At 20, Mitch Webb fell out a second story window on the first night of his college study abroad program. The fall left him with a traumatic brain injury, panic attacks and insomnia. In the years since, he’s dealt with black mold toxicity, Lyme disease, heavy metals poisoning, diabetes, and major hormonal imbalances. He was in a car accident that left him with another TBI and then spent three years battling long-haul Covid. Through it all, he relied on aggressive treatments, biohacking, restrictive dieting and excessive exercise to try to heal himself, but it was always an up and down – until he learned about healing nervous system dysregulation, which is a much gentler practice that doesn’t offer immediate gratification but does act as the root cause of so many chronic illnesses.
Mitch Webb is a former Corporate Sales Executive turned Integrated Health Coach. Mitch discovered his passion for health and wellness after battling multiple TBIs, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, hormone imbalances, weight loss resistance, black mold and heavy metal toxicity. After visiting multiple doctors and not getting answers he was looking for, Mitch dove into the latest research and adopted a lifestyle that allowed him to heal.
Now, it’s Mitch’s passion to work with executives who are sick, tired, and overweight so that they can feel their best and perform optimally. Mitch takes a holistic approach to optimal health by focusing on mindset, mental and emotional support, movement, nutrition and lifestyle choices that are unique to the individual so that they can improve their health and live the life they deserve. You can learn more about Mitch at mitchwebb.com or by following him on LinkedIn.
Turning 40 and Healing Your Nervous System
In this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie talks to Mitch Webb, a health and wellness enthusiast who shares his journey of transformation and healing in his thirties. Mitch opens up about his struggles with TBIs, anxiety, insomnia, Lyme disease, diabetes and hormonal imbalances, and how they led him to a variety of aggressive approaches to health and wellness. He discusses his experiences with restrictive diets, biohacking, and other aggressive modalities before he learned about the importance of understanding and healing nervous system dysregulation. Mitch also emphasizes the significance of trauma and its impact on our overall well-being. Throughout the conversation, he highlights the importance of listening to our bodies, being authentic, and finding joy in the journey of self-discovery.
Highlights from the episode:
- Mitch’s experience with anxiety, insomnia, and hormonal imbalances.
- The impact of restrictive diets and biohacking on his health and well-being.
- The role of the nervous system in healing and overall wellness.
- The importance of addressing trauma and its effects on the body.
- Mitch’s journey of self-discovery and finding joy in the process.
- “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk
- Irene Lyon – somatic experiencing and Feldenkrais work
In this insightful episode, Mitch shares his personal journey of transformation and offers valuable insights into the importance of understanding and healing the nervous system. Listeners are encouraged to prioritize their well-being, listen to their bodies, and embrace authenticity. Don’t forget to rate, follow, and review the Forty Drinks Podcast if you enjoyed this episode.
How does early childhood trauma affect us as adults?
Early childhood trauma should be interpreted on a spectrum. It can come in many forms, from outright abuse and neglect, to simply not receiving the kind of response your unique mind and body desire in a certain situation, and it can cause a variety of responses in adulthood. For Mitch, it caused dysregulation of his nervous system, which became the foundation for many chronic illnesses over the years. Amy Tsai’s mom didn’t pick her up as an infant, which led to a lifelong feeling of frustration in her relationships, like she wasn’t getting what she needed. Martin Salama saw his six-year-old younger brother killed by a school bus in front of his home. That experience made him want to take care of his parents, to be sure they never felt like that again and led him to becoming a people pleaser for more than 30 years, until he realized that, by trying to make everyone else happy, he wasn’t making anyone happy – including himself.
Do you have the Midlife Ick?
Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick
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The Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications
Stephanie: Hey, Mitch, how you doing?
Mitch: I'm good. Stephanie. Thanks so much for having me on.
Stephanie: It is my pleasure. I'm very excited to have you because you and I have so many overlaps and commonalities in our stories that I just think we're going to be hard pressed to keep it to a reasonable amount of time today.
Mitch: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Stephanie: So first of all, I want to say happy anniversary. I just found out today's your anniversary. So nine years with your lovely wife, is that right?
Mitch: Yeah, shout out to Katie. Thank you so much.
Stephanie: Happy anniversary, Katie. I hope you guys are having a great day. I hope you're going to do something nice for her tonight.
Mitch: Oh, I've been pulling out all the stops, I called all her friends, we don't normally do gifts, and I usually can't wait until the day to give gifts, I always give gifts early. And, I had like little surprises kind of built into the day and they were all like surprises. And for, and for me, that was new and different, so I think she dug that. And we're doing a date night after we hop off the podcast.
Stephanie: That's awesome. My husband is very similar. Patrick always wants to give me my presents ahead of time, but I love surprises. So literally before Christmas, before my birthday, before anything, he'll be like, do you want your present? And I'm like, no, I don't.
Mitch: I I uh, I proposed a day early. It was supposed to be on July 4th. The whole family was coming down to this island that's right off of the coast of North Carolina, down in Wilmington and I got nervous and excited and the night before I did it in the parking lot
Stephanie: Mitch. Oh my God. So one more commonality, Patrick did the exact same thing. He was going to do it 4th of July weekend and on the 3rd of July, I, to this day, think it was because I wanted to do a little project in the garden and he didn't want to do the project,
Mitch: Yeah, I get that.
Stephanie: He just literally surprised me, he dropped down on a knee in our bedroom. And, frankly, it's the only way he would have surprised me because if he had tried to pull anything off. I w you know how we are. We
Mitch: Yeah, yeah,
Stephanie: clue into your stuff, so I would have seen it. So he truly, truly surprised me, but same thing, July 3rd, a day of time.
Mitch: Wow. I think we're kindred spirits already. We've talked for five minutes and I'm excited about what else is going to come out.
Stephanie: I know, I know. All right. So let's jump in. Why don't you start by telling me a little bit about who you were and what got you to where our story begins?
