Episode 161 with Shawn Stevenson


What’s up everyone? It’s me, Drew Manning, your host of the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. I just want to say thank you for joining me on the Podcast. A lot of you might not of known that I even had a Podcast. *laughing* Most of you know me as the Fit2Fat2Fit guy. That crazy trainer that intentionally gained 75 pounds back in 2011 over the course of six months. Then I lost it again over the course of the next six months. I wrote a book about it. The book became a New York Times best seller. Then the book got turned into a TV show, where I had two seasons of a TV show where I put other trainers through this crazy experiment so they could learn empathy, respect and a better understanding. That’s kind of what we discuss here on the Podcast. I bring people on that have the same view as far as what it takes to have true transformation, not just on the physical side, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually as well. Today my guest is my good friend Shawn Stevenson. He is the host of The Model Health Show, which is probably the top one to three`on ITunes as far as health and fitness Podcasts go. He has been in the game for years. He is actually kind of my mentor when it comes to him convincing me to create my Podcast. We have stayed good friends ever since. He’s got an awesome family. You definitely need to follow him on social media. He is very entertaining. He is also the International Best Selling Author of the book, ‘Sleep Smarter’. This has honestly changed my life when it comes to sleep. All of these hacks that help with sleep and how to optimize your sleep to perform better throughout the day. Because sleep is one of those things that is way overlooked in the health and fitness industry. We just think if we grind harder in the gym, punish our bodies more, diet down a little bit more, eat less, and we will get the body we want. But in reality, we are kind of killing ourselves slowly that way. Because sleep is probably the most important thing that you could do for anything when it comes to performance in the gym. When it comes to boosting brain performance throughout the day, feeling energized throughout the day, it all starts with sleep, right? They say muscles are torn down in the gym, they are fed in the kitchen, but they grow in your sleep. So, sleep is so important. Any bodybuilder will tell you that when it comes to growing muscle, sleep has to be a priority. But just in general, we are so sleep deprived as a society. Shawn gives a ton of tips in this episode. Obviously we do talk about sleep, but more importantly we talk about his personal story and what he has been through over the years and his family life and how he has become one of the top health and fitness influencers in the world. He has been able to interview people like Dr. Oz and some amazing people on his Podcast. He’s got so many good episodes. That’s why it’s always, like I said, in the top one to five every time I see it. Sometimes it’s number one and sometimes number two or three. He’s a super popular guy, just a good person all around and very knowledgeable. He’s got the best voice in the business too. I think that helps out. *laughing* He doesn’t need an introduction really. So let’s go talk to him.

Drew:`Shawn Stevenson! Hey, welcome back to the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. How are you?

Shawn: Grateful to be here, man. Great.

Drew: I know, we are here in Salt Lake City Utah. How do you like Utah so far?

Shawn: Utah is different. *laughing* I wasn’t expecting it to be this hot!

Drew: *laughing*

Shawn: We are rolling around 100 today, but it’s beautiful, man. The mountains and all. There are some strange things here though. I saw something for the first time when I was driving down the highway. There was an exit that said, ‘Runaway Truck Exit’. So apparently there are runaway trucks here? *laughing* This is like a James Bond movie? Like what is going on?!

Drew: *laughing* Yeah, it’s like for if their brakes go out, right? Rather than them crashing into something and dying, they have this runaway ramp that will help them.

Shawn: Yeah, I guess man.

Drew: That’s not just a Utah thing, just fyi. I think I have seen it in steeper parts of the mountains, like Denver and stuff like that. You don’t have that problem in St. Louis.

Shawn: My virgin eyes have never been laid on such a thing.

Drew: *laughing* Interesting observation. It’s a dry heat here. I grew up in Virginia and I remember like for football at 7 am you are sweating bullets already.

Shawn: Yeah, back in St. Louis it is very humid. So like 95 is like really 105 with an attitude problem, you know?

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: Yeah, it just kind of chokes you ever so slightly. *laughing*

Drew: Yeah, man. Ok, so first question for you, when we see athletes, singers, performers, they have the talent, right? They practice that talent over and over again. For you, how often do you practice the talent of your voice? *laughing* You have the best voice in the game. Do you practice? Do you sit there and like listen to yourself? *laughing*

Shawn: No! *laughing* You know what is so funny? I was talking to my wife yesterday, it was the first time I actually talked about it. People said this and that over the years, but it’s just like, ‘it’s just my voice, you know?!’ But, I was asking her and kind of talking to her like when we first got together, did you like this guys voice? She was like, ‘Not really.’ But then something had changed, just something that is a little more subtle. I really feel like there is a texture to our voices. People can sense things. There is like a connection, there is like a sense of purpose with our voice, very slight things. I think just my shifting into who I am in my level of focus and service and just wanting to communicate. Also, the thing that we kind of came upon was meditation.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: But there was like a humming meditation that I used to do that her mother taught me.

