On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing 4 things I wish I knew before starting my healthy lifestyle.
Let’s call it story time with Brad.
But first, I’m going to share my quick answer to this question from 2012.
Then at the end of the post I’ll share my story, and see if my perspective has changed.
Laurie James Mackeson says: Learning and improving life is about doing things better. Some would say admit mistakes and do things differently. Can you share some important things you have learned to do better?
Excellent point, and I agree 100%.
Nobody is perfect.
If you try to live a perfect life, you’re going to live a life unfulfilled, because it’s almost impossible to be perfect 100% of the time.
So if I could do anything different, I wouldn’t have done anything different.
I say this because I wouldn’t be in this place that I am in right now, if I did things differently.
And I am happy and content in my current position.
However, if I had to advise other people to do things differently than I did, I would say don’t stress out over everything that I’m talking about on Live Lean TV.
I do still agree that you shouldn’t live your life with regrets.
I’m a big believer that if situation “x” never happened, you may have never arrived at where you are today.
The hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life was my divorce, while at the same time feeling very distant from all my closest friends.
Some people may say they would be ashamed or regret being divorced.
However, my outlook now is I’m so grateful that it happened.
If I stayed in that marriage, I would have never met Jessica, who is not only my wife, but also the mother of my 2 amazing children, and my business partner.
So if we were still together, I would have never experienced what it is like to be a dad and be so madly in love with my two kids.
And not that there’s anything wrong with this, but if I never got divorced, I’d probably still be living in the same city, and with the same group of friends, that I grew up with.
Again, that may be an amazing life experience for some people, but being in that little bubble was just not for me.
I’m so grateful to have the chance to experience life in another country, living in Southern California, and being pushed outside my comfort zone to meet new people, and experience more diversity.
However, with all that said, there are things I wish I knew before starting my healthy lifestyle.
Now I don’t have any dramatic stories to share about experiences with binging, or starving myself, or causing my body harm with outrageous dieting mistakes.
But growing up, I did have insecurities and struggles with self-esteem that stemmed from how I thought I looked.
Note: check out this post from Jessica where she also opens up about her fears and insecurities.
Even though I was an athlete growing up, I had a tight group of friends, and I dated my one and only true high school crush, I still was not comfortable in my own skin.
Just because you may not be severely obese or sickly underweight, it doesn’t mean you don’t have insecurities with your body.
I was one of those people and I share a lot of those personal stories in my book, Think And Live Lean.
So with all that said, here are the 4 things I wish I knew before starting my healthy lifestyle.
Now the first thing is going to be the longest, but it’s also my most important key learning, that can be applied to any area of your life.
I could call this so many different things, but I feel narrowing your focus best summarizes this.
When I first started my Live Lean journey, I was consuming way too much information, from way too many people.
Hello analysis paralysis.
This often leads to becoming overwhelmed, which then leads to frustration, and then for most people, leads to doing nothing at all.
So when I first started going to the gym, I would walk on the weight floor, become intimated by all the people that looked like they knew what they were doing, then I’d hit the safe zone on the cardio machines.
Low intensity steady state cardio is not what a 20 year old skinny dude, with a little flabby belly, needs to be doing.
Then I convinced my buddy to come train with me which helped me finally get the courage to try lifting weights.
This ultimately became a waste of my time so I knew I needed to pivot my training.
My girlfriend at the time asked if I wanted her to hire me a personal trainer for my birthday present.
I thought about it, but it was super expensive, and I remember that none of the personal trainers at the gym were even in great shape.
So that I passed on that investment for another investment in my training.
A subscription to Men’s Health magazine.
Which, low key flex alert, I appeared in 17 years later.
So, to get organized, I bought a blue binder with loose leaf paper, and started creating my first fitness program.
I’d get a new magazine in the mail every month, then I’d cut out the workouts and recipes, and paste them in the blue binder.
Then I’d do whatever workout appeared on the next page, in my binder, regardless of which body part or style of training.
I was also eating low calorie recipes one day, then muscle building recipes another day.
So getting back to the point.
My training and eating was completely random with no focus on a specific goal.
It’s safe to say, I was putting in effort, but the effort wasn’t showing me results.
Then, I started reading other blogs and books about different training styles and different diets.
One day I was reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book on bodybuilding, then another blog on circuit training, etc.
This just led to more frustration in my search for the perfect plan for me.
This led me on a journey to find one expert, that was getting the results that I wanted.
Once I found this person, I promised to put on my blinders, forget all the other conflicting information, and just dial it in on their teachings.
