How To Make Exercise A Lasting and Enjoyable Habit

(Breather) We’ve all heard enough excuses about how quarantine puts off fitness and puts on pounds. Enough already!

An active, fit lifestyle can happen anywhere, anytime, but it’s all about forming winning habits. In this show, you’ll gain inspiration about mindset, beliefs, and behaviors from some great former B.rad podcast guests like John Assaraf and Mark Manson. Some helpful practical tips to stay focused and motivated come from a medium.com article by Stacy Kam, and I cover those with some juicy color commentary. 

Here are some quick takeaways from the show about getting a successful exercise habit going:

1. John Assaraf urges us to pursue bite-sized, reasonable, and easily sustainable goals. As you gain momentum from doing simple stuff, you can leverage that success to increase your commitment. Do not ambitiously bite off more than you can handle and set yourself up for failure. 

2. Mark Manson says we routinely do this because we don’t appreciate how to get our rational thinking brain connected with our emotional, feeling brain. 

3. Finally, from the Stacy Kam list and perhaps my most favorite motivator of all time – get yourself a dog and give the animal the life it deserves! Getting the dog out is mandatory and transcends the fickle forces of your motivation and judgement of the weather. 

Don’t forget about the importance of making sure you have a Plan B in place, because you never know what will happen that could throw you off your pre-planned schedule. There are also some great apps, like All Trails, that can help you stay on track by keeping your workouts fun and interesting!

TIMESTAMPS:

Here’s how to form a powerful and sustainable habit of exercise and fitness. [01:27]

We have two brains: the feeling brain and the thinking brain. [02:11]

We are often dealing with childhood programming that locks us in to repeated patterns. [04:20]

This process is not easy. You need to learn to connect the two parts of your brain. [07:29]

Do you have a schedule that works for you? [11:58]

You want to do something that is simple, repeatable, and doable. And don’t judge the effort. [14:12]

Have a Plan B. Don’t worry about the weather. [17:08]

It’s good to get a training partner or group. Track your data but be careful doing so. [19:17]

Learn the proper technique for running. [23:02]

Vary your routes when exercising outdoors. Destination bike rides are fun. [24:29]

Combine the new habit you want to have with an already existing habit. [27:21]

Make bite-size goals so as not to take on too much and set yourself up for failure. [30:22]

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 23s): Hey, who’s getting tired of people, giving excuses about why they fell off their exercise momentum due to restrictions quarantines. I am because there’s no excuses and here’s how to form a powerful, sustainable habit of exercise and fitness. I read an interesting article on medium.com. And so I’m going to honor that and go through some of the comments written by Stacy Kam. But I also have some stuff to say out of the gate, honoring some of the great podcast interviews and people giving you tips about personal growth, peak performance. Brad (2m 4s): John Assaraf was one of them. And I love his insight that you have to set goals that are really doable and reasonable. Something that you can shake your head at and go, of course I can do that. That sounds so easy. And then when you have these little successes, you leverage these successes from the baby steps you take, instead of which we usually find happening is setting these wonderful, awesome, daunting goals. That sounds so good on paper, but in real life, you can’t seem to align with it. Then you get discouraged, then you fall off and there goes the rinse and repeat pattern. Bummer. Here’s what’s happening here. Remember my show with Mark Manson and my wrap-up show of his insights from his two books. Brad (2m 48s): I think that’s maybe where I got into this more, but he talks about how we have two brains, the thinking brain and the feeling brain. So the thinking brain, the executive function, making this elaborate goal, writing it down. I’m going to go to the gym three times a week. I’m going to do two of these classes and then work out with the trainer the other day. I’m not going to eat dessert anymore. I’m sick of it and you write it down and it really feels good to your thinking brain, but you need to get buy-in from your feeling brain, from your emotional brain, the emotional feeling brain actually rules over our thinking brain. But guess what? Re pretend that it doesn’t in our thinking brain. Are you with me here? This is Mark Manson insight. Brad (3m 29s): It’s brilliant. So how do we get emotional buy-in because after all only emotion motivates us to take action. So getting that buy-in is key. And here’s the solution. You have to connect your thinking brain with your feeling brain. When you’re pondering logical life decisions, you want to ask your feeling brain to weigh in. Weigh in on all logical decisions by asking yourself how you feel about it, and then assess the answer without judgment. Then you need to convince your feeling brain that it’s going to benefit. This is where we have to engage in those visualization exercises, doing the mind movie, the vision board, how will it feel to be behind the wheel of that new car or to have the body of your dreams? Brad (4m 17s): Oh my gosh, it’s going to feel great. I’m getting so emotionally excited about it. Now I can get buy in to what my logical brain wrote down on this piece of paper, about going to the gym three times a week, no matter what, or setting the alarm or whatever’s on there, that your emotional brain is not quite buying into yet. And you know why this happens often is that our feeling brain deep down, deep down Bette Midler said, deep down feels like we don’t deserve this success due to flawed childhood programming from ages zero to seven. Remember, we’ve heard that in a few shows, especially the insights from Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book, the Biology of Belief, and so many other people trumping hitting this high point. Brad (4m 60s): Now as a common theme that we’re walking around a lot of times operating, operating from the subconscious and playing out our flawed childhood programming over and over again. Listen to my most recent show with Dr. Wendy Walsh, how that plays out in relationship dynamics, where we’re repeating the patterns that we learned in childhood, because we’re trying to solve the problem this time around. That’s why a high propensity, for example, children of alcoholics tend to engage in relationships with alcoholics. It’s a high pattern there because you’re drawn to this because you recognize the familiar pattern and you want to solve it this time. So we want to break free from being controlled by flawed childhood programming and these undeserving feelings that we reinforce every time we fail with a diet and exercise plan. Brad (5m 48s): And instead, get that emotion stirred up the excitement and the emotional payoff of life change and going after these goals and achieving them, Mark Manson again, quote, our self worth is the sum of our emotions over time. If we can’t equalize, then we accept inferiority shame and low self-worth. But he argues for eight persuasively. That self worth is an illusion. It’s a form of persistent low level narcissism because you imagine yourself as something special and something, something separate from the world, right? Whether you have low self-worth or irrationally high self-worth, it’s the same thing. Brad (6m 31s): So your identity such as, I’m not great about adhering to an exercise program. I’m not really a morning person. This identity will stay your identity until any event changes it. And there’s two ways to get out of this trap. First, we examine the narratives of our lives and reposition them. That’s where we’re talking about the, the, the mind movie, the vision board, the visualizations, the manifesting, the repeating, the turnaround statements that we talk about in the book. Two Meals a Day. That’s a Jack Canfield technique where if you identify some flawed programming and some things that aren’t working right for you, some flawed and damaging self-limiting beliefs, you create a turnaround statement. Brad (7m 13s): Like I am open to being a more dedicated fitness enthusiast, and you say them over and over. I think he wants you to say a few times a day for a couple minutes, for a month straight. And then you start to embrace this new possibility. So examining the narratives of your lives and repositioning them, and second visualizing the future that you want for yourself and making that your new identity, you’re going to be the gym rat the person that shows up regularly and enjoys it and feels great. So you let the feeling brain try on this new identity and then that’s how you become accustomed to it. Now, is this going to be easy? Brad (7m 54s): No, it actually should be a difficult exercise because it means you’re getting to the heart of things and that you’re actually going to transform into that fitness freak. Who’s always at the gym in the front row on time, enjoying the exercise, smiling the whole way through. I’m giving the example of struggling to adhere to a fitness program. Right. But if you can’t relate to that, like I can’t relate to that to just struggling, to adhere to an exercise program because it’s been part of my life since I was seven years old. And I saw the 1972 Olympics in Munich and was captivated by the athletes. And I started training for, for Montreal, I guess 76, maybe I was a little young, but I went out in my backyard after elementary school and I’d practice my favorite events, including building my own high jump facility and bringing the beanbags out there. Brad (8m 45s): So that was, you know, dating back quite a long time. That’s almost 50 years where exercise has been an automatic, right. But if I can’t relate to that example, you can, in whatever blank you want, I can identify with flawed values relating to money and financial responsibility. So here’s my thinking brain. Guess what? I studied accounting in college. That was my minor. So I’m pretty good about where to put things on the balance sheet, budgeting, planning, all of these concepts are very familiar to me, but I did not get, or I have not at times got buy-in from my feeling brain. Therefore, what happens if you don’t get buy-in from your feeling emotional brain and you have money in your pocket, it burns a hole through your pocket, right? Brad (9m 31s): Can anyone relate to that? If you can’t relate to the exercise example? Yeah. Irresponsible spending, not saving or investing wisely, engaging in panic behavior. For example, people who blow out of the market when there’s a dip, because they get panicked, anxious, nervous. John Assaraf admitted to that himself. He says in his story where, you know, he’s had the, a one in lost fortunes twice. He goes, I realized that I was really good at making money. Just not very good at saving or investing. So these blocks occur in whatever example you can conjure up. And this is how we’re going to break through that and connect the thinking brain and the feeling brain. Brad (10m 12s): Okay. So we want to devise an awesome plan with our thinking brain that will make for a great long-term lifestyle, providing both short-term gratification, instant gratification, right, for that emotional brain and long-term satisfaction. For example, my precious morning routine that I’m so excited about and talk about so frequently. Go look on YouTube, Brad Kearns morning routine. I’ve been doing it every day without fail for four years straight. It needs me feeling great right away. Right. I feel more fluid and flexible and energized. I’m, it’s kind of the wake-up call, especially when I do the yoga wheel move in the middle of the morning routine, a very difficult move. Brad (10m 54s): And when I pull down from that sort of an inverted pose, my brain is filled with oxygen and blood circulation. And if I was feeling a little groggy before that, I’m doing good. As I continue through the sequences, that mean so much to me and helped me so much with my fitness goals and elevating the fitness platform from which I launched all formal workouts. So the morning routine is locked in there. I feel good right away. And I also feel good about the long-term commitment to it. So I have total buy-in from my feeling brain to this program that my thinking brain thinks is such a great idea. So, because it feels great and I’ve built some momentum. Brad (11m 34s): Now, I feel deserving to wake up every morning and take this personal time for myself, do something for myself, that’s enjoyable and it feels super easy and doable. So that means that I’m not going to fail and let down my feeling brain and feeling like a dork. I bring it on every single day without any hesitation or necessity to apply a willpower or things like that. So that’s kind of the setup that I’m inspired by Mark Manson, John Assaraf and putting these insights together to connect that thinking and feeling brain. Then some more practical tips from Stacy Kam’s article on medium.com. And of course my color commentary, the first one she mentioned is don’t break the chain, the Jerry Seinfeld strategy. Brad (12m 20s): And that flows nicely into my comments about my morning routine. So Seinfeld’s now world famous strategy is to have a simple calendar and write an X on a day when he was able to sit down and write jokes. And he’s got a book out now he’s famous for his work ethic, his long career in Hollywood. And it was driven by pure, raw hard work where he just put in the hours put in the time. I love his standard advice for any standup comic who comes and ask them, Oh, should I get my social media on point and do some cross promoting and blah, blah, blah. And Seinfeld says the first and foremost thing that you should do is work on your act and then let let everything else kind of flow, right? Brad (13m 5s): All the opportunities will flow to you if you continue to work on your act. So Seinfeld has this strategy of writing an X on the calendar on the day that he was able to sit down and write jokes. Now, if you start to accumulate a 27 X’s in a row or whatever it is now, you are enrolled in this streak. So it starts to take on some meaning that you don’t want to break the chain. And I can definitely relate to this with my morning routine because I’m not a, a streaky regimented guy. I kind of, you know, answer to my own calling every single day in, in work and in personal life and a flexibility with my schedule. And so I never really had something to anchor my day until I started this morning routine four years ago. Brad (13m 51s): Now, here’s the thing. If it’s overwhelming and you try to take on too much and put that X on there, every time you run more than 10 miles, you’re not going to have a, a streak because it’s just unsustainable. I was riding on the ski lift yesterday with the gentleman who was talking about when COVID started, Oh, his fitness routine took off. It was fantastic because now he had free time and he went and shot baskets every single day at the park and jogged over there. And then at home, he did a, a sequence of stretching, moves, followed by a a hundred pushups or whatever his thing was. And it went and went and went. And then when he fell off a little bit at some point, right? Brad (14m 32s): Cause that was a lot of time and energy. Then he just completely lost interest in keeping this streak alive. So John Assaraf emphasizing that point too, that you want to do something that’s doable and sustainable so that you can accumulate a streak. And it doesn’t feel like too much trouble. In my case, if you go on YouTube and like I asked and type in Brad Kearns morning routine, you will actually see two videos pop up. One of them published in 2017 and that was my initial original morning exercise mobility routine. And then you see the fun and games have published in late 2020, where you have the fast motion where I go through everything in about 45 seconds. And then I explain it over the ensuing minutes of the video, but that initial routine was much, much easier. Brad (15m 17s): It took much less time, but that’s what got me started out of the gate. And then over time as I started to enjoy the experience and realize the benefits, what I would do was I would very carefully add a new exercise, something more difficult, more reps, whatever it was. And then I’d established that as the template. And I do the exact same thing every day, going forward, maybe it’s two months down the road and here I go, adding a new exercise may be subtracting something that I don’t feel like doing anymore. And that’s the way it flows. So again, to keep that habit in place and make it as easy as possible, we want that thing to be repeatable every single day. So you don’t have to think about it. Brad (15m 57s): You don’t have to apply any creative energy. You just wake up, hit the deck and start in with it. And don’t judge the effort. You just do it no matter what, even if you’re not in the mood. Okay. Okay. Another cool tip from the article only listen to that audio book or podcast while you’re running. So it’s a special privilege and you can’t indulge in your digital entertainment unless you’re out there exercising or only allow yourself to watch The Bachelor while running on the treadmill. For example, want to know how that book ended, go out on the run and find out cool. Next tip: get a dog. Oh my gosh, this is the most precious and wonderful tip I can imagine is answering to something bigger than yourself and the variations of your moods and your motivation. Brad (16m 48s): So this is the essence of being an accountable and reliable member of society, right? People at work can count on you, people in your family. And when you decide to own an animal, you owe that animal, the lifestyle that it deserves. And so dogs need to get out into the open space, fresh air, do their business, get their exercise. And, Oh my gosh, for my entire adult life dating back to my training days, the dog was the single greatest source of motivation imaginable. It was beyond motivation. It was just automatic. The dog’s eyes are looking at you like, Hey, is it time for our morning run? Yet? Of course it is. Let me put off everything else. Cause how can I turn it down? So get that dog and give it the life it deserves. Brad (17m 32s): Here’s the next tip called, have a plan B. So if it’s too hot outside or it’s raining, get that gym membership. So you can go in and use their treadmill. And that’s great. We want to see people with a plan B at home when we’re on quarantine and the gyms closed, otherwise they get thrown off. So yeah, definitely a sensible advice. But I also have a little input here on, on the plan B concept and that is to quit whining and worrying about perfect conditions. So these excuses that your gym closed down for quarantine, or it’s too crowded, or the weather is too hot or too cold, that stuff needs to go in the garbage can. Brad (18m 14s): I mean, think about the example of the dog. My dog never complains whether it’s raining, snowing, dark, if she’s lying on her favorite bed and comfortable blanket by the fire on a warm, cozy evening, Oh, call her name. She is at the door in two seconds, ready for another exercise. So we need to kind of toughen up sometimes when we’re looking and seeking those perfect conditions. And I’m sorry to come on. So harsh here, but I see that. So commonly with athletes where, you know, we’re holding our finger up and seeing if the wind’s going to hit it too hard in order to cancel our workout. So get out there and accept any weather conditions that you face realizing that the ability to experience weather is a gift. Brad (18m 57s): And there’s a lot of people let’s say stuck in a hospital bed where it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit all the time and the weather’s perfect, no complaints. Boy, wouldn’t you like to get out there and feel what it’s like to be in a snow storm or in the oppressive heat of summer, or what have you so enough about the weather and perfect conditions. Next tip is the group energy wonderful, you know, getting together with a training partner, joining a group training exercise program, or a group class at the gym, right? I mean, it’s a lot to ask to be self motivated all the time. And I remember back in my triathlon training days, I did a lot of training alone, usually because I wanted to get the exact workout experience. Brad (19m 44s): You know, again, this is at the professional level, you’re not doing it for social or for entertainment. So I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish and training each day. And I didn’t want to deviate from that. And I also wanted to create the most efficient and comfortable schedule that was convenient for me not having to drive too far, whatever enabled me to get more, more rest and better recovery. So that’s great if you’re totally dialed in, and you’re a professional competitor training for the Olympics and your coach emails, you, here’s what you’re going to do. You go out there and execute, but for most people, boy, it’s so much easier and so much more fun when you can share the experience and not have to worry about conjuring up your own personal source of motivation every single time. Brad (20m 29s): So I loved when I would engage with other athletes and I would definitely make a point of doing that when it was some really serious stuff like, you know, going for an all-day bike ride, much more fun to do that in a group rather than by yourself. But I’ll never forget one time when I was visiting Boulder, Colorado to spend a week training with Kenny Souza, the greatest athlete of all time. And he was on top and on fire at that point in his career. And he was just a training machine every single day, getting out there and going for hours and hours. And one day we were talking about doing a long bike ride and just, you know, hanging around in the morning, putz around getting ready. Brad (21m 9s): And I remember ducking into the bathroom and he said, all right, catch you later. I’m like, wait a sec. You know, do you mind waiting for me? I came out here to train with you. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t, I’m not familiar with the area. And he goes, Oh sure, no problem. But you know, a five-hour bike ride to him was such a routine event that he could take it or leave it as, as in terms of waiting for me to be a training partner alongside him. And it was pretty memorable exchange there because that’s, you know, the highest level of focus and motivation where you’re, you’re not, you’re not even worried about who’s coming with you or who’s not coming with you, but again, the group energy, such a wonderful part of the fitness experience and pretty obvious. Brad (21m 51s): So if you are struggling or a little bit losing your focus, whatever the conditions are set up a, a partner or a group, okay. Track your data is the next suggestion quote in the article. Some runners do great when just running by feel personally, I’m obsessed with data, looking at numbers and seeing my heart rate, decrease my pace, getting quicker, gives me the motivation to get out there and keep improving my numbers. It’s a numbers game for all those left side brainers out there. Okay. Point taken and certainly tracking and logging can be a nice source of motivation and accountability. I also have seen in my many years coaching athletes and being immersed into these extreme endurance sports where you’re talking about a population of type a people that this stuff can kind of also get in your way of complete appreciation of experience and also making the best training decisions. Brad (22m 45s): So you become a slave to your training log or all the data that you can quantify, and that can kind of push you in the wrong direction when sometimes you need a rest and recovery, but you’re going to override that due to this obsession with technology and data tracking. So be careful using tracking and data as a motivator. And ideally your greatest source of motivation is going to be the pure joy of the experience. And when you’re out there physically performing some of that joy and appreciation comes from the connection of the mind and body. So you’re focusing on your breathing. You’re focusing on your technique. Brad (23m 26s): I have that wonderful viral video on YouTube, Brad Kearns, running technique instruction, where I’m talking about the importance of refining good technique, even in a sport, as simple as running. There’s so much difference between losing energy and being inefficient as opposed to executing the proper stride every time, even when you’re just there jogging. So there’s always something to think about and concentrate on in terms of technique, in terms of monitoring your exertion level or your perceived exertion level. So shutting that off by listening to music, listening to a podcast that can be one step away from that complete appreciation of the experience that said, I often use my exercise time to listen to podcasts or audio books or music, or make a phone call. Brad (24m 16s): And that’s just a personal choice and there’s only so many hours in the day, but it could conceivably be disconnecting you from that complete appreciation of the mind body experience of exercise. So I’m going to advocate for at least once in a while, just going out there and listening to the sound of your breath and focusing on your technique and having that be part of your overall workout experience. Not that you have to do that every single time. Okay. Here’s another tip from the list. Plan out a new route for your exercise, keep it fun and interesting by exploring a new part of town every day, exploring the unknown is exciting enough to get you out of bed and do the workout. Oh, I love this one. Brad (24m 56s): And, Oh my gosh. My favorite experience as a triathlete when I was putting a lot of time in on the bike was to plot out a point to point long distance destination, bike ride, and then just get a ride from wherever I finished that. And it was so much easier to go out there and pedal 100 miles point to point than to consider a loop and end up back home. It was just more exciting and you’re just progressing the whole way, right? You know, you’re at mile 40 or mile 70 and some of our favorite ones. Once we rode, we tried to ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, which is 200 hundred and 80 miles through the Mojave desert. We chose one of the hottest days the year in late July and went for it. Brad (25m 38s): And we kind of bombed out at the 200 mile mark in the middle of the Mojave desert in the town of Baker. And that’s when we jumped into the motor home and cruised into the buffet lines at Vegas, allowing the, the motor home, our support crew to take us the last 80 miles. But it was a great experience to, to be able to ride that far. I also rode to Santa Barbara and back to Los Angeles with Johnny G, that was a 200 mile bike ride and done a ton of rides up in the 150, 1160, 170 mile range. I used to ride from UC Santa Barbara when I was a college student and just getting into triathlon and I’d ride home routinely. And that was between 105 and 120 miles. Brad (26m 19s): One time I rode down to Newport Beach, 150 miles. Another time I rode from, from Los Angeles down to San Diego, 170 miles. Look, I can recite all these by memory and I know great exact memories and specific details of these rides so many years ago, because there was so much fun. So destination bike rides, fun stuff, as long as it’s safe, right? When you’re these days, riding into a new territory can be a little tricky dealing with cars and mobile devices, things that I didn’t have back in my day. Yeah. But if you’re going for a hike or a run or out there exploring nature, get that fantastic app called All Trails. You can get a free version, but you’re going to love it so much that you’re going to subscribe for. Brad (27m 2s): I think it was 60 bucks for two years and they will show you the available trails in your area, wherever you are on the globe and all kinds of different options and measurements and comments from other users. So we’re having a lot of fun exploring all the hiking trails of Lake Tahoe and doing fun, new, interesting things, super motivating. Okay, next tip is make it a combined habit. And there’s a lot of great research on this, where if you have a habit in place such as you get up every day and drive your car over to Starbucks, to get a coffee before beginning work in your new home-based quarantine job. Okay. So if you are locked into that habit, all you have to do is pair something that you want to make into a habit with the existing habit, and you’ll have a much better chance of success. Brad (27m 52s): So let’s say that you do a workout first before you allow yourself to kick into the usual habit of going to Starbucks. Love that one. Another tip is to sign up for a competitive event and have a goal out there in the future. This is a great tip for anybody because I’m so strong on the idea that you need something to charge you up every single day and a distinct peak performance goal is a wonderful thing, even if you’re not a competitive type. So for a lot of people signing up for a race, you just want to finish. That’s great. The competitive types might want to improve their time from the previous year and pinpoint a new race and all that’s great. I’ve told you about my sprinting and high jumping goals. Brad (28m 34s): So I’m totally focused and really interested in improving my personal best. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in an organized competition, so I’m not inclined to get on an airplane and fly across the country and rent a hotel room. So I can go participate in an official meet and get an official high jump height because I bought my own standards and I can carry those over to the track. Anytime I want put the bar up and pretend that it’s the Olympics. And for me, the meaning attached to my own personal peak performance is such that if I clear that high jump bar in the empty high school stadium, I will scream and celebrate like it’s the Olympic finals with 75,000 people in the stands. Brad (29m 16s): It doesn’t matter. It’s all the context, but that context is that you have something that’s really driving you and you’re really focused on, and it means a lot to you and you’re excited about it. And so the organized events that’s great, but even when we don’t have that opportunity, such as in quarantine, when all the events were canceled, I was so inspired to see the dynamic duo, the brothers, Dr. Steven and Eric Kobrine, and getting out there and performing the virtual Boston marathon. And they did it on the same day, different parts of California, hundreds of miles apart. But everyone was, you know, in enrolled in this. They were getting the text message updates and they put it out there and ran the 26 miles. Brad (29m 59s): In Eric’s case, he had some kind of a glitch with his GPS watch. And so we had to run like four or five extra miles in 95 degree heat after finishing the Boston marathon. He went out there and trudged through what he knew was extra distance. So he could get the credit along with the rest of the virtual community. Oh my goodness. But that’s kind of cool to have a, an actual event. Even if it’s a virtual event, it can still mean a lot to you. And boy, those are a lot of great tips and concepts to think about to noodle on maybe pick and choose things that you think will appeal and will work the best for you. and But really let’s circle back to the very start when I talk about that bite-sized goal, because I think that’s an incredibly powerful insight and so important to not overwhelm yourself, not try to take on too much, not set yourself up for failure. Brad (30m 52s): So let’s say a tiny little goal of something that you want to improve. Maybe get out there and hit the deck. Like I recommend for the first five minutes of your day, or, you know, the yoga sun salute sequence of exercises. You can go on YouTube and search for a basic sun salute yoga sequence. And just to say that you’ll do those every single morning when you wake up, like probably over a billion people in the world do in the East, they do their Tai Chi sequences. As soon as they wake up. I remember when I was visiting Beijing for a triathlon years ago, I went out for a morning, jog out of my hotel and everywhere you look on the, on the sidewalk or on the steps or in the park, there’s people going through their Tai Chi sequences. Brad (31m 33s): And it was so beautiful and graceful and think about that’s how they start their day, every single day. Do something like that yourself. And if you only have five minutes to devote, cause I know a lot of people do have those hectic mornings. At least you can start something that’s doable and sustainable and build your momentum from there. Thank you for listening. Go out there and form some great habits. 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 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. Brad (32m 24s): 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 awesome. It helps raise the profile of the be read 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 soundbite 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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Dr. Marc Bubbs: “Peak 40” To Age Gracefully, Priority Management Instead Of Time Management, Making Fewer Decisions For Better Results, And Maybe Eating Breakfast For Insulin Sensitivity

Today’s show is fast-moving and informative as I talk to Dr. Marc Bubbs, a Canadian expert in all things related to peak performance. 

A doctor in naturopathic medicine, as well as a long-time trainer and coach, Dr. Marc is also deeply interested in scientific research, and this knowledge is woven into each fascinating insight he shares during this show. His new book, Peak 40, is all about simplifying nutrition in mid-life with a holistic lens on recovery, exercise, and mindset, and shows us how we can skillfully negotiate the challenges of mid-life. 

Dr. Marc explains why it’s more optimal for certain people to eat breakfast, the importance of reducing “decision fatigue” and setting up winning systems in your life, and shares a crazy statistic that 40% of our food is eaten after 6pm. He also talks about how the impetus for writing his book was his realization of how easily things can “start to unravel in the hurricane of mid-life,” which prompted him to ask himself: “How can we adopt some strategies to help us keep things on track, and not have to calculate our macros and weigh our food every day?” 

He also uses some great analogies throughout the show, at one point comparing protein to a brick wall to illustrate how the more active you are, the more bricks you’re pulling out of the wall. This means you’ve got to put the bricks back in (which happens by eating more protein). You’ll also learn what food is “Nature’s multivitamin” (and why) and the effectiveness of focusing on “priority management” instead of time management as Dr. Marc reveals that the time of day actually has a real effect on your decision making!

You’ll also learn all about Dr. Marc’s book, and how there is a new revolution happening in sports as more and more athletes are basing their success on this game-changing combination: health, nutrition, training, recovery, and mindset. Unfortunately, the evidence-based techniques that the expert PhDs, academic institutions, and professional performance staff follow can be in stark contrast to what many athletes actually practice. When combined with the noise of social media, old-school traditions, and bro-science, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Peak is a groundbreaking book exploring the fundamentals of high performance (not the fads), the importance of consistency (not extreme effort), and the value of patience (not rapid transformation). Dr. Marc makes deep science easy to understand, and with information from leading experts who are influencing the top performers in sports on how to achieve world-class success, he lays out the record-breaking feats of athleticism and strategies that are rooted in this personalized approach.

Dr. Marc expertly brings together the worlds of health, nutrition, and exercise and synthesizes the salient science into actionable guidance. Regardless if you’re trying to improve your physique, propel your endurance, or improve your team’s record, looking at performance through this lens is absolutely critical for lasting success.

TIMESTAMPS:

This Canadian doctor has done much research on nutrition and talks about the high risk of going off track in midlife. Marc focuses on helping us learn to age gracefully.  [01:54]

Marc talks about the importance of eating breakfast especially for people who are struggling with some metabolic challenges. [03:22]

Late eating is another area of research where you are compounding issues with weight loss goals. [09:42]

The ideal minimum is 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight in protein. [12:36]

Anytime we talk about dietary changes, we need to include movement. [15:07]

Decision fatigue is an interesting phenomenon which carries over into all areas of life. [19:26]

The later in the day you eat, you tend to eat more processed food with higher calories. [21:47]

Willpower is a finite resource. Compliance is a huge part of success. [24:03]

With insufficient sleep, the odds of your getting sick multiply. [26:25]

Interesting study showed that if you wait a little longer to have your morning coffee, it is better for the nervous system. [29:27]

What are some suggestions for getting into good habits rather than having to make decisions every step of the way to your goals? [31:00]

Some very elite athletes are getting injured unnecessarily. Nutrition and sleep still play a big role. [33:46]

It might be more common than you think that some people trying to lose weight are not eating enough. The body may down-regulate. [40:06]

Even if you veer off track on your worst day, you have to realize it’s not that bad. [43:35]

Get inspiration out in nature in order to reset mentally. [47:57]

What is some of the cool stuff on the cutting edge that cool people think they need to have? Cold exposure and hot tubs are very helpful. [51:35]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “If someone who is lean and fit skips breakfast, then when they eat lunch, there is no exaggerated response to their glucose levels when they eat lunch. But if someone is actually more overweight and obese, they do have this exaggerated response when they eat lunch, and it’s going to have a different effect from not eating breakfast.”
  • “You tend to get cued by your environment.” 
  • “Willpower is a finite resource. The elite of the elite doesn’t get up at 5:30 in the morning because they’re disciplined. They’ve done it so long that it turns into habit.”
  • “Compliance is such a huge part of success.”

LISTEN:

