5 Steps To The Perfect Weight Loss Plan #SANE

Real-Life Insights and Takaways

  • Many people have a goal to lose weight, but it can seem so overwhelming. April and Jonathan discuss several steps you can use to help you make a plan for becoming your best healthy self.
      1. Focus on purpose and principles. You want to plan with a purpose. The “why” in SANE is so important in identifying why you are making the effort to go healthy. There are some lifestyle changes you have to make that are not easy, they are simple, but they are not easy and so you need to have a real purpose behind why you are making these changes. You have to truly believe in what you are doing. Why is it you want to have a healthy body?
      2. Have a vision of your outcome. Remember that health is the enabler of being able to do so many other things. Nutritional serenity is worth so much. ⅔ of our country have the metabolic flu and are living in a state of illness. Imagine having the flu for 30 years and then one day you suddenly don’t have the flu, imagine how much more you could do. When our body is full of processed foods our life is suboptimal. Imagine that this project (of becoming healthy) was wildly successful. What would it look like? Actually vision that and describe it.
      3. Brainstorm. What are all the things you need to think about when losing weight? Brainstorm about ways you can experiment with food and exercise to change. How can you possibly get 10 or more servings of deep leafy, green vegetables in your day everyday. How can you make more SANE meals? How can you walk more and be more active, along with restorative activities? How can you get to bed earlier? How can you drink more water? Don’t brainstorm things to avoid, brainstorm things to DO. What vegetables do you already like? What are some dishes that involve meat or seafood you enjoy? List the nuts and seeds you enjoy. Pick one vegetables you listed and one protein you listed and create a meal. Start with foods you already love. Other ideas you could add to your brainstorm could be to listen to the SANE Show, check out the free resources on sanesolution.com, etc.
      4. Organize. You could use Post-it Notes or a program like asana to create ideas and then group these ideas together in separate categories. Group exercise and eating into smaller grouping and you can organize each idea by priority. You then end up with a simple collection of groupings and specific ideas you can move around and prioritize. Losing weight can feel like a big project that you can never get to and then you feel hopeless, organizing your ideas and tasks can help you to break it down into manageable pieces and then it might seem doable.  Some SANE categories that might naturally come up when mapping these ideas, these could be:
          1. Dietary/Eating: How can you eat more non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, and low fructose fruits?
          2. Exercise/Movement: How can you get smarter physical movement?
          3. Social/Spiritual Support: Where can you find loving relationships and connections so you can share this journey and not go on this alone? Facebook and family may not be the best support for your SANE journey. You need to get the right kind of support.
          4. Rest and Recovery: What things can you do to restore your energy? i.e. yoga, a restorative walk, get more sleep
      5. Identify Your Next Actions. Two of the biggest mistakes people make in identifying their next actions: they identify a sub-project rather than the next specific visible activity that will lead something toward completion or people identify a next action but they can’t do it until something else happens first. Recognize a super specific task that needs to get done and that is your next action. A next action is something that is a quick win. The right next action is something you can do immediately. Start with drinking one glass of water at a time rather than focusing on drinking all eight glasses of water as one goal.
  • Human beings like the taste of things they eat consistently. Anything you can find through this process to help you do these things consistently will create a virtuous cycle.

