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The Dietary Minefield

The Dietary Minefield

As someone that is shall we say NOT of the high IQ persuasion, for years I was baffled by all the conflicting information.

High Fat? Low Fat? High Carb? Low Carb? High Protein? Dukan? Atkins? Crash Diets? A veritable smorgasbord of conflicting information that all spout “THIS IS THE WAY TO GO” and are seemingly backed up by the latest study!!
 
Who do you believe? Which way to go?

If that’s not enough to make your freakin mind boggle then chuck into the mix the almost weekly news and paper headlines that conflict each other

  • “Latest Study Proves…….high this / low that is best”
  • Last week a study proved the complete opposite!
  • A few weeks ago completely different advice was a proved by another study!

It was enough for a layman like myself to utter “Its all bulls#it!” and then to carry on eating the way I wanted because “Obviously the bloody experts don’t know what’s best either!” Then you listen to tripe like “Eat 7 portions of fruit and veg a day!” Again a layman like me thinks;

  • “Hmmm Lettuce, Tomato & Onion in my cheese sandwiches” (that’s 3 portions)
  • “Pea’s and Mash with my whole Fray Bentos steak pie” (Cool – that’s 5 portions)
  • “Apple in my crumble and ice cream” (6 portions)
  • “oooh I had a Banana in my lunch after I finished my crisps and pasty” (7 portions)

Oh???  Why am I still unhealthy? I followed government guidelines???

I jest of course but only just.  The mind will, if you allow it, justify your bad decisions so when you have conflicting information and piss poor advice from the government you basically have a free reign of excuses to ignore or justify all the crap.


Is it the governments job to make sure I am healthy? NO! I don’t think so but if they are going to give advice then it should be in depth and a general “7 portions a day” just doesn’t cut it..

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!!

There is no such thing as a one size fits all diet or portion size, it takes work, constant adjusting and the most important factor, Self-Awareness.


You can find studies that will prove anything you want to hear, that is the reason for so many conflicting results.

Massive food companies from around the world commission a vast amount of these studies and cherry pick pieces of the results that have a nice sound-bite to add to their marketing.

Plus they are paying these labs for the results they want to hear?

It’s not a conspiracy or outright lies but tests are carried out in favourable conditions by scientists that really cannot be unbiased so the results are true in certain conditions, most just marginally true but undesirable results are rarely reported.

Studies where control groups of people are used are basically useless as “scientific” data and provide no quantifiable results although are great for pointing science in a general direction.

The reason for this being that unless EVERY person in the study has been raised in the lab where every environmental, genetic, food and drink has been tightly controlled for their whole life then the study is not scientifically accurate.

This doesn’t mean they are useless – the opposite in fact BUT you either really have to be able to delve into these studies and mine out all the relevant data which is an art in itself or build your sphere of knowledge by starting to read, listening to pod-casts and following people..err on Facebook etc NOT stalking..   You will soon find that these people who are amazingly astute and have the ability to decipher these studies for you – OK, why trust and believe them and not others?

Because :   They have been through your journey and are GIVING away this information for FREE – NO ULTERIOR MOTIVE!


trust The biggest, probably most important single thing I had to learn was Self-Awareness.

As a species humans are very adept at illusion and masters of delusion!!

We kid ourselves we haven’t eaten any crap today, shrug and say “my diets not too bad!”   I can’t tell you the amount of time at the beginning of all this when I would get über defensive when told by my wife that it was only 3 or 4 days since my last bottle of wine or take-out and I would swear blind it had been a couple of weeks.

Same when I would tell her or anyone else that I have hardly eaten at all today only to be reminded I had a cake or sandwiches earlier on.  It wasn’t lies per se but just completely wiped from my mind and instantly remembered once reminded!

Things like saying “I have been ill for a week or so…” when in fact is has only been a couple of days!
Feeling very very ill and swearing I would “Never drink again!!” genuinely meaning it, only to laugh it off a couple of days later whilst cracking open a can of lager!

These are all general examples of illusion and delusion and until you start taking responsibility for your own health and becoming self-aware not much will change.


How about how a meal makes you feel or even a specific ingredient?  These variables are impossible to track unless your self-aware – write down a journal of meals – write all food and drink but only detail if negative effects occur – it seems like a lot of work at first but if you eat a cake and get heartburn – note it!  Eat a meal, get so bloated you have to put on comfty trousers or undo a button – note it! Have a bottle of wine – get a bad headache or stomach – Note it!!!!

These simple things start building up a bigger picture, stop you deluding yourself – come on if you read back in your journal that s in your own handwriting just how crappy you felt after pizza and this happens time after time it seriously starts changing your mindset.. You start becoming self-aware…   It’s a small but significant step.

Over and over again in the past I had decided to “Get Healthy” went all in, felt good for a while then slipped back with no real knowledge of what worked and why it failed but the real freakin insanity is a short time later I would do exactly the same all over again and guess what?  Yep Exactly the same results!!! huh! go figure, did I really expect a different outcome?

So by taking responsibility for my health & happiness rather than expecting some corporate entity to place my health over and above their profit margin or the dumbed down nonsensical gibberish from the government you slowly but surely become self-aware, you begin to know what makes you feel good and what doesn’t.

Instead of taking 10 pills a day because the adverts tell you they will make you healthy, start by identifying your problem areas and targeting them with food choices then supplements to aid with that specific problem.

Once that has been solved, move on to the next – this way you are slowly learning what’s good for you, what heals etc

If you go all in and take bucket loads of supplements, then you’re not really aware of what is working or if you really need it all, also you become aware of how your mood is affected by certain foods.

As mentioned before I started this by keeping a candid food diary, be honest no one is going to read it except you.  Give mood and food a ratings between 1 to 10 for the day as well as listing all foods and noting any negative effects – This really builds up the bigger picture over time and you become hyper aware.

Learning to listen to YOUR body is imperative!

  • Disbelieve Doctors
  • Disbelieve Fitness Professionals
  • Disbelieve Adverts and Companies
  • Disbelieve Me
  • Disbelieve Everyone!!
Abel James – author of “The Wild Diet” sums this up neatly by saying!
“If 50000 people say something stupid, is it still not stupid?”
 

Don’t automatically jump on the bandwagon but approach all new information with a healthy dose of scepticism, listen and try out what they say and if it clears up your symptoms or makes you feel better then BOOM, in the bag of tricks it goes – Another notch on the way to health and happiness!!

Concentrate on getting healthy, not losing weight and weirdly you will lose weight that just stays off whilst feeling vibrant, energetic and full of the joys of spring…
 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Main Story

 

Who’s Really In Charge???

Who’s Really In Charge???

 

One of the things I kept hearing by various people on the Podcasts, was about how important your gut is.

Its logical I suppose, actually its downright obvious really – EVERYTHING we eat and drink (good or bad) is processed through the stomach and as such this is where all the nutrients we need to survive are first broken down and absorbed.

