GOOD NEWS! Im back! I’m fully connected to the world again. I took the whole week to disconnect from my phone and whilst it was a very liberating feeling it is probably something that I will never do again. Unless of course the world is taken over by Zombies or I decide to go and live in a forest and live off the land for the rest of my life.
The truth is that I realised a lot of things this week. The most important being that disconnected from the world is a tough thing to do.
I recorded a video for each day that I lived without my phone, I spliced the videos together and realised that the video is over 10 minutes long… That is a long time for me to be rambling on at you about how my week without a phone was. I know I’m a pretty funny guy at times but even 10 minutes is probably too long to hold people’s attention span.
(DROP A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU'D LIKE ME TO UPLOAD THE VIDEO)
To sum up my week:
I meditated 6 out of the 7 days (10 minutes each day.)
I read 5 out of 7 days (for no less that 20 minutes each day.)
I slept on average 8 hours per night (which is pretty good for me.)
I woke up once each night but fell back to sleep easily each time (without reaching for my phone.)
I had very strange dreams towards the end of the week (mostly about horses with rabies, I don’t know if horses can get rabies...)
I had an overwhelming urge to start smoking again (it started on Tuesday and wore off by Friday afternoon.)
The really good news is that I didn’t start smoking again, the most interesting thing that I realised as the week went on was that I wasn’t feeling as ‘ZEN’ as I thought I would feel. Sure, it was great to have a break from constant blog stats and notifications from different apps on my phone - but the feeling of disconnect was something that I wasn’t quite ready for.
I kept thinking that it would change but the further I got from wanting to have my phone on me, the more I became anxious about important things that I should be sorting out with by using my phone.
Simple situations arose during the week which warranted better planning, but ultimately making arrangements for this website and having to sift through emails at night within my one hour of computer time meant that there was actually too much to process after a long day at work. The more stuff I missed during the day the less I wanted to do in the evenings.
Granted I was doing a week of training in a classroom environment and swimming, which I haven’t done for a while so I really need to factor in the fatigue too. Nevertheless my perspective at the end of the week changed from the idea that phones are a bit of a nuisance to them being essential to a modern existence in a way.
It is really surprising how a few computer chips and a bit of aluminium with glass on the top can have such an impact on the way that we live our lives.
Over the week I realised I use my phone for:
And even TV...
The smoking cravings were by far and away the craziest feelings the whole week had to offer. I didn’t realise but back in 2013 when I quit smoking I used some of the money I saved to buy a new phone and a watch. I treated myself for good behaviour. The phone must have some way replaced my smoking habit by keeping my hands busy.
All in all I believe the experience was positive, it helped me realise that sometimes we need to create a little more reality and live a little less through our devices. My limited one hour of computer time meant that I had to find other things to fill my time, I spent it talking to family, reading and spending time with my thoughts.
I didn’t come away from the week feeling like I had just been on a retreat in Tibet for 3 years; in fact I realised halfway through the day on Sunday that I needed to switch the phone back on a little earlier than planned because I had to really get my act together for work this week.
We don’t all have to go to extremes when it comes to changing habits; I tend to go to extremes because when I get an idea in my head i find it very hard to let go of it. That speaks for itself when you look at my weight-loss story (read more here) but changing habits can be a gradual and very enjoyable process.
Whether your goal at the moment is to spend more time with family, lose weight, feel better, get space from technology or slow down to take stock of life then remember that balance is always the thing you should strive for.
I hope that this post has been helpful and I hope that you have a great week ahead!
Remember to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I've been out of touch, I've been a bit lost to say the least. Hence this blog post has come out on a Saturday morning instead of a Friday morning...
For those who don't know I am in the final days of my 7 day challenge without a phone.
It has been an interesting few days with old habits trying to fight their way back in. The feeling of disconnect with the world has been strong but is mostly gone now. I am now in more of a calm place with things, things have slowed down. You'll have to stay tuned for Monday's blog post to find out more!
The one thing and most important thing that I have realised about myself and about others these last few days is that we don't read much anymore. We scroll, scan and are very video focused.
I stared this blog for a number of reasons and what I want to get across to everyone is that reading is a huge part of life. It is where you can make serious progress in knowing yourself, learning about the world and slowing down to enjoy life in this information age.
In my challenge I have been reading for 20 minutes a day at a minimum. I listen to a lot of audio books too, but I can't this week because they are on my phone. So I went old school and it has been a very therapeutic way to spend my free time. (Without a phone there has been a lot of free time.)
