A drop in the ocean

If you are looking to make a change it’s not an hour of exercise per week you need help with.

It’s the support outside of that gym session. Sure a trainer beasting you in the gym is fun and exercise is great and you’ll feel good it. But to make changes you need to go beyond that. You need to look past someone counting how many burpees you’ve done. To someone who can give you support outside of that gym session.

I’ve seen people that have had trainers for years and made zero change. That’s because one hour of the week that you exercise is futile when it comes to improving your health. It’s a drop in the ocean. 

As I said it will make you feel good for having done it but if you don’t have your nutrition on point it doesn’t matter. if you don’t have your sleep and stress managed then you aren’t getting to the crux of it.

It’s like putting a plaster on a broken arm

Lifestyle choices, the things that you’ve engrained over the years. Are the things that have got you into this situation. One hour of beasting a week isn’t going to help.

And what happens outside of that gym session with a trainer? You’ll have a vague idea of what to do from the sessions you’ve had but as soon as you walk out of the gym. You are on your own. This is tragic because that one hour in the gym accounts for only 4% of your day.

The other 96% is going to be a guessing game, the foods you eat your sleep cycle, how you manage stress, your activity. Plus all the other things that encompass your quality of life.

Without knowing what to do for the rest of the week you are stuck. Unaware of what you need to do to change your body nor do you have the mindset to facilitate change.

That one hour with a trainer does nothing to help you understand your metabolic rate. To determine the calories you need for fat loss and improving your energy. What needs to be a part of your diet to optimize testosterone levels and ensure you are helping keep lean mass. What exercise frequency and type you need to build muscle. Mitigate stress and elevate testosterone levels. What your sleep cycle looks like to ensure that you are energized. So you have focus and improved executive function.

Don’t get me wrong it’s admirable taking action to make a change but when you are not changing. It’s a poor investment. And it’s not the trainer’s fault, I’m sure they’re doing the best. But unfortunately, the entry standard into the fitness industry is low.

Gym staff will be able to guide you with exercise techniques. But someone with a Degree in sports science will have advanced knowledge of physiology. To program your sessions and recommend what exercise is relevant to your goal.

A Nutritionist will be able to plan out your diet to ensure that you achieve your goal of getting leaner. Whilst ensuring that you adjust your diet to optimise your energy and productivity. Increasing your testosterone levels.

An NLP Practitioner will help you manage stress. And ensure that cortisol doesn’t diminish your vitality and energy.

This is why it would be prudent to have a health coach in your corner. Someone qualified in all those areas. Who can program your lifestyle to improve your health. 

Ask yourself ‘what is the cost of not doing so?’ To continue on spending thousands on trainers whilst making no change. Wasting time getting nowhere with the newest fad diet that claims to be better than the last fad diet. To carry on feeling tired, exhausted, and stressed.

That is going to be very costly in terms of time and money. Not to mention the toll on your health.

The Limitless Lifestyle Blueprint covers every area of your lifestyle. To ensure that you are in the best possible health to live the quality of life that you want. To look good, feel good, and have that abundance of energy that helps you perform at your best.

Click here

Progress not perfection

Good moaning Friend,

I hope you know that it’s common for willpower to fail at times. You may suddenly give into junk food and overindulge because of hunger or temptation. 

Or you may skip a workout because you had a shit day at work or an argument with your spouse and you are not in the mood. Or maybe you binge-watched a Netflix show and didn’t go? 

These things happen. You must forgive yourself and get back to it. So many people make the cardinal error of aiming for perfection and when they slip up, they feel like they’ve failed, and the entire goal has gone to waste. 

They then decide to just let themselves go, carry on with the bad habits, and give up on their goal. It is the equivalent of getting a flat tyre then slashing the other 3! All because they slipped up once and think it’s ‘game over’. It’s not! 

Acknowledge your mistake and analyze why you slipped up. Maybe you need to remove all fun foods from your kitchen, so you don’t binge. Or maybe you should work out first thing in the morning, so you don’t skip your training sessions. 

Once you figure out a way to rectify future mistakes, you’ll increase your compliance and prevent future slip-ups. It is easier when conditions are right.   

Aim for over 85% compliance with your routine and habits. 

