Every year, millions of people make New Year’s Resolutions. And one of the most common resolutions is to lose weight and get in shape. It’s also one of the most commonly failed resolutions. In this episode, you’ll meet a man who lost over 130 pounds and went on to become a transformational coach helping others to achieve the same goals. His success was not because of a New Year’s Resolution, and shows just why such January promises don’t work.
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After losing over 130lbs and conquering his addictions, Jeremy Reid transformed not just his body, but his entire life. Jeremy is now dedicated to helping others all around the world who are struggling where he once was and has been featured on multiple TV shows and magazines along with his own popular podcast, Conquer Your Mountain.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS SHOW TRANSCRIPT (Computer-Generated)
Narrator 1: Welcome to the Psych Central show, where each episode presents an in-depth look at issues from the field of psychology and mental health – with host Gabe Howard and co-host Vincent M. Wales.
Gabe Howard: Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s episode of the Psych Central Show podcast. My name is Gabe Howard and with me as always is Vincent M. Wales. Today Vince and I will be talking to Jeremy Reid, a transformation coach who started his career back in 2013 as a health and fitness coach. Jeremy has lost over 130 pounds and is here to talk with us about that and how being physically healthy relates directly to our mental health. Jeremy, welcome to the show.
Jeremy Reid: Hey, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor to be here.
Gabe Howard: Oh it’s our pleasure.
Vincent M. Wales: Definitely is yes. Now Jeremy… 130 pounds… Holy crap. Tell us about that.
Jeremy Reid: Yeah, well you know what, I always grew up on the chubbier side. I was the chubby kid, I got made fun of a lot in school, which just kind of naturally led to me getting bigger and bigger and bigger and turning to food at every major roadblock in my life.
Vincent M. Wales: We know… we understand.
Jeremy Reid: There are a lot of people do. And I found myself in my early 20s at well over 300 pounds, I was smoking two packs a day, I was drinking every night. I was just an absolute mess of a human being and woke up one day, took a really good solid look at my life, and I immediately realized that I deserved better than to be living the way I was living. Like me, as a human, I deserved better. And at that point I just kind of raised my standards on living and started slowly turning my life around, which ended up in 130 pounds of weight loss, I got into bodybuilding, I got into powerlifting and and then you know in 2013, dedicated my life to helping people that were in the shoes that I once was.
Gabe Howard: That is incredible and we want to hear way more about your path from everything that you just said to where you are now. But I have a quick question. I imagine that before the hundred and thirty pound weight loss and smoking two packs a day and no doubt eating junk food you said you know drinking that you probably felt poorly.
Jeremy Reid: Oh yeah, yes.
Gabe Howard: That would be an example of course of poor mental health and so many people for reasons that I don’t understand don’t realize the connection between their physical health and their mental health. Now our listeners are you know they’re very woke. They they definitely understand that. But at the time that you you know were doing all of those things – I’m really trying to avoid saying when you were really fat – did you understand that it was impacting your mental health that way or did you think it was just all physical?
Jeremy Reid: No I thought it was all physical. To be honest I mean I knew that I was unhappy in life and I knew that I was kind of the negative guy. And even though I had my times of being the class clown, a lot of the class clown act was to cover up how insecure and down I really was. But I at that time made no connection on the mental health and how it associated or manifested itself in my physical body.
Vincent M. Wales: So Jeremy tell me what was it about that morning when you woke up and you took the look at yourself… Why was that morning any different from any other?
Jeremy Reid: Well you know because I smoked and smoked so profusely I started having this morning cough and even at 23, 24 years old, I was getting up first thing this morning and hacking my lungs out, spitting up phlegm and as gross as this sounds, I can remember gagging. And in the bathroom hovered over the sink thinking that I was going to throw up because I was coughing so profusely and I remember looking at myself in the mirror naked and just thinking this is not who you’re meant to be, you deserve better than this. And that was this kind of awakening moment for me.
Gabe Howard: So that’s understandable. And I think many many people can relate to that and many many people have probably had that exact same feeling and thought. But there is a step two. How did you get to step two, which is doing something about it? Because I’ll be honest with you, I have felt that exact same way about 20 different things in my lifetime and only a few of them did I act upon.
Jeremy Reid: Yeah you know I think this this tied down in the way that I’ve described it before is raising my standards on life. When we will not live below our standards. And so at that moment it wasn’t just a thought like Oh I deserve to live better than this or I should live better. It was I must live better than this and my standards on living immediately changed. And so what it did – it didn’t make the journey any easier – it was still difficult. But what it did is it forced me into action because I knew that I had to change it wasn’t just this I want to or I should. It was I must change. And with that must comes action. And so you know within 24 hours I joined a gym. I had no idea what I’d done I never worked out before. But I walked in and I saw this woman on an elliptical machine and I looked at her I saw the movement and I thought I could do that you know I could I know I could understand that movements I got an elliptical and I cannot remember how many minutes I did but it was there was this sense of accomplishment you know even after probably six or seven minutes total that I could do. I got off of it and thought I just did it like I took that step. And now if I just continue to take these steps, it’s going to lead me to where I need to be. And so I never questioned it, I just continued to always invest a little bit more and a little bit more.
Gabe Howard: I like what you said there about you always invested a little bit more and a little bit more, so just to kind of bring it back and make sure I understand… you didn’t quit everything cold turkey. You didn’t wake up that morning and immediately stop smoking, drinking and eating junk food and then start exercising five hours a day, become a bodybuilder,just had this whole problem resolved in 48 hours. It was a baby step process.
Jeremy Reid: Heck no, no this was the journey that took… I’m still on it, you could say. But no. No and I… You know when I’m working with clients, too, I never tell them we’re going to change your life overnight. No that’s unsustainable. No one can do that. So what I did is I the first thing I did is I joined that gym and I went on an elliptical for six or seven minutes. I went outside and immediately lit up a cigarette right outside right outside the gym. Now I didn’t quit smoking until a few weeks actually probably about a month and a half after starting this journey. Cuz you know I was addicted. I was smoking two packs a day, so it took time. The first nutritional change that I made was I cut out regular soda. I just I always knew I mean I think everyone nowadays and have for years they know that regular soda is just bad for us. Like the high fructose corn syrup is just not good for it. And I was drinking over a 12 pack of Mountain Dew a day. And so I knew that that would that one thing that like if I had to if I could pick one thing nutritionally it be the regular soda. So I switched over diet. That’s all I did. I went from regular to diet. And that was my big nutritional change and that, tied with six seven eventually eight nine and ten minutes on the elliptical, you know, that produced results. And once I saw those results then I changed that I cut my portion sizes down a little bit and then I started lifting weights after a few months and just kind of a little bit by little bit by little bit. And so it was not this overnight change. It was small gradual things that I was like OK here’s what I’m going to attack this week. This is what I’m going to do.
Gabe Howard: I think that it’s funny that you went for a Mountain Dew to diet soda as longtime listeners of the show know, I used to weigh five hundred and fifty pounds and now I’m a svelte and sexy 275 at 6 foot 3. Now, I didn’t become a bodybuilder and I didn’t get into coaching, but I had sort of the same journey. I went from literally Mountain Dew and switched over to diet mountain dew and I swapped out. You know I swapped out a few other things. I went from really really unhealthy snacks to just unhealthy snacks. But at that kind of weight, and the fact that I was doing nothing as you said, I saw results. So even though I wasn’t perfect, I was still drinking soda. We all know that soda is not fantastic. I should drink more water. Even though I wasn’t exercising even 20 minutes a day, which is what they recommend… And even though I was still eating junk food, it was such a huge improvement from where I started that those little better results equaled more. And then I was able to pare it down. And it sounds like that’s the journey that you were on.
Jeremy Reid: Oh 100 percent. Absolutely and that’s what I think a lot of people don’t understand and I don’t want to get too technical on the weight loss side, but a lot of people think no matter what their start weight is that they have to drastically change things overnight which makes this whole journey so intimidating that they don’t even start to begin with. When I have many many many clients who’ve lost hundreds of pounds all over the world who, all we did to start was we went from the triple cheeseburger and fries that they were eating every day to the single cheeseburger and small fry. I didn’t even tell them to stop eating the junk food. I said we’re just gonna eat smaller quantities this week. That’s it. And massive results even in 7, 14, 21 days. Massive massive results just by slightly changing what we’re doing. And you know eventually down the road yeah we started cleaning up what they were eating and getting on a healthier diet. But you can’t make such drastic changes overnight nor is it needed to see massive results.
Gabe Howard: And of course it’s not mentally sustainable. I mean I hate to you know we’re a mental health show. Your mind will reject this. Vin lectures me on this all the time, I’m going to let him speak in a moment I promise. But I will I will send Vin a text message and I’ll say I’m tired of feeling like garbage. I’m I’m cutting out fried foods. And Vin, what do you tell me every time I say that?
Vincent M. Wales: Every single time, I say something to the effect of yeah, we’ll see how well that works.
Gabe Howard: And you tell me it’s not sustainable. And you tell me it’s about portion control and you told me it’s about moderation and… But the Internet article that I read, Jeremy, and this is this is a direct question for you. The Internet article that I read told me that by cutting out fried foods I would be a body builder inside a month.
Jeremy Reid: Yeah. I’m sure there was a link to buy some sort of product or sign up for some sort of service as well. The internet is filled with scams and just people looking to make a buck where there’s very few people out there that first and foremost had experience in this personal experience, but secondly are actually telling the truth and how it is for sustainability. You know I do not preach diets or you know or quick quick fixes. I preach and coach sustainability and long term results. I want every pound that a client loses with me to never have to lose that pound ever again.
Gabe Howard: We will be right back after a few words from our sponsor.
Narrator 2: This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp.com, secure, convenient and affordable online counselling. All counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions, plus chat and text with your therapist whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face-to-face session. Go to BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counselling is right for you. BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral.
Vincent M. Wales: All right so this is all great, but now let’s focus on the change in your mental health after this huge transformation.
Jeremy Reid: Yeah well I kind of in all honesty look at my life in almost two chapters or two books, you could say. There’s the pre-weight loss phase of my life where I’ve suffered from depression, I suffered from social anxiety, I suffered from very very poor self-image and confidence issues, I suffered in almost every way that you could think. And after going through this transformation and primarily about the first year of my transformation where I lost a majority of the weight, it wasn’t even when I started building muscle, it was just just taking control over my own habits and behaviors. I was not expecting that to happen. But what really happened, the major transformation in my life wasn’t physical, it was mental. I went from social socially awkward and anxious. I was constantly either staying quiet in the corner and minding my own business because I didn’t want to interact or I was overly the life of the party trying to cover up for my many insecurities. And what happened through this was this rebirthing of me, where now I have… I’m just a completely different person… confidence in myself and my abilities, socially just hungry to interact and help and laugh and love so many people just meet new guy. I love interacting going out meeting new people now. I own and run several businesses now which I never would have done. I was a conservative just keep it simple don’t make waves. You know like keep to yourself type guy and now I’m a risk taker and I I go and I live my life and I do the things I want to do and I’m… My goal is to help as many people as possible, so I’m constantly starting new ventures to go down that road. The mental portion of this transformation has been absolutely incredible and anyone in my life that knew me back then will say the same thing, that the biggest transformation that happened was not the physical one. It was the mental one.
Gabe Howard: I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a moment because there’s there’s somebody listening that says look this had nothing to do with his mental health. He was just pretty now. He was handsome now and because he was handsome and physically fit and no longer overweight, he had the confidence to do it. Now I would argue that confidence and mental health they do go hand-in-hand. But what do you say to people that just feel that this isn’t a mental health thing. This is a beauty standards of America thing.
Jeremy Reid: You know there’s there’s some point to that I can see that side. I think what I would say is you have to really experience it to know that it’s so much deeper than that. And the real change that I see in myself that I can speak personally and I I’ve had the same thing happen with clients is that it’s not so much how we see the world viewing us. It’s a complete shift of how we view ourselves. And that isn’t what’s in the mirror or in photos or how we represent ourself on social media. That’s just the same guy that’s hovered over a bathroom sink about to gag on his own phlegm because he smokes two packs a day and he’s looking in the mirror. Now, the guy looking in the mirror has a totally different opinion of himself, so much more love for himself, that how can you say that’s beauty standards? It’s not. That’s a complete rebirthing of who you are and how you love and respect yourself as a human.
Gabe Howard: I love that answer. Thank you so much.
Vincent M. Wales: So Jeremy with your clients, do you talk about the mental health aspect of things with them and do you have ones that are just you know wanting to be pretty?
Jeremy Reid: Yeah in fact that’s why I call myself a transformation coach and not just a health and fitness coach anymore. It’s because probably 90 plus percent of the time I spend with clients actually coaching them is on the mental aspect of the game. I still do their full nutrition and full fitness but we speak very little about that. Most of it is creating new habits, creating new mindsets, creating new behaviors in their life and changing these destructive mindsets or behaviors that they had that led to their essentially start photo.
Vincent M. Wales: Ok.
Gabe Howard: Thank you so much. So I remember myself. You know I showed up and the first thing that I said is I don’t want to be ugly. I don’t wanna be ugly I don’t want to be circus freak fat, I want to be able to fit in booths, I want to be able to ride roller coasters, I want to be able to fit in movie theater seats, that mental health was the last thing on my mind and I was not yet diagnosed with bipolar disorder but I had huge mental problems that I completely did not care about because I was so overweight. So if anybody would have tried to talk to me about mental health I would’ve just been like, look, I I’m just trying to make girls think I’m pretty. Do you get a lot of pushback?
Jeremy Reid: No. No I don’t. Because I asked pretty direct questions and I’m very good at what I do. So we identify some of the problems really quickly. And you know I wouldn’t say that all of my clients are diagnosable in some degree. Some of them are. But there’s obviously an issue if they’re coming to me at you know four or five six hundred pounds, they’re using food as their drug as their coping mechanism in life. And we have to get to the of the bottom of this. But also at the same time we’ve got to find other alternative ways for them to just deal with the stresses of life, deal with the bad days, deal with the bad news ,you know where they normally they would just go and overeat, we’ve got to find new behaviors to put in place to accomplish the same thing.
Gabe Howard: I really appreciate you addressing that because there is a world of difference between somebody who is 100 plus pounds overweight and somebody that’s you know 20 or 30 pounds overweight and you do an excellent job of explaining you know the physical health problems and the mental health problems that led you there. Like you just said. whenever I was stressed out – food, whenever I was happy – food, whenever I was sad – food, whenever I was angry – food. And early on when I was losing the weight, I had to find replacements because I still had those emotions and those emotions are good. We want those emotions even the negative ones have a purpose. But you’ve still got to do something with them. And if somebody would have sat me down and said Look Gabe whenever you’re angry we’re gonna have you go run five miles, I’d have been like, Yeah, I’m not doing that. So I was able to find things that I could do and would do that weren’t the double cheeseburgers. You said you asked direct questions. And this might be a difficult question to answer but can you could you give us an example of like the first day’s question so I hire you. I sit down. Go.
Gabe Howard: I would get an idea of what your lifestyle is like first and foremost. You know are you… Have you tried dieting in the past or losing weight in the past? What are you currently eating, you know just kind of get an idea for your lifestyle and we come up with just kind of an overview get a picture of when are your trigger points like what times do you normally binge or what you know just kind of asking questions here and there, but then in the coaching when I’m talking about direct questions it would be like hey if we have a coaching call and the client says yeah it was actually a rough week you know I I had a major binge on Wednesday, I would say well what happened Wednesday? And a lot of times I know it sounds simple but a lot of times people don’t want it. They’d like by nature they just want to hide. And so by me saying well what happened Wednesday, well… and then we’ll get into what happened Wednesday. And we start to talk about these things and start to kind of I call them levelling down of like it wasn’t just the fact that you know you got in a fight with your spouse it was OK well how did that make you feel and what does this mean? And we end up kind of identifying OK maybe loneliness is a major trigger for you or you’re feeling inadequate as a major trigger for you. And so getting kind of in tune and self aware with our emotions and how we feel and just what our actions are based on what we’re feeling, we can start to identify these things going forward and getting in front of these issues rather than all constantly behind them.
Gabe Howard: And of course when you’re dealing with them behind instead of in front, they can also pile up, so you ignore the first issue the second issue can delay and then before you know it you’ve got all three problems and you’re of course are not feeling physically or mentally healthy to start with.
Jeremy Reid: Right.
Gabe Howard: I could avoid things like nothing. I am an expert avoider.
Jeremy Reid: Most of us are. It’s not until we actually turn our eyes on the problem and start to really get honest with ourselves… that’s another thing… that’s just honesty with ourselves and taking complete ownership over our lives.
Vincent M. Wales: Makes sense. Two things… first I’m naming my next band What Happened Wednesday? And secondly, it’s about time for us to wrap up. Jeremy do you have any final words for our for our listeners?
Gabe Howard: [laughter] What Happened Wednesday? It sounds like the Addams Family.
Jeremy Reid: I love that – What Happened Wednesday? You know I would say if any of your listeners out there are struggling with weight, if weight was an issue like it was for most of my life, if if food if your relationship with food is an issue for most your life, I first and foremost the mental side of it is so much bigger than you realize. You don’t need the next seventy five dollar Instagram diet from some health coach, you don’t need the do at home workout program. These things are great and you may need to get there at one point, but you need to start looking at what’s going on upstairs in your head. You need to start looking at what sets you off. What makes you turn to food? How are you feeling? These sort of things are the absolute key to not only losing the weight but keeping it off for life.
Vincent M. Wales: Excellent.
Gabe Howard: Thank you so much.
Vincent M. Wales: And so how do we find you online if people want to do so?
Jeremy Reid: Sure. I’m big on social media you can find me at JeremyReidFitness almost anywhere on the web. And you can go to my Web site at JeremyReidFitness.com. And then I also have a podcast myself, which talks about a lot of this stuff. In fact my podcast is mostly the mental aspect of transformation and it’s called Conquer Your Mountain.
Gabe Howard: And that’s available on iTunes or wherever find podcasts are sold?
Jeremy Reid: Everywhere. Yep. ITunes, Google Play, Stitcher, everywhere, Spotify, you name it.
Gabe Howard: If you found the Psych Central Show, you can find Jeremy’s podcast. Jeremy thank you so much for being here, we really appreciate you sort of diving into how physical health and mental health relates. I almost feel embarrassed that we have to discuss it but there really is a big disconnect for most of society. Your brain is in your head! Your brain is where mental health is kept, but we see them as separate things, so thank you for shedding light on that.
Jeremy Reid: You’re so welcome. Thank you guys.
Gabe Howard: And thank you everyone for tuning in. Remember, you can get one week of free, convenient, private online counseling anytime anywhere by visiting betterhelp.com/psychcentral. We will see everybody next week!
Narrator 1: Thank you for listening to the Psych Central Show. Please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you found this podcast. We encourage you to share our show on social media and with friends and family. Previous episodes can be found at PsychCentral.com/show. PsychCentral.com is the internet’s oldest and largest independent mental health website. Psych Central is overseen by Dr. John Grohol, a mental health expert and one of the pioneering leaders in online mental health. Our host, Gabe Howard, is an award-winning writer and speaker who travels nationally. You can find more information on Gabe at GabeHoward.com. Our co-host, Vincent M. Wales, is a trained suicide prevention crisis counselor and author of several award-winning speculative fiction novels. You can learn more about Vincent at VincentMWales.com. If you have feedback about the show, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Psych Central Show Podcast Hosts
Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders. He is also one of the co-hosts of the popular show, A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. As a speaker, he travels nationally and is available to make your event stand out. To work with Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.
Vincent M. Wales is a former suicide prevention counselor who lives with persistent depressive disorder. He is also the author of several award-winning novels and creator of the costumed hero, Dynamistress. Visit his websites at www.vincentmwales.com and www.dynamistress.com.
Read more: psychcentral.com