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Why Where You Workout May Matter More Than You Think

JONATHAN: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically proven program where you eat more and exercise less to burn fat and boost health.

CARRIE: Eat smarter. Exercise smarter. Live better. I am so ready for that!

JONATHAN: Hey, everybody. Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown back with another… And I’m going to rename the show one more time, on the spot, because we’ve got some cool branding stuff going on that we’re going to debut here pretty soon for everyone — the Sane Show. It’s the Sane Show now, which I love.

So with the show formerly known as the Smarter Science of Slim, then formerly known as the Calorie Myth Show, now known as the Sane Show cohosted by Carrie Brown.

CARRIE: Hello, lovely listeners.

JONATHAN: As you can tell, we are enthused to be recording again. Carrie and I haven’t recorded here for about a month and we’re back in the studio. We’re calling the show the Sane Show and our sanity is at a peak!

CARRIE: Mine definitely is. Mine is off the charts sanity!

JONATHAN: Carrie is so sane, she actually debuted, or re-debuted her knee caps today. Carrie, tell the lovely listeners about your knee caps.

CARRIE: Well I was just sitting here on this little high stool thing in the studio and I realized that Jonathan had never met my knee caps. So I introduced him to them because now, when I sit down you don’t get knee. You get knee caps, you get all the little boney bits. You can see all the little boney bits. It’s so exciting!

JONATHAN: As you know from the past couple podcasts, we’ve been talking about how Carrie has taken her sanity to the next level which has been cool and even… Those were four shows we pre-recorded. We’re now recording four weeks after that, and Carrie’s Sanity continues and, in fact, she has restored her set point to a earlier level which is so pronounced now that, for example, body parts that she literally has not been able to see, such as her knee caps and her collar bones — not that she couldn’t see them — but now they are detailed.

CARRIE: They sit there and wave at me without me having to kind of you know scrunch my neck up or… They’re just there.

JONATHAN: And that just really, really brought some joy to my face because sometimes people say — you may have heard this — that nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels, and that’s all wonderful to say in theory and I think we can all get like intellectually that that is true.

But when I hear stories from Carrie about this, or when I hear stories about individuals who are walking out of the grocery store holding a bag of groceries in each arm that they have to set down because their pants are falling off while they walk out to the car, like that just really warms my heart and I’m always happy to hear about that. So congrats, Carrie.

CARRIE: Thanks.

JONATHAN: All right. So other good news is, and this is going to be somewhat shocking, I had a breakthrough in the past personally. I had a breakthrough in the past two weeks, Carrie.

CARRIE: Okay. I’m excited. Tell me about that.

JONATHAN: So folks are probably familiar with my distain for exercise. I’ve never been a huge fan — never as long as we’ve been recording this podcast so this is the point of the story — of exercising, personally.

CARRIE: Me either.

JONATHAN: So I did it but I was really happy to have discovered E-centric exercise and to practice that personally because I wanted to minimize my time exercising and maximize my time doing research and writing and recording these podcasts and so on and so forth.

I had been in that state for so long that I forgot my previous life, my previous life as folks, my long time listeners probably know is I used to be a personal trainer. That is how I got started on this whole journey. I used to be into let’s call it never really body bodybuilding but figure competitions, fitness competitions. I liked that world.

I went to the Arnold Fitness Expo in Columbus, Ohio; went to let’s call them more hardcore gyms like a Gold’s Gym or a Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio. I was really into sports and I enjoyed, actively enjoyed weight lifting/bodybuilding.

I forgot how much I like that and just recently I switched gyms. I’m not going to throw any gyms under the bus but I had been going to a gym that was subsidized by my employer and it’s not so much a gym. It’s got pools, it’s got tennis courts, it had like a bistro in it.

CARRIE: It’s a “leizureslater”.

JONATHAN: It smelled like hotdogs when you were going down to the weight training area. I mean it was just…

CARRIE: [Laughter]

JONATHAN: I mean literally they sold hamburgers and hotdogs and potato chips and I was just like, “Why am I smelling hotdogs when I’m going to squat? This doesn’t make any sense.” So I recently switched gyms for reasons that don’t need to be discussed on this podcast, and I switched to Gold’s Gym which is a gym gym. It’s just…

CARRIE: Big boy’s gym.

