Catch Vernon Brown on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] Thank you so much for joining the #PirateBroadcast™. If you're watching live, if you're watching it in the future, watching it anytime, on video, audio or reading the transcription. Thank you. And all the #gratitude in the world for you consuming this content because this is an incredibly important episode. We have Vernon here and we have a little moment to talk about happiness, guilt, shame, diets, good food, and enjoying life. Welcome back.
Vernon Brown: [00:00:44] Thank you for having me back. I wanted to hear that music a little bit longer. It's got me jamming over here.
Russ Johns: [00:00:50] We'll wrap it up on the other end of the song. How've you been, man?
Vernon Brown: [00:00:54] I've been really good. Considering a few months ago where things work in terms of 2020, in general, but the things are really well.
Russ Johns: [00:01:00] Yeah. It's been interesting. And here's something I just thought about is that we're living in the most incredible time in the history of humanity and also we're surviving and thriving through the most interesting time in our humanity.
Vernon Brown: [00:01:22] I can honestly say in my lifetime, I've never experienced anything like this, a lot of us like you said, they're surviving them and many of us are thriving right now. So it just lends to how strong they are, we are and what we're capable of.
Russ Johns: [00:01:34] And to your point before we got on the show, there's things that we have control over and a lot of us hold onto guilt and shame and I want to talk about that a little bit later in the show, but realistically, I think a lot of people are sitting back and thinking, wow, I can do something different. I can be something different than I imagined I could be. And sometimes when we're forced through a change in circumstance, that's when we decided to make changes and we feel like it's okay. It's not the worst thing in the world.
Vernon Brown: [00:02:08] Yeah. I think sometimes we can get, not necessarily, I don't want to say rigid, but we can look ourselves as like a precious metal or just look at ourselves like iron or something. And with iron or steel, you feel as though you can't change or you only have to do things a certain way, whatever groove has been put there, that's the only way we can be. And I think, a big positive came out is that we recognize and many have recognized that like the malleability that would like we have. And unfortunately, sometimes we have to be forced into those changes, but from those changes that were pushed to the ledge with, so-to-speak, you recognize I can do this. I think all of us are pushed to the edge or that uncomfort like change. And some people it's just hey, look, we've got to embrace this. And some people took a minute, but they eventually got to that place.
Russ Johns: [00:02:50] Yeah. And it's really important to understand that. Change and growth happens outside the comfort zone. So you gotta, you have to appreciate the fact that we have gone through something major and we're still here doing what we're doing. And one of the things that you're focusing on is maybe helping people think about a different way of losing a couple of pounds that they may have gained a staying at home and being bored. And so talk about that, going into that subject of eating and healthy and mindset and how that fits into the world.
Vernon Brown: [00:03:25] Yeah. Last time we were talking, obviously, found out what's you're happy and it's all about, not messing aroundwith your smile and things like that, but really appreciatingsome of the things that you have in life, I'm not most of the things you have in life, even the things that you can't control, but it's I'm going to be better in spite of, and what kind of came out of that, 2020 ride. I don't even want to say the name. I don't even like saying2020,was that a lot of us, myself included, it's hey, we started packing on a few pounds. Some people were being in shape, but I know my gyms weren't open. And I just noticed that, when I was talking to different clients, the business was doing great, but people are saying like, oh, I put on a few pounds and people start using that crutch. I hate to say it, I'm getting older and I'm slowing down. It's no. We're not slowing down. It's just that we get stuck again in those grooves, and this is how I walk. This is how I do everything. I started recognizing my background in personal training. It's hey, there's something here and out of that. And I started realizing being so regimented and structured is great, but you know what we saw last year and the years leading up to that, that having that kind of frozen, this is how we do every single thing. It really doesn't fit into our lives. And I started thinking about what can I do with this? And it kinda bred the impetus for the happy meal diet. And it's just a more flexible way that, works with many person's lifestyle regardless of age, regardless of gender, regardless of a lot of other factors that stop people from losing weight and also from feeling better, not only physically, but mentally.
