Last year, we spoke all about smashing big goals and what it is structurally, what you’ve got to do to set the big goals and achieve them. But today, we want to talk about what it’s actually like to be inside the marathon.

What’s it like ‘inside the marathon’?

Today we will look at the totality of the journey. So, it’s not about setting the goals, et cetera, but what’s going on within you during a massive challenge that you have set for yourself. The marathon is our metaphor and example.

Larger than normal challenges – the bucket list stuff

This topic is all about when you’re taking on larger than normal challenges. It isn’t some small day to day thing. We’re talking about your big goals, that are at the bucket list of who you really want to be.

Using marathon as a metaphor and the context being the big goals – our bucket list is a beautiful way of describing it because it might be a fitness goal, like a big run or a swim or an iron man triathlon or something you’ve always wanted. Or it might be climbing a massive mountain. It could be a huge work project or starting your own business. It could be anything like that. It’s a larger than normal challenge in your life that would take a lot more energy and commitment than you normally give.

What we’re talking about is very different to the persons sitting at the bar saying, “One day, I’m going to,” and they never do it. Or they go through life saying, “If only I had.” That’s not what we’re about.

I have to take this leap

What you’ll find is when you get to this point that you are musing over big challenges, “How the hell am I going to start my new business, or am I going to go and do my first marathon or something?” You’ll find you’ll be mulling over it for a period of time and then it will start to eat away at you. Then you’re thinking, “Oh God, I really didn’t want to do this.” A kind of internal tug-of-war is going on. It will start to get inside your head and you think, “I’ve got to do this,” until the point where you say, “I can’t not do this.” The voice inside you calling you to be your best YOU says, “I HAVE to take the leap.”

You will be shitting yourself. You’ll be sitting there going – am I out of my depth here? Greg recalls the first time he set out to do a marathon. He had never run more than 10Ks; he had no idea what it was going to be like. He was petrified that he wouldn’t be able to do it. Then when he paid the entrance fee and he thought, “Jeez, I better go and run a few miles.”

At this point there is this voice saying, “What have I done? This is crazy. So it’s a thing where you are reaching high. You’ve set this high thing. It’s a deliberate choice and immediately, there’s going to be fear.

Setting the goal – getting the skills

You’ve set yourself a goal, okay? At the very, very start then of the journey – whatever form it takes, you’ve got to get those skills. If you’re going to set out on a particular journey, whatever that journey is, there’s a period at the beginning there of just setting the goal and the sub goals, but what are the skills I’m going to need? You can’t just get up and go and run a marathon.

One of the fun bits at the beginning will be that everyone will be telling you to build up slowly. Almost like a curve that’s slowly building gets steeper and steeper towards the end. But you’re so impatient and you want to get some runs on the board. You go and dive into it. Often at this point, you go too far, too fast and this can knock a lot of people off their journey. Because they go, “Well, I’m going to run a marathon and I’ll go and run 18Ks this weekend.” And they kill themselves, got blisters all over their feet and they never run another mile again.

Patience

This is one of the really hard parts about a marathon or whatever you’re doing. At this early point, there’s got to be this level of patience that this is going to be okay. And just build momentum, early on to build that capability and fitness and skill.

Any change whether it’s a physical change or a work change, a relationship change, you’ve got to be very, very patient. When Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, one of the very first things he did is, “We’re going to have a truth and reconciliation commission.” Now, that was a journey.

He just didn’t go and get the idea and set it up within the first month. He had to do that work. So he got the right people, he got the right panel, he got people wanting to come and share their particular story. So he did a lot of that preparation time, the setting up time.

It would be the same if you’re starting a business. This level of patience while you build that capability and then you’ll find there’s all these other pressures. As you’re going along, maybe you find all of a sudden your family needs more of your time than you expected, or there’s more financial pressure than you expected and maybe you get distracted with other priorities.

Making sacrifices

This is what happens when in a busy life you’re trying to take on a massive challenge. There’s all these bits that are pulling you in different directions and you have to make sacrifices. There are sacrifices that you might have to make. Every now and then, on this journey to getting to the start line of your marathon, you will find that you’ve got to make a sacrifice one way or the other.

