Listen to my latest podcast episode:

TMHS 741: Beat Negativity & Achieve Your Goals Faster with the Mind-Blowing Science of Gratitude

TMHS 304: Maximizing Fitness to Stand Out in Hollywood & the Baseline of Happiness with Tom Hopper

In my experience, when you transform your life and achieve a greater level of fitness, many people assume it’s due to a strict (and unrealistic) regimen. They imagine hours upon hours logged at the gym, and tiny portions of boring, bland meals on repeat.

But anyone who’s maintained a healthy lifestyle long-term knows that there’s a better and more sustainable way. Making healthy choices isn’t about torture—it’s about focusing on the things that you enjoy, and creating a lifestyle that works for you.

Today’s episode is about finding that balance for yourself, not only physically, but in all aspects of your life. My guest is Tom Hopper, an incredible actor, husband, father, and fitness advocate. His story will inspire you to cultivate your confidence, shift your perception, and create a sustainable baseline of health and happiness for yourself.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The two main ways you can spark a change in your thinking.
  • How Tom used fitness to set himself apart from other actors in the industry.
  • The shocking link between testosterone and gluconeogenesis.
  • Which approach to eating Tom uses to feel his very best.
  • The training regimen and insights that keeps Tom fit.
  • How stem cell therapy healed Tom’s herniated disk.
  • Why your ego has no place in the gym (and how to understand your limits).
  • The resources that Tom used to learn more about longevity and performance.
  • What it means to find your baseline in health and fitness.
  • Why sustainability plays a big role in maintaining a healthy diet.
  • How Tom balances his career and family despite being away from home.
  • The importance of approaching marriage as a unified team.
  • What it means to find peace in being uncomfortable.
  • The important message that I Feel Pretty addresses.
  • How you can uncover a level of confidence from training.
  • The one diet change that had the biggest effect on Tom’s health.



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.

Listen, I'm a huge fan and advocate of attending live events. I think it's one of the best ways that we create transformation in our lives, you know? Having complete immersion.

Podcasts are amazing, audiobooks, YouTube. We've got social media now and we can just get a ton of inspiration just scrolling down our newsfeed.

But the reality is we need to get out and take action. We need to get out of our little comfort zone, it's a little comfy, comfy. Get ourselves in the environment to really help to transform our thinking, you know?

I truly believe that there's a couple ways that we can change what's happening with- I'm talking like what's happening with your neurons, synaptic connections in your brain.

Certain pathways firing for automated behavior, right? Because if we're going to make a change, we want it to be on automatic. You could do that through habit, right? Through continuously doing something. But you can also do it through an emotionally charged event.

This is why a lot of people experience, when something really negative happens, it kind of sticks with them for a while. The same thing with something really positive and beautiful, it sticks with you in that memory bank, and it's something you can easily recall.

And so this is- I can directly trace back some of the biggest things and the most amazing successes in my life to attending live events. And The Model Health Show, I could say with pretty good confidence that this wouldn't exist had I not attended certain live events early in my career.

The same thing with my book, 'Sleep Smarter,' international bestseller. Oh my goodness! And that was- it really came about by attending two different live events that really led to that idea and then the execution of that idea.

And so I'm saying all this to say that my wife, I just dropped her off at the airport, kind of gave her the hug and kiss goodbye, and sent her out for her own first solo live event.

She's been to so many with me, and also of course I've been to many, many without her, and speaking at a lot of events around the world, but she did this for herself and she was a little reluctant at first for sure, but this is something she wanted to do, she took action on it, and she came back with so many valuable gifts and insights for all of us, you know?

As far as The Model Health Show community, and also with our relationship, and it's just such a great experience. But when she was gone, I had the single dad life. Let me tell you, I don't like it.

I'm just being real, I don't like it. I was very grateful when she came back. I've just been loving on her so much, I truly appreciate her.

And before I met her, I had my two older kids when I was in college, and I had this experience of having my older son Jordan, who's now seventeen, but he was a little guy, you know? And my daughter.

And so one bedroom college apartment, sometimes when they were over, they had to sleep with me, you know? Until I just couldn't take it, man.

So I just like made them a pallet, got an air mattress, I had to get them away from me, alright?

So I've had this in my psyche, and my little son Brayden who's six years old, mom's out of town, he's like, "Dad, can I sleep with you?"

And he's asked me before, he's been sleeping through the night, and I've shared this. And by the way, we'll put this in the show notes, sleep tips for parents.

He's been sleeping through the night since he was about eight weeks old - six to eight weeks old - for the majority. I'm talking about like 99% of the nights, and it has been an amazing experience.

But I came into it knowing what to do, by the way, and every kid is unique, every situation is unique, but I just want people to have that in their awareness that it's possible for our kids to sleep. Alright?

And so he hasn't really slept in the bed with me since he was a little baby, and so I said, "You know what, bud? Okay."

Let me tell you guys, I have a big king size bed. Everything was looking good, we brushed our teeth together, got in the bed, laying down, getting a little comfy.

He reached his hand out, he was holding my hand, it was the cutest thing, and we both went to sleep.

It had to be maybe thirty minutes later, I feel a rib shot, right? Just like my gonads, like everything got hit and assaulted when he hit this certain spot in my side with his feet. Like both of them.

And he's asleep, and I'm just like, "Oh my God, here we go." Big king size bed, so I just move over, and I'm like on the edge now. I push him over a little bit, I'm like, "Okay, cool. I'm just going to stay here, everything is going to be okay."

It was not okay, alright? It was the middle of the night, probably 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning this time. I'm straight, he hits me with the letter T, alright? He's perpendicular, alright?

Got his feet in my back again, and I'm just like- I'm upset now. I'm thinking about carrying him, putting him in his bed, I'm just debating.

But what I do, is I pick him up, and I just move him to the other side of the bed. And so when I lifted him up, he's like, "Whoa, whoa!" Because I guess he thought he was falling.

And so I laid him down on the other side, he had his space, I had my space, everything worked out. One other thing was this kid is like a furnace, alright?

His metabolism I guess, I don't know, but it was like a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven, I don't know if you guys know this, but this is when you fart under the covers, and then somebody sticks their head- it's terrible. It was not a good analogy, but it was hot. Alright?

And I've never been that hot sleeping since in my childhood, alright? And so even creating a little space, I got to cool off a little bit, and everything was okay.

We woke up the next morning- you know, I get up a little bit earlier anyways, so I was reading, doing some meditation, and he came in. I was like, "How did you sleep, buddy?"

He was like, "Not good." I'm like, "Really? Not good for you?" But you know, for him too, having that interruption. But it was a great experience still, now we can chalk that up, we checked that box, he is not asking me to sleep with me again. Alright?