Mitch: So, you know, normal kid growing up lots of sports. I was heavily involved in a fraternity. I know we have that party side of us. I was the social chair of my fraternity and you're supposed to do it for 1 semester, I did it for 4 years. I was in business school, I didn't really know what I wanted to do, I was just partying through school. And, there's an opportunity to go overseas to Germany for a study abroad program and it was the World Cup, and I literally looked on the map and saw that Amsterdam was close by and I'm a big cannabis fan, so I was like, yeah, let's do this. And, uh, first night we're there, we're partying and I fell out of a second story window, hit my head, um, traumatic brain injury, um, a lot of shame, I would say, now looking back, now that I've done a lot more work. Hit my head, I thought I had a massive hangover, it was a massive TBI, and, yeah, I didn't go to the doctor, didn't do anything, I just, and now, I was also drinking, Coke and McDonald's the next day, and, which is wild. I've had doctors tell me like, you're lucky you didn't have like a stroke, probably because ofthe amount of alcohol that was in my system. So I guess there's that, um, shortly after started having panic attacks, didn't know what the hell that was, started having insomnia. Then about 6 months later, broke out in plaque psoriasis over my entire body. So it was,It was kind of wild, know, you know,
Stephanie: So you said you didn't tell anybody about the brain injury or you didn't tell anybody that anything really had happened to you after you fell out this window. Did you ultimately tell somebody?
Mitch: I mean I went home and I was like Mom, Dad, I am not right like something's going on I just didn't feel like myself. I would have these what's that called when you put your hands on something you feel like you're falling through you talk vertigo. Yeah, I had vertigo really bad. I had these crazy dreams and now like doing a lot of subconscious work, I feel like my body was like, yo, something happened to you, bro. And I was just like, Oh yeah, we're just going to keep drinking. Yeah.
Stephanie: need your attention, please.
Mitch: Well, you know, and it's funny you do that because that's like what happened for the next, until now, like my body's going, Hey Mitch, wake the fuck up, right? Like, wake up, dude. And I had to take a lot of impact. Sowe're just kind of getting started there.
Stephanie: Oh my goodness. Oh God. Yes. We're just getting started. Okay. So you go home, you get some attention and you graduate college, make it into the corporate world. Tell me a little bit about what's next.
Mitch: Yeah, I started working for my family business. My family owns a printing business. I was in sales, I was good at sales just because I love relationships, I love people, I love connecting. I don't think I ever loved printing but I got lucky, I had some really big accounts, I was lucky enough to work with people like HBO and World of Warcraft and Target and all these big brands, and so I love that. My girlfriend at the time, my wife, now, we were moving into a house together and it had black mold in it and I had no idea. And so I think it's part of, like, the dysregulated nervous system that I had going into that because it didn't affect her at all. She had an egg allergy, right? At that time, I had started making so many changes, nutrition was the first thing that I really got into. I got back from doing the 12 ounce curls, drinking beer all the time, to eating better food and not drinking, well, maybe just on the weekend. I was kind of a weekend warrior at that time. And,yeah, after three months, beautiful community of people, and I was doing so good because I felt so supported by the community there. We were eating family dinners a couple nights a week. It's just like this beautiful little mill town that got revitalized, and there's a brewery and really good food and farms around. It was awesome, and all of a sudden it was not awesome for me. So I went from, I'm getting better, and at that time I was on medication as well, I was weaning off of that. I was doing all these great things. Sleep was the big thing for me. So I was weaning off of like benzos at that time. And, all of a sudden I couldn't sleep at all. So I started asking people for like Xanax and things like that. And that's the only option I knew at the time was pills, right, which I think is so common and that's why I try to do what I do and help people see if there's other options if they're interested in that.
Stephanie: And it's also very western medicine, right? It's like, oh, you have problem, let's give you a pill instead of trying to figure out what's behind the problem or whether a symptom of something else. So
Mitch: Oh, that's a rabbit hole of following symptoms and looking for something outside of our body instead of all the powers within. So yeah, I quit sleeping. I got lucky. I had like a little nutritionist in the village and they helped me out. Eventually found out that I had developed Lyme disease. We found out there was mold in the house, I had Lyme disease, I was diabetic, I had heavy metals, and I was about 50, 60, 70 pounds overweight. That's when I decided, that's my first awakening that's like something's gotta change. And, kinda like I do, I went all in.
Stephanie: Yeah, yeah. So I can, uh, check, check, check with you with, mold, heavy metals, Lyme disease and, oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And, autoimmune.
Stephanie: It's interesting. I've had over the last 7 to 10 years trouble with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid, then we found Lyme disease a couple of years later and there's a few other things. But when I start really stripping back to try to figure out, it's been several years I've been working on this without being able to find the root cause or the issue or like, what is the thing? Because we've on so many things and haven't gotten all the way there. And I was reminded that when I was like 27 or 28, I lived in a basement apartment in Boston and there was this like a hundred year storm that flooded our apartment. And yeah, it was sort of an adventure kind of thing at the time. We stayed at a friend's house for a few days and the landlord replaced all the carpeting and that was all fine and well. Twelve days after they replaced the carpeting, another hundred year storm, it happened again. Now our apartment flooded, the first time it had flooded just enough to make the carpets kind of like a little squishy and kind of wafty when you stepped on them
Stephanie: Second time, there was like 12 to 16 inches of water in the entire apartment. So first they said, we're not replacing the carpets, those are brand new carpets. And at the time I worked for the City of Boston, I got the guys, down the hall at inspection or whatever to come over they're like, you're replacing the carpets. But what I didn't realize, at the time and not until recent years was that sure they replaced the carpets and they had the industrial blowers in there, but, oh, my God, what about all the sheet rock? What about all the framing? What about all the like, how was there was insulation? Was there mold that was growing behind walls that we didn't know about? And I lived in that apartment and in the one next door for, like, the next 2 years.
Mitch: That's what mine was. That's the same thing that happened to me, good lord. Are we like distant relatives or something? So listen to this, mine did not happen overnight. I tell the story like that because I don't want to draw it out, but like, so all this stuff starts happening. Do you know Dave Aprey, like Bulletproof Coffee,he's like a big biohacker and that's the way I got into health is like learning about him and his coffee, which is just putting butter and MCT oil in your coffee.
Stephanie: Okay, I've heard of the concept.
