LET’S SHINE TOGETHER THIS NOVEMBER
Guardian Group’s annual SHINE 5k and 10k Walk and Run is set for November 25, 2017. SHINE, an abbreviation for “Securing Hope for those In Need,” is Guardian Group’s annual flagship CSR event. 100% of all proceeds raised go towards several homes that are doing incredible work with underprivileged children and families across Trinidad and Tobago. In the story below, you’ll read how one Guardian Group employee – Roger Brumant – tackled his own obesity through changing his lifestyle and participating in races like SHINE. In helping himself, he also helped others. We hope that Roger’s story inspires you to take control of your wellness, participate in races like SHINE, and, in the process, help the less fortunate, especially during the holidays.
Two years ago, Roger Brumant was your average Trini man.
A six-footer with a handsome smile, a beautiful, supportive family, and a thriving insurance career at Guardian Group, Roger was the paragon of a man who had it all together.
At 43, Roger was smart, funny, successful….
…and 438 pounds.
It’s hard to fathom living a life at that size. But let’s give it a try.
Imagine waking up every morning tired, with energy levels so low that something as simple as tying a shoe lace becomes a herculean undertaking, and keeping up with your kids? Almost impossible.
Imagine not being able to climb a flight of stairs without taking a break, or walk for long periods without panting, or sleep comfortably at night without feeling suffocated.
It might seem incomprehensible, nightmarish almost, but this was Roger’s reality for most of his life.
And with a BMI of over 51 (30 and up is considered obese), Roger was not only living on borrowed time, he was also doing a bang up job ruining it.
Looking at Roger today, it’s hard to imagine him any other way.
The father of two is set to run Guardian Group’s annual 5k and 10k SHINE, a half-marathon, and a triathlon, all before the end of the year.
That’s a far cry from a man who, in his own words, “had to stand because (he) couldn’t fit in most chairs” and “was tired of requesting plane extension belts on airlines.”
“I had reached my ESP, my Emotional Saturation Point. I went to the hospital to visit someone, and it hit me. You don’t see healthy people in a hospital. It’s only people who don’t take care of themselves that end up there. People who invest in their health and take care of themselves go on to enjoy their life, see their grandchildren, and I wanted that for myself. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to work hard my whole life to save money, only to have to spend it on my health at the end. It’s heartbreaking to see 33 years of a family’s life savings gone in one week, all because you’ve put your health in jeopardy,” he said.
And so he began his journey, with a four-step plan to overhaul his body.
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MIND OVER MATTER
The first step was to change his mindset; to go from “these are the changes that I want to make” to “these changes had the following effects in my body, which have brought me this outcome, and if I do xyz, my body will respond differently.” The distinction is subtle, almost imperceptible. Aspiration vs. intent. A small shift in semantics, but one worth over 200-pounds and a new lease on life.
The next step was to understand his body.
“That part was hard,” he admits. “The things I loved were things that were devastating my body. Flour, rice, carbonated beverages. It took a while to realize that my body was simply unable to process them. I didn’t understand that before. And so I consumed a lot of really bad, processed foods. And it wasn’t just what I was eating. It was also when, and the quantity I was ingesting them in. To really shed the pounds, I had to listen to my body, to learn it’s rhythm.”
MAKE IT WORK
Working out was the next natural thing.
When he began, Roger did an hour of weekly ‘light’ exercise that managed to keep his lungs, kidneys, and other vital organs functioning the best they could under the weight.
To kick the weight, he had to amp up his efforts. He hired a trainer who worked with him to increase his weekly cardio (by way of skipping, walking, and running) and hone his muscle mass.
“I’ve been exercising every day for an hour at a minimum for the past two years and I still continue to set goals for myself. I am mentally fit as well. I now know that anything I put my mind to, I can achieve. I run even when it’s raining. Even when I pull a muscle I keep going,” he added.
As a family, the Brumants also go to the gym regularly, do weekly biking trips, and try their best to live a life centred around health and wellbeing.
FIND YOUR VILLAGE
It’s tough to go at anything alone, and Roger’s support system was crucial in helping him lose and keep off the weight. His wife, kids, trainer, colleagues, and even his physician, all played key roles in his journey. “My doctor is very proud of me, and of the work I’ve put in. He’s seen changes in my function, form, blood work, it’s amazing how your body responds to even the slightest of change,” he said.
But while family and friends are indispensable, the greatest motivation, Roger says, has to be yourself. “You have to own it to say that I am going to make this change. Only when you decide you will do it, will it actually materialise. Nobody can do it for you.”
But what of the flip side? What does losing 223 pounds – essentially an entire person – do to you?
A lot, it seems.
“I had to change all my documents like my passport and Identification Cards. Being in this brand new body sometimes causes me to lose my centre of gravity. Running now is different to running as a heavier person. I have to tell my mind that I’m smaller. I have to tell my mind how fast I can go because my mind is still programmed to a heavier person,”
But it’s not all worry and woe. There are definitely some perks to his newfound body.
“I am healthy. My body responds better, I sleep better, I am able to move faster, and my whole lifestyle is changed. I eat better, I exercise much more and my body responds much better. I am much more mentally fit. I now know that anything I put my mind to, I can achieve.”
Today, Brumant is 15 pounds away from his ideal weight, and while he has some ways to go, the greatest battle – the one with himself – is, finally, 223 pounds lighter, behind him.
LET’S SHINE TOGETHER
Join Guardian Group and hundreds of race enthusiasts, runners, leisure walkers and fitness buffs on November 25, 2017, for this year’s SHINE 5k and 10k Walk and Run.
With activities, parang, live music, and prizes, SHINE is not just a charity race. It’s a charity fundraiser and workout rolled into one, fun-filled evening. The event begins at 4:25 pm at the Nelson Mandela Park in St. Clair, Port of Spain, and both races run concurrently. Participants are required to check-in from 3:30 pm on the day.
Registration must be done at www.run2shine.com, and costs TTD 80/USD 12. No credit card? No worries. Simply purchase a ‘promo code’ at any Guardian Group payment outlet in Trinidad and Tobago, and use the code to complete your registration online. Registration closes on November 3rd in Tobago and November 10th in Trinidad.
Contact Guardian Group via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 868-623-9578