Muscle Maven – 02 May 2016

Damian 'The Muscle Maven' Murray (photo by snhfoto)

I am very lucky to be going to Thailand next Christmas. While extremely excited about it (as are my family) trying to plan it is not so much fun. Neither myself or my partner have ever been so are reliant on books and Google to try to find out what we can.

The problem with this is that it is a massive information overload. So much choice and opinion that it becomes difficult to know where to start. People recommend places and you check them out on TripAdvisor and zoom in on the one bad review that says it was the worst experience ever. Add in to this all of the different recommendations of the ‘must do’ experiences and you start to feel overwhelmed and worried about how to try to squeeze it all in.

Now I know this sounds a little like a humblebrag (poor me, going to Thailand and I have to do ALL that planning) but please stick with me…

You see my problem is simple. I can’t do it all. I also have to pick one thing and start with that.

Easy really. Just pick a place to start and go from there. Once I did that it all started to fall into place. We are there for my son’s birthday and he loves the idea of waking up in an elephant sanctuary – so that is where I started and then built the rest of the holiday from there. Simple. Am I still trying to do it all? Of course not. It took me a short while to remember that we are better doing a few things and experiencing them fully rather than rushing around trying to fit everything in.

Lifestyle change is pretty similar. You want to lose weight (well, more specifically fat) so you start to look around at how best to achieve it. Friends will give you some advice of what to do. Drop all carbs, eat low fat, do 5:2, leangains – you already start to feel a little confused. You sign up at a gym (perhaps you are already a member) and think that you are better off speaking to one of the trainers. They are in a position of authority and train people all the time so will be able to help, right?

Wrong. They bend your ear about ‘clean eating’ and ‘paleo’ or perhaps try to convince you to become a vegan. You walk away wondering how on Earth you are going to cut out all of the foods you enjoy and not quite sure how you are going to eat quite so many vegetables. Feeling slightly lost you take to Google and cannot believe there are so many hits to your search for ‘lose weight’ (67,900,000 at time of writing).

BOOM. Information overload (hopefully now you see the similarity). The problem you have is trying to do everything and seeking advice from everywhere. It really is simple. Pick one thing. Just one. And change it. Lets say you have cereal for breakfast. I think most people are aware that it probably isn’t the best way to start your day. Tell yourself you will TRY and have a better breakfast some mornings. Notice I didn’t say every morning. Notice I was not too specific about what to have. If I turn to you and start to say you MUST have this for breakfast you automatically start to worry and raise some barriers “what if I am busy and don’t have time?” “I have to have this EVERY morning?” By saying try to do it I am making it easier on you immediately. You don’t feel as though I have completely removed something that you enjoy and imposed some rule on your life. Hopefully what will happen is that you will start to enjoy your breakfast. Some mornings will become most mornings which will become every morning. The you may think about another change. And another. And another.

All that by just changing one.small.thing.

Easy really – just need to pick somewhere to start and go with it.


We fitness types love our meal bags. Lidl have some great ones in at the moment for camping. £5.99 and great quality. Give me this over a Six Pack Bag any day! No link to it online – just seems to be in store only.


Get over there quick. 25% off everything + free 1KG whey (£50 min spend) using code MONDAY. Worth looking at other deals as well – too many to list!


Big win for the bargain supermarkets this week. Aldi have got cycling gear in – have had running gear and have always been impressed by the quality.

Damian Murray - Author