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This podcast is going to get dark. And graphic. This episode is a cautionary tale of just how grim it can get in the throes of disordered eating, anorexia, and mental illness. But it’s also a tale of hope, because my guest Jake tells his story of how he came out the other side of his eating disorder with a newfound respect for his fitness, and a far healthier body and mind to show for it.

Before finding my work, Jake developed body dysmorphia and an eating disorder. He was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 17, hospitalized, and relapsed a number of times. 

In this interview, Jake tells his story of what it was like navigating his mental illness and eating disorder, losing his college tennis scholarships, dealing with refeeding syndrome, and more. 

Things could’ve ended very poorly for Jake, but luckily things turned around for him. When he found The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation, he was able to change his relationship with fitness (and even his performance in school). Now he’s been able to find what works for him with his training and diet, and not go down a bad path like before. 

I wanted to bring Jake on the show because while his exact story isn’t commonplace, perhaps it can be motivating for anyone who’s taken a misstep in their life or fallen on dark times. After all, everyone has their own demons they’re battling and can overcome.

So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, definitely listen to this episode.


0:00 – The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation:

4:09 – Where were you on your journey before you found my work and where are you now?

55:11 – How did you find your fitness regimen?

1:03:15 – How did you come across The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation?

1:26:24 – What is your perspective on personal responsibility?

1:37:01 – Is there anything else you would like to share?

Mentioned on the show:

The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation is a bestselling fitness book that helps you overcome the mental blocks that are keeping you unmotivated, unhappy, and unhealthy:

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hey there and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I am Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for one of the darker episodes, if not the darkest actually, I’ve ever done. This is a cautionary tale of just how Grim it can get when you are in the throes of disordered eating, anorexia, and mental illness, but it’s also a tale of hope because my guest Jay tells his story of how he came out the other side of his eating disorder and suicidal.

Tendencies with a newfound respect for his fitness and for his health and with a much healthier body and a much healthier mind. And in this episode, Jake shares his whole story and how it started at 17 when he was diagnosed with anorexia and then hospitalized and then how he relapsed a number of times.

and tried to navigate life with mental illness and this ongoing eating disorder and it caused him to lose college scholarships and, well, it almost killed him. But things started to turn around when he found my book, The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation. Jake was able then to change his relationship with fitness and food and improve his performance in school and in other areas of his life and now he’s been able to find what works for him with his training and his diet to avoid going down that dark path again.

And so if you like to hear stories about how other people have overcome obstacles in their health and fitness journeys and how they’ve made mistakes and learned from those mistakes and figured out how to do better, then I think you’re going to like this episode. Before we begin, If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast, and if you want to hear my musings on mastering the inner game of getting fit so you can reach your fitness goals faster, check out my book, The Little Black Book of Workout Motivation.

In it, I share wisdom and insights from hundreds of scientific studies and scores of legendary artists. Authors, entrepreneurs, philosophers, generals, and conquerors, as well as my own biggest aha moments that have helped me overcome the things that were most holding me back. Here’s a little sneak peek of what you’ll find inside.

The easiest way to instantly increase your willpower and self control in any situation, no matter how you feel in the moment. Three science based psychological tricks you can use to stay strong during moments of temptation. A simple 10 minute technique for beating procrastination and skyrocketing productivity.

How to stop telling yourself, I’ll be happy when, and find immediate joy and satisfaction right where you are. The 40 percent rule that Navy SEALs use to dig deep and screw up their courage when they need it most. And all that is why I’ve sold over 60, 000 copies of the Little Black Book and why it has over 1, 000 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon.

And you can find the Little Black Book of Workout Motivation on all major online retailers like Audible, Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play. Hey Jake. Hey Mike. Thanks for taking the time to come chat with me.

Jake: Absolutely, my pleasure.

Mike: Yeah, yeah. So I’ve been looking forward to this interview because I do one of these kind of success story interviews every few weeks or so.

And, um, your story stood out to me as, um, as, as just a good example of why. Taking care of, uh, health and fitness first, uh, just how big of a difference that can, that can really make. So, again, thanks for, for coming here and being willing to share your story with everybody. And where I like to start these discussions, uh, usually is just if you could share with us.

Where you were at before finding me and my work and kind of maybe then a little fast forward of where you’re at today. So there’s, so we see the contrast there, then I would like to just rewind and really hear going back to however far you want to go back how that transformation took place, so to speak.

Jake: Yeah, absolutely. Um, I wish in some ways that my story was a little bit sexier, uh, like having some like, you know, external oppressor that, you know, tried to hold me back from my fitness and health goals that I then vanquished, you know.

Mike: That that’s not the case for most people though. So actually it’s probably better that it’s not that because more people will identify, I think with, uh, yeah.

With your journey, maybe, maybe like a Cinderella story, but fitness version or something.

Jake: Yeah, no, I, I definitely get that. And that’s, that’s the main reason I wanted to, to come on the show and do this. I’m a very socially anxious person. I’ve never been on a podcast before, so it’s terrifying being here.

I’m getting my, my cardio for the week, just by sitting here. If it gets any higher, I might reach my VO two max. This would have been helpful for me when, when I was. Going through some shit, it would have been nice to be able to hear somebody else, especially a guy that was, that was struggling with, um, mental illness stuff with a lot of people.

I think that those biggest barriers can be ones that they put on themselves and they’re also a little bit more embarrassing too, because we’d like the Cinderella story. We want to watch the Star Wars movie and, and, you know, transcend the dark side rather than be somebody whose biggest enemy is often in their own.

Frickin head. It’s kind of embarrassing.

Mike: And there seems to be kind of a little bit of a stigma, uh, around just even talking about that kind of stuff for whatever reason. You know, people seem to be more comfortable talking about maybe struggling with eating too much sugar versus struggling with a mental problem of some kind, even if it’s not a major one.

Jake: Yeah. And even and even certain mental disorders or It just in general, like there’s a lot more people that are willing to say, Oh, I have ADHD. You know, I mean, it’s happening so much in like school systems right now. There’s like the, you know, eight year old kid that gets fed like four pancakes before school and an energy drink and a rock star.

And then they diagnosed him with ADHD. You need strata, right? Exactly. But, and, and people will say that like, Oh, school’s just hard for me. I have ADHD, but you don’t see very many people say like, Things are hard for me. I have borderline personality disorder, right? That’s not a, so there’s certain, I guess you could say psychological challenges that are more stigmatized than others.

And so for me personally, for anyone listening, just curious, like what the hell is this guy’s problem again? Uh, eating disorder. So one of the least sexy and ugliest ones of them all. And probably also a little bit more stigma for men that struggle with it too. It tends to go under the radar. Not as many people want to talk about it.

I certainly don’t. I actually, ironically, most people, even close people in my life don’t even know my story. I don’t, I try not to really identify with it, which which I know identity is a big thing right now, but I really just don’t, um, I don’t want it to consume my life, even if it’s in like the recovery thing.

You see a lot of that too. You see people go from being addicted to their illness to being addicted to the recovery process and Become, you know, hashtag recovery warriors. So we can get into a whole thing about what even recovery is. But I feel like I didn’t answer any of the questions that you just.

Mike: A good preamble.

So, so it sounds like some time ago you were struggling with an eating disorder. So what was going on exactly?

Jake: So my story, I would say it probably started around when I was 16. So I’m 23 years old now. So going through the whole quarter life crisis thing, which is fantastic, but much better than what I was going through when I was 16, 17, 18, 19.

And I would say that it, I kind of resonate with the diathesis stress model, the whole, like you have the gene, the environmental trigger, and it kind of can set it off. Right. So I probably got into training. Maybe when I was 14, maybe early 15, I got into it pretty early. Cause I was really into tennis of all sports and really wanted to play division one tennis.

When I turned 16, my standards for what I needed to look like and perform like were very off. They were very, very off. There was something. I would guess it’s probably from spending too much time online and seeing people that either claim to be 16 or were 16 and on drugs. I was fine with how I looked when I was 15, lifting weights, you know, I was doing a lot of things wrong, mostly isolation movements.

I was doing a lot of things right. I was doing resistance training. Yep. Um. But yeah, once I turned 16, my standards were, this isn’t good enough. I need to be absolutely shredded. Like the guy that I see online who says he’s 16 and he’s absolutely shredded. So I started falling down a bad path at that point.

Um, so I was really going on like my, my very first cut for the first time ever and just wanted to be absolutely shredded, got there relatively quickly doing stupid things, but then noticed just normal, well, normal, uh, effects. Cutting for a long time and they freaked me out, you know, of like, Oh, I’m feeling colder and my appetite has never been like this.

My energy levels are low and I was 16 years old, you know, and um, nobody in my direct family is like really a fitness person at all, so they didn’t quite understand it either. And my relationship with food started taking, you know, quite the tank as well. Uh, Obviously, you know, if you’re trying to get down to like 7 percent body fat as a 16 year old, that’s going to happen.

So the, the unfortunate part.

Mike: Which for any teenagers who might be listening, uh, yeah, don’t do that. My advice is

save that stuff

for, uh, for when you’re older, when you’re, I would say at least 18 plus. And, you know, I understand wanting to do it. At least once or, or if, if you have a girl who’s really into training and she wants to get down to 17, 18%.

I get it. I get it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to do just to do it, but save it until you’re older and just be, be aware and be where that once you’ve been that lean. Anything other than that kind of just feels fat. Just know that that’s how it’s going to be. It’s, it’s not sustainable. You can’t stay like that forever.

And then you’ve, you have, you have given yourself the curse of having been shredded. So just, just know that that’s, uh, that’s the experience for most people. That’s the middle of the bell curve.

Jake: That’s the other thing I ran into the curse of being shredded. I think you had an article a while, like quite like several years ago.

That was like how lean is too lean. And I think it talked about that. Um, so I resonated very strongly with that. The, the, oh, and by the way, actually quick side tangent there, you know, I’m 23 now and I still don’t bother with. Getting shredded. Maybe I will at some point, but I just know that that’s probably not the best thing for somebody with my history to even bother with, like, for the most part, I’m somebody who’s taken fitness and has really done the good enough most of the time approach.

