On episode 621 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Ben Alldis and discuss his book, Raise the Bar.
Let's Say Hello
[00:03:34.870] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are you?
[00:03:36.420] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?
[00:03:38.840] – Allan
I'm doing okay.
[00:03:40.790] – Allan
We're right on the verge. Well, if you've listened to this podcast before, we've talked about Panamanians and the way they like to protest. And they'll block roads, and they don't just block a road or a bridge for a day or two.
[00:03:54.890] – Allan
Sometimes when they get to these kind of things, they block them permanently for weeks. And what happens is that then things that would come to us over thenroad can't get here and so they can't deliver stuff. And then as the result, we run out and people scramble and figure a few things out. But as that goes on week after week, it gets worse and worse. So today I got up, I walked around just looking for things. There's no yogurt on this island at all, which is a staple for our breakfast. We've got eggs. So they figured out the egg problem.
[00:04:30.700] – Rachel
[00:04:31.220] – Allan
We're running out of bread. They've done something to get a different type of bread, but we're still running out of that now because again, weeks and weeks, there's no orange juice. So we're running out of things. And like gasoline, propane is also very short. And so that's where the struggle is. And it's just like, just sometimes it gets a little frustrating for sure because. It'D be so much nicer if I could just walk to one grocery store. And it have the things I need. And then I can just walk home. But as it stands now, I have to make a circuit of it and walk all over town. This place has milk, this place has eggs, this place has this. But then you get into a store, it's like everything else you wanted. And then that place doesn't have the bread and it doesn't have the coffee. So it's like, okay, now I got to find another place that has the coffee and maybe has bread or I might have to buy a different kind of bread or something else. And so, yeah, it's just this thing that's out there that you struggle through.
[00:05:30.800] – Allan
But we're in a third world country, and this is their country. It's not mine. I just wish it didn't have the downstream effects it has because tourism has completely dried up. And that means that most people send their workers home. When their workers don't work, they don't make any money and they can't feed their family. And this is not a savings type of people. They pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. Even if they had extra money, they would just go spend it.
[00:06:01.320] – Allan
They don't think in terms of the future the same way that a lot of us might think, oh, we just put that money aside. No, they're going to buy something that they needed or wanted for a while, but at the same time, because we're set that way. You can buy a slice of cheese, you can buy a single egg. Oh, gosh, you can buy a single piece of bread if you want. And so if you just have enough money to buy lunch, you can buy lunch. But when they do these blocks and there'S no money and no one's making that money, they're at home. Without the money, they can't necessarily feed their families. And so it's been going on for weeks, and I understand why they're doing it.
[00:06:39.550] – Allan
Hopefully, the government will come to resolve the issue that's going on. It has something to do with the mining contract and it's gone to the supreme court. But every day you just go in the grocery store and it's one more thing that they don't have. And so there's just going to be a point here where there's no gasoline. And there's no propane and people can't cook their food. And we're all just grabbing the last things that are in the grocery store because that's all they can get. That'll be a shame. But that's kind of where we're at right now, so it's a little frustrating.
[00:07:12.340] – Rachel
It is very. I really hope they resolve their stuff soon and realize how many people they're hurting in the process.
[00:07:19.850] – Allan
I don't even think it hits their mind. They just know this is how you get the government to respond. And they just block a road. They just flat out block a road and say, okay, no one's going through this road. No goods or services are going through here. So sometimes they'll let people through.
[00:07:36.210] – Allan
You can walk around the roadblock. If you get out of a car and walk to the other side, some taxis and whatnot, or busses, they can arrange for someone to be on the other side to bus you from there, take you from there so people can move that's not the easiest way, but, yeah goods are stuck and so they're blocking food, they're blocking gasoline, they're blocking propane. Eventually, here, grocery stores will run down on stuff, except just basic, basic stuff. Like, okay, here's a can of tuna, here'S some oil, here's some rice, here's some beans, but they're running out of the other stuff. And then when you don't have any propane, you don't have any gasoline. Everything else stops. Everything else.
[00:08:18.640] – Rachel
My goodness. My gosh. Well, I hope it resolves soon.
[00:08:21.970] – Allan
I do too. But. How are things up there?
[00:08:24.610] – Rachel
[00:08:27.250] – Rachel
As you can tell. We're in the middle of winter. It's snowing. It could be icy. At least we have blue sky days today. I mean, it could be worse, but.
[00:08:35.170] – Allan
It just makes it feel colder.
[00:08:38.320] – Allan
I can see the sun, but I can't even feel any heat off of it.
[00:08:41.690] – Rachel
Exactly. Well, it was 20 degrees earlier this morning, so, yeah, cold is cold, but
[00:08:47.740] – Allan
that nuclear. Shouldn't I feel a little.
[00:08:51.030] – Rachel
I wish. Yeah.
[00:08:53.770] – Rachel
But we're managing. Everything's fine up here. Getting ready for the holidays, getting ready for a vacation. Just getting ready to wrap up this year, actually.
[00:09:01.610] – Allan
Yeah. It's kind of fast, isn't it?
[00:09:03.390] – Rachel
[00:09:04.750] – Allan
kind of crazy.
[00:09:05.920] – Rachel
Yep. It'll be New Year's before you know it.
[00:09:08.370] – Allan
All right, are you ready to talk to Peloton, Ben?
[00:09:11.620] – Rachel
Sure. All right.
[00:10:03.950] – Allan
Ben, welcome to 40+ fitness.
[00:10:06.280] – Ben
Thank you so much for having me on. I'm really excited to have a discussion with you today.