SANE Soundbites

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  • 3:01 – 3:31, “One thing that I’ve discovered is that most people don’t plan with a purpose. Most people just say, “Hey, I’m going to go do this project.” Well, why are you even doing it? I think one of the reasons I love SANE the most is because the “why” is so important, it is not because I want to be a size 2 by my birthday or because I want to look really good in a bathing suit or because I just want people to think I am awesome; it is that I want my body to be strong and healthy, and I want to last for a long time so I can live my mission and enjoy my family. That is my deeper “why.”
  • 3:46 – 4:39, “People just say, “Oh, I just want to rush into things.” But that is, literally, the reason that calorie-counting and starvation dieting doesn’t work is that the why does not sustain you. Let’s be clear. Even if you are going SANE, there are some lifestyle changes that you have to make that are not easy. They are simple, but they are not easy. But when you have that really compelling why…A great example is pregnancy. I have known some amazing women that have made some amazing lifestyle changes in an instant when the “why” of another life existing depends on me making this change comes to the surface. So, if you need a simple example of why “why” matters, that is why “why” matters. Unless you truly believe in what you are doing, as soon the shiny sexiness wears off, which it will within 48 hours, the “why” is what keeps you going.”
  • 5:10 – 6:24, “Before SANE my outcome vision was something like, “I want to fit in these jeans.” Or, “I want to look skinny.” Really, sorry, that was my outcome vision. I just imagined that physical appearance. I think a lot of people do this. The inspiration boards on Pinterest, where people say, “I just don’t care what it costs,” or “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” you hear this stuff all the time. People say, “I’m just going to make it happen. I’m going to lose this weight. My outcome vision with SANE is totally different, so I will just paint my picture…my outcome vision is that I don’t even have to think about food, I can just eat foods that I enjoy and feel full and happy and have tons of energy, knowing I am taking care of my body for the long-term. And that I can be able to get enough rest, get enough water, I can tone my body so that I don’t feel flabby and jiggly. And I can actually just be able to get to that point of nutritional serenity.”
  • 6:40 – 7:38, “[My personal macro-vision for myself is:] To live a loving, healthy, right, gracious and emphatic life in the passionate pursuit of excellence and meaningful contribution. You will notice in that statement that, while not every one of our listeners or viewers may have a personal vision or mission statement, nothing in there was, “and think constantly about food, and count calories, and really spend at least seven hours per week in the gym.” So, what often happens is, I think for many of us, we think our goal is weight loss, whereas in reality, our goal is a much bigger vision statement like I just gave. But the only way I can do that, the only way I can passionately contribute and live a life of excellence, as I have stated in my mission statement, is if I feel good, and have energy. And none of that happens unless we eat SANE foods and love ourselves. So, I think that macro level vision and understanding that health is the enabler of it, is such an important distinction.”
  • 8:57 – 9:19, “Literally, two-thirds of people in this world, especially in this country of America, have the metabolic flu. They are living in a state of illness. Just imagine, if you had the flu for 30 years, and one day you could not have the flu anymore, how much more control, how much more empowering would life become?”
  • 9:41 – 10:08, “When my body was full of processed foods, when I was just worried about calorie-counting, I really felt like I was in a fog in so many ways. Life was still good; it wasn’t like my life was terrible. It was just so suboptimal, whenever I would look at that bigger picture of my life and think, “Okay, how are things going?” The physical aspect of my life was always where I thought, “If I could just get this one area dialed in, that is what would help me feel like I could sing.”
  • 11:21 – 11:59, “Initially, going SANE, I think, “How can I possibly get ten or more servings of deep, green, leafy vegetables into my body every day?” Brainstorming that – how can I get a ton of deep greens into my body? How can I make more SANE meals using lean protein, healthy fats, in addition to those non-starchy vegetables? I would be thinking, “How can I walk more, yoga, Pilates, get to the gym a couple of times per week one-half hour or so? How can I get to bed earlier? How can I make sure I am drinking water more during the day?”
  • 12:05 – 12:25, “Don’t brainstorm things to avoid. Brainstorm on things to do. That is a huge distinction of pursuing the positive rather than attacking the negative. I think we would probably both agree that if your brainstorm was to lose weight, and then you had a bunch of “do not do blank, do not do blank, do not do blank,” that is a disempowering brainstorm. So, please do not that.”
  • 12:33 – 13:31, “Let’s just start with vegetables. Really think hard, what are vegetables that you do like eating? How do you like eating them? What are existing recipes that are vegetable-heavy that you can enjoy? List them out. Same thing – if you eat meat, or if you eat seafood in any way, shape or form, what are dishes that involve meat or seafood that you enjoy? List them out. Do you like nuts? Do you like seeds? List out all those options. What becomes beautiful then is, people say, “What do I do in terms of the grocery store, and meal plans, and yada-yada-yada?” You will pick one of those vegetables, and pick one of those proteins, and boom! There is one meal. And then pick another one of those vegetables, and pick another one of those proteins, and boom! There is another meal. It is a little bit like paint-by-numbers, and what you would do in your brainstorm, at least from a SANE food group perspective, is to list out all the different options you are already aware of and already a fan of within those food groups, and then mix and match.”
  • 15:35 – 16:30, “What I love about that – and I know it’s probably hard to visualize this – what I end up with is a very simple collection of groupings, a few different things I’m working on, and very specific ideas that then I can just move around and prioritize. And then, it doesn’t feel so big. I think one of the main problems is that, let’s say your whole fridge and pantry is full of inSANE food. Let’s say you never exercise, you’re embarrassed to walk in a gym. You don’t even want to go anywhere near that. Or what if you just feel like you have no support, or you have no money, and you feel like, “Oh gosh, I just can’t even get started?” And then losing weight feels like this huge project you will never even get to achieve and you just feel hopeless. I know people feel like that. What I suggest is that when you do this brainstorm and then you organize it and start looking at it in a very systematic way, all of a sudden it feels doable.”
  • 18:50 – 19:59, “I think what some people might do is, they might say, “Oh, social support, that’s important.” So, what are the two lowest-hanging fruit ways to get social support? “Well, first, I’m going to post on Facebook and just see what all my Facebook friends have to say.” And the second thing is, “I’m going to try to get support from my family.” Unfortunately, those might not be the best places to get support, especially support for SANE lifestyle changes. In fact, I know a lot of people, unfortunately, who, anytime they try to change anything in their life their family is kind of like, “Whoa, hey, if you change, maybe that means that I should change, and it seems like you’re judging me, so now I’m going to try to pull you back down.” There is a crab-in-the-bucket analogy that we could use, but we don’t really have time to, so search online for “crab in bucket” analogy, and there is kind of a funny story around that. But it’s the same thing with Facebook or social media. If you don’t look for a curated, SANE community, what will happen is, you’re going to post something on social media and people are going to say, “Whoa, what about this? I heard this in the news.” It’s just going to be a confusing mess. So it is important that you don’t just try to get any support, you have to get the right kind of SANE support.”
  • 24:30 – 24:46, “The way you know if someone has found their next action is when they see it written down, their heart gets a little lift, and they think, “Oh, I could do that.” Then it is a quick win. If you look at your list and you think, “Oh man, I need 20 hours, I’m never going to succeed. That just looks too hard,” then it’s just not a next action. So you just kind of boil it down a little bit more.”
  • 25:29 – 26:!5,“Sometimes people will say, “My goal is to drink ten eight-ounce glasses of water per day.” I think we have probably all read that all over the internet – eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. So you might say that’s a really good specific goal – eight eight-ounce glasses of water today. I would argue we can do even one step better. I would write down, “Drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water,” and then I would draw eight circles underneath it, and every single time I drink a glass of water I would check one off. Because drinking eight glasses of water isn’t the smallest next action you could have. The smallest next action you could have is drinking one glass of water. This is related to what you said, but one way that I say it, April, is that the right next action is something you can do immediately.”
  • 28:03 – 28:36, “Here is a secret. What is the secret? Here is the secret. Human beings like the taste of things they eat consistently. People say, “Oh, kids won’t eat blah-blah-blah.” Kids in Africa eat differently than kids in China. There is no human being that likes just this. You like what you enjoy consistently, so anything that you can find through this process to help you do these things consistently will create a virtuous cycle because you will start to enjoy it.”
  • 29:06 – 29:28, “Life is crazy, and I think when you can learn how to organize and prioritize what you really want in your life, and how to make it a project that works, you are going to get results, and then you just start getting excited because you think, “Finally, after all my years of trying to be healthy, trying to lose weight, trying to feel great about myself,” you finally get to be there. I think that’s a dream.”

