Drew Manning burst onto the global fitness scene back in 2011 with his incredible “Fit to Fat to Fit” experiment, where he deliberately gained 75 pounds of fat in six months. A lifelong competitive athlete and chiseled personal trainer, Drew purposely let himself transition to obese and inactive in an effort to connect and empathize better with his clients. Listen to Drew relate some amazing insights about his experiment.

Of course, his physical function declined predictably, but it was the effects on his personality that provided the most profound insights. Drew relates becoming self-conscious and insecure, spurring an awakening that the fitness industry might benefit from a transformation. Drew suggests that if we started from a place of empathy instead of rah-rah exhortations, we might have more success in transforming lives.

“Fall in love with the process,” explains Drew. You will also learn why willpower is overrated, how self-awareness might be the missing element for you to achieve weight loss and fitness breakthroughs. After we work through Drew’s vision for an evolved mindset about fitness, Drew shares an incredibly thoughtful and vulnerable story of his personal journey of transformation. Drew describes how his tightly controlled life as an athlete and fitness leader unraveled to reveal a life of lies, deceptions, and self-sabotage—in part driven by a strict religious upbringing and intense athletic experience. Drew keeps it real in talking about the shame of porn addiction, the pain and suffering of divorce, and how he was compelled to awaken to a hopeful new life of authenticity and mindfulness. For anyone wishing to take the first steps toward a more honest and authentic life, Drew offers some quick and memorable tips to establish a healthy baseline of mindfulness, positivity, and gratitude each day.

You will get a ton of value and inspiration from Drew during this episode, and you can connect with Drew further at Fit2Fat2Fit.

TIMESTAMPS:

When Drew became a personal trainer, he became curious about what it was like to be overweight., thus began his interesting journey from Fit to Fat to Fit. [05:47]

Drew gained 75 pounds purposely in a very short time. He became self-conscious and insecure. [07:36]

The emotional attachment to food is way more powerful than imagined. [10:23]

There was a severe detox reaction when he withdrew from the processed junk foods. {13:25]

Drew developed extreme empathy for people struggling with their weight.  He felt judged by society. [17:37]

It was easy to see how people get stuck in the desire to lose weight and the feeling of safety. [20:08]

Focus on the process rather than the end result. [23:51]

Changing your environment will help you learn to adapt. People struggle with willpower. [27:25]

Some tips for promoting exercise are laying out exercise clothes for the morning or having a group setting for support and accountability. [32:03]

The catalyst to change is self-awareness. [35:14]

You can’t define yourself as someone who has been a failure. [38:08]

You have to overcome mental and emotional challenges and release the self-hate. [41:12]

What are some baby steps a listener could take? Meditation, Positive affirmations, journaling. [47:59]

There seems to be a movement of mindfulness. [59:31]

LINKS:

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Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad (00:00:00):
Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, Fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge, and expertly balance that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad (00:03:46):
Ladies and gentlemen, I present Drew Manning. This is the Fit to Fat to Fit guy. Have you heard he did this incredible stunt many years ago, gaining 75 pounds in six months so that he could better relate to his personal training clients to get into their mindset and have empathy for people who struggle because he’s this lifelong athlete, big time six pack personal trainer and the experience, uh, was chronicled and went viral with a book of the same title and he’s proceeded to become one of the great leaders of the Fitness industry.

Brad (00:04:23):
I would give him tremendous credit as you’ll see in this show for advancing the conversation and expanding our perspective of what Fitness really means and how to get Fit. And so, wow, we start off talking about the amazing Fit to Fat to Fit journey, especially the psycho emotional aspects that drew experience when he changed from that picture of Fitness and athletics to a new person and the effects on his personality and self esteem. But then we get pretty deep with this guy and that’s where you’re really going to get some value and some richness from him sharing his story of his personal struggle and tail spin and waking up and becoming vulnerable and open and honest and authentic and sharing that message with the world, giving us his top three tips to transform. I’ll give you a little teaser. Meditate, state positive affirmations, and gratitude journaling. So this show is covering a lot of ground from a really interesting and thoughtful guy.

Brad (00:05:24):
You’re going to love drew Manning, Mr Fit to Fat to Fit and now he’s got a wonderful new book called Complete Keto where he hits the dietary protocol but also expanding the approach into all these important things like mindfulness, gratitude, and yes, that will help with your ketogenic dietary goals. All right, let’s go.

Brad (00:05:47):
Drew Manning. I’m so glad to talk to you, man. Thanks for connecting.

Drew (00:05:52):
Thanks for having me on. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Brad (00:05:54):
So if the listeners aren’t aware, you’re the, you’re the Fit to Fat to Fit guy, which is such an incredible idea. So I want to get into that and tell me how you first came up with it.

Drew (00:06:06):
Yeah. So back in 2009 I became a personal trainer and I grew up in a family of 11 brothers and sisters. And so we all played sports. I played football and wrestling from a very young age. So I never once experienced what it’s like to be overweight. And so here I was a personal trainer in 2009 never overweight a day in my life trying to help people who had been overweight pretty much the majority of their lives. And there was an obvious disconnect. I couldn’t understand why it was so hard for everyone just to do what I told them to do.

Brad (00:06:34):
You know, what’s your problem? Come on.

Drew (00:06:37):
Yeah, it’s not that hard. At least in my mind, I didn’t think it was that hard.

Speaker 3 (00:06:40):
And so anyways, I got frustrated and one of my clients told me, you know, Drew, you don’t understand what it’s like for, for overweight people like me because for you it’s always been easy. And for us it’s really hard. And so I kinda took that to heart. Um, this was my ex-brother-in-law at the time. And so, um, I was like, I was thinking of ideas. Okay, how can I become a better trainer? And the idea of getting fed on purpose, I know it sounds ridiculous and crazy. Who would think of that? It entered my mind and like a light bulb went off and I was thinking, okay, maybe this is something I need to do. And I kind of felt called to do it cause everyone I talked to families and friends was like, you should definitely do it. No one’s ever done this before.

Drew (00:07:19):
It’d be crazy, but I think it would be a good idea. And so I kind of just ran with it, didn’t really know what I was doing. Um, and it had no marketing strategy. No, I had no media connections, just kind of winged it. And before you know it, it went viral and I have no regrets to this day of doing what I did.

Brad (00:07:36):
So you gained 75 pounds in a short time. What, what was the, what did you do there? I mean, did you stop exercising and just hit the store or what?

Drew (00:07:46):
Yeah, so I, I did it. It was no exercise for six months. That was one of my rules. And then the second one, I’d seen Supersize Me. I had seen what Morgan Spurlock had done for 30 days, right. So I didn’t want to focus on fast food so much. Cause we all know, I think most of us know fast food is unhealthy for us. I wanted to focus on everyday American foods that we grew up with in the seventies and eighties that we don’t think is that unhealthy for us. So things like top ramen, macaroni and cheese, sugary cereal, sodas, juices as granola bars, chips, cookies, crackers, all these processed foods that are affordable. They’re convenient. And I’ll be honest with you, they tasted really, really good. Like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I could eat that all day. Every day. It tastes so good. And that’s kind of what I did for six months. And I put on the 75 pounds of pure fat. This wasn’t like a bodybuilder bulking phase. I wasn’t lifting at all. It was 75 pounds of pure fat.

