They say the that the worst kind of anti-smoker is an ex smoker. Not that I would know. I've never smoked and both of my parents, despite losing the battle against lung cancer, drummed it into me from an early age that smoking was a really bad thing to do. Having been overweight in the past, I've now been given the chance to get on my soapbox and try to inspire people to have a fitter and healthier lifestyle.
Last week I was asked to become an ambassador for The Great North Fitness Revolution. It's a campaign being led by the Journal newspaper. It has identified the fact that the North East of England is one of the unhealthiest regions in the UK. As a result, the campaign is trying to get the message across that an improved diet and taking regular exercise will change this fact.
Their was a nice piece in The Journal yesterday about my involvement and thoughts on the campaign. As an added bonus, having the photos taken in Tynemouth last week was a nice excuse to go for a short run on the beach.
I'm sure there are far more qualified and experienced folk out there for a role such as this. I'm not a personal fitness trainer. I'm not a nutritionist. I certainly don't have a relevant university degree. However, what I feel that I can bring to the table is that I'm an ordinary man in the street who has learned some very important lessons while undertaking an extraordinarily difficult task.
I, myself, have struggled in the past with making the right food decisions. I've never struggled with being motivated to exercise though. During 100 days of running in the USA I really saw the real benefits of eating the right kinds of foods, in the right quantities, at the right time of day.
One interesting and profound message that the Great North Fitness Revolution preaches is that by making small changes over time, a big difference can be made. One change that I'm making straight away is with my family. We were always big on puddings after a meal. Now when the old question of "What's for pudding?' is asked, the answer is "A walk!". There are plenty of lovely places to walk in and around Shotley Bridge, so we have no excuse as a family to get out in the fresh air.
If you have been inspired by the run across the USA then why not think about how you could make a healthy change to your lifestyle. Why not involve your family too? There are so many small changes that can be made. With a consistent and continued effort, these small changes can really make a big difference to a fitter and healthier lifestyle.
To sign up to The Great North Fitness Revolution and find out more please click the image above.