Tag Archive: sickness



My previous article/video was about how to deal with depression when over 40. With this article/video, the angle changes. Here I provide a “escape roadmap” for those guys that hit rock bottom in their life, whatever the reason might be, on how to get to the point where life taste sweet in your mouth again.

Click here to watch video “GETTING UP AFTER LIFE HAS BLOW YOU OVER”

 

So let’s start…

When you are over 40 chances are you have tasted enough of life to know that all is not sweet. But for some of us the taste can be very, very bitter indeed. Some of us are picking up the pieces after a long battle with cancer, or finding out we are hiv+, a severe heart attack, some other serious health problem, death of our life partner or child, financial ruin and more, the list is endless…

There is no other way sometimes to say it…LIFE SUCK!

Ask me I’ve been there, twice fighting for my life and had to pick up the pieces and start running again. That bitter, bitter taste that life can leave in your mouth can also be as sweet as honey, but it is going to require a deep look into yourself and reaching into places you have never touched. It is going to take every single ounce of your being to make this happen. But there is no alternative. This is the t-junction in your life where you have to choose the left or the right road. The left road is going to be easy…staying in your dark place feeling sorry for yourself and hating life becoming everything you don’t want. The right road is leading to a grand fight with the prize of reaching levels of character and body development, you have never thought possible and once again see life for the amazing gift it is in all its beauty and splendor, with a new lust for life like when you were young. And yes, I mentioned “body development”, because I do not believe in taking on this grand fight journey without including transforming your body as well…but more on that later on.

So, here I am going to provide you my rules on how to fight that grand fight to get you to this level where you have an unquenchable lust for life again and you have reached levels of character and body transformation you have only dreamed off.

Off course these rules will mean altering many aspects of your current life and habits. Some of these rules are plain common-sense rules and others will be a surprise. It will mean you will have to move out of your comfort zone with many things. But seriously, you are currently rock bottom and you are at a crossroad in your life where the decisions you make over the next few weeks and months is going to determine whether you will rise or whether you will fall, permanently. I have seen this happen so many times, so this is my hand I reach out to you. I have done this, more than once. It works, and it CAN be done…this is my recipe.

 

The rules for the GRAND FIGHT:

  1. No drugs! Here I am talking about anything you might use to escape or alleviate the emotional pain. As long as you use these escape routes, healing cannot begin. This is your first serious choice you have to make. Any form of recreational drugs is a no-no and MUST stop. There is just no way you will rise up from rock bottom and continue using recreational drugs. Alcohol must be limited to once a week and not more than 500ml wine. Smoking must stop. The negative impact of smoking is way too long to even discuss in this document. But simply put, there is no place for smoking when you fight the GRAND FIGHT! Even the overuse of caffeine must stop. More than 4 strong cups a day and the resultant valleys and peaks will be too great for a balanced new beginning and the valleys will drag you down time and time again.
  2. Restore your integrity. (No affairs! No sex or sleeping around outside a committed loving relationship) You need to love yourself and you cannot do that if you do not have self-respect. Some of you guys are going to laugh when first read this point. NO SLEEPING AROUND / NO CASUAL SEX! You need to start respecting your own body and that of others. The only place for sex is in a long term loving and supporting relationship. You can only restore your integrity when you respect yourself and others and you CANNOT do that if you engage in sexual acts outside of a long-term loving relationship. Believe me if you do not change your casual sexual habits you will struggle severely to rise up from rock bottom. To rise up you must have a strong center, know your roots and respect yourself for being a man of integrity.
  3. Make sure your hormonal levels are healthy. When over 40, be sure to get your blood testosterone levels checked. Severe depressive states and lack of energy are common symptoms for guys with low testosterone levels. To restore yourself and rise up is going to be very difficult and close to impossible if you have low testosterone levels. If TRT treatment is your future so be it! 

