About a year and a half ago I came across a chap on YouTube called John David Glaude, he lives in San Diego and has a story so unique and powerful that it fits in perfectly for your dose of motivation this Monday.
John had a hernia operation at the age of 6 that left him in bed for a few weeks, during that time he started to gain weight and it continued to climb well into his teens. He became morbidly obese by the time high school came around and as you can see from the pictures below, he packed some serious pounds... 360 pounds to be precise! (163kgs).
"I would make fun of myself constantly, I would make fun of myself before other people could make fun of me." "If someone else made fun of me, in my head, I would be a loser, but if I made fun of myself then people would think I was a funny guy. That really messed with my self-confidence."
One day the penny dropped for John, "I was tired, sad, alone and scared, I was sick and tired of being the way I was and eventually everything clicked." "I changed my diet first, as I couldn't afford a gym membership. Two months later I joined a gym and became a cardio bunny."
John's focus was on big cardio sessions to burn fat whilst on a calorie restricted diet, the restriction almost became a problem for him, but as he journeyed through his weight loss he learned how to balance his diet and training. He started to lift weights and build muscles and is now in full control of his life! This (below) is John today... More than 160 pounds (72kgs) lighter with the drive to help others through tough times.
His story has reached far and wide through his Instagram and YouTube presence, where he has donned the name "OBESE to BEAST." He has one of the fastest growing YouTube channels out there, simply because he lets you into his life and shares his transformation in such an inspirational way. One of the biggest and bravest things John has shared with the world is his video below on his loose skin after his weight loss.
The video went viral last year and John was invited to the Ellen DeGeneres Show to spread his story far and wide. Since then he has been able to immerse himself in helping others reach their goals by being a beacon of hope for anyone looking to change their life.
I watch a lot of John's videos because his character is very captivating, he is humble, upbeat and honest, but most of all always strives to do his best. He is a true inspiration, I am excited to see how his life unfolds over the next year as he reaches more and more people each day with his story. John, like most of us, has faced adversity in his life and has blasted a path through it. He could have given up when he was at his biggest, but instead he found the courage and self confidence to bring about positive change in his life.
I admire his journey and I hope you do too! I hope you can watch some of his videos and realise that he is a regular person who fought for the change he wanted. He fought to get control of his life again. With that said, lets go out there and make the most of every single moment this week, let's make ourselves stronger and rise to the challenges we face.
Let's all Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
One of the main reasons I was so drawn to ZUU when I did my training day with Nathan Helberg was because it spoke the TRUTH to me. When it comes to fitness a lot of people are scared of the truth. For me ZUU exposed the areas of my body that I had lost mobility in, it pushed me to my limits and beyond because it didn't give me a place to hide. It was the most liberating feeling ever!
I think too often in life we are too soft with ourselves, I know I certainly am; "oh, I'll just push harder tomorrow...." "I'll do more tomorrow..." Those kinds of sayings are detrimental to our mindset, I know from first hand experience.
As some of you may know I was in America playing golf at a junior college in 2007/2008, the aim was to build up experience and get into a bigger school after two years. The thing that I didn't realise when I got there was that the hard work should have continued. Yes, I had reached a milestone in my life, but that was no reason to slow down, I would put off practice every now and then, I even stopped running and keeping up with my health and fitness. Promising that I would do better the next day didn't get me anywhere, it only led to more promises that I couldn't keep.
"The next day" came and went for me and so too did my chance at chasing down my goals - I ended up leaving the US and having to work in the UK. In my head my dream was shattered, all because I kept putting things off. If there is one thing you can take away from my blog posts and from my experience that I share with you is that you cannot allow for life to pass you by.
There is a short video below with a few moves for you to get done, you can use them to mobilise for a session in the gym, you can do them twice through to help with raising the heart rate or do them three times to get a bit of conditioning done at home. They are low impact, they open up the hips and develop strength and power in the body, more importantly, anyone can do it!
So if you have been lying in bed at night promising yourself that you'll start fresh in the morning and take charge of your life, why not start with doing these moves?
