Ant Middleton doesn’t look like the kind of bloke who has a soft side.
The former British soldier and Royal Marine completed three tours of Afghanistan before turning his hand to entertainment — and he’s been utterly terrifying celebrities on SAS Australia: Who Dares Wins ever since, screaming and yelling and pushing them to do ever more frightening tasks without ever taking a backwards step.
So yes, forget a soft side. He’s the kind of the bloke who looks like he chews nails just to prove they’re weaker than him.
Which is why, when I caught up with Middleton this week to find out how lockdown and isolation had been treating him, I half expected him to tell me the pandemic hadn’t made it to his door, probably because it was too frightened to disturb him.
Instead, though, the big and burly bloke has been spending the past few months doing what almost every parent in Australia has been doing — helping his five children with the home-schooling work.
“I absolutely loved getting to spend so much time with my wife and children. Even having a lie-in with them and helping the children with their school work, I appreciated it all so much,” he tells Health Hacker.
“I actually really enjoyed helping them with their home-schooling. At times that was a real challenge but we tried to make it fun and take the pressure off.”
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So much like the rest of us then. Well, almost. Unless the rest of have also been building military-style obstacle courses in our backyards to put our tiniest troops through their paces.
“We did lots of activities together in the garden such as mini fun assault courses,” he says.
“We even built a treehouse, which gave us hours of fun and kept us working as a team and it gave us a real sense of achievement when we finished it.”
While most of us struggle with motivation at the best of times, let alone this year, Middleton was never going to let the pandemic knock him off his path, and he says he built a daily health and fitness routine that kept him motivated, healthy and happy during lockdown.
Middleton, who’s just finished his new book, Zero Negativity, is a believer in the power of habits in making real life changes, which is something I really believe in.
We all have goals. Without them, we have no idea where we’re going, or what we’re reaching for. But the truth is that a goal isn’t enough. They might show you where you want to go, but they alone won’t get you there.
If your goal is to lose weight, for example, the habits that will determine just how much of that potential you actually reach.
“Cultivating a healthy and positive mindset by establishing a routine whereby you always incorporate exercise into your day is essential for staying mentally positive,” Middleton says.
“Every day I went for a run first thing in the morning and spent some time training. I made it into a daily routine, so every day I was motivated.”
Middleton might not be available to come to all of our houses to motivate us like he does the stars on his show but that doesn’t mean we can’t take his tips board, so this week, we’re hacking how to live like a marine.
HOW TO LIVE LIKE A MARINE
… with ANT MIDDLETON
Clean fuel only
“Only fuel your body with healthy food,” Middleton says.
“You really are what you eat.”
Make it a habit
“You need to make exercise a daily habit,” Middleton says.
“It needs to be a part of your routine. If you make it a habit, it will get easier and easier.”
“Motivation can only come from within,” Middleton says.
“Take those first positive steps from the moment you wake up, and the rest will flow.”
Change your mindset
“Always choose to have a positive mindset,” Middleton says.
“You might not necessarily always be happy, but you are far more likely to find the happiness in any given situation when you have a positive mindset.”
* Ant Middleton’s new book Zero Negativity is published by HarperCollins and is available now in paperback, e-book and audio.
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