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It can feel like an insurmountable effort to get and stay fit when you're over 40. In this episode, I share 9 keys to getting you and keeping you fit.
Hello and welcome to today's podcast. I am so glad you're here. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast. Today we're going to talk about 9 keys to being fit after 40. You know, there's a lot of folks out there that you'll see and they, they seem really, really fit and they're over 40. You know, you have to ask yourself, what are these people doing that's allowing them to accomplish this? I was having a conversation with a guy at the gym, you know, we're both over 40. He's an excellent shape. He does the CrossFit style type workouts. And so I was, I was just asking him about it and what he was doing in his training and where he was getting his training materials from. They're always varied, different workouts.
And, he enjoys doing them and that's cool. And he's really good at it and he enjoys it and it's a different kind of fit than I am. I'm more of this strong, slow, I can carry heavy stuff. I can do all the things I want to do. And so we have a different mindset of what fitness is. And we get to talking about that a little bit because he was thinking he might want to get into competition. Now if you're not familiar with the CrossFit competitions, they're quite intense. Uh, and I was explaining to them, I said, you know, the last time I saw one of the, uh, the big ones, uh, the guys that were over 40, the masters level athletes, they were just in tremendous shape. I mean, the things they were doing was just actually quite insane. And we even got into that, why are they doing all of these insane things, over the age of 40, over the age of 50, that, you know, I would say even 20 years ago, no one would've dreamed someone over that age would be doing things.
And we see this every day and I do like sharing these in the Facebook group. If you're not a member, you should go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. I share all kinds of information, and if I see a 72-year-old woman doing a deadlift that's over her body weight. Yeah, I'm going to probably share that because it's pretty cool. But there's different looks and feels to fitness and I said it in the book, The Wellness Roadmap, and I'll say it again. Fitness is not a look. Fitness is about you being fit to task. So I think that's the first key for you to pick up on as we kind of go through this whole view of fitness is that fitness is not a look. A fit grandmother is someone who's able to be a great grandmother to her children.
She's able to do the things that they want to do. She's able to get out and be with them. She's able to provide for them. She's able to be the person she needs to be, that's her fitness. For someone like my friend Glen who wants to compete in CrossFit games, he is going to push himself a lot harder and that might not be entirely healthy, which is another whole other conversation we could be having. Being fit doesn't necessarily mean you're healthy. And that's why I call it wellness of having all three. So fitness is not necessarily a look, it's a way you feel, the way you're able to do the things you want to do. And to this point, I am there and will I always be there? I don't know. You know, like I said, I want to be the a hundred guy who is 105 who can wipe his own butt.
I want to be independent. I want to be able to take care of and help my family and my wife. I don't want to be dependent on others. And so my fitness regime is based around those things. So one of the big things when I go into fitness is do no harm. So as I'm lifting, I'm trying to make sure that I'm not hurting myself. I'm only making myself stronger or maintaining strength in certain areas. The other work that I do is about just trying to avoid injury and staying fit. So that's one thing. People who are fit are doing, they're not evaluating themselves relative to other people. They're not trying to compete against their 20 year old selves. They're doing what's necessary to be fit to task. The second thing is they have a focus. It's very easy for people to get into a kind of a routine, a habit, or they show up at the gym or they do their morning thing.
They do their run, they do their, maybe there's some lifting, but they just are kind of putting it all together. They walk into a gym or they walk into a workout either doing the same exact thing they do almost every time, or they come into the gym and they really don't have a plan at all. You'll see a lot of this now, it's a lot more common to go into a gym and see that half the people are sitting there looking at their phones. Now, if they're looking at their phones because they're trying to figure out what their next set is, or they've got a timer, then that's cool. But most of the time we know that's not what they're doing. They're texting their friend, they're doing this. Real fitness is going to come from application. It's going to come from being engaged in what you're doing.
Your muscles will improve better if you're focused on the movements that you're doing. So if you are a runner looking and feeling about your form and making sure that it's not breaking down versus just a mindless run, you're going to do better in fitness if you're focused on the form and the feel and the things that are going on in your body then if you're listening to a podcast or doing something else, listening to music. Sometimes that lack of focus is preventing you from reaching a level of fitness that you're interested in reaching. You know, when I go in the gym to work out, I actually like to go in there and when there's no one else there because otherwise my full introvertness comes out. And, you know, I don't talk to anybody during my workout. I don't like to talk to people during my sets.
I don't like to talk to people during my breaks. I don't like to talk at all during that time when I'm lifting. If I'm in there lifting, I'm lifting. So I actually go into my gym when no one else is there and do my own lifting. That allows me to have just complete focus on task. I don't have to do anything else. So that's the second key, focus. The third key is intensity. If you're not pushing yourself and being intense and purposeful and it's a little bit different than focus. Focus is staying engaged in what you're doing. The intensity means that while you're doing work, there's some effort to it. There's some, there's some push to it. You're finding that that line of discomfort, you're going outside of your comfort zone. So people who are really building good fitness are always right at the edge.
So there's an intensity to the work they're doing. Now they don't always stay at that edge and we'll talk a little bit about that. Then the next point. But they do have that edge, you know, they're the ones that are actually going to be very kind of happy about having a PR. Now when we talk about PR, that's a personal record. It doesn't have to be something huge and massive. But cutting 10 seconds off of your one mile walk can be great. That means you maybe, you extended your gate a little bit, you extended your speed, your pace, taking a different route and going up a, a route that has a Hill that makes that walk a little bit more difficult. There's an intensity to that purpose. So finding that opportunity to incorporate intensity into your work is going to make things a lot better when I'm working out with clients.
Now, you know, I'll get them in there and I'll add more weight and I'll be kind of pushing them while they're doing it. You know, a lot of folks they'll get in and it's hard. And they'll want to stop right at that line where it starts getting uncomfortable. And that's actually where some of the best stuff is happening. So having a little bit of intensity in the work you're doing is really, really important. The fourth point is balance. When you go into a work deal that you're going to do a workout, just, just recognizing that your, your body is an organism that can break. And it is an organism that needs to recover and rest and it's an organism that's capable of a lot of different things. But if you go in and do the same work, the same type of work all the time, you're not going to have balance in your fitness.
So if you're just going out and doing running, that's great. If you love cardiovascular training, perfect. If cardiovascular or stamina is something that's very, very important to you as a, what's your fitness should mean, perfect. But you still need to be working on those other things. You need be working on strength. You need to be working on balance. You need to be working on your mobility and flexibility. Those are very important as well. And if you're not putting balance into your fitness regime, you're getting very one sided. And that's, that's an opportunity for injury. And also means you're probably not going to be as fit as you could be because you really weren't focused on the other aspects of training. One really good way to make sure that you're getting balance is for you to kind of look at periodization. And what I mean by that is where you'll take time to say, okay, this is my running season and then I'm not going to run during my off season and give my body a time to recover.
All professional athletes do that. They have their season when they're on and they're working really, really hard. They play their season and then after their season's over, they have a recovery period. They have a time when they're doing something else. They're probably working on repairing injuries or probably working on, you know, mobility and flexibility. They're training other aspects of what they do. Not necessarily that directly in relationship to the athletic event that they're involved in. So making sure that you have balance in your training is also very important. Okay the next one, which I guess is number five is going to be patients. You've gotta be patient in this game for fitness. Our bodies will respond to stimulus. If you stimulate a muscle and you give it adequate nutrition and adequate rest, it will get stronger. But you've got to have the patients to know that that's not necessarily going to happen in a linear fashion and it won't always go up and it won't always be large increments.
You know, one of the, one of the difficulties in running a gym and working with people is that, you know, at first they're using smaller dumbbells and that's, you know, okay, cool. It makes sense. But the difference between say a five and an eight is significant in percentage wise. It doesn't seem like a lot that extra three pounds, but when you look at it from a, what you can do with five pounds versus what you can do with eight, it's a pretty big jump. And even when you get up to weights, like we're dealing with, uh, you know, 10 and 15 and 20, those are still huge, huge jumps in volume of work. And so it's really hard. A lot of times for new trainees or trainings that haven't been around to recognize that those jumps from 15 to 20 are huge and to have the patience to keep working through.
And sometimes you're not necessarily gonna get all the reps you want to get, but just kind of working through that process of saying, I'm going to get there. Maybe you're doing a body weight squat and you'd really like to start adding some resistance. Have the patients to really get the form down on the body weight squat, have the patients to get your strength up and to keep your form. And once you've built that strength, once you've built that mind body connection, that neuromuscular connection and your body's moving the way it's supposed to, all that's going to happen. But you have to have the patience to work through this process and then recognize again, strength gains, speed gains, distance gains, all the gains that you would see in the fitness game are not linear. You're not going to get better in a linear fashion.
There's going to be really great periods of time when things are going really good. There's going to be times when things level out. And that's just the normal state of the human body. We never function in a straight line. You don't lose weight and straight line, you don't get stronger in a straight line. None of that works that way. It's always going to be kind of up and down. You want to look at basic trends and you want to be smart about it. So have the patients. The next item is also very important as part of the three P's that I talk about in the book. The Wellness Roadmap. It's the persistence and consistency. So a lot of people will come in the gym, uh, in January, you know, new year's resolutions and they'll hop on that treadmill and they'll go for 45 minutes.
They're exhausted, they go to work, they come back the next day, they come back the next day, they come back the next day. Well, there are about three weeks in and they really haven't seen a move on the scale. You know, they give themselves an excuse to skip a day and they skip that day. And then by skipping that day, they didn't maybe skip the next day. And so they're, they're not persistent. They're not consistent, so they're not going to see improvement because they really haven't done anything long enough to give their body the stimulus to say, Oh, I'm a runner, or Oh, I need to be ready to do this energy output each day and manage that. All our people will go in and they'll lift weights and they'll get delayed onset muscle soreness. We call that Dom's for short. They'll get DOMS, it hurts. It hurts a lot. And that'll be enough for a lot of people to just quit.
They'll say, Oh, I don't like the pain, that hurt. Or worst case, you get a small injury, little tweak to a hamstring or you know, your shoulder starting to feel a little wonky. And rather than having the persistence and consistency to work around that injury, you know, you still can work your legs if you have a trouble with your shoulder, you can still probably work your back and maybe your arms, maybe your chest, but you don't, you know, you can work around a lot of these things if you're smart about it, but you still have to stick in there and do the work. Even if it's a situation where, okay, yeah, you kinda tweaked your shoulder or you're feeling a little bit sore in the elbow, maybe we avoid the weights for a period of time when we focused on a different modality.
Maybe it's time for you to do some high intensity interval training with a little more sprint work. We can do that on the exercise bike. We can do that on the elliptical. And we do that for a few weeks to kind of build some stamina while we're waiting for the elbow to recover. But that's persistence and that's consistency. That's still showing up for your fitness and you have to do that or you're not going to be fit over 40. Number seven is the third P in that I have in the wellness roadmap and that's progression. We want to make sure that what we're doing is adding value and there's going to be a point when your body gets to a given strength and you can go do a given weight. I see this in circuit training a lot. People will go up to the circuit training machines and they're always on the third peg for this machine, the fourth peg for that machine and the first peg for this one and the seventh peg for this machine.
And they go around and they set their pegs in the same hole every single time they do that machine. That's great that they're getting the exercise. I'm really happy to see them in the gym working, but the majority of the people that are doing this aren't getting any stronger in the initial peg hole that they put themselves in is not going to be the level of fitness that they really want. They're going through the motions. I don't mean any disrespect for this, but we used to call these Barbie workouts and that's where you'd see the young girls come in and they'd pick up the three pound weights and start doing curls. Number one, biceps of smallest muscle you could possibly want to work for any duration, and because they're not going to do much value for you. And number two, the amount of weight then resistance they were using wasn't going to do anything.
And their concern was that they were going to get big and bulky, not gonna happen, not gonna happen for a woman. And definitely probably not even going to happen for a man over the age of 40, unless you really put in some intense work and focus on muscle building. It's not easy for us to gain muscle over the age of 40. So don't be afraid that you're going to get bulky, uh, put some progression in there. Get stronger. This is only going to help you as you get older if you're working on runs, be smart about how you do your long runs in your short runs. So that you're building a slow progression to get yourself ready for the running season. I use the term gentle nudges and I mean that your progressions should be these normal little small increments. As I said earlier, we're talking about smaller dumbbells that can actually be very difficult to do.
So it's a function of recognizing I do some sets at 20, maybe I drop back to my fifteens for my second and third set. That's cool. You're still giving yourself those gentle nudges to allow your body to get stronger. If you're doing your runs, you're looking at adding some volume to a run, but never adding much more than 10%. Uh, that's kind of a rule of thumb. Your long runs should never be more than 10% more than any other time that you were doing. And we kind of use that in bodybuilding, weightlifting resistance training as well. But in a general sense, you want these gentle nudges that are going to allow your body to have the stimulus that it needs to get stronger. A gentle nudge of progression tells your body, Hey, there's more requirement here. We're going to have to work harder next time and your body responds positively to that by getting stronger.
The eighth one is recovery, and this is one that's really hard for a lot of people. More is not better. You know, I have a workout program that I do with some group trainings and we do a full body workout twice a week, and invariably every time I talk to somebody about twice a week, they're like, Oh, well I should do this program on the days I'm not training with you. No, you should not do this program. This is a strength program that requires the stimulus, the nutrition, and then of course, the recovery. The recovery is as important, if not more important than the work. If you could imagine that you did a whole bunch of work, say you were setting a foundation for a home and you spent all this time laying the concrete and you didn't let the concrete set before you started building on top of it, obviously your foundation is not going to be there because you didn't allow it to set.
And so when you're working, you're building muscle, you're cutting muscle down. You need to give it time to recover and to rebuild. So recovery time is very, very important overall across your workouts, making sure that you do the work and you have the recovery time. Two other functions of recovery are as you're doing work, recognizing that there's times when breaks are important. We see this in high intensity interval training where there is a break period that's allowing your body to basically recover a little bit. We see this in resistance training where we'll do a set and then we'll have a little rest period. It could be for a minute, two minutes. It's really just time to let your energy systems reset and be ready to give you maximum output for the next set. So those little bits of recovery.
And then the final one I want to talk about is sleep. Sleep is hugely important to balancing your hormones, making sure you're giving your body what it wants. Most of the good stuff that happens in our body happens when we're asleep. Our brain refreshes, our body refreshes. All these things are really, really good for us. So recovery and sleep, hugely important if you want to remain fit. If you push yourself and you don't allow yourself to recover, you're going to start dealing with cortisol problems. You're gonna start dealing with other things and you're not going to reach your fitness goals. You're just not. Recovery is as important as the work. And then you see, we just had, uh, seven points that were all built around work. And I'm giving you the one recovery, but want to be very clear. Recovery is hugely, hugely important. It's as important as those others. You have to make sure you're doing the work, but you have to make sure that you're getting the recovery your body needs. So listen to your body. Uh, never should it tell you to quit, quit, and never come back. But if it's telling you you need an extra day, if its telling you you need a little bit extra sleep, the sleep, the recovery are important. So listen to your body when that's what you're hearing.
So the final point is to wellness. As I mentioned before, a lot of people will really push fitness goals and they'll push themselves to a point where they're being unhealthy. They'll push themselves to a point where they're being unhappy. If you find yourself in the gym comparing yourself to other people, you're never going to be happy with that result. You just aren't, we, we are all built on our bell curve. There's going to be a percentage of us that are outliers. You know, I see it on Facebook all the time. You know, these guys going out there and bench pressing 450 pounds, they're older than me and you know, if I sat there and said, “Oh, I have to be bench pressing 450 pounds.” I would never make it. I'll never bench press 450 pounds. I know physically it's probably outside the means of what I ever was capable of doing. But even if I took the time to do the training, I'm pretty sure soon as I found someone who is doing 450 like me and I got past 450, there'd be someone else doing 500. And so the comparisons to other people are really going to break down your happiness. And so I want you to start comparing yourself to the person you were yesterday or last year. Those are better comparisons. Maintaining your strength as we get older is a win.
We're dealing with sarcopenia, we're dealing with osteopenia. Uh, we are losing strength every single year unless we're doing something to prevent that. So if you are maintaining or getting stronger in your lifts, that's a huge, huge plus. If you're getting better times on your runs or at least maintaining your runs, that's a win. There's a natural aging curve. And if we're doing things to break down that, that aging curve, that's a fitness win and we should be very happy about that. So don't compare yourself with others. Compare yourself with who you are, who you know you should be. And then as far as the health aspects of it, you should never let your push to fitness break down your push to health. They're both equally important. They're all happiness, health and fitness, all three legs of a stool. And we have to have all of them in equal proportion or just not going to be whole.
We're not going to be well. So don't let fitness overrule those other two. You need to make sure there's balance in your life as well as balance in your work. So as you'd go through the process here, I'm going to recap just a little bit, but you know the keys to being fit after 40, they're not hard. It's just a function of saying you've got to do the work, you've got to get the recovery and you got to make sure it fits within the paradigm of who you are as a person.
So going through them really quickly. Fitness is not a look. Fitness is about being fit to tasks and case in point being 105 and being able to wipe my own butt. That's a good look for me cause I don't want to be the guy who needs help going to the restroom, but I'm not going to look like maybe someone else that you would say was fit. I'm going to be fit for task.
Second is focus. When you do work, focus on the muscles you're working. Focus on the form of what you're doing that's going to help you prevent injuries. That's going to help you get better results. The mind muscle is a huge, huge proponent of making sure that you're building fitness as fast as possible.
Intensity. You need to work hard, you need to make sure you're pushing yourself in a way that when you're doing the work, you're really engaged in that work and you're getting the most out of that work. So focusing on what you're there to do, making sure that you're engaged in it. And then the third one is intensity. You know, this, this is fitness is a push. It's taking you outside of your comfort zone. So there should be some intensity to what you're doing. It's great to do some casual walking here and there. That's great for overall health. It's great for potentially weight loss and other goals that you might have. But slow walking without really putting some intensity to it is not going to improve your fitness. It's going to just basically allow you to age on a standard aging curve.
The third is balance. You know, don't just train one dimensional. Don't just say I'm a strength person, which I could very easily say, I've got to do some balance work. I've got to do some stamina work and I've got to kind of keep those in balance to meet the goals of what I think I should be as, as a fit person. Okay.
The next is patience. Fitness does not just happen and it's not something that you're going to always have. There'll be an injury if you injure yourself, you need to be patient about the recovery. You need to be patient about the time it takes. You need to be doing the, the physical therapy that's necessary and not going out there and immediately trying to get back into the workouts you were doing. Have the patience to listen to your body and do what's right for you.
The next is persistence and consistency. We have to keep showing up. We have to keep working. We can't rest on past. You know, this is not a situation where we, we built up a nest egg that we can now live off for the rest of our lives. Fitness doesn't just stay with us. We have to keep paying in so we have to keep showing up and we have to keep doing the work. Uh, progression. Uh, if we're not progressing, if we're not pushing ourselves toward progression, we're very likely more to regress. That's the aging curve. So making sure you're working towards progression is very important.
The eighth, again, is recovery. And I can't stress this enough if you're working hard, if you're doing the focus, if you're doing the intensity, you're doing all these things you need. Also let your body recover when it's time to recover. So being smart about recovery is really, really important. And then the final is don't let fitness over. Well overdue wellness. Wellness is health, happiness, and fitness. So you want to have all three in your life, so take time for all of them and don't let fitness push you out of those other two.
before you get outta here, I wanted to take just a moment to invite you to our Facebook Group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group we have weekly challenges. I share all kinds of information there. It's sort of like a way to keep conversation that we have on this podcast going, so if you'll go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group you can join the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group and be a part of a like-minded community. We help each other get where we want to be. We celebrate our wins. We have a good time. I hope you'll come join us. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group.
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Today I want to talk about viruses because it seems to be a big bad year for that with Coronavirus going around the world really has some people shaken up and two different types of the flu that apparently are going through this year. So I thought this was a good time to have this conversation.
If you've been a listener of the podcast for any time at all, you probably know that I'd moved to Bocas Del Toro, Panama and I now call this home. We've been here just over a year, well in bogus where I live. There's a very social expat community, most of whom are my age or older and it's fairly common for us to meet up with friends for dinner and be joined by new friends. As you can imagine when they find out that I'm a podcast host and a health coach the questions on health and fitness start and the stark reality of the aging curve hits me again and again. The weight gain, the aches and pains, the chronic diseases for most of us getting older sucks but it doesn't have to. If you're ready to make a change, it's time for you to join. 40 plus fitness online group training.
I'm reopening up 10 slots for the 14 day free trial and I mentioned this in a past podcast, but then afterwards realized I had not actually opened up the sign it signup page. I'll call it a senior moment. I forgot to take it out of draft mode. Well I fixed that and now I'm gonna go ahead and extend the free trial until February 29th or until the 10 openings are taken. This trial will show you that online personal training is for you. Basically I'm able to do some things as an online personal trainer that I would never be able to do in the gym. In the gym. You see your trainer for about two to three hours a week, usually maximum.
But in this case with online training, I'm in your phone. I'm an app on your phone. I'm on the weekly group conference calls. I'm in the Facebook group. I'm just a message away. So you have a coach available to you pretty much 24 seven to get you the answers, to push you, to help you, to hold you accountable, to be your partner in helping you get healthy and fit with the app. I can track your workouts, we can track your nutrition, we can set up daily actions that you use to become healthier by building the habits and eliminating bad habits that are holding you back. So if you're ready to check it out again, it's a no obligation, 14 day free trial. Get in, see what we're all about. If it's not for you, then then go. I mean get it, but I believe it is and I want you to check it out. So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/trial.
Try it out. We spend a lot of time talking about mindset. We spend a lot of time talking about nutrition and we obviously, because I'm a weightlifter, we talk a lot of time about getting in the gym or working out from home to get the best fitness that you can get for yourself. So again, if you're interested in changing your aging curve, you're interested in being younger than you are, the best way to do it is with good nutrition, good exercise. And I'm there to help. So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/trial and check it out today.
So today I want to talk about viruses because it seems to be a big bad year for that with Coronavirus going around the world really has some people shaken up and two different types of the flu that apparently are going through this year. So I thought this was a good time to have this conversation. Maybe even a little late. I probably had a push doing shows like this more towards November. But it, it has been a particularly bad year. So I wanted to talk about this, but before I get into it, I do want to put out that disclaimer. I am not a doctor. What we're talking about here is not medical advice. It's merely educational and entertaining, hopefully. So you can understand different ways to take care of yourself. Most of the things that I'm talking about here are probably things you actually already know, but it's just a good reminder to have this out there.
As I mentioned, there've been quite a few outbreaks this year and most of them have been viruses that are spread through the contact with the virus and then contact with your mouth or your eyes. Okay. And it's typically with our hands. So we're grabbing something, we're touching something, we're shaking someone's hand. Cause I think that's why the fist bump has become a lot more popular lately. So we're trying to save ourselves there, but just recognize that it typically means that something's coming contact with our hands. And then we've touched our face or our eyes in particular to spread this disease. So the first answer for dealing with or avoiding the dividers is have good hand hygiene. You know, you should be washing your hands regularly with soap and warm soap and water, warm water and soap and, and just basically making sure you get a good, good wash of your hands.
Too often we don't take the time to wash our hands regularly but during this time when you know, these viruses are around, this is the time of year to really, really focus on keeping your hands clean and keeping them out of harm's way. I also am a big believer during this season of hand sanitizer. Again, anything else that's going to keep your hands clean is going to help. I'll tell you a story. I was actually in Hong Kong when the SARS virus came out and it was interesting because one of the guys I was traveling to Hong Kong with, he was from Singapore. He was really, really terrified of the SARS virus. He did not want to go to Hong Kong. But you know, we had to go for this business trip. So we get there and the disease at the time was somewhat consolidated in an area called Calloun.
