In This Episode You’ll Learn
- What motivates my parents to walk every day (rain or shine)
- How Dave became a famous personal trainer
- Dave’s motivational tips
- What do to when somebody doesn’t want to be motivated, and
- Which came first, Vancouver, WA. or Vancouver, B. C.
What Motivates You?
I asked my parents, Patti and (step Dad) Gaylen, “What motivates you to walk every day?” They said:
- Fear of becoming frail and unable to do the things we want as we get older (cruises, grandchildren activities, volunteer work)
- When Gaylen retired he had more time and no excuse to not walk
- It’s beautiful here and we love to explore our area and admire the trees, streets, houses and landscaping
- Our 73 year old neighbor, Bev, told us once that after she retired, her job is to stay healthy. She’s a good role model (she does a lot of her own yard work)
- We told ourselves we HAVE to walk every day and now it’s a habit.
- We want to be able to walk as much as our fit friends, Gary and Diane, when we’re all together
- Gaylen wears a pedometer all day, every day. It helps us keep the numbers up by quantifying it. Then you can see real progress or compete with yourself. (“Only 1.4 miles yesterday? Better walk further today.”)
- We keep an exercise log on the fridge. I made a calendar and we write down our miles every day. It is in front of us every day and impossible to ignore.
- We’re on a successful streak of walking and recording it, so we feel obligated to keep it up, to not wreck it.
- We have a dog that loves to go on walks, and can walk as fast and as far as we can.
- We walk together and talk or make plans which makes the time go faster
- In bad weather, we bundle up and get out there, if only for a short walk for the dog, then come home and go up and down the stairs.
- We do not want you to be ashamed to say we’re your parents (considering the line of work you are in)
- Gaylen is motivated to stay active and healthy because we have a parrot that will likely live another 20+ years and need our care.
- We feel slightly proud, superior, and smug to be able to, for example, go up the stairs and not have to use the escalator/elevator
- And finally – YOU and your example of healthy fit living. We always know you are watching and care. And we hang out with you, a health-conscious person, rather than hanging out with smoking, drinking, over-eating unhealthy folks.”
Thank you for all those motivational tips.
If you would like to share with me What Motivates You, please use the Speakpipe tab on the right side of this page, or the contact form. I will include it in my next podcast episode and newsletter.
Links and Resources for This Episode
- Dave’s Website, MakeYourBodyWork
- Dave’s Interview with Glenn
- Glenn’s cousin Caralyn’s Interviews, Recipes and Articles
You Might Also Like
- Ep 9 – Endless Possibilities
- Ep 11 Dr. Barry Sears, The Zone Diet
- Ep 15 Dr. Loren Cordain, The Paleo Diet
- Ep 70 – Foresight is 20/20
- How to Write Your Own Diet Book
Transcript of this Episode
Glenn: Let’s do this thing. Hi, Dave. How are you doing?
Dave: Hey Glenn. Doing well. Thanks for having me on the show today.
Glenn: Oh, it is really good to have you. I understand you’re Canadian, eh.
Dave: I am a Canadian eh, yeah. Actually, we talked earlier. I don’t know if you did this intentionally but you mentioned that you went to a hockey game and at the end of your sentence, you said “I went to a hockey game, eh.” And it was so natural. I didn’t even notice if… Was that intentional or just came out?
Glenn: You know it was pretty much intentional but I want to tell you that I’m half Canadian.
Dave: So the eh’s aren’t completely put on. There’s a little bit of truth to them.
Glenn: Yeah, I married a Canadian. So I figured that makes me half Canadian, eh?
Dave: (Laughter) There you go. Alright. You’re allowed to use it, I guess.
Glenn: And I think I have a better Canadian accent than my wife does. She moved from Canada to Georgia and then California. And she… She’s a chameleon. So she just blends in wherever she is. But it’s funny because I can hear her accent when she talks or even emails people back in Canada. She’s from Eastern Canada. And so even when she emails them, then she’ll speak to me, and I’ll hear a little bit. I go, “Oh, you’re chatting with your mom or one of your friends?”
Dave: Yeah, I did some schooling down in the states and everyone would try and you know do their Canadian impersonation and they all go to the same thing. “Oh we’re gonna go oot and aboot today.” (Laughter) Just thinking that doesn’t sound Canadian at all.
Glenn: No. No, it tends to be overdone. It’s obvious. I have a cousin who is from and lives in Australia. And she has a typical Australian accent. She came here for about a year and was working. And people kept giving her catch phrases to say. What’s that? Foster’s beer, she kept having to say that one. But it’s pretty funny.
Glenn: So Dave, I wanted to bring you to the show because, well, you’re just a wealth of knowledge. You’ve been in the business for quite a while. You have a great amount of experience. You’ve been selected personal trainer of the year. But first, I’d like to just start off by asking what is it you are doing right now. What’s your main focus? What’s your drive? What causes you to get out of bed in the morning?
What Motivates You
Dave: Yeah, that’s a great question. I guess I’ll go give you two different answers. From a professional standpoint, we’re recording in the first week of January, so what’s getting out of bed this morning is a million emails from people who are looking to make those New Year’s resolutions come true. And this is the most exciting time of the year for me. I love the energy. And I love how dedicated people are. And I kind of take it on as my job to try and prolong that dedication and that excitement as long as possible. So professionally, that’s what gets me going right now.
And personally, I actually just moved out to Vancouver British Columbia from Toronto area. And I’ll tell you, this was long overdue because as soon as I got out here, the weather’s amazing. There’s no snow. And I do some triathlon competitions. So it’s been fantastic. I’ve been able to run outdoors every day. And it’s very, very exciting from a personal stand point.
Glenn: Well, welcome to the West Coast. And as I was telling Dave earlier I live in the original Vancouver. I’m in Vancouver, Washington. He’s in Vancouver, British Columbia which is much larger and has a whole island plus a city. But Captain George Vancouver founded us first, in 1792. And then he later went north and spent a day in what is now the other Vancouver (Canada). But it’s pretty interesting that there’s two major cities or two cities by the same name that are in such close proximity.
Dave: Yeah, like I said I didn’t know that. I got a history/geography lesson.
Glenn: (Laughter) So Dave, I want to find out how you got to doing what you’re doing. You’re a personal trainer. You’re dedicating your life to helping people getting and staying fit. So what was your career path?
Dave: Yeah, I do have a bit of swerved career path but my whole fitness path actually begin way back when I was in high school. And this is a little bit of embarrassing story but when I was in my last year of high school, I was the school president. And so one of the roles of the president was to MC all the school assemblies. After one of these assemblies, I was walking down the hall. And I can remember exactly where I was in high school. And a classmate of mine came up. Her name was Nadia. And she said, “Hey Dave do you know what I noticed when you’re up on stage there?” And I thought for sure she was kind of hitting on me. I was going to say ‘oh you’re so cute’ or ‘you’re so funny.’ And she said “I noticed how skinny your arms are.” And I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal but to an 18 year old guy–
Dave: –it really shattered my ego. And I literally, that week, went and got a gym membership. And you know so when I look back, it started a hundred percent for vanity purposes to start exercising so I didn’t have skinny arms anymore. But very quickly, fell in love particularly with the nutritional piece of fitness. And then when I was in university, I got certified as a personal trainer and just started doing some training on the side. And my career path, the time I was in business school, so my career path was taking me towards a marketing career. And I did do that for a little bit. Actually, my first job out of school was working for Hershey’s, the chocolate company. And it was the most ironic or unlikely job pairing. I was marketing and selling products that I would never in a million years would put in my own body.
Dave: So yeah, quickly I realized there was a disconnect there. And as my personal training businesses grew and grew, eventually, I started doing that full time. That was years ago, about 15 years ago.
Glenn: That’s funny. Because My Australian cousin, Caralyn, that I mentioned earlier, I had her on the show for an interview and the reason I did that was because one of her first jobs out of college was working for Nestle. She was working in the test kitchen trying to make new foods and new recipes out of chocolates somehow. And (laughter) that’s pretty funny, you had a very similar job.
Dave: You know what? Actually, the most… My favorite part of the job, but the most disturbing part, was we did a lot of consumer research and focus groups. So I was one of those guys that you know you seen on TV where they sit behind that mirror. And then there’s a group of consumers that are testing out different products on the other side being asked questions. And it was fascinating. I loved it from a psychology and sociology standpoint. But hearing people talk about their eating habits was so disturbing. And I’ll be honest, I just felt so hypocritical contributing to people making bad food choices. And so it’s only a matter of time before I knew that career wasn’t going to last.
Glenn: Yeah, and you know that’s how Caralyn felt too when she did it for about a year or so until she could get into something else. And now, she teaches nutrition at a high school level. And you know this is much… She’s much happier doing this. And she feels good about it because she’s teaching them how to work within a budget and make healthy choices.
Glenn: Even when you don’t have a lot of money. And I know that’s one of the big objections many people have to eating healthy is the expense. So it’s great that there are people out there.
So you started becoming fit for vanity reasons and then you fell in love with it. And How did you become a personal trainer and then worked your way up to where you are now?
Dave: So I just… I was a real gym rat. Honestly, I spent all my time in the gym when I was in the university. You know I’d play tennis. And I was always exercising. I noticed that all the time, people in the gym were approaching me and asking me, “Why you’re doing that exercise? Or hey, you look like you know what you’re doing,” and handle these questions. And so I realized there’s a whole bunch of people out there who either have misinformation or looking for information. And so I just went and started by doing a course and got my, “certification” as a personal trainer. Although, again looking back, I took a little week long course. And it maybe didn’t mean that much but to me, it was formalizing sort of what I was really passionate about.
And then after that, I ended up going and study even physiology down in Florida and sort of made that a little bit of more of my educational process. And had the path of a regular trainer, I started training clients one on one. And then eventually, build up my business and built my own fitness studio and had a bunch of trainers working with me there.
And then you know I’ve got two passions in life. One is fitness. And the other is nerdy tech’s stuff. And I started dabbling in the internet. And I had this problem where my clients were getting in great shape from September until about May. And the clientele, that I had work when I was doing face to face personal training, was a very affluent clientele. And the vast majority of them would go and live with their cottage or live with their second home during the summer months. And we won’t see each other for maybe 3-4 months. And without fail, everyone come back in September and would have lost so much of that progress.
Dave: It was really frustrating for them and frustrating for me. We’d spent so much, so many hours you know getting to that point. So my idea was, well, I’ll start creating programs that people can do while they’re travelling and transmit those online on the website. And that’s what I did. And that’s how I kind of get in to this whole coaching online thing. And then, it just grew bigger than I ever expected. And I ended up selling my physical space. And now that’s what I do, just coach people online.
Glenn: Wow. I find that interesting that they become unfit over the summer months where most people are the other way around; they become unfit over winter. And then summer comes, that’s when they ramp up their activity levels.
Dave: Yeah, and it totally depends on the person like someone who is more sedentary naturally — that’s the case you know they’re very sedentary – and then (later on? 10:09), get more active in the summer. The clients that I was working with, you know a lot of them are quite fit individuals and so more training hard all through the winter. And then you remove that training, while going for hikes or going for bike rides in the summer. It’s very different than being in the gym and being on a regimented training program.
Glenn: Yes, yeah. It’s certainly is. It certainly is. And if they could put more in to it or as in the case that I’m sure you witness, they put less into it.
Dave: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Personal Trainer of the Year
Glenn: So you’re eventually in – What, 2013? – you were selected personal trainer of the year for Canada, correct?
Dave: Yeah. Yes, certainly I guess my crowning achievement in the fitness industry. Yeah, honestly, it’s a very simple story I guess. Every year, so in Canada, there’s a certifying body of personal trainers called Canfitpro. And basically, anyone who is a personal trainer goes through this organization. And each year, they go through a selection process and pick a trainer or a fitness instructor to recognize with that award. And I got nominated. And there’s actually quite a process to it. After you’re nominated, I had to write an essay about you know what it was I was doing and why am I my services are special. And then they narrowed it down to, I think, the top 10. And then those top 10 had to create a video showing some of their training practices and programs. And then they’d narrowed it down to the top 3. And then each year, there’s a national fitness show put on by Canfitpro. And it’s huge. It’s about 15,000 personal trainers there.
Dave: And, yes, a huge audience. So in this huge convention center down town Toronto, and the three of us that were in the top 3, we’re sitting in the front row. And no one… We didn’t know who is gonna win the award. And it was interesting ‘coz they… Before they said my name, they started telling a bit of my story. And so I knew I just won this thing. And generally, I don’t get very shy or nervous in front of an audience. But I realized ‘oh wow, this means I’m gonna have to go give a speech.’ And I hadn’t thought about that at all. I was so nervous.
Glenn: I bet.
Dave: Yeah, so I went out there.
Glenn: How did you do?
Glenn: On stage.
Dave: I fumbled my way through it. I… Pretty bad in retrospect. But yeah, it was an exciting time and that was a huge transformational moment for my business you know from media attention. And since then, I’d have an opportunity to do a lot of writing for different fitness magazines and being on different TV shows and such. That was a huge game changer.
Glenn: Wow. That’s awesome.
It’s All About Motivation
Glenn: That’s pretty awesome. And do you consider yourself a motivational expert?
Dave: Yeah, you know that’s my big thing. When I started out, I was all about creating fitness programs that I thought were the best fitness programs out there. And one thing that I’ve realized is you can have the very best fitness program from the best trainer in the world, if you’re not motivated to do it and if you’re not motivated to do it well, it doesn’t matter one bit.
Glenn: Yeah, that’s true. You know I was talking with a friend of mine not too long ago. And he said his daughter is – she’s about high school age – and her health and fitness is slipping. And he sees it going in a really dangerous direction — meaning once you get in a hole, it’s a hard to dig yourself out of it. And she absolutely has zero interest in changing things. She doesn’t want to improve. She doesn’t want to exercise at all. She doesn’t care about eating healthy. What would you do or say if you had the opportunity to talk at least the father and maybe you know work out a way to get with to help the daughter change her mind? What would you suggest?
Dave: Yeah, it’s interesting you brought that up. I had a guest on my podcast. And we talked through the exact scenario. Someone had to ask that question. It was about her sister and said the same thing. She wanted to help her sister get on track. And the perspective that myself and the guest basically took was you can’t do anything. If it’s someone who doesn’t want to change, it has to come internally. It has to come from within. There’s framework that I used, cognitive behavior therapy. It’s basically is the 5 stages of change. And that sort of pre-contemplation is what we call someone who, they’re not even thinking about changes. It’s not even on their radar.
Dave: And the best thing that you can do is demonstrate you know so I’d speak to that father and say ‘demonstrate a healthy life, lead by example.’ But if you were to start pushing his belief or his choices on his daughter; rarely, rarely will that have a positive outcome.
Glenn: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too. There’s not a lot you can do. Now I have seen where extrinsic or an external motivator can shift into an internal motivator. And an example of that is somebody running a race so they can get a trophy or a T-shirt or a medal or something like that. And in the process of training and then doing that race and then the good sensation they feel after accomplishing this goal, then they might have an internal motivation. Do you think there’s something that he might to be able to leverage to get her moving?
Dave: Yeah, and definitely it sort of… It has to be very strategic though because if you were to use something that was obviously a fitness related goal, there’s a chance that that would turn her off or make her shut down. So there’s other ways (to tie? 15:44) and other goals; for example, if they have a close relationship you know on a parent-child level, he could introduce even them going for a walk or doing some sort of physical activity that’s sort of hides that you know physicality within the relationship that she might actually be interested in building.
Dave: That’s kind of when I say, lead by example you know getting the family involved, getting you know recruiting her friends, making events where there’s physical activity. That’s a nice way to start. And then I think you and I were chatting earlier about this. We chatted the other day when we’re talking about how it can sort of become contagious you know that idea of healthy living when someone starts moving a little bit or eating a little bit healthy. Quite often, they’ll see a little bit of change and then desire more.
Glenn: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. And one thing I have said to my clients is that motion leads to momentum which leads to motivation. (click to Tweet).
Dave: I love that.
Don’t Wait For Motivation to Find You, Go Get It
Glenn: And so you don’t have to be… You don’t have to sit around. In other words — in fact, that’s not even a good… I don’t suggest to sit at all — but sitting around waiting for motivation to come to you because when it does, it’s generally a doctor saying you’re gonna die if you don’t change your ways. So go out and get the motivation. Just even if you don’t want to, exercise works even if you don’t like it. Move your body, that will lead to some momentum and that will lead to motivation hopefully. Not always but it certainly can.
Walk and Watch
Dave: Yeah, the idea of tying to something that you actually enjoy so one of the programs that I will give my clients is to just a homework of program. And I say you know throw a Netflix and put on your favorite show and just go through this set of 5 exercises. And if you can sort of switch that mentality instead of thinking, ‘oh I got to work out;’ it’s ‘oh I get to watch’ whatever the show is. So it’s again, hiding that exercise or that fitness in there. Because you know your example of this girl who doesn’t want to exercise, that pre-contemplation stage is the hardest stage of change to move out of.
Glenn: Yeah, it could last years.
Dave: It could. And you never know… You never know what the trigger is going to be to get someone to all of a sudden that light bulb momentum where they say, “Hey, you know what? I think I do want to maybe push through this or I do want to try something a little formal, more formal in terms of exercise.” And then they move in to contemplation stage. And that’s the one where things get exciting.
Glenn: Yeah, you know speaking of watching movie, my parents used to walk on a treadmill and watch movies. And that was how they got their exercise. They live in a place that was really not desirable to walk but they knew they needed to move their body and exercise. And they’re not gym type people or athletic. But they can walk and they enjoy walking. So they bought a treadmill. They put a TV with a DVD player in front of it. And they would watch… One of them would watch a movie. And then the other one would watch that half of the movie. And so they’re not watching it at the same time but they are watching the same movie together and walking for the same length of time. And they’ve continued doing that. And since then, they’ve moved up to where I live and now they walk every single day outside, which they like much better. But it was a way to get them going. And they didn’t consider it exercise; they considered it watching a movie.
Dave: Uhum. And now do they walk together?
Glenn: Yes, they do.
Dave: Yeah, and so you get that relational side of things. And then, that’s when it gets so powerful is when you bring other people into it.
Glenn: Yeah, and you know they’ve really committed to that. And they’ve walked a thousand miles in 2015. They just tallied it up and they told me they walked a thousand miles.
Dave: Oh, that gets me excited even hearing that. That’s so cool.
Glenn: Isn’t that great? I think… I think they surpassed by bike riding for the year, first time ever. (Laughter)
Dave: You know a similar story of mine, my mother, she is someone who would I say I don’t like exercising. And a very similar story, she ended up getting a treadmill ‘coz she knew that she needed to do something. You know doctors say you got to do this exercise. And I was just talking to her over the Christmas holidays and asked her, “Well what do you do when you’re on the treadmill?” And she said, “Oh I listened to my records.” And it’s so funny because she’s got a record player — this is like before records became cool again – she’s got like the actual old school record player. But it gives her something to look forward to do. Otherwise, she’d dread it. (Laughter)
Glenn: Well, you know do whatever you can. And like I said, you don’t have to love moving your body for it to work. It’s best. I certainly won’t argue that. It is certainly best. But even if you’re just doing it for practicality’s sake, it’s still doing your body good. You’re walking to the store to work. Or just from the far the streets of the parking lot in to the store, you’re still doing your body good.
Dave: Uhum. Uhum. I totally agree. One thing I would say, once you’ve sort of realized that you’re doing your body good and embraced that and want to turn it into something that’s a little bit, like I said, formalized; a piece a lot of people I find missed out on is kind of diving really deep down and figuring out why it is that they want to change. And I know you’ve been a personal trainer for a long time as well and have probably dealt with a ton of clients and whenever I meet a new client, I always ask them “you know what brought you here?” And 9 times out of 10, they’ll say “Oh I want to lose weight.”
Glenn: Yes, maybe 9 and a half times out of 10.
Dave: (Laughter) Yeah, there are 10 out of 10 almost, I want to lose weight. While that is a reason, it’s a very weak motivational goal.
Glenn: Oh it is.
“How Will That Make Your Life Better?”
Dave: It’s so ambiguous. It’s so far away. You know you have to make choices now for something in the future. I always follow it up by ask a question probably 10 times in a row, “Well, how would that make your life better?” (click to Tweet).
Dave: And you know thinking about a client that I recently talked about this to her, she says “I want to lose weight.” I asked her, “Well how would that make your life better?” And she says, “Well, I want to start to be able to jog.” And okay, we’re getting a little more specific. “Well how would that make your life better?” And she says, “Well, I want to be able to do a 5k in the spring.” “Okay. How would that make your life better?” And she said, “Well my sister, she’s gonna be doing the 5k. I want to do it with her.” “Well how would that make your life better?” After a series of these questions, it’s kind of annoying I’m sure for the client. But all of a sudden, she gets down to this fact that her and her sister used to spend all kinds of time together and that had sort of deteriorated for a number of different reasons. And she was looking for an activity that her and her sister could really connect over.
Dave: And you think about that like that statement, ‘I want to connect with my sister. And my sister is really into this jogging thing,” holy cow, that is so much more powerful than ‘I want to lose 10 pounds.’
Glenn: It is. It is. And look how it translated her deep down true motivator was hidden by – what? — 3 -4 layers of what she thought she wanted.
Dave: Yeah, and I encouraged anyone who’s listening, to do that on yourself and write it out, you know how would that make my life better. And sometimes, it takes 10 of those levels you know peeling away that onion until you get down to something that is really motivational.
Glenn: I used a similar technique except I say, ‘but why?’ (Laughter)
Glenn: “I wanna lose weight.” “Why?” “Well because…” and blah, blah, blah. “But why?” And so it has the same result but definitely a different phrase that we’re using to get to the same place. So that’s great. I love it.
Dave: You know what? I don’t think that most clients are… it’s not that they’re afraid or not that they don’t want to share. I just think most of us don’t know. We don’t know what our real motivation is. And we think you know in the media, we see all the time ‘oh you got to lose weight. Be skinny,’ you know ‘be strong’ whatever it is, all those sort of more superficial motivations. But we don’t ever you know like whenever do you hear someone talking about get fit so that you can spend more time with your sister.
Glenn: Yeah, that’s great. And I totally agree with you. I do think most people are not really looking at the heart of the matter. They’re looking at the superficiality, what they can see on the outside. “Oh well I’m unhappy and I’m overweight. It must be because I’m overweight.”
Dave: Uhum. Uhum.
Weight Loss Does Not Equal Happiness. But Happiness Usually Leads to Weight Loss
Glenn: “And change that and then I will be happy.” But what I see clients that are unhappy, who want to lose weight, and then they do lose weight, they’re still unhappy. They just now have to search for a new reason why they’re unhappy. So if we can get them to make a health and fitness a conscious daily effort, what happens is they usually become the… Have the physical body that they want to have. And in the process, they might figure out what’s keeping them from being happy. And then they can change that. But you have to change yourself first. You can’t expect a different physique to change your life.
Dave: Totally agree. And I’d say the vast majority of people, if you sort of think about where would your life, like your life to be, or what do you need to change in your life to find that happiness. Most of the time, it’s something social. You know like connecting with people at different level or being to do something that you feel you’re exclude from or not being self-conscious to try something new, All the social things. And then as you sort of back cast and get down to ‘why am I not doing those things?’ then the weight or the fitness level would ties in to it. But keeping that longer term perspective and thinking now my life’s gonna change because I’m gonna be able to do those social things or you know those bigger happiness things, it’s so much more powerful.
Glenn: Yeah, that’s true. Well this is really been fantastic talking with you, Dave. I’m glad we hooked up. You’re you know… We’re definitely birds of a feather. We’re running parallel courses, doing pretty much the same thing in slightly different ways. Maybe I’ll have you on again someday.
Dave: Yeah, my pleasure. I love to be back.
Glenn: Alright. Have a good one.
Dave: Thank you.
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