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Category Archives for "guest/interview"

September 6, 2021

How to get to know your true self with James Petrossi

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So much of getting healthy and fit is in your mindset. On this episode, James Petrossi gives us many tools to get to know your true self and develop a mindset that pushes us forward rather than holding us back.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:00:50.250] – Allan
Raz, how are things going?

[00:00:52.660] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:00:54.650] – Allan
I'm pretty good. When this episode goes live, I will be on vacation. Well, actually, my vacation we'll be driving north to Indiana, but I'll be back in the States when this episode goes live, and I've had a nice vacation, but right now it's just trying to get everything done, so we can be gone for a month and traveling around and still do what we got to get done. So it's just a lot of moving parts.

[00:01:27.380] – Rachel
Yeah, it's a long time to be living out of a suitcase, but I know you're going to be visiting family and friends pretty much everywhere, so it'll be really rewarding.

[00:01:37.360] – Allan
I was, of course, high travel before and now I don't travel at all, really, especially in the Covid environment, but we'll have a rental car and our bags to go in the rental car. And, yeah, it's a lot of hotel nights, but I'm kind of almost used to that way of going because it's how I lived a large portion of my life. So I'm pretty good about traveling. And actually, that's one of the upcoming episodes we're going to talk about is how to stay healthy and fit while you're traveling.

[00:02:10.930] – Allan
So this is our Hello segment for this episode of episode 502. And what we're going to do because I'm going to be traveling and it'll be a little bit more difficult to get recording done. And I want to actually try to really take a vacation short of just making sure I'm taking care of my clients because all that's going to be happening. We're actually going to be recording our discussion of this episode, episode 503 and episode 504. So we're going to forego the Hellos episode segments for those episodes because it quite literally just be ten minutes from now is like, hey, how are you doing?

[00:02:45.500] – Allan
And we're not that creative, okay? We're just not good. We're not going to pretend it is what it is, but everything going okay for you?

[00:02:54.300] – Rachel
Oh, yeah. Things are great. Got another runcation plans. We've got a weekend coming up. We'll be camping and doing a little race, so getting the most out of the summer as I can get.

[00:03:08.010] – Allan
Good. We're rolling into September, so it's just around the corner. You're going to have some really comfortable running for the next month. And then poof.

[00:03:16.320] – Rachel
Yeah, this is about perfect, because I have one more ultra for the year. I'm running the Kal Haven with some friends. It's 33 1/2 miles, and it's at the end of October. So I think that'll be a lovely day for running. You never know what you're going to get here in Michigan, but it'll be much better than in the middle of the summer. It's been so hot and humid here.

[00:03:36.910] – Allan
Yeah, but wow 33 miles. Good for you.

[00:03:41.120] – Rachel
It'll still be a long day, but it'll be a nice long day.

[00:03:46.970] – Allan
Okay, well, let's go ahead and get into the episode.

[00:03:50.340] – Rachel
Great.

Interview

[00:04:42.120] – Allan
James, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:45.200] – James
Hey, thank you so much. So happy to be here with you, especially because I turned 41 last year. So now I'm officially part of the Tribe, which feels pretty cool.

[00:04:54.590] – Allan
Congratulations. You're almost there. So the book is called Know Your True Self: The Formula to Raise Human Consciousness. And when I saw the book and it was brought to my attention, I was like, you know, we don't spend any time doing that. Most of us are so in our world, in the past, in the future that just to sit down and have that honest conversation, even if it's just in your head. It's okay if you talk to yourself, but it was just one of those things saying that is so important for us to do, but we almost dedicate no time to it.

[00:05:43.800] – James
Yeah. It's definitely a big challenge. And just based on how we're learning and receiving information right now, we're in this onslaught of the connected world. And inside of there, you look at all the knowledge that we've amassed over the past. Just let's look at, like, 30 years because it wasn't until the 90s, we even studied the brain. And we know so much right now and there's aggregates of information out there, and sometimes we tend to focus on just one small piece of the puzzle, and it takes us away from the bigger picture of our existence, humanity, everything that we deal with on a daily basis.

[00:06:23.890] – James
So our goal in developing this, and it was a journey I did with my father as he was going through a lot of health issues was really to take core principles and integrate them into a philosophy to help people look inward, because to your point, it's not something we usually do. We're usually just so unconsciously directed in our own world, getting from place to place for moment to moment that we're not really even taking time to reflect on the moments where in, why we're feeling this way.

[00:06:52.830] – James
It's a challenge that we're facing. And one of the challenges where you see this, a large majority of the population that can't cope with the reality that we even created the amount of anxiety and depression, a lot of its in many ways self induced by not taking that time to really look at yourself, which is a huge challenge. It's not easy to do that.

[00:07:15.280] – Allan
I completely agree. And as I was going through the book and I was thinking, I hadn't really thought of things that way. And maybe I had thought of certain things a certain way. And as I started putting together, I'm like, I need to do this more because I'm not good at it yet. And I should be. I'm 55 years old. I should know myself pretty well. But, you know, there's still bits and pieces that I'm like. Okay, I need to do a little work here.

[00:07:42.990] – Allan
And the book is really well laid out because it allows you to go through each piece of that because you've laid it out really cool. And it's a good visual book. There's a lot of white space, and so it's not a heavy, hard psychological read where you're reading a psychology text, but it's in there. It's so interesting. Okay. I've read this book or read something about this in this. I knew a lot of the concepts, but there's one that it kind of evades me because I want to believe it.

[00:08:15.180] – Allan
And then I don't want to believe it because I like having free will. I like thinking I have free will. But and I think we all know the picture of our brain is like a computer. So whatever has been coded in the brain is what's going to come out the other side. And if we want to change that, change the behavior, we have to change our brain first by what we put into it. So we got to change the code. Why is it so hard for us to just decide we're going to do something like break a habit or start a new habit or really, in some cases, just even be in control?

[00:09:00.540] – James
Yeah. And you bring up that control and that choice, and that free will and to an extent, does exist in our lives. And you know, if you just look at the function of us as a human, there's so much that happens that happens on an unconscious level that we're not in control of. And if you just look at everything that's happening with us, right now, we're talking to each other. We're not thinking about, how do I form these words we're not thinking about I need to breathe.

[00:09:29.510] – James
My heart needs to pump. We have all of these energy systems within us that are working in concert at such a meticulous level that's keeping us alive. Just that unconscious energy is incredible. And that's working through something that's divinely inspired this universal consciousness we're all part of. And then also our brain. And our brain is almost like this I like to think of as an antenna, and that antenna has all of these senses connected to it. And whenever we perceive something, whenever we experience something, whenever we engage in self talk, all of that information is coming into our consciousness through the brain.

[00:10:12.930] – James
And there's this interplay between the brain and the mind. The brain is this tangible object, right? Full of neurons and cells in our mind is sort of boundless in turn. Where's your brain? You could point to it. You're like, Where's your mind? Well it's working through my brain. But it's working through everything. So there's a lot of awakening just inside of realizing that. But getting to your question just about why is it hard to break these habits that we have that form? Because the brain relies on routines.

[00:10:48.330] – James
And whenever we give ourselves a thought, whenever we experience something, we start to program deep neuron chains. These neuron chain start to form around these experiences. And, you know, for sometimes good and sometimes those neuron chains start firing up. And, you know, a good example is, I drank really heavily for a long time in my life, and I don't anymore. And it was usually for celebration because I accomplished the time and I wanted to party and I wanted to go out and have fun. I had neuron chains developed in my brain that whenever I accomplished something, they start lighting up, getting excited, time to drink.

[00:11:32.130] – James
And there's a habit formation in there. Now, if you want to break that habit, you need to develop new healthier neuron change new routines when you have a level of achievement. And to do so is hard because even though those neuron chains might fade as you develop new habits, they never go away. They're always there. So you always have to be conscious of the thoughts that you're having, the feeling that you're having, what you're sort of gravitating to doing and every given moment, because it's because of those routines that the brain can even function.

[00:12:08.690] – James
The brain relies on them, even as a biocomputer relies on those in terms of habit formation and to break those chains and create new ones, just an ongoing challenge that we face in so many aspects of our life.

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[00:14:29.320] – Allan
Could you, I mean, because I think if you're listening to this podcast, you care about positive change. You're trying to improve your help, you're trying to improve your fitness, you're trying to do positive change. So if we've got these neuron chains that are kind of driving a behavior that we know is not good for us, we want to put in more neuron chains for positive actions.

[00:14:55.530] – Allan
How do we go about doing that?

[00:14:57.100] – James
Yeah, the biggest whenever it comes to rewiring your brain. I think the most advantageous thing you can do is practice thought observation. And thought observation can be challenging because sometimes we're under the illusion that when we're thinking about something a lot, we really care about it when it's actually when we're creating space between our thoughts, we're finding peace. And you know, that's why meditative practices have become so important. And I think, like 40% of Americans have now at least tried meditation, which is great. But meditation is just one component of thought observation.

[00:15:38.460] – James
It has to be thought observation as you're navigating life. And when you do get an impulse and an impulse for a behavior, the best thing that you can do is not give in to that impulse immediately. Create a delay so that neuron chain might be telling someone that likes to eat fatty foods. Oh, my God. I just really want to order a big meat Lovers pizza right now. And, you know, you can easily go to any food app, any delivery service, and they're ready to fire up all these around chains associated with that.

[00:16:13.770] – James
Next thing you know, you're in the impulse zone. But if you can, when that impulse arises, that you know, as a challenge for you, and it might be just identifying here's one impulse I want to work on right now, one thing at a time, then to identify that thought, identify that that thought is not my true self. That thought has been programmed in my mind by past experiences I've had here is the root of that. Remove yourself from the situation for 10 to 15 minutes, direct your consciousness to another activity.

[00:16:48.030] – James
It could just be reading a book, watching something positive on television, having a conversation with a friend, spouse, loved one. And then after that, 10 to 15 minutes, that neuron change activity will slow down a little bit. And that's a great time to engage in a meditative practice is when you get the impulse, just cool yourself down a little bit. And usually when you do that, that desire doesn't mean you still might not want a pizza, but the level of impact on your mind and you'll be able to control it will definitely be a lot more manageable.

[00:17:27.220] – Allan
So from a practical perspective, I'm hearing that to mean delete the Pizza Hut or Dominoes app off your phone, because that makes it they've removed the barrier. You can literally push button. And the pizza that you always order is on the way, already paid for. The driver knows where you live, it's all there, and they make it really, really easy to do that. So we delete that off of our phone, and at least at that point, it slows us down. And we have an opportunity to fill that impulse, to deal with it, to observe it.

[00:18:01.120] – Allan
And I always think this is really important, because when I'm talking to my clients about their journey, when they're trying to get themselves healthy and fit, is that the warning signs are there the things that trip us up are the same things that tripped us up before. So if we've been struggling with alcohol, we've been struggling with weight and the food choices, and we've tried before and failed. Those failures are not fail because you're still trying. You're still in the game. So they were learning opportunities in your practice of self awareness.

[00:18:37.360] – Allan
But I think for a lot of us, we're not really good at self awareness. And that's what I was kind of leaning towards at the very beginning of this was if I go out and say, okay, I know that meeting my friends at the bar, I'm more than likely going to order an IPA, and that's not going to suit me or serve me for what I'm trying to do right now for my health and fitness. But I also don't want to say no to my friends, but I know that's the thing.

[00:19:07.490] – Allan
And I'm from a self awareness perspective, it's there. But if my friends call me, I do it. And so why is it so difficult for us to practice self awareness and all these red blocks and how we get it done? Because I think to me, this is where the rubber hits the road for anyone looking to do something positive in their lives. You got to get this one done.

[00:19:35.040] – James
Yeah. And let's start with his desire because you bring up desire a lot, because desire is really where a lot of our unhealthy habits come from. And, you know, the reward center of the brain is directly associated with those desires. And in many ways, the promise of the reward is better than the reward itself. So the promise of that pizza, that beer, anything that is sort of one of your over indulgence in the world after you have that, how do you feel? Pretty crappy most of the time.

[00:20:12.690] – James
You're not like, oh, my God, I just had a large pizza, so I'm ready to take on the world. You know, it's the promise of it is so great. And you even see that with, like, tests with rats and the pleasure center of the brain. If they're associated to hitting a lever to get a reward. And with pressing that lever, they get a shock. They will get that reward the first time. Maybe it's a little piece of food complemented by that shock. Now, over time, the piece of food won't be there.

[00:20:46.170] – James
But they'll just keep hitting that lever, and it's hitting the pleasure center of the brain, releasing all of this dopamine. And they're shocking themselves into submission because the promise of that reward is greater than reward itself. So it's really challenging. And if you think about the world we live in because I love the example you brought about just removing the app from your phone. It's right now, it's not the promise of, you know, being out on a Hunt and our primitive nature. And all of a sudden, we track miles and miles and miles, and we come across some fruits.

[00:21:22.040] – James
And this might be the only sugar that we find for months. And now we can just go to the grocery store or an app. And there's whole aisle dedicated to refine aspects of sugar. So, you know, the same instinct that kept us alive for hundreds of millions of years around now, the root cause of our, you know, addiction because of this over indulgence. And, you know, a lot of that just comes back to when you think about yourself. Awareness is making sure that you understand that I'm not these thoughts.

[00:21:55.170] – James
I'm the one that observes these thoughts. And when that impulse arises, I've always learned to practice to ask myself, who am I? Who am I? And just by asking yourself, who am I it's like the thought that ends all thoughts because it puts you in this reflection. It's like, I'm not someone that's defined by this habit. I'm not someone that's defined by this experience. I'm the one that observes this and then has the ability. And that's where that choice comes in because 95% of what we do is happening unconsciously.

[00:22:30.380] – James
And that's just because of all the programming in our brain and all the things we talked about that are happening in your body on an unconscious level. But to keep that 5% of choice that we have is so precious. And if we start letting all of these technologies pull our strings and all of these dopamine triggers because the triggers are everywhere. They're absolutely everywhere. You know, we really have to start to look at everything from a very objective level and just remember to observe every thought that we have objectively as much as we can, especially when it comes to our specific addictions, challenges, goals that we're looking to achieve.

[00:23:10.040] – Allan
As I got into that part of the book, I was like, okay, this is getting really stoic. And actually, then you quoted a stoic. So I'm like, okay, I'm in the right room. I'm here. And one of the things that really attracts me to stoicism to Buddhism is this concept of acceptance. And I know Buddhism and stoicism are two different things, but they carry this commonality in my world view is that we need to look at what's going on around us is not defining us. And if we can take that objective step back, which is not easy.

[00:23:55.180] – Allan
But if we can take that step back and say, okay, I'm going to look at this. And then I'm going to decide how to act based on what I know is right based on some virtues and some truth, then we're in a better place. But that takes acceptance that takes knowing what you can control what you can't control. You have to accept it. You have to accept what's there. It's very powerful. It's very hard. And I think anything in life that's really hard, the payoff is huge.

[00:24:29.470] – Allan
But could you talk about the power of acceptance?

[00:24:32.100] – James
Yeah. The power of acceptance is appreciating reality as it is, as it currently stands. And you brought up understanding what we can and can't control. You know, I can't control that I just turned 40 and my body is now in a state of contracting. I can't control that. I can't control what other people might think of me. I can't control the weather. I can't control the fact that I'm going to die someday. I can't control that there's a pandemic. All I really have to control is how I respond to all of these things that are happening to me in my life and looking for the opportunity and all of these because we seem to as a culture love to thrive on the highs and the lows.

[00:25:17.260] – James
You know, it's like, oh, my gosh like, COVID this is the worst thing that's ever happened to us. And it's like, it's going to end. It's going to end. And it's like, now it's back and we're just a Ping pong ball going up and down, up and down, riding the highs and lows. And when you learn to accept everything that happens to you and like, you really start to go with the flow. I know acceptance has been challenging, even for me to practice. It's not easy all the time.

[00:25:42.620] – Speaker 2
But, you know, when I quit drinking, I thought I'm going to quit drinking. I'm already in great shape. I'm just going to become, like, in super shape. My mental capacities are going to be sharp. And then I quit drinking. I got hit with other really hard health concerns, and I wasn't able to exercise for a while. I felt like my body was deteriorating. Doctors couldn't figure out what was going on. And it took about a year for me to stabilize again and to get back into positive routines.

[00:26:14.650] – Speaker 2
But during that time, I took it. As you know, what's happening to me right now is an important experience. It's helping me learn about more about myself. I've been so much in the outer world, participating in life, going to parties. And now this is a chance for me to discover more about my inner world without those blocks around me. And whatever we're going through is a huge opportunity for growth like even Napoleon Hill and thinking grow rich of something to the effect of, you know, with every seed of adversity comes in equal seed of opportunity, the greater adversity, the greater opportunity.

[00:26:53.590] – James
But our mind and our subconscious is going to focus on not what's right, but what's wrong. To reframe that, isn't like a one time event. You really have to practice reframe everything in life. Like my wife and I have this, I wouldn't call it a game. The state of being where, you know, you just don't complain. You don't complain about anything. And if you catch yourself complaining about something that's out of your control or judging another person or experience, you immediately reframe it to what's beautiful in that experience.

[00:27:28.720] – James
Beautiful about that person, because all we have to control is our response to life experiences. And if we learn to do that, it really takes our well being and stabilizes it. You stop looking at everything. This is going to be the best time in my life. The best trip. It's just everything that just is, you know, is getting you closer to celebrating enlightenment. Celebrating enlightenment is appreciating what is with an open, objective mind and heart.

[00:27:59.080] – Allan
I think to do that, the real thing comes down to one another concept you had in the book was self love. We have this voice. And you think you quoted a statistic 80% of the voice in our head is typically negative, and it's talking a lot. Probably more words than you actually use in your mouth, your heads talking to you a lot more. And if most of that is negative, then you're coding in that negative expression. You're coding in that negative response because you're in it and you're struggling unless you mentioned, like, COVID or something goes on with our health.

[00:28:42.010] – Allan
If we're having those negative voices and they're winning the argument because they're louder and they're speaking more often, we're going to really struggle with a lot of these things. And the only way to really come out the other end, in my opinion, is through self love.

[00:28:58.540] – James
Yes, self love is so crucial and needs to be practiced on so many different paradigm. When it comes to self love and that voice, you know, first, is not identifying with that voice. It's creating space between those thoughts. And when you are accepting, start just appreciating reality as it is. And being grateful for what is that voice becomes a lot quieter. It doesn't mean it won't fire up because it's trying to protect you. And all it's doing is sending messages based on what it believes to be true.

[00:29:32.540] – James
All of the experiences it has. If you're a hardcore Nike fan and you see someone in other type of sports gear and judging, like, how could they like under armor? That's not you. That's your unconscious mind being programmed to believe that, right. That's on a material level. But you know, when it comes to self love and self talk, if you grow up in an environment where you were told you're not going to amount to anything and you're worthless and that was programmed to you from a very young age, that's a formative time your mind.

[00:30:07.240] – James
Whenever you're looking to achieve something, it's going to send that trigger up and that thought impulse is going to come up. So sometimes it's things that happen to us that we judge in the material world, sometimes the things that happen in formative times in their lives and the other times, things as adults, where we start questioning ourselves. I don't know if I can do this, you know, and you start looking at what you want to achieve. It's a health and wellness objective, and you're 300 pounds and your goal is to get 190 and, you know, it's day two and you just feel like nothing's happening.

[00:30:44.630] – James
You know, that negative self talk is just going to start firing up. It's like you're always going to be overweight. You're never going to be able to accomplish this. And that's when reprogramming yourself with positive self talk. I think one of the greatest ways to do that is just to develop, I don't want to call it a mantra, I just like to call it like a mission vision statement, which is a reaffirmation of who I am. It's like just something simple that you can write up in a paragraph.

[00:31:13.370] – James
Recite to yourself every morning, every time you're getting down, and every time before you go to bed and create positive self talk within that, because self talk and self love go hand in hand. And just knowing that we're boundless with our potential, what holds us back is the contents of our minds, which aren't necessarily truth, right? They're not truth of our reality. We have the ability to to shape and mold and do that. And that's the beautiful thing about the brain. We reprogram our brain with our mind.

[00:31:46.940] – James
And our brain has plasticity. So it's not hardwired, it's not fixed. So anytime someone says, this is just the way I am, like, Well, that's the way you're choosing to be. We all have the ability to change if you don't believe it, there's this great book called The Boy that was Raised as a dog. Really sad story about a child that had very horrible upbringing was raised by a mentally ill. I think it was his mother's brother, and he was locked in a cage for early part of his life.

[00:32:22.490] – James
And he was raised like he was a dog. And they ended up doing a lot of work with brain plasticity to rewire his thoughts, emotions and behavior. And, you know, after months of going through therapy, he entered kindergarten. There's hope for all of us. We can all overcome. And that's the beauty about what you're doing and what we're doing is just helping people realize that we're not stuck in this fixed route that we believe to be true. It's going to take a little work to build a ramp to get out of there, but we can all do it.

[00:32:55.200] – Allan
Yeah. And I think for me, one of the big steps because I fall into that trap myself a lot. Unfortunately, I try to get out of it, I always find a trigger to figure out when I'm having negative self talk, it typically comes down to a particular word. If I remember thinking, Always, you always do that or you never do that or you can't. There's just these keywords that I really just pay attention. And I know as soon as that word hits my head, what I'm about to say is a false belief.

[00:33:30.780] – Allan
It's a limiting belief. And so it's hard. I'm not going to say any of this is easy because that's the whole concept of know your true self takes that kind of work. And so I'm always looking. When those words come up, I'm like, okay, I've got to stop myself and kind of rethink how I'm going to phrase this because it really just comes down to taking that objective step back, getting your head straight and saying, okay, what is really going on here and stepping into it now one of the ways that I think most of us know if we're going to be successful at getting something positive happening in our lives because we've got to set goals.

[00:34:14.820] – Allan
And I worked in a corporate environment. So we had smart goals. And I've had other folks talking about goals, but your approach was kind of fresh and you're not throwing an acronym at us and saying, here's, process, go do this. But it was just here's the things that make a goal good. Can you kind of talk about goal setting?

[00:34:34.470] – James
Yeah. Because goal setting. The reality is if we want to create change, I think from a top level, we have to make that commitment. We get so caught up in this world into life hacks 30 day challenges, 90 day challenges. If we're looking at something as a challenge, we're not going to achieve any type of long term results. But I like to look at goals holistically. And obviously physical goals are very important to us. Also to even now, social goals, how we're interacting with people who are interacting with and aside from just social as getting together with your friends, maybe over an IPA, then there's also family goals, people that are really in your immediate inner circle.

[00:35:23.400] – James
It might be parents or siblings, and there is sort of your physical, your social and your family goals. But then we all have financial goals, right? That's another paradigm of this. Then we have our career goals and our career goals are usually tied to our financial goals. Then we have our sort of hobbies or talent development. I like to call it. What are the things that we're looking to do that supplements this way? Other passion points that we're looking to engage in because our talents shift and evolve over time.

[00:36:02.040] – James
So how are we nurturing new ones as we age and get older, especially as we enter the second half of our life? It's critically important. And then, you know, on the other side of that physical goal, now you see spiritual goals. So whatever our spiritual goals, is it, you know, spiritual group I belong to? Is it meditation? Is it looking inward more? So you look at that paradigm and what I like to do with some of my clients, I say, okay, let's look at this whole spectrum of goals and start to give yourself a rating in these categories.

[00:36:37.100] – James
Am I proficient? Am I Like a 100% or am I really, really lacking? And just focus on a couple of the categories you're looking to improve and set goals within those categories and try to create balance within that chart that you're firing all those cylinders, because that brings you into almost a holistic well being approach, because I know what fitness stuff, because sometimes fitness goals, since it is an outer expression, can really take over. And sometimes fitness goals need to be tempered by spiritual goals because we're so ready to show off our buffness to the world that we forget that it's our inner world that also matters as well.

[00:37:20.150] – James
Then if we're so much going out so socially all the time, it's like, hey, I've lost touch with how important it is just to make sure I'm talking with my family. And if it's a career goal, I love this career, but I'm going to take the gas off that a little bit. I'm going to focus on this other piece of talent development I have, because this might bring me into a new financial level if I want to change career path down the road. So it's nice just to look at yourself from that total well being.

[00:37:48.160] – Allan
Yeah. The concept that you brought up was very similar to a thing called life audit. And basically you have the criteria that you're going to measure your life by how you're doing today. And I would say when I first started my journey, very successful in my career. I was doing really, really well, far exceeding what I had set as targets for what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. But my personal life and my physical well being, they're crap. Like zeros, you know, like zero. And I was like, until I get balanced across these, I'm not going to be who I need to be.

[00:38:31.060] – Allan
And it meant ending toxic relationships. It meant changing behaviors. And it was a very tough eight years of fighting my way through that change. And it really just came down to me realizing that I was all in on one thing. And while I was exceptional at it, the rest of me was not whole. And until I did something from a more holistic view of my life, I wasn't going to be who I deserve to be. So I do think this is a really important part of the book, because it gives us that opportunity to really focus where we want to put our energies because we have a limited energy back, and we're all focused in one direction.

[00:39:19.290] – Allan
Then we might have success there, but we're going to be lacking.

[00:39:23.580] – James
Yeah. And I love what you said there about it took eight years, because sometimes I think we're under the false belief that we're going to fix everything so quickly and we expect everything to happen so quickly, just the commitment it takes to making that change and the commitment it takes to getting into well being, just making sure that you're focusing on just being a little bit better today than you were yesterday and not getting discouraged if there's a setback and just really appreciating that growth opportunity, because if you look at everything else in nature, you know, nature grows through extreme periods of insular growth, cocoons, rebirth.

[00:40:04.420] – James
And we're an expression of nature ourselves. And sometimes I think we forget that we're releasing energetic layers, finding new energetic currents and to find those currents and to move into those new current is a lot of work. And there's going to be a lot of regrowth along the way. And you're going to be questioning yourself. I know I was in a similar situation. I was in the advertising space for years. I loved my job. I was crushing it, but I just didn't feel right. It wasn't giving me the sense of fulfillment other than the business win other than crushing that at work again, even making the transition to do this, it's a challenge and I think we all just have to make sure that and realize that, you know, we all have the ability to grow.

[00:40:55.440] – James
We all have the ability to develop ourselves and you just got to put in the work.

[00:41:00.940] – Allan
And James, I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:41:11.590] – James
Great question. I think the first one is just appreciate the moment. Whatever that moment is, find the opportunity in it and appreciating that moment, making sure that we're expressing gratitude. You know, when we express gratitude for something great that's happening in our lives, it prolongs that level of contentment for an extended period of time. Even replaying past memories that we've had that are good can bring moments of gratitude to us. Then when things are going bad, if you're ever suffering, you're sick, you're in the hospital. You had a setback, finds gratitude in that moment and it will decrease the length of that suffering that you're having.

[00:41:54.940] – James
Gratitude is a a wonderful tool to help fluctuate and equalize our contentment in life, 1st. 2nd is limit your time on social media. It's like the biggest one. I've been preaching it for years and social media is a brilliant innovation. I don't like to speak poorly about it, but we can't rely on governments or institutions to tell us how much we can use it. We need licenses to drive cars, but we don't need licenses to use social media. But social media can really drastically affect our health.

[00:42:33.240] – James
Emotionally, you start comparing yourself to others, start complaining about what you have. It leads to jealousy. So when you do see something on social media, that's a trigger. Just remember to be grateful for what that person is experiencing. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. You are the experience you're your own being, you're on your own journey. Appreciate there. And I think finally is just actively engage in thought observation. And the more you start to observe your thoughts, the more natural it comes. I mean, I've written know your true self.

[00:43:11.230] – James
I'm still on this journey just like everybody else. You know, we're always on the journey and thought observation becomes easier as you do it when you're just navigating life. But you know, if you have five minutes of downtime, you're waiting for something, just pause and just reflect on what are the thoughts that I've entered my head today so far, where are the thoughts coming from? Like, why am I identifying with these thoughts? And the more you start engaging in that thought observation on a regular basis, the more all of those negative thoughts that surface become a lot quieter and you're going to find a lot more peace just in the space that exists between thoughts and finding that space, which is just such a blissful experience.

[00:43:58.750] – Allan
James, thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate you and the time you spent with us today. If someone wanted to learn more about you and the book, Know Your True Self, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:44:10.280] – James
Yeah. Please go to PTNL.com. PTNL is the name of the company. It's the abbreviation for potential. You can also find me at James Petrossi on LinkedIn. I'm pretty sure I'm the only James Petrossi. If you go to go to PTNL.com, there's also a True self assessment quiz, so feel free. It's free just to take an assessment to see how connected you are with your true self.

[00:44:36.060] – Allan
Great. James, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:44:40.240] – James
Hey, thanks so much. I'm glad I'm 40.

[00:44:42.140] – Allan
So I have some people under 40, we're all-inclusive here.

[00:44:47.980] – James
Cool.


Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rach

[00:44:55.000] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:44:57.080] – Rachel
hey, Allan. That was a really interesting discussion you had, and there's a couple of phrases that stood out to me. But first of all, James' book know Your True Self. Wow. That's a really deep thought that I don't give credit to too often. I don't take the time to really think of what my true self is all about.

[00:45:20.660] – Allan
There's a meme that goes around Facebook a lot in the health and fitness field, and who is causing me to not be able to lose weight or not to get fit? And it's Fred Jones from Scooby Doo cartoon. And he's pulling the mask off of whoever's the villain for this show. And it's him. He's looking at himself. And so many times when we're on a health and fitness journey, or we're trying to get something done. And even in any aspect of our lives, we often find ourselves falling into the same trap over and over again, even though we tell ourselves, Well, I'm not going to do that.

[00:45:59.440] – Allan
We do it.

[00:46:02.640] – Rachel
Yeah. It's just like those Scooby Doo cartoons. It is kind of a repetition of our own sabotage.

[00:46:10.540] – Allan
And so the process that he goes through in the book is really good because it really shows you how you're wired. It shows you why you're wired that way. And then he gives you a lot of great information on how you can start to reverse that trend. And the very first part of it is that point where you realize, okay, I'm doing this because I'm wired to do this. So I have to look for what's happening before it happened. So sometimes that's a post mortem. It's like, why did I eat a whole box of cookies?

[00:46:47.320] – Allan
And you're mad at yourself for doing it. But you sat there and watched your TV show on Netflix, and you ended up eating a whole box of cookies or a whole sleeve of Girl Scout cookies or whatever it is, and you're not happy about it. But here's the thing. If you take some time to do that post mortem, you're going to find, okay, why was I eating? Well, I was bored. Okay, so if it's the feeling of boredom that has you doing these things, then you just want to do that pause.

[00:47:18.820] – Allan
The next time you feel bored, you're clicking around on your phone and your Facebooking and you're watching a Netflix movie and your minds everywhere else. That's probably a dangerous time. And so recognizing where you are right then it's like, oh, I need to get myself a glass of water. I need to go for a walk. I need to do something to distance myself from the action that I'm very likely to do. So for a lot of people, I'll tell them, just don't have cookies in the house.

[00:47:51.080] – Allan
Now, that's sometimes easier said than done. If you've got kids and they're going to have cookies in the house or all these things that you shouldn't eat, that's going to be there. But if at all possible, if that wasn't there and you literally had to get into a car and drive to the supermarket or a convenience store to buy the thing that you wanted to buy, that gives you time, that gives you that gap, that gives you that space. So just kind of having that awareness that there is a trigger to just about everything we do.

[00:48:17.230] – Allan
We are wired like a computer. The program is in there. So once the command comes over, it's going to be executed the same way every time. Unless we do something to rewire the computer.

[00:48:30.700] – Rachel
Well, that was the fascinating thing about what he mentioned was taking the term thought observation to really take a minute to think about what you're feeling. But then he went on to say, to delay your reaction time and kind of a light bulb went off in my head like, okay, I'm craving chocolate, or I'm craving cookies like you mentioned. Think about that thought for a moment. Why are you craving that? What can you do instead? And take a pause. You mentioned in a couple of different ways just to remove yourself from that situation, he suggested for 15 minutes and then make a decision after that.

[00:49:10.220] – Rachel
Do you still want that cookie after 15 minutes or have you moved on? You don't really crave it anymore. And like you've mentioned in the past, having something to do instead, I go for that walk or have that glass of water or something. But we don't often take that minute to really put words and identify the impulse and then figure out what our reactions should really be like. That was kind of a big light bulb moment for me.

[00:49:37.220] – Allan
The way I kind of heard it said in the past was okay, if you're hungry, hunger doesn't go away. If it's an urge, it can't. So you can outweight and urge. So if you have an urge to eat and then say, you've already kind of had your third meal for the day and you're like, okay, I've already sent in my fitness pal. I'm done for the day logging my food and then you feel hungry and you want to go in there and start snacking and you have to ask yourself, is this really hunger or is this something else?

[00:50:14.370] – Allan
And typically, again, if you can distance yourself from the time that could be go for a walk, water, just do something different for a while. If you're still hungry after 20 minutes, 30 minutes, then it was hunger. But if it was just an urge, a lot of times, those just go away. You were in a stressful moment, you were bored, something was going on. And maybe you saw something on Facebook and got triggered. And so now that was your trigger. So if you start sensing those things are happening, the more you can get in front of it, the better.

[00:50:51.550] – Allan
Because post mortems great. You learn from your slip. That's awesome. But you have to act on it. And so the more you can get in front of it are like, why am I walking into the kitchen at 10:00 at night, right? I don't belong in this room after 10:00. All the dishes are done, the floors are clean. This room is off limits for at least the next half hour.

[00:51:13.910] – Rachel
I love it.

[00:51:15.590] – Allan
So you have to question why you're doing what you're doing and you got to get in front of it. And when you do that, then you have an opportunity to get over all the stuff that you're doing. And it's really it's hard. It's hard to take off the gloves and be real with yourself sometimes. But if you love yourself, then you want to know yourself. It's just any relationship that you have that's truly based on love. You want to take the time to get to know that person so you can treat them well all the time.

[00:51:47.600] – Rachel
I'm glad you mentioned that, too, because he mentioned having self love, and he pointed out that over 80% of our voice is negative and that negative voice talks a lot and it talks loudly. And it's really striking to me that it's 80% of our thoughts are so negative towards ourselves, and I think that people we all need to really work hard to turn that around and focus on the more positive things about ourselves.

[00:52:15.920] – Allan
I would say that 80% is probably an average. I know people that their self talk has to be 100% bad, just the way they treat themselves, the way they go through things, the way they talk about themselves, to me, to other people like, you don't like yourself right now. And I didn't either. When I was sitting on the beach and I called myself the fat bastard, and I didn't have self love at that point in my life. I didn't like who I had become, and that was a real wake up call.

[00:52:48.100] – Allan
Unfortunately, it took me eight years to do anything really good about it and get it all kind of in a better place. But that was a real true first recognition that I was not on the path I was meant to be on. And so once you get that going and then you start finding ways to treat yourself better, you start removing toxic things from your life. Toxic relationships, toxic foods, toxic everything. Once you start doing that, you can start the ball rolling in the right direction.

[00:53:19.740] – Rachel
For sure. It breaks my heart. It really just breaks my heart when people think so poorly of themselves, because I think people are amazing. I think all of us has some important thing to do in society, for our friends, for our families.

[00:53:35.740] – Rachel
I think that we need to recognize all the amazing things that we do in. I think I was pregnant with my first child and weighed over 200 lbs during that pregnancy, which is at least 75 lbs more than I should have been weighing at that time in a pregnancy. And when I was done, my baby was born and she was healthy. You know, of course, I was incredibly overweight, but I wasn't comfortable and I wasn't happy with my health at that moment. But I was so proud to be a mom.

[00:54:09.590] – Rachel
That was my first child. She made me a mom. And my mind was occupied on being the best mom I could be. And so I guess it didn't really overshadow my weight situation. I just knew that was something I needed to deal with, and it wasn't easy to lose all that weight, certainly, or to get to where I am even today at 50. But I just wish people could really recognize that even when you're not feeling your absolute best, there is something wonderful about you.

[00:54:38.500] – Allan
Yeah, I know it's hard because there's when you're looking at yourself and thinking about what you don't like about yourself, it just has this big emphasis. It's very easy for you to say, and I don't like that. I don't like that. I wish this was bigger. I wish I was taller. And you can think all those things and feel all those things. A lot of people want a full head of hair. I just gave up on that notion and so you can keep knit picking yourself to death.

[00:55:09.620] – Allan
So it's really a function of saying, okay, I know I bring value to the world. I know I can bring more value to the world. The actions that I'm taking don't define who I am when I can change those actions.

[00:55:24.640] – Rachel
Sure.

[00:55:25.400] – Allan
So taking the time to clean out those old bad habits, rewrite your programming, start doing little bitty things, setting goals and getting something done positive and then just having a gratitude practice where you sit down at times you just think I'm the luckiest human being on Earth.

[00:55:47.180] – Rachel
Absolutely.

[00:55:48.390] – Allan
I've got so many great people in my life. I can't even tell you how thankful I am for everything that's happened to me and happened for me, good and bad. It's just those are life experiences that I carry with me and I've had some wonderful ones.

[00:56:04.080] – Allan
And I think anyone that would sit down and start a gratitude practice would begin to recognize that. That they have these relationships, that they have these experiences and they have this opportunity to have so many more.

[00:56:18.070] – Rachel
Yeah. Absolutely. Our past good, bad and ugly has made us who we are today and we can benefit so much from all of those life experiences and everything that we've learned on the good days just as well as the bad days.

[00:56:34.160] – Allan
Alright. Well, Rachel, I guess with this, we'll call this show a wrap.

[00:56:38.300] – Rachel
Sounds great. Have a good vacation.

[00:56:40.320] – Allan
Thank you.

Patreons

The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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How to customize yourself for better health with Chuck Rose

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In his 50+ years and his mother's 110 years, Chuck Rose has learned a thing or two about health and aging. In the first of his Customize Yourself books, he explains how you can improve your health and live longer through improved nutrition.

Sponsor

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:26.580] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are things?

[00:02:28.940] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:31.220] – Allan
I'm doing all right. We got a lot of rain this weekend, so I wasn't really able to get out and do as much as I wanted to, but I'm getting there.

[00:02:39.470] – Rachel
Good.

[00:02:40.360] – Allan
It is a very rainy time and then I'm getting prepared for my vacation. So I think this episode goes out, I will actually be on that vacation. Really, really close to getting on a plane for that vacation on my way, for sure. So I am going to take a week off and the only work I'm going to do during that week is going to relate to taking care of my clients, existing clients. I've kind of let that roll down a little bit. And so if you're listening to this right now, I'm not taking new clients, and I won't be taking new clients for a little while.

[00:03:17.560] – Allan
But I will be starting back up with the training in October. So look for something coming out in a few weeks. Probably once I get back or get my feet under me. When we're traveling around the US, I'll start putting together when I actually want to come back to work.

[00:03:34.560] – Rachel
Isn't that a nice feeling?

[00:03:36.840] – Allan
And then when Tammy and I get back in October, I'm going to be launching this. I'm also probably, I'm thinking I might start seeing if there's some interest on personal training in person, some small group stuff, maybe in focus here. And then, of course, Tammy is doing the bed and breakfast, so she'll be opening up the bed and breakfast, and I'll be doing these things. So October will be a really busy month for both of us. But I'm going to down shift and really down shift for the first week.

