This is the final part of our series on health and this is the really important part, brother. We’re talking about how you can improve and develop your health so it’s as good as you want it to be. There are a few components to this, so you want to hear this.
When it comes to developing optimum health, there are a few things that stand in our way. We have beliefs about who we are, how healthy we should be, and a lot of mental confusion about how to get there. There are buffering habits that stand in our way and things we want to add to our lives, but we just don’t know where to start.
Join me on the podcast today and discover some incredibly effective tools for dropping the unhealthy habits and adding new ones that contribute to you elevating your alpha and becoming the person you truly want to be.
Welcome to The Alpha Male Coach Podcast, the only podcast that teaches men the cognitive mastery and alpha-mindset that it takes to become an influential and irresistible man of confidence. Here’s your host, certified life coach and international man of mystery, Kevin Aillaud.
What’s up, my brother. Welcome back to The Alpha Male Coach Podcast. I am your host, Kevin Aillaud. Today, we’re going to talk more about health. We’re actually finishing up the three-part series on health. And very quickly, I just want to go back and talk about the first two episodes, just to kind of catch you up. I’m not going to spend a lot of time, but I want to catch you up.
But first of all, before we even do that, health is one of the three fundamentals of the alpha state. Which is basically to say that health is something that involves every aspect of our life. I want you to think about it this way; the other two fundamentals are relationships and wealth. So you can think about it this way, you can see how being in life without any one of these three things would make it pretty unpleasant. It would make life a pretty unpleasant experience, right?
The three fundamentals, health, wealth, and our relationships, again, if we don’t have relationships, what are we? We’re living in a cave somewhere by ourselves. We’re out in the wilderness completely isolated. Nobody lives that way. That’s not a very pleasant way to live. Without health, the same thing, if we’re not moving. Essentially, zero health is like being in a coma. It’s like being alive but having no movement. That’s kind of like that zero-health level. And then being without wealth – I mean, there are people that do it, but even without wealth, I mean, like nothing, zero. And there are people that do it.
I guess it can be a pleasant experience if you’re in that Zen Buddhist Monk type place, but again, health, wealth, and relationships, this is what makes life pleasurable. These are the things that we want to maximize in our human experience.
So, the first health episode, two episodes ago, I told you that health is a thought. Health is not something that everybody agrees to. It’s not indisputable. It can be in dispute. Different people can have different measurements of health, so it goes in the T-line of our model. However, I like to think – this is my thought of health – as being a verb. Health is a capacity.
I like to think of health as being your ability to create and increase your power over your lifetime. So the creation of power, your power output and your ability to increase your power. Now, the two caveats to this are that your health is based on your ability, not your demonstration.
So in other words, if you have the capacity to run a marathon, you don’t have to do it just because you can. So you have health capacity. You can create a lot of power. You have a lot of strength. That doesn’t mean you have to enter into a strongman competition. You just work on strength because you want that capacity, not because you want to demonstrate it. You just want it.
And the other caveat is that your health is measured relative to yourself over your lifetime, just you, not other people. It cannot be measured to other people for obvious reasons. I don’t have to list all the reasons. Genetics would play an obvious immediate one, but there could be other reasons as well. For example, if you end up in a wheelchair, if you lose the use of your limbs, for example, then your health is not compromised because of your ability to produce power. It just takes a different measurement. We start measuring it differently.
It’s always based on you and what your ability is. Health is really an objective measurement of action and movement and what is our capacity to produce power, which is to move large loads to long distances over short amounts of time. That is number one. That was the first episode, what is health.
Number two, in the second health episode, I told you guys about health being in the brain and the thoughts that we have, or standards that we hold, we talked about them in terms of standards around health. So health is demonstrated in our actions, our ability to produce power. But we have to think our way into action, right, guys? That’s the universal truth. It’s what we see in the model. We know that it’s our thoughts that create our actions.
So even though we can measure health as power, force times distance over time, we still have to bring it into being through cognition. This requires the biology and the psychology of the brain to be shaped in a way that drives healthy, which would be an increased power output ability, rather than diminished, which would be a decreased power output ability.
Now, this episode, we’re going to get into the process of developing optimum health. And of course, I want to make that easy. And, of course, as you know, it’s never easy. So with health, there’s one more thing I want to teach you before going into processes and applications of cognition to drive life change.
When it comes to health, I separate the development into two categories. I briefly mentioned this earlier, but here it is, guys. The two categories are – and I want to make sure I say this right, so let me slow down – health is either something you want and don’t have or it’s something you have and don’t want.
