Episode Highlights

00:02:17 How is it like for busy dads having a toddler.
00:03:51 Brief background about the guest.
00:05:24 Coping up with being burnt out
00:13:33 Changing routines for the better
00:21:09 Importance of macro nutrients and  hydration
00:23:00 Getting into exercise
00:25:57 Importance of quality sleep
00:33:12 Always good to be adaptable
00:39:06 Dealing and adapting with changes
00:41:17 Jame’s next step
00:45:41 The best take away


Fitness Guide




Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host. Darren Kirby.

Darren: Welcome back to the podcast. Guys, this is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 42. And joining me on today’s show is James Eager. James is a private coaching client who’s very kindly offered to come on the show and share his journey, going from a burnt out online business owner to a revitalized Dad.

James, thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?

James: I’m all right, man. How are you doing?

Darren: Yes, very well. In these, in these crazy times. It seems that the moment that every episode or record we start the show by talking about Corona. So let’s not break right with you. And just you’re all okay in the family are all well?

James: Well, indeed. I mean, these are unparalleled times. What should we get with the buzzwords out the way first.

Darren: Unparalleled. You know, unprecedented, you know, then you go on the other side of things, whereas there’s lots of opportunity. The world’s going to be on the reset. But I think ultimately for us kind of general normal people, it’s kind of we’re under house arrest, aren’t we?

James: Yeah, but certainly running an online business, as we both do, the elements of it, which definitely haven’t changed a bit. So it’s kind of a weird mix of normality and chaos at the same time.

So it’s certainly bizarre.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. And I think I heard someone else say the other day that, you know, when you’re running a business online, you’ve actually been in self isolation for a long period of time anyway. So for you is actually not much different.

James: No, it’s interesting. I’ve got good friends who do the city stuff in London and they’re finding it very, very challenging at the moment. I think so. So it’s not that much different for us. So, but certainly self isolation does have its challenges, doesn’t it? So,

Darren: Absolutely. Especially with young children and keeping them either off of YouTube or off a Fortnite or actually keeping them entertained. I know you’ve got a real young little guy say, you know, it must be challenging.

James: Oh, yeah. I mean, the sort of Corona challenge for me that forced quite nicely off the tongue, doesn’t it? So, yeah, it’s just Vicki, Oliver, my son, they, everything they do has stopped.

Their world has come to an end. And so it’s just those two guys together. And for them, it’s very, very challenging. And so for me, work hasn’t changed. But work has to keep going on.

And so it’s been about adapting my life and my routines and trying to look after them as best I can and finding new routine, I guess, within it, because the routine there. What makes them tick. Has, had to change drastically over the past few weeks. And also, he’s two and a half. I mean, it’s like I don’t know when awareness really comes in from a year and a half, that kind of thing. But he has his friends and all that kind of stuff. And and I don’t know what the conversation does in his head must be like about why he’s not seeing them anymore. And maybe that’s part of the increased tantrums we get. Who knows? But it’s good to go to have a wide perspective and be quite patient in this situation, I think.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. And I think you make a good point. It’s the you know, the little deeds that we forget about and they don’t really understand it. Or do they. They can’t understand what it like you say they’re not seeing their friends and they’re going to their little play-dates and all the rest of it. So, yeah, it must be challenging for them as well.

So, James, before we kick off, it’ll be great for the listeners to get some info and some background on you. And obviously, a bit more information about your business.

James: Yes, sure. I’m gonna keep it super brief, but I’m a professional musician by trade. I worked as a quote unquote session musician for the best part of ten years. And then I went into business and my first entrepreneurial endeavor with the events industry was a challenging one, to say the least, had it’s had had its amazing ups and downs and that kind of thing.

But it’s a bit of a cash flow roller coaster at times a bit off the back of that. I discovered Internet marketing and kind of ended up falling into a world teaching people how to play the bass guitar because I’m a bass guitarist by trade. And off the back of that, an online business has grown over the past three or four years where I’m sharing my skills and my perspective on the world of bass to students which are all over the world right this moment in time. So that’s what I do.

Darren: Yeah, fantastic. I think I can see now is a great time to be in the online space. And it’s how you and I kind of come to together and come to work together. So, yeah. I mean, so before we started to work together. James, can you give us a bit of background as to where you are in terms of fitness and health and the kind of challenges that you had?