Mitch: Yeah, so my doctors at the time, functional medicine doctors, thank God I went and saw them, they were like, we think you have mold. I'm like, there's no mold in this house. Like you're crazy. So they kept saying it over and over again. And I'd seen them for two years. They didn't know what the hell was going on. And, I leave them telling me check for mold. And I'm like, I'm not checking, this is a rental and there's an advertisement for a free at home mold test. So I'm like, what the hell I'll get it. I get it, and what you want to see is spores inside the house should be the same as outside the house, but drastically lower. Mine work drastically higher. And, it's funny because I showed that to my landlord, they moved us out for a month and they renovated. We're in this shitty hotel room for a couple of months, it was miserable, but I got better. I felt a lot better being out of that. As soon as I moved back in, they remediated. I immediately get symptoms again, think I am crazy, call them over to the house, they're making fun of me. I thought I was crazy. And then I'm moving some stuff around one day, I happened to move the refrigerator and water shoots up out of the floor and I'm like, what in the world? And I pulled back layers, there was like six or seven layers of linoleum flooring and the bottom was about to fall through, and that's where our bedroom was and our kitchen. Clemson University said it's one of the worst cases of black mold they've ever saw. We were out that night. I went I mean it was on the borderline physical with the guy that was jumping around making fun of me because I'm like, I'm not crazy! You know and and I'm very fired up and yeah, that's how that all went down. It's an epidemic, especially here in the south and when those storms kind of roll through.
Stephanie: Sure. Sure. Yeah. All right. So you're 20s and you've got these issues and you start with Bulletproof Coffee and the biohacking. Tell me about making yourself better.
Mitch: Yeah, I went full bore. I didn't know that I was like an audit ory learner. Right. And so all of a sudden I'm just listening to podcasts, everything I can absorbing. And, that was kind of a double edged sword on some side. It gave me a lot of information, things to try. And also like if you're, if you've got something on there, somebody out there that's going to market toward to you. Right. So I was kind of a supplement junkie, I was pushing things way too hard. but I was the only one that was felt like I was getting better in that office of a bunch of Lyme disease people, right? It was hard to watch. Like, I would see people get wheeled in like guy gets wheeled in a wheelchair, drooling on himself, not speaking. And then I put an IV and he's walking around my office. Like, it was wild to see some of that stuff. And so I dove in, trying everything biohacking and biohacking is like, just using different things to enhance your physiology, your biology. And, uh, so I'm cryo, cold, plunging, saunas, infrared saunas, uh, hyperbaric oxygen, you know, fasting, keto, I mean, you name it. And, I'm starting to get better. And so I felt like I wanted to help other people around me. So I was like, you know, what's going on with you? What symptoms do you have? And I'm like, Oh, I've had that symptom too. Try this, try that. Like hit me up later. Here's my cell phone number. Let's hold each other accountable. Let's like reach out if we've got stuff going on. And I just, I love doing that. And I had learned so much, that I had so much to share. And, I found this chiropractor's office, and I was really into CrossFit at that time and really in physical fitness, and I'm sharing like, Hey, I want to help people, I love what you do, that you get to have all these fun toys. And so I really like the biohacking stuff. And so these like recovery spas that you see now, where they've got the red lights and the infrared sun and all this stuff, we were going to do that, and so he's like, Mitch, you're a health coach and I'm like, what's, what is that? You know, and he goes, go get your certification and I'll send my clients to you for nutrition. At that time I was just doing nutrition and exercise basically. The spa business, the city wasn't ready for it, but the health coaching took off and I loved it. And I left my corporate job, I was ready to do that. I was not happy there. I knew I wasn't going to survive or heal in that environment because of all the stress. I'm a leap first and ask questions later kind of person and so I went and started doing the coaching. After a couple of clients, like I realized I was living in a smaller town and driving to a bigger city, but that city still wasn't, everybody was still doing like old, standard American diet stuff that just didn't jive with me so when I went to talk to doctors, they weren't getting it. But when I went to like Raleigh, North Carolina, where I'm at now, open arms. They were like, Oh man, like we've been looking for somebody that's into some of this stuff. And so pretty soon I get a client and I'm heading to see him and I get hit by a dump truck. And so I, uh, another TBI, post concussion syndrome kind of thing.
Stephanie: And this is five years ago, right?
Mitch: About five years ago, yeah. Five years ago this March.
Stephanie: Wow, you were what, 32?
Mitch: Yep. Yep, thirty two.
Stephanie: So what does your second TBI and post concussion syndrome look like, feel like, how does it present for you?
Mitch: Mmm. So, I woke up on the side of the road, my dog was killed in the accident. That was one of the hardest things, like, them telling me that. Uh, she was my best friend. And, um, So I didn't, you know, and that was something I had to address later. I didn't really get to mourn her because I was excited that I was alive. It was a lot of mixed feelings. So, I mean, if you've seen the picture, I know you saw my Instagram, everything was smashed in except my seat, right? Like it was a miracle. So because I had done a lot of this work and I was connected with a lot of people that were reallyinto treating the brain and TBI, I was very lucky, right? And so I had reversed the diabetes, I was really into the ketogenic diet at this time and that's so good for the brain. So immediately what I did was three days of water fasting and then five days of like a fasting mimicking diet. I A fasting mimicking diet it's like a very low calorie diet that gives the benefits of fasting without, you know, just drinking water. And It helped so much that like I did not rest like I should. I have a hard time sitting still. I can't believe I can even sit here for an hour and not be jumping around. But, um, so I was, I was excited. People,
Stephanie: though, did jump up right before we started
Stephanie: and ran into
Mitch: I had to get, the whoobies out, you know. But, people are visiting me and I'm up like hanging out and, you know, it was scary. But like, What happened after that? It's like all the dysregulation set in, and I haven't thought about this in a long time. So it's a great question. I went from exercising probably 10 times a week to I couldn't walk more than 15 minutes at a time. Um, I could not sleep at all, I had zero energy and it was really scary because I didn't know what to do. And now looking back, the stuff that I was doing was so aggressive because that's the only way that I knew. I'm hacking my body. You know what I mean? Like, that sounds traumatic even now. There's a time and place for those things. Um, but I didn't, I didn't know. I guess about that time is when I walked into somebody's office, you familiar with Joe Dispenza?
Stephanie: I know the name.
Mitch: Yeah. So it's like really like quantum physics and working with the subconscious to manifest your own reality. Andat that time I realized my thoughts I was still a victim no matter how much I had overcame, I still like really thought poorly of myself and so I found Joe and I learned about these meditations. They're like an hour long deep deep deep data, really get in touch with emotions and how to attract what you want, right? And so I really hopped into that and for a couple months I feel like that really helped accelerate my healing. I started sleeping better, all of a sudden I'm exercising again, I'm pumped up,
so I went in and smashed myself because I didn't know what I was capable of doing. Like I thought, Oh, I'm feeling good. I can do what I did a couple of years ago. And so I smashed myself. I remember, being, in the sauna afterwards and this guy's like hacking up a lung, he's like, man, I have been so sick for like a week. I just got back from traveling. And that's like, we didn't know what COVID was.
