Everyone has a story to tell, and as the owner of a food company whose mission is to allow people to marry health with convenience, it’s no surprise that I have my own ‘healthy journey’ tale to tell.
Now to be clear, my ‘healthy living journey’ is no different or more inspiring that anyone else’s. And just because I now own my own healthy meals delivery service, I don’t believe that somehow I am suddenly qualified to give advice and encourage people to follow in the same path that got me to where I am. On the flip side, I am a firm believer that to be sustainable, everyone needs to find their own way to health and happiness. There is no set formula.
However, I do have a story, and it does revolve around finding real food, so here it is.
Today I am 27 years old, standing 162cm tall and weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 59kgs. I am made up of approximately 20% body fat. I work out (predominantly CrossFit with a bit of running and circuit) 4 – 5 times a week, eat predominantly whole foods, drink 2-3L of water a day, and sleep 8 hours a night. And let me tell you folks, I feel FANTASTIC!
This has not always been the case.
Three years ago I weighed 65kg (at least that was the last time I jumped on the scale in my fat phase, that definitely wasn’t my heaviest), and was around 30% body fat. I had just quit my incredibly demanding and stressful job as a publicist and spent three months taking myself on what turned out to be the Mac ‘n’ Cheese tour of America. I drank my body weight in booze a few nights a week and treated my body like crap. Not surprisingly, it responded in kind with the flaring up of old illnesses, fatigue, skin like a 14 year old boy, and general I-hate-you-ness.
Getting from that point to where I am now was hard; as it turns out it’s not as easy as going to the gym three times a week and cutting down on ‘bad’ food. Actually you have to first learn about your body – what food does your gut like, what doesn’t it? What causes bloating and hormonal imbalances? Why can’t you just have a cheat like, every second night?
Through a process of trial and error, I discovered that my body didn’t enjoy gluten or dairy, and that sugar made me allllll messed up. I responded well to whole, ‘clean’ foods, and could not only tolerate, but thrive on foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Real & unrefined foods, as it turned out, were perfect for me.
After going quite strict for a few months I slowly reintroduced some foods that only act to fuel and nourish my body – natural yoghurts, full fat cream, and grass-fed cheese and butter. You’ll notice we use some of these items in our menu – they’re just too good to pass up.
Sitting where I am now, I can tell you that being fit and healthy never gets easy, you just get better at it. The more good food I eat, the less I crave processed crap. The more I train, the less my body accepts bad food. The more I make myself accountable to other people, the less likely I am to fall off the wagon.
Above is my very own before and after – a confronting image that I’ve shared with few people – but goes to show that the above isn’t just a load of PR crap. As you can see, I still enjoy a wine and the occasional sweet treat. Life is all about balance, and these days I have it in droves.
Left: 2011 | Right: 2013