This week, we have a special guest and weight loss coach, Jonathan McLernon. Coach Jon has lost 100 lbs. from his days as a nanotechnology researcher to Navy marine engineer to globetrotting nomad. 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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[00:00:00] Ryan: Hey guys, Ryan DeMent from Chasing Financial Freedom Podcast. I hope you guys are having a wonderful day this week. On the podcast, we have Jonathan McLernon, and Jonathan is a expert emotional eating coach. He lost and kept off a hundred pounds. He's passionate about behavioral psychology. And brain driven weight loss.
Jonathan, welcome to the show.
[00:00:24] Jonathan: Hey, man. Pleasure to be here.
[00:00:25] Ryan: This is take two for those out there for us. We had a great conversation last time and it took up the whole time. So we are re-recording or recording this time. So I'm looking forward to our conversation.
[00:00:37] Jonathan: Yeah, it's obviously it's like my life's work and one of the things I'm most passionate about talking about.
I love any opportunity to share the message. Cool.
[00:00:44] Ryan: So before we jump into everything, just a little bit of your background and then let's start chatting about what you're doing.
[00:00:51] Jonathan: Yeah, currently I have three things on the go. Primarily I run a podcast called Between the Before and After, so that's about sharing people's stories of overcoming adversity.
That's really my passion project. I then run freedom Nutrition Coaching which is a nutrition coaching company, and we do focus on emotional eating and what I call brain driven weight loss. I like to say that we marry the psychology of behavior change. The science of metabolism and the compassion of human connection to create life changing transformations.
So that's my tagline in a nutshell. And then I also do a little bit of mentorship. So I do help other coaches build practices because I figure, there's only so many people I can work with in my capacity, but if I can mentor and influence others and help them be the types of coaches that I could have used many years back I think it can help this industry move forward as well.
So that's what I'm up to currently.
[00:01:35] Ryan: That's awesome. I think I saw your Facebook post yesterday or the day before that you're looking to, you're giving away some free coaching sessions because you're trying to get your credentials. What type of credentials are those?
[00:01:46] Jonathan: Just at the time we're recording this, we're just wrapping up, or I just finished the oral examination for national Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach.
That's a relatively new. Designation. See the world of nutrition coaching and nutritionists is largely unregulated. In other words, there isn't really a regulatory body that oversees our profession. So someone could get like a weekend certification that says, Hey, I'm now a nutritionist, kind of thing.
The national it's the National Board of Medical Examiners actually has this category qualification called National Board Certified Health Wellness Coach. And there's actually quite stringent standards to be able to get that and put those letters after your name which means that you're now a part of a regulatory body so you're not just someone at the weekend.
I'm already not, but it just brings a little bit of professionalism a little bit more professionalism into the industry, a little more credibility, I think. And one of the things that you have to do is between the time that you complete your oral exam and do the written exam, in fact, actually just getting into the exam window is you have to have 50 coaching sessions logged.
But I, you're not allowed to log any previous coaching session. So like the last seven years where I've done thousands of sessions, I can't log any of those because it had to be after I did my oral exam. And so I was like and when at the time we're recording this, we're flying to Australia in a couple weeks time for Christmas, and we'll be over there for two months.
My wife's from Australia and so I was like, man, how am I gonna get 50 sessions in? My clients are gonna fill like most of those, but I can't fill all of them. And I, I have a two week window to try to get these 50 sessions logged. And so I just put out a call to my audience and said, Hey, anybody want a free health coaching session?
Let's do this because it's an opportunity to I guess for me to log some sessions for my coaching log and for some people to get a little bit of experience what it's like to work with me so I can, I think it's a win. That's awesome.
[00:03:25] Ryan: So let tell everybody where you're at cuz you're north of the border for us here in the United States.
[00:03:31] Jonathan: I am. I'm north of Montana in the province of Alberta, a little bit east of the Rocky Mountains in a city called Red Deer. The two big cities in our province are Calgary and Edmonton which they do have professional hockey teams. Edmonton Millers Calgary Flames, and Calgary hosts the world's largest rodeo, the Calgary Stampede.
So that, that's kinda what we're famous for. As well as if you ever see tourist brochures for Canada, you'll see pictures of Jasper and Bamp, and we kinda live halfway between those two and just a little bit east of the rocky mountain. So it's actually a really beautiful spot in the world.
[00:03:58] Ryan: it's quite chilly now, I'm guessing.
[00:04:01] Jonathan: Yeah. So with the wind this morning it's minus 42 and I think minus 40 is where the scales meet Fahrenheit and Celsius meet. And so yeah, we're minus 34, minus 42 with the wind chill. So it's it's cold so it's gonna be a bit of a shock when I fly to Australia where it's middle of summer.
[00:04:18] Ryan: Yes. And it's gonna be 80 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and you're gonna go, oh, this is nice. Why do I want to go back? Yeah,
[00:04:26] Jonathan: More like 90, between 90 and a hundred. Then it gets to the point where you're like, oh man, like I'm still reasonably well insulated, like I used to be morbidly obese, but I still carry a bit of extra weight.
And I think it is important to actually be real about that. But that means that I can, I'm actually insulated and I can survive the cold. I go over in the heat and I'm like, man, you can only get so naked before it becomes socially awkward. So at least in the cold I can layer up
[00:04:49] Ryan: I don't know. I've lived in the warm and the cold and I actually prefer the warm because you can't take layers off. And I get it, you wanna take all your clothes off. But here in Arizona we go from air conditioning to heat to air conditioning, and it was the same thing. I lived in Nevada. Same thing. It's just life.
It is what it is. Anyhow. So your journey of losing a hundred pounds, what started you on that journey? What triggered you ?
[00:05:13] Jonathan: I guess the question is how did I get to be like 330 plus pounds in the first place? And we can explore it if it's a value, but really in a nutshell, when we were living in South Africa back in 2011, I was I was attacked and nearly beaten to death.
And so it was a really it was a random attack. I say random, it had to do with my skin color, obviously, but they didn't know who I was or anything. But four guys jumped me and beat me over the head with like bricks and tried to kick my rib Cajun and things like that. And it was a pretty, pretty nasty beating that I took and obviously had to been knocked unconscious.
They would've just kept beating me until I was dead, because these guys are actually convicted murderers, literally who did that, including the night before. And so it was, but the really, from that, The fall, it was I started using food as a coping me, a trauma coping mechanism essentially. And I didn't understand, obviously I didn't know at the time what I was doing.
I had no understanding in kind of the way that I do now. It's just that I had these uncontrollable urges to eat food and I was. I went through probably six months of just like complete, or I look back and it's like I was operating in survival mode and like a lot of dissociation essentially, and the weight was just piling on.
But in my head I was like, oh, I'm not that big or whatever. And I'm still an athlete and things like that, and I just gotta lose a couple pounds and I'll be a fine. And there's all these stories that we tell ourselves. We got back to Australia about four or five months after the incident happened.
We stayed on living in South Africa few for a few more months. And I think the reality of it started to sink in. What happened, finally I was in a place where I was reasonably safe and It probably took a few more months to psychologically decompress just living in Australia.
Before I could slow down a little bit that started a multi-year journey of trying to lose the weight. So what a lot of people don't realize because of the way that the sort of the weight loss industry markets things is say that we have a famine biology. And what I mean by that is our body is really great at storing fat.
It's very efficient. It's what our body wants to do. Normally under, the majority of human history, it's like we didn't have electricity, let alone refrigeration and food preservation and things like that. There was certain things like pickling and fermenting and stuff, but it wasn't nearly the same capacity we have now.
So what do we have to do in periods? Abundance. We ate and we stored the fat, and then when there wasn't food, we lived off the fat. That's that was our calorie absorber. So we're really good at like soaking up fat. Now when we go to lose it, the body's whoa. There's obviously a food shortage, so we better slow down our metabolic rate to make sure this fat lasts as long as possible because there might not be food coming.
So we're wrestling with this biology that wants us to store fat and doesn't want us to lose fat. So once we create fat cells, they're ours for. . I did. I did some approximate math and I calculated that at my heaviest, and I think my body fat percentage was somewhere like 54, 55%, which is shocking to think about.
