Eps 399: Making small changes for your health with Jeremy Grater and Zack Tucker

Episode 399

My guests today are Jeremy Grater and Zach Tucker, and they’re sharing tons of info and tips for making small changes for our health and well-being.  

First, Jeremy & Zach share how they kicked off their podcast, The Fit Mess, then offer tips on how to successfully make changes as well as their insight about what mindsets get in people’s way.  We get into moving from negative thoughts about ourselves towards self-love and self-acceptance.  I ask about diet culture and how to talk about bodies and food with tweens and teens.  We talk about how we can reframe and find more time in the day by questioning our beliefs, then Jeremy explains the difference between transformation and evolution.

Guest Description

Jeremy and Zach are the founders and hosts of The Fit Mess. For nearly a decade, they have pushed themselves to learn more about their own physical, emotional, and mental health. This has created a passion for using their acquired knowledge to help others. As hosts of the show since 2017, they have had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of guests, including some of the biggest names in health and wellness.

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Takeaways from the show

  • To make change, start today and start small 
  • What mindsets get in people’s way 
  • Questioning our own beliefs & underselling ourselves 
  • Self-love & self-acceptance 
  • Diet culture and talking about bodies & food 
  • Reframing our time by questioning our beliefs 
  • Establishing a morning routine & ritual 
  • The power of evolution 
  • Celebrating along the way

What does joyful courage mean to you 

Joyful courage – I think that’s the first time I’ve heard that.  We’ve heard courage many times in question form, but joyful courage – the standard definition is I’m afraid of doing whatever this thing is; it’s going to be something great for my life, and I’m terrified of it, and I do it anyway.  I surprise myself, and I show myself that I’m capable.  I’m worthy.  A lot of the fear I have for any of the things that I want to do – none of it ever existed.  It never comes to pass.  Joyful courage- knowing that whatever it is that I’m up against, I can get through it.  I can do it.  It’s going to be scary; it’s going to be hard, and at the end, I’m going to be happy.  – Zach 


I think mine would be similar.  I think where it becomes joyful for me is when I realize I didn’t have to negotiate with myself to get through it.  When I realize that there’s something scary, there’s only one way through it, and it is through it, not around it, not by delaying it, not thinking about it and maybe doing it tomorrow, but when I can just say, ‘obstacle faced’ and deal with it and not have to talk myself into it.  That’s when it becomes a joyful experience because it speaks to the confidence I’ve built with all the challenging things I’ve done and so then it just shows me I can do one more hard thing, so why not?  – Jeremy



The Fit Mess Website 

“The Ultra-Mind Solution: Automatically Boost Your Brain Power, Improve Your Mood and Optimize Your Memory” Book 

The Power of Evolution Blog Post 

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Jeremy, Casey O'Roarty, Zach

Casey O'Roarty 00:04
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together, while parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people. And when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sprout double. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together, we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show. Hi, listeners. Welcome back to the show. I have two guests for you today. And I'm excited to introduce my first guest is Jeremy greater and is biz partner, Zach Tucker, Jeremy and Zack are the founders and hosts of the fit mess. For nearly a decade they have pushed themselves to learn more about their own physical, emotional and mental health. This has created a passion for using their acquired knowledge to help others. As hosts of their own podcast since 2017, they have had the opportunity to speak to a wide range of guests, including some of the biggest names in health and wellness. And after spending some time checking out their work. I am here to say listeners that they're going to have a lot to offer us as we think about our own health and wellness because even though we're parents, we are also human beings inside of bodies, and minds and emotional experiences that we get to tend to So hi, Zack and Jeremy, welcome to the podcast.

Jeremy 02:27
Thank you so much for having us. It's so easy to forget that part when we're constantly feeding and taking care of others. So I'm hoping that we're gonna be able to be helpful for you today.

Casey O'Roarty 02:35
Yeah, yeah, I'm excited. I hope so too, I'm going to try to not make this my own personal session with.

Jeremy 02:41
It's so tempting.

Casey O'Roarty 02:43
I would love to hear more from the two of you just how you got into this work, how you formed relationship with each other, and why this is important for you to be talking about. Either one of you can go first.

Zach 02:57
We've rehearsed this a couple of times. So I definitely go first. So I guess, just to give a very, very brief 32nd. You know, I had a very traumatic childhood, as well as you know, the perfect recipe of genetics within me to give me you know, anxiety, depression, a whole bunch of mental health issues. And then, of course, lots and lots of encouragement that I was fat and stupid as a child that led me to just say, oh, okay, well, I believe that and become fat and what I considered stupid, up until I was about 22. And then I took drastic change. And we can talk about that later if we need to. But I took drastic change and was like, You know what, those stories don't benefit me very well. And I started my journey of not only repairing my physical health, but repairing my mental health, and my emotional health, and getting to a good place, a decent place, still a lot of work to go. But when I was, I don't know, 32 or so. And I had my daughter, my only daughter, I actually met Jeremy, we our wives actually met and we're part of a fit mom's group that we're going to do a big event after being pregnant, which was very cool. And they figured the two of us would like each other because we both like Star Wars. We're both new dads, we both like to drink beer at the time. You know, all of that good stuff. So we met you know, 11 years ago when our daughters were born. And over the years, we kind of size each other up as men do. And let's talk about sports. No, don't like that. Not interested. And we started to have some pretty vulnerable conversations as time went on, around being a dad, being a husband, being a friend, being a boss, being a subordinate, being a human being in general and all the things we have to be and how hard it is to show up and be that person for whatever society needs us to be. And I had been doing all of this work and I really wanted to kind of give back to the community. I was like, you know, these conversations you and I are having, we need to do something let other guys hear these conversations, because it was helping us both. And Jeremy can talk a little more about it. But he had been in podcasting for years. And I went to him one day, I was like, Dude, why don't we do a podcast and talk about this stuff? And he was like, Absolutely not. Hell, no, I won't do. And I'll turn it over to him at this point.