That said, although the importance of the gut is glaringly bleedin obvious, I NEVER gave it a second thought. Over the years I would have had worries, thoughts and conversations about :

  • Healthy Heart
  • Healthy Liver
  • Healthy Lungs
  • Healthy Brain
  • Healthy Bones

When you hear very intelligent, well researched information both scientific and anecdotal from various people high up in the health industry consistently explaining that you cant really have any of the above without first ensuring you have a “Healthy Gut” then the importance starts to hit home.


 

Over the years I had many doses of Anti-biotics, drank Gaviscon directly from the bottle, swallowed Rennie by the bucketload, taken shedloads of other chemical medications and eaten such nutrient dead, chemical laden foods whilst imbibing on everything but water then I think it would be a safe bet to say my gut was abused into oblivion!!!

Yes I was making baby steps towards a much healthier dietary regime but I came to realise that if my gut wasn’t working efficiently then no matter what healthy food I ate, my body would still not be taking in those lubbley jubbley nutrients to its best ability.

After all: “You Are What You Absorb NOT What You Eat!!!”

digest


 

Sure with what I was doing already I was getting better.  My body was healing itself from what I like to think of now as me declaring war on it with shock and awe tactics for 15 odd years but in my quest for Health & Happiness I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t give it all the tools I could to help it along its way.

Seem a bit weird, me talking about my body in the 3rd person?

Maybe, but its how I like to think about it now because just the bacteria in your bowel outnumber the cells in your entire body by a factor of 10 to 1. With over 100 trillion bacteria (about 3lbs worth) known as microflora – these little things can basically control your whole life – they make the environment suitable to them which can be toxic to you or beneficial to you.

patho

Every person’s assembly of microflora is unique to them, like fingerprints and DNA.

Only a few of the more than 500 species of bacteria found in the bowel have been studied in depth. Some create vitamins such as K, B5, B9 and B12. Others help improve absorption of magnesium, calcium and iron.

The good bugs defend their turf from pathogenic intruders.

A large percentage of the immune system is located around the bowel and probiotics are important for the maintenance and regulation of immunity, helping prevent coughs, colds and infections.

Other conditions that respond well to probiotics include diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, eczema and asthma.

They can control moods, illness, cravings, aches & pains etc. There is more bacterial DNA in our Genome than there is human!!!


 

Oh how intellectual of me huh!! Nope its in my notes!! Here is the way I interpreted it….

meninblack

Remember the film Men In Black?

There is a scene where a door opens on a humans body and sat on a chair inside with its hands on the controls was a little alien and it was being told off by Will Smith…….. HAHAHA and back down to my simpleton world with a crash!!

Who is really in charge? 
Are we just an evolved vessel for the bacteria to have a safe home?
Who’s craving the toxic food? You or The Bad Bacteria so they can multiply?
eeeerrrrrrr WTF! Sorry about the Tales Of The Unexpected nutter talk there <cough>

 

Back in the room!!! Where was I?  OK try to think of your body as a Coral Reef, a marvel of nature, a huge complex bio-system that adapts but nonetheless is a very fragile eco-system – We share a symbiotic relationship with our bacteria of which as the Human DNA Vs Bacterial DNA amounts actually show, we are the lesser partner.

When I thought about it like that it was easy to make the decision to see what I could do to help out “My Neighbours” and in turn help me out… see symbiotic 🙂

I started off with an intolerance test. A hair sample sent off to a lab is so simple. I was very aware though that these tests are not really conclusive they can show a lot of false positives but I just wanted a baseline to start from and the difference between a much better blood test and the hair sample can be around £350.00 so the much cheaper £45 test would be OK for now.

I did have a couple of foods that gave me an almost immediate negative reaction when I ate them so was interested to see if they showed on the test. Off went my samples.

While I waited for the results I started to see what else I could do. Over the previous 6 months or so I had drastically reduced my sugar intake by completely coming OFF all Low Fat products (full of sugar), fizzy drinks, bread and apart from the odd treat nearly stopped all chocolate…….

Don’t worry, a little way into the future I found (Sam did) an amazing homemade chocolate recipe. It is made with so much fat, its got more calories than dairy milk, snickers, mars etc but its ingredients are all clean, free from chemicals and full of nutrients!! Seriously tasty, I love it…. who wants the recipe?

Apart from all the positives though I was still eating quite a lot of processed foods so the journey began looking for tasty homemade meals that appeased my cravings, my goals and gave me an abundance of those gorgeous nutrients I wanted. This is a lifelong fun hobby as well – always looking for new recipes and new ingredients to make mouth watering food that is both scrummy & nutritious..

I defy anyone to not like Fitter Foods Scotch Eggs…..mmmmmmmm


 

Check these guys out – seriously the meals are double de-lish!! yummy!

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/FitterFood
Website : http://fitterlondon.co.uk/


 

probiotics
I had been supplementing with Pro-biotics but just a cheap brand so decided to spend a bit of money on VSL#3.
 
This product has 450 billion Pro-biotics per serving!! Its not needed for very long, its used by hospitals and doctors normally to fix the gut flora after surgery where a patient has been bombarded with super strength anti-biotics to ensure they do not get an infection.
 
 
 

I used these for about a month and then went on to a more standard multi strain blend but always ensured there was a minimum of 20 billion per day.

I also got some Pre-biotics (Bimuno) that I just added to my tea or coffee.

Prebiotics are food for probiotics.

Prebiotics can also be found in asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, beans, chickpeas, lentils and supplementary fibres such as psyllium, pectin, guar gum and slippery elm.

I started looking at fermented foods such as Saurkraut, Kefir, Tempeh and Kimchi, also I started drinking Kombucha which is an ancient fermented tea.

All of the above is a little weird at first but I actually really like them now and the benefits for digestive health are off the charts.

I am actually toying with the idea of starting to make my own fermented foods.

This is another long term project of mine, there are no immediately noticeable results but it wasn’t that long until I did see some changes.

Bloating stopped after eating, errr gas shall we say wasn’t as errrr tuneful or vile smelling, without getting into too much detail bowel movement were more regular and normal consistency (I’m so sorry!!).  😀

I had plenty of symptoms that pointed towards gut problems such as skin rashes, fungal toenail infections and spotty skin and a year on these have nearly all gone – only thing left is a small rash on my arm and 2 slightly infected toenails that are normal thickness now just slightly off colour.


 

To put this in perspective I had these issues for years and had actually been previously prescribed medicine so powerful to clear the infections that they could only allow one course per year as they could cause liver and kidney failure! These medications by the way FAILED and although its taken a year so far it seems that looking after my pals in my gut using completely clean means is doing what these chemicals can’t!


 

It sounds like I am against doctors and medication but I’m not – trust me I am a wuss and as soon as I get a cold I am reaching for the night nurse. Very recently I had a nasty bout of tonsillitis that meant I had to have a course of Anti-biotics and pain killers. This would have killed off much of my carefully cultured bacterial gut garden but as soon as I could I was back on promoting good gut health – point being, if you need medicine take it but look into what you can do long term to reduce your bodies chemical toxic load.