Read the Transcript

Jonathan: Hey, what’s going on everybody? Jonathan Bailor and April Perry, and we are back with another SANE show. How are you today, April?

April: I am doing so well, I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Jonathan: I’m excited today, because I know we are going to be spending a little bit of time – we always spend time in the SANE wheelhouse – but we’re also going to spend a little bit of time in the April Perry wheelhouse this time around because we are going to talk a little bit about the planning that goes into wellness and weight-related goals. Is that right?

April: Yes, absolutely. I’m actually sitting here in front of my command central – I call it command central. This is how I run my home, family business, personal life, and all that. Today I am going to talk about how we actually make it happen as a project. So here is the thing. Eric and I teach classes together every day at Learn/Do/Become, helping people learn how to move forward on projects because most people have been living out of huge piles, they are surrounded by chaos, they procrastinate things that feel hard, when really, it is not that hard to get started. So, we help people learn how to do that.

But what is so interesting is that when we ask people, “What project are you most stressed about,” typically people say something like, “the garage,” or “my closet,” or “my piles on my desk.” But then we say, “Okay, but what is a project that you want to do for you? Imagine that your emails are a zero match and you have a command central built and your life is just calm and organized, and then what do you want to do for you?”

What we hear all the time is, “I want to lose weight. I want to exercise. I want to eat better. I want to take care of myself.” I think a lot of people are even afraid to admit that because they know they want it, but they feel like it is so impossible it is not even on their project list. It is on the “I wish…someday…” list.

But you have the answer, so I am going to share. I thought this would be so fun. We get to walk through project planning. David Allen wrote, Getting Things Done, an international best-seller. We’re going to go through the project planning phases and talk about how it works. So, are you ready to be our project-planning guru, Jonathan?

Jonathan: I am ready, and it is exciting, too, because you mentioned that some of these people don’t want to talk about wellness-related goals. They want to focus on their garage, they want to focus on their emails, but what we have often found, too, is that your health and your energy levels are a productivity multiplier. So, if you are dragging every day and you are low on energy, it is that much harder to do any other project. So, by getting control over this one macro project, getting your energy levels up, getting your self-esteem and your self-love up, all those other projects become infinitely more doable.

