Welcome to this whole life action hour I'm ocean Robbins your host thrilled to be here today we are here to explore the mindsets and the practicalities of healthy habit change how you can make something happen in your life that sticks you know when we yearn for change we often want instant results but when it comes to changing your lifestyle so.
You can have better health optimal weight improve nutrition more activity or athletic performance the journey to Lasting success is often one of gradual intentional and mindful progress It's a series of small steps that can lead to Big lasting results so in this action hour we're going to focus on the secrets.
To making meaningful strides towards your health and fitness goals using some proven techniques for habit change you know for so many of us the challenge is in just knowing what to do it's doing what we know so that's what we're going to focus on today and just to be super clear this is a project of whole life club which is food Revolution Network's.
Ongoing membership Community some of the questions I'll be bringing to this interview come from our whole life club members and nothing new here today is medical advice we're offering coaching and our own best insights but always consult with a qualified healthc care professional regarding your specific Health Care realities and needs and now.
I get to introduce Our Guest today Sid Garza Hillman is a public speaker he's the host of the what Sid thinks podcast a certified nutritionist and running coach an oxygen Advantage breathing instructor and founder of small sters.com again that is small sters.com he is the Stanford in and Resorts Wellness programs director and race.
Director of the mesino coast 50k Trail ultra marathon on Sid's the author of four books which include approaching the Natural Health Manifesto and his upcoming book is going to be ultr running for normal people Life Lessons Learned on and off the trails coming out in February of 2024 Sid welcome so great to be with you.
Ocean so great to be here thanks for asking me to come on total honor you have a unique approach to progress and habit change which aligns with our natural tendencies for improved well-being so how does your approach help people reconnect with their Natural Instincts and behaviors and and what is your approach yeah well you know first.
Of all it's the the Mantra I use and I'm always hesitant to use the word Mantra but anyways that's just my own thing anyways but the Mantra I use with with with people and clients and everything is mind first body second and what I mean by that is we we want to lose weight or we want to gain Fitness and we go right to the body we would to the.
Training plan to the diet to the thing uh that's gonna supposedly get us there more on that in a minute because it's not really what if we ask ourselves what we want it's not to lose weight and gain it back we want to keep it off and so that's a different there than most people think but mind first means identify what your ideals what you stand.
For what is most natural to you when are you happiest how would you see yourself if you were living your ideal life I I do that and it takes sometimes weeks to do that because without that there's direction there's no Direction clients will go from any Quick Fix to the next Quick Fix and they do that by the time they come to me sometimes they've done.
10 of them or more and so mine is get that stuff written don't act don't worry about it don't change your diet get it down what do you stand for what do you want how does your life want to be then you have a direction to move into then it's my small steps approach which is how do you take care of yourself during the implementation of those realities.
How do you do you beat yourself up in the gym do you switch your diet overnight and cause a bunch of digestive upset because you're not used to that much fiber or you know etc etc how do you I call it the ethic of self-care my bachelor's degrees is in philosophy so when I got to this part of my life it was like oh this is very much P tied.
Into how do you treat yourself on the way there and so that's you know in a nutshell that's kind of where I'm going got it so um can you share some examples of how incorporating natural elements into daily life could lead to Better Health and Fitness sure so you know again I live in the modern world you live in the modern world we fly on.
Airplanes and we drive cars and I've got a family and we you know do the things we do my first book approaching the natural was simply a result of my Straight Up failure as a nutritionist early on because I was so highly focused on food only as a nutritionist that's what you do but people weren't sticking with my Approach for more than a month.
Or two and so I realized oh essentially what I'm doing is put them on a diet and that's not working so I didn't give I didn't have them I didn't give them the tools to continue so I immediately backed out within months and wrote my first book which is called approaching the natural a health Manifesto one chapter is on food the rest is on.
Everything else so it was identifying and sort of understand understanding that we are an animal still we try to pretend we're not we look at nature through a window but we are an animal so it was firstly identifying what are the natural things about us or and also what are the unnatural things about us junk food obviously unnatural but also.
Sitting in a chair for eight hours is unnatural and also you know socializing quote unquote through social media is very unnatural so it was identifying how far we are moving away from what is natural to us as a species and then what is most natural to us as a species interconnection human connection movement not CrossFit and I'm not it.
It's it's very stressful for some people it works for some people but for some people like normal folks like me it's a little bit too much given everything else we've got going on how do we what what food do we put in our bodies and identifying those things then saying okay just because you know that doesn't mean you have to change it overnight it.
Is saying okay I identify that now can I have a system where I can move toward that in a managed stress fashion hence the small steps approach but that's what that is it's like no no no no no I always tell I'm like I won't talk about food for four weeks minimum and it just pisses them off they want I want to talk we're not doing that yet you're not.
There yet you've already done 10 diets so why are you trying to do that again right so it's like pulling back the reins then we gently get into the discussion of food later but I've already done breath work I've already done Fitness coaching kind of gotten a round well-rounded goal and then we we ease our way in is part of the.
Philosophy here that that the lasting dietary change requires certain foundations of presence embodiment self-awareness even that's that's more effective because you're not just following rules you're actually like connecting with your own endogenous capacity for for nourishment 100% yeah I mean I've told most of my clients that.
It's rarely about diet solely it's mostly about their relationship to food it's about their reactive eating you know not you know what I mean so it's the stress eating so they want to talk about me changing their diet I okay well you'll power through that with your willpower and it'll drain down and you'll do whatever you did before which.
Is to go back to what's comfortable for you even if it's not healthy so I tackle the Mind part of it first the awareness one of my tools with clients is that they text me before they eat anything I don't want to know what they're eating I'm this isn't about the diet I got don't even tell me I don't even want to know do you have a moment of awareness.
And calm before you eat and it's very telling it's an information gathering kind of thing because they get to see oh man I'm like eaten before I even pay attention most of the time or not but they get to find that out then they realize this isn't really about the food this is about my state of mind around food but by the way around exercise and.
Around socializing and everything else it's that same back I call it the ethic of self-care it's that same backdrop of engaged awareness and intention and Consciousness when I can nail that down and help them understand that's really where the issues lay then we can then talk about food when they're ready but if I feel if I get the sense that.