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  4. You cannot expect to rise up if your diet is poor and you feeding your body wrong. Some very basic healthy eating rules:
    1. ALWAYS eat a healthy breakfast – something like oats & berries or Fruit salad with yoghurt but it needs to be healthy and not small.
    2. Split your meals into 4 smaller meals per day.
    3. 3L filtered water per day. Glass water every hour.
    4. Two fruits per day and good portion veggies every day, preferably uncooked,
    5. Small portions of rice/pasta/bread/carbs per meal (try to stick to low-GI carbs)
    6. Fat-free or very low-fat protein sources like fillet, fish or chicken breast.
    7. Each meal must be moderate size, no large excessive meals and never 2nd helpings.
    8. Once a week desert…only ONCE!
    9. Strong multi vitamin after morning meal – something like ANIMAL PAK or OPTIMEN.
  5. Part of transforming your life is to transform your body. For a free basic body transformation system, check here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-program/You need to train intensively 4-5 times a week for at least 40 minutes at a time. You need to SWEAT – that will release all the feel-good chemicals in your brain that will make you feel uplifted and on top of the world. This is a critical aspect to rise up again. The exercise does not matter so much. Do what you like. But remember if you start lifting weights it will add immensely to your self-image as you start looking better and more muscled. This is something I can personally testify too. As you see your body change and grow it gives you renewed focus and dedication which can make all the difference.
  6. Critical part of the whole process is to ensure your mind is healthy and positive. With your healthy diet, less drinking and no substance abuse your mind will already have a better chemical balance. But if you want to help the mind to be a bit more healthy and positive consider specific natural supplements to help with a positive mindset. The most potent is: St John’s Wort. However, it can interfere with some prescription medication so be careful just double check with your doctor please. Another consideration with less interactions, but not as potent, is 5-HTP.
  7. Now probably the most important of them all. I cannot conclude the 7 points without a reference to the importance of you needing to make right with God. It was and is a critical ingredient for me that helped me to rise from the ashes and become what I am today. You will never be whole if you never make right with God. My mentor is Jesus Christ in my life. There has never been a better or more positive mentor that has walked this earth. Through my faith and my relationship with Christ I get my center and direction in life. I know many will laugh at this point but if you want to listen to how I managed to be who I am today and why, then this is a key reason and cannot be excluded.

You may ask now, “but how do I get the will to put these rules into place?”. Let me put it to you like this. You are rock-bottom right now. From here onward if you do nothing and just continue feeling sorry for yourself, your life is pretty much over and all your dreams crushed. THESE 7 rules are the alternative. This will and can elevate you beyond your wildest dreams. So, there is NO choice. If the reality of where you are right now and what future awaits you while staying where you are right now, if that does not fire you up to MAKE THIS HAPPEN and to WIN this fight, then sadly my friend you might have already lost.

So get up, look life squarely in the eyes and say:
“I WILL CHANGE
I WILL BE THE BEST FATHER
I WILL BE THE BEST HUSBAND
I WILL BE A MAN OF INTEGRITY
I WILL GET THE BODY I WANT
I WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN!”

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So guys, with these 7 rules you can fight the grand fight and you can win. I have proven that twice already in my life. I pray this helps some of you out there. If any of you want to contact me directly: gertlouwljc@hotmail.com

And off course if you want to signup to my life coaching body transformation system customized just for you, then just click this link to signup: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

May you rise up and surpass your wildest dreams!

Gert Louw

 

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A rather significant portion of men over 40 is on some form of anti-depressant medication…so let’s discuss in this article what you can do as an over 40 male to avoid this trap which is destroying many lives out there.

Click here to watch video “Dealing with depression – for the over 40 guy”

Pressure from family, work and life is ever rising in the race to make more and more money. Time is at a premium and the first thing sacrificed is nearly always looking after our bodies. Then add unhealthy eating and the use of alcohol/smoking to the mix and this becomes the perfect recipe for impending disaster waiting to go off like a time-bomb. The first signals we get about impending doom is when depression strikes. This is screaming at you that something is seriously wrong. But what do we do? We grab at pills just to medicate the symptom ignoring the fact that this was a signal screaming at full pitch at us. But our hectic 21 century lives have made us deaf to this voice of our body…we just throw down more and more pills to numb us more and more until the time-bomb eventually explodes and destroys everything in its path creating pain and suffering for all we loved and cared about. Sounds melodramatic? Maybe, but the sad part is that this is very true!

