healthy choices

Don’t Be So Serious

Hi everyone,

Maybe it sounds a bit strange coming from me not to be so serious, maybe it doesn’t…

Of course, it goes without saying I take my diet and training seriously. I’ll always put the work in and do whatever it takes to become a better example of myself than I was last year. But, I don’t take it so seriously that I become a miserable twat!

Thing is, I see a lot of young lads come and go in the gym who take themselves so seriously that they forget about the rest of their life. Balance isn’t just important, it’s healthy! When you’re in the gym it is game face on, all the way until the end. Same goes for your diet, prep your meals and stay on top of that. But, between all of this just chill out a bit and enjoy yourself.

The lifestyle I lead is really fun and rewarding, I wouldn’t have it any other way. However I don’t forget about my friends, wife, family and social life either. You can have balance if you allow yourself to.

It’s easy to become so obsessed that the gym is all you think about. It’s a great hobby and something you should really enjoy, but just make sure you’re spending just as much energy in other important areas of your life. Sometimes lads will ask me so many questions about everything I do like their life depends on it, I’m left thinking “f***ing hell mate, chill out.” It’s a journey against yourself, enjoy it for what it is!

Don’t be so serious about things all of the time, just be serious when it matters. Do you understand what i’m saying ??

PS comparing yourself against others will usually make you feel miserable, so always make yourself the competition. That’s a really good bit of advice that!

I hope you enjoyed the blog and please feel free to leave a comment or question ☺

Having A Strong Mindset

Hi all,

Hope you are doing well and are having a good weekend?

I apologise for not doing a blog in the last few weeks, my life has been pretty hectic and upside down in a good kind of way because we are having our house renovated.

During this blog I wanted too take a moment to talk about why having a strong mindset has helped me to mentally battle my Dystonia. Having a strong mindset can and will take you along way, not just in life but on a whole, from how you represent yourself to others and how you overcome obstacles.

Look, I’m not trying to say I had a strong mindset at the start of my Dystonia, it was the complete opposite. With no diagnosis for the first four years and nowhere and no one to turn to, let’s just say my mindset was beyond poor, my mental attitude was weak. I unfortunately turned to drink and drugs. I’m not ashamed to admit what I did. Admitting this, for me , shows how much of a real person I’m and I am not afraid to talk about my wrong doings.

My mind-set and mental wellbeing definitely improved after I was diagnosed. I knew, in my head I needed to make a change as I was spiralling out of control (not many knew that). I’ve never suffered with depression and yes I’ve had anxiety but I think everyone suffers in some way shape or form during their life.

As you know fitness was probably the biggest stepping stone to leading me to getting such a strong mind-set. Keeping fit and looking good made my confidence grow, making me think I could do anything and not let this so called DYSTONIA CONTROL MY LIFE.

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I would probably not be in the position I’m today if I did not change my mindset into such a positive and happy one. Everyday is a battle but one that I welcome and certainly not scared of. I can positively say that I am now in control and I feel great.

When you know deep down your life is spiralling out of control mentally the best place to start is your mind-set. If you can relate to some of the points raised in this blog , you may think how or where do I start! Its starts with you, only you can make the change to be the best version of you, its in there somewhere I promise you that. You just have to dig deep and find the strength and courage.

I would like to finish with the quote ” Every mistake you make, is progress ”

Remember, nobody in this world is perfect, we all have our problems, secrets and issues, its those of use who choose not to let our demands control our lives that truly shine. Go grab life by the balls and be a winner.

I hope you enjoy the blog and feel free to leave a comment or question ☺

 

 

 

Being Open About My Disability Helped

 

Hi all,

I hope you are all over your Christmas blues and are back into the full swing of things ?

During this blog I wanted  to take a moment to talk about why being so open about Dystonia is important to me. With  everything I go through talking about my experience  has helped me to get my story across and to help spread  as much awareness for this not so known about neurological movement disorder.

Before I start I would like to ask, do I look like I have a disability?  Would you believe if I told you I did? How are people supposed to look with a disability?

I’ve now had Dystonia for just over eight years and was only diagnosed just over four years ago. So as soon as I was diagnosed I did my research on Dystonia, found out there was not much information and hardly many people including doctors had hear of Dystonia. So my plan of action was to create as much awareness for it as I possibly could.

So me with already being big into fitness and as an ex semi professional rugby  player, it seemed quite natural to turn to fitness to help me overcome my Dystonia both physically and mentally. Trust me when I say this has been the best medicine.

