26 Things You Don’t Know About Me

By Darren Stehle

There are millions of blogs that could capture your attention. What is the spark that makes you want to keep reading and possibly enter your email address and subscribe?

In the very least the website is providing quality information that you are looking for. What keeps you coming back for more is when you feel connected and you resonate with what that site has to say. In other words, the blogger speaks to you!

I don’t expect to connect with everyone I meet nor do I expect every reader of my website to resonate with my content and point of view. The magic starts to happen when someone takes the time to leave me a comment. There’s nothing more exciting for a blogger or a writer to get positive, constructive feedback.

You could easily read my About Page to understand more about this website, what I stand for, and find out some general information about me.

I created Eat∙Move∙Be to teach exactly what I do in my life:

  • How I shop for food and cook my meals from scratch and in bulk every week
  • How I help my personal training clients keep physically active, improve their fitness, performance and strength
  • How I care about people’s well-being and personal growth to live an outstanding life.

I’m not a muscle head — but I’m in excellent physical shape. I’m not a French chef — but I do have classic chef training. I’m a former academic junkie — and now I’m a writer, blogger, private chef, Personal Trainer, and Certified Nutrition Coach.

I’m an everyday person who cares about living a fulfilling life that consists of personal growth, exceptional health, joy, peace, friendships, love, a healthy body and mind, and exploration. This is my lifestyle by design.

To live an ideal lifestyle you need to eat healthy, nutritious food, physically move often, and exercise for strength and vitality. Otherwise you’ll not be able to enjoy a high quality of life. How and what you eat, how often you move and exercise your body, and your work-life balance all contribute to your well-being.

That’s the back story to why I created Eat∙Move∙Be. Now I hope you’ll have some fun learning about some of my quirks and (hopefully) interesting facts about me.

