1/2 Jenner St, Nundah, Queensland 4012

I'm Sean Cornish and this is my why

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I'm Sean Cornish and this is my why

I'm Sean Cornish and this is my why...
I used to clap.
I was so overweight as a kid I would jump, and when I landed, the fat on my chest would come down shortly after and clap against the rest of my body.
Fact is, I've always loved food. I wanted to be a chef as a child and watched anything to do with cooking on TV. In the Cornish family, we'd gather and appreciate the food served, and I always loved that I was a good eater as a kid.
Then the teen years arrived, and with hormones taking over, I quickly wanted change. When you're in a larger body, you imagine that in a thinner frame, life must be magically perfect. Everything that you see wrong in your life you view through a lens of overweight being the reason why. Unfortunately, this was the first big lesson my body had to teach me because that was wrong.
I did lose weight, but I didn't do it healthily.
You should have seen the compliments come through, though. Holy moly, everyone from the dads and mums at footy to girls at school. They all had something to say. In truth, it all came about around a time of a growth spurt for me which also meant that I started playing better footy and cricket, and the false economy of the cheap win, weight loss and vanity-based compliments was the result. Bizarrely, deep down, all the compliments and attention I knew was BS. It provided me such valuable insight into how flippant people's opinions are. I remember thinking, "what were you saying about me before?" Added to that was a deep-seated struggle between my values and behaviour.
I'm the eldest of 3 and have always had to set an example. There is no way I would have wanted my brother or sister to treat themselves the way I was treating myself. I remember standing at my kitchen table and my grandfather holding me by the shoulder, saying: "Sean, whatever you're doing, keep it up. You look fabulous." If only he knew what the voice in my head was saying. The guilt that a lolly would cause. Like somehow starving yourself or excessively exercising or both were justified because I looked better. Vanity can be a very short-sighted lens through which to view your life, and when the compliments stop, it proves to be very unsustainable.
I was fortunate enough to play senior footy at 16, where I'm from in the western suburbs of Melbourne, that was a pretty big deal. I found myself among some great men that taught me a lot more than they probably realized at the time. I was the little brother in that team, and having that love and support changed a lot of my behaviour. Suddenly I had something more than weight loss or my body to care about. I was a part of a team and had to prepare my body for performance. Something that meant the world to me and provided the playground for building confidence.
Fast forward a couple of years; my final English essay was titled 'More than a Voice'. The landscape has changed a lot in the last two decades about mental health but back then, it was a pretty bold move, and I detailed the struggle with the voice in my head. The analysis of a day is based on whether I ate well or exercised enough. The talons of guilt grab you by the neck after consuming something 'bad'—the false economy of exchanging a meal for high-intensity exercise. The cycle is reinforced by a positive comment from someone who feels they have the right to but has no idea about the behaviour that they're applauding. The paper then told of a dream to create a life where I challenged the negative voices in others' heads—a path where I connected people to their value. I was going to get an education, build something I'm proud of and challenge the false economy, cheap win, vanity based culture that, believe it or not, was around before Instagram! A little bit like the environment I stumbled across in that footy club at 16. I've found a way to do it through community, exercise and nutrition as a side dish to empathy and compassion.
You're far more than the house you live in, the car you drive, and the body you inhabit. That body that you might not be happy with or you wish was a different size or a little bit leaner; it's the only one you've got! Having spent the better part of my adult life learning about the body, I can tell you it's absolutely amazing, even yours!
We all come in different shapes and sizes, but it's my belief that our body is our greatest tool and asset for living a high-quality life. Fitness is the perfect playground for it. To become a priority in your life again, build confidence and connect you to that deeper intuition that we all have within us. We need to get you moving! Whether it's walking, pilates, weight training, or jogging, I don't care, but exercise provides the action for change. It's the catalyst to move from reactive deficit-based thinking into a proactive improved version of yourself. Yes, your body composition will likely change as a result, but that's a by-product, not the reason to start. What if the next walk or run or training session or breakfast, lunch or dinner wasn't a calculation or an attempt to create a greater deficit? What if it was an act of self-respect, an opportunity for you to access a better part of your brain and a better level of thinking to be a better mom, dad, son, daughter, teacher, learner, and human being.
The world will never get another you, and you will never get another body. So rather than fight it and hate it and crave a different one, thank it, nourish it and use it to help you improve your life.
Sean


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