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Sarah Wilson: My Trick to Quitting Sugar

The video above is 2 minutes 51 seconds long

Guy: Our special guest this week is Sarah Wilson. Her impressive resume includes author of the Australian and UK best-sellers I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar For Life (with I Quit Sugar becoming a New York Times best-seller this year).

Sarah has a journalism career that has spanned 20 years, across television, radio, magazines, newspapers and online. She’s also the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and was the host of the first series of MasterChef Australia, the highest rating show in Australian TV history.

The Full Sarah Wilson IQS Interview

downloaditunesIn this episode we talk about:-

  • What inspired Sarah to quit sugar in the first place
  • The amazing health transformations she’s seen from quitting sugar
  • How she handles being in the public eye when it comes to her eating
  • The state of school canteens and what we can do about it
  • How Sarah manages stress with her hectic schedule
  • What her daily routines look like
  • And much much more…

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Want to know more about Sarah Wilson?

Got any questions for us? We’d love to hear them in the comments below… Guy

Sarah Wilson Interview Transcription

Guy Lawrence: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of the Health Sessions. Our lovely guest today is Sarah Wilson. Now, if you don’t know who Sarah Wilson is, in a nutshell she’s a New York Times bestselling author. She’s a blogger and a wellness coach. She has a career in journalism that’s spanned over twenty years, which is pretty amazing, across television, radio, magazines, newspaper, and, of course, online. She’s also the former editor of the Cosmopolitan magazine.

So an exceptionally impressive career and she’s now doing fantastic things, including the whole I Quit Sugar movement which, of course, myself and Stu are massive fans of and I have no doubt you’re going to get a lot out of this interview today. She’s a very positive, high-energy, and all around down-to-earth great girl, so it was just, yeah, just a pleasure to be able to interview her today.

If you are listening to this through iTunes, I know I ask, but please, hey, leave a little review. It’ll only take two minutes to do. It just helps us with our rankings on iTunes and, obviously, get the word out there with this message that we’re doing. And, of course, you know, if you are listening to it on iTunes, come over to our blog, because you get to see our pretty faces, because we do these in video as well, which is 180nutrition.com.au.

Anyway, enough of me, let’s go over to Sarah and talk everything about Sarah, her journey, and, of course, sugar. Enjoy.

Stuart Cooke: So, how we doing, Guy? We ready?

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, let’s do it. Okay. I’m Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart Cooke, as always, and our lovely guest today is Sarah Wilson. Sarah, welcome to the podcast.

Sarah Wilson: Thank you very much for having me. I’m looking forward to it.

Guy Lawrence: Us, too. We; I was just saying to Stu the other day, you know, we, I was, stumbled across your blog, it must have been many years ago, and I remember at the time you were actually either about to quit sugar or you were; you had quit sugar and you’d written about it, and I was thinking, “Finally somebody’s bringing this message to light.”

And to see you, you know, you go on and inspire so many people with what I think is an amazing message is fantastic. So I thought just for our listeners, just in case they don’t know any part of that journey or story, would you mind just sharing a little bit about it…

Sarah Wilson: Yeah. Absolutely.

Guy Lawrence: What even inspired you to quit sugar in the first place?

Sarah Wilson: Yeah. So, I do remember, actually, you interacting with me on the blog back in those days, sort of piping in and sharing your thoughts, so that’s been a long time coming, us actually having this conversation. So, yeah, as you know, I quit sugar because, as a journalist at the time, I actually had to write a column about something, and I was short of a topic. That’s kind of the lame reason.

The real reason is that I knew that I had to do it. It was hanging over my head. And it’s just sort of really a funny thing now, I can spot a person who is ready to quit sugar and somebody who’s not these days, because I remind myself of what I was like back then, and I’d been talking about it for ages. I, I’ll get on to the health reasons in a moment, but I had a bunch of health reasons for needing to, and I’d been told by a number of doctors I needed to do it, but really it was just this feeling: “I’m over it. I know that sugar is the reason I’m feeling baseline crap.”

You know? And I could make up all these other kinds of excuses, but it really did stem down to this thing, so when I had the excuse of a deadline to make it happen, I kind of jumped at it. So I was very fortunate, from that point of view. Not so fortunate, because I had, and still have, an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s, which is thyroid disease. I had a really bad case of it. I was editing a magazine, Cosmopolitan, and felt very unwell for adrenal issues, all of that kind of stuff, and soon wound up not being able to walk or work for nine months, and this is before, between Cosmopolitan and before hosting Master Chef, so it’s in that sort of this wasteland period.

And, you know, doctors had told me, and naturopaths and so on, “Look, you should probably try to quit sugar, you know, blood sugar issues are really bad when you’ve got, you know, sort of hormone issues.” So I gave it a go, and I was really resistant to it, but eventually, yes, all these factors coincided, and I thought, “I’d better do this. I’ve really got to do it.”

So, I set out to do it, as you’ll remember, a blog post and also a column for one of the newspaper magazines, which gave me a great reason to go and do it, and I certainly, that certainly helped, but I decided to do it just for two weeks. I didn’t want to commit too heavily, because I was petrified of the idea of it, and so I thought, “Two weeks. We’ll just give it a go, and we’ll see if it works.”

I felt much better even after two weeks. I had incredible results. I’m sounding like I’m about to sell you some steak knives, but I literally, my skin was the first thing to change, and that’s what most people who have done the program report is that their skin changes. So my skin suddenly just softened. Both wrinkles and pimples just kind of backed off, and my vanity, I suppose, meant that I was willing to keep going and going. That’s how I’m here today: I just kept going and going.

It turned into some e-books, as you know, and then a publisher approached me. It turned into some print books and now, of course, an online program and a business with fifteen staff and on it goes.

Stuart Cooke: Wow.

Guy Lawrence: Did you find it hard at the time? Like, you see people falling off the bandwagon when they…

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: They go around, “I’m cutting out sugar!” And then three days later they’re getting a headache and they’re XXgnawing on it all over?XX [0:05:42] again. Did you? No problem?

Sarah Wilson: Well, I found it harder than most people do, because of the autoimmune disease. The thing about Hashimoto’s is that blood sugar, well, there’s two things. Your thyroid can affect blood sugar and insulin levels and then, obviously, blood sugar spikes and then insulin levels then destroy the thyroid. So I was in this vicious cycle, it made it very difficult to quit sugar. So anyone with an autoimmune disease, particular thyroid disease, if you’re having a hard time quitting sugar it’s normal.

It puts me in good stead, because if I can do it, you know, anyone can do it. So I had a really tough time with it, but what I did was I researched it very, very heavily. I’m a bit of a science nerd, and I went out there, and I know you guys have done the same thing, I looked into all the science, and as a journalist I got access to the big voices in this kind of realm, and I was able to meet them and do an interview with them and ask them the questions that, you know, everybody else was asking me on the blog.

So; and I continue to do that today. So that helped me develop a kind of a way of doing it that was less painful than it needed to be, and, of course, as you guys know, the trick, if I was to boil it down to something, is replacing sugar with fat, like, so that I turned my body into a sugar-guzzling machine to a stable fat and protein and real food burning machine, which is a much even energy kind of fire.

So that’s essentially what I did, and so it was a gradual process, and my eight-week program is eight weeks because I researched that that was how long it took, but I also do it in a way, as I said, that I gradually replace things, and I gradually morph your body so that your metabolism recalibrates.

You go cold turkey, it recalibrates and you come out the other end being kind of sensible about sugar. You know what I mean?

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Sarah Wilson: I mean, you can actually have a little bit from time to time.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely, yeah.

Sarah Wilson: I’m not somebody that says, “Never eat it again.” Because I just think that that’s, like, asking for trouble. That’s the whole premise of the diet industry, the idea that you stop yourself consistently. You restrain yourself. That doesn’t work. We’re humans. We want to reach out and touch things and try things. Like, once my body recalibrated, I didn’t have that visceral need, you know?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, that’s right. It wasn’t that burning craving.

Sarah Wilson: I’m actually cool about it now.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, exactly.

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Stuart Cooke: I’m intrigued as to whether you have any more health transformations that you may have witnessed around quitting sugar. You know, aside of, kind of, weight loss.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, well from my point of view, I’m probably the best example, because I prefer to work from an N equals 1 perspective in many ways, and I want everybody to work from that perspective, that is, use their own body as an experiment to see if it works for you. So, from my point of view, I’ve reduced my medication from the highest dosage of Thyroxine down to the minimum dosage, and I cut that in half, so I have half of that every day. My thyroid antibodies are back in an absolute normal range. I’ve got no inflammation.

I have bad days probably once a week where I’m inflamed and I’m hurting and it’s generally I know what it is. It’ll be something that I’ve done, you know, like I’ve overdone it one sugar. I’ve overdone it on alcohol. You know, when I say I’ve overdone it, I’m talking two glasses instead of one glass.

Stuart Cooke: Couple of glasses…

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, yeah, and the main thing is lack of sleep or stress. If I’ve really been pushing it really hard, you know, traveling and, or that kind of thing. So I used to have six days a week where I was like that, now I have one day a week where I’m like that. So, I also now menstruate again, so I didn’t menstruate for five years, and about six months ago my period came back, so for me, I actually think, and for any woman I think it’s the best kind of, you know, canary down a mineshaft, you know, sort of thing. It really does tell you that things are back on track. That’s been a really big thing for me.