Either the marathon is going to take a bit of a hit or you’ve got to take a bit of a hit. But at that point, you’re going through these value judgments. What’s the right thing to do? In this situation, you can’t set a blanket rule to say, marathon, new business, whatever it is you’re doing always wins. If you do that, oh man, you’re going really find it hard. Each situation requires careful consideration. Sometimes your big goal wins, sometimes it needs to take a slightly backward seat.

Not walking alone

And you can’t walk any journey on your own. You’ve got to talk about it with the people who are really close to you. You’re going to get the voice saying, “That’s a stupid idea.” It’s going to be that real true friend and mentor who can see this is something that you really need to actually do, and they will walk beside you as much as they can and this brings you closer together with those who really believe in you. That’s one of the wonderful things about it.

Then with really big challenges it vital to have a coach in your corner. They are a technical or wisdom figure who in this aspect of life, gives you perspective, points you in the right way, helps you with your skills and challenges you.

Greg has a coach now for his business because they can tell him the next step that he needs to follow and then they teach you things like how to vary your training so you don’t stall and they teach you all the different elements because they’ve been there and done it and they know all the steps inside out.

What you’ll find is when you start off on the big challenges, the pathway to the start line or the preparation before, looks like an abyss. You have no idea how you’re going to get from where you are now to the start line. That’s where a coach can just give you so much confidence. They’ll give you a training plan or a business plan or whatever it is you’re doing and you’ll go, “Okay, now I can see it.”

That gives you some patience, it gives you some confidence in what’s happening.

Gaining momentum

Then what begins to happen regardless of the particular type of journey, your particular fitness grows, there’s a sense of momentum, you’re beginning to sense, “I’m on this journey now. I’ve ticked a couple of boxes. I might not have gotten to the actual starting line of the marathon, the sign itself, but my fitness is getting near, I’m acquiring the particular skills and as you share about this and as people see you doing that, others are inspired. When others see you chasing big goals – they are inspired as well!

Then maybe if you decided to do something like the Kokoda trail, something like that. And you’re going alone and you’re going to need training and what happens is you hit a wall. Might be even training for a while. You hit a wall and your fitness just stalls, doesn’t get any better.

But then what happens is you break through that barrier. Maybe you change your training and you get fitter again, and you go, “Wow.” And you feel good. People notice that in you. Not just that you’re going to do Kokoda, which is inspiring in its own right, but that you are transforming yourself.

When people can see that within you, that is inspiring. When we see other people do it, we’re inspired by that to get up and do more. So it’s a wonderful thing to play that role for someone when you’re doing it.

The negative voices – hitting the wall

Tough times will come in big challenges. Business is going to be hitting the wall. You’re going get injury and the self doubt voice can’t wait to have a say. The self doubt voice might well be be with you on the whole journey, and it takes different forms at different times. That’s always going to be there but you know it’s there. That’s okay. Yeah, look at it in the face.

One of those self-doubt voices will be, “Is this worth it?” because you are sacrificing so, very, very much.

Particularly if you’re doing something that’s pretty significant, that’s putting yourself out there, it’s going to be a fair bit of public attention. Maybe you’ve got to promote yourself, maybe through either fundraising or the business. It can be a bit scary because you might be saying to yourself, “Oh, I don’t want a big number.” And say, “Why do I wanna put myself out there?” That tall poppy syndrome can come in and just eats away at you if you’re not careful.

But remember what this all started from, this started from values and you really wanting to do something that was important to you, was gnawing away at you, and there’s a strategy you come up with doing it. And if it involves some exposure, that’s good. Never forget that you are doing something that is good for the world. If people wanted to attack you, that’s their problem.

Embrace the adventure of YOUR marathon

The second you put yourself out there, you’re going to have people that are going to try to knock it down. But try to see it as a bit of a fun too, almost like in an adventure. “I’m growing my own self.”

There are times on different types of journeys, Pricey’s  had to walk different types of marathons. It isn’t fun all the time, but there is a sense of adventure in it. Pricey did a 95K hike when in New Zealand a couple of years ago, and it was physically tough. But every time he conquered another high alpine pass and then down in the valley looking back, there was a sense of the journey. You’re walking with your mates, you’re achieving your goal.