[00:10:10.580] – Allan
Yeah. So the title of your book is called Raise the Bar: How to Push Beyond Your Limits and Build a Strong Future You. And I think a lot of times we get older and we think, okay. Well, I have these limits. Oh, my knee, oh, my ankle, oh, my hip, I've got this job, I've got kids, I've got this, I've got to run. Do that. And as a result, we kind of pocket, if you will, or back of the stove. We push all this stuff that is important. We know it's important, but we just say, okay, I can't. And the word I can't becomes kind of the lexicon of our language.
[00:10:49.330] – Allan
Okay, well, I can't do that because of this. And there's always a because. There always will be a because. And so you had a quote in the book. You started out, this is actually, I think, the second sentence of the book. So I didn't get very far before I was like, okay, I'm going to like this guy Ben. And it was, “all too often, we grow up to define ourselves by our limitations.” I actually made that little quote thing, and I posted on my facebook right. After I read it. I liked it that much.
[00:11:17.380] – Allan
You know, because if we'Re going to talk about raising the bar, we're going to talk about doing anything hard in our lives, good in our lives, because everything that's good is actually kind of hard. We have to raise the bar. We have to raise our performance. We have to do a little better than we're probably doing right now. But if we let those limitations sit out there, they will eat us up.
[00:11:37.660] – Ben
Yeah, I think that's very true. I think every biggest growth opportunity in my life so far has always been through a moment of challenge or an opportunity where I've pushed myself out from a comfort zone or the outside forces have put something challenging in front of me. And I've learned and developed and grown through that process. And so I think as you go through life, as these external factors become probably more increased through kids and more responsibilities and priorities, we tend to, as you say, almost start to doubt ourselves or on a time basis, on an ability basis, on a confidence basis. And I think a big focus of my book is giving people structure to understand that they do have the capabilities to still be doing those things into their mid to late to longest years possible, and also to set them up for success. I used to work in finance, so my brain is very much logical and structured.
[00:12:42.630] – Ben
And so I think the combination of my background of ex finance guy or finance guy into a health and wellness expert means that my approach to fitness and wellness is very structured in the sense that I like to give people a toolkit to use to then tap into whenever they need it. And that's true at any point in someone's life. And a big emphasis of the book is around keeping yourself physically and mentally fit for whatever life throws your way. Because all of us are going to be going through challenges of some sort throughout our lives. Some people suffer grief or go through health challenges or there's lots of things that go on in our lives. I think, most importantly, if we can be ready physically and mentally to tackle those and navigate through those, we're going to navigate through them and come out the other side stronger. Whereas if we don't prepare ourselves physically and mentally for those, they could become an even heavier weight to carry around with you for the rest of your life.
[00:13:48.260] – Allan
Yeah. well, one of the things you got into the book, and as I was kind of, you were going through your story, which is actually kind of fascinating, you'd be surprised there's quite a few parallels in our past. I went through accounting and CPA in school, too, but that was not my first choice. Just like finance wasn't necessarily your first choice, but you talked about how, an I think our aspirations, we were younger, are kind of untainted because, well, of course I can be a professional football player and of course I can be an astronaut. That's what they told me. They told me if you work hard and you do the things and you're in the right place, right time, you can have those things.
[00:14:29.270] – Allan
So we aren't as tainted with our past setbacks as we are when we're older. But one of the tools that you did provide in the book that I thought was something we really need to think about. Because when you get older, I can tell you, you go to the gym. You got all the spunk in the world, I'm going to do the workouts. I'm going to do the thing, and then the knee starts hurting a little or you're ten times sore tomorrow. I actually have a story where I couldn'T get out of bed the next day. I did a workout, and it was really just a benchmark workout. It wasn't even the workout, it was just the benchmark workout. I couldn't get out of bed. I had to call in sick for work the next day.
[00:15:09.330] – Allan
So we have these setbacks, but your approach to setbacks, I think, is very fresh. And I would like for you to talk a little bit about how do we regroup and pivot and do what we've got to do when we face one of those big things.
[00:15:22.070] – Ben
Yeah, I think the first approach that I've always loved to take is really focused on having that growth mindset. I think it's a term or a concept that's been spoken about a lot but I think many of us slip into this world of having a fixed mindset where basically you don't really give anything a go because you're fearing failure before you even start. Whereas a growth mindset is focused all around. Every experience or opportunity is a learning opportunity. And so even if you, in your mind, fail at something across that process you'Re still going to be learning a hell of a lot, which could set you up for success for the next time you come around to it with regards to workouts. And as you get older, your body becoming just slowing down a little bit and it becoming a little bit more challenging mentally and physically.
[00:16:10.450] – Ben
I think what's most important for me and from a lot of the clients I've worked with across the years, is, again, going back to that toolkit of setting you up for success. Like, can you structure your day in a way which makes sure you, one, commit to the workout so you don't not do it in the first place, but two, you then have a recovery regime that's set up and ready for you, so you're making sure that you're putting that love back into your muscles after working them out, too. And so there's lots of different chapters within the book, but I think having an awareness of everything available to you is a really important factor to begin with. And I broke down in the book all the different areas of wellness, but also understanding when to tap into them. Is really important, too, because I think sometimes in wellness and fitness, there's a lot of noise and there's a lot of people telling you should be doing this, and this is the best way to do it.
