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It’s time for the hurricane!

My good friend and frequent podcast guest Dave Rossi, author of the wonderful book The Imperative Habit, returns for a fifth appearance on the B.rad podcast. Trust me, by the time this episode is over, you’re going to feel compelled to buy his book, as you’re going to hear some awesome insights and cause for reflection in this fast moving episode. If you haven’t heard previous shows with Dave, he’s a Silicon Valley based businessman who has become quite a guru in the spiritual field in addition to writing a very well-received book, The Imperative Habit.

In this episode, Dave and I talk about the most effective strategies for long-term weight loss (something Dave is very familiar with as he once successfully dropped 50 pounds) and how to stay aligned with your health goals by coming at the challenge from the mindset component. We talk about the placebo effect—how it’s real and actually quite powerful, as well as why Dave says it is imperative today to build good habits and overcome the constant temptation of instant gratification dopamine-triggering pleasures and indulgences. Dave also details a kinder, gentler approach to goal setting where you make a choice to live healthily and do things that feel good instead of the “struggle and suffer” approach that is unfortunately too common, and much more—get ready for the hurricane!

TIMESTAMPS:

The mindset influences how you set your goals. It can make or break your progress. [01:06]

If you are a marathoner and you love it, you will have a different physiological response than if you hate what you are doing. It’s like the placebo effect. [07:31]

If you hear a podcast explaining why vegetables are not good for you, your mind can kick in and the vegetables you used to love, suddenly become unappetizing. [15:23]

There is no shortcut to get the body that you want. [19:18]

If your goal is to gain something, it probably won’t be authentic. [24:52]

A choice of what you want to do versus what you don’t want to do is choice versus willpower. And willpower gets stronger when we are stressed. [29:49]

Sugar is bad for me. I make the choice to have a healthy body as opposed to enjoying the pleasure of the dessert. [35:36]

You have to enjoy the journey that you are taking in order to get to that end game. [38:25]

If you are over exercising, you are going to turn down all kinds of other flames and feel more tired, more hungry, more apt to store, store fat rather than burn it. [42:02]

To lose weight, you have to have the power of choice to figure out what works for you. [44:43]

You can be fit, but not healthy. [48:31]

When you look at lifestyle as thoughts, emotions, food, activities, relationships, your lifestyle will have a corresponding body. [50:10]

Dave lost 50 to 60 pounds.  Brad asks, what was the trigger that made it happen? [52:36]

Develop the practice of the ability to say no to bodily urges. The food no longer has power. [01:00:27]

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (00:01:06):
Get ready, start your engines. It is time for the hurricane episode number five. Yes, my good friend and frequent podcast guest Dave Rossi, author of the wonderful underground sensation book, The Imperative Habit, which you can order right now on Amazon or by the time the show’s over, you’ll be compelled to go pop for that book because we are going to get hit with some awesome insights and cause for reflection in this fast moving show as always, uh, if I didn’t properly introduce Dave or you haven’t heard the previous shows, he is at ordinary Silicon Valley businessman in the construction industry, but he’s become quite a guru in spirituality has a really popular Instagram following his book has been very well received and in his personal life, he’s come from living and breathing the great successes and the great failures. And so he has a wonderful, fresh perspective on all this kind of stuff.

Brad (00:02:11):
And what’s important in life. He lost 50 pounds and has kept it off for many years. And so he has a great interest in weight loss and healthy living, eating exercise, but he comes at it from a different direction. And that is from the mind component that we often forget about when we get obsessed with the logistics and talking about our carb count and our ketogenic strategies and the pros and cons of this food or that food or this workout or that workout. So we’re gonna go like high level here, back up a bit ,and figure out the role of mindset in the progress toward our goals and dreams or the lack of progress. So all kinds of topics covered in this show. One of them is the placebo effect and how it’s real and how powerful it is. And that’s the power of the mind convincing you that something’s gonna work.

Brad (00:03:07):
We talk about the, uh, common, modern affliction of, uh, succumbing to the instant gratification, the dopamine triggers. I talked about this at length in my show with Dr. Anna Lembke author of Dopamine Nation and how it’s essential to convert from that reactive position where we’re just going along, bouncing along through the day, wondering if we’re gonna succumb to the many temptations around. And so Dave talks about the power of converting to choice and making a choice that you want to, for example, live a healthy life. And once you made that choice, then all the other behavior patterns flow gracefully downstream from that rather than having to tap into willpower day after day, hour after hour to make sure you’re not tempted when they bring the dessert played around. So, it’s woven in with some spiritual and psychological mindset insights, as well as the practicality of energy balance.

Brad (00:04:10):
And some of the things I’ve been talking about on recent shows since shows and essentially how to overcome your reliance on external things to make you happy. And instead cultivate an inner happiness by basically removing the things that make you unhappy and in doing so you can make that choice to lose excess body fat and that pulls it all together for a tee up. Here we go with the hurricane, Dave Rossi. None other than Dave Rossi is back for. Could this be the fifth time? I don’t know. I’m losing count, man, but I’m so glad to, to connect with you. I miss you, man, we we’ve been busy here. We have to be on zoom instead of in person, what a bummer. But, um, we got always plenty of things to talk about.

Dave (00:04:57):
Yeah. I always find, we end up talking more outside of the podcast and then keep saying, I wish this was recorded so funny. It’s such good stuff.

Brad (00:05:05):
Yeah, never again. We gotta, we gotta share it here.

Dave (00:05:09):
So, I mean, this kind of came up because you, you had some questions you kind of wanted to ask me.

Brad (00:05:16):
Yeah. So this, this energy balance, Jay Feldman podcast, he’s gonna be a guest on my show shortly and we don’t have to get into the extreme details of, of the message, but he presents a really beautiful big picture argument for the idea that if we start stacking all this cool stuff, all this hormesis as the term has been banter around very popularly or biohacking, a lot of biohacking might fall into this category too, where we’re jumping in the, the freezing cold lake or the chest freezer, because we’re supposed to get all these incredible health benefits, same with fasting, same with keto, low carb. And of course, going to the gym and putting your muscles under load or going out to the running track and, and doing my high jump practice and all that. Stuff’s beautiful. But then I sit back and wonder, gee, if I’m stacking these stress factors like, being 57 years old and trying to pretend I’m at a high school track practice, you know, doing the workout, trying to recover, trying to lead a hectic high stress modern life.

Brad (00:06:23):
And I’m doing some dietary intervention and restriction. That’s, you know, starving my cells of energy in the name of health, of course, cuz we know that fasting prompts all these wonderful metabolic opportunity and uh, optimizations. Uh, but if is it, is it possible to overdo it? I think it most certainly is. And now we’re gonna open up the conversation to think, okay, how am I gonna chart this course individually rather than say, and, I torch my, my childhood friend the other day, cuz he said, Hey look Brad, I know all this carnivore and this and that you’re talking about is great, but really it’s, it’s all about everything in moderation. And I said, no, it’s not because we live in the fattest sickest population in the history of humanity. So if you wanna have a moderate approach to life and I called him out, I’m like, dude, you’re the hardest working, hardest driving, most competitive, a very successful, prominent figure. I go, you’re nothing about moderation and you never have been dating back to, you know, your childhood when you tried to out sprint me to, to win the fun run. Okay, Dave, Rossi’s gonna weigh in now,ok people.

