Is it possible to completely change your life by simply making a decision to take responsibility for your health and purpose in life?
Nathan Martin, my personal triathlon coach and friend is living proof that it is.
Growing up in a family where gambling and drinking were the daily pastimes, he went down a path as a teenager that was leading him to a life of drugs, low paying work and no real future.
But Nathan had better things in mind for his life, and the lives of others and it started with shifting into the health and fitness industry in 2006 when he started out as a personal trainer at Less Mills Gym.
He the went on to discover triathlons and strike forward to 2010 ended up crossing the finish line at Ironman NZ, which was a key moment in Nathan’s journey to finding his purpose, his passion for life and ultimately happiness.
Nathan has now completed 6 full Ironman events plus K2, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, and the Taupo Enduro. He has also represented NZ as an age group triathlete in 2012!
Led by his desire to help people, Nathan set up his own business Change Fitness in 2015 where he focuses on helping others to become great role models and inspires them to find their finish line.
So this April marks a pretty significant moment in my life.
I am turning 40 years young. For my birthday, I’ve decided to gift myself something special.
I want to be in the best shape of my life – physically and mentally. Where am I at on that?? Actually pretty close!
Which excites me. And it’s all come about in the last month or so. I quit telling myself stories that were unhelpful and put myself into the direct spotlight to get serious about committing to this goal.
These were stories like:
Oh when I’m traveling I’m surrounded by shitty choices of food
Oh I play Ultimate Frisbee and run around so of course I can drink alcohol at tournaments and eat pizza because I’m burning it off
It doesn’t matter that I’m staying up late at night and not getting enough sleep, I am an entrepreneur, I’m built tough!
Yeah those right there were all big fat lies, told to myself in an attempt to make me feel less guilty about the fact that I wasn’t making any changes in my life.
I kept buying chorizo and cheese and cheap but delicious Portugese wine thinking that because I was going surfing several days a week that I was going to be just fine, it wouldn’t affect me.
And it’s not like I gained weight. I was getting fit. But my energy levels weren’t great, I didn’t feel good about the food I was putting in my body. I was sluggish, less excited.
So let me ask you, what stories are you telling yourself about your health? Is it…
I could never give up my mid afternoon sweet treat
I need at least 2 cups of coffee to get through my workday
I am overweight, I always eat too much, I must have a slower metabolism than other people
I am not athletic
I try to lose weight but the pounds never come off, its genetic
I am too busy to eat healthy
The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of the stories you have told yourself around health. When we repeatedly think or say something, we start to hold this as part of our identity.
When willpower starts to fade, our habits start to reflect the identity and beliefs we have about ourselves.
Let’s be frank, the way you tend to do one thing, is the way you tend do everything.
Think about it.
The way you care for yourself will directly impact the way you present yourself as an entrepreneur.
Take a moment and think of three people you look up to in your field. Who you aspire to be like and who are successful in their businesses and their lives.
What do you think their mornings look like? What type of food do you think they choose to eat? How about exercise and mindfulness? Do you think that they have daily and/or weekly practice?
Your personal health and wellness is the health and wealth of your business as an entrepreneur. This is a mind-shift one needs to make to succeed.
Want freedom from the 9-5, want location independence? Well, you need to find freedom in your body and mind first and foremost.
What you eat impacts how you think and perform. How you move impacts your creativity and productivity. How you manage and harness your stress impacts how you communicate and present yourself.
You are your business and if you want your business to thrive, you need to thrive.
Ask yourself and get clear with what tools you use in your business to stay on track and motivated? Do you try to do it all alone? Are you a part of master-mind groups, have accountability partners and/or networking meetings?
The number 1 reason people fail as entrepreneurs (and with their own personal health) is trying to do it all on their own. We need accountability and support to succeed.
That is why I am so thankful I joined Karen and Sarah’s 30 Day Clean Living Challenge in January.
I personally went through this program and had a true transformation with my health and well-being and watched it impact my work.
I shot a very excited Vlog about it (or you can read the entire transcript below it).
