When it comes to exercise I have not always been the most enthusiastic. I used to really struggle with my motivation to do anything. I was a typical couch potato. This week I explore what I was like when I was younger, what happened through my early 30’s and 40’s and what I do now that I have adopted a juicy lifestyle.
Was I always A Couch Potato?
During the 70’s and early 80’s as a kid, I couldn’t wait to go outside to play. I had bikes and kicked a football around. I was lucky. I had a couple of great playgrounds when I was growing up.
For most of my early years in lived in the edge of a town in South Africa. Literally at the end of the garden the town stopped and for hundreds of miles there was nothing but open veldt (rural bush land). Nothing but snakes, scorpions, rats and springbok.
It was an awesome place to explore! When we moved back to the UK we lived close to a very large municipal park which provided places to cycle, walk, play football and tennis. I was always out and about doing something with my friends so its not really a surprise that I was a fit and healthy kid.
At senior school, during my teenage years, I discovered a love of tennis and field hockey. I was a reasonable hockey player and managed to represent my school, county and a local hockey club for many years.
All in all, playing hockey two or three times a week during the winter and tennis during the summer used to keep me in reasonable shape.
Becoming The Couch Potato
At some point after I got married our first daughter arrived and being active took a back seat.
Providing for a young family and a mortgage became the top priority and I started to work and work hard. At that time I worked in a finance department for a retail company and so my job was desk based with very little activity, unless you can call moving a pen around being active!
For quite a while I was working 6 days a week. When I got home I just wanted to sleep because of exhaustion!
Of course the inevitable happened. My weight slowly started to creep up and up. I really think that I was so focused on work that I didn’t notice the weight gain or I didn’t care. It may have been progressive but it was constant.
After 10 years of working for the retail company I moved into IT.
Lots of travelling, lots of hotels, lots of restaurants, food on the go, long hours, it goes on and on.
It was a really unhealthy lifestyle. Again, I didn’t really understand or think about the damage I was doing to myself. What was to worry about? The money was good, I had an expense account and I got to drive around in some very nice cars. My family (who I rarely saw) were well provided for and everything seemed great … but it wasn’t great.
My health took a dive in the last couple of years that I was with this company. I had no proper work / life balance at all and I knew I had to move on and make some changes.
I did, I found a job that didn’t require me to travel very much, I was home eating with my family every night. Life was much better and happier and I thought the weight would just fall off me as a result.
It didn’t ! If anything it probably got a little worse!
I think my metabolism was so shot to pieces after years of mistreatment that it couldn’t recover by itself.
How I Discovered Juicing
I have talked about how I discovered juicing before but for those that are new to this site. I have known Neil (Natural Juice Junkie) for several years. We both worked in the same industry for many years and for about six months the same company.
I witnessed Neil’s transformation and he was kind enough to point me in the direction of the Joe Cross movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and share with me how he used juicing in his own life.
It was a revelation! It completely and utterly changed the way I live my life and my relationship with food. My juicing journey had started and continues to this day…
Juicing and Exercise
I’m not a gym fanatic. I never have been nor never will be.
We did have a cross-trainer in the house that was doing nothing but gathering dust in the conservatory. Right from the start of my juicing journey it was always my plan to jump on the thing and start to get fitter.
It didn’t happen.
I had no compulsion to get on the machine. I did barely any exercise at all until I was about six or seven months into my juicing journey. Even then it was a bit of a half hearted affair.
Gradually something started to change. I think I needed that initial weight loss to take place first. After I had lost about 55 to 60 lbs I started to feel much more energetic. I had been feeling much better in myself since I started juicing but it hadn’t translated into the masses of energy that some people experience. I was more of a slow burn than an explosion!
I started to do more around the house. I found it more difficult to sit still in front of the TV like I would have been happy to do previously. I needed to be moving more. The energy levels continued to build and I found I was getting a little bit more restless over time.
In the end I gave up and jumped on the cross-trainer. I was actually shocked to find that I could do a mile once or twice a week. Then two miles, then three.
I was even more shocked to find than I quite enjoyed it as well! Slowly, slowly I built a regular habit. This is still only quite recently and now I will do about three to five miles on the cross-trainer, four or five times a week on various intensity settings.
It only takes twenty to twenty five minutes at a time and I can lose myself in my thoughts and enjoy some good music to keep going. I have also bought a dumbbell set, just to try and tone the arms and to have something different to do when I don’t jump on the cross-trainer.
So I think the message here is that however anti exercise you are or whatever mobility issues you might have or however demotivated you might feel. Just do something. Trust that as your body heals you will want to be more active. Just listen to your body, its knows what it is doing.
Getting Exercise Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
You don’t need a gym membership or an expensive piece of equipment. The greatest piece of fitness equipment that most people have access to is right outside your front door. Better still its free!
Just go for a walk.
Take in the air and the sun, just move. As your energy levels increase you will want to do more and more. Who knows you may even want to join a gym or run a marathon one day.
I don’t think that I would ever want to run a marathon. But when you look at what Neil does with his running and what the likes of Rich Roll achieved in his 40’s after being a drug user and alcoholic then who knows!
I had fantastic reactions to my before and now picture I shared last week. I even had a specific mention from Jason Vale which was lovely.
Thanks for the lovely comments and encouragement, it does really mean a lot.
There have also been a number of other surprising developments during the week which I can’t talk about just yet but I’m hoping they will work out.
I am also quite excited to be taking an old juicer into the office tomorrow to introduce them to the delights of the Ginger Slammer. We are going to see if we can suppress the number of sneezes and sniffles in the office!
The news from the scales gave me a further 2.5 lbs of lost weight so I am, again, the lightest I have been in almost twenty years this week.
All in all it has been a great week and I fully expect next week to be the same!
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