James: Yeah, yeah, totally. I’ll be 100 percent candid, Hicks. There’s no point in not being the back end of the beginning of last year, I found myself in a position where I was 100 percent working for myself. Bass guitar was my so focus. And for the first five, six months of what was it, twenty nineteen, I, I went for it hard and I had a family to support and all that kind of stuff for business pulling start to pull out, start up and all that kind of thing. And I have to make sure it happened basically. And that’s exactly what I did.

And though some good stuff that happened there.

But around the middle of last year, I started experiencing some serious fatigue and real burnouts. And I was kind of let’s, Well, I mean, what I’ve discovered is this word burnout is completely different for every person as well. It’s a very unique to yourself. And so my spirit of burnout would be different to yours and anybody is listening to it. So I just kind of had to start stopping a bit, which was challenging because I had a family to feed and all of that kind of stuff. I had to back off the intensity a bit, shall we say. And really, ever since that, it’s been about pulling out that state a burn out and finding what my new rhythm is and sort of new normality at a more sustainable pace, shall we say. I mean, having your own business, that responsibility and the responsibility for a young family. I 

look back on it and I still feel like it’s quite a tall order to do it, to deal with all of that. So we kind of came to talk and so we were talking.

When did we start talking? Like January this year, wasn’t it properly? But I’d started on a little bit of a road before that. I mean, I’ve always been kind of interested in health and fitness and personal development or that kind of stuff, because I was still super, super tired and I knew that I wasn’t operating to my full potential. And I wanted to start getting towards that point of of doing it because I’d seen what I was capable of before. I’d seen what I’d done in business. Before that point, I, I knew I had a sense of what I was like when I was on fire. And yet I knew that I had to go on a bit of a journey to get back to that point. And I also knew that I still ultimately wanted to have my own business. And don’t get me wrong, there were times when getting a normal job and just being out to switch off at the end of the day would have been the one. But I’d never forgive myself if I do, did that, should say.

And, And it was a point of going, okay, I know there’s to a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow somewhere, but I need to kind of go on a journey together. I think that’s the best, best, best point. And start experimenting and finding out what’s going to work and what’s going to start making changes. And and that’s I’d already started a bit of that in December already.

And that kind of got me going. And then we started talking in January and you started adding some more elements into the mix. And now we’re three full months on, aren’t we? So, yeah, that’s kind of where we are now.

Darren: Cool. Yeah. I mean, it’s interesting. I think the burnt out part that you mentioned there is one which is is actually it’s quite common, but actually there’s very few people that I come across. There are actually a way that it’s burned out. And like you say, you know, burn out is a generic term that can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. Safe in your case, it was when you and I first started talking, it was around about the fact that it’s almost like you said, you know, the flame had gone out. You know, you almost started to not like your business. You knew you were capable of so much more. But just from your fatigue, from your mindset, from your energy levels, they were completely, you know, rock bottom, weren’t they?

James: Yeah. Yeah. They’ve been right at the rock bottom. And that’s hugely frustrating place to be because you start to question everything. Yeah.

And but I also learned that it wasn’t that unusual. I also learned that this was part of the journey. And I don’t think it’s talked about widely enough, which is why I’m very candid and very honest about it. You’ve got to let it not become an obsession and an excuse not to do stuff. And that’s that’s a very, very, very real thing. But you got to at the same time, tell it how it is. I believe. And this was an experience I have, having. And it’s part. It is. Part of my journey, and I’m kind of happy to share that.

Darren: Yeah, and I appreciate your openness to this, because it is you know, it is very difficult for some people to talk about because it is such a personal thing. And I think the bit that I would like to highlight is the fact that when we’re talking about fitness and nutrition, you know, automatically, you know, some of the I guess the I want to take pictures that come up in your head. Is someone being athletically fair and in be muscly bit fit. And actually, you know, fitness, nutrition, can have such a great impact in so many different other areas of life. That’s what I was trying to get to. And I see it as a vehicle. So, you know, particularly around tiredness and fatigue. You know, ordinarily when people are in this position because they are tired, because they are fatigue, the last thing they’re thinking about is fitness. And the last thing they’re thinking about nutrition. What they’re thinking about is how can I get over this slump? What can I maybe have from, you know, a food perspective to kind of pick me up? And a lot of times, unfortunately, people gravitate towards these highly sugary caffeinated energy drinks or the other side, which is kind of sweet stuff into informed and chocolate and chocolate bars and sweets and all the rest of it. So in terms of cause obviously you’d mentioned there before that, you know, you were into fitness and nutrition. So what had you done? You know, when you realize you were at that kind of burn out fatigued point what did you start to do before you and I started to speak?