JONATHAN: It’s where you go if you enjoy lifting weights. Carrie, just the act of changing where I exercised, it is… I have not felt the… Other than writing/recording this stuff, as you know, I’m a very professionally oriented person so I don’t have that many hobbies, like collect stamps or knit or hike.

CARRIE: You train spot.

JONATHAN: [Laughter]

CARRIE: Not a train spotter.

JONATHAN: But going to Gold’s Gym and being in that environment reminded me of how much I enjoyed that kind of an environment. It just shocked me that where I exercised… Now I look forward to going to work out which, for literally a decade plus I dreaded it simply because — I didn’t dread it, it was just like whatever, it’s a chore — because of the place I was exercising. The location made that much of a difference.

CARRIE: And I’ve got to say I don’t know what’s happened to the pair of us. We’re living some kind of parallel life, but I also, I look forward to my Saturday morning trip to the gym and I can barely believe I’m saying that. I just I actually enjoy my ten minutes of jolly hard exercise.

JONATHAN: And the lesson I wanted to share with the listeners is it’s really, really important. Don’t forget how important your external environment is. Obviously your internal environment… We’re all about being responsible and taking control of your life and you being the change catalyst. But for example, one of the reasons I’ve heard that folks really, really enjoy Cross Fit is simply… If you told a person, “Go do Cross Fit by yourself,” that’s… It’s not necessarily Cross Fit that they’re really into. It’s having a group of people together that are all invested in something and committed to it and excited about it and doing it together.

And for me, even if it’s not a formal organization like Cross Fit, just going to a gym, for me, where people are there to get results rather than to watch television and read a magazine while they walk on a treadmill and sip a sugary smoothie really made a difference.

CARRIE: So the point is make sure you find the gym that you’re most comfortable.

JONATHAN: Or even just the environment. For some people, going to the gym, especially if you’re starting out in a very beginner position, might make you feel bad because you feel like people are looking at you or judging you.

And instead, instead of giving up exercise, if you did it at home until you reached a certain point of comfort or you went to a place like maybe a Curves or a exercise facility that is more in tune with your goals and what you like — again focusing on you, what works for you rather than what’s close or convenient or what your friends are doing or what seems popular or what’s easy.

What was easy for me is this is the gym my employer subsidizes so I’m going to go there. Well in retrospect, I lost ten years of having a really wonderful outlet because of me just being stupid. So at least I learned my lesson.

CARRIE: And now… I’ve just forgotten what I was going to say.

JONATHAN: But anyway, so Carrie’s…

CARRIE: Oh, I remember.

JONATHAN: Okay, go ahead.

CARRIE: So the other thing I wanted to say was since I have moved to the gym, I have found it much easier to keep my commitment to do my E-centrics every week than I did when I did them at home. And that may seem weird because it seems like at home you know you don’t have to get dressed up, you don’t have to drive, you don’t have to do all of that other stuff to get you to the gym.

But somehow, when I was doing it at home, there was always an “Oh I’m tired; I’ll do that tomorrow,” or “Oh I got up late; I’ll do it tonight.” “Oh, I’m too tired,” and that can go on and on and on and on and then I’d realize that I hadn’t exercised for three weeks. But just making a commitment to actually physically go to the gym has made it so much easier for me. In fact I haven’t, since I made that commitment to actually leave the house and go to the gym at a certain time, I have not not gone once!

JONATHAN: And the type of gym I think is another good tip to take away here. There are different types of gyms. For example, there are things which call themselves sports clubs or fitness centers where their goal is really…

For example, I recently visited my parents in Columbus, Ohio. They live in Westerville which is right outside of Columbus and they have this amazing Westerville whatever, wellness center or something like that. And 95% of this giant complex is dedicated to water slides and pools and activity centers. And then there is like a little set of free weights in the corner. And that’s not bad, but that is a place which is optimized for “Let’s take the family out for an afternoon outing.” Right?

And then there are places like Gold’s Gym or World’s Gym which, the people who go to those gyms are there often to do high-quality, intense exercise. And then there are tennis clubs and the primary point of that building is for people to play tennis. They may also have a gym there, but the focus is on playing tennis.

The reason I bring this up is, if you go to a place which is optimized around people grabbing a club soda and playing tennis to do intense E-centric exercise, it might be a little tougher to get the most you can out of that experience rather than if you went to a place where everyone is committed to quality exercise.

CARRIE: Got it.

JONATHAN: Make sense?


JONATHAN: So, speaking of quality, Carrie, we have gotten some fabulous, fabulous questions in our Facebook Community which we wanted to take some time to crank through in this and the next couple shows.

CARRIE: Awesome. Love questions. Love getting people’s questions answered.

JONATHAN: So this first question, Carrie, why don’t you read the question as well as the individuals’ names simply because I am going to butcher them if I try. And then again, folks, feel free to post questions in the support group, but please just — for everyone’s interest — always type your question into Google first. Type “calorie myth” or type “smarter science of slim”, type “sane” and then type your question.

So for example, if you’re a vegan trying to figure out how to get enough protein, type in “calorie myth, vegan protein” or “smarter science of slim, vegan protein” — only because I think at the last count we had nearly 1.5 million words of information online freely available which Google does a great job of finding for you. So always feel free to ask Google your question and, if it can’t answer it, go ahead and pop over to Facebook. So Carrie, go ahead.

CARRIE: So the question that was posed on the Facebook Community that we have was that “If you got Jonathan in a corner, if you’ve got some face to face time with him, what would you ask him?”

So the first question came — well it’s not really a question, it’s more of a brain-picking, from Aaron [?sp?]-Blue and Janie [?sp?]-Hubing. And they said it would be about calories.

They said, “I think there is too much confusion about calories still. We have read the Calorie Myth; we understand the research; we’ve read other books that suggest similar ways of eating but focus less on calories and more on nutrition. That said, we still think calories do somewhat matter if weight loss is the goal. “No, it’s not calories in, calories out; and yes, more important is what you eat not how much you eat. That said, we do think, from our own experience, that they do still play a role in weight loss. I guess we’d just like to pick Jonathan’s brain a little more on that.”

JONATHAN: Beautiful, Carrie. Well thank you so much and thank you, Aaron and is it…

CARRIE: Jeannie.

JONATHAN: Jeannie, so two things. One, there is an entire podcast called something like, “Is Jonathan Saying Calories Don’t Count?” It was right when we launched the Calorie Myth Book, I did a series of FAQs.

I would highly recommend finding that podcast and listening to it in its entirety. And as you will recall from The Calorie Myth Book, this hopefully is a relatively simple answer and it’s “Of course, calories count.” The calorie myth is not that calories don’t exist. It’s that the idea that we must consciously count them is a myth.

For example, Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential. We must eat a Vitamin C or we get sick. However do we need to consciously balance milligrams in of Vitamin C and milligrams out of Vitamin C? No. Does that mean Vitamin C doesn’t exist? No.

Does that mean Vitamin C doesn’t matter when it comes to health? Absolutely not. It just means that focusing on, for example, consciously monitoring our Vitamin C levels is not a sustainable or manageable — or it can’t be a necessary approach to weight loss, excuse me fat loss, and health.

So calories are absolutely a piece of the puzzle as much as Thiamine in a piece of the puzzle and Riboflavin is a piece of the puzzle. And environmental toxins are a piece of the puzzle, and sleep is a piece of the puzzle.

But the Calorie Myth is focusing on that piece at the exclusion of everything else. It’s saying, for example, “Do whatever else you want in your life as long as you don’t eat more than 1200 calories. That is the calorie myth. This idea that nothing matters except for calories is a myth.

And what the science shows and what common sense shows as well is that, if we can do quality in other areas of our lives — quality sleep, quality in our relationships, quality stress management, eat quality food — all of these millions, and I’d say millions, literally, of variables like calories and phytonutrients and amino acids — those things miraculously balance themselves out like they do in every other species on the planet and like they did for every person who ever lived prior to the current generation. So it’s taking a step back and focusing on quality and letting your brain take care of that minutia for you. Does that help, Carrie?


JONATHAN: All right. Well, Aaron and Jeannie, I hope that helps you as much… And remember there is an entire show dedicated exclusively to this question. Please find that and also there is a section in the book. I think it’s in the first fifth of the book where it’s a little gray box that says, “So do calories count?” and I give a shorter version of the answer I just gave.

CARRIE: Thank you. Well said, sir. All right, the next question comes from Gareth Philips. (What a lovely Welsh name that is.) And Gareth said he would ask about fat. “If my weight loss is stalling but I’m eating sane, should I cut back on fat?”

JONATHAN: Gareth, I sadly cannot answer this question because I do not know what else is going on in your life. Implied in your question is “Should I eat fewer calories?” Basically, should I cut back on the fat, aka is my weight loss caused by an overconsumption of calories and is the fact that fat is the most calorific of all of the macro nutrients the cause of that?

It might be, or it might be because you’re extremely stressed. Or it could be because your E-centrics and your exercise is not as high quality as one would hope. Or maybe you changed something about your life in terms of various medications, the amount of sleep you’re getting.

So if your weight loss is stalling, I would really recommend focusing on the four things I believe in a previous podcast we talked about really making a huge difference. That’s sleep and stress as well as the sanity of your eating, making sure you’re staying active but doing the right kind of exercise, and again, really, really insuring that you’re getting those non starchy vegetables.

Often people have a pretty easy time, relatively speaking, increasing the amount of protein they’re eating because protein is delicious without much work, and fat because fat is without much work. But until we can take a step back and say for 21 straight days I have consumed double digit servings of non starchy vegetables — for 21 consecutive days try to do that.

Try to insure you’re getting quality sleep and try to insure that the stress levels are manageable, I would focus on those three things before I started fretting more about fats specifically.

CARRIE: I have something to say.

JONATHAN: Go ahead.

CARRIE: So I think — and this is from personal experience of my little journey the past eight weeks — I came to realize that there is a big difference between when we think we’re eating sane and actually what sane eating is. So there is a big difference between not eating insane foods and eating sane.

And what I mean by that is, I was very much in the mode where I — there was no sugar being consumed and no grains being consumed and no crappy oils and no beans. So all those four things at the bottom of the sane chart, I was not eating any of those. I was eating nothing insane. That isn’t the same as eating sanely and I think it can be easy for us to get off track and to think that if we don’t eat those four things then we can eat whatever we like of everything else and it’s all good.

What I’ve learned in the last eight weeks is that not eating insane is great, but eating sanely means focusing first on non starchy vegetables, second on proteins, and third on whole food fats. And then, if you have any more room, then you can eat the other sane stuff.

JONATHAN: Carrie, that is an extremely important point. So thank you. Thank you for bringing that up. One way to frame what Carrie just said is eliminating the bad will (one way to think about this, this is an approximation) will stop you from getting worse. So if you take your hand off of the burning stove, your hand will stop burning. So that’s good.

But your goal, Gareth, is not just to stop gaining weight; you are trying to actively burn fat. So now we need to put some Neosporin on your hand. We need to apply a therapeutic stimulus to your hand. That is exactly what Carrie is saying about now adding in.

So that’s the reason I highlighted non starchy vegetables because that’s usually the one that it comes the least naturally to people. So really, like Carrie said, not only do we want to remove our hand from the hot stove but we need to apply the nutritional therapy to it so that it can heal.

CARRIE: That was it. That was my experience for the last eight weeks, my “come to sanity moment.”

JONATHAN: I love it. I love it. Well, folks, again thank you so much for these wonderful questions. We actually have a bunch more here, but we wanted to share a few personal anecdotes with you at the beginning of this week’s show. So next week we will pick up right where we left off and it will be show number two of the Sane Show. And I think this is going to be the last time we change the name of the Show. But we just like to keep you on your toes. So please keep the wonderful questions coming. Feel free to use Google if you want immediate answers. And Carrie, how are you feeling?

CARRIE: I feel awesome.

JONATHAN: And your knee caps look great.

CARRIE: My knee caps are lovely.

JONATHAN: Well, folks, this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. We’ll chat with you soon.

CARRIE: See you.

JONATHAN: Wait! Wait! Don’t stop listening yet!

CARRIE: You can get Fabulous, Free, Sane Recipes over at carriebrown.com.

JONATHAN: And don’t forget your 100% Free Eating and Exercise Quick Start Program as well as free, fun, daily tips delivered right into your Inbox at bailorgroup.com. That’s B-A-I-L-O-R Group dot com.

This week: Why Where You Workout May Matter Way More Than You Think…and much more!