August 9, 2022

The 7 best weight loss hacks for people over 40

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For many people, turning 40 marks a point where weight loss seems so much harder if not impossible. On this episode, I share the 7 best weight loss hacks for people over 40.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.070] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you doing?

[00:03:23.410] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:25.750] – Allan

Well, a little good, a little bad. I have an injury oh, no, I've done something to injure my mid back. Most back injuries you hear is lower back tends to be a big thing for a lot of people, and the neck tends to be so this is kind of an unusual thing. I can't point to anything acute. I can't say I was doing this lift and I felt uncomfortable. I can't say anything odd was going on other than it happened during a time when I was running Lula's and Tammy was away, so I spent a lot of time sitting at her desk and not a lot of time walking around town doing the normal things that I do in a day because I'm usually everywhere in the gym. I'm out and about. I go grocery shopping. I do everything on foot. But for that week or so that she was gone, I didn't get up and move around as much. And I was sitting at the desk. I was doing my workouts. So I can't point to anyone thing, but it is pretty intense and I can't really twist or lift or do anything, and it's been like that for a few weeks, so I've given it a few weeks to say, okay, if this is a muscular issue, it will resolve itself with rest and good nutrition and more rest.

[00:04:43.880] – Rachel


[00:04:44.500] – Allan

It hasn't really resolved itself. And so the worst part is I'm just about a month away from the Mudder and I'm detraining. Instead of training at a time when you want to hit a peak, I'm in a detraining mode, and so it's not looking good for the mudder because the last thing I'm going to do at 56 years old is go out there and injure myself.

[00:05:07.920] – Rachel


[00:05:09.190] – Allan

I did the Spartan. In hindsight, I knew what I was doing. I knew why I was doing it, but I didn't win any money. There wasn't a new car at the end of the finish line. I did it and it hurt and I didn't injure myself anymore. But with the back injury, I am not comfortable that it wouldn't be worse. And so I'm not winning any money. No one is paying me any money to do this. No one's threatening me. No one's threatened my family. So there's no upside to doing it if there's the risk that I could hurt myself even more.

[00:05:51.580] – Allan

So I'm thinking I'm going to have to bow out of the Mudder. And it's disappointing. It is disappointing. But that's part of this journey is being true to yourself, and we're going to talk about checking in with yourself, listening and making the right decisions for yourself. And sometimes the right decision is not to push forward, but to pause and breathe and find that alternate route to better health and fitness.

[00:06:20.850] – Allan

And so I'm disappointed. I'm probably going to be pulling out of the Tough Mudder here in a little bit, and I'm sad that I won't be able to do it, but I got other things that are more important to me than getting muddy and maybe hurt.

[00:06:37.930] – Rachel

We've been in the same position, having to not start a race or defer it to another year or something. We've been through this for a while, and it's just better that you heal yourself and feel better and then you'll be able to tackle the next race stronger than today. So I hope you figure out what you could do for your back. I hope some more rest and maybe some PT might help. I don't know.

[00:07:02.940] – Allan

Yeah, there's a physical therapist here. I'm setting up an appointment with him just to look it over. He doesn't have any equipment or anything. And yes, I could go to the hospital and get an X-ray, a self-directed X-ray.

[00:07:18.590] – Rachel

Oh boy!

[00:07:18.590] – Allan

But yeah, there's not really an orthopedic sky here. So if I'm still hurting when I do go back to the States next month, I probably will set up an appointment with someone there to just really get a good thorough check over to try to see if we can figure out what it is. Because at that point, it would have been two months in that condition, and that's not muscular anymore. Something is more serious. So I'm hopeful it's not I'm hopeful that this was just a momentary something, and it's healing. It's just taking its time to do so.

[00:07:50.330] – Rachel


[00:07:51.510] – Allan

No, it is, but it doesn't mean I can't do things, and it doesn't mean that I can't continue to focus on sleep and stress management and nutrition and mobility and stretching and balance and cardio if I'm not tweaking it doing that. So I'm going to stay active, I'm going to get things done. It's just good. I won't be lifting tons of weight and throwing it over my head and running around like a wild animal.

[00:08:22.370] – Rachel

Good idea.

[00:08:24.350] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:08:25.800] – Rachel

Good. We just had a wonderful weekend. A lot of birthday celebrations, a lot of family time, a lot of traveling. So I'm a little bit tired today. And then poor Mike, he's flying to a job. He's got to work this week, so he's flying out of State. So he also had an early morning. He's probably sleeping on the plane. I hope to take a nap later.

[00:08:47.360] – Allan

There you go.

[00:08:47.920] – Rachel

It was a great weekend. We had a wonderful time with our family and some friends. So it was a good weekend. Worth being tired.

[00:08:55.550] – Allan

Yes. That social connection is so important, and it's often something we overlook until we get that dose. And they were kind of like, even though I'm exhausted, I needed that connection, I needed that social thing. I'm glad you all had a wonderful birthday.

[00:09:12.970] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:09:13.320] – Allan

And a wonderful weekend. And you want to talk about some of the weight loss hacks that I shared?

[00:09:18.710] – Rachel

Yes, I do.

[00:09:20.200] – Allan

Let's have that conversation.


So today I want to share with you seven weight loss hacks that I found useful for helping myself and my clients lose the weight they want to lose. I recently did kind of an outreach study to try to figure out what were some of the main issues that people are dealing with in regards to weight loss and getting healthy and came back with really kind of two clear winners.

The first one was about motivation. In some cases it was worded as being lazy. The second was time. And so these are the two biggest issues and I wanted to share with you some hacks that will help you deal with low motivation or just not having enough time. So here are my seven weight loss hacks.

Weight loss hack number one: Get momentum.

Okay, now you start by starting and with food. That means just buying better food, having the food close by. Starting means starting a walking program or just movement that you're capable of doing, even if it's just for five minutes a day. Now, I want you to think back to times when you've been successful. We do that because when we think back to the reasons that we struggle and the reasons that we succeed, it gives us some clear indicators that we can succeed when we put our minds to it.

And it gives us some things to look at avoiding as we go forward. So the summary for weight loss hack number one is get started. It's the hardest thing you'll do, but once you get there and you start feeling that momentum, the motivation will come.

Weight loss hack number two: Understand why you're doing what you're doing.

So often I see people walk into the weight room, and this is typically in January, and they don't really know what they're there to do. And as a result, they don't really do the things that would make them the most benefit. They actually avoid those things because they find them intimidating or they don't know why those things are so important. So things you're going to do if you start lifting weights, which I highly encourage, or doing some form of resistance training, you might actually gain a little bit of weight. If you do a little bit of research to figure out why nuts and fruit are better choice than maybe the packaged protein bar or the sports drink, these are all ways for you to understand the things that you're doing and why you should be doing them and the things that maybe you need to stop doing.

So do a little bit of research, ask some questions. The Facebook Group we have is a really good place to do that. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group that will take you to our Facebook group. And I'm always answering questions in there, so if you have a question about why something is or why people recommend a certain thing, just go ahead and ask. So the summary is this understanding what you're doing is going to make you more motivated to do it because you'll know why you're doing. So you'll be able to use not only the emotion of getting yourself in better shape or doing something, you can use the logic behind it. So both of those are powerful tools, particularly when they're put together, it's harder to say no to something that you know is really good for you. So take some time to understand why you're doing what you're doing. Don't just do something without understanding why.

Weight loss hack number three: Check in with yourself.

It's important for you to be aware of how you feel about certain things, particularly nutrition and movement, and then understand how good you feel when you're getting good nutrition and better movement.

The way you feel can hamper your ability to do things or keep you from doing things. But then once you start paying attention to how you feel when you do them, that's a very powerful feedback mechanism to tell you what's working and what's not. And when you find that emotionally, you're just not charged up to do something, start looking for the triggers that caused that. Were you stressed out? Were you tired? Did you not get good sleep? Did something happen in your life that caused you to be off of kilter? So paying attention and checking in with yourself regularly is going to give you those tools.

So, the summary for weight loss hack number three is that this is about mindset. And if you haven't figured that out, a lot of what I'm talking about is about mindset I would consider journaling. So you can really put your finger on the pulse of what's happening, how you feel, what's working, what's not. You can break habits by understanding those triggers. And if you're interested, I have a worksheet at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit. So if you find there's a certain bad habit that you keep doing and you just want to figure out what that trigger is, you can use this worksheet 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/habit, and that will walk you through the process of documenting what's going on with your habits, where those triggers are coming from, and what you might be doing about them. So again, weight loss hack number three, make sure you're checking in with yourself regularly.

Weight loss hack number four: Listen to your words.

Back in episode 546, we talked about words, Rachel and I did, and we tend to use words in our head that we would never use with other people, and we call ourselves things or say things to ourselves we would never say to other people. That's where when some people said they were lazy instead of saying they were unmotivated, those are different words. Lacking motivation is something, but saying you're lazy is quite a different thing. So if you're using the wrong words, try to catch yourself doing it so it goes back a little bit to weight loss hack number three checking in. But just pay attention to the words you're using and then look for ways to add more positive words and or affirmations. I'm going to share with you the affirmation that I use each morning. It's part of my morning ritual. I go through a series of things that I talk about to myself every morning as a part of my morning routine, morning meditation.

So here's my affirmation: “I now have the ability to release whatever held me back in the past and I'm now taking the necessary actions to achieve my goals.”

Now, that might not mean a whole lot to you, but basically this statement which I make a few times in the morning, each morning, really helps me set my intention for the day and know that my actions are there to serve my goals, not the other way around. So I have the actions that drive to goals and I make sure that I start the day with these positive statements about myself, about where I'm going, about what I can do. And I use those as kind of my leaping board in the morning to get a lot done during the day. So weight loss hack number four, listen to your words.

Weight loss hack number five: Prioritize you.

You can't afford to put yourself at the bottom of your priority list all the time. Your family needs you. Sure, your work needs you, life needs you. But you can't let that be everything. And when you're not able to be there for them, how's that going to feel? So we've got to do some things to take care of ourselves first. Now, everybody likes to throw out the put your mask on before you help other people.

I'll put it a whole other way. If you can't swim, you're not going to be saving many lives. Fall in the water. So teach yourself to swim. Get out there and start doing things that are good for you. It will increase your energy, it will increase your drive. But you've got to be a priority because if you don't make yourself a priority, you'll never make the time to do it. You need to set yourself up as your priority.

Make this important to you. Make it emotional. Have a good why and a good place you want to go, good vision, and that will give you the commitment. Once you start prioritizing yourself, you're going to be in a lot better shape to help others. So weight loss hack number five, prioritize yourself.

Weight loss hack number six: Get some skin in the game.

Free things feel like they're a great value. You can bookmark a YouTube video and have it for later. It cost you nothing. But do you do that workout again? And so even though it's free, you're not using it, it's not much value to you at all. Now, paying a little bit of money or some money gets you some skin in the game.

And what I found when I have a paid challenge versus a free challenge is compliance for my paid challenges goes up astronomically. People who pay for a challenge get about 80% compliance whereas people who don't pay, we're looking at closer to ten to 20%. Why is that? They've got some skin in the game.

And I'll give you an example for myself. When I was trying to start getting myself in shape, I had three gym memberships. I had a payroll deduction for my gym membership that was close to my work. Because they did that, they would pay part of your feet and do a payroll deduction for the rest. I had a direct debit for a second gym so that went directly against my checking account. Each month they billed me and then I own thousands of dollars worth of fitness equipment that I put into a storage shed that I paid rent on every month and I paid that rent with my credit card. So as I was going through and looking at my finances each month I could see each and every one of those deductions, each and every one of those payments. So I knew I was investing in my health and fitness and it really felt like I needed to use that investment as best I could.

So I got rid of all the excuses and I put some skin in the game and that really helped a lot. I saw them coming out, I saw the investment and I wanted to do better. So weight loss hack number six get some skin in the game. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself. It's the best investment you can ever make.

Weight loss hack number seven: Accountability.

The best accountability you can have is being accountable to yourself. That's called intrinsic motivation and it's the strongest kind of motivation you can have. But not all of us are going to have full on intrinsic motivation all the time. Some of us are just not going to get there without some help. And many times we have saboteurs in our life that are holding us back and making it harder for us to get the things done and stay true to ourselves.

Now, when I talk about saboteurs, I want you to understand that there are some bad intention saboteurs and there are some goodihearted saboteurs.

So I'll talk about the bad intention ones first. They don't want you to change. Now that might be because your success makes them feel bad or your success might scare them. Okay? So sometimes a loved one doesn't want you to lose all that weight because then you're not the same as them. They don't want you to stop eating and doing the things that you used to do because it feels like it's changing them and their lives. Or they just don't want you to succeed at all because it makes them feel bad. Those are the kind of people that you need to get away from where you can. Obviously, some of them are going to be family. Deep, deep friends. But just recognize the saboteurs.

Now there are some good-hearted saboteurs out there too. And these are a little harder to find or understand what's going on. They seem very supportive and they want to guide you, but they're often either misinformed or under-informed about health and fitness. A perfect example of that is the folks that are like, you should just eat salads, take this diet pill, don't eat fat, you'll have a heart attack.

They were told a lesson a long time ago and they just can't get away from it. So you tell them you're going keto, and they're like, “Oh my God, you're going to have a heart attack. You can't eat bacon all the time. You have to eat vegetables and fruit and you have to get the grains in.”

They're going on old information, but it's their information. They think they're doing you a favor. They think they're saving you. They've seen someone else take that pill and lose weight, so they believe it will work for you. They're good-hearted, but they're still sabotaging the work that you're trying to do. So you need to be aware of your saboteurs and make life decisions on how you communicate with them and what you share with them so that you can do the right things for yourself.

Now, for most of us, our family is our why. And they don't want you to be sick and frail. They really don't. But they're also probably not the right people to hold you accountable and for the very reasons that they don't necessarily want to change their life. And if you're changing yours and it's going to impact theirs, they're not always going to be in your corner. Even though they want the best for you, they're not always going to be there.

So what I recommend doing is finding people that can keep you grounded. Find people that are more like what you want to be and start surrounding yourself with them. You can find these people at the gym. If you start going to the gym at a certain hour most days, you're going to see the same people in that gym that same hour most days. It's just how it works. I was 05:00am guy. Same three guys in the gym every morning at 05:00am and I was one of them.

You can meet someone on a Facebook Group. There's a lot of Facebook groups out there, but the 40+ Fitness Podcast Group is really one that's designed for support. It's not designed to brag about how fit we are. It's designed to support you and help you. You can post and ask for an accountability buddy there. So finding a buddy that's online that can keep you on track, keep you on task, can hold you accountable, can go a long way towards keeping you fit and happy and progressing.

Another one is find another friend that could already be a friend that also wants to get healthier and more fit and is committed to the task. They've got skin in the game, they've got the right mindset, they've gone through all these other things that we talked about and they're going to stick with you. They can be your walking buddy, they can meet you at the gym. You guys can just trade recipes or batch cook together on Sundays so you guys have healthy meals for the whole week or you can hire a coach.

Now most of my clients stick with me because they like the accountability. They like the way I go about it. Now they might like me a little, but it's really the accountability that keeps them on task and keeps them here. Now I've hired a coach in the past when I was training for Spartan, I had strength coach and I knew he'd be at the gym every morning at 5:00am. So there was no hitting the snooze, there was no calling out. I was at the gym every single morning at 5:00am. I think he hit the snooze on me a couple of times. But at any rate, I still got a good workout in. I was still motivated. I had that accountability. So I was still going to tell the coach, hey, you weren't there, but I got the workout and here's my recorded results.

So having someone to hold you accountable, whether it's someone in a Facebook Group, rather it's someone you meet at the gym, whether it's just another buddy that wants to get in shape or you hire a coach, get some accountability, you don't have to do this alone. So the summary of weight loss hack, number seven, accountability, is everybody's going to need help from time to time. Don't be afraid to ask for it. Don't be afraid to ask for accountability and find the right people to surround yourself with so you can be successful.

So I shared the seven weight loss hacks and you might have picked up on something. These are not really weight loss hacks. They'll work and they'll work for you, but you have to do the work. So these are not easy button things. There's no easy buttons in weight loss. You've got to find these tasks and these actions and these tactics and these habits and you implement them and you work on them and you keep pushing through. And if you need accountability, you find accountability. If you've got saboteurs in your life, you put them on mute or you go away from them.

If you're dealing with some mindset issues, the way you talk to yourself, the other things that are going on in your life, you have to pay attention to that. You have to check in with yourself, you have to pay attention. The answers are there. Now if any of this resonated with you, I'd love to hear what's holding you back and see if there's something we can do to help again, you can catch us at the group, the Facebook Group, 40PlusFitnesspodcast.com/group. It's a very supportive and helpful environment. I have weekly challenges, I share cool things. I find it's a good group and a lot of questions come up and we're answering those questions and we're helping people there and it's a great place to find yourself an accountability buddy or at least understand what's working for other people. Or you can email me directly. Allan@40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com. I'd love to hear from you. These weight loss hacks are not hacks, but they're action steps that you can incorporate that will help you be successful, help you stay motivated, and help you find the time to get healthy and fit.

Post Show/Recap

[00:27:15.930] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:27:17.370] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I really loved every single one of these 7 weight loss hacks, but I'd like to start chatting about number six with getting skin in the game. And I just loved how you pointed out that free is great and I love free. The Internet is wide, it's vast, and it's full of all sorts of videos and blogs and all sorts of data that we can use in our weight loss journey and fitness journeys, but we just don't we choose not to.

[00:27:46.310] – Allan

Yeah, someone will sit there and see this great workout on YouTube. It looks like fun and they bookmark it and then they never go back to it.

[00:27:55.990] – Speaker 2

Right. There's a gap between what we want to do and the action it takes to actually do it. There's a big gap there.

[00:28:04.870] – Allan

Yeah. So I would do these free challenges and to me that's the best example. Someone would sign up for a 28-day challenge and they're really excited about it. Now, one of the things, I try to deliver most of these with email campaigns because it does a couple of things. One is it's got an automated a little bit so it's in your mailbox. Okay. And then it gives you a direct connect to come right back to me if you have a question. So you literally respond to that email and it comes back to me.

[00:28:31.960] – Allan

But another thing that it does is it lets me see who's opening the emails and who's clicking the links. So why is that important? Because that is the way that I'm holding people accountable in the challenge. Now, do I email someone and say, hey, you did an open day three, what the heck is going on? No, I don't. I probably should, but I don't. But at least at that point, I have some information. So what I'm saying is, the data I have, after running dozens and dozens of challenges with thousands of people that have gone through these challenges, some of my challenges had as many as 300 people and I see the open rates.

[00:29:13.600] – Allan

And 100% opened the first email because that's how they got on the list. They had to confirm their email address and 100%. And then the emails go out, and by day three, we're already in the eighties.

[00:29:28.170] – Rachel


[00:29:28.960] – Allan

And by the end, if we're in the 20% range, that's awesome.

[00:29:34.650] – Rachel

Okay, incredible.

[00:29:36.870] – Allan

Now 20% of people opened the last email, which means 20% of people were still doing the challenge, they were still paying attention. So at least they open the email. Are they still keeping their sugar where they wanted to? Are they doing their squats? I don't know. Now, another thing I would do is I'd use the Facebook group as kind of some accountability. Tell me about your squats, tell me you're finished. And now some accountability, which is another one of the hacks that I talk about here. But what I found was if I charge a little bit of money, like $7, even $28, whatever, doesn't have to be a lot. The rate of people that do it goes up to 80%.

[00:30:14.490] – Rachel

That's incredible.

[00:30:15.810] – Allan

And it's $7, literally. I don't even know if that right now that would cover a drink at Starbucks. I mean, the way prices have gone up. The drink you used to drink is $7, and you would spend that on one latte thing, and that's what I'm asking for. And I get 80% of the people do the challenge. Now, obviously it's not 300 people that are signing up to the challenge now. It's a subset of those that'll pay.

[00:30:44.350] – Allan

So the basic gist is this if you're willing to spend a little bit of money to have the support and then also have the accountability,

[00:30:53.850] – Rachel

That's a good piece

[00:30:55.500] – Allan

Then that's what you're paying for. That's what I pay for. These challenges at $7 means that, you know, I'm sitting on the other side of that email paying attention. Who's opening them? How many people are opening them? Are they opening all of them, and when are they opening them? So I can kind of see, okay, I send out email number 16. Today is day 16 and people are opening day 16. Then I see someone just open day twelve. And I'm like, okay, well, maybe they stopped and they're starting back.

[00:31:24.670] – Allan

And then I see they don't open anymore. I'm like, okay, maybe that was just a mistake. The cursor was on twelve, day twelve email, they clicked on it, it looks like it was open. So again, I only say that because finding out what works for you is really important, and paying for some of these other things that happen, the accountability, the guidance and support, you can't overlook that.

[00:31:48.360] – Allan

The YouTube video doesn't mean it knows. Person knows. Like 1000 people watch my YouTube video, they don't know you, and they're not sending an email or something directly to you. And knowing that, because I see your name, I know the people participating, I see your names, I see your email addresses. Some of them are quite creative, and I love that. And so you're doing the challenge, and I know you're doing the challenge, and I see you opening the emails. And that makes me very happy as a coach to see people doing this and then to get the feedback back. This is really great. I've lost 3 pounds. I lost 6 pounds. Just in the 28 days of doing something as simple as cutting sugar. And I put the sugar challenge out there.

[00:32:32.090] – Allan

It's out there on my website right now. If you go to 40 Fitness, you can get in the Sugar Challenge. The Functional Fitness Challenge is out there, and I'm looking at putting a couple of the other ones that I've done before, reworking them, resetting them, and setting them out there for you to do at your own pace. But again, you do still have the accountability, you still do have the support. And yeah, you've got a little bit of skin in the game, but I think it's worth it if it's going to be something that keeps you on track.

[00:33:00.800] – Rachel

It's an investment if you're going to invest in this knowledge and this activity, plus having the support and the gentle nudges to do your squats or Sugar Challenge or whatever, you're going to do it, you're going to put it on your calendar and you're going to commit to it. So, yeah, I think having skin in the game is a pretty important weight loss hack.

[00:33:19.230] – Allan

Yeah. And then there's another one you wanted to talk about.

[00:33:23.520] – Rachel

Oh, the checking in weight loss hack. Number three, check in with yourself and how you're feeling about the nutrition you're choosing or the exercises you're choosing. I think this is really important because at least in my world, in the running world, some people think that running is the best cardio out there and that's how they're going to lose weight, but they don't like it. So if you don't like the activity, then why do it? And the same thing with choosing a diet. There's a lot of propaganda out there about the vegan or what we do is low carb or keto or carnivore. If you don't like to eat vegetables, then a vegan diet is not your choice. So I think giving it some thought about what you're doing, what you're choosing and why you're doing it is important.

[00:34:09.350] – Allan

Yeah. And again, these are all interrelated. So you literally just talked about one, two, and three.

[00:34:16.200] – Rachel

I think I did, yes.

[00:34:17.200] – Allan

With that one paragraph but …

[00:34:19.390] – Rachel


[00:34:20.470] – Allan

He core of it is this. There are going to be days when we feel really good and there's going to be days when we feel really bad. Like right now, I am training some live clients at the gym. And so I had a girl and she came in. She couldn't make the workout that was scheduled. It was a little group training, so she missed the workout. But I had written up her program. I told her to come in. She said, okay, one of my staff was there. You could spot her on some of the lifts and all that. So she was good. She did it. She wrote all these little notes to me how she was feeling and how it was going, just the same question she knew I would be asking her.

[00:34:51.560] – Rachel

If I was awesome.

[00:34:52.790] – Allan

And so then I get through and she says, you know, I came in for that workout. I felt really good and energetic and I did really well. I really pushed it myself. And I'm like that's. Great. And she says, Today I just don't feel that same energy level. And I said, that's fine. I said, you're aware you're not going to beat yourself up if you can't match that workout. But you do have the guidance and support. You have someone sitting here, you know, why you're doing this. She's going to Italy and she kind of wants to lighten up a little bit so there's a little bit of body fat and just kind of get a better, more athletic look to herself as she goes on this holiday in Italy.

[00:35:30.850] – Allan

And that's what her goals are. And so that's what we're working or toward. So she knows when I come in, I might be more challenged with this workout and I'm okay with that. If my energy level isn't here, I know why. And I know why this workout isn't as good as the last one. And I'm not going to beat myself up. I'm not lazy. I'm not all these other things. It's just where I am and what my body is capable of today.

[00:35:55.230] – Allan

And so what ends up happening is I'm in there and I'm putting weights on the bar and she's working out and she's doing a better workout this time than she was the time before. And it was all because she got her mind right first. Okay. And if you can get your mind ahead of reality, okay, here I am. I understand the world. I check in with myself. I know my energy level. I check in with the world. And 60 pounds weighs 60 pounds. Okay, same 60 pounds three days ago. It's still just 60 pounds.

[00:36:32.680] – Allan

And I've done it before. I know I can do it again.

[00:36:35.640] – Rachel

Yeah, that right there is powerful.

[00:36:37.950] – Allan

Yeah, that's the checking in that's rewarding yourself with the knowledge of what you're capable of and understanding that you're capable of so much more. So it's like she asked the question because they're new to some of these weightlifting and things. So they're getting into it and they're like, okay, I don't understand. I can bench press 60 pounds. And I'm squatting 60 pounds. Aren't I supposed to be squatting a lot more? And I'm like, yes, you are. And you're capable of doing it. And I've told you that about a half a dozen times over the last couple of weeks.

[00:37:10.980] – Allan

But I said here's what's going on. The squat is a much more complex exercise, meaning there's a lot more moving parts and you haven't mastered those yet. So we're not going to put a heavy load on a body that's not with good form, okay? That's the support and guidance and stuff I'm providing. Now, she could load 120 on that bar and easily squat it. Now she'd probably hurt herself by not doing it with good form. So we're easing into that. So the self awareness of I'm learning form, and once I learn the form, I can actually maximize the strength because I'll start actually using my glutes instead of my quads.

[00:37:51.980] – Allan

And then so again, back to which I said, you kind of went through all three of them. Two is understand why you're doing what you're doing. Why is Allan holding me at 60 pounds on the squat and I'm already at 60 pounds on the bench press? And the reality is I'm doing that on purpose because we don't want to get hurt. The form when the form comes. This lady, I told her when she started to do this quiet, I said, you could throw that bar through the ceiling. If you just use your glutes and the power that you have, you could easily just launch that thing through the roof. When you figure it out, when you fire those glutes at the bottom and you figure that out, you're going to see that weight just lighten up, like just melt, and you're going to be able to do a lot more.

[00:38:32.920] – Allan

So just realize that the investment in yourself, understanding what you're doing and why you're doing it and then checking in with yourself, I mean, those are all critical to doing it right, keeping yourself on path. But to me, the number one on all of these is you just have to get started.

[00:38:51.740] – Rachel


[00:38:52.610] – Allan

If you're not starting, you're not finishing.

[00:38:56.230] – Rachel


[00:38:56.870] – Allan

Okay. I know that's the hardest part, but it's that mindset of, oh, I have to do something.

[00:39:05.720] – Speaker 2

Please, just take that step and do something. I think sometimes we get paralyzed with fear because we don't know what to do or where to start. And then we get paralyzed with the vast internet and all the data that surrounds us, and we know even less where to go and what to start and what to do. But I think if you listen to yourself and try and figure out what your strengths are, then you can just branch out and try something.

[00:39:33.050] – Allan

Yeah. It's as simple as this. I had a client that she was really out of shape, I mean, really deep conditioned. And she said, Allan, I get winded walking to my car in the driveway. OK? That's where her conditioning was at that point in time. And I said, okay. I said, here's what I want you to do. I want you to go to your car in the morning and I want you to do one lap around your car.