I remember searching google for something like, “world’s most shredded male”.
Then I saw an image of a guy that matched my ideal physique.
He was actually a similar height to me and even had similar characteristics.
I did some more searching, found his website, and saw that he was from LA.
So I knew personal training was out, but I also noticed that he sold customized workout and nutrition plans.
Remember, this was back in 2009, when buying digital programs online was not a thing.
Plus, at the time, the price seemed super expensive.
It was around $500-600 USD, which was around $700-$800 CDN dollars at the time.
I remember feeling like there was no way I could afford that, so I closed out the page and kept doing what I was doing.
Working hard, but not getting the results I felt I was entitled to get.
Then I had a conversation with my fiancee at the time, and she gave me the encouragement I needed.
She said, if you really want Brad, go for it.
Put it on your credit card and you’ll find a way to pay it off.
So I sat down at the kitchen table, went back to his site, and sent him an email that I was interested.
He then got back to me, so I felt better about it.
I added his program to my cart, then sat there with my finger hovering over the “Submit Order” button.
I remember thinking, how is a guy from over 3,000 miles away, going to train me.
Then I thought, screw it, let’s find out, and I clicked the button to finalize the purchase.
Now I’m not going to sit here and say his program was so magical that I immediately got results.
But I will say that putting a lot of “skin in the game” had a lot to do with my consistency and determination.
Plus the idea of focusing on only one expert’s nutrition and fitness advice that were tailored to my goals, gave me the belief and incentive to do it.
So that’s my story on narrowing your focus, investing in yourself, and being consistent.
I wish I knew the power of doing that before I started my healthy lifestyle.
This would have saved me a lot of time and frustration.
That was long.
I promise to be quicker with the rest as they’re more straight to the point.
I remember a time when I was a grown man who was afraid of a mythical monster.
This monster was known in the fitness industry as the night time carb monster.
This carb monster would only appear when the clock struck 7pm.
If he caught you putting any carbohydrates in your mouth past 7pm, he would store those calories as ugly and stubborn body fat.
There was a time when I feared the night time carb monster.
But then I realized, like all monsters, he was just a figment of my imagination.
Now don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you should sit in front of the TV at 11pm chowing down on cookies.
But it does mean, if you workout at night, most people should still eat your carbohydrates after your workout.
When you earn them, these carbohydrates will be used to help you recover from your workout, rather than being sent to your fat cells.
Back in 2011, I sold my house and was in the process of building a new one.
Since my old house closed before my new house was ready to move in, I had to live with my parents for 3 weeks.
This allowed my parents to see my new way of eating.
I remember every night I would make eggs after dinner.
Not only was it weird for my mom to see me eating eggs at night, because we all know eggs are only meant to be eaten at breakfast, but she couldn’t understand why I was throwing out the egg yolk.
I told her, saturated fat mom, it’s bad for my heart.
Now my mom grew up on a farm and was also a home economics teacher in school.
She shook her head and said I was being so wasteful, and most of the nutrients are in the egg yolk.
Then around 2012, I started learning more about the paleo diet.
This led me to all of the studies that debunked the old and poorly designed studies that said saturated fat causes heart disease.
Now I actually make an effort to get more saturated fat into my diet via:
Not only does it help with healthy cholesterol, it’s also a great way to naturally boost your testosterone.
There was a time when I wouldn’t even buy mixed spices if it had salt in it.
Now, I’m not saying you should aim to have a lot of salt in your diet.
However, when you eat mainly clean, one ingredient foods, you can add salt to it.
Salt gets excessive when you eat a lot of processed foods.
The over consumption of processed foods is why people have issues with salt.
It’s not from adding salt to your homemade steak and potatoes.
Plus, salt is actually an essential mineral and an important electrolyte.
Salt becomes even more essential to your health when you sweat a lot or drink a lot of water.
Take control back of your salt consumption, by preparing your own meals, using one ingredient, natural foods, then add salt yourself.
Those are my 4 things I wish I knew before starting my healthy lifestyle.
Again, the major game changing thing was the first one.
Ask yourself this question and really think about it before being defensive.
Are you being stubborn by trying to go through your fitness journey on your own?
If you are, we can help take all the guesswork away, so you can just put in the work and execute on the step-by-step plan.
You can take the Live Lean Body quiz to find the best 6 week program for you based on your goals, fitness level, and access to equipment.
Or you can join our Team Live Lean inner circle to get our ongoing programs and accountability to reach your goals faster.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.