Dave (00:07:31):
Well <laugh>, I’m not even sure how you weigh in and all of that. It was, it was so great. And so eloquent. You know, I think the everything in moderation is, is right, except it’s a little bit misunderstood. I think everything that your brain thinks is good for you equals moderation. And so, you know, listening to the, the J Feldman, Ben Greenfield podcast is that hormesis or, or hormetic response, or I do really tough things and I assign a really fancy name, Greek name to it basically is what your brain thinks is hor or hormesis. And it’s kind of like the placebo effect. So if you are like a marathon runner and you just love it and you’re super digged and you’re running and you’re running and you’re running and you’re like super great, you’re gonna get a different response physiologically. If you’re like, I kind of hate this. I don’t know why I’m doing this much. Do I really hate these marathons? Why am I doing another marathon? Your mindset is going to me in my experience, your mindset is going to determine just like a placebo does with other situations. Your mind is gonna tell you if that activity is hormetic, not that the activity is hormetic

Brad (00:08:52):
Uhhuh.

Dave (00:08:52):
And, and I think that definition in your subconscious mind changes as well with lots of different factors. It’s a very complicated, too complicated to even understand how the placebo works. But you know, the placebo effect is real, right? Um, all new drugs go through a placebo study. They do a double blind study and they do a double blind study because the placebo is real. Your brain thinks a little white pill works. And so in 18% of the cases, your mind thinks it works. Now in one setting, one person might take the sugar pill and it cures cholesterol, but in a different setting, it may not. There’s something in that setting. That’s so minutely different that triggers a different placebo and the same person. So I’m saying is that there’s so many factors that relate in your mind that helps your body define what is a hermetic response and what’s not,

Brad (00:09:51):
Oh, that’s beautiful. And there’s research on rats and also on cold exposure in humans where if it’s, uh, a surprise, then the human stress response is extreme, versus when they’re, you know, this is Wim Hof stuff where he tells the people, guess what you are going to go into this freezing water and you’re gonna be fine and I’m gonna help you and you’re gonna breathe through it and it’s gonna be a miracle. And so they, they have to have to believe and therefore they’re able to do it. And the rats when they’re able to time their exposure to the stressor or, or control it they fare much better. So when we have these surprise, um, features like your, your hot water heater breaks, and you have a cold shower, it’s brutal, but if you’re gonna have three friends come over and you guys are gonna do a, a cold shower, you know, a session and you’re all excited about it and you’ve been talking about it. It has a whole different potential. Same with the marathon example. I love it.

Dave (00:10:50):
Well, I, I think it’s really difficult for people to always compare rats to humans because when rats, what they’re doing is they’re testing environmental stressors or physiological stressors. In the human brain we have emotional stressors. We have mindset stressors. And so a mouse isn’t gonna go, do I really wanna do this? Do I not wanna this? Am I gonna be thinner if I do this? Or am I the great if I do this, I really hate doing this. This is really monotonous. You know, my spouse hates when I do this, the mouse doesn’t have that kind of cognition to create an emotional stressor. The mouse doesn’t have the ability to imagine reality to, to imagine what things might be like in the future. That creates the same physiological respe response. We all know that stress, like I can’t get this deal can create all kinds of physiological responses.

Dave (00:11:40):
Okay? So our mind can create high blood pressure, skin irritation, skin rashes, heart palpitations, panic attacks, shortness of breat. Emotional responses can create physiological changes. And so in all of these studies that people do, which is very difficult. Whenever I see a study, I say, well, what’s their cortisol level when they did this study, or how stressed are they when they did this study? Because there’s a correlation to emotional, mental stress, to physiological responses. And so everything that that Jay and Ben talked about, I found difficult to wrap my head around because there isn’t the mental component to those things. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> just face it. If you love some of these things that you do, it’s not gonna be a hormetic response because you love it and it’s enjoyable. You might get endorphins. I mean, the common societal view as I jumping in cold water is really tough.

Dave (00:12:39):
And then fasting is also really tough. And keto is really tough. And running lots of calorie, restrictive diets, and lots of running is tough. Okay. But for Brad Kearns, you like eat this for breakfast. You’re like, this is great. This is fun. I’m getting in shape. I love it. I love experimenting. And you might get endorphins and somebody else was gonna get a catabolic response from exactly the same activity. And that’s wrong to me with that, with that, with that talk, is that all things aren’t uniform in terms of physiological responses and all things aren’t uniform in your own life, your own mindset can change those physiological responses.

Brad (00:13:21):
Well, I’m thinking of the workplace, especially where you have, you know the columns of cubicles and the people are doing the exact same thing. And the person in the first one hates their job, the person in the second one, same exact, uh, responsibilities. They love their job, and it’s a completely different experience. And they’re probably energized all day long and energized at the end of the day, versus the person who’s, you know, decided that this is a bummer.

Dave (00:13:51):
Well, and in, in all the studies that you see, you know, the J for, for, you know, the J for a hormetic response, you know, when someone’s doing that, there’s a conversation they have with themselves. Like I tell my son, you know, I make him walk the track and, you know, he is a big kid. He hates to walk. He’s a swimmer, he plays water polo. And he is like, uh, why am I doing this? And I’m like, look, okay, you can tell yourself a story in your head. Why are you doing this? This sucks. I hate this. My dad’s making me walk. And that’s one story, and you’re still gonna walk, or you could tell yourself, this is good for me. I’m doing something good for me. This is really enjoyable. I like this. And you’re still gonna walk, okay. The walking is not gonna contribute the majority of the physiological responses.

Dave (00:14:40):
What he’s going through his mind has a very large effect on what chemicals are gonna be produced to create that J curve of response. And, and I could see his shoulders hunched over and his head down, and I hate this, and I don’t wanna do this. And why am I here? And that’s, that’s creating all kinds of stress hormones, which is a higher level of, of, of order for your mind to work on, than it is for some casual walk in terms of a physiological response it’s life or death. When you, you know, fear your body doesn’t know the difference between fear from a tiger or fear from my hate doing this, right. It’s still a higher order order response for your brain to deal with.

Brad (00:15:23):
It’s reminded me of my broccoli and salad experience. Dave. I have to tell you this after I listened to Saladino yeah. In early 2019, so that’s three years ago. He really captivated me with his message. It was very well presented and this idea that these the plant foods need not be the centerpiece of the diet. Yeah. Uh, they don’t have as much nutrition as more animal based, uh, eating patterns. And, you know, I listened to the show over and over. I talked to him, I got him on my podcast. We spent some time together personally. And, you know, he really convinced me that he was on to something. And from that point you know, I’ve been a lifelong enthusiast of big delicious salads with all the crunchy vegetables and the sliced tomatoes and the bell peppers and the nuts and the seeds and the salad dressing, and same with a steaming plate of broccoli, uh, served with my steak or whatever.

Brad (00:16:20):
Yeah. And I would look at these same foods and I, I lost my appetite for them just because my mind had shifted to the concept that, um, these aren’t the extreme health super foods that I’ve believed them to be. I no longer believe that. And they’re maybe not the greatest tasting if they’re not in that same category and same with like a junk food. If everyone said tomorrow that Snicker bars are super healthy, um, I might have a more taste for them than I do now. Whereas if I bit into one and tried it, I think it was too sweet and I’m, I’m habituated away from, and I know it’s terrible for me. I don’t even wanna take a bite of it, but it was a really weird experience because, you know, I, I look forward to a salad for decades, and now all of a sudden I’d have my fork in hand and I couldn’t even stab the spinach leaves because now I I’ve learned that they have oxalates in them and it could, uh, interfere with my digestion and nutrient assimilation.

Dave (00:17:20):
Well, you know, I think something very profound happens to somebody when they don’t look at food as a hunger suppressant or a pleasure center any longer. For a lot of people, food brings pleasure food, uh, does release the serotonin and dopamine response. Certainly, you know, the food that we’re habituated to like sugars and, and Snickers bars and things like that. But when you don’t look at food to suppress hunger and you don’t look at food to bring you pleasure, and you look at food to bring you nutrients, then certainly the game changes substantially. And I think for someone like you, who, you know, there’s so many studies either way, I believe everything Sal says, but I also believe a lot of things that the, the vegan population or vegetarian population says. And again, I’m back to, it depends on the person. And it depends on the person at that moment.

