On today’s episode, I have Jordan Syatt as my guest. I’m a long time follower of Jordan and I resonate so deeply with Jordan’s content and the mindset he has around sustainability and achievability when it comes to fitness and nutrition.
Jordan Syatt is the founder of Syatt Fitness, an online fitness coaching business. He has helped hundreds of clients in the gym and thousands more online to get leaner, stronger, and healthier, and develop a better relationship with food. His work has been featured all over the world and across the media, including CNN, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and other outlets. Jordan lives in Dallas with his wife and daughter.
Where can I learn about true wellness? How can I develop sustainable habits? How do I realistically maintain a healthy diet? Will losing weight finally make me happy? How can I create a lifestyle that serves me and my goals?
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Okay, Jordan, I’m so happy to have you here. I am a longtime follower of yours on social media and I just could not resonate more with the content that you put out and the mindset that you have around sustainability, and achievability and fitness, nutrition, you name it. So I’m super happy to have you on the show. Thanks for being here.
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the kind words thank you very much.
Yeah. Um, so if you would, if listeners aren’t aware of who you are, and what you do, can you give me your elevator sales pitch of how you got started, what you do now, and what kind of your mission is?
Yeah, so I mean, I’ll start by saying, I’m not good at elevator pitches at all,
So I’m a short, bald, nerdy Jewish guy, I like to, you know, lift weights. And really, I like to help people figure out a way to include fitness as part of their life, not their whole life, trying to figure out how they can get healthier, live longer, be stronger, happier, all of that. Without fitness taking over every waking moment. So I got involved in fitness from a very young age. I started wrestling when I was like eight years old. And, you know, I come from very short family, and I’m only five foot four. And so my mom, I remember, I have an older brother, he’s like, three years older than me. And she walked into the living room when I was eight. So he was around 11. And she was worried about us, you know, getting bullied, you know, short Jewish kids at school, so and not very, like a Jewish community. So she was like, I want you to be able to defend yourself. So I’m putting you two in wrestling. And the only wrestling that I knew at that time was WWF style wrestling. So I remember looking at her and being like, you want me to hit someone with a chair? Like No, you idiot, like Olympic style wrestling, which I still had no idea what that was. But I was like, okay, cool. And I was terrible in school. I was like, I’m the black sheep in my family in terms of academics were always very difficult for me, test taking. I was in special education and had IEPs and all that stuff. And I was never good in school, but athletics I was very good at. And so I started wrestling at eight and I fell in love with it. And I was fortunately pretty good at it. And so by the time I got to high school, I made varsity as a freshman. So I beat a junior out for the varsity spot. And I was good from a technique and endurance perspective. But from a strength perspective, I was 14 going up against mainly 16, 17, 18 year olds, and there’s a big strength discrepancy there. So I was also cutting a lot of weight, I was cutting from like 112 pounds to 103 pounds every single week. And so I found a gym a couple towns over from me, I grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts. And it was like a private gym. It wasn’t like a Gold gym, or an LA Fitness, which there’s nothing wrong with those, but this is a privately owned gym. And I just I reached out and I said, listen, I’ll take the trash out, I’ll clean the floors, I’ll do whatever you need me to do, because I want to come and learn from you. And I was very fortunate because number one, they took me under their wing. They let me come in and I worked there all the way through high school from 14 to 18. And number two is they were very science based. It was a very science based gym. And so from 14 years old, I got thrust into the science based fitness community and I didn’t really waste too much time on a lot of the nonsense and bullshit that people go through and the magazines and the fads like I got really I got thrust right into a very science based fitness community. And I’ve been doing it since I was 14 I’m 31 now as they’d never had another job.
Yeah, well, that’s amazing what a blessing to find that specific gym that you said is very science based because a lot of environments like that don’t exist and honestly I feel like we’ve seen a big increase in science-based information especially in gyms and in those settings, but back then, I mean it was very bro sciency and especially with wrestling where it’s a sport we have to make weight. A lot of detrimental habits can be formed if you’re not getting good information on how to do that.
100% Yeah, I mean, I developed severe binge eating issues, I had anorexia, bulimia a little bit like, I really struggled as a result of it.
I had no idea that that was a part of your history. Not that I mean, I would have any reason to know that it’s funny that you think, you know, you have this false perception of how you know someone based on how you see them on social media.
I mean, I’ve made a number of YouTube videos about it and podcasts about it. It’s not something I talk about every day, I haven’t had any issues, thank God for over 10 years now. But from like 14 to about 21/22, I was severely struggling with disordered eating habits, and I think that’s part of where my teaching philosophy has come from, is going through a lot of that, and going through a lot of those struggles, is like, I think I have much more empathy towards it than a lot of coaches who haven’t gone through it will have. So you know, going through the real real struggles with, the big thing for me was the binge eating, like, that was the thing I struggled with most. But even you know, like, I would not eat for days, sometimes over a week at a time in order to make weight. And this is something that in the combat world, like the fighting world, it’s male dominated, for sure there are like more women coming out as fighters and like the fighting community is accepting them. And you know, they have probably even more struggles with it, especially weigh ins around their menstrual cycle are pretty fucking intense. But the fighting community is interesting because it is male dominated, and it’s like fight or like literal fighters. And it’s like the most like manly men you could ever imagine. Right? But like, you wouldn’t believe how many of like, even like professional fighters who are like the most savage killers in the world will message me being like, I’m struggling with binge eating. I’m struggling with anorexia like the people who you look at and think that person is just so savage. And like, they don’t struggle with the things that I’m struggling with. It’s like, we’re all human. And I think a lot of this stuff is much more common than people realize.
Yeah, well, and I love how you’re kind of talking about, like misconceptions of that, where someone might think only women struggle with that. And really, these problems are more translatable than we think they are, we assume they are even to, to men who you think wouldn’t struggle with stuff like this. So that’s really interesting.
You know, it’s really, it’s interesting, it’s like, so the majority of my clients are women, and it has been for the majority of my career. But from my experience, it’s about like, 50/50, in terms of like, men and women struggling with it, like I don’t see more women struggling with it than men, like from a percentage basis, what I found is women are more likely to bring it up, women are more likely to ask for help. Yeah. And it’s been interesting, I think we’ve seen that in culture in a very interesting way. The body positivity movement, which I think there’s some some great aspects of it, and some not great aspects of it. But that’s really only applied to women, from the perspective of, if we look on fitness magazines. For women, we now see all different shapes and sizes and all of that. You don’t see that in the men’s magazine. It’s all still the same fucking
Still super tall ripped dudes yeah.
I think it’s because women have been more vocal about it. Whereas like, men, if they say, Hey, like, but I’m not gonna look like that. Or like, that’s just not that’s not only health, they’ll be called it you know, pussy, whatever it is, like, immediately. So it’s, it’s been interesting to see that shift. I think it will come from men, but it’s going to be later, I think it’s going to take a little bit of time for the men to actually get vocal about it.
Yeah, well, I agree. And I, one of the things that I love the most about how you present information is that you are so in the middle and can see both sides of almost every single perspective. And it’s so refreshing to have someone who’s willing to consider both sides and be able to see and present the arguments of both sides and not be afraid of, you know, the extremists that you’re gonna get from both sides calling you out for, you know, if you say you have a problem with some aspect of the body positivity movement, well, then, oh, you’re a piece of shit. You don’t care about women. But you know, if you say that you do support it. And you can see the benefit of having people accept who they are, and be willing to change themselves from a place of respect and self love. Then it’s like, oh, you’re condoning obesity. I mean, it’s like there’s no winning but someone has to be there in the middle to take up that space because I truly think that that is what produces the most or the highest chance for sustainable and positive change.
Yeah I appreciate the kind words thank you means a lot. I completely agree. It’s what produces the best results. And I also think the extremes are louder, right? Like the extremes are they always have the loudest voices. And realistically, if we’re just looking at media nowadays and social media specifically, but social media is the new media, it favors extremism. It will, it will proliferate the extremist black and white dogmatic statements because those are getting get the highest response, which means more people will see that whereas the middle of the road stuff, it doesn’t get as much as it won’t favor that not because they’re against middle of the road, but because basic human psychology 101, these clear, black and white dogmatic statements are going to create more support on one side and anger on the other and you put that together, it’s like a fucking hurricane. And like, that’s why why things go viral.
Well, for sure, for sure. I went to college, originally, to be a journalist, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. And so I saw that a lot, just literally learning and being taught how to, you know, like, if it bleeds, it leads. If it’s gonna get a reaction, that’s what you report. And that’s how you present it. And it was one of those things where it was like, man, I would like to do some good in the world. And this is not how I see myself going about it. And so it was like, I went back to school to be a dietitian. But yeah, you’re exactly right, and just how it is on, you know, with politics, on TV, and whatever else. We’re made to feel like we’re being pitted against each other, and that there’s nobody who’s with you, in the middle ground. And I think that’s not the case, just because just like you were saying that people on either side are going to be the loudest and get the most exposure. But in reality, I think, and I hope that there are a lot more people who can relate to being in that middle ground.
You know, I really, I think if you’d asked me eight years ago, before my social media really took off and all that I probably would have given I would have had a different thought process. And when I said no, like the middle of the road isn’t like it doesn’t work. But being able to see my growth and other similar who have similar outlooks and are more middle of the road and are not as black and white. Seeing the growth of that. And interacting with people in my DMs has completely changed my mind. Like I really think and not like to go into politics, like I think we’re going to see, the fitness industry runs on a pendulum of extremes, right? It’s either, it’s either gonna kill you or it’s gonna save your life.
I love that you use the word pendulum. This is the exact thing I wanted to talk to you about. So I want to come back to that we’ll bookmark it, okay, but continue.
It’s going back and forth, like, it’s either gonna kill you or it’s gonna save your life. It’s gonna burn fat, or it’s gonna make you get fat. Politics, very similar pendulum of extremes. Like we see that. We can even see that in like presidential elections back and forth like Democrat, Republican, Democrat, Republican back and forth, back and forth back and like, this is all very obvious. And so it’ll run on pendulums. I think what we’re seeing now is especially after the last few years, not just politically but also in the fitness world is people are thirsty and craving, just nuance and they want to know like, they don’t want to be as black and white they don’t want to just like this is right this is wrong. This is good. This is bad. This is healthy. This is unhealthy. Like well, let’s let’s learn the nuance of it. I think people now more than ever, are really really aware that they don’t know a lot and they want to know more rather than than just the headline. So I think I think really like now is the best time in history to be that middle of the road and to present people with a nuance. The issue with that is though, the catch 22 here is in order to present nuance, you have to be educated.
Yeah you have to know what you don’t know. Also be willing to admit that.
And you have to spend a lot of time and you have to oftentimes you have to go through periods of unbalance in order to be like, think you know all about this one thing. And then someone’s like, well, actually, maybe what about this, and you have to be open minded enough to say, oh, fuck, I was wrong, and then be okay, going back and forth. I think. I think for me, the best thing I’ve been able to do is I have no issue saying, I’m wrong. Like I have no issue at all. If anything, I’m happy to say it selfishly, because number one, I’m gonna learn more from it. And number two is I know if I publicly say that I’m wrong, people trust me more immediately. As soon as I publicly say hey, I was wrong here. People immediately trust you more. It’s not like I think 15/20/30 years ago where if you said you were wrong, I think a lot of people would like like try and be mad at you and like look at it as a as a negative thing. Because like PR for politicians. No, don’t admit you’re wrong. Don’t admit you’re wrong lawyers don’t. You’re like No, no, actually, if you can say, hey, I made a mistake. I think people look at you and say, well, now I can trust you. Because I know that you’re going to do that again in the future. And that’s what trust is built on.
Yeah, well, and an aspect of that may be that people have more access to this type of information. And so with a better understanding of science is evolving. Science changes, we get new information. And so if you’re not correcting something that you thought 10 years ago, then like you’re living in the dark ages. Like you have to keep progressing. And chances are, you did say something or you did believe something that turned out to be completely wrong. Not that it wasn’t based in logic at the time, but that doesn’t mean that that’s actually how it works once we get new information. So yeah.
Back to the pendulum. Talk about the pendulum. I want to hear your thoughts on that.
Okay. So something that I talk to my clients about is the nutritional pendulum where we’re swinging from super strict way too restrictive, we have no enjoyment, it’s not sustainable. Swinging to the fuck it side, where we’re doing whatever we want, we’re not even considering nourishment at all. And so where we want to get to is our perfect balance point, where we’re straddling that line of being able to eat enjoyable and satisfying foods, but not over indulging too frequently. And so I’ve literally screenshotted a story that you had the other day where you were talking about, it’s hard to reach that balance point if you haven’t been on both sides. And it’s something that I’ve been like, grappling with how to talk about because I don’t ever want to say like, you need to be way too strict, or like, you need to cut all these foods out of diet or whatever. But if you haven’t established those, that regiment of knowing what that looks like, it’s hard to backtrack to the point of balance. And so it’s like, you’re not going to know what balance feels like, unless you’ve been on both sides of the equation. And with fitness, I’ve experienced the same thing where it’s like, Okay, I’ve worked out way too hard, way too long, with way too much cardio way too much high intensity, and now the workouts that I do, it feels so easy, but it’s still effective and efficient. And it’s like, but I wouldn’t be able to be this consistent had I not gone through what I went through initially with doing way too much. And so it’s like, I don’t want to tell someone to do too much, and then come back. But like, that’s how I feel like, it feels more sustainable, because you’ve been on both sides. So I would just wanted to like get your thoughts on that.
I love what you’re saying, I completely agree. I think as coaches, we become coaches, oftentimes, because we struggled with it, we had our own personal struggle, or in whatever capacity that meant. Then we came to a better place. And they’re like, we want to help people through that struggle. And in our mind, we don’t want them to go through what we went through. So we do everything we can to make sure they don’t go through it. But we don’t realize we are where we are because of what we went through. Oftentimes, in my mind, it’s not that we don’t want to let them go through it, it’s that if I had someone to guide me through it, it would have been a much less dangerous, a much less severe process. So it’s almost guiding them. It’s like if you’re a parent, and you have a child, and you never let your child fall or skin their knee, then they’re not going to learn how to get back up when they do skin their knee. You have to let them fall and skin their knee and get hurt in order for them to learn how to get back up from it. So when you have a client who’s struggling through this, it’s not to not let them toe the line or go with it, it’s you have to be there with them to help chaperone them through it and pull them back when they need to be pulled back. It’s you’re teaching them how to toe the line and learning those skills. And I just think it’s it’s very difficult. But if you prevent someone from toeing the line or even crossing line, you’re preventing them from learning, you’re not giving them the opportunity to learn and grow. So it’s a difficult line to walk but giving them the leeway to yeah, I want you to go with this first. Like a simple one is counting calories. Like there are many people for whom calorie counting is not going to be a good fit. There are many people for whom it won’t be a good fit. For some people, if I know it’s not gonna be a good fit for someone for like six months, it doesn’t mean I won’t have to do it for 48 hours. Right? I’ll get them to do it just for a small amount of time. And then I pull them back and I’ll say what did we learn from that? And how do we go forward without needing to do this every day, every meal, all of that stuff, right? If I know they need to have a little bit of this knowledge, let’s dive into it, pull you right back out of it, cool, you toe the line, we’re going to bring you back. I’m not going to say, yeah, you have to miss ticularly, count your calories now for the next six months straight, that would be a really bad idea. But if say, hey, we’ve got a timer on, I set my clock timer for 48 hours, we’re going to count everything for 48 hours and pull you right back, you’re not going to get the scale, you’re not going to do any of this shit. But I want you to count your calories for 48 hours. So we can get a really good idea of what’s happening. Cool. So you can help them toe the line, you can take them there and then pull them right back. So they don’t necessarily have to go through as severe of an issue as we went through. But they did learn enough to be able to say okay, now I can extrapolate a little bit and have a better understanding of what’s going on.
Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, and it’s also one of those things where the skills that you pick up when you’re there, and the amount of like when we’re talking about the nutritional pendulum, and we’re coming from the fuck it side, a lot of times, we haven’t even established a baseline of consistency. And so it’s important to focus more on that when those skills aren’t there yet. Like, okay, I wouldn’t say if you’re super experienced in nutrition, and you’re having trouble with being too restrictive, to be more restrictive, but you don’t have those baseline habits set up, then we have to consistency and establishing those habits is priority number one, and then we look at okay, let’s back up a little bit. And think about how we can make this more balanced. And you know, vice versa for starting to include more balance and not being so restrictive.
100%. One thing that I’ll do with clients who are overly restrictive, and they count their fucking spinach and their onions and their mushrooms, which like, that was me 15 years ago, coming off of wrestling, disordered eating, but like, I didn’t have someone to guide me through it. So I had to struggle for years until luckily I was able to come out of it. But now, if I have that person, I could be like, hey listen, number one, I’m gonna have a conversation. I’m like, do you want to be this meticulous with the nutrition forever? And every time the answer’s no, they don’t want to be doing this. This is a feeling that they feel like they have to, or else they’re gonna get fat. And so I’m like, okay, cool. So here’s what we’re gonna do, you know that one day isn’t going to ruin your progress. So right now you’re counting your calories for every single calorie seven days a week, 365 days a year. What we’re going to do is every Monday, you’re not going to count your calories. Just on Monday, for the next month. For four weeks, every Monday, you don’t count, but then Tuesday through Sunday, you do. And then we do that for one month. And then next month, we make it Monday Tuesday. Then the following month Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday so at the end of seven months, they get to a point where they’re no longer counting their calories. But it starts off with that one day. We toe the line. So they don’t go too far. And oftentimes, they eat the same foods they normally would. And it’s like it’s just on an irregular portions, they eat the normal diet, they just don’t weigh in measure, they don’t count it. And after seven months, it’s a slow, steady process. Now they don’t have to count anymore. Or maybe they’ll count one or two days a week just like to make them feel comfortable. But the other days, five days a week now they’re more like, Okay, I don’t need to count anymore. It’s you get them to toe the line a little bit. So that you can then chaperone them along the process to a point where like, okay, I feel comfortable now. Which, it’s a happy medium of, you don’t have to go through all of the restriction and disordered stuff that I went through in order to get to this point. But you do have to push outside your comfort zone. And that’s where I’m going to be here just to like watch your behavior and your thoughts and what’s going on to try and lead you in the right direction keep you in this bubble while still not preventing you from allowing to go over the line.
Yes, I feel like one of the most common and important things that I do that is truly looking at the thought patterns and recognizing, okay, we’re blowing this out of proportion, we’re very all or nothing here. Let’s back that up and realize, okay, your habits that you are consistent with when you are tracking those can exist without you tracking them. What if you just didn’t track them? And you’re still doing all these things?
Yeah, it’s so funny, like, especially nowadays, I feel like in this entrepreneurial fad, where everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and like, you gotta have all this data. It’s funny. There’s a guy I spoke at a seminar in Arizona a couple of weeks ago, and one of the guys who was there, he reached out, he was like, hey, listen, I live in Dallas as well. I’d like to go to go to coffee. I was like, yeah, we’ll go to coffee. So we went to get coffee this past weekend on Saturday. And he was asking me about all of this data that I have on my company, all this data back end data, all this stuff. And I told him I was like, bro, I have no fucking clue. I don’t have any data at all. I was like, I have a team of two other people like my assistant and assistant coach, and it’s me and like. It’s so funny. I feel like I hate it when personal trainers and nutritionists call themselves entrepreneurs. I hate it. It’s like, just because you have a big social media audience or you run your you’re not an entrepreneur, your personal trainer. Yeah, we did this to help people, we got into this industry to help people, like an entrepreneur is like your multiple businesses like you’re,
Yeah like you’re not a business mogul.
Yeah you own a fitness business. And like, that’s it. It’s all you do. You’re not an entrepreneur. And I feel like when you put that label on it, like you’re an entrepreneur, well, then like, I’ve got to track all this data and get all this shit. And I think people often when they get into fitness, they do the same thing. Like I’m a competitor, I’m a fitness person. No, it’s like, you got a couple kids, you want to be healthy. You’re working out, we don’t need to meticulously track every single fucking thing. God forbid, like, you don’t track that meal, whatever. Like it’s okay, it’s fine, relax, keep going.
You’re debilitated by the data at a certain point. And it’s like, okay, if you’re not tracking it, is it really going to adjust your behavior? And if that’s the case, then like, that’s an issue. What are you doing when we’re not tracking and just to track, it should not be the reason that you’re doing it.
Correct. I completely agree. 100%.
I, personally, I am getting a lot out of the entrepreneurial/coaching mindset, because you as a coach, who’s on social media, and like trying to, you know, build a following and get active leads, and blah, blah, blah, you’re pushed to consider yourself an entrepreneur, and buy all these business courses and like, do all this stuff and I literally feel like a light switch just went off on my mind, because it’s like I don’t, I’m here to be a dietitian, like I’m here to be a nutrition coach. I’m not an entrepreneur, like, I can do a great job with my business being who I want to be. And it doesn’t have to be, if I don’t identify with that hat, then I don’t have to wear it.
Correct. I’ve always found for me personally, at any time, I try and take the entrepreneur hat and put that hat on, and I focus more on like getting leads and conversions, I get more anxiety, I enjoy my job less, and my business does more poorly. But when I just focus on, and I know this is gonna be a crazy thing to say, but when I just focus on being a good coach, and helping people, my anxiety goes down, the enjoyment of what I do goes up and my business does better. Every time. If I try and put on this fucking hat of entrepreneur, leads, I fucking hate that. I don’t like pitching. I don’t like selling I just like coaching. I understand like, yes, making money isn’t a bad thing. Like I am a huge fan of capitalism. I understand that there are major issues with it. But I’m a huge fan of capitalism
Well and good people having money can do good things. That’s great.
100%. But when for me, at least when my goal is make more money, instead of being a better coach, everything goes to shit. When my focus is be a better coach, everything blossoms, everything. It’s just much better that way.
Yeah, yes, I cannot agree with that more. So a little topic segue. I know that you are still a new dad. Congratulation. People will know by the time this is out in the world, but I also I’m 15 weeks pregnant.
That’s so exciting. That is so exciting. And in Hebrew, we say besha tova, which means all in good time. It’s all in good time. Jews we are we’re very superstitious. So we don’t we don’t say congratulations yet. We just say all in good time. So besha tova, it’s very exciting.
I love that. Thank you. Thank you so much. But I’m, you know, my husband and I are looking ahead to how our lives gonna look how we can continue to prioritize our health with adding this huge element to our lives. So I wanted to ask you what you expected and you know, the main thing that you expected that did come to fruition, and then the biggest thing that was unexpected that you have dealt with and so far as continuing to prioritize your physical health.
So there’s a lot that I could say, and I have to say, number one, this is only my experience, okay, like, this is not everybody’s experience. I know I shouldn’t have to say that but I do. And there’s a lot that I can say, and I’m obsessed with my daughter and my wife like I’m obsessed by just like it’s all I think about it’s all I care about, like my heart is just like explode all the time. And I knew I wanted to be a father my whole life. Like ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a dad. The thing that surprised me the most was I knew logically that it requires more of the mother, not just the pregnancy, obviously. But immediately post pregnancy requires more. It was surprising how much more. Like it was even like, so I’m so blessed I can work from home, I can, you know, I can feed my daughter or bottle feed her when needed and all of that and like, so that was like, I was like, Hey, listen, I’m going to take the 1am feed, so that you can try and get some sleep. I’m up late anyway, so I’ll stay I’ll stay up late. I’ll do the 1:00am feed. But even then, it’s like, and I know, you know, there different thoughts on breastfeeding and all this stuff, but my wife was pumping. Because like, if she didn’t pump then like her boobs were gonna be super fucking full. I was like, oh, I didn’t know any of this shit.
Oh, I know, the physical changes alone are mind blowing.
But even so if I would take the 1:00am feed early on, like, she would still have to wake up and pump and like, then I could get some sleep. It was it’s so much more intense on the mother. It just is just naturally because the baby requires you. The baby does not require me or your husband. Not required. But your child requires you so there’s inherently more stress, physical, mental, emotional. The way that my doctor put it so I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen my wife cry pre birth of our daughter. Like we’ve been married for over a year now. But dating for over five years. I can count on one hand how many times I saw her cry prior to that. After the birth, she was crying all the time, like out of nowhere. And it wasn’t because she was sad. She just start crying. And I was like, what the f, my immediate response was like, I need to fix it what’s going on? But like, I was like, what’s up? She’s like, I don’t know. And I was like, What do you mean you don’t know? So we spoke to our doctor and the doctor said, listen, right before birth, your serotonin is at like an all time high. And immediately after birth, it has a massive cliff drop off. And so like your when people say your hormones all over the place, like literally, they’re all over the place. Not to mention, unbelievably sleep deprived, super we were scared all the time. And we still are like, is she breathing? Is she like, is everything okay? Like it’s just insane. So, I mean, the thing that surprised me the most was how intense it really was, especially for my wife. The thing for me, that was the I mean, the thing that was most surprising for me like, I’m not surprised how much I love this girl. Like, I’m not surprised. I’ve been wanting this my whole life. And it’s like, my heart is exploding with love every moment. The best way that someone said it was your heart now lives outside of your body, which I think is very true. But I think one of the things for me that is maybe surprising is how consistent I’ve been with my training. Like for the first 5/6 weeks I was working out around like between 10pm and 12am. Just like that was the only time I was able to get my workouts in. And I still fucking did it. Now, to be fair, I have to be fair, it’s different for me, because my job revolves around this. And a lot of what I do is built around fitness, right? It’s my job. So I want to set an example for people. I very much think it might be different if my job was not fitness and I was just a random dude at home with a child, it would be much easier for me to be like, fuck it, I won’t work out. But because I am the face of my fitness brand. I think there is more pressure on me, which might help motivate me to do it. If I’m being very honest, like logically thinking, why might I have been super consistent. But yeah, I mean, getting that in and getting those workouts and I didn’t stop once, like, I’ve been more consistent now than ever, and my wife has been crushing it. And so yeah, I mean, I don’t know if that answered your question.
No it did. Just thinking ahead I do wonder how my like, motivation is gonna feel because I feel like similarly you know, I feel like it is my job to exemplify what I talk about and practice what I preach. And so I’m wondering if that is going to help me be more consistent or if it’s going to feel like a weight around my neck, I’m not really sure.
Probably both, like, it’s probably going to help you be consistent, but it also might cause you to be really hard on yourself as well and be like, I should be further along. And it was it worked out well in terms of I started a mini cut right after my wife gave birth.
Yes I was. I’ve literally directed all of my clients to go watch your stories and I am going to do one when it’s time. You know, after all of things settle down and my body is in a place to do so. But I’m really excited to show that process too because it’s so helpful to show people the scale fluctuation.
Yeah. It helped my wife a lot too. It helped my wife because she was, you know, doing it around the same time. And she’d be like, oh, this scale hasn’t gone down in three days. And I’d be like, did you see my story today? And she’d be like, yeah yeah I saw it. So that was helpful. It was it was helpful for her because my wife has never struggled with her weight. She never had to lose weight. And it’s funny because when I first started, when we started dating more seriously, she saw what I was doing and my content all of that. She has like literally the healthiest relationship with food of anybody have ever seen. Like she doesn’t think about it. It’s not like on her mind.
That’s so amazing. Well, how did, and not to be too personal if she would not want you to, but how did she grow up with her parents exemplifying nutrition and food? Or was it just something that wasn’t talked about?
Honestly I think this was a luck of the draw type situation. It was like her parents were actually overly strict in terms of like, you can’t have any sugar you can’t have any this like super strict. And I’ve worked with many clients who when that happens, they go the other way. And then like it ends up being like a slingshot where it’s like, no, no, no, no. And for whatever reason, I think a lot of it is also temperament and just personality. My wife is like the most calm and relaxed. So anything life throws at her, she’s just like, it’s okay. We have this joke where anything, anything that happens, like bad news, good, whatever it is any like we just always say like, it’s not a big deal. Like it’s not a big deal. Because like, well, it’s not a big deal. Like anything that happens could be terrible news. And some people might hear it and we’d be like, wow, why are you saying that and the terrible news, but like, it’s not a big deal. Like we’ll figure it out. Like, I think that’s just how she is. So for whatever reason, she’s really able to stay in that middle ground. And she just has like the best relationship with food ever, where if she wants something, she’ll eat it, but as soon as she doesn’t want anymore, she’s like I don’t want it anymore. And like it’s been very interesting to watch her. Now she gained like about 40/45 pounds throughout the pregnancy. And I think for the first time in her life, she was very uncomfortable in her body. And it was very difficult for her mentally. But she just, she started like keeping a little bit more track of what she was eating. And now she’s lost like 40 fucking pounds. And she’s like, great. I feel awesome. So she’s like the most picture perfect example of just like trying to establish a healthy relationship with food.
Mm hmm. Yeah, and just going about it sustainably and through my journey, you know, I came from a place of not feeling very comfortable or confident my body ended up being super strict with my nutrition and I went like full throttle Paleo and you know, lost like 30 pounds, I finally got to the point of feeling comfortable in my body. And then you know, that’s point where I was like, at the edge of the Dunning Kruger effect where I was like I fucking know it all. I’m gonna tell everyone to go Paleo. And like went off the ledge when I went back to school to be a dietitian, and was like, oh shit. So, I’ve like worked my way then back to sustainability. And including all the macronutrients in my diet, you know, I’m not scared to eat bread, or whatever else. But it’s been really interesting to get to this point in pregnancy, where I’m feeling those same, like body image thoughts that I haven’t had in literal years. And so it was like, I truly was convinced that I was so far past it, like so immune to feeling uncomfortable in my body that could be happy in my body. If I was 15 pounds heavier. No, it’s fucking hard. It’s really hard. And I literally cried the other night, I was like, I love my body. I love what it’s doing for me, I love what it’s doing for this baby. But like, I miss how I felt, you know, just three months ago. And, like, it’s gonna be a year at least before I can even consider being back to that point. And it’s like, okay, this is the time where the rubber hits the road and like, how are you going to handle this? How are you going to improve those thought processes, and make sure that you truly are still approaching the process from a place of self respect, even if I don’t love what I see in the mirror. My body is going through something that is going to produce a miracle and that is amazing and deserves respect. And so just like you were kind of talking about, in the beginning, going through something gives you the empathy that you didn’t even know you were lacking. And I’m really excited to be able to go through this and see what other moms go through because the majority of my clients are moms. And I didn’t even have that element of knowledge before this point. This is my first baby. So I am excited for just the growth, the exponential growth that I know that this is going to produce
What I love about what you just did Hope is a lot, but one of the things is, you didn’t pretend. What you said is my body is going to produce this miracle and that deserves respect. Not only respect, from the perspective of like, of what incredible thing it’s gonna do, but it deserves honesty. And I think one of the reasons there’s so many body image issues is because there’ll be people out there who might be going through something like this and they think, Okay, well, I have to say to everybody publicly I love how I look. And I have no issues whatsoever. And I’m just like, the happiest I’ve ever been. They feel like they have to say that. So then they say that and then people think, well, something must be wrong with me because I don’t feel that way. I think for you to say, listen, I’m missing how I felt three months ago. While understanding what a miracle it is, what a blessing it is all of this amazing while respecting how extraordinary your body is that it’s doing this. It’s also still okay to be honest, and say, I would feel more comfortable if I wasn’t this way. But obviously, like, this is what I want. And this is like what we’re gonna go through. It’s okay, to not feel 100% confident it’s okay to have those moments. To pretend like that doesn’t happen doesn’t help you. It doesn’t help anyone who’s watching or listening to what you’re saying. Being able to be open and honest and say, Yeah, I’m not as comfortable as I was. But okay, like, in a year, I’ll have the baby hopefully baby’s like healthy, happy, strong, all of that. And then when I’m in that place, I’ll be able to lose the weight. And it’ll be fine.
Yeah, yes, well, and one of the non negotiable pillars of who I am and what I want to present is authenticity, but also having realistic expectations. And that’s like the cornerstone of how I coach. And if you aren’t honest, then you can’t expect people to then have realistic expectations of what they’re going to go through. And that’s just shooting everyone in the foot.
Exactly right. Yeah, it’s funny I wrote a program for coaches to teach coaches how to be better coaches, and there was a coach who asked a question, I think it was two or three days ago, basically they were saying, when someone applies for my online coaching, and they say something like, Hey, I want to lose, like 50 pounds the next six months, and they don’t have 50 pounds to lose in the next six months, which most people don’t. But he was asking, should I correct them? Because I feel like if I correct them, then they’re not going to want to sign on for coaching with me. And I said, let’s look at the situation here. Imagine you don’t correct them. And imagine they sign on for coaching with you thinking 50 pounds in six months is realistic. Now, let’s say they “only lose four or five pounds” in that first month. They think that’s a failure, because you didn’t correct them and let them know that their original goal is unrealistic. And when in reality, losing four pounds in that first month is extraordinary. And if they keep going, like they’re gonna make amazing progress. So it’s like an ironically, obviously, if you say, Hey, you’re a fucking idiot, you’re not going to lose that much, then you might not plan on for coaching.
But if you say, Hey, listen, I love the motivation, this is great. I do want to be realistic with you and say that 50 pounds in six months is probably too much. A more realistic amount might be between like 25 and 35 pounds over six months, that would be more realistic based on where you are. But if that sounds good to you, and you’d like to continue working together, then let’s make it happen. That person is going to be a way better client and you’re going to set them up for way better success because you have established a realistic rate of progress, as opposed to just trying to give them what you think they want to hear. It’s a very dangerous road to go down.
Yeah, well, and like the desperation of seeking clients where it’s you take anybody who comes your way and it’s like, this is a partnership and if you’re not here to do the work, and the work honestly is mostly introspective, and I can’t do that for you. So I can be a guide for you. I can be here to educate you where you’re lacking and encourage you when we all hit those inevitable times of feeling low motivation, being frustrated with our rate of progress all those things, but if you can’t, like internally, call yourself out on your bullshit and be like, okay, this is the habit that I want to change, and it’s gonna feel hard. And it’s gonna be hard. But I can, I can still do it. Like it’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s not me doing all the work. And so it will be a failure, the partnerships a the failure if both people aren’t there to put in the work,
Okay, to wrap things up, I’m gonna bring us back to the pendulum. And I want to know where you tell someone to start if we are on the fuck it end and we are having trouble with establishing consistency, because I think that’s where most people are. And where most people come to me, they’re lacking consistency. How do we begin in that journey of establishing those consistent nutrition habits so that we can get to the point where those are so second nature that we can begin dialing back to look for that point of balance?
So this is a great question. I agree with you completely. Most people just struggle with consistency in all aspects of their life. But especially oftentimes with nutrition and fitness in general. I think one of the hardest parts about nutrition over everything is that you always have to eat, no matter what like if you struggle with food, either on like the fuck it end or the over-restrictive end, like you’ve always got to eat. Like multiple times a day it’s always there. So like, if that’s your trigger, in some way, like you’ve got to face it every day, multiple times a day. So it’s much more difficult.
Now, what I’m going to say is, it might sound a little bit counterintuitive, but I’ll walk you through my process as a coach, to coming to the point where I’m at right now. For most goals, nutrition is like the primary thing that needs to be taken care of. So nutrition is usually I think the first thing that needs to be addressed, especially when it’s around weight loss. But for many aspects, you have to do it multiple times a day. I think food has arguably the greatest impact on your health and life overall. So we know that nutrition is the most important. Because of that, I always used to try and tackle nutrition first. I was like, okay, let’s try and figure out your nutrition habits first. While there was a decent success rate, I also found that wasn’t as high of a success rate as I wanted. So I had to try some other things. And what I realized was this, if someone didn’t get physical activity in the day, they were far less likely to stick to their nutrition. Oftentimes, because if they didn’t get their workout in, or any physical activity, in their mind, they think, well, I ruined it. My progress isn’t going to happen. So why bother with the nutrition even though we know that’s a terrible train of thought and doesn’t logically make sense. If they don’t get their work done and don’t get their steps in whatever, like, they’re not going to feel as good. So they often don’t do well with their nutrition.
So I started probably about four or five years ago, instead of nutrition first, let’s go for walking first. Let’s make this your first habit, right? I don’t care if it’s a five minute walk, I don’t care if it’s a walk around your house, your apartment complex, something. That has to be the first thing. It’s also it’s relatively easy to do that, compared to apple vs. donut is a very hard choice. Like there’s a lot going on. But on a walk, it’s not the decision of something not tasty vs. something very tasty. It’s the decision of am I just going to move or not. And movement is relatively easy for most people. Not to mention, we know that even from a five minute walk, you get serious physiological benefits all the way down to a cellular level, your endorphins increase, you feel better, you’ve accomplished something. I want to go for the lowest hanging fruit. And once that is accomplished, people are much more likely to actually make the better nutritional choices because now it’s “worth it to them”. So for me, the first thing I attack is steps. It’s just let’s get you walking. If it’s someone who is very sedentary, and they’re only getting like 500 to 1000 steps a day, like cool, let’s just get it to maybe 1500 steps a day or something like that. If it’s someone who’s getting like a little bit closer to the more active side, maybe 3000 4000 steps, cool, let’s up to 4500-5000 steps, whatever it is.
But that for me is the number one and then it’s been so cool to watch. Oftentimes, they’ll say really, you only want me to focus on steps? And like just for the first week, let’s just focus on steps. And without me giving them any nutrition guidelines or any thing to do. They start eating more fruits and vegetables, they start drinking more water, they start having more protein without me saying this is what you have to hit. All of a sudden they’re just walking more and they’re like, okay, alright, I can do this. I can do this. So it sounds weird and it’s almost like it’s a roundabout way. But I found that actually has a much higher success rate and also will lead to a more sustainable habit stacking of habits that you want to follow. And like, if I could get someone to wake up and immediately go for a walk every day, that’s a huge fucking win.
Yeah, yes, well, and it sets that chain reaction of feeling like you’ve accomplished something already. And you don’t want to lose that feeling by then doing things that are going to be counterproductive to that effort. I love that. And I love the simplicity and achievability of it, because if it’s not achievable, then how can we expect the people to be able to follow the advice?
Yeah. I’ve always said, if you get a certain level of results from an unsustainable method, then those results are inherently short term. If whatever you’re doing to get your results is unsustainable long term, then the results you get from that method will not last. It has to be something you can do forever.
Yeah it’ll be almost just as short lived as a method that it took you to get there. I see this all the time with detoxes and all the diet shit where it’s like my coworker she came in and she said she lost 13 pounds over the weekend. I’m like, do not listen to your coworker, I need you to put blinders on right now. The little ear muffs over your ears. We do not listen to people who do detoxes and you know, do whatever else over the weekend, because I promise you the next week, they are not going to be whistling the same tune.
That’s exactly right.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you sitting down and chatting with me. It has been so wonderful and I think that people listening are going to be able to take so much applicable information from what you said and go out and start doing these things or at least feel more encouraged with wherever they are on their journey. So thank you so much. And is today the first day of Hanukkah?
Yesterday was. So tonight is the second night. So thank you.
Okay. Happy Hanukkah and happy holidays. And I just again, can’t tell you how much I appreciate you, Jordan. Thank you.
Thank you Hope. I think I think you’re a great host. You’re fantastic. I wouldn’t say that If I didn’t mean it. I do a lot of podcasts. I know that we’re recording this before your podcast is actually live. But I’m very excited to see how well your podcast does. And if you ever need any help you know how to reach out.
Thank you so much and I appreciate the kind words.
But wait. Before you go I’d love it if you’d share this episode with a friend who needs it. And to make sure we stay connected find me on social media @hopewell_health for more information about my nutrition coaching services, check out my website, hopewellhealth.online. And always remember you are smart, capable and talented you have what it takes. I’m just here to educate and encourage you along the way. Catch you next time