I had my first big break in 2014. I was asked to do an article about creating awareness for Dystonia and I  was going to be featured in Men’s Fitness Magazine . Here is a link to my interview James Sutliff Men’s Fitness Magazine Interview

 

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photo from Men’s Fitness Magazine UK

 

I always felt like I was judged by others because of the way that I looked, to some it seemed hard to fathom that somebody that seemed from the our side to be healthy and fit could  have any sort of disability. I was even judged by other Dystonia sufferers who would not believe it and in the end actually deleted me of all social media.

So since Men’s Fitness Magazine Interview I’ve had numerous interviews, photoshoot’s which has created  a hell of a lot awareness, more than I ever imagined. But I still felt like it was not enough and that people who didn’t know me still did not believe that I had a disability. So I knew deep down I had to be really open with everything, from videoing my hand and speech therapy sessions, photos of me being injected with  Botox and even doing random talking videos showing my speech progression.

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Recent Botox Injections

 

Its only probably been over the last year where I finally believe that people who don’t know me personally, now do believe that I actually have a disability. I find it mind boggling that I had to prove and show evidence of my Dystonia for everyone to see and to finally be accepted. So overall its the best thing I did being to open with everything.

I would like to finish  with  the  quote the “Don’t worry about those who talk behind your back, they’re behind you for a reason.”

I hope you enjoy this blog and feel free to leave a comment our your life  own views ☺

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Modelling Found Me

Hi all,

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas with lots of eating,  drinking and socialising with family and friends?

During this blog I wanted  to take a moment to talk about how I got into modelling. I feel this Is a good topic to talk about because I had no intention of getting into modelling and especially because I thought my disability would restrict me from doing so. Its all about positive thinking and being determined, if you want it, go for it.

So in 2014 I was going to apply Men’s Health  front cover competition,  which they used to hold yearly. I was doing the competition for myself and to show having a disability you can still achieve anything but I found out they where stopping the competition, I was gutted  😢. So I needed to rethink what I could do, so I decided on training and dieting as hard as possible for a photoshoot (which I paid for). So I did some research on photographer’s and decided on the very talented Alex Wightman Photography 

Edit from Alex Wightman photoshoot –

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Well what can I say since the photoshoot its been amazing, I’m involved with well known companies within the fitness industry. Only  recently I had a photoshoot with skinny chimp who are the gym clothing company I represent.

Edit from recent Skinny Chimp photoshoot –

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Best of all in September this year I had a location photoshoot in Marcella, with the amazing Jules Godfrey Photography 

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To this day now I still don’t class myself as a model but I’ve given some amazing modelling opportunities, this year especially and I hope it  will  go from strength to strength.  Anyone who reads this and wants to get into modelling my advice would be to just go for it and don’t  be told any different.

I would like to finish with the quote ” I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say ” Because of you I didn’t give up ”

I hope you enjoy this blog and feel free to leave a comment ☺

 

Life Doesn’t Stop With A DisABILITY

Hi all,

I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to the Christmas holiday ?

During this blog I wanted to take a moment to talk about why life doesn’t need to stop if you have a disability. I feel that this is an important subject and hopefully when you read this it will encourage you to go and get what you want. Disability or no disability anything you want is in your reach. With a little bit of positive thinking mixed in with some simple lifestyle changes you will be astounded by the changes that can occur.

I completely understand the feeling when everything is against you, you feel  completely  useless, alone and that you have nothing to give and your disability controls your life. Who’s had those feelings before? Who’s has just wanted to give up? Trust me I’ve had all those feelings and I know it’s a horrible place to be. I’ve learnt the only thing that can get you out of this negative, unproductive  mind set is you and only you. I understand that we are all different, different disabilities, different circumstances but trust me when I say it is possible to be completely  happy with your life and accept all of your disability and the challenges it brings. Hand on my heart I thought my life had ended, I had to give up a well established career as a plumber  and heating engineer and also I had to retire from playing rugby.

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But I had to knuckle down and not let my disability control my life and future. Here are a few things I’ve found that help me to overcome manage living with a disability.

  1. Keeping Fit has helped me to battle my dystonia both  physically and mentally. If I feel good I look good, I have confidence and whilst I am training  It makes me forget about my problems for a moment, it gives me a boost and a buzz that then motivates me, its like no other drug.

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2. Balanced diet – I’m a strong believer, you are what you eat. A balanced diet has helped me tremendously. Eating clean and healthy makes me feel more active and gives me a feel good factor. A poor diet can make you feel sluggish and lazy. When you have those feelings it makes you lazy and my opinion can make your situation worse.

3. A close circle of friends- my friends have and will always be there for me through the good and bad times. They will be with you whenever you need them. Take you for who, you  are no matter what. For  me I’m lucky to have such a close knit circle of friends.

