Nov. 9, 2021

Lose everything that is holding you back. Weight Loss Coach Jon McLernon's amazing story of his own journey and how he turned his compassion to helping others.


Coach Jon  is a weight loss coach and emotional eating expert who has lost over 100lbs. 

From nanotechnology researcher, to Navy marine engineer, to globetrotting nomad, Coach Jon spent most of his life running from his true calling, until one question changed his life. 

Now he's on a mission to help others lose weight for good and leave BS diets in the rearview mirror.

With Freedom Nutrition Coaching he marries the Science of Metabolism with the Psychology of Behavior Change and the Compassion of Human Connection to create life-changing transformations with his clients.
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Transcript

Melissa Bright:

Thank you to better help for sponsoring this podcast. I started my therapy whenever I started this podcast. And so that's exactly why they became my sponsor, because they have helped me if you guys think you might need to see a therapist better help is amazing. They are online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, you have the options to message them, you can do a phone call, you can do a video chat. Whatever you feel comfortable with doing. They have several different types of therapists if you need couples, or for marriage and family therapy, it's also available to individuals worldwide, better help is a monthly subscription. So you're not paying per session and financial aid is available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com/bright side of life, that's better help.com/bright side of life, join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash bright side of life. The link will also be in the description section of this episode. People might hear my story or maybe they just see where I'm at right now. They see the weight loss they see the before after and they don't really understand everything in between. It's like you're not broken. You're not crazy, you're not hopeless, you can get there, but it's gonna be a little more bumpy than you think. But it is absolutely worth it. Welcome to The Bright Side of Life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, bright cider and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host Melissa bright. And just a quick reminder before we get started to be sure to hit the subscribe or follow button if you haven't already. And if you'd like to support the podcast you can do so at the bright side of life podcast.com/donate I am an independent podcaster and do all of this on my own. And I spend a lot of time and creativity and resources and trying to create valuable content for you. So if you'd like to show your support, it would be greatly appreciated. And today we are talking to John or coach John, who is a weight loss coach and emotional eating expert who has lost over 100 pounds from nanotechnology researcher to Navy marine engineer to globe trotting Nomad coach John spent most of his life running from his true calling until one question changed his life. Now he's on a mission to help others lose weight for good and leave BS diets in the rearview mirror. So with freedom nutrition coaching, which is what he does, he marries the science of metabolism with the psychology of behavior change in the compassion of human connection to create life transformation, life changing transformation with his clients. I can't talk today, I wanted to have John on because we're actually heading into the holiday season where food is usually at the center of events. And now would be a good time to hear from an expert for us or for him to give us his take and advice on this time of year. John is a former binge eating food addict who has experience with all of this. John, welcome to the show. Happy Thursday. How are you doing today?

Jon:

I'm doing amazing. And thank you for that introduction. And I just love the fact that your last name is Bright, like that's, I love wordplay, and puns and jokes and things like that. So whenever there's an opportunity for something like that, I'm absolutely love it. So I think this is fantastic.

Melissa Bright:

Thank you. I wish I wish I could say that. I thought of my podcast title. My boyfriend actually did, which it's actually not even that original. But I spent like two days writing down every possible like direction, every word I could think of to try to do this. And he just walks in and he's like, why don't you call it the bright side of life? And I'm like, Oh, yes, thank you. Okay, let's do it. So I can't take credit for that one. But I do love it. Even though it's not crazy. Original. I mic. My name is supposed to be bright for a reason.

Jon:

Absolutely. It's a perfect fit, you know, and you bring a wonderful energy to the show as well. So

Melissa Bright:

thank you. I yeah, I hope so. I kind of have to live up to my last name can't be boring. They'd be like bright that doesn't really fit.

Jon:

Well, I mean, my business name came from a client as well actually. So but it really was. Someone said to me, I'm sick of living in nutrition prison. And I was like, oh, yeah, you just kind of captured what a lot of people experience around food. and trying to lose weight and dieting, all this kind of stuff. And so it started with no more nutrition prison. And then I was like, Well, how about freedom nutrition coaching. And so, and then then the hashtag no fn diets kind of started. So no F and diet, so it was a bit of a cheeky sort of rejection of what I say diets are like a temporary attempt to create permanent results. And that's never gonna work. And so it's rejecting a lot of the ideas that we've had around weight loss. And I think, as people get get to know me, you're gonna figure out that I have a lot of very different ideas around weight loss, and the idea of dieting and things like that.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, I'm so excited. And that's one thing I will say is listeners, like our listeners, or clients, or whatever it is, when they come to you, and they say these words. It's like, they stick to you. And it's like, like you said, the prison nutrition prison. You're like, Oh, my God, I got to do something with this, because it's something that you haven't thought of. But you're like, that's how I would explain it. Yes, thank you. That's happened to me with with listeners before they'll say something, or they'll describe a topic or what they thought of the episode. And I'm like, do you want to write my show notes for me?

Jon:

Well, I, you know, previous to that, I was just coached John McLennan. And I tried to come up with something clever, because when I explain to people when they're like, Well, how do you pronounce your last name? I say, Well, if McDonald's had a school, and I was a student, I'd be McLernon. And so, yes. So anyway, I really tried, like, you know, learning with McLernon, or something like that, but I just, it just, it didn't quite roll off the tongue and didn't quite stick. And so anyways, freedom, nutrition coaching. It was a perfect fit. And then the whole no fn diet, no F and diet started as a joke. Yeah, when I had my logo created, and someone was like, oh, FN, no F and died, say, I was like, Yeah, I like that. So I ran, I ran it by my clients. I was like, Look, is this is this too? Like, is this too cheeky? Or too rude? They're like, No, we love it. Yeah, that's awesome. So my Twitter handle is at no fn diet. So I love it.

Melissa Bright:

Awesome. Well, let's get into your story. Because you have been literally, literally all over the place. So let's talk about how you went from this nanotechnology, which I'm just saying the word I don't even know what that means. To where you are now, how, how did tell me a little bit about your story?

Jon:

Yeah. So I mean, I started chemistry and marketing, psychology at university, which is kind of a weird pairing. And but I'm, I'm kind of different. I always march to the beat of my own drummer and drum drummer. I'm not sure what you might do, but anyways. And so, but I was gonna go into a Ph. D program, I was already involved in a research group. And the idea was to sort of funnel finally into a Ph. D program. But I kind of got bored of research, because it's really quite tedious and monotonous. And so I said, I'm just gonna join the Navy, I'm gonna go to boot camp, I need a challenge, you know, or whatever. And so I wanted to see what that was like. So I joined the Navy. I did three years in the Navy. And in that time, I also met my girl who would become my wife. And she's from Australia. So I took a year off, went live in Australia, we got married over there, and then came back to Canada. I did three more years in the Navy. But I decided, like the military has a tendency of breeding divorced alcoholics. And I like my wife, a lot, are still together. And we didn't want it to be a case. So I came home one day, and I was like, why don't we just go teach English somewhere? You know, we got no debts, we got no kids, let's just let's just do that. And that was in November, and by January, we were on a plane to Mexico. And we packed everything to a storage unit and started living down in Mexico. But ultimately, Mexico obviously has some issues with cartels and drug violence and stuff like that. And I'm clearly not Mexican. I'm yeah, for those who are listening like I'm, I was nicknamed Casper as a kid. So like, Yeah, I'm a Mexican. Yeah, I kind of walked around like a beacon down there. Now, I mean, granted, look, I loved living in Mexico. When people aren't after your tourist dollars, they're so hospitable, friendly. Like they have such a they have a bright culture, a really like friendly, vibrant, like bright culture, music and dancing and food. And, you know, so it was really that part. It was really neat. But we were also, like, kind of exposed in a sense, because if the police took us, you know, decided to pick us up and throw us in the police state, you know, into a cell and hold us hostage for money. Basically, we had no recourse. So we kind of realized we're kind of sitting ducks here. And and there was some paramilitary activity, there was some because we live in Guadalajara, there's a lot of gang violence and stuff down there. And like, I knew we should probably like, get a while going as good. You know, we've had a good time here. And so we end up going living in Italy. But one thing when we're living in Mexico, we met a guy from South Africa, and he was living there at the same time. And so we went live in Italy, and then for the summer, and then went over to Poland to teach English there. And this African guy who'd become friends with he came and taught with us in Poland for a while, but he had some visa issues, and he had to go back to South Africa. So it was like, Hey, why don't you Come down here. And sort of Yeah, sure, why not, you know. So we kind of put the wheels in motion to to go down to South Africa, I was down there that I went through, like a really traumatic experience. And it was only two weeks after we arrived in South Africa where I was I was beaten to death. And it was, yeah, obviously, I was really mentally and emotionally unprepared to go through something like that. And then we stayed there for another four, four and a half months after that incident happened. Because it was kind of like, I don't know, a survivors mentality or something like they're not, they're not going to beat us, they're not going to win. They don't get to do this to us and so on. And we loved the work that we were doing.