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Have a great weekend ahead! Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
It is amazing how you can have a conversation with a complete stranger only to find out something truly awesome at the end of it. Yesterday I was on my normal gym shift and came across a gent foam rolling and stretching - we started chatting about fitness and eventually got onto the topic of marathons. He mentioned that he had met a chap called Ben Smith who is doing something called the 401 challenge, basically 401 marathons in 401 days.
My mind was instantly blown! I mean people prepare for months to run just one marathon in a decent time, let alone 401 in a row! Needless to say I was interested to find out the driving force behind Ben's marathon challenge and his story is a really inspiring one...
Ben's teenage years were spent regressing from an, "outgoing and excitable child into a very shy and under confident individual." Ben moved into a boarding school life at a later stage than other kids; he was thrown well out of his comfort zone and became the target of bullies. His life became even harder from that point on; battling to understand his sexuality and surviving two suicide attempts he tried to make sense of the world. A few years ago at the age of 31 he decided to take control of his life again.
Ben started running as a way to help lose weight and reduce his stress levels; since then he has developed a huge passion for the open road which, in turn, led to the 401 Challenge coming to life. Ben is on his way to raise £250k for two charities and bring inspiration to all the people that he meets along his journey. As you read this Ben will probably be setting out on the wintery streets of Watford for another 26.2 miles, you can track his progress online (www.the401challenge.co.uk) and even show your support by offering a bed, a warm meal and even a hair cut! You can even meet up to run with him, how cool is that? There has clearly been a lot of planning and effort that has gone into getting him through the last 83 days/ 83 marathons and I wish him all the best going forwards, I hope you do too!
Let's bear in mind that I have never met Ben, and only came across his story in the last 24 hours but I feel that he is truly an inspirational person. He has come back from the brink, faced his demons head on and has made himself into the person he is today by deciding to act and is stronger and happier for it! Ben was initially inspired by people in the London marathon, something thousands of people do every year changed another person's life. This is a perfect example of why we should try to inspire the person next to us, why we should strive to be the best versions of ourselves each and every day. Our minds and our bodies are capable of so many amazing things! If we decide to act, to chase our dreams then we can truly say that we have lived a good life!
Have a great week and remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
If you found this post inspirational then feel free to share it with your friends, and let's help Ben through to his final marathon!
Back when I was a rather large person I had no real knowledge about joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. I knew that if I ran and stretched I would lose weight and feel better. So like most people who join the gym I was on the cardio wagon - I started walking, then jogging and then running; setting myself small goals each day that I would try to beat the next time I went out. I was in competition with myself aiming to get as slim as I possibly could. I wish I could say it was a lovely experience the first few months but honestly speaking I just remember running with a lot of pain.
I started my weight loss journey in August 2013 and got to a point where I ran about 4 times per week which put a huge strain on my joints, mostly my left knee and IT band. In December 2013 I went out for a run one day and could barely put any pressure on it, I knew I had to stop running and it put me out for a whole month.
Anyone who has tried to lose weight before will know that 1 month without exercise on a weight loss journey can throw up big questions and doubts in one's mind, but I stuck with my plan and started Insanity workouts on the 1st of January 2014 after my knee had recovered.
My main issue was that I never had any structure from the beginning, I was only training in one plane of movement (sagittal) and relied on a few stretches to see me through. I never mobilised and had lost the power in my hips. Up until about 5 months ago I would wake up most mornings after exercise and feel really tender around my knees - to the point that walking down stairs was tough. After 5 months of doing ZUU pretty much every day I can honestly say that my knees are 100% better than they were. I have increased the power and mobility in my hips, strengthened my ligaments and tendons around my knees and I feel more nimble.
It is not just me though, I have had numerous conversations with people that attend our ZUU classes who have seen a marked improvement in their mobility and functional movement. So you might be wondering what this means for you? Well it means that there is a drill that you can do to help your mobility - anyone can do it - 84 year old people are doing it and it works, trust me.
