I Am Erin Brown – Hear Me Roar
She changed her mind – and changed her self.
In this podcast, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Erin Brown from Fit Mama Training recently. Let me tell you, if you don’t know her already, you will find her to be a breath of fresh air and very inspirational. If you do know her, you know this already.
Her focus in life is helping women find their inner beauty and accepting who they are and how they are. This is not complacency or giving up. This is about having respect and a strong self value. A value that is NOT placed on appearance.
Several years ago Erin Brown weighed 100 pounds more than she does now. Then one day she changed her mind. This mindset change resulted in changing her shape – and her life. Now she is a speaker, writer and inspiration to thousands of women – and now, me.
Glenn: Today, I have on the line Erin Brown of Fit Mama. She is a personal trainer, lecturer and body image expert, would you say, Erin?
Erin: Yeah, perfect.
Glenn: I’d like to thank you for getting on the line with me today and sharing your personal touch, your spin on how people can improve their image, their body composition and really their enjoyment and their pleasure in life.
Erin: Yes, I like all of those things.
Glenn: I would like to start by getting a little bit of background on you and that will lead us to where you are right now.
Erin: Well, I spent most of my life either more of the obese or really convinced that I was. To go really far back when I was 4 years old, the first time I recall having serious issues of my body and I quit ballet because my body, it was different than the other girls in class. It wasn’t you know long. And kids get really kind of stringy when they grow up faster than they grow out. And I never was like that. I always filled out proportionately. And so 4 years old was the first time I remember having discouraging feelings about my body, and that followed me through my whole life.
Glenn: Four years old, really?
Erin: Four years old, yeah. And I have a 5 year old now which makes it even sadder to me because at such an innocent age where you’re just passionate about everything and I was really concerned about dieting at 4. So I did a lot of what everybody says they do, tried everything. I dieted on and off. I go on sort of exercise binges for short amount of time. And nothing ever worked for me. And what I ended up discovering is that the issue wasn’t of ‘there is something wrong with my body,’ it is that there was something wrong with the way I was thinking about it. And there have been something wrong with the way I was thinking about it for my whole life.
Glenn: Well you know I have to back up to where you said you first started thinking about it at 4 years old and then what you just said is that you’ve been thinking about your body in the wrong way your whole life. I have to know there must’ve been some sort of programming probably unintentionally leading up to your self-displeasure at 4 years old.
Erin: It wasn’t until I was having my own daughter that I was able to acknowledge that. I don’t think that it’s like I didn’t know before but there are things about ourselves and our lives that we can really convince ourselves aren’t true if we try harder.
Erin: So I was mad throughout my teenage years and my 20’s, at the media, magazines that you know, weight loss commercials and all of these things that felt like they were really telling me negative things about myself. And they were that at 4 years old, I wasn’t reading Cosmopolitan magazines. I wasn’t cognizant at diet commercials. And I wasn’t even watching any programming where I would be aware of it. I learned that behavior from watching my mother. And I have an amazing mother. Every time I say that it hurts a little bit because she’s the best. And she had no idea she was having an impact on me. She wasn’t saying anything awful about me. I watch her diet and focus on you know if she brought M&M’s at home, she would hide them from herself or praise herself for having a little or downgrade herself for having too much. She was constantly worried about what was happening in the scale. And when you’re little, your mother is the most beautiful woman in the world. So I learned from watching the most beautiful woman in the world focus so much on shrinking to be good enough that I didn’t think there was any other option for me.
Glenn: Wow, that’s amazing. I’ve heard similar stories before but honestly they haven’t gone back as young as 4 years old with other people that I’ve talked to. I’m sure you’re not completely an anomaly, but also I’ve heard much more blatant stories of mothers being kind of showing self-hatred and dieting on and on and off and on and off. And it’s really interesting that such a subtle nuances of behavior and some words here and there had that effect on you.
Erin: Well, there’s a couple of things. I’m an empath. And any empath would totally understand that like we just absorb what’s happening around us. And I always have been. So when I was 4 picking up on that probably quicker than some other kids in extent. But the other thing is there’s not it’s not about blaming anyone, it’s something that’s been passed on from generation to generation of women. My grandmother, whom I’m loved, lived close to with my mother. You know I love my grandma. She was really worried about me in college because one, I was going to college. So if I wasn’t getting an MRS degree, what was the point of that? And two, I gained a lot of weight in college. I think she was really concerned with both of those things that I wouldn’t be able to get a husband. And even though those things were actually like mean, she was displaying unkindness towards me, it wasn’t about me and it wasn’t about her being unkind. She just learned from her mother that the way to be a good woman is to stay skinny and attractive and land yourself a man. And she just wanted all of those things for me because she thought that’s what would be best for me. So even mothers they are seemingly cruel to their children with like enforcing diet on young girls. It’s not necessarily coming from a place of cruelty. They just also are conditioned to believe that a woman’s worth is in her size. And they want to help their daughter be worthy, even though it’s in the interact way of thinking.
Glenn: True. True. And I think it’s probably unintentional 99% of the time. I think there are very few women who are cruel to their kids even semi-intentionally. They usually want what’s best for them. However, what I have heard of and from speaking with people before is that sometimes the mothers feel a little bit intimidated by their daughters looking better than them. And so then there’s little settle snide remarks here and there. And that’s unfortunate. And that’s sort of a self-esteem issue with the mother. And unfortunately, it’s respond it results in a poor self value of the child as she grows up.
Erin: Well, it’s all the same thing to me. There is this cultural expectation that women are most valuable when attractive. And attractive has been narrowed down to very, very narrow ideal. And we are so wrapped up in this knowing that we aren’t good enough. And that’s the trick. That’s the real trick that you have to figure out that there’s no winning that. It doesn’t matter what you look like–
Erin: –it doesn’t matter if you’re a super model, there’s always some flaw. There’s always some way to improve. There’s no winning that. But when so focused on trying win at that and so focused on it that it’s attached to our worth and looking at our own flaws that all we see when we look at other women and flaws too. And we call this catty behavior between women. I kind of hate that terminology because they don’t think that something inherit to women. I think it’s that we’re conditioned to pick ourselves apart so much that we try to make ourselves feel a little better by taking apart other woman and realizing we’re all imperfect somehow. That’s not a real security blanket. That doesn’t actually make you feel better. What does is realizing that you are worthy and beautiful the way you are and seeing worthy beautiful people all around you. But we’re doing that backwards. And it’s all from the same sort of mentality.
Glenn: Yeah, instead of bringing yourself up, you bring others around you down to make you appear that you’re elevated. And you know what you said about picking each other apart, I’ve heard of that happening as young as 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 years old with girls. And I was really flabbergasted at that because me being a boy, growing up a boy, we just didn’t really have that exactly the same way. There is different types of pecking order techniques that boys would use but I don’t recall it seeing that with girls either. And I was pretty shocked and sad to hear that it’s going on with such young girls.
Erin: Right. Most girls, by the time they finished elementary school, have gone on a diet. So it’s younger and younger all the time. And to speak to you’re not having experience that is just a difference in how we socialize the genders. You know actually my sister is a personal trainer at social work said this is all really fascinating to me but yeah, I mean it’s just we teach girls totally different from than we teach boys.
Glenn: Now I like to ask you question about something you mentioned a little bit ago. And when you’re… When I asked about being four years old and kind of picking up on these attitudes from your mother about body image, you said you’re an empath.
Glenn: Can you expand on that a little bit for those people that aren’t familiar with that word.
Erin: It’s just a person who embodies empathy. So I am sensitive to the kind of energy other people put out. So if somebody comes into a room and they’re really angry, I feel that coming.
Erin: Often it’s described as people being really sensitive. And it used to be something that I am shot with a weakness but I’ve come to learn that it’s actually a very, a powerful strength. You just have to learn to be able to protect your own energy so you don’t just take on everybody off the stuff all the time. But it’s just a person who embodies empathy.
Glenn: Well, that’s funny ‘coz my wife and friends know that I’m pretty sensitive and so, now I am glad to see that it is strength and not a weakness.
