Overcoming Adversity for Better Health & Personal Growth

How would you find the motivation and strength to transform your life after experiencing adversity?

Join me as I talk with Doug Bopst, an award-winning personal trainer, author of three books, and host of the Adversity Advantage Podcast, who is on a crusade to inspire others to overcome adversity and become the best version of themselves. He’s a former convicted felon and drug addict who spent time in jail for “possession with intent to sell.” While locked in a cell, he slayed his personal demons, kicked addiction, and completely reinvented himself.

Doug shares his journey of redemption through fitness, shedding light on his emotional and mental challenges and sharing his unique insights on battling body fat and belly fat with resilience, nutrition, and mindset principles.

Freebies From Today’s Episode
Download a copy of Doug’s book: From Felony to Fitness to Free


00:04:20: The transformative workout that redefined Doug’s destiny
00:07:22: How fitness became Doug’s gateway to freedom
00:11:06: The fitness milestones that will inspire you
00:13:26: Doug’s journey to becoming one of the most sought-after coaches
00:15:48: How your social circle can transform your health journey
00:19:31: Doug’s top strategies for a leaner, healthier you
00:24:27: How you can cultivate a loving relationship with food
00:27:06: Get your free book from Doug

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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Learn more about Doug Bopst

Read The 7 Foods Most Likely To Cause Weight Gain

Read The Amazing Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting & How To Do It Right

Read Best And Worst Foods For Flexing Your Immune Strength

Visit Cal-A-Vie Health Spa

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 645_Turning Challenges into Opportunities with Doug Bopst

[00:00:00] JJ Virgin: I'm J. J. Virgin, Ph. D. dropout. Sorry, Mom. Turned four-time New York Times best-selling author. Yes, I'm a Certified Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Hall of Famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe. But I'm driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for answers, and sharing the information I uncover with as many people as I can.

[00:00:26] And that's why I created the Well Beyond 40 Podcast. to synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode, we'll talk about what's working in the world of wellness, from personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism, to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness.

[00:00:45] Join me on the journey to better health, so you can love how you look and feel right now, and have the energy to play full out at 100.

[00:00:55] Right, so this is a first for the Well Beyond 40 podcast. I've got an award-winning personal trainer who's the author of three books and the host of the Adversity Advantage podcast, who is also a former convicted felon and became fit and healthy in prison and how he slayed his demons in prison; the whole story of it, and how he's now used this to help.

[00:01:27] Others in their fitness journey is wild and super motivating. This is a very motivating podcast. He has been on a lot of different shows, so maybe you've seen him before. His name is Doug Bopst. He's been on NBC's Today Show. He's been on Rich Roll's Podcast. Impact Theory with Tom. Skinny Confidential. He has also been in Men's Health and Forbes all over the place, sharing his story.

[00:01:53] And he also has a documentary about his life that has been screened at the Real Recovery Film Festival in L.A. and New York City. When I just finished with him, I'm like, I don't really have any words more than, wow, which feels like nowhere near enough. So, I did have the opportunity a couple of years ago to go on a trip with a bunch of entrepreneurs, where we went to a maximum security prison and coached inmates.

[00:02:21] And so I've seen, I haven't been in a cell, but I have been to prison and experienced some of this. So it gave me a little bit better understanding, nowhere near what it would be like to be in a situation, but talk about someone who has used a situation to not only turn their life around, but help so many people.

[00:02:41] So super excited to share this with you. We do touch on how to drop your belly fat too, by the way, but we really talk about what needs to shift in you in order to become the healthy fit person you want to be. So I will be right back with Doug and stay with me.

[00:03:02] Doug Bobst, welcome to the show.

[00:03:05] Doug Bopst: JJ, thank you so much for having me.

[00:03:07] JJ Virgin: Whenever anyone wants to talk about dropping belly fat, I'm like, come on in. However, it's also interesting for a guy to be talking about helping women lose body fat. So, how did you get into that?

[00:03:20] Doug Bopst: The long and short of it is that I turned my pain into purpose. And back in 2008, I was incarcerated on felony drug charges, where I went to jail for selling drugs.

[00:03:31] I was a horrific drug addict that was heavily addicted to OxyContin. I had 21 jobs at that point. I had broken relationships with my family just completely hopeless, feeling worthless, depressed, out of shape, anxious, and my cellmate got me into exercise while I was incarcerated and it ended up completely saving my life.