April: I 100% agree, and it is true because when I was starving in the past, really, all I could focus on was, “When is my next meal?” That was all I could think about. Now I can just enjoy my day.

Let’s start. The first stage is talking about purpose and principles. Why do you want to do it? I love this because, and it sounds crazy, but I didn’t learn until college about really planning with a purpose. One thing that I’ve discovered is that most people don’t plan with a purpose. Most people just say, “Hey, I’m going to go do this project.” Well, why are you even doing it?

I think one of the reasons I love SANE the most is because the “why” is so important, it is not because I want to be a size 2 by my birthday or because I want to look really good in a bathing suit or because I just want people to think I am awesome; it is that I want my body to be strong and healthy, and I want to last for a long time so I can live my mission and enjoy my family. That is my deeper “why.” What would you add to that, as far as the purpose and principles behind why we would even want to go SANE, or why we would want to make our bodies healthier?

Jonathan: First, I would really echo what you said about this being step number one for a reason. It is very important, and ironically, it is the step that gets the least attention. People just say, “Oh, I just want to rush into things.” But that is, literally, the reason that calorie-counting and starvation dieting doesn’t work is that the why does not sustain you. Let’s be clear. Even if you are going SANE, there are some lifestyle changes that you have to make that are not easy. They are simple, but they are not easy. But when you have that really compelling why…

A great example is pregnancy. I have known some amazing women that have made some amazing lifestyle changes in an instant when the “why” of another life existing depends on me making this change comes to the surface. So, if you need a simple example of why “why” matters, that is why “why” matters. Unless you truly believe in what you are doing, as soon the shiny sexiness wears off, which it will within 48 hours, the “why” is what keeps you going.

April: Love that. For those of you listening, I want you, actually, to be writing this down. Get out your piece of paper or your digital note – Purposes and Principles. Why is it that you want to have a strong and healthy body? Then we are going to jump into Outcome Visioning. This is a part that has also shifted for me since going SANE because my outcome vision, the way David Allen defines it – imagine that this project were wildly successful. What would it look like? Let’s actually vision that. Let’s explain it.

Before SANE my outcome vision was something like, “I want to fit in these jeans.” Or, “I want to look skinny.” Really, sorry, that was my outcome vision. I just imagined that physical appearance. I think a lot of people do this. The inspiration boards on Pinterest, where people say, “I just don’t care what it costs,” or “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” you hear this stuff all the time. People say, “I’m just going to make it happen. I’m going to lose this weight.”

My outcome vision with SANE is totally different, so I will just paint my picture. Then Jonathan, you see this from a much bigger level, so I would love to hear your thoughts. But my initial thought is, my outcome vision is that I don’t even have to think about food, I can just eat foods that I enjoy and feel full and happy and have tons of energy, knowing I am taking care of my body for the long-term. And that I can be able to get enough rest, get enough water, I can tone my body so that I don’t feel flabby and jiggly. And I can actually just be able to get to that point of nutritional serenity. That is how I would outline it. What would you add to it as far as outcome vision?

Jonathan: Nutritional serenity is such a key component, April, because when I heard you say outcome vision, what I thought for myself is, I have a personal macro vision for my life which I wouldn’t mind sharing, if you are willing to hear it.

April: Yes.

Jonathan: It is to live a loving, healthy, right, gracious and emphatic life in the passionate pursuit of excellence and meaningful contribution. You will notice in that statement that, while not every one of our listeners or viewers may have a personal vision or mission statement, nothing in there was, “and think constantly about food, and count calories, and really spend at least seven hours per week in the gym.”

So, what often happens is, I think for many of us, we think our goal is weight loss, whereas in reality, our goal is a much bigger vision statement like I just gave. But the only way I can do that, the only way I can passionately contribute and live a life of excellence, as I have stated in my mission statement, is if I feel good, and have energy. And none of that happens unless we eat SANE foods and love ourselves. So, I think that macro level vision and understanding that health is the enabler of it, is such an important distinction.

April: I love that. It is reminding me, so many times in the classes I teach, I will ask what is it that you want for your life? People will say, “I just want all the clutter gone.” Or they will give me a very basic answer. But as we dive deeper and ask questions like, “How many melt-downs or shut-downs have you had in the last seven days?” And everyone says, “Every day, all day! I’m having melt-downs all the time.” Or, “How confident do you feel about yourself and your ability to get things done?” “Well, not at all. I get nothing done, I’m such a procrastinator. I’m a professional procrastinator.” We hear this stuff every day.