[00:04:11.140] – Allan
I'm just turn the car off, throw the keys away.

[00:04:14.880] – Rachel
That sounds wonderful. You got to do that every now and then. That sounds great.

[00:04:20.220] – Allan
Well, and we missed it. You know, it's like we had scheduled the trip to take the vacation, and then it got canceled. We did go last fall to see family, so we do need to go back. But it was like one of those things, we had the vacation plan. It's like, this really doesn't seem to make sense right now. And then we moved it. And the airline I booked with was a bad airline because they wouldn't even refund the money. They're like, no, you canceled it. Every airline on Earth is giving you a credit.

[00:04:47.980] – Allan
At least give me a credit. And they're like, no, if you're not on the plane, I'm like, Is the plane even flying? Anyway, so this whole other story. But anyway, it was just one of those things where this is timeshare. And every year I build up a week. And one of those it's not a lose it or use it, use it or lose it thing. But it's just one of those where I now have two weeks to use in one year. And I don't know that I'm going to go back twice, so I just need to make sure I use this week and push and see if they'll let me roll my weeks out.

[00:05:19.160] – Allan
We'll see. So this is just a good time for us to go back, get some sun, maybe have a few cocktails, play some volleyball. And this place I'm going is where my whole story started for my health and fitness journey as I was there. And I was really unhappy with my life and my things, and I need to change. And so going back there is going to be kind of interesting again, because it's just that all that stuff is there, the feelings, the emotions and where I come and where I was and how much things have changed over that time, because this is episode 501.

[00:06:00.460] – Allan
So if you'd ask me back, then, do you know at some point in your life, you're gonna do a podcast? Well, actually, podcast didn't exist then, but it's a very different lifestyle than I thought I would have at this point in my life.

[00:06:14.030] – Rachel
Well, Allan, that sounds like a great time to reflect on how far you come. I think it'll be really incredibly rewarding for you to have that time back there.

[00:06:23.560] – Allan
And place some volleyball. And then when I get back, get back, hopefully have some energy then that travels through the Southeast. I'm going to stop everywhere these serve oysters because it's been over a year, almost a year as I've had any oysters. So I'm going to eat all the foods I can't get down here and do it with reckless regard because I'm off, and I'm going to take that break as a detour. And then when I get back, get busy with my businesses and get busy with myself and make the right changes and get back on that highway.

[00:07:01.630] – Allan
And right now, I'm just kind of thinking about what I want to do next. What's the next challenge? What's that next fun thing for me?

[00:07:09.380] – Rachel
Neat. That sounds like a great way to start your vacation. I hope you have the world of fun.

[00:07:14.180] – Allan
How are things going for you?

[00:07:15.990] – Rachel
Good. You know, I was in Hell the other day. Mike and I did a race in Hell, Michigan. The race is called the Run Through Hell. It's been on my wish list for years, and I've just never been able to be in the right place at the right time to participate in this race. So it was a five miler in hell, and it was so it was just a load of fun. We both did really well. Mike got second place in his age group, and I got third place in my age group at that race.

[00:07:49.190] – Rachel
So we ran well in Hell and had a fun time doing it, and we made it through. We're back home now.

[00:07:57.590] – Allan
Well, you know what Winston Churchill said?

[00:08:00.380] – Rachel
What was that?

[00:08:01.020] – Allan
If you find yourself in hell, keep going.

[00:08:03.380] – Rachel
Oh, that's what we did.

[00:08:07.700] – Rachel
Yeah. Perfect.

[00:08:10.110] – Allan
Okay. Well, you ready to have a conversation with Chuck?

[00:08:13.050] – Rachel
Sure.

Interview

[00:09:02.350] – Allan
Hey, Chuck. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:05.380] – Chuck
Hey, Allan. Great to be here. Thank you.

[00:09:45.280] – Allan
So your book, Customize Yourself: Nutrition- And What I learned From 110-Year-Old mother, obviously as a health and fitness guy, I'm intrigued. Someone's on this Earth for 110 years. They're obviously doing something right. And if your mother is 110 years old, that tells me you're right in my sweet spot demographic of probably being in your 40s, 50s, 60s, maybe even older. Yeah, but no, that's cool because you're in terrific health. Your mother is in good health. I think since I wrote the book, I guess she's 111, maybe 112 now.

[00:09:56.520] – Chuck
She will be 111 in August. I may have to change the title of the book, but the book just came out, so she's only 110. So the oldest person in New Jersey now.

[00:10:45.590] – Allan
Okay. Yeah. I was reading some statistics that said they fully expect by the year 2030 for someone to have lived 120 plus years. I know there's one or two I've heard of, but they're fully expecting 100 years old to be something within the realm of possibility for a large number of people. And I actually saw another statistic that said by 2060, they expect there to be over half a million Centurions in the United States. So we are getting older, particularly as a baby Boomer generation is coming through because we had a lot more information about health and welfare and taking care of ourselves.

[00:11:20.690] – Allan
So people are living longer with better medicine, better science, better just to sometimes doing the right thing. But there's a large percentage of us that are not. Obesity and overweight. We're talking astronomical numbers, and that's getting bigger, too, which is kind of frightening. Your book, though, goes through a kind of a process of saying, okay, if I want to reinvent myself, my path is not everybody else's path. I get to choose my own path ergo the title Customize Yourself.

[00:12:05.880] – Chuck
Yes, absolutely. If you look at I actually have a customized yourself fitness book coming out next year, which I've already written the first draft. If you look at why people fail with diets, why people fail with fitness, and you're a trainer, you see it all the time. It's because they are told to stop doing what you're doing with diets. Stop eating what you're eating. You know, you've gained weight. You're eating not a great diet. Stop that. Now eat this. It's such a shock to not only to the system, physically and psychologically, you know, consciously, like, well, maybe I don't love all this food, but unconsciously and subconsciously, there's all sorts of alarm bells going off that you're not even hearing yet because it's such a radical change.

[00:12:34.090] – Chuck
And I think that's the same thing with fitness. You probably will lose a student if they just get scared after one or two sessions because my knees hurt, and I'm afraid to tell this guy that my knees hurt. So if you don't think to say, how do your knees feel when you're on that leg machine, they won't say my knees hurt. So really, it's so critical in the beginning with these changes, or if you're a couch potato just to get up and walk down the street just to walk one block if you're not used to it.

[00:13:05.750] – Chuck
I mean, you and I work out seven days a week. A 1 hour workout for us is probably nothing. For me, I do it every day. I need it. I need it psychologically as much as physically. But to get people, you have to do it gradually. That's why I say to customize yourself approach. And I found that when I was reading and looking for things to educate myself with, everything I found was like either a radical approach or a horrible approach. There was no gradually do this one step at a time thing.

[00:13:37.340] – Chuck
And I think you'll find that you're your best students, your most loyal students are the ones that you break in slowly. I've watched for over 30 years. I'm going to be 69 years old this week. I've been in gyms for 40 years. I have watched in gyms in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Florida. You know, I was a total gym rat until the pandemic hit. I've watched trainers work with first time clients, and what they do usually is the same thing with each first time client, which is absolutely wrong because they're not all the same.

[00:13:59.790] – Chuck
And they literally scare their clients away because they don't say, hey, you're scaring me away, but you can see it in their eyes. Like, I'm not comfortable doing this. And it's like, how do you get comfortable? You have to customize. And so I have this very simple approach that I've been using for myself for 50 years. So I went to look for that approach in books, and I couldn't find it. So that's why I wrote the book.

[00:14:36.190] – Allan
Yeah. I think you see it a lot in the fitness industry. You see it a lot in nutrition, too, but it's just not as visible because someone will come on a website and say, okay, or on Facebook. And they'll say I'm going to change my entire diet, and I'm going to go carnivore, and I want to lose. I know all these guys I see all these success stories of people that went carnivore. And so they're asking, well, is ketchup carnivore? And everybody on the group is like, no. I think what happens is people get excited and they want to do something extreme for themselves, and they want to do it all.

[00:14:56.560] – Allan
And they want to do it all now. And so they kind of run at this with an all or none approach. And there's some of us, like myself, I'm wired for all or none. I'm the kind of guy where I put my head down and just do it. So if I decide that I'm going to do a certain thing, I just do it because that's how I'm wired.

[00:15:26.360] – Allan
Now, I know like you said, a lot of my clients aren't some of them are, but a lot of them are not. So what you're providing with this book and the subsequent books that are going to come out in this area is that this is for the person that wants to have a structure to moderation. So it's not an if for this and get away from that or thing. It's all okay, look at something, make a decision about it intrinsically, and then start walking yourself away from it.

[00:16:00.070] – Chuck
And, you know, I think it's also if you want to be an Olympic athlete, I would say use my approach and take five years to become an Olympic athlete. You're not going to become an Olympic athlete in four weeks. And I think it works for an absolute couch potato. And I think it works for somebody who is a regular into their nutrition or into their fitness and has gone halfway down the road to take the additional steps. Like, I hope it works for them, too. But you're right.

[00:16:29.450] – Chuck
I think if you're going to dive into something, maybe it's an age thing. Maybe I Dove into things when I was younger. I don't know, but I like that I'm skeptical about everything. So I like that gradual approach. I want to feel good with this. I don't want to do anything I'm not going to stick to. I mean, I do 1 minute of yoga a day. Now, I know I should do 1 hour a day, but because of my weight lifting, running, swimming and biking, I can't do 1 hour of yoga a day and still get my work done.

[00:16:38.000] – Chuck
So there will come a day when I do one hour but I want to do it right. That's me. But I still do 1 minute. So I know how good it is.

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[00:16:57.500] – Allan
But that's what I like about your book, because it just kind of has a different feel to it than most of the stuff that's out there, because it goes through and tells you all this bad stuff. Don't eat this stuff. Don't do that stuff. Don't do this. Do this and eat this. And for someone who's coming at it, it's a lot.

[00:16:59.270] – Chuck
You're not going to stick to it.

[00:17:30.980] – Chuck
I quote a few studies in the book and just in general. And I want to compliment you, too, because I've read some of the transcripts of your podcast, and you do a tremendous job getting your point across without using too many numbers. Like earlier in our discussion, you mentioned obesity. I would have immediately jumped on and said the CDC said the obesity rate was 42% in America in 2018, and the New England Journal of Medicine just came out with a study in January saying it's going to be over 50% in 29 out of the 50 States in America.

[00:17:56.450] – Chuck
And you would I had to put a bag over my head to stop. I just would have kept going with statistics. I love the way you get your point across without doing that, because I think some people blur when you do that, I get excited. I'm like you jumping into something new. I want all the numbers. I want all the details. I want to read all the studies, but I think most people are like, stop. You're killing me here. I'm not going to process all this stuff, but I love that you do that in your podcast.

[00:18:00.650] – Chuck
I think that's a great strength. And I forgot what I was going to say because I had to tell you that.

[00:18:33.010] – Allan
Well, I appreciate that. And it is part of saying, okay, each of us has our own individual path. Each of us okay. Do I need to lose some body fat? Do I need to get a little stronger? Could I use more stamina to keep up with my grandkids? We know that for ourselves. And one of the approach you take here, I love the phrase that you use to basically more harm than good foods. And I think most of us know those foods, the foods that are not serving our body.

[00:19:05.420] – Allan
But the thought of going like cold Turkey and you mentioned ice cream, a particular ice cream, and all of that, you would not want to live your life without that ice cream, at least occasionally. And so you've listed some what you call them more harm than good foods, and you actually have a little table. And so there's a kind of where you make a commitment to just making a reduction. I want to go through some of them that you have in there, because I think these are really important.

[00:19:10.130] – Allan
And I think most people will see these as their top not with more harm than good thing.

[00:19:13.400] – Chuck
I got to tell you one more compliment. Before you do this.

[00:19:37.070] – Chuck
You use a great word and I noticed this in your other podcast. The word commitment. That is so much better than saying you need discipline. You need motivation, which are wonderful things. But commitment is such a great word. I just want to thank you for stressing that because we all have commitments to certain things. That's something we all have in common, you know. And I love that. Sorry to interrupt, but go ahead.

[00:19:37.700] – Allan
That's fine. Can you kind of talk through just a little bit quickly the process of the more harm than good foods, the table and how you make a decision on what you're going to do and how you track it? And then, of course, the very end my favorite part is the party.

[00:20:31.540] – Chuck
Yes. I found this simple way of doing this and I discovered it by reading. I went to the Barnes and Noble in Monmouth County, New Jersey, this giant store. I went through the health food. I'd say about 500 books in the health related sections looking for a better way to do this. And I read or skimmed 100 books and the best 100 books, It took me 20 visits, and I couldn't find something as simple as this. It's so simple. A lot of people get turned off when their dietitian or their advisor says, you got to make a list.

[00:20:56.890] – Chuck
You got to weigh your food. You got no, no, it's much simpler. Your list is just foods that, you know, do more harm than good. You can list ten foods. You can list three foods. You can list one food. If you're having ice cream four times a week and you know that's too much, most people would say, look, stop eating ice cream. That would be the best thing you could do. All that animal fat that's not serving your well, it's winding up on your gut. Sugar and fat too much.

[00:21:27.470] – Chuck
Okay, but people won't do that. It's too hard to do. So what you do is you just say, okay, I'm eating ice cream on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I'm going to skip Friday. That's it just one day. And if I get to a Friday and I'm craving ice cream, I know I can have it on Saturday, and I will have it on Saturday. So there's no loss there. So what you do is you just say that one day, one day of ice cream, then on your calendar, whether it's on your wall, on your iphone, on your wrist, wherever your calendar is six months from that date, You write 25% less ice cream. And you do two things when you get to that date, it's really easy.

[00:21:49.280] – Chuck
After the first week, you're not going to miss one day of ice cream. You're going to enjoy those three days even more. But if you stopped eating ice cream, you'd probably be miserable. I know I would. So you get six months down the road. You get to the calendar. It says 25% less ice cream. You do two things. One, you celebrate. It really is something wonderful. That's all you do.

[00:22:13.430] – Chuck
You do nothing else. You don't reduce your bagels, pizza, bacon or French fries. If you just reduce your ice cream by 25%, you really have accomplished a lot. It really will be good for you. And you should celebrate. The second thing you do is you ask yourself a question. Now, I'm going to put this down on my calendar again in six months. 25% less ice cream because I'm going to celebrate again. But I have an option here. It's only an option. You don't have to do it.

[00:22:45.170] – Chuck
Just think about it. I might put down 50% less ice cream. I might cut out one more day of ice cream. I might only have it two days a week. But you don't have to do that. And if your list has more than one item more harm than good. If you have French fries and Donuts on there, you can say or bacon or whatever rolls or I was killing myself with rolls. I had to reduce my roll intake, but I did it slowly, and it worked a few weeks from now after you used to having ice cream, do it again, you can have another party six months after that.

[00:23:06.880] – Chuck
You can be having parties all over the place celebrating your success. And you should. And then you decide whether to reduce it or not. And you'll see this mught work with your fitness clients. You can do that with exercise, too. You can do that with running. You can do that with distance. You can do it with time. You can do it with swimming. You can do it with biking. You can do it with weights on a machine that same flow. Like, I'm just going to do this a little bit, see how it works.

[00:23:32.590] – Chuck
And if nothing hurts a certain amount of time from now, I'll go on to the next level. And that's how you become an Olympic athlete. Or you just stay at that one level. If you've only reduced one harmful food by 25% and you took my book and used it to wrap fish or in your bird cage, it would be great. I'd be happy. I feel like I succeeded. And it's that simple. I couldn't find that anywhere. That's why I put it in the book.

[00:23:39.010] – Allan
Now the first food that you go after in your more harm than good foods is French fries.

[00:23:39.300] – Chuck
Oh, I love free.

[00:23:45.730] – Allan
Let's talk a little bit about why French fries might be first on the list.

[00:24:12.950] – Chuck
I can tell you stories about French fries. I'll try to keep it short because we don't have hours and hours, but when I was a kid, I love French fries. In the winter I had a scheme to get them three or four times a week. In the summer, I could get them five or six times a week because my parents couldn't keep an eye on me. I even went so far as to dip my French fries in ice cream. That's how much I like French fries. And as I got older, I realized that fried foods were really not good for you.

[00:24:45.770] – Chuck
Unconsciously, without knowing I was doing the customize yourself approach, I reduced my intake of French fries. Another thing in just one anecdote here. I spent ten years as a lifeguard on Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, and somehow people would always come up to us for advice. I don't know why 18 19,20 year old kids, adults who would ask us what to do with their lives, but I guess they had nothing better to do in the summer. And we also used to track these teenage girls who were always under 18 and they were too young, but they would fall all over us, and they would want advice, too.

[00:25:21.890] – Chuck
The one line we came up with, which seemed to stick, and I don't know who said it was an anonymous lifeguard was, this was our advice to these girls, stay away from French fries and married guys. That was the best thing we could come up with. That line stuck for some reason. And I find the thing with French fries, if that's your thing, if you're eating French fries four times a week and you just cut out the French fries one day when you get to that six month celebration, think of that's 26 weeks later, that's 26 orders of French fries that you didn't eat.

[00:25:51.400] – Chuck
Think of that mountain of 24 pile that giant hunk of French fries that's not on your gut, that's not on your butt, that's not on your thighs. It's there on the floor because you didn't need it. And you really can celebrate. And then six months later, you'll have another mountain of 26 orders of French fries or you'll have 72 because you went to 50%, which is optional. But I think French fries is a perfect example. I actually cut out all fried food within a few years without any work, without any effort.

[00:26:05.980] – Chuck
But if you tell somebody who's living on fried foods, just stop eating fried foods. I mean, it's good advice, but it won't work. It's just too much of a shock. They won't do it. But let me tell you, the gradual approach works. I've done it, and it's absolutely simple. Anyone can do it.

[00:26:41.600] – Allan
Yeah. Because what ends up happening in this situation is okay. I tell myself, no fried foods whatsoever. And then I go to a family reunion or I go to a football game or I go to something, and invariably I smell it. I see it, I want it. I eat it and then eat more of it. And then the next day I'm back at a fast food restaurant eating more fries, and I'm frying food at home. Healthier, right? Having worked in fast food, I tell you, if you're frying at home, it's probably a healthier, because if you don't want to even look in those Friers at the fast food.

[00:27:11.780] – Chuck
If you fry, this at home, if you really want to prove something, eat a baked potato with dinner and weigh yourself. The next night, eat fried potatoes and weigh yourself. You'll probably notice that you've gained a half a pound or a pound, just the difference of eating a baked potato and eating a fried potato in one day. I think, again, just as a demonstration. I did that once, and I did it twice, and I proved it a couple of times. It really does happen. That extra grease just lays there.

[00:27:13.070] – Chuck
It doesn't go away so fast.

[00:27:41.360] – Allan
Now, one of the other foods that I want to talk to, and that's when we talked about a few times on the podcast. But I really want to send this home. Is that for a lot of people that are against meat eating and particularly for ethical reasons, but they're, I think, more focused on the factory meat. And you consider factory meat one of those more harm than good foods. Can you talk about factory meat and why we should be avoiding it?

[00:28:10.600] – Chuck
Absolutely. Factory meat. Now, I decided to stop eating me 30 years ago, and I talk about in the book how as a kid I craved me. I had to have it twice a day. I couldn't live without it. Once a day was not enough. And somehow I figured it out step by step by step. That all the problems, heart disease, cholesterol, and now all the environmental factors involved. And then I stopped eating meat a long time ago. But what we know about factory meat now, factory meat is toxic.

[00:28:41.580] – Chuck
I mean, if you're going to eat meat, I'm not going to talk to you out of eating meat. What I'm going to say is stick to grass-fed organic meat and in reasonable portions and you'll be fine. But if you're going to eat meat, really avoid factory meat because there are so many, if you look at pre COVID-19, there are several epidemics that have broken out that have come out of meat packing facilities because they're just full of virus and blood and guts and they're really unsafe and unhealthy.

[00:29:27.620] – Chuck
Also, millions of acres of in Central America, South America are just being wiped out for cattle grazing. The methane gas coming out of cow butts and mouths is about 15% of the CO2 problem for climate, and you can go on and on it takes to make 1 pound of beef. Now I learned as a freshman in College to make 1 pound of beef. It took 8 pounds of grain. And I thought, wow, I was also taught in my ecology class that you could feed the world. You could wipe out hunger easily if people ate less meat because it's 8 pounds of grain for 1 pound of beef.

[00:30:00.630] – Chuck
What I didn't know then. It also takes 2000 gallons of water, one gallon of gasoline and all sorts of other resources to make that 1 pound of beef. So at the rate we're going, we will literally kill humanity with beef production in I don't know how many years, but at the rate we're going a couple of decades or 50 or something like that, we really have to cut down to save the planet. Besides saving your heart, your arteries and a few other things. So there's just so many reasons why factory meat, I'm forgetting half of them.

[00:30:13.530] – Chuck
I go through it in the book. I mean, there's just so many reasons why factory meat is so bad, but I'm not completely anti meat. If you're a meat eater, just do it the right way. That's all I'm saying.

[00:30:48.520] – Allan
Yeah, the struggle I have because if I'm going to get meat, I want to get it from a local vendor, local farmer, grass fed grass finished that's what I want. Most of what I eat is that way. The issue I really have with factory meat is that these are not well cared for animals. They're crowded, they're put into little places, and they're fed grains, which is not their natural food. They're fattened up. And if they get sick because they are going to get sick, they don't even wait for them to get sick.

[00:31:17.410] – Allan
They're shot up with antibiotics. They're shooting them with steroids to make the bigger. And just like some of our vegetables, they've bred these animals to basically outgrow their frame to be bigger, heavier fatter than they were ever intended to be as happy animals. So that's just for me, it's the toxicity of the antibiotics and steroids and just unhealthy animals.

[00:31:36.170] – Allan
There's no way I feel that that's giving me the nourishment I need. And what I found is, if I go ahead and pay up for a steak and get a grass fed, grass finished steak, what I am paying, like maybe two to three times more than I would pay for the regular steak and same for hamburger. But what I found is I eat it about two thirds or half less. And so, you know, not to throw a lot of statistics at you there, but you could do the math and basically see, it doesn't really cost you much more to buy a higher quality product.

[00:32:06.930] – Allan
If you can get the nourishment you need by eating less. And so that's how I approach it is I don't eat as much beef or chicken as I used to because I don't need the large portions because I get the nutrition I need from the smaller portions. Therefore, it doesn't cost me any more to eat the way I eat.

[00:32:44.310] – Chuck
I would emphasize what you just said about, do I want to consume these hormones? Do I want to consume these antibiotics? Do I want to consume these steroids? When I eat that factory meat, I'm consuming all that. What is that going to do to me? How long am I going to live consuming all those steroids and antibiotics and hormones? I mean, what's that going to do to my health? The business about what it costs? I would say when you look at what you spend on sugar or liquor or going out to eat, even if you go out to eat a lot, even if you spend a lot of money there.

[00:33:12.420] – Chuck
Now, compare that to what you spend on your mortgage, insurance, car, clothing, children's education. Food is really not that big an expense. If you wind up spending 20% or even 50% more eating healthy, Organics, whatever the benefits far outweigh. And plus, if you're even a couple of pounds thinner, you're gonna spend 50 or $100,000 less on medical bills and the rest of your life. I mean, you really come out way ahead of the game financially. If you just take a few basic steps.

[00:33:15.780] – Allan
It's way better than investing in the stock market, for sure.

[00:33:18.430] – Chuck
Even that. Food is better.

[00:33:25.290] – Allan
Okay. You mentioned it. So let's jump into that. Let's talk about why sugar is one of those more harm than good foods.

[00:33:56.710] – Chuck
Yes. Sugar is just, you know, sort of as a Lark. As I was writing the first draft of the book, I started writing about comparing sugar to cocaine, and I thought, well, I'll just do this for fun. And then I realized I started looking at the pharmacology of sugar and the pharmacology of cocaine and the business of sugar and the business of cocaine. And it became a couple of short chapters in the book because it's amazing when you compare sugar to cocaine, how much they have in common. And the biggest difference, I'll just give you the bottom line.

[00:34:26.890] – Chuck
The biggest difference between sugar and cocaine is sugar is cheap and legal, and cocaine is expensive and illegal, and you really, really should cut down on your sugar. That's the reason why you're overweight. That's the reason why you're buying these expensive food products instead of food. And again, make that distinction. Always try to buy food, not food products. We could talk about labels for a while. If something doesn't have a label, you're better off with it, then you don't have to read the label. But I read a thing today.

[00:35:09.190] – Chuck
I went to USC and I was reading this USC science article, and it said that American diet is made up of 16% sugar. I didn't even know that. I thought it was much lower than that. The average American their diet is 16% sugar. It's really easy to cut that in half, and it will make such a drastic change in your life. You'll be thinner, you'll be more vital, your brain will work better. Everything. If you have cancer, it won't explode as fast. I mean, there's so many reasons to cut down on your sugar, and it's really not that hard to cut it in half, but certainly 16%.

[00:35:09.800] – Chuck
I was shocked when I read that.

[00:35:11.320] – Chuck
I just found that out today.

[00:35:36.400] – Allan
With my clients, when I start working with them and I have them chart their nutrition and we start that conversation. Many of them are just shocked with how much sugar they actually eat because they don't feel like they're eating a lot of sweets. They feel like they're just eating what they've always eaten, regular food. But unfortunately, the food companies, they love making us eat more. They love keeping us addictive.

[00:35:43.290] – Chuck
They make money off it. The more sugar, the more they sell. The people buy the sweet stuff. I put more sugar and they buy the sweeter stuff.

[00:35:51.310] – Allan
Right. And so the best way for someone to know how much sugars in their food, if it's in a box, bag, can or jar, is to read the label.

[00:35:51.750] – Chuck
Absolutely.

[00:36:01.490] – Allan
So talk to us a little bit about reading labels, what we should be looking for, and how now we're getting good stuff versus stuff we don't necessarily want to eat.

[00:36:24.380] – Chuck
Absolutely. I found out the problem with reading labels when I happen to mention to a few people, well just read the label, and people I know with College degrees, we're yelling in my face, how dare you tell me to read a label? I'm a busy person. I don't have time to read labels. Well, you don't have to go in the store and read every label in the store. Just read one label. Each time you go in, pick up something you're going to buy. Just read that label, and I'll make it even easier for you.

[00:36:51.190] – Chuck
Don't read the whole label, don't read anything on the label, but the ingredients. Don't read the endorsements. Don't read how good you'll feel. Don't read how long they've been in business. Just that one little square or rectangle that's white with black printing in it that says ingredients. Just look at that. They'll take you 20 seconds. You will be shocked how much sugars and everything you're buying, and you can easily there's something probably right next to it that as they have the sugar that you'll be just as happy with.

[00:37:21.660] – Chuck
And the most shocking example is this giant supermarket that I go to that should remain nameless because I'm hoping to work with them from the inside. They have built up this huge natural food section, the likes of which few supermarkets, except they're really expensive, like Wegmans they have it. But they have this huge section and they have, like, a whole aisle of box cereals and package cereals. And I started reading the labels on those. I could not find a single item in there that had less than 6% sugar, and most had 8 or 10 percent sugar.

[00:37:48.680] – Chuck
And this is in the Health Food Isle. Cheerios and corn flakes and the other side of the supermarket have less sugar than these so called natural foods. I mean, it's just shocking how much even the natural food industry is packing their stuff with sugar. And they may call it cane sugar. They may call it Brown sugar. They may pull it maltodextrin. There's 1000 names for sugar, and I got 50 of them in the book. I mean, they're just a fructose that you look for corn syrup.

[00:38:07.250] – Chuck
Okay. You know, that's bad. But even the fructose that's in fruit, it's sugar. I mean, you add all that up, it adds to your sugar. It's just shocking how much there is. So if you're a little bit aware of it, you can cut way down on it with very little effort. You can find substitutes that you like that you're happy with, and it really will change your life. I mean, it's such a huge, huge thing.

[00:38:28.010] – Allan
Just swapping one or two things can drop the sugar dramatically. But the only way, you know that is to look at the label and see, because we've lost that capacity to taste a lot of this sugar because we're eating so much of it. And then as a result, it doesn't taste sweet, but there's quite a bit in there.

[00:38:33.680] – Chuck
And you know what? When you cut down on sugar, you'll be amazed other food start tasting better because you can taste them. Your taste buds adjust.

[00:39:10.000] – Allan
Which leads me to my next item on the agenda, vegetables and fish. The two of my favorites. I try to have fish two or three times a week. I have vegetables every single day. They make up most of my dinner plate, and I eat low carb. So a lot of people think, okay, we're all just meat eaters and we don't actually eat healthy foods. It's not true. You can eat healthy any way of eating you want to eat. But I would say that most of us are not getting enough vegetables and fish.

[00:39:49.940] – Chuck
Absolutely. I mean, I hate to admit it, but I hate fish five or six times a week. And the reason I say I hate to admit it because there's a lot of issues with plastic in the ocean now. And I'm working on projects to, you know, help out a little bit. Just do whatever I can. But if you eat organic fish or small fish, I eat sardines once a week, not because I like them, but because they are small fish and the bigger fish, I really try to avoid tuna, although there's a couple of tuna companies that only sell small Tunas, which have less Mercury and chromium and everything else and aluminum and zinc and everything.

[00:40:29.860] – Chuck
If you can eat smaller fish, that's better. Vegetables. Everybody can find vegetables that they love. If you don't love certain vegetables, if certain vegetables don't love you. I mean, I know, for instance, for myself, I have problems digesting cruciferous vegetables, so I found the ones that don't bother me so much. Kale is a phenomenal cruciferous vegetable, but don't eat too much of it. It's like anything else. Don't overdo it. But you really if you play around, if you experiment, if you customize, you can find a mostly plant based diet that you're happier with, then you're mostly not plant based diet pretty easily, and you don't have to go vegan.

[00:41:01.630] – Chuck
You don't have to go all the way, but you can just go a little bit of the way. You're absolutely, you'll feel better. You'll be better. Everything will function better. Everything in your body, down to the molecules will work better because those nutrients are what you really need to function well and be healthy and live a long time. I credit vegetables to my success. I'm going to be 69 years old this week I work out with the Manasquan Beach Lifeguards. They're one of the best lifeguard cruise on the Atlantic Ocean.

[00:41:31.740] – Chuck
These guys are great athletes. They're mostly in their 20s. I can pass the Lifeguard test. I can swim and run fast enough to be a lifeguard. Every summer. They offer me a job there, and I'm thrilled to be offered the job. But most of the people I know my age can't do that. They're overweight. They're stuck on the couch, and a lot of it has to do with they're burdened with sugar. They're burdened with not enough nutrients because they're not eating enough vegetables. It's amazing how good vegetables are for you.

[00:41:36.680] – Chuck
I got them on the cover of my book. There's Vegetables. Can I show the book? Is that okay?

[00:41:36.890] – Allan
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:42:05.170] – Chuck
My two favorites here are bananas and carrots. So if you're stuck on a tropical island or in Panama like you are, you got plenty of bananas. If you're stuck somewhere else, you'll find the carrots. Those are my two favorites. But any vegetable that you like, you can absolutely make your life better with and they'll fill you up. It's better filling yourself up with bananas and carrots than it is filling yourself up with bread and French fries. And I can attest that because I've done it both ways.

[00:42:26.500] – Allan
Yeah, I agree. And it's not again, to customize yourself approach here is not a you must do this or you must do that. It's really a okay, you know the foods that are not serving you and you mentioned one that everybody else would be able of course, you want to eat more of this blueberries. You struggle with blueberries.

[00:43:04.710] – Chuck
Right. So I found blackberries. Now I have been hearing, I think all the news and marketing on blueberries. A lot of that is created by the people who sell and market blueberries, who have convinced you that blueberries is the magic food or super food. A lot of things are called superfood walnuts. Superfood, another superfood. I have an issue with. Walnuts make me vomit most people, and it's a great superfood. Blueberries don't agree with me. But then I found blackberries. Blackberries agree with me just fine. So if there's a great super food that people say, oh, you got to eat this.

[00:43:29.370] – Chuck
Like I just told you to eat bananas and carrots. If those don't agree that those don't work, try something else. You'll find that's why I say the whole customized thing. You'll find stuff that you like. I mean, I gave up on blueberries after trying many times, and then I discovered blackberries by accident. I was at somebody's house, so there was a BlackBerry there, and I said, oh, that works. Now I buy blackberries every week, but I buy organic blackberries. The thing with berries is they really, the pesticides.

[00:43:30.030] – Chuck
Stick to the berries. So I know it's a dollar or two more, but really, if you're going to spend anything on organic food, do it for the berries, the strawberries, the raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, whatever Berry you're into, find one or two you like. And I really urge especially organic there, because the pesticide problem is great with that. But it's the same thing. I've gotten way into nuts and seeds, and as a kid and a young adult, I hardly ever had nuts and seeds. I didn't realize how much I even like them, how good they are for you.

[00:43:59.820] – Chuck
And again, find the nuts and seeds that work for you. Walnuts didn't work for me. So I go to cashews. I go to Pistachios. I go to almonds. I mean, again, customized, find out. Try different things. You'll find stuff that you love. It works like magic.

[00:44:16.440] – Allan
I was very fortunate my mother would fill our Christmas stocking with nuts so that she didn't have to give us as much candy. But I fell in love with Brazil nuts as a kid. And so I'm very much a rabid nut eater.

[00:44:32.960] – Chuck
Selenium, don't go overboard.

[00:44:35.430] – Allan
But I know, but I love them. And so, yeah, I don't go overboard on them. But I do have them from time to time.

[00:44:42.000] – Chuck
And I eat one a week. That's how much selenium. But I could eat ten a day. I mean, they're great.

[00:44:47.940] – Allan
They are great. They are great. So, Chuck, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:45:00.080] – Chuck
Well, you know what? I know you're going to ask me that. So I wrote down a few things. One is what we talked about. It's slow and steady wins the game. It's the gradual approach we really went over that most of these things I know you love to jump into things. I don't want to dissuade you of that. But I have just observed in the gym in life with food, with weight issues, with weight control, that if you take this gradual approach, that's the one I advocate.

[00:45:32.110] – Chuck
And the way I would describe it is think evolution, not revolution. I think that you're going to evolve. A revolution is sexy and dramatic, but you can also get shot between the eyes and it's over like that. But evolution, it really is why we are still here on this planet. So that's what I urge. The other thing I've noticed is I call the book Customize yourself. But I could also call it customized for yourself, because I have run into a lot of people, especially older women in their 40s and 50s, who are having weight issues.

[00:46:08.980] – Chuck
They sort of know that as you get older, your metabolism slows down and you gain weight. And that is the fact. I mean, you really have to. It doesn't take much. You can exercise ten extra minutes a day and not gain that pound a year that you don't even notice as you're getting older past the age of 30. But what I've noticed is a big problem is they'll go home to their mother or their grandmother or their spouse or their group of friends or their roommate or whoever with a different way of eating, and they're like, oh, no, don't do that.

[00:46:39.210] – Chuck
My grandmother taught me how to make this bread or taught me how to make this stew or whatever. It's wrong if you change the way you eat, because our family has proven this is the right way. And there's a lot of people who are like, oh, God, I'll feel guilty if I don't eat my mother's home cooked baked bread or whatever it is. You really have to get over that. You don't have to proselytize. You don't have to tell your mother she can't eat a bread, but you really have to think about it for yourself.

[00:47:06.600] – Chuck
And that's something. I've noticed it. And be grateful for it because you have something that is will help you to get older and be healthy and not just be vital and not deteriorate like everybody else. So I proselytize. You proselytize world how to. But to everybody else, I just don't let somebody lay a guilt trip on you. Like, oh, don't do that because the family doesn't do that or something like that. And the third thing I would say is don't rely on food to make you happy.

[00:47:37.340] – Chuck
A lot of people are literally ingrained with, it's very simple. Everybody's heard this before. Don't live to eat. People live to eat, don't live to eat, eat to live. First time I heard that, it's just a light bulb on off over my head. Well, that's really easy. I can do that. And I find most people live to eat. And if you eat to live a better thing and find other things to be happy. So I'll give you one more thing, and this is a guaranteed way to make be happy.

[00:48:07.870] – Chuck
That's another thing I want to compliment you on,you make a point in wellness that happiness is an important component of that. I have never heard a trainer say that. I have never heard, you know, even nutritionist say that. I think it's so important that you include that in what you teach to your students and what you tell your listeners. Because people do want happiness. It's one of the things that we have in our Constitution, happiness. So I will give you a sure fire way to be happy.

[00:48:36.980] – Chuck
And again, no trainer ever told me this. I guarantee this will make you happy every day. Play with a dog. If you don't have a dog, find a dog, play with your neighbor's dog. Go to a dog park or get a dog. I'm telling you, five minutes playing with a dog. Two minutes playing with a dog a day will make you happy. I just guarantee it. And you can find simple things like that. It is really that simple. Don't make it complicated. Make it simple. So play with a dog is my last one.

[00:49:04.290] – Allan
Yeah. One of my favorite quotes is I aspire to be the guy my dog thinks I am.

[00:49:09.300] – Chuck
Oh, yeah? Or just watch a dog. Look how happy the dog. I watch dogs and I go, Why can't I be that happy? Why can't I jump in the air and do a back flip and roll around on my back and run up to another dog and nip their ear. You can't do that with people because you'll get in trouble, but yeah, I wish I could do that.

[00:49:29.840] – Allan
Chuck, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about your book Customize Yourself Nutrition. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:38.080] – Chuck
You can go to either Amazon. Amazon is where you can buy the book. Just look up Customize Yourself: Nutrition. Or you can go to my website, which is Customizeyourself.org. Very simple. Customizeyourself.org. Either way, you know, you can find your way to me and I'll be happy to be your friend and I hope I can help a little bit.

[00:50:00.470] – Allan
Thank you. You can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/501 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Chuck, thank you so much for being a part of 40+Fitness.

[00:50:11.240] – Chuck
Allan, thank you so much. Anytime. I had a blast, I will do this with you anytime. I am at your service.

[00:50:17.220] – Allan
Okay, well, you got the nutrition book coming out next year, so we'll be in touch.

[00:50:21.680] – Chuck
Okay. Great. Thanks a lot.


Post Show/Recap

Post show wit

[00:50:29.670] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:50:32.210] – Rachel
Allan, oh, my gosh. We have a lot to talk about here. But before we talk about customizing ourselves, which is just brilliant, I got to go back to what you guys said at the beginning about having a half a million Centurions by the year 2060. How is that even going to be possible?

[00:50:52.300] – Allan
It's really just a function of numbers. Okay? It's not that there's going to necessarily be a larger percentage of Centurions than there are today. Just means there's going to be a lot more people. So our population is unless something tragic happens, our population will continue to grow. We're approaching 8 billion people now. By that time, my guess is we'll probably be somewhere in the 9 billion, maybe closer to ten somewhere in that range. So you just added over 20% more people. When you have those more people, then of course, the percentage of whoever's going to make it to 100 goes up.

[00:51:34.160] – Allan
And then the other thing is there's an expectation that technology will extend our life expectancy, some. At one point, our life expectancy was below 45. And then within 100 years, we now have it up to, I think for women is something like 78.8. For men, it's hovering somewhere or just high 77 point something. So you look at it, the average person in general is going to live until they're late 70s. And then you have these statistics is a Bell curve of people that are going to live one standard deviation longer.