So adventures in parenthood, you know? And this guy we have on the episode today, my special guest, knows a thing or two about parenthood, being a dad, and having a lot of stuff going on.

And today more than ever, we need to have integration of these things, you know? We need to have a strategy, you know?

Especially if it's a passion of yours to have a good relationship with your kids, with your wife, and also be successful in your career.

And same thing for the ladies out there as well, we have to find spots of integration, and making things work for our individual situation.

And this is why I really strive to bring people who are doing amazing things in the world, and also having an experience of how do you blend this stuff together in a way that works for you?

And so we're going to get into that, but first, all this talk about these events, and attending live events, I don't want you to miss this. Alright? San Francisco is coming up in just a few days, the Take Control Conference with Eric Thomas, the number one speaker in the world.

The rest of the team; CJ, who's been on the show as well, I'm going to be there speaking about taking control of your health and fitness, come and see us. Alright? You've only got a few more days to get your ticket.

It might even be sold out right now, but head over right now, Alright?

Use the promo code 'HEALTH' and you get 10% off your ticket. Immersion, I already shared what it's done for me, getting out and attending live events.

If you need that catalyst, you need that charge in your life, don't make excuses. Don't make excuses, just take action, get your ticket, and come and see us. Alright?

Now one last thing. On the road, I always make sure to bring my preferred nutrition along with me. Just some things to kind of fill some nutritional gaps and make sure that I'm good to go.

And a big place, one of the resources that I use, is Thrive Market. The same items that you might buy at a place like Whole Foods, or like a mom and pop's health food store, I get these items 25% to 50% off the retail price.

Did you- half off! Why would you spend more money? Go to Thrive Market, altogether as one word, and on your first purchase not only do you get 25% to 50% off coconut oil, bars for the kids, Paleo granola.

If you're looking for gluten-free, they've got a whole array of gluten-free products, a whole array of vegan, Paleo, Keto, whatever it is you're looking for, they've got it all archived from the very best sources,, you get an additional 25% off your first purchase, alright?

Take advantage, it's amazing, absolutely amazing. Plus you get free shipping, and a thirty-day free membership to Thrive Market, alright? This is the club you want to be a part of, alright?

So head over, check them out,, saves you some money. Alright? And on that note, let's get to the iTunes review of the week.

ITunes Review: Another five-star review titled, 'Love This,' by NurseKate22.

"I learn something new in all of your podcasts. I love the holistic side of medicine that you bring to the world by educating us on nutrition and current findings.

I'm actually a nurse, and while there are some things that absolutely require medicine, there are other things that maybe we need to dig into a little deeper that would help us be healthier and happier. Thank you."

Shawn Stevenson: Perfect. Wow, thank you so much for that insight, sharing a little bit of your story, and wow just thank you so much. Thank you for what you do, and how you're adding value and supporting others in their health.

Everybody, thank you for hopping over to Apple Podcasts and leaving these reviews. If you've yet to do so, please do so. Alright? Head over, leave me a review.

And on that note, let's get to our special guest and our topic of the day.

Our guest today is Tom Hopper, and he's graced the covers of Men's Health Magazine, Muscle and Fitness, many others, but he's best known for his roles in films, and TV such as Merlin, Black Sails, Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones.

And most recently, I just saw- I watched it, and it's an incredible movie, oh my goodness. We'll talk a little bit about it today, but a new movie with Amy Schumer just came out, you can get it on digital, and it's called I Feel Pretty.

And he's also set to star in an upcoming Netflix original series, The Umbrella Academy. Man, listen I've just been digging around into this, I'm pumped for this one.

Outside of his acting career, Tom has become devoted to maintaining a happy life by prioritizing health for himself and his young family, and I'd like to welcome to The Model Health Show, my man, Top Hopper. What's going on today, man?

Tom Hopper: How are you doing, Shawn? I'm so pleased to be on the show, man. Honestly, I've been a fan for a long time.

Shawn Stevenson: Oh I love it, man. You know we're rocking the same thing today, I don't know if you noticed that. We're so in the flow.

Tom Hopper: Oh yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Got the black going. Speaking of which-

Tom Hopper: Yeah, I like it.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, some of the things that you've already accomplished, man. Black Sails, Game of Thrones, it's just really, really amazing and I'm so happy for you.

And your new show coming out here, where you've got the leading part, and man, super pumped for you. But I'd love to talk about your superhero origin story, man.

What got you interested- first of all, let's talk acting. What got you interested in acting in the first place?

Tom Hopper: Well acting is a funny one because I sort of fell into it at school I guess, because I was doing a lot of sport and stuff at school. I was into my football, or soccer as you guys would call it over there, and playing rugby, and every sport under the sun I was trying to play.

And I think- I remember doing- there was a bunch of subjects, because I wasn't an academic at school. I wasn't really into like doing the math, and that sort of thing.

And I saw a lot of things that academically I sort of learned post-school, to be honest. Everything I did in school was much more physical as opposed.

And yeah, I had this choice of subjects that I could do, and one that came up was drama, like drama class. I thought, "That looks like a [Inaudible 00:12:10]. I could do that." Right?

So I got involved in that, and I started doing this acting stuff, and kind of got this bug for it and went up to like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and did a play up there.

And I just- I found that the same kind of joy I got out of performing on the sports field, I got that same kind of buzz on the stage performing in front of people, or making them laugh, or whatever it was.

So yeah, I started to just really get into it, and went to drama school, and did the usual thing. You go to drama school in the UK, and you get yourself an agent, and you hopefully get jobs at the end of it.

It's a tough life though, man, you know? To start with, there's a lot of working in bars, there's a lot of doing every job you can under the sun before you get your break.

And you know, fortunately I've been very lucky to have gotten roles that are right for me, and I've managed to do what I needed to do in the room on the day to get the roles.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, man such a great story. Thank you for bringing that up of persevering, working in the bars, doing what you have to do along the way. You know, a lot of people that can resonate with that, man.

Tom Hopper: Oh yeah, I think you've got to do that to be really grateful for the kind of work that I've been fortunate enough to do.

Every time that I have a day on set where it's really grueling, because we work long hours, and it's physical.

And anytime that I hear other people moaning or saying, "Oh we've got to do this, we've got to get up this early in the morning," whatever it is, I always think back to the times that I was working in Covent Garden in London on some street handing out fliers at minus six degrees in London, you know? And it's just horrendous.

And I was thinking- you know, "I just want to make it as an actor." So when I'm doing the job I love, I find no reason to moan at all.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, wow it's that reference point, you know? And I think especially as we go- as we evolve, and we start to build our life, and then negative things happen, it kind of brings us back and changes our perspective.

And I think we need that contrast, you know? From time to time to really appreciate how great life can be, you know?

Tom Hopper: Absolutely.

Shawn Stevenson: And so you just coming through that process is really incredible. So what about the fitness part? Is it something you just kind of carried with you from athletics?

Because listen man, one of the fittest guys in the industry, and that's like no small feat. You know? There's a lot of people that are trying to put in the work. So where did this really come into play?

Tom Hopper: It's been a long journey, man. The thing is when I was doing stuff at school or my early twenties, it was all to score a goal or whatever it was, get your ball over the line, whatever it was, it was to do with just playing the sport.

And I think to cut a long story short, and just to build up to it, it ended up becoming about health, it ended up becoming about longevity.

So when I got into- the big thing that actually was a big turning point for me was I felt in acting I've got to stand out from the crowd. I've got to do something that makes me different from everyone else.

And I noticed that in the UK, there wasn't that many UK actors that were muscular, that looked like athletes or whatever.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.

Tom Hopper: So actually when I was playing sports and stuff, I was actually quite gangly, I was quite lanky, and didn't really have the muscle definition or the size or whatever.

So I decided to start hitting the gym hard, and that was the main goal to begin with, was just to get bigger, just to stand out, whatever it was, just when I walk in that room, I have a physical presence so people go, "Oh yeah, this guy could play that role." And I think that's so important in the industry.

So then when I started getting roles that required that, the first one was actually Merlin, that you mentioned earlier, I got a role where I was sort of playing the big, quiet, giant guy at the back. Didn't really say much but it was enough to get me a credit, to get me on the ladder, you know?

Shawn Stevenson: Right.

Tom Hopper: And then after that, I did three years on that show, and then I got Black Sails, and we got put on an incredibly rigorous training regime for that thing, and a really intense diet, which looking back on now in terms of health, I would not necessarily recommend the diet or the intensity of the training regime.

But it served a purpose to get us looking the way that we did. So when I was doing that, I became obsessed with it. I have a slightly obsessive personality anyway, but I became obsessed with becoming as lean as I could be, maintaining the most amount of muscle mass, whatever it was, I just wanted to achieve that for the show.

We all did. We were all in it together, you know? All the guys in that show. And after that, with that obsession came the obsession into the diet, and why I was doing it, and what did what.

So as I started to learn more about it, I started to realize that there was certain choices that I was making that weren't necessarily that healthy.

And my wife actually, Laura, was the one that was saying, "Is all this that healthy for you? It's quite intense." And with the training regime, I realized that my sex drive had dropped. Certain weird things like that, and the high intensity workouts that I was doing every single day, and I was on an incredibly low carb diet.

Like we were on virtually no carbs and virtually no fats, high protein, but we just became quite skinny and gaunt. No sugar at all, no refined sugar, no sugar from fruit, no carbs, nothing. And I became really quite skinny, and I felt weak all the time.

So that's when it came into my head that I wanted to start looking to the health side of things, and just from listening to podcasts like yourself, and watching people like Mark Sisson, Tim Ferriss, these kinds of guys, just listening people.

That's what I love about the Internet now, is you mentioned it before about social media. There are so many people out there that have this wealth of knowledge that you can just go on and get the best information in the world, right?

Shawn Stevenson: Easy.

Tom Hopper: It's just the best. So I started doing that and became really educated from just listening to the experts, and started making my own choices.

And you know, one thing led to another and it became a thing where I decided that I wasn't going to eat things that were going to harm my longevity, harm my health, harm my performance, all these things.

So I tried to find what was best for me, so I ended up doing various different diets, so to speak. I don't like to call them diets because I feel like a diet is a term that means it's only for a certain amount of time.

So certain lifestyle changes, I suppose. So I did Paleo, I did Keto, I did all these different diets that are out there, and all of them worked to a certain degree, but I found that the ones that worked best for me was when I just had a moderation of everything that was of the Earth, I call it.

So anything like that you can get from the ground, from a tree, and not processed, and organic I found was the best way for me.

And interestingly, it had a massive effect on things like cardiovascular health. I found out my cardio- I'm not the kind of guy who just goes and runs on a treadmill. I don't do that. I like to do much more functional stuff.

But if I needed to, like if I go and run now for a long distance, I don't practice long distance cardio, but because of my overall health that's been improved over the last five years, of not eating any processed food, not eating refined sugar, I've found that my overall health has just gone up by like 30% or 40%.

And from that, I just- for me, there was no other way to live my life. And that's the way I- I remember Drew was talking about it on your most recent podcast saying about being an example as opposed to actually trying to tell people, "You should do this, you should do that."

Shawn Stevenson: Right.

Tom Hopper: Be an example and just doing it yourself and people can see that if you're healthy, they maybe want a piece of that. So I always try to just be an example to other people now that I've been there.

I used to eat like so much junk, man. Like all the time.

Shawn Stevenson: Like what?

Tom Hopper: I'd eat Krispy Kreme donuts.

Shawn Stevenson: Krispy Kremes?

Tom Hopper: You name it. Oh, you name it, dude. Everything. And so the reason I can say it, and I can say now this side is better, and so much better, is because I've been there, and I've eaten all that stuff. I've been very unhealthy.

I even used to smoke at times, and this is like a different me now.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.

Tom Hopper: This is way in the past. And in a way, I'm happy that I did that because it was strong enough in the opposite direction for me to make a massive change and go, "I want to be like this now."

Shawn Stevenson: Right. Now the question is have you ever had a smoke and a Krispy Kreme at the same time? I think there's a term for that, man.

Tom Hopper: From the 7-Eleven, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. So man, that's so powerful, and just that evolution. And thank you so much for sharing that because you're bringing us some really valid points about there are so many different approaches, and you have to find the one that works best for you, you know?

And you talking about doing the extremely low carb thing, folks can do that, but you coupled that with- with you guys doing this training, all of that intense kind of glycolytic work where it's very kind of glycolytic and sugar dependent, glucose dependent, and your body is going to have to try to really break stuff down.

Here's what happens, man. Cortisol goes up because of all of that stress, and you don't have carbs to really modulate and to send for those actions, and so- because cortisol is going to break down your protein, your muscle - gluconeogenesis - and use it for fuel.

And also a lot of folks don't realize that that's one of the things that can drop testosterone because- and this is something that we're getting more research.

Low carb keto diets are awesome. Awesome for certain people at certain times, and also for a majority of people if they're not doing really glycolytic work like that on a really consistent basis. You know?