No matter how disciplined you are, you will make a mistake and give in to temptation here and there. If your compliance is 85% and above, you’ll definitely be on track to achieving your goals. Perfection is unattainable. Progression is what you are focusing on!

If you’ve lost 0.5 kg this week that’s progress! If you’ve done more exercise or you’re stronger than last week, that’s progress! If you’ve got more sleep or controlled your temper in a situation that would typically see you erupt. That’s progress! And that my friend is all you need to concern yourself with.

If you want to make progress with your health and fitness. To look better, feel better, have more energy, and increase your productivity. Then the Limitless Lifestyle Blueprint is for you.

Click here

The Silent Killer

Ever heard the saying stress is the silent killer?

This saying actually holds some weight. You might not realize what a cocktail of hormones stress actually produces. And they don’t have a positive effect on our bodies.

This hormone release was great back in the stone age. A helpful defense mechanism for a person to stay safe from any potential adversities. That shadow in the long grass. The sound of a twig snapping in the trees.

Unfortunately, our brain chemistry hasn’t changed since. And we still have the same stress response/hormone release to everything our mind sees as a threat. Which are not actual threats.

*Tough deadlines from demanding clients or self-imposed. 
*Being disturbed during periods of deep work, constant distractions and time pressure.
*That meeting which could have been an email.

It is all a waste of our time, which is something so valuable to us. And makes us feel stressed when we know we are wasting it.

Over a prolonged period some common behavioral signs that stress is high are:

*Missing work, late, excessive defensiveness, social withdrawal  
*Physical signs like frequent headaches, neck ache, backache, excess fatigue.
*Then there are the emotional symptoms; heighten worry and anger.

The important thing is recognizing these signs. Because the way we tend to deal with them is not conducive to good health

To combat this it is prudent to address the issue by identifying triggers.

Who – is it a friend spouse or work colleague? 
What – is it a task, or topic? 
Where – is it a physical location? your office? your house? 
When – does it come at a particular time, i.e. in a particular meeting?

One of the biggest ways to curb this is by managing your availability.

Look at your accessibility – how much time you allow yourself to be interrupted by others! If this is high you might want to make yourself not universally available.

Managing your digital products/surroundings. 
Pick a small time window ( 30 minutes ) and turn off the phone for deep work. Be away from your desk / find a conference room/coffee shop /or go off-site (if viable).

When it comes to managing your interactions you have the choice to avoid! Decline unnecessary meetings. When it comes to engaging with people you wish not to. Interact, be civil and polite, then disengage. Make your excuses and move on.

Making these positive personal choices will help you control stress levels.

Then there are the things outside of work that you have more control over. 

Exercise will alleviate stress levels. You don’t have to go crazy. – start small with the minimum effective dose; be it one or 2 sessions a week. You can always increase the weekly frequency if you want to.  

Your diet can also help you to feel energized by having the right foods at the right time. Energy-dense and slow-release carbohydrates will help you sustain focus and productivity. Caffeine will also help but remember to keep within 400mg and try to have a mid-afternoon cut-off. You don’t want it messing up your sleep!

So this week I have some homework for you (please have this completed before my next blog. No excuses! This is not the type of homework that your dog can eat!)

*Address one clear person or task trigger – how you will change the nature of the interaction? 

*Make one change to diet or exercise. 

*Choose one positivity stimulant that you will embrace once a week 

Let me know how you get on.

In the eye of the beholder

When I go into the city, I find it a bit of a sensory overload. The lights the billboards, advertisements everywhere.

Even in the atrium of the office building where I was sat waiting to deliver a talk. A huge TV screen displaying a couple with athletic physiques running on a beach at some luxury holiday resort.

The managing director walked into the lobby area. “Andrew” he extended his hand to greet me.

We exchanged pleasantries as we were walking to the elevator, he mentioned that I should make the most of the advertisement he saw me looking at.

“It’s getting removed from the feed as someone has complained about it. They said it was offensive.”

This seemed absurd to me. I’m all for body positivity but when it goes the other way and there is almost a positive discrimination against those who have an athletic physique. Then it’s gone too far”

I find that the complaints usually come from people in the most pain and are uncomfortable in their bodies.