What I am realizing is, it is not about organizing your office. Yes, I teach people how to organize their office, and I am really good at it. But it is about getting your life back. It is the same thing with SANE. Yes, you can help me shrink my waist, but at the end of the day, that is not why Jonathan Bailor is getting up in the morning – to help people have a smaller waist, or to help them weigh less when they step on a scale. It is like helping them with that whole picture of their life, getting it back.

Jonathan: That is exactly right. It is getting out of second gear, or being able to just live your life at the fullest. Let’s use a different analogy. If you have the flu, I think we would all agree that any other goal you have for your life, or any other person who depends on you, the goal is not going to be accomplished nearly as well, and the person is not going to be served nearly as well if you have the flu. Literally, two-thirds of people in this world, especially in this country of America, have the metabolic flu. They are living in a state of illness. Just imagine, if you had the flu for 30 years, and one day you could not have the flu anymore, how much more control, how much more empowering would life become?

April: With the concussion I had a couple of months ago where I literally was in bed, not able to think or do anything for weeks, I couldn’t do a darn thing on my list. I couldn’t get anything done. It is amazing the difference right now when I am totally recovered, I feel great. Why is it so different now than it was back then?

And I feel very similarly, when my body was full of processed foods, when I was just worried about calorie-counting, I really felt like I was in a fog in so many ways. Life was still good; it wasn’t like my life was terrible. It was just so suboptimal, whenever I would look at that bigger picture of my life and think, “Okay, how are things going?” The physical aspect of my life was always where I thought, “If I could just get this one area dialed in, that is what would help me feel like I could sing.” So, thanks Jonathan.

Jonathan: My pleasure. So, what is phase three in this model, April?

April: Now we are going to go into brainstorming. This is where if I could turn the computer and go to my white board we would actually put in the middle, “Lose weight” and then we would make the big sun where we are just drawing little lines out from this goal of losing weight. We are going to just brainstorm.

What are all the things that we need to even think about when we want to lose weight? Prior to SANE it was which calorie-counting app should I use? 1200 calories a day – how can I make that happen? How can I divide it up into my 100-calorie snack packs?

And then it was exercise. How much time can I get at the gym, and which gym classes can I take? And how can I be there, or go running two hours a day, or whatever it was I needed to do? But mainly, the whole brainstorm was focused on how do I calorie count, and how to do I move more?

With SANE, now the brainstorm is totally different. Not totally different, there are still things like, I’m caring about food and movement, but I’m not stressed in any way. Maybe I’ll just share a few that come to mind, and you can add in what you think – what you want to add.

Initially, going SANE, I think, “How can I possibly get ten or more servings of deep, green, leafy vegetables into my body every day?” Brainstorming that – how can I get a ton of deep greens into my body? How can I make more SANE meals using lean protein, healthy fats, in addition to those non-starchy vegetables? I would be thinking, “How can I walk more, yoga, Pilates, get to the gym a couple of times per week one-half hour or so? How can I get to bed earlier? How can I make sure I am drinking water more during the day?” Those are some initial ones. What else would you add?

Jonathan: I would 100% focus, like you said, April, on first of all, don’t brainstorm things to avoid. Brainstorm on things to do. That is a huge distinction of pursuing the positive rather than attacking the negative. I think we would probably both agree that if your brainstorm was to lose weight, and then you had a bunch of “do not do blank, do not do blank, do not do blank,” that is a disempowering brainstorm. So, please do not that.

April: No ice cream! No fun!

Jonathan: Exactly! Do not list out all the things you are going to try to avoid. Try to list out – I would say, let’s just start with vegetables. Really think hard, what are vegetables that you do like eating? How do you like eating them? What are existing recipes that are vegetable-heavy that you can enjoy? List them out. Same thing – if you eat meat, or if you eat seafood in any way, shape or form, what are dishes that involve meat or seafood that you enjoy? List them out. Do you like nuts? Do you like seeds? List out all those options.

What becomes beautiful then is, people say, “What do I do in terms of the grocery store, and meal plans, and yada-yada-yada?” You will pick one of those vegetables, and pick one of those proteins, and boom! There is one meal. And then pick another one of those vegetables, and pick another one of those proteins, and boom! There is another meal. It is a little bit like paint-by-numbers, and what you would do in your brainstorm, at least from a SANE food group perspective, is to list out all the different options you are already aware of and already a fan of within those food groups, and then mix and match.

April: I love it. So really, it’s a fun brainstorm. And when you think about the things that you could do in addition to the food and the exercise, things like subscribing to the SANE show, start listening to these podcasts, read The Calorie Myth, go check out SANE Seminar. Come check out the resource of the SANE family that we’re learning to become. There are lots of resources available for you that you can start exploring, listening, watching, that you can dip your toes in, if you like. Just start exploring, because when you feel empowered and you feel like, “Oh, my gosh, there is all this great information out there, I could start utilizing that,” I think it feels a little bit more exciting.

Ready to jump into step four?

Jonathan: Step four.

April: Now we are going to organize. This is where, seriously, what I do when I am organizing a project now, I have been using Asana. I think that works really well. Asana.com – you can get a free account. Or you could literally just get out post-it notes, or something like that. Just put all the different categories of the things you are going to be working on, separately, into groupings. If it is something like “things to read” or “education,” that would be one grouping each.

And you would have things like, “the SANE Seminar” or “SANE Families” or “reading The Calorie Myth” or “listen to a podcast,” or have “education stuff” together.” You could group together all your different food ideas – brainstorming vegetables and proteins and fats, or exploring all the different food recipes that you could create – learning about how to do that.

Maybe I would have an “activity and exercise” grouping, things like, “Okay, I’m going to go get that gym membership because I do want to do some heavy weights and I don’t have any weights at home.” Or “I am going to start doing yoga and Pilates,” which I have been finally doing this month – super-excited about it. I’ve been exploring all kinds of options on mine and taking online YouTube classes from a variety of different people. You can start grouping education, exercise, and eating – looking at this big project and just putting it into smaller groups. Then you can organize each idea by priority.

What I love about that – and I know it’s probably hard to visualize this – what I end up with is a very simple collection of groupings, a few different things I’m working on, and very specific ideas that then I can just move around and prioritize. And then, it doesn’t feel so big.

I think one of the main problems is that, let’s say your whole frig and pantry is full of inSANE food. Let’s say you never exercise, you’re embarrassed to walk in a gym. You don’t even want to go anywhere near that. Or what if you just feel like you have no support, or you have no money, and you feel like, “Oh gosh, I just can’t even get started?”

And then losing weight feels like this huge project you will never even get to achieve and you just feel hopeless. I know people feel like that. What I suggest is that when you do this brainstorm and then you organize it and start looking at it in a very systematic way, all of a sudden it feels doable. That’s where I get excited.

Jonathan: In those categories I think there is a natural mapping which, hopefully, might emerge during your brainstorm, but if it doesn’t emerge you could maybe do this slightly out of order, and I know that might be blasphemy, but there are some categories that we do recommend within the SANE program. The first is, of course, eating. Within SANE eating there are the four food groups – non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole-food fats, and low-fructose fruits. So, you might see a natural cluster around SANE dietary changes. And then you might find a cluster about Smarter physical movement, and April certainly gave some wonderful examples of that.

Then, another big, important cluster is SANE loving social support. So, where can you find loving relationships and connection so that you can share this journey and not try to go it alone? And then a fourth bucket is rest and recovery. So, also very important, you might find things like, as April said, yoga. Even things like taking a restorative walk. People might say that goes in the exercise bucket, but that actually goes in the restorative bucket. Ways to get more sleep – rest and recovery. Those four buckets are dietary, and then from a movement, exercise perspective, and then a social/spiritual support perspective, and then a rest and recovery bucket.

April: I think that is awesome. And really, when you think about having support, and having someone there to help you on your SANE journey, this is a totally different thing than having a support group to help you start. And I know, because I’ve been a part of both, and when you are in a group where people are encouraging you to starve, the conversations are very much like, “That’s okay, just be hungry. Fight it. You’re so good, you can do this. You’re a warrior.”

You hear these people saying, “Just starve, starve, starve, and don’t feel bad if you eat 12 donuts, just come back and starve again.” That, seriously, is what is going on, and it actually makes me ill to even be in those conversations anymore because I just think they don’t know there is a better way. I don’t think they do. , that is why I’m here on this podcast, because if there is anyone out there who is either being encouraged to starve, or who is feeing guilty because you are not starving – Hello – come meet Jonathan. Come meet SANE.

Jonathan: April, it is really important to highlight that because I think what some people might do is, they might say, “Oh, social support, that’s important.” So, what are the two lowest-hanging fruit ways to get social support? “Well, first, I’m going to post on Facebook and just see what all my Facebook friends have to say.” And the second thing is, “I’m going to try to get support from my family.” Unfortunately, those might not be the best places to get support, especially support for SANE lifestyle changes.

In fact, I know a lot of people, unfortunately, who, anytime they try to change anything in their life their family is kind of like, “Whoa, hey, if you change, maybe that means that I should change, and it seems like you’re judging me, so now I’m going to try to pull you back down.” There is a crab-in-the-bucket analogy that we could use, but we don’t really have time to, so search online for “crab in bucket” analogy, and there is kind of a funny story around that.

