About Me – Matthew Cranfield
My name is Matthew Cranfield and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself.
As you may have guessed from the name of the site I’m getting older, I’m in my 40’s. I’m just an ordinary guy trying to keep fit as I get older, but I want to pass on what I’ve learned; what I’m learning, and where I have failed and made mistakes along my fitness journey. It may help someone else who is also getting older and trying to get fit.
Since I was a teenager right up to having my kids, I would go to the gym but never regularly. I would miss sessions, weeks, months, and even years. I was young, health and fitness was something that I took for granted.
My real fitness journey started in May 2015. I knew I wanted to be fitter and healthier, but my 2 biggest problems are: I’m a procrastinator – I dream about getting fitter, healthier, leaner but never really did anything about it.
My second problem was when I did start working out if I didn’t see results immediately I gave up and then at a later date I would try again. This meant restarting the process over again and not getting results fast enough so giving up; It was a never-ending circle.
I don’t know what changed? Maybe the fact that I’m getting older hit me. I was in my forties, with 50 not far off. This time I was determined to break that cycle. This time I decided to look at the whole picture, not just the exercise routine, I started looking into food and nutrition too. After all, health is what you consume as well as the exercise you undertake.
Courses, Qualifications, and Professional Memberships
My research and courses are on-going, this is what I have completed so far.
|Advanced Nutrition for Weight Loss Diploma||Distinction|
|Eating Psychology Coach Course||Waiting for Grade|
Where do I Start?
I did my normal research, this is when I stumbled upon the website Muscles for Life by Michael Matthews. I liked his site and decided to buy his book Bigger Stronger Leaner. I’ve read his book a few times.
I’m a slow reader by the time things started to make sense it was November 2015. I thought it would not be easy starting before Christmas. I don’t know what it’s like at your work, but where I work we normally have a lot of goodies and treats, for example, mince pies – and I love mince pies!
The other reason I wanted to leave it until after Christmas was, with the holidays coming up I would have to miss out on training. This time I wanted to start training consistently. I felt that if I missed training days because of the holidays this would affect me mentally, and I might give up before I even got started.
The biggest point I learned from reading Bigger Stronger leaner was the mistakes I made in the past. I wanted to build muscle, but I would always put on lots of fat. When I looked in the mirror I would look bloated and fat even though I would have built some muscle, I could not see it.
Then after a few months, I would get disheartened and feel like I’ve wasted my time. The never-ending cycle strikes again.
I did not want to make this mistake again and wanted to break the cycle. When I started back in January 2016 I weighed 172 pounds at 21% body fat. You can check out my starting measurement here.
With these numbers, I knew I had to cut the fat first whilst maintaining as much muscle as possible. I’ve never done a cut first, in fact, I’m not sure I’d even heard of a cut, but this time I was determined to see this through. If you’re not sure what cutting is read my article What is Cutting? Read These 9 Tips to Help You Lose Your Body Fat.
Joining the Gym
I did not want to make this a new year resolution, I decided to start on the 11th of January. One of my local gyms had a special offer running, a year’s membership for £350.
I got the credit card out and coughed up the money, I also used this as a stick to hit myself with. I said to myself ‘Matt you’ve paid for the gym now use it’.
My wife will tell you this, I’m not very keen on spending money, I know £350 does not sound like a lot of money to some people but for me, this was a lot of money. So I was damn sure I got my money’s worth. I must admit it did work, I’ve been going to the gym consistently now for just over 2 ½ years.
Ok, I did have a 3 months break because the gym was moving premises and having a refit. I won’t be too hard on myself about that break. I’ve come back with so much more motivation. I love the new and improved gym.
I wanted to create this site when I started in Jan 2016, even though I was determined to see this through I still had that doubt in the back of my mind that I can’t do this and I won’t see it past 3 months (the time when most people give up).
The other reason I did not create this site when I first started is that I wanted to get some experience under my belt, so I can pass this on to you.
My Bad Habit
I’m sure I’m not the only person that does this, I used to have this bad habit of working my lunch and not leave the office all day until home time.
This is not good for your health and you certainly don’t get any thanks for the extra work you put in. So, I decided enough was enough and I would start working out in my lunch hour.
Now the gym has moved it is less than a minutes’ walk from my office before they moved it was about 7 minutes’ walk, I suppose one of the benefits of living on an island is the proximity of most facilities.
This worked out perfectly, not only was I getting a break from work, but I also found the time to work out. A couple of benefits I found for myself, is I feel a lot more awake in the afternoons, my concentration has improved and the other one is if I have a stressful morning and like most people’s jobs, there can be a lot of stress these days a lunchtime work out is great to way to release the stress.
Back to Karate
At the beginning of August 2016, as a family, we started going to Shotokan karate.
My wife and I had done this style of karate back when we were teenagers, different clubs as we did not know each other back then.
I managed to obtain my Yellow belt and my wife was a black belt 2nd, Dan. I knew my wife was good, but I never had the opportunity to watch her train, even after 25 years, if not more my wife was amazing, it just seemed 2nd nature to her. I just love watching my wife perform Kata.
I had to work a bit harder to get back to the level I was at. After a couple of years, I’ve come a long way, there is still a lot to learn and to get right. That’s one of the things I enjoy about Karate, you’re always learning to keep the mind and body active. Trying to remember kata’s, I find it hard.
I just love going to Karate, we go 2 – 3 times a week. It’s both mentally and physically rewarding.
My girls had been doing Kenpo, another style of Karate for about a year. The girls got to go to a Karate competition in July 2016 in Germany. They did really well.
Whilst at the competition my wife started to think about Karate and wanting the girls to try out Shotokan. Our friend’s kids already went to Shotokan Karate, so when we got back home we went and tried it out.
We’ve never looked back since it is really nice to have an interest that the whole family can enjoy together.
Passion for Life
Being a Dad of 2 girls and all the after-school activities I know it is hard to find the time to work out and to keep this site updated, but I am so determined to see this through.
If you look hard enough you can always find a bit of time to do something you’re passionate about.
I started writing this about me page in Aqua Splash on my mobile phone whilst my girls were having their swimming lessons after their lesson had finished I went for a swim with them.
This allowed me to make a start and then finish writing the content later. It’s all too easy to say I don’t have time to work out or I don’t have time for something else you’re passionate about.
I’m not very good with my writing skills, I find spelling and grammar so difficult. I’m hoping my wife Daniella will help me out here.
Thank you for taking the time and reading my about me page. I know some of it might be have been a bit boring, but I just wanted to share this with you.
If I can do something I’m passionate about I’m sure you can do it as well. My wife has now created her own site Paws r Pals.
I would like to thank my wife Daniella and my girls for all their support and for putting up with me.