Where we chat about health, happiness, heartbreak, love, loss and life.
Age Bracket: 26-30
Lives: Birmingham, United Kingdom
Some of my earliest memories were TV adverts for a late night programme called ‘Men and Motors’. Half-naked women would writhe around encouraging men to call in and chat. I did call in and chat, several times, with my Dad’s credit card. It caused problems.
I think a life that isn’t being lived in the moment, isn’t being lived properly. If you can’t appreciate what’s going on around you at any given point, then I don’t think you’re doing it right.
I’m currently the healthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life, physically, mentally and emotionally. I workout five or six times per week, heavy weight lifting. I eat a 99% vegan diet. I very rarely drink alcohol, smoke or do any other drugs. I’m in love. I’m clear-headed. I’m honest. I’m happy.
I’m the last person you would ever think would go vegan. I was staunchly carnivorous. But then I started looking into the benefits. I got over the ‘Where do you get your protein?’ myth. I realised the extent of animal cruelty in the meat and dairy industry, and I came to the conclusion that there was only one way to go: veegs. I have never been stronger, leaner, more muscular or happier and my diet is a massive reason for it.
The most ill I’ve ever felt was a few years ago after a night of drinking, getting stoned and doing MDMA. The next day was hellish. One of my mates spooned me to help me feel better. My skin felt itchy on the inside. I was violently shaking and vomiting. I couldn’t think straight. I felt horrific and yet, bizarrely, it wasn’t the last time I did MDMA.
When the doctor confirmed that my wife was miscarrying our baby…I can barely find the words to describe the pain I felt in that moment. I was overwhelmed with emotion. Just raw and total sadness. I started crying. Sobbing. Loudly and uncontrollably, in front of everyone in the hospital room and I couldn’t stop. That was the worst moment of my life. Sometimes you take things for granted and you don’t realise how much they mean to you until you’ve lost them.
I think I have body image issues as much as the next man. I can look at myself in the mirror and think ‘I wish this or that was different’, but I know I can change it if I eat well and exercise properly. So the only issue I really have is being disciplined and patient enough regarding my goals. I don’t see the point in making excuses. We can do most things if we prioritise them highly enough.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is my ultimate fitness idol. He’s the best there ever was with regards to bodybuilding. His discipline was phenomenal. I love The Rock, Terry Crews and a lot of the CrossFit athletes too: Matt Fraser, Rich Froning, Katrin Davidstottir, Annie Thorisdottir, Kara Webb, those guys are amazing.
My life used to revolve around alcohol. For a few years I was in a band and worked in a bar where the bartenders were encouraged to drink every night on shift. My lifestyle was all about getting drunk, getting stoned and getting laid. I always suffered with ‘hangover guilt’ – a vague and constant feeling of not quite knowing who I’d offended or how. Just that I probably needed to apologise for something. Drugs make you dependent and dumb to one extent or another. It’s pretty lame to live like that.
For years I used pornography compulsively. A lot of men use porn in the same way, as a daily, secretive habit. I think it’s become a huge problem and yet it’s rarely discussed. I think, like any compulsive behaviour, it provides a buffer between you and your real life. On an evolutionary level, it fucks with your hormones and brain chemistry. It’s a shortcut to a dopamine release. I think it has a detrimental effect on men, on the way they view women, sex and relationships in general. The secrecy and deception alone can cause a lot of issues, especially in relationships. Pornography is corrosive in so many ways. I found it really difficult to stop at first but I don’t use it at all anymore and I still can’t believe the extent of the benefits. Everything is so much better. Terry Crews, Russell Brand and Chris Rock have talked about it openly and the ‘No Fap’ movement is gaining momentum, which is great.
“Reps. Reps. Reps!” That’s the thing that Schwarzenegger kept going back to in his autobiography; how important repetition is. You’ve got to keep practicing at anything you want to excel in. If you keep doing something over and over again, you’re likely to get better at it – and that’s true for good things and bad. If you keep doing something that’s bad for you, you’ll probably get better at doing that bad thing.
Honesty is so important. Honesty with yourself and honesty with other people. I used to give the impression that I was at my happiest being drunk or stoned all the time. I used to claim that I didn’t see anything wrong with using pornography, prostitutes or strip clubs, but deep down I knew that wasn’t the truth. Pornography is everywhere and I don’t know a single man who hasn’t used it routinely at one time or another, but it’s a habit that’s mostly conducted in secrecy so we don’t tend to openly talk about it. We know that pornographic websites are the most viewed thing, by far, on the internet, so it’s obviously a huge issue that’s going on all the time mostly behind closed doors. When something is that widespread and normalised it’s hard to see it for the negative thing that it actually is.
I don’t believe in gods or religions. I think they were invented as a way of manipulating people. Shared myths have always been a part of society. When a lot of people have a unifying belief in anything it’s useful as a way of controlling them. For some people it’s comforting to think that ‘everything happens for a reason’ even the worst things imaginable. They think there must be a master plan. I think that’s nonsense. There are just some things that we, as humans – with our limited intellect, can’t comprehend. Some people aren’t comfortable with that so they feel the need to provide themselves with answers like ‘it’s god’s will’ or ‘god works in mysterious ways’. I’m completely comfortable with knowing that we don’t know everything.
To me, the best thing about being alive is that you only get to do it once. Once. One chance. That’s amazing. That’s exciting. This life is so precious. This is all there is, so live well, be grateful and make the absolute most of it.