Over the past six years, I have remained totally unaffected by colds, flu and stomach bugs (or anything else, for that matter). This happened, despite coming into regular direct contact with numerous sick people. At first, I didn’t realise what was happening, but – after a while – I realised that I simply wasn’t getting sick as per usual.
A year went by … then two. Slowly, a pattern was developing.
I found it very strange that I wasn’t getting sick. Up until April 2014, it was a certainty that I would get numerous colds each year and flu at least once … mostly twice. The stomach bug also visited like clockwork. Headaches were common. Everyone I know goes through the same ordeal each year. They all get colds, flu, headaches and the stomach bug. It is just part of life … as are taxes. Right?
I last had flu in April 2014 … and it was a bad one. For one week, I was out for the count. That was nothing strange for me. I remember the year before that, I lost 3kg within one week due to a severe bout of flu. I was very unhealthy and unfit at the time, which contributed to the severity of the infections.
That was my physical appearance from 2006 up to April 2014. I was severely overweight and not a shadow of my former self. Simple things, like tying my shoelaces, became a mission. My stomach was in the way. Walking up stairs was painful and demanding. My knees hurt and I was out of breath when I got to the top. I moved and felt like an old man. Apart from constantly getting infected by colds, flu and the tummy bug, I also suffered from very painful gout. At one stage, it was so bad that I could barely walk. I was in severe pain and discomfort.
Being as unhealthy as I was, my erections were very weak.
That’s never a good thing for a man to experience.
Apart from all of the above, my body also rebelled against my unhealthy lifestyle by developing psoriasis. I developed ugly and itchy rashes all over my body. I felt uncomfortable even while sleeping.
I had such an issue with my overweight appearance that I tried to avoid going out in public, unless it was really necessary.
I became reclusive.
My wife at that time told me to accept that I am older and to make peace with the idea that I can never again look as good as I did in my earlier years. Those words sounded like a depressing jail sentence to me. I was horrified. To me it seemed that her insecurities would prefer that I remain overweight, unhealthy and unappealing to other women. In my mind, love meant that you wanted your partner to be the best version of himself/herself … and we should encourage and support them to be just that.
That’s my idea of real love.
I strongly disagreed with her statement. I believed that anyone could look as good or better in their forties and fifties than they did in their twenties and thirties.
I knew why I looked and felt as I did. I was the one to blame.
I was the one who always had too much too eat. Having seconds, even when I was already full, was normal to me. I was the “go to guy” to help empty out pots. I lived to eat…. I did not eat to live. I had zero control over myself.
I was the one who stuffed my face with chocolates, deserts and cakes almost on a daily basis. If there were chocolates, deserts or any sweet treats in the house, I would find it and finish it. There was no “keeping for tomorrow.” My family knew they had to hide their chocolates and sweets from me … yet I still managed to find their stash.
I was the one who didn’t do any exercise. I was a fitness freak until 2006, but then completely lost my way until April 2014, while I was involved with my ex wife. She is not to blame … I lost my focus, drive and passion in life. It was all my own doing. I made the choices, I did. I placed myself in the situations, I did.
I was the one who didn’t appreciate my body and have the pride and discipline to look after it. I neglected the two most important things any person can ever have … body and health. Luckily, I was never a smoker or a drinker.
It was way easier to just let myself go, than look after myself.
As a result, I was desperately unhappy within my skin. I was married to the wrong person and struggling financially. I was unhealthy, uncomfortable and unfulfilled. I knew there was more to life than to waste it like I was doing. I was disgusted with myself and what I had become.
I knew I had to make drastic changes if I wanted to lead the happy and fulfilled life I dreamt of.
Thats what I did.
The first thing I changed, was to get rid of the person I was married to. She was not good for me in any way. It was not easy to walk out on her while I was struggling financially, but once I realized what I had to do to change my life for the better, I boldly went for it … and never looked back.