[00:03:52] Ended up losing some weight in jail, ended up being able to do a set of 10 push ups by the time I left jail, and running a mile.

[00:03:57] JJ Virgin: Let's back a little bit because you say this, and I go, all right, your cellmate got you into exercise, like exactly. Were you able to go out into the yard and work out? Were you doing stuff in your cell? Let's talk logistics here because people say all the time, they give you reasons why they can't do things. So I would think this would be a really good reason why you couldn't do something. And yet you use that time to get in great shape. So how did you do it?

[00:04:20] Doug Bopst: It was completely unorthodox. There wasn't a yard. We didn't have access to a gym. It was him telling me to get down and do a push-up. I couldn't do a push-up. So the initial thing was he had me practice just holding myself up in a plank for my knees. Because every time I would try to do a push up, I would collapse. And he was like, man, the reason you're collapsing is you have a lot of belly fat.

[00:04:40] And other than that, we would do some crunches and flutter kicks and different ab stuff. And then one of the things that was interesting is we would take these plastic bags and fill them with water and we would do bicep curls. And now that things have come full circle, and this is what I've been doing professionally for a long time. It's allowed me to understand, not necessarily that people should make excuses about how to exercise.

[00:05:04] It's more like I really have understood how to fundamentally bring somebody up from the ground up because that's what I had to go through.

[00:05:11] JJ Virgin: Yeah, I think that is so important because if you look online, it can be really intimidating. One of the reasons I like to work with people one-on-one is that you can meet people where they are and remember where they're starting from.

[00:05:23] It's like, you got to get back into that mindset to help someone progress. And I'll tell you, Doug, I remember the first time I took a client to the gym. And this poor woman, she'd been in my aerobics studio and I just started learning how to help people lift weights. And I took her for a two hour training session.

[00:05:40] You can imagine what happened. She, you know, threw out her back, was in bed for a week. I'm like, Oh my gosh. It's a big, important takeaway is to help meet people where they are. But I think the other part of that story is here you were in a situation where anyone could have said, Oh, well, I can't work out.

[00:05:56] Because I'm in this little cell. And so then the other part of it was you crack the code on how to work out in a little cell. What did you do about eating?

[00:06:05] Doug Bopst: Yeah, that's an interesting point that you bring up, because I think one of the things that I've been able to implement with all of my personal training clients, whether or not they're male or female, is developing like a deep rooted why as to why they're starting this fitness journey, because it can't just be about losing weight.

[00:06:20] So, in jail, you could go to the jail store and you could order things like oodles and noodles. You could order tuna. You can order an assortment of food in there. And I was told I was only allowed to have protein from there. And so I wasn't allowed to have that stuff. And it was more just about him being creative and saying, okay, what's the easiest way to reduce your calories in here? Okay. You don't need oatmeal plus potatoes plus this. We can take some of that away.

[00:06:48] And he just got me to understand the importance. of just eating less and that just because I wanted something didn't mean I had to have it. So once I got into fitness and I learned to harness a lot of the negative emotions that I had been experiencing into something positive where I could gain understanding, I could learn to control my emotions and practice gratitude and self awareness when I needed to, I wasn't as attached to using food as a coping mechanism like I was before I went to jail.

[00:07:14] JJ Virgin: This is wild that this happened in jail. It's like how you turned your jail cell and the cafeteria into a spa.

[00:07:22] Doug Bopst: It's crazy. When I tell people that jail saved my life, I truly mean, I have the workout plan that my cellmate gave me the day I left framed on my bookshelf with all my books because I never want to forget where I came from.

[00:07:33] When I went into jail. I cried because I didn't want to go in for obvious reasons. When I left, I cried because I didn't want to leave. That's how transformative it was. But it taught me so much. And a lot of what it taught me in there is not only been lessons and coaching techniques that I think are unmatched that I share with my training clients, but it's also given me this big adversity muscle that even if life gets hard and gets challenging. I can still push through and overcome things.

[00:07:59] JJ Virgin: Can you describe what you looked like and felt like walking in and walking out?

[00:08:04] Doug Bopst: Yeah. So like I mentioned, I was a horrific drug addict walking in there and I was snorting 400 milligrams of OxyContin up my nose every single day. And the first thing I was focused on is how am I going to get my fix today?

