An area of significant interest to me is health and wellness. My passion in this area has come about due to my own health struggles and the long-term improvements I have been able to make as a result of focused effort. I believe that I can discuss this subject with some authority as I have made meaningful changes in my life that have had a positive impact on my own health and wellness. I am confident that I can share what I have learned to help others. My aim is not just to share knowledge and information from the qualifications that I have achieved, but also what I have learned through experience. I appreciate that knowledge alone rarely gives anyone sufficient motivation to make lasting change and that the real challenge is in developing an empowered mindset.
In this section, I am going to share my own health and wellness story because I want you to know that I understand the emotional (and even physical) pain that can be experienced when you don’t look and feel as good as you believe you can. Most people are unhappy with certain elements of their health, whether it be their weight, their fitness, or even lifestyle habits that they feel unable to break, such as smoking, over-eating, or excessive drinking.
I am not some fitness guru who has never struggled with his weight and has never made a poor food choice. I am not a naturally gifted athlete, who is unable to see things from the perspective of others. I am just an ordinary person who has struggled with his weight, has been a smoker and a drinker and has not always done what is best for his body!
I have personally walked the path that I want to help and encourage other health conscious individuals to walk. Everyone’s goals differ, but what I have learned is that the process for achieving success is the same. Believe it or not, I have actually walked this path twice and so I know that what I aim to share really does have the power to work for anyone! The first time I made significant changes to my health and wellness, I wasn’t consciously aware of what I was doing or how I did it. The second time I modelled what had worked for me previously and kept a conscious record of how I achieved my goals. This is what I am able to offer to others.
Here is my health and wellness story (a modified excerpt from ‘The Complete Health Toolkit’ by Andrew Smith):
My Health and Wellness Story
Andy the Student
At the age of 18 I went to University to study Mechanical Engineering and for the first time in my life I experienced true independence. At the time I thought it was great! I was able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was able to drink and smoke as often as I liked and if I didn’t want to do any exercise or sports then I didn’t feel as though I had to! I could stay up late every night and do exactly as I pleased!
I had a great time in my first year at University, but from what I have described, I am sure you can appreciate that my health and wellness suffered and my weight began to creep up! In fact, at the end of that first year at University I discovered first-hand exactly how someone looks and feels when they are obese! I almost remember to the day the moment my body mass index (BMI) indicated that I was no longer just overweight, instead I had become obese!
I would like to have been able to tell you that this was the point where I decided to change. Deep down I wanted to, but having fun just seemed to be more important. I did start exercising and my weight did stabilise, but I was unable to shift the weight that I had previously gained. I couldnt understand it! I was eating a slightly healthier diet, I was exercising 3 times per week and I only drank alcohol 2 or 3 times per week! Surely I was doing enough to lose weight! Perhaps this sounds familiar.
I stayed at or around that weight for the next 2 years, seemingly unable to lose weight. I still exercised but got disheartened as my body shape never seemed to change. So, guess what happened next? I decided that I was meant to be fat. That was the way my body was supposed to be and I just had to get used to it and try to be happy as a fat person!
I had fallen into the trap that so many other people fall into. I had basically given up on my health and wellness goals and had resigned myself to the fact that I was unable to make lasting change. I stopped exercising as frequently as that just isn’t what fat people do! My diet began to worsen and my weight started creeping up again.
I reached my heaviest at around the age of 22. Cutting a long story short, I decided that enough was enough. I was fed up and wanted things to change. I wanted to have a body that I appreciated and could be proud of. I wanted to look and feel good about my body and my life.
I made some changes to my diet once again and started to exercise more frequently and over the next year my weight started to decrease quite significantly. I started to appreciate my body again and my confidence returned.
Eventually I hit a plateau and my weight stabilised again. I still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be physically, but I didn’t really know what else to do to improve my health and wellness. I knew that to continue to improve I would need some help. I would need to re-educate myself.
I have always valued education and decided to invest time and money to learn more about how my body worked. Over the next 2 years I completed a level 2 fitness instructor course and a level 3 personal trainer course. I was now armed with the information that would enable me to make lasting changes to my health!