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 54s): Hello listeners. We have a fast moving, very informational and thoughtful show from Dr. Marc Bubbs, a Canadian expert in all manner of peak performance. He’s a doctor of naturopathic medicine. He’s a long-time trainer, coach, performance nutritionist. He worked with the Canadian national basketball team, and it’s very cool because he is deep into the scientific research and you’ll hear many references throughout the show that lend to his credibility and his deep dive into all manner of peak performance, especially with the topic of his new book, Peak 40, which is talking about the goal of dealing with this inevitable slowdown and this high risk of really going off track in midlife. Brad (2m 41s): And so he puts a holistic lens on recovery, exercise, mindset, nutrition with all kinds of aspects thrown in. So you’re going to get a comprehensive discussion here with me, chi-ming and especially when he gives his golf analogies, which are so beautiful. And so applicable to healthy living and, and peak performance and getting with your nutritional goals. So this guy is like the king of analogies, sports analogies, a lot of scientific reference threaded into his insights. And some of the stuff’s going to be a little bit off the, off the beaten path. He talks about the importance for many people of eating breakfast. Brad (3m 22s): And when you do get yourself down for a nutritious breakfast, which of course we talk so much about fasting and the 16/8 pattern and seeing how long you can fast. Well, there’s another side of the coin here, and that is especially for people who are struggling with some metabolic challenges, consuming breakfast can actually mute the glucose response at later meals and kind of keep you more balanced and more regulated rather than let’s say waiting for a long time. And then having a big lunchtime meal, especially with that potential we all have for overeating if we overdo it with the fasting and the calorie restriction during the day, you’re going to hear an amazing stat that a lot of our food, 40% of our food is eaten past 6:00 PM. Brad (4m 5s): So we might want to unwind that and have some different strategies in place. So it gives you a lot of strategies to think about. There’s a lot of personalization that you’re going to have to process and see what works for you and try new things. I especially love his focus on reducing decision fatigue and setting up winning systems in your life. So here we go with Dr. Marc Bubbs, the author of the sensational new book, Peak 40. Dr. Marc Bubbs, come into us from the UK. Thank you for joining us in your evening time. Marc (4m 37s): Yeah, no worries. I appreciate you having me on, Brad (4m 40s): We connected a couple of years ago for Primal Blueprint podcast, and I’m so glad to talk to you now with this important need to focus on aging gracefully, which is what the B.rad Is all about. And my, my purpose in life. And I love sharing this message. And especially since, boy, it seems like we’re at a crossroads in modern life where we can go and join the masses into the medical system, reliance on prescription medication, a steady decline, or an accelerated decline into old age, or with all this great cutting edge science and research and coaching. We can dream of, you know, having this long, incredible vibrant life. So your new book Peak, ah, it’s going to set us all straight, especially with some of the misconceptions. Brad (5m 25s): So what’s happening, man? Tell me, tell me the, the scoop and what’s this Marc (5m 30s): That’s all right. You nailed it there. I mean, yeah. Peak 40 is, just it’s it’s funny. Cause my, yeah, my first book Peak, we took a deep dive into athletic performance as it relates to team sport and endurance and all these different factors. And, and in doing that, you know, as you work in performance, you know, the coaches are in midlife, right. You know, mid thirties, mid fifties, and they’re working long hours and not in the best health and the performance staff are the same way. And then, you know, I’ve got three kids home and all of a sudden, like there’s no more time left in the day. So how do I figure out how to do this or that? Or all of a sudden you’re spending, you know, you’re zooming now eight, 10, 12 hours a day with the pandemic and aches and pains start to rack up. Marc (6m 10s): And so you start to see, and I’m sure your listeners, you know, folks that you work with, it’s, it’s easy for things to start to unravel a little bit. And then all of a sudden you’re in pain, you can’t move, you gain 20 pounds, blood sugars go up. Now we might need a medication for that. Or, you know, cholesterol levels live in panels, not looking so good. So it’s amazing how things start to can unravel. And so that was the impetus for writing Peak 40 was more of a, a short form of some simple heuristics of, okay, how do we in, in the, in the hurricane of midlife, how do we, how do we adopt some strategies that can help us to keep things on track and, and not have to calculate our macros and weigh our food every day? Marc (6m 51s): And those are strategies in the short term that are helpful, but I mean, in the longterm, most people want to just operate on heuristics, right on, on the plate. Brad (7m 2s): It’s also helpful to take the first two and a half hours of your day and dedicate it to mindfulness, physical fitness, healthy eating, and my old friend, my childhood friend, Dave Kobrine. And I did a show with him and he detailed his tremendous morning routine. And he’s at that place in life where he has the, the time and the flexibility to put together this amazing jog on the beach at sunrise and then a cold plunge and then a hot sauna and the whole deal. And, you know, when I visit him and start my day, this way, it’s absolutely fabulous. And it sets you up for this, this healthy life where your priorities are set and everything’s dialed in. And then, you know, we get the pushback just like you described with kid number three arriving and all of a sudden you’re you’re time crunch. Brad (7m 47s): I suppose, maybe we should start there. It’s like, can we do this in a time efficient manner if we, if we claim to not have that three hours and all you listeners who claimed to not have that two or three hours? Let’s talk about your Netflix queue and the way that you are wasting or choosing to spend time in other ways, besides physical fitness. Okay. Marc (8m 5s): For sure. I mean, it’s always like the old story of a priority management, is that a time management, right. But it is, it is fascinating how there’s some great research around breakfast now coming out, you know, the University of Bath and the UK does all this tremendous research around how breakfast impacts us. And this is where, you know, a lot of nice heuristics, again, like intermittent fasting and fasting can be helpful, but there are some differences or nuances depending on the individual. So for example, if somebody who’s leaning fit, skips breakfast, then when they eat lunch, there’s no exaggerated response to their glucose levels when they eat lunch. But if somebody is actually more overweight and obese, they do have this exaggerated response at lunch. And that’s actually, they’re gonna have a different effect from not eating breakfast. Marc (8m 49s): Those, when we look at some of the stats around breakfast eaters versus non breakfast years, I mean, we tend to see all these things in terms of, you know, people eat breakfast tend to be leaner. They tend to have lower blood pressure, better blood sugar levels eat more vegetables. Now these are all observational studies. And so it’s a ratable. Does that mean that you have to eat breakfast? Well, not necessarily, but there’s some interesting repercussions for those individuals who start to skip breakfast. And then again, as I mentioned, one of them being that all of a sudden, you know, your lunch, you might get this exaggerated response if you’re looking to lose that 20 or 30 pounds, but you also actually start moving less, which is some of the findings that they found from the what’s called the Bath Breakfast Study. So, you know, less just general movement through the day that non-exercise activity thermogenesis, that fancy term in science, neat that you get in the day even fidgeting, which sounds funny, but the amount of little movements that we do can start to decrease. Marc (9m 42s): Now that doesn’t mean you can’t use that strategy, but just knowing that that’s a part of the puzzle can be really impactful because if we start moving less and the other side of the climb release, we start eating later, right? If you start and that’s a whole other topic, late eating is another big area of research that we look into in the book. But if you start eating later at night, now all of a sudden we’re, we’re, you know, we’re compounding the issues of, you know, rather than this fasting in the morning, helping us it’s actually hindering. So, you know, for a lot of us getting that breakfast back in, and of course dialing in, depending on the activity level, I know you worked a lot of fit individuals as well. So, you know, the, the amount of fuel starch could be higher for certain individuals, but for other ones, you know, we’re trying to lose weight. Marc (10m 23s): You know, that typically reducing a lot of that packaged stuff that we eat for breakfast, all the box and bag things is a pretty darn good, good way to start. Brad (10m 32s): So I guess that’s an individual experimentation. And looking back after 30 or 60, 90 days of testing out a new strategy, including possibly stepping away from this obsession, with seeing how long you can fast and how many hours you can bank, and maybe having a good nutritious breakfast. I had Robb Wolf on the show and he’d talked, he gave great one-liner. And he said, Hey, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. And so he’s talking to the metabolically healthy crowd where, you know, fasting is a stressor, so is doing a strength training session and, you know, pairing those two. And I referenced myself cause I’m, I’m pairing high intensity workout, fasting, carb restriction. Brad (11m 15s): When I first got into keto and really went deep dive and, and, and living the living the lifestyle and being old and trying to do the aforementioned you’re, you’re stacking up the deck where maybe, maybe there’s going to be from benefits from getting that nutrition in. And so you’re saying the blood sugar response will be adverse if you’re maybe not entirely metabolically healthy. And you’re trying to wait too long to consume a meal? Marc (11m 44s): Yeah. Well, and this has to do with breakfast. And then when they did consume breakfast, they actually had a better glucose response. And so this is where, you know, the notion being in the morning of just trying to get people off to a start where they don’t have to think about things. If we, if we can start to reduce the food decisions that we make, because every time we have a decision to make in the day that it’s a chance to go wrong. And of course, as the day goes, then compliance, decreases. And again, we can talk late night, but that’s where things get tougher. So getting off to a good start in the morning where we can get, if we get our breakfast in, you know, get a sufficient amount of protein. Cause we know that breakfast is the meal of the day that we don’t get enough protein compared to lunch and dinner, right? Like we failed to hit that 20 gram mark. And if we’re thinking about longevity, you know, if we’ve got some of the best protein researchers in the world, Theo Spolu, it leads back in the UK and Stu Phillips at McMaster in my hometown near Hamilton, Canada. Marc (12m 36s): You know, 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight of protein. If we can start to achieve that in midlife and then through to our fifties, sixties and seventies, that’s a great way to preserve muscle mass, right? To prevent sarcopenia. So that loss of muscle mass as we age, which is really tightly connected to a lot of adverse health events. So that’s, if we can start to automate that, you know, if we can start to just, everybody knows that you can hit your 1.2 grams per day, divide that through the day. And that just becomes second nature. You can almost forget about the protein side of things and focus your attention, you know, on other areas. And so that’s part of the whole story is to just try to get people into the, into a rhythm with how they’re eating. So we don’t have to always be wondering, you know, should I do this? Marc (13m 18s): Should I do that, that type of thing? Brad (13m 20s): Hmm. Yeah. With the protein, it seems like there’s a trend toward backing away from any of the previous warnings about the dangers of consuming excess protein. Mark Sisson just wrote a long post on Mark’s Daily Apple.com. Paul Saladino is talking about 2.2 grams. In other words, a gram per pound or 2.2 grams per kilogram, which is 2.2 pounds per kilogram, which is quite a bit more than the minimum. You’re specifying a minimum there. Marc (13m 50s): Yeah. So this is where if you think of a bell curve, like the reason why we specify minimum is I want, and I know you’re a big golfer, so this is this, this dovetails with golf. Like when you’re a good golfer, your worst shot is just off the fairway. When you’re a 20 handicapper, your, the analogy Marc is 30 feet into the bush and it’s out of bounds, right? So we’ve got to start making a nutrition your worst day still pretty good. And so the idea with a minimum is that the 1.2, that’s your worst day you’re going to be doing really well. And to your point, as we go up that bell curve, you know, 1.6 grams per kilo looks like the sweet spot where you’re getting kind of most all the benefits and that’s work again, Rob Morton out of McMaster university, that shows that that’s a pretty nice place to go. Marc (14m 34s): But as you mentioned with, with Saladino from the 1.6, if you keep going up to that 2.2, now you’re at the top of that bell curve. You’re inching out those, you know, some of those, some of our listeners want those marginal gains. You know, other people will say, well, 1.6 that’s enough for me, but some folks will say, Hey, I want every last drop I can get. And that’s where you’re moving towards that 2.2. But yeah, the 1.2 is that minimum. And it’s that idea of like, let’s make, let’s improve the quality of your, your worst day versus, and then we can start to aim towards, you know, maximizing or optimizing from there. Brad (15m 7s): Yeah. And speaking of that, we have to back up a few steps. I mean, we’re, we’re probably have a listening audience that’s healthy, fit, and active every day. But a lot of times when you read a newspaper story headline, look, we’re looking at hundreds of millions of people who sit on their ass all day. And then here’s some research showing that consuming too much protein can damage the kidneys and cause increase insulin growth factor. And if you’re not moving around and not exercising and not even putting your body under resistance load and doing all those things, you’re kind of going into a different, a circle in the playground. And you got to go sit there and talk about your movement objectives before we’re splitting hairs and engaging in internet debate about the pros and cons, same with whatever they, the diverse dietary strategies that people are so excited about. Brad (15m 57s): I think for sure, you know, we got, we got to hit the big picture item first and then, you know, then go down the road. Marc (16m 4s): Yeah, totally agree. And that’s where they have that idea of like, if we can hit our protein, no matter what dietary strategy you pick, you know, you’re going to be doing a pretty good job of setting yourself up. Then to your point. You know, the other analogy I like with protein is like bricks in the wall. And if the more active you are, the more bricks you’re pulling out of that wall. And so we’ve got to, we’ve got to put the bricks back in and we’ve gotta eat the protein. And I think, you know, something that, you know, and of course your guests will, I’m sure it talks about previously, but as we increase our protein intake, we also increase our micronutrients. Right. We’re getting more vitamins, more minerals. It is like nature’s multivitamin. And that seems to go get missed in the, in the picture when we, you know, the vegetables and the fruits seem to always get the love when it comes to micronutrients. But we’ve got to shift that focus back to protein as well. Brad (16m 46s): Right. That’s a good point. When you’re, you’re talking about a vast assortment of carbohydrate foods that don’t have much nutrition at all. Your Starbucks drink. Your Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. We can also get consumed a lot of fat where maybe we’re not getting a lot of micronutrients, but when you’re looking at the typical choices of protein, you’re getting a lot of peripheral benefits too. Marc (17m 10s): Yeah. And it’s, you know, it’s between that and that’s a tidy effect. And of course what we call the thermic effect of food, which means it just costs your body up to 30% more calories just to break it all down and digest it and assimilate it. So it’s a, you know, it’s a pretty nice win. And for people who are trying to lose weight, I mean, there’s overfeeding studies where they get overfed 800 extra calories from protein and they don’t gain any extra weight. So, you know, if you’re going to overshoot on a macronutrient, protein is definitely the one. And to your point earlier, you know, we know now that, you know, up to three grams per kilo, which is just a number that, you know, unless you want to start carrying around Tupperwares, like you’re a bodybuilder, I’ll never get anywhere near That number, you know, is safe for over the course of a year for the kidneys. Marc (17m 54s): So you have that whole discussion around kidney health and protein is unfortunately still perpetuated in some medical circles, but you know, all the best protein researchers in the world, it’s not an issue if your kidneys are healthy. Brad (18m 7s): Yeah. It seems to me, even in the, you know, the category of advanced health enthusiast dropping excess body fat seems to be probably the number one goal of the entire health living, healthy living community at large. And this seems to have the most potential. That’s why I’m so interested in the carnivore diet because you’re assigned to eat these incredibly nutritious and high satiety foods that have a lot of nutritional value and bogus what you’re going to be full satisfied, and you’re not going to be spiking insulin so that you’re going to regulate appetite and probably predicting some favorable results with that huge and frustrating battle of trying to drop fat, possibly superior to going and choosing the, the fat all the time. Brad (18m 51s): Like a lot of the keto message is coming out to be, and you can have these high fat snacks that you can find in a bag or a wrapper and they’re keto approved and they’re, they’re sweetened with this artificial thing. And so it seems more reasonable to go back to basics, especially when we’re talking about ancestral living and, you know, we have meat, fish, fowl, eggs, these things have been the centerpiece of the human diet for a couple of million years. Let’s go back and hit those hard. Marc (19m 17s): That’s it? You know, if the ingredient list has one word you’re doing pretty well, beef, eggs, broccoli, boy, Stick to that. Brad (19m 26s): One thing you said quickly, I want to focus in on which was that aspect of reducing choice or reducing decision fatigue. Boy, this carries over into all areas of life. I remember a study kind of the random random comment. Then I’ll, then I’ll tee you up. But they’re talking about if, if the consumer had like three choices of automobile and they chose one versus another group that had 23 different choices, they level of satisfaction with the purchaser of the more narrow choice was much higher because they chose the best out of three. They’re super satisfied. They did their research. And then when you have 23, you’re like, Oh shit, maybe I should have got a Tesla. Those things, Marc (20m 6s): I don’t even want a car anymore. It’s crazy. Brad (20m 10s): Now we take it into like food and exercise decisions and how to structure your daily life. You’re talking about getting more busy with, with your three kids. What do we do there? Can we, can we automate things to make it easier to stay on track? Marc (20m 27s): Well, I think that’s, you know, Monday to Friday, by and large, the more we can do that, the better we’re going to be in the, where we see that the most is late eating. Right? We see research now showing that more than 40% of all the calories we consume come after 6:00 PM. You know, unless most of us are running marathons in the evening or hitting the dance floor, this is not a good to be bringing on board, The majority of your energy in a day. And we’re seeing more and more people. And this is a phenomenon that’s happening in not just the U S and Canada, but France, even where they live long and healthy. Japan. So it’s, it’s a global phenomenon. And the later that you eat, you tend to eat more ultra processed food. You tend to, it tends to be higher in calories. Marc (21m 7s): You know, you tend to consume more alcohol. And so the challenge of course, is after a long busy day. And of course in midlife, whether you have kids or not, whether it’s just your job or everything else, it’s busy, it’s hectic. And so your compliance is low. You’re sitting on the couch wondering, well, should I, or shouldn’t I have a glass of wine or a beer, or, you know, whatever else. I mean, the chances are you’re going to go for it. Right? And so this is where trying to, you know, if we’re trying to lose weight, if we’re trying to improve our glucose control or inflammation, all these types of things, we’ve got to start to say, okay, you know, especially with lockdowns, since, you know, rather than getting everybody fit with government initiatives, everyone’s been drinking wine and watching Netflix for the last year. So it’s even more topical. Marc (21m 47s): But we’ve got to start chipping away and saying, okay, you know, Monday to Wednesday or Monday to Thursday, we’re not going to snack after dinner. Right? And you know, we’ll have maybe some water or a cup of tea or something like that to provide a bit of sensation, but we’ve got to pre-select these days so that we don’t have to decide at nine o’clock on a Monday, whether we want a snack or not, you know, that’s part, part of the story. Now, the other part of the story is also the fact that we are like Pavlov’s dog in the sense that if you always have that nice glass of wine and piece of chocolate in your living room or TV room where you relax, well, if you keep exposing yourself to that same environment, whilst you have those nice things, well, what happens on a Tuesday when you actually don’t really crave a glass of wine or whatever else, but that environment now your brain is getting the sensation. Marc (22m 33s): Well, wait a minute, Hey, this is the place where we have. Then, you know, this is the nice food, the chocolate, the ice cream at nine o’clock at night or 10 o’clock. And so you begin to get cued by your environment. And so for people who struggle with, you know, not being able to resist that late night snack, you know, just changing rooms, go read a book in a different room, go do some light stretching, go take a hot shower or bath, go for a walk. And it’s amazing how all of a sudden, it’s almost like flipping a switch where you can get through that craving now. And we’re not trying to deny anyone, a nice glass of wine, you know, Hey, a couple of days on the weekend or the, you know, the fitter or healthier you are, you might expand that to three nights a week or whatnot. Marc (23m 14s): But if we don’t start to kind of pay attention and even designate some of those nights, it just becomes really tough when you’re tired and run down, it’s been a long day and the bottle of wine is sitting there, the beer or whatever it might be for that individual bag of chips, whatever, you know, we’re human. And we’re going to typically go for those types of cravings. Brad (23m 34s): Mm. I guess, especially in the evening after we’ve been worn down and our decision fatigue is accumulating, our willpower is diminishing because we’ve applied willpower in 17 different ways to, to resist watching another YouTube video about high jumping when you’re supposed to be writing a book or whatever the example is. And then we get to the finish line of the day. We conclude that we deserve it. Right. And so everything kind of unravels. I wonder Marc (24m 3s): To jump in bro, like willpower is, you know, it’s a finite resource, right? Like, and this is where we dovetail into the elite of the elite. Like they don’t get up at 5:30 in the morning because they’re disciplined. I mean, they’ve done it so long that discipline turns into automaticity, right? Turns into habit. Like they get up at 5:30 and they don’t ask themselves, should I? Or shouldn’t I get up? They’ve just done it so long. They, they roll out of bed, even if they’re cursing under their breath and they do it. Right. Whereas the rest of us, if it’s early in the morning are not feeling so good. You have that moment. Should I run? Should I stay in bed? Like when you’re teetering on that moment, that’s when we know already there’s going to be a problem. So we’ve got to find some strategies to help to offset. Brad (24m 40s): Okay. Now I got to put myself up on the chopping block on that specific example, right there with sleep. And we champion the, the, you know, the high performing executive, who’s got their morning routine and they’re so disciplined and it’s automatic to get up before the sunrise and send a picture on social media of your watch with the awakening time, like Jocko does all the time. And you know, I come from a lead athletic background, just like you do with coaching the national level players in Canada. And when I was a triathlete, I did everything I could to maximize my sleep no matter what. And so I was obsessed with being in bed as long as possible, rather than being some bad-ass who would answer to the alarm no matter what. Brad (25m 24s): And I know there’s, boy, we’ve got to get our habits in place. We got to get our ass out of bed and do something, or, you know, do something productive rather than eat too much food at nighttime. But where’s that balance point when it comes to sleep and resting your body and answering that voice that says, I don’t really feel like doing my morning workout today Marc (25m 44s): For sure. And I, yeah. I mean, I suppose with the example I was giving us around that idea of like, you know, assuming that sleep is taken care of, then we’re going to get up and do what we need to do. And we’re not going to just say, well, maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Right. And to your point, I mean, triathletes and endurance athletes are great at this right. Compliance is, is such a huge part of success. I mean the British sports medicine journal a few years back basically found that, you know, if you can’t show up every day to train and compete than just being ill, just being run down, you can’t keep up with the competition because you’re missing training days. And so, you know, they, they summarize that, you know, poor health is incompatible with elite performance. Marc (26m 25s): That’s how not to show it is to just show up every day and get it in. And so, yeah, I mean, sleep’s fundamental. We know, you know, some classic studies by Sheldon Cohen back in the nineties where they have, which you can’t do these days, but they inoculated participants with, with a virus, right. A common cold, and to see who got sick the most. So if you got less than seven hours of sleep, you are three times more likely to get sick. And if you got less than six hours of sleep at night, you were four and a half times more likely to get sick. And so, you know, that’s not, you know, and again, in midlife, this is one of the reasons why parents, but young kids get sick all the time. It’s not just being exposed to what’s at the school, but it’s the fact that if you’re not sleeping as much, you’ve got the combination of increased exposure with suppressed immunity, which is the perfect recipe for, you know, catching something. Marc (27m 13s): So we definitely need to find a way to chip away at least get that seven hours that we’re, you know, the national sleep foundation recommends. But, you know, I think there’s probably times when people are really busy at work, or if it’s, again, parents with young kids where we’ve got a carve out of those spots to maybe find some naps in the day to try to think about our weekly total, rather than just what we can get in a day, because you know, there’s periods where you’re going to get stuck with that maybe six or six and a half for a little bit at a time, and you got to find a way to get through it. Right? Brad (27m 43s): Yeah. I had a great interview learning about this concept of your sleep deficit and that you can imagine this ideal of getting eight, I say eight hours, cause I’m a, I’m a sleep machine, but you know, let’s say eight hours, times six times seven is 56 hours a week. And you can kind of keep this mental note going in your mind or write it down when you traveled and you got on the airplane or woke up early and now your sleep deficit is four hours or whatever. And you will make that up over time one way or another if you’re, if you want to be healthy. And so that might mean finding that nap. There’s an hour there on the weekend. Brad (28m 23s): It’s not ideal, but you can, you can kind of, you know, my sister’s the queen of afternoon naps and she’ll go down for three hours cause she has an extremely busy life as a physician, including night calls and things where her sleep is destroyed, like a, like a first responder. But boy, what a, what a great opportunity to, to imagine this sleep deficit and trying to always get back to a zero score. Marc (28m 46s): That’s I mean, that’s tremendous, that’s what we do with our athletes, but idea of yeah. That weekly sleep total, because you sometimes just always think of how much you can get in tonight. And you know, if you’re only, if you’re only getting six, it’s really hard to go to seven or seven and a half in one jump. And so where else can you find time? So I love that idea of, of throwing in those naps. Another interesting study that came out of Dr. James Betts, that same University of Bath group, people who have short sleep. So you have that night where you don’t have a lot of sleep. What do we all reach for in the morning, a cup of coffee, right? Get us going. They actually found that when you have a short sleep, when you drink that coffee, first thing in the morning, you actually, again, get this really exaggerated. It was up to 50% exaggerated glucose response in the morning. Marc (29m 27s): So it was sort of worsening this stress response. And if those individuals just waited a little longer, right? So rather than that, that day where you’re waking up and you’re tired and you just hold off a couple hours and then have your coffee and you’d actually have a much better nervous system response. So you’re not sort of cracking that whip so hard on an already a sluggish and fatigued nervous system. So that’s, you know, and I’m a coffee lover. So I get it, I get it reaching for the reaching for the pot. I had one client who had an automated coffee maker where it’s already brewing and everything and the mold before he even wakes up. I mean, that’s next level, but, but those are some of the little things we can start to do to just then not be cracking the whip so hard in the nervous system, because, you know, as you know, it allowed up and people can really dig themselves a pretty good hole between the lack of sleep and too much caffeine. Brad (30m 13s): Oh, I love it. So if you are a struggling dragon ass, let’s make sure that we ride that out rather than try to, to overcome it. I feel like the same thing is when you’re you got that stiff lower back before you’re playing your once a week, pickup basketball game and go out there and feel fine. I’d rather have the stiff back because that’s going to limit my mobility and protect me from, you know, having a disastrous injury. Marc (30m 43s): And that’s a great point. Like as soon as you start taking NSAID, ibuprofens and such before exercise, like that’s when you know, you’re, you’re past the tipping point right now, it’s that protective signal of pain is now being overwritten then yeah. You can get yourself into some trouble there. So that’s a very good point. Brad (31m 0s): Let’s go before we continue to cruise on, I want to go back to that ideal of setting yourself up to make fewer decisions and putting these peak performance attributes in place. We kind of went off target when you talked about the elite getting up early, no matter what. So let’s say sleep is taken care of, and then you have a few options at hand when you start your day or when you have time to carve out and you wish you could be better about blank getting to the gym, getting out in the morning, how do we automate this? And also, you know, you can throw in some, some eating things too. Marc (31m 38s): Yeah. I mean to quickly kind of tie up the eating piece. I mean, the concept that we try to use the books called master your morning, which basically means get the right breakfast in which means that the right amount of protein for you and omit the morning snacking, like for most individuals, unless you’re an athlete or somebody who has performance goals, most individuals, we don’t need to snack between breakfast and lunch, right? I mean, even if you’re 10% body fat, you’ve got 30,000 calories, you could run eight marathons with no fuels. Surely we can get from 8:00 AM to 12 noon without eating. Right. And so again, that frees up, you know, reduces the energy intake over the day and, and whatnot. So that’s that on the nutrition side. On the exercise side, there again, there’s some great new research coming out on gentleman named Rob Edinburgh showed that, you know, when we’re doing resistance training in the morning, right, and this is overweight individuals and that same fasted state, the body starts to use more intramuscular triglycerides. Marc (32m 31s): So the fats in the muscle now the cool thing there is that when you use more of those to lift or do your session, that’s actually a really powerful signal to the, to start improving insulin sensitivity because it senses that those fuel gauge is lowering because you’re getting through those intramuscular fats more, more quickly. So that can be a really great strategy of if someone wants to get up and have that coffee and lift. And then on the flip side, I think under appreciated, it’s just how I’m walking. You can do anytime, but walking after a meal, if you’re looking to blunt the glucose response. So again, somebody who’s struggling with higher blood sugars may be pre-diabetic or diabetic, just going for a walk after a meal, which, you know, these days with phones, you can be listening to a podcast, you can be taking courses, you can be taking a walking meeting, you could be doing a million different things while Brad (33m 17s): Watch your Netflix thing, man blocks your net, same thing you’re doing at home. Marc (33m 21s): Yeah. And so I think that that could be a nice one because a lot of times do we can connect that with being outside or we can connect it with going with a friend or a colleague. So you’ve got some connecting with a person, which after COVID is kind of nice to see another actual human. But, but those are some ways in the morning of being able to think about, you know, what you might want to do. And again, it depends on the individual, but what’s some nice options there. Brad (33m 46s): Let’s talk about the, the, the cutting edge now in the elite performers of the world. And what’s, what’s going well? And also, I mean, you hit hard in the book, which is nice. Cause we need to talk about this without any sugarcoating that there’s still so much broke, bro science and old school traditions, you call it. And I still say this permeating the very highest levels of sport, where, you know, an Olympian type performer or a leading professional basketball player, Clay Thompson rehabbing an injury, it goes down with another injury and I’m going to point a finger and saying, look, this guy is a, is a multimillion dollar, a thoroughbred racehorse business entity, economic asset. Brad (34m 28s): And somebody screwed up because you shouldn’t be pulling a tendons out of place as an extremely high performing athletes. So let’s talk about the good and the things that you see, especially on the recovery side, which is such your area of expertise and also the stuff that’s still hanging out there. That’s kind of anywhere from adverse to disgraceful. Marc (34m 48s): Yeah. I mean, it is such a, it’s a challenge even at the highest level. And one of the things that I like to use with clients is, you know, compliance over complexity. Like I think it’s natural that we want to make things more complex, more complex, more complicated, but often, I mean, Brad (35m 5s): You’re dealing with real human clients that, and I know the guy you’re talking about or gal. It’s the ones that asked 17 questions after you make a simple suggestion, like get your protein up to 1.6. Marc (35m 17s): Okay, well, that’s good. We can harness all that passion and energy, but it’s almost like we’ve got to make sure we’re hitting the big rocks because even at the highest level, there’s often an area that we’re missing or that isn’t fully tapped. And that idea of, of big rocks or big buckets, we sometimes call it is that if, if you have a big bucket, even if you only fill that big bucket halfway or two thirds, it’s going to be a lot more beneficial than that little wee thimble or shock glass. If you fill that up, even if you a hundred percent maximize it, you’re still not getting very much bang for your buck. Right? So compliance is big. So when we talk about injuries, you know, low energy availability is this term where we’re not consuming enough caloric intake, not enough protocol, energy than calories, but, and so this is a problem at the highest level. Marc (36m 0s): Cause sometimes we get so focused at, you know, eating clean. It’s nice that that’s sort of a trend that people want to consume more whole foods. And that’s tremendous. And that’s obviously the foundation of any performance nutrition protocol, but we also need to just make sure there’s enough gas in the gas tank to drive the car from LA to New York, right. If there’s not enough fuel in the system, we’re going to expose ourselves to more injuries. And if you combine that with things like lack of sleep, you know, we really become, you know, more susceptible. So those things crop up more than you realize because the sport like basketball is just even an hour of intense training. And the gym is nowhere near, you know, the accelerations, the decelerations, the jumping, landing that you get in a sport like basketball or soccer or American football. Marc (36m 45s): So the caloric demands are just, you know, really high. And this is where, you know, including more juices, more readily available, you know, this is where some ultra processed food you might use just to, to increase the amount of energy that goes in. And it’s always funny when we talk about the general population than athletes, because, you know, it’s, it’s tough to square that, that circle sometimes when we say, well, actually this person I’m going to have them eat some cereal or some pasta because it’s going to make them more hungry so we can get enough meals in the day to get enough fuel in. Right? So almost the opposite of what we’re telling the general population, but because movement’s so high, when you look at their blood sugars are lipid panel and everything else, metabolically, they’re still fantastic. Marc (37m 26s): Right? And so, you know, that’s, that’s a part of it, of that idea of getting enough fuel in. And then the other aspect is that athletes are people too. So it’s funny how, you know, they want to look lean. They want to look, they want to see the six pack. And all of a sudden they’re comparing themselves maybe to a, to a fellow pro and, and now they start changing their fueling plan. Cause they think that, well, my, my uncle’s doing this, or my brother did this or a friend of mine did the XYZ. And again, that tends to fall into this. Well, now we’re eating less well. There’s meal frequency or total energy, and we can get into some, some problems there. So, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s elite athletes, as you know, are different to a certain degree than the rest of us. Marc (38m 9s): But the similarities are, they have struggling to eat the right breakfast too. Right? Like there’s some of those parts of that make it very relatable in the sense that they might just roll into practice after having a croissant rather than eating the right breakfast that they need to eat. Right. And so were some of these messages that we’re telling the rest of our clients, this is what we’re also telling the best of the best. Brad (38m 31s): Right. I suppose you can realize you’re in that category of underfeeding, if you’re a lean have good blood work and not recovering like you, you wish or something like that, which is a small sliver. Marc (38m 47s): Yeah. I mean, these are the more elite, you know, these are the elite of the elite and it’s a different animal, isn’t it? When, and again, if you think of the best golfer, go back to golf, like the best golfer at your local club, who is the scratch golfer is still nowhere near the guys who were on the, on the lower tourists. And they’re still nowhere near the guys were on the big tour. I mean, it’s just, you know, that those jumps that you go through. Or another great one actually from the endurance role was Andy Jones who was doing the Nike, you know, sub two documentary was talking about how he had a friend who was a really elite runner. And so they were doing a warm treadmill test. And I think he got up to like 16, 17 kilometers an hour. Marc (39m 29s): So he’s really running his heart out. And then he gets off there. Then the pros come in and, you know, start their warmup at that speed. It’s like, you know, they’re, they’re feeling it just a different level. So that’s, it does get difficult when we think of the general population, because it’s, you know, they’ve got their own set of rules when it comes to the amount of fuel, but sometimes you see it in the general population when people get really dialed into, you know, certain dietary aspects. But yeah, if you’re struggling with energy, if your blood work’s starting to look a bit funky, you know, if your mood starting to get impacted. And then that’s one to think about. Brad (40m 6s): Yeah. I think I have some personal reference points of this concept where if you get accustomed to eating fewer calories, your body will, down-regulate it, everything, including that you take 48 hours to recover from a session instead of 36. You’re not tapping your foot during the day like you described earlier. And so all these compensations occur, which are really disturbing, including that since you’re not energetic enough to put in the hard work, you’re not going to get as fit and you’re not going to get as lean because you’re not eating enough food. So that’s some, that’s some crazy shit right there. I’d love for you to come in on that. And then I’m going to ask you on the flip side too, but first let’s learn about this pattern that might be more common than we think, including the person who’s got five extra pounds and is stressing about that and cutting back when maybe they should be pounded some more protein, first thing in the morning and your example. Marc (41m 1s): Yeah. I mean, this is where it’s the human body’s fascinating is. I mean, if you go back to this golf analogy, like, you know, you hit balls on the range, you try to groove your swing and there’s certain days where all of a sudden, you know, you’ve just got it. You’ve got the swing cue you like, and all you’re just flushing it. And maybe this goes on for a few days or a week. And in your mind, you sort of think I’ve got it. Like it’s never gonna, I’m never going to lose it again. Right? And then 14 days later, 10 days later, or the very next day, you know, you’re hitting a duck hook into the woods again. And you’re like, what is going on? And so this is where the, you know, the human body again, to your point, the adaptations are always taking place. And so we do have to think about, you know, if that individual has 20 or 30 pounds to lose, and we’re really reducing caloric intake and we’re using certain strategies, you know, as they get fitter and leaner, we’re going to start, you know, potentially change the rules of the game a little bit, you know. Marc (41m 53s): It may require more fuel or they may be more carbohydrate. And you know, and so there are all these nuances, it’s almost like standing on a, on a ball if you will, right. You’ve always got to keep your feet moving to hold that balance. And so, you know, the good news is that most of these tweaks are like five degrees off what people are doing, which is, you know, I’m sure you see with your clients, right. People think that the world is the sky is falling, but really we just need to do a little bit here a little bit there and we’ll get everything back on. And it’s back to that idea of having that long view of that compliance view. Like, no, unfortunately that expectation we get on social media is rapid body transformation in 30 days. And you know, sometimes I’ll tell my clients, well, how good a guitar player can you get in 30 days? Marc (42m 34s): Right. Or how, you know, how’s your Italian after 30 days. Yeah. But when we’re dealing with these kind of complex problems, we’ve got to give ourselves time or even investments, right. How are your investments after 30 days? We need to start taking that longer approach I’m down. It’s terrible. Yeah, no, exactly. Right. And there’s a tremendous strength goes over here in the UK. Dan Clutter St. Mary’s University. And he talks, you know, he’ll ask a client what their goals are for, you know, they’ll say, well, I want to add 20 pounds to my, to my bench press or whatever. They’ll say, great, okay, we’re going to add five pounds a year for the next four years. It’s like completely reframing things in that sense of like, if we actually take it this low, we can really make progress, you know, obviously with the plan and everything else, but you can then start stacking the winds versus what people tend to do is, is that, and of course, you know, your listeners are well, well first and a lot of this stuff, but I’m sure you’ve seen, you know, we go from one approach to the next. Marc (43m 28s): And if, if we’re never kind of tackling those, those challenges head on, and then we end up back in the same place. Brad (43m 35s): Love the golf analogies, man. I’m thinking of my brother, who’s a long time, lifelong champion golfer shooting. He just shot his age at the age of 69. He shot a 68, which would be a two or three under par on the course. So, you know, he he’s a player and he’s been for, for decades. And I remember him answering a question of a friend who had just recently been exposed to golf and was getting really excited. And he said, Wally, how long do you think it would take? If I practice, you know, an hour, every single day to get really good at golf. And he, you know, he, he paused and answered straight up dead pan about 10 years. And that guy’s face went, what are you talking about? Because if you want to go add weight to your bench press or things like that, I think you can, you know, you can get a lot done in six weeks, but the idea of, of, of shooting par in golf and then back to the, the other golf analogies, I think that’s a really important point to strengthen as like your worst day and your most, you know, your, your worst Spinoff track on that cruise or that vacation. Brad (44m 37s): If you’re still, you know, not too bad, then you can recalibrate and continue this forward momentum. But I think that’s the really important thing to identify is we’re not all going to be perfect. But if you have a day where you flaked off and missed out and you know, didn’t hit your checkpoints, you know what? It still wasn’t that bad. Marc (44m 54s): That’s the thing. And the big themes of the book of Peak 40 is like, if you get your morning, right. And things go off the rails too much in the evening and you can hit your protein through the day, you’d be amazed how much progress you can make. And when things go off the rails a year from now, if you come back to those things, it’s a great way to just bring everything back to the middle. You know, it’s like, keep, keep the ball in play. Let’s, let’s get it out of the bush back. It doesn’t even have to be on the fairway yet. As long as it’s in the rough, we can find it. Right. And so that’s where, or the analogy when you go bowling and they have those bumper lanes, you know, you can only go only, it can only get so bad, whereas Brad (45m 28s): Some bowling up in your life, people, I love it. Marc (45m 30s): That’s the thing. I mean, the problem with midlife is that things get so challenging that we speak. We’ll just say, well, screw it. You know? And then now all of a sudden, instead of being 10 or 15 or 20 pounds, you know, I’m sure you see this with your clients. It can quickly get to 30 or 40 pounds. They can quickly get to hypertension and pre-diabetes, and it’s only one that, you know, for a lot of times, and probably speaking more to men here than women, but, you know, it’s the only one until they go to the doctor and the doctor says, you know, you need to go on a statin or you’ve got diabetes where the lights start to go on. And it’s like, Oh shit, I need to do something about this. And, you know, hopefully we don’t have to wait to that, to that point. Right, Brad (46m 6s): Boy, I will say that this ain’t easy and we can be positive and enthusiastic here on the show and talk about our great examples from our own life about my morning routine. It’s great. Mark, let me tell you what it is. You can see it on YouTube, but I, I realized myself, like there’s kind of a, a level, a shelf you have to get up to, to where, in my case, I’m going to reference strength training and, you know, putting my body under heavy resistance load, doing the dead lifts, doing the X three bar. This stuff is pretty strenuous and tiring, especially when you don’t do it regularly. And it’s taken me, I’m going to say several years to get to this, I guess, sort of a, a breakthrough point where I can go out to a gym, like I’m on vacation yesterday with my brother, we went into the fitness center of the Squaw Vallley resort, and I threw some weight around and it felt fine. Brad (46m 57s): And I got a good workout. And I went about my busy day, but I know a couple of few years ago, whenever I was kinda, you know, I was doing other things for fitness, but putting that, putting that resistance load on the bar, boy, I felt it the next day. I was sore. I was tired. And it’s sort of discouraging when you try to do all these, you know, these great checkpoints, another one would be cutting the sugar and the carbs out of your diet. If you try to slightly cut back for the next 30 days, it’s going to suck because it’s, it’s, it’s too difficult, too many addictive properties of these reward foods. And you know, there, there’s some, there’s some justification here for stepping up to the plate and going, you know, I’m going to do this. Brad (47m 41s): It’s 2021 and I’m going to make it work no matter what. And it might be a little difficult at times, but you’re going to have this breakthrough point somewhere in the future where you’re a fit person and you can throw down and, and, and carry on without having to, having to cry about it 24 hours later. Marc (47m 57s): Yeah. A hundred percent. And one of the cool things even researching for Peak 40 was the science of all, you know, what’s all, all, it’s like going out into nature and seeing an ocean or seeing some mountains, as you mentioned, seeing forest, you know, even going to a concert or a sporting event. And it’s pretty amazing that awe triggers this inspiration, right? So if you’re tired and run down and there’s stress at work and stress at home, and it’s like, you don’t even want it to your point. You don’t even want to, like the thought of getting out to exercise or train is just another thing on the to-do list, man. I don’t have time for that. Just get yourself out into nature for a minute. Just, just get exposed to these scenes. And it’s like all of a sudden, there’s a little bit of a spark there, right? Marc (48m 39s): And so inspiration is actually a central theme all and all ties into all aspects of happiness. So both life satisfaction and subjective happiness. And so it’s amazing how on that side of the coin, you know, we talked about habits, which is one end of the spectrum, but at other end, that initial end is that spark of inspiration to kind of light the match. So you can actually start doing some of these things. And I think, you know, when people are struggling, I know last year with COVID, it’s been pretty full on for everybody in terms of the mental health aspect. You know, just getting some space, getting outside, seeing whether it’s a, you know, an ocean, a mountains for us, whatever it might be. But that is a nice way to just reset mentally to say, okay, you can, you can take some of these things on board versus, you know, I know for, you know, with working with various clients, it can just seem like at some point it’s like, it’s just too many things to do in a day to even get started. Brad (49m 31s): Wow. That, and I would predict that once the person takes a few steps out into nature, sometimes the inspiration might occur right on the spot to say, yeah, maybe I will jog down to the, the bridge and turn around, but to have that natural motivation is so beautiful rather than the pressure in the intimidation, which is we know is such a huge factor in the gym scene where people are literally don’t want to go in there to be seen in their workout outfit. And all these things are going through their head that are so tragic. Marc (50m 1s): That’s exactly it. And even like the idea of journaling or like meditation, which are all great, which are all great strategies. I recommend them. But for some people it’s like, it just seems like another thing to have to do or learn, whereas like just walk outside over there to the forest. And it’s amazing how like as light switch it’ll, you know, we see even in the research, anxiety levels, decrease cortisol levels, go down, all these things that will help you to get that, you know, to your point. And then all of a sudden people start doing the things we want them to do without that external motivator, without having to wag your finger and say, do this, do that. You know, once you get that internal motivation going in a client, whether they’re gunning for Tokyo or the rest of us, that’s when we’ve got something to work with. Brad (50m 44s): Right. Oh, that’s nice. We’re now talking in the, the, the forgotten 1% realm of all content on podcasts, social media, internet, because everyone’s wagging that finger and I’m gonna, I’m sure I’m to blame or, you know, someone with all my enthusiasm and well-intentioned, it can be off-putting to people that are too freaking busy or, you know, don’t, don’t live and breathe this stuff. So yeah. Get out into nature, man. That’s that’s our starting point and have your hands empty. Don’t have a fricking snack when you’re out in nature, just breathe and enjoy the trees. Yeah. No energy bars allowed. Marc (51m 21s): So it was amazing. I’m from Toronto and going out to the West coast, whether it’s Vancouver, you know, just the smelling that you get off the plane and the air smells fresher, you know? So, I mean, anytime you can get out wherever you are, you know, definitely helps. Brad (51m 35s): Well, before we wrap up, I’m interested in, what’s working at the recovery category, especially with the elite performers. And part of my question is we’re hit with all this cool high-tech stuff. And I tried the NormaTec boots and they were fantastic. And I’m like, should I get a pair? And then I go, Oh, Oh, they’re $2,000. I don’t know what they cost. I thought I’d pop a couple of hundred bucks or something that cool, but I’m waiting in the background to see like, what are, you know, what are the very best things? You know, I’m a fan of cold exposure and that’s getting a lot of, a lot of publicity, but you know, what’s, what’s the cool stuff that’s happening out there on the cutting edge. That may be affordable too. Marc (52m 16s): No, for sure. I mean, I think if we start even with general population again, I think cold tubs are great, but even for a lot of people, again, it’s that like, Ooh, do I want to get into a cold tub? So hot tubs or have some tremendous benefit as well. When we look at blood pressure, right? You get in somewhere really hot vessels, dilate your cardiac output goes up. And so you can actually improve your blood pressure by just sitting in a nice, a hundred degree, 104 degree, hot tub. You also actually see blood sugar levels improving when you just sit in a hot tub. So it’s actually recommended now if people are, you know, can’t exercise because they’re unfortunately that obese or unfit. Actually just sitting in a hot tub for 14 minutes will improve glucose control. And we can actually start that process to then, you know, what we talked about, get inspired, get moving and all that good stuff. Marc (53m 0s): Now on the recovery side, even at the highest level, there’s always been this back and forth being hot or cold. And you see all the teams now with our performance centers in the NBAs, especially, but football now as well, where there’s this, you know, the hot and different cold tubs, but being able to get in, you know, just to get the blood moving is such a key aspect of it. And so, especially to things that don’t get good blood flow areas like the ankles and wrists. And then so one where, you know, it’s, it’s not necessarily, it’s the oldest new again with, with having some of that contrast of hot and cold. So that’s definitely an area and, you know, it does get tricky. We have cryotherapy, some teams use. Marc (53m 43s): And despite the fact that cold plunges are sort of superior to cryotherapy, you know, sometimes that two minute exposure that wow factor, if we do talk about some of the benefits of pizzazz and you can actually get an athlete to go in there for two minutes and they won’t go into the cold bath and that could be something that’s beneficial, but those NormaTec boots do pretty well. You just got to, you know, make, make friends with your local sports therapist to be able to run some out because they are pretty pricey. Brad (54m 11s): Oh, wow. You’ve covered so much ground. And I love how you’re always threading in the research. You can tell that you’re just up on the finger, on the pulse of everything. Working with real people is also a nice kind of attribute from being purely theoretical and just dealing with studies all days. It’s like, wait, how does this work with my clients? So I’m going to recommend this Peak 40 to everyone. Hey, if you’re under 40, get, get on this before you turn 40. And if you’re over 40 it’s time to grab the book. Maybe tell us a ride that wave as long as you can tell, tell us a further how to connect with you and any, any final thoughts that you want. Marc (54m 45s): Yeah, for sure. Well, listen to the book comes out May 20th. Peak 40. There’s a podcast also we’ll have a short form podcast called Peak 40 which will dive more into some of these specific topics like the breakfast and the late eating. So you can check that out on my website. I’ve got a funny, last name. So Dr. Bubbs dot com slash 40. And if you want to find me on social media, ask any questions that’s at Dr. Bubbs. Brad (55m 8s): Dr. Mark Bubbs, everybody, thank you very much. Thanks for listening. Marc (55m 11s): Appreciate it. Hit ’em along the straight. Brad (55m 15s): Oh yeah. 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 of 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 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. Brad (56m 1s): 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 soundbite 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 Marc (56m 24s): And remember B.rad.

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All About Calories: The Truth About Fat Loss, Inspired By Herman Pontzer

(Breather) This could be the most important podcast you ever listen to when it comes to understanding the true dynamics behind losing excess body fat, especially breaking free from the flawed notions that underpin the fitness and diet industries. 

This show is inspired by my two recent shows with Dr. Herman Pontzer (#1 and #2), author of the new book, Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy. This show aggregates the breakthrough insights about energy expenditure with what we know about calories to uncover, simplify, and demystify the truth about weight loss and caloric intake.

This episode completely challenges the foundational premise of the fitness industry as I reveal that you actually burn the same number of calories per day, regardless of exercise level and break down the constrained model of caloric expenditure. You’ll learn why the “additive model” of energy expenditure (which entails figuring out your BMR with a calculator and then adding and subtracting the calories consumed and burned throughout the day) can be highly inaccurate, which can be explained by the Compensation Theory (your vigorous workouts cause you to not only be lazier, but also eat more the rest of the day). 

You’ll also learn that homo sapiens’ genetics transcends the nuances of our daily lifestyles and training logs and that we are the highest calorie burners among the apes (and the best calorie storers): Gorilla’s burn 20% fewer calories than humans, and apes in zoos actually burn the same amount of calories as a heavily active ape in the wild. I also reveal that activity really burns only a tiny bit more calories: moderately active people burn 200 more calories a day than inactive people, and hugely active people burn around the same amount of calories as the moderately active people.

I also talk about what happens when you try to flaunt your Homo sapiens genes and burn calories like crazy in the name of fitness or weight loss, which can be best summed up by this quote: “Reproduction, growth, repair, and locomotion are a zero sum game.” This means that if you do more of one, you take away/borrow from one or more of the others. I explain why the consequences of that are no joke: you’re on the thin red line of suppressed immune function, suppressed cognitive function, suppressed general energy levels, delayed recovery, reduced reproductive drive, and reproductive fitness. I also mention that female extreme endurance amenorrhea is the most visible example of this, as sadly so many women become infertile all just to run more mileage.

One important point to take away from this episode: if you reject the constraints of the human and march forward with an unsustainable lifestyle, compensations will be taken for you. This brings to mind stories I’ve heard from amateur fitness enthusiasts who often pair 6 months (or 6 years) of heavy devotion to CrossFit, but need to take 6 months or 6 years off for recovery. Similarly, when you look at the Biggest Loser contestants 6 years after the show, they have dysregulated appetite and fat metabolism. The majority of them ended up gaining all the weight they lost back and then some, and I talk about how this happens frequently to bodybuilders as well. 

So how can this be? How is it that an ambitious exercise regimen will not help your fat loss at all? Dr. Herman explains: “Possibly an athlete is undergoing an initial adjustment to a higher level of training. And before they get used to it, the athlete is in a temporary unsustainable physique,” like prepping for the Tour de France. Or it could be that the athlete is also changing their diet as part of lifestyle improvement. 

But what is the deal? How and why do we gain fat so easily, and how can we actually lose it, long-term, and not as a temporary fix? While Dr. Herman admits that losing excess body fat is “tough,” the truth is that there is a high genetic component to body fat percentage, and a high lifestyle component to dysregulated eating and fat gain. This is why it’s so key to focus on cultivating healthy sleep and exercise habits. I bring up Dr. Herman’s point that it is possible that high or low daily energy expenditure is set early in life, just that we don’t know yet what the precise mechanism is. He’s also noted two groups that appear to have high expenditure: athletes and subsistence farmers. What do they have in common? They both tend to grow up moving a lot, as well as eating a lot.

Whether it’s your genes, your environment, or some combination, high energy expenditure in childhood may remain intact throughout life, but Dr. Herman says we don’t know for sure. Being predisposed to high energy flux may help some people respond quickly to workouts and have more success keeping their weight stable through exercise, while for some others no amount of exercise affects weight loss. 

If you want to try to figure out if exercise can help you easily lose weight and keep it off, ask yourself if you fit into one or more of the following categories:

1. You were extremely active as a kid, but are mostly sedentary now.

2. Until recently, you could eat what you wanted without gaining much weight, if any.

3. Like Mick DiMaria, you’ve spent most of your life in pretty good shape and only recently let yourself go.

If any of these ring true, there’s a good chance you’re high flux. That suggests your body prefers to eat a lot of food each day, and until recently you matched your appetite with a high activity level. And it suggests your body may respond quickly to structured workouts.

The Best Strategy to Lose Extra Body Fat

The best starting point of all is to simply ditch processed, nutrient deficient food in favor of high-satiety, nutrient dense foods (protein especially). Then the next step, which is taking an under the radar approach so you get a mild calorie deficit, without prompting compensation mechanisms. There are one of two ways to do this: you can implement a slight deficit each day or occasional extreme fasting (24 hours, 1 day a week). I personally like to trigger hunger now and then to increase my appreciation of food. And why not throw in a big fasting day? (This is what Mark Sisson does on days he’s flying.)

Dr. Herman says it accordingly, “Find a diet that leaves you completely satisfied with not in excess of calories. Pick a diet with rules, restrictions and guidelines so you are not prompted to overeat. Any diet is essentially a gimmick in the end. Cut carbs, cut fat, cut plants, intermittently fast, go compressed eating window, go vegan. Just implement rules and guidelines so you don’t have constant unfettered access to hyper palatable foods and overeating. Find a diet that leaves you satisfied and happy.” My latest book, Two Meals A Day, offers a simple but highly effective strategy: to simply implement new rules and a new norm to follow, instead of following the ridiculous 3 meals a day habit, which only came out of the industrial revolution. The carnivore diet is not only extremely high satiety and low insulin stimulating, but it also has great potential for fat loss. Fasting is another rule to implement to promote automatic success: a smaller eating window simply means less potential to overeat. It’s simple, smart, and most importantly, it works.

It can seem overwhelming trying to implement all the necessary parts of a healthy lifestyle, but when you break it down, it’s simple: emphasize sleep, reduce stress, don’t overtrain, and get rid of sugar, grains, and seed oils as these drive the overproduction of cortisol and dysregulate appetite and satiety hormones. Exercise and movement are obviously hugely important, as these prompt a reduction in systemic inflammation. Dr. Herman says research reveals that if you sit too much, your body becomes inflamed. Humans have a genetic requirement for near constant movement. 

The importance of checking your intentions can also not be discounted. Form a healthy body image, decide to turn things around, and reclaim your genetic potential. My colleague Amy Lucas says, “I’m sure I’ll never be fat, because I believe I’m a skinny person.”

You’ll also learn that major fluctuations in body weight can be mistaken for gaining and losing fat, but are almost entirely natural fluctuations in hydration, glycogen retention inflammation, and water retention in cells throughout the body make for most of your body weight variation. When we talk about body fat, we are best away from scale and tracking according to the fit of a tight pair of pants. And if you don’t believe me, watch Nick Symmonds lose 10lbs in 24 hours of mostly fasting, not much water, and a few hard workouts and hot sweaty workouts.

That’s a wrap for today, and good luck! One useful reminder is to ask yourself: How many times have I been hungry in the last 30 days, or 30 years? Pushing the boundary a bit of what you think of as hunger, as well as forming a set intention to change your body, can really help weight loss efforts. 

TIMESTAMPS:

This podcast shatters the basic elements of the modern fitness and diet industry. [01:40]

The truth is we humans burn around the same number of calories every day, regardless of our exercise level. [03:15]

How can it be that the lazy person next door burns the same calories as I, a gym goer, do? [10:21]

The brain burns most of our daily calories and then the other organs burning the rest independent from our activity level. [12:30]

When transitioning from the moderately active category to the incredibly active category, there is very little change in daily caloric energy expenditure. [14:00]

Muscle burns a bit more calories than fat. [16:59]

Calorie burning is happening, but we need to look at the compensation factor. When you are a hard driving athlete and burning lots of calories, you are spending less energy on your immune function, your reproductive function etc. [23:18]

Mark Sisson’s example is when he was running a hundred miles a week for seven years. He had many physical maladies which led him to become the Primal Blueprint guy. [26:55]

Burning the candle at both ends…burning more calories than you’re genetically adapted to could shorten lifespan. [32:25]

How can an ambitious exercise regimen not help fat loss at all? When you are super fit, you become super-efficient in burning calories. [33:48]

Your devotion to improving your fitness and working out inspires you to clean up your diet. [38:11]

So how does one lose excess body fat? Exercising more doesn’t really work, nor does prolonged caloric restriction. [42:38]

There are many cultural influences causing us to overeat. [50:04]

The best starting point is to ditch processed nutrient foods in favor of high satiety, nutrient dense foods. [52:12]

Pay attention to your hunger and satiety signals and notice when you’ve had enough. [58:21]

You can use almost any diet as long as it has rules and regulations that will keep you from overeating. [01:00:44]

Your exercise and lifestyle changes need to accompany the dietary transition. [01:05:14]

Gluttony and sloth are not the causes of obesity.  They are symptoms of obesity. [01:08:23]

Start with forming a healthy image and then decide to turn things around with positive energy rather than disgust and self-loathing and all these flimsy motivators that only work for a short time. [01:09:55]

Your weight on the scale naturally can vary from day to day. [01:11:25]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “Reproduction, growth repair, and locomotion are a zero-sum gain.” (Dr. Herman Pontzer)
  • “If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.” (Robb Wolf)