 

Once you start doing all these things and started removing the heavily processed foods from your habits you genuinely start to feel well and in good spirits.

You don’t feel all hyper, hippy love zingy and bouncy you just feel well.

You realise that you way you felt before, the way you just accepted as normal was just a crappy existence.  It makes you not want to go back there, it doesn’t make you do everything right but when you go wrong it makes you get back on the path sooner.

Ailments and aches you just dismissed as “getting older”, old injuries disappear and moods become much more even.

If you keep waking up in the morning with a scrunched up face and murder on your mind, cleaning your teeth whilst promising yourself in the mirror that the first f***er to step out of line today is going to get both barrels…. sound familiar? How many time’s have you said to someone “Oh I just got out of bed on the wrong side this morning” If there was no external influence you should never wake up this way – I used to, not any more!

Don’t get me wrong, its not all happy clappy, lets skip through the flower gardens. People, unexpected bills and situations can still piss me off and put me in a bad mood but they are external influences that to some extent are out of my control but just being in a bad mood for no apparent reason seems to be a thing of the past – Awesome Huh!


Next : My Intolerance Results and Things You Can Do To Test Your Own Body From Home For……..FREE!

 

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2014 in Main Story

 

My Worst Fears Confirmed…….

My Worst Fears Confirmed…….

I was seriously shaken. I for the first time in my life was making an effort, slowly, sure but still making an effort.  So why the f**k was I here in hospital again?

I kept having fainting episodes, fine one second out cold the next and coming to in a state of complete panic – this compounded by the fact of being an HGV driver and the doctors were duty bound to report it to the DVLA meant procedures kicked in to revoke my license, therefore removing my career – I was stressed out big time!

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I had been growing in confidence and living in a world of wonder about my small but significant changes but I am a little embarrassed to say I completely reverted back to my negative mindset.

I started drinking heavily again, forgot all my good foods and started eating all the crap again.

“What’s The Point?” was my new mantra,
“I have tried sorting myself out but I can’t”
“It seems I am worse than ever so might as well stuff my face and get pissed”
 

Yep, I hear ya – petulant child springs to mind but hey that was me! I had really been making an effort and at the first real hurdle I fell! It was like I was eating and drinking again to teach the world a lesson???? Really! Huh that’ll teach em!! NUTS but reality.

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The stress built over the next few weeks. I only had a 4 week reprieve from the DVLA and if the results did not arrive soon or they arrived with bad news then boom my license and job were gone.  I got a call from the doctors, they would not say anything on the phone and asked me to come in.

Down the doctors, he called me in and BANG! I felt sick!

stress

 

My worst fears confirmed!!!!!!!

The doctor confirmed what everyone that’s ever known me already knew!

I was a complete knob head!!

 

 

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Well blow me down! It turned out that I needed to immediately come off the blood pressure medicine that just a year before had been painstakingly explained to me that I MUST take for the rest of my life.

My ol’ticker seemingly reset itself! To what extent we wouldn’t be sure until the meds were out of my system but right now the meds were making my blood pressure too low!!

In the bin they went and I immediately felt better, within a couple of weeks my blood pressure was bang in the middle of the perfect range and my resting heart rate was about 40 bpm lower than it had been in ages (75 bpm down from 115 bpm)

From Stage 1 Hypertensive to Normal heart function in about 6 months!

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UH OH!  I had reverted straight back to my old habits over the last couple of weeks and had put back on a stone of the 2 stone lost so far – I had completely lost my positive mindset but you know what? That’s Life!!

I decided rather than dwell I was going to soak up the wonder again, be thankful that I still had my health and job and move on.

up&downs

Life is made up of ups and downs and you know what?

Fall down but rather than just staying down for months as I would have done in the past, just get up and try
again or find a way round the hurdle.

I learnt from this that goals as well as life are cyclical. They go up, hit an obstacle, curl downwards while you adjust then go up again – goals and life are never just on an upwards trajectory and neither should they be, its in the downward cycle that lessons are learned.

Time to return to my quest!

 

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Like a duck to water I returned to my good habits and then some.  I was really excited by my lottery win of a healthy heart, I was intrigued all over again and amazed at my luck and my negativity vanished.

Don’t get me wrong; I now realised how fickle and fluid my mindset could be, it could change on a dime from “All’s Well” to “All’s Hell” but I now understood that as long as I could change back to “All’s Well” just as quick, not to stick with the negatives through petulance, guilt or pity for myself then life would be good – I could NOT stop the setbacks in life but I COULD reduce the negative impact by picking myself up quicker, forgiving myself for falling, learning whatever lesson I needed from it and just ploughing on.

Life Is Good Is Baby!!

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trumpet

Energised, I lost the stone again in the next 9 days, I was now completely off prescribed medication and even the doctor was impressed “Just keep doing whatever it is that your doing Den” was his comment.  I was released from my cycle of hospital and doctors appointments – I was happy! Not much lighter but happy! this has pretty much become the theme of my life “In pursuit of Health & Happiness”

 

So here we are in April 2013, a full 6 months since I started my quest, only a stone lighter than when I started! In times gone past I would have given up long ago and definitely would have been more than a little depressed about such a little loss.

This time though I felt different. Yes I was moving slowly as far as “WEIGHT LOSS” was concerned but by heck as far as health was concerned I was in a far better place than 6 months before.

  • Chronic Heartburn                                –           Gone
  • Daily Headaches                                  –           Gone
  • Blood Pressure                                     –           Normalised
  • Heart Rate                                              –           Normalised
  • Yucky Gut & Bowel Problems             –           Gone
  • Slight Insomnia                                     –           Gone
  • Water Intake                                           –           Increased
  • Snacking & Processed Food              –           Decreased
  • Prescribed Medications                       –           Completely Removed
  • Napping Throughout Day                    –           Stopped
  • Depressive & Miserable Moods         –           Now Even & Happy

Yeeeeeehaaaaaaa! Put that in your pipe and smoke it WeightWatchers!

rant

The adverts for these “membership clubs” bloody wind me up!!

Always a person with tears in their eyes with a picture of how they used to be, explaining how bad life used to be, how they couldn’t play with their kids, felt depressed and didn’t like to go out etc until the “CLUB” helped them lose the weight and change their lives and now they can do all that stuff!!

Raaaaaaaaaar Damn it, I can completely relate to what these people are saying, the feeling of despair, the feeling of its impossible for me “I must be different” the watching these things and saying yes that’s for me, I want that – That is why they do it but really the message is saying you can only achieve that stuff once your thin!

OH F-OFF (sorry) What I’m saying is I was starting to do it without much weight loss, by just feeling a little more vibrant, concentrating on health and vitality and less on the scales.

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I must add this was not by design really, I just had failed ALL the clubs (In their eyes anyway and my mind) and was looking for another way – through the likes of Ben Coomber, Abel James, Pedram Shojai, Dr Sara Gottfried, Matt Whitmore, Keris Marsden, Ru Anderson and Jonathon Bailor to name but a few whose message completely went against the grain of normal advice – I just started on making myself feel awesome and alive – not with much hope but anything was better than the situation I started in.