Stephanie: What that? Was that 2020?
Mitch: Yeah, yeah. So this is 2019, the Christmas right before it. That's it. Yeah, so it was here.
Stephanie: You got it before it was it.
Mitch: Yeah, yeah, for And, uh, I knew it was different because... to that point, after I'd done all this healing, and I was real big into fasting, ketogenic diet, like, fasting was my cure all. If I had a sniffle, anything, 24 hour fast, and it's gone, well, this thing would not go away. I was on the couch for two weeks, just aches and pains, and... Oh, my gosh. It's like I never recovered. It got into the mitochondria, that's what long haul COVID is, it affects everybody differently. It destroyed my hormones, my mitochondria, my energy levels. I couldn't get out of bed. I was working with clients, but I was getting out of bed, having a 30 minute call, and then going and laying back in bed. And so I was miserable and I was looking for options and we didn't know what the hell was going on. Like nobody knew what long COVID was, cOVID hadn't even really hit yet. So we're looking at labs and my doctor goes, Oh, you got like low testosterone and I'm like, Oh, like maybe that's it, you know? And so I go see a testosterone doctor, that's a whole nother rabbit hole and like anti aging kind of doctor, and they want to put you on that stuff, that's their job. Testosterone is fantastic if you need it, but I don't think I need it. I think my testosterone is just low from what was going on, but they gave me a ton of testosterone, like one time. So 200 milligrams in one shot, you know, I am detoxing from testosterone right now, I've been off of about two or three weeks after weaning down, but at my highest dose, I was probably taking like 80 or 90 milligrams. So they gave me 200 and that's spread out over a week. They gave me 200 in one shot and like hey for three days, I felt awesome right like I was a walking hard on and and all of a sudden I couldn't sleep though, like my resting heart rate went from like 45 to 90 and it was just dun and palpitating, and it was so scary and I didn't sleep for a couple of months. Now I don't usually go into this much detail, but I also got hooked on, have you ever heard of phenibut?
Mitch: Ugh, it's this research chemical, um, that was founded by the Russians for Russians going into space. It's an amazing feeling, right? It's very gavinergic and so it's going to overwhelm, you don't want to take it more than once or twice a week. If you do it once or twice a week, completely fine. Extremely addictive. Okay. I knew that, and I had used it for anxiety in the past. And my doctor would always be like, Hey, be careful. I'm like, I know. I would never. But, at that time I took it, and it allowed me to sleep. And so all of a sudden I was Superman because now I got these super physiological doses of testosterone that I didn't know when I was going to come down because that's the thing that I'm even experiencing now, it takes weeks for hormones to balance out, if not months, right? And so I'm cutting my dose and we're trying to figure out where that's at and I can't wait any longer. I haven't slept in three months at this point. And so I'm like, you know what? I can get off this stuff, I'm going to take it just until everything kind of evens out. And after about two weeks, I was hooked and, just gave me a reverse T3 issue. So now we're talking thyroid. So extreme anxiety, crawling the walls, the emotion would be terror. It was really scary. There was nothing that could touch it. Go
Stephanie: were you in hyperthyroid?
Mitch: Yeah, that would make sense. Right. But it was like hyper and hypo the same, you know, kind of like you, you mentioned, uh, autoimmune, like there was some antibodies. The reverse T3 was just smoke show. I mean, it was through the roof. Like I probably didn't need to go on thyroid, but the doctor didn't have any other choice to help bring me down. And then that was its own, cause I got put on T3 only. Right. And I think that's great. But like for, for people that don't understand thyroid, and I work with clients on this sometimes, I work with a doctor to kind of act as the coach on sidelines. And so I realized, like, I don't know what I'm doing here. I read all these books, got really into T3 and trying to understand, I mean, you're playing God, right? Like, you have to say, this is when my body needs energy, this is how often, at what dose. So my OCD type A, really kicked in and I'm like doing blood pressure readings, I'm checking my temperature, I'm doing heart rate, all these things, throughout the day to try to figure out, it never got right, it never was gonna get right, right? Eventually we brought in some T4 and I got I was just always like this I was always never felt right, you know, and, that's when I met one of my mentors, uh, she's a medical medium and she was muscle testing and I had to kind of surrender at that point because I was digging myself into a deeper hole and I was extremely sensitive to every supplement. They would give me micro doses, I would take and water down pills, to be able to take them, but we eventually evened it out. I felt like I was recovering, brought my testosterone way down. I mean, I remember showing up at her office to muscle test to say, bring all your supplements. I show up with like massive bags and she's like, like you can see her. She said, when you walked in, like I knew everything was too much cause I was trying too much.
Stephanie: Right. Right. You were trying too hard.
Mitch: So hard. That was me. But eventually we got everything down, brought the thyroid down, brought the testosterone down to a good point. I was evening out and then I got COVID again. I went to one wedding party. It was intense, a lot of, a lot of fun stuff that I hadn't done in a long time, up all night. I remember me and my buddies were like closing down our college bar at like three o'clock in the morning. I'm like, what are we doing? Yeah, I got COVID on the way home from that. It was everything all over again. And that time, ivermectin, my doctor, I'm like, what do you got in the bag for like getting over this stuff? I was doing really good with it. And when I took ivermectin and when I did, it just shut down my gut. It, uh, everything just from like my throat to the bottom, nothing was working. And so I lost 40 pounds. I went down to about 140 pounds. All of a sudden the hormones weren't working, so I had to figure those out again, and it was just another nine months of terror, anxiety, and now it just triggered so much trauma. I was so lucky to have the physicians there and the medium. We were on the phone three, four times a week and she guided me through that like right out of hell. It was, it was wild. It was a very interesting two years and I learned a lot. Um, then I got again.
Stephanie: So, once again, I'm going to play the role of your body and the rest of it. Mitch, do we have your attention yet?
Mitch: Yeah, I know. And I'm like, you know, I'm like really on this, like Dark Night the soul. And now the third one wasn't that bad. I had done so much work at that point. I had a major rash that broke out and I had to have some anxiety, but after that is when I turned a corner. A couple of months after that is when I started coming off a thyroid, and that was kind of interesting. That's this year. Now we're up to date. And, I would take one T3 pill, crush it, run it with like this vibrating thing to get it to go into water and take a tiny look. That's all I needed. And, uh, I was taking a little bit of T4 and it was like, I was sweating through the sheets all of a sudden and like, you know, if you've had too much thyroid, it feels just like too little, right? So it's both exhausting and depleting. I remember telling him, I called him up and we were weaning down, and again, I'm a jump kind of person, I was down to like the last step, and I was like, I can't do this anymore. I'm like, Mitch, you can't go off of thyroid. You can't do that. And that's where I turned a corner, I would say. And I said, Hey. You guys have taught me how to love myself. You've taught me how to listen to my body. And so, and I was upset when they said no, and I, and I had to see that. And I went, okay, they're trying to protect me, they want what's best for me. This doesn't make sense. People don't normally come off a thyroid. And, and I said, thank you guys, but I'm going to trust my body. I'm gonna do what you told me. And about two weeks later, Dr. calls me and she's like, can you hop on the phone right now? I'm like, Oh shit. Like, what is it going to say? If she goes, Mitch. How you feeling? I'm like better every day. I'm still sweating through the sheets, but like it's rough kind of exactly how I'm feeling right now. And, um, she goes, looking at your labs, I can't ethically tell you to be on thyroid. This is amazing. And I'm like, how do you explain it? She's like, I can't, we're just going to be stoked about it. We're just going to have a lot of gratitude and we're going to check for the next couple of weeks. And, that's when things started to get better this year.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah, So it sounds like you spent a lot of time over the last five years, really treating your body with a massive hammer and just trying tobang it into shape and force it into shape and bully it into shape.
Mitch: Oh, yeah,
Stephanie: One of the things you mentioned before we hopped on was you started talking about healing your nervous system. Tell me where that came into play. I'm going to ask this question and I mean it in the way that I think you'll understand: when did you learn about your nervous system? And I know we all know we have a nervous system, but I think a lot of us don't know that our nervous system can affect our health and our well being and things like that. So tell me how you learned about that and how that came into play.
Mitch: Yeah, it was certainly new to me. I thought I knew about the nervous system, right? Like I love heart rate variability. I love like I would take data from my athletes, like my typical athlete that needs that is like someone who's doing CrossFit or burn boot camp like six times a week, They've lost a bunch of weight and they plateaued and they can't figure it out they got a tire around their belly and they're just wide eyed like this because their cortisol is through the roof. They're stressed out to the max and so I would put a heart rate strap on them for five days that gives me raw data. Not like an aura ring that's gonna give you an algorithm and I can see both branches of the nervous system I could say hey, this is fired up and you look depressed and let's see what happens in a week, and you look normal in a week, right? So what we're gonna do about this we got to get you off the sauce, which is the cult that is these, I love CrossFit you know, but that's just what it was like people don't understand that you gotta rest and you can't do it every day kind of thing. And so that was my understanding to that point, right? I thought I was very fluent andI was reading the book The Body Keeps The Score, where it talks about stored stress in the body from trauma typically can make us sick, right. I heard this analogy the other day that I love I've been using my clients ever since it's like Emotions are like farts, right? If you hold them in, it hurts. And if you let them out too fast, it can clear a room, it can be very messy, right? Yeah, so I was reading that book and I got to the childhood, the ACE study, right? Early Childhood Adversity, something like that. And, um, I was like, this is ridiculous. You know, and I just ignored it. I went past it and I'm like, this is for somebody else. And I remember telling that to my doctor and she's very fluent in trauma, I can't believe she wasn't like, uh, hello, sir. So I'm reading that book, kind of a couple things happen, so we've got this men's group that we do here in Raleigh and shameless plug Men on a Journey, Raleigh, North Carolina. We do it in person, the first Thursday of every month from six to eight. Just giving me a place to open up and share and be vulnerable. Okay. Two of my buddies start this group and they bring me like, hey, we're gonna start this group. I want you to be part of it. I'm like, cool, I'm supposed to be this like health guru in this group, right? And I, at that time, this sounds crazy. Uh, and I know you'll get this. Um, I thought mental health issues were a result of nutritional deficiency. Yeah. And so I was going to be like, I'm gonna help these poor guys that are suffering. I'm going to help them like get
Stephanie: going to eat our way out of
Mitch: Yeah. Yeah. Or, or just biohack our way. Right. So
Stephanie: Which, don't get me wrong, there's a vein of that that is possible and that works Right? But using that as the hammer again is, yeah.
Mitch: It's like the dirty fishbowl analogy. You got to get out of the nasty environment that's blocking you from, I don't know, seeing these things or having these experiences, the deeper stuff. So reading the book, in the group, I don't go to the first two meetings because I don't feel like I'm ready to show up and be that guy. I show up on the third one. I'm still struggling, you know, and I realized that that group was like what I needed because it allowed it really, I mean, we asked, all we asked is a scale of one to 10. And, uh, I don't care where you come in. You're going to be higher when you leave cause you just got all these people around you. These guys really show up and pour out and really help. And so I'd had this experience with a former business partner where I was getting so frustrated with him and I didn't understand why and I yelled at him and we were both, you know, that wasn't good for our relationship. And I reached out to this might be my first counselor, it wasn't a therapist, it was like a yoga training girl that I got introduced to. I didn't know how to process emotions. I didn't know how to process anything or feel and so I was just overwhelmed and I'm like, help me. And so we did a lot of EFT and tapping, which I use now to kind of go deeper when I feel something, I'm like, what is that? You know? And, um, I was like, yeah, what happened? I'll explain. I got her on a emergency call. Hey, I just freaked out on this guy and I don't know what's going on. And it was, it was so closely tied to the experience that I had with my dad and working with him, right? There's a lot of stress there and it felt very similar. I felt like I was working for this guy and when I blew up, it was unresolved from my dad. And I didn't know anything about that. And I'm like, Whoa, cause she goes, Mitch, I said, he made me feel like this. I'll never forget, she goes, let me help you here, nobody makes us feel anything. And I was like, okay, I'm listening. She goes, we feel a certain way because we have unresolved shit that gets triggered and I'm like tell me more and she goes do you see how what you just described to me with your dad is exactly the same situation. I'm like, Wow okay, so that's a mind blowing for me. I just it's all synchronistic, my whole journey has been like these steps. They just illuminate right? So I have this aha of this old stress stuff coming up, I'm reading this book, and I share it with the guys. I'm like, hey, you guys don't believe I'm reading this book, and the stuff of my dad came up and da da da and then he asked me a question about my dad, I just responded with like I'm gonna beat him up or something, you know I thought that was like cool and macho at the time, right? And uh, they kind of went and um You know and uh, one of the guys pulled me Aside and he's like hey, bro. You're reading that book. I'm like, yeah. He's like, that's you. You're traumatized. And I was like, what do you mean? And it was awesome. I mean, I needed to hear that and, uh, you know, I think there's a time and a place for like, I don't want to shit on anybody. Right. I'll tell them what they should do. Sometimes, like, sometimes I need to be smacked around a little bit. Like, Hey, Mitch, what is that? You know? And, and so I went and found a therapist. I talked to one or two of them. The first one wasn't like a huge success, but the second one was fantastic. And I've been unpacking that ever since. Yeah.
Stephanie: Isn't it so funny you just said a word that typifies exemplifies all the synchronicity involved in the journey. There's a piece of my story where, I have said before that the universe will keep sending you the same lesson over and over again until you decide to learn it. And longer it takes you, the more egregious it's going to throw something at you, right? The bigger, the more terrible the lesson's going to be. I think you and I are similar again in that, you know, it takes us some, pretty significant smacks upside the head to be able go, Oh, wait, what? No, that's everybody else. That's, that's what they
Mitch: Mm hmm. Yeah.
Stephanie: no, no, no, no. You, you, you. So I love that a book came into your life or you said Joe Dispenza came into your
Mitch: So many things. It was like a gradual cracking of the shell that I could not ignore anymore. I have to say this, like, Irene Lyon, have you ever heard of her? She is fantastic. I found her work through another synchronistic person that came into my life who's a nervous system coach. And I didn't even know what that was at the time. Because I had done so much work and understand science decently this stuff just, it was what I've been looking for. And so it was like a 21 day nervous system reset. It took me six months to get through it, I just finished it last week cause it was so intense. My body would light up like a Christmas tree. I'd have all these symptoms and things like that coming out. You know, my therapist now is like, I've never worked with anybody like you, you're on a mission. But I've still been waiting 20 years for this, you know, and I've got all the tools and I've been doing everything else. And so as I went through the course to learn about dysregulation, about trauma and all these different forms, I had all these flashbacks and all these memories that I didn't remember, right. And, you know, I think the first thing that I've been sharing kind of on some podcasts too, it's like, realizing that my childhood was kind of, I got fucked up, like I was dysregulated from the start. And I love my family. And they were awesome, they didn't do anything wrong to me. There was just some generational stuff that was handed down, and some situations that happened to me, and it's not really the trauma, it's the dysregulation that happens after it. And that dysregulation that I did not have, and I was constantly really high or really low. My therapist said this not too long ago, like I was like a junkie, right? I would be feeling really good and I'd take some kind of supplement, take me way higher and then it would crash me down to the bottom. And I did this as like an addiction, right? Because I thought something was wrong with me. I was trying to fix myself. And so let's say if I was regulated and calm, like I wanted to be up here or I wanted to be crushed and I want to do it until I was crushed. Right, and so I had to learn those patterns while, while, while going through that.
Stephanie: Yeah. And you mentioned this earlier that you were addicted to healthy living, healthy lifestyle, biohacking, trying to get the most out of your body. And that, for you, I think, kind of masked the softer, gentler, more challenging issues that actually might have made more of a difference. Would you, did I say that right?
Mitch: 100 percent and I was listening to a podcast that you did earlier. I I love the mindset, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, now, this new nervous system piece, which I think is huge. Like, I think it's a big root cause for so many people and especially men, we're not taught how to release emotions. Talking about farts hurt, like we hold that shit in, and we wear it like a badge of honor and we get sick and die early because of it. And so, just hearing your podcast, I feel like that's what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to help men regulate, to show up, to be vulnerable, to be open, you know. We are not any less emotional than women, we just get taught at a young age to suck it up and not be a bitch. And, uh, you know, that's some toxic shit. I mean, I, it's kind of funny because I, I'm in a particular situation where I've been through this and I've seen the softer side. I love the hardcore stuff. I did a sauna and a cold bath before we got on here, but I'm not using that to override my physiology anymore to run away from the anxiety. Being afraid of that physiology that was me, and that's what happens when we've had trauma. I have anxiety. I have depression. I have an eating disorder, whatever that may be. And I'm going to try to kill it. I'm going to run as far away from it as I can, when to heal, that's your best friend. That is your way out. I was talking with a client today. Like, hell yeah, you're getting pissed. Hell yeah, you're getting sad. Hell yeah, you're really upset. Whatever that may be, that's your sign, lean into that, feel that. You gotta feel it to heal it, and there is wisdom and education. That's your body screaming at you for attention, and I ignored it. Like you said, beating myself into submission for so many years, when all my body wanted was to listen. And the answers were inside.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. Something I've always said that I had an old boyfriend who was an alcoholic, uh, very much so. We were together for five years and I used to say that he would play emotional whack a mole, and he would do it with alcohol and drugs and fun actually. And there was some trauma in his family history and, if ever he were feeling bad, it was like whack that mole, go get drunk, go have fun with people out in the world and, it was a great illustration for me thatthat never worked. That you actually had to, and not that you were using those things, you were using health, which is probably much more insidious because you think I must be getting better, look at all these good things I'm doing for myself, but it was, it was a similar sort of whack a mole situation where instead of sitting and feelingyou were using things to try to get around instead of going through it.
Mitch: Everything I could get my hands on. And looking back, I don't know if there was anybody in my family that was regulated, and I saw a lot of alcoholism. I remember seeing my grandfather pour a thing of bourbon, 20 ounces, and drinking it. You know, that's what you did when you were upset. That and you take a medication, right? We numb ourselves in different ways, whether it's a hard workout, punishing ourself with working out or, or restrictive dieting. I was afraid of, that's where the shoulds come in. I was afraid of every food, you know, I wanted some perfect diet that was going to heal me. And so I was afraid of carbs. I was afraid of protein. I was afraid of vegetables. And it's like it's from doing all these different diets like oh, the carnivore diet is gonna heal me. It's gonna heal my gut. Or the vegetarian diet is gonna help me detox. Or the paleo diet, and all these things are great. I've learned so much from all these dietary approaches and they're different tools that I can utilize for short periods of time for a particular situation, but really the basics are where it works or where the best progress is made. But these restrictive diets, it's just another way of masking and overriding things, and I wanted somebody or something to come in to save me, and I was just shoulding myself to death. You should do this, you shouldn't do that and I made a career out of it. And so that was something I had to work throughin therapy as well, but definitely come out the other side on top of that.