[00:52:10.870] – Allan
That's a few years, and two standard deviations and three all the way out. And then those outliers that they live to 100 is just like on the other side of that average of the kids that die at birth. And so the average is really just a function of math to say, okay, if we can keep more kids from dying and making it even to age one, then that shifts the average. But when you start looking at the outliers, it's really if you have more people and the even the number of outliers goes up.

[00:52:42.150] – Allan
So it sounds like a big number, but you can take it and round it. I kind of look at it from a percentage of people 50 million relative to, say, 10 million, 10 billion. You still see it's a very small fraction of people. It's effectively a rounding error, if you will. It sounds terrible, but what it speaks to is when people know there's the potential to live longer because they're fixing the medical care, they're making us live longer. The question isn't, will I make it to 100?

[00:53:19.070] – Allan
It's like, how much am I going to like being 100 in the last ten years of my life? What are those going to be like? So I want to be able to wipe my butt at 105 comment is really me acknowledging that there is a potential for me to live that long. And if I'm going to be here that long, what do I want my life to be like?

[00:53:44.500] – Rachel
That's a good point. I had mentioned to you earlier that I had great grandparents that live until 103 and 104, when they both passed within about a month of each other. And they are like my example of what potential I have to have a long and healthy life because they didn't leave their home. They lived in their home until they were 97 years old, and then they went into assisted living. And I recall my great grandfather used a cane, but I don't recall either of them requiring a wheelchair to get around until maybe later.

[00:54:24.810] – Rachel
But they were both very healthy people until, obviously, until they decided to get some assisted living. I think they were just tired of the upkeep of their farm property at that point. And God bless them, they deserve to relax a little at that point. But, yeah, I've always had that example in my life, and my grandparents did live into their 80s and 90s. So I do have some not quite Centurions, but close. And they all lived very long and very healthy lives. And I think Besides the genetics, their lifestyle kind of rubbed off on me.

[00:55:01.960] – Rachel
So that's probably why I'm as healthy as I am.

[00:55:05.040] – Allan
Yeah. And that's one of the core is that genetics is sort of the blueprint, if you will, for what's possible with your body. If you have the right genetics, then you can be an elite athlete, if you do the training. It doesn't mean you're an elite athlete just because you have the genetics of an elite athlete. So you have to do something to make those genetics matter. And so I like to think of it in terms of the blueprint, and you can decide if you're going to build your house out of steel and wood or whether you're going to build your house out of fluff.

[00:55:41.580] – Allan
And so if we're building our house the right way and we're using good materials, those materials will serve us over those years. The house I'm in right now, I mean in Lula's. This house was originally built over 80 years ago. Now it's been rebuilt over and rebuilt over and everything else. But we tore up the floors here in this particular room, we could see where they had literally just set wood on dirt. And you just don't do that. If you want that house to stand for a long, long time, that's how you do a barn.

[00:56:15.910] – Allan
People build barns, and sometimes they do that. Sometimes they put footings, but a lot of times they'll just let the wood sit on the dirt. And that barn is not going to last more than 20 years. And then it's going to be gone. So the fact that this thing was still standing was huge, and we didn't realize that they started tearing out the wall, and some of the structure was gone. As a result, we saw the house starting to shift. You couldn't open the doors in here.

[00:56:39.740] – Allan
And so when the contractor showed up that day, I'm like, we got to do something, because when you can't open a door, it's an indication that something bad is happening. And so the main contractor got in here. Yeah. We got to shore up these walls to day.

[00:56:54.580] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:56:55.780] – Allan
All over. And that's the whole point. Is the structures there, blueprints there, if you're using quality materials and doing things right, so you're feeding your body the right foods, you're building your body the right way, then you have the capacity to last a lot longer. And for the quality of that lasting to be there. So if this wall had fallen and part of Lula's would have fallen, whole thing wouldn't because a large percentage of it is concrete. But we would have this caved inside the house, and it's kind of the same thing.

[00:57:30.060] – Allan
It's like if you're not taking care of yourself and you have a stroke or a heart attack, you have to have bypass surgery or stents put in all of those things, they're basically making it harder. They're slowing you down or if you fall and break a hip, it's that concept of the healthier you are before you go into something, the better off you're going to be. And so that's where the concept of centers. And the reason I want to bring it, because his mother is now 111.

[00:58:00.490] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:58:04.600] – Allan
I'm gonna listen to her.

[00:58:05.010] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:58:06.640] – Allan
And Chuck has a fitness book coming out. And as soon as his fitness book is out, I'm going to have him back on to talk about that because, yes, I'm absolutely going to listen to people who are living that, you know, we had on Barbara and Margaret a couple of weeks ago who are going into their 70s. And I'm like, yeah, I'm going to listen to them because they're there where I'm going to be. There's an opportunity for us to look into the future and see things we can change now.

[00:58:37.270] – Allan
So we're not dealing with that in the future because we're not going to have a time machine and be able to come back and fix ourselves now. They're not going to come back and sit, say to our 40 year old selves or 50 year old self, please exercise more. Please don't eat that crap.

[00:58:54.460] – Rachel
Yeah, I'm sure as I sit here as a 50 year old, I look back in my youthful days and I think, well, maybe I should not have celebrated with McDonald's after a half marathon because I did, but I don't anymore. But you know what Chuck mentioned or his whole theory about customizing, I think, is so brilliant, because we want the right diet. We want the right exercise regimen. But it's not one thing. There's so many options of diets to follow or different type of exercise modalities to follow.

[00:59:32.600] – Rachel
And you can't just assume that you can put A and B and get to C. You just need to customize it to see whatever suits you.

[00:59:42.600] – Allan
Yeah, we're all different. Chuck is really good. And we talked about this on the episode of Moderation, where he will set a goal for himself to cut back on one of his more harm than good foods and say, instead of eating pizza four days per week, I'm going to only eat it three times a week, and that's 25% decrease in the amount of pizza that he's ordering and eating. He can do that. Me, I would be thinking about that pizza the whole time. I don't do Moderation well.

[01:00:20.950] – Allan
And knowing myself that way, it's like, if I tell myself I can't have pizza, then I'm going to be like, okay, right now, I mean, I live close enough to a pizza place, but my thing was pizza, and that was the thing I want to get rid of. And I lived across the street from my favorite pizza restaurant, and I knew that I could order it. And I love it. It's called Chow here on the island. So if you're ever coming to Bocas Del Toro, make sure you go to Chow.

[01:00:44.160] – Allan
Yes, it's the best pizza on the island and wonderful owners too. But that said, they're open, I think, four days a week. And so they're open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Those are open days right now. And so I said, I'm going to have their pizza every single day and that I can. I'm going to order a pizza every single day. And then I say, okay, well, I'm eating pizza four days a week. I'm like, I'm going to skip one of those days. And so I just decided I'm gonna skip Thursday.

[01:01:13.770] – Allan
I'm going to be thinking about that pizza all day on Thursday. And then what's going to end up happening is I'm probably going to order two pizzas on Friday. That's just my mindset. I was like, oh, I love this pizza. And I'll have some for breakfast, and I'll have some for lunch. Whereas I normally wouldn't have done that. I would have ordered my one pizza, I would have eaten about half of it. And then, yes, for breakfast the next day, I would have eaten the rest of it.

[01:01:35.720] – Allan
But that was just my approach, if I were eating pizza every day. And so it's good that Chow is a good probably about good, let's say 3 miles from 3 and a half, 4 miles from here. So not some place I walk to every day to have pizza. But I only say because everybody is different and the foods that your body is going to naturally love is a little different. But what we do know and you know, is that there are those more harm than good foods.

[01:02:09.050] – Allan
They're the processed meats. They're the fast food. They're the sugar, the french fries. And so find your poison. Find the things that you're eating that you know are not serving you, and then just do a little less of them. And I'm pretty sure when we get to his fitness book, I'm assuming it's going to be a very similar message of just try to do a little more.

[01:02:33.080] – Rachel
I love it.

[01:02:33.860] – Allan
If you're not doing anything now, just try to walk for 15 minutes in the evenings.

[01:02:41.580] – Rachel
I love that idea, because, like you said, if you just take it, well, like he said, slow and steady wins the race. If you just try a few things, like change an unhealthy breakfast. If you have cereal, which you know is laden with sugar and junk, change cereal to maybe oatmeal or to maybe eggs, just take one meal and change it. Or take one afternoon snack and change it to a fruit or a vegetable snack that you wouldn't normally eat. If you just do little things, all accumulates to big results.

[01:03:14.070] – Allan
When I'm talking to a client about we're talking about their food, and there's a food that kind of fits that same category of more harm than good, I usually talk to them in terms of three things, because there's three things you can do. If there's a food which you know is doing you harm, okay, you can eliminate it. So I'm not a moderation person. So for me, that's the clear path for me is just eliminate it, Okay. For a lot of people, that's not something they can do.

[01:03:43.520] – Allan
So we want to reduce it. So that's Chuck method. Where Chuck saying, okay, if you want French fries, and you usually eat them five days per week. Can you cut one of them out? And at least that's a 20% reduction over what you are doing. And you can do that then that's great. So that's reduction. And then the third way is replacement. Okay. And so a lot of folks that will get into keto will use cauliflower as a way to avoid eating potatoes. So they'll make mashed cauliflower.

[01:04:19.090] – Allan
They'll also use cauliflower for the crust of pizza. So they're doing away with a lot of the carbs that would come in their pizza. So using cauliflower, they've effectively reduced or replaced what they were doing before. So it's a replacement. So the three ways are eliminate, reduce or replace.

[01:04:40.140] – Rachel
I love it. Great tips.

[01:04:42.730] – Allan
And a lot of people do that with soda. So they drink regular soda, coke, soft drink, whatever you want to call it.

[01:04:48.760] – Rachel
We call it pop.

[01:04:50.340] – Allan
I think I got all of them. I'll just call them soft drinks for the sake of clarity. Let's say you're used to drinking a soft drink. Maybe it's even just one per day. You have your one soft drink per day and you look at it and it's 39 grams of sugar like, wow, you know, actually, that's a lot. A little twelve ounce can. And you say I'll just replace that with a diet soft drink. That is better, but it's not optimal.

[01:05:22.010] – Allan
And you know that, you know, this is a more harm than good food. His second stage of the customized process is then after you've accomplished that, you've shifted from the regular soft drink to the diet soft drink. The next stage for him would be to look at that again and say, can I make another foray into this? Can I cut back on those? So maybe that's a volume thing rather than just an exchange thing. But finding the way that you can reduce your exposure to something that's doing you harm, it's going to be good.

[01:05:58.720] – Rachel
I love that. He said eat to live and not live to eat. And if you can think of the foods that you choose in terms of how they benefit your overall health and fitness, it sometimes a little easier to get rid of some things. I know that for me, bread doesn't serve me. It doesn't give me any energy. It doesn't give me any building blocks of protein. It's just to me, it's a useless item for me in my diet. So it's easy for me to slip that off.

[01:06:31.080] – Rachel
But I also focus instead I focused on protein because I need that for all of the weight lifting and running that I do, I need to make sure my muscles are healthy and are rebuilding when I push them too much. So it's just different attitude towards what you choose.

[01:06:47.820] – Allan
Well, again, I'll just go back to the concept of there is a genetic blueprint for you, and then you're making decisions about how that blueprint is used. And so the food that you're putting in your mouth are building blocks and they're going to determine how healthy your muscles are, how healthy your bones are, how healthy your ligaments and tendons are, how healthy your brain is. And so if you're not putting the right building materials in there, you are building your body out of fluff.

[01:07:22.900] – Rachel
True, true.

[01:07:24.600] – Allan
And too much of that means that you're going to be building weakness into your frame. Now, you might lift weights and you might run. You might be this tremendous athlete. But if you're still eating Taco Bell and other crap and rebuilding your body with those and every cell in your body dies and is replaced by something else, another cell of the same meat and model. But it's made with what was available at the time. Now you can recycle some of the amino acids and things from that.

[01:07:57.600] – Allan
Some fats from the cells. But in a general sense, we have to keep eating those building materials to replace those cells. And if you're not getting adequate protein, you're not getting adequate nutrition. Calcium, magnesium, all of it. That healthy fats. If you're not getting those things, then now you're building the cell membranes, the cells themselves out of bad stuff. And that's like Lula's wall that was built on the dirt, wood on dirt and it rotted through. And as soon as we took away just some of the support, we could see the damage.

[01:08:35.580] – Allan
And so just any little thing happening to your health and fitness, you're going to be impacted a lot worse than if you had done less harm.

[01:08:45.270] – Rachel
Just one last thing I want to point out real quick is that where you get those nutrients, like the calcium and magnesium and proteins and stuff can totally vary from person to person. And you don't need to be a vegan or vegetarian or paleo or keto or any other named diet. And like Chuck had mentioned, he can't digest cruciferous vegetables or he does not like walnuts. They don't agree with him.

[01:09:11.520] – Allan
or Blueberries.

[01:09:13.283] – Rachel
or Blueberries.

[01:09:14.030] – Allan
Blueberries.

[01:09:15.040] – Rachel
Truth be told, my mom is actually allergic to blueberries. So no matter how much of a super food it is, she can't eat them. But that's exactly my point is that if you choose not to eat meat, fine. Then find those important building blocks in the vegetables and nuts that you choose to eat instead. Or if your body can't digest kale and cruciferous vegetables, then maybe a more meat based diet is appropriate for you. But there's such a diet war out there, and that's what I want to get across is that, like Chuck said, you have to customize it to what your body needs and don't get hung up on one diet or another.

[01:09:55.420] – Rachel
Just choose the right foods that your body needs.

[01:09:58.740] – Allan
Absolutely. Alright. Well, Rachel, with that, I guess we'll go ahead and call it a show and I'll talk to you next week.

[01:10:05.450] – Rachel
Alright, take care, Allan.

[01:10:07.030] – Allan
You too.

[01:10:07.750] – Rachel
Thanks.

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Sponsor

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, I am really glad to have Haka Life Nutrition as a sponsor. Omega-3 is one of the few supplements I take regularly. But even with years of experience and having interviewed hundreds of experts in the health and fitness field, I have struggled to find a great solution, until now.

We all know farm raised meat doesn't give us the right balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6, and that Omega three helps reduce inflammation, which reduces joint pain and is heart healthy. Getting enough omega-3 isn't as straightforward as it should be from the mercury in the fish to poor production controls, it's really hard to find a high quality product that gives you what you're after. That is until GLX3.

Made from green-lipped mussels from New Zealand. This is the only natural source of ETA. I'm not even going to try to pronounce the full name. This version of Omega-3 is particularly effective at reducing inflammation and therefore reducing joint pain. That's why my wife is taking it now. I take it for heart health. Go to Hakalife.com/40plus and use the discount code 40plus to get a buy one get one free deal on your first order which gives you a two-month starter supply. GLX3 is my go to Omega-3 supplement going forward. It can be yours too by going to Hakalife.com/40plus and be sure to use the discount code 40plus for the BOGO deal.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:04:03.840] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are you doing?

[00:04:05.640] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:04:07.440] – Allan
I'm doing OK and I'm feeling pretty good. It's been really, really busy. Trying to get a lot of things done.

[00:04:13.680] – Allan
We're planning a trip back to the states and so looking all that travel and getting all organized and just stuff that's going on, it's like, OK, I got to get all this stuff done and get it done before, you know, this date. Sure, everything's organized and ready because, you know, there's still a lot of moving parts in my life that aren't fully within my control.

[00:04:34.320] – Rachel
Right? Oh, yeah. It's a big trip for you guys coming from down there all the way up here.

[00:04:39.750] – Allan
it is. We're going to fly up and then drive the circuit that includes Pensacola, north northwest Indiana, North Carolina and Miami. And I think there's even a stop in New Orleans in there. Yeah, round trip. I just measured it out. You know, you go and Google Maps and you plot it all out. It's 3500 miles driving.

[00:05:06.000] – Rachel
Oh my.

[00:05:07.290] – Allan
There we're going to do in a little over three weeks.

[00:05:10.290] – Rachel
Oh my goodness. Look at you. Well, it's a good thing you have the time. Maybe you could spread it out a little.

[00:05:16.110] – Allan
I might listen to a podcast.

[00:05:19.620] – Rachel
That would be one of my favorite things to do, that's for sure.

[00:05:23.590] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:05:24.880] – Rachel
Good, enjoying the summer. Got a couple of camp outs planned this month and watching the Olympics. The Olympics have been fun to watch the last two weeks. So, yeah, just enjoying a relaxing time.

[00:05:37.760] – Allan
Yeah, I was sitting there last night. It was so funny because I had signed up for a sling account to try to watch some football. And I thought, OK, you know, I watch the football games on Sling and none of the games that were on that I wanted to watch, you know, and I didn't turn it off. So it kept billing me and I would say, OK, I got to remember to cancel this and I wouldn't do it.

[00:06:00.760] – Allan
And then that's another fifty dollars. So finally, I sat there before this billing cycle, right after this billing cycle because I saw the bill hit, I'm like, that's it. I'm cancelling. But they told me I had one month left. So I'm like, OK, I better get on there and see if there's any movies or shows that I want to watch. And so I got on last night and got the women's volleyball was playing Italy and that's one of my favorite sports, volleyball.

[00:06:25.060] – Allan
So I decided to go ahead and watch them.

[00:06:27.370] – Allan
And fortunately they did take out Italy. But I think this is just a qualifier around. So it's just identifying who's going to be the group that's going to play later on. And I think there's going to be four teams that move on and Italy will still be in that four, along with Russia and the United States, and I forget who the other one is. But right now, they're just working on how the seating of all that's going to work.

[00:06:51.340] – Allan
OK, so, yeah, it's good stuff.

[00:06:53.860] – Rachel
It is. It's fun to watch these athletes in the prime, you know, just doing what they do best. It's been really fun to watch.

[00:07:01.000] – Allan
Some of them are scary good.

[00:07:02.800] – Rachel
Oh, my goodness. They are. World records are dropping everywhere. It's pretty amazing.

[00:07:07.960] – Allan
And then you have Karch Kiraly.

[00:07:10.240] – Allan
For those who don't know who that is. He was a pretty famous volleyball player in his day, playing, playing indoor in college. And then he went outdoors and started playing pro and went to the Olympics a few times.

[00:07:24.310] – Allan
And but he's their coach. I was kind of like, this guy's still out there.

[00:07:27.910] – Allan
You know, he's still in the game, which was really cool.

[00:07:30.640] – Rachel
That's fantastic. It's amazing to see a lot of the coaches are former athletes, in one way, shape or form. And it's incredible to see them still enjoying getting the most out of their sport. It's really fun to watch.

[00:07:43.060] – Allan
All right. Are you ready to have a very fun conversation with Barbara and Margaret?

[00:07:48.620] – Rachel
Sure.

Interview

[00:08:07.450] – Allan
Barbara. Margaret, welcome to the 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:08:10.780] – Barbara
Thank you for having us.

[00:08:12.160] – Margaret
Yes, thank you.

[00:08:13.870] – Allan
The title of your book. And it's kind of one of the things we're talking about before we got on here is like, did you entertain? And absolutely. And just even the title of the book was entertaining, Not Dead Yet. And then the subtitle is Rebooting Your Life After 50. And the concept of that just really hit home for me. I mean, I'm fifty-five years old. I did go through covid this year. It wasn't nearly as bad as it has been for a lot of people, but it was just one of those moments, one of those phrases where you kind of get a little smile on your face and then you realize, well, I'm not.

[00:08:47.140] – Allan
So what's next? And I was really excited to get an opportunity to read your book and then have you on the show so we could have some really good conversations.

[00:08:56.860] – Barbara
Good. Thank you.

[00:08:58.240] – Allan
All right, now. You start out the book, probably the way that I wish a lot of books started out with something just completely actionable, I'm a very actionable cut type of person. I love tips. I love things I can learn from other people. And I can say in the last two years, almost two years now, if you break it down, we've had a lot of reasons to not be optimistic.

[00:09:23.530] – Allan
We've had a lot of reasons to be pessimistic and to look to the future and think, oh, my God, where where is this country going? Where is this world going? What's going to happen next with all of the things that are going on? It's almost like they piled on a little more than they should have, if you will. But in the book, you share some tips for maintaining optimism. And I loved every single one of them.

[00:09:49.540] – Allan
There were at least, I think, a dozen of them. But could you go through some of your favorites and talk about them?

[00:09:55.300] – Barbara
OK, I'll start. And this is Barbara. I think sometimes when we would get down, whether when we were hitting that a big milestone birthday or we are sick or there was another ache or pain as we were aging, it was almost like we talk daily as friends. And also because of our work, it was almost like, stop it. We're so lucky in so many ways. And I think that's one of our biggest things as we need it to remind ourselves of ways things, whether it's people, activities, things that we could be grateful for.

[00:10:31.090] – Barbara
We both had roofs over our head during covid and other times we had food on our table, sometimes too much. We had TV we could watch. We had work that we were very blessed having. We had health care. So we try to do that. And it's Meg's idea to wake up and think about one thing that we like about ourselves, because sometimes we'll say, oh, we don't like our hair today or we don't like our body or whatever it was, again, almost stop it.

[00:11:00.370] – Barbara
There are a lot of good things and we try to reinforce that in each other. Our grown children and other people. We also both like people, we like to socialize. And we're optimistic that we're lucky to have people. We're lucky to have family members. We're lucky to have friends to reach out to for help, to laugh. Laughter is big in both of our lives. So those are a few of the things that I think about being grateful for.

[00:11:31.660] – Margaret
OK, I, I think one of the things we talk about one of our points is to stop worrying about the small stuff, focus again on, hate the cliche, but the glass half full and be appreciative of again, what we have a roof over our head, too many carbs on the table and all the good things. It's more like zeroing in on our assets rather than our deficits, sort of like, you know, taking stock of what we have and appreciating it and then realizing that what goes down will come up.

[00:12:14.620] – Margaret
If one day is tough, the next day is bound to be better. And that's something I learned. It took me many years to learn that. Other ways to stay optimistic, be healthy, exercise, sleep. Learn something new and feel good about it every time I learn something that's related to technology, I feel so fabulous and like I really conquered, such as learning how to work and plug in these earphones. It took some checking on Google and YouTube.

[00:12:52.200] – Margaret
So there are many ways to feel good about yourself and be happy when you wake up in the morning, have a new routine stretch, start new habits, try different things. There's no one grading you. You're not in school anymore. Take some risk.

[00:13:08.010] – Barbara
I think one other thing is that both of us either we're born with it or become through different challenges. We're both resilient. We both faced in our last book, suddenly single after 50, we both experienced the loss of a spouse. Mine was through a divorce. Meg's was through death. And we managed some time from that generation that married very young. We managed to navigate singlehood and build new lives. And we've done that with other parts of our lives, with new friendships.

[00:13:43.230] – Barbara
So that's something we're grateful for, that we have that inner, whatever it is that pushes us forward.

[00:13:52.050] – Allan
Yeah, you touched on a lot of great points, and one of the things you talked about was to be thankful and I think that's probably one of the hardest things to do unless you really take the time to build a gratitude practice. I mean, so many times we sit down and it's just so easy to to look at something and say, well, why did that happen to me, you know, versus well, you know, think about all the good things that happened to me over the course of the last 10, 15, 20 years, you know, meeting my wife, having our family, some of the wonderful trips we took, just kind of looking back at the experiences that I've been able to have, you know, each and every day, it's sometimes it's really hard to slow yourself down and kind of have that conversation.

[00:14:39.400] – Allan
So how, I mean, obviously, as we as we go through and we age, there's life changes and things like that, kids move out of the house, parents move back in the house, kids move back in the house, all the different things that go on. How do you ladies take the time or when you find yourself slipping off that optimism path, what are some things that you do to kind of get yourself back into besides the.

[00:15:06.480] – Allan
I love the upraise, you know, stop it. I don't know if you what I'm pretty sure you watch Bob Newhart back in the day. And yes, I'm old enough to know who Bob Newhart is. But my favorite clip from him and you can actually watch it on YouTube is Stop It. And he's a therapist and a woman comes in there and says she's got this problem and his answer is, stop it. You know, just like that.

[00:15:29.960] – Allan
And she's like, I don't like this therapy. And then he said to stop it, you know? And so but it was just it's hilarious. This hilarious clip. If you go through it, obviously some people have some issues and some mental health things that are going on. But if you're just someone who just occasionally finds yourself being a little negative on things, what are some tips to get us back on that path?

[00:15:52.390] – Barbara
Well, I think, again, having a network of people you can talk to, I mean, you can have your own things like I like to take a walk in my village once or twice a day. I like to garden. I paint when I have the time, but I feel so blessed to have a friendship with Meg. We talk in our book about, oh, there's a book called Friendship, which is just wonderful. And they talk about a big friendship.

[00:16:17.500] – Barbara
We don't just grab our selves as best friend. Meg has a really close friend from childhood. I have other friends, but we have a very honest, authentic friendship where we know we can talk. We know we can be brutally honest about what's going on. We know it's not going to go anywhere. We know how to make each other laugh. You know, even some of that laughter where you're almost peeing in your pants. Laughter. We've had a good time working together.

[00:16:44.320] – Barbara
So I say to people, find a person you like. You don't need a huge network. You need a few people who make you feel good about yourself. I think that's so incredibly important. We're blessed with we have good kids. Do they annoy us? Of course they do at times, but then we laugh about that. So I think that I think that's made a huge difference in our lives. And we've seen, we also have friends and acquaintances who are very negative and not and that's hard sometimes for us to be around.

[00:17:19.360] – Barbara
We know we have to be empathetic and sympathetic, but so we try to do our best with that by sharing. I think that's a big thing.

[00:17:28.670] – Margaret
I was going to say Barbara and I both like to process out loud, hence, you know, I wake up and I'm in a terrible mood and the first thing I do is I pick up the phone and I call. Said, you're not gonna believe what my son said to me today or vice versa, what my daughter asked me to do. And we process it and we talk about it. And then in our heads probably saying to ourselves, stop it.

[00:17:56.870] – Margaret
Or Barbara will say, Meg, what? I talk to you these days. I hear a lot of ugh ughs and you know what's going on and laying it out there with someone you trust is so important. And oftentimes what I'll do is I will get extremely busy. I start thinking of story ideas or I love to play opera. It puts me in a good mood when I play classical music. I have all these little coping skills. And I think you do, too, Barbara.

[00:18:30.710] – Barbara
I do one thing that I greatly admire about Meg, and we share this. I think it's very important to help stroke each other people not send your kid every kid home with a trophy kind of thing or every friend. But Meg does a lot of volunteer work. Its course covid put a damper on that, but she was tutoring children in reading and now she's doing on Zoom, If I'm correct. I've done a lot of work, not of late, but with my college and think getting out of ourselves and thinking about other people, we think that's really, really essential.

[00:19:10.370] – Margaret
Good point.

[00:19:11.210] – Barbara
To again, to be thankful and know that we're incredibly lucky not every single day and not with every single thing. But other people are so much worse. So much. Yeah. And we need to help them. We need to do something about it.

[00:19:26.810] – Margaret
Now, what Barbara saying is really important, I think, and I've told this to friends who are going through a depression or a hard time, do something to get outside yourself. It is so soothing and so nourishing and important. Makes you feel great. The right hormones are released.

[00:19:46.820] – Barbara
We also, we both participated in Zoom's with childhood or high school or different friends from Meg did with her friends from St. Louis. Now that she's in New York, that's been a lot of fun to play. You know, I mean, we've all had zoom pretty good times and maybe some one of my Zoom groups, I think is sort of starting to shut down. But that's been a lot of fun. We've had celebrations online. We've attended Shrivels online of just that constant connecting, knowing there are other people out there.

[00:20:21.830] – Allan
Yeah.

Sponsor
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, you know, the benefit of Omega-3 reduced inflammation, which helps with joint pain and heart health.

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[00:22:35.590] – Allan
You got into that, and I think that's really kind of important. I've seen with my parents, my grandparents and others, as we age, relationships change, obviously. relationships with your children change. Your relationship with your spouse may change.

[00:22:53.770] – Allan
Obviously, your relationship with your parents will change over time. Why is relationship and intimacy so important? And how do we maintain the right relationships and the right level of intimacy in our life as we go through those kind of changes?

[00:23:11.090] – Barbara
I think you have to take almost a constant temperature check. But I'm not talking about daily. But if someone, a friend isn't making you happy, is critical finding fault with you all the time? I'm not talking about people should speak up and be honest and authentic if you hurt their feelings or whatever. But at times not every friendship has to last forever or doesn't have to be in your life on a daily basis or weekly basis. And I think you need to do that.

[00:23:42.910] – Barbara
I think you need, I think our generation has been so eager to be friends with our children more so than our parents generation, that sometimes maybe we haven't parented even our grown children, as we should. Telling them, I don't appreciate if you speak to me that well or can you understand that I don't understand this technology the first time you try to explain it to me, it takes me a bit longer or I'm directionally challenged.

[00:24:16.360] – Barbara
I need help in getting to your new destination. So I think we need to do that with each of our parents. I'll speak for myself with my mother as she aged, and I was very much a caregiver for her and with her a lot of the time. I took on that usual role of becoming the adult and it was very uncomfortable initially, but I knew someone had to do it. So I did it and it didn't. I wasn't always good at it.

[00:24:48.910] – Barbara
And I would sometimes say to Meg, I think I'm really not doing the right thing or the right job. And I'm annoyed with her. I have incredible guilt about that when she would repeat the same thing ten times.

[00:25:02.860] – Margaret
Relationships are as critical as to our lives as oxygen is to keeping us alive. Statistics have shown or studies have shown that loneliness can be the death knell. Having good social interactions can make you live longer. And I've had friends. I talked to someone the other day, lives in Portland. She had moved there from St. Louis who said, I'm new in town. I don't know anyone. I can't make friends at age seventy five. It's impossible. And Barbara and I would have said to her, that's not true.

[00:25:42.370] – Margaret
And read our book and you'll find out how to make these friendships. There are many different kinds of friendships that we address. There are the big friendships like Barbara and I have. There are acquaintances. There are close friends from childhood where you share a history. But again, good chemicals are released in the brain. When you have those close friendships, when you sit down and you can really hang out with these people and be yourself. And how do you find friends?

[00:26:14.830] – Margaret
We list tons of ways you can make and find new friends by joining things, you know, by taking classes and going to an art gallery or standing in the grocery line. Did you meet someone in a grocery line once, Barbara?

[00:26:31.390] – Barbara
I talked to people. I mean, when I was dating during my marathon dating after my divorce, I would look at men's hands to see if they were married or not, see if there was a ring. Not that every man wears a wedding band. And I would look in the cart as a single serve stuffers, frozen spinach or whatever. And I'm sure I talk to people.

[00:26:55.090] – Margaret
Well, you and I talk to everybody we do. I've met since I moved to New York City. I have met more people just sitting on a subway, on a bus, standing next to them on the street corner and working on projects, doing a project did one for the homeless. I tutor kids. Barbara mentioned that. I've met great women who are also tutors, we're part of a team sometimes. But all of that is so important to feeling good.

[00:27:23.710] – Margaret
And a lot of women would say, well, you know, I don't know how to meet a man at this age or a woman at this age. What do we do? How do you meet these people? Barbara, you're the online dating queen, so you talk about that.

[00:27:40.390] – Barbara
I went on a lot of dating sites when I was first divorced. Some people don't. And ironically, after all the dating I did, then I was fixed up with someone who's I call him my beau.

[00:27:53.860] – Barbara
But also I was going to say that it takes time to build a really close friendship. So I would say the new people I've met since I moved to my village, for the most part, I have some good friends where I live, but they're not of the same depth of some of my former friends. So I think you have to accept the fact that not every friend is going to be your bestie.

[00:28:17.410] – Margaret
But how would you define a really good friend?

[00:28:21.130] – Barbara
I would define a good friend as someone who calls you, not just text you and says how are you? That sometimes picks up the phone, wants to see you in person when it's acceptable. Who shares about themselves. Both of us like people where they're sharing, where it's not just us doing will be revealing or whatever. So you know, that I think about a really good friend would be someone, if I move from here, that I would want to keep up with, not just who's been in my life right now on a temporary basis.

[00:28:52.960] – Margaret
But we've also talked about good friends.

[00:28:55.450] – Margaret
They bring you chicken soup. They even feed the chicken soup. If you can get that little spoon in your mouth, they drive you to the colonoscopy is you know, they cook for you. They would drive and pick up your mail or pick up your kids at school.

[00:29:13.360] – Barbara
You pick up or they go and they pick up a friend for you and bring them on the line from kindergarten. It was a baby shower the other day from my older daughter and this friend of mine when she knew she was coming, she said, I'll go pick up Meg so you don't have to come into the city. A wonderful friend is that? And that's one thing about us. We like sharing our friends.

[00:29:38.020] – Margaret
Yes, we do.

[00:29:38.590] – Barbara
Not everybody does.

[00:29:40.450] – Margaret
They also help us celebrate big events in our lives. You know, they're the ones we want with us. And, you know, I have a big birthday coming up. And, you know, they're there when we need them.

[00:29:55.140] – Allan
Yeah, we moved to an island called Bocas del Toro. Islands called is the Colon, but it's a part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. And it's one of the cool things about the people on this island is it's like that village you were talking about. It's like we all know each other. We all hang out together if we need something you quite literally just post it on Facebook and say, hey, any of my friends, are you going to the states?

[00:30:20.520] – Allan
I need to mail a letter. So a friend has to sit and paperwork for Social Security to mail a letter from here to the United States would cost you about 40 to 50 bucks. versus the getting someone on an airplane to carry a letter. You're building it for what? Postage, what, 40, 55, 60 cents now in the United States? So you put postage on an envelope and they carry it to you.

[00:30:41.670] – Allan
They'll do that. If you need something like your something in the United States that you can't get here, it's like, hey, would you mind carrying this in the suitcase? It's not big. Sure, we'll do it. So there's these just these little things that we all do for each other to make our lives on the island better. And yes, it's great. Those relationships mean a lot to me. And so it's yet you have that from out from a structure.

[00:31:03.330] – Allan
And I had Vivian King on a few episodes back and she had a stroke when she was at a benefit and a lot of her friends were there. And if not for her friends, she would not have gotten care as quickly as she did, and she may not have gotten to full recovery. So having those relationships, having all of that in your life is important. Yes, from a practical perspective, yes. From a fun perspective. And then.

[00:31:28.560] – Allan
Absolutely, Margaret, as you said, from a an emotional perspective with the chemicals and everything that comes on from having those close relationships in the time together, something that as a kid, you know, if you started thinking about, well, my parents certainly aren't intimate right now. They're not doing things like that because they're not enjoying themselves. Well, exactly where they were and they still are. And so it's kind of that thing to look forward to is to sit there and say, OK, you can you can think it's not happening or not going to happen, but it's going to happen if you want it to.

[00:32:02.350] – Allan
Obviously, you can you can decide that that ship sailed and just decide it's not going to happen anymore. But for the most part, that's still an important part of your life as you get older. And so making sure that you have the fitness and have the health and to be able to do the things you want to do, because if you're already considering the blue pill guys, you need to talk to your cardiologist because it's probably not what you think it is.

[00:32:25.830] – Allan
It's probably something else. And it's worth looking at your health first and then the blue pill if all else fails. But beyond that, and not necessarily from an intimacy perspective with someone else, how do you continue to find passion in your life as you go through things? Because things that were important to you when you were in your 20s are no longer important to you when you're in your 30s and on and on and on. So as we get older, how do we continue to keep passion in our lives?

[00:32:54.510] – Barbara
Well, I when I move to my new location, I bought a house. It was the first house that I bought on my own as a single female, which is one of the largest groups of home buyers in the country. And this became a passion. And sometimes it's a nightmare because I'm in an older home and I was determined to make it into the house, into the home, a place where my family could come. My friends came. At one point I thought I was renting it in as my friends or wanted to come see where I lived.

[00:33:33.300] – Barbara
I became a gardener, a farmer. I stopped doing that after about eight years because of all the animals eating my vegetables. I hated a lot when I was younger and in college, I went back to that to a weekly class. When I have the time. I love to cook and entertain. The entertaining went out the window during covid but two daughters who are good bakers and they were making holidays so I looked to how they were making bagels.

[00:34:02.130] – Barbara
So I made a bagel. Meg would be cooking. We got a little competitive about some of our cooking, who made the better this or that or inspired each other. So just being curious about different things, we found different passions. I took up pilates when I came here. I'd only done it a little bit. I don't know if that's a passion, but TV became a passion during covid. I mean, literally, I was watching every night. I love is it Frankie and Grace or Grace and Frankie?

[00:34:35.430] – Barbara
And you know, right now, Line of Duty is a British detective that I'm obsessed with. So it's always trying knowing that there's something else to do and to see.

[00:34:48.120] – Margaret
Well, I have a new life in New York City, I moved here twenty two months ago and I am walking everywhere, in St. Louis., you drove everywhere. And this is a passion. I love the walking. I love the energy in the city. One of my passions is working with kids. I immediately started tutoring in East Harlem. I love music. I and my son works for a classical music organization. And I immediately started going to concerts there to fulfill that part of my life that I love.

[00:35:22.380] – Margaret
But there are so many things you can do. People say to us, well, I don't know if I have any passions, how do I find my passion? And we talk about we give a pretty extensive list in the book, ways to tap into that, you know, make a list of all the books you want to read, even the ones you read in high school that you want to re-read. I mean, Barbara, how many times have you read Great Expectations?

[00:35:45.450] – Barbara
About to read it again.

[00:35:46.920] – Margaret
Yeah, OK. You know, trace your roots if you're interested in your ancestry, anybody can do that. Hey, I love the piano. I always want to learn to play it. My mother didn't give me lessons as a kid. Take it up now. You don't like it quit. You shouldn't do anything that makes you feel terrible or stressed. And again, you're not in school. Nobody's grading you on what you're doing. Ramp up your cooking chops.

[00:36:13.110] – Margaret
Start experimenting in the kitchen. Everyone likes to eat. Maybe you have retired and you're not sure what to do with yourself. Set up a consulting business, perhaps you're PR professional, and this is something you can do. There are so many options out there. You can get ideas from where can you get ideas from books, TV stores, newspapers.

[00:36:36.690] – Barbara
I think you need to take sort of a read on yourself what you like. Meg has always said, I hate exercise, but she started pilates during the pandemic for it was for physical therapy. Is that correct?

[00:36:53.250] – Margaret
Well, it started in physical therapy. She allowed me to try those machine things and I was complaining the whole time, but I actually didn't mind it. Somebody asked me how I liked Pilates. I said, the best I can say is I don't hate it. So, yeah, unfortunately, the pandemic put the kibosh on that, but I'll do it again.

[00:37:12.330] – Barbara
Listening to what our friends are doing, what we read in the newspapers, see on TV, just being open and knowing nothing.

[00:37:21.210] – Barbara
I think one of our big lessons now that we is living more in the moment and knowing that everything doesn't have to be forever, we try this class or that class or it doesn't have to be forever. And we get to explore a lot of these ideas. We're very lucky. In the weekly blog, we write life lessons at 50 plus. We sort of like we take it. It's a cliche, but I use it. Nora Ephron, who said, you know, everything is copy of, which is, I think, what her mother told her, which is very true.

[00:37:54.270] – Barbara
We go through something and then we test it out. I have my list of the 15 places I'd like to go before I am dead.

