March 15, 2022

E239: How to be friends with your body | Mental Health Podcast

In this episode, I want to talk to you about something that I think about quite frequently, and that's this idea of being friends with your body. I will give you some of the tools that I've used to get really associated with my body, and these tools may be beneficial for you.
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In this episode, I want to talk to you about something that I think about quite frequently, and that's this idea of being friends with your body. I will give you some of the tools that I've used to get really associated with my body, and these tools may be beneficial for you.

I was thinking about this correlation between our physical and mental well-being. I believe that they are very much intertwined with each other, and I do not believe that you can have one without the other.

Success isn't something that you chase is something you attract by being an attractive person. Remember, mindset, and the body goes together.

Many things you can do for your mind; meditation, affirmations, reading, and all that kind of stuff, but you have to be friends with your body.

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Do you ever feel entirely disconnected from your body?

Like do you ever have moments where it feels like your brain is, like, in la-la land and your body is over here and you're like, okay, this doesn't feel like normal what's going on here? You know, having these dissociative experiences are such a big part of what it is to have suffered through trauma.

What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. Today's episode I want to talk to you about something that I think about quite frequently and that's this idea of like being friends with your body. And this idea came because I was on Instagram the other night just briefly, posting something and popped off, and something caught my eye and I went back and I looked at it and it was this photo of if, you know him, David Goggins, and this was a photo of David when he was like 310 pounds like he's a pretty big guy at one point. And there was another photo of him just shredded probably 195 pounds totally jacked top to bottom and it was an interesting juxtaposition to look at because I was thinking about my own journey, see him out when I was 350 pounds and the big difference to be like where I'm at today, at like, 210, 215 and not having weight, be the product that I'm seeking or wanting but instead just the way that my physical body feels.

One of the things I was saying about this, I was like, okay, how do I break down some of the tools that I've used to get really associated with my body? And can I give you these tools in a way that may be beneficial for you? I don't think that wait, let me rephrase this. When Dr. Felitti did the ACE Survey in the 90s with Kaiser Permanente and the California Center for Disease Control. The Baseline of that study actually came because he was noticing that all of the clients that he was treating up the time for weight loss issues, were gaining all of the weight back after being triggered. And that actually is kind of the foundational baseline of really, all of the research of the ACE Survey because he was like, oh wait this is interesting, there something happening where people are getting triggered and suddenly their weight is going up. There was one particular client, I wrote about it in Think Unbroken. So I won't go into the depths of it, but there was one client who just sparked it for me said, okay, wait, I think I see something happening here.

So, I was thinking about this correlation between our physical well-being, and our mental well-being. I think that they are both very much intertwined with each other, and I do not believe that you can have one without the other. In fact, I would even dare argue that you have to have physical health before you can have mental health and you can go back and forth with that that's not like a line in the sand by means and I say this because anytime I've been sick, anytime my body hasn't felt right, any time I felt exhausted, tired, lethargic, even sore from working out, even hurt, maybe I hurt my knee or my back or my shoulder, like, whatever that thing is, it always feels much more difficult to do things that require my mental capacity.

And then I thought to myself, okay, wait a second. So if when I get hurt because I'm not doing anything I'm supposed to do, stretching, sleep, massage therapy when needed, then that means that I need to make those things a priority. Now, from a weight perspective, I mean you can follow and you can track like with certainty to an extent that when people are overweight that they have a higher likely outcome of an early death. Let me go look at the COVID numbers, I'm not going to go into that but like, go look at them. People who were obese were more likely to die than everyone else. And when I was at my heaviest at 350, because I was so dissociated, so let's talk about this for a moment. Getting re-associated with your brain and your body requires these steps that have been laid out for you and all of us a multitude of times, it requires exercise, right? It requires journaling, meditation, physical movement, disconnection from technology, like, getting into yoga like, if you've never done yoga before, I would recommend you go pull up my friend, Cole Chance on YouTube, and go and watch some of her yoga videos, just start somewhere start where you are, right? This is the biggest thing, like people think that they have to have it all figured out before they can show up.