Of course weight is a great benchmark but that is all it is.  It does not tell the full story.

I had heard time and time again that yes people may be slim but they might not be healthy.

That said, I was still weighing myself once a week and the results would STILL decide my mood for that day, even a pound loss would piss me off but I started to accept this was just a lifetime of conditioning and in the past would have binged for the day “To teach the world a lesson??? WTF?” but no more.

If I had put on a pound or two, I just accepted it, yes I stayed fed up for most of the day but carried on mostly keeping to my food principles.

The point I am trying to make all the time is I am not perfect at this – for years I used to say shit like “If I could just lose a few stone I would be happy” which is utter crap, I was starting to stop associating weight loss with happiness but using my oil tanker turning analogy, it was a slow process.

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Everything was not all Fairies, Pixies and dancing in the blossom though.

I still could not move very far without getting out of breath and the mobility in my arms and shoulders was still very limited as well as quite painful add to this the fungal infected 5mm thick cracked toenails and infected brittle skin it would be fair to say I still had work to do <giggle>

My mindset was super positive though, why?

It would seem I was making the needed psychological adjustment – I REALLY wanted to fix the relationship with my body whilst still accepting my limitations.

By focusing on health and vitality I started to see food as a way to repair and nourish my body rather than a way of making me forget woes or punish myself.

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realistic

Realistic Goals

You see, I began to accept that my wish of being “The strongest version of myself” was originally my way of creating a smaller attainable goal that I could achieve, but  was in itself a huge goal – one that I would truly not know whether or not I achieved until my death bed.

WALLOP!!! oooop there it isssss! Sorry for the crazy moment but although you might not get what I am getting at quite yet the above is another of them nuggets of understanding that has allowed to make the paradigm shift needed!

Basically your health and wellbeing are moving targets, what is your goal today may well be completely different in a few weeks – what works for you this week may well not work for you a couple of months down the line.

Once you accept this then things become easier psychologically.

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This is a lifestyle not a temporary way of eating, sure its “Your Diet” but its NOT “A Diet” if that makes sense and this makes you start thinking long term and;

“Long Term Thinking Promotes Short Term Decision Making”
another great quote from the amazing Elliot Hulse.
 
 

lifestyle

 

So goal setting is cool but they need to be fluid.  For instance a goal of “I want to lose 8lb for a social event in 2 months” is a solid attainable goal if you have 8lb to lose and the event is a great motivator but what then? Achieve it then return to bad ways as you have achieved your goal?  I have done that many times but I was starting to think long term which as the quote says really did start to improve my short term decision making.

My health, vibrancy and vitality are my long term goals and as said until my death bed I won’t know if I achieved them.  I accept that and now my life has become a series of smaller goals to achieve.

So my immediate goal to lose that 8lb would be to maybe slightly reduce carbs for a few weeks whilst making a bit more effort with some cardio (spits on ground…. hate cardio lol) but it definitely would NOT be to basically starve myself for a week or 2 before the event (yep done this to!)

It would not stop there, life is life and you have to live – don’t beat yourself up about it, you lost the 8lb then had a complete blow out on the way to and at the event, got completely off your nut drunk had a kebab later on, woke up in the morning and nothing would appease the hangover god but a full English fry up and a Mcdonalds for elevenses!

Have your next goal ready for once you return home! Plan a detox or a week long anti-inflammatory gig but most of all just return back to the way you were eating before – DO NOT wait until the next social event before you start trying again.

Sorry about that little diatribe but again I NEED to point out nothing is perfect – goals will change, life will happen, goals may seem impossible to reach and your opinion will change on certain ways of nutrition and protocols but that does not mean you failed, your a hypocrite or just cant stick to anything it means your learning – loosen up, don’t be rigid in your thinking, stop associating fat loss with happiness and the frickin sky is the limit – Welcome on the ride people!!

Seriously, with this in mind my goals became as simple as :-

I want to walk the dog for 30 minutes this week without stopping.
I will park the car at the furthest parking point from the supermarket.
This week I want to try 1 food I have never tried before.
For the next 5 days I don’t want to eat bread.

These were not all at once, just individually until I built up confidence, you see, very simple attainable goals.

I was in a good place and ready to make more of an effort, I was going to make more simple steps to move forward in my quest..

Next : Whose Really In Charge??

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 21, 2014 in Main Story

 

Simple Steps 2…….

simple

My interest went from piqued to intrigued after seeing that with a little effort a couple of my small but significant symptoms vanished but Christmas was approaching and knowing me I knew NOT to even attempt any promises of change just yet, Christmas was time to eat piles of cakes and have an excuse to drink from dawn to dusk!!

Then the wise wife mentioned something called “Dry January” No alcohol for a whole month! “Yeah No Problem….Easy!” so we signed up….

http://www.dryjanuary.org.uk/

TRUTH? I was flapping big time! In the past 20 years barely a few days had passed without me being in some sort of altered state.

Christmas & New Year passed and it was time to start Dry January……GULP!

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Argue

The first week was mind numbingly tremendously difficult and at one point or another both Sam and I were purposely nasty to each other to try and goad each other into giving up and having a drink – we didn’t want to be the one that gave up but would have gladly had a drink if the other had got pissed off and thought “Stuff It”

The second week was a little easier and we planned on how absolutely and completely messed up drunk we were going to get on 1st February – All this time I had still carried on with my 2ltrs water and supplements as this had become habit, did it without thinking.

By the third week I noticed I seemed a bit more aware, a bit organised and a bit more cheerful – huh go figure, 3 weeks without some alcohol and I was surviving.

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End of January came and went – BLOODY NORA I didn’t fancy a drink, I had planned that upon finishing Dry January I would get mind blowingly drunk as soon as possible but I didn’t want to break my record.

For a low achiever to finish a simple task like not drinking alcohol for a month was yet another eye opener. I could complete these tasks, my confidence was growing.

We shared a bottle of Moet a couple of weeks later on Valentines day… get me! how civilised…..hahaha.

Lesson learned? I could cope without copious amounts of whiskey and wine in fact I coped better, decisions were made easier, problems overcome quicker and feeling chipper, no hangover all the time, no craving bad food for a few days after a binge – whoop whoop! I had found a way to again help me on my way to health and happiness. I decided to carry on with drinking less. I still drink today but every few weeks or at events, parties or holidays but not to excess. We did the same this year, did not drink from New Years Day to Valentines Day. We are currently trying to go March to June (My Birthday – All bets off!) without any alcohol.. Crazy Huh!!

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Dry January (which I genuinely believed I would fail) gave me such a psychological boost, it made me realise I could accomplish things if I just tried.

After the success of getting rid of the headaches and heartburn, increasing my water intake and now a whole 6 weeks with no alcohol I was emboldened – I had carried on listening, taking notes & growing my learning sphere but other than the water and basic gut supplementation had still not put this information into practice and nearly 4 months in I had lost hardly any weight as my diet had not changed at all.

timechange

I decided that for the rest of the year (2013) I was going to slowly change my bad habits, using the “simple principle” one bad thing at a time.