Jeremy 05:17
At the time, it sounded insane because the podcast I had been doing for the decade before that was all about just getting completely hammered and laughing at how ridiculous my own life was, and the life of my co hosts. And so the idea of putting on a hat that says, hey, I'm some sort of an expert in this stuff. And you should listen to me because I've done a thing or two sounded ridiculous. And so, but that podcast that I was doing came to an end and Zach's idea was somewhat intriguing. So I started doing some research and was like, What are these shows? What could I bring to this space? And so many of them are the guy on the mountaintop yelling back at people at the beginning of the trail saying, hey, it's really easy, just come on up here. And I realised that there was a lot of space for guys like us that were the guy just around the corner that figured out how to get there. And so we just wanted people to come along for the ride. And I really was intrigued by that idea. And it also opened up the door honestly, for us to be able to reach out to experts and get the one on one therapy to ask directly in these masterclass sessions. How do we do this better. And so, you know, like Zack said, the conversations we were having were so open and vulnerable. And I completely agree that more guys needed to hear guys talking like that, because it was helping us so much. We were learning so much from each other. And we just thought if we can share this with other people through something that I'm passionate about, and through something that Zach enjoyed as well, it eventually became a no brainer, once I figured out that we didn't have to be the experts. We could be experts have our own experience, but bring in you know, real world experts to fill in the knowledge gaps for us.

Casey O'Roarty 06:40
I love that. And I love thinking about men having really potent emotional, vulnerable conversations. I was watching a show with my 17 year old son and my husband just yesterday, and there was this commercial. I think it was a car commercial. But it was like the groom and his groomsmen they all get in this car. And you know, there's a question about get the rings. Yeah, I got the rings. And there's like do this yet that and have this conversation. And then the group texts the group. I love you, man. And it's like this moment of like, ah, and then I'm like, no, why don't you just turn around and say it out loud to his buddies like, this is not. Anyway, again, not really sure what was being sold, I can't remember. But you know, the idea that our men and our boys can learn. And it can be normalised to have these emotional conversations about things that are hard things that are confusing, you know, not having it all together. I think it's such a powerful and potent offer to the world. So well done, Zack, for pitching it. And Jeremy, I'm glad he dragged you into it.

Jeremy 07:54
Me to meet you. As it turns out, it's

Casey O'Roarty 07:55
been a pretty good thing. Cool. And I love the name of your show to the Fit mess. And the idea of you being around the corner instead of like, look at me, look what I was able to do. Here's my five part formula for getting here.

Jeremy 08:07
Everyone's got a simple three step plan that will just fix everything on it.

Casey O'Roarty 08:11
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Same thing in the parenting realm. It's like, Listen, if I actually had a formula, I would be making a shit tonne more money? Because it is way messier than a five star process. Yes,

Jeremy 08:24
yes. And the number of those it's funny. I was just talking to my doctor the other day, I was trying to deal with a cough. And I was like, so is there anything I should be taking. And he's like, there are a million of these products on the shelf. And usually I find that the more products there are offering to fix the problem, the less likely any one of them work. So just wait it out. So I just that was like that applies to so many things in this space.

Casey O'Roarty 08:43
Yeah. Beautiful. Yeah, I got that. Because we want that. It's like, tell me what to do. Right? Just make it easy. Make it easy. And I know your work. You guys have extensive blog, as well as all of these podcasts to share with people on a variety of health and wellbeing topics. And we're gonna get into some of that. And as I mentioned, my people are parents of adolescents, primarily, you'll get here, I have your back. And this season of raising teens is not easy, right? And like I said, I had a therapist, say like, the best thing you can do is get a life. You know, and now my kids are 17 and 20. And at the start when she said that, I was like Yeah, yeah, but what about this? And now I can look back and see Yeah, being laser focused on everything that's going on with your teenager is like a recipe for disaster. But also thinking about parents of teenagers. Most of us are in our 40s Like I mentioned, I'm heading towards 50 In September, you know, so ageing and holding space for these growing teens, time it feels of the essence. And, you know, I really feel Like, today being the best way to start taking better care of myself has taken on a whole new meaning. Right? And what do you hear when I say something like that? Like today's the day seize the day?

Jeremy 10:14
Yes, you're right. And so was yesterday. And so it was the day before that. That's not the right day is Monday or next month or next year on New Years? The right first of the month? Yeah, no, no, that turns out well, unless as you're listening to this, it happens to be the first of the month. Yes, but yeah, the best time for any of this stuff is now. And the best way to make whatever changes you need to make is by doing it in a really, really microscopic, tiny way. The problem that gets in our way so much is every upcoming Monday or New Year's or next month, or whatever is that's the day, I'm going to completely be an entirely different person overnight, and I'm going to stick with it forever. And I guarantee no, you're not. So today, whatever it is, if you want more physical fitness today, go walk around the block, tomorrow, walk around the block again, but drink a glass of water. Do that for a week. And then all of a sudden, I've got a little more time I'll leave a little earlier, I'll take a couple laps around the block, like whatever change you're trying to make. Don't make all of them at once. Pick one, do it really slow realise you're not in a race. Unless, of course, you're training for a race, which gets a problem.

Casey O'Roarty 11:21
I'm not training for a race. I do not want to run unless I'm running away.

Jeremy 11:26
Absolutely, yeah. So then start super, super small. And do that every day until it becomes a thing you don't have to think about doing or talk yourself into doing or remember to do. Because it's become a habit that is just another thing you do every single day like brushing your teeth, or taking a shower or whatever. And then you just build from there, each new habit just like that teeny tiny steps every single day consistently until they become another automatic part of your day.

