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In his book, Accelerated Evolution, Satyen Raja is a groundbreaking work that offers a unique approach to personal growth. On episode 593 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss his methodology blends ancient wisdom with modern psychology, neuroscience, and cutting-edge technology.
[00:03:17.230] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are you doing?
[00:03:19.200] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:03:21.230] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Just got back from the United States and is usually the case, at least in the last few years when I travel, because I'm not traveling all the time. I got a cold. And so, yeah, I'm just now getting a little under the weather and hopeful that my voice will hold out long enough to do what I've got to do this week as a podcaster and recording and being on other podcasts and all that. But anyway, so I have a little bit of a cold. If I sound a little nasally, I apologize. And I'll probably a lot of my intros for the next few weeks might sound a little nasally because I've got to record those as well. But how are things up there?
[00:03:57.130] – Rachel
Good. Almost the same, though, because the news calls it sneezing season. We're in the peak allergy season right now, and although I've been getting the allergy shots, I'm due for one, and they've been working really well. You just can't escape the pollen and the irritants in the air. So, yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if you got a touch of the pollen while you were here in the United States and maybe your body's reacting. But yeah, you know that we did time of year.
[00:04:24.420] – Allan
We did do that. We went out with one of her uncles and aunts to a place, the bar. They were having karaoke, and we walked up and the sign said, this is a smoking bar. And I didn't even know those still existed.
[00:04:36.060] – Rachel
No, me neither. Interesting.
[00:04:39.220] – Allan
So, yeah, we literally sat there for two or 3 hours in a bar where everyone is at a smoking bar. Pretty much everybody that's at a smoking bar smokes. So it was horrific hell on earth. And so it might just be that my sinuses are telling me that was stupid things you do for the people you love. So it might be that or cold, but I'll take care of it one way or another.
[00:05:07.030] – Rachel
Yeah, getting my allergy shots tomorrow. I'll be fine soon, but yeah, it's beautiful.
[00:05:11.590] – Allan
All right, well, are you ready to have a conversation with Satyen?
[00:05:18.030] – Rachel
[00:05:44.730] – Allan
Satyen. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:05:47.560] – Satyen
Thanks, Allan, for having me. Looking forward to chat with you today.
[00:05:50.480] – Allan
Yeah. So the name of your book is called Accelerated Evolution: The Revolutionary Transformational Method for Clearing Problems, Achieving Your Goals and Accelerating Spiritual Awakening That's Sweeping the World. I'll have to blatantly admit I'm not someone who's really gotten into a whole lot of the spiritual. I'm going to call it touchy feely. Okay. For just lack of a better word, I kind of grew up old school. You take care of yourself. You take care of those around you. You form a good community. You form a good family. And we kind of work through that. But I think I see more and more where traumas and things that people have gone through are adversely affecting the quality of their life today. And so I think any tool that can help someone achieve clarity and get through and get past some of these things is at least worth a listen. So I'm glad to have you on the show where we can have this conversation. Thank you.
[00:06:47.830] – Satyen
Allan, what you shared regarding old school, that is the foundation you got to take care of yourself. So what you just shared is exactly what accelerated evolution is about. It's about getting solid with yourself, then getting solid with your family, getting solid with your contribution to society and how you flow with everything. And most people try to focus on many things out there, but when you start focusing on yourself first so I think you actually might be further away, further down the road of this than you might even realize, my friend.
[00:07:18.810] – Allan
Perhaps. Perhaps. But I know I still have a lot of work to do to be the guy that my dog looks to as I kind of saw that written on a sign somewhere. I just want to be the man that my dog thinks I am. So you talked in the book, and I've seen this, they look at the blue zones and they look at a lot of other things about why people live a long life, a long, good life. And it usually comes down, one of the key ones that they'll talk about their movement and their sleep and all that. But one of the big ones and one that often gets passed up is purpose. And in the book, you call it Dharma, which because I kind of knew that was really more from yoga than anything else, but from where I caught it from. But can you talk about Dharma and purpose and why that's important?
[00:08:08.830] – Satyen
Certainly. And because I'm 56. Just recently, last week. Fitness and health has been really close to my heart. Wellness of being. I started out as a therapist, very young shiatsu therapist doing body work, massage, that type of stuff. And Chinese and Japanese healing arts. And then I dove deep into martial arts. That was my base and still is now 43 years plus. And so fitness and well being, I recognize, is multidimensional. It's physical. Of course, we all know about that. The physicality is our vitality. But it's also mental. If we got a lot of mental noise in ourself, self limiting beliefs, we're putting ourselves down. Or our mind is looping around negative thoughts like, I'm not good enough. I'll never make it. And those can be many of them can be unconscious. Right? Then we need to have mental fitness as well. We also need to have emotional fitness of being. When we're all overwhelmed, filled with struggle, filled with tension of the day, of the era, of the time, of everything that we've got going on, then we're not going to be emotionally free to have emotional freedom, the capacity to be light, buoyant, joyful, loving, gracious, magnanimous rather than irritable, intense and filled with anger and vitriol and judgment.
[00:09:27.250] – Satyen
And all of this, when we have emotional fluidity in our being, our whole health goes through the roof. And then spiritual health is a connection to our soul, our heart, a connection to our higher purpose. Dharma, as you said. Now, whether you're religious or not, to me, spiritual means recognizing and getting clear that we actually do have a higher purpose here. We have a purpose of contribution in some way. It might not be world level contribution, it could be just contribution in our neighborhood. Don't ever underestimate that you are here and that we are here for a contribution. And contribution to me, is the pathway to our spiritual essence. So to me, fitness and well being is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. And when we awaken all that within ourselves, we become unstoppable. Our health and fitness goes through the roof and we become magnetic. Success comes to us rather than us chasing it.
[00:10:22.020] – Allan
Now, one of the reasons, I guess, my purpose, if you will, of what I do is trying to help people get healthy and fit. That's why I started this podcast. That's why I coach people online. And the main reason that a lot of people say that they're coming to me is that they lack motivation and they struggle with motivation or staying motivated. Sometimes they get started, but then they fall back and they just can't keep that motivation going. In the book, you share the prime theory of motivation. Could you kind of go through those five elements of the prime theory and why those are important and how they can help us?
[00:10:55.410] – Satyen
Okay, so I'm going to give you the essence of all of that motivation. Those five boil down to one. Okay? What it is, is there is a plethora of knowledge, we all know that, on how to get well, how to be fit. You can go on YouTube, you can see tens of thousands of exercise videos, all for free all of that. Why we're not motivated is we have three main reasons we're not motivated, and it's all unconscious. Number one is limiting beliefs. We have beliefs about ourselves. I'm too old, I'm too young, I'm too fat, I'm too thin, I'm not strong enough. I'm to this, I'm too that. And we gain these. We pick up these limiting beliefs from challenges in our life. When we were earlier and someone said, hey, I don't know if you can do that, and you say, you're right, you bought into it. I don't know if I can do that. Every time we bought into these lies about ourselves, we created a false image about who we are, a limited image. And then we start thinking out of that mindset. And you can see that in a lot of people and even in ourselves, that if we listen to those limiting beliefs, we'll remain a prisoner, a slave to them.
[00:12:06.550] – Satyen
So that's the first thing we got to get in touch with, how to heal and transform our limiting beliefs. That is one of the main areas that holds us back from being fully motivated spontaneously, naturally, without this. Gregarious willpower right. The other number two block we have to being fully motivated and inspired to be fit and well is traumas. Traumas are negative or heavy duty things that have happened to our lives that we couldn't process or deal with or absorb or digest in the moment. And so that intensity of that experience is suspended in our images, in our mind, thoughts that we have, emotions that we have, and body sensations. So traumas get lodged in our whole psyche, our body, in our breath, in our being, and we don't even realize we're walking around with these traumas. It could be emotional ones, things that were just not right, that were overwhelming for you when you were wrong, that you had to defend yourself with or brace yourself. And that unconscious bracing is still inside. Traumas also can be physical. I remember years ago in a martial art injury I had, I was always nervous to do anything with my legs.
[00:13:22.920] – Satyen
I sprained my knees, hurt my knees multiple times. So I had this trauma in my knees and I felt if I do anything and I didn't know I was holding myself back because of this fear of if I go a little too far, I might hurt myself. This is an unconscious trauma that holds us back from our full engagement with our health. So number one is limiting beliefs. Number two is traumas. And the third part that holds us back from being fully motivated and engaged are unconscious family loyalties. We have loyalties to our family members. My father lived till like this, till 70, and I'm going to live till 70. Or we see a pattern. One of the interesting patterns is seeing family patterns of health up and down and seeing how my clients mirror those family patterns. Why? Because there's an unconscious loyalty to the good and the bad that's gone on in the past. So we got to find those, excavate them and heal them. So in our body of work, accelerated evolution, what we do is we find what those limiting beliefs are. We find what those traumas are. We find what those unconscious family loyalties that are not healthy, there's some that are healthy.
[00:14:35.390] – Satyen
We find what are not healthy. And deeply, rapidly and very fast in a rapid way, we clear them, we transform them. What would have taken months, years in therapy or traditional methods we're able to do in minutes when that unconscious loyalty is healed, when the limiting belief is transformed to one of great belief in yourself. And when you've removed the traumas, that energy that was stored in you now goes into your vitality. Now you become an unstoppable motivation machine, but in a natural way, not in this Gregarious willpower which will only burn out.
[00:15:11.490] – Allan
Now one of the big areas and it was kind of, I would say the last area for me in focusing with my health and wellness was stress. I initially started movement because for me that was the easiest one to start and then I moved into managing my nutrition and then sleep and so I ended up with still in a very stressful job at the time and it was just the stress was chronic. It was always there, the bear was always chasing me. How can we use this method to address stress?
[00:15:44.600] – Satyen
That's a great question. Well first of all I want to just really get this across that stress is the real pandemic that's across society now that is in ourselves, that's lurking in our mind, lurking in our emotions, lurking in our body. And stress first of all is an accumulation of importance. I need to do that now, I'm not here so far. How am I supposed to deal with all of that? All these incompleted communications, all this stuff that we stuffed down in ourselves, things that we wanted to share but we don't feel we're going to be heard. We feel that we're not understood. We feel that we're not gotten or loved or appreciated or valued enough. This all causes stress. The craziness of the demands of work nowadays tends to be extreme. We're being asked to and even within ourselves to do far more work in less time with better results, with more efficiency. No wonder we're killing ourselves with stress. Stress causes all these stress hormones that just bring our body down. It makes us hard to get up at. We need more rest, more sleep and we never get it. So we're burning ourselves out.
[00:16:57.170] – Satyen
And when we burn ourselves out, many of us are burned out or close to being burned out or over running being burned out. We're burned out already way back. But we're caffeinating ourselves, drinking ourselves, sugaring ourselves to run on top of the accumulated stress. So first of all you got to get that it's killing us and you got to get real with us. We got to get real with ourselves and not just put it aside and say one day I'll get to it because that one day will never happen. It'll never happen. The way we deal with it with accelerated evolution is we find where that stress is and we go to it immediately. Rather than circling around with long histories and talking about my background and for hours and hours and maybe after the third, 4th, 5th session with the therapist, you get to the stress or ten in less than an hour. We can get to the core of why you're creating the stress in the first place and what you're doing to reinforce it. And we go right to it, we transform it, we open it, and the stress then turns into wisdom, like right in your mind, right in your consciousness, you get to the core and you heal.
[00:18:03.590] – Satyen
That's not just the stress you heal why you are getting yourself in continuously stressful situations? Because dealing with stress on the outside, relaxation, therapies meditation, contraction, relaxation, herbs or supplements to comet, that's all on the external. It's not dealing with the cause. The cause is the excess importance, the excessive importance that we put on things that we should really back off and smile a bit and enjoy a bit. But it's hard to do that when we're wound up. So that's why we like to heal people in one session rather than take weeks and months. Everyone's too busy nowadays. We need a method and a way to resolve really this death knell march that we're doing as a society off the cliff with stress. We need to recapture our energy and focus on what's most important in our lives, our health, our well being, our families, our joy, our happiness. Stress then becomes a motivation and inspiration, not something that destroys us.
[00:19:11.330] – Allan
Thank you. So now another area where I think a lot of people will see some value from this is because, again, they're hiring a personal trainer. They want to lose some weight. They know that they got there predominantly from overeating. And so this method can be used to kind of get to the root of that too, right?
[00:19:28.790] – Satyen
Absolutely. If we look at the conditions, like being overweight, being overweight, because we're eating more than we need to, and you can get all the advice on, hey, stop this, lower your calories. But what about your emotions? Do they want you to stop eating? What about your inner mindset that hurt young person inside or the one that's lacking love inside of yourself? And the only way you can feel love is when you're eating food and getting that rush and feeling that fulfillment in your belly and eating that sugar. So we know mentally it's not well being, but emotionally it's fulfilling us temporarily. Until then, we go, what did I do? And we go down that spiral again of beating ourselves up and judging ourselves and okay, now we're going to get vehement and get healthy again. This is a crazy cycle that so many people have been on. The root of overeating is because we're trying to fill ourselves with love and connection and fulfillment and freedom. And since we're not getting it the real way through human connection and wholeness, we seek it through artificial, superficial, unhealthy ways. And so what we do with accelerated evolution, we get to the core of why we are seeking these unhealthy ways of being full.
[00:20:48.640] – Satyen
We reorient that. We reprogram our subconscious, we heal our subconscious mind. And now we're geared and training ourselves to seek true fulfillment from relationship rather than from the stuff that knocks us down.
[00:21:03.940] – Allan
If someone were going to go through an accelerated evolution session, what would that process look to them?
[00:21:10.940] – Satyen
It's really simple. A coach, a guide, first of all, will ask you what's the main challenge you've got going on that you'd like help with? What's the main thing that's bothering you? So come with honesty and realness. Okay, this is the thing I want most transformed in my life. It could be personal, could be professional, could be health, could be your food, it could be your weight, it could be your exercise. Whatever is most clogging you up, bring that honestly and directly to the accelerated evolution guide. Then, rather than taking a long, long case history, they're going to now say, okay, they're going to get you to take a few breaths and relax and get in touch with the disharmony. They're going to get you to feel the problem, not just talk about it. They're going to get you to quiet and feel how that affects you, how that's limiting your life, how that's hurting you. And you're going to feel where it is in your body, how it feels. And then the guide is going to take you through this beautiful process that step by step guides you within, that you'll actually feel it within minutes, how the tension, the self hate, the loathing, the contraction inside yourself starts to open and become lighter and freer and spacious.
[00:22:25.620] – Satyen
Then ultimately you're actually going to be in this place of joy and true freedom and inner insight. Then the guide will say, once you've got to that place and you've released the tension and the trauma and all that limiting beliefs that keep you in that stutt state, this happens very quickly, very quickly. Then what happens is they're going to say, okay, now how do you want to live this in life? They're going to give you guidance, support and insight on how to live this way so that the new way you're being is translating into life in a good wholesome way. And that all happens in under an hour.
[00:23:01.370] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:23:09.490] – Satyen
Okay. Number one is to recognize that your limits are a portal to your strengths. Number one, make a list of where you feel unwell, where you feel not fully happy, where you feel that you're not joyful enough. Don't hide from that. Make a list of the top three areas that are holding you back that you feel bad about or you feel guilty or shameful or not on about, and get real with them. That's number one. Just three. Don't make a list of 100, just three. Is good.
[00:23:47.460] – Allan
My list would be pretty long, too.
[00:23:49.060] – Satyen
Okay, start with the top three. We all have that, right? But if you make a list of 20 things, you're going to get depressed, you're going to go, I'll never get to top three. Number two, make a commitment that you make a commitment that you're going to go through any method, any ways, any means. And if accelerated evolution is inspiring you, come and experience that. Make a commitment that I'm not going to let those things keep me down. I'm going to use those as a slingshot and a doorway, a portal to my fullness, because every accelerated evolution guide or anyone who goes through it, they get to recognize my limitation is actually a gift. That actually is a powerful gift inside. So you got to do that. That's number two. Number three, make a commitment to a new narrative of your life. You'll change so rapidly within a short period of time, you now have to let go of the old story of how you used to be, and now you got to create a new story for yourself without the old baggage of yesterday. The new story is, now that I'm clear of this, here's how I'm going to live my life.
[00:25:00.660] – Satyen
Here's my morning routine I'm going to give myself as a gift. Here's my eating routine I'm going to give myself as a gift. So you start visualizing a new path, a new life, a new way of being. So I'll summarize. Number one, get real with your obstacles. Number two, be willing and vulnerable, doesn't matter who you are, and commit to doing the work to transform those limits into power. And number three, create a new narrative, a new visual, a new vision of how you live your life that's congruent with joy and your highest harmony and your highest well being.
[00:25:38.360] – Allan
Thank you for sharing that. Satyen, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about Accelerated Evolution, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:25:45.890] – Satyen
Well, we have a gift for everyone here, and that's a live experience of accelerated evolution. And so go to the URL, the website acceleratedevolutiongift.com. acceleratedevolutiongift.com. This will give you the direct experience of all that I'm talking about. Come to that session. You'll see it's all online. It's exactly guided by myself. And then have the transformative experience yourself so you know what I'm talking about. You know this is real and not some pie in the sky thing. And then I'd love to hear from you. You'll have information on how to chat with me and how to continue.
[00:26:27.640] – Allan
you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/593, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Satyen, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:26:37.540] – Satyen
Allan, it's been a joy. Thank you so much for your kind, caring, the good work you do in the world.
[00:26:51.010] – Allan
Welcome back. Ras.
[00:26:52.460] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, that was a really interesting interview and a couple of things that stuck out in my head when he said limiting beliefs. I have heard that and I felt that a few times. Having recently turned 50, I'll be 52 this summer. Just once I let it slip out like I'm too old for this. As soon as I heard myself say, I'm like, okay, no, I am not too old to be doing what I'm doing. I just need to reframe that. I'm working really hard, I'm getting really sore, I'm getting really tired. There's a lot going on. But yeah, I can see how limiting beliefs can really change your mindset.
[00:27:29.990] – Allan
Yeah. Again, I didn't go through one of his sessions, so I really can't opine on what those sessions are like. You would have to experience it yourself. If this is something that resonates with you, by all means, get the book, read through it, and you can get a free session with them to see if this is something that would work for you. But the core basis of it is if you believe that your life is hell, then it is. And if you believe that you have ultimate capacity to heal and grow, then you will. And so there is this idea that our brains can do things that you just wouldn't even believe. I'll give you a perfect example interview that's going to come up in a couple of weeks with Dr. Tom Walters. And in his book he had a concept where he said, our brain tells us something or our body tells us something, and it's not even really true, but we just react. And so the example he gave was your back might like you had low back pain at one point. You might have low back pain when you get a cold.
[00:28:34.930] – Allan
And so I'm walking over to the office and I'm feeling kind of achy in my lower back. And it didn't occur to me that I had like, something subliminal. It must have been in my head because there's nothing wrong with my back. I didn't do anything to my back and there's no injury, but it just felt a little achy as I was walking over here. And I'm like, you know, he put that in my head.
[00:28:58.830] – Rachel
[00:28:59.870] – Allan
And so there is a mind body thing, and where the brain goes, the body can go. If the brain doesn't go there, the body won't go. And so if you believe in things and you really put your faith in things and then you work, it's still going to take work. It's not something even though he says 1 hour and you might be able to do amazing things in 1 hour. But the reality of it is if you don't believe that something's going to help you or you don't believe you can resolve the pain or the trauma or the stress or whatever, then you obviously won't. And so a big part of stress management a big a part of some of the things that are out there that are big hold back problems, the limiting beliefs, the eating, relationships with food, all of those are about the way you're perceiving the world. And if you can change your perception, you can change your outcome.