One time Greg was executive coach at a mining company that was doing a massive turnaround in Africa. It was a really, really hard business turnaround. This was a marathon of three years. But the adventure of it, which was not so much the fact that we were in Africa doing mining, which was cool in its own right, but the challenge of everyone being there, the drama that unfolded constantly because of the nature of the business. It was just something that was cool to be a part of. It felt like in many ways a bit of an adventure. That’s one of the great things about big turnarounds in particular. They’re just fun.

One thing is, when you’re on a longer journey, when you’re on this journey of life, you work hard, you hit the wall at times, but then you grow in your strength and your fitness or whatever the thing is. You reach a plateau in it and you know it within yourself, “I’m on a higher plateau of skill. I’m on a higher plateau of fitness.” That feels good. Now, you know there’s going to be another wall, that is okay. You get to the start in line of the particular race, particular marathon and you’re ready.

At the starting line

At the start line – it is the day you’ve worked hard for, you made this choice. You start off strong. You’ve got a rhythm going. It’s almost a bit of a honeymoon period.

When Greg recalls the first marathon he ever did the first 10 k’s were easy. The first business he ever ran, the first 10Ks was easy, and then what happened? Then you start to question, maybe things don’t go as you perfectly planned because when you’re actually operating, or you’re actually running, things start to go wrong. A bit of self doubt.

Maybe the pace is a bit faster than you thought or a bit slower. Maybe the cash flow’s not as good as you hoped. Oh my gosh. Something is not quite where you want it to be and the inner voice call say, “Holy shit!” And then you’re like, “Right. Oh, that’s right. I’m doing a marathon. This is going to be hard.”

Pricey’s last 12 months has been professional challenging. He has been in a fairly significant role at work. For the first month or two, it was the first time in his life for a long time, that he was boss – with huge responsibility. For the first couple of months there was a real energy flow – almost adrenaline – a sense that Pricey was enjoying that chance to implement his own dream. He could focus the enterprise his way and then the difficult questions began to come in. The difficult issues coming in, the self doubt comes in, et cetera. But that made the whole journey worth it.

The pain sets in

Now, at this point in the marathon, maybe you’re about halfway through, sometimes things go wrong. Now, this will take many forms. When Greg did the Atacama Ultra Marathon in Chile. The runners were delayed getting to the start line because of the earthquakes in Chile.

Greg was sick as a dog because we were at altitude and dry air and all these kind of stuff. He was really sick the first day even though they ran 40 Ks the first day and then 40 Ks the second; he was really sick. By the end of the third day, Greg was a mess. He had to make a decision then and there, after a year of training and all the hard work, “Do I continue?” And every now and then the decision has to be absolutely, “No.”

And in that moment, Greg knew the answer. It was hard to say, “After all this training, I’m not going to go out and complete this race.” You know what? But as soon as he came to decision, he was completely at peace. Greg knew it was the right thing. It would be the wrong thing to go out and push himself potentially, seriously get in trouble out there. So, every now and then, the writing’s on the wall, “This isn’t for you now. This is the wrong business idea. This is the wrong challenge for you. You’re unfit. This is just not the right time, turn back.”

The point of honesty and self awareness – the freedom to say ‘no’

That point of honesty and self awareness is one of the most powerful things. When you even get to this space where, “Hey, I worked really hard. I’ve put so much time and effort and energy into all this, but then that hasn’t been a waste.” You’ve grown as a person. You’ve grown physically, spiritually, but you get to a space where, “No, this is not where I need to actually be.” That decision to go, “No,” while it’s painful and while you will be sad, and you will grieve it, it’s the best, best one.

What was interesting for Greg after that particular challenge, of that particular turn back is that he took the fourth day out of five days off. Then actually recovered almost completely because all he needed was one day. The shame of it all was just that he was sick for that particular point.

On the fifth day, is an 80K double marathon Greg had never gone so fast with so much happiness. He was free. He wasn’t competing just to hit the finish line. Now, he was running and enjoying the place he was at just for the joy of it.

The inner marathon – the mindset change

Something got changed within Greg and on any journey, any particular marathon, that’s the biggest, biggest journey. The one within you and you changed, you grow, your mindset had changed.