Brad (00:08:39):
Uh, the one thing that stood out for me when you relate your story that was really shocking was you described how this experience actually changed your personality. You said it made you self-conscious and insecure.

Drew (00:08:55):
Yes. My identity for my whole life was based on what my body looked like cause I grew up in shape. I was drew the Fit guy. Now here I was overweight and I freaked out. I had an identity crisis because I wanted it to go up to strangers and explain to them, Hey, you know, I’m not really overweight. This is just an experiment. This isn’t really me and here’s a picture of what I look like. Normally I go to this website to learn more. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin because my identity was based on my body image and it really took me to go going through this process to learn that I am more than my body and people listening out there are more than their bodies. The problem is that we associate our self identity, um, or our self image with our body image.

Drew (00:09:37):
And that’s kind of what I went through and learned that lesson from going through this experience. And, um, it was very, very, very humbling to be honest with you.

Brad (00:09:47):
So we should’ve got you shirts or something while you’re walking around. And I’m not really a fat guy or.

Drew (00:09:54):
like this is like explaining the whole situation. Um, but it was, it was really interesting because the other part of this journey that was a surprise was the physical aspect. I, I knew what to expect, you know, you know, eating all those calories and those foods would gain weight, get fat. But it was the mental, emotional side of this whole transformation. And that’s what the lessons were learned. And that’s why I wrote my first book, uh, Fit to Fat to Fit, um, was because those lessons that I learned and, and some of the other lessons that I learned was how much of transformation has mental and emotional.

Drew (00:10:23):
It’s not just calories in, calories out, working out, you know, um, supplements, uh, different forms of exercise. All of that is important. We know that the problem that I think people struggle with is, is the mental emotional challenges. So emotional eating, the emotional attachment to food is way more powerful than it ever imagined. And it took me going through this experience, even though it was only for six months, it took me going through this experience for my eyes to be open to just how powerful that emotional connection to food is in today’s society and culture. Um, and before I just thought it was a lack of willpower. Like, come on guys, it’s not that hard. Put down the soda, go to the gym. Like we think it’s so easy, but you wouldn’t go up to a drug addict and tell them, Hey, stop doing drugs.

Drew (00:11:03):
It’s not that difficult to just stop being addicted. Right. Food addiction is something very similar that I think of, but I think it’s even harder because food addiction, food is, is legal. You can have it whenever you want to and it’s everywhere. It’s on TV, everyone’s eating it and not everyone’s addicted to it. But for you, if you are a food addict, you have to be very careful about what you eat, how much you eat, and it’s there in front of you every time you go to the grocery store. So, um, it definitely changed my perspective on people that struggle with emotional eating and food addiction.

Brad (00:11:33):
So you had a lifelong devotion to fitness. You had these habit patterns wired, you, you, you had your portion sizes were all dialed your entire life and then you had to jump off the deep end. Now are you describing that? Do you feel like you drifted in that direction of becoming addicted to sugar or snacking or overeating or something?

Drew (00:11:55):
It opened up my eyes. I don’t feel like I totally became addicted to it, but when I transitioned back to eating healthy again, those first two weeks, uh, were, were, were some of the hardest weeks, um, that I’ve experienced or that experience during that whole year because I never experienced withdrawal symptoms from that food until this moment. You know, I had all the willpower in the world. I had all the discipline as a trainer. And here I was in the first two weeks going from 5,000 calories of processed, you know, uh, food, uh, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch to 2000 calories of real, whole food. And I felt miserable. Uh, I had headaches, I was grumpy, I was moody, my body was fighting back. It wanted the high that it had had for the past six months from those foods.

Drew (00:12:38):
And here I was a proponent of health, a personal trainer, knowing you know, how to stay disciplined and how to, you know, uh, avoid eating unhealthy foods, struggling myself with just how powerful my body was fighting, uh, back to wanting those foods. And so I’ve never experienced it. And that’s where my eyes were opened because had I had, now that exp had, I had, uh, had, I had, not that I can say that had I not had that experience,

Brad (00:13:05):
it’s tough being Fit to Fat to Fit every, every sentence is all messed up.

Drew (00:13:09):
Had I not had that experience, I never would have, uh, had empathy for those that struggle with food addiction or emotional eating. Because here I was my own body fighting back, wanting the higher that it had had for those past six months. And so that was really interesting for me to experience that to be totally honest with you.

Brad (00:13:25):
So I mean you mix in a lot with the, the leading scientific experts. Have you, have you dug deep into what was going on, on obvious detox reaction probably to the, the processed carbohydrates, but do you have any more details about, you know, physically what was happening in your body?

Drew (00:13:41):
Yeah, I think there was, there’s a physical component like you mentioned, but there’s also an emotional component too. Um, so for me, my, my therapy was exercise and you take that away from someone. What became my therapy, that became food that became my stress reliever. Even though it created stress, it became my stress reliever, which created a vicious cycle. And usually for me, even in the past I’ve had junk food before. I’ve had, you know, treat or cheat meals, whatever you want to call them, but I could just exercise my way through it.

Drew (00:14:10):
That was my release mechanism. But now having that anymore. What’s interesting with the trauma psychological perspective was the food became my stress reliever. Even though, like I said, it was causing the stress because the weight gain and the hormonal differences that were happening inside my body. It was kind of a, um, you know, uh, what’s the, what’s the phrase? Um, it was just something that helped me, but it was also something that was causing the issue in the first place. Um, and that’s kind of where my eyes were opened to what some of my clients had been telling me at that point. So from a psychological perspective, I experienced it firsthand from a physical perspective. What’s interesting is I had my blood work drawn every month through a doctor during this, this journey, this process. And it was really interesting to see the correlation between my blood work changes and the food I was taking in.

Drew (00:15:02):
Cause some people don’t correlate. Uh, you know, the food that we take in our body and um, uh, some hormonal differences. Right? For example, my testosterone drops to the low two hundreds as a 31 year old male with a lot of muscle.

Brad (00:15:17):
What did you just start at?.

Drew (00:15:18):
Um, unfortunately I didn’t get a baseline test, but, um, I know for a fact it was higher just cause my libido dropped. My sex drive dropped. That was married back then and, and my poor ex-wife had to suffer through six months of this. But a lot of people don’t realize the foods they eat and you know, affect them at a cellular level and a hormonal level. And if your hormones are off, you’re not the same person. You’re not the same you if you have low testosterone as a male. And, um, it was really interesting to see the correlation between the foods I was eating and how it affected me on a hormonal level.

Drew (00:15:51):
So it was, um, you know, if I were to do it again today, I would definitely do a lot more experiments, um, blood work, uh, during the process to kind of assess, okay, these foods affect me. Um, you know, uh, at the cellular level and here’s some, here’s some data to show that, uh,

Brad (00:16:09):
Is it true, there’s a huge, uh, social media following that wants you to do it again?, I’m just kidding, but I can’t imagine you’d ever do that again.