And you know, we were, we were not near Calhoun when we went for the visit. But then one ladies that was working there was really excited because she had found this great restaurant that she wanted to show us and it happened to be in Calhoun. So we actually took the subway to Calhoun. And in an Asian subway personal space is not a thing. They press up against you crowded really like startings and these in these cars, it's really kinda crazy. I'm a bit of an introvert, so when I've got tons of people around me like that, it's a, it's a little disconcerting, but I put my hands in my pocket so I wasn't touching the surfaces. Rode the subway over, had a nice dinner and rode the subway back. No problem. Again, it's really all about keeping your hands clean and keeping them away from your face.
You know, I see people wearing masks and, and that can be good if you're especially susceptible to disease, which as we get older, our immune system gets a little weaker. As we are young babies, obviously immune systems are what they are. They haven't gotten enough things to really be immune to anything. So there are times when you might want to take extra precautions. Wear gloves wear masks. But for the most part, you could still touch your eyes. It's really in my mind, keep your hands clean. If your hands are clean, you're very, you're less likely to spread this disease to yourself. The second is to manage your immunity. Now most years flu shots are a gas and then the other, they're doing a substance of, they're trying to figure out what the virus is going to look like this particular year.
They're trying to find a way to help us get through this season. So a lot of times these are hit or miss. But obviously, if you know you're going to be around people with impaired immune systems or you're going to be exposed particularly a lot then it's probably a good idea to go ahead and get one. But there are other things that you can do to help support your own immunity. The first one I'm gonna talk about is nutrition. If you're not eating good nutrition, whole food nutrition you're not giving your gut what it needs to keep you healthy. The gut contains most of our immune system, obviously not when we're talking about these types of viruses, but making sure that you're getting good nutritious food is going to support your immune system and make sure that you're in the best shape you can be.
Because a lot of times we're probably exposed to these viruses and we just don't get them because our immune system fights them off. A lot of these others, you know, now can say we won't get a disease won't get one of these viruses. But just recognizing that the stronger your immune system is, the better off you are. And diet is a big, big part of that. Exercise is also a very, very big part of keeping a strong immune system. Now the first thing to recognize is also that stress exercise is a stressor. So if you're putting your body through excessive exercise, you may actually be weakening your immune system. So this is probably not the time to be in the gym for hours working on a treadmill, just killing yourself. But recognizing that if you go through the process of exercising and keeping your body healthy that's going to help your immune system.
And then finally anything you can do to reduce stress. Anything we do that stresses ourselves the adrenals, everything that's going on in our bodies that is suppressing our immune system. Predominantly because right there when you're running from the bear, the stress you're not, your body's not worried about fighting other defenders away. It's worried about the Bayer. So your immune system gets suppressed when you're highly stressed. So anything you can do for stress reduction is going to help you. You help your immune system remains strong. So kind of recapping the immune system part, you know, diet, exercise and stress management and just getting good rest are all going to be very, very important to make sure that you're as healthy as you possibly can, which is a good way of supporting your immunity. All that set all the precautions we can do.
Obviously people are going to come to work with these diseases. In some cases they won't even necessarily know they have them depending on incubation period and the infection period of a particular virus. But if you happen to get sick my advice is to stay at home, manage your illness, get well, and then get on with your life. You know, this is a point where you want to go to the gym but just, just don't. You know, there's all these talks about you can work out and yes, you probably can work out but you're at the gym, you're touching things and you're, you're sneezing or you're coughing and therefore you're spreading this other people coming into the gym, you know, they're, they're likely to get it. And so you just are basically spreading it to everybody else. I know a lot of times workplaces won't less necessarily let you skip work, but trying to stay away from people trying to let this, this period of infection go away will allow you to deal with the virus.
And in fact, dealing with this virus needs to be your number one priority at this point in time, not your PR lift or this other thing you want to try to do with your health and fitness. Getting well from this virus is your priority at that point in time. Also listen to your body. I did have a friend when the H1N virus (I think is what it was called) came out. And he was just 30 years old. He got it and he actually passed away because he stayed home and got sicker and sicker. And by the time he went to the doctor, he was already facing some significant organ failure problems. And so recognizing that if you're not getting better over the course of a few days you need to go seek medical attention. They can, they need to help support your body during that period of time while your body's fighting the virus, but just listen to your body and try to stay away from people and get through this period of time.
Now if someone else in your household ends up with the flu or with one of these viruses you need to change your lifestyle. You know, well, my wife gets ill. I don't sleep in the bed with her when I get ill, I don't sleep in the bed with her. We go to different bedrooms and or I'll sleep in the living room if I need to stay away from people so that I'm not getting them infected. There's a particular period of time when I'm going to be infectious where she can get this virus and I don't want to get that or she has it that I could get this virus. So we change up our lifestyle a little bit for a few days until this period's over. And at that point practice very detailed hygiene issues where I'm washing my hands regularly, I'm using the hand sanitizer.
If I have to carry soup into her, I carry the soup in, I grab her other stuff out. Anytime I'm doing that, as soon as I get through, I'm washing my hands, I'm cleaning my hands with the hand sanitizer and just making sure that I'm, I'm really doubling down on my hygiene practices. So those are kind of some of the core things. Just understanding how these viruses are spread. They can, you know, viruses can live on surfaces for a good long period of time from hours to days depending on the virus. So understanding how these viruses are spread and it's typically going to be through your hands and touching other surfaces where the viruses are at. The harder the surface, the more likely it is to have a contact of a virus. So again, washing your hands, good hygiene practices are going to be kind of your first line of defense.
Managing and having a strong immunity is going to help if you're getting good nutrition getting proper exercise, dealing with stress and getting proper rest you're giving your body the best chance to fight these infections. And then again, recognizing where the disease as, if it's happening to you, trying to avoid spreading it. The more people you spread it to, the more they're likely to spread it to others. And then also if you know someone who has it just kinda managing your lifestyle, managing your hygiene during that period of time so that again, you're not getting it. So I hope this has been helpful. Again, I am not a doctor and I really was just sharing some of this information because I know it's kinda top of mind as we have the coronavirus and the flus out there. As, as we go through and go forward, I'm sure you know, the learn more about these viruses and hopefully, they'll be able to do some things to keep it from spreading. Much further, but it's really gonna come down to what you do for yourself. That's gonna make the most difference in your life. So I do hope you found this helpful.
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Hello and welcome to episode 411.
I'm so glad that you're here today. I'm going to give you the four one one on my favorite health and fitness books. See what I did there?
I've interviewed 243 health and fitness experts and most of them have written a book. So I've read quite a few health and fitness books over the last four years that we've been doing this podcast. It's kinda crazy.
It was December 6th in 2015 that we first launched this podcast. And so here we are with episode 411. So a lot has gone on and I've met a lot of authors and I've read a lot of books. Some of them are wonderful, some of them not so wonderful. But I can always glean something valuable out of each and every book that I read, but some really set themselves apart by just being so, so good that I want to read them over and over again.
I'm not going to put all the links in there in this podcast, but basically for each of these episodes, if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ and then the episode number that's going to take you to that episode through the links on the site.
So here are my favorite books that I had kind of compiled over the course of the last four years.
Number 10 on the list is by Jonathan Bailor and I interviewed him on episode 363. In that we talked about his book, The Setpoint Diet. It's a very important book because I think a lot of people get caught into plateaus and they don't understand how to break them. Jonathan Baylor gives us some ideas on exactly what our body needs to break through those set points. So if you're finding yourself in a weight loss plateau this is a really good book for you to change some things up and get your body moving in the right direction and get your body weight moving in the right direction if that's your goal.
But set weight point is a very important concept within the physiology of our body. So it's really important to understand if you're trying to accomplish a health or fitness goal.
Number nine on my list is by Michael Matthews, episode 382. Now, Michael Matthews has written the book Bigger, Leaner, Stronger. This was the third edition we were interviewing. He also has a ladies version, so it's leaner, slimmer, strong, something like that. But there's a woman's version of this book as well as a men's version of the book. This guy does his research. If you're looking to get bigger, to get stronger this guy has the right ideas. He's really done some deep, deep, deep-diving into this, a lot of research, and he keeps updating what he knows with what the new science is saying. That's why he does new additions of his books.
He does. He doesn't just issue more books. He actually takes the book and rewrites it for the new science that we're getting. So this is the top of the top for an education, for weightlifting to get stronger, to get bigger and get leaner. That was episode 382.
Now on episode 359 for number eight, we met Dr. Pat Luse. Now, Dr. Pat Luse won the author Academy award in 2018 and I was lucky enough to meet him there. His book is called The 7 Systems Plan. And basically this is talking about the holistic health of our bodies that we can't just address one problem, one symptom, and expect overall good health. So he looks at the seven different systems within our body and if we optimize each and every one of those systems, our body starts to equalize to a healthy state.
People lose weight. Some of his clients in his clinic have lost a ton of weight. He does offer some online programs as well, but the book is, is awesome. And it really helps you understand why you can't just go from one dimension to try to solve the body's problem because we're much more complex than that. And The 7 Systems Plan really is a good holistic, whole view of how the human body works and what you can do to optimize your health and your fitness.
Number seven was Dr. Marc Bubbs, and that was episode 385 and his book was Peak. Now he wrote most of this working with athletes, but I can tell you is I went through the book, I saw this as how we can reach peak performance in the things that we want to do. If that's running a 5K, if that's wanting to hike a mountain, if that's wanting to play better tennis, or just being a better grandparent. So you can keep up with your grandkids at the zoo.
Peak performance is what we want. Even if it isn't at just an elite athletic level, but you can learn so much from him through his book peak because he's been studying performance in a way that really is applicable to everybody. So I encourage you to check that out.
Number six is by Dr. Ben Lynch. 327 is that episode number. And his book is Dirty Genes. So this gets down into the science of why we get unhealthy, why we have chronic diseases and how our genes are part of that, the epigenetics of what goes on inside our body that defines who we are. And the diseases and things that we're potentially going to develop. The cool thing is while there is a written code in your body, you can change that code.
If you do the right things in his book, Dirty Genes is going to help you clean up your genes so you can live a healthier, happier, and fitter life.
Number five is Couch to Active by Lynn Lindbergh and she, her episode was 374. So she works with folks that are really not doing any exercise whatsoever. You know, the, the constant couch potato, if you will, and she helps them slowly integrate into being a more active individual. It's amazing what a little bit more activity each day can do for your overall health and fitness. And so just getting a little bit more active with Lynn's approach is a great way to to look at this. So I encourage you to check that out. Couch to Active episode 374.
Number four on my list is Dr. Jason Fung, episode 77. I'm going way back in the way back machine of podcast interviews. In fact, this was when I first really got deep into podcast interviews. I had done a few before that, but this was one of the biggest and The Obesity Code is the name of the book. And it is, it is brilliant. If you want to understand why our body holds onto fat and how we can answer to that the obesity code is going to help you see that. A little I guess I'll break the news to you. It's, it's about the insulin. Okay. So go in there and check out the obesity code. Listen to Dr. Jason Fung. He's, he's direct. He's fun. I really enjoyed the few times I've interviewed him. I've had him on the show a couple of times and I've had his partner Megan Ramos on as well to talk about The Diabetes Code.
So Jason Fung is a good one to check out Episode 77 about The Obesity Code. Again, one of the core books that's kind of, I shaped the way I look at health and fitness. If you don't have your insulin under control, you don't have your health, you just don't it is the leading cause of what's going to cause you the problems in your body. So you've got to get insulin under control. And The Obesity Code is a good tool to kind of get you started on that.
Number three is by Dr. Will Cole. It's episode 413. I hang up, so before 11 right now. So obviously episode 413 has not come out yet, but it's coming out in a couple of weeks. And his book that we're gonna be talking about is called The Inflammation Spectrum. It is a brilliant book.
So in two weeks, send alarm on your clock, whatever you gotta do. Don't miss that episode.
If you're looking for something by Dr. Cole between now and then we did The Ketotarian book a few episodes back, several episodes back (https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/keto-for-vegetarians-and-vegans-with-dr-will-cole/). You can just do a search on the website for The Ketotarian on the, on the podcast. And you find that episode if you're looking for something from him to kind of get an idea. He was looking at a predominantly plant-based ketogenic diet. And it's a really interesting look at things because I think everybody thinks there's just the straight-line continuum about how you're going to eat and what you're going to eat. And it's not that simple. You can be a vegan or vegetarian or pescatarian ketogenic eater if you choose the right foods. And he helps you do that there.
In The Inflammation Spectrum, he talks in depth about what are the things that cause inflammation in our body and what are the eating habits and things that we can take on, the things we can put into our, our diet that will help us you know, do those things.
Number two is Smart Fat. Was the book by Dr. Jonny Bowden. It's episode 338. Smart Fat was actually the funny thing was of all the books on here. I obviously doing the podcast. I've worked with their publicist to get a copy of the book so I can review it before the interview. I do read each of these books. Smart Fat was one. I actually bought myself before I did the interview with Dr. Bowden. I had done and read that book and then there was another book out by Dr. Bowden.
And so I'm like, I wanted to get them on the show, but I so enjoyed his, his book Smart Fat from before I started the podcast that I'm like, I have to talk to him about that book too. So I did get him on to talk about Smart Fat and I think, you know, it's, it was kinda one of the first times that we were realizing that there are good fats, bad fats, there are good carbs, bad carbs. There's even now, I believe if you think about it, there's, they're, they're coming to this conclusion that there's good proteins and bad proteins. Actually Dr. Cole and I talk about that a little bit on episode 413. It's coming up. But it, you know, food is not just as simple as saying, don't eat this, don't eat that. And then you can do elimination diets and understand food.
But there's a lot of complexities to these things. And Smart Fat is kind of one of those good books where you can kind of get that idea around the fact that all food is not created equal. And there's a lot of things behind why certain foods are pushed on us, like sugar and certain, you know, vegetable oils and things like that. They're pushed on us for money. So Dr. Bowden kind of breaks through some of that and helps you understand that fat is not the enemy. Even though we've been told that for decades, fat is not the enemy. You just have to be smart about the fat that you're eating. And so I encourage you to check that out. Dr. Jonny Bowden, and that's going to be episode 338.
My number one favorite. And if you've listened to podcasts at all you'll know that he was the winner of the Author Academy award this year.
Dr. David Friedman met him in Columbus for the award ceremony. And I did not win, but I did make finalists, which I was very happy about his episodes 311. And he is just one of the coolest guys out there in this space. He's interviewed thousands of people. You know, I feel like I've done a lot with my career as a podcaster, but he has really shined. He does a lot of great interviews. He really knows his stuff.
In his book, Food Sanity, he breaks through kind of all the problems that there are with food. And he gives us some pretty simple tools. And in fact, I liked his approach so much that I even included part of it. His dig method in my book The Wellness Roadmap it was just so good. I didn't want to recreate the wheel.
And Dr. Friedman was courteous enough, nice enough, generous enough to let me share that with you there. So go check out food sanity. It's a great book. It's award-winning book. It's a bestseller and well-deserved cause David did a great job with that book. And I'm looking forward to reading the stuff that he's caught coming out soon. But check out Food Sanity and episode 311.
And then I always have to throw in a bonus. I'm gonna throw in cookbooks because I've had Maria Emmerich on the show a few times. I had her on the show with her husband and with just a basic keto book. But her cookbooks are the best by far keto cookbooks on the market. My favorite of hers I'm going to mention was episode 256. We talked about Keto Comfort Foods.
And there's a, there's some recipes in there that I, I just love. I mean, they're, they're just, they're just wonderful. Her restaurant foods book keto book is also great. They just sent me her stir fry book. I mean air fry books. So I might have to buy an air fryer and I actually have an interview scheduled with a cause. I think her husband Craig co-wrote the next cookbook that's coming out. And that's going to be carnivore keto. So I'm very interested in talking to Craig and maybe Maria, I'm not sure she's going to be on that call but that'll be coming up in early January. So look for that. In about a month time I'll have another episode with the Emerick's or, or an Emmerich and we'll talk about their new cook foot book, carnival art, which is kind of an up and coming thing that I want to learn a little bit more about.
Check those episodes out. If you've got some downtime over the course of the next couple of weeks, this is a probably some really good books for you to dive into. I know that Dr. Friedman's book is available on audio book and I think the inflammation spectrum is available on audio book. Some of the others probably are as well. So a good opportunity for you to buy a book, a get an audio book if you're not a part of Audible. If you'll go to the show notes at episode 411. So it's a 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/411. I'm going to put a link there that will connect you to Audible and you can join Audible and get your first book free. Now, I'd love that that was The Wellness Roadmap. But I understand it, but if you've already read it or you're not interested, but go to Audible.
And if you do that, the show gets a little bit of a boost for bringing you to audible if you stick around. So check it out. I love audio books. I listen to audio books all the time. That's my favorite way to consume a book. Particularly when the author is reading the book, which I did for the wellness roadmap. And Dr. Freeman did for food sanity and Dr. Cole did for inflammation spectrum. So again great audio books, great books. I encourage you to check it out. And again, if you want to help support the show, just go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/411 click on that Audible link towards the bottom in the notes where I'm talking about this because the full show notes will be there and that'll let you sign up for Audible. Give the show a little bit of a boost and I really do appreciate it. Thank you
Thanks for sticking around so far. I hope you found these 10 but with the bonus 11 books to be very, very enjoyable and that they teach you a lot about health and fitness. I know I really enjoyed talking to each and every one of these authors and these are of course my favorite books and I'm sure you're going to get some great value if you didn't catch them the first time. So go back and check out those episodes. And of course pick up the books because there's a lot of information we couldn't cover in a podcast that you're going to get from each and every one of those books. And they're all brilliant. So strongly encourage you to check those out over the holiday season. So we're getting ready to launch our January challenges and I'm going to change things up a little bit for this next year for 2020.
I want to focus on some weekly challenges so we can get some quick hits with mindset, with fitness, with food. So over the course of the 52 weeks of 2020, we're going to do little mini one week challenges over on the Facebook group, so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. And that's where I'll be posting each Monday with the challenge of the week. And we'll go through the entire week kind of discussing that topic and addressing each of those topics. And I hope you get something really, really valuable from that, but you've gotta be a part of the group to get a part of it. So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group.
And if you want to do the monthly challenge, the 28-Day Challenges, there's an easy way for you to do that, but you're going to have to become a supporter of the show. You're going to have to become a patron to do that. So I'm going to limit my 28-Day Challenges to patrons of the show. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/january. And that'll take you the patron page there. You can just go ahead and, and pledge even a dollar and that's going to be enough to get you on the list to be a part of each of the challenges. And I'm actually gonna send out a poll to the patrons so they can choose the challenges that we do. So not only do you get to participate in the challenge at being a patron, you actually get to choose which challenges we're doing. So I'm going to start that in January and see how that goes. So go over to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/january to get in on Patreon and get on our challenges. Thank you.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
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Setpoints. What are they in? How can we overcome them? I'm pretty sure almost every one of us has faced this at some point or another. We start a new way of eating or we start an exercise program. And in the very beginning, things are just wonderful. We're losing the weight we want to lose, we're gaining strength and we're getting where we want to be.
Things are just wonderful and then they're not. What we're doing just stops working and we just kind of stabilize at a, at a weight or at a range of strength and we're just stuck there, this plateau and these plateaus can last weeks, months and even years. If we don't understand them and do something to change to adapt because our bodies are really, really good at stabilizing they're really, really good at saying, okay, this is where we are.
And there's basically three aspects to set points that I think people forget. They try to focus on just one or two of these. And they don't really get to the meat of what's going to help you break a plateau. This is your body, your environment and your mind. So I'm going to go through all three of these today and talk about why these affect your set point and what you can do about it. Okay. The first one's body, and it's kind of obvious, you know, the human body is meant to keep itself healthy. And to do that, it does a thing called homeostasis, which is basically balance. Now balance is really, really important in the body when we're talking about things like body temperature that has to stay within a very tight range or blood pH. It's like a very, very tight range. Or blood sugar.
Parts of our body basically adapt and they try to stabilize so that we can stay in a healthy state. And if it gets out of this state, then bad things happen. So how does that affect body weight? Well, body weight is also one of those systems. Our bodies were designed to store fat for famine. So we went through a period of feasting. Our body would allow us to put on this body fat for a future fuel for the times when food wasn't so plentiful cause our, our Hunter-gatherer ancestors didn't always have access to plentiful food. So they often would put on weight in the and, and in summer and fall when a plant matter and vegetables and fruits were much more abundant. And then when they weren't we would start to shed that body weight over the course of the next several months.
But if we started losing weight too fast, our bodies set wake would come in and say, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. You can't burn through all the fat that fast. We need to slow you down. And so your system start to change. And systems are basically all the things that are going on in your body to include the hormones, the, the catalyst for transactions for w there are happening in your body, their chemical reactions vitamins and minerals. Because your body is just basically this series of chemical reactions. And so if you're starting to lose weight too fast and your body senses that your hormones are going to adjust a and your body is going to start functioning differently if you have a professional athlete, women will see this a lot with professional athletes at the elite level. They start training really, really hard and they get their body fat percentage down to a very low number.
They do this because carrying weight, particularly in an endurance sport is costly. It slows you down. So losing a few pounds as an elite athlete could be the difference between winning and losing. So the women will get down to an extremely low body fat percentage and as a result they'll stop their period because their systems are basically telling them this is not a good time to rear children. If we're in a famine period, we're not going to have children. And the same kind of thing happens within the systems of men to It's just easier to explain this one because it's so apparent what's happening. But our body is a function of systems and those systems are always seeking to find that balance. And so if you've been eating a certain way and you start losing weight you body might stabilize and that's okay.
We just to have to put some strategies in place to try to break through that before I go too far down that rabbit hole of the body and talk about those solutions. Let's talk about the other two aspects of setpoint. So the second aspect of setpoint is environment. Now, every day we're in, we're in an environment of, of different things and some of them are very easy for us to notice, like the temperature of the room or if we're in an elevation, we might notice that the oxygen level is a little low. So if we walk out in the cold as many of you are experiencing right now and you're not wearing enough clothing, you're very likely to start shivering. That's, that's your body's reaction to your, your environment and it's, and it's very noticeable. If you're trying to do an endurance event and you move from from one elevation up to a much higher elevation, you may find that your performance drops.
And again, you can usually attribute that performance drop to your environment. So there are things in the environment that are definitely noticeable immediately. And then there's things that we don't notice, the chemicals, the, the pesticides, all those things that are out there in our food, in our household products. And then just general pollution. So I want to talk a little bit about that. There's a few that you know, I think are really, really important. One is the plastics, you know bisphenol a is in so many plastics and if you're heating and using those or allowing those to get warm, it's very likely you're taking in that chemical, which is a kind of an estrogen in our bodies. So it creates problems for us particularly for trying to get stronger or lose weight. So understanding if you're being exposed to things like that.
What's in your household cleaners? What's in your skincare products, what's in your hair care products? All those chemicals that we're applying to our body or using in our home they have the potential to disrupt our systems and as a result, send us into a kind of a cascade against the balance in the, in the wrong direction. So if we're trying to lose weight or get stronger and I'm going to keep going back and forth on those cause I think they're both very, very important. And I think you can do both at the same time. You're going to want to start paying attention to your environment. Another part of the environment that we don't pay a whole lot of attention to is light and UV rays. If we're not getting adequate sunshine during the day, which again, during the winter that's, that's a little bit tougher, then our bodies are not going to react the way that they should.
Our circadian rhythm is just not gonna flow the way that it should, which is going to disrupt our hormones. It's going to disrupt, potentially disrupt our sleep. So we might find that if we're not getting the sun, we're not getting the vitamin D, we're not getting all the different things that our body needs. So getting good natural light during the day turning off the computers earlier at night, all of those are environmental things that could potentially be disrupting your, your systems and, and if you're not taking care of those, very likely it is jeopardizing your performance and your ability to lose weight and get stronger. The final aspect of setpoint that I'd like to talk about is the mind. And you know, the mind is probably the most powerful aspect of the, of them all. Because if you don't believe you can do something, you absolutely can't.