[00:17:07.500] – Ben
In reality, we're all different. Right? So my approach is slightly different of here are all the options that I believe are a good tool to be using in your repertoire and test them. Do your due diligence on what works for you, what doesn't work for you, and then across the years, go on a journey of discovery with your health and fitness to find out what really is beneficial for you and your body and your mind. And most importantly, don't try and get it all done in one day. I think what's really, you listen to a lot of these fitness influencers and they're like, I get up go to my boss, I have this crazy breakfast, and then do this and do that. And I think anyone who just lives a life where you've got a lot of other things going on like that, is just straight away overwhelming. So my approach typically is try and at least tick off, like, one thing to begin with. And then as you start to build those habits, as you start to build your confidence, that one thing then will lead on to other positive habits in your day.
[00:18:09.370] – Ben
But I think if you can kick start your morning in particular, with at least either a healthy breakfast, which is going to feed your gut, make you feel good, or go and work out, get outside, get out in fresh air working out and moving your body is going to look different for everyone. But I think, importantly, finding what works for you, finding what feeds your soul, makes you feel good, is key in that.
[00:18:33.680] – Allan
Yeah, one of the core components of that, and it's what I noticed across your story, you got into this a little bit later in the book, was that you always kind of fell back on one core thing and that was the values, the values that you had for yourself. As I've kind of started looking at motivation and how that plays, I think that's the holy grail. I think when you actually put value in the health of your body. When you put value in the quality of your life, it made you make decisions and do things that were completely against the grain of what most people would do.
[00:19:12.690] – Allan
Like, particularly when you went from finance, well paid job, all the accolades, all the stuff to, okay, now I'm going to pedal on a bicycle, over a tv, on the Internet, that fell back on some pretty deep seated values for you that went beyond just winning, because that'S what finance was, was winning. This was something entirely different.
[00:19:38.800] – Ben
100%. I think you mentioned, I go into one of the chapters in the book about the importance of understanding your values. And I think the main thing that I like to say within this section is, like, the first step of self development is self awareness.
[00:19:54.230] – Ben
And so I think a lot of us go through life evolving our values by almost imitating other people or getting influenced by lots of people throughout our lives, which is one part of it. But I think what's most important is there's no truer happiness than if you can show up every single day as your true self. And so I think spending the time to sit down with yourself and think.
[00:20:16.660] – Ben
What is most important to me? How do I want to show up in the world? What do I believe in? And doing that consistently, it really gives you that confidence to then move into spaces that you may not think you could have done before. Like you mentioned, as I transitioned from finance to fitness, I'd been spending years testing whether this industry was right for me.
[00:20:40.250] – Ben
I've been surrounding myself with people within the industry. I've been coaching classes as a hobby. But I think most importantly, the things that really, truly mattered to me at that time were looking after my health, fostering strong relationships, helping other people, like having huge gratitude around that, and having an influence on other people, and building a legacy for myself and so I think that I went on a discovery during that period and a bit of a deeper dive into. Okay, so what really matters to me.
[00:21:12.230] – Ben
And what that ended up looking like was I wanted to join a business that was really helping people. I wanted to do a job that had a huge passion for through music and health and fitness. And what's really interesting, I was diagnosed with skin cancer during that period so I think that almost forced my hand a little bit into that space. But I think the takeaway from this chapter that I'd love for people to take away listen to this podcast is, I don't want anyone to have to go through a cancer diagnosis to be forced into assessing those values like I wish I had done it before. So then I was set up for success and didn't have to go through mental and physical challenges that I did. Yeah, I think ultimately, when it comes down to hard things or challenging moments, if you can truly stand up and just stay true to your values, stay true to who you are, you're going to go to sleep at night feeling a lot more in control.
[00:22:13.630] – Ben
And I also love to say we can only control the controllable. So if you can finish the day being like, I did everything I possibly could to be myself, I owned everything I said, all the actions that I did today, I believe and I trust in then in my eyes, that's one of the quickest ways to building confidence within yourself and building a healthy and happy life.
[00:22:36.610] – Allan
Now, in the book, you got into resilience and you took a pivot. And I'm glad you did because it wasn'T something that most people talk about when they think about resilience. And I think they think about resilience as they think about the kind of the phrases like grit and determination and just grinding it out.
[00:22:54.310] – Allan
So it's just this harsh, hard thing that we build over time. But you pointed to the fact that support is a key component of being truly resilient. Can you talk a little bit about that?
[00:23:09.710] – Ben
Yeah, I think it's vital to understand that we can't do things alone. Like everything that I've done in life that'S been a big success, I've always been supported by a team of people, or friends or family or I think to believe that you're going to go out there on your own and do whatever you want to do, whether it's like build a multimillion pound business or achieve great sporting success, or it'S very unlikely that you're going to be able to go there and just go solo.
[00:23:39.050] – Ben
And actually, what I found is that I've personally got to places quicker because there's normally people within the industry or that, you know, that know a little bit more about something so that you can learn quicker and get inspired by those that have been there before and learn from other people's mistakes. I think what's really interesting is I worked in private equity, which is a very fast moving business within finance. And I was very young, comparatively, to be in this industry. But it pushed me in a way to build such resilience, because I had to learn really fast. I had to learn how to be around CEOs of companies, I had to learn how to be at board meetings. And discuss things in financial details in depth. And I had to learn a hell of a lot around business strategy and financial modeling.
[00:24:34.670] – Ben
And if I hadn't pushed myself and moved into that space and surrounded myself by those people, I would never have had that opportunity. And if I'd just gone on my own mission to get to that spot, I never would have even got anywhere close. And so I think there's so much power in surrounding yourself by people who inspire you, people who challenge you, because I truly believe, and what I found throughout my life is that at any point in time, you are typically the average of the five people you spend the most time with or you're interacting with on the most regular basis.
