Join me as Terry pops my cherry 😏
My first ever guest talks about how he created his version of healthy, and the challenges he encountered while doing so.
How do you hydrate when you’re in a car all day? How do you avoid vegan junk food, and is doing yoga in Morrisons car park ever OK?
He also regales us of tales of the time he counted all the ceiling tiles in his lounge and wore out his slippers in quarantine 🤣
I promise you it’s more exciting than it sounds! 🤣
If you’d like to know more about Terry you can check him out here:
Or you can listen to one of his FOUR excellent podcasts, Decapod here:
If you’re interested in creating your own version of healthy, but don’t know where to start, come join us over in the Food Ninja Dojo Facebook group.
Hayley Food Ninja: Hello. You are listening to the Rude Health podcast with me Hayley Food Ninja, where I aim to bring you all the latest tools, tips, and strategies to help you create your own version of healthy without a kale smoothie in sight. Enjoy with the episode!
Today, for my very first episode that I've recorded, I'm very excited to have with me Terry Cook, who is Driving Instructor Extraordinaire podcaster. I'm going to talk to him a little bit more about that later on. Terry, thanks for popping my cherry.
Terry Cook: I don't know how to respond to that. I didn't see that one coming. I'm delighted to be popping your cherry. Thanks for having me on and giving me that privilege.
Hayley Food Ninja: So can you tell us all a little bit about you and your business?
Terry Cook: Yes. So you kind of mentioned the driving instructor stuff there. I'll focus on that to begin with. That's essentially what I am driving instructor. Been doing this six years. I run my own school, obviously spend a lot of time in the car and teach learners and teach people that have passed who want advanced driving and refresh your lessons, help people with a theory.
So on zoom, helping them with a theory, create all kind of theory, test courses, just start expanding the school and taking on new instructors. And then there's a whole host of things around that regarding podcasting and magazines and all that kind of she's all as well.
Hayley Food Ninja: Right, so you're like a sort of driving instructor like personality, like a celebrity?
Terry Cook: I'm not sure I've got that far, but yeah, absolutely.
Hayley Food Ninja: So how long have you been running your business?
Terry Cook: I became a driving instructor about six years ago, but when I first started, I was with a national franchise.
Hayley Food Ninja: Right.
Terry Cook: So technically, I was still self employed. Technically, it was still my business, but it never felt that way. It was middle of well, towards the end of 2019 when I parted ways amicably. There's nothing wrong with what they were doing, but I went completely independent by myself. So about three years there almost and then covered it. That was fun.
Hayley Food Ninja: It was a difficult period, wasn't it, for a lot of business owners? How do you think that your health has changed over this past six years? I'm sure we're probably going to expand on what happened in Lockdown and Quarantine and whatever, but if you think about when you first started your business, and I always think people, we're all bright eyed and bushy tailed, aren't we? And all that kind of stuff, how do you think your health has changed over this past six years of running your business?
Terry Cook: I think when I first started, it was decent. It was okay, sort of health wise, and then gradually got worse and worse and worse to the point where everything wasn't very good, picked up again. I worked with a wonderful human being that you may or may not know called Hayley, started picking that back up again, and I probably back up, so I'm probably a little bit better than when I started now, actually.
But yeah, it's just that idea of the self employed, the hustle, the fact that you can't sleep, the 04:00 A.m. Club, and if you're not getting up at 04:00 A.m., you must not be doing your job properly. And grinding into all that took it all wrong, affected me badly, and the health plummeted and thankfully split back up.
Hayley Food Ninja: So do you think when you started your business and you mentioned all those things that, you know, I fucking hate all that hustle and grind porn, as I call it, oh my God, we like, Get up before 4 am. Did you feel under pressure to be part of that culture because you were a business owner, or do you think that your health suffered just for the pure effort of just getting a business going?
Terry Cook: A bit of both, I think it's a driving instructor. When I first started. One of the big reasons I opted to do this was because you're in charge of your own hours. You're self employed. So you can come in and essentially do what you want. But then you start getting all these students and. Oh. Well. I can do more hours and make more money. And how much money can I make if I work 16 hours in this day? So there was a lot of that to begin with, and then the sort of initial circles I surrounded myself in were a bit different. It was, I hate this term, but just driving instructors, so there was nothing beyond that. They weren't necessarily looking at, like, running a business, they were looking at it more from the point of delivering lessons and getting paid.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yes.
Terry Cook: I then started falling into that trap a little bit, so I was working less hours, but there was no business around it. Then decided to make a business and expand a little bit and include things like theory, test training and the course I made in the podcast. That's when I started getting more involved in the business circles and that's when that pressure came on off. You've got to be on it from 05:00 A.m. To twelve midnight, and if you're not doing it so I think it was like a lot of different impacts. I never fully stepped back from any of them.