[00:29:54.280] – Rachel
Very much so. I feel like if you could just be open to what you're experiencing and maybe even take a minute to ponder what you're doing, whether it's a relationship with food or relationship, what you do for exercise, I mean, ponder for a second, like I said the other day, I'm too old for this. And truly, if I had stuck with that mindset, I wouldn't do a lot of the things that I do. And I'm really pondering that a lot these days. What can I do? I guess the flip side of that is my opportunities are almost limitless as to what I can do. An age is just a number. It's kind of irrelevant. It's not like your body shuts down at a certain age or something. But if you really did take the time to evaluate what's troubling you or what's not serving you and find a way to fix it, as long as you're open, I guess, to the ability to fix it, it really is a lot about your attitude and what you want to accomplish.
[00:30:55.420] – Allan
A perfect example would be cupping or acupuncture. For me, I just look at those and say, not for me, I'm not going to believe it's going to work. So therefore I'm not interested,
[00:31:08.950] – Rachel
why waste your time?
[00:31:10.380] – Allan
So I'm not going to waste my time. But on the other end, some people do, they get acupuncture, they get different things done that you'd be like, okay, maybe there's something behind it, but I don't see it. But they say, no, I go and get acupuncture once a week and it helps with my pain and I feel great, I'm like, awesome, keep doing it. So if it's working, keep going. If you're open to it, then be open to it. Because if you sit down with a session and any of those things and you say, I don't believe this is going to help me, then it won't. So just realize who you are intrinsically and look for solutions for your problems that make sense for you based on how you're currently wired. Now you can rewire yourself, you can change some of those things, but it's not something where you can sit there and say, I believe cupping is going to solve my problem.
[00:32:01.880] – Allan
If you really don't believe cupping, so you go through a couple of cupping sessions and it does nothing for you other than leave those purple circles. Okay, did it solve your problem? Well, no, because you didn't really go in believing that it would. And so just as there's placebo effect and the nocebo effect, those are real, those are real sensations in your brain. Things are happening, the wiring and so if this is something that appeals to you, then I think you should check out his book. I think you should check out that free session he offered.
[00:32:33.410] – Rachel
That sounds awesome. Yeah, sounds really great.
[00:32:37.250] – Allan
All right, well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:32:40.550] – Rachel
Take care, Allan.
[00:32:41.750] – Allan
[00:32:42.600] – Rachel
[00:32:43.380] – Allan
[00:32:44.200] – Rachel
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Ken McQuade||– Leigh Tanner|
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In his book, I'm Not Okay With Gray, Michael Tayler shows us how we can approach life and embrace all that it brings.
[00:02:44.470] – Allan
Hey, Rachel. How are you?
[00:02:46.540] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Good. How are you today?
[00:02:48.630] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Kind of busy.
[00:02:51.470] – Rachel
Yeah. Busy is good.
[00:02:54.390] – Allan
Because we're rounding out the final bits of busy season here in Bocas. And so it's like a lot of moving still a lot of moving parts and this and that and just getting things just keeping things going and saying, okay, now I've got to spin this plate, and then I got to run over here and spin that plate. Just being pulled in a few different directions, but it's good. We've had a really good season at Lula's, and so I'm just really excited that that's going well. So just keep the plate spinning.
[00:03:28.830] – Rachel
That's awesome. Well, good. Glad everything's going well at Lula's.
[00:03:32.150] – Allan
How are things up there?
[00:03:33.620] – Rachel
Good. We are also kind of busy with the maple syrup boil still happening, still collecting. I got to do my rounds later this afternoon.
[00:03:43.260] – Allan
That is the funniest thing. Is that okay, you're keto and you're talking about maple syrup.
[00:03:48.080] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. Yeah, it's funny. We tell everybody we have a lot, and actually, let's see, this year we'll have had about four boils, so we should end up probably close to about maybe four gallons, maybe not quite four full gallons of maple syrup. And you're right, we don't eat it. We share it. We give it to everybody. But the time outdoors is really special, and this type of little homesteading habit that we have of turning maple SAP into syrup is such a really neat, lost kind of art form. We like to share it with our friends, and so we like to have the kids come and see what it's all about. And it's just a really fun thing to do and to share. It's just fun.
[00:04:37.880] – Allan
Well, cool. All right. Are you ready to talk to Michael Taylor?
[00:04:42.820] – Rachel
[00:05:40.110] – Allan
Michael. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:05:43.230] – Michael
Hello, Allan. Thanks for having me. I'm really excited about the conversation.
[00:05:47.070] – Allan
Well, I haven't shaved in a few days, and it's starting to itch. I'm going to be shaving pretty quick here because another thing that happens when I don't shave, being 57 years old, somehow or another, you don't seem to have this problem, but I have a lot of grays that come out. And your book is called, I'm Not Okay With Gray: How to Create an Extraordinary Life After 50. Being 57, and I said, that title just kind of kicks you and says, okay, that's what I want, other than I'm okay with the gray, just sometimes not okay with where that takes us mentally.
[00:06:26.010] – Michael
Got you. Interestingly enough, the way the title came about is I actually would be fully gray, but I dye my hair, right. And so a friend of mine and I were having a conversation about dyeing my beard, my goatee, and he said, man, why you dye your beard, why don't you just go gray? And I said, well, I'm not okay with Gray. And as soon as I made the comment, I went, wow, that is a cool title for a book. And so as an author, what I usually do, whenever I have a cool title that pops up like that, I make a little note on my phone, right? I said no. I'm going to write a book called I'm Not Okay With Gray. And fast forward a year and a half or so, and here I am promoting the book.
[00:07:07.210] – Allan
And it's a great book if you're someone that's kind of at that point where you're struggling with a lot of where you are in the world, there's a lot in this book to look at. And I think one of the reasons that this is really an important topic is we get to or around the age of 50, some of it's a little earlier, some is a little bit later, but we start asking ourselves those deeper questions, is it all worth it? Where am I going? And sometimes it's because our kids are no longer kids anymore, and they're off running and doing their lives. Sometimes we've gone through some pretty drastic changes that midlife will often either spur in us to do, or they just almost seem to happen because we're actually looking ahead instead of feeling stuck and looking backwards for the good or the bad. But one of the words, the word you used in this book as you kind of went through the subsections, and when I first saw that the table contents because I actually read all the books, and I'm going through the table contents, and I'm like, okay, he's using this word.
[00:08:16.350] – Allan
He's using this word. And then when I start actually reading what you had written, I'm like, you could not have used a better word because you think about the title, I'm Not okay with Gray, and that's like, okay, well, what are you going to do about it? Well, you can dye your hair. Okay, great. That doesn't change anything fundamentally in your life, but you use the word embrace, and I think that is such a powerful word. As I was kind of sitting there, I got chills now thinking about how important that word is as we look to change our lives and just what the word embrace means. So I wanted to dive into your head a little bit about that word because you obviously chose it. You're an author and a speaker. You chose that word on purpose. This isn't an accident. Let's talk about that word from your perspective.
[00:09:08.510] – Michael
Well, first of all, the title had absolutely nothing to do with hair color. The title really is about I'm committed to empowering men and women over 50, right? To change their mindsets about aging so they can make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. Okay, so the title, again, is kind of a catchy title, but in reality, it's really about changing our mindsets. And as a former atheist, there was a time in my life where I had absolutely no I was completely close to the idea that there was something bigger than me out there. Right. Well, I went on this amazing journey, found my own spiritual connection. But what embrace is for me, it's about incorporating, bringing into your awareness, new ideas. And so when I say embrace, there's so many talking heads and experts out there telling you, you should do this, you should do that. I'm not trying to tell you to do anything. I'm making a suggestion for you to embrace this idea, this different way of looking at things, so that if you're willing to do that, I believe you can change your life. But we have to be willing to embrace these new ideas, which can be difficult for some, but I don't think anything changes until we embrace new ways of thinking, believing and behaving.
[00:10:36.160] – Michael
And so that's why I focused on that word.
[00:10:38.570] – Allan
Yeah. And like I said, I think it's just a really a powerful word because you're not telling people a path. This is the path to the extraordinary life. This is what you have to do. Just do these ten things and your life will be better. What you're saying is the world is the world. Sometimes it's changing in ways that we don't necessarily agree with or want. We have to control what we can control, and we have to put into our lives what we want to have in our lives. And we've got to not have things in our lives that we want out of our lives. And so the idea of embracing things and looking for the good in them, I think, is really a powerful way of approaching this, because there are going to my elbow hurts, my knee hurts. Well, my hip hurts. And we could embrace that and we can talk about that all day, or we can really kind of get into deeper conversations about who we are and why we're here and what we're trying to accomplish with, like you said, the second half of our lives. Because if you're over 50 and you're listening to this, there's a high probability you might just live another hundred, another 50 years with medical science the way it is.
[00:11:50.660] – Allan
And wouldn't it be a shame to not live that second half even close to the first half when all of your horror stories, you sit down, you talk about all the hardships and the things you had in your life, and I think I had these things and they're in my life. And I can say the whole question, would you go back and relive your life again? And how would you change it? It's like, I don't even want to think about that. I don't even want that. If you told me I could keep living my life the way I am. Or I could go back and live it again. I'd probably just live it where I'm at. I'd be what I am.
[00:12:31.390] – Michael
Yeah, but here's the thing that I think a lot of people are missing. We live in a society and culture that loves bad news. Amazing we focus so much attention on what's wrong with the world. But see, my belief is that there are a lot more things that are right with the world that are wrong with it. And one of the things that's really right with the world is as a human being, we are moving into a lot of people don't realize that they're predicting in the next 20 years or so, the average lifespan is going to be 120 years old. People are going to be living longer because of technology, because of they're doing DNA sequencing and all these cool things. They're doing it with the technology. So the question becomes, if we're going to be living that long, how are we going to live the second half of our lives? And so my personal belief I'm 62. I'll be 63 this year. But honestly, man, I really feel like I'm still in my thirty s. And when I say feel like that, it's not just physically, it's just emotionally, psychologically, spiritually. I just feel alive.
[00:13:45.370] – Michael
And I know that that's what a lot of people are hungry for. That feeling of aliveness. And you'll never get that feeling of aliveness from how much money you have in the bank, how big your house is, what kind of car you drive. It's an internal process of connecting with our authentic selves. And so again, I have set an intention, I plan on living to be 100 years old at least. I just want to get the three digits, if nothing else, just from my own goal setting. Whatever I want to say I'm 100. That's kind of cool.
[00:14:25.570] – Allan
Yeah. But the problem is there'll be dozens and dozens of us standing right next to you because a lot of us are going to get there. But when we get there, I think this is what scares a lot of people is that we might not have taken care of the vehicle that's going to get us there.
[00:14:45.370] – Michael
There you go. There you go. And that's the thing. It is my belief that there is nothing on this planet that is more amazing than the human body. The human body, in my opinion, I call it the ultimate vehicle, right? And we sometimes forget that it is the only vehicle on the planet that actually gets stronger the more we use it. And so if we don't use it, it begins to atrophy. And so the people that are afraid of getting older, a lot of times it's because we're afraid of being incapacitated. We're afraid of being limped over with a cane or a crutch or whatever. So I'm saying, why not change our mindset? To say, you know what? I do want to live to be 100. And so what do I need to do to try to make sure that when I get there, I'm not incapacitated? Well, you have a perfect show. We got to take care of our health. We've got to take care of this. We've got to take care of this amazing physical body that we have. And so it's important for us to understand the idea that the body is perfect by design, right?
[00:16:01.960] – Michael
And we just have to be willing to do a few things to help it stay and run at its optimal level.
[00:16:09.030] – Allan
So in the book, you shared ten simple steps to take care of your physical body. Could you talk about a few of those, some of your favorite ones maybe?
[00:16:18.550] – Michael
Well, but let me tell you how I got on this health journey, though. This is a really cool story, okay? When I was 18 years old, I got my first full time job. I've always had a great work ethic and so forth. So I got this full time job. Well, at 18, I still wasn't willing to give up my partying lifestyle. I'd go out, I'd stay out at 3:00 4:00 in the morning, get up and be to work by eight. Well, sometimes I'd even spend a night in my car in the parking lot of my job because I'd stayed out partying all night. Well, one morning I wake up, I take a shower, and as I'm showering, I feel this little twinge in my chest. Disregarded. Didn't pay attention to it. I get to work, and I was working at a building supply center and I'm loading these two by fours into this rack. And all of a sudden it felt like you remember the Rambo knife? Rambo? The big knife that he had? Well, it felt like the Rambo knife went through my heart. And it was so debilitating that I literally just blacked out. When I woke up,
[00:17:34.350] – Michael
I'm getting rolled to an ambulance again, and I'm only 19 years old. 18 years old. And they roll me to the ambulance. I wake up, I look around, don't know what's going on. So we get in the ambulance. The guys hooked me up with EKGs or whatever, and the guy says, you can slow down. There's nothing wrong with his heart. So I get to the hospital, there's the doctor. Once again, they've got me hooked up with all the EKGs and everything. The doctor walks in and he says, well, tell me what's wrong. I say, hey, man, you're the doctor. You tell me what's wrong. Did I just have a heart attack? He said, no, you didn't have a heart attack. Asking me questions. And he gets to the point about, well, can you think of anything that you've done differently recently? And I said, Well, I hadn't been sleeping a lot lately. And he goes, oh, tell me more about that. So I started explaining to him how I was doing what I was doing. And basically what happened was my body was so tired, it literally shut down. And what happened is the muscles in my chest cramped around my heart so intensely that it gave the symptoms of a heart attack because it basically cramped around my heart.
[00:18:50.560] – Michael
And boom, it just shut everything down temporarily. And that's when I blacked out. Well, he gave me some muscle relaxers, and I slept for like, 21 hours straight. But the amazing thing about that is that after that incident, I had a really interesting conversation with myself. And that conversation was, wow, my body is smarter than I am. I wouldn't slow down. So it took the necessary steps to make me slow down. And that was in 1978. And after that, I saw the movie Rocky. I wanted to be like Apollo Creed, so I got me a little set of cement weights and started working out. And I've been working out ever since. So in answer to your question, the things that we have to do, I think from a physical standpoint, I would point to exercise. But for me, the most important thing that I've done in regards to my health is something I started 30 years ago, which was meditation. Learning to meditate was the most life changing experience that I've ever had because I've always been an overthinker. And, man, I used to get these thinking headaches I couldn't turn my mind off. And so I took some classes and I learned how to meditate.
[00:20:12.040] – Michael
And it has been just amazing. Again, I've been doing it for 30 years after that. I think an important part that we don't talk about, especially as men, when we talk about our health, is our emotional health. I didn't recognize that. I had a lot of stuff. I had a lot of emotional baggage that I had to be willing to unpack. And one way that I unpacked it was I gained the courage to go to therapy and I unpacked a lot of that emotional baggage that I've been carrying around for a long, long time. And then that's when the third part is making sure I take care of my body, getting annual physicals, making sure that I'm paying attention to how my body feels. I'm not a health nut by any stretch of imagination, but I'm extremely healthy. Again, at 62, I can still bench press over 350. I go to the gym three days a week. So obviously, exercise is a really important part of that. So those would be the three things that I would point to. First of all, when I start talking about health, because you mentioned health in terms of wellness, but also happiness.
[00:21:22.410] – Michael
And I couldn't have gotten to that place of happiness if I, number one, hadn't learned to meditate. Number two, hadn't dealt with some emotional baggage that was keeping me held down.
[00:21:31.950] – Allan
Yeah, and I think that's kind of the crux of all this, the way I phrase it is this I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. So buried in that is, yes, I do want to live past 100, but then I don't want my body to not be there for me. I want to be independent. I want to be able to take care of myself. I want to be able to do the basic things that I need to be able to do to be a functioning 105 year old. I'm obviously not going to be doing tough mudders and all that kind of crazy stuff then, but I want to make sure that I'm doing as much as I can to enjoy the life that I have, and that's going to require physical fitness, health, and all these other things. And I guess one of the things that drove me there and I want to talk about this, this is a whole chapter in your book, so we could probably talk for hours on this, I think, yes, the books might even just be about this. But one of the topics in your book, and one I think that's really overlooked in the way that most of us approach our lives and a lot of times, yes, even when we're in our 50s, is we don't embrace joy, passion, and purpose.
[00:22:46.630] – Allan
And I think as a result, just to me, as I start thinking about it, it's like, well, what else is there? But, but, you know, at the same time, but back up. And I said, well, okay, that's I I didn't I never thought about things this way before. I kind of had my moment of what I'd say, okay, I woke up and I figured out that I was not going in the direction I needed to be going, and I had to fix something. And that's, again, part of why I define things the way I do is because I understand I could be completely healthy and pass the test. You do the blood test, I'm like, oh, your model of health. I was in college, I had a similar story to you. I was leg pressing, and I had these, like, crazy swimmers going on in my eyes. I almost passed out doing leg press, not advisable. And I went to the doctor, and he's like, oh, you're healthy as a horse, was the words he said. You're as healthy as they come. And I'm like, no, my body's telling me something. My body is telling me.
[00:24:01.290] – Allan
And what it was is kind of the same thing. I was going to college, I was working, I was lifting, I was just doing too much and didn't realize and wasn't listening to my body. I wasn't listening to myself. And I think when you talk about embracing joy, passion, and purpose, that's what I've come to understand is why I'm here, why we're here. Can you talk a little bit about that? And how does one go about embracing joy, passion and purpose?
[00:24:30.230] – Michael
Well, let me back up just a little bit. So when I was 23, I was living the American dream. I had the house, the wife, the 2.5 kids and all that. And by society standards, I was successful within about a six and a half year time frame. That dream turned into a nightmare that went through divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure, a deep state of depression. I was actually homeless for two years, living out of my car, and during the darkest period of my life, I received a miracle. I was sitting up late one night because I was too depressed to sleep. And I was sitting at the edge of my bed looking across the room at my bookshelf, when I happened to notice that every book on my bookshelf had something to do with getting rich or making money. And as I looked at those books, this question just popped in my head. Michael, what if he took all the energy and effort you've used in trying to get rich and simply figure out how to be happy? Now, as simplistic as that question may sound, it literally changed and saved my life in an instant. Something in me shifted, and all of a sudden my depression lifted.
[00:25:41.970] – Michael
And I had this amazing clarity that I was going to be able to rebuild my life, and it was going to become extraordinary. And what I realized after that conversation was all my life I had been chasing money and stuff, and so I had gained all the money and the stuff that I thought would make me happy, but I was miserable. So then what happened was I stopped reading books on getting rich and making money. I started reading books on psychology and philosophy and spirituality and metaphysics. I went on this amazing what I'll call my journey of transformation. And it was through that journey that I gained the courage to go to therapy and began unpacking some of the baggage that I talked about. And so for most of us, or shall I say a lot of us, especially as men, we have been conditioned to believe that we really have three primary responsibilities, what I call the three P's procreate, provide and protect. What society didn't teach us as men is how to connect. And in order to connect, we have to be in touch with our emotions, who we are as human beings, and the feeling, the feeling, that's the critical piece.
[00:27:01.420] – Michael
Because for a lot of men, the feeling is the F word. We don't want to talk about feelings because feelings are for women. But what I've come to understand is in unpacking all of my emotional baggage, I have to be willing to get in touch with and tap into my feelings and what that meant. And so when you start talking about joy, passion and purpose, if we aren't willing to unpack our emotional baggage, it's difficult, if not impossible, for us to fully feel and experience authentic joy because we've got it covered up with all this other stuff. We've got it covered up with competition. We've got it tied into trying to look good. We wear these masks as men. We hide behind these walls of invulnerability. We as men, we've got all these defense mechanisms against joy because we're trying to do the things society says we're supposed to do as men with the stuff. And so I had to be willing to unpack all of that. And in doing so, what I discovered, first of all, was this intense, deeply deep, deep feeling of joy that everyone has access to if we're willing to go deeply enough.
