The human body wants to move. It was made to move and it works best when it is active. However, modern life does not agree with this. The ramifications of inactivity became very obvious to, my client, Cliff Ravenscraft as he built his business from the ground up working seven days a week straight for the first eight months.
In order to build and grow his business he was forced to be sedentary. This took a serious toll on his health: He gained weight, ate poorly and was not exercising.
In this episode, Cliff shares with us the trials and tribulations that lead to the demise of his health AND what he did to bring it back.
A new body, and life, was just a mindset away.
Join me and Cliff as he shares the factors that lead to serious health issues and what it took to turn his life around. Now he is rock solid and continues to become stronger, fitter, healthier and happier.
This is just one more example of:
Change Your Mind, Change Your Body
In This Episode You’ll Learn
- The health issues that can come from letting the body go
- The starts and stops of past attempts
- What finally pushed Cliff to change his mind
- What he does to stay fit
- How he is going to live the rest of his life
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- Cliff’s Fitness Journey
- Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond
- Podcast Answer Man
- High Intensity Interval Training
Transcript of this Episode
Glenn: Hi, Cliff. How’re you doing?
Cliff: Glenn, I have never been better. It gets better every single day.
Glenn: That is fantastic to hear. That is fantastic. Now, for our listeners that don’t know who Cliff
Ravenscraft is, you became known to me as the Podcast Answer Man. And it is actually because of you that I’m doing this show right now because you gave me the inspiration, the motivation and most importantly the knowledge on how to put together a podcast.
Cliff: Well, that is awesome. And it is a great honor for me to be a part of your journey. And I’ve been doing this now going on 10 years. And I’ve been part of the journey of about probably 15-20 thousand podcasters. And it’s just been very humbling.
Glenn: That has to be very fulfilling. First of all, I wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the hard work you’ve given to so many of us. And I know you have a business out of it. And you are a professional podcaster. In fact, you’re the first professional podcaster I’ve ever heard of. But I still want to thank you because you’re still putting that stuff out there.
Cliff: Absolutely. It’s my privilege. And I’m just… It still blows me away that people tune in and listen to me every week. And I know it shouldn’t blow me away as much as it does today that I should just get used to it. But you know I’ve produced over… Actually, I’ve produced 30 different podcast shows with well over 3,300 podcast episodes. And it still blows my mind that people want to listen to me talk about anything that’s on my mind.
Glenn: Holy cow. I had no idea it was so many. I knew that you’ve done several shows and I’m only familiar with as far as being a listener of what was formally called ‘Pursuing a Balanced Life’ and of course, what I just mentioned, ‘Podcast Answer Man.’ We’re going to talk about the previous one in a little bit. But the reason I wanted to bring you on the show – we’ll certainly talk about some of these other things you have going on but from the time I started listening to you, I realize that you really had the ear of a lot of people and people listen to you. And when you were speaking on your podcast ‘Pursuing a Balanced Life’ about your health and your… Some of the trials and tribulations you’ve had with your health, I really felt for you because here’s a guy who’s really caring about other people. And you show that you care about other people. You’re not… You’re trying to make a living of course but you’re doing it in a way that helps other people which I think is really the best of both worlds. And that’s why I made a switch in my career and do what I now do for that very reason. But I also realized that the nature of your job is very sedentary and you can’t really do podcasting very well while running or walking around or riding bikes. Now, I heard some of your episodes, you have your hand held recorder and you’re walking. So that is fantastic. And I always try to get people to do that when they have meetings at work and things. But for most people, they’re life is very sedentary. So would you say that’s a pretty fair estimate?
Cliff: Absolutely. In fact, that’s the one of the craziest things about my journey is the fact that I had all of these people around the world who are listening to me and they’re like “Oh my gosh. This guy started podcasting as a hobby. And he’s gained some success and he’s got this crazy stupid dream of leaving his very secured job after eleven years as an insurance agent to pursue podcasting fulltime. Nobody does that. He’s got a stay at home mom and 3 kids. And he’s leaving this secure income. He’s pursuing this. This is crazy.” And so many people are following because number one, they either like to watch a really awesome success story or they like to watch a train wreck. And they were wondering which one I might be. And what happened was I was not going to accept failure. And I wanted to encourage and inspire people. And so I pursued it with everything I had. And Glenn, what that meant was pouring everything into the work that I felt call to do. And for me how it started out, the very first year I did this full time – I started in January first 2008 – for the first 9 months, I worked 7 days a week every week without a day off working 12-14 hours a day, non-stopped, sitting in front of my computer.
Glenn: Holy cow. Holy cow.
Cliff: After 9 months, that first year, I started to take one day a week off of work and that was Sunday. And I kind of convinced myself that it would be okay to take and pull back and take an entire day off each week as long as I would increase the number of hours that I worked the other 6 days. And that’s exactly what I did. And so to celebrate… By the way, back then I was recording 7-15 podcast episodes a week. And I was doing consulting and coaching and webinars and all those other stuff, equipment sales. It was ridiculous how much work I was doing. And…
Glenn: Holy cow.
Cliff: Yeah, it’s crazy, right?
Glenn: I know you can’t see me but my jaw’s hanging open. That’s an incredible amount of content you’re producing every week.
Cliff: And that’s the thing. And you know what? I’m sitting behind a microphone so people don’t see my physical appearance. They hear my voice.
Cliff: And my voice sounds live and energetic and passionate and all this other stuff. And what they don’t see is this extremely overweight, huge, obese, unhealthy individual that’s behind the microphone.
Glenn: Overbeast, overbeast. I kind of like that.
Cliff: Do you like that? I was overbeast.
Glenn: I like that. You invented a word but makes sense.
Cliff: There you go. There’s the title for the episode, Overbeast with Cliff Ravenscraft. So they hear me. They hear the… And everybody’s like “Cliff you’re such an inspiration to me.” And you know I get that most of the time but sometimes I’m just struggling inside because I just don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m not taking care of myself. I’m unhealthy. And what happened was in December to celebrate my first full year doing podcasting full time as my career. I decided on December 31, I would do a 24-hour-nonstop-live, broadcasted live on the internet, marathon.
Cliff: And I did it.
Glenn: Marathon of what?
Cliff: Of back to back podcast episodes. I recorded every hour for 24… I’ve recorded 12 or 24 1-hour podcast episodes.
Glenn: Holy cow.
Cliff: Yeah, I was ridiculous. So what happened was about 3 hours before it ended, I started having these massive gut pains. I mean just–
Glenn: I bet.
Cliff: It was insane. I had… It felt like somebody took an ice pick and they were just stabbing me repeatedly.
Glenn: Now, that was in your diet coke phase thought, right?
Cliff: Yeah, oh yeah.
Glenn: Were you drinking a lot that night?
Cliff: I had been addicted to diet cokes since the time I was probably 7 or 8 years old. And all the way up until about a year and e months ago, I was probably… If you think about this little plastic 8 ounce bottles, that’s what I was drinking before I quit. I was drinking about 6 to 10 8 ounce bottles of diet coke a day. Yeah, not very healthy guy. So here’s the deal, this is again December 31 going on January 1, 2008/2009. And about 3 hours before the thing ended, I’m sitting here with these massive gut pains but I’m pushing through because that’s what I do.
Cliff: And I make it through and I’m like “Okay, it’s over. I’m going to pass out. I’m going to go to my bed room and I’m going to pass out and just pray that the stomach pain goes away.” I couldn’t sleep. It wouldn’t go away. So my wife takes me to the hospital. It turns out I have a massive, massive gallstones like crazy amount of gallstones.
Cliff: And one of them is stuck in my – I can’t remember the name of it now – but it was stuck in one of my tracks or whatever.
Glenn: Right. Right, the tube that goes from the gallbladder to the duodenum.
Cliff: Exactly. And so what happen was they said, “Listen. You know we need to take your gallbladder out and remove these gallstones and remove your gallbladder. But here’s the deal. You have one that’s…” Oh, I know it. It’s called the cystic duct.
Glenn: There’s also the common bile duct which is there too.
Cliff: You know what? It might have been the common bile duct. That is it was one of those two. It was a duct.
Cliff: And they said “Here, Cliff, you have one stone, one gall stone that is stuck in this duct. And we… The only way to remove that is for us to go in and do this upper GI procedure but there’s a significant risk and we need to talk to you about the risk. And the risk is death, by the way, and the percentage was high.” I don’t know if it was 50% but it was like more than 20 or 30 or something. It might have been 40 or 50 percent whether or not you’d make it through the surgery.
Cliff: And I’m like “You got to be kidding me.” They’re like “No, this is it.” And I said, “Well, what happens if you… What if you just leave it there?” “Well if it stays there, no problem at all. But if we remove your gallbladder which has to come out by the way, there’s no way you’re keeping the gallbladder. But if we remove the gallbladder and the stone does fall down, it’s guaranteed death, 100%.”
Cliff: Yeah. So those were my options as a result of my health and my lack of caring for myself physically. And so I decided to go for the whole thing. I won’t pour everybody with all the details but let’s just put it this way. Through some paperwork errors, they almost took out my gallbladder before taking the stone out.
Cliff: I thankfully did not sign the permission forms and we worked it all out. They did the upper GI. And guess what? Spoiler alert, I’m still alive. So…
Cliff: Thank you. Yes, thank God for that as well. I made it through. They took my gallbladder out. I beg to my (inaudible 10:05). “Guys, I know you’re not supposed to do this but will you take my appendix out too? I hate doctors and I don’t want to have ever kind of pain like this again and have to come and do this ever again.”
Cliff: So they took out my appendix, everything. It was like “Do I need the spleen back here? I heard things about the spleen.” And they were cracking up. We had a good time. But anyway, it took me months, a couple months to recover completely from that. And when I recovered, I decided, Glenn, I was going to do something about my health and fitness. I had to do something.
Cliff: And so I think it was finally right around May of 2009, I decided I was going to start the 10k program. Are you familiar with this?
Glenn: Vaguely, yeah, but you can explain it.
Cliff: It’s not a 10k race. It’s 10 thousand steps a day. So I heard about this guy named Doctor James Dobson from ‘Focus on the Family.’ And I heard about his heart attacks many years ago. And one of the things that he had been prescribed after his heart surgery was his doctor telling him he need to lose weight and he was gonna start walking. And he was talking about this you know getting a pedometer and measuring 10 thousand steps a day. And I heard a couple of other people talked about these 10 thousand steps a day. And I’m like “I’m gonna look this up.” And of course, they are talking about walking is one of the healthiest exercises next to swimming as far as your joints and all this other stuff and you know just getting out and walking at a brisk pace, give you 10 thousand steps a day that’s about 5 miles, that… That is going to bring you a greater amount of health in your life. And so I went out and bought myself a pedometer for $10, put it on my belt buckle and I went out for my first walk to see how far I could go. And I was 272 pounds.
Cliff: And I’m walking outside. It’s probably you know May; it was probably about 80 degrees. So it wasn’t hot or anything crazy like that. And I walked to the end of my street and back. And I was about ready to pass out. It was so crazy. And I looked at my pedometer. I had gone 2 thousand steps. That’s it. And I was out of breath. I could hardly breathe. And I needed to sit down just to kind of get rid of the nauseous feeling.
Glenn: Well, let’s put that in to perspective though. If you would have not at all used to walking anywhere close to that far at any one time, that is a huge feat. I think that is fantastic just to get out there and do that that first time.
Cliff: Yeah and here’s the deal. That first year that I started working for myself, I had left my family run insurance agency that I was working at with my mom and dad after eleven years. And so I’m working from home. And at that time, we lived in a small house 12 hundred square foot house. And I actually one day, I did not go out for a walk at all. And I had my pedometer on. And here’s what my day consisted of. Remember I told you know for the first 9 months, I’d work 7 days a week.
Cliff: Here’s what it consisted of. I’d get up. Walk out of my bedroom. Go to the kitchen. Have breakfast. I’d walked down to work and work. I’d walk up the stairs to go to lunch. I’d eat lunch. I’d walk downstairs and do work. I’d walk up stairs to have dinner. I’d walk downstairs and work. And then I’d work until probably about 1 o’clock in the morning. And then I’d go to bed and then I’d do the same thing the next day. I did that every day for 7 months. Here’s when I had my pedometer. I did that routine one day and at the end of the day, less than 300 steps.
Glenn: Oh, my God. Really?
Cliff: So on average, about 300 steps a day for 9 months. That’s what my physical activity was while eating way too much food and eating the worse kind of food you can eat and pounding down diet cokes left and right.
Glenn: Well, that certainly does put those 2 thousand steps into perspective.
Glenn: And have you had any other health issues because I remember listening to one of your shows and that’s what really kind tugged to my heart strings and all. It helped me realized that here’s somebody is an influencer. And people are listening to you whether it’s for your personal health or some of the other things you say. But when I heard you on this formally known as ‘Pursuing a Balanced Life’ podcast show, you talked about having many different to health issues and you were wanting to get yourself back in shape. Was there more than just the gallbladder?
Cliff: Well, there was. And you’re talking I believe about… You’re probably talking about 2014.
Glenn: 2014, yeah.
Cliff: Okay. So you’re talking about that time frame. That’s several years in advance. I’d love to finish telling you about that 10 thousand steps-a-day program and get to those health things later.
Glenn: Okay. Yeah. Yeah.
Cliff: Is that okay with you?
Glenn: Absolutely. I wasn’t sure you were on the timeline.
Cliff: So here we are. We’re at the 2000… We’re at the… I decided I wanna go for this 10 thousand steps-a-day thing. My way of changing my lifestyle was going to be I’m gonna walk 10 thousand steps-a-day. And this is after I get out of the hospital. This is 2009 and right around May when I start.
Cliff: Alright. So I go out. And first day, I can do 2000 steps and I’m about ready to pass out or throw up one. And so I decide so here’s I’m gonna do. I’m going to do 2000 steps a day every day for the next week. And then next week, I’m gonna do 3000 steps a day. And then the next week after that, I’m gonna 4000 steps a day. And I did that. And each week I increased it until finally, after I guess whatever 10 weeks or whatever, if you do the math…
Cliff: Anyway, I got to the place where I was going 10 thousand steps a day.
Cliff: And I was doing that every day. And the thing is back then, I was going at 5 days a week. I gave myself two days a week off. So that’s what I did. And over the course… And by the way, while I was walking, I was listening to a podcast back then called ‘Fitness Rocks’ by Doctor Monti… Well, he just went by Doctor Monti. I don’t think he shared his last name.
Cliff: He was a doctor but he was also a personal trainer and fitness guy. A lot like you but he was actual medical MD as well.
Cliff: What he did in his ‘Fitness Rocks’ podcast is he read medical journals. It was like his thing. And he read medical journals and all the research papers. And in every episode, he would summarize the latest research in fitness, health and nutrition.
Cliff: I was eating this stuff up. Which by the way, the archives of that are no longer online.
Glenn: Oh darn.
Cliff: I know. Isn’t that horrible?
Glenn: Yeah, I would like to listen to it.
Cliff: It was crazy and so one of the things that I learned about from Doctor Monti was this thing called the Mediterranean Diet, which by the way, I am not a diet person. I hate diets. And I don’t mean to offend anybody who is on them, but I don’t do paleo, I don’t do south beach or any of that stuff. And when I say the Mediterranean Diet, I’m not talking about a diet. I’m talking about the description of the type of foods that a certain people eat.
Cliff: So what the Mediterranean Diet is people who are the longest living people on the world or at least at that time, were people on the Mediterranean part of the world. And the diet is what are the foods or what the diets of those people, what do they eat normally. And so Doctor Monti every episode was talking about the Mediterranean diet. It’s lean meat, fish and chicken. It’s whole grains, nuts, beats, beans, fruits and vegetables. And he says and that’s what they eat. And they eat lots of that and they are the healthiest, longest living people in the world. And so he was having influenced on me through his podcasts. And so not only am I walking and giving out the 10 thousand steps a day, I’m also starting to change the food stuff that I eat and limiting my lifestyle of food to the Mediterranean style lifestyle of food or the Mediterranean diet, if you will.
Cliff: And so I’m starting drop crazy amount of weight. I’ll just fast forward and tell you that over 18 months of doing nothing more than walking and eating healthy food…
Cliff: I lost… Well I went from 272 pounds down to 212 pounds.
Glenn: Holy cow. That’s fantastic.
Cliff: And that took me 18 months. Now anyway, that was great and everything. And what happened is I can tell you somewhere through that process, it started initially, I wanted to get healthy. You know I had a pretty bad scare at the hospital as you can tell.
Glenn: Oh yeah.
Cliff: But overtime, that scare left me. That motivation was no longer there. And what happened is the motivation was became vanity metrics. It was ‘Am I getting 10 thousand steps a day in so that I can brag about it to myself and others?’ And also what’s the scale say, you know ’Am I losing weight?’ And of course, back then I had this goal, I’m like “Okay, I’m a 5 foot 7. I’m this guy. I should be weighing somewhere around 165 pounds. So I’m gonna try to get down to you know even if I get down to 170-180, that would be great.” And so it became about you know looking good, feeling good and but more than anything, beginning down to that perfect weight. You know that’s what I want to do. I want to get down to that weight.
Cliff: Of course, as you can imagine, I had plateaus from time to time but what happened was after 18 months I got down to 212. And dude I will tell you what, I hit a brick wall on the scale.
Glenn: I’m out there.
Cliff: It sat there for weeks at 212. And I would hit 212 and I would bounce up to 215-216, I’d hit 212 again and I would do… And Glenn it got so bad that sometimes, I started getting real unhealthy about the way that I would do it. It’s like “Okay you know what? I’m hitting 212. And I’m just gonna… I’m only going to drink slim fat shakes.” What the heck is this about?
Cliff: You know? And what happened was “You know what? I still wasn’t getting below the 212.” Like there’s nothing I could do it seemed. You wanted to ask me about other health concerns. The only other health concern that I had at that time and id experience most of my adult life was a couple times a year, I would get a sinus infection and that sinus infection almost always and actually always turned in to bronchitis at a very severe case of bronchitis.
Cliff: And well, it was November 2011, I think. Yeah, November 2011, positive of that.
Cliff: And I go to the doctor because I’m not feeling well. I think I have another sinus infections. He tells me “Cliff, I think you have the flu.” And I’m like “I can’t have the flu. I’m getting ready to go and speak at a conference in Los Angeles and it’s for my business. You have no idea how big of a break this is for me.”
Cliff: This is huge. And by the way, I was right it was huge because since then, that has translated to more than $400,000 an income.
Cliff: It was a huge deal that I knew was coming. There was nothing I can do. He says, “Well, I’m gonna give you this stuff and stuff like that and that will make it to wear with it. By the time you’re getting ready and be up on the plane, you won’t be contagious or anything like that.” Whatever the (stuff? 21:35) was. I can’t remember.
Cliff: He says, “You’ll be fine to fly.” And he says, “But if you need anything else, if you’re not feeling better, call me.” Is what I thought he says. Well anyway, I get to on the airplane and I had nasal congestion and because of the altitude…
Cliff: Literally, my eyeballs almost popped out of my eye sockets. And I was it was the most insane pain I ever had, just this congestion at my head at that altitude.
Glenn: I bet.
Cliff: And I got to LA. And I did my talk. And I’m just laying in my bed at the hotel room. And I’m about ready to die. I feel so bad. And I called the doctor and he says, I think he just got this bugged. He goes, “Did you get the antibiotics that I prescribed you. How are those going?” I’m like “I didn’t know you prescribed me antibiotics.”
Glenn: Oh no.
Cliff: “Yes, I wanted you to take the antibiotics, too.” And I’m like oh crap. And so we head on forward. And long story short, I had him transferred over and I started taking my antibiotics. But here’s the deal, that bout of sickness, I… First of all, I had to you know I was sick before I left for my trip and so I didn’t get as much done to prepare to leave for this you know whole week and a half long trip that was going to be gone for business.
Cliff: And sick through the whole thing. And then I come back and still sick. And Glenn, you know this is the first time since I’ve started that routine where I’m not walking everyday anymore.
Cliff: Because I’m sick.
Cliff: You know just out of my routine. And the next thing you know, I’m travelling and for the first time, I am at you know these airports. I’m hungry. I’m sick. I’m eating crap food for the first time in my life, first time in 18 months.
Cliff: And next thing you know, I’m eating more crap food and just laying there. And I feel… All of a sudden, my head is starting like, not physically, but mentally, my head is starting to mess with me. I’m starting to feel like this lack of confidence and just all these other things. And next thing you know, I come back and I’ve completely lost the will to keep up everything that I had been doing.
Cliff: And overtime, basically I starting to eat you know… it got so bad. There was one time where my weight was going up so much and I decided “you know what? I’m gonna start walking again. I’m gonna get that pedometer out. I’m gonna walk again.” And I would… I was walking. And guess what? I would walk 10 thousand steps. And I said, I’m gonna do this. And every single day Glenn, I hate to even admit this to you but it’s just the truth and that’s who I am. I tell the truth.
Cliff: I’m going out. I’m walking on a 5 mile walk but every day in my old neighborhood, I’d passed McDonalds. And I stopped after my walk and I would get a… I’d get a double, yeah, a plain double cheeseburger meal with large fries and 2 apple pies for a dollar and a diet coke.
Glenn: To reward yourself.
Cliff: To reward myself for going out for that walk. And long story short, I had gone all the way back up to 268 pounds.
Cliff: So I didn’t go all the way to 272 but boy was I close.
Glenn: You are close.
Cliff: It was ridiculous. And you know here’s the deal. Throughout this period of time you know from November 2011 all the way up to 2014 when you heard me and reached out to me–
Cliff: –there were all kinds of starts again. You know it’s like “I’m gonna get back up on that horse and I would tell people on my podcasts.” I mean this show that you refer to a couple of times it’s called pursuing to a balance life show.
Cliff: Today it’s called the Cliff Ravenscraft Show. But anyway, in this podcast it’s kind of like an audio journal. And there’s like 641 episodes of the show today.
Cliff: So I’m sharing all of this good bad ugly, everything. I’m just being authentic and just sharing “this is who I am and if you don’t life me, that’s cool. But this is who I am. And this is my life. It’s my journey. If you want to follow along, feel free to do so.” And so I would tell people okay I’m going to do this. And I would have 6 weeks of success. And there were times when I would even say I’m gonna stopping it at McDonalds. And things would be great for a couple months and then I’m off the wagon again. And it’s just off again and on again. Off again on again. And mostly, mostly off. And every single time, I’m like I would go to my audience and say, “Okay guys you know I don’t even want to tell you but I want to start out. I want to start this again. I want to start getting healthy. I want to get back to the healthy lifestyle. I know you guys…” There were about a thousand people I know that have listened to every single episode of this podcasts since I started it in March of 2006.
Cliff: “And I know you guys are sick and tired of hearing me say but I’m gonna start again.” And I’m like “I’m gonna do it this time.” And there was one where I went from 6 months and freaking fell off the wagon again.
Cliff: And I’m like “Crap. What the heck?” And so here’s the deal. And Glenn, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard me tell you tell the story from this side. But I recall you reaching out to me.
Cliff: And you said, “Cliff, I’ve listened to your ‘Pursuing a Balanced Life’ and you were mentioning your health concerns.” And at that time, I didn’t really say what those health concerns are.
Cliff: But here’s what I can tell you. I was starting to experience numbness in my feet and in the fingers and stuff like that. And I’m thinking do I have diabetes. You know and not only that I’m having some abdominal cramping and some other things. It’s like I feel awful. And I know what it is. It’s the food that I’m eating. It’s the diet coke that I’m drinking. And it’s the inactivity. And I know I need to do something. And so you probably caught me… And I think it was you know 2014.
Cliff: You caught me right around that period of time when… it was October of 2014.
Cliff: And you caught me right when I said, “I know need to do something but guys I’m just gonna flat out tell you. I don’t want to do anything right now. I know I need to. And trust me, there are things in my life that I’m not telling you about that I need to but there’s something in my head. I’m not ready. I’m not ready to commit yet.” And then that’s when you reached out to me. You gave me this really awesome email. You introduced who you were. You told me about what your credentials are and the credibility that comes behind the help that you’re offering.
Cliff: You told me that you weren’t looking for any kind of money.
Cliff: You just wanted to help me because you have this goal. And I remember I read the email. It took me a little bit to respond to you because I didn’t know how to respond. And finally, in my own words right now I would paraphrase, “Glenn, listen. I really appreciate this offer. It means a lot to me you would do that. A couple of things. Number one, a part of me I have no idea who you are. I don’t mean that to be offensive but I don’t know you. And I’m at a place in my life where I know I need to do this things. And I’m mentally, I’m not there. I just not am not ready to commit. And I know that I need to work on that. And I said here’s the deal, I have so many people that interact with me, engage with me, send me emails and stuff like that. I don’t mean this to sound as awful as it sounds but what I’m going to tell you is that I’m going to pray about this. And if I feel that God’s leading me to work with you, I’ll reach out to you. But if I don’t feel that prompting, you might not hear from me again.” And as horrible that sounds but the reality is I didn’t want it to put it on my to-do list that I have to call Glenn and tell him one way or another. Because I just had so many other commitments you know that I had to deal.
Glenn: How that was received is exactly how you intended it to be received because I knew where you were coming from and I know a person has to be ready in order to make this change. And that’s one of the things I really wanted to bring to the attention of the listeners throughout this entire story is that once you made up your mind to change, you did change. And all those attempts you had made up until then, you thought you made up your minds but you didn’t. You didn’t. You’re trying to grace by with all the habits and all thought processes going forward, but that doesn’t work after a certain point. And so I knew I was catching you at a vulnerable time when you just needed a little nudge in the right direction. And it didn’t have to be me but I wanted it to be me because you had helped me and I wanted to help you. And I also knew that since you are such an influential person, you’re out there just the fact of people seeing a transformation from you might help others want to pursue a more healthy and balanced life, shall I say.
Cliff: Yeah. Well that’s the way you wanted and that was my response to you. And so… And here’s the thing, I was true to my word. I literally, after I sent that email to you, I remember praying probably several different times throughout the weeks saying “God is this guy, this Glenn is he somebody that you’re sending to me? Is this you know is this somebody you put in my path? And if so, make it clear to me. Lay it on my heart. Wake me up in the middle of the night and say I got to send Glenn an email. That gives me that kind of thing.” And it never came like right away. It just never came. And so I said “Okay, this isn’t coming.” I said – and I’m still experiencing you know all kinds of things in my life. And so it was still October. This is maybe about 2 weeks after you had emailed me. I go to Colorado. I go to Vail, Colorado. And I’m going there for a training conference on public speaking to take my public speaking to the next level. And I go to this conference in Vail, Colorado. And I’m in this altitude of way above what I’m usually at. And the conference hall had the bathrooms down on this lower floor. And they had the steps that you know go down to the bathroom. And so I went down to go to the bathroom. And then I had to walk up the steps in Vail, Colorado in this altitude.
Cliff: And dude, I walked up and I got to the top of those steps and my heart felt like it was going to pop out of my chest.
Cliff: It was insane. I’m like oh God, there’s no way. I mean I can’t even walk up the steps. Now granted, I’m not use to this altitude.
Glenn: Oh yeah, it plays a big difference.
Cliff: And if anybody’s never been there, then this may make no sense to you. You might think “Well gosh Cliff, it’s like when you started 2000 steps.” There’s a big difference when you’re in Vail, Colorado and you’re in that altitude even in your healthy, I think you’d have a little bit more of a higher respiration rate than—
Glenn: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Glenn: The fittest person in the world whose fit at sea level is gonna feel the altitude.
Cliff: But I wasn’t the fittest person in the world. And at that 268 pounds I got up there and my heart is like, “Come on, give me a break will you?” And I’m like “God what am I doing? I need something.” And Glenn, please forgive me. But I even say “God I can’t remember his name right now but if it’s not that guy, who is it?”
Cliff: Because that’s what it was at this point. It’s like, “If it’s not the guy who emailed me, then who is it? I mean is there somebody? Do I need to do on my own? What’s the deal here?” Well I come back home. And I have more work to do because well I have to prepare for a big, huge talk, a presentation that I’m giving in Colorado, Springs Colorado–
Cliff: –in November. So in November, one month later I’m back in Colorado. The altitude wasn’t quite as high as Vail but it was still higher elevation.
Cliff: And the guy who runs the conference was the business partner with Michael Hyatt. His name was Ken Davis and some people who are listening may have heard of Ken Davis. He’s very well-known, very popular Christian comedian. But anyway, he’s guy who ran these conferences. And I’ve been speaking at their conferences for years. And Ken and I had developed a pretty close relationship and he’s been following my journey as well. He sees me in the ups and downs if you will. And I get up on stage. And of course, I’ve had the privilege of speaking opening key note addresses and speaking in public in front of hundreds and thousands of people. And Glenn, every single time, it has been like the most emotionally challenging thing in my life.
Cliff: Because people are on the stage… I get up on the stage and I know a lot of people are really inspired by my message and the things I have to share and stuff like that. But the reality is I sometimes take my video camera and I’ll record myself and I’ll go back and I’ll watch the video and “I’m like gosh, that is one heavy, obese, overweight looking guy.”
Glenn: Is that all you see?
Cliff: That’s all I see. I see a miserable failure. That’s what I see. And I see you know and almost to the point where you know I have literally I have many, many, thousands of people that are just like “Cliff, you don’t know how much you positively impacted my life. You changed my life. You’ve done this. And I so look up to you.” And every single time, it’s like that’s like a dagger to my chest.
Cliff: It is. And the reason why is because I really don’t want you to look up to me because if looking up to me means that you want to be like me, I don’t want you to be like me. Because being like me means that you’re overworked, overweight, sedentary and you eat like crap. But yeah, you make tons of money and everybody else likes how much money you make and how much work you do and the content you create. But the reality is that your priorities are so freaking out of whacked that you’re not the husband that you are called to be. You’re not the dad that you are called to be. And you’re not taking care of yourself and your body the way you should and you’re gonna die in the next 5 years.
Glenn: Wow, all that going through your head from…
Glenn: –somebody saying that one thing. And you know you’re not alone. I’ve heard this so many times from other clients and people I’ve spoken with. And so I totally understand where you’re coming from.
Cliff: So and by the way, those thoughts are never more clear in my mind than the day that I go up and speak on a stage in front of an audience. I… By the way, I can come back home. And after being in front of an audience, after 2 or 3 weeks, I can forget the fact that I had those thoughts. And I could be here where I am right now. Glenn, how do you think I look right now? I look great, right?
Glenn: Yeah. Yeah.
Cliff: And the reason why because you can’t see me. You hear my voice. By the way, the reality is I looked pretty damn good right now.
Glenn: I know you do.
Cliff: I’m just saying.
Glenn: I’ve seen recent pictures. I know you do.
Cliff: So but anyway, but even when I didn’t look good, at least I sound good you know. And nobody is looking at me physically. And so and even if I do, if I share something, at least it’s just my fat, chubby cheeks, right? They don’t see anything below my shoulders because I’m in control of the camera.
Cliff: And so I’m able to hide it and stuff but man… So it’s November 2014 and I’m at the platform conference. I speak and everybody loves it. My thinking is that yeah, there’s probably a couple hundred people there. There’s probably at least a hundred that say “I’m not gonna listen to that fat guy. I mean he can’t even control his own eating habits and stuff like that. He can’t take care of himself. What value does he have to offer to me?” And of course, if I were in the audience and I were looking at me, that’s how I would feel about myself. I’m like seriously I have a hard time with me. You know it just so happened to be that day I went to — I had back in October — I had went out and purchased brand new pants for the Vail, Colorado conference that I was going to.
Cliff: And right before the morning that before I got on stage in Colorado Springs, just a month later, my pants were already too tight.
Cliff: Yeah, it was that bad. And so I’m like of course, that didn’t make me feel any better. And my suite coat, the button was like pulling apart. And I’m like “Seriously? This is ridiculous. What the heck am I doing to myself?” I just feel like miserable. And then of course, I went on the stage, I have this talk and I’m able to pull it off and stuff like that. And that evening, that evening, Ken Davis invited me and Stephanie to have dinner with him and his wife.
Cliff: And while we were at dinner, he said “Cliff, I hope you don’t mind. This is not why I invited you to dinner but I just feel I like to do this. I’ve never done this for anybody before but I wanna tell you about my story.” And so he shared his story about his experience with his weight and stuff like that. And he shared with me a picture of when he was almost 300 pounds maybe even more 300. I can’t be quite for sure.
Cliff: But he showed me a picture of what he used to look like. And then of course, I see what he looks like now. “You gotta be kidding me.” Now by the way, Ken Davis at that time, 68 years old.
Cliff: The same day that I in Vail, Colorado, the same day where my heart almost exploded out of my chest because I walked up the steps.
Cliff: The same day. That 68 year-old man, Ken Davis, had gone for a 3-mile run up the mountain and back. 68 years old.
Cliff: He is a picture of health, alright. So he’s like, “Cliff, I wanna tell you about how I’ve changed my life.” And he goes I’ve never done this before but I want – and he says – “I want you to feel free to tell me no but I want to offer to personally be your mentor in health and fitness.”
Cliff: “Yeah, okay. Tell me more.” He says, “But the thing is though, it would require a lot of commitment if you decide to do this. Here’s what I would ask you to commit to, number one, I would ask you to read my book ‘Fully Alive’ and it tells my story of how you know how I got to the place where I came to where I live fully alive every day.” And he said “The next thing I would have you to do is I want you to read a book called ‘Younger Next Year.’”
Glenn: Oh that’s a good book.
Cliff: And he says, “Regardless of what you think about evolution, you can toss out whatever you think you need to toss out but the biological information, the science behind the biology of exercise, the biology of strength training, it’s top-notched and you need to hear it.” And he says, “You read this book, that’s your second commitment. Now this book is going to lead you to some other commitments and I’m going to ask you to make those as well. And here’s the big one.” This is the one that really got me, okay.
Cliff: He says, “I want you to commit to working out 6 days a week, every week for the rest of your life.”
Glenn: Wow. That’s a big commitment.
Cliff: And he says “By the way, that’s a minimum of 45 minutes per day. And starting out, your 45 minutes will all be kind of cardio-aerobic-focused exercise. But once you can get to the place where you’re doing that pretty regularly, I want you to then transition towards 2 or 3 days of the week are hard core strength training, lifting weights, breaking apart and tearing your muscles.”
Cliff: And he says… And so that he goes, “That’s what I want you to commit to.” And he says “There’s one other thing.” And I’m like “What’s that?” And he goes, “I want you to run… I want you to do a triathlon with me in May in Nashville.” I’m like that’s 6 months away. I’m like “What?” He says “It’s a sprint triathlon. It’s not a full one. So it’s…”
Glenn: Short distances.
Cliff: Short distances but it was, I think it was like 800 yards or 400 yards of swimming or something like and 9-10 miles of bike ride and a 2-mile run or something like that.
Cliff: And so he says, “I want you to commit to that.” And let me tell I have been praying “God is there somebody that you wanna send?” And this came at this dinner and so I said “Ken,” I said, “let me pray about this and get back to you.” And he said, “Sure, Cliff. No problem at all.” And I said, “Ken, hold on.” And he says “What?” I said “I’ve prayed about it and the answer is yes, I’ll do it.”
Cliff: Right there.
Glenn: As you’re telling the story, I was thinking it sounds like somebody heard your prayers.
Cliff: Yeah, and so that’s exactly what happened. And I came home and I instantly got started. As a matter of fact, I started on December – let’s see here. Oh gosh – it was November. I started November 14, 2014. And I created a podcast episode and it was called ‘The Day I Decided to Start Living.’ And I will tell you Glenn, that was November 2014. It is now February 1, 2016.
Cliff: I have worked out a minimum of 6 days a week every week since that time. I now do at least a 3 days of heart rate, cardiovascular-focused exercise 3 days a week, minimum 45 minutes. And 3 days a week, I do one hour of hard core totally ripping every muscle apart in my… Well, I do Tuesday nights, I do chest and triceps. Thursday’s, I do legs and shoulders. And Saturday’s, I do back and biceps. I walked out of the gym on legs day, my legs are rubber bands.
Cliff: I walked out of the gym on Saturdays; I can’t even hardly take a post-workout selfie because I can just barely life my thumb.
Glenn: Oh geez.
Cliff: It’s crazy but I love it. Oh it is the greatest thing. My life has completely changed. December, by the way, December of 2014, I gave up a 30-plus-year addiction to diet coke and since then I only drink water and I do occasionally drink something called Zevia, which is an all-natural stevia sweetened beverage. But I only drink that with breakfast lunch or dinner. And most of the time, I still drink water instead anyways. So I’m addicted to water. I love water now.
Glenn: You are really cleaning out your body boy.
Cliff: I started working, same thing, I started working out first. And it was a couple of weeks before I changed my eating habits but then I started going back to the Mediterranean style foods. And that’s what I was doing. I had so obviously, I’d seen some significant weight loss. And I think I got… I can’t remember where I was but I started to see that I was plateauing. I already had one little plateau and I broke through it but then I saw another plateau. And then I felt who that guy that emailed me a year ago is. And so I went and search for the email that you sent me and then I found you. And I reached out to you. And I said “Hey, do you remember who I am? And that offer, is it still valid?” And you said, “Absolutely”
Glenn: Yes, absolutely.
Cliff: And you started coaching me. And we started talking and you gave me so much valuable information. I started listening to your ‘Live Fit Podcast.’ And I just consuming everything I could learning from it, learning about the different stuff about insulin. I now know because of you I know that insulin is produced when my sugar kicks in. and when that hormone is in my body, it actually will… that actually will take whatever calories I have and stored as fat.
Cliff: While that stuff is kicking. I’ve learned…
Glenn: (Inaudible 45:54) about that that most people don’t know is that when insulin is in your system, you cannot burn fats so you will not have lipolysis. There will be no fat breakdown so you have to burn the glucose that’s in your bloodstream.
Cliff: Right. Exactly. So I learned this stuff from you. And the other thing that I learned is like hey every morning, I was eating the same thing but I was eating you know whole wheat toast or the Ezekiel 49 bread.
Cliff: And I was eating some snacks, you know sugary snacks here and there. You know only in occasion and you gave me some tips on things. It’s like what if you cut out the rice. What if you cut out the sugar? What if you cut out the bread? And I did those things. And lo and behold, guess what? I broke through that plateau.
Glenn: Through the plateau. Excellent. Excellent.
Cliff: And then it was probably about maybe 4 months ago, I hit the 212. And guys I gotta tell you, I hit the 212 and I bounced up to 214. I hit the 212. I bounced to 215. I hit the 212 and I’m like you gotta be kidding me.
Glenn: Another one.
Cliff: And I went in to see my personal trainer and I told him. He says, “Okay,” it goes “we’re gonna do something different.” And so we started doing some high interval training. What is it called? High interval–
Glenn: It’s high interval… High intensity interval training.
Cliff: That’s it. I forgot the intensity. So the high intensity interval training, we started incorporating that in between the sets of weight lifting that we were doing. And I mean… And by the way, my personal trainer is a marine so he tears me apart. And I go in there. And by the… I mean I go in with dry shirt and I literally could (wrings? 47:38) sweat from a shirt when I finish.
Glenn: Sounds good.
Cliff: And we started doing that and boom! That plateau was gone. I broke the 212 barrier. Today I sit right between 199.5 and 200.5.
Glenn: Alright there, just hovering.
Cliff: And so by the way, that means I lost 68 pounds since November 14, 2014. And that 68 pounds that’s on the scale but I’ve built more than 20 pounds of muscle.
Glenn: Have you done a body composition test to see where your body fat is?
Cliff: Not anything more than the little handheld thing that you do at the gym.
Cliff: But I know it’s not accurate but…
Cliff: But here’s what I can tell you, it is showing me the progress that I’m making so I’m seeing the trend is you know that the body fat is going down. And what I can tell you is that I have a habit in the bathroom now and it’s kind of conceited. But I pull my… I’m doing it right now. You can’t see. But I’m pulling my t-shirt, my sleeve up. I pull it all the way to my neck and then I flex and I look at my muscles in the mirror. I love it.
Glenn: You’re gonna have to send me a picture of that.
Cliff: I’ll tell you what, anybody who wants to, all they have do is this Glenn, have them go to this website address, podcastanswerman.com/sixmonths. And that’s S I X M O N T H, one word. If you go to podcastanswerman.com/sixmonths, you’ll see my before and after pictures at the very top, my May of 2014 compared to May of 2015 or November of 2014 and May of 2015. But if they keep scrolling and keep scrolling and keep scrolling, they’ll see my very first picture I ever took of me flexing in the mirror.
Cliff: The first bulge of a biceps. It was awesome. If you keep scrolling, you’ll a side-by-side comparison of my post-workout selfies. And then finally, if you’ll look, there’s an update at the very bottom from November 13, 2015 one year update, and this finally, the very first time I ever put the before-and-after photos of me without my shirt on.
Cliff: There’s a photo of me without my shirt on before I lost any of the weight.
Glenn: Did you take that picture for a reason? For this very reason?
Cliff: Yes, I did.
Glenn: Good. Good for you but…
Cliff: I post it before. And I knew that I wanted to have these this time.
Glenn: That was very fortuitous of you. And incidentally for anybody of you listening who’s driving, kindly write that down. I’m gonna have a link to the page you just shared in and other context for you on my show note’s page at livefitpodcast.com episode 76.
Cliff: 76. So and by the way, feel free Glenn if you want, you can right click, save as and pull the black and white before and after photo. And put it right into your Show Note’s or blogpost or whatever if you want to. I’m not telling you what to do. You’re free to do it.
Glenn: I will do that. I want that on my show note’s page.
Cliff: If you email me, I’ll send you a… I’ll send you the very first time I ever kind of flex in the mirror without my shirt on–
Cliff: –after this. Because it’s actually I mean it’s pretty impressive, this one year update but more recently than that, I took a picture of myself flexing in the mirror without my shirt on and my muscle definition is significantly better now. So I know it sounds vain or whatever but you know what, it’s so exciting to me. And here’s what I can tell you. People asked me because you know, I’ll share with people like “I finally did it. I broke the 212 barrier.” And I said “Oh my gosh, I’m less than 200.” And you know what everybody asked me? What question do you think every single person asked me? Guess. “What’s your goal weight?”
Glenn: What’s your goal weight so why aren’t you lower or something like that.
Cliff: No. No. No, it’s not why are you lower. It’s “Oh, that’s great. What’s your goal weight? What’s your goal weight?” And you know what I can tell, what I tell everyone?
Glenn: What’s that?
Cliff: There is no goal weight. But what I can tell you is that my goal is 15% body fat.
Glenn: Very nice.
Cliff: That’s my goal. I could care… I am finely free from the tyrranny of the scale.
Glenn: Very nice. Very nice. And you know I wanted to point out that you said you’ve lost 60 some pounds and you’ve gained some muscle. You don’t know how much muscle you’ve lost but I would say easily 15-20 pounds yeah, from just the sound of it and from what I have seen from your photos.
Cliff: Yeah, I believe I’ve put on at least 20 pounds of muscle which means I’ve burned 88 pounds of fat.
Glenn: That’s right. That’s tremendous. So have you had any setbacks? You sound like you have just been.
Cliff: You know
Glenn: You know like a locomotor from last year and a half.
Cliff: Actually you know through it, there have been a couple times when you know I don’t believe in a cheat day, well, there’s nothing to cheat on. You know I’m not on a diet.
Cliff: But there have been some times when I’ve allowed myself to have a sugary snack here and there. And the next thing you know, it’s like “Wait a second. I had a sugary snack and now I’m having another sugary snack.” I’m not gonna say there hasn’t been days where I’ve allowed myself to eat a little bit more than what I would normally want myself to eat for. Because what I do when I eat, I think about “What am I doing? I want to eat food that will provide the energy levels that I desire to have in my day.”
Cliff: That’s what I think about when I eat food.
Glenn: Food is fuel.
Cliff: However, there have been a couple of times when I want to eat for the satisfaction and the good feelings or whatever endorphins or whatever gets released in my brain that comes from eating that sugary or salty snack.
Cliff: And there are sometimes when I do that. And I’m like oh whatever. And of course, there are sometimes when I do that and I was like “Okay, I’m gonna go pay for that right now. I’m gonna go hop on the ellipticle and work that off.”
Glenn: Good for you.
Cliff: And I’ll do that. And there are sometimes when I say, “You know what? Screw it. You know I’m allowed to work out 6 days a week. I’m allowed a day off. Yes, I’m 304 calories over my budget for today and I’m not working out. It’s no big deal. I’ll be tomorrow is a new day and I what I did today isn’t a failure. It’s just it is what it is.” And so you know when I hit those days glen, here’s what I can tell you. If I just recently hit a low which to say I just got down to 200.
Cliff: Well I know I’m gonna bounced to 202, 203 or maybe even 204 as a result of this day or maybe a day and a half of eating a little bit different than what I know I should. And the reality is this is why I’m glad I’m free from the tyranny of the scale is because you know I’m consistently changing the amount of how much… how much hydrations of my body you know so that’s changing. I know that you know I’m working out and sometimes I’m adding muscle mass and all these other stuff. And my goal is I want to get to 15% body fat. That’s my goal. I wanna get down to where that’s when you look at me, you see muscle. You see strong… You see strength. You see health. And it’s not necessarily a number on the scale. Because I do, by the way, I have an ultimate goal. And that is one day I will be on the front cover of either Men’s Health or Men’s Fitness magazine.
Glenn: Oh I like it.
Cliff: That’s what I can tell you
Glenn: I like it.
Cliff: I don’t know what it’s gonna take to get there but I will. And if that means I have to become a celebrity to do it, then bygone, I will have to find a way to make that happen as well. But I am going on the front cover. And I’m gonna be one of those guys where you’re gonna see the before picture and the little thing down at the bottom that’s like “This is what he looks like before and here he is on the front cover of this magazine.” I’m not gonna look like you know Arnold Schwarzenegger or one of those guys that are you know.
Glenn: A body builder.
Cliff: I’m not gonna look like a body builder but byguy, I’m gonna look buff.
Glenn: But you’re gonna be a fit buff regular person.
Cliff: That’s exactly what I’m gonna be.
Glenn: And I love your line the tyranny from the scale. I think that’s fantastic. And so many people do get kind of get caught up on their weight. And I spend a good amount of effort trying to explain to them the difference between the different types of weight that can be on your body. So I’m really, really please to hear that. And that goes back to what I was saying before that you made up your mind, you changed your mind. You changed your mindset to be a health person rather than trying to live off of barred health from your younger days.
Cliff: Yeah, and if I can share one other thing, if you can still fit this into this episode.
Cliff: Because let me tell you there’s one other thing, I believe that this message that I’m about ready to share might potentially change some people’s lives.
Glenn: Good, let’s hear it.
Cliff: Alright. So when I first started you know the ‘I’m gonna work out 6 days a week every week for the rest of my life. I will tell you the whole idea of for the rest of my life. It was 6 days a week every week wasn’t… I mean that wasn’t as (drawing? 56:58) to me but man when I said I’m gonna commit to the rest of my life, all of a sudden, something became real about that. However, I thought that my motivation for to accomplishing this was gonna be the goal of being prepared to do a triathlon without killing myself.
Cliff: So I thought that I was gonna come home. And on November 14, I really… When I started working out 6 days a week, I thought that I was training for a triathlon.
Cliff: Alright and that’s what I thought I was training fro because I was not gonna get there and not be able to swim those 8 laps of the pool or do that 10 miles of bike riding. So I was training for the triathlon. And it wasn’t until I got to (inaudible 57:44) chapter 5 or chapter 6 of the ‘Younger Next Year’ book but the day that I read the chapter called biology of exercise. And by the way, I know all about Cytokines. How about that? I know all about the Cytokines. And of course, the authors says, you know what? They are more complicated than this. And there’s so many of them. But for the sake of this, we’re just gonna call C6 and C10’s. And normally the C10 or the C6 is going to be breaking down the carrier message of decay throughout your body, throughout your blood stream.
Cliff: And that’s your normal mode. And when you work out and you could start sweating, usually about 20 minutes in, your… The chemical make-up of your blood the Cytokines, switch over to C10s.
Cliff: And c10s are message of repair and renewal. And that’s the stuff that’s going to be rebuilding your muscle, repairing things. That’s gonna be a boost in your immune system. It is literally going to be… it’s like a drug of health that goes through your body. It changes your blood. And let me tell you, when I read that chapter glen, all of a sudden, all I could think about is I’m not training for an event. I’m training for c10s.
Glenn: You are. You are.
Cliff: I’m training for life.
Glenn: You’re training for the sport of life to (bar?) a line from horizon fitness.
Cliff: So that that what changed me. And from that point forward, I will tell you this. And it’s almost bad that I had that mind shift but it’s a great thing as well. Because here’s what I can tell you, as soon as that click for me, all of a sudden, it’s like “You know what? I am in this. I am in it for life. I can’t wait. I’m excited. And it has nothing to do with this triathlon.” And in fact, I was starting to get really bummed about the fact that I had agreed to do a triathlon because I had zero desire to swim and I had zero desire to run.
Cliff: I fell in love with cycling now.
Glenn: Oh good.
Cliff: I’m like “Man I don’t wanna train to run. I don’t even want to train for swim. I like all these different things but I don’t wanna do this.” And I told my wife, I said… She says, “You made a commitment. You’re doing it no matter what.” “Fine.” Well I completed the triathlon. It was fine and stuff like that. I went… I did tell Ken. I said, “Ken, you know I’m kind of bummed that I told that I’d do this because I’m excited but not anymore because of the triathlon training but because I’m excited about this. I kind of don’t even want to do the triathlon but I’m going to because I told you I would.” He says, “Good. You know Cliff, I hear that a lot from people. But here’s the thing I can tell you.” He says, “Cliff, you’re gonna get there and the adrenaline of that day and being surrounded and being cheered by all these people. And then the feeling that you will have the minute you cross that finish line, as soon as you’re finished, you’re gonna say this, “I can’t wait until the next one.”” And I said Ken, “I will totally hear that. I will receive it. And I will accept the fact that you maybe right. And that’s exactly how it will happen.” But I don’t think it’s gonna happen that way. And here’s what I can tell you
Cliff: I crossed the finish line that day. It did feel pretty darn awesome.
Glenn: I’ll bet.
Cliff: But you know what? I was not ever going to do another triathlon. I would never going to do another marathon or anything else. The only thing that I could think that I might possibly do is maybe some cycling events because I have fallen in love with cycling. But not because of the training and not because of crossing the finish line but because I love cycling. But here’s what I can tell you. I did feel that but here… the interesting thing, one of the things that I started doing in November of 2014, the very first day that I finish my workout, I took a picture of myself called a post-workout selfie.
Cliff: And I posted it on my Facebook page and in my Instagram and i shared it in social media. And I said “Guys, I know I’m fat and unhealthy and my face looks ridiculous. And I’m sorry to mess up your timeline. But I just worked out and I’m pretty darn excited about it. And I’m doing the 6 days a week every week for the rest of my life.” And they’re like “Yeah, until you fall off the wagon.” They didn’t say that but I’m sure that’s what they were thinking.
Cliff: And then the second day I worked out, I took a post workout selfie. The third day. And you know what happened? Every single day I finish working out and I publish that picture, that was me crossing the finish line. Every day I finish 40 minutes, I cross the finish line. I said “Ken you know what? I’ve completed the triathlon and it felt great but you know what? It doesn’t feel different than any other day because I cross the finish line every day that I completed minimum of 45 minutes of work out.”
Glenn: Yeah, I’ll say you do. That is fantastic. I like your idea of the post-workout selfie. I wish you’d get more people to doing that.
Cliff: Check out this and put this in your show notes. Are you ready?
Cliff: Trainwithcliff.com, it’s a website. It will take you to an Instagram tag search. So if you go to trainwithcliff.com, you’ll see myself and anybody else who is out on my community who also are taking their post-workout selfies who put the #trainwithclif on Instagram.
Glenn: How wonderful. Alright. I’ll be there too.
Cliff: That would be awesome. I love to see you there.
Glenn: I’m gonna go for a run right after we’re done here.
Cliff: Awesome. So yeah, but the big deal here is what I know. I have some friends of mine who over the years have done a lot of the yoyo back and forth and their weight and it seems like a lot of them get really excited and say, “I’m gonna get back on the wagon.” And the first thing to do is they sign up for an event whether it’d be you know, whatever event you know one of the marathons, triathlon. You name it.
Cliff: And they get out there. And you know what? They do crazy, insane stuff to prepare for it. I mean they’re out there doing 18 mile training runs.
Cliff: Yeah. And of course, that’s close to it. Not like every day but you know when they’re doing a marathon, every now and then, they have an 18-mile run as one of their training day. And so basically, I’m like “You gotta be kidding me. You’re out there… You just ran for 3 hours or 4 hours or whatever” and they’re seeing great weight loss and stuff like that. And next thing you know, I see their picture of them crossing the finish line. And you know what I don’t see after that?
Glenn: Doing anymore.
Cliff: Anything. I don’t see anything. And the next thing you know, 3-4 months later, I’m like “Hey what’s going on?” It’s like they’re commenting on my post-workout selfie. They’re like “Dude, I need to get back at it.” “Dude, you were killing it.” “Yeah, after the triathlon, I just didn’t do it. After the marathon…” “It’s like dude, you need to stop training for those events and you start training for life.”
Glenn: Well, and that’s the problem with those events is that you train for the event and then they’re over. So what I would recommend to people who are training for an event is to schedule the next one before you do the first one. So always have one on the calendar. So maybe you take a couple of days off but you don’t take an undefined amount of time off.
Cliff: Yeah. And for me, what I’ve done is I said, “You know what? I sign up for an event six days a week every week for the rest of my life.”
Cliff: And I literally do consider every day an event.
Glenn: And that’s… That’s a great way to think about it. And you know that’s 6 days a week and that is fantastic. Some people really are motivated by having an event to be in public and have to perform. Other people absolutely do not. And it doesn’t really matter one way or the other whichever you are worked to your strengths.
Glenn: You found a pattern that really works well for you. I am just thrilled beyond, beyond measure. But I do wonder. I wanna ask you… I asked you if you have any setbacks. You said you kind of sort of do but you don’t really consider them setbacks because one day you splurge a little bit on eating and it doesn’t matter because of your lifestyle. You have a really healthy lifestyle. Do you have any kind of measures in placed to keep that from snowballing?
Cliff: Do you mean the bad days from snowballing?
Glenn: Yeah. Yeah. So if you had… Yeah, sorry–
Glenn: –if I wasn’t clear. If you have a bad day, what keeps it from snowballing in 2 or 3 or 4?
Cliff: Sure. I would say it’s the accountability that I have in placed in my life. And so first of all, I mean the one thing I can tell you is that I literally have maybe about 15-20 thousand people who see a post-workout selfie of me every single day, 6 days a week, every week.
Glenn: That’s pretty motivating.
Cliff: And so when you get that many thousands of people, if I don’t post workout selfies for 3 or 4 days in a row, guess who’s getting some emails. So that… And not only… And by the way, it hasn’t happened but I know it would happen if I did. And I’ve asked certain people if you see me fall off the wagon, you know hit me up and talk. Let’s talk about it. So there’s that. The other thing is I’m doing this… I’m not doing this alone. My wife is very much involved.
Cliff: She doesn’t do the 6 days a week. She’s not as crazy as I am. But she does 3 days a week with me. She does strength training. And she does do a lot of cardio outside of that as well but just not as… She just doesn’t have the commitment for 6 days a week. So we have the commitment to one another. There are days when she’s strong and I’m not. And there are days that I’m strong and she’s not. Did I say that…
Glenn: Yeah, you did. Yeah. Yeah.
Glenn: That’s perfect.
Cliff: So we hold each other accountable. But man, when one of us is off, we never judge the other person. We’re like “Okay, well that’s what you want to do.” And the thing is neither of us have really allowed it to snowball. But I… If anybody out there is listening you might know me or my wife, Stephanie, if you’ve listened to us in any of our podcast, you know that if one of us has something to say, we’re gonna say it. And one of us was the snowball, she would say, “Cliff, get off your butt and go work out.” Or “Hey, okay, you asked me to go and get you half a pint of ice cream and you sat down and ate it. And you didn’t work out but that was last night and there ain’t no way in heck I’m getting you anything tonight or tomorrow.”
Cliff: That’s just how that would happen.
Glenn: That sounds like a really helpful relationship. You can rely on each other to help you both move in to the proper direction that you want to go.
Cliff: Yeah. And not only that but now, but also, she realizes that every now and then you know what… And I say this because a couple of it was probably a week and a half ago, Stephanie brought me home a pint of graeter’s ice cream which was raspberry chocolate chunk or something. And it was a half pint and I ate the whole sitting, sitting in the living room floor. And that was my dinner that night.
Cliff: That is not a healthy thing. It’s not something I would normally do. But you know what? I’m intentionally choosing to do this tonight and I’m going to be fine with it. And it’s not gonna kill me and yes, today is my day off of working out. And it’s gonna put me pretty much over my calories for today. I don’t care.
Cliff: That’s how it was. And I’m like you know but I am still committed. So here’s what I can say glen. I haven’t had that snowballing me yet. And I am praying that it never does. But I have a sense that I have enough momentum that will help me keep from doing that. And the other thing is I have put so much of this out in public. So much of it is out in public that man, if I feel almost the compulsion to do it so that I don’t let other people down. And yet at the same time, I refused to let that be my motivation.
Glenn: Well, I gotta say. I really couldn’t be more impressed with your attitude and your… It really is your new thought process, your mind set, your way of life. And I love what you said about the ice cream. And I could not agree more. I think that it’s exactly perfect. And there are so many people who are shuddering at the thought of eating a pint of ice cream and not working out because that would mean failure to them. And you did not see it as that. And I am totally on board with that because I don’t see it as a failure either. You indulge a little bit. That’s okay. A little bit. As long as it’s not a daily thing and which is not. So you’re there.
Cliff: Yeah. Dude, I’m living a whole new life. I’m a new person. And by the way, and that’s the other thing, I am actually living life every day. I don’t allow myself to work 80 hours a week anymore. I very rarely do I come in to the office before 10 am and very rarely, do I ever leave after 5 or 6 in the evening.
Glenn: Wow. Very nice.
Cliff: Or before. Yeah, after. After.
Cliff: So usually, yeah, I work a good solid day and stuff like that and I come in on Saturday every now and then. I work a couple of hours. And maybe I even come on Sunday but it’s nothing like what it used to be. Here’s what I can tell you. In 2015, one of the things that I did. I said “I’m gonna do something. I said I want my physical fitness and health to be the same level of priority that I had put my business in 2008.” And what that meant was remember I told you in 2008, all I did was work, work, work. And I did nothing for physical activity.
Cliff: I was in a place in my business where I’ve got financial success in my business and I got systems in place that it allowed me to make this decision. But I made this decision in the beginning of 2015 and I said, “I’m going to put all my time, effort, and energy in to working out. And I’m going to do almost nothing in my business this year.”
Cliff: And I literally, I worked 4 months in 2015.
Cliff: That’s it. That’s what I did.
Glenn: That’s amazing.
Cliff: Now I dropped… I earned $212,000 less in income in business income last year than I did before but it was so worth it.
Glenn: Good. You need to have your health.
Cliff: Yeah, and it was so worth it. And the reason why I did that Glenn is you know what? Here’s what I know is I want to go so far to the other stream, extreme of health and fitness because when I come back and I need to focus on work again, I don’t want to bounce all the way back to the other need. I figure if I stretch the rubber band out and I stretch it so far to the other extreme, when I come back, I’ll come back somewhere in the middle because that extreme measure has been stretched out if you will.
Cliff: And so that’s what happened. I’m back in to my business. And dude, I’m totally on it.
Glenn: That is wonderful. That is fantastic. So I imagine people can hear this ongoing story on the Cliff Ravenscraft Show, correct?
Cliff: Absolutely. Just go to cliffravenscraft.com and you’ll find the Cliff Ravenscraft Show there somewhere. And if not, the best thing to do is just look on your favorite podcast. Just look for Cliff Ravenscraft or the Cliff Ravenscraft Show, either way, it will pull up. But yeah, I’ve been sharing this 641 episodes as of today. And I will continue to share my life online hoping to entertain encourage, educate, inspire other people on the world by sharing whatever experiences I’ve had in life and what things I’m learning through life.
Glenn: That is awesome. I’m here on episode 76 so I’m you know I don’t think I’ll catch up but I’m working on it.
Cliff: I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity to share my story Glenn. And I gotta say man, thank you so much for your coaching. You’ve helped me break that plateau earlier this year.
Glenn: My pleasure.
Cliff: Any time. Any time. It’s an open offer.
Glenn: And I know that you’re not asking me to do this. But folks, let me tell you, Glenn’s got some programs he can tell you about on his website where you can purchase things, where he’ll tell you about eating plans and menu guides. My wife made some of the menu items that you had on that thing that you had given us out of the PDF document. Amazing food. Wonderful stuff. And yeah, guys, if you need a coach, Glenn’s your guy.
Glenn: Thank you. Thank you for that. And I have one more question I would like to ask you before part.
Glenn: And I’ve been asking a lot of people this lately. It’s kind of my new series I’m doing. And the question is what motivates you regarding health and fitness. What motivates you to stay healthy and fit?
Glenn: What motivates me is the fact that I know that if I do not get my heart rate up to enough where my body starts to produce sweat, I can do that for a minimum of 20 minutes and then carry it on for a short period of time or even a long period of time after that, then I know I won’t kick on the right sort of cytokines in my body. And I know for me to be… I trust that at this point, I’m going to live until I’m 80 years old. And if I want to live… If I wanna be a healthy and a fit 80 year old, I won’t be able to do that unless, daily, I turn on those c10 cytokines and that’s what motivates me every day.
Glenn: Alright. That is fantastic. I will make sure that is on the show notes page as well. Cliff, any last words?
Cliff: Dude, I’m just say people, train for life and train every day.
Glenn: Train for life. Train every day. Words to live by. Well, Cliff Ravenscraft, I thank you very much for your time. And once again, you’ve been very inspirational. I really thank you for just being out there and sharing this with the world. You join me with my quest for helping a million people find good health and fitness. And I applaud you for that. Thank you.
Cliff: Thank you.
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