People that know me know that I’ve always weighed in on the heavier side of the scales.
Even when I was in my younger football and cricket playing days (and pretty fit) my “big boned” stocky build would always shine through thanks to my English heritage.
But after some slight health scares and some very stern advice from my doctor, I’ve been taking the positive steps needed to improve my health.
This is because I’m at the point where I’m really feeling the consequences of many, many years of not looking after myself properly. Now, I know I’ve said this many times before but, it’s high time I get my health under control.
This post is not going to start a long rambling series of before and after shots and blow by blow accounts of how much weight I’m losing on a day to day basis (I’d rather keep that information as personal) but something I wanted to write for the sake of transparency and honesty.
Let’s face it, if I’m going to get back out into playing gigs again I need to be physically and mentally fit as well as gig fit.
The main question I need to answer now is “How am I going to do this?”
I’ve realised that you don’t have to make incredibly huge changes to make a real difference in your health.
First of all I needed to take stock of my relationship to food itself and the bad habits that were born from that. Then, over a period of a couple of months I started making the following changes.
Drinking More Water
Just doing this first step has made a huge difference. I was going to the toilet a lot more but I felt less stodgy and more clean inside.
This was a pretty easy thing to do. We have a PuraTap connected at home plus buying mineral water every now and then for variety is a good thing to do. I try to consume at least two litres per day.
Cutting Out Alcohol
One of the bad habits I was slipping into was drinking a little bit more alcohol than I’d normally do so I just stopped. This was easy to cut out as I don’t consider myself a big drinker but I noticed a slightly better sleeping pattern resulting from this one small change.
Cutting Down On Coffee
Frank Zappa once said in an interview that coffee wasn’t a drug to him, it was FOOD. That’s how much I love my coffee but I also knew that I was drinking way, way too much of the stuff and at really stupid times as well.
No wonder I’ve been having problems with my sleep for years.
I’m now limiting my caffeine intake to a maximum of three cups a day and when I do have it I have it in a cup, not a mug plus, I have it black with NO SUGAR. It takes a bit of getting used to but it’s worth it.
Cutting Out Sugar
This was probably one of the hardest things for me to cut out of my life but my body feels so much better for it.
For me, cutting out sugar meant the following:
- No more two sugars in my coffee
- No more soft drink
- No more sweet stuff (mainly chocolate donuts and custard tarts)
I know that there’s a lot of hidden sugars in one form or another in the food that we eat and therefore cutting out all sugar in my diet would be next to impossible but cutting out the obvious things and reducing the amount of take away/processed food and eating more natural home cooked food in my life has made a huge difference.
Start Walking/Recumbent Bike Riding
It was really obvious to me that I wasn’t moving and exercising enough in my day to day life so I’ve been trying to get into the habit of walking or riding a recumbent bike that we purchased recently for up to 30 minutes a day.
Now besides cutting out the sugar in my life, getting back into some sort of exercise routine has been a real challenge (basically because I’m lazy) and it’s something that I’m still working on but, I’ll get there. Once I develop the habit, I’ll be right.
Decreasing My Portion Sizes
First of all, I don’t go for seconds anymore. Further to that, my first portion sizes were also too big so I’ve been getting into the habit of just halving my normal portion size or, eating off a smaller plate.
From doing this I’ve really noticed that I can still function as a productive and creative human being with far less food in my system.
Experimenting With Intermittent Fasting
Now this is the most interesting part. For about 4 weeks I’ve been experimenting on myself this concept called “Intermittent Fasting” that I’ve come across.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about it but the first site you come to on Google when you type in Intermittent Fasting is an article by James Clear on his website called The Beginner’s Guide To Intermittent Fasting which goes into detail about the following:
- How Intermittent Fasting works
- The benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Examples of Intermittent Fasting protocols
- Frequently asked questions about Intermittent Fasting
James Clear defines Intermittent Fasting in this way…
“Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.”
As I mentioned earlier I’m not going to go into all of the in’s and out’s of it but to say that changing my normal eating habits to one of intermittent fasting has made the most significant difference in my health so far.
I’ve also come across a really nice infographic on the Positive Health Wellness website regarding the “11 Myths About Fasting And Meal Frequency” which I think is worth sharing…
Since starting my experiment four weeks ago I’ve lost six kilos so far and I feel great.
Well, there you have it, more proof that the smallest changes make the biggest differences in life. I’ll keep myself honest and post some more health updates from time to time but I’m not going to obsess about it.
I’m just happy that it’s now rather than later (when it can be far too late), that I’m doing something about my health.