I think it triggers that uncomfortable pang of discomfort. Because they are comparing their physique to those in the advert. And they then feel guilt, inadequate or inferior.

They complain about being reminded about. This way they don’t have to hear the uncomfortable truth. 

When I went back to the office to deliver another training session. This advertisement was replaced with a clothes company advert featuring plus-size models wearing their plus-size range. With the slogan ‘big is beautiful’ scrolled across their logo.

Now big (I’m talking obesity/high-fat mass, not tall or high muscle mass) may be beautiful to some. But according to the empirical evidence big is dangerous!

I think the message ‘big is beautiful’ is not a good one. It’s like saying smoking is cool, or drinking is fantastic. 

When you celebrate and encourage people to embrace an unhealthy position the problem grows. People become ignorant of the risks associated with obesity because it is accepted.

Is shaming the answer? Absolutely not! This will only exacerbate the situation. I’ve seen celebrities go on TV and say we should shame people who are obese. This only compounds the issue.

Is celebrating it the answer? No this only promotes and confuses.

Is education and eradication of false information the answer? 

It could be. 

I personally think that Health and wellbeing should be part of education. Food technology could be adapted. So that children learn about balanced meals and energy content (calorie awareness).

I’d love it if my job didn’t exist. Because people know how to stay fit, healthy both mentally and physically.

I’ve worked with so many people that have been in an unhealthy position. and is not just the physical health issues

it’s the psychological ones that come with it.

Unfulfilled in their career because they are underproducing (due to low energy levels). And not progressing to the next level promotion that they have been working towards for the past 5 years.
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Unconfident in their body and their intimacy with their partner has dropped off, and they are starting to look at what else is out there.
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Stuck because they have been wasting thousands of dollars and hours on quick fixes. And they are still in the exact same spot as they were 5 years ago. Except maybe worse off because they are 5 years older. 

If you want to get unstuck, next month I’m taking on 2 people for my one-to-one coaching program.

Click here to book in for a call if you would like to discuss.

Health and wellbeing talk


Through the sea of raised hands, I could see the food. 

It looked amazing, pigs in blankets, goujons, samosas. All beautifully presented by the waiting staff on silver platters.


I was salivating and I could hear my stomach grumbling. I kept having to swallow before answering a question. And make sure the mic wasn’t picking up my grumbling tummy.


The food had been sat there for some time, it felt like hours. It had to be cold. But that wasn’t going to stop me. As soon as the Q& A session was over I had visions of swan diving into the middle of the banquet.


I couldn’t be the only one who was ready to eat and yet still the questions kept coming;


‘You know the slide where you had the person’s metabolic rate…’


‘What is the most effective way I could calculate…’


‘Which means of tracking do you use…’


‘You know the machines in Boots the pharmacy…’


‘My Fitbit says that I…’


And then it was over. The last question was answered. Yes, food time.


But I had celebrated early I could see a queue forming. People who wanted to ask me a question that they didn’t feel comfortable asking in front of the group.


I get it, they might feel that they are asking a silly question. And don’t want to look silly in from of their work colleagues.


Or it was something personal that they didn’t want to share with the rest of the company.


All manner of weird and wonderful questions I fielded. The hunger sensation was suppressed. I was full of the feeling of satisfaction you get when you help someone to understand something.


The last person in the queue was the company director. “Andrew that was fantastic.” He said with a big smile.


“You kept 50 hungry people so engaged that they didn’t even notice the food come out”.


“You must be hungry yourself, go and grab yourself some food and meet me at the bar”


‘Finally, some food’, said the voice in my head in a Gordon Ramsey accent.


Or so I thought. I stood there overlooking the spread in disbelief. The staff members had ripped through the buffet like locus through a crop field. 


Good job the hunger (Ghrelin wave) had passed. So I headed over to the bar to meet up with the Company Director. 


“Andrew” The Director greeted me. “Let me introduce you to Phil. Phil runs a finance company”.


“That was great, how do I get you to come and deliver that seminar to my staff they would love that”. Phil said.


And that is how it started! That is how I ended up on the circuit (so to speak). A favour for a friend that turned into an opportunity to talk to businesses all over.