[00:25:12.530] – Ben
And I think it's important to have a mixture of people. I don't think you need almost people that you can rely on to ask questions to and inspire you, but I really, truly believe you need people to lean on in times of need as well, who are maybe a bit more emotional. And it's good to have a bit of diversity within that solid group of people that are around you.
[00:25:33.820] – Allan
Yeah, you talked about your parents in there, but another one I'd like to bring up, that you had a coworker a female coworker, and her skill set was the analytics and the numbers, and your skill set was the smiling and talking to people and the two of you kind of put that together to form really a strong team that was capable of each of you filling up some of the things that you weren't as strong at while you built those. You didn't just say, okay, you do all the numbers, I'll do all the talking, and you just leave it there. You still kept working on learning how to do the numbers while you were doing it. This was just the bridge, just the support that you needed to push yourself through and be successful on the other side.
[00:26:17.850] – Ben
Yeah, definitely. And the first step with that was me admitting to myself that I needed to work this out. And I think I was speaking to someone the other day and they said, what'S the biggest myth that it's like shouldn't be believed? I think the term fake it until you make it. I just don't love that term at all because it's probably the worst bit of advice you can give anyone. Actually, I think my advice would be to be true to yourself, be honest to yourself, say, you know what? I actually don't know what I'm doing here, and work with the people that you trust to support you in that moment.
[00:26:55.380] – Ben
And then very quickly, most of us if we put the time and effort into something, we will learn and we'll grow and develop into the space. And that's what I ended up doing myself. But I'm still at a stage where my strengths lie in another area. So I truly believe that we should lean on our strengths. But don't forget about the weaknesses, because at some stage, you're going to get caught out if you just focus on your strengths. But, yeah, I think delegating and also understanding that there are people, we're all going to be slightly different and have different strengths and weaknesses is important.
[00:27:30.510] – Allan
Yeah. So one of my strengths is lifting. I can get really strong if I put my mind to it. I can have strong endurance, but it takes a lot more work. And so I could be an awesome grandfather. But if we go to the zoo, my grandkids might just run me to death if I don't train myself to be the grandfather that can keep up with the grandkids. When I did a tough mudder with my daughter, she was a level one crossfit coach, and I wanted to do a tough mudder with her. If I didn't work on my strength, endurance, grip strength, all of it, she would have left me in the dust.
[00:28:08.090] – Allan
And I would have respected it. I said, sure, you go on. I'm slowing you down. But I went into that race saying, no, I'm not going to have to say that. So I pushed through weaknesses I had. I had to lose weight, I had to get stronger. I had to improve my endurance. And all that was just knowing, okay, these are my weaknesses. My mental strength, my tenacity, my willingness to push myself was always there. I just had to apply it.
[00:28:33.750] – Allan
And so it was understanding your values. Understanding what you want to accomplish, and then just kind of like you did over and over in your life, just put your head down and say, this is where I'm going. I might be in last place right now, but I won't be when this race is over. And I think that's true resilience when you'Re asking for help, when you're true to yourself and you persevere because you don't see failure as a potential and you do what's necessary, even if it's asking for help to get there.
[00:29:05.220] – Ben
Yeah. And I think on top of that, I really, truly believe that as we go through life, if you stop learning your brain will just slowly slow down very similar to your body. There was a great analogy that I got told once where if someone breaks their arm, you have your arm in a car for, like, six weeks, and because you keep your arm in the same position for that long, the calcification of the bone, it never actually gets back to where it was before.
[00:29:31.640] – Ben
And so if you think about if that's just over six weeks, if we as individuals are not moving our bodies or sitting down too much, like slowly but surely, that's going to be our bodies and our mind. And it was an analogy that blew my mind because I thought with all the clients I work with it'S never too late to get started, but if we don't get started soon, then it's going to become even harder. And so I suppose to a lot of your listeners, what I'd say is, whatever age you are, today is the best day to get started with your health and fitness journey. Because for me, I'm inspired and my biggest motivation now is so I can move around with my grandkids when I'm in my 60s 70s 80s. That sounds quite strange because I am in my 30s, but that's my main driver, my main motivation. I don't even have kids right now.
[00:30:23.720] – Ben
But that's my main reason for still getting up and going to the gym and improving my mobility and flexibility and whatnot.
[00:30:34.080] – Allan
Yeah, well, I want to be able to wipe my own ass when I'm 105. So there's that.
[00:30:39.150] – Ben
That's the goal.
[00:30:42.190] – Allan
And it is you set a goal, you set who you want to be. You set your future, and you start working towards that, you're potentially going to have setbacks, you're going to have things that are going on, but you do the best with what you can, where you are, with what you have.
[00:30:55.240] – Allan
And one of the tools you put in the book that I think is really valuable for helping someone kind of put their starting point on paper, if you will, is to do an audit of your well being. Can you talk a little bit about that audit and how to go about that?
[00:31:10.870] – Ben
Yes, I think this is going back into the combination of my finance and fitness background. So for those that know, obviously, within a business, a business will have to audit their financials every quarter. So what they're doing within that process is they're submitting how their business is doing. What's the business health at the time. From a financial perspective, from a progress and growth perspective and essentially, they're providing figures to their shareholders to say, this is where we're at, this is where the business is moving forward. So I believe that we should be doing this on a regular basis for our health and wellness.
[00:31:51.150] – Ben
And so within the auditing or well being pillars, I try and break this down into movement, into nutrition, into rest. And also mental well being. And I think within the book, I break this down into lots of different categories and give people things that have really benefited me and also lots of the clients that I've worked with across the years. And I think essentially what this auditing and wellbeing is all about is having a check in with yourself, whether it's every quarter or every month, and just saying, all right, where am I at today?