[00:40:00.310] – Allan

And she said, what's that going to do? I said, you're going to end up taking about 30 more steps than you took to get to your car. And I said, after a week, let's talk about it. And she's like, well, okay, I can do a lap around my car. I said, okay, now do two. Okay. Within a few weeks, she's walking around the neighborhood. She's dropping weight. Now, because she's moving, she's starting to look at nutrition differently. It really creates this environment of, oh, if I'm improving my health by walking, then I probably shouldn't be eating those Doritos for dinner. True story. It happens, but the math starts to hit in your head. It's like, oh, well, if I'm doing this, I should do that.

[00:40:48.170] – Allan

The crux of all of this is there are no hacks.

[00:40:51.350] – Rachel

No shortcuts.

[00:40:52.230] – Allan

Okay? You can hack a computer because it's a language, it's a functions. You can hack a human. You can sit there and say, hey, I'm from AT&T, and we're noticing there's a problem with your credit card bill. Could you give me your credit card number, your Pin code, and I need your Social Security number? And before you know it, people are hacked, and they're giving all that information. They're talking to the AT&T person because they've been having trouble with AT&T, and then they're like, oh, they're calling me to fix it. I'm going to give them all the information to fix it. You can be hacked.

[00:41:23.450] – Allan

Science cannot be hacked. And so weight loss and fitness and all that biology, it's chemistry, it can't be hacked. But your brain is a powerful function over the way the body works. And if you get your mindset right, then motivation, finding time, those vanish.

[00:41:52.370] – Rachel

Yeah. And you get committed, and you enjoy the change, and it just propels you further forward.

[00:42:00.710] – Allan

So if you don't take anything from all of this that we've talked about, here is one. Just get started, and all the rest of these things will start to make sense to you as you find yourself at a different point in the journey. But if you don't take the first step, you're not on the journey.

[00:42:20.210] – Rachel

Yeah, great advice.

[00:42:23.270] – Allan

All right, well, anything else, Rachel?

[00:42:25.580] – Rachel

No, this is fantastic.

[00:42:27.250] – Allan

All right, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:42:29.240] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:42:30.070] – Allan

You too.


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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– Ken McQuade– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


August 2, 2022

Frequently asked weight loss questions

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Trying to lose weight when you're over 40 brings a whole new set of challenges. On episode 549 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Rachel and I answer the most frequently asked weight loss questions.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.070] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:03:22.360] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:24.790] – Allan

I'm doing all right.

[00:03:26.300] – Rachel


[00:03:29.870] – Allan

If you kind of followed the news outside the United States, then you know that there's a lot of countries, particularly countries that have a large proportion of their people that are living right at or below the poverty line. And Panama is one where they have some individuals here that are really rich and there's a lot of individuals that are pretty much hand to mouth. What they make today, they eat today kind of people. And so with the way prices and inflation has been going up, it's making it really difficult for these folks. And so there's basically strikes/ protests going on around the country. And what that means is their favorite way to protest is to basically just shut down roads. So all across the country you have various industries that are completely going on strike. Transportation is one of the key ones. And then, yeah, they block all the roads. So what that means is that fuel, for example, isn't getting to this island because it can't get through the roadblocks. And what that means is that our power is run by generator. They're due to run out of power today. In fact, while we're recording this, my power might just go out.

[00:04:51.040] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:04:53.090] – Allan

But I do have a backup power. My computer is plugged in and charging, so I should be able to finish the podcast in the dark. But if it happens, it also means that people traveling around the country are getting stuck. So they get one place and then they run into a roadblock. And then before they can really turn around and come all the way back, there's another roadblock behind them and they're literally trapped on the road. It's making travel very difficult, making plan, anything. So Tammy is due to take our granddaughter back and it's like, well, I can't chance the bus because we might get stuck and spend a couple of days on the side of a highway with no services. She's concerned about that and so she's got to reconfigure her travel. They're going to have to fly to Panama City and hope that they can get to took them in the airport because that road has been blocked off a few times too. And then, yeah, I've got a trip in August, so I'm hopeful that they take care of some of this stuff and get some of these things out of the way.

[00:05:54.200] – Allan

But it is what it is. It's kind of tense, but it's not like burning down cities and stuff like that. That sometimes happens. So at least at this point, it's relatively peaceful. And yeah, there have been a few fist fights because if you're sitting on the road trying to get somewhere and you've been stuck for hours and there's just people just sitting on the road, it can kind of upset some people. So there have been some fights, fist fights and things like that, but nothing major so far. But I think as it gets going, it could blow up and be bigger. Wherever you are, be safe. It's not that this won't happen in the United States. So just realize take care of yourself, take care of your family, and the best thing you can do is take care of your health and make sure that you're in good shape that way because you just never know what's going to happen in the world for us. The Chinese proverb, may you live in interesting times. I'm there, baby.

[00:06:59.170] – Rachel

Yeah. That is very interesting. Well, I hope it gets to be a little more peaceful. I hope things resolve soon.

[00:07:06.240] – Allan

Yeah. Because the meat market where I buy most of my meat, she says she hasn't gotten a shipment. She doesn't know when she's going to get in the shipment. So we could easily run out of food on the island. In addition to running out of fuel, we capture our water. So it's been raining, so we're going to have water. But the food thing might actually start to be a problem for us. But I'm sure they'll figure something out.

[00:07:30.480] – Rachel

But my fingers are crossed.

[00:07:32.950] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:07:34.390] – Rachel

Good. For this early morning podcast, I had to get up a little bit earlier than normal, so I got to see the sunrise this morning and enjoyed a wonderful morning run and have a coffee sitting here with me while we chat today. And I'm just in a good place. It's going to be a good day.

[00:07:52.640] – Allan

Yes, it's going to be a good day. And the reason we're recording this early is we want to have a little extra time. And so we pushed our recording to a different day and then all of the conflicts and things that I had, this was the only time we could record. But this is a special episode because this is going to be one of our question and answer episodes and we want to have these more regularly. So if you have questions about anything, you can join us on our Facebook Group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. And in the group occasionally I will post for questions like I did this time.

And then you also, Rachel, you posted in your page, Strong Souls. Strong Souls?

[00:08:34.820] – Rachel

Yes, Strong Souls.

[00:08:36.770] – Allan

I don't know why I can't stick that in my head. I know it's you. When I see the post. I said, okay, that's Rachel.

Weight Loss Questions

[00:08:45.770] – Allan

This week we are going to discuss frequently asked weight loss questions. We had a few people that did submit some questions, and then some of the other questions that I put in here were questions that I get all the time from my clients or questions that I've seen regularly either on the group or just in other forums.

[00:09:05.630] – Allan

So I wanted to talk about those. So today we're going to talk about weight loss questions. Now, the first question comes from Melissa, and I believe Melissa is a client of yours and she's in your Strong Souls page group. She posted the question, what should be the number one thing to focus on? And she said macros, water, exercise. I'm going to add calories because a lot of people ask about whether they should do calories in, calories out and all of that. And you're not going to like the answer to this, Melissa, but the answer is it depends.

[00:09:43.150] – Rachel


[00:09:44.750] – Allan

it depends. I've seen people be extremely successful just by focusing on their calories. They do the calories in, the calories out, and the formula just seems to fall in place for them. They eat a little bit less, they lose some weight, and they feel good. So there's that. If you decide you want to try to do some macros based stuff like keto or low carb, then obviously now you're focused on the macros a little bit more. We all know that drinking enough water is important to stay hydrated and sometimes full. So you start feeling a little hungry, drink some water, you kind of lose that.

[00:10:27.980] – Allan

You get that fullness sensation and the hunger kind of goes away. So if it's binges and kind of urges and things like that, water can be a great tool. And then exercise. And we're going to talk a little bit more about exercise. There's another question on this later, a few questions on this later because we talk about exercise. But exercise should not be your weight loss plan. It seldom works. Yes, you're increasing your calorie usage, but there are reasons why sometimes your body still won't lose the weight. So exercise is important. It's important for a lot of reasons. It can be a tool, just a tool in your tool chest that makes losing weight a little easier. And mentally it probably helps a lot because I've noticed as I get people moving, they suddenly start paying a lot more attention to the other things that can make them healthy. They actually start eating better because it's kind of like, well, I went for that run this morning and now I'm in the drive thru at McDonald's. That feels kind of weird. And so you start maybe eating a little bit better, you start working out, you get more energy, and you have more energy now cooking, batch cooking, doing the things to have healthy food, putting a little bit energy, more energy into that you're able to.

[00:11:47.340] – Allan

So from my perspective, you have to pick a strategy that you know will work for you that can be focused on macros, that can be focused on calories. And then the water and the exercise are tools that you carry along with you regardless of the way you choose to do this, that then become ways that you can make sure that the weight loss is consistent. And yeah, if you find yourself plateauing, well, put a couple of hit workouts in your month and that might be just the thing to trigger it. But the other thing I'd caution is, I think sometimes when people do macros, they forget the calories count.

[00:12:24.430] – Rachel


[00:12:25.730] – Allan

And I've got lots of friends in this industry that are keto, and they've been keto for five years, six years, seven years, and they are still obese. And I can kind of tell them why they don't like the answer, but the answer is that they're overeating. Their macros are fine. Their body knows how to use the fat for energy. They're just eating too much and they're not moving enough.

[00:12:54.040] – Rachel


[00:12:56.030] – Allan

Both yeah. Go ahead.

[00:12:57.550] – Rachel

So that's where I was going to go, too, is one of the things I like to say, is, if you can measure it, you can monitor it. And with the apps nowadays, like Fitness Pal and there's a number of different food diary apps you can use, I think that we are not fully aware of how many calories we're eating and in what macros specifically, it's just easy for our mind to think, yeah, we're only having a half a cup or a quarter cup of nuts. When you really go down to measure it, you're eating a full cup or something or cereal or a glass of milk or whatever it is that you're eating. We just have this way of not really recognizing the true volume of what we're eating, and in that case, we're not really recognizing the true number of calories that we're eating. So that's what I would have suggested. If you can measure it, you can monitor it and then find your weak points. If you start measuring what foods you're eating and paying attention to any trends, you might notice that maybe you're having too many carbs in a day or too much fat in a day or too much of something else in a day, in which case, if you're eating too much of something, then you're lacking in something else.

[00:14:08.280] – Rachel

So it's really good to keep some sort of a food diary and observe any trends in your habits and see what you can do better.

[00:14:16.320] – Allan

Yeah. And just what you said. Your example of half a cup of nuts that then turns into a full cup of nuts, let's break that down. A serving of nuts is about 2oz. Ounce or 2oz. So you could be having anywhere from four to eight servings of nuts. And you look on there and it's like, oh, well, it's 160 calories for a serving of nuts. Well, guess what you just did. You ate 800 calories of nuts.

[00:14:44.090] – Rachel

I'm good at this. I know this trend very well because this is what I do. I'll measure my food, a quarter cup of nuts, and it looks like a little bit of a hill in the palm of my hand. I can fit this much ounces of nuts in my hand. And so then I put the measuring cup away and I start pouring the nuts in my hand, and the pile gets a little bigger and a little bigger. Oh, it's just a few more nuts. It's just a few extra calories, but it snowballs it can be a lot more calories, and it's just easy for our minds to kind of overlook that. So it's important to measure and monitor.

[00:15:18.390] – Allan

Yeah, because an almond is about 16 calories,

[00:15:22.610] – Rachel

so they add up really fast

[00:15:24.450] – Allan

really fast. A couple extra in there, and over time that's more calories. And so, again, they both matter. Your body is going to react to different foods, different ways. Certain things are going to be inflammatory for you. Inflammation causes you to weight more. Even though it's not fat, it causes some other problems. And you do retain water and all this stuff with inflammation. So you're going to weigh more. You just naturally are just having a balance to this and looking for what does work for you is going to be the key for this.

[00:15:59.810] – Rachel

You know, a good point on the inflammation. Right now it's the middle of summer and we should be chugging water like it's going out of style. We're sweating a lot. If we're working outside, we need to replace that. But if you're eating a lot of carbs and drinking a lot of water, you're going to feel a little bloated. You could see that scale change a little bit, and you just have to recognize that you're drinking a lot of water for a reason. It's important to have this in you, and it might cause a little inflammation. It might cause you to bloat up a little bit. And so just don't be so hard on yourself if you're going on a run like I did this morning, I sweated buckets, but I also drank a ton of water when I got home. And so if I step on the scale, it's not going to reflect what I'm really doing on a day to day basis.

[00:16:45.300] – Allan

Yeah, I typically ask my clients to weigh themselves first thing in the morning, get up, do your little potty break, and then step on the scale. And typically that's the lightest weight we're going to weigh that day because overnight we've kind of dehydrated a little bit. We haven't drink any water, we haven't eaten any food. And then if we just went to the bathroom, we've gotten rid a little bit.

[00:17:09.650] – Rachel

Yeah, right.

[00:17:10.560] – Allan

Okay, now you weigh yourself, and then I also recommend that you not weigh yourself every day if you're someone who's going to kind of get yourself a little put back. Because what could happen is on day one, you lose a pound and you're really excited. That's a whole pound in a day, that's great. And then the next day you gain half a pound. The third day you gain a pound, and the fourth day you lose a pound. Now if you sat there and weighed yourself every day, you had a loss and then you had two gains. And for a lot of people that early in there, they're going to sit there and say, oh, my God, I'm gaining weight. I wanted to lose weight. And then what they do is if you weigh yourself out every four days, you've lost a pound and a half in four days, and that's good. You're targeting about a pound to a pound and a half, maybe 2 pounds in a week. You're three quarters of the way there, baby. You're there or three quarters of the way there for a max loss of 2 pounds. You've done really good, and you should be proud of that.

[00:18:16.420] – Allan

But if you let yourself get disgruntled or want to quit because the scale didn't go down every day, because guess what? It won't ever go down every day unless you just start cutting off body parts, if you're cutting off body parts, then absolutely, you can lose weight every single day until you can't. But that's kind of the whole part of this is to say, okay, I have to be reasonable about it. How does my mind work? And don't necessarily weigh yourself every day. Weigh yourself for trends. Don't track your food every day if you don't feel like doing it, track it for trends one day and say, okay, I'm going to track what I'm eating. I'm going to weigh it. I'm going to look at it. I'm going to make sure that I got all my servings right. I've got my calories right. My fitness pal is great for that because it's a very big database. But some of the items on the database aren't 100% correct. They do need you to pay attention, because I couldn't tell you what 100 grams of steak looks like.

[00:19:19.820] – Rachel

Oh, gosh no.

[00:19:20.730] – Allan

but that's not what you pop up 100 grams of steak, and they make out like that's a serving. I'm like, okay, I look at steak by ounces, and I know that the palm of my hand, just the palm, is about a serving size of steak. So for dinner, I might sit down and have two servings of steak, and I know that's what I'm having, because about the size of two palms. If I'm going to have chicken, I know that's my full hand. Okay, fish my whole hand, 5oz. 4oz for steak, 4oz for pork. And when you start getting that down, you know what it looks like. You talked about the palm of your hand and the almonds. Yes, that's exactly what we're talking about. You start understanding what a serving is just because you spent a little time studying it, what it looks like. And so with some of my clients, instead of doing my fitness pal and tracking, I just say, send me photographs. Just take a picture of your meals and send them to me, and then if I see something, I'll say something. But for them, they'll think, okay, well, that was a serving of chicken.

[00:20:23.140] – Allan

I'm like, when you went to that restaurant, they gave you three servings of chicken. You thought that was one serving of potato. No, that was probably three servings of potato. And so you got to get that and understand that. But however you go about that, that's really important. So it does depend and you just have to find a way of eating that really works for you. And these other tools, get them in your tool chest and it will happen.

[00:20:50.910] – Rachel

Yes. Perfect.

[00:20:52.190] – Allan

All right. Now, the second question is kind of related. Is low carb better than low fat?

[00:20:59.260] – Rachel

That's a good one.

[00:21:00.600] – Allan

So I'm going to let you start on this, Rachel, because you do you and what you do works. So I want to hear your side of it first.

[00:21:09.160] – Rachel

Well, all of us are different, so again, I'll wave the flag of it depends on who you are, but for my personal opinion is that low carb is better than low fat. I think we need the healthy fats in our diets because they deliver so many important nutrients and energy that we don't get. But it's the carbs that I definitely keep an eye on, because not all carbs are good for you. And it's not just bread carbs that we think of, although those are the ones that we tend to overdose on, and I use that word specifically. We have cereal grains at breakfast and toast and sandwiches with giant submarine sandwich buns at lunch and then dinner rolls for dessert and cakes and things, cookies for desserts. We get so many carbs each and every single day and they all taste good, but they actually do nothing for us. There's very few nutrients in these types of products. So when I think of carbs, I think of the carbs that I'll get in the fibrous fruits and vegetables that I choose to eat. So my opinion is you just got to keep an eye on those carbs and just don't overdose on them.

[00:22:27.590] – Rachel

I'm not going to say everyone needs to go keto or any such thing, but I am saying again, if you measure it, you can monitor it. And I just think that we get way too many carbs in our day to day diet than we need. We can't use all the energy and then it just turns into fat later on.

[00:22:43.570] – Allan

Yes, I do also tend towards low carb with most people because what I found is you can feel satiated longer with fewer calories.

[00:22:55.310] – Rachel


[00:22:56.250] – Allan

But where I would caution on either of these is realize how smart the food industry is and when we start having these things like low fat, when low fat came out, all the products hit the market. Low fat, you walk into a grocery store now, sometimes it is hard to find full fat yogurt.

[00:23:16.630] – Rachel

It is. And I'm looking

[00:23:18.830] – Allan

and literally, you go to the milk place and it's like they'll have one little space for the whole milk and then skim milk and semi skimmed milk, low fat milk and all of that and all the other stuff where they're taking out the lactose so you'll find more milk that's not whole milk than milk. And so just be cautious that they do that. And then now with low carb, as that started, really kind of getting some traction, you're seeing the same thing. They're making products that are higher in fat and lower in basic carbs or a lot more fiber. So your net carbs are lower, which fiber is good, but a lot of what they're putting together is not food. And so it's easy to get trapped into the well, this is a keto friendly snack. This is a keto friendly meal. I go in there and there's a TV dinner, and it says keto man. And there's your toss it in microwave. It's processed stuff.

[00:24:21.240] – Rachel

It's still processed

[00:24:22.490] – Allan

and your body is not good. So the true answer is whole food. Now, rather, that has a lot more fat in it. It should have the right fats in it.

[00:24:34.430] – Allan

So you're trying to get your omega threes. You're trying to get the healthy fats from nuts and seeds and olives and avocados and those types of things, and you can find what works. The reason low fat is a diet thing at all is because fat has more calories than carbs, but it also has a higher energy requirement to use it. And it stays in your system longer, so you stay fuller longer. Protein has the same number of carbs calories as carbs, but it's going to stay, takes a lot more energy to burn it and use it. That's called the thermal effect of food. And it's going to stay in your system longer and you'll stay fuller longer. So a high fat, medium protein food stuff is going to take longer. You're going to burn more energy burning it than you would with carbs. Some carbs will hit your system like a sugar freight train.

[00:25:34.840] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:25:36.170] – Allan

And your blood sugar is going to spike up. You have all this energy. You're going to feel great, but you're not burning it. So what's going to happen immediately thereafter is your insulin is going to kick in. It's going to pull it out, it's going to put it where it puts it, which if you haven't burned it out of your muscle and liver, it's going to put it in fat for short term storage, it thinks. But we know it stays there a lot longer. And then you're going to sugar crash. And so you had that high carb, low fat breakfast. You had the juice, you had the cereal, and it's fortified. And it's fortified, so it's healthy. And then your blood sugar plummets at 10:00 and you find yourself snacking. And if you didn't bring a healthy snack to snack on you're at the vending machine or yeah, and then boom, another sugar rush. And then lunch comes and you can kind of see how this roller coaster of up and down with your blood sugar is not serving you at all.

[00:26:34.200] – Rachel

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:26:35.340] – Allan

Now, low fat makes it easier to be sustained for longer. When you get to where your body is comfortable burning a good amount of fat, it'll start looking at your body as food. I've got body fat here. I've got enough energy to last the rest of my life. I never have to eat again. And you might actually find that you're not as hungry and you forget to eat. I know that sounds weird in the culture, but you can forget about food. You cannot think about food. 24/7. But it does take understanding what real food is. And just because you go low carb does not mean you're not eating vegetables. Okay? And it does not mean you're not eating fruit. I want to put that out there. There are ways for you to include fruit in your diet and still be low carb or keto. There are ways for you to make sure you're getting adequate vegetables and a good variety of vegetables and the fiber and things that they bring. I just did an interview. It's going to air in a few weeks. When we talk about this, we talk about this very thing. Food is medicine and how having what we would call more of a plant based diet is actually better for you.

[00:27:48.200] – Allan

And guess what? You can be plant based and low carb.

[00:27:51.950] – Rachel

Well, you also mentioned real foods, real fruits, real vegetables, real protein sources, things that didn't come out of a box or a jar. And since you mentioned that, too, if you're eating like that, then you're also keeping an eye on sugars. And that, I think, is even more hideous than anything else, because if you're looking at a low fat or a low carb food or low calorie food, what they do is they put a ton of sugar in it, and there's probably 30, 40, 50 different names for the word sugar. And it just is hidden in all these foods. And you don't realize how much sugar you're getting throughout the day. And if you start reading labels and watching for how many sugars are in a product and not even added sugars are the worst, but just all of the different sugars that are in products, you would be so surprised how much sugar you're getting in a day. And that's probably worse than anything else.

[00:28:47.370] – Allan

Yeah, I'm running a sugar challenge. I set it up, kind of, to run Evergreen now. So if you want to take the Sugar Challenge, you can go to 40plusfitness.com/sugar. It's a low cost program. It's 28 days. It'll teach you how much sugar you're eating. It'll teach you why you don't want to be eating that much sugar. And I set goals for various levels of sugar. And it's interesting. People will come back and say, there's no way I can keep my sugar below 25 grams. And, like, people do it all the time, and they lose weight and they feel great. But the thing is, this is, you don't know how much you're eating, but the average person, I want you to think average person is eating 152 pounds of sugar per year

[00:29:38.460] – Rachel

and no one thinks that. And because it's hidden. It's hidden in all these foods. And you just don't think it's not just candy bars, it's not just ice cream, it's hidden, it's in pasta sauces and pizza sauces and just all the things that we add to our foods. It's ridiculous.

[00:29:56.130] – Allan

Yeah. So if you're interested in cutting your sugar back or paying attention to it, I think this is a really good challenge to take you through 28 days to get sugar out of your life, or at least get it down to a manageable level, and you're going to feel a lot better for it.

[00:30:11.730] – Rachel

I think that'll be great.

[00:30:13.230] – Allan

Okay, so the next question in our weight loss questions is what exercises are best for weight loss?

[00:30:20.330] – Rachel

That's a good one.

[00:30:21.310] – Allan

Okay. And I'm going to go ahead and push this one also over to you, Rachel.

[00:30:25.270] – Rachel

Really? You're not going to believe what I'm going to answer.

[00:30:27.810] – Allan

You're the runner. You're the runner.

[00:30:29.930] – Rachel


[00:30:30.720] – Allan

Come on, run those pounds off, lady.

[00:30:33.720] – Rachel

The best exercise, the absolute best exercise is the one you're going to do. Honestly, just find something that you love to do and start doing it. Walking, running, hiking, going to the gym, lifting, hit classes. If you're going to do it and stick to it, you have some consistency, then it's going to work for you. But everyone is different. Everyone has different preferences, everyone has different abilities. But there are some exercises that are probably better and more calorie burning than others. But honestly, if you're not going to go do it, then what good is it?

[00:31:08.870] – Allan

As I said in the first answer to the first question, it was, okay. Exercise should not be your strategy for weight loss to start with. Okay. You're not going to burn enough exercising to do any sizeable weight loss. I think a Snickers bar has, what, 350 calories?

[00:31:29.640] – Rachel


[00:31:30.160] – Allan

I'm guessing. Okay, if you eat a Snickers bar, you'll eat that Snickers bar in less than two or three minutes.

[00:31:35.740] – Rachel


[00:31:36.560] – Allan

In most cases, people are not savoring a Snickers bar, they're scarfing the Snickers bar. Okay. And you eat that Snickers bar, it's 350 calories. It will take you an hour of moderate exercise. So that whole fitness class, that whole hit class you did where you sweated your butt off for an hour, that's just the Snicker bar.

[00:31:57.040] – Rachel


[00:32:00.570] – Allan

Go ahead.

[00:32:01.520] – Rachel

What I like to say is you cannot run away from your diet. You can't. And as a runner, I'd rather run than do anything else every day, but I can't outrun the diet. It's just impossible.

[00:32:15.770] – Allan

And so, yeah, I agree with you on doing the exercises

[00:32:18.950] – Rachel

it's important.

[00:32:20.320] – Allan

Like to do, that's important. But also, I want you, as you start thinking about your overall health and fitness journey, to think about exercise as a different way. We use words like exercise, workout, that kind of stuff. I prefer to think of it in terms of training, and so it's trained to be who you want to be. So when you're 80 years old, do you want to be frail and weak? Do you want your bones to be brittle and weak? And I think for most of us, the answer would be no. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. Call me weird, but I want to be independent, and I want to live in a good, long, healthy life. So exercise is important for that, and that includes weight training. So I have strong muscles and dense bones, and so I think resistance training needs to be in there. I think having stamina work, which can include running, biking, hiking, classes, all of that is great for building stamina. And then you can also work on other things like balance and mobility and agility and other things for what you enjoy in life.

[00:33:33.920] – Allan

Now, exercise does burn calories, so it can be a tool that will help. And what I've also found and I said this before, was when people start exercising, they start paying attention. When they start paying attention, they start eating better, they start trying to get better sleep. They try to work on stress management. And in many cases, exercise becomes a part of their stress management process. I used to love not love, but if I got really stressed out at work or really angry at work happening a lot, I would throw around really heavy weights in the gym. It's like suddenly I'm going beast mode in the gym because I need to get that negative energy out of my body. And I'm not talking to anybody. I'm just in there. Okay, I got the bar loaded. Deadlifts. Kill it. I can put 20 more on there because I'm just that mad. And the thing about exercise that I also want to caution is sometimes exercise can be counterproductive to weight loss. When I was training for marathons, I ate more, and I didn't realize how much more I was eating. And I was eating runner food, which at the time was pasta.

[00:34:52.280] – Rachel

Oh, boy.

[00:34:52.980] – Allan

So I was the pasta theme. I was eating pasta every day, carb up and be able to run further and faster and all that. And I would put on weights. I'd start training, I'd be about 185 pounds, and then boom. By the time I was running the marathon, I'm over 195. They have a category for that called Clydesdales. So, yeah, I'm standing there with all these skinny people about to do a marathon, and they're all looking at me like, dude, you don't need to be doing this. You need to be doing something with of course you're lifting weights, your body might retain water, you're going to put on muscle. And so all those things will say, maybe you're not going to lose weight because of your exercising. But if your training is important enough for what you want to be, the weight loss will come. And that's the other side of it. Exercising, stress management, sleep, those are ways to manage your health. And a healthy body realizes it doesn't need the body fat anymore. There's nothing scary going on. If you're feeding your body the standard American diet, you're sending out a constant signal, we're going to die.

[00:36:00.710] – Allan

We're eating poison because there's nothing else to eat. And there is. It's all over the round, the outside of the grocery store. When you start putting whole food in there and you're doing these other things, your body starts feeling healthy. And then it says, you know what, I don't need to hold on to this extra bit of body fat. I can safely let it go. Okay.