They're like but I want to talk about food I go you just bought yourself two more weeks they hate me but then they love me because I go this could actually solve help them Sol help them solve the issue don't hand somebody a diet anymore because it doesn't work and so I want them to make their own decisions I want them to identify what are their ideals.
Not my ideals for them and then they get to make the changes at their speed based on their stress you mentioned breath work and some of in our audience maybe very familiar with that others not so much you know we eat for however many minutes a day but we're breathing all the time and so at some level air is the number one thing we nourish ourselves.
With and we need it constantly more or less um and um you know I'm just curious can you tell us when you say breath work what does that mean and why is that important yeah I'll tell you why it's important and here's what's odd is food in my practice was always when after the the system that I have teach them of Stress Management it I would go to go.
Into food breath now is taking the pole position I train breath work right out of the choot and I've had clients change their diets before I've even talked about food based on breath work this isn't Magic this isn't woooo this is like the deal so my entry into that was simply I'm I'm an ultra Runner so I was interested in breath work anyway I kind.
Of I I fell upon whim Hoff I'm sure you've heard of him I don't know but I do the cold tub 39 degree thing this morning in my on my deck and and I do his his I got a plunge too okay cool yeah exactly is it actually the cold plunge because I have that one it is the plunge but I haven't worked my way to 39 degrees yet I'm doing I've been doing it.
Six years like like every day but you you'll get there anyways um never enjoy it until I get out U but anyways so but but so there was the Wim Hoff thing so I knew that there was a power in breath work in in in delving into that however because I'm a stretch management guy you know the Wim Hoff have you do you know Wim Hoff I do okay so you his breathing.
Is very it's very you hyperventilate potentially become you know hyper hypocapnic very low CO2 you're blowing that much out so it's it's that short-term kind of exercise that you do I do it every day but it's not what I teach so when I went back to become an instructor I I found a a program that.
Was geared toward how to train people to functionally breathe most of the time even when they're not thinking about it and that was oxygen advantage and so this guy Patrick McAn he's you know he just developed this whole system um and I learned it and it has been absolutely a GameChanger for me as a person but also my clients's absolute GameChanger.
So it's it's in a nutshell it is have you heard of the bore effect no so the bore effect is scientist name bo Bohr he he found that when CO2 levels are too low the oxygen in our blood stays too much attached to the hemoglobin and isn't released into the tissues so we all have if I put a pulse oximeter on you you'd be 95 to 99% blood oxygen.
Everybody is unless you've got some sort of long issue so everyone's there already we have enough oxygen but it's actually the lack of CO2 so when CO2 is allowed to exist at a slightly higher Baseline that triggers the release of oxygen into the tissues and so oxygen Advantage Works toward desensitizing you to CO2 so that you're allowed to exist.
With a little more the reason why you have to be desensitized to it is because CO2 is the thing in your blood when it gets high enough it's what triggers the brain to breathe so we're triggered too fast because we over breathe and we blow out all the CO2 so over time desensitizing people to CO2 allows them to exist with a little bit more just.
Enough to allow them to release the oxygen and and therefore facilitate better oxygen ation however what that means is on on a real level is increased endurance lower anxiety lower stress improv sleep and this was something that was absolutely massive for me I'm sleeping better than I've ever slept and I'm 54 for crying out loud um I was a.
Mouth breather forever and ever and now it's 100% nose in and out and I've been doing this now because of the habit of 50 years of mouth breathing before I started doing I tape my mouth shut at night and my kids think I'm hilarious and my wife you know but the snoring goes away my wife now tapes her mouth shut and we go we go to sleep but it's.
Been it's been an absolute Game Changer so there it is but yeah it breath work is is is as important to me as diet by far okay so I want to get a little granular here for a second so MTH mouth breathing is bad for dental health we know that right because saliva is really good for your teeth and you corre it dries out when you're breathing through.
Your mouth so my bloody gums are gone and and I think people tend to sleep better when their nose breathing but but I think that part of what you're saying is we have a lower flow of air with the nose than the mouth typically correct and so the body can go into fear oh I'm not going to get enough if there's that lower flow but it's actually plenty it's.
Just that fear trigger right correct and so what we're doing what I'm doing as a breath coach is is decreasing that fear so I will tell you the first few weeks at least of me taping my mouth shut was me waking up sometime in the middle of the night going oh my God and taking the tape off and breathing now I put the tape on at night I wake up in the.
Morning be and I take my tape off because I've desensitized myself to this CO2 so enough and so that's why yes you are a physical you don't bring in as much air as quickly through your nose the slower you breathe the lighter you breathe a little more CO2 gets to climb but in the beginning that means people feel like they're going to suffocate.
They're not they have enough air already it's absolutely fine in fact they're better but over time and I mean within a couple months but with so here comes ocean the daily people know that they go okay I'm going to do it then they do an hour a day and then a week later they burn out and they can't do it anymore so again it's like okay now that you know.
That are how much are you going to do I have a client right now who does two breath retentions they take about 30 seconds two per day because anything more than that right now is stressful for her because she's got a lot of other things going on so it's it's I'm helping clients determine what are they able to take on given what they know what are.
They able to take on now which sets the stage for a sustainable long-term habit change it's a lot less than you think because we're busy with families and jobs and everything else as you know so that's what that is but yeah it's massive breath work it seems like part of what you're doing is helping the body get more efficient uh in its.
Relationship to oxygen it reminds me a little bit of fasting in a sense in that when we when we take some time off from eating we actually have a different relationship to food that can actually be healthier than a continuous sort of steady drip and it seems like part of what you're talking about is how to get more efficient with our oxygen and by by.
Reducing our sensitivity to CO2 so that we can have more pauses and more more peace in our breathing process which which can also be good in Athletics right because then you're you're actually able to like run farther and do more without getting out of breath and feeling desperate that's right that whole V2 Max you know that whole model.
Of you know burning past your your oxygen threshold and then you have to convert lactic lactate into you know energy acid which is that tied up feeling in the legs yeah but what's actually what's interesting about that is that's actually a misunderstanding there is no lactic acid it's actually lactate and not only that it is what.
They're thinking is actually it's not the cause of the muscle soreness it's not the cause of muscle fatigue it's actually the body's ability to have another energy source it creates lactate that that gets sent back into the the KB I think it's the KB cycle but this the Peru vate cycle that creates more energy but having the oxygen utilization at its.
