I am so pleased to welcome Pistol Squat Queen, six-time New York Times best-selling author and Whole30 founder Melissa Urban to the podcast!
Melissa is a thought-leader in the truest sense of the word (just check out her Instagram to see how her radical honesty is pushing culture forward) and this episode is no exception. Melissa gets super personal right away, taking us through the hardest parts of her life journey, like addiction and abuse, to share how she transformed her life and her circumstances to end up becoming a major leader and business owner in the health world.
This show will make you think twice about how much you enforce your own personal boundaries when Melissa highlights the important link between having boundaries and success and happiness, and you’ll learn why her philosophy these days has been centered around being strong and bendy (both mentally and physically), and focusing more on flexibility and mobility.
You’ll also hear how Melissa’s own personal development evolution actually mirrored what she was doing for herself in the gym, and how she learned to celebrate “actually listening to my body and giving it what it needs.” Melissa also makes a very thought-provoking statement that “judgment is a mirror, not a window,” and shares how her own moments of being critical or judgemental towards others always leads to a greater understanding of herself. “If you see certain traits in an unfavorable light, it’s probably because you’re also denying yourself those same emotions or those same traits,” Melissa perceptively notes.
Melissa also gets really honest by sharing how she adapted to the rapid success of her first book by becoming a version of herself who she coined “Whole30 Melissa”, a version of herself who did it all, and did it all perfectly. And guess what? “I hated Whole30 Melissa! Not even I could live up to her expectations!” She realized that she also had become totally relatable as a by-product of her own refusal to “model anything that was not perfection.”
Aware of the impact she can have by being consistently open and honest with her followers on social media, Melissa now shares her life with unfiltered honesty, while also keeping Brené Brown’s tip in mind to keep it personal, but not intimate when sharing deeply personal stories. You’ll also learn about vulnerability hangovers, why relapses are lessons and not failures, how to create “buffers” in your environment to help yourself, and the reason why social support and community is at the heart of Whole30.
Enjoy listening to this empowering and hard-hitting show with Melissa, and remember her wise words: “You absolutely should trust yourself. You are the best authority on you.”
Melissa gives much good advice on keeping your life on track. [01:35]
Melissa explains how her journey from rehab to “strong and bendy” progressed. [04:58]
Every judgement we have ever held about anybody else is just a reflection. [08:27]
Melissa describes how she realized that she had to be true to her real self. [10:40]
You can put personal self out there and be honest, and it’s really scary. [14:43]
Everyone needs to set up their own boundaries. [17:25]
Melissa had to change everything about her life in order to maintain her recovery. [24:60]
Social support is very critical. You need to hear that you are not alone. [30:37]
What is the Whole 30 program? It educates you to your own food freedom. [34:03]
Does carnivore diet fit into the program? [40:23]
Does Whole 30 focus on weight loss? [42:04}
A relapse in this program is not a failure. [45:24]
As a person ages we need to continue to explore optimal eating because our changing body changes. [47:38]
Mental health is affected by your diet. Look at what works for you individually. [50:45]
Most people have really dramatic ups and downs in their life. [53:19]
- “Judgement is a mirror, not a window.”
- “I share what is personal, but not intimate.”
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This free podcast offering is a team effort from Brad, Daniel, Siena, Gail, TJ, Vuk, RedCircle, our awesome guests, and our incredibly cool advertising partners. We are now poised and proud to double dip by both soliciting a donation and having you listen to ads! If you wanna cough up a few bucks to salute the show, we really appreciate it and will use the funds wisely for continued excellence. Go big (whatever that means to you…) and we’ll send you a free jar of Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece as a thank you! Email to alert us! Choose to donate now, later, or never. Either way, we thank you for choosing from the first two options…
Brad (-1h -6m -49s): Hey listeners, I am so pleased to bring you an amazing show with the one and only Melissa Urban, the pistol squat queen of the planet, and also the world famous founder of the Whole 30 nutrition and lifestyle program. She is a true thought leader and cultural force of truth, justice, honesty, vulnerability, and healthy living. Brad (-1h -5m -56s): But boy, she has the whole picture going visit her on Instagram. You’ll see what I’m talking about with these very thoughtful posts about all manner of healthy living, including some very personal things that she shares with her group and is really pushing culture forward in doing so. Brad (-1h -5m -15s): So get ready. This is a very hard hitting show. She wastes no time getting deeply personal about her amazing life journey. She’s had a ton of ups and downs and reflections, and recalibrations in a very public eye. And here we are like three or four minutes into the show and I’m like taking a deep breath going, Melissa, what’s up? Brad (-1h -4m -24s): She’s bringing her A game to us. People she’s sharing, she’s caring. And we’ll talk through all manner of interesting topics that are going to give you some incredible food for thought and reflection about, for example, the contrast between someone’s public image and their true self and how much inner anguish that can. Brad (-1h -3m -39s): Cause when you’re putting on a show, an act for the world. We’ll learn about her serious commitment to fitness. I’m not kidding about the pistol squat and how that kind of blends in with her entrepreneurial success. She’s definitely gonna talk about how she’s managed this amazing life transformation from addiction and suffering and abuse to being a business leader and a healthy well adjusted human, especially when she talks about her new favorite topic of boundaries and how to set up an assortment of boundaries in your life, different kinds of boundaries that will promote success and happiness and keep you on track. Brad (-1h -2m -11s): Yeah. I even consulted with her about my pension for distractability with the email inbox when I’m trying to focus on peak cognitive tasks. So good stuff. Good advice. Oh, I get to give you a proper intro to Melissa. Urban is you don’t know her already is the co-founder and CEO of the Whole 30 program. Brad (-1h -1m -23s): She’s a six time, six times people, New York times bestselling author. She has been featured by the New York Times, People, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Doctor Oz, B .Rad podcast, and Good Morning America, all the major media outlets, if you know what I mean. And she was ranked number 19 on greatest top 100 most influential people in health and fitness in the year 2018. Brad (28s): Melissa has presented more than 150 health and nutrition seminars worldwide. We’re going to talk about that humble grassroots start, where she just hustled pure hustle and extensive travel to spread the word about the Whole 30 over a decade ago. She’s a prominent keynote speaker in social media, branding, health trends and entrepreneurship. She lives in the great town of Salt Lake City, where she got a dog, a kid, a boyfriend, awesome hikes and spectacular performances in the gym. Here we go with Melissa Urban. We’re already warmed up and ready to go. That’s just the type of people we are. And I have Melissa Urban on the podcast. I’m so excited to connect with you, Melissa (32s): Brad. Thank you so much. It’s been too long since we’ve chatted. Brad (32s): I’m obsessed with your pistol squat. So we have to start there because it is such an extraordinary athletic move. And then you’re going to tell me about the role of fitness in your life, because we all know you as the Whole 30, the Diet