46 Things About Me

I founded Healthy Enough with the intention of writing for people just like me. Why? Because people just like me are the people I can best serve. Which brings me to this article – an expose on me. However, this post isn’t all about me; it’s actually intended to be more about you (i.e. how I can best serve you as a Healthy Enough reader). By reading this, you will quickly discover whether Healthy Enough is for you.

I hope that by writing this piece, I’ll get to know you better. With that in mind, once you’ve read through the following 46 things you should know about me, please share something about yourself via Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to getting to know you better!

1. I’m 28 Years Old

My birthday is 5th September 1985. In some ways I feel like a pretty old 28, but in other ways I still feel like a kid. Adulthood is still a somewhat foreign concept to me.

2. I’m a Professional Blogger

That’s right – I make a living from blogging. Not with this blog mind you – Healthy Enough is a labor of love.

I am the founder of Leaving Work Behind and I produce content for blogging clients. For the most part, I absolutely love it. Freedom rocks.

3. I Hate Tardiness

I hate being late – I think it demonstrates a lack of respect for people’s time. It really bugs me when someone is late and doesn’t even offer an apology.

4. I Love Music

Life would be a real struggle for me without music – I think it’s one of the greatest forms of expression we have. I play guitar and piano and I used to sing in a band.

These days, my singing is mainly limited to car journeys.

5. I Love Reading

I often go in and out of phases of reading, but I am well and truly “in” at the moment.

I’ve just finished reading the first book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King and am currently reading American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine, despite me only being half way through).

6. I Am a Huge John Mayer Fan

There – I said it. He is one of the most talented musicians in pop at the moment and creates eminently singable pop tunes across a variety of genres. He’s also a serial womanizer, and let’s be honest, that only adds to his reputation (whether you consider it good or bad).

7. I’m Terrible at Keeping in Touch With Old Friends

I barely see friends from university these days, as they are spread all over the country and I am awful at keeping in touch. I still love ’em though.

8. I Was Nicknamed “Cheeseburger” As a Kid

I was a pretty thin kid up until I changed schools, stopped doing so much physical exercise and turned into a right little fattie. I managed to attract the particularly unflattering nickname of “cheeseburger.” The fact that I managed to bend the high jump pole at school in an attempt to jump over it did not help my cause.

9. I Had a Late Growth Spurt

At the age of seventeen, just as I had begun to accept my fate as someone of below-average height, I shot up by several inches and topped out at a notch under 6’2″. That made me very happy indeed.

10. I Suffered From Depression as a Teenager

My teenage years weren’t happy ones. Thankfully, life has only got better in the years thereafter. These days I could barely be happier. It’s been a long road and I’m proud to have got this far.

11. I Have a Heart Condition

I suffer from atrial fibrillation. While it’s not really an issue for me these days (the drugs I’m on keep it in check), I’ve had my moments with it in the past.

12. I Once Spent a Night in an Amsterdam Hospital

Speaking of which…

In the folly of my youth, I spent a weekend in Amsterdam. On the first night, high on a cocktail of alcohol and marijuana, I collapsed in the street.

The hours thereafter hosted the most bizarre bodily experience I have ever had (and hope to have). For the first twenty minutes or so I couldn’t move anything – not even my eyes. It felt as if the life had been sapped almost entirely out of me.

Fortunately, one of my friends had just qualified as a doctor and knew what to do. After taking my pulse and looking deeply alarmed, she practically tackled a police office to the ground and insisted that he get an ambulance on the scene. He didn’t take her pleas too seriously, assuming that I was simply intoxicated and in need of nothing more than a good rest, but fortunately she was able to convince him of the relative severity of the situation.

Before long I was carted away in an ambulance and delivered into the nicest hospital I have ever seen. It was like a freaking hotel. The doctor (who spoke perfect English) asked me if this had happened before. When I replied in the affirmative, he asked me what I usually did under such circumstances. My statement of, “Well I usually sleep it off” did not amuse him.

After a round of drugs failed to resolve my heart’s protestations, I was anesthetized and shocked with paddles to reset my heartbeat. I half-expected to be left with burn marks on my chest or some kind of discomfort from being electrocuted, but I felt nothing.

I woke up early in the morning, having discovered that my friends had spent the evening sleeping in the waiting room (God love ’em). There was no one around, so I decided to get up and leave. I think I probably should have been discharged or something.

Don’t do drugs kids.

13. I’ve Never Tried Hard Drugs

I wanted to add this statement to follow up on the previous fact about me, as it might paint me in an inaccurate light. I smoked marijuana a handful of times in my youth and have never tried any other illegal drug. I just happened to have a particularly bad experience due to my heart condition (and stupidity).

