"You know what this is, don't you? asked my doctor in a smarmy tone as if to say how in the name of God wouldn't I know.
"Um, no?" I replied, thinking to myself, I wouldn't be here if I did know.
"You've got shingles" he told me as he rubbed his hands over the bumpy rash. Call me naive but I really didn't have a clue what shingles were at the time. To my mind they were on the same scale as HIV. Trying to hold it together, I calmly asked him, how we're going to fix it.
In the end I took none of the doctor's advice (bad boy). Instead, I went home, took a two week break from the gym, did a juice detox for 2 days and just improved my diet overall. He told me it would last at least a month, but probably longer. I already had the problem a week when I met him, and it lasted just one more.
You're next question is this; how did you get over shingles that quickly. Shingles is usually caused by stress or a breakdown of your immune system. There are of course other reasons but mine for definite was a high amount of stress on my body through training, eating huge amounts of food to build more muscle and not really having much down time. With that in mind, wouldn't it make perfect sense to overcome shingles by reversing the stress on my body? Of course it would. Forget your antiviral medications and forget your pain killers.
Not working out gave my body a chance to recuperate. Juicing gave my organs an opportunity to recover from the onslaught they had been experiencing over the past few months. No food was a blessing to me, I can only imagine how nice it must have been for my organs. Juicing also helped to fill my body with nutrients which would of course help to overcome any stress and boost my immune system again.
One week later I'm good as new. Come at me world. Nah, next up was a trapped nerve in my neck. Jesus that was horrific. It's like a crick in your neck except it goes the whole way down your shoulder and arm. Oh, and it never lets up. I genuinely think I went about three whole weeks without doing any real work, without working out and without giving a toss about anything.
I'll bet you can relate right?
You're getting bored aren't you? I'll get to the point.
I hated life for giving me shingles and I hated it even more for messing with my neck. I was on the road to some insane muscle growth and it all stopped. Thinking back though, I'm glad these two things came on me. Here's why;
It gave me an opportunity to start panicking about my business. It gave me an opportunity to really think to myself about where I wanted both my business life and my personal life to go. Since then, everything has turned around. My energy is insanely high. I don't need naps in the middle of the day anymore. I'm eating so much better. I'm making progress in the gym again but my health is back as my number one priority.
Last but not least, I've set in motion a few key steps that will make my business explode over the next couple of months.
Here's what I've done to help get my energy back on track, boost my mood and get my attitude right. You can have all the ideas in the world, but if your attitude isn't right you may as well be smacking your head against a brick wall.
#1 Get Up and Get Working EARLY
I sucked it up and got out of bed earlier. This was a God awful experience. I was out of the habit and there's nothing more appealing at 5.30am than your warm duvet.. Regardless I got up. Here's my morning routine.
5.30-5.40 Stretch and crack my back (the kettle is boiling and my laptop is booting up in the meantime)
5.40-5.45 Large glass of water and I pour a boiling hot mug of peppermint tea.
5.45-7.00 I write. I give myself a little over an hour to write.
This sets me up for an incredibly productive day simply because my attitude is right. I got out of bed, and got working. Now I've got something to show for my efforts.
It's not good enough to simply wake up early. You MUST get something done. This something MUST make your life better in some way. Another option could be to head to the gym.
This will have a surprising effect on your energy. That positive energy from getting up and being productive first thing in the morning makes a huge difference to your overall energy and attitude.
#2 Your first meal is crucial.
I avoid carbs first thing in the morning. Tons of research has shown that those eating a breakfast high in protein and fat results in greater energy levels throughout the day, more mental clarity and above all a better life. An example would be meat, veg and nuts. Here's what I ate yesterday.
Your goal should be to keep your blood sugar levels more balanced first thing in the morning. Eating carbs first thing in the morning will drive your blood sugar up which in turn will set you up for constant fluctuation throughout the day meaning your energy will be all over the place. Aim for steady fluctuations in blood sugar. You'll achieve this by eating a meal loaded with protein and fat.
#3 Avoid Wheat & Gluten
What would you say if i told you that 1 slice of bread spikes your blood sugar more than 1 teaspoon of table sugar? Nuts, right? That's what wheat can do to you. Blood sugar aside, here are some other gems I'll bet you didn't know about gluten and wheat?
Studies show that approx. 80% of the population has an intolerance to gluten.
I'm going to keep this as simple as possible, mainly because I barely understand it myself. Here goes; gliadin, one of the main problem-causing proteins in gluten forces your body to release antibodies against it. Here's where things get tricky, the inflammatory effect of gluten in your gut can cause leaky gut which in turn is likely to lead to a host of other bacterial issues in your blood stream. Next up, is a ton of nutritional deficiencies which can lead to autoimmune disease.
Hardly a big deal though, right?
Try 14 days wheat and gluten free and tell me you don't feel a million times better?
#4 Coffee has Got to Go
That's blasphemy. Ignore that I said that.
Look, coffee is one of life's guilty pleasures. My taste buds long for its smooth, creamy taste. You really do need to limit it though. You might think, coffee has no effect on your body. You're immune to it right? Trust me, you're not. 1-2 cups per day is your quota. You hear? Try to cut caffeine after lunch to guarantee you get a high quality sleep.
My own addiction had me drinking up top 6 cups a day. Boy did I miss it. Now I usually have one mid-morning before heading to the gym. It took a week or so but I got used to it and to be frank, i prefer not having a crude taste on my breath hours later. Oh, and for some strange reason, my energy isn't low anymore? I feel great. I don't need a pick me up. Most likely because my body is actually giving me energy itself rather than relying on fake energy and of course I'm definitely sleeping better. Who'd have thought?
Give these 4 lifestyle hacks a try. I'll bet they have an even bigger effect on your own life.