Queen, but this is, you know, some extreme stuff you’re doing and also throwing away the heavy bars they’re in the home, the home gym. So why don’t you take us through that and what that means to your, to your overall picture and the health plan? Melissa (33s): Yeah, I mean, I started at the first time I ever walked into a gym was immediately after I left rehab for my drug addiction as part of my kind of re-emergence and redefining of myself as a healthy person with healthy habits. I started going to the gym and I started running and doing triathlons. And that led me to CrossFit. CrossFit led me to power lifting and Olympic lifting. I’ve had the benefit of training with some of the best coaches in the country. And now I just kind of do my own thing. I call it strong and bendy. It’s a mix of heavy lifting and hiking and yoga and gymnastics and all kinds of fun mobility stuff. And yes, I do a lot of pistols, but I mean, spoiler, those have always come really easy to me. I think I got it like the first time I tried it. So my oddly shaped super long legged body is just really good at those Brad (33s): And just pull it off. Strong and bendy as what you call it? Melissa (33s): I do it. I started the year of strong and bendy four years ago now. And it came immediately after my divorce and business split. After I realized in a moment of self-reflection that I had become so strong and so kind of closed off and so guarded in my life because of what I was going through that I was now brittle. And I decided that I was going to move into this new phase of my life through kind of this underlying philosophy of being strong and bendy, right? Strong, but also flexible, you know, soft, soft heart and strong spine. And so I think my own personal development evolution really mirrored what I was doing for myself in the gym, which was moving away from those punishing Metcons and always training harder and doing more and giving a hundred percent to like showing myself grace and focusing on mobility and flexibility. And I’ve never been fitter because of it. Brad (33s): Oh my gosh. I think this could be a whole new fitness sensation. You’re going to have to brand that it’s beautiful. So bendy in the, in the area of fixed and rigid beliefs and not only just the, just the physical part, but all around, just trying to go with the flow. Melissa (33s): Yeah. And, and really the idea of showing myself grace and learning empathy for myself was a really big part of that. Empathy has never come naturally to me with others. I’ve had to work really hard at it and it wasn’t until I began this practice that I realized that it was because I had never shown myself any empathy. And so that was a big part of my kind of strong and bendy routine too, was, you know, I’m not feeling great today. So guess what? I’m just going to go into the gym and like, do whatever I want, if it just means roll around on a foam roller for 30 minutes, or if it means walk in and then walk right back out, that’s what I’m going to do. And I’m not going to beat myself up for it. I’m going to celebrate listening to my body and actually giving it what it needs. Brad (33s): Do you think that’s the case with a lot of issues where you, you realize that you, you don’t have self empathy and so therefore you, you think everyone around you should suck it up and do better and you can’t, you can’t relate and it starts with you? Melissa (33s): I think every judgment we ever hold about anybody else is just a reflection. I’ve always said judgment is a mirror, not a window. And anytime I find myself judging someone else or getting really critical of someone else’s behavior, it’s always a sign that there’s something I need to look at in myself. So yeah, I think it works the other way. If you’re unable to express certain emotions or you see certain traits in an unfavorable light, it’s probably because you’re also denying yourself those same emotions or those same traits. Brad (33s): Mm. Right. So we resent ostentatious wealth and look at that ridiculous car and that guy driving around, showing off. And that that’s so silly. And, and he’s he’s Oh, look at the private jet flying over. And they’re, they’re wasting all that gas and their carbon footprint. And so on, we go with our speeches to anything that’s gonna say, imperfection or avoid in our own life. Melissa (33s): Yes, exactly. Yeah. And, and you know, that, that would speak to like, well, what is your own relationship with money look like, what is your own relationship with wealth look like? And look what you choose to drive or how you choose to fly as like, not my business. And that’s the other thing I remind myself of all the time, like stay in your business, Melissa. But it is really helpful when I find I have those snap judgment moments to ask myself like, okay, what are you, you know, why are you being so overly critical of something that isn’t your business? And like, what is it inside you that is bringing this up? There’s always an answer. Brad (33s): We are talking to healthy diet and healthy living celebrity, Melissa Urban. And the show is what, a few minutes old, Melissa. And we’re already hearing about your returned from drug addiction into the gym and you know, these deep and personal things. And that’s why I knew we were going to get there. I love going on your Instagram. And it’s just like a refreshing breath of fresh air from all the posing, but it does, you know, call up some questions. Like you’re very free and comfortable talking about this, even though you’re a big brand and celebrity and you’re, you’re out there promoting healthy living. So I’d love to talk about kind of that journey, especially the point where, I guess maybe at some point you became a public figure and you had to wrestle with these issues of what Melissa are we going to know and learn about? Melissa (33s): Yeah, that was a journey. You know, in the beginning when Whole 30 really started to take off, we started to get some media attention. We, you know, the first book made the New York times bestseller list in 2012. I think I spent a lot of time years in fact. And then also add to the fact that like I was not in a very happy marriage and I happened to be married to my business partner. I felt like I had to be, I called her Whole 30 Melissa. And Whole 30 Melissa was just perfect in every way. She was well-dressed. She was well-spoken. Her hair was always done. Her nails were always done. She always had the right answer. As far as you knew her life was perfect. Her work life balance was perfect. Like she was doing at all. And I became an imposter in my own life. I hated Whole 30 Melissa because not even I could live up to her expectations and it, I became so unrelatable to anyone I was trying to help or talk to because I refuse to model anything but this perfection and it wasn’t until my divorce and business split, both of which were rather public that I, again, you know, you’re strong and bendy decided like I’m only going to show up as myself from now on. It didn’t happen overnight. It definitely took a while that guarding behavior was hard to drop and it was hard to start sharing about some of the things that I was maybe ashamed about or felt like a failure with. But the more I shared, the more I realized that A, it felt good. And B, I could never get it wrong. Cause I was only being myself and see very often people are just waiting for someone to go first. They want, they want someone else to go first to talk about some of these things. And it helps them find their voice. And I was like, well, I have a voice and I have a platform and I’m not afraid to go first. And that’s kind of where I am today. Brad (34s): Cool. So you’re saying like in, in real time, did you feel funny as Whole 30 Melissa? I mean, when, when you get with your, with your roadshow, we were following you guys too. And I want, I want listeners to know that you guys grinded this thing out from the grassroots beginning to, to get to the point where it is today. It’s been an amazing journey, but we were, we were watching you guys travel around the country, do these little seminars. Mark Sisson, and I are going, okay, wait, it’s a hundred bucks to get in. There’s two of them. So they must be splitting, you know, there there’s two expenses here and how, how are they making this work? And I think, I think I know