So much of getting healthy and fit is in your mindset. On this episode, James Petrossi gives us many tools to get to know your true self and develop a mindset that pushes us forward rather than holding us back.
Let's Say Hello
[00:00:50.250] – Allan Raz, how are things going?
[00:00:52.660] – Rachel Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:00:54.650] – Allan I'm pretty good. When this episode goes live, I will be on vacation. Well, actually, my vacation we'll be driving north to Indiana, but I'll be back in the States when this episode goes live, and I've had a nice vacation, but right now it's just trying to get everything done, so we can be gone for a month and traveling around and still do what we got to get done. So it's just a lot of moving parts.
[00:01:27.380] – Rachel Yeah, it's a long time to be living out of a suitcase, but I know you're going to be visiting family and friends pretty much everywhere, so it'll be really rewarding.
[00:01:37.360] – Allan I was, of course, high travel before and now I don't travel at all, really, especially in the Covid environment, but we'll have a rental car and our bags to go in the rental car. And, yeah, it's a lot of hotel nights, but I'm kind of almost used to that way of going because it's how I lived a large portion of my life. So I'm pretty good about traveling. And actually, that's one of the upcoming episodes we're going to talk about is how to stay healthy and fit while you're traveling.
[00:02:10.930] – Allan So this is our Hello segment for this episode of episode 502. And what we're going to do because I'm going to be traveling and it'll be a little bit more difficult to get recording done. And I want to actually try to really take a vacation short of just making sure I'm taking care of my clients because all that's going to be happening. We're actually going to be recording our discussion of this episode, episode 503 and episode 504. So we're going to forego the Hellos episode segments for those episodes because it quite literally just be ten minutes from now is like, hey, how are you doing?
[00:02:45.500] – Allan And we're not that creative, okay? We're just not good. We're not going to pretend it is what it is, but everything going okay for you?
[00:02:54.300] – Rachel Oh, yeah. Things are great. Got another runcation plans. We've got a weekend coming up. We'll be camping and doing a little race, so getting the most out of the summer as I can get.
[00:03:08.010] – Allan Good. We're rolling into September, so it's just around the corner. You're going to have some really comfortable running for the next month. And then poof.
[00:03:16.320] – Rachel Yeah, this is about perfect, because I have one more ultra for the year. I'm running the Kal Haven with some friends. It's 33 1/2 miles, and it's at the end of October. So I think that'll be a lovely day for running. You never know what you're going to get here in Michigan, but it'll be much better than in the middle of the summer. It's been so hot and humid here.
[00:03:36.910] – Allan Yeah, but wow 33 miles. Good for you.
[00:03:41.120] – Rachel It'll still be a long day, but it'll be a nice long day.
[00:03:46.970] – Allan Okay, well, let's go ahead and get into the episode.
[00:03:50.340] – Rachel Great.
[00:04:42.120] – Allan James, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:04:45.200] – James Hey, thank you so much. So happy to be here with you, especially because I turned 41 last year. So now I'm officially part of the Tribe, which feels pretty cool.
[00:04:54.590] – Allan Congratulations. You're almost there. So the book is called Know Your True Self: The Formula to Raise Human Consciousness. And when I saw the book and it was brought to my attention, I was like, you know, we don't spend any time doing that. Most of us are so in our world, in the past, in the future that just to sit down and have that honest conversation, even if it's just in your head. It's okay if you talk to yourself, but it was just one of those things saying that is so important for us to do, but we almost dedicate no time to it.
[00:05:43.800] – James Yeah. It's definitely a big challenge. And just based on how we're learning and receiving information right now, we're in this onslaught of the connected world. And inside of there, you look at all the knowledge that we've amassed over the past. Just let's look at, like, 30 years because it wasn't until the 90s, we even studied the brain. And we know so much right now and there's aggregates of information out there, and sometimes we tend to focus on just one small piece of the puzzle, and it takes us away from the bigger picture of our existence, humanity, everything that we deal with on a daily basis.
[00:06:23.890] – James So our goal in developing this, and it was a journey I did with my father as he was going through a lot of health issues was really to take core principles and integrate them into a philosophy to help people look inward, because to your point, it's not something we usually do. We're usually just so unconsciously directed in our own world, getting from place to place for moment to moment that we're not really even taking time to reflect on the moments where in, why we're feeling this way.
[00:06:52.830] – James It's a challenge that we're facing. And one of the challenges where you see this, a large majority of the population that can't cope with the reality that we even created the amount of anxiety and depression, a lot of its in many ways self induced by not taking that time to really look at yourself, which is a huge challenge. It's not easy to do that.
[00:07:15.280] – Allan I completely agree. And as I was going through the book and I was thinking, I hadn't really thought of things that way. And maybe I had thought of certain things a certain way. And as I started putting together, I'm like, I need to do this more because I'm not good at it yet. And I should be. I'm 55 years old. I should know myself pretty well. But, you know, there's still bits and pieces that I'm like. Okay, I need to do a little work here.