Dave (00:18:13):
It’s not one size fits all. Um, you know, it will change based on how your mind decides to, and, and, and, and there’s a, there’s a, there’s a, just because your mental shift shift changed doesn’t mean you’re gonna buy into that physiological your nerves, your taste buds, and some of the way your microbiome is, is set up, might take some time to get away from the big salad and the, and the broccoli. But if your mind’s there, everything’s gonna kind of follow it, right. I mean, eventually your taste buds will change and your microbiome will change and you’ll start eating more and more meat. But I believe these studies show, you know, both sides of the equation. And so, yeah. Okay. Sal you’re right. And okay. Yes. Sal, you’re not right. I think it just depends on the person there isn’t one size that fits all, but what does fit all is what you want to believe in and what you do believe in and where you wanna go with that lifestyle. And, you know, Ben said something in his podcast. I love this. He said, Ben wants the benefits without the stresses,

Brad (00:19:17):
Wants the, what

Dave (00:19:18):
Ben said, I want the benefits without the stressors. I want the benefits of the stressors. And it doesn’t really work that way. You know, you can’t have a shortcut to get the body that you want. And look, Ben’s got a great physique. He’s certainly in the healthy zone, albeit he’s doing lots of things to get there. A lot, lots of discipline and things like that, that a lot of people just aren’t gonna have the, the wherewithal to do, but you have to pick a lifestyle. You have to pick what you’re happy with, and you have to want that if you don’t want it, then you’re depriving yourself and it’s a fight.

Brad (00:19:50):
Yeah. Yeah. Um, and in fact, we can shortcut all kinds of things. We can hijack the traditional process that we’ve experienced throughout human evolution, where we had to work hard to get our food, and we had to hunt and we had to gather and celebrate. And now we can just push buttons. Um, I had, uh, Dr. Anna Lembke on the show author of dopamine nation, your neighbor there in the, uh, yeah. In the bay area. And, um, she’s, she’s pointing out how, um, you know, this, this counterbalance of pleasure and pain in the brain when we endure something difficult and struggle and persevere through challenge, whether it’s a cognitive challenge, trying to write our first essay or trying to finish a marathon, we get a counterbalancing effective sustained pleasure. Um, and so when we just hit the dopamine triggers where we don’t have to make sufficient effort, so we can sit down and like Dr. John Gray says, um, the, the evil combination of porn and video games for the young, uh, modern male has taken away or has satisfied their two main biological drives, which are to conquer one’s environment and to seek a mate. And so now, without any effort, they can do that. They can hit those dopamine pathways day after day after day. And they lose their resolve to go and persevere and struggle and try to formulate a real relationship or do something, uh, out.

Dave (00:21:10):
Yeah. But those are, those are very, um, biological body responses. When, when we, we should try to get beyond the body.

Brad (00:21:19):
How so?

Dave (00:21:19):
Like, like, um, the woman you just talked about doc mentioned, but the biological response for dopamine and, and, and also Dr. David Gray about, Hey, we want to conquer our environment. We really don’t have to conquer our environment. Like we think we do. We have to make good choices to drive our life, the places we want to go without the biological urges that push us to do shit that doesn’t really help our life urges to eat urges, to say things to people incorrectly that we don’t wanna say urges to do all kinds of things that really don’t help our cause. Now in a Harvard study with silent meditation, eight weeks of dedicated silent meditation actually created neuroplasticity to dampen the effect of the dopamine reward center in the human brain. So when you remove pleasure from the equation, your choices are going to change. So a lot of the urges that we have are for pleasure.

Dave (00:22:15):
We push for alcohol for pleasure. We push for different relationships for pleasure. We push for conquering our environment for pleasure. These are all biological things that the super computer in our head and the mechanism of this carbon suit lives out. And they have all these components and all these components do these things, right? You eat this, you get this response, okay. But at some point I’m advocating getting out of the body and saying, Hey, I don’t really need to have a conquering dopamine effect to conquer my environment and get dopamine rush. How about I just do what I wanna do and, and do that without having a biological urge, but a spiritual urge or an intuitive, intuitive urge, or a, a lofty, um, aspiration urge, like helping other people or helping myself or helping the planet, or, or have some higher power drive our choices rather than biology drive in our choices.

Dave (00:23:13):
The most common biology that we see is athletics and food. We’re hungry. We eat. So I always advocate not when you fast, you know, people don’t realize that we are a bit like Pavlov’s dogs, right? When we, when we don’t eat, we train our body to be hungry. We train our body to release Ghrelin at a certain time. Okay. So when we fast and we just gut it out and we just don’t eat, and our body release is Ghrelin, our body begins to go through a starvation mode and says, Hey, this sucks. I don’t like this. What’s happening to me. OK. And I learned this in this book by a guy named Dr. Mike Brown, who wrote a book called quantitative medicine. And he says, don’t do long walks because your body thinks is migrating and it’s gonna store fat. Well, it might <laugh>, it might not also too.

Dave (00:24:04):
It all depends what your mind thinks you’re doing. And if you fast too quickly, meaning long periods of time without working into it, you don’t give the Ghrelin response time to change like a Pavlonian. Do you wanna not fast until you get hungry, wait a half an hour, and then eat. And the next time, fast, longer wait till the Ghrelin hits don’t eat. When the Ghrelin hits, cuz that reinforces the power of the hormone. And then you eat after that hormone goes away and you keep lengthening your fast. So the fast is never difficult. You never push have to push past points of pain or Ghrelin or rationalizations to eat. You want your body to feel that this is acceptable and it’s not traumatic. It’s not hormetic. You don’t have to make it bad. Does that make sense?

Brad (00:24:52):
Oh my gosh. Yeah. And it’s the perfect parallel to fitness endeavors because when we push past that point and, and go beyond our limits, we have all kinds of feedback afterward. That’s that’s biological. Yeah. And it turns into a negative experience and we start to dread it and we, we go down the, down the slippery slope into, you know, attrition or what have you. So if you can, I, I guess that kind of reminds me of what Ben was getting at is, um, really we wanna have the minimal biological stress and, you know, achieve the desired outcomes without having to suffer through it. Um, and possibly, maybe you’re arguing that we also can transcend these, these urges such that, um, we have a more, um, you know, a balanced perspective when yeah, we do something that’s good for us. We don’t always have to get this big, uh, dopamine high. We can go out and enjoy each other’s company and, and be silent for 15 minutes holding hands on a walk rather than constantly trying to impress your second date, uh, with more war stories from your, your workplace achievements or what have you, you know, you can, you can settle into an experience that is beautiful on the surface without having to Jack it up and, and dress it up and, and take a selfie.

Dave (00:26:19):
Well, yeah, in my book, I talk about this a little bit about your goals. Now, if your goals have the intention of gain, and that’s a very loaded word, because people say, the reason why they’re changing is to gain. But when you’re like, I, I like the example you used about a date. If your intention is to impress them, then the intention isn’t authentic or pure, and you’re gonna get a different type of response than if the intention was, I just want to get to know you, not, not know what you do or where you live or where you like, what you like to eat, but to really know who you are, those are different intentions to say, what you like to do? Where do you like to travel? What do you like to eat? What’s your favorite restaurant? What time do you go to bed?