the answer was that you were just happy to spread the word and, and to build this community. But along that path, which was in, in many ways, rewarding, successful it, growing, growing bestseller, all that. But are you saying that you kind of felt this sense of, I dunno, emptiness or imposter in real time? Melissa (34s): The dichotomy was really profound in that we were on a book tour, we were on Dr. Oz for the first time, our book debuted on the New York Times list. And we were quietly divorcing and nobody knew. Not our publisher, not our agent because we had committed to promote this book together. And I’m so proud of how we showed up, even in the midst of what we were going through personally. We showed up and we did such a good job for our community and for our readers and for the people that we, you know, made promises to. But it was such a difficult situation. I felt like a fraud and there were reasons there were so many reasons why it was not practical nor helpful to in the middle of this book tour, like announce our personal situation. But I still felt really inauthentic. I was still processing what had happened and, you know, in the marriage and understanding the business split was going to have to happen. Like it was one of the happiest times in my life because we were celebrating the massive, you know, critical success of this book that, that I had been working so hard on for years, but it was also one of the most stressful times of my life. And, and I feel like there’s a before and there’s an after. And before you saw a Whole 30 Melissa and after you just got me. Brad (35s): And look, nothing bad happened. You’re still, it’s still popular. I wonder though it is really scary. And thinking back there, prob we probably still have to play the game at a certain level. And before I ask you to comment, I I’m, I’m noticing this, this quote that you wrote. I think it was one of your posts where you say, I share what is personal, but not intimate. So you’re talking about your addiction, recovery, battles with depression, abuse in your past, the divorce that we’re hearing about, but there is a line drawn somewhere in the sand and I’d love for you to help us navigate. Maybe everyone listening can, can have this realization that like, Hey, you can put yourself out there and be honest, but let’s not confuse this. Cause I, I do feel like maybe we’ve teetered over the line a bit in certain examples where, you know, here it is time to start a podcast. And, and the first five minutes is me talking about the parking ticket I got. And I’m so mad about that. And I want all you guys to commiserate with me rather than bringing the heat here and, and bringing something of value to, to the people that are following you. Okay. There was a 12 part question from Melissa. Let’s see if she can hang. Melissa (35s): So the personal, not intimate is something I stole from the brilliant Brene Brown. Of course she has all the best quotes. And it’s just a framework for how I think about boundaries in what I share and that boundary, that line is going to feel different for everyone and be different for everyone. For example, I have shared on Instagram about that one time, I got chlamydia for a lot of people that would be way too intimate to share on social media with 300,000 followers. But I was at a place in my life where it was so far in the past I had processed it. I was ready to talk about it and I was ready to de-stigmatize that talking about sexual health, but I do have a line that I won’t cross in terms of things I will and won’t share. So the most obvious is that I do not talk about or name or post about my son. I have an eight year old son he’s beautiful and wonderful. And you will never see his face. You will never hear his name. It’s just not something that I will share. He is just for me and my family. I don’t talk about issues I’m having real time. I like to process things and make sure that I have gone to therapy around them and worked through them and done my own work on them before I share. So I don’t talk about things like my concussion or my divorce in real time. It’s only after the fact when I can make my journey relatable and it’s less raw. I, you know, I’m not sharing a lot of details about my relationship as they’re happening in real time. And any time I do share, I make sure I get permission. So, you know, I liken it to just this idea that like, you, you do get a lot of pieces of me and they’re all willingly shared. And also I do have boundaries around what I will and won’t share. And it’s not your job to guess my boundaries. It’s my job to hold them. So people can and do ask me all kinds of questions, the most intimate, detailed questions you can imagine. And sometimes I answer and sometimes I say, I’m not willing to talk about that and that’s okay. I make no apologies for it. Brad (35s): Yeah. Fair enough. I imagine that goes over pretty well. I don’t know if you’re a favor ability stats aligned with that. I mean, especially when you do these, what would you call them? Like, you know, landmark, public post, where you’re opening up the discussion of your w the one you just mentioned, you know, we’re talking about sexually transmitted diseases. Was it a 95 to five approval rating? Or did you get some haters out there? I’m curious. Melissa (36s): I, I don’t, I usually don’t get haters. The only time I get really negative comments or negative comments from people who don’t understand is when I take a really strong stance stance on our social justice work. And people will tell me to stick to food or, you know, don’t get into politics than I have. I have a few standard responses for that, which is usually like, no, thank you. I will not write, I will not stick to food. I will not stay out of politics. But most of the time I really get nothing but people saying like, thank you, thank you for talking about this. I’ve been too embarrassed to talk about it. I’ve been too ashamed to talk about it. I’ve been too embarrassed or ashamed to get help for it. And now I’ve told someone in my life, or I feel like I can tell someone, or I’m telling you in the DMS. And for me, that’s just such a powerful reward. Every time I show up authentically, it feels really good for me. And every time I feel like I helped someone find their voice makes it all worthwhile. So even the vulnerability hangovers to borrow another Brene Brown, great phase that I, that I feel after I share something like that, they’re always worth it. Brad (52s): What does that like? What’s the hangover like? Melissa (52s): Oh, you know what it is, it’s when you say something that’s like, so raw and so vulnerable, or maybe you shared a piece of yourself with someone that you haven’t shared before, and then you just feel like, Oh my God, I want to take it back. I want to take it back. I wish that I never said it. Like, what are people going to think of me? And it’s this like sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, where you just are biting your nails and all of your like worst anxiety comes up around what people are going to think of you. Or did you say too much? Or, you know, it’s, it’s that feeling multiplied by 300,000 when you’re talking about, you know, a social media. Brad (53s): Yeah. Yeah. It’s sort of like, you know, one toe is still dipped in the flawed childhood programming and social, you know, things that we’ve conformed to. And you, you establish those patterns back in your Whole 30 Melissa days where you had the smile and the, and the perfect, what were you mentioning your hair, your nails, everything was perfect. And so that doesn’t just wipe away completely. So I totally understand that. And it’s boy now it’s just a, a toe in the back in the water instead of, you know, half your body, a year, you know, wrestling with it every day, Melissa (53s): It goes back even farther than that though. You know, it goes back to like trauma when I was 16 and like how I felt about that. And even though it’s long gone and, and fully processed and integrated, like, I still have moments of reaction where like that comes up. It goes back to how my family handled stuff. When I was a kid, like, I think we all have these childhood learnings or what was modeled for us around things like dealing with emotions or dealing with negative circumstances or boundaries or lack