The drill is called ZUU in TWO - some of you may know this from my Facebook and Instagram posts - it is 30 seconds of Frog Squatz into 30 seconds of Bear Crawlz (and repeat). I do this drill 3 times a day, in the morning, noon and night and the range of movement that has increased in my hips is phenomenal. It is a 6 minute drill (in three parts) each day that can change make your body stronger, fitter and more mobile. Everyone has at least 6 minutes spare in a day.
Here is a quick 3 minute video on the drill, all you need is a watch and your arms and legs to get it done and you'll feel AWESOME!
I challenge you to try it for a week; 3 times a day and see how much better you will feel, post your videos on Facebook and tag me in them. Let's get our bodies moving! Let's fight for the mobility that we have lost!
Have a great weekend and remember - MOVEMENT IS LIFE, WHEN WE MOVE WITH PURPOSE THEN WE START TO LEARN WHO WE REALLY ARE.
Stay Strong and Keep Moving.
Back when I was a young whippersnapper I spent many of my school holiday’s playing golf in some of Zimbabwe’s finest golf clubs. I remember a day when I was at Chapman golf club practicing and a slightly older boy called Marc Cayeux was there too. Marc was known for being one of the most talented players in Zimbabwean junior golf; we only spoke for a little while, mainly because he had the coolest gadget with him – a mini disk player! It was amazing because the music wasn’t on a cassette tape or cd. He let me listen to a couple of songs and that was the last I saw of Marc for a long time.
Years later his name popped up on scoreboards at the Botswana Open; I had seen pictures of him playing golf with Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and many other great players. Marc’s career was progressing really well, he was making a name for himself. Tragedy struck in 2010, when he was on his way back to South Africa from Zimbabwe and his car was hit by a truck that had swerved to miss an animal in the road.
Marc was lucky to survive the accident, but was left fighting to get back on his feet again, he had a shattered right knee and broken femur as well as a broken and dislocated left ankle. His career was brought to a complete halt and the lives of his family were changed forever. He was told by doctors that he would never play golf again, that his body had been through too much damage; that he was, “destined for a wheelchair.”
To date Marc has had 27 different operations to get him to a stage where he can walk without assistance. The big problem for Marc was having a level footing; his legs being at different lengths after the operations thus making it hard for him to perform on the golf course.
I remember reading a Facebook post that blew my mind, Marc reached out for advice from his friends – he had three options;
1 – Get his one leg operated on again and make it longer.
2 – Get his healthy leg cut down and made shorter to balance him out.
3 – Leave things alone and face the rest of his time trying to get his game back.
The first option was the most dangerous as the risk of infection and loss of the leg would be much greater. In the end Marc chose option 2 – he came out of the surgery strong and is now 2 inches shorter than before but a stronger and more determined version of himself.
“…If you listen to what people say you will never achieve anything. Your mind is very powerful. I’ve seen people in wheelchairs that have been told they would never walk again, but because of the right mindset were able to defy the odds. If you have a dream in life chase it, you’ve got to go for it at 110%.”
Marc has circled the Zimbabwean Open in 2016 as his return to professional golf, however if his body is not ready then he won’t rush it. He knows that small steady steps in a positive direction will get him to where he wants to be and he won’t give up on himself, he will give it everything he has.
I wanted to share this story with you today because I feel like Marc’s situation is so unique, he has been tested to the very core of his being and he still remains positive about his future.
Over the last few days it is easy to lose faith in the world around us, but we need to remember that we can overcome obstacles and set backs if we just get our minds right and focus on the small steps to get there.
I admire Marc and I wish him all the best for the future; no doubt there will be an update on his story at some stage. I truly believe that he has what it takes to get himself back on top of his game! I hope that he can now rely on your support too.
Now it is your turn to face this week with everything you have, make everyday count and never stop moving towards your goals.
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I am really excited to tell you today that I am an ambassador for Freet Footwear - over the last few weeks I have been in contact with the owner of the shoe company and now I can happily say that I have some awesome new shoes! So what does this mean for you? Well it means a 55% discount using my code! So have a read and see if you'd like to pick up a pair.
Freet as a company believe in making ethical, vegan friendly products that help to promote freedom for our feet. You can read more on their philosophy here. The shoes will take you back to the time when you were a kid running around barefoot and being free!