It's just, you're not gonna be able to do it. So if, if you're stuck and you feel stuck and you say, well, I can't lose weight, I always lose weight and then I gain it back, you know, that mindset is going to hold you back. So if we're going to police our mindset, we've got to look at two things. The first is the things that we're listening to, things we hear, the things we see, the things we read. If you're on Facebook, reading all these articles about obesity and the crisis and how you know, this is making you fat and nights making you fat, and it's all that stuff's driving you crazy and it's, it's actually stressing you out. Stop. Just stop. The best way for you to know what's going to affect you is to just try it. Whole foods, natural foods, people will tell you, you can try this supplement or try that thing or take this pill.
None of going to be a longterm solution for you. So what's your listening to? What's your, what's your reading? What's your seeing? Let some of that go, you know, focus on the things that will definitely move the needle for you. You're in a plateau right now, and if that's the case, you need some action. You need to find that big rock as we say, and, and go ahead and start working on that. But if you're on all these little goose hunts about, should I be taking vitamin D, should I wait? Should I be vegan or wait? Should I, you know, drink eight glasses of water a day? If you're running around looking at all those tactics, it's very easy to get yourself lost in them and not really see which ones might be actually beneficial to you. You can't throw 13 things that at, at this at once and understand what's going on in your body.
It's just the too much and you don't, you can't parse through that data. There's too many confounders. So slow down. It's cool when you like to read and understand health and fitness. Believe you me, I'm reading about a book a week in health and fitness and I'm much more as far as I go on the internet and read blog posts and things that are going on there so I can keep kind of stay abreast of what's going on. But as it comes to applying it in my own life, I like to keep it simple. So I'm not necessarily acting on all of these activities and all these things that folks are talking about in their articles or to me personally, I try something. If it works, they use it. If it doesn't, I, I throw it out. And then finally within the mind, there's the inner dialogue.
How do you talk to yourself? What's going on in your head when things aren't going your way? You're in a plateau or you know, for weight loss. And so you haven't lost a pound and maybe even you went up a pound last week. And what's your inner dialogue telling you right now? Is it being nice to you? Is it, is it forgiving you? Because the step forward for any stumble at all is three. It's three things. The first is you have to forgive yourself. And then you have to come up with a plan of action to go forward. And then you have to act. And if you don't do all three of those, you're, you're destined to repeat exactly what you just did. So don't beat yourself up so much. Try to have a kinder, nicer inner dialogue. And if you find yourself, you know, not hitting a PR when you go to the gym every time, that's OK.
You're going to have good days and bad days. The fact is you were there and that's better than most. So look for the good of what you're doing and try to have a nicer, kinder inner dialogue. It's going to go a long way towards helping you be successful. So we have the body, we have the environment, and we have the mind where, where should we spend our time if we want the most bang for our buck. And I'd say, if your mindset's off, I would start there. I really would because if you don't have a good mindset, a lot of this stuff is just not going to happen for you. You don't, when my book, I go through wellness GPS and in there I'm very specific that you've got to have self-love to do this. You've got to make a commitment to yourself. You've got to want this really, really bad.
And when you do, then you have to just wake up and you gotta say, okay, self-awareness. You know what, what is going to hold me back? What has held me back in the past? Have I lost 20 pounds and then plateaued and then just gave up. And you know, pizza party for everybody is if that's how you've approached it in the past, you need to put in some strategies to kind of think about, well how do I reverse that trend? How do I not cause then I'm going to hit a plateau. It's going to happen. There's no way around it that, you know, any kind of changed. Your body is just not going to be linear. It's just going to balance out. It's going to plateau. That's what our bodies are designed to do. So if we want to break it, we gotta change it.
And so at some point we, we know we have to adapt, our body adapted. Now we have to adjust, adapt, adjust, adapt, adjust. And that's the path forward. So starting with the mind, get that right first. Now, once you're comfortable that you have a good mindset for what's necessary to break this plateau. Now we want to focus on the body. What are the tactics and things that we're already doing and are there any other tactics that we should consider doing? For example maybe a, I've lost down to a certain weight and I, and I want to lose a little bit more, but I'm not. And I say, okay, well, you know, I, I noticed that I pay attention when I drink milk. I feel a little bloated. And now that I've been having more milk I feel bloated more often. And so maybe the, I've got a problem with milk.
And so I said, okay, well I'm gonna eliminate dairy products for three to four weeks just to see if, if that makes me feel better. And low and behold, what you might find is three weeks slit, well eight are you weigh less and then you go ahead and you have a glass of milk or some cheese and boom, a pound hits the scale. You're like, Oh got it. I have an issue with dairy. And if that's the case, you probably in weight loss is your goal. You probably want to start eliminating dairy and keeping it out of your diet or at least keeping it to a very, very low amount such that you're not hampering your results. So, and maybe what I'm finding is I'm just not getting stronger and so it's time for me to mix my program up cause it's got kind of plateaued on my, my squad, I've kind of to it on my bench press.
So it's like, okay, well I'm going to go ahead and do now is I'm going to do more a weighted dips. I'm going to get on that leg press, I'm going to start pressing some really heavy weight. And I'm gonna start doing some front squats so I can really get my core strong. And by doing those things for a period of time, I'll cycle back around and find out my squat has now improved. And so periodization is what we call that in the weightlifting world. And so if you're, if you're stagnant, things are not happening. It might be to change up just your lifting programs. Something as simple as that, but your body is going to adjust and I mean adapt and then you adjust. And so when you do that adjustment, now you're putting your body into a different series of events and your body will likely change.
So that's the body. Now, the last one, the environment, those things that you know are around you. Let's eliminate those. You know, make sure you're getting good sleep. Make sure you're turning off the computer early enough. Make sure you're getting enough natural light as much as you possibly can to keep your body in good function and in a good circadian rhythm. If there's chemicals around your house, consider changing those out, get some, get some cleaner cleaners. You know a lot of people around here on this Island particularly like to make their own cleaning solutions and their own care, hair care and skin products. So that's not uncommon for people to do that with essential oils and coconut oil and things like that. Lemon juice and you know, vinegar, they make a lot of their own stuff and so that can come out to be a lot healthier for you in the long run.
The more of these chemicals that you can eliminate for your life because that might be one of those kind of like final things. It's probably not going to be your big rock initially, but at some point it might just be the reason that you're plateauing. So take the time to go through all three of these. That self-awareness practice that we do in the, in the wellness GPS is exactly geared for you to take the time to do this. So if you find yourself stagnant, it's time to pull that GPS back out and go through it one more time. Get yourself really set, get that self-love going and then start getting into the self-awareness of what do you think is actually the problem that's keeping you on this plateau. And then now you're ready to set some proper strategies to go forward.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Tim Alexander||– Judy Murphy|
|– Randy Goode||– Debbie Ralston|
|– John Somsky||– Ann Lynch|
|– Wendy Selman||– Jeff Baiocco|
Links mentioned in the show:
|#||Guest||Book Title||Get Book|
|385||Dr. Marc Bubbs||Peak|
|242||Dr. Sara Gottfried||Younger|
|248||Jeff Galloway||The Run Walk Run Method|
|317||Dr. Adam Nally||Keto Cure|
|369||Kathleen Trotter||Your Fittest Future Self|
|256||Maria Emmerich||Keto Comfort Foods|
|338||Dr. Jonny Bowden||Smart Fat|
|275||Gretchen Rubin||The Four Tendencies|
|382||Michael Matthews||Bigger, Leaner, Stronger|
|331||Dr. David Friedman||Food Sanity|
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Before we get into today's episode, I would like to ask you if you would take just a moment to vote for The Wellness Roadmap in the Author Academy Awards. We've made it as a top 10 finalist in the health category. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist, and that'll take you to their website. You'll find a little arrow down the page a little bit. You can scroll to page 7 of 16 that's the health category. Just click on the book title, you don't have to give them any information about yourself. Just click on the book title and that will secure your vote for The Wellness Roadmap. Again, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist. Thank you. This award means a lot to me and your vote means the world to me. Thank you.
So today's episode is the third part of a mindset series. On episode 397, we talked about prioritization and time management by utilizing a tool that I created called the identity grid. You probably do better to go back and listen to the last two episodes, but you don't have to. I'm gonna try to make each episode stand-alone, but if you want to get the whole picture, I will probably be flashing back to that grid.
Also on episode 398, I kinda got into the getting the wellness, the things that you'll need to do to make that happen that include pushing outside your comfort zone, uh, applying your energies the right way and not overstressing yourself. Um, and then just looking at it more like a program rather than a project. So I'd encourage you to go back and listen to 397 and 398 if you haven't already, but I will try to make this episode stand-alone.
Today we're going to talk about commitment. Are you committed?
I talked to my clients, fairly regularly about this topic. I've talked on the podcast about it a few times, uh, but I can't under stress or overstress that the importance of commitment. If you really want to accomplish major wellness changes in your life, it's really just not going to happen if you're not committed to change. Because change is probably the hardest thing for a human being to do. Our bodies are naturally designed to find balance, are naturally designed to get to a comfortable place under what stress and daily living requirements we have today. So if you can get away with being 200 pounds overweight, your body's gonna let you be 200 pounds overweight, uh, because you can, and you can get away with it. And we can work around all these different things that used to set us back, but we figure it out.
You know, um, if you're unable to get up from a toilet because you're older and your legs aren't strong enough, put rails in the bathroom now that's going to help you for a period of time and then eventually you'll probably lose that arm strength. I don't want that to be my future. So I've made a commitment to ensure that I keep myself healthy and strong. So that isn't my future. That isn't who I am. That isn't how I identify. So I've set up an identity for myself that includes doing regular fitness training. And so as you look at that though, showing up is hard. Our bodies naturally want to be in that balance. So what do we do to break that balance? To break what our body calls, what they call in our body homeostasis. While it takes stimulus, stimulus takes work. So if we want to improve our overall health, we improve the foods that we're eating.
If we want to improve our overall fitness, we have to push ourselves across the different modalities that we use to define fitness. If you've read the book of The Wellness Roadmap, uh, that's up for an Author Academy Award. I talk about that in the book. Fitness is basically fit for task. It means that you're capable of doing the things that you want to do in your life. So for me, at 105, I want to be able to wipe my own butt. I want to be able to get up off the toilet. So I'm going to need to be fit enough to make that happen. For some of us right now, fitness can be, I want to basically be able to go on hikes and spend time with my family and not be overly fatigued or down and out the next day. Um, I want to be able to lift things that need lifting around the house.
I want to be able to open jars for myself and my wife. I want to be able to do those basic things that as we get older, sarcopenia and Osteopenia kinda take away from us if we're not doing something about it. So how do we make this commitment and how do we make it a commitment that we're going to stick to? Because face it, all of us do resolutions. All of us do our diets, all of us have done fitness regimes before and failed. And the reason most of us fail is this lack of commitment, a resolution, a goal, a diet there. They're all words. We used to fail that because so many people do. There's no, there's no jeopardy to it. There is no disgrace to it. It just, yeah, I tried a new diet and I fell off the wagon. I'll get back on it on Monday.
Well, today's Tuesday a well, okay, well, yeah, Monday. Um, there's all these different reasons we don't do it. But a commitment is very, very different. When you make a commitment, you're starting from a point of self-love. You're starting from a point that's very, very deep and emotional. And if you've ever made that type of commitment before, you'll really begin to resonate and understand what I'm talking about when you say you're going to do something for someone you love, you do it. Um, if you say you're going to pick up your spouse at the airport at five o'clock, you're at the airport at five o'clock. So if you make the same kind of commitment to yourself with the same basis of self-love, that you're going to be at the gym at five o'clock, then you'll be at the gym at five o'clock and not at the drive-through at McDonald's.
So that's where this comes from. The commitment comes from this really, really deep, deep emotional well, it's gotta be something that really touches you. It has to be a part of, as I've said over the course of this last few weeks, it has to be a part of how you identify. If you don't identify yourself as someone who's getting fit, it's not going to happen. When you get married, you make the commitment. You go from being engaged to married. You go from saying fiance to spouse. Now, you might verbally trip that up a few times, but in your head you know that commitment's there, you feel that commitment, you've made that commitment and you made it in a rather public way. So I encourage you, if you're really looking to to make a commitment, start with something deep and emotional and then make it public.
Now I provide online personal training and you can come to me, go to the website, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com and you can find links there to look up our group training and you can make that commitment to us. We're on a Facebook group, we're on our regular weekly calls. You can email me, we can have regular conversations about this commitment you have and keeping you on track. So make it deep, make it public and then beyond all kind of know what this is going to look like. You know a lot of people get married young and they don't know that type of people they're going to be when they get older, they really haven't set that vision. That's why a lot of people will say, wait a little while before you get married, so you really know what you're getting into. So you really know the vision of the direction that your life is going to go and where you want it to go.
I got married when I was 21 now. Was that a mistake? I guess so because I'm not married to her anymore, but at the same time it was just a part of my life lessons and I learned from it. So I'm not going to call it a mistake, but I do know that if I had known my path a little bit better at that point in time and had a better vision and we shared that vision and it was the same deep and emotional thing, that commitment would have stood time. It just would have. But we didn't do that. So make a commitment. And again, I can't stress this enough, deep and emotional, make it public and know what it means. Have that vision. So you have the why and you have the vision and you put those together and you make it public. That's your commitment and it needs to be based on self-love.
It doesn't need to be based on fear. Fear will only get you so far before you forget the fear and you revert back to old activities, but love sticks with you. Fear is something you feel in a movie theater and then you walk out of the theater and you're not afraid anymore. Love is something that you just keep on feeling. It's deep. It's emotional, it's chemical. It's a part of who you identify as. So take the time to build a solid commitment so we can make this fitness and health thing happen for you. Like I said, if you need a coach, reach out to me. I'd be glad to get on a 15-minute call with you just to kind of fare at some of this stuff out so you can get a little, get to know me a little bit better so I can get to know you a little bit better.
Online personal training isn't for everybody, but if you want to just get on the phone, have a consult, absolutely free. Come check it out. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com and you're going to find a link right there on the sidebar. If it's, if you're on the phone, you may have to scroll down a little bit before you see it, but just get in there, get to know me and figure it out. We can help you set this commitment. We can get to your why, we can get to your vision. We can put that together into a very solid commitment that could change your life, so do check it out.
before you get too far away, please do take a moment to go over to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist scroll to page 7 of 16 find The Wellness Roadmap. It's actually the first book on the list for health category at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist and then you just click on the cover and it'll take just a couple minutes for you to get over there and find the page and and vote for the book. I really do appreciate it. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist and vote for The Wellness Roadmap today.
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Hello and thank you for being a part of the 40 + Fitness Podcast. Today we're going to talk about getting to wellness. This is going to be part two of what's basically now going to be a mindset series. I didn't originally plan it out to be a series but it looks like it's working out that way. If you didn't listen to last week, episode 397 where I introduced the identity grid, probably worth you taking an opportunity to go back and listen to it, either before you listen to this episode or after.
I'm going to try to make it make sense to you regardless of where you're coming into this series. But just know that episodes 397 through 399 are all a part of a three-part series where we're going to get into the mindset of getting well because most of the folks that will come into a gym or start a wellness program of some sort or another are really just feel kind of lost.
They're busy, they've got so much going on and they may not even know exactly what to do when they're getting started or they decide to try too many things and they fail from over fatigue. So getting yourself into the identity grid and looking at how that works. You could get a 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grid and having that in front of you might help you a little bit with this, but like I said, I'm going to do my best to make sure that this episode makes sense in and of itself. So when you get started on a wellness journey, there's often so much opportunity, so many things that you can change. So many different things that you can do that it becomes very, very difficult to know exactly what is the right thing. And when someone asks me that, I always have to go back to what's your vision?
What are your longterm goals? I asked that question a lot. As you might imagine, and many times people don't really have a clear vision. They, they know that wellness is something that they're not. They know that it's probably going to involve some weight loss. They know that it's probably going to involve building some strength, probably involves building some stamina, but exactly how to get there is often where the struggle comes in. So as you start this journey, I'll just reinforce that you need to really break down your long-term goal, get something in your head that you can feel that you can, you know, almost see, one of the things I did early on in my fitness endeavors was I pulled out a picture of myself when I was 29 years old. Now at the time I was well into my early forties so there was, there's not much chance that I was going to look like I did when I was 29, obviously had a lot more hair.
Uh, even though I didn't have as much as I wanted at the time. So looking like that really wasn't something that I was interested in. But it kinda gave me an idea of if this person aged much slower than I had, what would I look like today? And I was always able to kind of go back to that benchmark and think of it in those terms. But I couldn't go from where I was, like I said, in my late forties to looking like that unless I did something special. And I knew that my body was not going to be capable of putting in the level of effort to look like I did when I was 29 when I was 29. I put a lot more time into the gym, typically 10 hours or so a week. And I just didn't really have that luxury of time, uh, as I was getting in there.
So it was very important for me to prioritize, which is again, where that identity grid comes in because it's going to help you balance out the four key aspects of your life. And if you know where you need to apply your energy based on who you are, how you identify in your entire life, not just as a wellness effort. Because if you just think of it in terms of wellness will, life's going to get in the way. So you have to make sure you take all of those things into account before you set your path. And then you have to know exactly where you're starting from if you're going to get to that vision. So I knew I couldn't put that amount of time in the gym. So I needed to be very efficient and very effective with the work that I was going to do.
And so I needed to go out and do the work and I needed to do it in a methodical and patient way. Now where a lot of people lose their way on this is that they either push so far out of their comfort zone by trying way too many things or they don't push their comfort zone at all. So I want to kind of talk about comfort zone for a little while because it's a very important line for you to understand. A lot of people will start a diet, they'll start an exercise program and a whole lot of other things all at the same time. And so if you decide you're going to go from the standard American diet and your regular drinks and your regular things with your friends and your regular life to suddenly, you know, and getting up off the couch and going to the gym five days a week, well you're going to experience some pretty staggering, uh, jarring things.
DOMS is a real thing. And a lot of my clients, you know, when they first get into an exercise regime, uh, they're dealing with DOMS and that's something that's very tough and difficult for us to deal with. But it is something that we just, we need to kind of manage, we need to go through.
So I would encourage you to find one or two big rocks as I say in the book. What are those big things that are going to move the needle a little bit for you? Get you moving in the right direction.
For a lot of people it's just cutting out your sugar, cutting out the processed foods, making that your first step on your nutrition is going to be a lot easier than saying I'm going to go full Vegan or I'm going to just eat, you know, grass fed meats and pastured eggs and you know, organic produce.
You know, making that drastic of a change might just be too far outside your comfort zone and sets you up for failure because the first day you find yourself pulling into McDonald's, you're dying. You know you're probably going to quit. Most of us do when we get to that point where we make that mistake, we get off of the plan, we're too far beat, you know, we, so I would encourage you to find that little thing that, that one big rock thing says a little bit big rock that you can put out there and you know that it's going to be working towards your health. Let that get set as a habit. Let that get set as a part of who you are, a part of your identity. And then the next step becomes easier. The same thing with fitness. Um, you know, initially you may, you don't need to go out and try to run five miles a day if you've never been running.
If you've been kinda couch ridden and, and not doing things sedentary, getting out and trying to run five miles on your first day is risk gonna probably break you. So get out for a half an hour and do a walk if you find that comfortable, push a little harder. So the other side of the comfort zone is that knowing how to push, we, we can't get where we want to go by doing the things that we're currently doing. So if you're very comfortable in your life right now, to get well is going to put you in an uncomfortable position many, many times. As I mentioned earlier, you're probably gonna deal with some muscle soreness, some Dom's, uh, you're probably gonna deal with achiness you know, that sometimes might even disturb your sleep. And if you're trying to change your food, you're not going to be able to eat the foods, drink the drinks, do the things that you were doing if you want wellness.
So as you look at moving towards that vision, you need to find your comfort zone and you need to push it. And the way I like to term it is that gentle nudges we want to get just outside the comfort zone until we expand that comfort zone. Once the comfort zone has been expanded, it's time to push a little bit more. Just that gentle nudge to get that comfort zone to expand. That's gonna allow us to progress on our journey. And that's gonna allow us to get the results that we need. Now, so many times as people approach this wellness journey, they approach it like a project. They're like, oh, well I'll go on this diet. I'll change the way I'm going to eat. And then when I get to my goal weight or my goal size, uh, then I'll go back to what I was doing.
So the, it's a project, they manage it like a project. Okay, I'm on the Diet and then I'm off the Diet. The project is there, the project is either successful or not, and then I'm off. That's not gonna work in the long-term. Aging is a slow declining curve. It's gonna take us down over time. So this needs to be more of a program, something that you're going to put in place. Something that is like I said, going to become a part of your identity. I see it a lot, you know, particularly with things like runners. I see it in crossfit. I see it in some other places where people will begin to identify with the activity that they're doing. You ask someone that runs who they are, they're going to say, I'm a runner. Uh, someone that does crossfit, they're a crossfit athlete. Um, they don't make any qualms about it.
That's built into the fabric of who they are, becomes a part of their identity. You look at a gym rat, they're in the gym every day. They identify with being a gym rat. They identify with being there. And it's not that you have to identify with being a gym rat or identify with being a crossfit athlete or a runner. It just means that you need to put this in your head that this is just a part of who you are. And as I mentioned in the last episode, when I was in college, I was a college student. I was a husband, I was a full time manager and I was a gym rat. Um, so I had a set period of time, two hours each afternoon between classes and my time as a manager at a retail pharmacy where I was in the gym every single day.
And that was just a part of my identity. It was part of my natural path, getting off the school, getting into my car, driving over to the gym, spending the time there, driving home, showering, and going to work. That was my normal schedule every single day, every single weekday. Anyway. So what you'll want to do is really kind of build this in over time. Slowly pushing your comfort zone and then just making it a part of who you are, so you kind of have this program that's in place. You've reprogrammed your brain, you've reprogrammed your identity, and that's going to be what's going to get you the most juice that's going to make you successful in the long haul. So this is not a project that you do and then you're done. This is something that becomes a part of you and then you're in this new position where it's a part of your identity and you can make some basic decisions. And those decisions are going to be around improvement and preventing regression.
So a perfect example is me. I tore my rotator cuff and there was a bit of a regression because I wasn't able to do the things that I was doing. I was lifting, getting much stronger and I really enjoyed doing that. I identified with that. But once I tore my rotator cuff, that kind of went out the window for awhile. I wasn't able to lift until I was healed and it's taken me, even today, I still have some strength loss in that particular shoulder. Um, so it's now I'm on a continual improvement program for myself where I'm gonna work on getting better and better and stronger and stronger. And I'm also being very careful to make sure that the issue I had with my right shoulder is not something that I repeat with my left shoulder. So I'm also on a program to try to avoid regression, try to avoid injuries.
So I'm being much smarter, much more fastidious about how I do my lifts, the types of lifts I do and, and I'm working my way through, but I'm still working on getting stronger. I'm still lifting relatively heavy weights and that's how you'd go about this. So it's kind of a recap and this was a shorter lesson, but it's a part of the three part lesson and I'd really encourage you to go back to episode 397 and and listen to that episode. Download the identity grid at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grid and kind of just go through that exercise and then come to this exercise where you know now that you kind of have a general idea of where you need to focus your energy and the amount of time and effort you're going to have. Start pushing that comfort zone in the areas that are going to give you the improvements you want.
You want to get stronger, you want to get a little more stamina. You maybe want to lose some weight or at least lose some body fat so that your body composition is better. All of those are good things for you to focus on and you probably know if you've listened to any of these episodes, you probably know a lot of the things that you can be doing to make that happen. Pick your big ones and implement them. Make it a part of a program. Make it something that you're now trying to put into you to make you comfortable at a bigger and higher and stronger and faster rate. Slowly pushing that comfort zone, the gentle nudges, making a part of your identity with program management. And then once you kind of start seeing things happen, adding more of those things that you know are going to improve you or at least keep you from regressing. So I hope you've enjoyed this episode. I'll talk to you next week.