James: I guess the I’d always eaten relatively healthily and I keep that word as relative, my partner, Vicky is aware shall we say.

And it’s also the interesting thing was I was actually and I still am in really kind of I’m in decent shape, actually.

I’m quite slim, that kind of thing at the moment. And I’d actually lost that weight of the six months before kind of stress and we’d gone vegetarian or if, largely followed. And so on the outset of things, I didn’t look largely unhealthy or anything like that, certainly compared to guys in their mid 30s, which is, I think, on the bare guts and all that kind of stuff.

So I was sort of at that point and so when I kind of stopped stored, starting to go into this December was a really interesting juncture because I got it into my head that I wasn’t sleeping properly. And so I thought, I know the first thing I need to start fixing is this. And so so I started stripping out a stripped out a lot of caffeine out of my life at that point.

I bought a book on how to sleep, and then I bought the other thing I bought was a Fit bit as well. And that was really, really instrumental in a mindset change for me. And I mean, I remember buying this thing and kind of just going, oh, I don’t need this. I know I’m sleeping badly. I’ll send it back. You know what I mean, you know, that kind of thing. Anyway, I kind of went for it and started using it. And the first thing I realized was actually, I’m not sleeping that badly. This is all in my head to begin with. There’s work that I need to do here, but it’s actually okay. But what it started doing was building a wider awareness. And it’s something I’ve realized this morning, which I want to touch on later in this, which is kind of related to this journey, which I actually haven’t even told you yet. So.

So bit of a bit of an open loop there. But so I started realizing that that wasn’t as bad, but it started getting me going into more of a routine and I started looking at my sleep, that kind of thing, and I realized that the best sleep was between 10 and 2:00 in the morning. And so from that point onwards, we’ve pretty much had a very retro tip minted bed time of lights off by 10:00. That kind of stuff, which has been kind of really cool. But then the backup back into the night is always light to sleep when you look at the graphs and all that kind of thing. And so it kind of was okay in my mind to that I wasn’t going to sleep so well if I woke up at 5:00 or in the morning or whatever, that kind of stuff. So that was that was kind of that was the first sort of part of it. Still going to get more of a sleep routine. And then I started talking to you and then diet kind of started coming into play and we started looking more closely at diet. And one of the things that you fly straight away, which goes back to the vegetarian thing, doesn’t surprise me, is the protein levels in my life were low. So it’s like I’ve started to now  much more consciously and it’s turning into conscious choices. I think that’s the thing that I want to put forward. That is awareness. Of looking at what I have for breakfast and how much protein I’m putting into my life, and now pretty much every day I have a note based kind of thing which is green in color.

It doesn’t look the most appetizing thing in the world, but you get your head around that with protein in which you put together for me. And yes, that’s really kind of cool because I make it the night before. And it’s there ready in the fridge the next day to eat.

And it’s like a simplicity thing that’s out there were a of eggs or something like that. but they’re really only kind of widely two choices I have for breakfast now and a lot of I think what’s part driving this. And with the sleep is getting some kind of routine into my life. And that’s what’s been lacking for many, many years.

And why this sort of self isolating kind of online work can be challenging because you’ve got to be very aware of your own routines. Shall we say?

Darren: Yes.

James: And certainly when I was a freelance musician, that was about earlier, it was I can’t just go from gig to gig all hours of the night. That kind of stuff. Coffee everywhere. I mean, that was a life I lived for 10 years. And I thrived off there to a certain extent. I loved knowing what not what was never known quite what was coming up, looking at an empty wake and suddenly three gigs would come in.

It was great, but I realized that wasn’t sustainable in the long term.

Both kind of physically how I wanted to live my life and financially. So I’ve had to move into other areas and this online kind of things happened. And that’s and that’s that’s part of it. So back to the point. Is it about routine and something as simple as breakfast can be a routine. And then there’s another little routines that I’ve got.

I take now take 750 millilitre bottle of water to bed and by 9:00 a.m. the next following morning, that has to be gone. So that’s a challenge I have for myself. And so I’ve significantly upped water levels.

So I’m doing like I know, two, two and a half liters day. And previously, I mean, I was living living off coffee and that barely touched water. And it’s the thought of you drinking that amount. I mean, it’s impossible. But now that points when you can have like, well, I can have a couple of liters of water, still be thirsty. It is insane how the body starts adapting to it over time.

You know, it’s so that routines are really sort of interesting kind of thing. And then I’ve stripped out some drinking so much water, I’m drinking a lot less coffee.