Zach 11:52
Yeah, and also of self compassion when you're doing these things, right? If like, I know, no one has ever done this. But like if you forget to brush your teeth on a certain day, like you don't just stop brushing your teeth forever, right? You go, oops, all those people had to deal with me with unbrushed teeth today. I will continue doing it tomorrow. But like we're all human things get in the way. So whatever those goals are, whatever those microscopic things are, if you miss a day, if you miss two days, like just get back on it, don't beat yourself up, you know, be mindful that you are human, be self compassionate, and keep going. So like Jeremy said, like, keep it small. But be okay with failure, because we're all gonna fail. We're all going to have a misstep, we're all gonna have a bad day, we're all going to have something that pops up. I mean, we have children, right? There's, oh, look, that thing that is due tomorrow that you told me about tonight. Okay, we'll do that instead of working out. So

Jeremy 12:44
your life isn't perfectly predictable as a parent's equity doing wrong, I don't know.

Casey O'Roarty 12:49
That formula,

Zach 12:50
I map it all out. And I say ABCD. And for some reason, by 630. In the morning, it all goes to hell.

Casey O'Roarty 12:57
Well, and you guys are having so many conversations with different people and with each other. And you've kind of both teased on this a little bit. But so we have all sorts of beliefs and mindsets that can get in the way. And I think a lot of it are things that were even unaware of. But I imagine that there are some kind of common ones, like I literally have in my notes. I'm so overhearing myself, say, Well, tomorrow or Monday, like I literally have that in my notes to talk about, and you brought it up already. So through your work, what kind of are those beliefs or mindsets that are getting in people's way and coming to the surface in your conversations?

Zach 13:36
So a lot of beliefs and mindsets that get in the way? I think I would raise it up a little bit higher, though, and just say that all of these beliefs and mindsets like we don't often question whether or not they're right or wrong. And I'll use an extreme example. And then a less extreme example. But you know, my entire childhood I was called fat and stupid and I lived with those beliefs for so long. And even to this day at 43. It is the first thing that pops in my mind when I look in the mirror get on a scale. I'm fat. No, no, no, no, you're not. But being able to question our own beliefs. And ask yourself, What if I'm wrong about this? What if I'm wrong? What if I could do it differently? What is it about this that I truly believe that was imprinted in me as a child that I can maybe flip around? And a less extreme example is like, you know, I've always eaten rice with a fork. What if that's wrong? What if I could eat rice with a spoon? What if eating rice with a fork is wrong? And then world explodes changes? I can get every piece of the rice with a spoon, right? There's all these little bits and pieces throughout our life that we just believe because we've always believed it and it's always been that way. So before you even start looking at like, what are these beliefs? What are these mindsets that are holding me back? It's being okay with being wrong. Being okay with being uncomfortable. boll while you examine it, and change it, because once you unravel something that you've believed your whole life, and you know, it's right through and through, and then you decide that it's wrong. Oh, that hurts. It really hurts and it's painful. And it's hard to get yourself through that. But that's where we really grow.

Jeremy 15:18
I want to jump in on the we've always believed this part of whatever the limiting belief is, because I had an experience recently that completely blew my mind. And my mom is gonna get really sick of me telling the story, but we had a family get together recently. And my mom, you know, the overachiever? Everyone that's coming has been so many dietary issues. She made four different lasagna is like vegan, no dairy free, what like four completely different lasagna. And if you've ever made a lasagna, you know, it's no small task because she made more. The whole time that we're all there and getting ready for dinner. She just keeps underselling like, Oh, I hope this okay, oh, this one might be watery. I don't know if this one's gonna taste any good. Like bar lowered and lowered and lowered. And as I'm watching, and I'm hearing her talk about this, I'm not only seeing people going back for seconds, thirds, fourths, watching the pans get emptied. But I'm hearing her and I'm attaching. And this is by no means her fault. This is just generations of patterns. But I'm hearing in my own voice, every meeting that I've walked into with the excuse of, oh, whatever my internet was bad, like, whatever excuse I can lay out there. So that I can show that just by showing up. I've accomplished some major thing. And so we're all cool, because I overcame this thing just to be here. And then anything on top of that as the icing. But it was mind blowing to hear my mom saying things that I think to myself all of the time. And it was just this huge lightbulb moment of oh my god, that's not me. That's my mom when I was six. That's my dad when I was nine. It's these voices that it's not only you know, Zach's situation of you're fat, you're stupid. It's the adults in our life that we attach ourselves to saying, I'm fat, I'm stupid, I'm not good enough. I'm this, I'm that. And we don't separate ourselves from them in that way, when we're children. And so whatever they say about them becomes what I say about me. And if you don't figure that out until you're 45 years old, it's a long, brutal life of I'm not good enough. I suck. I'm an idiot, man, you know, the world's lucky that I can just put one foot in front of the other every day.

Casey O'Roarty 17:23
Yeah, that speaks to me big time. And I think it can even be more subtle. Like, I know, in my family, there definitely was this unspoken message around worth being tied to how you look how you're presenting yourself. And you know, now at 49 having conversations around, you know, and hearing the conversation around love yourself now love your body right now. Like even with goals of you know, weight loss or whatever, even having those goals. But can I be in love with myself right now as I am and wondering, why is that so hard for me and then recognising Oh, because I have this conditioning around value comes from looking a certain way. And I don't look that way right now. And so I can't value or I can't, that's not the right word, right. But it makes sense that I don't value myself in this moment, because I have had all of this conditioning that I've never really taken a hard look at and teased apart. And like you said Zach questioned. Right? And even when we question it, like, again, like it's still kind of percolates and pops up and being willing to one. Notice the indicators that we're back in that headspace and shifting into something different. I love that your work. There's like the physical fitness aspect of your work and how it is all tied into this personal growth, mindset belief, because I talk a lot about the iceberg metaphor when we're considering the behaviours that are showing up for our kids. What you see, which so many of us are like, I gotta stop that, which is short sighted when you don't consider what's underneath. Yeah.