Russ Johns: [00:04:50] Yeah. It's surprising how, and for me, this is just me. I'm very in tune with working towards and I equate a lot of things to music because music was my first love, getting in the groove, like the #PirateBroadcast had been going on for almost 400 and I think 450 episodes. A few episodes. I got a few days in and then like I'm creating music every day. So that's 83 episodes last night, and getting in the groove of getting up, doing this thing, and some people would see it as routine. Some people would say it as a habit. Some people would see it as doing something structured and I liked the structure of some things in my life and I like the flexibility of other things. And when it comes to food, I like variety. So like we were talking before the show, I'll drive to someplace to experience a new restaurant or a new food if I have a craving for Thai or sushi or something like that. I like to go out there and I don't like to punish myself thinking that, oh how many calories did I eat today? Or how much did I exercise? Or all of that thing. So we have to think about what fits into our lifestyle as much as it's a fit into. But the key element for me is portion control and activity. If I can stay active and I can just not eat an entire pizza. Mentioning pizza, here's Wendy. I put on COVID-19 isnot a side effect, it's a virus. Basil pizza, by the way, if you're ever in the Minnesota area. So talk about that and choice in how we can choose and be more aware of what we're putting in our mouth and how we're using our bodies.
Vernon Brown: [00:06:44] This subject is it hits close to home because I wasn't always in shape for about 20 years. These are the terms that were thrown at me. I was the fat kid. I was a chubby kid or what they called me, the thicker kid. And it was just one of those things when I was about 19 years old and I was like, I'm kinda tired of it. And I started being more active and I really started paying attention, like you were saying about portion control. And I think what happened with me, telling a little bit about my story from people might have heard it. Like I got into modeling and acting and doing that kind of career choice. Like you eat the same food every single time. Sure, you can mix it up, but when you find a formula for success, especially at that level, it's like, if you shot a cover that looks like this, you need to make sure you stay like that cause if it works. But what happened was I got burnt out and it wasn't the physical, it was the mental. I started like looking at myself really differently. A lot of people won't talk about this. Especially a lot of men they're like, oh my weight doesn't bother me. Look, it got to me. If I gained like a pound it would get in m y head and it almost took me out of the game, so to speak. I just didn't feel like me. And so it was a couple of years of doing that, about three years. And it was like, what can I do that I can be healthy. Healthy, not just because you don't have an eight pack, but I'm okay with having a two pack, but I don't feel like I'm being so neurotic. I was like, oh, I got to countthis calorie and just start paying attention to how foods like, huh, I feel really good when I eat this food. Just like you, if I'm having fish tacos tonight, I don't want to have fish tacos for five days a week on top of that. Cause you're getting bored and I love tacos. Tacos are delicious. Tacos are life, but you get bored and it's like, all right, there's something here. I know I'm not the only one that gets bored. And I know I'm not the only foodie who wants to be in shape. And so I just started looking at how different foods lined up and stacked up along with timing, because at the time it still is a big thing and as well as portion control and that's what really led up to it. It's like I don't have to feel bad about having good food. Not necessarily foods that just going to be loaded with a bunch of salt or a lot of oil and things like that. But it's I'm not one of these people that's telling you to go out and buy this gadget. Open up your cabinet. Let's talk about what the garlic is going to do for you. Let's talk about this and let's time it when you eat it like this and you'd like that. And that's whya big thing with the recipes that, when we put putting together, it's like, we're considerate of the fact I have a six year old. If you want to see how picky a person is, have a child. Okay. If it's not shaped like a dinosaur, and if it doesn't taste like cheddar cheese, like he's not eating it. And the fact that he's eating it and like my son he's active, like me. We're like running around, every six year olds active, but I think we got something here and we just been gaining more momentum ever since, because it's who needs more shame and guilt. We came into 2020 and left 2020, and I don't want to deal with anything that will run in 2020. So it's about having foods that make you feel better. It's having foods that help you lose weight without the exercise. Do we recommend exercise? Yes, but you don't have to, and you're still going to lose weight.
Russ Johns: [00:09:30] I love that. And I want to give a shout out to some of the pirates in the room. Marcia's here. #piratenation happy Friday morning to everyone. Thank you so much. Elize from South America. She's in South Africa. Sorry, Elize. Good morning, Russ, Vernon and the pirates. And B Lee Jones. Good day. Thank you so much for being here. Wendy, cheers to #piratenation Vernon. And Jenny Gold in from Colorado. Thank you so much. #piratenation Wendy, love you, Admiral. Thank you. Love you Wendy. Take care. She goes, I'm in the perfect shape. Shape is curvy. I'm in shape. I'm in shape. Round is a shape.
Vernon Brown: [00:10:17] This is true.
Russ Johns: [00:10:18] Howard Kaufman, repeating something I heard recently, food is medicine. Yeah, let's talk about that. Let's talk about the guilt and shame of food because the guilty pleasures, as they say. It's okay, I'm going to sneak that extra slice of pizza. I want to eat the cookie or the you'll have a little snack at midnight. We also have to think about the things that we're fitting outside the box. And the more I notice what I eat and how I feel after I eat it.