Most practically 90 percent of all the tea and coffee I drink now is about decaf as well. So it’s like I’m not adding so much, so much in the way stimulants into my life as well.

James: But also, I want to make a very key point here that I haven’t done much to. Normally, I’d beat myself up about this, but I haven’t managed absolutely everything you give me. But what I’ve done is I’ve managed to get certain points to stick, which are becoming part of a routine and part of how I’m living my life going forward. I think I’ve I spent too much time trying to put habits in place which were far too big. That could never be kind of kept up. And and this is really, really interesting. And this is kind of the Segway into the exercise stuff that started happening, I guess, like six weeks ago.

So. Yeah, yeah. So that’s kind of that’s roughly where we’re at man. So yeah.

No, I mean it is great and it’s very insightful. So, you know, just that last point you made there about, you know, not everything that I gave you stock. And I think that’s a really key point to pull out of that. And sometimes people think you don’t you won’t mind me saying this. You know, initially when I started to give you a lot of stuff, there was almost a level of overwhelm that came in because there was a lot of stuff in the door.

And you’d want you just can’t deal with this.

And so what I want to point out is that’s fine. You know, just do the stuff that works. And so what we did is we dug it back just to the breakfast. And like you say, know, it is great to hear. Now, that just becomes a routine thing. I mean, you’re very creative person. So kind of being, you know, kind of getting into a routine vs. your kind of, you know, carefree creativeness. It must be a big challenge for you anyway. And so kind of bringing that routine in, it just gradually is very, very important. The other thing, obviously, you know, before, you know, I started to talk was around, you know, you’d already started to track your sleep. But then when we started to work together, track in the diet. And this is something that I advocate to everybody before, you know, you have to get a baseline of where you’re at before you can change something, right? You don’t design a car and just decide to change it because that’s what you do. You have to take a baseline of what where that’s at and how that’s performing before you make any changes. And so, very quickly, by just tracking your diet for two weeks, as you already mentioned, then, and we were able to determine that you were very low on protein levels.

And, you know, we need these three macro nutrients that are in our diets. We need proteins. We need our fats. We need a carbohydrates. And their all at various different levels. But if you take one fundamental macro nutrient out of your diet, you’re going to be impacted in some way or another.

And everyone’s impacted differently. And, you know, you talk about the overnight hours and the green stuff, by the way, spirulina. And that’s got magnesium. And it’s got Yeah. Lots of great nutrients in it that your body needs. And it changes. Right. He had sent me pictures of his breakfasts when he was first doing it. And it was quite funny to these kind of green bowls of stuff. But yeah, I mean that. So I mean, the track in the diet, the routine and the hydration is huge as well. You know, hydration is if we are 10 percent dehydrated and we lose 50 percent of our concentration. And so, you know, the simple fact of being hydrated has an impact. Now, you know, the hydration . We’re not talking about the kind of fitness and I guess we are talking a little bit about nutrition, but what I’m trying to explain is that it’s all a puzzle, you know. And these were these kind of fitness and nutrition vehicle, as I like to call it, goes to build up the general health and wellness in life, basically.

James: Yeah, spot on, man. Absolutely.

Darren: So obviously, you know, you mentioned that some of the challenges and and struggles when we first started to work together from the point of, you know, routine and changing things and stuff like that. But, you know, what other things have you faced since we started to work together that you’ve had to overcome? Or maybe you’ve been a bit resistant to?

I guess the actually the biggest change that’s happened in the past six weeks is that we start we’ve started putting some exercise into place. And that’s been quite insightful in the whole process. And so you gave me something very simple to do, and that was two sets of twelve. We hit training, I believe you call it auto parts of training. Something like that, isn’t it? Yes. And that was literally all I started with. And he said to every other day. 

And then after about a week, I took it up to three sets. And that’s kind of where I’m at. And that has just turned into doing that four times a week. So I’m kind of doing it Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. And I mean, it’s it’s nuts to me to go. Hold on. I’m exercising four times a week by myself. I just want to ride in here at six or seven years ago. I did it with a personal trainer. I mean, like when they went nuts and spent the money and yet and did that. And so I always kind of knew I could do it. But I always kind of associate getting fit with having some trainer, that kind of thing. But for me, this is such a massive step because it’s easy to implement. It’s also part of my morning routine as well. I think 12 minutes of exercise in into the into the equation with some meditation before that kind of thing. So I think that’s the key thing is, is having it is part of routine.

