Uncover your inner athlete!

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be eaten.. Each morning in Africa a lion awakes - it knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve.

No matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up you had better be running!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fighting the Big Body Squad

In the spirit of fighting back against the scourge that is obesity, I again choose to focus on this topic.

I was watching an amazing program last night called ‘Bigbody squad’ that highlighted the super obese in the UK and how the public health care system is having to make extremely costly changes and amendments to its facilities in order to accommodate these people and ensure that they are able to be moved. Having regular people over 200KG is not normal in any country.

Ambulances are having to be reinforced to carry the weight of these folks and one of the fastest growing industries in the UK is now producing and selling devices that can be used to move these folks around. One business reported that in a downturn he was growing by 400%. That is really unheard of and although I don’t begrudge him and his workers making money, surely the fact that so many are that overweight is a grave concern.

Tax payers are naturally funding all of this when the hard truth is that this is all very preventable if people would just move more, eat less and consume healthier foods. It really is not rocket science and is something  that I have personally done in turning my life around, so I fail to believe that others can’t follow my very simple steps to attain the same results.

It seems though that we are fixed on quick results and are not prepared to do anything the hard way even when it comes to the most important thing in our lives – our health.

If you do anything today, I urge you to get up out of that chair and step out the door.

Running together (while beating back obesity for life), stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Obesity - Have we stopped caring?

The following report by Monash University in Australia highlights some frightening statistics regarding the ever growing problem of obesity in Australia.

I encourage you to visit the link and read the full report, but a few shockers include:
  • ·     14 million Australians are currently classed as being overweight or obese. That is more than half the population of this country.·         If the current levels of weight gain continue in the population then by 2025 close to 80% of adults (8 out of 10) will be overweight or obese.
  • ·         Obesity has overtaken smoking as the premature cause of death and illness in Australia – translation: We are eating ourselves to an early grave!

Clearly something that we all need to sustain life (ie. Food) has become one of our biggest stumbling blocks. Caring for these obese folks also puts a massive drain on the health system when those doctors and nurses could be being used to assist in stamping out other illness.

Normal average sizes have gone up and up to the point that now I understand that 36” waist for men is normal and size 16-18 for ladies is ‘average’.  My measly 28” waist gets laughed out of stores when I have tried to buy jeans. Seems suppliers just don’t make my size anymore.

Those that know me know that ever since I lost 40kgs and broke a family cycle of weight problems and obesity, I have dedicated myself to helping others to fight back and lose weight to. I outlined my story in my recent book and for me the answer has become that I have taught myself not to even walk down aisles in the supermarket that stock sweets, soft drinks and other junk food. These aisles don’t exist to me.

My ethos is if you don’t buy junk you won’t eat junk and you don’t become junk!

Clearly it is not so easy for others. This is where the government could step in with a junk food tax with the money collected on this going towards education programs, but also more importantly helping to make healthy fresh food affordable to all.

Many it seems though have given up on things and resigned themselves to just getting bigger and bigger. I keep fighting though and spreading the word. Don’t give up. I beat it – you can to!

Running together (while beating obesity), stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Monday, December 10, 2012

Correlation between wealth and being overweight

Having grown up in Africa, I am well aware of the fact that in tribal culture, a larger person (ie. A fat person) is synonymous with wealth). The larger you are, the higher up the pecking order you are seen to be as you don’t have to work as a labourer or a warrior.

How does this relate then to western (so-called civilised) society then? I would say that it mirrors quite nicely the tribal society. How many CEOs of big corporations or Managing Directors do you know that are overweight?   From my own experience with these people, I would say that it would be around 85% of those in high ranking positions that I know.

Why is this the case? Surely these folks have ample wealth to be able to afford healthy balanced food and even to afford access to personal trainers, gyms, nutritionists and other health and wellbeing tools.

Did these folks just become lazy or is it that they only care about money and nothing else? This is really sad though as with all the money in the world, we are not  going to be around to enjoy it so long as we neglect the most important thing in our lives (ie. Our health).

Anyone can turn their lives around and get on to a path of health and wellbeing instead of just obsessing over money and waiting for the box. I am living proof of change having lost 40Kgs.