I’ve come very close to this point in my life. I’ve learned how to avoid it and thought I would share with you my approach on how to handle depression when you are an older guy.

 

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They key to good mental health for the over 40 guy, starts with a fit body. This is the biggest single contributor to good mental health. We were not created to be sedentary beings and inactivity brings about a lack of all the hormones we require for a healthy mind. These feel-good and uplifting hormones are only released through physical activity and some only through intense physical activity. This can make us feel on top of this world! Without these hormones depression is a given. But the problem is that, when we are in that dark place of depression, the hardest thing is to gather the motivation to get ourselves to the gym. So, what do I do? This is something I have addressed in various of my videos. For me getting to gym and working out is elevated to the same priority as getting to work in the morning. If I do not have a sick certificate I get to work and I GET TO GYM. You do not have an option to not go to work if you’re depressed or not feeling like it! The exact (!) same apply to my gym. It is not a matter off whether I feel like it or whether I am down or not in the mood or not motivated! I just get in the car, drive to gym, put on my workout clothes and my headphones, select my Spotify playlist “GERTFITNESS WORKOUT #1” and start doing my first set. And then the next set and the next. And man, many times I have found that, that was one of my best workouts. And I ALWAYS walk out there positive and feeling great because I have done what I need to do to get my brain filled with the much needed hormones to lift my mood and give me a positive frame of mind. Off course I could have stayed at home feeling sorry for myself because of my depressive state but now I feel positive and uplifted. Nothing comes close to lifting your frame of mind to a positive state like a good intense workout. The key to it all is to elevate your training’s priority setting to the same as that of your job’s priority. It is NOT an option to bail out unless you have a sick certificate.

Want my training and diet approach customised for you? You can signup here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

Note here: Inspiring tunes can make an incredible difference to help you endure an intense workout when you struggling with a depressive frame of mind. Do not underestimate the power of music. I have created my Spotify playlist specifically for this purpose. (You can find it on Spotify by just searching “GertFITNESS WORKOUT #1”. I have made it a collaborative playlist so if there is a rocking tune you think should belong in this playlist please feel free to add it!)

 

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Now just to remind you, I have reason more than most to be depressed. Nearly died at 40 and given a bad prognosis for my future health. Then at 46 I nearly lost my business. And at 53 an even closer call with death with near complete liver failure as result of drinking dirty water, keeping me for long in hospital and out of gym for a full 12 months seeing all my hard work on my body of the past 13 years going to waste and pretty much had to start over at age 54. This is much reason to be depressed…believe me. But having a system in place where the priority I allocate to gym is non-negotiable and not depending on mood or frame of mind or whether I feel like it, means I get to gym for a great workout and every-time the resultant feel-good hormonal release prevents me from slipping into a depressive state. If it was not for this non-negotiable gym rule I would have been in a serious depressive state.

You don’t “need” motivation. You simply need to put in place this non-negotiable workout rule and elevate working out to the same priority level as rocking up for your job. EXACTLY THE SAME. You only miss your workout if you miss your job that day!

 

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Then off course there are other smaller things I put in place to keep the darkness of depression from engulfing me.

Let me give you a quick rundown:

  1. The first thing any guy suffering from depression should do is to get his blood testosterone levels checked by a Urologist. You must ensure that your levels are healthy. If not you MUST go on TRT therapy. Low test levels in males WILL result in severe depressive states and many other health risks. TRT therapy plays a definite role in a positive mindset in a man.
  2. Alcohol is glue for depression! Thinking you need an unwinding glass of wine after a hectic day is only a good idea if you are faaaaar from a depressive state. Otherwise it will have the opposite effect and pull you much quicker into depression. Plus, that glass of alcohol will most certainly mean you will miss your workout session as well. Plus, the alcohol is not doing you any good with your body fat levels meaning more negative thought patterns because you are missing your goal with loosing body fat. Thus if red lights are flickering because of a lingering depression, steer CLEAR from alcohol. Any overuse of any stimulant (including caffeine), should be avoided because that will result in a “valley” mood (after the peak) which will elevate a depressive state.
  3. You cannot expect your brain chemicals to be healthy when feeding your body junk! Your 2nd line of action after getting yourself regularly to gym is sorting out your diet. Lots of fresh veggies, fresh fruit, moderate carbs and fat free protein with some good oils (virgin olive, coconut, peanut butter, etc…) and no carbonated drinks! A good sample diet to start is here: https://gertlouw.com/2017/09/08/free-cutting-building-diets-for-a-ripped-muscled-physique/
  4. Gert Louw BLACK SHIRT.JPGSerious emotional issues are your worst enemy in your fight against depression. I know life is not easy. Divorce, death of a loved one, serious sickness, retrenchment, financial trouble, all is very real and all can destroys lives. But all of this can also bring out the best in you. It can let you rise up and become a hero and role model that many people can look up to and not just transform your life but even those around you. Or it can mean you become just another statistic of a person absorbed by severe depression. It is all in how you decide to handle what you are facing. This is your time now, to rise up and become that person you have dreamed off, to be the best version of you ever, to be the hero and role model everyone is looking at for inspiration. No, it is not easy. Nothing worth in life is EVER easy…but it is always a 1000 times over worth it.
  5. Off course I use some basic supplements for a healthy and positive mind. They are:

Vitamin B12 injection once a month for optimal nerve system functioning (read this link on a vitamin B12 study regarding its use as an anti-depressant): American Journal of Psychiatry)

5-HTP – natural option for upping serotonin levels.

Vitamin D –a deficiency in vitamin D will feel very much like depression.

Last but not least…and I know many will shrug this off. But, I find my greatest comfort in my faith following Jesus Christ. If there ever was someone that walked this earth that was the epitome for living the great adventure of life positively, being kind and caring and depression free, then it was the example Jesus Christ showed us. So, you might think this is opium for the masses stuff…but boy what opium it is! This alone has the ability to transform many aspects of your life and keep you depression free with a lust for life. Ask me…I know!

So guys, whatever you are facing, there are always choices we can make on how we going to deal with this. In each of us there is greatness, that is the way God created us. This is your time to look into yourself and unlock that greatness. Depression is just an alarm bell…listen to the alarm clock and change what needs to be changed.

May your journey be blessed.

Gert Louw

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How to (re) start your body transformation after a long lay-off.

This article is for those that has been off gym for 6 months or longer due to a severe injury or health issues and who need to resume training. How do you know if your body is fit/healthy enough to return to gym?

Click here to play video “STARTING A TRANSFORMATION AFTER A LONG LAY-OFF”

 

Before one can officially resume training one must first establish if the body is in a state to deal with the training resumption. In other words, is it healed enough to have the required stamina to start? If not, believe me you can do serious, serious harm.

So how do you determine if the body is ready or not?

First let’s look at the reason for your off-time from training

First you need to analyse your situation. Was it medical or non-medical?

Non-medical: If it was due to a loss of a loved/divorce or something similar? Then you were right to take off from gym. Some things in life is so important and life altering that one need time to absorb and process everything. Me, I like doing that while I am lifting, but all of us have our own way in dealing with life issues.

If it was due to work pressure/other pressures in life, well then not good! This means it is going to happen again and again until you have made a change. Stress is NOT good for building up your body. The stress hormone cortisol is a powerful catabolic hormone that makes effective muscle growth very difficult. You need to find ways of dealing with stress effectively. Sometimes the change is simply changing your attitude towards stress/busy schedules and learn to love the buzz of the fast-moving pace. We have amazing power in ourselves to decide how we react and respond to our surroundings and situations. What has to change is that fact that gym time needs to be of a higher priority in such a busy schedule. Gym must be nonnegotiable. If this means you have to do it early mornings or late at night so be it. You need to learn to allocate and hour and a half space for yourself during the day and that is your gymtime. This must be of the same priority of eating & sleeping, it must be non-negotiable. It is not optional it is a given. Let this sink in…it is NOT optional! So the fact that you sometimes do not feel like gyming…that carries NO WEIGHT. It is like sleeping & eating, you go there no matter what and you simply JUST DO IT.

