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Episode 232 – Wellness – Panel discussion from the Spartan World Media Fest

In this episode, Jeff moderates a panel of extraordinary guests at the recent Spartan Media Fest from all corners of health expertise. They chat about the holistic umbrella of ‘Wellness’ and what it actually means in regards to mental and physical health.

We would like to thank our guests Drew Manning, Liz Nierzwicki, Mo Brossette and Dr Don Wood for taking part in this incredible discussion panel and their valuable input. Stay tuned for future works with these brilliant minds and influences in the health and wellness industry.

Transcript: 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the ATP Project, delivering the reverent truth about health, aging, performance, and looking good. If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, ready to perform at your best or somewhere in between, then sit back, relax and open your mind as Jeff and Matt battle the status quo and discuss everything health related that can make you better.

Speaker 2:

As always, this information is not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any condition and it’s for information purposes only. Please discuss any information on this podcast with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current lifestyle. Stay tuned. The ATP Project is about to start.

Jeff:

Okay. Welcome everybody to the Spartan Up! World Media Fest brought to you by ATP Science, which is a good thing because I’m the CEO of ATP Science and it’s great to be working with you guys today. Today, we’ve got Drew Manning from Fit2Fat2Fit. We’ve got Liz Nierzwicki. Did I get that right, Liz?

Liz Nierzwicki:

You got that right. You did.

Jeff:

Yeah. I got that right. From figureFIT. We’ve got Mo Brossette from Adaptive Training Foundation and Dr. Don Wood from Inspired Performance Institute. Welcome, guys.

Liz Nierzwicki:

Thank you.

Mo Brossette:

Thank you for having us.

Drew Manning:

Thank you.

Dr. Don Wood:

Thank you.

Jeff:

Guys, we’re talking about wellness and wellness has become an overused overemphasize overextended word that goes everywhere to attract individuals, companies, use wellness programs to attract new recruits influence on social media, branding themselves as wellness experts without any credentials whatsoever. Employees are searching out wellness benefits that push the limits like monthly massages and sabbatical leaves from work. But what does wellness really mean in regards to mental and physical health? What are the ways that we can extend wellness to the masses rather than keep it in the arena of the privileged? And what are some of the simple ways that we can integrate wellness into our own lives? Guys, so glad to have you here. And before we get started just so that we’ve got a bit of a foundation for who’s talking as well too, I’d lik to start with you Drew and just give a little bit about your background and why you’re qualified to be on this panel?

Drew Manning:

Yeah, so most people know me from my Fit2Fat2Fit experience that I did back in 2011, where I gained 75 pounds in six months. As a personal trainer, I wanted to step into the shoes of my clients to better understand those struggles because I’ve never been overweight. So I documented this crazy journey gained 75 pounds, lost it, wrote a book about it, the book turned into a TV show and then my brand was centered around bringing empathy to the fitness industry because of this experience where I was humbled. I saw transformation from a totally different perspective. And had so much more respect and a better understanding of those that go through that struggle having been through this for the first time in my life.

Drew Manning:

So my brand Fit2Fat2Fit is about bringing empathy to the fitness industry. Fast forward a little bit to where we are today. I talk a lot about the ketogenic diet and how the keto diet can be used as a tool for not just physical transformation, but wellness was one thing we’re going to talk about today. And that’s me and my brand in a nutshell.

Jeff:

Excellent, if you can throw over to Mo?

Mo Brossette:

Yes, so I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for just over 24 years and been an endurance coach, I still am an endurance coach, studied holistic nutrition and natural medicine and then in 2014 was privileged enough to be introduced to David Vobora, who founded the Adaptive Training Foundation. We work with critically wounded veterans and civilians that have suffered traumatic injuries like amputation, spinal cord injuries, neurological diseases like stroke and Parkinson’s. And we take these athletes through a nine week training cycle of physical mental, redefining who they are as human beings. And my job and my role with this organization is to work with them on their mindset. So I’m a mindset coach, I’m a meditation teacher. So I work with these athletes with how to use breath as the anchor and then use that breath as an anchor and go into what it is that’s holding you back from reaching who you are destined to become.

Mo Brossette:

And that’s what we do at Adaptive Training Foundation, and that’s my role.

Jeff:

Thanks. That’s excellent. And Liz, can we hear a little bit about from you?

Liz Nierzwicki:

Yes, thank you. And that’s great. That’s my niche, too. So I spent about 10 years in the corporate world, and I’m a single mom, and I was super stressed out, and I found a yoga class and the yoga class really made me like float at the end of it. And I was like, wait, I didn’t drink anything or smoke or anything to feel like this. What is this? And I knew that there was science behind it, so I actually studied nutrition science in college and psychology, and business, and then I found yoga. And it was really this experience to… it elevated me into another level of consciousness that I was really excited to learn more about.

Liz Nierzwicki:

So I became a yoga teacher. I opened a yoga studio in 2010, a yoga school so that I could teach the path of yoga in 2012. And from there, I taught for two years, about 17 classes a week. I really experienced burnout, and even as a yoga teacher, thank God I had the yoga to do. But I did experience burnout, and I needed to figure out an exit strategy from that lifestyle. And I created the online figureFit program, which is an online place for people to access the tools that are personal training workouts, yoga and meditation, nutrition coaching, I really teach a lot about diet and how to eat around your workouts. So it’s a fully holistic health package that is missing in a lot of environments because it’s not just about the food. It’s not just about the workout. It’s when you separate one of the pieces you’re off balance.

Liz Nierzwicki:

So it really is a full mind, body, soul process. And I also have a podcast called… I have a figureFit podcast, but I also have a podcast called heavenly mind, because I realized the importance of your thoughts, and how important the stories are that you’re telling yourself.

Jeff:

I can see a lot of nodding going on here, agreeing with what you’re saying. And lastly, Dr. Don Wood from Inspired Performance Institute, do you want to talk a little bit about your background?

Dr. Don Wood:

Yeah, it was really interesting how I came about it. I started understanding that trauma is starting to affect our health in a big way. And so I started talking about how trauma creates inflammation in the body, the inflammation is affecting the immune system and neurotransmitters. And so as I was talking about that a lot of people just didn’t understand they understood to some degree. So what I started doing is really understanding trauma and that what we have discovered is that I can clear trauma in a four hour session. I’m eliminating PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, it’s real cutting edge neuroscience. And when you do that, then the health improves. So if we don’t work on the mind, and we just work on the body, it’ll loop back into disrepair.

Dr. Don Wood:

So by getting the mind reset, so that’s basically what we do is we reset the mind, and then start working on the body. And then use all the typical things that all these guys are experts in as well is getting the body back in balance. It’ll keep going out of balance, as long as the mind is not feeling safe.

Jeff:

Yeah, perfect. And look, Don, I’ve got some questions for you a little bit later on around some of your clientele, but I wouldn’t mind actually starting down with Drew and my understanding of fitness and I work with natural paths. We have an institute in Australia where we’re working with some incredibly good minds and the definition of wellness is really an individual thing depending on the person in terms of what they think is wellness. So to get a broad definition, from our panelists is going to be interesting. I asked Matt, who’s our lead formulator, who’s a natural path, he has been practicing for over 20 years. And he described it as an absence of disease. I mean, dis ease, meaning the body is out of a state of harmony down to sort of say what Liz is saying. But Drew in terms of the wellness industry, and I’m sure you’ve seen it, there’s a lot of people out there, Johnny come latelys with nothing but a wing and a prayer who have come out of school and they’re into it.

Jeff:

So how do you separate and how do you help the industry to actually find wellness and if you could maybe talk about some specific people that you’ve worked with to help them to achieve wellness?

Drew Manning:

Yeah, so that’s a good question. And first of all, my whole goal with what I’m doing with my brand is to help shift people’s perception of what health and fitness needs to be because I think health and the fitness industry has been around for a long time and it’s the same thing over and over again, repackage with a different diet, different workout, different supplement to get this body that we think is the end all be all goal, to achieve happiness, right? We think just like once we get rich, all of our problems will go away. And I know a lot of people with six pack abs that are absolutely miserable and think that they’re worthless inside. So for me, wellness is about helping people with not just physical transformation, but mental, emotional, spiritual transformation all in one. But the problem is our perception is that I need to be skinny, I need to have a six pack in order to be accepted by society.

Drew Manning:

And the problem is that our society buys into that myth, and unfortunately, we do too. We become a product of our environment, and so we are like all right, I got made fun of because I’m overweight, so I need to lose weight to fit in. And so people will sometimes do whatever it takes, they’ll lose themselves, they’ll sacrifice their health in order to look good on the outside, they’ll focus on their outward appearance. And so, one of the things I think is changing in the fitness industry and I’m trying to help out with is what these guys are saying too is bringing the mindfulness and attaching things like trauma, to physical health, rather than this being a separate journey. Finding ways to bring together, so when I help clients or I’m teaching people about the ketogenic diet, I teach them that these are all tools to help with physical transformation. But unless you’re also practicing these other tools for mindfulness, unfortunately, you’re not going to be fulfilled in the physical transformation aspect if you don’t focus on the mental, emotional, spiritual transformation at the same time.

Drew Manning:

And all of those journeys, there’s a parallel between the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. And if you’re looking at them as separate journeys, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. There are ways to integrate all of this, and so that’s why I’m a big fan of things like meditation, positive affirmations, a gratitude journal every single day. So while they’re working on meal prep, and these exercises, and the things they know they need to do for physical transformation, it’s about changing people’s perception of what health and fitness needs to be, so that they are more open to a physical transformation, right? And so that’s kind of one thing I’m trying to work on, so hopefully that answers your question.

Jeff:

It does and actually it was a little bit more philosophical than what I thought, Drew, that’s awesome to see. I mean, we’re very much at ATP as well to looking at the people in holistic sense. Mo, we were talking just off air before we started this podcast, what about people with severe physical, issues as well too. And I know that this is specifically something that you’ve done a lot of work with?

Mo Brossette:

Absolutely. The thing people need to understand as well is that there are over 10 million adaptive humans in the United States alone, right. And so what we do at Adaptive Training Foundation, Dominic, what you were saying with the mind and what my role is with working with breath and mindset, and changing language, we say the physical is market entry. That’s what gets you in the building. But once you get in there, because you can train, you can make them stronger, you can make them lose weight, but if you don’t fix what’s between the ears, they’re never going to reach their potential, especially when you’re dealing with someone with a critical injury. And we have so many people that come into our program, spinal cord injuries. Specifically, that have been told by a lot of experts, you will never walk again, you’re always going to need help, you can’t do this. And they never focus on what they can do. So as outside of the Adaptive Population, just wellness as a whole, we have to focus on what we can do and what we want to do. So it’s a whole reframing of the language.

Mo Brossette:

And when you reframe the language, you start to create new neural patterns, and you can then at the subconscious level, you begin to see what is actually possible. And that is what we have to do, that is what we do with our athletes. And through doing that, we literally have athletes that are spinal cord injuries that have not walked in years, that within a nine week program are walking again not using their wheelchairs. We have Parkinson’s patients that are able to stop Parkinson’s tremors within a 60 second time period by focusing on what they can do using breath as the anchor. So wellness as a whole… Like when you go on a diet, the second you go on a diet your mind goes exactly to what I can’t have, right, I can’t have this on this, I can’t do this.

Mo Brossette:

You’re not focused on all the things you can do, so that is what is missing. We have to look at the holistic picture, and that there is no endgame to this. This is not a 12 week, nine week, six month program, this is a life long journey. And when you focus the mind again, you reframe the language and focus on those affirming solid words of can, will and do. And you begin to eliminate those other negating words. That is when the magic happens, and that is when the transformation begins.

Jeff:

Yeah, that’s fantastic. I remember seeing a documentary on a boy that was blind, and all he wanted to do was to be able to ride a bike. And what he did is he used a clicking sound to actually ride his bike and he could actually hear the echoes coming off things including poles and he could ride around poles. It’s amazing what the body can do if the mind believes that it actually can.

Mo Brossette:

And if you surround yourself with the right type of enablers.

Jeff:

Exactly.

Mo Brossette:

We have a blind amputee marine that just started wakeboarding.

Jeff:

Wow, that’s awesome. And one of my favorite sayings is… and probably you’ve all heard it is that bad Company corrupts good character. It’s like if you want to be an eagle don’t hang out with the turkeys, right? Don’t hang out with the people that are pulling you down you want to soar. Liz, I mean, obviously, I know that you’ve worked with a lot of people, especially on the spiritual aspects of this as well too. If we’re talking about the holistic side of things, do you think that is largely overlooked specifically in America? Well, even in the West to a large degree?

Liz Nierzwicki:

Yeah, let the weak man say I am strong, those are Jesus’s words. And I think that’s highly undervalued because mindset is everything. What you’re telling yourself is everything. And if you’re in the bucket with the rest of the crabs and they continue to pull you down, then you stay down. We have to remember that… we have to know and honestly it really has to come from a shift in the world and how we educate the youth. I’m a mom, I have a 16 year old son, he is for certain spiritual, he’s been fed this kind of talk his whole life, empowerment, meditation, yoga, drawing in. I was talking on the way here that I enjoy peace, and peace and ease are a natural part of our wellbeing. And oftentimes we get so far away from that and striving to be somebody or to do these things, but we forget that ease is our natural state of being.

Liz Nierzwicki:

And when we overwhelm ourselves with work or dieting or comparing ourselves to others, those are the enemies that get in the brain is that comparison. In my book I write about the four things that the brain does when it is idle. And like walking or showering, it time travels, goes to the past or to the future. It judges the environment, it’s too hot in here, it’s too cold in here. It may judge other people, it builds up a sense of self. And then it compares that sense of self to others. So comparison is a huge one, and when we’re in the present, however, you’re engaging all of your senses. So your sight, your sound, your taste, your touch, and your hearing. And that pulls you into the present moment, and that pulls you into the sensory experience and also, the emotions, I think, are that sixth sense that we don’t talk about.

Liz Nierzwicki:

And the emotions are our anchors to past experiences, and if we don’t process through emotions, and move beyond them and feel them to heal them, then we stay stuck. And yoga, and GABA, gamma aminobutyric acid is one of the primary neuro transmitters that’s released when you practice yoga that calms the central nervous system. And when you’re always in that fight or flight aspect of life, whether it’s work or driving, there’s so much. If we’re constantly in that fight or flight, we’re not releasing the GABA and we’re not calming our central nervous system, which in my world as a yoga teacher, a teacher of spirituality, that’s the thing that I’m always trying to bring into my day. A couple of different places in the morning, at lunchtime, and obviously, before I go to bed. I bring that into my day and really try to… the people in my life, the people I’m closest to make sure they’re doing that too. So our world has a lot more ease, and it’s stuff that I really want to get out into the world. And that’s what I’m doing with my work.

Jeff:

That’s excellent. I mean, I was talking to a friend of mine who works a lot with women and she was saying the power of a 45 second hug for the releasing of oxytocin and then just slowing down, making eye contact with loved ones. I mean, these are sorts of things that have a tendency to get worked out of the everyday life. And these are the critical things, the glue, if you like, that builds relationships and builds the bonds that actually can really change someone’s life. Now, Dr. Don, I went on to your website and I have to mention a testimonial from a lady by the name of Sunny, who… I shared this with my team and I just want to share with the guys on the panel as well too because I really want to look at the people who have really done it hard and I know that you work with some really special people, Sunny, is it okay if I share the story with [crosstalk 00:18:34]?

Dr. Don Wood:

Absolutely. Yeah, she shares it.

Jeff:

Yeah, so Sunny and you correct me where I’m wrong. I’m getting a little bit of brain fog happening here towards the end of the podcast journey. But Sunny, a wonderful woman who was convicted wrongfully of murder and spent 17 years in jail before she was acquitted. Her husband also was in jail and actually they were both on death row. He was executed two years before they were rightfully acquitted, her parents while she was in jail died tragically in a plane crash and her children went into foster care. And yet when she came out… I mean, how do you process that the amount of anger, and bitterness, and remorse, and loss? Can you finish off her story because it really was something that was outstanding?

Dr. Don Wood:

Yeah, she’s probably the most famous exonerees in the world, they’ve done plays in New York on her story. Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon have all played her, and really what happened is, we work with the Innocence Project they send us people… And the Innocence Project are the people who get people off who’ve been wrongfully accused, they put up their defense. And so Sunny was one of those people. What she was struggling with was the trauma of the event. She was in the car when a person who was traveling with them… she was asleep. But he had killed two police officers and got on a chase, when the police finally shot at the car, and disabled the car, she thought I’m safe. The police are here, I’m going to be okay. But what was the trauma that she couldn’t get out of her mind was seeing the police officers when she was taking their nine year old son and baby out of the car lying on the ground.

Dr. Don Wood:

And so she said, I tried everything. I was everywhere, but that trauma just stuck with me and that affected her health. She’s in a wheelchair, and when she came to see me in a four hour session, she says the first time I’ve ever felt clear, I’ve ever felt that trauma that fear was gone. And I did it with her over Skype, she was on her cell phone in Ireland, and I took her through the process. And she just gave a phenomenal testimony. We work with a number of different exonerees. In fact, we had Dean McKee last week in Philadelphia who was incarcerated for 30 years, and they send him to me, and then we take him through the session. And it just were calming the central nervous system down. That’s why people are getting sick, that’s why they’re over eating. That’s why they’re doing all these kinds of things. And the whole premise what we start off with the first thing I do when I sit down with somebody, is I say, there’s nothing wrong with you, and there’s nothing wrong with your mind.

Dr. Don Wood:

Your mind works perfectly fine, there’s just been a series of events and circumstances that has caused your mind emotional pain. And what I call them is glitches and error messages. The subconscious mind is reading that data in real time, and it’s responding to it in real time. It’s a glitch. As soon as I can get the mind to reset that data, it stops calling for the action because the purpose of an emotion is for an action. The purpose of fear is to escape a threat. The purpose of anger is to attack a threat. So when I worked with say the Boston Marathon bombing survivors, when she starts to tell me what happened that day, she starts to shake and cry. And I said to her, do you know why you’re shaking and crying? She said well, because of what happened to me. And I said, right, but your mind thinks a bomb is about to go off, and it’s creating an emotion to get you to run. It’s a glitch. It’s an error message.

Dr. Don Wood:

By the time we finished, we reset that memory. And then she can talk about it like nothing happened, like she was just telling you what she ordered for breakfast. And that is the whole premise, and that’s what we say. So if we start from that, there’s nothing wrong with you, right? It brings about that we can fix this, right? And so we call our program now NOWW, which is Neuro Optimization for Weight and Wellness, we first reset the mind and then what’s the optimal weight and wellness for you? Not everybody wants to be a supermodel, not everybody wants to be a Spartan racer, right? They just maybe want to feel better and be… Oh, I’m just told everybody wants to be a Spartan racer. I’m sorry, I did a mistake, but people just maybe want to be healthier, want to be fit. And so that’s the premise that we start off with.

Jeff:

Yeah, that’s, that’s amazing. And I think we could all agree that wherever people are, I mean, obviously, we’re talking at one end of the scale, from the secret fears that people have about their own life in terms of how people judge them and perceive them is that people are so bound up and locked up by past events that have happened or perceptions of other people. And they have to recognize that those things that have happened in the past are not happening right now. And it’s being able to free themselves from that, so that they can obviously go into the future, not drag their past into their present or drag it into the future, which is obviously so debilitating.

Jeff:

So guys, I want to open it up. Now, we’ve heard from everyone here in terms of… and I really want some feedback from… because the funny thing is, I didn’t expect to get as much continuity in terms of holistic approach to this and I guess this is why you guys are amongst the leaders in your field is because you’re all looking at people from a holistic point of view. You need to be able to find that point of need that that person has, and be able to to help them to get past that sticking point. So guys, I’m going to throw it over to you in terms of any further observations in terms of what maybe the other panelists have said?

Mo Brossette:

Yes.

Jeff:

Go ahead.

Mo Brossette:

Don, again, you hit the nail on the head with we wake up in a sympathetic state. And that’s where we live, and you as a yoga teacher, we teach breath and how to breathe through the diaphragm. And it’s as simple as starting your morning with breathing, something that takes no energy that takes no movement that you can just lay there and do to spark the parasympathetic nervous system. And then once you do that, then you just see what you can do. You think about some gratitude, and you focus your mind on what you want to do for that day. And then you go out and you do it. One of the things that we work with our adaptive athletes… and again, nothing’s wrong with you. That’s what we tell our guys because every time when they come in, they’re like this is my new normal. This is who I am now, and our response is no one wants to be normal, why do you? There’s no new to you, there’s nothing wrong with you.

Mo Brossette:

So when someone walks through the doors or rolls through the doors or push through the doors at adaptive training Foundation, we don’t look at them like they’re special. We just go hey, man, what’s up? I’m Mo, what happened? Just matter of fact, like I like your blue shirt, that’s cool. How’d you lose your legs? Well, I get hit by a car on my motorcycle. All right, well, that sucks. But now what are we going to do? And they kind of look at you and they’re like, what do you mean? Like, what are you going to do now? And once we break down that wall of I’m not in this box of can’ts and people treating me special, that’s again when the magic happens. And just like what you’re doing with those people, the transformation that human beings can make in such a dramatically short period of time is insane. But you have to have the right mindset, and you have to have that daily practice where it starts with breath.

Dr. Don Wood:

I love what you’re doing because we work sometimes.. the Boston Marathon bombing survivors, Rebecca lost her leg. We worked with another gentleman Marco [inaudible 00:26:17] who we brought to the Spartan Leadership Conference who lost both his legs blew the knee. But he was a marathon runner, he had frostbite. And so they really believed that he had a chance of being an Olympic hopeful, but he had to get more time off. And he couldn’t do it, so he came to our program. We ran them through the program. Nine days later, he ran in a race and took 15 seconds per mile off his time. And so he gave us a testimonial about how great that was, and then he ran the second race he ran after that was the Boston Marathon this year, and he broke the world record for amputees. And what he said was, it was all in my mind. And he said… And what I was saying is it when we have unresolved trauma, we’re actually affecting the ATP, the energy of the cell.

Dr. Don Wood:

And so you have less energy available. When we clear that up, you have more power. And he said, that’s exactly what happened, and not only that, he said, the difference was, and this explained it perfectly, because we always say, we want to have you be in present in a moment, and he said, when I used to run, I would run and I’d be saying, I got 20 miles to go, I got 15 miles to go. He said, what I found myself saying now is I’m at the 10 mile mark, I’m at the 15 mile mark. And it sounds subtle, but it’s a huge difference, he was present. He wasn’t worried and using energy think about what he hasn’t done yet, he was staying in the moment.

Jeff:

That’s awesome. Drew, in terms of… Sorry, were you going to say something?

Drew Manning:

Well, maybe I can tie it into what you were going to ask.

Jeff:

I was going to say, I mean, obviously… and for people that don’t know you, I know that you went on to the Dr. Oz show and you’ve actually been on quite a few talk shows, you’ve used yourself as an example to show people what’s possible if you’re out of shape. And how does that transfer over to people that look at you as an inspiration? Well, if Drew can do it, you’ve been in my shoes… Is that why you did that, and did that build empathy and trust, and were you able to convey that to the people that you’re trying to help?

Drew Manning:

Yeah, good question. So the reason I did Fit2Fat2Fit was because I’ve never been overweight a day in my life. And then here I was a trainer who’s never been overweight, trying to help people who are overweight. And I was like, oh, it’s so simple. Here’s your meal plans, here’s your workouts and you do it, and it’s not that hard. You just put down the junk food. And then, obviously, when I did Fit2Fat2Fit, my eyes were opened, and I saw things from a totally different perspective. And it did build that empathy for me going through that experience to better help people who struggle with transformation because before I used to think, oh, it’s all physical, right? Eat less, workout, you do it and it’s not that hard. Until I did it, I understood the emotional connection to food that I used to think was just an excuse. Like just don’t eat that food, and we think it’s so simple unless you’ve been in that situation, and this all ties back to trauma.

Drew Manning:

You don’t need to lose a leg, you don’t need to be incarcerated incorrectly or to have trauma, we all have trauma. And we have to realize that there’s a connection between that emotional trauma or those emotional challenges, and your physical health. And sometimes we think, oh, maybe this diet or this supplement will just fix it all for me. When in reality, you can achieve a physical transformation by eating less and working out. We all know that, but when it comes to a complete transformation, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, it takes us going back to those traumas, overcoming them, releasing them, and learning how to work through them to have a more fulfilling physical transformation because we think oh, the end goal is to get this body fat, to get this… to make my body look a certain way thinking, okay, then I’ll be fulfilled then I’ll be happy, then I’ll love myself.

Drew Manning:

When in reality, the goal is to learn to love yourself now, while you’re working on a better version of yourself, instead of come from a place of self hate because of that trauma, thinking you’re not good enough. Having those self limiting beliefs your entire life and believing those stories that other people have told you that you aren’t good enough. And unless we learn how to shift our perception of that and stop believing those and unlearn all that we’ve learned, then I believe, I feel like that’s when a complete transformation happens. And that’s when it becomes a lifestyle change instead of just another diet. And so hopefully that ties into what the question you’re asking and I want to say so much about what they’re talking about because it all ties in. I didn’t see this before and a lot of people they want the quickest way to lose the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time with the least amount of effort, right?

Drew Manning:

Thinking if I get this body then all my problems will go away. And I’ve learned from experience and over the years of this, it’s not true. And that’s why there’s such a parallel between these emotional challenges and these trauma, and our physical health, and so I think people need to be awake to that fact. Otherwise, they’re just going to go from diet to diet to diet.

Jeff:

So how do you convey to somebody that you need to work on the inner man or woman before you work on the outer appearance? How do you let people know, okay, because it’s like a child sometimes, and they’re reaching for something. And it’s like, no, that’s not going to solve your problem. That’s a temporary fix, you actually need to go to the soul if you like. I mean, I know we’re getting very metaphysical here, but it seems like… and it’s funny because all the podcasts that we’ve done over this week as well too talking with navy seals and all the rest of it, they all talk about the inner person, starting with the self, starting with the soul, starting with the heart before you then obviously take action on the outside because it’s not going to last.

Drew Manning:

Yeah, so really quickly. I want them to answer that. But what I found is sometimes it does take the first step, the first stepping stone is maybe I want a physical transformation. And so for me, I talk about the keto diet, and it works for a lot of people. And that might be someone’s first stepping stone where they’re like, okay, Drew is talking about the keto diet, I’m going to try it out. And then they start consuming my content, and they’re watching my YouTube videos, and following me on social media. And they’re like, wait a second, Drew’s not talking about six pack abs and weight loss, as this end all be all thing. They start consuming that content and realizing that there’s more to overcoming their emotional challenges and then maybe they start learning about, these amazing people over here. And they’re like, maybe there’s more I need to learn about this transformation, and then what they saw is a physical transformation to solve all their problems, they realize that there’s hope in overcoming these challenges that keep bringing them down.

Drew Manning:

And then it circles back to the physical transformation out of a place of self love when they go through that healing process of letting go of this. But yeah, that’s a question for you guys too. Today.

Liz Nierzwicki:

Man, you mentioned even the physicality aspect, the physical part is where a lot of this journey starts for people and then you… I was about to say that’s so on point because for so many people, it does start with the physical and oftentimes, they’re looking for this thing like you said, it’s a band aid, they might be looking for this little fix outside of themselves. And I know for myself, I was initially like all about the Baywatch body. I wanted that Baywatch body.

Drew Manning:

David Hasselhoff.

Liz Nierzwicki:

More like Pamela Anderson.

Drew Manning:

Pamela Anderson, [crosstalk 00:33:26].

Liz Nierzwicki:

Or [inaudible 00:33:27] was she on Baywatch? I don’t know. But anyways, it was more about that physical aspect. I think that’s… I mean, this physical body of ours, it’s tangible, it’s here. All the other stuff is very metaphysical, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. And for myself through my yoga practice, and just through living this lifestyle, I call them downloads or just these hits with inspiration. One time I really realized I was like, my mom showed me love through food. No wonder why I turn to food for comfort. Like it’s a natural way to give myself that love, and I really believe that everything that we do is all about habits. And all I had to do was shift the food and shift it to something better or something different. I could still love myself in that sense with the awareness that it’s okay as long as I’m feeding myself the right things. And for so long, I wasn’t. I was eating the standard American diet foods.

Liz Nierzwicki:

And what I realized even through that process was like, okay, got that, got the workouts, got the yoga, got the meditation, something would trip me up. It was a trigger, it was an emotional wound or something from the past that I hadn’t quite figured out yet or worked through yet. And I took a whole year off of dating, I took a whole year just to really focus on what self love truly was. And it’s not pedicures and manicures and things like that or even working out. It’s a combination of so many different things, and I really came to this point one day where I was like, no negative thought is worthy of being in my brain. It’s not worthy, and it needs to go. And so I really started focusing on mindset, and I created this podcast called heavenly mind heavenly life. And I really started focusing on the spirit, the voice of the Spirit versus the voice, the negative inner critic, that inner ego, the one that likes to tear you down, but also tells you you’re the shit sometimes. It’s like, make up your mind, what are you?

Liz Nierzwicki:

And so for me, I really look… when I’m coaching people I look at what are your goals and what do you find yourself doing? And those are the oftentimes the things that they don’t want to tell you, they’re ashamed of, they don’t really want to open up about that, but it’s where are you tripping yourself up? Where are you getting in your own way?

Jeff:

Yeah, perfect. Don.

Dr. Don Wood:

One of the things that I say is really, almost this simple it sounds hard to believe it could be that simple. But we’re dealing with two issues, we’re dealing with implicit memory, the way we stored all the details and events and experiences in our life, that our mind is confusing with something that’s still happening. So it’s creating the emotions, feelings, sensations, and thoughts to get an action about something that’s not happening. And because we keep looping through that, then we run into the problem of procedural memory habits, behaviors, because the mind will start to code a way to deal with that issue. So if you repeat something over and over, like you were mentioning food, then your mind learns food is safe, food keeps us alive, right?

Dr. Don Wood:

And so it’ll use that and it always comes down to the fact that people are just trying to feel better. So when I work with addiction, and I’m talking to Joe Polish whose got incredible stuff about addiction and everything and working to change the way we treat people, is we’ve got to stop using shame and guilt on these people. Shame and guilt on people who are overweight, shame and guilt on people who are doing really, maybe crazy things. What I say to them when we talk to them is you couldn’t have done it any other way, based on the way your mind has been set up through these events and experiences. And when you start from that premise, we build from there, forget about what you’ve done, because that’s not who you are. That got created by that implicit memory and procedural memory.

Jeff:

And that’s where we’re love from the community, if you like, from the outside, I mean, you can’t judge somebody until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, right? I mean, this is the problem is you don’t know, as you said, with regards you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, in terms of the people that you’re talking about, then you really started to understand them. But if you haven’t, then without judging, you’re further exacerbating the problem as well too, because you’re continuing to dump shame, and judgment, and hate effectively on these people is what they need is they actually need support, love community, all those sorts of things which I’m sure that the people that you’re Working with you are showing love to all of those people support and helping to pull them through.

Dr. Don Wood:

We’re working with a young lady six months ago who OD twice this year. And when she came in the first thing we said is, there’s nothing wrong with you, I said I can hear in your voice you have have a whole bunch of trauma. And I said, so what we’re going to do first, is we’re going to work on that implicit memory of the way you stored the trauma. And we’ll clear that up fairly quickly because we know we can do that. Then your mind built a whole bunch of codes based on that drugs are keeping me alive. It’s an error message because you repeated it your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between good or bad, right or wrong. It just follows code, it’s a computer. So if you repeat it, it’s going to build a code for you. So then we work on replacing the code, so she went through the program and followed it exactly the way she was supposed to. And she’s six months now, completely clear. She had no withdraw, she was on seven medications. She’s on zero.

Dr. Don Wood:

She’s working full time, going back to college and completely repaired her relationships. And the thing that she said was so nice when she said, I didn’t feel like you judged me, when you told me that I could not have not done this based on the way my mind was set up and filtered through those experience, it created emotional pain. And the emotional pain got solved by the drugs. And I always say the reason people use drugs and alcohol is because it works, right? And so why wouldn’t you want to be out of pain who wouldn’t want to be out of pain? That’s a human behavior, and so the problem is because she repeated it, it coded it. And I had a lady come in who had been in on heroin, and so when she came in, she says, my therapist told me to tell you that I have self destructive behavior. And I just smiled and I said, really? What would make you think you’re self destructive? And she looked at me, and she goes, I’m sticking a needle in my arm with heroin. Don’t you think that’s self destructive?

Dr. Don Wood:

And I said something she hadn’t heard before, I said, no, I don’t think it was self destructive. I think you were trying to feel better. And I bet you when you stuck the needle in your arm you felt better. She goes, yeah. I say, if you wanted to self destruct, you could have done that in many different ways. The substance you used was destructive, but you’re not destructive. Just reframed it, as I said, that’s what we need to do for these people.

Mo Brossette:

That’s one of the things that we do with our veterans, especially they come back and they’re amputee, they’re missing a limb, and their medication has run out, and they’ve turned to street drugs, they’ve turned to heroin and things like that. And day one, when they come in, we say that exact thing that nothing is wrong with you. We love you, brother. We’re like we’re here to help you, we’re going to get you the treatment but you are exactly who and where you need to be. And we’re talking about addicts, we’re talking about amputees and spinal cord injuries. But Drew you’re right, it doesn’t matter what your trauma is. Trauma is trauma, and until you can learn to accept who and where you are in the present moment. You’re not going to be able to change because we live in the past, we live in that version of ourselves we used to be able to do, or who we think we should be, or who we’re supposed to be.

Mo Brossette:

And we can’t focus on who and where we are right now, and when you have the acceptance that you can… that who you are in this moment is absolutely, who you’re supposed to be. There’s nothing wrong with you, and you are a perfect human being, then you can begin to create and again, it doesn’t matter what your trauma is, you have to learn to accept who and where you are. And be present.

Jeff:

Sorry, Drew, go for it. [crosstalk 00:41:31].

Drew Manning:

No, I was looking at you.

Jeff:

No worries. I was going to say guys, I really am enjoying this. But I want to give just in closing everybody, maybe just a minute in terms of what you think the world needs to hear around this whole thing around wellness. I think we’ve completely shifted it from the six pack beach body to really digging down to the core of the heart of what wellness is. So in closing, if you just want to give your final statements in terms of what you think the world needs to hear from your perspective. Drew, do you want to start with you?

Drew Manning:

Yeah, empathy is so powerful, and it’s something that this world needs in general. But for me, specifically, the fitness industry is lacking empathy. And I think no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. And I think that’s one of the issues we have is we’re trying to find these certifications or new knowledge and that’s great. It’s great to progress like that, but people get left behind because there’s this lack of relatability in the industry, for people who are at the forefront or the leaders to come down on certain people’s level, and look at where they’re at now from place of empathy, not sympathy, not pity, or anything like that. But empathy and listening to their situation to understand them instead of listening to respond or listening to judge. And I feel like that’s how we make a change in this world. And that why I feel like the wellness industry, sometimes gets pulled away from the 90% of people that struggle with okay, do I eat this low fat yogurt or do I spend money on produce this month?

Drew Manning:

These things that are so distant from us in this one percent world over here, it takes us to come down on someone’s level and truly trying to understand where they’re coming from, I feel like, that’s how we’re going to make a change is making these amazing advances in this industry of relatable to average person rather than leaving everyone behind because we have these amazing discoveries over here. So I feel like bridging that gap, empathy is one part of that formula to help bridge that gap.

Jeff:

Awesome, Mo.

Mo Brossette:

So I think that number one, you have to surround yourself with the right type of enablers. Like us on this panel and everyone listening like if it’s not with us, it’s someone we’re out there. We’re out there and we’re waiting for you to reach out. But you have to take the first step, you have to be vulnerable, you have to be brave in your vulnerability and say, hey, I need help. That’s what you’re supposed to do. So admitting that number one, you have to surround yourself with the right like minded people. And then number two, what I just said, you have to have acceptance of who you are, and where you are, and you are perfect in this moment, just as you are. And then you have to have a morning daily practice of breathing, the first thing we did when we came into this world, and the last thing you will ever do is take a deep breath, so we have to focus on it in the space in between.

Jeff:

Liz.

Liz Nierzwicki:

I love that you guys it’s so powerful to just be here and listening to you. I just kind of get lost in what you’re saying. It’s beautiful, I really believe that we’re all so divine and we’re not really told that, and I could sit here and say I believe that you are a god and a goddess. That is my true belief. We have been given the power because we’re alive to be all that we can be. It is the stories we tell ourselves, it is the traumas that keep us stuck and looping in these negative circles. So I want to speak to the depressed person right now, the one that can’t move, and you mentioned you do have to take that first step. And you got to find those things that are calling your soul that really light you up, and try different things that can pull you out. And help you find a tribe that you fit into and lock arms with those people, and I know one thing for sure, because I’ve had some people in my life really close to me, attempt suicide, and only you can abandon yourself.

Liz Nierzwicki:

People put so much power into other people loving them, and giving them their worth or even choosing them. And when somebody leaves somebody, that person can be left in distraught. But you’re giving your power away, you’re giving them the power to give you your worth. And really, it’s up to you to not abandon yourself, and when you are… We abandon ourselves all the time in more ways than we’re aware of, and every time you say I’m going to do something and you don’t show up for yourself, or you say tomorrow I’m going to start that thing, and then you don’t start it, you abandon yourself, or you say, I’m not going to eat that and you do you totally abandon yourself. Like, you have to be able to keep your word to yourself.

Jeff:

Don.

Dr. Don Wood:

One of the things that I saw when we first started is the whole medical community is teaching people to live and manage and cope with the problems they have. If you have anxiety, we’re going to manage it, we’re going to teach you how to deal with it. If you have depression, we’re going to teach you. We came in with a completely different, I said, I don’t want you to manage it, I want to eliminate it. It’s an error, right? We’re not built like that. Our minds and bodies are designed to go to homeostasis, right? What’s interfering with it being able to get there, and going back… And so that was a big thing a lot of people had trouble with me when I was saying that. And then the other thing that was really troublesome is with addiction. When I would say we don’t need to teach people to live with this, we need to teach them how to get rid of it, and how to eliminate it.

Dr. Don Wood:

I can’t tell you how many rehab facilities that I called and talk to that would never even return my call. They would sit down say, that all, yeah, sounds interesting. Never call me back. That’s why I was so excited when I heard Joe Polish, that’s the first guy that I’ve ever really heard that said, everything that I’ve been saying for so long. These people don’t need to be shamed and guilt-ed, they need to be helped and not managed. Don’t put them in a rehab facility for 30 days and expect them to be better. You’re just warehousing them, fix them, and that’s what I believe we can do with all this. And it’s really been a pleasure to sit with you guys and hear the philosophies you guys have. That’s what everybody needs to hear that there are solutions that are real, and we can change the world with those kinds of solutions.

Jeff:

Well, I echo your sentiments exactly, Don, I’m blown away actually by the… And I shouldn’t be surprised because you guys are the cream of the crop in terms of your podcast and what you’re doing in the health and fitness community, but I really am blown away by the information. In fact, I’m going to go back and listen to this podcast probably more than once as well too. But look, that thanks everybody for your input. And again, Drew Manning from Fit2Fat2Fit. Liz Nierzwicki, got it. From figureFit. Mo Brosette from Adaptive Training Foundation and Dr. Don Wood from Inspired Performance Institute. Thank you so much for your time, and I hope we met again. And thanks so much for everybody that’s listening on the podcast today as well too.

Drew Manning:

Thanks, Jeff.

Mo Brossette:

Thanks you.

Dr. Don Wood:

Thank you [crosstalk 00:48:50].

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening, and remember question everything. Well, except what we say.