In the first issue of Follow the Fuzz, Australian media personality Fuzz Ali candidly shares his personal wellness journey. Starting with a realisation about his unhealthy relationship with health, Fuzz sets out to make meaningful changes. He outlines simple, daily goals like moving more, eating whole foods, and nurturing his mental well-being. Join him as he navigates the ups and downs of this year-long endeavour, offering an authentic look at the pursuit of a healthier, more balanced life.
The “Why’, The Steps, The Disaster: The Beginning
The obvious must be stated as a preamble to my future ramblings – I have a deeply unhealthy relationship with health. I have often treated wellness and wholistic living as a pursuit rather than a lifestyle, an eventual destination rather than a journey.
This possibly comes from the fact that I have always found it difficult to remain in the mundane, and only now at the age of 36 am coming to terms with the reality that much of life happens in the mundane, the ordinary, the everyday. My preference has always been instead to seek excitement and adventure at every turn – chasing highs is a Leo trait (when all else fails, blame the stars).
However, reality struck me one morning as my knees creaked out of bed after a night of dancing and too much alcohol, possibly followed by some gorgeous, greasy, goodness found only in the expiring moments of darkness – in order to continue to find joy in the adventures of my years to come, I must be well enough to do so.
I had been warned of this sensation by those far more intelligent than me, that one day a sober reality would settle into my consciousness, one that I, and perhaps you, have been far too proud, and willingly ignorant to accept.
This truth, which even the most powerful selective amnesia cannot ignore forever, is that the vessel that we call home, our bodies, are irreplaceable, not indestructible, and that that degradation of the biological facilities, emotional capacities, and mental prowess that form a part of our whole being can be undone by our own doing.
Bleak? Perhaps. But it was the reality check I needed, and in my self checking what became unavoidably obvious was that in some way I had been running from the responsibility of taking care of my one and only earthly home for as long as I can remember.
An up and down relationship with food and fitness, and a non-existent awareness of my mental and emotional health (as a Millennial, I was not raised to believe that this was a priority – but it absolutely is! Mental health needs to be treated with as much importance as physical health), meant that I had spent my entire life yo-yoing through life.
Thankfully, this did not have to be the end of my story. My renewed awareness sent me digging, and the first step was figuring out why? In all my self reflection, I came to the conclusion that the physical and the mental/emotional were inextricably intertwined.
One helped the other – if I made the effort to move, to challenge my body, and to nourish myself with the correct food, my mental and emotional state would also be in a state of flow, challenged to growth, and nourished.
Vice versa, if I made the effort to fill my thoughts with knowledge, took the time to rest my mind, practiced mindfulness in my conduct, my body would move with purpose, I would have greater strength, and I would choose to do what I knew in my mind and spirit what was correct for my body.
So these were the decisions I made:
- I will move/exercise at least 30 minutes each day (this is a minimum)
- I will eat no processed foods, except on very special occasions (flexibility is important)
- I will write/keep a 1 page a day journal of my first thoughts (a mind dump when I wake up first thing in the morning)
- I will read 10 pages of a book a day (this is a minimum)
I figured if I attempted to stick to these 4 simple rules, I would be on my way to fixing my life.
Balance the Grind
Accountability is always key when embarking on any personal journey that leads to change, and my partner and I whilst fabulous together, not so great at accountability. After 16 years together, you figure out how to enable comfort over discomfort. I have been fortunate to have developed a gorgeous community on social media, specifically Instagram, so we decided that we would start sharing the journey with them.
Then came Balance the Grind, and the opportunity to share the journey with an even bigger audience, and it just seemed that perhaps the universe was conspiring to make this journey through wellness a success! We decided it would all begin on the 1st of December 2023, and that the journey would be documented over 12 months.
Then came Vively – an Australian health tech start up making it easier to figure out your metabolic health through a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) and an innovative app where you could track your meals alongside the ebbs, flows, and dreaded spikes of your blood glucose.
Why is this important? Because it paints a picture of your metabolic health. And what is metabolic health? Put simply (because it is a wide ranging, not completely defined concept) to be metabolically healthy, it means that your body is able to digest and absorb nutrients from food without unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, inflammation, and insulin.
Avoiding these spikes is important in the long game of life because if these spikes aren’t kept in control they could lead to the development of metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and all that bad stuff that none of us wants in life. Also, keeping blood glucose in a steady range helps you avoid gaining weight, and combined with exercise, can lead to weight loss if that’s the goal.
In order to assess the effectiveness of the Vively tracker, and to get closer to understanding my body – my partner and I both had them installed on our arms for 14 days. The results fascinated me because they illustrated how sometimes eating the exact same foods as someone can have a completely different result on ones body.
As part of the subscription to the app, we had access to wellness scores based on our logged food, and a dietitian who could assist in fine tuning the ideal eating style for our bodies. This was never about figuring out a diet – it was about figuring out how to eat for my body for life, to give it a fighting chance to be the best it possibly could be.
Having found myself back in the gym in the last week of November using Chris Hemsworth’s Centr app (review to come soon), December was looking up! But, the point of this 12 month project, which will lead to a lifelong way of thriving, is to be transparent, honest, and real with you. While the month started off strong, the closer we got to Christmas, the less motivation I felt to stick to it… and then the excuses came.
You know the excuses “oh I’ll just take a day off”, “it’s the season for it”, “a week won’t kill me”, and on, and on, and on. I went from intentionally moving daily, to only once the week of Christmas.
However, and importantly, in those seasons (and we pray that they are short) where self-control and discipline seem like distant weird cousins that no one needs at the party, we have to speak to ourselves with kindness rather than judgement, because what I found was the more I said “that was a bad day”, the more that day rolled into another day, and then a week.
When I paused to remind myself that this journey is not the pursuit of a destination, but rather a continuous, evolving, intrinsic, emotional, psychological, emotional part of the movement that is my life – that’s when I said to myself instead “that was that day, and tomorrow will be better”.
We have to stop judging ourselves as having made a mistake along the journey. We need to love our vessels enough to love it through the ups and downs, and to acknowledge that giving ourselves the gift of physical and emotional health and wellness is the greatest way to express that love.
So yes, the last 2 weeks of December (and the 1st week of January if we’re being honest) ended up being a disaster, but that disaster does not define the continuum of existence that constitutes my essence. It was a time, and I enjoyed it (too much), and I am now once again enjoying the gym, long walks, Strong Pilates (more on this next time), and eating the foods that make my body and mind feel good.
Until Next Time
Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. It’s going to be wild! And I cannot wait to see what 2024 brings for us all.
If you have any tips, tricks, or would just like to reach out, my DMs are open to everyone seeking a happy healthy life.