Change comes to our bodies whether we decide to accept it or not, but we have the power to make a choice between allowing that change to get the best of us or taking the reins and steering that change to the direction we want it to go. Lifestyle mentor and performance coach, Dai Manuel has had to make that pivotal decision at least twice in his life. At, he decided to take steps to fight obesity and look physically good. In his thirties, he decided to take it up a notch and really focus on investing holistically on his health, not just the external aspects of it. What has he learned from this journey that you can take and apply in your own life? Join in on his conversation with host, Jen Du Plessis, where you will learn about the power of choice, why it’s never too late to make a change and why you should build a life on a rock-solid foundation of putting health first. Plus, learn how you can get a hold of Dai Manuel’s Whole Life Fitness Manifesto for free!
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The Choice To Make A Healthier Change With Dai Manuel
I am honored and privileged to have a guest with me, Dai Manuel. Our practices are in common. Strap in, get some pen out and take some notes because we’re going to have a lot of fun. I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to this episode, Dai.
Thank you so much. I’m super excited. I’m stoked, especially knowing the caliber of people that you have conversations with every day. I’m extremely honored to be included amongst them.
Let me take this opportunity to introduce you a little bit to the audience so that they know who we’re talking with. Dai is a super dad dating his wife, with a lead by example way of living and a contagious personality. He’s on a mission to positively impact one million role models around the globe to lead a functionally fit life through education, encouragement and community. He is a digital thought leader, an author, a distinguished Toastmaster, a keynote speaker, and a former partner and Chief Operating Officer of a multimillion-dollar retail company. He knows the struggle of the juggle. He’s keeping his health and happiness a priority through his five F’s that we’re going to learn about. Before we get started, I’d like to hear about your story. What brought you to this particular point in your life where you are now in a position where you’re giving back and making significance for other people. A lot of times, our mess is our message. I’m curious to hear what your story is all about.
Whenever I’m asked that question, I’m like, “What part?” As Joseph Campbell says, we’re all on our heroes’ journey. There have been different periods of my life where I felt called to change based on where I felt myself not moving forward any longer. I’m regressing and not happy about certain elements of my life. Sometimes we have to hit that proverbial rock bottom before we finally realized that, “I can’t get any lower than this or could I?” I don’t want to. That pain of change is never as painful as the pain of not changing. Sometimes we have to get to that point.
When I think back on my own storyline and some of those milestone moments, I’ve been in the wellness industry for over 25 years. My entire career has been in the wellness space in some capacity. I love helping people with health and lifestyle transformations or shifts. I didn’t come to it naturally. A lot of people, when they meet people that are into health and wellbeing, especially if you have heavy fitness slant, they all make the presumption, “You must have grown up playing sports and doing active things.” That wasn’t the case with me. I was morbidly obese from the age of 9 to 14. It was weird because that was developmental years. I’m dealing with some emotional trauma. All the typical cliches or stigmas that are associated with someone in that state of unhealth, I was living them.
I tell people, “Don’t feel sorry for me because it was all me.” I got myself there but I didn’t realize that until later. It was easy to point fingers at everybody else, in particular my parents or someone in my community and that lack of support I felt. I was the one withdrawing. I was the one eating a lot of nutrition poor foods. I don’t know if it’s a lot of calories but playing a lot of video games, watching movies, and not moving my body. That progressively grows all the time, day by day. I decided to make a change at the age of fifteen. A lot of people said, “What motivates you to make that change?” I was like, “To be perfectly honest, I wanted a girlfriend.”
That puberty hits like, “I want something more.”
What it gets down to it is I just wanted to be wanted. I wanted to have somebody want me. There were a lot of value issues that I was working through and self-awareness issues and the typical stuff. I realized that I wanted to make some shifts. I broke down and I was battling with suicidal thoughts and a lot of other negative emotions. It got to a point where I realized, the fear of death and finality scared me a lot more than the idea of doing something.
Thank God because there are many kids that are in that right now.
