Revolutionary You! #102- Mike Howard: The Imperfect Journey

Mike Howard returns after his immensely popular episode (#64) and we continue our conversation about mindset success. Mike has a phenomenal attitude towards getting the psychology of progress right for you. Rest assured, this will not be the last time he is on the show and I have no doubt this episode will make you a fan if you weren’t one to begin with. To learn more about Mike’s work, check out http://www.leanminded.com To learn more about your host, visit http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Learn To Listen

*The title of this post was taken from the Ramones song of the same name*

When Donna started working with me, we had a conversation about her weight loss goals. It was roughly the same amount of weight that kept coming off and on for years.

Donna isn’t new to fitness either. She loves spinning and being active and she even spent some time doing CrossFit before she came to us.

Like many of my clients, the conversation comes back to: What can you do long term?

Can you crash diet indefinitely? No.

Can you always rely on high intensity training? No.

So, what’s a realistic approach?

It was questions like that which allowed Donna to look at her lifestyle currently and her past and ask herself: Why do I keep repeating the patterns that weren’t working (or weren’t sustainable?)

And Donna remains one of my many clients who I find the continuing dialogue very fascinating to hear.

She has managed to slow down her expectations of what weight loss should be and instead is paying closer attention to how food and drink affect her body.

A couple of weeks ago, she said: “I realize that when I eat an apple it doesn’t satisfy me and I end up hungrier than I would normally be.”

And where one might be inclined to associate an apple as a healthy snack, Donna determined it could screw up the intake of her next meal if she ate it.

It’s this type of self-exploration that many people don’t take the time to do.

More recently, Donna has been experimenting with how her body reacts to different types of alcohol. What she has found is that certain drinks drive her hunger up (white wine) and some don’t (gin and tonic.)

Sometimes, it’s important to step outside of the weight loss conversation and forget about calories in/calories out for a moment.

When you take Donna’s approach, there’s a lot to be said about listening to your body and trying to isolate certain food/drinks to get a better understanding of how your body reacts.

It’s also important to note that rather than throw the baby out with the bath water and give up drinking altogether, Donna is trying to pay close attention to how her former favorite drinks would lead to overeating in some cases.

Recently, I was telling our client Mary about an experience I once had with bread.

I had purchased a fairly popular line of whole wheat bread and found that every time I consumed it, within an hour I would be ready for a nap.

Not being one who would assume gluten intolerance having never suffered from this issue before, I switched to a sprouted grain option and never had a problem again.

Donna is exploring these possibilities for herself as well.

In effect, rather than chasing weight loss furiously only to be discouraged by the rebound, Donna is taking time to learn more about herself, her body, her results and ultimately, her plan of attack.

How will you learn to listen to yourself like Donna?

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Revolutionary You! #101-Julieanna Hever, RD: A Primer On Plant-Based Diets

We return to our diet primer series this week and welcome Julieanna Hever, RD to the show. She is the best-selling author of several books based on plant-based diets including the brand new second edition of her Plant-Based Nutrition now available on Amazon. As we have done with previous episodes in this series, Julieanna and I delve into the pros and cons of embarking on this diet plan and how to make it work best for you. To learn more about Julieanna’s work, please visit http://www.plantbaseddietitian.com To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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I Would For You

*The title of this post was taken from the Jane’s Addiction song of the same name*

Some time in late 2010/early 2011, I was dealing with two very different situations.

My oldest son, Jackson, was in the middle of a series of tests to diagnose some challenges he was having verbally and behaviorally. Those tests led to a diagnosis of high-functioning autism.

My father had been diagnosed in the summer of 2010 with multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) and was quickly losing his battle having not been successful with chemotherapy treatments.

Jackson was approximately 3 years of age. My father, 59.

Watching from an outsider’s perspective of what each of my loved ones were dealing with helped me shape a mantra that stuck with me for several years and remains with me to this day: For Your Father, For Your Son.

I knew that everything I needed to do mentally, monetarily, and physically was bigger than myself.

I knew that I had to make this business successful because providing for my son would be a lifelong endeavor.

I knew that being physically and emotionally strong would be crucial because my father would be leaving my mother and I behind.

And I don’t say this lightly when I say that my ability to deadlift well beyond my bodyweight was a huge help when I had to pick my father up from the floor or from a bed.

There was nothing that was going to stand in the way of me accomplishing these things.

Here we are 7+ years later and I find myself similarly motivated to succeed, to progress and to inspire others how to do the same even though my own life has changed dramatically since then.

And to be fair, the stakes are higher for me now too: I have a wife and another little boy. I have more than 3x the clientele that I did back then and 3x the space for business operations. The times have changed but the motivation has not.

When you hear people say “Find Your Why”, this is what they mean.