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 40s): It’s all about the calories people. Yes, this show could be the most important podcast you ever listened to when it comes to understanding the true dynamics behind losing excess body fat. So we are going to uncover simplify and demystify the truth about energy expenditure. This show is inspired by my two full length interviews with Dr. Herman Pontzer, evolutionary anthropologist and author of the breakthrough new book about caloric expenditure called Burn. So please listen to our two full length shows about all aspects of his life’s work, studying the energy expenditure of humans and other great apes in the family. Brad (2m 27s): And, Oh boy, it’s going to recalibrate so many super important things, including pretty much shattering the basic foundational elements of the modern fitness industry and diet industry. So what we’re talking about here is the recent science that’s strongly refuting what we have long thought to be the path to dropping excess body fat. And that is to burn more calories every day, by working out a lot, speed up your metabolism by building more lean muscle mass and all that great stuff. And in tandem, reduce your caloric intake by a significant margin to achieve these miracle results that we see glorified on TV, like the Biggest Loser, or see the before and after photos on the internet of people dropping 20, 30, 40 pounds. Brad (3m 15s): Okay. So here’s the breakthrough insight that Dr. Pontzer has shared so beautifully and convincingly with the research and the data that doesn’t lie as Dr. Herman likes to say. The truth is we humans, homo sapiens, burn around the same number of calories every day, regardless of our exercise level Hello, what are you talking about? Yup. There goes the foundational premise of the fitness industry that you can increase your metabolism or burn the fat away by slamming down another workout or a double workout if you’re really serious. Nope. Brad (3m 55s): In fact, we are constrained by evolutionary biology and the realization that homo sapiens burn calories in a very narrow and constrained range. It happens to be around 3000 calories a day adjusted for your lean body mass. So that’s the main adjustment factor as a little bitty, a hundred pound female personal trainer that you see bouncing around the gym is going to burn a certain amount of calories. And then a big, giant massive muscle bodybuilder is going to burn quite a bit more based on that lean body mass. But after we adjust for lean body mass, the only thing left are tiny little adjustments based on our activity level. Brad (4m 40s): And as Dr. Pontzer details in our interviews and in the book burn, the adjustments are shockingly small for whether you leave a sedentary couch potato life, taking the subway to the high rise, taking the elevator, sitting at a desk, taking the subway back home and watching Netflix all evening, versus whether you’re out there training for a marathon or peddling your bicycle for hours every day, or in the case of Dr. Pontzer landmark studies of the Hadza, our hunter-gatherer primitive living population in Tanzania, they burn the same number of calories as an office couch-potato shockingly. So even though they’re active all day long, they’re walking between three and seven miles a day. Brad (5m 22s): And this was his original study work started around a decade ago, where they went down to Tanzania expecting to find these guys burning way more calories than average humans. And that was when we turned the corner and realized that this is way bigger than our workout logs. This is more to the homo sapiens species. And we are, we happen to be the biggest calorie burner in the great ape family. And a lot of that is devoted to our massively a ravenous brain that burns 20% of all the daily calories that we burn. So that advanced brain function and all kinds of other reasons that we burn more calories than let’s say a gorilla. Brad (6m 4s): And this is vastly more significant than the blank goals and our training log or the huge big weeks of training that we do. Thinking that, yeah, this is increasing our daily caloric intake. So I’m going to get into it with great detail here. There’s going to be a lot thrown at you, a very comprehensive show I’ve prepared for you. And hopefully you’ll walk away feeling after processing all the information and shaking away your fixed and rigid beliefs. You’ll have a better understanding and a better focus on what it really takes to drop excess body fat. So hang until the latter parts of the show where we’re going to just cut the chase. Brad (6m 44s): But first you have to understand these amazing breakthrough insights that are shattering our notions of how the body works. And what I described that you burn around the same number of calories per day, regardless of whether you work out or not is called the constrained model of caloric expenditure. And this replaces the flawed conventional wisdom model that we’ve held for decades, which you could call the additive model of energy expenditure. And this is where we go on to the online cute little calculator. And we input our age and our height and our weight, and they spit out a basal metabolic rate. I’m sure you’ve heard that term BMR. And it says, this is how many calories you burn per day at rest. Brad (7m 25s): And then you can go and plug in the 600 calories that you burn at your spinning class or what your smartwatch told you. You just burned on your hike or your bike ride, and then add those two together. And that’s your calorie burn for the day, weigh and measure all your food, put it into an app, realize that you’re eating 400 calories less than you burned. And, Hm, well guess what? That calorie burning calculation could be highly inaccurate because what it fails to recognize the additive model of energy expenditure fails to recognize these adjustments and compensations that occur to normalize your daily caloric expenditure when you work out like crazy. Brad (8m 10s): So this is called the compensation theory. That your vigorous workout will cause you to being lazier and also to probably eat more food for the rest of the day. And this compensation happens both consciously and subconsciously. So a few set your alarm, wake up, get to the spinning class at 6:00 AM, pound the pedals, sweat like crazy while everyone else in your neighborhood’s asleep, you high five your person on the bike next to you. And then you go through the rest of the day with permission to take the elevator instead of the stairs. Permission to not get to that yard project quite just yet, maybe another day when you’ll move the sand bags over to the side yard and plant some more plants and do some general physical work. Brad (8m 55s): The compensations also happen beneath the surface on a subconscious level. So maybe just, maybe you’ll be reaching for an extra handful of nuts and snacks and treats and trail mix over the course of the day. Maybe you’ll go for that extra scoop of ice cream at nighttime kind of subconsciously, but just sounds good and looks good because of that workout that you did in the morning, you give yourself permission. So when we have these compensation factors in place, the compensation theory suggests that the net effect of your devoted workout regimen is essentially a wash when it comes to dropping excess body fat resting expenditure. Brad (9m 40s): This is Herman explaining it, Dr. Pontzer, this is a dynamic and moving target, your basal metabolic rate. It can’t be easily extracted from an online calculator. It’s a dynamic and moving target and it adjusts to make room for changes in physical activity to keep daily energy expenditure in the same ballpark, regardless of lifestyle. Now, I have to mention that this is a highly controversial point of view because of course it’s shattering the foundational elements of the diet and fitness industries, but Pontzer is a hardcore guy. Anyone who’s in the sciences and risen to the top of academia has to fight these battles. And so he says straight up, look, the data always wins. Brad (10m 22s): This is his life’s work: energy expenditure of humans and other apes. Eh, the 10 years of studying the Hadza combined with over a hundred great, highly validated studies from modern living citizens across the globe validate this idea that we burn around the same number of calories every day. So your next question is, of course, how the hell can this be? That my lazy ass neighbor next to me who sleeps in, he’s not even awake when I get home from spinning class. And then finally he emerges, walks 50 feet down the driveway. He gets the newspaper, maybe we’ll walk the dog. How the hell can he be burning the same number of calories as the bad-ass gym goer? Brad (11m 4s): Who’s also out there taking a pace walk with the friend in the evening and also foam rolling and fidgeting while watching Netflix instead of just laying there, sunken into the couch. So the first insight that made a lot of sense to me, that I pulled from the interviews with Pontzer is that homo sapiens genetics transcends these seemingly are relatively minor nuances of our daily lifestyle. Like I said, we’re the highest calorie burners among the apes. Gorillas burn 20% fewer calories than the human. And guess what a gorilla in the zoo, a chimpanzee or an ape burns the same number of calories as a much more active ape in the wild. Brad (11m 46s): So it’s more of our genetics rather than getting up and burning a hundred more calories, another 10 minutes of extra bike riding, extra credit after the workouts over. So how do we break this down? I give you a little tip there with the brain and the insight that the brain burns 20% of all daily calories, regardless of what we’re doing with it. Okay. So there’s a very, very surprisingly little variation between going to Hawaii on vacation, getting your lounge chair and gazing at the ocean for hours on vacation versus, for example, intense brain activity, like taking a lengthy professional exam where you’re sweating out every single question. Brad (12m 31s): And you’re in there in the exam room for the same six hours that you are on that lounge chair in Hawaii later that same month. Your brain does not change that much calorie burning. Herman said maybe it’s around four calories, extra per hour. And what does that equate to? An M and M, his favorite measure of caloric expenditure. So when you’re stressed and working on that deadline project in the office, and you’re really concentrating and your hands reaching for the M and M bowl over and over, think about that. One M per hour is the difference between that and vegging out. So we have the brain, who’s a voracious calorie burner with very little variation, and then we have the other organs and systems in the body that contribute to burning our total daily expenditure independent from our activity levels. Brad (13m 19s): For example, the gastrointestinal track burns around 15 to 20% of our daily calories. The liver, the control tower for all energy dispensation into the bloodstream in the body, again, burning around 15 to 20% of our total daily energy expenditure. The muscles, yes, the muscles are burning calories while you exercise, but it rests on the other 23 hours a day that you’re not working out. Those muscles are burning around 15 to 20% of your total daily energy expenditure as is the heart. The heart speeding all the time, I hope. So there’s another 15 to 20% that adds up to around a hundred percent of your basal metabolic rate. Okay, then we can talk about activity, right? Brad (14m 1s): So I don’t want to be that lazy ass neighbor guide described. I want to be the active, adventurous working out devotedly in the gym and getting up and moving instead of sitting doing a standup desk instead of a sit down desk, all this great stuff. Okay. Guess what? The moderately active human burns around 200 calories per day, more than the inactive human, which is surprisingly little, Oh my gosh, divide that 200 calories by 24 hours. Right? And it’s, it’s nothing it’s again, a couple of M & Ms difference between being a moderately active human and a couch potato. Here’s another big, shocking insight. What about when we go from moderately active to hugely active to the CrossFit gold star for attendance record or the marathon runner that’s putting in 30, 40, 50 miles a week. Brad (14m 51s): So when transitioned from the moderately active category to the incredibly active category, there is very little change in daily caloric energy expenditure. So we’re just taking that first bump up from being a couch potato to moderately or hugely active. And you’re only burning another 200 calories more per day. Ah, okay. What about that muscle mass burning more calories? So again, we’re making that adjustment compensation to the amount of mean body mass that you have regardless of your body fat percentage. So a lean mean 165 pound human in comparison to someone who’s 200 pounds, But has 165 pounds of lean body mass. Brad (15m 38s): Very little difference in energy expenditure. In fact, the heavier person might even burn more daily calories than the lighter person, because even fat requires energy burns has caloric expenditure every single day. So did you get that? We both have 165 pounds of lean body mass, but the 200 pound person with all that extra fat is burning not only around the same, but maybe more than the lean active athletic person. Okay. What about if you have two people that weigh the same amount, but one person’s lean and active and the other person is a much higher percentage body fat. Yes. There’s going to be more calories burned by the lean person. Brad (16m 18s): My dad was famous for maintaining his body weight throughout his entire life, but let’s say that he gradually lost a bit of muscle mass with each passing decade. So he’s still weighs 165 his whole life, but with less muscle mass, his calorie burning is going to go down. Okay. Here’s the thing about muscle mass. If you read the glitzy magazines or even listen to major authorities, popular voices like Dr. Oz, a best-selling author, Jorge Cruz, or the, a very popular book back in the nineties Body for Life. This edition of muscle mass was touted as the huge, magical secret to get lean drop that excess body fat and keep it off because your muscles are burning so many more calories than fat. Brad (16m 59s): This has been completely destroyed by emerging science. And the truth is the realization here is that muscle burns a little bit more calories than fat, but not much more a pound of muscle. And let’s say an inactive pound of muscle over the course of the day burns around six calories per day. A pound of fat like I said, the obese person is needing to burn more calories and a pound of fat burns around two calories per day. So we’re talking about, let’s say gaining 10 pounds of muscle and losing five pounds of fat, which in real life would be a dramatic physique transformation. Brad (17m 44s): Imagine how you would look if you put on 10 pounds of lean muscle mass and lost five pounds of fat. Oh yeah. You’re going to get those six pack coming out. You’re going to look different, feel great, look fantastic. But guess what? You’re only going to burn 60 additional calories per day with that new muscle mass. And you’re going to burn 10 calories fewer because you drop some of that spare tire, right? So the net is 50 K calories difference per day from a dramatic physique transformation that occurs in the gym. You may have heard about this highly lauded concept of “excess post exercise oxygen consumption” E P O C. Brad (18m 24s): And if you Google it and look for the most glitzy landing pages, people are talking about this as the wonderful, magical end all to drop excess body fat and get that six-pack glistening. Because if you do a workout for a half an hour, or guess what? Because of epoch EPOC, you’re going to burn more calories for hours and hours afterwards. But the truth is when it comes to your daily caloric expenditure, this concept of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption is insignificant to your total calorie burning. Okay? Huh? Maybe this isn’t flying with our long-held belief systems that if you go out there and train like crazy, you’re going to get lean and mean, right? Brad (19m 7s): I mean, I have, I had Dr. Pontzer with that pretty much exact question of back in my memory of extreme triathlon training you put in more hours of training and you get leaner and you get faster if doing it right. Of course. But if we’re talking about here, flaunting your homo sapiens genetics, and going out there and burning calories like crazy in the name of fitness or weight loss, what is going to actually happen to you? Here’s a fantastic quote that I would like you to remember for the rest of your life. Reproduction, growth repair and locomotion are a zero sum gain. Brad (19m 47s): Do you know what zero-sum gain means math students? That means it adds up to the same number, no matter what. So reproduction, growth, repair and locomotion are a zero sum gain. If you do more of one, let’s say locomotion, right? You’re training like crazy to get lean and mean and get fit. You’re going to take away. You’re going to borrow from the others. So if you’re in this crazy calorie burning mode, whether it’s from extreme exercise patterns, or let’s say running around like a harried soccer mom, where everything’s at full speed and you’re multitasking and you’re running into the house because you forgot something and dashing back into the car. Brad (20m 30s): And then when you get to the park for soccer practice, you’re going to jog a few laps around instead of just sit there and relax. And then you’re going to go onto your own workout. That’s later that day, you know, that kind of person I’m talking about. Okay. So if you’re a crazy calorie burning high energy, go, go, go type a person. You are going to be borrowing from these other critical human functions, reproduction, growth, and repair. So you’re going to be in the example of an extreme training athlete, such as myself, when I was a triathlete and training for hours and hours every day, burning, you know, tons of calories during those workouts, I was always treading on the thin line of suppressed immune function, suppress cognitive function, right? Brad (21m 12s): You get a little bit of brain fog when you’re burning too many physical calories and also is suppression of general energy levels during the day. So how, while I was on the bike or swimming or running for hours every single day, I didn’t burn very many calories in the rest of my life. I was asleep for 12 hours a day, as I often like to reminisce on the show that was 10 hours every night and a two hour nap every afternoon. So it was burning arguably significantly fewer calories outside of my workouts than someone who was following a more sensible training schedule. Furthermore, I was routinely and chronically suppressing immune function. Brad (21m 54s): I was challenging my body’s ability to grow and repair muscles, right? So it was always in kind of recovery mode. And of course on the reproduction side, it’s very common for high stress people, whether it’s extreme training athletes or people who are out of balance to have reduced reproductive drive, reduced libido and a diminishing reproductive fitness, the most extreme or graphic example. This is the very common occasion among female extreme and elite endurance athletes to have the cessation of menstruation. Amenorrhea is just hand in hand when the female gets super lean and is going for a national caliber times, or what have you. Brad (22m 37s): All the energy is devoted to running or training to the extent that they cease reproductive fitness. And this is kind of a hard one to swallow, but I can totally relate to it with my triathlon example because of all the ways that I conserved energy outside of the workouts, including reproduction, growth and repair. So my burn rate, going back to the science and how the data doesn’t lie was around the same as my buddies who had the same amount of lean body mass, but were studying hard in law school and hopefully getting out for a 30 minute jog between their medical school or law school or business school studies. Brad (23m 19s): Yeah. So this one is a hard hump to get over, to just shake your head and acknowledge that this tremendous devotion and attention that’s been a lifestyle strategy for you, the devotion to getting out there and burning calories during exercise in the name of maintaining a healthy weight or in the name of dropping excess body fat really doesn’t matter that much. At least it doesn’t matter directly. And we’re going to talk about the number of ways that it indirectly, but wow. Yeah, that’s a heavy one. So here’s a bunch of examples that might be swirling through your brain. And this list was compiled. When I woke up in the morning for days after my interviews with Dr. Brad (24m 1s): Pontzer thinking about all these counterexamples and trying to understand and come to terms with, with this wild paradigm shifting insight. How about the Tour de France riders? You might think, yeah, these guys are known to burn what six, seven, 8,000 calories a day. Don’t get me wrong. The calorie burning is happening. What we’re talking about out here with the science is the compensation factors. So indeed your watch or your device is correct that you just burned 600 calories during your 40 minutes spinning. When I worked for Spinning, we actually did research and, and tattered that research and write that a 40 minute class burns an exciting 650 calories or something like that. Brad (24m 43s): So that’s happening. We’re just talking about what’s happening when you get off the bike for the other 23 hours a day. And again, in comparison to that lazy ass neighbor who can barely get his dog out for a walk every day and doesn’t do nothing just sits around around, but guess what? Your vigorous workout, if you’re cranking for an hour, every single day, like a true devoted CrossFit enthusiast, those extreme high performing workouts, let’s say they’re going to burn 750 calories in an hour. That’s a lot of calorie burning. That’s a big person, but let’s use 750 for argument’s sake for a super awesome workout that you do let’s say five days a week. Brad (25m 23s): Well guess what if you divide that by 24 hours, that’s 31 extra calories per hour in comparison to your lazy ass neighbor. And I already mentioned the compensation factors where you might be moving a little more slowly and less apt to get up and do some yard work and burn regular every day, physical energy expenditure calories. Furthermore, we have those important compensation factors. So you’re going to spend less energy on your immune function, your reproductive function, your growth and repair of muscle tissue and all kinds of other things. So the Tour de France riders are basically walking zombies where their existence is completely devoted to burning those calories during the daily stage. Brad (26m 14s): And it’s completely unsustainable, which is why after the 25 day Tour de France, these guys are pretty much toast and they require a lot of downtime where very likely they’re eating a bunch of food, sleeping a lot, still exercising. And I know they have to go and continue to race and, and do all that, but they’re not doing a Tour de France style binge for more than a two, three times a year when they come to the grand tours and race a month. Furthermore, the elite athlete. Well, and an interesting example, we also have to acknowledge that they’re so incredibly fit that doing a five-hour bicycle race at high speed, doesn’t require a lot of caloric energy for them. Brad (26m 55s): It’s much easier for them to go and slam out a stage of the Tour de France than someone getting on their bike and riding the stage. You know, they have those guided tours in Europe where it’s either the day before or the day after you actually do the same stage of the Tour de France that you’re about to watch, or that just watch. It’s kind of a cool experience for a cycling enthusiast, but that’s going to require a lot more calories for someone who let’s say is racing 200 pounds up the Hill, rather than 139 pound Tyler Hamilton dancing on those pedals and getting the whole stage over with, remember in four hours and 25 minutes or something like that. Okay. How about Sisson’s example, where he talks about running a hundred miles a week week for seven years when he was training to be an elite marathoner and talking about all the health disturbances he had, which led him on his journey to being the, the Primal Blueprint guy. Brad (27m 50s): So he had impaired gut function, immune function that was trashed. He had recurring injuries that weren’t, you know, healing, right? He had things like arthritis in his hips and tendonitis in his ankles that pretty much ended his elite running career. So this was a sign that he was devoting excess energy to pounding the pavement and putting in those miles while the rest of his body was pretty much falling apart because it didn’t have the energy to repair. And boy, you can also see this in the amateur ranks where you’ll get a highly motivated goal oriented type person. I coached a lot of these people in the triathlon scene or they’d come to me, they’d say, here’s my schedule. Brad (28m 32s): I’m doing a couple of half iron mans this year. And next year I’m signed up for the big daddy of them, all the Ironman. And I want to train, train, train, and I want to do really well. And you’d see this period of life probably healthy too, that this was a temporary period of life that happened from ages 37 to 43. And then after that, that kind of like me. And when I put all those miles in and all those hours training, I shifted over to being a, super-duper a youth sports coach in soccer, basketball, and track with much less caloric output during the workouts, but a nice healthy phase of life to transition to something that wasn’t so extreme. And when it’s done poorly, when you go on these binges that are, I will advise, and you’re not prepared for them very well. Brad (29m 18s): We will often see someone who put in six months of heavy devotion to CrossFit requiring six months of extreme recovery, where they can’t even get into a basic fitness experience because they’re so tired, injured, broken down, whatever. Maybe it’s six years that they went hard, hard, hard as a competitive ultra running person or something. And then you’re going to see six years of recovery time, often taken on the back end. Speaking of six years. Oh my gosh, this is one of the most disturbing researches you’ll ever come across. Biggest loser contestants, six years after their appearance on the show and their binge experience of starvation paired with extreme exercise, six years later, they still showed signs of dysregulated appetite and fat metabolism. Brad (30m 8s): And the vast majority of them, almost all of them gained all the weight that they lost back. And then some, in many, many cases. So same thing in the bodybuilding scene. This is the, the best kept secret of the magazines you see on the shelves. And maybe the guy you see walking around at your gym, they’re known to kind of spin out of competition season with a major weight gain and complete exhaustion, to the extent that they’re just sitting around eating, instead of going to the gym for four, six, eight weeks after they got cut up to 3% body fat and flexed on stage, because it’s just so incredibly unsustainable. Brad (30m 48s): And as you probably know, there’s so many unhealthy aspects of cutting the weight and training to that extreme level. My favorite example came from my former podcast guest Wade Lightheart host of the BiOptimizers podcast and former competitive bodybuilder participating at the level of Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia. And he says after his Mr. Olympia experience, he gained 42 pounds in 11 weeks because his digestive system, his overall health was just destroyed. He became bloated unhealthy. And that led him down to the path of becoming a nutrition expert, especially with probiotics and digestive enzymes that he sells at his BiOptimizers company, but he was just a mess and he couldn’t figure out why he was gaining so much weight in such a short time after his extreme binge of training and unhealthy eating habits. Brad (31m 46s): So yes, it’s possible. And these compensations occur if you tempt your homo sapiens genes and try to live in an unsustainable manner. So most everything I’ve talked about is strongly validated by science and my shows from Dr Pontzer. But one thing that I kind of put in as an aside in which we don’t know enough yet, but if you live this lifestyle of burning the candle at both ends, let’s say I’m sustaining my triathlon training patterns that only lasted for nine years, but I’ve been doing it for 40 years. It’s possible that that burning the candle on both ends and burning more calories than you’re genetically adapted to, to thrive and be healthy from, could shorten lifespan. Brad (32m 26s): That’s what I think anyway. So back to the list of insights and examples, you might’ve heard Mark Sisson on his second appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast here in 2021. And they talked about all kinds of interesting topics. One of the things that came up was this research showing that chess masters burn around 6,000 calories per day, when they’re in tournament mode. And it was thought to be that their brain function is so intense during those chess masters matches that it upregulated and burn way more calories than the person sitting on the beach in Hawaii. But this is actually not true. It’s what was happening during these intense chess match experiences. Brad (33m 7s): As all other kinds of metabolic and hormonal systems are put on high alert, high calorie burning due to the massive stress involved with competing at that level. So throughout the day, they’re experiencing increased heart rate respiration, their endocrine function, their stress hormone production is off the charts. And that’s why they’re burning 6,000 calories per day. And again, this is highly unsustainable in the same refrain as Tour de France cyclist. So the chess master might’ve burned a ton of calories that day, but they’re not competing in a high stress high calorie burning a chess tournament day after day after day. Okay. I know, I know you’re still trying to get your head around it. Brad (33m 49s): How the heck can this be? How can an ambitious exercise regimen not help fat loss at all? At least directly a lot of indirect benefits coming up. So I talked about that CrossFit king or queen burning an extra averaged out only 31 calories per hour. And guess what, you know, the lazy neighbor we’re making fun of. They’re going to catch up to the CrossFit king or queen and that extra 31 calories per hour divided by 24 that you burn at the CrossFit workout. They’re going to catch up because they’re less fit. So walking that dog around the block is a nice calorie burning experience for an unfit person or climbing two flights of stairs. They’re going to be winded at the top. Brad (34m 31s): They’re going to have that excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Unlike a super-fit person, who’s going to float up two flights of stairs and burn far fewer calories. Same with going shopping at the grocery store, whatever basic level of activity you’re doing. When you’re super fit, you become super efficient. Same with the Tour de France bike rider, riding, you know, what they do on their off days, their, their off days from the tour. There’s a couple off days. They actually have to pedal the bicycle for two and a half hours to keep the blood flowing in the legs. Otherwise they will feel flat and beaten up when they get back on the bike. So that’s their off day. They’re still peddling, but that easy two and a half hour ride is nothing to them. Brad (35m 13s): And very few calories are burned. Relatively fewer calories are burned versus someone imagining riding a bicycle for two and a half hours. Okay. So when an athlete works out and works out more and works out more and gets nice and lean and gets all the compliments from their training partners, here’s, what’s happening explained by Dr. Pontzer. Quote, possibly the athlete is undergoing an initial adjustment to a higher level of training. And before they get used to it, yes, they’re going to be shedding some body fat burning, some extra calories, and then the body will adapt and it will become normalized. That’s one idea. The other one is in is that the athlete is in a temporarily unsustainable physic ala the Tour de France rider. Brad (35m 57s): So the tour guys, they make a devoted practice of dropping two, three, four, or five extra pounds in the month of June to get on the starting line as lean as possible because body weight is such a huge, important factor when it comes to the mountain climbing. So if you drop a low that’s 2.2 pounds of body weight, your performance on a sustained climb is going to mean the difference between staying with the pack and getting dropped, or the difference between the yellow jersey and getting fourth or fifth place, and who remembers who’s fourth or fifth place? Oh, man, these Tour de France writers have it down to such a fascinating science. You can read more in Daniel Coyle’s book The Secret RaceT but they can pretty much determine who’s going to win the tour de France in the training period, leading up to the Tour de France and specifically they’re identifying the amount of wattage. Brad (36m 50s): A rider can deliver per kilogram of body weight at anaerobic threshold. So you can prick your finger and get a blood sample on the fly. When you’re out there in the field and determine that you’re working at anaerobic threshold, then you can identify it and also in a laboratory and use your heart rate. So you’ll have a cyclist in training, going out and climbing a hill at 173 heartbeat climbing a mountain. Let’s say it’s a seven mile climb that’s going to last a half an hour or something. So they’ll go up that will at anaerobic threshold and notice their wattage output on the wattage meter on the bike, and then make a calculation according to their body weight. Brad (37m 32s): And the higher that number is I believe it was something like if you’re a 7.0, you’re going to win the tour. If you’re a 6.8, you’re going to be a top contender. If you’re 6.3 or below, and I might not be exactly accurate with the numbers, but you can get my point here. You know, that you’re going to get dropped on the big climb in the Tour de France. So pretty fantastic how science has come into the, the endurance sports world. And of course, doping is another factor that will help you put more watts out at a certain body weight. But putting that aside for a moment, just being able to pinpoint that pretty fascinating, but back to our discussion about why the heck does exercise not contribute to a body fat reduction? Brad (38m 12s): Those were the factors that Dr Pontzer was mentioning first athlete undergoing an initial adjustment, dropping some fat, getting used to the training load, and then normalizing, in fact, even possibly gaining some weight back to get back to that set point or in a temporarily unsustainable physique for the Tour de France, or interestingly here, if you’re that workout person or you see that person who’s working out more and getting lean, this is also attributed to the athlete. Changing their diet as part of an overall lifestyle improvement. So your increased devotion to fitness and working out has also inspired you to clean up your diet. Brad (38m 55s): Okay. Then I asked Dr. Pontzer about these outlier examples that don’t fit with the formula. For example, athletes who work out a lot and eat a lot of food. And I’m thinking of my son who is, you know, trying to pack on extra body mass. He’s been doing so for several years now, you know, college age or out of college age, but has been putting on 40 pounds of lean body mass in the last four years, let’s say so quite a, an unusual example in the massive adult population here. But why isn’t he getting fat if he’s burning the same amount of calories every day? So the first thing is when you’re putting on all that lean body mass, you are indeed burning more calories. Brad (39m 38s): And secondly, if you’re a big workout person and consuming extra protein to support that muscle growth, that hypertrophy and also good recovery from challenging workouts, a protein in particular has a very significant thermic effect. That means that around 25% of all the protein calories you consume go toward digesting the protein. Okay. So if you do four scoops of protein into your smoothie, that last scoop is totally devoted to digesting the other three scoops. And so it’s not as many calories as you think because of that thermic effect of food Pontzer says that 20% of all the calories that you eat have a thermic effect. Brad (40m 25s): In other words, just like the brain burning 20%, 20% of all calories, the food you eat requires 20% of the calories to digest the food. Other sources go a little lower saying that a protein has a thermic effect of 25% and fat and carbs have a thermic effect of only 8%. But if we get in there somewhere up to around 20%, now it’s starting to make sense that regardless of whether we work out or not, there’s a lot of energy going toward working that brain and digesting protein as well as the other macronutrients. So this is kind of reminded me of Robb Wolf’s wonderful quote, when he said, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. Brad (41m 9s): So that goal of maintaining sufficient muscle mass, especially as you age, is extremely huge, and it has all kinds of health ramifications to it. So we’re trying to maintain lean muscle mass. And that means eating sufficient protein, maybe even a little extra protein, knowing that the thermic effect of protein is going to be unlike less likely to have you packing on extra body fat. Okay. So I mentioned my son, the calorie eating machine, who’s working out eating a meal, cleaning up the meal, and then starting to make a second meal. No joke. Oftentimes what about someone who’s got a heavy manual labor job works in construction all day and also loves to do triathlons in his spare time versus the guy in the wonderful suit. Brad (41m 52s): That’s hanging out on the subway, the elevator, the high rise office, and then back to an evening of Netflix. Okay. Well guess what? That person’s going to burn several hundred additional calories per day than the completely sedentary person again, let’s say these guys have the same amount of lean body mass overall. So we’re not going to make any further adjustments, but we also can conjecture that the extreme active person is taking away from reproduction, repair and growth. Okay. So now that we understand the compensation theory, the constrained model of caloric expenditure would be the official title of this idea that we burn around the same number of calories per day. Brad (42m 39s): How the heck are we going to drop excess body fat then if it’s not about cranking up the spin bike? Oh, okay. What about crash dieting? Well, here’s what happens if you severely restrict calories for a prolonged period of time, the survival instincts kick in that we’re so familiar with, you’ve heard this as why diets don’t work is your body goes into survival mode. It’s absolutely true. And what happens is over time, your body is going to adjust to a new normal level of caloric intake. So we have this data on burning a certain number of calories as homo sapiens, but homo sapiens who starved themselves strategically starved themselves, right? Brad (43m 23s): With a long-term calorie restriction diet are going to burn fewer calories than their normal expected genetic baseline. And your body finds all kinds of different, clever ways to down regulate and adjust to the new normal. By being less generally active down-regulating important metabolic functions, reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion. So you’re going to just tone down all four of those, including your desire to locomote to work out. You’re going to be too lazy, too tired to work out. And if you do work out, you’re going to have crappy workouts. I’ve had Elle Russ on the podcast before, and of course she’s hosting all the Primal Blueprint shows and talking about her experience. That’s detailed in her book, Paleo Thyroid Solution, where she was killing it. Brad (44m 7s): She was checking off all the boxes. She was living this wonderful paleo lifestyle, cutting out all those nasty carbs and eating really cleanly, doing hot yoga several days a week, going for long hikes, swimming every morning. And what was happening was her body was not getting sufficient nutrition. And so her thyroid was putting on the brakes. And this is when she went into tailspin of poor health driven by the well-meaning well-intentioned desire to be super active and not eat an excessive calories. So exercising more doesn’t really work nor does a prolonged caloric restriction. Brad (44m 49s): So how are we going to do this? Let’s ask Dr. Pontzer. I love his quote here about losing excess body fat. And he says, quote, it’s tough, especially as you get older. I said, I don’t see a book deal there, man. I don’t see an angle. He’s like, yep, that’s right. It’s really, really tough. And there’s also research showing that there is a high genetic component to the percentage of body fat that you’re currently carrying. There’s also a high lifestyle component to dysregulated eating and gaining excess body fat. So that’s where we can focus on all kinds of parameters, like getting sufficient sleep. Brad (45m 33s): All the research is showing that sleep deprivation even minor or short-term sleep deprivation triggers an increase in insulin resistance. So you’re going to be less adept at burning body fat and probably experience increase in appetite increased co-work intake. If you skimp on sleep, same with, if you don’t get enough general everyday movement. So if you’re sitting around and you have a noticeable increase in insulin resistance, decrease in glucose tolerance in as little as 20 minutes. So you start getting worse at burning fat and your cognitive function goes down. And generally that’s going to trigger an increase in appetite, especially for quick energy carbohydrates. So if you’re not moving much not sleeping well or over exercising, these are going to cause appetite, dysregulation, excess overeating and gaining excess body fat. Brad (46m 23s): We also have those hyper palatable foods, which are such a big problem because they hijack the dopamine reward pathways in the brain and stimulate us, trigger us to overeat. Check out Dr. William Davis bestselling book Wheat Belly, where he talks about the addictive properties of the modern day, gliadin protein contained in the modern day wheat product. And this gliadin stuff hits the opioid receptors in the brain and has the addictive property that prompts us to consume an additional 300 calories of food per day, because we have wheat in our diet. Trip out on that. And of course the addictive properties of sugar and the penchant for consuming a little sugar and wanting more is very well known and very validated by the great work of people like Dr. Brad (47m 12s): Gary Taubes, Dr. Robert Lustig. So we have these addictive foods and these dysfunctional lifestyle patterns that we can blame for the human pension to add excess body fat throughout the adult life. So here’s an interesting concept. It’s called “energy flux.” And this is believed to have genetic influences as well as childhood rearing influences. So it’s both your genetics and how you were raised. Whew! There’s a great article on men’s health. And it’s kind of identifying that we have these categories of whether you’re a, a high energy flux person, a high calorie burner, or a low calorie burner just by nature. Brad (47m 53s): Here’s a quote from the article, Dr. <inaudible> thinks that the human body seeks a preferred energy flux rather than a preferred body weight. Indeed studies of identical twins have shown that they typically have the same energy flux even when their body weights and activity levels differ. So the identical twins, the same genetics, right? They’re either high calorie, burners, or low calorie burners, the higher body mass of the less active twin. So let’s imagine two identical twins separated at birth. One guy got fat and lazy. The other guy’s an athlete, but the higher body mass of the less active twin allows him to burn the same number of calories as his lighter sibling. Brad (48m 34s): Who’s also fitter. In our example, Dr. Pontzer who was quoted in the article, he says, it’s possible that high or low daily energy expenditure is set early in life. Whether we have an active childhood or an indoor childhood playing with screens all day. We still don’t know the precise mechanism, but he’s noted two groups that appear to have a preponderance of high energy flux people, high energy expenditure type people. And those would be athletes and subsistence farmers. So they have a long history of moving around a lot and burning a lot of calories and eating a lot of food. So whether I’m still quoting from the article, whether it’s genes, environment, or some combination, high energy expenditure in childhood may remain intact throughout life. Brad (49m 20s): But Dr. Pontzer says, we don’t know for sure being predisposed to high energy flux may help. Some people respond quickly to workouts and have more success, keeping their weight stable through exercise. Well, for some others, no amount of exercise affects weight loss. To gauge if exercise would help you easily lose weight and keep it off, ask yourself if you fit into one or more of these categories. So we’re kind of tracking to see if you are a high energy flux person or a low energy flux person. Question number one, you were extremely active as a kid, but are mostly sedentary now. Question number two, until recently you could eat whatever you wanted without gaining much weight If any. Brad (50m 5s): And question number three, you’ve spent most of your life in pretty good shape and only recently let yourself go. If any of these ring true, there’s a good chance you’re in high energy flux. This suggests that your body prefers to eat a lot of food each day. And until recently you matched your appetite with a high activity level, and it suggests that your body may respond quickly to structured workouts. So get back out there if you’re a kind of lost yourself in recent years. Okay? So that’s the end of the insights about the energy flux article and let’s get back and zero in on this plan of how we lose excess body fat. I talked about how we gain the excess body fat. Brad (50m 47s): So now we talk about how to lose it, which Dr. Pontzer says is tough. And you know why it’s tough. It’s mainly because we have a whole bunch of modern genetic disconnects that we’ve blasted ourselves with in everyday life. Like the hyper palatable foods. I mentioned my brother, Oh, look, my son and my brother both get plugged on the show. Thank you for doing the transcription notes. So my mom gets a plug there too. How about that? But my brother came to me. So he gets, he gets her repeated on the podcasts for, for eternity when he said, yeah, I have a problem. I eat so healthy. Everything’s really doing clean. We’re making good meals, but every night around 11, I just have to have a bowl of cereal. And I just can’t, I can’t stand it. Brad (51m 28s): I wish I could cut it out. What do you think? Do you have any ideas? And I said, yeah, I can guarantee that will never happen again. Just go to bed at 10 30. Okay. So there’s the cereal at 11 example. We talked about the foods that were, that are thrown in our face all day long and all night, everywhere we go, the cultural traditions around eating and having lavish desserts, and then having some more and having to go to the movies and buy something in line. Before you sit and watch a movie, you got to have something in your hand, all of those kinds of cultural influences that are prompting us to overeat, and especially this concept of these modern foods that hijack the dopamine reward pathways is super interesting. Brad (52m 12s): And I think one of the biggest factors in the gaining of excess body fat difficulty dropping excess body fat. So check out Robb Wolf’s book Wired to Eat for more details. And Dr. Stephan Guyanete book, Hungry Brain talking about how these foods that combine typically the combination of sugar, fat and salt are what hijack these reward pathways in the brain, because these foods are completely non-existent in nature and over the course of evolutionary biology. So the great study of the Hadza that Dr Pontzer has done, and you might’ve heard content from Paul Saladino, Anthony Gustin went down there and spent some time with the Hadza, and yes, they will find a beehive and they will raid that puppy and binge on the honey. Brad (52m 57s): But it’s not typically at the same time, the same meal as when they get fresh kill from their hunting success. So when we pair these sweets and treats and lavish foods, and we can talk about all the dessert category, ice cream essentially is the pairing of sugar and fat. Cheese cake, potato chips, a baked potato with butter, even a bowl of pasta, right? With a meat sauce or the protein and some fat sources with all those carbohydrates. Those are the things that dysregulate our appetite. And again, we’re going against our genetics because we are genetically adapted our survival as a species has depended upon binge eating and storing excess body fat to get ready for the harsh cold winters. Brad (53m 41s): We did it every single year. Most humans on the planet, right? We’re really good at storing fat and then saving it for later use. So perhaps the best starting point of all, if you have an ambition to drop excess body fat is to ditch processed nutrient deficient foods in favor of high satiety, nutrient dense foods, especially protein, because it has that tremendous thermic effect where you’re going to be highly satiated. When you have a high protein meal, let’s say some, some scrambled eggs and steak and an avocado on top, and you’re going to eat this thing and you’re going to be full. You’re not going to overeat a second pan of scrambled eggs and steak and avocado much less likely than you would be to overeat with ice cream, cheesecake, whatever sweets and treats you’re doing. Brad (54m 31s): So getting rid of those nutrient deficient foods is the very sensible and powerful first step in the direction of succeeding with dropping excess body fat. Hey, what about these great dietary popular trends of recent times, Primal, Paleo, low carb, keto, carnivore? Pontzer points out that any diet will be successful if it’s restrictive, right? Same with all the intermittent fasting and the protocols. And it looks like two meals a day has good timing and good central premise because we’re capitalizing on all these new insights to make it simple and realize that, Hey, look, if you just kind of look at your lifestyle as a two meals a day maximum without snacking, that’s gonna put you in a winning position because you’re putting some restrictions. Brad (55m 17s): You’re putting the brakes on this constant access to hyper palatable foods. And of course, in the book, our first step, the right out of the gate, I believe there’s even a quip in there that if you can’t handle this, then you might as well just close the book and move on with your life. But that is to ditch the big three toxic modern foods. And those would be refined grains, sugars, and industrial seed oils. So back to the question of these specialized diets, like low carb keto, and this very popular carbohydrate insulin model of obesity, we’ll call it. And this is the premise advanced by leaders in the movement like Dr. Brad (55m 59s): Jason Fung, author of the obesity code, Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, why we get fat and the case against sugar. So these guys have done tons of research and promoted this carbohydrate insulin model of obesity. The Dr. Pontzer not necessarily directly refutes, but he’s not a hundred percent on board that this is the end all. So we’re kind of talking about how this carbohydrate insulin model of obesity does not transcend the simple insight that we are constrained with daily calorie burning. So that’s as polite as a big time people can strongly disagree where Pontzer saying that you can’t extract an idea like that, that flies in the face of evolutionary biology. Brad (56m 45s): So he’s standing on his position that we’re constrained by calorie burning where the, the carb insulin, model of obesity is implying that it’s the carbohydrates themselves that are causing the insulin spike that’s causing the excess body fat. Dr. Jason Fung says that 95% of your success or failure with fat reduction goals depends on your ability to control insulin in the diet. And Dr. Pontzer says that 100% of your success or failure to lose excess body fat comes from the amount of calories you eat. So I think the reconciliation here is that if you are consuming a lot of carbs, spiking insulin frequently, you’re going to have an increase in appetite, and you’re going to consume more calories, especially carbohydrates if you’re on that carbohydrate insulin rollercoaster. Brad (57m 38s): So, so we can embrace the idea that it’s all about calories consumed, and then go looking at ways to optimize appetite, optimize lifestyle patterns so that we, as Dr Pontzer says, find a diet that you enjoy and leaves you satisfied without eating excess calories. And that’s the secret to maintaining a healthy body weight, or dropping a few excess pounds, if that’s your goal. And we’re going to finish off the show with some tips and tricks to do just that. So it appears to be, remember that we can’t starve ourselves, or we’ll do all these compensatory mechanisms. And we cannot out exercise our homo sapiens genetics and our constraint model of energy expenditure. Brad (58m 21s): So it appears that the strategy to drop the excess body fat is to implement an under the radar approach. So you obtain a mild calorie deficit without prompting these compensatory mechanisms and without disturbing reproduction, repair and growth. So there appears to be two basic ways to achieve this, right? One would be to, to achieve a slight calorie deficit each day, or perhaps once in a while, engage in an extreme calorie deficit, such as a 24 hour fasting period one day a week, or something like that, where you’re going to burn a lot of fat calories that day to get your get through the day because you didn’t eat, but then you’re going to recalibrate and return to a normal eating pattern. Brad (59m 10s): And yes, it’s almost impossible to identify or pinpoint that you’re eating in a slight calorie deficit on each day or most days. So it’s mainly a matter of being more mindful, more intentional, and making an effort to eat less food than you normally do, or to pay more attention to your hunger and satiety signals and realize that yes, you’ve had enough, you’re satisfied and you can push the plate away rather than all these emotional and reflexive behaviors that we have toward eating where we’re eating way more than we need or reaching for those hyper palatable foods. Personally, I’ve found it useful to trigger sensations of hunger now, and then just to remind myself that I’m a human and increase my appreciation of food that I do eat, and also hone my fat burning capabilities. Brad (59m 58s): And I’ve talked about how cold exposure facilitates that because when you get your body cold, whether it’s going in the chest freezer or going for a swim in Lake Tahoe, your body has to work hard to rewarm and return the body to homeostasis afterward. And that extra caloric expenditure triggers an increase in appetite. And when you ignore that increase in appetite, you’re going to turbocharge accelerated fat burning. And then when it is time to eat, Oh boy, you really enjoy the meal because you’ve worked through a minor sensation of hunger now and then. Of course, people can overdo it here and get into that crash diet category where all kinds of bad things can happen. So it’s really thinking about that concept. I just came up with that term under the radar, because it, it’s a nice way to approach this, where you don’t have all this pressure on you. Brad (1h 0m 45s): You’re not feeling stressed that you missed a day of exercise, and now your fat reduction goals are going to be compromised. It’s none of that. It’s just a matter of having a greater appreciation for the natural hunger and satiety signals of the human and not being a modern day, unbridled, undisciplined pig who’s always around food and can eat as much as they want without even making any effort besides clicking a button and having Door Dash come to your door. So you can pick virtually any diet that has rules, restrictions, and guidelines that will not prompt you to overeat. Any diet is essentially a gimmick. In the end, you can cut carbs, you can cut fat, you can cut out plants like the carnivore movement. Brad (1h 1m 28s): You can get into intermittent fasting. You can go with a compressed eating window. You can be a vegan, but if you have these rules and guidelines in place, you won’t have constant unfettered access to hyper palatable foods and potential for overeating. That said, after blasting you with all these different, different options, keep in mind that is something like a vegan pattern should be described as extremely risky because you’re cutting out the majority of the most nutrient dense foods on earth. You also want something that’s going to be sustainable. So if you’re getting sick of keto after two weeks, because you feel better when you consume sweet potatoes and other sources of carbohydrates or whatever the case is, you don’t like to eat a certain foods that are a centerpiece of a certain diet, You’re going to have to find something that works for you. Brad (1h 2m 22s): That’s sustainable and leaves you satisfied without the need to overeat. And that’s why low carb primal paleo keto has become so popular, particularly keto because that’s taking it to the extreme, right? But if you limit your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams per day or less, you are going to produce a minimal amount of insulin. You’re going to rarely be hungry. And if you do it right, and choose a really nutritious foods as the centerpiece of your ketogenic experience, you’re going to be highly satisfied. But we’re going to broaden the lens a little bit from these popular diets and strategies of the day to realize when it comes to the context of losing excess body fat, that anything or a variety of things can work. Brad (1h 3m 8s): That’s why my next book is going to be titled the CNC diet that’s right, carnivores and chocolate, because I feel the carnivore diet has a lot to offer. It’s extremely high satiety. It’s low insulin stimulating. It has a tremendous nutrient density. You can go look for the carnivores scores chart@bradkearns.com. And we ranked the various categories of the most nutritious foods on earth in the carnivores spirit. So a carnivore-ish diet that provides sufficient carbohydrates for your athletic performance and recovery needs in many cases, including mine. So it’s not super strict because that would be too few carbohydrates for my preference. And the chocolate comes in there because it’s one of my favorite foods. Brad (1h 3m 49s): It’s got a lot of nutritional benefits and that arguably is as good as any other diet when it comes to dropping excess body fat. Because all we’re talking about is regulating your caloric intake and feeling happy and satisfied. Fasting is also super fantastic strategy, because again, it’s another rule. Maybe it’s a gimmick. You can call it that if you want. But when I made the rule to not consume any food until 12 noon, go listen to the fatty popcorn by boys’ saga for details. There wasn’t any magic to it. It was just putting some rules and restrictions on me so that I didn’t have unregulated and unfettered access to all the food that I wanted all the time, every single day. Brad (1h 4m 33s): So a smaller eating window arguably gives you less potential to overeat, less likelihood to overeat. But again, you can certainly get the job done by overstepping yourself, even if you’re eating in a compressed eating window. So all of these things can be really helpful because they tighten up this, this free for all modern world, where we have a tendency to overeat. And then that’s where the lifestyle factors come in. So just as I try to wrap up this show, bullet number one is pick a diet, probably with rules, restrictions, and guidelines, to help you and guide you toward a high state tidy diet that doesn’t prompt you to overeat. Brad (1h 5m 15s): Then we have to get the lifestyle habits nailed because these have a tremendous influence on our appetite hormones and our state tidy hormones. So we want to get a sufficient sleep. We want to have good stress management. I want to absolutely positively avoid any whiff of over-training because when you’re in a pattern of exhausting depleting workouts, you are going to prompt extreme appetite spikes to replenish yourself due to this overly stressful unsustainable lifestyle pattern, not just to replenish and get back to normal, but most likely to overeat because you’re most likely be having access to food for more hours than you’re exercising, right? So even if you go out there and do a killer two hour run, Epic run in the mountains, you’re going to be home for the next eight with access to food. Brad (1h 6m 4s): And you’re going to overeat if the workouts are too stressful. So we want to nail those, those primal principles that we’ve talked about for so long, where you’re doing plenty of low level movement and aerobic pace for your cardiovascular exercise, rather than exceeding that maximum aerobic heart rate. And then also getting in the brief explosive sessions that have a lot of wonderful metabolic benefits, including turbocharging fat burning. Again, this is assuming that you’re eating a sensible diet rather than stuffing your face, just because you went to the track and did a sprint workout. So we want to become a fat burning beast in all ways, in all areas of life, especially managing the stress response, because when you’re producing a lot of cortisol, such as staying up late, looking at a screen, you’re going to want to reach for that cereal bowl. Brad (1h 6m 53s): So the stress hormone spike is directly associated with a dysregulation of appetite and satiety hormones and living a balanced, relaxed, chilled lifestyle, where you enjoy meals. You eat at a sensible pace. You’re not chewing your food too quickly. You’re not watching TV while you’re eating all these things are going to contribute to a sensible caloric intake. And in the case of trying to drop a few pounds of excess body fat, they’re going to contribute to that because you’re going to notice these satiety signals more likely than if you’re watching a freaking basketball game while you’re stuffing your face with food. Another wonderful benefit of exercise and increase general everyday movement is that these prompt a reduction in systemic inflammation. Brad (1h 7m 33s): And Dr. Pontzer talked about some good research on our second show. If you sit around too much in general, everyday life, we know this from many, many articles sitting is the new smoking. You can Google that and see all these dangers of inactivity, but your body becomes inflamed. The, the human, the homo sapiens simply is compelled to move around a lot throughout the day and go and look at the Hadza and their behavior and their movement patterns to inform how we have lived for millions of years until only recently. So if you sit around too much, this is a unhealthy practice that causes systemic inflammation in the body. Now, when you have this state of chronic inflammation, this is going to cause overproduction of stress hormones, appetite, dysregulation, hunger spikes, and of course, eventually overeating and excess fat. Brad (1h 8m 23s): And like this quote from Gary Taubes book, where he says gluttony and sloth are not the causes of obesity. They are the symptoms of obesity. When you become obese, when you have metabolic damage, you are too tired to exercise and you’re hungry all the time. The symptoms of obesity are gluttony and Sloss. Okay. Also, exercise is wonderful to help reduce your stress reactivity to all other forms of stress in hectic high stress, fast paced, modern life. So you can probably envision or maybe think of yourself on a bad day where you’re running around and agitated, harried, hectic full of dysregulated energy. Brad (1h 9m 9s): And this also prompts systemic inflammation, this spike of stress hormones, or the chronic overproduction of stress hormones in the case of a constantly harried human. And that’s going to bring in appetite dysregulation, excess hunger, excess eating, excess body fat. Chill people know how to fast. They eat sensible meals, they enjoy themselves, and they just tone down this hyper the stress reactivity problem in modern life. And I’m going to throw one more bullet in here inspired by Dave Rossi. Who’s very interested in the topic of weight loss. He’s the spiritual guru. That’s been on the show three times and we’ll call it intention. Kind of a wild card here. Cause it’s outside of the mechanics of the science and the insights from Dr Pontzer. Brad (1h 9m 56s): But Rossi talks about this a lot, where if you form a healthy image of yourself and your body, and you have some gratitude for wherever you are today, even if you will acknowledge that you’re not at your, at your best weight or whatever it is, or your best fitness level, start with gratitude. Start with forming a healthy image and then decide to turn things around with positive energy rather than disgust and self-loathing and all these flimsy motivators that only work for a short time. And this will help you reclaim your genetic potential. So you form an intention. I am going to drop a few pounds of excess body fat. Brad (1h 10m 36s): I deserve it. I feel great about myself now. And I’m so happy that I’m not suffering in the hospital and dying of a global pandemic, whatever you want to do to form a positive intention. And then you start from that point. My primal colleague for a long time, Amy Lucas, actress writer in Hollywood, and she made this memorable qAuip. We were just having a meal in a restaurant and I’ll never forget it. She said, you know what? I’m sure that I’m never going to be fat because I believe that I’m a skinny person, a slender person. I have the identity of a slender person. And if anything interferes with that self image, I will automatically correct course without even, without even realizing it and quote, and that’s a pretty heavy quote. Brad (1h 11m 25s): You get the difference between someone who’s had a long battle with self-loathing and negativity and whatever other emotional disturbances that have led to dysregulated eating yo-yo dieting and all this crazy stuff. Okay. One other thing to note, when we’re talking about dropping excess body fat, we have to understand the difference between moving your body weight, changing your body weight, and actually reducing excess body fat, getting a lower percentage of body fat, because we have a surprising ability to fluctuate our body weight on a day-to-day basis. And this is often mistaken for gaining and losing fat, but instead, what it is is almost entirely natural fluctuations in hydration, glycogen, retention, inflammation, and water retention in the cells throughout the body. Brad (1h 12m 15s): And these are what cause our body weight to vary routinely five pounds in a single day. So when you haven’t exercise much and been on a nice cruise and went to the buffet and stuffed your face and came back a week later, and it shows that you gained seven pounds, it’s possible that you gained maybe one pound of excess body fat. If you really did yourself, a good job, but mostly that’s inflammation, full glycogen retention, water retention throughout the cells in the body. And you can go and get rid of several pounds with one amazing session in the sauna or one sweaty hot spinning class workout. Brad (1h 12m 56s): And then you recalibrate, if you don’t believe me, check out YouTube video with my former podcast guest, Nick Simmons, and you can search the title. We’ll have it in the show notes where he lost 10 pounds in 24 hours on a hundred dollars bet. And how did he do it mostly through fasting, right? Because even when you consume a meal, a one gram of carbohydrate in the meal binds with three to four grams of water fluid in the body. So it’s easy to gain weight after a single meal, right? When, when you’re talking about retaining a lot of that. And so he was doing some fasting for the 24 hours, kind of cutting back on his water intake on the second day and did a couple of hard workouts, including a final, hot, sweaty workout, where he was pulling the concept two rower wearing the, the trash bag over his sweatsuit and boom, back on the scale and 10 pounds gone in a single day. Brad (1h 13m 50s): So that’s an extreme case where he’s playing with a tiny bit of dehydration and depletion from not eating, but again, all of us will cycle up and down five pounds. And if you want to get obsessive about it, you can go weigh yourself, you know, 20 times over the next five days and be regaled at the, the fluctuation of weight. So maybe the best way to measure progress here is to get a tight fitting pair of pants or take a picture of yourself with minimal clothing and look for the muscle definition or lack of muscle definition and the changes that you make when you drop excess body fat over times and expect to do it at a very gradual and sensible rate. So it will be sustainable realizing that these big numbers that people put up are mostly a reduction in inflammation and glycogen retention from extreme exercise, extreme dieting, and all that crazy stuff. Brad (1h 14m 40s): That’s unsustainable. All right. Good luck. Hope you enjoyed it. Hope you got some insights from it. And Hey, how many times have you been hungry in the last 30 days or 30 years? Yes, it’s okay to tip toe out there and push the boundary a little bit, especially if you want to drop a pound or two or five of excess body fat. And when it comes to exercise, it doesn’t have that direct application from the calorie burning that we always thought. But when you exercise sensibly, when you get a lot of low level cardio and those brief explosive workouts, Oh my goodness. It’s going to have a super positive effect on your appetite and on your eating habits. So it’s a comprehensive lifestyle approach. Brad (1h 15m 20s): And now, you know, you can zero in on it. You can relax, breathe a sigh of relief that it’s actually not too hard to drop excess body fat. You just got to form that intention and go out there and do it. Thank you so much for listening. 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 of 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. Brad (1h 16m 4s): 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? 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Dr. Herman Pontzer: “The Data Always Wins”

The one and only Herman Pontzer, author of the transformative and life-changing book Burn, is back to share more fascinating knowledge in another hard-hitting show about energy expenditure.

I was so blown away by the content of our conversation from the first show that I had to have him back and detail these insights about the constrained model of energy expenditure that blows the lid off the foundational premise of the fitness industry and also the diet/weight loss industry. This episode will open your eyes to the real reasons that make exercise so beneficial for your body, especially when it comes to how it both prevents and mitigates chronic inflammation. I manage to ask Herman a question he has never been asked before, and he explains why he tries to make sure most of his active time is spent outside and why maintaining meaningful connections with friends and family is an important part of any health routine.

Herman also illuminates how our individual levels of energy expenditure affect how our bodies react to different stimuli by using the example of how public speaking prompts the body to go into fight or flight mode. As he explains, everyone’s heart rate rises while public speaking (no matter how calm and cool you feel about it), and that reaction costs your body energy. However, the amount of energy that it takes your body to “go back to normal” post public speaking is directly affected by exercise. If you regularly work out, you will experience a different reaction compared to someone who does not; your response will be “blunted,” meaning adrenaline and cortisol levels will not rise as much as someone who is inactive. So while you will recover back to baseline faster, an inactive person will experience both a bigger bust of cortisol and adrenaline, as well as take longer to return back to a normal baseline. This goes back to the great point he made during his last episode, when he said that you exercise for everything you don’t see, because regular activity gives your body so many more benefits than just an aesthetic one.

TIMESTAMPS:

The average daily caloric expenditure in the human does not change regardless of our activity level. [01:43]

We are burning energy at about 20% more per day than chimpanzees and Bonobos which are our closest relatives. [09:14]

The variation in brain caloric expenditure is minimal. Most of your organs are burning calories at rest. [13:19]

So, we burn calories at rest, what happens when we exercise? [15:41]

Chronic inflammation is your immune system run amuck. [21:13]   

In studying the Hadza, do you see explosive activity? [23:49]

The reason we, as an advanced society, do all these competitive things is not trying to improve the human ability, it’s just for fun and self-satisfaction. [28:02]

With Herman’s research in mind, what is the best way to longevity? You can’t ignore the genetics, but you can create a lifestyle that will help you live to the fullest. [29:27]

Your body is going to make you balance out the exercise with the rest period. [37:31]

Fat really doesn’t burn many calories. [42:44]

The insulin-based view of obesity doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. [45:52]

If you are hungry all the time, your diet is not working. There is no one size fits all. [50:53]

To beat the obesity epidemic, start with the kids.  It is hard to change when you are older. [53:48]

If you are unhappy and miserable with what you are doing, it is not going to work.  You need to find what works for you.  [56:22]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “The Hadza don’t run from predators. Predators run from them.”
  • “Chronic inflammation is your system run amok. It is your immune system on, all the time, when it doesn’t have to be.”
  • “People think if you burn more calories, you ought to be less fat. But we’re also more fat, because we got parked at a high metabolic rate.” 
  • “We burn energy at 30% more per day than chimpanzees and bonobos.”
  • “The data wins. “
  • “People thought that if you have obesity, you must have a slow metabolic rate. But obese people actually burn more calories than slim people.”