Melissa Bright:

Can I stop you for a second? Because I can't, I can't? Well, unless you tell me, we can't talk about it. No, we can. Like, what what happened in terms of like, you were beaten was this like you were walking to your house and stuff. I mean, if you don't want to talk about it, we don't have to

Jon:

share the story a few times. And and I will say, for those who are listening, I've done a lot of the work, you'll find as you find out kind of my story, I've had one heck of a, you know, an emotional health and mental health journey that I've gone through to get to where I'm at. But I have done the work. And that does allow me the freedom to talk about what is a really difficult experience, okay, without without too much struggle. So I don't want people to get the idea that was somehow just as light hearted thing, right through about six or seven years of hell to get to get to here. But I wouldn't take it out of my past also put that in there. So in South Africa, we were living on a nature reserve, actually. So there was, we were working with underprivileged youth, and we were teaching them life skills to help because they have a youth unemployment crisis, and the public education system is just failing them. And so we were working, we would bring in these cohorts of students, and we would work with them on you know, communication skills, because English is often the second or third language. So communication skills and, you know, skills related to hospitality, whether it was like service or front desk or things like that. So we were preparing them for internships to go into the hospitality industry. And living out on this nature reserve. We had a cabin kind of tucked into the, into the woods. So there's nature reserves, a few 100 hectares, you know, rhinos, giraffes, monkeys, all that kind of stuff. And rangers and all that. And it's sort of our instructors, cabins tucked off to the side. And then you have like a dormitory students, sort of like showering facility and whatnot. And then the the main educational facility, which was probably a few 100 feet away from where the cabin was. And so it was just one night. It was in August. So it was wintertime there. Because it's southern hemisphere. And I was walking back to the cabin. And the one I want to go, I was by myself, it's night time, my wife's back in the dining hall with all the students and all that, and the door was slightly ajar. And for whatever reason, didn't it didn't like take my brain, because I want to reserve middle of nowhere. Like, we have Rangers, all that kind of stuff. But, you know, I look back and remember the deadbolt sticking out and that should have like, you know, right, right? Yeah. Anyways, three, three guys in the cabin, we opened the door. And I still didn't immediately trigger something because I looked at one of their faces and like, I recognize you. And he was one of the Rangers. But he wasn't in uniform. And I didn't see the fourth guy who was outside the cabin. And he hit me across the head with a rock. And all of a sudden, it was done, like what the heck is going on here? You know, and gashed my forehead and blood is now pouring into my face. And I remember him like grabbing. So I was wearing like a golf shirt, kind of like the one I have on today. And remember him grabbing the the collar, like the scruff of that shirt, with one hand and swinging the rock and seeing him swinging the rock in my head with his other hand, and he was smiling. And that was really, like, very unsettling to see. And, you know, I started you know, screaming for help, and I get hit across the head. And now I'm like standing I'm concussed and, and I remember him saying like, shush. Like, as I stumbled and fell down, like, be quiet. And they start, you know, as I felt on, they started, like kicking and stomping me and, like, they're really just given it to me. And so those are some of the details that stick out. And for you know, I'm pretty big guy. And I was able to sort of get my get until I sort of like my hands and knees and sort of crawl, stumble and really, and sort of break free from what they were doing. And for whatever reason, they didn't chase me. I don't know why. But I was able to kind of stumble my way over to the, the dining hall wherever it else was and say, Look, I've been attacked, you know, my face is covered in blood. I can, you know, I'm dizzy. I'm can cost I can't really see that. Well. I'm in shock. Right. So it was quite a quite a thing to go through. And here we are in the middle of nowhere. I'm like, Who the heck do you call for help? Like, we don't know how many are out there because sometimes they travel and roving gangs are like 10 to 15 people. And so, you know, my wife was immensely brave in all of this experience. And and she, you know, we made sure like, all the students were in the building with us, we got the door shut. I say we, I was like, you know, sitting, slumped over, right? Like, still trying to figure out what the heck is happening ahead of my head and I figured if for some in my head, I guess I was going to defend myself with a fork. I don't know that was, but you know, I've been beaten pretty badly. So I was, you know, I wasn't really seeing things straight. So I'm grateful. My wife was so incredibly like brave and strong and this whole ordeal And they tried to they tried to break in, they tried to smash the doors, that was shovels and things like it was, the police did eventually come. But they had to drive about 40 minutes to get there. And when they enter the reserve, you have to drive down through a valley and come up the other side. So you could see from like, 20 minutes away. Yeah. So these guys just kind of melted in the bush. And the police are really inept down there. They're corrupt, and they're inept, and they don't care. So that was kind of a really difficult thing, as well as that, that's kind of the the, in a nutshell, what took place. And there was a number of incidents that happened in the remaining time that we live there from being broken into to being robbed to other other people that we work with being attacked and stuff. And so every every incident happens, sort of adds a layer of trauma to the initial trauma. And ultimately, it got to the place where like, we just couldn't stay there. It was like, it was probably on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Because he wasn't sleeping at night. I was very angry a lot of the time. Because everything was just being compounded. It just feels like felt like we were constantly like under attack and on alert and hadn't. Yeah, that kind of thing. One of the ways that I that I started coping was with food. And so I had to, it's not like I consciously decided that I wanted to become like this binge eating food addict. But food is a cheap and readily available and a way that we could basically I could sort of change the channel in my head that way. Yeah. Because it's, you know, maybe, you know, if anyone is curious about what it's like to be traumatized. There's a book by an author called Bessel. Vander Kolk, called the body keeps score. It's, it's a, quite a read.

Melissa Bright:

But what do you mean by quite a read?

Jon:

Probably should come with a trigger warning.

Melissa Bright:

Okay, thank you. I thought you're gonna say

Jon:

it's dives into some pretty heavy topics, around trauma, whether whether it's, you know, PTSD, for more child abuse, sexual abuse, that kind of thing. And kind of explaining what what's happening. For me, it was, it was really helpful, because it helped me to understand it was happening in my brain at least. Because there was a lot of anger, a lot of rage, a lot of desire for like violent vengeance and things like that. And I'm not a violent person. It's, I'm an empath. I hug people hug everybody I meet. So to have all of this, and they're called intrusive thoughts, you know. So I'm already compounded by the sort of the the flashbacks and emotional difficulty of this. And then I'm having these thoughts of like rage. And I'm ex military, and I know how to, you know, I've been trained to, like, kick some butt, right. And so here, like, one of the things I want to do is actually set, like try to goad people into breaking into her house and set traps for them. Like, that's kind of the headspace I was moving into. Right. And that was when I realized, like, we have to get out of here. Because like, I might, like, I might do something because there's a logical part of my brain that was like, this, isn't you, this is not who you are. I was like, Oh, crap, like, I might actually do something serious that I really, really, really regret. And so we went back to Australia, I got a job and on a farm, actually, and spent about three months just working in the middle of nowhere in some rural farm town in Queensland, Australia. And it was really helpful to us to psychologically decompress, but it probably took a month of like living out there. Before I realized, like, there's nobody coming to get me at night. Like, because we were broken into so many times, like he's, we slept with weapons by a bad way. So if you ever meet South Africans who have who've lived there and left there, like, if they probably won't, they may not tell you the stories, they might. But it's a very violent country, a lot more violent than the press would ever report and particularly violent towards women. And it's there is a cultural aspect to it as well. So it's, you know, it's a tragedy, because South Africa is a beautiful country. It is incredible, like, just rich and natural beauty. You know, the people there are really, you know, when I say a violent country, I don't mean everybody there is violent. I mean, it's a country is wracked by violence on a level that we can't really fully understand over here. Yeah. The people, a lot of them are just beautiful, hospitable people. You know, and that's part like, what makes it so tragic is is there suffering to this really had nothing to do with me, and I don't need to Jonathan. I say in one sense, it was I was kind of a representation of something they felt had historically oppressed them. And so their their course of actions actually made sense, even though it was obviously a really a terrible thing to do.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Wow. Oh, my gosh, I was so I'm glad I I'm glad I asked. And thank you for sharing that. And you explained everything so well. You explained I love what you said about the trauma and doing the work because I don't know if I ever am going to overstep boundaries. That's why I always say if you don't want to talk about it, I understand kind of, like with me, like I've lost my mom, I've lost my dad. So like, people are like, Oh my god, I'm so sorry. And while it is sad, like I lost my mom, 11 years ago, yes, my dad was a shear. But I have done a lot of work to heal, and so I can talk about it now. It's very understandable for people that can't talk about their trauma, I totally get it. But I love how you explained it. Because if you haven't done the work, that's very understandable why you can't talk about it. So I appreciate that.

Jon:

Thank you. And I think it's important to share aspects of the story so that people don't feel like like, you're not crazy. You're not alone. It's, it's a part of the human experience. Yep. And so that really laid the groundwork for for the next sort of chapters in my life. And what led me to a lot of the struggles that I had. So kind of the next chapter was we went, and we're living in Turkey with my brother, my relatives over in Turkey. He's been there for what, 12 or 13 years now, in Istanbul, it's a really cool city, like, historically, culturally, like it's, you know, Turkey is a beautiful place. Yeah. And one night, I couldn't, I couldn't sleep. And I was just, I was just tired of being angry. Because it really isn't who I am. I was tired of just feeling like and not knowing, like, what was going to trigger me or when the next time I was gonna, you know, and I never really acted out on my anger. The thing is, I pushed it down hard. And food was one of the ways that I suppressed it. Because I never, I never wanted to act out on my anger. But it didn't mean it wasn't there. And so I wanted to kind of be free from that. And so I made the decision that I was going to forgive them. And they did this to me. And that was that was really difficult. But and then people, you know, it's not like I made the decision. And all of a sudden, like, all was good.

Melissa Bright:

I was about to ask, like, what did that look like for you?

