Don’t panic this is not going to be a preachy annoying self-righteous tale of purity and sanctimonious lifestyle that everyone should follow. However, this newsletter will ask a few questions of you and how you, as do I, self-sabotage my personal success levels and performance levels nearly every day of my life. Why is that so many people at the beginning of a year do a “detox” and send their systems into some form of starvation and negative responses? What is wrong with finding a better balance throughout the year avoiding the need for such drastic action?
We’re only human and we give into temptation too easily, meaning at some point we have to (or certainly I have to) press pause and reboot our systems.
What is my story here? Well for over 20 years I have forgone alcohol every January and it all stemmed from needing a month of not drinking beer while playing competitive rugby – in the days before serious sports people actually looked after their bodies most of the time! But that’s not all, over the years this developed further from just excluding beer, to being completely alcohol free, meat free, bread free, dairy free, sugar free and caffeine free. Wow, that’s a lot when you type it out in black and white.
Categorically I do not suddenly become an awkward guest that is normally easy to cater for but has now has challenging dietary habits, pure all the time is not my objective here, just taking control most of the time while I am able to works for me. Doing this each year I tend to lose a lot of weight, which of course my other half gets really irritated by, that’s me, it’s not about the weight for me it’s the personal performance levels.
What actually happens to me? Of course like for many others undertaking a detox, during the first week there are headaches from sugar and caffeine withdrawal. Then it moves on to the need to graze a lot and gradually the energy starts to build up, the brain fog of Christmas starts to clear and overall there is a far better zip in my step. Why don’t I live like this all of the time if it suits my body and my energy works? Well the same reason we all do – the other stuff is fun and very very tasty. They always say everything in moderation and balance and you’ll live longer and have a healthy life, well that sounds great but we do like to party, we do like to play and why not, life is too short not to enjoy it.
What is my challenge to you? Have a go at cleaning things up if you need to. I heard an evil question a while ago of a group of men and women, “How many of you are the heaviest you have ever been in your life at the moment?” That resonated with me because most of the people asked that question were able to say yes. Weight isn’t everything of course, there is a great photograph showing 8 women of various sizes, shapes and heights and they all weigh the same – we all know what is a reasonable level for us and that takes honesty with oneself. Don’t get me started on the BMI, used incorrectly as most GP surgeries use it I am obese on the cusp of morbidly obese purely because of my height to weight ratio, I have never met a rugby player (a forward) who isn’t in the same boat, it’s an attempted capture all calculation that does not show the true picture and is misquoted and incorrectly applied most of the time.
Try doing a run or a swim carrying a 7kg bag strapped to your back, for fun, it hurts and you wouldn’t choose to do it, but indirectly we have chosen to do this, with the bag strapped under the skin. As the body cleanses from all the naughty stuff and the exercise starts to show dividends, so the mind will follow. My coach challenges me to be the best I can be every day of my life, my personal target is to be the best I can be more of the time most of the time! Perfection doesn’t exist and always leads you towards failure, most of the time more of the time is a great mantra to work towards. Does that work for you? Strive towards having the fit body and mind for you in your personal and professional lives and who knows what more you could achieve.