And I’m, and I’m honest about that. There’s several things that I could do if I wanted to track my macros, I could absolutely improve my physique and get down to sub 10 percent body fat. I’m just not willing to right now for the most part. I’m, I’m happy with what I got. I don’t, and I’ve sustained, I’ve maintained it for two, three years now and it’s good enough for me, you know, maybe at some point I’ll really want to dial it in.

Uh, right now I, I don’t have the, um, Desire to, uh, but anyway.

Mike: That’s a great place to be.

Jake: Yeah, it really is. It’s the best one I’ve been in. So there’s also that kind of, you know, don’t tamper with it too much. So anyways, going back, um, the unfortunate part about my story was it started relatively mild. 16 year old wanting to get Lean because he had, you know, a skewed perception of what his body was capable at the time.

And I did a lot of right things. I got freaked out. And the first thing I wanted to do was see my medical doctor at the time, you know, because I was pretty freaked out about just gaining weight and I knew that it was unhealthy. So I wanted to see my medical doctor. I didn’t know where else to go. I’d never really even heard of a therapist, uh, and just wanted to kind of share with him some of these experiences and hoping he could put me in the right direction.

I was convinced at the time that I had. Damaged my metabolism or something like that. And in terms of the professional treatment that I got at the time, I didn’t respond well to it. And I spiraled a lot harder, uh, and ended up being one of those people that needed to hit. I think some people like to.

Almost hit rock bottom before they, before they really make a change. And unfortunately that was the case with me. So I saw this doctor, just family medical doctor when I was 16 or so, by the way, I’m only five foot six. I’m a small dude. So if I throw out like my body weight at the time, it’s like, holy crap.

It’s like, just keep in mind. I was like five foot six, but You know, it’s hard to, it’s hard to remember what I had weighed before I tried to get shredded as a 16 year old, but I would guess I was probably around like 140 pounds and I dropped down to like 117 or something so unhealthy weight range and I saw the doctor for the first time around that and he pretty much told me like you probably have a depression problem.

We see, you know, weight loss with people that are depressed. And I kid you not, he told me you should try running, uh, get the endorphins going and take up some cardio.

Mike: I’m pretty sure I do a lot of cardio already. I’m not sure if I need more cardio.

Jake: That’s the other thing too. I was, I was a total exercise junkie. I don’t know if I was addicted to exercise at the. Time, but I, I was a tennis player and I was shooting for this whole division one thing. So I was playing at least three hours of tennis, six, seven days a week tournaments every single weekend and lifting weights four times a week in the evening. So a lot of energy expenditure, he tells me to run.

Mike: You see, it’s the 20 hours of week per running. That’s not if it were 30 hours, I think all your problems would be solved.

Jake: Yeah, I definitely went through and I’m still working on it to this point now, like trying to, um, if I have a bias against any, any group of people, it has to be like, quote unquote, experts in medical professions, just because of like some bad experiences.

Experiences I ran into. So I have to challenge that now and try to judge what people say off their own merit, because sometimes my guards go up as soon as somebody tells me that they’re like a therapist or a medical professional giving diet advice or something like that.

Mike: Look at, I mean, if we’re talking about doctors, look at how much or how, sorry, how little, uh, education they get on just basic nutrition.

Jake: So little, so little. Some of them aren’t transparent about that though. They, they, they’re willing to write books and make their millions.

Mike: Or just give advice without knowing what they’re talking about at all. And you would think that they would know better that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Oh, yeah. Receiving whatever it is, 10 or 15 hours of nutrition training. Isn’t going to be very helpful.

Jake: I’m an intern at a physical therapy clinic right now, and there’s one client in particular that got diet advice from their MD that is like, are you serious? It’s just powder. It’s just protein powder three times a day.

And it’s like, that’s it.

Mike: That is it.

Jake: Nothing else. It’s like, Oh, my God!

Mike: That might be even worse that that is worse than the carnivore diet actually.

Jake: It has to be rather.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. It’s not even I mean, it’s it’s it’s maybe food by definition, but it’s highly processed. And I think protein powder, of course, has has its uses.

But if that’s all you’re going to eat, you’re not going to feel you’re not going to feel very good. It’s not going to take long until you realize that something’s something is wrong.

Jake: Yeah. So. Going back with this, this MD experience that I had. So first he tells me I needed to run more. To which I kind of writ him off as a total idiot.

But the other thing that happened that, that led me to become a bit bitter and resentful is that he unfortunately convinced my parents that there was a high probability that I was taking antibiotics. And the reason why was because, uh, he ran a blood test on me and saw that my testosterone levels were absolutely tanked.

Like bottomed out, nothing. And so he’s like, Essentially, your son’s pretty, you know, shredded right now, more so than the average 16 year old, and his testosterone’s bottomed out, and he cares a lot about how he looks. He’s probably somehow gotten his hands on anabolics. Or some other, you know, supplement or whatever that’s been laced with this stuff, and you really need to keep a close eye on him, you know, essentially, and make sure, you know, he doesn’t take any pills, powders, whatever, you know, his fish oil probably has it, and the, right, like, completely laughable, the, the consequence, the opposite.

Mike: Like, no, no, don’t run more, run less, and, uh, if, if you were on anabolics, you might think that your testosterone levels wouldn’t be bottomed out. That’s kind of the point, you know.

Jake: I think he was thinking that I was on anabolics and then got off. Right, right. And, you know, you can’t really blame my parents at the time.

They’re just scared and concerned about their kid. Sure. I wouldn’t say that my parents are, are credentialists, but they certainly, you know, they’re going to listen to the MD, you know, he knows what he’s talking about. He’s an MD. Um, and that unfortunately really tanked that relationship. Very quickly because it immediately eliminated trust, right?

Which is a foundation to any relationship whatsoever, right? Um, because I pretty much said, this guy’s an absolute joke. Let’s go see somebody else. He’s dumb. And it was like, uh, you’re a 16 year old. You have no business telling us kind of what to do and what to say. There’s not enough time. Unfortunately, this is honestly just the very, very beginning.

There’s not enough time to go into all the details of like every single phase. So I’ll jump categories and we can or I’ll jump timelines and we can like jump back as needed. But that initially led to a lot of resentment on my. On my end, in the sense of like, you guys are all dumb and this is ridiculous and anyways, I tanked very hard following that I got very angry at my parents at professionals at all of these follow up appointments, you know, that were exploring how, you know, abusive my.

Imagined anabolic use was, um, and so this was, this would have been.

Mike: That somehow that somehow didn’t put on much lean mass it sounds like.

Jake: No rapidly lost it. Yeah. Rapidly lost it. Went from. Interesting. Yeah. I, I was, you know, probably like 145 ish before. You know, all of the started probably was sub 10 percent body fat just with like, cause I was an athlete, you know, I didn’t have much fat to lose.

I was probably around 8 percent body fat by the time I was like 138. So I was just purely losing lean mass. Anyways, one doctor appointment to the next eventually in February of I would, this would have been 2000. 15 or 16. Sorry. I can’t remember the dates that well. I don’t tell the story very often. I actually don’t tell the story at all.

So I’m not good at telling it. And, uh, was in with a doctor’s appointment and they essentially said, you’re not going home. You have to go to a hospital. I had Bradycardia, which just fancy word for slow heart rate. Uh, cause my resting heart rate was down to like 24 beats per minute. While I was awake at this point.

So it was like, you’re at risk for a heart attack. If you were to refeed yourself, you might fall into refeeding syndrome. You’re not going home. I would have been 17 at this time. So anyways, that was, uh, my very first hospitalization. Uh, I was, I was hospitalized. Um, And when I say hospitalized, by the way, people within the eating disorder world might think that that’s like rehab.

No, not rehab, like medically hospitalized, um, in more like an intensive care unit, uh, in Northern California and was put on bed rest. Uh, this lasted for. 24 days, I think I was in this hospital and my heart rate needed to get up to 45 beats per minute or so before I could be discharged. So that was a, a semi traumatic experience to say the least, just being in that sort of setting, um, and around other people that were hospitalized for similar, you know, severe malnutrition cases.

And I also put on a lot of weight very fast, and that was not a fun process for. In orthorexic, you know, because it was essentially, you know, this hospital saying you’re eating this meal right now or you’re having a tube. There is no other option. It’s one of the two things, you know, obviously I don’t get to know my weight.

Well, I was in the hospital because I was a 17 year old diagnosed with anorexia at the time. So, but I would guess I probably put on, you know, knowing quite a bit of it was water. I probably left the hospital like 40 pounds heavier than I entered it, even though it was just a 20 Peace. day span thing, you know, it’s like you’re getting pushed like 8, 000 calories a day, whether it’s an, and if you can’t down it, you know, with, with, um, actual meals, it’s coming into you through a tube.

So not a fun process. Very ugly. Thankfully I was able to.

Mike: Rather extreme protocol seems it’s more extreme than it’s necessary but.

Jake: It’s very extreme. They actually up the calories every single day. It’s one of those things that doesn’t quite make sense of like, you could just put somebody on, you know, say 2000 calories per day or something.

These people are, you know, like 100 pounds. A lot of the time they’re like, you know, 100 pound girls and you could just sustain that for a while and just keep them on the rest. I think it’s because it’s like, get this person out as fast as possible. You know, most people that get hospitalized with this are only in there for like three or four days.

I was in there for a disproportionately long time. And I think part of that was because I was a guy with a fair amount of muscle. So it took me quite a while before I looked. Like an anorexic to be honest, like, because I, I had, you know, excess lean body mass to lose. So I don’t think anybody realized like the, the level of damage I was doing to, to like my bones or heart health.

Like I had osteopenia, for example, like not in a good position. So anyways, discharged, uh, was obviously tennis was taken away from me. Lifting weights was taken away from me. Um, yeah. And my parents were put in charge of my nutrition, which was very humiliating for a 17 year old to go from, you know, kind of like a, a hands off kind of parenting culture to a very, like we’re observing your everything all of the time.

And you have no private life whatsoever because, you know, professionals say you can’t be trusted. So not a fun process that lasted for maybe like. I don’t know, three or four months. It really lasted until I like turned 18. Uh, cause once I was 18, it was up to me again. And I had a good run after that for maybe like six or seven months.

I had gotten back into tennis. I got back into weightlifting. I really wanted to be that Phoenix story, right? The, I wanted, I wanted to, now was my chance to have a Cinderella story, you know, of like, I had an eating disorder and now I’m going to be a division one athlete. And it’s so cool, you know, and I, I really resonated with that and.

And, and did a good job at making a comeback in my athletics. And, um, playing division one tennis, by the way, is, um, it’s a very kind of elite community. Most schools only have six guys on a starting roster, so there’s not a lot of people that, that do it. I don’t think I ever had the. Cuts for it. I only, I got contacted by one school and had one other school willing to entertain my emails.

So I really don’t think I was going to make it anyway, but there was, there was a potential there and that excited me. Yeah. Um, I had a good run for maybe about. You know, six or seven months or so, some more, you know, stuff I’m not willing to go into on the podcast, but some more stuff arose and I relapsed again.

This time it was different though. The first time it was very accidental. It was very orthorexic. The second time it was just straight up suicide. It was, you know, My life’s a complete mess. Um, I’m mad at everybody. I’m bitter and resentful towards everybody. And if I’m going out, I’m going to go out in the most grotesque way possible and take everyone I know with me, you know, uh, not, not a good position to be in.

And if got ended up being hospitalized again, medically hospitalized, and so I administered myself, um, which I was hesitant to because I really was committed to dying by this thing. I had dedicated pretty much my life to this disorder at the time and people that do this, it becomes this weird thing. It’s, it’s just like.

Wanting to get good at a sport. You want to get good at having an eating disorder and you take pride in it, you know, because it’s hard to do. It’s hard to starve yourself. It’s hard to go through that much pain. It’s hard to, to, you know, have so much hunger and not give into it and my life was a mess. I had lost at this point.

Uh, some stuff had happened with my high school. I had lost all of my faith. Division one and division two and NAIA prospects. So something that I dedicated my whole life to was taken away from me essentially overnight. Um, I was not going to be playing college tennis for scholarship money under any conditions.

And that really F with me, some stuff happened, you know, with relationships that really F with me. And yeah, I was, I was ready to die by this thing. Um, for whatever reason, I decided that I got the. Very effed up mindset of, well, I can administer myself to a hospital now and I can find out if I was wrong. I can always kill myself later, which, and I know that that’s like, Oh my God, dude, that’s so fucked up.

And it is fucked up. But that stupid fucked up thought was what kept me going. Um, was this idea of, I can always kill myself tomorrow. I can always kill myself tomorrow. And that’s extremely messed up, but that was what kept me from killing myself that day. A lot of the time. So I ended up being hospitalized the second time and was in much worse condition than the first time.

At this point, I’m five foot six, 18 years old. My body weight going into the hospital was 106 pounds and resting heart rate while I was awake, 16 beats per minute. So I really wasn’t. There and even recalling instances from this time can be fairly difficult because my brain’s not working very well, you know, nothing’s really working very well.

Uh, my body would cramp all the time, you know, like sitting in a position like this, my hand would cramp, uh, my heart would have very irregular heartbeats, you know, uh, as you might suspect there, there really was this. I might die of a heart attack at any point. Um, you know, I could probably just drink a bunch of caffeine and kill myself.

Uh, I might have a stroke, you know, and you know, hair was really thin, skin looked horrible. I looked horrible. My temper was, was embarrassingly horrible. I was a completely dysfunctional, broken human being with broken relationships and a broken body with a broken mindset and spirit and was hospitalized.

With the delusion that I could probably get out in like a week and do this whole phoenix story again and was in for a rude awakening when I found out I wasn’t getting out for at least 40 days. Um, and to be in an intensive care unit for 40 days was objectively not the hardest. Time of my life, but subjectively, like from an objective standpoint of like, uh, that couldn’t have been the hardest thing.

Um, but in terms of like my psychological state that had to have been one of the hardest times I went through because I was still under this false delusion that I could still make it, you know, of like, I can still be this tenant. I can have this Phoenix story again. I did it last year. I can do it again this year.

I’m 18. You know, I haven’t even finished. I haven’t graduated high school yet. And, you know, osteopenia, much worse, had refeeding syndrome pretty much right from the get go. Uh, at this point too, I was 18 years old. Nobody thought this eating disorder thing was cute. The first time I kind of liked the attention, as embarrassing and horrible as that sounds, I kind of did.

I liked that, that I felt Kind of like nobody necessarily, like nobody asked me about my mental health and what I was worried about or what I was anxious about. And all of a sudden I was hospitalized and everyone, you know, gave me their sympathy and was sending cards and was rallying around me and that felt great.

I really loved it. You know, I was finally getting something and perhaps I got that little bit of the, you know, I tied a correlation to that of like, oh, people will rally behind me if I’m sick. And I thought that was going to happen again. That did not happen again. It was. This is kind of yours to figure out.

Nobody visited me, visited me really in the hospital. I was not getting notes and it wasn’t a cute thing anymore. Even the hospital didn’t view it as a cute thing anymore. You know, you’re not a 17 year old or 16 year old child victim. You’re an adult.

Mike: Who accidentally just fell into some bad habits.

Jake: Right.

It was like, this is, this is gross now. Um, and they’re also, uh, not going into the details of it. But there was also a question of like. Once I’m discharged, where the hell am I going to go? And, um, that was, that was pretty terrifying as well. Uh, following discharge, I ended up, uh, getting arranged to be sent to an inpatient place with, you know, 24, 7 nurse eating disorder, like.

Inpatient sort of, this is what most people talk about when they’re talking about a hospital setting and was in that in Southern California for six months following my hospitalization. And the reason the hospitalization was so hard, by the way, it was one, cause when I got a lot of the news that, yeah, your life’s not going to look like what you, you think it’s going to look like.

Um, and also in, just in terms of like an eating disorder mindset, there was like, Oh my God, I was here for 20 days last time and put on like 40 plus pounds. I’m going to be here for 40 days now.

Mike: Am I going to be obese when I leave this place?

Jake: Yeah. I mean, seriously. Um, I probably put on, you know, with a lot of it being water, but I mean, we’re talking like 8, 000, you know, 9, 000 calories per day.

And I get that that’s like, no way, dude. There’s no Way that you’re putting that much food down your face in a day, but when you’re this hungry, I mean, it’s like you can eat to the point of pain and you’re, and you’re still wanting to put more stuff down.

Mike: It’s that’s the, that’s the refeeding syndrome, right?

Jake: Yeah. I, you know, I think refeeding syndrome, I actually don’t know a lot about it besides that. I had it. It’s, it didn’t interest me that much as weird as that is. Um, but that had, I know that the, the, the thing that I connected with refeeding syndrome was super swollen joints. So like my wrists really swelled up and my knees really swelled up and my ankles really like to the point that you like can’t put them in your shoes, you know, um, And I was on bed rest for, for these like 41 days, the only time I was allowed to get out of a bed was to use the toilet, you know, like twice a day, pretty much like that was it, there was no showering, there was no walking around the hospital.

If I needed to get somewhere, I was wheelchaired there. So when I was discharged and put it in this inpatient clinic in Southern California, getting out of the hospital and like walking down the stairs or just walking to the elevator. Yeah, felt absurd. You know, it felt like the first time after squatting the next day, my legs were fired up and I probably had put on, you know, with, you know, knowing that quite a bit of this was water weight, but I didn’t freaking care.

All I cared was that I was way bigger, probably close to 50, 60 pounds. And so that was absolutely terrifying too. I felt like I went from the, the, the worst I had ever looked to it. The worst I had ever looked, you know, in a month and, uh, was really scared of what, what the future was going to hold for me because now I was suicidal for a whole nother set of reasons, you know, I felt like I was an anorexic trapped in a, in a fat body, um, at the time.

Inpatient treatment was more of the same in terms of I did not do well in it. Um, I got there and one of the things that immediately was very eye opening was it was a different setting. It was no longer like children’s hospital. These were adults. These were people that were 40, 50, 60 years old. All women.

I was the only guy. Um, most, most guys don’t get hospitalized with anorexia. So I think in my experience, I only met four other guys maybe. And I mean, I met a lot of people. And it wasn’t cute anymore, you know, seeing, seeing these 40 year old 50 year old women that looked like they were 80, right? Because they had binged and purged and, you know, done whatever else.

And also seeing the other issues that they had, you know, things like, like, um, disassociative identity disorder, or one of them had lost a baby because of this. It was just like, yeah. Oh, God, this really is not a cute thing anymore. And I did not, and I did not do well, um, at this place. I was compliant, but I was a dick, um, which may have served me better in the long term, because putting a lot of people with eating disorders together in, in a clinic is Kind of like the sports academies in the sense of you put a bunch of Bulldogs together, you know, they just make each other better at football.

They make each other better at tennis. You put a bunch of, you know, neurotic eating disorder lunatics together and we just share our tricks. Like that’s all it is. It’s like, have you ever tried cutting here? No, I haven’t tried cutting there, you know, maybe I should try that, you know, just, just, and it really is like, it’s just people sharing their tricks and getting better.

And the other thing I learned really quickly, it’s like, wow, you know, I really struggle with this. I’ve been hospitalized two times. Oh my God. Two times. I talked to these other people and it’s like, I’ve been hospitalized like 12 times. It’s like, oh my God, this is like a hobby. This really is like a hobby for these people.

It’s a lifestyle. This is like, this is as much of a part of them as anything else they’ve ever done with their life. And that was scary to see it was, I want no part of this whatsoever anymore. And the professionals oftentimes we’re no better, uh, you know, it’s kind of like that whole thing you hear with like research being me search.

I think even to like in this like clinical psych space, sometimes, especially people that that treat eating disorders, a lot of the times have their own effed up problems around it. Um, and I almost think failed to integrate back into society. So they like work within the clinic still, uh.

Mike: They just never leave the asylum, right?

Seriously! Stay there to run it.

Jake: Completely like 100%. It’s like they can’t leave the asylum. So they stay there to run it. Um, and I ended up leaving this place, um, and transferring to another place in Nevada because I was doing so poorly and a similar story to that, I actually had one of the therapists at this clinic.

This clinic is closed now, or I guess it’s not a clinic at this rehab facility. Who, who indirectly talked me into trying. Cutting myself. I had never self harmed. I had never purged. I’d never done anything like that. Um, but I was basically sharing my, my experience with Adidonian. Like nothing felt good.

Nothing felt good anymore. I didn’t even have an appetite. Food didn’t even taste good anymore. And you know, I just felt numb. I was also, as soon as I was put in this place, I was drugged up to the max, you know, I had never been on psychiatric medication in my life. And I think within. That was the other thing too.

On day number two, I think I was on seven. It was like, seriously, you jumped to that right away. Um, and so agree with at all. Um, not, I’m not talking about like in terms of, of like my opinion, I had no opinion on anything. I just was so numb to life. Uh, at this point, like traumatic things could happen in the clinic.

Somebody could try to commit suicide with whatever tool they had. And I really didn’t care anymore. You know, like I was just so numb to life. I accepted that I’ll probably die from this thing. If I don’t die from this thing, I’ll die from something else. My life’s going to amount to nothing. I’m a loser.

I’ve always have been. I always will be, you know, insult my past, present and future self all in one sentence. Um, so it was pretty hard to upset me at this point, but I had a therapist that, that, um. He didn’t like tell me, Hey, you should go cut yourself. But he told me like, Oh, I understand that experience with Adidoni.

I had the exact same thing. And I ended up starting to cut myself because that was the only thing that could give me, that could, that could, you know, give me pleasure. And it was like, That sounds stupid. Wink. Wink. Right. Right. And it was like, you know, I, I don’t have any interest really in cutting myself, but I do have an interest in just feeling something again.

Mike: Can I, can I cut you though?

Jake: Yeah. Can we try that? Yeah. So I, so, you know, I did, which, you know, is a horrible thing to say. Like honestly, like, thank God that it ended up not being my. My thing, you know, I tried it the one time really good didn’t get anything from it. But that was a, a moment for me where I was like, I’m getting absolutely nothing from being here.

I need to go somewhere else. So, went through some paperwork to be sent to because I couldn’t be discharged, you know, um, I went through some paperwork to be transferred to a place in Nevada and spend my like remaining four months of rehab up there, getting treatment and, uh, At this point I had been through quite a bit, you know, like I seen, I was a fairly sheltered adolescent.

I didn’t, you know, I grew up in Napa Valley, California, you know, wine country area playing tennis, you know, and even did homeschool for for quite a bit of high school. So I hadn’t seen a lot. And within a matter of months, I physically put my body through quite a bit of trauma and then firsthand witnessed a lot of things that I had never been exposed to before and wasn’t.

Handling it very well. It’s very sort of manic in my temperament and within My first week of this new place in Nevada, they eventually told me that I was, I was too unstable to be at their like inpatient level of care. And I needed to be put in like a full intensive hospital unit again because I was unworkable.

Essentially, however, I couldn’t be medically hospitalized anymore at this point. So I ended up being put in in a full blown like psych ward for people that oftentimes were on hold for court cases or were there, you know, because they had committed a crime, uh, like violent. Violent crime stuff, you know, so that also

Mike: I think of like, like joke Joker from Batman.

Jake: Honestly, like it really was so I was like very much in the space of, you know, being in this inpatient hospital setting where I was, you know, starved and regained all this.

Saw a lot of people dying in front of me to being in this inpatient setting where I saw people cutting themselves and attempting suicide for the first time ever on medication or sharing these just absolutely horrific stories. One of the things about eating disorders is the, uh, is the word comorbidity.

I think there’s a lot of other stuff going on in these people’s lives. Uh, I was somewhat of a unique case in the sense that. Mine. I mean, I have other stuff going on in my life, but a lot of these people had like very substantial things, you know, like a child dying, stuff like that. And I, I didn’t have anything like that.

I had like, my life’s not going the way I want it to go. You know, nothing that significant. Uh, and anyways, so within being one week at this place in Nevada. I had a little, I can’t even remember, honestly, the details, but I know I was really pissed off about something, God knows what, uh, and it ended up getting me institutionalized in, in a psych ward, Joker like people, and that scared the ever living shit out of me, and I had to be there for five days for them to, like, sort stuff out before they would decide whether or not they would take me on, uh, as a person, as a patient, and in this psych ward, Which, from an objective standpoint, would have to have been the worst that I went through.

Um, from a subjective standpoint, though, I was so drugged up by this point, I had gone through so many experiences that just sort of numbed me. Like, at this point, it was feelings deleted. You know what I mean? Like, there wasn’t much you could do or say to me at this point. Like, you could say to me, like, I am going to murder you tomorrow.

And it was like, eh, you probably will. You know, and I, and I was okay with that. Um, because I just didn’t, you know, I, I was really still surviving by this idea of I can just kill myself tomorrow. I can just kill myself tomorrow. I’ll see how today goes. I can kill myself tomorrow in this psych ward, though.

I mean, I was around people who it’s like. Why exactly are you here? They weren’t able to form full sentences. They weren’t allowed to have anything either. That was the other thing that was really scary about this place. Like there was no sheets on your bed because sheets could be a weapon. There were no pencils.

There were no pens. There was, there was nothing. You couldn’t even have your clothes on because of like these elastic bands and such, you know, couldn’t have underwear. You had to have their gown and their gown didn’t have a string. So it was also humiliating to, to be in this place too. And to look around and be like, 12 months ago, I was a division one tennis prospect.

And right now. I’m with a bunch of people that I would call criminals, you know, because they went to their neighbor’s house and murdered their dog or something, you know, and I guess I belong here. I guess I’m one of them because a freaking inpatient rehab facility wouldn’t even take me on. So from an objective standpoint, not, not a good position to be in, but in terms of how numb I had become, I coped with it.

Uh, the other, I would say probably another low point. You, you’re also treated like, like a criminal in, in this particular place in the sense of, you know, you get your little cell essentially with the door locked. I mean, it, it really was like that. My roommate was a heroin addict who was going through like actual withdraw symptoms, not like someone who says they’re going through.

Yeah, sugar, sugar withdrawal, you know, like, like the drool from the mouth, the spasms, the everything. And I was pretty scared that this guy was going to assault me, you know, because he was hallucinating. He was seeing spiders crawling up the wall and it was, I just had to come to peace with And if he assaults me, he does, you know, and I guess I’m okay with that.

And we would get, I forget what the schedule was, but we were allowed one phone call. I think it was like every day you got like 20 minutes on like an old school antique pay phone now, essentially. And seeing these people who I looked at of like, they are completely broken people. They are completely effed up.

I have no respect for these people whatsoever. Uh, and I guess I’m one of them. They had that 20 minute phone call and they had someone to call. I didn’t have anyone to call and that was really, really hard, you know, and I didn’t realize that until because I was begging for my stupid 20 minutes, you know, of like, I can’t be, you know, like this place is, I do not belong here.

This is a mistake. And when it was my turn to get to the call, it, it never resonated with me of like, who am I going to call when I get up there? And when I got there, it was like. I guess I have nobody to call. That was a, that was a pretty big low point. I was also pretty numb, but that one still hurt. But after that experience, going back to this rehab place, um, in Nevada, cause I had to be there for, um, five, five or seven days.

It was a, a work week and a half, you know, uh, Going back to this place in Nevada, I was pretty bitter and resentful with them for sending me here. Um, and at that point was compliant, but of no interest of participating in any sort of group therapy stuff whatsoever. Uh, it was just very much like, I am just here until insurance runs out and, you know, fuck all you guys.

Fuck me too. We’re probably all going to die. And I’m just waiting up the clock. So that was a really long way of answering your question of. Sort of where I had, you know, had been following that discharge. I, I became a, a workaholic to a certain degree. I still was not coping with my emotions very well, uh, moved back home to California and filled up my schedule with as many job opportunities as I possibly could.

So, uh, I had three different places that I was working at, you know, waking up at 4 30 AM coming home at like nine, I really wanted to have the least amount of. Interactions with with people as I possibly could just because it felt so toxic and no way in shit was I going to be playing college tennis, you know, um, so it was like, I need to go somewhere though.

I can’t stay at home. I need to go to college just because I need to get out. I’ll probably fail out, but I just need to get somewhere. Um, so still proceeded with that. Became a workaholic just to keep myself busy. And I guess I would just say waited out until I got to college, really. Relapsed to a certain degree.

Wasn’t, wasn’t training, um, but really just wanted to starve myself just enough that I couldn’t really feel life so much, uh, because I was so unhappy. So I wanted to be, as weird as that is, wanted to starve myself just enough that I couldn’t feel life. And then obviously took it a little too far again, didn’t get myself hospitalized because I refused to go back to a hospital at this point because my experience was so traumatic for me that I just didn’t want to go back.

But I did have to go to a hospital. This is going to be gross. I did have to go to a hospital, like I think two weeks before I started my undergrad degree because I couldn’t At all. Like it had been, it had been like 14 days or something and was, I had to leave work and work was my, that’s what I had to, you know, that was my thing.

That was the only thing I had. I had to leave work because my stomach was hurting so much that I was having and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. I mean, my hobby was an eating disorder, you know, so I ended up having to go to a hospital and getting some scans of like, Hey, what the hell’s going on? I’m in like one of the worst pains ever.

Yeah. And was severely constipated. Uh, they gave me, oh, I’m forgetting what it’s called. What is, what, what’s the stuff called that you take to help you poo? I’m just a laxative of like medical grade laxatives and got nothing. And I ended up having to self administer an enema, my Hershey hole. So that was two weeks before I started undergrad.

So I think it was pretty clear to most people, uh, including myself that I was going to undergrad to fail. You know, I was going there with, with, um, very broken mindset, very bitter and resentful, hated virtually everybody. My brain was on, you know, one ninth capacity. I was never even a good student in my K through 12 education.

I really just wanted to be a tennis player. That was it. And I was delusional about how good I thought I was. Um, and struggled a bit in my first semester, like most college students do just in terms of like, I don’t know anybody. Um, I ended up going to a division three school. Ironically, despite all of this, I still could play division three tennis.

So I did that for my first year. Uh, I wasn’t that good. Um, our team didn’t feel that good either. So I ended up not sticking with it after the first year, but ended up doing. A lot better once they got myself into a different climate and had a lot more control and could just kind of start with a clean slate again.

So, in terms of of where I am. Now I, I did, I’m two weeks away from finishing my bachelor’s degree, uh, and I’ve done very well in school. Um, I’ve gotten, I think all of the honors that are available to get, I was asked to be a teaching assistant after my first year. So I got to be a teaching assistant, my sophomore, junior and senior year ended up becoming a psychology major.

Again, I wish I had a cool story behind it, but it was like, I’m fucked up. I bet people in psychology are fucked up. I’ll be one of them. Uh, that’s not what I said. On my grad school applications. But that was really my mindset in terms of like, because when I was 15, I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist, um, because I liked fitness exercise stuff and thought they made better, they made better money than trainers.

So I’ll do that. Yeah.

Mike: And it’s, it’s, it’s also not even a bad backup plan. If what you really wanted to do was play tennis or play a sport, but you you understand that, um, To make it all the way in sports, it’s not that kids shouldn’t believe, uh, ever, that they can do it, but it, when you look at that journey objectively, uh, it’s a small, small percentage of Great players, whoever make it that far in any sport, and I don’t want to, I don’t want to hijack with a tangent, but, you know, just to comment on this point where you had had, you said you had these kind of grandiose ideas of how good you were at tennis.

Um, it’s just interesting that I grew up playing hockey and, um, 1 of my friends, I think he went on to play D1 hockey. He was, he was pretty good. He was definitely the best amongst all of us. And but his, uh. His experience wasn’t a lot of, a lot of athletes that make it far in their sports. The experience really was from a young age.

Um, I mean, he started playing when he was probably 7 or 8. He was quickly the best kid on the team, and then he, you know, made it to the next level quickly was 1 of the best kids top 3 on the team next level. Quickly one of the best kept on getting better. And that was it. Like that was his experience at every level he played at.

And, uh, I actually I never looked. I don’t maybe he made it to the NHL. Actually, I don’t know. I don’t think so, though. I think he went to Boston or something and then it stopped there. But that’s that is generally what I would say the sign that maybe there’s something there. If you’re now at a pure 16 17 18 playing at a high competitive level.

Yeah, that’s what And you’re just always the best. You’ve always been a stud from really from year one on, then you start to think, I think it’s actually, I would say, it’s logical to start wondering. Maybe I have it. Maybe I have what it takes, but, but, you know, many professional athletes will tell you just how shocking.

The progression is from high level college to pros, where you’re a stud D1 athlete, you make it into the pros, and you, you feel like you barely can hang that now you feel like one of the worst players out there. So. Anyway, it’s just, I’ve always found that interesting because I didn’t take any sports seriously enough to try to push.

I, I, I was competitive and I wanted to have fun with it, but I didn’t want to take it that far.

Jake: Yeah, no, I completely get it. I ran into that experience just at a lower level of the, you know, I had the reality slapped me in the face. I went to like a couple of tennis academies, for example, uh, my coach was a former tennis pro, so he had several.

Uh, connections to people that were actively on the tour. Uh, so like, for example, I got to play with a, with a guy who ended up getting the, the Olympic silver medal in 2016 for doubles and was like, Oh God, you know, like I can’t, like, this is, this is. I thought I was good. And it’s like, I can’t even warm this guy up, you know, like, seriously, it’s like, I can feed him balls for him to just crush, but it’s like, he’s serving one 36 and on my best day, I’m serving one 12 on my best day.

And he’s serving one 36, like it’s nothing, you know? And it’s like, I can’t even get it back. And he’s also, you know, six foot seven. I’m five foot six. He’s more than a foot taller than me. So there was also that, like, I wasn’t. Built to be an athlete, or at least I wasn’t built to be a tennis player, you know?

Mike: Is the average tennis player tall?

I don’t follow tennis. So I…

Jake: I honestly don’t follow it that much either. I was much more interested in playing it, but yeah, they are tall and they’re getting taller now. Like he

Mike: was like that. Yeah. Your average hockey player is, uh, probably six, six, one, 200 to 215 probably, I mean, big dudes.

Jake: Yeah. Yeah. If you look at tennis players in like the eighties or whatever, they just look like, you know, normal guys, you could be five foot 11 or whatever, uh, skinny, maybe they lift weights.

So maybe they don’t. Um, and now I would guess in the top 10, probably the average height is around six, four. They’re ridiculously lanky though. Yeah. They are very scrawny dudes. Um, yeah. But, you know, different sports, but they’re being bred for it much more, uh, than they were before. And I’m more of a shorter, thicker guy than I am a tall, lanky one.

Mike: Hey there. If you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general, and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one or a not so loved one? And even Who might want to learn something new word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show.

So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. Anyway, uh, you, you’re, you’re, uh, explaining, okay, you’re, you’re in college. Now you’re doing better. You’re playing some tennis. Uh, and how did you find, how did you find your way into a fitness regimen?

Jake: Oh yeah.

Yeah. Sorry. I did go on quite, quite there. Um, for fitness, I mean, I, I got into, I started working out again, maybe five months before starting my undergrad degree and, um, was barbell training for the most part. Didn’t have the best relationship with it either. You know, it was just going in there and beating myself up with, with, uh, I abused compound exercises, you know, of like, let’s have a deadlift four days a week, because why the shit not.

You know, and I mean, it really was because I hate my spine. That’s why I hate my spine, you know, and if I tear something, then that’s cool, you know, because it was, it was just beating myself up. And I really did that for like my entire first year of undergrad. I wish I could tell you that I, I learned stuff quickly.

And I guess even the premise, I probably should have said this at the very beginning. I really have a hard time. You know, I know that you call these success stories. I have a hard time calling myself a success story because I still struggle with this stuff to this day. You know, I don’t, I wouldn’t consider myself mental, um, mental illness free or even like eating disorder free.

I think I’ll always struggle with this stuff. I think I’ll always struggle with body dysmorphia. I’ll always care a little bit too much about what other people think about me. And I’ll probably always be socially anxious. I just think of it more of. You know, I want that to be less than 15 percent of my life rather than it, you know, back then, the other way around.

Yeah. Yeah. The other, you know, before it was a hundred percent of my life, I was in rehab, you know, with people that this, this was our life. So it’s still something I still do struggle with. To this day, but it gradually got better. Um, honestly, a big, a big change, you know, and the reason that we’re doing this interview was you would released your little black book of workout motivation.

And, um, I think I got my hands on it in September of 20. 18, which is when I would have been a freshman and I would guess that that’s not your best selling book, uh, after the bill of rights done.

Mike: It’s done. Yeah, exactly. It’s done fairly well. I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head. It might, it might be over 100, 000 copies sold now, but Um, I mean, take, take bigger, leaner, stronger.

That’s probably, I don’t know, six or 700, 000 copies now. So, um, you know, I was happy with it in that it was something that it was a project that I personally enjoyed. And I would say the way that I went about it, the creation of it. I think I’m a bit smarter in my strategy that I won’t hijack the conversation again and explain this.

Maybe in another podcast, it would take me a little bit to walk through it. I’m interested. I’m, I think I’m smarter in, um, how I go about creating content now. And I would say pre testing kind of a lot of these ideas to find things that. That don’t just resonate with me, but also resonate with a lot of people in my orbit, which of course is what I’m going for.

I’m not communicating for the sake of like sub vocalizing my own voice. You know what I mean? And you’re just a quick comment on the bill of rights book. Ironically, that was, um, maybe not last year, but in 2020, no, no last year. Yeah. Last year that might’ve been my number one bestselling book. It was.

Jake: Just with everything going on.

Mike: Exactly. Yep. Yeah, that’s exactly right. So, so it’s just funny. That was also a project that I did, um, just for fun and it was something that was personally interesting to me and it was very much a minimum viable product in that I put work into it, but I didn’t spend years working on this book when I didn’t know if anybody was even going to care.

I just wanted to put something together that I felt was a good representation of. Yeah. My work ethic, so to speak, um, and not even so much my views. I tried not to turn it into just another book. That’s trying to interpret, um, the Bill of Rights and tell people what to think. I would like to produce more content in other genres.

Something probably in the next one to three years, I’ll start putting time into for now. It’s all in on health and fitness, and I’m not going to ever abandon health and fitness, but I do. I do have other interests and I do. I think I have some interesting ideas, but anyway, like fiction, right? Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s one, but, but there, there’s a question of why, like, why do that?

I mean, I would find it personally. Satisfying just because I appreciate good storytelling and I just have an interest in it. I have an interest in learning how to do it well, and that’s one reason to do it. Um, but, but also, um, I think that storytelling is a service as well. I think that it does different things.

I mean, in some cases it, it entertains people and that, that is a service that simply uplifting people’s moods, making people feel better and feel happier and That that alone, I think is actually a very valuable service if you can do that at scale, so to speak. Um, but then also storytelling and fiction. I think with many people.

Is more effective for indoctrination and that word has negative connotations, but doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing. Meaning if you have something to say, simply saying it, even if you’re, if you’re communicating it in a, in a logical, persuasive way. That works with a minority of people, and it rarely ever works.

I would say basically never works with people who are inclined to reject whatever it is that you’re trying to say. You might get some people who are on the fence, and then people who agree with you will say yes, but storytelling, interestingly, it bypasses critical filters in a, in a way that. Maybe another, maybe you could do that through poetry as well.

Um, that, that with that again, that aesthetic component seems to bypass critical filters and you can get people to consider things that maybe they wouldn’t otherwise even consider through a story. Versus through just a logical argument and so I’m somebody who has things to say, uh, that I think are five things that interest me that I like to communicate about.

And so I would say in the pursuit of more effective communication, fiction also interests me. In that way as well. Anyway, anyway, I don’t want to do this. This would this would this would be like another another podcast that some people listening might be interested in. Many people would be like, just keep talking about fitness and I’ll be here.

Jake: Sure. I mean, I do agree though. Like, it just expands your audience and is able to get certain messaging to people that otherwise wouldn’t. Purchase a book on the subject, like there’s certain people that just will not purchase like a book on the bill of rights. They’re just not interested. They’re not going to buy that book.

Like you’re, it has a target audience, but you know, perhaps going over some of the same messaging in a form of fiction, you’re able to reach a different audience.

Mike: Just think about ideas too. Yeah, yeah. And ideas that, um, form really the. I guess you could use a term, the thought form, the images, the presuppositions, the vocabulary of our culture that really forms the context for our thinking.

And for, I guess you could say our zeitgeist, so to speak. Um, so, you know, these, these are things that again, are interesting to me aside from health and fitness.

Jake: Yeah, no, I, I, I would love to see it if you ever end up doing it.

Mike: I do plan. I do plan on it. I just have, I have my little plan. And, uh, again, maybe, maybe that, that would make for a.

Another another podcast, but, um, but for now, let’s get back to, let’s get back to your beating yourself up with compound exercises. Oh, yeah, yeah. And then you, you, you came across my, my little black book and then, and then what?

Jake: Yeah. So I came across your, your little black book and just remember this is from somebody who, who really didn’t even read as embarrassing as that sounds.

Um, not interested in, in reading books or, really even excelling in life whatsoever. Um, and that book came out, I was very lucky. It came out at the, at a good time for me, um, as an undergrad freshman. And I listened to the book and a lot of it resonated with me in ways that previous things just had not, you know, like for example, in rehab land, as I refer to it, there’s a certain level of like, Fuzziness that just radiates of bullshit, right?

Like there’s just nothing that resonates with me when I’m in like a group therapy session with a bunch of people that have been ostracized from society because we are so dysfunctional and it being group led by a professional who’s telling us that we’re of, you know. Exponential value to society, right?

It’s like, no, we’ve actually been ostracized because we are dangerous to others and ourselves. Like, don’t sit there and tell me that I’m a wonderful gift to the world, right? So your book spoke to me in a way that I was able to receive some of these messages, honestly, in ways that I wasn’t receptive to before.

Um, but it also wasn’t written in just like this completely hard tone, like tone deaf, like. Hey, fat fuck loser. You know, if you can’t deadlift right at 3 a. m. without any pre workout, then I guess you’re just a dumb fat fuck forever. And you might as well kill yourself, right? Cause that wasn’t going to help me either because I really did feel like that about myself at times.

And so your book had these messages that, that. Really resonated with me, you know, on, on my first, uh, I listened to it the very first time and just was just doing some of the, you know, I didn’t even, I didn’t even read it probably the way you intended of like going through all of the steps for each chapter and like the do this now portions.

I would just listen to it because, you know, what damage is that going to cause? I did a couple of them, you know, I was like, I’ll try the cold shower thing like. You know, just do it because it’s hard. I’ll go ahead and try that. Or you know what, let me actually sit down and write down a couple of things that I appreciate about my body.

That would be, that’s going to be hard for me and I should do that. And by the end of going through this book, which I had gone through in a matter of a week, which I had never done with a book before, had already implemented several changes for the better. And I was actually excited about stuff for the first time ever.

And upon completing the book, this is another one of those embarrassing things. God, people listening to this podcast episode, I hope they don’t lose too many IQ points listening to me or get any dumb ideas on how to destroy their life in 10 easy steps. I mean, seriously.

Mike: I think maybe, uh, that more likely might be that somebody who is, um, maybe, maybe, maybe Taking the first step or two in the wrong direction, you might be helping them, um, realize that it can get, it can get pretty bad.

So you might want to think twice before.

Jake: It can get pretty bad. Don’t don’t mess with the stuff. Like, just don’t mess with it. It’s just walking down a very slippery slope. But after completing that book, it kind of had this like, well, I mean, it was helping me so much. Like, what am I going to do now? So I was.

I guess I’ll reread it. So I immediately reread the book again for a second time and then decided, you know what, I’m just going to keep rereading this damn thing. Like, and so I actually carried your fricking book around. Like some people carry around like their anxiety pets into class or something. And I would carry you this damn book around like a neurotic because I was a neurotic.

Um, but it was helping me. In the sense of like, there was quotes that I really resonated with. There were certain chapters I really resonated with in the sense, because I was still playing tennis at the time. And then I wasn’t good at it and it didn’t feel good. And, and there was this aspect of, okay, the coach is going to make us do this stupid training thing.

And, you know, maybe I should read shut up and train right before I do it. That might help me. And it really did. And so I actually went back through the book. Over and over and over and over. I would be shocked if there’s another human being that has read the book. Maybe, maybe you being the person that wrote the book, I don’t know how many drafts I don’t remember, but I, I would guess that I’ve read it more than, uh, I’ve probably spent more time reading it and listening to it than you spent writing it as embarrassing as that sounds.

Um, but it really, really, really resonated with me and it hit me at the right moment. And just like my stupid maladaptive, I’ll kill myself tomorrow mindset. There was just certain chapters and messages in that book, like carrying a message to Garcia and this idea of like, yeah, I want to be someone that carries a message to Garcia and then I started reading the recommended titles in there.

It’s like, maybe I should read McRaven’s book. Maybe I should read, you know, make your bed. Maybe I should leave. Read, uh, living with a seal, you know, maybe I should read give and take and very quickly. I considered myself helpless. I mean, I worked with with at least 15 therapists in my life and several doctors and several professionals and nothing was resonating with me.

And for the, for the first time, I felt like I had something, um, that I, that was actually resonating with me and that I could actively use. Uh, so I started, you know, developing better relationships and just, yeah. Mindsets towards, towards my fitness and health and started not abusing myself with compound exercises, but like, you know, maybe I should go back to, you know, just kind of basic first principle stuff and bigger, leaner, stronger.

And, you know, and if it’s not perfect, it doesn’t mean I’m a fat buck loser and I’m down to mediocrity for the rest of my life, it just is. Some days I have shitty workouts, you know, and I have to slog through them all. So I started getting on a better track there. Uh, it really showed in my school immediately because I was a nothing of a high school student and was, was rapidly developing good relationships with, with like professors and advisors and things like that.

And having opportunities like as a research assistant, as a teaching assistant, and even some, um, publication opportunities. And for the most part, you know, today I would say that I’m somebody who’s who’s taken the good enough most of the time approach to to my fitness and health. Um, like, I don’t, I don’t, you know, I feel like a little bit of an imposter being on this podcast because I, I’m very far from reaching my genetic potential.

I probably won’t. Um. Anytime soon, at least, uh, but I have good enough fitness. It treats me well. Um, I train five days a week. I train almost exclusively with dumbbells, actually, rather than barbells. And that actually is because I have a slap tear in my left shoulder and I didn’t, you know, I’ve just I’ve I don’t know when I got it.

To be honest, I always just thought I had a weird left shoulder and it was, and I partially thought that was because I’m right handed and I play tennis and just was imbalanced that way. But once I had quit tennis, it never really went away. And when coven hit I had a pair of adjustable dumbbells and started training like that and and quickly realized that my right side I think was overpowering.

Everything when I was training with a barbell. So using dumbbells, I think, actually helps is helping with some of those asymmetries that I have on my body.

Mike: And that’s a reason for anybody listening also to do that. Not you don’t have to have an injury to do that. Like unilateral movements are great for that in particular.

Like, for example, if somebody Um, if, if all they do is, is squat with a, with a barbell and then let’s say they move to a leg press, right? Another bilateral movement. They never do anything unilateral, like they never do a split squat. For example, um, chances are there, there’s probably an imbalance there. I ran into that myself where I, I noticed that in my barbell squatting, this was years ago.

I think I’m better with it now, but I still have to pay attention to it. Um, just cause I’m right side dominant. When I get deeper into a set, like those last two or three reps, I will tend to shift a little bit over to my right leg because that’s my stronger side. Um, same thing with bench pressing and so something you got to pay attention to and doing unilateral movements can help just keep thing about keep those things balanced.

Jake: Yeah. Yeah. So I’ve definitely. Have settled or maybe settle is not the best word, but what I’ve I’ve done a lot of adapting programming and advice to to just stuff that works for me, right? Like, one of the nice things about fitness is you can take as many chances as you need. I mean, if anybody’s fucked up at it, I think I’m a great example of that.

I’m somebody who has messed it up as many times as you possibly can internally and externally with methods and modalities. And so I’ve I’ve found stuff that works for me, honestly, out of all All of your work, probably the, the training wise, I resonate with like the training program and bigger leaner, stronger, just like those first principle things, big compound movements at the beginning, isolation movements later.

And in terms of like diet and nutrition, probably honestly, your most recent muscle for life book in the sense of like, I don’t track or weigh any of my food. I don’t think that that would be a great idea for somebody like me. Um, like I just avoid certain things. I know that I’m somebody with an addictive personality.

Um, it’s like, for example, I’ve never had alcohol. What if I like it? You know what I mean? Like there’s this, there’s this idea of I’m probably an alcoholic and I just don’t know it yet. Same thing with porn. I’m not going to get into porn. I’d probably get addicted to it. Uh, all of those sorts of things. So I don’t weigh or track my food, but I still plan it out.

I plan it out on Sundays and I, I know exactly what I’m going to have for dinner tonight. You know, uh, it’s just not weighed out and I just try not to, to freak out about it because I think I’m somebody that if you, if you. You know, gave me that, that little sniff. I’d become an addict within, you know, a week and could take it down somewhere.

That’s just not worth it for me. That said, I’m certainly not somebody that’s like. Out of shape, you know, and, and resonate with like the health at any size sort of culture either. Um, or one of, you know, it’s, it’s wonderful. Like the couple of times I’ve gotten compliments on my body because I always want to like respond with, oh, and you have no idea because I’m the type of person that you would have looked at four years ago.

And it’d been like, that guy is disgusting, you know? And, and I’ve, you know, I’ve had people that have said like, have you gotten more muscular? And it’s like, oh, yes, I have. Thank you very much. You know, you know, and it always like. Pumps up the ego, which is wonderful for, for me, it feels nice. So, uh, I’ve had, I’ve had a lot of fitness wins, even though they haven’t come as clear, as clean cut as I would have liked them to be.

Um, and you know, in terms of like numbers and such, uh, I’m not that strong, but I’m, I’m not like the, the article that army. Wrote a few weeks ago that was on like the strength standards and such. Yep. So I went to my, I actually went to my university’s gym yesterday. Cause I was like, I just want to see where I’m at.

And so I’m, you know, I’m five, six. I would be surprised if I weigh anything over one 60. Um, I don’t have sub 10 percent body fat. I’m probably around like 12 or something cruising there. I like it. It feels okay for me, uh, bench. So like from an objective standpoint, if somebody saw me. And they knew that I’ve been training since I was 14, you’ve been doing something wrong.

You should look better.

Mike: Different types of training.

Jake: Right. Right. You know, but in terms of like what I’ve, because you’ve run into that issue, right? If you just start comparing yourself against other people, like the deck is stacked, you’re going to lose. Especially with social media. I mean, of course. Yeah.

But if you just kind of look at like where you’ve, you’ve come from, like, I need to remember that sometimes, sometimes I feel totally stupid. Uh, if I’m, you know, some, not so much in a gym anymore, but sometimes I do with academic stuff. I’m like, I really don’t belong in the stream. I’m the dumbest idiot.

And everyone’s laughing me out of here. It’s important to remember, you know, like where you’re coming from. So like yesterday I, I, I didn’t test my barbell squat. Cause I. Done squats and stuff at home. So I felt like that was not going to turn out so well. Um, but like I got under the bar and I bench pressed one 85 for five with no problem, you know, and this was after training in the morning and this is not training with a barbell in close to two years.

So there’s probably some technical aspect to, um, and then with a deadlift, I pulled, um, I think 2 75. Um, I was going for four rep two and was like, yeah, I’m not gonna be stupid . So I probably had one rep left in reserve, uh, at pulling 2 75. It’s like, you know, those aren’t impressive numbers. Nobody would hear that and be like, that’s what I want.

You know, keep in mind I am five foot six. I don’t weigh that much.

Mike: I mean, you have to relate it to body weight, obviously.

Jake: Yeah, of course. Yeah. Cause I mean, if I was, if I was, how tall are you, like six, two

Mike: or so, yeah. And yeah. I weigh one 91 maybe right now.

Jake: Yeah. Yeah. You bench pressing what 85 for five, uh, would be like nothing.

So sure. So you know, it’s, it’s important to keep that in mind. Um, but you know, for me, those are great numbers. Those are, those are numbers that I really haven’t had before, you know, um, And in terms of progress and where I’ve been, it’s, you know, a couple of years ago, I was, you know, benching not that much more than a bar and had really accepted that fitness isn’t for me.

I’m never going to be able to do it. No one’s ever going to be able to even let me do it. Um, Just, you know, because of my relationship with abusing it in the past, uh, I wasn’t sure I was something I could ever even return to or even have a good relationship to. And now it’s definitely something that contributes to my life.

You know, it’s one of those like first principle things, like it’s how I start my day in the morning. I read a little bit and then I go train for an hour like, and I do that five days a week and it, it’s me in the right mindset and I can tell in school. So it’s just important for me to, to. To keep that in mind of like judging myself compared to to previous performances and and not freaking out about day to day fluctuations, but just kind of like looking at overall trends.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree. And it’s great to hear that despite the trials and tribulations of of your younger years that you’ve found. What sounds like you found, um, an equilibrium of sorts. And I understand that you, you feel like you still have some issues that you’re dealing with. And I would say everybody, everybody has issues, maybe not the same issues.

Uh, I give you that, but, um, you know, it’s just, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting. It’s just interesting because if I were to not know anything, about you and your background. And, you know, when I first met you, um, this was on a, it was, um, for muscle for life for the launch, right? That’s how it was exactly.

And so in just talking with you, um, just, you know, casually, I would have not guessed any of. This stuff. You didn’t strike me as somebody who is imbalanced in any way. So, um, for what it’s worth, I, I, my, I, I respect, I respect that, um, you’ve, you’ve stuck it through and, uh, here you are and you are on a much, much different path and what you’re on previously and there’s something to be said for that.

Jake: Yeah. There, there certainly is. Um, you know, it’s especially like with family members, I think they’d be absolutely. I think it shocks them to a certain degree because like my dad had told me at one point, he was like, I thought my son was going to die, you know, because he there was a, there was one thing that he had did, which I won’t, you know, go into it on the podcast would be inappropriate, um, that in most circumstances, people would say was like, he really shouldn’t have done that.

But he had shared with me later. It was like. I was panicked. Like, I thought you were gonna die. Um, and to think that, you know, four years later that that same person is now for anyone listening. I was, uh, a few months ago accepted into a handful of PhD programs for psych, which is very, very competitive to do.

Um, so to go from. To go from that to where I am now, it’s not ideal. Like I’m graduating from my undergrad with a lot more debt than I ever would have ever wanted to take on. And I don’t like that. And yeah, I still, you know, this is still something that I, I struggle with on the day to day basis and I hope I continue to improve at it.

But I think it really surprises people at where I am, and I’m going totally out on a limb to by putting this out here in the podcast cosmos, because it’s not a story that I like. Even my closest professors and friends don’t even know that I have this in my past. It’s just something I don’t share, um, for a handful of reasons.

Um, one is I don’t want to Self handicap, you know, I also just don’t want to identify with it. I like to me recovering is it consuming the least amount of my life as possible, not talking about it every single day. And I also don’t want to be judged based off of where I’ve been. You know what I mean? Like, I don’t want somebody to lower their standards for me because, you know, I have childhood trauma or something.

It’s like, No, just hold me. I want to be judged based off of who I am. Sometimes fitness wins can be kind of taken away from me. Uh, well, I shouldn’t say that because my fitness wins are my fitness ruins, but sometimes, uh, people can poopoo on them, you know, in the sense of like, well, you know, you’re an exercise addict, right?

Like they’ll never see me for anything more. Then, then what I was and relationships with that, I guess my advice would be that not that you shouldn’t, not that you should take advice from a 23 year old going through a quarter life crisis, but if you’re feeling risky enough to do, I would say there are certain relationships that are just that are just toxic.

And the best thing you can do is just cut your losses with them. Yeah. You know, um, I’ve, I’ve certainly have had those and yeah. You know, even if you’ve been best friends with them in the past or, or had a great relationship with them, it’s hard to honest. It’s honestly hard to overestimate how shitty some people can make you feel.

Mike: And, and how they can influence your decisions, uh, as well, aside from your attitudes.

I mean, that’s, that’s, uh, that’s 1 way that they can influence things, but that’s not the only way.

Jake: Yeah. I mean, that was, that was the, you know, one of the issues I ran into with like the, the treatment community, honestly, it was, there was almost like this pride in being ill. Like if you weren’t ill, you weren’t one of them, you know?

And even these people that become friends throughout treatment, which, you know, honestly, it makes sense why they become friends because they get it. You know what I mean? It’s like how many other people are going this. So they bond over that. Um, and then when one person Starts to make a change. The other person really doesn’t like it.

Right. And wants to pull them back down. And I think it’s very common that the common knowledge of like, of course, they do that because they’re holding a mirror up to to that person and they’re making them feel insecure. And I would agree with that for the most part. Like when I when I kind of cut my ties with with everyone that I knew in rehab and was like, no, cool.

I’m not sharing my phone number with you and no, we’re not staying in contact. Um, there was definitely, you know, like criticisms from those people and such. But I think the other bit that they’re getting at too is they’re losing their friend when you do that, you know, uh, in, in a way it’s kind of like when, when an infant becomes an adolescent or a child, I mean, it’s like the infant in a way is kind of dead, right?

Like the parent will never have a relationship with that infant ever again. And when somebody’s friends with you, when you were in a broken place and that’s like when they met you and that’s when they became. Friends and you start to get out of that place. They’re losing their friend. Like, of course, they’re not going to root for you, you know, and so that’s tough because obviously you want their support, but you’re not always going to get it.

And you kind of need to cut your ties because it’s either. It’s either stay in the mess that you’ve been in or cut your ties, cut your losses and move on.

Mike: Yep. Yep. I’ve had to do that a couple of times, different circumstances, but a couple of people who were once close to me, and then it became clear that, um, It’s time for this relationship to end, and it’s, it’s time for it to end abruptly and, uh, terminatedly.

And so, um, and it was definitely the right decision. If I look at where those people have ended up, um, I wouldn’t want to be there with them.

Jake: I would be shocked. In, in full transparency, if more than 50 percent of the people that I cut ties with are honestly alive, which as horrible as that sounds, I mean, it, it kind of is this, it is like this cult thing of.

Mike: Say, it sounds like a death cult.

Jake: It really is. It’s how close can you tango with death and winning the grand prize of this hobby is dying. Um, and, and, and it even gets glorified, like there’s certain treatment facilities where, like, when the patient dies. That they name rooms after the patients who have died from the disorder and, and, you know, obviously.

Mike: That’s a, that’s a perverse incentive.

Jake: Right?

I mean, but there is that sense of like, I want to be remembered. And I mean, existing, I suck. I hate everybody. And I’m kind of a dick to everyone here. But if I died. Then it’s, you know, it’s the disorder, right? And I can, I can, you know, hide behind that and be known as a victim. And I definitely, I definitely saw myself as a victim and, and wanted that to, to be known, right?

Like I didn’t make bad decisions. I had bad treatment. That’s what it was. It was bad treatment and I’m not responsible and it could have been handled and I had so much going for me and I could have been whatever. And it was, you know, this from my parents or this from this therapist and this from this person.

And that’s the reason, right? That that this all failed. And now I’m dead. And so name a room after me, please. I mean, I get that. That’s absolutely ridiculous, but yeah. I mean, it’s mental illness shit. It, it gets like that. That’s not half as dark as some of the other stuff I’ve heard.

Mike: And, and what would you say your perspective on personal responsibility is now?

Jake: Uh, it’s swung from one extreme. to the other extreme, uh, which, you know, I think extreme problems oftentimes, you know, needs only need simple solutions. Really. Uh, I definitely swung from the extreme of nothing’s my fault to everything’s my fault. You know, I got a little too Jocko willing in the sense of like, Extreme ownership, but really, really good for me, uh, to to go there.

Mike: I would say that you can also distinguish between I don’t necessarily agree that the word responsibility is synonymous with, uh, blame or. Or fault. It is my fault. I think that there’s there’s a there can be a difference between between saying I am responsible for my circumstances or condition. I think that is not necessarily the same as I blame myself or it is my fault for all of these things.

Jake: That completely makes sense. It’s like, you know, the analogy that somebody told me once was, it’s like you’re in a pit. Somebody’s throwing shit on top of you and then walks away. It’s your responsibility to get yourself out of the pit and get the shit off of you. No one’s going to take it off of you. And I had that after rehab, you know?

Mike: And maybe you did something to put you in the pit in the first place again, recognizing.

Yeah, sure. I did that. I don’t think that automatically has to include blame, shame, regret. It can, but I don’t think that it has to. That’s my opinion.

Jake: Yeah, no, I, I completely agree. So yeah, in terms of with my relationship with responsibility, I certainly take a lot more. If things don’t go well, I always ask my, which happens a lot, you know, like, for example, right now it’s with my student debt situation.

I don’t like it, but I think about. Okay, I’m not a complete victim. That’s ridiculous. What actions did I take to get myself here? And how can I change that moving forward? So I don’t make the same mistake, you know, just something like that. Um, so, yeah, in terms of my relationship with responsibility, that’s, that’s definitely have taken a major.

Turn it so I don’t know if that’s a good answer. Yeah.

Mike: I was just I was just curious because it’s uh, oh, it’s yeah, it’s a controversial topic. I mean, just the idea that, um, we are mostly. Or, or even just ultimately a product of our decisions, not our circumstances. I shared that on social media some time ago and got a lot of people who agreed.

A lot of people who disagreed. It was, uh, it was a bit more inflammatory, I guess, than on both sides. It got, it got more response than, than I expected really. Because, uh, to me, that’s, that’s, uh, it’s almost axiomatic. But, I get though, it depends where people are at, and even, even if something like that is not 100 percent true, if you live your life as if it’s true, You’re going to do a lot better.

You’re going to make a lot better decisions. So it’s one of those things that it certainly works. And in many ways for me, workability and truth are, if not synonymous, they are very closely related. I’m mostly interested in what works.

Jake: Yeah. Like that pragmatist approach. Like, how do you know if something’s true?

Well, if it’s working, that’s at least strong evidence to suggest that it’s true.

Yeah. I, I, I completely agree with that. Definitely taking responsibility and, and having an internal locus of control instead of like having an external one, which there’s a lot of scientific research to suggest, right? Uh, you’re, you’re going to be better off and, and in a weird way, I hope it’s just like a cultural, like kind of fad thing right now, but in a weird way, there definitely is like incentives to share how bad life has been towards you.

You know, um, like, I don’t think that sharing my successes would get very much applause. Um, but.

Mike: Because people want you to be vulnerable.

Jake: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. But coming, coming on, on the podcast and, you know, saying something like, I’m a guy and I had anorexia and I also struggled with binge eating too. And I also struggled with orthorexia.

Mike: Which I would say is an example of positive vulnerability.

Actually, that’s just, that’s just again, a word that is one of these buzzwords that it’s thrown around that many people use to play the victim card. I’ve seen that a lot on social media or, or I’ve seen it even. It’s even more cynical in that I either know because I know people how they are when they’re not on social media, or I, I strongly suspect that the vulnerability that they’re sharing on social media is simply because.

Vulnerability is a thing like they don’t actually believe any of the stuff they just said, but a lot of other people are getting really vulnerable and that’s getting a lot of engagement. So they’re going to get really vulnerable too. And they’re going to talk. They’re going to talk about these struggles and they’re going to they’re going to, um, pretend like.

They’re a victim when they actually don’t even feel that way. They just think that that’s going to get a lot of engagement.

Jake: Like vulnerability incorporated essentially, right? Like, what are you getting? I know. I get that. I, I, I’ve, I’ve talked about that a lot with some, uh, faculty that I actually, 1 of my, my best friends at my.

On my university campus. He’s in the physics department. He’s an aerospace engineer of all people. And I, I, I like to go and talk to him about things I’m not supposed to talk about. And I was talking to him about the culture of bravery, you know, because it’s like almost the opposite of bravery, right? In the sense of like, I’m going to share something that’s vulnerable, right?

And scare quotes that Isn’t actually that vulnerable because I know 99. 9 percent of people in the room are going to clap their like I already know that, you know, so how brave is it? But everyone, you know.

Mike: That applies to this idea of speaking truth to power. Yeah, it sounds great. But look at what a lot of these people say.

There is no, there is no bravery in any of it because to your point, uh, there, there is nothing. This is, this is what everybody is saying and they already know that they’re going to get all the applause.

Jake: Yeah, like, you know, if I, in, in a course or something, if I were to say like, you know, I just, I missed class last week because.

I had to do self care and self care is important, you know, like, it’s like, and I’m brave therefore, because I just admitted that I, it’s like, no, you’re not brave. Cause you’re in a psych department saying that you took self care time. And we love that shit. You know what I mean? Like we’ll, we’ll eat that shit up like overnight.

We don’t even ask what the self care was. It’s like, what was your self care drinking alcohol and sleeping until 1 PM self care. It’s like, You just use the word and we, we agree with it before we even heard the end of the sentence. You know, that’s, that’s one of my pet peeves when people like nod their head and they haven’t even heard the end of the sentence.

I’m like, why are you pre agreeing? You know what I mean? It’s like. Oh, yes. I haven’t heard the point you’re going to make, but I agree with wherever it goes. Uh, it’s like, but yeah, anyway, because when it’s their

Mike: turn to lie about self care, Oh, interesting. They want everyone nodding.

Jake: Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, that’s, that’s, I guess even another, you know, interesting thing is I did get into psychology and, and it’s treated me very well.

And I think I’m half decent at it. Um, but. In some ways, I don’t, I don’t even feel like I belong in the culture of psychology, which is hard in of itself because I don’t, I don’t resonate with the like psychosocial tastemaker sort of stuff, right, which is, which is very loud right now, the sense of like, you’re not, you’re not responsible for your, you know, your C minus grade that’s, you know, grading bias and them not recognizing your actual strength or something.

It’s like I, yeah. I don’t resonate with that. I actually just want to get an a help me get from a C minus to an a, you know, like, don’t tell me that that, you know, because my professor doesn’t recognize my unique perspective on intelligence. Like, the truth is, I just didn’t fucking study and I’m an idiot, you know, so I don’t know.

Mike: I myself probably would have been more drawn toward. Oh, uh, maybe, maybe something like physics or something mathematical that it is right or wrong. And I understand there’s also, uh, a movement even to, um, to, to, to make that, uh, soft and subjective, but at least, at least when I was younger, I, I enjoyed math.

That was one of the reasons I enjoyed it is there, there was no subjective either. Figure it out. You figure the puzzle out. You get the right answer or you don’t. And that’s it.

Jake: Yep. No, I completely get that. And that’s definitely, uh, as weird as that is, that’s a controversial statement now, you know, in the sense of like, well, who are you?

Mike Matthews to decide what is, you know, right. And what is wrong or what is correct? And what is the wrong answer? Um, which, which is hard to.

Mike: Sometimes two plus two equals five.

Jake: I mean, if it’s what the people want. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know. I guess I would say if, if, uh, four isn’t inclusive to five, then we ought to expand its horizons.

I don’t know. Uh, yeah. Coming from a psych major. So.

Mike: Anyways, um, well, this was, this was a lot of fun, Jake. Uh, thanks for, thanks for taking the time to do this. And again, I’m really glad to, to hear that you’re doing well and that you really appreciate the little black book. That’s one that doesn’t get mentioned very often.

Usually the, these interviews are, it’s bigger than you’re stronger. It’s thinner than you’re stronger. I’ll probably. You know, start getting some most for life success stories, um, in the next couple of months and, or it’s a coaching thing. Uh, so, so that was, that was nice, nice for me to hear. And, um, if, uh, if there’s anything else that, that you want to share before we wrap up, let’s, um.

Let’s let everybody know.

Jake: Oh, thanks. Uh, yeah, I’ll probably final thing I should probably say, or that I really need to say and make you feel a little embarrassed on your own show cause that’s what I do is, uh, cause I know compliments make you feel weird. So I’m going to go there. I do have to say thank you.

Um, because I, I honestly don’t know where I would be had, had you not entered the fitness space. I would. Hope that it wouldn’t be in a grave, but there’s a high probability, but that’s where I was heading. So I do have to say thank you and make you feel all weird on your own show. Um, it’s just because yeah, on video, because you really did help me a lot.

And so, so thank you for your work and the stuff that you do in the fitness space. Um,

Mike: Well, I’m flattered. I really appreciate it. And lots more to come. Uh, and again, um, it’s, it’s, it’s just, it’s nice to, nice to, to get feedback on, on work is so much of my life is just sitting in my doesn’t look so much like a cave, but sitting in my little, my little cave here and, uh, ticky tacking away.

And so it’s, it’s great to, to hear from real people who, um, You know, appreciate and who gets something out of what I’m doing. Ultimately, that’s, that’s a lot more satisfying to me than just, um, abstract things, numbers, money, copies sold, whatever, you know?

Jake: Yeah, honestly, the, the physical benefit stuff is, is just a byproduct for people like me.

So your work helps. Even somebody that felt completely helpless. And I would guess that I’m not the only person. I would guess that you’ve helped a lot of people that have had stories, um, probably even much more severe than mine. So definitely means a lot. So keep it up.

Mike: Thanks, man. Thanks. Well, I hope you liked this episode, I hope you found it helpful, and if you did, subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes, and it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you, and if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have questions, Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, Mike at muscle for muscle F O R life. com and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future. I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode and I hope to hear from you soon.

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