14. I Didn’t Drink for Years

Due to my heart condition, I abstained from alcohol for many years (inbetween relapses). This was particularly tough during a six month period at university. That particular spell of abstention was cut short one night when my friend handed me three bottles of nondescript alcohol and asked me to hold onto them while he went to the toilet. He returned to find that I had downed all three and was at the bar getting more.

These days I drink socially, in moderation (having gained the permission of my doctor). Sitting down for a nice meal with my girlfriend was proving to be a somewhat depressing event when I couldn’t enjoy a glass of red with it.

15. I’ve Been Known to Seek Thrills

I certainly wouldn’t call myself an out-and-out thrillseeker, but I’ve been known to enjoy the occasional rush. I’ve been on the world’s biggest skycoaster, twice, ten years apart (both times in tandem with my sister).

16. I Once Performed as Ricky Martin on a Cruise Ship Talent Show

Need I say anything more?

17. I Had a Short Acting Career

I once played an ugly sister in a school play. After the first performance, I got told off for playing with my fake breasts too much.

At my sister’s wedding her uncle-in-law told me that I could be an actor. He was once the agent for the woman who played Raymond’s wife in Everybody Loves Raymond. I could have been something man.

18. I Am an Atheist

Although I don’t believe in God, I do respect other people’s beliefs. Furthermore, I am always openminded to things that are not scientifically disprovable.

19. I Love Humor in All Forms

Laughing is great. I’m especially a fan of toilet humor, risqué humor and black comedy. Give it a bit of an edge and I’ll probably enjoy it.

20. I Love Movies

Along with books and music, movies represent escapism at its best. No matter what’s going on in your life, if you can envelop yourself in a great movie, you’ll experience two hours of a life completely different to your own.

21. I Love the USA

I have been to America more times than I can count. My sister and her kids live in Houston and I try to visit them as often as possible. I’ve also visited New York, New Hampshire, Florida, New Orleans, Austin, Colorado and Utah. I’ve travelled through many other states too. I’d love to see California.

22. Make Exercise Fun and I’m All In

I’m generally not a fan of exercise for the sake of exercise, but if you involve chasing, throwing or hitting a ball, I’m likely to have fun. The same goes for other “fun” forms of exercise such as climbing. I believe that the key to fitness for us mere mortals lies within the enjoyment of exercise, not exercising as a form of punishment.

23. I Love Skiing

Here’s a quick video I did for Leaving Work Behind.

I’ve gone skiing most years since I was six and absolutely love it. What I lack in technique I make up for in the ability to go pretty fast without falling over (and that’s what it’s all about, right?).

24. I Enjoy Sports

I wasn’t a big sports fan when I was kid, but that’s not the case these days.

I probably enjoy playing sport more than I do watching it, but throughout the football (soccer) season you’ll invariably find me watching Match of the Day on a Saturday evening with pizza and friends.

I’m also a big fan of American Football, but I don’t get to watch nearly as many games as I would like (in my opinion, sacrificing three hours for one game is a big ask).

25. I Am a Modestly-Skilled Sportsman (At Best)

I barely played sports in my youth. I was a bit of a geek. I spent the first few years of my adulthood trying to rectify that.

These days I can play a handful of sports to an acceptable level of skill. I play cricket, squash and golf, and I’ll happily try anything (but quite possibly be terrible at it).

26. I Can Be Extremely Competitive

Despite my relative lack of sporting prowess, I like to win (and hate to lose). I wouldn’t call myself a bad loser (most of the time), but losing is not something I welcome.

This competitiveness spreads into other areas of my life. I like winning in general; even if winning is inconsequential. It just feels good.

27. I Nearly Ran a Marathon

I have been an avid runner in the past. Actually, “avid” may not be the most appropriate word – I’m not sure I ever really enjoyed the act of running. The pleasure was from observing my consistent improvement and being able to eat whatever the hell I liked and still lose weight.

In 2009 I ran two half marathons (with a personal best of 1:48:13) and peaked at around 35 miles per week. Then I got a girlfriend.

Round two of running commenced in the fall of 2012 as I decided to shoot for the Houston Marathon in January 2013. However, training in a British winter turned out to be rather unpleasant, and I did no running for the two weeks leading up to my flight out to the USA.

Upon arriving in the land of freedom and opportunity and having only three weeks until the marathon, I set about renewing my training regime with vigor. I started with a 20 mile run, which promptly led to stress fractures in both of my feet (and a strange lump on my right foot that persists to this day).

Unsurprisingly, I had to pull out of the marathon. I’m not sure I’ll ever run one now (mainly because I’ve now fully realized how little fun running truly is).

