Sustainable Life Fitness Origin Story
SLF began with a challenge to my brother, Sean: to lose 87 pounds in 8 months. I had seen Sean go through the ups and downs of enthusiastically starting a fitness routine, only to lose motivation and relapse back into unhealthy habits, and his body weight kept increasing. As his brother and someone who had studied exercise in college, I felt a strong desire to help him get fit, but since I live over 900 miles away I didn’t quite know how to do it. I understand Sean’s struggle. I had gone through the same thing many times. I am a pro at starting things but completely horrible at follow through. As I thought about how to help Sean, a voice inside of me said, “Tygh, you have a master’s degree in exercise science and you can’t even keep an exercise routine or eat healthy!? How do you expect to help your brother when you can’t even help yourself!” I was confused and doubtful that I could be an effective coach. I found an answer to that voice on a plane. I was on my way to Long Beach, CA to attend the World Tea Expo and reading, “Thinking in Systems” by Donella Meadows.
I had studied Dynamical Systems theory in grad school and was interested in sustainable agriculture; how systems theory could be applied to growing food in eco-“systems”. Somewhere, 30,000 feet in the air between Atlanta and LA, I had an “Ah Ha!” moment. I could apply the principles of sustainability to fitness! I would finally understand what made systems last, what made them fail, and I could apply those ideas to coach myself and my brother to implement fitness systems that sustained! Before I even finished the book, I typed out an SLF manifesto, and since then I have been coaching Sean remotely via phone, email, and blog. If you’re like me or my brother, trying and failing repeatedly to get fit, to eat better, to improve your mindset, to take control of your finances, to achieve your best life imaginable, I believe you will find immense value in what SLF has to offer. As I continue to develop SLF, I look forward to sharing everything with you.