If you haven't had a chance, I would really appreciate if you would take just a moment to go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist. You get to that page, you're going to see that the author Academy Awards, we've been put as a finalist for the health category. So if you go to that page, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist, you'll find a page, go down a little bit. You'll see an arrow where you can scroll to the health category. It's on page 6 of 17. A little hard to find, but go to that page.
Find page 6 of 17 and you'll see the Wellness Roadmap is right there on the top. Just click on the book cover. They're not asking for your email, they're not asking for anything else. Just click that and that's your vote. Really appreciate the votes. I really do want to win this award. It means a lot that I was nominated as a finalist and a really would appreciate if you take just a moment, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/finalist page seven of 16 and vote for the Wellness Roadmap.
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They tell you when you start any kind of speech and any kind of talk, never start with an apology, but I am actually going to start this with an apology. I'm going to break that rule for a couple of different reasons. One is I'm actually going to do the audio producing for this when I've waited longer to do this episode because I'm actually quite been very, very busy. The other reason that I feel need to apologize is I'm recording this episode in a very empty house and there is probably going to be some echos, not the sound quality that you're used to having for both reasons. One, I'm doing the audio producing and two there's an echo in the house as I talk. And so the probably not the best listening quality that you've had with podcasts that I've done for you over the years.
And I apologize for that. But I do think the concept of what I'm talking about today is very, very important. And I do want you to pay attention to that please. So today we're gonna talk about a topic that I think is really missing in the health and fitness field because, you know, whenever I talk to someone about why they're not successful, why they're not showing up to work out, why they're not doing the things that they know they need to do, I typically get one very clear answer. I'm just too busy. So that has me kind of hitting my head and saying, okay, well why? Why are we so busy that we can't actually focus on our health and fitness when they are clearly important to us? So I'm going to walk you through something right now that I want you to really take some time to think about.
And if you're doing something else while you're listening to this podcast, maybe not the best podcast to listen to that way. Go back and listen to us again because I think this is really, really valuable. Particularly if you find yourself substituting time for health, substituting time for fitness and saying you just don't have the time because this episode is going to give you that tool. It's going to help you understand how you can prioritize this in a way that makes sense. Because so many people do the prioritization wrong. And so many people tell you, you should do prioritization this way. And I'm going to tell you that I know that's not workable and you're going to hear more as we kind of got through this, this session. So I want to take you back. So I want you to think back to a time when you were your most productive, best self when you were actually kind of had the energy and the capacity and just seemed to be on board just as boom, boom, boom, everything seemed to be working and I know you have one of those. I know you have a time where you felt like, okay, I'm, I'm touching all the bases, I'm doing all the things, I'm spinning all the plates, everything is working the way I want it to work and I'll tell you about myself and that time I was a college student, going to southern miss, majoring in accounting. Not An easy major but not a hard major for me. It was a good major. I got it, I understood it. I worked hard and I was taking the full load.
Anna was married and I had a full time job, but every single afternoon I was in the gym Monday through Friday, pretty much from two o'clock to four o'clock every single day I was in my mid-twenties I was looking good, I was feeling good. I had all the energy in the world. I was working that full time job. I was going to school full time and I was paying for it while I was going through it with the help of people that helped me get scholarships and do some other things. But all that said, I was making this thing happen and everything was firing on all cylinders. So who was I then that if I'm giving myself excuses to not work out now that's different.
And it was really about my priorities. People don't go to the gym, not because they know they shouldn't or they don't want to. They just end up prioritizing something else over going to the gym. They don't take the time to cook good food because it's easier to stop off at the restaurant and pick it up or go into the restaurant and eat it or worse, go to a fast food drive up window and get what they think they need for food. So it really kind of comes down to a, do you have control of your own schedule? And I think most of us would say, well, no, I have to be at work at nine o'clock and then I have to be there till six or I have to be there at eight until five or maybe it's, I have to be there at, you know, eight until 10 whatever it is.
If you're telling yourself that health and fitness is a priority, then you're going to do some things to make that happen. So if I'm going to school full time and I'm going to work full time, where are those hours? And what I found was they were right in the middle there, right smack dab in the middle of my face. I went to school in the morning, I scheduled my classes from eight to 2:00 AM I work scheduled on most weeknights, started at five I had two solid hours that I could be in the gym. And that's exactly where I was. So this was not so much about me trying to do more to be more productive. This was just literally me saying, this is my fixed time. This is my time when I was working for a corporation. And I wanted to get fit and stay fit.
I put it on my calendar from two to three was my gym time. It was my lunch. I wrote lunch on my schedule so that anyone wanted to schedule a meeting during that two to three time saw that that was my lunch hour. I wasn't available. I was busy and I was typically in the gym. Now obviously sometimes my boss would call me and say, hey, come on up. And it messed up with my gym time. But in a general sense, anyone who wants to schedule time with me knew that was booked out, banked out time. It's not their, it's not their time. It's my time. So how do we get to this point where we're comfortable telling the world that we're not going to work on their time, we're going to work on our time. Cause that's a very hard conversation to have.
It comes down to a couple of different things and one I'll, I'll point back to a book I read a fairly on in my career early on in my career. I want to say right now, the book's probably about 10 years old. Maybe not that all, but it's been a while since this book came out. And the book is called Essentialism. That's a very good book that allows you to understand that if you say yes to everything, then you're saying no to some pretty important things because you're just not going to be able to do them. They're not going to come around. So you've got to really break things down and understand what's really important.
Now, there's a lot of people that will tell you you need to have one core focus, one thing you're working on. And there's a book, it's called The One Thing, and it's on my reading list. I think I downloaded it on audible. So I'll probably be listening to it while I fly home next week. But it's, it's, it goes than that. You know, our lives are so complex that there can't just be one thing. You know, if you're, if your kid's sick, you, that's your one thing. If work calls, that should one thing. But what if you work calls while your kid's sick? Okay. And so what I've come to realize is that we have these identities. We have this thing of who we want to be and where we really want to be, but we have so many competing things, so many things that are coming about and saying, go here, go there, get this, do that.
So there, there never really is just one thing. There's often multiple things. Are they all equally important? No. At any given time, they're not. Some of them are more important than others, but they're, your priorities is going to shift. Things are going to shift. But if health and fitness are two of your priorities and they're on your radar, they're on your sites, then it's easier for you to make some decisions and say, okay, I get it. This is important, but I'm not gonna let it derail me because as soon as I get this done, I shift over to this, this health and fitness priority or this health priority or this fitness priority. So what I've done is I've created this concept called the Identity Grid and shout out to Rob. He is one of my clients. We were having a conversation about this concept and he's the one who kind of brought identity to that, to math as I talk about it.
So again, thank you Rob. I really appreciate you. But here's what the I Identity Grid is. It's basically four things that make you who you are. And I will say as I look at the email addresses of people that take my challenges, there's so many moms out there that I can tell you your identity is very much surfaced around being mom or now grandma a, there are many of us, like myself, my identity was about my business, about my work and who I was as, you know, an accountant, an auditor, as a c suite executive. That was my, you know, that was my identity. Now, does that mean that there's not opportunities there for me to have relationships? No. There's great opportunities for me to have relationships if I'm willing to work on them. There's great opportunities for me to work on my health and there's great opportunities for me to work on my fitness.
But if I focus on just one thing, then I just go to work every day and I, and I kill that. But I die in the process because I don't have the relationships, I don't have the health and I don't have the fitness. So in the identity grid, what you want to do is you want to pick four channels. My four channels have been career, relationships, health and fitness. Have I nailed all four of those? Well, no, of course not. Never. But if I keep those top of mind, those four channels than each morning, I have the opportunity to set my intention. So the real question would be when I wake up tomorrow on Tuesday, cause this episode comes out on a Monday, when I wake up tomorrow on Tuesday, what's my action in each of those four quadrants?
What do I want to do for my health? What do I want to do for my fitness? What do I wanna do for relationships? What do I want to do for my career or in my case now my clients, I want to make them as healthy and fit as they can be. What can I do for my clients tomorrow? What's my one thing? What is the one thing that I can do for my relationships with my family, with my friends? What's the one thing that I can do tomorrow for my health and what's the one thing I can do for my fitness? So if I wake up each morning with a clear action, then I know I'm moving in the right direction now from the action,
we started establishing goals. So I want to work out three times per week. That's my fitness goal. That gives me an action that each day as I go forward, I have a specific workout that I'm going to be doing three times a week, five times a week, six times a week, whatever it is. That's my goal. So the goal is to complete the action on a consistent basis. I want to be reaching out and talking to my family members. I want to be out and doing things for my health, eating better, doing those types of things, with my career, my relationships with my clients. I want to make sure that I'm delivering results each and every day. So I have these goals. And then the goals, well, unfortunately goals are an approach where an obstacle can step in and actually kind of break you down.
An obstacle can come in and say, Hey, you wanted to do this fitness thing and go to the gym, you know, five days a week? Well guess what? You just tore a shoulder and there's your obstacle. Or a friend shows up in town and says, Hey, let's go out. Let's do this. And you're not at the, so there's going to be obstacles in against your goal, things that are going to keep you from being able to hit that goal. So what you then have to do is you have to build strategies. So as I kind of put these things together as you kind of, if you can to try to visualize this and I know it's very difficult, if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grid, you're going to find a grid that actually puts all four of these together with each of the pieces that I'm discussing right now.
So I'd encourage you to go out there and check that out. Cause this is a great little tool that I just developed to help you work this through. So to work it backwards, think about this. You're going to have strategies in place to basically break down the obstacles. So if my obstacle is okay, my friends want to play poker on Friday, on Monday at two o'clock and I want to go play poker with them, I enjoy playing poker with them, but that's the best time for me to be at the gym because that's none of my clients schedule calls at two o'clock. I can go do what I want to do during that hour or two hours. And I wanna work on my fitness also. It's the best time for me to go to the gym because that's the slowest time at the gym, which means I'll be able to get to all the machines I want to.
I'll have very efficient and effective workout. So if my strategy is avoid the poker game until three o'clock go get your workout in. Yeah, I'm a be a little sweaty when I go play poker. But Hey, they, they, they can put up with it. If they're getting my money, I have an obstacle and I have a solution and if I wanna do something enough, I'll set a goal. I'll set a goal to be there and do it over and over and over. And the goal is to complete that action and that action is aligned with one of my channels. So I'm not just setting a goal for the sake of setting a goal. I have an intent. I have a purpose, I have something I want to accomplish. So if it's getting into the gym every single day, five days a week, I have an action of going and getting in the gym, doing my workout.
The goal of doing it five times per week. The obstacles are there. I just have to have the strategies in place to make it happen. Now the reason I really liked this model is it, it aligns with something that resonates with me, which is called the be do have. And this is a mindset where if you want to have something you can't just acquire with money, you have to make it happen. And the way you make it happen is you set your mind to that person who is the person that has that thing. So who is the fit person? Who is the person that people compliment because they'd taken care of themselves and they're in good shape. They're the person that that emanates that and they then do the work. So the B means believe in yourself. Believe in who you are, have the self love to go through this whole process.
Have the self-love to download this grid and to sit down and spend some time thinking about where are your failure points? Where are the points where you're not getting what you want? Where are the points where if you applied your energy in the right place, a k a time management, you would get exactly what you want. This grid will help you do that. So have the self-love to do that, to downgrade that, download this grid to spend some time thinking this through because I will tell you this, straight up, health and fitness is 90% mindset. It's, it's, it's nothing hard, but it's the hardest thing in the world if you don't have the right mindset. So I strongly encourage you to spend some time thinking about your mindset, thinking about your goals, thinking about whether your goals and everything you're doing, your, your identity, is it aligned with the person that you want to be? And if it's not, that's where we have to start. We've got to align ourselves with the mindset to be the person that we want to be. Because if we're not that person, we won't get what we want.
If today's episode resonated with you, I really do encourage you to go out and check out the Identity Grid. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grid and get that worksheet today. I really do believe it's a great tool to help you get to the fitness and the lifestyle and the things that you need and want in your life. So please go check it out. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/grid.
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Have you lost your edge and by edge I mean your ability to do the things, to have the energy to be as sharp as you used to be. For most of us over the age of 40 the answer is no and I want to help fix that for you. Please go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/edge. I have a short video there. Really do believe. I have some strategies that will help you regain your edge, regain your focus, and get back on top. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/edge
On today's episode, I'm going to share the nine most common diet mistakes that I see out there.
The number one most common diet mistake I see is calling it a diet in the first place. The word diet now in our lexicon of language has become a temporary fix, a temporary thing. So I'm going to go on a diet, lose the weight I want to lose, and then I'll go back to being me again and eating the way I was eating before.
That's a recipe for disaster. I
f you want to lose weight and keep it off, you've got to come up with a plan that's sustainable in the long run. Now you can have some intensity at the beginning that then tails off into a maintenance, but in a general sense, the way you ate left you the way you were, and if you go back to eating that way, that's exactly what's going to happen to you.
So instead of thinking about dieting, think about ways of eating. Try to find something that's sustainable that helps you get to a healthy, happy weight that you can keep doing. And so it's a way of eating versus a diet. And if you have that mindset, it's going to make this a lot easier.
The second most common diet mistake that I see is not consulting with a doctor. If you're going to significantly change the way you eat, your body is going to start reacting differently.
And this is particularly important if you're on some forms of medication like Metformin or insulin. Changing the way you eat, sue significantly can really be devastating to your body and not being prepared can put you in a dire situation. So talk to your doctor, let them know what you want to do, and then get their guidance on maybe how you're going to change up your medications or other things that they know about your health history that they can bring forward to make sure that what you're doing is appropriate for your health and for yourself. So make sure you consult with your doctor before you start a diet or a way of eating rather.
The number three most common diet mistake that I see is not drinking enough water. Many times people will go to these meal replacement shakes and they feel like they're getting enough liquids because they're drinking, they're drinking some of their meals, but the reality is our body needs more water when we're losing weight for various reasons, and one of the core reasons is that when we're gaining weight, we're putting that fat on our liver does.
It's really kind of sneaky thing in this toxic world. It likes to store those toxins in the fat makes this job really, really easy to store these toxins in the in the body fat and we don't have to deal with them. Now that you're starting to lose that body fat, those toxins are getting freed up and your body needs the water to help wash those toxins down because the deliver and the kidneys now need to do double time. They've got more toxins coming into the system and they need that water to help process and get those toxins out of you. You may notice when you go on a diet, sometimes you get a headache that can sometimes just be of the release of those toxins and until you kind of get them flushed out of your system, you might not feel too good. So make sure you're getting plenty of water when you go into a new way of eating a diet.
The fourth most common diet mistake I see is not having an awareness that, or having too much of an awareness on your macros. Some people completely obsess about the amount of carbs they're eating, about the amount of protein they're eating, and that obsession is just not healthy.
It's good to be aware of how much you're eating so that you know you're getting the appropriate energy. You know that you're getting the appropriate protein, but just getting too deep into it or not paying attention to it at all is a recipe for disaster, is basically telling your body, I don't care how much food you want, you're only getting this many calories and that's it. And not getting the protein you need. Your body might start leeching your muscles to lose that weight. And while you see the scale go down, it's not a good, it's not a good movement of the scale.
It's not a good look either. So make sure you're getting enough of what you need. But once you're in it, typically we eat the same foods. We eat the same way on a regular basis. So at that point you're generally going to know what you're getting in your food and it'll make a lot easier to track and keep up with if you need to at all. But you do need to be aware that your giving you enough, your body, enough of what it needs to meet its basic requirements. So it's not all just calories in, calories out. You need to know that you're getting the other macronutrients that your body needs.
The fifth most common diet mistake I see is not having an awareness of the micronutrients. If you choose to eat vegetarian or Vegan, there's a high possibility that you're not getting enough B12 or any B12. That all comes from animal products and if you're not eating animal products, you might not be getting the B12. You need to monitor yourself because you may need to supplement.
Likewise, if you're doing a low carb diet like keto, you might not be getting the electrolytes, the magnesium, sodium and potassium that your body needs and therefore you're going to face some problems, cramping and other issues and just not really feeling good. So making sure that you know what's in your food that you're getting the micronutrients necessary will allow you to potentially do the appropriate supplementation for the things that you are not getting. It's not that your way of eating is completely wrong. Just need to make sure you're getting the micronutrients. And then two other micronutrients I wanted to mention while we're all on the topic is zinc and iron. There's specific foods that we get those from.
So monitoring those and making sure that you know you're getting the appropriate micronutrients and your food. Really, really important. Food should be about nutrition. So in talking about micronutrients and macronutrients, we want to make sure we're providing appropriate nutrition, but also meeting our goals with this new way of eating.
The sixth most common mistake I see is not preparing or planning for contingencies. If you decided you want to go vegan and you are going to be going over to a family member's house, now you may have told them a hundred times that you're Vegan, they might not have prepared something that's appropriate for you to eat and therefore you're going to go hungry. So be prepared. No, no what you're going know what's going on and and have those, those quick things, have the things available, eat before you go if you need to. But just recognize that your way of eating might not be supported in every situation where you're going to find yourself.
So you've got to have a plan B, you've got to know what's going to go on so you can make sure you stay true to your way of eating your diet.
The seventh most common diet mistake I see is people not mentally preparing for the transition. If you're really good about your diet and your eating and your way of eating, and you're doing the right things for your body, your body will start to change. And with that, the way certain people may treat you, the way your clothes fit, all of those different things have an emotional perspective to it. And if you haven't mentally set yourself up for what that's going to be like, it can be a little jarring. And if you're not the person that likes to be the center of attention and you're going to a party and everybody is asking about the 30 or 40 pounds that you lost, just be prepared.
You might have to explain this is keto, and they're like, well that's dangerous. You're now, now you're in a conversation. So just recognize that you need to mentally prepare yourself. You did your research, you know you're getting the nutrition that you need, you're giving your body what it needs, and as a result, it's rewarding you with this weight loss. Just be prepared that afterwards you might not feel the same way, be the same person and you might get treated differently. So being in a position to know that that's the case, we'll make that transition much, much easier.
Diet mistake number eight that I see the is not mentally preparing for a plateau. A lot of folks will drop six pounds the first week and then two or three pounds the second week and then maybe two more pounds. And so that's a good solid 10 pound loss.
But then it stops. Your body is adjusting to your new way of eating and you're not losing the weight nearly as fast. That can be very, very disarming. That can be, you know, very, very disappointing. And in many cases, a plateau of more than a couple of days can wreck somebody's diet. They can wreck their way of eating. So the core of this is to know that plateaus are going to happen. It's actually a healthy part of your body. Finding that equilibrium, finding that status of, of breakeven and, and adjusting to it. So you need to be prepared for plateaus, know that they're there. And then at that point you can put together strategies to try to get past it. But you've got to come from the perspective of, of having patience and persistence. To know that any changes that you do might not give you the same rate of loss that you were seeing before, but as long as you're moving in the right direction, it's a good thing.
But plateaus are always going to be a part of it. So just prepare for the plateau. It's going to happen. And if you've got the right mindset going into it, you'll recognize it. You'll be able to make adjustments and probably get through it a lot faster.
The ninth most common diet mistake I see is ignoring food quality. You know, the, the package companies out there, they, they love, love, love when a new way of eating comes about. So you know, when Atkins got big, now they have Atkins foods. When keto got big, they have keto food. You can go through any grocery store and just about any major way of eating, you're going to find boxes with that food in it. They're either going to be in a freezer section or they're going to be on the shelves, but every single way of eating comes up with a food product.
So rather it's nutrisystem or weight watchers or whatever. If there's a way to market that diet, they're going to do it. And in doing so, you are now moving to processed food. It might fit your macros and might fit your micros, but in a general sense, it's a process, food stuff and it's not what your body really needs for true nutrition. So don't be fooled into the shakes.
Don't be fooled into getting into the processed foods because they're convenient and easy. Yeah, nutrisystem will mail you those meals and you can, you know, put them in your cabinet and they last for years. If it lasts for years, it's not actually real food anymore. There's, there's a lot in there that your body doesn't need, won't process. Well, and while you might actually lose weight, you're putting more toxins in your body, you're making it more difficult on your body, and you're not necessarily improving your health with these processed foods.
And I'm going to go ahead and throw in a bonus mistake is I think too often people try to go into their diets by themselves. They do it in quiet, they do it in private often for good reason. If you try something and nobody knew you were trying it and you fail, did you really fail? As soon as the tree falls in the woods and nobody's there to hear it, did it really happen?
So if you're concerned that you're not going to be successful, that you're not going to tell anybody, well then there is no accountability and there's a higher probability that you're probably going to fail because you've set yourself up to fail. So I would strongly encourage you to find an accountability buddy, really someone that will step in and be there to help you.
Now I do online personal training and I would love to be that buddy for you if you want some supervision, if you want some accountability, if you want someone that's going to be in your corner through all of this, through the change and dealing with that through the plateau and dealing with that, talking about the quality of your food and talking about what kind of foods you're eating and your justification for your way of eating and kind of putting it all together with you.
I would love to be that person. Just email me, Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com. I would love to sit down and have a conversation with you about the ways that we can work together to help you be successful in your weight loss efforts.
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Hello. This is going to be a solo episode and it's going to be slightly different than most of the other solo episodes that I've done. I want to start this one with a quote, I'm reading a book for an upcoming podcast episode. Really looking forward to talking to this guy and I know you're going to get a lot out of that conversation, but he has a lot of quotes in his book and this is one that just really resonated with me at this point in my life.
“It is easier to provide wisdom to others than to ourselves.”~ Francoise de la Rochefoucauld.
Now the reason this one kind of hits me in the gut is, you know I've been doing the health and fitness thing for a while now that the podcast has been going on for over three and a half years. This is episode 390.
So I've had a lot of conversations about health and fitness. I've had a lot of solo talks with you about health and fitness and you know, I feel like I know my thing, but just to be bluntly honest, over the course of the last couple of months I haven't been doing things for myself the way that I preached to you that you should be doing for you. And so, you know, I effectively call this my slide and over the course of the last couple of months I've kinda been on this slide and there are a lot of things that I could put out there and say, this is why it happened. This is the cause, you know, when this goes away then things will get better. But I need to go ahead and address this. And in addressing and going through the mental processes of, okay, getting myself mentally ready to change this, to solve this problem.
I've come across some things that I think would be valuable to share with you. So I'm going to take this step back and kind of talk about what's been going on over the last few months to kind of set the stage for where I am right now. As you know, my wife and I decided to move down to Panama. We put the house on the market in December thinking it would sell fairly quickly. It was a hot market. Everybody is telling us our house was in a prime location. Everybody would want to see it so we didn't expect the house to stay on the market very long. And we planned our trip to travel down in February, but unfortunately the house did not sell before February. In fact, it's still on the market, which is this little concerning. But you know, it is what it is. We just have to deal with this.
But we decided to go ahead and go back to the United States to get it to get better organized because we were afraid if someone came in and wanted to close, we'd be running into a time crunch of getting movers in, getting cleaners in, getting everything organized. So we wanted to do a few things to get organized for a move. To make it a little bit easier for us when the time does come. And then we also wanted to get our dogs. We had two dogs, Joe joe is our Chihuahua and Angel is a German shepherd. We wanted to get them down here to Panama with us cause we miss them a lot. And so we traveled up there to do some work on the house to pack up some things, you know, dealing with the movers, getting all that organized.
So about 99% of the things that we had in the house had been moved out into a storage. And we are going to figure out what we want to keep and what we want to get rid of over the course of the next several months. Unfortunately our oldest dog, Joe joe the Chihuahua, had kidney failure and we had to put him down. So it was a very difficult few weeks at home. Then we did manage to get Angel down here. But I can tell you transporting a dog from one country to another, is extremely difficult. You have to follow a very meticulous process and if you mess it up, they could send the dog back. And so it's kind of expensive to make sure that you've lined everything up. We hired professionals to make sure that it all worked out and we got her here.