If it is medical related (sickness, organ problems, etc…) well then it is a different situation. You have little control over it. But somewhere along the line you need to resume again. Most doctors could not care less in telling you to stop gyming. I found this out the hard way. After my first near death hospital visit last year I had no clear instructions regarding when and with how much I could start training. After just a few very light gym sessions (which I struggled through greatly because of no stamina) I ended up again in hospital. Simply because my body which was not healed enough for me to apply any pressure to it. Luckily I ended up with a specialist that really know what he is doing and he then insisted that I need to be completely sedentary until certain important requirements was met with my health.  The key factor here is to be very mindful of your body. You must never train through pain or apply intensity when the body has extreme weakness. If the body is right for training you will not suffer from extreme weakness and easy exhaustion. This is a sure sign the body need more time to recover.

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Now the next step

For all of the above scenario’s, you will apply the same approach.

That approach is two-fold:

  1. First determine if your body is at all fit/healthy enough to resume training
  2. Secondly when above criteria met, then generally one is cleared to start slowly training again according to a specific system. Critical in all these to get your doctor’s clearance.

So let’s look at how to determine if your body is at all fit/healthy enough to resume training

Week one – brisk walking. This is to test your stamina levels and if you are ready to return to gym.

  • Day 1: 5 min brisk walking.
  • Day 2: 10 min brisk walking.
  • Day 3: 20 min brisk walking,
  • Day 4: 30 min brisk walking.
  • Day 5: 40 min brisk walking.

If you can do the above fairly easily without having serious stamina/exhaustion problems, your body is for all practical purposes healthy and fit enough to return to gym with a specific introduction system. However, if you struggle in any means to manage above, keep your brisk walking time per day at 15-20 min and repeat for week 2.

To test if your body is ready you must pass the test of being able to do brisk walking for 40 min without too much exhaustion/stamina problem. ONLY then should you return to gym with the system explained beneath.

Slowly start training

The program you should follow to introduce gym to the body is a slow and gradual process. Joints, tendons and muscles are weak and need to follow a gradual approach to strengthen otherwise it easily can result in a serious injury.

Here is the “STARTING FROM SCRATCH” gym program for the next 3-months: https://gertlouw.com/2014/06/02/how-do-i-start-a-body-transformation-from-scratch/

And if you want to watch the video, click here “STARTING FROM SCRATCH”

After the above is completed, then you are ready to move onto serious training ground…this is where you can start with the ADVANCED SYSTEM II to start shaping and building the body into your dream body (again):   https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

We have one life and it is much more fragile than you might think. Apply wisdom and the body will respond in kind. Apply ignorance and you could even die. Change inside and out and become a man with integrity like a rock and a body to match!

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

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Those of you that know me a bit better, will know that the hand of cards I have been dealt with in the last 12 years is, well, not (!) a good hand.

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Twice now I had very close calls with death and been fighting the good battle non-stop the past 12 years. Lots of pain, kidney problems, liver problems and many other serious health issues with very dark clouds hanging over me.

But you know what, through it all, I’ve put my poker face on and played that hand of cards to the best of my ability! I have grown immensely as a person. Suffering and pain and dark clouds hanging over your future is the BEST opportunity to become the YOU, you never was. Does not matter what your prognosis…you will not exhale that last breath until God decide it is time. Make this an opportunity to look into that mirror and say “I like what I see, I like the heart of the person looking back at me!”. Apart from personal growth it also allowed me to grow in my walk of faith with God. Let this be your moment with God Almighty…believe me nothing brings more peace and hope.

No-one is going to live forever, tomorrow might be your last day, you might be run over, no one knows. So stand tall and stand proud, whatever dark cloud is hanging over you is irrelevant…play that hand of cards with your best poker face and win!

I wish you all a beautiful and blessed day…

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If you want my training/diet/supps system customised for you, have a look here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/


This is where a LOT of dedicated people get derailed completely! They get sick or injured and well, that is where their road to transforming the body stops…dead in it’s tracks. Until that point they are so motivated and charged up and then that happens…and the de-motivation is just too much. They just never get it off the ground again afterwards.

Right now, I am down from gym with kidney infection and this will keep me out of gym for close to 7 days. But after the 7 days off, I’ll be back doing one week light work and then all back to normal.