Drew (00:16:19):
Yeah. I don’t know. Um, it’s, it’s been interesting. I’m, I’m turning 40 this year and I haven’t, um, I’ve had thoughts about doing it again. I’ve had nightmares about doing it again, but, uh, I don’t know. Pulling the trigger on it would be really, really difficult for me just because here’s the thing, I learned a lot of valuable lessons from doing what I did, um, back in the day.

Drew (00:16:38):
Now, here’s the thing that, that it kind of intrigues me is, you know, back then, Keto fasting wasn’t really popular. It was back in 2011 I did more of a paleo ish approach to losing the weight. You know, there’s an intriguing part to, okay, what if I use more of a, uh, Keto or intermitent fasting protocol? How would that change my results? How would that, but I don’t know. I don’t know if I could really do it just because if people think it’s easy to just eat that way and be sedentary, it’s way harder than you could ever imagine. That’s why when I did the TV show, we had two seasons of this TV show where we put other trainers through this process. Every single one of them, uh, was truly humbled. It was way harder than they ever thought it would be. And a lot of them wanted to quit because of how hard it became. And of course their ego has gotten the way they didn’t want to lose their identity by changing their body for four months and getting fat. So it was a very humbling process for, you know, not just me but a lot of other people.

Brad (00:17:37):
So I guess developing that extreme empathy for, uh, you know, the, the, the measuring judging forces of society when you’re walking down the street or you know, where you did you, that you were treated differently n certain environments and so forth when you, when your appearance changed.?

Drew (00:17:55):
That’s a really good question. I’ve been asked that quite a few times. And I feel like in our society, men are judged less for being husky or bit overweight versus if I were a woman I feel like I would have been treated differently. So no one was ever mean to me. No one said anything rude to me, but a lot of it was inside my head. I felt judged by the way that people looked at me, whether they were judging me or not, I don’t really know

Brad (00:18:19):
or didn’t look at you. I guess unlike the other Drew man in there, he’s turning heads when he walks in the gym now everyone’s like, Oh that guy’s here. They don’t care.

Drew (00:18:30):
One instance in particular, I was at the grocery store and there there was these three attractive women in line behind me and I was super self conscious cause my shopping cart was full of all the junk foods, soda and cookies and pizzas and things like that. And I wanted to say to them like, Hey ladies, I’m, I’m normally not this way. You have normally Fit and I don’t eat this way, but it’s just an experiment. Uh, but I didn’t say anything. I kind of let the, the, you know, whatever the, if it was judgment or not . Sit and just be silent. And it was in that moment actually that I thought to myself, man, my clients, this is a small degree of what they experience on a daily basis. People looking at them, looking at their food, maybe they’re judging them, maybe they’re not, but they have to deal with that every single day.

Drew (00:19:12):
And here I was doing this on purpose as an experiment and felt the eyes of other people looking at me, looking at my food. And it was really humbling to be honest with you. Um, so that’s why I say I have no regrets doing it because empathy is something we, this world needs more of and we definitely need more empathy in the fitness industry. And that’s what I’m trying to bring through this Fit to Fat to Fit movement, if you, if you will, to the Fitness industry. Maybe if we start with empathy first, people will feel more understood and I feel like no one cares how much, you know, as a trainer or a coach and influencer, whatever. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care first. And so I feel like if we can come from that angle, I feel like people will be more willing to listen to the experts, the influencers, the coaches, the trainers out there who are trying to make a difference in this industry. But I feel like there’s a lot of judgment and misunderstanding on both sides. And I think empathy is something that can bridge that gap.

Brad (00:20:08):
Oh, that’s great. Drew. It reminds me of, you know, Gary Taubes work with his book, Why We Get Fat, Good Calories, Bad Calories, and talking about the, the, the, the, um, gluttony and sloth are not the causes of obesity. They’re the symptoms. In other words, it’s not being lazy and, and disciplined with your eating habits or, you know, being, being too lazy to work out. It’s that, uh, the hormonal imbalances, the metabolic dysfunction leaves the individual, uh, hungry for more calories but unable to burn stored energy. And so I guess maybe you experienced that, that fork in the road where you got locked into fat storage, uh, fatigue mode, you weren’t even trying to exercise. Was that tough to kind of, um, hold back? Were you, did you like fake it and carry all the groceries in at one one trip so you could get a little bit of muscle stimulation or how did that go? That’s two questions wrapped up into one. Sorry man.

Drew (00:21:03):
No, I was fully committed to this process, so moving as least as possible. Now I did have kids. I did, my oldest was two year old and I had a newborn. So obviously there were some things I had to do, but I was totally bought in on not exercising, not cheating. Um, I would totally let myself go. If you look at my old YouTube videos and blog posts, you can kind of see that it really consumed me, which, which may left me in this interesting place, this vicious cycle, like you said.

Drew (00:21:30):
Uh, creating my own vicious cycle of eating these foods and that became my, that became my vice. But it also became my stress reliever. You know, and I think at the end of my journey before I started losing the weight, it clicked for me. I see why people get stuck here. I can totally see how comfortable they feel in this place where the idea of change of losing weight and getting fit and go into the gym and, and feeling hungry all the time and sore muscles. I see why people get stuck in the comfortableness of this sedentary lifestyle, even though they want to change their desire to change as their, the, the feeling that they have of, of the safety net of where they are, they know what to expect. Like, yes, they feel bad sometimes from heartburn or breathing heavy. Walking up the stairs or chafing became, becomes an issue.

Drew (00:22:19):
That discomfort becomes more comfortable than the idea of sweating. You know, starving yourself, uh, feeling sore all the time. And I, I understand better why people get stuck in that position of, of trying to change and willpower their way through change. And it’s, it’s something that, that you put a lot of effort into for minimal results and, and then you got it. Then you just kind of go back to your old ways. And it, we just repeat that, that habit over and over again because this is the problem. Our perception of health and fitness and the industry we’ve created is based off of weight loss. And that’s the only form of measurement that you’re successful. And when you base your results off of that one form of measurement, that’s why a lot of people get discouraged because they feel like they’re a failure. If that number on the scale doesn’t go down.

Drew (00:23:05):
So the reason they’re changing the life, the reason they’re focusing on these processes of exercise and eating healthy is so that they will see their bodies transform and look like they see on Instagram or on TV. And if they don’t, then they are a failure. And so what happens is people go out for one, two, three months, maybe go hardcore, starve themselves, workout really hard for minimal results, and they think, well, this isn’t worth it. This is, you know, why would I sacrifice all this fun, right, quote unquote fun, um, for just like a pound a week or two pounds every, every month or something like that. Um, when I could be having fun and doing other things. And so people fall off the wagon and then the next year they again, um, because they want the quickest way to lose the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of effort.

Drew (00:23:51):
They want that magic pill and it doesn’t exist. And so it’s up to us to break our perception, learn a different perception where if people could fall in love with the process and, and, and not care about the results, take the scale out of it for a minute, just focus on the process, right? And falling in love with that process. And once they do that, the weight loss, the results take care of themselves over time. And so I feel like if we could switch that focus on the process, not the results instead of vice versa, then I think that’s where we’ll really see a lifestyle change instead of just another diet.