[00:07:42.990] – Allan And the book is really well laid out because it allows you to go through each piece of that because you've laid it out really cool. And it's a good visual book. There's a lot of white space, and so it's not a heavy, hard psychological read where you're reading a psychology text, but it's in there. It's so interesting. Okay. I've read this book or read something about this in this. I knew a lot of the concepts, but there's one that it kind of evades me because I want to believe it.
[00:08:15.180] – Allan And then I don't want to believe it because I like having free will. I like thinking I have free will. But and I think we all know the picture of our brain is like a computer. So whatever has been coded in the brain is what's going to come out the other side. And if we want to change that, change the behavior, we have to change our brain first by what we put into it. So we got to change the code. Why is it so hard for us to just decide we're going to do something like break a habit or start a new habit or really, in some cases, just even be in control?
[00:09:00.540] – James Yeah. And you bring up that control and that choice, and that free will and to an extent, does exist in our lives. And you know, if you just look at the function of us as a human, there's so much that happens that happens on an unconscious level that we're not in control of. And if you just look at everything that's happening with us, right now, we're talking to each other. We're not thinking about, how do I form these words we're not thinking about I need to breathe.
[00:09:29.510] – James My heart needs to pump. We have all of these energy systems within us that are working in concert at such a meticulous level that's keeping us alive. Just that unconscious energy is incredible. And that's working through something that's divinely inspired this universal consciousness we're all part of. And then also our brain. And our brain is almost like this I like to think of as an antenna, and that antenna has all of these senses connected to it. And whenever we perceive something, whenever we experience something, whenever we engage in self talk, all of that information is coming into our consciousness through the brain.
[00:10:12.930] – James And there's this interplay between the brain and the mind. The brain is this tangible object, right? Full of neurons and cells in our mind is sort of boundless in turn. Where's your brain? You could point to it. You're like, Where's your mind? Well it's working through my brain. But it's working through everything. So there's a lot of awakening just inside of realizing that. But getting to your question just about why is it hard to break these habits that we have that form? Because the brain relies on routines.
[00:10:48.330] – James And whenever we give ourselves a thought, whenever we experience something, we start to program deep neuron chains. These neuron chain start to form around these experiences. And, you know, for sometimes good and sometimes those neuron chains start firing up. And, you know, a good example is, I drank really heavily for a long time in my life, and I don't anymore. And it was usually for celebration because I accomplished the time and I wanted to party and I wanted to go out and have fun. I had neuron chains developed in my brain that whenever I accomplished something, they start lighting up, getting excited, time to drink.
[00:11:32.130] – James And there's a habit formation in there. Now, if you want to break that habit, you need to develop new healthier neuron change new routines when you have a level of achievement. And to do so is hard because even though those neuron chains might fade as you develop new habits, they never go away. They're always there. So you always have to be conscious of the thoughts that you're having, the feeling that you're having, what you're sort of gravitating to doing and every given moment, because it's because of those routines that the brain can even function.
[00:12:08.690] – James The brain relies on them, even as a biocomputer relies on those in terms of habit formation and to break those chains and create new ones, just an ongoing challenge that we face in so many aspects of our life.
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[00:14:29.320] – Allan Could you, I mean, because I think if you're listening to this podcast, you care about positive change. You're trying to improve your help, you're trying to improve your fitness, you're trying to do positive change. So if we've got these neuron chains that are kind of driving a behavior that we know is not good for us, we want to put in more neuron chains for positive actions.
[00:14:55.530] – Allan How do we go about doing that?
[00:14:57.100] – James Yeah, the biggest whenever it comes to rewiring your brain. I think the most advantageous thing you can do is practice thought observation. And thought observation can be challenging because sometimes we're under the illusion that when we're thinking about something a lot, we really care about it when it's actually when we're creating space between our thoughts, we're finding peace. And you know, that's why meditative practices have become so important. And I think, like 40% of Americans have now at least tried meditation, which is great. But meditation is just one component of thought observation.
[00:15:38.460] – James It has to be thought observation as you're navigating life. And when you do get an impulse and an impulse for a behavior, the best thing that you can do is not give in to that impulse immediately. Create a delay so that neuron chain might be telling someone that likes to eat fatty foods. Oh, my God. I just really want to order a big meat Lovers pizza right now. And, you know, you can easily go to any food app, any delivery service, and they're ready to fire up all these around chains associated with that.
[00:16:13.770] – James Next thing you know, you're in the impulse zone. But if you can, when that impulse arises, that you know, as a challenge for you, and it might be just identifying here's one impulse I want to work on right now, one thing at a time, then to identify that thought, identify that that thought is not my true self. That thought has been programmed in my mind by past experiences I've had here is the root of that. Remove yourself from the situation for 10 to 15 minutes, direct your consciousness to another activity.