[00:36:22.610] – Rachel

The other thing is, ads are made in the kitchen, right? We've all heard this, and it is important. And as far as if your focus is on weight loss, the kitchen is where you want to start. But exercise enhances that weight loss. If you're out there moving and have an active lifestyle, you are going to shed a few more calories maybe than what you're taking in. But it's something that it goes hand in hand. You've got to watch and do the other. The other thing with exercise, specifically with running, like I like to do, and most of my clients are athletes, are runners, we learn really quickly what not to eat really quickly. The stomach ailments that runners get are really fun. And so you learn, like you mentioned the drive thru at McDonald's or something. If you go for a run after having that, you might end up with heartburn, you might end up with the runners tracks. I think again, you start to realize, well, this food isn't serving me. It's not helping me not only in the weight loss health realm, but it's also not helping me be better at the exercise that I'm choosing.

[00:37:27.720] – Rachel

Running, lifting weights. I'm sure you've been in the gym feeling, oh, I probably shouldn't have had that for lunch, as you're trying to lift the weight, I think the two things go very well hand in hand.

[00:37:39.110] – Allan

Yeah, I prefer to exercise faster, so typically if I'm doing anything I didn't eat that day, or like, I'm going to do the tough mudder, I'm going to have a breakfast. I start the tough mudder at ten, so I'm probably going to get up a little early and I'll go have a breakfast. And it'll probably be what I normally eat, lots of eggs. So I'll have some eggs for breakfast and depending on where I am, maybe bacon with that. But for the most part, it's just going to be eggs. And so it'll be the weird guy who walks in and says, okay, I want five to six eggs and then I'll eat them all. But then I'll digest them, and they won't be in my stomach. They'll probably be somewhere around my small intestine or large intestine before I start the run. And it's something I eat every day, almost every day. So I know my body tolerates it. And then I'll do my tough mudder. I won't eat during the Tough Mudder because I don't have to. I don't have to feel it that way. But I know, and it's somewhat happening now, is that I'm not losing weight because I'm training for a Tough Mudder.

[00:38:46.910] – Allan

I wanted to lose weight. I started trying to lose weight, and I did lose some. I lost a bit, but I haven't hit my goal. And now I'm realizing I may not. And I'm okay with that because I know that I'm in a condition to be able to complete the Tough Mudder, and that was the goal. So it's setting your mind and understanding that if you have these competing things, you have to take a step back. And I would never prioritize weight loss over fitness. I would never prioritize weight loss over health.

[00:39:26.190] – Rachel

Perfect. It's important.

[00:39:29.550] – Allan

All right, the next question is, I haven't changed my diet, but I stopped losing weight. Why?

[00:39:36.930] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Are we at a plateau?

[00:39:40.710] – Allan

We may be at a plateau. I think some people call the plateau way early. Well, if you're weighing yourself every day and you go two days without losing weight, I'm at a plateau. What am I going to do? Now, the way I like to think of plateaus is this, if what you're doing is good for you, good for your health, and it may not be like a plateau. It may just be a ledge on the side of the mountain. So you've been climbing this mountain and doing really well and feeling really good about what you did, and now you get up onto a ledge, and it's flat or maybe even feels like it's going sloping down a little bit. Well, if you stop there and say, I'm not climbing anymore, then you're not going up the mountain anymore either. So you have to walk across that ledge. You got to spend some time there until you get to the point of the mountain where you can start climbing again.

[00:40:40.290] – Rachel


[00:40:40.980] – Allan

Okay. So you're doing the right things, and sometimes just all you need to do is just hang in there, keep moving forward, keep eating the way you're eating, keep training the way you're training, keep doing the things you've been doing for your health, and then your body will get past this set point, past this plateau. I can tell you that's for a lot of people, it's really hard. Well, it is, because you just don't see that progress, which is why I'm also a big fan of not just measuring weight loss as a metric, measuring other things, like your waist circumference, your hip circumference, looking at your blood work. I mean, if your A1C is dropping and you're no longer prediabetic or diabetic when the doctor is saying, I can take you off of your blood pressure medicine, or I can lower the amount of medication that you're taking for blood pressure, that's a huge win, okay? And if you can fit in a smaller dress size, even though you weigh the same big win, who cares, right?

[00:41:43.680] – Rachel


[00:41:45.030] – Allan

So there is that and then there are other things you can do to jump set this. Okay? So the plateau is important for one core reason, and this is why your body likes consistency. Your body wants to stay the same, same is safe. Change is scary, and we feel that way about everything else we do. Our body feels the same way. So you'll notice that your heart rate resting heart rate stays about the same. Unless you train up, it'll change a bit. Your blood PH stays the same. It's in a certain range. Your body temperature stays in a certain range. Those are healthy ranges. Your body wants to keep your blood sugar within a safe range. And so your body is constantly fighting to make those things happen. And all these processes throughout this very complex system, multiple systems on top of systems, is going to cause your body from time to time to want to stop losing weight, just like it would stop everything else. It wants to stay the same. So you're going to have these set points that are going to happen. Everybody has them, everybody hits them. And then just for one reason or another, the scale does not want to budge.

[00:43:08.260] – Allan

Now, what we didn't realize is we also had set points on the way up, and some of those we blew right past, and some of those we saved. Someone will tell me, for five years, I stayed at 230 pounds and they were like, then it's like someone hit a switch and I'm at 269 and gaining, I got to do something. I'm like, yeah, okay, so you had a set point and you broke that set point and now you're at another set point going up. This is a great time to say, okay, let's go back down. But there's a set point. So you have to start working your way down and you might get back down to that 230 and find, yeah, that's another set point I'm going to struggle to get past. So just recognize those are normal. Your body's not angry?

[00:43:51.750] – Rachel

No. I think that we hit a lot of plateaus, like you had mentioned, because we don't give what we're doing enough time to work. We're not very patient people and we want to see overnight success. So first sit in, like you said, sitting, and do what you're doing for a while and see if results come after that. But then when we do hit a plateau again, or we're not making any progress, maybe it's time to switch it up. Maybe it's time to do something different. Reevaluate remeasure what you're doing food wise and exercise wise and really dive deep into what you're doing to see what can you do to change. And I do want to point out, too, that a lot of people decide that this is a good time to cut calories, and cutting calories may not be the answer.

[00:44:39.600] – Allan

Yeah, I agree with you. I think it's really important to kind of reiterate one of the things you said. This is a good time to start measuring. And what you may find is you've let some carbs slip in there, you didn't really realize what was happening, and now your body's acting like it's in maintenance and it's running in maintenance. It's not wanting to lose that weight. So that's really important. This is a good time to get the scale out, get the measuring cups out for a few days, pay attention to what you're eating and what your portion sizes are and kind of rebate yourself. So then the next step would be yes. What tools and what things have I used that have done this for me in the past? So some people it can be. I'm going to implement an additional hit class this week, and I'll do that for the next three or four weeks and see if that helps me break this plateau. It could be unless you mentioned water. It could be. Okay, I'm really not drinking enough water. I'm going to start drinking a little bit more water and see how I feel.

[00:45:42.690] – Allan

And then again with the measuring, if you find okay, yeah. Let some carbs in there. Tap them back down. Get them back down. Increase your fiber intake. Increase your protein intake. Good, too. You might need to lower your fat intake. So you might have your macros nailed down, and you're in ketosis, and you're still not losing weight. As I mentioned, I have friends that have been doing keto for years and still obese. Start thinking about what the food you're eating is. They like to make those keto pizzas and the keto pies and the keto cakes and all that, and those are regular things they're eating. Almond flour is still a processed food. Okay? And while it's not going to give you the insulin spike and the sugar spike and all of that, your body is still digesting it and using it. It's there. And so you just got to think about how whole food am I? And am I doing the right thing? Am I eating enough vegetables? Am I getting enough protein? And if the fat's out there and just you're eating a ton of fat, your body doesn't really need to burn body fat because you're doing that.

[00:46:51.990] – Allan

It could be that you cut back on a macro like fat, and maybe you bump up your protein a little bit, and that could be the change that makes it happen. But it's normal to be at that point, and you need to sit in it, and you need to walk across that ledge. You got to get back to the mountain climbing. You're still moving forward, and that's the other side. If you know what you're doing is good for you, you're still moving forward, even if you don't see it on the scale. So keep doing what you're doing and then reevaluate to see if you need to do something perfect.

[00:47:27.290] – Rachel

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:47:28.420] – Allan

All right. And we have one more question, and this comes from Hope in our Facebook group. How do you lose weight around the mid section? And I hear similar questions like this. How do I lose weight in my hips or my neck or my arms? Like the behind the arms, the tricep area, they got the wings and that type of thing. So Rachel I'll let you kind of jump on this one a little bit.

[00:47:54.350] – Rachel

Yeah. I wish I had the answer. That question probably make a million bucks off of that. But fat doesn't come off that way when you're eating well and exercising a lot, it just sheds evenly all over your body. So you really can't target one specific area with weight loss, but you can target specific areas in the gym with weight training.

[00:48:19.650] – Allan

Yeah, you're absolutely right. We can't really target this, but we can look at what are some reasons that this happens, particularly for women. So for men, it's a natural thing for us to store body fat around our body, but then it'll predominantly be in the stomach area as we're gaining weight that we really don't need. So once we start getting past the healthy BMI, the body fat is likely to accumulate in the stomach. And I'll say if you eat a lot of bread, you drink a lot of beer and maybe even some other alcohols, that's where it's going to want to store that fat. So a lot of it can be the foods and the drinks that you're choosing to put in your mouth that could be causing the fat to be there. Other issue, and this is where it more affects women. Is it's hormones baby. Hormones are going to tell your body where to store fat. So when you're young and your estrogen was awesome and your progesterone was awesome, your body said, well, stored in the butt and stored in the boobs, because that's what guys like. That's going to help us procreate and get their attention.

[00:49:34.750] – Allan

And that's where our body would tend to store that fat. As our estrogen goes lower, as our progesterone goes lower, our body says, well, you're more like a man now. I'm sorry. That's what it says. And so it's going to start wanting to store the fat more in the mid section. So if you're in perimenopause, some women and I'm not proposing this at all. I'm not diagnosing at all. Okay. I'm not a doctor. But some women will go on hormone replacement therapy. And that does help them not put as much fat in their mid section because. Again. The hormone replacement is telling them they're a younger woman and so they can replace the hormones safely if they work with your doctor. There's a particular window when it's really safe to do this and other times it's not. And you may have some other medical issues where it's not right for you, but that's one way that you can look at this problem and say, okay, I can delay the problem or prevent the problem there. The other thing is just realizing that you're going to lose the weight in the mid section when the body is ready to get rid of that weight.

[00:50:39.070] – Allan

Again, hormones, so you can cut your calories, you can do everything else to lose weight. The mid section should go down over time. Now you might find I lose the body. Like me, I lose body fat, my face, my arms and my legs first. The mid section will be darn last to benefit. Regardless of what I do, I'm going to have that in the middle all the way until I get down to really low body fat. So I just know that's where it's going to be and there's not really anything I can do about it. It's a visceral fat. So even going into a plastic surgeon and saying, hey, look at this, they're like, can't help you there. I could do a tummy tuck, but I can't really pull that fat out of there because it's all around the liver and we really don't want to play with the liver. So short of surgery, short of hormone replacement, it's really just about trying to get yourself healthy. Not drinking beer, not eating certain carbs that are going to cause body fat gain. And that, over time should shrink your midsection. But there's really no way to spot lose outside of surgery.

[00:51:59.940] – Allan

And again, if it's a mid section fat, then most likely even surgery won't really do you any big good. And no one should think surgery is an answer to a problem like weight loss. Again, there are people that need bariatric surgery and things like that, that's fine. If it's something you need to do for your health, by all means do it. But as far as just trying to lose the body fat in the mid section, just do healthy stuff and your body will drop it as it needs to.

[00:52:32.920] – Rachel

Yes, for sure.

[00:52:34.210] – Allan

All right, so that's the end of our weight loss questions. Rachel, I appreciate your time today going through this with me. I really appreciate your take on most of these, all of them actually. Anyway. Okay. So if you have additional weight loss questions, go to our group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. You can ask your questions there. Rachel and I, we pretty much live on that page.

[00:53:04.030] – Rachel

Yes, we're there.

[00:53:05.300] – Allan

If you post something on there, you're going to get an answer from us. And if you're struggling with something and even if it's not weight loss. We're talking about weight loss questions today. But if you have exercise questions, if you have running questions, if you have lifting questions, if you have sleep questions, stress management questions, anything to deal with health and fitness and over 40 years old, we want to have you in the group, and we want to add those questions out there. And if we get a good collection of questions in other areas, we'll have another episode like this.

[00:53:36.700] – Rachel


[00:53:37.160] – Allan

And share your questions, and we'll answer them in more detail then.

[00:53:40.540] – Rachel

That would be fun.

Post Show/Recap

[00:53:41.730] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, it's great to see you again today. This early. Finish up your coffee.

[00:53:46.850] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:53:47.270] – Allan

You've already done your run, so you're going to have an awesome day.

[00:53:50.340] – Rachel

It's going to be an awesome day.

[00:53:51.840] – Allan

All right, so you, too, have an awesome day, and we'll talk to you next week.

[00:53:56.520] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:53:57.350] – Allan

You, too. Bye

[00:53:58.390] – Rachel



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Let's Say Hello

[00:03:25.150] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:03:26.370] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:28.110] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How about you?

[00:03:30.560] – Rachel

Good. Very good. Mike and I went backpacking again the other weekend and increasing the weight in our packs and testing equipment again. And we had a good outing. So we're getting closer and closer to Isle Royal and getting closer and closer to finalizing our list of things we need to bring.

[00:03:47.600] – Allan

Yeah, that's got to be a lot of fun to try to figure all that out, particularly when you're doing it on test runs so you're not out there figuring it out.

[00:03:55.580] – Rachel

Right? Yes, for sure. So how are things with you?

[00:04:00.250] – Allan

Just trying to keep everything moving and doing, obviously, to the gym. When they built the building, there was a few things that they could have done differently. So the back patio on the house, the apartment above us, they didn't build that like it was going to be the roof of another building. So they built it like they would build a deck so it was okay for water to flow through it. Problem is that's my roof. And so the water runs through it.

[00:04:33.230] – Rachel

That's not good.

[00:04:34.480] – Allan

We get a big heavy rainfall and the wind coming in from the south, and there's a ton of water coming into the gym through the ceiling, which is basically sheetrock wet sheet rock is not cool. So then they decide they want to build a stairwell because they're building some of their apartments. They got to move the stairwell that they have, and they want to build another one. So I had this air conditioner installed, and they come back and say, well, we need to move that air conditioner because it's in our way to build this stairs. And I'm kind of like, how much of this stuff did you not know before you started building? And then I was talking to the air conditioner guy. He's like, yeah, they just called me up on Saturday. They were already drywalling and going on. They said, maybe we ought to have the air conditioner guy come out before we build this thing, just to see where he needs to put the air conditioners and stuff like that, because he's doing the air conditioners, too. And he's like, they had no idea. And so he was out there trying to say, well, now we're going to have to drill through this wall and drill through that wall.

[00:05:39.730] – Allan

Things that they wouldn't have had to do, they now have to do because they got too far into their building. It's Panama. It's a third world country. You just kind of have to shake stuff like that off. But it's a lot of work when you want you're worried about your gym collapse, the roof ceiling collapsing, particularly if someone was in the gym when it was happening. And then you got all that equipment in there, which most of it is made out of iron and metal. It rusts. It's just been this thing. And so they moved my air conditioner two days ago, three days ago, and there's just a little bit it's almost like there's always construction going on inside my gym. I know the members are kind of like, will you please, for the love of God, finish building this gym? We open in March, and here we are well into July, and we still aren't open. We are open, but there's always workmen and then there's always sawdust and something happening here, something happened in there. So it's going to be good. If they can I think they're going to get that thing done upstairs.

[00:06:50.000] – Allan

When they do, then I can make sure my ceiling is done right, because they have to redo that. And then after that's done, then I can paint my gosh and all that. So it seems like it's going to be a constant work in process, at least for a couple more months. But yeah, that's just one job, one thing. I still got this online personal training. I still got the podcast, I've still got Lula's running Lula's and Tammy is about to head back to the States for another two and a half weeks, coming up here a little bit later in the month. So when she leaves, it's like I can't leave Lula's in the middle of the day sometimes, but I've got clients, so it's just going to be very interesting how I manage running a bed and breakfast and a gym that is basically 0.6 miles away from each other. And I have no automobile, so I have to walk or ride a bike, though. So if I have to be at one place, I have to be there. And then it's going to take me eleven minutes, roughly, give or take, for me to get back to the other place and back and forth.

[00:08:00.990] – Rachel

My gosh.

[00:08:02.170] – Allan

I'll do it. But it's kind of one of the things that I need to get as much done now on other things so that I'm not running crazy during that two and a half, three weeks. And I can't get podcast guests. They're like, sure. They send me a copy of the book and like, okay, here's the link. Book it, nothing. Crickets and I message them again, hey, go ahead and book it so we can get this recorded so that we have an episode. Crickets and so I'm like, okay, well and then once I'll reach out and their books aren't coming out until late August, and one guy, I think, October. And so you're like, okay, that's great. I'll get that interview done, but that doesn't really help me till October. And I've got some episodes that we need to be working on to get next week. Not October. Not August. Anyway, so yeah, just a lot of moving parts in my life right now.

[00:08:57.690] – Rachel

No kidding. Are you able to squeeze in time for your tough mudder coming up?

[00:09:02.320] – Allan

Yeah, I'm sleeping a little less.

[00:09:06.870] – Rachel

Oh, gosh, that's not good.

[00:09:09.120] – Allan

It's not, but it's just kind of one of those things is saying there are this many hours in a day, and the only way I can squeeze something in and really make it meaningful is to add hours to my day. So I am sleeping a little bit less, and I'll do that until I'm ready for this time, and then I'll do the tough mudder and enjoy myself for a little while and then go back to my normal schedule of sleeping, but also tammy will be back here, and so that'll make it a little easier for me. So as I said, I'm really pushing hard right now, and I want to get my clients in the door and all that because there's a week that I want to take off in September, and I don't really want to have a whole lot of clients that I'm having to work with at that point, particularly not towards the front end of their six weeks. So if you're interested in my be fit for task program, go ahead and get on my calendar now for a discussion, because there will be a point here in the next few weeks where I'll say, okay, here's where my six weeks lines up, and I'm going to stop taking clients, and that's just going to be the way it's going to work.

[00:10:15.000] – Allan

And last year I said I was going to take a couple of weeks off. It turned into a couple of months. So I don't know that it wouldn't happen that way again this year. So if you're interested in the program, at least reach out to me right now. Let's get you on a call. Let's talk about what it is. And maybe this isn't the right time for you to start, but at least you'll know what's there and we can plan on doing something when I get back from the US. And my tough mudder and family and vacation and all that. So if you're interested in it, hit me up.

[00:10:45.980] – Rachel

Sounds great.

[00:10:46.910] – Allan

All right. You ready to have this conversation with Dr. Loretta?

[00:10:49.780] – Rachel



[00:11:23.710] – Allan

Dr. Loretta. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:11:26.790] – Dr. Loretta

Thank you, Allan.

[00:11:28.060] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, Lymph Link: Solving the Mysteries of Inflammation, Toxicity, and Breast Health Issues. And I think this is a really timely episode. We've talked about the lymph system and the importance of movement to make sure that the system operates properly, and we'll get into that again a little bit later. But inflammation and toxicity are epidemic in not only our country, but around the world every day. I think I read a statistic, 5000 new chemicals are introduced to the world and all our government can really tell us is right now we think they're safe. We don't have enough data to say they're unsafe and we don't know the downstream effect of those toxins. But we already know some of the toxins were exposed to every day in our everyday life are already causing us some significant health issues. So I really appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation today.

[00:12:24.910] – Dr. Loretta

Thank you. Me too.

[00:12:27.490] – Allan

So the lymphatic system is kind of an interesting system to me. How it works, what it does. What exactly is this system? Why is it important? Because it's sort of ignored. Everybody knows. OK, well, cardiovascular system, heart disease, we had covid. People are talking about lung health and breathing. So we know these other things can kill us, but the lymph system can kill us too.

[00:12:54.440] – Dr. Loretta

Yeah, the limp system is extremely important and as you said, it's mostly ignored. That's one of the things that I'm very much trying to change. The lymphatic system is what gets produced from your immune system. When you have a sprained ankle and your ankle swells up like an orange or a grapefruit, that's all lymphatic fluid. If you get a cut or you get an illness, it's the lymph that goes to that area to try to mitigate any further damage from recurring. And that's the body's innate intelligence. You know what I mean? It does that automatically. The interesting thing is lymphatic system doesn't have, unlike the heart, lymphatic system doesn't have a pump. There is no mechanical, internal mechanical moving this fluid except for your muscles. Okay. Movement every time you take a step, every time you get up and sit down, that is what moves the fluid throughout our body and hopefully through the ducks so they can be removed.

[00:14:02.570] – Allan

We're using that. But beyond the swelling, beyond the immune system, what exactly is this fluid for? It's okay. Obviously we swell and most of us then hurt our ankle. Our doctor's going to probably tell us to use RICE, which is the rest, ice, elevate and compression. Yeah. And so we're going to compress this. We're going to put ice on it. We're going to try to get the swelling down. Seems like we're fighting the lymph while the lymph is trying to fight for us. But what is actually that lymph there for other than protecting?

[00:14:40.560] – Dr. Loretta

That's it exactly. The lymph is there to prevent further damage from occurring to whatever the injured area is. Like the people who got sick from covid. All right. The lymphatic, the immune system did exactly what it was supposed to do. It made lymph to send to the lungs to fight the virus and to prevent the virus from getting worse for having any further hold on the person who is sick. The problem is that because of toxic, I believe because of toxicity, the fluid got into their lungs and they couldn't get out. Okay. And they literally drowned in their own fluid. But the lymph system is designed as a protective system for us, and it will hinder further damage from recurring or an infection from spreading that kind of mitigation.

[00:15:37.620] – Allan

Okay, now you talk a little bit about the toxins, and I want to dive into some of the bigger ones later. But the lymph system is also a really important system as far as us getting toxins out of our body, right?

[00:15:51.190] – Dr. Loretta

Yes. The lymphatic system, again, is supposed to move freely throughout the body. What happens is our exposure to toxicity in the world the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we eat, unfortunately, all have toxicity in them, and sometimes the liver can't get rid of all this toxicity. Okay. And toxins attach themselves to the lymphatic fluid. It's this fluid that's walking around and moving around like water. And the toxins are free radicals, and they're looking to attach themselves to something, and the lymphatic fluid is that something, and the toxins start traveling through the body along with the lymphatic fluid. So if you get an injury or you have some trauma to your body, the lymph fluid goes to that area, and toxins stagnate and block the fluid from retreating. So normally, let's say that ankle should heal up in four to six weeks. You may still have swelling and inflammation in that lower leg. Six to ten weeks later, that's now, lymphedema, that is not supposed to be like that, but the fluid becomes stuck because of toxicity and stagnation caused by the toxins.

[00:17:21.690] – Allan

Okay. So I understand that from an injury perspective, we're going to have some swelling. That's an expected thing. And I've turned ankles many times over the years and dealt with major swelling at times. But other people suffer from lymphedema when they're going through other situations, like diabetes or just other fluid issues in their body where there's just tremendous amount of swelling in their legs, and it's quite painful. Can we talk about treating that pain? Because I think we're a pain medication nation. Everybody wants to pop a pill to solve pain problems, but that might not always be the best answer for this.

[00:18:06.270] – Dr. Loretta

No, absolutely not. The heaviness and the tightness and the fullness and the lumbering that people have in their limbs from the lymphedema is what's creating a lot of discomfort. Unfortunately, prescription pain medications don't really help that much. They don't change the situation at all. And it may take the edge off for a slight period of time, but it still comes back. That's the problem. I utilize a three part lightweight with an oscillating frequency to remove lymph fluid from the body. This is a pleasant treatment. Basically, you just sort of lie down and I move electrostatic charge over the area of involvement, and it creates a sympathetic response. That sympathetic response squeezes the lymphatic fluid.

[00:19:07.000] – Dr. Loretta

Okay. And then squeezing the lymph vessels. It moves the lymphatic fluid, and it also helps to remove toxicity from the body. There's an oscillating frequency that literally chop, chop, chops the toxins right off the lymph fluid so they can be dumped into the ducks. One of the problems with lymph massage is that it can remove some of the circumference. You know what I mean? It might be able to make a big leg a little bit smaller or big arm a little bit thinner. But the problem is that underlying heaviness and fullness and tightness is still there that they can't get rid of. And they also can't remove toxicity from the body with just moving the fluid from point A to point B. It has to be directed into the ducts very specifically. And that's what I do. People get relieved very quickly, especially from those under like symptoms, as I explain.

[00:20:05.190] – Allan

Yeah. Now, sometimes we don't even realize that this is a lymphatic system problem. You talk about pain in the jaw or pain in the back or something like that, and I think many of us understand it. We've heard that could potentially be inflammation, but this is actually the underlying cause. Right.

[00:20:25.920] – Dr. Loretta

It doesn't matter what the disease looks like or what the symptoms are. It all starts with an inflammatory process in the body. All of it. Doesn't matter what you call it. It all starts with inflammation. So, yeah, inflammation is, again, one of those things that we're so used to it, you know what I mean? It's like you're always bumping into something, like you said, sprain an ankle or smack something. And look at swollen hurts. It's red, so people ignore it. What I see, what I think is very interesting is I've been seeing more what I call systemic lymphedema, where people are swollen all over, just all over, their arms, their chest, their legs, their backs, just whole body fluidity. And sometimes they're walking around with 10 lbs of fluid in them. That is you want to call it water weight, but it's not. It's really lymphatic weight. Again, inflammation is key to health.

[00:21:40.990] – Allan

These toxins then can clog up the system, gum up the system and cause the problems, because, like you said, they're connecting to the lymph fluid that would normally be flowing around that gums thing. I can imagine that this way. I could say it is in my perspective, it gums things up.

[00:21:57.060] – Dr. Loretta

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:21:58.340] – Allan

And you get the swelling. Can we talk about some of the big players, some of these big exposures? Because I'm always a fan of preventative. So if you know these things are in your life and you can stop introducing them, then that's the better answer than the treatment. Obviously, most of us are already somewhat inflamed, if not completely inflamed, like I said, systemic inflammation. But can you talk about some of those big players?

[00:22:24.370] – Dr. Loretta

Well, first of all, you have PVCs, okay? So plastics are huge pesticides like things like roundup. Okay, we know that roundup has been causing breast cancer and lymphoma for 20 years, and yet it's still on the market. The senate was having a talk last week about, like, a fosse because it's dangerous, and every park, every playground, every golf course uses it. So you think that you're taking your baby to the park to walk around on the nice green grass, and the baby's got no shoes on. Baby sits down and puts his foot in its mouth. Well, there you go. Okay, so we're all exposed to this stuff. There's all kinds of endocrine disruptors that are out there, but it's in everything. That's the problem. You can't run, and you can't hide from it anymore. There are 68 distinct cancers that were caused by the twin towers collapse of 911, 68 distinct cancers that they've been able to track back to all that toxicity and people working on the pile for months at a time. So this is real. This is not some fantasy or, like, maybe a nice thing to do or a good thing to do.

[00:23:57.460] – Dr. Loretta

People need to take this seriously. People need to start testing themselves for toxicity before something happens.