It was noticeable that my finances improved dramatically within a short period of time after I had parted ways with her. Being rid of her negative and toxic energy, I could flourish again. This reinforced to me that I had taken a step in the right direction to take my life back.
At that time, I heard much talk on the radio about a new book of which Dr. Tim Noakes was a co-author. I was a huge fan of Dr. Noakes … and when I heard about the book, I went out to buy a copy simply because I trusted and respected him (even though I have never met him).
The Real Meal Revolution was the name of the book and it promoted the Banting lifestyle. If I am not mistaken, it is similar to the Keto lifestyle.
After I bought a copy, I didn’t waste time in reading it from end to end.
The book was life changing.
The simple logic resonated with me.
Only consume real and fresh foods and drinks.
Adopt a permanent healthy lifestyle.
Take note of the word lifestyle. Diets don’t work, period.
Become physically active … even if you only go for a walk a few times per week.
As simple as that.
Had this book promoted an unsustainable and illogical diet, I would not have bought it.
This book promoted a permanent change in lifestyle … a sustainable, simple and logical approach to becoming healthy and then to stay healthy.
The book contained a Green list, an Orange list and a Red list. The Green list contained all the foods and drinks you could freely consume. The Orange list contained foods and drinks you should consume with caution. The Red list contained foods and drinks you should never consume.
The day after I read the book, I went into the kitchen and cleared my grocery cupboards of all the items listed in the Red list. I filled six large grocery bags with pastas, sugar, cereal, rice, sweets, cookies, flour, bread, etc. These were basically all the items you will find in the middle aisles of a grocery store … in other words, pre-packaged and artificial stuff full of preservatives.
Moses, my garden worker, could not believe his luck when I gave him six grocery bags stuffed with the food I no longer wanted in the house. On top of that, I also gave him a large, unopened, bag of potatoes.
That dude could not stop smiling.
The only items that remained in the house, were those on the Green and Orange lists. From that day onwards, I avoided the middle aisles of the grocery shops and only bought items listed in the Green and Orange lists.
Fast food shops became absent in my life. They simply held no attraction for me anymore. KFC, McDonald’s and their kind simply seized to exist for me. I did not long for them … in fact, I would have felt embarrassed to be seen at places like that. They were reduced to junk status in my mind.
My daughter and I taught our bodies to become used to less and less sugar in our coffee and tea, until we were totally sugar free. Today, I cringe with disgust if I taste just half a spoon of sugar in coffee or tea. I don’t buy sugar … I don’t use sugar for anything … in my mind, it is pure poison.
From that day in late April 2014, I started eating only two meals per day … and I still do to this very day.
My breakfasts changed from cereals to bacon and eggs … or sausage and eggs … or patties and eggs. I will never have more than 150g to 200g portions of bacon, sausage or patties … and no more than three eggs per day. With that, I will have a tomato and a few slices of cucumber … or my favourite, avocado.
Being a coffee snob, I brew myself four cups of good quality filter coffee (grounded beans) every morning … and that is it for the day. No more than that. No sugar, of course. I won’t ever touch instant coffee.
That keeps me full until supper. If I do feel hungry, I will have a handful of nuts or fatty biltong (dried meat). I sometimes also have an apple or a banana.
Important to note, that I don’t peck and nibble at all. I have two structured meals per day and a lunch-time snack (only when really hungry). That’s it.
Two litres of clean water a day is non-negotiable. It helps greatly with hunger pains … apart from giving you a youthful and healthy appearance. Water simply makes you feel healthy inside and out.
By 4pm or 5pm, I am ready for exercise. At first, I just walked around the neighbourhood, because I was very unfit. After a while I started jogging slowly and only for short distances.
At first I regularly looked for any excuse imaginable to skip exercise. The trick was to keep my focus by reminding myself where I wanted to be. I knew I had to stop postponing and making excuses. I realised change would only come if I persisted in taking small steps in the right direction every single day. I had to keep going until it became a habit. When it did, it became something I looked forward to every day. My sacred time. The highlight of my day. Once my mind became programmed that 5pm to 7pm is exercise time, I struggled to do anything else during that time.