[00:32:24.580] – Ben
Because what's gone on before, I can't change. But what is going to go on going forward, I can change. So let's have an understanding of where I'm at today. Which areas can I improve on, and what are the steps I can take to make an adjustment to these areas so I can support myself to live a happy and healthy life going forward? I think sometimes in life, we're on a train of just going through life and everything's moving super fast, and sometimes it'S really good to just have a moment to check in with yourself. And that's what this concept is all about. And then, obviously, providing them the toolkit to go out there and make the changes within their life.
[00:33:02.080] – Allan
Yeah, and some of the eye opening things that you might find from this audit is, okay, well, how well am I sleeping? And then you realize, well, it's crap. I'm not sleeping well at all. I'm staying up too late. I'm doing things that aren't helping me go to sleep and I don't feel rested in the morning but I just keep hit some coffee, hit a doughnut and go. And you know, that's not serving your health, but that's what you do because that's what you've always done. You look at your fitness and you may say, when was the last time I actually worked out?
[00:33:36.040] – Allan
And you're like, well, okay, I went for a walk, but really the last time I worked out, maybe that was last July. You're like, okay, I got some things to work on, so it'll help you see things that you can work on, but I think it'll also give you these opportunities to see your wins. And so, similar to the way your father was when you were playing football when you were younger, you were playing very well and you were scoring three goals in a game, but he always found something for you to focus on, to improve on. And you had the resilience and the strong mind to say, okay, well, the only way I can solve this problem is to score four goals next time. And it's not that we have to go that way with our health and fitness, but obviously I think all of us know that there's probably some low hanging fruit.
[00:34:19.260] – Allan
So the first few times you do this audit of your health, of your wellness, you're going to find things that you should be focusing your attention on and there is a finite amount of time and things like that that you can do. So this will also kind of help you prioritize where you should be spending the time so that you're getting the most out of it.
[00:34:38.250] – Ben
I totally agree with you. There is some easy hanging fruit there. And I think sometimes within health and wellness it's really difficult because like I mentioned before, there's a lot of noise. And so what I've tried really to do within this chapter is break down things in a really simple way and again, give people the awareness and not put the pressure on them to be like, right if you do all of these things but understand that it's accumulation of these things that's going to get you to living a healthy and happier life and says maybe one week you might work out three times and then the next week you won't only work out once.
[00:35:15.250] – Ben
But it might be getting better in other areas. And so a lot of our health and wellness comes down to stress on the body and within that, we have good stress and we have bad stress and so for me, it's about tapping into this toolkit to work more on the good stress and less on the bad stress and work on the energy givers in life and move away from what I call in the book, the energy takers. And so, yeah, I think it's important to have awareness of what's available to you and then start testing things for your body, because we're all slightly different.
[00:35:48.430] – Allan
Yeah, well, when you were going through your cancer treatments and getting yourself healthy again, you weren't killing it on the bike, you weren't doing all these hard workouts anymore. You struggled with that, obviously, because that was a part of your values, was someone who does these things and the people around you and everything, that was a core part of your life. But you knew, okay, until I solve this, this is number one. Till I solve this, then the rest of those things don't really matter. I could be the fittest corpse out there, but it's not going to do me any good. I got to heal. And then there were other times where. Yeah, you took a detour or went off path for the wrong reasons, and it took you a while to find your way back. So I think, again, this self awareness that you get from something like this audit lets you kind of put together. And help you redefine why you're doing what you're doing.
[00:36:42.610] – Allan
And basically, yes, sometimes you're not doing the optimal thing because it's just not the right time to be doing that thing. You need to be doing something else.
[00:36:52.870] – Ben
I think what's really important to note there on my cancer journey was physically, I couldn't do what I'd always done. And throughout my life, I'd always relied on fitness as my go to for my mental health, my physical health. And when that got stripped away from me, it made me go a bit deeper into the other areas of wellness. So I start to focus a lot more on my nutrition and I start to focus on my sleep, hygiene and my rest and recovery.
[00:37:21.960] – Ben
And I think sometimes we get caught up in wellness being, you got to just go to the gym, but there's so much more to it and I think really what is at the top is sleep, hygiene and sleep quality, I really believe is one of the most important things to our health and well being. And so that is the first thing that you're not getting right or you're not trying to improve, then sometimes all this other stuff is almost not a priority.
[00:37:51.110] – Ben
And the same with nutrition. If you're working out five, six times a week, but then you're going and eating fast food every single day, it isn'T going to serve you. And I really believe that what we're putting inside our bodies, whether it's nutrition or whether it's like products that we're using or environments we're surrounding ourselves, it actually has a dramatic effect on our health and wellness. And so all of these things, let's say you're injured or fitness, is still new to you, or you haven't been in it for a long time. There's other areas within the wellness space that you can really tap into as your kickstart, into improving yourself, into building you into that stronger fit of you.
[00:38:31.990] – Ben
And hopefully, as you start to build those habits into your life, you're going to build the confidence to just start integrating more and more.
[00:38:38.790] – Allan
Yeah, well, the problem was we were able to get away with it when we were in our teens, and our body'S not quite as forgiving for us to not get the sleep, not get the right food. We're seeing the results of that over time, and as a result, we just have to be a little bit more diligent. There's a question that I ask every guest, and I think this question is going to probably resonate with you as well as anyone I've ever talked to based on your book.
