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Me and my health: Comedian William Caulfield on his lifestyle


Healthy journey: William Caulfield
Healthy journey: William Caulfield
William Caulfield performing in panto on stage

By Linda Stewart

The 60-year-old comedian, originally from Lurgan but now living in Donaghadee, is touring with his show, Our Jimmy Past and Present, which celebrates the legendary James Young.

Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

A: In the last couple of years I have embarked on a health journey. Not a diet, not a fad, but a complete change in lifestyle, paying a lot of attention to diet, hydration and exercise.

Nowadays I can be found in the gym maybe five or six days in the week doing weights, and I'm also out and about walking for cardio. I have currently lost just over two stone and my body transformation is ongoing. The downside was I had to get rid of an awful lot of clothes that were much too big and invest in new stuff.

Q: What is the worst illness you've had?

A: I have been blessed my whole life with good health. I have only ever been in hospital once (I was born at home) and that was when I was seven. I was admitted to get my tonsils and adenoids out. But when I was 13, I had glandular fever. I was off school for three weeks and had to be prescribed penbritin, an adult version of penicillin. Apart from that, nothing serious so far.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Now, my diet is very healthy. Gone are the fizzy drinks and chocolate and fast food. I spent a lot of time prepping meals for the week - food that is high in protein and lots of vegetables. I try to take four litres of water a day. My work on cruise ships takes me away for about 30 weeks a year but on-board the ships it's easy to choose the healthy food in the buffets and restaurants. We only have the one body and I now think the wise thing is to look after it.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Not that I know of!

Q: Do you drink and smoke and if so, how much?

A: I don't drink or smoke. I remember as a young teen trying a cigarette but it was definitely not for me. As I got older I detested the smell of people smoking around me. The ban was the best thing to happen, in my opinion. As for alcohol, it was never a taste I liked so I didn't keep trying. Now when I have to fill in medical questionnaires I'm quite proud to be a non-smoker or drinker.

Q: Do you take any supplements?

A: Yes. As I go to the gym and lift weights, I like to get as much protein as possible so I add protein powder to my porridge in the morning, and also if I'm having some yogurt in the evening as a dessert I will mix some protein powder into that as well. When doing panto, because it's such a demanding gig with two-show days, I like to protect my throat so I will take Manuka honey each day during the run.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I am really bad at taking time out. I suppose in the industry I am in and being self-employed, I focus too much on making sure I have work. I've been very fortunate getting asked to perform all over the world on the luxury cruise ships and when I'm there it's usually for a week at a time. But when I only have to do two 45-minute shows in the week and the rest of the time is my own, I can relax and chill in various places around the world. I read, I walk, I sit and enjoy the street cafe culture and I people-watch. So I suppose that is my time out.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: There is that old expression that there is nowhere like your own bed and, as a frequent traveller, I have to agree with that. Thankfully I'm a good sleeper and sometimes, in the middle of the night in the middle of some rough seas, that's a good thing! I am thankful that I usually fall asleep quite quickly after I put the light out. But as I said, in my own bed I get the best sleep. It's home.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No, not at all. I don't worry about what I have no control over, nor do I regret it. Getting old is a privilege that is denied to many. I am fully aware that the most of my life is behind me and as the old gospel hymn says, 'Life at best is very brief'. I would be more concerned about getting older if I wasn't prepared for the end. Thankfully when old age has finished with me I'm ready to go.

Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: I don't have one. All I ever do is get my flu jab in November and drink plenty of water. It flushes out the toxins and keeps the body in its healthy state.

William is touring with his show, Our Jimmy Past and Present, with dates at Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn, tonight at 8pm (for box office, tel: 9250 9292); The Old Courthouse, Antrim, tomorrow at 7.30pm (tel: 9442 8331); Market Place Theatre, Armagh, on January 9 (tel: 3752 1821); McNeill Theatre in Larne on January 10 (tel: 2826 2495); and Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, on January 11 (tel: 8224 7831).

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