thereof. And, you know, I think that kind of stuff will always be like the knee jerk reaction for me. It tends to mellow over time for sure. But every time I share something about my trauma or about my addiction, you know, a new nugget of information, I get that feeling. I get that feeling. It’s almost like there’s like an echo of shame. That’s so faint and you know, it’s not real. And you know that you’ve moved past it, but like, you can still hear it just a little bit. Brad (53s): Right. And I guess we, as hard as we try, we still are subject to being influenced from the outside. So even if your favorability is 95% positive, wait a second, you have 300,000 followers. That means there’s thousands of people telling you to stick your ass to food instead of politics. And those ones, I mean, they, the psychological experts assert that the, the negative feedback, the one star reviews on Amazon, I always read those to see if there anything useful for, you know, for, for book writing. And usually the grammar is really bad. It’s not even a complete sentence. I’m like, all right, man, thanks for sending the book back. You don’t deserve to read it full. But they, they still have a bigger impact than the, the warm, fuzzy stuff, because we’re, we’re wired that way, you know, evolutionarily, I suppose. Melissa (53s): Yeah. It can be really hard, especially to read comments when we are sharing in such a heartfelt way and are in support of Black Lives Matter or in support of, you know, the, the, you know, recent or recent support of the AAPI community. Like it’s really hard to read comments from folks who are so clearly are not invested in their own like anti-racism work or social justice, or even folks that just don’t even believe in basic human rights or don’t understand that that’s what we’re talking about. It can be really, really frustrating to feel like, man, we have these people in our community. And like, I, I, you know, when I answer your DM, when I help you with your Whole 30, I don’t ask what your stance is. And I don’t ask who you voted for or what your position is on gay rights or disabled rights. Like, I don’t ask any of that. I help everybody. But I really want people to come on this journey with us. And it, it really pains me sometimes to read some of those comments and realize that there are people who so clearly don’t want us to take a stand for people in our community who don’t look or act or perform or love like they do. Like, that’s really frustrating for me. Brad (53s): Yeah. I like to stay positive about all these things and look at the fantastic, amazing cultural progress that people like you are driving forward at record speed. I’m also referencing like Caitlyn Jenner and the amazing story of bringing that onto the highest stage. And I’m reflecting back to this guy, Bruce Jenner, who I thought was the greatest athlete in the world. And I marveled at his, his exploits. I memorized as marks all the 10 events. And you know, now look, look how far this has come and what was hiding behind the, the guy holding the USA flag. And it it’s really beautiful in so many ways. And then you also realize that we have a long way to go same with the social issues of 2020, where, you know, I’m walking around with a smile on my face, thinking that everyone’s getting more and more acceptance every day. And then you kind of get pushed back and realize that, you know, we still have to fight the fight and put up, put our opinions out there and let them float out into the, into the world. Melissa (53s): Yeah, there’s been a lot of discussion. I’ve done a lot of discussion over the last three or four years around my privilege, becoming more aware of my privilege and what that is and what it means, recognizing how my privilege allows me to move through life in a way that is vastly different than so many others. And trying to figure out how to use my privilege for good or at the very least not cause harm with my privilege. That’s been a really big area of study and something that I think about now, as I go about my daily life is like, how is my experience different than someone else’s someone who’s also in my community and how can we build this community with them in mind? Not just people who, like I said, look like me. Brad (53s): Oh, so you’re, you’re expressing empathy for others. Wow. So you, you made this, this one sentence comment earlier about, you know, getting out of recovery and going straight into the gym. And just in, in general terms, that’s a massively huge leap, right? You, you, you leave the recovery facility and, and set foot into the gym. How can someone who’s really far from their dream life or their goals and maybe struggling deeply? What is the catalyst that, that gets you, you know, on, on that 180 degree turnaround? Melissa (53s): Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t immediate, there was a relapse in there, right? So it wasn’t like I got it right the first time, which is very typical of those in recovery and relapse is not failure. It’s just a learning experience. But what I realized after my relapse was that it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t the same person I was before I just stopped using drugs. I just removed that thing from my life. And what I realized the second time around was that it’s not enough. This is where my podcast title comes from. It’s not enough just to do the thing you have to, or I had to create so many boundaries in my life around my self and around my relationships and around my recovery to keep myself safe. I had to change everything about my life in order to maintain my recovery. And that was when I realized, okay, well, if you are going to be, if you are now a healthy person with healthy habits, if this is like the growth mindset you’re adopting, what would a healthy person with healthy habits do? Well, they would start eating better. They would quit smoking cigarettes. They would start going to the gym at five o’clock in the morning. Cause definitely only healthy people do that. You would make new like-minded friends. You would throw out clothes that reminded you of your party days. You’d listen to different music. You might get a new job. Like all of these things happen within a very short period of time as an effort to set some boundaries in my life and, and insulate myself from all of the different factors that might lead me back to using again. And so that was the approach I took. And that’s, what’s kept me in recovery for the last 21 years. Brad (53s): So previous to that, you’re saying that there were a lack of boundaries that I guess, enabled you to go, you know, so far off track that you, you didn’t even have a track or a map or, or anything. Melissa (53s): I didn’t have any, there was no buffer between me and drug use. The only buffer was like willpower and inconvenience and luck. That was it. Right? So it was like, I, you know, said I wasn’t going to use any more. And I wasn’t, but I didn’t really change my friends. I didn’t say no when they wanted to hang out. I didn’t say no. If they said like, is it okay if we still smoke pot around you? I was like, yes, I’m fine. I really tried so hard to present as like normal and fine and try to just wipe the last five years of addiction away with my family, with my friends, with my circumstances. And so I had no buffer. So in a moment of stress and temptation, I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. And there was nothing between standing between me and the drugs and the second time around now I have all of these things. I have a new friend group. I have boundaries with friends. I have the gym, I have my healthy habits. I have talking to my family. I was back in therapy. Like I had all of these things so that if I was triggered, I had to get through like 10 layers before the idea of using even came up and that’s, what’s made me successful. Brad (53s): Well, I mean, that’s heavy for, for anyone to reflect on with any personal goal. I have this, you know, I’ve been lately just, I can’t, I can’t say it’s been six months or a year, but I’ve been turning off the wifi on my laptop because I’m such a doofus. I can’t stand, I can’t keep myself away from the email inbox. And it might be a silly transition to go from something, you know, pretty profound that you just discussed. But I think we are all subject to, you