And Jesus have I missed it. Webinars have been nice and all but it’s not the same as going into offices and meeting people. Having that connection in a live face-to-face setting.


And I’m excited about this semblance of normality returning. Now that people are going back to the workplace.


Email me for more info on a Health and Well-being talks from yours truly
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Devotional practices

Sunday night rolls around and a cold bead of sweat travels down the forehead of the poor WW member. Uneasy about the prospect of tomorrow’s weigh-in.

So they formulate a plan; consume only dust and dehydrate themselves to prep for the evening meeting.

Flustered and late they arrive at the community centre. As soon as they enter they are summoned by the leader. As they walk up to the stage they feel the eyeballs of the crowd on them.

Anxiety takes hold as they recall the M&M they found in their pocket and devoured at lunchtime. It was the only morsel that has passed their lips but that blue button-shaped chocolate could make all the difference.

As they step on the scale, complete with grimace on face they look down to see the numbers. The ones that will reveal their mass in relation to the earth. The scales move back and forth the needle jumping from oz to oz.

Silence falls as the leader checks the scales and consults their clipboard.  The whole event is similar in hype to pugilists weighing in for a Vegas box office event.

A hush falls over the crowd as the Leader speaks. ‘Well, David that’s the same weight as last week.’

‘Well, s**t. The whole week was mathematically pointless’ David thinks to himself.

If David had an understanding of how his weight can fluctuate from day to day. He would know that one weigh-in per week is a risky game.

If he were to weigh in daily he would ensure that he doesn’t miss the new lows he had been working on. And doing so first thing in the morning after visiting the ablutions would aid consistency.

He would also be content knowing that he only needs to see a new low each week. Not each day! This would show a trend and prove what he is doing is working.

100kg done!

Well, that’s it. 100 kg done!

‘What are you talking about Andrew?’ You ask.

Over the last 7 years, I have been carrying out some due diligence. Self-experimentation in the form of weight loss and weight gain. Evidence-based practices that I have refined over the years. And this weekend saw me hit 100kg weight loss total.

To give you some specificity, I’ve lost between 10kg and 22kg each year for the last 7. Which has reached a combined total of 100kg.

Why?

Well, I do it to show people how to transform their bodies sensibly. How to lose fat properly. How to actually gain muscle.

Because as you know it’s a minefield out there. A minefield filled with charlatans and zealots preaching their diet and exercise religions.

‘Thou shall not eat carbs’

‘I command you to do fasted cardio’

‘Burn in hell for all eternity when you eat meat’

Diatribe. These people love to create some sensationalism, a new fad to hoodwink people.

I would rather show people and prove that there is a sensible way of going about it. Demonstrating what I do with my diet to lose fat and what exercise I do to gain muscle to be fitter.

I suppose I wanted to back up what I was preaching. Which I don’t see anyone else doing. I see many people talk a great game but no action. They’ll get on their soapbox, but they new back it up with any action. Probably because they know what they are pushing is ridiculous and they would last 5 mins.

I wanted to prove what I was preaching works. And that my blueprint will work for anyone. So here’s a brief synopsis of what I did during my weight loss phases.

Diet
A moderate energy deficit. Going too aggressive in the first years left me very hungry and prone to muscle loss which is bad. So for the last years, I aimed for a 15% deficit.

A weekly target for my calories. This was far more flexible than a daily target. It meant that I could bank some calories for the weekend when my intake would be higher.

I assigned a certain amount of my calorie budget to protein. And kept my daily protein intake high. Most of my meals were focused on protein. This did wonder for my hunger (protein reduces your ghrelin/hunger hormone). And helped with preserving muscle mass.

Exercise
The only cardio I did was walking. This mitigated high hunger periods (common post cardio training).

I found a frequency of workout sessions that worked for me (5). And the focus of those sessions remained the same during weight loss and weight gain periods. Do a little more each week. (This was easier during weight gain phases)

Sleep
This was a tough one because toddlers don’t care about your sleep regime. Yet I would always set myself up for 7 hours of sleep (actual sleep not being in bed). On the days where sleep was poor, hunger was elevated. Food reward heightened and satiety lowered. So I was always aiming for those 7 hours and riding out the storm on days where I didn’t get it.

