What’s up everybody. Welcome to the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. I’m your host, drew Manning, and I’m your cohost Manning. Thank you guys for joining us here for another great episode. Um, now usually on our podcasts we like to bring on fitness professionals, you know, a nutritionist, doctors, something has to do with health and fitness and sometimes we don’t, right? There’s been a few episodes where we haven’t specifically focused on those things and we try and mix it up and give you guys a little bit of a diversity to the show. So today’s guest is Jason McKinsey. He’s a Canadian, uh, has remarkable story about overcoming, um, some serious adversity. Um, and basically to sum it up in a nutshell, uh, his late wife committed suicide. He’s a dad of two little girls and it’s historic overcoming that. And, uh, it’s very inspirational.
We dive into some very deep topics. We talk about vulnerability and the importance of that and how that’s helped him, uh, overcome his alcohol addiction to after his wife. Um, his late wife committed suicide. Um, and so it’s, it’s a great story. So you’ll be very inspired by this. But before we dive into today’s episode, you guys, um, our show sponsor is ki genics, K, E. G, E. N. I, X. Uh, basically what they are in a nutshell, is there an exogenous ketone supplement company? What that means is when you take the product, it’s this a powder drink, you know, orange Berry, fruit flavored. Uh, when you take the drink, it puts your body in a state of ketosis within 60 minutes. What that means is your body’s in a totally different metabolic state after you drink this, um, this drink, um, from kitchen X.
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All right, let’s go hang out with Jason McKinsey. All right, Jason McKinsey, thank you so much for joining us here on the Fitbits fit experience podcast. How are you doing today? Man,
I’m doing fantastic and it’s an honor to be here.
Well thank you very much. I appreciate that. And you’re coming all the way from Canada, right?
I am coming from Canada and actually today is our first nice day. Believe it or not. So winter is finally over.
That is cool man. Yep. I know we used to live in some cold places that we currently live in Hawaii, which is never cold out here, which is awesome. Uh, but I won’t rub that in too much cause I know Canada is a little bit colder. Um, yeah man. So first I just kinda want to introduce you to my audience who you are, a little bit about your background now. You grew up in Canada your entire life.
Yeah. My dad was actually in the military, so I was fortunate enough to be able to move around. So we mostly lived in Canada, but I did spend some time in Europe, uh, when I was a teenager and that was a really good experience because it was actually as a diplomat, but in a communist country, Romania. So it was really an eye, an eye opening experience to see what human suffering could, uh, really be. Like. It was a really changed the way I look at the world, but, uh, yeah, but for the most part in Canada.
Wow, that’s really cool. That’s a great experience to have as a teenager. You know how I’ve always told people, man, if you could take all the American teenagers in this country and make them live in a third world country, you know, even for like six months, it’ll change their life. I lived in Brazil for a couple of years and it’s just so eye opening and humbling to see how happy people are with so little, right. Whereas here we’re always complaining about wanting more, wanting more. Uh, so that’s, uh, that’s really cool man. I’m glad that you had that experience. Now what did you go to school for and what was your like, you know, what was your career in?
So I, uh, I had a, uh, I would say a meandering path to get to my final career. So I, I ended up finally taking, uh, computer programming and then, uh, that was kind of at the, uh, 2000, uh, dot com, uh, you know, situation. Um, yeah. And then I ended up in automotive manufacturing, uh, doing all kinds of things with technology and, and uh, progressing up the chain to a senior being coming a senior leader in an automotive manufacturing company. And now honestly, I’m trying to completely pivot my life and it’s a, some exciting things are happening. So that’s been a really interesting experience going from something where I feel like I’m the master of my domain to something where I feel like I’m in grade two.
Well, are you still with that company or, okay, very interesting. So I worked in the auto industry as well here in the U S auto industry for Chrysler for three years. A member, I’m finding out where we have a lot more in common than I knew before. But I worked for Chrysler right out of college as a financial analyst. But here I am now in the fitness industry. So yeah, life takes some turns. There’s some transitions as you know, from your story, which you’re about to share in a little bit. Uh, you know, um, but it’s good at the end of the day, it’s all good. It’s all for our greater good. I, I think in my opinion. So, um, okay. So walk us through a little bit about your story, um, which you have an amazing story. Your, you know, your, your late wife who passed away kinda, you know, bring us up to speed on as far as like what you went through and, and how that played out with you. And you have two, two daughters, right?
Yeah, I do. They’re 11 and our 12 and 11. And uh, yeah, so I, I married when I was, uh, basically to my, a woman I met just after high school and, uh, you know, everything was, I had the perfect life planned out. You know, I was going to climb the corporate ladder, we were going to have the white picket fence swimming pool. We were going to progressively accumulate more stuff, uh, and keep up with the Joneses and all that stuff. It was a very, very structured path I had set forward until, and you know, it’s amazing the, the how swiftly everything can fall apart I guess. So she was, um, diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now obviously looking back on it with the benefit of hindsight, there’s many, many things I see where there was a lot of clues and things that happened leading up to this.
But at the time I felt sort of blindsided. And um, so in 2005, late 2005, so our youngest daughter was about maybe six months old. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. And what happened was for, for any of your audience who don’t know what that is, it’s other, you know, it’s also called manic depression. And it means, you know, periods of, of mania, which is absolutely out of control. Everything. Um, we’re talking, you know, wild, you know, drug abuse and alcohol abuse and reckless spending money and terribly risky, uh, sexual behaviors and rage and irrationality and even hallucinations of point a at some points. And so my perfect life, our perfect life was completely derailed. We went from, you know, having a secure financial future to being almost bankrupt in the, in the period of months. And, um, yeah, and you know, so I’m watching during this time I’m watching you really is, I had nothing to no frame of reference to compare those two.
So I felt at the same time I felt like I was going crazy myself, uh, because I’m watching this woman who, you know, I’ve been with for so long. I mean, well, 12 years at that point, I guess, and our third 13 years and, and she looks like my wife and she sounds like my wife, but she hates my guts and, uh, you know, she’s can’t function and she’s ruining our lives. At one point, she, uh, in early 2006, uh, she arbitrarily moved away, uh, for about three hours away for about five months left, left her babies. Um, just because she had in her head some mission she needed to accomplish. Um, she was a police officer to actually at the time, so she was, she was not working at this time, obviously, but, um, she ended up in a homeless shelter at one point.
Um, and I’m trying to raise a, I’m trying to raise two girls through this and you know, so then the other part of bipolar disorder is, is just crushing depression. And I was, uh, very, very naive about this stuff and I thought I was one of those people with, you know, very little life experience, uh, but with a lot of certainty that I really understood life. And I just, my belief was a depression was, you know, a, a, just a matter of willpower, get it gives to get out of bed. Um, and Oh my God, it’s, it’s nothing like that. It also, she went, um, to a, a S crushing depression where she literally could not get out of bed for months and, and it was just inconsolable. Mental anguish and you know, self-loathing and slightly self hatred and judgment and feeling like a failure as a wife and a mother and a friend and, and an employee.
And so eventually she became suicidal, so she was, uh, she was institutionalized, um, locked ward, take the shoe laces and a belt. Um, I’ll never forget dropping her off and, uh, just that metal door, just watching her like broken eyes, I guess, you know, as a metal door slammed, uh, between us, that sound will never ever leave my mind. Um, so she was there for, for two months and you know, they did electroshock therapy on her. She was so bad. I didn’t even know that was still a thing. I thought that was a Relic from some 1950s, you know, psychological horror movie or whatever. But it’s, uh, it’s an actual treatment that they do and it erases your short term memory. So I would come to see her and then I would be driving home like literally 15 minutes later and she would call me a hysterical because I never came to visit her.
Um, so, you know, moments like that, just repeated stuff like that, you know, wondering if you’re ever going to get your life back. It takes a terrible, terrible old, but I, uh, it was, you know, people say it’s day to day or whatever and that’s, it was sometimes minute to minute just, I felt like if I got through the day and she was still alive and my kids were safe and, uh, healthy, that it was a success and you know, tomorrow, whatever came tomorrow was on the other side of the nightmares I was going to have when I went to bed. Like it was, it was terrible. Um, and then ultimately one of the, the, you make a lot of terrible decisions when you have bipolar disorder, but they have real life consequences and the consequences are that your, uh, friends, you alienate your friends, you wreck yourself financially, you do all these things.
You, you screw up your career, you can’t work. Um, and, and eventually you’re often left with nothing. Right. And we had separated near the end. She actually threw me out of the house. And, um, um, so we had separated near the end. And then in 2010, she just got to the point where she no longer had anything left at all. And, uh, you know, the kids were with me all the time. She couldn’t cope with him. She, she felt like a failure as a mother. And I, so on March 26, she got in her car, uh, rigged up, uh, the exhaust pipe to go into the, uh, into, to go into the car and, um, and their life. And, uh, so it was, uh, finding out that news was, was pretty bad, but I think in, in her mind, I think she was, she felt like she was setting us free nights. She, she knew how much of a burden she was and, uh, how much of a burden she felt like, and, and at the end of the day, she just wanted to set us free and given us a chance to rebuild a normal life. So, yeah, that was, that was basically the story of that. So that went on over about a period of 2000 days, I would say. And, uh, yeah.
Wow. That’s such a powerful story. And, you know, I, I was watching, you know, before we’ve had you on, I was watching you kind of talk about the story. Um, and open up and be so vulnerable, vulnerable about it. And one of the things that I love the most is you saying, you know, one of the things that society where we’ve failed and what we need to kind of do moving forward. And that’s why I love that we’re doing this podcast is, you know, it’s not talked about enough. You know, these stories aren’t shared enough. You know, how people are coping with it isn’t talked about. You know, there’s almost like this shame associated with having, you know, mental illness or mental disorder. Even though millions of people suffer from depression and anxiety, almost everybody I know has someone they’re close to that touches that. You know, my brother’s bipolar. So like everybody has these experiences but people, you know, clothes off and they don’t, they don’t share it, you know. And so you’re going around sharing this message. What is one of the thing, you know, basically what is the message that you’re trying to share? What are you trying to help people see, you know, coming from your story?
Well. And that, that really, that really is the messages that, you know, what I always tell people is it’s our unvarnished humanity that contains the threads that bind us together. So what we do is, you know, when we share our story, uh, and, and w I mean, in order to share our story, we have to own it. So we have to be okay with us as we are. Um, and, and as, you know, and as we want to be. But, um, in order to share it, when we share it, we create a place of safety for people where they feel comfortable to share their stories, their real, and be their real selves. You know? And so often we, so often we, I did this and we can talk about this. I did this for so long where I created this persona, um, the of what I thought the ideal man and father was.
And, uh, you know, I was, I was not even sharing. It was absolutely not the person I was, you know, I pretend that I didn’t have emotions and I, I was like, logic was my weapon and emotions were for women basically as the way I look basically. And it never crossed my mind that as a whole person I would be stronger and better and, and you know, as a whole person instead of this separate buckets of, you know, strength and weakness or whatever. So what I want people to understand is that when you, when you share your story, it draws people to you. And you know, because I’ve had so many people just as a result of that shining a light speech come up to me, cause it was directed at law enforcement professionals, there’s 300 cops in the room basically. And, and you know, they’ve come up to me and they, they looked at it and I’ve had so many people reach out to me and say, I watched that video and I’m suffering. You know, I’m a, I have post traumatic stress disorder and I am suffering. And you know, as a cop, it’s so hard, but, uh, because it’s a warrior culture and you know, it’s perceived as weakness and people don’t want to share it. But what they said to me was, I knew I could reach out to you because I knew after you shared all that stuff about you that you wouldn’t judge me. And that’s, that’s, that’s the message. Wow.
Yeah. That’s, that’s, that’s huge. That’s so important. And it’s, it really is powerful and it’s great to see that example from you, Jason. I’m sharing that story because it really does inspire so many other people. And like Len talked about, the more that it’s talked about, the less power has over us. So when they see someone else sharing on stage, they get the courage to want to share as well, and they feel so much more free, uh, from those, those feelings, um, that they felt trapped inside. And another thing you, you talked about that I wanted to touch on was, you know, a willpower and your way. Oh through things like depression or mental illness or even in my field, you know, uh, health and fitness, you know, there was, there’s a lot of people with a lack of understanding when it comes to people making healthy choices.
Look, just eat healthy. It’s not that hard. Stop being in the junk food. Put down the soda. It’s just willpower. Just push your way through it, right? Cause some of us can. But for some of us, it’s not that simple, right? It’s not that simple no matter how you look at it. And that’s what I learned from my fit to fat to fit journey. And you probably learned firsthand, senior, your late wife go through this. That it’s not just something that I look, just don’t do this. What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just do it the way you’re supposed to do it? Um, but at the end of the day, it gives you greater empathy and greater respect for people that go through it. And a better understanding. I’m not trying to compare mental illness to someone that’s struggling with their weight, but what I’m trying to say is gaining empathy, respect. And understanding for others that, that struggle with whatever the struggle is, will make this world a much better place. I totally agree. Yeah. So, um, okay. Uh, it’s hard for me to ask these questions early is because I’ve never interviewed someone that’s, you know, but at the same time, I know you’re open to talking about these things. What was it like for you to have to tell your daughters and how have the three of you overcome this over the years? Cause it’s been six years since then.
Yeah. So, um, yeah, that moment was, Oh my God, that was the worst moment of my life. And you know, I guess the only thing that threw is any type of silver lining is as they were young. My, you know, there were six and my youngest daughter melody had just turned five. And, um, but yeah, you know, I found out the police came to the house at 1145 at night and, uh, woke me up and told me what happened. And, um, I basically sat there and stared at the clock for the next eight hours, just thinking like, I walked into the room a few times looking at them sleeping, going, alright, they, they went to bed with their world one way and they’re going to wake up and their world is going to be completely different and I’m going to be, have to be the one that tells them.
And I don’t know if I, how am I going to do this? And I, uh, just stared at the clock every minute, like tick by. Um, and my parents ended up coming in at about four o’clock in the morning. And, um, and then yeah, they woke up and, um, my parents, um, one of the, one of the house somewhere so we could have some, some privacy and I just sat them on the couch and they, I said, I had some terrible news for you. And, um, my, they, they thought I was joking actually, cause I’m a pretty jokey guy. And uh, you know, and then I started to cry and I said, uh, um, mommy, mommy died last night. She’s, she’s in heaven. And then melody, my youngest, uh, looked at me and said, when is she coming back? And, uh, yeah, I mean, that was, that was all I could say was never, and, um, so yeah, I mean, so since that time, it’s interesting actually.
So I’ve remarried since that time and, and, um, my wife now, I mean, she, she is, she is their mom. You, they, they lost their biological mum six years ago. That’s a, that’s a really long time for a 12 or 11 year old. They really don’t remember her very much at all anymore. And especially my younger daughter, because Cindy was sick the whole time, basically the whole time she was alive, so she really wasn’t present. So, so the, my, my new wife, Tanya is, is their mom and, and it is, don’t they appreciate it already, but as they get older, they will appreciate that she gave them the greatest gift that one person could give to another human being. I mean, she’s, she just brought so much stability to our lives and, and so much love and it’s just unbelievable. So, but, um, so I’m very, very grateful for that.
But yeah, you know, it’s, what happens afterwards is it’s really, it’s a really strange thing because kids are, you know, most of the time they’re good kids live in the moment, especially at that age. And, but there would be moments of anger and moments of obvious confusion and then, um, you know, moments. And then as things passed, as they got older, there’d be guilt because guilt, like, uh, I’m starting not to be able to remember her. Right. And somehow that’s somehow, that’s my fault. Um, so we would always talk through that and then we never told them how she died. Uh, we just gave him sort of enough information about it where it was enough of the truth where we thought they would can understand. And then what would ha, what was interesting was Chloe, my older daughter knew that we had split up right near the end.
And so w you know, in my, my, my new relationship, my new marriage, she was very hypersensitive to any kind of anything that seemed like discord, you know, even a slightly raised voice or you know, whatever that, Oh my God, it’s going to happen again. And I would tell her like, you’re, you have to understand that I need you to trust me here. Okay. This situation is totally different from the situation with mommy and heaven. You have to understand. So I, I know you want to know more information but I just don’t feel like you’re ready yet. Okay. So, um, and, and we have a pretty good relationship in that. I mean, it wasn’t obviously the answer she was looking for, but it was, um, I, it was good enough cause she does trust me. And so last year we sat them down and we told them the truth and, um, they were okay with it. I mean, as an Okie, I guess it’s okay as you need because again, her memory has really has really faded by that time it had been about five years. And, um, so that led into a whole discussion about mental illness and all of that kind of stuff. And, you know, I guess I feel like it, considering, you know, the topic, I think it went as okay as possible. So, I mean, I was happy with that and, and I’m happy it’s out in the open.
Yeah. Probably it helps out being able to talk about it. Your kids are at an age where you can talk openly about it and you know, they’re there, they can understand the situation a little bit better. Um, you know, I don’t want this whole episode to focus so much on, on that, but so much overcoming that. Right. So for example, I know they became, uh, you know, uh, uh, addicted to alcohol at some point in time and it when like, okay, so that was part of it. That was part of the transition. Right. And I, everybody is listening to this to totally understand. Okay. I can see why you’d be, you could become an, an alcoholic afterwards. How did that transition happen to becoming that, you know, your website from drunk to monk, right? So you’re, you’re sober now. Tell us about that transition, overcoming everything and where you’re at now. Do you feel like you’re completely over it or do you feel like you have days where you just kind of, um, you know, you go back to your old thinking and kinda are depressed about it,
right? Sorry, a lot of questions in one. Yeah, no, I, so what happened was, I mean during the, during the, you know, that dark period I, it was, it was so chaotic that the way I chose to cope was, was by drinking. And the reason I chose to, I chose that way to cope is because, um, the persona that I had created, this strong leadership man who doesn’t show weakness, couldn’t show weakness. Right? So, which, which, which meant that I had to be strong at all times. I couldn’t like break down because I felt like if I broke down, I was gonna my whole life was going to go, swirling down the drain. So I still had these, all these horror, like emotional issues I had to deal with. So I drank them away. Uh, is basically what happened. So then after, after she passed away, I just continued to drink.
And to me, what the reason, I see, I see it very clearly now, but the re I had a real hero complex where I thought, you know what? Uh, I’ve been through hell. I raised two kids through hell. Um, you know, I’m fit. Uh, I’m smart, I got a good job, this is good enough. If I drank every day too bad, you know what I mean? I other people’s, other people wish they could be as good as me. This was the way I was thinking. It was like a relative. I was really comparing my, I would selectively pick characteristics from know specific other people and then I would, you know, that I was, I’m better at this guy. I can run faster than this guy, therefore my drinking. So whatever, you know, it’s just, it’s insane thinking. But uh, but I really, really, uh, really milked it.
So, and there was a time immediately after where maybe you’re right there, there was, there was some rationale like, okay, the guy has been through hell, but I had convinced myself that I was done. Man, she’s passed away. It was a tragedy. I moved on. Um, because that’s the logical thing to do. You gotta move on and there’s no point looking backwards. So I continued to drink and, but after four years of that, you know, saying, uh, I’m good enough and all that, you know, trying to rationalize drinking every night starts to sound pretty lame. Right? And it didn’t sound lame to me at all. It sounded great. But to my wife, it sounded pathetic. And uh, and so she started to, she started to not pressure me in a way where she would judge me and tell me I was bad. But she started to get very persistent about the fact that I am selling myself short and I am capable of so much more.
And I could see her evolving as a human being, as a, as a mother and as a friend and as a community builder. And as a healer. And all these things and I was thinking to myself, wow, my good enough is, is making me pretty stagnant here and she’s, she’s evolving well past me and I could see a gap growing between us and I’m not dumb. I could see that if this continued over time, this gap is going to grow. It’s going to become insurmountable at some point. So, you know, that was pretty scary, but it wasn’t, it was not an give me to stop drinking. But what happened was eventually what happened was she just, she just, I started to understand what she was talking about and I got so scared I can remember, I can remember my excuses, all my rationalizations, I can remember sitting in her office downstairs and they just stopped working.
She just stopped listening to them. She didn’t want to hear them. And I, that was probably, honestly the most terrified I’ve ever been in my life because I felt like the emperor with no clothes. And I was like listening to the sound of my voice saying these things that sounded like an insane person would be saying, you know, like I am sitting here trying to convince this woman who loves me and came in and like rescued our family. I’m trying to convince her that being drunk everyday is okay. Like, I’m actually doing this, you know, I’m, what is wrong? Like what’s happened to me. But even that wasn’t enough to get me to stop dragging. So eventually what happened was I had a bad day. Like my daughter, I had her for the day and basically I drank all day. And, and uh, just, I felt so bad while I was doing it.
And what finally happened was she came home and my wife came home and she said, melody is, she talked to me. She’s, she was pretty disappointed about how today went and whatever that that was just hearing those words, it just was like a gut punch. So I, uh, I think what happened was that moment I just surrendered in a way where I finally admitted to myself that how badly I wanted it to stop. And I, this, this is going to sound crazy, but this is actually what happened. So I went downstairs, I was just so full of shame and disgust with myself that I had never really allowed myself to feel before cause I kept convincing myself it wasn’t a problem that I walked downstairs at about six o’clock, I passed out on the couch. I woke up at two o’clock in the morning feeling like I was having an anxiety attack.
And, but at the same time I felt this certainty that I would never drink again. It was the craziest thing because I tried to quit 50,000 times before, like everybody else. But I’ve never, I’ve never touched a drop sentence and I’d never wanted to. I don’t consider myself a recovering anything. Uh, it’s just, it’s a different part of my life. So I went upstairs and I told my wife, this is going to sound nuts. I woke her up at two o’clock in the morning and I, I said this, I know this is going to sound crazy, like there’s no evidence to support anything that I’m about to tell you, but I’m pretty sure I’m done drinking. And she just said, you know, I hope you’re right. And then what rolled over went back to say, yeah, for sure. So then, uh, that’s, I’ve never touched a drop since and my life has is completely different. Oh my God. It’s, it’s incredible. So it’s been an amazing journey. So it’s been almost two years and it just feels like a different lifetime ago. This crazy stuff.
Well, congrats man. That’s, that’s a huge accomplishment. And yeah, obviously everyone’s situation is different and their experiences are different and you know, some people can do what you did, right, and just have this kind of a Tiffany at 2:00 AM like, I’m not going to drink anymore and you were able to do it. Uh, but I think that’s remarkable to see how you overcoming not just the addiction to alcohol or whatever, but everything else in your life that went, that you went through. And it’s probably so much more than that of, of letting go of the guilt and the shame of your past, right. And beating yourself up about your situation or that what you went through and the things you did. Um, it’s overcoming that as well, which, you know, we’re a society full of guilt and shame and you know, that those are very powerful emotions and they can break you down over the years, that’s for sure.
Yeah. And also judgment and labels. One of the things that I love that you’ve talked about in your story and when I was watching, um, that video of you presenting, talking about your situation, you know, and whether we relayed it, I mean, it works in all ways with re related to you drinking. You know, addicts are often associated as they’re an addict, you know, and your, your first wife was, you know, labeled, you know, with bipolar or mental illness. And I love what you said about, you know, when you start to see that person only as that you know, and you’re giving them that judgment and you’re giving them that label. And in a way it’s almost like that person has an anchor, you know, that’s cemented in and they can’t move away from how we’re, we’re seeing them. And hearing you talk about that, do you have any tips for people, you know, if they have someone in their life that’s an addict or they have someone in their life that’s suffering from any sort of mental illness of what they can do or how they can be a good support or how they can avoid labeling and pigeonholing somebody into that funnel, which keeps them there.
That’s incredible. Boy, that’s a tough question. I mean, I think that the best thing we can do, and again, I go back to what I said before, is be open ourselves and show that we don’t, we have, we have faults and we have, we’re, we’re human beings and we’re fallible. And that, you know, to be open about the things that we struggle with as well. Because when somebody is, you know, I don’t really for, I don’t know, I’m not sure why, but I don’t do guilt and shame, like don’t, all these things happen for a reason and, and I want to make the best of them. I mean, they all took me to the point I’m at today. So, yeah, I did a lot of stupid stuff for sure. And, uh, and I hurt, I hurt people, but you know, and I, I try to make, I’ve tried to make amends, but I can’t, there’s nothing I can do about it at this point.
So, you know, so the best thing I can do about it really is to try to live my best life and live a life of service to other people. And that’s what I’m trying to do. So I guess to answer your question, I mean it’s the best way that that’s the best way I can think of to being support because everybody’s situation is different. It’s when somebody is suffering from mental illness, it’s a pretty challenging thing to try to make them see that there is, you know, they are still a whole person and that they’re worth loving. Um, but I think that if you show that you love yourself and that, um, you’re willing to share your at all of you with them, it can only help.
Yeah, I love that. And you know, not to, you know, I want to share something real quick about my story and I definitely don’t want to make this about my story, but I just love what you said about being open and sharing your story is I do think a lot of times by being open and vulnerable and sharing a little bit about where we’re coming from and our struggles, it gives people hope. You know, it gives people this different perspective that they’re not alone in it or that, you know, they see somebody else that’s like, you know, I suffered from depression and overcame it and it’s always really, really heartbreaking to hear your story since, you know, it was, it got to the point where it was too much for her and she didn’t overcome that. But you know, for me and my story and a lot of people they see me or they see me on the social media and they just think, you know, I have this perfect life and these adorable kids and I travel, you know, I travel a lot and I’m always laughing and goofing around.
But you know, I suffered from extreme depression going up when you talked about depression being this real catalyst, this real thing where you literally cannot willpower through it. You know, I wasn’t able to go to school, I couldn’t get out of bed. You know, I went through therapist after therapist my, I was on so many drugs that finally my doctor actually, when you’re talking about that lecture, shock therapy, they recommended that for me. You know, imagine being like a teenager and you know, being told like, we don’t feel like we can help you anymore. You know, we’re gonna, we’re going to basically send lectures through your brain. You know, I was panicking, you know, and I eventually got to the point where I was so depressed that I tried to kill myself. I was institutionalized, you know, I, I, you know, suffered. I just suffered, you know.
And it was hard for me to pull through that. You know, I had a hard childhood, I had was sexually abused and I suffered and I suffered for over a decade of all of this, you know, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress syndrome. And you know, I, and I really only those, a couple of people close to me, but know that, that history of me, everyone sees me in this, in the light that they see in now. But the thing is, is so many people have those stories and maybe not as extreme, but have those stories of anxiety and depression or dealing with family members that do, and I agree with you, like if we can just be vulnerable enough to open up and share that and share that with the help, you know, with help and with time. And there’s of course a ton of things that I did to help myself overcome that, but that it is possible.
You know, I’m in a very happy place. I’m off all my medications, you know? And I can genuinely say that yes, sometimes I deal with depression and loneliness and anxiety sometimes, but for the most part, you know, I’m complete one 80 from how I felt when I was younger, you know? But without that open discussion, without us talking about mental illness, without us, you know, not pigeonholing somebody, if somebody would have always said, Oh that Lynn, she’s a depressed person or that Lynn, she suffers from depression. If that was all I could be, you know, I wouldn’t be who I am now. Wow.
Yeah. So I know, yeah, you guys have very remarkable source. But here’s the thing is the more that you talk about it, the more it’s going to give someone out there some courage and inspiration to want to make a change or to open up to somebody. Cause if you live in silence and silently struggle, your life can be a living hell. Right. And, um, other people suffered because of it, whether you notice it or not. Um, so I of want to shift gears here a little bit, uh, with adjacent, talking about fitness a little bit, cause obviously you’re a fit guy. Um, have you always been into fitness or was there a transition where after your late wife passed away, did you, as you put on some weight, did you become unhealthy with all the alcohol or have you always been fit?
So I started working out probably like many teenage boys did with my York. Uh, those, you know, those gold sand filled, uh, barbells when I was 15 years old. And, uh, I, I’ve been, uh, working out ever since. So, um, my whole life I’ve gone through various phases where I fancied myself a bodybuilder, then I was a power lifter and then, um, you know, and then I was basically just always kind of a, a guy who was interested in strength I guess. So lots of, you know, old school like sand Bay carrying and all that kind of crazy stuff. Um, and then, uh, yeah, so I always did that. And even during the, some of the most difficult times, I might not have been the most fit or healthy guy, but I had that anchor of, of fitness to, uh, always. It was always there.
It was, it was other than made my kids, you know, it was really the one constant in my life. I always had that and I never ever stopped going to the gym. And, uh, it was probably really, really good for my, my, uh, my sanity, to be honest with you. So, and then what happened is, um, during the time I was drinking, I really looked at fitness a lot of times as a way of canceling out the damage I was doing to myself. So, not a way to move myself forward, but a way to mitigate the damage I had done to myself the night before. Um, and then I, then I w once I stopped drinking, I had a shift in how I look at the whole thing. And this is a, I’m really interested to talk about this because I’ve heard you on a few podcasts and I think we’re of this, you had a very similar realization when you went through, um, your fit, defective fit experience.
But I started, uh, after about being sober for about a year. Um, so basically around this time, around this time last year actually, I started thinking, I started getting into things like meditation and I listened to, uh, I read Hal Elrods miracle morning and I started doing this mirror, this morning routine where I’d meditate and I’d write in a gratitude journal. And I started to look at the world differently and, and, and then I started, I really like, I’ve always enjoyed bike riding, so I live about 18 miles from work. Um, and I just started riding my bike every day back and forth to work. Um, but, you know, instead of looking at it, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re not looking at it as canceling out the damage from the night before, but you’re looking at it as part of a, you get to watch the sunrise and feel the wind through your hair and listen to self-improvement podcasts for an hour each way back and forth, and it’s part of your morning routine.
So anyways, as I, as I strengthened my, or improve my emotional and mental wellbeing, I got completely ripped. It was like, it was like, it just happened, you know? And it was, I remember I can remember looking at myself in the mirror going, Oh my God, I can never been this. This is something I’ve always wanted my whole life. And it seems to have just happened, you know? Um, so it was just, and that’s why I started calling us the spiritual six pack. I’m like, Oh my God. Like it never would have happened if all the pieces weren’t working together, you know? And, uh, and that’s really a really important message and I can’t believe I realized that at 42 years old. Um, but, uh, yeah, so that’s, now that I look at it that way, it’s, I feel like I’ll, I’ll, I’ll be at this level of fitness for the remainder of my days.
I, you know, I’ve ridden my bike, uh, probably 4,500 miles last year. Uh, yeah. You know, I, I, you know, kill the kettlebells all the time. I, I just, I’m, I’m fit. I do all kinds of different things. I’m not, I’m not, uh, you know, uh, I’m a strength athlete, therefore I’m not going to do this. I just do whatever feels good. And, and I always think of it as part of, you know, again, the whole me and, and, uh, uh, wholesome fulfilled lifestyle. And it’s, it’s crazy how much better, you know, how much better that makes everything. So, yeah,
just reinforces like my workout philosophy cause I’m all about that. About like intuitively eating and intuitively, yeah. About the spiritual suspect. I mean, I don’t have the six pack part, but I’m spiritually healthy. And I always tell my clients, I’m like, it’s going to sound crazy, but we just, if you can start to take time for yourself, I say the same thing to do with like meditation and I have a gratitude journal. Like if you can take the time to fill up your soul and be spiritually uplifted, instinctually you will become healthier and your goals will be more easily attained and your body will respond in a more positive manner. It just, it’s what,
yeah, and I’m assuming you at this point in time being, you know, uh, working on your inner self, right. Working in, instead of just working out, it’s not like you stopped working out and you still eat donuts and Twinkies and you have this magical six pack. I’m assuming you started to make healthier choices. You stopped drinking alcohol. Uh, I’m assuming that was part of part of it as well. Part of the transformation, right?
Yeah. Because what happens is as you, you outgrow the more good th the more goodness you have in your life, the less room there is for bad stuff. So you, it just, all these, what I found was some of these habits just started like organically falling away without me. I just stopped doing some of the things. So whether it was, you know, eating the crappy food or whatever, or my diet just got better because it, it, I don’t know, it just happened. You know? And it’s funny, I was a good example of this. I was, I was talking to somebody a few months ago. It was a contractor working on our house and he was, he was, you know, an overweight guy and he wanted to get, uh, he wanted to get fit. And I was, I’ve been riding my bike home, so, you know, I come in and he’s like, Aw man, you know, I want to be fit like you.
What should I do? And my advice to him was, the first thing you should do is you should commit for the next two weeks to holding the door open for somebody and saying, good morning. Because if you do that, they are going to reciprocate your kindness and you’re going to realize that you are worthy of being loved. Right. And if you do that, I’m telling you, your life will be better and you’ll be in a better, it’s, those are the types of things. It’s not about crunches. Right. You know, it’s about feeling like you’re worthy of being better. Yeah.
Yeah. That’s a great, that’s actually really good advice cause uh, yeah, people are expecting you to say, well, here’s what you do. You know, we do this with your food and then here’s the workouts that I do. That is such great advice. I’m glad you brought that up, Jason. That’s a definitely a lesson for all of us to, to take from this. Um, really quick, I want to talk to you about your little, uh, keto experiment or you’ve been in, you’ve been doing ketosis the past little bit. W tell me about that really quick.
Yeah, so I was getting, the point is, you know, 43 actually, today’s my birthday, 43 years old. Happy birthday. So cool. She worn that in way. Yeah. And I find as I get older, I’m getting a little bit more carbon tolerant, I find, you know, so I thought, I thought, I’m just gonna I’ve been doing this for about three weeks now and uh, and I think I’m going to continue it for quite some time. So, um, yeah, I just, I feel much more stable throughout the day as far as my appetite. I feel like my, my energy levels are good. I feel like, um, just my athletic performances is, feels like it’s improving actually. Like I, and as I start into this next biking season, I’m really optimistic that, uh, it’s going to show positive results for, I’ve done done a lot of reading about how it has a positive impact for endurance athletes and, uh, I’m really optimistic that I’m going to see some, I do have some really, really long bike rides planned this year.
Um, and I, uh, I’m pretty optimistic that it’s going to prove to be, uh, a really good asset in my, uh, in my arsenal, I guess for that type of stuff. So, um, but yeah, I mean, I just really, you know, it’s whole food diet, um, and just, uh, the regular keto diet. I eat a million avocados and, uh, you know, like all that good stuff and just try to, uh, try to keep the, uh, especially, you know, all the starchy carbs are gone. So yeah, it feel great. So I don’t know how sustainable it is for the longterm, to be honest with you. But I’m going to give it a try.
Yeah, man. No, that’s really great. Did you notice any kind of keto flu transition the first few days? Getting off of a, you know, a glycol glycolysis? I can never pronounce that right. You know, switch shifting over to ketones as your energy source.
Um, but not really. Actually, I felt pretty good. I did notice probably the first few days I felt a little sluggish. Um, but after that, I, I, I think actually I’ve tried this before in the past, but it was for, you know, trying to get ripped or whatever. It wasn’t for actually, you know, to see if I could, uh, a lifestyle shift. But I think MCT, I think MCT oil actually has helped me with that transition.
That’s awesome. Yeah, was definitely a great way to boost your blood ketone levels. I actually have to send you some, um, key gen X. It’s this new company I’m working with and basically it puts your body into a state of ketosis within 60 minutes, uh, of taking it, which is, you know, awesome. And it’s bio identical to the ketones that are produced, you know, through nutritional ketosis. So after we’re done here, I’ll get your address, I’ll send you some. It’s, it’s, it’s awesome. It’s just a way to hack your body to get into ketosis. You know, so like, let’s say you have your birthday cake tonight or whatever, I’m, I’m assuming you’re not going to eat avocados and butter
[inaudible] some candles on it.
Candles into an avocado if you wouldn’t do it.
Exactly. So what, so what I’m saying is like, so essentially you could take the kitchen next, you know, the next morning and boom, be back into ketosis. Right. And I don’t know if you, you test your blood ketone levels, but anyway, it’s this cool stuff, man. It’s, it’s, it’s a new technology. And, um, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll send you some after we’re done here. Um, okay. Thanks so much, uh, for, for that part. Now we’re going to transition as you know, to the lightning round. We have a few questions. Well, he’s listened to our podcast. He says, right? Yeah, man.
Actually, first before the lightning round, let’s have him tell us. I want to hear about your book. You have a book coming up and I also want you to tell people where they can find you.
Okay. Yeah. So my, my book is, I don’t really have a work. I have a working title, but we’ll just, uh, I’m going to keep that close to the chest for now. But what I, what I wanted to do was write a book for dads, um, and talking to them about how vulnerability we’ll bake them better fathers and, and better men overall. Because I just see, I look at myself and how I spent so long with my own life just falling into this stereotype, you know, male role and uh, and I’m very different now and I, so I’ve been able to see sort of both sides of the fence. I see men doing the same thing all around me all the time. And I just, I want guys to know that God, if you want to have more intimacy and more connection and better conversations and be a better role model for your kids, you know, being vulnerable.
I see being vulnerable is really being at the core of leading a life of significance. And I want men to be fathers of significance. I want them to leave a legacy of with their children and their children’s children of having real human connections based on being vulnerable and true. So I that that’s the message I want to get across in the book. I’m really passionate about it. Cool. And what’s your websites? So my website is the book of open.com and that’s really a story sharing platform for people to again, take that first step into a sharing their true selves with the world. And there’s some really, really powerful stories on there. Okay, cool. Are you on social media at all? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. Facebook is a Facebook, uh, slash the book of open Twitter is love monk defunk and um, Instagram is Jason Scott McKenzie. Okay man. Well thanks.
Put all that in the show notes for everybody so you guys can check that out. Thank you. Okay. Now done. Done
wrong. Okay. So first question right off the bat, I have to ask you, um, just cause I ask every guest, would you ever do fit to fat to fit? Would you ever do that as an experiment?
Yes, I would for sure. Oh yeah.
Okay. Adam to the list, that’s like, you’re really one of a maybe or like two or three people that said yes.
Really? Why, why would you do it? You feel I’m curious.
I think I would do it because I think the experience would help me, but I also think the experience would help other people. Right. I mean, what I, I can’t, I can’t, I’ve listened to you talk about your experience. I can’t even imagine what I would learn going through that. How do you think you could gain, what’s the time period?
So let’s say six months, like mine was six months.
Oh, I think I’m probably, I’m probably smaller than you. I would think I can put on a, I can put on 50 pounds, 50 pounds, so no exercise for six.
Okay. We’re going to do it. Okay. We’ll put on the calendar. We’ll document.
No, but what, what foods would you eat? Oh my God. I’d probably do a lot. So I’m from Canada, so we got this thing called poutine. Oh yeah, yeah, I’ve heard of that before. So fries and cheese and gravy, that would, uh, that would probably be a staple. I dunno, 200 on probably a lot of it. Just a lot of fast food. A lot of McDonald’s.
Oh, McDonald’s, hotcakes and stuff. Okay. Next question. What is the first funny joke that comes to your mind? Any funny joke.
Oh my God, I just did. Why did I only got the chicken crossing the road, Joe. That’s all. Like, that’s not even funny though.
[inaudible] if you could travel anywhere,
anywhere in the world, where would you travel? I would travel to New Zealand. Ooh.
Yes. My sister in laws, news is Maori and she’s from New Zealand. I need to go visit Israel.
Yeah. What’s your favorite place you’ve been to before that you’ve traveled? My favorite place I have been to is probably, uh, Mexico. So I uh, for work, I traveled to the, uh, West coast of Mexico and it’s basically in the Sonoran desert and I’m a, I’m a real minimalist person and I am just drawn to that desert landscape. It’s, it’s, you know, 120 degrees in the summertime and I don’t know why that speaks to me, but God, I love it.
Okay. That’s like, you’re like a few rare few people are like, I love the 120 degree desert. It’s my favorite. Okay. If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
I would be wonder woman so I could show model a strong female role model for my kid.
Wow. That’s actually good. And I like it.
They’re vulnerable. I like the outfit.
Yeah, it was pretty hot. Did you see the new Superman Batman movie?
I haven’t seen the movie. I’ve seen the trailer.
She makes an appearance in it. So you know, you got to go see it. Yeah. Okay. Um, so, uh, the other question I was going to ask you is, um, uh, shoot, I just had at the tip of my tongue. Um, what was it? I can’t remember it now it’s gone. I wonder woman, you distracted me. I know I’m finished with this last one then. Most embarrassing moment. Ooh, that’s always good.
Be vulnerable. It’s okay to share it if you like hands or something. We, it’s okay. We’ve heard that one before actually. Actually,
I gotta tell you my Mo, my most embarrassing moment was actually speaking to a group of, uh, very like 200 senior leaders in our executives in our company. And I actually crap my pants before. Yeah. I actually crap my pants right before I went on stage and, uh, I had to sprint as tight as a clock was taking down. I had to sprint in the bathroom, Chuck my underwear in the garbage and then go proves and like seconds later with no one like commando.
Oh my God.
On the upside, I’ve gotten so much mileage out of telling that story that it was, it was worth it.
That is so fun. Good. Okay. Remembered my, what my question was, what’s the worst Canadian joke you’ve heard from an American? Uh, you know, um, you know, yeah.
Probably just being like, tell me your joke. A
yeah, there’s that, there’s that. And there’s also, you know, Hey, uh, you have any polar bears in your backyard, which is so much in the United States is actually North of where I live, which is pretty funny. I guess people just assume it’s Canada and they, uh,
On a serious note, thank you so much, Jason, for joining us. You have an amazing story. I was very inspired by this and I know other people listening will be very inspired by this. So I’m glad we were able to share your story with others and to just want to say thank you man.
Thank you very much. It’s been a real, real pleasure and a real honor to talk to you and to be on your show.
Yeah, I can’t wait to read your book when it comes out, so we’ll stay tuned for that.
Talk about your fit. Tibet’s fit. You’re never going to document.
Okay. Happy birthday. Celebrate. Go eat some cake.
Thank you guys so much for listening to another great episode on the fit fat fit experience podcast. We really hope you enjoy this episode with Jason and we know we did. Don’t forget to check out our show sponsors, key gen x.com and use the discount code fit to fat to fit and dollar workout club.com. Um, there is a link on there for a, a one week free trial if you want to try that out. So if you guys want to stay in the know, keep in touch with us. Um, my social media handles are firstname.lastname@example.org has a newsletter you can sign up for to stay in the know as far as upcoming events and things like that.
Yeah, and you guys can find me on Instagram or email@example.com. I also have a newsletter sign up, a blog, and I have meal plans, workouts, and other good content on there.
Okay. Thank you guys so much for listening and we’ll catch you guys back here next week with another great episode.