Juice for Breakfast Changed My Life

Name: Gavin Crosland
Age: 36
Location: United Kingdom
Reboot: 6 weeks of juicing in place of some meals, plus eating (and working out!)

In my younger years I was addicted to training and fitness and sported a fine figure as a result. However, by the time I’d hit 30 I found myself married with new priorities at home, in a corporate job, sat in business class being wined and dined, etc. Before I knew it, my work and home schedule had taken over my life and yes, inevitably I’d soon gained 15kg (33lb) of ‘blubber.’ Depressed as this made me feel, I could never find my way back. Periodically I’d try a new diet recommended by trainers and friends, as much as I might lose a few pounds I’d always put them back on very quickly as these ‘diets’ were just not realistic and not sustainable for the long term.

Six (long) years later my wife convinced me to buy a juicer. Now I admit I was skeptical. I thought this would be yet another fad that would cost me money, only to soon be resigned to the cupboard whilst I continued to wolf down pizzas and brownies. Before it had even arrived I (by pure chance) stumbled across Joe’s Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Again, I will be totally honest, I was a skeptic. After all, I don’t normally buy in to all this ‘mumbo jumbo!’ I’d previously watched ‘Supersize Me’ and despite its obvious and clear message, having stared at Big Mac’s for ninety minutes I was desperate for a McDonald’s! However, with a juicer in the mail I decided it was worth a try…

Within seconds I was hooked, screaming, “This guy is living my life!” In addition to my weight gain, my body too was starting to give out. I suffered all the usual symptoms of being overweight and unhealthy – tired, lethargic, etc – but was also starting to struggle with my ankles and knees, and had developed terribly dry skin on my back. I found the documentary both fascinating and informative. Aside from the inevitable tales of weight loss, it forced me to take a very stark look at my own lifestyle, particularly my diet. I knew of course that the food I was eating was making me fat, however when I was younger (and training) I considered my diet to be well balanced and healthy…how wrong I was! It dawned on me that if I didn’t make a permanent change NOW, in another twenty years or so I’ll be facing the same health issues I’m starting to see in my family and business colleagues. Cancer, diabetes, strokes, you name it, I’m seeing them all! We all tend to laugh off our own mortality, but it only takes one scare to make you think twice. I was so inspired that I began to preach to all my friends and family, compelling them to watch Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and committed to start juicing immediately.

Like with other ‘fad diets,’ I knew I wasn’t strong enough to follow Joe’s routine of a juice fast – be that the full sixty days or just the ten. I like my meat and wasn’t ready to give that up. If I was going to commit to a serious change in my life then I needed to find my own sustainable model, for anyone else reading this I suggest that will also be the key to your own success.

My juicing journey spanned a total of six weeks, was remarkably easy and yielded incredible results. I broke it down in to two key stages:

Weeks 1 to 2:

For the first two weeks I swapped breakfast and lunch for juices, in the evening I had a big ‘healthy’ dinner. Yes, the first few days were the hardest but my body soon adapted. I really didn’t find myself feeling hungry as I’d carry my juice around and continuously sip it through the day. Again, as part of knowing myself, I realised that if I were to attempt to cut everything I like from my diet then juicing would feel like a ‘diet’ and I’d soon fall off the wagon. As such, the weekends were mine to have whatever I wanted – bacon and bagels for breakfast, big bars of chocolate, you name it, I ate it! Now here’s the amazing part…I soon found my taste buds had been reset and I could no longer gorge myself on all this sugar and fat. By Sunday night I’d have to put down the pack of cookies and reach for a juice as I was quite literally craving fresh vegetables! Probably the starkest indication that I was changing occurred at the end of Week 1 (Sunday night). I knew I was heading back in to my healthy regime in the morning so went to bed on a fully belly of pizza…only to have one of the worst night’s sleep I can remember in recent years – I woke up three times desperate for water having consumed all the excess salt, was generally uncomfortable and woke up in the morning feeling like my old, heavy and lethargic self. I couldn’t wait for a juice in the morning to cleanse my system.

The great news is eating healthily inspired me in turn to do better in other areas in my life, specifically I decided to get myself back in the gym. I’d tried this a few times before but when you’re seeing no results (due to a bad diet) you ask yourself “Why bother?”

By the end of Week 2 I’d lost a staggering 10kg (22lb)! I couldn’t believe the weight had fallen off so quickly, particularly as I’d eaten so much. I’d dropped an incredible amount of weight without having to go without all the foods I love so much. Perfect!

Weeks 3 to 6
Having already lost so much weight I decided to drop down to just swapping one meal per day for a juice. By this stage I no longer had to even think about how I would juice that day, it was as easy as swapping my morning cereal for a juice. Of course by this stage I was lighter and getting fitter, so could push myself harder and longer in the gym. I was also unconsciously reaching for salads rather than pizza slices at lunch time. Again, at the weekends I had whatever I wanted, including trips to the fast food restaurants. By the end of Week Six I’d lost a further 5kg (11lb), taking my total weight loss to 15kg (33lb)! Don’t forget of course that by this stage I’d been back in the gym for six weeks building muscle, muscle as we know weighs more than fat. Had I not been building muscle then my weight loss would have been greater, although the results wouldn’t necessarily have been better.

Now I’m at the end of week ten. I still juice almost every day (including my ‘cheat weekends’). I feel healthy, I look healthy, and am the slimmest I’ve been in ten years. I’ve included my Week 1 and Week 10 photos to demonstrate just how dramatic the change in my life has really been…which of course all began by a chance viewing of Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Of course the only real downside to this experience has been the financial implications – it’s cost me a fortune to buy a brand new wardrobe!

I really don’t like calling juicing a ‘juice diet’ as it infers all the wrong connotations. Juicing is a way of life and is a pleasure. I have to say the best parts of juicing are the fact it’s so easy and the juices themselves are delicious. As easy and quick as it is to make juices I prefer to make all mine in one batch on the weekend so I don’t have to think about it for the rest of the week. I then break them down by portion in to freezer bags, throw them in the freezer and take them out the night before as required. I also travel a lot for business. Again, it’s so easy to manage my juicing. I simply put my frozen juices into a tupperware and throw them in my suitcase, they then slip so nicely in to the mini-bar fridge and keep me away from the temptation of the chocolates! Already many of my friends and family have asked me for help so they can aim towards the same results. I always encourage them to start with Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.