And that’s that’s huge. And I’m probably now getting towards the point where I can start to up that a little bit to not be talking to you about what the next steps of that are. But it is the really interesting thing to close off the loop that I started earlier is that I’ve been sort of I look at the Fit bit thing every morning and I mean, it’s probably take everything with a grain of salt that what it reads. I would imagine that I’ve started in one of the things that was low back in December was my levels of deep sleep. So like eight or nine percent, that kind of stuff. Like I now starting in the light this morning when I looked at it, it was like 19 percent and everything was within the tolerant well, within the tolerances that they put their benchmarks. Yeah. And and I was kind of like going, well, why is this started happening? And the thing that I can attribute that to is I where I hope I can attribute to is exercise, because I think that must be start because is is well known that exercising helps you sleep, doesn’t it? So. Yeah. There’s also some supplements in there as well, so maybe three months down the road that they will kick in and nicely and what have you. But yes, 90, 90 days worth of work, I guess, is now is now being is now sort of coming to fruition. really.

And that’s really I’m really glad you pointed that out, because, you know, I use this analogy that we live in an Amazon economy. Right? So we we click and buy the day and we want result tomorrow. And with health and fitness, you know, in a very short space of time, you can start to get results. But to get long term lasting results, it takes time and it takes consistency. And that’s one thing that you have been, James, is you have been consistent. And like you say, you now starting to slowly start to see the results. And, you know, like he said, fitness does help with sleep, is well known and scientifically proven that people like endurance athletes, for example, have way more better quality sleep because of the the it’s not necessarily fatigue, but it’s the fact that they you know, they they built their mitochondrial system in their body, which is the little which are energy within ourselves. They’re constantly being replenished. They’re constantly being worn out. And therefore, the body is able to go into this deep sleep and able to kind of replenish and regenerate. And that’s what happens when we go into deep sleep. So deep sleep is very, very important. It’s not just about sleeping. Deep sleep is the real quality sleep. When the body’s really systems of down regulated it, they’ve all kind of been shut down and that’s when the body starts to regenerate and replenish.

And so you’re starting to see the effects now. So that’s that’s really cool. But but the other thing I wanted to point out as well, James, is, you know, you you mentioned there it’s 12 minutes of work. And then for the listeners, listen to this. That’s all you need. You know, you only need those 12 minutes of high intensity interval training, providing you not training, training for any event. You’re just doing it for general or around fitness. And it’s very, very important. And the other point about it is being able to do it anywhere without any equipment. Now, there’s a lot of gurus out there that will harp on about you need heavy weights and all the rest. And I advocate. You do. You definitely do. But when we do talking about general health, when we’re talking about general fitness, to get you from a place where you perhaps have not done it for a few years or you’ve not got results starting off with these 12 minute interval sessions are really, really key. And the other point, you know, James, is that, you know, you said that you’ve got Oliver, a little guy. And he can now get involved. He has got involved with you, hasn’t he? In some instances.

James: Yeah. He has got in the first few times he did get involved with me. He’s not so keen now. So I think he’s. And I think he possibly has his father’s more creative genes, shall we say. Not not certain. Not the sporty. He wasn’t blessed with the sporty genes. Like I wasn’t either. He’s got involved in trying to run around and do squats.

 And he’s sitting in the middle my legs and and then playing with it, playing. I suddenly find him with a timer. If it’s batter time on my phone and other times if I’m up the creek and that kind of stuff. So it’s yeah. It’s cool. I mean, this is part of being a parent, but it is good to get to get them involved and see them see you doing that kind of thing. Yeah. 

Darren: And I think, you know, whilst they know their retention levels of that age are very, very low, you know, unconsciously that will be going in. And, you know, like my two boys did. They will start to pick up on that and they will start to realize that that’s part of my being, you know, being a little bit of a fitness workout and stuff like that. So, you know, from my perspective, that’s that’s a very good kind of an example to set. Really. So when we know when we started on with the program with me, James, what kind of other impacts did in doing this? Both positive and negative have on the family?

James: It’s hard to say.