Hayley Food Ninja: I guess kind of like you said initially, I was the same as well. When I started my business, I just thought I was a service provider. That's what I was doing in my business, as you know, because you've been on the receiving end, as it were, is very client centric and you think you're doing fine, you're booking clients and everything's going great, and then you suddenly realize, fuck, there's all this other stuff I was supposed to have been doing. At the same time, I think a.
Terry Cook: Lot of it was I always doubted myself. There was always just a massive doubt. I don't know what I'm doing. So I would see person A doing the hustle and grind thing and then I'll be all into that because that must be the right way. And I'll see person B, that would be the exact opposite. So I do that, then all of a sudden I have no income. So it was like I was always following someone else. And if I'm being honest, I don't know if I'm jumping ahead of here, but it was working with you, really, that had a big impact on that. Because one of the big things you regularly said to me, and I will use your language, was, it's your fucking business, Terry. You're in charge. Do what the fuck you want to do. And it took a lot of that bitterly, not just from you, but it took a lot of that to sink into my bricks need to make this work for me rather than just following the suit.
Hayley Food Ninja: And I think that's such a good point, because a lot of us, once we get into the sort of like trenches of running the business, we've completely forgotten why we wanted a business in the first place. Like you said, you wanted a business because you wanted to work the hours that you wanted to work. It reminds me of that mean that you see going. It's great being a business owner, you can choose which 18 hours of the day that you work. It's about always reminding yourself, what is that why a lot of us have given up the security of a wage? Because we want to design our life exactly as we want it. And then what happens is we just become a slave to our business instead of to someone else. So it's really important, isn't it, I think to every few months to start kind of going like, why did I start my business? Am I living the sort of life I want? Am I getting the free time I want? Have I got enough energy to enjoy my free time? Or am I just permanently fucking knackered? So it doesn't matter how much free time I get?
Terry Cook: Yeah, I would agree wholeheartedly. I think it's all about balance. And sometimes that mean there'll be weeks where you do work really hard and you don't get a lot of free time, but you're doing that, so then there'll be weeks where you don't have to work as hard and there's nothing wrong with that, but it is making sure I got that balance. And I think the other thing I picked up from you is the choices. It's your choice. So this evening, as we're recording this, it's a Friday night and I generally don't do anything workwise on a Friday night. However, that doesn't mean I won't. I might. You know what I'm really fancy? Recording a podcast off writing a blog.
Hayley Food Ninja: Great.
Terry Cook: I've got to do it. But that's because I'm choosing to rather than mandated to do it.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yeah. And that's right what you said because I think a lot of people think that if you're anti hustle and grind. Which I like to bracket myself as. I guess they think it's all about. Oh. You have to be like fucking Tim Ferris where you work 4 hours a week and if you work with a health coach who's anti hustle. They're going to tell you all you need to close your laptop at 03:00. And I don't do that. I'm a business owner as well. So we know that if I've got to do a launch of a product or something, I am going to work really hard. But as long as you plan in the reciprocal amount of downtime for that. If I'm doing a launch and I'm working 12 hours a day, next week I'm probably going to give myself an extra day or a couple of afternoons off just to go and recover from it. But I think that's frowned upon by a lot of people because they're like, you just don't want it enough. Like why aren't you working all the time? It's just such a weird culture, isn't it? We're not in the 80s anymore.
Terry Cook: No, I think there's a bit of experimentation needs to go on as well. I think one of the things I found was Friday is generally almost always my day without driving lessons. Now, I'll do a lot of other stuff on those days, whether it's website work or podcast or whatever, but it's quite a relaxing day for me because I have no driving license. But what I found was that I wasn't having a relaxing evening because it was always in the back of my head, I have to go to work tomorrow. So I made sure that Thursday evenings well, Thursday afternoons and evenings are now free. And I find that Thursday evenings are my favorite day at work because I know for a while I don't have to get up and do a lot of stuff the next day. And the stuff that I'm going to do is my choice anyway and the stuff I enjoy doing. So first evening is now brilliant and it only came through that experimentation of well, why am I not enjoying this? What can I change to make my self enjoy my time more?
Hayley Food Ninja: How long did it take you to feel like Thursday you are doing what you want rather than this is a bit naughty, like not doing work on a Thursday and everyone else is. Does it feel bit odd? Maybe for a little while, if I'm.
Terry Cook: Being honest, I think it still feels odd. I think it does.
Hayley Food Ninja: It's exciting school.
Terry Cook: Yeah. Now when it feels less odd is when I stay off social media that day that I decide to not work and not do anything and have a day to myself. If I wind up doom scrolling or whatever on Facebook then I start to feel bad because I'll see everyone else doing enjoying watching Spiderman No Way Home for the 7th time. And it's like, but if I stay off the phone, I'll enjoy the day a lot more because there's no outside influencers impacting me.