[00:16:48.030] – James It could just be reading a book, watching something positive on television, having a conversation with a friend, spouse, loved one. And then after that, 10 to 15 minutes, that neuron change activity will slow down a little bit. And that's a great time to engage in a meditative practice is when you get the impulse, just cool yourself down a little bit. And usually when you do that, that desire doesn't mean you still might not want a pizza, but the level of impact on your mind and you'll be able to control it will definitely be a lot more manageable.
[00:17:27.220] – Allan So from a practical perspective, I'm hearing that to mean delete the Pizza Hut or Dominoes app off your phone, because that makes it they've removed the barrier. You can literally push button. And the pizza that you always order is on the way, already paid for. The driver knows where you live, it's all there, and they make it really, really easy to do that. So we delete that off of our phone, and at least at that point, it slows us down. And we have an opportunity to fill that impulse, to deal with it, to observe it.
[00:18:01.120] – Allan And I always think this is really important, because when I'm talking to my clients about their journey, when they're trying to get themselves healthy and fit, is that the warning signs are there the things that trip us up are the same things that tripped us up before. So if we've been struggling with alcohol, we've been struggling with weight and the food choices, and we've tried before and failed. Those failures are not fail because you're still trying. You're still in the game. So they were learning opportunities in your practice of self awareness.
[00:18:37.360] – Allan But I think for a lot of us, we're not really good at self awareness. And that's what I was kind of leaning towards at the very beginning of this was if I go out and say, okay, I know that meeting my friends at the bar, I'm more than likely going to order an IPA, and that's not going to suit me or serve me for what I'm trying to do right now for my health and fitness. But I also don't want to say no to my friends, but I know that's the thing.
[00:19:07.490] – Allan And I'm from a self awareness perspective, it's there. But if my friends call me, I do it. And so why is it so difficult for us to practice self awareness and all these red blocks and how we get it done? Because I think to me, this is where the rubber hits the road for anyone looking to do something positive in their lives. You got to get this one done.
[00:19:35.040] – James Yeah. And let's start with his desire because you bring up desire a lot, because desire is really where a lot of our unhealthy habits come from. And, you know, the reward center of the brain is directly associated with those desires. And in many ways, the promise of the reward is better than the reward itself. So the promise of that pizza, that beer, anything that is sort of one of your over indulgence in the world after you have that, how do you feel? Pretty crappy most of the time.
[00:20:12.690] – James You're not like, oh, my God, I just had a large pizza, so I'm ready to take on the world. You know, it's the promise of it is so great. And you even see that with, like, tests with rats and the pleasure center of the brain. If they're associated to hitting a lever to get a reward. And with pressing that lever, they get a shock. They will get that reward the first time. Maybe it's a little piece of food complemented by that shock. Now, over time, the piece of food won't be there.
[00:20:46.170] – James But they'll just keep hitting that lever, and it's hitting the pleasure center of the brain, releasing all of this dopamine. And they're shocking themselves into submission because the promise of that reward is greater than reward itself. So it's really challenging. And if you think about the world we live in because I love the example you brought about just removing the app from your phone. It's right now, it's not the promise of, you know, being out on a Hunt and our primitive nature. And all of a sudden, we track miles and miles and miles, and we come across some fruits.
[00:21:22.040] – James And this might be the only sugar that we find for months. And now we can just go to the grocery store or an app. And there's whole aisle dedicated to refine aspects of sugar. So, you know, the same instinct that kept us alive for hundreds of millions of years around now, the root cause of our, you know, addiction because of this over indulgence. And, you know, a lot of that just comes back to when you think about yourself. Awareness is making sure that you understand that I'm not these thoughts.
[00:21:55.170] – James I'm the one that observes these thoughts. And when that impulse arises, I've always learned to practice to ask myself, who am I? Who am I? And just by asking yourself, who am I it's like the thought that ends all thoughts because it puts you in this reflection. It's like, I'm not someone that's defined by this habit. I'm not someone that's defined by this experience. I'm the one that observes this and then has the ability. And that's where that choice comes in because 95% of what we do is happening unconsciously.
[00:22:30.380] – James And that's just because of all the programming in our brain and all the things we talked about that are happening in your body on an unconscious level. But to keep that 5% of choice that we have is so precious. And if we start letting all of these technologies pull our strings and all of these dopamine triggers because the triggers are everywhere. They're absolutely everywhere. You know, we really have to start to look at everything from a very objective level and just remember to observe every thought that we have objectively as much as we can, especially when it comes to our specific addictions, challenges, goals that we're looking to achieve.
[00:23:10.040] – Allan As I got into that part of the book, I was like, okay, this is getting really stoic. And actually, then you quoted a stoic. So I'm like, okay, I'm in the right room. I'm here. And one of the things that really attracts me to stoicism to Buddhism is this concept of acceptance. And I know Buddhism and stoicism are two different things, but they carry this commonality in my world view is that we need to look at what's going on around us is not defining us. And if we can take that objective step back, which is not easy.
