__Look after yourself!
I will never forget that day in 2004: My wife and I had taken our kids on a brief holiday in the Drakensburg Mountains of South Africa. It was not expensive but it was a great place to be. Family holidays are important, and it does not have to be overseas; just visit somewhere in your own country a few times a year.
Anyway, as we went up some stairs, one of my girls asked me to carry her on my back. When I got to the top of the (small) flight of stairs, I was covered in sweat and almost passed out! I checked later with my doctor and he said I was “overweight and in need of exercise!"
Then he said: “Your blood pressure is high for your age and if you carry on like that, you will not see that daughter of yours graduate!”
I vowed never to let that happen! This was not a hard decision for me at the time, but it meant I had to change my #HealthMindset.
I first joined a gym and also bought a treadmill which I put next to the shower. (I would not let myself shower before doing some exercise). I learnt that daily exercise is important. I now watch TV at home whilst walking on a treadmill.
When I travel, I choose a hotel with a gym, and I go there daily. Sometimes it's nothing more than a brisk walk on the treadmill. What matters is consistency and routine. Over the years, I have invested in my own home gym. I'm disciplined, as you know. If I start something, I must stick with it consistently.
I also decided to change my diet: I reduced the amount of meat I ate, and cut out things like sunflower cooking oil (preferring olive oil). I taught myself to eat fish, which wasn't easy because I come from a beef country.
I moved to vegetables and fruit. I’m a nut fan because they help me deal with binge eating. No crisps and sweets.
I don’t eat large amounts of carbohydrates like potatoes (including chips), maize meal, rice, bread and pizzas. The biggest contributor to uncontrollable weight gain for me has always been carbohydrates. (I last ate chips and pizza in 2004!)
I’m very, very conscious about what I eat and drink. I do not eat fast foods... My favorite drink is water.
The weight tumbled off my body. Within months I reduced by several kilos and I have maintained this weight almost since 2004. (I cannot say if this will work for you, everybody is different, but it did for me!)
Now exercise and eating properly are extremely important to ward off disease and sickness, but they are not enough...
You need regular check-ups! This falls into the category of "urgent and important, so make the time," if you've been following this #HardDecisions series.
No matter how busy my schedule is, once a year, I go for a proper check-up. It is your sacred duty (particularly if you're doing something high pressured like running a business of any size) to go for an annual check-up, even if you run 10 km per day, because there are diseases out there that don’t care about your fitness! These days most diseases are treatable or (if chronic) they are manageable, if you catch them quickly enough.
Finally, use any technology which helps you monitor and manage your health. When senior executives of global companies chat with their friends now, the top discussion topic is not sport, but health and well-being! We love to compare notes on things like fitness devices and Apps!
I wear a fitness device on my wrist permanently. I now use the ADA Health App, which is being promoted by Cumii. It is a very clever German-designed artificial intelligence (AI) app which does symptom checks. It is not a substitute for a doctor, but can help you get to one if you need to! If you want to check it out, go to: https://app.adjust.com/o6y2xav
Important: I have shared my own personal health experiences here. As always, you must do your own research into what's right for you, including talking to an expert health professional. Take the time!
High performance requires great health and well-being! It’s a “no-brainer,” as they say in South Africa! And if you have young kids, it is never too early to start with healthy food and habits (including before the child is born!)...
Now what choices do you make each day to try to stay healthy? Let's talk.
To be continued.