And that “Why” can mean very different things to different people.

It can relate to your obligations to family (as mine are.)

It can relate to being a better role model to others.

It can be about fitting into a size of pants you haven’t fit into in years.

And it is 100% okay for you to be selfish with your “Why.”

Because YOU will have to put in the work, YOU will have to make the food plan successful and realistic, YOU will have to get yourself back on track when your environment will fight to keep you the way you were. Even with trainers like us to help you and guide you, it is YOU who makes the decisions.

So, I believe your right to selfishness is what will help you succeed.

It is selfishness for self-care and self-preservation.

It is to determine your “Why.”

We are fortunate to have a community of clients who are diving into their “Why” as well.

Will you be one of them?

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Revolutionary You! #100-Dan John: Longevity

It is a milestone episode for the show and a legendary guest to celebrate it with me. I welcome Dan John to the show for the first time and definitely not the last. We discuss keys to diet and exercise longevity and Dan brings decades of successful experience as both athlete and coach to the table. To learn more about Dan’s work, check out http://www.danjohn.net and order his books at http://www.otpbooks.com/otpbooks-authors/dan-john To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.  And THANK YOU to everyone who made the journey to 100 episodes such a blast so far. I greatly appreciate you.

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One Step Closer

*The title of this post was taken from the Linkin Park song of the same name*

A while back I was reading an article from a coach in my industry who I look up to and he was discussing his path towards learning to play guitar.

I’ll paraphrase the article but this coach researched different types of guitars and finally decided on the one he wanted. He made the purchase, picked up some instructional manuals and courses and told himself he would commit roughly 30 minutes a day to playing.

But he just couldn’t get started.

Based on everything happening in his life, 30 minutes was too much of a time commitment. So he broke it down even further: to about 10-15 minutes a day.

This gave him a sustainable approach and a foundation to build on so he could make strides in learning to play his new instrument.

In last week’s article, I gave my list of all the books I read in 2017. There were 110 books on that list. I love to read but I wanted to conquer some larger books in 2018.

The first on my list was J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic “The Lord of the Rings.”

If you haven’t seen it, it’s the collection of all three stories that saw a resurgence in popularity by film several years ago. Having seen the films, I was acclimated to the stories but really wanted to read the collection.

It’s approximately 1200 pages not including appendices and that would make it the largest book I’ve ever read.

Since I frequently have to read books in a time sensitive manner so that I can interview different authors for my podcast, I needed a better strategy for reading this massive collection and still be able to shift other books in and out of the regimen.

So, I took the aforementioned coach’s tip and decided to break it down.

I’d give myself a minimum of 10 pages every day to take in Lord of the Rings.

On the long side, it will take me 120 days to read the book plus I’ll have plenty of time to read other books along the way if need be. Knowing myself, I’ll probably overcompensate somewhere along the way and have Tolkien’s book done long before then.

What does this have to do with you and your fitness goals?

We are at the beginning of the year where people have the inclination and motivation to make big changes to their diet and exercise plans. More often than not, those best intentions get thrown by the wayside because life has that funny way of interrupting our plans.

Consider the person who makes a plan to do 60 minutes of cardio three times a week. Motivation is high in January and things get off to a rocking start. Then February (or sooner) rolls around and it sure is hard to fit that 60 minutes in when you’re strapped with work commitments, family life, and every other nuance of life.

This same person then finds it hard to fit 60 minutes in once a week and then ditches the exercise plan ready for the next great hope in dietary paradise or high intensity silver bullets (which don’t exist, by the way.)

Many people tend to forget that slow and steady still wins the race. Take a cue from the stories above and you may find it easier to fit in 2 separate bouts of 15 minute workouts in your day. Or maybe you can only do one bout of 15 minutes and you find a way to build on that as you let the habit nestle its way into your lifestyle.

The same can be said for diet changes. Rather than deplete food groups and embark on 7/14/21-day fixes and resets, you can find one meal to improve on for a couple of weeks. Lock that meal down, make it the new norm and then shift to the next dietary tweak.

Lasting progress doesn’t need to be fast despite our emotional pull to the contrary. If you’re not in a rush for a vacation, high school reunion or to become the cover model on the next issue of Shape magazine, then why hurry?

Lasting change comes from making small steps getting you “one step closer” to your goals.

And here’s our resident “Mama Pat”, ringing in the New Year with a bang.