For supper, I will have a good quality protein (fish, chicken, red meat or pork) in not more than 150g to 200g portions, with lots of fresh and clean veggies.
I will then have one or two cups of tea every evening. Need I say, no sugar?
To this very day, my meals and days are structured in this way, no matter where I find myself on my travels. It really works for me. I only eat until I am satisfied … never more. I now eat to live … not live to eat.
I must add that a totally plant based diet would probably also reap the same rewards. I am not promoting a vegan or non-vegan lifestyle. I am merely stating what has worked for me from my own experience. I am currently looking into the vegan lifestyle and might go that route at some stage.
When I am visiting friends or family, I choose what I will eat or drink. If the choices are all bad, I will politely decline. I am in control. I really have developed a repulsion towards unhealthy foods that can offer me nothing, but an unhealthy body and a lethargic feeling.
When I am in a coffee shop, I choose not to eat the little cookie or sweet treat I get with each cup. I want to … but I don’t. Micro decisions … Macro results.
Of course it is critically important to have one day per week when I simply switch off and relax. On that day, I will have sweet treats … and sometimes even a cheat meal. I also don’t exercise on that day. I have become so disciplined that I don’t overindulge on the cheat days. I will have a chocolate and a piece of cake (sometimes two) and I will savour and enjoy them … but once they are gone, I will immediately turn my focus back to my healthy lifestyle.
I find that I prefer the Banting meals to the cheat meals … even on cheat days. They are just so tasty and filled with energy and goodness that my body does not crave anything else….
Discipline, focus and willpower are what I have developed. I am in control of my mind, body and the choices I make. Food is no longer in control of me. My body has become my temple and I only feed it with good and healthy stuff.
Today, I am super fit and healthy. I do crossfit and find it absolutely addictive. The amazing thing is that I look better … feel better … am more healthy … am stronger … and have more energy than ever before in my life.
At age 54, I am only getting better, fitter and stronger with each passing day.
Tells a story, doesn’t it?
On top of that, I have not been sick in any way since April 2014 up to this very day. Six years and counting.
No tummy bugs.
No gout attacks.
No psoriasis flare ups.
My erections are again as strong as can be. Happy days.
I maybe get two very light headaches per year (mostly when I buy a cooked meal that’s slightly off), but two disprins later and they are gone within thirty minutes.
Lucky, you say?
I beg to differ.
Healthy is the word.
Remember, I used to be very susceptible to colds, flu, headaches, nausea and the like. I was unhealthy inside and out. It all changed when I chose to be in control of myself and to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Your body reacts to what you consume. You are what you eat, period. Your body will either rebel or reward you depending on your eating and drinking habits … and whether you are physically active or not.
It really is so simple….
It is noteworthy to mention that I was also very fit and in shape up to 2006, BUT I did get the regular colds and flu’s like everyone else. Like most of my current friends, I was in great shape, but did get sick every year.
What is the difference between then and now?
Why did I get sick then, but not now?
The answer is very simple.
Back then, many of the items on the Red list were part of my daily diet. I lived on pastas, rice, potatoes, fruit juices and all their evil brothers and sisters. I also had about two fast food take away meals every week. KFC and McDonald’s knew me well. The moment I changed what I consumed from Red list rubbish to only real and fresh foods, I stopped getting sick.
I also have not had a flu injection for the past ten years….
My imune system simply became superior, because I am healthy from the inside out. I hug and touch people infected with flu and colds, but I simply do not get infected at all.
Your results may differ from mine, but I guarantee you that you will become a totally different person (in a very good way) if you simply choose to only put simple, healthy and fresh foods and drinks into your body. A lot of the issues or discomfort you currently may be experiencing, will disappear like mist before the sun, guaranteed.
Eat to live … don’t live to eat.
You have one life … treasure it.
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