Anyway, more on that topic on Monday, if you'd like to get notified about every blog post then fill out a form below and I'll even send you over a free recipe book ;-)
For now STAY STRONG and KEEP READING!
In the last 15 weeks I have embarked on a fitness program that is totally different to what I thought it would be. It has not only tested me physically and mentally but it also gave me the chance to train with other people and show them that they can push themselves beyond what they think is possible.
I feel like my whole life I have always been determined to be the best version of myself however I have not always had the focus to see things through. I feel like I will always be chasing my demons away, I will always be the fat kid in my mind. I will always be trying to push myself away from the days of cheeseburgers and cigarettes.
Over the last few days I have been asked a lot of questions about my “WHY”. Why have I put myself through a program that is 15 weeks long? Why have I decided to push my limits? Why did I decide on the Freeletics APP program instead of creating my own?
The answer is simple. I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself, to learn about myself and to be able to share that journey with others. (And if I am being honest writing my own program would have taken a lot of my time which I wanted to use for other things.)
My point being, whether you buy an online program or get 1-2-1 personal training it is up to YOU to make the commitments, to show up each day and to stick through the hard times. Push past your limits, YOU are the only one who can break them! There is only so much help people can give you before you have to take care of things yourself.
There have been multiple times over the last few weeks where I thought about stopping halfway through a workout and just going to bed. In fact a couple of weeks ago I had a huge double session in the plan. I started work at 6am, worked until 3pm, ate food and needed to be at a friends house for 5pm. I was tired, I was still hungry and was in no way ready for a crazy workout. This was the session I faced:
50 push ups
20 sit ups
By the time I had to leave for my friends house I still had the final 200 burpees to do. I was so tired that I wrote it off in my mind, “yeah, I’ll just do them tomorrow."
I got home and looked outside to see the sun setting, the garden was dry and I realised that there was no such thing as procrastination. It had to be done. I set a personal best that evening for 100 burpees in a row. (And that’s when I ruined the lawn.)
I’m not saying this to boast, I’m simply saying that we are far more capable than we give ourselves credit for.
Then there is the vanity side of things, who doesn’t want a six pack? I’m not going to lie that the thought of being ‘ripped’ or ‘shredded’ is appealing to me, but I also realise that’s not where life is won. Life is won when you understand that the legacy you leave behind is more important than anything else. Did you contribute to making the world a better place?
My mission statement for myself reads like this:
“To inject positivity into people’s lives and make the world a happier healthier place."
Some days I fail miserably at it, others I achieve it. And what I hope is that by sharing my journey with you I can inspire you to keep going, to be healthy, to live a happy life!
Now, enough of my rambling, if you’d like to see the results of the 15 weeks then check out the images below in the slide show, with the stats! If you have any questions about the process, my diet and anything in between then please send me an email through the contact form below and I’d be happy to help.
Have an awesome week ahead!
Don’t forget to Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Last week Friday I wrote about the balance in our lives; I shared a video with you about how to wind down after a long day. I also said at the end of the post that I would go for a whole week without my phone. So, I decided that next week is the week to do it and I have put together some ground rules for week itself...
(If you want to skip to the video at the end of the post I talk you through a little bit of what I am writing about here).
This might be a highly ambitious week, the main thing I want to understand is the impact that my device has had on my life. I can quite honestly say that if I wake up in the middle of the night I’ll reach for my phone to see the time, then if I have a notification….. Well, it goes down hill from there, next thing I have been browsing Facebook for 20 minutes in the middle of the night.
Granted back in 2012/13 I would have woken up and spent 20 minutes having a cigarette and a can of coke. So I feel I have made progress, but still, there has to be a better way! I will do a short video log of each day’s results and how I feel, so stay tuned. Normal blog posts will go up on Monday and Friday. Monday being the 15 week big reveal! Obviously I won’t be out of contact for the whole week as I will have an hour of computer time every day.
I truly believe that it is a great thing to have so much technology around us, helping us, entertaining us. I’d just like us all to be mindful of the affects that these advances have on our lifestyles. In order to be mindful it is imperative that I understand how exactly it is affecting me.
Wish me luck and if you'd like to share your thoughts, or if you have any questions then please pop a comment below.
Have a great weekend! Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
For the last 14 weeks I have been on a fitness program called Freeletics. I have been training 4 days a week following a set plan of body weight training exercises. I have also been making sure that my food intake has been good - I have not counted calories, I have not stuck to any 'diet' like juicing or keto or IIFYM (If it fits your macros). I have simply been training hard and eating good food.
