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It was supposed to be a fantastic day, my fiancé and I had booked our wedding photographer and as part of the booking we received an engagement photo shoot.

We went to a beautiful old abbey on the outskirts of Cambridge, weather was perfect, and we walked around like celebrities having our photos taken by idyllic rose gardens, old statuses, and wonderful tree.

A few days later we got the first set of photos…

I couldn’t believe my eyes, my fiancé looked amazing but who was this guy next to her?

He was so big, wearing badly fitted clothes and had terrible posture.

It was me….

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How far had I fallen?

They always say that you don’t really notice your kids getting bigger as you see them every day

Well looking at that photo, it was like I hadn’t seen myself in 10 years, I’d had photos taken all the time, but these just cut into me

Through my teens I’d never been skinny, but I never realised I got like this

We had 12 months till the wedding, and I committed at that moment that I would never get married looking like that

This was one of my many trigger moments in life, but a big one

Have you ever had that kind of moment of clarity? A heart wrenching feeling that this must stop, “It can’t carry on like this?”

 

Most people in life have had this, if you haven’t then watch out as one if quite possibly on the way if you’re not careful

 

At that moment I committed to a goal, it was time bound and measurable which was perfect. I also got my wife onboard to do it with me, not that she needed it

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In 9 months, I’d lost 60 pounds and had time to spare to get wedding ready.  I felt fantastic and my confidence was bouncing about my appearance

 

I am an inspiration for others?

Years later I’ve discovered that my auntie keeps a photo of me in her draw in the living room to show my uncle every so often when he starts to put on a little weight, and when I was at my brothers, he and his wife pulled out my before and after photo to show a neighbour and said I was an inspiration and a reminder to keep the weight off.

 

I’d never considered myself like that and I think generally we do underplay our own success

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The only trouble with this story though is that it wasn’t the end

 

Why did I get so big?

 

Why hadn’t I noticed?

 

Why did no-one tell me?

 

For that we probably need to go back a few years

 

In the beginning there was a big bang, ok too far

 

In my early years I had a very fortunate life where we lived in an amazing house, big garden, fields and woods around us and my grandparents farm.  Life should be pretty great, but things we never quite right

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In my early years I had a very fortunate life where we lived in an amazing house, big garden, fields and woods around us and my grandparents farm.  Life should be pretty great, but things we never quite right

 

We used to have new cars, foreign holiday and all the things you associate with having wealth, however, one of my strongest memories of childhood is that my dad worked incredibly hard but I would walk home from the school bus every day and wonder if there would be a for sale sign up or worse the house was sold without anyone saying anything as we didn’t talk about those sorts of things.

I couldn’t tell you why, but I assume I overheard conversations I probably shouldn’t have.

 

Teenage years weren’t much better as I had a small group of friend but living in a small village I often didn’t get much chance to socialise with the cool kids, so when I had the chance I’d really try to show off and try too hard.

 

I did a lot of sport and did ok, never picked first but not last. 

 

However, I went through cubs, scouts and Army Cadets and found I was excellent a problem solving and leadership

 

As I started working, I was incredibly driven, always focused on the path to a pay raise and promotion, always looking for a new job that would give me that status I needed but also the security I craved.

 

I was never flush with the cash, quite the opposite in most respects, I’d stash money away in low/no interest accounts for emergencies but then also splurge on cars, showing off to friends and stuff I didn’t really need

 

Work started going well and then really well.  I started traveling extensively and I loved to tell people how I was flying business class to Australia on a flight with Shane Warne after the 2008 ashes, or LA, sat next to Martin Freeman, San Francisco over 30 times, going to Paris for the day, sat across from one of the Bee Gees.

 

However, all the time I was slipping away and didn’t notice. I’d been enjoying all the free booze, dinners out, and becoming numb to the experiences, but more concerning I was not coping well.

 

I had food poisoning or just really bad stomach from rich food, lack of sleep etc. and this started to give me anxiety about needing the toilet when out.  So I problem solved, don’t go out, only go places with toilets, say no to stuff, but I still NEEDED to travel for work, so I started taking Imodium regardless of how I felt, although I guess my mind kept telling me I needed the toilet anyway.

 

I’d go to amazing places and only see the hotel room and office, I’d make every excuse not to do events or evenings out, or I’d load myself up with Imodium and have a terrible time as I’d just be in a constant state of panic

 

We’re now back to wedding timelines, just before my wife came down the aisle, I was in the toilet AGAIN and popping another Imodium, so I was on drugs for my wedding but not the fun ones.

I enjoyed the day but now how I would have liked it.  We went to Cancun on honeymoon and I avoided as much as I could, and we did way less, I even took my work laptop to keep up with issues.

 

They boys came along over the following years and I was just treading water, promotions, bonuses, pay raises but it was still never enough

 

Then sat on a Virgin Atlantic to San Fran, with a glass of champagne in hand, I’d decided that getting drunk pre-flight was the best route, I was panicking about toilets and..

 

Then I triggered again

 

I text my wife, while in the toilet again, “I can’t go on like this” saying I needed to deal with my issues

 

I then text again before we took off as that text is not worded very well to reduce worry when I would be on flight safe for the next 12 hours and she’d be pacing the hall

What has changed for me?

​On return I went and spoke with the GP who referred me to a therapist

 

It was amazing how quickly I started to feel better and more myself from years ago

 

As I improved, I had a realisation about my life

 

I was chasing the wrong things, I had few friends, I was always angry with the kids or wife, I was working so hard that I had no time to enjoy things

 

I was trapped, I’d lost control of my life and I didn’t know what I wanted

 

I’d been chasing dreams my parents set and then creating the same issues.

 

I then entered a phase of self-development covering wealth accumulation and management, time management, productivity, mindset, fitness, health and nutrition, leadership and coaching

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Suddenly I realised I was getting balance in my life, and when I did things were working better

 

I looked deeper into in and reflected, and discovered that a stronger mindset improved my work delivery as I was less emotionally charged when issues happened, same with the kids

 

Improving my diet and exercise routing meant I slept better and have more mental clarity

 

I started to deliver more at work in less time and to a higher value

 

The fog started to lift, I have direction, hobbies and have time to do things for myself

 

As a family we’re now doing the things we want to do like camping, rather than the Mediterranean holiday you felt you should go on as a successful person

 

I’d shifted my scales to have things in balance…

 

Still achieving my big goals I had, but in a more sustainable approach, while having some fun

 

Balanced life Mastery is designed to align your scales to provide you the abundance you want in all areas of your life. To ensure the stability and excellent in your life we need all areas to be in balance.

 

Much like sitting on a bar stool, if one leg is short then you’ll fight to stay upright and eventually topple to the group.

 

I want stop you falling and allow you to sit comfortably, maybe with a drink in hand and a view over a perfect sunset

Would you like to learn how to achieve balance?