[00:39:02.000] – Allan
But I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:39:10.830] – Ben
Yeah, I think that it's difficult to nail down three, because like I said there'S a lot of things as option to us but I think just going simple terms like getting your body moving on the regular is going to be really important for both your mental and physical health. I mean, I've worked with millions of people over the years via the peloton platform, but also as like one on one clients.
[00:39:34.160] – Ben
And I've seen dramatic changes to people's mindset, people's physical look and also mental well being, just by moving their body on a regular basis. I think if you're not doing that right now, that's definitely something I'd encourage you to do. And it can literally start by, like we mentioned at the start of the podcast, just getting outside for a walk and then giving yourself a goal every single week, whether it's working out three times a week to start with, and then building that up into longer workouts. And then finding what works for you. I think number two is focusing on nutrition and focusing on feeding your body foods that are going to really benefit your gut health, foods that are going to be good back to you. And what I mean by that is foods that are nutritious for your body and that it isn't that hard for your body to break down. So for me, that is high quality proteins, carbs of some sort, but generally sort of like carbs are high in fiber and then lots of leafy greens and vegetables and fruits. And I think trying to move away from processed food is really key.
[00:40:46.740] – Ben
I think something that I've worked with a lot of clients on is we are influenced when we walk into a supermarket by so many things that it makes our brain just go wild. And I think sometimes we don't really know. And so a big tip for me when you're looking at food is understanding what is in our food. So taking an opportunity to start looking at labels doesn't need to be militantly. But just by understanding what you're putting into your body every single day from a calorific point of view, but also from a chemical point of view, is a big stepping stone to improving your health. There's a lot of, lot of ingredients in a lot of the products that we have in our supermarket. So the quicker you understand what they are and what they're doing to our body, probably the quicker you're going to stop eating them. And I know it's not easy, finances are challenging thing with regards to food.
[00:41:38.420] – Ben
And time, but I think we can sometimes coast through that space in our life. And really, you wouldn't put crappy fuel into a Ferrari or something that you really love, or you wouldn't water a plant with things that are going to kill it. So why are we feeding our bodies with things that are not making our body and mind function that well? And then thirdly, I think focus on rest. Rest is such an important part of our overall well being practice. And the first step of rest is sleep. If we can improve our sleep quality. Something that I discovered through working in finance was, doesn't matter how long you sleep necessarily, but it's actually about the quality of your sleep. And so I won't go into too much detail, but we have cycles in our sleep patterns. And so if you can get enough deep and rem sleep in within your night, that could be more beneficial than if you sleep 9 10 hours of not that good quality sleep.
[00:42:37.900] – Ben
And a big part of that is understanding how your practices before bed set you up for success, to make sure you'Re sleeping right, not being on your phone, not eating too late, not looking at screens too late or wearing blue blocking glasses or blue light blocking glasses. And just understanding like, how can I set myself up to success here to make sure that I get a solid amount of quality sleep that's going to regenerate my body for tomorrow, but also keep you mentally in a good place as you wake up tomorrow.
[00:43:10.250] – Allan
[00:43:11.000] – Allan
Ben, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about the book, Raise the Bar, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:43:18.030] – Ben
So I have a website so my website, www.benaldis.com, spelled aldis.com. You can also find me on Instagram. So it's Benjamin Aldis on Instagram. And yeah, if anyone has any questions I'm hugely passionate about health and wellness. I've worked with, as I said, millions of people across the years. I currently work for a business called Peloton, who they have online fitness content. We do bike classes or spinning classes. We do tread classes. We do strength yoga, meditation. So the options are endless with regards to the fitness stuff.
[00:43:56.680] – Ben
If anyone has any questions at any point, I'm more than happy to answer them, help them along the way. This is my lifelong mission to try and help people. So thank you so much for having me on.
[00:44:07.950] – Allan
Thank you. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/621
[00:44:12.900] – Allan
And I'll be sure to have the links there. Ben, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:44:18.010] – Ben
Thank you so much for having me.
[00:44:19.570] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:44:20.990] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. What an interesting interview and what an interesting job he has writing for Peloton. But I do like a lot of what he and you discussed about mindset. I mean, it all starts with our self limiting beliefs and questioning what we think we can't do. It's a big thing.
[00:44:40.490] – Allan
Yeah. Well, again, his quote was, all too often we grow up to define ourselves by limitations.
[00:44:46.850] – Rachel
[00:44:48.200] – Allan
Yeah. When I read that sentence, I'm like that'S every single person over the age of 40 who wants to lose weight or get more fit is that they start out with the things that they can't do. Well, I can't do this. I want to lose weight. I want to do that, but I can't do this.
[00:45:07.330] – Allan
I've been kind of fooling around on Facebook a little bit last month as you're listening to this, just posting things I call weight loss logic. And I posted one today, is I want to get rid of the fat on this butt, But.
[00:45:19.730] – Rachel
[00:45:25.510] – Allan
And that's pretty much it. It's like you want something, but you put something in between you that you think, okay, well, this will stop me from doing it, and it may stop you from doing it the way that you thought you would. Okay, so this kid, Ben, and I'm going to call him a kid because he's just now getting into his 30s, but he wanted to be a professional football player.
[00:45:48.520] – Allan
Now, in his sense, football is soccer the way we do it in the United States. But basically he had every aspiration and from every indication, being younger, that he had the capacity to do this. So he was training and pushing himself, and that drove everything in his life. His aspirations, across everything. He put it all on the line for that thing and then he was notified. Basically, the way it works over there. Was that he wasn't going to get called back.
[00:46:18.810] – Allan
So he knew the writing was on the wall. You're not good enough to make it to the next level, and that's hard to hear.