So just keep that in mind, it's really finding the right flavor that fits for you. And man, that's such a good story.

And now you being an example, people are asking you, you know? People want to know what is Tom doing? So let's talk training now, because obviously again, one of the fittest guys out there in the business, what does your training look like through the week?

Tom Hopper: To be honest, I try and vary it up as much as possible. I hate getting bored in the gym. You know, it's one of the worst feelings, and everyone knows it. That's why people stop going to the gym, it's why they stop training.

I don't know what it's like the States, but in the UK, you go to a gym, a fitness instructor will give you a regime, you stick to that regime, and you do it over, and over, and over again.

And for me, I think when I see these people going in there and getting given this, I think you're going to lose them within weeks because they're going to get bored.

So my regime consists of various amounts of resistance training, and then I have my own gym here in my house. I have a garage gym, and I have a big rig in there, so a lot of bodyweight training I think is very beneficial.

I like to lift heavy occasionally as well. Like two or three times a week I'll be doing some kind of resistance training which is sort of the lower rep range and a bit heavier work, so I like to do my deadlifts.

I actually had a very bad injury while I was doing that training for Black Sails. I ended up getting an injury in my back, and I actually- a herniated disc in my lower back.

And I was very fortunate that I came across some [Inaudible 00:24:17] stem cells, and I went to this company Regenexx, who I'd love to do a shout-out to because Regenexx saved me. They're one of the best out there doing it.

They're one of the good ones for sure, because there's a lot of bozo stem cell work being done that- I don't know what you think about stem cell work. I'm not sure what you know about it, but for me I felt it was incredible when it's done right.

Shawn Stevenson: I know about this particular company, and yeah, we talked about that several times on the show, and I'll put one in the show notes. We kind of went through and talked about pluripotent stem cells, adult stem cells, all the good stuff.

Tom Hopper: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: But man, just to hear a story like that is again, that really provides the most evidence.

Tom Hopper: Yeah, absolutely. I mean I tell people all the time that have these kinds of injuries and they're talking about going under the knife, and young guys like in their early twenties are going to have these crazy operations, and it's just going to destroy their sport career. Any kind of physical activity will be squashed straight away.

And they can have stem cells and regenerate that injury, and that's exactly what happened for me. Like I was in so much pain for the better half of two years really, and I finally went to Regenexx, and it healed the whole thing.

I have no pain from it anymore. The disc is no longer herniated, it's incredible. So now, the reason I say that is because I'm now back doing deadlifts, and squats, but I never lift now as heavy as I used to.

I find that lifting heavy to a certain degree, once you go past a certain point, it becomes about ego. And ego in the gym, for me, has no place, because it should be about making yourself a better person. For me, ego is not a better person.

I feel like if your ego is rising, then you're actually becoming a worse person. I feel like you need to stay level.

And that crosses over in the gym for me. I feel like if you're lifting to a point that you just always want to lift that level, or you're trying to get five more pounds on the bar, whatever it is. Why? You know?

What, so when you're sixty, you can say when you were thirty that you lifted X amount? You know? I don't get it.

So but that used to me. Again, I can say that from experience because I used to do that. So now it's all about lifting for what I feel is beneficial for me.

So if I'm building my strength, I'm actually building muscle, I'm increasing my testosterone, I'm increasing my growth hormone, whatever it is. I feel like it's actually going to be beneficial for me.

So I do that, and then I like to do some kind of circuit training two or three times a week as well if I can.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Awesome, man. So much good stuff there. Just to circle back really quickly, unless people experience it, which we're getting close to half of the population in the US having some form of a back problem at some point, and- but that herniated disc, man.

Just people- you can't really understand because it's just like, "Walk it off." Like you don't look like anything is wrong with you, you know? But your spinal- like your nerves, everything runs through your spine.

And so I had the same thing, I had two herniated discs at the age of twenty, from twenty to about twenty-two and a half, and I just want people to know that there are other options.

And for you dropping that dime about stem cells, so all of us collectively, make sure for ourselves, and also for the people that we care about, when we're talking about having invasive surgery, I want you to first explore and find out if there's other options.

Because if you're not aware, like Tom and I when we were younger, like we just wanted to get out of pain, so we'll do like the thing, you know?

If somebody- if my physician would have told me to have surgery, I would have just did it because I wanted to get out of pain, and I wouldn't really understand the ramifications later.

But fortunately they were like, "You're young right now, we'll wait a few years." And fortunately I found out that there was another way, and my two herniated discs, they actually just retracted on their own, you know?

Changing my nutrition, changing my movement, therapy, you know? Just physical therapy. So there's a lot of other options out there, guys. So I just want you to keep that in context, there's a time and place for everything, you know?

We do have some of the best surgical practices ever, but at the same time, there's other ways.

So bodyweight training. You mentioned bodyweight training, and now I understand why, you know? And why you're becoming so- I like to use the term physically literate.

So what kind of bodyweight exercises are you doing?

Tom Hopper: So I try to do as many as I can really. I mean I do a lot of stuff on the gymnastics rings as well. I think the gymnastics rings are a really good piece of equipment, you know?

They're very versatile so you can do- when you're doing movements to actually heighten your strength as well as your mobility, I think that's always really good.

So I mean, I've never been someone who's been very- because I'm tall, like I'm 6'5", right? So I always struggled with things like handstands, and also because I have long levers, I struggle with muscle-ups.

So I have a big goal in my head at the minute of I want to be able to do like handstand walks, I want to be able to do X amount of handstand press-ups, I want to be able to do a certain amount of muscle-ups.

But I'm working on- rather than muscle-ups like more like in the CrossFit world where it's more of like a kipping muscle-up, I'm working deeply on strict muscle-ups. So like more of a gymnastics movement.

So I use a lot of that sort of stuff, and I also use- when it comes to the bar work, when I have my rig in there with my pullup bars, and I had a bar made extra high so I could hang off it, because a standard pullup bar, my feet are flat on the floor.

So I'm hanging down on that thing, and I do a lot of things that have repetitions that will range from ten, and then if I'm doing them much slower on the way down, I'll make sure that I'm doing like five to eight reps.

So I like to do a lot of things that allow me to keep my tension on as long as I can through higher rep ranges if I can.

Shawn Stevenson: Interesting. So you have this fitness concept that you call baseline. Right? Baseline. Can you talk about what that is?

Tom Hopper: So baseline, the way I see- so obviously when we talk about people coming to me and asking me about health and fitness, and they always say that they want to have this, that, or the other.

They want to be ripped, they want to be this, they want to be huge, whatever it is. And I always say to them, "You've got to figure out where your baseline is."

So my baseline is that I eat no processed food, I don't eat any refined sugar, I don't have any gluten, I don't eat anything that isn't like of the earth, right?

For most people, that's too much. You know? Most people will be like, "No way. Couldn't do that." Like you know, you talk about people where I live, if you say, "You could never drink beer," not a chance. Right?

So I say you've got to figure out where you want to be in terms of your health and fitness. Do you want to have a body where you're incredibly ripped? Ok, fine, then you're going to have to give up these things.

If you can have a body where you're lean, and you can cut out certain things and still achieve that with the right fitness regime, alright.

So I always talk about to people, someone like my wife, for instance, she's relatively healthy in terms of the way she eats and stuff, but she loves her little treats. She loves like a bit of chocolate here and there, she likes the cakes and stuff.

When her sister comes around, she brings around these cakes, she'll be like, "Oh, great I'll have one of them." Like it's immediate, she doesn't even think about it, whereas I wouldn't touch them because it's just not for me.

But she's still able, because she is very good at portion control, she's able to have those things and still maintain a very healthy weight.

So if you're looking at whether it's you want to maintain a certain weight, whether a certain body fat, whether it's because you want to hold onto a partner like a boyfriend, a girlfriend. Or you feel like the reason that you're not is because you're overweight, or because you're insecure with yourself.

Whatever it is, I feel like you have to find a baseline of happiness across the board because there's no point doing these things. Yeah you can say, "I'm going to be super, super ripped."

But if you're super, super ripped and unhappy, what's the point? Because that's unhealthy then.

So you have to find a baseline of happiness across the board, and that's why I feel people slip and fall off the wagon is they do these crazy fad diets, and they deprive themselves, they become like starving all the time, and they drop all their sugars.

Actually very similar to what I did in Black Sails again, because I dropped all my sugars out so quickly, and I deprived myself for months on end because I was so determined to be this lean and ripped.

Toward the end of it, I just binged, man. Because I just was like, "I need sugar. I just want to eat it." And I couldn't hold onto it because I deprived myself so much, and then I was like, "Oh my God, I've got to work so hard to get back again."

So for me, it's about sustainability, and if you can sustain it, then you achieve happiness within. And if you still need that Diet Coke once a day, if you still need that chocolate bar once a day, okay find a way that you can get rid of other things so you can still have that so you're happy.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, that's so good, man. That's one of the most powerful things that I've heard in a long time. Finding a baseline of happiness, and that just speaks to- all of these different diet frameworks are amazing, but at the end of the day, we have to do what works best for us.

And to the exclusion of our happiness that we do these things, we're setting ourselves up for failure at some point. You know?

For you, like you went super hard for that particular role, and then afterwards, like you're on the corner with the Krispy Kreme dealer, you know?

You're getting that circle hitter, you know? And you're just trying to get that in your veins, you know? "Let me get that dozen."

Tom Hopper: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: And so man, it's just so important for us to really keep all of this in context because- and you mentioned Drew Manning before, and we'll put that episode in the show notes.

That's something else we talked about in the episode. So many people are like, "All or nothing," and I think that that's a really tragic way to approach, especially if we're influencing other people with our health and fitness.

Tom Hopper: Yeah, absolutely. Because I feel like health and fitness should be about being the best version of you, right? So for me, I feel the best version of me is when I feel the healthiest I can be, and when my body feels as functional as it can be.

So that's why I- a lot of people call me extreme, because a lot of people will say, "What do you do for comfort? What do you do for comfort?" And I'm like, "What do you mean what do I do for comfort? Like my life is comfort."

Like everything I do is for comfort because I don't do anything- I don't ever eat anything that I don't want to eat. So I'll only eat- like when I cook my own food, it's all stuff that I consider comfort, because it tastes great and I get all the nutrition.

So I get a real buzz out of eating these things that I think are great for me. So if I can improve myself on that level, then great, but for other people that's too much.

So many people can't comprehend the idea of being that extreme and not having these certain treats. And yes, there's no point in doing any of this unless it's going to make you feel complete.

It's got to make you feel that you are ultimately, like I say, the best version of yourself.

Shawn Stevenson: Right, and there's so much room on that spectrum, you know? We don't have to compare ourselves to folks who live their lives like that, you know?

You can find, again, the best version of you for where you are right now, and that might include hitting up that Krispy Kreme every now and then.

But you know, maybe 90% of your diet is real food, as Tom mentioned, of the Earth, and making sure that that's kind of like the majority of what you do.

Maybe you don't work out, lift weights five times a week, maybe it's twice a week, and how much you're winning just because of that.

So allowing people to know that there's a significant on ramp to all this stuff. Like you don't have to be all the way at the end of the ramp, flying off of it like Evel Knievel.

But just understanding there's a lot of place on the spectrum for you to feel good, for you to be happy, and for you also to feel strong and confident in your body.

And speaking of strong, speaking of confidence, man the most confident show in the game right now still is Game of Thrones, man.

We've got to talk about this. How did you get involved in that universe?

Tom Hopper: Man, yeah that was a crazy little whirlwind actually because there was a friend of mine played the role that I played in the seventh season, he played it in the sixth season, and the character got introduced at a table dinner.

And unfortunately he couldn't do the role in the next season, and we have the same agent, so the call went in. I'd just finished on Black Sails, so the call went in and I had the meeting for it.

And I didn't really think anything of it because they give you like a fake script, and fake character name, so I didn't really know who it was for.

And yeah, so I just got the call saying, "They want you to do it." And so I was pretty surprised, to be honest. I wasn't- I didn't think I did a particularly great read, or anything. You know, I just went and did my thing.

And I feel incredibly grateful for getting that gig because Game of Thrones really is, as you say, it's the top of the game at the minute, and it's in terms of a platform for me to be seen doing what I do, you don't get better than that.

So I'm incredibly grateful for that role, and yeah, that in turn helped me get the next step to my career.

And more than anything, you know, for me as a dad and a family man, getting those sorts of things, I'm always grateful for because that's the thing that's putting food on my kids' plates, you know? And so it's really important that I thank those people for giving me the opportunity.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, man. I want to talk more about that. So your experience- so shooting. So where did you shoot for it, and what was it like being on set when you were doing Game of Thrones?

And who did you play, first of all, for folks?

Tom Hopper: So I played Dickon Tarly in Game of Thrones. Dickon, if anyone remembers, is the one that has his name marked for obvious reasons.

So yeah, so I'm involved in quite a big battle in that show, and I've done quite a few battle scenes in various shows, right?

And usually when you're filming these types of things- we filmed this battle in Spain, by the way, in this remote area called Extremadura.

Shawn Stevenson: That sounds like the coolest place on Earth.

Tom Hopper: Extremadura, exactly. I mean it is what it says as well, the weather there is extreme, it's super extreme. One minute it can be bright sunshine, the next thing you know, this Independence Day like cloud will roll in and this huge storm will hit, you'll have horses running all over the place.

It's a crazy place, the weather pattern there is unlike anything I've ever seen. And- but most things I've done, I've sort of looked around and gone, "Yeah, you know what? When they put the special effects on this, when they put their little spin on this, this is going to look pretty good, I reckon."

And with Game of Thrones, it's the first thing I've done where I've looked around and thought, "I'm in the middle of a huge battle scene here. They don't need to do anything to this."

And then when they did do something to it, it was the most crazy battle scene I think I've ever seen on TV or film. It was insane.

So to be a part of that was incredible. You know, I saw- during shooting that thing, I saw them break the record for the most amount of guys on fire in a single shot.

Like that's just insane, right? To witness. I'm like literally looking at all these men fully on fire, just been lit up by a dragon.

Shawn Stevenson: That's something you don't see every day.

Tom Hopper: Yeah, so that's what I love about my job sometimes, is I get to experience stuff like that, and get to see things and witness things that I would never have got to do if I was still working in Covent Garden in London hanging up flyers.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, man that's really awesome, man. Oh wow. You know, and by the way, so there's no spoiler alerts for folks who have yet to tune in or see this particular epic battle, but wow.

I know exactly what you're talking about, and guys, if you're not on Game of Thrones, you want to get caught up. I make fun of Game of Thrones a lot as like the thing that keeps us obsessively watching television, but real talk, it's just really well done. It's a really well done show.

And just to pivot a little bit, before you mentioned your family, and you being a family man. When people see you, a lot of times of course there's going to be a lot of stereotypes.

Tom Hopper: Sure.

Shawn Stevenson: And for you, number one talking about like being aware and having your ego in check, and also you being such a dedicated father, and husband with all the stuff you have going on.

Man, I mean for you personally, how are you making this work? Like what is your approach? What is your mental approach as far as investing in your family?

Tom Hopper: Well first and foremost it has to come down to me and my wife. I feel like the way that me and my wife, Laura, work is because I feel that we're a team.

So first and foremost, we have to work together. As soon as we're doing this, it's never going to work. And you know, I've seen it with various different people, with marriages and stuff, I've seen in the past that they can break apart because they are looking for things to make themselves happier.

Like, "I'm not going to see my kid enough," or whatever it is, when one parent is walking away, I could sort of perceive what was going to happen.

Like there were certain times when me and Laura would have conversations about what was going on with my career, and me moving away, or her being pregnant, and I said to her, you know we had a conversation and I was like, "We have to work together on this. We have to make sure that we are on the same page all the time."

Which obviously doesn't always happen because there's going to be times where I'm lonely in Toronto on my own, I miss my kids- well it was just Freddy at the time, and I miss her, and I'm feeling like I'm hard done by.

And then there's times where she's thinking, "I'm eight months pregnant with a toddler, and I'm on my own, and I need you."

So the support that we both have to give each other is huge. That's number one.

But I think there's also an element of going back to that baseline happiness thing is finding a certain level of peace within being uncomfortable, right?

So when I'm away, I'm never fully comfortable because I'm not with my wife and my kid, but I have to find peace in that because I'm away providing for the family, she's growing a baby, there's a lot of magical and amazing things that are going on in our lives.

So we have to make sure that we're content and happy within those things. Then anything else is just kind of selfish really that I just have to deal with on my own.

The fact that I might be missing them, that's me that I just have to deal with that. Freddy was at the time like two and a half or three. When he's eighteen, and hopefully will be living a nice life because I've hopefully provided that for him, he's not going to remember the fact that I was working away. So it's always going to be me that has to deal with it.

So as long as I can find peace within it, it's fine. So I think ultimately the marriage is the cornerstone to all of this. It's about making sure that you're a team as much as you can be, and finding happiness within that.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, that is so true, and so powerful in being a team. I love that. I actually wrote that down. We're a team, and approaching it like that. You know? And even changing our reference point on what marriage looks like, you know? A committed relationship.

And I've been telling folks more and more to focus on making your marriage better than your wedding, right? Because we kind of get caught up in that whole glitz glamour, 'It's the best day of my life.'

But you can actually create the best days of your lives by understanding that we're a team, and having communication, and talking about the responsibilities of everybody, and trying to proactively do what we can with the situations that we're in.

And one situation you're in, speaking of dragons and people being on fire, there's like a dragon flying around you, like buzzing by the mic. It's like a huge UK fly who's been- obviously he jumped into the Krispy Kremes.

Tom Hopper: It's my pet fly, he wants to get involved in the podcast. He's a big fan.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. So what's one of the dragon's names from Game of Thrones? Any nerd in here, we've got nerds in here. I know people are listening right now like having a fit.

Tom Hopper: Screaming.

Shawn Stevenson: But whatever one of the dragon's names are, that fly is that name.

Alright man, so one of the things of course that you incorporate into your regimen, or you say regime. Is it regime? Is Organifi, right?

Tom Hopper: Dude, yes.

Shawn Stevenson: So this green superfood blend that we're a huge fan of- so this is something that you use on a consistent basis?

Tom Hopper: I do, yeah. And what's great about Organifi as well is their little travel packs, which are great as well because I get to travel around, I just throw a bunch of them in my backpack, and I'm good to go.

But yeah, I've been a big fan of Organifi for a little while now, and it was actually your show that I first got onto them, and I thought they were so good.

And yeah, I really like their protein blend as well, I think it's a really good protein blend. Again, it's just this whole thing of all natural, you know? And maintaining that nutrient density that is so important.

There's a lot of green juice companies out there I find that throw in every ingredient under the sun that I think, "How can that- there's no way that can all maintain the nutrient density."

And what I like about Organifi is its very carefully picked ingredients that sort of blend very well together and work in harmony, I suppose.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, and very simple, like you said. Because for something, they've got this Company X has fifty greens, and it's just like how much- you're getting like half of a half of a half of a percent of this thing, and you could say it's in there.

But you know, predominantly if we're- and by the way, their protein blend, I just had that for my son this morning in his green smoothie, which I took a video of him dancing to Wiz Khalifa while having his green smoothie and enjoying himself this morning.

But by the way, speaking of the stem cells you mentioned earlier, there's one- one food or nutrition source that we have substantial data on being able to create something called stem cell genesis.

So literally the creation of new stem cells, which is spirulina, and spirulina is in this formula with Organifi. Again, very specifically picked, and I love it because- again, there's lots of different green blends out there, this one actually tastes good.

My kids will have it, I throw it in their smoothies or just even have it just with water. The Go Packs are amazing, I travel with them myself all the time.

Guys, make sure every single person today needs to be on a green superfood blend. It's just that real insurance policy. We've got a lot of things that our bodies are dealing with today that we just didn't have before, and this helps to really fill those nutritional gaps in a way that's- again, from earth grown - and as Tom says, of the Earth (he's changing my language today) - nutrients.

So head over to That's, 20% off. That's exclusive for The Model Health Show. Alright? So head over, check them out,

Alright Tom, new show, Umbrella Academy.

Tom Hopper: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: I know you can't say too much, you know? But just if you could talk a little bit about when the project- when we can expect it, and also just anything you can share about it.

Tom Hopper: Okay, cool. So I'm super excited about Umbrella Academy because I think it's going to be great, and it's one of the shows I've had so much fun shooting this thing. It's going to be incredibly entertaining.

The basic premise of the show is it's from a graphic novel by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, a guy called Gerard Way, who some of your listeners will definitely know who he is.

And it's about a group of young superheroes who get adopted by this guy. They all get born on the same day and they get adopted by this millionaire guy who decides to make them into a superhero team.

And as kids, they become world famous superheroes, and they become like the One Direction of superheroes, so they're world famous.

Shawn Stevenson: Perfect.

Tom Hopper: Then as they get older, they disband from the group, and they all go off on their own, but they've been raised as a family so they're incredibly close. They're adopted siblings, and they get older, and they all become like members of a group that get disbanded, they have all sorts of problems.

One of them will become a drug addict, or one has some kind of body dysmorphia, or whatever it is. One might still be very famous.

And the dad dies, and they all come back together for his funeral, and when they all come back together, they realize that something happens that means that they're going to have to save the world again once more as a team, and they have to get over all their issues.

So within all this, there is superhero action, there is a lot of fun. I can't say too much about the fun, but it's unlike anything you've ever seen.

So all I can say is that this properly epitomizes the Netflix original title, it's so original, and I really feel like it's reinventing what a superhero show can be.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow. Super pumped for this one, man. That's so cool. So guys, make sure to keep your eye out for it, and I'll put whatever we can in the show notes for you to get some more information.

By the way, Viserion. Is that right? Viserion? Is that one of the dragons? I think that's one of the dragons.

Alright so you know, what I just watched recently, and just kind of in preparation for the show, just kind of diving into your world, is the new release movie that just came out with Amy Schumer, I Feel Pretty.

Tom Hopper: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: What attracted you to that particular script?

Tom Hopper: Well I've been wanting to do some kind of comedy for a while. I'd been looking for a comedy, because I've been- for a while, been the guy that gets a sword, and is usually in some kind of period outfit in some chainmail, or on a horse, or something like that.

So there's two things I was looking for. I was looking to do something a bit more contemporary where I get to go to work in jeans and a tee shirt, and also something with a bit of comedy.

So this thing came up, and it was very soon after my Game of Thrones episode came out actually, and I got the call about this job, and I read the script and was super keen.

And for the main reasons I just said, but also I really liked the premise of the whole movie, and I thought that Amy, knowing what she could do, I thought she would bring the best out of this character, and she really did, man.

Amy Schumer is the reason that film was so great. She just nailed it, in my opinion.

I feel that there's a lot of people, not just women, people out there that have this issue. That have whether it's something to do with their body, whether it's to do with their self-confidence, whatever it is, they probably feel like a less attractive person because they can't exude confidence.

Shawn Stevenson: Right.

Tom Hopper: And confidence I think is so important in life in general. It makes people more attractive, and what is so great about this movie is it's a life lesson in that, and it could have been terrible.

They could have got it completely wrong, but what Amy managed to capture was someone who really was quite sad. They felt incredibly sad with themselves, not to do with her body or anything else, just the fact that she wasn't happy with herself, and she was able to capture someone that once they got confidence became this very attractive person.

And then also managed to capture what it is if you go too far and it crosses over into arrogance, and arrogance becomes your main thing, then people don't want to be around you.

So it's finding that line where you are a happy, confident person, and you become more attractive for that. I'm a full believer in that.

Shawn Stevenson: Man, I know everybody- we want to see this movie now just because of that description. And it's so well done, and it really brings to light this concept of perception is reality. You know?

And how we view ourselves, how we view the world, that creates the foundation of our experience, you know? Our perception of the world is the world, and we can change that perception like literally in an instant.

And I think part of that, being able to do it, is the key. The first part is awareness, you know? And so this movie kind of brings some awareness up, and there's an uncomfortability in there, some stuff that's a little bit squeamish, but a lot of us experience it.

And also being aware that, "Oh wait, I can actually change this." For her, this change happens in a very unexpected and also like oh my- I can't believe that happened way.

But it can happen for us, the change can happen just in an instant when we realize how powerful we are.

Tom Hopper: Yeah, absolutely. And I think if anyone has that- that's actually something that I can relate to as well within myself from a diet perspective as well, like actually realizing that when you achieve something of a certain- when it's performance based, for instance.

Because there was times where I thought, "I'm not fit enough to do this. I'm not strong enough to achieve that."

When you achieve those things, you get an element of confidence, you feel better about yourself, you feel, "I achieved that. Me. This body, I managed to put my body to that limit and I managed to achieve that number on a rower, that time in a mile run," whatever it is.

You know, it crosses over into fitness as well I think massively. A lot of people talk about how when they start training, and they start being healthier and fitter, that they get more confidence.

A lot of people say that, and I can talk from experience with that, and say that I found that I just felt like a more confident person when I felt healthier.

And one thing actually, Shawn, while I'm talking about it, is one thing that I'd love to talk with you about on this, is how I feel about sugar, and sugar in general.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah.

Tom Hopper: Because I feel that sugar is something that a lot of the world isn't educated about, and you've tried so much on this show to talk about sugar, and what it does to your body.

And me and my very good friend, Keegan Allen- Keegan Allen is on a show called Pretty Little Liars, and him and myself, we've had this thing that we call our war on sugar for a while where everywhere we go, we're asking if things got sugar in it.

And it's become this thing where everywhere you go, it's very hard to avoid, and it's actually in my opinion, it was the biggest step I made to having overall health, was taking refined sugar out of my diet.

I found that things like headaches stopped, joint pain stopped, this huge amount of sort of inflammation I suppose in my body got reduced.

And I remember you were talking to Max Lugavere, right? Max Lugavere? So I watched the one with him, and I've found a lot of his stuff very interesting as well.

And there's more people now that are trying to promote this, but what frustrates me more than anything is how the giants out there- so the cereal makers, the soft drink makers, all these people aren't doing anything about it.

And I as a personal thing on your podcast would love to say how I fully believe that they need to do something about it because it's not the little people out there, the consumers aren't the problem, it's the monsters, and those guys are the only ones that can actually do something.

And there's a lot of stuff trying to be done within governments, but nothing seems to be making an impact, and there's a huge problem with childhood diabetes and obesity, and for me with a young family, it would be the last thing that I would ever want was for them to be exposed to all these things that could give them all sorts of health problems in the future.

And this is, again, is talk from someone who used to eat all this stuff and drink all this stuff, you know?

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, man thank you so much for sharing that because you're just bringing to light- it's a normalcy. That's the problem. We've normalized this, and it's not normal.

It used to be called adult onset diabetes, but because so many kids now have it, they had to change the name, you know, to type II diabetes.

And this is something- it's not normal, and there is something we can do about it, and just pulling out- and I'll put in the show notes, guys.

I did a master class called The History of Sugar, and we're going back to the beginning. Like we're really kind of looking along that timeline, but we're talking about some viable options, things we could do about it.

But it really starts with us, with everybody listening, doing your part and kind of seeing that for what it is, and focusing on real food, and it's really that simple.

Man, so many good insights here today, Tom. I would love if you shared- I've got one final question for you. What is the model that you're here to set for other people with how you live your life personally?

Tom Hopper: What is the model? I mean basically for me, as I've said before, it's about trying to be the best version of you.

A lot of people don't know what that is yet. I still feel like I'm trying to figure that out day by day.

When I go out there into the world every day, I feel like I'm trying to set- very quietly set an example for the way we should live our lives, and I feel that- and that's not coming from a place where I feel like I'm getting it right.

I'm doing it from a place where I'm achieving happiness. I feel like I'm trying to give as much as I can to my family, I'm trying to give as much as I can to my career, I'm trying to get rid of things that I feel are wrong in the world such as- like things like sugar, and all these produced things that are causing damage to human beings.

I feel that those sorts of things need to be pushed aside, and I try to feel like if I can be a model of that, and I can make some tiny, tiny improvement to someone's life, because they may have spoken to me and they go, "You know what? I might take out refined sugar, or I might go to the gym today and try and make a change in my life."

If I can do that for someone, and someone is inspired to do that, then I'm a happy guy, man.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Awesome. Happy guy and also super entertaining. You're one of my favorite people on social media, you know? On the low, man, like Tom is super funny.

Can you let everybody know where they can connect with you on social? And also of course let them know about the upcoming project one more time.

Tom Hopper: Sure, so my Instagram handle is Tom.HopperHops. That's HopperHops. And yeah, I'm most active on Instagram. I goof around on that thing quite a lot. You know, the things with filters and those sorts of things, you can have a lot of fun with them.

And then Umbrella Academy, yeah do not miss it. It's going to be out February 2019 on Netflix. You will not want to miss it.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, my man Tom, thank you so much for sharing your experience and I appreciate it, man. Thank you.

Tom Hopper: Oh man, thank you so much for having me on. It's been a pleasure.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this.

So many nuggets. I wrote down a lot of different notes here. Baseline of happiness, you know? And really looking for that for ourselves. What does our baseline of happiness look like? And not being so stringent on whatever particular protocol it might be that you forget to land yourself in a place of happiness and joy. Because that's what life is all about.

And food is one of those great joys, you know? Tom mentioned that his food that he eats gives him comfort because he loves the food that he eats.

It doesn't have to be some- it's terrible, you know? Somebody the other day, they saw my evolution, like they knew prehistoric Shawn prior to getting my health and my life together, and now they see me today in just a random kind of bump into situation, and they just can't believe it.

"Like how did you kind of age backwards?" And they're just like, "I want to get healthy, I want to do such and such, but I just can't do it because I don't want to live like you and be so strict."

And they said this- they don't know a thing about me. They don't know a thing about what I eat, but it's just the assumption that there's going to be deprivation, restriction, not enough, where I'm really pressing down the joy button.

I know about so many different foods, so many different flavor sensations, so many different experiences with food that heretofore I had no idea existed. And that's what we're missing, you know?

It's not about less, it's about more, and we just kind of have this tunnel vision on, you know? And it's kind of this Western world on processed food, you know?

You go into the supermarkets, you see like the same twenty foods packaged just different ways. You know, as you go down the aisles it's just like wheat, corn, soy, chicken 20,000 different ways, chicken, and like maybe oranges. Right?

It's just the same foods that are just packaged different because wheat and corn as you go down the aisles from breads to the pastas to the cereals to on and on and on, same exact route, just flavored different with of course synthetic chemicals.

And the more that we can start to understand that this stuff- these are relatively new inventions and it's very limited. That there's so much more for us available once we say yes to it, and open ourselves up and just be like, "Yes, let me explore. Let me open up my mind and just look for something else. Let me try something else. Let me start to educate myself."

So I took her phone, I went to the podcast app she didn't even know existed, and I subscribed her to The Model Health Show. So the line has been cast, alright? We'll see if we'll catch us a fish.

Alright guys, so that's one big thing is baseline of happiness. Also perception is reality, right? Perception is reality, and we have the opportunity at any moment to decide who we're going to be, and how we're going to show up in the world. Right?

And Tom brought up how important confidence is, and having that graceful application of confidence and not getting into the sense of arrogance, right? Because nobody likes that.

And also if you're not delivering some confidence into your life, you are not really stepping into your greatness, and you have that in you, and it's just a process of understanding how valuable you are, and how you have the power to say, "Yes this is what I am. This is who I want to be in the world," and start to show up as that person.

You know, you have to become it in consciousness first before you see it in the outer world.

There's this line from the rapper Common that says, "Nobody believes until I believe me." Right? Nobody believes until I believe me.

So you are the catalyst. The world around you will start to reflect that as you step into your greatness and believe in yourself.

Alright, so make sure to check Tom out. Man, Instagram hit him up, but also be ready. The Umbrella Academy is coming soon. I'm pumped for it. You know?

He's such a good guy, and lots of good stuff are coming, so be ready. We've got some great guests and incredible show topics coming up. 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. Great interview. Of The Model Health Show podcasts I’ve listened to, this one really got me thinking about the importance of what I eat, and the need to strike a sustainable balance of exercise, nutrition, and happiness. Thanks!

  2. Great interview. Of The Model Health Show podcasts I’ve listened to, this one really get me thinking about the importance of what I eat, and the need to strike a sustainable balance of exercise, nutrition, and happiness. Thanks!


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