Dave (00:27:05):
What music do you like? You know, that’s different than what moves you? What do you find beautiful? What are some of your most profound experiences? What’s somebody you wanted to do that you were never able to achieve. The intentions behind getting to know somebody versus getting to know about somebody is different than the intention also of I wanna impress them. And, and these intentions drive our physiological responses in our mind. So, and the reason why I’m telling you this is because that that’s the toll tell of when you’re doing something physiologically best for you. When the intention is really pure.

Dave (00:27:45):
When, when, you know, look, I, I know you well enough to know that you do all the craziest stuff you did cuz you love it. I mean, you really kind of do. I mean, you you’re gonna be, you were thin and in shape and a professional athlete before Saladino told you to stop eating vegetables, right. But you have this drive to always want to be at the top and explore more and more things. And that’s very attractive to you. And that’s a very pure passion. You don’t have any intentions that derail you from, I just wanna look fit at the beach. It’s all I care about is fit at the beach. Right? And those intentions make your mind follow along with what you wanna do. They’re in alignment.

Brad (00:28:31):
Right? Right. Um, and

Dave (00:28:34):
You get the corresponding body to that alignment. You, you know, you know what I’m saying?

Brad (00:28:40):
Yeah. I guess it’s, you know, an appreciation of the process, the journey and releasing the attachment of your self esteem or your happiness to the outcome or the end destination of your endeavors,

Dave (00:28:51):
Right? When you, when you’re attached to the body’s wishes, I need to eat. I need to eat. Body says, eat, body says, eat. I need to eat. I’m hungry. It’s just a hormone. It’s a hormone that’s been trained to release. When you typically haven’t eaten for a certain period of time. It’s not, it’s not like I need more energy to go work out. Or I haven’t eaten in 10 hours. A lot of people don’t eat for 10 hours. It’s your body, it’s your training. And it’s a hormonal release. Let’s not get crazy with it. It’s just a hormone, right?

Brad (00:29:21):
Yeah. It passes in 20 minutes. Dr. Cate Shanahan says, and right when I’ve done that cold therapy experiment to use cold, to accelerate fat loss, you have to work through that hunger spike because you get a, a reliable hunger spike after getting cold, cuz your body to do everything to rewarm, including trigger appetite. Right. And if you can ride it out for 20 minutes, then you get the accelerated fat burning benefits.

Dave (00:29:49):
If you’re not stressed out about work and your body’s releasing cortisol because you’re late for work cuz you spent too much time in the cold time. <laugh> I mean, it’s not that simple. I mean there, there are physiological proof to that, um, to those, you know, the way in which the cells work and the body works and the exposure to cold works, but there are also other layering things that the mind can create that can change some of those things as well. And, and what I’m saying is that, you know, when you get beyond the body, when you get beyond the hunger and you begin to make choices, that’s that are right for you, that you really like, or that you want to change, then everything changes for you. The physiology changes. The, the, that you’re converting from, from willpower to choice, you know, willpower is when you think you want to, but your body doesn’t want to. So then you have to fight against it. And so, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s stressful to fight willpower, but you don’t really want to do it. That’s why it’s called willpower.

Brad (00:30:51):
<laugh> I mean, so willpower, what you just said. There’s interesting. I never looked at it that way. Willpower is doing something that we don’t really want to, or not doing something that we really want to. And so we have to bring in, we have to ring the bell and call upon willpower because we’d rather sit on the couch.

Dave (00:31:11):
Yeah. And willpower gets stronger when we’re stressed, tired, or with weaker an argument, do we sat in traffic or, you know,

Brad (00:31:18):
It weakens when we get

Dave (00:31:20):
Yeah, right it weakens, like we, we lose that fight. You know, it’s a losing fight, but you know, I always say, you know, if someone asked me, do you want a donut or not? And that was the only question posed to me, which I love donuts. Right. Love donuts. Okay. So it’s fried and it’s gluten and it’s sugar.

Brad (00:31:41):
And besides that it’s okay.

Dave (00:31:42):
Right. But the real question, the question, the answer to that question is typically, yeah, I love the donut. It’s so great than not having it, but the question really is, do I want to be fit or not? Does a donut fit in my lifestyle or not? And that’s a different question because one of them, if I isolate the question, do I want a donut or not? That’s usually a, yes, I would enjoy that. OK. But when food, when you, when you look at the question differently and say, do I wanna be fit or not? It doesn’t take any willpower to choose what I want. Yeah. I wanna be fit. That’s very, very easy answer. I would like to be fit. Very, very simple. I wanna be fit, easy question, easy answer. Doesn’t take any willpower

Brad (00:32:26):
To get to that answer.

Dave (00:32:29):
I use willpower to get the life that I want. Degree to that because it’s not black or white. And, and, and what I’m suggesting is that when you find the right question to ask yourself, it’s a choice of what you want to do and what you don’t wanna do versus willpower, which is you’re trying to fight against something that you naturally already want. And it’s a fight. Yeah.

Brad (00:32:52):
Yeah. So, um, I, I guess when we break it down, uh, you know, we’ll, we’ll leave this podcast motivated, inspired, focused as usual after talking to Dave and then, we’re gonna crack on, on the fourth day or something’s gonna come up, that’s getting us out of choice and back into, I guess, reactivity and biological drives, fatigue and stress are, are kicking in. And all of a sudden we forgot about our choice or we’re not properly.

Dave (00:33:27):
And that’s okay. That happens. You know, um, that happens. The, the most dangerous thing is to actually engage a stress response, which is guilt.

Dave (00:33:39):
Cause now we’re engaging cortisol again and guilt and low self esteem. We’re talking badly about ourselves and that’s not gonna help. So you use those situations as an example to learn, you just don’t, you just don’t go from the lifestyle that I live and the lifestyle that you live from zero to that lifestyle, it takes practice to, to slowly begin, to have the ability, to feel comfortable with some of the things that you and I like to do. You just don’t do it. And it takes time to readjust the taste buds in our mouths and the discussions in our mind and, and, and the results help a lot. I mean, when people don’t get results, then they drop it and they, they use results as that motivator. And I can tell you with, with, with meditation, for me, that, you know, you don’t get results very fast.

Dave (00:34:28):
That’s why it’s very difficult to, to get people to do sound meditation, cuz they want to sweat. They wanna feel the pain when they stretch in yoga, they wanna have something hard and they want to feel accomplished. When, when training your mind to have more power of choice to dampen the risk reward or the reward center in your brain remove that dopamine circuitry that gives you rewards. That takes some time to dampen. When you remove that through meditation, you just, I call it your, I choose muscle, your strength and in your muscle to say, I don’t really need that for pleasure. I don’t really have to have that. Like I used to.

Brad (00:35:08):
Yeah.

Dave (00:35:08):
Yeah. Like I used to have dessert every night. I was in fine shape didn’t cause any weight gain, I would just eat dessert. Like every night I didn’t eat gluten, cheesecake or ice cream or something like that. And then I’m thinking, you know, the only reason why I eat this is because it just gives me a rush of happiness and I’m plenty happy with lots of other things. I really don’t need happiness rush after dinner. It’s

Brad (00:35:30):
Especially if it conflicts with your choice to be healthy and

Dave (00:35:36):
Yeah, no, I know, I know, I know sugar’s bad for me. There’s lots of evidence about what sugar does to your body. My weight didn’t change cuz I stopped eating dessert. It wasn’t like this big profound effect of my life, but it really was a spiritual choice to realize that I derive happiness from lots of other places than ice cream. And it really is better for my body. And I don’t see a lot of physical changes and that’s okay. I don’t need to, I’m not doing it for the physical change. I’m doing it because I know it’ll clean my blood and clean my liver and not eating sugar will provide all kinds of other benefits, but I can’t see. So I don’t need, I don’t need that pleasure. Yeah.

Brad (00:36:13):
That’s a good one because we can’t see ourselves 30 years from now, but we can, you know, get some hints if we ignore the future consequences of our presents instant gratification actions.

Dave (00:36:27):
Yeah. Yeah. And, and I mean, I really enjoy this, that, that speech, that podcast with, with Brett, Jay and Ben, I mean, they’re both so into helping people and it’s so incredible to hear all their knowledge throwing all their knowledge around and yet, I wish someone would talk about meditation, the power that the mind has, cuz the mind creates all those physiological responses, a hundred percent of them. They’re just hacking their body into, to doing things that, that tell their mind to do these things right. It’s like, you know, you wanna get the benefits of fasting. So eat these types of foods that trigger these different types of things, like give you the results of fasting, but you don’t actually have to fast. And I mean, that’s cool. And I think it’s great. And if it makes it easier for people, that’s cool too, but there’s a lot easier way which is just try to balance. And I hate to use the phrase. We started with everything in moderation, but it’s everything that actually works for you. And that will change with time. What works for you. You could stagnant and yet to keep on pushing yourself a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. Mm. And, and, and enjoy that process. I mean, if you’re, if you’re just looking for the end game, then you, you really missing the whole point of all this. Right?

Brad (00:37:41):
Right. It, it is enjoyable to take incremental steps forward. It’s just a fantastic, you know, opportunity to celebrate every day. Yeah. If you are ditching your dessert habit or in the process of dropping excess body fat and you’re, you’re a pound lighter, even though you wanna be 20 pounds lighter, I don’t think a lot of people have trouble there celebrating and having, having that smile on that sense of satisfaction, but you know, the, the ability to sustain it, I think we’re up against a lot of cultural forces that probably throw us off and that desire for instant gratification and, and getting away from choice and, and honoring impulse possibly because we’ve been worn down and are tired and stressed.

Dave (00:38:25):
Well, that’s probably why most, most people gain the weight back and they don’t sustain it because they don’t enjoy the journey. They just do it for the results. And then once they get to the results, they say, I’m here now. And then they slowly begin to revert back to their old ways. You know, that just proves the point that you have to enjoy the journey that you’re taking to get to that end game. Because when you enjoy that journey and you pick that lifestyle and you don’t have to chick pick the lifestyle, all of the sudden you have to, you have to take it slowly. And, and let me add something to this. I discovered this with myself again, I do equate a weight loss a lot like the placebo as well. And I have lots of data sets for that. But you know, for me personally, I would gain weight when I would run. I would restrict calories and I’d count calories and I’d run and I’d gain weight. And it was running was difficult for me, not a natural runner. Don’t run that fast. And it was hard. My body found a cortisol stress response to, but when I swam, weight would fall off me, just

Brad (00:39:30):
The opposite of the exercise physiology data that swimming does not raise core body temperature. Therefore you spike appetite after a swim. Whereas after a run your body, temperature’s up, you’ve been pounded a little bit. And so your appetite is dulled and the gravity impact of running is supposed to prompt more fat loss except for Dave Rossi because he doesn’t enjoy it.

Dave (00:39:52):
Well, no, I swam as a kid.

Brad (00:39:54):
Oh, I mean, I mean running,

Dave (00:39:56):
Oh, I don’t enjoy running, but I also swam as a kid,

Brad (00:39:58):
Didn’t work for you cuz you didn’t enjoy it.

Dave (00:40:01):
Well, yes, but I think it’s a little bit more complicated in that. I think there’s possibly this placebo effect where I swam as a kid, my body was used to swimming. It has this subconscious memory of this was the activity I did from five years old until high school. I was competitive swimmer. I didn’t run at all. I didn’t do a lot of those running sports. And so when I swim, it is a lot of physiological familiarity for me that I just tripped on it. Wasn’t like, I love swimming cause I really don’t like swim that much. But my body really remembers that and it sheds weight and I still run. Cause I like, I like to be able to run and have that lung capacity and leg capacity to go run. So I, I just don’t worry about what I, what, you know, a couple extra pounds here and there with running. But I guess the point is that this there’s this placebp where your body will let go of fat when it’s comfortable. Fat is like stored food in the freezer. Right?

Dave (00:41:05):
And for a lot of us, your body, your brain has to say, we’re comfortable using this for energy. We’re okay using this for, and now in some situations, if you’re really running really hard or working out really hard or putting yourself under, you know, hormesis, your body can say shed the weight, shed the weight. We need to shed the weight. We need to lighten our load. Some people’s bodies might say, save the calories. We’re we’re gonna lower the metabolism. We’re gonna store the fat. We do not wanna let this go. We really need this because this is migratory. As, as the book said, and it’s true, it’s migratory. What triggers? I feel safe. Let fat out. Or what triggers? I don’t feel safe. Holds fat in. It depends on the person. For me, swimming and running are two indications for me when I fast too much, I gain weight. Like I, my body says, Hey, this is too much. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> fast, too much.

Brad (00:42:03):
Well that’s um, goes back to these energy balance, assertions that you can overdo it and then get the, the, um, undesirable counter response of turning down the other dials, Dr. Herman Pontzer, author of Burn. He says reproduction, repair, growth and locomotion are a zero sum game. So if you are over exercising, you are going to turn down all kinds of other flames and feel more tired, more hungry, more apt to store, store fat rather than burn it. And I think we’re finally unwinding that and learning that this eat less exercise more, suggestion is completely at odds with how our bodies really work. And also, you know, the, the mindset factor that you’re bringing into the story here.

Dave (00:42:47):
Yeah. I’m only adding, I agree with all that. I’m only adding that what is considered overexerting is different from person to person because of their, their mind and what their set points are.

Brad (00:42:58):
Right. And over fasting because you hate it, uh right. Or whatever you’re coming to the table with.

Dave (00:43:04):
Right, right. That, I mean, you can like the point of what, when Brad Kearn’s body says, this is over training is way more than what I do. <laugh> My body’s gonna be tapped out a lot earlier than yours. And that’s just because your’re used to it and your mind’s okay. And you’re mindset. I can do this. Now. There’s some things my mind says, Hey, you can do this and this isn’t hard and this isn’t tough for you. And so that over training has a lot to do with where you are, cuz you can build up for those points and build slowly and grow where that point is. And you’ll never hit that point. Cuz your mind is beginning to continually say, I can do more. I can do more. I can do more. This is okay, this is safe. This is comfortable. This is normal. This is where I am. Does that make sense? You see what I’m saying?

Brad (00:43:52):
Yeah. It’s a big one. Yeah. You’re I guess building confidence too. Any enthusiast?

Dave (00:43:58):
Yeah. That confidence is part of it. It’s like this unwritten, you know, it’s it’s, it’s not conscious confidence. It’s subconscious confidence. Mm. If we can consciously, you know, amp ourselves up and, and consciously use logic and reason to say I’m good at this. And I have confidence in this and I can do this. But if the subconscious mind has to believe it, the subconscious mind has to be comfortable with the 20, the 20 mile a week runs and say, Hey 20 miles a week’s no big deal. Right. And for me, it’s, it’s gonna be like, this is hard. 20 miles a is gonna be a stretch. You’re you’re gonna really, you know, consciously. I know I can do it, but I know subconscious my mind isn’t there. The reason why I know that is I can tell, I gain weight. If I run 20 miles a week, I can just literally see weight pack on.