You got to start where you are, because where you are today, is you're learning, in your learning about who you are and what you have and what you're capable of doing. You don't have all the other information yet to support whether or not you're even doing things right or wrong or whatever, so start where you are but start. And because here's why I like, in yoga, meditation and journaling, what you're doing is, you're reconnecting your brain to your body.

And so very often we want to distract and remove ourselves from our body, especially as trauma survivors because that's an autonomic response, it really is a response that happens moment you're triggered.

Think about behavioral patterns in your life, how do you self-soothe when there is drama, stress, anxiety, right? Like if it was me when I was younger it was food. The first thing I would do when I'm stressed, I was like, oh man, I'm eating something and that was so subconscious to me I didn't even realize it until I started taking care of my physical body because I would have these moments and I'm like I feel sad and angry and depressed so I'm just going to eat fucking McDonald's, that doesn't really make sense because when you think about what's happening in that moment, you're actually poisoning yourself, I sort of got McDonald's, going to sue me one day I know they are but it is poison, so don't fucking eat it.

And my thought in those moments was like, but I'm satiating, I deserve this, that's one of the most dangerous word, one of those dangerous phrases we can use with ourselves when we are doing things that we know take away from our capacity to grow. And so I would always find a way I deserve this beer, I deserve this bag of gummy bears, I deserve this chocolate cake, I deserve whatever this thing over here is, and that was really dangerous because it led me down this path where the deeper I got into quote-unquote I deserve this the less I took care of my physical body.

And then suddenly one day, like my health was so fucking bad, I thought I was going to die. So I'm like, going through this process of, okay, where do you begin? And I'll never forget, the first time I really, really started taking care of my body it happened after I went through a meditation and was just this very simple meditation that I had done in a yoga class and the thought hit me, wait a second, I got to take care of my body. And the reason why we are not friends with our body if you notice the title of this episode, how to be friends with your body. The reason we're not friends with our body is because it suffered pain, it's been hurt, it's been cut, bruised, burned, stat, like the things some of us have been through like, it's unbelievable, right? And because of that, you have to understand that to get back into this place of kindness you must treat yourself with kindness one of my values, right? And I look at that in the day-to-day, from me the way I break it down I had somebody ask recently like what's my morning routine? Like it's go to the gym, hit the sauna, stretch, lift, move, just move my physical body because like, I'm always sitting here on the mic or I'm coaching or I'm speaking or I'm writing the next book and so I've got to make sure that I move my body, and then in the evening I stretch.

Now I've had like this weird ebb and flow were like four months and months and months and months, I'll stretch every single day and then I won't do it for like two or three weeks, it happens all the time. I'm like, I'm trying to be incredibly disciplined about that as I'm in training for different, various sporting events right now.

And so it's about can you just show up every day where you are? Because if you're paying attention which again we'll start with that place of a I my journaling? Am I meditating? Am I reading? Am I in pause away from social media, right? It's even as simple as you know, taking your phone at night and putting in the other room like I do not sleep with my phone near me. If you called me in the middle of the night I have no idea and in fact, I'm not going to probably find out till 10:00 in the morning that's typically when I'm like checking messages. And so it's the little things that start to build up but it's can you be curious about your body where it is? Right?

Here's what's fucked up…

We know what we should and should not do. But some consciously, we convince ourselves that it's okay, even the detrimental stuff, right? Like, that's what's so crazy about it, the dangerous things even, right? I mean, I found myself in my late teens and early 20s doing drugs with strangers and hooking up with people from the internet that I never met and putting myself in these precarious situations when I was drinking and driving and endangering my friends and my family because (a) it was learned behavior and (b) I was ignoring that voice in myself that said, do not do this, this is not safe, this is not who you are, this is not what you're supposed to be doing. And so because of that, what happened was, I recognize and I started paying better attention and then it became okay.

What do I need to understand about my brain, my mind, my body in this healing process? And it really began with one day at a time and thinking to myself, like I'm own best friend here because if you're not going to be supportive of your journey, then who is? And it's pushing yourself like there is an extent to this in which you have to push the limiting beliefs of the things that you've decided that you deserve out of the equation. You have to decide to take those things away. You have to decide I'm not going to eat this or I'm not going to put this alcohol in my body, I'm not going to smoke that thing, the toxicity.

