Allan Misner, the author of The Wellness Roadmap, is a certified personal trainer, as well as a certified functional aging specialist. He’s the creator of the 40+ Fitness Community which provides one on one and group fitness coaching, nutritional guidance, and personal training for clients over the age of 40. He’s also the host of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, where he’s interviewed hundreds of health and wellness experts.

This episode is for people who are finding it harder and harder to stay fit as they get older. It’s harder to lose weight because they’ve had decades of mediocre or even poor exercise and eating habits. After they’ve hit 40 years old, they notice it’s substantially different from how they felt when they were healthy in their 20s.

This episode is really for anybody who is tired of wasting time with fad diets and training programs designed for millennials. Allan has a really awesome system. I study mental health, emotional health, physical health, and I’ve been sort of in this space myself for several years. It was almost uncanny how many topics Allan covered that I’ve seen not only work on a personal level but are also backed by science as some of the most effective ways to get healthy and get fit, both on a physical level and on an emotional and a spiritual level. This episode will help you along the path—it is your roadmap.

Allan Misner: I was a C-suite executive at a Fortune 500 company. I had income, I had stuff, and I decided I really needed to take a break and go on vacation. So I went back to Puerto Vallarta and I went out, there was a volleyball game and I love sand volleyball, it’s one of my favorite sports, I’ve loved playing it my entire adult life, since I was first introduced to it.

But what I found was, that I couldn’t stay in the game. I had to sub out and was the first time in my life that I just felt like I had lost something important. I was sitting on the beach the next morning meditating.

Starting the Rollercoaster

Charlie Hoehn: Were you running out of breath, were you physically exhausted? What was happening?

Allan Misner: Yeah, I was exhausted. I thought I was basically on the verge of having a heart attack and dying.

It wasn’t a call the hospital thing, it was just the exertion of trying to play in the sand, even when I knew I was moving really slow and missing points and costing my team. I’m uber competitive when it comes to those types of things. For me to lose a point, I was mad at myself, as I would be at a professional player when you’re yelling at the TV. I’m yelling at myself—the way I put it, a fat bastard. Even to myself.

The next morning, I’m sitting down to meditate, and I’m like, okay, what are the things I need to do to fix this to get myself bac? I’m only 39 years old and suddenly I’m an old, fat bastard. It was just kind of one of those moments where I said okay, I have to change.

I started down the path of this rollercoaster of having some good times and some bad times over the course of the next 10, 11 years. It was just this huge struggle for me to figure out what I needed to do.

Finally it all clicked into place. It wasn’t any just one little time where I said okay, I got it, I figured it out, it was a series of lessons over the course of about eight years where I was putting together the model which is now reflected in the book, The Wellness Roadmap, so it’s the roadmap that I used to get healthy and fit.

Over the course of eight years, I was losing weight, gaining weight, getting a little bit more fit, losing fitness, gaining fitness, losing fitness. Over and over and over. It wasn’t until I got to that point and said, this is what’s broken, this is what I have to fix, this is how I fix it and it all fell in place.

I lost 65 pounds of fat, put on 10 pounds of muscle, got myself in one of the best shapes that I’ve been in my adult life—at least since I was 29. I was able to do all the things physically that I wanted to do.

I could go back out and play volleyball and not have to sub out. I completed a Tough Mudder, which is a 12 mile obstacle course race with my daughter who was at the time I think 20, 21. I was able to be out there competing at that level again. I had regained myself, and at that point, I began to realize that I could have fitness and still not be well.

I could have health and still not be well.

What I needed was health, fitness, and happiness. That meant eliminating the toxicity in my life, that included a toxic relationship with my girlfriend. It included the toxic job, and it included doing the things that my body needed me to do to be healthy and fit.

Driving Too Far

Charlie Hoehn: Can you break down what all you were trying to do, what all you were experimenting with?

Allan Misner: Sure, there’s a ton of stories like that in the book where my efforts, my intention was there, but it really just it came back to slap me in the face. Probably one of the best examples was I’m sitting there one Sunday, and I was in pretty good shape at this point, I was on what I would call an ebb. So I was on a pretty good upward momentum, were at that time. I felt pretty good about myself.

I had a job where I was working about 90% of the time on the road. I had a weekend that I could literally just sit and watch TV and not do anything. So I’m watching infomercials and Face the Nation. I’m just going back and forth.

This infomercial comes on for the Insanity Workout DVD with Shaun T.

What I saw was, I saw them working out, I saw them uber fit, and they were smiling and they were sweating and they were doing all of this without equipment, and I’m like, you know, I could do that in my hotel room. This is perfect.

I bought the DVD set, popped it in the DVR as soon as it came, said okay, now I’m going to sit down and do the first thing. The very first thing was this fitness test, and you do these different exercises and count how many you can do. That’s going to give you your baseline.

I’m pushing myself through this test like he said, do your best. I’m pushing myself pretty hard. The next morning, when I woke up, I felt like someone had strapped me to the bed and beat me with a baseball bat.

I was just destroyed.

I’m laying there and just didn’t want to move. I can’t get out of bed, I can’t move. I was like, what am I going to do? I can’t work like this, I’m hurting so bad. I literally wouldn’t be able to focus on work and wouldn’t be able to work around the office.

“I had to call in sick.”

I’m lying there like why did I do this to myself, why did I think I could do something like this? Why did I push myself that hard?

I knew that was how I was wired and it was going to take me a while to undo that wiring, so I gave up on it and I never did any of the workouts in the Insanity Series. I did that one thing and then pretty much just shelved it. I probably have the DVDs around the house here somewhere because I tend to be a little bit of times a little bit of a pack rat with that kind of stuff, but I’ve never opened them up again. I’ve never looked at the DVDs again.

That was kind of a situation where because I let my ego overrule me. I broke myself. I think when we get older, a lot of times it’s very hard for us to realize how our mental age, 20, 29 whatever we want to call it, is a lot younger than our physical age.

In my case, even though I was in my 40s, physically, my body was probably in its 50s, and I didn’t make that connection for a long time.

“There were a lot of instances in my life where I drove myself so hard that I broke.”

It wasn’t until recently that I’ve come to realize that okay, there’s a pace my body’s going to go, and I need to work a certain way. Then I have to recognize, there are still going to be times when my body just lets me down.

I tore a rotator cuff about two years ago, one and a half year’s ago.

I knew I tore it when I tore it, but I changed what I did for my workouts. I didn’t stop moving, I just said I can’t do that kind of training that way, what can I do to still reach the health and fitness vision that I wanted to have?

Now, I understand how to adapt to what my body needs. In the instance that there’s a setback, which we all go through, I now know how to respond.

Charlie Hoehn: That next day after that volleyball game, where did you see your future had things continued to stay the same? If you hadn’t made the changes that you ended up making.

Allan Misner: Well, in my head, I had made the decision I was going to change. They have this vendors walking up and down the beach, and I knew a few of them by name because they would play volleyball when we didn’t have enough people to play. One of them who had been playing, I knew who he was. He’d been on my team and was really a good volleyball player.

I asked Luis to take a picture of me. I stood forward facing with no shirt on, and I turned to my side. If you’ve ever looked at your profile, you’ll know that if you don’t’ spend some time working on your fitness, you’re not going to look very well from the side.

Most of us guys, we carry our bodyweight on our stomach and that’s going to show. It definitely did for me. I mean, I was a doughy mess.

No Real Plan

Charlie Hoehn: What was your diet like back then by the way?

Allan Misner: I drank all the beer, I ate all the bad food. In my younger days, I’d never really ever had to worry about it.

I was always this thin, athletic guy. In fact, because I was a football player, I was actually underweight and never could put on weight. It wasn’t until like I got into my 30s that my weight even went over 200 pounds. But then, every year seemed to be piling on until by the time I was 39, I was probably well over 250.

I didn’t weigh myself anymore. My thoughts towards health weren’t there. My thoughts towards fitness were actually not really there, other than I aspired to stay fit.

I just didn’t do anything about it. All of my attention, 100% of my life force, had been focused on my career for so long that I just really lost track of who I should really be. That focus was there, and when I’m focused on something, I’m very intense on getting it done.

If I tell you I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. I was all focused on career, and that’s why I ended up in the place I was. I was unfit, I was unhealthy and I was unhappy. I was the exact opposite of how I’d define well.

Charlie Hoehn: Did that affect your relationships as well?

Allan Misner: Well, yeah, because what I wanted was these low maintenance, I don’t want to have to bother with it. You have unconditional love from your mother, you have unconditional love from your kids, but when you’re actually seeking that from someone else, it typically comes with some other problems.

You have to be active in your relationships, you have to be involved in their lives and really care about their day to day.

I never put energy forth to do that, and at that point in my life, that’s why I found myself in a toxic relationship that I really didn’t even want to apply any energy to.

I was comfortably miserable.

I had stayed in this toxic relationship for years and I stayed in toxic jobs longer than I should have.

I put toxic things in my body, and probably also toxic thoughts if you really want to break it all down, at that point, I had done everything wrong.

Your Roadmap GPS

Charlie Hoehn: Now, let’s get into The Wellness Roadmap. What is the GPS stand for in your book?

Allan Misner: Okay. The wellness GPS is basically, you’re setting your coordinates, you’re getting everything organized before your trip so you can have the most efficient and effective journey that you could possibly have.

If we don’t know where we’re going, I knew I wanted to drive from say here to Pennsylvania. I don’t know how to get to Pennsylvania, I don’t even know what interstate or highway I would use. I’d just start driving north because I know what’s north of here.

When we start making decisions for our health and fitness that way, we meander. We don’t really get to where we want to be.

The G stands for grounding, and that’s where we really get an understanding of where we are from a mindset perspective. I would have to have a pretty compelling reason to drive from here to Pennsylvania, because Pennsylvania’s 17 hours away.

“What’s going to compel me to get in the car and do that drive?”

If I’m looking at my wellness from where I was at age 39 to where I ended up, that’s a lot more than 17 hours. I have to have a compelling why, and I have to have a vision of what it looks like. I know it’s filled Philadelphia, and I know my why is I want to go visit a dear friend. That’s my why, so I’m now committed to this journey. I’m going to do this.

That’s the Grounding.

The P is the personalizing.

I need to know where I am today in a general sense, so what are my baselines? And 17 hours is a long way to drive, so what are my pit stops, what are my milestones of where I want to go and where am I going to need to stop to get gas? Those types of things because I don’t want to be in a bad part of Atlanta pulling off to get gasoline.

You got to think through those little bits and pieces of what are my smart goals, my smart milestones that are going to get me along that path in a quick and easy way.

Get Grounded

Charlie Hoehn: Grounding is – what is your why, basically?

Allan Misner: Your why and your vision of what this thing looks like. My why was my daughter when I first started this journey. I realized that she was becoming an adult, and the things that she was enjoying in her life were the things when I was her age, I would enjoy.

We didn’t have mud runs and that kind of stuff, we didn’t have CrossFit. But I enjoyed that aspect of my life and I realized now, she was at that place and I wanted to be a part of that with her.

What that meant was that I didn’t want to just be in the stands when she starts and finishes that race or when she goes to do a CrossFit workout, I didn’t want to be watching from the sidelines. I wanted to be in there with her. So my why was my daughter. My vision, then became, how do I get myself to a physical condition in health where I could do these things with her without injuring or killing myself?

That was my grounding.

Every step I take, every time I effectively fall off the bandwagon, if I go back to that grounding statement, commitment, or vow, I can sit back and say, I know why I need this and I don’t need to let my one little slip up, the cookie I ate or the donut I had, I don’t need to say, “I screwed up so I may as well make this a cheat day” or a cheat week or a cheat month or a cheat year.

Which is what a lot of us do.

I need to get back to that grounding statement and explain to myself, okay, you screwed up, you took a detour. It’s time to get back on the road and make this thing happen.

Personalize It

Allan Misner: When you get into the P part of it, now I’m personalizing it, I’m saying okay, to do these things, I need to have this vision. I need to lose body fat. I need to be stronger. I need more endurance.

I kind of know the condition of what my body and my head needs to be like when I finish this journey. Then, when you get to the S, that’s where you start the self-awareness.

This is probably the hardest part of the GPS, because you have to, at this point, be real with yourself. You’ve got to be completely honest and say okay, physically, what am I capable of doing? I know I can’t do that—at that time I couldn’t do the Insanity workouts. I should have picked a different workout tape if I was going to do a workout. So having that understanding of your physical capacity and limitations and being real with yourself there, and then the hard part again is the mental part of that.

If I know when they bring the donuts on Friday, which they bring on every Friday, I need to stay away from the break room all morning long. I need to bring a little bag of nuts so when I smell the donuts, I just start eating the nuts.

I need to have that self-awareness to know donut day is going to mess me up.

When you put your why and that grounding there, you’ve got this firm foundation and you know where you’re end point’s going to be, and now you know all the – most of the things that would trip you up, you’ve now set a really good plan.

Your GPS is loaded, and you’re ready to drive. You’re still going to run into obstacles—road construction, rainstorms, that kind of thing—on your trip, so you’re going to have to those as well, but in a general sense, you’ve mapped out most of what you need to do to be successful.

Tactics Second

Charlie Hoehn: I love that you started the book this way. It’s so important. It’s so easy to eat something, for instance, and just feel bad about it.

Allan Misner: No, that’s the whole point. I had made a decision that I wanted to be somewhere or do something or be somebody else, but I didn’t have a plan, you know? I tried tactics. The Insanity workout was a tactic. The drinking more water was a tactic ,and even working out and saying I’m just going to cardio this thing to death.

Those are tactics.

And don’t get me wrong, tactics are important, but they’re sort of the third piece of this. You start with the commitment—setting the GPS—then as we get into the next section, we’re going to set strategies.

We’re going to start setting strategies to understand, okay, what are the things that would move the needle further. What are the things that are going to be the most important things for me to do?

Then we can start selecting tactics. I decided that I need to improve my endurance, so I’m going to do high intensity interval training as a part of my training. I know I work a lot of hours and it’s going to be really difficult for me to get out and run an hour six times a week, so I’m not going to get my long runs in if I want to do that.

I decide some of my workouts can be shorter because I’m going to do this hit training and that will shorten my workouts on those days and still allow me to improve my endurance over time.

Real Rest

Charlie Hoehn: One of them that screams out to me that I’d like to start with is rest.

Allan Misner: Yes. The actual acronym I use is STREETS. That’s going to be strategy, training, rest. And then you’re going to have energy, which is food and water, education, and then the last one is going to be time. Then the final S is stress.

I wouldn’t necessarily have put them in that order if I didn’t need to spell out an acronym.

The strategy is the most important one, and I want to have that in the front but when we get to the rest, I think, there’s two types of rest that I talk about in the book. We’re a little older now, and I think people lose sight of the fact that we can’t work out seven days a week forever.

“Our bodies are going to need time to recover.”

The recovery time becomes even more important for us now, but your body is actually doing more to improve your fitness while you’re resting than it was while you were working.

If I go to lift some heavy weights, I want to add some muscle. When I lift the heavy weights, what I’m effectively doing is I am damaging the muscle. I am stressing that muscle, and it is effectively breaking down the muscle fibers to do what I’m asking it to do.

If I try to go in the next day and do that same workout, my muscles won’t have recovered and therefore they won’t be able to produce the same amount of work. I could probably mentally push myself to do more work, which in the past with the ego I had doing Insanity stuff I might have tried. But I know now particularly as I have gotten older, I need more time rest and recovery, to allow my muscles to do the things I’m going to do.

So I tend to take three days off between each workout for a particular muscle group. I could use the other time to work on other modalities that are just as important to me. I may care about balance, because one in four adults over the age of 65 falls, and that’s 29,000 deaths from falls every year. That is more than gun deaths.

So people are worried about gun deaths in the United States and rightfully so, every death matters, but falls kill more people than guns.

During my rest time, it is not that I am just laid up watching Netflix. I can do other things actively to improve my other fitness modalities, to blend that into a program.

So that is one side of rest. It is just understanding what your body is capable of from a workout and how long it’s going to need before it is capable of giving me the maximum work the next time.

And then the other side of rest is the sleep, and I think that’s probably the more critical for most of us.

“Most of us aren’t over training so much as we’re under sleeping.”

It is hard because there are so many distractions. There is so much that is around us. TVs, screens, computers, Words with Friends. My wife cannot walk away from a game until it is over, and then if they challenge her straight away she might do it again. Netflix has turned into the TV binging nation, and I fall for it too. House of Cards new season is on, and my wife and I watched two or three episodes last night.

I don’t normally have that much screen time, but I still told her, it is 8:15, it is time for me to go do my sleep ritual. I’m done.

Better Sleep

Charlie Hoehn: What is your sleep ritual?

Allan Misner: Oh yeah, you need to have a sleep ritual. Right now, for most of us, our sleep ritual is brush your teeth. I’ve found that’s typically not enough time for your brain to shut off.

Typically I like to go through a process of, while I am brushing my teeth, I am mentally writing my to-do list for the next day. I am unloading all the stuff that I need to do or feel I need to do or didn’t get done today, because that’s always there.

It is like a rolling list of things that you should have done, could have done, may do.

I just sit there and prioritize and I might say, “What is the one intention I want to have tomorrow? What is the one thing that’s going to be really, really important for me to do tomorrow?”

Last night, I was thinking, “Okay well I know I have this morning an interview for a podcast. So I need to get up, I need to prepare myself for that.”

I make sure I clear everything else out, make sure I am in the right frame of mind to do. Then after that I have a client call with one of my one on one clients, so I’m like, “Okay here’s some videos of his lifts, so I need to put away side time to make sure I do that one and watch his videos so I can critique him on his movements.” Then I could take his call.

Then my wife is affectively retiring today. So there is a party for her right after that. So I have those three intentions for my day, and anything else I get done is cake. But I know in the morning, because I thought about that while I was brushing my teeth, that this is my intention for tomorrow.

So I get that all off of my head.

There is nothing for me to do on any of that until tomorrow, the three most important things. And then I go and when I go to lay down, and I make sure that my room is completely dark. So I am closing curtains. I am making sure the temperature in the room is going to be cool enough so that I can sleep well. So I am just setting my fortress of solitude. I put in my ear plugs, different things that I need to do.

And then when I lay down, I start basically a meditation. I know this is going to sound really weird, but I envision myself digging in sand. I am digging from underneath a house. So we have some of our houses raised here, and the sand has blown up against the side, and I am just digging through the sand.

“I am waiting just to see what is on the other side.”

Typically I will make it out, and I will see the water and the surf and I will feel the warmth of the sun on my face.

That’s my meditation, and typically I am asleep before I even get to the part where I am walking the beach. Sometimes I get to the point where I am walking in the beach, it is just one of those mental movies I put in my head to relax me to remind myself of all the good and gratitude and things that I have in my life, and that I am basically free.

So it is a weird meditation, I know, I developed it just for me. You may have something that will work for you, but it’s just those little bits and pieces that take me from watching the drama of Netflix to telling my brain, “Okay, you have accomplished everything you’ve set out to do today, you’ve got your intentions set for tomorrow, and now it is just time to be grateful, relaxed, and enjoy what you have in this life.”

Dealing with Stress

Charlie Hoehn: So talk to me about stress management.

Allan Misner: Okay, stress was probably the hardest thing for me to deal with. As I said, I was working for Fortune 500 companies in the C-suite, an officer, a lot of responsibility, a lot of things were happening. A lot of angry and mad people around me most of the time because I worked in internal audit.

I can tell you that the only people that like internal auditors are the attorneys inside the company. IT sometimes likes us but sometimes don’t.

But in a general sense, we have no friends at work. A lot of people would rather just stab us in the back and watch us bleed out.

So as I went through my career, stress was always there, and the acute stress was there, the chronic stress was there. It took me a long, long time to get a grasp of that. I am going to say saving grace of all of this was because I probably wasn’t strong enough mentally to do a lot of these things myself.

I did finally end that toxic relationship with the girlfriend. So my stress levels actually went down significantly after that, but I still had the job. I was still peak stressed for what most people should ever have to endure.

Then I got laid off, and it was at that point that there was this ‘whoosh.’ It gave me the time and clarity to step back and say, “Okay, I had this stressful world, and it’s now been taken from me. I can choose to do what I love, which is do the podcast and help my clients.”

The day to day of having a conversation with a client when they tell you that there’s a personal record on their deadlift or they got a compliment at work or now they’re feeling more comfortable in their clothes—those conversations are priceless. and I would never ever want to give those up at all. I won’t.

So I had the choice of continuing to do this and not really make the money, or I could go back into the lion’s den and deal with it again.

I had developed a lot of what I call short term fixes for the problem—breathing, meditation, those types of things. I developed some of those along the way, but I was always going to be in that toxic stressful environment if I let myself.

So I just said, “I think I am not going to go back. What do you think?” and she says, “Can we make it?” I said, “We’ll make it. One way or another we’ll make it.”

She and I are both going to move down to Panama and find a simpler, easier, minimalistic way to live. At that point, the only stress that will be there is the stress that I choose to allow in my life, and that won’t be much.

Getting Support

Charlie Hoehn: There are people and there are circumstances that continually thrust you into a lower state and if you have those people around you, man, it makes you so hard to get well.

Allan Misner: Yeah, I call it crabs in a bucket. I even talk about that a little bit, and I have done a podcast episode on it. You know, crabs won’t get out of a bucket. Many of them won’t because they are too busy trying to pull other crabs down to recognize it. Some of those folks, I hate to say this, this is not just the jobs and the people in the jobs that might be those people. In many cases, it is well meaning people in your life that just think what you’re doing is wrong.

And you may want to try a particular way of eating. You may choose to go vegan, or you may choose to go keto, and they’re going to say, “Oh my god you can’t do that,” you know?

“Seek out the team, seek out the people.”

They are going to understand what you’re doing. Try to relate more with them. The Jim Rohn quote, “You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with,” make those five people in your life the ones that are going to support you. Distance yourself from some of the other folks. Even if it is just temporary.

If your aunt or your mother or your sister just really can’t wrap their head around why you’re doing what you are doing, and every time they see you they’re like, “Eat something, eat something,” no, this is a fasting day. Say, “Okay I can’t visit you for a few weeks because I’ve got to get this thing done. Then I will probably be able to come over and see you.”

I know that is hard, and eliminating stress is really one of the hardest topics that you’ll deal with. I wasn’t strong enough to eliminate the job. I am proud of myself that I was actually able to eliminate the toxic relationship.

Because for me that was maybe the hardest thing I had ever done for myself ever. As I go through this whole model and I look at all of it together, that was one of the big things that helped me. It reduced my stress level at least to a point where I could somewhat tolerate it while I got the other pieces of my life together.

Investing in You

Charlie Hoehn: What made it so hard for you, Allan?

Allan Misner: So as you’re sitting there talking to a longtime girlfriend of eight years, a live in girlfriend. Not that we had entwined our lives like a married couple, but we’d gotten pretty comfortable with how we were living our lifestyle and what we had together.

For me, it was very low maintenance from the perspective of I could be me, and not a lot of relationships are really that way.

I have one of those now. I have a wonderful woman and I adore her and I let her know that all the time.

And so it is night and day and it’s not really so much about the relationship. Just realizing that I always found it very hard to do things for me. I found it hard to buy myself some things. I found it hard to take vacations.

Charlie Hoehn: You felt guilty?

Allan Misner: Yeah, there was a, ‘I could be doing more for somebody else’ mindset with the people around me. If I actually had told the girlfriend, “Look I need to go take a weekend alone, a me time weekend,” I think she would have thought I was cheating on her or something, you know what I’m saying?

“No I just really want to go fishing for a weekend and not think about anything.”

Charlie Hoehn: I just had this conversation with my wife months ago, and I totally relate. I know so many guys who struggle with this and I don’t know about you but the problem for me was I felt that guilt and so I was bracing myself in my head for resistance to basically suggesting like, “Hey, I need some me time.” So I came into it with this energy of confrontation, like, “Look, this is the way things are now,” and of course it’s met with resistance.

Allan Misner: How did that go?

Charlie Hoehn: Right exactly. And so it’s so funny because you know conceptually like your oxygen mask goes on first before you can help others. But it’s a hard habit to break.

Allan Misner: Women actually have it tougher than we do. Women have always been the caregivers, and that is a lot of what I have been finding as I meet women that are in their 40s and 50s.

Their kids now have grown up and where they’ve been the caregiver, they’re not required in the same way that they were before. So there’s this place that they’re in where now they have this time and they have this desire to change, but they really do struggle with that.

Making an investment to hire a trainer or taking the time to go to the gym every day and saying, that is time I could be spending with my husband or going over and babysitting my grandchild.

“They don’t want to invest the time in their own selves.”

I get it because I had that same mindset of the time I am spending away doesn’t work because when you’re traveling 90% of the time or you are working 16 hour, 18 hour days, that extra hour was the actual hour that I would be awake at home versus the hour I am asleep working out.

So you look at that time investment and you are not really thinking in terms of the true value. As you said, putting the mask on yourself first so you can be the better caregiver, so you can have the strength and the energy to do the things you want to do.

That is really a tough one, and it further stresses us because we know we are not doing the right thing for ourselves. We’re just not comfortable making that position, taking that line in the sand without getting really frustrated—perhaps even approaching it in a way that’s not the most productive way to approach it.

Gathering CARGO

Charlie Hoehn: What is CARGO about?

Allan Misner: So a lot of times when folks reach a fitness goal, say their goal was to run a 5K, they were on the couch and now they’ve gone through a program and they just ran a 5K. A lot of folks will then say, “Well okay let’s go out and have beers.”

And you weren’t able to drink so let’s just go have some beers, so then they settle in, and two months later they would struggle to finish a 5K.

I talk in the book about you need to celebrate, because celebration is an important thing, but make the celebration align more so with what you’ve actually done for yourself.

When I was training for the Tough Mudder, my celebration was finishing the Tough Mudder with my daughter. And one of the things we did in that race was one of the last obstacles was this hanging wires that electrocute you. We are running up to this obstacle.

Charlie Hoehn: It just sounds hilarious.

Allan Misner: Yeah this is great, you know? I mean 20 and 30 year old men all standing there with trepidation on their face, just terrified. because they’d seen guys run in get hit by a wire and just fall and then they try to immediately pop back up and get hit by another wire and they’re down again. So these guys were terrified.

I told my daughter, “Don’t think about it—just run around them.”

We are not waiting for them. We just ran around them, re-met, grabbed hands and went into the wires together. We plowed all the way through, and though yes, I was getting electrocuted and one time my leg felt like it was going to go to jelly and I was going to fall but I just kept moving, my daughter kept moving, and we came out the other side, finished the race holding the hands.

So that was my celebration. I have a picture of the finishing of the race, and you’ll see the picture in the book.

So my celebration related to what I had as a vision. It was the culmination of my vision. After you do your celebration, you’ve got to start looking at yourself differently, because you are different.

You’ve changed some habits. You’ve changed some mindsets, you are a different person than you were when you started this journey.

So take some time to get comfortable with that because people are going to look at you differently, they are going to call you skinny and you might not feel like you’re skinny but they are going to want you to eat something. They’re still going to have those saboteurs we talked about, the crabs in the bucket. They’re going to want to pull you down.

So you’re still going to have those things in your life.

“You just need to get comfortable with the fact that you are a fitter, healthier, happier person.”

So this A is accepting who you are now, the new you, and then the R is resetting your GPS. So you have climb this mountain. Now you see across the peak that there are other mountains to climb.

There are so many more opportunities for you now to go even further. Maybe you completed the 5K and you decide, “Well now I want to do like a mini triathlon with the swimming, the biking and a run.” So you are going to start training for that because you always enjoyed swimming as a child and you like biking.

So you want to put those together now and have a new vision, a new thing that you are marching towards.

Reset your GPS, and it is a little easier the second time and the third time, because there will be pieces of you that you have learned along the way. You will be a lot more effective and efficient at setting your grounding and you’ll just know yourself better so it is easier for you to start putting these pieces together to set your GPS the second time and third time and fourth time and on and on and on.

And then the final piece is Go.

You are the driver of your mission and you are the driver of this and if you don’t take the wheel and you don’t put your foot on that gas pedal and press you are not going anywhere. So this is all about you taking the driver’s seat and going.

Connect with Allan Misner

Charlie Hoehn: Allan what is the best way for our listeners to follow you or potentially get in touch with you?

Allan Misner: They can go to and that’s where they can learn all about the book. I am building the page out a little bit now so on and off there will be more and more material as I get it all together and figure that all out.

And then of course, I have been doing the podcast,  for three years. So there’s tons and tons of episodes out there, well over 350 at this point, and there they can get in touch with me, learn more about our Facebook group and other things that I am doing. Those are the two places I would send folks.

Charlie Hoehn: Love it and the final question I have for you is to give our listeners a challenge. What is the one thing they can do this week from your book that will have a positive impact?

Allan Misner: Okay anything in life that you want to do, establish your why and set your vision. Put that together as a commitment, not a decision, not a resolution, not a goal, not a diet, a commitment, and then once you have that commitment, write it down.

That’s your vow to yourself.

So self-improvement comes from your desire that you’re either turning into a vision and a why, very emotional and deep why, when you put those things together, there’s nothing that could stop you.