[00:28:26.050] – Michael
But again, it's a journey that few people are willing to take. But when we do, we get to a point where we realize we don't have to have anything outside of ourselves to be happy. We don't have to have the wife, we don't have to have the sex. We just have to have who we are. And there's joy in that. And so this has been a 30 year process, a 30 year journey that I'm still on. But what I can say, Allan, as I speak to you today, I am happier now than I've ever been in my life. My life is filled with joy. My passion, which is writing and speaking, I get to do that as a living, which is amazing. And last but not least, I'm fulfilling my divine purpose, because I think every human being has a unique purpose, and it is our responsibility to figure out what that is. And the only way we'll ever do that is to be willing to do our inner work, take that inner journey to wake up to and discover who we really are.
[00:29:35.190] – Allan
Yeah, I was the corporate guy. I was the guy who worked his way up, vice president before I was 39, this kind of thing. And I was miserable, just completely miserable. I had all this stuff. I had all this stuff, and I had all the money, and I felt great. I mean, you say, okay, I made more money. I got a raise, my bonus comes, all this stuff is great. But I was just miserable because I wasn't being authentic to myself. I wasn't being who I needed to be, and I could be great at a job, but that's all that defined me at that point in my life. And there was no passion to it anymore. There was no anything. It was just a point where I was like, okay, this is who I am, and this is what I do. And I can be really good at it, and I can feel good when people acknowledge that I'm good at it. But it just really didn't bring me together until I realized that knowing just one thing that helped me and being willing to share that one thing with someone else in an authentic, open way, where
[00:30:46.210] – Allan
I can say I was flawed. I was broken. I was miserable. While my path won't necessarily be your path, this is where I went. And what I'm doing now is every time I'm faced with a Pivot, if you will, something has to change. I got laid off from a corporate job, and I went home, and I told my wife, getting laid off from this job, I'm not going back. I don't like those people. I don't like who they make me. I don't like what they make me do. I don't like laying people off. I don't like the job that I had. What I like is helping someone else change their health and fitness. What I like is reading a book like yours and having this conversation, knowing that someone else is going to hear your message, and it's going to help them. I think too often we're like, well, yeah, but I've got the kids. Yeah. I'm like, fine, figure that out. But in the end, until you're really focused on who would be the best you, you could be right now, and what can you do, you talked about reading books on happiness and joy and psychology and those types of things.
[00:32:04.600] – Allan
You didn't immediately go to, wow, my depression is over, and I'm there. It was a journey. It was a journey that you took, and I really appreciate that you shared that in this book, because it's just kind of one of those things to say, no, happiness is not an overnight success thing. Joy is not an overnight success thing. It's built. It's built through experience, and it's built through authenticity, and it's built from, as you acknowledge in your book, diving deep and actually turning out some of the muck that you've buried back there that we're not supposed to talk about. We're supposed to just suck it up and keep moving forward because we're men, and that's what we do. My new thing, I'm good at carrying things because that's around the bed and breakfast, that's sort of my thing. I carry luggage upstairs and downstairs. I carry water bottles upstairs and downstairs because I'm the best equipped to do that. But that's not my passion. Yes, we need water upstairs. I don't mind taking water upstairs, but it's just knowing that, okay, within the realms of what I have control over, these are the best decisions for me and the people that I love.
[00:33:21.950] – Allan
And you had a Venn diagram, so if anyone's struggling with this, you actually have the diagram in the book where you can go through and say, okay, what do I enjoy? What are people going to value? What are they going to pay me for? What would I enjoy? What am I good at? What would other people pay me for? And what would benefit the world? And when you find that intersection, which is not something you just find today, but when you find that intersection and you're working in that space, it's pretty awesome.
[00:33:55.050] – Michael
Yeah. Because your purpose will be found at the intersection of that which you love to do and that which other people need. So when you take what you love to do, for example, you love inspiring people with your message and doing the radio show, right? And people need to hear what's possible. People need to hear examples of the challenges and the things that we go through so that they can know that, okay, if I'm going through some stuff, he got through it, so maybe I can get through. So in essence, what you're doing is you're being in service to humanity. And it is in being in service to humanity that we have a feeling of fulfillment. You can't get that feeling of fulfillment because you get a fat check, right? Okay,
[00:34:46.910] – Allan
nothing wrong with it. There's nothing wrong with a big fat.
[00:34:49.680] – Michael
Check, but nothing wrong with getting a big fat check. And it feels great to have money in your checking account. So please don't hear me say that money is bad in any way. But I can assure you, after having all the money and losing it all and now regaining it, thank God. But the feeling of knowing that I've impacted somebody's life in a positive way, for example, somebody sends me an email saying how I literally changed their life with my book. You can't put a price on that. The feeling of connectedness. And so I think for men, because actually, 80% of my books are targeted specifically to men. Because I believe the greatest challenge we have in our society today is to redefine manhood and masculinity. And for men, that's a really difficult thing to do because we're trapped in this antiquated paradigm of masculinity that men are really holding on to even though it's no longer sustainable. But now men are starting to wake up and they're going, you know what? Maybe there's a different way. And so they listen to a show like this, or they read one of my books, or they do something that goes, oh, damn, I've been doing the man thing all wrong.
[00:36:11.530] – Michael
Because here's the key. I think this is the key that most men will balk at. Vulnerability is a superpower. When we can be honest and authentic and vulnerable with ourselves and with others. It's a superpower. It's what allows us to connect. See, because you can't be relational if you're unwilling to be emotional. And emotions, the expression of emotions, is a vulnerable place, which men really struggle with. But I can assure you, when we get comfortable there, there's magic that happens. I wish I could have put it into words for men who go, There he goes, talking about those feelings again. No, but there's a magic that happens when you connect with who you really are. And then you create a space to allow others to do the same. Because our hearts connect. And there's a part of us that connects to each other. And then it's a beautiful thing to see men get past all the toughness, the alpha male kind of macho attitude and go, you know what? Maybe I'm a little scared right now, or maybe I'm a little sad right now and I just need to share and there's so much healing in that process.
[00:37:43.750] – Michael
But again, men are really struggling with it. But the good news is, again, I started writing back in 95, and back in 95, there were very few men talking about this new paradigm of masculinity that I'm talking about. But now there's unlimited coaches and programs and men are waking up, I believe. So just being on your show gives me another reason for optimism that you're even having this conversation with me today. And again, it just fills me with hope.
[00:38:12.690] – Allan
Well, you can't fix what you're not willing to admit is broken.
[00:38:19.550] – Michael
[00:38:20.530] – Allan
You can sit there and say, yeah, someone gets in your car and, hey, dude, what's what's that ping? I keep I keep hearing a ping. No, you don't hear nothing. You don't hear nothing. Everything's fine. Car is fine. Well, you're never going to fix that car because you're not willing to admit there's just something wrong. And your internal dialogue, you're telling yourself about that ping every day, but you're just trying to ignore it. And until you open up and go to that voice and say, okay, let's talk about this ping. What's going on here? And sometimes you need help with that and sometimes you can do that conversation on your own. But you get into your head and you're like, why am I the way I am? Why are things the way they are? And most of us, I think, will point to something we did really well. When I had my problems, I'm like, why do I suck so much at this? I'm so good at everything else or all these other things. Why is this thing because it was my health, it was my fitness, it was my relationships. I'm like, why is it that I can be the best at this corporate job?
[00:39:28.920] – Allan
I'm like, literally, it's almost like it just happens for me now. I don't even feel like I'm working at it. It just happens. And why am I so good at that? Why? But I've been able to do the hard, hard things that other people can't do or they know there's very hard, and I was able to do those. And then it came down to a basic word in my head, and it was commitment and it was me waking myself up and saying, Allan, you just haven't committed yourself to change. And until you do, you're going to keep being this. And until I told myself, well, no, this isn't good enough for me. I deserve better. And then again, I think I was fortunate. It took me eight years to have that conversation, but I think I was fortunate in that I recognized that being flawed was not what was holding me back. The flaw was the ping in the car that could be fixed, but I had to be willing to accept the ping to get fixed, if that makes sense to you.
[00:40:42.000] – Michael
Sure. And here's the thing. And we'll use the metaphor that the human body is like a vehicle, because if we're driving a vehicle and the check engine light comes on, it's letting us know.
[00:40:58.930] – Allan
One time my wife is like, well, yeah, it'll go off. Just keep driving.
[00:41:04.210] – Michael
And that's what we do. Right. We just ignore it. Right?
[00:41:08.200] – Allan
[00:41:08.470] – Michael
Well, see, the human body is always sending us signals that something needs to be looked at. For example, high blood pressure is a signal. What am I thinking of? Cholesterol. High cholesterol. These are all signals that the body is saying something's wrong, so you need to take care of it. And so the key is, number one, identify that something's wrong. Make a commitment that you're going to at least investigate what might be wrong. And this is where men fall short. I've heard so many men say, for example, prostate cancer. Prostate cancer, unfortunately, is very prevalent with black males. Right. And so I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who happened to be black about having a prostate exam. Man, I ain't going to have no prostate exam. Why not? No, what he didn't want to say is he was homophobic and he didn't want a guy sticking finger up his butt. And I'm making fun of it. But the truth is, imagine how many lives could be saved if we could get men to understand that this simple procedure can save your life. That simple procedure could say, I mean, literally thousands of men die because they're afraid or embarrassed to get that simple test.
[00:42:45.350] – Michael
And so again, that's why we have to change that conversation. As men, we've got to get comfortable being uncomfortable. And one way to do that is by having conversations like this.
[00:42:56.970] – Allan
I agree, Michael. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:43:09.840] – Michael
I'm a huge proponent of unpacking your emotional baggage. That's the piece that men deny. If we're willing to unpack our emotional baggage, I can assure you a lot of the other issues that we're dealing with will kind of take care of themselves. For example, a lot of people overeat because of something emotional. So if you unpack that emotional baggage first, then it sets you up to live a happier, healthier life. Second thing, huge proponent of meditation. Meditation, to me, it's high priority. And so a lot of people have this misconception about meditation, as though you're attempting to make your mind go blank. That's not meditation. Meditation is simply a practice, and mindfulness is the result of that practice. So when I learn to meditate, I simply learn how to be aware and mindful what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling, what I believe. So meditation to me, is high priority. And last but not least is exercise. The body is designed to move, so you got to do something. Even if it's just walking, it's designed to move. So make sure that you're utilizing this amazing thing called the human body by exercising it. Make sure you're eating right, taking care of it physically, and you're on your way.
[00:44:34.790] – Allan
Great. Michael, if someone wanted to learn more about you and your book and your other books, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:44:43.550] – Michael
Just send them to coachmichaeltaylor.com, nice and simple. And that's Michael. Michael. coachmichaeltaylor.com.
[00:44:52.750] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitness.com 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/582. And I'll be sure to have a link there. Michael, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:45:04.150] – Michael
Well, thank you so much for what you're doing, because again, it takes collaboration. It takes us coming together, especially as men, sharing this information to help men live healthier lives.
[00:45:14.710] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:45:16.350] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. I love his title. I'm not okay with Gray. I do love that because I'm not okay with my gray hair quite yet. But.
[00:45:27.750] – Allan
The interesting thing is, I think he may have said it on the podcast, or we may have said it when we were talking offline, I'm not sure, because he and I kept having a conversation afterwards. I do that every once in a while. But he really didn't mean gray from the hair perspective so much as what just people look at aging, and I think you can say, okay, well, I don't know. When I was in my teens and someone was over 30, man, they were way old. And the people that were over 50, oh, my God, they might just die any minute. My great grandmother, I remember she was in her 80s, and I was like, Holy crap, she's older than dirt.
[00:46:10.480] – Rachel
[00:46:10.790] – Allan
I think the phrase they used back then was, she's older than dirt. And it's cool because you have these stories, but I think things are just very different now in that we are aware that there's this aging curve, and we're aware that we can actually do something about it, and so this generation, the baby boomers, and then coming into X generation, we started looking at this very differently. The baby boomers started living longer because of modern medicine and everything else. And the next generation, we're kind of coming in and saying, well, I don't want to just live to a certain age. I want to thrive. I still want to have great relationships. I still want to enjoy myself. I still want to go out there and do sometimes kind of crazy things. And that's part of the living experience. And so I think that's what he really meant by the title was he didn't want to just fade out and disappear like a lot of people seem to seem to do and have done, and they probably still will do, but some people just don't live the last 20 30 years of their life. They just exist.
[00:47:30.750] – Allan
And that wasn't good enough for him. So he wanted more out of life. He wants a great career, he wants a great relationship with his wife, and he wants a great relationship with his friends. And so it's just a conversation point of saying, what are you doing today? To not just fade out.
[00:47:52.280] – Rachel
Right. Well, it's an interesting concept, too, that when we're young, we think we have all the time in the world to take all these elaborate vacations and do all these things, but by the time we get to our retirement age, what kind of shape are we going to be in to do all these things? So it's an interesting concept on aging in that, just like you said, when I was young, I thought my grandparents were super old, but now that I'm hitting 50, I'll be 52 this year. I'm like, hey, I got all this energy. I've got all this ability to go hiking and take all these fun vacations and see all these things. I want to be active and busy. I just don't want to sit around and watching TV all day.
[00:48:40.950] – Allan
That's what they did. You're not going to miss an episode of Jeopardy. And reality is, Jeopardy would probably still be on.
[00:48:50.190] – Rachel
Oh, gosh, yeah.
[00:48:51.040] – Allan
When we're in our 70s and 80s, sure, it'll be a different host, but it's just kind of one of those conversations of, okay, take a deep, deep look at yourself. Okay? And for men, sometimes this is just really hard, is to just say, okay, am I doing the things that I as a man, need to do? To not just provide, but to have the right relationships and to be taking care of myself and recognize that I'm not invincible?
[00:49:32.960] – Rachel
[00:49:33.480] – Allan
I can be broken. I'm a pretty darn durable person. I can get bumped around and beat up, It's just kind of odd. I remember my grandparents when they were my age, when they were my age, the conversations that older people would have is, well, how's your bursitis? And how's this? How's your varicose veins? Which stay tuned to next week. We'll be talking about that. What was that last week we talked about a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, but it's like, those are the conversations. What's your medical element of the week? And I don't really have a lot of those. I don't wake up sore. I don't wake up hurt. I don't have a joint. Yeah, I've torn a rotator cuff, but I tore that like I would have if I was in college. It just popped, it's done. And I was happened to be military pressing, fairly heavy dumbbells at the time. Not smart, but it was what it was. But I think that's kind of the point is you can turn your brain off to that stuff and think you're invincible, but you're not, right? It's hard for a guy, because, like I said, I don't have a lot of those ailments.
[00:50:50.260] – Allan
I don't have a lot of those problems. I don't have to worry about my A1C. I don't have to worry about a lot of different things. So I don't take any medications at all, and I'm generally healthy. And so the thing is, I know at some point I'm going to need help. I'm going to need something's going to happen. I'm going to get sick at some level, I'm going to get old at some level, and I am going to have to ask for help someday. Yeah. And so it's just the question of having the relationships and having the self awareness and the self dignity to know when that is and to not be stubborn about it and say, okay, I guess I'm just not eating pickles anymore because I can't open a pickle jar by myself. No, I'm going to find someone to help me open that pickle jar because I like pickles, and I'm not going to be ashamed of it at any stretch. If I can't open the pickle jar, I can't open the pickle jar. It's just that acceptance of we are going through an aging curve. Even if we're fighting it tooth and nail and we're doing all the right things, it's still happening, we just can do it on our terms.
[00:51:58.310] – Rachel
Well, that's the question. How long can you put that off? Like, how long can you be as active as you can be so that you're not struggling to open a pickle jar when you're 60, 70 or 80 years old? I mean, foreseeably, as long as you manage your health and like you do Alan, you move a lot, you eat well, you could put that limitation off for quite some time, as long as you position your life to do so.
[00:52:25.120] – Allan
But it's still, at some point, probably going to come. Actually, I'm working right now on getting a woman on. She's 102 years old, or at least she was when the book was written. And so I don't know how old she's going to be when I interview her, but I'm like, yeah, I can sit there and joke about being over 100, but just recognizing that, yeah, things are probably going to be a little different when I'm 100. And I might not be able to open a pickle jar and I'm going to be able to wipe my own ass. I can tell you.
[00:52:58.570] – Rachel
Priorities. Yes, priorities.
[00:53:03.610] – Allan
And so I think that's really, this book is just about understanding yourself, particularly as a man, because it was written by a man, and it was predominantly written for men because women tend to open up a little bit easier to their friends about how they're feeling and what's going on in their world. They're much more likely to ask for help than a man is, and they're much more likely to have people around them as as a social caring network than men are. And we men, we can fix that. We can we can make some decisions for ourselves and say, okay, you know, I'm going to start building deeper relationships. I'm going to start sharing things with my wife and with my friends that before wouldn't have shared or wouldn't have said. And so I started this probably around 15 years ago. So I tell people I was the fat bastard, and the bastard part was a big part of it. It wasn't just the fat part. I was that, too. But I decided that I would tell my friends every time I see them that I love them, okay. And for a man to tell, I love you, man, and not just that I'm drunk hugging you, I love you, man kind of thing, but just to really let them know that I care deeply about you as a person.
[00:54:26.310] – Allan
It's kind of one of those things where when you start doing that, it just has this reverberation, this resonance to your life that is significant. And so I just want to encourage you to be thinking about the relationships that you have and be thinking about how the things around you that are good how can we make more of those how can we have more of those experiences and the things that are not serving you? How can we move very far away from those things and just not have them in our lives? Or if we have to have them in our lives, how can we just make them mean less how can we make them have less of an impact on us? And so this is a really good book for that. If you're just thinking, okay, I don't want to fade out. I want to actually have a really exciting second half of my life. And if that's in your head, then this is a good book for you.
[00:55:21.750] – Rachel
That sounds great. Sounds like a great book and a really neat guy. Michael sounds like a neat person.
[00:55:27.210] – Allan
Yeah, he is.
[00:55:29.210] – Rachel
[00:55:30.120] – Allan
I guess I'll talk to you next week. Okay
[00:55:32.060] – Rachel
great, take care.
[00:55:33.160] – Allan
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Weight loss is hard. But are you making it harder by buying into the culture wars and other influences that aren't in your best interest? In this episode, we discuss how you may be letting feelings and emotions get in the way.
00:03:16.520] – Coach Allan
[00:03:17.750] – Coach Rachel
Hey, Allan. How are you today?
[00:03:19.680] – Coach Allan
I'm doing all right. Getting a little bit of a cold, but here's what it is.
[00:03:25.090] – Coach Rachel
Sure is the season, I guess.
[00:03:28.610] – Coach Allan
So it's just weird because I've had my head down doing stuff and really haven't interacted with a ton of people, so not really sure where this one came from, but I got a cold.
[00:03:40.950] – Coach Rachel
It happens. Well, hopefully you'll feel better soon.
[00:03:43.740] – Coach Allan
Yeah. So the only other thing that's going on for me is I was recently a guest on the Health Fix podcast with Dr. Janine Krause. You can listen to that if you want to. I've got a link to it. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/hfp. It's The Health Fix Podcast (HFP). So 40plusfitnesspodcast/hfp and that will take you to that podcast. It's actually a really good one. I like Dr. Krause and her approach to things I really like that. Kind of my goal as I go into this new year is I want to be on a few more podcasts. Just kind of spread the word, get out there. And so that was cool. It's interesting, always interesting to be on the other side of the mic.
[00:04:25.350] – Coach Rachel
Absolutely. That sounds like a lot of fun.
[00:04:28.470] – Coach Allan
How are things up there?
[00:04:29.850] – Coach Rachel
Good. Still cold.
[00:04:34.390] – Coach Allan
Until about April.
[00:04:36.230] – Coach Rachel
Yeah, I know, a few more months of winter, but yeah, things are good. Just drawing out some races for the year, trying to decide where I want to be and when I want to be there. So still working on my resolutions for the year.