In the past I had tried the “Starvation” all or bust types of dieting, yes starvation!, ANY diet that restricts calories whilst promoting their own PRODUCTS is restricting and yes you will lose weight but its not healthy or sustainable to a vast majority of people.

You see everything I had been listening to and reading over the past few months was telling me that nutrition was personal, everyone was different so you have to find which type of eating suits your body best.

That is not as difficult as you may think, the baseline is the same for everyone then you just tweak fats, proteins or carbs up or down until you’re FEELING awesome and energetic then guess what?……….. your body will automatically set its weight and fat will literally strip away from you.

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The slimming clubs are all geared up to sell products and not lifestyle changes. You will lose weight at first, everyone will but that’s because your restricting calories but it will send your metabolism completely out of whack, slow it down after a while to protect vital systems, start breaking down muscle to save energy so yes weight loss but not healthy.

Sure the group aspect is great and the initial weight loss is too and for a small amount of people these types of plans will work long term but that is just because it so happens that this type of nutrition suits these small amount of people – who are then plastered in the magazines to promote the system – If these really were successful plans the companies would soon go out of business! They rely on you FAILING then returning for them be SUCCESSFUL!!!!

As for what I do now, all the information & recipes are FREE! <SHOCK> <HORROR>

You need nothing but time to implement it all. These multi million pound companies are not a conspiracy but they are protective of their profits as any business should be.

This goes back a few blogs to the YOYO dieting! If you have tried these plans and failed, please please do not blame yourself, your willpower or dedication – this just disempowers you – it means you’re one of the majority of people whose body is not geared up for Starvation – Me included, I can eat nearly 3000 calories a day with zero weight gain now!!!

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So, my bad food habits were colossal, in both number and portion size! I was going to keep it simple. I identified that a bulk of my snacking came from the garage forecourts I was delivering fuel too. I decided to cut out all the pies, crisps, coke, chocolate bars and sandwiches and eat what I liked for dinner (takeout or home cooked)

I joined a gym (AGAIN!! you know, I was once a member of 2 gyms at the same time, paying out over £150 per month and NEVER going – ooopsy ) but the same as the dieting it had been all or nothing, I joined a gym, went hell for leather for a month, 4 times a week then missed a week then went once a week then once a fortnight blah blah blah – This time I only promised myself that I would go to the gym once a fortnight and do stuff to try and give me back a bit of mobility – no real plan as such.

So back to the snacks, this might seem like quite a big thing to do all at once but really I only made one big purchase a day – a carrier bag full of goodies for the day – about £16.00 worth so it would only be ceasing to do that – I would still allow myself a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps but compared to what I was having it was fine. Ideal? Nope don’t be daft far from optimal but a little better than before. I had to address the issue of food, I was hungry, a lot! So with long shifts, What would I eat?

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In the past on many occasions I have been told “I have all the gear but no idea” Lol and never a truer statement be told…. I used to throw myself into all new fangled ideas, spend a boat load of money on new stuff, gadgets, books whatever then never use it. I decided to use this skill to further my health….

My first and probably my best purchase ever was my 6 Pack Fitness lunchbox from a company I heard about on a podcast. It has 5 chilled compartments and a section on top for supplements.

6packbag

http://www.sixpackbags.co,uk

Looking a bit like a carry on case it was a touch embarrassing and got quite a bit of notice from the lads at work! A locker room full of hairy ass lorry drivers taking the piss every morning builds character I can tell you!! Not known for our attention spans though a few weeks later they moved on to other things and later on when my weight loss started happening it sparked interest as they couldn’t believe the amount of food I was bringing in yet still losing weight.

The plan was to make sure I had so much food with me that I always had something I could snack on – I had 5 lunch boxes inside my “carry on case” and starting to implement things I had heard and read over the past few months. With lots of steamed veg with BUTTER melted and mixed in, meat and eggs, banana, apple, orange and a jar with some Nutella mixed with nuts and sultanas to curb my sweet tooth; not ideal but better (see the theme) Ideal will come much further down the road – I am still not ideal yet but enjoying the journey baby…..

I could still have a takeout if I liked, so I was never too far from a “treat” telling myself, ooh I will have a kebab, pizza, fish & tattys, pie ‘n’ mash or Chinese tonight helped me just stick to my lunch box grub during the day.

whiskey

I also decided to knock whiskey on the head for a while, I loooove whiskey. Its the one drink I really enjoy but drink it like water so decided it was my special drink – I was going to save it for special occasions. I was also going to limit myself to 1 bottle of red wine a week. I had done 6 weeks with zero so knew I could easy cope with this, though without Dry January I would never have attempted it!

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“Small Incremental Changes”  – I was moving, making slightly better decisions and would make no more promises to myself until I had all of the above moved into habit. Whether that took 6 months, 1 year whatever – no pressure, no time limit – impossible to fail so all good for the ego and confidence. Please note that I am still not really concerned about weight – still just trying to be healthier not necessarily lighter!

In the past I’d had all the tuna pasta low fat shit, Weight Watchers & Slimming World snacks purchased by the box load from meetings, I’d had Slim Fast shakes, meal replacement shakes, low fat ready meals, salads, raw veg, soups & rice cake cardboard tasting crap that meant after a couple of days you would see me treat myself with my beloved jelly babies or throwing it all in the bin and popping in the truck stop.

Not This Time : I wasn’t doing it all at once and by ensuring I had plenty of tasty food in my lunch box EVERYTIME I felt hungry…..naaaaaa naaaa naaaaaaaaaaaa I ATE!

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The food in my carry on case was all cooked in butter & coconut oil and tasted out of this frickin world and knowing I could have take outs, a home-made pudding each day and a bottle of wine a week meant I coped with my “Stage 1” approach quite easily.

I still craved the crap when I saw them on the shelves but it was easier to resist knowing it was never that far till I could have a treat at home or gorge on food in my lunch box.

crash kapow

Week 1 – 9lb weight loss

Week 2 – 6lb weight loss

Just over a stone in 2 weeks – WTF!!!! I was still eating kebabs, I was still drinking wine, I was still eating pudding and I was still having either a packet of crisps or a choccy bar a day! I was more than a little confused I can tell you, I wasn’t expecting any weight loss for a few months until I had changed quite a few more things but here I was a stone lighter in 2 weeks…..again WTF!!

I had seen this type of weight loss before in my previous escapades but by seriously restricting my diet, being miserable and dreaming of all the bad crap I couldn’t eat whilst tucking into a dry rice cake but all I had started doing was adding healthier foods cooked in FATS.