Erin: It can be hard sometimes. I control my environment. I was out with friends the other day for someone’s birthday. I went to a bar and was hanging out in a place I wouldn’t normally in, just all of the like loud – I live in a college town – drunk conversations that some of them were nasty. It’s really hard for me to be in that kind of environment with so much energy that’s not good. And so they were teasing me because I was doing silly things like taking my scarf and putting it over my ears and saying I was in a bubble because it’s really hard for me to be around that kind of – I don’t know – funky energy.
Glenn: That’s funny.
Erin: I protect myself pretty well.
Glenn: I have to say that it makes a lot of sense why I’m able to kind of respond to clients and know what they’re feeling, and I can tell at how much weight they can lift. I can tell how hard they’re trying just by little nuances of their body, but I’m also kind of sensitive when, like you just said, when people walk into a room. Some people are batteries and they give you energy. Some people are vampires and they suck your energy out of you. And then some people, not quite sure what I would call up, but they chop up your energy and they’re just takers and make you feel all scattered. And I’ve come across all three of those people in my life. I wouldn’t say most people have one or the other. They’re sort of in between but it’s very interesting. And I’m glad I can put a name on it now.
Erin: Well, there’s a lot of interesting articles and books. I will just Google ‘self care for empath’ as a starting point and about learning how to utilize that to help you navigate with people and help you help people without it being such a challenge for your life.
Glenn: And I wanna now ask you if you can just in a quick synopsis tell us what you do right now. What’s your life, professional life, like? What’s your scope?
Erin: Well, I started personal training just sort of organically after I loss a hundred pounds. Everybody was asking me what I was doing. And I was really passionate about exercise. And so I started doing that. But when I started taking on social media and having my website, I never used that space to advertise personal training. I was always use it to talk about self-worth because that was always really what I was passionate about. And so while I continue to train a few clients, who are just you know sort of grandfathered in all the clients I will probably have forever, most is my day to day work is writing. I was actually finishing up my first book when you called—
Erin: –and lecturing. I go to institutions, conferences, anyone that calls and ask for tickets set for my story and talk about the steps I took to go from a really negative then to self-worth, since its self-worth to a positive one.
Glenn: Well, that’s what I want to ask you now. How did you do that because you said that you were overweight, obese and you lost 90 pounds? So what happened to make you go from a bad self-image and self-worth to what appears to be a quite healthy self image and value?
Erin: Well, this huge thing when I mentioned before is I found out I was pregnant, and immediately knew I was having a girl. And I couldn’t un-know where I had learned this pattern. And I also couldn’t un-know that the big problem in my life was the way that I talked about myself to myself and the way I perceived myself and not my weight. Because I wasn’t worried that I would pass on my weight to my daughter. I wasn’t worried about having a fat kid. I wasn’t worried about her having a fat mom. None of that mattered to me. What I was worried about is my internal voice would become her. And I needed to change that. So the first thing that I did is they stopped talking badly about my body. And I stopped when I was pregnant because I knew I would need some practice.
Erin: It’s like you were first like a sailor but you want to eat it in front of your grandmother doesn’t easily work very well. You need to kind of be mindful all the time. And just in thinking about not giving voice to my insecurities, I realized how often they are coming up that I was really obsessed with bullying myself. And I had no idea because it had just become my inner monologue. So getting dressed in the morning, I said terrible things to myself. Sitting down for a meal, I said terrible things for myself. I hate when I eat. When I would eat, I would go to multiple fast food restaurants and sit in the parking lot and eat by myself and feel awful. The whole time, I was just constantly giving myself these messages of guilt and how terrible I was and what’s wrong with you. And just being mindful of it was huge because it had become an automatic thing. It felt like it’s truth and not like something I was doing to myself. I also had to stop talking badly about other people and sort of what I was talking about before. But when people feel the good about themselves and their choices, they don’t sit around being critical to others. They really don’t have the energy for that. And so in order for me to continue with working on my own self-esteem, I had to stop being overly critical of other women’s bodies. And partially because that encourages the agreement that I made with myself that body is our objects for picking apart in their right or wrong.
Erin: I needed to just let that go and soften my gaze of other women. In doing so, I started seeing beauty in other woman and I started seeing it in myself. And then the big behavior change came after I was able to sort of soften my lens to myself and others. And I started experimenting with exercise and with healthy foods to figure out what felt best to me and what feels good to be my motivation because I wanted to teach my daughter that we don’t have to be martyrs as women. And we don’t have to beat ourselves all the time but we do deserve to be on our own list of priorities. And so I started just experimenting with what would make me feel good and healthy in exercise and fixing my foods that make me feel good because I believe that I had a body that deserves to feel good. And all of that resulted in weight loss for they stayed off pretty effortlessly because it’s continued to be about feeling good, and not about maintaining a particular size or you know being concerned that I want a particular weight loss goal because you know having smaller pants really didn’t make me happy.
Glenn: My god I love your attitude. I can’t tell you how big I’m smiling right now to hear you say all this. I hear this so infrequently. And even when I do it’s just little snippets here and there. I love women. I think every woman is beautiful or at least has beautiful parts. And I don’t mean physically. I mean personality, all of it or little bits and pieces here together. And it just, it kind of… It makes me really sad when they tear themselves down. I got into this business of helping people find health, good health and fitness because there’s so many sick people out there that have essentially done it to themselves. I’m not saying it’s their fault per se. there’s things that happened or our upbringing whether its school or parents or friends or whatever it might be, but the mental aspect of it is one that’s more difficult to address because you can’t really see it. It’s hidden. Other people can’t see it. You can leave yourself notes on the refrigerator that says “Are you really hungry?” And that might work to keep you from eating. But if you still hate yourself, you’re gonna eventually eat that food. And like you said sitting outside fast food restaurants eating and hating yourself is a kind of an extreme example of that, but you’re not alone in doing that sort of thing.
Erin: No, and I’ve always been the kind of person that has sort of this therapist-bartender personality. I just know the deep, dark secret of most people I’ve ever known. And so in just sort of being that kind of person, I’ve been having conversations of women about their bodies my whole life. And I never met a type of woman, who feels like she’s perfect or a particular type of woman who has the market corner on self hatred. When we pick each other apart, we’re missing that it’s all of this perception. It’s all these lens we have of ourselves. As the most beautiful girl in the room may have no idea that she’s it. And she maybe the one needing the most help in feeling good about herself. But we tend to believe that wherever we’re at is the darkest. And it’s not. On the converse side of things, the smaller group of women that I have known in my life who do have good perceptions of their body, don’t look a particular way either. You know it’s a perception thing. It is not a size thing at all. I see women lose a lot of weight and view an amazing feat of strength that you think like cross-fit or whatever and get ab-muscles and all of the things you think would make them happy but you know every time I see them, they’re trying a new weight lose program. They’re showing me areas of fat they’re working on. They’re never going to be satisfied because their mindset is ‘I will never be enough.’
Glenn: That’s really unfortunate. And a lot of what you’re saying is acceptance. Just accepting the way you are genes, your genes from your parents made your shaped the way it is. And certainly, we can improve upon… usually we can improve upon certain things but only to a certain point. And we can also make that worse. And I think the real issue is acceptance. Now, the gray area that I have trouble reeling really explaining to people is accepting your body and yourself the way you are yet still improving upon it for better health. Let’s say you’re 50 pounds overweight, you can improve your body composition because that’s better for your overall health and mobility and especially if you’re any kind of athlete at all. But where do you draw the line between acceptance and complacency?
Erin: Well, I guess I’m asking for an entire paradigm shift which you know is no small feat.
Glenn: No. No.
Erin: But I didn’t know. And when I was actually kind of pissed about when I started eating whole foods and exercising and taking really good care of my body, I had never been presented to me before it’s how good that would feel. I thought that I’m just tired all at that time. I thought that I was just kind of sick. I thought that was just the way it is. A lot of hence when I’m working with clients and they’re changing their behavior will come to me and say, “What is this feeling? Is this just like a new be high you get from vegetables? Like what is this?” And I’m like, “No, that’s like health. That’s vibrant. ” But if we—I think exercise and healthy eating has serious PR problem as long as we attach it to body size, and word and attractiveness. I don’t think that’s the point. I think that when you let feeling good be your motivator you’re going to naturally get to a weight that really suits your body and your activity level. And I think that’s look different for everyone.