Brad (00:24:23):
It seems like we got to get the process right as well. And what I see is a widespread, uh, overtraining, exhaustive patterns in the fitness scene, whether you’re hiring a trainer in getting, getting busted up one-on-one or you’re going to the group energy, uh, the classes with the loud music pushing too hard or joining up with a, um, you know, a charity operation where they’re holding workouts and you go do a distant, uh, marathon run or a triathlon or something. And it seems like everything is calibrated towards short term rather than falling in love with the process and saying, you know, what pace feels comfortable to you as we walk up this hill. Do you want to go slower and enjoy the bird singing?

Drew (00:25:05):
Yeah, that’s a, that’s a good point. And I think it’s very individualized, right? Everyone has their own process that can work for them. Whether that is, let’s say you do Keto or fasting or paleo or vegan, whatever, like there’s different processes and there’s different seasons for different processes. Maybe one season you want to do a Spartan race the next season, uh, maybe you want to do that at CrossFit class that you’ve been thinking about. Or maybe you just want to do yoga or walking. There’s different seasons for different processes. The goal or the key is to um, discover right experiment and find what works best for you. Like right now I’m training for a hundred mile run, which I never would have imagined I could do cause I’ve never even ran a marathon or even a half marathon. And here I am training to run a hundred miles.

Drew (00:25:46):
So it’s taken a lot of my time. I’m forcing myself to do this because I’ve put it out there on social media. I told people I’m going to do it so I have to show up and do it. That forces someone like me who could, could fall in love with the process. It’s pretty easy of staying in shape, but I still need goals and ways to push myself cause otherwise I just get bored of doing bicep curls and bench press and squats all day long. I got to mix it up and find something that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. So, uh, that’s, that’s the goal. That’s the key for people listening out there is too. Get outside of your comfort zone, whatever that process might look like.

Brad (00:26:22):
Wow. I wonder if that’s, I mean, I can totally relate to that. Like I need some kind of goal. I’m going to create the great importance in my own mind, in my, in myself, even if it’s goofy stuff like doing the speed golf, uh, challenge and things like that, that might listeners are familiar with. But it seems like without that, um, you know, I would, I would have a much less appreciation for the day to day grind of doing things that maybe you’re not super motivated right in that moment to do. I mean, training for a hundred mile run when you’re not a big time runner, that’s gotta be tough at times, man.

Drew (00:26:57):
Yeah. It’s way tough. And, um, but it’s really interesting because I think we all grew up with self limiting beliefs of things where we think, Oh, I can’t do that. That’s not for me. That’s for those types of people. I’m not an athlete. And we grew up thinking that and we kind of stay in that comfort zone of, well, I’m just going to do the things I know how to do. Well that’s the treadmill for an hour. That’s this cardio machine for 45 minutes or these types of movements that I’ve been doing my whole life. And you stay in that comfort zone and then you wonder why there’s no progress or change.

Drew (00:27:25):
You know, even if it’s something small, like, like take a cold shower, you know, for 30 seconds or 60 seconds, that’ll get you out of your comfort zone. Or maybe you start making your bed if you’ve never made your bed, you know, on a daily basis. Or um, you know, maybe instead of, uh, you know, uh, sitting down, looking at your phone in the morning, maybe go for a walk while you drink your coffee. Something different. Uh, there’s a good book I love called Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy. And in the book, you know, we talk, he talks a lot about how we all try to willpower our way to a new lifestyle, a new us. And that doesn’t really work because a small percentage of the population can actually have that discipline to do that. Um, and, and so what he recommends is, is changing your environment.

Drew (00:28:07):
And what happens is humans are amazing at adaptable machines. We adapt to our environment. So if you can change your environment, you’re going to adapt to that new environment. That’s where you start to see change instead of willpower and your way through an old environment that you know how to navigate through changing up your environment completely, that will force you to adapt to that new environment, whether that’s taking a cold shower or whether that’s going outside first thing in the morning. Um, just it’s something that’s different that your body and mind will have to adapt to and eventually it’ll follow suit. So it’s, it’s a good argument for, um, not trying to willpower your way and be disciplined, but, uh, finding new ways to change up your environment and then adapt to that new environment.

Brad (00:28:45):
So you’re saying Hardy mentions that only a sliver of the population can do that bull-headed approach where you just just do it like the slogan and then the rest of us need to create like winning circumstances.

Drew (00:28:58):
Yeah, yeah. That’s kind of his argument. And then from my own experience, I see that, you know, there’s a few people in this world, like I know I have the discipline to train for a hundred mile race. Um, you know, because I, you know,

Brad (00:29:10):
cause he’s never done one before. He doesn’t know what he’s in for.

Drew (00:29:13):
Yeah, exactly. So, um, but I think the majority of people out there struggle with willpower, otherwise they would be able to just turn this light switch on and do you know, a diet and exercise everyday consistently. I think a lot of people struggle with that and the majority of people. And so finding new ways to change your environment and adapting to that new environment. I think is a new strategy, not a new strategy, but a different strategy, a different way of looking at the same situation from a different perspective. And then that’s kind of a way to make progress, a way to make change. That’s not the normal way that you’ve been used to, you know, like starving yourself and, and willpower and your way to, uh, you know, to change.

Brad (00:29:51):
I love it. What about applied to the, the diet, uh, challenge? Because we, we hear from so many people that, uh, you know, I really, really love my hot fudge sundaes and my Starbucks caramel drink and, um, you know, it’s true. As you, as you likely experienced that the, the Cinnamon Toast Crunch is something that drew really loves. Even nobody’s mister healthy guy. So how do we kind of, um, break away from that pole and, and do something that, uh, let’s say doesn’t, doesn’t require a lot of willpower, cause that’s probably not gonna work for most of us, but land in a, in an area where we feel great from our dietary choices.

Drew (00:30:33):
Yeah. The first thing is to change up your environment in your house. So what I mean by that is to get rid of that food. If that food is in your cupboard and you think you have the willpower to, um, uh, abstain from that food, I promise you, you’re going to have a stressful moment one of these days where you’re like, you know what? Screw it. My kids are driving me crazy and stressed out at work. Give me this, give me that. And if it’s just as convenient as walking over to your pantry or cupboard and it’s there, you’re going to give in. I promise you, I would, if I had a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch right here, I know at some point I would just devour the whole box. So for me, my rule is I can’t have that in the house. Same thing with girl scout cookies.

Drew (00:31:09):
Why? Because I want, I would want to just get rid of it as soon as possible and stuffed my face with it so that it’s not there. If it’s there, I’m going to eat it. So, um, most people out there aren’t going to go out of their way, you know, at 7:00 PM, cause they haven’t been craving and drive to the grocery store. Pick up the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, pick up the milk, come back home, put it in a bowl and eat it because that’s too inconvenient. So what what he’s saying is if it’s super convenient, you’re going to gravitate towards that. And if your environment is set up for convenience with those unhealthy foods, then your willpower, You could have all the willpower in the world, but at some point it’s going to break. And so if you change your environment where that food isn’t in the house and all you have is healthy food, guess what? You’re hungry. Okay, well there’s no Cinnamon Toast Crunch. You got chicken and broccoli and other food that maybe isn’t as delicious, but if you’re really hungry, you’re going to eat it. And that’s what your environment is set up to. Um, to help you do.