Drew: Ok. Oh, really?

Shawn: But she really spoke to my analytical brain, which is what is the purpose of this? Why does it matter? She was like this has to do with attention, need and love. I definitely felt, if anything with the chakras, was probably where my alignment was out of balance. Just the way I grew up and kind of being in a situation where it was a lot of uncertainty and violence, alcohol and drugs and all that stuff. Just really knowing that I am not going to live like this. I became self centered. It wasn’t my intention. I wanted to be a good person, but it was just like a survival mechanism.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: So, having this shift over, I definitely had a lot caught up in my heart, like a lot of fear around love and putting myself out there. So, doing this meditation, I don’t know if it was this that specifically helped or just the practice of setting and being with one self. But it did change me tremendously from that point. I also think maybe it had something to do with kind of smoothing out my voice too.

Drew: *laughing* That velvet voice. Do you look back at your old self and not even recognize who you were as a kid versus who you are now? With the things that you talked about with meditation and all? I’m sure as a teenager you weren’t thinking or hearing about meditation from friends or family, right? *laughing*

Shawn: No, absolutely not. I remember when I started meditating, my little brother, one day I went over to his house. He said, ‘ I heard you meditated? What is that?’ I was like, ‘Man, just don’t worry about it.’ But today my brother is much closer with me, he’s kind of in my universe now. But I had to kind of lead the way into it. But from looking back, you can look back on memories, childhood stuff, there is this thread of me that is always there, you know? I always knew that I was going to do something special. I think we all kind of feel like there is something special, but sometimes we don’t step into it. I knew, I just wanted the opportunity. I knew that it was going to happen. I’m just going to keep getting better and keep working on myself. I had this drive. I mentioned earlier the environment I grew up in, that was after second grade and I moved in with my mother and stepfather. Prior to that, my earliest memories are of living with my grandmother. In a nice suburban neighborhood, nice and quiet. Birthdays were amazing. She made everything special. I had my own little dinner table. I know my grandmother probably couldn’t stand it, but I got to eat whatever I wanted. Little fish sticks and cartoon express. Life was good man. Life was good. You don’t know what it’s like. I think, and this is something I’ve been going back and forth with my brother, because he didn’t have the experience and he carried resentment about it. He’s five years younger than me. After second grade I moved in with them and that was just kind of his reality. I tell you, I think it’s far worse on the psyche when you have something and then it is taken away from you versus you never know what it’s like. So I had this safety, security, love and then everything changed overnight. Like everything changed in my reality, I am biracial so early on living with my grandmother, it was the white side of my family. I went to a predominantly white school in that area. And then overnight I went to a predominantly black school, like maybe one white kid in the school. So just having to …. and me being different, I looked different from everybody. There is a lot of us now, but like early 80’s it wasn’t a popular thing! So just trying to figure out myself and figure out where I fit in, I just remember wanting to fit in.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: I think that was the biggest mistake looking back on it. If I had only knew or had some kind of support with just trying to fit in. But it’s a human thing to want to fit in, but at the same time our uniqueness is the greatest asset that we have. But when I went to the city school, I changed the way I was dressing and everything. Then I went back to the other school and listen to this Drew, it is called the Desegregation Program.

Drew: What? Really? *laughing*

Shawn: *laughing* What in the world? This was busing city kids out to the ‘good school’ right? I went back. That’s where I went after the city school. Now again, I am trying to figure my way in, putting on the soccer shorts, wearing the umbrellas and just trying to fit in. But ultimately this process and this is what I see, to really kind of answer the question again, is I see the evolution of myself. I am so grateful. I want everybody to feel the same way, because their transformation isn’t because of the person they are right now, it’s that earlier person. Giving thanks and be grateful for them for saying ‘I am done’ or for saying ‘This is the moment things are going to change’. Just saying ‘I’m going to take this path. This is the person I am going to chose to be with.’ Wherever you are right now, the progress you have made is because of some earlier person of yourself, if that makes sense.