[00:24:04.930] – Allan

Yeah, I mean, in the book, I think you did a really good job, as you went through these, of saying, okay, here are some of the products that you may not expect would have these things cleaners, make up, different things. I do know that the environmental working group.org, they have an app you can actually screen. You can just do a picture of the barcode on the products that you're using to kind of get an idea of what might be in some of these products that we're using to try to at least somewhat reduce your exposure. Because if you're getting it in your air, you're getting it in your water, you're getting it in your food, you're getting it in your cleaners, you're getting it on the skin care and health care products that you're using. You're just really battering your system. And that's what makes the system, the lymphatic system so important, is if it's not functioning well, we're not getting rid of those toxins as effectively as we need to.

[00:25:05.680] – Dr. Loretta

And people are getting sick. That's the thing. People don't feel well. And because the lymphatic system is so pervasive in our bodies, the symptoms are subtle. You know, headaches, eczema, digestive problems, poor sleep, there could be lots and lots of small little things that add up to, you know what? This is all toxicity, and it doesn't matter what the doctors keep throwing medications at them, and they're not getting better. Nothing is changing because it's toxic. They don't feel good. Low energy. The spells are in the toilet. And like I said, people need to start recognizing this and acknowledging yeah.

[00:25:50.500] – Allan

And to me, that's one of the reasons why fatigue is probably the symptom that is reported the most. It has to be because every single disease, every single illness out there, that one of the first symptoms, is fatigue. As you go through, and you're thinking about, well, how do I fix this? Well, fatigue is not going to help you fix this. We talked about some treatments and things we can do, which can help but to stay healthy as much as you can avoid these toxins. But then the next step is, and we mentioned it before, or you mentioned it before, was that the only way to move this Lymphatic system, to get things flowing through your system properly, is for your skeletal muscles to contract and then basically release. And so your muscles then become the pumps. And therefore, the only way that that happens is movement. And we could call it exercise, we could call it training, we could call it whatever we want to. But I think everybody knows movement is a big part of staying healthy and fit. You mentioned in the book some techniques and things like rebounding and fast walking and things like that, because you kind of talk about some of the movement patterns, things that would help, really help move Lymph and help someone stay healthy and clean up a little bit faster.

[00:27:16.650] – Dr. Loretta

It's possible if they're able to do sort of calisthenic type moves, because you want to go up against gravity a little bit, you want that little bit of force against you to help squeeze the Lymphatic flu. So, calisthenics. I love the rebounder. Some people fall off, they have to be careful, but it's a good way to exercise.

[00:27:42.470] – Allan

But the good thing about a rebounder is it's going to take all of that stress of landing if you land and you have joint issues, or just if you're carrying a little extra body weight and you just don't feel comfortable jumping and leaving the ground and landing back on the ground. If you're not comfortable with that, a rebounder can really be a good way for you to get that bounce and get things moving.

[00:28:08.410] – Dr. Loretta

Yeah, I love to be bound. People can do yoga. Yoga is very good. A lot of flexibility, a lot of movement. Like you said, fast walking is a good idea. Breathing, breath work is very important. You really need to keep your breathing going. It also helps to move lung fluid if you're limited as to what kind of physical activity you can do. And hot and cold showers. If you want to alternate contrast therapy, start out heat, always end with cold. And that also helps to contract the muscles. Again, if you're not able to do some physical activity, you can do it with your feet and your legs in the shower.

[00:28:59.240] – Allan

Yeah. And so most of us with office jobs, we're sitting for eight to 10 hours and just not moving much during the day. That lymph is just sitting still. If you're sitting still, it's sitting still. So people talk about getting up for five minutes every 25 minutes or getting up five minutes, even five minutes every hour is going to be so much more beneficial than just grinding through and getting your job done in that 8 hours because again, it's helping you keep your body healthy.

[00:29:32.690] – Allan

So Dr. Loretta, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:29:43.910] – Dr. Loretta

my philosophy is I work with working people. So you need to make things manageable. Okay? So you need people who are happy or optimistic. They want a better future for themselves. They want better health. And I can't think of the third one. I'm sorry.

[00:30:07.010] – Allan

That's all right. Those are important. And I think sometimes it's easy to overlook what optimism and joy and kind of the hope look into the future of knowing. Okay, and I've said this before, but if you can take another breath you can do something positive for your health and fitness. So it's just that knowing you have a future and expecting a future and then living the life now that you need to do so you can have the best future that you can possibly have. So those two were really important. Don't poopoo if there were only two.

[00:30:41.440] – Allan

Now, the book again is called Lymph-Link. And I'll tell you, beyond just really giving some good information about what the Lymphatic system is and how we can do some different things to make sure that we're staying healthy and the things we can avoid to also stay healthy, there are also some recipes and I'm really interested in trying that apple chicken that looks really good. So I will definitely be doing that soon, I'm certain. So Dr. Loretta, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:31:16.360] – Dr. Loretta

You can go to Synergy with an S, health Associates also with an s.com, that's the website. You can order the book. There's a link right there where you can order the book. You can also go to Amazon and order it lymph link on Amazon. I think we're the best seller new release book, something like that. And you can certainly I think it's going to be in Barnes and Noble and I'm not sure about the other brick and mortar type of places, but Synergy Health Associates is probably the best way.

[00:31:52.000] – Allan

Okay, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/548 and I'll be sure to have a link there to all of that. And again, congratulations on making a best seller list.

Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:32:07.920] – Dr. Loretta

Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:32:16.950] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:32:18.340] – Rachel

Hey Allan. That was a really interesting conversation. The Lymphatic system is something that most people don't think about. We're always concerned about our heart health, our cholesterol, but the Lymphatic system is pretty important.

[00:32:31.470] – Allan

It is a very important component of our immune system. And it's kind of funny. How our immune system kind of gets this third class citizenship in our body. We don't think about it until it fails us. You get sick and then you go into the doctor and you notice they're probing around your neck and they say, oh, your lymph glands are a little swollen here. Your lymph nodes are a little swollen. But what they're telling you is that you have some kind of infection. It's a viral or a bacterial infection, but that's one of the core symptoms, is that those things start swelling up, and it just means you've got a lot of stuff to get out of your system, and your body is fighting to do that. But there's some such simple things to just keep ourselves, keep that system healthy. And it comes down to doing the lifestyle things that we should already be doing. One is trying to limit the amount of toxins and bad stuff that's in our body in the first place. If the liver doesn't have to clean it up, kidneys don't have to clean it up, and it doesn't have to go into the lymph to be removed.

[00:33:35.850] – Allan

That's one thing, is figure out where your toxins are coming from and try to eliminate them and where you can, and then understanding of your body and what it does. So if you end up with too much toxins in your system, your liver has this really ingenious way of kind of shirking its duties, if you will. It's still going to do what it's got to do, but if it sees that it's like getting a little overloaded, it will just start storing that stuff in your fat cells, particularly the fat around your liver, the fatty liver and the gut. We all have that's where it's storing that stuff. So if you get into a weight loss program, particularly something like Keto, or you go into low carb or some fasting and you start losing body fat relatively quickly, all that stuff is hitting your system again really fast. And at that point, you're not adding fat. So the liver has to process it, the kidneys have to process it. And that's when it's really important to focus on the lymphatic system to get that stuff out. You're going to feel like crap. And a lot of people think that's the Keto flu part, and most of the time it's not.

[00:34:41.090] – Allan

It's just those toxins. You're going to have a headache, you don't feel good. Your energy level is a little low, and what you want to be doing is making sure that you stay hydrated. Because all body fluids, if you're dehydrated all body fluids kind of reduce their liquid form so they get a little bit more viscous. If you want. Your blood does it, your lymph does it, and you might notice you don't sweat as much. If you're dehydrated a lot of your systems that rely on moisture, they're not going to function very well. Your brain doesn't function very well. And then so staying hydrated, but then also moving because there's no pump. There's no pump like a heart or lungs. That muscle that makes that happen. The muscle that makes Lymph move through your body is skeletal muscle. And so walking, running, hiking, resistance training, rebounding, a lot of people enjoy the rebounding. That will all help. And then you can try other techniques like the dry brushing your skin. That's supposed to help, but to me, just go for a walk.

[00:35:52.890] – Rachel

Yeah, that's an easier thing to do. Just head outside for a little while, get a little fresh air and move your body. It's important.

[00:36:00.010] – Allan

Yeah. And this is part of the reason. It's part of your body's overall functioning to stay healthy. And if you're moving and doing the right things with your Lymphatic system is going to work well, you're going to be getting those toxins out of your body more timely, quickly. And that's just better. Less exposure is better.

[00:36:21.160] – Rachel

Yeah, for sure. Oh my gosh, chemicals are everywhere. This summer, my daughter and I are looking for a sunscreen that has fewer chemicals in it. Just the zinc oxide type things that aren't readily absorbed into your skin. And it's not easy finding some replacements for the usual products that we have.

[00:36:40.880] – Allan

Yeah, not at standard stores. No. You almost have to order that stuff specialty online to get something that's better for us and better for the environment.

[00:36:52.480] – Rachel

Yeah, but it's well worth it for sure. In the long run.

[00:36:55.080] – Allan

It is. We do these things and then we don't think about it. But if you're really trying to improve your health overall, it's easy. Yes, you pay a little bit more, but you buy better stuff. And there's all kinds of tools. The Environmental Working Group has their app that you just shoot the barcode and it tells you what the rating is. The body wash that I use is actually pretty good. It's rated yellow only because it talks about allergies that might be in my body wash, but it doesn't bother me. It's not a problem for me. But if I sat there and flashed on something I was going to use as a cleaner or use on my body or use if I had hair, then I would pay a little bit more attention to those things and see if there's not an alternative product. It's a little thing. The furniture, we buy it off gasses and so just lots of opportunity. And I've done an episode before on toxins and on each Show Notes, for each episode I do put another show that's important for or at least similar to what we were talking about.

[00:38:15.320] – Allan

So it kind of carries on the topic and I'll make that episode part of what this one's going to point to. So if you're interested in learning more about that, diving deeper into that, there'll be a Show notes link. If you go to the show notes, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/547, and that will take you to the show notes. And then at the very, almost the very bottom of the show notes, you'll find where I've linked to another episode, and I'll make sure that episode is about toxins. So if you're interested in that topic, you'll be able to find that there.

[00:38:47.680] – Rachel

That's great. That would be super helpful.

[00:38:50.010] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, anything else you want to go over today?

[00:38:52.610] – Rachel

No, this is great. Thank you.

[00:38:54.310] – Allan

Okay, I'll see you next week.

[00:38:55.970] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:38:56.810] – Allan

You, too.


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to be more human with Tony Riddle

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As we age, most of us lose a lot of functional fitness that makes humans apex predators. This happens for many reasons, but it isn't something you have to accept. You can learn to move better and as our guest, Tony Riddle titled his new book, Be More Human.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:29.590] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things going? 

[00:03:31.850] – Rachel

Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:03:33.670] – Allan

I'm doing good. I recently finished my coursework for the Precision Nutrition Level One and waiting for my certificate to come in. I set up on monthly payments, so it's kind of one of those things where because it's not cheap, but they offered monthly payments, I'm like, okay, I'll do monthly payments. And considering how long it usually takes people to get through that course, they said, okay, expect it to take three or four months, and you have to get about that many payments in before they'll even let you say that you're certified. So I think I have to wait until the end of this month. It's already July to wait till the end of this month, and I make a payment on the 29th. And so a couple of weeks from now, when this goes live, I'll get that payment in, and they should send me my certificate, and then I'll be precision Nutrition Level One certified.

[00:04:33.620] – Rachel

Nice. Congratulations.

[00:04:35.290] – Allan

Thank you.

[00:04:36.140] – Rachel

What did you think about the class? Did you learn anything interesting or anything?

[00:04:40.600] – Allan

I did. For a lot of people, when they're thinking about this, they think about, I don't want to log everything I eat, and it's so hard to track this, or, oh, they want me to do away with this or do away with that. And Precision Nutrition is a lot more holistic things I've said. So it kind of fits my model of thought is one, eat whole food.

[00:05:08.230] – Rachel

Yeah, right.

[00:05:11.870] – Allan

Eat whole food. And then just take some time to start understanding portion sizes.

[00:05:17.330] – Rachel

Oh, yeah, that's a good one.

[00:05:20.030] – Allan

And then it's sleep and making sure that you're staying hydrated. And those are the kind of the four core principles of it. And guess what you don't have to do when you understand portion sizes? You're getting adequate sleep, you're staying hydrated, and you're eating real food. You don't have to track calories. You don't have to really worry about tracking macros, because guess what? You can't overeat whole food.

[00:05:49.010] – Rachel

Oh, cool.

[00:05:50.040] – Allan

Think about it.

[00:05:51.030] – Rachel


[00:05:51.380] – Allan

If I said, okay, here's what you got chicken or beef or fish as a protein, and maybe you want to do vegan or vegetarians, like, so you get your protein together, and you get your vegetables and fruits together and then try to overeat it.

[00:06:06.030] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[00:06:07.050] – Allan

Try just try to overeat meat. Okay.

[00:06:13.950] – Allan

I'm really trying to cut a little bit more weight to get ready for the tough mudder, which is going to be in another month and a half from when this goes live. And so I've started really trying to get myself into ketosis and pushing through on that. And right now I'm going through something where anything I eat that has carbs in it pops me down, and I'm like, I'm right on that line. It's like, right over the line or right under the line. And I wouldn't be too terribly troubled about it other than I'm not cutting body fat right now, because I drop out of ketosis when I eat any carbs at all. So I'm actually, at least for the last 48 hours, full carnivore.

[00:06:58.930] – Rachel


[00:07:00.090] – Allan

And I can tell you so I had steak for breakfast. I had eggs for lunch. I say breakfast, I ate it like noon, but I had my breakfast at noon. It was steak. I had eggs for lunch, which was about 3:30, and then for dinner at about six, I had another steak. So I'm talking about eating maybe about a pound a steak. So a big 16 ounce steak and then three eggs is what I had for lunch. So kind of a light lunch and then another steak. So I ate about another pound of steak for dinner, and I couldn't eat anymore. I got some leftover steak here. I'm like, well, I don't want to go to waste, so I'll wrap it up and save it for tomorrow. I could not have eaten any more than I ate. And if I added up the calories, I'm pretty sure I was really low on calories. I mean, because a pound of steak, I don't know. But 2 lbs of steak and three eggs, you guys can look it up and kind of figure out how many calories I had that day. That's all I ate. And I stayed satiated full all day long.

[00:08:06.310] – Rachel

I would imagine that sounds fulfilling. Wow.

[00:08:10.200] – Allan

Whereas I could eat a whole loaf of bread without even batting an eye, literally buy a whole load of French bread and just sit there and eat it, and then I'd be hungry ten minutes later, 2 hours later, I'd be starving. So you look at the nutritional density of your food, and that's really kind of where the fundamental difference comes in. Whole food is nutritionally dense, and you get full before that, whereas a lot of other foods that are processed or even somewhat slightly mildly processed, they're just more calorie dense. And that's where the weight gain comes from.

[00:08:48.200] – Rachel

because they're just not satiating, they just don't fill you up.

[00:08:51.340] – Allan

So that's kind of some of the core principles between precision nutrition and there's a huge component of behavioral change. A lot of what they're talking about is how we build habits, how we change behaviors. And so that's kind of the secret sauce to the precision nutrition process. It's not just telling you what to eat or naughty. It's basically saying, beyond that, we have to build these habits. We have to build these things. And they don't just happen. You don't just decide. So there's a big behavioral component of making sure that happens, and within it is like they break it down. It's like sometimes you're dealing with elite athletes that want to really hit a physique target or something like that. So it gets very specific into some of the things that you would deal with, with someone who needs to lose a lot of weight versus someone who's really just trying to cut another 3 lbs without losing any body muscle mass and stuff like that. So there's a lot of that in there, too. It's kind of what I would say outside of my core demo. Most of us are not trying to win physique contests, but that said, it's a really good certification.

[00:10:07.070] – Allan

So anyone that is certified out there, I would look at precision nutrition as a way of understanding the nutrition aspects of personal training and then being able to offer that as a more holistic service.

[00:10:18.890] – Rachel

That sounds awesome. Sounds like a great class.

[00:10:21.990] – Allan

So what's up there?

[00:10:23.620] – Rachel

Good. You know, summertime brings some really fun stuff. Right now, we've got two massive mulberry trees on our property that are dropping mulberries like crazy. It's ridiculous. They're all over the ground. And my dogs love it. They get a free snack every time they go outside, but it also brings in other animals. And I just saw red fox the other day. So the little fox family living somewhere in our wooded subdivision is coming to snack on the mulberries that are on our property, and it's been a real treat.

[00:10:54.940] – Allan

Now, the thing about foxes, we see these cute, cuddly little pictures of foxes, and we see the pictures, and we see the cartoons, and they seem like they're just these lovable little animals.

[00:11:07.950] – Rachel

They're adorable.

[00:11:08.870] – Allan

They're adorable. But some of them are really, like, not adorable. So you could get a good fox or a bad fox, but they're dangerous. They're wild.

[00:11:16.450] – Rachel

They are.

[00:11:17.260] – Allan

And they could go after your dog. They could go after you. So, yeah, you got to mind your Ps and Qs when you walk. Okay?

[00:11:25.960] – Rachel

Yeah, I keep an eye on my dogs, and I do let them out, and I'm always looking first before I let them out just to make sure there's nobody in our yard. With fox, we've had deer run through. We've had groundhogs coming through as well. So we've got a whole fun menagerie of wildlife in our property.

[00:11:46.040] – Allan

But it's like Noah's Ark.

[00:11:47.750] – Rachel

It is. It really is. Yes. But it is always fun. It's fun to see.

[00:11:53.610] – Allan

All right, are you ready to talk to Tony Riddle?

[00:11:56.790] – Rachel



[00:12:22.930] – Allan

Tony. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:12:25.390] – Tony

Thanks, Allan. Great to be here, man. Thanks for the invite.

[00:12:28.770] – Allan

Your book is called Be More Human, which I love. Be More Human: How to Transform Your Lifestyle for Optimum Health, Happiness and Vitality. And I think one of the reasons that your title and this book resonated so much with me is a lot of what I've done to improve my own health and Fitness has included a lot of the things that are in his book, including we moved to a small island, Caribbean island off the coast of Panama. And so while I do live in a town, I'm very close to the jungle, and I'm closer to nature and everything than I've ever been in my whole adult life. I can literally go out and be in places and not see a person walking for over an hour. And it's

[00:13:16.880] – Tony

just kind of a dream.

[00:13:18.020] – Allan

It is special, I know, but a lot of this in the book doesn't require you to travel thousands of miles and move into the jungle to experience a lot of the benefits that I get being here. And so I want to talk a lot about this, what's in the book here, because I think this is a really special way to get healthier, connect with the Earth.

[00:13:47.770] – Allan

You say that you're be more human, but I'm like, be who you're supposed to be. Be the person you want me to be.

[00:13:55.390] – Tony

Yeah, you're human. What the universe uniquely assigned you to be. Get into the understanding of that, what your own human potential is, or purpose, we could even call that. And I think we get so distracted from that in our everyday environment because we're simply not getting our needs met within those environments. And that's largely what the book is about. It's not about demonizing the urban environment or the lifestyles in the city or the city itself. It's trying to dismantle, deconstruct those ways of living that aren't serving us and then reconnect into ways of living that enable us to thrive in any environment. That's the point. To become the connected, empowered being that we entered with. We're all in a tiny, wild, connected, empowered beings. It's what we land with. And over time, unfortunately, we get pulled off the path. But really, for me, it's about every day should still be a get, a need and most fundamental needs that then enable us to thrive and really tune into, well, what's this human's potential here? How do I be more human?

[00:15:08.590] – Allan

And I like the way you put it in the book, because it really puts it in a really good context, is that we create our own human zoo. And then you introduce the term rewilding, which you see a lot of people are going to initially kind of have a cringe moment when they think about going back to the Stone Age, living in caves or maybe tents with stone tools. Can you go a little bit more into what this rewilding getting out of our human zoo is all about and why it's so important?

[00:15:45.730] – Tony

Yeah, when I first started this kind of path, there was this language of zoo human versus wild human. And first of all, it's a bit of an insult to call someone a zoo human. And at the same breath, we can't really connect to being what a wild human is, and even indigenous cultures don't want to be perceived as being wild right there. But again, looking at the indigenous template of what it is to be, there's some incredible kind of moments where I've had these deep insights in nature because it's taken me to unplug myself from the urban environment to really tune in to how sophisticated it all is, right? And, you know, if you look at indigenous cultures, how incredibly wise and understanding those cultures are to that landscape of which they're custodians, really, we could look at the what is it, the study I brought up in, there like, four to 5% of the world's population is indigenous, and yet look after 80% of the world's biodiversity. So then it's like, well, what is it that we're doing then, if that's 4%? And so firstly, there's the biodiversity. There's the question of that. What is it that we're doing within the environment?

[00:16:59.740] – Tony

Is it because we're so separate from it? So I guess that's where I'd go with the wild understanding of it, that we are part of nature, not separate of it. We're interconnected in that sense. And then the zoo human in my mind is the fact that we've become disconnected and unplugged from it and that we see ourselves separate. So there's the ego versus eco conversation. So a lot of the work for me is disconnecting from an ecosystem and reconnecting to an ecosystem, again, not by demonizing the urban environment or the environments of which we choose to live in. It's the habits, perhaps, that are in those environments. So we could be looking at movement, perhaps, what does movement looks like in nature? That would be a wild or organic way of moving versus what does it look like in the human zoo? What does it look like in our everyday urban setting? So we could even put movement down to let's look at one study of the Hadza, for instance, to give us an example of cultures that have been living the same way for tens of thousands of years. The Hadza are just as sedentary as we are.

[00:18:11.500] – Tony

As in they sit for ten and a half hours a day, as in we sit for ten and a half hours a day. But there's something very different. Well, we have a chair, whereas they're sitting practices of floor sitting. Therefore, there are multiple different rest positions we can be choosing on the ground, which ultimately will lead to one primary position, which is a squat. And that squat position enables me to recognize the same body weight on my feet in the base of support of my feet to which I would stand. So squatting is the same weight, same areas of the feet that I load when I'm standing. But it's a rest position. And we see squatting as kind of an exercise protocol or strength conditioning protocol, but ultimately, beneath it, there's a rest position that we can communicate, be around the fire, eat, poop give birth in, right? And if we then look at the chair, perhaps in that conversation, or the sofa, where we may spend ten and a half hours of our day committed to, in a way, it compromises or is the saboteur of the way that we stand. So suddenly we find ourselves locked in the hips or stagnation occurring in the hips.

[00:19:27.850] – Tony

Then the pelvis and the lumber become incredibly unstable because the hip joints aren't mobile enough. So the core element, the core we love talking about, becomes unstable. The mid back becomes compromised, our chest starts to collapse, our head position starts to shoot forward and all those postural changes aren't conducive with standing and we spend a large portion of our day in that position. So that could just be well, that could be a zoo posture versus a wild posture. And in terms of wild, I would say what is it to be this wild, connected, empowered being? Well, it could just be just simply the way we move through a landscape or interact with it. How upright we are, how open we are. Is our posture connected and our joints working how they should be? Are our feet connected how they should be? Are they? Nourishing. The behaviors of the ankle, the knee, the hip stabilizing, the lower back, we could then put sleep in that box because we all love the topic of sleep, right? And there are so many studies in what would be the human zoo or the human laboratory even, because most of the studies are in the laboratory which help us understand what we need.

[00:20:37.540] – Tony

8 hours sleep a day. We must get 8 hours sleep a day. And to the point people are stressed about getting 8 hours sleep a day because they've heard the news that if you don't receive 8 hours sleep, then you have a sleep debt or you'll have a number of symptoms based on the fact you haven't accumulated over 8 hours. And they are diabetes, obesity, inflammation. And yet, when you look at these indigenous cultures, there's a great study in the book again, Professor Siegel from university in California, he looks at three different geographic locations or three independent tribes. So different geographic locations, independent tribes, hadza are in there again and they all have the same time asleep. It's like 5.7 to 7.1 hour, no 8 hours at all. But no one is asleep for 8 hours or 5.7 to 7.1 hour in a solid state. It's this sleep wake cycle. And if you strip it back and think, well, that makes sense, right? Because in nature can be quite hostile. If it's been the same sleep or the same environment they've been inhabiting for tens of thousands of years, then that might have been hostile if they were all asleep for 8 hours.

[00:21:57.870] – Tony

So in that time, would we be here today? Would those cultures be here today in those hostile environments? If they went to the land of nod for 8 hours. So in that sleep wake cycle, what they're doing is they're waking, they're tending to fire because you have to have a fire, they're fixing tools, they are even known to smoke party or whatever it is. But when they break away from the study and they look at the hatza, for instance, and they assess for 220 hours, they study them, 33 members of that one tribe, 220 hours, they only ever sleep for 18 minutes together. They're all doing this all different sleep wake cycles. So where is the obesity, the chronic inflammation, the obesity? It's not there. They're in incredible shape. And if some of the studies, when you look at them, because we have this idea about longevity, that they're only living till their 40s, some of these tribes know they can live beyond 70. That's not the case when we look at it. It's quite an interesting model to unpack just looking at how does it look in nature and how does it look in the environments of which we're inhabiting and then what is it that's different?

[00:23:14.390] – Tony

So what is different in that sleep habitat? It's like lighting, right? There's no turn the light on to create sunrise at sunset. So we know then that through the studies around melatonin and light pollution and blue light spectrum, they've become the saboteur of melatonin which is this incredible hormone that we only really associate with sleep, but it has antioxidant properties, anti inflammatory. It's also the main regulatory system of our digestive system around Glenn, Glenn and Leptin which then regulate whether I've had too much food wherever I need to eat, right? And then insulin, right? So there's this link to pancreas and the insulin. So then we have a inflammation, diabetes and obesity all in a conversation around melatonin and lighting all of a sudden. So is it the 8 hours sleep or is it the environment of which we're choosing to so then my question is how do we rewild that environment? And that's the context of rewilding a zoo or zoo environment as simple as the bedroom. We could look at that one environment if we're looking to spend 8 hours in it. So what can we do? We could change the lighting. You can now bring in circadian lighting which offers the same biological darkness which is like starlight, moonlight and firelight.

[00:24:35.540] – Tony

So it brings in amber tones and anything they suggest between 60 and 600 hundred lux will inhibit a blue spiritual light or will inhibit melatonin. Then what else is different? The temperature. There's also studies that suggest that if the temperature could also be a saboteur of melatonin so it's about getting the temperature down in the evening. So if you think of it again about being in the outdoor environment, if you've ever camped, you know that once the sun goes down, it gets cooler at night. So we know this cooling down of temperature too. And then there's something else which is the materials that perhaps we're breathing in and out in that environment. So in nature, again, it's an organic experience. So we're only ever really inhaling, or let's call it consuming through everything, our ears and nose, our senses, our taste, everything organic. So how do we make that expression more organic? And it's probably one of the points in the book. Everything else is free, really, the points I put in the book. But this is one where you stuff out of that bedroom environment to replace it with more organic material that might be the bedding or things like breathing.

[00:25:43.810] – Tony

We can change breathing mechanics. We now know that for nasal breathing there's a change of relationship between parasympathetic and sympathetic and then the information that we receive, right? So we all have one of these now that's quite bright on my phone. There's some fantastic studies around just fields of vision. So that's quite bright for that alone the light will inhibit melatonin. It's the suppressor of that we recognize that now, the saboteur of that, but also the fact that the visual state is so concentrated and that's associated more sympathetic, which is like fight and flight, whereas an open visual field is more associated with parasympathetic. So you have one condition where we're staring at a blue light which will suppress melatonin. The second one we end up with really hypervisual state, which is sympathetic fight and flight before sleep. The next one is then dopamine because we're typing and swiping, which again isn't conducive with sleep. And studies suggest that up to 400% melatonin from just typing and swiping. And then it can just be the information we were receiving. So is the information up regulating? Am I perhaps the difference between the fire and the indigenous tribes around the fire is perhaps romance, comedy, imparting wisdom, whereas this can be quite toxic and we've even normalized emotional bullying over social media, right?