[00:38:03.430] – Margaret
Also, another thing we talk about, this is a great time, if you think about it, because it is perfectly OK to really do nothing. If you want to sit around and listen to NPR in the mornings or your podcast or, you know, put on a daytime soap or just sit on a bench and look around and enjoy the people and the fresh air and the birds that fly by, mostly pigeons in New York City. Why not? Nobody is telling you. You don't have a boss telling you what to do anymore.

[00:38:33.090] – Margaret
You are your own boss now, hopefully, unless you're still working and a lot of us aren't working for someone else or doing what we want, it's a great opportunity.

[00:38:46.650] – Barbara
Very bossy kids who tell you what you should be doing.

[00:38:49.260] – Margaret
Well, our bossy kids. Right, right. They love to tell us what to do.

[00:38:53.310] – Allan
Well, if you're listening to my podcast, you don't need to be sitting down. You can walk and listen to a podcast. So put the podcast on. Put your headphones in. But be careful. Make sure you're watching out for traffic. But yes, go for a walk.

[00:39:05.130] – Margaret
Absolutely.

[00:39:06.540] – Allan
Ladies, you had a topic in your book, the concept in your book that I just I love. It's going to probably be my mantra, one of my mantras going forward for sure. And it is your inner cake baked. And I love that from the perspective of we you know, I talk to my sixteen year old daughter and I told her, I said, by the time you are twenty four, you're not going to recognize yourself relative to who you were.

[00:39:35.940] – Allan
Sixteen and then she was twenty four. And I said by the time you're thirty you're not going to recognize who you were at twenty four as being you. You're just, you're always evolving and maybe those steps take a little bit more than six years later in our lives. I'm not sure I think I do change enough in six years that I look back and say, who was that guy? But, you know, we have this opportunity today to write the next chapter of our book, to write the last chapters of our book.

[00:40:05.670] – Allan
And we can make that change today. And is your inner cake baked? We keep baking the cake until it is. And once we decide the cake is done, we pull it out of the oven and we are who we are. It sets and then that's the cake. Good or bad, burnt or not, that's our cake. And so can you talk just a little bit about that concept from your perspective of inner cake baked?

[00:40:30.900] – Barbara
Well, I thought that after we wrote our last book that the cake was baked. This is the way life was going to be. And I found in town that we were both surprised that different challenges arose a lot. With regard to health. I'm not trying, but fortunately not serious illness, but things that needed to be corrected. So I'm evolving, trying to take better care of myself that because I think I took it for granted that I would always be healthy.

[00:41:01.920] – Barbara
And now I've had some problems. And, you know, I'm not always healthy. I think also aware I'm a little bit more aware, especially of late, of what kind of people I like to be around. So I'm not rushing into some friendships and letting things maybe take a little bit longer before the values. I grew up in a house which was semi religious. I mean, there was a regular temple going but I really didn't feel I knew enough about my religion, something that I wanted to become more observant, but I wanted to know more and become a little bit more spiritual.

[00:41:43.050] – Barbara
So I took two and a half year program on my religion fairly recently and made some actually very good friends. So that's one way I have evolved that I care much more about that than I ever thought I would. It really matters to me.

[00:42:02.700] – Margaret
In my case, losing my husband to cancer meant my whole life changed. And in doing so, I used to have friends who lost a child or a spouse or a parent. And I felt sympathy, of course, but I really didn't understand what they were going through. And I have really changed in how I view loss and my compassion quotient. It is so very different having been there, done that. Our recipes can change. And that's the good news.

[00:42:38.100] – Margaret
We don't have to keep the same recipe. I think we quote in our book, and I actually wrote this down, Daniel Levitin, who wrote successful aging quotes, Lewis Goldberg, who I think is considered the father of scientific concepts of personality. And he says you can improve yourself at any stage and personality traits. They are very pliable and influenced by certain situations. And as we get smarter about certain things, relate to our kids differently, learn how to handle different situations.

[00:43:18.140] – Margaret
I think one of the benefits of aging is we don't stress out about certain things anymore. Would you say, Barbara, we're much more relaxed and if we have a toxic friendship, who needs it? We don't have to continue that friendship where for some reason in the past we thought we did.

[00:43:37.550] – Barbara
May I interrupt?

[00:43:38.780] – Margaret
Yes.

[00:43:44.150] – Barbara
We always interrupt each other.

[00:43:44.150] – Allan
Barbara, you're being very polite by asking if you can.

[00:43:48.390] – Barbara
Yeah, Meg gave me strict instructions not to. No one going to interrupt each other like we can finish each other's sentences. I think we've both become better. And Meg I think maybe was better at this than me. And I've learned from her. We've become better listeners.

[00:44:05.240] – Margaret
Yes. Good point.

[00:44:06.770] – Barbara
And we hold off jumping in. You tell me you have an ailment.

[00:44:11.130] – Barbara
I'm not going to right away tell me what to do or which doctor I'm going to listen to you and then maybe suggest something. Meg said something shortly after her husband died. I said something. Well, I know how you feel. I didn't say exactly like that, thank goodness. But I said it close and she stopped me and she said, no, you don't know how I feel. And she was absolutely one hundred percent right. So I think listening is the way we've evolved.

[00:44:42.500] – Margaret
I think listening is the most important thing you can offer anybody right now. It's the only way we're going to mend some of these crazy differences we have with people and in all areas of our lives and society. And that is a skill we have honed and not just because we interview a lot of people and we report and so forth. This is more listening in our interpersonal relationships and it has really helped us grow closer to friends and family members.

[00:45:15.080] – Barbara
We also try not to make as many assumptions. We're very good because we're writers. We write scripts in our head. In our head, we write them in emails. So-and-so didn't call me back, so they must hate me now or this happened or that happened. We're trying to stop it. I don't think it's something that's going to it doesn't happen easily. Let me say.

[00:45:38.630] – Margaret
OK, Bob Newhart.

[00:45:42.890] – Allan
Yeah. Two years went out, I love that. So Margaret, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:45:54.620] – Margaret
Well, OK, first of all, being mentally fit, you know, as Barbara said, take your temperature, metaphorically speaking, if you're having a really tough time, find a therapist. There are so many different kinds out there and there's no stigma attached to doing so. Barbara and I joke that it's the people who don't get therapy who are the really screwed up ones. And I'm using a good word there. The other thing. I think stay healthy physically, eat well, sleep, get enough sleep.

[00:46:33.400] – Margaret
I'm on an eating well kit now because of reflux problem and I joke with Barbara, I'm literally eating like a bird. And that doesn't mean small portions. It means I'm eating seeds and nuts and it's ridiculous diet. But I want to be healthy. I don't want to live the rest of my life with stomach issues and get a good support system. If you have a good support system, that is a really wonderful thing, which we've alluded to a bunch of times.

[00:47:02.290] – Margaret
Those are my three things.

[00:47:03.520] – Allan
Great. Thank you, Barbara. I'll ask you the same question.

[00:47:07.630] – Barbara
I agree with Meg. I think being active physically, as I said, I take a lot of walks in my village because I love seeing the houses and seeing the gardens and seeing people out. So I've done that. It's been on more streets in this tiny little place I live. I work out with a trainer, especially trying to work on balance. I fell five years ago because of ice and snow. But as we age, our balance is less good.

[00:47:41.290] – Barbara
I saw my mother fall, have major accident. Giving of yourself, I think, is a way which we've talked about already, is really picking up on clues from people when they're a little sad or big sad or reaching. I have a good friend in St. Louis who's a widow, and I, I really try to when after her husband died, I was calling her almost daily, but it was I call her at least once a week or sometimes more.

[00:48:12.855] – Barbara
If I don't hear from her, I call her again because I want her to know that I'm there. I'm not physically there, and I'll give her the time. And then I think both of us also where it is, we're in a new stage where we're learning to take better care of ourselves emotionally in the sense that it's OK if we buy that pair of shoes. It's OK if we spend a little more money on ourselves or in Meg's case, she used to buy the better chocolate.

[00:48:45.900] – Barbara
I think it's important to indulge ourselves a little bit because we don't know.

[00:48:51.250] – Margaret
How much time we have left, right?

[00:48:53.470] – Allan
Yes, always buy the better chocolate.

[00:48:55.780] – Margaret
Absolutely. I can't eat chocolate on this crazy diet and it's I'm like going nuts.

[00:49:01.900] – Allan
OK, let's get that stomach squared away so you can get back to eating some good.

[00:49:06.310] – Margaret
Will you send me some good chocolate from Panama? So they have it there?

[00:49:09.760] – Barbara
Ask her about the brands and she'll tell you.

[00:49:12.700] – Margaret
Oh yeah I am the expert.

[00:49:15.550] – Allan
Awesome. Well ladies, thank you so much. If someone wanted to learn more about the book, Not Dead Yet or learn more about you and your blog, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:26.080] – Margaret
Well, to our website, www.Lifelessonsat50plus.Com. The book is on Amazon. It's on our publisher's website, Broman and Littlefield. It's in libraries. It'll be in all the libraries soon and in independent bookstores. Where else?

[00:49:48.830] – Barbara
Yes, in my town they have another bookstore. These small bookstores are important.

[00:49:56.710] – Margaret
In St. Louis. Left Bank Books in St. Louis. Hopefully.

[00:50:01.750] – Barbara
And our blog comes out. If you sign up, it will land in your email every Friday morning about 7:00 a.m. and we think it's a great way to start the weekend a little early with your cup of coffee or whatever. And some of them are funny, some of them are heartfelt. It's a mix. We have some guest bloggers sometimes come on and talk about an important topic and a lot of variety.

[00:50:30.830] – Margaret
Our blog is a good habit to begin.

[00:50:33.820] – Allan
The book was awesome. I appreciate having both of you on the show. Barbara, Margaret, thank you for being a part of 40 plus fitness.

[00:50:41.060] – Margaret
Thank you. It's great meeting you.

[00:50:43.090] – Barbara
And we may be coming down to visit you.

[00:50:45.220] – Allan
Good, good.

[00:50:46.090] – Margaret
That would be fun. When the weather's freezing here.

[00:50:48.900] – Allan
It's never freezing here.

[00:50:51.670] – Margaret
So jealous. Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:50:58.400] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:50:59.880] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. My goodness, what a fun discussion, but their book title says it all, Not Dead Yet.

[00:51:06.890] – Allan
Yeah, you know, we're going to talk a little bit about how the podcast is made and how I pick guests next week. But that was kind of one of those things. I was scanning through upcoming books on Amazon. And then you see that title in you're like.

[00:51:22.850] – Allan
I can't not have these people on. I got up. I hope they say yes, because that's going to be a fun conversation. And it was.

[00:51:30.770] – Rachel
It sounded like. Yeah. You know, nice ladies.

[00:51:35.150] – Allan
If if if you're in good health, generally good health when you get older, life doesn't get a ton harder.

[00:51:43.310] – Allan
And I think that's one of the things they kind of show, is that they were in reasonably good shape. They take care of themselves.

[00:51:49.430] – Allan
They do what's necessary. You know, they're not going to be out there winning any Olympic medals or anything. But, you know, they're having fun and they've got good relationships in their life. And they're not looking at this as if it's over.

[00:52:03.470] – Allan
You know, the concept of is your inner cake baked is really important because I think so many people think that, well, what I've done where I am, I'm locked in. And I was fifty two years old and I get laid off from a job and I'm like, I'm never going to get back to that income again, you know, it's just not going to happen. I'm not going to I'm not going to be able to invest my effort and energy to get there.

[00:52:30.440] – Allan
And I didn't want to.

[00:52:31.280] – Allan
So I literally used that as the pivot to become, you know, what I'm doing today with the podcast and the training and all of that.

[00:52:38.330] – Allan
And, you know, so just recognizing that you can teach a dog old tricks, can do different things. And if you're not bringing joy in, then, yeah, you're not going to be who you want to be when you're older.

[00:52:54.740] – Rachel
Good point. You know, having just turned 50 myself, I can tell you that I am not the same person today than the person I was when I was 40 or even the person I was when I was 30. You know, so much of my life has changed. Priorities have changed. And I get that pivot that you just had in your life around the same period too. You know, I don't want that old life that I used to have when I was much younger.

[00:53:19.250] – Rachel
And there's a lot available. There's a lot open to me right now, a lot of opportunities right in front of me. And it's I think sometimes we get stuck in that mindset about age. Like, I know fifty sounds old, but it certainly doesn't feel old. And in even sixty I'm looking at sixty think, and that doesn't sound a whole lot older than what I'm doing right now. So, you know, there's just because we hit a certain milestone age doesn't mean life is done or it's stopped or it's over.

[00:53:48.260] – Rachel
You know, there's a lot available to us.

[00:53:50.720] – Allan
Well, sixty is twenty percent more.

[00:53:56.040] – Allan
It's a bigger number.

[00:53:56.960] – Rachel
Yeah, sure.

[00:53:58.610] – Allan
But no, I mean, you know, I think it's one. Yes. Fifteen years ago when life expectancy was in the sixties, sixty mattered. Life expectancy for most people now is well into their seventies other than last year was the first time life expectancy went down since World War Two. And so we do have to kind of look at that and say, OK, what does all this mean? But in a general sense, if you're healthy, if you're taking care of yourself, your fifties can be as good as your forties or 60s can be as good as your forties.

[00:54:34.140] – Allan
Your seventies can be as good as your forties. It's just going to be that you have different priorities. And so maybe you're not pushing yourself to do ultramarathons when you're in your 70s, but you're still going to be a runner. I believe. You're still be doing things that you love. And that's really what this book was all about, is making sure that you have the relationships where you are living a full life. It might be redefined.

[00:55:03.500] – Allan
You might have some health issues that are outside of your scope of control.

[00:55:07.790] – Allan
But if you do, you still have opportunities to introduce gratitude and joy into your life every single day.

[00:55:14.630] – Allan
And if you don't, you're missing the opportunity because you only have so many revolutions around the sun before it is over.

[00:55:22.250] – Allan
And you need to take advantage of every single day you have and live it to the fullest that you possibly can.

[00:55:28.430] – Rachel
That sounds great. And those ladies, Barbara and Margaret, they sound like the best of friends and enjoying time together and with their other friend groups. That sounds like they're really taking advantage of this time.

[00:55:39.800] – Allan
Yeah, they are doing something kind of interesting. They basically it's like they bought a big house as a collective group of ladies and they're all moved in together. And so it's basically a group of women. They all know each other. They know that they're friendly and that they can get along in closed quarters. But they bought it in such a way now that they know that their independence is sort of much assured much longer than if they were living independently.

[00:56:07.750] – Allan
So they're going to be able to have people around them that they know and care about and have those relationships in those conversations every single day without having to go into a home or lose some independence because they just weren't able to do it on their own.

[00:56:25.540] – Allan
Yeah, so just realized sometimes you think outside the box, sometimes you do other things, but your training, your nutrition, your sleep, your stress management and the relationships that you're building and keeping and maintaining and maybe getting rid of some that you need to get rid of, you know, build, build the life that you deserve. Spend the time to make that investment in yourself of time, effort, money, whatever it is to make sure that you're building the life that you need because no one else is going to do it for you.

[00:56:54.940] – Rachel
That's true. Yeah. The best years are right ahead of us, I think.

[00:56:59.230] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:56:59.650] – Allan
Now the best episode is right in front of us. Next week we're going to have Episode five hundred and that's going to be kind of a special episode. You know, I'm going to give a lot of behind the scenes stuff. They're still going to be a lesson. So please come back and listen to it. It's not going to be all about me talking about what Allan did over the last six years. It's going to be a lot of that.

[00:57:21.250] – Allan
Yes. But it's also there's a lesson there's a very important lesson because you don't interview 311 people or books that authors three hundred eleven interviews and learn a few things.

[00:57:33.190] – Allan
And there were things that I thought I knew when I started this journey with this podcast six years ago. And a lot of it was wrong. And now I know things a little bit better. I've learned what works. And so I'm going to share what I call the wellness system.

[00:57:51.610] – Allan
And like I said over and over on this podcast, I love acronyms and lists, but this is going to be an acronym system. So join us next week and we will talk about the seven necessary things in the wellness system.

[00:58:05.650] – Rachel
That sounds great. Can't wait.

[00:58:07.300] – Allan
I'll talk to you next week, then.

[00:58:08.830] – Rachel
Take care.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to savor your way out of emotional eating with Dr. Lynn Rossy

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Emotional eating and binge eating can be very hard to overcome. On this episode of the 40+ Fitness, we talk with Dr. Lynn Rossy and identify some things you can do to change your relationship with food. We dive into her book, Savor Every Bite.

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:04:07.770] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are you doing?

[00:04:09.480] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:04:11.760] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Tammy has scheduled her like an open house party for Lula's on this Tuesday night, as we're recording this. So our Tuesday afternoon from like three to six. So we're going to have a bunch of people coming over the house. So she's got Lula's ready to go. And now it's just making sure that we get the health department check and then, you know, figure out how we're going to take credit cards and set up our online booking.

[00:04:37.630] – Allan
So now it's more that backoffice stuff she's got the front of house ready.

[00:04:43.620] – Rachel
Wow. How exciting. That'll be fun.

[00:04:46.330] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah. So she's had some monthly guests, you know, longer term guests come in and that's giving her some feedback on, you know, this and that. And so we picked up on a few things and found things. You know, it's like if you don't go up there, you don't know, things don't work. And so when they said, you know, the microwave works but it doesn't warm the food. And I was like, OK, well, I would classify that is not working, but basically saying if the light comes on and it twirls around, but it's not heating it up.

[00:05:16.650] – Allan
So we have a new microwave and the blender had to be redone or cleaned, and so, yeah, little tweaks and things like that we had to do up there to just get that a little nicer. And we learned it by having guests, so it was better to do that when we had the longer term guests going, so she'll be ready. We're going to take a trip back to the states in September. And then when we come back, it's like all boy, let's get these guests in here and let's open up.

[00:05:47.340] – Allan
So we'll open up in October as we get everything done. The health check and the credit cards and all of that.

[00:05:55.350] – Rachel
Sweet. That sounds awesome. How very exciting.

[00:05:58.260] – Allan
Yeah, it is.

[00:05:59.400] – Rachel
Good.

[00:06:00.000] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:06:01.410] – Rachel
Good, good. I am exhausted today. Mike and I ran a half marathon yesterday and it was incredibly hot and even more humid and it was all hills. It was probably the trifecta of things that are just my nemesis. So I'm just chilling out today, recovering and resting and hydrating back up again. So I'm exhausted but totally satisfied. It was a wonderful, miserable day.

[00:06:30.550] – Allan
Well, do you feel like maybe you haven't completely gotten your bounce back since you did the Ultra? Because it's only been a few weeks since you did that. And like I said, I took off running every marathon I did. I pretty much didn't do any major training or any major running for about a month after. I go on walks, maybe a little jog here and there, but nothing nothing like trying to throw in a half marathon.

[00:06:55.140] – Rachel
Right. And that's kind of been the case, you know, since the 50 miler. I took a couple of days off of no running at all and then just a couple of miles here and there. So I've kind of ramped up slowly again. I did a ten miler, I think, a week or two ago, I think it was. And then this would be my first 13 miler after the 50. And so, yeah, I'm pretty sure that I'm probably still rebounding from that.

[00:07:23.070] – Rachel
And but I hadn't had any formal training. I just will go run when I feel good enough to go run, which is a lot because I run a lot, but I keep my miles short, easy. I just don't go out with any specific goal just to let the run come to me. So this was actually my first real big race since the 50 and long race, I guess since the 50 and for sure. But also I think we had probably think it was about in the eighties and the humidity was it's thick.

[00:07:54.750] – Rachel
It was like fog. It was like breathing fog. So it was just a miserable day. And then to add Hills on to that, it just made it all the more challenging. So, yeah, a little bit of both, I think tough, tough conditions, but also rebounding from the fifty.

[00:08:10.890] – Rachel
But yeah, still great.

[00:08:13.020] – Allan
Hydrate. Hydrate.

[00:08:14.160] – Rachel
Yes, yeah. I am just drinking tons of water and electrolytes as well. Just keeping it going.

[00:08:20.520] – Allan
Yeah. All right. So you want to get into the episode with Dr. Rossi.

[00:08:25.530] – Rachel
Yes, this will be great.

Interview

Text – https://amzn.to/3f7ytKu

[00:08:50.310] – Allan
Dr. Rossy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:53.220] – Dr. Rossy
Thanks, Allan. Thanks for having me.

[00:08:55.380] – Allan
Now I have a Facebook Group for the podcast, and it's a really awesome group. And occasionally I will reach out and just message someone that's new to the group or someone that's been around for a while. And I'll say, hey, what's something that you want us to talk about? What's something you want me to cover? And the topic of emotional eating, binge eating came up. And so I was really happy to see your book called Savor Every Bite: Mindful Ways to Eat, Love Your Body and Live with Joy.

[00:09:26.790] – Allan
And so I'm just really excited to be able to have this conversation with you, because I think this is a topic that doesn't get talked about enough. Most of the books that are out there for health and fitness are eat less, move more. You know, here's a diet. Try this one. Try that one. Try this one. Try that one. And it doesn't really get to the real crux of what's going on is this is not about our food choices.

[00:09:52.980] – Allan
This is not about any of that. This is in our head. This is a mindset thing. And it is something that isn't won over by reading a book or trying a diet.

[00:10:05.390] – Dr. Rossy
Right, I agree with that, I'm definitely not trying a diet. Well, we know that 80 to 90 percent of diets fail. OK, that's a big number, right? It might work in the short term, sure, but in the long term, you're not going to get the kind of changes that you want. You're not going to stay with a diet because it's not really going to fit into your lifestyle. It's not going to be sustainable long term.

[00:10:32.700] – Dr. Rossy
And so I teach mindful eating. Mindful eating, it teaches you how to listen to your own internal signals about when to eat, why you're eating, how much to eat, when to stop. And we've really lost touch with those internal signals by putting all of our focus outside and hoping somebody else will give you the answer. We'll tell you what to do. We'll give you the magic pill, you know, and it isn't out there, right?

[00:11:03.300] – Dr. Rossy
I mean, the diet industry is making billions of dollars on people that keep looking outside of themselves for a way of coming into balance with their bodies in a way that's both nurturing and pleasurable and healthful and, you know, and creates well-being for you. It's all really inside you if you learn how to pay attention in a particular way, which is in the present without judgment and constantly just coming back to what's going on right now, that's a skill.

[00:11:41.580] – Dr. Rossy
That's mindfulness. That's a skill that can be learned. And it's really helpful to have somebody teach you that. It's you can't read a book and go, oh, yeah, I'm going to practice that now. I've been practicing for many, many, many years. And I practice it every day because it's not something you just say, well, I've done that. Now I go on to the next thing. It's a part of your life. Mindfulness becomes a part of your life, a way of living, a way of being so that you're constantly being aware of, for instance, what you mentioned, the emotions that are arising.

[00:12:14.790] – Dr. Rossy
So when I teach people mindful eating, I don't just teach them how to pick up a fork and take a bite of food and put it in their mouth and taste it. But I really approach the whole person who shows up at the dinner table. The whole person that shows up at the dinner table has emotions like being overwhelmed, stressed, bored, happy, sad, angry, you name it. I mean, we all have these emotions because we're human.

[00:12:41.940] – Dr. Rossy
And oftentimes people that come to my classes say that they engage in a lot of emotional eating. And those emotions then can lead to binge eating. Right. And more serious issues that people can have around food in their bodies. So why are we reaching for food when we're sad?

[00:13:02.460] – Allan
Well, that's one of the interesting things, because I spend a lot of time talking to experts like yourself. And some of the experts will talk about, you know, what our ancestors would have eaten or how they would have lived their lives. And so we know they wouldn't have had couches and chairs and wouldn't be watching Netflix. We know that if they wanted to go for binge eating, it's not the binge eating we're doing today. We have over time gotten to a point where we celebrate food, we celebrate with food So, pretty much name a holiday that you celebrate and there's going to be a food that's almost immediately hit your head.

[00:13:42.660] – Dr. Rossy
And that's fine. Right. So it's great to celebrate with food. I love to celebrate with food. I love to celebrate holidays with food. The thing is, it's like people see these times as a time to binge. Here's a deal. I celebrate with food every day. I don't have to wait to a holiday to celebrate with food. I celebrate. I just celebrated lunch, right? I made some guacamole. I had some blue corn chips.

[00:14:11.580] – Dr. Rossy
I had some fresh tomatoes from somebody's garden. That's a friend of mine. And I sat down and savored like it was a holiday because, hey, every meal that we have can be a pleasurable experience. And if we know we can have the food that we want whenever we want it, we don't have to have it all now. What we live in is a culture that is taught us to deprive ourselves. You know, it's that binge depravation cycle, our diet depravations, binge diet cycle that we get in so that if you're given permission to eat because it's a holiday, boy, I better just eat it all now because I'm not going to be able to do it afterwards.

[00:14:57.180] – Dr. Rossy
And so we've developed this really unhealthy relationship both with ourselves, our bodies and with holidays. You know, it's really a shame. It's like, well, first of all, why wait till a holiday to have some great food? But second, why then ruin the holiday with this overeating and binge eating and then feeling bad about it, when you can just simply enjoy it, you might eat a little bit more at a holiday. I might do that, but it's OK because during the rest of the year I'm not doing that.

[00:15:26.700] – Dr. Rossy
And I'm not waiting until the holiday to enjoy and celebrate with food. I mean, it's it's a way that we get together and have community and we've lost the real kind of essence of that activity by making it too much about food and not about the experience altogether, the connection with friends and the sharing of meals and sharing of love. It's become it's gotten a little distorted.

[00:15:54.150] – Allan
Yeah. I guess the challenge and this comes up all the time, particularly with sugar, but with other foods as well, is that. It's very similar to other addictions, like alcohol or drugs or things like that, because we're eating our feelings where there's an emotional response and then there's a food and then there's a guilt response, food. But we have to eat. It's not like I could say, OK, you know, I'm never going to drink another beer in my life.

[00:16:25.010] – Allan
And I could, you know, get into a program, figure that out, get through the mindset of it, get through all of that and just abstain for the rest of my life. But, yeah, there's a vending machine probably within 100 meters of you, almost every moment of your of your day. Whether It's your pantry, your freezer or at work a break room or just walking around any public building the opportunities for you to have access to foods that you really know are not serving you.

[00:16:57.340] – Allan
And but should they call to you because they're generating this desire based on how they've been set up to taste and crunch and salt and sweet and and so they've figured out what we need and so it becomes almost addictive.

[00:17:13.780] – Dr. Rossy
Yeah, so food is everywhere, without a doubt, food is everywhere. Everywhere you turn. So one of the things that we've discovered in mindful eating is that when people engage in mindfulness and increase their ability to be present without judgment and with kindness and compassion, that their preferences change for food because they're finally tasting their food, right. I have people who I talk about the basics of mindful eating in my book, which is a way of kind of bringing mindfulness to the table.

[00:17:47.110] – Dr. Rossy
And a part of that is really tasting, you know, really tasting and slowing down and savoring your food. And when you do that, you will begin to notice things about your food that you hadn't noticed before, because most of us are multitasking when we're eating. We're no tasting. We're not really even savor. Savoring requires two things. One, that you're present for it. And two, that you're actually experiencing it and noticing the pleasant sensations, a lot of food.

[00:18:17.200] – Dr. Rossy
So people come back to my class after one week of practicing. And I have people tell me I don't even like what I eat. Nothing. I think people say I don't like anything I eat. I just hadn't noticed before. I know when I first started into mindfulness, I was a big Diet Coke drinker. Loved my Diet Coke. Well, I used to do a lot of things right. I've done the drugs and I've done all of that stuff.

[00:18:40.540] – Dr. Rossy
And as I've grown in my path of mindfulness, the last thing to go kind of was the Diet Coke, because I didn't want to give up Diet Coke. I wasn't trying to give up Diet Coke, but I was on a long meditation retreat. I was about seven days, nine days. I was in silence doing meditation and walking and eating. There was no Diet Coke there, so I didn't have it for nine days. As soon as I got out of the retreat, I tasted it for the first time and I couldn't believe it.

[00:19:13.480] – Dr. Rossy
I thought, that's really bad. That doesn't even taste good. Why am I drinking this? And so I haven't really wanted it since, but I had not been able to taste it. And so our taste buds really do get accommodated to a lot of chemicals, a lot of preservatives, a lot of sugar. And when you. But while I was away from it for just nine days and I came back and I was astounded at how my taste buds began to wake up and to really go, well, that doesn't even seem good.

[00:19:48.670] – Dr. Rossy
Or maybe it takes a few extra weeks for some people. But undoubtedly by week seven or eight, I have a ten week class and people come back and go, I thought, I like this and I'm kind of grieving that I don't like it anymore because it has been such a friend. But they discover new ways of eating. So mindfulness helps us to really taste, to really be present. Mindfulness also helps us how to be with difficult emotions.

[00:20:19.420] – Dr. Rossy
So I think the number one thing mindfulness does for us is teaches us how to be with difficult emotions without needing to turn to food, alcohol, shopping over or doing whatever it is you overdo it. I just named my favorite, you know. I mean, but but you don't have to do that. Mindfulness gives you an alternative and it teaches you how to be with emotions without doing anything. It's like emotions don't need to be fixed. Who knew? Right.

[00:20:53.800] – Dr. Rossy
Emotions are actually there to tell you something, to teach you something as part of the human experience of being alive. So when you lose somebody, you grieve. That's important. You need to feel that. When you get hurt by somebody, you need to feel that. You need to explore that. You need to like, let that move through your body and your heart and your mind and accept it and acknowledge it. And then it passes through. We've not been taught.

[00:21:24.490] – Dr. Rossy
You know, I like to quote I like to quote Doctor Mister Rogers from Mister Rogers neighborhood, which may date me or many others, but Mr. Rogers had this great show on television for kids teaching them how to deal with everyday circumstances. I think when President Kennedy got shot, he talked about death with them, with kids. You know, I like how to process what was going on in the world. And we don't do that very often.

[00:21:53.740] – Dr. Rossy
We try to protect people. We protect children. And so they grow into adults that have not learned how to process their emotions or be resilient with their emotions. And then they turn to other things or to help make them feel better. That might temporarily work, but then in the long term, creates a problem all of its own. Emotions are mentionable, they're manageable and they're natural and mindfulness, it take some work, right, it's not like it's going to just be easy, but it does work.

[00:22:24.970] – Dr. Rossy
If you practice it and you learn to go, OK, this is what wants to be here right now. This is anger. This is sadness. And you label it. Most people don't know how to label their emotions. And we know from research that when you can label your emotion accurately and really just stop. It just takes a second to stop and go, well, what am I feeling right now? You know, instead of reaching for the Snickers bar, what am I feeling right now?

[00:22:52.000] – Dr. Rossy
I'm feeling disappointed. Ah, I'm feeling frustrated. And automatically, if you get the emotion right, you'll begin to feel a little bit of relief because somebody heard you. It's why we go to therapy. Right? I'm now a psychologist. You know, people come to therapy because they want somebody to hear how they feel and we can do that for ourselves.

[00:23:16.310] – Allan
Now, I want to back up just a little bit, we will get back into the emotions and feelings, because I do feel that you got to get to, if you're going to solve a problem, you've got to get to the root. And so we will get there. But back to the mindful eating and, you know, being friends with food, I think what mindful eating does for me or did for me was it gave me the opportunity to pick better friends to be around.

[00:23:40.190] – Allan
And then you have the acronym and I'm coming from a corporate background for years, so I just love acronyms. I've fallen in love with acronyms and lists, but you put those in a book and you've got me. And so you have this acronym called BASIX, which is basically an approach for how we can do mindful eating. Can you quickly walk us through what BASICS stands for?

[00:24:04.550] – Dr. Rossy
Yeah, absolutely. So basically we start with a B, so B stands for Breathe and Belly Check. It's important to do both. So let's take a deep breath right now. Maybe even take two. So when you take a deep breath, you're activating your parasympathetic nervous system. OK, there's two parts to your nervous system, sympathetic, parasympathetic. Sympathetic nervous system is your fight or flight response. It's what's happening when you're stressed. And there's a lot of stress haters out there.

[00:24:42.340] – Dr. Rossy
Right. So you want to breathe. You want to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your rest and digest response. So if you're eating with when you're stressed, your body's not even prepared to take in food, your stomach isn't really activated. It's shut down so that you can fight or flee. Right. And so you want to take a few deep breaths. When you do that, you begin to relax. The body begins to kick in the stomach and the processes that will be needed to digest food and then belly check.

[00:25:16.930] – Dr. Rossy
Are you hungry? Are you physically hungry? If you're hungry, what is it that you'd like to eat? What would satisfy you right now? Take a moment to kind of think about that. If you're not physically hungry, explore what's going on. Because if you're not physically hungry, food is probably not the answer. So there's something else, maybe you're stressed, maybe you're bored, maybe you're wanting to take a break or whatever. And this habit is to reach for food. If you're not physically hungry,

[00:25:46.990] – Dr. Rossy
Think about what's happening and how better you can approach what's happening with something besides food, OK, on a general basis, I mean, there's going to be times we eat when we're not physically hungry. That's OK. It's not a rule. But in general, the body wants to be fed when it's hungry, not so much when it's not hungry. And then pick what you want, pick what you think is going to satisfy your taste. But allow yourself to have whatever it is that you want in the moment and then assess it.

[00:26:15.910] – Dr. Rossy
A stands for assess your food. What does it look like? What does it smell like? Where did it come from? Is it really highly processed or is it less processed? Not to be judgmental because when there's no good or bad food, but we want to be aware, we want to be conscious of what we're putting into our bodies. So we're making a conscious choice about what that is. Does it look appealing? Does it look like, oh, yum, I want that. Or, oh, yuck. I'm so sick of that. Assess your food

[00:26:44.680] – Dr. Rossy
and then S stands for Slow Down. In my many years of teaching mindful eating, I ask this all the time and about three fourths, three quarters of us eat too fast, which means that you've eaten, you're finished with the meal you're going on to the next day and you've not even registered hunger. You don't remember what you had to eat twenty minutes from from the time that you ate.

[00:27:08.620] – Dr. Rossy
And so you really want to slow down and savor. You want to put your fork down in between bites. You want to chew thoroughly, which is another one of the basics. You really want to take your time, because when you do, the body can begin to register fullness. If you eat too fast, your body doesn't have time to register that it's getting full. And that's the signal to stop eating. Not when the plate is clean, but when there's no more food anywhere in the environment. But when your body has had enough it will tell you it takes about twenty minutes to register that.

[00:27:43.390] – Dr. Rossy
And then I stands for investigate your hunger throughout the meal. So particularly halfway through I ask people to stop. Because sometimes we can start slow and then start speeding up and I'm like OK, stop halfway through, check in with your belly and see are you still hungry? How hungry are you, how satisfied are you with this food? And just do kind of a brief check in to notice what's happening as you're eating and really paying attention and being guided by those satiety signals as when to stop eating.

[00:28:17.860] – Dr. Rossy
And then C stands for chew food thoroughly. I love this one. Chewing is one of the most important things that we do when we eat. And a lot of us just take a couple of bites, gulp it down. Right. And so taking your time and chewing each bite until it's broken down will keep you from having a stomach ache. Number one, because your stomach doesn't have deep. Right? So when you chew thoroughly, your stomach is not going to have to work as hard.

[00:28:45.310] – Dr. Rossy
And I've heard of people really overcoming digestion issues just with this part of the basics. And also when you're chewing food thoroughly, you're sending signals to the brain that you're eating and that you're going to become start feeling full soon. It's great for your teeth health. It's also great and this is, I think my most important point on chewing is that when we chew thoroughly, the food is being partnered with the saliva in the mouth. It's being taken into the body as nutrition.

[00:29:19.210] – Dr. Rossy
Right. And guess what? When the body's been nutritionally fed it. Tells you it's had enough, so that's why when we eat more highly processed foods, the body isn't getting as much nutrition some of the time. And so it's not feeling like it's been fed. And that's why we want more food. If you can eat a whole meal and if you haven't eaten a meal that has any nutrition in it because there's some food that's pretty empty, then the body is probably going to tell you, I'm sorry, I'm still hungry.

[00:29:51.080] – Dr. Rossy
I don't care how much food you put into my my belly, I don't feel like I've been fed in the way that I need to be fed. And so you can begin to feel that. I feel that at family reunions because I eat pretty good. You know, I love to go. I love good food. I love whole food. I love the food that makes me feel good. Right. Which is less processed. It's just how my body reacts to food.

[00:30:18.320] – Dr. Rossy
And when I go to like a family reunion where the food might not be as up to my standards, I can eat a whole plate of food and I'm still hungry. And I notice that I'm hungry. But I'm like, when you ate a whole plate of food, I'm like, I know, but I'm still hungry. So, you know, it's something good to start paying attention to. And the more that you chew, even I get particularly if your food is more processed, make sure you chew it, make sure you chew it thoroughly so you get every little bit out of it that you can so that the body is getting the nourishment and nutrition that it needs.

[00:30:53.750] – Dr. Rossy
And then the last one is my favorite, it's savor. Savor every bite. Savor, you know, savor savor. I love food, I love to eat food and I love. So savoring is a big part of the eating process. I think it's a time that we can have every day, three times a day at least, where we can have a pleasurable experience and enjoy it and see that as an important part of our lives.

[00:31:19.250] – Allan
Absolutely, and the reason I like a lot of those is, is just as you said, the digestive process actually starts before you even put the food in your mouth. So you're talking about the assessing and just sitting there for a moment and knowing what your body needs and then sitting down, looking at it, smelling it. You're you're already digesting that food. You're teaching your body that, OK, we need to start firing off some different enzymes. Some hormones need to get to work.

[00:31:47.240] – Allan
We've got some food coming in. And then just like you said, the chewing and slowing down gives your body the time to react to what you're doing. You get the full nutrition out of that food. And you're absolutely right. When you're getting proper nutrition, you by nature eat less. It's just a magical formula. Our body was built to do it once the nutrition it wants. And if it's not getting it, it will send hunger signals.

[00:32:14.000] – Allan
It will keep you going. And the other side of it is if you're not getting the nutrition you want, then your health is impaired. And if your health is impaired, then your brain is impaired. And if your brain is impaired, then dealing with emotions and feelings and stress and all, becomes that much harder.

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[00:34:44.050] – Allan
You have another acronym and it's not yours, but you borrowed it for this book and it's called RAIN.

[00:34:52.780] – Dr. Rossy
Yes.

[00:34:53.440] – Allan
And so RAIN is a tool that we can use to kind of get an idea between the difference between emotions and feelings and understand what we're doing in our actions. Can you talk a little bit about emotions and feelings and then walk us through the rain process?

[00:35:11.320] – Dr. Rossy
Yeah, so in my book, I talk about the difference between emotions and feelings, so feelings from the Buddhist perspective. Well, OK, so I don't know which aspect of emotions and feelings you wanted me to cover, but and we use those words interchangeably, right? So we were talking about feelings and the Buddhist perspective. And I bring this into my classes a lot, is that things are experienced as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Right. And so Buddhism breaks it down into those three categories.

[00:35:48.790] – Dr. Rossy
And it teaches us a lot about how we react to experience, because if something's pleasant, we want more of it. If something's unpleasant, we want less of it. And if it's neutral, we tend to fall asleep. Right. And so we can become aware of those patterns. Those are natural, normal patterns, but we don't have to act out on them all the time. Just because something's pleasant doesn't mean that we need to keep, I need more and more and more and more and more, because in that more is going to turn out to be something unpleasant because we've overdone it.