Dave (00:44:44):
And then I know my subconscious mind, doesn’t like, this is not digging this, you know? So I think to lose weight, I think you have to have the power of choice to figure out what works for you. You have to be able to experiment with all kinds of things to say, I have the power of choice. I can choose to do this and I can choose not to do that. And I can see what happens and then I can choose to do this and I can choose to that and I can see what happens. And, and I think it also depends on your goals because if your goals are, I just wanna look good. That’s a different goal than I really want to be healthy. Cause I make a lot of choices like running. Not because I wanna look good, but, but because I wanna have a high VO,2 max and I, I wanna be able a backpack and hike 18 miles in one day and running helped me create that. I’m okay with, on some weight to be able to do that. That’s my goal. If it’s vanity, it’s something different, you know, if it’s autophogy and fasting, that’s a different reason then I just wanna lose weight, you know?

Brad (00:45:43):
And I suppose there’s probably, uh, a different prediction of success due to the nature of your goal. If you just want to lose weight and look good in the bikini versus I wanna be healthy. That sounds a little more fragile because uh, the willpower’s gonna have to keep kicking in since the goal is so superficial, I guess.

Dave (00:46:06):
Yeah. Right. You’re not, you’re not really enjoying the journey of it. You’re just like, I don’t really wanna live this life. I just wanna live that bikini for summer. And so then you’re constantly throwing yourself into the gym and throwing yourself into certain situations because you’re just trying to get the outcome versus well, you know, there was this quote and I’m taking it. So I don’t wanna take credit for it. But this guy says, I mean, like if you love to walk, you’re going to walk farther than if you just wanna walk to the destination. And that’s basically what it is with weight loss and health is that you, you really better like walking or like what you’re doing to get there, cuz you’re going to do more of it than you would if you just want the end game.

Brad (00:46:51):
Wow. So I guess all of us should be aware that whatever path we embark on, we gotta have total buy in from ourselves and in terms of enjoying it and if there’s, and I’ll bet you, if you just went through a gym to all the stair masters and the treadmills and interviewed everyone, you’d probably get a lot of negative comments. Like what are you doing here? Why are you here? Do you like it? Oh no, I, I hate it, but I get to eat more food. You know, you hear all that, uh, chatter all the time. I think maybe with like a, a community running group, they probably all love it. It’s their social centerpiece. And therefore you see CrossFit is another great example where people are just so jazzed to be there every day. Yeah. Yeah. And therefore, maybe it’s not as stressful as, um, as I contend when I see them exercising to extreme, but they absolutely love it. They get off on it. So, um, yeah, maybe that dam in some of the potential risk factors.

Dave (00:47:49):
No, I think it does. And I think it definitely dams those risk factors. I think when people do do some of these activities and they begin to feel tight or they feel their body changing and they, and they like that effect that can be addictive as well and, and change their views. I do see very, very out of shape looking people run faster than me in half marathons and I’m like, whoa, they’re super in shape, but they’re packing on a lot of body weight. And I just think they must be really stressed. Mm-hmm <affirmative> their body is holding weight. And yet they’re in really good shape. They have, you know, maybe 30% body weight or something and for 35 and they’re whi by me and I’m like, wow, you can be in shape and overweight. I mean, those are two different things.

Brad (00:48:31):
Absolutely. You can be fit but not healthy. Right. Um, they had, uh, amazing research from the Capetown, South Africa marathon, where they determined that, um, 30% of the participants were outside the healthy body composition. And so it’s 30% of the marathon runners were classified as overweight, overfat. Yeah. And the world health organization identified that 30% of the global population is overweight, overfat. And so yeah, if you’re on the race course, cheering from the sidelines as the runners run through Cape town, you literally can’t discern between the spectators and the participants in a marathon by body composition. So something is wrong with the approach of these endurance runners. And by en large, it’s such a they’re they’re training in a manner that’s so stressful, even if they might enjoy it and go for that endorphin high over and over. It’s possible to do it in a way that’s not physically healthy, same with extreme pursuits of dietary intervention and restrictive dieting.

Dave (00:49:36):
But other stresses too like pressure to win the race or pressure to meet a certain time or pressure on social media. I mean, there’s more science and there’s more knowledge about these types of things than ever before. We have more physiological understanding than the history of our, of our species. And yet obesity is still higher. There are more diets, more nutrition and more plans. And yet obesity is, has never been higher and there’s, we’re still missing the boat. It’s not diet and exercise. It really isn’t <laugh> there is, there is essentially that

Brad (00:50:09):
Everyone diet and exercise people,

Dave (00:50:10):
No, it’s really not. And, and I mean, it is in a way that’s a, that’s a component, that’s a piece of it. And people say, oh, restrict calories. It’s not restricting calories helps. Yes. But if you restrict calories too much, and if you have the wrong mindset with respect to food stressors and emotional stressors like relationships or work or money or pressure, or, or self-esteem, that’s gonna counter, you know, any kind of calorie deficit that you’re gonna put your body into. And so to me, the obesity epidemic has a lot more to do with stress, environmental stress and emotional stress. Mm-hmm <affirmative> Self-esteem. There’s more, there’s a, there’s a brighter light of comparisons among individuals because of social media than there ever has. And a lot of us have a lot of stress about looking or act in a certain way or being a certain way. And that fuels a lot of physiological changes in our body. And you know, there’s a lot of holistic approaches to weight loss that really focus on the mental aspect and the mindset aspect and the choices to live a healthy lifestyle. And when, and I look at lifestyle as thoughts, emotions, food, activities, relationships, your lifestyle will have a corresponding body.

Brad (00:51:31):
<laugh>,

Dave (00:51:31):
That’s just the way it is. And most of us spend a lot of time trying to have a lifestyle and have a different body. <laugh> right. We’re always doing shortcuts and that’s not gonna work. And, and it goes to all those things, mental, relationships, how we treat people, how we treat ourselves, nutrition, exercise, all those things are lifestyle. And the combination of that cumulative lifestyle will create the body that the corresponding body end of story. And you can’t short circuit that, and Ben Greenfield’s a perfect example. He looks like the results of his lifestyle. He looks a little hard. He does a lot of hard stuff. He looks a little bit like he’s aging a little bit quicker than maybe he should, because he’s doing some really tough stuff he has. And not that I couldn’t change if he does a couple things, but you know, his body corresponds his lifestyle, same thing with you. And same thing with me and everybody else, the cumulative lifestyle, not just health and nutrition or not just fitness and nutrition.

Brad (00:52:37):
Right. Uh, and so in your case, if listeners didn’t catch previous shows where you talked about your incredible weight loss transformation, you’ve referenced it a lot. So I wanna wanna put it out there and, and then ask you, like, what was the, the trigger, uh, that made it all happen for you and sustain it and where, what let’s start at the point where you, whatever one day looked in the mirror and saw, I don’t, I forgot how much you lost. It was a lot and you’ve kept it off a long,

Dave (00:53:05):
Long time. It was like 50 or 60 pounds. Yeah. You know, I didn’t change a lot about my diet. I, I didn’t drink for a long time.

Brad (00:53:15):
Wasn’t a big deal. I just decided one day in my mind, I was going to going to shed 50.

Dave (00:53:21):
Well, I mean, I was injured. I was supposed to have back surgery. I really couldn’t do a lot. I was really overweight. Uh, I had dessert every night though. You know, I didn’t eat, didn’t eat a lot of fried food or fast food. I didn’t drink alcohol at that time. So those were not factors in my weight loss. I ate relatively healthy food. But a lot of it was, was one. I changed my relationship and I changed jobs. I shut my company down and I realized I was really unhappy for a long time. And I really spent a lot of time trying to figure out what happiness was and how to find happiness, internal happiness. So if you need something external to be happy like alcohol or food, or a relationship or an activity, or even an exercise, if you need something external to be happy, then you’re reliant on that external activity or the multiple external activities.