[00:23:55.180] – Allan But if we can take that step back and say, okay, I'm going to look at this. And then I'm going to decide how to act based on what I know is right based on some virtues and some truth, then we're in a better place. But that takes acceptance that takes knowing what you can control what you can't control. You have to accept it. You have to accept what's there. It's very powerful. It's very hard. And I think anything in life that's really hard, the payoff is huge.
[00:24:29.470] – Allan But could you talk about the power of acceptance?
[00:24:32.100] – James Yeah. The power of acceptance is appreciating reality as it is, as it currently stands. And you brought up understanding what we can and can't control. You know, I can't control that I just turned 40 and my body is now in a state of contracting. I can't control that. I can't control what other people might think of me. I can't control the weather. I can't control the fact that I'm going to die someday. I can't control that there's a pandemic. All I really have to control is how I respond to all of these things that are happening to me in my life and looking for the opportunity and all of these because we seem to as a culture love to thrive on the highs and the lows.
[00:25:17.260] – James You know, it's like, oh, my gosh like, COVID this is the worst thing that's ever happened to us. And it's like, it's going to end. It's going to end. And it's like, now it's back and we're just a Ping pong ball going up and down, up and down, riding the highs and lows. And when you learn to accept everything that happens to you and like, you really start to go with the flow. I know acceptance has been challenging, even for me to practice. It's not easy all the time.
[00:25:42.620] – Speaker 2 But, you know, when I quit drinking, I thought I'm going to quit drinking. I'm already in great shape. I'm just going to become, like, in super shape. My mental capacities are going to be sharp. And then I quit drinking. I got hit with other really hard health concerns, and I wasn't able to exercise for a while. I felt like my body was deteriorating. Doctors couldn't figure out what was going on. And it took about a year for me to stabilize again and to get back into positive routines.
[00:26:14.650] – Speaker 2 But during that time, I took it. As you know, what's happening to me right now is an important experience. It's helping me learn about more about myself. I've been so much in the outer world, participating in life, going to parties. And now this is a chance for me to discover more about my inner world without those blocks around me. And whatever we're going through is a huge opportunity for growth like even Napoleon Hill and thinking grow rich of something to the effect of, you know, with every seed of adversity comes in equal seed of opportunity, the greater adversity, the greater opportunity.
[00:26:53.590] – James But our mind and our subconscious is going to focus on not what's right, but what's wrong. To reframe that, isn't like a one time event. You really have to practice reframe everything in life. Like my wife and I have this, I wouldn't call it a game. The state of being where, you know, you just don't complain. You don't complain about anything. And if you catch yourself complaining about something that's out of your control or judging another person or experience, you immediately reframe it to what's beautiful in that experience.
[00:27:28.720] – James Beautiful about that person, because all we have to control is our response to life experiences. And if we learn to do that, it really takes our well being and stabilizes it. You stop looking at everything. This is going to be the best time in my life. The best trip. It's just everything that just is, you know, is getting you closer to celebrating enlightenment. Celebrating enlightenment is appreciating what is with an open, objective mind and heart.
[00:27:59.080] – Allan I think to do that, the real thing comes down to one another concept you had in the book was self love. We have this voice. And you think you quoted a statistic 80% of the voice in our head is typically negative, and it's talking a lot. Probably more words than you actually use in your mouth, your heads talking to you a lot more. And if most of that is negative, then you're coding in that negative expression. You're coding in that negative response because you're in it and you're struggling unless you mentioned, like, COVID or something goes on with our health.
[00:28:42.010] – Allan If we're having those negative voices and they're winning the argument because they're louder and they're speaking more often, we're going to really struggle with a lot of these things. And the only way to really come out the other end, in my opinion, is through self love.
[00:28:58.540] – James Yes, self love is so crucial and needs to be practiced on so many different paradigm. When it comes to self love and that voice, you know, first, is not identifying with that voice. It's creating space between those thoughts. And when you are accepting, start just appreciating reality as it is. And being grateful for what is that voice becomes a lot quieter. It doesn't mean it won't fire up because it's trying to protect you. And all it's doing is sending messages based on what it believes to be true.
[00:29:32.540] – James All of the experiences it has. If you're a hardcore Nike fan and you see someone in other type of sports gear and judging, like, how could they like under armor? That's not you. That's your unconscious mind being programmed to believe that, right. That's on a material level. But you know, when it comes to self love and self talk, if you grow up in an environment where you were told you're not going to amount to anything and you're worthless and that was programmed to you from a very young age, that's a formative time your mind.