But it’s the same thing with Facebook or social media. If you don’t look for a curated, SANE community, what will happen is, you’re going to post something on social media and people are going to say, “Whoa, what about this? I heard this in the news.” It’s just going to be a confusing mess. So it is important that you don’t just try to get any support, you have to get the right kind of SANE support.

April: I totally agree. Now, I need to do a plug. I know you don’t do a lot of plugs for your program on this podcast, but we need to, because the SANE Ignite program , the support community you have in there, is amazing. I know I can go in there and ask any question and that you have people who actually have knowledge in this who are going to help answer and support me. So, can you just tell people where to go if they want to learn more about that? I think we need to plug this.

Jonathan: Yes, you can pop over to SANEseminar.com, or you could always just reach out to us at service@sanesolutionl.com and we can provide more information. We do have a curated, moderated community that has a staff of SANE certified coaches in it, as well as champion members of our community, and just other SANE family members. We have been diligently working on creating an amazing culture in there for about three years, and you are not going to find a more loving, SANE place in the world.

April: I agree, and I think that’s fantastic. I have been getting emails lately from people who say, “Okay, April, I have heard about SANE Ignite, and I don’t really know Jonathan, but I trust you, so what do you have to say?” And what I would say is, you know what? Seriously, if you are looking for the best advice and the best care, as you lose weight, to be healthy, right? It’s not just about losing weight. If you are really looking to live healthy, Jonathan is the best I know of in the world.” I literally trust Jonathan with my life because I take his advice. I’m not getting paid to say this (laughs). I’m just saying it because it’s true. But it will save me a lot of emails, I’ll just send people to this podcast, because, really, it 100% has worked for me, and every time I’ve thought, “Well, maybe I should try something else,” or “I don’t know, do I want to eat a piece of cake?” Anytime I’m waffling. I’m never as happy as I am when I’m sticking to SANE. So, I do stick to SANE, and I’m getting better and better all the time. I love it.

O Okay, should we go on to number five?

Jonathan: Number five. Is this last? Is this saving the best for last?

April: Yes, this is last. We talk about next actions all the time. Number five is when you identify your next action. So, when you have these categories that you brainstormed, and then you are organizing them and grouping them, and prioritizing, then you just look at all that and you say, “Okay, what is my next action? What can I actually do today?” Now, there are two of the biggest mistakes people make when they are identifying next actions. Do you want to know that they are?

Jonathan: What are they?

April: You’re dying to hear them?

Jonathan: I’m dying – baited breath.

April: I know. This is my thing. I love talking about next actions because I was a professional procrastinator for years, and now I’m not. These are the two biggest mistakes people make, across the board, worldwide. Mistake number one is, people identify a sub-project instead of a next action. A next action is that next specific, visible activity that will lead something toward completion, but people always identify a sub-project.

For example, if I was thinking, “Oh, I need to organize my whole kitchen.” So what is my next action? “Oh, the pantry; that pantry is my next action.” That’s not a next action; that is a whole sub-project. So, as you’re changing with SANE, someone says, “Well, what is your next action for SANE?” You say, “I’m going to eat healthier.” What? How are you going to eat healthier? What does that mean? That is a sub-project, that is not the next action.

So, you could say something like, “I’m going to start drinking spinach smoothies.” Jonathan has a whole bunch of resources available on SANEsolution.com on how you could do that. You could say, “I’m going to research and find one green smoothie that I’m going to drink,” or something like that. But we have to make this super-specific. That’s mistake number one. People identify a sub-project instead of an actual next action.

Number two is, people identify a next action that is specific, but they actually can’t do it until something else happens first. So, someone says, “I’m going to lift weights for 20 minutes,” but they don’t have any weights. That’s what people do. They will say, “I’m going to go lift weights for 20 minutes.” Then they look at it on their list and they say, “Yeah, I can’t do that because I didn’t buy my weights yet,” or “I didn’t get my gym membership yet.”

So, then we boil it down. The next action would be either go purchase some weights or go get your gym membership. It needs to be super-specific because I look at people’s lists for a living. It’s ridiculous how most of us in the world don’t know how to make lists that actually serve us. If we can learn how to say, “Next action is going to be drink a smoothie,” or “buy two 20-pounds weights,” or something like that, now that gives you something to do.

This is my favorite definition. I know, I get super-excited about this. This is how I geek out. The way you know if someone has found their next action is when they see it written down, their heart gets a little lift, and they think, “Oh, I could do that.” Then it is a quick win. If you look at your list and you think, “Oh man, I need 20 hours, I’m never going to succeed. That just looks too hard,” then it’s just not a next action. So you just kind of boil it down a little bit more.

Okay, sorry, I’m done with my rant about next actions. I just love them.

