Over the past two months I have been having a lot of gut discomfort. My digestive system has felt like it hasn’t been doing it’s job and I have felt a lot of inflammation there. Whether this is a leaky gut issue, a parasitic issue or me being a hypochondriac, I’m not sure. What I did know is that it wasn’t something I wanted to live with. After weighing up the options of getting stool testing and meeting a naturopathic doctor I decided to try a bone broth fast and elimination diet first a foremost.

Plus it seemed like a better option than parting with $500! I was also 3 weeks out from going to India which made me slightly worried. India is a hot spot for stomach infections and if you do travel there and don’t get sick, you’re a rarity amongst western travellers.

First off, a three day fast is no joke. This is something you really need to commit to from the start. I did a three day juice fast about four years before and intermittent fasting on and off since then but never a bone broth fast. In fact bone broth is something that I had never really eaten (or drank?) until recently.

The next step is to choose your days. I picked a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This worked best for my work week. Once you have decided on the days and made the commitment, get yourself some bone broth. I bought mine locally. There are lots of good online resources with recipes here if you’d like to make your own.

Wednesday nights

I had my last meal at about 8.30. I had some chicken and vegetable soup left over so I finished this. I probably over ate slightly here as it was my last food for a few days.

Thursday

Woke up feeling full from the night before. I had a few hours work in the morning which were all fine. I did some Ashtanga Yoga for about 75 minutes late in the morning and had my first bone broth afterwards. It’s actually pretty tasty, It’s similar to drinking stock. I found it challenging today and felt my energy was quite low in the afternoon. I actually did a short handstand and locomotion workout as I had to do some tests for GMB Fitness. In the evening I started to feel very calm.

Friday

I slept very well and woke up in a meditative state. I had found that over the past few weeks a lot of nights I was gong to bed with an upset stomach so this was a welcome change. A big shift I felt was accepting the whole  situation. Instead of feeling resentment, like “I’m so hungry”, “I wish I could drink coffee, eat a burger, blah blah blah”. I just accepted that I will be food free for the next 40 or so hours and just accept it. Of course I would prefer to be stuffing my face with salsa eggs but if a three day fast will positively effect my gut and my mental resolve then I felt that’s a pretty solid return on time.

After lunch I just took it easy. I did some online work, some study and chilled out for the evening.

Saturday

Saturday morning was the toughest part of the fast. I felt very tired and run down. Once I showered I felt a whole lot better. Again I took it relatively easy throughout the day. I broke the fast on Saturday evening with some Vietnamese Pho. This is a noodle soup which went down a treat!

After the fast

A mistake I have made countless times after eliminating food, coffee or doing fasting is over doing it on the day I stop. This is a terrible idea for a few reasons. Your system is going to be more sensitive so eating a lot of processed food, coffee or alcohol will put a lot of stress on your gut right off the bat.

It’s taking away from a lot of the positive benefits that occurred over the previous 48-84 hours. For the sake of the results keep your food simple and healthy. Think, good quality protein and veggies. Steer clear of gluten and anything else that is a possible problem. For me grains, dairy, coffee and sugar are the four items that I feel I’m quite sensitive to. So I have kept away from them and will steer clear of them for the next 3-4 weeks. Coffee is something that I love but feel it’s very harsh on my stomach. It’s something that I’ll have to avoid until my gut feels recovered and even then it’s something that I plan on drink 2-4 times a month.

I found that I was very peaceful throughout the fast. At one point I was on a tram sitting and felt disconnected from everyone else. Everyone were on there phones or eating. Everywhere I looked there was addictive behaviour. The fast allowed me to practice mindfulness more easily as I wasn’t waiting or looking forward to food. I had accepted that I wouldn’t be eating for 3 days. It made me realise how much a part of my daily thoughts food is!

Don’t tell lies is something we’ve all been told from a young age. It’s solid advice and makes us a better part of society. After all, a trust worthy friend, partner or business associate will always rank higher than the one you don’t trust. Telling lies to oneself is talked about much less.

Honesty with what you can and can’t eat

We’re all unique in how we react to different foods. In a perfect world I should be able to eat whatever I want without any repercussions. Over the last 29 years I have suffered from mouth ulcers. I’m pretty sure I know what triggers them now – low immunity, lack of sleep and high stress levels. I also feel that sugar is something that causes them. If I eat a brownie or snickers, chances are a mouth ulcer will pop up 24-48 hours later.

What makes this even more frustrating is the less sugar I eat, the more sensitive I become to it. Frustrating yes, but it also makes it easier for me to eat “cleaner”. It’s just not worth it anymore. 15 minutes of mouth pleasure is not worth 7-14 days of mouth discomfort. I get advice from others meaning well. “It’s in your head”, “moderation”, “live a little”, “don’t feel guilty about it and you won’t get them”. All of these are well meaning but if I’m being honest I know that sugar is something I cannot deal with and that’s cool.

Something that is becoming more difficult to accept is coffee. My one true vice, we are all allowed one, right? Even though I love it and live in the coffee capital of the world, I don’t think it’s something I can’t handle (for now). Or definitely not something I should be drinking daily. Again, it’s about honesty and self awareness.

Honesty with your sleep

How many hours do you need to sleep each night? If you’re running on less than seven you’re probably under sleeping. In a perfect world I would sleep eight hours a night. This is seldom possible because I am up at 4.30 – 5am every morning. Some nights I won’t get home till 9pm so getting to bed by ten can be a stretch. I can make up for this with a mid day nap or longer meditation periods. Being honest with myself here I need to really focus on recovery work and down time. If I am going constantly, under sleeping and not recovering, I’ll get run down.

Honesty with your stress

This is a more difficult area to be aware and honest about. A lot of times you only realise how stressed you were when you get a way from it. This may be a holiday or some time out of your regular routine. The key to a good quality of life, balanced energy and positive mood is knowing how to manage stress. If you are more self aware and honest with this you’ll know when to take more time for yourself, focus more on your diet and reduce exercise volume.

Honesty with your relationships

How do you feel with your partner or close friends? Do you feel you have to pretend who you are, or do you feel at ease and accepted for being you? Are all of these people improving your quality of life? Do you feel that they bring the best out of you, support you and motivate you or are they the ones dragging you down?

This is a very difficult area to be honest in. A friend since childhood could be a energy vampire depleting you. If you’re truly honest you’ll know who lifts you up and who drags you down. The next step is to fill your life with people who lift you up and make you a better version of yourself. As Jim Rohn famously said “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”.

Honesty with yourself 

Are you living the life you want to live? Do you wake up excited to start the day or feel like 5 pm is too far away? I think honesty in your life is a catalyst for all other issues that are needed for living a healthy and fulfilling life.

Is it easier to not think, watch TV shows at night and just let life happen? Are you okay with doing less than 50% of the things you want to achieve? Are you going to look back and be proud of having the courage to pursue what you really want to do? You don’t have to be an entrepreneur with hustle, (man, I hate that word!). But you need to be honest about what you are spending your days doing. If it is not fulfilling you at all then it’s time to be honest.

Wrap up

I truly believe that honesty in all of these areas make life much richer. I also feel that this lowers risk of disease and illness. Lets take depression as an example.

  • If you are getting up every day and going into an environment you hate. You should feel shit.
  • If you are surrounded by people you feel don’t get you, you should also feel shit.
  • If you are consuming food that you know doesn’t agree with, you you should feel shit.
  • If you are doing things each days, week and month that don’t excite or stimulate you, you should feel shit.

After a while there’s only so much we can take. If you are getting drained from each area, illnesses like depression seem a whole lot more expected. Add in the fact that you’re probably seeing images of peers living perfect lives and this leads to the perfect recipe for depression.

So be honest. Be honest with yourself first and foremost. Break it down into your main areas in your life. Your home life, work life, relationships and hobbies.

Which are serving you and which are causing more problems?

The next step is stepping up, taking responsibility and changing it.

I’ve had ongoing stomach issues over the past few months which lead me to research more about the gut. A lot of the symptoms seem similar to IBS or leaky gut and as a result I have experimented with eliminating certain foods and adding supplements (which I will explain later in this post).

