Do you want to gain more confidence? Do you want to lose weight? If you answer yes, then you are in luck because host, Rodney Flowers, has with him someone who cares about helping you achieve those things. In this episode, he sits down with the owner and the New York Times best-selling author of Fit2Fat2Fit, Drew Manning. Contrary to conventional methods of losing weight, Drew put on 75 pounds on purpose and took it off. Here, he shares with us the reason behind this as well as how you can be confident and love yourself more. Drew then takes us across his journey and provides some of the principles that he has learned that can help us live our best lives, be that personally or in business. Join him and Rodney in this conversation as they move you along this upward battle to live a healthy lifestyle and offer great insights to get you to your goals.
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Lose Weight With Confidence And Self-Love With Drew Manning
As always, I am excited about this show. How many of you want more confidence? Maybe you want to increase your energy. How many of you want to slow the aging process? All of us want to slow the aging. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to slow the aging process down. You are in luck because I have a special human being with me who cares about you slowing the aging process down, being mentally focused, having increased energy and having confidence. I have Drew Manning with me. If you don’t know, Drew Manning, you’ve got to want to stick around and learn about this guy because this guy is amazing. He’s a New York Times bestselling author of the book Fit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose.
I don’t know anyone who wants to gain 75 pounds on purpose, but this guy has a message behind the madness. He’s going to share it with us. I’m excited because I know there are individuals out there who are trying to lose 5 pounds. This dude put 75 on and took it off. You needed it on purpose. We’ve got to talk about how you can get over the challenge of losing weight. We’re going to talk about how we can use some of these principles that he’s learned in our own lives, in our business to live our best life. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please help me welcome, Mr. Drew Manning. Welcome to the show.
Rodney, that was the best intro I’ve ever had for all the podcasts I’ve done. I appreciate it. You’re my hype.
I do this about every show. It’s because I’ll be hyped about my guests that come on the show. I’m blessed to have good guests on the show. I want to say thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for who you are and how you show up in the world.
It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to do this with you.When you grew up your entire life in shape, your identity is based on your body. Click To Tweet
I want to get into your book, New York Times bestselling. Congratulations on that Fit2Fat2Fit. What is that all about?
This happened back in 2011. It was a while ago and I had this crazy idea. First of all, a little bit about my backstory. I grew up in a family of eleven brothers and sisters. My parents, I don’t know what they were thinking, but that’s what they did. I played football and wrestling at a young age. Playing sports my whole life, I was pretty in shape my entire life from a young age and never experienced what it was like to be overweight. Fast forward to 2009, I got certified as a personal trainer because I was in love with health and fitness, but I had a very black and white mentality. As I started training clients from someone who had never been overweight a day in their life, here I was trying to help people who had been overweight pretty much every day of their life.
There was a disconnect because for me, I’m like, “This is easy. You follow the meal plan, do the exercises that I give you, and you’ll see results.” My clients would come to me sometimes and be like, “Drew, I try to follow the meal plans, but my friends came over. We went out, had some drinks, had some pizza. I cheated on my diet.” Sometimes they’ll go, “I was sore and tired. I slept in and didn’t go to the gym.” I was like, “Why is it so hard for you to put the junk food down and go to the gym? It can’t be that hard.” For me in my mind, I’m like, “It’s easy. Why isn’t it easy for you?” They would tell me, “Drew, you don’t understand because for you, it’s always been easy. You don’t understand how hard it is for someone like me to change my lifestyle.” I took that to heart.
I was thinking of ideas like, “What can I do to better understand where they’re coming from?” It was weird. It was this light bulb moment, this thought entered my head and it made sense instantly in my head. I still remember this moment where I was thinking of ideas. I was like, “What if you get fat on purpose?” It sounds crazy, ridiculous and risky. For some reason, it felt like it was a calling. I called all my friends, my family like, “What do you think of this idea? Should I do it?” Everyone was like, “That sounds crazy.” I was like, “I’m going to do it.” I researched how to create a website. I created my own YouTube channel. This is back in 2011 so there wasn’t a ton of social media like there is nowadays. YouTube, Facebook, and a website. I had my wife at the time, I was married back then, film me my weigh-ins and this idea.
Six months I was going to go with no exercise and I was going to eat a standard American diet. Unrestrained, I could eat whatever I wanted to for six months and then document that journey. After that walked the walk, put my money where my mouth is, and show people, “This is how you lose the weight.” That was the idea in a nutshell. It became way harder than I thought it was going to be. It was the most humbling thing I’ve been through, but it changed my perspective and opened my eyes. I realized how wrong I was in my approach to helping people. I used to think it was physical. Eat less, work out, do it and you’ll see results. It’s like, “Why can’t people do that?” I realized it’s much more mental and emotional than people think. It’s about eating less calories and moving your body more. It’s simple, but it’s not easy to apply. That was the difference I couldn’t understand until I did Fit2Fat2Fit. Seventy-five pounds in six months, it was tough to do. I’m sure we’ll get into how I did it and what I learned from it.There's more that we can offer this world than our physical bodies. Click To Tweet
Hats off to you because that’s the epitome of meeting people where they are. I appreciate you putting yourself in that situation for others. That’s true servant leadership right there. Thank you for doing that. What were some of the lessons and insights that you’ve learned from this experience?
Here’s the first thing. When I started eating unhealthy food, I’ll tell you what I ate. It was a lot of a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, which was amazing back then.
I grew up on those. That is good. It has lots of sugar but who cares? It was good stuff.
It’s good. The food was good. I’ll be honest with you, I had fun. The first month was fun where I went to the grocery store, skip the produce section. You go down the cereal aisle and we have hundreds of flavors of cereal and different brands. It’s like, “Why do we have an abundance of cereals? It’s crazy.”
You’ve got to have a variety of junk foods.You have the power to create your own identity based on who you are versus being told who you should be by society. Click To Tweet
For me, growing up in the ’80s, I remember commercials back in that day where they would tell us a complete American breakfast was a bowl of cereal, a tall glass of juice and a piece of toast. That’s what Americans grew up on were these highly processed carbohydrate things like sugar cereals, grains and lots of sugar. That’s what I ate. A lot of sugar cereals, white breads, white pastas, juices, granola bars, chips, cookies, crackers, sodas, Spaghettis, Hot Pockets, Top Ramen, and Mac and cheese.
You’re dead hungry. You’re making me hungry.
This is crazy, when I was eating these foods, I had many followers. When they started following me, they would email me like, “You eat exactly the foods that I eat.” Those are the foods that 80% of Americans eat. I know a lot of us that take care of our health were like, “How could people eat that way?” While the food is convenient, it’s way cheaper than whole food and it tastes good. These companies spend millions of dollars on making this food hyper-palatable so that your taste buds become addicted to it. It’s cheap and it’s convenient so why wouldn’t you gravitate towards this food? You’re paying $1 for two Hot Pockets versus a salad that’s $8, it makes sense. We have this upward battle to help people live a healthy lifestyle. If you’re making this Frankenfood way cheaper and tastes way better than real food, people are going to gravitate towards that.
It opened my eyes to how addictive food is because before I’m like, “It’s a lack of willpower. It’s not that hard.” Until I lived it for six months and the emotional connection to food is way more powerful than people think. That’s why people can’t change their lifestyle because they think, “I’m going to go 30 days without sugar.” Your body fights back and is emotionally addicted to these foods. You don’t know about it because it happens at the subconscious level. You don’t realize that it’s that hard to give up alcohol or sugary juices and these highly processed carbohydrate foods. It becomes an addiction. For me, I got to see that firsthand and that’s what changed my perspective. I used to think, “Willpower your way through. Have some discipline.” Understanding and having empathy towards those that struggle with food addiction or food cravings, it’s a real thing and I only lived it for six months. For me, I came out of it more empathetic, a better understanding, and more respect for people that struggle.
Also, when you’re eating a high sugar diet, you’re feeding the bacteria that love that sugar. You don’t give them the sugar that makes them crazy. They’re like, “I want a pop, Todd. I want something sweet.” That’s bacteria. It’s like a baby crying. You want to give the baby the bottle to keep the baby quiet. What were some of your struggles?
When you grew up your entire life in shape, your identity of who you are is based on your body. My identity was Drew The Fit Guy because that’s the way I grew up and the opposite of that is true too. If you grew up your entire life out of shape, your identity becomes your body in a sense. That’s why many people struggle to keep the weight off once they lose weight because inside their identity is still that overweight person. They still identify as that, even though their body has changed, they don’t believe it yet. For me, being in shape and Drew The Fit Guy, my entire life as my identity, it was hard for me to put it on the weight. I became self-conscious and worried about whether people were thinking of me because I wasn’t used to being out in public as an overweight person. It freaked me out. I’m not going to lie, I freaked out. I was self-conscious and worried about what other people thought of me. I wanted to go up to strangers and say, “I don’t know you, but I’m not overweight. This is not how I look. Here’s what I did before the picture. This isn’t me. I’m doing the experiment.”
I was self-conscious about my body and that’s what happens when you identify yourself as you’re your body image versus yourself like your self-image becomes your body image. That’s where you’re attached to your body. When in reality, we are more than our bodies and you understand that firsthand. There’s more that we can offer this world than our physical bodies. The problems that our society places emphasis and importance on your outward appearance, that at some point we buy into this myth that we need to look a certain way to be accepted by society or to be loved by other people so we stop loving ourselves because we don’t have that perfect body. That’s where people struggle sometimes with true transformation is because their body image becomes their self-image. We have to learn how to detach ourselves from that. That’s what I learned going through this firsthand. I was like, “Damn, I do not like being overweight.” It was uncomfortable for me but at some point, I had realized that there’s more to me than my physical body. I knew my body would adjust. I did get back to fit in case you’re wondering. You can read my book and look at my pictures online. I got back to fit.
I’m looking at them. He looks fit. He’s not lying. He’s not making this up.
That’s a whole other story. Getting back was not easy.
I want to touch on something because the piece about identity that pendulum swings both ways. Here you are a fit person consciously, but physically representing something else and it’s bothering you. I feel that that same thing happens to people that may be overweight or maybe in a situation if they want to get on the other side of it. It’s the identity that can make the difference between getting on the other side or not. I know personally, with my situation, I’m going to be real, the identity was handicapped, disable. There are other labels that get placed upon you. “I’m an African American,” there’s that label. Creating the identity within myself that, “Nope, that’s what they say. That’s what society says. Here’s who I am going to be.” Regardless of what they think or how they feel about it. That was the trick inside my mind. I had to play over and over again in my mind of who I am.Life is fulfilling when you discover who you are and what your real purpose is. Click To Tweet
That’s something that I continuously do because situations show up. It comes back to who are you going to be in that situation? Let’s say eating a pizza, sometimes you want a pizza, but does your identity align with the choices that you make? That’s where I’m going with that. If you have a certain identity about yourself, it dictates some of the decisions that you make, places that you go, people that you associate with. Having the right identity about yourself, regardless of physical, economical and social implications, it comes down to, how are you viewing yourself at a subconscious level?
Are you going to create your identity or are you going to let the world create your identity for you? Put those labels on you, “You’re this person. You’re white, you’re Republican or this race.” You could let the world create your identity based on labels and the problem with that is when you start giving power to other people and say, “You get to choose what my identity is and I would go around with that.” You can realize that you have the power to create your own identity and say, “No, this is who I am. This is how I’m going to react. I don’t want labels of the world put on me. That’s their issue. That’s their problem.” You get to choose that, and that’s what’s hard is to learn at some point because as kids, we’re not taught that.
We don’t know how to separate that but at some point, probably in middle school, high school, people tease you for certain things or your parents or teachers say things and you start to buy into these myths that have been passed on from generation to generation. At some point, you have to have a wakeup moment. For me, it was Fit2Fat2Fit. For other people, it could be a lot of things like getting an accident as you did, and having that shifts your perception of your situation. I want to let people know they have the power to create their own identity based on who they are versus being told who they should be by society and our culture.
Let’s get into that. I feel there are a lot of people, not just with losing weight, they struggle with it and identity is a big contributor to that struggle. How can a person change their identity? Let’s do it this way, you got a person, they’ve been trying to lose weight for maybe five years. I want to talk to the person that’s been trying to change for a long time to the point where they feel that it’s not possible. You can come up with stories that say, “It’s in my genes, it’s in my DNA. It’s not possible for me to be fit.” You can say, “It’s in my background. I don’t have the mental capacity to start a business. I don’t know how to be a leader. I can’t learn these skills.” All of these stories come up. How can a person change their identity when having these deep-rooted thoughts and beliefs about yourself?
In my opinion, it has to do with unlearning who you think you’re supposed to be. It’s not about learning who you’re supposed to be. It’s about unlearning. Like I said, all those myths that have been passed on when you were a kid to teenage years, to high school and college, it’s about unlearning those programming that you’ve had since you were a kid and then stripping everything down and getting to the roots. That can come in different ways of how to figure that out. I’m a big fan of things like meditation, getting out in nature, walking, exercising, being alone by yourself. That’s what’s hard is sometimes we’re afraid to be alone. We’ll always have music, watching a movie, reading a book or we can never be alone with our own thoughts. What ultimately needs to happen is you need to discover who you are, but it’s scary because we’re afraid to be alone sometimes. You have to get out of your comfort zone to learn how to do that, unlearn who you thought you were supposed to be versus discovering yourself and finding who you are.
I grew up in a strict religion. That was hard for me to eventually leave that religion, but my whole life, my identity was based on, “This religion is telling me the rules of what I should and shouldn’t do, what it can and can’t do.” Once I left that religion, I was like, “Who am I without these programming, these thoughts that I’ve had my whole life? Who am I without that?” I got to discover my own truth because I thought this was one truth, this religion that I grew up in, and now that I’ve left, it’s like, “What is true?” For me, traveling by myself sometimes was a big benefit to that learning other cultures, meeting other people with different perspectives. It opened my eyes like I said, being out in nature or meditating helped out. Letting go of these old belief systems that I had in my mind, that’s what’s hard to do because our brains become programmed and wired to think a certain way. If you step outside of that and get out of your comfort zone, then you’re forced to adapt and think new ways that are for me, what happens with self-discovery or you can call it unlearning whatever you want to call it. Those are some things that truly find who you are without the programming from school, religion and culture.
I relate to that. We were talking about my accident. Once that happened if you can imagine, there was a lot of isolation. Before the accident, I was always with the boys, always had a ton of people around me, the highlight of the party. After the accident, it was a lot of hospital visits in the hospital. After a while, the visit slows down. It’s you, the nurses, and the doctors. It’s more just you than the nurses and the doctors. You have a lot of time to think. It is during that time that I found out who I am. I found out even more so what I had to offer. Before, it was all about football. That’s all I wanted to do. That’s all I thought about, but I didn’t have that deep relationship with me and who I am, the inner value and contribution that I can give to society. It was in that space that I created new pathways and a new way of thinking about me. I tell people a lot of times when I walk out on stage, “I have the advantage.” They look at me and they see someone who has crutches with a classified disability. I told them I have the advantage and the reason why I’ve had the advantage is because life put me in a situation where I could spend that time with myself.
I’m forced to do that, but I found the greatest gift. I found the greatest blessing in having that opportunity to discover me. I repeatedly put myself in that situation. I revisit that space because you’re right. We have this programming. If we don’t quiet the mind, we don’t get to a place where we can challenge some of those thoughts. A lot of those thoughts are unconscious thoughts. They happen. We respond to them habitually. They produce a result. We don’t realize that’s what’s happening, but things are not changing. You’re getting the same result over and over again. It’s because you have these conscious thoughts that are driving your behavior and your thoughts.
If you don’t quiet the mind to challenge and create new ones, it’s twofold. You get to challenge them and create new ones. That whole fear thing, I get that sometimes it’s the fear to face yourself. We have to. If you don’t get to know you, you don’t face the fears within yourself. Those fears they take over. They become the driving force and driver of your life. They lead and direct you in what you do, what you don’t do, the decisions that you make. It affects your willpower and decision making. That’s important that we take that time to isolate ourselves. Some people never spend time with them. They have a bunch of friends. They like being around other people, but they don’t like being around themselves. Sometimes even that is an awakening. It’s like, “That’s right. I don’t spend time with myself.”
That’s what’s hard for people is to get out of that mindset. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. If you’ve ever read the book, Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins’s. He’s a great example of forcing yourself to adapt. His story inspired me to train for a 100-mile race. I never have run a marathon or even a half marathon of my life. After reading that book it helped me realize that we all have these self-limiting beliefs and we tell ourselves, “No, I can’t be skinny. I can’t run a marathon. I can’t run 100 miles. That’s not what I do. I’m not that person.” Can you? That’s what he tests the limits. He’s like, “I’m going to do this.” He almost died running 100 miles. Once he set his mind on doing that, he ended up doing it even though it almost cost him his life. Since then, he used to be this overweight guy and now, he’s ripped and shredded and runs 100-mile races all the time.The key to change is being comfortable with the uncomfortable. Click To Tweet
He’s in his mid-40s, but his story is remarkable about, “What are those self-limiting beliefs that you’ve been programmed to think since you were a kid?” It’s like, “I can’t step out of this and that zone. I’ve got to stay in my bubble here.” The growth happens on the other side, outside of that bubble, outside of that comfort zone. To live an authentic life, this is something that you mentioned, it’s not worth it. If you’re going around at the subconscious level, stuck in this little bubble, this little comfort zone and not even experiencing things truly because you’re not authentically you yet. That’s where life is fulfilling is when you discover who you are and what your real purpose is. You’ve got to unlearn all those old programs that you’ve been taught. That’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. People are like, “How do I do that?” Start reading a book.
If you don’t read books, read a book, or listen to a podcast. Listen to it on Audible or something like that. Go for a walk in nature instead of going to the gym with 100 other people there. Get out and go by yourself. No music, nothing, or maybe even look into something meditation. Meditation has become a lot more mainstream. It’s become a lot more accepted. It’s more normalized. It’s not this weird thing. You downloaded a free app and you’re like, “I’m going to give this a try. I’m going to work with a life coach, a therapist.” Do something outside of your comfort zone and that’s going to force you to that. If you’re used to doing the same three sets of ten bicep curls and bench press, you’re like, “Why is my body not changing?” You’re eating the same foods over and over again.
It’s time to step outside the comfort zone. Maybe try some new vegetables and workout routines. Maybe do CrossFit, yoga or train for a 100-mile run. This is something I’m doing, which sucks. I hate running. Trust me. I only ran in football because it was a punishment. If you got in trouble, the coach made you run but I’m not running by myself because I love it. It’s to train my body, my mind to say, “We’re going to train for a 100-mile race. We’re going to do this.” It’s a whole other level of getting outside your comfort zone or maybe take a cold shower, do something that sucks. That hurts a little bit, but it’s going to force you to adapt. When I wake up at 4:30 in the morning and see how that goes, it’s going to suck for a little bit, but your body will adjust.
I’m an advocate of seeking out challenges. Once I was able to start walking again, I did a 5K and I had to train for that 5K. Here I am walking on crutches. I did a 5K on crutches. It was like, “I’m going to do this. It didn’t matter. I’m going to get these 3 miles in.” It was the most exhilarating thing that I’ve done and it felt good because the odds were against me and for my body to overcome those odds and complete that race. You feel like you can do anything. I believe that once you get into the habit, you can master that process. Like you talked about, it sucks for a while, but if I keep doing it the life of your repetition, keep doing it over and over, you develop those new pathways in your mind and you get stronger willpower to keep doing it and get that momentum going. When you can master that, you can do anything. Another thing that helps me is the fact of what it would do for other people. Sometimes people need to see an example of what’s possible, which is getting back to you and why you’re taking the road that you’ve taken in society to show people what’s possible. Did you feel that that was part of your life purpose? Did you mention that part of your life purpose is to be an example for people?
It’s evolved over the years. I didn’t know what my life purpose was. For example, leaving my religion and hitting rock bottom, like, “Who am I without all these old programming and thoughts?” It took me discovering who I was after that process. Fit2Fat2Fit at first, I felt like it was my purpose at the moment to be an example, to give to others. Since then, it evolved and upgraded. I’m a dad first and foremost. I love being a dad of two little girls. It’s the most amazing job in the world. That’s my main purpose being a strong father to strong daughters and teaching them that bond between father and daughter is important for me. I have this tattoo on my ribs that says, “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters.” It’s a book I read before I had my first daughter.
It talks about the importance of that father-daughter relationship. I’ve seen how it can hurt the daughters, the girls, if that father is not strong and is not there for his daughter, letting her know that she’s loved and she’s worthy. The daughter learns how to love from her mom, but she learns how to be loved by her dad. That stuck with me. That’s my main purpose for sure. On the business side, the Fit2Fat2Fit side of things is more so, yes, I’m the Fit2Fat2Fit guy. I talk a lot about weight loss, diet, and exercise but for me, it’s more about complete transformation and that’s what my new book Complete Keto. Even though it’s a Keto book, it goes into the mental, emotional side of transformation, the lessons I learned from Fit2Fat2Fit helping people more on the mental, emotional side because that’s where people struggle.
You could google keto diet or a three-month workout program. You could find any information you want at your fingertips. It’s not a lack of knowledge. There’s not access to knowledge for people. People struggle because of the mental, emotional side. They have attachments where they’ve learned this programming of distracting themselves with substances, whether it’s alcohol, drugs, sex, or for some people its food. That becomes our distractions and medicine. We do it at the subconscious level. Every time I’m stressed, I eat, or if I celebrate I’m eating unhealthy food or it becomes part of our culture or I had a bad day, I’m going to have some wine and some chocolate. We’ve been programmed. It’s hard to unlearn that and deprogram ourselves from that type of thinking to change our lifestyle. That’s what’s hard for people.
People get stuck because the emotional connection to food is that more powerful than we think. People need to admit that to themselves. It’s as addictive as drugs can be. That’s why people struggle with change because they think, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I eat less and work out? Why can’t I eat healthy food and exercise on a consistent basis?” They start to beat themselves up and then it becomes this vicious cycle or they’re never good enough. They convince themselves that they can’t do things. They can’t achieve things because they’ve gone through that experience of failing and failing and they believe that that’s the issue for them. I’m a big fan of this book called Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy. About 99% of people out there aren’t these hardcore disciplined people that can be like David Goggins and run 100 miles. Most people don’t have that type of willpower. Instead, he talks about how humans are the ultimate adaptation machine. We adapt to environments and then that’s how we grow and change.
Instead of trying to willpower your way to a new healthy lifestyle, what you do is you change your environment, whether it’s in your house, whether you set your alarm at this time, you move your alarm clock to a different place. You lay your clothes out the night before, you sign up for a class that you’ve never done before, whether it’s CrossFit or yoga, something outside of your comfort zone. You’re getting rid of all the junk food in your house and you’re replacing it with healthy food. Finding unique creative ways that force you to adapt to this environment instead of willpower in your way to the new environment, you’re adapting to a new environment. That’s where the changes are happening. For example, taking a cold shower. At first, what’s going to happen? That’s going to suck. It hurts people who don’t like that feeling, but 30 days of doing that, it’s going to become easier and easier because you’ve trained your mind to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
That’s the key to change is being comfortable with the uncomfortable because we’re a society of comfort. If it’s too hot, we turn the air conditioning up. If it’s too cold, we turn the heater or we got soft mattress, couches, and warm clothes, all things we can do to make ourselves comfortable all the time. We become accustomed to that. You want change, you’ve got to be comfortable with uncomfortable things and doing those hard things. You’ve got to believe that you can do those hard things. You have to believe that starts with something small. As I said, you don’t have to be a David Goggins and, “I’m going to run 100 miles.” Start with something small, maybe it’s a 5K or maybe it’s like, “I’m going to go to this CrossFit or yoga class. I’m going to start lifting weights and learning how to swim.” Whatever it is, do something that’s going to force you to adapt and that’s where change happens.It's all about the climb. It's not about getting to the top if you could learn to fall in love with the process. Click To Tweet
Let me ask you this, Drew. How do we deal with the emotional attachment? I’m emotionally attached to sugar, soft couch or warm shower. I know I have the power to turn the warm water on, get up off the floor to get on the couch, probably go down and have a Coke or whatever. I know if I do that, it’s going to feel good. As long as I don’t do that, it’s going to hurt. What is your advice?
It’s a process that needs to happen. First of all, you’ve got to be patient with yourself. People want instant results. We push a button on our phone and we get instant access to whatever we want instantly. Being patient with yourself first and foremost is important. The second thing is to learn how to become the observer of your thoughts rather than be your thoughts. The problem that we have growing up as we eventually become reactionary to our thoughts. We think something and we’re attached to that. What’s something like meditation can do for people? This is why I’m a huge fan and proponent of it as it helps you take a step back and become the observer of those thoughts. You’re seeing those thoughts come and go which is like clouds in the sky.
Once you detach yourself and realize that you are not your thoughts, you are the observer behind those thoughts, and then you’re more in control. What that carries over to until the lifestyle changes, let’s say you’re reactionary to stress with the kids, finances or your spouse and you reach for a wine or a cookie, you stress eat. If you become good at meditation and being present at the moment, what’s going to happen is in those moments where you’re reactionary, you can take a step back, breathe for a second and realize, “These are the thoughts that I’m feeling. These are the emotions that are coming up. Normally I react by grabbing this.” Instead, you’re the observer now, you’re like, “What’s going on? This stressful thing happened at work. This is causing me to react this way by gravitating towards this food.” It gives you power back where you are the observer. You don’t have to choose that way. You don’t have to go down that path because you’ve thought it out in your head. You thoughtfully responded to it instead of reacting, without even thinking.
You’re taking a step back and realizing, “I’m more in control now because I could choose the cookie and the wine.” I know it’s going to feel good temporarily. My higher thinking is letting me know like, “We know what’s going to happen if we go down that path.” I’m not saying you’re good, you’re going to be perfect all the time, but the more you learn how to do that and take a step back in the moment to be present, you’re more aware of your thoughts. You’re more self-aware of those emotions that are attached to those thoughts. You’re like, “I see what’s going on. I see why I normally react.” You’re thoughtfully responding instead of reacting. It takes time. Be patient with yourself. That’s why I’m a big proponent of something like meditation because it leads to more mindfulness and more mindful eating. It puts you more in control. That’s one thing that I’ve worked with my clients on. That’s where you detach yourself emotionally from those emotional connections to substances.
How important is it to have a reason why not to make that decision? Let’s say a Coke for example. Is it important to have another purpose to support your decision, to not make a decision that you know is going to lead you down the wrong path?
Why are you doing that? Why do you want to change? Why do you want to transform your body? For example, this is one issue that I try and help people work out is they think, “I want to be skinny, fit and ripped.” Why? What’s the why behind that? You look at it. A lot of it is ego. It’s like, “I want to look good.” What happens is we buy into this myth that we are our bodies so we think, “If I look this way, people will like me. They’ll respect me more.” Maybe that’s true because experience has taught you when you’re overweight, maybe some people were mean to you back in the day and you bought into that myth of like, “I am my body and people judge me based on my body. If I look this way and I’m skinny or ripped,” or whatever your goal is, “people like me more and I’ll like myself more.” You’ve got to ask yourself, “Is that true? Do you need to look a certain way to be validated by other people? Why do you want that?” It has to be more than just physical looks because I promise you if it’s about looking a certain way, anyone can get that way.
What you realize is that’s not the fulfilling thing you’re looking for. It’s like choosing after money, “Once I get this much money, then I’ll be happy. Once I get this body, then I’ll be happy.” We put our value of happiness on outside things that sometimes we can control, but we think that’s what going to make us happy. If you’re not already happy where you are, I promise you you’re not going to be happy once you get there. You’ll get there and realize, “This is cool, but there’s still something missing.” We all know a lot of rich people who are miserable are not guaranteed happiness. We all know a lot of people that have six-pack abs that still hate themselves, they still beat themselves up and still have body image issues. It doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to be happy.
You have to realize if you’re chasing these outside things that you think are going to bring you happiness, it’s never going to be enough. You’ve got to learn how to be happy within, first and foremost. Find your true why like, “Why are you wanting to do this? Why do you want to look a certain way? Is it about the respect you get from other people? Is it about, ‘Once I get this, then I’ll love myself?’” I’m a big fan of teaching people. You can be happy and love yourself, even if you’re not perfect. Even if you’re not where you want to be yet, learn to love yourself and be grateful for what you have so that later on down the road if you get there if you get those results, you’ve already decided you’re going to be happy without that. It’s a cherry on top.
I find that when you’re already in that space to accomplish a goal, overcoming obstacles is a lot easier. When you’re trying to do it because it’s going to make me happy, which implies you’re not already happy. It makes it that much harder. When you face a setback or some type of struggle, it makes you even less happy and you feel like you’re never going to be happy because you’re experiencing this. It amplifies it but when you’re already happy, that allows you to not have those sabotaging types of situations. To me, it makes it easier in my mind. What would you say to someone that has a goal of maybe losing weight or some type of challenge? What’s your message to them, especially someone who put themselves deliberately in a situation where you’ve had to face a challenge? What would you say to them first?
This is the hard part for people to hear and also to apply, but learn to fall in love with the process. I hate quoting Miley Cyrus, but, “It’s all about the climb.” It is. It’s not about getting to the top if you could learn to fall in love with the process. This is the problem we have with people in the fitness industry is our perception. We think we have to be successful in the fitness industry. We have to achieve the X, Y, Z results, and whatever the results are. If we don’t achieve that, then we’ve failed. If you could shift your perception and learn to fall in love with the process, and then what happens if you fall in love with the process and do the process day in, day out? The results are going to take care of themselves over time, but you’ve shifted your perception.Vulnerability is strength. Click To Tweet
This is the problem that we have going into a transformation as we base our success on results only. I tell people, “If you could learn to fall in love with the process of eating healthy food, taking care of your body, moving, exercise, whatever the exercise looks like. If you could fall in love with that process, you’re going to do it because you love the process.” You’re going to do it because you feel good doing it and you’re not doing it based on those outward results thinking, “Once they get those results, then I’ll be successful.” Learn to fall in love with the process, instead of focusing on results.
The results will take care of themselves. I promise you if you stay consistent, if you eat healthy food or consistently you work out, you’re going to see results. The problem is people go into it 30 days in like, “I lost 2 pounds. I’m not there yet.” They hate the process. They’re only doing the process for the results. They ended up becoming miserable because they think that they’re not successful. They can’t do it because they try for 30 days hard and they didn’t get the results they wanted in 30 days. They don’t continue the process. It’s about shifting your perception of your situation and finding a way to fall in love with the process.
It doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym and lift heavy weights. It could be a lot of different things. It could be going for a walk every single day. It could be running, swimming, biking or yoga. It could be a different exercise, but fall in love with whatever the process is. The same thing with food, it shifts in your body, mind, and perception of your situation. Once you focus on the process and continue with that and fall in love with that, the results take care of themselves over time.
Drew, how can people connect with you if they wanted to work with you?
It’s super simple. My brand is Fit2Fat2Fit.com. That’s my website. It’s my first book. It’s all my social media handles, @Fit2Fat2Fit. My second book is called Complete Keto. You can find that at Fit2Fat2Fit.com as well.
Thank you for coming on the show.
It’s my pleasure.
I love what you said about falling in love with the process. That is to me, the key to success in everything. You can look at nature and the birth of the human being, everything goes through a process. There’s a process to build a house. There was a process to create the ocean, earth, and the universe. Everything has to go through a process. You can master the process. You can produce any result that you want. I believe in loving the process and trusting the process. What is the game-changing mentality message you would like to leave with us?
I have another tattoo on my arm. It says, “Vulnerability is strength.” This is something that I talk about to a lot of people my personal story is, I do believe if you operate out of a place of self-love versus self-hate, and this took me a long time to realize this. I grew up in a culture where my perception was to be perfect. You had to be perfect in order to be liked and accepted by people. I beat myself up a lot thinking, “If I hate myself more and discipline myself more, I won’t make mistakes. I won’t have any weaknesses. Therefore, I’ll be happy in the long run.” If you operate out of a place of self-hate versus self-love, what you realize is that you start not only treating yourself bad, but it reflects on other people too.
For me, learning self-love took hitting rock bottom, living my religion. Embracing vulnerability as strength instead of as a weakness, it helped me find the true, authentic version of myself. If you show up in this world with your true authentic version, then you have a purpose every single day where you wake up, fueled, ready to go. With your mind clear on what you want to do, what you want to achieve in this life you’ve changed your perception of your situation. Not changing your situation all the time, but shifting your perception and you’re in control. Vulnerability is strength and operating out of the place of self-love versus self-hate, you realize all your other relationships improve. It’s got to start with your relationship with yourself first and foremost.
From Drew Manning, himself, love the process and love yourself. Thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for what you do, who you are, and how you show up in the world. I appreciate you.
I appreciate that.
There you have it, people another successful episode of the Game Changer Mentality podcast. Love yourself and love the process. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Until next time, peace and love.
- Fit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose
- Can’t Hurt Me
- Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters
- Complete Keto
- Willpower Doesn’t Work
- @Fit2Fat2Fit – Facebook
- Is Life Knocking You Down? Read Rodney’s inspiring story – Get Up! I Can’t. I Will. I Did… Here’s How! https://rodneyflowers.com/get-up-book/
- Recognize Your Positive Potential – Essential Assertions by Rodney Flowers https://rodneyflowers.com/essential-assertions-book/
- Get Access to Rodney’s Daily Inspiration in your Inbox Today https://rodneyflowers.us9.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=01f76a038256f77a6fbc93590&id=307d726734
About Drew Manning
Drew Manning is the NY Times Best Selling Author of the book, Fit2Fat2Fit and is best known for his Fit2Fat2Fit.com experiment that went viral online. He’s been featured on shows like Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, The View and many more. His experiment has become a hit TV show, called Fit to Fat to Fit, airing on A&E & Lifetime.
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