Drew: Yeah, it does make sense. I think we are a combination of all our past experiences. It’s like little calculations of every experience we have had. This was bad, this was good and you take all those goods and bads from the past 30 plus years and it kind of created who you are today. That’s why for me, experiences are so powerful in this life. Experiences shape your beliefs. If you didn’t have those experiences, you wouldn’t have the beliefs you have now. It’s interesting you telling me this, it seems like you kind of had to go through different phases of your identity. From one identity of ‘Oh, I’m this kid.’ Wait a second, ‘Now I am this kid’ and now you are back. I feel like we as humans go through phases in our life where we have to figure out our identity sometimes. I did a post the other day on social media where it was 10 years ago, I never would have thought I would be where I am today. In 10 years I will probably look back and be like, ‘Dude, what were you thinking? You thought you had it figured out!’ But I think that’s part of humans kind of evolving and moving forward in life is having new experiences that shape your beliefs. Sometimes we think we know how things are for us, but sometimes life punches you in the face. *laughing* Or punches you in the gut and cheap shots you sometimes, right?

Shawn: Right? Yeah, yeah. *laughing*

Drew: It’s like, ‘Come on man! What else do I need to learn!’ I think it’s really powerful to have those experiences. You versus your brother, like you were saying, he didn’t have what you had. You said he had resentment towards you? Are you guys cool now?

Shawn: Oh yeah, yeah. I love my brother and he loves me.

Drew: Oh good. Awesome.

Shawn: It’s not just resentment towards me but to a situation and also to my grandmother. He carried a lot of resentment towards her. It’s just like, ‘Why?’ She’s been an awesome grandmother. Part of the reason that I moved back with my mother is that my grandmother moved away.

Drew: Oh, wow.

Shawn: She moved to Missouri.

Drew: And she couldn’t take you?

Shawn: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t have her here to ask her the question. My relationship with my mother, I really don’t know. She is not the most honest human being so I don’t know what the story really is. This is another thing I want to share. I never talked about this before, but I really want people to please take advantage of the elders that are in your life right now. Ask them questions. Think about it, because there are so many things I want to talk to her about. So many things I want to ask her. I didn’t know. Like you never know when that time is up. Ask those questions, find out where you came from and what their stories are. It really helps to paint a clearer picture. There is a lot of gaps for me. I’m still very happy and content about it. It’s just if I did have a choice, you know people ask a question like if you could change one thing, what would it be? Usually I am I don’t want to mess up my timeline, like the Flash. I love to watch that TV show! I had to stop watching it!

Drew: Oh really? *laughing*

Shawn: Yeah, it kept screwing things up for me!

Drew: Really, like the Butterfly effect?

Shawn: Yeah.

Drew: When you step on a butterfly it takes this and changes your whole life! *laughing*

Shawn: Yeah. Just keep it. I’m right where I am at now. But you know it would be just to ask more questions and to listen more. I guess this goes back to what you said earlier, that we think we have it figured out.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: I remember my grandma sat me down and I was like 16 or 17. I am already having sex and she has the talk with me right? I don’t live with her or nothing, but she was just looking out for me. This is my grandmother. She is giving me condoms! I’m like, ‘Grandma! What are you doing?!” I thought I knew what I was doing. Cut to having kids young, you know, thanks grandma I know you tried. We all go through that, especially around that age. This is why it blows me away today man. There are more kids than ever, there are alot of college students for example that listen to my show and follow my work and read my book. Hearing that information at that age and being open to mentorship and knowing that for me to get to where I need to be, these people have already done it. I think that’s happening more than ever but at the same time there are also a lot more people lost.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: I think that is happening more than ever, but there is also more people lost than ever. There is a like totally different paradigms. There are very few people in the middle. There are people that are super caught up in social media, just like celebrity following and that kind of activity. Then there are these people that are like all the thought elevation. I’m not saying any of them are wrong, it’s all a level of being. I don’t know if you have heard of the Tipping Point theory?

Drew: Maybe. Go ahead.

Shawn: This is basically when a certain level of humanity or a certain percentage of human consciousness is doing a certain thing, it becomes pervasive.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: So there is a study where monkeys on one side of an island, they start to wash their particular sweet potatoes and once enough of them start doing it, in a complete other place where there is no connection, they start doing the same thing.

Drew: Oh ok. Gotcha.

Shawn: Of course there is so much more we could talk about in a day, but I am very heavy into science, but some things we just don’t understand. We are trying to figure out. We are trying to prove.

Drew: Yeah. Ok, my question is how do you, for example when you are telling me your story, how do you go back and teach people like your young self that here you are meditating and a  scientific type of guy. How do you take the inner city type of kid and get them to be on this level where you are at, so they can be ahead of where you were at that age? How do you make it relatable to them? What have you found that works?

Shawn: That’s so easy man!

Drew: Really?

Shawn: That’s so easy. It’s just a simple principle. If you can’t see it, you can’t be it. For them to have the example, like I didn’t know it was a thing. Also something to aspire towards, having something that they want, you know? What they see as far as fame, success, having money, it’s like athletes or rappers. That’s the two options you’ve got, right? Or doing something on television, whatever? There is so much more. What examples do you have? I didn’t know that there was anything else. I went to school. I was going to be a doctor, because I saw it on television!

Drew: *laughing*

Shawn: I saw it on TV, like I should be a doctor! I hated science. Funny enough though, it’s like my passion now. Everyday I am researching something with science now. That’s really what it is, man. I used to do a lot more talks. Now I am getting back into it because it’s more of a complete approach. Because it frustrated me. I would go do a talk at a school for girls that’s just like, there are metal detectors, like these are girls who have been kicked out of other schools.

Drew: Ok, gotcha.

Shawn: I would go into these situations and they would have a really powerful transformation in their thinking in that moment, but if it’s not supported with their environment, you can forget about it. But hopefully that seed blooms at some point. But now if I am going to do this, I need the staff involved. They need to be there for the talk. The parents, let’s create something more realistic so everybody can get on the same page, if that makes sense. I used to even shy away from that stuff, especially with success. Now if I pick up one of my son’s friends, like I picked him up for football practice, he gets into the jaguar. I’m like, ‘You see this car? I got this from helping people. I got this from writing books.’ That’s another way. See it to believe it.

Drew: I like that man. I think it’s that relatability factor. I think if they can see people like you, or people they look up to and see this is how you paved your way, instead of one of these two options, there are more than just two options, right? I think that’s brilliant man. I think that’s really great advice for people listening. Not just for inner city kids or teenagers, it’s for average Americans at times that doesn’t take care of their health. Or they don’t make themselves a priority or doesn’t see themselves, they don’t have that self worth yet. So, this can apply to almost anybody. Shifting gears a little bit, I want to talk about how you are a man of science. I love that. What are some of the latest studies that you have seen that have kind of blown your mind or made an impact on shaping you and shaping your message to your audience. Biohacking things that have made a huge impact in your life and other people’s lives that you are trying to get across in your messages.

Shawn: You know what, I mean I love to be blown away. It happens so frequently. I come across a study and it’s just like ‘How?’ I think that recently I’ve really been into, there is this new saying that’s going now that fresh is the new fit.

Drew: Yeah, I love that.

Shawn: Right? Having these people in my life that are working with professional athletes. I was just on the phone yesterday with somebody who is a linebacker in the NFL. It’s in my universe now. He’s trying to find that thing. Also the nutritional programs are coming from the people that I bring to the world. I help introduce them to larger audiences. I’ve been really interested in recovery. Because we see somebody, as we sit here now just a couple of weeks ago Lebron James signed for what was it? 135 million dollars?

Drew: 153? Yeah. Yeah.

Shawn: We figured it out collectively ….

Drew: The Lakers by the way. I’m glad to see the Lakers are back! *laughing*

Shawn: You think so?

Drew: I’m a Lakers fan. Yeah.

Shawn: And he supposably, if this was 20 years ago, is on his decline. But he’s not, he’s at his prime. He’s extending his prime. What was going on? There’s even been press conferences where he’s like, ‘Alright guys, final question. I’ve got to go get started on my recovery.’ I also mentioned him in ‘Sleep Smarter’, in my book ‘Sleep Smarter’ because he is somebody who uses sleep as part of his training. So, I’ve been very interested in this topic because first of all, I want to experience life. I don’t just want to live longer, I want to live good longer. People say we are living longer now, but people aren’t really living longer if you think about it, they are dying longer. It’s just like extending that suffering. There are people right now, like Mark Sisson is a great example. He is in his 60’s, solid mid 60’s. First of all if we are talking aesthetics, he’s shredded and in incredible shape. But it’s not just that, there is a vitality, there is so much vitality just radiating from him. So it’s like, ‘What are you doing?’ So, asking these questions and talking to these people, because I don’t feel I am in a place where I can from a very conscious place, talk about longevity. I can talk about the science, but I am still relatively young. So I want to talk to those people, so with that said. With the science something that is really fascinating to me that people are still not talking about yetm so cryotherapy is hot, right?

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: That’s an oxymoron, right there. It’s cold to, but it’s hot! *laughing*

Drew: *laughing*

Shawn: It just happened, life is poetry! So, it’s really hot right now. We’ve got a lot of professional athletes doing it. But for decades people have been doing the ice bag. They just knew that it did something. But now we have some of the research to affirm what it is. By the way, there is a lot morel evidence with cryotherapy. There is not much clinical data on the benefits. If we are talking about icing things, like an ice bath, we got a little bit more data on that. Not saying that it doesn’t work. One of the things we are looking at it, why does this work, number one. This is one of those fascinating things that I am just shocked that people aren’t talking more about is when we have this cold exposure, we see an uptick of our bodies production and activity of brown adipose tissue.

