Sunday, 17 April 2011

Staying fit in Essex

Previously I lived in London. Fighting my way through London's commuters and traffic. Taking hours to travel a few miles. Getting home with a layer of grime on my face from the pollution. There was always a sense of tension around rush hour. No one spoke on the tube. Everyone was defensive, ready to pounce. It was a bit of a jungle. I moved out to Epping and it took a few weeks for my brain to get used to the quiet starts to my day. There were no sirens, no arguments between drunks. It was as if someone had turned down the volume of life and I felt very calm. From time to time, I meet other ex-Londoners who had done the same.

The great news is Essex isn't London. The bad news is Essex isn't London! The fast pace has gone but so have a lot of options. The town closes down at 5:30 whereas London never stops. There are a couple of gyms over here. London has gyms next door to each other. It's not boring, you just have to be a bit more organised to stay fit and healthy. It is very easy to relax at the weekend. Clients tell me that now they work from home, they have longer leisurely lunches. They socialise with mums and dads in the pub or coffee shops. You experience less stress but you slowly start to put on weight because you are less active.

So how do you stay fit and healthy when your lifestyle becomes more laid back? There are lots of outdoor options in Essex, you just have to look for them. I continually drive past parks and open spaces which have got me thinking. I have taken it upon myself to help with this cause. I have put together teams of yoga/pilates teachers as well as group fitness training for new mums. My top end package is one on one training for which I take on a small handful of clients. This is a complete lifestyle overhaul ranging from how to fine dine the healthy way to finding the optimum balance of exercise to nights out. I hope to be adding more to these soon and will be offering kids fitness packages. If Mohammad can't come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammad!

So if you are one the people who have made the lifestyle choice or simply want to find out what how to stay fit in Essex, drop me an e-mail or follow my on Facebook.

Great day in Tesco

So I teased you on Facebook when I mentioned I had a challenging day. By the end of it, I felt I could do anything and let me show you how simple it was.

First I was shopping in Tesco. I was after some Pouting fillets. Jamie Oliver got me onto them. They are much more abundant (and tastier) than cod. When the lady on the fish counter said she had never heard of them, I remember what Jamie Oliver said. I asked her WHY NOT. She said she didn't have an answer. I then asked her to weigh the cod loin and told her that Pouting was 1/3 of the price. This got her excited and she called her friends over, they wrote it down and said they would speak to their purchasing manager later. Knowing this person may not give the idea much thought, I spoke the language of the purchasing manager. " Tell him/her it was on the Jamie Oliver show and it flies of the shelf at my local Tesco."

You might be saying that this isn't rocket science, or 'big deal.' This isn't the point. It is about not hesitating when you get an idea in your head. You have read this, thought about it and had a chance to think about your reaction. Some may have done the same as me, others may have let doubt creep in and thought, 'what's the point? Nothing will change' There are far too many people who take this view and is why some things never change. So I thought, 'imagine a full day of direct action?'

I carried this momentum into a health food shop in Epping high street. I overheard a lady talking to the duty manager about ways to get more energy. I asked if I could be of assistance, She quickly got on the defensive, claiming that I was going to get her to do more exercise as I look like a personal trainer. I was flattered she could tell my profession through my baggy clothes. She kept putting up barrier after barrier, making excuses, blaming her family, claiming that I would be in her situation as me and my wife are in a 'honeymoon period.' I heard enough at this point and the Coach stepped in.

"Yes, my wife and I haven't been married long. However, my parents split up when I was growing up and I made it my job to take repsonsibility for my life and to be a better husband whether I wanted to or not. So I help out at home, cook meals because guess what? Men can be lazy if they have everything done for them. You have no one but yourself to blame for your sitation. I would suggest that instead of buying protein shakes for your husband and son and claiming you have no time, get them to buy things for you so you can have some time to unwind. A crumpet for breakfast isn't going to help you and weightwatchers is the last thing you should be doing (in my professional opinion)."

She agreed grumbled and walked off. This wasn't an attack. I carefully chose these words to be challenging yet be in my authority that I wasn't going to be a doormat for someone else's predicament. I was also respectful that this woman was in pain, so I gave her some free advice that I give to my paying clients. When I went to pay for my item, the shop worker asked me for my details as she liked what I said. Later that day, I got 2 separate client referrals. I don't believe in coincidence. You get what you put out. We all have those moments when you want to say something but fear and doubt creep in and stop us. How many times in the day do you tow the line and hide at the back? Step out! Be heard and speak from the heart. Just don't tell your boss how much you hate them!