Jeremy 19:24
On the point you made a moment ago about the self love part of this, and particularly when it comes to weight loss, and that sort of I'll do it on Monday point of view. The thing is, so many of us get into this work this path, whatever journey we're on, because of that self hate. I've got to fix this. I'm broken somehow I'm too big. I'm too thin. I'm not this I'm not that. And so we beat ourselves up in the gym, we beat ourselves up. When we go for a run. We just you know, we starve ourselves of foods that we love. We do all these things out of punishment. How long are we going to punish ourselves until it works? So, not very long, maybe a few days, and then eventually you're gonna go, I deserve it. I just punished myself for three days I deserve it. And then down the slide, we go and start all over again next Monday. So a lot of this work begins with that self love, or at best, sometimes self acceptance. For me, it's been a matter of really starting in the gym. For me, it's physical movement, if I can move my body, it moves the energy in my head that otherwise turns into you fat, stupid idiot. And from that, I then suddenly have this body of evidence, all these hard things I did, I got up and worked out every single day at 730 that for an hour this week, look at me, I did it. I did that because I love me because I want to be a better me because I have goals. I'm good enough now. But I can be better. And if you approach it that way, as I'm good, I'm fine. I'm exactly where I need to be. But I can be better. You're much more likely to stick with it rather than just constantly beating yourself up. And then what does that show your kids when you do that, right? Like all of a sudden, you're operating from a place of self love, you can tell them to love themselves all day long, you can tell them to ignore Instagram and to stop staring at screens and stop doing all the things that when they see Dad loving himself enough to put himself first or see Mom loving herself enough to take care of herself, take time for herself, stop taking care of everybody else for five minutes. They may not reflect it right away. But 10 years down the road when they start becoming a little more rational, a little less insane. And when they are teenagers, and they start displaying the activities that they saw you display, they are going to absorb everything you do so much faster than anything you say. So you have to constantly be showing them what it is to be a healthy functioning person, no matter how much you don't feel like a healthy functioning person. Because that's the lesson you're teaching them. You can blah, blah, blah all day long. They're not going to hear it. You have to show that.

Casey O'Roarty 21:59
Yeah, I mean, we had some disordered eating, show up in my parenting, not my own. Although, I don't know, my daughter might say, Well, mom, but you know, and that was really scary. And as we're talking, I'm also thinking about kind of those hot button topics right now around. And I want to kind of just speak it, because it's in the room for me. But the slipperiness of talking about. And we haven't used the phrase diet, but like, how harmful diet culture can be. And I'm thinking about my listeners and the fat phobia that can come up for people. And so I want to kind of just like, I want to invite that into the conversation, because it feels like even in my body right now I feel this tightness in my chest like, Oh, God, I hope these guys are willing to go here with me. Oh, yeah, let's do it. Right. But you both have daughters, right? You both have daughters, and like, you know, us Gen X women, we're doing the best we can with the tools we can what we have, and the conditioning that we may or may not know exists. And like you said, that model is so important. And there's so many unspoken messages, right? Like, I got really aware, when my daughter was going through her experience she had, you know, it was more of an anxiety induced anorexia, because she would just kind of worry about I know I need to eat, I don't know what to make, oh, God, now I can't eat. And then it was just the spiral until she was throwing up. Like it was really scary. And I got super aware of how I was talking about my body how I was feeding myself. There were so many things like holy shit. I'm saying and doing all sorts of things that aren't helpful. But so how do we sit inside of this conversation while also just recognising how far the pendulum has swung, and I have a 17 year old son too. And I think about him from the outside. He looks really healthy. He's obsessed with muscles. Like he's a six foot four 200 pound loves lifting weights. But I'm always trying to pay attention of like, healthy, unhealthy, you know, and what's happening for him because I know, I mean, when we were teenagers, like the boys were not super ripped in high school. And now it's like, Whoa, dude. I didn't know there were that many ABS on a human. Like, look at me. Thank you loves every time you look at him, he's putting his arms out flexing his muscle. Yeah. And he was playful with it. It feels playful and healthy right now. But yeah, I just said a lot. What's coming up for you as I do

Zach 24:49
this? I've actually had a couple of things. So there's a couple of things I used to walk around the house like jokingly saying, you know, look at Fat dad and things like that. My daughter heard that, and it really imprinted on her. And she made a couple of comments about being fat when she was like eight. So I was very quickly shifted my conversation that I had around the house because it definitely has an impact. But then there's the other parts of it where, you know, for me, I love science, I love eating in a way to see how my body reacts to certain things, not because I want to lose weight or do anything. I want to clear head I want things like this while the Keto or bulletproof or like, whatever the weirdest diet is, I'm like, Oh, I wonder if that will make me a little bit more efficient. It's not about losing weight. It's about feeling better. Yeah. And my daughter sees me do that. So she sees me do all these weird, crazy diets. But what I wasn't doing was like explaining to her why I'm doing it. He was just seeing me do this. And she sees that I'm in shape. And then I'm, you know, then and like, you know, 43 I have abs, and I'm really proud of that you go. But she came home one day. And she had been on social media. And she was like, Sadad. Listen, we need to have a conversation. She's 11. Mind you, she's like, I need you to tell me everything you know about carb cycling, because clearly, that's what I need to do to lose weight. Like my head exploded. And I was like, No, you don't. on both accounts, you don't need to carb cycle and you don't need to lose weight. And I really spent a lot of time explaining why I eat the way I eat, and why I experiment, the way I experiment. And how 8020 is definitely a thing like be good 80% of the time and love the 20% of the time you eat cake. And then I realised that like I can talk and talk and talk and talk and my ex wife can talk and talk and talk and talk. So then I was like, let's go to the gym, let's go to the yoga studio. And I started introducing her to these really powerful women that are in my life, like my yoga teacher is like just this, you know, model of fitness. I walked in, I was like, What do you think of carb cycling, and she's like, Oh, no way. eat greens most of the time, but definitely your cake. And I just tried to surround her with all of these people who can be positive influences. Because as you know, Jeremy said, we can talk and talk and talk. And even modelling sometimes isn't even enough, you need to show them some other person outside of your sphere that can give them that example. So I try and do that for my daughter. But again, at the same time, I realised I have limitations that I have to explain why I'm doing a certain thing or watch my language around them, because they do they suck it right in and it becomes them.