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So here I was still eating these bad things although much less than before – I was finding that as I was eating every 90min to 2 hours that I never got that hungry and by proxy purchased less and less snacks and when I had takeout my appetite was seriously decreased – I was starting to leave stuff half eaten as I was full (I think it was body telling me it no longer wanted this shit)

I, without thinking about it stopped eating bread, I never intended to at first but I stopped buying the sandwiches then slowly stopped having toast and sandwiches at home. Bread just shouldn’t be in your diet anyway, read up on gluten, whether your sensitive or not. It is being linked to all sorts of illnesses and generally is just rubbish, your body receives NO nutrients from gluten so worth considering – its a big commitment which I’m still not ready to face just yet but by removing bread and cereals it seriously reduces intake.

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I started to somehow feel different, I wasn’t napping throughout the day, I was more cheerful, more helpful and much more even tempered. I was losing weight sure but subtly my whole demeanour was changing.

Was food actually changing my whole attitude, aptitude and dare I say it my personality???? It would seem so..

I started to keep a diary with foods I had eaten (NOT calorie counting) and at the end of each day I would score myself between 1 and 10 on mood and food. Weirdly over the next couple of months I could directly correlate a low mood score to a low food score 2 days previous….pause for thought huh?

foodmood

This intrigued me even more, seeing on paper that when I have a day eating crappy food then a couple of days later I have a bad mood, low willpower and low energy – Coincidence? I thought so but when the pattern emerges time and time again it made me wonder.

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It was after about 10 weeks I had lost just over 2 stone when in my mind it all came crashing down around me!

I was in the kitchen talking to Sam when BAM the lights went out – I hit the floor hard, poor Sam tried to catch me but it was like a love-bird trying to stop a charging hippo…. at least she says she did, I still think she twatted me with a frying pan.. lol

I was panicking I was scrabbling at the counters trying to stand but every time I started to stand my legs buckled and down I went – I was petrified!!!

Hospital beckoned, again!

scared

Was this it? My health quest over? I was trying to become healthier and lighter and had nothing but positives until now. I thought everything was going good, I was making better decisions and here I was unable to stand, passing out and scared to death – what had I done? All my negativity came rushing back – I really was destined to be poorly… I returned immediately to my previous mindset – Every thing had gone wrong!

Or Had It?

PMSL Sorry about the Danger Mouse type ending but just could not help myself <giggle>

Next : My Worst Fears Confirmed!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 16, 2014 in Main Story

 

Simple Steps….

simple

As I listened to more and more of these podcasts, I sort of became a cyber stalker of people in the health & fitness industry.  I would hear them on a podcast, check out their facebook, websites and listen to their own podcasts and so my circle of awareness grew to pretty epic proportions.

I had a notebook close to hand 24h a day to jot down interesting facts as well as stuff I didn’t understand (being a self confessed dumb ass there were quite a few) so I could check it out when more convenient.

This went on weeks and weeks with no lifestyle changes, just kept listening , drinking, eating crap and jotting down notes – seems a tad potty now talking to the wife on a daily basis saying “ooh did you know this? – ooh did you know that?” whilst still carrying on with the bad habits!

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With reams of notes it was time to make a start! Firstly, my goal, what was it? This is where in the past I had sabotaged myself before I started! One of the chaps I was listening to was Elliot Hulse and I listened to him talk on goal setting and BANG this guy made sense “Realistic Attainable Goals Build Discipline” and another one on Ben Coomber was about breaking your goals down into smaller steps. How to say “I want to be fit” or “I want to be healthy” is just not good enough, its too big a picture, break it down…

So, normally I would have had imagined being slim and built like a brick outhouse, muscles popping and full of health and vitality – not a bad goal maybe but not realistic compared to my then current situation. So simplify!

Ok realistic then….

I would like to become the strongest version of myself so:
I would like to be in less pain.
I would like to become more mobile
Know my willpower is pants so start off small.
Not concentrate on weight but “Health” (measurements, body fat% etc)

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With this simple list my goals became fluid, I had no specific markers to hit, no pressure, no lbs per week to lose – I was going to concentrate on my health – I accepted I was never going to look like the guys in fitness magazines and I would still be on medication for the rest of my life but god dang I was NOT going to sit on the sofa and just wait to die, I wanted the best quality of life I could achieve even if that was just a little more movement and a little less pain – boom!

 1st Goal – Rehydration

water
 
I couldn’t remember the last time I had drank water, I even gulped my meds down with coke or red wine so  decided my first goal would be to drink 2ltrs of water a day.  No more promises of cutting out coke or wine just simply drink 2 ltrs water a day.
 
I got some high quality filtered water and added Elete Electrolytes to them, this made the water really soft and pleasing to the mouth and gut and boosted the amount of minerals to my system.

 2nd Goal – Gut Function

 
probiotics
This is a massive topic that I just kept hearing so much information on. 

The gut is just soooooo damn important and EVERYTHING I was hearing about symptoms of problems with gut function made me realise this was something I had to make a start on.

I purchased some digestive enzymes, pro and pre-biotics and started taking Glutamine everyday.  More pills to add to my collection but I was going to try.
 
 

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Still eating poorly & drinking alcohol but slowly over a few weeks I built up the water to 2ltrs a day and religiously took my supplements….. Hey whaddya know I was actually making this habit and achieving goals.

a few more weeks past and other than having to pee every 20 minutes all you could hear from me was “Oi Sam, Nuffinks Appening! – Oi Sammy I reckon this is a load of ol’codswallop!” – I was becoming disheartened.

A week after that, so a month after I had started, I kid you not, the realisation smacked me in the face with a hammer I had gone for 3 days with NO Ibruprofen and please consider I would have 2 or 3 1st thing EVERY morning to get rid of my headache and a further 5 or 6 throughout the day which had gone on for a couple of years!! I hadn’t even bloody realised!!

I was amazed but still negative, thinking it was just a coincidence, or a placebo effect.  Then I thought “you know what? I don’t give a rats ass if its placebo, just to not wake in the morning with such a heavy headache was refreshing so I’ll take it”

Whats That? Wait A Minute….Oh Sweet Mary Mother Of Jesus! I had not taken any Colpermin or Rennie for a couple of days either…….

I had chronic heartburn for YEARS, got through a packet of Rennie every couple of days, a packet of Colpermin a week, drank Gaviscon straight from the bottle.  I used to wake in the night thinking I was having a heart attack with acid reflux dripping from my mouth, my chest and throat on fire!

Now, Imagine the absolute kick in my minds gonads I got from that!

I was still eating crap and drinking copiously (although coke and juice had been cut back naturally as I wasn’t thirsty – again without realising!) yet my body with years of abuse and just a little help was battling to repair itself – Imagine what it could do if I made more of an effort.

You know what???? I’ve NEVER had heartburn since! (over 16 months) yeeehaaaa.

Through this very simple technique of “Simple Steps” I was able to achieve my goals of drinking 2ltrs of water a day & taking my supplements, These build up confidence and soon become habit – once habit, it takes zero willpower – you just do it without thinking, you then move on to the next goal that moves you closer to your wishes.  You don’t get overwhelmed at all – I decided to make my next attainable goal – I was going to make a start on my drinking and food consumption.