I make the distinction because of the process of making the shift of increasing your health. Now, when I’m talking about things we want and don’t have, think about that, want and don’t have, I’m talking about adding things to our life, right? So I’m talking about exercise, fitness, I’m talking about abilities, skill sets. I’m talking about a six pack, a lean body. We want to get in shape. I’m talking about a food protocol. I’m talking about sleep, a sleep protocol. I’m talking about self-care, things like this.
These are things that bring true pleasure into our life, not false pleasure. They are also the activities that develop our health through movement and ability, through the constraint on our time that allows for more freedom, and or the emotional processing, processing of emotion. And that adds to the quality of our life because we learn how to process our emotions. That way, we can get the results that we’re looking for. Uncomfortable emotions don’t get in the way of our results. They don’t impede our life, our destiny.
So, in multiple ways, for multiple reasons, including digestion, autoimmune strength and, of course, sexual drive and function, these are all physical things that are affected by our ability to process our emotions.
Now, when I am talking about the things we have and don’t want, okay, back to health here, we’re separating, this is the other category, what I’m talking about is buffering. Now, you might have heard me use this term in previous podcasts. I know I’ve used it before. I have mentioned this term way too many times not to give buffering its own podcast episode.
So, look for an episode on buffering coming soon. This is what we do to avoid negative emotions, guys. Now, buffering has a few synonyms. You may have heard it called other things like escaping, like addictions, like tuning out, like hiding. These are all synonyms for buffering. Buffering deserves its own episode.
So I’m going to do most of the defining and the discussion on buffering there on that episode. For now, I just want to address it in terms of health, in terms of something that we do that we want to not do, something that we have that we want to remove because it affects our health.
Now, buffering is what we do to avoid feeling a negative or uncomfortable emotion, I want to say uncomfortable, because negative is subjective, it’s a thought. Uncomfortable is a thought too, brother, it’s really just vibration in our cells. But buffering is an activity that distracts us from our body so we don’t feel what’s going on, we don’t feel that emotion, whatever that emotion that we’re trying to buffer from, trying to escape from. Whether it’s boredom or frustration or guilt or shame or whatever, whatever that is, fear. And it also releases a small amount of dopamine. So the action of buffering also releases a small amount of dopamine, which is a pleasure chemical. This is a tangible chemical. It’s a neurotransmitter.
It’s kind of like an emotion. It’s part of an emotion. It’s used in an emotion to create a feeling. But it releases a small amount of dopamine pleasure into the body, so we’re trained to want more of it. So buffering not only distracts us or helps us avoid feeling negative, but it makes us feel positive. So we avoid the negative and we chase the positive.
That’s exactly what our brain wants. So buffering, as you can see, is a very easy thing to do. It’s a very easy trap to fall into that diminishes our health. And buffering affects our health on so many different levels, but it varies based on the activity that we use to buffer with. For example, buffering with food might lead to multiple dietary illnesses, you know, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure. All these things are all to do with buffering with food.
Buffering with food leads to an unconscious and misguided relationship with food; eating because of how you feel instead of eating because of how you’re hungry, thinking about food in terms of pleasure instead of thinking about food in terms of nutrition and satiety. Food also changes our cells, you know, and that results in an over-sensitization to hunger. So we get hungry when we’re not hungry, we’re just hungry because we crave the drug, we crave the food, we crave the sweet.
It also leads to more sedentary lifestyle choices and practices. When we buffer with food, we have to be around food, where at home, we’re eating, we’re hanging out in front of the TV and we’re just kind of sitting there feeding. Buffering with alcohol leads to different types of dietary illnesses. Some are the same, some are different.
Some of them are very specific, like liver-specific, having to do with your liver. Buffering with alcohol leads to a lack of adequate sleep and a feeling of being tired, so you have a chronic fatigue, your body is always recovering, you know, drying out. It’s very dehydrated most of the time.
Buffering with alcohol leads to cellular adaptation that creates deprivation if alcohol is not introduced to the system. So if you’re not drinking, then you feel irritated. You feel nasty. You feel uncomfortable. Maybe you have a headache because now your cells have adapted to want the alcohol. That limits movements, it limits quality of life. Of course, there’s a potential for unwanted actions that lead to unwanted results when you’re drinking.
So you can see that buffering with alcohol and buffering with food are very, very different, but overall, it’s going to distract us from feeling bad and give us a feeling of feeling good. Now, when it comes to health, there’s a different process for removing a buffer, which is taking that away, taking away what we do have, taking away what we are doing, than for starting a new routine, which is adding to, which is adding to our lives. So we want to add these things to our lives to increase our health.