[00:30:07.240] – James Whenever you're looking to achieve something, it's going to send that trigger up and that thought impulse is going to come up. So sometimes it's things that happen to us that we judge in the material world, sometimes the things that happen in formative times in their lives and the other times, things as adults, where we start questioning ourselves. I don't know if I can do this, you know, and you start looking at what you want to achieve. It's a health and wellness objective, and you're 300 pounds and your goal is to get 190 and, you know, it's day two and you just feel like nothing's happening.
[00:30:44.630] – James You know, that negative self talk is just going to start firing up. It's like you're always going to be overweight. You're never going to be able to accomplish this. And that's when reprogramming yourself with positive self talk. I think one of the greatest ways to do that is just to develop, I don't want to call it a mantra, I just like to call it like a mission vision statement, which is a reaffirmation of who I am. It's like just something simple that you can write up in a paragraph.
[00:31:13.370] – James Recite to yourself every morning, every time you're getting down, and every time before you go to bed and create positive self talk within that, because self talk and self love go hand in hand. And just knowing that we're boundless with our potential, what holds us back is the contents of our minds, which aren't necessarily truth, right? They're not truth of our reality. We have the ability to to shape and mold and do that. And that's the beautiful thing about the brain. We reprogram our brain with our mind.
[00:31:46.940] – James And our brain has plasticity. So it's not hardwired, it's not fixed. So anytime someone says, this is just the way I am, like, Well, that's the way you're choosing to be. We all have the ability to change if you don't believe it, there's this great book called The Boy that was Raised as a dog. Really sad story about a child that had very horrible upbringing was raised by a mentally ill. I think it was his mother's brother, and he was locked in a cage for early part of his life.
[00:32:22.490] – James And he was raised like he was a dog. And they ended up doing a lot of work with brain plasticity to rewire his thoughts, emotions and behavior. And, you know, after months of going through therapy, he entered kindergarten. There's hope for all of us. We can all overcome. And that's the beauty about what you're doing and what we're doing is just helping people realize that we're not stuck in this fixed route that we believe to be true. It's going to take a little work to build a ramp to get out of there, but we can all do it.
[00:32:55.200] – Allan Yeah. And I think for me, one of the big steps because I fall into that trap myself a lot. Unfortunately, I try to get out of it, I always find a trigger to figure out when I'm having negative self talk, it typically comes down to a particular word. If I remember thinking, Always, you always do that or you never do that or you can't. There's just these keywords that I really just pay attention. And I know as soon as that word hits my head, what I'm about to say is a false belief.
[00:33:30.780] – Allan It's a limiting belief. And so it's hard. I'm not going to say any of this is easy because that's the whole concept of know your true self takes that kind of work. And so I'm always looking. When those words come up, I'm like, okay, I've got to stop myself and kind of rethink how I'm going to phrase this because it really just comes down to taking that objective step back, getting your head straight and saying, okay, what is really going on here and stepping into it now one of the ways that I think most of us know if we're going to be successful at getting something positive happening in our lives because we've got to set goals.
[00:34:14.820] – Allan And I worked in a corporate environment. So we had smart goals. And I've had other folks talking about goals, but your approach was kind of fresh and you're not throwing an acronym at us and saying, here's, process, go do this. But it was just here's the things that make a goal good. Can you kind of talk about goal setting?
[00:34:34.470] – James Yeah. Because goal setting. The reality is if we want to create change, I think from a top level, we have to make that commitment. We get so caught up in this world into life hacks 30 day challenges, 90 day challenges. If we're looking at something as a challenge, we're not going to achieve any type of long term results. But I like to look at goals holistically. And obviously physical goals are very important to us. Also to even now, social goals, how we're interacting with people who are interacting with and aside from just social as getting together with your friends, maybe over an IPA, then there's also family goals, people that are really in your immediate inner circle.
[00:35:23.400] – James It might be parents or siblings, and there is sort of your physical, your social and your family goals. But then we all have financial goals, right? That's another paradigm of this. Then we have our career goals and our career goals are usually tied to our financial goals. Then we have our sort of hobbies or talent development. I like to call it. What are the things that we're looking to do that supplements this way? Other passion points that we're looking to engage in because our talents shift and evolve over time.
[00:36:02.040] – James So how are we nurturing new ones as we age and get older, especially as we enter the second half of our life? It's critically important. And then, you know, on the other side of that physical goal, now you see spiritual goals. So whatever our spiritual goals, is it, you know, spiritual group I belong to? Is it meditation? Is it looking inward more? So you look at that paradigm and what I like to do with some of my clients, I say, okay, let's look at this whole spectrum of goals and start to give yourself a rating in these categories.
[00:36:37.100] – James Am I proficient? Am I Like a 100% or am I really, really lacking? And just focus on a couple of the categories you're looking to improve and set goals within those categories and try to create balance within that chart that you're firing all those cylinders, because that brings you into almost a holistic well being approach, because I know what fitness stuff, because sometimes fitness goals, since it is an outer expression, can really take over. And sometimes fitness goals need to be tempered by spiritual goals because we're so ready to show off our buffness to the world that we forget that it's our inner world that also matters as well.