[00:04:49.340] – Coach Allan
Cool. Yeah, I've been working on my Spanish. That was kind of one of the big ones I wanted to do. And then I am trying to cut some weight, so I'm working my way back into Ketosis and going to try to cut some weight. And actually right now at the lightest weight I've weighed in over 20 years.
[00:05:06.980] – Coach Rachel
[00:05:07.840] – Coach Allan
Yeah, I'm down to my mid 30s weights and so I'm going to get a little bit lighter than this, but it's just I've realized I'm not carrying the 205 quite the way I did before. So I'd get down to the 205 and it'd be like I don't look like I did when I weighed 200 pounds 10 years ago. So I got to try to find that new set point for me where I feel like I've got the energy and look the way I want to look and feel the way I want to feel and can do the things I want to do.
[00:05:35.280] – Coach Rachel
Sure. Well, that's important. To feel good and to do the things you want to do, that's the important part.
[00:05:41.950] – Coach Allan
I wouldn't really call these resolutions. These are just their goals and I set them very specifically on how I'm going to what actions I need to do to make that happen and not just I want this. It's like, okay, right now I'm after a certain body look and not from necessarily a vanity perspective, it's just energy and what I'm carrying around and if you're carrying around a little bit extra body fat, then you try to get rid of it if you want to get rid of it. That's part of what we're going to talk about today, is getting rid of some of the unwanted body fat. So are you ready to jump into that?
[00:06:15.470] – Coach Rachel
Special note on this episode, this is not intended for people that are suffering with eating disorders, disease, or any other health condition. If you're dealing with one or more of those, I'd strongly recommend that you get medical help. This podcast is for information purposes only, but I did want to share this because I do think it's really important. And with that, I am going to put forward a little content warning here. Bear with me as I read this.
This is not one of my regular feel-good episodes. If this is your first time listening to the 40+ Fitness Podcast, I'd strongly encourage you to listen to some of the others first, just to get to know me. Then this episode will make a lot more sense. I don't intend to be mean or condescending, but in most cases, we are our own primary obstacle.
This episode is my version of tough love, if you will. If you have small children around while you're listening, there might be a few choice words that you don't want them to hear. So take that into account. All right, with that, let's dive in.
I'm going to start off with a basic principle here. Weight loss is a struggle. Weight loss is hard. If weight loss were easy, we wouldn't have the issues we have right now with rampant obesity and being overweight. And there's a lot of things going on in the world right now that, quite frankly, just have me really alarmed at the state of all this. And so I want to share some of that today. But before we jump into all that, I want to share a couple of statistics.
Okay, so there was a 2017 survey of 2000 Americans, and what they found was that the top three failed New Year's resolutions were diet or eating healthy – 54%; exercise more – 44%, and lose weight – 41%. They could choose more than one. So the total is going to add up to more to 100%. But you kind of get the idea for many, many Americans out there getting healthy, taking care of yourself, getting more fit. Those are top of mind, particularly as we go into the new year. As you're listening to this, we're nearly done with January, and so this next study is really kind of hit home.
Also, this survey was also done in 2017, and it was 1129 American adults. They found that only 9.2% of those resolvers successfully achieved their resolution the year before, and that over 42% fail on their resolutions every year. So you start looking at that and realizing that, okay, most people are going to fail their resolutions, and 42% of them failed them every single year. That's almost half. 23% of resolvers fail out the first week. Actually, 13% of them never even started, and 42% fail by the end of the first month, which, as I mentioned, was right about now.
So if you're already struggling or have quit your New Year's resolution to lose weight, guess what? You're statistically average. You're in the majority of people that do have health and fitness resolutions, and you're in the majority of people that fail at those resolutions within the first month. So just recognize that that's the state of the world. We all want to change in January. But sticking with it is hard, and it's because we've got a lot of headwind, okay? We have this one headwind. And I'm going to jump into this, and like I said, I'm probably going to upset a lot of people, but political correctness is not good for your health.
I'm just going to put that out there. Okay? Let me tell you a story. I was on Twitter, and this doctor posted that they had had a consult with their client patient. The patient came into their office and they were morbidly obese. And the doctor made one statement you need to lose weight. Now, this person was on meds. They had all kinds of health problems going on, and this has been going on for a while.
The doctors are telling us you need to lose weight.
Now, guess what happened? The client or customer, the patient stormed out of the office of this doctor and reported him. They reported him for recommending that they lose weight. So he was in trouble with the hospital and potentially the medical board for offending this patient.
This cultural war on weight loss has been going on for about ten to 15 years, at least as far as I've been paying attention. I've seen it getting worse and worse. You see the ads, okay, they show someone who's morbidly obese doing something relatively athletic looking, generally healthy and energetic, and that's okay, that's cool. They're doing sometimes they're doing yoga moves and things I couldn't physically do, but that doesn't mean they're healthy.
So what's happening here is there's this cultural push to normalize the condition of obesity to fight fat shaming, and they're doing it wrong.
Accepting a person, accepting just a general person has nothing to do with their physical condition. Telling someone that they need to lose weight, as the doctor did in his office, there's nothing wrong with that. That's not fat shaming. That's just the reality of health and fitness. This individual is going to suffer more and more if they don't accept responsibility for where they are.
Which leads me to ask you the question, are you accepting responsibility for where you are? If you want to lose weight, you have to accept responsibility for it. You can't ask others to accept you as you are, if they know you're unhealthy, if they want to help you, if they're trying to do the right thing by encouraging you to change. It's not fat shaming. It's just, quite frankly, them being responsible and caring about you. What you don't want is people just ignoring you, not paying attention to you, not caring about you. So this political correctness, things got to go away. Let me tell you a little bit about this because I think a lot of people think that, oh, no, it's fine.
You can be healthy and have extra body fat. Well, let me tell you what the science says in the British Medical Journal. The title of this article was BMI and All Cause Mortality systemic Review of Nonlinear Dose Response metaanalysis of 230 Cohort Studies with 3.74 million deaths among 30.3 million participants. This happened in 2015. So basically they went back and looked at all these different studies and they said, okay, is being obese problematic for lifespan? Okay, it was a question. Now, the cool thing about this particular cohort study was that they used the data that was available to correct for smoking and for other diseases that they may have had beforehand, because someone can be completely healthy, completely good with the BMI, but they only because they lost all the weight, because they had cancer. So they corrected for some of these confounders. And then what they found was, absolutely, if you're obese, you are shortening your life. Your all cause mortality goes up with age, it goes up with obesity. So you're shortening your life, you're shortening your healthspan. It just is what it is. So political correctness is the enemy of a healthy weight.
I'm just going to put that out there again. I want you to pay attention to that. We can't right size this and say we're going to accept it because that's what the culture wants us to do. So we can be nice to people. We're past that. If people want to be healthy, if they want to lose weight, they need to lose weight. I've even seen where they shamed people for wanting to lose weight. They're like, that's wrong to want to lose weight, because you're telling all the people who are overweight that they should too. That's not what they're saying. It's the fat shaming reversed. It's basically trying to get people to accept it as a reality, which it is a reality, but get people to say it's healthy. Get people to accept it and say, no, you can just stay this way and it's okay. And quite frankly, if you really care about yourself, about others, it's not actually okay. We need to do something. We need to get to health. We need to work on that. Okay, so I want to talk next about body image, because many of us have developed these body images, and it's easy to see why that would happen there's.
The magazine articles you see the sweat model and the skinny this and the skinny that. And that's what they're showcasing. They're showcasing the athletes. They're showcasing the others. And those are unrealistic for the vast majority of us. What we should be striving for is not to have the body of a supermodel or a professional athlete, but to have the body and have the health markers and have the health that we need. Which means, yeah, we're probably going to carry a lot more body fat in a relative sense than an athlete or a supermodel, but we're going to stay in a healthy range. So we want to get our body fat in a healthy range. And so a lot of this body image, we have this propensity to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, I don't look like the supermodel. I don't look like the athlete. And that can become very discouraging when you're trying to lose weight, when you're trying to get healthy, having that negative body image is not helping you. So it's time to push that away. It's time to say, okay, forget what I look like right now. I know what I'm going to look like when I get this done.
That's the right mindset. The right mindset is not where you're starting from. It's where you're going to end. And while your distance between those, the delta of that might be bigger than some, it's also smaller than others. So just realize you have your battle, fight your battle, make your change, cover your delta, and that's what you want to do. You want to focus and just keep closing that delta to get where you want to be. And that's what you have to do. The next thing that I see out there is this all or nothing kind of mindset. And it comes in a lot of different ways. There's this you just have to do the calories in, calories out. And if you just do that, you'd be fine. You're overeating, you cow. And again, that permeates out there. This is the way to do it. This is how I did it. So it has to work for you. This is math. This is physics. And the reality of it is no, there's other things in there. So there is no all or nothing. There is no right or wrong. There's just what's going to work for you.
Now you might be an all or nothing type person where going on a diet is restrictive and needs to be restrictive. A perfect example. I am not have a beer with a friend kind of person. I'm going to have beers with a friend kind of person. So if we're going out for beer, it's beer plural. Okay, I'm going to have a lot of beer. Probably that's just the way I'm wired once I start, okay, I do some of the same things with food. You get me to eating a food that's not good for me. It becomes a lot more difficult for me to turn that off and move on unless I completely turn it off. I don't do moderation. So understanding yourself and understanding that there's not just one right way there's the right way for you is really, really important. And so the advice that people like to throw out there, it could work or it might not. Only way you'll know, is to try it and to know yourself well enough to say, yes, I know this will work for me. If someone just told me to eat smaller portions of the food that I already eat when I got fat, that way won't work for me.
I'm not going to sit there and get one third or one quarter or one 8th of a serving of what I would normally have had for mashed potatoes and gravy. I'm just not going to do that. That's not how I'm wired. So knowing how you're wired, understanding that none of this advice is right and none of it is wrong, all diets succeed and all diets fail, and we just have to find the right way to eat that works for us long term and we can get there. Probably one of the areas where most people struggle the most with food is emotional eating and mindless eating. Okay? So there's a component of the brain that basically rewards us when we do things it likes. So eating sugar creates a dopamine response in the brain. The brain loves dopamine, just loves, loves, loves it and says, hey, that sugar was some pretty cool stuff. Could you get me some more of that? You've probably seen the meme of the episode where Chappelle has done some cocaine or something and he's asking for more of it. He's got that needy look on his face and even a little bit of the drug on his upper lip.
He got any more of that? That's what our brain is doing. It's literally like drugs. And so if you're doing emotional or mindless eating, those calories count, they do. And if you're doing it all the time, weight loss is not going to happen. You have to be mindful of what you put in your mouth. You just do. You can get away with an occasional, okay, I'm going to go have some popcorn while I'm watching a movie. And I probably won't be mindful of the popcorn, but you get the idea this is a regular thing. If mindless eating and emotional eating is a regular thing, you got to solve that problem, because if you don't, weight loss is just not going to happen. The next one thing I want to talk about is called self talk or the voice in your head. Now, I've told people the story several times. I'll kind of say it again, was when I finally kind of woke up to the fact that I was killing myself with food and alcohol. I caught myself, the fat bastard. And it's really because it defined everything about me. It defined that I was fat.
Yes, fat. I was fat. And it defined that I was not very nice to myself, and I was not very nice to others. And those were traits that I was not very happy with. But that's what my inner voice was telling me I was, and I was accepting. That who I was. So much like the negative body image thing, I had a negative overall image of myself. Everything was wrong. Only thing I felt like I had any control over whatsoever was my employment, my career. I was really good at that. But I seemed to suck at just about everything else. And what I understood, came to understand, was as long as I let that self talk happen, as long as I let the Fat Bastard live, I'm never going to be who I deserve to be. I'm never going to lose the weight, because the Fat Bastard is going to take me down eventually. That negative self talk, that voice in my head is eventually going to wear me down, and I'm going to break. And so a big part of my transformation was the mindset work necessary to push through and away from that self talk, to literally name it the Fat Bastard, and then to sit down and say, okay, I got to move away from him.
I've got to figure out a way to stop him from killing me. And it took years for me to figure out ways to do that, to build the tool set necessary to make that happen. But I had to. And I did. And I want you to, too. So if you find yourself talking yourself out of things so this happens a lot. Like if we slip up, so you have a bad day or bad something happens at work and you get home and you're like, you yell at the kids or the grandkids. You're just yelling at the kicking the dog. I don't know. You're upset, you're tired, you're cranky, you're stressed. And then you find yourself emotionally eating. And then you find yourself the next morning, like, really just angry at yourself now for what you just did to yourself last night. And since you screwed up your diet and it's Friday, you may as well just blow it out the weekend, right? No. Again, that's your self talk. That's that voice in your head sabotaging you. You need to say, no, I can go through a weekend eating well. I can go through a weekend just fine.
I screwed up last night. I forgive myself. I'm not going to do it anymore. I move on. You've got to work yourself past that. So just recognize that we are and can be our own worst enemy. We've got to deal with that enemy head on. Okay? The next area that I want to get into is lack of support. So many of us, we try to do this on our own. But we've got so much going on in our lives and really, we don't have a support system. We don't have people around us that really care or they don't seem to care. If you have teenage kids or kids in the house, well, there's always going to be snack food available. Kids are just not naturally wired to want to eat healthy unless they were brought up that way. So if we brought up our kids on snack foods, there's always going to want snack foods and they're always going to want them in the house available. And so you're probably going to have them rather than have them go nuts around you. So you're going to have these snacks in the house. You're going to have this and that.
When it comes to dinner, your family might not want to eat the way you're eating. And so you're going to kind of feel this total lack of support. And maybe none of your friends are really interested in weight loss. They talk about it, hey, let's do a resolution. We'll all hold each other accountable. And then by the second week, you're like, hey guys, how's everybody doing? Well, I'm done. I didn't even start the first day. I had a candy bar when I woke up that morning. So you kind of feel like your whole support system is just gone. And the reality of it is you just chose the wrong support or you may not even ask for support. Have you even sat down and asked your significant other or your kids to help you with your weight loss? Have you told them what your plan is and why you're doing this? Because more than likely, they're part of your why. And if you sit down and take the time to do that, you can build that support. You can get your family to pay attention to what they're doing. And it's a fairly simple thing for me.
Please don't leave your snack food out. Put it back in the pantry so I don't see it. That will help me a lot. It's a simple thing. You coach them, you get them to do it, they start doing it. When you get a support team around you, you support the heck out of them and you don't let them quit. You hold them accountable. It's like, no, Betty, we said we were doing this. We're doing this. You get back on the wagon right now. We're on this. Just because you had one candy bar, you're not done. You're not done. Get past yourself. Let's get this going. So build the support, because the lack of support is not their fault. It's yours. Okay? You got to build the support. You got to find the support. And if you can't get the support locally, so your family is just not going to do it and you don't have the way to push or make that happen, your friends are just really not going to get into it, and none of them are going to try to do the things you're doing. Then reach out. Find the support. Find groups.
We have a Facebook Group, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, wonderful group of people there, all trying to take care of themselves. We're all at different points in our journey. They're there. There are people out there to support you. There are other Facebook groups that have different flavors and different things they're doing. Some people post pictures of themselves because they find that very motivating to see others succeeding. That's not us. We're basically there to support you from an emotional perspective, from basic support of I'm here for you. If you're struggling, I understand. I struggle too. Here's what I'm trying to do. Here's what my year is going to be like. This is what I'm going to do. This is the challenge for the week. And we work with each other. We try to help each other. We hold each other somewhat accountable. So if you're looking for support, there's a group. If you're looking for deeper support, well, you have a coach right here. Rachel and I are on this show. We're here willing to help you, to support you. So if you have a lack of support, it's only because you haven't reached out. It's only because you haven't tried hard enough to have the support.
And then the final bit of this let me go over and over, and I'm hopeful. If you're still listening to this, some of this has resonated with you. I'm sure it has. Most of the things that are going on here were battles I had to fight myself, okay? Was it okay for me to be 20, 30, 40 pounds overweight? And I'm like, well, as long as I'm okay and healthy, yeah. But then I wasn't. And I had the negative body image. I had the all or nothing stuff. I had the emotional mindless eating, the self talk, and no support, bad relationships and toxic things in my life. And so I was in that spot. And the way I got past it was to know myself and so know thyself. I'm going to read a quote. This is by Sun Tzu who wrote The Art of War. You may have heard about this. I love this book. I read it every once in a while. It's just a very interesting read. This quote, it says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
And here's what I know. We are the enemy. We are ourselves, and we are the enemy. There was no one else out there forcing you to eat. There's no one else out there making you fat. We did that to ourselves. We are the enemy. If you don't know yourself and you don't know the enemy, you will lose the battle. You've got to take the time to figure that out. So what I would encourage you to do is, if you haven't already, go take the Health Blocker Quiz. It's a really good way for you to start getting some insights into the way that you think and the way that you work. And if you can set things up based on what your needs are, based on who you are, knowing myself, it's going to go a long way. You can go to 40plusfitness.com/quiz again, that's 40plusfitness.com/quiz, and you can get to know more about yourself. And that's going to help you with a lot of this stuff. Okay, I'm going to throw out some terms. It won't mean a lot to you if you haven't taken the quiz, but windshields suffer with negative body image all the time windshields do. People who are copilots. The support is huge. If you don't have the support, you're just not going to get there. You need the support and you need to not be the caretaker of everybody else before you take care of yourself. That's what happens with a copilot. If you're an Atlas, you're probably more of an all or none thing. And you know that if you have something big in front of you, you can turn off the bad and focus on the good to get that thing done. If you're more of like maybe a tires or pedals type person, then the self talk and the emotional and mindless eating are probably going to be things that really eat at you. Because if you can't get the traction as the tires, or if you're not quite sure about what you're doing and you find yourself stopping and starting and stopping and starting, it's really hard because you just can't keep your foot on the gas. And so just recognize that throughout a lot of things there, if you haven't taken the quiz, that might not make as much sense to you. But I think what you can see is if you take the quiz, you're going to know a lot more about yourself and then you'll have the tools you need to win these battles.
Because each and every one of these battles is really, really important for weight loss. And so the way we feel about the world, about ourselves, about weight loss, all impact our ability to be successful. So I want you to start working on the mindset part of this. This is not a tactic and strategy type problem. Weight loss is a mindset problem. And if you don't solve that, you're not going to stick to the tactics, you're not going to stick to the strategies, and you're not going to get it done. So work on your mindset and lose that weight.
[00:30:10.100] – Coach Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:30:13.190] – Coach Rachel
Hey, Allan. My goodness, you unloaded a lot of things in that discussion. I don't even know where to start, except for one of the things you said right off the bat is weight loss is a hard struggle. It's a long process. It's a hard process, and it's absolutely a struggle.
[00:30:29.020] – Coach Allan
Yeah, I guess where I kind of got into all this was back in the early 2000s, there was a lot of press, if you will. I'm not going to say not like media press, but just people pushing on the idea that the ideal of what we were seeing in magazines and things in TV and movies was not real, was not what was attainable by mere mortals, by normal people, if you will.
[00:30:54.300] – Coach Rachel
And you mean super thin athletes.
[00:30:59.970] – Coach Allan
You'd see someone at 4% body fat and they're running around on covers and magazines and things like that, and they're like, well, that's not normal. That's not healthy, and that's not ideal when you are trying to live your life and you're not able to do the things they do, which is absolutely true. But I kind of feel like the pendulum has swung so far from there that now they're quite literally saying, if you're not obese, there's something wrong with you.
[00:31:32.640] – Coach Rachel
That's an interesting conundrum right there.
[00:31:35.470] – Coach Allan
Well, it's out there. I'm seeing it almost now. Every day I see some kind of rant about people wanting to lose weight and how they're terrible people for wanting that just even wanting to lose weight makes you a bad person. And they use the standard words that they use for bad people. And so it's just kind of one of those things where if you let the press drive the way you feel about this stuff, then you accept victimhood, and a victim cannot be the hero.