So, let me be clear; all of these processes are best done with a coach, as you probably would have guessed. Having somebody guide you is ideal. But I think it would be obvious to say that, but I also want it to be said that you can do any of these things on your own, and I recommend that you do, bro. because here’s the thing, it’s important that you start this process and you start it on your own. And when you get to a sticking point or you want to reach a specific objective, like something very clear to you, that you just want help getting there maybe a little faster or you want some strategies on how to do it, that’s when you should get a coach.
And that’s when getting coached is the best step to take. But start with what you hear in this podcast, and then when you reach a point where you need some of that help, then get a coach. Because this could get you the whole way, what I’m about to tell you in this podcast.
So first of all, future-focused thinking can be used for both removing a buffer and adding a routine or habit. When you want to add something to your life, does my future person do this? If you want to add going to the gym to your life and your person, your hero, your ideal, your avatar, your person, the guy that you’re becoming, the result that we put in that effective model, if the action is go to the gym so the result is lose the weight or dead-lift three times bodyweight or whatever the result is, then going to the gym is a part of that person you become.
So you go as a part of your future-focused thinking. You add that to your calendar and you do it, and then you manage your mind around how you feel doing it because that future-focused thinking is very calendar-driven. This is the calendar of your future person. And we talked about that in previous episodes. But it can be done with removing a buffer as well.
And if you go all the way back to one of my very early podcast episodes on desires and on urges, when you think about your future person, the person that you want to be, you’re in this future-focus of yourself and you’re pulling out your future persona and kind of dropping into your present body, you ask yourself, is this the person that would do this kind of thing?
So for example, with buffering, it’s kind of like with buffering you’re trying to remove something. So instead of trying to add it, where it’s like, am I the type of person that brushes my teeth? Yes, I’m the type of person that brushes my teeth, so I’m going to brush my teeth all the time. I know that’s a weird example, but it’s like, yeah, I’m the type of guy that goes to the gym, I’m the type of guy that runs a six-figure business a year, so that’s the person that you’re becoming because you believe that that’s the person that does this kind of thing, that’s the person that these are the actions that you take to get that result.
Removing it is just the opposite. Am I the type of person that drinks alcohol at 4pm? Or am I the type of person that is 30 pounds overweight? We can use the exact same to remove the buffering of the food.
And in the previous podcast, the example that I use is, are you the kind of person that shoplifts? Like, there are certain habits that people have that most people consider to be crazy, criminal even. Shoplifting is criminal, stealing things, it’s criminal. We have a law against it. You get arrested for it.
So, some people have a compulsion for it. They have an addiction for it. You say addiction, but really, it’s like a buffer. Really, they’re doing it either to avoid a negative emotion or to get that adrenaline, to get that drive. So really, it’s very similar to overeating. It’s very similar to overdrinking. It’s very similar to pornography, videogames, all of these things that we do to buffer, to remove the negative emotion.
So, are you the kind of person that shoplifts? No, of course you’re not. You’re just not. You don’t have a compulsion to go into a store and take something, the same way you can create a future-focused person to not be the kind of person that is 30 pounds overweight or snacks at 3pm or drinks at 4pm or whatever the buffer is you’re trying to remove, or watches pornography or plays videogames, right?
So future-focused thinking is a way to handle both. And there’s a system, there’s a strategy for it. Becoming the person you want to be is always the best way to increase your health, because nobody wants to be an unhealthy person.
If you think about your ideal man, like who you are to your core, your very best 100% very, very best self, it’s not an unhealthy person. It’s a healthy guy. You’re a healthy dude. So when you imagine becoming that person, there are healthy habits, so future-focused thinking works.
Another process I use for adding habits to your life is called minimum baseline. Now, this one works well for exercise and building capacity and it also works well for constraint around time or food or spending. So minimum baseline, with the minimum baseline process, I help my students decide on what is the minimum baseline they will do and know they will follow through on. That’s very key, know you will follow through on it.
Remember, guys, I’m a confidence coach. My primary objective is to help my students put indomitable confidence in the F-line of their model at will. Okay, so when they want to, that’s very key. This means you will have to spend time developing all three pillars of self-confidence.
And the first pillar of self-confidence is having trust in yourself. Building trust in yourself starts with following through, with doing what you say you will do. So you can use anything, whether it’s talking to people, executing movements, saving money, it doesn’t matter. I will help my students choose something for them based on what their desired result is.
If their desired result is relationship-driven, we’re going to choose a minimum baseline that drives action around relationships, okay. So, let’s take a minimum baseline of attending the gym. If you aren’t going to the gym now and you want to go to the gym seven times a week, it’s a poor idea to just start going seven times a week. Why? Because you’re going to be doing a lot of mind management around the change of lifestyle, or you’re going to be using a ton of willpower by ignoring your cognition and resisting the emotion, or you’re just going to quit. You’re going to quit going because the change is too much.
