In the last edition of the blog, we wrote an article on belly fat - the visible and invisible threat that we must do battle with daily. This week we are spotlighting a story about one of our work colleagues – for privacy purposes we’ll call him Nigel!
One morning, almost two years ago, Nigel (age 53) woke with another hang over from hell and decided enough was enough. Not only did he feel like death warmed up but also seemed to have lost 6 hours of an evening he knew his memory would never be able to retrieve. Sometimes called white wine shame (where you cannot for the life of you remember what you said or did after that one glass too many and more, leading you to paranoia and feelings of shame not being in the know of what you did or said under the influence!!) we can all agree that this is never a good feeling – you may only get some intel on your evening if someone else (who was slightly more sober) fills you in on yourself!
Nigel was living this frequently - an ordinary, jaded morning but this one would turn out to be different to the rest. Nigel didn’t wholly realise it but feeling all sorts of rubbish, Nigel decided to bin the booze for good.
When we make change in our life what we quickly realise is that we need a community around us to encourage and hold us accountable. When we make a big change in our life it is definitely hard to walk the path alone – we need a wingman/ men to remind us, in our weaker moments, the greater transformation we deserve for ourselves as opposed to the strong habitual draw back to old trodden ground. To help Nigel with his quest he decided to join ‘One year no beer’, which is a great organization that helps you cultivate a new and improved relationship with alcohol where you control it as opposed to it controlling you. In this culture it can be difficult to imagine having fun and being sociable with not drinking copious amounts of alcohol – we all know this is untrue.
Nigel is now two years without beer or alcohol (he doesn’t miss those hangovers from hell!) This is a great achievement especially considering his old image of being the largest boozer in town.
Nigel's comment - “‘One year no beer’ is a brilliant on-line motivational group. It has a fee to join their membership and you can join a specific programme suited to you. I got a great Black Friday deal which was a money saver for me. Every morning you are sent daily motivational reminders and videos which help keep you on course by encouraging and sharing stories and realities from professionals and fellow followers. It helps to keep your direction and focus. The most important thing for me was knowing that I needed this change for myself – no amount of people could have dragged me there, I had to come willingly. My breakthrough point came at 3 months – I got addicted to feeling better but also addicted to not wanting to break this new healthy lifestyle I’d been working hard to carve out for myself. It turns out its easier than you think to get addicted to feeling better, better sleep, better attention, and energy…. what a revelation! The on-line platform shares good reads with you that help to encourage and stay on track. A life changing book for me on this journey was ‘This naked mind’ by Annie Grace – a must read for anyone looking to take control of their life and relationship with alcohol – it suddenly clicked into place I deserve more than to slowly poison myself in small increments on a daily basis.”
Nigel was high on life again but not using his usual means to feel it – he was feeling better cutting out the beer and therefore expected his beer belly to retreat just as quickly. Unfortunately, in life we don’t just stop habits, but we replace them – for Nigel it was lots of snacks and sugary treats. The hole that beer had left was still being filled but now had a different guise. The belly wasn’t going anywhere. Instead of losing weight it seemed to be creeping up. His clothes were getting tighter as opposed to hanging off him which is what he had imagined heading into the first year being beer free. He needed to balance his counter balance. It can take us human beings a long time to catch up to our habits – our subconsciousness needs to change to a conscious state as well as a will for change before our new or old habits are going anywhere.
In the past 6 months Nigel decided enough was enough on these sugary calories, with the help of active consciousness, reading our blogs, information from friends and starting a new regime, he has made sizeable victory on a new notch on his belt every couple of weeks (we have to take every small win to keep us on track for the big ones). It was very inspirational to not only see Nigel looking slimmer but just how many new holes he had added to his belt.
Rather than weighing yourself, tightening the belt and even putting a new hole into a belt is an excellent way of monitoring your progress in weight management, especially as it’s the belly fat which is the most dangerous as well as the fat around our organs which we need to tackle. Any reduction in this area is your body’s way of breathing a sigh of relief.
Nigel has so far reduced his belt notch by at least 5 to 6 inches from where he started. In 6 months this is brilliant.
So how does a regular day for Nigel look?
7am wake up – Workout using your own weight he uses an app called "Bloom Young", there is also "8 fit" and others available.
8am – ready for work
9.30am – Breakfast – Fruit and yoghurt
12.30pm – lunch – balanced lunch meal
1.30pm – 45 min walk
5.30pm – Dinner – Shake
10.30pm Bed time
At the weekend, Nigel mixes it up a little bit and may have a few treats.
He has combined gentle exercise with food management, with sleep and eating within an 8 hour window.
Nigel’s been ebay-ing all his larger clothes, he has gone from an XL to an L and from 40inch waist down to a 36inch waist in about 6 to 8 months. Seemingly, it’s quid’s in all round for Nigel.
As you can see Nigel has made some big changes in his lifestyle, however, just making a few changes to his daily routine has had a significant impact on his body.
Dr Norman Lazarus said in his book, ‘the best way to measure your progress is not to weigh yourself, but to measure your waist’, and we agree that is inspiration indeed to see progress by being at another notch in your belt, it’s like receiving a feather in your cap.
We all know that humans are creatures of habit and will generally look for the easy option every time. That's very true for me and over the years I've eaten a ton of crisps, but I've always tried to counter that with a jog ..not exactly a great one for one, the only problem comes when you add in the dips..
It’s all about routine and discipline, habits are hard to break, but they’re also easy to make! A mixture of food management, exercise and sleep will always guide our bodies to better health happiness. I for one have stopped weighing myself but keep an eye on my belt notch especially following Nigel's success. Think we all could do with losing one or two notches !