Brad (00:32:03):
How about for exercise? Do you have any tips and tricks for the home environment? First of all are maybe even throwing in a question like, uh, peer groups or social, uh, aspects of, of keeping aligned?

Drew (00:32:19):
Yeah. The first thing that I would recommend that I’ve seen work really well for people is lay out their workout clothes the night before or even sleeping them so that when you wake up in the morning, you’re already dressed or it’s right there in the morning, you already picked your, take the time to pick it out from there. Yes. A group setting like CrossFit or yoga or something where you feel like you’re part of a community is really powerful power of community. It’s just like a church or religion you want to go because those people are there that you, you know, go through this, you know, suffering with and there’s a special bond that’s created, uh, or just a workout partner. Um, you know, whether your spouse or a friend or running buddy, something like that where there’s some accountability. Because the problem that I’ve seen is when we try and when there’s no accountability, right?

Drew (00:33:01):
There’s no support system. And we just try and like I said, we’ll power away to a new lifestyle change. It gets really hard on those days when it’s cold and you’re sore and you’re tired and you want to sleep in. No one’s there to keep you accountable. So whether that’s you hiring a coach, whether that’s you joining a CrossFit class or a yoga community or whatever it is, you know, there needs to be some form of accountability, uh, or support system to help you push through that, uh, where the timing of hiring a personal trainer or coach to keep you accountable. And that’s why some people nowadays will pay for an accountability coach just because they know that there’s someone to report to. You know, a lot of CEOs and business owners do this as well because they know that if they’re left to their own devices, they will just find a way to get out of it. But if they have someone that they’re paying to keep them accountable, most likely you’re going to follow through with that.

Brad (00:33:49):
Oh, that’s nice. I can, I love that. And I like how you said earlier that you’re announcing to our podcast and your social media that you’re training for this hundred miler. And I referenced that too, where I’m telling people on a recording that I’m jumping into a tub of freezing cold water every morning and therefore when that little voice in my head, uh, wonders whether I should bail out on this particular day, I, I’ve created it might be an artificial obligation, but I think those things are really important. We’re really onto something here.

Drew (00:34:19):
Yeah, it is really important. And I think that’s the power of social media. Use it to your advantage. Uh, nowadays it doesn’t mean you need to become an influencer, but there’s different communities, communities, there’s different online groups that you can join to stay accountable to people that you’ve never even met that are halfway across the world. And that’s the power of the social media nowadays. So that’s why I have, uh, two or three Facebook groups that people can join and, you know, talk about their successes. It’s a safe place to ask questions. There’s no dumb questions, uh, post about your progress. But also posts about your failures, posts about things that you messed up with and you’ll see the support you get from other people is really powerful because they’re going through it too. And if you can connect with someone that’s going through what you’re going through, there’s a sense of connection there. And if you know the next time that you’re feeling tempted to not do what you’re supposed to do or give into something you’re not supposed to eat, you think about that person and you think about reporting in and you’re like, you know what? It’s not worth it.

New Speaker (00:35:14):
The biggest thing that I think is a catalyst to change is self awareness. The more self aware you become, the more you can start to thoughtfully respond to situations instead of react to emotions in the moment. Cause what happens so many times when we’re stressed and we stress eat or uh, we don’t thoughtfully respond, we react to stress by doing what we’ve always done. We’ve been programmed today, we’ve programmed our brain to gravitate towards some type of food or a drug or alcohol, whatever it is. We distract ourselves with different substances. And we create that pattern and we go back to that pattern every time a stressful situation comes up. So self awareness is one of those things where as you become self aware, you can kind of pause and become the observer of your thoughts in those moments. And, and uh, you can respond thoughtfully instead of react like you normally would. You can say, okay, this is what’s happening right now.

Drew (00:36:08):
I’m feeling these emotions, I’m triggered from this situation. Stresses rise, I can feel all of it. And all you’re doing is observing. You’re not making any decisions, you’re not jumping to any conclusions. You’re just feeling and being aware. And then from there you can make a decision. You can say, okay, do I give in and eat this food or drink this drink? Um, like I normally would do or do I have, uh, that, that self awareness when now where I can say, you know what, I know how this is going to feel. I know this is going to play out and it’s not worth it. And then you can walk away. And self awareness is something that I make sounds so easy, but it’s, it takes years. It took years for me to develop this and it takes other people years as well. That self awareness becoming the observer of your thoughts.

Brad (00:36:50):
I think for uh, serious athletes can reference the keeping a training log and when I was doing triathlon, I still keep one today even though I’m not, I’m not, uh, doing this with the greatest intensity, but to be able to look back and review some of these patterns and know that when you got a cold on the 14th, it was preceded by, uh, doing too much or getting out of balance in some way and then have that reflectiveness too. So you can kind of notice these patterns occurring in the future and doing something different than what didn’t work in the past.

Drew (00:37:24):
Yeah. Yeah. That’s a, that’s a really good point. Um, I think it’s just at the end of the day finding for, for people out there experimenting and finding what works best for you in this situation. So maybe where you are is, Hey, I’m going to commit to going for a walk every day or, or taking a cold shower or something small. It doesn’t need to be all right. I’m never touching sugar again. I’m going to fast for seven days and you know, work out three hours a day. It doesn’t need to be extreme like that. It can be just simple small changes over time and then discover what process you enjoy at this time. Maybe it’s biking, maybe it’s swimming, maybe it’s Pilates, and then maybe you know, fasting or Keto or vegan, whatever it is. Like just try something different that your body’s going to have to adapt to.

Brad (00:38:08):
So what about dealing with failure, whether it’s through the reported into the online community or let’s say with a, with a client that you’ve been working with for a long time and they fall off track, what’s a, what’s a gentle way to get them back and kind of kind of putting that out of their mind that, that, that tendency to spiral downward when you do fail and then you feel like, what’s the point? How do we get back on track?

Drew (00:38:33):
That’s a really good question and it kind comes back to the self awareness thing. For me as you build that self awareness, um, it doesn’t mean you’re never going to make a mistake again. It doesn’t mean you’re never going to give into those, those emotions that are rising. Uh, even myself, I go through that where I have all the self awareness in the world, but I’m like, you know what? Screw it. Gave him the Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But at least in my, in my opinion, when I’m working with a client and they at least have that self awareness beforehand and they still make that decision, I tell them, Hey, that’s progress. You’re still aware of what’s happening. Even though you made the wrong decision. That’s okay. It’s not about being perfect. It’s, it’s having that self awareness so that as you move forward, you start to make the better decisions more often than the bad decisions.