One of the greatest things that I have ever felt physically was just getting toxins out of my system, just filling clean for a moment, and there's been long-term fast I did a 21-day fast one time I think that was in 2018, I've done water fast for two or three days at a time of gone in the saunas every day for weeks at a time or hot yoga and just it's cleaning the body getting it, getting it, expel all the poison in it and I'm not going to go deep into like my routine around that stuff but it's just something to think about, like, what do you need to take out to feel better, right?

Is it your postures, that how you sit is it that you sit all day?

Is it that you don't move, you lay in bed all night, like all these different things. Because again, if you can start taking care of your physical body, you will see this incredible uptick in your mental health, because your energy is going to shift, right?

People are always talking about like this 2:00 crash, this used to be me all the time because for breakfast, I'd fucking eat McDonald's again, they're going to sue me, for lunch I would eat another fast food restaurant and by to in the clock in the afternoon I already had a pot of coffee, and I was freakin exhausted, and then there would be the donuts, and then I'd go eat gummy bears all the time and this isn't even just an office environment, this was home being self-employed running a business out of my apartment. It was always these little things that go out and do I deserve to have that right now, the refined oils, all those bad things.

Think about this, like literally, take a moment, if your physical body feels bad, your emotional state is going to be fucking awful,that's just the truth of it.

And so what do you have to do to take care of yourself?

Many of, you know, that I've been on this massive health kick, especially this year. I've done anything from every blood work you can take, all of the gene sequencing you can do, had a continuous glucose monitor my arm was, checking my ketosis levels just all of these different things day in and day out, just trying to optimize physical health knowing and this is the most important part knowing how well I feel? How articulate I am? How much I'm able to break down all the different functions of what I do at Think Unbroken every single day in a way that was optimized because I felt optimized, that doesn't mean every day, right? One of the big things I'm working through is making sure I get seven hours of sleep, I've always been like the five-hour guy and I'm like, okay, seven because that is what science and research point to, actually feel a lot better, so it's like getting up at the right time, going on bed at the right time, all these little things. And so as you're in this place and you're trying to get more familiar with your body, it starts with these actions of kindness, right?

We talked about this before, what kind of person would you be if you're a person who lived life through a scope of kindness for yourself? Because a kind person is going to do, whatever it takes to take care of their physical health.A kind person is going to do whatever it takes to take care of their physical health. I know their things, like medical trauma, I've talked about this on the show before I have it, trust me like being covered in scars and multiple trips to the hospital and skin grafts, on this finger and broken legs, and surgeries, and being put under 10 times, like I get it, but you still like this body, if I couldn't have you take one thing away from today, it's understanding that, yes, this body that we live in, it has been through pain, it has been through suffering, but it can be fixed.

I look at it like a machine like a car, you know your car breaks down, you get a flat tire, whatever you go to the mechanic and you fix it, you take care of it. Now for some of us that mechanic is going to be, you know, massage therapy or physical therapy or your training for an event and all these different I mean, there's so many different things that can be the thing that makes your body better but ultimately, it's you've got to decide to do it, you've got to decide to push yourself into it, you've got to decide to show up every day, and I know you've heard me say this a million times, but I want to hit this point home. If you're not meditating and journaling and getting silence in your day then you're disconnected automatically.If you're grabbing your phone in the morning, you're already disconnected.

So you've got to take a moment and pause and go wait a second, hang on, what I need to do here is see where I'm at and be okay with where you are at because think about this, how would you support your friends, your family if they weren't a position like you?

You would show up for them.

You would help guide them.

You would give them the advice that you've come across.

You would talk to them about the training plan, you've do all those things for them.

But why don't you do it for yourself?

And that's the question that you have to ask.

What do you have to do today?

Who do you need to be?

How do you need to show up?

And ultimately the question, you know, I always ask people.

What are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have?

And I believe that you can be friends with your body, it's not as simple as like this body positivity, shit, I'm going to tell you right now, that's fucking never work for me, right? And that's something that I know for some people, it doesn't work for summit dozen that's amazing and it's such a mindset game, but the only way I've ever felt in tune with my body as when I take care of it.

You take care of your cellphone but you don’t take care of your body.