28. I Prefer Fun Running to Road Running

I’ve completed a couple of Wolf Runs, which is a 10km cross country / obstacle course. They’re hell until you’ve finished them, then you think it would be a brilliant idea to do it again.

29. I Was My Thinnest Adult Self in 2009

During 2009 I was consuming an obscene amount of calories, but my metabolism was firing on all cylinders (presumably due to the running) and I kept losing weight.

I bottomed out at 177lbs. At the time of writing I am 203lbs.

30. I Have Vitaligo

Vitaligo is a hereditary skin condition which causes you to lose the pigment in your skin. It can affect parts of your body or your whole body. Fortunately, it only affects parts of my body and isn’t too noticeable, but I have to be careful to avoid tanning.

31. I Love Dancing

I have no formal dance training, but that doesn’t stop me from throwing myself around a dancefloor. I am the archetype of “dancing like no one’s watching.” I have won my fare share of impromptu dance-offs.

32. I Want an Awesome Body

Every time I watch a movie with a buff lead male role, I decide to start working out. Then I remember how little I enjoy working out and I change my mind. I’d love to have an awesome body; if only it were easy…

33. I’ve Dabbled in Many a Diet

In 2011 I followed the Primal Blueprint for a couple of months before realizing that I can’t live without sugar.

I did the Subway diet for a long time – eating low fat six inch subs for lunch every work day. Boy did that get boring after a while. But a foot long meatball marinara on the other hand…

These days, when it comes to “dieting” I follow my own path.

34. I Have a Sweet Tooth

Don’t get me wrong – I love meat – but I can tear through a family-sized box of Maltesers without breaking a sweat.

Chocolate is my vice – I’m not so keen on other types of candy. In fact, if you gave me the choice of a dessert in a posh restaurant or a bar of chocolate, I would probably choose the chocolate.

35. I Love Ben & Jerry’s

I have a serious weakness for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in this order: Half Baked, Cookie Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie.

36. I’m Not So Keen on Fish

I could take or leave fish for the most part. I don’t dislike fish, but it doesn’t push my buttons either.

My reasoning is always this: why would I choose to have fish when I prefer meat?

There are notable exceptions to this rule: I love smoked salmon. It’s like crack to me. My mother craved it during her pregnancy. I do like a good salmon fillet too.

37. I’m Not a Big Seafood Fan

I had crab for the first time earlier this year. Cracking open legs made me feel pretty manly, but give me a lump of cow on a plate any day.

Besides that, I’ll generally skip prawns, oysters and so on.

38. I Eat Big

When it comes to gaining weight, my issue is typically with portion sizes rather than snacking. I eat gigantic portions of food and am generally not happy unless I eat myself into a state of relative discomfort.

39. I’m a Trier

I’m pretty openminded when it comes to food and will try most things. Witchetty grub has to be the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten – I don’t want to do that again in a hurry.

40. Ultimately, I Just Want to Be Healthy Enough

Although I get regular cravings to become super-ripped like most guys, my overriding priority is to remain healthy enough so that I can enjoy the food I love and not have to do an inordinate amount of exercise.

41. I Am a P90X Dropout

I tried P90X for about seven weeks in the summer of 2013 before my progress got curtailed by a shoulder injury (impingement of the rotator cuff in my right shoulder, if you’re interested). I don’t think I’ll ever try it again – it completely takes over your life (and is certainly not within the spirit of being healthy enough).

42. My Willpower Runs in Cycles

I typically have the willpower to follow an exercise and diet routine for a few weeks before the same old desires for unhealthy food and lazing about creep back in. Then, a time later, the cycle will repeat.

43. I’m a Cynic

When it comes to promises of “getting ripped” through a particular diet and/or exercise routine, I am naturally extremely cynical. That cynicism also spreads to other areas of my life (often with good cause!).

44. I Don’t Believe

I think part of my subconscious does not believe me capable of getting into truly awesome shape (turning heads at the beach kind of shape).

45. I Love Unhealthy Food (Duh)

Staple meals: pizza, spaghetti bolognese, curry, chilli. You know, all the healthy stuff.

46. I’m Really Optimistic About the Future

I don’t know if I’ll ever be in particularly better shape than I am now, but if I never achieve that lean, mean body I’d like to have, I won’t be too bothered.

What’s more important to me is that I enjoy life – including the food that I eat and the exercise that I do. I am relatively fit as it is, so any improvements I made from this point would be largely for aesthetic benefit.

I am largely comfortable with my body image and would rather spend the rest of my life enjoying my food and exercise than striving for something that requires a great deal of sacrifice.