You see when I train I need something to work towards; a set structure. Towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year I didn't have a program, I was just training what ever I wanted whenever I wanted.
I was eating well, eating healthy food but because my programming was non-existent my meals were all over the place. I was either eating too much in a day or too little in a day…. But I’m getting distracted from today's story now - I’ll write a post in more depth on my diet change in a few weeks.
At the end of March I realised that if I wanted to get back on track I’d need a program to follow. I had the Freeletics APP downloaded on my phone and rather than write a 3 month program for myself I thought I would pay someone else to do it for me. (I would strongly advise seeking postural and movement analysis as well as a consultation with a qualified trainer before jumping into any program).
Despite my transformation from 22 stone this was my starting point in April.
After the 1st week I thought things were going to be super easy. I breezed through the workouts and kept comparing them to the previous programs that I had done. Freeletics just didn’t seem to smash me the way others did… Or so I thought. By the 3rd week I knew that I was in for a journey; my body was changing again and it felt AWESOME!
I posted a video a couple of days ago where I had done 100 burpees in record time. Take a look at my post:
Needless to say I was disappointed at my counting skills and myself for not actually completing the set. I decided to go for it again… I got prepared, I got psyched up and even decided to do 5 extra burps to be on the safe side. I set up the video camera to make sure I captured every single movement..... Have I built up the suspense enough?
Well, I watched the video back (several times I might add) and when I counted the last burpee each time I got to 99.
99!!! I mean really? This is no joke I seriously thought things were going so well.
As I enter my final week, also known as HELL WEEK in the programming guide on the app I am acutely aware that I cannot count and that I still haven't managed to officially beat my personal best of 5.48 for 100 burpees.
This program has been fierce and has tested my mental resolve to no end, I officially have done more than 5000 burpees within the programming along with pull ups and all the other moves. It has been epic, fun and more importantly it has added more expereince to my journey.
There are two points to this anecdote today:
1. I hopefully have you excited to see the final 15 week picture next Monday!
2. Despite the fact that I have been faced with the hardest workouts I have ever done I still keep coming back for more. Yes I've had days where my body didn't want to work, but I did everything to push through it. I have learned to embrace the mental battle that each workout brings because it brings me closer to my ultimate goal... Of being Spiderman!
No but seriously, there is a massive cross over between fitness and life in general, if you can push yourself past what you believe you are capable in doing then other parts of life become less daunting.
I hope that you can take that on board this week and if you have any advice on how to improve my counting skills then I'd really appreciate it!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Today I thought I'd share a video from Brendon Burchard. He is yet another legend that shares an amazing name. (The first legend being me and the other legend is Brendan Fraser because he was really funny in the movie - George of the Jungle!)
I digress... The video below is fantastic because Brendon actually touches on things that I have written about before in terms of keeping a balanced life.
Remember the post about rest and recovery? Well, I basically said that there has to be balance for your body in order for you to live a healthy life. Exercise is really important but rest and letting the body recover is also extremely important.
There is a big push at the moment for us to be mindful of how technology is changing our lives and keeping our minds very active. Almost creating a culture of highly strung and information driven individuals who can't disconnect from things. So much so that we are becoming increasingly disconnected with the people in our immediate vicinity. Kind of ironic when you think about it.
I AM TERRIBLE WHEN IT COMES TO MY PHONE, I'm acutely aware of it. I feel like when I am alone my phone can be my best friend, I can look up anything, take pictures, browse Facebook, edit videos and even write blog posts... Oh yeah, and I can call people too, but who really calls people these days? :-)
I see it everywhere I turn and feel slightly reassured when I look around and other people are glued to their screens head forward and thumbs furiously typing away. With the odd selfie snap here and there we are the living manifestation of technological evolution.
It's no wonder we can't switch off at night - push notifications being public enemy number one when it comes to relaxation.
This conveniently loops me back to the video below where Brendon Burchard discusses some tips of how to wind down at the end of a day to get the most balance in your life.
If your brain is always going at 100 miles an hour then this might help you chill out and get some great rest.
I am going to do an experiment and I'd be very happy to hear your thoughts on it, I am going to document a whole week without a phone, that's a pretty big commitment for me. In fact thinking about it has made me wonder if i could survive it... Which is exactly why I want to do it! HAHA
I'll keep you posted on my plans but drop a comment down below if you have any thoughts on it. Enjoy the video and remember that my tips on here are food for thought.
You are the one in control of your life. I simply hope that I can help keep you entertained and mindful of your own health and well being.
