Friday Fitness

The team at 7connections have been getting me back into some good habits recently, one of which was to start asking existing clients for testimonials for the difference that we make – hence Testimonial Tuesday will become a regular blog feature.
Fitness Friday will be another and I was tickled pink when a testimonial came in earlier this week as follows:

The girls say the moment of truth was finding out you are 60 and look 40, they realised that they have to live healthier or will look old quickly

That wasn’t what I asked for – but none the less a lovely moment for me.
On the subject of fitness, many years ago I heard someone express a balanced approach to personal self-care as a combination of:

  • nutrition – eating and drinking the right stuff
  • exercise – simple aerobics
  • flexibility – stretching
  • sleep – enough of it and of the right quality

So if I’m to create a bit of a series here – I don’t want to make people who don’t like sport feel uncomfortable – its not about “when are you going to sign up for a marathon or get to the gym?”
There are just some simple steps that we all can take that have the possibility of improving your experience of life.
So lets start with nutrition.
I hate, hate, hate dieting – it makes me miserable and irritable.
I love, love, love eating and drinking – both privately in the intimacy of my own home (often watching TV) and socially with family, friends, clients and colleagues.
Over the years, my capacity to eat and drink have been counter-balanced by running – my first pair of trainers went on in 1978 and I’ve been a constant jogger ever since, first marathon in 1997 and my 18th marathon a few weeks ago.
So the food and drink went in – and the miles on pavement and cross-country used up the calories – result.
Until about 5 years ago when two things happened:

  1. this classic car called my body started to wear out and break – resulting in long periods of injury and abstention from training
  2. even when I did train, for some reason my weight kept on increasing – that’s called getting older

I’ve been around 11 stone forever – and the “tipping point” came in early 2011, when I hit the scales as 12 st 10lbs and was disgusted with my holiday snaps from the British Virgin Islands (vanity).
Later that year, to make matters worse I was diagnosed as suffering from fallen arches (now rectified with permanent orthotics – miraculous and thank you to my podiatrist) – the training fell away again and I knew that Houston had a problem.
It was a chance conversation in Costa Coffee, Hale with dentist, client and friend Roy Bennett that led me to Paleo nutrition and The Devany Diet (which isn’t a diet) – and a somewhat desperate decision to “give it a try”.
Simply by changing what I eat (without any reduction in my capacity to fill my face and with NO exercise at all), my weight reduced over three months back down to 11st.
In fact – I started heading down below that and family/friends called me to account as I became too thin.
Now I stick to Paleo 90% of the time and enjoy the occasional sinful meal- but not very often.
I am not OCD about it (you can’t be when you are a road warrior) and do not follow the programme like a religion. Some of the web sites and blogs on the subject are way too fundamentalist for me.
I’m also guilty as hell of LOVING alcohol and drink far too often – but the trainers are back on nowadays and I think I’m burning off most of the “bad”.
My simple man’s version of Paleo is easy to remember:
YES to meat, fish, fowl.
YES to vegetables, fruit, nuts.
NO to spuds, bread, pizza, pasta.
NO to dairy (not in the book but dropping milk and milk-based products for soya has made a positive difference).
Can I remind you – 90% of the time – so if you spot me at BACD next week with any or all of the aforesaid vanishing down my gullet – don’t start that “I thought you said………” malarkey.
Changing my nutrition truly has changed my life for the better – and I never go hungry.
Now – I’m off to breakfast – a fry up, of course.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.