She's happy and settled in. So that's, you know, that's a good relief that that's happened. And then of course you probably know that I bought the gym and so I bought a local gym here and I've been putting a lot of sweat equity and time into, you know, getting the gym back up to a better standard. I've been buying equipment, getting the place painted and cleaned. So there's been a lot of work that's been being done that's kept me kind of busy, you know, keeping that up, keeping the podcast up. And then of course, serving my clients and, you know, just trying to be the resource that I need to be and do the things I'm supposed to do. Unfortunately, like I said, over the course of that time, I let myself fall back into old habits.
I let myself become less than who I thought I should be. And I'm very disappointed in myself.
I have a very high standard for who I am. And I'm not walking the talk, you know, I'm not doing what I'm telling you to do on a day to day, week to week basis, and that's very disappointing to me. I'm disappointed in myself. Now I can continue to sit and wallow in this self pity aspect. I can continue to be mad at myself and in the end that would not solve my problem. You know, my problem is I've kind of used, I'm doing these chores and moving equipment around, I'm doing this stuff as thats my exercise when it's not adequate. I've been avoiding, you know, worrying about what I'm eating for the sake of convenience of, you know, freeing up time if I'm not shopping for healthy food, which is not a big, big deal.
But I can tell you when I actually do a really good shopping trip here, it requires me to walk to about five different stores to get the things that I want to get good, you know, good healthy vegetables, to get good eggs, to get good meat. It requires me to check out several stores to get the best, freshest foods that I can get. So it's an effort. It's not just a, it's all ready for you to walk into one place and it's all there. And I haven't been doing that, haven't been really focused on that. And I've let that slide. And then from a joy perspective, I'm very happy with my situation here. I've got my wife here, I've got my puppy here. Very, very happy being in the jungle, looking at the monkeys and the birds and you know, living close enough to the beach that I can just walk straight down to the beach and enjoy that.
And then, you know, I love the fact that I have access to and I own a gym. It's something I had thought, you know, and dreamed kind of about early in my life many, many, many years ago. And so it's something that's kind of come to fruition at a perfect time in my life when I'm ready to be a gym owner and it fits with who I am as an individual. So the joint components are there, but I still kept hearing the old voice, the voice I wrote about in the book, the fat bastard. He keeps rearing its ugly head and with the negative self talk and all of that. So I knew I needed to nip this in the bud and I came up with a fairly simple set of steps to describe what I'm in the process of doing.
And I do believe these steps are very effective because they kind of intertwined and finger very well with the GPS process that I go over in the book and that I've talked about on the podcast several times. The first is forgive, then it's action plan, and then it's execute. So the best way I can put this together, and if you think about it in terms of let's say you missed your turn and you should have taken a left and you didn't take that left, and as a result, you continuing down the road and you're now on the wrong road and maybe you've been on that wrong road for a long time. You know, my slide now has only been a few months, but it dovetails with my feasting periods. So it, it actually was not the optimal time for me to have a slide.
So I'm doing this slide and I need to turn this around. What do I do? Well, the first thing I have to do is forgive myself. It does me absolutely no good to continue to talk down to myself, to reprimand myself, to feel bad about myself. For those inactions and actions that I did that were not in my best interest, not in the interest of me being well, not in the interest of me being the person that I see in my vision and not being true to my why. I could continue to beat myself up about that, but I have to I have to finish that. I have to be done with that if I'm ever gonna do anything about this. So the first step is to forgive yourself. And this can often be the hardest step because, you know, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect.
And that's another reason why I wanted to call this episode, “I Am Human” is that we got to get past that perfectionism. If we want to see progress we really have to sit back and say, look, I'm just a human being. I'm going to make mistakes. There's going to be slides, there's going to be injuries. That's a part of the journey. And overcoming those quickly, getting myself back on track. That's really the best course of action for me right now, which leads us to the second step in this, which is an action plan.
So if we're driving in the wrong direction, it's pretty simple. Look for the next exit so you can turn around, or look for an opportunity to do a u-turn and find that opportunity and take it. So having an action plan, you know, what are the things that I can do to get myself back on track? And I know what they are. They've worked for me in the past. They'll continue to work for me. I need to get myself back into ketosis. I need to get my body moving. I need to start moving heavy weights. I need to do the things that worked for me that have always worked and in everything that's going on for me right now, everything that I still want, my vision and my why are still intact. I've evaluated those again and said, okay, they're still intact. I still want to go where I wanted to go. I don't want to go down this road. So I have to turn this around. And that's where the action plan comes in. Figuring out what you have to do to turn it around and get yourself back to moving in the direction that you want to move.
And then the final part of it is execute. You can write all the plans in the world. You can say, I want to start lifting heavy again, I want to get back in the gym and start doing that thing. But you gotta show up. You gotta go do it again. Now it might mean that you backtracked a little bit. It might mean that you've got to use a little bit less weight. It might mean when you go to do your cardio training you're a little bit slower or the distance you're doing now is a little bit less. That's fine. We'll get back onto that progression, the gentle nudging, all the things that we know work for us. It's time for us to do that. So it's forgive, action plan and execute. So if I missed my term once, I know that I've done that, it's time for me to forgive myself for doing it.
Find the opportunity to turn the car around and then start driving back in the direction I should have driven in the first place. So I hope you took something valuable, but before we go, I wanted to close with another quote that's in that book. Like I said, I think you're going to enjoy this episode that's coming up with Michele. But this one's a little bit longer, but I wanna I wanna go through this.
“Pay attention to your thoughts for they will become words. Pay attention to your words for they will become actions. Pay attention to your actions for they will become habits. Pay attention to your habits for they will become your character. Pay attention to your character for it will become your fate.”Talmud
That quote means a lot to me today. Since I've forgiven myself, I've set an action plan and now it's time for me to execute.
And what I know is the thoughts that I'd been having are now going to be positive thoughts. They're going to be affirmative. I can get this done. You know, I may pull out my journal and start reviewing that again each morning. Setting my intentions for each day to make sure that my thoughts become my words, my words become my actions. And then you see where the rest of that goes.
If I begin regular actions that put me back on the proper path, then I will begin to develop the habits that will get me there. That will put me back into the frame of mind of being successful and being who I want to be. And that's going to define my character. And then obviously if I'm doing the things that I'm supposed to be doing more often than not, then I'm going to have a much better fate than if I stay on this slide and don't follow through with the process of forgiving, action plan, and execute. So if you're not feeling it, if you're upset with what's going on in your life right now, realize you can do something about it. Follow these steps and they will get you there.
If you didn't take anything else away from this lesson, but this one thing that the journey to wellness is actually not a destination. We don't ever really arrive there. Our lives are gonna be filled with twist and turns. It's going to be field with injuries and slips. And it's gonna happen to all of us and none of us are above being human.
If you're on this path and you're really struggling to one, either forgive yourself, two, to come up with a good plan or three execute. I do want to be a part of that solution and I want to help you. So if you would go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/human that'll take you to my calendar. We can book a free, It's completely complimentary, no obligation 15 minute call. And on the call we can talk about where you are in your health and fitness journey, what help you might need, what decisions you need to make, if you need to forgive yourself, the opportunity to do so, and how to go about doing that and then the plan and the execution. I want to be there and be a part of that solution. If you'll go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/human you can book your call today and we can get you on your path straight away. Thank you.
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On this episode, I'm going to share with you nine ways to improve your sleep, but before I get to that, I did want to ask you for one favor. Would you mind becoming a patron of the podcast? All I'm asking is $1 an episode. If you're getting any value at all from this show, I really would appreciate your support. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/support and become a patron of the show. Patreon makes it very easy. There are different levels, but really just the base level of $1 an episode would really go a long way towards defraying some of the costs associated with having a podcast like this. I want to continue to bring you great content.
I want to continue to bring you great guests and I want to be able to do that in a way where I can be respectful and not bring on other sponsors and stuff like that. I get approached practically every week asking me to tout somebodies product and I've gotten to the point where I just, I just say no, you know, I want to deal with my clients. I want to deal with you. And so if you would just go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/support, $1 an episode really goes a long way. So thank you for that 40plusfitnesspodcast/support. Thank you.
Now I'm going to admit I outsourced the audio production of this show. So in a sense, and I use a mic that's pretty much just the type of mic where you can really only hear my voice if I'm right in front of the mic, but I can tell you actually in my little apartment as I'm recording this, it's quite loud. Uh, there are roosters and for one reason or another, I guess roosters don't just crow in the morning. They crow all day long and so there's constantly noise. There's constantly things going on. A dog's barking next door all night long, roosters crowing early, early in the morning.
So I have really worked hard in the last couple months of prioritizing my sleep in ways that I can improve my bedtime. And so to get that sleep, obviously I have to make some adjustments and I believe you should too. You should prioritize sleep. One of the cool things, we talked to Dr. Bubbs not long ago [Episode 385, which will be released June 10th], if you'll recall in his book Peak, and one of the things they found was when Federer came back to start playing at a masters level like really getting back up into number one spot, everybody wondered what he was doing. Okay. Is he on some performance enhancing drug? How does a guy that age come back and be that good? The answer once they found out later because he didn't share it readily, was that he was just getting better sleep, better sleep will improve your performance on everything and performance as we relate as just normal human beings.
Because I don't play tennis at that level would just be everything else you do in your life. Performing at work, being a better grandparent, being a better parent, being a better friend, performance in the gym performance in things that you just like to do, even if it's not at a competitive level. Performance just means just as I say, fitness means being the best you you can be. Being fit to do the things you want to do and then performance on top of that is doing it really, really well. And so I want you to be able to do that. And one of the core ways that you're going to do that is by improving your sleep. So on this episode I'm going to share nine ways that you can improve your sleep.
Tip #1, go to bed at the same time each night. I know that sounds pretty simple, but it's really hard for folks to do, you know, prime time TV, other things that are going on often have us on an irregular schedule and we're like, well we finally got to bed whatever time it is. But I can tell you if you set your sights on going to bed at a given time, it really does make the process so much easier.
I really prioritize sleep. So my bedtime is 8:30 and my wife almost every night, she knows 8:30 is when I go to bed. And so 8:30 rolls around, she can pretty much expect me whatever we're doing to stop doing it. And then I'm going to start getting myself ready for bed. Have a fixed time that you go to bed and it doesn't have to be 8:30 it can be whatever, but you want to try to prioritize the quality and the quantity of your sleep and by going to bed at the same time you're starting to set your brain. It's much like when we have kids, you know, we put our kids on a schedule, they tell you, put your kids on a schedule, put your kids on a schedule. You need to be on a schedule too. So try to go to bed at the same time and you'll probably find falling asleep and staying asleep a lot easier.
Tip #2 is to avoid blue light. Now you can do this through apps and things like that and you can do that through these things called blue blocker glasses. Actually in the show notes, if you'll go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/380 I'll include a link to these blue blocker glasses. A lot of the bio hacker guys, they swear by it because they don't want to go to bed. They need to keep working. They don't trust the equipment that they're using to not have some blue light going on. So they wear these blue blocker glasses and that does help them in a sense to block, some of that blue light out.
To me, the easier way to do it. It's just a turn off the electronics, turn off the things that generate that blue light in the first place. read by candlelight, do other things other than watching TV, being on your screens in that thing. But if you can't, which I understand sometimes we need to answer emails or we need to watch that show because you know American idol is what it is. If we're going to be watching that show, blue blocker glasses might be something that you would be able to use. But avoid blue light.
The reason is your body has these signaling things that's come through a whole eons of evolution, the sunrises in the morning and it's pretty much becomes a reddish and blue day. You know? So you have your blue day and then at night it starts the reddish tints. If you look at sunsets and things like that, you start to see that reddish and amber colors, that type of thing. And then you get into the night when it's dark, and I'm going to talk about dark in a few minutes, but just realizing that if you're seeing blue light, that's a signal to your body that it's daytime. So time to stay awake and even though you've accumulated that go to sleep stuff, which you know, basically the chemicals in your body that say, hey, it's time to go to sleep, you're starting to get fatigued with the blue light. You're going to stay up later, you're going to stay up longer than you normally would have. So turn off those blue lights if you can, if not, use the apps to kind of tone that down a little bit and maybe get yourself some blue blocker glasses.
Tip #3, and this should come as no surprise, is to avoid caffeine and alcohol. Now a lot of people know caffeine, they know that they process caffeine a certain way and generally most people would tell you when they can stop drinking caffeine and not have a problem.
I'm pretty much good to drink caffeine until about two o'clock in the afternoon. And if I drink caffeine past that, I really struggled to sleep at night even though I can typically go to bed at 8:30 even if I've had caffeine after, I wake up in the middle of the night and still processing that caffeine. Now the way we process caffeine is unique, so you might be a lot less sensitive to caffeine than I am, or you might be a lot more sensitive to it. So play it by ear of when you need to cut off your caffeine. Move to decaffeinated beverages. Water is always the best option, but there are other options out there, so try to avoid the caffeine.
Now a lot of folks will say what, but alcohol actually helps me sleep better and I don't disagree that alcohol makes it easier to fall asleep because you're uninhibited, you're not stressed, you're letting all that stuff out. So yeah, you feel better and easier and you're able to drift into sleep better. But the problem is that sleep is not the right quality. You're not going through all the right cycles of sleep.
There's four or five cycles depending on how you want to define them, of sleep. And if you're not getting all four or five cycles as you are not going through those cycles in a normal cycle rhythm, then you're not getting the restful recovery, the type of stuff that you need from sleep. So medicines and things like that, they're not going to get you there. Alcohol's not going to get you there. So the tip #3 is to avoid caffeine and alcohol. They're going to either prevent you from sleeping or they're going to prevent you from having good quality sleep. And remember, the quality is just as important as the quantity. Okay?
#3 is to have a sleep ritual. So with number one, I said go to bed at the same time. Number three is where we now make that something where we're teaching our body the thing it does. And so just as with kids, we set them on a normal routine and we say, okay, now we go up there, take a shower, wash your ears, brush your teeth, you know, and get your pj's on. That's a ritual. And so you should, you should put yourself through a same general ritual. You wake up, you get up, you go in there and the bathroom.
Maybe you take the makeup off your face, you brush your teeth, you wash your face, you get yourself ready and relaxed. Maybe you take a bath or a shower to kind of calm yourself down a little bit more, get some candlelight going, maybe read some fiction, but set yourself into basically a rhythm that you go through each night.
One of the things I'll do, particularly if I've noticed, like I was really stressed and having some difficulty sleeping at night, was that I needed to sit down with something, you know, besides, alcohol and just have something to sip on. You can do herbal teas. One of my favorite is to take a product called magnesium. I don't take a lot because magnesium is also a laxative, so you don't want to take a whole lot, but I use a product and this was something that was recommended to me by Dr. Friedman in the interview we had with him on Food Sanity, it's called Natural Vitality Calm, and you can get this on the Internet, they'll ship it to you. It's a powder basically with magnesium supplement in it. It's a little fizzy. You put a couple teaspoons and water and basically it fizzes and so a lot of times I'll sit there and and like to just before I go to bed, maybe about half an hour before I'm ready to go to bed, fix myself a glass of this and sip on it until I'm ready to go to bed or stop my sleep ritual. But this is really kind of a part of my sleep ritual of having that little fizzy drink. Sometimes I'll just take the ZMA supplement. If you're interested in these products, you can go to the show notes, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/380 I'll have links to them there, but basically these are little products that I take or use as a part of a sleep ritual. And I rotate in and out of them because I know I don't need supplements all the time, but if I'm particularly stressed or I haven't slept well in a couple of nights, I'll often reintroduce these to my program. And that's just a part of it.
Tip #4, I guess I didn't do my numbering right. You're actually going to get a bonus tip. Tip #4 is to have a sleep ritual.
Tip #5 is to do something with that ritual that really calms you down. Meditation is a really good means of calming the brain, calming yourself down, getting all the kind of negative thoughts to just let them go. Just let them go. They're not a part of you that they're not who you are. They're there. Let them go. There's nothing you can do at this point.
Another good tip is part of this whole deal is to do a journal. When I am doing some journaling from time to time when things are just not going well, that's when I always fall back on things that I know have worked for me on the past.
Sometimes I get away from them, but I always find myself going back to those things that work. And one of the things that really works for me is to have a journal where I record my gratitudes. And so if I feel like I'm kind of losing it or my stress levels up or I'm not sleeping well, one of the things I'll fall back on is having a journal and I'll sit down in the evening and I'll write down something that I'm extremely grateful for that happened that day.
It doesn't have to be a huge thing. It could just be that my wife met me for lunch or that, you know, a friend called or I got a chance to talk to my mother, or just anything like that where I can sit down and I can write down that I was just grateful that I had that opportunity and then if I feel like I need to offload something, I might also use that journal to say, okay, tomorrow this is my priority tomorrow. I didn't get it done today and I was frustrated, I ran out of time, but I'm going to do it tomorrow and that's just in my journal. I get rid of it and I said, okay, I am not going to forget it. It's going to get done. It's in my journal. So that's tip number five.
Tip #6 kind of relates to your environment when it's time to go to sleep and the next few do as well. So the first one is be in a dark room. So this is, this is tip number six, be in a dark room. I know I'm sensitive to light if there's a light going on and I'm going to be effected by it. One of the things I've had to get adjusted to here is in the apartment I'm in is they have outdoor lights, they have the streetlights. It's very well lit up for security reasons, but it's still very light in the room. I can't get it dark, I don't have the dark out shades. I'm not going to go buy dark shades for a place that's a temporary residents.
So what I've done is I've moved to an eye mask and my favorite eye mask is this mask called a Mantra Mask and I first came across this when they were doing their first Kickstarter. So if you don't know what a Kickstarter is, it's basically a program where they set up and they say, okay, we want to fund a product and if we get enough backers will do the product. If we don't get the backers, we don't do the product. I love that stuff. I love seeing new technology, new things come about. So I love participating in those. When the product actually makes sense to me.
And the Mantra Mask did and does. I still use it almost all the time. It is an eye mask, much like you would imagine, you just covers your eyes, but it's got these like soft cushions that circle the eye, so it's not straight across just cloth. It literally has his little cups and they fit around your eye in the very, very comfortable, very, very soft. It's got this really nice velcro back, the very high quality and it completely blacks things out. I mean when I had this thing on, I see nothing. I mean it's literally just complete blackout, which is wonderful. So with that, my wife can be on the phone, what she does and she's very respectful of it, but shouldn't be on the phone and be in the computer in the same room, which right here we only have one room, so this is a very good thing for me.
I'll have a link to the Mantra Mask in the show notes so you can find it there. But it's, it's really cool. Eye mask or having a really dark room using blackout shades. That's tip#6.
Tip #7 is to also make sure that the room is cool. Now we're getting into the summer months, so it's going to start getting warm. And I know a lot of folks don't like to spend the money on the air conditioning, but I'm going to tell you, if you can do something to keep your room cool or keep your bed cool, that's gonna go a long way towards helping you sleep better.
Studies have shown if you can get your room temperature down or get your bed temperature down, get your body temperature down, you're going to sleep a lot better. Our body temperature naturally goes down, when we go to sleep and it warms back up when we're awake. So if you can get that, cool. And I'll include some links to the cooling system. One of the cooling systems that I've done some research on, don't own them because I just go ahead and I pay for the air conditioning when I need to, or I don't pay for the heat when I don't need to. So it kind of balances out if you're living in a cool place.
I live in Panama, so guess what? There are no cool days, or cool nights, they're all the same. It might be raining and a little cooler, but generally not a cool night. So I'm gonna make sure that I have the cooling in my room to make sure that it had a nice cool room. So tip #7 make sure you're in a cool room. So the two environmental things we've already talked about, have a dark room, have a cool room, dark, cool room that's going to help a lot.
And then the final aspect of your environment, which is tip #8, is to make sure that the sounds are neutral. And I say neutral sounds because some folks want complete silence. Some folks live in a city and they're used to the sounds and the sirens and all of that. If you are, that's great.
I love using a box fan or something that creates white noise. So I'll go out and buy one of those cheapy little Walmart, you know, $14 fans, probably $19 by now, but just a little fan, it's not blowing on our bed, it's not blowing on us, it's just blowing. It's making that kind of buzzing sound for me that blocks out most of the outdoor noises.
It doesn't here. So here I actually use earplugs. I have a set of earplugs that I put in religiously every night so that the dog barking next door late, late into the night. And then the chickens, the roosters crowing early, early in the morning, they're not disrupting my sleep. Now one of the advantages of going to bed at 8:30 is I'm typically up by four 35 o'clock anyway, so the roosters aren't a huge problem, but if I were sleeping later, having the earplugs would definitely help.
So a box fan, earplugs, things like that going to go a long way towards getting your sound down. Now, so those are three environmental things. I want to go back over those again because I think the environment is really the big core thing. If you're not in the right sleeping environment, you're not going to get good quality sleep. So you want a cool dark room that is sound neutral that works for you. You get those three things right, you're in the right sleep environment and the other things really then make a huge, huge difference to the quality of your sleep.
Tip #9 is wake up more naturally. Okay? Now, when our ancestors went to bed, they woke up when the sun came up. They went to bed after shortly after dark, and this was just a normal cycle of how they lived their day to day life. We don't do that anymore. We have an alarm that goes off every single morning to wake us up, and that's a horrible, horrible way to wake up because, remember I told you about those sleep cycles in which you want to do is, you want to wake up when you're kind of in a light sleep. You know you don't want to wake up when you're in a really deep sleep. That's that startling, oh my God, wake me up kind of thing. And we don't like that. We don't like that because that's our body having a huge, huge cortisol stress release that's just not healthy for us.
So if you can wake up more naturally by not setting an alarm, waking up, when you naturally wake up, you're going to be in a lot better shape. So let me show you how this works for me. By going to sleep at 8:30, I am already hitting my eight hours of sleep by 4:30 in the morning. So when I get on a sleep cycle, it's about an hour and a half. I'm looking at about five sleep cycles. Occasionally I'll throw in, occasionally six will happen, but I come out of a sleep usually around four or five o'clock and I'm rested and I know I'm rested, I feel good. And since I'm kind of out of it, I'm kind of, you know, basically coming into a light sleep and I wake up, I'm like, okay, I'm up. This is good. And I get on with my day. Sometimes I'll lay down and I'll go get another sleep cycle, like I said. But in, in a general sense, I'm going to sleep a full cycle.
I have not actually set an alarm unless I had an early flight that I didn't want to miss. I haven't sent an alarm in over four years. I just don't. I don't need it. If I go to bed early enough, I get up early enough. That's the way I've always approached this and so I don't set alarms. I just make sure I get to bed early enough and I only set alarms if there's just some set of circumstances where I've got like a five o'clock flight and I just don't want to miss it. Now one of the things you can do to kind of set yourself up, if you really do want to kind of have an alarm but you don't want it to be that cortisol spiking thing, you can buy one of those alarm clocks that basically slowly increases the light intensity in the room and by increasing the light intensity there'll be some automatic signals to your body that it's morning and time to get up. Obviously if you're wearing the mantra mask, this won't help you, but if you want to have one of those light emitting alarm clocks, it slowly gets you up. I'll have a link to one of them in the show notes 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/380 three you can check that out.
I go to bed early enough to know that I'm going to wake up early enough, but if you know you can't or for one reason or another you were up later. This is not a bad compromise to avoiding that huge cortisol spike in the morning when you wake up to a blaring alarm. Okay. That was nine and apparently I did a numbering snafu. I thought I was giving you nine, but there's a bonus.
One of the things I often encourage my clients to do is to journal about their sleep and not just journal about what time they went to bed and what time they woke up, but to really talk and think about the quality of their sleep and the trends in their sleep. So we talked about things that would disrupt your sleep. Oh, you were up a little later watching a program or you had to work on your taxes and you were up a little bit later. And so therefore you went to bed later, you were at blue light later and your sleep was just not really there.