Tracking
I tracked my energy intake during all 7 years of experimentation/weight change. This was a means to an end. When at a point where I want to maintain my weight. I would track my intake for a week or so then put down the tracker. But during times of change, I had to track. Even as an experienced dieter I would be way out without tracking. And the thought of calculating and storing up a running total every day. Seems exhausting and very inaccurate.

And there you have it. My best tips for dieting. By implementing those things you’ll look and feel better at the end of it.

If you want my blueprint which shows you the specifics you can grab a copy here

It’s just data!

After delivering my last health and wellbeing seminar for a company I received a question from one of their members of staff.

Actually, it was more of a concern about the concept of tracking calories (something I touched on in the seminar).

First of all the reason, I advocate that you track calories is to educate yourself.

The person who was concerned said that counting calories can cause eating disorders, create bad habits and be bad for mental health.

People that state this are counting calories for the wrong reasons. You should count calories to educate yourself on what you are eating and how much you are eating.

It is not a permanent thing rather a means to an end.

It is even more important that you track your calories when you start your health and fitness journey. Because a lot of people don’t actually realize how much and what they eat.

How are you supposed to realize where you are going wrong if you don’t collect data?

We collect data to improve, learn, understand and execute a plan of action.

This is why you count calories!

After a period of time, you’ll have an awareness of calories. And you’ll be able to eyeball a meal and know how many calories are in it. You’ll be able to pick up a snack and know how many grams of protein are in it.

And that’s why you count calories.

Counting calories doesn’t create an eating disorder, rather it reveals the disorder.

It’s just data, don’t allow feelings to distract you from what you can achieve.

Make it mean something!

I find myself at the tail end of this year’s weight loss challenge. And within touching distance of a milestone. That being 100kg lost in total over several years of self-experimentation.

Now I can say with hand on heart this year has been the hardest. Even harder than the first year (7 years ago) where I hadn’t dieted before. And I know the reason why. 

It’s because my goal this year was weight loss. The goal, although a milestone, is a weight loss one. Which has rendered it pretty meaningless. This cements my standpoint that a weight loss goal is redundant.


This year I have persevered through gritted teeth. And the method I use (the reveal a body blueprint) has made it as simple as possible.


But it pales in comparison to using the method plus an emotive goal, like in previous years. I’d never struggled then because they have been motivated by the carrot dangling at the end. 

Carrots like feeling confident on stage, in front of hundreds of people for a bodybuilding competition. Feeling great stood next to my wife for our wedding pictures. Or feeling confident in my swim shorts in the pool with my kids on holiday.

These feeling-based, emotive goals have made the process far easier. Attaching the outcome to a feeling rather than a meaningless number.


So if you are looking to transform your body focus on the reason behind the transformation. Find that emotive reason that has given you a reason to want to change your physique. Have a carrot that means something to you and attach the outcome to that.

Habits trump Motivation!

Another kilo down and one closer to my goal of 100kg lost. This is over the 7 years of self experimentation with weight loss and gain. I’ve has some people ask.


‘How are you staying motivated over this period?’


I’m going to let you in on something, I’m not! I’m not reliant on motivation! It’s not a concept I use or need.


I know that if you are reliant on motivation then you will struggle with consistency! That’s why I don’t rely on motivation, I rely on self discipline created by my routine!


Lots of people have more time afforded to them at the moment. Yet they aren’t exercising/doing workouts or keeping on top of their diet. Because their motivation is low, due to the current climate.


I’m not relishing all the workouts I’m doing, but I know they are beneficial to me. They are a positive action for the future me. Plus a good example to the younglings.


So I know I should be doing them. And I’m getting them done out of habit, not motivation. I’m getting fitter and stronger with time. Rather than the reverse, which is the general consensus.


It’s like investing/saving money. No immediate gratification now, but in the future, the money will compound. It’ll add up to a nice amount in your account. I put in place things that will keep those habits going. Setting a reminder at certain frequencies to invest and save money. Just like I set a reminder/time in my diary to workout.


These things make sure what I need to do gets done. They ensure it happens and these actions add up to a big return over time.


Think of your exercise sessions and food choices as investments in your health. Accruing over time to see you get fitter, stronger, healthier, happier.