But in the end, most of the time when you’re in these really hard marathon type journeys, you do get towards the end and there’s a couple of key places, two final steps before the finish.

Final steps

To continue our marathon analogy – somewhere around about the 30 to 39K mark out of 42 is where it can often be an all consuming pain. You’re not close enough to the finish line to see it. You are pushing yourself, and you’re just totally inside your own head, and the voices are going and the body’s racked with pain and you are pushing yourself to this new level you have never been before. It feels, I suppose no other word, but all consuming.

In the professional role Pricey has been in there were times towards the end of 2018 there was a three month period when he copped a ton of severe conflict with no resolution where a professional colleague made Pricey’s life hell.

Pricey went through all this stuff about questioning his own self. In that time, he had anger around him. He had confusion around him. he had aggression around him and he had to dig deep. He had to be very clear. He had to be honest inside on making every right call, true to his own self.

Pricey put in the hard yards. He became aware of his own ego. He did a lot of that 32 to 39 Ks stuff within his own self. It was ugly and messy. He have been at Melbourne airport one day and just got a phone call and he didn’t feel as though he was being supported by some people that should have been supporting him professionally. Pricey wanted to walk away from it all. But a deeper voice kept saying, “No, you’re on the right journey. You’re doing the right things, you’re being true to yourself.” After a while, that inner journey began to grow. That inner voice was strong.

The finish line

They say, the night is darkest before dawn. This is the point. Because what then happens is you go out of the darkness, and you can just see this little sliver of light on the horizon that says, “Hey, that might be the finish line. You might be through this challenge and it’s the end.”

Then the hurting starts to go, “Oh yes.” And the pride perhaps starts to build that you’ve defeated this fight or this challenge. That was really in a marathon context, 39 to 42Ks. You don’t really see it too much before that because you’ve got at least 15/20 minutes to run still, however fast you run. It is a magical moment because now, the mind is almost split between the pain and visualising the finish.

Celebrate

It is a beautiful, beautiful time. As you cross the finish line, and the finish line takes a million, million forms, it’s a celebration of you. You’ve achieved a personal kind of a victory.

People laugh, but Pricey has actually got a PhD and he remembers on the night when the degree was conferred he joined the academic party about to walk into the hall and there is a couple of thousand as people there. This had been a five year journey for Pricey. He remembers something inside saying, “Celebrate this.” Pricey remembers walking in, in cap and gown and there was a sense of, “Yes!”

When you have a PhD, you’re the first person who receives. Pricey felt pride. He felt a sense of, “Yes, this has been a journey. I’m a better human being for it.”

There’s this deep sense of peace when you have set your goals high, worked hard and reached them. Greg had that feeling when he put his book ‘Chiefmaker’ into the printer and then got the final hard print copy back in the post; it was like “Wow.”

Greg was talking to Bill the other day who just finished his first ever 10K Ocean swim which is the equivalent of months of hard work – we’re talking six months or 12 months to train for it phenomenally hard; hard race. Like wind, current; hard. 10Ks in the pool is hard. 10Ks in the ocean is twice as hard. Greg was filled with admiration for the effort. There was a great feeling of pride in Bill – it was “I did that.”

That is what happens when you achieve something like this. You get in and go – at the end of YOUR marathon – you look back and you go, “How the hell did I do that?”

When you’re on that mountain top, there’s a view, and there’s a great, great sense of achievement. I’ve got a friend of mine who’s had a son who’s a severely autistic boy. For years there, it was a real journey, a marathon. But they’ve come to a space within their own lives now where it’s still got a difficulty, but there’s a sense of pride, a sense of family, a sense of love, commitment. They’re (him and his wife) looking back now and and it’s a beautiful space.

Challenge

Now, Look, we’ve got a special challenge that we’d like to invite everyone to join us in. One of our members, Jimmy Purcell (a dead set legend), is driving a pushup challenge in July. That’ll be July 2019. And we’re going to do this together as universal men.

JOIN US HERE: PUSH – UP CHALLENGE

There’s going to be a little group website where we can track all our effort.

If you’d like to be part of this because this is a marathon, this is not going to be easy; 3000 push ups in a month or equivalent squats or steps. So, if you would like to be involved, contact us for the universal men website  at info@universalman.org. We’ll get you involved in the pushup challenge. We’re going to do a bit of work through June to prepare ourselves and then get ready for the 3000 push ups.