That's data. That's really good data to know that yes, blue light does impact you and that having your mind racing at nine o'clock at night, doesn't impair your sleep? Understanding. Okay. That there was a really loud noise outside because there's something going on and if I had had ear plugs or some sound going on in the background, perhaps that wouldn't have been as big a problem for me.
Maybe it was that you had some caffeine late in the evening, you know that went out to dinner and had everybody after dinner had the coffee and I for the life of me cannot understand why someone would have coffee after dinner. I mean, Geez, it's already 11 o'clock and you're going to throw down and express, so I don't get it. People do it. I know they can't be sleeping very well after they do it, but it is what it is.
So I've given you basically now 10 tips and I might change the title of this. I was originally going to call it nine ways, I guess I'll call it 10 cause I, like I said, I screwed up on my numbering, but so I'm going to go over them really, really quickly.
Number one, go to bed at the same time each night.
Number two, avoid blue light, and that can be by getting away from electronics or using some device like blue blocker glasses.
Number three, avoid caffeine and or alcohol. You're going to have certain tolerances for the caffeine. That's genetic in many ways, but just know that there's certain times when you should not be drinking caffeine or it's gonna impair your sleep. Same thing with alcohol. It even though it makes you fall asleep faster or easier, it's not letting you sleep the way that you should.
Number four is to have a sleep ritual. Okay, I like to sit down, relax, read, meditate, write in my journal and I'll occasionally have a glass of the Natural Vitality Calm just to sit down and say, okay, this is my evening. I'm done and I'm unwinding.
Number five is to meditate or journal. Meditation is a wonderful way to clean your mind, to relax, get yourself steady, get yourself ready to go to sleep. Journaling is a great way to express gratitude, to find some joy in your day and to let go of any of the negative things that have happened and to push off those things that you know you really need to sleep and then be able to do tomorrow even better.
Number six is to have a dark room. I love my Mantra Mask. I wear it all the time and it's, it's a wonderful tool if you can't have blackout shades and the whole bit strongly encourage you to look at that.
Number seven is to be in a cool room and my wife and I kind of argue about this a little bit about how cool, but the cooler you can make your room probably the better you're going to sleep. I love it. Cool. When I'm by myself, I'm down 65 easy.
Number eight is sounds, you know, a box fan, white noise, something to eliminate the sound. Earplugs also work in a pinch. Those types of things will help a lot. The last three were all about environment make sure you have the right environment.
Number nine then is to find a way to wake up more naturally. Go to bed early enough where your cycles work out and you find yourself awake an hour or so before you know you need to get up, probably time to go ahead and go or have something where you're being woke up gently, like a light emitting alarm that's going to slowly raise, increase the intensity of the light to a point where you wake up.
Number 10 is to journal about your sleep so that you find the things that have the most impact. Look for those trends that'll happen. What you're eating, what you're drinking, when you're eating, when you're drinking, what's your activities were, which your stress level was? What's your energy level was during the day and what activities you did like did you lift weights that day? Did you run that day to just spend time with family? Did you have something stressful happen? The more you kind of focus on the things that happened the day before and how they're impacting your sleep that night, the more you'll know how to affect your sleep by changing your routine during the day and then into the evening.
We covered a lot of the 10 ways to improve your sleep. I hope you'll go through and at least try some of these to see what they can do to help you sleep better because the quality of your sleep is going to drastically affect the performance that you have. And as we spoke earlier, performance is about being the best you that you can be. So you're working on your fitness, you're working on your health, and sleep has to be a component of that.
You have to make sleep a priority. I hope you will. If there's anything I can do to help you, please do reach out to me. Love to talk to you about it. But otherwise, look at these 10 things. Listen to this episode again, go to the show notes at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/380 you can read through the transcript, find the bits and pieces that work for you and hey, give me a comment on Facebook or on that post and let me know some of the things you tried and how it worked for you.
Hope you enjoy today's lesson. I do put a lot of research and a lot of time into thinking of the best ways that I can help reach your health and fitness goals and getting good sleep is was one of those and so I work with my clients. I'd like to work with you just to show you what I can do. I'm offering a free, no obligation, 15 minute consult. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/Consult.
It's not a sales page. It's nothing more than my scheduling link. You go in there and schedule 15 minutes that works for you. We get on a zoom conference call and we talk about your goals. We talk about what matters to you most and what I think you can do to help you improve your health and fitness. I do believe 15 minutes can make a big difference in how you approach your summer from a health and fitness perspective. So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/Consult I'll take you to my calendar for your free, no obligation. 15 minute consult. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/Consult today.
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Tammy and I decided to move to Panama as an opportunity to slow down and reduce stress. On this episode we discuss why we chose the sloth life.
Allan: 00:47 Hello. Today's podcast is going to be a good bit different than anything else that I've done on the show. We are actually recording in our little bitty apartment in Bocus del Toro, Panama. So you're very likely to hear the sounds of chickens, cars, kids, music, all kinds of stuff going on in the background with us, roosters for sure. You know, the thing about it is this is kind of our new lifestyle. We're not going to necessarily live in this town as we go forward, but there's going to just be some differences in the way that we live our lives and the things that we let stress us. So I wanted to actually take you through the story of the move to Bocas del Toro and I couldn't think of a better way to even do this show without also letting you hear from my very special guest today. My wonderful wife, Tammy.
Tammy: 01:37 Hi everyone. I'm glad to be here.
Allan: 01:39 And so as we, as we got into this move and, and the reasons we were doing this move, I thought it would be a great lesson for us to have on the show. And there's been some people that have been fairly curious about this move and each time I talk to a guest and I remind them that they're very likely to hear sounds in the background, that they wouldn't hear any normal recording studio, definitely wouldn't have heard in Pensacola where I was recording the show. There's going to be quite a bit of that now, and I think you'll see as we go forward on the show, even during some of my interviews, you're likely to hear some of the sights and sounds of what's going on here, uh, in Bocas town. So I want to give you just a little bit of the history of how this all came about because you may or may not know me that well, you may not have been a longtime listener, but I was in corporate America for over 25 years. And at the end, you know, I was pretty high up in the rankings as far as executives in a business and the business I was in, uh, well, we were on a pretty healthy downturn. And by healthy, I mean straight down.
As a result, the company was doing layoff after layoff, after layoff. And as you can imagine, being the boss of quite a few people, it fell on me to have those, “You're, you're not needed anymore” conversations, and the goodbyes and all that goes with that. So to say that this was a stressful job, I think would just really be an understatement. It was, the stress was almost debilitating. It was something that when my name finally showed up on the list and we finally went through that and I was sitting at my home in Pensacola and it just occurred to me that I really just didn't want to go back.
This was not a financial decision. This was just a, I know that job is killing me and if I go back and do it, I am effectively sacrificing my health for the job. I decided that I wasn't going to do that anymore. I wasn't going to let making an income be something that was going to detrimentally hurt my health. It wouldn't be fair to me, and one, I think I'd be disingenuous to you if that's how I lived my life. And so I made the decision to not go back to work and to effectively figure out a way to make an income.
That's when I kind of ratchet it up and started doing a little bit more personal training. Uh, and I decided to start working on a book. And there's other things that I had in the works, but because of the current state of healthcare in the United States, one of us had to get a job so we could pay for health care. And uh, Tammy was nice enough to take that on. So she did get a job. Uh, just really just for health insurance. There was no other reason for her to have a job. We didn't need her to work. We just needed the health insurance. It was just far too expensive. I think I got quoted $1,600 a month for health insurance, but I'll, I'll let Tammy tell you a little bit about her taking the job, what that did for her and against her and how she felt about it.
Tammy: 04:46 Well, first of all, I didn't work for like, I dunno, five years before that I took a job here and there doing different things just because I was bored and wanted to do something. And then when it came down to where he decided not to go back to work and we need he insurance, because in America you have to have medical insurance. Getting the job was a little stressful, but at the same time I was kind of excited to go back to work, just to get away from Allan because he's in the house all the time. But, um, I took a job that something I didn't know, but it was interesting job. It was just basically for the insurance.
I also met a lot of nice people and had a good time working there. However, I was not really wanting to work, who wants to work really, you know? But the only reason why I didn't want to work with more because of having to have a boss to deal with or having to watch what I say or do. And you can't really be, I wasn't really comfortable, I guess I got used to being at home for the last five years or whatever it was, taking care of the house, the dogs and Allan and doing what I wanted to do. But going back to work, you know, it helped us for for wha, about almost a year. And it was, the insurance was great and then we decided we were watching TV and decided to take it a step further and I'll let Allan go ahead and start that conversation.
Allan: 06:18 So yes, we were watching Netflix and we came across a show called Death In Paradise and it's an interesting show where they take basically a British detective and they put him on a Caribbean island and he's living in this little bungalow and obviously he is a Londoner through and through wearing his suit every day, obviously uncomfortable in the 90 plus degree, 90 plus percent humidity environment. But he's really good at his job and they decided to keep him. And that's what kinda started the series. And we were watching the series as it went through and I think they had like seven series. They went through three different detectives, each kind of bringing a different feel to the show.
What was consistent about it was the, you know, the location, the beauty. And this guy lived in a non air conditioned open shack, basically a little bungalow on the beach, but it was beautiful. It was beautiful and they made it work and they were comfortable they are. And that got Tammy and I to talking about how we could change our lifestyle, we could reduce our stress, we could reduce our expenses, we can reduce our environmental footprint, uh, if we went somewhere and did something like that. And that got us to searching for different places.
Tammy: 07:38 And I started thinking that I was wanting to go to Belize. So he checked out Belize and all Allan got attacked by mosquitoes and not justattacked but like a swarm of mosquitoes. And then we went during the time that the season wasn't very pretty, the beaches weren't very nice. I guess the seaweed came in and it just wasn't as nice as we thought it was going to be. I mean, it is a beautiful country, beautiful place. Not saying anything bad about it in that way, but we really, you know, we're thinking something along the same line. And then I came home from work one day and Allan told me to keep an open mind and he mentioned Panama and I'm like, well, what's in Panama? And he goes, well, there's no hurricanes. And then there's also the Caribbean island. Cause, I mentioned, I said, well, we want to live on the Caribbean. And he said, well there's, there is a Caribbean side and it's Bocas del Toro. He'd been there before with his daughter 10 years ago?
It's changed a lot since then, apparently. And it's changed a lot since we came here in July. But when we got here in July was only here for a few days. And I knew the beauty of it was there and it was very pretty here. And I'm looking at the beaches and just the possibility of living on the water and off the grid, basically, rain catchment and solar for your energy and power and with lights. And why not go for something different and do something in a different change in life and uh, get out of our comfort zone and make an adventure of it.
So we decided to open this up, this idea up to a Panama and we've been here for almost a month over just over a month and make it, making a lot of new friends, and people here are very nice. The culture is different, just the Indian villages that are around. It's been an amazing month so far and we've learned so much about the people here. Um, and the expat community as well. And then, um, you know, we, we decided that this might be where we want to be. So we've been looking at places here to make a footprint here for ourselves.
Allan: 09:48 Yeah. One of the cool things about Panama is that they, they make it fairly simple. And I say fairly cause it's, it's not actually simple, but it's much simpler to be an ex pat and live here to get your residency here, uh, than it is in a lot of different countries.
Tammy: 10:03 It's still not simple.
Allan: 10:04 Not simple, but, uh, with some help from an attorney and you got through a process. They do want investment here. They do want people here. Uh, so they do value, uh, ex pats and, and they make it, uh, make it a way for you to get here. And as long as you prove that you're not going to be a draw to their society, you're going to help improve their society, they're very much amenable to allowing you to have residency here. So we're currently working through that process.
I am actually looking at buying the gym here. There's a gym on the island and I'm in negotiations with the current owners, to sell me their shares in the company. And, so I will be a gym owner here. And we'll be living what we refer to now as our sloth life. And I know, you know, the term sloth often gets a lot of bad reputations, but if you see a picture of a sloth there, they're pretty damn cute with the exception for the claws.
Tammy: 11:01 Allan is afraid of the claws.
Allan: 11:03 They'll slowly claw your eyes out. But uh, anyway, the sloth life in my opinion is this, this concept of finding the right size for you, finding the place and finding the people and finding that connection, the thing that's going to give you the lower stress level give you the more connectedness to not just the people, but the place.
Tammy: 11:29 Just slowing down a little bit even in life and not having to rush and worry and think about everything that's going around it's just, it's just stressful with regular life like that and living this life life is what we're calling our slough life is being laid back more and relaxed and, and just living at slow walking down the street slow and taking things a little slower. We don't need to rush through life. Life is here us to enjoy.
Allan: 11:55 And so that's, that's kind of this concept of 2019 for me. Uh, and for Tammy is how do we find that place where we have that connectedness where we have this, uh, this more relaxed environment and where we're able to basically just be, be ourselves and not worry about punching a time clock, not worried about the deadlines at work. Uh, be our own boss. Um, so that we can make what we need to make and be who we need to be. You know, if you've read any of the studies on the blue zones and people living the longest in the world, they live in places like this. Uh, they live in places where they walk, they eat locally grown foods.
Tammy: 12:36 There are no fast food restaurants here. Thats a great thing!
Allan: 12:41 And don't bring any please. Uh, yeah, there are no fast food restaurants here. There's some really nice restaurants here with really fresh food, so it's a really cool place to be. It does have water catchment for most of our water, and you know, a lot of the places are completely off the city grid um, so the electricity is generated by solar. So there some feel good about that. And uh, you know, the, the island is looking at recycling programs and a lot of other things. A lot of self sustaining places are building up around here. So it's, it's, it's becoming a really cool, cool thing.
Tammy: 13:14 We should probably back up a little bit Allan about Bocas del Toro. Where is that? What it is? It's an archipelago of nine big islands, I believe with a bunch of little islands all around it. And we're in the main island of Isla Colon in Bocas Town right now and the other islands where we've been trying to explore a few of the other islands around us as well, there's so many islands out there, there's no way to explore them all, but we would like to try and do that. So anyway, Bocas del Toro is just an archipelago of islands out here. For any of you who were curious.
Allan: 13:51 Yeah, it's not the easiest place to get to because you have to connect in Panama City. And you actually have to fly out of a different airport if you were coming in from the international airport. So there's a little bit of a task to getting here, but once you're here, you know, you have access to everything you need for the most part and you find you don't need a lot of the things that you think you need. Uh, but Amazon does deliver here.
Tammy: 14:14 After about two weeks!
Allan: 14:16 But they do deliver if we needed something.
Tammy: 14:18 I have not tried yet, but I might.
Allan: 14:21 And so I talk about in the wellness roadmap that, you know, as you're looking at stress, uh, you know, probably the best thing you can do for something that's chronically stressing you is to just eliminate it. And I think that's what we've been able to accomplish with this move is I don't have to worry about laying anybody off again.
Allan: 14:42 I can come in and I can run the gym and I can have employees and I can make it fun for them. And I'm the boss of the, boss of the boss. And so, you know, I can make the things the way they need to be, uh, to fit where we are. Uh, you know, Panama as a culture is very laid back and I like that, you could be challenged by it if you don't understand that, that's the nature of the people. But you know, they tell, tell you when you come here, don't think you can change Panama. You have to change for Panama if you want to be here. And so that's really the crux of what this, this move was all about. I know some folks have been curious about it. Uh, I'm glad to be able to get my wife on the show for the very first time.
Allan: 15:26 And this is episode 375. I'll try to get her on this show a little bit more often here and there. But I think the key of it is and the takeaway that I want you to get from this is that you really do have a lot more control over your life than you think you do. We let stuff, we let jobs, we let things imprison us because we have this innate belief that we have to have these things.
We have to order that, uh, that shirt from Amazon. We have to order those shoes, we have to, and so our closet gets full, we put weight on and then we can't even wear the clothes we just bought from Amazon, so we go buy more clothes and those sit in our closet and we know we're going to get into those skinny jeans one day. So we hold on to them and, and I'm just here to tell you that you don't have to be locked into that cycle.
You can make changes. Is it a sacrifice? Absolutely. But the trade offs can be quite substantial. I don't have the income I had before, but I have the life that I want and that to me is worth any amount of money that I could have been paid. So I doubt very seriously that you're going to ever see me in a corporate boardroom again. I have no desire whatsoever to go back to corporate life. I'm going to do my own thing and that means I'm going to be giving 100% to my clients and making sure they get the results that they deserve. I'm going to be giving 100% to this podcast and making sure that I'm bringing on the best possible guests to teach you and give you the information you need to find your health and wellness.
I'm going to be doing the things with the gym and others just to help people here be healthier and more fit. So, My life now is, is dedicated towards wellness. Uh, but not just yours, mine as well. But if there's anything that I can do to help you on your wellness journey, please do reach out. If you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/15min I'll give you a free 15 minute consult. We can talk about your health and fitness goals. We can help set strategies for what will work for you. If stress is something that's really affecting you. We can talk about strategies for stress management and where you can, I'd encourage you to completely eliminate the stress. I know that's not possible for everything, but you know, I think I can help you get through some of these stressful moments or eliminate these stressful moments through just this little console.
So go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/15min and that will take you to my calendar. You can set up a 15 minute consult with me absolutely free, no obligation. I want to help you reach your health and fitness goals. So please do get your free consult. So before we cut out though, I wanted to say bye to Tammy and thank you for being a part of 40 plus fitness.
Tammy: 18:21 Thank you for actually having me for the first time. He's never asked me, by the way.
Allan: 18:25 I haven't. I'll be honest. Yeah, I haven't asked her before this, but I felt like it would just, it would not be the complete story of me telling about the move to Bocus without having you on.
Tammy: 18:37 No, it wouldn't be. He needs me.
Allan: 18:39 Okay. So thank you for listening today and I'll talk to you next week.
Speaker 4: 18:44 Bye.
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I've seen many clients self-sabotage their wellness journey by telling themselves lies. On this episode I discuss the lies we tell ourselves.
Before I get into today’s topic, I did want to ask you for one quick favor. My book, The Wellness Roadmap, is up for an Author Academy Award. If you would go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA, that’s going to take you to the Author Academy Awards page. Scroll down to the bottom. You’ll see a place where you can vote. Don’t do the “Submit”, but go down to where you can vote. It’s going to be on page 6 – that’s the “Health” category. Find The Wellness Roadmap, the book cover. Click on that and you’ll be voting for The Wellness Roadmap. I really appreciate that. Again, that’s 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA. It’d really help me out a lot. Thank you so much for that. So now we’ll go ahead and get on with the show.
For today’s topic, it’s going to be a solo episode where I wanted to go into something that a lot of us don’t talk about a whole lot, but it is something that’s real in many of our minds. We lie to ourselves. We lie to ourselves all the time, and it can be something that can keep you from reaching the wellness that you want to have. As a recap, I define “wellness” as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be, and you do have to focus on all three. And these lies that I’m going to cover today are part of your journey. If you’re telling yourself these lies, you’ve got to stop. I’ll get into some strategies about that towards the end.
I broke this into three different sections, the first being “Getting Started”, and then we’ll talk about “On The Journey”, and finally we’ll talk about “Success”. And I’ve got several lies in each of these categories that we tend to tell ourselves. So as we go through this, I really want you to do some deep thinking. This is part of the self-awareness aspects as you go through your Wellness GPS. If you’ve gotten The Wellness Roadmap, you know what that is, but basically we have to get to this point of self-awareness where we know what we’re doing and what we’re saying to ourselves, because if we don’t get there, we’re not going to make this journey. We’re going to struggle. And that struggle is going to keep you from getting where you could be getting.
So the first one that I hear a lot is, “I’ll get started tomorrow.” And that might be at the beginning of the month, at the beginning of the week, but in a general sense, it’s starting your plan any time other than right now. There is no better time than right now. So if you find yourself saying, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow. I’ll start my exercise program tomorrow” – you’re already lying to yourself. You’re putting off something that you probably could start today.
The next one is, “My genetics are keeping me from losing weight” or, “My genetics are keeping me fat.” You may also hear this termed “big boned”. It’s not always genetics. Yes, some of us are designed to carry more body fat than others. That’s just a natural part of genetics. But none of us are genetically inclined to be obese; none of us are genetically inclined to be morbidly obese. That’s not the case. Now, there are genetic issues with some people and there are illnesses that will cause you to gain weight. There are medications that you might be taking that can cause you to gain weight. Those are real. Those are things you have to deal with. If your thyroid’s not functioning right, you’re going to be bigger. That’s not your genetics. That’s not your genetic potential. We all have the genetic potential to be healthy, fit and happy; we just have to make sure we’re doing the right things based on who we are. So your genetics are not what’s keeping you where you are. You have the capacity to do better.
The next is, “I don’t lift because I’ll get bulky.” This is mostly things that women will say. They’ll say, “I don’t want to get bulky. I actually want to get smaller, so I don’t want to lift weights because I’ll get big.” And the reality is, one, you’re female, so to get big, short of performance-enhancing drugs, it’s not really going to happen. Two, you are never going to work hard enough to put on a whole lot of muscle the way body builders tend to. And third, finally, we’re all over 40, so our genetic potential, our opportunity potential to put on muscle is much lower than it was in our 20s and 30s. So straight off the bat, you’re not going to work hard enough, you’re not going to be taking performance-enhancing drugs, more than likely, and you’re old enough that you’re not going to put on significant muscle. But you should lift weights to maintain muscle mass, to maintain bone density and to maintain strength. All of those are very core to you being healthy, fit and happy.
The next one is, “I have a bad knee”, or a bad hip, or some other injury that basically you can’t work out. And this is almost never the case. I seldom see people who have an injury that they can’t work around, that they can’t do something with. If your knees hurt or you’re getting a knee replacement and the doctor says, “No leg workouts” – that’s fine. Can you walk? Can you use the elliptical? Can you use the bicycle? Can you lift with your upper body? There are still things that you can do with that injury to work towards the fitness level that you want to have. It just takes some forethought and planning, so that you can get the work done without injuring yourself further. But very few injuries that I found will prevent you from being able to work out at some level. A lot of times we’re telling ourselves these lies because we don’t want to work out. It’s not that we can’t, we just don’t want to. So, don’t let the injury stop you from doing some form of training. You can work on your mobility, you can work on your balance, you can work on your endurance. There are things that you can do; you just have to figure those things out.
And the final item in the “Getting Started” section that I want to talk about is, “I have to work out to lose weight.” One of the early interviews I did was with a gentleman named Todd, and I also profile Todd in the book. Todd lost over 323 pounds without doing any workouts at all. In fact, he couldn’t work out because of some physical conditions he had. As a function of being so heavy for so long, he literally would bleed through his calves if he sat down in a chair. He couldn’t physically do the workout. So what did Todd do? Todd took control of his life. He made a commitment and he changed the things he could change, which was his food. Now, Todd did go low carb. You don’t have to go low carb. You can find a way of eating that will help you lose weight if that’s what your goal is, but you do not have to train to lose weight. Training helps the weight loss process, so training as a side effect will often include some weight loss, but that’s a side effect of the working out, just as weight loss is a side effect of eating better. So, working out can enhance your weight loss, but it’s very unlikely that working out is going to be all you have to do to lose weight. Calories of energy output is very, very expensive for our bodies, relative to how easy it is to eat those calories back. You’ll see those little diagrams all the time of, this is how much exercise you’ll have to do if you eat that Snickers bar, this is how much exercise you’ll have to do if you eat that McDonald’s meal. You can tell the amount of exercise is insane for the effort and time it’s going to take for you to eat those calories back. You’re never going to out exercise a bad diet, so don’t think that you will. Don’t tell yourself that you’re not working out. You’ve got to focus on the food first.
So those are the “Getting Started” lies: “I’ll start tomorrow. My genetics are keeping me fat. I don’t want to lift because I’ll get bulky. My bad knee or other injury won’t let me work out. I have to work out to lose weight.” All those are not really good reasons; they’re lies. So, stop telling yourself those lies if you’re having difficulty getting started.