I think it’s it’s been a largely positive. I think potentially the shopping’s got harder in some respects. I mean, that’s part of the planning and the organization, that kind of stuff. And living with a vegetarian or part time vegetarian, I should say, really is. Is that there’s not a lot of meat or protein in the shopping. So I have to push for that a little bit harder than that and trying to keep that up. And I’m hoping to get to a point where I do more of my own shopping more have more of an active thing in there when I guess. It’s all to do with how much you can handle in life, and my focus is still in the business at the moment and trying to do the best I can there. But hopefully there’ll be a point where that backs off a little bit and I can have a bit more focus on the diet, nutrition and of the household and all that kind of thing. So, yeah, I think that’s been something that has been the that’s been the challenging. One of the challenges is been the preparation and that kind of stuff. To to make sure we’ve got the right stuff in the house and that that kind of thing. And I’ve often fallen off the wagon there. But I think it’s you who said to me, oh, many people have said, but be gentle on yourself. I beat myself up hugely. And there were also times when it can be so tough learning a new skill. And I guess you just go to class. All this nutrition as as a skill, as some as a knife sharpening that kind of stuff. And it’s like there’s certain things that have to be right and there’s certain things that just don’t matter.

And I certainly it with the bass guitar players I teach, they’ll go down such rabbit holes. But then there are some important stuff. And in life, I kind of remember talking to you on the phone going, well, what about this? What about that? And you’re going to it doesn’t matter. But then there’ll be certain things like I never knew before I took it to. It starts at this. There was actually a difference between roll dates and projects, that kind of stuff. And getting the right ones of those is fairly important. So it is a put that some that’s that’s an experience thing. And and also, I mean, I’ll also tell you this morning, like, I had to improvise breakfast because for some reason I forgot to make my bowl of green stuff last night. I don’t know why I did. And and so I and I didn’t have time to make hot porridge and actually have kind of can of hot porridge ever since the cold stuff now. And so I found a lot of granola, like fairly natural canola in there, a made up sort of protein shake with the protein which went on the top out added spirulina in there and added a later yogurt in there. And I kind of probably came up with much the same thing, which would have a similar similar effect. Probably not quite the same, but it was my way of getting out for a hole this morning because. Because it goes wrong. But it’s not. I guess the thing is not to completely fall off the wagon at that point and go get it. Let’s have a bottle of Coca Pops. Yeah. Be gentle. It’s work in progress.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I don’t try that as well I think. Can we you know, when we try, like you say, when we try and learn a new skill, you know, we’re generally very committed and we go rain and sometimes frustration builds if we can’t do exactly how we need to do it. And like you say, you don’t beat yourself up about it. You know, missing like like this morning, for example, you know, you could have thrown your toys in the air and go right on. Like you said, I wanna have coca pops. And but the key thing now, we now have the knowledge to know how to do that.

That’s one of the my biggest things I try to to say to everybody, you know, we have to be adaptable. Life is not a linear process. And, you know, learning anything can understand in anything new is never going to be easy. But that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t adapt and you can do things. And maybe not a hundred percent and you used to like to find breakfast this morning. You got your protein in there. You got your fats in there from yogurts and you got your carbohydrates going from, you know. All right. So it might have a little bit of sugar in it, but that’s not going to set you back the last 90 days. And, you know, the other thing around it, particularly when you have people in households have got they are very biased towards a certain diet because it could be, you know, ecological preferences and vegetarian and big.

And that’s massive thing at the moment. And it is a bit of a cliche comment, but it doesn’t work for everybody and not everybody is the same. And so that can be that can be challenging and that can be very contentious in a household where, you know, you are a vegetarian and your partner’s vegetarian. And we’re setting you aside. Right, because of my health, I’m now going to change that can create conflict as well. And it’s being mindful about that.

So, you know that that’s very important to be able to respect the other person’s wishes or why they want to follow our diet and being able to follow your own diet as well. So, yeah, a lot of this is about being being adaptable, I think.

James: Yeah, totally. Totally.

Darren: So in terms of, you know, obviously when we started to work together, we worked together from the perspective of weight and fitness. It was more about, you know, your energy levels and your fatigue and stuff like that. But what would you say? 

All the kind of biggest lessons you’ve learned or the biggest changes you’ve made to your lifestyle now?

James: Just routine. Right. Reduce overwhelm, create routine. Yes, it’s it’s that and that will be probably work in progress to my dying days, I would say probably. Knowing that that’s actually kind of not naturally how I’m wired to do that.

And I kind of wish I was the I could be gentle with myself in other ways. Are people which can’t do the stuff that I do. So.

So but it’s just about going and going. Going on and going on a journey to get there. And for it to take time.

