Sitting Down Is The New Smoking
“Sitting down is the new smoking”. You have probably heard this saying thrown around a few times recently. But what does it mean exactly, and is there any merit? Well, that is what I will talk about today. I will share my experience from being one of Phuket’s most popular Personal Trainers to a fat lazy, wannabe entrepreneur who spent most of his 30s sitting in a computer chair. Which was ironic since most of my PT clients back then were exactly how I am now. It first started of necessity when covid hit, and Phuket, an Island 99% reliant on tourism for its income, closed off to the outer world for more than a year. All the places I did fitness classes at closed, and all the private clients lost their customers, so they had to cut down on luxuries, such as a Personal Trainer. Most had to leave and go back to their home countries.
So, I would either join them or plant my butt into a computer chair and figure out a way to earn money online. I always wanted to learn how to earn whilst you sleep, I had a few friends who were Digital nomads, and I thought it was epic, all they needed was their laptop, and they could travel the world. So, I got cracking. I had some experience with drop shipping, using POD companies for merch and affiliate marketing. I also built multiple websites for my little projects, learned SEO proficiently and graphic design.
The Back Pain
It didn’t take long during the pandemic lockdown for me to gain 10kg in weight, going from 82kg to 92kgs, and if I am honest with myself, I hadn’t trained at all, so not only do I know that was 10kgs of pure fat gained, but I know I lost muscle as well. So even though I gained 10kg, I probably gained 13kg of fat. After the first year, I was doing ok financially, but my health declined, and I could barely pass as a Personal Trainer. Even with the news talking about soft openings for Phuket and the possible return of tourists, I felt like I was done with that side of my life. So in my mind, that was a reason to remain lazy and not train.
Next thing I know, I am up another 10kgs! 92kg was the heaviest I had ever been. Now I am sitting at 102kg, and my weight gain doesn’t stop there. The highest I got up to was 110kg, a total weight gain of 28kg or 62lbs in just 2 years of sitting at a computer desk all day. It was pilling on fast, but this was too fast. It’s not like I was eating Mc Donalds and pizza every day. My dietary habits hadn’t changed, something wasn’t right, and the only change in my life was my career from a trainer who trained a few times a week to a computer guy who spent most of the day sitting at a computer.
The New Career
So, at this point, what do I do that keeps me sitting at the computer? Well, even though I was an active dude back then, training Muay Thai in Phuket for many years and being a Personal Trainer, I was always a big fan of gaming. I had a small gaming community that was getting bigger and bigger and had a massive burst in growth during the Pandemic when everyone was in lockdown. It started with just a tiny ARK PVPVE cluster. Then we spread into other games like Minecraft. Towards the Pandemic’s end, I had the biggest and most popular Minecraft Server in Indonesia. It was almost like a dream come true. Finally, I got paid to play games with my friends and the community I had built.
The Pandemic bought a lot of negative sadness and anger to the world. But it forced me so far out of my comfort zone that within 2 years, I fulfilled 2 life goals/dreams that I never thought would be possible. That being an actual digital nomad that could work when and how he wanted and a career earning money by playing games. All I needed was my laptop to keep tabs on the servers and access them, but each game I hosted had a partner who would take care of most of the day-to-day things. When the Pandemic passed, all the gyms opened back up, and Phuket opened back up. I started getting inquiries about doing Personal Training, but being 30kg heavier, I didn’t want to accept any PT work. So that part of my life was over, but I soon realised that my newfound career, independence and financial freedom at the sacrifice of my health might need some reevaluating.
The New Career