You make all kinds of promises to yourself as a parent and almost inevitably one of those is that you will be more healthy and active. Lets face it, kids are an incredibly joyful energy vacuum and keeping up with them is hard work. A tired parent struggles to summon the energy to do the right things and will sometimes succumb to the "easy option" (it's in quotes because few things are actually easy when you're a new parent). With my depression, issues with my weight and lack of health in recent years I have tried so many things to get my health and well-being on track. I thought I would write a blog post about my latest...
Now this is a story all about how my health got flipped, turned upside down,
I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there,
I'll tell you I become a healthier dad with no hair,
In the, West, Devon county was where I was raised, in sleep mode is where I spent most of my days,
Goin' out, workin' parentin' and all schoolin' and all eatin' junk food breaking all the rules,
When a couple a stones that were up to no good! Startin' camping up in my neighbourhood,
I got in one little fight with my weight right there, and said "you've got to do somethin' fat dad with no hair...
Having tried various shakes, meal plans, even fasting 1/6 as I couldn't manage 2/5 and just desperately trying to find my way to healthier habits I'm as a big as I have ever been, with less energy than ever. That's the problem I've found more than anything, none of my attempts to kick-start a healthier lifestyle have made me more energetic. Carrying extra weight I struggle to exercise more than a few times before I injure myself as my aching bones and muscles creeeeeeeeeeak under the pressure. I hungrily crawl from one "meal" to the next with stomach gurgling, feeling like a zombie of malnutrition. A self-pitying exaggeration for sure, but it's rip-tide almost impossible to swim against.
So, the thing I was looking for was a way to improve my nutrition and energy levels at the same time. I will always look to be active and add in exercise, but I finally realise my lack of exercise is not my problem. For too long I have neglected my nutrition, simply because I do eat plenty of healthy food. I like fruit and vegetables well enough, I'll eat fish, whole grains, high fibre sources and I almost never go a significant amount of time not doing that. I'm the same with exercise too. My problem is that I am not remotely consistent, I make bad choices far too often and even my healthy choices are often supplemented with sugary, energy boosting self-indulgent add-ons.
It adds up over time.... Between basic training in the army at 19, until now as a 35 year old I have gone from 12 stone to over 17 stone (I working on being in kg, as I scientist I really should lol).
One of my closest friends started on a similar journey around a year ago. He has lost 12kg (nearly 2 stone), but most importantly he has so much more energy and feels, looks and is just generally a lot better in himself. This is a man I trust would trust with my life, so that's what I did. After many, many months of things getting in the way I finally managed to get myself to a free sample evening of Herbalife Nutrition. I was expecting I might find the products similar to other shakes, health food etc. and be a bit underwhelmed even though I might give it a go anyway.
What I actually found was there was a really positive atmosphere that focused more on well-being than anything. Weight, energy, building muscle, recovering from workouts it's all seen as the same thing - supporting your body with the right nutrition. There was a real energetic yet laid back vibe to the room that gave it a kind of buzz. It was not something I was familiar with, but as the evening went on I began to understand why...
The focus on health and well-being instead of weight loss means there is less pressure. It's not about having some kind of destination or ultimate goal, the focus is on taking care of your nutrition and the rest will take care of itself. The products were not wildly different in taste to other things out there, but there were pleasant subtle differences. The shakes are not thick and gloopy like some, or thin and tasteless like others (I'll stop short of the full goldilocks). The tea gives you an almost instant energy boost, even more than coffee but without the bloating milk and accompanying coffee breath. The aloe supplement you add to water had a subtle but significant impact on the sparkling water.
It was the small details done right. Each product carefully designed with extra vitamins, minerals and alike in combination to produce the right nutritional option. That was what convinced me to sign up, so instead of just buying some products to try I dived straight in and got a membership. For a one-off £42 fee I instantly get 25% off ALL my future products, along with other benefits I will go into at a later date. I felt like I would really give this a good go based on what I had seen, so that just made sense. I saved over £30 on my first order, so no doubt will have saved that fee by my second order!
So, I have been using the product for 3 days and moving into my fourth. I got up at 5 this morning to write this blog post and can honestly say I didn't struggle to get up compared to how I usually do. I have lost 3lbs (1kg) already, felt like I wanted to exercise (which I have a bit) and have more energy than I have had since I left basic training in the army 16 years ago. I am excited to think where I could be if I'm still using Herbalife in a year where it might lead me, that's why I am sharing my story.
I have struggled for so long and know many people who struggle the same, if this can help me then I would love to think it could help my family, friends. Perhaps could even get that message to people I don't who are kindred spirits that also have a weakness for bacon and potato and cheese (oh my).
Watch this space....
Peace, love and good health y'all