Guy Lawrence: I think, as well, with what you’re highlighting, as well, it just goes to show, right, that, you know, by quitting sugar it’s a lifelong journey, and the fact that your health is still improving over time and everything’s coming back into working order, like, and it’s, you know, like you said, you’ve been doing this for four years, would it be?

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, four years. It’s a little under four years. It’ll be four years in January. But, yeah, the point I often make to people is that you’re not going to cure an autoimmune disease and, in fact, most diseases aren’t curable. They’re manageable. You modulate and you manage, and, for me, it keeps me honest.

So, without my disease I wouldn’t know when I’m on the right track, to be honest, because I kind of bludgeon my way through things. I’ve got lots of energy or, at least, you know, at sort of, at the core of me, the ability to go do things, and I’ll push myself too hard, and I’ll do the wrong things, and it is my disease that brings me back into myself and gets me real again, and keeps me well in a broader sense.

So, you know, it’s not something I’m going to cure. It’s something I’m going to manage. That’s something I really want to impress upon people, but back to your question, Stuart, just other stories, I’ll tell you a couple of areas that I still get a lot of feedback on.

Obviously weight loss and, you know, some people, most people basically, I don’t focus on weight loss, but what happens is that when you XXaudio problemXX [0:11:00] your appetite mechanism and your appetite hormones, which is what happens when you go from being a sugar-burning machine to more of a fat-burning machine, your appetite kicks back into gear, you just start eating what your body needs, right?

So then your body goes into the right space, the right weight, and for some people that means losing no weight. Some people it means losing the visceral fat, but not the rest of the fat. Other people it means putting on weight and for most people it does mean losing weight, and so we have people who have lost, I think the most is 48 kilos across eighteen months, which I find far healthier. And that’s just from cutting out sugar and then of course it does escalate because not only are you cutting out sugar, you cut out processed food, don’t you? Because when you quit sugar, you quit processed food, but you also have more energy so then you start exercising, and so it does all speed up a little bit.
So, you know, I’d be lying if I said it was all to do with sugar, but it’s all the repercussions of quitting sugar. Some other areas that I’m getting some really lovely feedback on is PCOS, so Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and I have met so many young women who have been told they’re never going to have children, who’ve had real problems with their period, and they’ve quit sugar and what do you know, six months later they’re pregnant. You know?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Sarah Wilson: And this has happened time and time again and, of course, those people do come out of the woodwork. I’m doing an event somewhere, they take the time and care to come meet me and show me their baby and that kind of thing, but the stories are out there is, I guess, the point there.

The other thing I’m getting a lot of, a lot lately, actually, is middle-aged men and older men, many men in their 60s predominantly, who have quit sugar mostly because their daughter or their wife has told them they had to.

Stuart Cooke: That’d be right.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, yeah. They’ve done it and, generally, because, not because I pointed it out to them. They’ve watched a documentary, generally, where it’s a middle-aged man telling them all about it, but they’ve swung around to it, tried out my program and lost some weight, but then XXobviously?XX [0:12:59] have come off their cholesterol medication because they’ve basically got rid of all their cholesterol problems.

Which is funny, because you guys know the deal, I promote eating saturated fat and, what do you know, eat more saturated fat, eat less sugar, your cholesterol sorts itself out. So, that’s a really big one, is the cholesterol thing, and what I like about that is that it’s generally the most skeptical part of the demographic, do you know what I mean? Report these results.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I changed my father’s diet on the basis of a telephone call and realized he was on statin drugs and also drugs for type 2 diabetes, and so I asked him to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks and realized that the foods, the very foods that he was being advised to eat, were shocking.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah. Margarine.

Guy Lawrence: Oh, yeah!

Stuart Cooke: That was in there. That was one of them. So, I sent him back a few thoughts and ideas, and I wrote a meal plan, and he ran that for a month and went back to the doctors, and they said, “You have improved out of sight. We’re going to take you off your meds.”

Sarah Wilson: “What happened?”

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, exactly, “What are you doing?” And he said, “Well, I’m doing this,” and the doctor said, “Well, keep doing it. It’s working for you.”

Sarah Wilson: That’s what I’m getting feedback on, as well, is that doctors who have been skeptical and, “God, something’s going on here.” And, you know, again, I sound like I’m about to sell steak knives at the end, but the thing that I can say is that I was skeptical that just changing your diet could actually have such a big impact in what is a relatively short period of time.

Now, you know, you can, I mean, I’ve heard of, yeah, things being reversed in a couple of weeks and, you know, the aim shouldn’t emphasize being about reversing or coming off medication, that’s not the aim. The aim is just wellness in general and getting back to good, sound eating patterns that are sustainable. So, and then you’re body works itself out, but our bodies are desperate to work themselves out.

And if it’s food, bad food choices that are holding us back, often it’s a really simple equation, you know? It’s a simple solution. Sorry, all good. So, one of the most wonderful things is, you know, food can actually make a difference, and so many consumers of health and food products are feeling powerless at the moment, but you know that you can actually make these simple changes and actually do something about it without the government guidelines, without some big new drug, you know?

I think it’s one of those empowering things we can do.

Guy Lawrence: Do you think this message will ever go truly mainstream?

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, I don’t know that it’ll happen soon. I think it’s going to speed up very, very quickly, because social media allows us to expose Big Food’s sticky fingers in the pie, and that’s the biggest hindrance is without a doubt Big Food, because that’s controlling what’s happening at a government level. It’s controlling what’s happening with the marketing of food, but it’s also controlling the availability of the foods and so on. So, I think that’s probably the biggest thing.

But what’s happening is that consumers, as we were just saying, are essentially empowered, and they can do something about this themselves, you know? So, it is speeding up. People are getting more and more informed. Online communities are making all this information accessible. The science is rolling in to back what we’ve been talking about for the last four years. It’s uncanny, you know?

Just the other day, you know, what was it? The WHO regulations, for instance, have come out with exactly the same kind of prescription as I’ve been saying for the last four years. Now obviously they’re drawing on the same science I was drawing on, but they’re now confirming that that science is sound, you know?

Stuart Cooke: Interesting.

Sarah Wilson: And, you know, I think, you know, the fasting thing, you know, backing, I mean, allowing time between meals, not snacking all the time, snacking being part of the sugar industry’s message, that’s just rolled out, you know, sort of, last week, you know, this new science showing that fasting between meals and not having five, six meals a day is the way to go.

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So, I think the science is catching up and media is getting on board. Not so much in Australia. Australian media is still very skeptical, but in the US and the UK, they are totally on board with this. Particularly the UK.

So, you know, they’re looking for these positive messages on the side of the consumer.

Stuart Cooke: Have you experienced any resistance or a great deal of resistance for the IQS message?

Sarah Wilson: Yeah…not a great deal and I think it’s because of the way that I try to deliver the information. I don’t get Draconian. I try to be inclusive and, also, I’m a bit of a bitch in this sort of area in terms of media and getting slapped around and so on, and some of your listeners might be aware of the opinion pages in the Herald Sun in Melbourne, Andrew Bolt. I used to share a page with him, you know? Writing opinions and that was at a young age. This was, you know, fifteen years ago, and so I’ve been kind of doing this kind of thing writing about stuff, poking my head up, for a long time.

And so I really do believe that the best way to go about this kind of stuff is to be the message, and so I just be my message. I live my life. I give out the N equals 1 thing, you know, here I am being a guinea pig, trying things out, and if you’re interested join me on the ride. I think, yes, unfortunately the most resistance I get, apart from; literally there’s only really one troll that I have, and if I mentioned his name I’m sure you guys would know him well, because he does the rounds… I can tell by your laugh that you know who I’m talking about.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Sarah Wilson: Let’s call him DD.

Stuart Cooke: Okay.

Sarah Wilson: Unfortunately, the most resistance is from dieticians, and I get it. They’ve got turf that they are feeling quite protective about. They’ve studied extensively and, you know…

Stuart Cooke: Oh, okay, you’re back. Sorry. I don’t know…

Sarah Wilson: I don’t know what happened there.

Stuart Cooke: Must have been the troll.

Sarah Wilson: That’s right. That’s right. Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve XXtold the dieticiansXX [0:19:31] and where they’re at, and I think that my end, at the moment, is to kind of find a common ground, because I think this issue is too important to have, you know, wars on Facebook and to have slinging matches. I’m not into that. I’m really not into it, and so I made a decision just recently that, you know, that’s not the way XXI’m getting paidXX [0:19:50] It’s not what I’m going to engage with, and I would rather be more inclusive, so I reckon that will probably turn out well, but, yes, I’ve had some interesting phone calls from some soft drink manufacturers wanting to meet up with me, you know, to hear about their latest campaign and so on.

So, a few things like that, but no, I don’t XXcop itXX [0:20:12] very harshly at all, and I think it is because I choose to ignore it.

Stuart Cooke: I think so, yeah. The way you deliver it as well. It has to be, it’s, I guess from the very essence of I Quit Sugar rather than You Must Quit Sugar.

Sarah Wilson: Exactly! Right, thank you for pointing that out, yeah.

Guy Lawrence: Can you tell us about your school canteens campaign that you’ve got going on at the moment?

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s basically, in a nutshell, we’ve got a situation in Australia where all the states and territories have slightly different laws but they’re much the same, and they’re out of step with the Australian dietary guidelines, which is an absolutely ridiculous state of affairs.