[00:27:08.240] – Tony

It's okay to drop this comment and that's incredibly abusive to one person that they might receive before sleep. Or it could be a movie you're watching which is incredibly violent. That would be the equivalent of being around the fire with your tribe in this really down regulated state and being invaded or something, right? Or in a moment a predator comes in. So then you switch to what would be fight and flight, right? That would be a reaction to it. But we have that in our possession the whole time. So when you see it like that and you understand, it's much easier to think, okay, I get it now. It's not really about the length of sleep. The length of sleep is almost symptom relief. It's a symptom. What's the cause? It could even be the bedroom of which you're sleeping in could be the cause of the very conditions that are leading you to suppress melatonin are leading to inflammatory disease, diabetes and obesity. Just simple factors like that. And we can address it relief or we can look at the cause and the cause change the environment.

[00:28:17.150] – Tony

Now, one of the things that's fascinating about you is you're an endurance runner and your runs barefooted. And I can tell you the other day it was raining and I had wore because I was planning to meet my wife out and I had wore my leather boat shoes, brand new leather boat shoes and I didn't have an umbrella. And I was like, okay, I can't walk home in these. I'm going to have to walk home barefoot. And so I put them in a plastic bag and I put them in another bag and then I started walking home barefoot. And when stepping in a puddle, when you can't see the bottom is a little kind of scary but sharp rocks. I seem to be able to find every single sharp rock between two points. How does someone get into barefoot running and do it in a way where they're not hurting themselves? Like I said, I think you can condition your foot and obviously it gets stronger. I know that because I spent a lot of time walking around barefoot. But to me, running barefoot is a little scary.

[00:29:17.590] – Tony

Yeah, I mean, there's a mind aspect to it, right, as well as obviously the physiological. But there's also a technique. I think we sometimes neglect the technique, but there's a study in the book from University of Liverpool, which is Chris Dart, and they look to the strength side the physiological changes that can occur by people returning just back to barefoot footwear, like Vivo Barefoot, for instance. In this particular study was Vivo Barefoot and within six months they'd improve 60% foot strength and 40% balance just by returning that. So if we think of that being the foundation of your superstructure so the first phase could be well, you could change to more minimal footwear. That's one step because then you're still getting the shape of the foot because ultimately you want to look at what's the shape of a foot versus the shoes that I'm wearing. So if you were to take a piece of paper, draw around your foot on the paper and you'd find the toe area like the foot, this area is much use. My dirty feet wide and the heel is much more narrow, right? Whereas if you then grab your footwear and you draw around it you might find that the toe box is actually much more narrow.

[00:30:29.550] – Tony

It's aesthetic so it's more aesthetically pleasing. But it's, again, the saboteur to how that foot is designed and to move and nourish the rest of your posture and the way that we move above it. So if the shape of the foot is compromised there's 26 bones, 33 articulation joint actions like 100 muscle, tendon, ligaments, 29 muscles. And then it's made up of tendon ligaments and then there's 200,000 receptors, like receptors like the equivalent of your hands that reside in a foot. I mean, it's. Phenomenal engineering, but that then feeds and nourishes how your joints and behaviors are above it to make you more efficient and minimize the risk of injury. But let's say Alan decides I'm going to take my shoes off, I'm going to walk over a hard surface which has hard stones on it. If I was to ask you to jump up and down barefoot on a really hard surface, what gives, Alan? Is it you or is it the hard surface?

[00:31:32.390] – Allan

I'm going to have to it's not going anywhere.

[00:31:35.450] – Tony

Not going anywhere. Or we'd be hitting hard on hard and one of those surfaces will have to break. Right? So what happens is that if you were to jump up and down on a compliant, really soft surface, we become can, more stiff and more rigid because the surface is doing this. So come 1969, it was normalized all of a sudden to wear more rubber. And then we have more rubber, but we also have a narrow toe box. So we create a narrow shape for the toes to go into. Then we put rubber underneath it with a heel, which raises it and pushes the foot into the footbed even more. So we create a stiff, rigid foot which becomes narrow in the toe box. And the whole point of that super wide foot is not just the loading points, leverage and pivoting. There's specific actions that have to occur in the foot that are based on leverage and balance. And this ability to even grip with the foot, when the foot becomes incredibly stiff and rigid in that shape, when you try and return back to walking over a stony path, you're then going back to that hitting hard on hard and stiff on stiff.

[00:32:42.830] – Tony

And it can feel like.. Until you would have to learn how to break the foot up. So again, going back into one way is to return back to minimalist barefoot footwear. So you can start to allow the foot to open up. There's a minimum layer between you and the earth. It's zero. Drop your feel stuff underneath you, but you won't be getting so much that which creates more tension. The more of that response, the more rigid intent you get, adding to more hard on hard expression. And the other thing I've put some practices in the book is to rewild the feet, which are practice like toga we call it like yoga for your feet. And that's then about opening the feet up and getting more expression into them and ultimately softening them so they can become the compliance over the stiff surfaces. And then eventually what happens, the more and more familiar you normalize it. And what you find is that you become more sensory aware, more sensitive. And I don't mean sensitive in that ah ah ah, I mean sensitive. I really learn that you'll learn how to become, again, soft when you need to be, stiff when you need to be.

[00:33:59.350] – Tony

We have the most sophisticated suspension systems within us. That's the point. And that's why those 26 bones, 33 articulations, 200,000 receptors are there and over 100 muscles, tendons ligaments or 29 muscles and the rest tendons, ligaments that make that 100 up. That's why it's there. But it's there also because it feeds and nourishes all the other mechanics above it. So that's where I'd go with feet. But then you then have well, the chair, so the chair will then the seat is sitting for ten and a half hours, then compromises the posture above it. So it's like a two pronged thing. Running for me is not just barefoot. Running isn't just about feet, it's about getting the appropriate posture and becoming much more upright and aware of that posture. And the whole point there is that our head should be up above, but we lead with the heart. The chest is the lead segment, not the head. The moment the head goes forward from typing, swiping and couching and slouching, I call it, what would happen is when you're running so that if your head is far forward of you, you have to have your foot further out in front of you, otherwise you'd simply fall over.

[00:35:08.880] – Tony

Imagine you're upright like this and we're running along. The moment the head drifts forward, you'd have to put your foot further out, otherwise you'll fall over. So the head would get to a point of tipping point. But if we can become much more upright, you can get to the point where your feet are pretty much landing underneath you and it means there's a lot less contact time. So you just catch the ground beneath you. And the idea is that leading from your heart and keeping your head up, we're literally just falling in this direction and you just keep pulling your feet softly from underneath you. And pulling is a great term, I understand that from a genius called Nicholas Romanoff who developed the Pose Method. And this idea that we think we have to push when we run and ultimately if you just keep doing this, you just pull your feet from the ground. And the idea is by pulling, you're not driving your feet down or pushing, you're trying to pick them up. And I would pick them up with sensitivity again like this, softening and you don't need to worry about putting them down, it will just happen naturally, just pick up.

[00:36:08.100] – Tony

So if you keep your head up, your chest up bead with the heart, nasal breathing also helps because again, the study suggests that there is through nitric oxide that we inhale through the nose it's stimulated will benefit vasodilation and bronchial dilation if we'll become more efficient with our lungs of breathing and we can lower our heart rate and our blood pressure just by nasal breathing. There's also 42% less vapor loss by nasal breathing, which is mind blowing, especially for me, for an endurance athlete. But it keeps us in that calm state. Again, so I think with breathing we can be relaxed with the right posture, we can deal with the forces appropriately. We're not creating longer levers or loading areas of the feet. We're not designed to load. And just by either wearing minimal footwear or allowing the feet to understand what's beneath them, again, it helps feed our movement brain to make the right calculations on what muscles, tendons and actions should be applied for that one locomotive pattern. And I say that one because walking is the same. It's like walking with an upright posture down regulated through breaths, less striding, actually trying to keep your feet underneath you, but thinking about rolling through the feet and becoming visually aware of the environment as well.

[00:37:27.860] – Tony

Because we bring the head down, the head starts to chase and we create longer levers. Otherwise again, we'd be falling over. And the less contact time, the more efficient. Again, because it requires less muscle action, you're on the ground for less time, basically posture, relaxation and the timings and the rhythms of that.

[00:37:53.340] – Allan

And the key takeaways I get from this, again, being over 40 actually over 50 now is balance, because falls become a big deal, particularly as we get over 60. So anything you can do to improve your balance, which this will do, is good. And as you mentioned, being more efficient means you're going to be capable of going faster and doing more work. So when you're out training, you're going to get more done and you're going to see better improvements because your efficiency and your capacity to do more, because your heart rate isn't racing as high, because you're not in that fight or flight state. So there's lots unpacked there that makes this really interesting. Now the other thing, and people won't know this, listening to a podcast, but you're sitting on the floor. And so sitting on the floor, it's one of the things if you hand a kid a book or a toy, immediately they're going to run over and they're going to sit on the floor. And then somewhere along their lives, probably around great school age, we start beating that out of them and then eventually they're going to be on couches and chairs just like the rest of us.

[00:38:56.440] – Allan

I found that sitting on the floor, when you're with a kid, it changes the whole relationship with that child. And I build relationships with my granddaughter. Initially she was terrified of me and I built a relationship by walking over and sitting on the floor and starting a Sponge Bob cartoon on my computer. And she came over and sat next to me and we watched SpongeBob for about an hour. And my ability to be able to sit on the floor for that amount of time, I shifted, I moved. You can't really just sit. You got different postures you have to do because your body is just naturally going to tell you to do that, which is actually part of the value. In there, you had actually like, I think, six different ways of sitting that you want to shift between. And I think actually, in my opinion, a lot of those just naturally happen. But can you talk about sitting and having a floor sitting and having a floor sitting practice?

[00:39:52.130] – Tony

Yeah, we've been a ground living floor sitting family for, I think, since lower. And really they're our eldest, so they're 13 and twelve to about 10 13 and ten. It's about around about nine years, I guess now eight or nine years. I used to have a Pilates studio and big practice, like six practitioners and people would rock up at the studio, they take their compromising, narrow toe box compliance shoes off, put them in the rack, and they would have no doubt been driving to the plate. Studio sitting would then come in and jump on the Reformers and the Cadillacs and try and dismantle all the harm that was being caused, the symptom relief from the environment, the cause, which was the footwear in the chair, because they've been sitting for ten odd hours. So I had this kind of eureka moments would pop off. It's like, wow, okay, this is like so what does that look like? Again, it came really through the barefoot running and understanding that, well, there's a natural running posture. Where do we see that? With indigenous cultures against natural running posture. It can be seen there. And again, these incredible tribes, running tribes are running the same.

[00:41:06.460] – Tony

They all look the same when they're running and have the same posture. What's different? Again, there's no footwear and there's no chair involved. That's how they've managed to maintain the same posture. What are the sitting postures look like? But it works out. You can strip it back. And you may see this as you've alluded to with kids. You see them sitting on the ground, you'll see them transition from one shape to another. And those rest positions that are in the book, there are six different series, a series of each. So there's a squatting series, a side sitting series, a long sitting series, and so on a kneeling series, each one of those rest positions is like a prerequisite or will complement the way we stand. Because that's ultimately what we used as a baby to toddler, to young adults to stand up. Right. And then what happened is at some stage a chair was pushed underneath us and then we start to sit in a chair for longer periods of time in a classroom environment with a hierarchical system, with a teacher at the front. And we're told to sit still and be quiet. And we may have had an hour then to go out and play.

[00:42:12.410] – Tony

And then that hour became lunch break and then play became PE physical education, which then involves stretching and doing all the stuff. But before the chair kid, you don't see any children, any toddlers stretching. They're just incredibly fluid and this ability to move on the ground. And what we've noticed through ground sitting and being a floor sitting families is our kids. That's how they've remained. We unschooled as well. There's no school in that conversation. So the only time we're sitting, it's unavoidable. It could be in a car or a plane or train or occasional cinema, but other than that, it's ground sitting. And their postures are incredible, right? Their framework is incredible. Their athleticism has remained incredible. They haven't had to relearn how to once they stand up from a chair. So again, I think it's understanding that there's beneath our upright, wild, empowered posture, there are these sitting postures and those sitting postures help nourish, that upright posture.

[00:43:17.710] – Allan

I love that concept of a sitting family and the reasons I think back to how much money I have spent on couches and chairs over the course of my life.

[00:43:32.870] – Tony

We use bolsters and stuff like that because you still want to create like a dining expense. Our dining room table is a low table and we have ground sitting, like little bowls, like yoga cushions and stuff like that on the ground. People come, they still have some experience as a dining experience that's not going to work for everyone. So my advice is always that look at the everyday environment. Can I spend less time on the couch? Can I set a timer and maybe kneel or squat? And you do get signals, and for some at the beginning it will be uncomfortable, but it's playing with the edges of that discomfort. Until some of those postures become a little more comfortable, they won't become so comfortable that you'll spend ten and a half hours like you could in a chair. Because nature's way is you'll get signals to tell you to move. And the beauty of that is there's a chemical metabolic cost for movement taking your everyday work. If you work from home, put your laptop down like, I'm on this call, I'm on the ground, I've been side sitting and I've been sitting crosslegged, I've been kneeling and I've been squatting already, all on a call.

[00:44:39.840] – Tony

And we're like 40 minutes in. I just have, whilst having a conversation, 40 minutes of mobility and strength work that ultimately is going to help me remain mobile in my hips and strong in my core, keep my head and chest upright, which then has an overlap in the way that I stand, I walk and I run as a 47 year old endurance athlete. Is that important? 100%. And we're all endurance athletes. That's the point. Underneath it, we are. Right? That's where we're at. And unfortunately, some of the habits within habitats aren't enabling that. And if you want to become more efficient, minimize the risk of injury, then get on the ground and just get back into understanding how those behaviors are on the ground and how that will then feed into how your posture will thrive. And there's a guy yehudi in my book, I mentioned to him, he's like 82 now. And he first came wanting to learn how to walk. And he had this stooped posture from working and collapsed in the chest and stiff in the hips and stiffing the ankles, and over time went through toga rewilding feet, rewilding footwear, vivo, barefoot, got him on the ground, ground sitting.

[00:46:00.170] – Tony

And then later on in time, the reason it turned out he wanted to learn how to walk because he wanted to climb Everest to base camp, everest base camp with his wife for his 50th anniversary. But his commute now looks like this. He walks to the tube in barefoot footwear. The tube is our underground train. He then gets on the underground and mostly people will go, do you want to seat? Because he's like 80. But no, I'm okay. And so here he hang off the bars above, so it hang on to the rails above while the train is moving. So he gets grip strength in, he opens his chest up, enables his whole respiratory system by enabling that upper posture through hanging. And then when the train stops or even squats whilst people get on, when the train goes again, the doors closed, he surf. So he's now balancing whilst not holding on to anything and surfing the train. And that just again, it proves that it's never too late, even Allan, because sometimes we look at this, we are past that. I'm never going to be able to sit back on the ground again.

[00:47:03.560] – Tony

Here we are, a dude in his 80s. That's what he's doing. And that's his practice. And he also works from home and he has a standing desk. And he also has a sitting desk. But he also has a lot of his practice on the ground that will help dismantle and deconstruct some of the poor qualities that come from sitting in a chair. But also enhance the way that he stands at his standing desk and will improve the posture of which he chooses to stand. Because standing tap desks get a lot of praise. But if I'm not posturally aware and I still have inefficiencies in movement within the ankle and the hip and I'm not flexible or upright in the mid back, which comes through sitting in a chair, then that's just as detrimental to stand with poor posture as it is sitting with it.

[00:47:50.510] – Allan

Now, one of the other areas of movement that I want to get into because I think this is another area where we kind of move from child to adult and we start casting away the things that we did. That was that quote. When I was a child, I played as a child and play as adults. Okay, I play tennis or maybe play basketball. But as you got in the book, I started thinking because you said this, it's like those sports that we play, they're usually unilateral or they're front and back or there's some aspect to them, where it's repetitive movement that we're doing. And while it's movement, which is great, I'm never going to poopoo movement at all. It's not really building us to be a better human. Can you talk about how we should play, how play would be if we got out of our zoo?

[00:48:46.090] – Tony

Yes, very specialized, the way that we observe those sports. Right. They're very specialist. And underneath it all, we're all generalist movers. So again, in the book I've put a study by Peter Gray. He wrote a fantastic book, Free to Learn, and we're an unschooling family. So it's around homeschooling and unschooling. But within it, again, three independent tribes, three different geographic locations. And he asked ten leading anthropologists, what does childhood look like in nature? And firstly, their responses. They're the most well adjusted, well rounded individuals they've ever met, which we refer our colonial minds like savages or whatever, comes to the most well rounded, well adjusted. And that's not from a lens of cultural appropriation. It's cultural appreciation. It's like, wow, okay, what's different? And children are playing from infancy through to their teenage years and they are left to play without adult intervention, without the adult supervision. So it's from infancy through to teenage years, all different ages, playing and mixing together. And they play at being everything. So they've played being the plants, the rocks, the animals. They've played at being the adults. Foraging, hunting, tracking, fire, building shelter, building. It's all in there.

[00:50:10.340] – Tony

So that the idea is that they walk into adulthood and still what would be a playful state of mind? And in adulthood we could then question, well, are those tribes that we're talking about operating with a playful state of mind? And when asking Bruce Perry, who I interview, and he's again mentioned in the book and from what said is that this Pen and tribe that he spent some time with in the Benjelli tribes is that these tribes are moving through a landscape in this meditative state, in a real parasympathetic state. What we call like flow state, they're in it. And flow state I refer to is just being placed. It's just an extension of that. And then the ability to move your physicality in that environment. Because if you're playing at being everything, you are, everything, you'll be the animals within that environment. We have this amazing ability to impersonate any animal, yet we have difficulty even moving with our own locomotive patterns. And there is this understanding how does it compare through childhood to what it would look like in nature? And so again, we enter a school system where we're very playful and we have play as the background within that, where we're moving around on a playground, a playground.

[00:51:33.300] – Tony

And we're expressing, but it's still supervised by adults. And there's now fear involved with that, that children might fall off something or hurt something. So we then start to worry about perhaps being sued. So then we change even how high kids can climb and practice climbing or jumping or balancing. And these are the fundamentals, like balance, climbing, jumping, lifting, throwing, defending, running, swimming, right? They are generalist movements. And even the imagine the amazing skills of foraging where you're down on the ground and Lowgate walking and grabbing things or have to crawl under something or over something or balance up in something or climb something. That's a generalist mover. And kids have that. If you actually let your kids just thrive in an environment, you'll be amazed at their capacity to move. But yet we go into a classroom environment where that's stripped back and we're told to sit. We then get into a PE physical education that's very specialist. And the specialist lens means that it doesn't often suit every child. We also have the age, massive age differences. So the eldest in the year versus the youngest in the year, who's going to be picked, who's going to be strongest and who's going to come away feeling inadequate.

[00:52:55.050] – Tony

The youngest kids, the bigger kids, are much stronger. They're taller. They're picked by whoever's in charge of that class. Then we have things like footwear. Again, like the basketball studies, like basketball footwear. Think of the forces that are involved in basketball. It's very playful, basketball. It's a really great practice. It would become even greater if we looked at foot function because those basketball boots we're talking about getting incredibly narrow in the toe box. The performance and behavior of the feet is compromised. That means the knee has to be the lower back. So if we then brought in that Professor Chris Dort study and said, well, what if we didn't put compromising footwear on those children to begin with and they maintained 60% of that foot strength and their balance, what potential would be there? Or we could say, what potential has been lost by wearing compromising footwear over time and then putting specialist sports through these young bodies that are, again, as you suggest, right, it's in the book. It's this understanding that they're very linear, those practices, like pushing, pulling one plane. Whereas actually, when you look at play, it's multi direction. And there's something else phenomenal that I observe through it and observing my kids.

[00:54:20.070] – Tony

It's through that tribal experience of the kids are being everything. It means that you can step outside your experience. So even if you get stuck, we get stuck, right? People get stuck in depression or could be mental health, for instance. But if you don't lose your playful state of mind, you can imagine yourself in a different position. You can play out being something else. So whereas in nature it might be I don't know, whatever we're playing out in a natural experience versus what we might be playing out in the human zoo might be Harry Potter, Dobby or all these characters. At least there's an opportunity to imagine yourself outside of that. So there's other things that empathy, compassion, that can be delivered through that. I had a big workshop it was with a yoga community and it's called Yoga Connects and I was asked to take a class at the festival and there's a large number of yogis came in and I said firstly we're going to just roll your maps up. Put them away. Take your footwear off and we will just come into the space and we walk around the space and meander around the space.

[00:55:29.550] – Tony

I said, Well, I'm not going to teach you yoga, I'm not a yogi, but I'm going to teach you something about connection and it's going to come through play. And all of a sudden I had these yogis in the room brushing shoulders and then bouncing off one another. Next body part, next body part. Then mirroring one other's movements, then dancing head to head, looking into one another's eyes and then mimicking each other as if they're working in a mirror. And suddenly what can become even in yoga, which is the same planes on one map, performing the same movements over and over religiously, suddenly the expression changed. This amazing vocabulary of movement started to unravel in a very short window of time. Because it's like Play hydration we call it, you can suddenly start to reconnect to something we've become quite divorced from.

[00:56:15.710] – Allan

Tony, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:56:26.570] – Tony

So that trifecta for me is breath work. Looking at different modalities of breath that helped me change my state, my state of mind, my being, my very being. And that might be from nasal breathing to tempos of breath. Simple practice on the hour, every hour could be simply 4 seconds up through the nose, 6 seconds out. I call it a rebooting breath so that the day doesn't get away or the experience doesn't get away with me. I can stay in check and I can keep bringing it back to the breath. It's incredible powerful. It drops us into a more restful state and just enables us to stay more present and be present in the moment. The other one of course, is nature immersion. The study suggests just 20 minutes in a natural setting. It could even be the park really. But the more natural or more biodiverse, the better the emotional state would be. I would suggest just 20 minutes is enough to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and the more diverse, like forest, you start to get things like phytincides, which are the compounds that plants like terpenes are almost like aromatherapy that's given off by plants and they're antifungal and antibacterial.

[00:57:41.580] – Tony

And when we inhale that, our body starts to produce natural killer cells which help them fight things like viruses and even tumors, right? So we have lower in heart rate, blood pressure and amazing kind of ability to improve our immune system just by being in nature. So that's breath work. I would say nature immersion and then movement. Just finding those opportunities become more of an opportunist. Go back into that playful state of mind of how you might move, get out of the chair, get onto the ground, start moving around. Think of that as a mobility practice. If you work from home, you have an amazing opportunity to move more within that environment. Just we're so conditioned to think we have to sit and do the work. And that might also mean on the commute, can I run down the stairs instead of getting the lift? Or the escalator? Can I balance on curbstones or something? Just think of that. And along with nature immersion, we could say that nature immersion also involves cold immersion, like cold water therapy and getting into cold water. And that also has an ability to completely change our section altered State of Mind.

[00:58:45.360] – Tony

In two minutes, you're done. And you can literally maybe not be like the person getting in the water, but you'll be in love with the person getting out. It can really change things in a very short window of time. So they are my three, really. I call it Tony's trifecta.

[00:59:00.650] – Allan

Tony's trifecta. Love that.

[00:59:07.170] – Allan

All right, well, Tony, if someone wanted to get in touch with you or learn more about the book, Be More Human, where would you like for them to go?

[00:59:17.910] – Tony

You can hit my website, which is www.tonyriddle.com. I'm also known on Instagram as @thenaturallifestylist, and there's lots on there. So in the link bio there, you'll be able to find links to my book, up and coming workshops, upcoming retreats and experiences. I have a big retreat going in, in end of August, which is a rewilding retreat. So it's on an incredible estate. It's an opportunity to not just rewild movement, but also be involved in the landscape there and have that experience so that Tony Trifecta is in full there. It's a great place for that. And also have a look out for the 100 Human Experience, which is a weekend events that I hold with 100 people. We have 100 people come and there's breath work, movement, cold immersion, ice baths, ecstatic dance, cacao ceremony. It's like a really just an incredible experience. So all of that can be found, really, either on the website or on my Instagram account. They're good places to head, really. There's a number of tutorials there. And if you're interested in the barefoot stuff, there's a documentary. We just wrote one best documentary for the British Independent Film Festival.

[01:00:34.150] – Tony

It's called One Man 2 Feet Three Peaks. And that's up on YouTube. There's some great stuff there. That's a record that I broke running the three biggest peaks, highest peaks in the UK. And normally the idea is you drive between them. I decided to run the whole distance and I covered the mountains barefoot as well. So it was breaking a men's running record, but also breaking it being barefoot, which is quite something.

[01:01:01.710] – Allan

It is. Thank you, Tony. I'll make sure to have those links on the show notes for this episode. Tony, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Post Show/Recap

[01:01:17.350] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[01:01:19.090] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a really interesting interview, and I really like the term rewilding. Yes. I'm not so sure. I'm a big fan of his wild human or zoo human.

[01:01:34.130] – Allan

I like that. I actually think that is well, because we don't want our kids to get dirty. They stick their hands in the dirt and we want to wipe it off. We don't want to get dirty. A lot of us don't. We want clean. We want sanitary. We're concerned about all this stuff. Hand sanitizer, avoiding everything concrete, this, rubber that, gloves, masks, all of it. We do so much to separate ourselves from our environment. Sunglasses. Something as simple as sunglasses is separating you from the sun. And so, yeah, I get it. If you're walking on Pensacola Beach, it's so bright white with the sun.

[01:02:32.430] – Allan

You can be blind for 20 minutes until your eyes adjust. I get it. But we do so much to separate ourselves from our environment, and that's frankly unnatural.

[01:02:45.330] – Rachel

Well, that's why I like the term we re wilding so that we do take an extra step into nature, which I love. I'm always outside running on the trails and checking out what is all out there. But the other part of the conversation was, you've said this in the past, too. We look at our ancestors, hunter gatherers. They were active. They weren't lounging on sofas and lazy boys like we are today. But also, you brought in the child aspect of it, looking at what our children are doing. They're just running around playing without even thinking about whether their watch just saying they're productive or not. They're just out there enjoying what they're doing.

[01:03:25.790] – Allan

Right. And the whole time we were on the conversation, tony was basically sitting on the floor. He had a lower desk, and so I could tell he was sitting on the floor. He was kneeling. He would move his leg. He would shift side to side as he was talking. You can't tell that's happening when you're listening to it. But the whole time he was sitting on the floor. And as a result of our interview, which I think ran almost an hour, he was moving, and that's positive movement. But all that said, we don't get down enough. We don't get up, and we don't get down. We're in chairs, we're in couches. We spend our office hours in a desk. We might be lucky enough to have an adjustable desk or something like that where we can at least stand part of the day. And that's better is good. It doesn't have to be perfect.

[01:04:24.510] – Rachel

Yeah, but it was interesting. I didn't even think about having a sitting on the floor type desk, like you just said, he was doing in his interview. We don't get down on the floor very often unless we drop something and have to kneel down to find it.

[01:04:46.270] – Allan

You have the people that joke about, well, I don't get on the floor anymore unless I have a plan on how to get up.

[01:04:52.810] – Rachel

Right? Yeah, it's so true.