[00:36:19.330] – Dr. Rossy
Right. So what we want to do is just when something is pleasant, we want to enjoy it and let it go. When something is unpleasant, we want to experience it and let it go and when something's neutral. Actually, I think it's important to pay attention to neutral because I kind of see that as contentment. Right. I find a lot of contentment when I'm not being pushed and pulled by pleasant, unpleasant, pleasant, unpleasant or pushed and pulled constantly in this culture with things that are screaming at us to pay attention to them.

[00:36:48.010] – Dr. Rossy
It's like, oh, here I am. The shiny little thing over here, are the vending machine or whatever it is? Come come get me. You know, and we can know that the brain is is wired that way to do that. And with mindfulness we can step back and not be engaged in that constant being pushed and pulled by unpleasant and pleasant all the time, oK. Emotions are natural. Naturally occurring experiences are feelings that come up as a result of experiences.

[00:37:22.450] – Dr. Rossy
Right. So I have emotions that range from sad, mad, glad, angry, happy, confused. I encourage people to become very familiar with lists of emotions so that you become more familiar with what they are, because we don't have a most people don't have a very big vocabulary. We ask them how they are and they're going, fine. Like, well, OK, that's not a feeling. But there are just a lot of feelings that we can begin to explore through the practice of writing.

[00:37:53.740] – Dr. Rossy
In particular, we can explore the ones that are most difficult. Right. So rain is a meditation, but it can also be used just without being in meditation. You can work through the different steps of rain and learn a lot about the emotions that you're experiencing and getting some distance from them. So the R of RAIN stands for recognize. So you want to be able to label the emotion that you're having. Like I said earlier, when you label it, if you can label it, if you can name it and label it, you can tame it.

[00:38:32.090] – Dr. Rossy
OK, and research shows that there's all kinds of processes that go on in the brain that when you accurately label an emotion, there is the amygdala is dampened. The amygdala is the part of the brain that is reacting to emotions. And so you kind of dampen that down. So you're not as reactive. You get a little relief automatically from labeling it. A stands for accept and allow. We don't resist it. We put the welcome mat out for it.

[00:39:03.190] – Dr. Rossy
Oh, sadness. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but, you know, like you invited it and let it come in. Let yourself feel it. Let yourself acknowledge it and say the sadness is here right now, OK? This is what sadness feels like or whatever emotion it is. Allowing instead of resisting what you resist persists. What you allow fades away, and so allowing is also a really important part of the process and one that we're not very skilled at, as a whole.

[00:39:32.410] – Dr. Rossy
And then I stands for investigate. How does the sadness feel in my body? Can you just bring your attention to your body and notice. Well, I'm feeling a little sluggish, a little tired, I don't have much energy and they're all slumped over. And then what thoughts are going through your mind? What stories and beliefs are you telling yourself about the sadness? Because that's what's going to keep the story going. Oh, I have no friends. I'm never going to have any friends.

[00:40:00.460] – Dr. Rossy
You know, my life is never going to go the way I want it to be. Whatever the story is, notice the story and then begin to not buy into it as truth, because thoughts are not facts, they're just thoughts. And you can begin to ask yourself what else is true? Right. Is there some other way of looking at this? How is this impacting me to believe this particular thing? And there's parts of it that may be true.

[00:40:30.910] – Dr. Rossy
Parts of it that may not be true. Begin to kind of just investigate it and tease it apart a little bit instead of just letting it be this thing that has you gripped by, you know, in the clutches. And then once you've investigated fully, then you can move into N which is not identify and nurture. So we don't want to identify with the emotions as who we are. I am not sadness. There is sadness passing through. Right.

[00:40:57.350] – Dr. Rossy
If I can see sadness as something that's just moving through my experience, I'm not always sad. You know, sadness comes and goes. There's moments, I'm happy. Moments I'm sad. And in fact, there can be moments of happiness in the midst of sadness. It's like it's not don't allow it to become this big thing that completely encompasses you and put you into a box and then stepping back from it. You can even see the story as a movie going across the screen.

[00:41:24.730] – Dr. Rossy
I kind of like that analogy, right? It's like, so here's the story. You're watching it like a movie and I can be a witness to it and let it pass through and feel it and let it go and then bring kindness to myself. Right. Because ouch, sadness hurts. Right. And it's not to say that these things aren't going to have an impact because they do. But we can bring kindness to ourselves. I always bring my hands to my heart when I'm talking about this, because it's just this beautiful way of telling your body that you're listening, bringing your hands to your heart and saying, wow, I'm sorry.

[00:41:59.980] – Dr. Rossy
That's really difficult. It's sadness hurt. And what can I do to best take care of you right now? Do you need to go take a hot bath, light a candle, call a friend, journal, meditate, go on a walk, go into nature, take a bike ride, whatever? There's so many things that you could do after you've gone through that whole process to then engage in self care. In mindfulness practice, there's kind of two parts to right effort.

[00:42:31.870] – Dr. Rossy
And the first part is to recognize when something difficult has arisen. Right. And so we acknowledge it, but we don't want to like just like sit in it forever. We then want to cultivate what's skillfull. We want to cultivate what's going to bring joy into our life. We want to cultivate the other things that can balance the sadness, that can balance the difficulties and take care of us when the difficulties arise.

[00:42:57.340] – Allan
Yeah. You know, as I was reading through that section of the book and one of the cool things that you had in the book is at the end of each chapter is the savoring practices that help you kind of put some of this in motion. And I'll tell you, this is not something that's one and done. You're not going to say, OK, I've got this little tool now and now all my problems are going to go away and there's not going to be any more Haagen-Dazs nights for me.

[00:43:19.540] – Allan
That's not how this is going to work. This is going to take some training, some time to make this kind of a natural a more natural approach to what you do. But I would say one of your areas that you got into, I am a little bit more skilled at. And that's movement. Can you talk about how movement can help us with some of the issues we have with emotional eating and bored eating?

[00:43:43.480] – Dr. Rossy
And I love movement. In particular, I love yoga. So I do talk about yoga in the book, but any kind of movement. Right. So everybody can find a kind of movement that feels delicious to them. I would say move your body in ways that feel delicious, because if you hate it, you're probably not going to do it right. So really find some way of moving your body that doesn't injure you. Right. That's not going to injure you and that you can enjoy.

[00:44:15.550] – Dr. Rossy
And maybe there's ways to increase the enjoyment by doing it with friends are you know, there's lots of things that you can do to increase your enjoyment of movement, but it's so important your body wants to move, like if you check in with your body right now, I can guarantee you there's probably some stress. So right now, I would love to reach my arms up over my head and I will OK and take a deep breath. I feel so good.

[00:44:40.680] – Dr. Rossy
And then bring them back down again and just roll my shoulders back. Right. So I'm listening to my body. And I think if you listen to your body and learn how to respond to it, you'll notice that it's like, hey, it wants to get up and move. It wants to go outside and garden or it wants to go on a bike ride. And that try out a lot of things because the body does want to move and you will feel happier and healthy and you'll be healthier if you learn the ways to move your body that's going to be supportive.

[00:45:13.500] – Allan
Yeah, for me, it's always been lifting weights and what I found was, OK, so let's say I'm sitting in the office and my boss calls me and he tells me something I'm really not happy about. And so I'm like, OK, now I'm really stressed out. And so my afternoon workouts coming out and I already had something programed. I'm like, OK, I'm going to be doing these medium weights at a higher rep count. That's what I've been doing for the last six weeks and that's my program.

[00:45:37.860] – Allan
And I'm like, screw it. I'm going to four reps and I'm throwing a whole bunch of weights on that sled. And I'm going to do leg presses that are really heavy because that I knew at the moment that's what that was going to help me get rid of that frustration, anger, stress, all the different things that were running through me. And it would it would just the idea that, OK, I have control of my domain, I have control of this weight.

[00:46:04.860] – Allan
I have so much to be happy about is that I'm strong and I'm healthy. And nothing he says takes that away from me.

[00:46:13.800] – Dr. Rossy
Yes.

[00:46:14.790] – Allan
And so, yeah, movement for me is is really the best stress reducer you can have. And, you know, runners, runners will love because they get out, they get out in a way and they're in their own little world. Running lifters are kind of the same way. I completely turn off. I'm not someone who's going to listen to music while I'm working out. I'm not someone who's going to be having a conversation with someone. When I had a trainer, he knew, OK, we'll have a little conversation before the workout.

[00:46:42.480] – Allan
We'll have a little conversation after the workout. But during the workout, Allan let's just lift it. And then as my total head, even during my rest breaks, all I want to know is how much weight to put on the bar for the next set. And that's it. And so that was my, if you will, moving meditation. And it involves lifting weights. Others will enjoy walking in nature. Others will involve running and maybe running in nature.

[00:47:09.780] – Allan
Others yourself, yoga, Pilates, any movement practice that you enjoy that you know is benefiting you physically. Well, it's also giving you kind of this release,

[00:47:21.670] – Dr. Rossy
yeah, and I like the idea that you do pay attention to your body, because I believe that any time that we bring our attention to our body through movement and become embodied, we're getting out of our heads and we're moving into our body. We live way too much up in our head.

[00:47:38.620] – Dr. Rossy
And so anything to get out of your head, it's a dangerous place up there. OK, we want to move down into the body and just experience the sensations of the body and the breath as you move, as you lift, as you run, as you do whatever and research shows that, If you're doing other things while you move, you don't get as much benefit from it.

[00:48:01.790] – Allan
Yes, I completely agree. I'm all unfocussed, you know what, you made a very, very important statement there. Our head is a dangerous place and it's a true statement. But what is really important about that is the reason it's such a dangerous place is because we really haven't embraced being our own best friend.

[00:48:26.090] – Dr. Rossy
This is true.

[00:48:26.990] – Allan
And you said in the book that you were doing something, said something, and then your husband turned around and says you're not treating yourself like you're a friend.

[00:48:35.060] – Dr. Rossy
Well, he said, don't treat my best friend like that. What he said. And it really stopped me in my tracks because I thought if I'm his best friend, why am I not my best friend? Right. I am going to be with me 24/7 every second of my life until I die. Do I want to be with somebody who's my enemy? Do I want to be with somebody who is bad mouthing me all the time and telling me I'm not good enough and telling me I made all these mistakes and you know, you're not this and you're not bad and you know, oh, my gosh, I can't believe whatever. It's like,

[00:49:11.540] – Dr. Rossy
That's not the kind of friend I want. So it really I mean, not that I hadn't worked on this in the past already, but that particular statement from him was very eye opening. And I really make a concerted effort to be kind to myself, to forgive myself of my foibles and whatever. I am perfect in my imperfection. Right. And I'm standing by that.

[00:49:38.400] – Allan
You know, I think the thing is, is, you know, if you sit down, you really think about these really close friends. And I was interviewing someone. She's going to be on the show coming up soon. And she called it they called it being big friends, not necessarily best friends forever, that kind of thing. But just you had this friend that you share everything with. And that's got to be you, too.

[00:49:58.820] – Allan
But the core of it is this. If you thought about just a really good friend and more than likely, if you've been friends with them for a while, at some point or another, they said something. They did something that upset you. And you're still friends. And you don't sit there every day and say, well, I remember that time they did this and they always do that and they never do this. And they all those words, the words we really shouldn't use, never, always, can't, won't.

[00:50:26.660] – Allan
those things when you break it down, if you just took a moment, well, OK, this is my best friend because. He listens to me. He's my best friend because I know if I'm in trouble, I can always rely on them to look after my best interests and the best interests of my family. And so you look at those characteristics of what you love about your best friends. And then you turn to yourself and you look in the mirror and say, OK, I know you'll always have my best interests at hand.

[00:50:56.440] – Allan
I know you'll always take care of my family. I know you're always going to be there for me and you're always going to listen to me. You don't have a choice. If I want to talk to you, you're going to listen. But if we started using the right words, the way that we would talk to our friends. And those in your movies you talked about, if they were directed by our best friend, they wouldn't go as bad as they might seem to go.

[00:51:22.880] – Allan
So I just really liked the concept of taking that step back and saying, is this how I would treat a friend?

[00:51:30.310] – Dr. Rossy
Right. And when we treat ourselves well, when we have a positive relationship with ourselves, we do other things to take care of ourselves. So who wants to take care of their enemy? You know, it's like if you're treating yourself bad, it's like healthy behavior doesn't come from that. Behavior that's self care. And kindness comes from a kind relationship.

[00:51:56.070] – Allan
Yes, and I think one of the ways you kind of get there is having that honest conversation with yourself and say, OK, what are the words I'm using? What is my inner dialog? How often is it positive? How often is it negative? In some cases, I think that that rain model that you talked about earlier would be a great OK, why did I just call myself an asshole? Why did I do that? You know, why did I do that?

[00:52:22.530] – Allan
And then you say, OK, well, what was the situation? And you recognize it, you allow it and say, OK, well, OK, yeah, I made a mistake. And then you forgive yourself. And then you're in a position to move forward and nurture the relationship and say, OK, I'm not always this way, I don't always do that, I just need to do it less and I need to be kind to myself.

[00:52:43.370] – Allan
And that's what I've learned. And so, again, the emotional part of it and the feelings part of it is hard. But I think being your best friend first is actually a really good way to kind of put that into practice on a day to day basis.

[00:52:58.510] – Dr. Rossy
Absolutely.

[00:53:00.720] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:53:08.940] – Dr. Rossy
Well, so the first thing that I thought about when you posed that question is to connect with your values and a set intentions based on those values. Right. A lot of times we don't stop to consider what we value in life because we're so busy taking care of our to do list, you know, the next urgent thing has to be taken care of. So I'm not thinking about what's really important and what's really important to most people. I would say health is, physical

[00:53:40.740] – Dr. Rossy
Health is probably way up there. I mean, because if you don't have your physical health, you're not going to have anything else. Right. You're not going to be able to do much of anything else like physical health. So I'm going to use that as an example. Probably everybody has physical health in the top five, right? You have family, meaningful career, whatever. Get in touch with that. But let's take physical health, for instance.

[00:54:02.610] – Dr. Rossy
And then you set intentions based on that value that are non-negotiable. Right. So, for instance, doing something physically active every day is a value of mine because I value health. And that's an intention that I've set. I don't have to even think about it. I'm not waiting for my head, my mind to tell me, oh, go put on your walking shoes and go for a walk. I have a schedule in my day. I make it happen.

[00:54:32.130] – Dr. Rossy
Same thing with meditation. My body doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning, but I get my feet on the ground and I get to my meditation cushion and I and I do my meditation because I set the intention and intention, then begins to fuel me to doing the things that I decided I want to do. But you have to decide that ahead of time, because if you wait, you're going to be too tired, you're going to be too busy, you're going to be too whatever.

[00:55:02.220] – Dr. Rossy
And the mind is not exactly our friend when it comes to these kinds of activities. It's going to tell you everything about why you shouldn't. But if you set the intention, you're more likely to get it done. I believe strongly in intentions. OK, so that would be number one. And they can be whatever you want them to be. I think number two would be about movement. I do think physical activity is one of the best things that we can do for our bodies and finding something that on many different levels, it helps to you're not just your physical body, but your emotions and your thoughts.

[00:55:37.350] – Dr. Rossy
Everything is benefited through physical activity. So find what feels delicious and do it. And then lastly, I would really encourage people to relate to food as nourishment and pleasure, but not a fix. I'm going to repeat that, so relate to food as nourishment and pleasure, not a fix. Many of us have thought, I'm going to fix myself somehow with food. I'm going to fix with this diet. I'm going to fix with this food. And it's going to do this for me or that for me.

[00:56:15.320] – Dr. Rossy
And all these superfoods are going to do that. I mean, OK, that's all fine and dandy, but let's relate to it as simple nourishment and pleasure. Food is this amazing substance that we get to enjoy. But we've turned it into a chore. We've turned it into an enemy. Right. And we're very confused about it because of all of these ways that we're using it. Right. So instead of looking outside of yourself, look inside of yourself and listen to your body and what it tells you about what it wants to eat and in general eat in a way that both nourishes your body and you can enjoy and savor.

[00:56:53.480] – Allan
Thank you, Dr. Rossy. If someone would learn more about you, learn more about your book called Savor Every Bite or about the classes that you spoke about earlier, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:57:06.470] – Dr. Rossy
You can go to my Web site at lynnrossy.com and everything is there. I've got meditations. I've got yoga practices that are all free. My Eat For Life classes starting in September and there's still room in the class. So there's information on my website that tells you all about how to register. And I have varying levels of cost, depending on what your how, what your means are in terms of what you can pay for the class. And the book is on there and the book can be found wherever books are sold.

[00:57:40.910] – Allan
Great.

[00:57:41.810] – Allan
Thank you. Well, thank you, Dr. Rossy, for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:57:46.130] – Dr. Rossy
Well, it's been a pleasure to be here and I highly recommend being fit over 40.

[00:57:52.180] – Allan
That's the way to be over 40.

[00:57:53.360] – Dr. Rossy
It is. That's right. Thanks, Allan.


Post Show/Recap

[00:58:01.110] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:58:02.570] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a fascinating interview. You know, I guess I don't really take the time to realize how much emotion is tied into the way we eat, what we eat, when we eat. There's a lot more to it than I think even most people would think.

[00:58:18.660] – Allan
Yeah. You know, over the years, I've had clients all the way across the spectrum, some that just really didn't like food, to be honest, didn't find foods appealing to texture, a certain taste. And as a result, they had kind of put themselves in a very small nutrient box of just a few foods that they would eat. And just getting them to try new foods was like pulling teeth, you know, but they needed that.

[00:58:45.600] – Allan
They needed the nutrition because they wanted to, you know, get a little bit stronger. They wanted to put on some muscle mass and they just weren't getting the proper nutrition to make that happen. And then I've had other clients that, you know, yeah, they're very emotional eaters, you know, get home in the afternoon and they're in the kitchen opening mail and anything that's within grabbing distance, cookies, cakes, whatever, they're eating. And even though they know they're going to have dinner and another couple hours, you know, they're just bored eating stress, eating all the above.

[00:59:19.560] – Allan
And so, yeah, I've seen it across the board. But, you know, we've tied food to celebrations and we've tied food to being a solution to emotional stress and boredom and anger and sadness and frustration. And so, yeah, I was glad I was able to find Dr. Rossy and talk about her book because, you know, she has the savoring practices in there. And if you're in any way feel like you're emotionally affected and the food kind of one of those bridge things, you know, then it's something worth looking at.

[00:59:58.690] – Rachel
Oh, yeah. You know, you discussed in there a couple of different analogies or acronyms, one of them being the rain acronym about recognizing your emotion and accepting that emotion. And I thought that was really fascinating because, you know, we don't really label the emotion in the way that we could determine how to deal with it. You know, we like the standard cliche, we grab a pint of ice cream after a hard day of work or break up with a significant other or something like that.

[01:00:35.640] – Rachel
But we don't really think, you know, why do we do that? Why do we feel the sadness and suddenly the urge to have ice cream or something to soothe that?

[01:00:46.350] – Allan
Well, one doing the rain protocol is not a walk in the park. It's hard. It is really hard to take the time to have that kind of self-awareness to really to be that objective. So sometimes you might need a little help to do that process. But, yeah, I mean, I've had guests on, you know, in many cases have lost a lot of weight, had gone and done a lot of things like I forgot Rosie, I think was her name.

[01:01:15.810] – Allan
I had Rosie on. And she, you know, she said she was an emotional eater. She was really upset about food, but it made her feel comfortable. And so it was just an escape while she was eating the food, loved her. And, you know, basically where she put her head and she was so embarrassed about so many things and so emotionally tied to food that she was hiding food and she would eat her lunch in the stall in the girls bathroom because she didn't want anyone else to see her eating.

[01:01:50.190] – Allan
And so a lot of people do have these deeper, deeper problems. And that's something that a counselor would be appropriate for. You know, as a coach, I can explain to folks, you know, hey, let's try eating this way. That's try eating that way and see how you do. But most of the time, you know, I don't have any one that I would say I've never had anyone that I would say, OK, you're disordered eater, you know, so no anorexics, no bulimics, nothing like that.

[01:02:20.190] – Allan
But yeah, I very much binge eaters, bored eaters, sad eaters, stress eaters, in a sense, I was one of the stress eater. And then I found yeah. I, you know, when I was traveling and under a lot of stress, my meal choices at dinner were not as good as they probably should have been, you know, and that but that was just a function of, you know, I'm in a hotel, I'm in a bar, I'm in another town.

[01:02:49.020] – Allan
And so, you know, it's nothing just to sit there and say, OK, I want to go up to the bar or a beer, drink the beer, order some food. But my food choices would not have been what I would have eaten if i'd really sat down and thought about what I really need, what my body really needs and giving it the food that would serve it versus, you know, just what looked good because I was in that emotional state.

[01:03:13.510] – Rachel
Sure. Well, that brings up the next point. You guys discussed, mindfulness and asking those questions or thinking about what that meal does that meal really serve? Does it really answer that craving or does it serve you in that moment? You know, some people find it easier to follow a diet, you know, if you want to be vegan. Those are easy rules to follow. Well, essentially. But on the other hand, if you can't follow a certain guideline or a way of eating, then being mindful about what you're choosing to eat might be a better alternative.

[01:03:49.510] – Allan
Yeah, but I would preface it's not it's not really a way of eating because you can screw up any way of eating. You can be a vegan and eat tons of sugar and tons of crap. And you're a vegan and you're overweight or obese as a vegan. So I wouldn't necessarily just classify any way of eating as good or bad because there's still basically the understanding of nutrition and what it's doing for you.

[01:04:21.910] – Allan
You know, nutrition is building blocks for your body. Nutrition is energy for your body and just those two things primarily. Now there should also be enjoyment and that's what Dr. Rossy is really big on, is take the time to actually enjoy your food and taste it, taste every bite, make sure you're tasting everybody and you'll typically eat less because you'll feel full in time and you'll recognize that. And so that's one of her big things. One of the first rules she had out there was to slow down. Just to slow down.

[01:04:53.360] – Allan
But unfortunately, what happens, is people don't really you don't really think that out and you don't plan, so you end up in a situation. So it's like I didn't plan on this happening. And sometimes it's true. I mean, I have a client who got called in for work, for travel, and he wasn't planning on it. And it was an additional two, three days of travel that he wasn't planning on and he didn't have the food with them.

[01:05:23.330] – Allan
He would normally have carried snacks and things like that with him, and he found himself pulled out of his element. There's additional stress on that because it was he was now out of routine and then there was just the not being prepared. And so that's going to happen. But, when you can be prepared, that's really when you want to put it together. So I'm a huge, huge fan of meal planning. And while we didn't talk about that, specifically Dr. Rossy, a meal planning is kind of a way for you to make sure you have healthy meals available to you and meal planning can go all the way to snacks, breakfasts, all of it.

[01:06:03.450] – Allan
When I'm really, really strict on what I'm eating and I want to cut more weight like I was doing when I wanted to do the Tough Mudder, I literally logged all of my food in the morning. I called it pre logging. so I would get on my fitness pal. I'd say, OK, breakfast is three eggs and some ham and that was my breakfast. And I'm like, OK, what is that? I know what that is.

[01:06:23.370] – Allan
And I say, OK, lunch and taking the salad with some tuna. This balsamic vinaigrette I just made and you know, that's my lunch. What is that? And then I would look at what my dinners were. And if it was if I'd done the pre cooking on the weekend, I would have stuff in the freezer. I could pull that out. And what I'd find is sometimes I could actually even have two portions because my macros and my calories and where I was.

[01:06:46.650] – Allan
So as long as I don't go crazy and eat all the nuts I have in my office, then I can actually have two dinners. And sometimes that would be the case, but I would see it all in front of me before I started. Now, does that mean something wouldn't come up and my boss say, I need you to stay late or, you know, friend called and say, hey, I'm really going through a tough time.

[01:07:07.920] – Allan
Can we meet for drinks after work? Of course that stuff can happen, but it doesn't happen nearly as often as you would think. And so if I just had my days planned out, it was really easy for me to just stay the course. And then the other side of it is when you're going to go to a restaurant and you know you're going to go to a restaurant. The menu is online. Almost every single restaurant has their menu online, go online, find their menu and pick out what you're going to eat before you get there, because later in the day, when you're more tired, you're more fatigued, potentially more stress, and you're around other people.

[01:07:46.920] – Allan
Maybe it's easy to sit down and say and then they start calling out specials and it's like, I'll have the special calzones and, you know, all that. Whereas before you knew you were going to have the ribeye, hold the potato and just bring me extra sauteed vegetables and I have a side salad with that. And so lots different kind of vegetables, lots of greens and everything else and meat and it's all wholefood. And I can tell them, you know, if you put anything on the steak, what is it?

[01:08:19.800] – Allan
You know, I want to know what's on it. And then I say, just don't do that. Just cook a steak, you know? And then, you know, to me, it's going to taste great. If you just cook it to medium rare, it's going to taste great and I'm going to love it. So, you know, but if I don't plan that before I get to the restaurant and you get there and they start calling out the specials and someone orders this and someone else, that looks good.

[01:08:44.970] – Allan
That sounds good. Now suddenly you're emotional and making a decision versus rational when you were sitting there looking at the menu right after you eat your lunch and you weren't hungry, OK, I'm not hungry. I just ate my lunch. I feel great. And I look at the menu and I'm like, oh, I think I'm going to have the steak and vegetables tonight.

[01:09:04.530] – Rachel
Yeah, I love that whole idea of planning. I think the best part about it for me would be that you you've made all your decisions for the day, so you're not caught unaware or by surprised by the specials, like you said. But also then you have you can devote your entire attention to the guests, to whoever you're sharing that meal with and not have to worry about what you're eating or how you just ruined your day's calories or something else.

[01:09:32.120] – Rachel
There's a lot of comfort in that thought.

[01:09:34.470] – Allan
And then just know your kryptonite. You know, there's something there that, you know, there's going to be you know, they walk out and then what they've got the little they bring out. I don't know if they do this anymore because of covid, but they'll do it again. I'm sure, they used to bring out carts or tray with all the mock desserts on it, you know. Yeah, you're looking at it and, you know, it's like, wow, that triple fudge chocolate lava cake thing looks.

[01:09:57.050] – Allan
Really, really good. Yeah, you can say no to it because, you know, that's emotional and you know that and you've already looked at what your macro plan was for the day, and if you're more mindful about your food, you're getting more satisfaction out of the food and less need for the junk. You know, because at that point, you know, you're not hungry. And, you know, I had someone else on and I wish I could remember his name, but the basic gist was this is we have hunger and we have urges.

[01:10:32.870] – Allan
Now, hunger doesn't go away. It just gets worse. Urges go away. So if you can keep yourself busy. Urges go away, so if you find yourself hungry for Girl Scout cookies and you know there's a pack in the freezer, you know, those thin mints, then it's like, hmm, I know I don't need to eat those cookies. I think I'm going to go for a short walk.

[01:10:57.130] – Allan
Yeah, yeah. It's perfect to have a plan B. You know, just walk down to the mailbox or go round the block or something and come back or get out your craft project. I like to knit in the wintertime. So, you know, if you have a plan B, if you've got an urge, there's got to be something else around the house you could do or at work or whatever. That's a great idea.

[01:11:19.750] – Allan
And then just looking for those other triggers, the things that happen, you know, like one of my clients, she would get the mail when she came in and she'd go into the kitchen to open the mail. And it was just the everything's around her. And I said, OK, well, if they have cookies and cakes, just tell them why you're on this plan, because most of the time, the people in your household are your why.

[01:11:42.130] – Allan
So you tell them, I want to be here for my grandchildren. I want to be here for you. I don't want to be diabetic and have my foot cut off and you have to push me around in a wheelchair when we go places. I want to be there for you. So I need to do this for me, but I'm doing it for you as much. And so I need you to put the cookies in the cupboard. You know, one cupboard that your cupboard put your stuff in there and, you know, whatever you've got to do, you know, put a little note on there with your why so, you know, in your vision, your commitment.

[01:12:17.340] – Allan
So you walk up that cabinet, and you're looking at that cabinet door and there's your why. Picture of your kids and your husband or whatever, sitting right there on the door. You're less likely to open that door because your wife is staring right at you.

[01:12:33.650] – Rachel
I love that. Yeah, that's nice to have that reminder about how important it is to be as healthy as you can be for your loved ones and for your own future.

[01:12:44.870] – Allan
And then, as I said earlier, if this is something deeper, if this is depression, if this is bulimia or anorexia or something worse, if there's something really going on and these binges are truly out of your control, get professional help. Oh, you know, a lot of people don't think food addiction is a big problem because we're supposed to eat. And and unfortunately, you can have problems with food just as much so with any other thing that can be abused.

[01:13:15.200] – Allan
And this is your health. And if you keep pushing yourself down the line, all the metabolic diseases are going to come your way sooner or later. And if you don't get the coping skills to deal with what you're going through, you're really going to struggle all the time. There's no diet that's going to get you out of this. There's no exercise that's going to get you out of this. There's probably not even a personal trainer, coach, even like myself, that can get you out of this if you're truly having emotional difficulties.

[01:13:45.710] – Allan
Talk to a counselor. I actually saw the other day where there's a therapist you can actually call in therapy now. You don't have to go to a therapist office. They will actually do teleservices.

[01:13:58.340] – Rachel
Wonderful. So wonderful.

[01:14:00.520] – Allan
Help is out there and it's available to you. So if you feel like you're in that type of situation, reach out.

[01:14:06.860] – Rachel
Oh, absolutely. Great advice.

[01:14:09.680] – Allan
All right, Raz. Well, I guess that's a wrap for this week. I'll talk to you next week.

[01:14:13.760] – Rachel
All right. Take care.

Patreons

The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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How to reach your peak after 40 with Dr. Marc Bubbs

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As we age, it may feel that we're losing the opportunity to make substantial improvements in our health and fitness. Dr. Marc Bubbs takes his extensive experience in human performance and discusses the science behind how we can beat the aging curve. On this episode, we discuss his book, Peak 40.

Sponsor

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:04:08.520] – Allan
Hey, Raz, how are things going?

[00:04:10.600] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:04:12.960] – Allan
I'm doing well. I had kind of run out of gas and so I was in a little bit of a panic mode. So I threw out, you know, reached out to four different guests just to see if I could get them on the show. And they all four said yes. I mean, the three of them scheduled for this week. I was like sitting there Thursday night and I get the last one to book and I'm like, they all booked in the same week.

[00:04:38.130] – Allan
So I have a Monday, I have a Tuesday and have a Thursday interview and I have some books to read.

[00:04:43.560] – Rachel
I was going to say, you got a lot to read.

[00:04:46.740] – Allan
They were good books. I'm looking forward to talking to all of them. And as you're listening to this, this is episode 497. And so I've now booked up the plan all the way through the end of August. And so I did that interview and will be doing the other interviews. So we're going be booked up through there. We're going to have our 500th episode coming up. So that's coming up. That'll be a solo show to discuss what we're doing here on the show and celebrate and talk about some of the things we learned this year that are different, maybe things I've learned in the past.

[00:05:20.820] – Allan
But, you know, five hundred is a big accomplishment. But we've got some really cool guests coming, talking about some topics. Obviously, a couple of weeks ago, we had someone talking about stroke and that was requested by a listener. I have another episode coming up that was requested. Someone was talking about binge eating. So we have a binge eating episode coming up soon. And so, you know, and then there's others that just they want something easier.

[00:05:48.100] – Allan
And so I've got a guy that, you know, kind of talks about how to manage moderation and do it, you know, do it the right way for yourself, customize yourself. So it's got some really good episodes coming up. So I'm pretty excited about that. And I've kind of launched this new thing on the Facebook group that you may have noticed if you're in the Facebook group. But every Tuesday night now I'm coming on and doing a Facebook live to answer any questions that anyone has, particularly about the episode that we did that week.

[00:06:18.870] – Allan
So if you're listening to this on Monday or Tuesday during the day, if you can go the Facebook group at 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/group, get into the Facebook group and I do a live there. I'll answer any questions you have about this episode with Dr. Bubbs. So you know, anything that comes up and you want to know about, about the interview, something he said, something you thought about, a question that came up.

[00:06:44.940] – Allan
I'll do my best to answer on that live. So go to 40PlusFitnesspodcost.com/group and join the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group. And I'll be there live every Tuesday. We do a lot of cool things, challenges. You know, I post a lot of what I think are important things for us to consider in our health and fitness journey. So a lot of value I think there. Come join the group. It's not overwhelming there. You'll be with over sixteen hundred other people that love the show and want to get healthy and fit and we're all over forty, so it's a really cool place to hang out.

[00:07:20.130] – Rachel
Absolutely. And that sounds fun.

[00:07:22.590] – Allan
So what's been going on up there?

[00:07:24.420] – Rachel
Oh, we're doing good through the magic of podcasting. This will be a little bit later. But Mike and I celebrate our birthdays this week and we both turned fifty. So we're getting ready for that big celebration.

[00:07:37.470] – Allan
Congratulations.

[00:07:38.430] – Rachel
Yeah, I'm pretty excited.

[00:07:40.290] – Allan
Well, we need to share this. I think we've said this before, but from a birthday perspective and if I recall, Mike's older by one day.

[00:07:49.050] – Rachel
He is. Yeah.

[00:07:50.160] – Allan
And then your birthday's the very next day.

[00:07:52.350] – Rachel
It is.

[00:07:53.160] – Allan
And you're both the same age. Both turning 50. And so my wife would probably be able to answer this question for me. But when you're both the same astrological sign and the same Chinese sign, how does that work?

[00:08:11.070] – Rachel
We seem to make it work. I think we're a lot the same in many respects and a lot different in many other respects. We have enough yin yang, I think, to make it work. We've actually been married twenty-six years now, so we somehow made that work. Yeah, yeah.

[00:08:27.840] – Allan
But it's over half your life.

[00:08:29.760] – Rachel
It is. It is. Yeah. We both, cancer is known for being stubborn and that's my astrological sign is cancer and, and we're known for being stubborn and we both can be in very different ways.

[00:08:42.960] – Allan
he's in health and safety. So that's kind of a good feel to be in if you're saying

[00:08:46.980] – Rachel
it is. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:08:50.580] – Allan
All right. So you ready to get into our conversation with Doctor Bubbs?

[00:08:53.720] – Rachel
Yep. This will be great.

Interview

[00:09:26.920] – Allan
Dr. Bubbs. Welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:30.020] – Dr. Bubbs
Allan, I appreciate you having me on. Always good to be back.

[00:09:32.970] – Allan
Yeah. Now, the last time I had you on, we were talking about your book Peak, and it's really where you had done a deep dive into just performance in general. What are the best athletes in the world doing? What does science tell us about why they're so good and why they're getting better? And then you wrote the book that I wanted you to write. I didn't tell you I wanted you to write it, but you wrote it.

[00:09:55.840] – Allan
And it's called Peak 40: The New Science of Midlife Health for a Leaner, Stronger Body and a Sharper Mind. That's a big promise.

[00:10:05.560] – Dr. Bubbs
That is a big promise in there.

[00:10:07.750] – Allan
But you delivered.

[00:10:09.130] – Dr. Bubbs
Well, I appreciate that. It's a funny thing when you're trying to write books. I mean, this one actually came out of the impetus was the book was really working in performance. The coaches and the performance staff were all, you know, like myself in their early 40s or beyond and leading busy lives. It was like, look, I need just the Coles Notes or the that's what we use and saying, you know, the abbreviated version of what I need to do.

[00:10:33.310] – Dr. Bubbs
Right. What are the big rocks? And so and that resonated with me as well with working in the general population. You know, people are so busy in their day to day lives that it's tough to have a big, long list of things to do. And so the goal here was to provide, you know, some of these big rocks, like we say, of how we get to the major things that we can really, you know, try to keep the ball in the fairway, so to speak.

[00:10:56.530] – Dr. Bubbs
You know, we use a golfing metaphor here. Let's keep it somewhere where we can play the next shot. And then all of a sudden people realize, like I'm sure you see in your practice, like all of a sudden we can make some pretty darn good progress if we just start layering in some of these real fundamentals.

[00:11:10.870] – Allan
Yeah. And we call him Cliff Notes in the United States. It's just not just the story. You call them Coles Notes. We call them Cliff Notes. But before I get in, I didn't really talked about this, but I was going back and preparing for this. And I just like this. I can't leave this moment without actually saying this is you talked about kind and wicked as learning environments. And I and it just resonated with me.

[00:11:35.380] – Allan
So I just want to share this and we can go into it a little bit if you want to. But a kind learning environment is basically where things just fall in line. You have immediate feedback, you do something, you see the result. Your golf metaphor is perfect because that's what you talked about. You hit a golf ball. If you hit it well, it went far. It went. We're supposed to go and you're happy with that golf shot.

[00:12:01.080] – Dr. Bubbs
It doesn't feel fine, does it, Allan? like it doesn't feel easier, but it does actually. The result immediately tells you if you know a golf swing, you know exactly what you did wrong in terms of swing playing and everything else. But it is obviously a difficult sport.

[00:12:13.930] – Allan
and so kind doesn't necessarily mean the answer you're getting, the feedback you're getting. It just means you do get that feedback. Whereas we're learning environments are where you have to just stick with it and it takes so much more planning and patience. And when we're over 40 and we're looking at trying to improve our health, you know, we go into the gym and we do a workout, we eat well for a week and we don't really get immediate feedback.

[00:12:45.550] – Allan
It's sometimes we don't get feedback or sometimes we even get negative feedback is not the feedback we wanted. Well, crap, I eat salad all week and I gained weight. I guess salads make me fat.

[00:12:56.800] – Dr. Bubbs
Exactly.

[00:12:58.870] – Allan
You know, so I just I wanted to tell you that because I think as we go into this, that was just really something I took out of the book that was not unexpected because it is the message. The message is if you don't have planning, which this book gives you the tools, which that's why it's so great of a book and the patience to execute on the things that you'll learn that Dr. Bubbs has written about. This is a great book to give you some huge fundamentals, those big rocks that you were talking about to really move the needle.

[00:13:31.330] – Dr. Bubbs
Well, it's interesting that you hit on a couple of things that I mean, one of them is the human aspect of this whole story, which is the fact that regardless if you're the most rational scientist, doctor, lawyer or whomever, the human part of us, even knowing your business in your work life or your finances, you'd never think you're going to, you know, you return on investment it's going to be 100 to one in a month. When we talk about weight loss, all of a sudden, you know, rationality goes out the window and we're wondering why in 30 days we haven't lost 30 pounds.

[00:13:59.290] – Dr. Bubbs
And of course, that's the message, you know, rapid transformation so much the message that we get. But compounding things is this idea of like a wicked learning environment. And it's interesting because years ago I actually lived in the south of France teaching English and the method they used, you'd have to speak to the French people only in English. You never translated anything. Of course, they couldn't speak English, and so they found it incredibly difficult to start with.

[00:14:26.450] – Dr. Bubbs
And it's interesting because research in this area compared this is what this program was built on compared to the classic, you know, you learn Spanish, you learn French and you memorize a bunch of words. And when the researchers then asked those students how they felt that they were doing, they all felt like they were learning really well. Now, the other group in the study was doing like I had done in France, which is they were in a full immersion.

