Mean and Clean: ‘A recovering alcoholic is helping addicts get clean through groundbreaking online community”

A Yorkshire based personal trainer and one of his clients who is also a recovering addict have joined together to create a fitness community they wish they would have had earlier in 2023 when they were struggling. 

Jody Hopwood-Fox, 44, was reported missing early in 2023. 

He said: “After struggling with drink for years and it getting worse during 2022 and then losing my mum, I had a breakdown.” 

Jody had previously competed as a body builder in a largely macho environment. 

“The culture in the UK revolves around booze which means there are lots of functioning  alcoholics amongst us. And for men it can be hard to talk. 

“I had an amazing partner, kids, a home but I had this disease. The alcoholism had started to control me. So I decided to end it because I thought it was better for all of my family.”

Jody ran away to take his own life. His worried family called the police. 

Fortunately the police found him after he had attempted to take his own life and he was placed in a mental health unit in Leeds. 

“It was exactly what I needed to get clean. I needed intense specialist help as much as I wanted to be back home with my partner and kids. 

“It had all got worse from Covid and losing my mum.” 

Jody and Marcus – the men behind Mean and Clean

When Jody left the unit he vowed to stay clean. 

Back home it took a while to adjust to sober life. 

“Inevitably I relapsed a couple of times. It was then I realised. I had to narrow the circle of people in my life to stay clean. I focused on the gym and getting clients as well as a training partner. 

“I committed to an early morning boot camp called Mush Camp because I definitely didn’t fancy doing that with a hangover.” 

Jody socialised in these circles instead of nights out and trips to the pub. 

“Why don’t men do coffee mornings?”

“For men it tends to be socialising at the pub or a bar so I thought about setting up coffee mornings and lunch clubs for men who were also recovering. 

“In chatting to my client who I was helping to get clean from drugs we came up with an idea called the Mean and Clean programme.”

The Mean and Clean programme is designed to create a safe space for people struggling with all addiction problems to find a new purpose in life . Jody added: “We promote the importance and benefits of physical exercise and quality nutrition to battle and recover from addiction. We aim to display that addiction is a real illness and should be taken seriously. We are dedicated to helping people take the first step by asking for help. We will help people to physically and mentally recover from the disease which is addiction.”

Jody now hopes to not only offer exercise and nutrition programmes but is creating a community so that people socialise without alcohol such as over coffee or on walks and over lunch. 

To find out more, go to:


•founded by two people who have walked the walk of addiction 

•we will be sharing journeys and stories of addiction and sobriety 

•podcasts (sobriety tips and stories) 

•dedicated sobriety mentors that will help with daily routine structure to overcome temptation and triggers and implement coping mechanisms. 

•inspiring stories will be shared and appearances by local athletes who have also battled addiction.

I lost everything due to a cocaine addiction until I messaged a stranger “help me” 

A man addicted to cocaine who became suicidal was inspired by a social media post from a personal trainer who is a recovering alcoholic. 

28-year-old Marcus Pereira had lost his family, home and job when his addiction took a turn for the worse last summer following a bereavement. 

“I loved motorcycles it was my passion outside of my addiction but when my uncle died due to a motorcycle accident all I could plaster the pain with was drugs.” 

Marcus’ life became consumed by drugs which impacted his partner and children, forcing him to leave home. 

He had hit rock bottom and was determined that he was going to use drugs until he fell into an early grave. 

Marcus said: “I couldn’t see any way out, I was back home with my mum. I told her my plans. I didn’t care anymore. 

“Then I saw a post by a local personal trainer who was celebrating seven months of sobriety. He wanted to help others like him. I don’t know what possessed me but I reached out to him.” 

Marcus messaged personal trainer Jody Hopwood-Fox “help me.” 

From there the pair began chatting and struck up a friendship. 

Jody began training Marcus at A star muscle and fitness gym. It was there that Jody himself had recovered from alcoholism using the gym instead of booze to cope. 

Jody said: “I was just a few steps ahead of Marcus. I offered him advice and a plan to get him off the drugs. 


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