Tales of what worked for me,
what nearly killed me, and where I am now.
Concerning my ideal lifestyle.
I should be dead. Three times already actually.
Yet here I am, hoping that my story will help you, escape or at least stave off your demise.
At least for a little while.
Sometimes things happen in life, that are not what they appear to be.
Earlier on in my life, I was a real Scuba diving fanatic.
I loved to spend time in the peace and magnificence of our underwater world.
I was running a successful engineering business at the time, and had sufficient financial resources to indulge in my passion on a regular basis.
Furthermore, I had done all the training, gained local experience, and was, a competent and safe diver. Most people agreed with that statement.
So to reward myself for coping with a rather gruelling year in the business world, I booked a trip to the Maldives.
If you don’t know, the Maldives is a group of tiny islands deep in the Indian ocean close to India,. They are also known as one of the prime diving destinations in the world.
Not cheap, and definitely not easy to get to. The trip there involved a flight to Singapore. Then from there to the largest island which could handle an airport. Then a three or so hour boat ride on a fast commuter vessel to the actual island destination.
The accommodation was huts, on stilts in the ocean, idyllic.
The sea, was clean, blue pristine, teeming with ocean life that was visible forever.
I was so looking forward to this trip. The dive excursion of a lifetime!
To get to Singapore, I needed to take a flight from Johannesburg in South Africa.
So all was booked, paid for, and the dates cast in stone.
Running a business, does however bring with it some challenges.
To my horror, a contract that was to be completed prior to my departure, went pear shaped. Being the controlling design engineer, there was no way, I could abandon my team and jet off to go diving.
Cursing under my breath, I reluctantly asked my travel agent to postpone the flight by a week. It would cost me a whole lot more, but I had no choice. How unfair life seemed. What had I done to deserve this? I was furious.
A few weeks later, my perception changed somewhat.
Sitting in the departure lounge in Singapore, on my way back to South Africa after a stunning diving holiday, there was a further problem.
The return flight was delayed till further notice.
What. Why me. Surely that can’t be. I started ranting and demanding an explanation. The information I received sent chills down my spine.
The flight I was originally booked on had crashed into the sea off the coast of Mauritius, en-route to South Africa. There were no survivors!
Because they were investigating the cause of the accident, the flight I was now booked on, had been delayed to undergo a full inspection.
I was cross, disappointed, furious, and now terrified, but alive.
Fast forward to 2011.
I had sold up my business in 2009, and moved to the coast to retire. Financially I was in a position to keep my house in Johannesburg, so it had been rented out for a year. When it came time to renew the lease, I decided that I wanted to return to Johannesburg, as the tranquility at the coast was, err boring. Sure I was swimming every day, going for long walks, and trying to keep fit. But the pulse of the big city drew me back
Everything was packed up and carted back to Johannesburg. Whilst unpacking in December 2011, I collapsed, in a heap.
Waking up in the emergency room, I was informed that I had suffered a heart attack. Fortunately, the people around me, got me into an ambulance quickly enough, so that I could be resuscitated.
I underwent emergency Angioplasty and ended up in intensive care.
A few minutes longer, or no-one around, and I would not be here to tell the tale.
Two strikes – so far so good.
Whilst running my business, for years I had suffered from intermittent gout attacks.
They became so bad that I was virtually living off some medication at times. Being retired, the attacks were now less frequent, and I had cut down on the medication significantly. But obviously not enough.
During my stay in the Intensive Care Unit, I remember being resuscitated, after having been “dead “ for 2 minutes.
My blood pressure had mysteriously dropped to below what was required to sustain life. Further investigation showed that the excessive use of the gout medication, had eroded my stomach lining to such an extent, that my blood pressure had dropped and effectively shut my body down.
As you can tell, I overcame that as well.
I was now left with a slightly damaged heart, and told that I would be on medication for the rest of my life.
The medication, I won’t go into details, had side effects.
Really nasty side effects. The doctors kept switching and hoping to find something more agreeable, but I still felt really lousy most of the time.
However, brace yourself, here comes another fast forward.
As I am typing this, I am off all medication, have an acceptable BMI, and am slowly dissipating the remains of those drugs out of my system. I have lost 30 excess pounds of blubber, and now take the same size clothing as my youngest son.
I swim daily, sometimes miles, go snorkeling, and often show up people 20 or more years younger than me.
And my medical bills now consist of annual checkups, to confirm that what I am doing, is keeping my body OK. Some blood tests, ECG and heart stress tests – just to make sure.
And, in the end, it was actually very simple.
I changed my lifestyle.
I don’t diet, do any exercise I don’t enjoy (I love swimming, so that doesn’t count) and eat delicious food as much as I want.
You probably think that I have now lost it, and all my adventures have left me mentally err.. challenged.
I don’t think so. I just needed to see the truth, accept my reality and employ some common sense.
Sure, the journey took me a while. I started up wrong paths, had to do U turns and find what worked for myself. But in the end I did.
And so can you.
When you discover the truth about what your body really needs, how it actually functions, you will be amazed.
The information is out there. But the normal person, living a busy life, has it all hidden, so that the big business wheels can carry on turning. With no regard to your health, or the planets resources.
And if you think I must be some radical extremist, I am not.
Admittedly, I tried some of the radical and extreme information out there. Some is even very good. But is it good for me, is what the real question is. And most of it wasn’t.
There are proponents promoting their systems. Often they are amazingly healthy, good looking and all that. The problem I have is when someone tells me that their system is the only one that works, meh.. how do you know. We are all different. And yet all the same to some degree. It’s finding the commonalities that make sense, and disregarding all the noise, that is the secret.
It’s not easy.
There are so many different agendas out there. Even some extremely well meaning ones. That doesn’t however automatically make them right for you.
I would like to help you figure out what works for you. If it is the same as works for me, great, if not, let’s find what’s right for you.
There are some basic premises, which I will share with you. I also know that different people have different priorities.
For some it may be weight loss, for another joint mobility, giving up an addiction, etc. etc.
In the end the concept of Healthstyle is a term I like to use. It’s not important how long you live, but how long you live well. Well, healthy, pain free, fully functioning.
I am not targeting top athletes or sportspeople, though the basics are the same. Their priorities differ.
You want to spend as much quality time with your loved ones as possible.
I will do my utmost to help you.