Next, “On The Journey”. A lot of us will say, “This time is different.” But you didn’t really change anything. Last time, what did you do? You went gung-ho for five days and then you had a cheat meal, and it turned into a cheat day and it turned into a cheat weekend, and then you didn’t start back on Monday. So, what is different this time than the times you did this before? I can tell you, for me the main difference, the one time, was when I made the commitment. If you haven’t made the commitment and you’re not making some substantive changes to your lifestyle, you’re not going to get what you want. This time is different if you make it different, but going at it the same way you did before is just insanity, so don’t do that.
And then another one is, “Damn it, since I had that cookie, the day is blown.” You go in in the morning and they have donuts in the office, and suddenly donuts in the office becomes a crappy lunch at a restaurant, and then it becomes after work Happy Hour with some coworkers, and that turns into a whole terrible weekend of things. Each event is independent, each decision is independent. The cookies have absolutely nothing to do with the martinis after work. Each of them were decisions that you made at that point in time. So don’t think that one decision blows your whole day and therefore you just blow it out. Don’t let those other decisions become components of the decision that you make. They’re independent decisions and you need to treat them that way.
“I earned a treat.” So, you go into the gym – and I won’t name the name of the chain – but there’s one that they leave Tootsie Rolls and cookies at the front desk. So you go do your workout, and then, “Here’s your treat”, as a way of you congratulating yourself. Or you went and you did a good workout in the morning. You showed up and your trainer maybe trained you very, very well. You felt like you had a really good workout, so that entitles you to have your favorite treat after dinner that night to treat yourself for that hard workout. That’s not gaining you any ground; that’s actually pushing you backwards. You might not feel that way when you’re doing it, but it is in fact doing it. So, don’t let a victory celebration become a bad decision.
“I can’t afford good quality food.” I hear this all the time – they say, “I can’t afford organic.” I’ll admit, organic food costs a little more in the grocery store; it does. It takes more time and effort to grow. They get smaller production because they’re not able to use the hormones. All those different things that are happening are going to make the food a little bit more expensive, based on that volume of food. But what I have found is the difference in quality. If you eat slow and you let your body’s hormones do their thing – the leptin and the ghrelin do their thing – they’ll tell you you’re full when you’ve had enough. When you’ve gotten what your body needs, they’ll turn off your hunger sensation and it won’t turn it back on as early. If you can get your body to listen to those things, eating higher quality food is going to give you the nutrition that your body deserves. I can tell you that higher quality food is going to be a lot cheaper for you in the long run, particularly when you start thinking about the expenditures and the things that you’ve got to go through, the pain and suffering if you end up with diabetes and some of the complications that come along with that. You don’t want that in your life. You don’t want to be obese. You don’t want to have all those other problems and the medical issues and everything else. The quality of the food does matter and it’s an investment that you should be making.
Finally on the journey: “Since my family won’t support me, I’m doomed.” The family wants to have cookies in the house or whatnot. I can tell you right now as I’m recording this, my wife went out and bought some M&M’s. I thought they were the peanut M&M’s when I first saw them. She said they’re the caramel ones. She loves them, which is great, but they’re not what I plan to eat. But I have a very hard time saying “No” to M&M’s. I actually do. I know that’s a problem for me, but my wife wants them – I’m going to let her have them. If I’m cooking for myself and my wife doesn’t want to eat the way I’m going to eat, then I just have to be a little bit more into my plan. Typically what I found is, there are foods that you can eat that they will eat, and then there are foods they’ll eat that you won’t eat. So, if you fix a protein, you fix plenty of different vegetables, and then you go ahead and fix them the starch and you make them the desert, but you just stay away from the starch and the desert, you can fill your plate with the kinds of food that you want to have and you can meet your goals. If you’re really into this, if you’re really committed, you’ll come up with a strategy, with a plan to work around what your family’s needs are. Segregate their snacks to a different pantry or to a different cabinet so you’re not in them and seeing them all the time, and that might help. Fixing your meals in a way that is modular, so that you can add the things that they want and you can avoid those things. Fixing the plates in the kitchen and bringing them to the table will make that even easier for you. So that’s the “On The Journey”: “This time is different”, when you haven’t really changed anything, “Damn it, since I had that cookie, the day is blown. I earned a treat. I can’t afford better quality food.” And finally for “On The Journey”: “Since my family won’t support me, I’m doomed.” All of those are lies. Stop telling yourself that. If you’re really committed to this, you can get through these things.
And then the final section is “Success”. The first one in “Success” is, “If I lose X more pounds, I’ll be happy.” So for some people that might be five pounds, others 10, and for some it might be 25 or 30. Whatever that is, “If I lose X more pounds, I’ll be happy.” Weight loss is not going to make you happy. If you get yourself healthy and you get yourself fit, it’s a lot easier to be happy. But happy in and of itself is its own component of wellness. And yes, they’re all intertwined. A fitter person tends to be more healthy and happy. A healthy person tends to be more fit and happy. A happy person tends to be more fit and healthy. Those are general components of the three and how they interact, but one does not drive the other in a straight line capacity that way. You need to find things that bring you joy, and that will bring you the happiness. That happiness will help you feel better so you’ll be putting more effort into your fitness. And as you notice the investments you’re making on your fitness, you’ll start paying a lot more attention to the foods you’re eating, the sleep you’re getting, and your stress levels. All of that will work out to making you a much weller person.
The second one in “Success” is, “I’m a failure.” People will say this even when they’ve made significant success. I’ve talked to people that wanted to lose 60-70 pounds and they’ve lost about 35 pounds, but they’ve still got that 25 to lose and they feel like they’re a complete failure because they didn’t reach a predetermined goal. And sometimes those goals were based on things that were happening at the early part of their journey. So, they needed to lose 70 pounds or wanted to lose 70 pounds, and the first week they last four, and then they lost three, and then they lost two, and now each week they’re noticing maybe half a pound, and one week it goes up. They’re so fixated on the fact that the scale isn’t moving as much as it did before, they feel like they’re stuck. There are things they can do to get off of this plateau. You’re not a failure. You climb the mountain and you found yourself on a ridge, and now you have to walk across that ridge before you can start climbing again. That’s just a normal aspect of going up this mountain, and it’s something to expect. Plateaus are a normal, natural thing in our wellness journey. If you find yourself on a plateau, you’ve got to keep doing what’s been working for you and you’re going to start seeing results again. You can start working a little bit harder at certain things, get a little bit more restrictive on some things and see if that helps spur some movement in the direction that you want to. But you are not a failure on the basis that your momentum stopped. You’re not a failure until you quit. If you quit this climb and start going back down the mountain, then yes, you can call yourself a failure, but you’re not a failure because you didn’t get all the way where you wanted to go. You are a success by making it as far up the mountain as you have, and you just have to keep working.
And then the final lie that we tell ourselves as a part of the “Success” section: “I’ve met my goal, my journey is over.” A lot of people will do this. They’ll go on a diet and their goal was to maybe lose 10-15 pounds. They lose that 10-15 pounds, and then they go right back to eating the way they did before. And guess what happens? They layer that fat right back on, and in some cases faster and even more than they did before. That’s a normal way that people will do – they’ll do something, they’ll be very successful, but because they weren’t committed to it in the long term, they let it slip through their grasp. They go back to living the way they did before, fully aware that that’s how they got where they got. They know where that road takes them, yet they get on that road and they start going. So, when you meet your health and fitness goals, I’d strongly encourage you to take a moment to regroup, to assess yourself, and then sit down and pick something even better down the road. Find another goal, find another challenge. Find something that’s going to keep you actively engaged in your own wellness. You can continue to improve your wellness, you can continue to maintain your wellness, or you can let it slip away. It’s always a decision that you get to make, for the most part, so I want you making those decisions.
So I’ll recap – for “Success”, it was: “If I lose X more pounds, I’ll be happy. I’m a failure”, even though you’ve made significant progress, or, “I’ve met my goal, my journey is over.” Those are three lies that we tend to tell ourselves when we’re looking at success or we feel like we have been successful. Those are also lies. If you really want to get well, you want to be as happy, healthy and fit as you can possibly be, you can’t be telling yourself those lies either.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. It’s a little different than what I’ve done in the past, but I really felt like as I was talking to various people, I hear these comments all the time and I know they’re just lies that people are telling themselves. I want you to do this deep dive. You may want to listen to this episode again, and there’ll be sections of it that are going to resonate with you. If they did, feel free to send me an email. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can talk about what’s going on with you. I’d love to help you out if I can in any way, so thank you.
If you enjoyed today’s episode, would you please take a moment to check out our Patreon page? You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon and leave a small contribution to the show. It takes a lot of effort and a little bit of money to keep a program like this going this long, so I really do appreciate any and all support that you can give me. Go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon and become a patron today. Thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness podcast.
Also, The Wellness Roadmap, the book I wrote, is up for an Author Academy Award. If you could go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA, that will take you to the page for the Author Academy Awards. You’ll need to scroll down to the bottom. Don’t click that “Submit” button, because that’s not for you, but scroll down a little bit further and you’ll find the “Vote” section, and then there are separate pages for each category. I’m in the “Health” category, which is 7 of 16 pages, so you’ll have to do a little bit of scrolling to get over to the seventh page. Look for The Wellness Roadmap cover, click on it, and you’ve voted. Thank you so much for that: 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/AAA. Thank you.
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As we look to the new year, our health and fitness move to top-of-mind. On this episode, I discuss how commitment, strategy, habits, and tactics can help you reach all of your health and fitness goals.
As we close out 2018, I thought it would be good for me to do an episode that was geared towards helping you be successful. As we go into a new year, this is often the time of year where people want to really start bearing down on certain goals – be it health, be it fitness, be it wealth – different things that we put on our plate that we want to accomplish in the new year. And if being healthy and fit is something that’s on your plate, which for most of it is, these four words that I’m going to share with you today and how they apply, is going to be very, very important for you to be successful.
The first one is commitment. A commitment is so much stronger than any other thing that you’re going to do for yourself. You could say you have a resolution, you could start a diet, you can say you’re going to use willpower, do things to improve your willpower; but in a general sense, all of those are typically designed to fail. What you need is a commitment.
When you commit to something, you just do it. It’s much more personal to you. It’s much more ingrained in your psyche to be successful when you have a commitment.
Commitment is comprised of two things. The first one is your “Why”. Your “Why” must be deep and emotional, and generally fixed. What I mean by that is, it needs to be something that you truly, truly care about. If you don’t care about it –
If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you know that my commitment, my “Why” is my daughter. It started out as my daughter, then when I got married to Tammy, it’s now my wife and our children, and then
I don’t want to just be here for them; I want to be working with them. I want to be doing things with them. I want to be active with them. I want to be participating in their lives. So my vision is for me to be independent, fit and strong, to be able to do the things that they’re doing to be engaged in their lives.
So I put those two together: my “Why” – my children, grandchildren, my wife; and my vision is to be active in their lives, to be independent. That’s my commitment. My commitment is to do the work and do the things that are necessary to make sure that I am the person that I want to be for them. That’s my commitment.
The next word – strategies. Strategies are the things that we do to ensure that we’re going to be successful. And that only comes about if we really do a good deep dive exercise of self-awareness and looking at our lives and saying, “What’s realistic? What’s the most likely outcome if these things happen?”
So, strategies are the things that we do to keep us on track when something might have knocked us off. A perfect example for me is, every once in a while if I see M&M’s, particularly peanut M&M’s, I’m all over them. It’s very, very hard for me to walk past a bowl of M&M’s and not just eat them all. I know that’s a tendency of mine, so I just don’t buy M&M’s. I don’t have them in the house, I don’t have them in the cupboard, so I’m less inclined to do that thing.
Another one that I’ve talked about a good bit is, when I was going to an office, if I didn’t pack my gym bag the night before and leave it on the floor where I would almost practically trip over it on the way out, I would sometimes forget my gym bag or I’d forget to pack socks or shoes or something silly like that, and I’d end up missing a workout. So, for me to make sure that I am consistently going to the gym, I have to pack my gym bag the night before.
Now it’s a little different because I work from home, but I need to put my gym clothes out. Right after I finish recording this episode, I’m going to go down to the gym and do some work, because I already have my gym clothes on. They were the ones I left out for me to get into this morning when I woke up, so I have my gym clothes available to me and I’m ready to go work out. So, the strategies are the things that we do to help ensure that we stay the course.
The next one is habits. Habits are the things we do without even having to think of them. One habit will be that you brush your teeth every evening before you go to bed. You probably brush your teeth every morning when you wake up. Habits are the way that you drive to work each day. Habits are the natural little things that you do in the course of living your day-to-day. The way we’re going to build a habit is by making it a part of each day regularly.
Just like brushing your teeth became like a ritual before bed – working out, eating well – those have to be habits. I talked about the strategy of walking around the grocery store. Now I don’t even think about going down any of the
And the final one that I want to talk about is tactics. Tactics are the things we do to get healthy and fit. I may ask a client when they first go in the gym and they want to start lifting, “I’m going to put you on a five by five program, doing these five exercises.” When I say “five by five”, that’s five sets, five repetitions of these five different exercises that basically give them a full body workout each time. So the tactic is the five by five.
As far as eating, some of my clients like to go low-carb. And when they go low-carb, that’s a tactic; it’s the style of eating that they’re choosing. They’re choosing a tactic of low-carb as a way of potentially losing some body fat, and yet fueling themselves.
So, as you look at the things that you would do, I want you to make sure that the tactics you’re using are the ones that are really going to move the needle. So the tactic of getting a B12 shot once a month – while it might boost your energy, that’s not a “move the needle” tactic so much as making sure you’re getting in a good amount of water each
The B12, or wearing an altitude mask, or all these other little crazy things that are out there, are not going to move the needle nearly as much. Now, there might be a point in your fitness and health journey where those other tactics make sense to add to your repertoire, but you want to focus your energy and your time on the tactics that are going to do the
Now, I say commitments, strategies, habits, and tactics in that order for a very specific reason. The commitment lays the foundation for everything that you’re going to do. When you’ve made a good commitment, you have a good vision of where you’re going to go and you have a good “Why” that’s going to keep you going. So the commitment has to be the first thing, it has to be done right. Once you have a good commitment in your mind and you’ve written it down and now you’re going to practice that commitment, everything else will fall in place so much easier.
Now through self-awareness, through knowing the basic things going on in your life, you can start establishing the strategies that are going to lay the framework for how everything else is going to work. I’ll use myself as an example.
I said that I want to be independent and active with my children and grandchildren, and whatever they’re doing in their lives, I want to be a part of it. I know that if I want to live a longer life, I need to feed my body the types of food that are good for it. So my strategies have to be built around, how do I make sure that I’m getting good food? How do I make sure that I’m doing the right things to keep myself fit? And fitness in this context is very different than CrossFit fit or just wanting to be able to complete a particular task, like a race or whatnot. This is fitness to be the person that I want to be.
As we age we’re more likely to fall, and that fall is likely to put us in the hospital or kill us. I want to make sure that I don’t fall, so in addition to training my strength so that I can do the things I need to do, I need to train balance, so that I’m as balanced as I can be and I don’t fall as often. Those are two different things that I’m working on within my fitness, so I have to put the strategies in place to make sure that I do that.
Strategies I’ve talked about – leaving my clothes out so I know that I’m getting my workouts in. Strategies of making sure that I’m shopping for the best quality foods, going to the farmer’s market, or at least walking the perimeter of the grocery store.
Now, after you’ve done a strategy for quite some time, it becomes a habit. So going down into my basement gym and getting in a good workout each morning because I’ve put my clothes on – suddenly now it becomes a habit of, that’s just what I do. I wake up and I go down to the gym. And maybe I’m doing some strength training, maybe I’m doing some balance
My tactics are saying, “Buy a whole bunch of vegetables. Just look for everything that’s fresh and organic. Get the best quality vegetables I can get and fill up my cart with those. Going over to the meats, look for the high-quality grass-fed meats.” And that’s what I do. Whether I’m at the farmer’s market or at the grocery store, I’m looking for the highest quality. So my tactic is high-quality food. My tactic is I’m going to do strength exercises, which are basically lower rep heavyweight, and I’ll do some balance work on a regular basis as a function of my workouts. Those are the tactics that are going to get me there.
You see how if I try to skip the order, I never develop the habits? If I don’t have the commitment, I’m never going to get to the habits. And so many people like to start this journey with the tactics.
We’re rolling into January, so it’s like, “I’m going to go on a diet.” What does that mean? It’s like, “Well, no candy or cakes for me.” They’ve got a tactic – they’re cutting out
Are they really going to have the commitment and the ability, the strategies to walk away and not eat the cake? Or are they going to make that a failure point in their plan and lose their diet? So, as you go through this, just remember, you need the commitment to make sure that all of this stays in place.
The strategies will be the ones that keep you on the road the most, keep you most effective. The habits are going to be the things that become automatic for you, which actually makes getting well very easy once you’ve developed healthy habits. That takes time, it takes effort, but if you have the commitment and the strategies in place, you can and will develop really good habits for your health and wellness. And then finally, the tactics. The tactics you choose need to be the best ones that are going to move the needle the most for you, where you are on your journey today. In that order – commitment, strategies, habits, tactics.
I hope that this has been helpful for you. If you have any questions at all about this – please, please, please, reach out to me. You can get in touch with me at email@example.com. I love getting emails from you guys. Or you can go to the Facebook group at 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group. Both of those are great places to interact with me. I love getting emails, I love having the discussions on the Facebook group, because that’s where other people can get the benefit of your questions and our comments and what’s going on there. So please do go check out the group or send me an email if you have any questions or want to talk further about this topic.
Alright. It’s that time of year when we all start getting a little bit more focused on goals, commitments, resolutions and all of that. So I hope you’ll take today’s lesson to heart as you do kick in for the new year and get your fitness stuff going on. It is very important for you to make sure that you’re committed to have the strategies in place, to develop the appropriate habits, and also to make sure that you’re finding the right tactics to make sure that you’re successful in meeting your fitness and health goals. This is the perfect time for you to hire a coach, and I would like to be that coach. As a coach you can have me for accountability, you have me to bounce any questions off of, you have me there to make sure that you get the most out of the time and effort you’re putting into the gym and into the kitchen. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Programs to learn more about what I do with my coaching.
I have two basic programs – very simple “Do It Yourself” programs; or if you really want me with you along the way, you can join the group fitness or apply for the one-on-one. I do have some slots open for one-on-one clients at this time. So if you’re interested in really kicking things up a notch, meeting all of your wellness and fitness goals for the year, I highly recommend that you hire a coach and I hope that you’ll choose me. Go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Programs today. Thank you.
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On this episode, we celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, the launch of The Wellness Roadmap book, and I answer listener questions.
Hello and thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast. I am so glad you’re here today. This is going to be a special episode because today is the official third birthday for the 40+ Fitness podcast. Yes, I launched the podcast on December 6, 2015, and this episode that you’re hearing today is going live December 6, 2018. And my, how so much changed in just three years! It’s really quite amazing. I’m going to talk about the podcast, I’m going to talk a little bit about the new book, and then I’m going to talk about going forward what I want to do with the podcast, with my career, with the whole thing. If you’re not interested in all that and all you want to do is get to the Q&A, you might want to skip forward a little bit because this is going to get into the origin of the show, the things I’ve been doing for the past three years, the growth and where we are today. If you’re not interested in those types of things, then I’d encourage you to skip towards the end and you can pick up the Q&A. We got some really cool, good questions there that I know you’re going to get some value out of. So this is not an entire show about me and the podcast. It’s about you and how I can help you reach your health and fitness goals. Let’s go ahead and get started.
As I mentioned, the podcast started three years ago, and when I first started the podcast, I did a lot of things to try to jumpstart it and get it going early. I spent a lot of what I would call stupid money, building up some things that didn’t matter; I spent money on things that didn’t matter. I bought equipment that I’ve never actually ever used. It was really kind of a traffic wreck. Now, I had a full-time job, so I had the disposable income to do those types of things. But looking back at myself now, if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, email me, let me know. Let me give you a little bit of advice, because you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a podcast. You do need to spend some money to have a good podcast, but you can get a decent podcast with not much of an investment if you’re willing to invest your time. I started the podcast because I had done some things for my health and wellbeing that I felt were quite valuable and a lot of people were asking me about it. They could physically see the change in me. I was a different person and they recognized that. So, more and more people were reaching out to me that I knew and I just got to thinking, I can’t not tell everybody. If this is something that’s going to work for me and it’s starting to work for other people, let’s prove the case.
So when I launched the podcast, I was extremely ambitious. Again, I did have a full time job, a very stressful full-time job at that. And as I reached out, I decided I was going to do the podcast five days a week. I was going to have shorter episodes of 15 minutes, enough time that you could go for a nice little walk and it wouldn’t take away too much of your day to spend 15 minutes, five days a week doing some moving around. That would basically put us at about 75 minutes, which is the minimum requirement of what the federal government says you should do. It’s by far a very low bar, but I thought this is doable for most people that I want to reach out to. So I did that for quite some time. I think we got all the way up into the 70s for the episodes. So, a good long time – probably eight, nine weeks or longer. I guess we’re looking at closer to 12, 13, 14 weeks that I ran this podcast for that amount of time. It was a lot of work, particularly when I was trying to do interviews and keep the interviews under the 15-minute mark – a real processing challenge for my head, for my stress. It was a little too much. So I made the bonus announcement that I was moving to three days a week and I was going to give myself some slack on the length of the show. If it needed to be a little bit longer, it’d be a little bit longer. If it could be a little bit shorter, I would make it a little bit shorter. That worked pretty well, but I found more and more I wanted to reach out to experts in the field. I wanted to do more interview shows, because I really felt like I could read a book and pull out some huge gems for folks – some great tactics, in many cases some good strategies to help us stay on track with our health and fitness. So I started reaching out to the guys out there that were writing books, and experts and whatnot. And I got some awesome guests on the show. There have been some huge ones, like Dr Fung, Jimmy Moore, Dr Friedman, Dr Greger. Just tons and tons of really good guys and ladies – sorry I missed a few of those. I had some really great shows. But I found working a full-time job and going through some pretty stressful events, that having to read three books per week… And a solo show actually probably takes me longer to prepare than an actual reading a book show. I know that sounds weird, but I spend a lot more time than the six or seven hours it takes me to read a book to actually plan one of these shows when I do a solo show. I spend a lot of time thinking about it, a lot of time doing some research to make sure that what I’m giving you is right. So, I prefer the interview style as a way of getting the information out there. So, I just found that doing three interviews shows per week was just a little too tough on me. So I tapped it back down a little bit more to once a week. And as you know if you’ve been listening for the last couple of months, I throw in bonus episodes every once in a while. So, it’s not like I’m just doing 52 episodes a year; I probably do closer to the realm of 60 a year, which is pretty good. It’s a good bit, but it’s not so much. Getting a lot of good feedback from that.
So, where have we come, where are we now? When I first started I was happy to see that first download, and it was me. The second download came and it was someone else, maybe even you, if you’ve been with me from the beginning. And that was pretty exciting. Now things are a lot bigger. This is actually being released as episode 358, which means there’s a ton of back catalogs. In fact, unless you’re subscribed to the podcast on iTunes, you don’t even see the first episode, because they only show the last 300 episodes on your player when you go to look for the podcast. Unless you’re subscribed, and then you can go all the way back. I’ve had over 205 guests on the show. In fact, I think I interviewed 206 today as I’m recording this. So, a lot of great folks have come on the show and provided great content, and I’m going to continue to strive week in and week out to get the best possible guests on the show that I can. There are some really cool, great guests coming up. I can’t tell you their names because they might miss their call and I don’t want to say they were here and then they’re not. So I’m not going to give you any false promises there, but I’ve got some really great episodes coming up that I know you’re going to enjoy. We’ve had over 1.3 million downloads and listens to the podcast over the three years. That’s phenomenal to me. It’s just an unbelievable number that we could have over a million people have been exposed to the 40+ Fitness podcast and are part of our family. And I think that’s really, really cool. Now, I know some of you listen to every episode, but when you realize 358 episodes and 1.3 million downloads and listens, that’s pretty significant, what we’re able to do here. So, really, really happy with that. We’ve been listened to in over 149 countries. And I can tell you most of the countries where we haven’t been heard are the countries that you would expect me not to be heard. It’s the Stan countries over in the Middle East and a few others in Africa and down in South America, but for the most part, this podcast is listened to around the world. So it’s gotten some really good guests from around the world, but it’s also gotten some wonderful listeners that are getting this content there. So I really appreciate you tuning in each and every week to be a part of this show, because it is a community. If we’re going to get healthy, we’re going to do this together. So I’m really, really happy to have both my North American-based listeners and also my international listeners. Thank you so much.
