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TMHS 782: Microdosing Exercise, Staying Motivated, & The Best Way to Build Muscle – with Mark Bell

TMHS 252: Turn Your Struggle into Strength & Ignite Your Transformation with Shaun T.

Every second of everyday, our minds and bodies are transforming. Transformation is a part of life. But all transformations are not created equal.

Personally, I’ve transformed from a thriving athlete, into a couch potato with extra cheese and bacon bits. I’ve transformed from being incredibly self-centered, to dedicating my life each day to serving others. I’ve transformed many times in my life (as you have too!). Some for the good, and some for the not-so-good. But, the point is that transformation is a given. It’s always happening whether you realize it or not. And the key is to get out in front of that transformation to guide your mind, body, and spirit where you want it to be.

How we transform, and what we transform into, is up to us more than we may realize. Part of the challenge with transforming our lives for the better is due to the struggles that we carry from our past. The things we’ve been through may carry a tone of, “You’ll never be able to accomplish it.” “Who do you think you are?” “No one you know has ever done this before.” “You’re not _______ (good enough, talented enough, intelligent enough, etc. [just fill in the blank with the negative things we hear and tell ourselves]).”

Truly, transformation is an inside job that has to look those things right in the face and move past them. Marianne Williamson says, “It is our own thoughts that hold the key to miraculous transformation.” We have the power inside us, but we need the tools to bring it out.

There’s an art and science to transformation, and I know of no one better on the planet to help ignite the transformation in others than our guest today. He’s impacted the lives of literally millions of people around the world, helping them to get fit, helping them to move past their excuses, and helping them to transform their lives. Shaun T. is in the house today, and if you’re ready to move past the next 10 levels in your life, then click play, open your heart, and hear what he has to say.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How the Freshman 15 can become the Freshman 50.
  • How a six-pound weight loss can totally transform your health.
  • Why so many of us don’t want to be “seen” in a gym.
  • Which character traits Shaun had to develop to become a world-class fitness teacher.
  • How giving of yourself and serving others can help you heal personally.
  • The tragic childhood experience that shaped Shaun’s life early on.
  • How Shaun was able to turn his tragedy to triumph and help others in the process.
  • How we all develop secret superpowers from the struggles we go through.
  • Why it’s critical to love your “old self” while you’re creating your “new self”.
  • Why it’s crucial to move outside of your comfort zone and HOW to actually do it.
  • How changing up your exercise program helps to keep you fitter (and younger).
  • Why having more adventurous friends can boost your growth and success.
  • Why changing your inputs will change your outputs.
  • The profound reason you should do something uncomfortable each day.
  • Why people use busyness as a distraction.
  • Why time will no longer be the reason you can’t have the body and health you want.


Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!


Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert, Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. Now so many of us when we're looking to change our physical health, or our relationships, or our financial health, we're really looking for a transformation. That's the word that comes to mind. I actually love this word personally, and I wanted to share the definition with you guys really quickly. Transformation is to change form, appearance, or structure. It's a metamorphosis. Another one is to change in condition, nature, or character. And I really like this one, and this is the definition from physics. It says to change into another form of energy. How cool is that? Now when I think about transformation, there's a certain person that comes to mind who's absolutely an expert in transformation, and he might be the number one person in the world in helping people to transform, and we have him on the show today. Now before we get into the episode, I want to give a quick shout-out to our show sponsor, Four Sigmatic. Thank them for helping me to get in for this early episode of this very, very special episode where we have a guest in studio. Four Sigmatic supplied my coffee this morning, alright? And I'm just a recent convert- transformation, it's another word for transformation, to coffee because Four Sigmatic has really made it special, made it easy. Are you still drinking regular coffee? Why would you do that? Alright this is a mushroom coffee, and this one had Lion's Mane, which the University of Malaya has found that Lion's Mane is one of the very few substances ever discovered to have neuroprotective effects. So we're talking about literally protecting your brain cells from all of the stressors that we're combatting today. There are very few things that can do that. Also this combination had the coffee, Lion's Mane, and chaga. Now chaga is one of the most studied mushrooms for its anti-cancer effects. Now if you look at the research, you see that chaga has about- when you take chaga, 300% increase in your natural killer cell activity. So these are your immune system weapons. It's like- I just saw, it popped up on my computer and I saw Ninjago on my computer because my six year old was watching it. It's like Ninjago training for your immune cells, alright? Making your immune cells more capable to battling any type of nefarious substance that might be in your system, alright? So how potent is that? This is a huge upgrade from that regular old Folgers in your cup. Alright? So head over, check them out. It's and you're going to get 15% off all their incredible mushroom coffees, mushroom elixirs if you're not into the coffee, and also they have some really cool mushroom blends as well. So 15% off. And on that note, let's get to the iTunes review of the week. ITunes Review: Another five star review titled 'Health food for the brain,' by SRC053. 'The stream of positive informational and inspiring content Shawn provides is second to none. Even though I don't always make the healthiest choices, I am grateful that I have a positive voice in my ear pushing me to do better.' Shawn Stevenson: Wow, thank you so much for leaving me that review over in iTunes. It truly means the world to me, and it's not about being perfect, just like you were talking about, it's just about progress. And I appreciate you sharing some of your story, and I promise to keep the good stuff coming. Everybody, thank you for leaving these reviews over in iTunes. Pop over there and leave me a review if you've yet to do so. It takes like twenty seconds, alright? You can actually pause this and come right back, I'll still be here, I'm on demand for you. But that would mean so much. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and our topic of the day. Our guest today is the one and only Shaun T, and he's an American motivational speaker, fitness trainer, fitness motivator, television personality, and choreographer, and he's best known for his home fitness programs for adults and for kids, which include T25, Insanity, and Hip Hop Abs. And if you don't know about Shaun T, you must be living under a rock somewhere. But again, if you happen to not know him, this is going to blow your mind today, and if you do know him, this is going to blow your mind today because we're diving in and talking about transformation, and talking about his incredible story, and all of the insights that it provides for you. And I'd like to welcome to The Model Health Show, Mr. Shaun T. What's up, man? Shaun T: I'm good, I feel good, thanks for having me here. So excited to be in your energy. I have to say, you know I have been a fan for awhile so I'm holding back my excitement. But I guess I don't need to hold it back anymore because we're together now. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, sir. Shawn and Shaun, yes sir. Shaun T: Thanks for having me. Shawn Stevenson: It's my pleasure, man. I'm very, very grateful that you flew in to hang out with me, we're going to have a great time. And I'd love to- I know there's so much amazing stuff in your story, and I'd love for you to share with everybody. We're going to bounce around a little bit, but when did you fall in love with fitness? Shaun T: Man, I love this question, first of all. So what a lot of people might not know is that I gained fifty pounds in college. We grew up not having a lot of money, so my family was on food stamps, and I mean even to the point where in the middle of the night I would sneak downstairs in my house and ball up some bread and put it in my underwear and sneak back upstairs so I wasn't caught in the kitchen. It's crazy. Shawn Stevenson: That's nuts. Shaun T: But so when I got to college we got this food card, and so the food card- you know I got grants and scholarships, so the food card- I was like, 'This is free food.' And so I happily went to the food court all day long. Shawn Stevenson: Oh yeah. Yes. Shaun T: And you know, I gained fifty pounds and I looked in the mirror one day, and nothing started out with necessarily of how much I gained, it was more of I looked in the mirror and I didn't feel good about myself. I didn't like what I saw. I started working out, actually went and started running on the treadmill, very simple ten minutes a day, because running is what I know because I was a track and field athlete prior to that, and so the moment where I fell in love with fitness is when I lost about six pounds. I said to myself, 'The feeling of this-' obviously fifty pounds heavier, only losing six pounds, you still have a 'long way to go,' but the feeling that I had of success, and the feeling that I had of motivating myself, and knowing that I could actually take on the world with only losing six pounds, I said, 'I want to do this for the rest of my life.' I was like, 'I want to figure out a way to make people feel this way for the rest of my life.' Shawn Stevenson: Yes. Oh man. Shaun T: So that's when I fell in love with fitness. Shawn Stevenson: I love it, I love it. And prior to that, you were actually a track athlete killing the game with that, and I saw that you brought a lot of those gifts into the things you do later. I can see like a nice transition. But I want to talk really quickly before I move on. There was a time when you were going to the gym, going from being like an athlete- like an elite athlete at the level you were at, to kind of tucking yourself away and hiding out because you gained all this weight, and of course there's this embarrassment that comes along with this. I know this intimately, I experienced the same thing. When you first went to the gym, you made a comment in the book about not really wanting anybody to see you. Can we talk a little bit about that? Because I think a lot of people feel the same way. Shaun T: You are so visible when you walk into a gym, but you want to be invisible when you feel- when you don't feel good about yourself. And so most people would say, 'What do you mean? You're twenty years old, you're fine. You're nineteen, you're this young age.' And for me I'm big, I'm loud, but I wanted to be invisible. And I remember going from the treadmill for the first time going to walk through the door of the actual weight room where the weights were and pausing and saying to myself, 'If I'm going to step in this room, I have to own it.' And I was so nervous to actually step into this room because you feel like you're going to be judged. You feel like you don't measure up to anyone, and it was a very vulnerable place to be. And I understand that in a deeper way now because of people who obviously talk to me, and they're afraid to go into the gym, and they're afraid to show who they are. And you know, I even have a tough time going back to that moment now, because it completely- it was the one thing that completely transformed my life when I was able to actually step foot into a place where I was absolutely uncomfortable. And so you really don't want to be seen, but everybody sees you, and the contrast of that is tornado-like because you're going back and forth between being really excited because you want to make a change in your life and your body, but also saying, 'Well can I do this without anybody seeing?' But you can't. Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely. And of course you've helped millions of people, we're talking like over ten million of your fitness DVDs, and of course it's streaming now so we're talking about millions more of people to really help- it doesn't matter where you are to start making those steps. And I love that about you, man. But also that little momentum you started getting, and you made the statement in the book, and I say this all the time; when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And so this is when you had this intersection with somebody named Mandy Kern. Let's talk about the impact that she had on your life. Shaun T: Oh man, this woman still one of my best friends to this day. She was actually just on stage with me a couple weeks ago when I was in New Jersey. So you know, you're in the gym, you're doing all these things, and you're lifting weights, you're running, you feel really good about yourself, and then you see a group exercise class. And so you kind of like see all these girls in here, you know and the step like to music, they're having fun. So I said, 'You know what? Let me roll up in this class one day.' I talked to Mandy, she said, 'Come on in.' So I walk in, and all the girls were- they had like three pound dumbbells and I was like, 'I'm going to get eight. I'm going to get eight pound dumbbells.' You know I was being all macho. Shawn Stevenson: Swag, yeah. Shaun T: Man, minutes into the class my arms are shaking, I'm trying to hold up this weight. She came over and was like, 'Alright let's change this out.' But from that vulnerability and me allowing her to see my vulnerability, and to be my teacher, it was the most incredible thing because she actually taught me how to teach. She taught me how to teach aerobics, how to get in front of a room and help people understand that it's not about one particular person, and more importantly it's not about you as an instructor, it's about helping people. And so we really created an amazing bond where we developed fitness classes in college, we danced- she was the first person that taught me how to do a pirouette in jazz, you know? So she had a major impact in my life and where I am today. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, yeah. I want to dive more into this because you know, so many people- and I know we all do this, but we see the end result, you know? And you leading these amazing like thousands of people in instruction, and reaching millions of people in this group format, but you started from somewhere, you know? Like started from the bottom, you know? And now you're here. Shaun T: Started from the bottom, now I'm here. I was going to say that. Shawn Stevenson: So you know, one of the first times- no the first time, and you detail this in the book, and I want to make sure everybody go out and get this like yesterday, alright? 'Shaun T: T is for Transformation.' It's going to blow your mind, the stories in here. But the first class that you taught by yourself, let's talk about that. In college, you put it out there, you put the flyers up, let's talk about that experience. Shaun T: Man so I have to kind of go back to that. So mind you, in college I go to the parties, I'm in the middle of the dance circle, you know I'm very outgoing. So when I changed my major from Communications to Sport Science, you know one of the things you had to do is teach group exercise. I was like, 'Well you know, I'm not doing Jane Fonda having my leg warmers on.' You know what I'm saying? I was like, 'I'm going to do hip hop aerobics.' So one of my building managers put on a program, The Grind Workout by Eric Nies. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: You know, he was from The Real World and I saw this dance routine and I was like, 'This is dope.' So I was like, 'I'm going to actually teach this routine. Put the flyers out there, get really excited, never having taught a class before. I don't know if- I was not necessarily nervous, I was more excited because I'm just like, 'This is cool.' But when I walked into the gym and ninety people are waiting to take my class, when normally there's only like fifteen people in a room, you kind of freak out. But you know what? Ninety people were there, the building manager came up to me and said, 'You know what? You have to teach two classes back to back.' And in my brain I'm like, 'Okay so I've never taught one class.' But you know, I have this saying now when you're rolling to the carnival anything can happen. And so- actually Refugee said that back in the day. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, yes. Shaun T: And so I go in there, I turn on the music, and it was the most amazing and overwhelming feeling. I felt like I was home. I was like, 'This is where I'm supposed to be.' And it wasn't about me, it was about the music and getting people to feel good, but it was also about the fact that you can literally go into a place and into a space where you can forget about everything that's happening outside; all the stresses of college, all the stresses of life. And so being a group exercise instructor was- that day completely, again changed the course of my life. And also exercise became- I hate to say it like this, but exercise became my drug, you know? It became- it literally going into that group exercise class healed me from a lot because being depressed and stressed about a lot of things that I was transitioning and going through in my life, going into that room and having these people around, and being able to give so much of yourself was incredible. So yeah ninety people showed up, I taught two classes back to back, and then Tina Pinocci is her name, I remember her saying, 'So do you want to get on a group exercise schedule?' And then I said, 'Well I stole Eric Nies' choreography, so now I actually have to learn how to dance. You know, I have to learn how to choreograph.' And so I went out and got Hip Hop Body Shop. I could be dating myself, I went to Sam Goody and got Hip Hop Body Shop with this guy Milo, and I used to take his routines and go into the group exercise studio, and learn it and then I would teach the people that came. But then eventually it came down to me having to push myself to learn choreography, to teach choreography, to be able to break down choreography to keep it new and keep it fresh. And so- yeah it was great. Shawn Stevenson: I love that. Man, and you talk about this in the book, and we'll definitely talk more about this, but like getting out of your comfort zone, and that was the first step. For everybody listening, he didn't just arrive, you know? It was an initial step of getting out of his comfort zone, being uncomfortable, and going to the gym that day and saying, 'Things have to change.' And it led to this- these successive events, and putting you in more discomfort, and more discomfort, and more discomfort, but you found what you love, and you found what your gift is through that process. And what a great story because you went from teaching zero classes to teaching two on the first day, and you really had to step up to stepping to the plate in that opportunity. But also you know, you mentioned that you were going through some things, and you really share this beautifully in the book in a way that's so relatable, and it evokes so much emotion both happy and sad and elated and fearful in the book, and you talked about some of the issues you had growing up. And I'd love if you could kind of dive in and share this with us because a big part of this story was who you called your 'stepmonster.' Alright so let's talk a little bit about that. How could somebody deserve, and rightfully so in the book, a name like that? Shaun T: So I'm going to kind of go to a little bit of a dark place here, but it obviously has a brighter ending. You know when someone tells you they love you? It's an overwhelming feeling. Now if you take that as a kid and you have a parent who shows you off to friends, and they tell everyone, 'I love this person.' And this person wasn't my biological father, but took us in and really said, 'Hey I'm going to let everyone know that this is my son.' And we kind of looked alike so you get really excited about the fact that there is a figure there that loves you beyond. This is a great feeling to have as a kid, but then one night at 2:00 in the morning when you're asleep and you feel someone walk into your room and kneel down next to the bed and start caressing your back end, and then you realize who it is, turmoil immediately ensues. It's shocking, and you don't know what to do. You freeze, you don't know whether to yell, scream, run, kick the wall, punch the person. But from the history of knowing who this person was, and how they manipulated my entire family, the path that I chose at that moment was to sit still, and be quiet, and that to me was becoming the hero. Because if I said something, would I die? Would this person go after my mother again? Would this person go next door to my brother and hurt him? And so it would start with the caressing of my butt, and then I would have to turn over and endure a sexual act from a grown man. And I'm eight years old, and this happened over, and over, and over, and over again- and I know this is a PG show, but I'm being fully transparent. Until the point at which a male knowingly reaches puberty, and we know what happens when that happens, and the minute that I reach puberty it all stopped. But here's the thing that was the toughest part of the journey for me, that particular journey. I said, 'I can endure this. I can take this. I'm doing this for my brother, I'm doing this for my mom, I'm taking one for the team, for my family.' But there was a time when all of that happened at night. It was always I heard the car pull up in the driveway, I heard him walk into the room, and have an argument with my mom downstairs. He would walk upstairs, go into the bathroom, turn on the light with the fan, and then closed that door so everyone thinks he's in the bathroom, and then comes into my room. And so that's how it happened most of the time, but there was a time where I had a- this is a very emotional part for me. But there was a time when I had a science project at school, and I was so excited, and all week I'd been asking to go to Edmund Scientific. It was this amazing scientific store, and I knew that I could get anything there because I was very creative. And so my mom and my brother were out for the day, and it was just me and the stepmonster at home. And it's during the day, so the daytime is safe for me, and I could have interactions with him and know that nothing was going to happen so I felt free to say, 'Hey I'm ready to go to the store, I'm ready to get my science project.' I'm thinking he's actually going to help me with it. But instead he says, 'Well before I take you there, there's something that you have to do.' And so I- the sexual abuse progressed to daytime. And I know some people might say, 'Well nighttime or daytime, it doesn't matter.' But when you have to then lay on top of this person, and when you have to then perform a sexual act on this person, it takes it to a whole other level. And it literally- you thought you were three feet under, you're literally five feet under. You're literally one foot away from wanting to give up on life in general. And this was from someone who says that they love you, and now you have to pay them via sexual act to try and get an A grade in a science class. The amount of emotions that go into that is so unbelievably overwhelming that I literally am surprised I'm here today. But I am, and yeah it was terrible. It was a terrible situation. And not to cut too far ahead, but that's the moment where I started to devise a plan. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: I said, 'I have to get out of this toxic environment,' and telling my mother or telling my brother wasn't the thing to do. It was- at that point it was fight or flight. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: And so I chose flight, but I was very strategic in my planning, and in a very young child's way. It took a couple years, but I was very strategic and I was like, 'I have to get out of this situation.' And I endured a little more of the abuse, but I said, 'I have to go.' And that's why he- that's why the name is stepmonster. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: I actually didn't even want to say his name. I don't even think he deserves to have the name. Shawn Stevenson: Right. I agree, man. It was like gut-wrenching, and these are the things that evoke that emotion of like, 'Will somebody help this baby?' You know? And I think it's still like a great lesson for all of us to be more aware of our environment, and also to be more aware of how we're raising our kids, you know? Because I truly believe hurt people hurt people, and nobody should be in a position where these kinds of things could even happen even in a mental space. You know there's obviously some deep rooted issues on all parts, but you were able- and this is what you said in the book, and this was really profound. You said that the more struggles you've had, the stronger you can be. Right? And your strength is just immaculate, like the things you've accomplished, but you went through something that's horrific. And your plan eventually landed you with your grandparents, so let's talk a little bit about that because they showed up like real saving grace. Shaun T: You know, they say- my grandfather was a pastor, and so I learned my entire life that Jesus Christ is your personal savior, get saved again; and they were my saviors, they really were by letting me- I mean I moved out of that toxic environment when I was fourteen years old, and I said to my grandparents- So I told you that I devised this like immaculate plan, and it was literally me saying to my grandparents, 'You know, you guys are getting older. It would be great to have a young person around the house, wouldn't it? You know, look I can help with chores, I can mow the grass-' I was allergic to grass, they knew I wasn't mowing the grass. Shawn Stevenson: Right. Shaun T: And but you know, my grandparents were so incredible. They knew there was a reason why I wanted to get out. They knew it was something bigger, but they never asked. There was never any pushback. It was like, 'Sure.' And my grandfather, full disclosure, probably wanted me to be a pastor when I grew up anyways, and he never had a son. So for him, he probably was like, 'I can mold this young man into taking over my church.' Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: But I'm like, 'I'm here for it.' But I'll tell you this, the first day that I left home, I actually don't remember the journey to my grandparents' house. It was only a mile away, but that night I laid in bed and I laid down for the first time and feeling at peace for the first time invoked an emotion that you cannot even understand. And I remember crying like I was- I think it was the four years of abuse coming out at that moment, and my grandparents came running into the room and they were like- they thought I was very unhappy that I left home, and I'm like, 'I'm so happy.' I'm like, 'I'm so happy.' And they did, they kneeled down and they prayed, and I fell asleep. And I remember waking up the next day, and that was my rebirth. That's when I was reborn. You know and to my grandfather, he would say being reborn is accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior. And I'm like, I was reborn the day they let me come into the house. And man, the freedom of life is so incredible. And I want to go back to what you said about through struggle comes strength. Everyone out there has a secret backpack on. You, me, full disclosure the guys in this room with us right now, everyone has something that they've been through, but a lot of people ignore the strength that they come with it because they just want to get past it and get over it, and they say, 'I'm past that point in my life.' But there's something great about survival, and everything that you survive, there's something amazing that you learn. So my challenge, even at this moment to anyone out there is what happened to you? What was the struggle that you had? But more importantly, what tool are you pulling out of your secret backpack? What is the superpower that you have from that moment? And for me, I learned how to not become the victim. You know, I learned how- should I have said something? Everyone could say, 'Yes, you should have said something earlier. Or you should have told people, you should have told the counselor at school.' But I didn't make that choice, but by not making that choice, what I built up was an immense amount of power and self-motivation to know that I can get through a lot of things. Now I didn't find it out until later in life after I went through therapy. Trust and believe I had my struggles along the way, and at that moment at my grandparents' house, it wasn't over. But you know, I just want to make a point that every step of the way of any struggle that you have, there's so much power in your life and in your body, I just want people to know to grasp on not only to the negative things that happened to you, but when you get through it there's something amazing that you get from it. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, man and this is what's so remarkable about this book, and about this work, and about what you do because so often we see people and we don't know their story, the things that they've been through and that they've endured. And I think that it's so healing for us- it starts a healing process when we hear other people's story. It encourages us to do the same thing because we've all been through stuff. It might have been a different flavor of traumatic event, but we've all been through stuff. And there's always a gift somewhere, and you made that very clear. One of these gifts was actually helped to develop by your grandfather and seeing the way that he moves in the world, the way that he speaks, and you said that the way that you talk today, and how you kind of engage and inspire others comes from him, right? Shaun T: Oh man. So my grandfather used to- we used to give away bread to people in communities that were even less fortunate than us. And so we would go to the farmer's market- and I talk about this in my book which is a really fun story. But we would give away all this bread, and in the process of giving away bread, my grandfather was like, 'Hey come listen to me speak on the corner of the church.' And so as a kid I was like, 'What is he talking about?' And then we would go in church- I was in church like three times a week including gospel choir. And so my grandfather was there most of the time and I would be rolling up and down the pews like, 'What is he talking about? I just want to go home, I want to go out and play.' Not to realize that thirty years later when I start to speak and bring out my internal power, I remember the first time where I really stepped outside of like the fitness 'get a better body' and into the mental fitness part of things, and I spoke for the first time. And I got off stage and I was like, 'Oh Pop Pop.' You know, I said, 'Oh Pop Pop, thank you.' And yeah I take his- I mean again, I speak a lot about him in terms of biblical stuff, you know? Jesus and being your personal savior and being born again, but I got a lot out of that which is not necessarily the religious and religion part of things. It was more the passion that he had for the belief and the people that he spoke to. And that's why I say to people now, 'I'm your biggest fan. I will ride.' Shawn- I'm talking to Shawn, the host of this show. You might be a lot of people's biggest fans, but I'll rival you for the biggest fan of all human because- no and I say that in a joking way, but I really believe in people. Shawn Stevenson: Yes. Shaun T: No matter- I went to a prison a few years back, and I was walking through the prison, and it was very weird because you're in a prison and it's kind of like someone's showing you around the prison, and I felt like guilty for being in the prison and walking around and looking at these guys. And the person who was escorting me through the prison said, 'No, you don't understand. You motivate them. When your commercial comes on, they do the exercises until the exercises switch on the actual infomercial.' So then I would look in there, and some of the prisoners would look up and they would do the exercises, or they would start doing Hip Hop Abs, or they would dance, or do something. And it sounds really crazy, and some people are like, 'Oh why would you celebrate that?' I'm saying, 'Because they're going through a struggle.' Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: We can't give up on people just of what they've done. And we don't have to- so you don't have to forgive them, but there's always- if you're alive, you need to try and be better. And if I can help someone think better for just a second of a day, then I'm going to do that. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, oh man that's powerful. I love that so much. In the book you also talk about- and this is just to jump forward a little bit again, because there's a process and you talk about how even after people make an improvement, they tend to see their old self in the mirror, and carry some resentment about that. But you say that you need to love that old self. Let's talk about that. Shaun T: Shawn, everybody has- you can form the most amazing relay race with just yourself. And so I'll take it to track and field terms. So I'll start out by saying this; perfection is temporary, change is constant, right? If you take Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time hands down, when he finishes, when he wins that one hundred meter gold medal, guess what? He has to reset and refocus for the 200. And then when he wins that, he has to reset and refocus for the four 100 meter dash. And guess what? Four years later when the Olympics came up again, he had to do it again. It's fine that you won last time, but how are you going to continue to win this time? Or how are you going to prep and go? And so I use a positive example by winning gold medals because you know, a lot of times we talk about the negative thing. But in life, you can create your own relay race. If you go back- people say, I never want to be that person again. Well I'm actually sick of seeing the before and after pictures. I want to know what happened before the before picture. Who's the person who made you get to the before picture? Because that's the strongest person you will ever know because that's the person that actually decided that you needed to make a change. That's the person who endured all the struggle. That's the person who was doing the binge eating, or the stress eating, right? This person is the most amazing person you know. Eight year old Shaunie, as my family calls me, is the most amazing person I know. I still talk to him to this day. He was the first leg of the relay race of my life. So don't give up on your old self. Don't take your old self and say, 'I never want to be that person again,' because you still are that person, you're an enhanced version of that person, and that is your biggest motivator. So you know what? That's leg number one, and they've handed the baton off to the person that decided to make a change, and that person handed the baton off to the person that now has that 'after photo.' But what are going to do when you take the after photo? What is the real reason for taking an after photo? Because it's great to share it with the world, and share that moment in time, but that person has to continue the journey and pass the baton on to the person who's going to help you sustain those results. So the person you are now, and just because you might be at your 'goal weight' is not more important than the person that was forty, fifty, 100 pounds heavier. You're one person, you have one body, you all work together to get where you are, and you build strength along the