A journey to better health with Anthony Field

Read about how Anthony Field (a.k.a. the Blue Wiggle) he got his Wiggle back.

In the Wiggles’ early days, Anthony’s battle with chronic pain and depression would see him experiencing extreme highs during performances and massive lows off stage. After embarking on the long road to recovery, Anthony came out with an inspiring story, shared in his book ‘How I Got My Wiggle Back.’

Medibank has teamed up with The Wiggles to develop ‘Wiggle into Health’, an online health hub that brings nutrition, hygiene, safety and exercise information to children from their favourite Wiggles characters. With a new lineup for the band on the horizon, Anthony will be the only original castmate in The Wiggles and shares his health journey with Medibank members and why he’s not ready to hang up his skivvy just yet.

You’ve spoken before about The Wiggles early days and how you were in bad shape physically… what happened?

In the early ‘90s when The Wiggles started, I was besieged with chronic pain in my back and hernia issues. I was pretty much eating anything I liked, which started showing around my waist. My life was the mini van we toured in, country hotels, fried food and dark recording studios. When I was “up” at show time, I was flying high but when the toll of the road, my diet and tendency towards depression took over, I tumbled down.

What was the catalyst for change?

During a tour of the US in 2004, I was introduced to Dr James Stoxen, who we had hired to be our backstage chiropractor. He tried to be delicate but he let me know he could detect I was on the verge of some sort of physical collapse. It was both exhilarating and a little frightening. I hate to admit it but sometimes when you’re ill or injured it almost feels easier to accommodate the handicap rather than face the challenge of eliminating it. As real as it is, pain becomes a habit that’s hard to break.

How did you turn this around?

In the early days I needed constant treatment and Dr Stoxen would work on me for three to five hours at a time. It was gruelling and painful at times but it worked. I immediately threw out every painkiller I had. Comfortable with the fact that I was on the road to recovery, I opened up to friends and family, members of The Wiggles cast, our dedicated crew and some of our fans about my personal health battles. By the end of the US trip, I was able to walk, run, dance, jump and even smile again!

How do you manage your hectic tour schedule with a young family and staying healthy?

I have always had the support of my family when it comes to touring. When Murray, Jeff and Greg made the decision to hang up their skivvies at the end of 2013, it wasn’t something I considered. I love performing for children and hopefully I can contribute my experience to the new Wiggles – Simon, Lachie and Emma. I manage my time on the road by staying in constant contact with my wife Miki and my children Lucia, Maria and Antonio. Luckily with computers, these days I can speak to them on Skype each night when I’m away. When I’m home in Sydney, I spend all my time with them doing the normal things that dads do.

In order to perform 2-3 shows a day with The Wiggles, I need to make sure I eat well and for me, this is a vegan diet. I try to stick to the philosophy of only eating raw foods and nothing processed. I drink plenty of water and always take my bike on tour and cycle as much as I can. Exercise helps to keep me mentally healthy as well, which is important when you’re away from your family for long periods.

Medibank has teamed up with The Wiggles to develop ‘Wiggle into Health’, an online health hub that brings nutrition, hygiene, safety and physical activity information together with our favourite Wiggles characters. For more information go to: wiggleintohealth.com

For more information about Anthony’s book ‘How I Got My Wiggle Back’ go to: anthonyfield.com.au

Recommended reading - Issue Seventeen Spring 2016

Community

The history of washing hands

It's been barely a century and a half since hand washing was adopted as common practice by doctors.

Read more
Community

Meet the Lunch Lady

We caught up with the gourmet blogger to talk all things foodie-focused.

Read more
Travel

7 ways to make plane trips more comfortable

We look at how to make your trip a little easier on the body.

Read more
Community

Can urban greening make us happier and healthier?

How can more city-greenery improve our lives? Professor Richard Fuller explains.

Read more
Experts

How to help young athletes manage training load

Managing load to avoid injury and burn out is essential for young athletes.

Read more
Community

Squashing the competition: Sarah Fitz-Gerald

Squash champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald reflects on her latest role off-court.

Read more
Recipes

Olive oil and sea salt molten brownies recipe

Try these sweet, scrumptious treats for a special afternoon delight.