know, propensity for instant gratification, distraction, and getting, getting off track from our stated goals and values and beliefs. And so, you know, setting up your environment for success is such a huge thing. Melissa (54s): You just gave us the perfect example. So you don’t want to check emails after 6:00 PM anymore. You turn. And so the only thing you’ve done is turn the wifi off on your computer. You are literally one button away from going right back to that habit. So what else can you do? What else can you build into your environment to create buffers against that? So maybe it’s some kind of program that actually literally cuts the wifi off at your house. Maybe it’s every night when you are attempted to check email, instead you incorporate like a family walk or you read a book or you tell yourself no screens, like there are so many things that you could build into that habit, such that if you have the temptation to push the button and check the email one more time, you now have like three or four barriers of entry before you get there. And that’s probably enough to keep you maintaining that habit. And that’s kind of all I’m talking about here. Brad (54s): Yeah. And then filling up the, filling up the story with all kinds of, you know, peak performance behaviors. So that now you’re too busy. I mean, can you go out and can Melissa go out and blow six hours of partying tonight with her a full schedule the next day? And of course not. I mean, but I think, you know, we, we take those baby steps forward and all of a sudden we’re, you know, we find ourselves in the gym every morning and that kind of informs a healthy evening transition the night before and all that great stuff. Melissa (54s): One it’s a cascading effect, right? It’s inertia. So if you’ve got this habit of like this new behavior, that’s a new, good, healthy habit. That’s going to spawn other new healthy habits because a healthy person with healthy habits just wants to keep going. If I know I’m going to go to the gym in the morning, that’s going to make me feel good and that’s gonna make me want to eat a really good, healthy lunch, and that’s gonna wanna make me go home and have some like good, you know, a good night’s sleep. And it just spawns good behavior. So whether you’re talking about doing a Whole 30 or changing your eating habits or not being on screens or checking your wifi so often, or, you know what I was going through with my recovery, everything from, you know, growth mindset to filling, filling that hole with other kind of healthier pursuits to social support, you know, don’t also forget the importance of social support. If you don’t want to check your email after 6:00 PM, then surround yourself with people who are not on their phones constantly, or with your family members who are like, yeah, we’re in with that. No screens after 6:00 PM, like let’s play board games, let’s play card games. You know, that social support is also mission critical. Brad (54s): And you guys make that a big centerpiece of the Whole 30 experience, right? Melissa (54s): Yeah. We do. Community is absolutely at the heart of Whole 30. Yeah. Brad (54s): And how has that community take shape? I mean, are we talking about getting support online with people that are doing the Whole 30 at the same time? Or what, what do you suggest? Melissa (54s): It’s a little bit of everything. We took a survey a few years ago and found that 75% of Whole 30 ers were doing the program alone, not with their spouse, not with their kids, not with the church group, not with their CrossFit gym, they were doing it a hundred percent by themselves. So obviously we have an enormous online community where people come together through social media, through our food free forum and talk about the Whole 30, get accountability buddies, offer support and encouragement and advice. But we created our Whole 30 certified coaching program a few years ago to provide boots on the ground in person social support in people’s local communities so that they can have that, you know, in-person support the connection, the local resources. And obviously COVID has made that really tough over the last year and a half. So we are just people electronically right now, but we want to return to in-person events where people can gather together and have that communal experience. Yeah. Brad (54s): Yeah. The digital community is super fantastic too. And you know, I, I keep in contact with my childhood buddies. We’re all, you know, ex jocks or where we had our day in the sun. And now it’s like, well, what, what do you got for me now? And, and there’s a lot of, you know, magnificent peer support, even though it’s not directly in your face, working out with them in the gym, every say every single day, telling them to do one more rep. I think we can kind of create that sense of community any way we can, especially under difficult circumstances. It’s still there and you have accountability and, and you know, camaraderie and all that. Melissa (54s): There are some benefits to it, right? It’s real time. So, you know, you can’t always text your best friend at 11 o’clock at night to ask a Whole 30 related question, but you can jump on the forum and somebody is going to be up and answer it for you. You know, it’s, it’s, it can be really fun. I think also just to realize that you’re not alone, no matter what, no matter what you’re experiencing, what you’re thinking, no matter what your stressor is or what your situation, you’re not the only one going through it and being able to have that really instant connection of like, yes, I see you. I hear you. I validate your experience. Like I’m expressing empathy. I’m here with you. Or I can listen, how can I helpW Is really affirming, Brad (34m 5s): Oh my gosh, we’ve, we’ve packed so much into a short time. I’m going to take a deep breath. The listeners are going to join me. And then maybe we should just talk about some mechanics. Like you can, you can briefly describe the Whole 30 program. I think a lot of people are aware of it, but it’d be nice to get a little, a little refresher. And then also tell me, how has it evolved over the years since, since it kicked off in 2009, the original version to today if you come up with any breakthrough insights that have changed your point of view on this or that and so forth, Melissa (34m 35s): I think you and I might have a few things in common in that considering, you know, you and especially and Mark have been around for even longer than Whole 30 has and have kind of followed, I think a similar trajectory, at least according to my conversations with Mark. But so for people who don’t know the Whole 30 is a 30 day nutrition practice. We describe it as a reset. So it’s not a diet, it’s not a weight loss plan. It’s not a detox or a cleanse. It really is a self experiment designed to teach people how individual food groups work for them. And it’s based on the framework of an elimination diet, which most doctors still agree is kind of the gold standard for identifying food sensitivities. So on the Whole 30 for 30 days, you’ll eliminate foods that are commonly problematic for your cravings, your digestion, your metabolism, and your immune system. Melissa (35m 24s): You pull them all out. And at the end of the 30 days, you add them back in one at a time, very carefully and systematically like a scientific experiment and see which food groups do and don’t work for you. And you take that information with you and make educated decisions about building the perfect sustainable diet for you and what we call your food freedom after the Whole 30. So that’s kind of, yeah, yeah. That’s, that’s the program in a nutshell, Brad (35m 50s): Are you going to throw down any boundaries such as the, the vegetable oil is not working for anybody? So don’t even think about it, dude, if you think the French fries are really a, you know, the best thing for recovery here, we’re going to talk you out of that? Melissa (36m 1s): No, the whole point of food freedom is that you get to make the decisions that work for you and you are such a unique creature. So, you know, dairy doesn’t really work for me. It definitely makes me really bloated and makes my stomach hurt. And I don’t really like ice cream. So ice cream is just basically almost never worth it. If dairy makes you break out and gives you