Now, if you choose a minimum baseline like going once or twice a week from zero, then you’re going to have a much higher chance of success. Here’s the thing about the minimum baseline though, guys; you’ve got to choose a baseline where you cannot fail. That’s the key.
You don’t say, I’m going to go to the gym twice this week, and then only go once. No, it does not work. That’s not the point. If you say you’re going to go twice, you’ve got to go twice because that’s your minimum baseline. That is the minimum you’re going to allow yourself to do.
If your real minimum baseline is going to the gym zero, then say it’s zero. Be truthful. Be honest with yourself and then we’ll pick something else. You have to have a minimum baseline. Maybe it’s just walking to the mailbox and back.
I mean, look, brother, I was a personal trainer for years. If you’re really de-conditioned, maybe going to the mailbox and back three times a day is enough. Maybe once a day is enough. But we have to pick a minimum baseline, something you know you’re going to do, you know you will do it, it must be adhered to. That’s why it’s a minimum baseline, because you’re going to do it no matter what, that’s the whole point, no matter what.
Now, this builds confidence because it builds trust in yourself, it builds evidence for your cognition, so it gives you what you want in the R-line. It starts a habit. You’re spending time with the activity, so it’s giving you movement in the A-line, and it’s keeping your mind on your baseline. It’s keeping your mind on your goal, so it’s focused on your result. It’s keeping your cognition, it’s keeping your mental frame in your T-line.
So when it comes to removing the buffer to optimize health, you don’t use a minimum baseline. A minimum baseline is for adding things to your life. This is why I categorize health this way, because there’s a different process for different things depending on how you want to optimize your health. Now, you use the minimum baseline for adding things.
Two of the things I do with my students to help them remove something from their life, to remove a buffer, which these two things happen to be complementary tools, is to have them allow the urge and plan a joy. These are two different things. I’m going to go into each one of these.
Now, you’re going to see how these are complementary to each other once I explain them. Allowing the urge is what you do when you want to buffer. And we’ll get into the nuances and intricacies of buffering in another episode. For now, you need to know that buffering is what we do to avoid feeling an uncomfortable emotion.
So to remove the buffer, we have to get used to feeling whatever we want to avoid. The only way to do that is to stop buffering when the urge to buffer comes up and allow the emotion, allow the discomfort to be in our body. Allowing the urge means exactly that; allow the urge to buffer. Be there without reacting, without giving in to it.
So let’s say your buffer is to watch pornography. When you’re bored or frustrated or guilty or shameful or doubtful or whatever it is that you don’t want to feel, whatever the emotion is that you don’t want to feel and you look to pornography or a quick shot of dopamine, you get that quick shot of adrenaline and dopamine, you’ll start to go to the computer or the TV when these emotions come on, probably unconsciously at this point, as mostly buffering leads to desensitization. So you’re probably unconscious about these negative emotions. It’s just like a compulsive action now.
Now, instead of watching pornography, allow the urge. And allowing the urge means you count it somehow. You just take note of it. You count the moment or the instant that you have to watch the pornography. You take count. You take it on a piece of paper.
Or you can be more creative. You can use a hand counter or a pocket of beans or coins or a bowl of quarters, like a swear jar, put a quarter in the swear jar, put a quarter in the urge jar. The point is to allow the emotion instead of giving into the urge. Make a game out of it. Try to make it to 100 allowed urges, then 500, then 1000. The more urges you allow, the more you are not giving into whatever the buffering is.
Now, this is going to do three things. First, you will not be acting on your urge, which reinforces the urge, strengthening it for the next time. Okay, so when you act on your urge, you’re training it to be stronger. You’re training it to be psychologically and chemically, which is biologically, stronger.
So you’ll want more of it psychologically and you’ll need more of it biologically to get the same effect. So when you don’t act on the urge, you undo this process and you actually do the opposite. Allowing the urge unties the compulsive emotion to the action, to the buffering itself.
Second, you stop doing the action altogether. You’re allowing the urge, you’re taking count. You might slip from time to time, but that’s not a problem, you just start counting over. Then you try to get to 100 again. You are still buffering way less than before and you’re starting to break that cognitive tie.
Number three, you will start to become aware of the mind when you aren’t buffering. This is the mind that caused the buffering in the first place. This is why you want to that buffer to begin with. And once this is exposed, you’ll be able to get to work on what’s really holding you back, which are all those limiting old beliefs.