Max efficiency yes so when I run for instance now knows almost entirely if I'm on a if I'm I just yeah so I'm in and out through the nose now I did a race uh last month it was brutal it was a 2 Mile absolutely monster of an ultra hardest one I've ever done nose most of the time except for if I'm on a trail a hill and I'm expending that much energy.
Then we transfer to the mouth that's how we're designed if we're being chased by a lineon we mouth breathe because we need oxygen fast because we're because we're expending that height of energy but most times we're nose breathers that's our design we are more efficient that way nitric oxide from the sinuses goes into the opens up the blood you.
Know it opens up the passages in your lungs all this amazing stuff via the nose humidifies warms you know the whole deal so it's a much better way to breathe most of the time unless you're under an amazing amount of stress and then you go to mouth not to take us on too big a detour here but I just want to say for those who have who have clogged.
Noses this is a different conversation obviously and that's often an issue of inflammation which could be caused by any number of things I'll say in my own life when I was 10 years old my family gave up Dairy and I suddenly was breathing through my nose and I was like oh my gosh this is what it's like and I realized that for the first decade of my.
Life I hadn't known that anything else was possible but my nose was clogged because Dary created those symptoms and now if ever I have any dairy I don't it's not part of my regular life but once in a while I have some even by mistake somewhere in the world and then I think I'm getting a cold the next day and I've learned oh that's because I got.
Some Dairy last night so it's just it's not my friend it's not good for my nose everyone's got their own triggers but just to acknowledge that could be one of the other things people need to think about it's funny you had it you got lucky at 10 I didn't realize Dairy until 22 um but I was a lifelong asthmatic and a ton of allergies almost all gone now.
If you can I don't know if this is a video thing that people can see but my nose while not small is very narrow and so I will also say that I have a dilator at night I put it in and it opens my passageway so if I go like this no problem if I go like this it's much more constricted now that's nothing like it used to be I can breathe through my nose.
Without doing this and that was never the case when I was eating a bad an unhealthy diet a less inflam I mean more inflammatory diet right so you're 100% right but there are tools to allow people to have that those passages opened especially at night and I I just want people to look into it because they're amazing yeah okay thank you all.
Right well we're going we're getting there's so many things we could talk about Sid but we're focusing today on habit change so let's Circle back to that a little bit okay so part of what I hear you saying is that you take people on a journey to look at sort of stages of what what area of their life because ultimately you're helping folks with.
Every area of their life that's that's fundamental but you do it in the staging process and you feel that food is actually one of those things that there's got to be a certain Foundation of support in order to create sustainable habit change there and so you don't always start with food um you never start with food actually I never.
Start with food right okay so take us to what are the specific stages of the journey that you work on again yeah so the and I they're very defined so the first part is discovery which is again the Mind first so it's a series of writing assignments and they're all geared toward this find out about what before you put the pressure on yourself.
About oh my God I got to make this change really quickly it's I'm like I've told people who got they go I can't stop eating candy I go for now keep eating it I literally go just keep eating it we're not there yet we're talking about 15 20 30 years ahead we're not talking about the next month so no 21 day this or that so keep eating the candy now let's talk.
About brass ax what is what would the ideals you look like would you binge on Candy no my daily life I just have a piece now and then I'm in control of food don't really think about it too much not that big of a deal to me it's not they lay all these things out but also where they live how their marriage is and I'm not a marriage counselor but.
Plenty of my clients have identified in these exercises uh challenges that they have in the family thing and and as a practitioner responsible one who doesn't overstep his boundaries I go marriage counseling might be a good benefit for you right okay so uh I don't again I don't overstep that I've had clients where I'm like I need you to be in.
Therapy because for my work in habit change a lot of stuff's coming up that you didn't you've been kind of pushing down with food for years and so now it's coming up and cool but take it easy don't make big changes you might need that cheese pizza to kind of shove that down a little bit and I'm not even kidding this is like the cigarette.
Smoking of of this kind of thing so it's identifying those very clear ideals who they are they get a very clear picture that's Discovery then it's imp we start to implement via literally what I call a steps list and it's in multiple different areas but every time that they put an act on there that moves them closer to their ideals I ask them this.
Question what can you do starting today that is like no big deal that you could do forever so if somebody's never exercised it might be one squat I'm not kidding I've started clients off or I've worked with them one minute walk around the living room you want know why because they got big designs on going for a three mile walk every day but the.
Weather's kind of crappy outside and they they deal they don't have the right shoes or something some impediment makes them go forget it I go get up whatever you're wearing walk around the and you start doing that every day now the blowback is that well that's not going to do anything so what we're thinking of is data blood pressure heart rate I go.
We're not there we're establishing The Habit later you can build that step into a three- mile walk and you're going to get all the wonderful benefits of walking every day but right now it is about the Habit we skip right to the thing that we read about in People magazine that if we eat this way we'll get the before and after shot but it.
Doesn't last it never does and when we can get over that and realize okay let me be an adult about this we can actually get real changes done so it's it's I have clients working in creativity socializing diet movement breath work meditation journaling all these different areas but not massive amounts I I was quantifying with a.
Client yesterday on a client call her entire steps list adds up to about six minutes per day six minutes I I'm not kidding but it's changing because it's not just about those six minutes she's starting to shape up her life and control her life in a very cool calm way and she's seeing those changes occur so it's it's helping people ease their way.
In not jumping too fast too far yeah okay so what are some practical examples of some of the steps that someone might do in 6 minutes a day or 10 minutes a day those micro steps and are they sequential do you take some steps for a while and then you move to a new batch of steps yes and no so so basically any step on the list is to move you closer.
To your ideal so it it can be a multitude of steps it can be I only have three on my list right now and it's basically anything that I want to start what I want to Incorporated in my life that is that is new and so it's like okay well if I want to do this thing and I take it on too much I'll quit so it's it's like get that whole thing but it's.
Not sequential necessarily it's you take each step in isolation you go how much can I do today differing amounts based on your priorities so um somebody might be like well they're studying for whatever and they want to be able that's kind of their priority okay I was writing my new book for instance so when I was writing my new book that was my.