Hayley Food Ninja: So that's really interesting how it kind of impacted your health. There was almost like this kind of like dip and then a sort of arc upwards enter me stageless, which is my next question for those people who don't know the reason. I know Terry through various business Facebook groups and whatever, but you were actually a client of mine, weren't you, back in 2020? We worked together for quite a few months, wasn't it? It was about five, six months, yeah.
Terry Cook: I think it was six months, yeah.
Hayley Food Ninja: So what made you decide that you needed someone to help you with your health? And how did working with me I'm sorry, I want to say working with the coach, because it makes it sound very egotistical when I'm like, how did working with me but you know what I mean. How did working with me impact your health and your business? And why did you decide that it was that particular time that you needed help?
Terry Cook: Right, okay. So I think the thing that made me decide I needed help, I had tried a few people, and this is no disrespect to anyone else at all, I think everyone that I've worked with either, whether it's been health wise or business wise or evolve health, but I felt like I needed something different. And you're quite different in the nicest of possible ways of saying that you are genuinely a breath of fresh air when it comes to this stuff. You're not afraid to tell me to shut the fuck up or crack the fuck on or whatever terminal use. You're not afraid to do that, but also back up with why. So I think that I needed something different, something like I said, something different, a breath of fresh air. And I think that I've got to a point where I was just tired all the time. Just tired, fatigued, not just physically, mentally drained. And I think that the biggest thing that my physical health was impacting my mental health more than anything else. And that's not in the best of places anyway, generally. So for that thing to be dragged down more because I can't be bothered walking 17 steps is great. So when I came to you, I think that the single biggest thing above anything else was not being afraid to do little things rather than feeling like you've got to do everything. And I still fight with it to this day. I could work with you 17 years and I would still fight with it.
Hayley Food Ninja: Common business owner trait, if that makes you feel any better.
Terry Cook: Yes, I'm now bracketed with all the other business owners, but now what's? Planning on doing it if I'm not doing it on this magnificent grand scale to try to lose weight if I'm not losing freestall in a week. And it was working with you that made me see that you don't have to lose freestall in a week, you don't have to lose anything this week, you might lose next week. One of the big things that you drummed into me, I don't think I've come across anyone else that says this, but was weighing myself every day. It everyone else I would speak to us. I'm sure there are people that say it, but everyone else was, always wear yourself once a week because you don't need to see it. And you're like, no, we're every week see those fluctuations, see that one day you'll wake up and weigh £6 more, even though you're not. So I found that just by taking not being afraid to take it one step at a time. And even right back at the start when I came to you, I'd recently gone vegan and I was still struggling to find and adjust to this new diet. And you were just like the first thing you told me was eat more protein. And I can remember not being off put by that, but being like, well, that doesn't sound like it's going to have a massive impact.
Hayley Food Ninja: Why should I ring enough?
Terry Cook: Yes, surely you should be telling me to go do CrossFit or summer. But it was doing it one step at a time and starting off by eating more process, I think like the first two weeks or two or three weeks, that's all you have me doing. But it's also realizing that that's putting something else excuse the pump, but putting something else onto my plate.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yeah.
Terry Cook: Whereas if I then start putting ten things onto my plate, all of a sudden it becomes harder. But by doing it one thing at a time and acclimatize for this thing and then go on to the next thing, all of a sudden things get easier.
Hayley Food Ninja: There are lots of things that I remember from working with you, but that was the first I think my battle in the first few weeks was you wanted to have these big gestures towards your health and you wanted to make like, massive changes and felt many of us are in that mindset. One of the most difficult things that I have to get across when you run a business, your mo most of the time is if I need to do something, I'll just do it harder, better, faster, longer, I'll work more hours, I just really throw everything at it. If you do that with your health, you will fail. So you've got this business owner brain which is going but this tactic that I've used to make me successful with everything else, why is it making my health shit? Why doesn't it work when I'm trying to get healthy? So I think it's quite common that kind of like you want to change everything all at once. But that was one of my greatest joys of working with you, is seeing this kind of like, oh, my God, I don't actually have to do loads of shit that I don't like.
Terry Cook: Yeah, the joy isn't an admitting that you were right and I was wrong. That's not all.
Hayley Food Ninja: I get that joy all the time. I'm the most smug person to work with. It must be really annoying.
Terry Cook: A little bit.
Hayley Food Ninja: A lot of my clients are like, that is so annoying that you're always right and I'm going to sound like a dick for saying that on my first ever podcast, but I don't really care.