Jonathan: I loved the rant, and I really love this last step. I would say, for me personally, it is almost like this process has two highlight bookends, where that big “why” and the “next action” are so meaningful and important, because within the SANE Ignite family we always get that question, April. How do I get started? What do I do next? Where do I begin? Within our program, take Step One within Course One of Lesson One. The program is broken down so you can do something immediately next, focusing on something small that you can do today.

I’m going to give you kind of an extreme example. Sometimes people will say, “My goal is to drink ten eight-ounce glasses of water per day.” I think we have probably all read that all over the internet – eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. So you might say that’s a really good specific goal – eight eight-ounce glasses of water today. I would argue we can do even one step better. I would write down, “Drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water,” and then I would draw eight circles underneath it, and every single time I drink a glass of water I would check one off. Because drinking eight glasses of water isn’t the smallest next action you could have. The smallest next action you could have is drinking one glass of water.

This is related to what you said, but one way that I say it, April, is that the right next action is something you can do immediately. You can’t drink ten glasses of water right now, but you can blend a SANE smoothie, if you have the ingredients. You can drink one glass of water. You can post three gratitudes in your journal in the SANE support group. You can go to SANEseminar.com and sign up to join us for our master class. These are things you can do right now to get that lift that you talked about.

April: I love that. And really, you could also go get ten bottles of water and put them on your desk, if you wanted to – have them right out in front you. I love that, having a little thing you can check off, or having it just right in front you, literally. “I’m just going to start drinking. I’m just going to have it there.” That has been huge for me.

Even the spinach smoothies – I have some resistance to spinach smoothies, I have to tell you, Jonathan, because they were not tasty. Some are, okay. Mine are – I just do lemon and water and spinach, and I have had some resistance. “Oh, it’s kind of a pain to blend smoothies.” I don’t know. I was just having some resistance. But I did go to Costco and I bought six bags of spinach. Alia had the cart outside the refrigerated area, and I went in, thinking, “Oh, I want to get six of these.” I literally came out, me alone, holding six big bags of spinach. It was ridiculous. I just don’t go to Costco very often and I was thinking, “I just want to have them in my freezer.”

Anyway, totally doing it, and just buying that spinach, knowing it is in my freezer, and I bought lemon juice in big bottles, and I was thinking, “I have the ingredients, I need to make these quick, blended spinach smoothies.” And I actually learned to like them. I just had one for lunch today, I had one for breakfast this morning, and I have another one ready if I want to have it later. It’s awesome. I feel – can you tell I feel so good? I feel so good!

Jonathan: I love it. I also love – and this not really related to the five-step process, but you said, “I learned to love them.” Here is a secret. What is the secret? Here is the secret. Human beings like the taste of things they eat consistently.

April: I agree.

Jonathan: People say, “Oh, kids won’t eat blah-blah-blah.” Kids in Africa eat differently than kids in China. There is no human being that likes just this. You like what you enjoy consistently, so anything that you can find through this process to help you do these things consistently will create a virtuous cycle because you will start to enjoy it.

April: I love that. That’s all I have. I’m super-excited about that. And if you want to know SANE stuff, Jonathan is the SANE person. If you want to know how to create a command central, come visit me at learndobecome.com/step. Come learn about this. I feel like this is where my talents and Jonathan’s talents can come together. I live in the middle of a crazy house. Literally, it is never quiet. Right now, I had to send Eric away and my kids are out of school.

Life is crazy, and I think when you can learn how to organize and prioritize what you really want in your life, and how to make it a project that works, you are going to get results, and then you just start getting excited because you think, “Finally, after all my years of trying to be healthy, trying to lose weight, trying to feel great about myself,” you finally get to be there. I think that’s a dream. So, thanks, Jonathan.

Jonathan: My pleasure. And it is a dream, also, to have you here with us, April, and I hope all the listeners and all the viewers today have heard the passion in April’s voice because part of the reason that April and I are doing this together is that we do bring unique skill sets to the table. I’m coming with some psychology, some nutrition, some biology, some endocrinology, but it’s just me and my wife, and all we do is SANE, and we live in our little SANE research facility, and that’s what we do.

April: Awesome.

Jonathan: But April has broken this down and lived this, and that is actually how we met each other. April just started sharing her wonderful SANE success and I said, “Wow, we need to talk,” and I learned more and more about how April was able to do this, given all the other real-world things she has to deal with. That is where I feel like it is such a dynamic duo, and I’m so happy that she is here sharing this information with you.

So, obviously, hopefully, you have already checked out SANEsolution.com and if you haven’t yet, check out April’s website over at learndobecome.com/step. Generally the website is learndobecome.com, but then pop over to learndobecome.com/step, to get more information on this five-step process that we covered today.

And remember, stay SANE.