Amy Clover - Harnessing Fitness And Positive Action To Optimise Mental Health | 180 Nutrition

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Amy Clover – Harnessing Fitness And Positive Action To Optimise Mental Health

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week we welcome Amy Clover to the show. Amy is a writer, fitness personality, motivational speaker, teacher and mental health advocate. She is the founder of Strong Inside Out, which guides you to become stronger than your struggle, fully living every moment of your extraordinary life, and harnessing fitness and positive action to move forward stronger.

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • What are the lesser recognised signs of an unhealthy mindset?
  • What strategies do you call upon if/when you’re feeling low?
  • What type of exercise delivered the best results?

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Full Transcript

 Stu

00:03 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve long lasting health. Now, I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

00:23 Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180nutrition.com.au and take a look. Okay, back to the show.
Stu: 00:44 This week, I’m excited to work with Amy Clover. Maybe has an inspiring story starting with OCD, depression and suicidal thoughts as a teenager to then go onto empower hundreds of thousands of people with her online community called Strong Inside Out. In this episode, we discuss how she used exercise to the flip the switch, how social media can lead us down the wrong path and the strategies that we can call upon when we’re feeling down. She is filled with energy and has really made the connection between movement and mindset. I know that you will love this episode. Without further ado, let’s get into the show.

01:23 Hwy guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Amy Clover to the show. Good morning Amy. Or don’t say good morning, I think it’s afternoon for you, isn’t it?

Amy

01:33 It is. It is. But good morning to you.

Stu

01:36 Thank you so much. First up, for all of our listeners over here that might not be familiar with your work, I would love it if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Amy

01:48 Sure, I am a coach. I’m a writer. I’m a teacher and I’m the force behind a movement called Strong Inside Out and what that is, is it all lives over in stronginsideout.com and we help people tear down these shaming metric-based health standard and replace them with individual health that just feels good instead.

Stu

02:09 Fantastic. Fantastic. I know that you’ve got a story to share as well and I was particularly interested in dialing into some of that because it is so inspirational and if you could just-

Amy

02:22 Thanks.

Stu

02:22 Guide us down that journey, that would be fantastic.

Amy

02:26 Of course, of course. A bit about my story. I grew up and I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and clinical depression when I was in high school and that’s a horrible mix. If you’ve never experienced before, please just never do. I hope you never do. Especially when your hormones are raging in high school and stuff like that and all you want to do is be like the other kids. For me, my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, would show up like I couldn’t walk down the hallway without touching a certain amount of lockers. Otherwise, I felt like my whole family’s going to die and it was going to be my fault. It’s really intense, but I was always taught strength is sucking it up. Strength is not talking about it. Strength is just getting up and doing it anyways. That’s what I tried to do for a long time.

03:16 It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work great that way. It started just coming out in different forms. I started just lashing out at my teachers, at my friends, at other people in my school. I was a punk rock kid back in the day. I still am a little. I started doing drugs and alcohol, just anything to self-medicate. I was just so afraid that this was going to be with me for life because I was never offered another option. It was always given to me as a life sentence. Like this is something you’re going to always have to deal with and just get over it, suck it up kind of stuff. I just tried to hide it away, hide it away, hide it away and it just got worse and cycled worse and cycled worse until in my early 20s, I just decided I was done. I didn’t want to fight anymore. I didn’t want life to feel this hard all the time. I was hospitalized for a threat on my own life.

04:10 Being a punk rock kid, being thrown into a hospital where you have absolutely no control and authority tells you when to take medication, when to go to sleep, when to go to the bathroom, all of those things, I’ve never been so angry in my entire life and it really snapped me into this new way of thinking of what if I just tried. What if I just tried to see things a different way, just try to make lifestyle changes that might support me feeling a little bit better about myself. That’s what I try to do. As soon as I got out of the hospital, I like roller coasters, man. It was try, fail, try fail. But every time, I got back up. I never sunk to that point again.

04:57 What really, really helped me was finding fitness in addition to the therapy that I was doing, cognitive behavioral therapy.

Stu

05:04 Okay.

Amy

05:05 Yeah, and so, the fitness part helped me hold on to everything I was doing with my therapist beyond the gym. It started helping me feel like I was really efficient, I was capable of making these changes and I started feeling stronger inside the gym and out. That’s where Strong Inside Out came from.

Stu

05:25 Fantastic. How did you motivate yourself when you said you found fitness? Because I know that a lot of people are … when they’re in that space as well and we all have these down days where we think, “I just can’t be bothered to exercise. I just want to sit around, lay around. Just can’t do it.” But when you go, just the effects of exercising, just getting outside. To just give you an example, we just finished a trade show and I drove from Sydney to where I live in Byron Bay yesterday. It was nine or so hours in the car and I was so flat and I just felt broken. But I thought, “You know what? I’m going to cycle into town and go and lift a few weights and cycle back,” and it was just 1,000% better, I was switched on again. How do you motivate yourself to actually do that when you don’t feel like doing it?

Amy

06:19 It’s a great question especially for people who struggle with depression and anxiety too, it’s very hard to motivate yourself to do something different because they feel like these black holes that suck you into this mindset, the state of being that’s so hard to break free from. If you’re out there and feeling like, I can’t do what she did, you can. Because all you have to do is start with really small steps. For me, I started keeping note of my wins. My therapist started saying keep note of every single win that you have. Sometimes my win was getting out of bed that day.

Stu

06:51 Right, yeah.

Amy

06:52 Sometimes it was taking a shower. It was those small things were actually wins for me. To the motivation aspect, I would just say, be really gentle with yourself around what motivation is enough for you. It’s just a walk around the block once. Maybe that’s as much as you can do today but you’re going to feel that much better. That’s going to open the door for you to do, maybe, two laps tomorrow.

Stu

07:20 No, perfect, perfect. In terms of mindset, I think we’ve all got a pretty clear indication of, “Well, I’m feeling really down today. I feel gray inside. It’s just one of those days.” What are the lesser, do you think, lesser recognized signs of perhaps an imbalanced or unhealthy mindset?

Amy

07:47 I am so glad you asked because a huge one that I like to visit a lot on Strong Inside Out, that a lot of people … Well, we kind of glorify it in today’s society is perfectionism. It’s this idea that we have to live up to this super high standard or we’re nothing at all. They’re these extremes, but it you’re anywhere in here, it’s just as bad as this extreme right down here. It’s so ridiculous and so hard to live up to. Nobody can. Everybody feels like … I’m not trying not to swear on your show. Everyone feels like doo-doo all the time. Where we come in with Strong Inside Out is we tell people, “These perfectionistic standards, no one can ever reach them and just being told that we need to reach them is a way to control us. Is a way to keep us buying things. It’s a way to make us basically conform.
Amy 08:45 That’s not the punk rock way to be. We don’t conform to things. We call the shots. We live our lives in the way that we want to live them. You know what I mean?

Stu

08:53 I totally do. I think we spoke a little bit about this before we start recording. In social media and social media is a perfect example of everybody always living in the most fantastic, perfect zone, with the selfies and with smiling and we’re having so much fun. I wonder whether it’s more harmful than it is good.

Amy

09:14 It’s a really great topic and it’s something we can go on for ages about because it’s true. We only present to the world our filtered versions of ourselves. Then, we’ve got all our kids growing up, looking at all these pictures and saying, “I need to be like that all the time. Why can’t I be like that all the time? What’s wrong with me?” It’s something I think we just need to [inaudible 00:09:38] a conversation going about it, keep talking about it because it’s okay that that exists that way but we just need to know that it’s not reality, basically.

Stu

09:48 Yeah, and that is a tricky one because for a lot of youngsters today, it’s reality. I remember life before the mobile phones, social media, internet and it was … And I tell people this all the time and I sound like a grumpy old man but it was good.
Amy 10:02 It was.

10:05 We were outside and we were climbing trees and riding bikes and we were gone for hours and now, it’s just, wow. We’re beholden to these devices.
Amy 10:18 Totally.

10:19 How do you define health? What do you think?

Amy

10:23 Oh, this is a great question too, especially because Strong Inside Out defines health in a very different way than a lot of the other health and fitness, wellness kind of blogs do out there. A lot of other people will tell you that health is a result. Health is a metric but we totally, 180, don’t believe in that. I wanted to pull your name in there.

Stu

10:45 Yeah. Thank you.

Amy

10:48 We believe that it’s not a single metric or a measurement. That it’s every action you take to feel a little bit better. To get more aligned with what feels good to you. It’s equal parts body, mind and spirit. We so easily forgot about the mind and spirit part but it’s equal parts all those things.

Stu

11:08 Totally. Absolutely right. I think it’s really important for our listeners as well just to continually emphasize the fact that we are so uniquely different, that good health, it maybe lean to some people but a whole heap of people can never be as lean as the next person. I guess, for me, I always wanted to be fit and healthy and strong but my metabolism says, “You’re never going to put on weight. It doesn’t matter what you do. It’s just not going to happen for you.” It’s an acceptance of, “Well, I’m just going to accept who I am and just get the most enjoyment out of this time and the most enjoyment out of who I am as well.” It’s really, again, with social media, you look at the pictures, enjoy it but it’s a fake world and just make the most out og every day with what we have as well. I think.

Amy

12:07 Yeah. Yeah, and I think that’s wonderful that you were able to find that acceptance for yourself to.

Stu

12:12 Totally. Otherwise, I’d be beating myself up every single day.

Amy

12:16 Totally.

Stu

12:18 In terms of exercise because I love the fact that it switches on so much good stuff in our mind, in our body as well and there are so many different forms of exercise. There’s a love-hate relationship with lots of different forms of exercise as well, with all of us. What type of exercise worked best for you?

12:37 Ooh, when you say work best, tell me what you mean by that?

12:40 Right, so work best in as much as you enjoyed it, so you carried on doing it but also you felt more energized from it and found that that produced the best effects for your specific goal.

Amy

12:57 Yes, okay. Awesome. It’s been many different kinds over the years, so the kind that worked best for me in the very beginning when I first got out of the hospital website probably, honestly, elliptical. That’s a lot because I could just turn my mind off, read my magazine and just do it and I’d feel better afterwards. That helped a lot in the beginning. Then it turned into running. Running really helped me a lot with my mindset, with my depression, with my anxiety.

13:29 And then I really got into high-intensity interval training when I was … I’m a personal trainer but I haven’t had a personal training business in a while. I’m doing only Strong Inside Out virtual kind of work and coaching but when I did have my personal training business, I did a lot of HIIT, which I loved, because I love just jumping around. Even the classes that I teach now, because I do teach classes sometimes. I teach a mantra-based bootcamp. It’s a lot HIIT based and it’s a lot of fun but recently, I realized I didn’t like that so much on my own anymore. I love teaching it but not doing it on my own.

14:04 I was like, “What do I actually like to do? What have I always wanted to do? Then I realized I have always wanted to be a superhero in my life. I’ve always wanted to. I watch Daredevil on Netflix-

Stu

14:16 Yeah, it’s great.

Amy

14:17 I’m like, “I want to do what he does.” I actually tweeted the stuntman from Daredevil and said, “How can I be like you when I grow up?” He tweeted me back.

Stu

14:28 No way.

Amy

14:29 Yeah. He was like, “I do extreme martial arts. I highly suggest like blah, blah, blah.” Long story short, I do Taekwondo now. I’m a brown belt.

Stu

14:39 Fantastic.

Amy

14:39 But it had to take a little bit of a backseat because I ruptured my ACL but not for long, hopefully.

Stu

14:43 Fantastic. That’s awesome. Your weekly exercise routine as well because I would imagine that if you find an exercise that works for you that makes you feel so good, it’s very easy to embrace it and over do it.

Amy

14:59 Oh, yeah.

Stu

15:00 And forget about recovery and a lot of the time I think recovery’s where the good stuff happens as well. Do you have off days? Do you exercise every day? What do you do in a week?

Amy

15:13 You have such a balanced mindset about this. It’s so rare. It’s so nice to talk to you about this. It is so important to do recovery and my tendency is to overdo it for sure. What I have to do is I make myself take off at least two days every week. It’s also a part of I’m in recovery, oh, have been for a long time for my eating disorder and that’s part of it as well. What I’ll do, I’m not doing Taekwondo right now because of my knee but what I would do, say like a couple of months ago, is I go to Taekwondo three times a week and then I would go do something outside, in the park or take a walk or something. Maybe two days a week or something like just to keep it fresh. But the most important part for me was really connecting with myself and asking myself what I wanted to do. It’s really important to me to stay in connection with that instead of forcing myself to do something.

Stu

16:09 Yeah, absolutely. In terms of mindset, do you practice any form of mindfulness outside of the exercise world in terms of meditation? Things like that?

Amy

16:23 Absolutely. I meditate every single day. Well, let’s not be perfect about it. I meditate most times. It’s rare when I’ll miss it just because it’s a part of my routine. I wake up, go to the bathroom, go meditate. But I also love yoga but I haven’t been able to do it for a little bit because of my knee but I’ll get back to it.

Stu

16:44 Yes. Right, okay. What type of meditation? How long?
Amy 16:50 It depends. I just recently got introduced to the app Insight Timer. Have you heard of that one?

16:58 No. Only Headspace. That’s the one that I try to use. I struggle with meditation so much but-

Amy

17:04 I hear you.

Stu

17:06 Tell us about that?

Amy

17:09 Insight Timer and I’m not advertising because I wish they would pay me for it because I tell people about it all the time. It’s just a great collection of different recorded meditations by famous meditation teachers. They also have an option where you can just set a timer, it has certain bells that you can use if you like the mindfulness, like reminding you. My mind tends to drift all the time, so every two minutes, I’ll have a timer go off.

Stu

17:40 Right. Got it.

Amy

17:41 I’m like, “Oh yeah, I’m meditating. Not just thinking or worrying.”

Stu

17:44 Come back, come back.

Amy

17:45 Exactly. Exactly. Yeah, I really like that one.

Stu

17:48 Fantastic. I have heard the term metric mind on your website as well. Am I right in thinking that we’re so focused on the metrics that that’s kind of driving this in the wrong direction but I’d love for you to explain what that means.

Amy

18:09 Yes, I’d love to. This metric mind is this kind of super villain that controls all of our minds and tells us that we’re not enough unless we fit into this mold that the metric mind has created. I use a few terms on my site that needs to be defined. I need to make a glossary or something like that. Performance health is one of them. What we’re not at Strong Inside Out is performance health. Performance health says that you need to be this metric, you need to be this weight, size, speed, you need to life this certain amount, you need to look this certain way kind of thing to be enough. If you’re not, keep trying because one day you’ll get perfect enough to be worthy kind of thing. All of that sums up into this kind of overlord metric mind that I refer to sometimes in my mind that just comes down and tells us over and over again how lacking we are because we’re not a weight, shape, size speed whatever. That’s kind of what that is. Did that answer your question?

Stu

19:12 Yeah, totally, totally. I’m coming to your site and I’m just not feeling great but I’m inspired because I found you. I’ve heard your story. Don’t really know where to start. Where would you hold my hand and where would you take me?
Amy 19:30 I would take you to three specific posts. I would take you to … Ooh, four. I take it back.

Stu

19:36 Yeah.

Amy

19:36 I would take you to my about page because then you can learn all about my story, get a sense for who I am. Then I would take you to a post that I can’t say on this show because it has a swear word in it but we’ll just call it F metrics.

Stu

19:54 Right, okay. Yeah, got it.

Amy

19:57 That was our revolt post that switched everything for Strong Inside Out and set us on this trajectory of performance health recovery is what we do. Then I would also share with people performance or redefining health, performance health versus health health and I can send you all these links for your listeners as well [crosstalk 00:20:21].

Stu

20:21 Totally, totally. We will put every single link in the show notes so please feel free.
Amy 20:27 The last one I would share is just my post called Mental Optics, which I’m actually creating a course about right now, that’s going to launch at the end of the month. It’s all about how our reality is our perception and how we can start to shift that reality with awareness and focus with step by step guidance.

Stu

20:47 Brilliant. Fantastic. So, you’ve got lots of tools and tactics and strategies and tips as well. I’m guessing you probably have off days too, where you just get up and you think, “Ugh, it’s one of those days.” What do you do? What strategies do you call upon when you’re feeling low?
Amy 21:07 I actually don’t know what you’re talking about. I never have off days. Just kidding.

21:10 Right.

Amy

21:10 That’d be so awful. No, I definitely have off days. Recently, I’ve been feeling super tired and I still have this tendency that’s this age old tendency that, I mean, gasp, but it doesn’t go overnight, to just beat myself to smithereens in my own head. When I have an off day, I have to really work my tools hardcore. A lot of the tools that I use, meditation is a huge one. I’ll listen specifically to one that brings gentleness in or self-love in or something like that and if I’m feeling like too resistant to those kinds of things, I’ll just breathe into a mantra. Mantras or affirmations are really powerful for me.

Stu

21:55 Okay.

Amy

21:57 Then, reaching out to a supporter or friend, always really helps connecting myself to other people because I tend to isolate. Then any kind of just little bit of movement. Getting outside if I don’t feel like I have enough energy to do movement, just getting outside in any way that’s really helpful.

Stu

22:14 Great. Fantastic. You mentioned that you’re feeling a little tired and that brings me onto sleep because it’s my … Sleep is my nemesis. I’m always after perfecting the best night sleep because it can change everything. We get a crappy night sleep, we just make poor food choices, we don’t feel motivated to exercise. We feel low, we feel depressed. Firstly, how do you sleep? Do you sleep well?

Am

22:45 It depends.

Stu

22:46 Right.

Amy

22:47 Lately, I have been sleeping well. I actually use a magnesium supplement to help me sleep that really helps but for a while, I don’t know, things just weren’t working. It goes up and down, depending.

Stu

22:59 Okay.

Amy

22:59 I’ve had issues with my adrenals before though, so that is part of it.

Stu

23:02 Same.

Amy

23:04 But yeah, I think, I have gotten so many recommendations from my Natura path and from all my natural friends for using blue light filter glasses and doing other things. I’m just like, “But am I going to do that kind of stuff? I don’t think I’m going to do that kind of stuff.”

Stu

23:28 No. Exactly, right. Is mental chatter, you know, monkey mind, where you just can’t stop thinking about all that stuff, is that something that you struggle with given everything that you’re doing? Because you’re clearly a busy person.

Amy

23:47 Yeah. But yes, monkey mind is something. I would say like monkey worried mind is totally … My brain’s jammed for some reason. But it’s frustrating because I’ve done so much recovery for depression anxiety already. The worrying is always on the background. It’s just now, with all the work that I’ve done, is just I selectively choose what to attach to, what to connect to and what to disconnect from. It’s definitely not perfect. It works maybe 70% of the time.

Stu

24:21 Okay, yeah. That’s good enough.

Amy

24:25 30% of the time I’m like, “What’s happening?” Yeah.

Stu

24:26 Fantastic. Nutrition. Clearly, we can govern our thoughts by what we put in our mouth as well because we can be on sugar highs and lows or we can have stable energy through more whole foods, healthy fats, things like that. How important is nutrition to you?

Amy

24:47 It’s very important. Well, I just told you a little bit ago that I’m in eating disorder recovery so I had the tendency to go in the opposite direction of making sure everything was perfect. Making sure I was getting under this amount of calories per day, that I was only doing organic and only not doing any kind of processed foods. Through recovery, I realized that all of that is just … It’s too much for me, for my own mind. I tend to get way too obsessive so I have to get myself some leniency but that said, I focus my nutrition on what my body wants and needs, what I know that I put on. For me, I feel like a freaking super hero when I have leafy greens, when I have lean protein at every meal. When I do have a good amount of those health fats and whole grains is something that I’ve realized I do need.

25:41 It’s different for every person. It’s interesting. I’m creating another huge course, actually to help people with just that. Getting in touch with their bodies to realize what kind of nutrition they specifically need instead of being told, “Do this meal plan. Eat this specific thing,” because everybody is so different.

Stu

26:00 Totally. Absolutely right and it’s … We’re so confused as a nation because there’s paleo, there’s keto, there’s mediterranean, there’s high carb, low carb. We just don’t know and what works for somebody may not work for the next person.
Amy 26:19 Completely. I’ve seen it so many times.

26:21 Yeah, definitely. For me, I think, it’s just a bit of self test. I’m going to try eating this way and we’ve, I’ve tried eating a number of ways. I made a big mistake about three years ago, where I really embraced high-intensity interval training voraciously and at the time, thought, “I’m going to try low carb as well and just throw that in.”

Amy

26:43 Oh God.

Stu

26:45 I got my timing wrong in terms of very, very little recovery. My body type requires carbohydrates. It sounds like you as well. I just need it. I pulled those out and my adrenals crashed big time and just struggled to get them back. My sleep went out the window. I was waking up at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00. Totally. High carb, low fat, everybody’s going, “Yes! It’s the way to go but it may not be for you.” You got to listen to your body. You really do.

Amy

27:20 Yeah, totally. You totally do.

Stu

27:25 Tell me what mental optics means because I’ve read that too on your site?
Amy 27:30 Happily. Mental optics are the filters through which we see the world and their created by the things that have happened to us. Sometimes, that really sucks for a lot of people, who read Strong Inside Out because some people come to Strong Inside Out from depression, from anxiety, from trauma and our mental optics are filters and they’re created from those things sometimes but they don’t have to be permanent is the wonderful thing. Basically, I actually give the lowdown in that post that I’ll give your watchers too.

28:04 Yeah.

Amy

28:05 But I subscribe to this process that I call, “Read situation, free the situation.” It’s just basically really bringing a lot of awareness and intention to what you choose to engage with. The thoughts that you have that come from what you’re receiving, you really get to choose your perception. It’s such a cool thing. So many of us just default to perceiving things in a certain way. Like, “This person doesn’t like me because I did this.” Well do you know? Did this person tell you? Are you for sure doing that and also, you can’t control that person, so how do you choose to act from that. Did that make sense? I feel like I rambled a lot in that part.

Stu

28:50 No, it absolutely does because it’s very easy to focus on the wrong stuff, but the power of intention as well, you can bring that stuff into reality, even totally make that stuff happen.

Amy

29:06 Yeah, you can.

Stu

29:07 On the flip side, you can focus on the good stuff and the stuff that you really want to happen. You can drive yourself to more towards the way you want to be. We’re so focused on fear and anxiety many worry that we’re living that space if we don’t shift our mindset.
Amy 29:29 Completely and the thing about fear, anxiety and worry is that, even though those things haven’t happened, you’re living the reality where it has.

29:38 Yeah, that’s right.

Amy

29:39 That’s what’s so messed up. That’s where mental optics can really make or break it.

Stu

29:44 Yeah, absolutely. By living in that space as well, we are biologically turning on a lot of those hormones that are associated with that, so that the stress hormones, in turn, we are instigating a cascade of health issues that accompany these stress hormones. They really do. Happy mindset can do radical things for our health. Unbelievably so.
Amy 30:15 Yeah, completely. When you can’t get to the happy mindset, even just accepting mindset can do a world of good.

30:22 Yeah, totally. What are your top strategies then, do you think that would have the biggest impact on our mental performance?

Amy

30:33 Ooh, number one, a lot of people won’t like this, feel your feelings. When you have emotions, let yourself experience them. This is really difficult, especially for men, to feel the emotions, feel the feelings but it’s so important because when we don’t feel them, we stuff them down, we lock them into parts of our body that are going to come up later. It’s going to come out sometime and if you don’t allow yourself to feel it in it’s purest form, it’s going to come out as something crazy and uncontrollable. We’re just taught that emotions are signs that you’re crazy or signs that you can’t control yourself or you’re such a mess and that kind of stuff. Absolutely, everybody has emotions. I don’t understand where that came from. Every single person has emotions.

Stu

00:03 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve long lasting health. Now, I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

Stu

00:23 Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180nutrition.com.au and take a look. Okay, back to the show.

00:44 This week, I’m excited to work with Amy Clover. Maybe has an inspiring story starting with OCD, depression and suicidal thoughts as a teenager to then go onto empower hundreds of thousands of people with her online community called Strong Inside Out. In this episode, we discuss how she used exercise to the flip the switch, how social media can lead us down the wrong path and the strategies that we can call upon when we’re feeling down. She is filled with energy and has really made the connection between movement and mindset. I know that you will love this episode. Without further ado, let’s get into the show.

01:23 Hwy guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Amy Clover to the show. Good morning Amy. Or don’t say good morning, I think it’s afternoon for you, isn’t it?

Amy

01:33 It is. It is. But good morning to you.

Stu

01:36 Thank you so much. First up, for all of our listeners over here that might not be familiar with your work, I would love it if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Amy

01:48 Sure, I am a coach. I’m a writer. I’m a teacher and I’m the force behind a movement called Strong Inside Out and what that is, is it all lives over in stronginsideout.com and we help people tear down these shaming metric-based health standard and replace them with individual health that just feels good instead.

Stu

02:09 Fantastic. Fantastic. I know that you’ve got a story to share as well and I was particularly interested in dialing into some of that because it is so inspirational and if you could just-

Amy

02:22 Thanks.

Stu

02:22 Guide us down that journey, that would be fantastic.

Amy

02:26 Of course, of course. A bit about my story. I grew up and I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and clinical depression when I was in high school and that’s a horrible mix. If you’ve never experienced before, please just never do. I hope you never do. Especially when your hormones are raging in high school and stuff like that and all you want to do is be like the other kids. For me, my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, would show up like I couldn’t walk down the hallway without touching a certain amount of lockers. Otherwise, I felt like my whole family’s going to die and it was going to be my fault. It’s really intense, but I was always taught strength is sucking it up. Strength is not talking about it. Strength is just getting up and doing it anyways. That’s what I tried to do for a long time.

03:16 It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work great that way. It started just coming out in different forms. I started just lashing out at my teachers, at my friends, at other people in my school. I was a punk rock kid back in the day. I still am a little. I started doing drugs and alcohol, just anything to self-medicate. I was just so afraid that this was going to be with me for life because I was never offered another option. It was always given to me as a life sentence. Like this is something you’re going to always have to deal with and just get over it, suck it up kind of stuff. I just tried to hide it away, hide it away, hide it away and it just got worse and cycled worse and cycled worse until in my early 20s, I just decided I was done. I didn’t want to fight anymore. I didn’t want life to feel this hard all the time. I was hospitalized for a threat on my own life.

04:10 Being a punk rock kid, being thrown into a hospital where you have absolutely no control and authority tells you when to take medication, when to go to sleep, when to go to the bathroom, all of those things, I’ve never been so angry in my entire life and it really snapped me into this new way of thinking of what if I just tried. What if I just tried to see things a different way, just try to make lifestyle changes that might support me feeling a little bit better about myself. That’s what I try to do. As soon as I got out of the hospital, I like roller coasters, man. It was try, fail, try fail. But every time, I got back up. I never sunk to that point again.

04:57 What really, really helped me was finding fitness in addition to the therapy that I was doing, cognitive behavioral therapy.

Stu

05:04 Okay.

Amy

05:05 Yeah, and so, the fitness part helped me hold on to everything I was doing with my therapist beyond the gym. It started helping me feel like I was really efficient, I was capable of making these changes and I started feeling stronger inside the gym and out. That’s where Strong Inside Out came from.

Stu

05:25 Fantastic. How did you motivate yourself when you said you found fitness? Because I know that a lot of people are … when they’re in that space as well and we all have these down days where we think, “I just can’t be bothered to exercise. I just want to sit around, lay around. Just can’t do it.” But when you go, just the effects of exercising, just getting outside. To just give you an example, we just finished a trade show and I drove from Sydney to where I live in Byron Bay yesterday. It was nine or so hours in the car and I was so flat and I just felt broken. But I thought, “You know what? I’m going to cycle into town and go and lift a few weights and cycle back,” and it was just 1,000% better, I was switched on again. How do you motivate yourself to actually do that when you don’t feel like doing it?

Amy

06:19 It’s a great question especially for people who struggle with depression and anxiety too, it’s very hard to motivate yourself to do something different because they feel like these black holes that suck you into this mindset, the state of being that’s so hard to break free from. If you’re out there and feeling like, I can’t do what she did, you can. Because all you have to do is start with really small steps. For me, I started keeping note of my wins. My therapist started saying keep note of every single win that you have. Sometimes my win was getting out of bed that day.

Stu

06:51 Right, yeah.

Amy

06:52 Sometimes it was taking a shower. It was those small things were actually wins for me. To the motivation aspect, I would just say, be really gentle with yourself around what motivation is enough for you. It’s just a walk around the block once. Maybe that’s as much as you can do today but you’re going to feel that much better. That’s going to open the door for you to do, maybe, two laps tomorrow.

Stu

07:20 No, perfect, perfect. In terms of mindset, I think we’ve all got a pretty clear indication of, “Well, I’m feeling really down today. I feel gray inside. It’s just one of those days.” What are the lesser, do you think, lesser recognized signs of perhaps an imbalanced or unhealthy mindset?

Amy

07:47 I am so glad you asked because a huge one that I like to visit a lot on Strong Inside Out, that a lot of people … Well, we kind of glorify it in today’s society is perfectionism. It’s this idea that we have to live up to this super high standard or we’re nothing at all. They’re these extremes, but it you’re anywhere in here, it’s just as bad as this extreme right down here. It’s so ridiculous and so hard to live up to. Nobody can. Everybody feels like … I’m not trying not to swear on your show. Everyone feels like doo-doo all the time. Where we come in with Strong Inside Out is we tell people, “These perfectionistic standards, no one can ever reach them and just being told that we need to reach them is a way to control us. Is a way to keep us buying things. It’s a way to make us basically conform.
Amy 08:45 That’s not the punk rock way to be. We don’t conform to things. We call the shots. We live our lives in the way that we want to live them. You know what I mean?

Stu

08:53 I totally do. I think we spoke a little bit about this before we start recording. In social media and social media is a perfect example of everybody always living in the most fantastic, perfect zone, with the selfies and with smiling and we’re having so much fun. I wonder whether it’s more harmful than it is good.

Amy

09:14 It’s a really great topic and it’s something we can go on for ages about because it’s true. We only present to the world our filtered versions of ourselves. Then, we’ve got all our kids growing up, looking at all these pictures and saying, “I need to be like that all the time. Why can’t I be like that all the time? What’s wrong with me?” It’s something I think we just need to [inaudible 00:09:38] a conversation going about it, keep talking about it because it’s okay that that exists that way but we just need to know that it’s not reality, basically.

Stu

09:48 Yeah, and that is a tricky one because for a lot of youngsters today, it’s reality. I remember life before the mobile phones, social media, internet and it was … And I tell people this all the time and I sound like a grumpy old man but it was good.

Amy

10:02 It was.

Stu

10:05 We were outside and we were climbing trees and riding bikes and we were gone for hours and now, it’s just, wow. We’re beholden to these devices.

Amy

10:18 Totally.

Stu

10:19 How do you define health? What do you think?

Amy

10:23 Oh, this is a great question too, especially because Strong Inside Out defines health in a very different way than a lot of the other health and fitness, wellness kind of blogs do out there. A lot of other people will tell you that health is a result. Health is a metric but we totally, 180, don’t believe in that. I wanted to pull your name in there.

Stu

10:45 Yeah. Thank you.

Amy

10:48 We believe that it’s not a single metric or a measurement. That it’s every action you take to feel a little bit better. To get more aligned with what feels good to you. It’s equal parts body, mind and spirit. We so easily forgot about the mind and spirit part but it’s equal parts all those things.

Stu

11:08 Totally. Absolutely right. I think it’s really important for our listeners as well just to continually emphasize the fact that we are so uniquely different, that good health, it maybe lean to some people but a whole heap of people can never be as lean as the next person. I guess, for me, I always wanted to be fit and healthy and strong but my metabolism says, “You’re never going to put on weight. It doesn’t matter what you do. It’s just not going to happen for you.” It’s an acceptance of, “Well, I’m just going to accept who I am and just get the most enjoyment out of this time and the most enjoyment out of who I am as well.” It’s really, again, with social media, you look at the pictures, enjoy it but it’s a fake world and just make the most out og every day with what we have as well. I think.

Amy

12:07 Yeah. Yeah, and I think that’s wonderful that you were able to find that acceptance for yourself to.

Stu

12:12 Totally. Otherwise, I’d be beating myself up every single day.

Amy

12:16 Totally.

Stu

12:18 In terms of exercise because I love the fact that it switches on so much good stuff in our mind, in our body as well and there are so many different forms of exercise. There’s a love-hate relationship with lots of different forms of exercise as well, with all of us. What type of exercise worked best for you?

Amy

12:37 Ooh, when you say work best, tell me what you mean by that?

Stu

12:40 Right, so work best in as much as you enjoyed it, so you carried on doing it but also you felt more energized from it and found that that produced the best effects for your specific goal.

Amy

12:57 Yes, okay. Awesome. It’s been many different kinds over the years, so the kind that worked best for me in the very beginning when I first got out of the hospital website probably, honestly, elliptical. That’s a lot because I could just turn my mind off, read my magazine and just do it and I’d feel better afterwards. That helped a lot in the beginning. Then it turned into running. Running really helped me a lot with my mindset, with my depression, with my anxiety.

13:29 And then I really got into high-intensity interval training when I was … I’m a personal trainer but I haven’t had a personal training business in a while. I’m doing only Strong Inside Out virtual kind of work and coaching but when I did have my personal training business, I did a lot of HIIT, which I loved, because I love just jumping around. Even the classes that I teach now, because I do teach classes sometimes. I teach a mantra-based bootcamp. It’s a lot HIIT based and it’s a lot of fun but recently, I realized I didn’t like that so much on my own anymore. I love teaching it but not doing it on my own.

14:04 I was like, “What do I actually like to do? What have I always wanted to do? Then I realized I have always wanted to be a superhero in my life. I’ve always wanted to. I watch Daredevil on Netflix-

Stu

14:16 Yeah, it’s great.

Amy

14:17 I’m like, “I want to do what he does.” I actually tweeted the stuntman from Daredevil and said, “How can I be like you when I grow up?” He tweeted me back.

Stu

14:28 No way.

Amy

14:29 Yeah. He was like, “I do extreme martial arts. I highly suggest like blah, blah, blah.” Long story short, I do Taekwondo now. I’m a brown belt.

Stu

14:39 Fantastic.

Amy

14:39 But it had to take a little bit of a backseat because I ruptured my ACL but not for long, hopefully.

Stu

14:43 Fantastic. That’s awesome. Your weekly exercise routine as well because I would imagine that if you find an exercise that works for you that makes you feel so good, it’s very easy to embrace it and over do it.

Amy

14:59 Oh, yeah.

Stu

15:00 And forget about recovery and a lot of the time I think recovery’s where the good stuff happens as well. Do you have off days? Do you exercise every day? What do you do in a week?

Amy

15:13 You have such a balanced mindset about this. It’s so rare. It’s so nice to talk to you about this. It is so important to do recovery and my tendency is to overdo it for sure. What I have to do is I make myself take off at least two days every week. It’s also a part of I’m in recovery, oh, have been for a long time for my eating disorder and that’s part of it as well. What I’ll do, I’m not doing Taekwondo right now because of my knee but what I would do, say like a couple of months ago, is I go to Taekwondo three times a week and then I would go do something outside, in the park or take a walk or something. Maybe two days a week or something like just to keep it fresh. But the most important part for me was really connecting with myself and asking myself what I wanted to do. It’s really important to me to stay in connection with that instead of forcing myself to do something.

Stu

16:09 Yeah, absolutely. In terms of mindset, do you practice any form of mindfulness outside of the exercise world in terms of meditation? Things like that?
Amy 16:23 Absolutely. I meditate every single day. Well, let’s not be perfect about it. I meditate most times. It’s rare when I’ll miss it just because it’s a part of my routine. I wake up, go to the bathroom, go meditate. But I also love yoga but I haven’t been able to do it for a little bit because of my knee but I’ll get back to it.

16:44 Yes. Right, okay. What type of meditation? How long?

Amy

16:50 It depends. I just recently got introduced to the app Insight Timer. Have you heard of that one?

Stu

16:58 No. Only Headspace. That’s the one that I try to use. I struggle with meditation so much but-

Amy

17:04 I hear you.

Stu

17:06 Tell us about that?

Amy

17:09 Insight Timer and I’m not advertising because I wish they would pay me for it because I tell people about it all the time. It’s just a great collection of different recorded meditations by famous meditation teachers. They also have an option where you can just set a timer, it has certain bells that you can use if you like the mindfulness, like reminding you. My mind tends to drift all the time, so every two minutes, I’ll have a timer go off.

Stu

17:40 Right. Got it.

Amy

17:41 I’m like, “Oh yeah, I’m meditating. Not just thinking or worrying.”

Stu

17:44 Come back, come back.

Amy

17:45 Exactly. Exactly. Yeah, I really like that one.

Stu

17:48 Fantastic. I have heard the term metric mind on your website as well. Am I right in thinking that we’re so focused on the metrics that that’s kind of driving this in the wrong direction but I’d love for you to explain what that means.

Amy

18:09 Yes, I’d love to. This metric mind is this kind of super villain that controls all of our minds and tells us that we’re not enough unless we fit into this mold that the metric mind has created. I use a few terms on my site that needs to be defined. I need to make a glossary or something like that. Performance health is one of them. What we’re not at Strong Inside Out is performance health. Performance health says that you need to be this metric, you need to be this weight, size, speed, you need to life this certain amount, you need to look this certain way kind of thing to be enough. If you’re not, keep trying because one day you’ll get perfect enough to be worthy kind of thing. All of that sums up into this kind of overlord metric mind that I refer to sometimes in my mind that just comes down and tells us over and over again how lacking we are because we’re not a weight, shape, size speed whatever. That’s kind of what that is. Did that answer your question?

Stu

19:12 Yeah, totally, totally. I’m coming to your site and I’m just not feeling great but I’m inspired because I found you. I’ve heard your story. Don’t really know where to start. Where would you hold my hand and where would you take me?

Amy

19:30 I would take you to three specific posts. I would take you to … Ooh, four. I take it back.

Stu

19:36 Yeah.

Amy

19:36 I would take you to my about page because then you can learn all about my story, get a sense for who I am. Then I would take you to a post that I can’t say on this show because it has a swear word in it but we’ll just call it F metrics.

Stu

19:54 Right, okay. Yeah, got it.

Amy

19:57 That was our revolt post that switched everything for Strong Inside Out and set us on this trajectory of performance health recovery is what we do. Then I would also share with people performance or redefining health, performance health versus health health and I can send you all these links for your listeners as well [crosstalk 00:20:21].

Stu

20:21 Totally, totally. We will put every single link in the show notes so please feel free.

Amy

20:27 The last one I would share is just my post called Mental Optics, which I’m actually creating a course about right now, that’s going to launch at the end of the month. It’s all about how our reality is our perception and how we can start to shift that reality with awareness and focus with step by step guidance.
Stu

20:47 Brilliant. Fantastic. So, you’ve got lots of tools and tactics and strategies and tips as well. I’m guessing you probably have off days too, where you just get up and you think, “Ugh, it’s one of those days.” What do you do? What strategies do you call upon when you’re feeling low?

Amy

21:07 I actually don’t know what you’re talking about. I never have off days. Just kidding.

Stu

21:10 Right.

Amy

21:10 That’d be so awful. No, I definitely have off days. Recently, I’ve been feeling super tired and I still have this tendency that’s this age old tendency that, I mean, gasp, but it doesn’t go overnight, to just beat myself to smithereens in my own head. When I have an off day, I have to really work my tools hardcore. A lot of the tools that I use, meditation is a huge one. I’ll listen specifically to one that brings gentleness in or self-love in or something like that and if I’m feeling like too resistant to those kinds of things, I’ll just breathe into a mantra. Mantras or affirmations are really powerful for me.

Stu

21:55 Okay.

Amy

21:57 Then, reaching out to a supporter or friend, always really helps connecting myself to other people because I tend to isolate. Then any kind of just little bit of movement. Getting outside if I don’t feel like I have enough energy to do movement, just getting outside in any way that’s really helpful.

Stu

22:14 Great. Fantastic. You mentioned that you’re feeling a little tired and that brings me onto sleep because it’s my … Sleep is my nemesis. I’m always after perfecting the best night sleep because it can change everything. We get a crappy night sleep, we just make poor food choices, we don’t feel motivated to exercise. We feel low, we feel depressed. Firstly, how do you sleep? Do you sleep well?

Amy

22:45 It depends.

Stu

22:46 Right.

Amy

22:47 Lately, I have been sleeping well. I actually use a magnesium supplement to help me sleep that really helps but for a while, I don’t know, things just weren’t working. It goes up and down, depending.

Stu

22:59 Okay.

Amy

22:59 I’ve had issues with my adrenals before though, so that is part of it.

Stu

23:02 Same.

Amy

23:04 But yeah, I think, I havve gotten so many recommendations from my Natura path and from all my natural friends for using blue light filter glasses and doing other things. I’m just like, “But am I going to do that kind of stuff? I don’t think I’m going to do that kind of stuff.”

Stu

23:28 No. Exactly, right. Is mental chatter, you know, monkey mind, where you just can’t stop thinking about all that stuff, is that something that you struggle with given everything that you’re doing? Because you’re clearly a busy person.

Amy

23:47 Yeah. But yes, monkey mind is something. I would say like monkey worried mind is totally … My brain’s jammed for some reason. But it’s frustrating because I’ve done so much recovery for depression anxiety already. The worrying is always on the background. It’s just now, with all the work that I’ve done, is just I selectively choose what to attach to, what to connect to and what to disconnect from. It’s definitely not perfect. It works maybe 70% of the time.

Stu

24:21 Okay, yeah. That’s good enough.

Amy

24:25 30% of the time I’m like, “What’s happening?” Yeah.

Stu

24:26 Fantastic. Nutrition. Clearly, we can govern our thoughts by what we put in our mouth as well because we can be on sugar highs and lows or we can have stable energy through more whole foods, healthy fats, things like that. How important is nutrition to you?

Amy

24:47 It’s very important. Well, I just told you a little bit ago that I’m in eating disorder recovery so I had the tendency to go in the opposite direction of making sure everything was perfect. Making sure I was getting under this amount of calories per day, that I was only doing organic and only not doing any kind of processed foods. Through recovery, I realized that all of that is just … It’s too much for me, for my own mind. I tend to get way too obsessive so I have to get myself some leniency but that said, I focus my nutrition on what my body wants and needs, what I know that I put on. For me, I feel like a freaking super hero when I have leafy greens, when I have lean protein at every meal. When I do have a good amount of those health fats and whole grains is something that I’ve realized I do need.

Amy

25:41 It’s different for every person. It’s interesting. I’m creating another huge course, actually to help people with just that. Getting in touch with their bodies to realize what kind of nutrition they specifically need instead of being told, “Do this meal plan. Eat this specific thing,” because everybody is so different.

Stu

26:00 Totally. Absolutely right and it’s … We’re so confused as a nation because there’s paleo, there’s keto, there’s mediterranean, there’s high carb, low carb. We just don’t know and what works for somebody may not work for the next person.

Amy

26:19 Completely. I’ve seen it so many times.

Stu

26:21 Yeah, definitely. For me, I think, it’s just a bit of self test. I’m going to try eating this way and we’ve, I’ve tried eating a number of ways. I made a big mistake about three years ago, where I really embraced high-intensity interval training voraciously and at the time, thought, “I’m going to try low carb as well and just throw that in.”

Amy

26:43 Oh God.

Stu

26:45 I got my timing wrong in terms of very, very little recovery. My body type requires carbohydrates. It sounds like you as well. I just need it. I pulled those out and my adrenals crashed big time and just struggled to get them back. My sleep went out the window. I was waking up at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00. Totally. High carb, low fat, everybody’s going, “Yes! It’s the way to go but it may not be for you.” You got to listen to your body. You really do.

Amy

27:20 Yeah, totally. You totally do.

Stu

27:25 Tell me what mental optics means because I’ve read that too on your site?

Amy

27:30 Happily. Mental optics are the filters through which we see the world and their created by the things that have happened to us. Sometimes, that really sucks for a lot of people, who read Strong Inside Out because some people come to Strong Inside Out from depression, from anxiety, from trauma and our mental optics are filters and they’re created from those things sometimes but they don’t have to be permanent is the wonderful thing. Basically, I actually give the lowdown in that post that I’ll give your watchers too.

Stu

28:04 Yeah.

Amy

28:05 But I subscribe to this process that I call, “Read situation, free the situation.” It’s just basically really bringing a lot of awareness and intention to what you choose to engage with. The thoughts that you have that come from what you’re receiving, you really get to choose your perception. It’s such a cool thing. So many of us just default to perceiving things in a certain way. Like, “This person doesn’t like me because I did this.” Well do you know? Did this person tell you? Are you for sure doing that and also, you can’t control that person, so how do you choose to act from that. Did that make sense? I feel like I rambled a lot in that part.

Stu

28:50 No, it absolutely does because it’s very easy to focus on the wrong stuff, but the power of intention as well, you can bring that stuff into reality, even totally make that stuff happen.

Amy

29:06 Yeah, you can.

Stu

29:07 On the flip side, you can focus on the good stuff and the stuff that you really want to happen. You can drive yourself to more towards the way you want to be. We’re so focused on fear and anxiety many worry that we’re living that space if we don’t shift our mindset.

Amy

29:29 Completely and the thing about fear, anxiety and worry is that, even though those things haven’t happened, you’re living the reality where it has.

Stu

29:38 Yeah, that’s right.
Amy 29:39 That’s what’s so messed up. That’s where mental optics can really make or break it.

Stu

29:44 Yeah, absolutely. By living in that space as well, we are biologically turning on a lot of those hormones that are associated with that, so that the stress hormones, in turn, we are instigating a cascade of health issues that accompany these stress hormones. They really do. Happy mindset can do radical things for our health. Unbelievably so.

Amy

30:15 Yeah, completely. When you can’t get to the happy mindset, even just accepting mindset can do a world of good.

Stu

30:22 Yeah, totally. What are your top strategies then, do you think that would have the biggest impact on our mental performance?