I mean, one insightful, I guess, insightful thing. That’s a conversation I had with Vicki, my mother half I do know a couple of months ago when I was like wanting to build a business and be like my kind of do all these changes. And she’s just said that we got a two and a half year old. Is it okay if we just maintain what we’ve got and get through this? Yes. And I kind of thought about it and went, okay. Yeah, I think it is. If we’re in the same position in a year’s time, we got a happy, healthy child and we’re not particularly in debt or anything like that. And we feel better. We’ll be in a much better place to grow a business or get super fit or whatever like that. But if we kind of go for broke now, I mean, what could happen? I mean, I don’t know, divorce or I’m not married, but, you know, I mean, what what what else could break? And we’re very much, I think, programmed as how can I say individuals certainly. I mean, in the fitness space. Yet you always looking at a guy with with six pack and all that kind of stuff, aren’t you, and oiled up and all that kind of stuff.

In the business year, you’re having someone kind of, oh, I built 100 million dollar business or whatever, that kind of whatever whatever it is, all the all these high fliers I thrust in your face the whole time. And I kind of sometimes think it’s not always possible to be there because everybody’s circumstances different. I often think if I was maybe if I was the only bass guitar in my 20s or something like that and it bit different, it be a different scenario to what it is being. Thirty nine with with a two and a half year old. It’s, it’s a different, it’s a different, it’s a different is a different circumstance. But at the same time what I say, what I say there is with huge caveat is you don’t want to take your foot off the gas and that kind of stuff. And I’ve been very conscious of not doing that and using it as an excuse bites. But it’s just to be be realistic. I think has is that is the word. And you’re. This is a podcast.

But that’s isn’t it. And certainly parenthood is one of the most intense things you one can ever do. Yeah, I’m sure there are those characters out there which can have 10 children and build and build a ten million dollar business. I mean, I’m I’m sure that they’re that kind of thing, but everybody’s different. Going back to the burnout thing, everybody’s experience of that is different.

And that’s the thing that I take, is that that just deal with your own unique situation and get through it as best you can.

Darren: Yeah, definitely what I’d add to that is, you know, again, our bodies are vehicles, fitness and nutrition are vehicles with an unless and unless they are running or dying. And they are. Yeah. And the best possible level is that they can be for your age and your circumstances, then you’re not going to be able to do all the other things in life that you want to achieve.

If that’s not taken care of. And and I think this becomes more you’ve become more aware and this becomes more relevant. Certainly I to get towards that magic number of 40, because it’s it’s a psychological thing where you get to that number and it’s almost like you start reflecting on where you’ve come from and where you thought you would be in life.

And then there’s the other, you know, the kind of physical element of a things start changing.

But you talk about the women going through the menopause. But actually scientists have said that, you know, men do go through a called the midlife crisis. But but but things physically start to change. Your metabolism is a lot slower. You know, you’re not as active as the joints may be hurt a little bit more. And so you need to adapt. It’s not a case of you not doing anything or just giving up. Like you said before, is actually just adapting and realizing. I think when you get to this kind of time in your life is there is no longer a race.

You know, when you’re in your 20s, everything is a massive race and you can do everything on, you know, two or three hours sleep and all the rest of it. Whereas when you get to this age, your kind of responsibilities change, particularly when you’ve got family and you’ve changed and evolved as a person. You realize that it’s actually you know, it’s more of an endurance sport than it is. It is kind of a race and you slow down. But that doesn’t mean to say you need to stop and give up. So, yeah, that’s what I would kind of add to that, really. So in terms of what what you see is as going forward, then, James, what what what’s next? How do you see yourself maintaining the plan if you’ve got any goals or anything like that?

James: I think the next goal is really to start upping the exercise further. I think I want to get to a point where I can do more of that, and I really want to significantly feel the effects of exercise. I want to get to the point mentally where my life is in a worse position from not exercising. Yeah, that’s that. It’s just not it’s just not an option not to exercise that kind of things. I know. Yeah, I know. I feel kind of so, so bad if if I don’t. And that’s I mean, I guess that’s one of the things I’ve taken from this. There are certain foods. That’s the one that I’m more sensitive to others. I remember having a chat with you about a hot chocolate I had and an hour later I was falling asleep, you know?

I mean, so it’s I think there’s probably I may be quite sensitive to sugar and caffeine in some respects. I mean, I’ve got nothing to base that I have. I mean, scientifically based on a guess. But it’s. But it is having it’s having as having an awareness of of all of that kind of of all of that stuff. And the other times I have caffeine now, it’s like actually monitoring. How do I feel that kind of stuff. I’m looking at all that stuff. That’s nutrition wise. I kind of want to get some stuff really nailing down lunch, that kind of stuff. That’s I think that’s that’s a big that’s that’s a that’s a big one. I’m narrowing down kind of my cantrip contribution to the shopping basket every week, that kind of stuff. So, yeah, there’s still there’s still a lot of work in progress, but I think there’s some reasonably solid habits that start to be created now, which which, um, which are hoping will build and keep feeling the benefits of as time time goes forward.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. I’d agree with that.