So, the Australian dietary guidelines last year changed, as you guys would know, to basically frame sugar in the same light as salt, alcohol, and, let me see, saturated fat, which is something to be limited. The school canteen guidelines have, however, not been updated for eleven years, and so you’ve got this scenario where you’re allowed as much sugar as you want in school canteen menus.

So, we’ve got this situation where full cream, you know, plain milk is given an amber light and in a lot of schools they just don’t even allow full-cream dairy, right? They just don’t allow full-cream version. So, plain, healthy full-cream milk they don’t allow it. While on the other hand, low-fat, sweetened strawberry milk has a green lighting, because of the fact that sugar is totally ignored in these guidelines.

We also have a scenario where Kellogg’s Cocoa Pop liquid breakfast, which by the way, doesn’t have anything resembling a Cocoa Pop in it’s just a whole heap of sugar and inulin, which is, of course, a sugar, and I think it’s something like 30 percent sugar, it’s allowed into canteens. It’s got an amber rating. Paddle Pops. Amber.

You also have Tiny Teddies. So, Tiny Teddies, if you eat eight biscuits, you know, chocolate covered Tiny Teddies, absolutely fine. However, if you go nine, it becomes a red-rated food, which just means that parents and canteen managers and teachers just have absolutely no idea what’s going on.

So it’s an absolute XXshnozzelXX [0:22:33] and all we’re doing is we’re simply saying the canteen guidelines need to be updated. We need to know who’s in charge of these guidelines. We need to get a proper group of people on board who can actually create better guidelines and they need to be in line with the Australian dietary guidelines.

So, we’ve put together a campaign just to get 10,000 signatures. We’ve got two members of parliament who are raising it in parliament, XXgetting it all kind of actionedXX [0:22:59] We’re hoping it’ll change in New South Wales. We’re rolling it out in New South Wales and then we’ll expand it to the rest of Australia. So, we’re doing that.

At the same time, we’re trying to connect these amazing stories of canteens, I mean, we’re coming across canteens, for instance, this one in Canberra where there’s only 100 students, but each class takes turns cooking the food for the entire school that day.

Stuart Cooke: Wow.

Guy Lawrence: No way.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, so that’s amazing. We’re coming…The Hunter Region north of Sydney is incredible. There’s a whole range of schools doing really, really clever projects along these lines. So, essentially, there are amazing stories of small communities taking over the school canteen.

Then, on the other hand, you’ve got canteens where, I’m not joking, they are so lacking in funding, their canteen is the size of a toilet, and they’ve got a deep fryer, a pie warmer, and a deep freezer, and they sell pies, dim sims, and Paddle Pops and that’s it. So, that’s happening around Australia and we’re hoping that we can connect the two kind of, you know, extremes and, hopefully, you know, we can use the community to help each other out.

Stuart Cooke: You’d almost want to point the finger, as well, at the companies that are manufacturing children’s foods. Like, when did a, when, when is a food, just a child’s food? Essentially, it’s party food.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, I know. I know, if you just put lots of sugar in it, it becomes a children’s food. What’s worse, Stuart, and you’ve picked up on something here, is that, you know, manufacturers aren’t stupid. They’ve worked out that parents are feeling very guilty and unsure about what to feed their kids and so you’d probably go to a supermarket, and you’ll notice that there’s these logos on foods…

So, let’s get outside the canteen sphere, but just, you know, the sort of foods that parents put into the kids’ lunch boxes. You’ll notice that there’s always different random labels that, what, they’ve got ticks and things like that…

Stuart Cooke: That’s right.

Sarah Wilson: …that says it’s lunchbox approved and canteen approved. You know what? They’re not.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Who approved this?

Sarah Wilson: These companies completely make it up. You go onto the Arnott’s website and there’s an admission on there that, “We have come up with our own little logo, blah, blah, blah.” Who allowed them to do that? Well, you know, they’re allowed to because nobody’s policing this, and it’s just ridiculous. So, that’s another aspect of what we’ll be working on as well.

We’re exposing all of these things and, you know, when there’s 15 of me, I mean, I’ve got 15 staff that I think we need to replicate ourselves. We’ll just move on to these issues one by one by one.

Stuart Cooke: Perfect. So, so important. So, so, outside of your current petitioning, like, how can we get involved as parents. I mean, I’ve got three little girls, and we prep, you know, like mad men every week and weekdays cutting and chopping and preparing and bagging, but what can we do outside of…?

Sarah Wilson: Well, I think, I mean look, I think doing that, getting your kids involved in what you’re doing is a really, really important one because when kids are involved that they want to eat that they’re preparing, and I think, I think taking more time. I, we promote doing Sunday cook up. It’s really like a hobby and people really love it once they’re shown things to do.

That’s what I do. Every Sunday, because I’ve gone to the markets on Sunday, it’s usually Sunday by the time I kind of get round to sort of cooking up the veggies and preparing things, maybe making a few muffins and things like that, it’s just doing that and doping it with the kids. Taking the time. Instead of going to the shopping mall, take the time, it only needs to be an hour, to prepare things.

I think the other thing is, I would say, don’t demonize sugar with kids. Don’t even mention sugar. Do you know what I mean? So that it doesn’t have to be an issue. You just start putting good food in front of them.

In terms of getting involved with this campaign, I think the best idea is just to follow us at iquitsugar.com, because we’re regularly updating. On Facebook is where we’re kind of doing a lot about communications, and we’ll be updating everybody on when we move on to other states and territories. We’re sharing and we’re collating all the stories. So, if you’ve got feedback or ideas or whatever, you know, feel free to connect with us, because we are actually siphoning all the information together, and we’re passing it on to Ryan Parks, he’s the opposition member for, the opposition minister for education here in New South Wales , and, you know, a number of other parliamentarians. So we are sharing it around so that they’re getting the picture. So, yeah, that’s probably the other way just to getting involved.

Stuart Cooke: Okay. Great. Look forward to following the progress. That’s going to be fantastic.

Sarah Wilson: Well, thank you, yeah.

Stuart Cooke: So, we’ve got a few miscellaneous questions here, as well. Obviously, we’ve had heaps of questions from our followers, too. I’ve got a question about public scrutiny. I mean, you’re in the public eye. You’re out and about. How does your status affect you?

Sarah Wilson: What happens when I get sprung…eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut?

Stuart Cooke: Exactly.

Guy Lawrence: yes.

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Sarah Wilson: Well, I’m really just transparent about things, because if I lived to try and just sort of, you know, look glowy-skinned all the time and, you know, like I do in the photos where I’ve had hair and makeup done and good lighting hen I’d be pretty miserable and a boring person to be around, and I’d probably never leave the house quite frankly, just because I’d be too busy applying mascara, but I, well, you know what my big thing is be your message.

My message is is to be just really authentic. I eat sugar. I eat dark chocolate, you know? I, you know, I love dark chocolate. I eat fruit. I’ll try a bit of birthday cake. I’ll have a little sliver if it’s somebody’s birthday and it’s a special occasion, but I can stop myself after a very small sliver and I, you know, I’m really not fussed by it. So, that side of things I just think I’m better off showing people that I’m kind of cool with it all. I’ve never been put up or, you know, questioned on it, because I think, again, if you live out that message of just being cool with it then everyone just goes, “Oh, it’s not a big deal.” You know?

And, in terms of just, let me see, I don’t recall that much scrutiny. I don’t know whether I’ve got blinkers on, but I just go about my own thing. Yeah. I get stopped on the street a lot, especially these days because of Instagram and Instagram is just going great. I think people are used to seeing me not wearing the makeup and things and generally wearing my green shorts out hiking. I’ll be in the bizzarest place and, you know, and someone will come up, “Are you Sarah…?” And then people want to tell me about their health complaints or whatever it might be and ask, and drill me on whether they’re allowed to eat this or that.

And, look, my staff, kind of, “God, how do you deal with that side of things?” But you know what? I actually think it’s one of the best sides of it. It’s, you know, it’s real. It’s grass roots, and this is where people’s concerns are. It’s in the minutiae. This is what life’s about, you know? Our grandmothers used to talk aver the back fence, and I share things in such a way where I think people do feel that they’re able to come up and share their story and, you know, social media has been very good to me, and so I, you know, paying it back in a way.

Guy Lawrence: It’s a very powerful way. Yeah. Absolutely.

Stuart Cooke: It’s the virtual back fence, I think.

Sarah Wilson: yeah. Exactly.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Sarah Wilson: So, look, it’s not a bad price to pay for this sort of built up a following and whatever. No, it’s, I don’t care about, I guess, I’m 40 and I don’t care about public scrutiny. I got over that. It’s one of the great things about getting older, and I love what I do, and I believe in what I do. That sounds very Pollyanna-ish, but I can honestly say that it’s got a big part to do with the fact that I don’t get upset by, you know, what people said or rumours or anything like that.

Guy Lawrence: I’ve got a question for you, as well, Sarah, about, you know, you’re very, clearly you’re very busy, you know, like you say. I see you on social media everywhere, like, you’re here, there, and you know, you’re in Melbourne and you’re out doing whatever. How do you handle the stress of it all? Like, you know, because you’re running a big company, as well, you know. You’re dealing with your Hashimoto’s and so, outside of a diet, is there any other things that you do to aid that?