For my body type, for example, it would be a very disciplined regimen for me to have visible ab-muscles. And at this point in my life that’s not something I’m willing to focus that energy on. I sort of have secret energy. If I was a senior citizen, I think it would be fun to be a senior body builder, but right now I have other ambitions and goals. And my exercise and my eating habits really support health that feels good to me. And I don’t have to attach it to my body size. So I think accepting your body is not the same as saying ‘I don’t deserve better health.’ it’s not the same as saying ‘Losing some weight might be easier for me to get upstairs.’ But I think when you’re motivated by fixing something that is wrong with you, even if it’s fixing your poor health if you think something to wrong and you’re fixing it, you’re gonna be coming from a negative state. And it’s really hard to maintain behaviors that come out of feeling that something is wrong with you. Whereas, if you accept where you’re at today and from the end and the beginning, that was just accepting this as a starting point you know. I was 240 pounds when I got pregnant with my daughter. I couldn’t walk up as a flight of stairs without being… And I was like kind of sick about that. I didn’t want that for myself but I accepted my body as a starting point and started working on my actual health, you know. But that doesn’t have to be about body size, it can be just about feeling good.
Glenn: Yeah, and it really is kind of hard to convince somebody who’s used to eating junk food, fast food, candies, soda. How good good can feel? And in fact I talked to people about that and they say, “Oh I feel great after eating a McDonald’s or eating the pizza” or whatever it might be. And that’s because they’re used to that, but they’re also not accepting that they feel those crashes and the lows. And once they do feel what good feels like after eating a good good food for let’s say a week and exercise on a daily basis – I don’t mean it has to be out of proportion – but then they really can wake up and say, “Wow! This is amazing.”
Erin: It takes time. One of my favorite emails I got recently from a client was that I had ruined — I can’t remember what it was — Ginny, some restaurant that I don’t actually have here. I ruined some restaurant for her ‘coz she was in a hurry and she had her kids and they went to this place that they go and she just got this thing she usually gets. And it was like this one time she wasn’t gonna beat herself up about it, which is where I’m always coming from most people. So I was proud of that. And she didn’t like the taste of it anymore. She felt gross afterwards and not gross in a like ‘I feel so guilty’ but just like ‘my body doesn’t enjoy this. My taste buds don’t enjoy this. I would really much better have the whole food that I didn’t take the time to prepare for myself today.’
And that’s beautiful to me because rather than giving her framework that says you know “egg whites and oatmeal only for breakfast” but just saying let’s try and do whole food and see how that feels allowed her to have that experience where she realized that that food wasn’t serving her energy, wasn’t serving her health, didn’t make her feel good and didn’t even taste the way she remembered it because we’d removed all the guilt from it. She wasn’t feeling badly that she had you know upset me. She didn’t let anyone down. She was just choosing a meal. And now she has an objective reason to not choose that meal again because it doesn’t feel good.
Glenn: That’s fantastic. I’ve heard that similar stories myself for my clients. And every time they tell me, I just pump my fist and go “Yes! Victory.”
Erin: Right. Yeah.
Glenn: And I have a goal with myself and my Live Fit Program to help a million people find good health and fitness. And I’m wondering what’s your goal for your career.
Erin: I would love – to be selfish because I have a little girl who’s looking around at the women around her – I would love for her to live in a world where women don’t see each other as competition, specifically as competition for men, which is different than competition for you know an actual race of any kind. I would love to see her in a world where she can see women who aren’t constantly apologizing for their body. Some of the most powerful women I know who in every other area of their life are just like, kicking butt, well sit down with me one of the first thing they say is “But I obviously need to lose 20 pounds. I’m okay with my body but I know da da da da…” It’s like we have to live in this constant state of knowing that our body isn’t an apology and make sure everyone else knows that we’re aware of it. I don’t want that anymore. I want her to feel comfortable because she’s seen plenty of examples of women who are living in their personal power, and living lives that suit them and feel beautiful to them instead of with this cloud over their heads that is something terribly wrong with them. And that they don’t deserve to live in their body, and that they aren’t worthy of their voice. So I guess it’s pretty big but I’d like to see more empowered women walking around even women I disagree with. I just wanna see more power and less apology.
Glenn: I love it. I love it. Like I said it, when I see people do things that are detrimental to the to their health, I’m not even go in to smoking and drug abuse, but just the not exercising and eating at McDonald’s, it just really torques my gourd. But the same thing with that attitude that you explained. And I just love the fact that you’re putting that out there for others to see and you’re teaching others. How are you helping people? You do public speaking which is great but that’s just the kind of wet their appetite and show them what you can do. But what’s sort of hands on are you… what approach are you using to help these women really accept themselves and be happy in their skin?
Erin: Daily messages. Social media may seem like kind of a silly space to spend a lot of your energy but I spend a lot of energy there because that’s where people are. Sending them daily messages about how I deal with my own stuff, how I live in my personal power, how I care for myself, how that makes me not a martyr. And I’m teaching my daughter to be not a martyr. I think there’s messages everywhere you look that tell women to be and think and speak small. And so I’m trying to canvass that with daily, regular, repetitive messages to the contrary. And the thing that I’m working on right now that I hope to have done by the end of the week is a workbook that’s sort of about reprogramming these thoughts, reprogramming the thoughts about others, reprogramming your thoughts about yourself, reprogramming exercise and nutrition instead of being these things that we all over ourselves about. Being things we deserve because there are ways you care for yourself that you deserve to spend time and energy on. But I’m working on my workbook right now, and the speaking engagements and a lot of writing. I’m helping to have another book as soon as this one’s finish coming henceforth. but I don’t do as much one on one coaching as I used to because I’m getting a bigger audience, and I’m impacting more women working on this larger scale right now.
Glenn: That’s great. So most of your messages are on Facebook or do you email… Do you have an email list? Or how do you reach these women?
Erin: I have a monthly email. I do a lot on Facebook. I do a lot of one-on-one emailing also. And then my book will be available on my website in the next two weeks, I’m hoping.
Glenn: Can you tell us about your book? What’s it called? What’s it about?
Erin: It’s called “As Is the 21 day practice for making peace with the body.” And there are chapters that go at lengths at explaining my own story and how I was hurting myself in the past. And then mine own practices of everyday that sort of undo your own story from the things that you’re telling yourself that no longer disturb you.
Glenn: Wonderful. That sounds great. I’ll have to pick it up. I have an idea that what you’re going to answer, but I wanted to bring this out. What do you think of these tabloid magazines? You mentioned Cosmo. What about people and some of these other like celebrity focused magazines? What do you think about them?
Erin: You know I feel the same way about them as I feel about most advertising directed towards women insecurities. I could go after them with petitions and big sticks and sit ins and whatever but I think that those people are just about making money and selling a product. And when we stop buying it, they’ll change the product. You know Walmart has organic produce now. And it’s not because Walmart cares that we have organic produce. It’s because the consumers wanted organic produce. So I think when we stop buying to cellulite as worth magazine covers, when we stop being susceptible to advertising that says there is you know, happiness at the end of the weight loss rainbow, then we’re gonna start getting messages that actually resonate with us. But we have to take that power back and decide that we’re not going to participate in that non-sense anymore.
Glenn: Well do you feel that reading those types of magazines are harmful to a woman’s self-image?
Erin: Absolutely. It’s just the same as sitting around with your friends and talking about someone’s body. It’s the same agreement that bodies are for objectifying and taking apart, and they’re supposed to be in a certain way. And that translates to yourself. You know when you sit around with a girlfriend and I like “Oh my gosh that girl and her outfit, can you believe with her size,” Whatever. I’m not very good at it anymore I guess. What his girlfriend is thinking is oh my gosh, if she thinks that about her, what does she think about me. And if you are looking at women with that lens of everything that’s wrong with them, then you’re also giving that to yourself. So I think as a gift to yourself, don’t participate in that. Don’t buy those magazines. If it feels good to write a letter, write a letter. But mostly don’t support it because all of those things will change as we do. And I think we are going to have change first unfortunately, because they’re just in a businesses in making money. And we have to take responsibility for our own self respect.
Glenn: And you can’t really blame them for that. The fast food industry is as big as it is, because people buy it. They bought with their wallet. And same with these magazines, and but when I see these magazines, I have an old computer phrase that comes to mind, “garbage in, garbage out.” And I really feel that it is true if you eat crappy food, you’re gonna have crappy health. If you read crappy stuff, you’re kind of have that same thought process. If you’re reading really negative stuff, you’re gonna walk around and gripe and bitch and look at all kinds of you know, look at the world in a negative hostile place.
Erin: Right, same as the people you surround yourself with.
Glenn: Right, yeah, it’s the people that around you that talk. You’re kind of picking up their attitudes, their thought processes.
Glenn: There’s people I know that are very negative. And then after I’ve been around them – I go one of two ways, either I sort of model them a little bit and I find myself sort of mimicking some of the things they would say or if they’re really extreme, I’m turned off time and… But then I find myself ditching about them. And so is that really any better.
Erin: Well, I think that what you give energy to growth. So you know rather than being upset about what you don’t like, spending time craving what you do would probably suit you well. But still be able to help you move in the same direction. But yeah, I mean the people we surround ourselves with, the music we listen to, I am like the princess and the pea with my energy lately because I realized that I have a finite amount of energy in each day. I don’t wake up. It’s a different amount of hours, different amount of myself to expend. I have x amount. And I just refused to spend any moment that dismantling somebody else, taking myself apart, listening to music that doesn’t make me feel good, watching television that doesn’t make me feel good. And that’s tricky. I like trying to watch television and just kind of numb out for a moment but half of the commercials that’s telling me what’s wrong with my cellulites and you know less of you, more of life at the weight loss surgical center, and I just can’t do it. So I’m very cautious of what I spend my time consuming rather that be in my relationships or with my food or with what am I listening to, because I only have x amount of energy and I want to spend it all really positively.
Glenn: You know I think the problem with this garbage in is that a lot of people – I’m gonna men and women alike – they don’t realize what it’s doing to them. Just like eating fast food, they think that they’re fine and it doesn’t affect them; yet, they get all these negative images, words alike. And they’re not realizing that it’s harmful. They’re thinking they’re impervious to it.
Erin: Right, well that they’re not probably not seeking you out. They stay down and think that there’s something that could be improve upon. That said though. And this might be a different thought for you but I don’t really personally have any problem with someone who wants to do a lot of couch sitting and eating. If that’s how you want to expend your precious beautiful life, if that makes you feel joyful and awesome, I would rather you do that than do that and feel guilty about it all the time. I don’t have any judgment about that at all. If you want to experience more vibrant health, if you want to have more energy, then there are many steps to take in that direction. And if you prefer you know junk and sitting on your couch, then enjoy your life and feel good about that. I just want people to feel good about their choices and not come from a place that’s self despair and guilt all the time. If that’s what you want to do, do it. Don’t ruin it with all your guilt. Just do it. You wanna make some choices, do that.
Glenn: I completely agree with you. I’m not a fan of guilt. I find that, for the most part, it’s only harmful. My only issue with people living like that is it is usually not very good for their health and eventually they’re gonna start having their body not like them very much, and they’re gonna to feel sickly and have physical issues. And then their quality of life is gonna go down. So that’s my side of that coin but I totally agree with you no guilt. I would like to end this interview with some tips that people could use now without giving away the farm. Maybe there’s some things that people listening to this could take to heart and perhaps evaluate their own life or make a couple of little changes. You have any tips or ideas?
Erin: I would say just as a starting point to be really mindful of how and when you’re talking to yourself, about yourself. I’d say now that I was obsessed with hating myself that I had no idea I was doing that at the time. I thought that I was just having inappropriate response to being me. So just being mindful is going to be a really good step towards taking responsibility for your inner voice, and just mindful of it. Being mindful of the way you talk to other people is pretty good reflection of the way you feel about yourself, and experimenting with things that might make you feel good. It’s not gonna look like everybody else. It doesn’t have to be the same diet plan anybody else’s going to follow. But just doing what feels good to you and experimenting to figure out what that’s about. Weight loss and better health does not have to be about you know, chasing smaller pants and ripped ab-trim. It can just be about feeling really good. Unselfishly, rather you’re mother or not, I am that little girl they’re watching you.
Erin: So if you are talking badly about yourself, if you’re talking badly about even celebrities on TV we’re furthering the agreement that we are here to be looked at and picked apart. And as a mother, I would really ask you to consider if that’s doing anything positive for anyone.
Glenn: So Erin, what do you do for exercise? I know you’re a personal trainers, so you are pretty knowledgeable about the body. What’s your favorite way to keep fit?
Erin: Well, I think it’s worth mentioning that I did not begin as a personal trainer. And I didn’t began with any real educational foundation. So I started with just walks around the block. And I would go for a one walk around the block with my dog about 3 days a week, and slowly started adding hills to that. I found a program in prevention magazine actually that’s for woman over 40 to turn your walk into a jog. And I was 25. And I should be able to turn my walk into a jog if this is for women over 40.
Glenn: Right. Right.
Erin: And so I did that program. So within the first year, it was hard for me. It took me a week to get up to jogging a minute. And within that same year, I ran my first half marathon.
Erin: So it’s always been about just doing you know one little step after another, not even trying to improve upon yesterday but just trying to do whatever my best that day was. So now I really just exercising intuitively. I don’t have a program I follow. Sometimes I do, which is not a prescription. It’s just me paying attention to having a beautiful life, and not just having a particular kind of body. So when I need to feel powerful, I like to do strength training. I like Olympic weight lifting and power lifting, pyometrics, that kind of stuff in the gym.
Erin: When weather permits me, I like to run in the trees or over the outside and so I go hiking in the woods, almost daily. I run and do yoga. But I just really approach exercise as a spiritual practice and ask myself everyday what I need as opposed to looking in the mirror and seeing what body parts need attention.
Glenn: Or following some strict routine.
Glenn: We’re on the same page. That’s exactly how I work out and that’s also how I train for bike racing too. I just sort of… I call it my German method, willy-nilly. I just work out willy-nilly but that’s essentially, it’s intuitive. It’s really what it looks at. You know, I’d also like to know what you’re eating philosophy is. Are you… do you follow any particular style?
Erin: Well I also, which is really ignorant about food, so when I decided I’m gonna you know, eat healthy, I had to do a lot of research about what that meant, coz it’s so frustrating what you can go to the grocery store and buy hundreds of products that say healthy on them that actually aren’t.
Glenn: Uhum. Yeah.
Erin: So especially it’s a product. So I read a bunch of books. I read about Paleo. I read about neo carb. I read about what’s that book I’m trying to study. I read about vegans. I read about all kinds of things just to see what really made the most sense to me. And so I don’t follow any particular program. I have a hard time with people who are really dogmatic about nutrition philosophy. It’s not because I care about what they’re putting in their bodies but the idea that the way they eat is what going to be the best for everyone. I think is a little fortunate.
Erin: although, I eat primarily whole foods. I bake from scratch. I cook from scratch. For my personal, for my body, it’s best for me to avoid dairy. And I do eat dairy but not a ton. And that’s not because there’s weight lose or Paleo or anything that… it makes me gassy. And I prefer not to be gassy. I’m sure other people around also prefer that. And I avoid eating large amount of pastas and breads in one setting because that makes me puffy. It makes my face puffy actually. Those are the things that I avoid completely. I also really like whisky. And I know that if I drink whisky then I’m probably not gonna feel great in the morning and probably not gonna go for a run. So I sort of approach the foods that my body doesn’t respond well too in the same way you know. If I have some of this, I’m not gonna feel amazing. Is it worth it? And choose accordingly but I do eat a plant-based diet. And I eat primarily whole food. And I don’t freak out about anything that’s not perfect away from that.
Glenn: Where can people get a hold of you?
Erin: My website it’s iamerinbrown.com. And I’m pretty stream lines, so [email protected] is my email. And I always respond to emails. I prioritize per client. But within a couple of days, I tend to get back to people. And then on Facebook, it’s facebook.com/iamerinbrown and twitter which is very occasional because as you can tell, I’m not a hundred-forty characters less type of woman. But I am Erin Brown on there.
Glenn: Erin, I truly, truly love speaking with you. I can’t wait to get this episode out there. I hope a million people listen to it. And I think you definitely are on to something. And I imagine you’re going to change quite a few lives in your time. So the more people that hear you, the better. And it’s gonna take them one step closer to good health, good happiness, good wellness.
Erin: Thank you.
Glenn: So thank you.
Listen to this episode here:
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