horrible digestive issues, but ice cream is your favorite food in the whole wide world. And you decide you’re going to eat it anyway. Good on ya. I like fully support that decision because it’s educated. You know how it’s going to impact you. You’ve decided the consequences are worth it. And you are just going to enjoy, you know, your ice cream, as much as you possibly can, knowing that you’re going to have some negative side effects. That’s really what food freedom is all about. Melissa (36m 44s): It’s all about creating your own rules based on your own personal goals and health, history, and context. Brad (36m 53s): So you’re dispensing the education you’re maybe going to help people make the connection between feeling bloated, getting skin conditions and their consumption of sugar, dairy, seed oils. And then they’re, they’re going to take it, take it to the finish line. Melissa (37m 5s): That’s it. Yeah. I don’t know. I, you know, I don’t know how poorly something makes you feel or how worth it something is for you. You’re the only one who can decide. And honestly, we’ve all been told for so long by, you know, diet culture and the media and the patriarchy that like, especially women can’t really, we can’t really trust our own experience that we need someone else to tell us how we should look and how much we should weigh and what we should eat and which foods are good and which foods are bad. And we’re just really trying to empower people to say like, no, no, no, no. You’re fully qualified to create the perfect sustainable diet for you. Here are some tools to help you figure it out. But after that, like, no, no, no, you absolutely can trust yourself and should trust yourself. Melissa (37m 46s): You are the best authority on you. And that’s really the message that we want to leave people with when their Whole 30 is over. Brad (37m 54s): It seems like there’s some challenges in play. And one of them is our notion of norms. And, you know, I’ve been pretty estute about eating healthy and, and pursuing peak performance and health for, for many, many years. But I, I had this norm that when I did high intensity exercise, I would have leaky pipes afterward as a consequence, of course, of pounding my digestive tract through, you know, a sprint workout. And so it was normal. I didn’t think anything of it, but the symptoms vanished when I did an exclusion of, you know, huge mounds of produce, that was the centerpiece of my diet. Brad (38m 35s): And so wondering like, is that a, is that a, a challenge that we need to overcome where we should expect much more than, than, than today’s norm. And then as a part of that question, are we sort of desensitized to how food makes us feel? Because we’ve been slamming our face with sugar, our whole lives. And so we don’t really equate carefully that the7/11 Slurpee makes us feel tired three hours later, we think it’s just nap time in the afternoon. Yeah. Melissa (39m 6s): Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. All of that. And that’s why, you know, the Whole 30, very often the tagline of the whole thirties, since 2009 has been like, let us, let us change your life. And people go, Oh really? Yeah. Like as this 30 day dietary program really going to yeah, no, you know what it really, really can, because it will show you all of those things that you thought were just like normal that you thought you had to accept or tolerate. Oh, I’m just getting older. Like, yeah, I’m tired. And I can’t, you know, my muscles hurt my joints ache every morning when I get out of bed. But that’s just like how it is when you get old. No, it doesn’t necessarily have to be, you might have stuff in your diet that’s making that worse or that’s making that happen at all. And your allergies or asthma or joint pain or swelling or aches and pains or digestive issues or skin breakouts or anxiety or any of that, all of that can be influenced by your diet. Melissa (39m 56s): So we tell people, do this self experiment, figure out if there are foods that are having a negative contribution to that. Establish a new baseline for how good you can feel and then use that to make decisions about what, whether something’s worth it or not. Right? I might be okay with being a little tired one morning because I had a glass of red wine the night before once a week. But do I really want that four or five times a week? Like I used to? Like, probably not because feeling so good post Whole 30 is something that people really don’t want to let go of. Brad (40m 28s): Wow. What do you think about the the carnivores storyline that has emerged recently where part of the exclusion part of the experiment is to put aside these foods that have been widely acknowledged. It’s probably the only thing that’s agreed upon broadly that, you know, plants could be the centerpiece of your diet, the colorful, nutritious plants of the earth. And now we’re getting hit with a, yet another insight to layer on top of everything that, Hey, maybe you shouldn’t need that stuff. Melissa (40m 56s): I feel like we see this trend of dietary protocols that are developed for very specific populations with very specific health contexts, being extrapolated and broadened out to everyone should eat like this for basic health. You saw it with a ketogenic diet. I’m seeing it now with the carnivore diet. It’s absolutely helpful in certain circumstances when people have specific conditions. But in general, I mean, and here’s my other thing too, right? If you want to go try it, go do it. I encourage people who are like, Oh, I did a Whole 30 and I feel great, but now I’m not really sure. Maybe veganism is better for me. Go do it. Please go do it, do a 30 day experiment, do it by the books, make sure you’re getting the right micro, you know, do it right. You know, make sure that if you’re going to do a carnivore approach, research it, make sure you’re not just eating like Popeye’s chicken every day for 30 days, like do it right. Melissa (41m 44s): Do it micro nutritionally, balanced and see how you feel and compare. I can’t tell you what’s going to work for you, but I do take issue with some of these really specific protocols then being translated, usually in the framework of weight loss too, this is now the way everybody should eat and it’s going to work equally well for everyone. And this is especially how you should lose weight like that. I have a problem with. Brad (42m 9s): So what do you see as the best path to that massive challenge of trying to drop excess body fat? Even when in, in a lot of cases, people are pretty darn dialed in with a good exercise routine, excluding the two junk foods of the planet and still struggling and, and can’t seem to get it done. Melissa (42m 27s): You know, I don’t do weight loss. I’m not in the business of like handing out weight loss advice. I really, we don’t talk about it at Whole 30. We don’t touch on it. I fully respect that everyone has the right to do with their body exactly as they choose. And if you have a weight loss goal , I fully honor that I fully do. And also that’s not what we do at Whole 30. So I don’t have advice about how people can lose weight safely, safely, or sustainably or helpfully. There are other people who do that. And I think there are other people who do that much better than most, but that’s just not what I do. Brad (43m 4s): Maybe your, your, your evasive answer has a touch of, of, of, you know, something to reflect on there, which is that you should probably back into that goal for best results, rather than focus and obsessed on it. So those who clean up their diet and really feel like, you know, which foods make them feel healthy and vital are probably gonna succeed rather than the obsessive regimented approach that we see so often has all kinds of fallout and, you know, difficult long-term success formula. Melissa (43m 34s): Yes. That is absolutely one aspect of it is we do encourage people to focus on non-scale victories. Right? All of the things that happened. Yeah. That’s what we call them NSV is if you ever see hashtag NSV, that’s what we’re talking about. It’s, we’ve got this like three page list of everything that could get better when you do a Whole 30, that has nothing to do with scale or body weight. But the point I’ll add to what you just said is also if you make all of these changes and so many things