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Revolutionary You! #99-Sumi Singh And Lyle McDonald: Defy The Odds

Lyle McDonald returns to the show after his wildly successful episode #76 and this time he is joined by Sumi Singh who is making her debut with us. These two have teamed up in person so that Lyle could coach Sumi to world record status in her weight class for powerlifting. For the trainers, Lyle shares incredible detail about his set and rep schemes plus how he has helped Sumi gauge her recovery during training. Both Sumi and Lyle also dive into how her physique does not lend itself to what theoretically should make her as successful as she is as a competitor and how they have worked together to give her every advantage possible. I can’t credit the support of these two enough for being a part of this show’s success and I know you’ll love the information we discuss here. To learn more about Lyle, check out http://www.bodyrecomposition.com and to learn more about Sumi, you can follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sumi.singh.35 and at http://www.shailafitness.com To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Why Don’t You Read The Book?

*The title of this post was taken from the Nazareth song of the same name*

The goal this year was to read one book a week. I got a little carried away and overcompensated in some places. Roughly a third of these books are directly related to my industry and work here at the studio (36 books.) This year, I made a conscious effort to add more fiction to my plate in efforts to improve my own writing abilities (18 books.) I also got more into musician biographies/autobiographies and pretty much anything I can sink my teeth into that involves punk music in the seventies and eighties (17 books.)

You’ll find in this list some cookbooks as well. I only included them if there was actually something to be read in terms of philosophy, etc. Hopefully, there’s something you see below that serves (or has served) as inspiration to you as well. I have almost always been a voracious reader but I am notoriously bad at retaining all of the information I read. I would imagine part of that is because I read for pleasure and not too much for note-taking. You should be able to click on any of these titles which will lead you to either Amazon or the author’s website to purchase a copy of your own.

Looking into 2018, I plan on reading a lot as well but there are some much larger books which will likely take more time for me to devour. If I can finish next year at an average of a book a week or more, I’ll be pretty happy.

Enjoy!

1) The Swoly Bible-Dom Mazzetti
2) Giftology-John Ruhlin
3) The Men’s Fitness Exercise Bible-Sean Hyson
4) Your Next Big Thing by Ben Michaelis
5) Jailhouse Strong by Josh Bryant and Adam BenShea
6) My Life in Advertising & Scientific Advertising by Claude C. Hopkins
7) Black Coffee Blues by Henry Rollins
8) Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone
9) Strong & Sculpted by Brad Schoenfeld
10) Post Office by Charles Bukowski
11) The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane
12) Essays On Health by Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes
13) As Is by Erin Brown
14) Sula by Toni Morrison
15) Disco’s Out…Murder’s In by Heath Mattioli and David Spacone
16) The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes by Spencer Nadolsky and Lou Schuler
17) The Hungry Brain by Stephan Guyenet
18) Real Conversations Vol. 1: Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Billy Childish by V. Vale
19) Desperate Characters by Paula Fox
20) The Great Cardio Myth by Craig Ballantyne
21) Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…And What Does by Susan Fowler
22) Stay Leaner, Longer by JC Deen
23) Now What? by Dan John
24) Living With No Excuses by Noah Galloway
25) Unsubscribe by Jocelyn Glei
26) I Hate Selling For The Fitness Professional by Ryan McKenzie
27) Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
28) Talking Back To Diet Gurus by Mike Howard
29) Disgrace by J.M. Coatzee
30) Science And Practice Of Strength Training by Vladimir Zatsiorsky and William Kraemer
31) Why Do I Hurt? by Adriaan Louw
32) Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures From Istanbul To San Francisco by Tim Burgess
33) Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz
34) Why Me Want Eat by Krista Scott Dixon
35) How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts
36) Iron On My Mind by Dave Draper
37) The Madman by Kahlil Gibran
38) All About Powerlifting by Tim Henriques
39) Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith
40) Letters To Lola by Erin Brown
41) The Founder’s Mentality by Chris Zook and James Allen
42) Instinctive Management by Dr. James Jones
43) The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
44) Fat Loss Happens On Monday by Josh Hillis and Dan John
45) Night Train by Martin Amis
46) Do I Come Here Often? by Henry Rollins
47) The 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
48) Boy In The Air by Don Bajema
49) Delegate To Freedom by Leigh Martinuzzi
50) The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey Wood, and Jeffrey Brantley
51) The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams
52) The Last Shred by Andy Morgan
53) The Muscle And Strength Pyramid: Training by Eric Helms, Andy Morgan and Andrea Valdez
54) The Muscle And Strength Pyramid: Nutrition by Eric Helms, Andy Morgan and Andrea Valdez
55) How To Live A Good Life by Jonathan Fields
56) Legacy: 15 Lessons In Leadership by James Kerr
57) Myopia by Mark Mothersbaugh
58) Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
59) Eat, Lift, Thrive by Sohee Lee
60) Fascinate by Sally Hogshead
61) The One Minute Workout by Martin Gibala
62) My Damage by Keith Morris
63) Smile For No Good Reason by Dr. Lee Jampolsky
64) Oh So Pretty: Punk In Print 1976-80 by Rick Poynor
65) How Should A Person A Be? by Sheila Heti
66) The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha
67) Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
68) Boss Life by Paul Downs
69) Smile, You’re Traveling by Henry Rollins
70) Stay At Home Strong by Sumi Singh
71) Optimal Nutrition For Injury Recovery by Lyle McDonald
72) Give by Nicholas Kusmich
73) Astrophysics For People In A Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
74) Success And Luck by Robert H. Frank
75) Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
76) Clapton: The Autobiography by Eric Clapton
77) Superhuman You by David Whitley
78) Forever 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler
79) Effective Weight Loss by Evan Forman and Meghan Butryn
80) Swim Through The Darkness by Mike Stax
81) Pleasure Not Meating You by Melody Schoenfeld
82) Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
83) Gourmet Nutrition by John Berardi, Michael Williams and Kristina Andrew
84) Dept. Of Speculation by Jenny Offill
85) 100 Best Album Covers: The Stories Behind The Sleeves by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell
86) The TB12 Method by Tom Brady
87) Get A Grip by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton
88) 33 1/3: Bob Mould’s Workbook by Walter Biggins and Daniel Couch
89) Understanding Metabolism by Scott Abel
90) Marketing Breakthroughs Of Highly Wealthy Online Trainers by Jon Goodman
91) Habits Of Highly Wealthy Online Trainers by Jon Goodman
92) Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…by Richard Carlson
93) The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene
94) Ask The Dust by John Fante
95) Relentless: A Memoir by Julian Edelman
96) Zero To One by Peter Thiel
97) The 16-Word Diet by Jay Wiener
98) Franny And Zooey by J.D. Salinger
99) Finding Joseph I by Howie Abrams and James Lathos
100) The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth by Chris Brogan
101) A Guide To Flexible Dieting by Lyle McDonald
102) Heart Of Brass by Tiger Moody
103) Recovery by Russell Brand
104) Chronicles Vol. One by Bob Dylan
105) Sovereign by Erin Brown
106) Easy Strength by Dan John and Pavel
107) With Winning In Mind by Lanny Bassham
108) My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
109) Autobiography by Morrissey
110) Travesty by John Hawkes

(And here’s a shot of 5 our superstars post-workout: Alex, Donna, Stacey, Amy and Richard.)

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Revolutionary You! #98-Erin Brown: What I Don’t Heal, I Pass On

This episode marks the return of one my favorite former guests, Erin Brown. Erin has just released a fantastic book called Sovereign which can be purchased on her website http://www.iamerinbrown.com and on http://www.amazon.com We share our stories as they relate to her new book and Erin knows how to deliver a message rooted in positive change despite past traumas. I can’t recommend her books highly enough as I am proud to own and have read all three. To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryou Download, subscribe, share with your friends and please take a moment to leave us an iTunes review.

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Wired All Wrong

*The title of this post was taken from the band of the same name*

Calories can be extremely confusing for a lot of people.

Even if you think you’ve counted your intake right, there are countless ways for them to be incorrect.

Cup measurements can differ from scale measurements when it comes to food.

Restaurants can add oils and butter to food to make them taste better right before you get served.

The bartender could pour more or less of your liquor and the same could be said for your mixer (think Jack and Coke or vodka and cranberry.)

You could have digestive issues which prevent you from metabolizing food completely.

And then there’s the friendly server at Chipotle who serves you a more generous helping of guacamole with your salad.

With examples like these, it’s easy to see how calorie counting can get really screwed up.

All of this is to also remind you that calorie counting is not an exact science. You can get a general idea of where things are at so you know where you’re heading but sometimes it’s easier just to focus on the problem areas of your diet:

-Weekend splurges

-Mindless snacking (at home or the office)

-Frequent trips to the pantry or fridge (even after a meal)

-Added calories from drinks/energy drinks (think low calorie options or sweeteners added to coffee or tea)

Or, you can look at behavioral triggers such as family members who stress you out (causing you to overeat in frustration), buffet dining (which few people can actually control), or work events where both alcohol and appetizers are in abundance.

These things affect all of us. They’re real, not imagined. They are easy to forget about. And by forgetting about them, it doesn’t make you unintelligent, ignorant or less of a person.

It makes you a lot like the rest of us. Flawed but cognizant.

And it’s that cognition that can help you find success.

Pretend you’re a fly on the wall of your own life.

What would you see? What would you uncover? What would you solve?

You’re not wired all wrong. You’re normal.

The majority of my clients struggle with things like this. And if they struggle, then chances are, you might struggle too. And if you can focus on those things and bring them to light, problems can be solved.

We can help.

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