[01:04:55.230] – Allan

And we can joke about it, but the reality is that's functional movement and let's say you wanted to go camping. Well, what are you doing? You're squatting, you're getting down. You're starting a fire, because you can't start a fire standing up. You're getting in and out of your tent, which, unless you are kind of really doing something special, you don't walk into your tent. You get on your hands and knees and you crawl. You're not sleeping on a pillow top bed. You now have, at best, a blow up, but a lot of times not the best you could do is make sure you don't have a rock or a root under your lower back to the right spot to lay. And then you have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You're crawling back out of the tent and walking around. And so it's just these things that we say, okay, I would love to be able to do this, I'd love to be able to do that. I want to be able to carry my own kayak. I want to be able to go camping and enjoy myself. There's movement patterns that you're going to be doing that you should make a part of your regular life.

[01:05:59.780] – Allan

So when you're camping, this is not an unusual thing. This is a part of your lifestyle. It's the way you intended to live when you go camping, when you do these other things. Yeah, if you're on the floor and you're sitting for an extended period of time doing something, it could even be watching a television show, you're sitting there and your watch is not going to tell you, oh, you move this many squirms in that many ways, and your watch isn't going to do that. There's no metric for it other than you notice that it just gets more natural. It feels better. There's not these grunts and groans or pains or aches. You're building mobility from the very fact that you're on the floor and your body is forcing you to squirm around because you can't just sit. You're going to want to move your leg to the side. You're going to want to shift the other leg. You're going to move from one butt cheek to the other butt cheek. And then maybe you want to go ahead and get up into a kneeling position. And while you're in the kneeling position, instead of both knees on the ground, you want one knee on the ground.

[01:07:07.920] – Allan

And then you're just moving around through these ranges of motion. And that's one of the things he has in the book, is he literally has those laid out of. Okay, this is a set. This is a set. This is a set. And so you can say, I'm going to spend some time in a kneeling position, I'm going to spend some time in a sitting position. I'm going to spend some time in a squatting position. Because if you get your mobility right, the squat, as he mentioned, is a rest position. I know that sounds really weird, but without having your butt sitting on something other than maybe your heels, that should be a resting position. But we've kind of beat that out of ourselves with decades of sitting. We're not able to do that. You can look at videos and see if you've ever been to particularly Asia, but mostly across Asia and somewhat in Africa. I've seen this where literally, yeah, they squat down almost, butt to grass. And that's a resting position. They're just sitting there now. They're also most of the time when I see them doing that, they're smoking.

[01:08:14.490] – Rachel

Oh, gosh.

[01:08:15.720] – Allan

But which we'll talk about in a few weeks with Dr. Romero. But that's the whole point though. That's their resting position. So instead of just standing around or sitting in a chair, they just plop down and they're in a very comfortable rest position because the joints are now all the pressures off the muscles and the joints. You're just in a natural lay there, sit there position.

[01:08:38.250] – Rachel


[01:08:38.700] – Allan

Yeah. There's a lot of little things we can do, and this book has some really good guidelines of how you can get started rewilding yourself. But to me, it's really just about finding function. It's about getting back to what, you know should be your natural approach.

[01:08:56.310] – Rachel

That sounds great. Interesting conversation.

[01:09:00.270] – Allan

I was pleasantly surprised with the book and with Tony because knowing some of his friends, I was expecting a totally different book from the be more human aspect of that. But no, it was a great book. And if you're concerned about mobility, flexibility, strength, all those functional fitness things we talk about right now, this is one of the best books you can buy to become more functionally fit.

[01:09:26.280] – Rachel

That sounds great.

[01:09:27.610] – Allan

Alright, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:09:30.170] – Rachel

Great, thanks. Take care.

[01:09:31.930] – Allan

Okay, you too. Bye.

[01:09:33.410] – Rachel



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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


July 12, 2022

Are your words sabotaging your health and fitness efforts?

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Many people lose sight of the power words have in our lives, especially the words we choose to use about ourselves. On episode 546 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss the types of words that may be sabotaging your health and fitness efforts.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:21.590] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you doing?

[00:03:23.580] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:25.420] – Coach Allan

I'm doing all right.

[00:03:26.680] – Rachel


[00:03:27.180] – Coach Allan

Tammy's back from her trip to the United States she brought our granddaughter with us. So she's here experience. She's been here before, but she's going to be here for practically, I guess a whole month with us over the summer, her summer break. And we'll spend some time with her. When I talk about being fit for task, it's like, okay, now it's got to be the active grandfather that can keep up with the 6th grader. So we'll see what she's up to. But to make sure she's having some fun, we got to get out and be active with her and get some things done. So that'll be fun.

[00:04:03.030] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[00:04:04.900] – Coach Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:06.390] – Rachel

Great. Mike and I just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.

[00:04:11.290] – Coach Allan


[00:04:12.500] – Rachel

Thank you. And we did that doing things we love. We went camping over the weekend and we had a five K run where we were camping. So we had a really fun weekend.

[00:04:22.670] – Coach Allan

I am so proud of Mike for championing through this with what's going on in his life and the treatments and all that because a lot of people, they would use that as an excuse. And so I just tell Mike I said I'm just really proud that he's still out there doing things he loves and he's not letting this break him. I really have something special.

[00:04:46.560] – Rachel

Thank you. Just a quick reminder. Mike has kidney cancer and his chemo is kind of taking a toll on him. We were both signed up for the half marathon, so we technically downgraded to just the five K, but that's what we were doing. And we love being out there, we love being active and he is doing so good for the circumstances. So thank you. I will let him know.

[00:05:09.070] – Coach Allan

Okay. Well, he's a good example for what we're talking about here today. Mindset. So are you ready to have that conversation?

[00:05:15.960] – Rachel

Absolutely. Thanks.


Are your words sabotaging your health and fitness efforts?

I want to start today's conversation with a little story. This story happens to be about me. I was in my late thirty s and I was sitting on a beach in Puerto Vallarta. And the day before I had tried to play volleyball in the sand and failed miserably. I was so tired and so beat up from just one game that I had to sub out. And that was just not my story. It was not who I really thought I was. And at that point the thought came across to me that I was a fat bastard. Excuse the language, but it really was that I was doing great in my career, but I was hating life, I was hating myself. I was unfit, I was overweight, I was in a toxic relationship and I just really had no joy in my life. And I was losing my family. It was one of the low points of my life. And so I made this decision that I was going to change. And I even started a blog called fatbastard. And if you actually go search and you look up fatbaster.org, it'll actually take you to my current website for this podcast.

Cool. Interesting little fact. Yeah, it's a redirect, but I was sitting on the beach, and I kind of made the decision to do some things. And like most of us, I started on fire. And then I fizzled out. And maybe you can relate to that many times that maybe you've worked really hard and then ran out of energy, ran out of motivation, ran out of everything and eventually went right back to where you started. And what I want to try to go over is why that happens. And it all reflects around mindset and the words that we use and the way that we talk to ourselves, the thoughts that we have. All of these things are important. The mindset is really the driver of all of this. And by the end of this episode, I'm going to give you some tools to help you make sure that you don't fizzle out again. Because I know how that feels. I went through nearly a decade of starting and stopping, starting and stopping, getting further and further down that hole where I thought I was a fat bastard. It only got worse until I was able to turn it around.

And I want to help you turn it around, too. So the first kind of words that I want to talk about here are called absolutes. Okay? That includes words like never, always, can't, I'll never lose the weight. I'll never be able to do this thing. It always happens to me. Something always happens. The gym closes. Something like that always happens. And then examples of the can't is I can't do a squat. I can't use my legs properly to exercise, so I can't lose the weight. I can't exercise. I can't use my upper body. Now, some of these are injuries, and sometimes there's things we got to work through. But what I can tell you is absolutes are almost never true. They just aren't. Almost nothing in the world is absolute if you have the willpower and the staying power to do that. So the solution, what are the solutions that I came up with for absolutely. Well, the first one is whenever you catch yourself using or thinking the word never, always, or can't question it, question it big time. Like I said, those words are almost never true. So you do need to question yourself if you catch yourself using or thinking those words.

And then the next stage of this would be to introduce the term yet I will. So I have never been successful at surfing, yet I will be if I choose to surf. And so you can do that for just about any time you find yourself using one of these absolutes, put it in your head that there is a way, and you have to work your way to make it happen. So it hasn't happened yet, but it will. Okay, the next type of words that I want to talk about are called controlling words. And these are the words we use when we're trying to do something and we get into a situation where we're faced with an obstacle. So you're in the restaurant or you're out, and the guys say, Hey, let's go have a beer. And you're like, I can't, or I'm not allowed to. You've set these absolute rules for yourselves and for yourself, and then now you feel like you're being held back. You feel like it's unfair your friend can go have a beer and he's not worried about it. But if you go try to have a beer, you know you're going to break your code, you're going to break your diet, and then you'll be starting all over.

It's kind of the mindset of it. So you set these absolute controlling words, and for a lot of us, we rebel against those types of things. If I can't have something, I'm going to think about it all the time. So if I can't have the cake, I'm going to want the cake even more. So the solution for controlling words is to own it. Okay? You're in your health and fitness journey, and you have a mission, you have a goal, you have a target, you have a vision, a place you're going. And if these things that are there aren't going to get you there. Now, you made the choice. You made the choice to not drink the beer. You made the choice to not eat the cake. So instead of saying, I can't have cake or I'm not allowed to have cake on my diet, the simple word change is I choose not to, or you can say, It doesn't serve me. So no, in that way, you've now taken control of those controlling words. You're not letting the rules dictate your life. You put emphasis and intent behind your words. I choose not to. I choose not to have the cake.

I choose not to have the beer. And that can be a really empowering opportunity, and it's a very good indication that you own what you're trying to do, and you're much more likely to complete it. So if I said, hey, do you want to kiss that girl when you're married to somebody else? You wouldn't say, I can't, or I'm not allowed to. You would say, no, that's not me. That doesn't serve me. I'm in a relationship. I'm in this thing. So no, I don't want to do that. I choose not to do that. So there's a big difference there on how you use those controlling words and how either you're in control or the rule is the control. The next type of words I want to talk about are called enemy words. And these are where you use words like failed or you call yourself a failure. Words like stupid or idiot or you call yourself weak or you say something like I just really have bad willpower, I have weak willpower. You make those statements that are basically deriving yourself. And the solution to that? Well the funny solution to it is there's an episode of Bob Newhart, there was a show in the it's called Stop It and basically a woman comes in and has some phobias and fears and activities that she does and his answer is just stop it.

It's just hilarious. I don't know that it would be as funny for someone today because it seems a little insensitive to someone but if you're interested you can find that on YouTube. You can go to fortyplusfitnesspodcast. Comstop and that'll take you to a link to that YouTube video. It's about six minutes long and it's hilarious. It's one of my favorite clips from Bob Newhart and I think it's a favorite for a lot of people because it gets a lot of plays. So that is one solution. Obviously if you catch yourself using these words to talk about yourself just stop it. But there are other ways. One is I talked about the Slip to Success process last week. This is a way to do that. You forgive yourself, you recognize we're human. If we made a mistake we didn't fail. We got to learn from this and make it better. And so you can get that Slip to Success model is a little PDF guide that I did. You can go to 40 plusfitnesspodcast.com slip and that'll take you to that guide and it's a really interesting way to sit down and reframe the things that we do that are off plan.

But really the crux of all of this and particularly with the enemy words is you would never use these words to your best friend. If your best friend made a mistake you wouldn't be yelling at them idiot, you failed. You would never say that to them. You would never say that to another human being. Yet here we are saying it to ourselves or thinking it to ourselves. Now I'll admit that this is probably the one that gets me the most. I will do something silly and use something with forgetting or losing something and just be really upset that I misplaced something and I fall back into this little trap and I catch myself saying you idiot. And when it happens, it happens but I have to recover from it and then I have to remind myself I am my best friend, I have self love and that means I don't use those words communicating to myself. And so then that goes through the whole slip to Success process of forgiving myself, learning from my issue and planning for something different the next time and then putting into action. And the final bit of words that I want to talk about that can often fail us or make us mess up are these weak words.

We use these weak words to basically mark our mission, but I'll explain why they're weak words in a minute. They're words like resolution. In the new year, we make that resolution, we're going to lose that £30 this year, starting on January 1. We talk about motivation. Right now, we're motivated. We feel really good. Like I said, we start out on fire, and we fizzle out. We start talking about willpower. I got to work on my willpower. I only have so many decisions in me before decision fatigue causes me a problem. And then what happens is we fail. And when we do, we go back on the tried and true. Well, 90 some odd percent of people don't complete 30 years resolutions. So we're just normal. We can say, yeah, sometimes I lack the motivation to keep going. And we can just accept that people will understand that it's really hard to get motivated to stay on this keto diet, because it's really hard. So, yeah, I had a little bit of sugar, but I didn't really intend to have, and I fell out of ketosis. And then willpower everybody understands willpower is finite. And so our willpower doesn't hold up.

We just accept that. We accept these words. They're very weak words for doing what we want to do. So we counter strong, weak words with strong words. And the first strong word that I want to put out there is accountability. A lot of us will go into this journey not accountable to anybody. And so when I finally did decide I wanted to turn myself around, my accountability was to my daughter. I told her I wanted to do a tough mudder with her, and I didn't want to let her down. So that was a big driving factor to showing up, a big driving factor to changing my food, a big driving factor to everything that I was doing at that point in my life to get myself turned around. I had accountability. And then the other one, probably the strongest of words that I know is called commitment, okay? And when you are committed to something, change happens. Now, I want to finish that story of me, the fat bastard, and how I tried and I failed and I tried and I failed in almost eight years of stop and go and backtrack, stop, go backtrack, and just over and over, and I couldn't get it worked out.

So one morning I woke up. I was in a Malaysian hotel. I'm traveling a lot for work, and I was hungover. And I'm laying there, and I'm thinking, why am I right back here again? Why am I right back to being the fat bastard? And it occurred to me that every other thing that I did in my life that I'm really, really proud of everything that was really hard that I did, I was committed. I was committed to doing well in college. I was committed to doing well on the CPA exam. I was committed to my career when I did things, I didn't do anything halfway, particularly as it related to my career. And so I said, Well, I'm always committed to those things and I get them done. I don't fail and I very seldom even backtrack. So why was this different? And it wasn't. So it was no different for me to look at my life and say, if I want something bad enough, I will get it. And I hadn't committed yet. So that was the beginning of committing. And with the commitment I put in the effort, I made the changes.

And I can tell you, if you are committed and you have some accountability, all the weak words don't matter anymore. You're less likely to use the enemy words. The controlling words go away and the absolutes go away because you're committed to a task. You haven't done something, but you will. It's not that you can't do something, you choose not to. And the enemy words don't happen as often, particularly as you're going through that because you're being more successful, you're sticking with it. And then you don't have to worry about the weak words. You left those behind and you suck yourself to a strong word. And that's going to help drive you through this process of change. Change is hard and it requires commitment and it often requires accountability. So in summary, and the core thing I want you to take away from this episode is that words reflect your mindset, but they can also drive it. So it's really important for you to do the mindset stuff, get yourself settled in your head, because where your head goes, everything goes. So if you have a bad mindset, you're not going to complete the task, you're not going to make it where you want to be.

You've got to deal with mindset. And that's going to come from sometimes reversing it and making sure that the words you're using are the right words. And then they will drive your mindset, and then your mindset is reflected in your words. So you'll see this return on investment. You'll get better and easier at how you do things and things will just become a part of your lifestyle. And then there's no more can't, there's no more lacking motivation. They all just become natural to you. So the words that you want to avoid and deal with absolutes, because they're almost never true controlling words. And I'll tell you straight up, you are not weak. You're listening to this episode and you're still listening to this episode. You care about this. And I can tell you those words don't control you if you control them. Enemy words. Now, if you wouldn't talk to other people that way, stop talking to yourself that way. And then the weak words, don't let your words give you an excuse. Oh, well, it's resolution. I almost never do this resolution. This is the fifth year row that I've started on January 1 with a resolution and it always fails.

So don't allow weak words to be a part of who you are. So you want to start with commitment. You want to have self love. You want to be your own best friend. You want to forgive yourself when things don't go your way or you make a mistake. And you want to own your choices, they don't own you. And finally, find accountability that will help you keep this stuff on track and make sure that if you do slip up, it's much easier to get back up because there's someone there in your corner keeping you on task and watching out for you. So I hope you found this a good episode. I'm going to get on with Rachel here in a minute and we'll talk about this a little bit more. But thank you so much.

Post Show/Recap

[00:22:32.230] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:22:33.620] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. This is my favorite topic. You're going to have to keep me under control today. I love talking about mindset.

[00:22:41.020] – Coach Allan

I have a hard stop in 20 minutes and, yes, we can talk for a lot longer than 20 more minutes, but what are some of your thoughts?

[00:22:51.190] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. So many of these things I see every day. And I guess I'm going to skip right down to the enemy words and I see a lot of people that just don't say the kindest things to themselves. And I hear a lot of people say I'm fat and I can't and I'm lazy. And these are just kind of like waving the white flag of defeat before you even get started. And we are where we are today and we just need to figure out how to talk nicely and a little bit more motivated to ourselves to get going.

[00:23:29.530] – Coach Allan

Yeah. You know, you would never talk to your friends or family that way.

[00:23:37.810] – Rachel


[00:23:37.810] – Coach Allan

Your friend walks up to you and you say, oh, my God, you're fat. You look fat today. No, we would never say that. But we look at ourselves and we use that word talking to ourselves and that's where you have to stop it. I don't know if you watch that Bob Newhart, oh, gosh clip, I could watch it a thousand times. It's just hilarious. And, yes, maybe it would come off as a little mean, but if you need tough love to get you past what you're doing against yourself, then that's the way to do it. I prefer to do it in the self-love model. Be your own best friend and think of it in terms of the words used. When you find yourself doing that, you've got to stop and you've got to think. And then you've got to say, is this something coming out of love or is this something coming from a darker place?

[00:24:34.430] – Rachel

Right. Like what you said earlier, too, is you need to change the narrative. If you keep repeating these words, these hateful words to yourself, then they tend to get stuck. So what I like to do is I like to call my clients, athletes. You're my athlete. This is your training log for your activities. And I refer to them as athletes because I want them to think like an athlete.

[00:24:57.150] – Rachel

So they're going to think, well, what would an athlete eat? What would an athlete do for recovery? What should an athlete do about sleeping? And if you start to think forward in that way a little bit more positively, then you're giving yourself a little bit more self-love and a lot of grace, too.

[00:25:15.850] – Rachel

Just a few minutes ago, I said, Mike and I only did a 5K when we were supposed to do the half marathon. And that wasn't a very kind thing to say to myself. But a 5K is still a great thing to do, and we were trained and in good shape for a 5K. That's a very positive thing. So we just need to think and just a little bit.

[00:25:38.120] – Rachel

Changing that narrative, I think is a really important thing. Place to start.

[00:25:41.830] – Coach Allan

Yeah. What you're talking about? And I actually kind of picked this up from a business podcast I was listening to and I actually did an episode on it. It's called The Be Do Have Model. And so the Have is that you're an athlete. The Have is that you're a half marathoner or that you're fit for task. You're who you want to be.

[00:26:01.610] – Coach Allan

So you start with, Be that person.

[00:26:05.910] – Rachel


[00:26:06.510] – Coach Allan

So now it's like, okay, what does that person do? They get up and they run and they eat right. And they want to keep their body weight within a certain range because that's going to make it easier on their joints. And so the Do then is doing those things. So the Be Do Have is how you become the athlete that you want to be, the person you want to be.

[00:26:27.310] – Coach Allan

And so following that model of just saying, I have to think like them, then I have to act like them, and then I will be them.

[00:26:34.710] – Rachel

Yeah. You know, one of the other favorite words that I heard you speak was committed. The word committed, motivation is lacking. And right now we're in the middle of the summer. It's chaos. Our schedules are all out of focus with kids at home and vacation planning and all these things going on. It's just chaos.

[00:26:52.150] – Rachel

But when you're committed to your goals, you're going to get up in the morning and do your workout or your run or whatever your activity is, because you're committed to doing that. That's another good word to focus on.

[00:27:03.490] – Coach Allan

Yeah, that's the primary word. That's my favorite word when it comes to change, because change is hard. You're trying to rewire if you're working on mindset, you're trying to rewire 40, 50, 60 years of messaging. And sometimes that messaging was your messaging. But a lot of times, whether they meant it or not. People close to us said things that got stuck in our head.

[00:27:35.090] – Coach Allan

You're not good enough. You're looking a little out of shape. You hear these things and you internalize them. Now, I was a weirdo. Like you didn't know that.

[00:27:53.370] – Coach Allan

I grew up in an environment where saying bad things about someone became motivating to me. When someone told me I couldn't do something, I was ten times more likely to get it done. Not the first time, but the first time I was in football where there was actual tryouts, where you had to go in and earn your way on the team. I was cut. Okay. And you flash forward just three years later, and I'm one of the best athletes on the football field.

[00:28:28.660] – Rachel


[00:28:29.530] – Coach Allan

And it was because that one coach said, we just don't think he can do it. Now, I had a lot of disadvantages at that time because of my age and my weight. I was underweight, so I weighed maybe 90 pounds, and I had to be on the 110 pound team. So every kid on that team outweighed me by about 20 pounds. And that's significant 20 pounds relative to 90 pounds. I was way underweight, I was way small, and I wasn't fit.

[00:29:00.690] – Coach Allan

And so I started getting more fit. I started working on being able to go longer and work harder and get stronger and was back on the football field. So for me, a lot of times, the words that would stop somebody are the exact words that would get me going. Then I responded that when I was in the army, when I was playing football, if someone told me I was not doing well enough, I just started doing better. But that came from being obstinate and stubborn and saying, “No, I'm not going to let you stop me.”

[00:29:31.980] – Coach Allan

But I find myself doing the same thing, and I don't find it motivating when the words are coming from me it doesn't work that way. I have to go at it for myself with self-love. But if someone tells me I'm letting the team down, I'm not worthy, I'm not good enough, I'm going to work harder. But it doesn't work the same way for me. But these are things that were put in your head potentially decades ago.

[00:29:56.140] – Rachel


[00:29:56.620] – Coach Allan

And so the rewiring on it is not a one and done thing. The self awareness journey of going through all this process and paying attention to it, the Slip-to-Success stuff that Be-Do-Have, all those things, those are tools to help us do the rewiring. But the rewiring is going to take some time and patience and effort. But it's so worth it, because when you get to that point where you don't refer to yourself as the Fat Bastard, everything kind of changes, because you know that you have the power to do this, and you start doing it. You start seeing it and living it and experiencing it.

[00:30:35.000] – Coach Allan

And I can tell you, crossing that finish line with my daughter at that first Tough Mudder was one of the best experiences of my entire life. And there's nothing that's ever going to take that memory away from me, that work that I did to get to that place, to be able to do that thing, and that experience.

[00:30:56.070] – Coach Allan

And so I think everybody deserves to have those moments, to have that joy in their life, for sure. And that's why I do what I do. I know that's why you do what you do.

[00:31:06.410] – Rachel


[00:31:07.070] – Coach Allan

And it's just this whole idea of if you're defeating yourself, you're depriving yourself of some of the most joyous moments of your entire life. And that's a shame, and it shouldn't be that way.

[00:31:22.570] – Coach Allan

So get a coach. If you need the accountability, get someone that's going to help you work through this mindset stuff. My programs, we spend so much time talking about mindset, they're like, well, what about the coaching? Other stuff I'm like, sure, send me a video of your movements. You want a new workout? Give you a new workout. That stuff is just easy. It just happens. If you do the work, you see the results.

[00:31:45.000] – Coach Allan

But to keep you from quitting, keep you on task, keep you doing the things that you need to do, you got to get your mindset right.

[00:31:54.390] – Rachel


[00:31:54.390] – Coach Allan

It's all of it. It's 100%. I mean, people like to say 90% nutrition, start with mindset. The rest of it will just fall in place.

[00:32:04.740] – Rachel

It really does. Absolutely does. Yeah. Listen to how you talk to yourself. Change that narrative and take that challenge. Do something big. You got this. We can do it.

[00:32:14.730] – Coach Allan

All right, well, I think that's a good note to end on.

[00:32:17.510] – Rachel


[00:32:17.980] – Coach Allan

Rachel, all right, I'll see you next week. Okay?

[00:32:20.390] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:32:21.230] – Coach Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:32:22.260] – Rachel



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

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

Another episode you may enjoy


July 5, 2022

How to stay motivated and always moving forward

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Lack of motivation is one of the primary reasons most people struggle with losing weight and getting fit. On episode 545 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, I discuss a way to use self-evaluation as a tool to stay motivated and always moving forward.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:48.430] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things?

[00:02:50.330] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:52.050] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Just staying busy.

[00:02:56.230] – Rachel

That's good. Busy is good.

[00:02:58.070] – Allan

Yeah. A lot of moving parts, working with clients. I'd stopped for a little while, taking on new clients and had taken a break from that. I kept my old clients, I kept clients that have been around for a while, but I wasn't adding new clients. And so over the course of the last month, I've been adding new clients. And it's interesting because I was admittedly a little burned out when I took my break last time, but I'm finding this time that I'm much more energetic about it. And so I'm really excited to be bringing new clients on to the new program that I'm doing.

[00:03:33.170] – Allan

And six weeks actually feels right. I was doing twelve weeks and it was intense, and it was an intense twelve weeks. And then at one point I think I had eleven clients going through a twelve-week program all at the same time, and so it was just a little too much. So I think six weeks I can handle twelve and then take a break and see how things go.

[00:03:59.590] – Allan

This is working out really good and I'm loving the reactions and what's happening with the clients that are going through the program because they're seeing success and you think of six weeks, no, they're not seeing this crazy success from a standpoint. We're going to talk a little bit about measurement and how things look.

[00:04:20.970] – Allan

So no, they're not saying the scales like just falling off a cliff, but it's trending, it's going down, and that's important, and they say so. But what is more specific with this group as I'm going through at this time is their mindset shift. They're coming at this now with a can't lose attitude.

[00:04:43.600] – Rachel

Wow, that's great.

[00:04:45.210] – Allan

And you go through six weeks and have the confidence that what you're doing is working and that you can get this done, you'll get it done.

[00:04:52.730] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, they'll probably learn so much that they can carry forward, but that's great. Things are trending in the right direction.

[00:04:59.140] – Allan


[00:05:00.250] – Rachel

That's fantastic.

[00:05:01.150] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:05:02.420] – Rachel

Oh, really wonderful. Mike and I just went on a backpacking trip over the weekend. We are testing our gear for our upcoming trip to Isle Royal, and it was a beautiful weekend. We did really well. Definitely hard backpacking with a lot of weight, something I haven't done in a while, but it was a great trip and just gorgeous. Michigan is beautiful right now in the summer.

[00:05:25.730] – Allan

Did you load your packs in such a way that they'll be about the same weight that they would be when you were going to do the longer.

[00:05:31.360] – Rachel

One or no, not yet. I feel like starting out we wanted to have a little bit lighter of a pack because once we're on Isle Royal, I imagine my pack will be in the 30ish pound range. And so I wore about 18 pounds, just enough for an overnight. But we still had the tent, the sleeping bag, the water purifier, the gear that we will take with us.

[00:05:54.820] – Rachel

So really what we would be adding to our pack later will be a couple of extra clothing items and a lot more food. We'll be on the island, I think five or six days, I really can't remember. And so we only did an overnight, so we only had two days worth of food, but everything worked spendedly. It was a great first outing, so we got a lot to look forward to.

[00:06:16.140] – Allan

Good. Yes. And last week we had Katie Gerber on, and she was talking. So it's kind of that thing get yourself ready for your pack, understand what your needs are, and then train physically and mentally. Train for it.

[00:06:29.900] – Rachel

Train, train, train. A great time.

[00:06:31.050] – Allan

Awesome. You ready to get into this week's episode?