Stay legendary

Pricey and Grego


This episode came from an off-the-cuff conversation between Pricey and Grego on controlling bodyweight.

Pricey began by asking just why this topic had so much passion for Greg. (Greg is a relatively fit, father of three and Pricey, while relatively lean, is nudging retirement.)

“Well, I think as I’ve got older I’ve found it harder to maintain a normal decent weight without being a fat bugger. A couple of times I’ve started to put on a few kilos and I don’t like it.

“I like to be nice and lean if I can be. I also think it’s one of the most misunderstood topics, how to stay at a good fighting weight, so to speak, just to maintain that. There’s so much misinformation out there. It was interesting, I have an annual gathering with a whole bunch of my best mates, it’s called the Gentleman of Fine Standing. We meet at the German club every December and have a beer. I was there last December listening away with a beautiful big German stein in my hand. I looked down the table, and what was remarkable to me, there was about 15 guys there, I’d think to a man they were all looking fit and healthy. Bodyweight is obviously much more important to this generation than previous.

“Perhaps it’s a generational thing too. In times past, a lot of fellas just put on another kilo or two every year, and then by the time they were in older age they were quite overweight. It doesn’t appear to be the trend anymore, but still, a lot of us struggle with it.”

But surely, isn’t it just a matter of food? Surely it’s purely a matter of, “I eat more, I put on weight. I eat less, I’m not going to put on weight.”

“In some ways that is true, but it’s also completely wrong in some ways because it’s all about your choice of food. Also the greatest misinformation is that the gym and exercise is more important that diet. In general, in all that we read says that weight control, as far as we want to put on muscle and put on fat or take it off, is probably 80% diet and 20% gym or exercise.

“One analogy we like to make when it comes to body shape is that diet is the shape of the cake, and the gym is the icing. So, if you want the good guns to go on the top, then you really do have to go to the gym. You can’t get guns through just eating protein. You have to do some hard work. But if you just want a basic nice, lean body shape, really it’s mostly diet.

“There’s only a few key principles with this. There’s three big ones that probably play most of the role in putting on weight ie. putting on fat!

“Sugar: It appears that sugar is the new fat. The new evil. The more unrefined or refined sugar you have in your diet, the more that’s going to spike your glycemic index and have an effect on your body, and you’ll put on weight. So, if you can cut sugar out it will be vital. The average diet is somewhere in the vicinity of 24 to 30 teaspoons of sugar per day.

“There’s a great movie called, “That Sugar Movie.” In fact, the actor, he’s a famous Australian actor that did it, and he put together a breakfast one day and counted the number of teaspoons of sugar in that. The breakfast was some milk and some yoghurt, muesli and maybe a piece of fruit, and there was over 20 teaspoons of sugar in that already. So, when you add things up, and you know a 600ml bottle of coke has a similar number? It’s ridiculous. It does have actually nearly 50 grammes of sugar in it alone.

“I was recently downing into a whole pile of fruit, and someone said, “You know that that’s rich in sugar?” That’s also something to be very careful of. Fruit is good for you, and it has different kinds of sugars in it too. So, don’t avoid fruit. One of the things, if you’re having fruit whole, like as in an apple that’s not juiced, you’re only having one apple. The problem is you go to a boost juice or something, and they use a great example of this in that movie, you put in 15 pieces of fruit in one glass of juice, so you get all the sugar from all that, but you get none of the fibre, and nothing that fills you up. But you couldn’t possibly eat 15 apples if you tried.

“So, be mindful. I think fruit should just be eaten whole, in general. You have your juice, we’re not anti that and it’s good for you. Just be careful. Learn to understand the wrong sugar players, because it can be a really, really bad thing for your weight.

Alcohol: The second one is alcohol. Now, Greg had a mate who came over just very recently, and he’s a really big frame of a guy. In recent years he has lost a lot of kilos. Greg said, “Gee man, you’re looking lean. What have you done?” He said, “Mate, nothing different, I just don’t drink beer as much. I have a little bit on the weekend and that’s it. I don’t drink during the week anymore.” I said, “There’s no other changes?”. “No, nothing else.” This is a big boned guy.