Not ONE of us are spared sickness or injuries. Now, injuries we can manage better especially with applying more wisdom as we get older (warming-up, stretching and simply avoiding high risk exercises for injury). But sickness is difficult to prevent. Sure we can apply the basics (anti-oxidants, multi-vit, CQ10 and ALA) and wash our hands regularly with anti-bacterial soap/spray, but even with that, chances are we will still get flu in the winter and still get the odd infection.

It is not a matter of preventing sickness and injuries but a matter of accepting that they form part of the training/body transformation environment as a given. You WILL get sick and you WILL get injured. But that must never (!) derail your efforts. Accept that it will push you back one to two weeks. Do not allow yourself to get negative about it, it is PART of the whole process and those with a winning mindset accepts that!

Now, what is even more important is that after a week of sickness, be careful to go in full force back to gym. Your body is still weak and in a process of recovery. Your immune system not nearly back to normal. Pushing yourself to the limits the first week back can and most probably will result in a recurrence of the sickness even to a worse degree putting you out gym for 3 weeks or more. That first week back after being sick make sure you do not do more than 50% your normal capacity. Go through all the motions and exercises but keep the exertion levels low.

Then the 2nd week back in training you will find you feel yourself again. That is where you start pushing the limits again.

A KEY ingredient of the winning mindset is to force yourself to stick 100% to your diet while sick or injured. Doing this will go great lengths to keep the motivation levels high! This is NOT the time to binge or eat what you want. This is the CRITICAL time to feed the body correctly. Sometimes I experienced when going back after a week sick I actually am in better shape than before, simply because of the control I had with my diet and my body that actually had a well deserved break!

Now, my timing for my kidney infection is real bad because 21st May I got a photoshoot coming up. But that is where all your hard work you have put in over the previous months and years will show the dividends…

Wish you all good health and injury free training!

Gert Louw

http://www.gertlouw.com

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The road to your dreams


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Later on in life, many of us have so much regrets…about what we did not do, about what we wished we did, about what we did wrong, about the hurt we caused people close to us, about many things…
But this is the road we have walked and chosen. It was not laid out for us…no one forced us to walk the path, we made the choices and took the steps.

But why are there so many exceptions? Why are there so many people out there that go against all the odds and reach exceptional heights, living life to the fullest. People that had everything counting against them, sickness, disability, or whatever other aspect that could have hold them back in life. Why do they reach a point, where, no matter their disability, they choose to stand up, start walking the right tracks in life and live their life with integrity and passion. Why can they do it?

The fact is, they are NO different than any of us. Through their struggle (disability, sickness) the sunglasses that covered their eyes have been removed, they can now clearly see how precious and vulnerable life really is. They appreciate life soooo much more. This clear vision make them stand up and choose to walk the right paths in life, to make right with God, to reach for their dreams with passion and to life live…the right way. And they rose to such heights that they completely overshadow the rest of us who have everything going for us.

LEARN FROM THESE PEOPLE…

You, me and everyone have the power to change the road you are walking into a new direction. A direction where you live life right and with integrity…and be ALL you can be.
But, it most certainly will take you out of your comfort zone, it will be inconvenient and it will mean you will have to change from the inside as well as the outside, it might even be painful.
But only YOU can make this happen, no-one else is going to force you. So keep sitting on the couch, sipping the beer and live a “wild uncontrolled life” or reach for the stars and live life to the fullest – be all you can be – have no regrets at the end of your life – live a life of integrity and live with PASSION.

May this inspire you too great things…

Gert Louw

TRANSFORMATION COACHING: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me/

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This is the first time that my past 10 years life story and motivation for my transformation has been put to video, thanks to two people who crossed my path (Adriaan Fourie and Gary King)

It is not something I talk easily about because of all the emotions involved. I see this step of making the video as part of the emotional healing process.

The purpose of this video is meant to inspire and give hope to those that feel they are in a hopeless situation.

Life is beautiful and precious and we can never throw in the towel. There is so much beauty in this life but we have to get up and find it. We don’t have to search far but we must take that first steps.

Whatever you might be facing today, there IS HOPE!

Gert Louw

 

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