So that’s allowing the urge. That’s one of the moves. In addition to allowing the urge, the other tools you can use is called panned joy. This is when you plan a time to use your buffer during a time when you are not compelled into it. It basically means you’re going to try to do the activity but not to buffer, just as an activity of joy in and of itself.
So check this out – and this is really interesting – when you plan these activities for most of the time, you are going to find that you’re not getting any joy out of them. And when I say most of the time, I mean 99 times out of 100, you’re going to find that there’s no joy in these activities.
So I’ll give you an example of myself. I have buffered with a lot of different things in my life, but the top three were sleep, pornography, and marijuana. So you can imagine how allowing thee urge looks on these things, right? For me, when I was allowing the urge, when I was ending my buffering with these things, it was pretty straightforward.
For sleep, I’d set my bedtime and my wake time and I didn’t allow any naps, and then I allowed the urge when I wanted to nap or when I wanted to go to bed early or when I wanted to sleep in. These were allowing the urge. I got up and I allowed my urge. Zero pornography, zero marijuana, so I would just count my allow the urge, pretty straight forward.
Planned joy works like this; once a week, once every other week, twice a week, however you want to plan it down, you decide you want to partake in your joy, in your buffer, you plan it out and you put it on the calendar and you make sure when it comes time to do this activity on your calendar, that you do it. Again, this is a part of confidence, bro. If you say you’re going to do it, you follow through, right? So that’s the point.
So when it’s on your calendar, you have to do it even if you don’t want to. Your calendar is your alpha state. You take your alpha state, you put it on your calendar, then when your beta condition acts up like a little baby, you have in on your calendar.
Now, with the planned joy, you put it on there and that’s the power of it because you have to do it. Instead of doing with when you’re compelled to, due to wanting to avoid a negative emotion, now you have to do it. You have much less, if any, desire at all. There’s no compulsion and you probably don’t even want to. But with the planned joy tool, you have to follow through anyway.
Now, here’s the thing; this is why this works. Have you ever had a parent who caught you smoking so they locked you in a closet with a pack of cigarettes and told you that you can’t come out until you’ve smoked the entire pack? If you didn’t, then you’re probably young. I’m 40 years old, so back then it wasn’t considered abuse to do that, and my mom did that to me.
She caught me smoking once. She caught me with a Marlboro Red and she said, okay, if you like smoking so much, smoke them all right now, and on top of that, you’re going to go sit in that closet until you’ve smoked them all, every single one in the pack.
I smoked every single cigarette in that pack in a closet. It was horrible. It was disgusting. I have never smoked again. And so you have to follow through. It’s the same type of deal. You have to follow through when you don’t want to. And what happens? Your brain starts to link displeasure with the action, right?
It starts to say, I don’t really want to do this right now but I’m kind of forced to be doing it. I kind of have to do this and I don’t want to, but I’m doing it. And so it starts to get that disconnect.
So let’s go back to me and my examples. If I have to take a nap because it’s on my calendar and I’m not really tired, I just lay there. It’s boring. I become agitated. I allow my urge and not nap when I want to nap, but then when I don’t want to nap and I have to nap, it’s uncomfortable and I don’t want to. I want to get up and move around. So then I like discomfort with napping.
It’s like a double whammy. It’s the same for pornography. It’s the same for marijuana. When I didn’t want to watch pornography, I had to when it was on my calendar, and that’s no fun, right? I wasn’t compelled to. There was no negative emotion I was avoiding, it was just on my calendar. Like, what am doing? It was weird to be quite honest with you. It was quite weird because I didn’t want to watch it. Like, what am I doing? There’s no reason for this.
I had no desire. It was more uncomfortable to be watching it at that point. And it’s the same with marijuana. So eventually, obviously, I got rid of my buffers through these two tools. The idea with these two tools is that they’re combined and you can remove the condition that you started with the buffering. That’s classical conditioning. And I’m going to talk about that when we talk about the buffering podcast.
So that’s what I’ve got for you today, guys. This is the end of the health episodes. Go to the website, sign up for the Indomitable Self-Confidence newsletter. And if you’ve got a problem that you want to be coached on, sign up for a 45-minute call.
There are big, big things happening in the world. In our world, you are a big, big part of those things. Let’s work together to find out how you can maximize your effectiveness and unlock your personal greatness. You have the key. You are the key, bro. That’s the thing.
You are the key, so what are you waiting for, brother? Let’s do this. Let’s move on this. Let’s elevate your alpha.
Thank you for listening to this episode of The Alpha Male Coach Podcast. If you enjoy what you’ve heard and want even more, sign up for Unleash Your Alpha – your guide to shifting to the alpha mindset – at thealphamalecoach.com/unleash.