September 14th, 2013 is a day I will never forget!
It was a day when I looked juicing naysayers in the eyes and proved them wrong.
Let me take you back in time, to Stockholm, Sweden mid 2008. Recently promoted to a senior manager role, I was feeling the strain of executive stress for the first time in my life. I knew I was obese and that to manage 50 people, 5 countries, 5 currencies and millions of dollars in turnover, I had to be in the best of health. The hours were long and the stress intense.I knew my energy levels were rock bottom at a time when I needed to be supercharged. That was when I read about juicing for the first time. I had tried several diets in the past with minimal success and the yo-yo dieting led to my weight ballooning.
Even though I had no science background, juicing fruits and vegetables just made sense to me. I quickly ordered a juicer from the UK as they were scarce in Sweden. I then bought all the produce and excitedly got started. Around this time, on the other side of the planet Joe Cross was filming Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead so it had not hit our screens yet. Juicing was still the domain of health nuts and hippies. I was determined to make a go of it, I knew I needed to drastically improve my health if I was to achieve my career goals.
My staff gasped as I walked around the office drinking this ‘green stuff’ instead of dinner. They were intrigued at first and soon that curiosity turned into horror and dismay. Panic set in as they told me I was crazy and juice fasting was very dangerous. Not to be outdone some of my Swedish friends chimed in with warnings such as ‘your teeth will fall out’ or ‘you will damage your liver.’ Worryingly one friend who does have a scientific background said ‘you will get kidney stones!’.
That struck the fear of God into me. I have endured kidney stone attacks in the past and if you are unlucky enough to have suffered from that excruciating agony you will understand my reluctance to continue juicing.
The juicer was soon hidden away in the depths of a kitchen cupboard. I threw out the produce and supplements and there ended my first juice cleanse just 3 days in. I had no positive frame of reference to call upon. No Joe, no Phil, none of the Reboot Success Stories.
It took me 18 months before I heard the whirring of my juicer again. It was January 2010 and I had decided to give it another go. Nothing else had worked in that last 18 months and there was something about juicing fruits and veggies that called me back. So I dusted off the juicer and looked up recipes and tried again. Friends soon told me that this was madness and a fad but I was not to be dissuaded. I knew I had to make serious changes if I was to drop the excess weight and find more energy.
It was at that time that I also started running! Slowly – it was a run/walk program. Exercising felt natural to me, I mean along with juicing. It was freezing cold, snow on the ground but I was determined to prove the naysayers wrong.
That was January 2010, three and a half years later, I returned triumphantly to Sweden. Almost half the man I used to be..in terms of weight. I had dropped 80 pounds and 10 inches from my waist. We sometimes get fixated on the actual weight loss and forget that juicing has other benefits. Since that 7 day Reboot and those first few steps of running, I was promoted twice to very senior positions.
I always dreamed of living and working in the USA but the chances of attaining a visa let alone a green card were next to zero. Yet through working hard at the day job my employer offered me a move to California and I was promoted twice within 6 months to head up our company in 13 states and Canada. Within months I was awarded a green card, something I never take for granted.
This was no coincidence, Rebooting, eating a clean diet and moderate exercise had given my energy levels a massive boost. I did not need as much sleep, did not spend the weekend sleeping off the fatigue from the previous week and I was at work early every day and ready for all the challenges.
At the start line I looked around at the Swedish Royal Palace and remembered how my life was prior to Rebooting. This was my celebration and I was determined to achieve my first sub 2 hour half marathon. I saw several former co-workers and friends in the crowd as I snaked my way around the 13.1 mile course. Words cannot express how I felt. Emotional and with a tear in my eye I smashed my goal and completed the half marathon in 1 hour 57 minutes. Much faster than I had planned and anticipated. When I first started to run in Stockholm I could not run for one minute without stopping.
It was important not to rub my friends’ noses in it. They were wrong but I cannot blame them for the way they reacted to my 2008 Reboot. Thankfully we have Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead that gives us that confidence and belief that juicing works. I hope my story adds a little to the work Joe has done and helps inspire you to start juicing, sustain juicing or renew your interest in a Reboot. Each week I host a juicing podcast at www.juicingradio.com where you can hear more about my journey and juicing tips.