Sarah Wilson: Yeah. I do. There’s a few things. You’ve got to create your own boundaries, especially when you work online and when you work for yourself, and that’s something that I talk about a lot is you’ve just got to get really fair with our own boundaries. As much as I would love to just work 24/7, and I have that natural tendency to do that, I pull myself back.

I have one day off a week in addition to the weekends. I have the weekends so that I’m around family and friends when they’re having time off, and I have a day off. Usually a Thursday where I catch up on things, you know? I also take a deep breath and so some days it’s just resting, because sometimes my thyroid will just go, “All right. It’s Thursday. We’re allowed to collapse now.” Or I’ll just do reading, you know? It’s when I do all my deep reading.

Away from the office, I’ll go to the beach, or I’ll, you know, I’ll sit up high on the couch in the sun, and I’ll just get through a whole heap of reading and deep thinking. That’s something I do. I meditate. That’s absolutely…

Guy Lawrence: I was just about to ask that, actually, “Do you meditate?”

Sarah Wilson: I do. I meditate. I try to do it twice a day. It’s generally once a day. I do it after exercise. I have a very, let me see, a strong morning routine, and that’s really key. So, no matter how I’m feeling, I always get up and I do exercise straight away. So, I don’t muck around. There’s no fretting about with finding my drink bottle and my perfect gym gear. I just get out the door and, you know, I’ll swim. I’ll mix it up. Swim, yoga, a bit of weights, but I only sort of, you know, I do, I don’t know, 14 to 18 laps. I walk to and from the pool, and I walk to and from work or ride. So I do exercise every day. It’s in the morning.

Then I meditate. Try to do it in sun, outside, just to get that vitamin D, and it’s just kind of getting a grounding to my day so that I feel like I own a part of myself in my day. That’s really, really important. And then I’m going through my day mindfully. I make much better decisions. I hire good staff, as a result. I communicate with my staff in such a way that it’s efficient. Not always, you know. This is the aim.

And I say no to a lot of things that just don’t feel right, and also, I’ve learned to listen to my gut. I was always so head orientated. Everything was about working out, you know, those decisions, and I think one of the things about quitting sugar is you get really clear on your priorities and your sense of self and that’s really aided me, both from a health perspective, but also from a business perspective.

So, yeah, I try not to think about it too much. I think, you know, nobody’s ever going to find perfect balance, so I’ve given up on that, and what I do, oh, the other thing I do is I go away on weekends. I try to get out into the bush. That’s my big…

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fantastic.

Sarah Wilson: So you probably noticed that I’m always out there XXclackingXX [0:33:55]

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I think I saw something on Instagram flying though the other day that you’re out and about.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, yeah. About every second weekend, I’ll go for a hike somewhere and, you know, it’ll be for an hour or it’ll be for five hours. I just, it’s just about being in dirt and getting a rhythm going and my thoughts just cascade and I daydream and, you know, that kind of thing is just…It’s great that I’ve learned that that is what works for me, You know? And I think it works for a lot of people to be honest. Getting out in nature.

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Guy Lawrence: Oh, definitely, yeah, especially when you’re working in such a creative environment like yourself, as well, really feeds that. Massively.

Stuart Cooke: It sounds very much like your lifestyle, Guy, while I’m here beavering away on the business.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I would never do that to you, Stu. I am always physically working the same time you do, mate. I promise.

Stuart Cooke: What a lie. I’ve got a question. I’m going to apologize before I ask it, but what have you eaten today? I’m sorry again.

Sarah Wilson: That’s a good question. I always ask people that, too. It’s a good one. Okay, prepare yourselves. All right. I was going to say that I’m holier than thou, because at the moment I am making recipes for my next cookbook, so this morning I had a number of gelatin gummy things, strawberry and rosemary flavored. So I had those, and I also had, ah, you’ll like this. I had one of your little protein bar things.

Guy Lawrence: Oh, did you?

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, and I’m not just saying that. I actually did, because they’re in my desk at the moment to try, and so I had one of those. That was my breakfast, but generally it’s a bit more, it’s more robust in the sense that it’s like I’ll have some eggs and some vegetables, generally.

Black coffee. I’m a bit addicted to coffee at the moment. I’m just allowing that to slide for a bit, you know? I’ll get off it soon, but for now it’s just something that I’m…

Guy Lawrence: I love coffee.

Sarah Wilson: I love it, too. And then lunch was, let me see…We have a wonderful kitchen here that I built in the office, and everyone cooks their lunch here, and we also share our food. We’ve all got, you know, communal XXhalloumiXX [0:36:10], communal eggs, and communal kale. We’ve got a veggie garden on the roof.

So I had just stir-fried in some coconut oil, you know, sautéed, beans, snow peas…I had some mustard greens. tomato, avocado, some of my liver that I’ve made for my next cookbook, and I actually warmed that through it, and it’s something so rich and so paleo. It’s just making me cringe. And then I put on top of it some special kimchi that I’ve made as well, mixed that through it, and then I had a, also, a polenta muffin that one of the girls made in the office with that. So that was lunch.

Stuart Cooke: Okay, well you’re certainly not on a diet.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Sarah Wilson: No, I’ve never been able to do restrictive eating of any kind.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. It’s the best way. We got, actually, we got to, just to wrap up on a couple of Facebook questions we’ve put out with Facebook, and the first one leads into this. It’s from XXCarrie Ann CaldwellXX [0:37:15] “What are the correct portion sizes for foods that we can still gain all the nutrition required from it? It can be easy to overeat on a healthy diet due to not knowing this.”

Sarah Wilson: Okay. Yeah. I get asked this a little bit, so we put together obviously menu plans and also write recipes for a living, so the way that I work and it works out really well, because we get a dietician to actually break down our meal plans and make sure they’re nutritionally sound and they’re within the guidelines. I firstly work with vegetables so, you know, as Michael Pollan says, “Eat food. Mostly plants.” So I work from vegetables, green vegetables, outwards, so I try to get six to seven serves of veggies. Personally, I try to get even more than that, but seven or eight serves of veggies a day. On the meal plans it says six or seven, so it’s more than the Australian dietary guidelines.

So that means eating vegetables at breakfast, which I find really easy to do, because I’m not eating huge amounts of sugary carbohydrates. Then you’ve got to eat something else, don’t you? So, you know, spinach, frozen peas, you know, some eggs. That kind of thing.
So I work from that framework and then I insert protein at every meal, so usually meat once a day, sometimes twice a day, but not huge quantities, so right about 150 grams, and it’s about the size of your palm is what you should be working to. I often, sometimes I just use meat for the flavoring, so use, you know, beef broth or bacon or something like that just to get the meat flavoring there. You don’t need it every meal, but I will put some sort of protein: eggs, cheese, I use some legumes, but I’m a bit funny about it unless they’re prepared properly I don’t do it from a tin, I try to do it myself for that reason. I do them in bulk, have them in my freezer XX?XX [0:39:12]

And then add fat. Always add fat, because all those leafy greens and the protein that you’re eating are fat soluble only, so vitamins A, E, K, and D, and all of the enzymes in meat need fat for you to actually benefit from it, so I put a good, in my mind, I go, “All right, a tablespoon of fat.” So it’ll come from olive oil. It’ll come from butter. It’ll come from cheese or avocado, and I just make sure that that’s I the mix.

And, so, yeah, that’s just my formula. I mix up, sort of, red meat and a bit of fish and a bit of chicken, yeah.

Guy Lawrence: That will definitely answer her question. Stu?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, so, found on Facebook from XXDepar Gopinith [0:39:58] “How do you keep yourself from completely falling off the wagon after you completed the eight-week program?” And I just wanted to expand a little bit on the wagon, when does the wagon not become the wagon anymore? I, when do you stop craving these foods and start looking at them more like cat food?

Sarah Wilson: I don’t think you ever start looking at the cat food, because I think, you know, we’re programmed to see sugary food as a treat, as nurturing, smelling great, all that kind of thing, so no, that never happens and I said before when it comes to illness you manage it, and so for me, look, I don’t like to term things in terms of coming off or on the wagon. You see so you come off sugar and it basically gives you the experience of life without sugar.

Now at the end of eight weeks you can then choose what you want to do next, and my advice is to really listen to your body because your body is in a great space where it can actually tell you what it needs. Now, if say, two months down the track, you know, you eat a bit of sugar, and then you eat a bit more, because it is addictive, and you start eating more and more, and you’re back at square one.

Well, first of all, I’ll say you’re not back to square one, because you can’t unlearn this stuff. You’re always going to think twice before you have a juice, right? You’re never going back to drinking apple juice again when you know it’s nine teaspoons of sugar and, you know, of course there’s other things we turn to in moments of weakness, muffins and whatever it might be, chocolate. So what I try to say is just, is once you find yourself slipping like that, you don’t have to do a big XX?XX [0:41:34] again. You don’t have to go back to the beginning. Our bodies detox best with real food, so just commit. The next day and this is to eating, not the next day, your next meal, eating a good proper meal, so it’s not about dieting or starting diet and it’s all got to begin again, it’s just starting with good food again.

So, that’s what I do. I have moments where my hormones are playing up and I’m craving all of that kind of thing, and I might eat a couple pieces too many of my dark chocolate, you know? What I’ll do is that night I’ll have a really good meal, and I have my go-to meal is a pork chop, steamed veggies with heated olive oil, and even if I’m traveling, because often these things happen when I’m traveling because I’ve been out of whack, I’ll just go to a bar or a pub or a whatever and you can generally find some grill meat, steamed veggies and lots of olive oil, recalibrates me. I’m sorted. I feel completely balanced again, so that’s my trick.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: That’s awesome.