[00:37:20.150] – James Then if we're so much going out so socially all the time, it's like, hey, I've lost touch with how important it is just to make sure I'm talking with my family. And if it's a career goal, I love this career, but I'm going to take the gas off that a little bit. I'm going to focus on this other piece of talent development I have, because this might bring me into a new financial level if I want to change career path down the road. So it's nice just to look at yourself from that total well being.
[00:37:48.160] – Allan Yeah. The concept that you brought up was very similar to a thing called life audit. And basically you have the criteria that you're going to measure your life by how you're doing today. And I would say when I first started my journey, very successful in my career. I was doing really, really well, far exceeding what I had set as targets for what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. But my personal life and my physical well being, they're crap. Like zeros, you know, like zero. And I was like, until I get balanced across these, I'm not going to be who I need to be.
[00:38:31.060] – Allan And it meant ending toxic relationships. It meant changing behaviors. And it was a very tough eight years of fighting my way through that change. And it really just came down to me realizing that I was all in on one thing. And while I was exceptional at it, the rest of me was not whole. And until I did something from a more holistic view of my life, I wasn't going to be who I deserve to be. So I do think this is a really important part of the book, because it gives us that opportunity to really focus where we want to put our energies because we have a limited energy back, and we're all focused in one direction.
[00:39:19.290] – Allan Then we might have success there, but we're going to be lacking.
[00:39:23.580] – James Yeah. And I love what you said there about it took eight years, because sometimes I think we're under the false belief that we're going to fix everything so quickly and we expect everything to happen so quickly, just the commitment it takes to making that change and the commitment it takes to getting into well being, just making sure that you're focusing on just being a little bit better today than you were yesterday and not getting discouraged if there's a setback and just really appreciating that growth opportunity, because if you look at everything else in nature, you know, nature grows through extreme periods of insular growth, cocoons, rebirth.
[00:40:04.420] – James And we're an expression of nature ourselves. And sometimes I think we forget that we're releasing energetic layers, finding new energetic currents and to find those currents and to move into those new current is a lot of work. And there's going to be a lot of regrowth along the way. And you're going to be questioning yourself. I know I was in a similar situation. I was in the advertising space for years. I loved my job. I was crushing it, but I just didn't feel right. It wasn't giving me the sense of fulfillment other than the business win other than crushing that at work again, even making the transition to do this, it's a challenge and I think we all just have to make sure that and realize that, you know, we all have the ability to grow.
[00:40:55.440] – James We all have the ability to develop ourselves and you just got to put in the work.
[00:41:00.940] – Allan And James, I define wellness as being the healthiest fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:41:11.590] – James Great question. I think the first one is just appreciate the moment. Whatever that moment is, find the opportunity in it and appreciating that moment, making sure that we're expressing gratitude. You know, when we express gratitude for something great that's happening in our lives, it prolongs that level of contentment for an extended period of time. Even replaying past memories that we've had that are good can bring moments of gratitude to us. Then when things are going bad, if you're ever suffering, you're sick, you're in the hospital. You had a setback, finds gratitude in that moment and it will decrease the length of that suffering that you're having.
[00:41:54.940] – James Gratitude is a a wonderful tool to help fluctuate and equalize our contentment in life, 1st. 2nd is limit your time on social media. It's like the biggest one. I've been preaching it for years and social media is a brilliant innovation. I don't like to speak poorly about it, but we can't rely on governments or institutions to tell us how much we can use it. We need licenses to drive cars, but we don't need licenses to use social media. But social media can really drastically affect our health.
[00:42:33.240] – James Emotionally, you start comparing yourself to others, start complaining about what you have. It leads to jealousy. So when you do see something on social media, that's a trigger. Just remember to be grateful for what that person is experiencing. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. You are the experience you're your own being, you're on your own journey. Appreciate there. And I think finally is just actively engage in thought observation. And the more you start to observe your thoughts, the more natural it comes. I mean, I've written know your true self.
[00:43:11.230] – James I'm still on this journey just like everybody else. You know, we're always on the journey and thought observation becomes easier as you do it when you're just navigating life. But you know, if you have five minutes of downtime, you're waiting for something, just pause and just reflect on what are the thoughts that I've entered my head today so far, where are the thoughts coming from? Like, why am I identifying with these thoughts? And the more you start engaging in that thought observation on a regular basis, the more all of those negative thoughts that surface become a lot quieter and you're going to find a lot more peace just in the space that exists between thoughts and finding that space, which is just such a blissful experience.