Priority and so that step on my list was bigger than the other ones I did a little less exercise at that point I did a little less breath work maybe but I kind of didn't but whatever but you know I mean like you kind of prioritize my first step just to give you an example on my book my new one this is my fourth book.
I've this ain't my first rodeo and yet my first step on my list because the idea of writing this book was so gargantuan and so stress inducing that it was making me not deal with it so my first step I am not joking was was to open the file on my desktop on my laptop open not even write open the yeah because that's the game I got to play.
With myself like okay I'm just GNA open it then a couple days later was like okay well let me to write a sentence and I changed the step on the list and then I grew it and grew it the one misconception about my Approach I will tell you is that if people assume that every step for everybody is the same it's not a small step for me is a.
Mindset do you see it as small so my first step in my book might have been writing three pages a day if that wasn't stressing using for me it was and so it was one sentence for a while but for other people based on their lives I asked them to look at the entirety of their lives what's their schedule like what's their family like what's their.
Responsibilities and obligations and things they do for Joy how are you going to fit that in there are you gonna shove it in because it'll bounce it right back out so it's multiple areas all in a way that is manageable and you grow or sometimes decrease depending on what you're kind of doing but you're always engaged yeah so that Discovery or self.
Assessment stage is critical and I sometimes think of that a little bit like like what it takes to have a healthy functioning GPS where you've got to know where you are you've got to know where you want to be and then the route to get there and then you're literally if you think about it the steps are like what's your next turn exactly the road.
Exactly you can Barrel through terrain that's gonna make you break down right right if I gotta get from there to here and it's a straight line so I'm going to go across a lake in my car you know and that's what kind of the metaphor of people do with diets they go I want to get there I'm going straight and I'm going to change my diet overnight my.
Family's going to be pissed at me and I'm going to be miserable and feel crappy and by God but I got it you know and that's kind of like that thing and I'm just helping people disavow that but I always say I'm not I don't do the sexy work I do not do the sexy work I do not have people knocking down my door I have clients I keep you know I have a career.
But I this is not sexy because this is the hardest work that anybody will do diets are easy Sid just tell me what to do and I'll do it for 21 days it's just tell me what to do and we want and I get it trust me I get it because I'm living I got three kids and the whole thing tell me what to do but it doesn't work and so if I can say you have to decide.
What you can do and then I give them license to do very little like one slow breath in the morning that's their meditation sometimes anybody can do that think go okay go okay cool but it doesn't do it I go no no no it does it establishes a habit you'll you'll do 45 minutes six months from now but let's take our time with it you know what I.
Mean based on what you want to do yeah yeah well I know that you that food is uh not diet but you know evolution of food and nutrition and how we nourish ourselves I'll say is like you know a little bit more advanced in the journey a lot of folks in our audience though are very focused on the food piece so let's suppose somebody wants to eat more.
Vegetables and less processed foods you know what are some examples of steps that they might take when they're ready to undertake that good so let me go to an extreme story okay I had a client years ago 5'4 or 400 lb okay now in her initial writing she wrote I'm at a healthy weight that was her ideal now that's a hard thing to write when you.
Know the reality which is that you're 54 400 pounds and you've been on a junk food diet for 50 years but she had that moment where she was like no I I'm in my ideal I'm at a healthy weight now I argue and I will defend this position forever which is that is actually the real her so I always tell clients I'm not trying to make you into someone new.
I'm trying to get the real you I want you to live life on your terms you identify yourself as having a healthy relationship with food you've just been running astray for a little while let's get you back on track it takes a while but three junk food meals a day I'm not kidding now her first step in healthy eating was one stock of celery with.
Whatever else she was having for dinner and that's because the and she had already been on more than 10 Health diets trust me she'd lost the weight and gained the weight lots of times so yeah it was I'm never a stop eating junk food everybody knows that it's so insulting when a nutritionist tells somebody don't eat that stuff it's like they already.
Know that's not the issue the issue is that she doesn't know she doesn't think junk food's healthy she's not arguing with me about the health merits of of of of a Big Mac she's having the relationship of the food needs to be changed so what I said is keep eating the dinner I don't care can you put something on your plate we had that.
Discussion she said I like celery I said good one stock of celery so all of a sudden every day she's putting one stock of celery then it was a couple slices of pear she's adding it in three weeks later I go tell me something and be honest do you eat healthy food every day and for the first time in 50 years she said I do I eat healthy food every day.
There's the change it takes a while to evolve but I will tell you in the year and a half I got a text from her long gone my work my work is 12 weeks year and a half later I get a random text of a picture with vegetables and grilled salmon on a plate that means I don't even care I she's thinking about it a year and a half later that's a win for.
Me and for her she's still thinking about it and so that's a massive this was I'm not kidding Kentucky Fried Chicken the whole thing you would expect but there' be that little celery on the side of the plate is the best thing ever so that's a that's an extreme but for other people I've had steps once a salad with whatever else you eat for dinner uh.
Fresh fruit in the morning you know one day a week if that's if that's your thing or five days a week you know um steam vegetables with whatever I'm always an addin guy because the more you start to bring that in then the fiber starts to feed the good gut bacteria and you're starting to feel a little bit better and you're starting to sleep a.
Little bit better and all of a sudden you're like a little more motivated oh this is kind of making me feel good and you kind of take your time so it's always in an addin mindset every step by the way on the list is an addin it's not a don't do it's always a do I'm remembering when I was learning to ride a bike and I was um heading.
Straight towards this pothole in the road and I'm staring at it and I'm saying to myself don't hit the pothole don't hit the pothole don't hit the pothole and of course I'm staring straight at the pothole and guess where I went right right what we focus on so often is what we give energy to so I love that focus on it's like it's what.
We're going towards not what we're trying to avoid because you know the more you focus don't think about the color red right and everyone thinks about the color red so it's like hey don't eat junk food don't eat junk food and then you create this charge and even if you can have the willpower to withstand it for a little while in the.
End you know what you don't own owns you so and you and you miss it right so you're like oh I can't I and then you start using language like oh I can't have that oh I shouldn't have that instead of instead of satisfied that's right and I go no you you can like I go to parties I've been 100% planned based for 21 years so I go I go to part not.