Guy Lawrence: That’s awesome. I think the only question we’ve got left here, Sarah, is we’ve got a question that we ask everyone on our podcast every week, and I don’t know if you got it, but it’s what’s the best single piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Sarah Wilson: Okay, well, can I give two?

Stuart Cooke: Oh, yeah, sure.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.

Sarah Wilson: One is more of a XXlifestyle?XX [0:42:57] and one’s a food one. The food one would be just eat real food. That’s become our kind of mantra, and I know that Michael Pollan’s got a lot to do with that particular framework, and I just think that that’s what it comes down to. At the end of the day, just eat real food, and actually a girlfriend really introduced that to me back… I used to model back in caveman days, a long time ago, and there’s a girl who actually said to me, “You know what? if it’s nutritious, I put it in my mouth.”

And back then avocados we all thought they were bad for you because they’re full of fat, and she said, “Avocados are nutritious. I eat them.” And I was like, “Huh, okay, that makes sense.” And she and I still talk about that, actually. She’s a journalist as well.

The other one is something I picked up from mountain bike riding. One of you is into mountain bike riding?

Guy Lawrence: Stu.

Stuart Cooke: It’s me.

Sarah Wilson: I knew that, yeah. I used to do a lot of, kind of, you know, off road bit of racing and 24-hour and that kind of stuff, and I used to kind of marvel at the way that if there was a gap this big, ten centimeters big between two rocks my wheel would just go there. I didn’t have to think about it.

And so my koan mantra came out of that, and it’s, and I can’t remember who told me this, but I sort of now adopted it as my own. Where the mind goes the energy flows. If your mind goes to going between those two rocks, the wheel will just go there, and it’s the same with everything. If your mind goes to, you know, thinking about a certain thing, everything will start to flow there, and I guess I apply it to my business, I apply it to health, I apply it…

Stuart Cooke: We’re all at the mercy of Skype, I think.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.

Stuart Cooke: It’s all good.

Guy Lawrence: How about the mercy of XX?XX [0:44:45]

Sarah Wilson: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Exactly. So then just as a wrap up, I guess, what’s next for Sarah Wilson and where can we get more of Sarah Wilson?

Sarah Wilson: Okay, I don’t know if you want more of Sarah Wilson. Okay, at the moment I’m working on my third print book. It’s a bit of an extravaganza, but that might be out for some time. We’ve got our next online program with I Quit Sugar starting end of January. We do it then because nobody thinks about quitting sugar or anything until after Australia Day. So, if people want to join us on that, you can actually register already at our website. We’ve got a green smoothie cookbook that’s just come out, so anyone who’s wanting to move into that area…as you guys know, I advocate smoothies but not juices for reasons that I explain in the book.

And, look, we’re only doing a couple of things, obviously this canteen project is a really big one that is close to my heart, and we’re going to be doing a few more road shows. So stay tuned for that one, especially if you live in a regional town. We’re going to be doing some, sort of a competition where, you know, I’ll be going out to sort of a regional area and using it as a way for that area to maybe raise some funds for something that’s really important and food-related a bit.

As well as New Zealand, we’re heading to New Zealand, I hope fairly soon as well, because we’ve got a huge community over there. Those guys over there are just totally into all of this stuff, which is great.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Fantastic. Our wonderful neighbors.

Sarah Wilson: Yeah, yeah. I’m a big fan.

Guy Lawrence: Thank you so much for joining us, Sarah. That was just fantastic, and I’ve no doubt lots of people are going to benefit a lot from that conversation for sure.

Sarah Wilson: Thank you. Thank you very much for the time. I really appreciate it. I have enjoyed finally chatting to you guys.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.

Stuart Cooke: We’re out in the neighborhood, so…We’ve passed shoulders so many times. It’s great to say hi.

Sarah Wilson: And please drop into IQS headquarters anytime and come and have a cup of tea.

Guy Lawrence: Will do, will do.

Sarah Wilson: See you guys.

Guy Lawrence: Thanks a lot, Sarah.

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Toby Morrison: Overcoming chronic fatigue (CFS)


Bare with me here for a second. Imagine you are so exhausted you sleep for 18 hours a day and your exercise regime is to walk for a couple of minutes as you simply can’t walk any more. You are so burnt out, physically you can’t do anything. You begin to think you are dying and suicide starts to cross your mind.

This is what Health & Wellness Coach Toby Morrison had to overcome with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). He not only overcame the ‘untreatable disease’, Toby has turned his adversity into his passion and has inspired thousands of others to do the same.

This is a fascinating and uplifting story and well worth watching whether you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or not. To learn more about Toby click here.

toby morrison cfs health

Audio Version:

In this weeks episode:-
downloaditunesListen to Stitcher

  • From elite athlete to burnout
  • What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Why high/over achievers are prone to CFS
  • Why mindset is everything & what Toby did to turn his life around
  • Turning adversity into passion
  • Where to start if you have/know someone with symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
  • and much more…

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Full Transcript

Guy Lawrence: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined today with no other than Mr. Stuart Cooke. Again, good to see you, Stu. And our very special guest today is Mr. Toby Morrison, who is a health and wellness coach. That would be fair enough to say, wouldn’t it, Toby?

Toby Morrison: Yeah, definitely.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Thanks for coming in, mate. We were just, myself and Stewie, had been talking this week and the one thing we are very excited about is that we love stories that inspire and then go on to inspire others, especially when I guess you take adversity into a passion and then that passion goes on and helps others. So, we thought our audience and ourselves would benefit from this greatly.

So, can you go back to the start and tell us a little bit about your story and what you’ve overcome?

Toby Morrison: Well, I was a very athletic kid and an elite basketball player at the age of 16. And I was training eight to 10 times a week so I was doing double sessions in a day. I was playing for four basketball teams, and I really was just; basketball was my life.

And I got struck down with glandular fever, which is very common with most people with chronic fatigue syndrome. And from there it kept persisting and I kept pushing through and pushing my body to the limit and then eventually I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue six months later.

And it wasn’t like I was just sleepy and tired. It was to the point where I was sleeping 16 to 18 hours a day. I couldn’t eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Stuart Cooke?: Eighteen hours a day?

Toby Morrison: Yeah, just to go to the toilet was an effort. I used to; the first I actually work up and was completely bedridden, I couldn’t even speak, so I actually had a bell that I had to ring to get my mum to come to my room and bring water and food for the first couple of month. It was quite severe and a huge shock to my system and my overall life.

Guy Lawrence: Right. Oh, my God.

So, how would you describe chronic fatigue syndrome, like, in a nutshell? Because there was a term I’d heard of but I hadn’t really looked into because obviously I hadn’t suffered it myself. How would you describe it?

Toby Morrison: Yeah. Look, it’s hard to understand it if you haven’t had it, but the way I would describe chronic fatigue is it’s like you’re jet-lagged or you’ve got that hungover feeling 24-7 and times by 10. So, you know, you sleep, usually, you’re lethargic. You’ve got flu-like symptoms so you’ve always got a sore throat. You usually get symptoms like dizziness, muscle aches and pains. And then it can lead to emotional things and cognitive things like your memory loss is high. Your concentration levels are low. You know, just to keep your eyes open for a certain amount of time is hard. Reading a book or a page of a book is quite the task for someone with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Guy Lawrence: Wow. OK. And would that be something that just hits you like a freight train from day one? Or are there symptoms that are just kind of slowly creeping up?
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Toby Morrison: Certainly. I mean, every case is different, but predominantly what happens with CFS; it creeps up on them slowly. So, usually it starts with a virus, light, glandular fever. Or a post-viral syndrome. And then if that’s not looked after or the health hasn’t progressed, then usually what happens is you’re diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

And it creeps up on you. I just thought it was a cold and flu, you know. And I honestly did. I was a kid, so you don’t think of it when you’re a kid, so you think, “I’ll be all right in a couple of weeks. I will just rest. I’ll have a couple of days off school. My main priority is to play the game of basketball.”

And so I would rest all week and then I would play the game on Friday night and then I’d be in bed for another week and play again on the next Friday.

So it was more; I was in survival mode rather than thriving. And then it got to the point where I played my last game and I just remember getting to the game and I felt I was way off. And to chase a ball was an extreme task. I mean, I remember shooting the ball and normally I’d hit that shot every time and I completely airballed it and I just knew that was game over. That night I went to bed and the next morning I woke up, opened my eyes, thinking that physically I was fine and I went to move mentally and I couldn’t physically move.

So, it just didn’t process through my brain. It was very neurological and, you know, it completely hit me for six.

Stuart Cooke: And were you instantly diagnosed with CFS?

Toby Morrison: Not at all. We freaked out. Your body feels like it’s deteriorating, and people would see this with CFS if you are watching, you’ll understand this, but you actually feel like you’re dying. I thought I had cancer at one stage, because your body starts to really disintegrate. You know, your muscles feel like they’re getting eaten away by something inside.

And when you are a kid or even an adult, you’re healthy. I mean, I was one of the fittest kids at school. To, then, being one of the sickest kids, ever in school. So, it was very; in the time of six months you can’t really get diagnosed prior because they need to; your symptoms need to persist for more than six months for you to be diagnosed.

Guy Lawrence: So, you have to suffer six months before?