Drew (00:39:17):
And then not defining yourself by those moments where let’s say you do give in to something that you know, you, you know, you shouldn’t be eating or that isn’t on the meal plan. Um, you have an option there to say, okay, I gave in to this. I enjoyed it. And from there, that’s all it was. Like there’s no attachment to, or my self value attached to that one moment in time where I gave in to something and then it’s easier for people to let go of that instead of define themselves by that moment of I failed, therefore I am a failure. So it’s just changing up that, that self talk that happens inside, uh, throughout the process. And this is kind of all the stuff that happened, uh, after Fit to Fat to Fit. So before Fit to Fad to Fit, I had no way of helping people through this process because I was like, Hey, just eat less and work out.

Drew (00:40:04):
Oh, you’re struggling. Okay, let’s change over your macros. Let’s change up your calories has changed up your, your workouts. And that helps to a certain extent. But on the mental emotional side, that’s where people struggle. That’s where people need the most help. And so for me now, I can help people navigate those waters so much more because my own personal development, my own personal journey that I’ve been through of hitting rock bottom, um, you know, and to be totally frank, you know, going through a divorce, which was really hard for me, but it really helped me, uh, uh, rebuild myself, if you will, um, from a in a true, authentic way. And then now I, um, I can help people so much more in the midst emotional side because I’ve been through what I’ve been through and that’s really where real change and lifestyle change happens is on the mental, emotional side.

Drew (00:40:47):
And so, um, it’s a lot of it has to do with self awareness and a lot of it has to do with, um, you know, uh, observing those, those thoughts that come up in that self talk that we’ve been programmed to, to think, uh, for 30, 40, 50 years of our life. And it really is about unlearning more so than learning. Does that make sense?

Brad (00:41:08):
Getting out of your own way, man.

Drew (00:41:10):
Yes, yes, exactly.

Brad (00:41:12):
I mean, you, you referenced these personal struggles and I want to get into a little bit because it’s really, um, it’s amazing what you’ve done with your story and the courage to come out there and lay it all out there. And, uh, I’m going to direct listeners right now to episode 100 of the Fit to Fat to Fit podcast for this. Guys turned on the microphone and say, and stuff that most of us are afraid to say even to our close friends. So, um, you, you referenced that you had this, uh, sort of perfectionist, uh, beautiful athletic life where you were, you know, uh, you know, raised to succeed and align with these really tight guidelines of a strict religion and the sporting experience, which is so strict and heavily coached. And then things started to unravel and you went on a journey of exploration.

Drew (00:42:00):
Yeah. So just to summarize what happened in episode 100, and thank you for pointing that out. If you want a full download of it, just go to episode 100. But to summarize, yes, that was my perception of the culture. I grew up in a, whether it was sports, whether it was family culture, uh, and the religious culture I grew up in was that it had to be perfect. And if I wasn’t, there was some type of punishment, you know, if I miss a tackle and practice, you know, 10 pushups or, um, if I ascend at church, there was a punishment had to go confess. And, uh, there was a type of punishment that came with that. And so from a very young age, I developed a, you know, this, this kind of a self preservation mechanism to just instead go through that, uh, to lie about it or pretend it didn’t happen.

Drew (00:42:45):
And what I would do is, well, I would just suppress it like I was taught to do from our culture as men, we don’t talk about our feelings or emotions. So if I messed up or if I had weaknesses, instead of telling people about it, I would just hide it and pretend that it didn’t exist. So on the outside I looked good. I looked happy; I looked perfect. Uh, but on the inside I really hated myself because I knew that it had these weaknesses. And so, um, I kind of went through life through that, that pattern and um, uh, you know, hid a lot of, uh, sins, if you will, or weaknesses from my… The closest people to me, my family, my wife at the time, I hid it from her, you know, my pornography addiction. Um, I eventually had an affair which I hid from her and, and all these things that, that, uh, stemmed from living a life of self hate.

Drew (00:43:32):
And when you tend to grow up, uh, seeing yourself as a failure and you have that self hate, even though no one else knows about it, you tend to self sabotage more. You tend to do failure-like things in those moments. Uh, because you, that inner self talk is always there saying you’re a failure. You deserve to suffer. Um, and so therefore you’re going to do these, these self sabotaging things in your life because that’s what you deserve. And, um, it’s so interesting now talking about this openly because I couldn’t 10 years ago, you would’ve never been able to get any of this out of me. I would have denied it and pretend like it didn’t exist. But here I am, um, you know, openly talking about it, owning my story. You know, I have nothing to hide. I have no guilt and shame about my past anymore because I don’t define myself by my past.

Drew (00:44:20):
For me, it’s about what I learned from it and how I grew from it. And now I feel like it’s my mission to pay it forward and give other people permission to embrace as a strength and own their story. Because I promise you life, even though it’s scary as hell to go through to own your story, um, it’s so worth it because you can finally show up as the best version of yourself as your true, authentic self. Um, and you, your family, your kids deserve that version of yourself. They really do. And it’s up to you to go through that hard work, to break that cycle, um, to, uh, embrace vulnerability and own your story. Um, because I feel like if you don’t, then you’re just wearing a mask and you’re living in authentically and I promise you, I’ve done that for 30 plus years of my life and it’s very soul sucking to live your life that way.

Drew (00:45:12):
Um, and so it took me hitting rock bottom to eventually learn this. And I’m not saying this happened overnight. This happened years of working with the life coach and reading books and, um, changing my perspective, my situation to where I can now openly talk about it. But how this all ties into, you know, this, this whole topic that we’re talking about. A transformation is, um, you know, we think transformation on the physical side is just about calories and macros and diet and exercise when in reality, a lot of it stems from emotional challenges or trauma from, you know, patterns that we developed as kids. And that’s why it’s not as simple as just giving someone a pill and putting them on a diet and having them exercise. Because even if they get the body they want, they’re still a lack of fulfillment in who they really are.

Drew (00:45:58):
And until you can overcome these mental emotional challenges and release that, uh, no matter how ripped or perfect your body is, that doesn’t, that’s not going to suffice or make up for the fact that you’re still struggling inside emotionally. I know a lot of people that go on stage that are bodybuilders, that are a physique competitors and they look great on the outside, but they still have this sense of they’re not good enough. They still have this sense of they’re still ugly or they’re still fat, which to the outside person seems crazy. Like what are you talking about? But that’s why transformation for every single person is so much more mental, emotional, and it’s about them overcoming those emotional challenges, uh, so that they can be more fulfilled because it’s similar to people chasing after the myth of more money equals more happiness. Like if I just get rich, all my problems will go away and I’ll be happy for the rest of my life.

Drew (00:46:48):
And if that were true, then all the rich people would be the happiest people in the world. And we know for a fact that it’s not true. And similar with body transformation. We think, Oh, once I get this body, then people will like me, then don’t like myself. And then all my problems will go away. But in reality, that’s not the case. And that’s so kind of ties back into what I was saying before about falling in love with the process and not so much the results. Because if you come from a place, if you operate out of a place of self love versus self hate, then you’re going to want to treat your body the way it deserves to be treated. And that’s about you doing the process of, you know, eating healthy food, uh, exercising with whatever form that looks like for you.