Terry Cook: I think again, though, you wouldn't argue the point unless you are certain it was right working with you. It's not like you just argue are very fitting, ultimately, as much I was working with you when you were offering advice and telling me or suggesting, however you want to phrase it, what to do, still my decision whether to do it or not, so I don't have to take that advice. But ultimately, that's what I've come to you for. I've failed in my health up until that point. If my health was brilliant, I wouldn't be coming to you for help with my health. So it would be silly not to take that advice on board. But I can't think of examples, actually. But I remember coming to you and say, look, I want to try this, or disagree on this. And there were times when saying, okay, cool, do it, try it, see what happens. It was never do this, do this, do this, and everything was always backed up. Everything you said was always backed up and explained and it was just that. It's like, well, surely if I'm not going to the gym seven days a week, this isn't going to work. That's what everyone says online.
Hayley Food Ninja: I know, and it's just I really like to encourage people to treat themselves as an experiment, because when you've come to me and said, I don't want to go and do this, even though, yes, I'll say, well, that's not a good idea for you in particular in your situation, for XYZ. And if you're still not convinced, the best way to convince you is to let you go and do it. Because then you'll be like, Right, okay. Because it doesn't matter how much I tell you, that's not going to sink in as much as you experiencing it and go, okay, now I get it. Sometimes that's the quickest way to get people to do stuff. It's like let them do stuff that you know isn't going to work. That's really important to guide people and let them come to their own conclusions instead of just telling people what to do, because that doesn't work, I don't think.
Terry Cook: And you're also good at framing it different ways and you would compare it to what I do for a living. And I take the similar approach to my learners. Let's stall the car, let's do it wrong. That way you know how to fix it and you know how to do it right. It's a similar process.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yeah, that's a great example as well. I wanted to talk a little bit about the particular considerations that we had to make like for you, because obviously I work with lots of different sorts of business owners and we've all got the generic business owner challenges of feeling quite isolated, spending a lot of time on your own, being busy, that kind of thing. But for you, there were like a few things that's the favorite part of my job is to figure out what's the thing that makes this person's life difficult in terms of their health. And I think one of the things that we didn't think about so obviously I'm encouraging you to do things like drink lots of water and then we're suddenly realizing, well, Terry can't actually drink a shitload of water first thing in the morning because then he's just going to be sat in the car for hours bursting for the toilet. So we had things like having to consider how are you going to stay hydrated but also be able to concentrate on your student instead of concentrating on the fact that you really wanted the toilet. So I think there was that, wasn't there? And also sitting down a lot, you were obviously sat in your car a lot and do you want to talk a little bit about how you managed to fit in some sort of steps and stretching in particular?
Terry Cook: Well, it's bringing me great joy that on your first ever podcast episode we're discussing my bowel movements, which is brilliant. But I mean, I will mention that because again, it was thinking about that that made me reconsider my diary because I used to start driving license at 08:00 p.m. In the morning and that was never a problem for me. But that, as you were saying, impacted what I did before then. Well, I pushed my license back. Now I don't start before nine and most days I start at ten and some days my first lessons at eleven, which means I can get up and I can have some water and have some breakfast and then I've got time to let it do what it's doing and then crack on the rest of it. So he was thinking about rescheduling the diary and that was also what came into play with stuff like steps and whatnot. Because I was one of those driving instructors that would have the absolute minimum time between lessons because time is money and if I squeeze them in, I can squeeze the extra hour, I'll be home early or whatever and sometimes it'll be 50 minutes there, sometimes it'll be half an hour and it's blue and I go to the next one or whatever. And I think you're like, well, let's try increasing that to an hour and then like 90 minutes because that was an issue, what we did. And it's like in that 90 minutes between lessons. It's awesome because now I'm getting steps in and often it won't necessarily be anywhere scenic. But I'll go pull up at Morrison's and I'll walk around car park and a long way to go into Morrisons and I'll go up and down every aisle to get my steps in and I'll get like two or 3000 steps in between lessons and then coming back to car. This was the one we joked about, it was true. I've been doing yoga inside a car and I've had people beep at me before now I'm like in Down Dog or something like that, which is quite humorous.
Hayley Food Ninja: There's a photo of you that I remember that I think you might have posted in the Facebook group, I think. Wasn't it in our client group? If you literally parked up on the side of the moors and you're doing some kind of like weird stretching just on the side of the road.
Terry Cook: That was it. I could do it in Morrison. I got Morrison, go to Mars, get some fresh air, get some steps and then do some stretches. It's brilliant. I get some funny looks and I think that most of my industry wouldn't agree with what I was doing. Well, it goes back to what I said before for it's what works for me. I've had a bad back for years since I worked on building sites years ago. And it's the yoga, it's a stretching that stopped that becoming a problem and I stopped doing that. And just doing little bits in between lessons was massive, but also able to think. And they're like, I'll just do like ten minutes meditation or I'll use like 30 minutes to go and do my social media stuff, then I don't need to do it when I get home. Exactly. Budgeting in that time has enabled me to do a lot more that I wasn't previously doing.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yeah, I think a lot of business owners don't do this. Like you say, it's your business. Who says that just because you start your driving lessons at 08:00 A.m. Till 04:00 p.m. Is your working day, you can't, if you want to do eight till twelve and then take 3 hours off and do the other two lessons later. Like, why can't you do that? I think it's really odd that a lot of business owners are stuck in this nine to five mentality even though they can do whatever the fuck they want. I think it takes a lot of getting used to, doesn't it?