I think I’m I’m really happy with, you know, from when we started speaking January to where you’re right now and, you know, even even Meng’s is kind of I guess you call it a coach or whatever. You know, I wanted you to get results quite quickly and in the early stages, not be honest. No.

When we when we start going through and looking by and changing things, my understanding is that you would start to see some improvement quite quickly. And then when when you did and I was like, wow, okay, what we’re going to do now. And it’s just kind of drilling down into it further. But we had that baseline to work from and we were able to start, you know, starting to pick pick it apart. And I think the other point about about food, you have since. You know, that is scientifically proven from the perspective of our gut microbiome is individual to every single person on the planet.

And, you know, there’s four trillion different bacteria in your gut, not trillions or a billion bacteria in your gut. And it’s almost like, say, a it’s like a fingerprint in the sense size, all different. And so some food, you know, we talk about kale and spinach, all being healthy for us. But for for some, they’re absolutely toxic because of the nitrates that contained within the plant, things like that. So absolutely no mention about hot chocolate and sugar. You may very well be way more susceptible to that than somebody else. But we would only determine that by having a gut microbiome test, which obviously we did talk about and we decided to do in more of a pragmatic way between in terms of your new diet and input some exercise.

Yeah, I yeah, it felt to me like it is better to explore the exercise thing and then do that and explain. I’ll be really interested to do that. The DNA testing I’d be interested in as well. But it’s just kind of one thing at a time really I think is you can’t be testing too many things at once, otherwise you don’t get the results to.

Darren: And you don’t you don’t know what’s having impact of what’s having the effect if you’re doing too much or one. So, yeah, no, I agree with that. So, James, before we finish up, is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you felt I should have asked you that would benefit the listeners?

James: No, I think. I think I think we’ve covered everything. My my take on all of this is to be gentle on your self .

I remember something you said to me? And it kind of struck a chord. And it’s why it’s good to have coaches in this world and people looking objectively. That said, you said to me, you’re a high achiever. And actually, I’d never thought of myself as a high achiever. And strangely enough, it’s the program we have from children’s school, that kind of thing. I’m not academic. I’m not sports. I got it done my own thing, but I’ve always had the drive to be successful and prove stuff to the world and have my place in it. And you said you said you’re a high achiever, but you’ve got to be gentle on yourself at the same time. Yes. And there’s points. I remember one afternoon we spoke and I’d had a headache. Can you just sit tight the rest of the day off or something like that? You can’t push yourself in this state.

And a lot of the time, I mean, obviously, it does it can have a bearing on productivity, that kind of stuff. And kind of. But but there are times when it’s when when it’s better to try and stop work and remember that often I went out and had a had a cup of tea or something with family that afternoon because it just wasn’t and a bath that evening. So it’s kind of it’s just be gentle. Just just don’t don’t expect too much of yourself. And otherwise you end up going to get it only going to end up getting frustrated.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah, I agree with that. And I think that the fact that, you know, sometimes all too often maybe in base nursing careers in entrepreneurism, this whole notion around grind, you have to grow and grow pointless grind. And if you’re not effective, you could say your your desk at your computer for the next eight hours. But unless you’re switched on mentally and you know you’re not fatigue, you unit, you’re going to sit there and you’re not going to achieve anything. So, you know, it’s recognizing when you’re at that point and saying, okay, right. Only to back off. Now, any could be for 10, 20 minutes and then come back and you’ll find that you’ll be re-energized, revitalized, and then you’re actually more effective. So. So. Yeah, know that’s been amazing. Thank you very much for coming on the call. I really, really appreciate you coming on and sharing your story so much more to connect me with a bass guitar. How can the voice, your social work, your web address?

James: Yeah. If you look at the bass guitar world, if you’re a bass guitar player or interested in music, check out ebassguitar.com.  Have a personal website, too. Jameseager.com.

Yeah. And I guess if you want to hunt me down any other way. It’s probably not too hard.

Yeah. And you can hunt him down on Facebook and I’m sure you’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have on the guitar slide and also his journey to date. James, thanks very much for joining me. And stay safe and I’ll look forward to catching up with you soon.

James: Indeed, us totally.

Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe. And I would really appreciate if you could leave a review on change all the things mentioned in the upside. We’ll be in the show notes and a full transcription. He’s over at Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast.