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Dr Michael Mantell: How you can help remove barriers to fitness
Someone may have obesity, but they're not obese.
On this episode of the Escape Your Limits podcast is a lesson in language, understanding and mindset. Discover why you should be thinking about more than just getting back to normal after coronavirus; what the next big opportunity is for health and fitness and why most business will miss it, and why the fitness industry has not been delivering on its promises.
A writer, consultant, presenter and billed as one of the 100 most influential people in health and fitness, Dr Michael Mantell has been at the forefront of wellbeing for over four decades.
The Escape Your Limits podcast is brought to you by Escape Fitness – a global community of gym design and gym equipment specialists that are looking beyond exercise alone to escape mental, physical and professional limits.
Michael Mantell on the Escape Your Limits podcast.
Who is Michael Mantell?
Dr Michael Mantell is the co-founder Plus Size Certified. In addition to also being a writer, author, presenter and thought leader, since Dr Mantell earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, he has served as chief psychologist for San Diego Children’s Hospital, created the nationally recognised Psychological Services programme for the San Diego Police Department, served on the faculty of UCSD Medical School, taught at the School of Public Administration at USC and served as the senior fitness consultant for behavioural sciences for the American Council on Exercise, where he helped author the Health Coach certification and the Behaviour Change certification. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Board of the International Council on Active Ageing.
Plus Size Certified is an evidence-based, behavioural science-anchored, consulting and educational organisation. It's a business that does not support or promote any lifestyle, but rather instead helps to create environments that are accepting of all individuals, no matter their size.
Michael Mantell episode highlights.
- The real actionable points to overcoming low frustration tolerances to the COVID climate, and how you can free yourself from negative thoughts to get through it.
- Understand your own self worth through physical, emotional, mental and spiritual capacity and how you can embrace your life as a corporate athlete or just grow to be a better person and grow.
- The difference between training and coaching, and which is more beneficial to growth and understanding in wellbeing.
- Why it's better to say that people have obesity, rather than that people are obese. Diet and exercise doesn't work on its own. We have to work on what people think.
- How there is no such thing as motivation and why progress is more about taking away the blocks to progress.
- Why the term “personal trainer” diminishes the experience and knowledge that most fitness professionals have, and what the better alternative is.
- Why it's important to be inclusive of everyone, especially in healthcare facilities and gyms, to remove bias and stigma so that a facility is inviting people in instead of making them feel unwelcome.
- What would happen if gyms became the aftercare centres for surgeries, and how this would truly embrace fitness as both recovery and prevention for long term conditions.
- Why someone can have obesity and be fit, or conversely be thin and by unfit. How a healthy lifestyle and self acceptance is much more important.
- What you can do as a fitness professional in order to promote holistic healthcare and really make a difference on a local level through the experience in yourself / your staff at your facility or in your business. How to create these integrated healthcare opportunities for yourself in order to create a real preventative approach.
- If you want to know why more effective long-term healthcare initiatives have not been put in place, follow the money. Cure is more lucrative for governments than prevention. We have to work as an industry to change this for as many people as possible.
- What will bring success from gym leaders thinking in the long term and how clubs can become more fully-functioning to touch the lives of more people.
- Why the next version of the gym is going to be about education and training, socialisation, camaraderie, preventative health and no longer just about lifting weights.
- How faith is anchored in trust and hope, and why this can lead you to a life of no limits.
Full episode transcript.
Matthew Januszek 0:20
Welcome to this week's Escape Your Limits podcast and our guest today is a writer, consultant presenter and build is one of the hundred Most Influential People in health and fitness. Dr. Michael Mantell has been at the forefront of wellbeing for over four decades. In this episode, we talk about a number of subjects including why as a business you don't want to think about just going back. What is the next big opportunity for the health and fitness industry and why a lot of businesses are likely to miss it. And then the reason why the health and fitness sector has probably not been delivering on all the promises and what it needs to do differently. For I think it's a great episode, I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did. I'd love to hear what you think please feel free to contact me directly on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram. And please enjoy this episode. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Michael Mantell for joining us today. I've been following you for some time. And you mentioned off camera that you're doing a column A day and I've certainly been you've been trying to keep up with the with the volume of content that you've been putting out at the moment. So thank you so much for joining us on this week's escape your limits podcast.
Dr. Michael Mantell 1:36
It is my honor to be here, man. I really I really am honored. And when I was when the request came in, I was so touched that Wow. What am I done to to be worthy of this? This is escape your limits is a great, great podcast and it's one of the I think leading edge podcasts that are out there. When when my friend Brian O'Rourke endorses something, you know, it's good
Matthew Januszek 2:01
Yeah, yeah, I've I have a great friendship with Brian. And he's also got a fantastic podcast and Oh yeah, I was interested to see you guys were connected. I didn't realize that before we'd actually would actually met. So, um, so thanks again. So, how are you getting on at the moment then I just just just saw I'd be curious to the question like looking at your background, it looks like you're a beautiful sunny place with palm trees and that the so it doesn't look as though it's too bad.
Dr. Michael Mantell 2:32
No, no, this is another day in sunny San Diego, California. And, you know, I we tend to look at things in the most positive way we can. That's not to say that we fool ourselves into thinking that bad things are good. No, they're not. But we have a rational way. I say we I mean my wife and I have a rational realistic view of things we don't get attached to the negative we look at the beauty around us. We fill our days, still working very actively, although formally retired, I like to say I'm really, really wired and re fired. But so I'm still very busy. Much of my client contact has been by by zoom or whatever it may be, for a long time. We go in our walks down to the ocean, we are exercising every day. And life continues. So it's, it's good, thank goodness.
Matthew Januszek 3:38
Right. And aside from a lot of obviously, it's not a great situation, you know, particularly for people that have read are affected by it. You know, we talked briefly about the travel side of things and how that's that's reduced, but but are there Have you seen any positives that have that have come Out of being locked down for for a number of weeks now.
Dr. Michael Mantell 4:04
Well, positives that have been that have come out of this. Yes. And the key thing you just said is have I seen those positives? And the answer is yes. I'm glad to go through some of the things that I've seen. Let me just quickly say that, unfortunately, lots of people focused on the negative part of this and there is negative. My heart goes out to my clients all around the world. Who 128 year old, a young man who's an actor, he's on television. He's an actor, and he was screaming on the phone with me the other day, earlier in the week. I can't fucking take this anymore. I said, What can't you fucking take? He said, I just can't. Dan, this is horrible. It's awful. Why is this happening to me? It's rude. My 20s wait a minute What? Because he wants to play video games with his friends in real life, not unzoom or FaceTime or whatever it may be. But listen to what the downfall of all of us during COVID-19 one man's it'd be different one that I take care of who lives in Canada. She's 5059 and she was crying her apartment is quote too small. And I can't take it It should be bigger. Apartment should be bigger. The apartment is what it is. You're thinking that you like it to be different might be a good way to think differently, that I should be able to go play video games with my friends in real life. You prefer number two. It's awful. Those Whoo look at this quote sheltering at home quarantine isolation, or we call it and think it's horrible, awful terrible. Who believes they can't stand it are fooling themselves. They are bullshitting themselves. Instead of thinking it's bad, yes. I don't like it. Yes, I can tolerate this. In fact, I can probably tolerate worse. So demanding awfully using low frustration tolerance. rating yourself, I'm a loser because I'm in the middle of this and I don't have what he has or she has. Those are the blocks to seeing the beauty of your time with your family, whether it's on zoom or FaceTime, or whatever it may be more time for you to think about how can I transform myself? This kind of thinking about only what I used to have So a long answer, but I want to just from the beginning, dissect the mindset or what I call the mind incline how we're inclined to use our mind those demands off allies terrible eyes, I can't stand it and those who free themselves from disturbing themselves and live happier Hmm.
Matthew Januszek 7:26
An interesting subjects and it's probably one I'll spend a bit of time on. Now, as you mentioned it but did you think with this period of relative isolation from from work colleagues, other family and everybody, do you think that that's kind of shines a bit of a magnifying glass on on some of the stuff that we probably kind of pretend isn't going on? You know, do you think it kind of gets us to face some of those things that we we've been brushing under the carpet. That is like, Okay, well, am I really happy and what I'm doing is this now just kind of exposing all the parts in my life that I probably need to do something about and like you said, either you, you know, you just you're just in denial or you say actually like now I'm going to start trying to, you know, knock knock some of these off my list. What's your thoughts about that?
Dr. Michael Mantell 8:19
Well, my thought is you are odd. That's why you're a great interviewer. You nailed it. This is a good time for people to say, Gee, I didn't realize that that was an issue, I was able to ignore it. On the other hand, this gives people a chance to put into perspective, what really matters. That's having a new shirt. Is it that important is the label on the jacket. That essential, have I been conflating the number on the scale with my self worth? Way What I what I how I see myself? Am I looking at things in my business that I thought were no big deal that are suddenly a very big deal? Here's an example. We're talking to leaders. Come on. How many times I've been doing this for more than a decade. We all see you walk into the gym, and the person at the desk greets you like this. Hey, how I'm standing over here. Hi, how are you? What's your name? Okay, and got it. Okay, have a great workout, take care. Hello, I'm over here. Or the person wiping down the equipment. And she goes like this. And she walks to the next one. And the gym owner walks by and then you think about it. today. We realize these things matter. Eyes on mind. incline. Forward. Let's look at what really matters. Health. Emily, I think what we all recognize based on the number of people that are ill, and unfortunately, tragically have passed away that what really matters is health. I teach my my corporate CEOs and the clients that work with something that we call PMS. No, I didn't say PMS. I said p Ms. That is to say physical, emotional, mental and spiritual capacity. Back a decade ago, the Harvard Business Review, Tony Blair, and excuse me, not Tony, Jim Lehrer. And Tony Schwartz described this as being the corporate athlete. I think we've been able to vary our mental, emotional or physical or spiritual capacities. Until now, when we realize how important these really are If we're going to leapfrog forward, my first job was I was chief psychologist at Children's Hospital. And I began working in television, media, getting psychology away in the news, good morning america and all kinds of shows for decades, or weekly basis, and then creating an idea. Let's take care of cops. I want to start a promo psychological services for cops. And did that for a decade or two. And then one day I saw an article, the American Council on Exercise, had an idea that they were going to eradicate obesity. father had died of obesity. And we're going to eradicate obesity through diet and exercise. I thought, oh my god, how could they be so wrong? They left off the third leg of the training of the tripod. So me being who I am called, hey, you don't know me? I don't know you. But you left off the third leg of that tripod. What is that thinking? thinking
like this quiet the other end? And she said, Well,
I'd like to talk to you. Where are you located? I said, I'm in New York City right now. Because I was visiting grandkids my wife. Oh, well, that's unfortunate. We'd love to meet with you. Where are you guys located? in San Diego, California, boom, pow. At a meeting. A couple weeks later, I became their first senior consultant for behavioral sciences and began developing this coaching concept instead of training, health coach behavior change and that got me into the fitness world. That all brought me to where I am with you right now. Long story.
Matthew Januszek 12:49
So what was it like going back in to when you you know, you came up with this, this? I guess it was an idea but you you were sort of saying about missing the third leg Was that based on, on your sort of, you know, what you'd studied previously to realize that that, you know, the psychology was, was really affecting everything else that you do and your motivation or was that something that you you put together yourself? How did that that come about?
Dr. Michael Mantell 13:16
Well, I'll give credit to Albert Ellis, and another teacher of mine universe, Pennsylvania, Aaron back. Albert Ellis invented something called rational emotive behavioral therapy. And then years later, Aaron Beck came along, and he created what we call cognitive behavioral therapy. Today, I don't refer to it as therapy anymore. I refer to it as education. That's what it is, it's education. And I realized that nobody picks up a cup of water without thinking first, no one picks up a piece of candy and put it in their mouth without Thinking first diet and when we think that diet and exercise or the lack of diet, lack of exercise are the cause of obesity. What we are doing is creating stereotype. We're saying is people are lazy. People are lazy. The fact that and we omit the biological the environmental, genetic of food supply issues that are related to this economic factors that are related to obesity. What we're saying is it's your fault. diet and exercise hasn't worked. The World Health Organization, a whole list of other places have said that by 20 right now it's about 42% of the of our country worldwide three oh about two point something good People have obesity. Notice I didn't say are obese, they have obesity in America. And by 2030. We're never going to eradicate obesity. The prediction now is 50% of the world of America, excuse me, will have obesity 50% another 25% they say you're going to have severe or more morbid obesity. So, diet and exercise doesn't do it. We have to work on what people think about the economics, the food supply, the genetics, and so forth and so on. I can talk forever about this. Will willpower, forget motivation? I don't even believe there is such a thing as motivation. Wait, what did you just say? There's no such thing as motivation. There isn't. I want to do something. I tell myself a whole bunch of stories that block me is what I call about motivation, you don't get it. It isn't about building in more motivation. It's taking out the blocks. So that's the thinking part. Now I as you correctly pointed out, it comes from No, I wrote my thesis in 1972 on the psychological aspects of obesity and then add it ever since.
Matthew Januszek 16:25
So, so let's stay on obesity for the moment there. I know it's one of the ways I connected with you on that on that subject, so you know, seems to be according to one of your articles since 1972. It looks as though globally it seems to have tripled and the amount of people I'll be careful with my words now but but I What do you say are obese or have obesity, how you
Dr. Michael Mantell 16:55
have obesity that we have, we have to be very careful. We don't say this obese club member, this obese client, we put the person first. Joe who has obesity, not Joe is obese. But he has he lives with obesity. I'm training an obese client no training a client who has obesity, the obesity society the obesity Action Coalition, the American Society of bariatric physicians The list goes on all use the proper language people first language we and I can get very specific. We talk about language, stigmatizes and language that doesn't. So for example, unhealthy weight or overweight or weight problems are much better way to talk about this issue then fat or chubby or pink or you know, things like that.
Matthew Januszek 18:00
Yeah, so So yeah, so so it looks like this this for whatever reason, and I'll, I'll get get your thoughts on that in a moment. But you know, it seems to be getting rapidly worse at both for adults and also for kids. You know, I sort of looked at some of the research on that and that's pretty frightening as well so and yet you know, where we've got all these fitness programs and we seem to have more health foods and advice and gurus than ever in in history and yet this you know, the world is has an issue with, you know, sort of major health issue and a lot more people have obesity. What are your thoughts in terms of you know, what, what's going wrong is it just is it education in terms of you know, people are not you know, they don't understand the basics of what to eat and they're being you know, sold to buy, you know, companies that are selling junk food, is it that they're not exercising is it there? You know, is it sort of more, you know, mental where people have other issues which which then sort of being manifested in them carrying weight just as the same as someone probably drink too much and smoke too much what's what's, what's your, you know, why is it getting worse? And what are some of the sort of driving factors to that?
Dr. Michael Mantell 19:24
That's a great question. Again, there are many answers. And a lot depends on the particular perspective you are coming from. I think that yes, many there are many weight reduction programs out there. Those that fail
because we know that diets that have the word die, he said, our businesses and a business is not in business to put themselves out of business. Look at what's going on in the gym world today. We want to get back as fast as we can. Not necessarily back but want to open again. So diet companies that are selling diets that work for a little bit of time, they don't work and want to pull you back in. Whether it's Weight Watchers or neutral systems or Jenny Craig or this supplement or rub vinegar all over you or whatever it might be are my three weeks to lose 18 pounds. They don't work they fail. I think that when we look at gyms and health clubs, true health clubs, they stand out in terms of their focus on helping people gain health. That may include weight loss, number one, they are committed to this people first language people who've been who come in that have been city are referred to as people who have it not obese person. It's a hero tolerance for derogatory jokes and means is inclusiveness all around the walls of the gym. There's pictures of folks who have obesity, waiting rooms, the bathrooms, the scales, the chairs are all size friendly. People focused on the true etiology, not just simply calories in calories out. People look at their points, the stereotypes that they have. apps are held accountable to stereotype beliefs they have. When I look at gyms that include those. I don't say difficulties with people being successful in gaining health and losing some weight. Marketing today, attractiveness and availability of food again Just because my wife and I went shopping yesterday and there was some great looking food out there, we're both watching our weight.
don't really need it don't want it. We try to eat from the neck down, not from the neck up. I deserve it. It'll make me feel good. I'm too stressed out. So there's a whole host of these interesting reasons, what leads to failure. Some of it is purposeful, some of it is unintentional. But any program that leaves the mind out is doomed to fail. Hmm.
Matthew Januszek 22:44
And when you you know, if you talk about obesity, then is it you know? Sort of Be careful with how you say that, but is it something like you know, if you're overweight and obese is that because you're you're just, you know, is that like a Would you say that's like a disease like being an alcoholic? Or, you know, being addicted to cigarettes? Is that the category that you would you would put that in? Or is it more of a discipline thing where you just, you know, you just, you're just not got the right kind of diet and you're not got the discipline to work out.
Dr. Michael Mantell 23:28
I don't think it's discipline. I think there's elements of that. But the trouble with most fitness, exercise teachers, exercise trainers, like personal trainer, reserve that for other species, it's a term we have that we have to put that term away. Let's get rid of it. From now on, we're going to stop using that term. Because personal trainers like you're going to train me personally. trainers are four I think For our guild and the caring the most professional, Fitness, Fitness professionals that I know have their exercise instructors, or exercise educators and exercise teachers, health educators. Back in 2011, I guess it was 14 I remember I gave a key dress at a fitness conference and as I called it, pathway to the future, coaching, not training, but a case. So, look, I think that there are a number of factors that have to be taken against iteration, self discipline, willpower, believing that only will lead people to stigmatize people as lazy. As you know, not caring as the week will. That kind of bias leads people to have emotional difficult He's more eating more weight gain, avoid exercise, it pushes them away from gyms, where we want more members to come and gain help. When we have to we have to look at behavioral factors. Absolutely. What is it that we can do to help people? It delete the barriers that they've set up to more exercise, to more awareness, mindful eating and so forth. Economic Factors, food pricing. People live in areas where unhealthy food is much more affordable than healthy foods, environmental factors, active transportation, walking parks, that kind of thing where people can be more active naturally non exercise
genetic factors. Big Big thing
the whole family is struggling with Whether it's adopted with twins, or parents and children, obesity has been shown to be highly heritable ranging from, you know, grandparents to grandchildren, across the board. And then other factors. It's influenced by all kinds of things, parental abuse, divorce, parental incarceration, ex obesity. Someone comes into a gym and says, Hey, I want to lose weight. Great. Let's get your working out some more. Watch those calories in it. They found foolish and they don't mean to they care they want to help. So, we want to train those people to be aware of the myriad of causes of obesity. Hmm.
Matthew Januszek 26:51
So, you know, certainly, the way you explain it, it's it certainly doesn't sound a straightforward to To be successful, and as I suppose what you think is, you know, go to the gym. So you die out, have a shake and you know, you kind of get there. So are you are you saying then that the type of coaches that that would would really, or businesses that would really want to, you know, support this area? You know, there's there's a greater level of education required beyond just your sort of, you know, your physical fitness and nutrition side then?
Dr. Michael Mantell 27:27
Absolutely. About a year and a half ago, I was gonna do a film on obesity. And it was gonna tell a story of a man lying in bed. 250 pounds, a real client of mine. couldn't really get out of bed. His daughter was getting married, and he wouldn't go to the wedding. Couldn't couldn't find anything to fit him. So in my mind, I had to tell a story. He meets Ralph Lauren or some fancy designer, and let me see ya Versace here. You meet some fancy designer. And the guy says I can make a tuxedo for you. And he does and he opens. He's walking down the island, his beautiful tuxedo, and he feels great. Well, I couldn't get funding for it. I spoke to a position that I heard opened a resort called the resort in the Bahamas. And he said, Hey, I don't want to fund this, but a great idea. I have a better idea. Let's help those with obesity. He was in the hood. He's in the hotel industry. And he said, Let's come up with something called that he called plus size certified, plus size certified. What we do is we go into doctors offices, gyms and health clubs, hotels and restaurants. And we train people to do just what you're suggesting. Make sure that you have furnishings and fittings that are size friendly. Make sure that you know What language to use, make sure you know how to Greek those who have this disease and understand that it is a disease. Make sure that you, you have the skill, that compassion, which is so important today, dealing with people with any disease and watch your numbers grow. And by the way, in addition, let's make sure that your marketing graphics have photos of people who have obesity. I went to the gym that I go to, they're going to for 40 years. And I said hey, I have to quit. What do you mean you thought you can't quit? Come on your. I said no. I What do you mean I don't belong here. What? Look around. Look at all these pictures. They're millennials ripped and shredded and they got the face hair and the beautiful bad. body looks like me. The young woman who is a friend of ours, she's my wife is a fitness trainer. By the way. She said, Oh my gosh, you're going to tell Paula, my wife. I said, Oh, no, I'm not quitting. I'm just kidding. And how about getting some inclusive pictures? Plus I certified.org is an organization that helps gyms health clubs, restaurants, hotels, doctors offices, health care facilities. Understand how to cope with the ability of opening yourself up without bias, free of stigma, eliminating and inviting these folks in hundred with over 100 million people in America now who have this disease. Hundred Million. Can you imagine what that does to the gym industry? in opening up again? Wow. How about you Matt how back if the gym industry says a number of years ago mantle went out to all these bariatric surgery centers and he set up these aftercare programs after surgery. There were no trainers, no coaches no exercise these folks. How benefit gyms became the bariatric aftercare programs for surgery centers? Wow. much opportunity out there now in this sphere in many spheres. But let's be forward farsighted Froggy thinkers as we come back into the world post COVID-19 and say we have different offerings that were the same place that made people love at some summit said 80% of people are coming back into the gym.
100 million people we're not touching this is uh huh.
Matthew Januszek 31:57
With with that then like you said that You know, imagery and seating and, you know, the some of the environmental changes to make like would do, do you see this as as being, I guess, you know, how do you how do you navigate that? Would you? Would you have facilities that just just cater for that particular needs of a demographic just in the same way as you have boutiques that are very clearly focused on the millennials, you know, they don't, they don't want what, you know, don't really cater on anywhere else. Would you? Would you have facilities that would cater for, you know, for obesity, people with obesity, or would you? You know, would it be sort of part you mentioned bit of being inclusive, you know, would that sort of be better if you have obesity to have your own kind of space, your marketing and feel comfortable and confident or would you sort of integrate those two, just, you know, interested in your thoughts on that
Dr. Michael Mantell 32:55
brilliant question again. I love your questions. You have great classes. The answer is the link is what you think. title of my last book. The link is what you think meaning, there are people who want to only go to women's only gyms. I only go to CrossFit. I only go to boot camp. Then there are people who like I like to see all kinds of people, all different people all sizes. I don't think there is an answer. I think, though, that we have been hearing for two months. We're in this together. Hashtag. We're in this together. I think there's a beautiful rainbow. And I don't like that sound too syrupy here, but there's something beautiful about a blend of all kinds of people. The gym I go to is the guy that he comes every day with a wheelchair, and an a, a health dog. We call like walking the name now.
Is the dog that helps. Yeah, yeah. Thank you.
He has no legs. He's in a wheelchair.
And he does upper body inside bends and it's incredible to watch him and people get so hardened and so themselves, you know uplifted, gives them the boost. There are other people who are shamed a fearful of their of what they've been told for years and years since they've been kids with obesity. I know they're making fun of me they're looking at me. So I don't think there is an answer. I think that the point is the expression before cater to let's cater to people who are paying us for a service. cater, whatever. Whatever it is. Compassion nomics. Hot word today and fishes bring compassion to patients,
trainers, coaches that I work with, learn how to bring compassion to those. They're working with. My wife is a personal trainer. she's a she's a fitness coach. She specializes in working with older folks. She heard of a trainer in a local gym, that is just the epitome of what it's all about. And she went in, and she hired this guy. They said, Oh my god, I, uh, you're a trainer, how can I train you have incredible, incredible professional relationship. And she's referred many, many people to him. He doesn't have any special workout. He's got Heart, heart, that's what he has. And that's what's selling. Hmm,
Matthew Januszek 35:38
hey, I was gonna ask that, you know, in terms of marketing to a particular demographic, or, you know, a demographic with particular needs and I guess you've kind of answered that is it? I suppose, would you agree that it's it's more like you say making people feel as though you care and regardless of whatever your situation is? You're, you're going to go there so you don't have to necessarily just oh, you know, where the where the club for, you know, people that have obesity, it's like look, you know whether people will care and will, you know, come and see us is that is that kind of how you see see this?
Dr. Michael Mantell 36:15
exactly correct. I think that
just look go on the internet interview, whether it's Google or Facebook or LinkedIn and look at the photographs, that trainers and gyms and health clubs have to display what they do. You don't see anybody who has a weight issue. Right? I don't want to say black and white rarely rarely do you see someone who has obesity. I went on a recent I don't want to mention the name of the group because it's pretty easy to create a will but a major gym organization. I went back and looked at the last 20 photos in their marketing, not one picture of someone who has obesity. I just looked at a gym today that is announcing we're coming back and we're making sure everyone wears masks when you're close up and six feet away and that that's a third on when handwashing showed a trainer working training an individual on a rower. She was standing above him he was on the rower, neither were wearing masks, flat, open your eyes, you want to market market, but imagine the person you're marketing to is standing in front of you. Well, Thomas Kuhn HBL wrote a great follow. Yeah, he wrote a great article and importance of deep listening, where we're truly 444 sided or measurable difference making leaders can read and what people don't pay. So when a gym is going to market to someone who has obesity, or has this or wants to do that, don't just put pictures up of people who are already fit. Well, it's aspirational. No, it's the motivating it pushes people away. I don't belong there. We've learned that about race. Let's learn that about gender. Let's learn that about age. Let's learn that about sighs huh?
Matthew Januszek 38:32
Talking about that then the models and imagery What are your thoughts on the on the sort of plus size or you know, celebrate being again, I'm trying to be very careful when I was when I do this not to offend anyone but I'm trying to get to the point as well. But you know, there's there is a big movement of celebrating, you know, the plus size model and just accepting that you're, you know, that you're big Even though in some cases that may not necessarily be be healthy to you, you know if you particularly if you look at what's happening at the moment that may you know, compromise or put you at risk what where do you Where do you draw the draw the line then in terms of, I suppose supporting that movement but also being aware that you know there's there's a certain weight that's that's going to be healthy to most people to you know, to prevent themselves for various different diseases and sicknesses etc.
Dr. Michael Mantell 39:30
Well, the health and health it at any size Health at Every Size movement is a movement and they're promoting. I'm, I have obesity, I have overweight, and I'm fine with it. I'm okay with it. What I like about it is that it promotes what I consider to be one of the essentials of healthy amount of good mental health that is unconditional self I have obesity I can unconditionally accept myself. What concerns me is the the shading over into promoting obesity. That's the danger of this of these Health at Every Size movement in some way they people can suggest that they're promoting obesity and that I don't like accepting health you can be healthy and have obesity. I can be fit and happy to have obesity. I can be I can be thin and not fit. So I think as long as we're promoting self acceptance and health, great, but if we're promoting resignation and promoting obesity, well that's like promoting let's promote cancer. cancers. Okay there and no matter I feel good about having cancer. What? Coleman, you should be proud of the fact that you have it, and you're fighting it. No, I don't think so. It's a disease. Obesity is an illness. We want to help people through it, and over it and put it in their rearview mirror. Hmm.
Matthew Januszek 41:20
Yeah, that's interesting. It's a subject I've spoke about and read and there's there's a lot of different arguments, but I think I definitely agree with you, I suppose the if you come back to your original view, the you know, making sure mentally, you're in a strong place is gonna be important. So, you know, if you come out of the gates and and you're not accepting yourself in, you're in a compromised position, but but then I suppose being forward looking in terms of saying, Okay, well, I am accepting it, but now I'm going to actually sort of improve my health seems to be the right way to look at it. I would I would say,
Dr. Michael Mantell 41:59
I would agree Yeah, I just we just don't want to promote an illness. And your question about the Health at Every Size and every size. Yes, you can be healthy, but let's not promote obesity, it's an illness. Mm hmm. What with that
Matthew Januszek 42:17
is looking at some of the information that's coming out and I guess at the moment with the, with the COVID situation, you know, every time you open up the news, you get, you know, somebody says, You should go left and then the other person says you'd go to go right, every every, every argument has a contradiction somewhere along it, but but there certainly seems to be a strong supporting evidence that if you are, if you have obesity, then you're more at risk than someone that doesn't have obesity, with with, you know, going on to have more, you know, to be hospitalized and you know, for it to be a lot serious then and people are You know, in the correct way, what what what have you? What's your view on that? Have you got, you know, have you spent time looking into it in any detail? You know, what was your? What's your thoughts on that whole idea?
Dr. Michael Mantell 43:10
Well, you nailed it again. And that is that when we started the show today, people had one belief about it. But now, but they've already been for other beliefs in the center of it. And that's why I wrote a column on the harm of F IGH. EMC, side and phony science. There's a lot of funny sides. One theory that I read this morning, actually, from England, is that those with obesity, their fat cells produce a high level of Ace to a protein that the Coronavirus seems to attach to easily. So the more fat cells the more of this Ace protein in the world. The Iris is going to affect respiratory difficulties which people who have obesity already with and heart disease and asthma and all kinds of other things that they're already you know, focus with an exposed to. I do think that that's why we are hearing more about obesity. I'll tell you the first question you asked is what about opportunity? CIM industry? This is the opportunity. We want. This is incredible opportunity. Obesity is in the headlines. It isn't about how many it's about saving lives. You want to be a health club. Great. Let's and you want to promote exercise because it builds immunity. I get it. But how about helping those with obesity, build their immunity, cut back on those fat cells and make Coronavirus a little less Likely to give them something to attach to go out and talk to doctors offices. Introduce yourself. I write letters for the coaches that I coach on, what's the state of doctors how to introduce yourself? This COVID-19 is getting people who want to get into this mark.
Matthew Januszek 45:24
So is that from from your perspective, and I'm certainly no expert on this. But it from your perspective, is that pretty? Is that a fact that, you know, certainly, and I don't know, I know, it kind of makes a lot of sense. But if you know, if you have obesity, then you know,
Unknown Speaker 45:43
just just protecting
Matthew Januszek 45:45
or preventing this COVID you know, getting COVID-19 which certainly seems as though it's not going to go away in the in the, you know, in the near term, but getting improving your way is going To pay a really good way of
Dr. Michael Mantell 46:02
preventing or either
Matthew Januszek 46:04
poor or being able to deal with if you get it as opposed to just, you know, relying on when this next vaccine is likely to come out.
Dr. Michael Mantell 46:14
That's very, very true. Those with obesity, it seems have more complications and perhaps greater rates of death. The latter statement, I can't be sure, but the fact that there is more side effects and more difficulties along with the disease of COVID. For sure that we see. And I think that whether it's exercise that helps a few immunity. Similarly, weight loss helps fuel immunity to specifically to COVID-19 among other things as well. But when you have COVID 19 and you're having breathing difficulties, what is obesity do? It creates by itself. Respiratory difficulties, asthma, lung difficulties, there's liver implications, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol is related to all of those illnesses. And so when a gym says we're a health club, we want to help build your immunity by getting you into regular exercise routine.
dieticians and we're going to offer food prep services. We're gonna have group cooking, I used to be the chief behavioral science officer at a at the premier fitness camp here in the casita. And people would come for a week or two or three at a time and a very, very expensive price, thousands per week, but they will learn to cook with each other That was critically important. I think when gyms can become integrative optimal health centers, exercise places, they will be promoting health all across the board. I was the chief behavioral science officer at a local gym, Ariela Hoya numbers of years ago. We brought in stress management classes, stress prevention, relationship enhancement. We brought in family workout classes, everything to help lift the mind towards a healthy life. Not just there's some weights, go lift them and don't forget to wipe them down.
Matthew Januszek 48:45
But what he's with so much him you know, I guess information and research being out there on this Why do you think that the governments of the world kind of spend so much time on the cure side of things. I know I was I did an interview just a few weeks ago about, you know, the the, the investment in preventative health care in the United Kingdom and you know, very small budget that really goes into that. And then when you look at the implications, you know, what this coverts caused a lot of people because of overweight or what they call these underlying conditions, a lot, you know, a lot of the group that are being admitted to hospital so he would, you know, in my simple logical brain, I'm no professor or doctor or anything, but in my simple brain, it's like, Okay, well, if we could, if we could make an impact on just people that that are out there at the moment that need just, you know, a bit of advice, bit of education, on that side of things, it's gonna it will filter right right way through put less stress on the already overstressed health services. With fitta. It doesn't cost as much money, you know, so many benefits by kind of having a really strong Strong preventative strategies as opposed to the money that seems to go into these cures, which, you know, when you read about some of these, these vaccines and everything, you know, most of them come with serious side effects and particularly if you try and accelerate that without, you know, a huge amount of testing, you know, some of the side effects of terrible you know, they, a lot of them, even the basic one kill hundreds of thousands of people. And why why do you think like, why is that sort of not working out as you would think it should
Dr. Michael Mantell 50:33
I tell a story oftentimes, that a village in Switzerland, they had the best ski slopes on the planet, and people would go to the edge and look over and fall. And they This is for this wasn't beginners this was for this was an expert ski slope, but everyone looks Oh, and they fall. Towns people got together, excited to have to deal with this. So they decided to buy a very, very expensive ambulances out there with the best equipment, Big Pharma contracts, surgeon contracts, nursing contracts. health care's hospital contracts they spent $28 million. And when someone fell, boom, they were right there to pick them up. Again the best care in the planet. So I call them, me being who I am. I said, Hey, guys, I have a cousin who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey. He's a contractor, and he said for 1400 bucks. And actually he give you a discount. He could put up a fence.
And they said, Oh, well, no, we see we've invested already when we can't do that. I think gyms and health clubs are fences. And if they market themselves that way to prevent illness. We know that x is medicine, it is health, the it's healthy for you Why take medicine when I can exercise and not have to take medicine. And so, I think that there's this the mindset, that same thing with stress management, why manage what you can prevent. And the gyms that I consult to, I always say what managing what you can help people prevent, they spend less, they wind up spending more with you, but they spend less on other things that give them more money to spend on stuff for you. So I find a big believer in prevention at every level. And I think that this COVID situation, as you said earlier, it's going to go on and on is going to be around to we're going to have to be very careful as we open gyms and I just want gyms to be cutting edge to be so resolute and thinking about what can be different, not just rushed back. We're here for back. Let's really be on the cutting edge of what's leapfrog ahead. And you can do that I believe with one group that is people have obesity, but even even if not show that something is palpably different offer integrative healthcare. We're aligned with physicians in our neighborhood. We are partners with hospital. We are partners with one gym that I work with in Arizona does actual blood tests in the gym, and they send it out to their physicians and physicians read it and send it back and give the people information. But that's it. I want to have them partner and have health care as part of that GML at prevent, that's prevention,
Matthew Januszek 53:53
and D just pop by that question and you know, if you don't feel comfortable answering it, that's fine, but you know As it relates to the government, why are they not pushing this a lot harder than what they what they should be doing?
Dr. Michael Mantell 54:08
Well, you know, the Mickey Mouse, m IC ke y m o n e YMONEY money, follow the money. That's what it's about. It's all about money, power, self aggrandizement. I don't think I'm being cynical, although I am a skeptic. But I think follow the money and you'll see why the money is going to be spent on the cure. When prevention is what it's about. I read a crate I read a crazy statistic this morning. 90% of those hospitalized in San Francisco with COVID are people who are disregarding all of the rules that we're going out to work are going out and about. I don't know if it's inaccurate. It could be fake news. So much But take care of yourself. But the big question that people are asking today Matt is do you really feel safe going back to a gym to rely on to more cleaning and maybe a mass? Although 80% are looking forward to going back many people have trepidation the gyms need to speak to that fear and show how they are doing more than what the government is with this suggestion. hmm
Matthew Januszek 55:36
yeah. So one of the things that we discussed off camera I'd be interested in you know, in your thoughts now Yeah, what it what does leadership mean at the moment you know, what what's it's it's an interesting time I guess everybody's exposed businesses. What what what uh, you know, what, what are your thoughts on how to be Leader through these times delta some of the positive and negative things that
Dr. Michael Mantell 56:04
you're saying. Well, I think the number one is I teach I've given the keynote addresses the Transformational Leadership Council. And I coach a lot of executives who consider themselves to be transformational leaders. These are people who have open minds they are they're completely open to entertain kinds of possibilities for what can be their cheerleaders of other people. They are resolute in their stick to itiveness. They never give up ever nothing. Whatever stops them doesn't stop them. They have, they're willing to, they put their egos at the door. They don't have egos, but they look like they do an AMA see pictures of them, you know, posting with their fancy watch Don't have egos. These are people who have a cultural focused, the folks who have compassion who are formidable in every way. They're team focused. They want to teach people how to profit, as Chuck Runyan says, As an example, is about playfulness is about profit 50 of financial profit is a browse people. And it's about one of the things I'm forgetting right now, but that's okay. Come back to me later. I think transformational leaders are people who are in the minds of others for their benefit and see how they can help. People, they they're quixotic, they're original thinkers. They're proactive, they take pre emptive steps. And they they're never fearful. They have no nothing that holds them back. They willing to take those risks. I could go on and on and on talking about this. That's a whole presentation by itself. But I think that that those are some things that right now, gym leaders, and there are many, many of them are going to be successful opening a gym. But there's a small group off over here, and they're not thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow is already yesterday. They're thinking about a year from now. They're thinking about what's going to happen when this occurs again. What's the next group we can reach into? How do we become not just a better looking club, but a more fully functioning club Do we touch the lives of people other than having a fancier treadmill? Hmm.
Matthew Januszek 59:08
And you, you know, that sort of goes into the conversation we had about, you know, the terminology, you know, going back, you know, we let's let's get back. You know, let's get open. And, you know, I think you're saying that you know, that's probably the wrong way to look at it. And I guess particularly where there's a lot of if you look at the consumers out there that you're gonna have some people that feel safe to go back using those words and others that that don't. So what's your views about going back and why that may not be the right way to think about it?
Dr. Michael Mantell 59:43
Well, because the windshield is always larger than the rear view mirror. The rear view mirror is where I was. I don't want to open a gym or health club that is still anchor
Or centuries ago. I guess that Yeah, yesterday. It was the gymnasium. Oh grand Roman gymnasiums became fitness centers and then medical fitness centers. Well, yesterday is almost today is almost over. Tomorrow is going to come and go have another pandemic, which we do that we've ignored the obesity pandemic. How about thinking about something completely new, much broader, much more inclusive, optimal health center, that's what people want. Now, they don't just most people don't just want muscle, or shredded, shredded ABS or six pack, they want health. As the population gets older, they want to live longer, their longevity, as Blue Zones get more and more popular today. And they're telling people People who have longevity aren't joining gyms or lifting weights have non exercise thermogenesis non exercise activity thermogenesis neat exercise. The message is almost you don't need a gym I want gyms to say of course you need us. You don't need me for to use to rent my treadmill or to rent my weight. You have that at home you bought that for yourself last month, the Total Gym you got that at home the band mark the bear I love the guy his system I have to those things in my my my home gym. Wow. We have equipment from teawrex every Spry everything in the world. I don't need to go to a gym to rent their equipment. I go to the gym. I want training socializations I want camaraderie. But the gym starts becoming my preventive health center. Wow. That's what Gym Leaders ought to be thinking about. Not going back Just open your doors and every other treadmill Now guys, we're the we're the same, how you're going to lose, you're going to lose to the handful of people over here who are whispering version 5.0
Matthew Januszek 1:02:16
Yeah, I like that. And I like, you know, like, instead of going back is we're not going back. We're, we're transforming. I think that's a really nice way of looking at it. Certainly one that, you know, we're going to be thinking a lot about and just just slightly changing gear as we as we sort of wrap up now, Michael, at the moment, it's obviously a very difficult time for a lot of people. So you've got the people you know, you've got the group we spoke about that has obesity and they're dealing with that. Being stuck at home not exercising, being tempted. You've got people that are in losing their jobs, no certainty about what's happening in the future. It's a it's a pretty tough time for a lot of people. Also, you know, maybe maybe family, friends or relatives. They're also sick at the moment. And so it's a, it certainly seems to be a tough place to live in, albeit at the beginning. You know, there's there's some positives to be taken about it. You're I've followed you on social media and there's some interesting things you do. I love the thing. You talk about gratitude. It's something that I've started with my children since I've been at home we do we do five things around the dinner table, which we didn't one we didn't used to have dinner together. I don't think I could count on one hand, the amount of times we've done that in the last few years. And two, we've started to, you know, share, you know, things that we were grateful for what what are some of the ideas or tips that you strategies that people can be easily fitting into their daily routines that will just prepare them for what for what we're all going through at the moment?
Dr. Michael Mantell 1:03:51
Great question. I think number one, the idea of sitting around and talking about what you're grateful for with family, whether you can do that through a virtual means are face to face. If you're blessed to do that is a great thing to be able to say what you're grateful for what you're thankful. This is a great time to eliminate off in your mind that you have disturbed you, especially demanding that life be different. If you can go through this and catch yourself, making yourself angry if something is not the way you want it to be recognized a one way if I'm angry, I'm demanding it'd be different. So number two, in addition to being grateful expressing that when you wake up in the morning, instead of demanding how the day is going to be, think about what can go right. At nighttime when you go to sleep. Think about what did go right and what you're happy for. I asked a young child a 10 year old boy with a pretty significant emotional disruption. How's things going? Anything going? Well Nothing's going well. Nothing. Well, when you logged on we able to log on easily. Well, yeah, but that's the way the internet works. When you're hungry, tell your mom make you some tea. Well, yeah, that she's supposed to do that. Well, did your mom and dad kiss you? Goodnight last night? Well, yeah, they always do. But nothing went right. He wasn't seeing it. That's the sad part of this. That's the very sad part of this. So I think that the idea of being able to see what you can be grateful for getting rid of bending thinking. Knowing that my job is to focus on what is right in front of me good in front of me. Try that little technique of what can go right today. What did go right as I look back on the day, those are some easy techniques. I know that gratitude journals are very helpful. I'm not a big gratitude journal writer. I don't keep a journal. But I would just say be physically active. But my mantra is be active every day. Not too much. But every day. If you can go on a walk with neighbors and smile and other people that you never smiled with, smile back and suddenly you'll start to think, gee, this neighborhood is a nice neighborhood. They're friendly. It started with you. Last, I'll leave you with another mantra of mine. If it is to be, it is up to me. If it is to be is up to me, it's not up to anyone else. It's up to me. That gives me the responsibility that I have for determining how I feel. Life can be falling apart. Voltaire said, life is a shipwreck. But we still have to learn to sing in our life both. My wife and I made up a list of great songs that are very uplifting and positive like to sing those during the day.
The cool thing to do
Matthew Januszek 1:07:01
Fantastic. So great, some great tips there. So, I've got one more question. But before that I'd be interested to know like, you've talked about a few different things, your book, also the training in terms of the of
Dr. Michael Mantell 1:07:17
certified. So yeah,
Matthew Januszek 1:07:18
so can you just share some of those opportunities to engage with you or find out more about what you're doing?
Dr. Michael Mantell 1:07:24
Right? Absolutely. I just got finished doing a training seminar webinar with the Anytime Fitness franchise Association. And I shared that I'm not selling anything. I'm more retired. I said the beginning rewinder, we fired so very busy. I have a book out called I have four books. My first was don't sweat the small stuff. PS. It's all small stuff. I wrote that in 1988. Someone came along took the title in 1994. That's whole other zoom cast you and I can do.
I wrote a book on violence in the workplace.
And then I have my last book is called The link is available on Amazon. It's a great coaching book. You can get that for free by looking at the Facebook. Every day I have the mantel daily five, I put out five tips every day. They're all there. I've been writing a column every day for the last 50 days. And Arianna Huffington site I call emotional education. And last size certified.org go on there and get some information. It's the smallest investment money wise. It's a nonprofit you can ever make, to show the world that you have compassion for people who have obesity, 100 million people only growing more and more and we need To reach out as an industry and incorporate them in a positive, healthy way. So those are some things that I think people can I would direct people to my website, Dr. Michael Montel, calm, simple. You can go on there and learn more about me and get all kinds of stuff and information
Matthew Januszek 1:09:19
and testing. So final question, Michael, escape your limits is about escaping what you've believed is impossible and gone on to make it possible. What would be an example of where you've escaped your your own personal limits?
Dr. Michael Mantell 1:09:34
But then I'm sitting here with you today.
We have a Facebook group, my old elementary school. And so I'm gonna start reading my columns. She wrote back and she posted Oh my god, Michael Mann, pal. I always thought you were stupid in elementary school. I didn't realize you'd become this robot. It's public. It's all there. The robot I said. tell myself that every day How am I doing this? So by live by my escaping the limit is I have eliminated any barriers. There are no barriers. There is no i have i believe in faith that that faith is faith anchored and trust and hope fit, fit ah faith anchored in trust and hope. I have unlimited trust and unlimited hope. That's my escape. Any there are no limits. There are no limits. Until I tell you, I don't believe the sky's the limit. There's no limit.