[00:08:15] How am I going to be able to snort enough? Oxy to be able to feel normal again. I would do that. And then the afternoon I would go to a fast food place. I would get a cheesesteak, a couple slices of pizza, French fries, and like soda. And then I would get high again and I would go to McDonald's and I would get something like four double cheeseburgers, some fries and a milkshake.

[00:08:32] I would repeat a variety of that every single day. So that gives people an idea of what I would eat. Then I was like 50 pounds overweight. I could have been a model for Pillsbury because I was like 40 percent body fat. Some people they're overweight and they're at least strong and at least have a decent physique behind them.

[00:08:46] I was just fat. And the first thing I had to do when I got into jail was detox cold turkey from the Oxy, which was like having the worst case of the flu for weeks. The symptom was the most painful for me that I think would really transform me. And I think it's an important lesson for people and I'll keep it as clean as I can, but like any good coach was what he would be like, hey, so what got you here? Why are you in jail? Why were you addicted to drugs? And I started blaming everybody else for my problems. And he looked at me and he's like, quit being a victim. You're blaming every single person for your problems but yourself. There's plenty of people that go through your circumstances that aren't in jail.

[00:09:22] Right, Doug? You have two choices. You can be a man, look yourself in the mirror and decide it's up to you to change. No one's coming to save you. Or you can be a victim and cry in the corner and say it was me. That was the first time I really felt motivated and inspired in my life to really make a change.

[00:09:36] At that point, I realized, like, this guy is clearly right. Like, my life is a mess. I was the guy that you wouldn't want your son to hang out with. I didn't want to live anymore. There was times where I would have a line of Oxy and some coke. I wonder if I snorted this, if anybody would miss me, like I was that far down the deep end. When I left, I had a different swagger because when I first walked into jail, my shoulders were rounded forward.

[00:09:57] I was very quiet. Like he picked up the, on that. He was like, this guy needs some help. And one of the things he had me work on was my posture because I was. overweight, but I also hated myself so much. I had no confidence that I would look down at the ground. I wouldn't look at people when I was talking to them.

[00:10:11] And he was like, this is the first thing we're going to work on. You got to walk with your shoulders back, chest out. You have to understand the importance of having good posture. And then he worked on how I talked to myself because I was, I had the worst negative self talk. There was nothing positive ever going through my mind.

[00:10:27] So we worked on that. And then with the whole fitness side of things, like the other cool thing with running and walking. I think people will find this interesting. There's no like track inside of a jail. There's a perimeter around the common area where there's tables, like a cafeteria. I would have a deck of cards in my hand and memorize like rap music and other music that I liked to like, give me some motivation, right?

[00:10:48] JJ Virgin: Get your music in your head.

[00:10:50] Doug Bopst: Yeah. And every time I would take a lap inside of the common area, I would take a card from my left hand and pass it to my right hand so I could track how far I went. And so slowly but surely throughout my 90-day sentence in there, I was able to progress from jogging to running, and then I was able to run a mile by the time I left jail.

[00:11:06] And that, the push ups, changing my mindset, my outlook on life. I finally felt this sense of accomplishment and meaning that I never had in my life. I finally felt like I deserved to change and I lost some weight while I was in there because of me reducing my calories and from eating better, and exercising more.

[00:11:25] But I gained self-discipline. I realized just because I felt a certain way, I needed to respond. It was like a night-and-day transformation coming out of there. My grandparents, I remember, I lived with them when I got out of jail. And I was worthless before I went to jail. Like when I say, you ask anybody who knew me, they used to call me the sloth because I was just so immobile.

[00:11:44] But I remember driving through this random neighborhood that was by us. They didn't know I was going running, but they saw me running and they looked at me and they were like, he's changed. Something's different about him because it was so polar opposite of the person that I was.

[00:11:57] JJ Virgin: This is just such a wild story. I'm listening to this story going, was this guy paid by the county as like a coach? Did they put it in different people's jail cells? Wow. You look at the road less traveled, and you think what would have happened if someone else had been in that jail cell. When you see these things that go, what was the worst time of my life became the best time of my life. It was such a necessary, pivotal thing. It's. Just amazing. So you came out of jail, a shifted person. What'd you do?

[00:12:24] Doug Bopst: So I moved in with my grandparents, like I mentioned, because I pretty much essentially at that time burned a bridge with my mom, couldn't go back there. My dad and I didn't always get along as a kid, so I didn't want to go back there.

