Happy birthday to me – and the start of a 52-day detox

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.

James A Michener

Well I never – after a superb weekend with our friends Willie and Xandra Maceachen (down from Edinburgh) – 66-years completed today and I’ll be “celebrating” with a normal day in The Barrow Bunker – loads of emails to answer and tasks to complete (plus one coaching call this morning).

At some stage today there will be another 45-minute session on the Watt Bike, and after a busy Bunker Day, a quiet evening at home.

My friends in Australia and India ensured a happy 05:00 start to my day with some lovely messages – and for those that declaim the ‘dark side” of Facebook – it is a modern-day miracle that birthday wishes can arrive from around the globe.

It seems that time has flown by since a year ago, when I was starting day 2 of that thousand mile bike ride with Sheila, Ashley, Les and Simon and enjoying an impromptu party in a glorious Devon pub.

On which point, after a year that has been marked by sports injury, I’m not as fit as I was in 2019 and now is the time to really get my head around regaining my former levels of exercise, nutrition and sleep.

I rather half-heartedly made a start on 1st September but knew that my birthday weekend was to be one of enjoyable excesses. Now that party is over, tomorrow (10th September) I’m going to fire the starter pistol on a 52-day detox that will take me through to a cottage holiday we have booked in early November.

Sometimes we need to make a public declaration and ask our community to hold us accountable – so that’s my birthday request to you, dear reader.

Let me define my detox:

  • No alcohol;
  • Low/no carbs – getting back to Paleo – no bread, potato, pasta, rice. Lots of protein and vegetables.;
  • One day off per week (Saturday).

I’m still weighing in at around 12st 4lbs (78 kilo) this morning and my target is to get that back down to 11st, whilst giving my body a good clean out after the summer.

If you fancy following me along, my intention is to post daily on Facebook with details of my nutrition and a weekly report on my weight.

Why? That will keep me accountable and on track.

It will help me to achieve my goal and further improve my return to fitness – ready to take on some new challenges in 2020.

Today – it’s my birthday – I’ll be working, playing – I’m always doing both – and I’ll be counting my blessings.



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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.