There she was naked before me…the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen, beckoning, with that take me to bed look in her eyes…
“No thanks dear, Leeds are playing on the telly…” I heard myself say…
“WHAT!!!?” a voice was screaming in the back of my mind…”ARE YOU MENTAL?!?”
These days there is so much talk about resilience, about becoming harder to kill. And with good reason, the more resilient you are, the more stress and problems will simply bounce off you.
But I believe it’s being applied in a potentially harmful manner…this was certainly the case for me.
I found this out for myself this summer. I mentioned in my last post about how I spent most of the time from 2016 to 2020 on the sofa, recovering from a massive case of burnout.
This year I started to bounce back but managed to bugger things up because I missed one key thing.
And I bet, if you’re not firing at 100%, even if you haven’t burnt-out it’s something you’re missing too…
You see, I believed I had reached a point, through all the biohacking I was doing, where I was so Bulletproof, so resilient, I could push my body to the limit and simply bounce back. To this end I was working several jobs whilst getting a fledgling business off the ground.
I told myself I could manage all this because, in the background, I was doing everything right. My diet was flawless, I was exercising the perfect amount, sleeping great, I was emotionally stable, was breathing perfectly, fasting every now and again, taking cold showers…
Even so, after a few months of this…
I was totally exhausted, and despite being on the beach every day, hadn’t actually been kitesurfing for 6 months and was starting to hate it.
I was flatlining emotionally while still managing to be constantly grumpy.
I was sleeping badly and had a ridiculously low libido, to the point I was suffering from hydraulic issues, such was my lack of interest in sex (which, for those of you who know Tarifa in the summer, was some form of cruel torture for a single man!).
Oh I also had a certain illness which will not be named…twice.
One side effect of all this was I dropped to my leanest EVER. I had veins on my stomach…
But I don’t recommend this as a weight loss plan to anyone!
Especially as I’m seriously open to the possibility this was a cause of my low libido and other issues.
Trying to work out what went wrong I realised the simple truth of the matter…
If you have a knife wound and you want it to fully heal the first thing you have to do is…
Pull out the knife.
I realised I’d been living with a knife sticking out of my rib cage for the last few months (figuratively at least).
By focussing on being the most resilient I could possibly be without first changing my lifestyle all I had actually achieved was to give myself more energy so I could really wear myself out with my high octane lifestyle.
When we start dropping to really low body fat levels it can have a huge negative effect on our hormones, men can go much lower than women (men tend to start seeing problems at around 5% body fat women at 15%) but it’s worth keeping an eye on if you’re in search for that perfect body.
More energy meant I could handle more stress and so inevitably I did.
It was a nightmare roller coaster and one I was never going to get off. So when I announced I was going to spend 2022 on a journey to feel and look 10 years younger, (if you want to follow along with me as I do this just click the picture below) I knew I had to take action quick otherwise I wasn’t going to get out of the starting blocks.
So I figured…
What if instead of focusing on high performance, I first focussed on building a lifestyle which didn’t require resilience just to get through the day?
That way my poor body would have plenty of time to recover properly, to recharge and could cruise through the day with plenty left in the tank, to ensure I actually felt great whilst I was going through this journey of life.
The ironic thing about this new way of thinking, as I discovered, is it actually led to me becoming more resilient as my body now didn’t need to dip into its reserves of resilience every single day. Instead it just fills up the resilience tank a little more whilst always having plenty in reserve for when the inevitable emergency strikes.
Now I know for some of you this may be nothing world shattering but it certainly was for me, and it totally changed how I viewed my lifestyle.
You see I had always being about getting the most done, being productive and using my biology as a machine to push through and get the task done. What if I actually consciously reduced the amount I got done and took it easy on my body so I could actually enjoy the ride?
So I did.
I asked myself what was really important and then cut out all non essential work, started playing more, got back in to some hobbies I’d always loved but somehow just dropped by the way side, set my life up so I could live more on cruise control (this meant sacrificing certain luxuries but I decided the pay off was well worth it) and changed my mentality to stop hankering after more things I didn’t want or need, rather realising that my own biology, when it was firing on all cylinders, could give me everything I needed.
In just 6 weeks I’m back on form and firing, looking forward to going kitesurfing again and while I’m still a massive Leeds Utd fan I’m not using them as an excuse for avoiding other certain activities! (Gents, if you want to know how I did this contact me here and I’ll let you know in total confidence) All the problems I had have disappeared and I’m ready to get started on my journey in just a few weeks.
The take away? Before trying to build a life of high performance get the fundamentals in place and that means getting your lifestyle fixed first, so you don’t need to be high performance just to get through the day.
Counter intuitive? Absolutely…