[00:12:34] And then my grandparents gave me some, it was like the beautiful combination of love with accountability. I was on probation at the time, too. I got five years of probation along with my jail sentence. My grandparents said to me, you can live here for free. You don't have to pay rent. We'll get you all the food you need.

[00:12:50] We'll give you spending money if you want to go out and have some fun. You don't have to pay for gas or whatever, but here's the rules. You're going to exercise, you're going to get a job, you're going to make your bed, you're going to take care of your room, you're going to come home when you say you're going to, and you're going to bring us receipts for all the money that we give to you, and if you mess up once, you're out.

[00:13:08] And then I continued on the fitness journey, and ended up losing a bunch of weight, getting to a place fitness wise where I was like, man, I need to share this gold, I need to help other people do what I just did. And so, I ended up applying for a job to become a personal trainer at this place called the Maryland Athletic Club.

[00:13:26] I had to beg for my job because I was a convicted felon and thankfully after going back and forth with HR and just talking to me more about my past, they gave me a job. It was like a new high for me to be able to talk to people about fitness and goal setting because I had been there. I had been all of those people so I could connect well with my training clients.

[00:13:46] And so I was very fortunate that in my first year, I became the most successful personal trainer in the history of the company.

[00:13:54] JJ Virgin: When you look at all of this, you've got the science on one side, but science without a great coach isn't going to get you anywhere. You've got to understand what you're doing and how to do it correctly, but then the coaching piece of it really is everything. I think, especially in the last couple of years, we really have a crisis of self-worth.

[00:14:17] And I'll tell you one of the most interesting things, Doug, a couple of years ago, I did a query to my audience. And I said, if you are not where you want to be in your health and your body composition, why not? What came back was self-worth issues. I'm not worthy. It was not what I expected to hear. But if you're working with someone, if they don't believe they're good enough, if they can't see themselves in that next great iteration of themselves, they'll snap right back to where they were.

[00:14:42] Doug Bopst: I've worked with a lot of people over the years because they just have a horrible relationship with themselves, and they can't manage stress. They hang around people that are encouraging them to make unhealthy decisions. They don't have a good relationship with the people around them. I've learned that if I don't, at least help guide them to work on that. The other stuff doesn't really matter because they're not going to be able to see long-term progress. And it's just this never-ending cycle.

[00:15:06] JJ Virgin: There's two things. There's one, I was doing a talk, and someone said, What strategy would you use to help someone once they've gotten to where they want to be in terms of their health?

[00:15:16] Because, as we know, there's no standing still, right? You're going up the hill or down the hill. They said, What would you do to help them sustain that? And I said, What you always do is find fitter friends. I got some hate on social media about that, but boy, if I want to be more successful at something, am I going to hang out with someone who doesn't know how to do it?

[00:15:33] Or am I going to find someone who's really good at the thing and hang out with them?

[00:15:37] Doug Bopst: I mean, think about it from this way. You've, you run Mindshare, you've been involved with mastermind groups. What happens to these people when they're collectively in a group? They get better, they make more money, they're fitter, they're healthier, they're happier, right?

[00:15:48] And I think that's true with anything. One of the biggest questions I'll get asked is where do I find new people? And I always say, go to the gym, go to a yoga studio, go somewhere where there's health involved because these people are forward thinkers. They have a level of self awareness and they're very inviting and accepting.

[00:16:05] And I think once you get over the fact that nobody cares how much weight you're lifting or how long you can hold a certain pose and you let your guard down a bit, you find that you end up meeting friends at the gym that in many ways last a lifetime.

[00:16:19] JJ Virgin: Exactly. You don't want to be the smartest person in the room or the fittest person in the room. And I'll tell you, for a couple of years, I went and spoke at a really beautiful spot called Cal-A-Vie. And when I was there, I decided to take a yoga class because I brought a girlfriend with me, and she made me and I avoided them because I was so bad at it. And everyone knew I was the guest speaker there.

[00:16:41] As the teacher's leading me through this yoga class, she's like, giggling because it's so ridiculous that I'm like falling over. I show I got my husband on board cause he's my partner and all this stuff. And we start going to LA fitness yoga class. Cause you know what? If you go to the LA fitness yoga class, everyone was 10, 20, 30 years older than me. And there were a lot of guys. And one easy way to be better in the yoga class is to go with an old guy who's not very flexible. So, I didn't feel like the worst person in the class, but we were in the bottom third. But then we went on vacation, and we ended up at an advanced hot yoga class in Encinitas, California by accident.