Drew: Right. Can you explain what that is for people?

Shawn: Sure. Brown adipose tissue, or ‘BAT’ for short is a type of fat, a type of brown fat. So adipose tissue is a type of fat tissue. It’s a type of fat that burns fat, so it burns the white adipose tissue. So if you think like I am trying to get rid of fat, you are trying to quote burn this adipose tissue. So brown adipose tissue, the reason that it is brown is that it is very, very dense in mitochondria. That’s what makes it brown. Mitochondria, of course you have talked about this on how, but these are the energy power plants of our cells. We have multiple mitochondria in our cells. These create our cellular energy, like the energy currents of the body. Your experience of having energy is increased in a sense when you have more brown adipose tissue or your bodies ability to recover, to do processes. That’s the best way to put it. It is part of the reason with the uptake in recovery from doing cold therapy, right? So that’s number one. Also just on that same lane of it being something that burns fat, brown adipose tissue. Why don’t we have more of it? Where is it? So, it’s mostly like your sternum, upper back, shoulders, we have a little bit. Babies have a lot of it, it’s like a protective thing. It’s kind of like insulation. It’s able to use fat to burn fat as energy. So every time I think of this, when I just sit down and think about Game of Thrones and everything. There is this guy and he’s trying to be like a wizard or something and he’s got like a girlfriend and she’s got a baby, it’s a complicated thing.

Drew: *laughing* Go ahead, keep going!

Shawn: They are just out, they are on the run. There are all kinds of people just trying to take them out. And there is this baby and I am just like, ‘How is that baby alive still?’ Just out in the cold and all these different things. That baby has that brown adipose tissue. Not real, by the way. But as we get older, we have less. So the one way to increase the brown adipose tissue construct that you have on your body so it just puts you in a stronger metabolic place when you take advantage of the cold.

Drew: So cryotherapy, cold showers, ice baths, even just going out in the cold. Maybe going out in the snow if you live in a snowy area?

Shawn: Just take longer you know? In general versus like with cold water, it’s very intrusive. It’s like a visceral kind of cold, versus cryotherapy which is just different. It’s a different kind of cold, it’s shorter duration. But both have been found to be effective. So, by the way, if you are trying to do the cold shower for example, try to aim and hit like your upper chest and under your neck. Like aim it at that spot and you could do contrast, do cold for awhile, it actually makes it easier. Then do hot and then go back to one minute each or something like that to start. Just start somewhere like if you can’t afford a cryotherapy chamber.

Drew: There are still things you can do to help out with that. So that was one thing, you were going to go to something else but you went back to brown fat.

Shawn: Well you know with brown fat that is not the only thing. Here is another crazy thing. I find this and I am like why is this not front page news? Especially if people are into health and fitness and that is, it’s not just cold that can help with the mobilization activity and creation of brown adipose tissue. Also there is a hormone that we hear in relation with sleep all the time called melatonin that increases your body’s brown adipose tissue and the activity of that tissue. Melatonin is a glorified sleep hormone. First of all it’s not even that, it doesn’t control sleep. It really helps to modulate your circadian rhythms. It helps to modulate your body’s cycle. It’s so important. It’s not just for sleep, but it is so important. The reason it’s so connected to sleep is that you need two conditions me in order to produce melatonin. One you need a biological night.

Drew: Yep.

Shawn: So that can mean that yeah, number one it is nighttime. But in our culture we can manufacture daytime. That means like having lights on. I don’t know if people have noticed this but if you are driving home from work and it’s 5 or 6 and the sun is going down, you start yawning.

Drew: Yeah. *laughing*

Shawn: Your genes are like it’s time. But again, we can manufacture it all. What happens is when we are exposed to light is that we have an increase of production of both daytime hormones, mainly cortisol would be the one that most people are aware of.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: That literally throws off the circadian rhythm. Cortisol and melatonin have an inverse relationship. So if cortisol is elevated then melatonin is going to have to supress.

Drew: That’s kind of like when your body wakes itself up?

Shawn: Exactly, because cortisol should be high in the morning, right? But clinically we see people we call tired and wired. So they are physiologically tired but at night they are just up. Their cortisol is high. They are extremely tired and very hard to get out of bed because their cortisol is too low in the morning. There are certain things we can do to help them reset. We call it a cortisol reset. But the point is melatonin in of itself, those two conditions. One we need a biological night, two we need a cyclical dark cycle. That means it has to be consistent. So if someone is doing shift work for example, first of all, why? If it is for service, you are in emergency services, if it is something that is your passion, then absolutely, nothing but great gratitude. If this is for money, and you’ve got a story attached to it like this is the only work I can do. You’ve got to stop telling yourself that story because it is one of the worst things you can do for your health. What I want to start to see happen is more support for our emergency services, for our nurses. I looked at the nurses study, this is one of the biggest studies ever conducted in the history of the free world.