way. Shawn Stevenson: Oh yeah, man that's remarkable. And I love the making an example with the relay, and thinking about that first leg. And for all of us, you know we can think about those earliest memories and how we helped ourselves to get to where we are. You know, and it really is a helping yourself process, you know? But of course there are people along the way, there's different of relays. Shaun T: Oh yeah. Shawn Stevenson: The medley, you know what I'm saying? Shaun T: Oh you know. Shawn Stevenson: But there's also- yeah there's also that version where you are handing it off to yourself and the different versions of you. And everybody right now, I think it's important to understand you’re still in process, you know? You haven't hit the anchor yet and there's still opportunity to grow and to transform. And thank you, man, for sharing this because you're inspiring us to focus back on that, I think that's a big reason why people are tuning in right now because they know that there's another level. So with that said, you've got some great strategies in the book, the exercises are phenomenal. I didn't know what to expect with that part. You know, the story was great, and the insights, but I was like, 'What actually kind of tangible things can we do?' And they're phenomenal. We're going to talk about some of those and more of this incredible story of transformation with Shaun T. right after this quick break. So sit tight, we'll be right back. Welcome back. We are talking with the one and only Shaun T. about his amazing story and his new book, 'T is for Transformation.' Make sure to go pick it up ASAP. It's something you definitely need to have in your library. And one of the things we touched on earlier, I want to dive more into, is comfort zones, alright? And you talk about how real progress doesn't begin until we move outside of our comfort zone. So first of all, what are some of the comfort zones that people can find themselves in? Shaun T: Food zones, relationship zones, work zones, money zones, life zones. I mean just being very specific in that sense. You know, food zones. People don't want to change the way they eat because of accessibility but they're not flexible to go and maybe change the roadmap to say, 'Maybe there's other food that's accessible on a better journey.' Or relationship zones. You know, some people stay comfortable in a relationship because it's financial. They're purely in a relationship because of the financial- 'I don't have anywhere else to live.' So you'll endure the pain of the relationship that's not good for something that you could actually change that's tangible. Or in terms of work, you know people say, 'Well this job is all I have.' But you can actually continue the job that you have, but also make changes in yourself. Progress in that job so that you can become more marketable somewhere else. Shawn Stevenson: Right. Shaun T: And so also obviously we've heard all heard life begins at the end of your comfort zone. You wouldn't start a journey if you were afraid to be uncomfortable, so take that uncomfortability and put it all aspects of your life. Shawn Stevenson: Love it. You know, in the book these exercises are phenomenal and I did them. There's many- there's a lot of them in the book, and I want to go through a couple of them. So this is Shaun T's Discomfort Development Plan. Because you might hear this, like you need to step outside your comfort zone. 'How?' Right? 'How do I do that, Shaun?' You know? And so you actually give some strategies. So one of the exercises is to put yourself in an uncomfortable position, alright? And this could be like on the fitness side of things. What could people do to do that? Shaun T: So I have many. I'm not sure- I'm going to say one that's in the book. But I say for people who like to lift weights, I talk to a lot of guys because I know guys want bigger biceps, big chest. I literally challenge you to go into a group exercise class where you look at a class that's mostly full of women and you're like, 'Oh please. Like I can do these amount of pushups, I can do that.' I'm telling you right now, you will be challenged and changed within an hour because it's different. And I say that because that's what I did. I was like, 'Oh this is nothing. This is a whole bunch of like girls. They're fit, I admire them, I'm about it, but I'm strong,' and I humbled myself. And I think that's one of the things you can do fitness-wise is to humble yourself. Change the narrative. Change the narrative of your everyday, because if you do, you will open yourself up to so many new opportunities. One switch of the narrative can completely change the course of your life because of a person you meet, a relationship you have, the way you feel as far as fitness goes, the way you feel two days later, something- a muscle that's sore that maybe you didn't even know you had because you tried something new. So change the narrative. It's only going to enhance who you are. Shawn Stevenson: Oh, man. You know there's something really profound, and I know everybody's experienced this, when you actually try something different, you try new exercise or an exercise program, especially something that maybe somebody else put out there for you to do, you sweat faster, you know? Like things start happening at a faster rate, you get out of breath faster, and it's because our nervous system is getting trained doing that same thing. We get caught in that comfort zone over and over and over again, so I encourage you not even just for the physical body change that we notice with the muscles and all that stuff, but your nervous system, right? Getting that new stimuli. And these are one of the things that helps to keep us young longer, you know? That really helps with that whole- this is a huge term now today, this anti-aging process. Keeping your brain younger is changing up your exercise programs, doing something outside of your comfort zone, and it's just going to bring more improvement. And that doesn't mean you have to abandon doing the squats. Shaun T: And what you love. Shawn Stevenson: But just throw this in the mix, you know? It also brings a new flavor of variety and helps one of those needs that we all have, you know? We have a need for certainty, but we also have a need for uncertainty and variety, and you can bring that to your exercise program. And I love that, and you talk about different areas and how we can proactively move into the discomfort. But another one is find more adventurous friends. This is a way to push you outside your comfort zone. Why is that? Shaun T: Man, because see what happens is it's Saturday night- and I'm saying you can love all your friends, I'm totally about it. You should have your Fab Five, you know, your core five people that bring you up. But it's very important to get a different perspective, because most of the time you're with a certain group of people, you think the same way, and you surround yourself with people who are likeminded, and it's great, and it's fun. But find someone who's going to literally take you outside of your comfort zone to a point where you don't want to do it. And I do that to a lot of my friends all the time. Shawn Stevenson: No, no I wouldn't guess that. Shaun T: I remember, so we were on tour in Europe, and we started getting into this thing where we would finish an event, or we would go somewhere and then people would go to a restaurant, and then it was, 'Let's have a bottle of wine.' And that's fine, the club to go out to. Mind you, I wasn't going out to clubs but they were, so they were doing these same things. I said, 'I'm going to change the narrative in the next city.' And so we got to Amsterdam and I did one of those- have you ever heard of like a break room where you have to like- so you and a group of people go into a room and you have to find your way out by doing all these clues. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, yes they have that here too, yeah. Shaun T: And people were like nervous because we had to meet in some random parking garage in the middle of Amsterdam at like 10:00 at night, it's dark, no one knows who it is, and then there's some random guy that says, 'Go find this car,' and then you start this crazy journey. Most of the people were like, 'This is crazy. I don't know if I want to do this.' But it did, and when we finished, we had an amazing conversation of how you literally were able to work together and work with people who you think you would argue with before. And it really changed the dynamic, and a huge dynamic shift for the rest of the tour. We got along well beforehand, but after that, the amazing way to communicate because you switch up something you normally do. And here's the other thing I want to say in terms of relationships. And you're married, I'm married, everyone out there has some sort of relationship. And so when you're in your relationship, and you might be going through a tough time, and at home is where you talk about it, this is the worst thing you can do. You need to go outside and talk about it. Go to the park, go to an amusement park you can talk about it. Change your location. And that's what these friends who are changing up people and changing up friends will do. They will change the location. A different space- a different physical space with a different background and a different look and a different feel and will make you react differently than staying in the same place that you're always in. Shawn Stevenson: Totally, man. And you know because we have these neuroassociations. You know, you're in certain places in your house, there are certain brain patterns are firing, you know these synaptic connections, it's a real thing. I love that. It's such a great tip and that's something that I've utilized but I've never spoken out loud before, you know even changing your environment. That's so fascinating. And you know, there's another- I mean there are so many here, man. And also you have these little cool featurettes in the book that you call the Truth Bombs. Shaun T: Oh yeah. Shawn Stevenson: And one of them is if you want to change your outputs, change your inputs. So let's talk about that one. What does that mean? Shaun T: Sorry to cut you off, that's one of my favorite Truth Bombs. If you want to change your outputs, change your inputs. What are you letting into your mind? What are the things that you're actually digesting in your brain? Forget about the digestive system, what are the things that- what kind of conversations are you letting take place in your circle? How are you perceiving conversations that are happening around you? Are you looking at the positive part of the conversation so that you can actually digest the good from it so that you can maybe respond in a better way? Or are you always feeling like you're being attacked? Are you always getting involved in the gossip? And so that's just in general everyday terms and interacting with people terms. But if you want to change your outputs, change your inputs. For food, if- most people say, 'I can't lose weight.' And I'm like, okay the first thing I ask them is, 'So what are you eating?' 'I eat really healthy.' 'Great, tell me what you're eating.' 'Well you know, sometimes I have-' Shawn Stevenson: Right. Shaun T: And I'm like, 'Okay so this conversation is over, so now you already know what you need to eat, or go listen to my man, Shawn.' But you know, so that's number one. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: If you want to change your output, change your inputs. If something is making you unhappy be it your job, or your relationship, or whatever it is, change the input. What kind of conversation are you having with your boss? What are you actually putting into the job? Because what you put into it is what you're going to get out of this. So it's not always everything that comes to you, it's what you actually do with something that's actually tangible. The thing that all of us have is a choice. We all have a choice in almost everything that we do. And so if you choose to put goodness into this mixture, goodness is going to come out of it. So to change your outputs, change your inputs. Invite good into your life, into your body, into your soul. And here's what I can promise you, good will happen from that. Shawn Stevenson: Man, thank you. And if somebody knows, you know this firsthand experience, and also again, millions of people whose lives you've impacted. And I want to go back and just touch on this, because this is something that I've been talking a lot more about recently because The Model Health Show, we're really about helping people to have health, and prosperity in all areas of life because not one thing makes up your health. The food you eat isn't the only thing that makes up your health. Being a clinical nutritionist, I started off like, 'Food is everything. Food matters, that's it.' And now having this much more global perspective, and seeing of course food matters, but so does your relationships, so does the job that you're doing because if you spend eight hours sleeping, that's a third of your life, you spend eight hours doing everything else, eating, hanging out with your family, there's another eight or ten hour chunk where you're doing work, and that's like another third of your life plus. If you spend that doing something that you hate, we're going to have some physiological biochemical issues because stress is chemistry in your body. And so when you mentioned changing your perspective at work, that's so profound because- and you're saying that good things are going to happen, this is true but most of the time we think, 'When I get this other job, or when I get to this other place, then I'm going to bring my A game.' Do it now. Bring now compassion, understanding, perseverance, creativity to your job now, the job that you're in, and show the universe that you're ready to go to that next level. 'I'm ready, I'm prepared, I'm going to bring my A game, I'm doing it now. Just give me that new thing.' But it's not something that's going to happen in the future, and all of a sudden, 'I'm changed.' You know, it's like start now, start where you are with what you have, and that's going to create the bridge to that new level. Shaun T: Yeah I do want to say just to add to that, I know a lot of people who are unhappy in their job, and they do say, 'I just want to go to the next job.' But here's my thing, if you know it's going to be a little tough to just leave and get to that next job, why don't you work as hard as you can and get a promotion in the job that you have? Literally debunk the theory that, 'My boss doesn't like me.' Make them like you. Do something a little bit different. Don't just sit at the desk, read your emails, send emails, and go home. Walk into the office, 'Is there anything else I can do for you today? Because I'm doing the same thing every day, so you let me know how I can help you.' Just that small bit of communication can change the course of your entire job, and you can get a promotion which makes you more marketable, which then you can say, 'Thanks. I gave all my positive energy, or all the positive energy that I got here, and now I am more marketable somewhere else. Now I can go get that job. Now I can walk into another interview and feel good about the fact that I've worked so hard and created such good energy in a space.' And you know what? That job that you hated before is going to be the job that gives you the recommendation to, 'Please hire this person.' So use what you have to get what you want, but make sure it's good so you can get good from it. Shawn Stevenson: Oh man, you know this is a Truth Bomb. You got Truth Bombs all in this book. There are featurettes, but this is a Truth Bomb because when you were talking just now it reminded me of I didn't just arrive here. You know, same thing, you know? I remember even early on, eighteen, nineteen years old, we'll say in between colleges at the time. Shaun T: Okay. Shawn Stevenson: And I was working at a casino, and this is not a place you want to be especially if you're a kid. It's just- I learned about life. It was like a real life soap opera there. You know with like the relationships, and the cheating. It was like, 'People do this?' Shaun T: It was like a real life Big Brother episode. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah I lived in it, man. You know and I became a part of it. I really learned a lot about human psychology and how people operate. But even then at that job, I was striving to execute, to do the best job possible, to get everybody out of there. And I ended up being the manager of the department, and I'm like eighteen, nineteen years old. And of course I had to deal with the politics of that. You know like, 'Who is this kid telling me what to do?' These people in their thirties, forties, fifties, who I'm now the boss of. It's like how is that even possible? I didn't just show up like this. I was already executing in these other phases of my life, you know and just bringing the attitude of execution and service actually. You know, like I wanted my team to be able to help people the way that we did our job. Because we are interacting with people and we were asking them to get out of the way so we can take the money out the machine, you know but a kindness. You know what I'm saying? And compassion. Which is so weird, I haven't even thought about this in years, but you know it's very, very true guys. So again, there's a saying of like love the one you're with, but just bring that attitude to it now. I promise that if anything, you're going to be happier being where you are, but if your ultimate goal is to be somewhere else, it's going to help to create that pathway. And one other thing- and there are so- again this is just one chapter of exercises here and conversations to have, but I want to talk about this one really quickly, which is to expose yourself to new ideas. This is a really powerful way to get outside of your comfort zone. Shaun T: Yeah. Shawn Stevenson: Let's talk about that real quick. Shaun T: Well first I do want to say, which I don't think I said earlier, that getting uncomfortable is superpower number one because the minute you actually start any journey, you're putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation because you want to achieve something that you don't have. And the only way to achieve something