Hey, it’s Natalie Sisson and I am feeling fit. I knew that I would now.
I am feeling fit, I am feeling energetic, I am feeling freaking amazing if I am really honest about it.
Because for the last three and a half, almost four weeks I’ve been on a 30 Day Clean Living Challenge, which ultimately means I am eating foods in the most natural state possible, where possible organic foods.
I am cooking like a mofo and this girl, never really cooks. I am loving what I am eating. I am creative in my kitchen which is over there. I
In addition to that, I am making smart food choices, I am sleeping better and I’ve taken up crossfit as opposed to ultimate frisbee, and tennis and gym workouts and it’s kicking my butt. And I am loving it.
And the point of this blog today, is that I just really wanted to talk about why don’t we invest in our health, the way we invest in our teams, in businesses, in travel, in holidays and everything else that we do, like why?
I just don’t understand like this thing here, this body is the most important thing in the world that we have.
And so now when I see people drinking coffee, like crazy by the way, one cup a day is okay. Eating fries, jumping out on burgers, filling themselves with alcohol.
I mean don’t worry, I’ve done all these before myself but always always in moderation. And going on in this clean living challenge I think was just the perfect kick up my booty, was the kick up the booty that I needed to finally focus on how awesome I could feel on everyday basis just by making better choices.
Now, let me take you back on a little story, so I think this has been coming for a long time for me because this year I am turning the young age of 40.
And my quest for turning 40 is to be in the best shape of my life at this upcoming age. And I feel like I am really really close to that and so I had that in the back of my mind for probably the last 6 or 8 months.
I mean don’t get me wrong, I play ultimate frisbee, I love going to the gym, I eat pretty well but you know when I was in Portugal there was chorizo, there was cheese coming out of everywhere which was amazing.
The wine is like 2 or 3 Euros for a fantastic bottle and I was just living life and enjoying. I was surfing, for sure. I was doing yoga, yes. I was working hard, yes.
But I wasn’t really looking after me. I was being very very overindulgent in many ways.
So I arrived at Christmas time and I was like, “You know you’ve got to make some pretty serious changes here”, because as an entrepreneur I don’t want to be tired part way through the day which I was starting to feel.
I don’t want to be, have that brain fog that we all talk about, I don’t want to turn to coffee to get my energy. I don’t want to do any of that.
And then this lady came into my life. How did I not ever know about Libby Weaver, Dr. Libby Weaver. This book Women’s Wellness Wisdom changed my life, thanks to a lovely lady, Karen who was away on this holiday, where she said, “Oh you should just read my copy”. I just got stuck in and I loved it so much I went and bought my own copy.
I can’t remember the last time that I bought a book about health and fitness, and that I bought a book that was not telling me what to do. It’s informing me of what I am doing to myself.
So much so that I was reading stuff in here and going, “Holy crap, why am I doing that to myself? News flash: I shouldn’t be”.
I just want to give you this, oh my God, that is so freaky, I am not kidding. I just opened to the page that I want to come to, so it might be called Women’s Wellness Wisdom but guys this one is for you as well. Okay so don’t worry.
But in this book, she goes over all sorts of things, around your skin conditions that you may have, sleep, about alcohol, about what caffeine does but she does it in a way like, “Here’s what is going on in your body when you do these things”, so that you step back and go, “Man, why am I doing those things?”
And the biggest eye opener for me out of many things in here is when she talked about the vicious cycle. So I am going to give you a little closeup of this and I want to talk you through it.
So basically here’s how it goes, you have coffee consumption in the morning, like one, two even three cups.
By the time it’s afternoon, you have a sugar crash because you have been carbo-loading and eating rice, pasta or bread at lunch perhaps.
So you basically have more coffee again around that time, or you have more sugar like donuts, and all those things just give you a bit of a rush.
And then by the evening, you have too much alcohol so then you have a shitty sleep and then you wake up in the morning feeling like crap so you go back to, yes, more coffee.
Basically, when we do this, we are just adding tons of toxins into our liver. And our liver is an incredible organ but there’s only so much it can do when you are throwing this crap at it.