[00:32:10.290] – Coach Rachel
[00:32:11.130] – Coach Allan
So if we look at just even like the normal story, we go back to the basics of a story, okay? And the story is that there's a dragon, and the village sacrifices the verge in every year at this moon, full moon, to the dragon, it's King Kong and another story, but whatever monster you want to have out there. And so the premise was that we've got to sacrifice this virgin so that he doesn't burn the whole city, the whole town. And then it happens that the virgin is going to be burned. This boy happens to be in love with her, and so now he's going to fight the dragon, and everybody else is just status quo. It's like, well, it's a virgin. So what? They want to be victims. They're all victims. They're afraid of the dragon. And this appeases the dragon. So if you've got all this social media and all this other stuff telling you that you're wrong for wanting what you want and you give up, then you've chosen the victimhood. Or you can choose to be the hero in your own story, and you can slay your dragon. And so I didn't mean this so much to be a negative thing other than it just so frustrating to be inundated with it, because I don't even think I'm necessarily the target for what they're after.
[00:33:33.880] – Coach Allan
Because again, I don't care how skinny a supermodel is, I'm not going to look like her.
[00:33:40.550] – Coach Rachel
[00:33:42.790] – Coach Allan
And granted, yeah, I look at professional athletes and I'm like, okay, well, the dude does this all day, every day. Can hire a chef, can hire a trainer, can hire him. And basically, this is all they do. And I was like, I could quit my job and hire a chef and hire a trainer. I can look pretty darn good myself and be broke. I'd have to be independently wealthy or something or get paid for it, which they do. And that's kind of the whole principle. You see an actor and basically they've got enough money involved in this movie and all that. There's a budget for getting the hero to look a certain way and the trainers and everything that's going into that. And so these guys go in and they train like maniacs because they're going to get paid tens of millions of dollars to be in this movie. Anybody would do it. But we're not getting paid millions of dollars for the rest of us, right? And they're not necessarily doing it in the most healthful way either. So the base point is, if your goal is to be healthy, then you know, having excess body fat is not helping you, okay?
[00:34:53.230] – Coach Allan
And if you make the decision you want to do this, then you've got to get past this major sabotage that's happening through social media, through political correctness, through all of this stuff. And you just got to say, Enough of that. I'm living my life. I'm doing my thing, and you do your thing and don't fall for it, because if you're the victim, you can't be the hero.
[00:35:17.500] – Coach Rachel
That's right. I think that we all have our own stories. The only person we're really accountable to is ourselves. And so if we have a health condition that we need support from, we go to our doctor, we get the information, we can hire a trainer like you said, or figure it out online. We just need to take our own steps to be the healthiest that we could be. And I guess I just want to circle it all back to being healthy again, because looks, again, to me, are pretty irrelevant as well. I'm not interested in super skinny or super overweight. It's what's inside that really matters. We all have to pay attention to what the doctors are telling us about our own health, whether it's heart condition, respiratory problems, high cholesterol, stress. I mean, what's going on inside is the most important part. And if you were ready to take that step to improve your health, then you should be able to do it without the consequences of somebody raining on your parade.
[00:36:16.660] – Coach Allan
But I guess I just break it down to saying if someone came to me and said, hey, Alan, you probably need to lose some weight. I would take that as good advice. I would take that right now and say, yeah, I look at it and I say, you're probably right. I'm carrying more body fat than I probably should right now. And you're right. If a doctor told me that, I'd say, yes, doctor, you're right. Here's what I'm doing about it. If my wife told me about it and say, yes, honey, you're absolutely right. This is what I'm doing about it. If my best friend did it, I'd say, yeah, Frank, you're absolutely right. This is what I'm doing about it. If my personal trainer said it, I'd say, you're absolutely right. I'm busting my butt in the gym, aren't I? Yes. And this is what I'm doing about it. Nutritionally and quite literally, I would own my mission. I would own my body. I would own my own belief system in myself, and I would not be looking to others for validation of who I am. I know how hard I'm going to work. I know how hard I can work.
[00:37:24.100] – Coach Allan
I know what I'm capable of. And carrying an extra bit of body fat doesn't define me, but it's sort of the idea like we were talking earlier. So let's say you have a car, and it requires four tires, maybe a fifth if you want to have a spare. Well, okay, you got 15 tires, and ten of them are all strown around your yard. People are going to notice those extra ten tires stroke along your yard. So at the very least, pick them up and collect them somewhere. You leave them out there and people see it, they're likely may say something. So if you need to lose weight, if they say something, it's just, again, they're less likely to say it now than they were 1520 years ago, because there's more people like you than there are like them. If they're thin, 75% of people over the age of 40 are overweight or obese, it's 75%. So that's the majority of us. The majority of us are overweight. Okay? And so you're in the majority. You're more normal than anything else. But that doesn't mean that the pendulum needs to say that that's the new normal.
[00:38:34.230] – Coach Allan
When it's not healthy, it's not healthy. You have to do something about it. If it's shortening your life, you have to do something about it.
[00:38:42.120] – Coach Rachel
Well, that's what we do know. We do know that having the extra weight gives us a higher risk for other health problems, whether it's down the media or down the lines.
[00:38:53.370] – Coach Allan
[00:38:55.210] – Coach Rachel
Cause mortality. That's right.
[00:38:58.490] – Coach Allan
You're going to die sooner. On average, you're going to die sooner because you're carrying the extra body fat.
[00:39:04.070] – Coach Rachel
Right. But you made a good point, too, that there's very few people that can look you in the eye and tell you you're overweight and you need to do something about it. And like I said, I can count on one hand the number of people who I'm willing to listen to, right?
[00:39:18.930] – Coach Allan
Even if it upsets you. Because again, those are the people that love you, right? Sometimes I've had people come on and say, well, you don't look like my personal trainer. And I'm like, okay, well, who is your personal trainer? And you start looking up who this guy is or Gal is, and you're like, oh. So this person was a professional athlete and basically Olympian and DA DA DA. And they never had a weight problem in their entire life. And I'm like, well, great. They've never had a weight problem. They've always had a six pack. They've always looked that way. And I'm like, and they're also not 57 years old, but that all said, if that's your trainer, that's great. Do I have to look like that trainer? No. Am I going to be that kind of influencer on social media where I'm showing you guys six pack ABS and running around Instagram like I'm something special? No. What I do is I coach for Health, I coach for Health, I coach for Wellness, I coach for Happiness. I want you to find the life balance where you know you're where you're supposed to be. And the messaging that I see out there is that we're never where we're supposed to be, and that's just not true.
[00:40:35.480] – Coach Allan
If we're in the mission and we're doing the thing, do the thing. Just do the thing. Be the hero. Victims are victims. They stay victims. And you are happy and healthy that way. And you feel good and you want to be the victim, and you're like, yeah, I'm just going to do it. I'm going to basically eat dessert every day for lunch, dinner, because you're a grown adult. You can do that. You can literally go to the store right now and buy every bit of it right now. Nobody will stop you. When you go through the Castro, she won't even acknowledge she'll just go out and sit in your car and eat the whole cake. You can do that. You can absolutely do that. I don't think that's what people want to do, though. They think they want something, but then there's this messaging that's out there, and I'm like, you just got to turn that off. You just got to say, okay, that's just not me. That's the message. Maybe someone needs to hear that and feel good. But that's not my message. My message to myself and to the people around me is you deserve to be healthy.
[00:41:37.490] – Coach Rachel
[00:41:37.980] – Coach Allan
You deserve to feel good in your own skin. You deserve to have energy and life and vitality and to live every moment like it's this wonderful thing. And that's what I want you to have. And so I just see this messaging, and I'm like, it's screwed up. It's just screwed up. And you got to stop. And you're not winning a battle by agreeing with it and being politically correct because they say, well, this is politically correct. You're being politically incorrect. You're fat shaming because you're trying to lose weight. If I'm shaming anybody, I'm shaming myself, but I'm not shaming you. It has nothing to do with you. And I think that's where the messaging just really upsets me. And I'm sorry that if I get a little bit frustrated with all this stuff, but the base reality of it is, sure, you deserve this. You deserve health and happiness, and the only way you're going to get there is to be your own hero and not the victim.
[00:42:38.620] – Coach Rachel
That sounds great, Ellen. I did want to make sure that we brought this back to health and that's the bottom line is that it's important that you do what it takes to take good care of your health so that you can live a long, happy, healthful life.
[00:42:52.630] – Coach Allan
Absolutely. All right, well, I probably lost all our listeners.
[00:42:58.970] – Coach Rachel
No, I think that was an interesting discussion, but yeah, that was good.
[00:43:04.170] – Coach Allan
But again, I didn't mean to upset anybody or frustrate anybody. It's in me to do it. I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself. And that's really where this was coming from. And I'm sure I upset a couple of people. And if I did comment, tell me why I'm wrong. But right now I just feel like there's this pull and it's pulling in the wrong direction and there are saboteurs. It's just another version of saboteurs and it's something you got to fight.
[00:43:33.240] – Coach Rachel
[00:43:34.630] – Coach Allan
All right, well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.
[00:43:37.530] – Coach Rachel
Take care, Allan.
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Dr. Corey Yeager knows that healing and performance come from getting past ourselves. We do that by asking ourselves the right questions and building our self-awareness. In episode 563 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss his book, How Am I Doing?: Conversations to Have with Yourself.
[00:02:07.990] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are you doing?
[00:02:10.060] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:12.250] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Just wrapping up things here. This is going live November 8. My daughter, I guess, got married. We're recording a couple of weeks, so I'm assuming the answer is going to be yes. And all the way to the end, of course, an event or something. So at this point, yeah, we married off one of our daughters and we should be arriving back into Bocas today and get back to running the bed and breakfast and opening up my studio and, of course, training my online clients.
[00:02:40.990] – Rachel
[00:02:42.370] – Allan
Yeah. And then we're just a couple of weeks away from launching the holidays challenge.
[00:02:48.480] – Rachel
[00:02:48.930] – Allan
So if you haven't signed up for that, go to crushtheholidays.com. And it's 35 days of coaching with mindset, and we talk about different things, about how we get past the temptations of these holidays, this eating season. And so if that's something you've struggled with putting on a little bit of extra weight during the holidays, I strongly encourage you to come check out that challenge at crushtheholidays.com and enjoy the challenge with us. Like I said, there's a Facebook group, there's prizes for participation and a daily lesson about mindset and, of course, accountability, because you can pick out partners in the group or message me in the group and just be a part of everybody holding themselves accountable to do just a little bit better, which doing just a little bit better is crushing the holidays.
[00:03:39.520] – Rachel
Sounds awesome. Sounds like fun.
[00:03:41.370] – Allan
So what are you up to?
[00:03:43.840] – Rachel
I'm exhausted and also accelerated probably 50 50 over the weekend. Mike and I did the calcresture, which was our 30 hours running event, and it was a low key event by a run club. So, like, no pressure to be running for the entire 30 hours. You could go do the loop, which was about 5 miles, and go have breakfast and come back or take a shower, come back. You had the 30 hours to do as many loops as you want. And we had a lot of family and friends up there join us. And the donations from this event go up to one of the research facilities up here in honor of Mike and in research of kidney cancer, which my husband is fighting right now. So the event raised $4,000 for kidney cancer research.
[00:04:33.730] – Allan
[00:04:34.990] – Rachel
It was fantastic. It was a wonderful weekend. Lots of friends, lots of miles, lots of fun.
[00:04:41.360] – Allan
And your family too. Close by Michael and it's like everybody was there and made a really close knit family affair thing. That's awesome.
[00:04:49.530] – Rachel
It was perfect. It was really wonderful to share all this time together. It was fantastic.
[00:04:54.450] – Allan
Great. Well, are you ready to have a conversation with Dr. Yeager?
[00:04:59.050] – Rachel
[00:06:08.060] – Allan
Dr. Yeager, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:06:10.960] – Dr. Yeager
Thanks for having me. I'm excited to have this conversation with you today. I look forward to it.
[00:06:16.060] – Allan
I am too, and for a very good reason. Is that your book is called How Am I Doing? 40 conversations to Have With Yourself. And every time I have a client that's trying to lose weight. I can tell you 99 9% of the time, we're in our own way to improving ourselves and making ourselves better. And these conversations that you put into this book, while it seems really simple, it's really a way for you to break away from those things. So the negative self-talk, the limiting beliefs, all those are built into this. And it makes sense because you're a performance improvement person. I mean, that's your primary role right now. You've been doing this your whole life. I know when you were talking to kids in the schools, it was the same conversation that you're having with professional athletes that have been in the league for years. And so I think as we get into how we're going to fix ourselves, we have to start with the head, we have to start with the mindset. These conversations, as I said, I think are critical for us to have as a part of self-awareness.
[00:07:18.340] – Allan
So as a model of getting better, you have to know where you are. You have to know where you're going, which, like an athlete would know. This is the level of performance I have to have to make it to the next level or to be able to win this game against the Lakers or whoever. Yeah, you know, you got to win that game, you know, where you have to be physically for the season. And so you have a direction and then you set some goals for yourself. But then when you get to that self awareness piece, these are the tools. Make sure you get there
[00:07:44.700] – Dr. Yeager
100% and use the term that I think is critically important for the work of this book. But I think in life in general is becoming more aware of self. So self, that introspective space, but also becoming aware of self in the context of others. Critically important. Who am I? Not just who am I individually, but who am I in different contexts, I think becomes really important. And it really is the cornerstone of what the book is all about.
[00:08:16.650] – Allan
Yeah, because I think a lot of times we have this outward projection of what we want people to believe. We have this inner projection of who we believe we are. And both of those can be vastly different from the person that we actually are.
[00:08:31.780] – Dr. Yeager
And Allan, they can be conflictual. Those two worlds and those two people, if you will, can come into conflict within the south who I believe I am and who I think that I am becoming and who others think I am or tell me who they think I am. Those can be conflictual spaces. And the book is about working through that conflict, prioritizing self in the context of others. And all of that starts with knowing myself, becoming more aware of who I am.
[00:09:03.940] – Allan
Now, you do that with a process called narrative therapy. And obviously asking these questions, you can imagine that's where we're going to go with. Can you describe what narrative therapy is and why it's so powerful?
[00:09:15.600] – Dr. Yeager
Yeah, I think there are a multiplicity of ways to approach therapy. The one in which fits best for me and I found fits best for my therapy, my clients, is narrative therapy. And really what narrative therapy is a way to get people's stories. If you just tell me stories about yourself, that becomes content. And my job is to listen to those content laden stories and search for a pattern and regurgitate almost, if you will, a process back to you. So, narrative therapy is really one of the cornerstones of narrative therapy that I utilize a lot is personifying our issues. So, for instance, many times people that are dealing with mental illness issues almost describe themselves as their issue. I am a depressed person, I am whatever fill in the blank as opposed to personifying that problem and putting it outside of you. You can almost say in narrative therapy in ways you personify it. If we were talking about anxiety was an issue you were struggling with, I would almost say let's turn that anxiety into a person. That anxiety comes to visit. And sometimes anxiety can be something that pushes us to be successful, but it can also paralyze us.
[00:10:41.550] – Dr. Yeager
So how do I approach understanding that anxiety in a way that it comes to visit? But I just like a person, I can tell that I don't want you here today. Right? So finding that ability to be in more control. I think the other piece that I would say about narrative therapy is recognizing that each of us is the expert on our lives. No one else is an expert on my life the way I am. So instead of me as a therapist sitting in a position of all knowing we don't know all, I am just learning about you. You are the expert on you. So getting people to understand that they are the expert on their lives and I am a facilitator of the change they are seeking.
[00:11:23.140] – Allan
A lot of times I'm having a conversation with a client and I don't even really have to tell them what to do. They already know. They have to just be somewhat comforted to know that they have the right answer to start with and somebody's there that listening, if someone cares.
[00:11:38.190] – Dr. Yeager
This is that process of you being the expert and me facilitating your change. One thing I would say, Allan, about therapy in general with narrative therapy is that if we recognize that we are the experts on our lives and we hope or seek some level of version of change. One of the things that I start off with people, players, everyone that I work with is asking them what does change mean to you when you say you want to change? What are you seeking to change? And what does that mean for you? For instance, in the therapeutic realm, what we describe as change is. We describe it in two ways first and second order change. First order change and I'm a metaphorical therapist, so I use a lot of metaphors. First order change would be like walking into your home or your apartment and saying, I want to change this. So first order change is saying, I'm going to paint all the walls a different color. I'm going to change all the furniture around and put new pictures up. So if you come into my house and you were there a week ago and I make that change, it will look quite different.
[00:12:43.410] – Dr. Yeager
Second order, deeper, more profound change is saying, I'm going to knock the walls down in this apartment or in this house and forever change the structure of my home. That's a level of second order change, which is a much more profound version of change. So I asked people first, before we endeavor upon this work, what change are you seeking? Are you seeking profound knock the wall down changes? Are you seeking to just change a few small pieces that will look different, but it will be changed nonetheless?
[00:13:17.210] – Allan
Dr. Yeager, who is the most important person in your life and why?
[00:13:21.410] – Dr. Yeager
I am the most important person in my life unquestionably. And that's not being selfish. That is just recognizing that I hold all of the information about who I am and how I came to be where I am and knowing and understanding that in a way that's not selfish, but that I have to prioritize the importance of me. That doesn't mean that there aren't moments that I choose to put others first, but at the core of who I am, I recognize that as being the most important person in my life. My wife is clearly and keenly important. My children are very, very important. But I say oftentimes to my wife, before I can be a good husband, before I can be a good father, a good therapist, I must first be a good Corey for Corey. That's the beginning, the precipice, the genesis of understanding myself as the most important person in this world. And then that allows for me to show up in this world as a better version of myself as a better father, as a better husband, as a better therapist is first, starting with knowing who I am and seeing myself as the most important person.
[00:14:32.790] – Allan
Yeah, I kind of look at it from the perspective of if you don't have your own candle lit, you're not going to be able to light someone else's candle with it. You got to protect your claim. You got to protect yourself.
[00:14:45.560] – Dr. Yeager
Like being on a flight, they go through the whole little spill. When you get on the flight, if the oxygen level in the cabin drops low, you're going to have the mask that drops down. But what do they tell you if you're traveling with a child? Put your mask on first. Well, why? Does seem selfish. No. Because if I am fumbling around trying to put my son or daughter's mask on and I pass out, now, all of a sudden we're both in trouble. If I can get my mask on first, then I can maneuver and manipulate and support them in a more meaningful way. That's putting myself first. That's not being selfish.
[00:15:23.950] – Allan
Yeah. I was in Puerto Vallarta not long ago, and I landed and there was an earthquake and come up to the resort just after the earthquake, and there's a woman, and she's really distraught. And I'm sitting there with her and I'm like, okay, I can tell you're really upset. What's going on? She said, well, when the earthquake happened, we had to leave the building, and my husband could not walk down the stairs, and so she had to leave him and go get help. And she didn't want to leave him, and then they wouldn't let her go back, so they sent two men up. Everything ended up okay, but it was just kind of one of those moments of, if I don't take care of me, I'm not going to be able to take care of her. And in fact, I might actually hurt her.
[00:16:05.070] – Dr. Yeager
[00:16:05.760] – Allan
My wife, that is, in the future, because I put her in that kind of situation. And so I think as you start looking at this process, if you're not taking care of yourself, you're not taking care of anybody.
[00:16:18.040] – Dr. Yeager
That's right. And I think we've been sold a bill of goods as human beings that others should always come first. I think that's kind of what we're taught almost at a level below consciousness. We're almost taught to make sure, don't be selfish, be selfless and make sure that you put everyone else first. I think that's backwards. Right. To your point that taking care of self is really, in essence, taking care of others.