Casey O'Roarty 27:37
Well, and then they interpret it. Right, great. perceivers and then they're interpreting it and sometimes it's like, but I didn't say that. And yet. They're making that meaning. Yeah, Jeremy, do you have something to add? Yeah,

Jeremy 27:50
I've got two daughters. One's about to turn 12 One is about to turn eight.

Casey O'Roarty 27:55
Oh, you guys are on the cusp. Oh, good. Real bad.

Jeremy 27:59
Yeah. So. But that aside, this gets back to sort of the questioning the stories we tell ourselves and questioning our beliefs. My daughters are both I would argue pictures of physical fitness for themselves. My older daughter, she trains for ninja courses like American Ninja Warrior stuff. My younger daughters in gymnastics, they're both very physical, they're very athletic. When I was their age, I was not. I was the chubby kid, I was the kid that you know, had to go to the special section of the store to get the pants that fit and all that. So I have this extra fear that I attached to their experience of how do I keep them from experiencing that? How do I allow them to still like just be one of the typical kids in the crew or whatever. But I'm also trying to teach them how to stop being cheese and bread Attarian, because that's pretty much the only thing that they'll shove in their face is if it's either cheese or bread cool, or sugar outside of that food doesn't exist for them. So I tried to be really careful about not criticising their choices, but offering you know what protein Have you eaten today, like talking about? What are the macronutrients that you need in your body to function normally? Or when they have had loads and loads of sugar? And they are complaining about how their stomach hurts and they feel terrible? Then I will ask them, What did you eat? How was your body reacting to the food that you put in your body? So then it just at least planted that seed of awareness? How do you pay attention to how you feed yourself? And what is the end result? And when they're insane and crazy and bouncing off the walls and it's almost bedtime? It's like, Well, guys, how long ago did you have sugar? I live in Canada and the only tea here is very, very sweet. So did you have iced tea today? Yeah, totally. You know, and they're bouncing off the walls. Like, this is why you're acting insane and driving me crazy right now. Right? So and I even tried to not tell them they're driving me crazy. I tried to tell them they don't have the power like I am the one with the power to make the decision about how crazy I am driven. Sure, sure. Yeah. But it's about just trying to shine the light trying to help them be aware of what is the end result of the way you treat your body. What are the things you put in and then how do you feel? And I hope that again, it doesn't change day to day they still wake up and want cinnamon rolls and they want chips and cookies for lunch and then they want you know, more garbage for dinner. Noodles better. Yeah. The daily nachos the daily, you know grilled cheese sandwiches all the things? Yeah, but I just tried to plant the seeds. Because right now there isn't a physical problem. They both are very super athletic and they do great. I'm just hoping that when they are adults, they will hear me barking in their ear. How much protein Have you eaten today? Is that real food? How do you feel when you eat that? I'm just trying to plant those seeds that eventually something grows that is helpful for them.

Casey O'Roarty 30:30
I appreciate both of you speaking into how things make you feel like Zach, when you were talking about the experimenting, I read Ultra mind solution Dr. hymens book years after I had my second and it felt like I was pissed all the time, I didn't feel comfortable in my body. The worst thing was that I was pissed all the time. And I had these cute little kids that I got to hang out with all the time. And I was just a grump. And my sister in law gave me that book and reading that book and following his guidance listeners. The byline is like fixing your broken brain by changing your diet. And it was amazing what happened for me when I started to play with how I was feeding myself. And like you, I want to be clear, I want to feel good. I want to, you know, be able to access, compassion and self regulation and awareness. And I think so much of that comes with, how am I feeding my body? Right? And it's four o'clock in the afternoon, and I've got this long email to write. And I'm like, Yeah, I get this little like, I'm just gonna go wander into the kitchen and see what's going on in there. Even though this morning, I was like, today gonna be different, right? And then, you know,

Jeremy 31:51
robots are so much louder in the morning,

Casey O'Roarty 31:53
right. And you know what I happen to see a jar of Nutella, that's my downfall, I'll eat it by the spoonful, I have to tell my husband, if you're gonna have it, you have to keep it in your truck, I cannot see this thing. I cannot see this thing. And you know, parents of young kids, parents of teenagers, like our lives are so busy and full. And I feel like sometimes I know, I can fall into well, I can either finish this project, or I can take a walk. Speaking of limiting beliefs, right, this idea of limited time, and either or thinking, how can we move into a more expansive experience that allows us now we're coming back to you parents and your well being? What are some ways that we can either reframe time and the structure of our day, I guess I'm gonna go with reframe, in a way that helps us feel like we're showing up for ourselves and all the other tasks and relationships that we have in our life.

Jeremy 32:54
At the risk of beating the same drum, I'm going to bring it back to questioning what you believe to be true, because I just had this experience this year, my family and I each chose one word to describe what this year was going to be for us. Mine was help where I don't know what to do, I'm going to turn to someone for help learn from someone who knows more than me. So I reached out to a fitness coach, and we are going through what's going on with your life. What feels bad, what do you need to work on? And the main thing was, you know, look, I don't necessarily go to the gym every day, but I walk a lot. You know, I do some basic stuff every day. I don't eat like complete garbage. You know, sometimes I do. But for the most part of my right. You know, I learned about this thing a couple of years ago, I delay my caffeine for several hours in the morning, so I don't have it till late in the day. And man, I just, I just feel like complete crap. Every single day of my life. I wake up miserable, I'm miserable with my family and miserable with myself. I make poor choices. And you know, despite everything that I feel like I'm doing, right, and he's like, whoa, whoa, caffeine delay. Why are you doing that? Yeah. Did

Casey O'Roarty 33:51
you see my face when you said that? I was like, Tell me more.