Vernon Brown: [00:10:46] It's huge.
Russ Johns: [00:10:49] And it's huge. And you start noticing that. And you are more selective about what you put in your body. Howard says food is medicine. So what's your thoughts about that? How do we need to approach it? People getting healthy,
Vernon Brown: [00:11:01] You know Howard brings up such a great point, both you all, like certain foods, if you notice, like if you go to any fast food restaurant, whatever it is, you can't deny the fact that after you eat like a triple stack, whatever, blah, blah, blah, you don't feel the best. I'm not one of those people though, who's saying that, it's summertime, it's hot as all get out, depending on where you're at Russ. We were talking about that earlier. You're having cookouts. You're going to have some different foods that might not be the healthy variety and that's okay. And it's because a big thing about it is one day you're not going to be here and no one's ever going to say man, that guy was really good at counting his macros. Man, she did a great job of making sure she...
Russ Johns: [00:11:36] I've never seen that on a tombstone.
Vernon Brown: [00:11:38] You won't. You just won't because I'm not one of these believers and I'm not knocking anybody who does believe this, but we're not all meant to walk around like sparkles, we're not. At the same time though, we all need to make sure that we are enjoying ourselves and being healthy as we possibly can. If you have a cookie, if you have a sweet, if you have whatever, okay, like we have a community and I think I know the sweet sauce Russ is one of the diet is great. It's the community. We'll have someone come in and say, oh my gosh, I partied this weekend. Which you'll see me immediately say, and I'll say, so. They're like isn't this horrible. I'm like, you just got extra fuel to make sure you're going to have a great week. And you're gonna be getting a couple extra steps in this week. You're like, oh, I never looked at it like that. Because what happens is it becomes cyclical, right? You're like, I feel bad. And then I ate bad food and you already feel bad about eating the bad food. Your body feels bad about eating bad food. And what do we do when you feel bad, smart capable people, people let's double down on bad. Let's go ahead and just sell the farm. Everything it's like that doesn't help anybody.
Russ Johns: [00:12:34] Yeah. So that's where the guilt comes in. It's like you're shaming yourself and then you feel guilty for shaming yourself. And then you eat something that you probably think will make you feel better.
Vernon Brown: [00:12:46] I feel better, but now I can't believe I ate a bowl of mashed potatoes. You're like, oh gosh, I need to feel better.
Russ Johns: [00:12:51] Box of ice cream,
Vernon Brown: [00:12:52] Yep, but that doesn't help anybody. Guilt and shame, depending where you're at in life, they can be teachers, but I don't think they're the best motivators. So for me, it's you could go up to someone and you use some type of negative reinforcement. I can't believe you ate that. Or like my son I'm like I can't believe you did this gingerbread. I call him gingerbread because he's got that beautiful brown skin, or I could say what can we do different? All right, cool. And then of course it's oh, I'm not in trouble. Like you can make a better choice. But let me tell you the positive of what you just did. And he's oh, all right, let's make a better choice and let's go about a business. He won't do it again. And it's the same exact thing. And I believe we talked about this last time. It's the same model that you need as an adult. You don't need guilt and shame, but what we need is more understanding, maybe empower people to make a better choice, because when you explain to people like, you know why you want that potato chip? Why? Because you'll want it all right. You got it. And let's go on about our business. And you get over that crave and you go about your day.
Russ Johns: [00:13:44] Yeah it's really important for us to understand and that's a common thread through life, and it's not just related to food. Some of the activities are, taking a nap versus going for a walk. They both recharge you and it's in a different way. So some days it's a walk and some days it's a nap. I don't know, whatever fits your lifestyle. Ultimately, you have to be comfortable with what you have. And I think that's where a lot of people get hung up. Like you were saying for you, it was your burnout, your mental energy that you had working to keep that one pound off. That takes a lot of energy, a lot of tenacity and it does wear on you after awhile.