Dave (00:54:20):
And when they’re not available to you, then your happiness is based on circumstance and situations. And so I began to really focus on inner happiness and how to find happiness inside of me without needing something external. And, and the, the biggest thing I learned is that you really can’t find happiness internally. The only thing you can do is begin to remove the things that make you unhappy. And so when you systematically learn and practice, how to remove the things that make you unhappy like self-esteem, or, or comparison, and just self judgment and money and all these other stresses, I began to find happiness through the removal of the things that made me unhappy and that removed cortisol responses. It removed insulin responses, and I didn’t do a lot for my body to begin to find the weight that it should have been at. Now.

Dave (00:55:18):
I was 230 pounds. At that time, I graduated high school at 200 pounds, 205. The heaviest, when I was an athlete in college was 215. So I’m like 230 now. And I’m like, ah, I just wanna get back to like 215. That’d be great. And, you know, I had this back injury, so I really couldn’t do a lot. I started swimming again, which I couldn’t do flip turns cause I had a two flipped disc in my back. I needed to have surgery, began to walk. I began to lift my upper body only. And the rule was don’t do anything hard. The second it gets hard. Stop. The second I got bored at the gym I left and I also had to rule number watching TV. So I would, I’d get home after working out for like 20 minutes. Cause it was hard and I left and I get home.

Dave (00:56:08):
Okay. Now what am I gonna do no, uh, no TV. So I go for a walk, get about 10 minutes out. I’m bored. I’m going back. Okay. 20 minutes. I’m back. I get home. Okay. Now what am I gonna do? Okay. I’ll clean my closet, you know? Okay. Now what am I gonna do? And the next day I’m like, you know, I was so bored after only working on 20 minutes, I’m gonna work out longer. It’s like got 25 minutes, you know, 30 minutes. Okay. I’m bored. And I left. So it was a series of not doing anything tough, but sticking to some basic principles. Like I’m not gonna watch TV. I’m gonna work on inner happiness. So I would read, and I’m not gonna exercise in doing anything tough. And then I eventually canceled the surgery. I didn’t have the surgery. I got to about 185 pounds, um, doing really nothing that crazy, you know, I’d work out, you know, every day, a little bit here at 20 minutes there, 30 minutes there I’d walk with a, you know, a numb leg prepping for surgery. I wasn’t running, I wasn’t ice bathing. I wasn’t fasting. Uh, it was a very slow methodical approach to inner happiness that, that created it for me.

Brad (00:57:17):
<laugh>. And so, in practical terms, if we had to sit and answer to, uh, the, the laboratory researchers, when you did sit down to meal times or snacking, did some of those habits just change automatically, like you weren’t watching TV. So that means you didn’t have a pint of ice cream to, to shovel in while you were watching TV or anything like that, that you identify?

Dave (00:57:42):
You know, well, I meditated a lot too. Um, and you know, meditation for me was very difficult. I would almost throw up with nausea, but I really believed the medical journals that I read about meditation. So I would sit and I would do it and I would fight off the anxiety and I would fight off the difficulty of trying to calm my mind down. And so when I did feel a biological urge eat that you deserve it. Um, I just meditated in the morning that I fought off anxiety and I thought of vomiting.I can fight off a snack right now. Like it gave me that power of choice to say, I’m used to saying no to these things. And I want to say, no, this is my choice. And I don’t need food for happiness. I don’t, if I just eat this snack, I’m literally just going to do it to make myself feel happy. And I don’t really want to find happiness to external things. I wanna find happiness to internal things. So when I began to stop using food as something that created happiness, the game changed, the type of food I ate changed. It changed incredibly

Brad (00:58:54):
Food for nourishment. Yeah. And also to enjoy, you know, a, a nicely cooked meal or a restaurant experience. Yeah. But that’s different than trying to set the record at the buffet, which I think a lot of us are adopting that mindset where we want to go slam the greatest food and you know,

Dave (00:59:16):
Yeah. There’s a very pleasurable response that comes with, oh, I’m so full. You know, there’s a very pleasurable response, physiological physiologically with, with that.We, it, it hits tryptophane and it hit the van and all kinds of other responses that make us feel pleased being full or pleased. And people say, oh, I made the choice to eat all that food. Yeah, you did. But if your goal was not to eat it, then you didn’t <laugh> cause life was, oh, I chose that. Yeah, you did choose it, but you, you really weren’t in control and you really weren’t conscious because if your goal is truly to lose weight or be fit or be healthy or look good in bikini, if that’s your goal and you did something counter to that goal, even if you chose it, you weren’t in control. You can’t intentionally sabotage yourself.

Brad (01:00:04):
Right. And so what happens to those occasions where we’re facing that war between our beliefs, our values are stated goals, the choices to be healthy and the temptation when they wheel the dessert cart over. And you’re all of a sudden, um, having a negotiation in your mind,

Dave (01:00:27):
You’re asking yourself the wrong questions. Number one. And number two, you haven’t developed the practice or the ability to say no to bodily urges.

Brad (01:00:37):
Uhhuh.

Dave (01:00:37):
And that that’s practice. I mean, that just takes practice. And I, and I, again, I equate my experience to learning how to meditate, cuz I literally would get so much anxiety. I would almost vomit because my mind just would not stop. And my mind and my body wanted me to, to go save me and go make a phone call or go pay some bills or go get to work. And I would force myself not to go save myself or what my mind thought was saving myself. And that created a lot of, you know, urges that I learned to, to hold at bay. And so that practice developed into the practice of saying no to bodily urges. And now as an athlete, you know, this, your body urges, you often to say, stop running. I’m tired. Your body often says you can’t go any further.

Dave (01:01:26):
And you might say, no, I kind of can’t says, well, you’re you didn’t sleep that well last night. Yeah. I know. But I’ve ran this hard when I haven’t lept that much before, but you didn’t have big breakfast. Yeah. But I’ve ran this hard, not sleeping that well in the past and not having a big breakfast. Yeah. But you need to get somewhere by five. Okay. You’re right. Maybe I have to stop, you know, your mind begins to trip you up. You see what I’m saying, but you don’t have to listen to any of those voices. And that’s what makes great athletes great is they don’t respond to those urges. They don’t respond to that debate. They just turn that debate off and they focus on what they want to do and what they wanna achieve.

Brad (01:02:03):
Yeah. That really strikes me as my experience with my morning exercise routine, which I’m enthusiastically talking about all the time and just launch the online course. But it is transcended from something that I, um, judge as a hassle or too difficult or making me a superstar, you know, positively judging it or negatively. Yeah. And now I just do it. And so I don’t need to pat myself on the back, or, or do anything theatrical to celebrate nor do I need to have this conversation in my mind. Like, oh, I don’t feel like it today. Cuz my legs are stiff and sore. And it it’s really been a amazing experience for me to reach this other level where it’s in the same category as brushing one’s teeth. So usually we don’t need to summon, uh, motivation or willpower to, to hit the teeth. Even if we’re staggering in, at, at two in the morning, exhausted from whatever jet lag or a night out, we’re still gonna do it without complaining about it without judging it to be a hassle is what I’m, what I’m trying to get at. And when you, when you can get to that point, then you’re just, you know, it it’s, it’s truly, it’s

Dave (01:03:14):
Easy.

Brad (01:03:15):
Yeah. And I think people don’t understand, like they they’ll ask you, you’re kidding, Dave, you never have a bowl of ice cream, don’t you miss it? Or, or whatever. And may, maybe you do once in a while when you’re in a different mood or celebratory state. But I, I, I feel like it’s, um, it’s been positioned as a sacrifice to be a healthy person when an actual healthy person or a runner who runs a lot of miles and runs by your house every day. Um, they, they love it. It’s no sacrifice.