Stephanie: Yeah. so I have, in recent years come to be aware of the nervous system element as well. I have a friend who, when things get sort of crazy in her world, she'll say, I'm working on settling my nervous system. And for a while, I was like, I don't really know what that means, but, knew she needed time and space to sort of come back to even again. And she had actually turned me on to a coach that she's used. And she's spent some time with a woman by the name of Simone Grace Seol, who coach for coaches. And I'm not a coach, but she was a marketing coach and I own a marketing agency, so I've clued into some of the stuff she says, and she's kind of kooky and out there, which is fabulous and I love. But one of her posts stuck with me within the last couple of months, and that was something to the effect of, she talks about business growth and how you grow your business, and she said, your business will never be bigger than your nervous system will allow. And it just sort of, went by, floated by in the Instagram feed, at some point in the last couple of months. And recently I was sitting with part of my team and one of my colleagues said something to the effect of Oh, I think this fall, can we start thinking about business development and maybe bringing on a new client. And it struck me that I have had health issues for it's 7 years now that I've been working on this, and another 1 of my colleagues has had a family medical issue that's sort of captured their world for over a year now. And I looked at him and I said, I would love to. I would love to bring on a new client. I would love to grow the business, but, I read this comment about business size and nervous system. And I said, and to be honest, I don't know that my nervous system could handle a much bigger business right now, and I don't think hers would either, meaning my colleague. And she said, Nope, I'm not ready. And so it's like, you know what? We both have to do some healing. And you know what? The business is great. And I love my business. I love my team. I love my clients and we're doing well. Would it be good to grow the business? Of course that would be delightful, but not at the expense of my health, of my team's health and so it's, it's interesting that the whole nervous system component is kind of making its way into my consciousness and into my awareness these days as well. So you are the cherry on top of this concept that has been coming at me from the sides for a few months now.
Mitch: Well, I don't think that's weird at all because I feel like, as a species, humans are looking to heal their nervous systems right now. And I don't know if that's my particular activating system. Like you buy a new car, you see the car everywhere because I'm just so immersed in it right now. And I think it's a positive because we can look around the world right now and see a bunch of terrible stuff or you can see these little, I know you talked about glimmers, right? Or my body will give me this reaction, let me know, there's your thing. That's your thing. Right? So I can focus on the good or I can focus on the negative, but I see a lot of people waking up and healing and looking for healing. And here's the thing that I'm learning with the nervous system healing is it is super slow. So that's why I was applauding, you know. You being in touch with your body and saying like, no, I'm not feeling that right now, right? You can easily override that, push through that, dig yourself into a deeper hole and then, 12 months, two years later, we've got another autoimmune disease. We've got this going on and that going on. So applaud to you for listening to your body. That's what it's all about. But what I see out there, just from the little bit of experience that I've had in this year, and I am so guilty of this is like people just overriding and doing things so intensely like when it comes to the nervous system, you have to creep in and if you didn't have that attunement, when you were a kid, it's likelearning a new language and that's a beautiful process, but you don't learn Spanish in three weeks or do it on a weekend retreat. I had a client the other day, their parents were talking to me and they said, should we send them to this weekend trauma retreat? And I'm like, no dude, he's overloaded. He's overstimulated. You're just throwing more and more and more and more in. I did that game and that's just going to push you further into dysregulation. And that's, the kind of situation where somebody gives up because this isn't working. When I did Irene's course and where I start with my clients now - orienting, like literally just looking around the room and seeing where I'm at and being able to track that, like learning to follow my impulse and that's like scratching my head or going to the bathroom when I need to, because when we have trauma, we don't listen to our body more. We've said, shut up. I got this. I'm smarter than you, for so long that it's not telling us anything anymore. And so you take someone like that who's extremely traumatized, and I'd say a lot of us are, you send them into a breath work class where they're getting high as a kite on their own oxygen. But still I've had, I've had more psychedelic. I love psychedelics, big, big fan of those, too. I've had more of a psychedelic experience breathing than I have with mushrooms and things like that. Like, it's intense. And that's why we build regulation and capacity by slowly going in and learning how to be with our physiology so that we know how to be with the intensity of a big emotional release, if that even is what happens. It's like going to a psychedelic experience and I did this for years like going to concerts and stuff where I was tripping balls and not knowing how to integrate that afterwards. I learned how to do EMDR and different forms of trauma therapy, I already knew how to do that intuitively because of psychedelic experience. I was like, oh, this is what's going on right now, I'm releasing a trauma? I can feel my body getting cold. I'm shutting down, it's like I'm underwater all of a sudden I felt this before like on psychedelics. Like yeah, you were processing trauma. I thought everybody did that know, I thought everybody had that experience when they eat a mushroom or something like that. Especially someone who was pushing things for so long, like I am fascinated with like somatics and, uh, you know, somatic experiencing and, and Feldenkrais work is what Irene does. And it's like, it's going to get worse before it gets better, and that's something to be aware of as well. And you can just really hurt yourself if you're going too far, too hard and fast. I did that for way too long. And it's really slow and a lifestyle that you do for the rest of your life.
Stephanie: Right. Right. Yeah. I've been on a restricted diet for like five years now. And, it no longer is a diet, it's just the way I eat. I've said to people, including my husband, even if I all of a sudden was all better and could eat whatever I wanted, I'm not sure that I would go wildly outside of where I'm at now, because I'm at a place where, when I eat off my reservation, I get the body feedback. I know what's not good for me. Like, I know, Oh, I'm going to pay for this. Sometimes it's within 5 minutes. Sometimes it's within an hour. I poisoned myself this Spring at an event and it took me 3 or 4 days for that to make its way through my body. So it's like, you know what, it's not worth it. It's just not worth it anymore.
Mitch: Well, let me give you some hope on that because I did every restric I was, you know, ketogen I don't know if that's I mean, I guess that is restricted because you're whole macronutrient, but like, I did what diet? I'm just curious.
Stephanie: So, I started five years ago on the autoimmune paleo.
Mitch: Yeah, yeah. That's what I did too.