Jon:

Yeah. So I, I realized, first of all, I said, I, I wanted to humanize them. And a lot of people don't want to do this, when it comes to the sort of like violent perpetrators, these are murderers, they kill the guy the night before, left, but they beat a guy to death the night before, like, that was their intent. It wasn't like, just give me a little roughing up, they were trying to beat me to death. So I had to ask the question, what happened to them? So how did they get to this place in their life, where this was their course of action, and they actually thought it was a desirable course of action. Because when we understand that hurt people hurt people, it's not to excuse their actions, but now we start to humanize them a little bit. And so every time that I would sort of feel this rage, kind of boiling up in me, and we start to relive the incident, and you know, people are traumatized, we would relive it and say, No, if I knew this, I would have done this. And we're trying to rewrite the narrative in our head to change because they really, they took something from me that night, in a sense, they took away any sense of naivety, I might have still held about the world, you know, did they really expose me to the other side of humanity and the most brutal way. And so I had to, I had to cultivate a sense of compassion, every time that rage would come up, I had to consciously cultivate a sense of compassion for them. And again, it's not about excusing them for what they did. But it's about understanding that that damaged humans do this, right. And so over time, by by by doing this, and by cultivating compassion, and recognizing that forgiveness is not about setting them free, it's what setting me free. And so I wanted to be free from it. And so that was that was kind of the first step, or the next. The next chapter, though, was, now I'm obese. And I used to be an athlete. And this this, the sort of dissociation and loss of my identity. So now now I have to grieve another loss. How did I get here? How did I get so big? I didn't, I didn't want this. And so then now I'm wading into this murky world of like diet and weight loss culture, and where do you start? Because it never really been that much of a struggle before because right. Previously, I would have thought like overweight people were just like lazy or undisciplined because I was I was athletic, and I was active, and it's just what I did. It was a part of my life. Now, I'm saddled with food addiction and binge eating, and I'm obese, and I go, Oh my gosh, like, how do I dig my way out of this? Everything hurts, like when you're obese, everything hurts. You know, I can appreciate the spirit behind things like Health at Every Size and body positivity. But as a formerly obese person, I can tell you everything hurts, and it's not healthy.

Melissa Bright:

Right? And that's, that's where like, today I like Moyes kind of nervous is can kind of be a sensitive topic. But just kind of like you said, like, sometimes there are just facts like you hurt and you know, things like that. Um, so I like that. You said that?

Jon:

Yeah, because I think weight loss is a for a lot of people, their health would improve if they were to lose some weight. Right? Where the issues come in is when we start to create character judgments and moral judgments about people based on their appearance and their size. and their struggles. And this is why I speak so much about compassion. And it's it's really important for me that I clarify that compassion is not enabling. So compassion isn't you're halfway through a bottle of wine, You miser polish it off. That's enabling. Yeah. But it's like, compassion is also not, you know better than that. Why are you doing this is not helping you. So it's like you're halfway through a bottle of wine. Let's figure out what's going on. And let's do with an open mind. If we know that all behavior makes sense, there's a reason why you're halfway down the bottle of wine on a night, you probably shouldn't be. So let's understand it. And let's be human. So I really tried to approach this idea of well, I wish I could say that side effects might include weight loss, like when I work with people, but there's an element of meeting people where they're at weight loss is still in people's minds, they want to lose weight, but the way they're going about it is the wrong way. So I was stuck being obese, and I took on the persona of the jolly fat guy. And I said, no identity piece kind of matters a little bit as well. Because the way that our brain works is, we have a sense of who we are, we have this identity piece, and our behaviors will be incongruent with our sense of identity. This is why we'll hear people say things like I know I shouldn't do this. But I don't know why I do this. It's because the identity piece comes from a different part of your brain, it doesn't come from the logical prefrontal cortex, it's coming from the older, more primal part of your brain. And so when your logical brain says, my logical brain says, You shouldn't eat entire pizza by yourself in a parking lot, and I'm still shoveling one piece in after another, feeling like compelled, and then really out of control, like eating was a type of escapism, for me, in the process of eating, and it was it was almost like trying to also try to fill a void, like, so for those who understand binge eating is, is sort of characterized by these episodes of uncontrolled compulsive eating. And it's just not like a part of my brain didn't know that this wasn't a helpful behavior. Like, and that's why so often, like pointing out the obvious to people isn't really helpful, because it's not like they're unaware. If it wasn't, you know, it wasn't like, I was unaware that like being overweight was hurtful to my health, you know, and so, right. Yeah. So it's, I'm in the struggle, and I tried, I say, my dieting efforts spanned everything from raw food, veganism to just about being a carnivore. So you know, pretty much every fad diet that you can slot somewhere between those two extremes. And none of them are working on it. Really, when you

Melissa Bright:

say sorry to interrupt you, sorry, when you say not working? Do you mean that you didn't lose weight on them? Or you didn't keep off weight? What do you mean by not working?

Jon:

Really good question. Anytime you can lose weight in a short period of time, if you tie yourself to a tree, you're gonna lose weight, right. But as soon as you untie yourself, you're going to go back to your old behavior patterns. And so I would, I would lose some weight. So I say lost, probably like 600 pounds. But you know, the whole losing regaining yo yo dieting cycle, right? Yeah. And so I would lose some weight, but it wasn't really addressing the root cause of the problem. And so you take those, that artificial restraints, like putting yourself into a straitjacket, you have to follow all these rules, but you're not addressing what's happening upstairs in the head. And you're trying to force this to happen. As soon as you take that straitjacket off. Soon as you leave the Diet Rules behind, boom, you're back to your old patterns of behavior, your beliefs, your identity, and so on. And so then the weight comes back. And I said, the fat cells are the gift that keeps on giving. So once your body makes a fat cell, it's yours for life. You can shrink it, you can empty it, but it's yours for life. Because body fat serves a biological purpose. It's our famine reserve, it helps us survive periods of food scarcity. It's the whole reason human beings are alive today is because we have this ability to store fat. And so body fat gets vilified. But it actually certainly is, the whole reason we're alive as human beings on this planet is because we can store fat. So our bodies will fight hard against trying to lose weight. That's another part of the piece of the puzzle. And so it was in 2017. I'd hired a few coaches and really didn't get anywhere with them. And a sense of that, I didn't know what kind of help I needed. Really, truthfully, I thought I just wanted to lose weight. And they didn't know how to deal with my sort of mental health issues, the things that I was grappling with. And so I would feel so frustrated because I'm like, you don't get it. You don't understand and they be like, I don't get it. You know what, you know, the stuff, you're smart, you're educated, you help other people. Why can't seem to do this. So there's this mismatch. So it's not so many coaches don't understand, like, what I'm talking about. They don't understand how to it's like, Hey, I gave you the meal plan. I gave you the macros I gave you the you know, why aren't you doing this? You know, this is gonna help and like you're looking at the wrong part of the brain for trying to try to create change. Yeah.

Melissa Bright:

And that's, that's so important. That's, oh my gosh, it's so important because you can give anybody a meal plan or these plans, but if there's something else going on with them, like trauma or something else, might be a little bit more harder. Work hard.

Jon:

And, you know, I often think about because obviously I work with people, you know, coaches probably think like, I'm a coach, I'm not a therapist, but I'm like you're also a human being. And in the practice of working with people, you're going to discover the real reasons why they're carrying around extra weight. And we live in the age of Google, we live in this information age, I don't think there's necessarily a piece of information I can share with you that you probably couldn't find on Google if you knew what to search for. So I don't pretend to have all the secrets. But that's not really where the magic coaching is coaching is to human beings collaborating and working together towards a common goal. And that's, that's where it is. So I hired this coach is kind of a last ditch thing, because I wouldn't have had a, I'd have his health assessment because buying some more life insurance. And I had to get weighed, and my waist circumference measured and my blood pressure taken. And it was it was kind of humiliating, because I was at higher risk of dying sooner, because of my physical health. And insurance is just calculating numbers. So like, here's these risk factors, you have all these risk factors, you're more likely to die sooner, so I had to pay a rider. And there was an extra fee on my life insurance, because I was more likely to die sooner. That was a real slap in the face. Now, I get it. The insurance industry, man, they're they're just doing numbers. And they're just calculating risk factors. They have their their calculations. So I had to face up to this really uncomfortable reality. If I keep living the way I'm living, I'm more likely to have a short life and a miserable life. So I made one more attempt. So I had another coach. And he's a natural bodybuilder. So I thought, okay, if I look like if I if he can show me how to look like him, I'll be happy. So still connected to this. You know, I need to look like this. I don't know, physically perfect, you know, Greek statue rock. Yeah. I know. Like, there's this whole conversation of masculinity and issues we have. But you know, so anyways, so he, he didn't treat me the way that was expected. So I'd really developed sort of this spiteful, like loving relationship with my body. I was angry because I tried so many times, I felt like my body was betraying me. I still was stuck in this, I used to be an athlete, and you're, you've robbed me of my own ability to do this stuff. And I was I was angry, I was fighting my body and trying to make it do things, you know, powerlifting. And I was, you know, starting pre workout and consuming ephedrine and caffeine. Just that's really hyper masculine type, compensatory behavior in a sense. And my body wasn't responding. And he worked with me in a totally different way. I didn't expect to be taught about compassion by a male coach, because really in the masculine sphere, we don't often talk about this. But he saw the question, because in the intro, I think you mentioned that his question that changed my life. And so he said to me, said, Jonathan, if you make a list of all the things you love, and value, how far down the list Do I go before I see your name? Yeah,

Melissa Bright:

wow.

Jon:

So I wasn't on that list. So it wasn't near the bottom I was I wasn't on the list. And in that moment, he just took like this glaring spotlight and shone on my, you know, the biggest skeletons in my closet, the darkest thing in my closet that I hated myself. And I hated my body. And I hated how I looked. And so all of a sudden, like it just kind of that really rocked my world. So this is the power of a well timed question, you know, from a coach that I trusted and knew and he didn't ask me that. When we first started working together, he waited until the right moment for yes, that question. So now get to figure out what the hell is self love? Like, men don't talk about this. Right? What? Where do we even start? How do we even learn to love myself when my entire life really, you know, and I would have been like the proverbial set myself on fire to keep other people warm. Like hard working live like a martyr, save everybody but myself. And it was really connected to maybe a deeper story, that somehow I'm not good enough. And it might have never said those ways. But that was really the the story that the root or the core story there was living as I am, I am not good enough. And I was living that belief out on repeat. And so yeah, how do you learn self love? I started with brushing my teeth. So it's a tiny action, a tiny action that says I care about myself. And when we want to change a belief, you can't change it by we love the idea of this dramatic leap. But a brain can't handle that a brain can't handle that much change. It will drive you to self sabotage and right back to where you started because it's too unfamiliar. So start of the brushing my teeth every day. And as that became a habit, so that's sending a signal that I'm worth investing in worth taking care of myself. It's not that I never brush my teeth. But sometimes I will skip it. So right, I made a point, I am going to do this every day, I'm a start my day with this investment in myself. And I would drink 500 mils of water. And then I would you know, then add it on. So what I'm doing is we would refer to that as habit stacking. But, so I really started investing in myself. I've never really done that before. Not consciously anyways, I tried affirmations doesn't work does like I don't say affirmations. I don't that don't work. But it's like when when they're not in alignment with my sense of identity. Like they're empty words, and I knew they were empty words, I was trying to mix without doing the work. I was trying to make something happen.

Melissa Bright:

Yep. I love what you said about self care. I feel like and self love. Everybody's journey is so different. You know, I'm on mine. And I talk about a lot of like what I do. And that might not be the work, the thing that works for Jonathan, like what I do for self love. You could be like, I'm not doing that. Like, that does not sound fun. I mean, it's one of my biggest things when I started with my self love was doing something that scared me every single day. Because I struggled with self love and self worth interchangeable whatever. It was small things to show myself because my biggest, like narrative in my head was I can't do this. I can't do this. I'm not worth success. I'm not worth the long list of things I didn't think I was worthy of. Yeah, so then let's do the thing that scares you every day to prove to yourself, Melissa, that you are worth it. But you have to take those steps, you know. And it's been it's been incredible. So

Jon:

yeah, someone can take those steps for you. And you know, when I work with clients, I tell them very early on, I said like, I'm your tour guide, but I'm not your Sherpa. Yeah, they get it, I can't, he would actually be really dishonouring them in a sense, and very disempowering. If I said, basically, the message I'd be sending is, well, you're too dumb to solve this. So let me solve it for you and hand it back to you. Now there's a part of us that kind of would kind of like that, because it means I get to avoid the work. But if you avoid the work, you avoid the growth and the change. And so if I just fixed your problem, hand it back to you. You're not changed and you're not different and you haven't grown and you haven't developed.

Melissa Bright:

I love it. I'm jotting down notes if you can't tell.

Jon:

No, I love I do the exact same thing. Whenever I'm interviewing somebody. I'm an old fashioned pen and paper guy. Uh huh.

Melissa Bright:

Yep. I love it. So tell me Okay, so we're, you're with your coach. Now, he asked you this life changing question, you start taking small steps, listeners, small steps, large giant leaps, to self love. What happens next?

Jon:

Well, I started to focus on like, so I was also dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, I kind of did a little minor detail there. I reached a point, probably from my stimulant abuse and lack of sleep and powerlifting and running a business 14 hours a day and just, you know, doing the sort of the male Rhino thing where I'm just going to smash everything in my life, and try and make it work. And so a nervous system basically pulled the fire alarm, and I started having panic attacks. That's, that's another kettle of fish. Because I tried to hide that for a while. Because I still was perceiving that as weakness. Why is my body betraying me? It's just not. It's like, my body's screaming at me trying to say you can't keep doing what you're doing. You have to change something. So I started with three minutes of meditation a day. Because I didn't how do you how do you meditate? I didn't know. I didn't know. Like, how do you how do you even start, I'm like, Well, you don't have to be a monk and you know, a monastery in the Himalayas or something like so I started with Box breathing for for for for four seconds in four seconds, hold for seconds out four seconds hold. That's it. I would set a timer on my phone for three minutes, put some white noise on and breathe for three minutes was done, I was done. In the beginning, I couldn't seem to get my mind to shut up because my nervous system was so overstimulated from stimulant abuse, among other things, because I was trying to force my metabolism to run faster and using questionable stimulants to try to make that happen. Don't do that. That's not a good idea.

Melissa Bright:

Coach John says don't do that. Yeah.

Jon:

So then, so I started that and that's a way to really you know, I can say now like it's a way to sort of tap into our parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest piece that when we start calming things down and bringing stress down, it took about six months of just even doing three minutes a day. I started being able to wrap a thought and a bubble and float out of my head. That was a visualization I had wrapped up okay. Yeah. And we have outside of my head. So that was one of the ways of dealing with a lot of the sort of negative self talk I had the the the negative language the intrusive thoughts and things like that would come into my head. For anybody who suffered from anxiety, I think the worst part of it is not knowing when the next one's gonna hit. That's, that was one of the hardest parts of trying to function in day to day life. Yeah. And so, I guess I read a book and ebook that I think is really valuable for people. It's by guy called he calls himself Duff the sake. And Robert Duff, PhD. So he's, he is a psychologist, but he goes by dufus like he's very down to earth in a sense. And he wrote a series of books called the hardcore self help series. So if you're not offended by colorful language, you'll find these are very strongly worded, but also in layman's terms, he wrote book F, anxiety and F depression. So he explains in very colorful language, but in terms of the average person can understand what anxiety and depression are and your body and your brain. So that that helped me to, again, kind of understand what's happening. And so I tried a medication, and I couldn't do it, I felt it was actually worse to feel like a zombie for 12 hours straight, and know that I couldn't do anything until that medication was on my body than to go for a 30 minute panic episode. Because at least I knew, I knew my body couldn't, even though it sucked, like horribly. I know my body couldn't sustain it for too long. But you take a medication, and I had to wait till I was on my body before I could feel normal again. And so you can't live like this. So I started thinking, what are the lifestyle interventions I need to implement to at least even if I can't make anxiety go away, to make it more difficult for to show up. And so the meditation was an important piece, talking to my wife about it was an important piece. So saying, This is what's happening. And she knew like, she's like, I'm not dumb. Right? We think we're hiding, we're not right, you know, he's like, I just waiting for you to let me know that I can support you. You know, in my head, I had this fear that when I told her about this, like, because I connect anxiety to weakness, when in fact, it's just like, a nervous system that screaming for help, is kind of how I would define it. And there's a component to it, that's not entirely psychological. So there's, I think, sometimes the temptation to immediately jump into anxiety is a psychological issue. There's also a physiological component. And so I will, I will say, I got help from, I would call me chiropractic neurologist. So I'm not a huge fan of chiropractors, but not if it was chiropractor, I'm not trying to knock your professor. But this guy is like, a unique individual. And he was like, here's what's happening in your brain. And here's what we're going to do to help your brain calm down. And so he really worked with me to lower the activity of my brainstem to sort of calm that down, because that's where a lot of this sort of fear based responses come in. The other thing that was really interesting as a part of my brain, called the parietal lobe, so we have that, that part of our brain deals with our ability to sense position in space. So if you hold your arm up, you can close your eyes, and you know where your arm is, you know, you're holding your arm up, because it has a consensus position in space. Well, for me, that part of my brain was kind of under functioning. So under duress, ie a panic attack, I couldn't feel my physical presence in my body. It was a very disconcerting feeling. So it felt like I was floating on my body or disconnecting from my body. So, yeah, that really messes with your head a little bit too. Like, yeah, so my, my first aid technique for that was to actually punch myself in the leg, my left leg in particular. So it was giving a very strong physical signal that I'm present in my body, because it wasn't detecting the quiet signals. So I had to give it a loud signal that it couldn't miss by punching myself in the way, right, I tried to in a social situation with nobody looking. Right, because it would happen randomly in social situations, for no reason like to be to be triggered. Other things I would do is I would, I would like anchor to another person. So I would, I would make physical contact with them just might put a hand on the shoulder or something like that. to ground myself, because again, it felt like I was floating into my body. But I also so I kind of all stimulates from my life. So no caffeine, no ephedrine, no pre workouts, no energy drinks, nothing like that. So I had to, I had to stop working out for six months. And that really sucked because a lot of people view working out as a stress relief, but it is a type of stressor. And so I had to stop going to the gym and really prioritize sleep. I said to my wife, I have to I have to prioritize this, and I need your support in it. And so because my wife's a night owl, and yeah, I'm not. And so you know, I prioritize my sleep. All these things piece by piece step by step meant that like now, I haven't had a notable episode since 2019. So it's been over two years. I have to 2019 and I haven't had one since. Now, I will say there are times where I can feel it creeping up. Where I know it's there. But I know what to do. I'm now in tune with my body enough to know when I'm heading in that direction and to know what to do Bring it down. And that's, that's, I share that because I want to give you I don't want to say that I can cure your anxiety or anything like that. But I want to give people some hope. There are ways that you can move past this potentially.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And I love that you say that because one of the first things is becoming aware of it, which we're all aware, like, why am I feeling this way? This feels weird, because I suffered from anxiety for 10 years. But then, like, okay, then how, how do we fix this? How do we address this now? I am on medication to help my anxiety. But I, I have never felt the zombie part of mine, which I'm grateful for. I'm really grateful for it. But the physical symptoms are no longer present, which that I am happy about. Now, I will say, since I've been on it for a while since April, I do notice my mind is starting to race a little bit more, because my mind is so all over the place anyways. So that kind of worries me a little bit because I'm like, okay, am I just going to go back into the physical symptoms of nausea and all this other stuff? Because sometimes I do feel and I'm not knocking medications. But if you don't do the work to fix the underlying problem, medication is essentially just a bandaid. And if, yeah,

Jon:

yeah, and maybe just, maybe I'll just share something as well that if you if you require a medication, it doesn't mean that something you know, it doesn't mean that you're lesser of a person or or anything like that. It there's times where it can be crucial. Yep. It can buy people headspace to do the work. But I think if you're going to use a medication, try to also do the work. So when it affords you the headspace the freedom from fear of like, say an anxiety episode occurring, try to use that as an opportunity to do some of the underlying work. You know, if you lived in Red Deer, the city that I live, and I'd point you to this, this chiropractic neurologist who, but as far as I know, he hasn't been able to clone himself yet. He's quite he's a genius. Like, like a legit genius. And he's he I think he's now doing like another Master's degree in in chronic pain and doesn't work with people, fibromyalgia. He worked with concussed athletes, and he's just a really, really unique individual, I think we're incredibly lucky that I have him in the city, because I probably wouldn't be where I am today, if he hadn't done the work he did with me to help my brain heal. Yeah, it's maybe maybe also in sharing that what I want people to know is you might not be you know, if you can't find a practitioner that's able to help you, it doesn't mean that you're beyond help, it just means you maybe haven't found the right person yet there is there is probably help out there. And in the age of the internet, we might be able to connect with people in a different way that we couldn't have done previously. And so don't be afraid to keep looking and to ask questions.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And I love what you said about the headspace because you're right, I feel like now. And I had done several different things beforehand. But in April, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, which is no surprise and at all, like, Duh, I should have known that. But I do feel like but I am doing the steps. Now. You know, I exercise and I'm journaling and I'm trying to do meditation. I've just like started doing hiking, which I mean, being out in nature is just amazing. Amazing for grounded grounding. It's awesome. Anyways, we could talk about anxiety forever, but, but we won't. Because I know we got to we're gonna get to all the the tips and the advice and all that stuff.

Jon:

So what's the backstory out of the way? Yeah.

Melissa Bright:

Which is incredible, incredible, incredible. So tell me when things really started to change for you. Or I guess, where did you be? Where did you decide to become a weight loss coach, like, where did you finally like, make this decision?

Jon:

Well, interestingly, so a couple years prior to working with as coach, I started working with a friend in a supplement store because I do have a chemistry background. And I kind of became known as the supplement guru. So because I've got a really good brain for like facts and random things over like an encyclopedia kind of brain. I can't take the credit. I got it free of charge it just right. Well, I'll take some. Yeah, my dad, I'm pretty sure I got it for my dad, because he's got a brain like It looks like an encyclopedia. So like, yeah. So yeah, so I can't take the credit. But so I kind of became known as a supplement guru. So people would come to the store and people would come from other cities to come to the store to talk to me, because I had all this knowledge. Part of the reason why I had so much knowledge was because I was desperately searching for answers for myself. Yeah, and So I was voraciously reading things like examine calm and going into the detail details. I didn't realize I was missing the forest for the trees at that point. But so I actually started coaching people, because it was just like a lot of people coming to a supplement store wanting to lose weight and looking for someone to help them lose weight. And I started to call myself a bartender without alcohol. And, yeah, cuz people come to the counter, and, you know, I'm looking for someone to help me with this. And I just started asking a couple questions. And before long, it'd be like, okay, look, the reality is, I can sell you this supplement, if you want to buy it, I'll sell it to you. But I understand that it's not gonna do what you want it to do. Not if you don't do these other things here. And so I kind of inadvertently started coaching people. Now, I've been sort of in a coaching teaching role, most of my life like I was when I was coaching basketball, like Junior basketball when I was in senior high school and stuff like that, like so. I guess I've always kind of had this ability to be I mean, I taught my friend how to read when we were like 10 years old, he had a learning disability. Yeah. And so I kind of always had this ability to sort of teach and work with people. But most of my life, I hid in the shadows, in terms of having this ability. And so this was now sort of being drawn out of me, inadvertently by these people. And I just couldn't help but help want to help them because they're looking for help. So then it made sense to start coaching them. Because I could say, well, we'll give you this meal plan, and we'll have like a little supplement protocol for you as well. So it would bring people into the store buying supplements on a regular basis, now you have recurring revenue coming your business, that business ultimately failed. There's another line to my story, that business failed, I was in business with a narcissist and a pathological liar. And so I lost my life savings in that and had to walk out of there with a mountain of debt. So there's something to be said for, I don't know, when you walk out of a store after a bailiff has put a lock on the door and thinking to myself what I'm gonna say to my wife, like, I spent three years just about killing myself trying to build this business to sort of uncover that this was kind of a fraud and a front and this crooked accounting, and I've been taken for a ride, what do you say, and it was a pretty tough walk home, in a sense. But there's all something liberating because now you know, I was kind of stuck in a business as well. And there wasn't really a way out of it. And my wife had picked up long before I did this, it really wasn't a good business relationship that my partner wasn't honoring the agreements and things like that. And but I was like, no, no, no, I know him better than you and blah, blah, blah, and denial and all this kind of stuff. Yeah. So now sudden, I'm like, Well, what the heck am I gonna do? I can't bring myself to go back to just being an employee. And this is not a knock, anybody has a job and who's an employee, but if you know how my brain works, like, I don't do that good as an employee. I was a military for a couple of years, well, for six years, but I was really good at what I did. But I didn't fit in that well, because I have a brain that works a lot faster than most people's brains. And it's really easy for me to spot inefficiencies and ways to do things better in the military is like a dinosaur that moves slowly. And so I didn't fit in. Yeah, same thing happens when I get into a job. I'm like, bing, bing, bing, bing, I figure all these inefficiencies because I just have this brain that does this. Yeah. And it really doesn't work. Well, when I'm in a job. It's either the employer gets offended, because I'm telling them how to do the job better. Right? Or, or I want to go crazy and like, pull my ears off. Because like, he can't stand the monotony of what I'm doing. Sounds like so I said, Well, why don't you that thing that I've been scared to do for most of my life? And I've already been helping people do and so I launched my coaching business. I was coach John McLernon. What a novel name. I don't think there's another coach John McLaren out there. I mean, John McLaren, and.com. And so right. But how do you like how the heck do you build an online business? You know, at that point, I didn't know what I was doing. So I started a Facebook page and Instagram account, I was like, I'm just gonna post information that helps people and, you know, build up a bit of a following, I guess. Yeah. Which ultimately, I did. And later that year, was when I had a client that gave me the name for free nutrition coaching inadvertently. So that's kind of how that came into being. And then, no, I always asked my clients for feedback. His coaching is not I'm a guru, You're a dummy. Yeah, it's actually you're the expert of your life. And then I bring my expertise into this equation. And together, we collaborate. And so it's, I work very differently than I think a lot of people. Because I My goal is to help you reverse engineer your healthy lifestyle. But you're gonna have an active role in shaping these, we have principles that we try to incorporate into your life, but you're gonna have an active hand in shaping those principles, rather than me telling you what to do. And you just following blindly, that does not empower you. Because my goal is not really truthfully, it's not about losing weight, per se. It's about creating a lifestyle that will lead you to a healthy weight and keep you there.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So is that kind of that's your philosophy, kind of your approach your philosophy?

Jon:

Yeah. Now I'm educated. I could, if someone comes to me and said, like, I need to lose 50 pounds in six months or less. Maybe in three months, we can make that happen. But I'm really uncomfortable, and there's some potential ramifications from pushing that hard, right? And I'm probably gonna have to work with you after the weight loss to kind of help you get out of like what we've done. So it is possible, but for most people, it's not the path they want to take. Because it's, it's uncomfortable, like really uncomfortable. Yeah. And so I would rather help people, like want to do this once and be done. And yeah, who cares if it takes three months or six months? Like you want to live for 30 or 40 more years? Mm hmm. So why not do that instead of doing the hare, you know, be the tortoise, because the tortoise always wins. Yeah,

Melissa Bright:

exactly. Okay, so I'm okay. I'm going to do this little exercise with you. Okay. Well, I don't even know if you call it an exercise. But now that we've kind of talked about your philosophy and your approach, I did I use Google this, I did not come up with these questions myself. But I do know that these are some of the most common questions that people will ask, just in general, they Google them, the last their coach or whatever. And I promise we're going to get more into like your philosophy and how you do things. Absolutely. But I'm going to ask you just based on like your knowledge and what you think of these things, because I'm interested to hearing your answers. Coach, John, what's the best diet that I can follow?

Jon:

I'm a nutrition agnostic, the best diet you can follow is the one that you can keep doing. Because if your diet has an expiry date, so to your results. And so if the real word diet actually is like Diantha, which is a Latin word for kind of referring to your food consumption day in and day out. So it's the frustrating answer that really isn't a best diet. It's the one that you can follow and the one that actually brings you to where you want to go, now there will be some fundamental principles in there, probably gonna involve eating vegetables, probably gonna involve lean protein, quality carbohydrates, less junk food, moderate, you know, low amounts of alcohol consumption, managing your sleep and your stress, any sort of lifestyle intervention that incorporates those principles is probably going to move you to a healthier self.

Melissa Bright:

Love it. That's a great I like that you said about, it's the one that works best for you. And I'll say my story in a minute. Next question, do I have to count calories? No, I hate counting calories.

Jon:

Nobody wants to for the rest of their life. Nope, no. I will say this though. You want to double your weight loss results, track your food. Okay, so in other words, now, that doesn't mean weighing everything and counting every calorie, create awareness around what you eat. For my clients, they might want to count calories, because I have some accountants who want to see numbers. That's, that's what the brain works on the current cool, we'll do the calorie thing. We're still going to do the emotional thing too. We're still going to do you know every other part of the puzzle. Keep a photo diary. Take a photo of your meals. We're terrible recall, our memory kind of sucks. And we tend to sort of shape shape things in a better possible light when we're surgery. wasn't that bad? A couple of drinks, you know, that kind of thing? Yeah, when you when you track, it's really hard to ignore the data. And so it could be a notebook. It could be my fitness pal. It could be a photo diary. Just somehow create awareness each time you go to eat and you're less likely to overeat.

Melissa Bright:

I love it. I love it. Okay, do I have to avoid carbs?

Jon:

Why would you do something crazy like that? Carbs are nutritious. So there's certain things like keto that I've really developed kind of almost a cult like following. It has some merits, I'm not going to say that it's it's not ever appropriate. But the likelihood of it being sustainable is really limited. And I've done keto. Yeah, my experience with it is at a certain point, my energy is drops off and you're supposed to become fat adapted, and it doesn't work. When I want to work out, I'll take you know, a teaspoon of honey. Because I want I want some fast fuel allows me to work out more effectively. You can never, it's like trying to put diesel into a gasoline engine. You can't force diesel into a gasoline engine. You will always work better when you're fueled by carbohydrates versus fat. And the idea of a fat burning workout is a bit of a misnomer and kind of a myth. The fuel you burn during your workout is kind of irrelevant. So yeah, I don't know if that quote answers your question.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. No, it does. It does it like I know all these these are obvious. I've I've done the weight loss thing like four times, which we'll talk about in a minute. Yeah. But yeah,

Jon:

maybe I'll just say this one thing. We're swimming in refined carbohydrates, and it's not doing us any favors. Yeah. So if you if you want to make your weight loss efforts significantly easier, I would say dramatically reduce the number of foods that you you consume that come in a box or a package. You know, maybe like lentils aside or rice aside. Right? But because the thing is food manufacturers aren't making these for you to be Healthy, they're making them to make a profit. And they do this by making them as hyper palatable as possible. In other words as pleasing to your brain as possible. They want you to consume more, so they sell more, and they make more profit. That's the nature of business. And so if you want to make your efforts easier, I would say, reduce your consumption of these things. Because we don't like drinking liquid sugar. There's never a time where a biology is going to shift in such a way that it becomes healthy.

Melissa Bright:

Dang it. Yeah, awesome. How important? How important is it when I eat?

Jon:

Not as important as we might think. So intermittent fasting, for example, is not a magic fix. It's just an easy way to create a caloric deficit in one sense, there are some physiological benefits to it, but it's not a miracle cure. If you if you're trying to like this is worrying about the minutiae. It's majoring in the minors. My my general recommendation for people at a starting point is to eat three times or four times in a day. I generally have an aversion to snacking as a practice, because as no biological imperative, there's no reason to do it. It's just a little temporary, feel a bit uncomfortable. You're not actually and who are we kidding? Nobody actually wants to snack on vegetables. Like, yeah, okay, if you drown them in depth, maybe it's you know, right, veggies and hummus, it's like, well, actually, if you if you know, if you want to achieve a healthy weight, one of the things you want to be able to do is become comfortable with a little bit of tolerable hunger. Yeah, it's not a bad thing if we experienced it. So I would say, as a general rule of thumb, I encourage people eat maybe three or four times a day, if you'd like to have a treat, here's my rule of thumb, eat that treat at the end of your meal. Don't eat it between meals. So when you eat between meals, you're eating it to satisfy hunger. And that's the wrong reason to eat a treat, because you're going to overeat it. At the end of a meal you've already consumed, say some proteins and veggies and quality carbohydrates, you've met the need for hunger and satiety and nourishment. So now you're eating that indulgent treat purely to enjoy it. That's the point of eating it.

Melissa Bright:

That's genius. I know.

Jon:

On top of that, here's an added bonus, because you already have some protein and some fiber and some starchy carbohydrates in your stomach. This likely sugar laden indulgent thing that you're eating is not going to spike your blood sugar in the same way and have a crash afterwards. Because your overall digestion is going to be slowed down.

Melissa Bright:

Okay, perfect. Thank you. I have one more of these. And but I feel like I feel like this one's gonna be maybe the most like, you can answer it. But it's might be a little bit like longer to answer. Okay, how can I improve my sleep and stress management? And I feel like this is an important one, because so many of us do eat, because we're, we're stressed out and we just want to go grab the first, whatever it is.

Jon:

Yeah, that's, that's a really natural response, right? Because food, I mean, I was a binge eating food addict, right? Food is the cheapest, fastest way to change the channel in our head. And so I would say the first thing is really, maybe take up a practice, such as meditation in a really small way. The goal of this is not necessarily to become meditation expert or something like that is to calm your nervous system. So that's going to have the spillover effect. So here's what I say about meditation. Because really, it's just a simple breathing exercise at its core, right? If you could create a pill that offered all of the benefits that like five minutes of daily meditation does, you'd have a trillion dollar pill. Yeah, but it's free. And it only costs you a couple minutes a day. It's that powerful. So when you start to lower your stress, your cravings go down, your sleep, quality improves, your mental clarity improves, your energy improves. So that's like a really like I would start there. You can always build on it. There's simple things like have a dark room where a sleep mask, drink some chamomile tea, keep your room cool. You know, all of these things are nice sleep at a consistent time each night, ideally seven days a week. I know most oils work, but I mean, really, we like homeostasis. In other words, you like routines. There's such a thing called Social jetlag, which is where your bedtime is more than three hours different on the weekends than the weeknights, that is a predictor for cardiovascular disease. So it increases your risk significantly that later in life, you'll suffer from cardiovascular disease. So if you ever wondering, maybe I should try and have a little more consistent sleep schedule. It's like, well, if you don't like heart attacks, that's probably a good reason for it.

Melissa Bright:

Yay. Now I can go to sleep at nine o'clock on Saturdays and my boyfriend can't bitch at me. There you go. Not that he does. But he does always like he'll always tease me. He's like, Oh my god, nine o'clock on a Saturday? And I'm like, yes.

Jon:

Yeah. Well, but he's waiting, like, whether you're going to you know, go to bed at nine or 1am. Like you're probably going to sleep for a similar amount of time. Ideally. Yeah. And you should have more than seven hours looks more than seven and a half hours because we actually need four to 590 minute sleep cycles a night for optimal brain So one of the cool things that happens when you sleep is our brain cleans itself. So our brain will actually shrink up to 25% in volume. And that shrinking will actually draw cerebral spinal fluid into our skull. And in a sense, wash the brain or carry away some of the waste material, and then it will expand again and kind of push that fluid back out. So this oscillation is kind of like a pump. Now, if you don't do that, you're setting yourself up for dementia.

Melissa Bright:

Wow. You know so much.

Jon:

I thought you have an encyclopedia brain? Yeah, you do.

Melissa Bright:

Oh, my God. Well, so many things are important that you said the cardiovascular heart disease does run in my family, my dad just died during a heart transplant. So that's like, huge really important to me. That's why taking care of my health is really important. And then the dementia thing. I don't know. questionable.

Jon:

Yeah, lowering stress will will do a lot for your cardiovascular health. So things like blood pressure issues are not so much driven by salt as they are by stress. Yeah, only about 2% of your blood pressure is can sort of be attributed to excess salt intake. This is not me saying go not to salt. But understand that like removing salt from your diet is really like, again, putting a teeny, weeny little bandage over a gaping wound, you can take care of your, you know, your heart health and your stress a lot better. I mean, I really think we could attribute the majority of sort of lifestyle conditions that we experienced nowadays, to stress as a route driver of these these conditions. It's not the only thing, but it's really at the heart of a lot of what we experience.

Melissa Bright:

Right? I absolutely agree with you. Okay, so now for my little story. I, I've done like weight loss stuff before, like, I'm not overweight, I'm six feet, I weigh 180 pounds. So like I've kind of had been blessed with like being super tall. But still, like, I know when my body feels like crap. And so I want to feel better and be able to move better and all this stuff. So one thing I knew that I hated doing was counting calories, like you hate it, I have never been successful with it ever. And then. So I work out at home and I do Beachbody and all that stuff. And portion control. And portion containers have been the most successful thing that I've ever done. It's super easy to know, oh, I can only have three yellows in a day. That's three carbs. Or for breads, that's proteins or however many. But I know I cannot like the smaller numbers that I I can remember and track as opposed to 2000 plus 150 plus that. It won't, it stresses me out. So I really like the portion containers a lot.

Jon:

Yeah, absolutely. It's a matter of like finding what works for you. Yeah. And for some people, the portion containers will make them really struggle with a sense of restriction as they look at like that, you know, and yeah, but for other people like for yourself, it works really well. Because it's a great visual, it's, it's really easy for you to sort of picture how all this plays out. And so there's no one right way to go about this. And that's an important thing to understand, because there's a lot of gurus, gurus and air quotes, shouting out there, that they have the solution. And I'm a dietary agnostic, I want to get to know you as a whole person, not just what you eat, and really take a deep health perspective when it comes to working with people. So we look at like, you know, if you're carrying extra weight, it's not just because you have no self control and eat bad food. There's a lot more that's in play there. And we want to we want to take that into account when we look at creating true lasting sustainable health. My my tagline is lose weight, love life, never diet again. And that's really the goal. Like yes, you want to lose weight, you also want to you know, you want to build a lifestyle you love and you don't ever go on a diet again. Yeah, that's, that's exactly. That's my goal. That's what I want to do when I work with people.

Melissa Bright:

I love it. So whenever you first have a client that comes to you and obviously the goal is to lose weight. What is really your first approach to that because I know that you say that you want to get the to know all of them not just focusing on the weight loss. So I have a feeling that this is why that you have such great results with your clients is because you have this approach. So what is one of the first things you do or when did what how did when do you start learning about them? Like oh, they're not just addicted to food because they don't have self control? It's actually because of all this trauma or whatever else?