“So, if you monitor your sugar, get it down to some good levels, pay attention to what’s on the label of the stuff you buy, hit at much whole food kind of stuff as you can. Get rid of the beer and the wine Sunday night to Friday night. You can have a couple of drinks on a Friday and a Saturday. Don’t drink during the week if you can afford it you will notice a world of difference.”

Intermittent Fasting: Then the last one is, and this is the one that made a big difference for Greg, was intermittent fasting. So what Greg does is to have dinner on a Sunday night early ish, six or seven, and then his next meal is around 1pm on Monday. So, he has about 18, 19, sometimes up to 20 hours of fasting.

“What happens is somewhere around eight o’clock on Monday morning, my body goes into ketosis. That is essentially where it goes into a different phase. It’s almost like it’s eating its own fat reserves. That’s probably the wrong terminology. But it’s no longer eating off the sugar reserves that you’ve got in your body for the food. It’s going into reserve.

“It also goes through a process of cleansing our your body. Actually, it’s a wonderful way of even releasing antioxidants into the body. So. It’s a process of cleansing the body. The other thing is you start to feel by 12 o’clock, you go through a process of feeling hungry in the morning, but that disappears.”

If you do that twice a week, personally Greg finds that his body almost resets itself. It gets right in front of the game when you stay lean.

“If we just do those three things every week, that’s just a simple process, the results will be clear. A couple of fasts, and all you’re doing when you’re fasting is missing one breakfast. That’s it. So often you don’t even need the breakfast, you’re not even hungry. You just do it because that’s your habit.”

Other tips: We want to give you some other tips that work as well. We’re not nutritionists nor personal trainers but simply talking from personal experience and chatting to a lot of guys that have overcome these sorts of weight loss challenges.

“Understand the power of protein. If you are the kind of person that gets really hungry in the afternoon or something and you need to have a snack, and you said, “I’ll go downstairs, I’ll get myself a muffin or a croissant or something to get me through.” Wrong move. There’s your carbohydrates, there’s your sugars. The answer actually is to get yourself a nice low sugar protein bar, a small one. You can have that, you won’t even feel hungry for dinner. Protein fills you up, or even some almonds, so something with high natural fats. Almonds, just a couple of those. It’s a way, way, way better move than going and getting another sandwich or something like that.”

So, the power of that is to make you feel full. The other one is stopping the yo-yo effect. This is when you’re really good at losing weight, and then you gain it again, and then you lose it and then you gain it again. One of the guys that Greg learnt hypnosis from, not the original guy, the guy was called Milton Harrison, but he learnt from the guy that learnt off him.

“Milton tells a wonderful story about a woman whom he taught how to stop gaining weight. She came to him and she was 30, 40 kilos overweight. She wanted to lose about 30 kilos, and he said, “I’ll help you lose weight if you do one thing for me, but you have to promise me right now before I even tell you what it is, you have to promise me you will do it. Under no circumstances, if we agree to this, you have to do it.” She goes, “Okay, I’m in. I really want to lose this weight.” He said, “Okay. I need you to go and gain 20 kilos.”

That’s not the answer any of us was expecting.

“Exactly. So, what she knew how to do, she knew how to lose weight. All right? So, her pattern was lose weight, gain weight. Down, up, down, up, down, up. What did he do? He broke the pattern.

“He taught her by the process of learning to gain weight, she became very consciously aware of the mistakes she was making to gain weight. She begged him to stop. She goes, “No, no, no. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this.” He goes, “You do it.” At 10 kilos that she put on, she came and said, “I put on 10 kilos. Can I go down?” He goes, “No, no, no. You have to get there.” 18 kilos she comes back, he goes, “Get to 20, you’re not giving up.” At 20 kilos she comes in, “I’ve got there, I’ve got there.” He goes, “Okay, now lose as much weight as you want.” She lost 50 kilos. She never put it back on again.