The gut is our body’s most under appreciated organ and the only other organ that can complete with the gut for diversity is the brain. Our gut feeling really is responsible for how we feel. Having a gut feeling is more to do with a feeling for a person or scenario but, science is now showing that our gut really does reflect how we feel.

“All diseases begin in your gut.” – Hippocrates.

Gut issues should not be taken lightly and it is something that I am not willing to ignore. Gut research has shown links between your gut health and medical conditions like Parkinson’s, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, autism sand chronic fatigue. The two most important parts of the gut is the gut barrier and the gut flora.

The Gut Barrier

This is what stops what you eat get into the body. The gut barrier keeps out the nasties and excrete them through the anus. It allows what is good to be digested and absorbs by the body. This is the ideal scenario but a lot of people experience leaky gut. This is where undesirable things get through the gut barrier. The barrier becomes permeable. This results in autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes  and hashimotos. Leaky gut can cause autoimmune conditions and toxins make this symptoms worse. Basically your gut barrier is not doing it’s job. Leaky gut can also show up as skin condition like eczema, vitiligo, and mental illness.

The Gut Flora

Our gut is like a miniature world. It is home to 100,000,000,000,000 micro organisms. This is 10X more bacteria than all the cells in the human body. We are more bacteria than human! The gut flora helps with digesting activity, protects against infection and is 75% of our immune system. There are numerous modern lifestyle issues that can damage the gut flora.

  • Diets high in refined carbs and sugars
  • Low fermented food intake
  • Industrial seed oils and wheat
  • Chronic infections
  • Chronic stress
  • Antibiotics and other medications like NSAIDs and birth control

The Gut and Mental Health

“95 per cent of the serotonin we produce is manufactured in the cells of our gut, where it has an enormous effect on enabling the nerves to stimulate muscle movement, and acts as an important signalling molecule” – Giulia Enders.

One study on gut health found mice with ‘pimped’ out gut flora kept swimming for longer than normal mice. Their blood had fewer stress hormones, they performed better in memory and learning tests and had more motivation. American Researcher Dr. Michael Gershon is looking at the possibility at producing antidepressant that only influence the gut for treatment.

Steps to Improve Gut Health

  • Keep your stress down – Practice mindfulness especially when eating. Meditate, breath and spend time away from electronics in nature.
  • Only use antibiotics when necessary.
  • Keep clean but don’t overuse cleaning products.
  • Wash your veg before you eat them.
  • Avoid sugary carbs and load up on probiotic and prebiotic foods sand bone broth.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol for at least 30 days.
  • Supplement with digestive enzymes, L Glutamine and

Wrap up

Gut health is definitely something you should be paying more attention to. It seems to be a good early indication of what is to come. Taking the precautions listed above will probably save you a lot of pain down the track.

I first heard this question on the Tim Ferris Show and love the answers that it produces from his guests. There are so many things I would like to tell my 20 year old self, but I believe the things I went through as a result of not knowing what I do now, have made me the person I am today.

I’ve followed the contributors online for the past few years and have been lucky enough to learn from a few of them in person. They have all (to various levels) added a huge amount of value to my life and made me a much better coach as a result. Have a read and reflect on what you would tell your 20 year old self. I’d love to hear your answers in the comments.

 Krista Scott – Dixon, coach, author.

Chill the f*** out. Nothing is that big a deal.

Don’t have children. The freedom you gain will be worth it, and someone else will have children that you can borrow whenever you want 😉 

A growth mindset is crucial. Everything — seriously, everything — is a skill. Skills can be improved and “talent” is vastly over-rated. (Not that talent isn’t a thing, it’s just a small part of the bigger picture.)

Nobody actually knows what they are doing.

Everyone is insecure. *Especially* the people who you’d assume would have no insecurities.

Let time unfold. 20 is not 40, nor should it be. Put in the reps and 40 will come soon enough.

Don’t try to impress anyone when you’re 20 (or 40, or ever) because nobody cares, and trying too hard to impress people (or over-focusing on external performance) almost always makes you suck. Inner game all the way!!!!

Focus on enjoying being a beginner every day for the rest of your life.

Travis Jones – RBT gyms, business coach.

Trust your gut, you have the potential to achieve anything, don’t give a fuck about other people opinions if you believe you are doing the right thing and money isn’t the key, help people is the key and if you help enough people then money will come.

Plus read daily, everyday read 20 pages of something, doing that will get you through 40ish books a year, your 30 year old self will be smarter for it.

Georgie Fear, RD, Coach, Author.

I would give my twenty year old self reassurance that she didn’t need to count calories (bc she is neck deep in that obsession!) And I would like to teach her the skills I teach my clients about losing weight and maintaining it in a sustainable way.

 

 

 

 

Al Kavadlo, coach, author.

The advice I’d give myself at age 20 is to be confident, stay the course and enjoy the ride. Pretty much the same advice I try to remind myself of now at age 37.  

 

 

 

Danny Kavadlo, coach, author.

“Don’t get married”

But seriously, I don’t believe in regrets. There are things you do and things you don’t do. My only advice for myself (besides DONT GET MARRIED) would be to remain honest with myself and others around me.

 

Linh Trinh, online coach.

FOCUS on the ONE thing that completes you.

Its generally the most hardest thing and the thing that you’re fearing most but when you get there, it’ll pay its dividends in wealth.

 

 

 

Emmet Louis, movement coach.

The question you ask is a difficult one in some ways. As it presupposes somethings. Should it be what I would tell young Emmet to do to enjoy himself more or to set things up better for Older Emmet. Very different things would arise from this line of thinking.

 

 Aubrey Marcus, founder and CEO of Onnit.

Have some faith, it’s going to work out! Don’t stress so much, and don’t be in such a hurry.

 

Josh Hillis, coach, author.

That’s a huge question!  Since I don’t know if you mean workout wise, career wise, or relationship wise, I’ll just go with sort of an all over general advice I’d give myself:

Keep doing all the learning.  It will come together in ways you can’t imagine.

Other than that, I’d be afraid to give myself too much specific advice because I’d be afraid to ruin how things turned out.

Some of my best qualities and best lessons come from complete misery and pain.  I’d be afraid to give myself advice that would have me avoid 15 years or terrible business decisions and taking courses that never led anywhere, and even one really, really horrible relationship.

I’d keep it all because I need to have learned those lessons.  I need to have that empathy. I need to have the appreciation of empathy and kindness in relationships and business partnerships (they didn’t used to be things I looked for!)

So, I hope that doesn’t seem like a cop out.  I had so many failures, maybe I’d just console myself with – someday this will all be really valuable.

Nate Green, author, coach.

1. Learn to meditate.

2. Spend more time alone.

3. Call your Grandpa.

 

Jon Goodman, founder of the PTDC, author.

Hard to say. I guess the only thing that i would do different if I were to go back would be to start documenting all aspects of my business earlier. The best thing that you can do is to document a task so that it can be handed off to somebody else. By doing that, you continually hire out or outsource stuff and never do the same annoying or administrative task twice. This leaves more time to read, write, network, or just shut off and rejuvenate.

 

Pat Divilly, author, coach, speaker.

Stop trying ‘get there’ so fast. Stop rushing to be somebody and have a big following with 100’s of clients.

Know that you are already somebody and you are good enough as you are. Focus on enjoying the journey and treating that 4-5 clients you are training as the most important people in the world. Do this consistently and in a short time you’ll have everything you’ve ever wanted.

Fitness isn’t about push ups and broccoli, it’s about giving people confidence, a sense of belief and a sense of belonging. It doesn’t matter how many exercise variations you know or how much you know about vitamins and minerals. Your gift is in making people believe in themselves- so do that and focus all of your attention on that.

You will have some big knocks and dips in life, but they’ll bring with them the biggest lessons of your life- so be calm in the storm and know that life is just giving you testing times so that you can get to know yourself better and grow into a person who can help people through your own experience.

Believe in yourself. You’ve got magic in you.

Tony Gentilcore, coach, fitness writer.