Read more
Community

A new neighbourhood: Hetty McKinnon

Sydney salad-maker Hetty McKinnon shares how she has taken her delicious creations to New York.

Read more
Recipes

The art of making broth

Get simmering with rich, flavoursome broths and stocks.

Read more
In Brief

A new step in cancer research

Susan Clark from the Garvan Institute explains new steps in cancer research.

Read more
Community

4 ways to create a healthy family lifestyle

Teach your kids to love fresh food, try new things and enjoy running around in the fresh air.

Read more
Recipes

Green and gold salad recipe

Delicious salad of asparagus, gold beetroot, crispy sage and lemon brown butter.

Read more
Community

Is a career in fitness right for you?

If you love being active, a career in fitness can be a really rewarding pathway.

Read more
Lifestyle

How to make the perfect winter soup

Accredited Practising Dietitian Katie Thomsitt shows how us to pack nutrition and flavour into soup.

Read more
Recipes

Whole chicken broth recipe

A simple, versatile broth with a deep chicken flavour.

Read more
Recipes

Chicken soup with parmesan, rice, peas and lemon recipe

A soothing soup with rich veggie flavours and a touch of fragrant parsley.

Read more
Advice

7 ways yoga can help you beat stress

Here's why yoga is a fantastic tool against stress, tension and worry.

Read more
Community

Visit Glenmore House: A garden in full bloom

Macarthur farm estate opens its doors this October in a celebration of the beauty of spring.

Read more
Experts

The real reason you feel hungry

Professor David Cameron-Smith explores how hunger works.

Read more
Recipes

Spicy miso eggplant recipe

Simple and succulent with Japanese flavour and a kick of chilli.

Read more
Health Check

What is single sided deafness?

Here's what you need to know about single sided deafness, and how it can be treated.

Read more
Recipes

Vermicelli noodle salad with Thai chilli dressing recipe

A zesty salad, full of fresh greens and Southeast Asian inspired flavours.

Read more
Recipes

10 quick, delicious, healthy breakfast ideas

Brighten up your morning with a fresh, nourishing feast.

Read more
Experts

Why sun safety matters in spring

Being sun smart isn't just for the heat of summer. Stay aware of the UV risk with these tips.

Read more
Recipes

Sweet potato with avocado, pomegranate and coconut recipe

A nourishing feast, full of colourful veggie flavours and a touch of bursting sweetness.

Read more
Experts

Understanding FODMAPS and IBS

Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Take some advice from dietitian Chloe McLeod

Read more
Experts

Do you really need vitamin supplements?

Nutrition expert Professor Tim Crowe explores when vitamins and supplements can improve nutrition.

Read more
Recipes

Cauliflower and chickpea salad recipe

A fragrant and filling veggie salad, bright with the flavours of tahini, almonds and sultanas.

Read more
Experts

The best foods to eat before and after your workout

Boost your energy before you start, then nourish and replenish for recovery.

Read more
Experts

The secret to making high heels more comfortable

Podiatrist Emily Smith shares a few tips for reducing foot pain.

Read more
Experts

Immunotherapy and cancer treatment

The power of the immune system can play a vital role in the development of new cancer treatments.

Read more
Recipes

Feta and pea shoot omelette recipe

A pocket full of green spring goodness, with a touch of crumbly feta.

Read more
Recipes

Roasted cauliflower tacos with chipotle cream recipe

A deliciously fresh feast, bright with Mexican spice and cooling avocado and lime.

Read more
Experts

When clean eating goes too far

Psychologist Loren Byford takes a look at the development of orthorexia and eating disorders.

Read more
Lifestyle

7 ways to get active in spring

Here are some fun ways to mix up your workout in the warmer months.

Read more
Lifestyle

5 relaxing yoga poses for the work week

This relaxing sequence of yoga poses will have you feeling rejuvenated.

Read more
Recipes

Green breakfast bowl recipe

Start the day out right with the goodness of eggs, greens and halloumi.

Read more
Experts

10 ways to treat hayfever

Dr David Ng shares things that may help soothe those sore eyes and fight off spring itchiness.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.