LISTEN:

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Brad (1m 44s): Oh, listeners, hold your hats. Part two. Because we are back with a vengeance, like a movie sequel. It is the one and only Dr. Herman Pontzer author of the transformative book called BURN about energy expenditure in the human and his mind blowing insights cannot leave my brain. I’m I never sleep. Fitfully I always sleep like a rock, but when I wake up in the morning, let’s say I’m a tormented, inspired, captivated and continuing to obsess upon these topics that I learned in his book. So we had a wonderful initial, full length interview talking through the book concepts, but then I just blasted this poor guy. Brad (2m 27s): Who’s trying to get work done in the highest levels of academia. Here comes this random podcast host and pushing them up against the wall. And I’m like, dude, we gotta, we gotta get through this. And so we are going to dig deeper into this fascinating insight of the constrained model of energy expenditure. That is that the average daily caloric expenditure of the human is constrained or does not change much regardless of our activity level. Yes, indeed. This blows the lid off the foundational premise of the fitness industry, not to mention the diet and weight loss industry. Brad (3m 7s): So please pay attention and listen carefully. This is one of the world’s leaders. His area of expertise is calorie burning energy expenditure, not just in humans and in other apes. And that’s kind of the starting point for the discussion where we have to envision ourselves here as homo-sapiens and the ins and outs of what we do all day, especially with brain function, kidney, heart, liver, the digestive system, working behind the scenes, regardless of whether you exercise or not. And then when we do work out and we get into that fitness lifestyle, boy, it’s not delivering the direct application to result that we think it is. And it’s just so fascinating to realize the true reasons that exercise is so beneficial and important, especially relating to how it prevents or mitigates chronic inflammation, which is believed to be the root cause of all disease. Brad (4m 1s): But this is a hard hitting show. Those the, the leaders in academia have to go toe to toe and stand behind their work. Even if it conflicts with the widely held beliefs, especially us in the diet, weight loss, ancestral health scene have all embraced this model of carbohydrate consumption, driving excess insulin production, driving obesity. And Herman was polite enough to say that these concepts are plausible, but it does not affect body composition, weight loss in the direct way that we’ve long assumed. And yes, indeed, this flies in the face of that ideas that were promoted by a big time leaders in this field, like Gary Taubes and Dr. Brad (4m 46s): Jason Fung. So you get to think for yourself, here’s an alternative point of view. And boy, it’s backed by a lot of research so much so that I’m titling this show, quoting Herman from the first minute of the show where he said, yep, the data always wins. Please enjoy Dr. Herman Pontzer, a true leader in paradigm shifter and his long research of the Hadza in Tanzania, along with the calorie expenditure by modern living humans all over the world for years and years, fun stuff. Here we go, Herman, Herman (5m 21s): Hey, Brad, how are you doing? Brad (5m 22s): I’m doing fine, except for, we’ve been talking about you nonstop. I’m into it with Sisson and my other confidants. And it’s it’s our, our minds are getting blown Herman (5m 36s): Cool. Brad (5m 37s): You’re, you’re messing with the entire fit, the foundation of the fitness industry and the gimmicky diet industry with your re with your life’s work and validated research. Herman (5m 46s): Good. I don’t mind. That’s fine. Brad (5m 49s): Yeah. I mean, you got to swing hard, I guess in academia to you, you gotta, you know, you gotta being legit and you come and do a presentation and maybe, maybe the other person at the conference has a different point of view. And it’s like, come on now, this is, this is, this is high stakes, Herman (6m 5s): I guess so, man. You know, what I love about doing science is that the data wins, you know. So we get to, we get to show, you know, that that’s what the peer reviewed literature is all about as boring as it is. And nobody ever goes, you know, too much into it unless you’re in the field, but that’s kind of where, you know, that’s where the rubber hits the road, man. Brad (6m 26s): You just titled the podcast, by the way. We, we, we started recording. We don’t need, we don’t, we don’t need any small talk with this guy and the data wins. So yeah, that reminds me. So you’re, you’re in the field. Is that kind of rare? Like, is it one out of 10 people who are actually heading out into the, into the wild lands of the planet to do their research and then there’s other people that are in ivory towers looking at your research, not to criticize it, but I’m saying your role is a certain, you have a certain contribution to science and to the academic community that you exist in or other people have a disparate role and a whole different scene? Herman (7m 6s): Yeah. I mean, I think the, the, the ecosystem kind of gets divvied up by people who do more sort of lab or bench work and people who do more field work, you know, like out in the, you know, out in the field. We try to be both, which I think is a, is a strength of, of my research group. But yeah, I certainly in the nutrition world, you know, there’s plenty of people who have much larger budgets and much bigger groups to go and measure, you know, the particulars of any dietary intervention or any exercise intervention. Right. And they can do these for 16 months and they’ve got enormous labs full of people and postdocs and everybody. And, and they do that very, very well. And I’ve certainly, you know, integrated those insights and those data and everything, but, but they’re not going to go out and live with a Hadza for a few months. Herman (7m 50s): So I guess that’s what I bring to the table. Brad (7m 52s): Oh man. Okay. So the listeners are going to be strongly encouraged to listen to our previous show about your wonderful book BURN, but what’s happened in the aftermath as I’ve been bombarding you with emails. Hopefully you thoughtful enough that you actually answered and agreed to come back on, but you know, this, this insight, we need to take a deep breath here and realize the ramifications of it as, as applied to the, the conventional model of the fitness industry and, and the diet industry. And so if we have this constrained amount of calorie burning and there’s a great graph, did you make that graph the constrained model versus the additive model? Herman (8m 34s): All the stuff in that book is all the grass and everything are mine. Yeah. Brad (8m 38s): So we have this idea of that, that calorie burning is constrained. And I think to help me understand one of the insights that really hits home is when you compare it to the gorilla. And so, you know, we’re, homo-sapiens, we have different lifestyles. Some people ride the subway and sit in front of a screen and ride the subway back and watch Netflix. But we’re all on the same species thereby we’re, you know, we’re, we’re constrained first and foremost as humans. And, and then, then we’re going to talk about, you know, lifestyle and diet and exercise. Herman (9m 14s): Yeah, that’s right. I mean, every, every species has its own like trajectory through time and space, you know, and, and we’ve ended up where we are. We have higher metabolic rates and other apes do so the other apes are, they, you know, chimps, Bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans. Orangutans are actually hypo metabolic there. They have low metabolic rates. They burn about half the calories we do for the same body size and activity level. We’re higher than chimpanzees and Bonobos. But, you know, it’s interesting, we’re that we’re the highest metabolic rate aid, which means if you control for body size body composition lifestyle, all of it, we’re burning energy at about 20% more per day than chimpanzees and Bonobos, which are the closest, our closest relatives. And yet, even though we have these high metabolic rates, we’re also the fattest apes because, you know, paired with that high metabolic rate, right. Herman (10m 1s): Has been selection for a bit of a reserve gas tank. Right. Cause you know, you can’t, again, the, the, what was really fun for me, I loved it. I can talk about this forever, but the evolutionary biology of metabolism is that, you know, you are kind of parked at this place where, you know, evolutionarily, you’ve been able to get that much energy in and he makes the use of all of it out. And maybe that’s an activity or maybe it’s an reproduction. Ultimately evolution cares about reproduction. Wherever you get parked that’s kind of where it’s hard to move from that, you know, lifestyle doesn’t have a big effect on where you are relative to that, where you get parked by evolution. And we often think like, well, if you, if you burn more calories than you ought to be less fat, but actually we’re also more fat because we got parked in a high place, we’re parked at a high metabolic rate. Herman (10m 42s): So we need that extra gas tank to kind of help us, you know, get through any lean times. Brad (10m 49s): Is it possible that in 150,000 years of our sorry-ass modern lifestyle we’re going to evolve to or something? Herman (10m 57s): I think that’s possible now, the way that it’s going to happen is not going to make anybody happy because the way the evolution happens is the people who don’t fit as well are sick and don’t have kids, you know. They’re unhealthy and for whatever reason or not successful or in terms of reproduction and they don’t have kids. And so, or their kids don’t do well, that’s the other thing that can happen. So, you know, this is not going to be, it won’t be a happy story of, of, of evolution. It never is. Brad (11m 27s): Well, actually, if we’ve mitigated a lot of that, we can still tee up a sickly 18 year old to reproduce. So maybe, maybe we don’t have that potential to evolve ever again. Cause we’re, we’re so smart that we, we neutralized evolutionary forces, selection, pressures. Herman (11m 45s): Yeah. You could, you could spin it different ways. I can tell you that. It’s, it’s unlikely that we, first of all, kind of any sort of, you know, governmental planning for who should reproduce that, we, we know that that’s a terrible idea. We know that that’s, that’s ugly and eugenics and it gets really bad, really fast. So sort of trying to make them happen will be really dangerous, but even letting it happen or hoping medicine kind of takes care of it takes smooths out the edges of it. I don’t know. I think it’s a tough ride. I think the better idea is to try to pull the, you know, what we know keeps us healthy. Cause it’s how we kind of evolved to be healthy. Keep those prints, get those principles back into our lives. I think that’s a faster way to get there. Brad (12m 25s): Kind of reverse it. We’re on, we’re on a bell curve. We want to go back to our human roots, Herman (12m 30s): something like that. Yeah. Okay. Brad (12m 32s): So back to this calorie idea and, and isolating as homo-sapiens is helpful. And then when we’re looking at the, the, the constraint daily energy burning. First we throw in the brain, which burns what 20% of our total daily calories, 20% of our resting calories. Anyhow. Herman (12m 55s): Yeah. I guess it depends on to think about exactly the number there, but yeah, it’s about 20% of resting, I think, cause it’s 300 calories a day and you burn about 1500 calories at rest. So about 50, about 20% of resting calories are for your brain, which means every fifth breath you take is the occupancy of your brain. Brad (13m 14s): Sting could rename a song every fifth breath use. Herman (13m 18s): Yeah. I love it. Brad (13m 19s): Now. I think you mentioned this already, but the variation in brain caloric expenditure is minimal whether you’re sitting on the beach staring at the, at the flat scenery or in gross in an eight hour exam for your, for your doctorate level studies. Herman (13m 38s): Yeah. As far as we know, thinking as hard as you can think that’s a change that doesn’t move the dial very much. Maybe, maybe about four calories an hour, I think is the best four kilocalories now. Or I should say is the best measure so far. Brad (13m 51s): So if you have a good knife, you cut the M and M in half. Right. Because it isn’t the M and M your go-to reference point for, Herman (13m 57s): I love it because everybody’s had M and M’s, you know, so, Oh, okay. Brad (14m 4s): One M and M. Okay. That, that, that puts the bowl. That’s been, been demo to shame on the, on the desk, in our busy day in the office. Okay. Herman (14m 16s): That’s right. That’s right now, Brad (14m 18s): What about the other organs in a resting state? There’s, there’s some good research to certify that, well, I mean, the muscles are burning energy during exercise, but they’re burning a huge amount of our, our, our daily calorie pie at rest to, Herman (14m 38s): Ah, yeah. A fair amount, just because there’s so much of them pound for pound. Your muscles are not as quiet as fat, definitely, but not quite as expensive as other organs. So your big costly organs are your brain. Like we said, which basically runs a 5k every day, right? 300 calories a day. Your liver, which is about the same, actually your liver does about that much work. Your intestinal, your gut, your GI tract, particularly after you’ve eaten all those, you know, the, the, the, the cells of your GI tract are busy getting the enzymes, you know, cutting up all that stuff and getting it transported, actively transported through the intestinal wall. Herman (15m 17s): Kidneys are really active your heart, your heart’s a muscle so it doesn’t special, you know, compared to other muscles, but it’s contracting all the time rhythmically. Right. So it ends up, it adds up to a lot of energy. So, yeah. So those are the big ones, liver, heart, brain, and kidneys, and GI tract. Muscles at rest. Yep. Brad (15m 41s): Nice. So we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re filling in this pie, whether we exercised or not, which I think is the takeaway. I want the listeners to really embrace. And then if we, as distinguished from our next door neighbor, go out there and actually do run a 5k. Maybe you can walk us through what happens to that, that big number at the end of the, at the end of the calculation. Herman (16m 7s): Yeah. So the way that people usually think about energy expenditure is we do the math like you and I have been doing, we add up all our organ costs, and then we have the energy costs. We notice a run a mile or run a 5k. We add that to it. And we think, okay, we just add all those up and it’s like a grocery bill at the end of the day. Those are our kilocalories per day. And that’s how any online calculator for your energy expenditure works for example. But we know it’s more complicated than that because actually the numbers that we’re talking about with things like your liver and, and, and actually whole systems that we haven’t talked about, like your immune system, your stress reactivity system, reproductive system, other aspects of your body, they follow a really strong circadian rhythm and they respond to stresses throughout the day. Herman (16m 56s): And so what you think of as sort of your organs’ energy expenditure or your organ systems, energy expenditure, you know, we can, we can give these numbers like 300 calories a day for your brain or 200 calories a day for your liver, but that’s, that’s the kind of at baseline. Now your brain doesn’t go up and down pretty much. That’s true. But the rest of your organ systems do, and particularly, you know, your, you have a circadian rhythm to everything, right? Testosterone levels starts off high in the morning by evening as much lower for example. Right. Okay. So what happens is if you take that 5k run and especially if you start doing that repeatedly, so your body gets used to that level of, of workload, it will adjust if it seems to be happening. Herman (17m 39s): And it seems to adjust the other expenditure and other other systems to make room for that a higher level of running, right? So, so day to day, you might go up and down, right? Because if you run a marathon tomorrow, but you didn’t today, then you’ll burn more calories tomorrow than you did today. Fine. So it’s not like your body is making these adjustments on the fly. Second-by-second, that’s not happening, but the overall circadian rhythm and background energy expenditure that your body’s used to doing, as well as stress reactivity, for example, your reaction to stressful as stimulate. Those do get modulated by physical activity. If I’m more physically active, my circadian rhythm kind of gets damped down to make room for that activity. Herman (18m 20s): My stress reactivity to stressful stimuli gets damped down. My cortisol levels go up less, Afrin goes up less. My adrenaline gets less. And all of those things seem to be saving energy so that, you know, in my, in my a sedentary person or the person who’s running that 5k every couple of days end up having the same total energy expenditure per day. I might’ve gone through that a little bit too fast or too much, but that’s the idea, Brad (18m 45s): Right? So the, the person running around the office in a hectic frenzied state that didn’t do the 6:00 AM spinning class, and then the, the chill person, the athletic person in the office, who’s just, just breezing down the hall to get another pack of post-it notes and then breathing back to their desk. It’s they’re, they’re the, the, the, the frenzy person is catching up to the spinning class that they blew off because they slept in. Herman (19m 14s): Yeah. I mean, that’s one way to think about it, the other way to think about it. As you know, you’ve got two people in the boardroom, right? And they both get up to give, to say what they have to, they to give their report, you know, and that’s, that’s a great example of what we’d call a tree or social stress test. Public speaking always gets people’s heart rate up. And even if you feel really cool about it and calm about it, your body still does a little bit of that fight and flight response. This has been measured. Everything, lots of studies, heart rate goes up because your adrenaline’s going up, cortisol levels go up, right? Both of those reactions cost you energy. Now there’s two people in the boardroom, one who exercises all the time. Herman (19m 54s): One who is much more sedentary. The person who exercises all the time, her response is going to be blunted. Cortisol levels, not going to go up so much, but level’s not going to go up so much. And they’re both going to recover back to baseline faster. The person who gave that report and doesn’t exercise all the time is going to feel a bigger burst. It’s going to experience a bigger person, photos, all a bigger burst of adrenaline. And it’s going to take longer for them to come back down to baseline because their body isn’t used to spending energy on activity. And so isn’t sort of making that room damping down those reactions compared to the person who is exercising all the time and their body has damped those reactions down, Brad (20m 30s): I guess that would be on the list of benefits to getting regular exercise apps, assuming it’s conducted properly. Cause I don’t want to be that guy that I have been that over-trained to the extreme and everything’s damped down to where I don’t feel like my famous was I lived Six tenths of a mile from the mailbox for awhile. And I drove there every single day because I was too tired from my 84 mile bike ride to pedal another 0.6. Oh. And then back is 1.2. You know, it was just ridiculous. But yeah. Yeah. So if, if it properly conducted exercise program is in place. There you’re a more chill person and you don’t abuse the stress response. Herman (21m 14s): Same thing. And the same thing for the immune system, right? That person who is, you know, regularly exercises. So their body has adjusted to that level of exercise regularly in their life. Their background inflammation level is going to be lower too. Okay. And what’s your immune chronic inflammation is your immune system run amuck. It’s your immune system on all the time. Right? When it doesn’t have to be. So like we all, we all want a fire department, right? We all want to be able to call 911 and the fire department comes in and saves our home. We don’t want the fire department to be parked in our driveway every morning, spraying down the house for no reason, right? That’s background inflammation. Herman (21m 55s): That’s that chronic inflammation. That is your, is the fire department never goes home. The person who is exercising regularly, they don’t have that problem, that inflammation at a high level all the time. The person in the boardroom in this scenario that, that doesn’t exercise is really sedentary. Their inflammation levels are going to be higher. And we know this, we’ve known this for a long time. And I think what the constraint energy idea says is this is why this is your body managing how it spends its energy. And so it kind of gives a coherent framework to all these individual observations that we’ve seen over the years of doing research on people who exercise versus don’t the benefits of exercise. A constrained energy model kind of helps put those all together into a coherent, Oh, this is why this is how so we know there’s all these different triggers for chronic inflammation, adverse lifestyle practices. Herman (22m 45s): But I’m not clear that is it. Is it also lack of exercise can promote chronic inflammation? Yeah. Yeah. So we know that people who exercise a lot to have lower and not overexercise people who exercise regularly and, and responsibly, I guess yeah, have lower levels of inflammation than people who don’t also all other things equal. Other people’s labs are showing this. My lab is in the middle of an analysis, showing this, looking at the enhanced data set in the west. This is, this is a well-known thing. The inflammation is one of the lower inflammation is one of the big benefits of exercise. And there’s other things you can do too, that will help you, you know, minimize inflammation. Herman (23m 30s): But exercise is a big one, right? Brad (23m 32s): I mean, on the checklist, we have get enough sleep, eat the right foods, get rid of the junk foods. Don’t overexercise and now adding to the list don’t, don’t under exercise. Don’t sit around all day. Herman (23m 44s): Right, right. Don’t believe yourself, you know, don’t don’t smile Brad (23m 49s): So is that just due to the genetic disconnect when you compare, contrast the Hadza who are always on the move and doing all these wonderful things for their body, versus we’re not really designed to sit in a chair for eight hours? Herman (24m 1s): Yeah. I think that’s one of the reasons that the Hadzas are so darn healthy, you know, no heart disease, no diabetes. And it’s it’s because, you know, they don’t have these cardio-metabolic risk factors, the way that they’re, they’re getting their exercise every day. It doesn’t hurt that they’re outside all the time. You know, I think we can also focus on the fact that they’ve got family connections, friendship, connections, that they have their whole lives are not, you know, they don’t have the kind of social psychosocial stresses that we have as much. They have their own set of stresses, but they’re not the kind of, you know, the ones that we face so much loneliness, disconnection, inequality that we have in the States, for example. Brad (24m 39s): So we, we hear all about the importance of that cardio, the low level cardio moving around, getting up from your desk, moving. Do you see the Hadza doing any explosive activity for any reason? I can’t imagine there’d be an artificial reason, like a sprint race on the fourth of the fourth week of the, the sunny rainy month. But is there any need, you know, we’re, we’re romanticizing the, the, the primal paleo thing where we had to run away from the saber tooth tiger. And so sprinting is really great for the human to, to build up those muscles and burst the adaptive hormones. But down in, down in Africa, what have those guys got going? Herman (25m 19s): So, you know, the Hadzas that don’t run from predators. The predators run from them. The Hadza can kick a pride of lions off of the kill. You know, we’ve been in camps where they’ve done that. So there are kind of the top predators there. Now of course, you know, a single guy or woman out there can get surprised or whatever by a predator. Sure. That can happen. And in those rare cases, maybe once in a lifetime, I’m sure then they would run. Brad (25m 48s): Of course they would, they they’d probably get eaten too. They’re not going to miss a good chance of that. So I wonder where this romanticizing came from, that humans should be out there, you know, doing these, these amazing CrossFit accomplishments in the name of health. I mean, not to, you know, I’m, I’m obsessed with high jumping cause it improves my life and I love it. And I feel like it’s delaying the aging process, but it may be not honoring my ancestors. Like we, like we think. Herman (26m 19s): Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that there’s, they do stuff that requires real strength as well. You know, men climb up into trees to get wild honey are chopping up tree limbs. I mean, that’s hard work. They’re not like power lifting kind of work, but it’s, it’s hard as body weight kind of stuff. Digging for tubers in rocky ground. That’s hard work. But explosive kind of not, I don’t see it with them, you know, and it’s not just Hadza. I should say that I have got good colleagues who work with groups in South America. We have another project going on right now in Northern Kenya with a group called the DASHA. The DASHA which are pastoralists group. You know, I I’m I’m my friend and colleague network is full of people who work with small-scale societies all over the globe. Herman (27m 3s): And the running from the tiger thing doesn’t really come up, you know, cause humans are kind of become the dominant player on the landscape kind of immediately upon becoming part of that landscape, you know, we’re we’re so, so yeah, I don’t know where that I would just chalk that up to the list of many romanticized things about the past that, that turned out not to really be true. Brad (27m 26s): Right. So if we drafted the, the best primitive living hunter gatherer and, and took them into the high school varsity track meet, they they’d get crushed at anything from a hundred to a mile probably. Herman (27m 39s): Yeah, I guess. I don’t know. I mean, I think they would also wonder what the hell we’re bothering to do, but you know, the, you get good at what you train at, you know, and nobody would be able to beat them in archery or, you know, the, the tasks that they do. Nobody could not walk them, but yeah. Unless if you don’t train for that stuff, of course, you’re not going to be very good at it. Brad (28m 3s): Yeah. So I guess we’re just, we’re just having fun and kind of advancing the sophisticated, just like someone who’s painting a painting is there’s no, there’s no need for that in a, in a way, but same with the extreme fitness endeavors, it’s just kind of advanced life and the ability to do something that’s rewarding in certain ways. Herman (28m 26s): Oh, totally. Yeah. I mean, I love rock climbing and mountaineering for example. There are very good reasons not to do those things. For example, you know, gravity. Gravity is a great reason not to go rock climbing, but I love it. You know, and, and I’ve given that some thought like, why do I love this thing? That clearly was not, it’s not adaptive in any obvious way, but you know, one of the side effects of having these big crazy brains is this life of the mind and this feeling that life is more than just the pragmatic day-to-day stuff. And it’s, you know, and that we all live for that kind of experience that gets us feeling alive and gets us connected. And if, if that is running, you know, intervals down the track, then awesome. Herman (29m 10s): Go do it. You know? And if that’s, you know, doing Ironman, then do it, you know. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling off then okay, then maybe back off. But like, those are all great things. Just like, like you say, painting a picture or playing the piano. I mean, yeah. Brad (29m 27s): Okay. So now, now let me put you on the spot. All of the future of the human race is all in your hands and it’s a longevity contest. So you’re going to have to leave your academic career. We’re going to pay you a million trillion dollars also, but you need to get to the world record finished line. What would you, what would you put into place? Would you become the, the CrossFit games regional champion, or would you just walk more and whatever else would be thrown in there, would you sleep 14 hours a day instead of eight or from your research? And just a, just a fun question here. No pressure, no pressure, man. Herman (30m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. And if I wait, if I lived the longest, is that the deal? Brad (30m 11s): Well, the future of humanity is, you know, depending on you getting to, let’s say 110, because now you can put all the resources you need. You can enlist any experts on your team. And here we go. Herman (30m 27s): Well, I’ve never been asked that question before, so you win a prize for that. Congratulations. The here’s, here’s my answer, I guess, on the spot I am on the spot. I think I model the Hadza in a way. But I don’t cause play as a hunter gatherer. Right. I get to keep my clothes and my, my climate controlled house, but here’s what I, what I put into my life that I’m probably not doing enough of right now. I make sure that I’m active every day. And then I’m active for like a couple hours every day, at least maybe more. And I do as much of that as I can outside. I try to make sure that I’m connected to friends and family in a way that’s meaningful. Herman (31m 9s): Right. So I don’t get isolated and sad cause I will not be good for me either. And I eat foods that I buy in the produce and the meats section of my supermarket, you know, I stay away from anything processed, especially. I mean, I would probably still eat pasta and bread, but I stay away from anything that comes in a packet with a ready-made sauce. You know what I mean? And any of the snacks stuff and I, and I, I grimace and cutout beer and the occasional sugary beverage to gosh, popping open a beer after . Brad (31m 47s): Yeah. Our Workday. Cause you’d go back from eight hours to three hours. Herman (31m 51s): That’s right. Well maybe I keep the occasional beer. Can I do that? We’ll see. And then, and then I start getting myself genotyped intensively to figure out how I can bring in all the good, the good genes, because we know that that longevity is also quite heritable. Right? So your likelihood of, of living to a hundred is like five times or 10 times higher. If you have a relative, who’s lived to a hundred. Really. Yeah. That’s, that’s absolutely true. And then you just, Brad (32m 21s): And what’s that if you, if you stop on that one for a second yeah. And you have, you know, maybe not the best genes for longevity, but you, but you turn your lifestyle practices in a different direction than all of your ancestors who succumb to white flour and sugar that came in the industrial age. Couldn’t you transcend that? Or is there something in the genes that’s that that’s beyond lifestyle practices. So, Herman (32m 50s): Okay. Let’s unpack this a little bit. Let’s talk about when we think about nature versus nurture for any trait. Okay. Nobody would be surprised to learn that ha however tall your parents grew with the height of your parents is pretty predictive of your height, right? Also nobody would be surprised to learn that your nutritional environment growing up also affects your height, right? And whether or not you got sick as a kid and other, other social stress can even stunt kids’ growth. And so we understand height really well and kind of intuitively as this interaction between our genes and our environments. Herman (33m 30s): And we know that we kind of can’t pull them, no kid grows up without an environment. And so you kind of can’t pull those things apart super easily for any one individual. But we know that they’re both at play all the time. If I want a kid to grow to his full height potential, then I can feed them super well and make sure he doesn’t get sick and I can do all the right things. But I still can’t make somebody whose parents were both five foot, zero seven feet tall. That’s really unlikely. Right. And, and, and vice versa. I can’t make a really tall person is inherently going to be tall, to hard to, for me to make that person is very short. I, for all the evidence points to the longevity, being the same kind of thing that we do have variability in the genetics that, that seem to dictate how long we last. Herman (34m 17s): We’re all, you know, in the same way that humans are all sort of between five and six and a half feet tall, more or less. Right. I see like a broad range in us, but we’re, nobody’s as tall as a giraffe. And nobody’s as small as a mouse, right? But there’s a human range of heights. There’s a human range of age fans that we can hope to get to. If we stay healthy, nobody’s gonna live to be 200, as far as we can tell. Nobody, you know, people don’t tend to fall apart at 30, right. We tend to fall apart in the older ages, but we call older ages. And so I think that there’s, you know, we, we can and should do everything we can to improve our environments. But if to ignore a genetic background would be like ignoring the genetics of hype. Herman (34m 58s): Of course, some people are going to be taller than others. Right. I don’t know. So that’s how I would answer that question. And I don’t know that we know enough about the genetics of it yet to do anything about it. Right? It’s one thing to say, it’s heritable. It runs in families. We can find these genes that seem to be related. It’s another thing to say, now I’m going to manipulate that gene and fix it. That’s a harder, that’s a much harder thing to do. Brad (35m 19s): Oh. So you’d go in for some appointments to see if they could manipulate your genes. But so far your best it’s, it’s not too, it’s not too troubling. You’re going to get outside and be active for a couple of hours a day. You’re going to be connected with friends and family. So you probably not even get to move from your, your existing house and your, your Saturday soccer game schedule. And you’re going to eat clean, you know, wholesome foods from the grocery store. What else, what else we have on this list? Herman (35m 44s): That’s it, man. Then we give it a rock. Brad (35m 48s): Right? And then a form, the intention that everyone’s counting on you. And so you’re going to come through for us. Herman (35m 54s): That’s right. I said, what are you speaking into existence? I’m going to live to be 110. Brad (35m 58s): Right? I’m I’m, you know, firmly believed that’s a big part of it. And I I’m, my goal is 123 because the current record is 122 you can come on. And so it’s easy as one, two, three. Just, just believe it for, you know, maybe I’ll have a party when I’m 61 and a half. Right. That’s my, that’s my midlife point there for there. Yeah. Okay. So Herman’s got it dialed people. It’s, it’s easy. We can all, we can all sign up for the plan. Now we can all go to 110, whatever. Herman (36m 29s): Sure, sure. Let’s do it. Brad (36m 30s): Wait, let’s see. How much does that cost outside act or activity in the sun? So far nothing there. Family and friends might have to pop for some plane tickets. If, if your kids go off to college someday. And then the meat and produce, there you go. There’s ButcherBox discounts right now for listening to the show. I mean, this is, this is easy. Herman (36m 53s): Yeah. Yeah. Brad (36m 55s): Okay. So this is my, like coming back at you with a tough question from the audience at the conference. You know, here’s, the athlete. Athlete goes and trains harder and gets leaner and, and kicks butt and meets goals. And how does that layer into this constraint model of calorie burning when there’s there seems to be this anecdotal evidence that if I can up my mileage from 150 to 300 on the bike, my quads are going to be bursting out of my legs. There’s veins everywhere and I got a six pack. Herman (37m 31s): Yeah, yeah, totally. So a couple of things there. One is, if you, of course, if you do resistance exercise or even a lot of hard in dirt exercise, like cycling, your muscles are going to respond and hypertrophied, you’re going to grow muscle mass. Sure. That’s fine. And when you’re on a block, you know, when you’re in your training mode and maybe you’ve had a bit of a rest season and now you’re going to hit it and you’re just going to crush it for awhile and your body hasn’t made that adjustment yet. Or maybe you’re even above where your body could possibly adjust. Cause you can, you can push it up above that ceiling for awhile. You’ll come back out eventually, but you can push it up there for a while. That’s what the tour de France does that to you, for example. Brad (38m 8s): Right. So they’re above the ceiling for a while. They’re burning there. I mean, they, they test them, they’re burning 7,000 calories a day or whatever they’re burning. That’s insane. But then what happens when they, when they come back down? Herman (38m 20s): Yeah. You have to, you’re going to your, body’s going to make you balance that out with a rest period and either that’s because you’ll take a rest period because you’re being smart or Brad (38m 28s): one will be taken for you. Yes. People one will be taken for you. I’m very familiar with that concept. Herman (38m 35s): Yeah. Yeah. I was talking a guy in the UK who is a sports scientist for a couple of cycling teams that have raced in the race, the tour de France written a race, the, the series, the tour and the zero and the welcome. And those, you know, he says those guys, they, they can raise one. You probably know this as well, if you’re a at all fan, but those guys can really push and really race one race. And then the rest of it, the whole of the season, they are not, you know, they’re not going to be competitive. They’re not gonna even really try to be competitive. You know, there’ll be part of the crew and there’ll be, you know, they’ll, they’ll help the other guys out. Right. But you can’t do that to your body and max out for a month and then even take the month off that they have and then do it again. Herman (39m 18s): It just doesn’t work that way. And you have to have, you know, they have a whole off season too, from like October through what is it March. Maybe people, people listening probably know better than I do. And I don’t know how much of that is, is just purely off and how much of that is just low level. But you have to have that because your body, you know, if you think about averaging this out over the course of the year, the energy expenditure has to stay kind of near that ceiling that everybody’s behind underneath, because we’re all humans. That is, that is the kind of the ceiling, you know, Brad (39m 47s): So we can maybe better understand this with expanding the timeline a bit outside of a day and every single day this is happening. But maybe it’s if we look at our week or month, and that’s the part where I think we can all relate when you go out there and have a big eight hour hike to the top of the mountain, the next day is usually featuring a lot of couch time. Herman (40m 11s): Yeah, that’s right. Or if you push it for a week, then you take, you know, you’re going to your, your body will find that that balance, you know, it used to be this whole expression growing up. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and a lot of like DIY construction and that kind of stuff. And people would always say, when they’re putting in plumbing systems that you know, or, or irrigation systems or anything like that, that water always finds its own level, right. That you kind of water will always even itself out across a big complex system. And, and I think energy expenditure kind of ends up being that way too. It takes a while to adjust, but your body will find its own level. Brad (40m 44s): And it’s possible that the increased devotion to fitness and quote unquote calorie burning at the, at the workout has a beneficial effect on your calorie consumption. In other words, the six pack is coming out because the training is also affecting my dietary habits? Herman (41m 3s): Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s a guess it would be case by case. But yeah, I, I think that when people are doing, you know, what, I’m going to really focus on my fitness and you know, for this month, usually that includes thinking about your diet too, for most of us, I think. And so, you know, if your body’s, again, if you think about what your body’s used to and what it has adjusted to, if your body is used to being sedentary and you start exercising, it’s gonna take a while for your body to adjust. But then that becomes the new normal. And you adjust at some point you’re up too high to be able to adjust anymore. That’s true. Like there’s tour de France is not something that you can adjust to and do forever and ever, and ever you can’t. But you know, that person who is exercising all the time and then they push it for that month to prepare for the tour de France or whatever it is. Herman (41m 50s): Yeah. Their body is kind of going to try to adjust to that. Maybe there’ll be up above where they can adjust to, in which case they will have to take a rest period and come back down to that level that, that your body’s able to adjust to. But yeah, I think, I think that’s how you have to think about the longer timeframe. I think that’s right. Brad (42m 5s): Could that include eating more calories in conjunction with training more and everything’s adjusting upward for a temporary period of time I guess ? They’re not getting fat and you’re not dropping a bunch of weight, but you’re, you’re eating a ton. I brought up my son in our, in my email exchange, cause like, okay, look, this guy wakes up in the morning and all he does is eat. And then it finishes the meal and then does a workout and then starts the next meal. And there’s a lot of muscle mass that he’s trying to support too. So maybe that’s a two-part question. Like the difference between someone who weighs 200 pounds, solid muscle working out a lot versus someone who’s sitting on 200 pounds. Herman (42m 44s): Sure, sure. Well, I mean every 200 pounds of muscle, I’m sorry. Every, every kilogram of muscle, a fat free mass, I should say that includes organ mass, but every kilogram of fat free mass is 40 kilocalories a day more or less of just track it that way. So when you, when you build 10 pounds of muscle, that’s five kilos, let’s say, then I would already expect that your energy expenditure just by your fat free mass going up is going to go up. What five kilos at 40 kilocalories was 200 calories a day, right? So you can squeeze a snack in there if you’ve gained five kilos and muscle as Brad (43m 21s): A small snack, a handful of m&ms. So the constrained model is constrained by body weight. Herman (43m 29s): Yeah. It’s a fat free mass adjusted kind of way of thinking about things. Brad (43m 33s): Oh, what about the fat? Herman (43m 36s): So fat you can, you can throw fat in there too. And it doesn’t really change the model. Fat doesn’t really burn many calories. So fat. Yeah. Fat fats, a tiny player. I mean, it’s not nothing. And it, it creates, it makes hormones, it makes it leptin and adiponectin and that kind of thing. So it’s not, it’s not like just dead weight, but in terms of calories per day, it really doesn’t burn much. Brad (43m 56s): Oh, so the 700 pound people that are on the TV show and in, in serious metabolic and health distress, are they consuming a massive amount of calories to support that 700 pounds or something? Herman (44m 10s): Yeah. In fact, you know, people who obese people with obesity, you know, it will not only have a lot of fat, but also carry a lot of muscle just to be able to stand up a while. Yeah. So that’s actually one of the big breakthrough observations in the 1980s. You know, the data wins. They, people were measuring energy expenditures in women with obesity and women without this is the first study to study to do this and to test that what people had long thought to be the case, which is that if you have obesity, it’s because you have a slow metabolic rate. Right. And that seems to be so intuitive and seems like it had to be true. Herman (44m 49s): And they measure it. Nope, not true women. You know, if you, so body size big people with more body people for cells burn more calories, that’s not a surprise, right. An elephant burns more calories every day than a mouse has to be true. Okay. So that happens within people too. If we look at a bunch of, if we took a big sample of people from tiny to big. The big people burn more calories than the small people. I mean, of course. Right. And so we have to always sort of look at these things on a kind of a, as a, as a function of how big you are, you have to correct for body size. So the obese folks who actually work, of course, they’re bigger, we’re actually burning more calories than the slim people, but they’re all on this. Herman (45m 30s): They’re all on the same level when you consider the effect of body size, right. Brad (45m 36s): With a slight adjustment for body composition. So there’s a <inaudible> Herman (45m 42s): And the body size specifically, we’re saying fat free mass. So for fat, for a lean mass forgiven lean mass, they’re burning the same number of calories. Brad (45m 51s): That’s that’s another deep breath section here. Hmm. I mean the, the, the, the obese person is, is messed up and their metabolic function is messed up. We’ve long understood. This reminds me of your answer on the email. You’re the insulin based view of obesity doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Can you talk more about that? Oh yeah. Herman (46m 12s): Your carbohydrate insulin model for obesity. This is a really beautiful idea. You know, we have this expression in, I think probably all fields of science do the same thing, but certainly as I was getting trained, you know, it’s a beautiful idea slammed by an ugly fact. And I don’t know, who’s, I don’t know who first said that. And it’s this idea that when you eat a meal and particularly when you eat a high carbohydrate meal and specifically a high, simple carbohydrate meal that your insulin spikes, right. Your body’s response to that is a big boost of insulin that you’re using your blood, your insulin levels go way up. Herman (46m 55s): And that, that much is definitely true. We can watch that happen in a lab easy. And then the next part is, is the mechanism that we think is important, which is that that insulin takes the, you know, the, the blood glucose out of your blood. And in fact, as well as, as the fatty acids that are in your blood and parks them into your fat cells, that’s what insulin does is it, it is a anabolic hormone in the sense that it’s taking molecules out of your blood and parking them away and building fat cells. And so then I’m simplifying here. But, but the idea then is that now your brain is sensing. Herman (47m 34s): Blood is really low on blood glucose and fats because you’re in that insulin spike was packed them all away. So now you don’t have them in your circulating anymore. And even though you’ve eaten this big meal, your brain senses that you have low fuel, you know, that the gas tank is empty. And so when your brain says a gas tank is empty, you get hungrier. You get tireder, right. Maybe, or you at least have a lower metabolic rate, lots of that perceived starvation. And that that’s, of course, that becomes an ugly cycle because now you’re hungry again. You eat again. Now try it. So the idea is that that, that insulin response, the carbohydrate insulin response is responsible for obesity because that’s how that’s kind of a runaway snowball towards obesity is, is this carbs insulin flow. Herman (48m 28s): It’s all plausible. It’s all very possible set of things that could be true. And about 10 years ago, people were really excited about it. You know, I remember the hottest stuff came out and Gary Taubes emailed me about this good calories, bad calories. And yes, read the book. And I got excited about it too. I thought, Oh, this is makes a lot of sense. I have to say, I was always, I didn’t quite understand how you could square that with the sort of carbohydrate- rich foods and meals and diets that, that people like the Hadza to eat. But anyway, that’s okay. Putting that aside for a moment, it seemed very plausible that it could work. And, and of course, there’s so many stories. Herman (49m 9s): People not just stories when people’s real lived experiences, are I cut carbs out of my diet and I did great. I lost so much weight and I’m so much healthier now. And everybody’s so happy. I’m happy. It happens for me. Okay. But now, now we get to the boring part, which is let’s actually test to see if that mechanism really works the way that we think it does. And so we can and do control diet studies, where we feed people all low fat diet or feed people low carbohydrate, right? And when you do that in a controlled way, it doesn’t work that it doesn’t work the way the carbohydrate insulin model predicts. You don’t get the same insulin response to the low carb versus low fat diets that you eat. Herman (49m 51s): You don’t get the same fat, no changes in fat, you know, presented in your body that you’d expect there. There doesn’t seem to be any magic to a low carb diet. Other than the fact that if you cut carbs out of your diet, it’s one way to reduce how many calories you eat, right. Brad (50m 13s): Same with cutting fat out. You’re saying, Herman (50m 17s): yeah, right. So we can assign people to a low carb diet. We’re going to send people to a low fat diet. And this has been done in, in lots of studies now. And it’s been, you know, the response is this is similar. You know, you get people who lose weight on either diet. And, you know, the diet that you liked that works best for you. That feels the best for you will that well, that that’s, that’s up to you, that’s up to you and how you’re wired and what your environment is like. But it’s, you know, there’s no magic to a low carb diet and the carbohydrate insulin model, specifically as a mechanism, every time it’s been tested, as far as I’m aware, it’s kind of come up pretty short. Brad (50m 54s): Well, I guess, backing into it. If you’re hungry all the time, then your diet’s not working well for you. So in that sense, if you’re pumping a lot of insulin into your bloodstream, we know that to be unhealthy, that doesn’t seem to be disputed, but it’s, it’s sorta like you got a back end to this story rather than get hit head first with this, this, this model as it’s called. Herman (51m 17s): Yeah. You know, and there’s different ways to stay full and, you know, protein and fat make your body feel full for a lot of people that works great. And so, you know, so if I have a low carb diet and my diet is full of healthy proteins and healthy fats, Hey, I look, I feel full on less. And, you know, and, and I’ve made the decision humans. We have these big, wonderful brains that, you know, we have rules that we tell ourselves. And if the rule is, I can’t eat anything on that side of the menu, gosh, I just made it a whole lot easier to make sure I don’t overeat. Brad (51m 47s): Right. I know now I’m on the 16 eight plan. So there goes 16 hours of the day because my rule says, I can’t eat. I’m going to probably eat fewer calories. Not necessarily though, because if I’m, if I’m in the binge mode, because now I finally get to eat, we’re going to just, we have to answer to Herman at the end of the day, it’s going to be tough for us. Herman (52m 5s): Yeah. The, the rules are, you know, what rules work for? You are going to be a combination of, you know, how your reward system in your brain responds to sugars versus fats or whatever. And you know, some people really love the structure of hard and fast rules. I love that. This is what I know. This is what I eat. This is me. I do this works great for them. Other people kind of chafe at that and don’t do as well. And I think that, you know, this, this gets into the psychology of diet and this is not my specialty. I’m an anthropologist so I studied a lot of human diversity in different, but not in a kind of prescriptive way. So what I can tell you as an observer of people across cultures, is that people do different things differently. And there is usually not any one size fits all thing. Herman (52m 47s): Now, what size works for you? Well, talk, talk to a dietician or give it a try yourself. Brad (52m 54s): So if we go into extreme diet mode, cause we got to get that 10 pounds off before the, the bridesmaid gig. Good luck. What happens there? Herman (53m 5s): Well, if you go too far too fast, right? Then again, we’re evolved organisms, our bodies, don’t like to lose weight and you will, especially if you’re, when you’re feeling like you’re starving, your body goes into starvation mode, cranks, your metabolic rate down, right? Those same kind of tools that your body, your body can use to adjust different organ systems and different metabolic systems. It can just turn them all down. And now you’re in trouble right now, your metabolic rates in your brain, fewer calories than you were before. And you know, maybe you really were good about cutting a couple hundred calories of your diet out every day, but your body goes, yeah, well, you’re also burning a couple hundred calories less now, unbeknownst to you, cause I’m turning it down and you know, and then gosh, now I’m not losing any weight anymore. Herman (53m 48s): So it’s really hard to do, I think. Well, you said if I had, you know, cards on the table, the, the zillion dollar bet, how would I live forever? And that’s a good question. I, to 110, what I thought you were going to say his cards on the table, how do you fix the obesity epidemic? And the answer I think is you start with kids because I think that once you get to be 40 and 50 and 60 years old, it’s awfully hard to all the data says you can change and you should try if you’re at an unhealthy place in your, in your, in your life. But it’s hard. It’s just harder. You know, things get less flexible, less dynamic when you’re older, even your behaviors get less flexible. Herman (54m 30s): Right. And so I think you got to start with kids because I think if you end up, you know, if you’re, if you have a really serious health issue, weight issue, when you’re in your fifties, it’s harder to fix than if you can address that kid when he’s 10 and fix it there. Brad (54m 44s): Yeah. I guess if we’re extremely out of line, which in many cases we are with this ridiculous excess appetite and eating the highly palatable foods until we’re stuffed and have to undo our belt belt buckle, we can certainly make all these corrections. And then I guess maybe some just like the athlete, maybe some recalibration will occur where you drop 10 pounds of fat successfully. And then when you want to go from 10 to 15, that’s when you’re saying these mechanisms are going to kick in and make it really tough. Herman (55m 14s): Yeah. I, I, you know, the, there’s a really nice set of papers out recently by Kevin Hall and, and some other folks who’ve worked on weight loss for a long time, looking at the physio, it’s called The Physiology of the Weight Loss State, which doesn’t, you know, not, not eye catching maybe, but it’s it’s, it was a fun conference I was at back in the, before times when you could travel for conferences and you know, just how your body does recalibrate to a weight loss state and what we do about that and kind of move forward from that. I think that’s going to be the next challenge, right? We’ve we’ve worked a lot on how do you lose 10% of your body weight if you need to do that. Now the next horizon, I think for a lot of this is how do we keep it off and or how do we get to the next, the next 5% or, you know, that kind of thing. Herman (56m 0s): So the long-term stuff I think is going to be harder and harder to, well, not harder and harder necessarily, but it is going to be what’s next. And just by nature of the fact that you’re talking about long-term change, it’s going to be harder to investigate, cause you’re going to need long-term studies to do it. And so hopefully there’s energy and funding and an interest in that kind of stuff. Cause I do think that is the next, the next phase. Brad (56m 22s): What about like a, a fast one day a week where you’re not going to go into survival mode and that’s going to be your you’re going to try to drop some excess calories and then eat normally the other six days or some type of, or alternatively and under the radar approach where you consume 50, fewer calories than you burn. Even though we have no way of knowing that. It seems like that could be a path to fat reduction that would not fly in the face of your research and all that people Herman (56m 53s): Yeah, I have had good, good luck with intermittent fasting or different kinds of fasting approaches. And yeah, absolutely. If that works for you, there’s no reason it wouldn’t the, if you go too fast and too much, you’re going to have that response that, that reaction, that metabolic reaction. But if you can do it in a way that your body doesn’t freak out, yeah, you’ll be okay. Brad (57m 13s): Or I suppose, going too fast too soon, obviously would have that reaction. But I would imagine also eating 200 calories less per day for the next five years, you would probably compensate and burn fewer calories. Herman (57m 32s): Yeah. Eventually the other thing is too, if you lose the weight, if you lose fat, you expect to see too much of a change in, in, in expenditure. Cause that’s pretty quiet. But if you’re losing, if any muscle goes along with that, then you know, now your, your energy expenditure requirements go down too. It’s tough. It’s tough. Brad (57m 50s): That’s not going to sell a lot of quick fix weight loss programs, man. You could call it. It’s tough. Herman (57m 57s): That’s why I didn’t write one. It’s tough. Brad (58m 0s): It’s tough. Good luck. Here we go. But, but finding the diet that works, I mean that your, your tagline find a diet that keeps you satisfied that you enjoy and it keeps, you keeps you, you know, well fed, but it’s not an excessive amount of calories is a big winner there. Herman (58m 17s): I think so. And I’m, I’m a big believer in human diversity as a, I think it’s a strength on all levels of diversity of behavioral and physical and mental diversity. I think it’s all good stuff. And we should, why would we want to ignore that? Why wouldn’t we want to embrace that when it comes to diet and everything too, you know, diversity is good and it’s going to, something’s going to work better for some people than others. And I’m also a big believer that, you know, there’s a drive to be, we have a drive to be happy and a drive to be content, and we should honor that. And if you’re doing things that make you just unhappy every day miserable because of what you’re eating or what you’re trying to do at the gym, I mean, you’re going to have a hard time keeping it up. Herman (59m 1s): And why should you, you know, find things that you enjoy doing? I think that there is a lot out there as soon as we open up our mind and go, Oh, I don’t have to eat this particular way. I need to follow these principles. Well, now that seems pretty doable. I could find a way that will work within these principles. I don’t have to exercise this way. I just need to get moving. I can find a way that gets me moving that I like. Right. I think I hope that that opens doors for people. And as a way to kind of, if you have been frustrated, it is a way to kind of get back into it, Brad (59m 32s): Right. And that would include like maybe not centering your life around meals because you’re getting more healthy. You’re moving more. You’re, you’re getting good at it at burning fat. You’re not pumping insulin into your, your blood all day and night. And then you don’t have you forget about it. And you’re so busy. You, you, you work through lunch with no nothing to, you know, nothing to show for it negatively. Yeah, man, that was a great followup show. I’m I’m getting clear now. And I think that tour de France example hits home where sure, of course you can get into your bridesmaid dress and then, you know, we, we gotta be reasonable and, and have those have those longterm sights too. Brad (1h 0m 15s): Yeah. Yep. That’s right. Okay. People go by the book BURN. It’s going to blow your mind. It’s a great work. I appreciate you so much, Herman. Thanks for joining us again and good luck with everything you’re doing. Keep it up. Herman (1h 0m 28s): Thanks. Brad is really fun to talk. Brad (1h 0m 29s): Anytime. 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 QA shows, subscribe to our email list of 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 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. Brad (1h 1m 15s): It helps raise the profile of the be read 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 soundbite 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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Insights On Spirituality and Exercise With Shawn Askinosie

(Breather) In this breather show, Shawn Askinosie and I continue our wonderful conversation, which becomes more spiritually-minded as we touch on topics such as grief, aging, and a little bit about neuroscience, too.

Shawn gets really personal and opens up about his own experience with loss and what he refers to as “the long arch of grief.” We talk about aging and the soul, and Shawn shares why he thinks of our souls as ageless. We also talk about the neuroscience behind forward acceleration and gravity, and its effect on our brain and on our equilibrium.

TIMESTAMPS:

There are times when we need help with our emotions and spiritual selves. [01:09]

Grief is grief.  It doesn’t matter how old you are. [05:28]

Life is so comfortable we don’t have many opportunities to push our bodies to the limit. [08:37]

One has a sense of freedom that is very spiritual. [11:38]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “Many of us experience dark nights of the soul. Gray nights, even shaded nights…and I think it’s important we get help where we can, and not feel ashamed to admit that we need help.”