Drew: Yeah.

Shawn: So the nurses study, we’ve got like 65,000 people we are tracking. They compiled all this different data over a period of several years. One of the things they found in this nurses study was that women who work the overnight shift had over 15% greater incidence of breast cancer.

Drew: Whoa.

Shawn: Yeah, that’s one of the first things that really jumped out and that is substantial and that is a lot. Why is that? Melatonin is also pretty powerful anticancer hormone as well. So that is one of the things they saw and higher levels of obesity. Higher levels of type two diabetes, all from being up at night. It’s just because they are not getting that proper biological cycle. What I want to see, and I talked about this in my book too, because it’s like what do you do? If you do shift work and then sometimes you are on and sometimes you are off, they found that the numbers were just about the same even if you got back on a cycle, just the fact that you kept interrupting it, it made it just as bad. What I want to see is like a chunk, like maybe they are on for two months and then they are off for four months. Because the body is very forgiving, it can get itself sorted out but it needs time to do it. With that study and seeing all the data come out about it, it’s just really, really fascinating how much melatonin matters. So what I want to see people do if they are doing shift work, by the way I will just throw this out there, they got to create a biological night. Even if they are sleeping at noon, they need to get black out curtains or aluminum foil or whatever! Your room should be so dark that you can barely see your hand. So you can actually produce melatonin. We just kicked it off with brown adipose tissue regulating your sleep cycle. Also, I just mentioned helping your body to prevent cancer.

Drew: So, not just supplementing a ton of Melatonin and thinking that will do the trick, or sleep pills or whatever Nyquil? *laughing*

Shawn: Right. *laughing* You might as well just forget about it. It’s such a sad situation because the way that things are set up in our culture, just because it’s at Walgreens or WalMart or even at Whole Foods, doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. You can just go buy Melatonin, that’s hormone there people! You are like, ‘I’m just going to do hormone therapy.’ You are just choosing to do it. It’s regulating your entire circadian rhythm, right? What we saw is because some of the experts in the field, before I wrote my book, were like, ‘We believe that taking supplemental melatonin will reduce your body’s indigenous production.’ I didn’t find that in the data, so I thought that was interesting. Here is what did happen, folks who use too much melatonin and use it on a consistent basis they had a deactivation of their receptor site for melatonin.

Drew: Ok.

Shawn: So, their body still produced melatonin, but the cells that actually do the job like the signals and the attachment of the cells and the turning on of the process, started to shut down. It’s kind of like being melatonin resistant.

Drew: Gotcha.

Shawn: And that’s what can happen,

Drew: Wow. Melatonin resistant. That’s a new term.

Shawn: It just happened man. *laughing* It’s history.

Drew: That’s interesting. Yeah, I’ve heard from other people that are looking for the best weight loss pills, the best nutropic out there, the best smart drug, the best performance enhancement, it’s sleep. We are looking for it in other places with like hyped up caffeinated products or like these smart drugs, or whatever it is. I remember our friend Bedros, when he was going through a stressful time, he was taking Nyquil at night. Then tons of coffee throughout the day, after a few months of this his wife looked into his eyes and his eyes were like yellow. His liver was taking a hit from taking Nyquil every night just so he could pass out and fall asleep. It’s scary, but it’s interesting. Sometimes we know that’s the thing we need, but sometimes it’s like life gets in the way or you are stressed out and trying to manage life. That is my question for you, you are a family man. You’ve got an awesome wife, shout out to Ann, what’s up?!

Shawn: *laughing*

Drew: She is awesome, I love her. And you’ve got kids and you are a successful entrepreneur. How do you manage your stress and family life and business too. That can be stressful too. You have to make sure you are making ‘x’ amount of money and performing every single day optimally. What else have you found that helps you kind of stay in that zone of never too stressed out but still motivated to get things done and to kind of be a savage also when it comes to getting work done?

Shawn: Yeah. That’s a great question. You know, I really do feel, I am of the camp that I believe that we can have it all. I believe we don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. Sacrifices aren’t bad necessarily. I think the problem is this idea of balance, having work life balance. If things are balanced, it’s boring, right? If it’s like you are on a see saw and you are balanced, it’s boring! It’s like, ‘What are you doing?’

Drew: Yeah. *laughing* That’s not fun.

Shawn: Things are going to be ebbing and flowing. There is going to be a season where you are going to be a little bit more focused on things in business. There is a season where you do more things with the family. What I believe and what I have done personally is I just …. it is just so simple man. I make time each day to fill those cups. My self care is the first thing. I make sure I am in a good place so I can show up my best. At the end of the day when my son wants to play beyblade.

Drew: I don’t know about those.

Shawn: Do you know about those? No, you have daughters?

Drew: No, I’ve got two girls. *laughing*

Shawn: Beyblades are like these little tops basically. You pull a cord and you battle each other in this arena right? *laughing*

Drew: Awww! *laughing*

Shawn: We are vicious man! We go at it with these beyblades. I might not feel like doing it. I might be just like, ‘Later bud.’ But I want to make sure I can show up as good as I possible can for him. So what this looks like is, self care and chunking.

Drew: Chunking? What’s that? It sounds like something made up from the Goonies. *laughing*

Shawn: *laughing* Chunk!

Drew: Chunk! *laughing*

Shawn: So chunking is taking …. ok for example ….

Drew: Ok no, I have heard of this. Keep going.

Shawn: So certain days are designated for certain things. So my show is a certain day each week, that is dedicated for that. The big problem of why we feel like we can’t get work done is because of something called switching costs. It’s when you are going back and forth from different tasks. Also being distracted because of things like social media for example. I know everybody listening has had the ‘just checks’, right? So I will just check real quick, right?

Drew: *laughing*

Shawn: You are supposed to be doing something. I will just check Twitter, right? Then you get sucked into the internet black hole. Ideally, I keep my phone …. if I am at my desk, I will literally toss my phone over on the floor. Just don’t put it within hands reach. So I can stay focused on the task at hand, execute on that. We mistake doing work with being effective. That’s what the real problem is. There is time for everything. You’ve got ample time. It kills me man, when people are talking about how busy they are. You have no idea what busy is. I thought I was busy? I am like five more times busy than what I used to be when I thought I was busy.

Drew: *laughing* Yeah.

Shawn: And I still have time to do the things that I want.

Drew: Interesting.

Shawn: Because of chunking. So I dedicate a certain amount of time and focus each day to a very specific thing. I execute on that and then I move on to the next thing. Instead of having yourself switching tasks and bumping all around. If I’m doing interviews for other people’s shows, for example, I will have a day dedicated to that only. I’m not going to do like two interviews and not do this. If I can find a way to not do it. Sometimes it is the case. Certain people call, you make it happen. Drew Manning calls, you’ve got to do it, you know?! *laughing*

Drew: *laughing*

Shawn: I chunk my tasks. I have time every day that I spend with my kids and my wife. Everyday. You do need that focus time. You need to find that part of a little mini season. My wife and I, we just noticed this. We got into it about something so dumb. Because it always is, you know? We don’t really argue, we don’t really do that, you know?

Drew: Yeah. *laughing*

Shawn: It’s not to say that arguing is bad. We have disagreements. We are just at such a …. we have been together for fifteen years. I feel like I just met her. I love her so much.

Drew: That’s awesome.

Shawn: We just have such a great relationship. Part of the connection is you being annoyed by the same things. You know?! There is this connection you have on that! I just noticed that recently! *laughing* I was like, “I love that you don’t like that either!” But we realized after it was done, we were arguing about something that was about our elevation as a family. Something that was just about going to the next level. Something positive and we were arguing about it. After it was over we realized we haven’t been on a date, just us, in like three weeks. That is like a cardinal sin. We will go on dates and our younger son will be there. Even with movies, we will sit by each other and then the kids are over here, it’s not the same thing. We might have some quiet time after, but having that time to just be together. I used to schedule it and I haven’t been doing it the last couple of months because a lot of stuff has been going on. I messed up. So, making time, scheduling things, especially if you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, schedule it. I’ve got an alarm on my phone that tells me when to take my butt to sleep. I don’t need it at this point, but I’ve got it scheduled at this time, because it puts into your psychology that these things are coming up. Your subconscious knows, it’s going to help maneuver things and make it happen versus just doing things on the fly.

Drew: I love that, man. That’s really good advice for a lot of people. Good relationship advice. *laughing* Last question for you. Tony Robbins talks about this, especially with unfortunately some celebrities who have taken their own life, which is sad to see, right? We see from the outside perspective, they had everything in the world. They had fame, money, anything you could want, right?

Shawn: Yeah.

Drew: But they chose to end their life, which is sad. It’s like how did they get to that point? Tony Robbins talks about this. Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. As we see successful people, from an outside perspective, money, fame, all that stuff, but they are not fulfilled. So for you, you are super successful. What brings you fulfillment in life? What is your fulfillment and where does it come from?