Wow, I had enough body fat on my body to go about 18 months without eating food, living on a boat. Like 1800 to 2000 calories of fat a day. That's how much I had on my body. So when we think about that and we go I wanna lose, and I didn't necessarily set out to lose a hundred pounds necessarily.
I was just like, man, I gotta lose some weight here. And but so I did all the things that people try, variety of different diets and working out and it was fasting and I was a raw vegan for a while and I did keto and paleo and like just. One thing after another. I was trying it and I was like, it wasn't working.
By working, yes, I got reasonably good at losing weight, but I couldn't keep it off. Eventually it would just be like something would explode in my head and I would just go nuts and I would just start demolishing food again. There was no tomorrow and I couldn't understand why I was doing this because I'm, if I could say so, I'm pretty intelligent and I'm pretty well educated and including being educated in this, at least from a sort of a technical standpoint.
And I couldn't bridge the gap between what I knew my education and my behavior. I was like, why? And then I would get angry at myself and I would create these stories like, I'm a loser and I'm a failure, and everyone, I'm hopeless and everyone's gonna think this about me, and so on.
And I created this persona of the jolly fat guy, as though, because I felt like it was never gonna happen for me. Weight loss was never gonna happen. So I had to create this. Oh, I like being fat and it's my excuse for like massively overeating at parties and things like that, it took until about 2017.
In 2017 I ended up hiring a coach and I thought I was hiring this guy because I wanted to, wanted to look good, he looked good.
I wanted to kinda look like him. I thought that's maybe what he is gonna help me with. Ultimately, he worked with me in a way that I wasn't expecting. He actually showed me compassion and it was something that I didn't really understand a lot about. So I didn't like, I expected that he was gonna talk to me the way that I talked to myself.
know, Just try to whip me into shape or whatever and just, tell me what a horrible human being I am for all of my failures. Adhere to all these things that I knew better and blah, blah, blah. And instead he was like, patient and compassionate and showed me grace and was like, very, and this was really foreign to me, especially as a male with a with a male coach.
I was like, aren't you just gonna kick me to the curb because I'm struggling? Yeah. And instead he is no, I'm here to help you. And that, that radically shifted like my and obviously this took time, but it radically shifted my perception of myself. I actually had to learn like what self love is and that was a really strange concept, especially as a dude like, so it was it that kicked off this fascinating journey into trying to understand the brain and how it plays into whether it's.
Actually how our brain is wired, the different layers of our brain from a, we call a reptilian brain, our emotional brain, our prefrontal cortex, like the human cognitive executive function part of our brain, and how all these different factors play into why weight loss is actually pretty challenging. If weight loss was easy, if weight loss was easy, we wouldn't have an obesity crisis.
It's clear that this is a really difficult thing to accomplish, but no marketer who sells weight loss wants to stand up and say, Hey, this is actually gonna be pretty difficult because your biology's gonna fight you every step of the way. Good luck selling that.
[00:11:07] Ryan: It's also a difficult journey, especially with what we put in our bodies and the ingredients that go along with it.
I won't get on I won't get on my soapbox because there's one thing. I think we talked about maybe not seed oils in how they plant those into, or put them everything into everything we, we eat. The funny thing is, at least in the United States, are seed oils allowed in Canada too?
They are. Yep. Yeah. So North America, the most, prolific countries allow seed oils, but they're outlawed in every other single country you can think of that is anywhere like a first world. It's very crazy and it's like you'd be amazed how these oils are made and what they do to your body, and you wonder why we have diabetes, we have high blood pressure.
We're obese. Yeah. And we, and some of it, I've read, I was reading some research, I don't know, two or three weeks ago, maybe longer, about seed oils and what they do with dementia in the brain and so many other things. It's holy smokes. But everywhere you go, they're in the food and it's yeah, how do you get it?
[00:12:11] Jonathan: things that contain it. So yeah,
[00:12:13] Ryan: That, that's, that is it. whole thing is I use tallow or I use ghee. Yeah. To live off of, basically, and then fruits and vegetables, I'm all about it. I've never had a problem, but until about six months ago, nine months ago. I had no idea that seed oils were really, harming me as a human being.
I wasn't overweight or was fat or anything, but I had thyroidism and I didn't know why. And finally found a doctor of osteopath, and said, we need to look at what you're eating. Yeah. And he dug into it and saw the seed oils and he goes, you gotta lead the seed oils outta your diet. And within about nine months, 10 months, maybe a little bit longer it's been.
I've been able to come off my thyroid medication. Amazing. Now my thyroid is functioning how it should be. So what's
[00:12:56] Jonathan: really fascinating about this is we look at, say, dementia and diabetes and we wouldn't think they're connected, but they are. They are. They are. And there's a couple of really, and of course I'm fascinated by the brain and probably if I could say one of my biggest fears in life would be to get Alzheimer's or dementia to with Lose my, I'm with, and.
So we look at something that creates inflammation in the body, and our body's constantly trying to, fight that essentially. And you look at what are the pro-inflammatory things that we're eating and what are the anti-inflammatory things that we're eating? What's kinda the balance of those?
And yeah, so it's funny, I the other day I was stir frying a bit of tofu, which sounds weird. I was, I don't eat tofu all that often, but I was like, oh, I wanna kinda experiment with it. It's a reasonably in expensive source of protein or whatever, and I wanna play around with it and see if I could, make it taste good.
And I was like, the irony of me, like stir frying my tofu in like pork fat . It's not lost on me, but exactly that. I cook up a pork roast and I render as much fat, and when I'm cutting all the fat off the roast I render it down further. And we use that primarily for cooking. The other thing with dementia actually is it's also referred to as type three diabetes.
Not commonly, but in, in circles of people who know it's referred to as type three diabetes. Cuz the brain's primary source of fuel is glucose.
[00:14:10] Ryan: Yeah. And cholesterol. Cholesterol.
[00:14:13] Jonathan: Cholesterol's another interesting one, because without it we would die. Yes. Cholesterol's. One of the things that we use, it's the building block of all the major hormones in our body for starters, but we also use variations of it to patch like damage to her arteries because Yep.
Your arteries are essentially a water pipe. Blood is a water based fluid, and so if you put a water soluble patch on, It ain't gonna hold. So you gotta put something that can't dissolve in water, aka cholesterol on there. There's all these fun little rabbit holes to dive down essentially.
But I think we could condense it down to we're surrounded by a food environment and a digital technology environment. So food environment that is made up of all of these food products that essentially hijack our brain and are addictive in nature. Yes, combined with a technological environment that encouraged us to be sedentary, not move, essentially, our brain and biology have been hacked by technology and by the food industry.
And I don't know that I would go so far as to say that it's a deliberate, malicious conspiracy of big food and big tech conspiring together to make us fat and sick. It's literally a tendency of the human condition. I go back to that fam biology to move as little as possible if we can meet all our basic needs with without having to get off the coach.
To take a bit of a twist here, I came across an article the other day and it's a phenomenon that's been discussed in circles, but like young people are having a whole lot less sex than previous generations, for example. And to me now I look at that from a, just a, like a behavioral psychology perspective.
Cause I'm like, that's really interesting cuz I remember what I was like when I was a teenager. Yeah, exactly what's going on here. Because there is obviously a biological urge to procreate that exists in pretty much every one of us. Like it's there or should be. And so when it's not, there's actually a problem.
You know that there's something wrong with the sort of hormonal health of our young people if they're getting to this place. Also, I would say the psychological or mental health as well, because again, we can through, through something like pornography, we can meet all of our brains needs for that with a, with minimal effort.
And we live in a world filled with what I would call super stimuli, whether it's pornography, video games, junk food, social media, and the dopamine drip. So many different things that hijack our brain and our physiology. So we're really not engineered to thrive in this modern world as much as our, as we've done a great job of keeping us alive.
We now have like abundance of food and we can meet all of our needs. We got home heating, we got refrigeration, we got air conditioning, like we're cre, we're creature comforts, and yet we're sicker than ever. It's like something's wrong.
[00:16:40] Ryan: It's more than just wrong. We're, we've become like you said, that dopamine hit we're so about the instant gratification and if you, if we go back to food and then we can go to some other stuff. Yeah. Think about in the forties, fifties and sixties, seed oils weren't present in our food and you wonder why we didn't have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, all types of things that weren't prevalent.
It's when seed oils were presented into our diets because big business needed to make more money. They're not, I'm with you. I don't think they conspire. It's all about, it's all about money. I get it. Yeah, absolutely. Money and I'm capitalism. It is what it is. You just get educated and you figure out what to do.
And I'm fine with that, but people can't say, and this is one of the things I heard growing up, you can't have fat. You have to, the fat's gonna kill you and so forth. But it's amazing what the fat actually does for your body to allow it to, like you said, heal, but also function properly.
And once I started taking seed oils outta my diet I eat this way. I look for grass fed, grass finished. And if I can stick to that's where I'm. Pork and chicken and all those other things, they're gonna have GMO and they're gonna have grain cuz they're gonna fatten them up in the end. And unfortunately that's, you're eating what the animal's eating.
So I've taken a little step further and just said, okay, could I go that way? And it's been a little more difficult. Yeah, but I've been able to do it to where I can keep my diet pretty clean every so often when we go out, I know I'm gonna get seed oils. It is what it is. Yeah. But I can tell you this, if I eat a large amount of crappy food that has seed oils, the next day I pay for it.
Literally. Yeah. It is just, it's horrible, but. Back to social media and let's get it our life in general and where we're at with that, cuz we can talk about that , lead down the path of your coaching and what's got you there. Cause that's what I really want to hear is, yeah, through the podcast, the ones, my two podcasts, I get a lot of people to reach out.
They're like, they want to be like me. And I'm like, I've got eight years of struggling. You don't see it because what I put out there to you guys. Podcasting. If you follow my social media, you'll hear some of my challenges on a daily basis, and I can tell you this, if you can put out a viral video, God bless you, and you can be a millionaire, whatever, , not people are able to do that.
Why not put the time and effort into the brand that you're trying to create or the life that you're trying to create? And go after that. And that's where I circle back and say, why don't we do the exact same things for our health? It seems like we take the same shortcuts with our health as we do in our lives.
[00:19:18] Jonathan: Yeah. And so what's interesting is it's not entirely a character flaw. Now I say that because. There's this tendency to point the finger at us and be like this is the problem. You're, this, you have no impulse control. Or something like that. . And I go back to, let's look at how our brain is wired.
We're wired, like dopamine is a learning neurotransmitter. Ultimately, we learn to repeat behaviors based on a dopamine response in our brain. Like it's a necessary thing. And without it, like we would just be stupid. And but again, I go, what's happened is, It's almost like we're being gas lit here. Gas lit's a term in psychology that refers to essentially somebody telling you not to believe your lying eyes, , that, that's obviously, that's a gross oversimplification, but we'll just, yeah. Don't believe your lying eyes basically when that something's wrong. Like when a potato chip manufacturer can brag that, I bet you can't eat just one. Yep. And the people who know exactly what I'm talking about.
Greatest marketing campaign in the world, hungry. Grab a Snickers, four words, catapult it to the number one selling candy bar in the world. This is what we're up against. And then we're told, just eat a sensible portion. Eat this is a part of a balanced diet. Would you give like cocaine to a drug addict and be like, okay, use this sensibly.
Use this only. Only as a part of What about a gambling addict? Are you gonna park a casino in front of their house and be like, okay, gamble, sensibly, or an alcoholic? Are you gonna put a liquor store across from a rehab clinic like and say, Hey, drink sensibly? No. There's parts of our brain that because of our brain and how it is wired, we're not wired to live in this world of abundance.
Of it's, I'm not sure what, I mean there's thoughts out there on abundance and universal manifestation and stuff like that. And I understand some of the psychology behind it, and I don't wanna go down that rabbit hole. But the point being, from a biological perspective, we're not really wired to thrive in a world where there's all of this abundance in the wrong direction.
But then the blame gets put on us as though it's it's your fault. You have no self-control. And I'm like, our entire society has been engineered to make us fat and. And then the blame is put on us when you know, and it's yes, we do need to take personal responsibility. I'm not trying to advocate for just getting lost in the victim mindset here, but I think we have to call out as well that we have an issue at a cultural and societal level that is far bigger than any individual.
[00:21:42] Ryan: And the other challenge in there is, like you said, you have to have culpability and want to change. We've created ourselves and I say this broadly, I'm I always paint broadly, . Yeah, of course. We don't want to change. In my nonprofit, have people that come in for financial coaching and they want us to, they want us to do the work for their financial well.
and we have a saying we'll be here when you're ready. Cuz we can't change their financial history. Yeah. We can't make those changes for them. They have to implement what we teach them. and then go actually practice it and work through that process. And I think that's the same way with our diets, with our lives.
Anything social media, we think that we're gonna post one video and it's gonna go viral. And if we diet for a few days, we're gonna lose a hundred pounds. I don't know, there's some pill that's going around that was meant For something that now all the, I think it was for diabetes control or some type of new pill that's going around, maybe I got it wrong, but now all of a sudden all the celebrities are on it and the, I guess one of the downsides is you lose extra weight and you lose very quickly.
So now they're using it as a weight loss pill. And I don't remember the name of it. Maybe I could be wrong. So
[00:22:50] Jonathan: you might be the, actually what comes to mind is a, an injection that you can self-administer, like it's, they're tiny little needles and they're very easy to inject. Ozempic Wago.
There's a couple of different varis of aclu.
[00:23:03] Ryan: Yeah, it has a, it is, I know all those. This is a pill that I've never heard of. Okay,
[00:23:07] Jonathan: interesting.
[00:23:08] Ryan: So it's at least here in the States, it's, they're doing it. The Kardashians got on it and so forth, and we're Of course it did. We're pitching it. Yeah. So they were pitching it.
But whatever the case is, basically it now is being pitched as a weight loss pill. And it, all you gotta do is take it and call it a day and move on. No work.
[00:23:25] Jonathan: Yeah. And I think there's something really important that you've highlighted, and I also wanna shine a light on here. Yes. We need to stand up and advocate for our health and advocate for societal and structural change because we know that the environment we live in is going to make us fat and sick.
, this environment isn't going to change anytime soon. It's like turning a glacier around an aircraft carrier around it just takes a long time. So then we gotta say, okay, this is the world that I have to live. It's not changing anytime soon, even if we're advocating for change. Cuz the pace of change is incredibly slow when it comes to bureaucratic processes.
So then I have to take personal responsibility, and this is why folks on what I call brain driven weight loss. It's let's understand how our brain works. And instead of making a character judgment like you're just a failure and a loser, it's no, but let's understand the tendency of your.
Because if we understand how your brain works we're gonna stop fighting against it and we're gonna start working with it the way that it actually works. So the way that we normally try to go about creating change is putting ourselves into a straight jacket essentially, and trying to take a giant leap.
You talk about working, with people who are trying to change their financial behaviors. This is why historically what we've observed is those who win the lottery don't know how to manage their money because their patterns around money, their sense of identity around money has never been shifted, and so everything just gets leveled up, but the same behavior patterns exist and they start spending more and so on and so forth.
It's like there needs to be a shift. At the sense of identity level, which is a really challenging thing to do because our primal brain is going to resist that because whenever we go to create change, we're creating a sense of insecurity and moving from a place of potential competence to incompetence.
So there's so many different factors that come into why it is that we struggle to create change. We need what I call an emotionally compelling. Because change is gonna be inherently uncomfortable. It always is because our brain likes efficiency. It likes habits, it likes patterns, it likes routines, likes to keep things the same, cuz it can keep you safe theoretically.
And this is why coaching is still a thing. In the age of Google, information did not solve all our problems. This is not an information problem. This is a human problem. And I think that's one of the biggest things we need people to understand. This is a human, maybe not a human problem, a human c.
And so if we wanna create change, we have to work with our brain and create the conditions where our brain feels like it's safe to create change, and then create it at the rate that our brain can adapt to change as well.
[00:25:55] Ryan: So what gets us there?
[00:25:59] Jonathan: Working with me. , no.
[00:26:01] Ryan: Ing, I got that. So I was gonna walk into that.
But let's before, before we talk about that, after you've gone on your journey with your coach and your working on your weight loss, what finally decided or what was that trigger point again to get you to become a coach? What started you down that path?
[00:26:18] Jonathan: Interesting. I was already a coach.
And what else? I'm. I'm a born teacher, if you will. It's the brain I got. I can't really take the credit cause I say I got it free of charge. I think every one of us is born with certain, like certain innate gifts and abilities, ask me to play sports and I'm not great.
I've got the coordination of a hippo and high heels, right? That's just I'm clunky and awkward. I didn't get those. But I got a brain that's pretty good at processing and presenting information and taking complex topic and distilling 'em down and communicating 'em through analogies and pictures and things.
And so I'm actually pretty good at, in fact, I'm really good at coaching. I go back to, as a child, I taught my friends how to read cuz I learned how to read like four. So I have this really great brain, but now actually interesting for most of my life I hid this. because I remember getting picked on and bullied for being really smart and just like knowing all the answers to all the tests and stuff without ever studying.
I didn't understand that. My brain was a little bit abnormal in that regard. I just thought everyone's brain of worked like that, cuz that was my normal. But then when people would start to pick on me and bully me because, I seemed to do really well with very little effort and get really high grades, then I.
Again, I didn't know what was going on, so I was like, oh, I guess I better hide this and just blend in with the pack basically. And that became the pattern for most of my life. And even my brother for many years struggled with insecurity. He's older than me, but like I grew up bigger, taller, stronger, that kind of thing.
And it was like my parents out of kindness were like don't overshadow your brother. Like his confidence is fragile and so on and so forth. Now he's a very accomplished man. He's in, in the field of education, international education. He's got, he's well accomplished. But back then I go back to, so these patterns were kinda laid down of don't let people see that you have this ability.
because they're gonna shun you for it. That was the pattern that was kinda laid down for many years. I hid from this, so I only share that. So when you hear me talk about, I really now firmly believe I'm a world class coach, it took me nearly 40 years to get comfortable saying those words and actually owning that this is the ability that I have.
[00:28:11] Ryan: but that's cool that you came to that conclusion. Most, I say it, most people don't, most people are willing to sit on the couch and not be a climber in life. It's tough. Yeah. They don't wanna take that on and say, I'm blessed with this Gift. Or gifts. Yeah. Or skill sets. And they don't want to go work on it and get themselves in a better place.
Have that better life that they're looking for it. It's. It's really disappointing to hear how people just want to talk about their lives but not actually
[00:28:44] Jonathan: change 'em. Yeah, and to be clear, like I don't just coast on natural ability, , I connect myself with a lot of experts and educate myself, and I'm continually seeking to grow and improve as a coach and really as a human being.
I am far from perfect. I'm about as flawed as they come. I still wrestle with a lot of things on a daily basis. But I wrestle with them because I want to, I wanna succeed. You talked about like people hear certain like levels of success, but it's like my struggle didn't end. And that's another thing where social media distorts our perspective on reality.
No. I still struggle on a daily basis. I have to, for example, I have to manage my weight for the rest of my life. Because of my biology and because the fact that I was obese and I've not had liposuction to suck all those extra fat cells out that they're mine for life. So I have to manage this for the rest of my life.
Hey, I'm a parent. I got a kid who I don't think I've had a full night's sleep in two plus years. That makes emotional regulation a little bit more difficult. , I've got a wife who bless her, I love her dearly. We've been together for 17. Struggles with eating junk food as a way of emotional regulation and dealing with the stress.
And I she bears the brunt of the of the parenting as well. Because, as much as I try to hold my little boy in the middle of the night, he's he's like a honey badge. You're trying to claw my face off to get to mom. So there's certain realities. But this is not me complaining or trying to be a victim, but I'm like, every one of us has these different challenging circumstances that we face and it's almost like I want us to let go of this idea that there's an easy street there, really isn.
The challenges just change. And to go back to like, why did I coach? So even when I was like 300 pounds, I was coaching people because I kinda have this ability, I joke that my coaching superpower is like X-ray vision. I seem to have this ability to look at people. And after talking to 'em for just a short window of time, I start to pick up on things and I go, oh, I see what you're capable of.
And they can't see it in themselves. And I can't really explain it better than that. It's just I just see this in people and I don't know where this comes from. And then, so then it becomes like when I work with them, I'm like, okay, can I unlock this in them? In other words, can I guide them to this place of understanding?
Just the coach that I worked with, one of the reasons why I can say I'm a world class coach is because he recognized that ability in me when I didn't know it. I didn't know it was there. He didn't give up on me when I was struggling and failing and sabotaging myself and all this, and I had no idea why I was doing it.
He didn't give up on me because he saw something in me, and he is I see this in you and I want to help you get to the place where you see this in yourself. And that's what like a really great coach does.
[00:31:03] Ryan: Yeah. That's what a really great coach does. And man we could go on and on about this.
This could be a long conversation, but we're getting close to the end of this one. But what I wanted to really, want, really wanted to say was your journey's been through, ups and downs and all over the place, but it took you 40 plus years, you said, to be able to find out who you really are.
If the listeners could take away one thing, what would you wanna tell them at this point on their journey, that they're not quite there yet to that life that they wanna have. What could you instill or share with them that could help them get there?
[00:31:38] Jonathan: I would say you're not broken. I impossibly and you're not like unfixable, but the journey's gonna be a challenge.
That's and once we make peace with, This is not gonna happen on Easy Street, but it is worth it. It is. So there is a payoff in the struggle and there's a level of, it's like the difference between, going to a pawn shop and buying an Olympic medal or training for years and winning that medal.
There is a different level of satisfaction you get from this and, You're not broken and unfixable, but when you accept that this isn't, there is no Amazon Prime for results, right? It's so then you have to just embrace and accept and love and appreciate the journey, the I get to get up every day and grow as a human being.
That to me is almost like the reward in and of itself, and that's what I want people to come to this place where they, instead of just thinking that happiness lies at achieving a arbitrary benchmark. It's waking up with a sense of purpose and having something to work towards is where we find like true meaning and purpose in life.
[00:32:45] Ryan: Amen. That is so great and so powerful. You, we said earlier in the conversation that you're looking for people to sign up for free coaching. Yeah. How can you take people anywhere in the world?
[00:32:57] Jonathan: Yeah, actually, there, there's obviously some time zone challenges, but I just use Calendar as a scheduler, so it's if you can find a time that works for.
[00:33:04] Ryan: How could they reach out to you or be able to get on your calendarly invite?
[00:33:09] Jonathan: Yeah. Freedom nutrition coach.com and there's a book, a call link. And then I'll also send you a specific link in the show notes that you can put in the show notes here. Okay. Just just for the complimentary coaching call and there's no strings.
Because I feel like I don't have to pitch anything. It's if I coach you really well and genuinely help you, which I think we can have a couple of pretty transformational sessions. If people are open, it's oh, maybe I should keep working with you. So yes, I'm selfishly wanting to log my hours as quickly as possible so I can sit my next exam.
But it's also actually a, I'm, I'll be a friend. Like it's a useful marketing tool. If I can show you that I can help you, there's a good chance you're gonna wanna work with me.
[00:33:42] Ryan: And isn't that what life should be all about is put your best foot forward, help as many people as you can and those people come back and spades to you.
It's amazing. Once we start doing that type of work, our lives change.
[00:33:54] Jonathan: It does, yeah.
[00:33:55] Ryan: Sir I thank you very much for coming on the show. I know this was our second triad, but I thank you for being patient. I enjoyed the conversation and honored that you came on. Thank
[00:34:06] Jonathan: you so much, man. I feel like there's so many threads we could have tugged on, but I'm glad that you've steered the conversation and I look forward to our next one,
[00:34:13] Ryan: we can definitely have another one. Thank you, sir, and have a good one. You as well.