get better and the scale doesn’t move, or your body shape doesn’t change, is that a failure? Your energy is up, your sleep is better. Your skin is clear. You’re more self-confident, you’re showing up more in your relationships. Melissa (44m 14s): Your focus is better. Productivity is better. You’ve started walking again. You know, if all of these things get better, but nothing changes physically with like the size or shape of your body. I encourage people to ask, like, does that mean you failed? You know, I think just the opposite, but it’s really difficult when people have been, so hyper-focused on body weight and the scale for such a long time, because that’s what we’ve been told to base our worth and our value on for so many years. It’s a hard cycle to break. Brad (44m 42s): Yeah. I think that story is heading in a good direction anyway. So you’re, you’re giving me all these great reports. Let’s check back in a year. You’re probably going to things are probably going to be going well for you. Melissa (44m 54s): Yeah. Yeah. You know, and again, one healthy habit kind of proceeds another. So if you do the Whole 30 and you feel so much better and you feel like you have more energy and you have more capacity, people generally then have a natural progression to like, well, what else could I do? Maybe I start walking in the morning. Maybe I, you know, maybe I focus on my sleep and really try to like, dial my sleep in a little bit more. Maybe I start meditating, you know, there’s, there are other healthy habits that spin out of what happens when you do feel like you’re in control of food in a really healthy way, in a self care way. When you feel more self confident around food and your choices. And that just really does spin itself out into like other very natural, healthy progressions. Brad (45m 38s): What do you do in the event of, let’s say a setback or a relapse as you call it? I know you wrote about doing the Whole 30 yourself once again. I don’t know how many years ago that was, but it was, it was pretty heavy to think like, Oh yeah, here’s this person who’s dialed in and created the program. And she too needs to go back and do her own Whole 30 years, years after, you know, years down the road. Melissa (46m 2s): Yeah. So, you know, I did, I did the April, Whole 30 in 2020, because with, during the pandemic to be in community with my people, I felt like I had a really good handle on my food. Freedom. I didn’t necessarily need another program, but it was really wonderful to be in it with people during that really dark and like difficult and uncertain time. I, I don’t want people to treat the Whole 30 as a yo-yo. I don’t want it to be like I’m on the Whole 30 and I’m face versed in a box of light crispy cream. So I’m just going to go back on the Whole 30 again, it’s not a crash diet. That’s not how we’ve designed it. You really do have to work your reintroduction and your food freedom program, but things happen. Melissa (46m 46s): Stressful events happen. Holidays happen Covid happens. And really most of the time it’s really just like a slow slide. I don’t expect anyone to do one Whole 30 and have every single habit that’s been ingrained in every taste and every, you know, behavior associated with food to change in a matter of 30 days. And if you find all of a sudden that you’ve been bringing foods back in without conscientiously thinking about it, or the holidays have gone by, and you just don’t feel your best anymore, you can always come back to the program as a healthy reset. And that’s what we encourage people to do. But the goal is to never do a Whole 30 again. That is the goal. My goal is I never see you again because you’ve done one or two or three Whole 30s, and you’ve found your food freedom, and you know how to make those decisions for yourself. Melissa (47m 28s): And you go live your happy food, freedom life. That’s ultimately what I want. I want people to never need the Whole 30 again, Brad (47m 38s): Love it. And now are we seeing the possibility of five years down the line, your winning formula and your go-to meals no longer serve you? And you might have to make some transitions over time for whatever reason. I’m not going to say aging. I don’t like that, but I guess, does, does the body evolve to where we need to continue to explore and pursue optimal, optimal eating? Melissa (48m 2s): Yes. That’s such an excellent point. I always talk about how reintroduction is a lifelong practice, because you are always changing your body changes, your activity levels, change your history changes. Maybe your health changes. Your goals change. So case in point a couple years ago, I was finding that my performance in the gym was super stalled. My hiking was just like so, so I was really having a hard time on trails that I was usually crushing. And I got some help. I talked to a friend who’s really smart with this stuff. And he was like, you need to like triple your carb intake. And I was like, really? And he was like, yeah, give it a try. Everything got better. Right. I am so carb tolerant. And when I started adding like rice and oatmeal back in and like really upping my carbs, everything got better in a heartbeat. Melissa (48m 43s): And I was like, Oh, all right. I guess I eat oatmeal every day now. So yeah, you do always need to kind of be tinkering and paying attention. And if you discover that what was working is no longer working, it’s time to self experiment. Again, whether you do a Whole 30 or just choose to kind of tinker with factors on your own. Brad (49m 4s): Yeah. That’s awesome. Especially the individuality of it. And also I think in the realm of fitness and pursuing peak performance goals. I was really floored by this one liner from Robb Wolf that he said on my show and he said, Hey, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. And the extent of that discussion was that he, wasn’t a huge advocate of extended fasting for the athletic population. Maybe for someone who’s struggling to reduce excess body fat. This is going to be the centerpiece of your experiences to be skipping those meals and learning how to, how to sustain. But, you know, in my category, I’m I got these, these check marks against me. Brad (49m 44s): One of them is I’m old too. I’m trying to do these extremely high intensity workouts that are difficult to recover from anyway and do it in the, in the higher age group. And then I’m trying to bank a lot of fasting hours in the name of health, and it could be too many stress factors thrown into the bucket where I’m going to go try to triple my carbon take people like Melissa. That’s a, that’s a beautiful story. I love that. Melissa (50m 5s): Yeah. Well, you know, Robb is such a Robb is the genius of like context matters, right? Anytime you ask him, like, is this good? He’ll be like, in what context? And that’s what I love about his work so much, but yeah, context does matter. Fasting does not work for me. I’ve a really low carb approach. A very low carb approach does not work as well for me. And no matter what the trend is, whether it’s one meal a day or whether it’s, you know, a ketogenic approach and that’s what everyone is doing, ultimately you have to do what works best for you. And I thought it was really interesting that in the period where everyone was slashing carbs, to see how it went, I was tripling them and loving it. Brad (50m 45s): So we’re talking about the food freedom. We’ve got to go beyond just checking to see if we break out, when we slam an ice cream, into monitoring our performance goals and fitness checkpoints and things like that Melissa (50m 59s): Can be stuff like that for other people. It’s things like mental health. So like my mood is not as happy if I’m eating a lot of sugar, it’s just not. And I don’t know that sugar is necessarily having like a psychological change on like dopamine and serotonin in my brain or the fact that I’m just a little more sluggish. I’m a little more bloated. I don’t sleep as well. And that makes me not as happy. It makes me want to be not as active. It makes me feel a little more sluggish. Like whatever that connection is, if I eat too much sugar, especially in combination with gluten, I’m just like a mess for a couple of days. Like emotionally, my mood is all over the place. So that’s like another factor to think about when I ask myself, is it