Drew (00:47:26):
And you’re doing it not to look a certain way for the approval others, but you’re doing it because you feel better and you deserve to be the best version of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And so that’s why for me, you know, physical transformation is one pillar of, of, of complete transformation. And that’s why I’m a big fan of complete transformation, which ties into my second book Complete Keto, which is a ketogenic approach, but with all the tools and help on the mental emotional side so that it’s more about a complete transformation instead of just physical transformation.

Brad (00:47:59):
Oh dang. The world needs that book, I mean we’ve, we’ve already talked enough about the macros. There’s not much more to say. And I, I venture to say that a lot of health enthusiasts probably have all the knowledge they need to succeed. But then we have these, these subconscious blocks that you referenced. I love Dr. Bruce Lipton’s book, Biology of Belief where he references actual scientific studies showing that we operate 93 to 98% of the time from our subconscious programming, which is by and large flawed from these messages that we learned and in the, uh, the course of growing up in life. Um, so I’m, I’m looking at our audience meter right now, Drew in it, it says 99.7 people, but 99.7% of the people, the message is resonating with them. In other words, I think almost everyone is stuck in some way with whatever it is, a secret or a nagging, um, you know, a negative thought. Uh, the ruminations that, uh, are known to destroy health. So what would be kind of a way to take a baby step after listening to the recording, uh, toward, you know, uh, that, that healing and that, uh, vulnerability of, of getting, getting into some stuff that’s not so fun to get into and we like to ignore every day.

Drew (00:49:20):
Yeah. For me, what I’ll tell you personally, what worked for me, um, and it’s a list of a few things, but I’ll kind of summarize them really quickly and I go into more detail in my book Complete Keto. But the first thing that I did that worked for me was learning how to meditate. Meditation is one of those things we didn’t grow up doing and the Western world. And so I had thought was very taboo, especially coming from a strict religion where prayer was the only thing you needed. Uh, learning how to meditate, it helped to build that self awareness that helped me become the observer of my thoughts. So a lot of people think meditating is sitting there thinking about nothing of being still when reality, it’s, it’s completely different than that. It’s about sitting there and letting your thoughts do whatever they want to run.

Drew (00:49:58):
But you’re just sitting back and watching those thoughts come and go like clouds in the sky. Um, and, and when you become the observer of your thoughts, that’s where things start to change, where you’re more present in the moment and you can thought for the respond to the situations around you. So the first thing I would say is meditation. And I would recommend, uh, you know, where I started was these free apps or YouTube, uh, with guided meditations because I didn’t know what to think or not think or do or not do, or how to breathe or whatever until I learned, you know, from these guided meditations of someone smarter than me teaching me how to get through these next 10 minutes. So that’s a good place to start from there. Positive affirmations. And I know that sounds silly because I think of the old Saturday, Saturday night live skit with Stuart Smalley saying, I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me, and you know, being like a total joke is super corny, but I promise you there’s power in saying positive words about yourself to yourself, even if you don’t believe it at first. That’s totally fine. I get people challenge for 30 days in my book to try for 30 days, say three to five things about yourself, a nice things about yourself out loud in front of a mirror. And it’s powerful how much it can change you, uh, at the cellular level. And then the third thing is a gratitude journal. If you can find ways to be grateful now and be more fulfilled with where you’re at now, then I promise you, once you get to where you want to be, by setting those goals and getting to those goals, you’ll be so much more fulfilled versus getting into a goal and saying, well, um, you know, that didn’t make me happy.

Drew (00:51:29):
You know, maybe if I get more money or if I have a better body than that, then that will make me happy. But if you learn to be, uh, grateful and fulfilled now while you’re working on a better version of yourself, then it doesn’t matter what results come, you know, uh, progress will happen no matter what. And, uh, it just allows you to be grateful in the moment for what you have while you continue to be, uh, work on a better version of yourself. And so those three things were, were big catalyst for change for me, um, in changing my perception of my situation and changing my perception of, of, uh, the past, uh, issues, uh, emotional traumas that I’ve had and letting those go so that I could be free of them moving forward.

Brad (00:52:08):
So, are you perfect now Drew? Or do you still have some challenges?

Drew (00:52:12):
No, I don’t make any mistakes anymore. I never know until it’s joking. Uh, that’s the thing is that no, I still have my issues that I struggle with as far as, um, you know, things that I want to control. I want to be, you know, more in control of a reactionary moments, like as a, you know, for me, I have two young daughters and as a dad I wish sometimes I wouldn’t and snap and yell sometimes. And there’s things that I still need to work on, uh, for sure. Uh, even though I meditate all the time, I still, you know, react and so the thing would, you know that you’re, I think I’m getting to is I do these things, they help, but they definitely don’t make me perfect cause if life has no challenges, life will be boring.

Brad (00:52:57):
Uh, yeah, it was, I was getting to it, you know, I was getting to something man. But I love that simple. Uh, the, the list is only three things long. We can memorize it and put it into action because, uh, when we do struggle, if you have something to go back to and start from such as the idea of gratitude that whatever’s going on, it could be worse. Right? If you’re listening to the podcast, things could be worse. Whatever, whatever’s cooking for you, man, I promise things could be worse. So I really liked that as a sort of a foundation. And how does that go? Practically speaking into your, into your day, do you start with a meditation and a journaling or what do you, what do you think?

Drew (00:53:37):
Yeah, the first 10 to 15 minutes of my day are that. So I purposely wake up early before my daughters get up, um, for school and all I’ll meditate. And recently I’ve been meditating while in front of a JOOVE red light, uh, doing some red light therapy for 10 minutes. Uh, that’s my, the first thing I do in the morning. And then from there I’ll go do my positive affirmations, which takes, you know, two to three minutes at the most and then a gratitude journal, which is about five minutes. And I just go through my past day a list of three to five things that I’m really grateful for. And I promise you, once you start looking for that, you rewire your brain in a way to look for things to be grateful for versus looking for things to be upset about. And so it forces me, you know, every single day, some day, sometimes.

Drew (00:54:18):
Sometimes it’s as simple as, man, I’m really grateful for that coffee I had yesterday. Or, uh, you know, yesterday, uh, I put, I’m really grateful for seeing my daughters’s laugh. Like seeing my daughters’ laugh for like a belly laugh, like so hard makes me so joyous and so happy to be a debt, to see them enjoying life so much and it’s the silliest things that they do. But I, you know, just thinking about things that I’m grateful for that popped up. I’m like, yeah, I’m really grateful for those moments. Watching them just laugh so hard and it’s, it’s really cool to watch. And so you rewire your brain to look for things to be grateful for. And then throughout the day when things are going rough sometimes and stressful, you can tap into that part of your brain, but you know what, okay, what happened that was good today? Or what, uh, how can this be seen in a different light for something positive to come out of it? Um, and there always is there always as positive things to be, you know, like, um, shoot, what’s his name from the concentration camp that wrote that book as a.

Brad (00:55:20):
Viktor Frankl?

Drew (00:55:21):
Yes. Viktor Frankl who talks about no matter what, you know, they, they, you know, no matter what kind of torture he went through, they can never force him to change his perception of, of the way he saw life.