Andy the Personal Trainer and Triathlete
At the age of 25 I decided that I wanted to use what I had learned to help others. I stopped pursuing a career as an Engineer and instead set up my own personal training business. I had gone from being a fat person to being a Personal Trainer and decided that it was time for me to really start acting like a Personal Trainer!
I was exercising harder and more frequently than ever at this time. At the age of 26 I was in the best shape of my life. I had completed a number of half marathons and I felt better than I had ever felt before. I was healthier than ever and my self-confidence had gone through the roof. I had achieved most of the health and wellness related goals that I had been striving towards for a number of years.
At this time, I set myself a target to complete the London Triathlon in August 2006. I was committed to completing the race in less than 3 hours and I exceeded my own expectations. This had been my main goal for quite some time and I had achieved it! As you can imagine, this felt amazing!
Unfortunately I didn’t have the foresight to set myself any other meaningful goals after my personal achievement at the London Triathlon. I truly believed that I would never ever be overweight again. I thought that I had mastered weight management once and for all. Guess what? I was wrong!
Andy the Teacher
My passion for helping other people to achieve their health and wellness goals slowly faded. I guess I had forgotten what it had been like to be overweight and unhappy about it and this meant that I was less able to empathise with my clients. I guess that deep down I didn’t want to waste my Engineering degree either. I had worked hard to achieve a good degree and my
parents had supported me in my decision to go to University. It was time for me to put my Engineering Education to good use!
In 2009 I decided that I wanted to be an Engineering Teacher or Lecturer. I started teacher training, which gave me a new focus in my life. I still exercised and ate a healthy diet, but I was never quite as committed as I had been previously. Unfortunately I was heading for another fall! In my mind, staying healthy and vital became less important and teaching
became more important. It seems strange to me now, looking back, that I didn’t acknowledge that both were equally important. It goes without saying that my weight began steadily increasing for the second time in my life. By the end of 2010 I was back to being very overweight and borderline obese.
Reality hit and I knew that I had to take control again. I knew that I could make the necessary changes because I had done it before. I had a blueprint that I could model and follow. All I had to do was piece together how I made the changes previously. The key, I now know, is in your perceptions and your mindset. Personal Development is the key ingredient that is missing for so many people who never achieve their health and wellness goals.
Believe me when I tell you that you can change one small thing and that change alone can cause an avalanche of change! These types of change are generally influenced by your global beliefs. A global belief is nothing more than a belief that you hold to be true about yourself, which influences your decisions and actions.
Andy the Athlete, Educator and Entrepreneur!
I knew that I had to perceive myself as something different before I could become something different. For me, I had previously benefited by perceiving myself as a personal trainer. This time around I have chosen to perceive myself as an athlete! Because of this perception, I train harder, eat better and aim to act how I imagine an athlete would need to act.
I am not saying that I am a competitive athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but in my mind I aim to treat my body like the body of an athlete. I have competed in numerous half marathons and triathlons, more recently focusing on endurance swimming and cycling. I am generally in exceptional health. The key difference now is that I make sure that I always have my next race or event planned to keep my focus. I also acknowledge the importance of maintaining my health and wellness, as well as pursuing my career and business interests. These are all important to me and I can make time for everything if I prioritise carefully.
The Complete Health Toolkit
I wrote The Complete Health Toolkit to provide a structured workbook that could be followed to achieve a better state of physical health and wellness. I am not suggesting that everyone should have the goal to be an athlete, but the key to achieving health and wellness goals lies in the re-framing of global beliefs.
I now perceive myself as a teacher, entrepreneur and an athlete, but it might be more appropriate for someone to perceive them self as a healthy, energetic grandma whose grandchildren find it hard to keep up with them!
In the Complete Health Toolkit, you will find comprehensive Exercise and Fitness guidance, Supplements and Nutrition advice, as well as full details of all of the techniques and strategies that I have learned and personally applied to overcome a number of barriers, improving my general health and wellness.
I am currently offering The Complete Health Toolkit for free! In exchange, I would greatly appreciate any comments or testimonies, if you find this to be a useful resource. If you would like a free evaluation copy, please click below for details:
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Further Reading on Health and Wellness
For more Health and Wellness information, please check out my ‘Exercise and Fitness‘ page:
And this ‘Supplements and Nutrition‘ page: