On this week’s bonus episode, I’m honored to bring back Kara Beutel who was previously part of the huge episode 121 with the entire One By One Nutrition team. Kara has recently released her book “Diet Mindset Makeover” and she joins me to talk about it. Two areas that I wanted to focus on were her thoughts about self image and how we discuss dieting and weight loss efforts around our children. You can find out more about Kara’s work and purchase her book directly through her website http://www.raisingnutrition.com To learn more about your host, visit http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and http://www.revfittherapy.com You can also 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.
I’m honored to have with me this week, serial entrepreneur Cedric Waldburger. While his professional work is focused within the tech industry, I was connected with Cedric through one of my online clients as he was wrapping up a personal experiment in extreme fasting. Diving further into Cedric’s back story, I found even more insight so fascinating that I had to bring him on the show. I think you’ll find that Cedric’s unique background and philosophies on life thought-provoking to say the least. For me, I found many of his beliefs and lessons through self-experimentation unlike much of what I come across within the health industry. To learn more about Cedric’s work and to get more insight on topics we discuss here, please visit his website at http://www.cedricwaldburger.com To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and http://www.revfittherapy.com You can also 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.
I heard it said recently that there is no such thing as a “work-life balance.” For the life of me, I cannot remember where it was said to credit the source. I am beginning to believe, not just for myself, that it’s an accurate statement.
Who do you know (who do you really know) that has solved this balance portion?
If I know someone who is a great worker, or at least professionally successful, they made a compromise somewhere else: social time with friends, quality time with family, maybe they even gave up their hobbies.
Jonathan Fields, in his book “How To Live a Good Life”, spoke of having buckets. He posited that each bucket resembled a facet of your life and he gave advice on how to fill them as you saw a need to do so.
While I thought the book was a great read and have recommended it to others, I recently was speaking to a client (we’ll call her Gina) about this same concept.
In as long as I’ve known Gina, and it’s been a long time, she has always done exceedingly well with her work, with her family/friends and with her hobbies. She is a high achiever. When she sets her mind to something, she puts in the hours and the sweat equity to get what she wants.
She has fought time and time again to not only succeed at weight loss but to ever let those pounds creep back up.
And her body pays the highest price.
She has now set her sights on an even greater professional endeavor, one that I firmly believe she will achieve.
But at what cost?
Will she continue to put in the work hours and climb that corporate ladder to her ultimate goal only to find her body betray her at that final proverbial rung?
And this was the conversation we had.
I told her that maybe she needs to pull back the reigns from one area of her life so she can wrestle this weight loss foe once and for all. Gina is married and like many married couples, her spouse doesn’t need to lose weight anymore than she needs a hole in the head. That makes the in-home dynamics a struggle whether they want it to be or not.
This obstacle is not only common but can be very difficult to navigate. For some great information on how to do so, I highly recommend you listen to THIS.
For someone who can professionally thrive at all costs, I challenged Gina to not be the star employee for a while. She can still work hard, she can still be productive, but she has to learn the power in saying “No” to work so she can say “Yes” to herself.
That “Yes” does not mean extra helpings at dinner, mindless grazing on stressful days or reckless abandon with trigger foods.
It signifies a YES to meal planning, YES to getting in her steps/workouts, YES to making these health decisions the non-negotiable in her life. Much like the doctor’s appointments that we schedule and never miss, the clients who I see succeed make their self-care appointments stick.
As the adage goes “How can you take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself?”
But I am not immune to the fact that you cannot focus on every “bucket” and expect them to stay full. The priorities need to shift (albeit temporarily) so you can focus on the aspects that demand your attention.
It’s about setting boundaries.
It’s about reminding yourself that YOU matter.
It’s about the liberation in turning certain things/events down because you have to focus on you.
And if you’re not sure that you’re capable of doing so, ask yourself how the alternative feels. Because that’s the reality you’re working from now.
When you’ve got the health bucket closer to full, then you can reassess and apply focus in other places. You can be simultaneously successful at several things if you’re honest with yourself about what you can and can’t currently handle.
Most of what I see come through my door are these super achievers who have mastered work and mastered their social lives but have completely abandoned appropriate self-care.
You will succeed but what will you compromise?
“We Make Great People Greater”
(This is our resident 12-yr old wonder, Sydnee, pulling a new deadlift PR of 150×1)
Former hostage negotiator, Cathy MacDonald, joins me this week from The Art Of Communication. Cathy brings her extensive and unique professional background into the field of helping others communicate better and more effectively. In this episode, Cathy and I delve into the sensitive and frequently challenging conversations we need to have with our friends and family as it relates to our goals. Since many people struggle with having health goals that do not coincide with the goals of those around us, Cathy provides some incredible insight to help navigate those conversations. To learn more about Cathy’s work, visit http://www.artofcommunication.co.uk Per our conversation on the episode, the slides she referenced can be found at https://bit.ly/2AQzumj To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and http://www.revfittherapy.com You can also 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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Several years after I was bitten by the fitness bug, I remember getting a phone call from my mother (circa 2007). At the time, I was living in South Carolina with Jackson’s mom, Megan, and she would have been pregnant with him at the time.
My mom, who had always been a very private person, called to tell me that she had finally decided to hire a personal trainer to help her.
Mom survived a cancer scare in 1993 and has been in remission ever since. However, that cancer took the last six inches of her left femur and has been replaced by artificial parts.
By 2007, she was starting to notice that her body wasn’t moving as well as she liked and she felt that if she could start with a personal trainer in more of a private atmosphere, that she might be able to get her body stronger.
Neither my mother or myself have ever dealt with weight loss. Like me, Mom is fairly small-framed. So, for her, seeing a trainer was about mobility and strength.
She loved it.
When I moved back to Ohio after Megan and I split, I had about a month of time before I would officially be opening the doors to RevFit. My father, who had let his weight creep up little by little over the years said:
“You work out. Your mom works out. It’s probably time I get started too. I need to get my weight under control.”
At his highest, Dad was maybe 30lbs overweight but he didn’t like how it looked or felt. So, as I would with any other client, I got him started with a calorie plan and Monday through Friday, he and I would go to the gym at 530am to work out.
At the time, Dad was having issues with carpal tunnal syndrome in both of his wrists. This made it difficult to do any gripping work like a bench press, dumbbell work, etc. So, he was limited to mostly cardio, some machine work and some ab work. It wasn’t ideal but it got him moving and feeling accomplished.
Of the many great things about this scenario was that I got the opportunity to be with him every morning. Seeing my Dad take care of his health and having the honor of being asked to help him was a really awesome feeling for me.
And, as these things tend to go, Dad’s weight trickled down.
It wasn’t anything dramatic but he dropped somewhere between 1-1.5lbs every week.
One day, I asked him how everything was going with the weight loss. He wasn’t the type to gloat about things so he wouldn’t always volunteer the good news.
“Everything’s going well. I know that weight loss isn’t linear and I plug my weight into a spreadsheet so I can graph the numbers over time. As long as I know I’m basically trending the right direction, I’m okay with slower progress.”
And within that conversation came the line I titled this article after:
“When it’s down, I work harder. When it’s up, I work harder.”
For Dad, the beauty wasn’t just the result of the effort. The beauty was in the process. Any fluctuations in weight were just more motivation for him to either stay consistent with his plan or find small ways to make adjustments.
For instance, maybe he would add distance to his treadmill runs.
Or, maybe he would do a few more crunches.
Or, he would pull his calories back slightly and watch the scale for a few days.
No matter what that scale said, he was going to make incremental adjustments to see what he wanted to see. There was nothing fancy. No hacks, no pills, no rapid loss.
Everything was systematic.
And he loved it.
There was no shame, no guilt, no binge behavior. He wasn’t perfect with his diet but he had a goal, he had focus and he stuck to his schedule.
When Dad lost those 30lbs he was in the best shape I had seen him in roughly 20 years. We even took part in a 5k together (which is where the picture below was taken.)
As many who know me and have followed my work know, my father’s own battle with cancer did not fare as well as my mother’s. He was diagnosed after he went through the surgery to fix the carpal tunnal syndrome in his wrists and doctors noticed his recovery was not going as they had expected. Multiple myeloma took my Dad from us in the spring of 2011, approximately a year after the 5k we ran together.
He was my hero and I miss him dearly.
Much of what I see affect my clients is their complete undoing if the scale doesn’t show them exactly what they feel they need to see. Granted, the scale doesn’t show the whole truth but when you track it enough to see trends and have the data points to follow it, it does make sense.
Mostly it comes down to perspective.
How will you let the ups and downs affect the decisions you make?
Will you go faster, farther, put in more effort, or simply get calories in a better place?
The choice is yours. So are the results.
You are in control of both.
“We Make Great People Greater”
Pat Flynn joins me again this week for a special bonus episode after his very popular Episode #105 with me earlier this year. This time, we dive into the unveiling of his new book “How To Be Better At (Almost) Everything.” While the book will not be out until January, you can now preorder it with some special bonuses at http://www.howtobebetterbook.com To learn more about Pat’s work, check out http://www.chroniclesofstrength.com and http://www.101kettlebellworkouts.com To learn more about your host, visit http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and http://www.revfittherapy.com You can also 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.
It’s another milestone episode for me and I couldn’t have a milestone without bringing back a big, big favorite of mine: Leigh Peele. Going back through the archives, we have two great episodes together (#28 and #117, also with Meghan Callaway) and this will one stand on it’s own as well. Having listened to Leigh’s podcast output over many years, I can say that we definitely venture down a new path together so I am very honored to have this episode with her. While we do cover a few different topics in this show, I think the general theme is learning how to get and accept certain degrees of discomfort in your life. I have to give a special thanks to everyone who has been a part of the 150 shows so far. To learn more about Leigh’s work, please visit http://www.leighpeele.com To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and http://www.revfittherapy.com. You can also 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.
Most who know me know that my oldest son Jackson has autism. Of the challenges that affect him most, he has his greatest difficulties with communication and, to a certain degree, reading.
While Jax has continued to show improvements in what he is able to read, a further challenge has been his ability to comprehend and retain what he reads. Recent evaluations in his school have shown that even though he is equivalent to a fifth grader in age, his reading and comprehension skills are somewhere between a second and third grader.
I have always applauded Jackson’s mom for being able to push against those in the school to make sure that he is getting the appropriate attention and focus he needs. It is our hope that he can make the best strides he can in efforts to eventually transition him into a school with more neuro-typical children (albeit with a full-time aide to assist him.)
This new evaluation brought things to light for both she and I highlighting where his struggles continue to affect him. The reality is that where we thought he could make the transition in line with 6th grade for next year, he will likely have to stay in his special needs school for yet another year to help bring his reading comprehension up to par.
I have always been a voracious reader. My grandmother (who was once a school teacher herself) got me started very early and I never lost my love for it. As both life and business have continued to get busier and more hectic, I still consume a great amount of books but I have had to transition to more audiobooks as opposed to physical ones.
Because I have developed more of an affinity for digesting a high volume of books, I do find that whether they be physical or audio, like Jackson, I struggle to comprehend a lot of what I read. I don’t remember a lot of details but I do try and pull value from everything I read whether the book be for the purposes of business or pleasure.
I’ve learned that my mind wanders a lot and I do get easily distracted. Perhaps a trained individual could compare elements of both my mind and Jackson’s and find some similarities. He is his father’s child after all.
But there is a fascinating parallel between all of this and much of what I see with clients too.
Beyond the ability to comprehend what we read, there’s a deeper issue of reading things that we do understand and not implementing them.
For me, I’ve learned (somewhat painfully) that despite a constant need and urge to improve how my business operates, I have to be mindful of how many business books I read. If I am not careful, I find myself in a situation where I have all of this input and I’m taking action on none of it. This then starts a cycle of reading more, thinking I’m going to find that “perfect” solution for the way to take my business from where it is to the next step, when I know (better than anyone) that there is no perfect step and that I just need to make a move, test it, and continue to experiment.
A similar thing happens with many of my clients. They listen to podcasts, they read books, they read articles, they join groups online, all so they can take in more and more information. One would think that with all of that quality information being digested (no pun intended) that these same clients would, in turn, see tremendous results.
But that’s rarely the case.
I believe they share the same challenge I stumbled on with all of my business books. Lots of information, lots of data, much of it valuable (much of it not), and little to no action to show they’ve implemented any of it.
For me, I had to start cleansing my palette a bit more. I read more fiction (to help me write better), I read more biographies about musicians (for entertainment), and I do still read books about food, psychology, exercise, etc. But I give myself more space between all of them. I find the more distance I put between myself and business books, the more I can focus on what matters…like my business.
To those of you reading who share a similarity with the clients I mentioned above, you may need to remove yourself from the deluge of dietary information you’re consuming. Not because it’s bad information but because you’re not doing what you set out to do with it.
For people like Jackson, the challenge is to not only read but excel at what’s being read. No parent ever wants to see their child fall behind. Rest assured, his mother and I will work to the best of our ability to help him.
For people like you and I, it’s not comprehension that plagues us. It’s taking what we read, applying it, and seeing good information manifest into good results.
Is there really any better outcome than that?
“We Make Great People Greater”
Returning to the show after the extremely successful Episode #99 together, Sumi Singh and Lyle McDonald are back to talk about what their past year of competitive powerlifting training has been like. Since that episode, Sumi has had to deal with both an injury and some medical issues while still finding a way to compete in two separate competitions. Within that time she has continued to dominate her age and weight class in the state of Texas. Lyle talks about the modifications he made in her training program despite the challenges and how they have consistently dominated as coach and competitor. If you remember the former episode, you know that Lyle always over delivers in content and I can assure he doesn’t disappoint this go-round either. To learn more about Lyle’s work check out http://www.bodyrecomposition.com and the Facebook group of the same name. To learn more about Sumi Singh, you can follow her on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/shailafitness and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sumi.singh.35 To learn more about your host, check out http://www.jasonleenaarts.com and http://www.revfittherapy.com You can also 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.
There is a notion within the health and wellness world that you need more variety, more spice, more special flashy things to get where you want to go with your goals.
And while I do think some variation may keep you from wanting to put your head through a wall I’d like to offer a slightly contradictory take as well.
I think you just need to get boring with your plan.
Let’s start with diet.
All too often, I see clients look for myriad of ways to get fancy with their meals. They look for skinny versions of less healthy meals, they search for lower calorie options of desserts, and they’ve even found ways to get vegetables to replace starches (cauliflower pizza, anyone?)
And it’s not that I think those are bad ideas. I just don’t think a lot of people struggling to lose weight should start there.
I’ve found that initially clients seem to do better when they strip their diets down to some bare essentials and just get painfully consistent with them.
This was something I discussed with Rob Dionne on our podcast together released just a few weeks ago. You can listen to that episode HERE.
Rob took it a step further and believes you can get really great results with about 10 different meals. I completely agree even though you might be able to do it with slightly less or just a pinch more.
When I sit down with new clients during consultations, I find that many people are simply creatures of habit. They tend to work within a small template of meals for at least 1-2 meals each day anyway. So, someone might have basically the same breakfast Monday through Friday. Or maybe the lunch rotates between one to two different options. Where things get sideways is at dinner and beyond.
This is where I find that too much variety can make things messy when it comes to portion control and just having variety for the sake of having it.
I would encourage you to make things simpler.
Find one to two options you can rotate out for breakfast and lunch. Add a third option for dinner.
What does this look like in practice?
Maybe something like this:
Breakfast Option One: 1 serving oatmeal with 2-3 eggs
Breakfast Option Two: Protein smoothie (1 serving protein powder, 1 serving fruit, 1 serving milk or dairy alternative)
Lunch Option One: 1 serving turkey breast on low carb tortilla with veggies of choice
Lunch Option Two: Grilled chicken salad over spinach with strawberries and low-cal vinaigrette
Dinner Option One: Grilled chicken with 1 serving veggie of choice and small baked potato
Dinner Option Two: Slow cooker chili
Dinner Option Three: Shrimp Stir Fry with broccoli and 1 serving rice
With your dinner options, find a meal that you could reasonably eat leftovers of (slow cooker options tend to work well due to portion sizes.)
The goal here is simplicity. Get predictable enough that your meals are not surprises and plot them out over a given week. If you’re heading into your next week and you can’t stand the thought of eating oatmeal that week, simply switch it out for a whole grain toast or something else that would be roughly the same in terms of calories. The same goes for any other meal that you have picked. You want just enough variety to stay to the plan and as few deviations as possible.
Stick to this until you have some good momentum with weight loss and determine if you’re in a good place to add more variety as you see fit.
The same principle applies to your exercise.
There are some basics that apply to strength training and assuming that your body will allow you to perform them, they’ll give you a well-rounded approach to training: squat, hinge, push, pull, carry.
You’ll notice there may be some things missing like: curls, dips, crunches, etc. It’s not because they aren’t effective but if you want the bang-for-your-buck exercises, they will generally come from the first list instead of the second.
Next, find a training program that incorporates most (if not all) of those principles. They don’t have to all be represented in each workout but you do want to see them throughout a given week of training. Most of these principles are adhered to with the way we structure workouts for our clients.
When you can nail the basics and get really good at them, you’ll find that they complement the accessory lifts well also. If we can keep those 5 basic lifting principles in a given client’s program, then we add more variation with their supplemental exercises.
And to be fair, I’ve heard it before that some people say: “But it sounds boring, I feel like I need more variety to stay engaged with my exercise or to stay on plan with my diet.”
To which my response is: But are you seeing progress?
Typically the answer is “No.”
When you have variety for the sake of variety, you run the risk of having no quantitative data to show progress. You just have a hodge-podge of meals or exercises that have just been thrown out with no rhyme or reason.
That’s all fine and good if you have no goals.
But if you want weight loss, I’d encourage you to get just boring enough with your meals.
And if you want strength, I’d encourage you to get just boring enough with your training.
Get the meals in, get the reps in, get boring and get the results that have eluded you thus far.
Once you’ve locked the basics down, you can determine how much style, flair and flash you want to add later on.
For now, there’s plenty of beauty in simplicity.
“We Make Great People Greater”
(Here’s our Katie with a grinder of a PR for 305×1)