Two years ago I was in constant pain. Having injured my back several years before, simple things like putting on shoes or picking something up from the floor would leave me in agony. I also had sleep apnoea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and gout attacks. I was constantly tired and my immune system was so low that if I caught a cold, even though others would bounce back quickly, I would be incapacitated for weeks.
I fell into the habit of comfort eating and going back to bed at every opportunity, wiping out my weekends.
Back in my twenties I was always in the gym – fit, healthy and full of energy, so it was hard for me to reconcile with where my health was in my forties.
Not long after my back injury my wife decided to go vegan and we had two very different diets. Mine was filled with meat (much of it processed), sugary drinks (as a Scot, Iron Bru is in my blood!), and take away food. My wife’s diet included lots of vegetables, pasta etc – but looked a bit limited and boring. Yet, regardless, I saw her health improve in a way that neither of us expected. She had often been breathless, tired, achy and had skin problems. Suddenly, all of this reversed!
This made me curious about what a plant-based lifestyle might do for me, but I had lots of worries. I am very aware of the importance of protein and couldn’t see how I would get what I needed without eggs and meat. I was also a very big fan of cheese and the idea of giving it up was unthinkable!
A friend then sent me a newspaper interview with Craig from Silverback Strength in Coventry about how a plant based diet had helped him. I reached out straight away and, in January 2017, I started training under Craig’s coaching; I went completely plant-based through Stephanie’s meal plans.
My personal training was designed to build up my core and help with all the health problems I had. The meal plans were varied, tasted amazing, and have meant that I haven’t missed all that horrible processed nasty stuff (I don’t even miss the cheese)!
Fast forward 20 months from when I started with Silverback – I rarely feel any pain in my back and I can easily pick things up from the floor. I never thought I would be able to say that! My blood pressure has normalised – I am off the blood pressure meds that I took for 15 years! My sleep apnoea has gone! My cholesterol is low! My gout is under control, and my immune system is much more resilient! I have energy, I don’t need to sleep in the day, and having turned 50 this year I am healthier than I have been since my 20s!
While I still reach for a bag of crisps or sweets sometimes, I will never stop my plant based diet, and I hope to never stop training with Silverback Strength! (Admin: Us too, Steve!)