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4. Family are the ones who rally around when the going gets tough. For me, I’m lucky  to have amazing in laws and a beautiful wife. Without them I would not be where I am today.

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I have accomplished so much since having Dystonia, I’ve started a new career in the fitness Industry, I have had a chance to model, which I thought I would never do, I have sponsorships from numerous company’s and there’s lots to come in 2017. I’m proud to admit I could not be any happier. I am sure that there are still tough times but this does not deter me, I need to keep on going and sustaining that positive mind set so that I can reach my goals and  make my dreams and ambitions a reality.

Never let your disability define you, do whatever you want to and work  every day to  reach your goals.

I would like to finish  with  the  quote the “I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength”

I hope you enjoy this blog and feel free to leave a comment our your life  own views ☺

 

 

Heck Food UK

Hi guys,

I hope you all had an amazing weekend and Monday has not been to painful ?

Who knew eating a balance diet is the biggest factor to looking and feeling the best you can ? You can train the hardest in the gym but if you don’t have a equal balance with your eating you will not see any significant results.

So this brings me onto my favourite topic and what I love doing most…… no it’s not going gym, its off course FOOD 😁

Only last week I received a message from a young lady who works for Heck Food UK wanting to send me a box of their different meat dishes. Me being me I could not say no. So on Friday I received a nicely presented box full of chicken sausages, burgers and meatballs in different flavours.

Here’s a little bit of information about Heck Food UK . They are a family run business but being small and independent means they do things their way. Such as making burgers, meatballs and sausages in small batches for better flavour, using the finest ingredients and pulling out all the stops to bring farmers’ market quality to your supermarket shelf. They now also do veggie burgers, vegetarian sausages and balls too. I would 100 % recommend you try out our their delicious meat-free range packed with delicious super-food veg.

On Sunday my wife and I cooked the chicken Italia burgers. We fried the burgers in coconut oil until cooked through, served with basmati rice, salad and some grilled halloumi cheese on top. All I can say the food is amazing, packed full with flavour. I can confidently say that this is a company who  cares so much about their products, how it tastes and how they are presented and the best bit s that it a all completely guilt free. Top marks from me.

I for one will be buying their meat on a regular basis. So guys go check  out Heck Food UK Its worth it 😀

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About Me

Hello my name is James Sutliff ☺

On the May Bank Holiday of 2008 my life took a sudden, unexpected change. After a normal night out with friends, drinking the usual G & T, I returned home, went to bed as I usually would and slept well. I woke up as I normally would and then I started to feel a little unwell, I put this down to a hangover. I took a small nap, to wake up to something that changed my life in an instant. I found that my speech was badly distorted and slurred; thinking this would pass I carried on as I normally would do. A couple of days later the problem seemed to worsen, so a friend took me to the hospital, where I was admitted straight away. I underwent test after test, to the doctor’s confusion. On paper I was a healthy 24 year old man. Doctors were baffled by what had happened to me and could not finger point a cause or diagnosis. Still almost 9 years on I still have no clear cause why this has happened.

I was put under the care of a neurological specialist, whom I saw every 6 months, just to be prodded and poked at. A year had passed and although I still had my speech problem, I was carrying on my life as I normally would do….then the problem directed itself into my hands. I noticed that my thumb on my left hand was starting to become painful and tight and I found it increasingly hard to use, to the point where it eventually closed fully. Over time a couple of my fingers on both my left and right hands did the same. Working as a plumber by trade I found it increasingly hard to continue doing my job, I no longer plumbed as a living. Although I found it very hard going from a drastic wage decrease I found work as labourer. I work with a great team of lads and they help encourage and build my confidence each day.

Finally in the year of 2012 I was diagnosed with dystonia. Finally I had name to this thing that had been ruling my life for so long. I started to read up on dystonia – it is a debilitating disease that can affect your life completely, no matter how minor the symptoms.
My dystonia is treated with botulinum toxin injections and regular hand therapy. The combination helps to relieve some of my symptoms such as pain, stiffness/spasms and range of movement. I am able to grip gym equipment more freely, with a better range of movement; the toxin also helps to relieve pain during training.
Always being keen on the gym, I had always been in pretty good shape but I wanted to prove that my goals and dreams were still achievable, although having a disability. For the past four years I have dedicated myself to the gym. I am working hard to try and raise awareness for dystonia and also to help encourage anyone out there who may have disabilities, confidence or self esteem issues or anyone who generally wants to keep in shape14289825_10207079786577991_5226741626281818903_o