[00:16:45.240] – Allan
Yes. We're told, I think the way it goes, we're coming upon that season anyway, is it's better to give than receive? And that's a part of that messaging. But the whole point being is I could take a dollar and I could give it to you right now, or I could take that dollar and I can build it up to $10 or $100 or $1,000 and give that to you later. And so it's kind of making that investment in yourself is only going to benefit you and everybody else. So you have to make that happen.
[00:17:13.540] – Dr. Yeager
Yeah. Investing in self is critically important and not something that we're necessarily taught to do. So we have to really endeavor upon a process of being curious what the book is about, being more curious with myself, asking and answering questions that will help me push into better and deeper sensibilities around who I am and how I came to be.
[00:17:37.090] – Allan
Now, a lot of these questions will get very uncomfortable.
[00:17:42.640] – Dr. Yeager
[00:17:45.340] – Allan
Yeah, it is good. You're going to get outside of your comfort zone. And maybe one of the ones when I read it, I was like, okay, this is hard one, and how much time do you spend looking in the mirror? And that answers changed for me over the years. There have been times when I didn't want to look in the mirror because I didn't like who I was. And there were times I looked in the mirror and I was very proud of who I was. And it's but it's not a solid state. It changes based on who I am, when I am. Can you talk a little bit about why that's such an important process for us? And like I said, maybe the hardest of all the questions that I went through, I was like, this one is really, really hard.
[00:18:26.440] – Dr. Yeager
Yeah. So you talked about that comfort or discomfort. I am a big believer, Allan, that any discomfort, pain, instead of it just being pain or discomfort for the sake of discomfort and sake of pain, we'll lean away from that because we don't want pain. We don't want discomfort. We want to be comfortable. But if you think back and reflect back throughout your life, some of the moments that were most uncomfortable produced the biggest growth that we have in our lives. So how do we reframe our thinking into a way that says, I'm going to welcome in this discomfort because I know that it's going to produce something. My kids, who are all, I'm 6'3, around 300 lbs, depends on the meal and maybe 310 is the good meal. All my boys were big boys. They would come to me when they're 8 9 10, eleven years old, and walk into my room and say, dad, my knees are killing me. So they're having growing pains. So I would say to them, that is an indication that you're growing. You want to be big like dad. So this pain that you're feeling, this discomfort that you're feeling, is solely an indication that you're growing.
[00:19:42.090] – Dr. Yeager
So it makes it easier to deal with that pain and discomfort. So if we think about engaging in this work of the mirror, it's not that you have to stand in the mirror for hour after hour, but finding the ability to be more comfortable with the person that looks back at you. You said it earlier that sometimes you would avoid the mirror because you weren't happy with the person that was looking back at you. Well, why is that? Because that man in the mirror knows all of you, knows every aspect of who you are, how you came to be. So it's uncomfortable to engage with that man in the mirror. But if we can find the ability to stand firm and be curious with that man or woman that's in the mirror, we'll learn a heck of a lot about who we are. And once again, the more I can learn about who I am or how I came to be, then I get to show up in the world a better version of myself. So finding that ability to stay in the moment, engage with self, be curious, and better understanding of us gives us an opportunity to better ourselves in our social networks.
[00:20:52.660] – Allan
Yeah. The times that I didn't want to look at myself was when I truly not being congruent to the man that I wanted to be.
[00:20:59.340] – Dr. Yeager
There you go.
[00:21:01.910] – Allan
It's a clear indicator if I didn't want to look myself in the eye, that I wasn't being me. I was doing things that were contrary to who I should be. And until I stopped doing those things and started doing the things that were building me to be the man I should be, that changed a bit. Now, I still haven't spent as much time looking in the mirror as I probably should because there's still things to fix. I mean, I never finished molding. I'll never finish fixing process. Yeah, it's a process. And so this is a really good tool. Like I said, it'll be uncomfortable. And I agree with you. Everything great takes effort and maybe discomfort, if you think about it.
[00:21:38.310] – Dr. Yeager
And this term that you use, I think, is a very important term, congruency. That's really what we're seeking in life is the ultimate version of finding ourselves as being successful, is moving with a congruent self. That who I think I am, who I seek to be. Is that congruent with my actions on a daily basis? If the answer is no, then I have to start to move in a way that says, I want to build that puzzle so the pieces fit together. Congruently. This is really what we seek in life. And the book, in my hope, is a move towards that congruency.
[00:22:16.120] – Allan
Now, one of the things that I think that's a lot of people apart is that it's how they face challenges. And so you have the question, what are the challenges you face in your life? And then you move that forward in that conversation to talk about lynch pin problems, can you kind of walk us through that thought process and how that would work?
[00:22:33.490] – Dr. Yeager
Yeah. So, for me, after football was done and the realization was that I wasn't going to be a multimillionaire playing football for the next 20 years, I was kind of lost. So I found a really good friend, and that friend was alcohol. So I began to have struggles with alcohol, and it would numb me and it would allow me not to engage with who I was or better understand myself. So it became a great friend to me, and that struggle ensued over the next number of years. But once I stopped drinking and figured out that this was really a big struggle in my life, I got the opportunity to look back and say, man, that was a huge lynch pin issue. That when we find that lynch pin issue, that's that cornerstone struggle that we have many times, there are a lot of issues that come off of that lynch pin. And if we can focus and fix and address that lynch pin, we'll find that many other things will start to fall in place. So when I stopped drinking, my finances were in a better place. When I stopped drinking, my relationship with my wife got much better.
[00:23:42.750] – Dr. Yeager
My ability to be there for my family and my kids improved drastically. So all of those issues improved off of that lynchpin issue. So asking our So what is my biggest challenge and better understanding that challenge may then allow for a number of things to fix themselves in my life if I address that lynchpin. So this is once again a critically important endeavor, but not easy. So the book is really simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy work. If you read the book, it's simple. A twelve year old can read through the book. So very simple. But the work that ensues off of the book and the questions and the conversations are challenging. But that's an important thing. We want to be challenged, I hope. And from that challenge, we better ourselves. Nelson Mandela said a quote that I live by. He said, in life we never lose. We either win or we learn. I think this is extremely important, that if we can reframe our thinking around struggle and say it's not a loss, I didn't lose. I got an opportunity to learn. And guess what? I'll make more mistakes as I move through life.
[00:24:57.700] – Dr. Yeager
But the hope is I won't continuously make that same mistake over and over because I learned from it. So seeing the world reframing some of these challenges, these lynchpin issues, in such a way that we can take a learn from that it betters us as we move forward.
[00:25:14.710] – Allan
Now, another thing that comes up a lot when I'm training is that people believe, or they have a belief about themselves. So I have a client, we sit down with a certain weight for her to do a certain exercise, and she says, this is as high as I can go. And I just get a smile on my face. I said, Give me six weeks.
[00:25:33.040] – Dr. Yeager
Yeah, that's right.
[00:25:35.510] – Allan
And I see it time and time ago. Like a client says, I don't believe a woman over 50 can lose weight. I hear those untruths all the time. And so it's your question is what untruths are you telling yourself about your current existence? Why do we have so much trouble seeing outside of our own lives?
[00:25:54.560] – Dr. Yeager
Well, I think that kind of our upbringing may set us up to struggle to see outside of ourselves, really in a profound and deep way. And one way in which to cope with that is to tell ourselves lies, to tell ourselves untruths. If you tell an untruth enough, you can convince yourself that it's not a truth. So there was a philosopher, an existentialist, that really talked about what is the existence of why am I here? What is life about? His name is Jean Paul Sark. And Sark worked on something that I utilize a lot and talk about a lot that's connected to this untrue. And it was a concept that he coined called bad faith, saying that we can tell ourselves these untrue stories over and over in a way that helps us kind of manage and manipulate life. So, for instance, if you're working at a job that you absolutely hate, you'll tell yourself the story that there's no other option. I've got to keep doing this job. I absolutely hate it, but it's how I pay my bills and my mortgage payment and whatever it is. So we tell ourselves this story that we know deep down is not true, but it allows me to manage and manipulate through the day to day process, but it's not true.
[00:27:13.620] – Dr. Yeager
So can we challenge ourselves and start to uncover and discover? What are these untruths that I'm telling myself? If you sit with yourself enough and say, so what lies am I telling to myself? You'll have answers to that question. Now the process really says, okay, now I'm aware of it. We have a choice. We can keep making those untruth statements and say, it's almost like the Matrix. Which pill do you want? I want to tell myself the lies, and that's what I want. Then I'll stay there. But if I take the other pill, I will uncover all kinds of options that I didn't necessarily think about or didn't really want to uncover. But now they're here. Now the truth is going to be able to battle with the untruths. And guess what? I can make some different choices. Now, that doesn't mean we always will. I may stick with the bad choices, but now it's not from a space of unconscious or subconscious movement. It's now into the consciousness. And what does that mean? It means now I can start to battle with cognitive dissonance. Now I have a battle that ensues about that new information enters, new truths enter my thinking.
[00:28:29.110] – Dr. Yeager
And now I get to say, yeah, I hadn't really thought about that. What am I going to now do about it? Am I going to choose to keep down that same lane or am I going to move in a different way? Now you have some options, and that's what we really hope for in life. The more we want a multiplicity of options, and that's what the book is hoping to point out, that we do have options. It starts with awareness, and then we get to do something about those. No new options.
[00:28:56.620] – Allan
Yeah, I kind of look at it. And you even talked about you being your own best friend a little bit in the book, but it was this concept of if your friend told you she's just not going to be able to lose this weight, you would not tell her. You're absolutely right. You're over 50. You're not going to lose the weight. You're going to turn around and say, yeah, you can. You're going to be the best cheerleader for that person. And so if you find yourself saying something that you wouldn't say to your own best friend, that's probably a part of the cognitive distance that's going on in your brain right now.
[00:29:25.990] – Dr. Yeager
So, Allan, you point out something that's really important. So we have this concept of self talk. We're always having conversations with ourselves. So as I'm talking, Allan, you're talking to yourself right now. What question am I going to ask next? Do I believe what he said on this?
[00:29:43.240] – Allan
I absolutely do.
[00:29:46.840] – Dr. Yeager
The self talk is continuously occurring, but if we tune in and become more deeply aware of the self talk, we may start to say, man, I'm really negative with myself, and I didn't realize I was even doing it. So if we start to think about personifying, this self talk, this negative tape that can be playing over and over in our heads, and if we take those negative thoughts and tell ourselves, if I had my best friend take that tape of Negativity and spew it back to me and say all those negative things back to me, would I remain friends with them? The answer is easily, no. I wouldn't remain friends with you if that's all you were doing was telling me these negative stories over and over. But we're doing that to ourselves over and over, Allan. So if we can better frame this misunderstanding in such a way that says, I don't want that Negativity over and over in my head, the first step of that is being aware that's even occurring. The next step is moving that negative conversation into a more positive space that I'm, okay, I'm going to make it through this.
[00:30:56.440] – Dr. Yeager
Every struggle that I've had in my life, I've made it through to this point because I'm here and I'll make it through whatever this struggle is. Now, I've changed that tape. I took that negative tape out and replaced it with a positive tape. Now I get to move in this world in a more positive fashion every day. And if that positive tape is plain, the chances that my outcomes in life are positive increase exponentially. So that's really what this self talk is about, and how do we frame it and understand it in a way that we can move it, as opposed to just having to be unconscious and playing negative thoughts all the time.
[00:31:36.550] – Allan
Now, I think for a lot of us, well, every one of us, change is scary, change is uncomfortable, and we've talked about a lot about discomfort, but everybody kind of wants to change, and they basically start cataloging. If you could change anything, what would you change about yourself, about your environment, about your job, about your relationships? Every one of us will probably be able to list three or four things about just about every one of those. But you asked the question, what do you most hope to change in your life? Can you talk about the significance of that question?
[00:32:12.190] – Dr. Yeager
Yeah. So again, I think to your point, there's tons of things that we would like to change. I want to change my wardrobe. I mean, there's a ton of things we can fill in the blank and nausea about the things that we want to change. But the work that I'm discussing in the book is saying, all right, so what is the most profound, biggest thing that I hope to change in my life? Because I think too often we get caught up in trying to address everything all in one moment. I just want to get everything better, but does it work? And then we get consumed with and overwhelmed with trying to do too much. So there's an African proverb that says, how do you eat an elephant? Well, the answer is one bite at a time. So this question of what do you hope to change most is taking the bite out of whatever, that struggle that you're having. Not trying to address every struggle and change every aspect of my life, but prioritizing what it is that I see as the struggle of the challenge that is most pressing for me, then I get to go about taking a bite out of that and working to change that, as opposed to trying to be overwhelmed with addressing all of these issues at once.
[00:33:32.920] – Dr. Yeager
And what we'll do when it feels like it's overwhelming, we end up doing nothing. I coach football and I coach offensive line. And one of the things that I tell offensive lineman, you have two guys that are coming at you. What a guy will tend to do is try to block both of them. When you try to block them both, you end up blocking neither. So it's connected to change and what we prioritize. Pick one thing, stick with that, work through that process, and that becomes a win. When I can work through that process, all of a sudden I have one small win. And if I can have one small win, I now convince myself that I can have two wins, and those two wins can turn to four wins. So all of a sudden, I get to change and build upon that one bite sized approach to change. And I think that's really my work, is to help facilitate the change process. I'm not going to change your life, but I'll help you facilitate your own process.
[00:34:34.540] – Allan
You have to be willing, yes, put in the effort to make that change. And questions, like I said, they're just a really deep dive into who you are in helping you build a plan and find the things that you need to change, to be congruent, to be who you're supposed to be. So it's a great, great tool.
[00:34:51.450] – Allan
Dr. Yeager, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:35:01.310] – Dr. Yeager
Three. You're going to make me narrow down to three? I'm going to struggle.
[00:35:06.490] – Allan
Remember what you just said? What's the big thing?
[00:35:09.570] – Dr. Yeager
Yes. There you go. Prioritization. Prioritization.
[00:35:13.770] – Allan
[00:35:14.960] – Dr. Yeager
So I think a couple of the most simple ones are even starting off with your sleeping pattern. How well do you sleep? Getting good sleep matters that if I get a good night's rest, I wake up more refreshed and find the opportunity to face the day in a more positive nature just from the very beginning. So I think getting good sleep is a cornerstone, one that's very simple. I think another one that we must develop is budgeting our energy, that I only have a finite amount of energy, so I can't give it all away all the time. And that's not being selfish, that's just using a budget, a process of budgeting my energy. Where do I choose to give this energy? Why am I choosing to give this energy to this project or this person? But it has to be in a fashion that we budget it because it's not endless. So where am I giving my energy? And why I think is an important piece. Journaling is another thing. Finding the ability, the research tells us if I have a struggle, a couple of ways that I can address that struggle are talking to someone, telling them what my struggles are, and then journaling.
[00:36:29.610] – Dr. Yeager
And both of those processes are ways in which we can get that negativity out. It's all bottled up inside of us. What we hope to do is get it out. So if I come to you, Allan, I'm seeking help and support, you're not going to be able to fix my issues, but if I trust that you'll listen and hear me and allow me to spew this out, I'll walk out of that session of that conversation feeling lighter. You didn't fix it, but I got to talk about it. I got to relieve pressure around that issue. So finding the ability to journal or talk to others, I think is extremely important. We have to give ourselves grace as well, Allan. We do well as human beings giving people around us grace. If you mess up or do something I don't like, I'll say, no, Allan, I don't worry about it, it's okay. But we won't take that same notion with ourselves to tell ourselves, it's okay. I struggled with that, but I'm going to keep moving. In life, we must be rivers, not ponds. A river is ever moving, ever regenerating itself. A pond can become very stagnant.
[00:37:39.570] – Dr. Yeager
So we want to keep moving. Finding the ability to keep moving. Last couple that I hit on, and I know it's more than three, I apologize already. How do we find the ability to stay in this moment? The only true thing that we have in this world is the current moment that we reside in. What happened ten minutes ago is gone forever, never to return. What will happen ten minutes from nowis Allan is yet to be seen. But this moment we know we have. So how do we find the ability to stay in the current moment? Practice gratitude. I'm happy and thankful for all that I have that has got me to where I am in this moment. And lastly, do we have the ability to focus and have an internal locus of control? That control is important, but not nearly as important as knowing that I own and control who I am and how I'm moving this world. So being clear on the control mechanisms and controlling the controllable things that we can, and not being as worried about those things outside of our control, where we tend to dump a lot of energy and we don't impact it, we can't move it, but we dump energy into it and it doesn't change anything.
[00:38:57.600] – Dr. Yeager
So use that energy to control the things that you can control. That's an internal locus of control. So I know I gave you like, seven, and I know you asked for three, but I tried to pick
[00:39:07.780] – Allan
that's all right. You got a whole offensive line coming at me. It's worth it. We do need to journal because we can't beat people up on the football field anymore.
[00:39:17.100] – Dr. Yeager
That's right, we don't have that outlet. Journaling is the new.
[00:39:23.290] – Allan
All right, thank you for that. So, Dr. Yeager, if someone wanted to learn more about you and the things you're doing and your book, How Am I Doing? Where would you like me to send them?
[00:39:32.710] – Dr. Yeager
So you can really if you Google Dr. Corey Yeager or go through any of the social media outlets, instagram, Facebook, Dr. Corey Yeager, Google my name. The book is on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, any of the major book outlets, you'll be able to find it at your local bookstore, community-based bookstore. So it'll kind of be everywhere. If you google Dr. Corey Yeager, you'll find me everywhere.
[00:40:00.490] – Allan
Okay, thank you. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:40:04.230] – Dr. Yeager
Hey, I appreciate it, man. It was a fun conversation, Allan. Thanks.
[00:40:07.470] – Allan
Me too. Thank you.
[00:40:17.510] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:40:19.170] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. You know, I could have listened to you guys talk for probably a couple more hours about different questions to ask. I mean, you guys pick some doozys about self talk and being self aware and all these wonderful things. Very useful.
[00:40:32.670] – Allan
Well, for one, I was able to cherry pick 40 questions, the ones that I thought would actually be the most relevant to the show overall. But that's good. It's that self awareness that is tripping all of us up. And there are different ways to get to self awareness. And, you know, like, I have the quiz. What's your health blocker? Quiz so you can go to 40plusfitness.com/quiz and take that quiz and it's a really simple little tool puts you in one of five categories for what's blocking you the most. And so there's tools. But this book is kind of like I'm just swimming in the top little bit of 2ft of water and he's down into the deep, deep depth. And so this is like the deep dive into who you are all the way down to your soul. And so when he asks the question, you're asking questions like, what are the lies that I tell myself? Or what brings me the most joy in my life? And initially you might just throw out an answer and then you start diving into it a little bit deeper. You're like, okay, I'm not being authentic.
[00:41:38.520] – Allan
I'm not living the life that I should be living based on who I'm supposed to be. Because most of us have this self image and part of the time and it's also a major reason why we struggle with our health and fitness is we're not living up to that.
[00:41:52.360] – Rachel
[00:41:53.510] – Allan
We have this idea of who we're supposed to be and we're not walking the walk. We're not quite there yet. And so this is a great opportunity for you to look deep and figure out what are those things that are really keeping me away from doing the things that I know would bring me joy and would make my life better and would make me a better person. Because it's in there.
[00:42:14.490] – Rachel
[00:42:15.340] – Allan
It's in there. And you just have to take the time to say, okay, what's there and why is it there and what can I do about it? And when you really get down to figuring out how you are today, that initially sounds like a very easy question. But it's so deep that this is not, like you said, literally every question in this book. You could spend a week thinking about. You can make this like an annual 40 weeks out of the year, spend the time going through the question and then spend that week really, really diving deep into yourself, okay, about what that question means to you. And then the better thing because I'm a very much of an action oriented person. What are you going to do about it?
