How to Live a Better Life Every Day with Bryan Falchuk: PYP 251

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From the moment his parents' marriage fell apart, Bryan Falchuk turned into the fat kid. In a world out of control, food was the one thing he could control, and the one thing that could soothe his deep hurts and anxieties.

Every day Bryan woke up and was determined to lose weight, and twenty minutes later he'd be elbow-deep in the foods he'd sworn to give up, or at least moderate. He experienced himself as someone untrustworthy, someone who lacked agency, someone to whom life happened.

Despite all this, Bryan managed to muddle through: got married, got a good job, had a kid. He had turned into enough of an exerciser to slim down from “obese” to “standard American” – 40 pounds overweight, but wearing it pretty well. He might have continued this way indefinitely and lived the typical American decline into chronic disease managed by legal drugs, and just-below-the-surface emotional anguish managed by food, media, and other legal drugs.

Then his wife became gravely ill, and Bryan realized that he might lose her. And that his two-year-old son would experience a childhood trauma possibly even deeper than his own. So on June 30, 2011, when he entered his bedroom and found his son watching his mother suffer, he realized that he had to change himself.

To take charge of his actions. To give up being miserable, always unpleasant and stressed and on a short fuse, getting fatter by the day. To become the father his little boy deserved, and the husband his wife absolutely needed if she were to have any chance at healing.

On July 1, he woke up with a new identity. Armed with only this, Bryan began the long, hard work of remaking himself.

It was an honor to speak with Bryan about his journey, and the lessons learned along the way. We covered:

  • his first failure as “marriage saver”
  • “little kids need to feel safe and secure and taken care of”
  • turning overnight from a skinny, smiling kid into a round little ball of anxiety and depression
  • losing weight in high school – while not addressing the emotional root causes
  • eating until his stomach ached badly, and still not stopping
  • using others as a puppet for his own self-judgment
  • humiliation and heat syncope at a summer camp relay race for the “fat kids”
  • we're looking for “fast food enlightenment”
  • Bryan's wife losing 2 pounds a day, and her physician about to take 6 weeks off
  • “this is not what I ever expected”
  • “are you living your life, or are you an employee of it?”
  • we get rewarded in life for focusing on what's wrong – hard habit to break
  • letting go of willpower and harnessing identity
  • “I'm calling the shots, and these are my choices”
  • acknowledging past scars and choosing to heal
  • the first real workout in years – busting intervals on the elliptical
  • “I'll do the same tomorrow, if not better”
  • reaching goal weight and staying there
  • using Tim Ferriss's “slow carb” diet to discover what really was healthy
  • discovering Rich Roll, and turning vegan overnight
  • dropping our emotional attachment to food
  • it's about life now, not weight loss
  • in coaching, the presenting issue is a gateway drug to the whole human experience
  • and much more…

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Links

DoADay.com

Buddhism For Beginners, by Thubten Chodron

Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll

JoshLaJaunie.com

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