[00:14:48.740] – Dr. Bubbs
So they no one could speak to them in their mother tongue. They had to just grind through it. And when you when the researchers asked them how they were doing, they said they were doing horribly. You know, I'm not learning anything. And of course, six months later, they do this sort of immersion test. And, of course, the people who scored 90 percent on their test because they memorized all the words, once you actually put them in an environment where they had to speak French or Spanish, they were awful.

[00:15:12.650] – Dr. Bubbs
Right, because they hadn't actually practiced it, whereas the ones who thought they were awful the whole time by being in this complete immersion could actually do it well. And so that idea of linear progression is what we're talking about here. We're so used to making progress in steps that to go to muddle through weeks and months and feel like you're not making progress, even though you are, because you're laying down the right foundations for how you eat the right habits, the right training.

[00:15:37.130] – Dr. Bubbs
And it does take some time. That's one of the hardest things. I mean, it's and ironically, it circles back to Pete because this is one of the reasons why elite athletes and Olympians are so great, because they find a way to get through. You know, it's not because they're doing some fancy new workout or they've got a special supplement. It's because they can get through all these day after day, week after week of this training. And they accept the fact that this trajectory is going to be, you know, slow.

[00:16:03.290] – Dr. Bubbs
Right. If you get one percent stronger, if you're an Olympic athlete, that's tremendous work in a year. Right. So it's up. But I think when people when we present that more to clients and we let them know that we've traveled down this road and this is the expectation and we're going to get you to where you want to go. And the best part, of course, is if you use that method to get there once you arrive, it's not a free fall back to where you started from.

[00:16:26.090] – Dr. Bubbs
Once you know, you make a mistake or you go off the rails a little bit.

[00:16:31.190] – Allan
Yeah. And so I just thought that was a really important concept because so many people expect that immediate I did this, therefore that like this, if that, you know, it's so but it doesn't happen that way. And so that was really cool. Now another thing you got into the book, which again is you got into it. I was like, whoa, that's a little deep because and I knew this empirically because, you know, when we look at the standard, so something says, OK, you should, your BMI should be this and your blood pressure should be this and your height should be this.

[00:17:08.060] – Allan
And, you know, we go through all those things and what we what you come to find out when you actually get down below it is that all of these things are really sort of averages for a general person, you know? And so, you know, I don't think any of us are average across the board. We're exceptional in some places and we're not so good in others. So as you look at fasting blood glucose level, I was like, this is interesting because what you which use some of the studies you touched on, one of them was in diabetes care and another was in scientific reports, and one of them was nineteen ninety nine, the others in twenty seventeen.

[00:17:44.520] – Allan
So this is research that's been ongoing is that even though you're in the reference range, as they call it, you might not be optimized, you might not have really a good chance that might actually be better from a longevity perspective, from a health perspective to be a little bit more optimized. And you talked about how the current range for blood glucose level might not be good enough. And we might actually want to start not just being high normal, but really pushing ourselves down.

[00:18:15.890] – Dr. Bubbs
Yeah. Again, it's that idea, like in our work life, if we're getting feedback, if the project isn't to that a standard that we want, we don't accept that it's a B and just say, oh, it's good enough. We investigate. We say, how can we make this a top class or A level? And so the challenge in medicine is that so many people are unwell. So for a GP who's sitting there all day long saying twenty or twenty four patients, two thirds of the population are overweight or obese.

[00:18:42.620] – Dr. Bubbs
And so they're seeing blood sugar levels in the nines, tens and elevens. And so when somebody walks in and they're fasting, glucose is five point eight or five point nine, for the day that's you know, that's actually pretty good. And so oftentimes they won't get a recommendation or the doctor won't tell them anything. And that's you know, I don't necessarily blame the doc for that. But it is this idea that we've got to start. You know, if you're the individual listening to this and obviously listen to yourself, they've probably got none of this already of just being able to compare yourself to yourself every year, because the first you know, the first post to the goal to meet is that you're in the normal range, that's the first place you want to get to.

[00:19:21.470] – Dr. Bubbs
But after you're in there, this idea that just because you're within the normal range, you're still doing well is a problem because I've had, as I'm sure you've had, you know, the client comes in, they're 20 pounds overweight, their waist is 40 inches around the belly or more. And they say to you that their doctor told them they're in perfect health and you can see their lives and say, wait a minute, you know, I got this is a bit of a stretch here because perfect is a little.

[00:19:46.720] – Dr. Bubbs
And so what we see in the evidence is the idea that if you're at this high, normal range, you're still at a much greater risk for cardiovascular events. And so the idea around midlife health is that, you know, in midlife works, really busy in the home life, really busy, and you might be caring for young kids or older parents or even both. And so, you know, we are more at risk for various conditions and low mood and other things are part of that, which actually ties in quite tightly to the story around blood sugars.

[00:20:14.950] – Dr. Bubbs
And so really, it's more conversation to have an opportunity really for. I do talk to tell clients, say, hey, look, you're doing well, but at five point eight, we can still see a significant difference if we could get that fasting glucose down towards five, you know, definitely less than five point four. And so it's a conversation to say, what are you doing on the nutrition front? What are you doing in the exercise front?

[00:20:35.380] – Dr. Bubbs
What does that sleep or stress look like? What lever can we move there to be able to get some more wins, you know, to be able to nudge things in the right direction? Because, again, the nice part is you don't have to make a dramatic change. You just need to make a few small changes. And, again, you know, repeat them over time. But to circle back, I think the biggest problem, as we see some of you are so sick that those others kind of fly under the radar.

[00:21:00.010] – Dr. Bubbs
And, you know, I'm sure you hear they get frustrated, too, because they're still not losing that 20 pounds and they still feel like their energy is low or they're not sleeping as well or the libido is not where it wants to be. And that's a part of this whole story.

[00:21:12.550] – Allan
Yeah. And then again, in the end, when we're talking about performance, it's performing for your life. So if you can make that better then this is an approach. And again, the connection to the longevity was really something that kind of floored me. It's like, oh, so I can actually be in the normal range. My doctors happy. He's got a big smile. He spent his seven minutes with me and said, oh, your labs turned out great.

[00:21:36.250] – Allan
I'll talk to you next time. Oh, by the way, you need to lose some weight. And then he walks out the door and

[00:21:42.700] – Dr. Bubbs
wait a minute, what am I? Am I great? I'm going to lose some weight? And this is where like an American unit to be less than ninety four is kind of what we aim for or in international units, 5.0 millimoles per liter. But that's a good fasting glucose is a really good marker or your HA1C is another one, you know, that's your HP1C that's your three month average for blood glucose and again less than five point four, five to five point four is what we're after.

[00:22:08.530] – Dr. Bubbs
And so those just act as a way to tell us, like, do you have the right diet for you, regardless if it's low carb or low fat or everything else in between? That starts to tell us, like, wait a minute, if you're still at five point seven or five point eight or your fasting glucose is at one hundred and five or 110, you know, you're not all the way home yet. We've got to continue this.

[00:22:29.320] – Dr. Bubbs
We've got to, you know, like detective work, start to unpack things a little bit more and figure out where those those gaps are.

[00:22:36.160] – Allan
Yeah. Now, I was very fortunate in my kind of fitness journey and health journey was that I fell into a lot of things. I got a little lucky is the best way I can say it. The things when I found the things that worked and one of the things that really worked well for me was fasted exercise.

[00:22:55.060] – Dr. Bubbs
Cool.

[00:22:55.480] – Allan
And it was just one of those things to me saying, you know, if I get up in the morning and what was it was twofold.

[00:23:00.130] – Allan
One, if I got up in the morning and did my exercise, it was going to get done that day. You know, it's kind of like. The general says that makes you make your bed because you have a small win. For me, it was like if I just get some exercise in in the morning. And so a lot of my programs that I would put together would just say, let's let's even if it's just going for a walk, a 30 minute walk, when you first get up in the morning, you know, hydrate, go the bathroom and then just take your dog for a walk or go for a nice little walk.

[00:23:29.440] – Allan
And I said it's literally going to help you lose weight faster. And the funny thing is, is there's still a lot of people that will argue and say, no, it's calories, a calorie. You're not going to lose fat or anything. But I just don't empirically. And it's anecdotal from my perspective, until you actually, again, pointed to a study because your book is extremely science based. And it basically was it was in the Journal of Nutrition in 2019.

[00:23:55.930] – Allan
That is basically if you're exercising before breakfast, you're giving yourself a competitive advantage for weight loss.

[00:24:03.880] – Dr. Bubbs
I mean, it's a fascinating topic, everything around breakfast and timing of exercise. And there's a group out at the University of Bath and it's called the Bath Breakfast Project. So the group of researchers that are investigating everything around breakfast in terms of the types of breakfast we eat and whether we exercise before or after. And the really cool thing here is that if for someone who is overweight or trying to lose weight. When you do exercise in the fasted state, it's amazing that our body, it needs fuel, right?

[00:24:31.510] – Dr. Bubbs
And of course, we have fuel on our bodies. So even if you're 10 percent body fat, so you're lean, you've got almost a six pack, you still have thirty thousand calories of energy on your body, which means you could run like seven or eight marathons with nothing. So you imagine someone who's 20 percent or 30 percent. We've got all this energy, right. So it's your point, you wake up in the morning, you might not feel like you have the energy, but the cool thing, if you do resistance training on the one hand.

[00:24:59.450] – Dr. Bubbs
The fat within your muscles, which is called intramuscular fat, you actually start improving your ability, your body does the ability to use that fat as a fuel source for your muscle. Now, it gets really interesting here because insulin is the blood sugar hormone. And if you're more prediabetic or diabetic or overweight with a lot of central adiposity, so belly fat, then you have really high insulin levels. And that's not a good thing for longevity. Some of the original research, Dr.

[00:25:26.300] – Dr. Bubbs
Gerald Evan Stanford Medical School back in two thousand show that that's a you know, that's a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease, cancers, dementia. And so, when you train in the morning, you do resistance training, you use more intramuscular fat, and that's really correlated with really lowering this insulin in, you know, your chronic levels of insulin. And so it's a great way to, you know, you're basically moving your body in a state where there's not a lot in the fuel tank coming from the food you're eating.

[00:25:58.370] – Dr. Bubbs
So your body has to use what's in the reserves. So your body fat starts to really kick things up. And it's amazing how that is a powerful signal. And it happens also on the aerobics side. So, you know, it's a little bit different in terms of the pathway. But when you haven't eaten anything and you go off and I love your point there, but like even walking, because what people struggle with is especially if they've exercised in the past.

[00:26:22.520] – Dr. Bubbs
And then I tell them, hey, look, just get up and go for a walk. And if there a type A personality, they think you're giving them like the lower version of things and they're all I don't want to do that. That's not you know, that's not intense enough. And they don't realize that the goal is actually just to train yourself to get up and do something. It's almost like, I don't care what you do.

[00:26:40.020] – Dr. Bubbs
I just want you to get used to waking up at six or six thirty or whatever it is and do something, because that's actually the hardest part right? The getting out of bed part. And I'm sure you've seen this. You get somebody walking and then by the end of the week, without even telling them they might start jogging a little bit or by the end of two weeks, they're running in the morning. But had you suggested that right off the bat, they would have gone, oh man, the first morning they wake up and it sort of feels too intense, then we've got some cool studies to show that right.

[00:27:08.370] – Dr. Bubbs
You ask someone to go down and give you 30 pushups and, you know, something like 30 percent of the group wants to do it. You ask someone to go down and give you one push up. Almost one hundred percent of the group wants to do it. And at the end of the day, both groups are actually quite similar to the amount of pushups they can do. So it's this idea like if you can just get the person down on the floor ready to do one, once they're down there, they're going to show you what they got.

[00:27:34.830] – Dr. Bubbs
And it's the same with that morning movement piece. And so, just what you said, I think the fact that life is busy in midlife is like if we can carve this out in the morning, is great. I know people's schedules are different. So for some people, could even be after dinner, you know, rather than, you know, we all fall prey to like the Netflix and Red Wine or whatever might be a bottle of beer.

[00:27:55.410] – Dr. Bubbs
But like, if we can do some movement after dinner, if that's the only time you can get it in. And that's a pretty good time, too. And that way you get into that natural rhythm and you can start making some progress.

[00:28:06.690] – Allan
Yeah. And I've actually seen a study that said if you do some movement after you eat, it actually helps with blood sugar regulation. So, again, there's no bad time to exercise. It's just when you can get it in and which you enjoy doing and just the consistency of doing it.

[00:28:23.160] – Dr. Bubbs
100 percent. I mean, that's one of the things where, you know, we're in an Olympic year this year. And back to that morning analogy like, olympic athletes don't wake up in the morning doing cartwheels like it's five thirty in the morning and they're jumping out of bed with a big smile on their face right there. They don't know. They don't want to get out of bed and trained a lot of mornings. But the big difference, and this is part of the notion that we talk about in the Book of Building Habits is that the rest of us wake up in the morning.

[00:28:47.900] – Dr. Bubbs
When the alarm goes off. We still ask that question, like, should I get up? Should I not get up? And do I really want to go for a run? Whereas the people in this example, the you know, the athletes, the Olympic athletes, there's not a question anymore. The alarm goes off that that alarm triggers the action. They roll themselves out of bed and they just get on with it. And you'll often hear people say, well, I could never do that.

[00:29:10.640] – Dr. Bubbs
And then I say to them, what? What's the first thing you do when you sit in your car? We put your seatbelt on, right? Well, you're not thinking about that anymore. You're not motivated or inspired or you start even disciplined. You just literally the environment of sitting in that chair triggers this automatic reaction. And it's interesting how we can you know, everybody does that and so we can start to use that to implement. You know, that's ultimately what we want to do in nutrition and exercise.

[00:29:35.030] – Dr. Bubbs
We don't want you to make decisions all day long. We want to start as best we can integrating some of these things that are just what you do rather than having to think so much about it.

[00:29:42.800] – Allan
Yeah, and with an athlete, the way you're talking to competitive athletes and Olympians is, you know, first they start off with a commitment. They're going to do this and then it becomes a habit. And, you know, it's the whole point of in a way I like to say it is if your spouse needed you to pick them up at the airport at five o'clock in the morning. Guess where you are at five o'clock in the morning? You don't roll out and say, I really don't want to do this and hit your snooze alarm and ignore their text and then the letter from your divorce attorney.

[00:30:13.670] – Dr. Bubbs
exactly.

[00:30:14.870] – Allan
You know, so no, you show up where you're supposed to be. And so it's just kind of getting that thing, that ball rolling. And to know that doing this physical activity first thing in the morning before your breakfast is actually doing you more good than just doing it really kind of needs to be a huge incentive to say, yeah, get up, do something, start something. That work, even if it doesn't feel intense, is really kind of changing you and getting you better and helping you with your performance as just being a good human and a healthy parent, a healthy grandparent and all of that.

[00:30:48.230] – Dr. Bubbs
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[00:33:02.560] – Allan
One of the things you got into in the book is you got into protein, and this is a topic I think I read about or talk about nearly every single day, you know, because, you know, if I'm talking to a vegan or vegetarian, then the topic will always come up is where do you get your protein?

[00:33:22.120] – Allan
And I tell people it's like it's in all of that. You just have to mix and match. And then someone who is like animal protein and like, that's great protein. If you want to eat animals, that's great, too. I loved your approach coming in, basically just saying to both, you know.

[00:33:39.430] – Dr. Bubbs
Yeah. I mean, it's I mean, in the book we basically set like a minimum level and people say, well, more it. Sure. But again, the idea with the book is that if we use a golf analogy, like if you play a par three with Tiger Woods and even if you're a 10 handicap, if Tiger hits a really good shot and you hit a really good shot, you're probably not too different in terms of where the ball is.

[00:34:01.550] – Dr. Bubbs
But the difference is if Tiger hits his worst shot he's got, he's still on the green, whereas if an amateur hits the worst shot, the 20 hours in the bush and they're, you know, they've lost their ball.

[00:34:11.730] – Allan
And so we heard a splash. We just heard a splash.

[00:34:14.080] – Dr. Bubbs
That's so it was like. And so this idea that we've got to start like, you know, the worst day that we have is just going to be better, right. Rather than always focusing on trying to be people want to be great, but then it's hard to maintain it. And then all of a sudden they fall off the wagon. And so, you know, the minimum the idea for this minimum of one point two grams of protein per kilogram body weight per day, which if you divide, you know, for Canadian or American, you take your body weight in pounds and divide that by two point two.

[00:34:42.820] – Dr. Bubbs
You know, this is a number that some of the best protein researchers like Stu Phillips of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and The US leads back in the U.K., in their research, have found that as we age, if we can maintain this amount of protein, minimum amount in the 50s, 60s, 70s, it really helps to fight off sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle associated with aging. And that's actually a huge problem when we talk about longevity and wellness.

[00:35:08.320] – Dr. Bubbs
Like once you start losing muscle mass, you know, a lot of bad things start to happen after that. And so, again, it's about setting up this rhythm that if you can just start to hit this as part of your daily rhythm every day and you just know that you're getting this one point two grams per kilo, you can actually stop thinking about protein a little bit. I mean, there's scenarios where you might want more, etc., but you can then, you know, focus on other areas like carbs or fats or whatever else.

[00:35:32.890] – Dr. Bubbs
But that's a really big one, because as much as people think they're eating a lot of protein and, you know, you mentioned, you know, plant based or vegan, they'll often say, well, I've heard that before, I'm fine. But I'm sure you've seen once you actually go through and calculate things, even for meat eaters, you're saying, well, wait a minute, you know, we're barely at the RDA, which is zero point eight.

[00:35:54.730] – Dr. Bubbs
And and we're wondering why, you know, we're leaving a lot of gains out here if we're not at least getting to one point two. And even there we see in the research, if you climb up to the one point six, you're still going to get some significant benefits. So, you know, it's a great place to start to build out your diet is like, where is the protein on my plate? And then from there figuring out, you know, the rest.

[00:36:15.200] – Allan
Yeah, you do center on protein as kind of the starting point of deciding which you're going to eat. And, you know, yes, I have a client. I meet a client, I start talking and we start looking at their nutrition. And it's like they're eating 60 grams, maybe 65 grams of protein in a day. And I'm like, oh, no, no, no, you're about to start lifting weights with me. I need you to bump that up considerably.

[00:36:40.630] – Allan
And then there's this fear. They're like, well, won't that harm my kidneys? Can I eat too much protein? And you kind of dove into that, you know, that people might not be able to eat too much protein, can you talk a little bit about is there a protein limit?

[00:36:56.190] – Dr. Bubbs
I mean, that's one of the biggest hangovers that still lingers in medical schools, is this idea that if we eat too much, protein is bad for our kidneys. And this really stems from if someone has type two diabetic and is having renal failure typically is the issue where we do need to be mindful of the amount of protein because the kidneys struggle to cope with it. And of course, it's almost like lost in translation. That's then got the notion of, well, if anybody consumes X amount of protein or too much protein, they're going to have issues with their kidneys.

[00:37:23.130] – Dr. Bubbs
I mean, we have studies now that for the course of one entire year, individuals consumed three point zero grams per kilogram, which is almost triple what we suggest here. And there's still no adverse effects on kidney function. And so I think one of the things, you know, this obviously is safe for the kidneys, and that's what all the protein experts will tell you. And we see more and more doctors now realizing this. And the evidence is really clear.

[00:37:45.480] – Dr. Bubbs
I mean, it's not even you know, it's very, very clear. But in addition to this, the thing that I talk about in the book, as well as this idea that vegetables are great for you, eat lots of those, but when you increase your protein intake, you also dramatically increase your micronutrients data. So you bring on board more vitamins and minerals, which we often just associate with plants and the vegetables that we're eating, but animal proteins and plant proteins as well.

[00:38:12.360] – Dr. Bubbs
But I think animal proteins often get left out on this is they're tremendously nutrient dense. And so, you know, making sure you get those in is, in effect, acting like a multivitamin. You know, you're getting you know, you're one a day or all the key vitamins and minerals that you're after.

[00:38:28.710] – Allan
Now, one of the other concepts before we get off of protein that I thought was really important that I say this all the time. It's about the quality. So when we talk about the quality of protein, what does that actually mean and how do we how do we achieve that?

[00:38:47.570] – Dr. Bubbs
Yeah, I mean, I think this is interesting when we start to look at populations around the world and we could probably even expand this to just the overall diet quality like the quality of the entire diet, because the conversation, one of the reasons why we tend to fear animal protein is because if we increase saturated fat in the diet, we can increase LDL cholesterol, which is quote unquote, the bad cholesterol. And that plays an important role in the progression of atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of the arteries, which predisposes you more to heart attacks and strokes.

[00:39:19.160] – Dr. Bubbs
And so, heck, that's not good. We don't want that right? Now, there's a lot of nuance in this whole story because, you know, first off, we often hear steak, eggs, dairy, watch out they're high saturated fat foods. They certainly do contain some. But, you know, almonds contain double two and a half times as many saturated fats as 100 grams serving of steak. And you don't hear people saying, well, listen, almonds are going to cause you problems or dark chocolate or whatnot.

[00:39:48.710] – Dr. Bubbs
And so, you know, the foods that are richest in saturated fat are things like pizza, grain based desserts, sausages, hamburgers, all these processed meats and processed foods. And so, you know, that's the first place that we look at. But it gets even more interesting when you look at the countries around the world, because there are certain countries that have removed this upper limit, which in America we still have this upper limit that says, you should only consume 10 percent of your total caloric intake from saturated fats.

[00:40:17.660] – Dr. Bubbs
If you go above that, it can be a problem. Now, it gets interesting because you go to Spain and by 20, 40, the Spanish will be the longest living people on the planet and they eat more than 10 percent saturated fat and think, OK, maybe that's a one off, we go to France. Same thing, one of the longest living countries in the world. They also consume more than 10 percent. And this is the notion where diet quality matters, like if your saturated fats coming from real food, from steak and eggs and these types of things, and you're eating a lot of vegetables and whole foods, it looks as though that's not as big an adverse impact.

[00:40:54.230] – Dr. Bubbs
Right. You're not going to have this adverse cardiovascular effect because we see, you know, in places like Spain and France, thirty two or thirty eight deaths per 100000 from heart attack, whereas in the United States we see almost 80. Right. So more than double. And this is the idea where if you're saturated fats are coming from all those ultra processed foods. Right. Like the take out pizza, the quick hamburger or the sausage, and you're overweight.

[00:41:20.690] – Dr. Bubbs
This creates the perfect storm for all these bad issues to happen. And so, you know, if you're someone listening in and you don't like to eat meat or you don't want to eat meat, we don't tell you this to force it upon you. But I think too often I see people who are overweight who are avoiding these foods because they think it's, quote unquote, bad for them. But an effect of that is we don't achieve the protein intake and the foods that they choose to eat actually have a lot more calories in them.

[00:41:45.920] – Dr. Bubbs
And now if we're not losing weight, then we're not going to be improving blood sugars. We're not going to be lowering inflammation. And this is where we get into a real problem, because now we're you know, we're really stuck in that risk is not going to go down.

[00:41:58.150] – Allan
Now, I see that too as someone to sit there and say, well, you know, I don't want to eat that much meat and I want to get my protein. So I buy this vegan protein shake at this certain place. And I go to that place and look up the nutrition information and say, OK, well, it's got, you know, thirty nine grams of carbs, I mean, sugar. And I'm like, so that's like drinking a so-called soft drink.

[00:42:20.650] – Allan
I mean, quite literally drinking a soft drink. And you might be getting 20 grams of protein out of that. But, you know, it's not just protein and it's processed stuff and it's a lot of sugar. And so, yeah, I think it's too easy to get roped into this. The simple is the way and it's just, you know, go ahead and avoid these, you know, set these simple rules, avoid saturated fat, avoid animal products, avoid that.

[00:42:46.930] – Allan
And you can get yourself roped into a just kind of making mistakes only because you're listening and trying to fit it in and and also because you like that particular flavor of shake.

[00:42:59.320] – Dr. Bubbs
Well, and the other thing, too. Yeah. I mean, if you're a plant based or vegan and oftentimes I see people have problems, I'm like, I don't see them eating any lentils. I don't see them eating any tempe and eating all these processed, you know, meat substitutes and say, wait a minute, you can't if you're plant based and you're still eating a processed food diet, that's still not good. And it might even be worse than an animal based processed food diet.

[00:43:22.900] – Dr. Bubbs
And it's like we've got to get back to your point here, like eating real food. You want 20 grams or 30 grams of plant based protein. Well, let's have some lentils. Let's have some tempe or whatnot or a shake that has less sugar than the one you mentioned, because otherwise, yeah, you're still causing a lot of the same problems just with a different type of strategy.

[00:43:43.630] – Allan
Yeah. Now, one area you got into the book that I think is far overlooked in the health and wellness space is because we're like, OK, well, here's your nutrition, here's your fitness. Go lose some weight, get stronger and you're good. And many people will sit there and kind of put this concept of when I get to a particular weight, I'm going to be happy. Yeah. Now,

[00:44:09.070] – Dr. Bubbs
when I win an Olympic medal, I'll be happy.

[00:44:12.820] – Allan
I'll be happy.

[00:44:13.960] – Allan
Right. And that day may or may not ever come, but you get to that weight and it's not there. And so you talk about awe and happiness and they're related in my opinion. Awe gives you happiness. Awe is the moments that you're happiest because you're just looking at the world in a way that's just it's opening you up to just what, what's possible. Why should we commit to all Awe.

[00:44:42.080] – Dr. Bubbs
I mean this is sort of the underpinning of the whole book with this idea that. Well, first off, Mindset's. You know, the six inches between our ears is the reason why we succeed or don't succeed. And so with that as the backdrop and again, this is regardless if it's you or I or someone working a nine to five is trying to achieve their goals or even an Olympian, it's still you know, that mindset that we bring is really what's going to make us or break us.

[00:45:07.420] – Dr. Bubbs
And the really, you know, at first kind of depressing thing in midlife is how I open the book with this U shaped happiness curve, which Professor David Blanchflower, Dartmouth University goes around the world than the one hundred and thirty five countries. They measure all these indices of happiness and realize that it doesn't matter if you're in America, South America, Europe, Asia by midlife and are between 41 to 48. Effectively, we have this dip, our lowest point of the happiness index, which on the surface sounds a little bit like, oh geez, really?

[00:45:38.440] – Dr. Bubbs
That sounds like a long time, seven years, but really more than likely reflects the fact that we're just at our busiest. We got all these demands on our time, we're sleeping less, etc.. Now, why is that important to this whole conversation? Well, if we don't if we know that, let's say if you don't sleep sufficiently, if you don't get that at least seven hours a night, it's more difficult to disengage from negative thoughts. Tonight,

[00:46:02.170] – Dr. Bubbs
You wake up in the morning. I think we'll forget that. I'm not getting up to run because, you know, we can make up an excuse, right. It gets harder now to build the habits that we need. And so this is one of the major roadblocks we see with clients in midlife is that, you know, the mindset is such that we're sort of stuck in this bit of a rut, if you will, or we've tried to achieve those weight loss goals, health goals so many times that as soon as something goes wrong or as soon as we get to a roadblock, you know, it's like a loop that plays back in our minds and we start self sabotaging and thinking it's not going to work out.

[00:46:37.810] – Dr. Bubbs
And so, you know, this connection to awe, really, how do we rather than this progression of if I achieve the promotion, if I achieve the weight loss goal, if I achieve my dream of the Olympics, then I get to happiness. The cool thing, again, from a performance standpoint, is in elite sport, they're flipping that whole model to say how do we create happiness in this person to allow them to express their potential? Because even if you achieve your weight loss goal, guess what happens tomorrow morning?

[00:47:08.800] – Dr. Bubbs
You still need to wake up and do something, you still need to eat something, you still need to train a certain way, like there's you know, the world keeps moving. And so how do we build that mindset? How do we start to reshape, you know, how we think and how we feel, you know, whether it's optimism, self talk, all these types of things? And this is where we circle back to this conversation are awe because I think with the backdrop of the latest pandemic, we've seen how people's moods have been impacted.

[00:47:37.060] – Dr. Bubbs
And so what's the easiest way to impact, you know, mood and happiness? And when we look, you know, there's two components to happiness. One of them is life satisfaction, which is effectively, you know, how satisfied are you with your life? And that actually does trend really closely with your income. So you tend to be more satisfied with your life if you have higher earning power. But the other part of happiness is the subjective part.

[00:48:02.750] – Dr. Bubbs
Which means, are you happy in your life? And that actually has no correlation with income. It might. In fact, when you get to a high enough bracket, it actually impacts negatively. And so the crazy part about awe, which is awe is basically just walking out into nature, you know, forests, seeing mountains and ocean, even pictures of it. Awe is even listening to, like a song that really resonates for you or a speech that makes you feel a certain way and that actually triggers both aspects.

[00:48:32.340] – Dr. Bubbs
It's a positive emotion. It triggers both aspects of happiness. And so, you know, some really cool research by Dr. Amy Gordon at Cal Berkeley and even our day to day lives, if you can actually in a week, find a couple of things that are, that allow you to experience that, so if you can scroll through your Instagram rather than comparing yourself to somebody, look through some landscapes or listen to some music, it actually has this really beneficial effect for, you know, emotions and positive emotions, which, you know, by itself isn't going to move the needle.

[00:49:07.740] – Dr. Bubbs
But it allows you then to take that step towards saying, I'm going to do a little bit more, you know, positive self talk exercise or I'm going to train myself a bit more to be optimistic. Because the funny part is these are actually like these are trainable skills. We often think of them as just traits like that's a positive person. I'm a skeptical person. But one of the analogies I like metaphors that's really great is this idea. Like, you don't show up to the championship game and expect to score 40 points if you've never practiced.

[00:49:38.370] – Dr. Bubbs
And how many of us really practice our mindset skills. Right. And until recently, it's really flown under the radar. And so I think for some of us in midlife, it feels kind of weird to sort of circle back to that. But, you know, one of the ways in which I outline is and which I've seen it, the experts that I work with and in sport right now is this notion of going back to your values. So if I need you to develop a new habit.

[00:50:04.090] – Dr. Bubbs
It helps a little bit if you want to hit a certain number on the scale, but it really helps if your values or the fact that you want to take care of your you know, you want to spend quality time with your kids and have enough energy for them, but you're 30 pounds overweight. And if you don't do it, it's going to adversely impact that relationship and your ability. Now, all of a sudden, we've got this you know, you can really see that the North Star there is that value.

[00:50:26.000] – Dr. Bubbs
And if you're staying up late watching, you know, crappy TV and snacking on things, it just becomes more obvious. And so that's been one thing over time that's really struck out for me in my practices, you know, limiting the amount of things that get people to do, being more just like here's the one or two things you want to do and allowing them the space to see that, you know, hey, this is your goal.

[00:50:48.530] – Dr. Bubbs
You want to be more energetic, to thrive in your business or at home. Well, these are the things that you're doing. Do you think those are in alignment? And when you can let people start and they make those connections quite quickly and all of a sudden it's amazing how almost like snapping your fingers, people who struggled to do a behavior for weeks or months can all of a sudden really jump on board.

[00:51:10.100] – Allan
Dr. Bubbs. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:51:20.420] – Dr. Bubbs
that's a great question. I mean. The way again, this whole idea of being busy in the madness and hectics of midlife is coming back to simple rules that we can remember. When we're busy and when we fall off the wagon and we fall out, you know, we go off path, it's easy to remember these heuristics, right? These simple rules to come back to us. What I would like to tell people is, if you can start your morning well, in the book we call Master your morning.

[00:51:45.610] – Dr. Bubbs
If you can end your day well or not, let things go off the rails with all the late night eating because we know that's where, you know, more than 40 percent of all the calories we consume now come after six o'clock. So if you can start your day well, end your day well and eat enough protein through the day. Three simple things. You'd be amazed at how much progress you can make as the middle of the day actually doesn't matter nearly as much as those other points.

[00:52:07.360] – Dr. Bubbs
And so that would be kind of the quick tips I would give someone that they can go off with and say, hey, eat the right breakfast, try not to snacks in the mid-morning, don't succumb to the late night snacking and get that protein in. And you'd be pretty, pretty amazed at the progress you can make.

[00:52:24.050] – Allan
Awesome. So, Dr. Bubbs, if someone wanted to learn more about you about the book, and I believe you have a seminar, a peak 40 think coming up this fall, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:52:39.380] – Dr. Bubbs
100 percent. Yeah, I appreciate it. You can go to drbubbs.com/peak40 and you'll you know, you'll see some info there. We have a nutrition coaching we do every three times a year. The next one's in the fall, 2021. And so you can check out some information there. We got a peak 40 podcast as well, or a short form podcast, again, sort of 20 minutes an episode to give people some clips on this and how they can start to implement some of these things.

[00:53:04.430] – Dr. Bubbs
And again, you know, after 20 years of doing this and working on both ends of the spectrum with kind of elite Olympic athletes and the general population, it's really been, you know, a fun journey. But trying to figure out how we can help people, you know, make the most progress by doing that minimum effective dose is really the, you know, the impetus for the book.

[00:53:24.230] – Allan
Dr. Bubbs, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:53:28.160] – Dr. Bubbs
Allan, I appreciate it, man. It's been great to be on. And thanks for having me.


Post Show/Recap

[00:53:36.360] – Allan
Hey Raz, welcome back.

[00:53:38.160] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, wow, that was really neat of Dr. Bubbs to come back with a new book and they both of his books sound really interesting. I like the idea of peaking, but especially after 40.

[00:53:50.240] – Allan
Well, yeah. And I think that was kind of one of the things the first book was just it was intense because it was written for pretty much for professional athletes. And it was, you know, in their field, they need to peak at a certain time. So I'm not sure the show we're coming up on the Olympics soon. I think, you know, people won't be attending again because of the problems with covid.

[00:54:13.980] – Allan
But all these athletes over the course, the last several months have been doing what they needed to do to qualify for the Olympics, which is typically done every four years for most of these athletes. So they are doing world championships and other things. But for most of them, they don't care about that. They just want to make this one race. They want to do this one thing. And to do that, they spend all their time trying to peak to try to be at the best performance they possibly can at a given point in time.

[00:54:46.230] – Allan
So one, they make it into the Olympics and then two when they're competing in the Olympics against the best people in the world, that they're doing their best. So even if they don't win, you're seeing the best that that athlete can bring to the field. And the science that Dr. Bubbs talked about in his first book, Peak was everything we know about how that happens and how you can train for peak performance. I thought it was important to have him on here because we are training to be peak grandparents and peak this, you know.

[00:55:22.500] – Allan
So if you're planning a hike and you're going to do the Grand Canyon with your nieces and nephews or your children or whatever grandchildren you want to be, peak health, you want to be peak performance, you know, you want to be able to lift your own kayak. You want to be able to do your own, you know, your own marching and you don't want to have to sit stuff out. So peaking and being in the performance state I thought was really important.

[00:55:44.790] – Allan
And then he comes back with peak forty and I'm like, well, this is perfect. I didn't have anything to do with that. But like, this is perfect. And so. Yeah. And so basically this book is taking a lot of the basic science and things that were in peak and is applying it to the rest of us. So he was talking to that, that one percent of people out there with the first book and I, I tried to take that information and apply it for us and then he's gone and actually done it and even better.

[00:56:15.720] – Allan
So it's a really cool book, particularly if you consider yourself generally athletic, but doesn't have to be because there's still a lot in there for everybody. But if you're if you're an athlete, you see yourself as an athlete, there's a lot in there to help you just be as good as you can be. So if you're trying to get a PR on a five K or a half marathon boom, you're going to have some a lot of information in there to help you do that.

[00:56:42.660] – Allan
Or if you just want to be an awesome grandma when it comes to family vacation or the grandkids are hanging out with you. It's also that kind of book too.

[00:56:51.960] – Rachel
When you started the interview off with the big rocks, the major things, the big things that we can do to make a change in our lives. And that also resonated with me, too, because we're bombarded by data all around us. There's articles and podcasts and news clippings and and news headlines that we see on the news.

[00:57:11.100] – Rachel
And all this stuff is around us and we can easily get lost in the weeds. But I like bringing the focus back to the big rocks. What are the major things that we can do to move the needle on our own personal health and fitness?

[00:57:22.720] – Allan
Yeah, well, I brought this up in my book as well, the Wellness Roadmap was that we do have to focus on the big rocks. And I actually talked about kind of where that concept came from, its big rocks, little rocks and sand. And you're trying to get them all in the bucket and they all fit in the bucket. If you put the big rocks in there first, if you put the sand in there first, you won't get all the big rocks and little rocks in there.

[00:57:46.020] – Allan
And if you put the little rocks in there, you're still not going to get everything in there. So you've got to put the big rocks in first and then you put the little rocks and then you shake the hell out of the jar. And then you put the sand in and shake the jar and you eventually can get all of that into that jar. It doesn't look like it when you first start, but you can. And the concept is, if you focus on the big rocks first, you're going to make up a lot of ground faster.

[00:58:11.340] – Allan
And it and it works and it works in almost every aspect of your life. We get buried when we start focusing on the sand. So the question is, what supplement should I take? You know, I hear about this protein window after my weight training, do I have to have protein within an hour or is my training wasted? We hear all these things and it keeps coming out every day, you know, eat pomegranate, it's a superfood.

[00:58:41.440] – Allan
Those are all those things are good. But they're the sand. They're just sand in your progress of how far you want to go. So focusing on the big rocks means that you're putting your priority. You're putting your time, which is at a premium for us today. You're putting that on the most important thing. So, you know, you'll hear the statement, you can't outwork a diet.

[00:59:07.470] – Allan
people still try.

[00:59:08.870] – Allan
Yeah, well, you know, I'm doing an hour a day on the treadmill and I'm like, well, if you spent that hour food prepping. You know, cutting up some vegetables, pre cooking the meat and fish that you want to eat for the week and putting those meals together and putting them in the freezer that hour would do so much more for you than the hour you spent on the treadmill. Now, the hour on the treadmill might be important from a mental health perspective because many of us get a lot of mental benefit from the exercise.

[00:59:41.280] – Allan
So my big rock might not entirely be your big rock, but I will say I'm certain for 90, 95 percent of us nutrition, eating whole food is our big rock. If you're not eating mostly whole food, meaning it's not coming from a can, box, jar or bag, and I see those different every time I see them. But if it's not coming from one of those four things, then you're eating Whole Foods. It's plant.

[01:00:13.200] – Allan
Yeah, animal. And the less processed the better. If you're eating mostly whole food and as high quality as you can eat. That's most of our big rocks.

[01:00:24.780] – Rachel
That is a good one. That's a great one.

[01:00:27.300] – Allan
And then the next big rock. The next big rock is moving. Exactly. You need to be moving. Your body was designed to move. In fact, it needs to move to stay alive. You know, the toxins that are in your body, they're cleared from your cells and they go into your lymph system. Now, your lymph system doesn't have any pumps. Your heart is a pump for blood. Your lungs and the diaphragm work as a pump system to basically move oxygen in and take carbon dioxide out.

[01:01:00.480] – Allan
And that's working like a pumping action. But we don't have a way to remove our toxins with any pumping action, the way that works is through skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle is the muscle that moves our body around. So if we're not moving, we're not clearing toxins. And they're sitting there and you might have heard some terms like, OK, well, I hope the cancer doesn't get into the lymph nodes because then it spreads.