Toby Morrison: Pretty much. They’re trying to change it now. There is a new diagnostic system that isn’t really that recognized by doctors yet, and that’s a two months thing but still ongoing tests needs to happen all the time to exclude any other disease. Things like diabetes, cancers, and some serious illnesses that people might have.

Guy Lawrence: So, the catalyst for CFS, for our audience, do you think that that was just the extreme schedule of exercise that you were putting your body under?

Toby Morrison: Well, there’s a couple of different cases, but predominantly the people who have helped me and the people I’ve seen for chronic fatigue, they are usually high-achievers. And I was speaking to a doctor recently who specializes in chronic fatigue and he said the same thing. Ninety percent of his patients and the patients that I see are high-achievers or overdoers. So, they’ve got that personality type to really push through and push their bodies to the limit, either physically or emotionally. I’ve got a lot of academic kids at the moment who strive to get scores of 95 and 99 and they just don’t know how to stop. They don’t know how to do the simple things and they just burn out.

Guy Lawrence: So, would it almost cause, like, a snowball effect in the fact that you’re pushing, you’re pushing, you’re pushing, and then all of sudden you’re gonna get to a point where momentum takes over and you get progressively worse?

Toby Morrison: Yeah. These symptoms that we get, even if you don’t have chronic fatigue, there are symptoms like muscle pain, muscle aches, dizziness. It’s a sign that your body needs to change. You need to do something different in your lifestyle. You know, it’s a hint saying, “Hey, hey, slow down a little bit.”

When you’re a kid, you’re going a hundred miles an hour, and you guys will understand this. You’re going a hundred miles an hour, and you don’t stop and think, you know. You can keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing.

Nutritionally I wasn’t probably eating as well and I wasn’t getting anywhere near enough rest physically to perform at the best level I could.

Guy Lawrence: I mean, how much has your nutrition changed from when you had chronic fatigue to now? I mean, do you see that in many other cases as well? Do you tackle it from a nutritional aspect as well.

Toby Morrison: Definitely. And we’ve got to look at it like this: The car needs fuel to operate and run and to work. And the way the body works is the same, you know. If you don’t put the fuel in it, it’s just not gonna give you the energy that you need to get your body from A to B. And that might be walking one minute or it might be playing a game of AFL football. Everyone’s on a different level.

But, you know, food was huge. Before I got diagnosed, I was eating crap. I would wake up, I might have had 10 Weet-Bix for breakfast, which high GI food. Apparently, healthy for you. It’s marketed really well. And most of those cereal brands are. But when you’re a kid, you don’t really think about it. You just eat it, because the superstars eat it.

And I’d catch the train to school and I’d have a hot jam donut and a can of Coke for $2 every morning and then I’d go to school. It was kind of high GI food.

And there was no education, and I wish there was back then, for kids like me. But I guess that’s what I do now is I pass it on to young people.

Guy Lawrence: But you still see it in the kids today, you know.

Toby Morrison: It’s terrible. And I think we need to; people like you guys and myself need to spread that word and actually educate people on the importance of food and the types of different foods we can eat.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely. Absolutely.

I was gonna say, like, where’d you start? If you were in bed up to 18 hours a day and I’d imagine mentally you’re not going to feel like you want to do anything. Physically, you’re not gonna want to feel like doing anything. And if you haven’t got the support from the doctors and things like that, they’re scratching at their head at it, I mean, where do you start?

Toby Morrison: Yeah. And, I mean, it took me four years to recover.

Guy Lawrence: Four years.

Toby Morrison: Four years. There wasn’t much help with it. So, I pretty much missed my senior years of school. I just scraped through. I ended with a score of 33 out of 100, which was just a pass. And I think I studied one hour in that year; in year 12. And I just passed it. And so, one of things is accepting that it’s a long process. And, I mean, there wasn’t much help then, but there is now. There’s a lot more help with CFS and there’s a lot more awareness.

But getting started on a minimum basis is the most important thing. And, when you are diagnosed with chronic fatigue, you freak out. And all you want to do is get better. And we all want to get better. We want the quick-fix solution. We want to get fit. We want to get healthy. We want the best for ourselves, but we want them overnight. And the problem with CFS is you just don’t physically change overnight. It takes time.

And I guess the biggest thing is not to look for those quick-fix answers, but look for the stuff that you can do today that will help you in the future and that might mean nutritionally, that might mean with your sleep, that might mean mentally getting some support and help. Physically, getting moving again. And moving is probably the hardest one because, like you said, you don’t physically feel like you can move. You know, there’s days where you feel like you can’t even get out of bed. So, the first exercise program might be getting out bed. Which is crazy. It’s as severe as that. I’ve got patients who can barely walk up their front stairs. I had one kid; he took 10 minutes to walk up the front stairs; it’s 10 steps.

Guy Lawrence: Are there varying degrees of CFS? Would somebody with a poor sleep pattern and generally low energy levels, would that be CFS?

Toby Morrison: Most definitely. And, I mean, it would have be diagnosed, but there can be cases of mild chronic fatigue syndrome and certainly things that we can control that will help them enormously in terms of working on their sleep routine, their exercise on a regular basis. Eating the right foods day-in, day-out. All the things that we can control.

The severities of CFS are like this. It’s huge. You’ve got people who can’t get out of bed and sleep 16 to 18 hours like I was. And then you’ve got people who are quite actual, function, work full-time, got to school, play a sport. But they just don’t feel great.

Guy Lawrence: Right. OK.

Stuart Cooke: Just to go backwards a little bit, I’m really interested on, as well; I hate using the word “mindset” but I’ll use it in this case, because, you know, with myself working as a trainer for nearly eight years, the biggest let-down I used to see with people, all the way up to somebody who had cancer, to even somebody who just wants to lose weight or actually establish themselves in their athletic discipline or whatever it was, it all came back to how they thought, you know, and whether they would skip sessions or continue and things like that.

And, obviously, the more in need of help you are, I think harder it is to overcome something, because you’re already under much worse circumstances.

So, I’d love to hear some of the things you; because you must have done something, right, to start overcoming these things. So, I’d love to hear what things you would do.

Toby Morrison: So, the biggest thing that I learned from my recovery and my illness was being the victim wasn’t the answer. You know, as a 16-year-old, my life was basketball. My dream was to an NBL basketball superstar and that was it. I had no other option. That was my life.

And so I probably held onto that for a year and half when I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue, so I was frustrated, angry, anxious, pissed off, and what does that make you do? It makes you feel terrible, you know?

So, I probably got to about 16 and a half years of age and thought, “This isn’t gonna help my recovery. If I want to get better, I can’t think like that and I need to let go of the past and let go of the future and just focus on the now.”

And so that pretty means accepting where you are at and acceptance was a huge part of my recovery. And a huge part of anyone’s recovery is just accepting where you’re at and working with what you’ve got. You know, it was a huge part of the recovery.

Guy Lawrence: So, it’s almost like taking responsibility for yourself and these are the cards you’ve got and. . .

Toby Morrison: Yeah, and not wasting energy on things that you can’t control and I guess one of the things was holding onto things that were impossible at the time. Letting go of that was fantastic, because it allowed me to have the space and time and energy to focus on what I could do now, which might have been one minute walking, which might have just being proud of the fact that I could get out of bed and step into the sunshine for 15 minutes rather than think about not being able to play that basketball game that I could have won for the team, and things like that.

So, acceptance was a huge thing. Another thing was setting goals and being realistic. And that comes with acceptance as well. You know, people set the bar too high and they want to achieve amazing things and that’s fantastic but it’s not realistic and they’re setting themselves up for failure.

So, I made the goal of just being able to walk to start with. And this is coming from a kid who used to be able to do a beep test of 15.6.

Guy Lawrence: Did you really? That’s phenomenal.

Toby Morrison: I was super fit, so my whole mindset changed to focusing on the now rather than focusing on the past or the future.

And other big thing, in terms of being a victim, was realizing that there’s people worse off than you.

Stuart Cooke: No matter where you’re at, right?

Toby Morrison: And this is extremely powerful, because here I was as 15-year-old kid walking around the street moping around with my head down going, “This is so unfair, why me, I can’t play basketball, I don’t have any friends anymore, I can’t see anyone. I can’t even go to school.” And when I was walking down that street, I’ll never forget it, a guy in a wheelchair went past me and I looked down and he had no legs and he had no arms.

Well, and the funny thing was, he smiled at me. You know? And here I am about to cry thinking that my life; what’s the point of living, because I honestly didn’t want to live. There was no point. I couldn’t play; I couldn’t do the things I loved to do.

And when that guy smiled at me, I thought to myself, “How dare I complain about my life?” And from day onwards, I think I was 16 at the time, that day onwards I’ve never really complained. I’m very lucky to have legs and arms. Even though I could barely use them, at least there were still there.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah.

Stuart Cooke: That’s right.

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Guy Lawrence: That’s a great one. It’s a powerful way of looking at it.

Toby Morrison: It’s very powerful. And I was only 16 at the time so I guess I didn’t know the power it had in terms of my recovery, but looking back now, you know, it’s amazing. And even more so now I look; I ‘m so grateful for my life. As you build up and you get more abundant, you appreciate your life much more. And just living and being able to open your eyes in the morning and tie your shoelaces together and have a shower; the things you weren’t able to do once before you can do now. It’s pretty amazing.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Right. So, for anyone listening or watching this, what would the takeaway thing be you could say, if they’re in a bad spot, I guess, is to focus on the gratitude and the things you can be grateful for, right?

