Benchmarks: Week Twenty-Three

Aaron 1Welcome to Tiger Muay Thai’s weight loss and fitness blog. I’m your host, Aaron Rowland. I’m a 27-year-old writer from Los Angeles, California. At my heaviest weight eighteen-months ago, I weighed in at 160 KGs.  I’m here at Tiger to lose weight, improve my fitness and have the adventure of a lifetime. I’ve been here thirteen months so far and I’m staying indefinitely. My favorite exercises are the bicycle crunch and the medicine ball slam. Barbell thrusters, suicide planks and burpees give me nightmares.

Back In The Saddle

The week after a gain can be tough. While it motivates you to work harder and eat cleaner, it can also be discouraging and feel like you’re not making progress. When those feelings occur, it’s important to brush them aside and focus on the week ahead. You can’t take back the food you ate or the workouts you skipped in the previous week, but you can focus on doing better this week. Leave the past right where it belongs, in the past.

Aaron 3Working Hard or Hardly Working?

After having spent over a year at Tiger, it can sometimes be easy to forget that I’m living in a tropical paradise. Instead of spending eight hours a day stuck in an office doing paperwork, I’m exercising outdoors surrounded by a supportive group of friend and trainers. If I want a break, I’m a mere ten minutes away from a relaxing few hours at the beach. Weight loss is tough, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. If you can find a fun and enjoyable way to lose weight, the odds of keeping it off are astronomically higher than if you’re miserable. That’s one of the things that make Tiger work so well for weight loss. It’s genuinely a good time. It may be hard work, but it’s hard work in an magical place.

The End Of Week Twenty-Three

I knew I would lose weight this week. I’d done everything right. Eating very healthy and exercising like a beast. Even in my off times, I would fine cool fitness activities like badminton and Frisbee golf to fill up my schedule. I step on the scale, and see that I weigh 236.4 LBS. That’s down 7.8 LBS from my nightmare weigh-in last week and is another great step on my journey to fitness and health.

Aaron 4What’s Up Next?

This next week will be a tough one. I’ve made it my goal to walk from Tiger Muay Thai to the Big Buddha and back. At almost 20KMs, it will take me 3-4 hours and features a steep incline as you approach the Buddha. It won’t be easy, but it wouldn’t be a challenge if it were. I’ll let you know next week how I fare.

Have a great week of weight loss! If you set your mind on it, I know you can do it!

Victories: Allen Paisansiri 5 Months & 30 KGS

Allen 1A twenty-two-year-old from San Fransisco, Allen Paisansiri is now even more energized and ready to power through life. Having taken a year off of college to grow and gain more experience, he decided Tiger would be the perfect place to relax, explore and focus in on what he wants to do for the rest of his life. Now he’s a transformed man. In only five short months, Allen has dropped 30 KGS (66 LBs) and discovered a newfound confidence. His favorite exercise is the Turkish get-up and his least favorite exercises are burpees and squats. This is his story

How did you find out about Tiger?

My family is Thai and they take yearly trips to Thailand, trips that I usually miss out on because of school or work. When the time came for me to take a break and explore, I automatically thought of Thailand because my younger brothers always came back with fun stories about their trip. My mom and dad are Muay Thai fanatics and often stream fights online. After learning about the sport and taking a look at the conditioning that was required for it, all it took was a quick Google search. Tiger’s informative website made it my first choice.

What first made you want to come?

Initially I thought it was a break from school and work, but after awhile I realized it was because I wasn’t happy with the way my body looked. I desperately wanted to change. I remember telling one of my best friends that I wish I could just disappear for a bit and come back looking completely different. This was that chance.

How long were you at Tiger?

A total of five months.

When you arrived here, did you set any goals for yourself?

Weight loss was my goal. I was looking to lose weight in order to look and feel better about myself. Losing weight meant a lot of things for me, but most importantly in my mind, I felt that losing weight would fix everything. I would be more confident in approaching people and making new friends.

