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Real-Life Insights and Takaways
- We can ask ourselves, “Is that last 10 lbs. in my head?,” or “Am I trying to meet some societal expectation?” We assume there IS a last 10 lbs.
- What is natural and normal for each person? What is natural at 75 years old is different than someone that is 17 years old.
- Some people have a goal to be unnaturally fit, but it is a personal choice, and not a requirement in order to have a healthy body.
- We can’t be a 10 out of 10 at everything, but we can live a SANE lifestyle and try to be a 10 at the things that are most important to us.
- We are fit and healthy so we can live the life we want to live. We are not living our life so we can be fit and healthy.
- It is never natural for a child to be overweight.
- We can decide in which areas of our lives we would like to to be a “10.”
- Sometimes we try to convince ourselves that we are never enough.
- If even half of the people in the U.S. could get to a 5 out of 10 with respect to their health, our healthcare crisis would likely disappear.
- It is normal to look around and compare our lives with others, but we can create a personal mission statement to read each day to remind ourselves of why we are waking up and what matters to us.
- Are your abs what you want to be remembered for?
- Do you want to be unnaturally fit?
- Is arm definition more important than your family?
- Is the last 10 lbs. real?
- What is the “10” that really matters?
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- 8:39 – 8:45, “So, how do we lose that last ten pounds? The first point we have to make is, chances are that last ten pounds is a societal construct.”
- 11:01 – 11:26, “I love being with my family, I love the work I’m doing, and if you were to ask me, April, do you want to spend more time at the gym, do you want to spend more time and energy learning how to do bio-hacks or things so that you can have really ripped arms, or you can have this unnaturally healthy body, would you like to trade what you are doing right now in order to achieve that? My answer is no.”
- 12:38 – 13:13, “You can’t be a 10 out of 10 at everything. I’ve talked about this before and it is hard to communicate it well in a short period of time, but we live in a culture which is amazing in some ways because it says, you can do whatever you want, you can be whoever you want to be. And a lot of us internalize that as, we should be everything, and it is just because we are not trying hard enough that we aren’t perfect at everything. And you know this because you are a productivity expert, but you can’t be a 10 out of 10 at everything.”
- 13:14 – 13:31, “And if you want to be a 10 out of 10 at fitness, I can tell you how to do that. It’s going to take a long time. SANE out of the box is going to make you really healthy. You will not get heart disease, you will not become diabetic, and you will look like a fit, natural, normal human being.”
- 18:30 – 18:49, “I have a list of things I read every day, I just create a little note on my phone, and it says, read this every morning. And it reminds me who I am, what my purpose is, what my mission is, why I am waking up, what I am going to do today. And yes, having ripped arms is not on the list, it didn’t even make the list. But having a healthy, strong body and being here for my family definitely is.”
- 23:13 – 23:42, “My personal mission statement is to live a loving, healthy, right, gracious and empathetic, and anti-fragile life in the passionate pursuit of excellence and meaningful contribution. So health is right below loving, and probably should be at the top. It is hard to be loving when you are sick, and angry, and tired, and crabby. But again, you live your life, and you are fit and healthy so that you can do that. You are not living your life so that you can be fit and healthy.”
Read the Transcript
April: Hi, this is April Perry and Jonathan Bailor back with another episode of the SANE Show. We were laughing right before we started recording because we heard from a listener who thought his name was Jonathan Bailor Back – like back with another SANE Show. Actually, Jonathan, do you want to tell us your middle name? Because it’s actually pretty funny.
Jonathan: Yes. My middle name is Becket. So, I think this listener was like Jonathan Bailor Back, or Jonathan Bailor Beck. My name is actually Jonathan Becket Bailor. I was raised Catholic, so technically, my name is Jonathan Becket Gabriel – there is a confirmation name in there – Bailor. That’s the first time I’ve ever shared that publicly, so there you go. JBGB is my full initial set.
April: Love it. And I’m April Nichelle Perry, if anyone is interested. Like Michelle, with an N.