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Brad (1m 9s): Hey listeners, I hope you enjoyed the full length interview show with Shawn Askinosie, proprietor of Askinosie Chocolate. And after we finished the formal show, we kept talking and this guy loves to go deep and get spiritual on ourselves, and it’s really fun. So I think you’re gonna dig this breather show where he talks about kind of accessing that, that, that spiritual experience of the incredible sense of freedom that’s fleeting in everyday life, but sometimes it’s access through physical exercise. And I share some of my insights about some of the great memories I have, especially the day that I quit my miserable job, got on my bike and pedaled 103 miles without any training and saw my quads saw God during the ride. Brad (1m 55s): And I also had just this confluence of special moments in my life of leading my career and embarking on a new path. So just a fun, little chat and more insights from Sean Askinosie I think you’re going to enjoy it. Going back to that mention of getting your, your mind, your body and your spirit, right. And here we are, we’re we’re in that advanced age group, I think in the 50 plus division and got to start looking at that even further than, than, than we did a decade or two decades ago, but how’s your, how’s your fitness approach. And we, we’re going to talk about some of that? Shawn (2m 29s): Yeah, it’s good. I’m in the midst of a push-up challenge now that is really hard for me and it’s, but what I was going to ask you about that I think you would really be uniquely suited to help me with is about middle-way through the pandemic. I needed to engage the services of a therapist / teacher. Something beyond my spiritual director, and I’m not ashamed to say, you know, I was In a pretty tough spot and many of us experience, if not dark nights of the soul, maybe gray nights or shaded nights of the soul. Shawn (3m 12s): And I, I think it’s important that we get help, where we can, and that we’re not ashamed to admit when we need help. And this woman that’s been helping me. This has just been by telephone weekly. She’s been awesome. And last week in our session, and it wasn’t necessarily from any prompting from her, if it was, it was very subtle, but for whatever reason, I evoked in my mind the first moment in my life, where I had a knowing of freedom. Shawn (3m 54s): And I don’t mean where I believed in my freedom or had a, a book knowledge of my freedom or someone told me that I had freedom, but an experiential knowing of freedom. And as I was talking with her, it came to me that when that was, I was in the third or fourth grade, probably the third grade. And so I was maybe eight or nine years old, and I rode my bike to school by myself for the first time. And so this would have been like 69 and I had a stingray bicycle and my house was, you know, maybe a mile from the school and in riding the bike. Shawn (4m 39s): I remember the details of the, the, the sun, the crispness of the day and just that forward motion. And when I was describing it to her, I broke down. I started crying, describing this bike ride to her. And parenthetically, I’ll note, we didn’t talk about this in part one, but my dad died when I was 14 of lung cancer. As I mentioned, he was a lawyer and it was really tough for me, very, very, very tough. That grief, or should I say unresolved grief 25 years later after the murder case is the thing that then triggered me into finding my vocation and finding my calling because I, I volunteered in the palliative care unit of a hospital, big hospital for five years on Fridays, just visiting patients, dying patients. Shawn (5m 28s): And that I did after that murder case that I described to you. And so that was really tough. And it’s, you know, the, the long arc of grief, I don’t care how old you are. Your dad died in 2020, you know what I’m talking about? And even though he was 97 years old, doesn’t matter if you were in your fifties or if you were in your teens, grief is grief. A broken heart is a broken heart. You know, sorrow is sorrow. I don’t care what age you are. I believe your soul is ageless. Your true self, your true nature has no age has no age. And so my nine year old soul or what my nine-year-old that I thought was for whatever reason, I, I was evoking this freedom and this bike ride, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. Shawn (6m 17s): I don’t know what it was. I’m not that athletic of it. I mean, I did, I wrestled in high school for a little bit, and I did martial arts in college when I lived in Japan. But then I kind of gave it up for debate and law school and all that stuff. And I just, I walk a lot. That’s pretty much what I do. And now I do ups and stuff all that aside. But so then last week I started thinking, okay, I need to go back to the short film called Slomo about this, this, this neurologist who gave it all up because of neurological condition that he had. He lived in San Diego. If you haven’t seen the video, I strongly encourage you to do a Google Slomo and it Slomo all one word. And this guy started inline skating on the boardwalk in San Diego. Shawn (6m 59s): He’s done it every day for 15 years. And in this documentary, he, as a neurologist, he describes this position that he gets in. That’s almost like the warrior three position in yoga. So it’s one leg on the ground, inline skating, one leg and back, both arms out to his side, almost like he’s flying head down, but he’s slow. It’s, it’s, it’s fairly slow. It’s not the super speed. And he describes it as reaching this place, (some would say the zone or flow state) I don’t think it’s that perhaps it is, but it’s, he talks about this, the science behind the neuroscience behind acceleration, forward acceleration and the, and gravity and the center of gravity in the earth, sort of pulling down and its effect on our brain and our equilibrium. Shawn (7m 51s): And he says that maybe in skaters or skiers or surfers, or, but what I was going to ask you since I’m not super athletic right now, I don’t, I haven’t done skating or inline, but I, the reason I want to figure out what that is for me is because it takes you to a place. It’s a place it’s a meditative place. And I meditate a lot, you know, I, I pray every morning, but I want to experience that in a, in something that I can do physically, that will bring me to that sort of maybe forward acceleration or what do you, what do you think about that? Brad (8m 33s): Wow. Shawn (8m 33s): I know you’re gonna know about this. I know you’re gonna know about it. Brad (8m 37s): I mean, that example is pretty bizarre. It’s hard to relate to what the guy’s talking about with this positioning of his body. But I think, you know, life is so comfortable that we don’t have many opportunities to, you know, to, to push the body to the limit once in awhile and know I’ve been doing this my whole life. And it’s just so rewarding that I think of it as second nature, but, you know, I’ve, I’ve had a transition in my athletic practices over my, over my lifetime. And I used to be an endurance athlete. And that was my whole thing was going all day and pushing my body and putting my brain into that state where it’s like, we got to concentrate for a seven hour bike ride and that’s all fine and dandy. But now like my, my complete passion is an event that takes one second. Brad (9m 21s): I’m, I’m a high jumper and that’s, that’s all I think about. It’s, it’s so fun to get out there and try to perfect my technique. And from the time you leave the ground to, to landing in the pit, it’s one second. You don’t even know what’s going on. I have to watch the video to see if my technique is right, because it happens too quickly, but I’m just referencing that as my talking point is like you go out there and do something that’s so different from your day-to-day experience of typing a computer, laying in a bed or sitting in a chair and it can be, you know, it can be a real rush in that sense that maybe that’s what you’re relating with with the guy in the, in the show. And especially if you’re, you know, not super competent at something. Brad (10m 3s): And now you pick up everyone’s into archery now, the cool people or whatever it might be, but, you know, I’ve been skiing my whole life and my friend, who’s an expert skier gave me a little tip on the slopes last month. And I had from the second, he said it, you know, the next three days I felt like I own the whole mountain. I had broken through from an entire lifetime of being scared to get out of control. And now I’m using my arms correctly. And you just have these kinds of portals that are accessible in the physical realm that aren’t there anywhere else that I’ve experienced, maybe in a, you know, a three days silent meditation retreat, you’re going to feel the same way I did. When did that epic eight hour bike ride and climbed up to the top of the mountain because those things I can remember just like your nine year old bike ride to school. Shawn (10m 53s): Yeah. That’s why I’m I’m well, maybe should you have the time and you see that video and you can email me back and tell me what you think or something, but, but I’m fascinated by this. I’m fascinated by because, because in that age of nine years old, you know, the, the knowing of freedom is it is more accessible than like I just turned 60 last week. And, you know, for us 60 year olds or 50 or whatever, we, we, we tend to get sort of separated from that, knowing that knowing of, of freedom. And I don’t mean necessarily mean, you know, emotional freedom or, I mean, the combined physical and spiritual freedom combined together. Shawn (11m 38s): That’s what I think is very interesting about it’s a convergence. So yes, it’s meditative, but it’s, it’s kind of induced by a physical experience and not one that was like my bike ride to school. I mean, it wasn’t like I was breaking some speed record or something. It was just this experience of freedom and knowing, and I have, it was just kind of strange how it came up in therapy. And then I happened to remember that this documentary I’d seen years ago, it’s from 2013. You’ll love it. It won all kinds of awards, this documentary 16 minutes, 16 minutes, 16 minutes. Brad (12m 19s): Yeah. I’m also thinking of, I was, you know, I graduated college. I was a big athlete triathlete on the running team. And then I was immersed into work at the world’s largest accounting firm. And it wasn’t my calling, man. I could tell on day one when everyone was so excited, all the other, all the other hires were captivated by the employee orientation and the retirement plan. And I was like, what am I doing here wearing this stupid suit in this office building? And I only lasted there 11 and a half weeks. And the day I announced my retirement, you know, they were, they were pretty surprised because they’d spent all that money training me. But when I walked out of the building and the next, the next day I got on my bike and I wrote a hundred miles, which I wasn’t prepared for, but, you know, my intention was I was going to go try to become an athlete now. Brad (13m 5s): But I think, you know, combining the, that particular bike ride with the previous day, I had exited a career and like walked out of this building and felt like I was really free to go live my life, instead of, you know, to that point, I had majored in accounting and done the interview process and the recruiting and all this things that, you know, society was telling me, this is what you’re supposed to do. You go to college, you get a degree, the degree applies to a career, you know, everything was on point and then exiting the building and sitting on a bike seat instead. I think that’s, you know, that was sort of a transcendent experience. Shawn (13m 42s): Yeah. I’m sure it was what, a moment of freedom. I mean, truly that’s. Yeah, no, there’s nothing like it, really. And, and, and, and it’s not that I’m saying that I wanted the feeling for the sake of the feeling, but I want, I, but I want to experience that kind of connectivity that is combined, as I said, sort of converging with a physical experience, you know, because I have had the, I described to you, I’ve had that feeling in Africa, you know, when we’re there, I had that experience when I was volunteering with patients who were dying in the hospital, I’ve had that same kind of feeling of freedom as I’m just spending a moment, you know, with this person. Shawn (14m 26s): But I thought, you know, when I I’ve, cause I’ve read so much about you and your experience with sports and as an athlete and that I thought maybe you would have also some thoughts on this. So yeah. Brad (14m 41s): Pretty wild. I love it. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks, Shawn. Yeah. You bet. Well, let me know what you think about that. Thank you for listening to the show. I love 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 of 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 list. Brad (15m 22s): 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 soundbite 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 be rad.

 

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Shawn Askinosie: Doing Meaningful Work and Eating Good Chocolate

Today we’re going deep with entrepreneur Shawn Askionsie!

Not only is Shawn an exceedingly intelligent, kind, and driven individual, but he also happens to be the man behind the creation of my two absolute favorite chocolate bars! Yes, as any chocolate connoisseurs may have now realized from his last name, Shawn is the founder of Askinosie Chocolate, the company behind the most delicious, mind-blowing chocolate I have tried (and I’ve tasted a lot of chocolate!). 

You will of course learn a good amount about artisanal chocolate from Shawn, but the main theme of this episode is also the subject of his book, Meaningful Work: A Quest To Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul. Many will be able to relate to this self-reflective and motivating conversation as Shawn explains how he went from high-powered criminal defense attorney to dark chocolate entrepreneur, and you will be inspired by the integrity and passion infused into every aspect of his work (Askinosie Chocolate is award-winning for good reason!).

Shawn talks about how a career high was immediately followed by an overwhelming feeling that “something wasn’t right” in his life and the power that comes with truly surrendering your dependency on the outcome. He also highlights how often we perceive what is actually our greatest strength as our greatest “weakness” and brings up a profound quote from one of his favorite books, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, about the power of letting go: “Surrender is perhaps the greatest form of worship.” Shawn points out that surrendering is powerful because it allows you to shed expectations for what you thought your life would be, and connect with your true nature (something that is difficult when you don’t surrender control). 

Shawn also gets real about the dark truth behind the commercial chocolate industry; breaking down the true meaning behind the “Fair-Trade” label and revealing shocking facts about it that will forever change how you choose and buy chocolate. We then wrap up with a brief discussion about the importance of having an open mindset and seeking out challenges in life.

Check out Askionsie.com to try Shawn’s phenomenal chocolate (my personal two favorite flavors are the 88% dark chocolate and dark chocolate mint!) and click here to order Shawn’s book, Meaningful Work!

TIMESTAMPS:

It is important to learn the distinction between the mass-produced chocolate and the special chocolate prepared without slave labor and with regulations.  [01:55]

It’s not about the chocolate, it’s about the malnourished kids who work in those factories. [06:41]

Shawn describes his journey from criminal defense attorney to chocolate. [08:55]

What are the ethical principles of a defense attorney? [15:49]

How did Shawn learn to make chocolate in an ethical way? [22:11]

What does it mean to temper chocolate? You have to raise and lower the temperatures perfectly. [26:51]

The next step is marketing the “bean to Bar” chocolate. [32:07]

Reverse Scale is questioning the idea that if you are going to start a business you need it to grow. [33:50]

What are some steps a listener can take who might be extricating from the career that’s causing disillusionment and burnout? [44:37]

What is the difference between bean to bar chocolate and the standard chocolate we can buy everywhere which are made with child labor? There are 1.58 million child slaves in West Africa.

[54:19]

The Fair-Trade label doesn’t indicate that the farmers get the money. It is deceiving. [01:04:41]

We are in an age where we can research for the ethics and values of the things we buy. [01:08:48]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “Often, we find our greatest strength can be our greatest weakness.”
  • “If we can reach a place — even if momentarily — where we surrender this notion of outcome dependency, then we have a chance to live a real, true life.”
  • “Sometimes just putting the question in our head can really open up a flow of understanding and awareness that we’ve never even experienced before.”
  • “Write a long-term vision of greatness for you personally, for your firm, for your idea, or for your life.”
  • “Michael Singer says, ‘Surrender is perhaps the greatest form of worship,’ and I love that, because surrender doesn’t mean ‘Plan B will help me.’ It means letting go.”

LISTEN:

 

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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 nowlater, or never. Either way, we thank you for choosing from the first two options…

B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 55s): Hey, listeners, get ready. We are going to go deep and talk to a very interesting kind, evolved and intensely driven, competitive human being entrepreneur by the name of Shawn Askinosie. Those of us in the deep chocolate appreciation kind of sewer realm, we’ll recognize that last name. He is the proprietor of ASCA nosy chocolate and in my searches far and wide across the globe right now currently ranking in the top spot are my two favorite bars from Askinosie. And that would be the 88% dark chocolate and the dark chocolate peppermint, absolutely exquisite mindblowing. Brad (2m 37s): You’re going to learn a fair amount about artisan chocolate in this show. But we also are going to centerpiece the discussion around his new book, which is titled Meaningful Work, a quest to do great business, find your calling and feed your soul. What a beautiful and descriptive subtitle and Shawn’s story is really captivating. I think a lot of us can relate because he talks about this sort of career burnout situation, where he ascended to a really high level. He was a high pressure, high profile trial lawyer in Springfield, Missouri, everything was going great. He was grooving. He won a big case. And then he sort of had that day of reckoning, where he had to kind of question his life purpose, his direction, his destiny, and that led him to the crazy ill-advised transition from the legal world to something he truly knew nothing about. Brad (3m 32s): You’re going to be blown away about what a whim this was. But all of a sudden here he is buying an old building, making a factory from scratch, learning how to make dark chocolate from scratch. And this was, oh, about 15 years ago. And that was back in the day when there wasn’t many bean to bar artists and chocolate makers. Now there’s hundreds in America alone. So he kind of was the trendsetter in this wonderful emerging business. And it’s really important to learn about the distinction between the mass produced chocolate, which Shawn comes straight out, pulls no punches and says, look, you’re buying the product of slave labor from poorly regulated countries in Africa versus his business model where he has traveled across the world to countries like Tanzania and the Philippines and met these farmers and does business dealings directly with them. Brad (4m 20s): They do profit sharing where they translate their accounting books into the native language and actually reward these farmers and fairly compensate them. And so when you purchase a premium product, that’s been thoughtfully produced and sourced, ah, you feel better inside. You’re making the world a better place, and you’re also getting an exquisite creation. And hopefully you’ll all get as passionate about dark chocolate as I am after listening to this show. Shawn’s won a lot of awards with his products, he loves to compete. He loves to put out the best product, but he also has a really interesting twist on his business strategy. And you’re going to learn about concepts like reverse scale instead of obsessing with growth, getting really good at being just the right size and keeping “tethered” Brad (5m 5s): is his word tethered to your original dream of why you started the business. So, so we’re going to go deep in this show, it’s going to get a little spiritual. It’s going to be a journey of self reflection. Shawn’s going to give you guidance about creating your vision of greatness. That is your dream for the future. For the next 10 years, let’s say in getting very specific and detailed, but doing it the right way and getting your shit together in terms of mind, body, and soul. Before you sit down to write this narrative. Fun stuff like that, interwoven with this great entrepreneurial story and a fine education about artisan dark chocolate. What a great show with Shawn Askinosie enjoy. Brad (5m 46s): I have SHawn Askinosie here. Did I pronounce that correctly? Shawn (5m 51s): You did. Brad (5m 52s): If you haven’t heard of this name people, then you’re not eating the best chocolate in the world. Those of us watching on YouTube, I have one of your bars here, probably the best one, dark chocolate peppermint, in my opinion, but we’re going to have a wonderful conversation because not only are you an acclaimed chocolate tier the, the journey to get there has been really fascinating. And I think something of great inspiration to, to many people that are dreaming of, you know, the most fulfilling, exciting lively career. So we could start by mentioning your new book. The title is Meaningful Work, a quest to do great business, find your calling, and feed your soul. Brad (6m 34s): And boy that ain’t easy these days. So maybe you should just take us through it. Shawn, I can’t wait to hear about this. Shawn (6m 41s): Well, thank you. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to speak with you and the, you know, it, isn’t this the way it is, especially once you get a little miles on you or you, you have, you have them literally and figuratively in all ways, but in my way, the, the age years we, the reflection can be a little deeper. And so for me, as I look back on this, it’s the, the journey of, of determining and kind of finding another inspiration and passion after my law career is probably the real story and not the chocolate. And here I am in chocolate. Shawn (7m 21s): And one of the things that we say all the time and in my little factory in my little chocolate factory is it’s not about the chocolate. It’s about the chocolate. And what I mean by that is, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to talk about this, but it’s not about the chocolate. It’s about these malnourished kids in the Philippines and Tanzania that we’re feeding sustainably every day. It’s about the chocolate university program, where we engage local kids in Springfield, Missouri, and our business, and teach them about business and teach them. And there was a world beyond Springfield and how we profit share with farmers. And that has nothing to do with chocolate. But on the other hand, we’re, we’re, we, we face immense competition. These days when I started, there were only three people starting about the same time and it’s everything about the chocolate and I want to win awards internationally. Shawn (8m 5s): I want to make the best tasting chocolate we can. And so it’s, it’s both, it’s totally about the chocolate and it’s totally not about the chocolate and the, the, the, the crazy thing about it is this path to get there took me almost five years, and I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a trust fund or something like that, where I could sit around while I was facing this daunting challenge. I was a criminal defense lawyer, and I did that for almost 20 years, including the time while I was searching for this next inspiration. And my specialty area was the defense of murder cases and very serious felonies. And, and that kind of work is not the kind of work that you can just phone in and you really need to be engaged because there’s so much at stake. Shawn (8m 55s): And I, I, I didn’t know anything else. I knew nothing else besides the courtroom. I didn’t have any hobbies or anything. So I embarked on this very circuitous path to find my inspiration or passion Brad (9m 11s): Of well, where you at least a consumer. Did you have that going for you, a chocolate, a chocolate eater? Shawn (9m 18s): Not really. I, I tell you what my wife and I, we love to go to New Mexico and we’ve been going there for many years. We love the high desert. And so there was a restaurant there in Santa Fe that made chocolate desserts. And that chef kind of inspired me to make this chocolate dessert chocolate. Budino kind of an Italian chocolate pudding. That was really my first encounter. And at the same time, I had developed a hobby, which was grilling. I bought a big green egg, and then another one to just learn how to cook ribs and hamburgers and stuff like that. And then I started baking and then I started making chocolate desserts and that’s, but I really, during that time, or before then, I didn’t really have any discerning tastes for chocolate or, I mean, I, a lot of sugar, you know, donuts and stuff like that, Brad (10m 6s): Especially in the courtroom preparing? Shawn (10m 9s): Yeah. Yeah. Brad (10m 11s): I understand that criminal defense work is, is a high burnout position with, with all that stress involved. And I suppose you got to that point in your career where first you were pursuing hobbies and then maybe the hobbies picked up more steam than your, your passion for it, for banging it out in the courtroom or something? Shawn (10m 31s): Well, it was, it was the reverse. So this, this passion for trial work and for the courtroom, I’d had much of my life. My dad was a criminal defense lawyer and I grew up with it. And then he died when I was young. And so I wanted to follow in his footsteps and there was just this real drive and it didn’t feel like work. And so I, I, I could, you know, be working weekends and trying to better understand DNA evidence or a blood spatter or gunshot residue or whatever it may be. And I just, I loved it. Shawn (11m 11s): But I didn’t lose a jury trial in all those years. And I, I, at the conclusion of a murder trial, and I write about this a little bit in the book, but it just, and it was a successful conclusion. I believed in the case, it was really, really hard fought. The jury was sequestered, very high profile and it just kinda hit me. I, I, there was a moment right before the judge decided what he was going to do and take it away from the jury and let, and he was going to decide to put my client on probation for murder, which doesn’t happen. And I just said, I don’t know what’s going on. I won, I have this money. I have attention. I can take whatever cases I want. Shawn (11m 52s): It’s just not, something’s not right. You know, that’s when I started looking for hobbies and thinking that I could sort of, at first, I thought I could kind of buy my way out of it. In other words, I thought I could purchase something. And this was, this was when I was in my early forties. And so I bought a convertible Mercedes thinking that that would, you know, that that would solve all of my problems and it didn’t. And then I, then that’s when I said, you know what? I probably need some hobbies if I’m going to find a new passion, that’s how that started. So it was really just this jolt, you know, outside the courtroom. And, and then I started having panic attacks and that really told me, but I didn’t know they were panic attacks at the time. Shawn (12m 33s): I thought, I, I thought maybe I was having a heart attack in the courtroom. And I ended up spending the night in the hospital and my doctor just, he basically just said, you’re fine. You need to go see a psychologist, which I do. Brad (12m 46s): So you had this victory, which was the thing that caused you for contemplation. And I can kind of relate to the, the athletic world where, well, they just had that documentary, the weight of gold, where these athletes come home with a sense of emptiness after they’ve achieved the highest pinnacle. And I think if you’re so results oriented in life, you do have that, that day of reckoning, when everything goes your way. And then it’s like, then what, and perhaps that was the, the courtroom model of the Olympic gold medal. Shawn (13m 16s): Right. And I know you write about this a lot, and I’ve seen this a lot on your website and it’s, it’s wonderful when we reach this point in life. Whenever it may be not necessarily dependent on age, but it’s where we’re not dependent on outcome. And, and, and when we can reach a place where even if, even if momentarily, we can sort of surrender that notion of outcome dependency, then we have the chance to live a real life, a true life. And so, yeah, I think, and I think, I think that’s part of it, even though, while I was doing it. And while I was loving it, I, the outcome, I mean, I wanted to win, but it wasn’t all about the winning. I mean, I enjoyed the minutiae of it. Shawn (13m 57s): I enjoyed preparing for cross examination. It was work and it was hard. And I think many of your listeners, viewers can relate to it. And, and, you know, when you think that you’re in what you want to do for so long, and then it slips away from you, that can be a very, it’s a, it can be a really uncomfortable feeling, especially if you’ve sort of deepened this skillset and your talents to do this. And you’re at the top of your game, by all observations, you should be totally happy. And Brad (14m 31s): what’s your problem, man. Shawn (14m 33s): Exactly. And, and, and so then when that, you know, when that’s, when that’s taken away from you, then, I mean, then you end up, I mean, many, many people can, I think end up like me, I was depressed. I had anxiety and, and I couldn’t figure a way out. And so I ended up, you know, taking antidepressants to try to help me, which I needed. And it was tough. Really tough. Brad (14m 58s): Yeah. I wonder if it’s of a necessary, almost a necessary part of the story. In other words, you pushed yourself so hard. You rose to such a high level in one of the most demanding careers you could imagine. And the, the, the high heights that you reach are maybe going to predict, you know, a more, more, more turmoil and more self reckoning than someone who’s delivering mail for 27 years and has got their route dialed in. So the, the highs and the lows are muted because the stakes are lower. Just like you described when you go into a courtroom and the adrenaline and the preparation, it’s just, it, it can’t lead to a puffy cloud in the sky, or, you know, horseback ride in New Mexico. Brad (15m 44s): And then everything’s fine. You go back to the next case, it’s, it feels like that to me. Shawn (15m 50s): Right. And again, something else that you write about and talk about is this idea. And I think this, you write that this is true in your life, that our greatest strength is often our greatest weakness. And we, we find it, we find our greatest strength will sort of be it’ll be working for us for all this time. And then it turns around Brad (16m 8s): And then it places, you Shawn (16m 10s): Know, like this monster that just turns around and faces, and you’re like, wait, wait, but you, you were helping you. You’re on my team. You were my greatest strength for me. That was, I could outwork my opponents. I wasn’t smarter than prosecutors and all the lawyers and teams of government lawyers, they had definitely wasn’t smarter, but I could work harder and I could uncover every stone that needed to be uncovered. I always knew the answer of everything that was going to happen in the courtroom. And so I had this driving, just this dry, the sheer drive to research, to talk to witnesses, to understand, and to just dig and dig and dig and dig and dig and dig. Shawn (16m 51s): And so when I thought, well, I need to find my next inspiration and passion that I would deploy those same skills of digging, researching, talking, investigating, finding the answers because I am a hard charging driven person. And that has worked for me all these years and that wasn’t working. And that, and that was that, that actually that “failure” then became a driver of my despair because as this monster turned around on me, my greatest strength, it, it, it, it beat me. It beat me into submission essentially. Whew. Brad (17m 30s): You mentioned something about the case and I may, might be a taboo question to ask, like asking a race car driver. Tell me about your recent crashes. I, I did ask a race car driver that once, and he stared me down like the death stare of all time. But I think the, you know, the casual observer thinking of a criminal defense lawyer, and we see the sensationalization of the law and crime on TV, both in drama and in real life. And, you know, our reference point is the OJ trial, how his, his hot shot lawyers did such an exceptional job and, and destroy the, the, the pathetic prosecution. And now this guy’s walking free and you said, you know, I believed in this case. And so I’m wondering, like, were there cases that you didn’t believe in and you’re still compelled to go do the digging and do your due diligence, even though maybe your mind and your heart is in a different spot based on the, you know, based on the, the accused crime and so forth. Brad (18m 25s): And how do you reconcile that? Shawn (18m 28s): The short answer is yes, I did do that. And I, I, but I will say fortunately over my 20 year career and I don’t, I, there are many public defenders out there who don’t have the luxury that I have, I could pick and choose. So I could decide if I wanted to ski down the black slope or not a public defender has no choice. And so I, I, but yes, there were times that I was retained in cases that I knew the person was completely guilty of the crime charged, but the, but I was fortunate enough to not have to take those to a jury. So in other words, I didn’t, I wasn’t put in this untenable position of thing, the ethical principles of my profession against this obligation to do everything I could within the moral and ethical bounds of the law to, to, to achieve this person’s freedom. Shawn (19m 26s): So in other words, I didn’t have to lie to a jury or a judge, and I wasn’t gonna do that. I wasn’t gonna put myself in that position. And so what I would do in cases, and often these weren’t th this might be like a, an assault case, or it might be a really serious drug case where in that instance, what I would do is I would focus on my obligation under the constitution. That is if there’s, is there a challenge that I can make that is a procedural challenge, but important, for example, did the law enforcement officers violate this person’s fourth amendment rights, and did they enter their home with an illegal search warrant? Shawn (20m 7s): And I can challenge that and then have evidence excluded. And if the result is that the person’s case is dismissed. And so be it. And I felt completely good about that because I believed that I was doing what I was supposed to do to defend this person’s rights under the constitution. I was following my constitutional obligation. And, and I was, I was protecting your rights, not you, but the, the collective view, the royal you in, in the event that you are innocent and charged, and your rights are violated by law enforcement. You want people like me, who’ve come before you to make sure that the law is followed and that we are a country of laws, and that we follow the rule of law. Shawn (20m 52s): That’s very important. And, and I took that really seriously. Brad (20m 57s): Yes, very well said, wow. I mean, go, go to some other country, if you want the, the, the vigilante style, if, you know, put some guy away and throw the book away, cause our emotions get in, get involved. And that’s a, that’s a really important point that you’re just moving the story forward. And also that we have checks and balances here because Thomas Jefferson and the rest of them thought that might be better than just having the King decide to hang somebody Shawn (21m 23s): Well and layer on top of this, almost from the very beginning of my career, I started receiving death threats. So all throughout that 20 years that I described to you on and off, there were times in which people threatened to kill me or my family. And, and toward the end of my career, it was more often than not law enforcement people who were threatening to kill. And that, you know, it really, it didn’t bother me. I, I tried to accommodate for that. I took it very seriously, but it wasn’t the thing that sort of drove me out of law, those death threats. I mean, I guess the sort of combined effect of that along with everything else, you know, just put me in a place where I was like, okay, I’ve done this for 20 years and this is enough. Shawn (22m 9s): Now I need something else. Brad (22m 11s): Wow. So when the chocolate is melting on your palate, it has a better taste. Oh my goodness, Shawn. Yeah. What a, what a, what a tee up, but we will get into the, the lovely world of chocolate. And I guess you could, you could call this a turning point where you’re getting into your hobbies now, reflecting on your career direction. But to take that huge step. I remember reading the, the place where I think you, you, you decided to get into chocolate and then the next, the next mission was to learn about how to do it, or you bought the factory and then you said, Hey, let’s learn how to make the chocolate in sort of a reverse order there. Yeah. Let’s hear about, yeah. Shawn (22m 50s): That’s your build your parachute. Yeah. Build your parachute on the way down that, which is the true entrepreneur style. And the, there, there was a, a kind of a light bulb moment and we can, should you want to explore that later? But there was kind of this light bulb moment about making chocolate from scratch. And at that point, it really wasn’t being done in America. And so Brad (23m 16s): Is that, so?er Shawn (23m 20s): When I started looking at this, it was 2005. That’s the good moment for me. There was one other company in San Francisco Scharffenberger and in 2005, they sold to Hershey. And then there were about three of us at the same time that were kind of starting this in different parts of the country, really didn’t know each other. But when I had this aha moment in 2005, within three months of that light bulb, I was in the Amazon. And I was learning from farmers, how they influence the flavor of chocolate by how they harvest cocoa beans. I came back from back from that transformative experience and began to figure out how to wind down my law practice, which took a year. Shawn (24m 0s): I bought a building, started buying equipment from around the world. Did not know how to make chocolate on a larger scale. I could make it, you know, in my office, my law office, that paralegals and admin assistants would help me make chocolate, just little small batches, but it’s one thing, you know, people think about this all the time. They’re like, you know, you go over to somebody’s house or, or at least in the before times, and you’d bring your chocolate chip cookies or whatever brownies you may. And you’re like, people are like, those are awesome. You make the best chocolate chip cookies. Have you ever thought about starting a business? Well, thank you. Yeah. Let me just pause for a moment and tell your listeners, please call me if you’re thinking about that, because I can, I can tell you all the pitfalls of scale. Shawn (24m 42s): So making, you know, one pound of chocolate in your kitchen is not the same thing as making 200 pounds of it in a little factory. Whew, man, I really had to learn my lessons because I didn’t, I didn’t know how to do that. It was a whole different ball game than making it in my kitchen. So yeah, I bought all this equipment. I bought the factory. I’d renovated it. That took a year. I’d wound down my law practice and here I was, and I could not temper the chocolate. I couldn’t get it made. It really freaked me out for about four months. I mean, I stood in a little part of my building trying to temper the chocolate. And ultimately I bought a piece of equipment from Germany and called a temperer and a beautiful piece of equipment. And that solved my problem, solve my technical problem. Shawn (25m 25s): But yeah, so it started then, and my first chocolate bar was in May of 2007 and we’ve been buying from farmers and doing it ever since Brad (25m 33s): This factory was not a, it was something else. And you had to complete the spec it out for chocolate. Shawn (25m 39s): Yeah, It was nothing. I mean, it was a 100 year old building in a revitalizing part of our community that near, near a homeless shelter. The part of my factory didn’t have a concrete floor. It was just dirt. So, I mean, yeah, literally was a hundred year old building. I think it had been used as a cobbler repair place and a railroad supply. And it was nothing. It didn’t have electric, it had no electricity in it. Brad (26m 4s): Hope you got a good deal on it. You know what they’re beginning to, they’re begging you to move in the city of Springfield, handing your keys. Shawn (26m 11s): My, my, my, not my motto, but my practice is to buy high and sell low that’s what’s happened to me. So I don’t know, the month I’ve probably improved the property value a little bit, but it’s yeah, it’s fine. Yeah. But it’s a little factory that we, that I specked out and then learned how to use Brad (26m 30s): When you’re making it in your law office with the, the, the, the bright young law student who on summer internship, who knew that that was going to happen when they, when they, they took the job. But how do you make it in small batches? Are you talking about going from bean to bar or are you starting with some, I didn’t know. You could do that without the the fancy machinery. Shawn (26m 51s): No, you can do it. You can, in fact now, which I didn’t have the, the access to, but now you can buy like a kit almost online and, and buy the grinders. And I bought a grinder from India, a really small tabletop grinder to grind the beans. And then I used a popcorn popper to roast my, to roast my cocoa beans. And then I bought a little juicer to turn it in. And then I just tempered it, myself, people, anyone contemporary chocolate, and you’re in their kitchen. It’s really hard to do, but you can do it. Describe what Brad (27m 23s): That is, tempering and then discuss like it’s bigger scale. Shawn (27m 26s): Well, the, the idea of temper is to bind cocoa butter molecules to cocoa molecule. So a cocoa bean itself, just a cocoa bean that looks like an almond is about 47 to 52% fat. And that fat is cocoa butter. And so what you want to do when tempering the chocolate after the beans have been ground up, and it’s in a paste in a kind of liquid form, what you want to do is you want to reconstitute that. So it will be firm and hard. It will, the chocolate will snap, it’ll have a shiny appearance. So it’d be like tempering steel, tempering glass. And this idea is binding these molecules together so that they will adhere to each other and form a chocolate bar that won’t just bend and melt and it’ll look pretty. Shawn (28m 11s): And, and, you know, you can do this on your, on the stove by some people can do it by using emulsifiers that kind of cheat the process. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to use nothing. I wanted no additional ingredient. I wanted to be able to do it all on my own. But the problem is, is what you’re doing is you’re raising the temperature of this chocolate. So imagine it’s on your stove and you’re stirring it to make sure it won’t burn, or you do it in a double boiler. And you’re raising the temperature to a melting point of about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Then what you’re doing is you’re cooling the chocolate down just above the point where it’s going to solidify, then you’re stirring, and then you raise it up just a little bit, but not to the melting point. Shawn (28m 52s): You poured out in a mold and you’re, you’re good. But what, what is challenging, as I said is without an emulsifier, it’s really hard. I could do it in my kitchen. There’s other, other ways of doing it. You’ve maybe been on vacation and seen like candy shops where people are doing this on a marble slate. You know, they’re, they’re putting their cooling the chocolate down by doing this, but, but the, the, the, the problem is, is that what we found when I had all the equipment that I thought I needed. And a lot of this came from South America, and I was trying to do it at know, 250 kilos at a time. So I said, 200 pounds really, it’s more like 500 pounds. And, and so the problem is if we were off by a 10th of a degree, we lost the whole batch. Shawn (29m 36s): I’d lose a day of production. Now, the good news is we could remelt it and start again at 120 degrees and melt all the cocoa butter crystals. And then we’d have to re temper all over again. I couldn’t do that. I stood, you know, like a 10 by 10 space trying to do that for four months and this German tempering machine sort of automates that process that I described of raising and lowering the temperature so perfectly. And it, it, it’s a very cool process th that the way this machine works. And so it kind of did, it was able to control the temperature, that’s the bottom line, and it was able to control the temperature, but I mean, Oh, man, that was, I look back on those times. Shawn (30m 17s): And I, I really wondered, you know, have I made a big mistake here? What have I done? I mean, I could easily, at that point have gone back into the courtroom, you know, but man, it was tough. Brad (30m 26s): It’s like you were trying to go in between the home enthusiast and the giant factories who have, you know, running production at a Hershey’s or what have you. And now maybe people have kind of leveraged your, your initial struggles, because it seems like a, you know, a common product on the market now where we have these, these, you know, artisan chocolate that’s made from small batches and so forth. Shawn (30m 57s): Yeah. I started, like I said, there were about three of us now. There’s I don’t know, 250 in the house. Brad (31m 2s): Wow. Wow. In the USA only. Yeah. Yeah. Well, a rising tide floats all boats. I studied economics at UC Santa Barbara. And remember that abundance theory of the, of the marketplace where you can, he was smiling people that aren’t watching on YouTube. He was smiling when he said there’s 250 people making artisan chocolate now, because now it’s a fantastic market segment. Shawn (31m 24s): It is. And that’s, and that’s great because in the very beginning, you know, I was calling stores and fill in the blank city and saying, Hey, we have this bean to bar chocolate and I’m talking really nice specialty food stores. And they’re like, what? What’s that? What now? It’s Oh, sure. Yeah. Well let’s let us try. And, and the cool thing about is, you know, we’ve done this year after year, after year after year it’s it’s, you know, 14 years now almost. And so that’s one of the things I’m most proud of is the consistency with which our chocolate has been received. You know, we’ve, we continue to win awards even with all of the competition. Shawn (32m 5s): And I’m really, really proud of that. Brad (32m 7s): So you got the tempering down, you got the machine, you’re good to go. You a high five, everybody all around when you, when you do a successful production run. But then I imagine it was an uphill battle to get into the market. How did that go? Shawn (32m 24s): In the beginning? It was really challenging because, you know, we were selling, you know, an expensive chocolate bar back then. It might’ve been $7 and 50 cents for three ounces. Now it’s $8.50, but you know, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, those were our markets. And it was, it was tough. It was, I would say pretty tough, but we didn’t use a distributor. I didn’t want to, I wanted to do it myself. In other words, me and the other people, I wanted to be able to call stores, let them know who we were, tell them our ten second story. If I could, or 15 seconds, whatever they would let me say. And I wanted to do it that way as opposed to having a distributor. Shawn (33m 6s): And yes, of course it does help with margin if you don’t have a distributor, but, and we still don’t to this day. And we sell to about 900 stores around the country and we’re small, we’re 17 people full-time and that’s by design. And, and so it, it w it was hard. We started selling online back in those days, and, and now we sell a lot online and we have an ingredient part of our business, where we sell the same chocolate, but to, you know, places like Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago, they all have their hot cocoas and mochas use our chocolate and bakeries use it. And this has been really hard year though, for that part of the business for restaurants that have had to close. Shawn (33m 47s): So that’s been tough. Brad (33m 50s): Sure. So you talk about by design that you’re at this point of 17 full-time employees. There’s a, a concept that you detailed in the book called reverse scale. I’d love to hear more about that. Shawn (34m 4s): The, when I started the business, I knew I, you know, I knew that I wanted to work directly with farmers and I do that. And I have done that every year since I started in and I buy beans right now in the Philippines, in Tanzania, in Ecuador and in the, in, in the Amazon. And some of these farmers, like the one in Ecuador I’ve been buying from him, you know, since my first purchase was 2006, and I’ve been buying from him every year and we have another load of beans that will leave in a couple of weeks from Ecuador. And so I have long longterm relationships with farmers. And in the case, in, in the Philippines, it was in 2008, we just had a load, a container leave from there two weeks ago. Shawn (34m 50s): I just sent contracts to the farmers in Tanzania, yesterday. I’ve been working with them since 2010. And so I’m in constant contact with the farmers and have been during COVID time. And before that, I went there every year, I went to all these farms. So when I was getting ready to go to the Philippines in January last year, it would’ve been my 46th origin trip to go meet with farmers. And so, yeah, and so, you know, I want to have relationship with them. I want to see them. We profit share with them. We bring our financials translated into their language. Every other year, we have a program called Chocolate University where we take local high school students to meet cocoa farmers. Shawn (35m 35s): We’ve been doing that since 2010. And the I’m bringing all this up in the context of your question is because reverse scale, that’s a chapter in my book, and it’s tied to this idea that we are culturally conditioned to think if we’re going to start a business or start a thing, or do a thing that it needs to grow, it needs to be scalable scale, scale, scale. And why, why is that? Well, how quickly can it scale? Well, the chamber of commerce wants to know if your business is going to scale because it’s jobs for the community your friends want to know, because it means you’re going to be rich. Your investors want to know because they want a 40% return on their money. Shawn (36m 20s): And it’s the, it’s the in, in, in many circles in entrepreneurial life, it’s a sort of a mark of success that my business is such a great idea, that it really is truly scalable. And therefore you should think that I’m great. And so I’m trying to push against that idea. Yes, of course. And now we know more than ever that there are absolutely exceptions to that rule. Like what, how about a vaccine, for example? Yes. We want to scale the, you know, what out of that stuff, and we want it to go, go, go food relief, disaster relief. Yes. Let’s scale it. But what I want to ask people is, do you have an idea that that to you is valuable and maybe it only affects one person? Shawn (37m 5s): And is that enough? Yes, it’s enough. Push against this idea that we have to grow for the sake of growth we’re at this place where people are, all they’re doing is, is, is trying to grow so fast that they spend their lives, trying to find the person that’s going to replace them so they can then move higher up on the ladder. And then there’ll be somebody beneath them. That’s doing the same thing. And before you know, it, what happens, especially as an entrepreneur, really, any anyone, what happens before you know it is you’ve lost the sense of the reason of why you joined the business in the first place, or why you started the thing. And what, what happens is you’ve, you’ve lost the tether to your reason to do it in the beginning. Shawn (37m 51s): And you, you didn’t have a practice to hold onto it. So what I ask people to do is to develop a practice, a discipline of holding onto the tether of your idea of why you started and don’t lose it. And even, and I’m not suggesting that scale and tether are mutually exclusive. But what I am saying is that if you don’t pay attention to it, they can exclude each other. And so for me, for example, I have had experiences in Tanzania that I can point to, and that I do write about in the book that are for lack of a better term, divine. Shawn (38m 37s): They are lifting the veil of eternity. If you will, maybe Eckhart Tolle, I would say the eternal now, or that I’ve, I have had these, these moments of piercing through the veil or experiencing the veil lifting. And they have been so powerful. And, and often, you know, we’re, we’re taking students and watching them, you know, experience Tanzania for the first time. And if I had been spending my time consumed with growth, I might have not taken that trip. You know, I would have delegated that to someone else. Shawn (39m 17s): And I would have perhaps lost out on divine experiences in my life, in the last 10 or 15 years. And so I will do everything I can to hold on to that tether. And the, one of the ways that you hold on to the tether is by asking yourself the question which I write about in chapter three, which is titled How Much is Enough? How Much is Enough? And this is, this is where it all begins. And it, by the way, it’s a moving target. When you’re in your thirties, how much is enough is going to be different than when you’re, when you’re in your seventies or how much is enough Instagram likes or whatever, how much is enough Facebook followers, or how much is enough revenue for your business? Shawn (39m 60s): You know, these, these things are gonna change, but can you at least just ask yourself the question and maybe, you know, write it down and, and, and contemplate it and think about it? Because if you do, it’s a lot easier to stay tethered. Brad (40m 15s): Yeah. I think the, the cultural forces are so powerful that we, it, it pushes us away from even contemplating how we want to live our own life, especially when you’re in these refined professions where the so much is demanded of you and you kind of are feeling swept away that, well, I guess I better take on this next case because you know, the best guy for the job, or what have you, rather than saying, well, you may be the best guy for the job and maybe your chocolates, the favorite I’ve ever tasted in the world. And if it grew 10 fold, you know, that wouldn’t be that everyone would be tasting more great chocolate, but it’s your life. Brad (40m 55s): Shawn’s not mine. So we, we can still find you. But that does give me a follow up question of what if the demand is there and people are begging for your bars. And now, now you have to raise the price. You’ve only raised the price of a dollar in, in many years. That’s crazy, but, you know, would you, would you come to that point where you’d literally shut your door and say we’re out of stock? Or would you maybe, is it possible? And this is now is asking anyone back to the, you know, back to the book and the, and the lessons. Is there a way that you could maneuver this, where you could still be the guy traveling to Tanzania, but now you have a CEO who looks at all the, the money numbers and the hiring decisions and what, what stuff you’re not interested in? Shawn (41m 42s): The answer to your first question is yes. I’ve done this long enough that I would feel comfortable hiring a president or CEO, should that opportunity come up so, yes, I would absolutely be open to that. And I would have had a track record of 15 years of doing it myself. So I know what it feels like. And I would, I would feel okay with that as to your other question, we have done that. We have put in an out of stock sign on products. We have turned away customers. I can think of just even, you know, last in this past year where we’ve had customers for a long time and there, I would tell you their name and you would absolutely recognize their name. A famous ice cream maker. And we just said, we can’t make enough to meet your demand. Shawn (42m 24s): And we’ve, we really like you and we’ve appreciated the relationship, but we can’t do it. We’ve done that twice with really big customers in the last year. And we’ve had products before where we just say, you know, we can’t make this anymore. It’s a very popular product. We’re going to what we put it on, what we call vacation, which means maybe it’ll come back from vacation. Maybe it won’t, but, but we’ve done this. And so, yes, it’s, it absolutely has happened. And the, the Genesis of this idea of how much is enough is really what some would call the sufficiency economy. And for me, I have a, a real life experience with this because I’ve been going to a Trappist monastery about an hour and a half from my house for 20 years. Shawn (43m 12s): It’s called Assumption Abbey. I talked with my spiritual director the day before yesterday. He’s 90. He’s been a monk there since 1952. And, and they make fruit cakes and they make enough fruit cakes. They don’t, they don’t make more than they need. And, and they make enough to, to so that the monastery will be, so it will be sufficient. So they’ll have enough revenue to, you know, keep the lights on and feed the priests and brothers. And this is the way monasteries are run around the world. We know that there are famous examples with Travis beer in Europe, where, you know, they make what they make and when it’s out, it’s out. Shawn (43m 59s): And so you can’t do that, though, if you don’t have a, a really refined sense of what you need. And by that, I mean, what do you need to cover debt service? What kind of cashflow do you need? What kind of insurance plan do you need for your employees? And while it’s true that sometimes it may mean that you need to grow top line revenue and yeah, you can do that. That’s sure, but you’re doing it with purpose and you’re doing it with an understanding of what is sufficient. Brad (44m 37s): And if someone’s kind of lighting up in consideration of this message, what are some steps they can take might be extricating from the career that’s causing disillusionment and burnout, but even if they’re on a good path, you know, what, what tools can we use to kind of keep that tether, I guess? Shawn (44m 59s): Well, I guess one of the first things that you could do is you could first, do you have, do you have partners in this business? Then I would obviously encourage a really open discussion with your partners and or are you in this business alone? Talk to your family, talk to your spouse, talk to your partner, to your significant other, and express this idea of wanting to at least ask these questions. Because, you know, as I was saying, sometimes just putting the question, our head can really open up a flow of understanding and awareness that we’ve never even experienced before. Shawn (45m 42s): Just the question alone. So what would I recommend first talk to the people around you, who are the people who you need input from, and they need input from you. So they don’t think you’re, you know, you’re going off on a, some kind of weird tangent and get their understanding. And then I think the second thing that you can do, and I talk about this a lot in the book, and that is to write a vision of greatness, a longterm term, vision of greatness for you, for you personally, and for your firm, for your idea, or for your life. And I talk about in the book, you know, writing a 10 year vision of greatness. I didn’t come up with this, but one of my best friends is Ari Weinzweig who co-founded, Zingerman’s deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He’s written about this extensively. Shawn (46m 23s): And I, you know, write about it in my book. And I’ve done this with, with middle-school students in Tanzania, in Swahili, you know, helping them write a three-year vision of greatness. We are the farmer group that we work with in Tanzania. We helped them. We facilitated their 10 year vision of greatness. These are farmers that weren’t thinking into next month. And now they’re thinking, so when you can write a vision of greatness for yourself and in that story, and by the way, these aren’t bullet points, it’s not an outline. It’s a story. It’s got paragraphs, it’s got narrative. It has very similitude where you’re describing it all. You’re narrating the senses, and this is what’s happening in my 10 year vision of greatness. Shawn (47m 2s): And you will in that vision write about sufficiency. Now, I think you would say, great, lovely. But one of the things that we need to remember is we need to put our, or I would say it this way. We need to put our true selves in the best place possible to contemplate these questions. So that means we need to prepare our minds, our bodies, and our spirits for this question. We need to, we need to do that. And that means how do we put our bodies physically in the best place to be able to send and receive these kinds of messages? Shawn (47m 44s): And for me, the, the mind, I would say more important to me is the true self as Thomas Merton would have called it, or as some would say, consciousness or awareness, and, or in my faith tradition, I would say the soul. So if we can, if we can discover our true nature and begin a path of discovery of our true nature, our true selves, and put our body in a place for that discovery. That’s when these very important, deep questions of sufficiency can begin to percolate in ways that we would not have expected. Let’s dial back all the way. We’re rewinding the tape down at the beginning of the conversation. Shawn (48m 26s): When I said that I’m this, I was this type A I am a type A hard-charging driven person. That’s part of my DNA that ain’t going to change. That’s not going to change, but it, that strength prevented me from the things that we’re now talking about. I, I wanted to research the crap out of it. I wanted to talk to everybody. I wanted to power my way through it. But what I’m suggesting is is that if we can find a place of surrender, and if we can find a place of connecting with our true nature and our true selves, that is not power, that is not powering through it, right? I mean, that’s not what that is. Shawn (49m 6s): And, and it’s, it’s, it’s like the opposite of that. And so that is the place where answers to all of these questions that we’re talking about will arise. Brad (49m 20s): Wow, that’s a nice kind of spin on the, the, the popular message now about the manifesting and you make your vision board and you do all these great things, and I’m, I’m really enjoying being more open to this idea that you can visualize your future. But I, I like how you put it in that context, as you get to get your shit together, first, man, before you make your vision board, otherwise your mind is going to be clouded with delusions, and you’re going to have a private jets and Ferrari’s on there instead of, you know, going into a, a schoolhouse in Tanzania and getting them to do a three-year vision, especially the body part. And that, that really appeals to me as a lifelong, you know, fitness as the centerpiece of my life. Brad (50m 1s): And it’s like, boy, if we can, if we can work on that, that, that real life stuff, before we sit down and prepare a vision of greatness, that sounds like a great plan. Shawn (50m 11s): Well, and it’s, and you find, I, I, I would be willing to bet money that you find this in your work where people come to you, they know of your work. This happens with me. And they’re like, okay, tell me what I need to do to get to my next job. I need to find another job. I’m not happy in my job. I hate it. It makes me sick. Just, I just need to find another that I like, what do I do? Well, okay. We can, you can find another job. You know, another partner. Find another city. Yes, yes, yes. But you’re going to be right back where you started from, so let’s just do the work now. Let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s just do the work. I mean, I’m not a coach, but I’m saying, but it’s, it’s, it’s, that’s what we do. Shawn (50m 52s): You know, we need, if we, if we can step back, really the discipline begins with the discipline begins with beginning. It begins with, you know, can, are we willing to do the work? Are we willing to, then I don’t use this term lightly? Are we willing to, are we willing to encounter pain? And the pain can be physical. It can also be in, oftentimes is it’s spiritual and it’s emotional. Shawn (51m 34s): And it’s real. And that often is not the most tantalizing offer to someone when they are dissatisfied or it’s, you know, it’s not a great sales pitch, you know, to say, well, would you like a little emotional and physical pain with this? And it’s because, but, but you know what, eventually I think eventually people get there, you know, if they, if they’re serious about this work. Brad (52m 7s): Yeah. I mean, just, just being open to taking a baby step in that direction and experiencing a tiny bit of pain, such as second, guessing your career path as a, as a, you know, highly driven, successful criminal defense lawyer, that’s pain right there on the surface of it. Shawn (52m 23s): Well, Michael Singer who wrote Untethered Soul, and I love that book. He says that surrender is perhaps the greatest form of worship. And I love that because surrender means that it means letting go. It doesn’t mean a plan B will will help me. It means letting go. And that can be, that can take all sorts of forms, but one of them is that you begin to shed expectations of what you thought your life would be and what you think it will be. Shawn (53m 3s): And I, it’s very challenging to reach or connect our true to our true selves, our true nature without surrender. And the there’s a book that my spiritual director recommended a long time ago by, by a French monk in the 17th century, Jean-Pierre de Caussade and it’s called the book is called The Joy of Full Surrender. And again, it was written in the 18th century and many say that this book is almost like the first notion of Zen Christianity. And, and you can imagine, I mean, with the title, The Joy of Full Surrender., I mean, that’s a very Buddhist notion, but to me, this is, this is where I think this is where this is the place where it all resides, I think. Shawn (53m 54s): And it’s not a one-time thing. Right. I mean, we don’t surrender ones. Okay. Hey, I did it. I surrendered Brad (54m 0s): I’m on the golden path. I’m, I’m stuck on there forever. Shawn (54m 3s): Yeah, no, it’s for many. And like, for me, I mean it’s every day, you know, or sometimes minute by minute, Brad (54m 12s): Right? Keep checking yourself. Yeah. If everybody take a deep breath now, Ah, boy, Before I let you go, I’d love to talk about the, the, you know, sophistication of what a, what a real quality bean to bar product is versus what we’re getting bombed with in the marketplace. Because I became a dark chocolate fan. We know that milk chocolate’s got too much sugar and we’re trying to be healthy. So I switched to dark chocolate years ago and I would go to a national chain store and get their $1.57. Tasted pretty good. I thought, but now we open up this huge picture of, you know, staying away from, let’s say child labor and, you know, an unhealthy production practices. Brad (55m 1s): And then, you know, you’re talking about it’s, it’s kind of unfathomable in this day and age that you’re getting on a plane and traveling over to meet the guy who’s making the beans, that’s going in the bar. It’s kind of an unusual deal here. And so if anyone’s interested in, you know, upping their game and the quality of food they consume and what that, what that purchasing dollar does, I’d love to get your spiel on that Shawn (55m 26s): Many who say, even in the, you know, sort of sophisticated segment of the market, that this is now, as you pointed out, you know, bean to bar chocolate is everywhere, but there are many who say, gee whiz, you want me to pay $10 for this chocolate bar? What a rip off I say to them? Well, let’s talk about that $2 bar that you’d like to buy at the convenience store. Let’s say it’s a, you know, a Snickers bar ,Hershey’s or whatever that sir, or ma’am, is a rip off. And the reason it’s a rip off is because that chocolate bar was made on the backs of slaves. Now that is the epitome of rip-off. Shawn (56m 8s): And the supply chain for the biggest chocolate companies in the world. Let’s start with Barry Callebaut which makes the biggest, you know, they’re the biggest chocolate company in the world. They make the Tony’s chocolate lonely bar that has the word slave free on it. They themselves are one of the greatest, bad actors in this child, slave labor supply chain on the planet. And a lot of people don’t even realize that because they make so many different chocolate bars for people. But let’s think about for a minute that the US department of labor in conjunction with the university of Chicago came, came out with their report in this past fall that said there are 1.58 million child slaves in West Africa, in Ghana and ivory coast in the cocoa supply chain. Shawn (56m 59s): And there are many people who are in conditions of forced labor in addition to those children. And when you, when you consider the fact that based on the price of cocoa beans, that those farmers are getting and the, the middlemen and women that siphon off the, you know, many layers of profit for them in, in this corrupt supply chain, those farmers in West Africa are making under a $1.25 a day. That’s right. $1.25 a day, which is below the United nations definition of extreme poverty. So that is defacto slavery. When you, when you, when I am a business person and you are a slave working for when you are working for a $1.25 a day, that’s slavery, that’s modern day de facto slavery. Shawn (57m 43s): And so of course they can put a $2 chocolate bar on the counter at the convenience store where you get your gas. Yes, they can. They do it on the backs of slaves. And by the way, should they decide to do the right thing and eradicate slavery from their supply chains and pay the farmers a lot more money for their cocoa beans, their profit margins would even hardly erode even slightly without raising Brad (58m 8s): Are so inexpensive. Anyway, yes, Shawn (58m 9s): It’s pennies. You know, the, the, the, the amount of chocolate that’s in these bars is so minuscule to begin with, but it would, it would be a measure of pennies and Oh, by the way, chocolate is so inelastic that study after study has shown that the chocolate industry, you know, the big chocolate makers raise their prices and people still buy it. That’s the definition of in well, you’re the economics guy that’s inelasticity. And so that means that they could pay these farmers more money. They could make sure that these farmers aren’t living in extreme poverty and they could, if needed slightly raise the price and shareholder value would, would not decline one single scintilla, none, zero. Shawn (58m 53s): They get kind of excited about that. Brad (58m 54s): Most of the price point is going to pay the, the athlete for the endorsement and the commercials and the billboards. Shawn (59m 2s): Thank you. Yeah, the chocolate, right? Or the sugar. What are the show had the sugar, sugar in it, right. Way more sugar in it than anything else. Brad (59m 9s): So, as we trend down the line of trying to source a more quality product, I also, and I had a chocolate expert named Torea Rodriguez on, on the show. And we talked about this at length. Some listeners can go back and listen to that, but it, it seems like we have the potential to be fooled by some, maybe this in-between type of brand and talk about the ingredient list. And when we’re paying $3.79 cents, rather than 50 cents for the candy bar, but we’re getting something at Whole Foods that says dark chocolate with a portion of the proceeds, go to save the Jaguar. How do, how does that look, man? Shawn (59m 44s): Well, this isn’t, you know, this is a real problem, what you have, and by the way, the, the, the problem that you’ve just now highlighted, it’s not just chocolate, it’s, it’s everything. And so what’s happening is, is we live in this age of just unbelievable amounts of information. But what’s what, what has happened is the desire for mindful or ethical consumption and purchasing hasn’t yet reached the stage of technology. So that those two things can come together in a way of ease and convenience, because it’s on us, it’s on the consumers. And by the way, it’s on the retailers. So this is, you know, it’s on Walmart, it’s on Target. It’s on these, these folks to say, you know what? Shawn (1h 0m 25s): We have the knowledge we now know, and we’re not going to put up with it. And so for consumers, it’s harder because you have these companies, like I said, like Tony’s chocolate only they sell a cheap chocolate bar and it has slave free all over it and pretty packaging. But what people don’t know is Barry Callebaut makes that chocolate bar for them. And Barry Callebaut is right now a defendant in litigation because they have child slave labor in their supply chain. So Barry Callebaut Brad (1h 0m 54s): is profitable as a company because of slavery. And yet Tony’s is having them make their chocolate for them. And they slapped slavery. That’s where, you know, there’s so much social washing going on in our world. Shawn (1h 1m 5s): There’s greenwashing, social washing, and we just have to be careful about it, you know? And sometimes people say, look, I just want to buy a chocolate bar. Can you just leave me alone? I mean, I just want my, okay. You know what I understand, but I’m not going to stop telling people that this is wrong. It’s, it’s just, it’s not right. Brad (1h 1m 32s): So what about that $4 bar that seemingly has good languaging on it. And the marketing mysteries is fuzzy, Shawn (1h 1m 38s): You got to do the research. This is what makes it hard. This is why I think that, that’s what I’m saying. Eventually, you know, eventually what’s going to happen in the, in blockchain will be one of the technologies that do does this. Eventually you’re going to be able to walk up to Whole Foods. You’re going to be able to take your phone and you’re going to literally be able to go like that over the bar. And it’s going to tell you everything that you want to know about the bar that you want to know the truth of what you want to know. And I believe that blockchain will be one of the technologies to help with that. Here’s the other thing. I only have 17 employees. On my website I have something called the transparency report. It’s not a fancy infograph. It’s an Excel spreadsheet that lists every being purchased I’ve ever made at the company, how much we paid the farmers, who we paid, how that compared to the world market price, how it compares to the fair trade price, how it compares to the farm gate price, and then draws conclusions. Shawn (1h 2m 28s): You know, if people want to just read the conclusions and not spend their time with you, it’s audited. And here’s the deal I’ve been doing this for 14 years. And people say, well, how can I trust you? Trust is a character state that is built over time. So like, if you’re my customer, like if we finished this call and you, you know, buy some chocolate or, you know, if your listeners happen to buy some chocolate then great. And if they stay with us for several years, and if they follow us on social media or they read our posts or whatever, they’ll begin to get a sense of who we are as people. Right? And they will eventually develop a trust relationship with me and my daughter, Lauren, who I run the business with. Shawn (1h 3m 10s): And she’s my co-author in the book. And people will that, that they trust us. That’s that is this thing that because of who we are. Kahlil Gibran said, if you bake a bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger. Well, I don’t, I don’t make chocolate with indifference. You don’t do what you do with indifference. And the result is the product and service that we deliver is not bitter. It isn’t better. And anyone can do this. I don’t care what you sell, product service or whatever. It’s inextricably part of who you are. And eventually over time, this character state of trust is built and people see it for what it is. Shawn (1h 3m 55s): It’s hard, but it’s hard because it takes time. Brad (1h 3m 59s): Well, It’s the same with writing a book or doing a podcast or publishing a YouTube video of me exercising and telling people, this is my, this is my workout. Absolutely. We’re getting, we’re getting faked left and right. It’s really easy to get faked out. So I think it, I think it lands, you know, 95% on the consumer, unfortunately. It’s a sad state of affairs, but, you know, we have all kinds of storytelling in the ancestral health scene about how the United States government and then lobbying has been dispensing, you know, flawed and dated health advice and pounding it down our throats. So that I still get to sit down with dinner with friends, family, whoever, and they say, well, what about this red meat causes cancer article that I just read? Brad (1h 4m 41s): And boy, it’s a, it’s an exhausting battle, but I love your passion coming out where look, I asked you a question. I gave you a chance, man, and you pounded. So listen up people. This is serious stuff. So when we want to clean up our act, in this sense as a consumer, is there some type of, you know, guidelines? Like, can we look for the bean to bar designation or the what’s it called? The fair trade has a special stamp that goes on on label. Shawn (1h 5m 8s): I don’t believe in fair trade. I don’t live in cocoa, not in fair trade cocoa. So the farmers don’t get the money. Farmers don’t get that premium that you’re paying. They do not. Brad (1h 5m 18s): This is for listeners. This is a, I guess, a movement, a, I don’t know, a nonprofit organization where you see this designation on a product, not just a bar. Shawn (1h 5m 30s): I don’t know anything about coffee. Yeah. Brad (1h 5m 32s): You’re not, you’re not a big fan. Shawn (1h 5m 33s): No, the reason is because, well, it was great in the beginning, but often as is often the case with, I mean, so it did wonderful things, you know, socially, economically environmentally. But the problem is it became a victim of his own good marketing. And so people are pushing their cart down, the Whole Foods aisle with chocolate. And they’re like, Oh, fair trade chocolate. And that’s a little bit more expensive. You know, I get some warm and fuzzies when I buy that because I know I’m helping the farmers out. Okay, I’ll buy it. The problem is study after study, after study show that the farmers who harvested and grew those beans don’t get the money. They don’t get the premium. And so it’s siphoned off in, in, in all layers of the supply chain between me buying it and the farmers who grew it. Shawn (1h 6m 17s): So exporters and processors and all these people. And so I can’t say that for coffee because I don’t know. I know about chocolate. And so if, if the people who are paying a premium for these cocoa beans, which there is a fair trade premium, it’s just not enough. And the farmers don’t get it, but you were. I, I interrupted you. And I know I get kind of wound up I’ll I’ll I get kinda, kind of excited about this because, but there is, you know, like slave free.org/free chocolate.org is a nice website where people can go and see. And, and again, there are many bean to bar chocolate makers, you know, like my friends at Dandelion in San Francisco, they’re great. And French Broad chocolates and in North Carolina and yeah, there, there are a number of bean to bar chocolate makers. Shawn (1h 7m 4s): And most, all of them are reputable. Find folks who are buying their beans, if not directly from farmers than from people who are buying them directly from farmers, farmers that are trustworthy. I was a party in Supreme court litigation recently before the U S Supreme court on child slave labor. There were 17 small chocolate makers that joined is what’s called Amicus curiae parties in this litigation. The Supreme court should come out with a decision any day now, but you know, you can Google Supreme court Nestle and find those 17 chocolate makers that are with me. And I believe they’re people who are of character and who do the right thing. And, and, you know, with some, with some searching and just developing some relationships with small businesses like mine, it can happen. Shawn (1h 7m 49s): And you know, these things, like you said, if, if, if, if you, you have people who follow what you do and who have been watching you and listening to you and taking your advice for years. And if Brad says, Hey, you know, I think you should eat this thing. You know, this is good for you or take this supplement or do this exercise. Or that, I mean, it’s a way it’s, it’s, again, it’s a trust relationship. People are going to say, I don’t need to do a jillion hours of research because I’ve developed trust relationship with Brad. And he says, this is a good thing to do. So I’m going to do it. And then if people buy from me or from Dandelion or French Broad or others, they’re like, okay, I develop a trust relationship with them and others over years. Shawn (1h 8m 34s): And I can count on their quality. I can count on their ethics and we’ll, you know, see how it goes. It does, as you say, though, it does put more on the consumer, but we’re in that age, it’s on us. Well, we have no welfare ignorance anymore. We can’t play. Brad (1h 8m 48s): We also have a browser now. Yes. This is not 2005 where I got to wait on hold to call Springfield, Missouri. I’m paying a toll charge for my phone call to talk to these chocolate guys and see if they’re legit. Now, do you, do you extend this into a variety of directions in your life? Like, are you, are you wearing a Nike shoes that were maybe sourced from, from slave labor? Are you, are you cleaning up in every possible direction? How does that go for you? Shawn (1h 9m 18s): I’m well, the answer is I’m, I’m doing what I can. So, you know, my jeans are from Everlane and they have, you know, and, and Brad (1h 9m 26s): No joke. I was just, I was just teeing them up. We’ll see where it goes, but yeah, he’s got the right jeans. I like that. Shawn (1h 9m 35s): And there’s, there’s a documentary that came out about four or five years ago called True Costs. And it’s about the fashion industry. And what’s happened in the fashion industry and the children in Bangladesh that are, you know, working to make our clothes. And the answer is that I, it is I’m aspirational in that sense. So I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I amIbeyond reproach in, in other aspects, but I, but I’m trying, you know, so I do with the coffee I drink is intelligency. I know where they get it. And I really only drink Intelligentsia coffee right now. Shawn (1h 10m 16s): But, but so I, I try to do it. And, you know, I’m, I’ve also reached this place in my prayer and meditation life, where I want to see things. In other words, I want the convergence of these issues that we’re talking about, not just in chocolate, but in all areas. So in other words, I want to receive those pieces of information that I need to receive, that I, that I need to know about so that I can start asking questions. Meaning, can I, can I have openness so that I’m not rigid or stuck in something that I buy? Shawn (1h 10m 58s): Am I willing to give it up? Am I willing to look at something else? What do I need to know? What, what social, political environmental economic issues do I need to know about that I don’t know about? And I would pray that they enter my life so I can be challenged by them. And so it’s, for me, it’s not perfect Brad (1h 11m 23s): Open mindset. I love it. Ready for the next thing, Shawn Askinosie. Thanks for joining us. We, we hit it hard, man. That was, that was wild times. People go get his book, Meaningful Work, a quest to do great business, find your calling and feed your soul and tell us where else we can connect with you. Of course, we’re going to go buy the chocolate direct or at retailers, but I love shopping at askinosie.com and getting the, the peppermint, the orange, the peanut butter, that it’s one of a kind I have to compliment you. And I don’t think we connected on that level. I think it was your book promotions and all that said, Hey, let’s do a podcast, but it just happened. I’m like, wait a second. That’s the last name of my favorite chocolate. And then here we are talking about everything, man. Brad (1h 12m 4s): Wow. Shawn (1h 12m 4s): Well, I’m grateful and use that it askinosie.com is probably the best place and on social media. And, but I’m, I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity to speak with you today, Brad (1h 12m 14s): Shawn Askinosie that’s a wrap!.