Would “don’t wear white high-top sneakers on a date” count as sage advice to myself? There’s one topic I think 95% of fitness professions don’t think about: finances. I’d tell my 20 year old self to set up a SEP IRA right away and to do a better job at planning for retirement. One of the thorns in the industry is that, often, we don’t get the option to contribute to a 401K or some form of dedicated retirement plan, and we’re left to fend for ourselves. I can’t stress enough how important it is to find yourself a REALLY good accountant and possibly a financial advisor to help set you up for long-term success and to provide direction. I cringe at the math now. If I had started when I was 20, oh man, I cringe at the math.

Ryan Hurst, co founder of GMB, coach.

Trust in the process and put in the work. Especially when things get tough. You don’t know anything yet, even if you think you do, so the best thing is to keep studying, learning, trying, and putting in the work.

 

 

 

 

Danny Lennon, nutrition coach, educator.

Pick what you’re interested in, work hard at it, be patient and trust the process. Don’t be in such a rush for the end result. The process matters more. If you don’t enjoy the process, then you need to pick a different end goal

 

 

Kit Laughlin, coach, author, flexibility expert.

Learn to meditate immediately; and focus on loosening any/all tight parts of the body rather than overlaying strength over poor biomechanics. Aerobic fitness is less important than you (my 20-year-old self) thinks it is; learning how to be vulnerable and open, and present to what’s happening now is the gold of this life’s journey. Learn how to do this.

 

 

 

 

Olivia Allnutt, coach, flexibility expert.

Be more bold! Find what you love and pursue it with all your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Max Shank, strength and movement coach, educator.

Enjoy the ride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Samuels, coach, copywriter.

Just keep going. You could probably learn a lot that would accelerate your progress in business right now, but what you’re going through – all these mistakes you’re making, and the fact you feel like a complete failure – these are probably going to help you A LOT in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

JC Deen, coach, fitness writer.

Think fast, talk slow. Challenge your deepest held ideas, dogmas and beliefs.

 

 

 

 

Wrap up

I would tell my 20 year old self to stop worrying what everyone else thinks. I spent so much of my teens and 20s worrying about judgement from others. What’s so wasteful about this is for the most part, I’m sure that the people who I was worried about, had their own anxieties, maybe about me judging them! I would also tell him to be more grateful and get a coach!

What would you tell your 20 year old self?

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How Constraints Lead to Better Movement

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Over the past few months I have started to add more exploration to my training. I still have a program which I work off and I practice Ashtanga Yoga a few times a week but I’m finding more space for exploration.

What I find really interesting is exploring movements under constraints. An example of this is with the locomotive drill “the bear”. This is one of the fundamental movements in GMB but one of the parts of our ongoing study as trainers has been to explore the bear in as many different variations as you can. This involves moving in and out of the movement, turning, tumbling. The possibilities are endless as long as you stay in the bear.

Playing with bear to bear transitions is fun! #gmbfitness

A post shared by Conor O' Shea (@feelgoodhacks) on

Creative Constraints

On some occasions Picasso would limit his options to one colour to explore new artistic techniques. Apple have also used restrictions with their products. If you think of mobile phones before the iPhone. They had lots of display buttons. Steve Jobs reduced the iPhone down to one button. This completely changed how phones are built. This restriction resulted in a much more creative product and one that changed the market for ever.

Constraints Move Us Into Discomfort

Last week I saw how I gravitate towards what is comfortable when I train. We all want mastery and control in movements. That’s the goal but there’s always a trap of staying in your comfort zone once you get there. At a workshop we were instructed to move on all fours across the room. What I realised after a few steps was my body wanted to repeat patterns that felt comfortable and in sync. I had to consciously stop and try and move differently to avoid this.

What all this does is it gives you a deeper toolbox. Your limitations grow smaller and smaller and your ability to move into other disciplines becomes easier. This is why dancers are so easy to coach new movements. They are used to exploring and learning new movements in their own training.

How to Add Constraints to your Practice

I like to use small time frames (5-10 minutes) and play with a new movements. Again if we use the bear as an example we can explore the position of the feet. So we can move with our toes only on the ground, then the inside of the feet, then the outside. We can try it with bent knees, straight legs, bent arms. Add hip twisting. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.

If you’d like to explore more movements and learn new variations I strongly recommend you check out GMB’s “Elements” program. It’s the foundation of my own training and is something I use with all my clients. You can check it out here.

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