[00:43:58.750] – Allan James, thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate you and the time you spent with us today. If someone wanted to learn more about you and the book, Know Your True Self, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:44:10.280] – James Yeah. Please go to PTNL.com. PTNL is the name of the company. It's the abbreviation for potential. You can also find me at James Petrossi on LinkedIn. I'm pretty sure I'm the only James Petrossi. If you go to go to PTNL.com, there's also a True self assessment quiz, so feel free. It's free just to take an assessment to see how connected you are with your true self.
[00:44:36.060] – Allan Great. James, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:44:40.240] – James Hey, thanks so much. I'm glad I'm 40.
[00:44:42.140] – Allan So I have some people under 40, we're all-inclusive here.
[00:44:47.980] – James Cool.
Post show with Rach
[00:44:55.000] – Allan Welcome back, Raz.
[00:44:57.080] – Rachel hey, Allan. That was a really interesting discussion you had, and there's a couple of phrases that stood out to me. But first of all, James' book know Your True Self. Wow. That's a really deep thought that I don't give credit to too often. I don't take the time to really think of what my true self is all about.
[00:45:20.660] – Allan There's a meme that goes around Facebook a lot in the health and fitness field, and who is causing me to not be able to lose weight or not to get fit? And it's Fred Jones from Scooby Doo cartoon. And he's pulling the mask off of whoever's the villain for this show. And it's him. He's looking at himself. And so many times when we're on a health and fitness journey, or we're trying to get something done. And even in any aspect of our lives, we often find ourselves falling into the same trap over and over again, even though we tell ourselves, Well, I'm not going to do that.
[00:45:59.440] – Allan We do it.
[00:46:02.640] – Rachel Yeah. It's just like those Scooby Doo cartoons. It is kind of a repetition of our own sabotage.
[00:46:10.540] – Allan And so the process that he goes through in the book is really good because it really shows you how you're wired. It shows you why you're wired that way. And then he gives you a lot of great information on how you can start to reverse that trend. And the very first part of it is that point where you realize, okay, I'm doing this because I'm wired to do this. So I have to look for what's happening before it happened. So sometimes that's a post mortem. It's like, why did I eat a whole box of cookies?
[00:46:47.320] – Allan And you're mad at yourself for doing it. But you sat there and watched your TV show on Netflix, and you ended up eating a whole box of cookies or a whole sleeve of Girl Scout cookies or whatever it is, and you're not happy about it. But here's the thing. If you take some time to do that post mortem, you're going to find, okay, why was I eating? Well, I was bored. Okay, so if it's the feeling of boredom that has you doing these things, then you just want to do that pause.
[00:47:18.820] – Allan The next time you feel bored, you're clicking around on your phone and your Facebooking and you're watching a Netflix movie and your minds everywhere else. That's probably a dangerous time. And so recognizing where you are right then it's like, oh, I need to get myself a glass of water. I need to go for a walk. I need to do something to distance myself from the action that I'm very likely to do. So for a lot of people, I'll tell them, just don't have cookies in the house.
[00:47:51.080] – Allan Now, that's sometimes easier said than done. If you've got kids and they're going to have cookies in the house or all these things that you shouldn't eat, that's going to be there. But if at all possible, if that wasn't there and you literally had to get into a car and drive to the supermarket or a convenience store to buy the thing that you wanted to buy, that gives you time, that gives you that gap, that gives you that space. So just kind of having that awareness that there is a trigger to just about everything we do.
[00:48:17.230] – Allan We are wired like a computer. The program is in there. So once the command comes over, it's going to be executed the same way every time. Unless we do something to rewire the computer.
[00:48:30.700] – Rachel Well, that was the fascinating thing about what he mentioned was taking the term thought observation to really take a minute to think about what you're feeling. But then he went on to say, to delay your reaction time and kind of a light bulb went off in my head like, okay, I'm craving chocolate, or I'm craving cookies like you mentioned. Think about that thought for a moment. Why are you craving that? What can you do instead? And take a pause. You mentioned in a couple of different ways just to remove yourself from that situation, he suggested for 15 minutes and then make a decision after that.
[00:49:10.220] – Rachel Do you still want that cookie after 15 minutes or have you moved on? You don't really crave it anymore. And like you've mentioned in the past, having something to do instead, I go for that walk or have that glass of water or something. But we don't often take that minute to really put words and identify the impulse and then figure out what our reactions should really be like. That was kind of a big light bulb moment for me.
[00:49:37.220] – Allan The way I kind of heard it said in the past was okay, if you're hungry, hunger doesn't go away. If it's an urge, it can't. So you can outweight and urge. So if you have an urge to eat and then say, you've already kind of had your third meal for the day and you're like, okay, I've already sent in my fitness pal. I'm done for the day logging my food and then you feel hungry and you want to go in there and start snacking and you have to ask yourself, is this really hunger or is this something else?