The idea is that over the years shoes have become more and more heel oriented, we have slowly learned to walk and run with our heels striking the ground first. This way of walking and running can cause to a lot of extra pressure on the joints over time, leading to injuries and pain throughout the body. What these shoes promote is more of a 'mid/forefoot' strike allowing the muscles in the legs to act is the shock absorbers rather than the joints taking the hit.
The design of the shoe is simple, sock like, and resembles a foot:
The split between the big toe leaves plenty of wiggle room and a much more responsive approach to walking, running and all sports. Wearing modern shoes has removed a lot of the ability for our feet to react to the environment and ground beneath our feet. Often our reaction time is taken away by big chunky trainers and by the time we get to react it is too late. With these shoes there is no time lost, your foot instantly feels the ground and your brain can make the course corrections.
If you'd like to hear more on the topic of running with barefoot shoes then check out this video.
I never thought I would wear shoes that looked like this, but after feeling the ground more and being able to respond quicker I can say that they are some of the most comfortable performance shoes I have ever worn.
I am obviously a fan of the Freet Footwear, but I would like to say that if you have never used barefoot shoes before then take some time to ease into them. If you are big into your running and want to try them start with small runs and build up. Essentially most people will have to re-learn how to walk and run, I certainly have over the last few weeks and it has made a huge difference in how I think about my joints.
So, what do the shoes help with?
They help with posture and are worn without socks so your feet can go back to naturally regulating their own temperature - I suffer tremendously from cold feet especially around the house at night. Since wearing these my feet have been able to keep their temperature a lot better.
What can you use the shoes for?
Running, walking, house wear and any active sport that you’d like to feel more grounded in. They have been amazing in my ZUU workouts but would aid in any sort of training where you need to be nice and agile.
Where can you buy the shoes and how much are they?
If you visit the website - www.freetfootwear.co.uk - and have a browse through the shoes, you might find some that you really like. The pairs pictured above range from £60-£70, but here is the really cool part!
THE 55% DISCOUNT CODE - use 'BrendanT' as a coupon code and you can pick up a nice deal, then enjoy the wonderful freedom for your feet!
The move to minimalist shoes is hitting the larger companies now as they realise the need for more responsive footwear, my only bit of advice before making a change like this it to do you research on walking and running styles, be sure that you have a good understanding before you dive into any new pair of shoes. If you do pick up a pair then ENJOY the ground beneath your Freet!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and I'd be happy to help out, I hope you have a great weekend ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Over the last week I have found myself pondering the various twists and turns of my life; I guess there is nothing like your birthday to make you realise where you have come from and where you are heading. I think the thing that has really resonated with me over the last few days is how many people I have gotten to know in my short time on this planet and it has truly inspired me.
From Zimbabwe to Botswana to the UK, the U.S. and all the other places in between I have met, lived with and become a part of many people's memories; some good, some bad no doubt. I feel like the majority of the people I have gotten to know in my life have enabled me to better myself in some way.
I have a favourite book, I have read it a few times and it always hits home in a philosophical way, it's called the Celestine Prophecy. It's a really great read because it's central character is in a transitional phase in his life and realises that each person he interacts with has the potential to unlock his future.
A couple of years ago I had fallen head long into believing that nothing good would happen because I didn't deserve it. I had let myself down by not fulfilling my dream and therefore I closed myself off to the world in a way that truly damaged my confidence in everything. Getting on top of my diet and exercise allowed me to get my confidence back which, in turn has allowed me to find synchronicity in my life. I have been able to appreciate the people around me more and in turn this had allowed me to realise opportunities and how amazing life really is.
Life is a fantastic gift that we have been given by our parents, it is a chance for us to explore, learn and grow and the best part is that we are all able to do this with other people. The people in our lives, the friends and family that we have are the ones that can help us through just about anything, so never lose hope in the world around you.
“...loving and energizing others is the best possible thing we can do for ourselves.” - James Redfield.
My top tip for today and each day going forward is this... Look up to the sky each day, take a deep breath and think about how the next person you meet could hold a world of knowledge that can aid you on your journey through life. I hope that fills you with excitement and gives you the ability and motivation to make the most out of each day.