Terry Cook: Yeah. And I think sometimes you take a step back. For me, I work with a lot of different people every week. Obviously it's like 20 different people a week and they've all got different working patterns and it's like everyone else, we live in a 24/7 culture now, whether that's holding a bit whether we should be working over evenings and stuff, but we do. So it's really easy for me to move my students about and be like, okay, well, these days I'm going to start nine, these days are going to start ten, these days are going to start eleven, two evening lessons a week because I've got people who work nine to five or whatever. I think, like you say, we're a bit set in his ways sometimes I think just taking a step back and just write your ideal week down. I think that was somewhere I did. I can't remember if that was you. That may or may or not, but just when would you want to work and when would you want to be at home? And it boils down to that thing of not being afraid to do what works for you.
Hayley Food Ninja: Exactly. And talking of things that work for you, one of the other sort of big things that we worked on was the fact that you decided to become a vegan vegan diet for ethical reasons. That's right, isn't it?
Terry Cook: Yes.
Hayley Food Ninja: And we looked at because you are actually the only vegan that I've coached one to one. Because as you can imagine, my style does not generally a lot of vegans because you went through this big transition, didn't you, where you were like you wanted to do this thing because it was congruent with your beliefs and your values, but also you don't have a lot of time and you're busy. It was very easy for you to basically grab like, vegan junk food essentially, wasn't it? And a vegan diet is quite difficult to cook healthy food from scratch because it's not as convenient as grabbing some cooked chicken breasts for your protein and stuff like that. So can you talk a little bit about how you kind of the various stages of vegan diet where you eventually came to one that was healthy but also convenient and fit in with your time and your lifestyle and that kind of thing?
Terry Cook: Yeah, I mean, initially I opted to go vegan. I can't remember the date, but it was like a July and it was Sunday and I decided I'm going vegan tomorrow. And then I went ask her, I'll go vegan today. And then I walked in all this meat and cheese, who's going to eat all this? I'm vegan, I've got to do it. And I realize I have nothing to cook other than rice and mushrooms. So initially I was actually quite a healthy vegan because I got really excited because I just changed my mentality from I can't have this to look at, all this amazing stuff I can have and I all sorts of stuff to begin with. And then we came out of lockdown and lessons went back and my finances had taken a massive hit and I knew I had to work a bit harder than I'd like. And because of. That my time to make meals and stuff did drop down and that's when all the vegan junk food came in. And there's a lot of really nice vegan junk food out there. Tesco's onion rings and doritos sweet chili. Is it sweet chili? Red ones.
Hayley Food Ninja: You know those tesco onion rings when I got cobid so I got covered right at the very beginning I think I've told you this got COVID right at the very beginning of the first lockdown. And I did kind of lose my taste. The only thing that I ate for about four weeks because I was really ill for about four weeks. Tesco's onion rings, Chris, and very thick marmite on toast because they are so chemically, artificial, like those onion rings, they're such an artificial strong chemical taste delicious, but obviously not the best for your health. But that's all I could really taste. So yeah, I'm with you on the tesco onion rings.
Terry Cook: I just discovered all this stuff. I'm not going to make this a big vegan ramp. I discovered all this stuff that I didn't know. I think it's tesco's do these jalapeno burgers. They're amazing, really nice. But anyway, so I've moved on to all this junk food and again, that impacted my health a little bit, but not massively because I was just eating normal junk food beforehand. So I actually went from eating normal junk food. So quite a healthy vegan diet, he and really bad vegan diet. And I think that's when I came to you and the epiphany moment was and I think this probably speaks more to my upbringing than anything else, I've got some like going to do air quotes on a podcast, but ham, vegan ham. Exactly. And I'm putting in my sandwiches, I'm working out this protein because you'd forced me to eat more protein. And whatnot, I can't get all my protein from this. And I remember telling you what, just put all the ham in the sandwich. I'm a fully grown man. I'm allowed to put as much ham in my sandwich as I want. When did this happen? I think I was like 38 and I'm at 38 and I've only just realized that I can put as much ham as I want in my sandwich. Banged all the hammer, banged all the salad in bit of branston and she's amazing. Best sandwich ever. And I've got a lot of protein. And was that a weird sort of epiphany moment for me?