Toby Morrison: Yeah, the first thing I do with my clients when they come in see me, I go, “All right. Tell me 10 things that you can do.” And they say, “I can’t. I can’t do anything. I can’t play a sport. I can’t go to school.” And they’re filled with all the “can’ts” so they forget what they can do. And, I mean, sitting in my office is something that they’re doing. So, walking, driving, seeing. Some people are blind. At least they can see.

So it’s about just seeing what you can do rather than what you can’t do and then focusing on building that up over time. That list would build from 10 to 20 to 30 to 100, you know, as time goes on and you start looking for more positives rather than negatives.

There’s a stat, we say it first, that every single person diagnosed with CFS has the thought of suicide once in their recovery; at least once. And so it’s quite debilitating and quite severe, so I guess finding something to live for, when you are at that desperate stage, and I know there are people out there who do feel life is not work living, and I was one of them.

My thing that I lived for was my family, because I knew that I didn’t want to be here or wasn’t gonna be here, how upset and how much grief I would cause them. So, you know, as crazy as it sounds, I actually felt for those couple of those years that I was living for my mum and dad and my sister to get through it, because they meant the world to me and they loved me so much that I almost felt like I wanted to live for them.

And it’s fantastic to repay that favor now and for them to see me, what I’m doing now.

Stuart Cooke: That just triggered off another thought. I’ve spoke about it before in the past, but I got involved with a charity that were helping people with cancer, and there was always about 30 people there who had cancer and the majority of them were in a bad way and fighting for their lives. But what was very humbling and good to see was when you put all these people that were in the same situation together, it kind of; there was a strength in that that they didn’t have when they were on their own as well, you know.

Toby Morrison: Yeah, definitely. And I think it’s amazing because before I set up the centre three years ago, there was nothing out there for people with chronic fatigue in terms of guidance and help from someone who had had it, been through it, and recovered from it.

And so 12 hours a day there’s people coming in and out who have either got chronic fatigue or getting over it and it’s fascinating to see their conversation and just their eyes light up when people see each other going for similar situations and surrounding themselves in that positive environment.

And I guess, in here, it’s more about we’re focusing on what we can do. We’re being proactive in the recovery, so, accidentally, I had a double walk-in the other week and there was four patients in the one hour sitting there and I sat there and I kind of introduced them all and I said, “Yeah, you know, Vic’s going through chronic fatigue and Mark is going really well; he’s training for 20 minutes now.” And it went for an hour and a half. There was laughter and fun. And I just sat back for an hour and thought, “This is just amazing.” This atmosphere and this space is just so positive. And even a couple of them text messaged me after said it was just so nice to see other people going through similar situations and getting better, you know?

Guy Lawrence: And did you ever think, when you look back to when you had chronic fatigue, to where you’re at now? I mean, did you believe it at the time? It must. . .

Toby Morrison: Look. It’s funny; when I was 16, so when I did make that call where I thought I’m giving up basketball and focusing on me and I’ve got to work on what I can work on now and not worry about basketball and the career. In year 10 English, we had to write a journal and the only thing I wrote in that journal (and I hated English) was, “One day I will help over a million people with chronic fatigue syndrome.”

Guy Lawrence: Wow.

Toby Morrison: Yeah, I know. And at the time I just wrote it down; I didn’t think much of it. And, to be honest, I didn’t think it would happen this fast. I didn’t think I would write a book and get it published and done at the age of 25.

But when I stop and think about it, it’s crazy, but I haven’t stopped, you know? Whenever I wake up, I just think about what I was like 10 years ago and wish there was someone like me back then. And I guess that’s a driving factor when I help people. And I do long days and I help a lot of people, and I’m blessed to be able to do that.

Because that’s what people need. And there was nothing there back then when I was suffering, and I guess I just had the drive and the dedication and commit to do it, but most people, when they’re that low, they can’t find that.

So, I guess that’s where my passion lies, and I get a tingle in the back of my head every time I think about it or talk about it. Even if I; I might come home from the office at 10 p.m. but still feel on fire because. . .

Stuart Cooke: On top of the world.

Toby Morrison: Yeah, because it’s just; there’s a need there for people to be inspired and to actually get guidance and I’m blessed to be able to do that now.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. Well, we’ve got a list of questions from our Facebook audience as well and we’ve picked out just a few that we think would be great for you to answer, and I think if we start off with; Melissa has a question regarding exercise. And she asks, “What exercise is appropriate when living with CFS? Prior to developing CFS, I was physically active on a daily basis. Now I don’t want to overdo it, but I do want to incorporate exercise into my routine. What do I do?”

Toby Morrison: That’s fantastic that Melissa actually does want to exercise, because most people with CFS don’t. So, going back to what I said before is forgetting about what you were like before; you can never compare yourself to your old fitness levels before you were sick, and you’ve got to start from a minimum. And we call this a baseline exercise program where you can exercise and perform exercises without worsening your systems. And it’s called graded exercise therapy.

So, you might start with; it depends where you’re at with your fitness levels, but you start with the bare minimum and it might be one minute walking or it might be five minutes walking. But you want to choose something that’s quite easy and simple and really where it’s low intensity. You don’t really want your heart rate to be over 120 beats per minute to start with.

Guy Lawrence: So, is this something that you would keep a log book and you’d record this?
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Toby Morrison: Definitely. So, what I do with my clients is I’ve got a daily activity log book and they’ve got to record what they do on that day. And, you know, you can overdo it with exercise. You can overdo it with daily activities: things like housecleaning, driving, school, work. So, it’s just about making sure that you’re doing the right amount for you and not going backwards.

And the best way; the only way you can learn is from trial and error. But you want to have more ups than downs. And the problem is, if you go up too high and you’re trying too hard, the down recovery phase is too long and you’re bedridden. And you can be bedridden anywhere from two to seven days, really.

Stuart Cooke: Oh, wow. That’s insane.

Guy Lawrence: We got an interesting question from Carla, which I thought was quite appropriate as well. “I want to know how I can help someone with chronic fatigue because I feel so helpless sometimes.”

Toby Morrison: So, she wants to help someone else with chronic fatigue?

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Exactly. What can she do to help others.

Toby Morrison: OK, so, I mean, if she has had CFS herself or hasn’t, I guess the biggest thing is understanding and being empathetic with a friend or client or spouse or whoever’s got CFS. And just encouraging them to be positive and proactive rather than always talking about the negatives.

And it’s quite hard, as a friend. I only had one friend who stuck by me. I was the most popular kid at school before I got sick. And then, as soon as I got sick, all my friends dropped off because I wasn’t that sporty or I couldn’t do anything. And I had this one friend who was a girl who used to pop over to my house every afternoon and just check up on me and say hi and just have a general conversation.

At the time, it didn’t feel like it was that important and I kind of didn’t really care if she came or not, but looking back, that’s what got me through it. Because I needed someone there just to be there for me, you know? And so it’s very important, when someone’s got CFS they have support around them. So, it’s fantastic that she wants to help her friend with CFS. You know, just being supportive and being positive is a great help and it’s so beneficial.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: If you’ve got CFS, is it easy to be in denial about it, kind of thing, and not face up to any of it and just shut down?

Toby Morrison: Very much so. And  that’s a typical trait of the person dealing with CFS is the, “Oh, no, no, I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I’ll keep pushing through it.” In a week or two’s time you’re gonna break down and collapse again.

Stuart Cooke: So, I guess they have to get to that point where they’ve the made the decision where they want to do something about it.

Toby Morrison: There’s one bit of advice is you can only help people who want help. And the problem is, with friends and stuff, as much as your friend does want to get better, they might not want to right now and they might not be ready to get better. So, just be patient. Be kind.

And, I guess, do a little bit of research. Read books on chronic fatigue just so you can get an understanding of what it is actually like to have it. It’s extremely difficult to get your head around what it feels like to have chronic fatigue, because sometimes it looks like it’s all in their head. They look physically fine, they might have a laugh, they might have a chuckle, but inside they’re still feeling terrible.

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Stuart Cooke: Yeah, they’re crumbling.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Toby Morrison: Educate yourself; yeah.

Guy Lawrence: Some great points. Alex has asked, “Any particular supplements or foods that you notice which might just help increase energy levels overall?”

Toby Morrison: Yeah, look, I mean, I obviously can’t be specific with that person, but in terms of a general guideline with food, you want to eat regularly. Skipping meals like breakfast, lunch, or dinner is not really ideal. And I know it’s hard with CFS because you might sleep in till 1 p.m. and then miss breakfast and lunch.

Guy Lawrence: Right. Yeah.

Toby Morrison: So, you want to set that routine around your food, and that means having breakfast at a certain time, having lunch at a certain time, and having dinner at a certain time.

The other; in terms of food, we want whole foods. Things that are gonna fill us up and make us feel good rather than eating crappy kind of, you know, fast foods that will only give us energy for a short period of time and leave us feeling lethargic again.

Guy Lawrence: For sure. I mean, I always use the analogy, if anyone asks me, “What do I eat?” just think about what your grandparents used to eat and start from there.

Stuart Cooke: Sticky toffees.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah, right.

Toby Morrison: All in moderation, but with CFS I guess you just want to eat simple, clean food. I mean, most people know what’s healthy and what’s not healthy. You’ve just got to choose consciously to eat healthy on a regular basis.

