Losing weight is easier said than done. We’ve all been through some form of weight loss roller coaster at one point in our lives. And what gets some people discouraged about continuing on their weight loss journey is the frustration and pressure to keep the pounds off. Drew Manning is a personal trainer who has been in shape his entire life like most personal trainers are. Realizing the disconnect between someone who had never been overweight a day in his life and his clients who had been overweight pretty much the majority of their life, Drew embarked on a challenge to understand his clients’ struggles by going from fit to fat to fit. On today’s podcast, he joins Adam Markel to share the valuable experiences he had during the experiment and the new perspective and understanding he gained on the mental and emotional side of transformation.
A Special Note from Adam: Building resilience and a life you truly love requires attention to all 4 aspects – Mental, Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual. If your Physical resilience is lacking and you’re looking to achieve an even better health and fitness level, I highly recommend you check out Drew’s Back2Fit program, kicking off in January. You can join Drew as he goes on his own journey “Back2Fit” after gaining 60 lbs on purpose! Follow along with the exact plan Drew is using to lose that weight. You’ll have access to weekly meal plans, workouts, grocery shopping lists, and mental/emotional prompts to support you in making a new lifestyle change. Drew and are “simpatico” in the way we approach a resilient life you love and physical fitness…it is not just about the physical but the mental aspects of making a change for the better.
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From Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit: Transforming An Industry With Empathy with Drew Manning
I feel super happy. Blessed to be alive and well right in the middle of everything that’s going on in our world. I can imagine how you all feel. I feel a little dazed and confused, which was a great old stoner movie. This is a different brand of dazed and confused and in that movie, and different than I’ve ever experienced before. That’s been going on for a while. The interesting part about this is that there isn’t light at the end of a tunnel if you look at it that way. I’m the resilience guy and the pivot guy. I’m not so much looking for light at the end of the tunnel anyway. To me, there’s an opportunity to leverage in this moment. With that thought in mind, we booked a great guest for me to speak to and for you to learn from and to connect with. His name is Drew Manning. He is a New York Times bestselling author of the book Fit2Fat2Fit and is best known for his Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit 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 and Lifetime. His book, Complete Keto is available now. It’s great to have you on the show, Drew. I’m excited to get to know you and to have this conversation.
Thanks, Adam. I appreciate you having me on and excited to do this with you.
What’s one thing that you’d love for people to know about you that’s not written in the bio that I read?
I have a business. It’s successful and it does well, but first and foremost, I’m a father of two amazing daughters and that’s my main purpose in this life. I’ll probably throw that in there as well.
Nothing is better for me in my life than a daddy of three daughters. You’ve got two and being a dad is great. Being a daddy to two girls who will become young women and that’s in store for you. I’m a little further down that path to see them grow up and see them become young women that are doing amazing things and are a blessing to the world. I wish that for you, I know that’s what’s in store. Fit2Fat2Fit, everybody heard that and cleaning out their ears going, “What the heck are you talking about?” Create a little context on when this thing got started. I know that you’re involved in this again, meaning going into the belly of the beast. Why don’t you lay it out for us before you take us to the present?
Back in 2011, I had this crazy idea as a personal trainer and someone who had been in shape my entire life like most personal trainers are, the six pack and the muscles. I had a tough time. I grew up in a family of eleven brothers and sisters and we all played sports. Football and wrestling were the sports that I played. For me being active was something that came naturally and a by-product of that was never being overweight, never struggling with emotional eating, and I became a personal trainer because that was part of my life. There was an instant disconnect between me, someone who had never been overweight a day in my life, and then my clients who had been overweight pretty much the majority of their life.
I couldn’t understand why it was so hard for them to follow the meal plan and do the workouts. It seems so simple. In my mind, I’m like, “Why do you keep struggling? it? You just do it and it gets easier and you see the results.” I had one client who was my brother-in-law at the time, told me, “You don’t understand how hard it is for me or for people like me, because for you, it’s always been easy.” When he said that, I took that to heart. I was like, “I don’t understand why it’s so hard.” I’m thinking of this idea, and then this light bulb moment, this thought entered my mind, “What if you got fat on purpose, document that journey and put it online? Would that give you a better understanding?” I almost felt called like it was a calling in my life to do that experiment, to give me the understanding.
To make a long story short, I let myself go for six months. I stopped exercising for the first time in my life. I ate a lot of the standard American diet, lots of processed foods. I put on 75 pounds of pure fat in six months. It was one of the hardest and the most humbling things I’ve ever been through. That’s where the book eventually came from, which became a New York Times bestseller. I learned many valuable experiences during that first experiment. Luckily, I did get back to fit, which is why it’s called Fit2Fat2Fit, with a whole new perspective and understanding on the mental and emotional side of transformation, but also a ton of empathy. Before, I was the judgmental person. I was more of the judgmental trainer that couldn’t understand why people couldn’t do the work, no excuses and do it. Seeing the emotional side of transformation for the first time, I could now empathize with my clients and understand the connection to food, emotional eating, and food addiction that I could have never probably experienced had I not gone through that. That was the first experiment.We are all more than our bodies, and we have more to offer this world than our bodies. Click To Tweet
That’s fascinating that you would want to experience that and develop that empathy. It’s a smart move. At the time you did it, I’m sure you weren’t thinking, “This will be a great book. It will become a bestseller.”
That’s a good assumption. I had no marketing strategy. I had no idea a book deal or TV show would come. I had no idea any of that would happen. I went with it and a lot of luck.
You put yourself into proximity of those good things happening. You went for something that was for good reasons, to develop that empathy and create that greater understanding because how can you understand what it’s like to be somebody that struggles with weight in any way, shape or form if you’ve never struggled with weight? I would think that for a lot of people, their perspective is, “You don’t know what it’s like to be me.” To say, “I’m going to call BS on that because I’m going to go and have that experience and gain that understanding so that I can come back with something more that I can do to serve and help people.” I want to get a sense of what kind of weight gain did you experience and were you able to create in that timeframe? What was the timeframe? Unpack some of the things that you learned that ultimately enabled you to write the book and empathize it at a much more authentic level.
The journey was six months of gaining weight. No exercise for six months, eat a standard American diet, put on 75 pounds during those six months. I’m assuming most of us have seen Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock. He focused a lot on McDonald’s, fast food. Most Americans know fast food is unhealthy. I focused on a lot of the foods that we grew up with in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s like these sugary cereals, chips, cookies, crackers, Hot Pockets, mac and cheese, Top Ramen, soda and juices. All these foods that sometimes we think are healthier, it’s based off the food pyramid. We won’t go down that rabbit hole, but what I’m saying is a lot of these highly processed foods that are convenient taste amazing. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is like crack cocaine. It’s so good. They’re super affordable. These foods are cheaper than real whole food and we have it totally backwards in our society. That’s the food I focused on.
They’re short-term and cheaper.
That’s why a lot of people gravitate towards these foods versus broccoli and lean meats and lots of vegetables. It’s set up backwards. A couple of experiences that shifted my perception were more so on the mental and emotional side. Physically, I knew I was going to get fat. I knew I was going to get the man boobs and the big gut. That was expected. My identity and my whole life was based on my body. My body image was my self-image. In my mind, I was Drew the fit guy. That was part of my identity. Once I lost that and became overweight, I freaked out. I didn’t know who I was anymore without the six pack. I wanted to go up to strangers in public when I was overweight and explained to them, “I’m not overweight. This is an experiment. Here’s my before picture. I felt the need to tell you this so you don’t judge me because I was so uncomfortable with my own skin.” What that taught me was that eventually after going through that hard part is that we are all more than our bodies. We have more to offer this world than our bodies.
That helps me not put so much emphasis or be obsessed about my body image as my self-image and being able to separate that. The second thing was when I transitioned after six months of eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Mountain Dew, and all these delicious foods to then the next day going cold turkey, eating real whole food again. I felt like crap for two weeks. It was awful and I felt miserable. Here I was, a trainer and a proponent of eating healthy food thinking, “This was going to make me feel good.” I felt miserable. If I could compare it to something, it’s probably not going to do it justice, but if you were addicted to drugs and you go cold turkey and get off of that drug, your body goes through withdrawal symptoms that are awful.
That’s what I felt like going through these withdrawal symptoms where my body almost fought back against me and pushed me towards the high that it got from these processed foods for the past six months. That’s where it clicked for me because my clients would tell me all the time they would struggle to stay consistent with their meal plans and eating. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t willpower the way through it, because my whole life has been easy. For me to make that transition and to feel the headaches, the grumpiness, the moodiness, the hunger pains and feeling miserable even though I was eating broccoli, spinach and all these healthy foods that we’re thought to eat, my body still pushed back for about two weeks, and the cravings were super intense. That’s where I finally could develop some empathy for people that struggle with emotional eating and food addiction because the emotional connection to food is way more powerful than we can ever imagine. It took me going through that experiment to finally realize how wrong I was in my approach. Those were some experiences that shaped my perception. It shifted how I could help people in the future.
Did you get back to original weight? When you came out the other side, you went fit to fat to fit again. What was the difference between fit again and fit originally?
From a physical perspective, you couldn’t tell a whole lot. I did get back to my original body fat percentage and physique, and everything looked good on the outside, but up here is where the big shift was. It took me six months to get back to fit, but it was not easy. If you go back and look at my old videos, it was a struggle. It was hard mentally and physically. I compared it to being on top of this mountain my whole life where all the fit Instagram models have always been shaped. They were up here on top and then everyone that’s trying to get there is at the bottom of the mountain. That climb up from the top looks so easy. You’re like, “It looks so easy. Just do this and do that. No excuses, keep pushing yourself.” For me to come down off my mountain and start at the bottom, it was a humbling experience. It taught me a whole new perspective and so much more empathy for those that try and make that struggle up the mountain because I saw things through a different lens finally.
Do you have a sense of what the most humbling part of it was for you? You may have touched on it already.
It was the transition with the food. The second thing was with my daughter. She was two years old at the time and have a ton of energy. She wanted me to chase her around the house. She used to play this game where she’s like, “Chase me, chase me.” She could play for hours and here I was huffing and puffing. I came home from a long day of work, exhausted physically and mentally. I tried to keep up with my daughter. For after about two minutes, I was out of breath and I was exhausted. I sat on the couch and said, “Daddy needs a break.” She wanted me to keep playing. She was trying to pull me off the couch like, “Daddy, please come play with me.” I told her, “I can’t play with you right now. Daddy needs a break.” She didn’t understand why. She then with these puppy dog tears coming down from her eyes says, “Please, please.” She wanted me to play with her so bad and it hit me at that moment.
How many millions of parents out there can’t play with their kids or their own grandkids? Not because of their weight so much, but because of their health. How bad that must suck? That broke my heart to see my little girl want her dad to play with her and I couldn’t because of the health condition I was in, and I was doing this to myself on purpose. Imagine the struggle for people that can’t do that because of their health because they’ve been that way for decades. They can’t make that change. It broke my heart and it developed some empathy for those that struggle, and how much of transformation is mental and emotional. That wasn’t about me being fat or overweight. It was me not taking care of my health to be the best dad I could be.
From a context standpoint, you and I are having this conversation in the middle of a pandemic. It’s hard to imagine, and yet this is the reality. There are a lot of people who’ve already succumbed to this virus and by the look of it, we’ll lose more. There will be greater loss. The virus is the thing that we’re still not fully understanding. Greater understanding is being had each and every day. We’re moving toward the potential for there to be something like a vaccine for it. One of the things that I’ve heard and I want to ask you about is I lean into this positioning that we are more susceptible.
COVID has wreaked havoc in North America but in particular in the United States more than it has elsewhere in the world. It’s not debatable. I’m not assigning blame to why that is the case, but that’s a fact. At least in part, you can make the argument that we’ve succumbed to that because of our diet in the United States. You called it the SAD, Standard American Diet. I’m sure you don’t use the acronym SAD for no reason. To what extent do you think that there is genuinely a connection between how people respond to this virus, whether they recover quickly or ultimately die from it, and their diet and the way they’ve taken care of themselves from a pure perspective of what they put in their mouth each and every day?The emotional connection to food is way more powerful than we can ever imagine. Click To Tweet
There’s a correlation there for sure. I would love for our society to be more aware of how much food, lifestyle, lack of exercise affects us in many other ways. Wearing a mask is cool. I’m all for trying to stay safe during this time, but what if there was emphasis on taking care of our health first and foremost? The problem is our society is a society of convenience. We want the path of least resistance, “I don’t want to do the work, just give me a pill.” That’s what we’ve been programmed to think. That’s what makes the wheels turn and money talks. It’s hard because you can’t come out on the news and say, “You eat your vegetables. You start working out 60 minutes a day. On top of that, wear your mask.”
What if we mandated everyone to eat real food, exercise every single day, and take care of their health, which affects their immune system. No one wants to hear that because they just want, “Where’s the vaccine? Where’s the pill?” I would love if there was more emphasis on that. My hope is that through my platform and other people’s platforms, we can awaken people to the importance of taking ownership of your own health rather than placing blame. I don’t want to make light of anything. I’m not a politician or a scientist, but I do know that things like eating real food, exercising every single day, getting some sunlight, getting out in nature and meditating do have an effect. Whether the science community wants to admit it or not, it does play a role, but it’s a hard pill to swallow. People want the smaller and easier pill.
That’s a good way to put it. They want the bite-size pill. You’re involved in the same experiment. That was 2011 that you had that. Several years later and you’re back into Fit to Fat to Fit again. Where are you in that experiment? What have you started to notice?
Let me first talk about why I’m doing it again. I’m sure people are wondering why would I ever do this again a second time? The first time I learned many valuable experiences. That time it was more so about me experiencing what it’s like to be overweight for the first time. Now I know what to expect. I know what I’ve learned. This time around, I’m on a mission to disrupt the fitness industry and to bring some real change because 2020 is a year of radical change. Whether you like it or not, things are changing, and I want to disrupt the fitness industry by leading with empathy first.
We’ve tried macros, diets, restricting calories, all the workouts and supplements. All that stuff does and can work. What’s not working is up here. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care first. That’s something that I live by, and that’s what Fit to Fat to Fit is all about. If we can bring some empathy to the fitness industry, people are going to be more willing to what the influencers, the leaders, the doctors, the trainers, the coaches have to say because they want to feel understood first. My focus is more on the mental and emotional side, helping people overcome trauma and challenges connected to emotional eating and food addiction.
We are trying to look for the simple pill like, “What diet should I do to lose the most amount of weight with the least amount of effort? What’s the easiest way to do it? What pill should I take?” versus “Let’s go back and face this trauma. Let it go, release it and from there be free of these addictions that have been holding us back because we can’t figure out why we keep sabotaging and going back to our old patterns, our old thinking, our old programming.” For me, it’s a different approach. Calories, macros, workouts matter, but my approach is all about focus on the mental and emotional side first. Doing it a second time in 2020 is a vehicle to bring empathy to the fitness industry.
The second reason I’m doing it is because I’m turning 40. Back when I was 31 in 2011, it’s different metabolism and hormones. We all know or people have told us, “When you get older, it’s harder to lose the weight. Your hormones and metabolism change. It’s way harder.” I’m like, “I hear that. Let’s put that to the test. Let’s do that together. I’ll let myself go for four months, August 27th through December 27th, and come January 2021, let’s do this journey together. I will do it as a 40-year-old to give that age group some hope and say, “I’m here with you. I will hold your hand. All of us will do it together as a team, as a community, but this time around it’s about shifting our perception of what success looks like.”
Instead of focusing on, “I want to get skinny. I want to get the six pack. I want to get the muscles, in hopes that that will make me happy and solve all my problems, then I’ll love myself. People will love and respect me.” It’s about learning to let go of what success looks in the fitness industry and shift your perception of what success looks, and realize that it’s about letting go of the results and falling in love with the process because you are worth it. You are now operating at a place of self-love versus self-hate or hating yourself to skinny. Letting go of that and realize that it’s all about the climb like Miley Cyrus said, it’s not about getting to the top and saying, “Once I have this body, this car, this much money, then I can be happy, relax and love myself. Until then, I’ll hate myself and if I don’t get those results, then it’s not worth it and I’m a failure.” It’s time to break that old programming. That’s what Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty, which is my second journey, is all about.
I think you nailed it in many ways. Do you think that the fitness industry has contributed to this self-loathing behavior?
One hundred percent. It’s the whole diet culture of you’re not of worth and you’re not valued in our society unless you look a certain way. I see it all the time in the fitness industry. People are judged and shamed all the time because they don’t look a certain way. Even when I was at 8% body fat, “You have skinny calves. You’re not even 8% body fat.” There’s all this hate out there because it’s all about body image. We think our body image is way more important than any other thing in this world. That’s why people are shamed and shamed themselves because at some point in time, they bought into this myth that, “Someone made fun of me because I’m a little bit overweight,” or “Someone made fun of me because I look weird or I look different.”
It’s hard to break the old pattern, the old programming if it stems from childhood to let go of that. That’s why a shift in perception is probably the only thing that can help people. It’s not about getting the body. It’s like The Nutty Professor. We’ve all seen that movie. It temporarily can work to feel great, but I promise you it doesn’t solve all your problems. I know people with 5% body fat that still hate themselves, self-conscious and aren’t fulfilled in life. It’s the same thing with rich people. It doesn’t guarantee success. If you can learn to be fulfilled now, even though you’re not where you want to be, even though life isn’t perfect, even though your body is not what you want it to be, then when and if you get the body, you will still be fulfilled. It’s not going to change magically one day you get there and be like, “Finally I did it. I had to hate myself to get here.” I don’t feel that’s how it works in people’s minds for the most part.
You’re not enjoying the process for one thing. You can call it a journey. You can call it a lot of things.
You put up with a process for long enough if you get these results, then you’ll continue doing the process if those results come. If they don’t come, you’ll put in 2, 3 months worth of effort and be like, “I’m not getting the results so why even bother do this?”
We talk about resilience in this community a lot. I love to get your beat on what resilience looks like. How would you define it? Where has it even been a thing that you’ve been able to define it through an experience you’ve had in the past?
Everything I’m talking about carries over into other areas of your life, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re reading this, this also applies to your journey as an entrepreneur. I’m part Hawaiian on my dad’s side and there’s a word in Hawaiian called “imua” and I have it tattooed on my forearm. It means progressing forward or keep moving forward in life. To me, that is resiliency because there are times where we get beat up, we get shamed, we hate who we are, we hate our situation. It can either make you or break you. I’ve had experiences in my life where I get to choose. Do I want to stay here at rock bottom and have the victim mindset of blaming people for my problems? Why am I here? How did I get here? Blame God, your parents, religion, whatever it is that happened to you.Our society is a society of convenience; we want the path of least resistance. Click To Tweet
Resiliency for me is saying, “All this stuff happened to me for a reason.” Life happens for me instead of to me. That’s the difference between a victim mindset and a resilient mindset where you say all this bad stuff, I could either look at it as happening to me and question God why did he let this happen to me or, this happened for me and this is to be learned as a lesson to be resilient, to keep moving forward and learn and grow from it. From there, you pay it forward by helping other people with what you’ve learned to pick yourself up from that rock bottom moment.
Everything happens for a reason always left me a little lacking and empty. It didn’t help me initially in the moment to think that things happen for a reason until I started to think about what that reason could be. More often than not, that reason is about how you serve or how you help other people. That’s not quite the irony of it, but something that you don’t necessarily expect. It’s counterintuitive to think that you’re able to work through, become something that not only strengthens you but also helps you to strengthen others. It elevates it to an even higher level of importance in your life. You said “imua,” could you say a little more about that or where that concept comes from in Hawaiian culture?
If you go anywhere in Hawaii, you’ll see statue of King Kamehameha who was the King of the Hawaiian Islands. He’s the one who united the Kingdom of Hawaii, all the islands, and made them into one kingdom. A lot of his statutes have the word “imua” which means progressing forward. The symbol for that is the tip of an arrow, the tip of a spear and it’s continually moving forward. You’ll see that a lot in tattoo designs and things like that in the Hawaiian culture. It’s a powerful word used in the Hawaiian culture. That’s why I have it tattooed on my arm. I went through a divorce. I left my religion several years ago. After those two things happened, I was at my rock bottom moment in life because those were two big things that molded my identity at that time. I’m like, “Who am I without these things? I don’t know who I am.”
It forced me to go on a self-discovery process. The thing that pulled me out of that rock bottom moment, instead of blaming everyone and having that victim mindset was being a dad. This is why I mentioned being a father first and foremost because I knew that my daughters were worth it to show up the best version of myself. I owed it to them to not pass on that trauma, that hurt, that pain, the hate to them because what you don’t heal in yourself, you pass on to the next generation, in my opinion. For me, it was about breaking that cycle, letting go of all that hurt and pain so that my daughters didn’t have to experience that same thing. When we go through trauma, if you don’t heal it, you’re going to bleed on those who didn’t even cut you. This is what I’m trying to awaken our society to is to break the cycle, learn how to heal yourself so that you don’t pass on that trauma to the next generation which is how racism, hate and division keeps happening in our society because a lot of this stuff is taught.
In past episodes, I’ve mentioned this author’s name and his book. I want to do it again because it’s relevant. It’s a book that a lot of people haven’t heard of so I’ll even ask you if you’ve heard of the book, The Presence Process?
I have not, but it sounds right up my alley.
Michael Brown is the author and it’s a gem. It’s wonderful. In Hawaiian culture, there’s also the Ho’oponopono prayer. This is for forgiveness. To what extent is forgiveness a part of the equation when it comes to how it is that you are able to move forward?
It’s a huge part of the process. It starts with self-forgiveness, which is the hardest thing to do in my opinion. The culture that I was raised in and my perception of it was the guilt and the shame that control you from doing bad things. If you shame yourself and beat yourself up, you’ll never go back and sin, but we’re human. We make mistakes and we mess up. Learning how to deal with that starts with self-forgiveness first and foremost, which is hard for people to do. They can forgive other people easier. What happens when you don’t forgive is you are the one that ends up suffering. You’re the one that’s stuck in that victim mindset of blaming other people and still continue to be hurt until you learn how to let that go until you release it.
I’m a big fan of finding whatever tool works for you, whether it’s religion, prayer, meditation, plant medicine, breath work, whatever it is to help you learn to release that pain and the blaming, and to be able to forgive fully. Whatever tool works for you, seek after that. If you don’t, you still try and live with it. As men, we do a good job of suppressing these things. We’ll suppress it, pretend it doesn’t exist and act as if everything’s okay. We man up and handle it. That’s what we’re taught, but I promise you, it eventually catches up to you at some point in your life. Unless you learn how to let go of it, release it, it will manifest itself in different ways. For some people, that’s why they get addicted to food. Other people become alcoholics or drug addicts or abusive because it manifests itself in different forms unless you truly learn how to release it. That’s what my hope is, to give people hope so that they can be released and free from it. It’s scary to go through that process. It’s scary to be vulnerable and to step into the arena like Brene Brown talks about.
I’m thinking back to time when we were in Maui some years ago and we were being introduced to some things from some local people that shared some fascinating history, as well as some rituals. One of the rituals I still remember, and I don’t know if you’re familiar with this one, is that children often are given a cup like a coconut shell that’s empty. When they maybe do something that isn’t good or they have been reprimanded in school or something happens and they make a mistake, they put a rock inside this coconut shell and then ultimately, they come home at night. Part of the ritual is to empty out the coconut shell so that the next day they get to start with a clean shell that has nothing in it.
That’s something powerful when we’re modeling for other people, how it is that you’re able to release things and let go of them. When it comes to weight, it’s not just physical weight, it’s mental baggage, it’s emotional baggage that we carry around and wonder why it is that we can be exhausted. It’s ironic because the exhaustion that a lot of people feel mentally, emotionally, physically, even spiritually or in other ways is the result of all the baggage that we carry around. It’s ironic that if you’re exhausted from carrying this load, it’s not a wonder that you wouldn’t have the energy to work out at 6:00 at night after carrying all that baggage all day long, all the worry, the anxiety about the uncertainty that’s part of our daily lives. I want to ask you one or two other things. With regard to uncertainty, how do you feel about uncertainty? How do you deal with it? How do you leverage it? Do you think it’s possible to make use of uncertainty? What’s your beat on that?
I’ve come from two different ends of the table here where I used to be so certain about everything and thinking that was what made me happy. I knew where we were from. I knew why we were here. I knew where we were going. I was certain of all this and then all of a sudden, that table came out from under me. I’m uncertain about everything. At first, that’s scary. Since then, I’ve been able to make peace with not knowing. That’s how I move forward in life is being uncertain about it, but being courageous enough to make those steps to go on that adventure, to figure things out, instead of staying stuck in fear of like, “I’m uncertain so I better not even try this because I don’t even know.” This is the journey of an entrepreneur too.
What stops a lot of people is the how. They have an idea, “This will be so cool. How do I do that?” “I don’t know.” If I don’t know how I’m not even going to try instead of being courageous to go on that adventure of being uncertain like, “I don’t know how I’m going to do this.” The how will come if you believe in your mission, your dream, your goal so much, that you are willing to learn. The how will come to you eventually if you’re willing to put in the time to make that goal happen. There is resiliency in being courageous enough to be uncertain about what’s going to happen, but still moving forward, imua. Keep moving forward, even though you’re not certain what’s going to happen. That’s the beauty of life is this journey of being uncertain about what the future holds, but not letting that paralyze me with fear, but having that courage to keep moving forward despite that fear. The fear is never going to go away. It will still be there, but it’s the resiliency and the courage to keep moving forward despite not knowing.
That makes such sense to me. Drew, I want you to share one key ritual for you in your day. I’m going to share one of mine, but when it comes to building that resiliency, that imua, that ability to progress forward, what’s one thing that you do every single day?
This is something I’ve talked about on my Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty journey is continuing to meditate. I can’t exercise now, which is my therapy usually. Continuing to meditate helps me in those moments. What meditation does is it helps me become the observer of my thoughts. What happens in life is we become so reactive to situations in life that trigger us, our emotions rise, and we attach ourselves to those emotions, then we move forward, which is why road rage, or getting upset at your kids and losing your patience with them because they spill something. Those reactiveness, that’s what causes a lot of damage and hurt in our lives. Meditation is one of those things that I still have as part of my routine because it helps me become the observer of my thoughts.Realizing that life happens “for” you instead of “to” you is the difference between a victim mindset and a resilient mindset. Click To Tweet
When I’m the observer of my thoughts, I don’t have to attach myself to the emotions of fear, worry, all those things that can happen when you’re uncertain. I can almost take a step back and observe it like a movie. Here’s what’s happening. Here are these emotions that are starting to come up. I know exactly why these emotions are coming up and now in that moment, I can thoughtfully respond to the situation and keep moving forward with resiliency, despite not knowing what the future holds. Meditation is one of the things that can do that and carries over into other areas of your life as an entrepreneur, as you’re trying to become healthier and more fit. Meditation can help you in many different ways. That’s something that’s still part of my routine.
Drew, thank you so much for everything you shared with us. I know a lot of people are going to be curious to find out exactly what the Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty journey looks for you while you’re going through it. As you’re moving to that next level of understanding and empathy, and a lot of other things that people can organically experience it right alongside you, especially as they’re wanting to create greater fitness moving into the new year. This is powerful and I love the conversation. I appreciate your contribution to the community. Now is always the perfect moment for me to remind myself about how it is that I ritually and rigorously pursue the best that I’m capable of.
That always looks the same way for me. It’s always the way I begin the day that is the signpost or how that day will be and what will happen or not happen. That’s something I got from my grandmother long ago. She would remind me to leave the house on the right foot. What does it look to start your day on the right foot? That to me is waking. There’s something beautiful about the metaphor of waking. Waking up is key. We know that the alternative is not an alternative at all. Knowing that how we begin the day is vital. I like to keep it simple, something that anybody can do wherever they are in the moment.
Listening to you speak about how it is that we ultimately have to create greater love for ourselves and everything we do is a reflection either of the love that we are giving ourselves and the love that we are withholding from ourselves. You did a wonderful job of leading us into that conversation. One of those things about loving yourself and loving others is that it has to ultimately be without condition because the conditions are the painful bits. When we believe we’re worthy and deserving of love, when we have one body type, and maybe we’re not as deserving of love when we’re not looking that way, or when our finances or our business or something isn’t going well, or other people are doing better than us and we’re comparing ourselves to those other people. There are many conditions that we can place on love.
To me, the process is simple. Waking process to me is all about conditionless love for yourself and for the world. The love that we are willing to give ourselves is exactly the gift that we offer to the world. Can you love yourself is the question. Can you love yourself in the midst of radical change? I gave a TED Talk years ago about this. It’s four simple words. We wake up, feel grateful in the moment for waking. Whatever that even looks. It’s a new day, it’s sunny, it’s cloudy, I’m fat, I’m skinny, I’m happy, I’m sad. Where I am at emotionally, physically, mentally is all good in that moment as long as you can appreciate where you’re at in that moment.
Wake up and be in a state of appreciation. As you’re starting to begin and for me, starting is always the feet on the floor. I get my feet on the floor and I take ten seconds to say something out loud. It doesn’t even take ten seconds but it’s four simple words, I love my life. If you want to add a statement or a comma after that and add these words as I do, it’s no matter what. I love my life no matter what. That’s conditionless love, not easy words to say. That’s love for everything. It’s love for our environment, for our brothers and sisters, for the sky, for God, for your business, for your life. Everything that is your life because there’s no question that that’s ultimately what will create that day. Create that experience of living for that day. At least from my experience, it’s how you start the day.
Drew, I’ve enjoyed the fact that we got to connect. Your journey is something that we’re going to share more about. For folks that want to find out more about Drew’s Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty journey, check that out. Support what he’s up to even if you’re on that same path or want to be on that path, there will be ways for you to do that as well. He’s got a great book out called Complete Keto. You can get that as well. Once again, Drew, thanks so much for being a part of this.
Thank you for having me on. It was a pleasure. Thank you, Adam.
It was a blast. Ciao.
- Back2Fit Challenge
- Fit2Fat2Fit Website
- Fit2Fat2Fit Book
- Complete Keto
- Fit 2 Fat 2 Forty
- The Presence Process
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. His new book Complete Keto is available now!