My name is Simon Whyatt, originally from Leeds, UK now resident of Barcelona, Spain.
I started my journey on the road to health and fitness back in 2002.
I was very active as a teenager – I was obsessed with mountain biking and never out of the saddle. I was also lucky to have a mum who loved to cook real food from scratch every day.
Unfortunately, all of this went out of the window when I left home to go to university, and dedicated my life to unbridled debauchery…
Cram as much pleasure into life, and rail against the pain you have to suffer as a result. Or scream and rant with the pain and wait for the pain to be taken away by beautiful pleasureSean Rider
The above quote more or less sums up my attitude at the time.
My dad passed away when he was just 32 years old from bowel cancer. He’d always lived a very healthy life – he didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, ate the healthy home cooked food my mum made, and was always active and playing sports.
This left me with the attitude that one may as well just live life to the full while you’re young – what was the point in healthy living if it all turns out to be for nothing?
As time went by, however, this lifestyle of quick and cheap processed meals, every evening in the pub, and all weekend out clubbing, began to take its toll. I looked and felt terrible.
The final wake up call was when a friend told me that I looked like a “pregnant pencil” – I was 6’2″, weighed a feeble 72kg, but had a large flabby 36″ waist! Not a good look to say the least.
So yes, I must confess, it was vanity that initially motivated me to change my ways and start thinking about diet and exercise, but that’s not what kept me hooked.
I’ve always been inclined to question everything, and don’t like to blindly follow orders.
These traits meant that when I decided to lose the belly and get fit again, I wasn’t going to just follow a diet or exercise program without a good explanation of why or how it should work.
A good job too, as I quickly found that while there is no shortage of advice and recommendations out there, much of it is contradictory, and most of it is not actually based on any evidence whatsoever!
Now, don’t get me wrong – I drank plenty of kool aid myself in the beginning. My first major gains in health and physique came from training crossfit and eating a low carb diet (neither of which I now practice nor recommend).
Credit where credit is due though, this combination helped me drop my waist size to 32″ while gaining 6kg, getting my weight up to 78kg.
Friends and colleagues saw the transformation, and started asking me for advice, which I was happy to give (sometimes too happy).
I found it so rewarding seeing the changes that my advice and training brought about in people, I decided to change career. I quit my career in the corporate world, for a much more fulfilling role helping other busy professionals get fit and healthy in a safe, fast and effective manner.
I qualified as a personal trainer in 2003, but never stopped questioning and researching the best ways to eat and train for optimum health, physique and physical performance.
Just because something works, doesn’t mean there aren’t better alternatives out there. The horse and cart were revolutionary, but thankfully not everyone was satisfied with the status quo and the motor car was invented.
The memory of the early and unexpected death of my dad was always present in my mind – It was therefore important to me to always live in the present and enjoy life in the moment. Boring, arduous, repetitive workouts were of no interest to me, even if they did promise spectacular results someday off in the future.
What I wanted was to find a balance – a way to live life to the full now, enjoying every moment in the here and now, but while still investing in my future. Hopefully going on to live to a ripe old age, and being able to maintain that health, vigour and lust for life right up until the end – Hence “Live Now, Thrive Later”
The first breakthrough, was discovering fitness through natural movement, originally inspired after reading an article “Did cavemen do sit ups?” by legendary Strength and Conditioning coach Paul Check.
Based on this philosophy, in 2004 I founded Primal Fitness – An alternative to the boring conventional globo gym, that helped people rediscover their natural instincts to move and play outside, and eat real, nourishing whole foods.
Overtime, however, I came to realise that eating well and exercising were just a small part of the puzzle, and that for optimum health, happiness and wellbeing, one needs to assess all areas of your life.
From sleep to social life, work and relationships, habits and routines, beliefs and attitudes, genetics and psychology; Every aspect of your life has a hugely impactful role on your success.
There is no “one size fits all” solution. While natural movement and a paleo diet might work for some, it’s not for everyone. Whatsmore, even if it does “work” for you on the physical level, forging you a lean, stong, healthy body, this alone doesn’t guarantee happiness and wellbeing.
I therefore decided to broaden my field of research from solely nutrition and exercise physiology, to include psychology, economics, and philosophy, as this more integrated approach is what is necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of health, happiness and wellbeing.
This site is a record of over 15 years of research and contemplation into all areas of nutrition, training, lifestyle, psychology, science and philosophy that pertain to the pursuit of a life well lived. I hope that you find it interesting, thought provoking, and inspirational.
Any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to message me via the contact form, or comment on any of the articles.