[00:42:58.900] – Rachel
That's right. Well, you know, one of the questions you talked about was showing up for yourself and you discussed if you had a friend that said, oh, I can't lose this last few pounds or I can't do this. You would never agree with that. You would tell your friends, sure you can. You can do that. You would be the encourager. And so why aren't we doing this for ourselves more often? And similarly kind of in the same book, you know, as a mother, I used to prepare healthy meals for my kids because I wanted my kids to grow up healthy. And sometimes I let that slide for myself. Or maybe I don't cook the healthiest foods for my husband, but he does most of the cooking, I'll just tell you that. But why doesn't that skill set translate to ourselves when we are so giving and caring for other people? Why can't we do those exact same things for ourselves? It's a good question to ponder and to figure out how to fix that.
[00:43:51.810] – Allan
Yeah. And so, yeah, at the realm where I'm talking 30,000ft, looking down, it's just that you're a giver and you want to give to the family, and you want to do what's right for your family. And so you're looking at your co pilots, the people who are in the plane with you, and you're spending more time taking care of them than you are about yourself, forgetting that you're all in the same plane.
[00:44:15.600] – Rachel
[00:44:16.530] – Allan
[00:44:17.640] – Rachel
And that's important.
[00:44:18.720] – Allan
Yeah, in some cases. Some folks. I know this wasn't the case with you, but the people that are in that car with them aren't supporting them. They're taking and they're taking, and so you've got givers and takers. And so there's sometimes there's really bad stuff going on, and that's where these deep dives can be very, very good because you're just like, Why do I keep doing it? And sometimes you're doing it because that's who you are. And sometimes you're doing it just because you've been pulled into that and held into that. And you need to understand that at a deeper level to ever break through that. Because if the resistance is there internally and you don't deal with that, you're going to revert. If the resistance is external and you don't deal with that, you're going to be fighting that battle all the time. So it's really important to get in there and understand yourself and your situation and come to those answers. Because it's not a simple, oh, I just need to stop doing this. It should, but it can't. It won't.
[00:45:17.890] – Rachel
It's not always that obvious too, Allan we may not recognize the people that are sabotaging what we're trying to accomplish. Like you said, if it's not us sabotaging ourselves, we may not recognize those situations. So having this list of questions like Dr. Yeager put together in his book, it might be really beneficial just to sit down and give some of them a little bit of a thought process.
[00:45:41.860] – Allan
Yeah. If you're not where you want to be in the self awareness area, this is a great book to walk you through it. Basically, if you hired him at probably something that's going to be well into the big hundreds of dollars an hour for him to listen to Utah, these are the questions that he would ask. These are the big questions that you'd go into a session and he might spend several sessions really pulling out of. You the real answer to this question. And he does some of that in the book. So if you're someone who's going to wants to do this, I'd say, yeah, go ahead. And get the book. It's on audible.
[00:46:15.570] – Rachel
[00:46:16.140] – Allan
So it's on audible. You can get the hardbound book and it's just a journey that you'll take with yourself. I know you're a big fan of journaling, as am I, and you're like, buy yourself a journal, listen to audiobook, listen to a chapter, and really think through that question. And don't stop until you've gotten to the end of the question and you have an answer. And here's the interesting thing about the human brain is by the time you get to the end of all the questions, if you were to start back at the beginning, you might even have different answers for those questions after you go through this, and in fact, you probably should have different answers for those questions after you've gone through a process like this.
[00:46:56.220] – Rachel
That sounds fascinating. Yeah, I think I need to get my hands on some of these questions.
[00:47:01.540] – Allan
They're in the book.
[00:47:02.800] – Rachel
All right, on it.
[00:47:05.210] – Allan
Alright, so I'll talk to you next week, then.
[00:47:07.110] – Rachel
Take care, Allan.
[00:47:08.190] – Allan
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Ken McQuade||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Debbie Ralston||– John Dachauer||– Melissa Ball|
|– Eliza Lamb||– Judy Murphy||– Tim Alexander|
|– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|
On episode 511 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet with Delatorro McNeal and discuss his book, Shift into a Higher Gear and several way to get the right mindset for change.
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.
Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.
Your body is an amazing organic machine. The food we eat and drink is information for that machine. This includes adaptagens. These are compounds that balance hormones and help you deal with stress in a healthier way. If you’re feeling tired, these compounds give you a boost of energy. If you’re stressed, they help you return to a natural state of calm. They literally help you adapt to the stress of life.
This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Green juice with essential superfoods and a clinical dose of Ashwaganda. It helps reduce stress and support healthy cortisol levels. It mixes well with water or your beverage of choice and it tastes awesome! This has become a part of my morning ritual.
Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.
Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off any item.
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.
Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving.
In our 24/7 always on world, going without sleep seems to carry a badge of honor. But that’s not how your body sees it. Sleep is when all the wonderful things happen inside your body. Hormones reset, and healing and restoration happens. You know how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep. Getting good quality sleep is a priority for me
This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Gold juice with ingredients like Tumeric, Reishi Mushroom, and ginger, it’s designed to support rest, relaxation, recovery, and repair. It’s a delicious and nutritious warm, golden tea. I use water, but you can also use milk or a milk alternative. This has become a part of my evening wind-down.
Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.
Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off any item.[00:26:25.250] – Allan
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|
|– Deb Scarlett||– John Dachauer||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Debbie Ralston||– Judy Murphy||– Melissa Ball|
|– Eliza Lamb||– Tim Alexander|
There are points in your health and fitness journey when you have to make a decision, keep going, quit, or pivot. How you approach these decision points can make all the difference.
Today I want to talk about the art of quitting. Now, I know that sounds kind of odd to be talking about quitting when we're talking about health and fitness, because we as a people, particularly in the United States, we really appreciate perseverance. We appreciate those people, those stories where people have gone above and beyond and accomplished things way beyond the realm of what's possible or seemed possible at the beginning, like the movie Rudy or the book Rudy or the story of Rudy who tried to get on to and play for Notre Dame and actually did get on the field during a football game with the team through Perseverance.
And we love that story. There's also the children's book The Little Engine that Could by Waddy Piper. And again, it's a story about Perseverance and going at it and having the right attitude and sticking with it until you get something that seemed impossible done. We love those stories. But there are also stories that kind of push back the other way, like in Greek mythology, with Cispus pushing that rock up the Hill that's invariably going to roll down the Hill again. So no matter how much Perseverance that he puts into that effort, he's going to end up right back where he started.
Or we're watching Rocky four, and Apollo is fighting Drago in an exhibition match, and Rocky knows the next punch is going to basically kill his friend, but he doesn't throw the towel in. And a lot of people were upset about that in the movie. I was upset about it watching the movie. It was a very emotional point in that movie. And in a sense, we fought Rocky for not quitting, not throwing in the towel. And we know that that was because Apollo wanted to continue the fight all the way through to the end, and it ended up costing him his life.
And so there's these stories that we have about Perseverance and then about quitting. And they both have a place, particularly when we're talking about health and fitness. So I want to talk today about some times when quitting is actually the right answer that you're better off quitting something than sticking with it. Okay.
Sometimes when you quit, it just opens up opportunities and we're going to talk all the way through this as you look at how quitting might actually help you get to the results you want faster. So for this discussion, we're going to talk about big things. We're not going to be talking about quitting little things like quitting sugar, quitting this or quitting that. Obviously, you know, there's challenges and structure and things and strategies and tactics and things you're going to implement that will work and not work. And some of those strategies and tactics you just throw away because they're obviously not working.
But we're going to talk about some big things in the health, fitness and joy categories because in reality, this is literally life and death. Now, maybe not right now but some of the decisions you're making are going to decide which side of the aging curve you're actually on as you go forward in life. So we're going to talk about is the five key health and fitness drivers, the five key health and fitness drivers. And those are nutrition, which includes hydration, sleep, stress management, fitness and avoiding toxicity.
And that can be chemical, biological, or emotional. So we have those five key health drivers, and today we're going to go through those five key health drivers and look at some scenarios where it might make sense to not stick. It might make sense to quit. Okay, now, here's the other caveat as we get into this discussion, because I'm going to be throwing out some examples. And I want you to understand that sometimes the decision that you need to make is different than the decision I might need to make.
So as we go through this discussion, I'm going to go back and forth a little bit on that so you can kind of get a flavor for how to do this analysis, if you will.
So first, I want to talk about a few reasons why you should probably stick to what you're doing. If your strategy is sound and you just need more time. So everything's working, it's generally working, and you just need to give it more time for you to see the results that you want to see
That's probably a good reason to stick if it's working, but not as fast as you want it. Now, what there might be instead of quitting is just alternatives that you can add on to make it better. And we'll talk a little bit about that. And then another reason to stick is there really isn't another alternative. This is really the only way that's available to you based on who you are, what's going on in your life or anything else. We'll get into that as well. But what are the reasons that we should quit?
If the thing you're doing isn't serving you, you should quit and try to find another way. If you know, in your heart of hearts that there actually is a better way. You were just trying this as an opportunity and it's not working for you, and this other way would be quicker and easier. It's probably time to quit. And also we want to make sure that quitting won't hurt us, and that what we are doing is helping us. So if there's something you're doing that's not helping you, then quit and we'll talk about that as well.
So what I'm going to do for the remainder of this podcast is I'm literally going to go through each of the five drivers, and I'm going to give you a couple of examples, and then we're going to kind of talk through a little bit. Is that a good reason to quit? Is this something you should quit? And I'm going to give my opinion on it from my perspective. Realize, again, your answers could be entirely different than my answers. So your circumstances would be entirely different than mine. And you should think through these scenarios to kind of get an idea of how this process goes.
So the first key driver that I want to talk about is nutrition. So here's the scenario. You are three weeks into the carnivore way of eating. You even quit coffee and tea. And while you've lost weight, your energy level has bottomed out and you're constipated. So is this a stick, a stick and pivot or a quit? Now, obviously for some people, the carnivore diet is fairly extreme and it's very difficult to do long term for a lot of people.
Now, other people thrive on that kind of diet and that's fine. But if you're having issues with your energy level and you're just not feeling like you're losing weight the way that you should and you're dealing with other biological problems like constipation, it's time to think about that. For some people, it's obvious that you need to quit and maybe do something different. For others, it might just be a stick and pivot. So maybe you're not getting enough electrolytes. Maybe you need to implement something else like better sleep or something else to help you make sure that you're keeping your energy level up.
And then obviously with the electrolytes that I spoke to that can include magnesium that can include potassium and sodium. And in many cases the introduction of magnesium might help with that constipation. So you can kind of see as you go into this concept of I'm trying a way of eating carnivore and I intend to do it for a long time, but I'm starting to have difficulties with it. You can answer the question of OK, is this something I can just pivot, try some add ons and see what works, or do I really want to quit this?
And in many cases I would say if this was something you really wanted to do, try the stick and pivot for a little while and then if that doesn't work, quit. Here's a second scenario for nutrition. You cut your calories much lower than you used to eat. It was working for a few weeks, but you're hungry all the time and you find yourself binging at night, stick, stick and pivot or quit. Now this one is a little bit more difficult because a lot of people will want to follow the calories in calories out model.
And the reality is for a time that can definitely work. But over time your body is going to adjust to try to find Homo stasis based on the amount that you're eating today, based on the exercise you're doing today, it's going to find that balance. And so the question then is, is this low calorie going to work for you long term. For some people, just pushing through a little while can restart the weight loss. But you may need to do a couple of pivots. You may need to have a couple of days where your calories a little higher just to keep your metabolism, keep everything flowing so your body is not locked into 1200 calories a day thing.
Maybe just having a couple of days where you're up closer to 18 or maybe 2000 might be enough for your body to adapt and adjust to a point where it can continue to lose weight. That would be a stick and pivot. But for a lot of people, just cutting calories isn't enough. They need to focus on what they're eating when they're eating as well to try to figure this out. And so sometimes you just have to quit that low calorie and figure out a different way.
So I hope that made sense as I went through the nutrition piece of this, that there are different answers for each of us based on what we're dealing with, where we are in our lives and what's working and what's not. So there is stick, there is stick and pivot and there's quit, and you have to look and figure out which one makes the most sense for you. And many times, as I mentioned earlier, sometimes stick and pivot is the right answer, and then if that doesn't work, then you quit.
Let's move on to the second key driver of health and fitness and joy, sleep.
And this is one of my favorites. Okay, so here's the scenario. The first scenario. You usually go to bed at 10:30, and you've recently hired a personal trainer that can only work with you at 05:00 a.m. This only gives you 6 hours of bedtime and less than 6 hours of sleep. You know, you need more. Stick, stick and pivot or quit? Now, this is a tougher one because for a lot of people, their time is locked, and they're very deep into getting a lot done and being productive.
And the concept of sleeping more is often difficult for us. It feels like we're giving up feels almost like we're quitting something, but in a sense, getting more sleep can help you have more energy, get more done, be more productive, and definitely have fewer mistakes and issues. So the question then here is we've got two endpoints to the sleeping night. Now you could try to go to sleep earlier, but that might mean giving up family time. That might mean giving up time with your significant other time that you love to spend together.
Obviously, if you've made dinner, we've got to wash dishes, we got to get things cleaned up. So there's probably a limit to how far you can push your bedtime up and then on the other side, yes
You've hired this personal trainer that really only had that 05:00 window. Is there a way to move that training period to a later period or different part of the day, or is it better for us to go ahead and maybe find a different trainer if we really want to continue with the personal trainer that we have or that we're with a personal trainer? And those are tough decisions. I'm not going to say there's an easy answer here, but the reality of it is the bigger you make your bedtime opportunity, the more you're likely to sleep, the more you're likely to sleep, the better off your health and fitness are going to be.
So this is a tough one. It's probably a quit something, but we've got to figure out what that is for you and then you've got to decide how to make that happen. Here's a second scenario. Lately you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep. You pull out your phone to look at social media. You feel this helps you calm down. But the report on your phone shows your screen time is way up. Stick, stick and pivot, Quit?
Now, I have some pretty strong opinions about this to me. You've got to quit the Facebook, the social media stuff. You got to quit that in the middle of the night. The lights off your phone are actually keeping you up. The excitement and the dopamine stuff that's happening when you're on your phone is keeping you up. Whether you feel that way or not, it is. So the reality of it is you could do something better with that time and still be winding down. You can listen to a fiction audiobook and have the lights out.
You can actually get a hardcover printed book and turn on a candle, light a candle and read that book. You can go ahead and decide to go into the bathroom and take a warm bath with some lavender and some other scents that really help calm you down and get back to sleep a little bit faster. So I would say you quit the Facebook and then you implement something else in that place. Obviously laying in bed awake at 2:00 in the morning for hours is excruciating. But you've got to get your sleep.
You've got to figure out a way and getting on the Facebook is not going to be the answer most of the time. Now, how you do that? How you discipline, keep the discipline to do that? I can't help you there right now, but I can just say if you value sleep as much as I do, you won't turn on your phone, you won't turn on your computer, you'll figure out a way to calm yourself relax whether it's breathing, meditation, a warm bath with some oils, or reading a book, listening to an audio book.
Any of those things will be better for you than opening up your phone. So I hope that makes sense on the sleep side. You're going to have things, if you're going to try to improve your sleep, there are things you're probably going to have to quit. Screen time is a huge example. Having short sleep windows with early alarms. Another thing that you need to work around to get the sleep. You've got to be in bed and that requires you to push your windows around and have some discipline around that.
So I hope that helps you on the sleep front. If you've got some questions there, we can talk about it.
So the next key driver or key driver is stress management, and this is another big one for me, but I really only have one example. I want to walk through here. You've started setting aside 30 minutes to meditate each day, but you find you spend most of this time thinking about the things that you need to do. This leaves you even more stressed. Stick, stick and pivot or quit?
Now, this one is kind of also a little interesting to me, because a lot of people will just quit. They'll say, okay, I don't have time for this. I know meditation would be great for me. I enjoy it when it's working, but it's not working most of the time. So I want to quit. I'd like to give you an alternative. Instead of trying to meditate for 30 minutes, just try to do five, just five good minutes, clear concise minutes, letting your thoughts happen, letting things happen and relaxing and getting into it.
Now, eventually, you might be able to add a little bit of time to that. But obviously giving up five minutes is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of 24 hours, and it will feel more attainable. So you're not overwhelmed with the fact that you're losing a half hour out of each day to do this task. It won't feel as much like a task when it's only five minutes. And who knows, maybe you go a little bit longer even though you didn't plan to because you were able to relax and get into the right state of mind, helping your stress, helping you feel better.
And that's going to kind of be a positive feedback loop. So in this case, I would say stick and pivot until 30 minutes feels right, and maybe it never will. But at least you've given it a shot.
All right. Does that make sense? Okay.
The next key driver is fitness. Okay, so here's the scenario. Your fitness tracker shows that your progress is stagnating you're halfway to your set goal and hitting certain milestones. Now it looks like you won't make those milestones. So you've made progress, and you are making good progress. But now things are stagnating. You're not seeing the growth that you were seeing before, you're not seeing the strength gains or let's say we're talking about the number of steps or how fast you can go or your time or any of those things that you would want as a personal record or just some kind of measurement criteria for your fitness.
And now you're stagnating. And that goal is beginning to look unattainable at the beginning, it looked like you could get there, and now it's not. So do you stick, stick and pivot or quit? Well, I think quitting this particular time is not the right answer. You still have that goal. That's not going to go away unless you just completely changed the goal. But rather than sliding the goal post or the time to attain the goal post. This might be a good time to stick and pivot.
Maybe you just need to do something to change up your training. Maybe you need to take some rest. Maybe this is a recovery problem, and maybe this is a nutrition problem, so all of those can factor into your basic performance. So it's worth looking at. Is this a time when I change up my training? Is this a time when I change up my nutrition? Is this the time I look at other aspects that might be affecting my performance? And if I'm not approaching my goals as quickly as I wanted to just see if adding some of those differences, fixing tweaking some of those things gives you the benefits gets you removing.
I found times where someone was doing a back squat, for example, and their back squat was starting to Plateau. So they got to a certain strength, a certain capacity, and then they just seemed to slow down and they were really upset because they did have a goal of, say, being able to squat their body weight for reps. And that's admirable. That's perfect. That's a great kind of goal because it shows a level of strength relative to your weight. That's really important. So now they're not getting there.
They're looking at they're halfway to their goal, and they're just not quite getting there. So what I'll often do is I'll program other ways for them to work with the weight. That's different for some clients. I'll have them on the leg press because they're mentally challenged, not necessarily physically challenged. It can be challenging mentally to get underweight, particularly when that weight is approaching your body weight and feel like you're in control. So I'll put them on the leg press for other people. It's about their form and how they're pressing and what they're doing.
I may move them to a completely different exercise, like a front squat, which changes the angles of everything and gets them working in a different way. And then when we transition back to back squats, they find that they've either in the first scenario increased their leg strength significantly or in the second one, they now actually have better form and are able to perform the exercise better. So in both of those cases, the changes we did, those pivots are giving them the added capacity to be able to do more, and they start seeing that progression happening again.
So that's a situation where I think a stick and pivot can be really good for other people. They might just want to stick and keep grinding at it, and sometimes they're successful. Just push a little harder, do a little more, and they're there. So just recognize that there are options as you're looking at fitness. So here's the second scenario. You're doing a fitness class, and after an awkward movement, you feel a tweak in your knee. There are only ten minutes left in the class, stick, stick and pivot or quit?
Now, this is a tough one because a lot of fitness classes have you on your feet moving around both forward and backwards and side to side. And so there's a lot of opportunities there for you to injure your knees. If you're not careful with your form and how you're placing your legs and not locking out. And there's a lot of things that can go wrong. If you've already felt a tweak in your knees, then it's highly possible that you've done something to one of the tendons and leguments to flare it up.