Hayley Food Ninja: I remember that very well, actually. So in terms of all those kind of really positive changes you made, so obviously you improved your diet. We looked at steps, your hydration, even being more organized. I think we talked a little bit about time blocking early on, didn't we? And how to design your day almost. So do you think that your health has had an impact on your business?
Terry Cook: Yes, in a few different ways. I think one of the great things for you was. I think you realize, and I suppose I did as well, that it's not like one massive thing. There's lots of little things that are the issue. So I think that's how the business has improved. It's lots of little things. Stuff like the choices. I make the choices now, as I said before, I'll choose I'm not working tonight or I am working tonight and it's my choice. I also find that I have more energy generally and that's a big one because I mentioned before, but I was always tired and it just felt depressing that I got energy to walk a dog. But I didn't enjoy walking the dog because there was no energy there. I wasn't enjoying the lessons as much because I'm just kind of sat there, coma tours almost and I just got more energy. Now I jump in and I'm all bouncy and having fun with them more and so it was definitely an energy thing there. I think it's helping our focus a little bit as well. Yeah, maybe not weirdly, but it's giving me more self confidence. So little things like on a driving lesson, for example, if I was asked a question by a student, I didn't know the answer. So there will be a panic, there will be whatever and now I'm like, give me a minute, let me think about that, let me check that for you. It's built up my confidence. I'm sleeping better now. Sleeping was never a huge problem, but it's improved. The time I'm sleeping hasn't changed, but my quality of sleep has improved. You can see that on my sleep score from my Fitbit. So I'm waking up in a better frame of mind, which is getting me to a better start of the day. And I'm not waking up diving straight into a computer again. There's times I do, but it's real choice. So I think there's just lots of little things around the business that is just making it easier and more enjoyable.
Hayley Food Ninja: Good.
Terry Cook: I think the only thing I neglected to mention there was when I was speaking about energy was I used to do my lessons and then I would come home and I would be like a vegetable on the sofa or in bed. Just no energy, no nothing. Now I can work 16 hours, not saying I do or should do, but I can because I've got the energy from everything else I do and because I get the balance right. So I make sure that when I am working, because I do sometimes work six hour days, but those 1617 hours days, the work side is the stuff I enjoy. Yeah, I try not to do other stuff I don't like doing, but I couldn't do that a year ago. I would do my six, seven, 8 hours and I'm done for day. I haven't got the physical energy and now, because I've got the energy, I can just add more stuff on like enjoyable stuff and it's just not easy. The wrong word, but there's no issues there.
Hayley Food Ninja: Speaking of enjoyable stuff that you've now added to your repertoire. So obviously, when we started working together, you had your driving school stuff and it was very successful and whatever. What's happened since then, as I mentioned, you've become maybe a little bit of a driving instructor industry celebrity, and you have not one, not two, but three podcasts, three successful podcasts. And I know that you're writing for magazines and doing all sorts of extra stuff. So first of all, can you tell us a little bit about your podcast and your extracurricular stuff? And secondly. Whether you feel that having that concentrated period of really sorting your health out has allowed you to kind of like. As you say. Branch out and do more still business stuff. But things that are really enjoyable. And I know certainly from the podcast. Because they're very successful. That are probably really helping you in terms of confidence. Self esteem and all that kind of good shit.
Terry Cook: Yeah.
Hayley Food Ninja: I'm clearly still not a very good podcast host. But I'm just going to throw those questions at you, Terry. I know you can deal with it.
Terry Cook: Well, there's pressure. I will start off by being a complete cock and saying, four podcasts, not free.
Hayley Food Ninja: Sorry.
Terry Cook: Yeah, Joe, I'll run through quickly. So there's a five minute Ferry, which is aimed to help people with their theory, test driving Test Tales, which is aimed to help people with their driving test, the instructor podcast, which is aimed to help driving instructors, which you were lovely guys on back and seeing someone. So they're all kind of the driver's and the ones that relate to business, and they do help that business. They supplement it and they bring in income and all that kind of stuff as well. Then there's the other one, which is more of a hobby is the wrong term, but it's a pleasure project. It just brings me a joy, which is Decapod Podcast, which is a podcast all about pop culture across the decade. And I am technically at the show Psychic. That show is run by the magnificent Emma Morgan. My favorite review from the entire show was very emma is lovely and endearing, Terry is very Northern.
Hayley Food Ninja: Quite a good representation to me.