I’m grateful that this is all pre-internet. I couldn’t imagine having to deal with it. If I could only find a couple of images of myself being in that state of unhealthiness because I avoided the camera, I avoided social situations. There’s little proof that I was in that state. I got two images that I’ve used in the past that my mom had to dig out of storage to find because no one believed me. I moved across the country after I graduated high school at eighteen. I went to Vancouver. We go on these heroes’ journeys and we go through a lot of change and we’re often challenged a lot. Some of us call it a sense of adventure that we’re on. In going through the changes and dealing with those tribulations, trials and challenges, we’re forced to adapt. We change right down to the cellular level. We become new people, new versions of ourselves, evolved versions.
This story has to do with the power of choice. I want to make sure that you include this in your story, talking about your transformation as well.
It’s this idea of fully owning that at any given moment in time. We’re one choice away from changing things. Maybe you’ve heard the idea or metaphor of drawing that line in the sand. We get to it. You and I are on this conversation now and we’ve had different lives, different experiences and similar experiences as well, but are two narratives that are intertwining and intersecting for a moment. This is what you’re talking about, especially as far as becoming rich and the experiences. It’s beautiful to be aware of the now and what we’re creating right now. We also have the ability to influence what we do right now and that is through a choice. It’s fully owning the fact that I can choose to do something different, then it’s a matter of following it up with some action. That’s sometimes the hard part.
What do you think becomes that tipping point for a lot of people when it comes to health? I’m going through a transformation in my health. I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve always been slim and trim. I’ve never had any issues, but I’ve never overeaten neither. It wasn’t part of it and I was athletic. When people are going through any change, I want to hone in on the health because that’s what your focus is. I turned 56 and for me, it’s now an inside change. I want to make sure that the inside is better, stronger and more powerful. We can get complacent in the thought process.
As I’m getting older, you expect that you’re not going to be as pretty, as strong, and have as much muscle tone. In my husband’s case, he’s had three heart attacks. His muscle tone is different, the atrophy. There was a decision to make a change about the inside more than the outside. We’re going to talk about that because I’ll ask you some questions about your thoughts on that kind of change. What do you think is a trigger for people when it comes to health when it’s not just obesity like I can’t walk up a set of stairs or I have to buy two seats on a plane? What do you think becomes the real trigger for that? What do you think holds people back from that?
There are a lot of wonderful questions and ideas worth exploring there. I don’t want to skirt over but I want to acknowledge you. You look fantastic. I wouldn’t have guessed you’re 56 at all. You mentioned you have grandchildren so it makes me instinctively think you’re in your 50s. That’s a sign of making specific choices that are in alignment with the type of life you want to be thriving in and not just living in. There is a strong pull for us or push, depending on your perspective, but it’s when we get clarity about the type of life we want to be leading. How do we want to be showing up? What kind of person do we want to be? Not just for others but specifically for ourselves. There have been a few periods of my life because as much as I went through that fitness change and that health change, I neglected working on the inner stuff. I did it but it was superficial as a teen because I was only working on the outside. At 15, 16 years old, that’s all I thought about. I was working out to look good. It was the aesthetic. I told you one of my main motivation was to have somebody else want me both emotional and physical level. That was what drove that change but because I didn’t do any of the inner work, I still had all those emotional traumas that I was masking and never dealing with.
For some of us, that trigger you were talking about, that moment where we decided, “I do want to make a change,” then we live the steps, the actions or the life as that individual that’s already made the changes. It’s a repetition but for myself, it wasn’t until I got into my 30s. It was years ago that I finally started to do the inner work. Up until then, I was struggling with alcohol and drug use to the point that I had a bad relationship with that and it affects my relationship with everybody else. I was masking a lot of the stress and anxiety in my life, especially dealing with social anxiety.
I found it awkward to be in social settings. It’s partially due to some of those habits I had developed as a teen but also hearing, “He’s shy.” From the time I was a little kid being told all these things about being shy. I’d hang out in the corner, hide behind my parents, and not speak to other people. They keep applying that label. It becomes that excuse and I believe that. All of a sudden, you get all these ideas of who you are based on the perception and the input of others. You either take it as face value, “That must be the way I am,” or we can challenge it. It’s not easy to do that though. It’s hard because it’s completely different and there are a lot of fears that come up.The pain of change is never as painful as the pain of not changing. Click To Tweet
Even when you do recognize it, in my case, it’s not for what I’m working on in the physical health interior of me. It’s not my mind right now. I’m set there. I’m working on the physical health inside. The trigger I had as a small child is that I was told that I was going to amount to nothing. I was going to be an alcoholic like my father. Even though I made choices to change that and I overcame a lot of that from success, there’s always this undertone of, “I’m not worth as much as somebody else.” It’s also a woman thing. We say, “Normally, I charge this, but this time I’ll charge that for coaching.” We diminish our worth. For me, that stems from way back. It’s deeply rooted that I’m still not worth as much as I think I might be even with all the successes, the accolades, and all the things that we go through. It’s challenging to live your entire life that way too.
It ends up holding us back. You mentioned the glass ceiling at the beginning. I always love that reference from Gay Hendricks’ book, The Big Leap. He talks about these zones of genius that we limit ourselves and we have these self-limiting beliefs that keep coming up. A lot of them are rooted based on perceptions of who we believe we aren’t but what we believe our value to be. If they go unchallenged by ourselves, we’re faced to live it. We can become defeatist and say, “I guess this is my lot in life and I better learn to live with it,” or I’ll live with it and complain about it all the time.
Also, lose sleep over it and things. I have a client who is heavyset. She had said to us that she had lost weight once before and when she did, she became snobby, conceited, and all these things. She says, “There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to lose weight because I feel that I’m not threatening to my clients. I don’t want to go back to being that person.” She keeps her weight on. There’s that push that you talked about, but then there’s also the pull of attraction too. I know that you were talking about the power of choice. It’s never too late to make changes. What do you say to someone who might be reading this and saying, “I’m holding back because I have this fear of who I might become?”
There are two motivations in life. There are things that attract us and there are things that repel us. You can go right down to love, hate or fear as being something that can repulse us or push us away, and that we avoid based on feeling uncomfortable and fearful. Whatever comes up, there are reasons why we run away. A lot of it is survival-based and on our DNA. It’s like we spent a lot of our existence running away from things. Because we don’t have all those real-life fears any longer, we got to fabricate a lot of them and we create a lot of emotional mental fears.
What are some ways that people can overcome some of their fears? What are some of the strategies that you’ve developed to help people identify something that’s holding them back when you can clearly see it? As a lifestyle coach, you’re like, “I got this. I know what your problem is,” but they need to see it.
There are three questions. As soon as you realize that there are some changes that you want to challenge. There are certain states of being that you’re like, “I don’t want to be like this anymore.” It has to come from the individual themselves. They have to make a choice first and foremost, do they want to change? If they do, great. If they don’t, learn to love yourself as you are because you are enough. I know the self-belief aspect of that doesn’t always happen right away. There are ways to work through that. On the specific question that you’ve asked, I always ask people to answer one question, can you do this? That’s asking yourself that. Let’s talk about your client that would like to release some weight. Ask yourself or you will ask her as her coach and say, “Do you think you can do this? Do you think you can lose weight?” In her case, she’s lost it before. It’s like, “I know I can lose it.”
I love the word ‘release’ and I’ve heard that before because people say they lost weight and find it again.
The way I always put it is if you look at energy of macronutrients, fat is energy but when we’re carrying it on our body, I call it potential. You have so much energy and some people have a little bit more energy to release to the world than others. That makes them all the more fun. It often has to do with education or seeking proof, being able to prove that, “If I do make this commitment, I can do this.” Once you have a yes to that, then you go to the second question. It’s like, “If I do this, will it work?” Start with small ones. “If I start to do those little micro-changes, will I start to see results or see myself progress towards the changes I want to make?” I would never be to the point where I’d be egotistical and say, “I’m the only person in the world that has this challenge. I’ve got to figure it out on my own.”
We have a lot of people on this planet. We have a lot of wonderful people that have shared their experiences and their triumphs of overcoming big transformation or challenges in their life. If you go through the process like even for her, if she started walking even 5,000 steps a day as a beginning goal. Right now, the average North American gets about 1,500 steps a day. Our bodies are designed to be able to walk up to 30 miles a day. We’re underutilizing a lot of our potential in the way that our bodies are built based on not moving. Maybe that was the first little step, and then by doing that on top of how she’s already living her life, that starts to create some positive adaptation. The answer is yes but she has to come to that answer.
After you get the yes and the yes, there’s a third question. It’s, “Is it worth it?” I often challenge people to reframe it and ask themselves, “Am I worth it?” This is the question that I think people are most challenged to answer. The reason being is there are a lot of other potentially limiting beliefs or ideas on how they perceive themselves or they believe others perceive them. It influences a lot of the choices that we make and how we lead our lifestyles. We’re getting to that third question. You’ve got, “Yes, I know I can do this. I also know if I do this, it will work, but am I worth it?”
As you ask that question, I was thinking about other decisions I’ve made in my life. As soon as you said, “Is it worth it?” I was like, “Yes, it’s worth it.” When you changed it to, “Am I worth it?” I had some doubts instantly. I was like, “It’s worth it, but am I worth it?” It’s still something I’m struggling with.
If you sit with that, I would ask you why is there something holding you back from fully acknowledging you are worth it? It comes down to our value, but a lot of it has to do with a fear of failure. I find that is a common one only because people have tried, especially when it comes to health changes. They have made a great success and then all of a sudden, they’ve regressed back to sometimes they put on more than they originally lost. They feel like it’s this constant two steps forward, two steps back. They’re afraid to commit and say that, “Is it worth it? Maybe it’s not because at the end of the day, I probably won’t be able to maintain the change.”
The question for me was around money because of my childhood. As you were going through that, I was saying, “How can I apply this to every part of my life?”
It’s a great example though and thank you for acknowledging that, because I think we all have that, especially as coaches and mentors to other individuals. We’re not perfect. I gave up perfection a long time ago because it created way too much stress in my life. I adopted a way of living that constantly allows me to progress and evolve. Like anything, you have to have a vision for where you want to evolve to because if you don’t, it’s easy to let yourself off the hook a lot.
Thank you for sharing that because it is key. I love the simplicity of those three questions and I honestly think that if I’m able to ask those questions over and over for myself, I can resolve them. I don’t think it’s go in there, get to the end and say, “I’m not worth it. I guess I won’t do it.” For me, it would be repetitive positive self-talk getting to that point. What areas of my life could I answer that question, “Yeah, I am worth it?” It’s like in sales. I tell my clients all the time, “Call your best friends in the warm and fuzzy calls because you will develop a confidence level that allows you to pick up the phone and call the people that you might not know or haven’t talked to for a long time.” If I can exude a lot of positive responses in those three questions in other areas, then when I get to that area, there’s a likelihood that I’d be able to answer that question more positively because I’m in a right frame of mind.
Let’s talk about your practice and what you talk about with the five F’s and how you model that for your clients. Let me spit out the five F’s are fitness, because that’s something you lead with, family, faith, finances, and having fun with all of it. Share with us about how you move people through those five F’s in your coaching programs so that if anyone who’s reading is saying, “I’ve got to get healthier,” you don’t have to have 10,000 one-to-ones. You can knock out some of that now and people can say, “This is what I want to do. I want to get in touch with Dai and I want to move forward.” Share with us about how you intermingle all of this into your coaching.
I find that a lot of us understand through metaphor or analogy. It’s an easier way to often understand sometimes what can be considered complicated or complex ideas. Life is one of the most complicated, yet it can also be seen as simple. A lot of it has to do with our upbringing, our choices and our beliefs. When I wanted to get to the nut of it with my own life and get clarity on what is most important, what are some of my values and get to the core, these things that I believe to be true that I prioritize and that I know when I don’t prioritize those values, things aren’t that good. I find that I’m out of alignment. When I’m out of alignment, things aren’t going smoothly. I often feel like I got a lot of other self-talk that’s on the negative side of things that tend to pile on.If you really want to make a change, live the actions of an individual who has already made the change. Click To Tweet
When I was looking at what was most important, I created a picture so other people can easily understand this concept. I always say envision a home. In homes, think about it as a box. There are four walls. There’s an overarching roof and a foundation that everything’s built on. For me, I like alliteration. It’s the writer in me and the narrator helps people remember things. I use F so there’s fitness, faith, family, finances, the overarching roof of fun on a foundation of health. If you continue that metaphor for life as this home, you start to realize that foundation is critical. Without a rock-solid foundation, the walls will never be as sturdy. The roof will potentially also deal with some issues. The entire structural integrity of that life will not be as great as it possibly could, but life throws us curve balls all the time. That comes in the form of storms like a house will be challenged by. It’s usually the more rock solid the foundation.
In my case, I always say health is that foundational element. I’m not just talking about physical health. I’m talking about mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and financial health. Having health on the holistic side of life is critical. These walls often feed into that foundation as well. Fitness is a direct correlation to improving health. If you’re not moving your body with purpose, at least several times a week, you’re not getting that added benefit of challenging the body to the point that it has to get a little bit uncomfortable and create a positive adaptation.
It strengthens the foundation every time it happens.
If you want to improve your health, the easiest way to make an impact on your health besides changing how you eat is how you move your body. It’s the piece I find to be most impactful because the one piece that requires the most motivation to commit to takes energy and effort. It’s that timepiece that a lot of people struggle with. Prioritize that first, make that a non-negotiable, and block it into your calendar. I’m not talking time management. I’m talking about commitment management. Commit those pieces first and then let the rest of life fill in around it. If you don’t prioritize time to improve your health and your fitness, nobody else will do that for you.
Nobody can do your push-ups. You have to do those one at a time.
When I talk about faith, I’m not talking about denominational faith. For some people, that is. Mine is more non-secular. Wayne Dyer puts it best. He calls it this shift that we experienced as people, especially as we age. As we have more experience in life, we feel this calling or this draw to now make a greater impact. This draw to want to make the place that we call home or this planet, our societies, our communities, make them better than they were when he first got here. When I refer to faith, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s that element within us that is drawn to create impact or leave a significant mark on this planet for the better. From there we’ve got family, which is self-explanatory for the most part. That includes relationships with yourself as well as the relationship with others and those dynamics.
Finances are critical. We live in a global economy. We need to be financially responsible if we want to be able to have certain experiences. It’s the nature of the world we live in. I find that a lot of people have a lot of heavy debt load. You’re mortgaging your future to pay for your present. This idea of “I’ll pay for it now with this and then I’ll worry about it later.” There’s a reason why they call it Blue Monday that we experienced. All the credit card statements from Christmas came due and it’s gray days, it’s winter and we have this day that we say is the most depressing Monday in the year. I’m like, “Why? Who made that up?” Probably credit card companies.
Aside from Divorce Monday, which is the first Monday of the year. That is depressing as well.
The overarching room for fun. If you’re not smiling every day, you’re probably doing something wrong. Learn how to have fun with it. That is my idea of how to picture life. I use the F’s to make it easy to remember. It’s how I prioritize a lot of my commitments, but also my decisions or choices on what I want to be doing or how I want to be showing up. They are guiding principles or guiding values. I always say to everybody else, “Envision your own house. What would the walls be? What are some of those core values? What is the roof? What is the foundation?” You don’t have to take the idea of my life. I like to give people a bit of a construct or an example of how they can start to see their life and then make decisions based on that.
I want to ask you a little bit about the fitness piece of this. You’re in Canada and people that are reading are all over the world. How are you helping people from a fitness perspective when you’re doing this virtually? How are you helping them with that? I want to lead to my last question about some of the things that are out in the marketplace that are confusing.
I’m back in Vancouver but in the past years, I was living in Bali, Indonesia. My family and I have been a full-time family traveling for almost five years. The kids are finishing up their last couple of years of high school. We are back in Vancouver for them to finish their schooling. We made a choice a number of years ago that we wanted to prioritize family. The best way to do that was making a big career shift for myself, leaving a company that I was a co-founder of and choosing to live life a little bit differently so I could prioritize those core values. Leading into that, fitness, nutrition, mindset, lifestyle, coaching, and mentorship was something that I’ve always been doing for over twenty years. We live in a beautiful day and age where we can leverage online means to help people make a greater impact. It goes through a number of different ways. I have a free program that’s based on my book, Whole Life Fitness Manifesto. I give that away for free.
You’re giving that to our audience. It’s a 28-day manifesto and that’s when habits change.
It’s at least a start and everybody’s like, “Is that all I’ve got to do?” I’m like, “No, it’s the least you’ve got to do because I know you’re worth it, but do you know that you’re worth it yet?” It takes people through a process. I believe that we need passion and purpose but without a process to align it all, it never will go as smoothly as we want it to. It might slow our ability to achieve what we want to achieve. This is a process to align some of those other pieces and help people in the community to hold people accountable. On top of that, there are the one-on-one and the small group support. Like yourself, I do a lot of keynotes every year.
I connect with a lot of organizations. There are many different ways to carry this conversation forward and help people start to engage in the conversation with themselves and their families. That’s what gets me excited because all it takes is one person in a family or a community to adopt a new way of life and start to live that and then thrive with it. By being around others, they now start to make that positive influence. That’s how I show up and how I help people. There are lots of different ways to do that with different tools I leveraged but for the most part, it’s a lot of encouragement and education.
That’s what people need. That’s what mentors and coaches are for. My husband and I became plant-based through the show, The Game Changers. We’re not 100% because sometimes we run out of ideas for food. This is part of us changing the inside and not feeling sluggish and not feeling like we’ve taken care of ourselves completely the best way. My husband has Type 2 diabetes as well as he has had three heart attacks. This was me pushing him to support him to get better. In the process, I would get better as well.
One of the questions I have would relate to the nutrition part of your coaching programs. There’s a keto diet. There’s the plant-based. There’s vegan, which is different from plant-based. It’s even more stringent. Do you find in your experience that each of these avenues that people go down and maybe even Isogenic, there’s that too. These lines that people go down, are you finding that there’s not one that is perfect for everybody that you specifically endorse? Is it that you find out more about the individual and their lifestyle to be able to fulfill better nutrition?
It is confusing. Like myself as someone that’s been in the industry for over twenty years, I don’t find it’s getting any less confusing. It’s getting more confusing. It’s based on the accessibility with media nowadays and that influence. There are a lot of myths that are constantly perpetuated and often regurgitated in different formats, whether it be a meme or someone will make a GIF or some picture or an infographic, and now we all presume that must be accurate. What we forget to look at is there are foundational chemistry and biology that’s at work in our bodies. It’s been a millennia that that’s been happening. It’s not like something that’s brand new in the past years. We’re learning more and more like nutritional sciences is barely 100 years old.Take time to prioritize your health as your life’s foundation because nobody else will do it for you. Click To Tweet
Our understanding of calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, alcohol, calories like these ideas of macro or micronutrients, we’re still discovering more and more about that stuff. Is there one solution that fits all? I don’t believe so but if I was to say one way of doing it, it’s trying to get back to whole foods. Eating lots of natural foods like plants, fruits, vegetables, seeds and some things that are grown, and not put into packages. Ideally, that is something that’s great to look at. We then start to question or we see media and it starts telling us about the environmental influences. When it comes to chemistry and some of the chemicals that they use on the foods nowadays and how it affects crops. There are a lot of different schools of thought on this. I find that if we try to eat healthy and less processed foods, look at the ingredients list for things that are processed or packaged, and try to find things that are using whole foods in the packaging. You can read what’s up there.