 

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Jonathon Aslay’s Insights On Dating

(Breather)After my interview with Jonathon Aslay came to an end, I couldn’t help but slide in one last question. And I’m glad I did because that one question led to this breather show! 

We talk briefly about Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (check out Mark’s appearance on the podcast here), which Jonathon praises for its strong message about empowerment and taking responsibility for your life. Jonathon actually has a chapter in his own book that echoes a similar sentiment, called “Don’t Let Anyone Fuck With Your Chi,” and he gives us insights into how beneficial it can be to learn how to let go of your attachment to the outcome of whatever it is you’re doing. As a former athlete, this seriously resonated with me.

Jonathon also talks about the different stages of evolution we all experience as human beings and pokes a little fun at himself while also demonstrating a lot of self-awareness, revealing the not-so-flatting nickname he has coined for the “righteous” version of himself. The show wraps up with a discussion about the importance of doing things for the joy of experiencing them alone, and he explains the concept of “grounded spirituality” and what “spiritual bypasses” are.

TIMESTAMPS:

Release your self-esteem from the attachment to the outcome of what you are doing. [01:16]

There are different stages with any human evolution. [04:45]

Learn how your self-worth comes into play when dating. Don’t be afraid. Date from your heart instead of the biological place. [07:17]

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 16s): Hey listeners, here’s a fun breather show. Keeping the mic on after my wonderful interview with Jonathan Aslay and we got to talking. So I said, you know what, let’s make this a breather show. Because I asked him a question about the distinction between the goal of healing childhood trauma rebuilding, or building up some self-worth some self-esteem and then heading out into the dating scene with that self love as a starting point, which was kind of the theme of the show and learning how to strike a healthy balance between that and that Zen existence of being mindful. And like Mark Manson says, seeing your life as a series of decisions and actions and releasing your self-esteem from attachment to the outcome of what you’re doing. Brad (2m 3s): And I think that’s kind of the, the recurring theme of the podcast as evidenced by the title, get over yourself and my mission to maintain passion and competitive intensity throughout life, but releasing your self esteem from attachment to the outcome. So you go out there being fearless, going for it, giving it your all, and all those things are allowed and okay, but not having this ego connection where we’re inflated and deflated. And I relate to my athletic experience where it became so important and I was so driven and wanting to succeed so badly that that mindset served to harm me at many times, rather than just going with the flow, enjoying my life, appreciating the challenge and taking what my body gave me every day as an athlete and letting the process of improvement happen naturally. Brad (2m 51s): So there’s a huge difference. And you can apply the insight to parenting to your career goals, all these things that we face in life, these challenges where we’re measured and judged from outside forces, and of course tend to take these things on and own them. So I think you’ll like this little chat with Jonathan Aslay as a nice piggyback to the wonderful show about dating and healing childhood trauma. Here we go. Open mic night. Oh yeah. I was going to ask you off the, off the show about Mark. Manson’s take on some of this stuff. Jonathan (3m 26s): Oh, I was going to mention the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I love that. In fact, one of my chapters in my book is called Don’t Let Anyone Fuck with Your Chi. But I, I love his take on life because it’s, it’s really, it’s, it’s the empowered, I’m taking responsibility of my life approach, right? And it’s about personal empowerment. And that’s what I, I like his, his work, his content. Brad (3m 54s): But some of my notes from him, I think it was the second book. Everything is Fucked, a book about hope. And he said that you want to, I guess, eventually evolve away from cultivating this precious self-worth and just be, and just see your life as a series of decisions and actions. And one of the, I think quotes was self-worth is an illusion. And it’s a form of persistent low level narcissism to cultivate self-esteem and self-worth, and it’s like, wow, that’s pretty heavy. And I can see how it’s applied to the spiritual enlightenment, where you’re just present all the time and you don’t have an ego involved in any way. And I think it can get misinterpreted when you’re dealing with childhood wounds and fucking up your dates because you keep bringing out these, these flaws, but you know, it made sense to me reading it. Brad (4m 45s): You know. Jonathan (4m 45s): I, I like to think of it as there’s different stages of evolution with any human being and right. You’re allowed, there is like one stepping stone to the next and the next, the next, I, I would say I bought I’m by the way, I have a self-righteousness in my scripting. I mean, there is a, there is a part of Jonathan who thinks he’s both stupid and righteous. I call it stupid righteous, Jack. I’m aware of this aspect of my personality. And so, and I’m now aware when it ruin it rears its ugly head. Sometimes it’s in that righteousness that I’m awaken or conscious or whatnot or self, but I look at it this way and you said it what you said and what he says is so important. Jonathan (5m 29s): It’s just about the more present we are to just the moment that, you know, each moment in our life, then we don’t have to judge what that looks like. We’re just experiencing life and that is truly living a life of Zen. So that’s, I’m just working towards it. I’m not even remotely there, but at least those stepping stones to starting with my worth because here’s sadly, a lot of people have zero self-worth. So at least get on the stepping stone of self-worth. And then after that you can reach another level of presence. Let’s say at least that’s my opinion anyway. Brad (6m 3s): Yeah. I mean it’s, I mean, zero would be okay. I think a lot of people have negative self-worth Jonathan (6m 10s): Oh yeah. Brad (6m 11s): They issue, you know, self-flagellate Tori statements and, you know, traffic in this nonsense that, you know, that, that sets them up. They’re behind the starting line before the race starts. And I guess so if you can get into the positive category and then realize that it’s not a big deal and I’m kind of referencing, you know, I used to be an athlete back when I was a professional triathlete and racer and Oh my gosh, it was so important. And I was so caught up in it cause I was a young guy and I wanted to do well, but I realized the more I got caught up in the self-importance of what I was doing and attaching myself esteem to, to the outcome of the race. That’s when I would struggle and suffer and make bad decisions and force the process of fitness to happen before it should. Brad (6m 54s): And if I was able to get to a position where I was just in love with what I was doing and going out there for the joy of the experience and not judging it, in other words, kind of putting myself worth on the back burner for a little bit. And just being someone who could get on the starting line and compete and not be afraid, I guess that’s what this would go. I’m still recording. So I might use this as like a breather show, cause we’re getting into some good stuff Jonathan (7m 17s): but like, if you can go on that first date and not be afraid of anything, you know, not be afraid of being totally rejected by an asshole, then you’re a little bit freer than someone who’s harboring this, this, you know, this kind of fragile self worth, who the self, the self worth is doing really good. Cause they went to three separate therapy sessions that week and had a coaching call and then they sit down and someone says, Oh, you’re fatter then you look up on your picture and then it boom that the bubble burst because they’re in the process of building up self-worth from, from being negative self-worth. Brad (7m 55s): Yeah, Jonathan (7m 56s): That’s a tough one. Well, I think of the book four agreements and one of the books that I do my best to don’t take that shit. But have you read, are you familiar with Jeff Brown? Brad (8m 9s): No. Jonathan (8m 9s): He wrote a book called Grounded Spirituality and this, it kind of actually, he kind of rejects some of the philosophies of Eckhart Tolle and others, because many people are doing a spiritual bypass or what you’re sharing with what Mark Manson shared. And it’s really getting into the roots of, of spirituality from the perspective of healing oneself. Brad (8m 32s): So what’s the spiritual bypass. What does that mean? Jonathan (8m 38s): Some people have this belief that if the world is in the loop, this would be more like the course of miracles, which I, I, I follow as well, but the world is an illusion kind of the matrix. Right? Some people give themselves a pass to treat others like shit, because this is all an illusion. So hence the spiritual bypass. So, and I’m kind of giving you the cliff note version of it, but it definitely not, but, and I want to eliminate, but from my language, right, right. Except for B U T T. And so these are just some but not, but, and the principals I do my best to live was four agreements from a dating perspective as well. Jonathan (9m 21s): Oh, by the way, there’s another great book called If the Buddha Dated. If the Buddha Dated and that really takes out the gender equation and is how can you date from your heart? How can you date from this place instead of the biological place that we’ve been so accustomed. So that’s another thing I try to emulate as well. Brad (9m 43s): Love it, man. Good stuff. Jonathan (9m 44s): Yeah. Brad (9m 44s): I think we got a little breather show for the, for the follow-up. Yeah, Jonathan (9m 49s): by the way, like I said, great interview, man. Thanks a bunch. Brad (9m 52s): Thanks Jonathan. Have a great day. All right. Jonathan (9m 54s): And as soon as this is out, I’ll promote on social media. I’ll let you know. Brad (9m 58s): Okay. Jonathan (9m 58s): Thanks buddy. Bye-bye thanks. Bye. Now.

 

Ronnie Loaiza: Female Fitness and Finding Your Why

Get ready for a lively conversation with personal trainer and health and fitness coach Ronnie Loaiza! 

Ronnie is passionate about helping her clients feel their best, and this show features some really great practical tips for hormone optimization for female listeners, since we’ve already covered the MOFO aspect pretty well so far (click here for The Life Changing MOFO Mission show if you missed it!). 

In this episode, Ronnie explains why the most important thing we can do as we age is to take notice of our hormones, and reveals the methods she uses to successfully help clients identify the specific barriers and obstacles they’ve put in their own way. We also talk about how things like anxiety and PTSD affect your fitness, and she gives us a valuable reminder of the importance of taking chances and why it’s never too late to change careers paths, by sharing the inspiring story of the event that changed the course of her life over a decade ago. 

Ronnie then takes us through the exercises that make up her daily morning ritual and we talk about the power of committing to a morning routine you actually enjoy, and Ronnie breaks down the relationship between your metabolism and your hormones to illustrate how your metabolism actually regulates your hormones.

Ronnie also offers some useful strategies to set yourself up for success: “If you choose a plan, do it with joy.” This allows you to frame everything you do, from cleaning to exercise, with positivity and enjoyment, which in turn, has a domino effect on everything else in your life (hello The Biology of Belief!). And, if you’re the type of person who tends to struggle with motivation when it comes to working out (or anything else for that matter!), Ronnie makes a wonderful point that will surely resonate, as she reminds us that we all have 24 hours in a day, and adds: “Start small, but keep going — because consistency is key.”

Enjoy listening to this fun show with Ronnie, and click here if you’re interested in checking out her website!

TIMESTAMPS:

This podcast is focusing on women’s issues around lifestyle, exercise, dealing with life’s stresses in general. The emphasis is on looking great, not just feeling great. [01:19]

There is a difference between personal trainer and fitness coach. [03:26]

Ronnie helps her clients look deep into their goals and the reasons, there are barriers to achieving them. [06:57]

As you age, it’s not so much about looking good as it is about feeling strong and being healthy. [08:58]

You have to find what’s right for you in preventative workouts and fitness. [15:33]

Even the people you think are in perfect shape, they aren’t. They have their demons, too, that keep them struggling.  [18:49]

Be careful with saying, “everything in moderation” because so much of the food out there is filled with chemicals and other unhealthy things. [21:29]

There is always a reason down deep that is keeping the person from reaching the goals they desire. [23:03]

Start by eating clean. Read labels. Learn what is really in your food. [27:51]

You can make time to work out. It can be in small increments. Prioritize taking care of yourself. It’s not about how you look. It’s about how you feel. [29:04]

Look at the reasons why you eat.  What is the emotion behind it? Is it joyful? Is it healthy? Some people don’t know what is healthy. [31:13]

We’ve all made adjustments with dealing with the pandemic. People in general are resistant to change.  Routine can help anchor you. [34:50]

In adopting a routine, start with small goals, feel the success, and gradually increase it as you wish. [42:18]

Don’t take any crap for following a healthy path. [46:47]

Aging females follow a different path from males. Be your own health advocate. [48:18]

The first thing we have to do is accept that we are aging. If you want to have some treatment, look into why…what’s the emotional feeling behind it? [56:47]

Cardio is very important. You need to work your muscles and your heart is a muscle. Regulate your hormones.  [01:00:36]

Get a trainer if even for just a few times to learn proper technique. Three times is best. [01:04:16]

Intermittent fasting is a topic people are asking about. There are many different types. [01:08:53]

LINKS:

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 20s): Hey listeners, get ready for it. A lively conversation with Ronnie Loaiza. She is a health and fitness coach and personal trainer based in Los Angeles, California. She has been rocking the training game in the LA area for a while, and lately transitioning to a more holistic approach to helping people live healthy, happy lifestyles, and getting into that coaching aspect. So in this show, we’re going to learn a little bit about going beneath the surface to figure out the why’s that help people stay accountable to exercise and diet goals, rather than just going for the mechanics. Brad (2m 1s): And you’re going to get a word from a person who’s out there on the street, fighting the battle with real people, leading busy lives, having to deal with the massive life disruption caused by COVID. So we’re going to hit that topic pretty hard and then kind of zero in on some tips and tricks for the female audience. Since you hear enough about MOFOs on my show and optimizing testosterone and aging gracefully as a man. So she’s going to hit some of those female tips. Ronnie’s 55. She looks and feels great, and the emphasis is on feeling great rather than just looking great. But of course you’re allowed to strive for both. And she’s working with people in her peer group with some special considerations, starting with acceptance. Brad (2m 43s): That was the first thing she mentioned. And you’ll hear her talk further about getting, going with some great anti-aging strategies, health, fitness goals, but it starts with just accepting the reality, being happy with yourself, happy with your appearance and things that inform those goals and feelings. And you’re going to love it. She’s got a lot of energy. It will go off on a lot of different tangents with a lot of valuable and actionable information and ending with her description of an event she’s putting on that I’m involved with centered on the topic of intermittent fasting. And I think that’s going to provide a lot of helpful insights. So here we go with Ronnie, Ronnie Loaiza. Brad (3m 26s): I am so happy to join you. We are on zoom here, even though we’re not too far apart as I visit Los Angeles, your homebase, where you’re doing some great things as a health and fitness coach slash personal trainer important distinction there. And that is a great combo because we know that trainers can go push you to do another rep in the gym. And that’s great. And you’re all sweaty and you got your towel and then you head off to Jamba Juice. But when you put that coaching element in and try to get more holistic with your relationship with clients, I think that’s why we’re seeing real breakthroughs and people on the cutting edge like yourself. So I thought I would, I thought it would bring you on put you in the hot seat, especially to talk about matters relating to females aging gracefully. Brad (4m 9s): Cause my listeners hear about all the MOFO things and the MOFO mission and keeping your testosterone high. But of course we have both sexes trying to live a wonderful, enjoyable life, enjoy each other as one of the one of the objectives. And so boy, I’ve teed you up. I’d love you to just give me an intro about your, your career, track your business, what you’re doing now, and then we’ll get into some items of particular interests. Ronnie (4m 35s): It’s funny, you said you just, in that whole intro, you hit on three things that I actually was talking to three of my clients this morning. And one of them is breakthroughs that I’ve had such a breakthrough and that’s really why I have been transitioning. I’m going full time from a personal trainer. You said we count reps and you know, a good personal trainer is a good personal trainer. And then there’s a lot of them that are rep counters. God love them. But this past year, and everybody’s got their COVID story. My clients have really turned me into a fitness coach. And what does a coach? As you know, it’s different from your referee and it’s different from a trainer. Your coach really does dig deep into the reasons you’re doing stuff. Ronnie (5m 19s): Or if you want to get better of your performance coach and, and then they set up a strategy for you. They watch you with a long filter and they they’re there because Ave invest. They’re invested in you and they set up the strategy strategies and go through it with you. So they support you. They keep you accountable and they help you achieve what you want. So they already see, okay, what do you want a year from now for the rest of your life? And then we go from there, but you got to start from the bottom. It’s like, okay, what’s your real reason for not working out? What’s your real reason why you’ve tried six diets and they don’t stick, or they don’t work for you? We find out reasons. And it’s usually very emotional and, and their backstories. Ronnie (6m 1s): Now I’m not a therapist as you know, coaches, aren’t therapists, but we help you really admit to yourself and realize, Oh, these are my barriers. These are my obstacles. And then you start finding strategies to get to where you want to be, how you want to feel, how do you want, do you want to have more time to go have fun and play and still get everything done? You wouldn’t have the energy to do that. That’s the way, that’s what we want. Not the strategies. You can Google strategies till the cows come home. But if you don’t have the reason, why don’t you want to feel that way? Why you want to be fit, but ain’t going to work all the guides in the world work if you do them. But most people don’t stick to them because they don’t have the right one or it’s just a lot of strategies. Ronnie (6m 44s): And they just, and the reason why they want to lose weight or getting better health, they don’t really look at that and then go, okay, how do I want to feel it a few months now? How do I wanna feel a year from now? How do I want to be the rest of my life? Brad (6m 57s): Well, you mentioned a couple. I would call them enlightened health and fitness goals. Like I want to have more energy to have more fun, things like that, which seemed to be possibly more powerful than saying I’m invited to the bridesmaid wedding in four months and I have to get this ugly fat off my body, right? They completely superficial goals that that worked for a little bit. It seems, but I think we have to dig deeper and figure out, you know, living a better life. What that really means. Ronnie (7m 32s): Well, I can tell you, I went through the whole, Oh my God, I’ve been a bridesmaid. I got to fit in that dress. I’ve been abroad to look hot in that day because somehow we make that the most important day of our lives. And it’s not. It’s the marriage 60 years afterwards know it goes beyond the honeymoon. So from that, I am 55 now going on 56. And I mean, I don’t have a rocket body, but I’m fit. You know, I am fit. I am not bulky. I am strong. And you know, when you get up in the morning and you’re 55 and you don’t hurt and you don’t need a crane to get you out of bed, that is wonderful. When you have arthritis, cause I’ve been diagnosed with arthritis. Ronnie (8m 13s): When you have herniated disc, when you have tendonitis, when you have something wrong with your, with your knee, I hadn’t been torn meniscus once. I could remember the exact moment it happened. Now it was three years ago. When you have, I hip issue, a back issue, whatever that is more important than looking good in that bikini. I’m not saying you shouldn’t look in the bikini if you want to, but really at our age, we want to be and feel fit, not just look skinny. And I can’t, I personally, this is just me, Ronnie. Other people love the word skinny. When somebody goes, well, you know, talk, it’s easy for you to say skinny girl. And it’s like, something pings me. It’s like, I’m not skinny. I’m strong. You know? And other people love being called skinny. So whatever it is that you want, you got to find out what is it you want to feel? Ronnie (8m 58s): And as you get wiser and older, you realize, I mean, you, you were an athlete. You realize it’s not just about that one race, which it was at the time or looking good in those shorts. It’s about feeling strong and being healthy. Brad (9m 13s): And you didn’t preclude the idea that some of these superficial goals can be really fun. Mark Sisson touts looking good naked is one of the most profound motivators to get there and do the work and make the right dietary choices. But I think if we layer that in with wanting to feel good, wanting to age gracefully, that’s when we can hit all of our goals, really. And you’re, you’re 55. That’s amazing. If the viewers on YouTube she’s, she stood up and showed her muscles and it’s like, wow, okay. So she’s keeping in shape people. This is serious. As you know, I’m 56. And I feel like in this age group, we really do face a crossroads where we’re going to decide to be part of the pack that ages at an accelerated rate and has a pathetic sort of standard normal standard to adhere to. Brad (10m 3s): Go to our high school reunions and see the people that look 62 and 72 and fit 42. If they don’t do anything about it. But on the other fork on the road. And this is what we’re spending our life’s work on, obviously is this incredible potential that is so amazing because it’s so different from what our norms and our expectations are. And our norms and expectations are the average American, I think has 18 prescriptions in the, in the medicine cabinet. Things like that are average. And Ronnie (10m 35s): So, Brad (10m 37s): Yeah, it’s something crazy like that. And you know, the, the capability of let’s say getting the average person to go run a mile for time, the results would be pathetic. They might, a lot of them might not even finish, but the Cooper Institute anti-aging research says that the mile time at age 50 is their favorite and most profound longevity marker for, you know, probability of living to 80 and beyond in good health. And if you have a, a decent, respectable time, your odds are many, many times greater than someone who can’t hit the bare minimum, which for males it’s 12 minutes For females it’s 13 minutes for one mile all out at age 50. And then superior is eight minutes for the male and nine minutes for the female. Ronnie (11m 22s): You know, the push-up one, is it 50? On your toes? Brad (11m 26s): There’s correlations. If you, if you don’t like running, let’s say, but you’re a bad-ass cyclist. You can, you can qualify. There’s push-up. There’s a squat test. There’s a fireman research where firefighters who could do fewer than four pushups had, you know, a six times increased risk of heart attack than someone who could do more than 40, I think it was . Ronnie (11m 48s): You’re speaking my language. I interviewed two gentlemen that were firefighters Jim Moss and Dan Kerrigan, who wrote this book. It’s on Amazon, A Firefighter’s Guide to Fitness. Really. It was just a guide because they found out and this really shocked me. They found out as four years. Well, this is 2020. So now five years ago that the numbers were increasing among firefighters across the United States, having cardiac arrest, type two diabetes, or some kind of cardio problem, Brad (12m 18s): They’re paid to work out what’s their from excuse? Come on! Ronnie (12m 22s): To pass test. Cause I’m thinking, you know, like lifeguards and you know, when I think of firefighters, I think of the calendars. So he’s like, you know, we spend more time in the firehouse when we were not home, they had to spend time in the firehouse and what do we do? We cook, we eat or people bring us food all the time. It’s like no firefighters. We’re having one PTSD. And a lot of the firefighters calls aren’t necessarily fires. Although you have to keep rigorous for that. Most of them, you see a lot of tragedy. You see a lot of accidents. You see a lot of people who need medical help. A lot of those calls aren’t fires per se. Anyway, they go through PTSD. And so they have a lot of anxiety. They have a lot of stress, you know, this cortisol or other hormonal problems because they have a stressful life. Ronnie (13m 8s): So firefighters aren’t angels. Not all of them were working out. So they wanted to turn that around. So they made this guides. You can work out anywhere, whether you’re at home or at the gym or at the firehouse and how much you should get in. That has turned into a best-selling book for us, normal people. We’re not firefighters. And you know, and like I said, I’m not, I’m not an athlete. I never was. I was the last one picked for Dodge ball or softball, but I was the worst at school. And yet if I went to my high school reunion right now, Brad (13m 35s): they’d order a drink from you. Ronnie (13m 37s): I’d be one of the best ones in shape because I went through some health issues in my forties. Like, Oh no, no, no, no, no what’s going on. And I found out I had herniated disc, well, I have degenerative disc disease, which I found out as you grow older, you’re just aging. You’re losing the liquid between the vertebrae. It could be just very fundamental about it. And I’m like, Oh my God, I’ve done cardio all my life. Not really, but I was a dancer. And then I did remember when cardio used to be called aerobics? I did a robotics and step classes and I pounded the hell out of my body. I started running because everybody jogged and I beat up my bones. And so I started losing the liquid between my vertebrae, even faster. So long story short, I got into fitness in my forties and my, in my mid forties being a professional in it because after decompression, five chiropractors, acupuncture, two Western medical doctors, and I’m all for Western Eastern medicine, everything. Ronnie (14m 32s): But my Western medical doctors just wrote prescriptions. You know, here you go. I’m like, but is this going to fix the problem? So one chiropractor put me with a corrective exercise specialist, personal trainer. I’m like a personal trainer really? And my insurance was paying for it. After two weeks of working out correctly, strength, training, it didn’t hurt anymore. Brad (14m 50s): Wow. Ronnie (14m 52s): And so working with her, I would read all this stuff and I would talk to her about it. I was so into it because it didn’t hurt anymore. She’s like, you need to become a personal trainer. You need to become a personal trainer. I’m like 45, like all these 20 year old kids or personal trainers at my gym. Year later, I woke up one morning and I’ll never forget this. I woke up one morning and I was tired of what I was doing. The nine to five driving in traffic, you know, Los Angeles, like, what do I want to do the next 20 years of my life? I think I’ll become a personal trainer and everybody was telling me, Oh, that’s fast. As far as the one, that one test you chose, don’t, don’t worry if you fail the first time, it took me three times, all of a sudden, like I don’t have time for that. I studied audio, you know, while working out, listen to it because I’m more audio than the book. Ronnie (15m 33s): I pass it the first time. And I was among all these 20 year olds because I figured if I’m healthy and in shape, I don’t mean well, but I mean, would vitals women my age and above will say, well, if it’s working for her, I’ll trust her. That’s really why I thought, okay, I’m going to go more for women’s fitness. And I got certified in senior fitness and silver sneakers and all that. Because as I age, I want to be my own walking billboard and be able to relate. So back to what you were saying, you know, you have to find what’s right for you and preventative workouts and fitness. And I know like a lot of the industry doesn’t like that to me is much better than give me a prescription back to the 18 pills. Ronnie (16m 17s): And the pushups I, that I found was funny. Last year, I could barely do 20 pushups on my own, on my toes. Proper. Push-ups not the, not the bad ones where your hands on your shoulders, but the proper ones where they match your pecs. I think they only do 20, but I thought it was a rockstar. So when this whole COVID thing, I’m like, I’m going to get up to the minimum 50 you’re in great shape. Right? So I would add a pushup every morning, no more. I wouldn’t let myself go pass there. I am now too. I can do 150, but I only have time for a hundred every morning. So I start with 90. It’s like, all right, here’s my bonus 10. And if I have time, I’ll finish out with maybe some on my knees, but I do the toe ones a hundred every morning and 150 jumping jacks. And I get on with my day. That’s, that’s my habit. That’s my morning ritual, no matter what, but it’s like, you can do it. Ronnie (16m 58s): I was never an athlete, but you can build up to it. If you get support, you get help. And you do it the right way. So many people don’t know how to work out properly. And so many women, you know, like I said, I’m in my fifties, grew up like me doing the even Jane Fonda says she shouldn’t have done the Jane Fonda. She realized they were bad workouts. But somebody was choreographing them for her. The only things that were safe were the bridges. Everything else was bad for her knees. So, you know, we grew up pounding the pavement and doing the step classes. And we’ve learned, you have to find the proper workout for you, which includes strength training, which includes flexibility, which includes core. Now more people into Pilates, which is not strength training by the way people hate it. Ronnie (17m 40s): When I say that, but it’s not. It’s a different kind of usage of your muscles, which you need, you need at all. And most important. I know I’m rambling on, but the most important thing as we age is to take notice of your hormones. Everybody thinks will online metabolism slowing down. Well, what is metabolism? Metabolism put an equal sign next to it. It is hormones. Your metabolism is hormones. So you weren’t born out of your mother’s womb with a set metabolism for the rest of your life. You can boost it at any age at any fitness level, no matter what your health issues are. No matter what medication you’re on. Yes. So the exceptions, there’s certain bland problem. As you know, if, if you have a certain disease or if you have type one diabetes, or you have a thyroid problem. Ronnie (18m 23s): But as you and I both know, most people don’t have a thyroid problem. Most people you can boost your metabolism. And why is that important? Not just to burn fat. Metabolism regulates your hormones. And that’s what you need to start looking at. As you get older, past 30, past 40, past 50, I have clients who are in their sixties and seventies, who all of a sudden have reversed things and they’re taking fewer medicines and they feel a lot better, Brad (18m 50s): My favorite kind of guests, someone who brings their Agame. So go ahead, ramble on we’ve hit so many great topics there. And I am curious about the patterns that you see with real people fighting the real battle, especially here in LA, where it’s so crowded. There’s a lot of pressure. It’s, it’s a rat race mentality. There’s a lot of celebrity culture here. So people are fixated on, on looking hot and looking and getting, getting called skinny. They’d, they’d be overjoyed while Ronnie’s a little, a little chapped, but what are some of the recurring patterns that make it difficult for people to, to, to do the right thing and to stick with something like you describe your morning routine? Ronnie (19m 30s): Well, I’ll tell you the influence is changing. And I use that word purposely because our culture, not just Los Angeles, our, our country or our world, I’m going to pick up my phone. I’m going to be rude. Brad (19m 46s): Those watching on YouTube, she’s holding a smartphone in her hand. Ronnie (19m 50s): Yeah. Everybody lives on their Instagram. Well, I’ll tell you who are the influencers now? It is not just the models that they used to be the supermodels. Now it’s the Kardashians. Now it’s, it’s, you know, the, the Kylie Jenner’s of the world or Kim Kardashian or other people, a lot of influencers. So women over 40 and 50 need to get on Instagram, take a selfie of themselves, say this is a real woman. Go ahead and get naked again or in that bathing suit. Influencers are now becoming more of the older generation because we’re real women. I, as a personal trainer and you might have to at the gym. I see the stars because we run into, you know, doctors and nurses and singers and not, we run into them at the gyms. Ronnie (20m 33s): They’re in the same locker room. They’ve got cellulite. They’re not perfect. A lot of the pictures are airbrushed. Okay. And they got their, their mindsets as well. They’ve got their gremlins. So I think it’s changing. I don’t think it’s so much, I mean, look at Lizzo. She’s, she’s a rock star now among people, because not to say it’s okay to let yourself go and be overweight. No, Lizzo has got power within her. You know who she is right now within her. It’s happened to your power and your health. Think of your health, whatever that looks like for you, whatever that feels like for you, you don’t have to feel pain. Ronnie (21m 14s): You don’t have to feel fatigue. You don’t have to feel how you don’t want to feel what you can feel, how you want to feel? It’s achievable. So, yeah, there’s been a lot. I think, I think there’s a movement of, of image and influence. Cool are the influencers now? Brad (21m 29s): So it’s not so good stuff. People are coming back to reality. There’s the body positive movement. I’m not sure that’s the correct term, but just being okay with the various shapes and sizes that human beings come in. Even Dr. Herman Ponzer, the author of the new book Burn. He’s talking about energy expenditure in the human and offering some breakthrough insights. And he says, one of the insights is that there’s a tremendous amount of diversity in the homosapien species. So, you know, some people are going to be working out, eating super healthy, feeling great and looking differently than the, the leading Instagram influencer or people in the, that are gracing, the magazine covers. And I think that’s really, it’s nice to embrace that idea, but I’m also trying to walk on this balance line between all the, all the mouthing that modern humans do with rationalizations excuses, justifications, everything in moderation is one of the quotes that really bothers me because when we’re faced with such unhealthy environment of the food choices, the marketing messaging, the, the selections in the, in the grocery store, we can’t have a moderate approach to health. Brad (22m 38s): We have to have an extreme concern for the foods we put in our body, because half the stuff out there is filled with chemicals and poisons and things like that. So, you know, we, we could take a step back and, you know, kind of sort out, not feeling inferior to the supermodel, but being the best that we can be individually. And what that really means with the excuses taken away. Ronnie (23m 3s): You have to be ready, you know, that’s, that’s the other thing, the difference between my training and my coaching. As a trainer I can get on them about, okay, why don’t you work out? How I’ve been turning into coaching is because women were finding it hard, really tough settling into the COVID thing. All of a sudden they were home. There were no barriers from their bosses or they were the bosses, or they had to be on everybody’s case. Everybody would live on a computer and there were no time barriers, you know, no boundaries, I should say boundaries, not barriers. So there were always on the computer, on the butts, or they felt like they could be, people had access to them all the time. Also the kids were home or the husband was home or the partner was home. So they felt kind of, they didn’t want to work out in front of people. Ronnie (23m 45s): They felt self-conscious, or they were selling into having to take care of everything at home. Now things are turning, but people they’re the reasons for either overeating or emotional eating or, or not working out reasons for changing. They were coming to light. I guess they were surfacing. It’s like, they’re not inadequacies. It’s like, you have no more reason not to have time because you have more time because you at home. But now the excuses were like, why can’t go to the gym or whatever. It’s deeper than I don’t have time to go to the gym or I don’t have time because work, there’s always a reason that’s deeper. And there are strategies to get there. There’s always a reason why, why are you still eating? And over this COVID I was like, Oh, crap, the refrigerator right there by my finger. Ronnie (24m 30s): It right around, you know, there’s no excuse on Brad (24m 32s): That’s a legit reason of environment and the more accessibility, what are some other reasons? Ronnie (24m 41s): A lot of anxiety over it. Covid a lot of, okay, wow. What is my life now? And what is my purpose? I know that sounds broad and woo, but let’s get a leader. Whoop people had to really see what you did when I grow up. And they started changing, like, okay, I don’t have to go to the brick and mortar. Okay. I’m not doing this. What are my priorities? And how do I handle being home all the time? How do I handle either being alone? Or how do I handle the whole family’s home? And working off the dining room table, you know, people’s lives really changed. And then there were the whole politics and, and all this, you know, a lot of, a lot of tragedy this past year, you know, people were, you know, you know what happened with Black Lives Matter and people being killed and, and race diversity, and we had an election. Ronnie (25m 27s): So all this, all this was going on, you know, masks /not wear a mask, all this was going on. So it was hard to turn around and go, okay, that’s happening with the world? I’m going to go work out now, you know, and feel like it’s okay. All that’s not happening. People were anxious. So, you know, a lot of stuff came to surface. There was a lot of depression, a lot of anxiety, a lot of, of changing anxiety, hormones would change and that’s normal. So you find a way to deal with it. I guess that’s what turned me more into a coach. Cause I was listening to a lot of people and seeing what is bothering you and you dive deeper than that. And then you start, it’s go. Now people want to really take care of them. Ronnie (26m 8s): The whole thing. Did you get a lot of this take care of your immune system and boost your immune system? I got inundated with these emails last year. This time, last year, this can possibly prevent COVID. We’re not saying well, but it could, because it could boost your immune system. It’s like, okay, wait, we’ve been saying, these foods are clean for ages. Now you want to know, you know, so just a lot of people’s priorities, what they want to do, how they want to be, how they want to feel. They’re turning the tide. It’s like now we have these new norms and people want to eat a little cleaner. And, and I know you, you think, well, all in moderation, but that’s the way to start. You know, that’s a way to get people on board and say, okay, 80% clean, 20%, go ahead and have a beer or go ahead and have whatever have that. Ronnie (26m 51s): I don’t eat candy bars, but go ahead and do whatever it is you want to do. You know, that’s not that great. Or I think of alcohol, although people have more junk. Would I really just advocate like that doesn’t make you fat? Refined sugar does and how to get away from the processed. And I know not everybody can afford or is on board with organic. But as best as you can buy to eat, meaning not packaged, not processed, not partially hydrogenated, no sucralose, no fake sugar substitutes, just the clean. I’d rather you have real sugar because I came from a sugar cane, then sucralose read the ingredients. People have to, even at this day and age, people are still learning. Ronnie (27m 32s): Like, is that really bad for you? Well, yeah. And this is why there’s no, there’s no coincidence that we have the highest rate of diabetes in the world. And yet we have the most people that have sugar substitutes and have low fat foods and foods. The rest of the world eats a little cleaner for the most part. Brad (27m 51s): Yeah. Good point. Starting, starting to I’m starting the process by trying to eat clean is pretty, pretty fantastic. It’s within reach of everyone. I don’t think there’s an affordability issue there either. You can go buy sardines on the food ranking chart, very high and things that are inexpensive and be a rock star all the way. So how does that enter in, when you’re working with a client you’re dealing with a personal meeting to do a workout, and then where does the diet part fit into the picture? Ronnie (28m 23s): Well, in my coaching, this is coming more into people really want to find time. And the two things are always like, I don’t have time. I don’t have time. I don’t have time or I don’t have money. It’s like, well, where does money come in? Because you can work out at home. So it’s more psychological. And the time, you know, when you think about people who have done amazing things in the world. Winston Churchill, I’m just throwing names out there. Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, whoever you want to think of. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scientists, what do they all have in common? We all have 24 hours in the day. They didn’t have 26 or 27. We all have the same clock. Ronnie (29m 5s): So you can fit in fitness in your life. It can’t. And I know people think, yeah, but then I’ve got the kids and I’ve got this and the gut. Okay. Let’s, let’s look at really your schedule. And then we find the mechanics of how it can work. If it’s like 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes, lunchtime, take a break, 10 minutes at night, let’s shave a few things off the schedule. Let’s prioritize. And I find that people that want to be coached because they’re ready. Like, all right, that’s it, I’m tired of the muffin top. Or I’m tired of not feeling energetic. I’m tired of the excuses. And if they’re not ready, you can’t pull them in. You, you can’t. I think you have found that to either somebody really wants to win that marathon or that triathlon where they’re just kind of in and out and they just want to maybe join a group for a while and then they quit mentally. Ronnie (29m 49s): It’s like, you finally decide, all right, how do I want to be for the rest of my life? I’m not going to be on the face of the earth as far as I know, 150 years. How do I want to feel every day. How do I want to feel when I wake up in the morning? I don’t want to feel when I’m naked?` It’s not about how you look. It’s about how you feel. You know? I mean, one of my motivators, I want to look at naked with the lights on, in front of my husband. That may be surface, but what is the emotion behind it? It’s not really that you want to look good naked. It’s like, well, how do you feel when you know you look you’re okay with your body. What is that feeling? It’s like, I’m a worthwhile, worthy, valuable human being from my tissues to my DNA, to my skin and to what I think and how I feel. Ronnie (30m 33s): I’m a valuable person. Look at me, you know, it’s feeling worthy and not hating. That’s the emotional thing behind it. So it’s worth, while it comes back to the forefront of, as you’re aging really feel valuable, you know, it’s, it’s not cave that you have your jowels and, and your, your wrinkles showing your experience in life. It’s okay to have that. How you feel that counts in my, in my perspective. And it kind of looking good makes you feel good. Yeah. That’s part of it. I think that’s wonderful. So back to nutrition, we also have to start looking at that. Okay. What is wrong with you nutrition? Ronnie (31m 13s): Some people just don’t eat healthy because they don’t know what healthy is. They think a Jamba Juice is healthy. No offense. They have. You seen the amount of sugar and Jamba Juice and how many calories? No, I disagree with that. Yeah. So it’s a total sugar bomb. So start looking at what is truly healthy and what our definition will be of that. What is good for your particular body, depending on your, your issues or medical issues or, or your weight or whatever it is. And then there’s also the emotional aspect. I found out one lady just over ate because she lives alone. And because of this COVID time, she couldn’t be with her extended family. Well, her, her adult daughter and her, her grandson, like she used to be, and she doesn’t live with anybody. Ronnie (31m 60s): So dinner time could last three hours being front of that couch, watching TV. So we finally realized like she doesn’t like eating alone. She went off to Arrowhead with her daughter, invited her finally, when they had the vaccine, they’ve been vaccinated, went with them for three weeks. She started to lose weight. Now she’s on a roll with me. Cause we found out I was, I was eating dinner and then dinner was over. We put the dishes in the dishwasher. We played, we watched TV together, whatever they took walks in the morning, she was around people. So that was her emotional things. Like she didn’t realize she just always ate alone. So it would be extended. So now she’s lost 40 pounds and it’s not because I increased her workouts. Ronnie (32m 42s): Like, you know, we tried three diets with her in the past three years, she would always quit. So now we’ve got her on a buddy, cause I’m like, why don’t we find your buddy? Cause she doesn’t want to a roommate. So we found her a buddy system. Her buddy and her check in on each other during the day are you logging your calories? And they don’t make a big deal out of it. That’s another thing is don’t make a big deal. If you choose a plan, do it with joy. You got control now. And so they check in on each other and they started talking right after dinner. It doesn’t have to be that long. It can be 10 minutes. It could be 20 minutes, but they’re chatting. So now my client is looking forward to her chat with her friend. So that kind of ends it’s into her dinner because she knows she’s going to get on the phone or zoom with her friend who lives back East. Ronnie (33m 28s): By the way, after the dishes were put away, she has one little snack. It’s not like that whole dinner extended. And she felt like she had contact with somebody, but everybody has their own issue of why they eat. Maybe it’s my list. Or maybe they think, well, we’re celebrating this. I’ll just have this big piece of cake because they think that’s joyful. Or what everybody else is eating and why not. I’m going to enjoy life. I’m going to have this big piece of cake or I’m going to keep eating these Doritos or whatever. Okay. Let’s look at the emotions behind that. Why do you think that’s joyful? And then you can get onto the reasons why you eat, how you eat. And some people are just plain addicted to certain things, you know, this sugar and fat. Ronnie (34m 8s): So you have to find out the reasons for, if you’re not eating for yourself in a healthy way.. We have to find out what’s unhealthy in your diet and then work into that. Because you also have to have something that’s sustainable. That’s why I don’t like these little yo-yo fad diets. It really are you going to live that way, the rest of your life. But it’s good. If you get on board with a certain nutritional plan, whether it’s primal health, whether it’s keto or there’s paleo, whether it’s Noom, whether it’s points, whatever it is yeah. That can get you on the right track. But you have to look at why you were overeating, putting more calories in your body than it needs and deal with that sustain you for the rest of your life. Ronnie (34m 48s): I don’t know what you think about that. What do you think about that? Brad (34m 50s): Well said, I think going back to the changing lifestyle circumstances with the global pandemic, you know, we get caught up in, Hey, don’t play in that. That’s no excuse. You can do it, but it’s a change. And a change is difficult to adjust to. Now we’ve been in it for a while. We know how wonderful some of the potential adjustments can be such as skipping the commuting time and the nonsense in the office. And having more time to work out more time to prepare healthy meals, all of this great stuff that can come out of it. More awareness of your, the importance of having a strong aerobic and immune system to fight off potential invaders. Okay. So all this is great, but let’s still acknowledge that people were forced to make a huge, massive change. Brad (35m 31s): And now it’s about time that we kick into gear and do these wonderful little tidbits, like calling someone up after dinner. I love that. Especially if you’re feeling isolated and have a tendency to, to drag on for three hours. So it seems like little things can go a long way sometimes. And I’d love for you to talk about your morning routine. Cause you know, that’s one of my favorite subjects. I’ve put this thing into place now for four years running. And it’s been absolutely life-changing for me because I’m not a pattern or a routine type of guy, but now this thing anchors my day, every single day. And it’s just, it’s so amazing to transition from a, let’s say a well-intentioned goal where I go and do something and say, that was great. Brad (36m 14s): I’m going to try to do it again tomorrow. And all of a sudden looking back now where this streak means a lot to me, I can’t miss a day because I got so much going. And also I mentioned it in public so that it helps me too. But now it’s transitioned into pure habit to where if I don’t do this super elaborate and quite difficult morning routine, I feel like my, my day has been thrown off. And I wonder if you had some similar success with your own thing that you mentioned, especially working up to it from a small commitment to doing a hundred pushups as, as super chick. I mean, that’s like A plus category. I don’t know anybody that can do that. So yeah. Tell me about that. And just the little changes that turn into big life changing. Ronnie (36m 56s): It’s anchored you think of if I give her what the text box and you know how a text box, I don’t know. Do you know what I’m talking about when you’re working on a word document and you want to put a text box? It anchors Brad (37m 10s): Yeah. Like a comment box or something. Yeah. Yeah. Ronnie (37m 13s): It’s true. It anchors you, that’s why it’s habit stacking little habits stacking and do it with joy. The thing that people don’t like human beings, and I know I’m broad brushing, but we, as human beings are so resistant to change. It’s fight or flight, but that’s only when we’re pushed to either we fight it, you know, we’ve taken on or we flee. But little things that we become used to, Oh my God, people are so resistant until they, something just hits them. It’s like, okay, fight or flight. What, why am I going to change? And usually it’s a medical condition or their doctor tells them to, you gotta quit smoking. You gotta whatever. But people are so resistant to change. Ronnie (37m 55s): So instead of looking at that, like I said, you’re not born out of your mother’s room, knowing how to knowing something or the metabolism. You’re also not born with habits. Your mom gives you certain habits. Like a baby you’re naturally hungry because you void. Feed me. My body needs, it needs food. Okay. But then we start developing habits according to how we’re raised, you know? No. Would you go for a week without brushing your teeth, Brad? Brad (38m 23s): Not likely, Ronnie (38m 25s): You know, and it’s good for us or flossing on a lot of people, but can you get used to it? You make it a habit. So habits stick, like have, and people talk about their morning rituals, whatever that is for you, wake up and pray or meditate, journal, whatever it is you have to do as long as it’s not a chore And it brings you joy doing what brings you joy. I’m not a morning meditator. Cause I, I keep thinking I have things to do. So I had found that out about myself. Some people are, and they love that my fitness in the morning and they that’s, when they meditate. I had found I meditate better when I do it. When it’s, I know it’s only short, like five minutes. The most I ever have meditate is like 15. Ronnie (39m 7s): I mean two hour long group meditation. But just for myself, I’m like, after I’ve taken care of everyone in my, and I’ve, I’ve worked out right before I go shower in the evening because I work out in the evening. I can meditate for five minutes at night and it’s an awesome way to wind down. So back to habits like you, I think that’s awesome. You took it on more as a positive thing rather than like, Oh really? Because I’m not a habitual kind of person. My thing was just silly. It’s like I can do 50 pushups. I’ll just walk up to it. I look to my goal. It was just 50 because everybody said, that’s a marker of being healthy. I was like, well, I can get up to 50. And then once I reached 50, I’m like, I’m going to keep going. And I didn’t, I didn’t go for a hundred. Ronnie (39m 49s): I went, let me see if I can do 52. And after I could do 52 prolong, let me see if I can go to 56. And then once I got into the sixties, like, I’m good, but what the heck I’ll keep it going. So I just kept it going to prove to myself that I could, and I even have tendinitis in the elbows and I kept doing it. But so I, I asked people, how about this? If you really averse to working out or whatever, how about in the morning? You just said, one minute, one minute before you brush your teeth, before you feed the dog, before you leave, don’t look at your email and for God sake don’t get on Instagram or Facebook because you’ll go down rabbit hole. Ronnie (40m 31s): One minute and don’t allow yourself more. So at the timer, do some calisthenics. I don’t care if it says toe touches, crunches, pushups, sit ups, squats, air squats, whatever. Just do some calesthentics and then stretch. If you do that every day, every single day for 40 days, Oh my God, brag. You’ve got to have it because your mind is rewired. It’s like, well, this is part of what I do in the morning. Of course, some people do have to walk their dog or you’ve got a problem, but say your morning ritual. And by the way, walking the dog, that’s the name of my next book. You know, people say, when I asked them, do you do cardio? How do you work out loud? Walk the dog. I’m like, well, that’s great for the dog, but what about you? Walking the dog is not enough. Ronnie (41m 12s): It’s great that you do it, but that’s not your workout. And I know people hate hearing that, especially when they first start. Yeah, you can incorporate that and being active and being activie. Moving. Get off that chair and move, but it is not a workout. So for stacking, I have trained myself that I work out every single day without fail. Even if it’s just 20 minutes. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, not how long you work out with me. It’s what muscles do I hit? I hit maybe two muscles, three tops. I hit a muscle group, done. Next day. I hit another muscle group, done. I hit every muscle in my body at least twice a week. So I’m not spending an hour or two hours working out, whether it’s at the gym or at home, but that’s me. Ronnie (41m 54s): I help people find what will work for them. And I like the morning ritual. Even if you’re not a morning person. They get on clubhouse. They listen to something and podcasts one minute turns into two minutes to three, but then I tell them, walk away. That’s it. And she’d just be like brushing your teeth. So it, everything else goes to heck the rest of the day and something happened and you just didn’t get to work out. At least you did a little morning calisthenics. You did something physical for your body, Brad (42m 19s): Right. And that low bar, that one minute that laughably short commitment is a super important point. John Assaraf best-selling author, brain training expert, author of Innercise. He says that when you set these really ridiculously easy incremental goals, you tend to continue to escalate your commitment. Like you mentioned, with your pushups, where you’re you went for 52, instead of going from 50 to a hundred and feeling discouraged. And we need buy-in from the emotional brain. That’s another really important point he makes. And also Mark Manson in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. Where are we really are ruled by our emotions, even though our critical thinking, rational brain thinks that we’re not the emotional brain is what motivates us to take action. Brad (43m 1s): And so when something really does feel good on the spot because it’s only one minute and you can congratulate yourself for a job well done without feeling stressed and anxious that you’re falling behind on your busy day, whew! Then you’re so much more likely to truly make it an enjoyable and long lasting habit. That also sounds good to your rational brain. The one that wrote it in a notebook on January 1st saying, I want to do morning workouts now, and I’ll go for 30 minutes. And it sounds so good on paper, but the emotional brain has not given sufficient buy-in and that’s why you forgot about it by February 15th. Brad (43m 44s): So I think we can blend those together. Yeah. Ronnie (43m 44s): Why did you buy into that? Because you have evidence, you did it for a minute and you walked away. You haven’t evidence. And we as humans need that evidence. Like I can buy into this. Now I have evidence. I can do it every morning. And you’re more likely once you start feeling a little bit more and it turns into, you’re not going to skip that workout in the middle of the day or the end of the day. You want a little more because you’d see like what I felt good this morning. You know, I have yet to meet anyone, Brad,.and if you have, let me know, I have yet to meet anyone who even if they feel a little sore or something after the workout, who a lot of people say, I just don’t want, I can’t make myself go work out. Even now. I have never met anyone who, as soon as they finish the workout, regret it. Ronnie (44m 28s): I don’t know anyone who regrets at the end of their workout. Like I really shouldn’t have done that, you know, but that didn’t bring me anything or I’m really pissed off at myself. Everybody feels that sense of accomplishment, whether it’s 10 minutes or 30 minutes, or you spent an hour there. And I find that most people spend an hour because they don’t know what they’re doing. They’re wondering out of gym. They don’t know which machine to use and have to wait for people. Or they’re on their phone texting in between sets. You don’t have to spend that much time working out, whatever it is now for you, you mean you have a goal and maybe, maybe you’re training for something. Yes. Those workouts take longer. If you’re training to swim longer, more laps or whatever. Yes. Those kinds of things, of course. But just regular workouts don’t have to take that long. Ronnie (45m 8s): Although I do always say, people say, well, how long should I work out? I’m like, well, how long will it take you to do three sets of this? It doesn’t matter. You time yourself focus. It can take you 10 minutes. Maybe it’ll take somebody else 20. So don’t go by that, go about whatever your trainer, if you get a trainer or however you think is good for your body, if you’re doing minute intervals, like I’m going to do a minute of biceps, whatever. There are different plans. So whatever you’re playing calls for, it’s not how long you work out. When you do strength training. It’s like, how long does it take you to do? And that’s up to you. And then of course, if you’re doing cardio, it is length of time. So that’s, that’s a different story. That’s the personal trainer in me, but really it is habit stacking. And you will only buy in once you prove it to yourself. So start small, but keep going because consistency is me and get support. Ronnie (45m 52s): That’s the other thing, don’t be afraid to tell other people I’m going to work out. And if they, if you have friends who will go, Oh, well you can work out tomorrow. Well, yeah, that’s for tomorrow. I’ll workout. This is for today. Engage in, roll your family, your friends, your support to support you. You know, when you go out to dinner, don’t let them like shame. You like, Oh, well you can’t have a cake . I can have a little bit of cake and I’m going to enjoy this. I’m going to have my glass of wine. I’m going to enjoy it. But if they want to pull you more like I’m good. And I asked you for support, support, support me, and also support other people. Because when you support other people, it really, really, you know how, when you keep somebody, you learn it again. Ronnie (46m 32s): Cause when you’re in the middle of teaching something, you saying it and showing it and, and, and, and like in a lesson, if you’re a teacher, it kind of instilled in your brain even more. So when you’ve supported the people, it really makes you feel that much stronger and that you can do it too. Brad (46m 47s): Yeah. And don’t, don’t take any crap for following a healthy path. Cause I think a lot of times people get shamed for having their extreme diet and Oh, look at you. You’re, you’re no fun. You passed on the, on the slice of cake. And I think we need to embrace both sides of that, where every everybody’s allowed to make their own choices and feel good about it. Ronnie (47m 10s): And you know, I don’t, well, I shouldn’t say don’t do whatever you want. There’s no, it’s neutral. It’s neutral. Somebody sign it, give you a peer pressures because they feel like you’re making them look bad. Like, Oh, well, okay, I’m going to have the piece of cake. And you’re really, it’s a reflection of them, of what they consider fun and joyful and eat this cake dammit and too bad. We’re getting cake a bad name, but awesome. Brad (47m 35s): It was not sponsored by Betty Crocker. And here we go back to the, Ronnie (47m 40s): But also just say, Oh no, I enjoy it. You know, tell the people, go back to them. Like, no, no, no, enjoy it. It’s just, I’m really on this path of not eating too much refined sugar, enjoy yourself on clad. You are. And I ask you as my friend is my brother, whatever, support me in it. And then change the subject. Just totally change the subject because you’re never going to win them over. If they’re showing a reflection on you or trying to peer pressure, you it’s their own thing. But it doesn’t do you any good to fight them or start lecturing them on your diet or whatever. Just go, just go. Yeah. But I’m going to have fun dancing naked in front of my mirror tonight, tell you that something, Oh Brad (48m 18s): Boy, let’s get into some tips and tricks for aging females, whatever the age group is. But your expertise is with your nearby peer group and women that want to kind of transition from their prime or their childbearing years or whatever the, the story is and the in the lifetime line. But you know, going, going down that road, what are some things that you’ve seen that have worked really well across the board, whether it’s diet or, you know, mindset changes, exercise regimens. Ronnie (48m 50s): Well, acceptance, first of all. And second of all, just as pregnant women have taught me because I started training and I am certified for pre natal during pregnancy and postnatal, even though billions of women in the world have had babies. Each pregnancy is so unique. Every woman goes through her own thing. So there’s no cookie cutter way for aging women other than be your own. This is the main thing. This is the big umbrella. Be your own health advocate. You ask, you get a team around you, whatever you need. And don’t just go to the doctors and accept like, Oh, well you’re stressed. Oh, we are overworked. Oh, you’ve got too much. Ronnie (49m 30s): No, no, no, no, no. If something’s aching or alien, get to the bottom of it. And don’t be just told that, Oh, well you’re busy, relaxed, or you just need less on your plate. Or you’re just busy. You’re a busy mom, whatever it don’t expect that if you have something physical, maybe it, maybe it is psychosomatic, maybe it is stress. Well, find out and get a good team around you. I just find so many women, they go to the doctor and it’s like, well, did you ask this? Did you ask that? No, if you go to a professional, because they’re the authority, it’s hard to think of other things to question. Get to the bottom of it, get a second opinion, a third opinion, a fourth opinion. Because you know, I have a friend who, whose shoulder hurt for years and her doctors just kept saying, well, there’s nothing wrong with it. Ronnie (50m 11s): You know, just strengthen your core and keep strength training. I’m like, well, it’s not normal for your shoulder to hurt. You can’t get push it back. It’s just not normal. You’ve got to find out, you’ve got to get to the bottom of it. You know, the main thing is being your own self advocate. And I know that the medical system or healthcare in this country is a mess. You know, we’re not going to go down that road, but it’s like, you’re begging for helping it. You’re paying out out the wazoo for, for insurance and you’d have to beg them to pay. You know, you’ve got your, your copayment and then you’re still, you’re still begging them to cover things. I just, I can’t stand that. But don’t back off from asking your doctor questions from asking your chiropractor questions from seeing more than just a chiropractor see an orthopedic, don’t be like you said, don’t, don’t, don’t be pressured by your, your peer group or your family. Ronnie (50m 57s): And to eating that piece of cake that we made famous. Now don’t be pressured by your doctor to see another doctor. Don’t worry what they’re going to think. It’s not, it’s not their body. It’s your body. It’s your health. Don’t worry about insulting your chiropractor or your podiatrist. If you see another kind of specialist, a holistic specialist, an acupuncturist, whatever. It’s your body, your health ask as many people as you can questions, you have a right and you have a responsibility for your health. I mean, you’ve only got one body. Why, why would you nurture so many people, your children, your grandchildren, your husband, your wife, your spouse, your friend. Why do you nurture everyone? And you wouldn’t nurture yourself. Ronnie (51m 38s): I mean, that, that doesn’t make sense. Take care of yourself. So also as we’re aging, we really have to look at hormones. That’s huge. Get a DEXA, scan, a bone scan to see how your bone density is doing, especially after 40 and 50. How you do not think the vitals, you know, your yearly exam, but look at your DEXA scan, look at your hormone levels. And if your doctor asks you why, like, because I want to know, get a blood workup also don’t accept just that. Oh, well, you know, you’re getting older. Well, okay. But why do I hurt get to the bottom of it? Brad (52m 14s): Yeah. We’re so uncomfortable in that role. Yeah. For, for whatever reason. I think one of it’s that it’s kind of an intimidating environment when you’re going to see a physician in the, in the tall building with all the, the ceremony around it. And they’re dispensing for example, diet advice, which really bothers me when they don’t necessarily have any training or awareness of, of anything relating to healthy eating or healthy living. But they’re in a position of authority, same with someone on television who is a personality, who’s producing a program on health. And so they have a platform and now we’re, you know, we’re really compelled to sift through what makes sense and what doesn’t and, and apply it personally. Brad (52m 55s): But that example of going through the medical system with a little bit of a chip on your shoulder and a little bit of swagger to say, okay, thank you very much. And I’ll give you my answer in one week after I consult with three other people, just like you. People are extremely uncomfortable doing that. And I’ve told the story on my show where I laid at home, ignoring the pain. Cause I want it to be a tough guy instead of a wussy boy. Well, my appendix burst and I turned in, you know, a minor medical procedure turned into a major medical ordeal just because I wanted to tough it out rather than go and go the extra mile and ask for more care and consideration in the emergency room. And it’s just, it’s just a kind of a reflection on my, my background, my belief system. Brad (53m 37s): I’m not a big fan of the medical system. So I don’t need to engage in every single level and take all the pills that they want me to take and, and do all the tests, but when you need it and when something’s wrong. And I think that’s a big one that we could kind of emphasize on the show here, when something’s wrong, don’t walk away until you get to the very bottom of it, because boy, sometimes you can save avert a disaster when things kind of carry on without knowing what’s going on. Ronnie (54m 3s): Yeah. And so I’m not against Western medicine. My dad was a doctor. My mom was an RN. But I do believe in looking at everything and understanding it and not just accepting a prescription. I myself, don’t like to take medicine because I don’t like how it feels on my stomach. one. I’m not against it. If you need medicine, take the damn medicine. But I don’t think that that’s the only answer and I’m not popping Advil and Tylenol all the time. I, I personally don’t like that. And so I try to eat as clean and have as much preventative medicine as possible. That said, I like to merge the two and really look at what is best for me. Ronnie (54m 43s): And that’s as a health and fitness coach, that’s what I do. I try to find out what your lifestyle, what are your medical issues? What have you tried? What has not worked? And we try to find out why. And then you fit the right plan for you for a lifestyle. So when people ask me, should I do keto? Should I do paleo? Should I do Mediterranean? Yes, yes, yes. Which one are you really going to do? Which one are you going to do? And which one do you like? And then we’ll, we’ll go from there. And is it good for your body? Good for your mind? You know, whatever. Do you have brain fog? So like I said, every day in the world works. If you do it, you have to find the right nutritional plan for you. Ronnie (55m 24s): The other thing is, you know, you said people feel intimidated. They really, really do take somebody with you, take somebody with you, to your doctor. It takes somebody with you to your natural path. And don’t just buy into the first plan. That sounds good. People are so desperate to lose weight or to feel better that they just see an infomercial, see a Facebook ad and boom, they buy it. They’re talked into it. Really research it, do your due diligence and ask a lot of questions. You, you have a right. So when people ask me, are you an advocate for this or that? It’s like, well, it depends. Let’s look at it. You know? And I used to be so against detoxes and cleanses because I thought, well, that’s just ridiculous. You know, your own pancreas, your liver is your own detox. And then I started looking into certain detox is per se cleanses. And, and some are very valid, but it depends what you want to do. Ronnie (56m 7s): It depends on your end goal. You know? And like, I totally believe in primal health for the most part. But if you know, reverse engineer it. I, just Ronnie. And I’m not saying it’s good for everybody. I don’t need to give up cheese and I don’t need to give up nuts. So I’m not going to give up cheese. Maybe you should. And this is why you have to find out why, you know, and I’m a dairy girl. It doesn’t bother me at all. So I’m not saying, well, that’s just ridiculous. You don’t have to give up dairy just because I drink half and half in eat cheese. It’s like, let’s find out what’s right for you. People really have to look into what works for them and why. And don’t just take the first word of the doctor. Brad (56m 47s): So when we’re talking about females anti-aging strategies, the first thing that you mentioned was acceptance. And let’s pick it up there and then maybe throw on some other ones. But I like that starting point. Ronnie (56m 59s): Well, except the, I had to really accept like, Oh my God, I’m really aging. You know, when I started looking at pictures, I started where those wrinkles come from because I still see myself as a 20 year old. I don’t really accept yourself. And just thank you. I’m wearing all my experiences in my last, on my face. If you want to do something about aesthetics, that’s up to you. There’s nothing wrong with it. Everybody has their own thing, but really accept it. If you choose to do some kind of aesthetic cosmetic procedure on your face, and your tummy, whatever, look into why what’s the emotional feeling behind that. And then if you still want to do it, let’s go for it. There’s nothing wrong with Botox. Ronnie (57m 40s): I don’t do it because I’m definitely afraid of a needle near my face. That’s my only reason I, I don’t even tweeze my eyebrows because I can’t stand that pain. It’s like a barbell hitting me. No problem. Got tweezers? Get away from me. And so ridiculous. You know, I cry at a PaperCut, but do what’s right for you. Find out why what’s the emotional reason. Find it first before you make any decision. The other thing is, like I said, be your own health advocate. And the third thing is, look at your hormones, look at your hormones, look at your hormones. What are you eating? And, and what medicines are right for you and what, what don’t you need? And help others. I know that sounds a little woo, woo. But if you had helping others with their health, what happens? Brad (58m 24s): You turn into a role model. You have a built in sense of accountability. Ronnie (58m 30s): Yeah. So it’s not just ordering your kids to wash their hair and brush your teeth. It’s like, all right. You know, tell your friend, tell your family, have we tried this as a dish? And people have been doing this during this pandemic there, they’re cooking now. And they’re eating healthier. And if you explain why this is better than this, you’ve got a reason you can’t just say, because I said so, or because that’s what mom’s going to cook. It’s like, well, this is better than this. And this is why. So let’s try it. And do you know, a lot of kids will go along with it. A lot of families will go along with it and it, and, and also if somebody having a problem, maybe they, they need somebody to go with them to the doctor, tell your friend, I’ll go with you because the four years and four eyes are better than two and two, because maybe they’ll think of asking questions. Ronnie (59m 13s): You didn’t ask, you know, that kind of thing. Be there for your buddy who wants to eat well and clean support them. Maybe join a support group. Maybe start walking a group. Maybe start working out with a group. Support them in their decisions. When you start supporting other people, all of a sudden, you, you don’t do that stupid stuff, you know, and you work out yourself and you eat cleaner yourself because you’re walking the talk and you’re helping other people. So it’s reinforcing it, right? Brad (59m 42s): Heightened awareness through repetition. And boy, it seems to be really helpful for me because when you, when you talk about something every day, it just kind of becomes part of your life. It oozes in there as opposed to working on your bookshelf and all these great books that you’ve read. And you were so inspired when you read it and then you closed it and put it back on the shelf. So I think we have to have it be a constant quest. And what about in the gym, Ronnie? When, when, again, let’s, let’s isolate on the, the anti-aging strategy for the female. So we’re not going for the CrossFit games. We’re not going for the college athletic experience, but it seems to me that there’s a lot of people just spending time on the cardio machines, watching TV, reading their book, listening to their thing, maybe intimidated by the strength training aspect of the experience. Brad (1h 0m 36s): Maybe that’s a female generalization, but I also see a lot of people just scratching the surface or having a narrow fitness experience rather than something broader. So maybe we could look at some of those points. Ronnie (1h 0m 49s): Well, yeah, any cardio is important because think about it. Your heart is a muscle, but you can’t take it out of your body and pump weight, right? So you need to work your cardiovascular system to get oxygen in the volume of oxygen. And you need to work at cardiovascular. Absolutely. Your flexibility, your caution, by the way, doing punches is not for, and no amount of crunches is going to go get rid of that belly fat. That’s just strengthening the abs underneath, you know, think of a Sumo wrestler. They have some of the strongest abs in the world, but they need their belly fat for their sport. So burning fat comes from working your muscles, as you know, and there are three different ways of working at endurance. And then there’s the static core strength of that muscle. Ronnie (1h 1m 30s): And then there’s the power. So when you work your muscles, this is important. Yes, the treadmill is great. But when you get off that treadmill, or when you get off, that recumbent bike where it says you burn 250 calories or 600, whatever. That’s awesome. If you burned 600, I mean, you really did a workout. But if you’re just doing a 200, 300 and you’re on there for half an hour, maybe 40 minutes, you get off that machine and you don’t burn anymore. We have a little after burn depends how intense you went back and forth hit. Like you go from upper level, lower level, upper level, lower level as you’re doing your cardio. But for the most part, people don’t. You watch them, like you said, they’re watching TV or listening to something and they’re at the same pace. And they think they did great. Ronnie (1h 2m 11s): And yes, you did something. But you also have to put strength in strength training in there. Not so that you’ll be buff, but will in the end get cut because your muscles say, I need energy. Do you, your body reaches a certain point that, okay, I’ve already taken the glycogen out of your body. Your body needs it. Your brain needs it. So now I’m going to burn the second, second source of energy, which is fat. And you burn that fat for two, one or two days, 24 to 48 hours. You’re burning fat because your muscles say, okay, I need nutrition. I need energy. So your metabolism kicks in and says, okay, let me feed you. So that’s why you need to strength train as you get older. The older you get, you need more strength training because we lose muscle mass. Ronnie (1h 2m 56s): As we age now, again, muscle mass doesn’t mean big and bulky. It just means that you’re replacing the muscle mass that you’re losing. So we need that for our metabolism and our metabolism regulates our hormones. Are they our hormones? And that regulates your entire health. So really the steps at the gym is if you don’t know how to work out and, and get off the machines, machines are great compliment, but use the free weights. Use the dumbbells. Use the cable machines, use the resistance band, learn how to use the TRX, but get a personal trainer. Even if it’s just for a short time and learn how to use strength, training. If it’s at home, do it at home properly. Don’t just follow any YouTube. You find do it properly. Ronnie (1h 3m 37s): I’m not putting down YouTubers. It’s just that I have logged on. I don’t know if you have, and I’ve watched some of these home workouts this year. It’s like, Oh my God, no, don’t do that. You know, it’s like, I want to, I’m like, I hope people are following this person. They just like, turn on the cameras, start working out. They didn’t even warm up for their knees or whatever. And not everybody can do all that. If you can CrossFit at 16 go for it, but you don’t need to CrossFit every day. That’s horrible. If you can CrossFit and bodybuilding, all that, whatever age, go for it, but get proper coaching and training two different things. A trainer is not a coach. A coach is not a trainer, right? So get the right kind of help and support and then follow the right channel. If you’re not going to pay a trainer every time. Ronnie (1h 4m 17s): So be educated, but you need strength training, just doing the same thing day in, day out, isn’t going to cut it and you need to work your, your, your muscles to regulate your hormones. I’m going to repeat that 20,000 times. We all need it. It also distresses you as you know, our body doesn’t know if it’s getting stressed because of mental issues or of anxiety, or because of your body. In the body stress is stress. That’s a distraction. Your body reacts to that. So that’s why you have to take care of yourself in spirit, in mind. And physically the stress is stress inside your body and your body just reacts to stress, Brad (1h 4m 55s): Right? You get better at managing stress through managing the stress of exercise. And you make a great point there about getting expert help. And I I’m aware of an entire category of human that don’t think they’re serious enough or hardcore enough to need a personal trainer. They just get in their car, drive to the gym, get their towel and jump on the bike, or even go over and pull some cables and, and do some weights. But I’ve had some incredible experiences just one-off like hiring a trainer for one workout because I don’t live in that same town. And someone referred me and it’s been life changing because I take all that instruction and I go back and do my next 37 workouts with much more intention and correct technique. Brad (1h 5m 38s): And I have a relationship with my high jump coach, where I sent him videos in addition to meeting in person once in a while. So if it’s like a budget concern or a self-belief that you’re not that serious of an athlete, let’s put a plug-in together to go and get a trainer for one workout and bring a, bring a voice recorder or something, but it can be so wonderful and so affordable. So there are so many people that are going and working out on their own without understanding that they might have muscular imbalances or things that need correction, whereby the work they’re putting in, it can be ineffective. And I come from the triathlon scene and I coach of course, coach for many years. And I would coach some adults, swimmers whose technique was so poor that after a couple of laps, I had to say, look, you, you probably shouldn’t do any more swimming until you completely break down and refine your technique. Brad (1h 6m 29s): Because every time you practice this technique, you refined the bad technique. So it’s more difficult to change. So Ronnie (1h 6m 37s): I will, I will. One of you, I was taken at least three, Brad (1h 6m 42s): Right? Right, good. Yeah. Three sessions with the trainers so they can get to there. Ronnie (1h 6m 46s): First session, you’re getting to know each other’s personality and, and trainers really see like your, your charter. Like if you’re resisting or you’re defensive, or you’re too scared to talk or whatever, we get to know your personality, which has a lot to do with it. But we also assess you were watching out for things. Even if you think we’re just standing there or placing your knee in the right way, we’re really assessing your strengths and weaknesses in posture form. And I notice things like, boom, Oh, what’s up with your shoulder? Why is it lower than the other one? Or, Oh, have you ever hurt here? And people discover things about themselves that they wouldn’t have thought of. So three to me has been the magic number because once we see you in that first session, kind of get to know your personality. If you ask a lot of questions or you do too much talking or whatever, and what you will like and what you will dislike, cause I’m not gonna give somebody something to do that. Ronnie (1h 7m 30s): They’re just not, they hate it. You know what I mean? And, and then the next two sessions like, boom, we fly. I know what to do with you. And then they know, and you know, if it’s a good fit and if you will continue or for budget reasons, but at least you give them something to take away with them. It’s like, this is what I’ve noticed in you. This is what you need to do. This is what you need to focus on. Whatever, whatever it may be, maybe like you’ve got a really bad, lower back or you’ve got, have you ever looked into this? Whatever it is, you diagnose them. You give them something to take away. Usually people continue. But even if they don’t, wow, you gave them a lot in those three sessions, especially the two workouts, but I’ve just found that three is the magic number. And it’s also, it feels kind of good because you’re dating. Ronnie (1h 8m 11s): It’s like, let’s just do three sessions, you know? Cause a lot of trainers at the big box gym. Like you got to buy the 50 pack and all this it’s like, you know what? Let’s just go for three sessions and people will be surprised like, yeah, because the thing you don’t feel like you have a long-term commitment who wants to commit right off of match.com for life or, you know, over 50 date, you just want to commit to maybe the first coffee and then maybe a second meet and greet and then a real date. Know what I mean? It’s like, you got a date for it. You got a romance and see if you’re a good fit. If you want to continue on that fourth date. So I always find that three is the magic number way better than one, because one a trainer does feel rushed and like they got to pack a lot in Brad (1h 8m 54s): Very nice. And maybe it’ll be one of those things that turns into a habit where you feel like you’re in a good groove. And certainly as far as budget priorities go. And if anyone who gives the excuse, they can’t afford it, let’s get out their credit card charges and see how much they’ve spent on frivolous things that we’re all seeming as is normal in life here. Ronnie, this has been fun. You’re real. You’re, you’re, you’re full of energy and all kinds of different topics. So it’s been a nice chat and I’d love to finish by hearing about your interest in fasting and that program that you have going to kind of combine that Ronnie (1h 9m 34s): Show on intermittent fasting. I’m not advocating now watching it and I’m certainly not selling it. And you, Brad Kearns has agreed to be on it. I’m so excited because I want five experts in different areas of intermittent fasting. The reason I’m having it is because I asked a lot of my clients. And then I also surveyed about 50 people. Would you like to learn more about intermittent fasting? Because people ask me about it all the time. It’s like, well, there’s seven different types of like what? They’re always surprised. There’s seven different types and there are three main types and it’s five intervals. People always ask me about that. So I said, do you want to hear about intermittent fasting or do you want to hear about paleo and keto? Ronnie (1h 10m 15s): Cause I get that all the time. Or do you want to hear about mindset? Because a lot of my, my clients talk about, well I have no time. Well, is it really time? Or is it mindset? I’m in mindset, almost one. But the people that want to know about intermittent fasting one out by three votes in the survey and then one more voted the next day. But still I was really surprised. People really want to know what the heck it is. So we’re going to hold a live show April 30th. And if you see this after April 30th, I’m sure I’ll have a replay, but I just want to bring clarity, intermittent fasting, myths and facts, get clarity on different types and how each could work for you. Or if any of them would work for you and we’re going to have the basics and you’re going to be on it. Ronnie (1h 10m 56s): And I’m really excited. I’m going to have somebody else’s just talking about food. What kind of dishes you can make while you’re intermittent fasting. I’m having another guy. Who’s a, do you mind if I talk about, Hey, maybe it’s not for you and kind of deflect it. And this is why it’s like build for it because we need to find out what it is and why it may not be for you and your lifestyle and your diet. And I have somebody else coming on there and really excited. She works with women. This is, as you have seen my thing, hormones. And so she works with a lot of women, especially aging, 40 50, you know, peri-menopausal, menopause, post-menopausal, but hormones also talks into, if you have any issues with type two diabetes with your thyroid, any hormonal issue. Ronnie (1h 11m 37s): And we all do. We’re losing women lose testosterone too. You know, we lose estrogen as well. So, and, and for men as well, you go through, we have menopause, you have andropause. So she’s going to talk about how to use intermittent fasting in line with your hormonal changes. So I’m really excited. We have five different experts talking about different subtopics that April 30th from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM Pacific standard time. So at three hours, if you’re Eastern time and if you want to find out about it, please find me. Ronnie Loa, R O N N I E L O A on Instagram. I’m in clubhouse. Go to, Hey Ronnie fitness coach, Hey, Ronnie fitness coach on Facebook. Ronnie (1h 12m 17s): Give me your email. And I will send you an invitation because it’s going to only be two hours. I’m kind of webinars out where you you’re invited to a six hour webinar. And I start multitasking two hours interactive like Q and A. Hold people like you Brad, hold your feet to the fire, ask you questions about what you just presented. And so you can ask and present your own questions. I’m really excited about that because I’m bringing a subject that people have been asking me about. I want to bring clarity and information, Brad (1h 12m 43s): Ronnie Lo connect with our people. Thank you for listening to the show. That’s a wrap, duh. 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 to Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful b monthly 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. Brad (1h 13m 24s): 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 be read 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 soundbite 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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Dave Rossi On Leveraging The 7 Habits

(Breather)“Observations are not defensive. Stating your goals is not defensive. Disagreeing is not defensive. Saying no is not giving love and compassion: you can say ‘no’ with love and compassion.”

This wonderful insight comes from Dave Rossi, and this breather show highlights how utilizing his 7 Habits (click here for my most recent interview show with Dave) will catapult you into a state of happiness and peace of mind, while also teaching you how to balance becoming less emotionally reactive with not being a total doormat.  

TIMESTAMPS:

There are seven habits put forth by Dave Rossi that help you live a life of happiness and grace. [01:47]

Compassion is not rolling over. [03:20]

It’s not events that make us upset or angry. It is our belief in them. [05:20]

Awareness is a lot more powerful than values. [07:06]

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Check out each of these companies because they are absolutely awesome or they wouldn’t occupy this revered space. Seriously, Brad won’t sell out to anyone if he doesn’t love the product. Ask anyone.

Donations!

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 nowlater, or never. Either way, we thank you for choosing from the first two options…

 

 

 

 

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Katy Bowman: Grow Wild And The Importance of Movement Nutrition

I am so excited to share this interview with Katy Bowman today! As a prolific author, biomechanist, and founder of the Nutritious Movement movement, Katy is a real thought-leader who is passionate about teaching people about the power of natural movement and the importance of integrating movement into our lifestyle.

Katy has authored books like Move Your DNAand Movement Matters, and now has a new book out called Grow Wild, about the challenge parents these days have when it comes to raising children in today’s modern world in a natural manner. Even when you take the pandemic out of the equation, it’s undeniable that the reality of our (pre-Covid) modern world was one that was extremely supportive of a digitally dominant and also highly sedentary lifestyle. “This is the most sedentary group of humans in history,” Katy comments. But even though the world we live in makes it super easy to be lazy, there are still many practical methods we can all utilize to ensure that we are getting enough movement. 

In this episode, Katie shares these simple, but highly effective actionable steps you can take to organize your life, daily routine, and home environment in a manner that helps you integrate movement in a more natural way. You’ll learn fascinating information about the physiology of the human body that will completely shift your perspective on movement and parenting (and also the strong connection between the two) especially when she highlights how “our ideas of safety and not moving go hand in hand.”  Katy also breaks down why we require a wide variety of movements to be able to maximize bone density, and explains the unique importance of movement for children so certain diseases do not show up later on (did you know that  osteoporosis is actually a juvenile disease that manifests in later years?). She also reveals that you can actually dress your children in a way that either “helps or hinders their movement” and that one unfortunate side effect of parents hindering their children’s movement in an “effort to keep them safe” is that they are now less able to assess risk and have a good understanding of how to assess their self. 

Katy also explains the value of setting aside time to do longform investigations into the subjects that interest you most, and the reason why she describes longform reading and/or investment as an important skill to cultivate. You will also learn about the danger of this “pandemic of myopia” we are currently in, and why “the environment is the problem” (Katy organized her book by environment for a reason). You’ll also learn why Katy says that there are “many nutrients to be found in movement” as well as how to set up your home environment and lifestyle habits for success in a practical way. “This isn’t about moving into a cave and wearing a loincloth,” Katy says, but about making “really small changes.”

TIMESTAMPS:

Rather than moving, we are living in a crazy sedentary lifestyle. [01:45]

Katy moved from urban life to a much more traditional lifestyle. [05:30]

Her children are being exposed to nature in a big way. [11:06]

Kids need nutritious food, community, and lots of movement. The health of a child is really setting up that adult for what they can experience later on. [14:46]

Everything that we use is hyper-stimulating, like a sugar addiction. [19:33]

The developing body needs the most movement, and it’s more than total movement. [22:29]

If parents don’t have the opportunity to bring to their family this ideal rural life, what can they do to expose their kids to nature in a healthy growing way? [26:20]

Think outside the chair. There is a relationship between culture and posture and movement overall. [33:23]

There are many “don’t move” messages in our culture. The side effect of not letting our children move to keep them “safe” has also made them unable to assess risk. [36:30]

Kids have a different makeup in that some just have to move and others more easily can be still. [39:26]

Because of the pandemic, people have had to find other ways of moving. [49:15]

Kids need to learn to walk. From the beginning they have been on wheels: strollers, trikes, bikes, and in carpools. [51:08]

Transitioning is difficult. [55:18]

The launch party for her book is going to be “book walk.” [59:52]

LINKS:

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Sponsors

Check out each of these companies because they are absolutely awesome or they wouldn’t occupy this revered space. Seriously, Brad won’t sell out to anyone if he doesn’t love the product. Ask anyone.

Donations!

