Success Road

2 weeks ago, we looked at what intermittent fasting is and how it can benefit. I also mentioned that it pairs well with the keto diet, which is what we are going to look at today.

As a reminder, I am not a doctor or nutritionist - I’m just a guy trying to figure out how to lose weight safely.


What is Keto?

Keto is short for Ketogenic diet. It is a low-carb, high-fat diet that allows ketones to be produced.

From WebMD:

“Ketones are chemicals your liver makes. You produce them when you don't have enough insulin in your body to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead. Your liver turns this fat into ketones, a type of acid, and sends them into your bloodstream.”

So, you are basically drastically reducing the amount of carbs that to take in, neglecting your body the direct sugar it’s looking for. When you do this, your body doesn’t create insulin to process the food, so the body creates ketones from your fat cells to produce the energy it needs. Hence, the ability to burn fat and lose weight.

Just so we’re on the same page, carbs come from things like sugar, flour, fruits, beans, and starchy foods like potatoes and corn.

Things you can eat are like meats, cheese, and many vegetables. There’s actually a good variety of food you can have, it can just be hard to say no to the other foods.


How low is low carb?

There are a couple “levels” of the Keto diet:

  • Strict Keto - 20 carbs or less (and almost all carbs come from veggies)
  • Dirty Keto - 50ish carbs or less and it doesn’t matter where the carbs come from

If you’ve never looked into it, the numbers may not mean anything to you.

As a point of reference, if you were to get a Quarter Pounder, large fry, and large drink from McDonalds, that would be 48 carbs. For one meal.

Other examples:

  • 1 cup of cooked pasta or rice - 45g
  • Whole english muffin - 30g
  • Medium potato - 30g
  • 1 cup of corn - 30g
  • A small fruit - 15g
  • 1 cup of milk - 12g
  • 1 corn tortilla - 13g
  • 1 flour tortilla - 98g

This puts a lot into perspective. It can actually be pretty easy to get 400-500 carbs in a day. The Mayo Clinic recommends between 225 and 325 grams a day for the “normal” diet. This is one reason why I and many others have gained weight - eating too much food in general, and especially eating too many carbs.

Since everyone is different, your body will go into Ketosis when you eat between 20 and 50 carbs for 2-3 days. That’s when you start to see the difference in your weight.


Benefits of Keto

The obvious benefit of Keto is being able to lose weight pretty quickly. Generally speaking, the lower your carb count, the more you can lose; but that’s obviously not a guarantee. There are too many variables.

I can’t speak for everyone, but my wife and I can attest to having no heartburn while following a keto diet. While we eat normally, we’ll get heartburn and have to take antacids 4-5 days a week. On Keto, it was close to 0 times that we had heartburn in a 3-month period.

Overall, you start to feel better because you’re not having the sugar coursing through your body.


A couple warnings

One negative with starting with keto is what’s known as “Keto flu.” The symptoms and severity are different for everyone, but usually include things like headache, foggy brain, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and constipation.

It usually happens about 2-3 days after starting and lasts for a few days. So basically, when you start to get the benefits from keto, your body is also basically going through withdrawal. 

One way to minimize the effects of keto flu is to gradually bring your carbs down so it’s not quite a shock to your body. So start by dropping to 150 carbs the first day, then 100 the second day, and so on.

Once you get past the first week, the symptoms usually go away, and your body starts to get used to the new normal.

Another thing to keep in mind is your blood sugar is you have diabetes. This would definitely be a case where you want to work with a doctor on what you should do.


What do I plan on doing with Keto

So, as I mentioned previously, I plan to slowly work into lowering my carbs after I get used to the intermittent fasting. I’ve been mostly consistent with the fasting, so I just started to lower my carbs.

I don’t plan on following a full keto plan most of the time, because that can sometimes be a little harder when no one else in the family is doing keto. I plan to keep my carbs under 100 and then have times where I do 3-5 days of 20-30 carbs. So this might look like being full keto for 3-4 days and then allow upto 100 carbs for 3-4 days. The whole time, though, I plan to keep doing the intermittent fasting.

The big thing for me is that I want to have a plan that I can follow consistently because I’ve tried to start the keto diet full-fledge several times, and I struggle because of the food that’s available in my house.

So, for me, doing a keto diet along with intermittent fasting will compose my eating plan to try to lose weight and get in better health.

This is only half of the equation, though. I still need to work on the exercising part, which I’ll talk about in a future episode.

Direct download: sr405.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 7:48am CST

Perhaps you have heard the terms:

  • ”Inner Critics”
  • “negative self-talk”
  • “Impostor Syndrome”

For many years, our guest today, Michelle Kuei, allowed negative beliefs to rule her life and keep her down. Her story is one of courage, determination, and vulnerability. But more importantly, it is about having the confidence to face fear in everyday life. Facing our own worst enemy, facing our own judgments and harsh criticism.

Today, she works with negative self-talkers as a life coach to discover inner strength and beauty by overcoming the fear of judgments.

Michelle and I discuss how she overcame negative self-talk and her own inner critic and how you can do the same.

Michelle begins by telling listeners her story, which began at age 11 when she was hit by a car. She had complications during the long years of recovery and, in the midst of it all, her family immigrated to New York. In addition to overcoming the physical challenges that her body presented her, she also confronted the challenge of adjusting to a new culture, learning a new language, and making new friends. Her inner critic told her she didn’t meet society’s standards. In her 40s, she decided she no longer wanted to live as her own critic and began a journey of overcoming physical as well as internal challenges, leading her to hike Machu Picchu.

In the second half of the episode, Michelle explains her “three D” rules — determination, discipline, and dedication — and how you can use them to overcome your own challenges and change your life. She also talks about her passion for changing society through education. At the end, you’ll hear about Michelle’s book and podcast and how to connect with her.


Key Quotes:

“The emotional challenge is the most challenging portion to overcome.”

“I lived 30 years of my life looking down to myself, being ashamed of my body.”

“One day when I was waking up, I realized that this is not the life that I want to live. I don’t want to live my life feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to be constantly beating up myself over how I look. I’m going to change that.”

“I came home and I realized what worked really well in that moment of time was that single moment of idea that ‘I don’t want to live this life anymore… I want to be different. What do I have to do to make it different?’ And that single idea got me here.”

“That just shows that when you’re determined, you can overcome.”

“With that you had to overcome both the internal and the physical aspects that you were describing.”

“The 3 D rules are determination, discipline, and dedication.”

“Determination: you have to be determined in what you want for your life.”

“Discipline: you have to be able to discipline yourself and keep showing up no matter if it’s the worst hour of your life.”

“Dedication: you have to dedicate your entire life for this to be your passion.”

“One of the things that I believe is that children deserve education regardless of where they are, who they are, and what race or gender they are.”

“My purpose of this life is to use my difference, my appearance, my uniqueness to inspire others.”

“You are not in this alone.”



Michelle’s podcast: Perfectly Normal Podcast

Michelle’s Book: “Perfectly Normal: An Immigrant’s Story Of Making It In America”

Michelle’s Website:

Instagram: @elevatelifecoach

Direct download: sr404.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST

Today, I want to start looking at some aspects of health. I’m going to be sharing some things that I’m specifically working on implementing into my life and how it could be a solution for you.

Now before I get into anything else, I do want to say that I am not a doctor or nutritionist - I am just a guy on a journey to get control of my weight and my health. I’m sharing information that I have found and the results that I’m seeing for myself.

The main focus of this episode will be about intermittent fasting - what it is and how it can benefit.

But first, I want to give you a quick history of my personal relationship with my health:

  • Growing up, I could eat whatever I wanted, and as much as I wanted, with no visible consequences.
  • In my 20’s, my weight would fluctuate between 180 and 195. When I got the upper end, I could fairly easily lose the 10 pounds.
  • Around age 26, it seems like my metabolism switched off. Between 2008 and 2010, I went from 195 to 235 pounds.
  • Since that time, I have periodically tried some diets, bouncing up and down in my weight - mostly up.
  • I peaked last month at 295 - that’s more than 110 pounds in 12 years.

So, not only has my weight affected my clothes and I’ve had to do the “walk of shame” on some theme park rides, but other health risks and problems have gone up significantly:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High risk for diabetes
  • Snoring and sleep apnea - I just did a sleep study and discovered that I stopped breathing almost 300 times
  • Probably more, but these are the highest priorities at the moment


Finding a Solution

In February, I went to the doctor, and, for the first time ever, I talked with him about getting my weight under control. Throughout all my other dieting attempts, I never consulted a doctor about it - in fact, I almost never went to the doctor - only if I was really sick and needed a doctor’s note or a prescription.

One diet I had tried before, and had good success while I was on the diet, was the Keto diet. I’m planning on talking about this in a future episode, but it’s basically a low carb diet. My doctor said that it was a good idea to follow that diet, but also for me to try intermittent fasting.

He recommended a book for me to read as I get started: Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle. I ordered it right away and began reading it over the next 2-3 weeks.

It has a lot of really great information about intermittent fasting. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the past month, and have been mostly consistent with it, so I want to share some of the things I’ve learned.


It’s a Lifestyle, not a Diet

One of the main points of the book is that intermittent fasting needs to be a lifestyle change, not just a diet, which is just a temporary situation. A diet lasts for a month, six months, a year - whatever. And then you revert back to your normal eating habits. The problem is that your normal habits - and my normal habits - are what led to being really overweight and at risk for a lot of issues.

Committing to a forever lifestyle is the key to lasting change.

Now before you start worrying about starving yourself and the long-term effects of starvation…


What is Intermittent Fasting?

So intermittent fasting is fasting...intermittently. In other words, it’s having a shorter, specific period where you eat and then not eating (or fasting) for more than 12 hours. And this fasting time does include sleeping.

Many people, myself included, tend to eat late into the evening and then wake up and have breakfast. This leaves maybe a fasting time of 9-10 hours. During this time, your body is working on processing the food that you ate. After about 12 hours, your body is done processing the food, and then starts to work on healing itself.

Also, after 12 hours, your body starts to burn fat for energy, since you don’t have the sugar from your food to draw from.

With intermittent fasting, the point is to take advantage of these self-healing and fat-burning aspects of fasting.


Intermittent Fasting Plans

So, there is more than just one way to do intermittent fasting:

  • 5:2 - where you eat regularly for 5 days and fast for 2 days (not consecutive: i.e Wednesday and Sunday)
  • 16:8 - fast for 16 hours and eat during the 8-hour window
  • 18:6 - fast for 18 hours and eat during the 6-hour window
  • OMAD - One Meal a Day, you give yourself a 1-hour window to eat
  • Other variations

I am starting with the 16:8 plan, allowing 16 hours of fasting each day. You can adapt your eating window to your schedule/preference. I chose to have my window be 1pm-9pm.

I’ve been doing this for about a month, and it has been a little difficult, but not as much as I thought it would have been. I’ve always been one to eat breakfast within the first hour or two of waking up, so I started by changing when I first eat during the first week:

  • 8am the first day
  • 9am the second day
  • 10am the third day
  • 11am the fourth day
  • 12pm the fifth day

It hasn’t always been smooth and I’ve allowed myself to adapt my window, like I would start at 12:00 some days and stop early. And many times, I would stop before 9:00 anyway. I’m mainly trying to keep the fasting time at least 16 hours regardless of the specific time, which I think is the most important part of this.


What to Eat?

This principle of only eating during your window only restricts when you eat, not what you eat.

Theoretically, you can eat whatever you want to inside your window and still be doing an intermittent fast.

But you do need to remember why you’re doing the fast - in my case, I’m trying to be healthier and lose weight. So, while I can load up on cookies and brownies, it’s not necessarily the best choice. (my daughter has been on a baking kick lately, which has made this harder)


It’s not a Religion

Remember, intermittent fasting is not a diet - it’s a lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean that it controls your life - it’s supposed to compliment your life.

So, if you have a birthday party - eat the cake and icecream, and get back to eating better tomorrow. If you have family or friends from out of town for the week, go ahead and eat brunch, even if it’s outside your eating window; and then get back to it when they’re gone.

If intermittent fasting becomes such a burden, you’re going to hate it and give up on it.


Pairing Intermittent Fasting with Other Habits

One way you can maximize the effectiveness of intermittent fasting is by pairing it with other habits.

For me, I plan to add a Keto diet on top of intermittent fasting. I’m waiting a bit until I get used to the intermittent fasting part before adding this. I’ll be talking about this more in a couple episodes, but the two work really well together when it comes to losing weight.

Another thing that I’m adding is exercise. My doctor wants me to do 30 minutes of exercise 4 days a week. I haven’t had a history of exercising, so I’m slowly working on adding this. I’m currently doing 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week, but hope to get up to my doctor’s goal within a month.


This is obviously a quick overview of intermittent fasting, but I hope this has given you some great information to help you decide if it might be right for you. It’s ok if it’s not. If it is, however, I would encourage you to check out the book I mentioned earlier, “Delay, Don’t Deny: Living an Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle.” (this is an affiliate link, so I’ll get a small percentage if you use it, but it’s no extra cost for you)

Direct download: sr403.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 8:43am CST

We all face failure in our lives.

Sometimes the failure shows up in small doses on a daily basis. Sometimes the failure is bigger and throws our lives into a tailspin.

Stephen Somers joins us to talk about failure and how to apply it to our own lives. He shares his personal story about how he started his career focused on money and material possessions, but as time has passed, he has redefined success by helping people solve problems- problems for which he is not responsible.

Stephen discusses success through the lens of the coronavirus and encourage listeners that if they are finding themselves without work, this is the perfect time to examine and look at other outlets to sharpen skills and branch outside of your comfort zone. He shares some practical questions to ask yourself and expounds on what the answers mean in today’s economy.

In conclusion, Stephen highlights that keys to success are to develop partnerships in order to learn. Also, in order to truly succeed, he emphasizes the importance of helping others.

Key Quotes:

“Success is serving other people and helping them get what they want in life.”

“If you look at it like an experiment, there’s really no such thing as failure.”

“I quickly identified what I’m good at and what I’m not and developed partnerships with people for what aren’t my strengths.”

“There are a lot of companies winning...the are online, people can use at home…”

“People may believe they can’t start a business because they’ve lost a job but more people are home now with Coronavirus and are looking for businesses like a side hustle.”

“The supply chain can’t go down because that is when people really begin to struggle.”

“It’s good to focus on building skills that transcend the situation we’re in.”

“People struggle because they don’t have the power to change.”

“The brain is designed to protect the person.”

“Look at what businesses are succeeding right now? Make a list. What is helping them to survive?”

“You always have to change between the lens of a consumer and the lens of a producer.”

“If I’m never creating anything, that gives me the opportunity to learn how to be a producer.”

Contact Stephen:


Direct download: sr402.mp3
Category:Self-help -- posted at: 1:00am CST