Jeremy 33:55
So the theory was that if you allow your body basically to naturally wake up for a couple of hours, it becomes less dependent on the caffeine to keep you stimulated and functioning through the day. And when Zach and I learned about this a few years ago, we went oh my God, that sounds brilliant. We're going to try that. And of course, no, no, no,

Zach 34:12
our first thought was that sounds true. Oh, that sounds like a nightmare. Do that right? What

Jeremy 34:17
kind of an idiot would do that? But then once we tried it, we went wow, this is great. And it worked for a while. But when I explained to my coach, I was like, Look, I delay caffeine and then once I have it, I'm solid for like four hours and then I crashed and I'm tired, whatever.

Casey O'Roarty 34:32
And he's like okay, it's bedtime by then. Are you in the clear?

Jeremy 34:35
You would think you would think so. He says to me have your coffee first thing in the morning. No more than two cups would have it right away. Just see what happens see if that's any different. And not only did I do that, but I also decided at the same time I'm gonna get up an hour earlier so normally I would get up at six and hit the ground running get the kids out of bed get breakfast made, get lunches ready to get them out the door. Go go go and the whole time just like go Let's go. We gotta get out the door. Move it move your butts and I'm just a jerk the whole time. But I gave myself that extra hour. And I had my coffee brewed and ready when I got out of bed at five. And then that hour I was able to journal, to meditate, to read, to drink my coffee and peace, not have to answer anybody's questions or solve anybody's problems or get somebody shoe out from behind the couch or whatever, you know, nightmare scenario was coming at me that day. And oh my god, my life changed overnight. Just physiologically, the way that the caffeine works with me, turns out, I'm the first thing in the morning kind of a guy. So that works out better for me. But more importantly, just giving myself that hour to just collect my thoughts to write down everything that was rolling around in my head and give it a place schedule when it needs to be dealt with, or does it need to be dealt with today, all of these things that I had no time for and just felt like God was constantly chasing my own tail, and then was exhausted and went to the pantry because I was exhausted and felt bad about myself in made poor choices to punish myself for all the things I did wrong. All of that started to melt away because I filled my own cup first first thing in the morning, so that I had plenty to share with everyone else. That was game changing for me. So I would just go back to more directly answer your question. Question what you believe about your day? Is there really no more time? Are you really that busy? How much time? Are you looking at your phone? How much time are you spending on Facebook? How much time? Are you putting things off? Because you don't want to face them? You don't want to deal with them? How much time could you save? If you just deal with them? How much time could you save? If you delete Facebook from your phone? How much could your life be different if you gave yourself 20 minutes, 30 minutes in the morning to just be you and not deal with the rest of the world? Those little questions by answering them the way I did completely changed everything about the way that I operate on a day to day basis.

Zach 36:46
I'll go a little bit further on it. So I get up at 430 Every single morning,

Casey O'Roarty 36:50
Jesus you guys, when do you go to bed? What's your bedtime,

Zach 36:53
I am one of those rare people who doesn't actually require a tonne of sleep. So I usually go to bed around 11 o'clock, gosh, and then maybe on Sunday asleep until 530

Casey O'Roarty 37:02
Oh my gosh, you're crazy person, I need eight hours or more.

Zach 37:07
I always was that guy. So I always was like eight, nine hours. And that was my thing. And then now that I've moved my body as much as I move it, and my day is as organised and will say stressful as it is like by the end of the day, like I've used all my energy. And somehow I'm sleeping better because I'm not drinking coffee later in the day.

Zach 37:34
So I go to bed a little bit later than I probably should. But I get up at 430 immediately to the gym, I bring my coffee with me, I smell my coffee on that whole car ride there. And I work out for an hour as hard as I can. And then my reward is my coffee. And then I go home, I literally have a whiteboard in my kitchen. And I sit there drinking my coffee, and just unloading my thoughts, everything. It's embarrassing if you would look at my whiteboard at what I write because it's just whatever pops in my head. And I'm drinking my coffee. So usually one of the things that goes up there is go to the bathroom, right? It's just anything, right? I'm feeling sad from something yesterday, I have to do task eight, I have to send this email, I have to do this thing. I've got to blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then I've got a whiteboard full of stuff that's rolling through my head, while I just finished drinking my coffee. And then I kind of organise and be like, these are my feelings. These are the things I need to do. Here's the things, here's that. Here's the three things I'm going to do today. Just three, and I'm going to be happy if I get those three things done. And I don't care about anything else on the list. And I choose to be happy when I get those three things done. And I try not to pick big things. And then I spend a couple more minutes just collecting my thoughts, meditating, finishing my coffee, go to the bathroom, do all the things I need to do for myself. And then it's time to wake my daughter up. And I walk in and it's a Hey, wake up. Time to get up. I know. You're grumpy. That's cool. Come on time to get up. Yeah. And you're in a good headspace. Yeah. And then the whole day is really good. And Jeremy will tell you like, I'm an executive at work. So like I have huge busy schedules. Lots and lots of responsibilities, the podcast, I have a fascination with everything in the world. So I'm constantly diving into everything and I shouldn't be able to do everything that I do. But I can do it because I take that time for myself in the morning and I take care of myself. And I just can't stress how important that is to really make sure that you're okay before you make other people. Okay,

Casey O'Roarty 39:41
well and you only get five and a half hours asleep. So you've got a couple extra hours to play with it so I'm just teasing. I'm just this is a funny monster that way. He's kind of a monster. i This is like a sore point between my husband and I anyway, I'm not gonna go there. I love that and I really love that book. Have you have shared processes that work for you like, and I have my own process in the morning, I love getting up before anyone else is up in the quiet of the house. You know, I make my coffee and I've got my journal and I try to get some yoga in. And I love that as well i ritual and routine. And you know, even just the unspoken like, I matter enough to myself, to make sure this happens. And it does require. Typically it requires for me some nighttime hygiene around, you know, going to bed so that when my alarm goes off, I want to get up. And it's really exciting when I get enough into the rhythm that I wake up before my alarm Like,

Jeremy 40:46
I literally set my alarm is 5am This morning, I got up at 459 It was like I woke up at 459. It's like I did

Casey O'Roarty 40:53
you guys are hardcore, you guys are hardcore. At this point. I'm a 630 girl. So but

Jeremy 40:58
I will say right, this is again, where that compassion comes in. A few weeks ago, I got COVID. And it totally knocked me out felt miserable. I still like I'm tired a lot, I'm dealing with some of the side effects of it. So because of that I'm not getting up at five, I've been getting up at six 615. And then all of a sudden, it's hit the ground running again, drag everybody out of bed, I'm not in a good headspace trying to force everyone else to do what they need to do. Yeah, and I'm seeing now, because I'm sort of letting myself off the hook trying to give myself time to recover. But I'm miserable, because I'm not doing what I need to do to take care of myself and take care of my family. And so it's one of those things where even when you change it, a lot of times these changes we make we don't see the progress, we don't see how it helps us. But when we fall back into old habits, and we realise oh my god that made such a massive difference in my life. That's when all of a sudden it clicks. And it becomes really important to you that you make that new routine, a habit and something you don't have to negotiate with yourself to accomplish. Talk about

Casey O'Roarty 41:55
the power of evolution, you have a blog post about this. And it was kind of a mind blower to me just Oh really, it's like simple and yet profound. At the same time. Can you talk a little bit about that concept for people,

Jeremy 42:10
I thought the exact same thing. It's so funny, Zach and I have been talking about basically this principle for how many years on our show, but I was reading Ryan holidays latest book, he's my favourite author, I love everything he writes. And he was explaining the process of any of this self development work, and changing our perspective from one of transformation to one of evolution. And the idea is stop focusing on when I lose 20 pounds, when I get the promotion, when the kids are a little older when I make enough money, because we have this artificial idea that because of accomplishing that, we can put our feet up and everything's gonna be fine. But I swear to you, no matter how many of those goals you achieve, they will quickly be followed by what's next. Or this isn't as rewarding as I thought it would be. Or there's still problems. I didn't read my life of problems. Life is problems, life is struggle, it's a matter of choosing which ones matter enough to you to deal with, or choosing the ones that you actually enjoy solving. So the way he explained it to me and forgive me if this is a football analogy that's lost on a lot of people, but Tom Brady, we can handle it. Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL. Never once walked into the locker room and went, Oh, I don't need to practice today. I'm the greatest quarterback ever. I got this. I'll see you guys on Sunday. He walked into the locker room every single day going, how can I throw a little bit harder? How can I throw a little bit farther? How can I run a little faster? How can I be a better leader? Even the greatest to ever put on the uniform? What how can I improve? And it's so funny because thinking of going to the gym? How many times do people go into the gym, and it is a part of their regular routine. And there's like oh my god, I've got to do this every day for the rest of my life. This is miserable. I don't want to do this every day for the rest of my life. It sucks, right? Yes, you go into it every day with I lifted this much yesterday. Can I do two more? Can I do five? Can I do one more? Right? What can I do a little better than I did yesterday. And so that idea of being 10% better every day being a little better every day. That's something we've been preaching forever. But it was always in my head serving to get me to a destination. Once I have played the game. Once I've done a little better, I'll get to this point where I'll be ripped and I'll be mentally clear and one with the universe and a great dad and the best person to ever walk the planet. I will never be any of those things. I will die long before the perfect human being ever walks on this planet. So seeing it as an evolution and knowing that every day I'm just evolving to whatever the next version of me is going to be has changed my perception because now I can make the decisions about what that evolution looks like. Do I evolve into the guy that needs hip and knee replacements that's in a wheelchair that hates his life and is miserable? Or do I evolve into the healthiest 75 year old version of me I can be, I hope 75 year old version of me is thinking about this conversation and going, you made the right choices. Not why did you give up? That's what this is all about is evolving into the best version of us later that we can possibly be.

Casey O'Roarty 45:16
Yeah. And what becomes available and what you just shared? Because seriously, I'm like, fuck the gym. I hate the gym.

Jeremy 45:23
Yeah, me too. Me too.

Zach 45:25
And I cannot get on that. waggon I know, I

Casey O'Roarty 45:29
see you over there, Zack, I know that my son's the same way he loves going to the gym. And I recently was like, I want to delight in this kid that only has so much more time living under our roof. And I thought and I want to strengthen my body and feel good in my body. And so I told him, will you support me with some weightlifting? That's awesome. You know, and I feel like, okay, this is an opportunity for me to be with him in his realm of excitement. Granted, hasn't happened yet. But I also was like, I don't want you to have like giant muscles. I'm not talking about bodybuilding. I'm just talking. And he's like, I know, Mom, I know what you want. You know, but I love what you're talking about. Because it gives us space to be in celebration along the way, versus these broad strokes of, you know, I'm thinking about my birthday, and we've got big plans. And I know I want to feel well, I would love to say I just want to feel a certain way, that would be a lie, I want to feel and I want to look a certain way. Sure, as I come into that milestone of 50. And to that point, because this is kind of where I go, it's like, I got this trip. I'm gonna work hard. And then the trip comes and then everything goes out the window that I've been doing, like I reached it, like you said, Jeremy, right, like, what's next? Or like, okay, great. I don't have to do that thing anymore. So really looking at the analogy that I give around parenting is Michael Phelps, right? Like, Michael Phelps doesn't just show up to the Olympics and dive in the pool like he is practising all the time. And so when I'm talking to parents just about how they're showing up, you know, when their teens are bringing them, you know, the really tricky, slippery, scary stuff. If you haven't been practising what it means to stay self regulated, what it means to pay attention to being fear driven, you're showing up to the Olympics with no practice. And that gets ugly. And typically, things get worse. I really appreciate that analogy. And that invitation to like, How can I be a little bit better today? What's a baby step? And that's what I appreciated about the article that you wrote. Yeah,

Zach 47:44
I have a great example that I hope everyone will appreciate, because it involves Disney, and children. And my daughter, I bring her to a CrossFit kids class. And I really encourage her, you know, she loves volleyball, and she's like, I want to be better. And like, how do I get better, like, well, you can't just go practice volleyball, like you need to build your muscles and like, get yourself in shape and like to be the best you can be and I can help guide you. You have to do the work. So she's been actually like, doing things like preparing her body for volleyball. And we go to Disney a lot more than any person should probably go.

Casey O'Roarty 48:21
Do you live down there? No, I don't. Oh, you're one of those people. It was so weird. I grew up in like really close to Anaheim. So weird for me to move to Washington State. And for people to go to Disneyland for like, a long weekend. I was like, What are you talking about, but now I understand it was a long weekend, a few weeks

Zach 48:39
and days.

Jeremy 48:41
But we went he's a monster. He's a lunatic and a monster, clearly.

Zach 48:45
So but when we go, I've got all my steps counted. And you know, the GPS coordinates tracking how far I'm walking. And I'm, like, precise, we're gonna walk here and we're gonna do this, we're gonna do that. So we're I'm criss crossing across the park all day long. And we usually get like 15 to 16 miles a day of walking. And every time we have gone in the past, we get back to the hotel room and my daughter crashes. And she's like, Would my feet hurt and my calves are and I'm hot, I'm sweaty, I'm hungry, and I feel horrible. Like just all those things. But she's now been like doing this incremental work of, you know, working out. And she hates it, and it sucks and you don't like going to the gym. But we just went to Disney. And after two days of walking around, we got back to the hotel room and she was like, my feet actually don't hurt like they normally do. And my calves feel good. And I'm like, I'm hungry, but I'm not really upset. And I was like, Uh huh. This is why we work out so we can go do the things that we love, and we can do them to the best ability and she was like mind blown. And now she's like, oh, I want to go to the gym. I want to get better. I want to do these incremental things, so that I can be better in everything I do. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 49:57
I need to do the incremental things. Zack, knock it out. I am sorry, I'm at

Zach 50:01
a steel. Yeah, that is my struggle, though. I go all out. And Jeremy will tell you this, like I, unfortunately, I'm successful more often than not, when I go all out on things. Yeah, so I've built this, like evidence that I can do it. But the times that I fail, I fail really hard. And it's just not normal to do that. And it's, as Jeremy said, I'm a monster in that sense. And I will punish myself to get through things like that, and no one should have to punish themselves.

Casey O'Roarty 50:30
Well, and I appreciate both of you just kind of sharing so generously your experiences and how this work has evolved for you and what like, there's so much self awareness that even in what you just said, I think that even being able to say, Damn, you know, I really punish myself. And this is my relationship with failure and supporting ourselves in connecting dots, but also supporting our kids and connecting dots is what I'm all about. So thank you for this conversation, I have other things that I wanted to touch on, but I'm looking at the time this went really fast. Is there anything else you want to make sure to leave listeners with before we wrap up?

Jeremy 51:10
Again, to quote Ryan holidays has such an influence on me, he talks about this training, right, like going to the gym, and all the things we're talking about there. And how he doesn't participate in races, he doesn't train for a Spartan, he doesn't train for whatever life is the marathon. And so you have to train for life, you have to train for the trip to Disneyland for the grumpy kid, for the Fight With Your Spouse for you know, the late rent payment, whatever, like, life is the marathon. So whatever you're doing, just consider how you want to show up for that. And if you are tired, at the end of the day, if you are struggling with all these things, then go back to what we talked about questioning the choices that you're making throughout the day. And which ones could you alter? Which ones can be slightly tweaked? And can you do that long enough that you eventually see that it makes a change? And then just keep building from there? What other small changes can you make to become the kind of person that you want to become so you can handle whatever the Marathon of life is that throws at you?

Zach 52:06
And also, you're okay, right where you are? Like, it's fine. You're okay, you have goals, aspirations. And you will be a little bit better tomorrow and a little bit better after that a little bit better after that. But that self compassion, like you don't even have to say, I love you, but at the very least just say, just I am okay, I have food and a roof. And nobody's in serious trouble right now. I'm okay.

Casey O'Roarty 52:33
Yeah, yes, I am. Okay. Life is a marathon. And moving towards evolution. Versus transformation was really a big mic drop moment for me, too. So thank you. Thank you guys. I have a question that I asked all of my guests. And someone asked you both. What does joyful courage mean to you?

Zach 52:55
I think that's the first time I've heard that we've heard courage many times in question form a joyful courage. You know, the standard definition of, I'm afraid of doing whatever this thing is, and it's going to be something great for my life. And I'm terrified of it. And I do it anyway. And I surprise myself. And I show myself that I am capable, I am worthy. Because a lot of the fear that I have for any of the things that I want to do, none of it ever existed, it never comes to pass. So joyful courage, knowing that whatever it is, I'm up against, I can get through it, I can do it. It's gonna be scary. It's gonna be hard. And at the end, I'm going to be happy. So I would say that's my definition.

Jeremy 53:41
Yeah, I think mine would be similar because I think it speaks to the courage part. But I think that where it becomes joyful for me is when I realised I didn't have to negotiate with myself to get through it. When I realised that there's something scary, there's only one way through it, and it's through it, not around it, not by delaying it, not thinking about it, and maybe doing it tomorrow. But when I can just go obstacle, faced deal with it, and not have to talk myself into it. And that's when it becomes a joyful experience because it's just speaks to the confidence that I've built with all the other challenging things I've done. And so then, it just shows me that I can do one more hard thing, so why not?

Casey O'Roarty 54:17
Yeah, where can people find you and follow your work

Jeremy 54:20
right here in your favourite podcast player, you can search for the Fit mess. Otherwise you can find us at our website, the fit mess.com

Casey O'Roarty 54:27
Beautiful. Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. You guys. Nice to meet you. Thank you for your work. Yeah

Casey O'Roarty 54:43
thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my spreadable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for Our newsletter to stay connected at bees profitable.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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