In my opinion the best life is a balanced life with good exercise, a healthy diet and a decent amount of personal development.
Have a great weekend!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
I have a confession to make. Now, it might be lost on some of you that don’t know golf, but for anyone that does, well, you might shun me for saying this…. I really don’t like Gary Player. Now before you stop reading because you are either disappointed that I don’t like him or you actually have no idea who he is I will explain...
Gary Player is a South African professional golfer who grew up through some tough times, he faced adversity head on and took a leap that not many people would have done at that time in the world. He packed up his dreams, and his golf clubs, and set off with the little money he had to play professional golf and make something of himself.
He has won the grand slam of golf (all four majors), he has won 165 tournaments in total an has probably travelled more than any other sportsperson on the planet. Ever.
You might be asking yourself, what's not to like about him? I've met him twice and both times I was no wowed, he has the unique ability to be quite proud of his achievements and to me it comes across in the wrong way- now I may not like him but I damn sure respect him.
He is an example of grit and determination. He is an example of what can be achieved if you never give up on yourself. Some tournaments before he was famous he slept on the beach next to the golf course because he couldn't afford a hotel. He'd then wake up and train before playing; he was probably the first golfer to really focus on fitness as a part of his life, which is what has allowed him to win golf tournaments through 6 decades of his life. There are not many sports people that can do that these days.
I saw an interview with him recently where he said he wants to empower the youth today to, “eat properly, educate themselves and stay fit.”
His most famous quote in my opinion is, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get."
Two very good quotes that I can fully support, I believe that with the correct work ethic, the right nutrition and fitness regime we can create the life that we want for ourselves. Setting yourself up in a strong body with a strong positive mindset will bring things into your life that you might never have thought possible.
Although I don’t like Gary Player very much (and I highly doubt that he will ever read this) I believe there is a lot that can be learned from a man who has traveled the world countless times. He has had a relentless drive to be the best version of himself and he has lived a life that he is truly happy with.
I don’t know about you but that sounds like the exact happiness that I would like to feel when I am 80.
Never limit your potential, never tell yourself that there is a ceiling to your acheivements.
The moment you do that a world of opportunities will open up for you!
Have a great week ahead!
Stay strong and keep moving!
Watch this interview for more on Gary Player
Over the last few weeks I have been running several fitness classes, in every class I have tried to get each person to focus on two simple things.
There are a multitude of reasons for this which I’ll get into in a little bit. For now i’ll tell you a little story about the picture below.
I have always had a postural issues with my back, the technical term is hyper-kyphosis, it is something that I am extremely conscious about and I have not really covered in the blog so far. I believe that this posture stems from a lot of things, but probably compounded through golf and incorrect training methods over the years. I feel like I make an interesting case study for myself as I get to try techniques an learn a lot along the path of fixing myself.
For a long time, actually up until last year really I was paranoid about wearing any kind of T-Shirt or vest, I hated the way they felt and the fact that my back was noticeably round when wearing them. I always preferred wearing a polo shirt or golfing top because the collar just felt safer. This again was compounded by the psychological battering I took having the nickname Quasimodo growing up. There were plenty of other nicknames too but we’ll save those for another time.
I decided that the only way forward was to face my demons full on, tackle the postural issue once and for all. I got referred through my doctor to a physiotherapist about 2 years ago. She was not very helpful because I wasn’t actually in any pain and so I was told to pursue any issues privately. I decided to go and see a chiropractor who told me I was all bent out of shape.
Lots of money later I had a better understanding of how deep my pockets were and also the techniques I could use to strengthen my back. Slowly but surely with the right techniques I was able to get the result that you have seen in the picture above. A better looking posture over the golf ball for one, but a better posture in general.
So this leads me back to the start of the blog post:
You can tell a lot about a person through their posture, not just about their fitness level or their structural make up, but about the way their mind works too.
With that said there is a whole lot more to the holistic benefit of good posture that goes beyond fitness and into every day life. If you’d like to know more about this then put some feedback into the form below and I will contact you to set up a chat. In the mean time I hope that this information has been helpful.
Have a great weekend ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Have you ever had a todo list where things just never seem to get done? No matter how much you think you have to do them you just seem to end up pushing things over to the next day, and the next day…
(Yes that’s right, I’m cool and I talk in hash tag language now.)