You gotta crack screen first thing, you do head up Apple, yo, can you guys fix this screen? Right? Your computer breaks down and call fucking Geek Squad. Your Netflix goes out, holy shit, how fast are you calling that phone number? But you're not doing the things that you need to do for your physical body and so you have to question that and look it's totally reasonable because you're dissociated or like me I won't, I can't wake label you, I don't know you but if you were like me, I was so dissociated, my brain so removed from my body, I didn't know which way was up and so it's constantly like all right, I'm just going to try all these different things and see what feels right. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've been injured because I didn't listen to my body because I wasn't paying attention. I'll never forget like five years ago is on a softball league and I was doing CrossFit like five times a week and my hamstring was super tight like it was a Titus it's ever been. I think we did like a hundred deadlifts; I think it was I've been the Fran workout I don't remember and I'm in the softball game and I'm like, I probably shouldn't run today, but I'm going to stretch a little bit, I warm up it'll be fine, still like I probably shouldn't run today, like this is my gut, my literal body is telling me like don't do this and so I knock this ball out into left field like is it easy three base for me and half way through the first base, halfway probably taken seven steps. Boom! Tore my calf, because you know, your calf hamstring or kind of interconnected there.

And so had a slight tear on my calf and a slight tear in my hamstring as well, because my legs were so freaking tight, my muscles were destroyed I probably had Dom’s right? And so I put myself in that position because I wasn't paying attention and then guess what? Not only did I not get a finish that game, but I had to walk around on freaking crutches for six weeks because of one moment, if I would not have done that thing that literally, I remember telling my friend, I was standing I'm there, I was like, I don't think I should run today like I feel off and I argued with myself. So that kind of comes back to that point I've told you guys before that, what that would actually became this really interesting like added on layer to my physical health, in the ways that I don't negotiate with myself.

So if my body is hurt, nope, not doing it.

So, think about this ask yourself, like I sometimes will ask my body literally in the morning I'll wake up, on my way to the gym, I see myself like body.

What do you want to do today?

And there's again, we talked about this, the fine line between taking care of yourself and taking it easy on yourself but I want you to think about what it means to honor the truth of where you are in your physical body today through movement, through actions who yoga, through meditation, through being connected knowing that we're dissociated as a survival mechanism, knowing that that happens as a response to stimulus in our life thinking and understanding where your triggers come from.

One of the best things you can do is literally take a piece of paper and when you get triggered, you have caught yourself in a behavior that is not one that is bringing you forward in towards your goals in life, to simply write down,

I got triggered in, this has been my response, I did that thing, because if you cannot address it, you cannot change it. And there's been times in my life where I've done that like high-stress situations, I'll find myself.

I'll give you a perfect example.

A couple of weeks ago, go had a product launch with one of my other companies, super stressful time in the past what would have happened is over to drink 37 cups of coffee and not slept at all and just been rocked for a few days. And then because of the chaos of it, like I'll be honest, I did not sleep as much as I wanted to, but I did not drink 37 cups of coffee because I know that spiral, I know where that leads me in the adrenal fatigue.

And then one of the big things I did is like as soon as that launch was over, I said I am sleeping for 10 hours, I've just laid it out, I'm not getting out of bed because again, that's that line, was I taking care of myself for taking it easy on myself and my body I said, what do you need body? Body was like, I need sleep motherfucker, go to bed and so I slept for like 10 hours, right after that. And that's the thing that I want you to think about is honoring, that honoring that thing, that you need, because, again, nobody else is going to honor it for you. And there's a little bit of a rant today, but I really want to plant the because when I saw that picture that David posted and I saw, and I was thinking about my photos from when I was morbidly obese versus where I am now, it's insane me, people will pick up, I'll show people and they'll be like, that's not you, that's crazy, what a transformation, I'm like, it wasn't a true physical transformation, it was a mental, and physical transformation.

And so you got to be willing to show up and meet yourself where you are today knowing that every decision that you make, everything that you put in your body, everything that you think out the way that you move it, the way that you put fuel into it, the vitamins you take the whole nine like that stuff, all matters.

So my friends, I hope that this episode serves you well.

Thank you so much for listening Unbroken Nation means the world to me.

Please, like subscribe, comment, share.

Tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.