That's what that pain is. And continuing and trying to grind out through that class is more likely to hurt you than not. It's definitely not going to help you. You're going to have to slow down. Most likely you're going to be ginger on that knee and you're not going to get the full benefit of doing the class. Now, does that mean you completely quit the class? And that might be no, it might be. Yes, it really depends on the nature of what you've done. But if you feel like all you've done is a little twist and maybe you'll be fine, just slow it down, go into just marching in place.
If you want to continue moving for the remainder of the ten minutes and not walk out in the middle of that class or actually towards the end of that class, then maybe the pivot is just you down scaling to a point where you're still moving and still getting work done and everything is great. I at one point in a CrossFit class hurt my back, I tweaked my back, and so I just quit. I tried to go a little bit further. I'm like, no, this is not working for me.
I can't do these movements as well as I want to. I can't use the form I want to and it hurts. I stopped, I quit, and that turned out to be a really good decision because I didn't do exceptional damage to myself. I had done some, but it was really just a strain instead of something that could have been much, much worse. So recognizing your body's limitations, knowing when it's time to quit, when it's time to stick, or maybe just stick and adapt a pivot. Those are good.
Now, these questions about stick, stick and pivot and quit when you start talking about fitness are really hard because we have two things happening. We have this drive for ego that a lot of us share, and then we have this drive to laziness that a lot of us have. If you feel like you're quitting just because it's getting hard or you're slowing down as a pivot just because it's getting hard, that's not necessarily a justified reason. Again, exercise is helping. You can do it. You're not harming yourself.
So in this particular case, there's not really a good reason to quit. But if you find yourself where you're pushing yourself past your boundaries, what you're capable of doing, and you risk injury. It is definitely time to quit or downsize to enough where you know you're not in harm's way. So again, that's a harder area, but it's one that if you want to stay in the game, which is key, you have to obey fitness rule number one, thy shall not hurt themselves. So managing how you do this and staying within that sweet spot of not letting ego get in the way and not letting laziness get in the way, that's going to be a key here.
So the fifth and final health driver is avoiding toxicity. So here's the first scenario. You're wearing a smartwatch and this could be Apple Fitbit, garmin, whatever. And you notice your heart rate goes up when you read posts from certain persons on social media, stick, stick and pivot or quit? Now, I know every one of us has some of these people that they turn social media into a battleground. They're always posting material that is just hard for you to stomach. They're a good friend, but some of the positions they take, some of the things they put on social media just really aggravates you.
They cause you stress, they hurt you. And maybe you've even had a few conversations with them there, and they've always ended up poorly. Is this a stick? Is this a quit or is this a stick and pivot? Now, for most of the time, because of social media, my position is just go ahead and quit. Don't respond to their posts. In fact, maybe you can even do the function that allows you to unfollow them. You're still their friend on Facebook. You just don't see their posts. And if it's more egregious and it's a problem, then you just block them on social media.
You tell them in person, I can't deal with your social media. So I'm going to block you, not the personal friend, but I don't want that on my feet. I don't want that in my life. So you quit in a sense, my social media, something that maybe I haven't talked about in here is that I break my Facebook up into two profiles. So if you actually went out and searched for me, you would see that I have two profiles on Facebook. Now, one is my business profile, and that's where I interact with you.
If you want to be my friend, you look up AllanMisner.CPT. And that's my work, my training profile. And that's where I have conversations with clients. I have great friends in the industry, and I enjoy the conversations there. And I don't worry about the political posts. I don't even pay attention to them. And then I have my personal personal, which is family and friends. I would say 99% of those folks I actually have met in person and have personal relationships with. And so yeah, some of them are going to post some things that whatever I don't agree with, but I only check that really to pay attention to friends and family and see what's going on here on the island.
I don't spend a lot of time on my personal personal Facebook because there's just not material out there that I'm all that interested in other than staying informed about what's going on with my family, some of my friends and what's going on on this island. So that's the only time I check back on that profile. And maybe once a week again, I saw that that was toxic. I saw a lot of toxicity in that, and I came up with a pivot and that pivot works very well for me.
You can also again do the other pivot where you're not actually blocking someone, but you're not following them or other settings within your Facebook, where you can control your feed and you're seeing the things that you really want to see without dealing with this much toxicity. The second scenario I want to talk about in the health driver of avoiding toxicity, you decide to read the label on your personal care products, and I'll tell you right now, the Environmental Working Group has a great app to help you do that.
It's go to www.Ewg.Org/apps and this site when you go there, you can literally scan the barcode with your phone, your smartphone, and it'll tell you whether this stuff is toxic or where it rates. So let's say now you've used that app and you've looked at your personal care products and you notice that your favorite shampoo and conditioner rank very poorly on this rating scale. And so now here you are. You love this condition of the shampoo. It works great. It makes your hair feel look good.
Everything is awesome when you feel when you're using this product, but now you find out it has some problems. It has some allergens in it, maybe some carcinogens, that type of thing. Do you stick, stick and pivot or quit? Now, the thing about toxicity is it tends to be cumulative. Rather, it's chemical, biological or social or relationship stuff. It tends to be cumulative. If you're in a toxic situation, it doesn't get better if you just reduce the amount of toxicity that you're taking in, it's still cumulative.
It's still adding in. So for many of these things, you need to get away from toxicity. And I would say the answer is going to be quit. It's very seldom that you can pivot on those types of things, but there are exceptions. So if this brand of shampoo and conditioner that you're using is a good brand and that particular type of product is the problem, maybe you move to another product that they have that's hypoallergenic or has less of these things in it, and that's a better option for you to continue to use a brand that you enjoy and works well for you.
But cut back on that toxicity. But in a general sense, I would say most of the time the answer related to toxicity if it's a product or a relationship is to quit. Now, that's easier said than done. But I have done it, and you can, too. So I hope this all made sense. I tried to come up with some examples that would show you on either side of the stick or quit model, and then some that were in that stick and pivot range. As you can tell, this isn't as simple.
And since there are thousands and thousands of things that you do every day, there's a lot going on. There's a lot for you to consider as you look at this. So for that reason, I would say, focus on the big rocks. Think about the things that you do or don't do that would move the needle. If you know there are things that you're doing now that just adversely affect you, like smoking. That's a no brainer. It's a quit. So there are things you're doing that really it's time to quit.
There are other things that you're doing that are actually for good, but they're not giving you the results. That's the time to reassess. And as you're going through this analysis, I think it's really important for you to keep your why and your vision in sight, because the things that you're doing should always align with that. If they don't, then it's a quit. So the why is the reason you're doing this? Why are you working on your health and fitness now? And when you come to that, it's this emotional, deep thing.
It becomes so important to you that there's no other option. You're not going to say no. Okay, so when you're doing these things, it's the question of am I doing it the right way? Can I pivot? And then if it's not working, find a different route.
Now, the vision is where you ultimately want to go with this activity, with what you're doing, with what you're eating, fitness, nutrition, all of it. All those things are driving you towards some vision of yourself. And so you're building these little habits, these little mile markers that are measurable as you're going through this process. And as you look at what you're doing, if you're not seeing the progress to get to that next mile marker, that's time to evaluate. And when you evaluate things, you have to get rid of things you can tweak.
And that's called the pivot. And then things you just bear down and keep doing because they are working. You just have to keep at it. So if you're interested in exploring these things a little bit more, whether you should quit, whether you should stick and pivot or quit, I'd encourage you to join us on Facebook at our Facebook group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.Com/group. And there you can go ahead and ask questions. Maybe you have something you're dealing with and you just like the sounding board of hey, what do you think?
What are some ideas here? Because maybe quoting doesn't really make sense to you, and maybe sticking to it doesn't make any sense. We've got to find that middle ground of the stick, maybe stick and pivot. So there might be these other alternatives that I can share with you in that forum. So again, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.Com/group. Go ahead and start a conversation there about your particular situation, and we can try to figure out the right alternatives for you.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|
|– Deb Scarlett||– John Dachauer||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Debbie Ralston||– John Somsky||– Melissa Ball|
|– Eliza Lamb||– Judy Murphy||– Tim Alexander|
One of the hardest things to get past on our health and fitness journey is realizing that we have to prioritize ourselves so we can be who we need to be for the people we care about. On this episode, we discuss ways to know when your priorities are out of whack and what you can do about it.
Today, I want to get into a mindset. Topic that is actually probably one of the most important obstacles that many people face when they're looking to get healthy and fit, and it's not something that goes away without a little bit of work.
And so the question comes up is, are you prioritizing yourself?
Are you probably prioritizing your health and fitness? And it's it sounds like a simple thing, but it's actually a very deep, deep emotional mental adjustment to to have that kind of mindset where you are prioritizing yourself. So I want to dive into it a little bit. But before we go too far, we can start with something as simple as a little quiz. And so there's only three questions to this quiz.
So don't think we're going to be on here for a long time. It's not but three questions. And I want you to rate yourself from a one, which is this is completely untrue to a six – this describes me perfectly. OK, so again, one is the low end of the scale is completely untrue. Up to six, this is a good description of you. How how you actually feel, how you think.
OK, the first one is: I put others wishes before my own or else I feel guilty.
The second one is: I give more to other people than I get back in return.
And then the final one is: I'm so busy doing for the people whom I care about, that I have little time for myself.
All right, now add up those scores and think to yourself about what that number means, and I'll tell you what it means if that number. Is higher than, say, five or six, you might have a problem. You're not prioritizing yourself and what you're basically doing is self-sacrificing. You're taking others and saying they're so much more important than me that I can't do the things for myself that are necessary for me to be healthy and fit.
And I'm not going to jump into the whole airplane put your mask on thing. But this is a concept that unless you break through this effort of prioritizing yourself, if you are a self-sacrificer or you're really going to struggle to get healthy and fit and stay healthy and fit because it's never going to be the priority you need it to be.
A lot of people love those simple rules of the 80-20, and I try to tell people 80-20 is perfect when you're in maintenance mode. 80 at 20 is great. You can stay healthy and be healthy. The problem is for most of us, we're not already healthy. We're not at the weight we want to be at. We're not as strong as we need to be. And as a result, we need to put in more than 80%. If you don't prioritize yourself, that's just not going to happen.
So the first thing we have to look at when we are having this conversation is to actually think about the inner voice that we have, that voice that that tells you how you feel about something that's happening. So an event happens, maybe your alarm doesn't go off and you're late for work. You're going to be late for work. What does your inner voice tell you about that event? And that inner voice is the story, it's the story of our lives from an internal perspective. It often doesn't actually reflect reality.
And I want to take you through and this week, or at least for the next few days, I want you to think about some of the words that that inner voice is using, some of the things that you probably think. And the best way to kind of break that down for me is this phraseology called “absolute words.” And so I want you to pay attention to that inner voice over the course of the next day or two and maybe a little longer and see how often you use words like have to, need, must, ought to, should.
If you find yourself using those words a lot, those are absolute words. That means that your inner voice is feeding you something and saying this is an absolute necessity. You have to do it this way. And if that's the case, then you're not going to change. You're not. Whatever you think you have to do, you will do whatever you think you should do, you will probably do. Whatever you need to do, whatever someone else needs or you think is needed. And then obviously the word must if you must do something, it's something you've got to do and therefore you do it.
If you're not using those absolute words for your own health and fitness, then you're likely using them for other things. And if you are, that's a clear indication that you're not prioritizing your wellbeing. It's just not happening because these other haves, musts, ought tos, and shoulds are getting in your way.
So what's an easy solution for us with regards to these absolute words?
Well, one, when you catch yourself doing this, using those words and it's not toward you, it's not something that you are doing for you. Like I can say, I have to work out today. Obviously, that's not a bad phrase. It is an absolute. The absolute is about me taking care of myself. But if I say I've got to get the food for the kids, I must take them to the ball practice. I must do this and then I must make sure I get this report done at work. If I have all these other musts in my life, it'll be very hard for me to make sure that I go through it. So if I catch myself using one of these absolute words.
Again, there have to, need, must, ought, and should.
If you find yourself using those words with relation to someone else or something else besides your health and fitness, you need to stop and take a step back. And reevaluate if that is an absolute. In many cases, it's not. The world is not going to end if you don't do something that you had to do, that you should have done, that you ought to do, the world might not end. And so taking a moment to take that half step back and evaluate that statement that you just your inner voice just told you that is getting in the way of you being healthy and fit.
It's time to rephrase that and going through the practice of where your is telling you, you know, you must be home by 6:30pm so you don't have time to work out. Well, do you have to be home by 6:30pm. Just ask yourself that question. What happens if I'm not there? Then dinner's not ready at 7:00pm. Dinner's ready at what, maybe 7:30pm? Maybe your spouse can assist you by making dinner tonight. Maybe you go ahead and you order from a food company that delivers healthy choices and you order food in for the family.
So in many cases, when you catch yourself using an absolute word that is not geared towards you being healthy and fit when you really, truly need and want to prioritize yourself in your health and fitness, you've got to change the script. You've got to stop evaluate whether it's true. And I'll tell you, in most cases it's not true.
You're not going to get fired for being five minutes late for work. You're just not. Now, you might if you're constantly late. But for most people out there, a lot of the absolute words we have in our head are actually not true. They're stories that we're telling ourselves. They're stories that we're living to. And as a result, we're not getting the health and fitness that we deserve.
So I just used the word there, and I'm actually getting to a point in my life where I really kind of love words and those kind of things that they mean and what they bring up and how we relate to them. And so I'm using the word deserve.
And I can say with absolute clarity, you deserve self-care. You deserve to be able to take care of yourself. You deserve to be healthy and fit. So what does self-care actually look like?
Well, first and foremost, it includes self-love. I've asked many of my clients if they love themselves enough to do this for themselves. And it was funny because one of the first clients I ever had, her name was Sandy. She said she wasn't sure. Now, the problem came up and Sandy didn't follow through with everything we were doing, despite seeing good results at first. And I break it down to that point, she did not have the self-love necessary to make a change, to do the hard thing.
And so self-love is that expression where you care about yourself as much as you care about anyone else. It doesn't mean that you don't love other people as much because love is not this finite thing that we have that if I give this to this person, I don't have any left for me. That's not how love works. Love is infinite. And so you should be exploring yourself and understanding that if you don't start from my point of self-love, the commitment's never going to be there and you're not going to see the results. So if you find yourself having these kind of conversations where you're not liking yourself and that inner voice is actually a butthole. You need to work on your self-love. You need to actually sit down and start talking yourself through why you're worthy, why you deserve this, why you would love yourself. And I'm 100 percent sure you're going to come up with a ton of great reasons why you should love yourself and then you should love yourself.
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The next thing that comes in is you need to be frank and honest and you need to be frank and honest with not just other people. You need to be frank and honest with yourself. If the inner voice is, like I said, being a butthole, be honest about it. Understand, I have kind of a crappy self-image right now. What are the things I can do to improve that self-image? What are the things I can do to make that inner voice nicer?
Eliminating some of those absolute words is a good first step for that, but you've got to have this inner honesty. You've got to be honest with yourself and understand what's going on. And then, yes, you have to be frank and honest with the people around you. If you're going to do something for yourself, it often means that there's things that you would have been doing for someone else that you're now not able to do. They're going to live. They're going to be fine. But change in your life often means change in others.
I talked in my book, The Wellness Roadmap, about understanding the baggage that you have when you're traveling and how that can affect your path. Now, what I didn't say in there, but it should have been implied is you still need to have a vehicle. You still need to be moving forward. Your pace might be a little different, but you still have to be frank and honest with the people around you that the changes you're making are important to you and should be important to them, because in 99.9% of the cases out there, your why is them? You want to be healthy and you want to be fit for your kids, you and you and your grandkids. And you want to be there for your spouse and you don't want to be an obligation later in life to them because you want to be able to take care of yourself and you want that opportunity to be the person you're supposed to be.
And they should want that for you, too. So being honest and frank with them as far as what you need to be successful, is going to go a long way towards not having them resenting you for going to the gym every day or resenting you because you're not baking as often as you used to bake. Those types of things. So being frank and honest with yourself and others is a very important step towards self-care.
The next is consistency and frequency. You can't do something once and say, OK, that's my self-care for the month. It just doesn't quite work like that. Yes, going and getting a mani-pedi for some people are getting a massage is a great luxury for many and doing it once a month might be plenty. It would be for me. But to actually do what's necessary for you to be healthy and fit, it needs to become a part of a lifestyle that is frequent enough that it will elicit change. So if you're going to say lift weights, you can't lift weights once and say, well, gee, I don't understand why I'm not muscular. I don't understand why I didn't put on much muscle or because you didn't do it enough. Okay? So there has to be a frequency to it that is enough to stimulate a change in your body, to stimulate change in you.
And then the consistency part just means that doing something over and over and over is where you're going to get your real results. I had that conversation with Dr. Pontzer not long ago, and we talked about how you're not going to be able to lose a ton of weight really, really quickly without your body reacting to it at some level. And, so that reaction, which your body is going to do to change up your metabolism, that's going to happen. It's going to happen for all of us. Our bodies were made to do that so we can survive. But the consistency of doing the little things over and over and over, over time is where you kind of make this.
I was having a conversation with my clients the other day. And one of the things I said to them was the Grand Canyon was not built by something major coming through there and digging it out. It was that slow trickle of a small river over many, many years, millions of years, that made the Grand Canyon what it is today. And so you need that little trickle. You need that consistency to see monumental changes in your health and fitness.
So if you have a long journey to take before you're healthy and fit, you need the patience. But you also need that consistency. You have to keep showing up and you have to do it enough where your body recognizes the stimulus and reacts.
And then the final bit on the self-care, what it looks like. It's about an investment. If you're not willing to invest some time, effort, and money into yourself, you're not likely to see the results that you really want to have. Now, the biggest investment is going to be time and effort. You're going to have to make change and you're going to have to spend some time doing this. It's not just going to happen. As I mentioned before, we have a frequency and we have a consistency that has to happen. For that to happen, you have to invest time and effort towards making these things happen.
And then the money part can be a little bit of money. It can be as little as you're investing in some good quality shoes, or it can be as big as saying I'm going to build a home gym and I'm going to spend thousands of dollars to do that. For most people, the investment is somewhere in the middle of that. A small gym membership isn't all that expensive and it's hiring a trainer. When you look at the results that you get often isn't that expensive. If it's going to get you down the road faster.
My wife is working on building up a bed and breakfast, and the guy that was working it was him and his son. And he said, I've got these two other guys to come in and help. And she's like, sure. And the whole thing was by investing a little bit more each week, she's going to get the job done faster. So now she's got four people working instead of two. So the work's getting done faster. And that's what you have to think about with regards to where money can play a role in helping you with this whole thing.
So to kind of wrap this all up, if you did that quiz, that self-sacrificing quiz and you scored, twelve, if you scored thirteen or if you scored eighteen, then you have a self-sacrificing problem. And if you find that your inner voice is not your best friend, you've got a priority problem. Those are two internal things that you really have to get a grasp on.
And a couple of the ways that you can easily see this happening beyond just doing the quiz I talked about is to look for how often you're using those absolute words. They are using absolute words to define what you're supposed to do for someone else and not for yourself, something that would pull you away from doing something for yourself. Those are those trigger words. Those are the things that will tell you where you need to address your time and effort and you need to go and take that step back and analyze what that actually means. Is it actually true in most cases you're going to find it's not.
And then finally, self-care takes an investment. You have to love yourself. You've got to be open and honest with yourself. You've got to be consistent. You've got to put in a frequency of things happening so you can see change. And that typically takes an investment of time, effort and/or money.
So I hope you took something valuable from this lesson. If you did, I'd love to talk to you about it in more detail on the Facebook group. You can go to https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, and we can have a great conversation there about your inner voice, about whether you are prioritizing yourself so you can get the health and fitness you deserve.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– John Dachauer||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Deb Scarlett||– John Somsky||– Melissa Ball|
|– Debbie Ralston||– Judy Murphy||– Tim Alexander|
|– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|