“So, it’s a little bit of reverse psychology on yourself. Break the pattern. Then here is tip number three, start with a shopping cart. If it’s in the cupboard, this isn’t news to anyone, if it’s in the cupboard you’re going to eat it. We all like that, many of us have got a sweet tooth. If there’s chocolate in there, if there’s ice cream in the freezer, that is going to be gone no matter what. Okay? So, many of us don’t trust ourselves a lot of the time. Okay? We’ve got to get strong, and we’ve got a sweet tooth. So, always start with a shopping cart and make sure at the very beginning the bad stuff does not get in the door. Right? Because if it’s in the door, it’s gone.”

Now, the next point is the one Greg loves! It’s cheat day.

“A cheat day. Now, this comes from Tim Ferris when he talks about all these different kinds of physical fitness and weight loss techniques. So, cheat days, if you’re being quite disciplined, five, six, seven days a week, so five or six days a week, you damn well deserve a cheat day, because mentally or psychologically you’ve run out of steam. Discipline is hard, but if you get a day off or two, but what he says to do is on those days, is don’t just indulge. He goes, “Indulge.” Have everything on the menu. Right? If you’ve been eating really well all week, get the pancakes, put the ice cream on it, get the golden syrups and the smarties and the bananas, go nuts, plus have a milkshake with it. Have a coffee with three sugars. Overindulge so you’re sick of it.

“Because you’ve probably been on a low GI diet, a low glycemic diet all week, when you get to the weekend you have a bit of a cheat day, it’s a bit of a reset for you as well. For those of us who have tried that it does work. It’s fantastic. So, have a cheat day every now and then. Right? If you’re going to be disciplined, have a cheat day.

“In the Layton house, we’re pretty good from Sunday night through to Friday evening. We rarely have any alcohol, we eat pretty well. We just have meat and three veg or something for dinner. We’re good. We’re not perfect, but we follow some basic principles pretty close to the mark. Friday night we have a beer, we have a wine, we indulge a bit, we have a bit of dessert. It’s fantastic. Both do the same Saturday night, and then we’re back on the bandwagon again.”

So, the fifth point, it was a really important one for Greg, is that we eat habitually.

“It’s what we do. We get up and we eat. We have lunch at 12:30 or 12 o’clock, whatever you do. We have dinner at seven, whatever your pattern is. But are you even hungry? Sometimes you have a massive lunch, you go out and have a huge lunch somewhere, or you have a huge dinner and the next morning you’re not even hungry. What do you do? You still sit down to breakfast. Why? Listen to your body. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. Right!”

The sixth one is basic swaps.

“If you’re out and you’re at a pub lunch and you’re really on the bandwagon here and you’re trying to lose weight, don’t get the steak burger and the beer with all the extra chips and the tomato sauce. Sorry, get the salad mate. We know you don’t make friends with salad, but get the salad and put some protein in it. Make sure, if you get the salad, make sure you put some chicken or some fish or something in it to fill you up, otherwise, you’ll be no good. The thing is if you have that big lunch anyway, you’re going to have the after indulgence. So try and eat a small lunch if you can.

“Then the last thing is just if you’ve got the sweet tooth you’ve got to give yourself the treat every now and then. Indulge a bit. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Be nice to yourself. But four or five nights a week have nothing, and then have that treat on your cheat night!

“With fasting too – it is much more difficult if your fasting goes against the pattern of the household; you’re fasting and the rest of the household are piling on the food. That is why breakfast is a much easier meal to ‘fast’ with – there is not as much pressure and the effect is the same.

“Just skip the brekky because skipping brekky is easy. It’s just don’t pick up the cereal bowl or the toast or whatever, you just go without. You just walk out the door without breakfast. Right? The other key thing there, a real danger is that you then go and have milky coffees all morning, because that’s a source of nutrition. So, if you just go back to having black coffees or black teas, otherwise you’re putting more energy into the body and the body won’t go into ketosis.”

While Pricey does not work out as much as Greg nor is as disciplined in his eating, he walks a lot. But as we’ve said we’re not the gurus on this topic. This is just what we have learnt over the years and it has worked and continues to work.

There’s a million books on these topics out there, but do some decent research on this. If you just did those three things, get the sugar down, get the booze and beer out and do some regular fasting, if you do those three things alone, we guarantee you it’s, first of all, pretty damn easy, low stress, sustainable, and makes a difference.

Wait for that moment when one of your mates says, “What’s going on friend – you’re looking great!” Enjoy that moment!

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