[01:01:26.970] – Allan
And that's true. So movement is a way for your body to stay detoxify. It's a way for your body to stay cleaner. So we need to move as a function of our day to day life that makes us healthier and helps us avoid a lot of problems. And so those are the two big rocks that I would say if you're not doing those two things and it doesn't matter how much protein you eat, it doesn't matter how many hours you sleep, it doesn't matter anything else.

[01:01:58.110] – Allan
Doesn't matter if you're not doing those two things.

[01:02:01.080] – Rachel
Yeah, I have to agree with you on that. One food and movement are so critical. And he also mentioned the happiness and awe and mindset at the end. That's my other favorite word, mindset.

[01:02:16.080] – Allan
I was so happy to see the word, Awe. Because no one in the health and fitness field, to my knowledge, and I've read hundreds, thousands of books and articles, no one really talks much about that. You know, I talk about happiness, but awe takes it to a whole nother level. Awe is about the experience of life. And I think a lot of us missed that because we're too busy being busy.

[01:02:45.610] – Rachel
Oh, gosh. Yeah.

[01:02:48.380] – Allan
So I was really glad he brought that up, because I do think that happiness and awe are kind of a missed piece of a life well lived. So you can be super fit. And you can eat the best foods. But if you're not enjoying yourself and you're not having those moments of bliss of awe, then why live a year longer? You know, why? I mean, so the why that we go through the commitment is typically about

[01:03:22.930] – Allan
Those moments, you know, when I talk to clients and I say, OK, why do you want to do this? Why why do you want to lose 30 pounds? why? And it's the well, you know, I'll feel better. I'll be happier. And that's not the way it works. You will probably feel better. That's true. But it's so you can do what? And those moments should be, awe, you know, time with a granddaughter, time of the grandson.

[01:03:55.760] – Allan
Hiking Grand Canyon, going and seeing the Great Wall of China, the Galapagos, you know, having the health and wellness to do that stuff, because I can tell you, when you're standing on the sea cliffs of the Galapagos and you're watching the albatross fly and the sea wall is just like the sea just hitting these cliffs and spring up in the air. Those are moments that no one can take from me.

[01:04:24.230] – Rachel
I love it.

[01:04:25.280] – Allan
And so when someone tells me, you know, I'm too busy. I'm too busy to eat well. I'm too busy to work out those big rocks and then the fact that smaller, big rocks of sleep and stress reduction, I'm too busy to meditate, I'm too busy to do yoga. I'm too busy. When someone tells me they're too busy, that's one of the saddest things that I can hear, and it bothers me that that excuse bothers me more than any other excuse out there.

[01:04:58.400] – Rachel
Yeah, it's so important to make your own health a priority and then to work your life around that. And I'm a morning runner and a lot of the people in some local run clubs are morning runners. Some of us are evening runners. And I see the most beautiful sunrise and sunset pictures from other people's runs that are just breathtaking. And to have that moment of that beautiful splendor of the first light or the last light, it's beautiful.

[01:05:29.620] – Rachel
Who doesn't love a sunrise or sunset? And to just appreciate that moment or to see the wildlife we've got dear right now are dropping fawn. So we see a lot of fawns on our runs as well. And to see a deer and a fawn is such a special thing. And it's why I get out and run so often. And I just it just makes me so happy in that moment and it's such a special time. And I wish other people could appreciate that as well by getting up early and doing their thing.

[01:05:59.740] – Allan
And it's not that you have to go for a run to do those things. Sometimes it's as simple as getting in your car, driving down to a local park and going for a walk. And it's funny because I have a guest that's coming up and I don't want to blow the whole thing, but he just you talked about just petting and playing with a dog and some things like that. And I'm like, there's so many moments that you can take.

[01:06:26.710] – Allan
To put more happiness into your life, and so I'd kind of like to leave this with a challenge and the challenge would be write down three things that you really, really, really enjoy doing that just really make you happy. Write down three things and then commit to within the next month to do all three of those things. And it can be to sit with your loved one and watch a sunset. It can be to go back and watch a movie that I really, really enjoyed.

[01:07:06.010] – Allan
it can be to take up something that I did before that was athletic and just do it slower pace. If you need to pick up a tennis racket and a golf hit the ball against the wall.

[01:07:20.890] – Allan
You know, you don't have to be all of that. But if you enjoyed playing tennis, it's not that you have to give it up. You go do it. And so within the next month. Take those three things and just make a point to do them, and if you can do them easily like Sunset's. Other than when it's cloudy, those happen almost every day, lots of opportunity, whereas, you know, if it's I want to go to the beach again, maybe that's a little bit out of touch, out of reach for this month.

[01:07:54.100] – Allan
But think about the things that really kind of bring you joy, that make you happy and just spend a little bit more time doing that. And then, of course, if you're focusing on the big rocks, you have more energy, you have more fitness, and you'll be able to do more. And so, like I said, it just it bugs me when people say they're too busy. And I'm like, you know, really, if you care about your wellness, then they're listening to this point in the podcast.

[01:08:25.360] – Allan
So I think you care. You got to make the investment. You got to make the investment of time because big rocks take time. Big rocks take time because one, you're not going to get that immediate satisfaction of, oh, I had a salad for dinner, I should weight 10 pounds less tomorrow. Not how it works or I got on the treadmill today and I ran a mile. It's like, OK, you wake up the next morning and you hurt like heck because you haven't been running at all.

[01:08:56.200] – Allan
That's not how big rocks work. You've got to move them slowly. You've got to do the gentle nudges and then you've got to be patient and wait for those things, those good things to happen. And so the peak performance that you see in an elite athlete, the Olympics, are four years away for some of these kids. They started training when they were in diapers, learning a skill and then honing it and working it, working it, and hours and hours and hours and hours, thousands and thousands of hours of training.

[01:09:23.050] – Allan
Yeah. Just for the chance to be one of those athletes. And then they perform, and so the investment that they're making is huge over time. And it's that slow, they get there, they get there, and then if everything peaks, everything's right. They have that awesome moment. And what but I think that Dr. Bubbs is saying in this book is awesome moments are all around you. You don't have to wait for the Olympics to come.

[01:09:58.120] – Allan
You can have an awesome moment today. You just have to go out and do it. You have to know you want it and you have to do it. You have to make the investment of time, effort, money, put the time and you put the money and you put the effort in and you make special things happen in your life. And that makes your life better. It makes it more full. And so, you know, most of us are opportunity to go to the Olympics is over.

[01:10:24.520] – Allan
Our boat has sailed. And we're not going to be there. I'm not going to be in the NFL. You're not going to be NBA or WNBA. That stuff's not going to happen for us. But that doesn't mean we don't have things that we can aspire to, things that we can win, things that make us happy.

[01:10:41.770] – Rachel
Yeah, we can do great things. Allan, I mentioned earlier, I'm about to turn 50 and a couple of weeks ago I ran fifty miles.

[01:10:50.200] – Rachel
That's got to be one of the biggest accomplishments in my life. And I'm about 50. So there's still plenty of time to do great things, whatever they are. Well, just if you could start,

[01:11:01.060] – Allan
it might be the biggest so far.

[01:11:02.890] – Rachel
So far. That is true.

[01:11:05.410] – Allan
because you haven't been a grandma yet, you know. So there's. Yeah. And pushed that off a few years. OK, but since your kids are just not quite there yet. Yeah butthe whole point being is, Yes, that there's so much in front of us. And that's again why I love that word, awe. Is because if you start seeking out those things that do that for you, your life is going to be so much fuller.

[01:11:35.410] – Allan
And most of the time we get on here and we're talking about nutrition and we're talking about fitness and we're into the stuff that sometimes it's easy to forget. It's not always about putting more in. So I'm working that full time job, I'm doing this, and then I'm trying to exercise and I'm trying to cook and I'm trying to take care of my kids and and do all those things together. The reality is sometimes it's just taking a break and doing less and just doing something that you enjoy that just brings you that feeling.

[01:12:09.670] – Rachel
That's just it is finding that happiness and that joy and awe. Like Dr. Bubbs had said, it's important.

[01:12:17.950] – Allan
Yes, it is. All right. So, Rachel, I guess we'll talk next week then.

[01:12:22.930] – Rachel
Sounds great. Take care.

[01:12:24.850] – Allan
You, too.

[01:12:25.730] – Rachel
Thanks.

Patreons

The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

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Another episode you may enjoy

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July 19, 2021

How to recover from a massive stroke with Vivian King

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

When Vivian King collapsed at a benefit breakfast, she had no prior warning that she was about to suffer from a massive stroke. On episode 495 of the 40+ Fitness, we discuss warning signs, being prepared, and recovering from a stroke.


Sponsor

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, I am really glad to have Haka Life Nutrition as a sponsor. Omega-3 is one of the few supplements I take regularly. But even with years of experience and having interviewed hundreds of experts in the health and fitness field, I have struggled to find a great solution, until now.

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Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:26.270] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are you?

[00:02:27.920] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:30.320] – Allan
Doing all right. It's been kind of busy here. My wife is getting Lula's kind of ready, you know, finishing up some of the final touches and we had a professional photographer come in to take some pictures. And it was kind of a scary moment because I walk in and I go into the living room and it's warm and all I see is a tripod sitting outside. So I'm like, OK, she's doing something somewhere else in the house.

[00:02:53.720] – Allan
So cool. I start opening things back up and she comes downstairs and says, Do you have somewhere to be?

[00:02:59.640] – Rachel
Oh no.

[00:03:01.820] – Allan
Oh. And then she says, you know, we need to close those windows and turn off those lights. And I'm like, OK, so I just went back into our little, we have an owner suite. I just went back there, shut the door, just stayed in there. So I knew she was gone. So I've dealt with some scary people, scary things before, but just her just, OK, I'm out of here, you know.

[00:03:25.980] – Allan
Do you. And I'm out. But they were some really nice pictures. And if you're on the Facebook group, I went to post a few of those out there so you can kind of get an idea of what this Lula's place I've been talking, complaining about. It is beautiful. It is beautiful, but it's been a handful to go through this major renovation of it. And but we're almost there.

[00:03:49.520] – Rachel
Yeah, it does look beautiful. The pictures came out just lovely. It looks like a wonderful place to relax for a nice vacation.

[00:03:57.560] – Allan
And live

[00:03:58.220] – Rachel
and live. You're lucky you can live on vacation.

[00:04:01.730] – Allan
Well, not exactly when I'm there. I'm not on vacation. I have to leave there and come to the gym to feel like I'm on vacation.

[00:04:09.560] – Rachel
It's beautiful, though. That's very exciting.

[00:04:11.990] – Allan
So how are things up there?

[00:04:13.610] – Rachel
Good, good. We have a mulberry tree on our property that produced a bumper crop this year. So we have jars of mulberry sitting in vodka, which we will turn into a liqueur after they set for a while and then we've got a couple of pounds in the freezer that will turn into jelly. And just after that was done, our black raspberries are coming to fruit right now. And so we've been picking blackberries. My fingers will be permanently purple, but we'll be doing the same thing.

[00:04:48.230] – Rachel
I think we'll make something to liqueur because we have so many and then we'll put some into some jelly. So it's been fun.

[00:04:55.370] – Allan
OK, good. Yeah, we don't have much space in the growing space on the property, so there's none of that for us. You know, my wife had an avocado that she had grown up and it was about three feet tall and then Buster decided to tear it out of the ground and so it died. But it looks like it's trying to reroot. It's just I don't think it's getting enough sun where so I think I'm going to have to move it.

[00:05:18.650] – Allan
But, yeah, we're not in a place where we can really grow our own food or liqueur or, you know.

[00:05:26.390] – Rachel
It's tough. Yeah. We've got a lot of space here, so but maybe some potted tomatoes or something, or at least herbs would be nice.

[00:05:33.950] – Allan
Yeah. Something, you know, we do have it's funny, we have this, it's called a Katuk plant. It's called katuk plant. Hold on, let me check it out. Yeah, it's called a katuk plant, and so friends of ours brought them over, they were staying with us while they were in town and they went over to their property and it was all over the place. And so they picked some and brought us some sprigs. And so we've been growing this katuk.

[00:05:57.800] – Allan
And it's basically kind of a nutty spinach flavor.

[00:06:01.580] – Rachel
Oh, neat.

[00:06:02.870] – Allan
And so we like we'll mix it in with eggs or something like that. Similar to spinach. You just don't wanna eat a whole lot of it because there's actually there have been some studies that, you know, if you get like a too much of it, you can get sick, and so this is kind of one of those things where it's a, you know, really good it tastes really good. It mixes well with eggs and, you know, works similar to spinach, which just don't want to overdo it, you know.

[00:06:27.270] – Allan
So obviously, whenever there's something that's good, more of something good is not always really good.

[00:06:33.770] – Rachel
No, not usually.

[00:06:36.410] – Allan
So we are growing katuk. So I guess I take that back. We do have a plant that we pick a few sprigs from and put into our eggs.

[00:06:44.940] – Rachel
Fun. That's awesome.

[00:06:46.790] – Allan
All right. So you ready to have a conversation with Vivian?

[00:06:49.400] – Rachel
Sure.

Interview

[00:07:32.030] – Allan
Vivian, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:34.520] – Vivian
Thank you so much, Allan. It's so great to be here.

[00:07:37.730] – Allan
Now, I have a connection with you that I didn't share with you before we got on this call. But I was a part, I joined the author academy. I didn't do the elite, but I did do that. I've been to a couple of their conferences and whatnot over, of course, covid came and there weren't the live things. So I don't know that I'm gonna get back to their next one when they do the next live one.

[00:08:01.790] – Allan
But it was just, you know, I saw that your book was from them. And interestingly enough, and I'll tell you, you tell anybody that's publishing their own book because you are self published with them is that if you don't make it easy for me to find you, I can't ask you to be a guest on the podcast. So when someone has a book and, you know, I'm going to say independently, you work with a group that helps you, but you get the book published and so many people will be published that way.

[00:08:25.850] – Allan
And then I start searching for them all over the Internet and I can't find anything. But you made it easy for me to find you. And I'm really happy and glad because this topic we're going to talk about today, your book is called When the Words Suddenly Stopped: Finding My Voice Again After a Massive Stroke. I've actually had feedback from listeners asking me to have this topic, and so I've been looking for a book on stroke and recovering from stroke.

[00:08:54.360] – Allan
And that's your story, which is awesome. Now, can you tell us, just real quickly, you know, just an encapsulation of what happened to you. And this is eight years ago or so. Right?

[00:09:10.660] – Vivian
Yes, eight years ago, it was in 2013, it was a Friday morning I woke up, I felt fine. The only thing I had a rough week. Right. It was really busy. And I thought, oh, I have to get up and go to this Girl Scouts breakfast. And then I said, maybe I'll cancel. But at that time, I was just becoming the vice president of community relations at the health care system here in Milwaukee.

[00:09:38.410] – Vivian
And I would fill tables and I would hate when people canceled at the last minute. And of course, in my heart, I knew this was really not a good reason. So I said, I've got to get up and go. So I got up, got dressed. I didn't put on my makeup, which is not totally unusual if I'm resting, I'll do it on the way at stoplights, not driving, but at stoplights and but I will even

[00:10:03.640] – Vivian
If I don't finish, I'll finish when I get to my destination. Well, I completely forgot to do that. I think in hindsight, I think the episode was starting. But I got to the breakfast, basically got in and sat down at my table. Someone asked me if I was OK and I said yes, but they said, you need something to eat probably. They gave me something to eat. And that's the last thing I remember for 10 days, nearly because I collapsed from a seizure.

[00:10:33.730] – Vivian
I was rushed to the hospital. Then they decided that I needed to go to our hospital that specializes in stroke care. I was in neurological ICU for 10 days and in the hospital for a total of 32 days. And I basically had a stroke. I had a blood clot on the left side of my brain over the part that manages your speech. It bled out, killed all those brain cells, which is why I had aphasia and couldn't talk literally for about three and a half weeks.

[00:11:02.200] – Vivian
And I wrote this book because nobody looking at me would think that I had a stroke or was in danger of having a stroke. And then I found out the cause was birth control pills over the age of 40 that caused the blood clot in my brain. And I just did not realize that that was a risk. Half the women don't realize that either, because they say, oh, I'm still over 40 and on birth control pills, the other half say, yes,

[00:11:32.020] – Vivian
My doctor told me when I was in my thirties and plus it's in the fine print. But how many of us read the fine print? I didn't. And so shame on me. But we need to obviously have this talk because doctors don't readily necessarily say that, especially if you haven't had issues with birth control pills.

[00:11:51.430] – Allan
Yeah. And we're going to get into some of the risk factors that would include this. We'll do that in a minute. But I want to start with one thing that I think was really important in your case. And you've acknowledged this a dozen or more times in the book is you had your sisters with you. You had people there at the event that you were really, really close to that immediately stepped in and did big sister stuff for you and got things moving and kept you on track and kept things working for you.

[00:12:19.510] – Allan
You had these really dear friends that then identified themselves as sisters at the hospital so they could come see you and do the things they wanted to do. And you also referred to as your posse. I think it's really important for us to have that in our lives, but a lot of people don't have that kind of support. And when you have an event like this, you've got to kind of be ready for it. And in your case, you had developed these wonderful relationships, but had a nurse said, no, I need to see that you're actually her sister.

[00:12:49.390] – Allan
Some of those things might not have happened. So can you talk a little bit about the sisters stepping in and then, you know. What that looked like from you, from a support perspective? And then so we can kind of think in terms of, OK, well, something like that were to happen to me today, how would it play out and do I have the right things in place to manage that?

[00:13:13.810] – Vivian
Absolutely, I am originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I lived in Milwaukee now more than twenty five years and I don't have fam, I'm not married, I don't have kids. And so my sorority sisters are really close to me. My sorority is Delta Sigma Theta and we have chapters all over the world. And so I'm in the Milwaukee alumni chapter. I also have other close friends as well. But because I was at this breakfast and people, I was pretty well known.

[00:13:46.600] – Vivian
I used to be on television here in Milwaukee. And so I have friends here that in television I had friends who were members of Delta Sigma Theta. And so people in this Girl Scouts breakfast knew that. And so they started calling my friends who were my sorority sisters. And so when they got to the hospital, the nurse said only immediate family are allowed in there with her. And so one of my quote unquote sisters said I'm her sister.

[00:14:19.030] – Vivian
And they told everybody else who was in my close circle to tell them that you're her sister. And you're right. They if they had said, give us an I.D., or some kind of proof, they probably would not have been able, of course, to do that. But I'm glad that they were able to be there with me because what they wanted to do was to make sure that they got down all of the information that we needed to give to my mother when she arrived to town that night.

[00:14:55.780] – Vivian
And so they wanted to make sure that I was getting my care. They wanted to make sure they got down any of the information that my mother would need. And so it was just very important for them to be there. And from this book, my friends who are single like me, they are designating people to call in there, not only in their living wills, if you want, but also in their advanced directives that health care systems give you.

[00:15:28.930] – Vivian
And so here with Aurora health care at the time, they have five well wishes. And so you list all of your wishes so that they know call this person if something happens. And of course, my mother is listed, but then also one of my sisters is now listed as well. And it's just important because, you know, we're living by ourselves and we're home most of the time by ourselves. And if somebody needs to know what's happening also since that book, one of my friends who was listed as my sister, Tracy, she's not in my sorority, but we're really good friends and went to the same church.

[00:16:16.060] – Vivian
And so now what we do is we make sure we touch base with each other in the morning and then in the evening. So we'll say good morning. We'll say good night, because in a stroke, time is brain. And so the faster they can get to you, the more positive your prognosis will be. And they have a chance to reverse things. And so it's just so important that you are just letting people in. And I know sometimes we get into our own lives and we don't let people in.

[00:16:53.530] – Vivian
We need to let somebody in so that they know what's going on with us.

Sponsor
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, you know, the benefit of Omega-3 reduced inflammation, which helps with joint pain and heart health.

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[00:19:11.290] – Allan
Yeah, and, you know, when you went into this that you were 49 years old, you were healthy, vibrant, doing some great things, having all kinds of fun and moving forward in your career. Things were humming and they were just going well.

[00:19:27.730] – Allan
And then boom and had this happen 15 minutes earlier, you would have been in a car. Had it happened earlier in the morning, you would have been at home. And so having that preparation just to know, OK, if something happens, this is what we do and this is who we contact. And, you know, making sure that's lined up I think is really, really important, even if you feel like you're in the best of health because you just never know.

[00:19:54.420] – Allan
Now, you had some you had a couple of stroke risk factors, but they weren't stroke risk factors that you would have just readily known. One of them was your race, and then one of them was taking birth control when you're over 40 years old. Could you go through some of the risk factors that are out there? And just so people know, OK, if if this then at least something to keep top of mind and if there's something that's reversible, which a lot of these are, I mean, you obviously can't reverse your age, but there are other things in your health you can.

[00:20:31.290] – Allan
Could you go through a few of the risk factors? And I mean, just briefly talk about them a little bit.

[00:20:36.420] – Vivian
Right. Yeah. You know, high blood pressure, which is very prevalent in African-Americans, high blood pressure is one of the risk factors. So you really want to keep your blood pressure regulated. I don't have high blood pressure, and I didn't then and still don't. And so everybody would ask me, oh, you have high blood pressure. And I said, no, I don't. So high blood pressure is huge. And, you know, a lot of people have to take medication, but you can lower your blood pressure with exercise, etc.

[00:21:14.340] – Vivian
If you have a history of high blood pressure in your family, you probably do have to go to medication. But a lot of these things can be mitigated with exercise and eating healthy and that sort of thing.

[00:21:26.500] – Vivian
The history of a stroke in your family is something that you need to watch. And if you do have a history of stroke, a lot of times we don't talk about what is happening in our families. A lot of people are so closed mouthed when it comes to their health. They don't either want to know or they don't want to go to the doctor. So they may not know. Bottom line is, we're not talking about our health and we need to talk about our health.

[00:21:52.950] – Vivian
You need to find out what your history is with your health. You know, if you're smoking is a problem. It exacerbates your ability or your incidence of having a stroke. And with the birth control pills, that would be an issue as well. But I've never smoked. But this birth control pills is kind of lower on the list. And really, it was like on the third list. And but I found out that the estrogen levels in birth control pills can cause these blood clots, clots after a certain age.

[00:22:32.310] – Vivian
And so you really do have to pay attention to that because birth control pills are used for various things and they are a lower risk. A lot of times doctors don't readily talk about it. And so I think that's where I got I got caught in this conundrum, if you will. I had never had an issue with my birth control pills. I moved a lot. And so probably from one state to the next that didn't transfer.

[00:23:07.110] – Vivian
But maybe doctors weren't really thinking that I was have I haven't had any issues. And so maybe they felt that it wasn't I didn't need to know about this or maybe they didn't know. So, you know, I'm not quite sure. I don't want to indict anyone. But I just know that this is an issue that we need to talk about. And even if you don't know what's in the fine print, always ask, what are the risk factors?

[00:23:39.750] – Vivian
Are there any risk factors to whatever kind of medication you're taking into your body?

[00:23:45.360] – Allan
And I think one thing you put together there is, there's things you don't know. But then you find out if you ask the question, what's the risk of this? And then knowing the other risk factors, you can kind of look at them in tandem and say, OK, what does this mean for me? So if you're looking at a medication that you might be taking, you say, OK, am I overweight, am I inactive?

[00:24:08.700] – Allan
You know, do I smoke or do I have high blood pressure? How old am I? What is my race? And you start putting those together and you say and then put something low risk on top of all of that, it could be bad. For you, it was really you know, you were in decent shape and you said a little maybe a little overweight, but not anything exceptional. You were very active. You're moving around doing a lot of things.

[00:24:32.130] – Allan
You didn't smoke. You weren't a binge drinker, just an occasional social drink. You didn't do drugs, but you added this small thing on top of race and those risk factors that came around. And at forty nine, that's relatively early. I could see why someone in their 40s would be on birth control because you still haven't necessarily transitioned into menopause. So you're still, as far as your body's concerned, capable and a lot of people also take the like you said, they'll take the birth control pills to manage their periods, to manage, you know, just their cycles, to have a little bit more control over their lives and not thinking about or not knowing about these additional side effects.

[00:25:14.110] – Allan
So if you are going to go on any medication, get the pamphlet out. It's long. It's boring. It'll probably take a few nights to read it. You'll fall asleep a few times, but ask your doctor and then, you know, just do a little bit of basic research. It's not that you're going to be Dr. Google or anything, but just get out there and say my doctor's prescribing something that I'm going to put in my body.

[00:25:37.050] – Allan
I need to know what this does, not just what it's going to do for me, but what it could do to me.

[00:25:43.090] – Vivian
Absolutely, absolutely, and one of my friends also said to maybe even talk to a pharmacist or pharmacologist, because a lot of times doctors know their specialty, but they don't always necessarily know how medications interact with other medications. And so a pharmacist and a pharmacologist is really more in tune with those things. And so don't be afraid to talk to the pharmacist or the pharmacologist.

[00:26:15.430] – Allan
They actually have a little booth in most pharmacies. If you go in there, there's a little consultation little booth. You can go over there and they'll stop what they're doing and come over and have that conversation with you. So good tip there. Now, there are different kinds of stroke. And I guess as an individual that hasn't had a stroke or had a family member with a stroke, I guess my grandmother had one.

[00:26:38.140] – Allan
She's relatively young and she had hers. I wasn't even around yet. But there are different types of stroke. Could you talk a little bit about the different strokes and then kind of how yours was a unique?

[00:26:50.900] – Vivian
Right. So there are three kinds, there's in a ischematic stroke, there's the hemorrhagic stroke, and then there's the transient ischemic attack, which is called a TIA. And so a lot of people have had those types of strokes. And they are you know, I don't want to say the symptoms are mild, but they're milder compared to two mine. So they may have something and they may be able to walk around for a few days and sometimes they may have two or three.

[00:27:28.400] – Vivian
But those are all kind of warning signs that a major stroke is coming along. The hemorrhagic stroke, that's just excessive bleeding that happens. And then the ischemic stroke is when you have a clot that really blocks the artery. And that's what I had. And it was a major block. But this is what was really interesting. My doctor, Dr. Akram Shhadeh he said that it's called a C V T cervical or cerebral I'm sorry, cerebral venous thrombosis.

[00:28:07.460] – Vivian
And it's when the blood stays or stagnation causes pressure and then it starts to bleed in the vein. And so it's kind of inward instead of outward. And I know this kind of technical, but it was just a rare kind of stroke. And that's why it happened so quickly. And I had the see, it's characterized by a seizure. And so I had that seizure. I had never had a seizure before in my life.

[00:28:42.680] – Vivian
I had two on that day. One at this breakfast. And then they had to stabilize me because I had another one once they put me into the ambulance. So I had to in one day. And when you have a seizure, you can't drive for 90 days legally. And so I had to after 90 days, I had to take work with my occupational therapist. And we know we're going to talk about them in a few minutes. But I had to work with my occupational therapist.

[00:29:16.260] – Vivian
So they do a driving test that really looks at your peripheral vision. If you could see certain things, your reaction and they have to sign off on whether or not you are able to do that before you send it to the state and the state signs off for you to rescind your or to give you your license back, basically.

[00:29:42.110] – Allan
Yeah. Anyone that's listen to the show for any time at all knows that physical therapists are like my favorite people on Earth. I just thought if you enjoy yourself, find a good physical therapist, it's going to mean the world to you as far as how much that can improve your life. But you also then had to go to occupational therapy and speech therapy. Can you kind of talk about how they're different and why each of them was important specifically for you coming back from your stroke?

[00:30:13.520] – Vivian
So physical therapy is very important because when you have a stroke, sometimes you're one side gets weak and so this, my right side got weak and so they would wheel me around in a wheelchair because I had to strengthen that right side. So I had to go to physical therapy every day and do exercises to basically strengthen those muscles. And, you know, it's you know, when something is weak, you just have to exercise the muscle to get it back strong.

[00:30:54.020] – Vivian
And so physical therapy is so key. And we take I think we take our therapists and we take what we do every day for granted. And I just learned through my experience in the hospital that therapists are angels. My nurses and my therapists in particular were angels, because every day we would work on something. And if I wasn't doing well, they would say, well, work on that tomorrow. Let's work on something else. They're just extremely positive, just so positive.

[00:31:31.280] – Vivian
And so physical therapy just strengthens your muscles back so you can use what you've always used in the future. And then occupational therapy is really the therapy that helps you do your everyday activities, that allows you to cook, that allows you to, you know, get dressed in the morning. And so because I was out of it for nearly 10 days, I needed to shower. I needed to brush my teeth, I needed to cook. I needed to get organized.

[00:32:09.320] – Vivian
And so all of those things come in to the help that of an occupational therapist gives you. I remember being in the hospital and she take the occupational therapist, took me to this stall, shower stall to help me get dressed and showered. And then when we came back, she says, OK, go in and brush your teeth. I tried to brush my teeth. I was doing what I normally do. And then when it was time for me to spit the contents out.

[00:32:44.860] – Vivian
I didn't know what to do. I open my mouth, but I didn't know the function of actually spitting it out and she said, Vivian, you have to spit it out. You have to spit it out. And I thought to myself at that time that, oh, I probably should have known this, but I went ahead and spit it out. But just the damage that the stroke had done had taken away my ability to remember all of the actions and functions that my body had done up until that point my whole life.

[00:33:18.370] – Vivian
And so occupational therapists help you get back into your normal routine of life, whatever that may be. And then, of course, there was the speech. That was the most impacted of my abilities. And so I had to do that twice a day. And so I had to learn how to write again. I had to learn how to speak. I had to learn organization. The speech therapist also kind of gives you exercises to do. To say, what would you do first?

[00:33:51.700] – Vivian
What would you do second? What do you remember from this from this sheet with these pictures on it? And so all of that kind of works together to get your mind back into the organizational habit that it's been in for your entire life. So I too love them, just like you look at therapists.

[00:34:15.070] – Allan
And you did your work. And I think that's the core of this. You did it. You kept doing it. And even when you were out, you went back to your appointments, you got your work done, and as the result, you were able to go back to work.

[00:34:28.900] – Allan
And after going back to work and work your way in, now, I guess as of 2015, you are I don't think you'd call it stroke free, but fully recovered.

[00:34:40.920] – Vivian
Absolutely. Yes. My doctor told me that my chances of having another stroke point one percent. So I think that's pretty good.

[00:34:51.520] – Allan
I would, I would put some money on that one. Yeah.

[00:34:56.140] – Vivian
And I'm not on any prescribed medications but I do still take a baby aspirin each day. But it's not prescribed. But that's what they want me to do just to regulate my blood and the thickness of my blood.

[00:35:12.460] – Allan
Vivian, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:35:21.220] – Vivian
exercise, movement. And I know sometimes I have a lot of friends who joke about, oh, you won't find me on the treadmill. It doesn't have to be the treadmill. You know, walk outside. I'm in Wisconsin. And so, you know, it's kind of cold in the winter, but it's a little spring and summer. Get out there. You know, I'm right on Lake Michigan. I like to walk along Lake Michigan, you know, instead of saying, hey, let's go out for drinks.

[00:35:49.960] – Vivian
Hey, let's go for a walk. We get one with nature and we're getting some exercise in and chit chatting with our friends. And so it could be dancing. I was in this dance competition and I actually we danced like every day for hours when I was getting ready for the competition and I lost like fifteen pounds leading up to that competition. Now I've gotten a few pounds back, but it's still, you know, you can do dancing, you can do walking, you can do just whatever. Biking.

[00:36:24.310] – Vivian
A lot of people like biking, swimming, anything that gets you moving and that's fun. You want it to be fun. Just do that. Just have taken a walk. We all can take a walk and if we keep taking a walk and walk a little farther, we could walk farther the next time it's building up those muscles. So that's one thing. I think one thing that I do, I chat with my creator every morning and so I wake up and I just want to make sure that I'm grateful for the things that are in my life.

[00:37:03.490] – Vivian
And so just to me, thanking God for all of the blessings that I have, number one sparing me on October 25th, 2013 so that I can be here and tell this story and share this information, because he gave me the gift of communication. You know, I just thank him for that. I thank him for my friends. I thank him just for all of the blessings that all of the positive things that are in my life.

[00:37:31.930] – Vivian
You know, you need to be connected to your core. And I would say also having friends, you know, some people may not be as social as I am. I'm not a socialist. Some other people that I know, but if you have someone that you can call, whether it's a family member or a friend, connect with people because you'll find things to be grateful for just with that relationship. So those are just three things that I think you just need to have in your life so that you can live a happy, healthy existence.

[00:38:15.260] – Allan
Thank you, Vivian. If someone wanted to learn more about you and your book, When the Words Suddenly Stopped, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:38:23.390] – Vivian
Send them to VivianLking.com. If you go there, you can connect with me on my social media. You'll be able to just click and follow me either on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also learn about the book there. I also have a link where if you would like to get the book, you can link to Amazon, you can link to Audible, and so you can just find anything at vivianlking.com. You can also email me and we can have personal conversations and you'll be able to find whatever I'm doing on vivianlking.com.

[00:39:07.280] – Allan
OK, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/495 and I'll be sure to have those links there. Vivian, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:39:17.690] – Vivian
Thank you so much for having me. It's just been a pleasure and I'm glad I made it easy for you to find me. Carry over with you. Really excited about that. And you know what? You talked about the conference. The next conference is coming up this October, so I would love for you to see it. I'm going. So I hope you'll be able to go too Allan.

[00:39:34.910] – Allan
I'll see what I can do.


Post Show/Recap

[00:39:41.000] – Allan
Hey Raz, welcome back.

[00:39:42.290] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, you know, it was really wonderful to listen to Vivian share her story and, you know, stroke is a scary illness. It's something definitely everybody should watch. And just like health, disease and cancer, you know, almost everybody has some sort of a tie. I've got a family member who suffered a stroke. I've got a friend who's a young lady, suffered a stroke. And her story was very close to Vivian's with having lost her speech and learning how to walk.

[00:40:10.400] – Rachel
And it's been a long road to recovery. It's a scary situation.

[00:40:14.990] – Allan
Yeah. My grandmother on my mother's side had one when she was relatively young. And so it was just things I remember is that her left side was just really not really strong. And so she had to be careful with her balance. And then she had this thing on the steering wheel handle grip thing so she could turn the car more effectively because she just didn't have the dexterity of her left side to do that thing. But she lived well into her 60s.

[00:40:42.500] – Allan
So the care that she got must have been top notch. And she did recover, you know, again. To me, the big thing is, A avoid this, you know, avoid it. In the first you know, we had Dr. Raza on last week and he was talking about cardiovascular disease being on the increase because so many people were more sedentary and gaining weight. And so we know that that's a risk factor. You know, having excess body fat, having, you know, our blood lipid numbers not look well.

[00:41:14.630] – Allan
Those are big cardiovascular risks. But, you know, if you're in a high stress environment or you're hitting some of those other risk factors, like smoking or drinking too much or those types of things, you're setting yourself up.

[00:41:29.060] – Rachel
That's right. That's a good way to look at it. Instead of setting yourself up for success, you're essentially setting yourself up for failure or some sort of an illness. And stroke is one of the many diseases that we do know so many things about. I mean, it's been researched like crazy. And so if we know these risk factors, then why not discuss them with your doctor and see what we could do to reverse that?

[00:41:52.190] – Allan
Well, you know, in a lot of the books that I've read on longevity, you know, today and then it was the Blue Zones and all that type of stuff. They always talk about, you know, being active, having good social connections, all these different things that can help you live longer. And she was checking off the boxes. You know, she she was living the life that she wanted to live and then, boom, it could have been gone in an instant.

[00:42:20.570] – Allan
And she was just very fortunate to have been around friends and people that can take care of her, get her the help she needed quickly. So that's a big part of this. Is one A avoid it if you can. B have some have some plans, have some contingencies. So something happens, you know, you have people that know to look out for you. And then the final bit is. The stronger you are before it happens, the better your opportunity of coming out of this, and I truly believe that that's a big part of why Vivian was able to write this book, was because she was pretty active, pretty healthy, you know, checking off the boxes beforehand.

[00:43:00.780] – Allan
And that just made it easier for her to recover. But then on the back side, she did the work. But, yeah, she went to the physical therapist and she got all the therapy. She went to the occupational therapist and did all the therapy. She went to the speech. Even when she couldn't talk, she was still going to speech therapy. So she didn't wait and she didn't put it off and she didn't quit midstream. And a lot of times people will do that.

[00:43:26.760] – Allan
They'll say, OK, I've got the homework and they're not doing the homework. And they go to a few physical therapy sessions and are like, OK, this is kind of silly. You know, I got this little Pully thing and they're making me pull my arm up and back and do that thing like, OK, that's great, I can do this at home. Why would I pay this guy this kind of money to do the pully thing in front of him when I can do it at home?

[00:43:48.810] – Allan
But the reality is that that is the necessary action to get your body back where it's supposed to be. And whether it's the physical therapy, the occupational therapy or the speech therapy, it's just you want to recover. If you want to get back what you lost, you've got to go. You've got to do well.

[00:44:05.760] – Rachel
It's so important. And these people are all experts in their different fields, and especially with the occupational therapy, like Vivian had mentioned, was that you need to learn how to do things, how to get in and out of a car again. How does put your seatbelt on and off again. And it's not that you're learning it like a child who learns to walk from the first time. It's that your muscles are learning how those actions work. Again, it's a little different and it's kind of hard to explain.

[00:44:31.320] – Rachel
But but the faster you get into these programs, the faster your brain synapses come back together and can process this information. And like she had also mentioned, time is of the essence. If you wait too long, then you might lose some of this and make the process even harder to regain and how to heal from. And yeah, timing is so important.

[00:44:53.400] – Allan
Yeah. And I know a lot of people would be shocked at this, but she had to learn how to shop. I mean, quite literally, they took her to a store, a grocery store and I think maybe a Wal-Mart as a part of her occupational therapy so she could mock shop. So she could relearn how to shop. And you just think that's just those automatic things like spinning when you brush your teeth. And she talked about, well, you know, it's like she just forgot what she was supposed to do next, because even though it had been become so automatic in our lives suddenly now.

[00:45:26.070] – Allan
There was a missing gap, something was not there, and she had to be told to do something that she knew she needed, she knew afterwards. They said it's like, of course, that's what I would do. She had actually physically, not just mentally or remember how to what to do, when to do it, but actually physically go through the action because she had forgotten how.

[00:45:44.250] – Rachel
That's such a mystery. The brain is so mysterious that way.

[00:45:48.180] – Rachel
And it just depends on what part of the brain suffers that damage. And, who knows, it is like literally you forget things and then you forget how to do things. And it's just those random things like learning how to shop. And thank goodness for occupational therapists who could ask you the right questions and see if you know how to do these things during your recovery. It's really amazing.

[00:46:10.140] – Allan
And the last thing I want to leave this with is, OK, maybe you're not concerned about yourself having a stroke, but there are people around you that I know you love and care about. So learning what are the symptoms of a heart attack? What are the symptoms of a stroke? What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke by just by knowing those symptoms and you see something out of place, you know, a drooping of the face slurring of the words when they've obviously not been drinking those just different little things that are happening that if you catch it early and they get the medical care that they need, it can mean a world of difference over how much damage actually gets done.

[00:46:50.850] – Allan
And so it's just really important for you to know some of those things so that when you see it, you can react to it. And if nothing else, it's going to say to you she couldn't have done that for herself because she was too far gone before she even realized what was going on with the people around her. Saw it. You saw it happening to her. Everything was normal. But they could see it and say, no, this is not normal.