[00:06:35.180] – Rachel



So today I wanted to talk to you about a way of checking in with yourself, seeing how well you're doing and doing it in a way that's fun and gives you a big benefit. A lot of times when I've done ratings and things with my clients in the past, it was really hard to get to a point where they felt successful in their journey, and that typically was because we were measuring the wrong things. So today I want to talk about a new process that I've implemented with my clients called the MNS Temperature Check. And it's a culmination of several different things, several different people I've talked to over the years, and there's a little bit of behavior science built into this whole thing.

So hear me out. Here's how it goes. So typically when we're trying to determine how well we're doing on our health and fitness journey, we focus on results. Did the scale go down? Did my strength improve from workout to work out? But one of the problems with measuring results is we don't always have control over those results. You might be doing everything right. All your activities, all your efforts are exactly what you should be doing, but the scale doesn't move.

Or you go into the gym and your energy is just a little off. And so you're not quite as strong this workout as you were the last time. And it's nothing that you did wrong. It's just sometimes the results don't fully align with the effort and activity, and it's never a straight line. So that's often why we're seeing this. And then when we have objective measures, so we say, okay, did we do our workout today? It often gets to feeling like it's just a checkbox.

So my clients are like, did you do your workout today? Yes. No. It becomes very checkbox for some people. It doesn't really rate how well that workout went, how they felt about that workout. It's objective, did you do it or not? Yes or no? And this process can also lead to a very perfectionist role. Meaning if I wanted to work out four days per week and something came up this week and I didn't get that fourth workout in, did I fail? A lot of people will feel like they had not counting the fact that they had three great workouts, they look at that fourth and they think that they didn't get and they think they failed.

And many people will use this as an opportunity to fall off. They're looking for perfection. When we should be looking for is progress. So a few weeks ago, it's been a while, I had an interview with Alan Aragon, and he introduced a rating system in his book that was very subjective, and I really liked that and that's why I pulled it out in that interview. It's episode 541. You can hear a little bit about that there. Alan is fascinating.

And it's a really great book on eating for performance that I highly recommend. Probably the best book I've read this year so far. And with his subjective rating, one of the other key points he brought up was that you want to just make sure that you're in the high range, are pushing up into the high ranges most of the time. That's how we would measure success. So it's going to be much more subjective about how you feel about the things that you've done.

Now, I've done something like this in the past, and I used a traffic light, and I've seen that used in different masterminds and groups that I've been a part of over the years, and that can be pretty good. The problem I have with the traffic light, though, is what happens if you're not quite yellow and you're not quite green, and what happens if you're not quite read but you're not quite yellow. So you can see that that doesn't really give you much of a range to really project where you stand. And so it becomes this kind of, well, is it more red than yellow? Is it more green than yellow? You start having those kind of dialogues between the person coaching and the individual being coached.

So I came up with the idea of using temperatures, and the reason I like temperatures is a few different reasons, but it's a very broad range. And so if you're thinking in terms of the temperature from freezing all the way to boiling, it gives you a pretty good range, and it gives you an opportunity to just pick something that feels more like what you're feeling with regards to how you're doing. So how do we do this? What are we going to measure? Okay, well, what we want to measure with the MNS is movement, nutrition and self-care. Now, I believe if you're doing these three things well, then you're improving your health.

You just are. So obviously we know what movement is. That means that you're moving throughout the day, you're getting your exercises. And your training in nutrition means that overall, you're eating well, good quality food. It means that you're not eating too much, and it means that you're getting the nutrition that your body needs. Self-care includes a lot of different things. It includes your sleep, your stress management, social connections. Are you avoiding toxins and are you doing things that bring you joy? So there's a lot wrapped up in that word, self-care. But I didn't want this to be eight different things we're trying to measure. I broke it into the three core foundational things movement, nutrition, and self-care.

Let's take just a moment to go through how this MNS Temperature Check works. And I might change the name of that in the future, but this is just descriptive. So of course, M equals movement, N equals nutrition, and S equals self-care. Okay? These are going to be our foundations for wellness and longevity. So what we want to do is we want to periodically, typically, maybe like once a week, check-in with ourselves, how are we doing?

How do we feel? Okay? And I would encourage you to do this on paper rather than on a computer, maybe even a calendar. On episode 446, I had Tony Horton on and he recommended using a paper calendar, writing a red X each time you did your workout. And if you're seeing more X's on that sheet than you are blanks, then you're doing the right thing. And then what I would say is, if you're doing that, then at the end of the week, sit down and record your temperatures.

Now, one of the reasons I really like this process is because it really fits well with my Slip to Success model, where you're forgiving yourself, you're learning and planning and you're acting. And I'll get into the full process of all this in just a minute. But if you're interested in learning more about that Slip to Success process, I do have a guide that's free. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip and there you'll find a copy of that guy. It walks you through the thought process of Slip to Success. And it's part of the backbone of how this process that I put together works with my clients and now with myself.

It is a two-part process. The first part is measurement. The second part is to look forward next week or next period, however you're doing this.

So the first thing you do is you ask yourself how you feel about your week for each of the three foundations movement, nutrition, and self care. And then I want you to use the words that you use to describe temperature. So you could say freezing, you could say boiling, you could say cooking, you could say lukewarm, you could say chilly. Just the words that you like to use that aptly describe what that temperature is for you. If you're doing great, everything's wonderful, and you really feel happy about your success and how you're doing with this one thing, say nutrition, you had a great week. You might say boiling. If you're having a bad week, you missed a couple of workouts or your energy level and the way you approach the workouts just weren't really motivated to work hard. And, you know, you didn't really push yourself as hard as you should have. You might want to say that you're lukewarm or cold. And so you can use the words that you like to use that are going to give you a good feel for where you are.

Okay. And after you do that, try to provide a little bit of color of why you feel that way. Maybe I don't feel good about my workouts because I had a couple of obstacles, and instead of being able to go into the gym for an hour and a half, I really could only get in there for half an hour. So I did get a workout in, but it wasn't as good a workout as it would have been if I'd been able to stay in the gym a little bit longer. So I have obstacles. I have roadblocks, maybe Saboteur, my wife is in the United States right now, wedding planning. And so I have a little bit of double duty trying to run the gym, run this, run Lulu. And that kind of puts a lot of stress on when and what I can do. And then there's just the emotions. Sometimes you just go into the gym, and you're just not emotionally ready to do what you need to do. And so there are different things that can be going on, so you can kind of write those things down. So you have a little bit of color to why you said cold for your workouts, and you can have some color, why you feel really good about your nutrition, whole food, plant meals, and at least at that point, you know, okay, when I do these things, I get boiling.

When I don't, what do I get? And this is going to give you a lot of information that's going to help you moving forward. So at the end of each week or each period, however you want to break it up, you do a measurement, and you do it on a temperature scale, and then you kind of put a little bit of color to why was it the way it was. Then we get to part two of this process. Now, part two is where we ask ourselves, okay, based on what I know, what I see, what is one area of these three, that if I put a little bit more energy and effort, I could move the needle and move the needle a good bit. And so I would say, if you're already boiling on your fitness, keep doing what you're doing. And if you need to improve your nutrition, then that's the one. Maybe you had a lot of stress this week, and you need to do something about stress. That's your one thing, and I want you to limit it to one thing. And the reason is, this is going to be your big rock.

This is the one thing you know is going to move the needle the most for you. So this is where you want your intention for the week to be. You really want to apply effort to this. And if we try to do more than one thing at a time, we often dilute our effort across all those things and we're not quite as successful. So don't be trying to pick up all the big rocks. There might be a lot of them. But know which is the biggest rock. Know which one you know you can do. And that is the best one for you to do now. And then think through some actionable steps, some things that you can do, strategies and tactics that you can implement, they're going to help you do this better. So if my nutrition was off and I know because I've seen it in previous weeks, that batch cooking on Sunday makes me much more effective at maintaining and staying on plan, then I need to add batch cooking to my week. I need to make sure that I do that. If it means, okay, I need to go through the pantry and throw out some things that I really don't need and don't want in there, then I do that.

So write out some strategies and tactics, the things that are going to help you be successful as you go into this next week.

So I want to share a few key points about this. It's subjective and with it being subjective, it's going to rely on how you feel at point in time. So yes, recognize that you want to do this when you're clear headed, when you're not mad or angry or frustrated, but just sit down. And subjectively, objectively but subjectively, write down your temperatures, write down why you feel that way. And then write down what your plan is to go forward. This is going to require honesty. Now if you're checking with me as a coach, I need you to be honest. I need you to be honest with yourself and I need you to be honest with me. But if you're doing this, check-in for yourself, then you need to be honest with yourself. Because if you're lying to yourself, you're not going to get very far. And then what this does, this process builds self-awareness. Why did I have a cold week? Because this happened. Because I did that. Because I didn't do that.

This builds self-awareness for you to understand what the obstacles are, the things you may be do to sabotage your own trip. And so this self-awareness is part of a reiterate process of do, learn, improve over time. So we're going to do what we do. We're going to learn from our mistakes. We're going to learn from our successes as well. And it's all going to be recorded as you go through this process each week. And it's quick. This is not like you have to sit down and get on a scale and pull out tape measures and then go get a blood test. It's just a quick sit down. This whole exercise shouldn't take more than a few minutes. And as you get better at it, you'll sit down and just be able to say, okay, I'm cold and nutrition. I'm cooking with my movement and I'm say Lukewarm with my self-care. My plan for the next week batch cooks so I can get my nutrition back on track. Avoid going to the restaurants because I'm more likely to order a beer at a restaurant than I am if I stay home. So just recognize it's very quick.

You can get that done in just a few minutes.
So to summarize this MNS Temperature Check Process, you're looking at movement, nutrition, and self-care. These are the three foundations of wellness and longevity.

There are two parts and each is just a quick thought exercise, very quick. You take a look back and you assess your temperature on movement, nutrition and self-care using the words that you like to use that give you a good feeling that you're understanding where you are. And then you want to look forward. What do we learn from this? What can we do next week to make our intentions and make sure that we're doing something a little better?

And then we get that incremental improvement because we implement a new strategy or a new tactic and we see incremental improvement. And as you get going on this, you'll notice that if you're doing all of these things the way that it's intended, the temperatures should start to go up. Now. Can they go down? Yes. We can have a bad week. We can have a bad day. Stuff happens, life happens. And so we can't rate ourselves and think that we're always going to be cooking and always going to be boiling, but we can do the best we can do.

And so in the example where I said I only got three of the four workouts I intended to do, three out of four is actually pretty good. You could give that a good warm temperature and feel good. You've done something. You're not just saying yes or no. I failed. I passed. This is a good way to say three-quarters of the time I did. Well, that's pretty darn warm, so bordering on hot. And you can give yourself that rating and understanding what you're doing. So I did put together a little worksheet for this to walk you through it. It's the 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mns and that'll pull up a guy. Now, I said to record this on the calendar, but I think when you first get started, it might be nice to have this worksheet so it will walk you through the process. You won't need this worksheet forever because you'll start to remember how to do it. But it's good to have it written down. And then as you go through and look at the words that are changing, again, having a record of this is going to really help you.

Also, again, if you don't remember the slip to success, you can get that guide. I'm going to have these links in the show notes for this episode, that's 40Plus FitnessPodcast.com/545.

I hope you enjoyed this. It's a new way that I'm checking in with my clients, and I'm really enjoying it because it's starting really good dialogues about why we feel the way we feel about our journey and what we can do to improve with a solid plan for the upcoming week. So I hope that works out for you. Let me know. You can comment on this, or you can join us in the Facebook group at 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/group. I'd love to see how you're using this and what results you're getting. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:24:00.870] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:24:02.260] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I love your new measurement about taking a temperature check and checking in with yourself. I think this is a really great tool for people to use.

[00:24:12.750] – Allan

Yeah, it's funny. Little bits and pieces of this came to me over time, like the interview with Tony and having something visual in front of you all the time so you can kind of see the things that you're doing. Right.

[00:24:26.670] – Allan

And then talking to Alan Aragon and getting into the way he was going about this, people checking in and doing it, and I was thinking, okay, well, one, I want to cover the core things because you can overmeasure. Right. You waste a lot of time doing this and thinking through it and numbers and all that.

[00:24:48.730] – Allan

And then I also went and said, okay, well and I know that we did stoplights. I have one group. I'm still part of their mastermind, and they do stop lights every week. And I'm like, I'm puke yellow. Okay. A little bit of green in there.

[00:25:05.310] – Rachel

Oh no!

[00:25:05.310] – Allan

But no, so I want a little bit more granularity there so that someone can do that. And then the practice of the words and knowing that okay. The words we use are really important. In fact, I think the next solo episode I do, which I'm not absolutely certain, but might actually be next week, will be about that, about what are the words we're using when we're talking about ourselves.

[00:25:33.760] – Allan

We're talking about health and fitness and what you might find over time. And I'll see how this plays out, but you might actually start looking up new words to say hot. You might spell it a little differently, like H-A-W-T when you're really feeling hot.

[00:25:53.590] – Allan

So this can be fun. And the other side of it is to realize that self-reflection, self-assessment is not meant to be a punishment. It's meant to be a learning opportunity. And if you can make it fun and exciting for yourself to say, okay, I want to come up with a new word for what I'm doing here.

[00:26:11.310] – Allan

And you mentioned something earlier on the call when we're talking about this being a learning experience, is that you're not just learning from your failures.

[00:26:19.950] – Rachel


[00:26:20.570] – Allan

You're learning from your successes.

[00:26:22.460] – Rachel

Absolutely, yeah. When I work with my clients, I have a really detailed training log. I give them. And when they do a workout, hill repeats or speed drills or something, I want them to write details on there. How was that workout? Was it hard? Do your legs feel heavy? How did you feel afterwards?

[00:26:39.730] – Rachel

Because most of the time, even though hill repats are super hard, you feel really strong after that. And then after a couple of weeks of training, after doing that repeatedly, you're advancing from maybe four or five times up a hill to six or eight times up a hill, and you're still feeling really hard. And it's a challenge, but you're feeling even stronger.

[00:26:59.540] – Rachel

And as you look back over your entire training log, you can see the progress you made a lot easier. And maybe not day to day or week to week, but you do see it, and you feel so much stronger for having accomplished all these things. And then that propels you even forward. It gives you a lot of confidence to tackle the next big challenge.

[00:27:17.790] – Allan

Yeah. And I think that's really important for people to recognize that self-awareness is a key component to change. And when you start recognizing that things are working, then you can double down on those. And when things are not working, then you can drop them, and you can try something else. Come up with a different strategy. Use a different tactic.

[00:27:40.090] – Allan

If you're doing a certain exercise and I'll tell you you're doing a certain exercise and it hurts, stop. Okay. Yeah, you're supposed to feel the muscle working, but you're not supposed to injure yourself doing exercise. And so we stop. So that's feedback. Okay. When I do upright rows, my shoulder hurts. Guess what I don't do anymore.

[00:28:01.810] – Rachel


[00:28:02.340] – Allan

And I actually cringe every time I see somebody in the gym doing it because I'm like, that's how you tear a rotator cuff. Just recognize that we have all this information from everything we do and journaling or like I said, putting it on a calendar is Tony recommended with the Xs. And I recommend doing this because you can literally look across the month and say, wow, I had an awesome June. Look at that June.

[00:28:29.366] – Rachel

Right? Yeah.

[00:28:29.870] – Allan

All those hots and warms. And I compare that to May, and May was lukewarm and cold, and now I'm getting a lot more hots, and I'm getting a lot stronger, and my body weight is going down. And then I notice if I start recording a few lower ranges, that, okay, something's changed. I've got to diagnose that, and I've got to do something different.

[00:28:56.530] – Rachel

Yeah, well, like, you even mentioned the self-care aspect of it. If you're not getting a lot of sleep or if you're on vacation and not eating your right foods, then you may not perform quite as well. But all of this works together. And if you can pay attention to all these little details together, then it would make sense. If you're not hitting the marks that used to hit anything, and you have to give yourself some grace there.

[00:29:19.070] – Rachel

If you're on vacation and you're not sleeping well and not eating well, you know what you're having vacation. That's important for self-care. That's a hot spot right there. That's hot. Even though your movement may not be.

[00:29:31.150] – Allan

Yeah. And that's kind of the key. I did put the Slip to Success as a part of this discussion because I really want to put forward that this is your opportunity to use this for learning. So you can go I did an episode. You can go to the podcast page, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/podcast, and you can look up Slip to Success and probably find that episode. But I do have the guide, so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip and get the Slip to Success Guide. It's not a huge thing. It's a one-page PDF to walk you through the process.

[00:30:05.060] – Allan

And then as you're working through your temperature check, I have a Worksheet 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/mns, and you can just download that worksheet and use that for your starter to understand how the process works for you, get comfortable with it, and then you probably won't need that worksheet. After that, I'd encourage you to consider doing it on a calendar. Or you can just print out a bunch of worksheets and just put them in a binder and do your weekly check-ins or however frequently makes the most sense for you. Every four days, once a week, whatever you feel is a good reminder for you to sit down and tweak things on your go forward.

[00:30:43.520] – Allan

So take the lessons learned and move forward with that is really important.

[00:30:48.640] – Rachel

Yes, download. That would be great.

[00:30:50.990] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:30:53.540] – Rachel

Awesome. Take care.


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

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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


June 28, 2022

How to get adventure ready with Katie Gerber

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 544 of 40+ Fitness Podcast, Katie Gerber, co-author of Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training, and Resiliency, helps us prepare, train, and enjoy even the longest hikes.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:00.010] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things?

[00:03:01.640] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:03.540] – Allan

I'm doing okay. Yeah? Doing all right.

[00:03:06.420] – Rachel


[00:03:08.110] – Allan

Well, that's good. Good to hear.

[00:03:10.470] – Allan

Well, we're into the low season, and so what happens is we have all this blank time at Lula's, so you're looking at just day after day after day of no people here. Now, that could sound great to somebody, but it's revenue. We got to pay the bills. We still have employees. We still have electricity. We still have things we got to do. And so there was nobody, like, no bookings at all. I was really only on one listing agent out there besides ourselves. So you can come directly to our website to book. But we're then connected into we were connected into one other, what they call Ota, which is just someone who sells your rooms for a commission, and we run one, and they dried up, so we weren't getting any up from them either. And so I've been working since we opened to try to get on these other places, and they just weren't happening. And I was like, I just don't understand. I do what I'm told to do, and then nothing happens. And so I managed over the course of the last three weeks to get on two of the other ones.

[00:04:22.150] – Rachel


[00:04:23.410] – Allan

And that's helped. A lot of bookings are coming in through those two other sources, one in particular, and then there's one other source that I wanted to be on. And when I first tried to start doing this, like I said, this was back November. I'm trying to get on this one, and we had already had it was already an account, and so I was just trying to access the account, and things were a little backwards for them because to ask for help, you have to log in. Well, I didn't have the login criteria.

[00:04:52.350] – Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:04:53.200] – Allan

I couldn't log in. Okay. And because I couldn't log in, I couldn't get to their extranet to ask for help, and there's no external email or anything to contact them at all. There's no way to reset the password. There's no way to do anything else on that site, and so you're just completely locked out. So I created a new site. I'm like, I created a new website, another one, like a whole new start all over. So there won't be any reviews on that and all that. And that's fine. We'll work that out. But I go to set it up, and they're like, we want to confirm your address.

[00:05:27.920] – Allan

So they want to mail me something. Well, we don't get mail here. You can't physically mail something to me. You can mail it to a US. Address, but that's not going to confirm that I'm at a physical address. So then they want to do it online, and I've been going back and forth. They're like, Are you on airbnb? Send your listing stuff, and we'll confirm you. I sent it, and I got nothing. And then they sent again, and they say, Okay, well, we can get on a zoom call with you. I'm like, Cool. So I go to book the zoom call, and then it comes back with this, okay, your appointment is set. It's going to be on Google Meet, but there's no link to the Google Meet. I email the woman, I'm like, I didn't get a link. I didn't get a code or nothing. And we're supposed to be on the call. It didn't happen. And so I booked another one right after it on the same thing. And again, it never sends me a link to the meeting, and she's not responding to emails. So I've been working on this for months, months and months and months, seven months going on now.

[00:06:27.560] – Allan

And just this one place I can't I'm not going to say their name out loud, but one of them that I was trying to get on because it's one of the bigger ones, they're not equipped to help.

[00:06:39.490] – Rachel

That is so bizarre. Crazy thing.

[00:06:43.550] – Allan

So that's my morning frustration supposing to have someone get on a Google call with me so I can confirm that we are who we say we are, where we are. And yes, that fell through. And still she's not responding to my emails. And I'm like, I don't understand.

[00:07:01.810] – Rachel

No. Terrible customer service.

[00:07:04.380] – Allan

It is, but we are on those other bookings, and so if you're looking for a vacation spot, come on down to Bocas Del Toro. We've got rooms.

[00:07:14.590] – Rachel

Awesome. Yeah, that sounds great.

[00:07:18.100] – Allan

So how are things up there?

[00:07:21.190] – Rachel

100% things are great. I've had a really rough spring with allergies just to pick up mano, and I haven't been running for about a month because of the mano and the fatigue, but now I feel I'm back to normal out there walking the trails and enjoying some time outside. So I'm feeling really good outside doesn't want to kill me right now.

[00:07:41.290] – Allan

Outside, doesn't want to kill me right now.

[00:07:43.780] – Rachel

Not now, anyway.

[00:07:45.910] – Allan

All right.

[00:07:46.660] – Rachel

Feeling great.

[00:07:47.890] – Allan

I guess that's just one of the odd things I really have never suffered with allergies. And I lived in Austin, and I'll tell you, you moved to Austin, and you may not have these problems before you moved to Austin, but almost everybody who lives in Austin develops allergies.

[00:08:05.860] – Rachel


[00:08:06.380] – Allan

Fortunate. I never did, but I was only there for about three years, so maybe I just missed it, but yeah, unfortunate. And then here in the jungle, nothing.

[00:08:17.500] – Rachel

That's awesome. That's really good. I didn't have these problems in Florida. When I lived in Florida, it was not nearly this bad, but the trees on my property here, I'm pretty much allergic to most of them. It's just my poor planning on taking notice of the wildlife in my area.

[00:08:36.670] – Allan

Okay, well, I hope that things are good and that things are not trying to kill you and you can get back out to your running.

[00:08:42.920] – Rachel

Thank you.

[00:08:44.770] – Allan

All right, are you ready to talk to Katie?

[00:08:47.300] – Rachel


[00:08:48.210] – Allan

All right.


[00:09:30.910] – Allan

Katie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:33.850] – Katie

Hi, thanks for having me.

[00:09:35.630] – Allan

Now, your book is called Adventure Ready: A Hiker's Guide to Planning, Training, and Resiliency. And I have clients that hike and love hiking. I actually have one. He does a lot of day hiking, and then I just got a client and his aspiration is to do Appalachian Trail. He'll be 65, so he said he's going to break that into sections. And so I think when people think of hiking, because I know, like, here on the island or on the different islands they'll put together hikes, there's a hiking group. I'm a member, although they tend to plan a hike, like, they'll email today for a hike they're going to do tomorrow. And I'm like, I didn't have time to plan. I didn't have time to schedule. And no, I can't make that one. So a lot of them work that way. But these are hikes through the jungle, and they're usually a few hours, like half day things. But hiking is really kind of this diverse sport, if you will. I mean, similar to running where you could just do a 5K or you can do a marathon or you can do an ultra marathon or even take it further, some 100 miles multiple days in a row.

[00:10:50.410] – Allan

Can you talk about hiking and kind of some of those variables that maybe we haven't heard about so we can get an idea of where we're going with this?

[00:10:59.290] – Katie

Sure, yeah, that was a great analogy with running. Like, there are many ways to engage with hiking and backpacking and this whole world of through hiking, which is something that my book speaks to. And so with day hiking, that's what you're talking about. Like, you have that local group that does a lot of day hikes. So that's essentially just anytime you're getting out for the day, not sleeping out overnight, it could be a couple of miles, or for some people, it could be like a 30 miles day. It could be a day hike. It's a big day hike, but it could be a day hike. And then there are these long trails that usually referring to there's a debate about what a long trail is, but it was like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, anything that's usually like 100 or so miles or more, anywhere up to a couple of thousand. The Continental Divide Trail is 2800 miles, and there are different ways to hike that type of trail, to backpack that trail. Essentially, you could do it in sections. So some people will hike like a couple of sections each year and eventually what we call a thru-hike, which is to hike the entire trail.

[00:12:05.900] – Katie

They will thru-hike it over maybe a decade or something by adding up sections. Or there's some people who like to go out and to hike the entire thing in one season. So maybe they start like the Appalachian Trail, for instance, that you're talking about your client. Maybe they'll start in late April in Georgia, one of the terminus, the southern terminus, the Appalachian Trail, and hike all the way north up to Maine, the northern terminus, in one season. So that's 2200 miles. So yeah, there's a lot of different ways to engage in hiking and backpacking kind of depending on your life and how deep you want to go.

[00:12:39.880] – Allan

Yeah. And if you're doing over 2000 miles and you go the wrong direction, even a step, that's no problem,

[00:12:47.090] – Katie

you don't want to do it.

[00:12:51.650] – Allan

You had some great stories in the book about exactly that, especially when you're talking about the Orientating and back before GPS were really popular and you're looking at a map and you say, well, that's that ridge and you start walking that direction only to find that no, the next ridge that you were looking for isn't there. So you got to turn around and go back to where you were.

[00:13:10.390] – Katie

Yeah, it's the worst. It's the worst feeling. Exactly. Especially when you're on like a 2000 miles hike, even missing a trail junction by a mile and having to backtrack you're just like, no. Yeah, that's why learning the navigational skill set can be really helpful.

[00:13:25.220] – Allan

And you do really good job. I was in the military and had do a good bit of that myself before the days of GPS, the compass and the map of your friends if you learn and practice and I think that was one of the key things you talk about in the book is this is a skill that requires practice. You help us with that. Now, one of the things you put in there and I love it because I live on an island in the Caribbean and so people bring things here and they leave them. The locals are kind of the worst, but people will go out and they will make a trail less likable, less fun. And we actually, because some of the stuff is private property, we've had owners just say, no, you can't come on my property anymore because of this. But you talk about the seven principles of Leave no trace. Can you go through those? Because I think it's really important when we're doing these things to make sure that we're doing them responsibly. So just to give people food for thought, if they're going to get out of nature, which is what you need to do, you should be out in nature. What's the protocols or etiquette we need to follow?

[00:14:30.030] – Katie

Absolutely. Yeah. And I appreciate that you're bringing this up? Because I think any of us who are going to spend time in the outdoors should be aware of these principles because we just want to leave as little impact as possible out there so everyone can continue to enjoy it. Essentially, there are these seven leave no trace principles that we talk about in the book, and obviously we didn't develop these, where there's a center called leave no trace center for outdoor ethics. Essentially, these principles are designed to minimize our impact on the outdoors, help us be good stewards of the land that we're walking through. And so these principles are designed mostly for backcountry use, but they can be used anywhere, like you said, in a local park or on your trails, out behind your house or anything like that. Sure, I'll briefly go through them, and we can talk a little bit about each of them. So the first one is to plan ahead and prepare. So by planning ahead, essentially, like individuals who are going out or groups that are going out can be better set up to stay safe and then to practice these leaving a trace principles.