Not I don't need 100% healthy but I'm plant-based whatever so I go to a party they'll go oh oh you can't have that that or that and I go well I can I'm 54 you know what I mean like it's a it's a choice I make you know it's like and it makes me because it because it makes me feel good you know and my family you know play my kids all raised plet you.
Know so yeah it's not a big now the the phrase I use is health and happiness don't like a vacuum right so in other words if you're not gonna do something that creates a vacuum of what you are going to do and you better have an idea of what you are going to do and that's the ideal work that we do in the beginning yeah to to identify if I'm not.
Going to do this what am I going to do what would the ideal me do I have this bracelet on I don't know if you can see it but I made these and it says WWI you know what that means what would I do what would I do uhuh right so it's this kind of I want to attach people to what theide their ideals would do I do not Define this for anybody I've never.
Created an ideal life for anybody I've always wanted them I've helped them work through so that they get their in and then they know and even they miss we all miss we all make mistakes I asked them to identify what the real would have real them would have done picture it and move on and it's a game I play with myself if I make a mistake I go okay.
What would I done instead and we kind of create that little movie in our head and then next time we kind of identify it's a little bit easier beautiful yeah so we live in a world with a lot of chaos and hecticness and you know often it feels so fastpaced that a lot of us don't know how to like find our elves like in the midst of it what are some strategies for.
Managing stress and coming home to our to our nature love it so I call it stealing moments I go stolen moment steal a moment I text my clients go steal a moment I say steal because the world is certainly not giving us these moments I've joked ocean years ago I was like you should if you don't smoke pretend.
That you do because somehow smokers get to take a break every half hour and people who don't smoke don't so I'm like just got got to get a cigarette boss goes okay go outside and then just don't smoke but um stealing moments how do you grab time to connect even and and here's the thing you cannot expect if you work 10 hour a day to get 10 hours of of.
Recovery time it doesn't work that way even our weekends are filled with you know I'm folding laundry yesterday you know like I'm do there's like busy things that we're doing so part of my small steps approach is to start train I call it mental toughness training I've been doing this for a couple years now I I mean training treating people for 15.
Years but the last couple years I've been saying it's mental toughness training it's looking for smaller chunks of time and grabbing it when you can I I am in a work in progress like everybody else but I got very good at like I wrote my new book sometimes in the car waiting for my daughter to get out of ballet I would get in for 10 minutes and get out.
And get so productive in that 10 minutes I don't expect hours I don't have it I had to train my brain to grab moments when I could focus get in and get out and it worked works so I'm looking I'm helping people realize that there is profound meaning in a 5-second break it makes a difference it and the more those add up throughout the day but we cannot.
Expect I need a three-hour break we're noten going to get it nobody's going to give it to us but can I take a series of 5sec breaks throughout the day yes does it make a difference absolutely because then you have that little moment before you sit down for dinner and you take you steal a moment then all of a sudden you're not over eating you're making.
Choices about your food not reacting but responding you know that kind of thing wow so for me those breaks often breath is is at the center of that because that's something that's with me everywhere I go and so the pause to take a deep breath and not do anything long enough to take a full deep breath in and out just that.
To me there's something that happens in my nervous system where I get more present um well it's the Vegas nerve yeah I mean it's it's actually what what's happening so one of the things that simulates the Vegas nerve which is the parasympathetic as you know is a is an extended Rel reled exhale so what I text my clients is not I don't text them.
Full breath like but I text them slow breath and what that means is about a 4 second inhale sixc exhale so notice the exhale is six seconds and longer than the inhale but it's like really light and then they move on and that's that then that is 100% what you just talked about it's a connection it's intentional it's present and it's.
Awareness it is actually meditation is it 45 minutes no maybe some some people don't have that but I don't but it's a little quick thing and it's it becomes a habit over time so all a you're sitting in a meeting a month later and you're coming into your breath and you don't even think about it you're just like in the breath and it's been massive for me.
In that regard too so is when we take longer to Exhale than inhale are we increasing or decreasing our sensitivity to CO2 yes because first of all it's not a blow so let me describe what an at least in the approach I teach the exhale is not a blowout it's a release so you release until what I call you hit a natural bottom so it stops by itself so.
You're not pushing out you're just releasing until it stops in that six seconds by releasing it slowly you're allowing CO2 to build during that six seconds so the the sort of functional breath is about a 10-second breath that means about six breaths per minute but if you look at what most people are breathing they're breathing 14 18 20.
Breaths per minute that means a lot lot of blowing out CO2 CO2 just are kept so low that even the slightest rise and we feel like we need to breathe right away so again over time because it takes some people I have had people who are so sensitive to CO2 that it is just massive and I go good because we're just starting it out it's okay but it's over.
Time slowing that breath down and being less sensitive to CO2 makes it that much easier to do yeah yeah so you and I were talking earlier about cold plunges and um the the health benefits of them are increasingly well documented mented when I was a little kid I was born in salt on salt swing Island in Canada my parents adopted a habit where they would always.
Have a cold shower and the water was very cold in Canada by the way they'd always have a cold shower after hot and when they were feeling stressed or agitated they'd actually go back and forth hot cold hot cold hot cold and they'd come out of that bathroom looking a whole lot happier and uh so i' learned that early on and throughout my life I.
Pretty much always follow any hot shower with the cold shower but recently we got an actual to a cold plunge yeah and you know sometimes I go in you know after after a hot experience like a shower or a bath but sometimes I'll actually just go in just for that Vigor um and one of the things I find myself drawn to do is to breathe slowly even if it's just 10.
Breaths correct to just let my nervous system settle instead of like oh my God it's cold it's like that's right peace and calm can you talk a little bit about what are the physiological benefits of this yeah so so I get in not I don't do hot showers I haven't done hot showers in years like six years I I basically get in my cult like today it was like 40.
Degrees outside and I got out walked outside got in my 39 degree tub which is about as cold as the outside was um but I do breath work before I get in so it's never a it's always controlled I it's like you get in and it's calm is it is it pleasurable nope it just never is but it elicits that respon it's that hormetic stress it's that short-term.
Burst that you know sort of triggers that adapations there is some science coming out I will tell you though that it is an emerging emerging science there's nothing I have not seen at least myself and whm Hoff aside they talk about all the great benefits and I'm sure that they're coming but it's not fully documented yet in the studies.