[00:46:27.530] – Rachel
[00:46:28.330] – Allan
And so he could have quit. He could have just said, okay, fine. I'll just do something else and move on with his life, which he kind of did, but he got into finance and worked through. But when he got back into a situation where fitness was in his life again, he realized, I've got to keep this in my life. And there was some of it, a conflict of, okay, fitness was going to require him, finance was going to require him to travel eventually for what he was doing, what he was trained to do, but he loved doing these classes.
[00:47:06.080] – Allan
And he just the thought of, okay well, if I move on with this career, I won't be able to do this other thing. So he gave up a lot to get into this, and he went with a company. Granted, he did his due diligence on it. He was a finance guy, a low risk guy, but he did his things on, who are these peloton people and what is this going to mean? But it was a big bet because he was leaving that finance job to go take this other thing that could have amounted to nothing but being a nice looking guy with a british accent. It was kind of a no brainer. He was going to actually be good at this.
[00:47:49.110] – Rachel
[00:47:50.200] – Allan
Tall, lean guy with a big smile. Yeah. Doing the class, I could see one or two women maybe being attracted to sitting at their screen, pedaling their bike just a little bit faster. But, yeah, I mean, we look at a limitation and then the question you have to ask yourself, and we've talked about this on the show before, when to quit.
[00:48:13.160] – Allan
And the point is, sometimes you do, sometimes you just say, okay, I'm not going to be an ultramarathon runner. I know that physically my body would just break eventually if I tried to do it consistently, if I tried to say, okay, this is just who I'm going to be. I'm going to be one of those weird guys that does 140 miles, 200 miles, crosses some part of the world nobody should actually be at for over a weekend just because I can. It's a limitation.
[00:48:40.410] – Allan
And my body physically won't be able to do that or isn't able to do that.
[00:48:43.720] – Allan
I'm not beat up by that. I'm just saying, okay, well, what can I do, right? I can be the most freaking grandfather you've ever seen. I'm going to be on the floor rolling around with the kids. I'm going to be out in the field kicking the ball. I'm going to be out there rolling around with them, playing with them.
[00:48:59.390] – Rachel
[00:48:59.760] – Allan
And when I take them to the zoo, I'm not sitting on a bench waiting for them to finish, and I'm able to pick them up and carry them around and wrestle with them and do all those things. That's my aspiration.
[00:49:12.290] – Rachel
That's important. Okay. It's important.
[00:49:14.450] – Allan
Now I could say, okay, well, I tore my rotator cuff, so I should probably be kind of careful and just get your body ready. Get yourself ready.
[00:49:23.270] – Rachel
[00:49:24.250] – Allan
Well, there's a pivot. Not a.
[00:49:26.620] – Rachel
Exactly. There's those physical things where I'm not going to be a pro baseball player or softball player. It's just not an aspiration. It's not something I'm built for. It's not something I'm interested in. But I've got other things I'd like to do. I'd like to grow old gracefully and like you, I'd like to be involved with grandkids and as well as friends of my peers and doing the things that they do. But kind of like what you guys had talked about towards the end of your discussion, taking an audit of your well being. I mean, where are you right now in your life? Are you interested in being a pro football player, Allan, at this point in your life?
[00:50:04.020] – Rachel
[00:50:06.130] – Allan
I wouldn't say no.
[00:50:10.450] – Rachel
Yeah, but you've got other priorities.
[00:50:14.450] – Allan
I wouldn't say no. So, yeah, if they came to me. And said, okay, look, it's probably not going to be the big contract, but here'S $500,000 a year to come out here and let us beat up on you for a year, I would probably take it.
[00:50:31.130] – Allan
I'd be a tackling dummy for half a million dollars. But I think a lot of times we get in there and the journey feels hard.
[00:50:39.390] – Rachel
[00:50:39.980] – Allan
It feels hard.
[00:50:41.200] – Rachel
[00:50:42.000] – Allan
And that's a time when people start to waver.
[00:50:46.680] – Rachel
[00:50:47.260] – Allan
And they start looking for the comfortable way. Okay, I have limitations. My knee hurts, my ankle hurts, my shoulder hurts. Or I would, but I've got to cook for the family and this is what the kids eat. So, yes, my staple is Mac and cheese. Well, you're not going to lose the weight you want to lose. If you're eating Mac and cheese three or four times a week or fast food three or four times a week. It's too hard. You've stopped yourself. So you've taken what you perceive as a limitation and you've stopped and you can'T blame anybody else. You have to take responsibility. That that's you. You limited yourself.
[00:51:32.490] – Rachel
Yes. I think that there's almost two concepts here, Allan, in that self limiting, like what I hear in the running world, well, I got bad knees, so I can't run. Well, do you really have bad knees? Did your doctor say your knees are so bad you can never run? Maybe there's something you can do to be able to run healthily and safely. But I also want to add, just toss in there self sabotage because we're talking about losing weight here. If you say, well, I want to lose x amount of pounds, but I can't give up alcohol or I can't give up Mac and cheese, then that's just self sabotage. Right there.
[00:52:06.090] – Allan
It is. But it is coming from that perspective of limitations. It'S just too much. It's too hard. I don't like to do it. I don't want to do it. I want to keep eating out every night. And so they're like, how do I lose weight? And I would be like, very carefully. You can, but you've basically put yourself in a roped in course that is going to make this very difficult to do and it's not going to fit the norms of when people walk into a restaurant and they put a plate of food in front of you and you eat it.