Now, the podcast is often featured on the top 100 in the Health & Fitness and in the Alternative Health space, which is really good. I look at the numbers that they throw out for podcast listens and all of that. We’re right in the mix to be a top tier podcast. We’re right in the top 10%, top 15% most weeks, so we’re right in that bailiwick of getting the good. We’re niche, we’re over 40, so I’m not trying to be everything to everybody. I don’t expect to be the major, major player here, but we are doing really good in the charts. The Facebook group continues to be a slow grow, but it’s a good, solid group. I love the feedback I get from you there. There are currently 571 members, and that can go up and down over time. If you’re not a member of the Facebook group, you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group. I make a lot of announcements there, we interact there, you can ask questions there. I’m on the page. I go onto that group every single day to check in and see what’s going on with folks. So, really delightful community and I’m really glad for the folks that are a part of that. And then the Facebook page is just shy of 13,000 likes. We’re at 12,990. So if you haven’t liked the Facebook page, go look up 40+ Fitness, find the Facebook page and go ahead and give us a like. They don’t show those posts so it’s not like I’m going to inundate you on your feed, but it’s just nice to know that there are a lot of fans out there that are interested in what we’re doing. And that’s just another way to see it. And then of course the reviews on iTunes. We have basically 159 reviews. We’ve got a few more ratings. Some people rated it and didn’t leave a review. There are 159 reviews on the podcast, with an average rating of 4.96, which is phenomenal. A couple of people don’t like certain parts of the show, and I get that. I may say something that offends a person here or there, and I understand that. My goal is to get information out and let you disseminate how that information fits in your life. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a dietitian. I’m a personal trainer with some personal experience and I’ve interviewed over 205 guests at this point. So I think I know a thing or two to at least guide you in your own education of things that are there for you. So if I’m not making someone happy – please, go ahead and leave me a rating and review. It helps me. I’ve had some comments on the podcast page and I’ve had some reviews that have made me step up my game. One was for sound quality. So I’ve changed the way I record the podcast so that I can have better sound quality. I’ve had someone who was upset that I had too many ads at the beginning of an episode, so I went ahead and moved those to the back of the episode so he doesn’t have to listen to them. He can stop listening as soon as they play that last music bumper; he’s good to go. So, I do listen and read your reviews and I do make adjustments and will continue to do so. If you haven’t left a review for the show, please do it on whatever you’re listening to this podcast right now. I think you can do it and still be listening to me, so it doesn’t cost you any time. Just go ahead and leave a rating and review. It really does help me make the podcast better.
Allan (12:12): I just finished the whirlwind effort of publishing a book, and I wanted to talk a little bit about the origin of the book. The book came about because I was laid off. I was laid off last December and I was going through a lot of things and I was thinking the podcast has done a lot for a lot of people, but there’s a whole segment of folks out there that aren’t going to find the podcast. I know they’re listening to books on Audiobooks and I know they’re reading books. I want to try to hit more people, I want to try to touch more people. And being laid off, I had the time to invest in getting this message out there. So, I sat down and I kind of outlined what I thought the book would be about. And if you listen to episodes 295 to 299 – I call it The Wellness Roadmap – that’s actually the outline that became the book. I actually outlined it for you here on the podcast, and that became the staple, the basis for the writing of the book. I had that format when I went forward. And I hired people across the board, so I had editors, copy editors, layout people, the whole bit to help me get this book into production. I recorded the narrative on the audiobook, so if you do buy the audiobook, it’s going to be my voice reading my book, my words. I did hire a producer though to help me massage the files and get them up to Amazon standards. So that audiobook is now going to be available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The book itself, I published not just an ebook or a paperback; I also have a hardbound. You can order the hardbound book pretty much through any retailer. Right now the ebook and the paperback are only going to be available through Amazon. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Book, and that’s going to take you to Amazon. The Kindle edition comes out on December 6. At least for the next couple of days, the Amazon Kindle version is going to be available for $0.99, and then it’s going to go back up to its normal price of $6.99. Still a bargain for what I think you get for this book. But I wanted to give everybody that needs this book or wants this book, regardless of what your budget is. If you can afford a $1 Kindle book, you can watch it on your computer, because you can download their app. Or you can do it on your phone with their app. I know Kindle, even though it’s kind of an Amazon thing, you can still watch it and listen to it anywhere. And it’s only $0.99, so please do reach out there. And if you’ve gotten the book or if you get the book, I would really appreciate a rating and review on the book. This is hyper-critical because Amazon shoppers do pay attention to those ratings. If they come across a book and it’s highly rated, or they come across a book that doesn’t have any ratings, they’re always going to opt for the one that had the ratings. They’re just not going to pay that much and spend that much time reading the description to understand if a book is for them. They’re going to immediately hit the page, they’re going to see the cover, they’re going to see the number of ratings and whatever rating level they got. Then and only then they might read the description and read some of the reviews. So, please do take just a moment to leave me a rating and review. It really does help the book grow and become something special.
So, going forward, what’s going on? I told you I got laid off, and you probably already knew that. When I got laid off, I was thinking about how my work affected my life and my health, and I made the decision to opt for health and wellness over the job. I love what I’m doing here, so I decided to double down on pulling in some clients. I have the most wonderful clients in the world. I really do. I love each and every one of them. Every week when we have our calls, whether it be the one-on-one calls or the group calls, I leave those calls pumped, because I know I’m making a difference. I see my clients getting results and we’re having these great conversations about our health and our wellness. So it’s been really, really cool to be able to ramp that up. And of course I’ve continued the podcast with some sponsors, but more often than not, without. It’s really not a sponsored podcast. It’s all pretty much out of pocket and what I’m able to raise with my clients. But what’s come to be is that that’s just not sustainable for the long term. If I look at my cash flows relative to my outflows, for the long period of time I can’t stay where I am. I can’t keep doing what I’m doing. Something has to change. So my wife and I have decided that we’re going to move to Panama. What that’s going to mean is that my overall cost of living will be somewhat lower, which will help me spread the time, before I have to do something. I’m going to continue to train clients, I’ll be able to do that. I’m offering a special because I do need more clients, I’ll just be frank about it. If I’m going to keep doing this, I’ve got to treat it like a business, and it is a business. So, you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group-Training and use the coupon code podcast when you check out. That’s going to allow you to get the first month for a dollar. I want you to just try it out. There’s a 40-day money back guarantee, which basically says if you get in and spend your dollar, and then you get billed the next $75 for the first month, and you say, “No, no, I don’t want to do this. This isn’t working for me. I didn’t see the results.” Then I’ll give you your money back. I won’t ask any questions, I won’t bother with it. I’ll just say, “Okay, I get it. It just didn’t work for you. This wasn’t for you. I’m sorry I let you down, but we’re good. Here’s your money back.” So you get to try it for a dollar; there’s no risk to it. And I do believe that most people that are going to come in and give this a real shot and take me up on this $1 for the first month offer, you’re going to see some results and you’re going to see what it’s like to be part of a group that’s all striving to be well together. You’re going to have that support from me and from everyone else as much as you need, as much as you want. So, please do go check it out – 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group-Training. Be sure to use the coupon code podcast at checkout.
And then finally, I’m going to carry on doing the podcast. It’s going to be a weekly show. Most of the episodes are going to be interviews. They’re the easier thing for me to do, they’re the thing I enjoy. Basically I’m getting paid pretty much to read books and interview people. Now, I say “getting paid”. I don’t get paid; the podcast is absolutely free for you. But if you would like to support what I’m doing here at the podcast, you can become a patron. Patreon is a service that lets me take in monthly contributions to cover the overall cost of producing the podcast. The podcast itself doesn’t cost a whole lot. There are some hosting costs for the website, there are some hosting costs for the audio file. Those are not significant. But I also pay someone to put the transcripts together, and I also pay someone to do the audio processing, and that’s where the dollars start actually adding up. This is a negative cash flow for me as a part of this, but I love doing this podcast. I’m going to probably keep doing the podcast even if you don’t become a patron. But if you go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon, you can become a patron for as little as a dollar a month. I have some levels in there that I’m willing to do a little bit extra for you, if you’re willing to help me out a little bit more. And some of those are going to be pretty cool, I think, if you really want to be a part of it. You may not want to be a client, then don’t be a client; buy the book. You may not want to buy the book. If you want to help the podcast, there are several ways now to do it. You can purchase the book, leave a rating and review. You can become a client, and better yet I can help you personally reach your goals. Or you can become a patron through 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon, and help support the show so I can keep it going and keep doing this. Right now I’m sustainable because we’re getting ready to move to Panama. My step is going to be lower stress, but it’s also going to be a change to my business and how I run things. So I’ll have to just look at that. But I am going to keep doing the podcast, I am going to keep doing the training, and who knows, there might even be another book in my future.
Allan (21:07): Another thing I want to do with the podcast going forward is I do want to make it more about you. I talked about how easy reading the books are for me to be able to put together a really good show. Another way that makes it really easy for me to do a good show is for me to answer your questions. If you put in some questions, it’s very easy for me to sit down and put together the content that I want to have and how I want to outline it. That I can do really quickly. And so, this is also a Q&A show. With no further ado, I will go ahead and skip into the questions. Most of these questions came through the Facebook group. If you’re not a part of the group, you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group, and that’ll take you to the group page. This is where you’ll be able to ask those questions for when we have these Q&A episodes. I want to have more of them, so I’ll be putting them out there from time to time to see if I can build up enough questions to move forward. But most of these came from the group, so if you want to get in touch, that’s one of the best ways to do it. So, the first one comes from John. John asks, “What are your favorite mobility and balance routines?” This is a great question, because balance and mobility are something that I’m much more focused on now than I ever have been in my training. What I’ll start this out with is, a part of my overall philosophy of training is that you need to have a vision and you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish before you can actually start on the task. So, my training for mobility and balance could be very different than yours, John. For example, I have very, very tight calves. I don’t know why they’re as tight as they are. I never wore high heels, I hardly ever wore boots. But for one reason or another, my calves are very, very tight. So, my mobility has to focus on my calves because my calves being tight adversely affects my movement pattern. If I want to improve my movement pattern, I have to address the tight muscles and I have to strengthen the weak muscles. So, my tight muscles are my hip flexors and my calves; my calves especially. My weak muscles tend to be my hamstrings and my quads. And so, I do a lot of strengthening for my hamstrings and my quads, and I do a lot of stretching and mobility work on my hip flexors and my calves. And that helps my overall squat form to be much more clean and much better. Now, there are other areas of my body that are tight. My chest is a little tight so I do stretches to the chest. My traps get a little tight from time to time, so I will occasionally do some self-myofascial release on my traps. Those are the areas that affect me. So, paying attention to your body and where you feel tight and where you know your lack strength – maybe the core – those are the areas where you want to focus on, on your general mobility.
As for balance, balance is an important aspect of day-to-day life. We could easily fall, and I can tell you as we get older, the likelihood of falls goes through the roof and the injuries and cause of death from a fall is so high. It really is unbelievable to me how many people over the age of 65 fall, and how many of them end up in the hospital or dead. This is not something you want to happen to you, so you do want to start a program to make sure that you’re improving your balance. I recently interviewed a wonderful woman, Carol Clements. That was episode 357, that just happened this last Monday. Her book is Better Balance for Life. She has a pretty interesting program where you do most of your balance work as a part of your normal day-to-day routine. So, perhaps while you’re brushing your teeth, you stand on one foot with your eyes closed. It sounds like a simple task, but it’s a lot harder than you would think it’d be. She just uses and builds it all into your day-to-day functional things that you’re doing to use balance as a protocol. I say that’s great. Just realize when you’re training balance, you’re trying to put yourself in a slightly imbalanced position, like standing on one foot or having two feet really close together – make sure you’re in a position where if you fall, you’re not going to hurt yourself. That’s the core thing I would say about balance. Now, to put it all together, the cool thing about mobility and balance is that these are things that you can do every day. You can work on them every day. You don’t have to, but the more you work on them, the easier it’s going to be, the more your balance will improve, the more your mobility will improve. So, it is something that I would encourage you to consider doing each and every day. And what I would say is, make balance a part of your regular life – standing with your feet closer together, standing on one foot, putting yourself in unbalanced positions, moving side to side, getting yourself comfortable with out of the box movements. That’s going to help your balance, and you can do that any day, anywhere. The second would be, as far as the mobility, just make that a part of your warmup. Do a little cardio warmup, get your body moving, and then spend a few minutes working on mobility, on the areas where you know you have tightness. That’s going to be the best protocol I can give you. There’s not any one protocol that’s out there. I have run the Functional Fitness Challenge before, where I did give some general protocols that addressed what I feel are the movement patterns for most people, the balance issues for most people, but we all differ in our own ways. So, there is no one-size-fits-all for just about anything in health and fitness. Take that into account, but make it a part of your daily movement patterns, daily activities like your workouts, and you’ll do a lot better.
The next one comes from Angie and Sammy. I’m going to combine their question, because it was kind of the same question, but they were asking it in a slightly different way. The question was, “How do I maintain endurance activity while in ketosis?” Ketosis basically means that your body becomes a fat burner. And it doesn’t do that overnight. If you’re moving from sugar burning, which most endurance athletes do, to fat burning, there’s a bit of a curve there, a bit of a time where you’re going to see a much, much lower performance rate. That’s hard for a lot of endurance runners, cyclists and swimmers to get through, because they really look at those PRs, they look at those times. And for them to see their performance drop, in many cases quite dramatically, is very, very hard for them. The answer to the question then is, how do you stick with it? Because you’ve got to outdo your brain and say, “I understand this is a momentary setback for a better position later.” When I was in the army, we came up on an enemy position. One of our stated goals, one of the things we would do fairly regularly is do what we call a flanking maneuver, and that’s where we would go back a bit and then circle around to come in on the side. So we were catching them from two planes. This is kind of what I’m saying with this – realize you are taking a couple of steps back to be able to put yourself in a better, safer position. Once your body gets fat-adapted… So we’re going to talk about two different types of adaptation here. Different people like to use different words, but I’ll just explain it this way: Initially, what you’re trying to do is get your body to adapt to using body fat for fuel. So that’s the fat adaptation. That’s when you hear things like “keto flu”. I prefer to call it carb withdraws, because your body isn’t getting the carbs it needs and it’s fighting you. It’s saying, “Get some carbs, eat something.” You’re going to feel miserable if you don’t eat anything. It’s trying to figure out how to start burning its own fat, and eventually it’ll figure that out. During that fat adaptation period, it’s important for you to make sure that you’re getting adequate fat in your diet, which might mean that you’re eating more overall calories than you did when you were a sugar burner. Again, we’re working toward performance, so that’s cool. It’s okay to do that for a while. And then you’ll back off of that fat that you’re eating when your body gets comfortable with fat and can actually start burning fat off your body. And you’ll know that’s happening when you start waking up in the morning and you’re not hungry. Intermittent fasting almost becomes something natural to you because you’re just not hungry that much. That’s when you’re starting to get that fat adaptation, and that takes up to a week. For most folks, it can be two or three days, but for some, it can be as long as a week. So you’re going to go through that fat adaptation phase.
Now, even as you go through that fat adaptation phase, you still might not see improvements in your overall performance. You might be slowly getting back to what you were doing, but you’re not seeing any real improvements beyond just seeming to catch up to where you were. So then we’re going to talk about the process called keto-adapted. Keto-adapted is where when you’re doing intense long stuff, your body can shift over and is quick enough and good enough at burning body fat to keep fueling you. Most of us have about a teaspoon of sugar in all of our bloodstream. And then we have glycogen in our muscles and our liver. That energy right there of what you basically would start out with on a normal everyday run or anything, it should be enough to keep you going for about 90 minutes with moderate intensity exercise. So if you’re going for a run of less than 90 minutes, which most of us do, you should be fine. You might see a little less performance, but that’s more probably feeling like you just don’t have the energy. It’s like a fatigue thing, but in a general sense, you have enough glycogen and glucose in your system to be able to carry you that far. Now, you’ve probably heard about the marathon bonk, which happens somewhere around mile 16 to 18, and that’s where you’ve used up the glycogen, you’ve used up your glucose and now you’re starting to effectively bonk. Folks on keto don’t bonk at that point. Most of them, if they’re keto-adapted, they just keep going because their body can adapt to turning the fat into glucose and glycogen and keep you going, and the ketones. So, just recognize that if you’re running less than 90 minutes, you probably aren’t going to see a huge decrease in performance that doesn’t come back really quick. Once you’re fat-adapted, you should be fine. Once you get past that, you want to start going further, then you’re going to have to wait until you’re keto-adapted, and the keto adaptation can actually take a year or more. Some people will see it in as early as three or four months, but some folks have to train for about a year to really get their body efficient enough with using ketones to be able to keep up the performance. And those that do, report back even better times, that their performance improves even beyond what they were capable of doing as a sugar burner.
I know that’s a long answer, but I still have a few more things I want to go through as you get through this because there are ways to kind of fuel around this. Two of the ways that I like to talk to people about – the first one is exogenous ketones. You can explore using exogenous ketones, which are basically ketones that you take by mouth to help fuel you while you’re moving, particularly as you’re getting close to the point where you would generally bonk because you’re not quite keto-adapted. So you’re going to go ahead and add in these ketones, esters usually, that are going to allow your body to start using those ketones efficiently to keep you going. So some people will do that. Others will revert back to some form of carbohydrate fueling, be that starch or they just decide, “I can take in a small amount of sugar while I’m doing the run. As long as I taper it, know what I’m doing, I won’t end up taking myself generally out of ketosis because I know I’m burning more than I’m putting in.” So, you can do that kind of stuff with your fueling – that’s to say either you’re going to add ketones or starches or some form of glucose, but a very limited amount as a fueling strategy for your longer runs. Or you can try to carb load a little bit by making sure that the small amount of carbohydrates that you do eat, they come on that front end. So, maybe you eat some carbohydrates for breakfast before a run, and then you can go into the run knowing that at least you’ve topped off your glycogen stores and your glucose, and your blood sugar is up a little bit because you just had some carbohydrates. But in any case, just realize that to get into deep ketosis and stay in ketosis and get all of the benefits that ketosis is going to give you, you are probably going to lose some performance for a while until you manage to get yourself all the way up to keto-adapted. And anything you do as far as taking in glucose or starches, that’s very likely to slow down the keto adaptation phase. So if you can suck it up, particularly during the off season, and get yourself keto-adapted, you’re going to see a much better race season next year.
Next question comes from Trent: “Is there a good way to know when to push through discomfort, pain, and when it’s better to back off?” The general rule of thumb is this: If you feel it in a joint, back off. Joints typically depict a tendon or ligament issue, and those take a good while to heal. You don’t want to flare those up. I know you’ve probably felt stuff like tendinitis and those types of things. You want to make sure if the pain is in a joint, that’s the time to slow down and get that assessed, spend some time away from it. The tendons and ligaments, because they don’t get the blood flow that a muscle gets, they take longer to heal. Now, as far as muscles are in a general sense, if you’re just getting general soreness, you’re probably okay to take your standard rest of anywhere from 24 to 48 hours of a normal rest phase before you go back to work. If you feel like the muscle’s recovered at that point, then you should be able to push just as hard. If you feel like you’ve torn something or you have a pull, then I would take a little bit more time off. Most muscles generally can repair themselves easily within a week or two. If it’s taking longer than that, then you may have done something more significant and I would go see a doctor. But the general rule is, if you feel it in the body of the muscle, it’s probably okay to just rest it for a day or two and then go back at it. If you feel it in a joint, that’s going to take a little bit more time, so I would take even more time off. And anything that has you feeling uncomfortable when you’re not doing anything after three days, I’d definitely go get that checked out with the doctor.
And the final question comes from Marcia, and it is: “As a mature woman, what should I be concerned about and what kind of exercise focus can I expect?” This is similar to the question that I had with John and the mobility and balance. It really comes down to what you want to accomplish. What are the highlights in your life, the things that you want to be able to do 20-30 years down the road? Do you want to be the grandma that can run 5Ks with your grandchildren? Do you want to be the person that is independent? Our visions are going to change over time. So the first thing I’d say is, really establish a vision of what you want to feel like and be like 10-15 years down the line. For most of us that’s going to involve some resistance training. And I say that in all honesty, because sarcopenia is a wasting of muscle, osteopenia is a wasting of bone. If we don’t lift weights – not necessarily weights, but if we don’t do resistance training, we’re going to see a decline in our muscle mass and our bone density. So, resistance training is very, very important for us to maintain good body composition and stay healthy. Additionally, our strength decreases for the same basic reason. If we’re not doing resistance training, we will get weaker and weaker. And there’s a point where that weakness then becomes an independence issue. And I say this in the book. If you have trouble sitting down and getting back up, that’s a problem, but it becomes a huge problem when it’s the bathroom, when you’re taking a toilet break and you can’t stand up. You can have rails installed in your bathroom and that’s going to help somewhat, but that’s not always going to be the case. Again, if you’re not building the strength or maintaining the strength, eventually your arms and your legs won’t be strong enough to stand you up. And then where are you? You’ve lost your independence. Someone has to help you in and out of the bathroom, and that’s not a pleasant place to be. So I would say resistance training is almost a must for every single one of us that can work out. If your doctor says you’re clear to work out and train, definitely resistance training is for all of us. I would say for many of us, most of us probably, endurance training is going to be important because we want to keep going. If we’re going with family and they want to go walk around the zoo or walk around the park or you just want to run out and play with your dogs, you’re going to need a little bit of stamina, endurance, to be able to keep up that activity level for any period of time. Otherwise you’re sitting on the bench watching. I don’t know anyone that enjoys sitting on the bench and watching, as much as they enjoy doing. So, endurance exercise is going to be important.
Next, for most of us over the age of 40, I would look at mobility and balance. The falls I talked about earlier – very important if you have the strength and the bone density that you don’t break something when you fall, but better yet, let’s not fall. So let’s work on our balance. And then our mobility is, again, our ability to tie our own shoes and reach and do the things we need to do. If we don’t have good mobility, our movement patterns are going to be bad and we risk injuring ourselves. There are a few other modalities out there that can be important. Agility – if you’re walking through the grocery store parking lot and a careless driver doesn’t see you and they start to back up at you, what’s your agility to be able to step out of the way of that car? All of these are generally important, but you have to preface which ones you’re going to spend the most time on, because we can’t do all of them all at the same time, all the time. We’re going to have to focus on some sometimes, and this is when you can use periodization and say, “I know the weather’s going to be good this time of year, so I’ll work on endurance in the spring and the summer. And then in the fall I’ll work on strength. And then in the winter when it’s really cold, I’ll do a lot of mobility and balance work, along with the strength work, the resistance training.” So, there’s an opportunity for you to make this seasonal, ebb and flow through it. Do it as it makes sense to keep the balance that’s keeping you moving towards your vision. Alright, so I hope you found this episode enjoyable. I really enjoy the fact that three years I’ve been providing this podcast and we’ve had such a great time. We’ve had awesome guests. Obviously, I have to thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness podcast.