Pillars of Life

One thing that I believe is extremely important when you want to get healthier is looking at your lifestyle.


Symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle are things we all battle with: excess body fat, constant bad moods, stress, tiredness, unfit etc.


These are symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle. Not something we can fix directly. 


Read that again - we cannot fix these things directly, without surgery and medication that is, and I’m assuming you don’t want to go down that route!


So let’s look at the main lifestyle factors that CAUSE these issues.




These are examples, but I’ve tried to stick to things that 99% of us can relate to.


1) Excess body fat caused by eating too many calories


2) Constant bad mood caused by negative self talk (this is an example. There are many other causes)


3) Tiredness caused by poor sleep


4) Stress caused by processed food, a rushed mind and poor posture


These are primary things that our behaviour can affect.


Now let’s look at secondary effects, or indirect results, from these lifestyle factors.




1) Eating too many calories causes insulin to remain at elevated levels.  Poor energy levels most of the day.


2) Having a bad mood affects your income (you don’t believe you can earn more, change careers etc.), your friends and loved ones don’t want to hang around you as much, you slowly withdraw from social situations.


3) Poor sleep disrupts your normal regulation of hormones, for example grehlin, a hormone that regulates hunger. Meaning you’ll crave sugary foods all the time.


4) Stress causes inflammation, making your joints ache. Also affects rational decision making, you will be more of an ‘emotional eater’


Well, it’s not looking good is it.


But there’s one more thing to consider….


….you are not in a constant state, you are changing and getting older too. 


So finally, and before we look at the fix, let’s look at the compounding effect of time to these issues.




1) Eating too many calories and keeping insulin levels elevated means -  Increased risk of diabetes.


2) Being stuck in a job you hate, earning crap money and having relationships founder - increased risk of depression.


3) Not sleeping well means you’ll affect your brains capacity for memory and be at greater risk of mental health issues (e.g. alzheimer's)


4) Having inflammation in your joints all the time - greater risk of arthritis.


Oh wow. Now things are hopeful starting to click.


Life is hard - there is no need to make it harder for yourself! 




Here is a simple method to keep your daily behaviour on the right track. Thus fixing the cause of the bad symptoms.


This method will help you to get an end result you actually want, e.g. losing body fat, sleeping well, feeling relaxed, being positive. 


Here we go:




Estimate a personalised calorie target to remain in a calorie deficit, and stick to those calories every day.


Eat what you want. Just make sure you hit the target each day.


You can use an online calorie calculator, or I will insert an image with some guideline targets into our free Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefitlifecommunity/)




Smile at people. Assume that other people are trying their best each day, they are not trying to annoy you.

Practice positive self talk, “I can get out of bed at 5am, feet on the ground - feet on the ground”, “I can keep running a little further, just to the next lamppost” 


Be grateful for your life. You already have everything you need to be healthy. Your DNA is already coded to burn fat, build muscle, be mobile and strong. You are supposed to be healthy. Be grateful. Turn those codes ON! 




Get some discipline. Go to bed at 10pm or 10:30pm every single day. Earlier if you can. You’re only wasting time watching TV or trolling people on Facebook. Go and rest up so today is better than today.


No screens before bed (30 mins prior as a rule). Read some fiction. Write your to-do list out on paper so it isn’t jiggling around your brain all night.


Get a comfortable bed and pillow. Make your bedroom extremely dark. 


Get a sleep app or spotify track that talks you to sleep - breathing deeply, nice twinkly music - whatever works for you.




Your brain is extremely powerful. It absorbs and deals with loads of shite all day long. 


Take at least 10 mins every single day to sit and breathe. 


There is so much scientific evidence to support this as a de-stressing method that I won’t sell it to you.


Go and try headspace, or a guided meditation on youtube or spotify. Make it a practice. 


If you can add in some stretching, mobility practice or yoga before or after this - then your posture will improve too. 




Now, I don’t want you to read this and think “hey, that’s a nice idea” and then go look at some funny videos on Facebook.


This is your life we’re talking about. Get serious about it.


Open a note on your phone NOW.


Seriously. Get serious, get those phones open. 


create a morning routine that you will follow all the time. 


A good morning routine will cover all the pillars of life (food, mindset, sleep and stress)


Some days you may miss, that’s OK. Just get back on track the next day.


Let’s do this - answer the questions in your notes and you’ll have a solid morning routine.


1) What time will you go to bed?


2) What time will you get up? Set your alarm now.


3) What will you have for breakfast? Go and buy the foods today.


4) How will you meditate? Headspace app, youtube, sitting and breathing etc. Choose a method now. 


5) What will be your calorie target to stick to? Use an online calculator or go to our FB group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefitlifecommunity/)


6) What will be one positive thing you will focus on all day long? Pick someone you love, or a big goal, or something to look forward to, or some self-talk.




For example:


bed time: 10:30pm

wake-up: 6am

breakfast: greek yoghurt and blueberries

meditation: headspace app for 10 mins

positive thing for the day: “no matter what, I will stay relaxed and smile today”

calorie target for fat loss: 1700 calories 



^^^ stick to that and life will be good.



Obviously this is a deep topic. Ask lots of questions, share your personal routines in the group, and let’s get your life on track.


Rise above




Anthony Shaw

Head Coach

Raw Strength Gym, Warrington 


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