[00:15:28.950] – Katie

So, for example, if an inexperienced user goes out into that country, maybe in the sierras, and they don't know that there's a fire ban there, because in the southwest, where I live in Colorado and then west of me, we have very severe wildfire problems in the summer. So if someone doesn't know there's a fire ban and they only brought food that can be cooked over a campfire, then they're almost like forced to start a campfire where they shouldn't be starting one. Or maybe if someone doesn't plan a trip properly and they don't know what the trail is going to be like, and it's more rigorous than they expect, and they have to camp in a place that's ideal, then they could be damaging some of the fragile surfaces, for example. So that's why planning ahead and preparing as the first step is so that you can be a better practitioner of these leaf and trace principles. So travel and camp on durable surfaces is the second one. So durable surfaces would be anything like sand, rock, ice, snow, anything that can withstand impact. Some vegetation can, some can't. And examples of nondurable surfaces would be like cryptobiotic soil, which is a type of living soil in the desert that prevents erosion.

[00:16:39.110] – Katie

Delicate alpine tundra would be another one, like wet meadows where you trample the grass and it doesn't bounce back easily. So just knowing, like, what are durable surfaces, what aren't durable surfaces, traveling on trail where you can and if you're traveling in a group, knowing how to minimize your impact on those non durable surfaces, essentially knowing where you can camp where you're not going to cause further impact and just how to go about that. And then the third one is disposable waste properly. That refers to, of course, packing out your trash. A lot of people may have heard the phrase pack it in, pack it out but it also refers to human waste which in many cases like in a river quarter should also be packed out or if you're like in a fragile alpine environment it should also be packed out or if you're going to barrier waste like which digging a cathole is sort of the way that the accepted practice to go about that to know that you have to take it deep enough 200ft from water, away from high use areas, away from game trails and places that animals are going to use regularly and then packing out your teepee in some places where it's like moist and hot and it's going to break down, that's fine, it'll probably degrade but in a lot of places especially again where I live where it's dry or if you're in the alpine and it's just not going to break down because there's not enough heat and there's not enough moisture, just pack it out and knowing the best practices around that and one other part of that whole topic of it's not really disposing of waste but it kind of goes under.

[00:18:10.720] – Katie

This is like not putting soap into the waterways. A lot of people like oh well it's a biodegradable soap, I can use it in the waterway but we don't want to do that as well. So it's part of that leave no trace ethic. The fourth one is leave what you find which is pretty straightforward. It's like any we go out there because we all want to see these beautiful flowers or beautiful we find beautiful rocks or like when I was in Utah guiding last month we were finding artifacts like old arrowheads and things like that and it's so tempting for people like oh I want to take this home and I want to show it to people, it's so cool. But part of leave no choice ethics is just leave what you find. Other people want to enjoy it as well. And then another part of that is to avoid landscaping an area with like fire rings or log chairs or things like that avoiding like moving things around too much in an area or if you do naturalizing it again before you leave the area. Minimizing campfire impacts is principle number five. Again I mentioned fire ban so knowing when and where fire bands are in effect if you are allowed to build a fire in an area knowing whether it's going to cause potential damage to that country there looking around knowing is there sufficient firewood that I'm not going to further impact the area.

[00:19:26.600] – Katie

Like will removal of this firewood be noticed? I mean understanding how to minimize the impact if you do build a fire, like if you build a fire ring you should build it in a ring if the one exists you should dismantle the ring if it doesn't exist and there are other methods to building campfires that you can minimize your impact. Respecting wildlife is principle number six. So that's just like keeping your distance, not being too intrusive. I think we've all seen those national park photos where people are having their cameras and they're right up in the moose's face or, like, way too close to the bison or the bears, and it's obviously stressing the animal out. And so it's like, we want to avoid that. We don't even want them to know of our presence unless we're trying to just sort of gently spook them away so that we can pass through a trail. But it also means not camping too close to a water source where we might be scaring the animal away from coming to the water source, not camping right on top of a game trail where we might interrupt their travel to and from where they're trying to go.

[00:20:28.920] – Katie

So, yeah, just generally being respectful of the wildlife. We're in their home, so we want to be respectful. We would being a house guest in someone else's home, and then the 7th one is being considered by other visitors. We're all trying to be out there enjoying nature. And so I think just being cognizant of what you're doing, like using your headphones instead of playing music loudly through a speaker, which might disrupt other people or disrupt the wildlife or keeping your dog leashed or just sharing the trail with other users, whether those are pedestrians or equestrians or bicyclists or whatever it is, just being thoughtful of other people so we can all enjoy the outdoors. And if you want to learn more, is this lnt.org is the place to go to really get all the details on that.

[00:21:16.890] – Allan

LNT for leavenotrace.org? Okay, cool. All right. Now it's the end of June, and so for most of the places that people would be either hiking or training, because that's the other side of it, is if you're going to start your hike next April to do the Appalachian Trail, for example, you're training now, so you're getting out and training. And one of the things that happens for a lot of us is we're trying to push ourselves because, again, we're carrying a pack. That pack could be over 40 lbs, maybe 50 lbs sometimes when you first start with the food and you're in the heat. So you've got to train your body to do that. We're going to talk about conditioning in a minute, but one of the things that hits a lot of us is just the heat and all those things that can happen with regards to illnesses, heat illnesses. So we're talking about heat exhaustion, heat stroke. Can you kind of talk us through what we should be looking for as far as symptoms, that the heat starting to really be a problem for us and what we should do about it?

[00:22:16.410] – Katie

Yeah, absolutely. Definitely something valuable to be aware of. So, yeah, as you were just saying, these heat illnesses can occur essentially like on a spectrum, there's a progression. So there's heat rash and heat cramping which most of us are familiar with, like from exercising outdoors and heat, those are pretty common and can be prevented and treated by consuming adequate water and salt and cooling off and resting in the shade. And then as you mentioned, there's more serious forms of that. If those aren't treated, that would progress to heat exhaustion and then to heat stroke. These also result from exercising in the heat and the humidity, not consuming enough water, salt and they can essentially cause the body temperature to rise above critical levels. So prevention is best. So if we can stay hydrated, consume electrolytes, pay attention to when we're starting to overheat and we can rest and not try to, we are pushing ourselves, but maybe try to not push ourselves beyond what is comfortable in the heat or at least just paying attention to our own body and what's going on in there. So you're asking about symptoms. So heavy sweating, muscle cramping when you start to get a headache.

[00:23:34.830] – Katie

Nausea is a big one that I've seen before. If you're starting to get nauseous, dizzy, of course fainting is a pretty obvious symptom. Pulse can change, either become really rapid or really weak. So when you're starting to see any of those changes, there should be like red flags. Like hey, it's time to slow down, find some shade, cool off immediately, whether by putting cold water on the skin, any way that you can cool down, replace some of those fluids in the body, take some electrolytes if you haven't been taking in any salt or anything like that. And then if you don't treat that, that can progress to that heat stroke which is a medical emergency. So if it progresses to that point and that's a temperature greater than 103. And some of the symptoms would be that you stop sweating, actually you start to get slurred speech and essentially there's any changes in consciousness, that's when you need medical help. And so hopefully you're carrying some sort of either a cell phone or an inreach device which is like a satellite communication device that you can get yourself help.

[00:24:36.590] – Allan

Or you're traveling with a hiking buddy. And so this is something also if you notice that your hiking buddy is getting confused, they've stopped sweating, start asking them a couple of questions that they should be able to answer and if they really start struggling with those types of things, it's time to call it quits and get that person some help. okay. So yes, we need to condition ourselves for this stuff. And you start thinking, how does one go about training for a 2000 miles plus hike? And it kind of brings me back to my marathon days and the way we would say it was you either feel the pain before you do the run or you're going to feel it after you do the run, but this you're going to feel it during because this is not just a one day thing. And the phrase you use in the book, which I like, is to hike yourself into shape. And some people can and do that, but it's going to make for a very unpleasant first few weeks. Can you talk about how someone could go about planning and conditioning program? You have some in the book.

[00:25:41.090] – Allan

I don't have to give all the way the stretching and all of this stuff. We're going to talk about that's in the book, but it just gives us an overview of how someone can look at planning their conditioning so they're ready. Like my client that wants to be able to do this in a few years, he wants to start conditioning himself for it. What should he be considering and how should he be going about this?

[00:26:02.090] – Katie

Yeah, absolutely. And like you said, it's a great idea. So you can hike yourself into shape. So some people, they're kind of different schools of thought. Some people are like, oh, you don't have to do any training ahead of time. You'll hit the trail and just walking every day, you're going to hike into shape. And it's like, yeah, that's true in some cases, but you're going to be a lot more prone to overuse injuries and just to not completing the goal that you set out to do. So of course, I and my co-author Heather, are big proponents of physically training yourself to be ready for that hike. And I think the longer out you can start, the better because that way you're not going to be tempted to ramp up too quickly. So that's one of the principles that we talk about with training, is building a training plan for yourself where you're balancing cardiovascular training, strength and mobility exercises and rest, of course, because that's an important part of a training plan, as well as giving yourself your body enough time to adapt to the stressors from exercise that you're actually strengthening building muscle and not like just wearing yourself down.

[00:27:04.100] – Katie

So, yeah, the training plans, we essentially talk about how to build your own individual training plan. And we go through some exercises in there where you can test yourself for muscle weaknesses. So that's one aspect of it is doing different tests on your own body so you can determine if you have places where you used to get injured a lot. We're going to invite you to focus extra strengthening effort in that area, whether through different exercises, whether that's through doing lunges or toe raises or calf raises or things like that. So figuring out where your personal weaknesses are and then building a plan that builds your endurance by slowly building up the miles, gradually including enough rest days in there. And we talk about a protocol for how to figure out where to start because it depends. Are you starting from the couch are you starting from someone who is already relatively in shape. So we kind of talk about how to build those miles gradually and what to start with and how to build up. And then including those strengthening exercises and those mobility exercises like I was talking about, whether that's strengthening your inner thighs or strengthening your hip muscles or things like that.

[00:28:18.040] – Katie

Any of those muscles you're going to use with backpacking. Essentially, we're just trying to get the body adapted to carrying a weight on the back over uneven surfaces, because that's different than what a lot of us are used to and what a lot of our bodies are used to. We talk about how to build those, balance out those aspects in a training plan so that your body hit the trail with your body being ready, and you're not going to have to go home early from overuse injuries. And it's so much more enjoyable when you show up in shape. I've seen both sides of it. Some people go off the couch and they just struggle a lot. And then other people focus a lot of time into that training ahead of time. And you can hit the trail doing more miles and it hurts so much less. And you can keep up with your friends if you're going in a group. So I'm definitely an advocate of training your body.

[00:29:08.800] – Allan

Yeah. One of the things I kind of liked about what you had in the book was it was also know yourself. So it's like put on a 40 pound pack and walk kind of the same grade of hills and things that you're going to be doing on there. And if you notice, okay, your core is not really stabilized well enough that you can handle a pack. You need to maybe bolster your core work. Maybe you're arching your lower back and over time that's going to fatigue. You can do some cobras and some things like that to just make sure that you're in a better condition to handle how your body is going to respond. Because I saw something and there was where I got to find this because it was so cool. It was the trail pronation, which I guess as you're carrying weight and you're moving up a trail, the way you walk, the way you move, it changes it changes the whole dynamic of your kinetic chain. And as a result, you have to look at the shoes you're wearing and be ready to change those out regularly. You also need to just train yourself to be in that different position for hours at a time.

[00:30:17.090] – Katie

Yes, absolutely. It's such a good point as a lot of people, especially sometimes, like, if people just do walking as their training or they're transitioning from running or something like that, they kind of forget about how putting a pack that's anywhere from 20 to 40 lbs on the back really changes, like your center of gravity and how you carry your body. And exactly like you're just saying, how does that affect how you move and how do you train for that?

[00:30:43.070] – Allan

And then how much you've conditioned yourself, then blends into the plan for the trail. It's like if you know you're not going to be able to do 20 miles a day for five consecutive days, then you've got to come up with a plan for one, okay, maybe it's going to take you a little longer. You probably have to carry more food so your pack might even be heavier and you're going to move slower. Yeah, but that's your plan and you have to kind of balance that out. And so knowing your conditioning and then that helps drive your plan. Knowing your plan helps drive your conditioning and it's kind of a back and forth thing.

[00:31:13.370] – Katie

Absolutely. Yeah, exactly like you said, knowing the daily mileage that you're capable of, what's comfortable for you, taking into consideration that weather might get in your way or heavier pack might slow you down, all that stuff really ties into exactly how much food you're going to need to carry when you're expected to get to point B and then point C and D resupply places along the trail. And you're also thinking about, okay, am I going to finish in time to fit inside this weather window is what we say. Because you don't want to be out there on a 2000 miles trail. It's a little different than planning for a three night or even a five night trip because you're like, oh, I'm going to go out and it's June 1 through six, no problem. I know the weather is going to stay nice, but when you're out there for months at a time, you have to be kind of thinking about, okay, am I going to be able to finish in time? Am I going at a pace that's adequate to get me to Canada before the snow starts flying and all of that. So it's another reason why being trained and like you're saying, just knowing your body and what you're capable of is very valuable.

[00:32:19.270] – Allan

Yeah, well, Heather did a fastest known time on the Appalachian Trail. I think if I did it, it would be the slowest time and I would have to go through a lot of snow, probably two years of it, to get that baby done because that's something else. Now we can talk about the physical preparation, but I know from experience that you can get yourself as physically prepared as you ever want to. You can have all your planning, you have everything mapped out, but stuff happens. This is hard stuff. You're not talking about walking an hour or 2 hours and then calling it a day. You guys are doing upwards to twelve, maybe even more hours to get the distances that you want to get so that you can keep this sustainable for you. How do you mentally prepare for something like that?

[00:33:14.750] – Katie

yes, such a great topic and one that I really love talking about with people because it's something that a lot of aspiring through hikers or long distance hikers don't think as much about. They think a lot about I've got to get the right gear and I have to practice my navigational skills and I've got to get my food ready and all that. And all those things are super important and we cover them in the book. But that mental preparation aspect, that's something I wasn't ready for on my first hike. I mean, I kind of had an idea from having read blogs and things like that, but there are some tough conditions out there. Like you said, you're not just out for an hour over the course of multiple weeks and months, you're going to encounter crappy conditions, you're going to miss your loved ones, you're going to be hungry, your body is going to hurt no matter how well trained you are. There's going to be a lot of aspects to it that you can't really prepare yourself from a fiscal perspective, but you can't prepare your mind for it. So, I mean, I share the statistic in the book, but it's estimated that 75% to 85% of aspiring through hikers on what we call the Triple Crown trails, which is the at, the Pct and the CDT actually quit before reaching their goal.

[00:34:31.770] – Katie

And when you think about that, it's interesting because backpacking is a skill set that you need to learn, but it's not particularly technical. Someone who does, who studies and goes out in practice, you can become proficient at it relatively quickly. And yeah, it's a great physical feat to accomplish, but you can adjust your pace, you can slow down and all of that. So why is it that so many people are failing to reach their goal when they're out there? And I think it's a lack of mental preparation, failing to prepare your mind for the fact that it is going to be hard because I think when a lot of people are thinking about going out on these trails, they're thinking about all of those really desirable things like the beautiful scenery and being away from their laptop or their work schedule, kind of being on their own time, the simplicity of being out there, all those things that draw us out there. But they're not necessarily thinking about the fact that they're going to have blisters on their heels that are the size of a quarter and that they're going to run through their food too quickly and be hungry or they're going to be scared at times, whether it's of animal or weather or anything like that.

[00:35:39.150] – Katie

So yeah, there's a saying that through hiking, success is 90% mental and it's mental preparation. That's why we kind of go through some different strategies in the book of how to prepare yourself mentally for a long hike. And I'm happy to dig into those if you want to get into those specific?

[00:35:53.840] – Allan

Yeah, absolutely. Now, I know I've written a book, too. Congratulations on the effort. But you also said you like to journal. You are already sitting around with a notebook every day after you finished your hike or maybe even the morning before you started your hike. So I imagine that discipline of journaling helps you with writing this book as well. So I know that was one of the big ones that was but the one that was most interesting to me was the practice voluntary hardship.

[00:36:24.050] – Katie

Yeah, it's an interesting one, I think, that you don't necessarily think of right away. But for me, that came about really when I started running when I was younger. I did cross country in junior high and high school, and I noticed that when I would so it's become skilled at anything. It's practice and it's putting in the hours. And I would notice that when I made myself go out on the rainy days or go do twice a day in the afternoon. So I grew up in Ohio, and it was hot and humid, and I would make myself go in the morning and then go again in the afternoon no matter how much I didn't want to. And it was amazing because I would get out there and I would be like, oh, this isn't like that bad. I survived this. Like, oh, I went out in the rain and I survived it. And so I think that principle of practicing voluntary hardship is like building your inner resiliency, like letting yourself, your body and your mind know, I can do this hard thing. I'm capable of it. And this hard thing isn't going to it might not be even as hard as your mind is telling you it's going to be.

[00:37:27.760] – Katie

Like with those runs, I was saying, Oh, I got out there and I was like, Oh, I got wet. Okay, that's not a big deal, I'm fine. Or just putting yourself in those situations, anything that's sort of a little bit on your edge of discomfort to just train your body and your mind into that belief and knowingness that you're capable, you can do those challenging things.

[00:37:51.230] – Allan

Yes, I had an author on it. I know his first name was Michael, but his book was called The Comfort Crisis. It was a great book on this topic. He got himself in a situation where he just got dropped off with these guys out in the tundra about as far north as you could ever go, and he spent 30 days out there. And it's kind of one of those things it taught him that in these hard things do they'll teach you this, that you guys said words like embrace the suck, or those types of things. And it's funny to say, it's not funny when you're doing it, but then after it's over and you survive, it's kind of like, well, good. I feel like I've accomplished more because I went through this hard thing and I think that's where the kind of build up of all of this is going is okay, yes, you can journal, you can meditate, you can breathe, and those are all important things just for life, everything in life. But if you make things hard on yourself here and there, it just gives you this resilience from a mental perspective that you wouldn't have otherwise.

[00:39:00.010] – Katie

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And there's like a big trend in wellness and such a trend, but science and research behind it is like cold baths and cold exposure and part of it is like yes, it does have absolutely benefits for your mitochondria inflammation, all of that. But I think part of it too is like the mental benefits. Exactly. It's like showing yourself that you can do hard things and you can get through it and that makes you more capable for other hard things in life.

[00:39:28.450] – Allan

Yeah, because I prefer the heat shock proteins of going out when it's in the high eighty s and putting up with that versus the cold any day. Maybe I need to do that. But I don't actually have anywhere I can take a bath here, so I'll have to figure out and the ocean is 70 deg, so it's not going to do it. But I agree with you there.

[00:39:51.120] – Allan

Katie. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:40:00.750] – Katie

Yes, that's a great question. So of course I'm going to say daily time outside. For me, that is probably one of the biggest, most valuable wellness practices in my own life. Even if it's just you only have time for ten minutes, 15 minutes, getting outside, ideally as close to sunrise as possible, getting that natural light into your eyes, setting your hormones, optimizing those for the day, your circadian rhythm, all of that and just the stress relief benefits of being outside. I think it's so valuable, I think having something planned each day that you look forward to or that you're excited about, whether it's a walk outside or for me, like journaling time over my coffee or my tea, whatever it is. Time with a loved one snuggling, a pet, whatever it is. Maybe it's part of a morning ritual, anything that I think feeds and nourishes you. It's such a great antidote for the busy and often like stressful lives. Many of us live in the modern life or find ourselves in, whether it's a stressful day or a season of life. Just having those things each day that we can look forward to. It's just really important having that reason to get out of bed.

[00:41:10.130] – Katie

And then that kind of leads into my third one, which is something similar we talk about in the book. It's like knowing your why, having that strong sense of purpose or vision for what you are, putting your energy towards each day, what you're putting your time towards in this season of life. Something that just keeps you going through the inevitable challenges that you're going to face in day to day life. Just having that strong sense of why and purpose.

[00:41:35.970] – Allan

Thank you for that. So the book is called Adventure Ready: A Hiker's Guide to Planning, Training and Resiliency. If someone wanted to learn more about that book or learn more about you, Katie, or your co author Heather, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:41:50.290] – Katie

Sure. The best place to go would be katiegerber.com, which is my website, and then my co author and I, Heather, are both active on Instagram, and so mine is @katiegerber and she's @wordsofthewild. So you can find either of us there. And I have more information about those online courses that are the companion to the book there. There's also a free backpacker nutrition course on there. So lots of backpacking resources on the website for anyone who is interested in doing more long distance hiking, backpacking, day hiking, any of that. So I just want to help people get started and get out there safely and confidently.

[00:42:25.680] – Allan

Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/544, and I'll be sure to have the links out there. Katie, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:42:36.270] – Katie

Thanks so much for having me. It's a lot of fun talking to you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:42:46.330] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:42:47.890] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What a great interview and listening to Katie talk, really just invigorated my excitement about hiking. And I've got a big hike plan this fall. We're supposed to be hiking across Isle Royal up in Lake Superior, Northern Michigan, and all the tips that she had to share with you were just fantastic. It was a great interview.

[00:43:09.260] – Allan

Yeah, it's a really good book. She and Katie and Heather, they're pros, they do this regularly, they've done it for a while and they know their things. They know their stuff. Heather having the record fastest known time for the trail, that's not something you just get showing up. You got to keep moving. You got to keep doing it. And so that's why I thought it was really important to have them on to talk about this book because a lot of people, this is an accessible thing for a lot of people now maybe not 2000, 2200 miles hike throughs, but that said, you break it into segments, you break it into pieces. Most of us are going to live within daily reaching distance to do a day trip, to go out and just do a day hike. And it's a great way to reconnect with nature. It's a great way to just get away from all the digital toxins and stuff in our lives. And don't take your phone except to have it in your pocket as a GPS if you get lost or to call for help. But this is a great opportunity for you to get out, see things that most people don't see because they don't bother to venture out.

[00:44:34.140] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So many things to chat about. She had mentioned showing up in shape and being prepared, and I just wanted to highlight that going on a hike is a little different than just walking to your mailbox or walking through the grocery store or something. Sometimes these trails, like my little trail downtown that I use a lot, is asphalt paved. I can't get lost, so it's a perfect trail for me. But there's a lot of dirt trails and there's a lot of things to see out there, and it's a little bit of different type of hiking, and you need to be prepared for that. Different type of walking.

[00:45:06.590] – Allan

Yeah. And the weather and everything else. That's what in this book. That was one of the other things. They do a really good job of walking you through the planning. There's worksheets. There's all kinds of things in there for you to literally plan your hike and then go do your hike. I wanted to discuss that with her, the preparation, at least from a physical perspective and then from a mental perspective, because, yes, you can plan to use the hike as part of your training because if you do fewer miles, the beginning, and then you can build up your endurance and you can do more. And maybe if you're working really hard I know if I tried to take three months off to go do something like that, then I'm going to be working my butt off those last days, and they're going to be long days, and I'm not going to have training time during the week and maybe not even on the weekends as I'm trying to get myself ready to take that kind of time off to go do it. So, yeah, you train how you can with what you have to get yourself in the right kind of shape, because the worst thing you want to get into is that you throw that 40 pound pack on your back and you can't really even do it.

[00:46:21.230] – Allan

Your three month hike just became a three year hike because you can't do it. So you're going to want to be at some level of condition to be able to hit some mile markers. You're going to want to be able to put some miles in. So the training is important, but you will be able to somewhat train yourself to be better as you go. So you can even factor that a little bit into the plan of a gradual, I like to say gentle nudges of additional mileage as you go as long as again, and she even said this in the book, is you got to factor in your rest days. Probably Heather didn't take too many rest days when she was breaking the record, but when you're going at it, you might plan okay, we're going to be near this city there's town and I'm going to go act like a townie for a little while to eat restaurant food and sleep in a hotel bed and take showers, lots of showers. And then you can go for another sprint, but you have to factor in who you are, where you are and then do that and then the mental side of it, I was telling you before we got on the call I was going to do 9 miles Sunday and I kind of didn't feel really good about my digestive system when I have messy pants.

[00:47:38.640] – Allan

And so I thought so I stayed around town. So I was like, okay, I'm going to stay between my house and the gym. They're about a little over half a mile away. So I'm just walking down towards the gym and sort of walking right back towards the house and I do a couple of loops and I'm like, okay, I feel pretty good. And then I got about a mile out of town on an outback and so I'm somewhere around 5 miles and I noticed that my arm is chasing and it's very uncomfortable. And so now I have this do I quit or do I not scenario. And I was like, well, I have a mile to walk back and then I could put something on it. But then am I going to really want to get out and continue to do this or would I just quit? And so I was like, no, I'm just going to finish it. And this is uncomfortable, but I'm going to embrace the suck, if you will, and just keep going. And today I'm wearing a tank top. That was a tank top too, but I'm wearing a tank top with a much bigger drop in the sleeve so I'm not re scuffing it as I go.

[00:48:41.810] – Rachel

That's good. Yeah. We're preparing this trip for Isle Royal and we've been planning it for over a year. We're going to walk about 50 miles across from island end to end. And there are no showers, there's no gas stations to pick up food. So we're practicing everything that we need to have on this island right now. Actually, over the weekend, Mike and I were taste testing some different freeze dried foods, really lightweight camping foods that we'll be packing in. We're testing our equipment. We're making sure our tent can withheld some leaks if it rains. You know, there's a lot of planning that goes into that. But also while you can do some conditioning on a hike like that, it is good that you arrive at having practiced your equipment and know what it feels to wear a 30, 40, 50 pound backpack. I mean, there are certain things you can't just show up as a newbie. The first time Mike and I hiked Isle Royal with our family, gosh, I think it's going on 30 years ago. It was really neat to see this wonderful newly wed couple they had chosen Isle royal as their honeymoon vacation.

[00:49:51.320] – Rachel

And the woman had never hiked before in her life. And when we did find them at the end of the island, her feet were just blistered because she didn't practice her boots, she wasn't prepared for the backpack. I mean, they're just a myriad of problems that she had. But she gutted it out, she made it to the end, which is amazing. But my best advice, if you want a successful and happy and fun trip, is to show up fit and practice to the best of your ability.

[00:50:19.850] – Allan

And that's what the preparation is key. And that's one of the things that this book is really good about, because it asks you all the questions, like something you're going to say, like, you were just talking about food. How many calories will you be burning every day? So how many do you need to consume to maintain? And so it's not the normal, what you eat. You can say, Well, I only eat 1600 calories a day. That's when you're sitting at the computer doing your job, driving around, you're not walking 12,15, 20 miles a day or more. Because some of these hikes, they're doing eight to 10 hours of movement per day, easily. And so they're looking at their calorie requirements and say, Okay, that's easily 3000 calories. And this is for woman, it's a lot, but they need to have that amount of calories. And how much do all those calories weigh? Because if you're carrying a casserole dish, yes, it's heavy. So, yeah, the freeze dried stuff, the granola stuff like that, and then get knowing that it's something you can tolerate. Because the worst case thing is that you get out there and you eat something that doesn't agree with you, and you're not making your miles those days because you're in a bush in a squat position.

[00:51:50.000] – Rachel

Yeah, that's a problem. We have very precise transportation on both sides of the island. We get dropped off at a certain time and then we get picked up on the other side of the island in, I think, seven or eight days. So we need to be there no matter what, otherwise we're getting off the island. It's very important that you know how to practice all these things. And like she said, the mental aspect of it, if you've got blisters, you've got an upset stomach, you've got shaping, these things are very common and you need to be mentally prepared to push through it. Like in our case, when we have a very specific time, we need to meet our planes. There's a lot to it, but it's so fun.

[00:52:33.010] – Allan

Well, you do need to check out this book. I think this will help you a lot.

[00:52:36.560] – Rachel

I think it will. Thank you so much.

[00:52:38.680] – Allan

Right, well, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:52:41.470] – Rachel

Take care.

[00:52:42.450] – Allan

You too.

[00:52:43.170] – Rachel



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