Terry Cook: Yeah, it's very accurate. So running those four, and this was, again, going back to how you initially helped me. The first one was a five minute theory. Well, that's five minutes. It doesn't take an awful lot of work. I bet you that in when I got used to doing that, okay, let's do the instructor and I bet that in and then I go on to the next step of the next step. So rather than two years ago, I've done it all at once. I just do it step by step. And also it's learning my triggers and learning my signals and when there's a problem. So knowing that, oh, this is getting a little bit much. Now I think I need to end one of these seasons. I'll end this five minute for every season and put that on the shelf for a few months and move on. It's fascinating looking at how I've worked on my health, applying that same process to the business, to the podcasting, to all this other stuff. It's fascinating how applying that same logic actually then benefits. It the biggest thing there is, what I said. It's just learning and learning. How far can I push myself? And I push myself to the limit and it's like, right, that's my limit. Okay, he's back off. And now I can go this far. And it's like I say on Fridays, then my day, that's my podcasting day. And I will happily spend from 09:00 A.m till 09:00 p.m. Doing podcasts and stuff. And it's brilliant and it brings me so much joy. It's not like a job, it's just pleasure. It's just enjoyable. But again, how I've learned from that is if I was recording this podcast, it was a way around. I would record this podcast once I've done. Pause, step away, go get some water. Definitely not Pepsi Max water. Head out into the garden for half an hour and just sit on my car and listen to the birds. I won't even go for a walk. It's just getting out from behind the screen, getting some fresh air, relaxing, then come back and edit. Whereas a year ago, two years ago, I wouldn't be. I wouldn't be. I've got to get this done now, because after this one, I've got to do this one. And it's just applying that same logic of just seeing what works, trying what works and building on from it. And because of that, as I said before, I've got all the energy to do it and it's just bringing me in, all this awesome good stuff. People coming to me to ask me to help them with a podcast, people coming to me to ask them, right, magazine articles for them and be at trade shows and all this kind of stuff, which is just amazing. And that all stems back to my health getting better because I couldn't balance the work and lifelong that I have now with my health. I was two years ago. And even though I would admit this, and you may be not the best thing for me to say on this show, I put a little bit away on since we worked together, but it doesn't feel unhealthy now. I want to drop it back off again. I still didn't quite get to where I wanted to be and I still want to change, but it's not unhealthy. I don't know. I'm still quite healthy person. I'm still getting steps every day. I'm still eating healthy. There's nothing dramatic. I've still got all this energy. So, yeah, I think that right back to that, changing my health is what enabled me to do what I'm doing now. I think that answered those questions.
Hayley Food Ninja: Sorry. As I said, I am still learning. This is my first podcast, so I clearly need to work on my hosting skills a little bit with those questions. But this is where we can casually drop into conversation. That when I decided to do this podcast literally two days ago. You were the first person I contacted, even over Google.
Terry Cook: Carry over Google.
Hayley Food Ninja: Exactly.
Terry Cook: Well, I have my usage. There's not a lot, but there's a few.
Hayley Food Ninja: In terms of the podcast, do you feel like you need to prepare yourself differently? It's very different to your kind of like driving instructor work and when you're preparing to go and do lessons for the day, that's very different to maybe podcasting. Do you need a different sort of energy or how do the two differentiate in terms of what you need to do for your health?
Terry Cook: It's actually surprisingly similar. A podcast, I'll generally be recording with someone or in contact with someone for about 90 minutes. My last driving license usually in 90 minutes or 2 hours. Podcasting, I will generally let the guest speak more. That's the premise behind most of the shows. I will ask the questions, I will say to the conversation, but they will talk more. Driving lessons are the same thing. My role isn't to sit here and give them all information. My role is what's the cheapest phrase? I'm not putting the learning in, I'm getting the learning out. So it's to get them talking about. So in that sense, it's quite a similar role. They're both quite sedatives. The problem I've got at the minute is I've just been diagnosed with Sciatica, which is quite cool. So sitting down is fine when I get back out with the capital lessons as a nightmare yeah.
Hayley Food Ninja: Is that transition from sitting to standing? Which is great for Sciatica, isn't it?
Terry Cook: Yeah. So I'm just going to make sure you stop recording when I stand up so you don't see me all over again. The principle behind it is the same. There will be some stretches today I did some little stretches where I sat down here. I made sure that I've been out and got some air, make sure that I've got some water, which is the same thing. Before I do a driving lesson, when we switched off, I will go outside. Well, maybe not because it just starts snowing, hardly, but I will generally go outside or I'll just go to a different room or go and completely change the topic and go talk to my wife about something completely random just to get my brain away from this. Give my brain a minute and then I can move on to the next thing. And I think that's a big thing. It's stepping away and changing your brain focus because for example, on the driving license, I need to be pretty switched on because if something goes wrong that doesn't end well, especially if we're doing stuff more high speed. So there can be quite a long period of that time when my brain is completely in focus. So afterwards, whether it's meditation or just a conversation about smiles, I need that little shutdown. Yeah. And again, it just goes back to experimenting. I've done a lot of podcasts now and it's learning how to handle them and how to be best prepared. I've always been off of decades I've been a morning person, but oddly, when I recorded in the morning, they're never as good.
Hayley Food Ninja: Right.