Vernon Brown: [00:14:25] It does. I remember, so we're looking at store. Remember when I mentioned I was like a heavier kid, when I was younger? A heavier person and there's nothing wrong with that. But for me, it's hey, I want to feel a certain way. And I remember it's oh, I started looking, I was like, oh, you have a six pack, you have this, you have that. And you start getting some accolades and in my mind, I'm like, oh man, it'd be so great when I look like this is going to be so great. Now, here I am at the top of the mountain, I'm screaming and I'm like isn't any better. You know what I mean? It's not that I didn't feel better, but it's like what I thought it was. And then I recognize as much as I valued this particular aesthetic, it's I really appreciated me maybe not looking exactly like that, but I was still having fun. I was still able to do things. And so I just realized like, as much as I cared about the way that I looked, I really valued the way that I feel. Because just because someone might have a different body type because some people, somebody mentioned it is shaped like a potato, but it's you know what, as long as you're feeling good, your lab's looking good, that's what matters. Because as you get older, a lot of those things kind of start going out the door. And I was 25 when I recognized there's a better way or there's just a better way to feel. And that's what I'm always letting so many members in the community know, and they're like, I lost six pounds this week, I feel really good and they're almost scared to say that I feel good, like it's a secret, it's like feeling good is everything to me.
Russ Johns: [00:15:40] And I have to admit when I was in better shape, not that I'm completely out of shape right now. I'm getting older and 20 years ago when I was biking hundreds of miles a week, I was feeling different. It was different. I had a lot more flexibility, a lot more energy and it didn't seem to be that challenging to lose weight, or get more energy, everything else. The older I get, the more effort it seems to take, so I have to think about things differently. And if you really focus on your energy on losing weight, it just seems like there's a cost and there's a reward. And it's almost like this, is it worth the investment? So you have to think about, okay, if I'm going to do this, what's it for? Why do I want to do it? And typically for me, it's okay. I want to feel better. I want to be able to get up and down easily, move around. And for my body though, it's like all my aches and pains, I've broken almost everything at some point in time. I've lived pretty good. But it does feel better when I don't have as many pounds on as I do right now.
Vernon Brown: [00:16:54] What youjust said is something I hear often. And I'm always reminded people. I'm not saying she said this, but I'll have people say that it's just as I've gotten older, I don't have the energy that I had when I was in the twenties and that is very accurate, but I'm always reminding people of when we were in our twenties, I think really thinking about the carers that you had, right? You mentioned about growing the #PirateSyndicate. You mentioned about making a track every day. You mentioned different things you're managing in life. Like we didn't have all those responsibilities and those thoughts really do take energy because you're thinking about what step you need to do next. And you're a hundred percent accurate, energy is the big thing here. And that's why I'm always getting people like that. We had a big, we do a weekly contest. I'm asking people, you need to do something fun for yourself. If you're not making it fun, you're not going to do it. When you hear the word diet, people like I'm losing stuff, I'm not doing anything. And so just even thinking, I'm like, oh my gosh, I can't do it. I can't do it. People get caught up. I'm such a fanatic of you have to make it fun. And if it's not fun, I'm telling you, it's just going to feel like a chore. I'm not saying it doesn't take effort for sure. Any type of change or any sort of change does take effort, but it's about making it fun. And that's why we're big on the contest. And that's why I'm always reminding people, what are you doing for yourself this week? It's great that you're meal prepping, but if you're not enjoying it, eventually it will fall off. And that's what it's like. All right. What's your favorite food? And you'll tell me your favorite food. I'm like, all right, try and make a note like this. I can still have that because I'm not gonna lie to you and tell you I'm not gonna eat tacos tonight. I'm eating tacos, right? It's just you gotta make it fun and that's an outside of a diet, but anything you have to find ways to make life fun because if you don't, you're going to get burnt out and you're going to be faking it until you make it. And you never really make it when you fake it. Have fun.
Russ Johns: [00:18:29] It's not permanent. As soon as you get to a goal on a diet, a lot of people say, okay, diets over and then they go back to doing whatever they were doing. So you have to think about, okay, how do I want... and that's what I was talking about being very systematic. I get up, I do the show every day. I typically fix a smoothie in the morning, I quit drinking coffee. I do drink chai tea now. And just if I feel better, it's like, it doesn't affect me as the same way. And just those little changes make a big difference. And because it's been very hot here. I haven't been out biking recently and I'd go out and walk or I'll get up and stretch and do some things like that. You just have to find a way and navigate through life in a way that feels good and makes you feel like you can get up and do more. And I ain't gonna lie though, sometimes like you said, mental energy is still energy and there's some times that I just feel exhausted at the end of the day and I haven't left my computer. You know what I'm saying? And I think we need to recognize burnout as well and consuming the right foods. And I think when I was juicing there for awhile and doing a cleanse and just getting rid of some bad habits and adjusting my taste buds a little bit. And it's really okay, better choices, better selection, getting a groove and not being too hard on yourself.
