Me and my health: Brendan McDowell on his lifestyle
The 35-year-old is founder of leading cosmetics company BPerfect, which recently unveiled three new products including the best-selling BPerfect Mousse. He lives in Belfast with his partner Tony (32).
Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?
A: Yes, exercise is very important to me and I try to fit it in whenever I can. I go to the gym four to five times a week to do weight training and I also run two to three times a week. Exercise, and running in particular, helps clear my mind and keep me motivated - I have done the Belfast Marathon three times and hope to do it again. My job is flat out six days a week so the release that exercise provides is so important to me.
Q: What's the worst illness you have had?
A: Luckily, I am not sick very often and have never had a major illness. I am prone to heartburn and would get the odd cold and bout of flu - luckily not frequently! However, I am very clumsy and have broken a fair few bones in my time - my nose, my arm three times, my jaw and two toes!
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: My diet is really good Monday to Friday - I try to eat high protein and low carb and mainly stay on plan. At the weekends, anything goes, and I relax the rules. I love eating out and probably eat out more than in. Midweek, I try to go to Slim's Healthy Kitchen or Nandos as you can stick to the high protein, low carb plan. At weekends I like to go somewhere really nice like Coppi or Hadskis in Belfast.
Q: Any bad habits?
A: I have a really bad addiction to chocolate and would definitely say I am a chocoholic! I could live without carbs no problem but couldn't live without chocolate. When it comes to 3pm-ish I get a real craving and try to make sure I have a protein bar to hand. If not, I give in and reach for a chocolate bar.
Q: Do you drink and/or smoke - if so, how much?
A: I have never smoked. I don't drink midweek but do at the weekends - socialising is very important to me and is one of my main outlets for switching off.
Q: Do you take any health supplements?
A: No, I like to get to my nutrition from food.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: I love exercising and I love socialising. This year I also made a promise to myself to take more holidays - and am just back from the Bahamas. The last few years have been so hectic building the business that I was starting to reach burnout stage, but it is amazing what a few weeks away lying on a beach can do for you. I started BPerfect with just one product back in 2012. This was our Semi-Permanent Eyebrow kit. This soon progressed to the 10 Second Tan which has consistently been a bestseller in the self-tanning market - today we have a further 11 products on the market and have just launched a 10 Second Mousse which won a RSVP Best Tanning Product in their latest Beauty Awards. We now sell online and are stocked in over 1,200 stores across Ireland, and we have plans to launch a further six new products by the end of 2018.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: I used to sleep really well but with so much going on with the business I find I wake often and sometimes find it very difficult to get back to sleep and switch off again. I have tried to combat this by keeping my phone beside me and when something comes into my head at 3am (which at the time feels ultra-urgent) I just get it down in my notes section on my phone, then I feel it is being dealt with. I could probably benefit from some meditation!
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: No, I really don't. One of my favourite books is The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, which is about the law of attraction. The philosophy is that everything that's coming into your life you are attracting into your life. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you. One of the theories of the book is that if you feel young inside and you continue to imagine yourself as young, then you will never age inside.
Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: Exercise - even on holiday I make sure there is a good gym at the hotel. When I don't make enough time for exercise I feel sluggish, tired and lack motivation.
The new BPerfect product range can be purchased online at www.bperfectcosmetics.com