Please share your stories. Let’s help build an obese free society for the next generation.

Running together (while building an obese free generation), stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Friday, December 7, 2012

The suit that killed the inner athlete

This post is highly controversial, but I feel it needs to be put out there to provoke thought amongst those who may be affected by the syndrome without even knowing about it.

Have you ever noticed that the moment you (or a mate) attain a so-called proper job in an office or the city, your fitness slips dramatically? Ever felt that you couldn't/ didn't want to do the physical things that you had been able to at school or college? Find those that were really sporty just a short time prior suddenly lose interest or find that they suddenly need a personal trainer to get them fit when they were able to do it all themselves previously?

Talking this over with several friends and people at my gym I am starting to think that there is a direct link between working in a suit and losing fitness/interest in sport. It certainly happened to me when I was living and working in the City in London.

I transformed from someone who was willing and able to give most physical challenges a go to someone who at times found it hard to walk up stairs. At the peak of my fatness (opposite of fitness) I sweated profusely and was a mess really. But enough about me.

We could ponder all the while why this would be the case, but I put it squarely down to the fact that the inner athlete inside all of us is ruined as a result of putting on a suit. But this need not be the case if we monitor things carefully.

I have personally found that with a little discipline and willingness to either get out of bed a little earlier to train (training after work only works for very few in my experience) or to actually take some time to exercise at lunchtime then you can counteract the advance of unfitness and the spare tyre that invades the midriff of many office workers.

Nutrition is also important – discipline yourself to avoid the lolly and cookie jar and instead go with the fruit and vegetables if a snack is needed.

Staying fit in a suit is possible if you are willing to exert some effort.

Running together (while not letting the suit kill the inner athlete), stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Refocusing and remotivating

It is extremely disturbing to hear that so many people are having their employment terminated recently. This is obviously market cycles and really nothing that these folks can or could do about it except move on and refocus their energy.

Most of us have faced this scenario in our lifetimes and indeed I got the flick on my 30th birthday. I was training hard towards my first Comrades Marathon and had high hopes about the race.

Looking back that seems like a lifetime ago and indeed many times job termination can be a gift. It allowed me to refocus completely on what it is that is really important in life (this is something I have heard from many others who faced similar scenarios). Crossing the finishline at Comrades 2009 was important to me as it not only proved that I was stronger than my circumstances, but the love, spirit and camaraderie of the event helped me forget my own selfish circumstances and focus on what I could do to not only better myself but also on what I could do for others.

My full story of transformation is available in my book TheUrban Warrior – More than just an existence, which also captures my journey from fat to fighting fit again.

Unemployed? Recently got the flick? Rid the resentment and focus on getting fit and getting your life back. Find a physical challenge and work towards it. Completing it is one of the quickest ways of regaining self-esteem and confidence.

Open the window and take a deep breath – What’s that you are smelling? Opportunity!!! Step outside and embrace it!

I’d love to hear your stories here.

Running together (while refocusing and remotivating), stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Monday, December 3, 2012

Maintaining fitness over the festive season

Keeping fit over the festive season

I was reading an extremely concerning piece that said that your average Australian will gain between 3.5 and 6Kgs during the December and festive period. With some people (including professional athletes) gaining up to 10KG. This is an enormous amount of weight to gain in just a couple of weeks and the strangest thing is that most don't find the fact that they put on weight weird, they find the fact that anyone would be training and restraining themselves over this period to be weird. 

Gluttony and greed is essentially something that has only been around a relatively short space of time and probably really only from the Edwardian times. 

Why do we find it acceptable to  over indulge over the festive season? Being someone who has done so in the past, I can only say that it may have something to do with human greed and the fact that if it is there, we should eat it. Sometimes it is pure boredom to - what shall we do during the holidays? How about we eat and drink until we explode?

Socialising this festive season around something other than food will go a long way towards keeping your weight down. Keep the portions small, go for walks, go for runs, keep up the swimming or the gym but for heavens sake don't be idl or you will regret it again in January.

Running together (while eating reasonable portions) stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller