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Health. It looks different for everyone. It feels different for everyone.
Coming out of a pandemic, it’s something that has been on people’s minds.
Whether you’re sitting in the office, at a desk, or you’re sitting at home all day, how can you make sure you’re doing what’s best for your body so your body, in turn, can do its best for you?
RevOps Therapist and founder and CEO of Greaser Consulting, Jordan Greaser asks Catlyn Leavengood, Senior Account Executive at PandaDoc and Certified Health Coach, for her advice on getting healthier, having more energy, and building habits for a happier life.
Hi everyone, this is Jordan, the owner and CEO of Greaser Consulting. On this episode, we have Cat hopping on to talk about health in the workplace. Even as you think specifically on how salespeople can get healthier, it’s a little different than you might think. I was expecting to talk about diet and exercise and some of the regular things that you kind of jump into. But she goes really deep into the concept of boundaries, accountability, and ultimately mindset. And she paints the picture of health in a slightly different way than you may have heard before, which I think better captures what it means to be a healthy person. So I would hop on and be along for the ride today. Lean in; you’re going to enjoy it. I definitely learned things today. So let’s lean in and listen together.
Say you want some clarity in sales and marketing and SEP? Well, we have just the remedy: our podcast, RevOps Therapy. Yeah.
Alright, everybody, welcome to today’s show. We’ve got Cat with us. Cat, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?
Hi, everybody. So happy to be here. My name is Cat. I am an Account Executive at PandaDoc, living in Tampa. Absolutely loving it. And also, I am a certified health coach. So excited to be talking about some health today.
Right. So I was joking with Cat before this, that I have a little bit of a head cold today. So this is probably the best show that I could run to get all the good tips and tricks from Cat. But in all sincerity, when Cat and I first met, we both worked at Outreach together. Both sort of lived through the experience of a hyper-growth startup, which was kind of grow at all costs. Don’t take breaks, and just get in and grind, grind, grind. And even at that time, Cat was always talking about health, always trying to think through things on nutrition, even employee mindset, things down this vein. And man, it just seems like, and Cat you can tell me if you agree or disagree, but in the last couple of months, right, there’s been things going on in the economy, things have been a little bit difficult for folks. And man, balancing that health in that career. And even in the context of everything else just seems really important. I don’t know if, if you feel any, like extra pulse on that right now. But that’s just how I’ve been thinking about it.
Oh, yeah, definitely. I think the first one was COVID was kind of where everyone took a look at themselves, like, wow, how do I become healthier, so I’m a little bit more resilient so these things aren’t so daunting for me? And then to your point, now with the economy happening, everyone’s still working from home and trying to figure out especially revenue-generating roles. It’s, it’s a, it’s a rough time, and having that balance of mental health, physical health prioritizing all the balance; it’s, it’s a rough time.
So whenever COVID hit, Cat, I was like, “Hey, listen, I’m not going to get the freshman 15 here. Okay?”. So I went all in; I went all in, got on the other side of that, and I think I lost 15 pounds, was feeling great about myself. And then fast forward a year, year and a half, whatever. Suddenly, I’m 35 pounds bigger than I was before I started. So I’m like, “Oh, my goodness, I need to get back into this.” But, but anyway, it’s not that you need to know how many pounds I am, Cat, but the thing about this whole, whole COVID shake-up is… do you find people since that time, like working from home, in the office, whatever, like are health conversations coming up more and more? Because I remember in the Outreach days, I heard it from you and maybe two other people. But what do you got cooking today?
Yeah, it’s a lot. So I think there’s a common theme. I think everybody getting back into people working from home now, it’s hard to distinguish those boundaries; I think people tend to work more. And they’re not understanding that working longer and harder doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be more productive. And with that, there is a good thing that a lot of companies now are offering stipends for health-related outside of just health insurance, right? So people do have the options to, you know, meal delivery service, things like that, that they can like put towards to make their home environment more conducive from a health perspective. But a lot of the people that I speak with who are in actually revenue-generating roles; they do a similar role to what I do or what you do; they tend to have the same issue; they like are trying something new for health and then it’s just not sustainable. And they are coming to me like “I’m doing this fad; I’m doing this. Is that the right thing to do?” So it’s also a mixture of so much noise. There’s so many social media outlets now where people are getting health advice from, and they don’t know what to take. It’s like “Do I do carnivore? Do I do vegan? Do I work out? Do I… do… Oh, cardio what is, what is the right way to go about it?” And when you have so many options, people then tend to not do any of them. So it’s kind of a combination of where do I start? How do I hold myself accountable? And how do I fit this into my life when I work so hard, and I don’t have the energy to do anything outside of my nine to five?
So I remember my sister, she’s been a teacher her whole life, you know, active up in the classroom, all this stuff. And then she, she went through something where for like two weeks, she just had to sit. And she said that coming home those two weeks and just sitting, like she used to hear about folks that lived, not lived, oh, my goodness worked in an office. Some of us live in an office, right? And they would talk about being so tired. And she’d think “Well, how’s that even possible? You’ve just sat around all day.” And she’s like, “listen, I wasn’t trying to judge them. I was just saying, ‘Listen, you just sat all day, how could that be tiring?’” And she’d come home and say, “these were the most exhausting two weeks of my life, just sitting all day long.” And so Cat, where do you start? I mean, is carnivore the best, right? I mean, what, like, what is the first thing you need to do to get rolling?
Yeah, so it, it’s a few things. So actually, when I met you, I was full-fledge vegan at the time. And yeah, I’m no longer now. What I’ve found working, going through myself or going through the fad diets and figuring out what works for me and then working with people, pretty much the rule of thumb that I’ve come to land on is that the extremes aren’t typically the best for most people; it’s always somewhere in the middle. Also, when I’m working with people, diet and exercise is a component of it, but it’s not what’s going to be sustainable. So I focus on mindset and building habits. Those are the only way that it’s going to compile to an actual lifestyle; the goal of working with me is, after the four months is, you already have these habits; your body’s working for you. So making these healthy decisions are easy; you know what to do, and you’re just compiling over time. That’s the way that it’s going to make it sustainable, versus doing something, diving in fully for three months and then after the fact, you get back into your groove, and then wonder why you don’t have lasting results.
I just spoke with someone yesterday that was talking, I think about this concept that you’re on that he was… he named dropped a guy. I was supposed to read it; I didn’t read it. But he was talking about the idea of building good habits. And he was saying, “Listen, everybody wants to go to the gym, lose 20 pounds, you know, put on 10 pounds of muscle, whatever it is, okay, different goals, different people.” But what this person was saying is, hey, listen, don’t start by going out there and, and “hey, I’m going to do this diet, this exercise this time of day.” He said, “All I want you to do is just drive to the gym; you don’t even need to go in. But for the first week, drive to the gym; for the second week, get to the gym and stretch for five minutes. And his whole idea was sort of psychologically rewiring your brain to begin to build a habit that could actually last. So it sounds like that’s a little bit about what you’re talking about.
Exactly. That’s exactly it; you can’t do anything drastic; it’s just not scalable. And this is why I like working with people in revenue-generating roles is because they tend to get this concept of “hey, you’re gonna make 100 cold calls today and put 40 people in sequence; you’re not going to see the fruits of your labor until seven weeks from now. But you’re gonna have to do this every day.” And so they tend to be a little bit more resilient and understand like, “Okay, the work that I’m doing each day, if I just cross off these three things, it’s working towards a greater goal.” And that’s exactly it; if you just take it a baby step at a time, and then it becomes second nature to you. Then you add on the second layer, the second challenge, the second goal, and then again, it becomes second nature. So I don’t even, I don’t even acknowledge that I go outside three times a day to get sunlight and walk around. And that’s just what I do. So now I can up-level, and do you know what else am I going to do? Am I going to read more? Am I going to do this? That’s going to compile on to health. Most people just think they’re going to change the entire structure of their day from Sunday to Monday and then wonder why they’re restarting every Monday.
Right? Well, you also have to move from Seattle to Tampa to be able to walk outside and…
Very true. You might have to move your entire family, but…
Yeah, exactly. Walk me through navigating that first conversation because when I’m thinking, Cat, if I was going to reach out to you thinking transparently, “Hey, listen, I need to get healthy. I need to get back in shape,” which I can say, I have been going to the gym since February. And at first, I was really rigid. And now I’ve been free-floating which I, listen, I’m not maximizing gains, but it works for me, right? I just kind of come in, do what I want to do and leave. But if I was coming to you, Cat, and I was saying, “Hey, listen, I need help. There’s this food. There’s that food. There’s this extra. What should I do?” Like, how do you navigate the wait-a-minute pause, I’m not actually going to help you with that. And I’m standing over here. And I’m saying, “Well, wait a minute. That’s what I came to you for.” Right? Like, how do you break through? Which by the way, this is an excellent sales positioning as well that you think you need this, but you actually need that.
Yes, exactly. So that’s… Yes, exactly. A lot of people, they think they need one thing, but in actuality, I have to basically coach them on “No, we need to start from here.” And I can say that, because I’ve done it, you know, and I’ve worked with people who have done what I tell them to do, and it actually works. Also, a lot of what I do is focused on metabolic health. A lot of people are actually metabolically unhealthy. So 85% of Americans do not have an effective metabolism. And I sincerely believe that that is the root for why a lot of people do the right healthy things; it just doesn’t come. It’s hard for them to stay disciplined and do it because their body’s not working. They’re not having the same goal. So my main focus with clients is “let’s get your metabolic health working for you.” And what I mean by metabolic health is your body…
That’s what I was going to say: educate me. I need some help.
So metabolism is essentially your body and your cells’ way of it burning energy. So this is a great example someone gave me to kind of give context to it. So 15% of people burn energy effectively; that is not a lot of people. So their energy is basically like a coal fire. So when you have a fire from coal, it’s pretty steady across the board. It’s radiating heat; you might just shuffle coals here and there. But that’s it; it’s pretty sustainable. The other 85% of people who are their body’s burning energy ineffectively; they’re not flexible with their metabolism. It’s like a pit of papers on fire, and then you’re throwing gasoline and flight or fluid to keep it going. So you can see that if you’re doing that every day, you’re getting burnt out; you’re craving the wrong things; you’re not getting sleep; you’re exhausted, and you’re doing this vicious cycle, which effectively is making you… your job is draining; you don’t have the energy to then cook your own meals, and then go to work and then exercise throughout the day. So they’re in this vicious cycle. So I take it, and let’s get your metabolism working. So you’re craving the right things. You’re not being controlled by hunger; you have the energy to do everything that you need to do in a day on top of implementing these healthy changes.
So how do you do that? How do you change your metabolic health?
Yeah, so it’s part of just changing habits; there are things that you can do: eating healthier, not eating as often; we kind of had this myth of you need to eat every two hours to stabilize blood sugar, and that’s wreaking havoc on your metabolism. Your body needs…
That’s the insulin spikes, right? Like if you do that it, spikes insulin, insulin insulin, right? Yeah.
Exactly. So insulin, incorporating weightlifting… there’s all of these things that help you get to burning energy in an effective way.
How do you know when you’ve made it?
Yes, great question. I actually love this question. Um, you know, you’ve made it when you don’t have to pay attention to what you eat, and your body is craving the right things. And you also are intuitive to know. So for example, for me, I eat whatever I want; I exercise whenever I want. Period. I’ve just been in a place now where I enjoy lifting weights three times a week; if I’m sick, I do not get down on myself because I didn’t work out for four days; my body is resilient. And I know that I can pick it back up the next day. And then same thing with eating: I never deny food that I want to have, because it’s not quote-unquote conducive to my diet. I eat doughnuts; I eat cake. And then I, it just so happens that my body craves the right things 95% of the time. So I think that’s the ultimate goal is my body can switch on and off whatever I eat effectively. And I know it’s not going to send me down a downward spiral.
As long as you don’t eat those things at one and then three, and then five, and then seven and then nine, right?
It’s true. There’s so much… a lot of people don’t understand; you don’t even really necessarily have to pay too much attention to what you’re eating. If you are timing it in an effective way, eating in, in a pattern that’s going to limit glucose spike, that can just be that could be a very good change for you without you even changing what you’re eating.
So I want to go into this idea though of habit-building because everybody wants to talk about how to get started. Great question. Okay. And then everybody thinks about how do you maintain deep into the future. What I found in the pattern, this is my own life looking at folks around me, okay, this seems like a universal is that everybody can kind of start well, but then there’s this like fizzle out moment of like, is this real or not? But then there’s this place after that, where if somebody’s made it there, they’re just, by and large, they’re gonna make it unless something big happens in their life, right? So it’s kinda like that first hurdle. It’s not the Get Started. And it’s not the after you made it over that hurdle, that section right there, like what happens right there? Because it happens to everybody.
To everybody. Well, I think with society, the way we are, we’re instant gratification; we want that. A lot of people don’t have the patience to say, “I’m not going to see muscle gains for the first three times I’m at the gym.” A lot of people get to that point of, “I’m doing all this work. I’m, you know, changing my day, and it’s not benefiting. So I’m going to stop.” They don’t wait and have faith that it’s going to happen eventually. But to your point, once you start seeing it, that’s where the ball gets rolling, and everything so much easier. From there. Most people just give up before they get to that point.
So how do you walk them through it?
So there’s a lot of accountability in the beginning; there’s a lot of hand-holding, essentially. So a lot of people know what they need to do. They just don’t have to really answer to anybody but themselves. And a lot of people don’t have enough self-love and worth and validation internally to hold themselves accountable. So that’s why the first part is absolutely mindset for me. And when I work with people, it’s why do you feel like you’re not worthy enough to lose weight? Getting to the real nitty-gritty of the mindset of what might be subconscious blockers for them of why they give up and figuring out the patterns. What about this makes you have to restart each time? What is that common thing? And how can we stop that pattern from happening so you can move forward?
Give me, give me like two or three patterns here that like, “Man, this is what I see all the time.”
Yeah, so a lot of people lack boundaries with themselves and other people. So most of the time, when I speak to people, they’re excited; they’re doing the right things. And then they go to a birthday party, or they go hang out with friends. And then they make an excuse of, “well, my friends really wanted me to come out. And then I stayed up late, and then we ate pizza. And then the next morning, I was hungover, and then I had a burger. And then I didn’t feel like working out.” So it’s, it’s accountability and understanding, like, “do you hear what you just said? If this was really a priority for you, you have to understand those boundaries and be able to say, ‘I am in control of every decision that I make. So this person telling me to come out for X, Y, and Z, I made the decision to put myself there, instead of staying home getting adequate sleep and going to the gym the next day.’” Accountability is the first thing, and being able to guide people on how to put boundaries up and surround themselves with people that are going to be a part of what they’re doing versus trying to take them down. That’s the biggest thing I see.
So one is boundary. Give me one more. So folks lack boundaries, what’s the second one?
Boundaries and accountability. People tend to blame external forces for where they are, like, my friend made me do this; your friend did not make you do this; you decided to do this. Or I did, decided to spend time doing this instead of this. It’s once you can take accountability and be like “I made the poor decision,” that’s step one is being like “you did great. You acknowledge it. So how do we prevent you from doing that going forward?”
Okay, so boundaries, accountability, and then we’re off to the races. Do folks like accountability? I can’t imagine that this is an easy thing. I bet they’re mad at you, like, half the time.
So surprisingly, salespeople love it, just because I can put it in a framework of like your quota for this month is to do X amount of this; they kind of get it a little bit better. Also, I find that if people, if people start working with me at the same time, the competition tends to help a lot as well. So I always recommend like, “Hey, do you have a friend who is also wanting to do something like this?” Not pitting them against each other, per se, but a friendly competition can kind of help keep the ball rolling and keeping each other accountable.
I can’t imagine that competition drives salespeople at all, Cat. So since COVID, and you’ve been going down this road, do you find that folks are generally more receptive to thinking about health? Or since that time folks have kind of given up? Like, is there a movement this direction or it just, it’s the same as it’s always been?
No, I think there’s definitely a movement, definitely, people are starting to see more of you know, now that more things are coming out socially and on the news of hey, Vitamin D deficiency has a correlation with how effective, you know, how severe your symptoms are of COVID. People are now looking more of like, “Ooh, how do I get the right vitamins? How do I make sure that I’m not nearly as scared if something else like this were to happen again?” Again, if that external factor, it’s like, how can I make sure I’m doing what I can for myself? Things that I can control, so that if something like this were to happen, that I have zero control over, I feel a lot more resilient, and I feel a lot more prepared. And having that conversation, people, people want to make the investment in themselves to do it. Plus, there’s a lot of talk on self-improvement, right? Like how your health impacts your mental health, which then impacts how you view the world, how your relationships are, how you are at work, all of this connection, and everything coming out around it is kind of pushing the needle towards people investing more in their health than they ever have before.
How do companies help, especially with a remote… many, many folks now a remote, okay, they’re sitting at home, you’re not going to bump into, you know, most likely out on the street. We’re not bringing folks into an all-hands where everybody sees everybody. And even at Outreach, we used to go on walks, right, together; we used to, instead of having a one-on-one in the office, maybe we’ll walk around the block because we do think so you try to incorporate that in your day. But today in our remote environment, do you have any advice? Somebody’s here sitting and saying, “Well, how do I bring this to a company-wide initiative in a way that would really make a difference?”
Yeah, I think a big part of health that a lot of people overlook is a sense of community. And to your point, a lot of people’s sense of community was going into an office. Not many people were part of groups outside of that, that brought people together. So now that we don’t have that office community, and everyone’s working from home, that is seriously lacking. So I think having a sense of community or even around health is kind of like double whammy. I know at PandaDoc, we did this thing where we teamed up internally; we had different health goals for each team and then held each other accountable. Again, you have the competition, and then you also have that sense of community. And HR was backing this and put stipends out for people to invest in, “hey, if the goal is you know, how much body fat percentage can you lose? How many salads can you eat in a month?” You know, I’m just spitballing here, but they would invest in their employees to take advantage of that sense of community, holding themselves accountable, and not having the monetary aspect of it be a blocker. So I think that’s a huge way to do it.
I got to ask this question. And I’ll probably get in trouble for this one. But today, there’s been, and I’m not even saying this is a bad thing. So nobody beat on me here after this. There’s a huge push for like body positivity. “Hey, the way you look, the way you feel… nothing else matters.” Okay? How do you interact? I’m even thinking from a company standpoint, well, we’ll do company, we’ll do individual. Like, it’s certainly true that you have intrinsic value, no matter what shape, size, you know, whatever. Okay, there’s intrinsic value in your life; you are an important individual. At the same time, there are health-related things to like being in shape, eating good nutrition, thinking about how you look and feel, etc while also like not wanting to be on that shame side of things, right? So how do you? Yeah, you understand what I’m saying? You’re looking at? You’re giving me the head nod. Yeah.
Yeah. This is a very tricky topic. And
It’s not loaded at all. Good luck.
Yeah. And I’ve been asked about this, actually, and here’s the thing, I am all about body positivity and a sense of do, no one should be cruel, intentionally, toward somebody because of the way they look. Period. So, but at the same time, that, again, it’s not one or the other. It’s not a black-and-white thing. It’s a gray area, because I’m a firm believer in not idolizing obesity per se, because we, because a majority of Americans are. I think that we kind of need to take it, we need to peel the onion back and say, it’s a little bit more than that. I think embracing how you, embracing your body is good at any stage of your health journey. You can do that but still say, “I want to be at this point” where to your point, mentally “I feel good physically, I feel good. I like what I see in the mirror, I have self-confidence.” It’s a gray area. And so while I always want anybody of any size to feel comfortable going to the gym, asking for help for health, there’s still this… we don’t need to be idolizing any extremes, someone, again so the model mentality that was idolized years ago of I want to be a stick figure that is equally as unhealthy as someone being drastically overweight. We shouldn’t be idolizing either one. The goal should be how can I be the best version and healthiest version of myself and then how I look physically is inevitably going to change. But that should be a side effect. I think our main goal should be, how do I limit my, my, my inflammation internally for diseases that I might get? How to become the healthiest version of myself. And then all the other things are just side effects at that point in terms of how you physically look.
Well, so I think you did a good job of answering that. And I. it’s just, it is, it’s a difficult topic, right? And so think about what you just gave was kind of that answer on the individual level. But then let’s take it up to the company-wide and from a company perspective to say, “Hey, listen, crew, we love you, we care about you, you’re great. But we also know like, you’re gonna be a happier, happier, healthier employee, if you’re not moving around, right? You’re gonna have more juice when you go home, and you’re hanging out with a family. So like, let’s get up and moving. But at the same time, if you can’t, or you won’t, you know, let’s not just like push you off to the side here.” So do you have any advice for, maybe somebody’s in HR listening to this today? And they’re like, “Well, yeah, like, this all really matters. But we also got to navigate some, as you said, some, some gray areas here.”
Yeah. So this is where I think a lot of health coaches are good at. So a lot of people are like, “Oh, we have on-staff nutrition, who you know, they focus on what to eat. And then personal training, they focus on what you should be doing exercise-wise.” Health coaches, in particular, they do a good job of kind of getting to the emotional standpoint behind why someone might be blocked on wanting to get healthy; I think everyone can pretty much say deep down, they want to be the healthiest version of themselves. They are just standing in their own way and sort of enabling their own self and their own behavior for why they’re stuck where they are. So for someone who’s in HR, and they say, “Great Cat, like we want someone like you, or some sort of program where people can work with you, or you do like a company-wide this and that. But we’re concerned for some people, if they’re uncomfortable with it, or not quite on board; how can we make them feel comfortable coming to these things for X, Y, & Z reason?” I would, I would put aside a time to meet with that person individually. I think the individual time spent to go over like, what part about this is making you uncomfortable? What part of this do you not believe in? What part of this? What are your goals? How can we get you baby steps there to then feel more comfortable joining the group and joining these challenges community-wide to make it feel comfortable? Because that’s also something a lot of people are just like, “I don’t have the confidence to do it.” So if that’s the thing, and instead of making excuses, saying, “Well, I don’t want to be like that.” Like, you do. But what’s the real reason why you don’t feel confident enough to do it? Let’s get past that first. So then you can open up and actually do something good for yourself.
You hit on a good point. I really think the crux of what you’re saying here is if I back up and I say, “Hey, I want to be healthy,” okay, sort of my social engineering or whatever to “I need to go be healthy is” or whatever that is. That means I need to have a six-pack; I need to always live in the gym. I have to eat rice and beans for the rest of my life and, you know, has all this connotation associated with it. But I think what you’re talking about in terms of being healthy isn’t necessarily… it’s tied, it’s correlated to how you end up looking at the end of this, but it’s really what’s going on on the inside mentally. Are you going to healthy heads, headspace? Metabolically what you’re just saying? Are you in a healthy space? Physically, again, whether or not there’s a muscle there or not? Right? It’s are those joints lubed? So to speak, right? Like, are you feeling good plugging in for the workday and plugging out? And so when you think about health from that, I guess more holistic, or, I don’t know, if it’s more inward standpoint, all those other connotations just feels like as you’re talking, they’re just kind of slipping to the wayside. Like they’re side effects, positive or negative. But really, they’re not at the core of, of what you’re trying to accomplish here, which is just to be a healthy whole human being.
Yep. Exactly. And that’s what… that’s where the work actually happens. And that’s how you build a healthy relationship with yourself around health. If you are so focused… if you’re, if you come to me and you say “my goal is to look good in a bathing suit”, I might not work with you because I think you are prioritizing the wrong things. I can get you there but to your point, that’s a side effect. What is the real goal here? Is it just to feel confident in your skin that kind of is the same thing, but you’re looking at it from a strictly physical standpoint. And that happens, but once you focus on the root cause first and the inner work; that’s where it starts.
Cat I think you’re making me a believer today. I appreciate, appreciate what you had to say; we’re coming up on time. If anybody wants to get ahold of you like you, I think you mentioned this right, like you run a full side business on this. Is that right? How do they get ahold of you?
Yeah, so you can message me on LinkedIn. I do have a website or on Instagram. So Cat_Leavengood. You can DM me there. I do offer free consultations. So if anyone is interested in joining my program, I can kind of walk them through what to expect, what their goals are to them personally. So those are the best ways to get a hold of me.
Cat, I appreciate you coming on. Any final words you want to give to everybody before you go?
No, it was so great chatting with you. And I just hope this was somewhat helpful for everybody listening.
All right, see you later. Thanks.
Hot dog. That was a great episode. Thanks for listening. If you want to learn more about Greaser Consulting or any information you heard on today’s episode, visit us online at www.greaserconsulting.com. Be sure to click the Follow button and the bell icon to be notified on the latest here at RevOps Therapy. Thanks and see you real soon.