[00:17:17] And it just made me realize from that point forward, I was like. That's it. I am not going back to the easy class over there at LA fitness and trying to fool myself that I'm some kind of yogi. I started going to the harder classes. I can now do those crows where you balance on your elbows. I'm like, game on, I'm going to do it.

[00:17:32] And I think that's really important because it's in life. It's so easy to get into ruts and go, oh, everything's good enough and just go into that gym. It's fun. People are so nice in the gym. They're just, they're happy. They've got endorphins going like. They want to help each other. They're very accepting.

[00:17:46] Doug Bopst: And this is coming from somebody who's seen both sides. My intention here isn't to stereotype, but I just want to paint a picture. A lot of times people who want to transform into a healthier life are people that might be going out drinking too much or hanging out at clubs late at night. And they're afraid of going to the gym because they're like, am I going to get into some sort of conflict? Is somebody going to make fun of me about my weight or what I'm lifting? And yet, you're way more likely to get into an argument or an altercation at a bar than you ever would put in a gym.

[00:18:14] JJ Virgin: That's so funny. Do you know what we did the other day? And I want to share one of their mindset things and getting some body fat tips.

[00:18:19] The other night, my girlfriend here in town, Dr. Lisa Koche, we're doing a girl's night out. First, she puts me in a text friend. She goes, okay, what shall we do for GNO? And I go, what's GNO? And they're like, you really need to get out more. I'm like, oh, but we went to a place in St. Pete, Florida. That's called Good Night, John Boy.

[00:18:37] And it is literally a 70s club and it's all 70s tunes. People literally dress up like that. And we went in there at 7:30 and danced till 10. It was so packed at 10, we had to leave. Like we just went in there, had sparkling water and danced our butts off. And I think about Mark Hyman said, people who have a positive mindset about aging, that the research came out that they live seven and a half years longer than those people who don't.

[00:19:02] I go, what if in your forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties. nineties. You're really having the best time of your life. Then I'm like, let's go with those people who are expansive, who are seeing this as the best time, who are like dedicated to getting better in every area of their life, focusing on one at a time.

[00:19:19] So you don't overwhelm yourself, but it is possible. So with that, you coach a lot of women on body fat and belly fat. And so let's dig into that. What do you do?

[00:19:31] Doug Bopst: I think the biggest thing is I helped them develop self awareness around what it is that they're doing, because I think a lot of times people will come into this and say, Oh, I want to lose body fat.

[00:19:40] And so what does that even mean? So one of the biggest things I'll have people like that do is I'll have them track their food. A lot of my clients over the years like to drink wine. Again, nothing wrong with that, but here's the thing. If you want to lose belly fat, body fat, if you want to get stronger, You can't have 30 percent of your calories coming from wine.

[00:19:56] And what I've noticed is when I've had people track their food, they'll have two glasses of wine or night. It's probably around 300 calories for two glasses. And outside of that, they're eating maybe seven or 800 calories, right? So 25 to 30 percent of their food is coming from wine and not that they're an alcoholic.

[00:20:14] They're just not eating enough that it needs to.

[00:20:16] JJ Virgin: Your body's got to handle the alcohol before it can handle anything else. So, if you're drinking wine while you're metabolizing that. You're certainly not burning fat, and you're definitely not building muscle.

[00:20:26] Doug Bopst: I've seen them transform and not just physically. I know we're talking about body fat and belly fat, but mentally and emotionally, there's something about just feeling strong and knowing that you can move things around, do more things with your kids that you just feel powerful, right? You feel empowered.

[00:20:42] JJ Virgin: Translates to everything. That's what I love the most. I always wonder if that whole thing; I don't want to get big. And I also wonder if most people don't come to me and say, I want to get stronger, but gosh, what would happen if women did focus on getting stronger and more powerful? I love that Marianne Williamson, where our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, it's that we're stronger than beyond measure.

[00:21:05] What would happen? Let's do it.

[00:21:08] Doug Bopst: I think people would get the bodies that they actually want. They're doing everything when it's the opposite to get there. So if their goal truly is to lose body fat, and we've established why, I will have them text me when they're going to restaurants. I will teach them how to read a menu at a restaurant, how to order certain things.

[00:21:22] You're immediately going to reduce your likelihood of overeating if you do that. Tell them how to order fish, steak, chicken, et cetera, out. I don't tell them not to eat carbs at restaurants because I think that can be which is overbearing. So I just try to teach them to make better decisions for them to be prepared and to understand the awareness around the decisions that they're making because I used to be the worst trainer where I would look at them and say I'm into fitness.

[00:21:47] I'm obsessed with it. That means you need to be obsessed with it.

[00:21:49] JJ Virgin: And you're more, they wouldn't be coming to you.

[00:21:52] Doug Bopst: Right. And you alluded to the fact that it's a harder job to raising these kids and I would have moms that would come to me with kids and I'd be like, just fit it into your schedule. And they'd be like, I'm busy.

[00:22:02] I'm like, no, you're not.

[00:22:04] JJ Virgin: You take the kids.

[00:22:05] Doug Bopst: And so I learned to have a lot more compassion for situations like that. And then the other thing that I would do was very useful for these people is I would have them celebrate their wins because it's so easy to forget how far you've come when you are on a journey like this, if the scale doesn't move, you better be really good at propping yourself up to keep yourself going, because that's when a lot of people fall.

[00:22:32] JJ Virgin: There, there's a couple things that I think are so important to unpack. I think doing a macro audit is such an important thing. The other thing that I want to pull out, because. I am on a mission to get us to stop using a regular scale and only do body composition. Look how strong you are. Look what changed with your body.

[00:22:51] Stop it. Let's start unpacking it. But you'll often see increases in your training load in volume way faster than you're going to see some of those other changes. And that's an indicator that it's working. So love that one too, because we've got to celebrate every single win. Because if you start to live like a healthy lean fit person, you will become one.

[00:23:13] Doug Bopst: I've been coaching this one girl for a while, and she was like the typical standard American diet, drinking soda every single day, like regular soda, fast food. And I just knew based on my track record with people like this, and just my own experience that I couldn't just cut everything out. And I'm teaching her how to have a better relationship with food.

[00:23:32] And now I'm able to help her point out the fact of how far she came. Cause there was a point like two months in, three months in, she felt like crap cause she ate McDonald's. And I was like, how many times have you eaten McDonald's this week? She's like, once. I'm like, so how many meals do you eat a day?

[00:23:47] She's like, three. Like she eats 21 meals a week, so one out of 21 meals was unhealthy, you know, and I just was trying to get her to understand that's not bad. I do that.

[00:23:55] JJ Virgin: But it's that mentality, too, that we've got to get past, which is the diet mentality. I was a, I was good, or I was bad. And if I'm bad, then I might as well just continue to blow it because tomorrow, I'm going to be perfect.

[00:24:09] So I better just get it out of my system today, right? That is that diet mentality that does us all in where we think it's all or nothing. And I always say, look at your overall health and work on one thing at a time. So, I love this approach. What about someone who

[00:24:24] Doug Bopst: I have one more thing. Can I have one more thing?

[00:24:25] JJ Virgin: Oh, yes, please.

[00:24:27] Doug Bopst: So one thing I wanted to add and also in reference to the same client that I've been working with when you stop eating so much unhealthy food and you start eating healthier that when you eat something unhealthy, you're mad at yourself, not because you did something wrong. It's because you feel like crap.

[00:24:42] That was like an important thing for her to understand, like what she was putting into her body. I love helping my clients develop self awareness around their habits late at night. And why they're snacking and like why you're eating. Is it because you were drinking, stressed, had a tough day at work, you and your boyfriend got into a fight?

[00:24:59] What was the reason? And that way it just develops some awareness around some of these habits. So that way you can choose something that's a little bit different and figuring out a way to better cope with some of these stressors that come up in your life.

[00:25:13] JJ Virgin: One final thing, any pointer, tips, cause this comes up all the time, and it can either be called hitting a plateau or getting in some weight regain, like, if someone gets in that stuck position, do you have, uh, any tips for unsticking them?

[00:25:28] Doug Bopst: This is going to sound boring, but I think the biggest thing is to go back to the fundamentals because a lot of times when I've seen people hit plateaus, there's something off. They've been drinking a little bit more. There's sleeps off. They haven't been eating enough protein. They've been overeating here and there.

[00:25:42] So I always make them go back to the fundamentals and say, okay, like, where are we at? Are you still doing the same plan that we did? And if they are great, then maybe we can adjust the calories a little bit, whether it's up or down. Then the other thing. It's very fulfilling, and yes, you build confidence, but it's hard.

[00:25:58] Takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, dedication, discipline, saying no to things that might be enjoyable in the moment. That stuff is tough. But I also remind my clients that what is also very tough is regret. I want people to remember why they started. I want people to remember that first conversation. And that's what I try to get them to remember whenever they're hitting a plateau.

[00:26:20] And they want to quit. I remind them of the fundamentals. I stick to that. We adjust if needed. Like when people are like, Oh, it's my hormones. I'm like, we're going to, we're going to make sure your nutrition, your exercise, your sleep, all that stuff dialed in before you even mentioned that word to me. If it is fine, I'm not against that.

[00:26:35] But a lot of times people use that as an excuse to not do the real work.

[00:26:38] JJ Virgin: Well, hormones should be a reason to do the work. I mean, yes, definitely hormones play a role. And. As you're getting into that state, your margin of error goes down and you really have to do these things like what you could pull off in your 20s, those days are done.

[00:26:55] So, this has been amazing. I know you have a free gift for everybody. You're gifting them your book that I'm going to put at jjvirgin.com/doug. Tell everyone which book that is.

[00:27:06] Doug Bopst: First of all, thank you so much for having me on. I love speaking with you. It's always good to talk shop and just talk fitness. I have a lot of respect for what you've achieved personally and professionally, and I love the conversation.

[00:27:16] JJ Virgin: I'm just warming up. I really am. I'm excited about stuff right now than I've ever been in my career. Like I think there's more cool stuff now, more opportunities, more things that we now know research-wise, like it's a great time.

[00:27:31] Doug Bopst: I'd love to hear that. That's awesome. But if you're looking to hear more about my story and what I went through as a kid, if you want to learn in depth about what happened in jail, check out my, the free copy of my book from felony to fitness to free. One thing I will add that everybody asks me this, everybody's always, what happened to the cell mate?

[00:27:49] And we actually met up after he got out of jail to work out together, which was cool because I was able to actually keep up with him for his workout instead of my little novice workout. And, you know, I always acknowledge that he transformed my life. I dedicated my first book to him, and I know I had a big impact on his life, but he actually passed away last year.

[00:28:08] And it was one of the hardest days of my life because one of the things that I get like emotional, I talk about this because, like you said, you were like, it could have been anybody else in that jail that wasn't him. And I, my life would have been completely different, but when he died, his mom messaged me and let me know.

[00:28:24] And then I got a message from like his cousin or somebody in his family that was like, you don't know me, but I was going back and looking at people that were connected to him on Facebook. And I saw you sharing podcast episodes where you shared your story, and it talked about like the cellmate or whatever.

[00:28:40] And I listened to them and I got to hear the side of Eric that I remembered and I love like the positive side and she's a thank you for doing this. And so I didn't realize that all these episodes that I've done up until that point are like part of that part of his legacy, if you will, where he was able to pay it forward and help me change my life.

[00:28:59] And then I ended up going and speaking at his funeral and being able to; I told the same jail story to all his friends and family. And it was just. It's surreal. You just never know where life's going to take you. It's just wild. And I think that it's easy to get caught up in future tripping and saying, I'm not where I want to be.

[00:29:14] And I haven't lost that weight, but I promise you, if you just do the necessary work, you focus on the day-to-day, do whatever it takes. You're gonna get a lot closer than you think you will.

[00:29:25] JJ Virgin: Beautiful. Thank you. And again, jjvirgin.com/doug. Wow. Amazing.

[00:29:31] Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great, and more importantly that you're built to last.

[00:29:43] And check me out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and my website, jjvirgin.com. And make sure to follow my podcast so you don't miss a single episode at subscribetojj.com. See you next time.

[00:30:02] Hey, JJ here. And just a reminder that the Well Beyond 40 podcast offers health, wellness, fitness, and nutritional information that's designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

[00:30:23] If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Make sure that you do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health care professional because of something you may have heard on the show or read in our show notes.

[00:30:43] The use of any information provided on the show is solely at your own risk.
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