Jonathan: Ah, I’ve seen that, but I never knew how to say it, so I learned something.
April: Nichelle – my older brother came up with that. So, really fun [laughs]. Okay, so now that we’ve talked about our middle names and you know us really well, we are going to talk about an issue that plagues pretty much every person I know who has ever tried to lose weight, and that is, how you get rid of the last ten pounds. First of all, I want to say, as a woman who has given birth to four children, that has always been the hardest part. I can get back pretty much to pre-pregnancy weight, but those last ten pounds are so, so hard. Is that something that you have seen as a challenge, Jonathan, with the people you have worked with?
Jonathan: It absolutely is, and this is an episode in which we are going to get a little bit metaphysical and there are going to be some emotional aspects to it, as well, because the first thing I want to bring up about the last ten pounds is, I want to question the question. It is assumed to be true in a lot of people’s minds that there is a last ten pounds, that they have ten more pounds of fat on their body than they should, or they have ten more pounds of fat on their body than is healthy, or ten more pounds than is natural.
April: Or that is socially acceptable?
Jonathan: See, that’s a really important distinction, right? And that’s the key thing. Just by way of example, I’d like to start – just to get geeky here for a second. my background. I have a minor in philosophy. My dad is a philosophy professor so sometimes I like to philosophize. There is this term in logic and philosophy that is called reductio ad absurdum, which is when you take something and you use the logic to an extreme point and you show that this logic can’t be sound because when taken to the extreme it has an absurd conclusion.
Let me give you an example. If you saw a 75-year-old woman who is a grandmother of eight, she has eight grandkids, should she have a six-pack? In your heart of hearts, should a 75-year-old grandmother of eight have a six-pack?
April: I would be very surprised.
Jonathan: And the reason I would argue, and the reason I want to ask this, is that most people just instantly say, no that shouldn’t be. And why do we think it shouldn’t be? Well, because that’s not natural. When you are 75 and you’ve created…
April: Round and fluffed and huggy [laughter].
Jonathan: Yes, you’ve lived life, you’ve done certain things. So we know in our heart of hearts, that which is healthy, natural and normal for a 75-year-old grandmother is not the same as what is healthy and normal and natural for a 17-year-old teenager. Would you agree that is true?
April: I would agree that is true. And now I feel like I’m in a therapy session, Jonathan [laughter] because I am approaching 40 right now. I’m 37 and I’m getting close to 40. In my mind, I still think I’m 17. My mom always says that the spirit doesn’t age, right? So, your body can age but inside you always feel the same. So, I think even just looking at myself, when you even just pose that question, what is natural and normal for your body? And I ask myself that. For a woman who is approaching 40, what is natural, what is right for me? And what I have found is that I still have issues in my head from all the propaganda that I’ve seen throughout my life, thinking that I need to be ten pounds, 20 pounds lighter, just in order to fit in with what is in the magazines, or what is in front of me.
And to be totally honest, just even doing a podcast with you about healthy, I’m thinking, well, I don’t have the same body that is on this Fit Magazine at the grocery store. Should I even be having this discussion with you? There are lots of fitness models out there who could come be your co-host here on the show. Why am I here? Why am I talking about this when I am not this ideal body that our society has set up. This is where your question is so good. What is right? What is natural for me? And I’ll just answer it quickly and then I’ll turn it over to you, but I think, looking at what I do have right now, that I’m totally healthy, energetic, happy, vibrant, excited about my life. I can do everything I want, I’m eating great foods, I have great relationships, my marriage is happy, everything is going great in my life, I fit in my clothes, and I feel really good about my own body. And I still think that is not enough sometimes. So, help me out here, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Well, April, you’re not alone. We are all there on some level, though it’s obviously ten times worse for women, but men are quickly catching up in our culture. Back in the day, men, whatever, they didn’t care about their appearance at all. Obviously, that is changing a little bit, but it is still nowhere near the pressure that females face. And that is the key thing that we have to examine – is that last ten pounds real? Again, we’ve talked about childhood obesity before, but this is why childhood obesity breaks my heart. It is not ever natural, normal, or healthy for a child to be overweight. That was unheard of, it you look at cultures prior to the modern era there was never an obese child. That’s just crazy talk. But clearly, a 75-year-old woman, what is natural, normal and healthy for her is different than what is natural, normal and healthy for a 45-year-old woman or a 25-year-old woman, or a 16-year-old man, for that matter.
But the key distinction, April, is what is natural, normal and healthy? Because it is not to say that that last ten pounds, what that will probably do is give you, and anyone who is thinking about that, an unnaturally fit body. That fitness model that you see on that magazine is unnaturally fit. She is doing unnatural things to achieve that. And that is not a criticism. Every Olympic athlete in the world, anyone who is great at any performance, anything, they have an unnatural level of performance. The way you get there is by doing unnatural things. So, how do we lose that last ten pounds? The first point we have to make is, chances are that last ten pounds is a societal construct.
April: It’s in your head.
Jonathan: It’s in your head, and if your goal is to be unnaturally fit – here you go, my goal is to be unnaturally fit. That is my goal, right? I have a goal of being unnaturally fit, and I’ve structured my life around that goal, the way I eat is not natural, right? It’s crazy. It’s super healthy, but it’s ridiculously healthy. No human being in nature could eat as naturally healthy as I do. But it’s a goal. So that’s the key distinction. And if it is your goal, then now we need to talk about, are you willing to do the unnatural things that it would take to reach that unnatural level of fitness?
April: That’s a really good question. And I don’t know how I can really answer that at this point. I feel like right now the reason why I love SANE so much is because it fits in with a busy life that is full of priorities that are higher up on the list than that. For example, I talk a lot in my other podcasts and things like that about my mom who is dying of Alzheimer’s right now. And my dad has had heart problems. They are both in their 80s. And I go and visit them every week. I take six hours a week to spend time with my parents because this is the only time I will ever be able to be with them for the rest of my life, right? And so, that’s really important to me.
And also, I work from home, my desk right here, my husband usually sits right across. We work together. We are building businesses together. We are growing together, and that time together means a lot to both of us. And to take care of our four children. I have a daughter, Alia, who is leaving the house in three years. She will be off at college. I have three years left with her here. And my seven-year-old is turning eight in two weeks, and I can’t get enough of him [laughs], he is so funny. Yesterday I went roller-blading and he got his scooter and my 12-year-old boy got some roller blades, as well, and we went out together and just had a great time together.
I love being with my family, I love the work I’m doing, and if you were to ask me, April, do you want to spend more time at the gym, do you want to spend more time and energy learning how to do bio-hacks or things so that you can have really ripped arms, or you can have this unnaturally healthy body, would you like to trade what you are doing right now in order to achieve that? My answer is no. I don’t care if my arms are ripped, I really don’t. It’s not important to me right now. And I think, though, sometimes I feel like by making this choice, which I know in my heart is the right choice with what I am doing in my life, that I’m letting down some expectation someone might have of me, which is absolutely ridiculous. So there you go, I just poured out my heart to you.
Jonathan: April, I know I’m not the only person who appreciated that because I know you are not the only person that feels that way. At one point in time I was harassed on the internet because I said for a while that having six-pack is a skill, and people were like, how do I acquire this skill? And the analogy I was using was, for example, a great golfer – that is a skill, and it takes practice, and it takes work, and it’s not natural to be able to hit a ball 400 yards into a teeny tiny hole. That is super-unnatural. And it is not only unnatural, but I would argue it is impossible to do. You can’t be a 10 out of 10 at everything. I’ve talked about this before and it is hard to communicate it well in a short period of time, but we live in a culture which is amazing in some ways because it says, you can do whatever you want, you can be whoever you want to be. And a lot of us internalize that as, we should be everything, and it is just because we are not trying hard enough that we aren’t perfect at everything. And you know this because you are a productivity expert, but you can’t be a 10 out of 10 at everything.
Jonathan: You can’t. And if you want to be a 10 out of 10 at fitness, I can tell you how to do that. It’s going to take a long time. SANE out of the box is going to make you really healthy. You will not get heart disease, you will not become diabetic, and you will look like a fit, natural, normal human being. And let’s be clear. For some people, ectomorphs, people who are thin naturally, someone who was a size zero in her teen years, after a couple of kids, she probably will be, if she is totally SANE, a size two, maybe a size four. But if when you were at your fittest, you were a size eight, and it is 30 years later, to expect yourself to be a size four, then that just can’t happen. I think what you said, your story is so powerful to share because it’s like, look at what you do have. And if someone just said, literally, I will wave a magic arm and give you ripped arms if you give up the time with your mom and dad…
April: [laughs] Never.
Jonathan: And not only that, but you wouldn’t even feel bad about it.
Jonathan: You’d be like – are you kidding me? Sometimes we talk to ourselves in a way that we would never let another person talk to us. So, if you have to, when these thoughts enter your mind, think of someone you don’t like, and have that person say to you, well sure April, or listener, or viewer – you could have that six-pack but will you trade time with your child? I’ll give it to you but you have to give me this, you have to give me that, you have to trade something for it. Do you want to make that trade?
April: Oh, I think that’s so smart. And I love how you encourage us to focus on, where do you want to be a ten in your life? I think that is such a powerful question because how many people actually answer that question? How many people could actually tell you what those two or three, or maybe four areas could be? Or maybe more, I don’t know, I can’t be a ten in more than just a couple of areas [laughs]. But I think that is such a powerful question because so few people actually take the time to answer it.
But I think that is something, even as I am listening right now, just thinking – okay, what would I pick? What would I write down? What are the areas I want to be a ten? And then recognizing, yes, it doesn’t mean that in my health I’m just going to let it go. Like, yes, fine, I’m going to be this great mom or great daughter or great wife, and then I’m just going to eat cupcakes all the time. There has to be this balance of what is it to be able – in order for me to give I’ve got to take care of my body.
So yes, that is absolutely important. And I’m eating like 99% SANE, I eat really healthy foods. But yes, I think that just helps put it in perspective, and realizing you have to look at your whole life. And that’s what I love about SANE, you are looking at the whole person, the body, the mind, the spirit, how they all work together, and I don’t think that there is anyone out there who doesn’t want that result. I just think there are some things in our brains that get in the way, or that stop us, or try to convince us that we are not enough no matter what we do. And you are helping me here, so thank you.
Jonathan: Thank you. And this even sounds weird in my head, but the “good news” is that based on how bad the information we have been given to date is, the average American, if you just look at our health, to even talk about a 10 out of 10 right now is a little bit – if we could get to a 5 out of 10, for 50% of the people in this country the health care crisis would go away. So, you don’t have to be a fitness model to abnormally fit in our culture. In fact, there are two times as many people in our culture who are significantly overweight than people who are a normal weight. So, you are already in the upper echelons if you are just not overweight.
April: Yes. I love what you emphasizing is that if we, of course, want our whole society to be stronger, because it is going to build a stronger society, but also, it is not a competition. And that is something that, as I work with moms and as we work with families, we are always talking about that. There isn’t this race to see who has the cleanest house at the end of the day, or whose kids have the best GPA, or whatever, we have all these external indicators out there, but because we want to know how we are doing, and I think that is a really natural thing. I think as a human you are constantly looking around, you are constantly trying to figure out, am I okay? Am I on the right path, am I figuring it out?
And clearly, from my perspective, there is a higher source I need to look to, not just looking to everyone else to see if I am doing okay. But also, just being able to recognize that I need to be able to make that decision for myself as far as what is important to me, and then stick with that, remember that, and not get distracted. I have a list of things I read every day, I just create a little note on my phone, and it says, read this every morning. And it reminds me who I am, what my purpose is, what my mission is, why I am waking up, what I am going to do today. And yes, having ripped arms is not on the list, it didn’t even make the list. But having a healthy, strong body and being here for my family definitely is.
Jonathan: And a perfect segue is that the next action, which I have now stolen from you completely, is that the over-arching point of this recording is to identify what matters the most to you, and to see what you want to be sort of unnaturally good it. Or another way to say that in more friendly terms is, what do you want to be remembered for? It is usually the things about you that are outstanding that people will remember you for. So, an exercise you can do if you are so inclined, and this only takes about 15 minutes but it is 15 minutes you are going to need to sit down by yourself and focus on it. Sit in a quiet room by yourself and write down about 500 words of how you want to be remembered. Maybe this is something that, if someone read this at your funeral, you would be honored to be remembered in that way.
And this is a great exercise because chances are, for nine out of ten, or more, of people who are listening to this or watching this, any mention of your physical appearance will not be in that paragraph. Now, for some people it might be, and that’s cool. Like, if you were Michael Jordan, you would want to be remembered for some aspect of your physicality. If you were Arnold Schwarzenegger, you would want to be remembered for some aspect of your body. But I bet that for most of our listeners that won’t make those 500 words of how you want to be remembered. So, write that down, just keep that in your pocket, and as long as you are living a life that is going to facilitate you being remembered for being outstanding at the things that matter to you, then I think you are doing a great job. What do you think about that, April?
April: Now I have one more story. I have to share one more story, it just came to mind. My mother counted calories all the time. That’s how I grew up, watching her count the calories. And one of the most painful memories, though, that I have – I love my mom, she is amazing – but one of the most painful memories I have is watching her look at herself in the mirror. I saw this a lot. And when she would look at herself in the mirror she would whisper, terrible, terrible. And she was nothing but amazing. She loved us so much. She was sweet, she was the neighbor everyone wanted to have, she was amazing. But she would look at herself in the mirror and she would say the word terrible.
And as I think of her and how I remember her now and as I will remember her, it has nothing to do with her size, it has nothing to do with the weight that she always struggled to lose. That didn’t matter to me at all. It mattered to her, so that is why it matters to me, but who she is has nothing to do with her physical appearance. And I just think it is time for us to break this cycle. I know I am not the only person who feels this way and I know I am not the only person who would feel that way watching a parent look at him or herself in the mirror that way.
And so, I think it is just this overall challenge that we have to break the cycle for our children. When my children watch me look in the mirror I want them to see that I love myself for who I am and that I care enough about myself to take care of my body. But I want these beautiful, wonderful principles that you are teaching and that we are bringing people together to learn through SANE, to be able to be able to permeate every aspect of our lives and that we are able to really live our mission and really show other people what they can become, as well.
Jonathan: Yes, and use that fitness, right? You are fit and healthy and vibrant so that you can live. You are not living so that you can be fit, right?
April: We’re alive!
Jonathan: Your life is the focus, and your health. Now, it has to be a top priority that your health doesn’t detract from that.
Jonathan: My personal mission statement is to live a loving, healthy, right, gracious and empathetic, and anti-fragile life in the passionate pursuit of excellence and meaningful contribution. So health is right below loving, and probably should be at the top. It is hard to be loving when you are sick, and angry, and tired, and crabby. But again, you live your life, and you are fit and healthy so that you can do that. You are not living your life so that you can be fit and healthy. Make sense?
April: Oh, so beautiful! I think that was one of my favorite episodes we have ever recorded together and I just want to encourage you who are listening to reflect on these ideas, to be able to think about your life. How are you thinking about your last ten pounds right now? How are you thinking about your overall purpose? And take time to do that exercise, write down how you want to be remembered. This is such an opportunity for us to be able to build beautiful lives, beautiful families, and to do what we were meant to do here.
So, thank you so much, have a great day, and remember to stay SANE.