Allen 2

How do you fare at meeting those goals?

I guess you could say it was a success. I can’t help but smile every time the topic of weight loss and my Thailand trip comes up. In the five months I spent at Tiger Muay Thai, I lost a whopping 30 KGS (66 LBs). I never expected it to be that much, but I just kept losing weight. I remember other guests coming up to me and telling me that I was melting right before their eyes.

What accomplishments at Tiger are you proud of?

Besides the changes in the body, I would say it’s the change in my mind that is my biggest accomplishment. It’s funny because you’d think at a fight/weight loss camp, there would be a lot of aggression and people would just stick to themselves to train. But we’re like a family here. Sure, there are one or two people that were aggressive, but for the most part I had such a mind cleansing experience. Tiger really helped me clear my mind and open up my mind.

Did you face any setbacks or challenges along the way?

The number one challenge was definitely being alone. I had some days where I would lay in bed till eleven or midnight just thinking about what my friends and family were doing back home. It was my first time leaving the United States and alone, at that. It was with the help of other guests that allowed me to stay for so long. I’ve made friends at Tiger who were also exploring and finding themselves and some days after training we would sit, have lunch and just talk. This always cheered me up and put a smile on my face.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about coming to Tiger?

Don’t psych yourself out; just do it. Book your stay and stick to it. Yes, you will miss your friends and family. Yes, you can Skype them. I would have gotten nowhere if I let my mind do all the talking. I remember telling myself, “Don’t think. Just do.” Conquer Big Buddha. You will love it. My first time up Big Buddha, I took an hour and ten minutes. Before I left, my personal best was 33:46. It’s possible!

What surprised you the most about Tiger?

The people that came to train. There were people from all over the world, all different sizes and ages. Even after leaving Tiger I still keep in touch with these people. We’ve even planned a reunion together next year back at Tiger!

Allen 3

Tell me about one fun memorable thing that happened to you during your time at Tiger.

I won a BBQ Beatdown and it was pretty much the most terrifying thing of my life. But I had so much fun. My first BBQ Beatdown was a draw, and during the first 30 seconds of the first round of that fight I actually busted a vein in my eye and it swelled up and shut. Every time I tried to hit my opponent after that, I would always miss by a little bit because with one eye shut, everything was kind of shifted. It remained that way for maybe two to three weeks, but I still kept going to training everyday. I’ll never forget to block or dodge and weave now!

Have you learned anything that you’ll use back home?

I would say Tiger was my catalyst. It started everything. I’m home now and still working out every single day. My friends definitely notice the change and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard the words, “OMG you lost weight” or “you look so good.” Tiger made things simple for me. You eat right, you work out, you meet your goal. Being in the United States makes it very challenging to achieve your goals. Everyone is trying to make a quick buck off miracle diets because there is such a large market for weight loss. They tell you that you can’t eat after this time, or carbs are bad for you, or if you buy this product you’ll lose weight, or some other lame thing like nutrient timing. After having spent five months at Tiger, it is now so easy for me to determine what’s correct and what isn’t.

Tiger helped me restore my confidence. It reminded me of what I had all along.

Benchmarks: Week Twenty-Two

Aaron 4Welcome to Tiger Muay Thai’s weight loss and fitness blog. I’m your host, Aaron Rowland. I’m a 27-year-old writer from Los Angeles, California. At my heaviest weight eighteen-months ago, I weighed in at 160 KGs.  I’m here at Tiger to lose weight, improve my fitness and have the adventure of a lifetime. I’ve been here twelve months so far and I’m staying indefinitely. My favorite exercises are the bicycle crunch and the medicine ball slam. Barbell thrusters, suicide planks and burpees give me nightmares.