worth it? Melissa (51m 40s): Not just what’s going to happen physically, but is it going to throw me off my game for the rest of the weekend? If I start my Saturday with like, I don’t know, pancakes with syrup. I would never do that. That would wreck me like never, but that’s what I have to think about. Brad (51m 53s): Yeah. And I wonder how many times do we need to learn that lesson to declare that it’s not worth it? And I think a lot of people are stuck there where the indulgence maybe because they aren’t heading out and feeling crappy on a hike. And so the, the, the bar is so low that we can’t, we can’t even assess how our lifestyle habits affect our peak performance cause peak performance is non-existent. Melissa (52m 17s): You know, sometimes you do have to learn that lesson dozens of times. I mean, that was me with alcohol. Like I’ve been not drinking for a while now. My not drinking experiment and has been a couple of years. And it’s been over a year since I’ve had a single drink, but I had to learn that lesson for years and years and years, I would give alcohol up for a Whole 30 and then come back to it and be like, Ugh, it doesn’t make me feel good. I don’t really miss it when it’s gone. I don’t sleep as well. Like I don’t need it. And then the next time I drink was offered, I was like, yeah, I’ll try it. So, you know, sometimes it’s just habit. Sometimes there’s an emotional association with either the food or the drink or the experience surrounding the food or the drink. It took me a long time to realize that I could have just as much fun and be just as present regardless of what was in my glass. Melissa (52m 60s): So, you know, sometimes it goes back to like childhood memories stuff. We have to unpack. Like every time my parents had a fight, they took me out for ice cream. I heard that from a nutrition client a long time ago and it really stuck with me and, you know, ice cream was like her emotional food. I mean, this stuff runs deep, sometimes Brad (53m 19s): Woof! Heavy stuff. So I feel like we’ve had a, a two hour podcast because it’s so jam packed with heavy insights. We haven’t had any fluff. So, I mean, we’ve got to tell us about your hike. What was the view like up there in Utah? Okay. Yeah. Well, before I let you go, I wanna, I wanna, I have one question for you, which is kind of a question for you personally on your personality, but also in a, in a general sense, because I see this theme coming up frequently where, you know, you’re relating your personal story with so many extremes, right? I mean, plunging into addiction and, and having these real struggles and then becoming an international success and running this fabulous business. Brad (54m 1s): So it’s like if you spike that on a, on an earthquake graph with the, with the highs and lows, they’re vastly more extreme than your sorority sister who married the, her boyfriend and settled down in the same town and, and raise some kids and, and walks to the park and then walks home every day. You know what I mean? Like, is that a, is that a personality attribute that, that, you know, propelled you to extreme success is also the thing that could possibly be to your downfall when it’s a turn, when the weapon has turned, the, the, the Melissa energy has turned in the wrong direction. Melissa (54m 41s): So in a word, yes, maybe. But what I will say is that, that mom of two, who like, goes to her job and walks to the park and walks back, I guess if you ask her some questions about her life, she’s going to have those same spikes. I know it may seem like the idea of drug addiction, or maybe even where I am now is oddly kind of, you know, weird spike on a scale. But I think a lot of people, most people, everyone probably has some aspect of that in their life, in relationship to the rest of their life. So, I mean, we all have these like pretty dramatic ups and downs. I have made jokes before that. What makes me, what made me a very good drug addict also makes me very good at what I do now. Melissa (55m 25s): And that I’m very like, on or off, I’m very black or white. I’m very like, let’s go. That has definitely tempered a lot in the last 10 years or so. Like I said, I show myself grace, I feel like I have very good balance. I’m not, I don’t push myself too hard or overwork, I have excellent boundaries, but yeah, sometimes I do find those tendencies coming back to bite me in the butt. And I do have to take a step back and say like, okay, what’s coming up here for you. And where’s it coming from? And how can we approach this a bit more gracefully? So, yes, but I would pose that my life has not been as volatile as it may look on paper in comparison to other people’s Brad (56m 2s): Good answer. I appreciate that. Or reminds me of, I asked Lance Armstrong question interviewing him a long time ago about his cancer battle and, and so forth. And I, I asked him, does having been to hell and back, you know, reframe your perspective of things that you do in everyday life and, and the goals you pursue. And he looked me right in the eye. He goes, you know what, everyone’s been to hell and back in some way, shape or form, and was, you know, for, for him to say it, you know, not many people have been on their death bed with a 20% chance of survived cancer. So, you know, that is a pretty extreme one, but you’re right. It’s, it’s all, it’s all relative. And especially today with the record rates of depression, anxiety, you know, feeling ill at ease with things like quarantine and just with the bombardment of social media, and hyper-connectivity, we’re, we’re creating these, these traumas in our brain that have nothing to do with our comfortable cushy life, but they still real it’s, it’s, it’s just as bad as, as someone who’s on the street, right. Brad (57m 3s): And you’re, you’re talking about your privilege in that perspective. We all can do well to kind of own that and realize that boy, we might as well appreciate the moment because you never know what’s coming. Melissa (57m 13s): Yes. And in the spirit of empathy, I’ll also remind people that it is not helpful to compare suffering. You know, what you are experiencing in this moment is very real and very, and matters very much to what you are going through. And it’s not helpful to say, but other people had it so much worse, or, but it wasn’t as bad as that. I’m guilty of that as well in my addiction. And like that behavior was never healthy. What people are going through on their own is equally valid, just as valid as, as anyone else. So I liked that answer from Lance. That’s a good answer, Brad (57m 46s): Melissa. It was a pleasure. This show is very memorable. Like we’re going to have to listen to it twice because it’s so deep. And why don’t you just tell us how we can get on that, get on that list of followers with all the rest and do some, DM-ing see if you’ll answer within five minutes and all the great content I really recommend going and, and following her at least on Instagram and checking out Whole 30. So give us the instructions. Melissa (58m 8s): Thank you so much. You can find me on Instagram @MelissaU and you can also find a link in my bio to sign up for my newsletter, which is XO M U. And that comes out once a week on Mondays. That’s where I talk about kind of everything, but the Whole 30. I’ll sprinkle some food stuff in there, but that’s where I’m talking about like relationships and boundaries and self care and addiction and recovery and entrepreneuring and motherhood and all of that stuff. And of course, everything that you want to know about Whole 30 is just that whole thirty.com. You can find everything including the entirety of the whole 30 program available for free on our website. Brad (58m 42s): Wow. All right. The Melissa Urban bringing it. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you, listeners. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support please. Email email@example.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the QA shows, subscribe to our email list to Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email li and if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with Apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. Brad (59m 35s): It helps raise the profile of the be read podcast and attract new listeners. 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