Guy Lawrence: That’s right. We always use the term “real food.” “Clean food.” Just, you know, just eat real food. Meat, fish, veggies, fruit. Keep on top of your water and most things will work out for you.

Toby Morrison: I was gonna say one more thing with food. Try and listen to your body. You might go and see a naturopath or a nutritionist and they’ll tell you one thing, but your body knows what it wants and if you feel sick when you’re about to eat something, it’s probably not a great food for you. And you learn over time and you guys will be good with it because you’re used to bodies and you guys are your best teachers, but when you start out, if you eat something that makes you feel sick, probably don’t have that for awhile. Just stick to the foods that work for you.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. All right.

Janice has mentioned sleep. Now, sleep; we had a lot of people; a lot of questions regarding sleep and how to wake up refreshed and not feeling like they’ve been hit by a truck. Best remedies, ideas, or support mechanisms. So, what can we do here?

Toby Morrison: Yeah, look. Sleep’s very tough. And it’s one of the hardest parts of the recovery process, actually. It’s huge, because medication comes in which can leave us feeling with really bad side effects. Most people with CFS sleep during the day or started sleeping during the day because they’re so exhausted, which then affects their night sleep, which then affects the quality of their overall sleep.

So, I mean, it’s all about just getting restful sleep. One of the best things you can do is cut out sleep during the day, OK? If you are sleeping three to four hours during the day, you need to try and decrease that slowly over time and try and get that back to about half an hour rest during the day rather than knocking yourself out for three hours and then feeling awake until 2 a.m. in the morning.

So, it’s about decreasing the day sleep and then, obviously, trying to get that 9 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Everyone’s different. For me, it was one of the hardest things. But I tried every sleeping tablet under the sun and it still didn’t work.

So, I guess in conjunction with eating well, moving on daily basis (and that might be on a minimum basis to start with), resting minimally throughout the day, and it might; resting’s fine but sleeping is different. If you want to rest, that’s totally fine. But sleeping

during the day is a big no-no. And trying to get that restful sleep from about 9 or 10 p.m. through till the morning.

Stuart Cooke: Can you, like, especially in the early phases of chronic fatigue, when people may not even know or recognize it, could a symptom be the opposite? Of actually not being able to sleep?

Toby Morrison: Yes. Right. Yes. So, people who don’t have chronic fatigue think, “Oh, all you do is sleep.” You know? “You’re sleeping too much.” Actually, what happens, in the long run, sleep is a bit of a cycle. You’re exhausted to start with and then you start to become irritable and your sleep patterns are completely broken up.

I’ve had clients who actually can’t fall asleep until 6 a.m. in the morning. All right? And it’s broken sleep for 12 hours. Because it’s like you wake up every third or fourth hour completely awake and you find it very hard to go to sleep.

So, there’s a couple of things. There’s environmental stuff that you can work on. So, making sure that your room’s tidy and clean; there’s a bit of fresh air coming through and that you’re not too hot. So, if you’re overheated, your body’s just gonna stay awake all the time.

Another thing is not eating too close to bedtime. All right? On a full stomach you’re gonna keep yourself awake for a longer period of time. And another great thing that I have learned: Use your mindset around sleep. Because usually what happens is you overthink it. You start to think, “Oh, I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight. I’m going to feel terrible tomorrow.”

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. You almost make it happen.

Toby Morrison: Yeah. Putting in practices to relax yourself. So, it might be slow music; slow, relaxing music. It might be reading a little bit of a book. For me, it was closing my eyes and visualizing myself running along the beach completely healthy. And this is when I was completely debilitated. So, I was taught by someone to visualize and I’d close my eyes and think about something positive and gently fall asleep like that.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right.

Stuart Cooke: If, then, you wake up three hours later, tactics to address that?

Toby Morrison: Well, it just depends why you’re waking up. It might be to go to the bathroom. Sometimes; it’s usually muscle spasms. Symptoms are usually sore legs. So, to combat that, you can either ice your legs, you can elevate your legs so the blood flow comes back down; that’s really useful. And some people benefit from hot and cold baths or showers. I didn’t, myself, but I’ve had a lot of good feedback from doing that.

So I guess, you know, managing the symptoms as best you can. And, I mean, the problem with sleep is, if you have a bad night’s sleep, then what happens is you go, “Oh, I need to sleep during the day. I need to catch up on my sleep.” It’s one of the worst things you can do because then you’re just gonna be stuck in that really negative cycle of oversleeping because you can feel quite groggy, you know?

Set your alarm at a certain time and be kind to yourself. Start with, maybe, a 10 a.m. wakeup rather than a 7 a.m. wakeup. And decrease the time down slowly so that eventually your body gets used to it. I know for a fact if I sleep in too much, I feel 10 times worse, whereas if I have my six to nine hours now, I feel great. But anything over that, I feel tired, groggy, the rest of those symptoms.

Stuart Cooke: What about the “power nap”? Everybody hears the wonders of the power nap throughout the day.

Toby Morrison: Look, it depends where you’re at with your recovery. But, I mean, 20 to 30 minutes of shut-eye during the day is OK if it’s needed. I mean, I used to sleep two to three hours every day, and I needed that.

Stuart Cooke: That really is a power nap.

Toby Morrison: Yeah, it was. But the worst thing was that I’d wake up and feel even worse than before.

So, I mean, resting throughout the day is obviously needed when you’ve got chronic fatigue and that might be: bring you legs up, elevated on the couch. And it might be mediating for 20 minutes to half an hour. And if you feel like you do need that sleep, then you probably do.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Right. Maybe just go to the; look at the environment with sleep and things like that. Have you looked at or any thoughts on electromagnetic fields? EMF? We met a lady, the weekend, because we were at the Mindd Forum Foundation, and she was; like, some of the things she was saying about it were quite incredible. I mean, we were aware of it, but, God, she really made us look at it.

Toby Morrison: With that kind of stuff, it’s hard, because if you get too involved in it it becomes a little bit obsessive.

Stuart Cooke: I can see how that would happen.

Toby Morrison: And I did go through that phase at around 17 and I met and old kooky guy, I think he was 75, and he wanted me to throw out my mobile phone and get rid of my computer and the rest of it. And I did for awhile. Because, you know, I just wanted to get better so I’d do anything. But I guess you can’t just hope that that’s just gonna change your life. You know, I think the most important thing that you can do is focus on what you can control on a day-to-day basis.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely. That’s really good advice.

Have you got time for a couple of more Facebook questions?

Toby Morrison: Yeah, certainly. Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: All right. Barack asks: Are adrenal fatigue, insomnia, and chronic fatigue related?

Toby Morrison: Yeah, they certainly are in some contexts. The symptoms are quite similar. You know, adrenal fatigue can be treatable, though. So, when people say adrenal fatigue leads to chronic fatigue, it’s not really true, because adrenal fatigue, there is medication for it, whereas with chronic fatigue there is none. So, they’re not really the same. The symptoms are quite similar but they’re not the same.

Guy Lawrence: OK. Not a problem. Last question, from Tracy: Can you discuss the causes of brain fog; short-term memory loss. Anything special to help these symptoms?

Toby Morrison: Look, there’s no cure for chronic fatigue and there’s no knowledge behind the symptoms like brain fog, cognitive issues, short memory loss. But it definitely is a symptom. It’s a major symptom.

One of the ways to decrease the brain fog is to give yourself rest breaks throughout the day and concentrate less or stimulate your mind less or for lesser amounts of time. It doesn’t mean that you don’t read or you don’t go to work, whatever, but you have breaks.

I’ve got a few people who are writing books who have got chronic fatigue, and, you know, they write for four hours straight because they’re in the zone and they’re flying. And then after the four hours, they sit back and go, “Oh, my God. I’m so dizzy. I need to rest.” And then they get bedridden for a couple of days.

So, it’s about breaking those spaces up where you’re doing maybe a half an hour block here of mentally stimulating yourself and then half an hour block here. You know, building up slowly. The same goes with exercises. The same goes with mindset; building up your mental stimulation over time.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: So, wrapping it up then, if anyone wants to know more, where’s the best place to come?

Toby Morrison: They can go to my website www.cfshealthcenter.com.au. I’ve just released my first book, which is called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Guide to Recovery. And there’s heaps on online help and support on my website, which will give you the mental strength and the physical strength just to get started again.

Guy Lawrence: Are you holding seminars as well? Is that something that’s gonna happen?

Toby Morrison: Yeah, I’m holding a seminar in Melbourne on the 23rd of June, so you can book tickets on my website. And I’ll be going around to each state eventually and helping more people. But, yeah, if you do want to get in contact with me, the best thing to do is email me and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Stuart Cooke: Well, we’ll put all those details on our website as well. And thank you so much for your time.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, thanks Toby. And for anyone that was sleeping 18 hours a day, you know, getting up to walk for a couple of minutes a day and has now turned that away is fantastic and I think there’s a message in there for everyone watching this, whether they’ve got chronic fatigue or not.

Toby Morrison: I have to pinch myself sometimes. I guess, looking back, I did everything I could in my power to get better and I did. It took four years to recover, but I’m so lucky now and blessed to have the life I’ve got.

Guy Lawrence: It’s fantastic, mate, and I really appreciate the time.

Stuart Cooke: Thanks, Toby.

Guy Lawrence: Bye.

Toby Morrison: Goodbye.

 

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