Twenty-Two Weeks Down, A Lifetime To Go

Weight loss isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would do it. Instead we find ourselves with a worldwide obesity epidemic that only grows worse wand worse as the years go on. You will stumble on your journey and sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of your ultimate goals or the reasons for wanting to lose weight. The more you can do to remind yourself of that, the better. The last few weeks have been very difficult in my journey. It’s been tough to muster up the energy to work out or find the strength to resist the temptation to eat poorly. On any long weight-loss journey, you’ll find yourself eventually in the same place. Your weight will plateau or rise a bit and you’ll find that it’s tough to find the motivation to keep going. When this happens, it’s important to not lose sight of your accomplishments. Even if you have a few bad weeks, think about all the hard work you’ve put in and how successful you’ve already been. It’s not about never failing. It’s about picking yourself up after failure and continuing to move forward. Don’t worry about the one step back, focus on the two steps forward.

Aaron 3Creating An Environment For Success

One of the best ways to help keep yourself motivated is by surrounding yourself with success. That’s the best part about being at Tiger Muay Thai; likeminded people who are supportive of your goals surround you. During any given class, you’ll hear words of encouragement from your fellow guests, pushing you to work harder than you thought was possible. If you can succeed in carving out your own group of friends at Tiger, you’ll suddenly find yourself attending more classes than you thought you’d be able to and eating in a super healthy way. Journeys are easier when you can share the load. That’s the Tiger way.

The End Of Week TwentyAaron

Stepping on the scale after a couple weeks, I know it isn’t going to be pretty. I’ve been attending all the right classes, but not eating the foods I need to. Mark it down as a short-term loss of self-control, suck it up, and step on the scale. I gained weight. Not surprising. No tears and no frown, though. I’m still all smiles. I’ve slipped up before and came back even stronger.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I feel revved up to conquer the scale next week. Lose five pounds next week. That’s my goal and I feel great about meeting or surpassing it.

AaronfWhat’s Up Next?

Attend two classes a day, find other ways to stay active, and eat the foods that my body needs to function. It isn’t rocket science, but it’ll still take work. No skipping classes for a lie-in this week. It’s pure unadulterated focus. Don’t stand in my way, because it’s pedal to the metal toward me goal!

Have a great week of weight loss! If you set your mind on it, I know you can do it!

Checking In With Robin: Chapter One

Robin 1Robin has been at Tiger for the last five years in a variety of capacities. Robin describes his job duties as “having a hand in pretty much everything at camp” and says that he is Will Elliot’s (Tiger’s GM) right-hand man. Robin is currently embarking on his own weight loss journey over the next year and we are checking in with him regularly to see how his journey is progressing. He started at 140 KGs and his goal is to get down to 80KGs over the course of a year. He has started his program with a detox at Atmanjai Wellness Center to help boost his metabolism and give his body a much-needed tune-up.

What Is Atmanjai?

Robin 4Tiger Muay Thai & MMA and Atmanjai Wellness Center are now working together to offer combined programs for those interested in detoxing at Atmanjai prior to the beginning of their training (or after their training has finished!) For Robin’s first four days, he ate a raw food diet to help pre-cleanse his body to prepare for the Ultra Cleanse package he would be receiving. Then he participated in a six-day session of Atmanjai’s Ultra Cleanse. While you don’t eat any food for the six days of cleansing, it’s remarkable how much energy you will find that you still have. After the six days on Ultra Cleanse, Robin then participated for four days on Atmanjai’s Eat Well cleanse, which integrates fresh fruit and vegetables into the cleanse to help your body begin to readapt to eating. Robin and I can both confirm these programs are an excellent way to begin a weight loss regimen at Tiger.

Robin 2

What Was His Daily Routine?

The day starts with a mixture of supplement beverages, and a peaceful walk at Nai Harn beach or a session of relaxing yoga. On the Eat Well program you eat three small meals of raw fruits and vegetables, while on the Ultra Cleanse program you receive an additional session of colon hydrotherapy to help fully cleanse your system.  The rest of the day is a whirlwind of treatments (including daily massage), supplements, coaching sessions, swimming and rebounding. Robin said the acupuncture treatments were especially helpful to him and that is help to ease the pain he feels from damaged tissue in his shoulder.