Brad (00:55:33):
That, uh, anecdote about being grateful for your daughter’s laughing is, is pretty profound because, uh, we’re in this age of helicopter parenting and high pressure youth experiences and there’s research showing that the kids are, uh, more appreciative of those simple moments that are, that don’t cost anything. Then all this material comforts and advantages that the parents are busting their butts to provide, thinking that, you know, kids need that for a baseline. So it’s a really good, uh, checkpoint and, uh, it’s, you know, it’s easy to forget when we get caught up in rat race mentality, but, and also your comment about rewiring your brain, people that’s not just Drew saying this, this is validated by research. Uh, dr Robert Emmons, UC Davis, leading researcher in gratitude. You actually do rewire your brain. You become a more positive, appreciative person. So, uh, what’d you say was five minutes to, I’m not sure if I can budget that time. 15 minutes for the meditation?

Drew (00:56:34):
Yeah. 15minutes total. 10 uh, 10 to 20 minutes max. You know, wake up a little bit earlier. Like I’m saying, change your environment a little bit, set your alarm earlier than you normally do and maybe go to bed a little bit earlier. Sacrifice a bit of Netflix time. But you know, when you were saying that and, and bringing up the moment with my girls, it was so interesting because what was happening was that, you know, here I was trying to get them to bed like Oh you need your sleep, you needed to go to bed on time. And here they were throwing a little purse back and forth to each other, trying to count who could catch it most times consecutively. And they were laughing so hard when they would miss it. And at first I was like, girls stop, come on, we got to go to bed.

Drew (00:57:12):
Like, you know, you stayed on the schedule and then I just shut up and for five minutes just watch them play this game, which costs nothing. And it was really powerful just to see them laugh and have a good time and you know, they weren’t on their iPads and it was just, you know, good sister bonding time, just having fun, doing nothing pretty much. But it was very meaningful for me. But sometimes we’re caught up in the moment if like, Hey, brush your teeth, get to bed so I can go to bed. You miss out on those moments. And so that’s for me, meditation, gratitude, those kinds of things helped me in that situation where normally I would just be like, you know, grab it and say, Hey, stop playing. Go to bed, time to grow up. But that’s not, that’s, that’s not fun, you know, it’s no good man.

Brad (00:57:56):
There’s plenty of time to grow up. So with, with number two, the positive affirmations, if we’re a little hesitant, we don’t want to go into Stuart Smalley zone. What are some examples of things that worked for you?

Drew (00:58:09):
Yeah, I listed a whole bunch in my book and it really depends on the person that’s comfortability. Like for me, I grew up in an environment where I was never told other than from my mom, but my dad never said the words, I love you. I’m proud of you. You’re worthy. So those, for me, when I first was doing these positive affirmations, those were the first three ones that I came up with. And even to this day, I get chills saying those words because when I first was going through my divorce and feeling down on myself, um, saying those three things, um, you know, I love you, I’m proud of you. You are worthy, were really powerful for me. And I’m not saying everyone needs to start there. It depends on your comfortability. But for me, since I had never, uh, heard that from my dad, they were really important for me to say out loud.

Drew (00:59:04):
So for me, that’s what I started with. But I have a whole list of, of ideas for people that depending on their comfortability levels can start anywhere. Um, and like I said, you don’t need to believe it right away. Um, and that’s not what it’s about. It’s about saying those positive words out loud to yourself, to your body. And eventually, I promise you, if you start to live this way, you will start to believe it and then it will become a part of you. And, um, and so for me, that’s kind of what I recommend.

Brad (00:59:31):
Well, that’s also scientifically validated to be true, that the more times you hear something, they said this. I was listening to a political commentary recently where they said if you, if you state a lie enough times, it starts to take on an aura of truth to the listener. So the opposite is also true where, uh, believe it or not, but those, I guess, you know, Stuart Smalley wasn’t, I mean he was, he was onto something, even though we’re laughing at her, it’s right there. Yeah. So Drew, you still have your, uh, big, uh, influence in the fitness industry and we know how sort of backwards it is or narrow, narrow minded. But I’m wondering if you see any glimmers of hope, uh, with sort of a transformation to, to embrace that bigger picture come from that perspective of empathy rather than a bad ass with the shaking finger and the admonitions.

Drew (01:00:24):
Yeah, I do think there’s a movement of mindfulness and uh, intermingling that with, with fitness nowadays. I think it’s more accepted. The term meditation and positive affirmation and gratitude list and you see other people, you know like me that have muscles and a six pack abs talking about meditation and, and positive affirmations and gratitude lists and things like that where it’s becoming more normalized. And I think, you know, Tim Ferris has been a big proponent of that, a big person of influence that is moving the needle. Same thing with Joe Rogan, who is your guy’s guy that does UFC and, and he’s talking about meditation and mindfulness as well. And yoga versus in the past we never would have thought someone like, you know, like, like, like him would talk about that. And so it’s becoming more normalized and as becomes more normalized, people are more open to it.

Drew (01:01:13):
I know for me it took me listening to people like Tom Ferriss, talking about the benefits of, of meditation and from a scientific perspective where I was more open to it, I was like, okay, there’s a spiritual aspect to it, but there’s also a scientific aspect to it. And you know, you mentioned all this research that’s been done on these things. I’m not just making it up. Um, I think people are more open to it and I feel like it’s starting to make its way into the Fitness industry, which is so focused on outward appearance. Uh, because you see a lot of people that are, you know, it’s the famous, but uh, you know, I know some of them personally, they’re very unfulfilled. Even though they have a lot of attention and a lot of money, it’s not, it’s not about that. It’s about their levels of fulfillment.

Drew (01:01:54):
And I feel like people are searching for that, okay, well I have the money, the look, but why am I not fulfilled? And people are searching for different ways to become more mindful and more aware. And meditation is one of those things that’s becoming more and more popular. And so, um, I definitely see a glimmer of hope in the fitness industry because people are more open to, if they’re more open to mindful into mindfulness, then they’re definitely gonna be more open into an empathetic approach to helping people with transformation instead of just trying to make it sound so simple, like stop eating so much and go exercise. Because if they’ve had a profound experience with meditation, then they’ll probably talk about it to their audience and then it kind of trickles down to those who are struggling with transformation and maybe they haven’t tried mindfulness before. And then they start with that and then the diet and exercise starts to click for them later on.

Brad (01:02:45):
Very nicely said, drew, I love what you’re doing, man. You’re, you’re making a big impact on, on moving the conversation forward, broadening the perspective. And I, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your story and your, your great insights. How can people connect with you and go deep like Drew Drew style?

Drew (01:03:04):
Well, thank you. I, uh, try and make it super simple. It’s just Fit number two, fat number two Fit. That’s all my social media handles. That’s my website. It’s my podcast. It’s my first book. Just put that in Google and you’ll find everything you need.

Brad (01:03:19):
Very simple. Drew Manning. Thank you so much. Keep doing what you’re doing. Thanks listeners.

Brad (01:03:28):
Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at getoveryourselfpodcast@gmail.com and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars. And it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves cause they need to. Thanks for doing it.

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