I’ve had a couple things on my list since I re-launched this site. The biggest one was to categorise all my blog posts. That might not sound like a huge task but it literally took me a whole day, going through each post and editing the tags. Hence today’s blog post is slightly different; I have not put together an inspiring post for you Monday but don’t be sad because if you click on the link below you’ll be transported through cyberspace to a page that holds all the inspirational and motivational Monday posts that I have ever written! Can I get a woop woop?
The second big thing on my list is a CALL TO ACTION! That’s right, I’m calling on you as you read this blog; have a think about a story from your life that you’d like to share. (Ideally it needs to be fitness/ sport related.) If you are unsure what I mean about a story to share then go back to the link above and read about some of the amazing people out in the world. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has a story to tell, something inspirational something that will make other people realise just how amazing they are! Let’s face it we are all pretty awesome, and I don’t mean that sarcastically, I mean it genuinely - we are amazing creatures!
Now is your chance to put your thinking cap on, it doesn’t have to be a life story it could just be an anecdote. And if you are not quite ready to share your story yet then maybe you have a friend who would like to share theirs? All that needs to happen is for someone to fill out the contact form below to start a dialogue with me. :-)
Now, I trust that you will follow my example this fine Monday; complete the outstanding things on your todo list as a priority this week and you’ll immediately feel accomplished! You’ll have a victory under your belt and be able to hold your head high! Remember, the smallest victories are still a win, so celebrate them!
Have a fantastic week ahead!
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
At the beginning of 2012 I was a rather large and very angry person.
I remember one day very vividly... I woke up, got changed, had a morning cigarette and a coffee, then I waddled my way down the street to the doctor's surgery. I was very nervous about what the doctor was going to say and I really didn't want to walk, it was only about 2 minutes from where I was living at the time; but any form of exercise filled me with dread.
Despite my extreme lack of energy and the fact that I snuck in another cigarette just before walking through the doors (you know to catch my breath after a long walk) I felt at ease when I saw a chair free in the waiting room where I could prop myself up against the wall and zone out.
With sweat starting to glisten on my forehead and the reality that one chair was actually not enough space for me I began my wait for the doctor. I had been off work for a week and was feeling rather rubbish, in fact it was hard to remember a time back then when I had felt amazing and full of energy. Every day seemed like a fight for the next seat, to take the weight off my feet.
I ended up waiting about 30-40 minutes past my appointment time and there was still no word on when I was next or any kind of apology.
I was fuming! Angry that I couldn't leave and go for a cigarette in case my name was called, angry that I couldn't eat and angry for being kept waiting. I got so angry I decided to tell Facebook all about my situation. Check out this picture below...
WOW! Reading that through again made my eyes water with embarrassment, in 2012 I really did wish some terrible things on people that were merely trying to do their jobs.
When I did eventually get to the see the doctor I was greeted with the words, 'You look terrible.'
Not the most comforting sentence in the world, but by the end of the appointment I was signed off work for extremely high blood pressure. I was also sent off for blood tests, where I had to wait in another room for over an hour. It was okay though because that was a slightly longer walk. plenty of time to smoke and on the way back I got to stop and have some Pringles. That is funny because it is true. It was the little things like that which made my day seem less painful. Living from snack to snack or cigarette to cigarette.
What's the point of this story?
Well, it is safe to say the ranting is not one of my finer moments in life, especially since I was in that situation because of my lifestyle and lack of fitness. The only person I should have been angry with that day was myself. The other thing I learned was that I was putting a lot of hate and anger (negative energy) out into the world at the time.
I sometimes look back through my old posts on social media and I can't believe how miserable and angry I was. Sure, I was not in a very healthy phase of my life, but I must have been a really horrible person to be around. And at the time it got me NOWHERE.... All the ranting in the world couldn't get me out of the hole that I had dug myself.
My posts and general attitude in life has completely flipped around since that time, I put a lot of thought into things that I publish online and I try to be happy and positive when I'm around other people because I know first hand that negativity can be contagious.
My life is not all rainbows and butterflies though and I'm not trying to say that you should be fake, I'm simply suggesting that we should highlight the goodness in our lives and in the world because we ALL need it at this time.
I hope that in sharing that story you can have a chuckle and remember that we are all guilty of those negative thoughts at times. We are all guilty of blaming others for our own issues, but more importantly we all have to power to change the situation that we are in and adopt a more positive approach to life.
This weekend let's think about the way in which we present ourselves to the world, Let's go into the next week feeling good! Let's start a hashtag trend - #ENDTHERANTING
Have a great day.
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Get Updates, Fitness Tips and More! Subscribe to the Raw Motion Fitness Blog!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.