Jon:

Well, it will depend a little bit on the individual and the level of comfort they feel towards me because my responsibility as a coach is to, for lack of a better term, create a safe space. I mean, create a space where is they feel safe and comfortable being vulnerable and expressing where they're where they're at. And if you read the reviews, you'll see people talking about this and ever expected this from a male coach, but they don't really follow the traditional male paradigm. I've had I have mostly female clients, and it seems to work really well, actually, because my brain works a little bit different in the female brain does, but I have enough I'm an empath with a really good EQ or emotional intelligence. And that allows me to work really, you know, combine an engineers brain with emotional intelligence. And it's actually a really cool combination. Yeah. So, you know, it starts with the intake, and we're going to have what I call a kickstart success call. And from there, I'm going to kind of dive into the story. So they fill in the intake form that gives me some things to ask them about, and it'll, I'll be able to pick out of that, here's the things that we need to know a little bit more about in order to I want to a bit about their history, you know, like, did you just gain 30 pounds over the last year? Or have you been carrying 30 pounds for 30 years, you know, that something is relevant. And then from there, we can sort of say, Okay, well, here's the, the place that we want to start, you know, we're gonna try to implement this principle, one thing at a time, which for a lot of people is really frustrating, because in the beginning, we want to run, but you're just gonna faceplant, I've seen way too many times. Right? And if somebody insists on running, I'm like, Okay, I'm gonna let you run, but I'm gonna let you know, you're gonna faceplant. And when you do, I'll pick you up. And then we'll start the proper approach.

Melissa Bright:

Do you mean like run away or literally run like run for exercise?

Jon:

Well, I'm not I guess neither. It's really the the meal. Because by the time people come to me, they've tried a number of different things to lose weight. Sure. And there's, there's a certain desperation, I just want this weight gone, so I can live my life. Yeah. And so this is why we get stuck in a lottery ticket mentality. This probably isn't going to win. But you know what, this might be that one time, this probably isn't gonna work, but maybe this is the one that's finally gonna work for me. No, it's not because you're not doing the actual work you need to do. And it's really hard to change yourself. It's like trying to bite your own teeth. It doesn't work because you're stuck in your own head, right? This is my coaching in the age of Google, in the age of infinite information, coaching is still a thing, because there's a part of us that needs human connection. And so it's, we're gonna have a conversation, like do human beings, I create the space and be vulnerable, they share their story and go, Okay, now we understand why you're here. So I lead with compassion and with curiosity, and I set the tone. And then from there, we say, okay, you know what, let's implement this principle. Because we know the fundamental principles of a healthy lifestyle. It's not our biology hasn't really changed that much over the last, you know, few dozen millennia, or whatever. So we already know what makes up a healthy lifestyle. The question is, how do we shape these fundamental principles to fit your unique circumstances. So we start, we have a starting point, but it's not a hard rule, we're going to start here, you're going to try and implement this, then you let me know how it works, why it works, if it works, if it doesn't, where do you struggle. And then once we've got that habit or behavior established, because we want to tap into our brains ability to form habits, when we can do this, what we do is we actually allow ourselves to start forming behaviors on autopilot. So really, the more we can take the conscious brain out of it, the less effort it feels to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And so that's part of this whole brain driven approach to weight loss. It's one of the kind of one of the pillars of it.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. What you said just now is you try to take the conscious part out of it, right, that's what you said, I feel like, what I'm most successful, like working out, is when I don't put all this energy into thinking about it. Because the more I think about Oh, my God, I have to get up and I have to go work out and I'm gonna be this and it's, I will talk myself out of it. But if I just get up and do it, and like, not think about it, and just create this habit of make your breakfast, wait for a little bit go work out. Yeah. It's just like another thing you have to do that's been really successful for me.

Jon:

Yeah, well, there's two, two things that I'll touch on there. The first one is, in order to create behavior change, we do have to involve our conscious brain. So we have to bring our unhelpful behaviors into our conscious awareness. So the patterns of behavior that we've had for a very long period of time, that are that are sort of sabotaging your health, yes, where compassion has to come in, because we need to be able to view them through the lens of compassion rather than the lens of judgment. But in our conscious awareness, we create the change, we reshape them into a new helpful healthy behavior. And we practice it enough times that now it goes back into the habit vault. And so that's a really important thing. The other part of it is I teach my clients about setting CMGs are can't miss goals. So this is a really cool thing. If we, if we set a goal, like I'm going to work out an hour a day, five days a week, and you've been sedentary, you're going to fail because there's way too big a leap. What determines the success of forming a habit is the repeatability of the behavior. And so if you set your goal to be I'm going to walk for five minutes a day. It's so simple, you basically can't not do it, unless you're bedridden. Now, of course, once you start walking, hey, you can stop at five minutes. You might feel good enough, you want to continue. But as long as you get your five minutes, you tick that box, and then you start to build a streak because you can repeat that behavior every single day. And the more times you repeat it, the more it becomes a habit and the more automatic it becomes Once that behavior pattern is established, now you can grow it, you can build it, you can expand it. So I love how our brain works. And this is why I call it brain driven weight loss. We're tapping into the way that our brain actually works instead of trying to fight it.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Oh my gosh, I feel like everybody should come to you for for coaching.

Jon:

I agree. But you biased maybe,

Melissa Bright:

right? Right, maybe, maybe, okay, I know what we are an hour and 15 minutes, I don't even care because this is such great conversation and such great advice. I'm just loving all of it. But I know that you have a schedule that we have to follow to. So we will get through a couple of more of these questions. Um, okay. So this is these are kind of loaded questions. And I know there's no like black, one black or white answer.

Jon:

But if questions

Melissa Bright:

if somebody was wanting to start their weight loss journey, but just don't know where to start? Where would you tell them to start?

Jon:

Reach out to me? I mean, okay, again, lovely advice. Yeah. But honestly, because here's, here's what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have a conversation with you. And if I can't help you, or if I'm not the right fit, I'm not going to work with you, I will try to point in the direction of somebody who can. So I think it's important that we understand the reason why I have such success is because I work with people that I can help. And I don't try to force the issue if somebody has something I can't help them with. Yeah. And so my other core value besides compassion is integrity. It's super, super important to me. And integrity means that if I am not the best person to help you, that I will steer you towards the person that can help you, instead of trying to force the issue. So the let's just say you're too scared to reach out to me. I would say, start tracking, you know, start tracking your eating behaviors. And really, just to get to bring into your conscious awareness. What are my eating patterns, whether you take a photo diary, like to snap photos on your phone, whether you jot things down or notebook, or if you're an accountant who wants to use my fitness, pal use My Fitness Pal, right? But the idea is to create conscious awareness around your behaviors, because in that space of conscious awareness is where we can create change. If we aren't aware that we do it, we can't change it. So for example, if you've ever driven from one place to another, and you get there, and you go, Oh crap, I don't remember driving here, how to get here safely and not crash. That's, that's the marvelous, like magic of our brains and automated behaviors. So you can't change the behavior they're not really aware of, you know, if you find yourself standing from the pantry if the door open, just staring and then you certainly sort of come to know, how did I get here, you know, if we sprayed your feet with that spray, they're using CSI and we shine the ultraviolet light on the floor, we'd see the patterns of movement you have throughout your house and towards your fridge and pantry. And so these, so that's where it conscious awareness comes into the picture here. And so we create that conscious awareness around our behaviors and food. And that's what allows us to start creating change.

Melissa Bright:

Perfect, great answer, John. Okay. I'm just gonna tell you from I'm going to tell you where I'm at right now. We this is November 4, and we have a Thanksgiving coming up. We have Christmas coming up. We have holiday parties coming up, we have everything coming up. And I'm really stressing out for myself because I want to be good. Good, meaning I don't want to eat all the food, but like, I love food. So much. So absolutely. So anyway, yeah. Where what kind of advice can you give to people that are really, really stressed about the holidays? Because they want to have fun, but they just don't want to eat everything but still enjoy the food. What can you tell us?

Jon:

How many holiday meals do you actually have? Oh, that's a good question. Thanksgiving, anyone? Christmas would be too.

Melissa Bright:

Well, yeah. But if you have like family, if you have like multiple families like dad's side, mom's side uncle holiday party, okay, turn it maybe like six or seven?

Jon:

Okay, over over over a couple of months, six or seven meals. And so if you think about that, over a 60 day span, you're eating 180 meals if you're eating three meals a day, and six out of 180 is what percent?