I wanted to touch on what you brought up there in these different ways of eating and nourishing ourselves. I believe they’re effective in the short-term. If you want to commit to a specific way of eating to create a certain type of results in a short period of time, the keto diet is one of my favorites. It has its origins. A hundred years ago, it was used to treat children with epilepsy because they found that diets high in sugars would affect these children and create a higher frequency of seizures. They found that by reducing the carbohydrate intake and almost eliminating it that they were able to reduce the epileptic seizures and episodes. These kids would be able to thrive more naturally without the pharmaceutical influence. Later on, pharmaceuticals became more and more popular like, “I can take a pill instead of eating that way? Great, I’ll take a pill.”
Ketogenic diets fell out of fashion and resurged years ago. I like it because it creates a hormonal shift in the body. It teaches people how to burn fat for fuel versus sugars for fuel, particularly like you mentioned your husband is a Type 2 diabetic. He’s got to monitor his blood sugar levels all the time. If you remove the sugars or you go to only natural sources of sugars, you find that the body is able to process and handle it differently than it does table sugars or something the sweeteners that are used. I have a program called The Dad Bod Project and they work with men typically 35 and older that are fathers. I find for a lot of them, they are used to eating a lot of processed foods or fast foods. That does have a numbing effect on our taste bud.
As soon as you limit that intake and you start to eat regular food again, your taste buds aren’t fully appreciating what you’re doing. It takes almost two weeks to get back to that. All of a sudden, you could eat a strawberry and be like, “That is super sweet and flavorful,” where when you first do it, it’s like, “I’d rather go for that high glycemic index table sugar because I get that instant response.” I equate that to the nicotine effect. People that have become accustomed to having nicotine or caffeine. It’s the same sort of deal. It’s like, “I need that hit.” It creates a certain response. The more we stimulate with those responses, it numbs us. I was like that with alcohol. I could have one glass of wine, then I eventually got to half a bottle. I’m having a bottle at the end of the day. It’s chasing that effect.
To the men that are reading, that’s a great thing too because then you know you’re working with another man to help you through that. I wanted to know your perspective. Thank you for sharing that. It’s one of those things where we’re plant-based now and we’re going to see how it goes and there’s a day in a week where we allow ourselves to breathe a little bit. We don’t eat a lot of meat anyway, but it’s an opportunity for us to breathe a little bit and feel like we’re not stringent because it’s taking some time. I do think over a period of time, it might be that we have to shift and go to some other type of way to sustain our bodies as our bodies change as we get older. That’s what I wanted to hear. I don’t think there’s one way forever for anybody.
It comes down to your relationship with food and how it works with you. Some of us have sensitivities in some types of foods. One in three people have lactose intolerance. If you start paying attention and ask yourself even 30, 60, 90 minutes after you’ve eaten something, “How do I feel right now?” check in with yourself. I was practicing that act of mindfulness, especially as it relates to nutrition. Ask yourself. Do a quick body scan like, “How am I feeling? Do I feel like I’ve got clarity? Do I feel like I need a nap? Do I feel lethargic and tired?” The mix wasn’t right for you.
We don’t ever slow down to speed up. We’re always speeding up to slow down. The part of the problem is that we’re not uniquely aware of ourselves and our bodies. That’s what I love about your whole program about having that awareness and making sure that you’re moving your body forward and that you’re living the life that you were set out to do. A lot of times when people talk about lifestyle, because I call myself a lifestyle business coach, it’s the same thing. A lot of people think it’s about having a Ferrari and the big house and stuff, it’s not. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about living our life and leading our life rather than letting our life lead us. I’ve enjoyed having you here. I want to ask you a final question. What would you like to leave us with? I know that you’re giving us a wonderful gift. I know you have your book. I want to make sure that people can pick up your book. Is there an audio form as well for people?
I’m about to release it myself. It will be the first episodes of my podcast and we are narrating the book. It will be coming out. I give this all away for free. If you want to buy a hard copy, you can go to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. As far as the digital version, I provide that.
Do you have a quote that you live by or a book that you would like to share with the group to say, “If you pick up this book, I promise it’s going to change your life. If you live by this quote, this had a significant impact on me and I hope it has in you as well?”