Have a great week, Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
This is a simple recipe for your weekend, it is also to celebrate 3 events, my 50th blog post, World Vegan Month and finally my birthday on Sunday! WO0HOO!
I have always been a huge fan of Italian food and it is safe to say that the majority of my 140 kilo body back in 2013 was made of Pizza dough. If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen a couple of pictures of this recipe the other day. So here it is broken down for you to follow. Nice, healthy and more importantly it is a Vegan dish.
1 head broccoli
Handful of spinach
6 ripe tomatoes
1/2 punnet mushrooms
1 onion and three cloves garlic
1 bag of 'FreeFrom' Pasta Gluten and Dairy Free (you'll probably need to use half the bag, depending on how many people you are feeding.)
Fry some garlic and an onion in a saucepan chop the broccoli, asparagus and mushrooms up and add to the mix.
Grab 4 tomatoes throw them in a blender with a handful of spinach, a couple of mushrooms and half a cup of water. BLEND - Warning: it will look brown but that is okay!
Pour the sauce from the blender into the saucepan, add your last two whole tomatoes and simmer on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes while you cook your pasta. (I'm assuming that you know how to cook pasta....) The whole tomatoes will cook and then when you feel the time is right you can SQUASH them to spread the juiciness!
Season the sauce according to your taste, but all in all you'll have something fresh and easy to sink your teeth into.
If you are used to canned or other bolognese sauces and pasta with gluten you may be familiar with a bloated feeling after eating it. Well this recipe won't give you the bloaty belly! Unless you eat it all in one sitting and don't share... Remember, sharing is caring...
That is a wrap, I am by no means Gordon Ramsay, nor to I want to have the frown lines like he does. I often get into the kitchen and throw things together and hope they work, this one really did work for me and I hope it works for you!
Let me know in the comments if you like the idea of more recipes on the blog posts and I will look to do more in the future! Have a great weekend!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I grew up playing golf in Zimbabwe; it was such an awesome time of my life because I was surrounded by young golfers who wanted to make the most of being outside and having fun. I remember countless days; playing 36 holes, getting changed for prize giving super fast only to go out afterwards and make the most of the daylight on the putting green. Playing games against other kids for a bottle of coke or a few dollars until our parents dragged us home as the sun set on another day in Africa.
It was a time where dreams were played out in our heads, the putt for a coke was equal to a putt to win the Masters and put on the Green Jacket. Time changes things for most people, but for one person I know time hasn’t slowed his passion and excitement for the game.
Ryan Cairns, a Zimbabwean golfer, has just been invited to play in the Australian PGA Championship in December; which means he will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in the world! I played junior golf with Ryan and whilst there was always good course banter he was humble and friendly. He has carried that over into his professional career, and continues to post clips and stories on his Facebook page keeping the many people he knows informed of his journey, and in my case inspired!
Ryan has had his set backs and suffered an injured hand towards the beginning of the year, he has only just gotten his game back on track but has never lost hope in himself. I’m sure that he has had some dark days and the reason I found it pertinent to share his story with you is because he has never stopped putting the time in and working away at his goals. With support from his friends, family he has every chance to make 2016 the best season of his professional life, and I wish him the best. I hope you do too.
I’ll leave you with a snapshot of his post the other day, I hope it helps to motivate you this fine Monday to reach for your dreams! Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
“Before earning a tour card in 2007, I worked as a bag-room attendant for two years at a golf course which hosted the Australian PGA Championship every year. My days were spent cleaning player’s shoes, clubs and picking up range balls… I watched the players hitting shots over my head as I drove around collecting balls, imagining myself as one of them.
Today I received an email confirming that I'm going to be a player in the field of that same tournament…. There are many stories like this in the world of professional golf and this is by no means being written as a fairytale. I'm a journeyman pro, writing this in the hope that it reaches somebody who needs to know that it's okay to go through rough patches, as they will pass… So shake off the bad days, smile and keep showing up, as you never know which day this game is going to smile back at you.”
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.