[00:50:14.370] – Allan And typically, again, if you can distance yourself from the time that could be go for a walk, water, just do something different for a while. If you're still hungry after 20 minutes, 30 minutes, then it was hunger. But if it was just an urge, a lot of times, those just go away. You were in a stressful moment, you were bored, something was going on. And maybe you saw something on Facebook and got triggered. And so now that was your trigger. So if you start sensing those things are happening, the more you can get in front of it, the better.
[00:50:51.550] – Allan Because post mortems great. You learn from your slip. That's awesome. But you have to act on it. And so the more you can get in front of it are like, why am I walking into the kitchen at 10:00 at night, right? I don't belong in this room after 10:00. All the dishes are done, the floors are clean. This room is off limits for at least the next half hour.
[00:51:13.910] – Rachel I love it.
[00:51:15.590] – Allan So you have to question why you're doing what you're doing and you got to get in front of it. And when you do that, then you have an opportunity to get over all the stuff that you're doing. And it's really it's hard. It's hard to take off the gloves and be real with yourself sometimes. But if you love yourself, then you want to know yourself. It's just any relationship that you have that's truly based on love. You want to take the time to get to know that person so you can treat them well all the time.
[00:51:47.600] – Rachel I'm glad you mentioned that, too, because he mentioned having self love, and he pointed out that over 80% of our voice is negative and that negative voice talks a lot and it talks loudly. And it's really striking to me that it's 80% of our thoughts are so negative towards ourselves, and I think that people we all need to really work hard to turn that around and focus on the more positive things about ourselves.
[00:52:15.920] – Allan I would say that 80% is probably an average. I know people that their self talk has to be 100% bad, just the way they treat themselves, the way they go through things, the way they talk about themselves, to me, to other people like, you don't like yourself right now. And I didn't either. When I was sitting on the beach and I called myself the fat bastard, and I didn't have self love at that point in my life. I didn't like who I had become, and that was a real wake up call.
[00:52:48.100] – Allan Unfortunately, it took me eight years to do anything really good about it and get it all kind of in a better place. But that was a real true first recognition that I was not on the path I was meant to be on. And so once you get that going and then you start finding ways to treat yourself better, you start removing toxic things from your life. Toxic relationships, toxic foods, toxic everything. Once you start doing that, you can start the ball rolling in the right direction.
[00:53:19.740] – Rachel For sure. It breaks my heart. It really just breaks my heart when people think so poorly of themselves, because I think people are amazing. I think all of us has some important thing to do in society, for our friends, for our families.
[00:53:35.740] – Rachel I think that we need to recognize all the amazing things that we do in. I think I was pregnant with my first child and weighed over 200 lbs during that pregnancy, which is at least 75 lbs more than I should have been weighing at that time in a pregnancy. And when I was done, my baby was born and she was healthy. You know, of course, I was incredibly overweight, but I wasn't comfortable and I wasn't happy with my health at that moment. But I was so proud to be a mom.
[00:54:09.590] – Rachel That was my first child. She made me a mom. And my mind was occupied on being the best mom I could be. And so I guess it didn't really overshadow my weight situation. I just knew that was something I needed to deal with, and it wasn't easy to lose all that weight, certainly, or to get to where I am even today at 50. But I just wish people could really recognize that even when you're not feeling your absolute best, there is something wonderful about you.
[00:54:38.500] – Allan Yeah, I know it's hard because there's when you're looking at yourself and thinking about what you don't like about yourself, it just has this big emphasis. It's very easy for you to say, and I don't like that. I don't like that. I wish this was bigger. I wish I was taller. And you can think all those things and feel all those things. A lot of people want a full head of hair. I just gave up on that notion and so you can keep knit picking yourself to death.
[00:55:09.620] – Allan So it's really a function of saying, okay, I know I bring value to the world. I know I can bring more value to the world. The actions that I'm taking don't define who I am when I can change those actions.
[00:55:24.640] – Rachel Sure.
[00:55:25.400] – Allan So taking the time to clean out those old bad habits, rewrite your programming, start doing little bitty things, setting goals and getting something done positive and then just having a gratitude practice where you sit down at times you just think I'm the luckiest human being on Earth.
[00:55:47.180] – Rachel Absolutely.
[00:55:48.390] – Allan I've got so many great people in my life. I can't even tell you how thankful I am for everything that's happened to me and happened for me, good and bad. It's just those are life experiences that I carry with me and I've had some wonderful ones.
[00:56:04.080] – Allan And I think anyone that would sit down and start a gratitude practice would begin to recognize that. That they have these relationships, that they have these experiences and they have this opportunity to have so many more.
[00:56:18.070] – Rachel Yeah. Absolutely. Our past good, bad and ugly has made us who we are today and we can benefit so much from all of those life experiences and everything that we've learned on the good days just as well as the bad days.
[00:56:34.160] – Allan Alright. Well, Rachel, I guess with this, we'll call this show a wrap.
[00:56:38.300] – Rachel Sounds great. Have a good vacation.
[00:56:40.320] – Allan Thank you.
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