World I will say that I there is the nor EP epinephrine kind of release I feel in I feel mood enhanced I feel awake I feel calmer when I get out for me the benefits have been more mental Than Physical um I feel invigorated I but but more importantly I it for me it's a daily challenge of doing something I don't want to do and knowing that if I.
Do it I'll feel better afterwards it's that little battle every day doing something Elanor Roosevelt said uh do something every day that scares you and that's for me that's my little challenge I go God I don't want to do this I don't want to do it I know rationally that if I do it I'll feel better and then I get in the tub yeah first 30 seconds kind of.
Uncomfortable then no big deal I get out after about 2 three minutes and I feel fantastic and so it's just sort of that daily thing I think the science will catch up I I do think there's enough a I can see the ground swell of inflammatory response you know Brown fat you know weight loss but I don't see the weight loss being that substantial in in the.
Cold punch world I think there's a lot of like oh my God it's the best thing ever I think it's great for mental health that's my that's my thing more more importantly there does seem to be some research on bringing down inflammation I think it makes sense that that chilling would reduce heat and help the body to calm um at least potentially.
Um yeah thank you um so your philosophy includes living by some specific Tru truths to achieve happiness and well-being can you tell us what are these truths and how do they contribute to a fulfilling life good yeah so I mean my book The book's called six truths and that's my third book um my first two books raising healthy parents was my.
Second one it's a healthy families but again the message being parents to take care of themselves uh so that they can parent however they want to parent I always find people can live their lives when they're in a state of managed stress and that goes for parenting too I'm I am one so I get it but the third book was really more of a of a happiness.
Kind of Manifesto six truths so things like no substitute for hard work uh setting the example you know we always especially in the social media World we're all about you know I call it keyboard bravado you know we we we we it brings out the worst of us in many ways um I will say um and so you know setting the example are you living the thing.
That you're trying to get everybody else to do are you attending to your own kind of thing about that especially as parenting that's a massive thing way more important than what we say is what we do yeah um you know having a thick skin but not too thick uh just focusing on the the work toward the goal less about the goal I always say like make.
Make goals obsolete in other words you achieve it oh have a day where you go ah it's fantastic next day set a new goal because the happiness that we I believe happiness isn't about the is about the day-to-day it's not about the I scored a touchdown when I was 12 it's are we it's the boring stuff that's why I said my work's not sexy I'm not training people.
To win a marathon I'm training them to it's the day I run ultramarathons but that's not my focus of training I want people to learn how to be in training all the time in their lives how are they living their day-to-day the boring stuff are they with their families when they walk in the door or are they distracted on phones and thinking about work those.
Are the things I think that add up over time and the truths are in that book are really all focused toward accepting some things about our lives these days social media is not social we need to better job about live you know living the example we need to not focus so much on the goal but on how we're doing daytoday you know those are those are the things.
That to me add up and they have for me as a as a as a as a human being as well so when you say not focus so much on the goal but how we're living dayt day it seems to me that sometimes how we live dayto day is related to a goal for example if you got a GPS you look at your destination and then you're taking the turns to get there so there do you.
Think there's a balance there of like what is your vision or your big goals someone wants to compete in an ultra marathon they're probably going to start by going for a jog around the block and works their way up but they've got that Vision still right so what's what how does that work for you well the go I'm I'm All About setting goals I mean the.
Ideals that people in my clients write are goals they're essentially this is my ideal life and I want to get there but I don't I don't in my experience it's not about getting there over time they realize that's a Direction but my happiness lies in just the fact that I'm moving toward it I'm trying to get there done I don't want people going the.
Ultramarathon if I can just finish it that's going to make me happy because what's going to happen is if they have to have a bad day and they don't finish the Ultram Marathon they're going to feel like a failure and I'm going you tow the line you succeeded when the gun went off so how are you treating yourself on the way in are you building.
Self-confidence and self-esteem in the way in because you're taking care of yourself in the implementation of the steps that are going to lead you to that goal but 100% the goal is is massively important it's just not the thing that makes us happy happiness is in the working toward it I really do believe that it's in the day-to-day grind of.
Trying to live out your best life dayto day you achieve the goal you finish the ultramarathon phenomenal great good job how did you treat yourself on the way and what's your next goal where you gonna go next and then you're not so you kind of balance it out so it's not so much wrapped up in that goal it's a goal but it's really about the day-to-day.
Stuff yeah thank you got some questions from our whole life club members um Marlene said it's not like I don't know what to do to stay on track because my tool bags nearly packed to the brim but it's like I need someone or something to organize it so I know what tool to use when any concrete suggestions well that's the work I do.
You know the work I do is you it's it's it's I go this is about how this is what what what you know this is the Mount what what use that is this is how you implement what you know what did you say you said something in the beginning you said we we know what to do but sometimes the problem is doing what we know yeah right so so everybody I teach like I I.
Run the well in the center at the Stanford I don't know if you ever heard of it but anyways it's a resort medicin so I teach nutrition classes and the one thing and cooking and everything but I but I always say in nutrition just because I'm telling you this stuff I don't want you walking out the door and going oh my God we got to change.
Everything we're gonna go home and throw this and this and that because then I failed because my job is to help people become less stressed in their lives notice that every Blue Zone isn't plant-based every Blue Zone drinks alcohol every GL zone is not SOS so if we can look at SOS is sugar oil and saltree right so so it's that kind of.
Like we grab it in America we come become very like and you know data Gathering and the whole thing I go Stress Management first and foremost so to marleene was her name oh yeah um yeah mar mar so I would tell Marlene I'd say look take your time to identify how you want to live based on what you know you might have read a article about.
Meditation and you go oh that's fantastic cuz is and you go I want to meditate 45 minutes a day I go great amazing okay now here's the hardest work you'll ever do how do you do less initially so that you can last and actually get the benefits of meditation we don't we need to really understand that healthy eating for instance we.
Don't change anything in seven days we we it's not Tylenol we don't take a Tylenol or heada it goes away healthy eating is a is a is a thing you get the benefit of by establishing a long-term habit about it and by the way when you look at the stress effect on digestion for instance it makes a difference how you manage.