Amy

30:33 Ooh, number one, a lot of people won’t like this, feel your feelings. When you have emotions, let yourself experience them. This is really difficult, especially for men, to feel the emotions, feel the feelings but it’s so important because when we don’t feel them, we stuff them down, we lock them into parts of our body that are going to come up later. It’s going to come out sometime and if you don’t allow yourself to feel it in it’s purest form, it’s going to come out as something crazy and uncontrollable. We’re just taught that emotions are signs that you’re crazy or signs that you can’t control yourself or you’re such a mess and that kind of stuff. Absolutely, everybody has emotions. I don’t understand where that came from. Every single person has emotions.

Stu

31:35 True.

Amy

31:35 It’s how we, as human beings, process our world and learn and integrate let go of traumas and stuff like that. We’ve made it out to be this horrible thing and we’re locking ourself off from this essential part of recovery for ourselves from anything.

Stu

31:53 Yes.

Amy

31:54 It’s just be through feeling your feelings, so that’s one.

Stu

31:57 Perfect.

Amy

31:59 I think number two would be, instead of beating yourself up, try just a little bit of gentleness even if it’s not like I love myself. Sometimes, that’s just too far for me and when I’m feeling like I’m just a horrible person and I hate myself, I’m not going to be like, “I love myself. Okay, cured,” kind of thing. I have to just have to like, “I’m doing the best I can right now,” and sometimes, that’s enough to just release a little bit of that constriction, a little bit of that pounding that we do on ourselves. Gentleness is huge and I also think it’s really important for when you’re feeling up for it, challenge yourself. Challenge yourself mentally, challenge yourself physically, spiritually. I’m always, always growing. I always wan be learning. I think that keeps me sane for sure.

Stu

32:51 Yeah. Look, that’s good advice there and certainly coming from the male sphere, I can relate to a lot of that because it’s the male way, it’s the masculine way to keep a tap on those emotions and never show emotions and not wanting to dabble to any of these things that might be seen as woo-woo. I’d rather go to the football and drink a beer, so totally. Yeah. But I think we’re getting there. I think the tools and techniques now to track these stuff to tap into the strategies as well that allow us to tackle all of these issues are, well, they’re in our pocket on the smartphone right now. Yeah, we can certainly do it.

Amy

33:32 Yeah, it’s getting more and more acceptable now societally.

Stu

33:35 It sure is. Tell me a little bit about the non-negotiables that you have to do or want to do or do every single day to stay in your best shape in terms of mindset? What do you do every day?

Amy

33:58 For me, best shape means balanced, so it’s not the way I look. It’s not a weight or a size or any other metric but just balance and feeling good, feeling good in my body, in my mind, in my spirit. For me, the non-negotiables are body connection, really acknowledging my needs on a daily basis, nutritionally, physically, mindset wise, emotionally, self-care wise. Some kind of movement most days of the week is essential for me. I find that I start sinking into the black hole of depression if I don’t move my body most days of the week. Going back to body connection, honoring what I need in terms of nutrition. If some things make me feel horrible, like I don’t eat it and then, most of the time, that’s not perfect either. Because sometimes mac and cheese just sounds too good to not have. And really, really honoring my cravings too. That’s really important for me and I don’t just mean for cookies or candy or things like that. I mean, for those leafy greens, for those whole grains. Those kind of things.

Stu

35:14 Brilliant, excellent. Because you mentioned allowing yourself these treats as well, we live in such a bubble or, at least, I do in this world of health and nutrition because we’re connected to these health leaders. We know the science behind a lot of these stuff. You can’t unlearn what you’ve learned, so I know what fast food and fried food and oils and sugar and all that stuff. But at the same time, if you get 80% of your diet right and your lifestyle and movement and stress and sleep and all that stuff, then go for it with 20% because if it makes you happy, then I think that’s only going to be … It’s only going to be beneficial from you from a standpoint of not wanting to be this exclusion sign. “I’m not touching sugar. I’m not going to eat any cookies or chips. I’m never going to touch alcohol.” I think it could take us on the downward spiral.

Amy

36:12 Totally.

Stu

36:13 Yeah, embrace it.

Amy

36:15 Yeah. It can be so restrictive when we start to learn as much as we probably both know. I did precision nutrition sports nutrition certification and it was so great. I learned so much about it and then I got scared of a lot of things that I was eating.

Stu

36:32 Totally.

Amy

36:32 Even though they’re great at making it balanced but still, my mind attaches to I’m wrong if I eat these things. I’m bad if I do those things. I think a lot of people, especially those interested in the health and wellness industry can get a little bit obsessed about it like that.

Stu

36:51 Totally, completely. There were a few things that I wish I didn’t know.

Amy

36:55 Yeah.

Stu

36:59 But that’s just the way we go. We’re coming up a little bit on time Amy, but I just wanted to ask, what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

Amy

37:14 Oh, geez.

Stu

37:15 Yeah, I know. It’s a bit of a curve ball, this one. Or the best piece of advice that you could give if that helps.

Amy

37:25 Okay, well, the one that I’ve ever received, I think … I mean, I’ve received so many great pieces of advice but a supporter of mine once told me … Okay, I was going to her and I was feeling really dark and I was like, “Oh, my God, depression’s coming again,” because I have clinical depression and sometimes it just comes for no reason. It’s like a chemical imbalance thing.

Stu

37:44 Yeah.

Amy

37:47 It was coming around again and I was like, “Oh, my God, here it comes again. I can’t believe this is happening again.” I was telling her, I was like, “I feel like this and I feel so dark and I just don’t want it to be depression again.” She was like, “What if you didn’t have to label it? What if you just felt this way today and it didn’t have to be depression? Maybe it is. Who knows? But maybe, what if you didn’t have to out it in this box and make it this thing that now, you’re blowing it out of proportion and making it this huge thing.”

Stu

38:17 Yeah.

Amy

38:19 That has bled over into so many areas of my life as far as labeling what I’m feeling or labeling what I’m experiencing in any way, or doing. It’s really helped me to have singular experiences that don’t mean something about me.

Stu

38:38 Right, yeah. No, it makes perfect sense. It’s almost, what if it never happened? We’re so worried about, “I’m feeling like this, which I think might make this happen and what happens if this does happen. Oh, my God, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” but what if it never happens.

Amy

39:01 Yeah.

Stu

39:04 Think about where you are, enjoy the good times that you’re in right now, don’t worry about stuff that hasn’t happened because it might not.

Amy

39:04 Yeah.

Stu

39:12 Yeah.

Amy

39:12 Yeah.

Stu

39:13 Craziness.

Amy

39:13 Yeah.

Stu

39:14 Craziness. What’s next for may clover? What have you got in the pipeline?

Amy

39:21 Well, we are releasing two brand new courses. One is definitely going to release at the end of the month. We hope the other one will release then as well. We’re not sure honestly. Mental optics is going to release at the end of May, which we’re very, very excited about. That’s the course that’s going to give you so many tools and teach you about mental optics. What they’re for and from, how we can get cloudy lenses which is basically just super skewed mental optics and how we can target them specifically.

Stu

39:52 Right.

Amy

39:52 Then, I’m creating another huge course that’s going to become my flagship course that’s all about how to find balance and movement and nutrition by connecting to your body, so it’s really about the Strong Inside Out way of moving your body and eating for whatever you need to eat.

Stu

40:12 Fantastic. These courses will be available to everybody worldwide? We can dial in wherever we are on the planet?

Amy

40:19 Correct.

Stu

40:20 Fantastic.

Amy

40:21 I got to get all my GDP in line [crosstalk 00:40:23].

Stu

40:22 Yeah.

Amy

40:22 [crosstalk 00:40:24].

Stu

40:25 Yeah. Boy, oh, boy. You got a lot on your plate.

Amy

40:29 I do. I know.

Stu

40:30 Fantastic. For everybody that wants to find out more about what you do, where would be the best place for me to send them?

Amy

40:39 I live way too often on Instagram. I’m @stronginsideout across the board, so you can find me Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and then I’m always at stronginsideout.com.