Dave (01:03:47):
Well, I think you said two things there. One, I think morning regiments are really powerful and really important because the body muses the soul, the body muses, the spirit, the body begins to tell us, we train our body to make it easier for the mind or the spirit to give us our power. So that’s like I run one mile and it’s tough. Okay. And the next, my next time I run, I run on my 1.2 miles. Okay. And the next time I run 1.3, I’m beginning to train the body. I’m beginning to use the body as a muse to give, use the word confidence to give the spirit more confidence or more power to say, you can do more. You can do more. Look, you did more yesterday. You did more the day before. Look where you’ve come from. Instead of look where you haven’t gone start saying, look where you’ve come from.

Dave (01:04:39):
It’s called V Nissan calls a back gapping versus forward gapping. Right? Look where I started. I start with one mile. Now I’m at two. I can do better. So those morning regimens are so powerful in training the body as a muse to give the spirit and all these mental things. I’m talking about the confidence and the power to make more choices. For me was meditation. I just did it. I just slugged it out. And then I said, Hey, I could do that. I could do this. Okay. So those body things are really important, but they really need to be used to transcend the body. Now, the other thing you said is about Le you kind of said living an ascetic life. Do I eat ice cream once in a while? Yeah. Sometimes I do. You know, there is still physiology. I mean, I am still human.

Dave (01:05:29):
Um, I tend to have more and more power. Like my kids bought ice cream from Crumble Cookie. If you’re familiar with crumble and there’s like the crumble cookie ice cream, and you look at the label and it’s like, I can’t pronounce any of these ingredients. So I really don’t want that. But Hey, here is some Breyers, milk, sugar, you know? Okay. I can probably have a couple tastes bites of this. It’s like I have that power in those moments to, to really dictate and have no, I, I can leave that ice cream forever and never eat this type of chemicals in it. It’s like, and I’m not deprived. I don’t feel deprived. There’s no part of my life do I feel I’m deprived. And the people who, who live with me would never say I live in a acidic life because I don’t eat ice cream that much anymore.

Dave (01:06:11):
And once in a while I do, I’m still human. I will still get a dopamine in serotonin rush from having some ice cream and sometimes my body needs it and that’s okay. Serotonin’s important to sleep sometimes I need it and that’s okay. And I don’t feel guilty about it. I don’t, I don’t have to have these rules, you know, but I do wanna build my power to make choices. And I wanna use that power for more than just what I eat and what I do with my time, but what I say and how I behave and how I treat people and how I treat myself that power can transcend food and nutrition and exercise.

Brad (01:06:48):
Yeah, I guess when you’re mindful and you know, that you’re kicking into an indulgent answering to your bodily urges, it makes it that much more special. And so you really can have celebratory experience and you’ve chosen the very best ice cream and you’ve driven across town. And I I’ve set this example where, you know, there’s one thing to have on your shopping list, some shit food that you become habituated to <laugh> because it gives you an instant dopamine rush or, you know, drive across town when someone’s visiting. And you’re gonna show them the homemade ice cream shop that, uh, has a line around the corner on a hot summer evening. And you, you go and you look at all the flavors and everything’s handmade and, and it’s the very best in the category, which is not a nutritious category, but, that’s a huge difference

Dave (01:07:37):
Made with care. Yeah.

Brad (01:07:38):
Yeah. I think you’re slave to, um, the, the, the consumerism and the manipulation, uh, Dr. Robert Lustig calls it the Hacking of the American Mind in his best selling book. And it was a fantastic expose on how, you know, the gambling industry, the video gamers, the pornography, the, the peddlers of sugar and alcohol and prescription drugs, street drugs, you know, they’re preying upon our weaknesses rather than us being in control. And, uh, you know, deciding that you’re going to succumb to a certain biological urge because you’re gonna enjoy yourself, uh, sure. As heck.

Dave (01:08:14):
Yeah. I know people manipulate the body in all sorts of ways to do what they want it to do. I mean, certainly the food industry manipulates our mind to think that we need these things, certainly advertisements sells lifestyle that we want, and we want to have, and, and it’s taken away our ability to make choices. I mean, I have to be honest with you. One of the primary reasons why I jump in a cold tub is, is not how long I go in. Sometimes it is, but initially it’s because I tell myself that I can. I strengthen my eye, choose muscle because every time I open the, the tub of ice and I like the most ice, I can find in there to make it as tough of a mountain to climb as possible. And I go, I’m gonna get in there cuz I can.

Dave (01:09:00):
My body’s like, you know, what’s gonna hurt. And they go, that’s okay. Just getting in is the spiritual response it’s having control over my urges. Same thing with fasting. That a lot of reason why fast is to say, I wanna be able to choose how to eat. Now, when you build up that power, you are, you aren’t telling food to take a back seat. You are telling food that I have control over it. Now I can say no to it. And you are beginning to say, I don’t need food for pleasure. And I can restrict food and feel a little bit of pain. And when you have that power, I’m at a party and there’s nothing but gluten and I’m, I’m not allergic. I’m a little intolerant. Gluten’s very synthetic. It’s very GMO. It’s not good for you. It crosses the brain blood barrier because it’s so synthetic with, with its GMO properties. Wheat Valley is a great book. It talks about this, but when I see everything Malu, I can go, I fasted this long before. Happy not to eat. When people say, oh, we didn’t realize that you, you don’t need this food. I don’t care. Don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about me. I’m cool. I’m I see later, like I,

Brad (01:10:10):
Sorry.

Dave (01:10:10):
Yeah. I never need anyone to make a special meal for me because if there isn’t something there that I, I just write it out and say, and I have that power where food doesn’t provide happiness for me anymore. It’s not a happiness drug. It’s just something that I’ve, I’ve been able to learn how to control. And again, meditation has giving me the ability to say no to those bodily urges.

Brad (01:10:37):
That is an awesome summation right there. The food no longer has the power. That’s how you lose 50 pounds and keep it off. Dave Rossi killing it. <laugh> as usual. Tell us about the Imperative Habit, the wonderful book that has a lot of guidance for the things you’ve talked about, but putting it into a focused program.

Dave (01:10:55):
Well, yeah, so the book I wrote quickly was I read lots of books to learn these things. So I didn’t invent these things. I learned them, I read them. But what I learned is the books that I read, you needed to read a lot of them to aggregate, uh, not only the knowledge, but a path or a practice. And so I wrote the, my book sent you to give people the aggregate of what people need to do or should try to do, or try to practice, to learn how to make happiness, something internal and not something external. And what are those seven particular habits, things to practice, to convert, to habit that you say to yourself every day, you know, don’t fear, the outcome, accept things are what they don’t judge respond with love and compassion. I mean, these habits that you tell yourself in any situation, when you feel down or you have low self esteem and say, ah, habit one, don’t fear the outcome, oh, habit seven, have faith, oh, have habit five, you know, believe in happiness. And so pulling them out when I feel down or when something happens to me, I wrote the book to give people that same roadmap, to find internal happiness and give them more power, not to be as slave to external happiness,

Brad (01:12:09):
Remove the stuff that doesn’t make you happy and underneath you will find our natural happiness. I love it. Dave Rossi. Thank you so much. Yeah. People go get the book on Amazon. It’s a, it’s a easy read. It’s life changing. Not that much to ask. You’re gonna absolutely love. It’s called The Imperative Habit by Dave Rossi.

Dave (01:12:28):
Right. Great to see you. Thank you. I hope I answered your questions related to that podcast, which was wonderful by the way. And I would advise anyone to watch it. Um, so hopefully I gave you my spin.

Brad (01:12:37):
Fantastic. Love it. The new angle. Thanks for listening everybody. Da thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast@Bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list at bradkearns.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 list. 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. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called Overcast allows you to actually record a sound bite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember B.rad.

 

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