Your stress how you living your life does make a difference that's why people can live till 105 on not particularly great diets by the way and so how do you manage your stress along the way so you know what you know but then we feel this pressure well because I know this I have to do it tomorrow no you don't how do you want to treat yourself along the way.
Implementing so you ask yourself based on what I know what can I start doing today that is going to be no big deal if it's meditation maybe that's one deep breath maybe it's one minute of medit meditation maybe it's 10 minute medit maybe it's 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night but whatever it is it should just be minimally stressful.
Because it's new but not oh I didn't I gotta do that oh then it's a it's a short-term deal you're gonna be done within three weeks yeah yeah thank you um Marita asked can you talk a bit about learning from setbacks oh oh great okay so Mar good one so here's the thing about so-called setbacks what I really work hard to do.
With clients is to get them away from this idea of failure because we tend to look at an a partitioned part of our Lives let's say food for instance and we've got an idea of healthy eating and then we go out to dinner and we we eat something less than healthy I have clients who go Friday night I ate this thing and this thing and I go why are we.
Talking about the Friday night what did you eat during the day on Friday and also what did you eat Monday through Thursday I just had this discussion with a client I go over Thanksgiving break did you eat all junk food all the time she's like well no during the day I really well I go then why are we talking about the one the few times that you.
Didn't eat healthy right so these are not failures these are I want people to get into these more enjoy those kinds of things more fully and also treating themselves well in the diet World also like eating junk food is fun but if you do it too much not so good so the idea of setback is learn from it it's that it's that thing of what I said when I.
Make a mistake or I do something that the real me wouldn't have done I used to beat myself up about it but now I go okay cool that happened okay now what would I do in instead start to see these setbacks as M as learning opportunities every famous quote on a poster is like you can't achieve success without failure I failed a thou Michael Jordan I.
Missed 3,000 shots before of the ones right so we understand that conceptually but dayto day we go we expect Perfection we expect no mistakes we're not robots so the best you can do is go oh that happened let me remove the good bad out of it let me go what would I've done instead picture it and move on and then you've learned eared and then you're.
Improving over time and so it's just kind of this idea of setback is like it's just I don't know where it comes from but it's kind of it's a tough thing it makes I love the response that I get from my work which is that people go I'm not beating myself up anymore I go yes because there's no reason to you're in a you're on a trek how.
Cool yeah well I mean it's um seems like it's sort of human nature to have a sense of good and bad and right and wrong and like what's getting us towards our goal and what's not and yet to use again the GPS metaphor for if you're trying to get from A to B the the best way to do it is almost never a straight line like and in the real world right in.
Conceptually sure you just March there and you get there but in the real world there's every Trail has its twists and turns and in fact the steeper the ascent you're going to start to have switchbacks that's right right and and cars always are driving through neighborhoods making turns and this and that because the real world is never.
Flat and straight and linear and or almost never so um so when we adjust to that it's like okay is it a step on the journey that's right um and you know that journey is uh it's it's about movement and Discovery and learning um and u i i at least am very fascinated by what happens when we strip out good and bad enough to just witness what is yeah.
And then from there we discover that part of what is is our capacity for Choice that's right it's it's versatility it's perspective right it's like see that this is one thing on a in a much larger picture or do you think that that having too much to eat on a Friday is the whole ball game MH and and and and you're discounting I've had.
Clients who don't give themselves credit for all the great work they're doing because they're focused on the one thing that went wrong supposedly on a Thursday and that's part of my job as a coach which is to help them provide a little perspective I go really why are we talking about this we kind of have a laugh about they go you're right I did I.
Did eat this this this and this during the day I was amazing like okay good let's move on you know and so so what I mean I overeat you know it's like like I'm at whatever thing and I overeat okay fine but do I beat myself as soon as you beat yourself up over it guess what happens that's the slippery slope then you feel bad about yourself then guess.
What you're gonna do not eat so well again because there's the drug of food and you're like well I can't do this I'm powerless I have no but if you go yeah over eight okay tomorrow I'm gonna have some fresh fruit wake up little eat a eat a little lighter no big deal okay now you can continue the track continue the movement well is it important to.
Have feedback loops so we get more sensitized to the impact active our choices so it's like oh I overrate and I notice how my stomach feels right now yeah and I notice how my body feels right now I feel heavy I feel lethargic I feel theet I whatever it is like that's right and so then you're like oh do I like that how do I feel and you.
Just it becomes a positive thing I want to feel good correct and what facilitates that ability awareness and calm awareness and calm every time you beat yourself up for eating too much you don't get the chance of asking yourself how that make you feel M you know and I eat stuff that doesn't make me feel particular L good sometimes but usually.
It's on a Saturday when I know I don't have to work on a Sunday and I make a choice about I go okay T I'm going eat a little bit more and have a beer and you know whatever and so but but it's that beating yourself up that creates that talk about a bad feedback loop I mean good Lord then you're beating yourself up then you're doing stuff again to make.
That go away and then that's going to make you feel bad and so on and so forth when you could go yeah so what it's a oneoff i here's the concept I call call M most of the time and I floated that year I right went out of the out of the SHO when with my work I M it's what you do most of the time that has been the single thing that.
Most people attached to and I didn't see that come and think I love them I just two days ago with the client she goes I love the M idea because it takes the freaking weight off our shoulders my God we are putting so much pressure on ourselves to never make a so-called mistake it's it's not sustainable talk about long-term habit changes exhaust.
Yeah so if you can take the weight off somebody and they go okay yeah one off who can then they're then they get to continue moving their lives in the right direction for them the right direction for them yeah yeah that's beautiful and it takes some of the charge away way now so that said sometimes bright lines for some people are helpful an alcoholic.
Probably shouldn't have just one drink a cigarette smoker history they probably shouldn't have just one cigarette because correct it can open the The Floodgate so to speak so corre can you talk about that and what's the difference between a a most of the time philosophy and a bright line boundary philosophy yeah good right you reach.
Right so in that sense when I said everyone's small steps are different depending on what's stressful for them I've had clients who have come to me with cancer their small step is to change their diet overnight not because I say you need to change your diet overnight but because they're like yeah I'm good here tell me what to do I'm.