Melissa Bright:

Don't make me do that math. I

Jon:

don't know. Why like point three to 3%. I think it's not very much 3.3% or something very small number. You're worrying but 3.3% of your meals. And you're letting it dominate your thoughts. And now when you when you start going, oh my gosh, I'm going to overeat. I can't overeat oh my gosh, I'm going to overeat but I can't overeat. So when I learned how to drive, one of the things my dad taught me is you steer towards what you're looking at. So if you're in a corner, don't look at the tree. Look at the road. Look at where you want to go. Not the thing that's right in front Do you? Yeah, otherwise you hit the tree? Well, same is really kind of true with holiday meals, you put all this pressure on yourself, like, oh my gosh, I'm gonna want all the food and I'm gonna overeat and so on and so forth. It's like, it's six meals out of 180. Like it's so such a small amount of meals you really, but when we start treating like Well, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Miles's write off everything, because I'll just wait till the new year. That's you don't what you can accomplish in two months, it's really incredible what you could theoretically accomplish, right? And with a really small behavior, genius, so so it's like, take a step back for a second. And instead of like catastrophizing in your head, which is a cognitive distortion that we do, about, I'm gonna have no self control, well, you could, if you believed it. But if you convince yourself that you have no self control, if you can, if you convince yourself if you have these beliefs, this is how I'm going to do it. Well, of course, you're gonna do it, because you've been telling yourself, you're going to do this. If we get rid of the guilt around eating an indulgent meal. Now, I would say, here's the thing I used to eat like a seagull swallowing a tennis ball, like I've watched that happen, it's freaky, you know, the seagull shouldn't be able to do that. But it does. That's how I used to eat. There's no enjoyment being had there. Nowadays, when I sit down to a meal, I take my time I taste every bite of food, because I don't feel conflicted or guilty around what I'm eating. So instead, I just enjoy every single bite I tasted, I chew it and present with it and present with my company. And by being present and not stressing about it, I actually inherently eat less. Because I get full sooner, I feel incredibly satisfied. It's like, there's gonna be leftovers. Like, yeah, leftovers cool, you get to enjoy it again. So it's like, take a deep breath, sit down and just enjoy your meal, enjoy your company. And don't don't stress about the calories in the pumpkin pie or something like that like, but you don't need three pieces that are drowning in a bowl of whipped cream, like, because whether you eat three pieces drowning in a bowl of whipped cream, or eat one piece with like a line of whipped cream, like you're going to derive roughly the same amount of enjoyment from it. So it's like slow down, taste every bite instead of like, shoveling food down, which is how I used to eat.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. I love that. I love that. Thank you very much. I think that's great. Okay, what, what would you want people to know the most? What do you want people as coach? John? Do you want people to know the most about weight loss and keeping it off? Or? Let's just Let's keep it to that question.

Jon:

If you've been overweight, like me who have been obese, there's a certain biological reality I live with. And that is I have all the fat cells I had when I was obese, that a lot smaller, but they're still there. I've had to make peace with that reality. So if I start to eat like an undisciplined toddler, I will gain weight again. And once I made peace with that, kind of that already took a big edge off the struggle. There's no temporary effort that produces permanent results. You have to decide that this is how you want to live your life. And if you can't create a lifestyle that you enjoy, you're not going to be able to keep the weight off because it's just too hard to fight it. I wish I could say that weight loss is fast and easy. And the truth is, it's not. But it's worth it. I wish I could tell you a difference between me trying to lumber up the stairs, aching. And now approaching 40 I can run up the stairs and scoop my kid up. And I can cuddle them and wrestle with them and play with him. I am so present in my life. And so I say to people weight loss is a doorway, it's not a destination. It's a doorway to a life that you want to live. So you need to have a reason why. So for me, let's just say for example, and go through Costco, see a big old bag of chips and my binge eating brain goes, I won't eat that entire thing. And I look at my son who's eight months old and he's the cutest little boy in the world. I'm not biased at all.

Melissa Bright:

Facts are facts. Okay. Yeah.

Jon:

He was a mini Eminem for for Halloween. And it was insanely cute because all I was pregnant the year before she made her belly into an m&m. Oh, cute. I'll email you the picture after Yes, please do. We're going with this though is so I have my emotionally compelling reason. So I, I decide do I want to the giant bag of chips or don't want to be present in my son's life? I want to present my son's life more than anything else in this world. And so that reason is strong enough for me to say no to the urge to binge eat, because the urges are still there. They don't they're not very powerful anymore. They're not they don't come back nearly as much, but they don't ever disappear entirely. Right. So again, when we like people might hear my story or maybe they just see where I'm at right now. They see the weight loss. They see the before after and they don't really understand everything in between. Yeah, it's like you're not broken. You're not crazy. You're not hopeless, you can get there, but it's gonna be a little more bumpy than you think. But it's absolutely worth it.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Okay. So if people want to connect with you, if they are like loving everything that you're saying, and you're like this might be the answer to all of my prayers, how can people contact you?

Jon:

My first suggestion is dropping off a bag of cash on my doorstep, I always appreciate. But barring that option, you could go to my website, freedom, nutrition coach calm, and you can read a little bit more about what I do. Um, I do have a free ebook guide if people want a copy of it. So you can go to freedom, nutrition coach.com/book. So it's really hard to remember. But it's an ebook guide called Crush your cravings. And it will walk you through a lot of things I've talked about here, in terms of how to how to navigate emotional eating and how to how to move past I give people a four step way to do that, as well as how to sleep your way to a lower weight for a nice click Beatty thing. But it's legit, too. It's not just clickbait. It's called Crusher, cravings, I think that'd be a really helpful one. If you want to send me a friend request on Facebook, you're very welcome to i haven't hit my 5000 friend limit yet. So I'm really personable, I think I'll talk to just about anybody. So all you got to do is shoot me a message, whether it's an Instagram, Facebook, whatever, just say, Hey, I like to talk Cool. We'll talk like to human beings, I'm not going to put you in some high pressure sales call or anything, we're just gonna talk, we're gonna figure out where you're at where you'd like to get to, and if I can help you. And that's kind of how it works.

Melissa Bright:

Awesome. And also, I've never mentioned this in if you are listening, and if you have never been to my website, if you go to my website once the episode is live. So as you guys are hearing it now this episode is live. If you go to my website, and then you click on the episodes, and we go to John's individual episode, it's going to have his guest profile there that has his website, and his email, and his bio and all that stuff there that you can just click on it right there. Super simple. So if you don't remember how to get his ebook, all you got to do is just go to my website, click on his episode, and his guest profile information will be all there, and how you can contact him. I feel like that's important. I probably probably should have been saying that.

Jon:

That's a good thing. And then what while you're there, you can you can binge listen to a few more episodes of this fantastic podcast.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, exactly. And you have your own podcast, don't you?

Jon:

I do. So I do it as a live broadcast podcast, I like to call it so I stream it live on Twitch free nutrition coaching YouTube, free nutrition coaching, Twitter at no fn diets, LinkedIn freedom, nutrition coaching, or I can stream it on my Facebook, my personal Facebook page, as well as my freedom nutrition coaching business page. So like you pick your social platform, you look up freedom, nutrition, coaching, and probably there, and I stream it live two to three times a week. I wish I could say have an exact time, but it's usually gonna be a Monday or a Tuesday. And then I do a Friday afternoon. Sort of it's a coach's collaboration is a panel discussion on everything that's wrong with the health and fitness industry. So we call it wellness unfiltered. We were originally calling it Dispeller of darkness, but we thought we should be a little more specific.

Melissa Bright:

So be able to like you're talking about. Yeah, exactly. That's awesome. Thank you. Okay, John, I just have one last question for you that I asked all of my guests. In your own words, what does the bright side of life mean to you

Jon:

all that it means it means being present. So it doesn't mean that your life is perfect. But it means that through every experience in life, you can gain something of value from it, whether it's a hard experience or a pleasant experience. If you have this understanding every experience in life can add to your value as a human being your character growth. It's worth it. So all the hard experiences that I went through, I wouldn't take them out of my past because it's why I am who I am today. And so when we look through that lens, we live with a lot more hope and optimism.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, that's a wonderful answer. I love hearing everybody's different answers. mine for a long time. Well, it still is like the bright side of life to me is like being at peace with yourself and not at war with yourself. But what you said about like being conscious and being present, that is really part of me being at peace with myself not living in the past and not being in the future because that's where a lot of my war and all that uncertainty comes from. So I just love that answer that you said.

Jon:

It was awesome. So yeah, I'm definitely gonna bring you as a guest on to wellness, either wellness, unplugged or wellness and children one of the two because I think you also have a story worth telling. And I love I love being on the other side of the mic where I get to ask the questions. Yeah. So

Melissa Bright:

awesome. I'm down for it. Well, John, Coach John, thank you so much for coming on here to share not only your story, but all your advice for everyone. It was great talking to you.

Jon:

Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

Melissa Bright:

Thank you guys. for listening to this week's episode of The Bright Side of Life, oh, my goodness, I absolutely loved this episode. John is so, so knowledgeable. And I just feel like there were so many great takeaways about today's episode. You know, basically, I had him on my podcast because he was a weight loss coach. And that wasn't something that we had really, you know, I had covered yet, but we had takeaways on how to forgive people and to humanize them. We talked about these visualizations that he does for anxiety, which was like the little bubble, the thought bubble and having it go out of your head, we talked about stuff like that. We also talked about the headspace that, you know, medication can buy you if you're really trying to fix your anxiety or your depression. We talked about these can't miss goals, guys, we can start doing that now. Just these little goals that we can't miss every single day, from three minutes of meditation to five minutes of walking, whatever it is, start doing those if that's what you want to do to to obtain a bigger goal, because those are the little those are the ones that are going to be effective as small goals. So I hope that you guys got something out of this. Such an incredible story. Such an inspiring story. I would love to hear your guys's feedback. If you guys want to write a review about this episode, please do so you can do so at the bright side of life. podcast.com If this is your first time listening to my podcast, welcome. I'm happy you're here. We have some great episodes, be sure to hit the subscribe and follow button. Also, I know I made an announcement last week about me becoming a creator on the fireside app and last week's episode with Drew Tupper who is a parenting coach about him being on there. So we are still in the planning stage of that. And I promise I will not let you guys miss that. I will be making an announcement but I just wanted to let you know that I have not forgot about that. Just trying to get everything in order with that. And guys, as always, if you know anyone that needs to hear John's story, or his weight loss tips or any advice that he gave us today, please please share this episode with them because we never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart. See

Jonathan McLernon

Coach

Coach Jon is a weight loss coach and emotional eating expert who has lost over 100lbs.

From nanotechnology researcher, to Navy marine engineer, to globetrotting nomad, Coach Jon spent most of his life running from his true calling, until one question changed his life.

Now he's on a mission to help others lose weight for good and leave BS diets in the rearview mirror.

With Freedom Nutrition Coaching he marries the Science of Metabolism with the Psychology of Behavior Change and the Compassion of Human Connection to create life-changing transformations with his clients.