Stu

40:52 Fantastic. Amy, it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you today. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I cannot wait to share it with our audience.

Amy

41:00 Thank you, dude. Well, right back to you. This was great.

Stu

41:03 All right. You take care. We’ll speak to you soon.
31:35 True.

Amy

31:35 It’s how we, as human beings, process our world and learn and integrate let go of traumas and stuff like that. We’ve made it out to be this horrible thing and we’re locking ourself off from this essential part of recovery for ourselves from anything.

Stu

31:53 Yes.

Amy

31:54 It’s just be through feeling your feelings, so that’s one.

Stu

31:57 Perfect.

Amy

31:59 I think number two would be, instead of beating yourself up, try just a little bit of gentleness even if it’s not like I love myself. Sometimes, that’s just too far for me and when I’m feeling like I’m just a horrible person and I hate myself, I’m not going to be like, “I love myself. Okay, cured,” kind of thing. I have to just have to like, “I’m doing the best I can right now,” and sometimes, that’s enough to just release a little bit of that constriction, a little bit of that pounding that we do on ourselves. Gentleness is huge and I also think it’s really important for when you’re feeling up for it, challenge yourself. Challenge yourself mentally, challenge yourself physically, spiritually. I’m always, always growing. I always wan be learning. I think that keeps me sane for sure.

Stu

32:51 Yeah. Look, that’s good advice there and certainly coming from the male sphere, I can relate to a lot of that because it’s the male way, it’s the masculine way to keep a tap on those emotions and never show emotions and not wanting to dabble to any of these things that might be seen as woo-woo. I’d rather go to the football and drink a beer, so totally. Yeah. But I think we’re getting there. I think the tools and techniques now to track these stuff to tap into the strategies as well that allow us to tackle all of these issues are, well, they’re in our pocket on the smartphone right now. Yeah, we can certainly do it.

Amy

33:32 Yeah, it’s getting more and more acceptable now societally.

Stu

33:35 It sure is. Tell me a little bit about the non-negotiables that you have to do or want to do or do every single day to stay in your best shape in terms of mindset? What do you do every day?

Amy

33:58 For me, best shape means balanced, so it’s not the way I look. It’s not a weight or a size or any other metric but just balance and feeling good, feeling good in my body, in my mind, in my spirit. For me, the non-negotiables are body connection, really acknowledging my needs on a daily basis, nutritionally, physically, mindset wise, emotionally, self-care wise. Some kind of movement most days of the week is essential for me. I find that I start sinking into the black hole of depression if I don’t move my body most days of the week. Going back to body connection, honoring what I need in terms of nutrition. If some things make me feel horrible, like I don’t eat it and then, most of the time, that’s not perfect either. Because sometimes mac and cheese just sounds too good to not have. And really, really honoring my cravings too. That’s really important for me and I don’t just mean for cookies or candy or things like that. I mean, for those leafy greens, for those whole grains. Those kind of things.

Stu

35:14 Brilliant, excellent. Because you mentioned allowing yourself these treats as well, we live in such a bubble or, at least, I do in this world of health and nutrition because we’re connected to these health leaders. We know the science behind a lot of these stuff. You can’t unlearn what you’ve learned, so I know what fast food and fried food and oils and sugar and all that stuff. But at the same time, if you get 80% of your diet right and your lifestyle and movement and stress and sleep and all that stuff, then go for it with 20% because if it makes you happy, then I think that’s only going to be … It’s only going to be beneficial from you from a standpoint of not wanting to be this exclusion sign. “I’m not touching sugar. I’m not going to eat any cookies or chips. I’m never going to touch alcohol.” I think it could take us on the downward spiral.

Amy

36:12 Totally.

Stu

36:13 Yeah, embrace it.

Amy

36:15 Yeah. It can be so restrictive when we start to learn as much as we probably both know. I did precision nutrition sports nutrition certification and it was so great. I learned so much about it and then I got scared of a lot of things that I was eating.

Stu

36:32 Totally.

Amy

36:32 Even though they’re great at making it balanced but still, my mind attaches to I’m wrong if I eat these things. I’m bad if I do those things. I think a lot of people, especially those interested in the health and wellness industry can get a little bit obsessed about it like that.

Stu

36:51 Totally, completely. There were a few things that I wish I didn’t know.

Amy

36:55 Yeah.

Stu

36:59 But that’s just the way we go. We’re coming up a little bit on time Amy, but I just wanted to ask, what’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given?

Amy

37:14 Oh, geez.

Stu

37:15 Yeah, I know. It’s a bit of a curve ball, this one. Or the best piece of advice that you could give if that helps.

Amy

37:25 Okay, well, the one that I’ve ever received, I think … I mean, I’ve received so many great pieces of advice but a supporter of mine once told me … Okay, I was going to her and I was feeling really dark and I was like, “Oh, my God, depression’s coming again,” because I have clinical depression and sometimes it just comes for no reason. It’s like a chemical imbalance thing.

Stu

37:44 Yeah.

Amy

37:47 It was coming around again and I was like, “Oh, my God, here it comes again. I can’t believe this is happening again.” I was telling her, I was like, “I feel like this and I feel so dark and I just don’t want it to be depression again.” She was like, “What if you didn’t have to label it? What if you just felt this way today and it didn’t have to be depression? Maybe it is. Who knows? But maybe, what if you didn’t have to out it in this box and make it this thing that now, you’re blowing it out of proportion and making it this huge thing.”

Stu

38:17 Yeah.

Amy

38:19 That has bled over into so many areas of my life as far as labeling what I’m feeling or labeling what I’m experiencing in any way, or doing. It’s really helped me to have singular experiences that don’t mean something about me.

Stu

38:38 Right, yeah. No, it makes perfect sense. It’s almost, what if it never happened? We’re so worried about, “I’m feeling like this, which I think might make this happen and what happens if this does happen. Oh, my God, I don’t know what I’m going to do,” but what if it never happens.

Amy

39:01 Yeah.

Stu

39:04 Think about where you are, enjoy the good times that you’re in right now, don’t worry about stuff that hasn’t happened because it might not.

Amy

39:04 Yeah.

Stu

39:12 Yeah.

Amy

39:12 Yeah.

Stu

39:13 Craziness.

Amy

39:13 Yeah.

Stu

39:14 Craziness. What’s next for may clover? What have you got in the pipeline?

Amy

39:21 Well, we are releasing two brand new courses. One is definitely going to release at the end of the month. We hope the other one will release then as well. We’re not sure honestly. Mental optics is going to release at the end of May, which we’re very, very excited about. That’s the course that’s going to give you so many tools and teach you about mental optics. What they’re for and from, how we can get cloudy lenses which is basically just super skewed mental optics and how we can target them specifically.

Stu

39:52 Right.

Amy

39:52 Then, I’m creating another huge course that’s going to become my flagship course that’s all about how to find balance and movement and nutrition by connecting to your body, so it’s really about the Strong Inside Out way of moving your body and eating for whatever you need to eat.

Stu

40:12 Fantastic. These courses will be available to everybody worldwide? We can dial in wherever we are on the planet?

Amy

40:19 Correct.

Stu

40:20 Fantastic.

Amy

40:21 I got to get all my GDP in line [crosstalk 00:40:23].

Stu

40:22 Yeah.

Amy

40:22 [crosstalk 00:40:24].

Stu

40:25 Yeah. Boy, oh, boy. You got a lot on your plate.

Amy

40:29 I do. I know.

Stu

40:30 Fantastic. For everybody that wants to find out more about what you do, where would be the best place for me to send them?

Amy

40:39 I live way too often on Instagram. I’m @stronginsideout across the board, so you can find me Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and then I’m always at stronginsideout.com.

Stu

40:52 Fantastic. Amy, it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you today. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I cannot wait to share it with our audience.

Amy

41:00 Thank you, dude. Well, right back to you. This was great.
Stu

41:03 All right. You take care. We’ll speak to you soon.

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