacca
My name is Chris Warrior a Kokatha/Wirangu man from South Australia, currently living in Geelong Victoria (4years).
Living in Port Augusta (SA), it was 2012 when I decided to go to doctors for having excessive toilet breaks, I was constantly peeing and found it weird, was tired all the time, grumpy and playing a lot of video games and eating so much junk food with having so many energy drinks (V & Redbull) every day. Working in the mining industry and doing FIFO (Fly in – Fly out) since 2006 and still working today, it was about eating as much as you can for free and it took a toll on me, lack of discipline and exercise.
The doctor told me I had type 2 diabetes, this was a shock to me and I did not know what or how this happened to me at that time. I was referred to see diabetes educator and dieticians to manage my current situation at that time and I acknowledge that it had happened but did not do anything about it, as it really had not sunk it what had been told to me.
My heaviest weight was 120kg (Picture: White shirt) and I did not realise how big I was until I looked back at the comparison with my health journey. People did not say anything to me how big I was or had that discussion with myself to be able to change my lifestyle, it was only later on people made comments how much I changed after the hard work was already done.
My partner (Holly Charles Ireland) was a big driver for me to change my lifestyle, as she had seen my unhealthy food choices, how grumpy I was (sugar levels), tired and just no exercise I was putting the weight on and Holly made suggestions to walk or eat healthy and I was not interested at all, I did not care.
There was a turning point that defined my mentality to be able to change my lifestyle was the announcement of our first baby together in 2015 in Canberra, so knowing that I was going to be able to go to the park, walk and run after a small child I knew I had to change.
Started the gym with anytime fitness in Canberra for the first time in 2014 and I knew nothing about equipment, how to do what or even had the confidence to ask people how to do workouts. I did not have friends or family to be able to work out with or encourage pushing myself, I was merely coasting along with no idea on how and when to do things for myself.
This journey took me 1-2 years on change 2-3 years of lack of exercise, automatic response to be able to get junk food and lack of experience cooking healthy consistent meals at home. Late 2015 it was a year that seeing my son for the first time I knew I need to push myself more to be a positive role model and show my son I am living a healthy lifestyle.
Acknowledging my type 2 diabetes then realising I needed to make the change was the biggest step in order to change my holistic approach on changing my mental and physical wellbeing. Even before stepping into a gym, the mentality to be able to want to change is the first step, not being forced to make change; it must be driven within yourself to make those changes.
My motivation has been my son, who is now 3yo and now being healthy to be able to run, walk and go to the park with him is beyond amazing. If I did not make the lifestyle changes for my son, and myself I would not have been there for my son also my relationship would not be here today without me making positive changes.
I am the founder and director of Black Fitness which is on Instagram (@_blackfitness) & Facebook (blackfitness) Links The reason why I started this social media platform was to be able to find other inspiring Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders who were going through the same journey as myself. I wanted to be motivated and follow any our mob who were facing similar obstacles to be able learn and be mentored, so finding some amazing people through networking I started to gather amazing inspiring stories across so many communities across Australia to share onBlack Fitness. I am so happy and humbled to be able to have our mob share so many personal and amazing journeys to show case their achievements but also inspire and get encouragement from anyone else who is facing similar barriers that could provide advice.
I want to be able to inspire and change so many lives by providing this platform for people to be encouraged and network with each other on being healthy. Providing support and spreading awareness of other Indigenous health organisations that can provide the right support for our mob.
My next goal is to be able to focus as much energy on becoming the best father and person I can be while maintaining a healthy and consistent lifestyle. Also becoming a father again in July for our daughter is more important for me to install those healthy values on Wilum and be a healthy family as much as possible. Thank you Teamstorm for allowing me to share my story and hope this can inspire and help people kick start their personal journey.