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 nowlater, or never. Either way, we thank you for choosing from the first two options…

B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 46s): Hey listeners. I am so excited to share with you. One of the great thought leaders of the planet. It’s Katy Bowman. She is the founder of the nutritious movement movement. That’s right. She has done such amazing work in the area of natural movement of the body and integrating movement into our lifestyle. She is a prolific author. One of the most prolific authors I’ve ever seen. She’s a bio mechanist by training. She’s written some wonderful books called move. Your DNA movement matters. And she’s going to talk a lot about her new book, which is targeting the incredible challenge today of raising children in a healthy, happy, natural manner. Brad (2m 29s): The book is called Grow Wild. And we are going to get into it. So, people, forget about COVID for a second. Are you concerned in any way about this crazy sedentary, digitally dominant lifestyle that we’re living? You don’t have to be concerned. You can order up Uber eats, push a button, get your food, stick your nose in your screen and just live that life and carry it out. No doubt you’ll be destined for some pain and suffering by the end. But if you are concerned, you feel like something’s missing that connection with nature, especially if you’re a parent and you’re trying to do the best in so many ways and get your kid to the right music teacher and academic tutor and competitive sports programs. Brad (3m 14s): Oh my gosh. There’s a whole nother dimension that you might be missing. And when you talk to Katy, she gives you some incredible food for thought and really some simple, actionable steps that you can take to organize your life, your home environment, and your daily routine in a manner that integrates movement in a more natural way. She talks about her poster thinking outside the chair, and you can go pick that up on her website, follow her on Instagram, go to nutritious movement.com. Get into this. It’s very interesting. And for me, when I first met Katy a few years ago, she presented at one of our retreats and I just discovered her randomly on the internet, taking a tour through her home with this random home video and showing us all the different ways that they live without usual traditional furniture. Brad (4m 5s): And it was so fascinating that I tracked her down and got into some of her books. And it was sort of a, a blind spot for me because look, I’m into the athletic scene. I know how to work out. I know my way around fitness, but this is a completely different element of having a fit and healthy body. So our daily obligation to move, move in different ways, this wonderful book Grow Wild. You’re going to get some great insights. You’re going to hear about her heroic walking exploits that she does to celebrate her birthday every year, and also to celebrate her kids’ birthdays each year, as they turn a certain age, they’re out there walking a requisite number of miles wild times with Katy Bowman. A really interesting conversation. Brad (4m 48s): Here we go. It is Katy Bowman. It’s been a long time since we connected on the podcast scene and also in person, unfortunately, but I’ve enjoyed my visits out to the Olympic peninsula and you’re off the grid sort of lifestyle. And you have an update for me on that. What’s going on up there, Katy (5m 7s): Snow flurries, snow flurries. I live in, in the peninsula of Washington, but we moved about eight to 10 miles away from where we lived at sea level. And so we’re just dealing with a little bit of, I call it Montana weather, which is, which has really like sudden changing weather. Now it’s mountain weather essentially. So that’s been fun. Brad (5m 31s): So when we met, you were, you were chilling and so Cal and the very cool beach town of Ventura, but you said, no, I gotta get out of this cement. And they, they, the urban living. And so I think it’s really inspirational to hear how you and your family lives. So, and now you, you went even further off into, into the wild lands. So tell us about your, your lifestyle up there and how it differs from someone who’s constantly looking on their screen and seeing 20 different wifi connections from all the neighbors and attest to our devices and urban, urban living. Katy (6m 8s): Right, right. That’s right. So we moved from Southern California about 10 years ago and I had a five month old, which was 10. He’s going to be 10, which it blows my mind as you know, you’ve been to that. Yeah. And we just, we, I think they are really motivated by food early on when we first moved and water, you know, I was starting to look around and, and just pay attention to a lot of different things. I’m definitely a multi-disciplinary person, you know, I collect my information from a wide verses perspectives. And so I thought really were, you know, they’re like these basic human things, you know, there’s, you know, there’s like, do you have wifi access? Katy (6m 48s): There’s like a lot of things at that level, but there’s also like we need clean water. What does that come from? You know, where does food come from? You know, to really, and not the grocery store. And I grew up on a, I grew up on a small farm, Apple producing farm. So I was not unaware, but, you know, I had just sort of gone through my life and gotten away from what I would call it resiliency. And I’ve always taught physical resiliency. You know, the idea of being able to move better in your own body for the sake of being able to get yourself from point A to point B well. Katy (7m 28s): So we thought, well, maybe, I mean, my husband’s from Orange County, not a farmer, not a farmer, although a barefooter even in the city, a city landscape, but yeah, we, we just, we started with a garden and really, you know, we had like a small, like a small garden, the size of a really big farm table, you know, not, not anything overwhelming. And I probably farmed, like, I’m going to say, it’s a garden. You know, it’s a garden. I gardened a quarter of it. Well, everything else sort of died, but I just sort of, you know, fiddled around. And I, growing up in California in apartments, I’d always have like a pot of tomatoes or something like that. Katy (8m 10s): So even when I had this land access, this plot of a garden, I found myself just drawn to container gardening still. Cause it was easier. And I knew what I was doing. And then we did that for awhile. And then, you know, we moved over the next few years cause we were just renting sorta from house to house and found a house that had a little bit more acre that chickens, you know, we started playing with chickens just first and a little tractor, just us, a flock of four and had fresh eggs and you know, flash forward 10 years later now we have 30 chickens and you know, it’s, Oh my goodness, like a dozen, two dozen eggs a day, you know? And, and so now I have to, yeah. So like now I have to know all the ways to cook with eggs because yeah. Katy (8m 52s): Use them. So we just, we had this idea of a really slow transition of the lifestyle and the effects of the lifestyle that we wanted. And it wasn’t like we have to sell everything and start something new. It was like, this is going to take the rest of our lives. So just make slow steps and we’re getting ready to get sheep because, because where we live now has a lot of grassy area and, you know, you get tired of the noise and the fuel of mowing it really fast. And I was like, I’m like, this is very wasteful. This land, you know, would have more grazers on it. You know, it’s more like the regenerative agriculture perspective of, we could have a few grazers that were eating it, you know, that we could tend to, the kids would have some sort of learning experience bonding with other species, which is really important, I think for humans. Katy (9m 48s): And, and then my son who does not like does, does not, he doesn’t like to kill animals or really to see them killed, you know, he’ll definitely be my, probably have a vegetarian or vegan phase. I can see that coming in the future for him a little bit. So we decided to be part of the Fibershed. So the Fibershed is sorta similar to the idea of a water shed. You know, the water flows into an area from the sky and the mountains and becomes your drinking water. Well, we all wear clothes that are made of fibers and those are all farmed and harvested. And what are the practices around those? And since we all use a lot of wool up here in the Pacific Northwest, because of our aforementioned the mountain weather, I was like, okay, well we can, we can, we can sort of contribute a small amount of wool to, we can, we can harvest it and then, you know, to learn to wait, I’d already, you know, they’d already learned knitting, you know? Katy (10m 47s): And so like just sort of to, to do the full picture and then economics, it can be like, do you want to start a little business, you know, figuring out who wants to buy your wool or buy your few eggs on a roadside stand? You know, so that’s really common where we live. So that’s sort of where we are right now, 10 years later. Brad (11m 6s): And so the kids have pretty much grown up amidst nature. Do they go to the unconventional schooling approach I believe. And you could maybe talk about that and then take us right into your, your latest passion that the most prolific writer I know, I think, and, and the new book, which is really helping us with this, this challenge of raising kids in a, in a natural, healthy manner and kind of fighting off the, fighting the battle, which would I call it, especially with my kids, because now they’re adult age. And, you know, I was fighting that battle all through, growing up, mainly the screen use and the, the food choices. And a lot of times it’s a losing battle, but it’s, you know, at least you can kind of step up and, and do your best. Katy (11m 52s): Yeah. Oh my gosh. That was 17 questions, Brad. Brad (11m 57s): I know. Katy (11m 57s): So yes, I am a prolific writer. I feel like I was, you know, when I had two kids that were young, like in the, in the toddler years, you know, and I was, I breastfeed extended for like three years each and I feel like I was just so productive. Like my body was like, you’re going to make milk and words. Like, it’s like, you’re just primed for doing that. And then it does, it does, you know, it’s upwelling, it’s upwelling and outwelling, you know, so it’s all the same. There’s this a force of vital force there that really helped me along. And then I took a break. Like I was surprised to see that my last book, I think was really maybe 2016, 2017. Katy (12m 40s): So exactly there hasn’t been any next book coming out. I just happen to have a copy of his book. And I saw, I was watching the video of the launch party for it at market guard farms in Half Moon Bay and what a beautiful night that was like, that was great. And remind me to tell you about the launch party for this upcoming book for awhile. But I think just if anyone out there is listening and has kids, like there was a transition period, I would say between when they went from five and six to the seven and eight years, like they’re, they’re, they’re really their own people. I think when they’re really, really little, they’re sort of like an extension of you, you know, they’re keen to do the things that interests you and they just want to be with you more than everything else. Katy (13m 25s): They did go to nature school. We did the nature preschool, the nature kindergarten, because gratefully there just happened to be a woman here who read an article that, that kids really needed, especially young kids, needed sort of immersive nature experiences to sort of set the baseline for their relationship to nature and being comfortable outside and moving outside and being comfortable with weather and bugs and dirt. And she read an article and my gosh, 10 years later, she’s just stepping down as the executive director. And she built a massive program. I mean, multiple preschools and kindergartens and early elementary schools. Katy (14m 6s): It was amazing what, again, what one person can do when they have that passion. So they did do that. And then they’ve done more, I would say, conventional schooling. So I think I can speak pretty well to how you deal with kids when they get to be a nature school. And then how you would do some of these things when they’re actually just gone from you, you know, from the eight to three period, which isn’t happening for many people right now. But, but, but, but has been, and will continue to be, you know, where kids tend to go, you know, in our society. Katy (14m 47s): So I’m trying to think of the other questions that you were asking. So Grow Wild. We’ll talk about Grow Wild because that’s a book about, It’s my book about It started with movement. I mean, what are, what are parents concerned about? What’s the battle actually. I mean, I would say that parents have this idea of what kids need that comes from, you know, a lot of research about what kids need, which is nutritious food. They need lots of movement. They need other kids, you know, they need community. They need. And I don’t, I’m sorry, I’m not going to be an addressing things like love and support and those basic things like these tangible items that parents sort of know in their head like, Holy, I need, like, they gotta, they gotta, they gotta get outside. Katy (15m 39s): Like they need nature time. Right now. That’s the new emerging thing. I think nutrition probably been around the longest and now this idea of vitamin, nature and like, wow, kids really need, it shows up in other little things like, like in ice I researched right now we have, we have a pandemic of my myopia. You know, myopia is on the rise. And on one hand, it’s easy to make it feel not that it’s easy to see it as not that serious of an issue because like you just get glasses whatevs. But, but what you’re really happening is you’re setting up the eye to be more disease ridden later on. So Grow Wild is really trying to explain the health of a child is really setting up that adult for what they can experience later on. Katy (16m 28s): So things like osteoporosis, they, they recognize so much. Now that it’s all about you, you set your bone, you set your bone robust tenicity, which is like not only its density, but its size and shape you set that in your juvenile period. So you can’t really improve upon it past wherever your top line was set by the time you were 20, that’s how you were sort of done with your juvenile period. You’re like kind of a little bit later than puberty, but really before you’re a full physical adult. So, so that’s, so what do we have? We have this physiology, that’s like, you need to move a lot and all these crazy ways, lots of landing, leaping jumping to be able to maximize your bone density and all these other things, bone density is the one that’s people know are most familiar with, in order to maximize it when you’re older. Katy (17m 24s): So now they say that osteoporosis is a juvenile disease that just manifests in later years, right? So when you have that perspective, it becomes more important to let your kids move. And I called it Grow Wild because we in this sedentary culture and it’s more than sedentary. It’s not just sitting around now, it’s become sort of digital, right? So there’s a side effect of sitting not all the time, but it’s definitely associated with it. Like device use in general, our culture really sees what are just baseline kid movements as really like not okay, dangerous, rude, you know, all the, all these things. Katy (18m 10s): So I’m just really trying to read, take the time to reframe that, to say no, like they need these things. In fact that we don’t like it, or the fact that the rest of our life has become sort of movement free. We want them to fit into our movement free in life, but this is the first generation that’s ever had to do it. I mean, this is the first generation of parents has ever had to negotiate this particular landscape. And this is going, this is the most sedentary group of human beings ever. And, and we’re going to see this plays out in history, not even history in pre-history, you know, history is that written, I mean, in the human timeline, I mean, it’s, yeah. Brad (18m 50s): Our species is transformed in a very short time and like how you distinguished between just that we sit around too much and then even worse. We’re immersed into this digital experience, which includes the development of myopia and also the development, I believe of short attention span and inability to even maybe, maybe even less appreciation of nature, because it’s not as stimulating as the little challenge that you’re doing on the screen with your mobile video game and that, you know, that, that physical necessity to get out and move is one thing. But if you don’t, you know, kind of foster a incredible appreciation for it, you’re going to send your kids outside and they’re going to come back 30 minutes later and they’re bored. Katy (19m 34s): Well, I mean, I do, I try to use, I try to use sugar as an example, you know, like sugar. Like if we just look at what sugar is, biochemically, it’s very fast stimulation, right? There’s not a lot of work your body has to do to be stimulated by it. I mean, and that’s why we are naturally attracted to it because one, like that’s a star nature nature is to go to the sugar. You know, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sugar. It’s just that in a natural environment, there would be a natural regulation around it. So when you combine our natural affinity for ease, with an environment that has made sugar or ease ubiquitous, then, then now you’re introducing this new concept to human called humans called willpower, right? Katy (20m 27s): Like it’s the environment is the issue. The environment is the problem. And so when parenting like recognizing, and I just really speak to movement movements, my movements, my field. So I think in terms of movement, I think many people, parents, but this could go for, I mean, if you don’t even have kids, this is just for yourself and why we move and why we don’t move. We’ve put everything that we need inside. We’ve made everything that we use hyperstimulating. Everything feels like sugar, right? So if you give, if you give a one-year-old an all sugary, fast energy, colorful, it’s like a party, everything that eats like a party. Katy (21m 9s): And then you’re like, Oh, and here’s the asparagus. You’re like, boom, boom. Like it’s just boring. So I just worked really, if you set a kid’s palate though, first of all, you know, like we started our kids like they ate bone marrow and egg yolks and salmon and avocado. So they had this very complex palette and, you know, people around the world, their kids, when they don’t have exposure to, to the kind of foods that that has maybe in the sort of conventional American diet, kids have no problem eating foods that we would call those aren’t kid foods. Those are sophisticated palates. So it was like, no, they’re just foods. Katy (21m 50s): And they’re the first foods. And then that becomes what you eat. And then when you, if you introduce sugar later on, it, doesn’t go in and really erase those other palates that, you know, like there’s already an appreciation there’s already, I’m not sure how it works in the brain, but your brain already recognizes these as fine acceptable foods. And so like, I just did that same thing with movement. You know, I, I was like video games. They’re just like the sugar of food. Like I don’t think inherent there’s anything necessarily inherently problematic with the exception of everything is just slowly becoming more stimulating. You can just sit there and have your brain stimulated. Katy (22m 30s): Like you used to have to go out and work for it. Like you used to have to walk for it. You used to have to, you know, build a ramp and jump off stuff. And now you can just sit there and, and get that same level of stimulation by doing almost no movement. And you’re also not really doing anything you’re able to get like your brain is, is reacting. Like you’ve done a thing, but it’s all sort of, it’s all virtual things. So for me, I don’t know anything about the effects of any of those things, but I can tell you that the body human body needs a lot of movement. The developing body needs more most, and, and it’s not as total movement. Katy (23m 11s): It’s like all these nuanced movements, fine motor skills, full-body skills, balance, agility, confidence, risk assessment. And when you feed the humans’ desire to get all of that input with the junk food lights on a screen, you’re effectively then turning off the impetus for them to go find the other thing. So we just don’t have it because I was like, it’s just akin to stocking my house with junk food and wondering why they’re not going to do, you know, do it. Why wondering why they’re not going to eat well. It’s like, they’re not really set up to eat well. They’re set up to eat sort of what they’re given and what parents feed them and eat themselves, right? Katy (23m 57s): Because that’s the safe, that’s the biological safety thing. If my parents are eating it, then I know it’s sort of a non-dangerous food. You know, like I’m just talking about the real primal instinct for when we add or don’t add foods. Brad (24m 13s): Cool. Your, your story is reminding me of Dr. Robert Lustig’s book, the Hacking of the American Mind. And he lists these way that we, these different ways that we hijack the dopamine pathways in the brain, which is the most powerful motivator it’s supposed to be that way. Sugar, caffeine, prescription drugs, street, drugs, video games, porn, excessive exercise, to get that exercise buzz. Every single time we go to the gym and the, the end result is we flood the dopamine pathways to the extent that we cannot nurture the, the serotonin and the long-term sensations of a life that’s well lived and satisfying and rewarding rather than just instant, instant pleasure seeking. Brad (24m 58s): And so what you just described is, you know, I’d rather watch some dude do a triple flip off the jump and build my own little jump and get one foot off the ground, because I am hitting the dopamine pathways with this intense pleasurable sensation of seeing the amazing things on the screen. And I guess, you know, we don’t have to care about any of this, right? We can say that we’re winning the battle and we have a life of ease and comfort and luxury and constant access to, you know, rewarding foods. And so it’s sort of like a fork in the road. Like you could describe with your, your own life, like, Hey, we’re going to move out of the urban area. We’re going to try to set up camp here in a completely different environment and, and tiptoe down that road. Brad (25m 39s): And so I guess that, you know, it takes someone saying, yeah, this kinda sucks in a way, because here I am. At the end of the day, I’ve watched 27 videos of guys going off jumps. And I haven’t left the ground myself and I’m looking and searching for something better. And if we don’t do it in the formative years with the kids, we may just be raising a bunch of video game experts who reach over and grab a, you know, call in for a Uber delivery to get, you know, whatever quick food. Apparently there’s like 30 or 40% of people never cook a meal. They just eat out all the time. Yeah. So which, which are we going to join? We’re going to go on Katy’s route? Brad (26m 20s): Are we going to just kind of plug along and especially with raising kids, it’s a precious opportunity to do something different. So you said you just kind of eliminate that from your lifestyle, but if a lot of people are going to push back on you and say, Hey, Katy, I’m forced to live in New York city. How can I orchestrate this as best I can with, with my kids? Katy (26m 42s): Well, and I, so with Grow Wild, one thing that I really, just to that point, it was important to me to have lots of photos because we are sort of in a we’re in a, we are, we like our way of reading right now. If you looked at probably what you took in to your brain, as far as words go, it’s probably a photograph and a couple of paragraphs, like we’re just used to what I’m calling short form, right? We’re becoming adapted to being able to process short form information. The idea of investing into an argument long enough to sit down and read a hundred thousand words. Katy (27m 22s): That’s not common right now, but it used to be. And I would highly recommend setting some time aside to do some long form investigation into the things. It’s a skill. I mean, long form reading is a skill or long flow long form investment is a skill of a, of an idea because ideas are extremely complex and nuanced. That’s probably why I like to re write books because there’s no possible way. I mean, even a hundred thousand words will sell an idea of way short. At least you’re partially there. But anyway, to my point earlier, I wanted to make sure that the photographs weren’t ultimately coming from, from me, who, who, who could, you know, who you could say, like, you can really do it because of maybe your personality or your special access to the things that you have in your life. Katy (28m 12s): And so I was like, right. So what I want to show is lots of different people who have done it in lots of different places, urban, rural, the photographs come from around the world. So, you know, so like to really, and to like, think of like, what are the common barriers that many different people who aren’t me would have, and, and, and what have they done so that you can sort of help yourself over some of the barriers of like, I couldn’t possibly do that because of X, Y, and Z. Which is what we all do that because I think it takes, it’s like an energy preservation mechanism to change. Even your mind takes energy, you’re going to have to regrow some tissue somewhere. Katy (28m 55s): And so that same natural tendency to do very little work. Those are just sort of, I think they’re a mechanism to keep us from spending too much money to start thinking different movement districts thinking differently. So I add a photos, but I organize the book by environment because kids, kids, you know, I’m spatially oriented, I’m a bio mechanistic, I think in terms of space and form, I organize information in terms of space and form. It’s just the way that I perceive. So when I was thinking about, okay, kids spend a hundred percent of their life in nature, but I had to read, if I had to say nature, isn’t really what we, we call parks and green and gardens and bugs and trees. Katy (29m 44s): We call that nature. But this is whole planet is nature. The thing that I’m sitting in and looking at you on those are just really sophisticated beaver dams, right? It’s taking harvesting things that were already in the earth and reassembling it and putting it in something else, but it’s all nature. But we have the human, what we spend our, we spend most of our time in human built environments. But so like we have natural laws sort of around us, meaning we’re all going to die. You know, like these things that really, we like humans because we’ve said nature, define it as everything in the world, but human stuff, we try to set ourselves outside of sort of natural rules, biological rules, things like carrying capacity for the planet. Katy (30m 36s): Things like you have to do some, some work has to be done for the things that you need. Maybe you’re not doing it, but none of that, none of it’s magically assembling and bring brought to you. It’s someone else’s just doing all that work. So it’s just really buying, okay. Humans are in nature. Okay? Now your kids are all sitting in a culture. So the kid, the culture that they’re in this container has very specific. It’s not as easy to see as the container that is your home, but there’s rules that we all have to follow, right? There’s beliefs that we all tend to subscribe to. And we all have multiple cultures. You have your home culture, your family culture and your school culture, but then there’s sort of a, there’s a human culture. Katy (31m 16s): Or at least there’s certain groups of human culture because different groups have different cultures. And then you have your clothing, your apparel, as a container that you’re in every single day. So your home is a container that you’re in every single day. Your education container is a container that kids are in everyday activities, container celebration as a container. So the book is not about, Hey, everyone, just like I said, and move your DNA. This isn’t about like moving into a cave and wearing a loin cloth, right? Like what we’re trying to say is there, there are many elements that are available by making really small changes. Katy (31m 60s): With Grow Wild the same as true. You don’t need a farm. You don’t need chickens, you can be dressing and you can dress children in a way that helps or hinders their movement. You can teach children about cooking or not. You know, you can involve them in the process of figuring out where ingredients come from and what, who did the labor for them. You can start doing more labor. You can remove some of the furniture in your home to be able to move more or your tiny apartment or whatever it is. So like, the point is the steps that I’ve made in my own, or just the steps that I’ve made there are moved. Katy (32m 45s): The movement environment is a hundred percent of the time. The mechanical environment is going on a hundred percent of the time and we’re moving almost never. So it doesn’t matter if you live in New York city in a high-rise and you can barely even see a tree from where you live. Natural human movements, getting kids moving more is totally available in ways that you really hadn’t considered, including culture-wise just giving permission to move. Instead of always saying, sit down, be quiet. You know, like those, those are movement rules that we just don’t even realize we’re participating in that aren’t dependent on. Brad (33m 23s): Yeah. Tell us about, think outside the chair, for example. Katy (33m 27s): Yeah. So that, that, so the think outside the chairs, I mean, it’s a poster that I’ve had for 10 years. I just always keep modifying it a little bit because I think kids think I said, the chair is the chair is, is, it’s just one cultural way that, that one group of people have sort of said that you can sit and then have built entire infrastructures around this one way of sitting, right? Like your schools, your offices, your airports, like everything just assumes this one body position where the thing outside the chair poster, which is based on the work of an anthropologist Gordon Hughes, who went all over the world many decades ago to look at the resting positions. Katy (34m 12s): He was really interested in. He was really interested in posture and the, the relationship between culture and posture and sort of movement overall. But he really focused on still positioning what we call just like your, like your mechanical or positional environment. And he showed, I mean, I think I’ve got 50 on the poster, but there’s like 200 and they’re not using chairs because they’re not using furniture. Because again, we’re this one culture sort of invented it. And then this has happened to be the culture that, you know, dispersed in so many places and then said, Hey, you, you gotta have furniture to, you know, sort of as, as the world’s been colonized in that way, the practices of the dominant culture, which involved a lot of furniture just became sort of distributed. Katy (34m 60s): So I was glad that Gordon Houston said, humans sit in a lot of different ways and here they are. And so I thought, well, making, making an environment, if you say it this way, there’s a lot of don’t move signs. There’s a lot of don’t move signs. If you’re taking a walk, you know, and they’re there for your safety, you know, that’s the, that’s the idea, you know, no climbing, no jumping, no walking here, you know, please walk quietly. So if you’re a kid and this goes for grownups too, there’s all sorts of no movement, no movement, no movement, no move in your house, sit, be quiet stuff. As you need. You know, you’re disruptive if you’re in school. Katy (35m 41s): I mean, it’s all the rules of movement are don’t move implicit and explicit. So I was like in Grow Wild, I opened the culture chapter by showing a lot of don’t move signs. Because once you, once you learn, you know, like they don’t read to you necessarily as don’t move, they read as be safe. But you can see that our idea of safety and no move, go hand in hand. That that really what the easiest way to be safe is just sit down and don’t move and nothing can happen to you. And we’re like, it’s getting more and more and more and more that way. Where if you go to other cultures that is not an expectation of their children at all. Like in New Zealand, for example, this idea of don’t move because you might get hurt in all these movements, not a thing, Brad (36m 31s): A picture of the, the old tree house with what maybe a two year old standing 10 feet off the ground with absolutely no safety rail just perched on a tiny little piece of wood. And I’m like, Katy, what’s up with this? You worried about that. And you, you, you, you always have a great answer. Like I think you were describing how even a young human can sense the danger of being off the ground. And you’re not worried they’re gonna fall. Cause they’re not stupid. They’re going to hold on. Katy (36m 56s): Well, that’s right. And it all comes down to like that human, who was my human, you know, she, she had been climbing from a such a young age. She has learned to be aware of her capabilities and risk. So the side effects of not letting our kids move all the time to keep them safe has also made them really unable to assess risk and, and have an understanding of how to assess self. Because, you know, we tell like it’s interesting in, in, in an ancient time when we’re really sort of tuning into like what children need and like sort of like, Oh, kids are fully intact human beings. Katy (37m 41s): You know, they’re not going to emerge later when they’re 18, you know, the idea that they have wants and wishes, but the movement environment is still one where we, where we really have kids sort of constantly doubt the correctness of their instincts to move. You know, we, without realizing it like really help them, help them sort of embody the idea that moving their body, isn’t correct. That they’re wrong for moving their body. I mean, there’s a, there’s just a lot of that messaging going on and that you can see, you know, as a parent sometimes where I’m like, I need my kids to just sit down and be quiet and cause I need a break. Katy (38m 24s): So, but instead of taking myself out to a break, I’m just going to have them just be still, you know, it’s like, we just don’t really have that skillset of figuring out how to meet multiple people’s needs. Like we’re not really raised in community and support. And so the side effect is like, well, I need everyone to not move. If I’m the one person in charge of educating these 30 people, then they need to not move. Whereas like in a more traditional environment you would have had learning done over multiple ages, outside, free space teachers, which are really just family members or community members that it was just a whole different thing. Katy (39m 4s): Like the whole society has sort of set up around, not moving so that, you know, one person can do the job that many used to do. Like we’re sorta, I don’t know what that is sort of economically or if there’s a work type to it. But in doing that, we’ve just sort of movement as the thing that has to go, I guess, Brad (39m 27s): We’re in school to learn the skills, to send us into work in the factories. That’s how the whole thing started and prevails to this day. Even though the, you know, the economy’s changed, but we’re still trying to regiment these, these kids with the bells ringing and the sitting still. That’s why I was so glad to meet you so long ago. Cause I kind of have a fidgety daily lifestyle and I’m doing some standup desk stuff, but I’m certainly not going to do it for hours and hours because my legs get sore. And then I’m sitting in the corner and then I’m moving to a different place outside. And I asked you like, you know, is this okay? And you’re like, absolutely. Like I felt validated that I was just constantly, constantly changing my position in my environment. Katy (40m 8s): Well, and I think that I, and I think this is in the environment container, sorry. The education container for kids is I think that some kids adapt to not moving rules easier than others. I think that some people just like, we tend to see the ones that are hyperactive and fidgety as the problems. Whereas we’re where maybe it’s just, there are some kids that can dampen their reflexes more easily than others. And so that’s where I know that you, I mean you and I did the, “Don’t Just Sit There” project, you know, the idea that you could work and do a bunch of stuff. Katy (40m 50s): And there’s a lot of research on what’s called flexible seating in schools, but it essentially started with, man, there are some kids that really need to move and them trying to sit still for school means that they can’t do well in school. If you add movement, they do much better in school. So like what do we do? Or do we just keep insisting that no stillness is the skill to learn here also, or to see them as a problem, or just to recognize that still that stillness is an issue, especially because the kids who easily in their movement needs still need the movement. Meaning like, I’m not sure if it’s really benefiting anyone in the long run and become adults that are like even more stressed movement because now they really want to, you know, they, they, they are, they’re able to make the choice from it, but they don’t have that skillset because it was sort of like the skill set of not moving was more cemented than the skillset of moving. Katy (41m 48s): And I have one kid, I got one kid who, who, who never stops. I mean, I have two kids that never stop moving, but in different ways I have one kid that has always just, she’s always trying to master and move and like she wants to do movement. She wants to ride a unicycle. She wants to jump 40 times off the deck. She wants to climb the tree. You know, she just needs to always be moving. My other kid doesn’t really enjoy pursuing movement skills. He wants to read. He wants to sit, but he doesn’t want to sit still while he’s doing it. Katy (42m 31s): So he likes non-movement things being taken in, in a dynamic environment. So like I took 20 pictures of him once because he had an exercise ball event that then furniture balls. And he was, he cycled through 26 positions on it in 40 minutes, all with his book backwards forward. And it was just, it was just non prompted. You know, he’s the kid who we have logs because we have a low table. So we have these short little log stools. He flips them on his side and he’s balancing back and forth while he’s cooking or while he’s reading a book, like he just, he, he really needs some sort of a, to feel unstable when he feels most common, his mind when his body is slightly unstable. Katy (43m 14s): And so to recognize that, you know, these individual children’s needs and you know, they’re sort of like a dietician would recognize, Oh, you’re you need this like Mac you’re missing this macronutrient or this macronutrient like it’s movement is the same. It really need to drill it down to that, to that level. Brad (43m 33s): Well, and broaden our perspective about it. Because I think the trends I see today is like the, the, the parents know how important movement is. And that’s why I got my kid into competitive soccer division and we travel all around and play these games. And now we’re going year round playing the same exact sport. And so there’s kind of this divergence where movement is extremely structured, possibly overly strenuous and overly focused on, you know, high skill development and high competitive experience. When you’re talking about the, you know, the, the joys of, of reading a book in 27 different positions and that, that kind of hits that same checkbox of moving the body in the way that you you’re naturally adapted to or that appeals to you the most. Katy (44m 19s): Well, that’s why I made one of the environments activities, because I do think that many, I mean, many people, adults, educators, pediatric therapists, like everyone would say that kids need move. So the next question is, well, how they need to move because there’s really some, I made a whole like check sheet of like, how do you assess the activities your kids are doing to know if like, to look at it like nutrition to see, Oh, they’re totally not loving this area at all. We would need to supplement. And I added eyes and bones, like not just joints, but really tissues because different tissues need different types of movement. That’s why it’s a nutrient in that way. Katy (45m 1s): That’s why there’s many nutrients to be found in movement. But yes, and I think the pandemic really showed some of the liability in teaching kids over the last 10 or 20 years, because this is not new. You know, like this idea of sort of formalized adult led struck like exercise or movement in the form that we would do it like for adults who go to work, like you do it for one hour, it’s going to be this mode. Like it’s become this really regimented thing. Katy (45m 41s): Very directed that’s that’s that can have nutrients in it. It’s like a power bar. You know, it’s like, they’ve taken nutrients to try to compress it into like 200 calories snack, you know, and it’s going to meet a lot of needs. We’re moving, doesn’t work that way. But it’s sort of like that it’s precise. Pre-packaged, it’s, it’s very not like unstructured, immersive play where, which is now. So play now has becomes, Oh, kids need play now too. Like when I’m trying to show, I use, I use permaculture model in grow while this idea that when you investigate things, scientifically, you’re trying to break them down and you’re trying to find the individual nutrients, right? Katy (46m 25s): So you take a food and then you’re like, well, what’s in it. And so like, you were like, Oh, there’s, you know, these many carbohydrates and there’s this much fructose. And then there’s this much of sorbic acid. And like, you’re just breaking it down. And then you’re like, and we need all these things. And you’re like, I need to get a sorbic acid tablets. I need a fiber tablet. I need to say, I need 60 calories with the sugar, you know? But it’s like, if you just need the Apple, it has all that in there. So the mindset, when, I mean, we are a community or a society that’s trying to process knowledge. There’s no traditional, very little traditional knowledge. We really outsourced the understanding of everything that goes on in our world as someone else. Like, you don’t know how your toilet works, you don’t know where your water comes from. Katy (47m 8s): You don’t know where your food comes from. You just hope that it keeps showing up and working. So like that, that that’s, that is when you’re sort of in a knowledge liability that, that if you pursue some of the more, I mean, you, people will call them like natural movement or like what, what’s the word I’m trying to think of? Like, just like the traditional movements for kids, you know, like just put them in that environment, that in yourself that you’ll meet multiple, you’ll meet more, you’ll meet more needs. So that’s the permaculture style is if you just, instead of gardening, you know, where you’re like plowing everything and then bringing in a lot of a single type of plants. Katy (47m 53s): And then now you have to bring in water. Cause you got rid of the ground cover because you don’t want the weeds fighting. You know, you do end up doing a lot more work, trying to meet your needs one at a time. And that what you’re looking for is a single thing that meets multiple needs. So if kids need to move and then needs to be outside and the need to have a relationship with other kids and that nature. And so do you, you know. And you need these things in sort of like a casual meetup for dinner, right dinner, doesn’t even go into the exercise category. In fact, we’ve set up where it’s the opposite. If I’m eating, I’m not exercising and that’s bad, you know, that’s both bad. Eating is bad and not exercising is bad. Katy (48m 34s): So dinner is like horrible. But if you, if you set up like a outside dinner at a park with friends, the kids are just going to run around and play. And it’s not going to be exercised because it’s not pre prescribed, which is really what exercise is. So it’s just really trying to help people go. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the things that we need. The only thing we have to do is start picking better tasks. That’s it. You already know the things that you need and you’re stressed every day. And yes, you can say our life is better because we have this ease and this comfort, but there’s this underlying level all the time with my true needs are not being met and I can feel it. And those in my family are having their needs met. Katy (49m 15s): They can feel it. And like there’s a sort of that feeling all the time, plus any side effects of your actual needs not being met. So this idea of finding better ways to get the things that you need, because when everything’s shut down gyms, sports, tennis court, you know, places where people, the assigned places for people moving, everyone has sat down. They had no really understanding that movement goes everywhere. They have, you know what I mean? Like there was no practice in the concept. It was like, what am I, my, my gym’s closed off. I can’t move. Katy (49m 55s): I can’t, I I’m unable to move. And so we’re sort of seeing people, like I wrote about it in the afterword of Grow Wild because I had started writing this book before the pandemic was like movement, screen, time, up movement down for kids and probably adults alike too. But the type of movements changed. So kids started playing in their neighborhood, which they had really stopped doing because neighborhoods are either perceived to be unsafe because of just how we think now. And then also unsafe because cars, cars now have become sort of the thing we’re building our life around. Katy (50m 35s): Right. Right. And then like, and then, then you’re on your phone in the car, you know, you’re doing multiple things. So, so kids just with the cars sort of gone now, they had better access to just casual movement in groups. Pick up games of basketball, street hockey, taking a walk with their family. And even though the total movement was less, you started to see more of the movements that kids and their, and their families used to do. So that’s one thing we’ll see if it sticks up, stays up or not continues on. Brad (51m 8s): Yeah. It’s been encouraging for me to see more people on the typical trail than ever before, I guess, cause they’re, they’re stuck in the home and they got to do something and get out and everything’s closed. So yeah, hopefully we can pick up some of the positive aspects of the massive life disruption and, and carry forward. I know for you walking as a centerpiece, you talk about how you, you do your problem solving and best thinking on the move. So would that be kind of a, a quick takeaway tip for someone to, to get started on, on a, a more rewarding path of life is just, just walk? Katy (51m 43s): Yeah. I mean, walking and walk with others. Walking is like, and really, you know, they’re, they’ve done a lot of different research on just thought process in general. I mean, people have been writing about their connection to themselves and nature through walking for hundreds of years. Like this, isn’t a novel that Katy Bowman thing, I it’s just, and it could be that not every, I mean, certainly there’s different abilities. Not everyone can walk, but it also could be that maybe not everyone is necessarily meant to be a long cause I do long distance walking. Like I really need to walk there’s body parts. Katy (52m 23s): I can’t even get to without walking 20 miles. I finally feel them turn on because, because they’re, they’re like they’re endurance sort of muscles to kick in at a certain point when other things fatigue and we just hardly fatigue are walking. So for me, it is very much a need. And, and I also, you know, parents will be like, my kids don’t walk at all. And I’m like, well, I raised my kids walking. It’s very hard to start walking when you’ve driven, when you’ve been in a wheel device everywhere. It’s like the easy food. Right? Like, and like, and another thing is, you know, saying, you know, we have to watch when we start our kids on wheels as their first movement. Katy (53m 7s): I mean like bikes and everything has wheels now. And wheels are fun. Like they’re super great. But again, it’s that high stimulation activity. It’s easier. It’s easier. And it’s really hard to go do the more complex, challenging thing once you’ve been sort of set up to do the easier thing. So like our family celebrates birthdays on foot, then not on your actual, but that doesn’t have to be a birthday party. That would be like the worst thing ever. But what I mean is our rite of passage for your year is you walk your age. So we did that, you know, so five miles from the five-year-old and six mile, I mean, they can both walk like 12 miles by the time they were six, like they can, kids can do it. Katy (53m 51s): You just need lots of, they’re not going to do it in a way that you expect them. They just do it. It’s a whole day thing. We’re just out and we’ve done these epic walks, you know, and the kids are like the tired, which means they’re bored and bored of blocking. And then we’ll get back. And then, I mean, they have walked for seven or eight or nine hours. And when we get back, they don’t want to sit down. They just don’t want to walk anymore. They’re going to do 40 jumps. They’re going to sprint around and like, we’d play tag now. I’m like, Oh my gosh, we just walk for eight hours. I want to sit down. And they’re like, no. So we have to really be able to discern between when kids are bored versus when they’re tired, because they might not be using the right words, the most correct words, they might not have enough experience. Katy (54m 36s): And kids need immersive time. It takes sometimes 90 minutes of walking or being outside before they go can get out of their fast pleasure, easy mindset. So don’t be discouraged. And like my kids, you know, they resisted going out the, you know, the whole time they made it miserable. And like in the first hour they was dragging them complaining. I’m like, yeah, just keep going, watch. And they do my mind do that too. They grew up. And as my husband says, kids are going to whine, like kids whine all the time. Like it’s really sort of evolutionary how they get your, they survive better if they get your attention. Katy (55m 18s): Like, that’s, that is how that’s the investment is. I can bring it’s like crying. It’s like that, you know, I can cry and make sure people are focused on me cause I will, I will do better with people focused on me. And the same thing goes for whining. So they’re going to whine anyway, this is my husband’s quote. So we might also be doing something that’s right. And there. And once you get past that hump where they just transition out of whatever the easy mind was into, I call it a transition free. So when there’s a lot of work on kids, and I think this goes for grownups too, is transitioning takes a lot of work. Katy (55m 60s): When you go from one sort of way that you’re being a task that you’re working on. Like if you’ve ever been writing a book or like immerse in a creative process and someone interrupts you, the reason sometimes you’re like, just leave me is because, because that’s pulling us away from it’s a transition and it was not. And so when you try to transition a kid from are applying, like we, now we gotta go, come on. Like the transition is so hard and some kids transition easier than others, but there’s always sort of a feeling or a reaction, a transition once we start walking and that’s what we’re doing all day. There’s no, it’s a transition free day because even though we’re playing games as are walking and we’ll stop and we’ll carry a watermelon or something, you know, we’ll stop it. Katy (56m 49s): We have snacks along the way. And if there’s nice water, we’ll jump in and swim, or maybe we’ll all have sticks and be sword fighting, or maybe we’re playing 20 questions. There’s this baseline of non transition. They’re not going to be pulled away from it. They settle in and that’s what we’re doing. And it pays off. If you could just get through that really hard. Brad (57m 9s): And I guess sprinkle it in every single day, to some extent, you’re not going to have to do a wonderful 12 mile hike when you’re six. But if it’s, if that eases any transition, you know, that part of your day is going to involve movement. Beautiful. Same for adults. You know, I mean, we’re talking a lot about kids, but first of all, we got to set the example and great. If we do have kids, even if we don’t, we’re still all obligated to honor the same, the same guidelines that give us a nice balanced life and stress management. Katy (57m 40s): And, and I also, you know, I think that part of our, another, another aspect of our culture is we really separate people who have kids and kids’ stuff from people who don’t have kids. And that’s, that is not, that’s not really the human way, if you will, not ever. I mean, there’s plenty of people who don’t have children, but you still have a role in a community or a society where there are children. And so the term for that is aloe parent. An aloe parent is someone who gives care to a child that is not theirs. And we’re a lot of us are not directly aloe parenting, but we are still through not, we’re still building the environment that all children will have to pass through. Katy (58m 36s): So your moving more informs children who are just watching you see how adults are. I mean, you’re still part of this. You’re still part of the solution. I mean, I, I just, I think that this idea of, I don’t have to worry about kids, cause I didn’t have any it’s like those citizen children, their children’s citizens, their wellbeing in this society at least is what’s going to pay for you to be an adult that’s taken care of. And that’s become the new, you know, in a lot of, in a lot of literature, looking at the environmental impact of children, you know, and like the movement really to have fewer children as a way to save the environment, you know, a big piece of that is like, well, really there’s some cultures that have done that and what’s happening is you’re playing with sort of the workforce and the way your whole society is set up. Katy (59m 28s): So if we, if we want to reduce children as caretakers of the next generation, we need to also be able to see it that way, just remember that that the workforce of the future is going to be something that in this society we will call on again and again. So maybe it’s worth caring about Brad (59m 53s): Well said. So everyone needs to go pick up the book, Grow Wild. Exactly. It’s for everybody. Tell us about your launch party. Katy (1h 0m 1s): Thank you for reminding me. So I am sick of zoom. No offense. How are you? Brad (1h 0m 10s): At the time? By the time the end of the day comes and the family zoom call is on and I’ve already had four meetings. And I know people that are just back to back meetings on zoom all day long. So I think you just identified, like the balance point would be great because not being able to talk to you or, or, you know, I’d have to travel to the far lands of the Olympic peninsula. So this is the next best thing, but everything in balance, for sure, huh. . Katy (1h 0m 34s): Right. So I think it’s that, I mean, it’s like so many things where, you know, moderation really being the understanding of the right amount, right? Not, not, not the halfway point, but the correct amounts is what moderation really means. So yes, we’ve taken a tool set that definitely has many rewards, but it seems to be the only solution that really anyone can come up with how to do life. It’s like zoom, that’s it. Katy (1h 1m 15s): And I was thinking, so I wrote the book line. It’s very hard to publish a book anyway. I mean, it’s very hard to get. It’s very hard to have a successful book. How about that? Books require quite a bit of support from the author. It’s not like you publish it. And then it goes into bookstores and people buy it. It’s amazing. No, it’s a lot. Right? I mean, that would be ideal, but that’s just not the situation anymore, even before the pandemic, but books require a lot of loving support when you’re passionate about it. It’s great because your life is sort of, you know, the way I did my life before really connected me to people and the ideas to other people. Katy (1h 1m 58s): And I could really, I offered lots of ways where you could experience physically many of the things that you could also read about so that people could sort of go beyond just an idea. It’s like, Oh, I can walk you through some training where physically they become more a reality, whether it’s corrective exercises or just, you know, a 20 mile hike with a group of people where you’re you do it, but then you’re inspired and you set something up where you live, which effectively gets more people moving, et cetera. So we are, I mean, we’re doing what everyone is doing, which is having a virtual book launch party. Which is amazing. Everyone’s invited, but I wanted the whole book is about the relationship between sort of how and what we consume and things like emerging viruses. Katy (1h 2m 48s): You know, like this emerging virus is not a random, like this has a lot to do with the way we consume and sort of where we pressed into the earth. I mean, they’re not, it’s not like the surprise thing it’s been predicted more are predicted because of the way that we live. So I wanted to make sure that I had an, an event that was sort of truer to the book that would help more people out than tuning something online. And so one of the solutions that many communities have been using is this thing called story walk, where if you have young kids, you might be more aware of it. Katy (1h 3m 29s): Story walk was created by, I think, a librarian, maybe a cyclist. I’m not sure, but what they did was they took a children’s book and they took the pages out and put them on, on like lawn signs, you know, like political lawn signs. They put the pages of the book along a walk in a park or, you know, set like a life library had a lot of green space. So they, so kids could work on physical activity and literacy at the same time, it got them outside. So they’re promoting nature movement literacy as a group. And that became a big pandemic thing as libraries were shut everywhere. They’re like, well, we’ll set up a story walk. And now let’s move in libraries, which is a really great organization. Katy (1h 4m 11s): Everyone should check out to try to increase some of the economic viability of downtown set up downtown walks. So they’re not even necessarily for green spaces. They’re just like this idea that we can be outside moving around and it be sort of enjoyable for everyone that’s in this area. And I really, we, my kids were sort of above the, you know, the kid picture story walk, but when we would pass one, they would like drop right down and read the book as we were walking because kids love, kids, love being told stories and really great, beautiful picture books, picture books. So I decided that I was going to do the first ever grown-up book block where my book is over a mile long. Katy (1h 5m 1s): And I found a really great farm where I live on the peninsula. And so you’ll come to the farm and you can bring your family. And there’s a little, cause the book is full of pictures. I mean, there’s over 200 photos and you can do a family one mile walk and they have a little sheet that lets them do a book, scavenger hunt, because I think kids really like sort of find it books, you know, can you find this? Can you find that, like, that’s just a natural thing, sort of like going on the hunt so that the kids are engaged too. It’s a, it’s a site, it’s an organic Apple and cidery so you can have a cider or a kombucha and you just get your cup and you walk with your family and you go through this mile track and there’s eagles above and salmon in the river. Katy (1h 5m 53s): And you can have a nature non-tech based event putting into practice before you even read it, Grow Wild. And then of course you can pick up a copy and all that stuff. So yeah, something that really embodied all the ideas that I think we need to start seeing happening more and more. Brad (1h 6m 11s): So you’re saying along this mile course, you’re going to have hundreds of pages stuck up like? Boy, then, then you could go into politics right after with all those wire frames. Yeah. Katy (1h 6m 24s): Yeah. So you just, you take a spread out. So it’s, I think it’s going to be 200 signs. Cause the book is 400 pages, but we can actually do a spread. So like when you open the book, you can put that whole piece on one side. So yeah. About 25 feet apart, it’s going to be about 5,000 feet. So you’re looking at a mile. Yeah. And I’m excited about it because, because I think that there are many more, I mean it falls in line with the dynamic celebration. It falls in line with everything that I, the way that I would celebrate it beforehand. And so it’s just, you know, yeah. I’ve been trying to think about how can I, how can I connect? You know, I think we’re all missing connection. Katy (1h 7m 7s): And I just think that there’s more than virtual connection. There’s the good old, I mean, I’ve been writing all my elders letters and be like, send me your family photo and I will send you a family. But just things that I never really did before. I mean, even email community, all of it is just, it’s not as nourishing. And I think that, yes, it’s better than the alternative, but I think that maybe we could be more creative. So it’s just a call and be like, can you, like, what could you come up with if you really thought about it? Brad (1h 7m 37s): I love it. Tell us more. What, how do we find out more about this, this wild event? Is it going to be filmed a, if we can’t make it up to the farm and we can participate somehow virtually in the virtual book walk? Katy (1h 7m 50s): Watching someone else walk, like have some, do some cool flips at the end, we would probably have a little video for it just of how it went. They’ll probably be some media because I think that the media is also interested in stories. I mean, even if you watch TV or news or whatever, everyone just going back and forth on zoom. So I just think everyone’s sort of like, I would love to be able to cover anything to yeah. Right. And all the, and all the stories are about, you know, you know, kids are the computer, what are we going to do? And I’m like, this is what I’m doing. This is what, this is what I’m doing. And you are. And I would like you to comment. I’d like you to share it because when you read Grow Wild, you’ll see that there’s a ton of things you can do have a similar type in your own life that they just really just make things. Katy (1h 8m 41s): They feel, make things more celebrated. You know, celebration is another big part of humanity. You know, humans get together and celebrate certain things and, and it was dynamic and it was nourishing and it was usually about food or nature in community and milestones of life. And I think we’ve just really gotten away from some, so many beautiful things about our humanity. And I know that this community is, we think about foods. Like I want to conduct to you like the most nourishing food for humans. Like there’s lots of things like that. And you can take the same framework that you hold and it holds up no matter what you’re looking at. Katy (1h 9m 21s): So that’s what I try to do is tie, I try to tie in what people already understand about nutrition, especially I would say ancestral wellbeing, foods that, that your body really needs and say, it’s more than food and it’s more than exercise. It’s movement. And it’s community and it’s celebration and it’s nature. And you can pick activities that let you get all of it at the same time, Brad (1h 9m 49s): Putting it all together. The multi-dimensional Katy Bowman, killing it, go get Grow Wild, people, wherever books are sold. We can go and look at nutritiousmovement.com. Learn about the other stuff. Right? Follow you on Instagram, love your, your wild and crazy posts. What was the walking stunt that you did to celebrate a birthday with some amazing accumulation over? What was that? You turned 30? Katy (1h 10m 14s): Well, I started it. So I started when I turned 40 that I’m like, I’m going to walk. I thought I’d walked 30 miles to celebrate the end of my 30s, but I got lost in the forest. Cause some roads were closed and it ended up being almost 40. And then the next year, the next year I walked to all the food producers in an area to sort of like, who’s making the food in this area and put together 41 miles of food walks. And I actually wound up at the same farm where we’re going to have our events. Cause it’s, you know, half an hour from where I live and had a birthday party there after I had walked all day and then I fell asleep. Katy (1h 10m 55s): There’s a picture of me. I’m just like, everyone else is partying and I’m passed out because walking that much means you’re pretty much just going to go to bed. But last year I turned 44 and I thought I would try something different, which would be to walk 10 miles a day for 44 days. So I did 440 miles. And that was actually more challenging because it’s hard to carve that space again and again. But that was what I was after. I was like, I know I can do the mileage when I’m after is can I change my habits? And that was really wonderful too. So yeah, I definitely, I definitely use walking as sort of my that’ll be my next book is the art of the long walk or the joy of the long walk. Brad (1h 11m 39s): Love it. Thank you Katy, for spending time with us. Thanks everybody for listening.

 

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