My journey then & Now
It was something, that seemed normal to me to be over weight and hide it with clothes. I spent years trying for a 6 pack never being able to show even one. I developed a nice Keg alright and I wouldn’t mind but I don’t even drink.
My Greatest issue was sugar. I would gladly sit and eat my own boy weight in chocolate. Saying that I was happy to also eat a good curry and fries. On a Friday it became tradition to eat a chicken fried rice and fries.This would be followed by a large bar of Galaxy.
I would go and teach seminars on fueling for sport or offer advice on eating well. While I did go to the gym I didn’t apply my principles of diet to any of my own life. As a result I started to pile on the weight.
At the UK Martial Arts Exhibition 2014, here with famous Martial Arts Actor Scott Adkins, my wife Audrey & Son Rhys. You can see the weight on my face.
Hidden problems with weight gain
The thing with weight gain is it creeps up. As you look in the mirror you get used to seeing yourself and it is not unless someone says it to you or you see a photo, that you suddenly have that divine intervention and realise how much weight you have piled on. The worst thing I found was that no one said anything to me. When I said it afterwards to those around me they all said the very same thing, that they didn’t see me as fat. And that right there was the issue I carried it well.
Time For Change
In 2013 life became overwhelming and after a poor business venture, I stepped away completely from the fitness industry. I hated anything that was to do with it and stayed away from the gym for near on two years. I wouldn’t read a magazine, watch a TV program, the only thing I kept up was the Martial Arts and turned all of my Attentions to that. I ballooned up to over 103kg, my body fat at over 28% , waist size at 38 inches and eating two boxes of Rennies (indigestion and heartburn tablets) a day I was on the road to self-destruction and for someone 170cm I was morbidly obese according to my BMI. The headaches were unreal, the chest infections, constant Flu after Flu. It became unbearable.
It wasn’t until, August 2015 that I realised I was in serious trouble. I had spent most of that year sick and only operating on half power. If I ran more than 500m I would be seeing stars. I had put on a nice stomach and found it difficult to bend down and tie my shoelaces without holding my breath. I was sick all the time and had more chest infections than I can ever remember having my entire life.
That August after a hard year, I went to Killkee, Co.Clare with my family and I was really looking forward to it. It was a beautiful week and the sun was splitting the rocks. Needless to say I spent the week sick. I was for a finish bed bound by the end of it. I was gutted. I remember heading down to the waters edge to bring my son for a swim, when I spotted a group of girls that I trained. I immediately did a U-Turn and ran back up to put a T-shirt on, so my layers of fat would not be seen. It was at that moment I decided to make a change. I had had enough. I was sick of being sick and knew that if I continued this way that I would eventually end up seriously ill.
No Turning back
I started back on my diet and started working out again. It was slow and I managed to get myself down to 96kg. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do but rather needed motivation and reassurance for everything I put in my mouth. So I got on to David Young who was happy to kick my ass. For me more than anything it was someone to answer too. I made some great gains and I stayed on track. I got down to a respectable weight of 88kg, I was absolutely over the moon. Everyone started to notice and that just spurred me on further.
I continued on my journey and decided to go back to doing what I know best which was diet and training. I decided to make things interestin and make a challenge for myself to get into shape using only calesthenis, aided by some simple household gym equipment, two kettle bells, set of 15kg dumbbells a gym ball and treadmill. It was time to put that T-Shirt on and put my money where my mouth was and after telling every one of my clients that this was how you get in shape, it was now time to prove it. I wanted to show that you could get that beach body no matter what. I dieted hard (I mean I was committed 100% not shifting once of track), I trained near on twice a day every 3 days, while doing either cardio or circuit sessions everyday except Sunday.I listened to the body for the first time in my life and actually followed my own advice.
The weight fell off and by Christmas 2015 I was at 81kg and had abs for the first time in life. I remember every mirror I had a chance to look in I would check to make sure they were still there, as though by some magical mishap they had suddeny disappeared. I was now so motivated, I was not going to let anything stop me. I joined the gym in December week and felt awesome going there. 2016 was an amazing year for me. I worked harder and harder and got down to 74kg I actually don’t think I was ever that weight in my life…lol. My waist had dropped to 32″ (I could comfortable fit into a size 30″ waist) and my body fat was at 6%. As for the Rennies I hadn’t had one in over a year. Life was amazing. I got lovely text messages of support and random strangers would stop me to ask me questions.
The Ultimate Challenge
I started back up my business and immersed myself back into the fitness industry. I loved seeing people smile and be happy. Any chance I got to help someone I did. Now it was time to set the ultimate Goal. I had always said I would never stand on a stage as it was just not for me. But I suppose it came down to confidence, physique and being able to stick to a diet.
I decided to enter a Beach Body Competition in Cork in August 2016. Again I did this as I had people asking me about diets for shows and Comp Prep. While I knew diet inside out, I felt it unfair to be talking to people about this as it certainly was a step above the norm. So I went for it. It was absolute torture. I didn’t know what I was doing and just went with the flow. Eventually I pulled it together and with the Help from a few local and very experienced Trainers Shane Brodie & Sophia Mc Namara, I was able to build my confidence and tweak my diet.
It was a huge buzz, I had to learn to Pose, Figure out about Tans, Shave and get timing right the week of the show and day of. I learned about depleting carbs, water intake and the power of peaking too soon. I said that would be it and that I would not do another. But after that show I was hooked. Even though I didn’t win or even place In true Jason Kenny style I went all out and competed in the RIBBF Irish Nationals (which I didn’t place) a month month later and then on to Belfast to the WBFMA Worlds in November 2016, where I won the Men’s Physique Category, & 3rd in Men’s Athletic Physique. I was on fire. I had an amazing Christmas and set my target to compete again in March for the Irish Title.
Bump in the Road
After Christmas I got back into the swing of training, but unfortunately life started to catch up on me and the stress of everything else. I always kept myself busy and my life was always action packed. I had a pile of bills building up, work was becoming unbearable because of the highly intense nature of the environment, which I worked in. I was volunteering in Coast Guard, Teaching Martial Arts Classes, working with people on diets and trying to be a a husband and a dad. My only saving grace was the gym. It was my medicine. The lead up to the next show was difficult and I just went through the motions to be honest. If they had cancelled it I would not have minded, But my wife had now decided to compete and I wasn’t going to leave her down.
She poured her heart and soul into it and after having a baby only 13 months earlier got herself into the best shape of her life. She went on to Win her Bikini Category and the Yummy Mummy Category. What an amazing achievement for her first ever show. She had listened to every thing I said, followed my programs to the letter and absolutely smashed it on stage. I was so proud of her. This was the pinacle for me. I decided after that day to start minded myself and to take a step back from everything. It was time to learn to say NO…!
I won all my categories and won the overall Men’ Physique Category, which was incredible. It was a Serious win for Team Kenny.
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