that you don't have is to get uncomfortable. And so my challenge and question to you is how uncomfortable do you want to get? Because the risk has to match the reward. And so if you want to achieve great things that you're passionate about, and that makes you thrive, then the road to that type of success is going to be extremely uncomfortable every single day. And I'm saying uncomfortable- uncomfortability for me is fun. Shawn Stevenson: Yes. Shaun T: You know, I'll use this example which might not be the best example, but confrontation. See a lot of people are afraid of confrontation. You know, I talk a lot about relationships because I think in a person's relationships kind of drive a lot of our existence throughout the day whether it's work or whatever. But I love confrontation because I can change confrontation into an amazing, positive thing. Some people get sweaty palms when they have to approach somebody. My thing is I know at the end of this conversation, because I'm going to bring positivity to this conversation, that not only are we going to have a better relationship, but the things that we can do together will create greatness. And so- and I do want to say, I'm not perfect in any way, shape, or form. And when you read the book, you'll know that I've made some mistakes, and even today I still make mistakes, but I invite the mistakes, and I invite the turmoil because life is a journey, not a destination. There are no mistakes, just chances we've taken. And India Arie says that, 'Lay down your regrets because all you have is now.' So what are you actually going to do right now? And I'll answer that for you; get as uncomfortable as possible. Do something uncomfortable every single day of your life. When you do that, it will be almost like reading a book, or taking a class, or a college course because not only are you learning about something amazing, but you're learning something that you'll be able to utilize in other conversations and take in all different areas of your life. Not just, 'I'm better at math,' which math is great, or 'I'm better at science,' but if you actually do something new and different and uncomfortable every single day, you're going to actually help someone else who might be struggling with the same thing. So invite the turmoil, just mix it with some good, and that uncomfortable feeling is going to turn out to be the most amazing thing you've done. Shawn Stevenson: Oh wow. You know, this is something else that- and I know that you've found a way to invite it in, and in a strange way kind of fall in love with the discomfort, you know? And if we can start to even change our perspective like that, that it doesn't have to be like world shattering, that kind of thing, but to find a way to embrace it, and to love it, you start to not necessarily realize that you're doing this anymore. Because again, it's something I do on a daily basis. I'm very motivated by growth, and with that growth comes- you know, like I'm going to have to get outside my comfort zone. And on a daily basis, just finding little opportunities to do that. So, so fascinating. Now let's talk about time, alright? This is one of the big things people use as their reason, we'll call it a reason, for not being able to execute on their fitness, or invest in their relationships, or whatever the case might be. But a lot of people build all kinds of busyness, and this is what you say in the book, a lot of people build all kinds of busyness into their lives as a way of crowding out difficult questions. Alright? So we create all this busyness in our lives so we're not asking these difficult questions. Let's talk about what that means. Shaun T: Okay. Shawn Stevenson: And then we'll go from there. Shaun T: Well I first want to say to that, it's not the thing, it's the thing. Right? It's not the thing, it's the thing. And what we do as humans is we sometimes run away from the conversation. You know, it's the elephant in the room. You know, we fill our day with so many things. Imagine you're unhappy at home. You're going to schedule lunches, you're going to do extra work outside the gym, you're going to have to stay late at work. You're going to crowd your life with something up so you don't have to address the issue. And so that's why I say it's not the thing, it's the thing. Most of the time when you are going through something in your life, I'm not mad because you didn't put down the toilet seat. That's not why I'm mad. I'm mad because we haven't been intimate, you know? That's why I'm mad. And we haven' talked about that, and we haven't talked about the fact that our sexual interests are changing. So let's talk about that, because it could actually be really fun if we allow ourselves to explore something else. So stop crowding your life with things that don't matter, and Styrofoam filler, because I hate when a box comes with a lot of Styrofoam. I'm like, 'Why didn't you just put it with a smaller box? You know, this is a lot of extra. You know, it's hurting the environment.' So let's stop filling our lives and crowding our lives with things that don't matter, and let's actually talk about what's really going on. Because as soon as you get to the problem, the sooner you can have fun. And I know it's a PG show, but I say that in terms of like with your spouse. Like we haven't had sex in four weeks, why? Like don't get mad and act out, let's talk about why we haven't done that. And so I'm telling you, you have this conversation and you open your life up to it, you won't be crowding your life with just things. You didn't really want to go to the grocery store, you wanted to have sex with your spouse, you know what I'm saying? So start talking about the thing. It's not the thing, it's the thing. So stop crowding your space and your life with things that don't matter, and once you start to- the more you talk about the things that do matter, and you crowd your life with things that do matter, oh my goodness. Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: Then you can really understand and believe that you matter. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, and again you do such an amazing job, I mean I was just really blown away, at helping people to dissect and give exercises. Because they're just like, 'This sounds amazing. How do I do that for myself?' So again, that's in the book. Each chapter has these really great exercises, and just questions to ask yourself. And when you talked about this, about crowding out difficult questions, you give those questions that we need to ask ourselves to start opening up our perspective and questions really are the answers at the end of the day. And thank you for sharing that in the book. Now last thing. So with this idea of time, you know people give it as their number one excuse for not working out, and you've just like blown that out of the water, alright? So how do you do that? I know how you do it, I know there's a lot of people listening, but there are some people who have yet to know this. How do you erase that as being that excuse? Shaun T: Time? Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Shaun T: Well first I'll say excuses are tools of incompetence that build monuments into nothingness, and those who specialize in it seldom accomplish anything else. Shawn Stevenson: Oh man. Shaun T: So the more- and listen people, I'm looking into the camera now just in case people are watching. It's fine, we all make excuses because we don't want to give ourselves the time, and that's what it comes down to. You don't want to give yourself the time and you have to ask why don't you give yourself the time? What is the thing that's blocking you from giving yourself the time? I believe that time doesn't really exist. It only exists on a clock. It's what you put into it. So time is really the energy you put into something. A deadline is a deadline, I get it, but procrastination is a barrier. So give yourself time and stop making up excuses not to have time. Shawn Stevenson: Yes, simple. Powerful. And also the way that you've structured your programs- and FYI, I used to make fun of it a little bit. Shaun T: Which one? Shawn Stevenson: You know when people would be like- and I actually met somebody who was in one of the commercials, and he was a patient that I used to work with, and he got in incredible shape and he became like- this is one of the first times I saw an evangelist for you. And I'm just telling people like it's really about getting outside your discomfort, but you don't have to do these insane workouts, so I was like poking fun. But I knew that the deeper thing is it's not the workout, it's you, man. It's your compassion, it's the motivation that you carry, and it's something different. It's like a deeper- I did a show recently called The Science of Motivation, and how we can transition that motivation into inspiration because motivation is external. This is internal. And you help people to really bridge that and they become their own source of inspiration. They're really inspired to keep pushing forward, and that's really what it is. And of course the gift in creating these programs, making them fun, making them engaging, and you've done that on different levels. You know whether it's the Insanity program, or the T25. Right? So it's like even more condensed, and that's one of the ways we can get around that time excuse. Let's talk about that real quick, the T25 and why that's a good place of entry if people are saying they don't have time. Shaun T: Yeah so you hear me say the number one reason people have for not working out is they don't have time, and I say you just didn't give yourself time. And the second thing is you are- a lot of time what we do is we work out because people told us this is how long we have to work out. But what does your body need? And so I developed T25 because thirty minutes- okay everyone knows you've got to work out thirty minutes a day, so psychologically I'm saying, 'I'm going to only give you 25 minutes. But let me tell you something, in that 25 minutes we're going to progress the exercise so you can feel successful, but you're also not getting any breaks.' And so think about what half of 25 is. It's twelve and a half. You get through twelve and a half minutes and you're like, 'I can do anything for twelve and a half minutes.' Great, now do it again. And so that's why I developed T25. It was more condensed, and the motivation- it's less crazy and less out of control, but it's more contained in a sense of I'm right there with you, this is your time for the day, this is your time to be selfish, which is another superpower in the book, being the good kind of selfish which is giving yourself time, because you are the nucleus of your existence. Your family, your kids, everyone are the planets around you being the sun of your solar system. So if you give yourself 25 minutes a day, let me tell you something, that 25 minutes with no breaks, if you're working hard and believe in yourself along the way, will turn out to be a great thing. And I did want to say- I wanted to say thank you because you said it's not the workout, it's me. And that's because of what me and Mandy learned at young ages, is the workout is not about me. It's not about me. Clearly if I'm on the DVD, I know how to do a pushup. I can do a power jump really high. It's about you, and it's about giving, and it's about my grandfather instilling that power in me and saying, 'How do you want to-' for him it was the churchgoers. For me it's the exercise-goers, the people that want to work out at home. I want you to be successful. I do want to tell this story. With Insanity, it was such an amazing program for me. I feel like it was the one program that put me on the map in fitness because prior to that I was just the dance guy. Carl Daikeler, who's the CEO of BeachBody, called me just the dance guy, and so I created Insanity. He was like, 'Oh he's a fitness guy.' But I wanted to say this. When no one knows- and I've never talked about this. I talk about it in the book, but no one knows I never talked about it publicly. When I was going through Insanity, and creating Insanity, and shooting Insanity, my grandmother was dying. And so we did the test group. In the first thirty days of the test group, we shot the first month of the workout, and it was fine. And my grandmother had just had her ninetieth birthday, and I'm so excited. And she starts to decline, and so between the first shooting and the second shooting, I have my last- me and my grandmother and my grandfather used to love ice cream and used to eat ice cream together. I was lactose intolerant but it was with my grandmother, so I was doing it, you know? It was our thing. We went to the mall and we were walking through the mall, and my grandmother is one of the most powerful people that I know. She was my favorite person, and obviously my grandfather. And we were walking through the mall, we only get like 200 feet, and she has to stop and take a break. And I start to break down because I see this person breaking down. Now mind you, I'm in the middle of shooting one of my biggest accomplishments, and so you know we have our last thing of ice cream, and I had to go away on the trip to Spain. My mother calls me and says, 'I think you need to come home. My mom's not doing well.' We get home- or I get home, my grandmother hadn't opened her eyes in a couple days. And my brother was the one that was washing her and cleaning her up every day, and so I'm in the room and I'm there, and I'm like, 'Please.' I don't know if this was like a selfish thing, or just a last minute I needed to connect with her and let her know that I'm here and that, 'I love you so much.' And my brother was cleaning her, he said, 'Mom-Mom, Shaun's here. Like can you open your eyes?' And she opened her eyes one last time, and she looked at me and kind of smiled and waved. And I'll tell you, man, talk about defining moments in your life and where dig deeper really comes from. And so a few days later she passed away, and a few days after that we had her funeral, and a few days later I had to go finish shooting Insanity. And so when people see me in Insanity in month one and month two, the entire program, and they say, 'I don't care about the exercise.' I don't care if you do what I do. There are points in Insanity when I'm saying you're right there. Like I know you want to give up, and I know you want to take a break, and it's okay but you're right there. And I was carrying this emotion with me through Insanity, and I know that's why my grandmother the power to really push through and to motivate people and say, 'Continue to lead with the message that your grandfather instilled in us, our entire family.' And she gave me that, and it just felt really good to get that out because I've never talked about that before. Shawn Stevenson: Man, just thank you so much for sharing it because wow. I mean it's not an accident, the way that you impact people's lives, and your story is just profound. And again, it's all encapsulated in the book, so many pieces of it. But there's so much more, and I want everybody to make sure that they connect with you online, follow you on social, and make sure to pick up the book. Can you please let everybody know where they can find 'T is for Transformation'? Shaun T: So you can find 'T is for Transformation' at And I know your guy spells it Shawn, I'm And then you can find me online on social media which is just @ShaunT. And another thing I wanted to say, which I don't know if we have more to talk about, but I'm going into the next chapter of my life, and we are having twins. We found out we're pregnant and we're so excited- well we're kind of far along now. I found out on my birthday, which is the most amazing and incredible thing of this year. We had to keep it a secret for so long. And so I'm going to be going through my own transformation. Shawn Stevenson: Yes. Shaun T: So becoming a father is an amazing thing, and I even said to Scott, I said, 'You know I think I'm going to have to like read my book again as a client as we go through this transition and transformation as parents,' so I'm excited about that too. Shawn Stevenson: I love it man, thank you for sharing that, and thank you for sharing your gift and your story. I mean I was just blown away, I was riveted. I told you I sat down, I read 100 pages in one sitting just the first time I sat down. Your story is remarkable, but also you kept referring it back to even through your personal story back to us, and what we can take from it, and what we can do to improve our lives, and to have our own transformation, and just thank you so much for being who you are, man. Shaun T: Thanks, I appreciate you having me. Shawn Stevenson: It's my pleasure. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. Wow, I hope you got a lot of value out of this, and this was a big inspiration for you to get to your next level of transformation. You know, Shaun is somebody who has helped to really create a culture of I think physical literacy in our planet today, and teaching us how to use our own bodies to become more fit. We have no excuses. And also providing that motivation until it becomes a part of us, until it gets its hooks in us and we become inspired ourselves to keep pushing forward. And that is beautifully encapsulated in the book, so again make sure to check it out, 'T is for Transformation.' It's available right now. And guys I'm telling you right now, we've got some amazing, amazing stuff coming up, but this is what it's really about. It's that internal game, it's working on our mental muscles so that we can transform our physical muscles as well, and there's nobody better on the planet than Shaun T to help you do that. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon. And for more after the show, make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode, and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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  1. Pingback: TMHS 300: 300th Episode Celebration! My Top 10 Favorite Moments - My podcast website
  2. Thank you so much for this podcast
    It’s what i needed at this point of my life!!! Double dose of saun(Shaun) was just what the doctor recommended! Your talk answered my prayers. God works in mysterious ways. Thank You
    Keep up the good work


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