How He Feels Now

He’s never felt better. He’s able to train his shoulder more effectively after acupuncture, he’s not feeling the intense food cravings he used to, and his metabolism is moving at a lightning speed. He says the biggest change he notices is his energy levels. He’s training harder than even before and has energy to spare. He also was successful in losing weight while on the cleanse. He lost 7 KGs in ten days and has managed to keep it off successfully for the last couple weeks (and lose even more!)

Robin 3

Next Steps Forward

Robin has started training with Tiger Muay Thai’s personal trainer to adapt a workout perfect for him and the limitations he faces with his shoulder. He’s sticking with the healthy eating and the pounds are falling off him. He knows that even though he’s limited in the types of workouts he can do, there’s no good excuse not to workout in the ways that he’s able. He plans on visiting Atmanjai again in the next 2-3 months to help keep his body and mind running in tip-top shape.

If you are interested in attending a detox at Atmanjai, give us a call at Tiger Muay Thai and save 5% when booking through Tiger. It’s a great way to jump start a weight loss journey!

Losing It In Paradise One Month In

 Tank 4If you’ve spent much time in Phuket, then you have undoubtedly met Tom “DJ Tank” Saharut Somsanuk. King of the Phuket social scene, Tank describes himself as, “a mixed up nutcase, but a nice one. Born and raised in the US; discovering his Asian roots in Thailand.” At 38, Tank has decided to take control of both his weight and his life. He’ll be working with Tiger over the next year to lose some pounds and rediscover his fitness. We’ll be checking in on him every few weeks, to see how his journey is going. Here’s what he has to say…

Hey Tank! How far into your training are you now?

A month and some change. Training five days a week.

Tank 3How are things going?

Good! I miss some days here or there, but I’m mostly keeping up with it. I’ve lost thirty pounds (14KGs) so far and I can really feel a difference. I feel better around my heart and my other organs. I also feel more mobile. The biggest thing that’s changed is that my legs used to be black and calloused. I was afraid I was going to lose them because of my diabetes, but now they’re looking better. They look and feel more human. Smoother skin, they more life in them. Right now that’s what I’m most excited about.

Has the training gotten easier over the last month?

It’s actually harder because I can do a lot more. It’s harder because we up it and make it more difficult. Always improving on what we did the previous time. Using a heavier weight and doing more reps. Whenever my trainer asks if I can handle it, I tell her that I can. That’s what we’re here to do.

Tank 1How is the food side of things going?

At the Tiger Grill, they make it really easy. The food portions are gigantic, but it’s healthy food. I’m used to it from the States, but instead of the veggies and lean meats I have here, it would be biscuits and gravy with dessert back home.

Are you struggling with any food temptations?

I own a burger stand, so it’s been hard. Even the burgers are getting less tempting, though. One you start eating well, your cravings seem to change. Instead of a daily craving, it’s maybe a weekly craving.

Have you discovered that you love any healthy foods?

I really like yams. They’re really filling and super tasty.

Have you faced any other challenges or setbacks along the way?

Tank 2Working all the time. You set yourself up to try and achieve 200 things, and then even if you achieve 90 of them, you’ve accomplished a lot. The big goal here has to been totally steer clear of everything. That’s not going to happen all the time, but I can at least avoid most bad things for most of the time. I’m not one of those guys who want to go to the gym just to train for fun. I’m a living kind of dude with bills and a family. I need to work to support them. I know I have to do this for me, though. If I hadn’t started to make a change, then I wouldn’t have been able to support them for much longer.

What’s your plan from here?

I’ll be training five ways a week and eating well. It’s all about moving forward and sticking with it. It’s great having a trainer to work with. If I had been able to do this on my own, I would have done it a long time ago. Working with Tiger is finally helping me to achieve my goals.