There are a couple of books, but there’s one that I read every year and it’s a fictional book. It’s called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and I love the story. It’s all about that idea of trust in our intuition. We feel this desire to go somewhere else to achieve something. It’s got this neat theme in this story about you leave to go and try to achieve whatever you believe to be a success. We all have it already. There’s a book for men specifically. It’s written by a gentleman by the name of David Deida. It’s called The Way of the Superior Man. I facilitate men’s groups and men’s coaching. I’m always challenging men to have a dialogue around what it means to be a great man. Those types of conversations I love to facilitate. That’s one book that I feel challenges that idea of, what does it mean to be a great man?
If you’re a man reading, these types of books can change your life. My husband belongs to a bible study called The Man in You. It’s very much along the lines of that where you’re finding out who you are and who’s the man you’re supposed to be. You can be soft and you can be vulnerable, and it makes you a stronger man.
There’s a quote by Mark Twain and he says, “The two most significant days in our life is one, the day we’re born and two, the day we figure out why.” It’s one that I always think about because as Simon Sinek says that the discovery of our why is just that. It’s an act of discovery, not invention. It’s not like we’re making it up. We have to feel it. We have to experience it. It’s constantly evolving based on us living in our best life or our best versions of ourselves. It sounds almost like woo-woo but it’s not. It’s being mindful and aware of your choices in the effects that your actions have on not only yourself but your surroundings and those that you know. As you become aware of that, you do start to connect on many different ways that holistic mind, body, spirit aspect of being unified. It starts to happen and not forcing it. It comes naturally by making great choices and following up with amazing action.
Leading your life and not letting your life lead you. I think we go through those motions because the man who’s laying on his death bed is never worried about how much money he has in the bank. He’s always worried about what he didn’t do and who he didn’t tell that he loved. Do it all now.
There’s a book by a woman by the name of Bronnie Ware and it’s called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. I think every single person has to read that book. She interviewed and got to know these people that were on their death beds. This is the conversation that would come up, “Is there anything in your life that you regret not doing or wish that you had done?” There were five common themes that kept coming up over and over again and she wrote this book. She’s done a wonderful TED Talk on it as well. The one that always sits with me is like, I regret not living the life I wanted to live versus living the life I thought everybody expected me to live. I’ll tell you the other four, you’ve got to read the book.
You have made a significant impact on me. I hope that those that are reading this know that you’ve made an impact on their lives as well. I want to thank you for everything that you’re doing to make a change in the world for the better, keeping it fun, keeping it real, and allowing people to have the lives that they deserve if they’ll be willing to take a few minutes to look at what they’re doing with their life now to make a change and an impact. Thank you so much for gracing us with your presence.
Thank you, Jen, for being such a wonderful role model to many people and inspiring significance in many ways. It was an honor to be here and I look forward to our next conversation.
We will catch you next time. I hope that you take something from this that will change and make a significant impact on your life. Please be sure to take Dai up on his offer to make that 28-day manifesto to see what you can do to make a difference in your life or someone that you know that is looking for this. Maybe you could be that wonderful person who brings it to them and makes all the difference in their life. Thank you so much for sharing time with us.I’ll talk to you soon.
- Dai Manuel
- The Big Leap
- Whole Life Fitness Manifesto – Free Gift
- The Alchemist
- The Way of the Superior Man
- The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
- TED Talk – Bronnie Ware
About Dai Manuel
Dai Manuel is a super dad, dating his wife, with a lead by example way of living and a contagious personality, who is on a mission to positively impact one million role models around the globe to lead a FUN-ctionally fit life through education, encouragement, and community.
He is an award-winning digital thought leader and author, Distinguished Toastmaster & keynote speaker, former partner and Chief Operating Officer of a multi-million dollar retail company, and a sought after lifestyle mentor and executive performance coach.
Dai knows the struggle of the juggle and keeping his health and happiness a priority. He models his work based on 5 F’s: Fitness, Family, Faith, and Finances with an overarching roof of FUN, built on a rock-solid foundation of Health.
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