[00:52:43.640] – Allan
Your life's not going to be like that. If you want to lose weight and eat out all the time, you're going to have to set some rules, set some standards and do things a little bit different. Meaning asking for the to go box before you even get your food so you can put half or two thirds of it in that box to take home with you because you have no business eating 1200 calories for that meal when 600 is enough.
[00:53:08.320] – Rachel
[00:53:10.170] – Allan
And so if we set a limitation for ourselves, or there is an actual because sometimes people do go, the doctors love to say it, you stop running. Don'T walk on the sand, don't do what doctors get paid to do. They get paid to stop the pain. They get paid to help you feel like you're getting better. They don't actually get paid to get you better. They give you a solution. You don't want to run, don't run. Don't walk on the beach. That's going to hurt your knee. It might, but I was like. Okay, doc, what do I got to do so I can walk on the beach? I did not come all the way down here to live here, to not walk on a beach.
[00:53:52.540] – Allan
So don't tell me not to walk on a beach. Tell me what I got to do so I can, that's a different, you see that click there? That click is okay, you can tell me. And there could physically be a limitation. So I know, okay, first, six weeks after surgery, probably walking on the beach.
[00:54:09.050] – Rachel
[00:54:09.740] – Allan
Okay. he might have a point.
[00:54:12.750] – Allan
But at the same time, I would never accept that I could never walk on the beach again.
[00:54:19.200] – Rachel
And like Ben said, with his experience with cancer, he had to take some time off. He had to reevaluate what he was capable of doing during the time he was dealing with his cancer treatments. And we all go through these phases in life too, where you need to take an audit, you need to say, well, what can I do today in order to achieve my goals in the future?
[00:54:38.920] – Allan
Yeah, and that's the other value of the audit is because you can sit down and say, okay, granted, I just had my knee operated on and I'm sitting here on the couch because I can'T really move around as much as I would like. Doctor still wants me to walk around, but he by no means wants me out running every weekend or lifting weights or doing these other. Right, but what can I do? Well, I can work on my mobility, yes.
[00:55:03.330] – Allan
I can go and figure out how to do, how to make and prepare really good food that my family loves that is healthy for us. So taking a cooking class, going out to a farmer's market on the weekend and learning about my food, maybe it's working on balance. That's not going to hurt my knee if I'm standing on 1ft and just trying to work on balance or mobility. While you may not be able to do something because it is a valid limitation, the question is, are you putting the limitation in front of yourself because it'S convenient and it means that you would have to go and do something uncomfortable and then that's holding you back. Or is it real? And if it's real, this audit is a good way for you to say no, well, I can't do this right now because of this that's real.
[00:55:54.050] – Rachel
That's really neat.
[00:55:55.000] – Rachel
And staying in the present right then is really important. It's interesting that you mentioned Ben was in his 30s. Did you say he was 40?
[00:56:02.580] – Allan
He is now in his 30s. When he was talking through the book, of course, this is a young man who was going through his teens and then 20s as he got into his career. And so as I started to talk to him, not knowing again how long happened between what he was talking about in the book and what he was.
[00:56:21.200] – Allan
I was basically assuming he was probably in his late 20s, but he said he's already past 30.
[00:56:27.370] – Rachel
It's just interesting to hear a guy, a person thinking about his future in the similar ways that you and I do. Allan, being that we're in our 50s even, you know, he's working towards developing a healthy lifestyle now so that he could live a healthy lifestyle in the future. And kind of taking that audit along the, we, we go through all these different phases in our life. And at the end goal, though, is to be able to have a healthy, high quality of life in our 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. And so all that hard work that we're doing right now, or like he's doing in his 30s and 40s, that's setting us up for success in the long term. It's a long process.
[00:57:07.080] – Allan
And I think that's what he's looking at if you look at your career, most people have a career and they expect for it to last 40 years or so. We all kind of go into it with the idea, okay, I'll graduate from college or whatever, and I'll start my career. I'll work for 40, 50 years.
[00:57:24.430] – Allan
You may do double that because some people will go in and say, okay, I'll work the time in the military and then I'll do that and I'll go do this other career, and then I'll retire from that and that'll be my retirement. So they're looking at 50 years, maybe 60. But most people think in terms of 40 to 50 years. Okay, so he's starting out as a peloton instructor in his late 20s. If he goes 40 years, he'd be 69 years old.
[00:57:49.590] – Allan
Okay. And if he wants to keep doing peloton or whatever, he wants to stay fit and healthy, he actually has to talk to you guys while he's doing this, or you don't hear his british accent. But the point being is like, yes, if you're in the health and fitness industry and you want to stay in the health and fitness industry, well, you kind of have to stay alive.
[00:58:10.980] – Rachel
[00:58:12.090] – Allan
If you want to do things and be a wonderful grandfather, wonderful grandmother, if that's who you want to be, then you got to do the things to make sure you're still here and capable. When your grandkids are around. If you want to remain independent and capable well into your older years and have a health span that's as long or closer to as long as your lifespan, then you got to do those things.
[00:58:34.820] – Allan
And so it's a joke. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105, but it's not a joke. It is. I fully expect that I'm going to live a long, healthy life and I want to be able to take care of myself.
[00:58:47.190] – Rachel
[00:58:47.980] – Allan
I do the things I need to do to make sure that I'm that person when that comes around.
[00:58:53.040] – Rachel
[00:58:54.120] – Allan
All right, well, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:58:56.490] – Rachel
Great. Take care, Allan.
[00:58:57.970] – Allan
[00:58:58.750] – Rachel
[00:58:59.520] – Allan
[00:59:00.200] – Rachel
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