Next : Simple Steps 2 (Food & Drink)

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Main Story

 

How Boredom Saved My Life!

bored
 
As I have already explained, it was just on another one of my “normal” days.
Laying prone after a veritable feast of the Turkish persuasion whilst imbibing Scottish nectar that my life began its Oil Tanker-esque style U turn!

With nothing on my escape box (TV), my mood so low my wife and kids had departed to the furthest corners of the house to escape my scowls, growls and the personal pity party I had in full swing!

thinking

Spending time with my own thoughts was never an exciting thing and normally consisted of the FTSE 100 share prices………honest…… ok ok normally just thoughts of drink…takeout…..sexy ladies on tv..hee hee hee sexy ladies… oops sorry, distracted for a second then…. errr where was I? oh yes…

With a huff and a shuffle of my butt to sit me up a touch, I decided to check out the internet for anything to help me lose weight…. It was that time again!

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“SAM!!!” “SAAAAAAAM!!!!!” “SAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!”

Yes my first foray into getting fitter was to shout my wife in from the other room to hand me my tablet. It was less than 4ft away from me on the coffee table!

smiley

Now I would like to digress a second to explain that my wife Sam also seemed to have a very bad attitude that day as she swore like a navvy at me and basically launched said tablet at my head!! huh to this day I never found out what the problem was???

Sort of pi#*sed up, looking for Weightwatchers and Slimming World meetings in my area, even though I knew where they were but was too embarrassed to go back incase they remembered me and see how much weight I had put back on,  I searched the internet for Health and Fitness to try and find maybe a tablet to chew or a juice I could drink to magically make me all buff and light without any lifestyle changes!!

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I came across Podcasts, which are like radio shows on all sorts of subjects.  Looked at this chaps podcast called Ben Coomber Radio then Abel James – Fat Burning Man and sat there listening….

I sat there with my eyebrows raised top lip behind the bottom lip and bottom lip sticking out with my mouth closed!!! hahaha you now have a mental picture of my concentration face….giggle. P.S. you can stop doing it now!

I was intrigued, here were 2 guys from different parts of the world that were talking about hormonal imbalance and gut function and how much of the current beliefs (inc. government guidelines) on nutrition were completely out of date and unhelpful.  Talking about having plenty of FAT in your diet and about the importance of never being hungry whilst always striving to feel great & awesome.

WTF!!! Just having very clever people explaining research and actually constantly asking me NOT to believe them – to do my own research – experiment on myself and that NO and I mean NO single DIET PLAN can work for everyone! Nutrition is personal, it needs to be tweaked to your body etc.

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They had my interest but if I am truly honest I had been excited  MANY times in the past by the promises that my inner voice gave me.

I was already the proud owner of a pristine collection of :

  • Billy Blanks Tao-Bo Boxset
  • The Insanity Workout Boxset
  • Ab Cruncher
  • Ab Electric Shock Gizmo (giggle – used to make my moobs wiggle!)
  • Exercise Bike
  • Treadmill….

All purchased from early morning TV shopping channels. Telephone in one hand and a plate stacked with bacon and egg sandwiches in the other with a cuppa tea with 4 sugars sitting patiently on the coffee table.

failure

Now with each of these purchases I had an almost feverish belief that my life was going to change just as soon as it was delivered. My inner voice full of promises that “This Time” I intend to keep – this was it, my life was going to change, I can do it.

Guess What?  I DID’NT! All of them started to gather dust in cupboards after a few weeks.

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I did NOT have this feverish almost childlike excitement about what I heard, I was just interested.  I didn’t understand some of it but wanted to look up further information to see if what these guys were saying was true or bogus.

Again with the honesty, I thought it was a “get out of jail card free” card, another excuse to add to my “Its Not My Fault” bag..

My point being?

  • I did not know I had turned a corner!
  • Change can happen any time so long as you keep trying!
  • Change can be happening whilst your completely unaware! Make yourself aware!!
  • My trying was lazy and very intermittent but “By Jove I Think I’m Doing It!”
  • I wasn’t seriously looking for a path, I was just BORED!
  • There was NO definitive “This is it – I have all the willpower in the world now!”
  • There was NO godlike flash of inspiration, NO sudden bucket load of dedication!
  • Just a little peak of Interest on a very very boring day.

EVEN THOUGH I DID NOT KNOW IT ON THAT DAY; BOREDOM SAVED MY LIFE! 

 
thankyou
 
I would like to explain that I started this blog to explain my story, more so as a cathartic listing on the ether for me to look at and remember but I am astounded by the interest its receiving!!
 
Thank you all very much indeed!
 
I am receiving email from USA, Canada, Australia and the UK, asking me for more detail on what I actually did to lose my weight and feel awesome! Just to let people know that I will be getting to that point, this is just the main story (long winded I know – sorry but have just found my voice..)
 
In the near future I will be getting to exactly what I did, what mistakes I made and what I am continuing to do
 
Through the frankly unbelievable amount of interest for something that started out as my personal log for my benefit and for friends and family to check out I have been asked also to put on my favourite recipes, links to the countless people and organisations that have helped me and also pages documenting my future experiments with different dietary protocols.
 
I am not a techie so I am learning this blog/interweb/typing stuff as I go along so please bear with me
Thanks for your patience..
 
I would like to add that I am in NO WAY an expert or qualified to give advice (YET! watch this space), I am just explaining what worked almost magically for me.
 
My journey is not complete! I am still not optimal but dang I feel awesome 

Next : Simple Steps

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Main Story

 

Where Did It All Go Wrong & Who Can I Blame?

rightwron

As part of the psychological process needed to change my ways I decided to take a look back to see where and when it all went wrong for me. 

Surely I could blame someone to take the onus away from me?

Many a time over the years I have uttered the words “I was slim until the age of 23 then god knows what happened! I just started to get bigger and heavier!”

 So is that it? Is age 23 when it all went wrong? Lets See!

 Born in the 70’s (ouch!) but can only really remember from the 80’s.

I have told my children (a few times) that in my day we never really had many takeaways, there was a Wimpy and a Mister Munch Cafe but it was rare we ever went in one. Kebab vans, pizza places, Mcdonalds & Burger King were to follow a little later and to be honest Tesco’s were not even around for convenience. This would still point to it all going wrong when I was 23 still yeah?

BUT; It was the age of the deep fat fryer!

fryer

My earliest nutritional memories are of chucking in sausages, chips and breaded chicken burgers all in the fryer at the same time.. mmmm with an added fried egg on top.  I absolutely loved this grub and demolished my piled high plate with gusto every time!

The above soon became the mainstay of my early diet although every Sunday we had a gorgeous roast dinner at which time I would have to ENDURE (take note muvver!!) parsnips, sprouts and all this other weird looking green shit called Veg! blurrgggh!

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OK, now 11 – 16.  Pretty much the same as above but now we can also add hot doughnuts (mmmmm 15p – bargain) from the school canteen and pancake roll and chips from the Chinese up the road.  I also had a job in a bakery before school so also gorged on fresh hot bread, doughnuts (made by me with 5 times the amount of morello cherry pumped in and left to the side especially for moi!! buurrrp!) hot pies & pasties and lardy cakes straight from the oven…… life was goooood baby!