So this is really interesting, liver loaders, that’s what she calls them; alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, refined sugars, synthetic substances like pesticides which are all over our food and actually also infections, for example, viruses such as glandular fever.
I actually had glandular when I was a kid, well, a teenager. I caught it off my friend. She was just exhausted for three months and then I got it and wondered why I felt exhausted. I picked it up in my bloodstream later, just a shocker.
So imagine being on caffeine, withdraws something all the time, being that lethargic that’s what glandular fever does to you. Not fun.
There’s just so many, so many good things in here. So this started getting me informed in a big way about my body, my health, my mindset.
And what I love is in the first chapter she basically says this beautiful thing which is, “I am hopeful that this book will offer you simple tools that foster and even healthier and happier life, helping you to appreciate even more deeply how miraculous your body truly is and the gift that you are to the world.” That just sets the tone for the rest of this book which is awesome.
Now Karen has been a member of my community, she has been a coaching client, she’s come to my retreats but I’ve seen her on this path of growing more and more and more. She’s just super passionate about real health and real energy.
And I ran this clean living challenge last year. They’ve run it several times and I didn’t partake, like I sign up and I did nothing. There was a daily email coming in and I pretty much ignored all of them. Sorry Karen and Sarah!
I was too busy, I was working too hard, I was travelling to much and frankly I didn’t even have access to a kitchen, I didn’t have access to groceries, it was just not good timing. And that was legitimate, it wasn’t an excuse. I feel that was legitimate.
This time, however, I was like, “Screw that, I am signing up”. So I signed up and started night at the jam at the time of this recording, it is the second of February. So I am into week 4.
Every week you get this really cool meal plan, you get like an idea of what you can eat each day, you get recipes that are just freaking awesome. And I took myself off to Moore Wilson’s which is a really great organic grocery store here.
It’s not all organic but they’ve got incredible quality food and I got the shopping list and I was like, “Yup, thanks Karen and Sarah.” And I took thirty minutes to buy a complete new pantry.
And I went to my pantry which is usually barren and to my fridge which is frankly usually barren because I am the digital nomad who travels and eats out and spends all her money on that. And I stocked it up, might even show you a bit of my pantry.
And everytime I open it now I am proud, I am like, “Ooh! What’s in there?” and it’s incredible and I started cooking. And I started reading the recipes, I started enjoying it and I started feeling it was quite cathartic experience and I started surprising myself quite frankly.
Because for those of you who know me well, you know I don’t cook, I purposely side out of the kitchen from when I was a kid so that I wouldn’t end up in the kitchen.
I don’t know, it’s a weird way of thinking but that is what I thought. I am actually quite a good cook, I just never really enjoyed it the way other things I do, there was work, there was business, there was frisbee, there was hanging out with friends.
And now, I get, I am no chef by the way but I get and understand why people actually love the act of it and putting love into your food and the taste, the sensation so that was Step 1: new pantry, new grocery list.
Step 2, become a cook. And some of these things are so super simple to do and cook and prepare and then you have it like two or three more meals out of it.
The third thing I notice was step 3 is heck, budget conscious. Like I’ve added up my because I am geeky like this. I’ve added up what I’ve spent on groceries and first shop was about a $150-$200 and I’ve added up what I’ve had on meals out since doing this challenge.
I’ve only eaten out about 6 or 7 times over the last three weeks and that combined has more than tripled what I’ve spent on groceries. So in the first week, I got 21 meals and I swear they cost me about $5 or $6 each and they were all super super healthy. And I just felt like I was filling myself with good stuff so that’s been an enlightenment for me.
Then the next step to that was going, “Oh organic!” because back to Dr. Libby Weaver, she talks about if you can, always buy organic. And it’s not just that the animals are being better bred, it’s the soil.
There is so much shit that goes into the soil that we are then consuming. So every single thing comes down to the soil and once in it and how plants grow and how foods grow.
So I’ve been switching to organic and stuff has been tasting great. It’s not that much more expensive, it’s much better prepared, there is no chemicals. You feel ethically more responsible on the whole. It’s just like this beautiful effect of everything feels better.