26 Things You Don’t Know About Me

  1. My favourite desert is something bread-like, like banana bread with chocolate chips, or a French crueller glazed donut, or an old-fashioned sour cream glazed donut. Next to that is a high quality dark chocolate. Omnomnom!
  2. I read my iPad in bed before going to sleep. The blue light doesn’t seem to bother my sleep. Or at least that’s what I’m choosing to believe.
  3. I don’t like wearing clothes. Anything on my body irritates me and I’m always shuffling and readjusting my clothes. It drives some people crazy. When I’m at home I’m in sweatpants, shorts or nothing at all.
  4. Growing up I had severe allergies and food intolerances that made me very ill. I suffered ADHD, had some learning disabilities, and was a bit of an outcast because of my various health issues. It made it difficult for me to get along with other kids. At a very young age I knew I liked other boys and at that time (the 70s) everyone around me made it clear those types of feelings were wrong. I outgrew my allergies as a teenager, but I definitely grew into being gay. Win-Win! 🙂
  5. I do very little to keep up my physique. Or at least that’s how I see it. I’m active all day long (at work with clients, walking my dog, or riding my bike) and I eat healthy, home-made food (that I cook myself) and I know these are the main reasons I’m able to stay in great shape (80% diet/healthy eating, 20 % activity). When you sit at a desk all day (which I don’t) your body and health break down very quickly.
  6. I’ve always had a preference for solo sports like cycling, walking, or canoeing in Algonquin park. In elementary and high school I hated having to compete against other kids or play on a team. I did have a wonderful “adult” team experience when I played volleyball with the Toronto Spartan Volleyball League.
  7. My first workout almost killed me. I was 19 and went to the Gold’s gym in Mississauga, Ontario. The ‘trainer’ at reception took me through a LifeCycle Aerobic evaluation and then showed me how to use more machines than I can remember for what seemed like more than an hour. The next day I was sick in bed with flu-like symptoms. I was sore all over but thankfully I went back to the gym three days later and have been lifting weights ever since.
  8. I’m 48. I don’t understand what that means! Age is relative and a state of mind. Most people think I’m either very late 30s or early 40s. I know that my active lifestyle and how I’ve been conscious of eating nutritious foods all of my life have contributed to my physical appearance. I’ve also rejected many traditional forms of work and career that, for better or for worse, have kept me young at heart.
  9. I started personal training in 2001. I was offered clients by my own personal trainer and then opened my business, Integrated Fitness Inc. I got tired of having to travel from private studio, to gym, to clients’ homes and decided to work solely at the Adelaide Club in 2007. That was a great decision.
  10. According to my partner I have a smiley laugh that’s like a little kid’s. I kind of giggle sometimes with glee when I’m happy or at something that makes me laugh.
  11. I’m not ticklish. Unless I’m really, really relaxed and totally not expecting it, like half-asleep in bed.
  12. I love farting. And burping. I know it’s rude but why hold it in when it can sound so damn funny. I can’t help myself… fart jokes and base humour are the best! So if you want a good laugh, check out this Family Guy fart montage.
  13. For a time I spent almost as much on raw dog food for my dog, Buster, as I did on my own groceries. And then I realized that he weighs half as much as I do, and even though I love him dearly, I could compromise on how much I was spending. He’s never once complained.
  14. I almost went back to university in 2011 to pursue my interests in sexual diversity studies. I was contemplating doing research on Felice Picano, one of my favourite gay authors. Thankfully I realized that was a moment of distraction. I chose to stay on the fitness and wellness path. I’m glad I made that choice!
  15. I did way more travel while at university, with limited funds and little or no part-time work, to Germany, Italy, USA and more. Oh the glory days of scholarships!
  16. I was perfectly fluent in German. I studied it for years at university, lived in Germany for two summers and for the entire 2nd year of my Master’s program. After I left my master’s I had no one to converse with in German and slowly lost my fluency. I goes to show how language is organic and if you don’t use it, it slowly withers and fades away. I regret that loss.
  17. My favourite professor was Jutta Goheen. Frau Goheen believed in me more than anyone else at a time in my life of tremendous growth of the mind. She nourished and nurtured my abilities as a scholar and as a student of German language, literature and culture. She was patient beyond measure with an uncanny ability to inspire. At a time when I was seeking guidance and greater self-belief in my own ‘smarts’ – my own intellectual abilities – she never wavered in her support of my continued improvement. She passed away in 2002 and I learned about it six years later. I learned a painful lesson that day about losing touch with those I love.
  18. I can, at times, be annoyingly controlling and anal.
  19. I’ve known I was gay since I was five years old. I didn’t have a word for it, but I knew that I wasn’t like other boys.
  20. I make the best dinner salads. In the last year it’s become something of a ritual. I’ll make a salad meal three to four nights a week using everything from lettuce, carrots, beets, cucumber, celery, cilantro, tomatoes, peppers, various spices, different combinations of oils and vinegar, canned tuna, salmon, or another meat, cheese, nuts, dried or fresh fruit. It takes at least 20 minutes or more to eat the entire salad but it’s so delicious and satisfying.
  21. My favourite colour is red.
  22. My partner knows how to buy clothes that looks great on me better than I can for myself. Um, didn’t I say I was gay? I lack fashion sense and I don’t care.
  23. In 2006 I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done: I sat a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat, which is done in complete silence. Not talking was the easy part. The biggest challenges I faced were learning how to sit still for an hour or longer in meditation, and facing all the negative and judgemental thoughts that went through my brain non-stop. That was perhaps my biggest lesson — accepting that part of myself and learning how to slowly change my judgemental habit pattern for a more generous and caring outlook toward myself and others.
  24. My favourite movie is C.R.A.Z.Y. I saw it was on video on a cold Winter’s evening, alone at home. Everything in that movie resonated with me. The main character, Zack, was born in 1960, five years before me, but his adolescence, his inwardness, his awareness of his sexuality, spoke to me like no other movie or book before. There is a scene in the last few minutes of the movie where the father finally breaks through his emotional up-tightness that caused me to breakdown crying, uncontrollably, for well over 20 minutes. I can feel it in my throat as I’m typing this.
  25. When I was 30 years old, living in a bachelor apartment and on my own for the very first time I bought art. I didn’t have the money to buy the piece as I was just starting out in the work-force and had student loans to repay. I went to a showing of Steve Walker’s work at a gallery in Toronto. When I saw the piece I began to shake. My knees wobbled. I felt warm and almost faint. I didn’t know what to do so I called a friend who was a retired professor and art collector. He told me I’d find a way to afford to buy the painting — I did. Even with the curator inviting me to his boat in the harbour for some wine and to spend the night (he wasn’t my type and he wasn’t offering a discount!), I’ve always felt like the context of the painting has spoken to me at that time in my life.
  26. I’ve never done anything like this — made a list of things you don’t know about me and shared it publicly. I hope I made you laugh a few times!

Be Well!

Darren

  • I need to start a blog where I can share such details. Thank you for that. I feel like I know you even though we’ve never actually met. You remind me of a combination of myself and a long lost friend I met in Cuba who like yourself knew at a very young age that he was gay. I found him fascinating and he helped me understand his sexuality in a completely different light. Unfortunately we lost touch several years ago, but his story and his friendship still stay with me.
    I too had ADHD that my mom god bless here, cleaned out the cupboards and started from scratch only feeding us all the cleanest and healthiest foods. Without all of the additives and chemicals in the foods we ate I went from almost getting held back in grade 1 to becoming an straight A student my entire life. Thanks mom!

    This taught me the importance of healthy food and good eating habits which sadly in only the last few of my 44 years have I started to neglect.

    Reading your blog is a great reminder of how important good food, healthy habits, and a healthy life style free of stress can be so beneficial.
    Stephanie my beautiful and talent girlfriend is going to do her first Vipassanna meditation session this fall and I am seriously thinking of doing this myself. We have a good friend who shared his experience with us and found these techniques fascinating.

    Again…thank you for sharing everything. I both appreciate it and resonate with much of what you’ve said. Keep up the fantastic work. I enjoy your writing and the great information you share. Look forward to actually meeting you some day and your sharp dressed partner as well 😉

    • Dave — appreciate your feedback. And it’s never too late to change your fitness and eating habits; decide why you want to eat better than you are now, and how you plan to do it.
      As for Vipassana, it is not for everyone and it is very challenging. Be sure that is something you really want to do. However, if your girlfriend is going, and if you are considering it, I would suggest you both attend as it would be quite the experience to share after the 10-days (because you will be separated and unable to speak with each other during that time.)