Note: The power went out in Bocastown while we were recording.

[00:47:16.170] – Allan
All right, looks like our power went out. So I think I'm still recording, but I think Rachel has fallen off because my power went out. But so thank you guys for being part of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. Will talk to you next week.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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Covid 19 health concerns besides Covid 19 with Dr. Sadi Raza

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Many of us became more sedentary during the Covid 19 pandemic and as a result, put on weight. Dr. Sadi Raza helps us reverse this dangerous trend and recover our health.

Sponsor

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Haka Life Nutrition, the maker of GLX3, I am really glad to have Haka Life Nutrition as a sponsor. Omega-3 is one of the few supplements I take regularly. But even with years of experience and having interviewed hundreds of experts in the health and fitness field, I have struggled to find a great solution, until now.

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Made from green-lipped mussels from New Zealand. This is the only natural source of ETA. I'm not even going to try to pronounce the full name. This version of Omega-3 is particularly effective at reducing inflammation and therefore reducing joint pain. That's why my wife is taking it now. I take it for heart health. Go to Hakalife.com/40plus and use the discount code 40plus to get a buy one get one free deal on your first order which gives you a two-month starter supply. GLX3 is my go to Omega-3 supplement going forward. It can be yours too by going to Hakalife.com/40plus and be sure to use the discount code 40plus for the BOGO deal.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:04:29.950] – Allan
Hey Raz, how are you?

[00:04:31.440] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:04:33.120] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Still flipped out by that woman.

[00:04:36.670] – Rachel
It is a funny sound on that recording.

[00:04:38.910] – Allan
Yeah. So, yeah, when we go to do a recording on Zoom, they've now got this voice lady that comes in and says, you know, we're recording and then she'll say again, we're not recording. And it's just it's kind of just startling because it's louder than we are. But it's just so you can probably hear us laugh about this for at least the next year. Maybe they can give us different voices, maybe something a little bit calmer and soother to transition into these shows because it's like, don't you know?

[00:05:08.090] – Allan
But now everybody on the call, both of us, Rachel and myself, know that I'm recording. And the little red flashing dot was the indicator for that as well. But it is accessible. This is about accessibility. So I get it. I get it. I get it. But give me a calmer, gentler voice. Everybody will be fine with it, you know, just something nice. Maybe something like Mr. Rogers voice, you know, versus the lady we have.

[00:05:32.010] – Allan
It sounds a lot more like Mr. T.

[00:05:34.230] – Rachel
Yeah. Stern warning.

[00:05:38.400] – Allan
How you doing?

[00:05:39.330] – Rachel
Good. Good. You know, we've been having some rainy weather up here in the spring, which is wonderful for my garden. But I've got a new client for who's running her first full marathon. And I told her to practice running in the rain. And Mike and I just went out. We did a 10k in the rain the other weekend and it really was a hoot. It's just fun. It's fun running and jumping in puddles. And I feel just like a kid again.

[00:06:04.350] – Rachel
And plus I'm testing all my gear because you just never know what the weather will bring on race day. So that's what I want my new client to experience just in case for race day is rainy as well.

[00:06:14.010] – Allan
Just in case it rains. Absolutely. So are you going to chafe? Is it going to hurt? You know, how much is your clothes going to weigh when they're wet. All those things can be big, big deal. You weren't planning on carrying an extra pound or two of water.

[00:06:28.410] – Rachel
Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's important to make all those decisions and be prepared. Plus you've got the mental preparedness as well. If it's going to rain, it will be a big deal because you've been through it already. So that's an advantage.

[00:06:42.240] – Allan
And if it happens to be a warm day, you've got a natural cooling effort that's there. So it's actually not the direct sunlight dehydration thing. It's rain.

[00:06:52.740] – Rachel
It could be a good day. Yeah.

[00:06:54.990] – Allan
It rained during my first marathon when I ran. It did. It was so funny. We came up to this hill. It wasn't raining when we started and then we came up to the hill is only one really hill in the whole marathon. Turned this corner and it's raining. It starts raining. As soon as we get to this hill and we're running up this hill and the wind is blowing in our face. As we're running up the hill in the rain.

[00:07:19.920] – Rachel
You have to laugh at that.

[00:07:21.540] – Allan
That's the whole point. I thought I was running with. It's like, I knew I was running with the right group of guys. I ran into these guys. It just start and we're running. And, you know, I knew I was with the right guys because we were just. Does it get any worse than this?

[00:07:35.130] – Allan
Like shut up…

[00:07:36.840] – Rachel
Don't say that. Don't say that out loud. Yeah. Because in Florida, you could have a thunderstorm pretty quickly.

[00:07:44.220] – Allan
Anything could happen. So it's like, yeah, let's just not tempt fate. Let's just race. But they were fun. They were fun for the first ten to twelve miles. And then we dropped down below seven minute miles and I was like, nope, that was not the race I trained for. I was not where I wanted to be. And so I dropped down to closer to my pace, which was closer to seven and a half to forty five.

[00:08:09.690] – Allan
And so anyway yeah they left their buddy. That was kind of the first thing that got me was, we're all military guys and they just, they ran on. Their buddy fell out first. I was also just going to leave him. I'm like, oh yes they are. I realized, OK, I don't, you know, I don't have any skin in this game, I'm not trying to win a race. I'm trying to finish one.

[00:08:27.540] – Allan
So. I dropped out. But, yeah, it's good to know there's different conditions when you're doing things.

[00:08:32.790] – Rachel
Absolutely.

[00:08:34.050] – Rachel
So how are things with you down there in Panama?

[00:08:36.300] – Allan
They're getting busy. They're getting really busy. You know, Tammy's trying to do some soft openings on Lula's bed and breakfast. So she's had people come in and stay.

[00:08:46.680] – Allan
Most of them are staying for a month or longer. Then she had a photographer come in. She was going to stay for two days and she was scary. She's just a scary person. Oh, I came in and I started opening up because it was hot and living room. So I started opening up windows and I'll turn on lights. And she said, no, no, no, no, you need to have those lights off and close those windows, like, OK, close everything up.

[00:09:07.230] – Allan
And I went my bedroom and I left her. But no, it was interesting because while she was doing all this, I was trying to do a deep clean at the gym. We do that about once every six months. We pull everything out. The mats and everything, and we scrub the mat, scrub the floor. So we were about, I'd say, maybe three quarters of the way through when the water ran out then, you know, Panama.

[00:09:34.260] – Allan
And I'm like, OK, I know there's tanks, but they city water and they were hostile. We should have so much water. It shouldn't be a problem. But no, they weren't pumping water into their tank. And so we didn't have water on our whole block and we didn't know just went out there. Like we're like, what's wrong? The pumps not working. Like, OK, cool. So I guess guys, we're done early goes go on home and I'll see you tomorrow at nine o'clock.

[00:09:55.590] – Allan
We'll do what we can do. I show up at nine o'clock. I put the bucket, I turn the spigot. It works. cool. They come in, the girl goes there was helping one of the girls that was helping me goes over with a bucket but it turns it on. Nothing comes out. Oh. And I'm like I got water out there. Look there's water in that blue bucket. I got water so I know it's working.

[00:10:13.920] – Allan
When it was not working they hadn't got the pump fixed and they didn't know when it was going to be fixed. So I sent my staff off to go find water in buckets and bring it in because we had to have it to scrub the mats and they found it down at the fire department and they were able to get enough water for us to finish. But just enough. I mean, literally, she went down with the bucket and came back and said, that's the last bucket, because they've now turned off the water to the whole area so they can fix the pump.

[00:10:42.090] – Allan
And so there's no more water. And I'm like, OK. And I went home. I told my wife, I'm like, yeah, we had to go the fire department to get water and we got the last of their water, just like a fire department doesn't have any water.

[00:10:54.180] – Rachel
That's concerning. That's not good.

[00:10:55.620] – Allan
I thought, dammit, I'm going to be that guy. I used all the water.

[00:10:59.970] – Rachel
Oh my goodness.

[00:11:01.770] – Allan
Now we literally probably took I would say. Forty gallons from them, so that was not put out a house fire amount of water that we were using to clean the gym, let's be real. But, yeah, we were able to scrub all the mats, get all of them back and get all the equipment out and stuff, you know, dusted off, cleaned off and put back in. So it was a tough, tough weekend, but we were able to get it done.

[00:11:26.120] – Allan
And, you know, kind of one of those things and I say this over and over, everybody on the podcast is know your strengths, know your weaknesses. You know, don't let your ego get in the way. The first the first two times when I own this gym, I did the deep cleaning by myself, hauled all those mats out, scrubbed them all out, put them all back and did it all by myself.

[00:11:46.010] – Allan
The first two times. The last time I did it, I hired three people to help me. And I was still exhausted at the end of the day, and this time I hired four, so there was a little bit more standing around than I would have liked, you know, spending money by the hour. You don't want a lot of standing around, but it was good to have the extra hand. So, like, we had to go a block away and get water in buckets.

[00:12:08.850] – Allan
I had the people to do it and it wasn't me doing it.

[00:12:12.270] – Rachel
Yeah, no kidding. I can't imagine the weight of all your machines and all your cardio equipment and.

[00:12:18.540] – Allan
Yeah, well, that's the other thing. When I bought the gym I had there were 350 pounds of Olympic plates in this gym. And one barbell. You know, and now I have five barbells and a curl bar and about fourteen hundred pounds of Olympic plates. So, yeah, there's a lot more equipment in here now than when the two times I did it. But those horse mats are still those horse mats are still those first mats and they're heavy and there's no real grip to them.

[00:12:49.270] – Allan
So you use a ton of grip strength, picking those up, holding them, flipping them over and doing all that scrubbing. So it's still a tough day to do the work, even when I'm only doing a fraction of it.

[00:13:00.480] – Allan
But I knew my strengths and weaknesses and what was about to get myself hurt.

[00:13:07.920] – Rachel
it's good to have that extra help for sure.

[00:13:10.380] – Allan
So my workouts this weekend had a lot of grip strength, but a lot of moving around. All right. Well, you ready to have a conversation with Dr. Raza?

[00:13:23.580] – Rachel
Yes.

Interview

[00:13:53.100] – Allan
Dr. Raza, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:13:56.100] – Dr. Raza
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[00:13:57.940] – Allan
Now, you know, as we went into covid and I have made a point on the podcast of not talking about covid a whole lot. And I only say that because there's so much that's happened around covered so many conversations around covid and it's become so political. But one of the things that really concerned me as we went into Lockdowns was the term I use, the term it's called unintended consequences that, you know, so many things are happening to us around what we're trying we're trying to avoid one thing, but we create additional problems for ourselves.

[00:14:38.130] – Allan
And it's just something that, you know, you had someone reach out to me so that you could be on the show. And I was like, absolutely, we have to talk about these unintended consequences of covid. So thank you so much for taking time to be with us today.

[00:14:53.340] – Dr. Raza
And not at all. Thank you for having me.

[00:14:55.590] – Allan
Now, you know, we went into the lockdowns and

[00:14:59.980] – Allan
Kind of the worst part of this was some of my clients were doctors. And so I was training a doctor and the doctor's like, well, we're closing down the clinic. And I'm thinking, well, kids aren't going to stop getting sick, kids are still going to need, you know, their immunizations and are still going to need their health care visits.

[00:15:21.900] – Allan
so our medical care doesn't stop just because we decide we're going to stay in our apartment or house. It doesn't stop because, you know, our office says, oh, well, you can work from home. The things that get us sick, the things that are happening in our bodies that require medical attention are better addressed if we are a little bit more proactive than if we go in for emergency care. And that's the discussion. But what we've noticed and you brought to my attention actual statistics from the CDC is that while we had this huge problem with heart disease before, it's now actually become something worse.

[00:16:04.230] – Allan
Can you talk a little bit about that?

[00:16:06.030] – Dr. Raza
It has. So if you go back to last March and here in Dallas, Texas, the spring break is always like first or second week of March.

[00:16:18.030] – Dr. Raza
And so the Thursday before spring break, I remember getting my wife's cardiologist as well. So both of us got an announcement on email and text that school was going to close early and no school on Friday would go into spring break with the anticipation that school would not return after spring break. And at the same time, locally in Dallas and statewide in Texas, we also went into lockdown. In our clinic, logistically, what that meant was that for our nurses or techs or aids, they now have to consider child care issues in addition to the hospital that we're in where we have our clinic, they indicated sort of protocols for who can now come in, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:17:09.380] – Dr. Raza
And so I still remember on that Monday, March 16th, we started to do telemedicine for the first time. We've never done this as a cardiologist, as a cardiology practice, because cardiology, you have to see the patient in front of you. You have to look, listen, examine, do EKGs, et cetera. But we started off on this in April and into May. And slowly things improved, especially locally here in Texas, whereby they opened up in May.

[00:17:41.240] – Dr. Raza
But clearly what we noticed was a drop in the number of visits to the emergency room, to the hospital and to our clinics and patients who would otherwise come in for cardiovascular issues. That is both acute symptoms and chronic management issues. And this basically persisted throughout certainly the acute hospitalization and emergency room data stand down throughout 2020. And this data was not just this is not just US based data.

[00:18:13.380] – Dr. Raza
This is this was also manifested in Europe and in the U.K. whereby they have large nationwide health care system. And so it's very easy to data. But, you know, the NHS can easily look at hospitalizations for cardiovascular issues. 2019, 2020. And we don't get better cardiovascular disease in one year. It doesn't work like that. We look at data in chunks of decades at a time in the clinic, there was a little bit of a reflection whereby June, July was busier than sort of tapered off again, as we initially had a surge in the fall and then definitely the November, December, January surge.

[00:18:57.710] – Dr. Raza
And sure enough, it wasn't surprising when the CDC came out with their data last week that the deaths from heart disease had gone up for the first time in two decades. And this reflected the fact that what was happening wasn't that we had gotten better at treating cardiovascular disease. And so that's why the hospitalizations are down. That's why the rate of our defects is down. That's why clinic visits were down. It's that patients were not seeking medical attention. And so therefore there are heart disease prosecuting chronic or being we're not being managed, not being looked after.

[00:19:34.430] – Dr. Raza
And of course, the unintended consequences is downstream. You have cardiovascular events and as we know, cardiovascular events, unfortunately, to death.

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[00:21:56.620] – Allan
I think many of us have paid attention, at least enough attention to know that if we are going through certain symptoms, you know, pain in the arm is one, dizziness, tightness in the chest, some of those basic things that were we start paying attention to once we're 40, we pay a lot more attention to it. But at this point in time, you're at home and there's this kind of a sudden, this tepid fear that this is out there.

[00:22:28.600] – Allan
The covid is out there, and we have to be concerned about being exposed. And so it's one of those things where it is kind of a counterbalance to say, do I book an appointment and go in and take a risk or is this just indigestion and maybe I shouldn't have had that second slice of pizza I ordered from Domino's or forth? So, you know, as people are going through this because, you know, I can't say this is the last time this is going to happen in our lifetime.

[00:23:00.580] – Allan
You know, this kind of talk about the different aspects of covid and the different variants and things is it's really hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that this might not just be a Spanish flu, if you will, where we have a three year period of time when everybody goes through this situation and then effectively it's passed and we're on, this might be a little bit more of a protracted thing. So before we move on, because I do think this is important and I really think it's important as far as the four steps that you have for how we can move forward, move beyond this.

[00:23:40.720] – Allan
But can we just take one step back and kind of talk about for an individual and, you know, heart disease is the number one killer for men and women in the United States. So as we're looking at that, and I know men and women actually have slightly different symptoms sometimes. Could you just take us back to that level of, let's talk about the symptoms of what would a man experience? And this is the time to go into the emergency room and this is the time to make an appointment with a cardiologist like yourself.

[00:24:14.680] – Allan
And what would a woman experience that could be slightly different? So someone, at least at this point thinking I haven't yet been vaccinated, but I so I'm putting off going to the doctor, putting off, going to the emergency room. What should they be looking for?

[00:24:28.810] – Dr. Raza
It's a great question that you brought up the pizza analogy because you can rationalize your symptoms in many different ways, depending on what you yourself are going through at that point. So you're absolutely right. March of 2020. I have patients tell me this, that they would have chest discomfort, et cetera, and they would say it was probably this, it's probably stress not sleeping well and so on and so forth. And later you find out that this is not the first cardiovascular issue.

[00:24:59.730] – Dr. Raza
So let's go back to, like you said, to the very beginning. So for me and for most cardiologists and we have to do a better job at public information disseminating this out to the public. If you have chest pain, chest pressure, if you have arm numbness, jaw pain, nausea, typefaces where you're sweating, shortness of breath with exertion, shortness of breath, when you lay flat at night, palpitations, unexplained episodes of passing out or even sort of seizure like activity, you should absolutely seek medical attention and you should do it sooner rather than later before you start rationalizing and then more subtle signs.

[00:25:44.240] – Dr. Raza
So if you feel more sure, more tired or fatigued at the end of the day, if you feel that, you know, I used to be able to walk up and down this corridor at work or I used to be able to climb a flight of stairs, now I have to take a break in the middle. Don't rationalize it as I'm a year older, maybe have gained 15 pounds and I'm a little heavier. It's easier.

[00:26:08.620] – Dr. Raza
It's very easy to rationalize. What you actually should do is go out, seek medical attention and then make sure it's not anything we need to worry about. All the other things. Let's rule it out first and then go with the well, I'm just a condition, I just need to lose a little bit weight, it's stress and anxiety. Those things won't markedly alter your mortality and morbidity to way heart disease potentially can. And remember, early intervention is always better, whether it's cancer, whether it's heart disease, you're going to find something more options

[00:26:45.460] – Dr. Raza
We have a better chance we have at preventing something worse.

[00:26:50.050] – Allan
And I think you hit on something really important. There's the early intervention. You know, don't talk. Yourself out of talking to a doctor. The worst case is he tells you, you're perfectly fine, go home and leave me alone. And that would be a great case.

[00:27:05.260] – Dr. Raza
we get that all the time, you know, we get patients who come in and they have chest discomfort. We do the evaluation.

[00:27:11.830] – Dr. Raza
It's not the heart.

[00:27:12.780] – Dr. Raza
What we tell them is, OK, I understand you had symptoms of X, Y, Z. What I can tell you is it's not the heart.

[00:27:19.570] – Dr. Raza
What it could be?

[00:27:20.710] – Dr. Raza
I don't know for sure. But let's take the next step at going back to your primary care doctor, letting them know that you had a battery of cardiovascular tests. You don't think it's your heart.

[00:27:30.500] – Dr. Raza
Let's go down the next thing down the line, whether it's high, whether it's whatever, X, Y, Z.

[00:27:36.760] – Allan
Well, anyone that tells me they went through the last 18 months without feeling some level of anxiety and maybe even moments where they just sat there and said, OK, I'm just beyond myself. They're not being realistic because I think we all went through those moments where we're like, OK, I'm not right. This is not right. I don't feel good. And it may not be a huge health concern, but in the grand scheme of things, if you're feeling any of those symptoms, feeling any of that, it's worth having the conversation and we've put the conversation off.

[00:28:09.720] – Allan
Because of the lockdowns, because of covid restrictions and just the basic fear that's out there, which, again, the fear leads to anxiety, anxiety leads to not some dissimilar, but then also that's confounder that could actually be causing some of the heart issues. So we kind of look at this full circle. It doesn't surprise me to see the higher numbers post covid, but for a long time the numbers looked great because, well, no one was going to the doctor, even the emergency room.

[00:28:40.320] – Allan
And as a result, it's like, you know, flu deaths are down, cancer deaths, all these things are down. And you're like, no, they're not down. They're just submerged into this environment.

[00:28:51.000] – Dr. Raza
They are. And you have this backlog of access to care. So, for example, telemedicine is wonderful, but you have to understand the limitations. So when primary care doctors or specialists like myself, we did tell you we're still relying on Internet connection folks having to either hold up an iPad or a smartphone. The angles are off, the lighting is bad. You can't really see the patient.

[00:29:18.990] – Dr. Raza
And there's a lot of value in actually looking at someone and talking to someone face to face versus over the phone. And so what would happen is I can easily see where they speak to a primary care doctor or a cardiologist and symptoms, I think that minimized lost in translation. And they say, well, we'll see you back in six months and six months passed down the line. And I miss the appointment or something else happens. And this data is has been tracked and the VA population and also in the UK where the NHS has this backlog now, I think about five million well visits of folks who haven't gone for their annual physical screenings.

[00:30:06.150] – Dr. Raza
And if you just do the numbers and add up all those patients with high blood pressure, diabetes and so on and so forth, we haven't had a checkup, whether it's in person over the phone, it's not surprising that you see these numbers. Going back to the initial question that you had. What are the differences between men and women with heart disease? That's a fascinating discussion that's been discussed and actually researched ad nauseum. The American College of Cardiology actually has a wonderful graphic on signs and symptoms of heart disease and actually tweeted it out the other day.

[00:30:41.500] – Dr. Raza
You can follow me at SadiRazaMD and what it is, is the signs and symptoms are similar, but women may have additional symptoms than men, so they may have the nausea, the diaphoresis which is sweating, the dizziness on top of the chest the pain, and the pressure down the left arm, et cetera.

[00:31:01.000] – Allan
OK, now you developed or at least presented to me kind of a four step process that you feel, and I'll guess I'll put my own title to it. And this should not just be about heart care, but in this premise of our conversation, it definitely is.

[00:31:18.310] – Allan
This is a post covid Wellness plan,

[00:31:23.380] – Allan
particularly for people over 40, because we're the ones most likely to be suffering from cardiovascular disease and dying from cardiovascular disease. So can you talk about your four steps? And why each is important?

[00:31:36.580] – Dr. Raza
Sure. So I think step one, and I'll be careful in what I say here, I think step one is try and get vaccinated. So today, I think the administration is going to announce that they've had more than three hundred million doses that have been given since the vaccines came out.

[00:31:56.320] – Dr. Raza
The US has three vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, which are MRNA based vaccine, and this Johnson & Johnson, which is one shot at no virus vaccine. Since March of 2020 to now, our ability to mask handwash and social distance hasn't improved. We're not better at wearing masks now than we were in March.

[00:32:22.450] – Dr. Raza
We're not better at being socially distant from each other now. We're not washing our hands better. If anything, societies open up and then those lockdowns and they really haven't been a this wealth of medications that have come down the pike.

[00:32:39.060] – Dr. Raza
You know, we had the plasma convalescent plasma that patients got potentially a randomized clinical trial, which showed minimal improvement with that, yes, we have the infusions, but really it's not because of medications or non pharmaceutical interventions that our covid numbers have plummeted in the US, both in the US, nationally and locally at the local level, at the city level and internationally. You look at countries like Israel, you look at the European Union and all of them, the curves start to markedly come down from when a robust vaccination program was enacted.

[00:33:20.890] – Dr. Raza
So clearly the vaccines work and for the most part, they're safe. And I say that for the most part because that's sort of just couching my words, because there'll be folks that say, well, in this case, the microdata is you're forgetting about the Johnson & Johnson, the vaccine, which is stopped briefly because of clots in the brain, et cetera. So I'm not discounting those. But out of 300 million people who have been vaccinated, the vast majority have had really no side effects, apart from the normal immune response that we expect from any vaccine with the flu vaccine in this case, the covid vaccine. We know, they prevent moderate to severe this is to prevent hospitalizations, and therefore they prevent the virus.

[00:34:12.160] – Allan
And in a person, a person that's most likely to suffer from cardiovascular event is what we would call an at risk person for covid.

[00:34:20.380] – Dr. Raza
Correct. Absolutely. And this is, again, borne out in our hospitals. If you look at, pick a hospital, any hospital in the US hospital, any hospital in the world, the folks who are now hospitalized with covid are younger and primarily those who are unvaccinated, which is markedly different from the typical covid admitted patient in the hospital that we had for the first 12 to 15, 15 months of this pandemic.

[00:34:48.940] – Dr. Raza
So step number one, get vaccinated.

[00:34:51.280] – Dr. Raza
It's very easy to do now, there's a phone number that you can text with zip code and you'll get a list of places that you can get vaccinated. It's now one of those things where you don't have to get in line. CBS, Walgreens, Walmart, lots of places have them that you just walk in. A lot of them you can pick which one you want. If that's your choice, you want to go with Pfizer or Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, they'll give you the date for the second one.

[00:35:18.610] – Dr. Raza
Get a nice card to carry. So get vaccine. Step two, got to reengage with your physicians, whether it's your primary care physician or to one physician, some specialist, endocrinologist or cardiologist, or lung doctor, we engage with them. Get back to figuring out how far away from the baseline you are. Have an honest conversation with them about the signs and symptoms that you've had recently and give them an overview of your health over the past 15 months.

[00:35:47.370] – Dr. Raza
What's happened?

[00:35:48.060] – Dr. Raza
Have you gained weight?

[00:35:49.650] – Dr. Raza
Have you lost weight? Other stressors? Were you exposed to covid? Where you admitted with covid? Let them know. Give them a full comprehensive history of the last 12 months since they last saw you.

[00:36:02.310] – Dr. Raza
Step three, get back to exercising. So if you look at data that we have from fitness trackers, the number of steps that the average person normally walks in a day that are tracked in Apple watches, Fitbit, et cetera, those fell dramatically between 2019 and 2020, because we naturally became more sedentary when malls shut down.

[00:36:28.230] – Dr. Raza
When you don't when you work from home. You don't have to park your car and you walk into an office, go up and down off this corridor, up and down stairs, go to the break room. You know, you don't have malls that you can go into, shopping, etc. grocery stores, those steps go away. And they're not replaced by walking at home. They're just not, you know, and so you have to get active again.

[00:36:53.040] – Dr. Raza
I understand the hesitancy as far as going back to gyms, but you don't have to go back to a gym to become active. This great workout videos that you can do at home. But we got to get mobile again. We got to become less sedentary. We have to do that and then set yourself targets. How did you gain weight during covid? So let's start on a plan to start losing that weight. Did your diet get altered? Were you having more comfort foods?

[00:37:20.190] – Dr. Raza
Understandable. Obviously, you know, if you go back to March, I remember our kids were off school and we did a lot of baking, cookies and brownies and cakes. And you can do those things were flying off the shelves because people were eating comfort food. So get back to eating healthier foods, veggies, et cetera.

[00:37:39.990] – Dr. Raza
And then the last thing is, make a plan to get to sort of take ownership of your own health care and set yourself health goals for the next three to five years.

[00:37:52.480] – Dr. Raza
What do I want to achieve? Where do I want to be? Whether it's a weight target, whether it's well, I want to make sure that I have my, you know, get my colonoscopy done and make sure, you know, there's a knee that's bothering me I'll go visit an orthopedic doctor, this hip that's bothering me I'll go get my hip replaced, et cetera, et cetera. And that's sort of what I would go towards as we come out of this pandemic, sort of reassess and realign our interests and taking care of our own body, our bodies our temple.

[00:38:24.880] – Dr. Raza
You know, we got to take care of it. During the pandemic, the average American gained around twenty nine pounds.

[00:38:33.970] – Dr. Raza
A lot of folks gained as much as 50 pounds. We say the covid 15, but it was actually not 15. It's more like 20 or 30 pounds on average that people gained. And there's many reasons for that. Give yourself a pass, but try and assess the fact that you did gain weight. You may have developed unhealthy habits and tried to work to correct those. Again, prevention is cure. Start engaging with your primary care doctors. Get an assessment for what your blood pressure is.

[00:39:03.130] – Dr. Raza
Have you become diabetic? You now pre diabetic? Too cholesterol or other medications that you should have been on that you stop taking because you just didn't go to see a doctor and so you didn't fill the prescriptions and so on, so forth.

[00:39:18.580] – Allan
So I kind of had three takeaways from that. One, one being what happened, happened. If you let yourself go and you put on some weight that's passed, let's let's look forward. That was an event. Let's move forward. The second is you're the CEO of your own health.

[00:39:37.120] – Allan
So you've got to be proactive. You've got to step up and do the right things for yourself. And that means making the doctor's appointments. That means moving more. That means eating better. And so making those lifestyle choices that we should have been making all along. But now going forward is our opportunity to act. We can't act on the past, but be the CEO now. Make the right decisions now and the final one. And you didn't really get into this, but you did a little.

[00:40:01.330] – Allan
But be patient.

[00:40:03.790] – Allan
There's a backlog in service. There's a backlog in what doctors are able to do. But if obviously if you become a priority patient, you're going to move to the front of the line so that you've got to be out there, you've got to get that communication with your doctor so that you're getting the care that you deserve. So get into the mix and then, yes, it there's just going to be an element of patients in that your appointment that you normally would have made next week is now maybe three weeks or four weeks from now.

[00:40:32.170] – Allan
And just realizing, OK, there are people right now that are suffering and need the care now and there's a prioritization of service, have the patients to work through that and don't give up on it. Stick with it.

[00:40:45.040] – Dr. Raza
I agree. And the other thing is, the other thing I like about the patient is you've got to take a long term view to health.

[00:40:51.640] – Dr. Raza
And as far unfortunately, all of us know this, it is far easier to gain weight than it is to lose weight. And you have to have a plan in place that has it's a marathon, not a sprint. Set yourself ambitious targets, but don't be disappointed if you don't get them quickly. Sort of a what I would say, take it not even month to month, but maybe season by season. See where you are.

[00:41:18.580] – Dr. Raza
If you walk on a treadmill every day to go as you walk for a half hour, well, the goal is to walk further and thirty pounds two months from now than you did than you do currently. That means you quickened the pace. That means your cardiovascular conditioning and so on, so forth. And the weighing scale is not the end all be all. It's not, you know, you can not lose weight but reduce fat, build up muscle, which is just as important.

[00:41:55.070] – Dr. Raza
It's about an overall level of health. But you're absolutely right. You have to be invested with yourself. I tell patients all the time I can be the world's greatest cardiologist, but I can't help you if when you go home, the diabetes isn't well controlled. If you don't take the medications for blood pressure or for your thyroid or X, Y, Z that you're supposed to, or if you're going for surgery you need and you don't follow the instructions of the orthopedic surgeon properly.

[00:42:28.060] – Dr. Raza
You know, complications, X, Y and Z. You got to be invested in your own health.

[00:42:33.160] – Dr. Raza
And together it truly takes a village. Together we can help you feeling better. At the end of the day, the goal for everyone is I want you to live life to the fullest. Spend as much time out of the hospital, away from doctors offices, doing the things that you love with the people that you love.

[00:42:51.790] – Allan
Awesome. So, Dr. Raza, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:43:01.090] – Dr. Raza
Well, I think find something that makes you happy. Find people that you can be happy with and find a way that you can achieve those to the best way that you can. Whatever path it takes. It's about the journey as it's not just the destination.

[00:43:19.090] – Allan
Now, Dr. Raza, say if someone wanted to learn more about you and what you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:43:25.030] – Dr. Raza
so if you go to my Twitter page, so at SadiRazaMD, you'll find a link to my website or practice.

[00:43:33.850] – Dr. Raza
And I tweet regularly about cardiovascular issues, health and wellness, sports and fitness. And you can follow along and try and make it patient centered.

[00:43:43.930] – Dr. Raza
It's not really geared towards physicians necessarily. It's more towards patients know ways to get prevention, prevention, prevention. Some of it is topical. So for example, in the last week or so, you'll see a lot of posts around a soccer player that had a cardiac arrest last week. But for the most part, it's more general and topical.

[00:44:06.970] – Dr. Raza
And I am fortunate enough to be able to do media from time to time. So look out for articles or radio shows, podcasts, etc.. My wife is a cardiologist. I'm just starting to podcast for the heart doctors for that on Spotify on an Apple podcast. And we'll try and put the word out how to be heart healthy and live life to the fullest.

[00:44:34.780] – Allan
OK, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/494 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Raza, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:44:45.870] – Dr. Raza
Appreciate it. Thank you, Allan.


Post Show/Recap

[00:44:52.350] – Allan
Hey, Raz. Welcome back.

[00:44:54.130] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a wonderful interview with Dr. Raza. You know, it is I was kind of wondering how the covid shut down had other implications than what we commonly talk about on the news. I mean, besides the covid 15 or covid 20, that might be that extra weight we've all gained. You know, there is a real concern about our overall health, but particularly cardiovascular health. That's a pretty scary side effect.

[00:45:21.170] – Allan
Yeah, I kind of knew a little bit of this was happening because a couple of my clients, as we went into covid are medical professionals. And so when they were going to telemedicine, I was thinking, well, how does someone who was about to potentially start chemotherapy and radiation treatment, how do they telemedicine that, you know you know, if a kid needs their standard vaccinations now, granted, they're not running into other kids with mumps because they're not seeing other kids with mumps.

[00:45:53.710] – Allan
But, you know, so maybe some of that stuff isn't necessary. But it just seemed to me it's like there's a lot of well care that just didn't happen. And so you can't go to your gyms. A lot of people didn't feel like training. They was just if I can't go to my gym, if I can't get out and, you know, do the things I was doing, the sports I was playing with, things like that to keep me engaged and doing this, I mean, you give me a stat that a lot of that stuff Strava put out that the people that were doing these virtual runs was kind of going up.

[00:46:28.420] – Allan
but if you were part of a run club and that was kind of the real thing that got you showing up, was that accountability like where you belong to a gym or belong to a cross fit and things like and those things were just gone. And you're like, OK, I need five people around me sweating harder than I am for me to get my bike gear. You know, it's just I could see where that investment wasn't happening. The investment of time.

[00:46:54.190] – Allan
The investment of effort and then the investment of money. A lot of people were trying to buy home equipment, but there was none to be found.

[00:47:01.720] – Rachel
Oh, yeah, I know that probably sold out pretty quick. But, you know, down with you where you are in Panama, you had a pretty strict shutdown. You weren't even allowed to get out and get moving. And I know a lot of countries that were like that as well. And here in the United States, we did have a little bit of freedom to be outside and most of our country. But I think a lot of people were still afraid to go out.

[00:47:25.360] – Rachel
We didn't know a lot about covid. We just knew that we didn't want to get it and end up in the hospital. So, you know, I think a lot of people did stay home. And I think the level of stress went up. And we had talked about in the past about how the parents that had to learn how to work at home that had never worked at home before, plus help to home school their kids because school went virtual I mean, jeez, there's so many things that kept people from being able to go out and work out any more.

[00:47:53.920] – Rachel
So there's it's not really surprising that we have a covid weight gain or any other health implications.

[00:47:59.770] – Allan
Yeah, but the data is there, you know, the cardiovascular events and deaths from that is going up. And it shouldn't. I'm almost certain that we're going to see cancer, diabetes, those types of things, you know, where the care just wasn't there. If you're not going in and getting your dialysis, you know, if you're not, you know, going in the doctor and getting your blood pressure done and checking your meds or maybe not even getting them filled.

[00:48:28.770] – Allan
Because you didn't want to get out and go to the pharmacy because you just didn't want to be exposed.

[00:48:34.810] – Rachel
Well, that and plus, some doctors won't refill a prescription unless they see you in person.

[00:48:40.300] – Allan
Well, they were doing telemedicine. They changed medical care a little bit. But there's just so many things. It's like, OK, they can't get the labs to know. They can't do a blood pressure. And if you don't have the monitor yourself already, it's like you don't know. It's like, you know, because you walk into the doctor, they stand on the scale. They, you know, your blood pressure.

[00:48:59.620] – Allan
And that's the part of the natural conversation with your doctor, which kind of takes me to the next transition. You go to your doctor. Get your care team together. As I mentioned before, this podcast, you know, we've got to start showing our priorities with the way we spend our money, the way we spend our effort and the way we spend our time. And it's easy to audit that. Just go and look at your bank statement.

[00:49:26.200] – Allan
Look at your credit card statement. Where are you spending your your money? Look at it days time and just say, OK, how much time that I spend watching Netflix versus exercising? And maybe we're doing both. And that's awesome. You know, double dip in there. You're on the treadmill or the elliptical and you're watching your Netflix show. That',s cool. That's totally cool. But most of us aren't doing that. You know, they weren't doing that.

[00:49:49.240] – Allan
And so it's look at where you're spending your time. Look at the effort you're putting in and look at where you're spending your money and answer that question, what are your true priorities here? And it's time to shift that, because if you're not taking care of your health, you're soon enough can be taken care of illness.

[00:50:04.990] – Rachel
Yeah. Dr. Raza mentioned that too, suggesting that we, of course, reengage with our specialists and but also get back into exercising and resetting our eating habits. You know, it's it's a multifaceted way of improving our health. But we do need to focus. We do need to focus on it.

[00:50:26.700] – Allan
Now, I ran across a study this week. Thirty five chronic diseases can be traced to inactivity.

[00:50:34.260] – Rachel
Wow.

[00:50:35.220] – Allan
OK, and I'll make sure to put a link to that in the show notes. But this is not and this is not really a new study. I didn't realize this was out there. That's the first time I was seeing it. The study was done in 2012. But, yeah, they've manually, physically traced thirty five different chronic diseases directly to lack of activity.

[00:50:55.380] – Rachel
So the best thing you can do for your health is move.

[00:50:58.290] – Allan
Move

[00:51:00.990] – Rachel
Do something. Anything.

[00:51:02.150] – Allan
Well, the human body was built to move. I mean, our lymphatic system is how we get rid of toxins and waste in our body.

[00:51:09.030] – Allan
And it doesn't have a pump system, the pump system for your lymphatic system as your muscles, your skeletal muscle. So if you're not moving, then you're basically letting gunk sit there and it's poison. Your body needs to get rid of it. And the only way it can do that is if you move and push that stuff through your system to get it out. And so that's yeah, absolutely. We need movement. And then there's just so many other things that movement gets us.

[00:51:35.100] – Allan
You know, if you get the endorphins because you're doing it enough, if you know the movement patterns. And the other thing movement does is it kind of gets the the juices going with blood and flows and everything else to where maybe your knees hurt less because you're actually getting more nutrients and fluids and liquids in the knee so that'll function better. Now, obviously, if you go do some exercise and the knee swells up, you've got to talk to somebody and have that taken care of.

[00:52:02.670] – Allan
But for a lot of us, the aches and pains that we're feeling is vicious.

[00:52:08.970] – Rachel
it is. And I've said to a lot of my friends and in run clubs and elsewhere that if you rest, you rust. And it's essentially true. You just need to keep moving to keep those joints fluid, keep your balance, keep your flexibility. I mean, I'm not saying run marathons or do something crazy. Just take a walk, walk for a mile, walk for two miles and just a little bit of fresh air.

[00:52:33.000] – Rachel
And some activity can do so much good for your health overall.

[00:52:37.650] – Allan
Well, you're the one that admitted marathons are crazy, so.

[00:52:41.610] – Rachel
Yeah, maybe. But, you know. Yeah, no, you don't have to run marathons, but, you know, you can get so much benefit from just walking one, two or three miles. And if that feels good, do a little jogging and maybe maybe register for a local 5K. I've got a 5K coming up this weekend and proceeds go to the local cross-country team. So, you know, you do a little good for others while you're doing good for yourself.

[00:53:09.810] – Allan
Awesome. Rachel, so I guess I'll see you next week.

[00:53:13.120] – Rachel
Yeah. Take care.

[00:53:14.390] – Allan
You too.

[00:53:15.120] – Rachel
Thanks.

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