So then I found common sense organic, from my lovely friend Lizzy, who use to go to all the time like 8 years ago when she used to live in New Zealand and now I’m like waking up to it.
Then I had this epiphany and I shot a Facebook live video going, “What have I been doing all my life? Why haven’t I had more organic things? Why haven’t I actually been preparing beautiful, wholesome, healthy, yummy foods that give me energy and make me feel amazing.
Then the next thing that I noticed was, “Okay, fun going organic in food. I want to go organic in skincare”. So I went out and I research and I bought the beautiful “Antipodes range“. It’s gorgeous. It’s really lovely and that is awesome.
All organic, like Manuka honey, oh so good. Black fern bulgarian rose and Waiwerra artesian water, kiwifruit and Manuka honey, Vicenza Performance.
It’s so yum and It smells freaking amazing and just today, my lovely mom came by and she said, “Your skin is looking great”. I was like, “Yup”. I actually feel like younger from the inside.
So that was step 4 or 5 I can’t remember and then people on Facebook said are posting, skincare recipes make at home, you know, do it yourself which I’ve known about for a long time but I can’t actually do because I am in one place for a month.
So granted I will say doing any kind of challenge to get yourself back on track it is lovely to have a base and be able to have a kitchen and access to groceries and stores but I still feel you can do this pretty much from anywhere.
And then the next thing that’s come out of it is changing my exercise so about this time right across from where I’m shopping at Moore Wilson’s there’s this cool place called Urban Fitness.
Shout out to Mike. Mike, Michael and Dan actually. And it’s this awesome kind of like, just hipster urban workout space, has a big roll the door and inside there’s boxing bags and rowing machines and dumbells and kettle bells and bars and olympic rings.
I don’t know why I am doing all this stuff. And there I was finding myself at 6am in the morning or 6:45 or at 12:10pm,doing these crazy cool workouts that fully functionally stretch my body so much.
I thought it was pretty strong and fit. I had abs here like I was sore in my intercostal muscles for weeks. Everything was sore, I was walking up the stairs going “Oh God! I feel…” but it only lasted for like 2 or 3 days and this is me in week 2 and a half.
I just want to kind of like bounce around all the time.
So I don’t know what’s happened in the last three and a half weeks, I have literally transformed my world from the inside out and it all started with getting educated about why my body is amazing, why everything that I do and feed into here, feeds my mind, which then feeds into everything else.
So additional things that have come out of this, which I kind of thought might happen but not in so many ways, massive massive positivity shift.
I am a pretty positive person but now I am now in gratitude mode all the time. I am excited about things as a result of being in gratitude mode and being excited and being positive and being happy.
I’ve got this abundance coming into my business, I’ve got sponsors from my podcast, in addition to that I’ve been like killing it with Airbnb recently, meeting all these awesome lovely guests, making more money through real estate, transforming my finances, just getting a grip on everything.
So all I can say is if you start here, with this beautiful body that you live in, and you treat it like the queen or the kind that it is, then it starts here which shifts the mindset into gratitude, into abundance, into positivity, stuff starts coming out of the woodworks to make your life awesome and things just get better and better.
So that is all I want to say to you, invest in yourself. I now fully understand what that means. And this is just being this whole set of transformation and I am still learning, I am learning so much and I love it.
I would love you to leave a comment below and tell me what you want to do to invest in yourself.
How good you will feel.
How amazing you would feel when you finally start treating your body with respect and having that evolved and spill over into every aspect of your life, relationships, sex?
Sex gets really good when you are feeling fit and great about yourself. General all day energy, no brain fog, just massive clarity around everything.
It’s freaking amazing.
Want to see what this challenge is all about?
You’re in luck. I’ve convinced Karen and Sarah to run another 30 Day Challenge starting February 20th.
Head to nataliesisson.com/clean for deets. And if you miss this one they will do more this year. I’m joining another, for me it’s a no brainer.
Prioritise your health habits over the next month and watch your productivity, creativity and business thrive.
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