Terry Cook: And I'm not sure why. I think it's the concentration over that long period, perhaps, but I'm not quite settled in. So I found that my best recording time is early to mid afternoon. I won't record elsewhere, but that just seems to be what works for me.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yeah, interesting couple of things. Obviously I won't be able to do this with every guest, but I thought I would share with everyone one of my most kind of prominent memories of you when I was working with you, which you might want to talk a little bit about. You had to isolate, didn't you? Because obviously there are people in your household that you definitely don't want to get covered. And there's a couple of things. The first thing is we let you just sort of run riot in the Facebook group and just go live whenever you like, because we knew how bored you were going to be. Because we're talking early isolation, aren't we, where you had to isolate for like two weeks or something ridiculous. But you isolated in one room in your house, but still manage to do 20,000 steps some days. And that is my memory of you is like I was like, I remember talking to you and I was like, why have you done 20,000 or how have you done 20,000 steps in just a regular size lounge? So that's my overriding memory. Terry, maybe you can talk a little bit about that.
Terry Cook: I mean, I'm glad of all the things we discussed and all the time we spent together, that's your old round, your memory. What Christmas would it have been? I found out I'd been with a student and after the lesson, she had taken a test and she turned out to be positive. So I actually found out that I've been spent 4 hours in car, actually, before I've been in contact with anyone else. I was sat in tesco's car park and hadn't got out of the car yet. So I've gone over, I'm like, said to my wife, I'm going to have to go in the room because my wife is quite vulnerable. I spent ten or 14 years, remember, in the living room by myself. I hated every single second of it. I just could not sell at all. I couldn't watch, I couldn't read. So, yeah, I spent most of the time pacing and I set myself a challenge to do. I think I started off with 10,000 steps and I want to do 1000 extra each day, just pacing. And I did not enjoy it in the slightest. I thought back with any fondness or pride, so thanks for bringing this up.
Hayley Food Ninja: Again, it was my overriding memory because I was like, wow, he's not taking any shit. He's just like, So what if I'm in one room, I'm still going to do 20,000. That was why not? Because I was like, oh. Do you remember how painful that was, Harry?
Terry Cook: I think I went through two pairs of slippers that week. So, yeah, it wasn't great, it wasn't fun, but I got through it. I think towards the end, I settled down and I tried to use the time productively. I think I reduced my steps down to 15,000 a day in the living room. And I tried to do some work as well.
Hayley Food Ninja: Did you make a fort as well? I think you did, didn't you?
Terry Cook: I made a fort. I think I broke pawn hub at one point. Yeah, I made a tower as well as power all my books up and I can't wait. How many squares are on my ceiling?
Hayley Food Ninja: Yes. Good times. Amazing. Thank you so much, terry, just one final question I have for you, if you could give any health tips. What do you think is the most impactful or important thing, health tip?
Terry Cook: It's a big question. It's a big question because I don't necessarily think there is one thing that's going to work for everyone. So I suppose my thing would actually be just do what's right for you, take a step back, analyze where your weak points are, analyze what you're struggling with, and then experiment and just play about what's right for you. When I go back to my example of time between lessons, I did 15 minutes and I kept up in it. And now sometimes it's an hour, sometimes 90 minutes, and I never would have done that. It's ridiculous. But it's the biggest benefit to me of anything health. Probably the single biggest benefit of healthy I've done because it enables me to get my steps, it enables me to get some fluid in, enables me to have something nice to eat, do you yogurt in Morrison's car park, all this kind of stuff? That's not going to be right for everyone. There will be some and choose driving instructors as an example. There will be some instructors out there that will work better by going, bang, bang, bang, lessons done. Then do all the stuff while they're there.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yeah.
Terry Cook: And if that's what works for them, then brilliant. But I think it's just taking a step back and not just doing what everyone else says, taking a step back and doing what works for you. And if that means you've got to hire someone like a Haley to help you actually knuckle down into that and work out which gas stoves to turn on and off, then go with that. If you can do it yourself, then do it yourself. But start off just by taking a step back and looking at the little things that you can change to improve yourself.
Hayley Food Ninja: Yeah, awesome. That's awesome advice, Terry. I don't know who taught you that, but they must have been pretty awesome, too.
Terry Cook: Having a love fest.
Hayley Food Ninja: So before we end the show, I am just going to let you know that you can listen to all of Terry's podcasts via the usual podcast mediums. And in the show notes, I will put a link to all of those. So it just remains for me to say, thank you very much, Terry, for popping my cherry. Terry, my podcast cherry.
Terry Cook: Can't believe you made that rhyme. But I am genuinely delighted and shocked that you give me the privilege of popping your cherry.
Hayley Food Ninja: Thank you so much. I think we'll leave it there.
Terry Cook: If that isn't the title of the show, I won't be happy.