I discovered the benefits of juicing back in 2004, when I attended Anthony Robbins Health Mastery event in Vieques, which is off the coast of Puerto Rico, it changed my life completely and I started juicing as soon as I got back home. This is 8 years ago. Following that I lost 44 pounds and I felt amazing. My weight has been an issue for me since I was 7 years old. My eldest brother Steven used to make fun of me and told me I looked like a 'Biafran'. These were the kids in Nigeria that were dying from famine in the mid 1960's, during the Nigerian Civil War and we saw photographs regularly on TV and in the press of starving children with huge distended stomachs from protein deficiency, which horrified people around the world.
Here's a photo of me when I was that younger skinny child! I thought I looked healthy, what do you think?
Now, I am not blaming my brother, because I am the only one responsible for my decisions and what followed was, what I can now regard, as an 'eating disorder' and my addiction with sugar.
I slowly gathered extra kilos and didn't feel good about this, which made me eat more sugary sweets, to compensate for the feeling I had recognising that I was getting heavier and heavier (The Dutch are masters in liquorice and sweets and my Grandfather worked for the Dutch Sugar Company too!).
My Mum told me it was just 'Puppy-Fat' and that I shouldn't worry so much. I believed her although deep inside of me I realised that it wasn't going away.
Cut a long story short, I have struggled with my weight for decades and when I finally shifted the weight in 2004, I vowed that it would never ever happen again, but of course it did…
When I shared with people that I didn't 'do sugar' any longer and that I never wanted chocolate again, they told me not to be so silly and convinced me that I was taking too hard a stance with sugar and should relax a bit. So I did and that was a mistake!
You never tell an alcoholic that they should relax it a bit when they have stopped drinking, in fact we call them a recovering alcoholic and that's what they become for the rest of their lives. Well it's no different with sugar. In fact the issues that alcohol cause in the body, are virtually identical with sugar, see the image below.
Sugar (in the form of chocolate and sugary foods) entered my diet again and it slowly increased week on week, month on month, year on year. And in the past 3 years I have ensured I had my fair share of sugary foods on daily and regular basis. Besides that most 'label foods' have added sugar to make you want to eat them even more!
I even stopped juicing, which had become part of my lifestyle for years and I was getting major regrets, which made it even worse.
And what's even more ridiculous, I studied this stuff. I am a trained Kinesiologist and I should know better! I also trained to be an exercise trainer in Psychocalisthenics, but gave it up, because I felt a fraud teaching people to exercise, when I was overweight myself.
So I started a new journey back in September 2011 to increase the amount of exercise and upped my cycling regime and I had great success, because I steadily increased my routes and kept adding mileage every week, accumulating 260 miles in a month and even more in October 2011.
But I hadn't changed my diet, so although I was getting fitter and my average heart rate was dropping, the weight wasn't shifting.
So the winter was upon us, my cycling slowed down, because of the weather and the food still hadn't changed. I did 'try' a couple of times to cut out sugary foods, but found it tough with two stepsons, who love sugary food and it's in the house. OK so I could have been disciplined and stop myself from eating it, but I just couldn't resist. Sugar has been an issue for me for over 45 years and the sugar terrorist within me demanded it!
Come January when everyone goes on a detox, weight loss and exercise regime of some kind, I did manage to get back on the bike again and managed 156 miles in the month. Not bad going I thought. But the weight was still there!
I receive emails from Jason Vale 'The Juicemaster' and I saw that he was organising a worldwide juicefast in January. I didn't join it then and was disappointed that I hadn't. I know juicing works, because I have done it before in 2004/5. When I lost a massive 44 pounds, had a 32" waist, which I can't remember ever having in my adult life! So why didn't I join in??
So I continued doing nothing about it. No, it wasn't working, so when Jason Vale sent another email in April suggesting another worldwide event, this time it was called '14-day spring clean', I decided to join it.
I started on the 16th April and within a week lost 6.5 pounds, which I am delighted about. The most brilliant thing of juicing and following Jason's routine is that it stops all the cravings for sugary foods. Once you cut them out for 7 days (and as Jason says, we can all do something for 7 days), you just don't want them anymore. I can truly say that although the snacks, chocolate, donuts, crisps are everywhere around the kitchen for me to see, I just don't fancy them now and in fact, I know that I won't be going back there either, which is the best thing.
Furthermore the fact that this is a 14-day plan, means you are staying off these foods for even longer, reducing the cravings further, literally re-wiring your brain to say, I don't need those any longer in my life.
Here's my testimonial video for the 14-day spring clean.
I did it with alcohol back in 2004 and also with meat and I have never needed them again.
Now they say after 30 days whatever it is that you are doing, you will form a habit. So my decision was to continue on Jason Vale's 'Juice Yourself Slim' plan for an extra 16 days, which consists of juices during the day and soup in the evening.
I love the juices and soup has always been a favourite of mine, so I can't see that I will have an issue with it, in fact to be more positive, I will be very successful in doing it.
Of course I will be flexible, as I know I will have some business meetings to attend, which may include lunch, in which case I will just ensure I eat a salad or rice and vegetables. It's not rocket science is it, I just need to be sensible.
After an extra week after the 14-day plan, I was still on target, the weight loss continued and the soups were getting more varied and tastier. I have even begun making my own soup recipes. Making fresh soups is so delicious and healthy too. Jason talks about 'no label' foods and it makes so much sense.
I even found that I have more energy with my cycling, well I suppose you would have when you are roughly a stone lighter. I set myself a target to lose 10kgs or 22 pounds by the end of June. And I am already 60% there after just 3 weeks in early May, so I guess I need to revise my target to the end of May! At time of writing this, I have lost so far 16 pounds in just 3 weeks. It really is amazing what you can achieve when your mind has decided to change forever!
Weight reduction chart in kgs.
Whilst doing this I also found some great videos to motivate me.
There is one by Robert Lustig, it's over and hour long but well worth it. Then the University of California also released a short series of videos by Robert Lustig. So I am sharing both of these with you here.
Some fascinating new research on the effects of sugar on the brain and how in the past 30 years we have managed to switch off the hormone leptin, which tells the brain that we are full. This phenomena has been caused by the amount of insulin that gets secreted when we over eat sugar. But watch the videos and that will explain all.
My clothes are getting looser on me and I can already visualise the fact that I will be wearing those smaller clothes which are in storage. Thankfully I held on to them knowing that one day again I would fit in them again. And I know I will very soon.
Jason talks about 'Freedom from the Diet Trap' and he's absolutely right. I know in myself that I haven't been free for years and that now I know that I am free.
Watch Jason's video here;
It's taken me decades to get to this point and then again I am a classical case of going through the 6 stages of change, where I managed to change back in 2004, but relapsed and went back to the start of the 6 stages of change and my sugar addiction. This has been well researched and below is the link to the article to give you more insight about it.
Note: as with all these things, there are some criticisms on this, but you have to see if it makes sense and relates to you and certainly it relates to me perfectly.
I am pleased to say that I feel and know in myself that I have reached the final stage, which is described as;
'Individuals have zero temptation and they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping'.
If you want to learn more on how to do this, please go to www.juicemaster.com and join the thousands of us that have become free from the 'diet trap'!