Just here just lay it out for me I'm done there's no stress attached so if an alcoholic came to me and said raging alcoholic first of all I'm not I'm not a a an alcohol I'm not an addiction coach so I would say get into Alcoholics Anonymous but their first step might be zero alcohol forever because whatever they're at in their lives is going to be.
That thing however I would still this is where I would step in I would say identify why you went to alcohol in the first place what were the parts of your lives that needed that stress relief because somebody these alcohol might be somebody else's cheese pizza with the chasm morphins and the opiate right that kind of thing so identify what that is.
And start to build those in you know cigarettes serve a purpose they're a stress relief so if I go stop smoking we haven't dealt with a thing that why did you need the cigarette or the Big Mac or the beer in the first place and then so while you're giving those things up in Alcoholics synonymous and of course I'm all for that stuff are you are you.
Bringing in things to your life to make your life better are you are you starting to move your life to the ideal which is also not drinking for somebody but also what else are you doing what are you doing instead of drinking that's the question remember health and happiness don't like a vacuum fine don't drink but what are you gonna do instead.
What are you what are you gonna do in your life purpose service treat yourself well care for other people you know all those kinds of things that bring us joy and happiness are you going to bring those things in how are you going to bring them in in and that's how we solve that problem but again like if it's a serious addiction I'm not going to sit.
Here and goes just stop drinking it's like that's like telling somebody don't eat a Big Mac it's like okay that's easier said than done what are you gonna do instead yep yep thank you um Nicole asked how many new habits can a person realistically tackle at one time a huge amount I mean I don't have a.
Quantity on it but if you're doing it in a way that like you know so I have a I have three steps on my list right now one is journaling which my a given day might be a minute or two and I have this little tool that I love teaching clients I'll tell your listeners I'm a big fan of journaling and then destroying it after you write it so sometimes I'll.
Like journaling on my phone and then delete or I'll write it on a piece of paper and rip it up and so I just love not all the time but I kind of dig that so it's it's very cool to sort of do that and then just gone and then you can kind of get more things out but whatever so journaling stretching and here's one American sign language because I decid.
When I was a kid I learned how to do the AL alphabet and I've always been fascinated my book's done it's at the printer right now the Publishers were you know starting to do some but I don't have much to do on it so I was like I want to learn American Sign Language so for 13 bucks I bought an online course and I do one or two videos a day which.
Is about two minutes so those are three very different things that are be that I'm bringing into my life I have a physical steps list that I keep in my pocket right now it's upstairs and uh I carry it with me and it reminds me to do this um I set reminders on my phone because it's hard to incorporate anything new but yeah could do creative.
Stuff you could do I want to become an artist that could start by sketching for 30 seconds a day on a piece of paper with a pencil so you don't need any special tools you don't need an easel with a thing and the thing wherever you can do it it can be a one minute walk around your house if you want to start exercising it can be eating a carrot as.
A way to start eating healthy food it could be taking an online course and doing one video per week on writing novel writing short story WR whatever I've seen it and I've seen clients multiple eight 10 different things because they're not doing it all for four hours each they're doing it in minutes and then all of a sudden one.
Emerges where they go you know what I love the American Sign Language more than I love the other stuff so build that step up and then a little less on the other things and you kind of weigh all those things out and you're moving everything forward but not at equal amounts yeah thank you um last question here is from will who asked what are.
Your thoughts on celebrating progress should it be done along the way or just at the end and what should it look like and what shouldn't it look like so I I'm you know we said this before like I celebrate the end fine but uh def definitely on the way so the work of this again is the attention the tension the awareness the engagement paying.
Attention in your life to in many ways give yourself a daily like that's kind of cool we if we focus on the stuff we don't do right or whatever without focusing on the stuff that we do and I've had clients call me you know years I fell off the wag they say the wagon I go well there's no wagon but anyways they go yeah I don't I haven't been.
Eating I go do you not drink water in the morning because that was a step we worked on oh and I do that I go okay then I list like three other things that they're doing but they can't but they're so deep in the Weeds on the one thing that they think that they're not doing well that they're not giving themselves credit so beating yourself up like I.
Said it's a slippery slope down but but being aware of the things you are doing is a slippery slope up if that makes any sense it's anti-gravity but it's also it also Builds on more positive stuff the more that you focus on well I did this this and this so I can do it I have that's how you build a self-esteem and confidence and that relates into more.
Positive action so up I'm I'm I'm much more of a proponent of along the way kind of congratulatory than okay I reached my scale weight now what do I do you know that kind of thing yeah so celebrating each step correct rather than destination because once you get to the destination you're done and we see that with people they.
Reach their goal weight and then two months later they're right back where they were before correct and like are you steps which is about momentum rather than about um destination that's right and it's becoming a person who is at a healthy weight instead of reaching the goal and then losing it you've actually by the time you reach the healthy weight.
You don't care about it so much I swear it happens because you've built along the way these habits and this this ethic of self-care you're treating yourself well you go hit the healthy weight cool but now it's not a struggle I can continue to do the thing I'm doing because it's it's what I am it's who I am now that takes time yeah Sid.
Fascinating conversation thank you so much everybody we've been talking here with Sid Garza Hilman and uh Sid is reachable at small steppers decom and also author of many books his next one which is available for pre-order now is ultra running for normal people Life Lessons Learned on and off the trails so go ahead and grab your copy and get be.
One of the first to have it when it comes out in February Sid wonderful talking with you thank you so much for your lifetime of work and Innovation and Discovery and implementation and learning and creativity and for sharing so clearly and in such an inspiring way with all of us today ocean it's been a total pleasure and I have a lot of.
Respect for you and the work that you've done over the years and the lives you've changed so right back at you for you and thanks for having me on I appreciate it all right thank you when it comes to cancer Alzheimer's diabetes heart disease and other chronic illness what really matters isn't how many books you read how many webinars you attend or how.
Much you know what really matters at the end of the day is what you eat and how you live the science has given us what we need to know now it's time for action it's time to implement and optimize your healthy lifestyle it's time to get results It's Time to Say Goodbye to confusion and hello to Clarity It's Time to Say Goodbye to bad habits and hello.
To good on it's time to fall in love with foods that love you back it's time to join a community that will support you in achieving your goals it's time for whole life Club