Vernon Brown: [00:20:01] Absolutely. I love what you said about your routine. You got to find out what your happy is, right? Because my routine might not be your routine and vice versa or whomever or whoever it's like, once you find your routine, smoothies, aren't my deal. I like that you love them. I love that you like them and that's you're happy, stick with it. But find a routine that works for you because there is no one way to atop the mountain. There's many ways, but it's about finding something that works for you that offers like that flexibility for your lifestyle. Do I have regimented things I do everyday? Sure. I make sure I go and walk every day. I make sure that my walk, that's my meditation time. I'm listening to different things, whether it be positive videos, rap music, rubbed metal or something like that, but that's just my me time. But other than that, fill in the gaps with lot of flexibility in between clients, but that's my happy. I don't think a lot of people really take stock in the fact of when you find a routine, own the routine. Don't just do the routine. Find when it works for you for your happy and what works for your lifestyle.
Russ Johns: [00:21:01] And like I say, get up, wake up, have a little #gratitude and find out what brings you a little bit of joy every day. Whether it's hanging out with friends or family or connecting with cool people like Vernon, find something that you love to do. And So you mentioned a group Vernon. So do you have a group? Do you have a course? Do you have something that people could connect with you and understand a little bit more about how they can remove the guilt and shame of life and maybe improve their lifestyle to the point that they're finding joy and happiness in their day.
Vernon Brown: [00:21:38] Absolutely. I'm glad you asked if you go to the happimeal.com that's where you can learn more about the happi meal diet. You can see some different success stories, and then you have the option to join the community. I'm always urging people and suggesting the community like do the community because the community isn't just about, oh, hey, how are you doing? My life is great. No, it's about... just recently this week, we had a member who lost a family member, a very close family member. And these are things that show up when you're working on improving your life is still going to happen. And when you have that much support, With people saying, hey girl, you got this or, hey dude, you can hang in there. And then people, you find out they're sendingn each other messages, they've been meeting up, virtually that group is such a secret sauce because we're constantly putting new recipes out there. But that group is everything, because anybody can tell you, hey, eat this. And we have over 3 million combinations of foods you're going to have, but it's about the support when you have a bad day, you talk to that group there, or you have a great day, and then the people are celebrating you even through the sad times, even through the tough times and the good and the great it's everything. happimealdiet.com is where you can learn about the happy meal diet and also about the community.
Russ Johns: [00:22:42] And all the links will be in the show notes. You can check out the show and the podcast and the broadcast and the transcription over at RussJohns.com. And it's really important for us to understand that just like your community, the pirates have a community, and if you want to stay connected, you want to be connected, come back and share and comment and do all the things that social media requires. Feed the algorithm. You've got to feed that algorithm.
Vernon Brown: [00:23:09] Absolutely.
Russ Johns: [00:23:10] Just like a happy meal. So just to recap, what do you think is the most important element of lifestyle eating and just being part of a community like that? What's the big takeaway for people from the show today for your commute?
Vernon Brown: [00:23:28] I think the big takeaway is this, the common denominator is that we're all human. And I know that the community allows you to be human and not always be on. It allows you to be human and to have a great day, in spite of the fact that you had some rough times. I think the human element is really the secret sauce. And it's a secret sauce even with the #PirateSyndicate. It's reminding people that it's okay to be great. It's okay to be gracious. It's okay to have a few bumps, but you're still human in spite of and I think I see oftentimes that people are forgetting that we're we're perfectly imperfect and that's all right. And we got to celebrate that. And I know that really stands out and your community and my community, it's just, dude, let's figure out a way to have a great time, even through some of the struggles and a lot of the celebrations alike. So the big takeaway is be a cool human and have fun.
Russ Johns: [00:24:20] Awesome. I love it. Vernon, thank you so much for being here. I wish you, as a pirate, you're always welcome back to share updates and insights and #inspiration.
Vernon Brown: [00:24:31] Thank you, Russ.e
Russ Johns: [00:24:33] And for anyone out there struggling or needs to hear a different message, reach out to the community, reach out to your friends, make those connections, build those connections, build the relationships. That's what the #PirateBroadcast™ is all about. The #piratenation and the #PirateSyndicate is all about, so I love that you're here.
Vernon Brown: [00:24:52] I love it. Yeah. Thank you for having me. I appreciate everyone being here. When you said you'd have me back, or if I was ok with coming back, I was like, yes! I couldn't have clicked that button any harder. So I appreciate it.
Russ Johns: [00:25:03] And thank you everyone for being here, please like, comment and share this kind of content, so more people can find and discover this because it's important that #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree, so you #enjoyyourday. Take care, everyone have a great one.
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