Shawn: Man. It’s hard to talk about, man. This is important. My grandmother took her life. The most important person in my universe, like the person who helped to make me who I am. She did that after my grandfather died. She tried to work it out for a year or two, maybe it was about a year. Just being without him, she really died from a broken heart. So that question is very close to me, like I can touch it. Having that experience, first of all I still think it’s kind of a Romeo and Juliet story. Like I get to chose. My uncle for example, her son, he took it very personally. Like she left us, she left me. She just didn’t want to be without him, you know? They were an entity. I had an imprint on me. It’s like the movie Twilight! *laughing*

Drew: I know. *laughing* Jacob, right?

Shawn: I had an imprint on me of what a relationship looks like. There was so much love there. I understood in a way. That’s like probably why I mentioned earlier about I have this struggle in my psyche, like I wish I would have done this or that different. It’s the fulfillment. She could do all the grandma stuff, but if she is missing out on this, on love, which is her ‘why’, we are going to have some problems. So, for me personally, I am just very cognisant of what I need. I know myself. It’s the greatest thing, but how often do we actually check in and have a sense of self awareness? And have the ability to self access. We don’t want to do that, it’s messy. It can be messy, especially in the beginning if you neglect it. You live in here, you live in your body. But all this stuff that’s going on in your head and actually addressing it and is it true? The things you are telling yourself? For me, that fulfillment is very simple because I analyze and I found out what it is and for me it’s growth. I’m very, very fulfilled and happy if I can grow. Literally every day, I just want to get a little bit better. That’s all it takes. So, whether it’s with fitness or my knowledge base, if I can just learn something today, I am better. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to read a hundred pages in a book. But just getting a little bit better and having a little bit of growth, brings me so much fulfillment. I feel like today was a success.

Drew: Awesome.

Shawn: Probably in the last ten years, I’ve had two or three days where I haven’t  felt like that. I remember just feeling like I didn’t really do something to get better today. Sometimes you do stuff that takes you backwards in a way, in the moment. But still, like even that, if you reframe it, it’s still a teachable moment and it’s an earnable moment. That failure, that whatever I did that wasted time. Maybe it was arguing, but even when that happened, because I still didn’t accomplish what I wanted that day. I did some just small little things, even though I just felt like sitting down and having some cake, watching Luke Cage, I executed. I was just going to do one thing that I had, like my bigger to-do, but I did two. I felt really good, I felt really good, like this thing happened but I was still able to have that sense of fulfillment for myself. But for real, my number one priority was her. So just even us, getting us back onto where we needed to be, that was a win in and of itself.

Drew: Man, you said so many powerful things right there. Great lessons for all of us I think. Perspective is huge, like your perspective of life. Like instead of life happening to you, it’s happening for you. So the growth part is essential. As a human being you need growth to be happy, right? Like if you are not progressing forward, most people get unhappy and they get stuck. There is no progress being made. I think that is where a lot of people get depressed, right? But the interesting thing is like you said, you had two or three days where that didn’t happen and those are important reminders and lessons to grow from as well, right? If you are just progressing forward every single day and life is perfect, life can get boring sometimes. You need certainty and you need uncertainty, you need both of those sometimes. It’s important to remember that as you are going through those sucky things, there is something to be learned here. Instead of cursing God or cursing other people or finding someone to blame for the sucky things going on. It’s hard in the moment to be thankful for what is going on, but you know ten years down the road you are going to look back and think you are grateful for it. Because this taught me this and I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t have learned that. So realizing that both of those things, good and bad, serve a purpose in your life, to help you eventually grow, right? I think life happens for a greater good, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Great advice. Great lessons, man. I am going to let you go, because I know you have got other stuff to do today. But I really appreciate you coming back on. Always a pleasure, man. You are welcome here in Utah any time. You are welcome on my Podcast anytime. I really appreciate our friendship, so thank you.

Shawn: Thank you.


Hey everyone, thank you so much for listening to this episode on the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast. I really, really appreciate all the support you have shown me throughout all the years. If you love the Podcast, then please go subscribe to the Podcast on ITunes and also if you love the Podcast, please leave us a review. It definitely helps out with rankings, which means more people listening to this Podcast when they see it. Feel free to reach out to me on social media @Fit2Fat2Fit or at Fit2Fat2Fit.com, with suggestions or comments or concerns. Anything that you guys think that I could do to make this Podcast better for you, I definitely want to bring the highest quality content to you, the most value because I know you are investing 30-50 minutes per day when you listen to the Podcast. I really appreciate all the support and like I said, go follow me @Fit2Fat2Fit on social media, if you want to reach out to me with comments, questions or concerns. Thank you guys so much and we will see you back here next week on the Fit2Fat2Fit Experience Podcast.


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