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Now moving on.  After leaving school I joined a YTS scheme earning £29.50 a week – It was full time so had to give up the bakery job – I moved away from home not long after my 16th birthday and into a hostel where I affectionately became known as “Party Animal” but MOST commonly as “complete knob head!”

Burger

During this time I was so consumed with going to nightclubs (sometimes 6 times a week!) that sometimes I would not eat for 2 or 3 days, then when I did eat it would generally be a kebab, a sandwich or a McDonalds….. Come on who can blame me, door prices and mind altering chemical abuse is a very expensive hobby is it not? and everyone needs a hobby!! yep yep I hear you and again direct you to the above comment “complete knob head”.

Throughout all this my waist never went above 30″ and weight stayed around the 11st mark.

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The above went on for quite a few years but then I started to settle down and my long suffering girlfriend (Now the delectable Mrs Champion (DA BOSS) who makes me pay on a daily basis!!) We moved in together – I had a decent job and so did she but our cooking skills were to say the least……PANTS!

Although I started having 3 meals a day they were not the best (I loved them though).

To explain, our weekly shopping list consisted of 7 Fray Bentos pies, 6 cans of beans a 20kg sack of tattys, 6 microwave treacle puddings, a big box of Cornflakes, 4 loaves of Thick Cut White Bread,  a tub of Ice Cream, a bottle of Vodka and a couple bottles of Scotch!!! <giggle>

potbelly

It was at this time my “Ickle” pot belly started to appear (age 24!) not only did my belly grow but so did my excuse’s.

 
 
 
  • My Metabolism Has Slowed!
  • Its Just An Age Thing?
  • Its Because “I’m Settled & In a Relationship”
  • Its Because I’m Eating 3 Meals A Day!
  • Its Because I’m Driving All Day – Not As Active!
  • It Was Inevitable Babe! <whilst lifting t-shirt and rubbing belly>
  • I have Crappy DNA Because “I’m Not Eating A lot”

Mostly though I just ignored it and kidded myself which made me wince each time I saw a photo or caught a glimpse of myself in a shop window!

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More recently I became a lorry driver, away from home for sometimes 2 or 3 weeks then home for a weekend.  During this time I was living on a truck stop food, garage snacks or pub grub! I lived on fried food, crisps, chocolate, sweets, coke, cake and pasties! If I ended up parking in a layby nowhere near the shops I had a cupboard full of sausage and beans and Irish stew in tins ready to be mopped up with half a loaf of white bread, thickly spread with margarine! (gotta be healthy right?)

Last few years I have been driving petrol tankers but guess what? DA DA DAAAAA yes that is correct, I deliver to forecourts – lots of access to coke, creme eggs, pies, free Costa coffee with 6 sugars (big cups you know!) and sandwiches!!

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SO THERE IT IS!

My nutritional life in a nutshell.  During this time I gained over 12 stone (168lb) (76kg) of fat, my waist went from 30in to 46in.

Blame

 

 

Now the fun part – its where I get to see who or what I can blame!

(rubbing hands together with a mischievous grin right now)

 

 

So lets place everyone in my “Pantheon Of Blame”

  • My Parents for not knowing about nutrition or teaching me!
  • My School for not teaching me anything but the basics and supplying crap!
  • My Wife for not knowing how to cook nutritional meals (got a black eye from when she proofed this!)
  • My Doctors for just supplying medications rather than getting to root causes.
  • The Government for their lack of and out of date information.
  • My Career choices.
  • Myself for partying to hard.
 
Hey, You! Everyone in my life, its all your fault!!! ISNT IT?

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At the risk of making this exercise look completely pointless, the conclusions I came to are as follows:

IT WASN’T THE AGE OF 23 IT ALL WENT WRONG!! I was NEVER healthy!

At first glance this blog could be misconstrued as having negative connotations; WRONG, BLAME etc.  Back then I was in a dark place with thoughts of why me? whats the point? nothing works! I’ve tried everything! and even, at my darkest times hoping that my end was not far away.

Even my conclusions seem negative right?

“I Was NEVER Healthy” (sniff sniff sob sob)
The amount of people in “My Pantheon Of Blame”

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positivityBOOM! you would be wrong if you thought that.


The whole exercise seemed to reassign my thinking into a powerfully positive mode!

Let me try to explain.

 
Sure I was slim until 23 but this was Despite Nutrition not because of it.
 
All these years I thought I had crappy DNA, that I was destined to be in pain, fat and very unhealthy and really I had just tired my body out through a lifetime of NON-Nutrition. What did I expect?
 
As regards to blame?  Poppycock!! I can blame No One or No Institution, most of all I couldn’t blame myself!
 
 No one intentionally embarked on a mission to make Dennis Champion unhealthy and fat.
 
It was just a set of circumstances and situations that is called LIFE!
 
Could I have made better decisions when I was younger if I had the nutritional knowledge? Sure I could
BUT I also admit I damn well would not have done – I knew smoking was bad – still did it – knew drink and drugs were bad – still did it!
 
At a young age, consequence is negated by the pure feeling of the invincible infinite life you have!
 
The should’a, would’a could’a game gets you nowhere and blame just completely disempowers you!
Its so simple, right in front of my face but until I did this life was bleak but the exercise blew out of the water ANY and EVERY excuse I ever had that allowed me to justify sitting on my big fat ass getting pissed up on the sofa whilst eating complete crap and watching life go by. 

Another MAJOR lesson is that from now on; It WOULD be ALL MY FAULT if with my fledgling understanding I did nothing to make my life better!

It gave me a completely blank canvas to move forward, NO negative excuses to fall back on just a whole hearted belief that in fact NOTHING could hold me back – I could now start on my epic quest of awesome. I just wanted a better quality of life – a little bit less pain – a little bit more mobility – a little bit less medication – a little more ability to play with the kids – to make work a little easier and many many more little improvements to my life..

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Little did I know that in fact I was going to COMPLETELY change my life!

NOW? The sky’s the limit, I want things that were seemingly impossible a couple of years ago.  I have a wonderment at the human body and its almost magical capabilities!

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All this might sound like hippy twaddle but to go from wondering how long you can live with the pain I was in to being fit and healthy, pain free and medication free in less than 2 years after the shite I put my body through is just pure wonderment!

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Now I did not just wake up the next day and Abracadabra I was healthy and slim! Oh Noooo! to this day I still make bad decisions that do not fit with my desires but there was a definite paradigm shift in my thinking.

To think that it was on a day that I was so blisteringly bored whilst drunk and eating takeout, feeling particularly maudlin and guilty after eating and drinking until I could hardly breath – AGAIN! that I had another half baked, fully pissed thought of “maybe I should try and lose some weight again”

I searched ITunes for a health & fitness podcast to listen to whilst supping another whiskey!!!!

Next : How Boredom Saved My Life!

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Main Story

 
 
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