Stephanie: Yeah. So I did the level one fully restricted diet for somewhere between six and 12 months. And then over the course of a couple of years, I've added stuff in. So if you're on AIP, I'm like the widest version of it, but it's still from, um, a quote unquote normal person's standpoint, like a wild diet,
Mitch: Well, that's what I was on before all this stuff happened and that's part of this year. So I keto into carnivore. I had psoriasis all over my face at one point and so I'm like, I gotta do something. Right. And I'd done like macronutrient, but I'd never went full into the AIP cause I thought it was crazy. I'm like, I can't do that. It's too restrictive. I like liver cleanses. So I was doing like a Kachari. It's like a five day cleanse. It's called the Colorado Cleanse. Check that out. And I was doing carnivore, and things got drastically better, right? And I realized, I like organ meats in my diet, I like more protein, but I hated being restrictive. But every now and then I'd get little breakouts, and I'm like, what's going on? And I'm like, oh, okay. Every time I eat nightshades, I break out. And so that's when I found AIP and I'm like, all right, let me, for in one month gone. I wish I could show you a picture. It was pretty profound. So I was on AIP for two years when I started doing the trauma stuff, I could eat whatever I wanted all of a sudden. The only thing that still will get me is like hot peppers. I say that, and I've been eating a lot this last couple weeks. So like when the system calms down, my feeling is that a lot of those, food intolerances, they don't affect you as much. But it took a lot of trauma work to, and when I say trauma work, who knows when that's gonna happen for anyone, for me, I've been extremely immersed for the last nine months.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. And so I want to just talk about trauma for a minute because one of my more recent conversations, episodes, I talked to somebody who had a wildly traumatic childhood and early adulthood and we talked a lot about that and it helped him become really self-aware and really tuned into himself. And
Mitch: Oh, yeah. Gotta protect yourself.
Stephanie: Yeah, a lot like you, he had this transition in his early thirties versus in his late thirties and forties. And I was saying to him, well, I had a stereotypical, middle class, two parent, picket fence kind of upbringing. And, for a long time, had this thought that like, well, how could I have trauma? We had it so good. Right. And much like you said, I love my family and there's all kinds of great stuff. But a girlfriend of mine said something to me about her own mom just because she did her best doesn't mean it didn't leave marks. And so I think for me personally, it took me a lot longer to even think that I would have anything, that I would need to work on, any sort of covered traumas or childhood traumas, or, early adulthood, whatever kind of traumas, because, in my mind is like, I had it so good. I had it so easy compared to lots and lots of other people. So I think I came very late to the concept of, oh, wait, I have trauma.
Mitch: Join the club, girlfriend. I mean, same thing when my doctor brought it up to me when we first, when he talked about your childhood trauma, I was like, how dare you? You know what I mean? Like, like, get out of here, man. Like next. What else you got? There's nothing to discuss. But as I learned about this, you know, what childhood trauma looks like as an adult is I don't have clear boundaries. I have this mystery illness that won't go away. I have labs that come back clear. I know there's something wrong. I've tried everything and I'm not getting better. And that was me, you know? And so that's what Irene, she kind of talks about, so following some of her work, my ears started perking up and I was like, Oh, like, what? What is this? What is that? You know, and asking people that were around me and and just got encouraged into that. So I had the same exact response. I think it's a very typical response. Trauma does not have to be a car accident or a death in the family or going to war. You know, I thought trauma was veterans. I didn't know anything
Stephanie: Right. It doesn't even have to be abuse or parents who have addictions or challenges. It doesn't have to be any of those things that we obviously go, Oh, well, of course, that's going to leave a mark. It could just be that something happened when you were a kid that shook you, and that shook got stuck.
Mitch: Yeah, so what happens there is like, and then a bunch of those little stucks, little Stephanie stucks ends up being anxiety as we get older, right? So it's basically we're frozen in time. Let's do like somebody attacking me. Right. As a child, if my parent is attacking me, what I'm not going to fight them, I can't run away. And so what do I do? I go into freeze, I shut down. And so that I didn't get to follow my impulse to push off, to cry, to scream, to yell, and I shut down because the only option I had as a protective mechanism, thank you body for doing that at that time, only resources we had, but that gets stuck in the body now, right? And so now that I'm an adult, all these things are coming up and it's going like, Hey, you know, Mitch, you got, you got the microphone, Mitch, Mitch, wake up here,
Stephanie: Mitch, can we have your attention, please?
Mitch: There it is. You know, and, and then when we become afraid of it and we want to get away from that, when again, that's where we go to get better.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. Tell me just a little bit about what healing the nervous system looks like in a practical way. What are some of the easy or first or onboard kind of steps that you take to start healing your nervous system?
Mitch: Well, Irene, she really talks about education is key. I'm working with this therapist right now so Irene takes Feldenkrais, which is like a form of, I guess I would call it like therapy, very slow movement into the body. It's just a, it's a gateway into the nervous system, right? So it's a door, it's an entry door into it. And, the lady will show me, like, say we're working on the hip. She has a skeleton and she's like, here's your hip, right? Here's your pelvic floor. This is where your pelvis is. This is where your sits bones are. Okay, now I want you to sense into that, right? So that's just education. It's just, it's just going like, hey, this is what we're talking about. This is how your physiology operates. This is how, you know, polyvagal theory. This is how the nervous system goes up. This is how it comes down via the vagus nerve and you have these different branches of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic and they are activated in different ways. We don't have that activation when we're a kid and we borrow that wiring from our parents, right? And we attune to them, but if we don't have anything to attune to. Well, then you, you don't have that regulation, right? And so later in life, when you have these shock traumas, like a car accident, or you have an illness trauma, or you have early childhood stuff, or you have a fluid trauma, there's a couple different kinds, well then, the normal person, or the not dysregulated person may have this car accident, a shock trauma, and they walk away fine. Well, someone who's dysregulated, they can't get out of bed, and their food doesn't digest after that. And so I think education is the key, right? And then it's like what she does is like these little neurosensory exercises. And the, the first one was, isorienting, right? Like feeling your butt in the chair, feeling your feet on the ground. And when we're in our head, you know, we're spinning, we're going, you know, going nuts over there and creating all these stories. And for me, I would catastrophize and everything was black or white, you know? And I was in my stories, whatever that was, I was in the trauma. So if I notice that now, I'm like, Oh yeah, I get to practice, instead of being scared of it. I will still be scared of it in the very beginning. There's that feeling, but then I go, Oh wait, there's my, I get to use my tools. And so I'm going to bring myself back down by feeling my butt in the chair, looking around, not trying to change my breathing, but just noticing my breathing. And then notice is there tension in my body? And it's like, after doing this for a couple of months, all of a sudden I started getting these little doses of like, I don't know what else to call it besides like euphoria. You know, I didn't have access to that kind of regulation and coming down growing up, I wasn't taught how to do that. I didn't learn how to do that. Orienting, following my impulse, that's where you're like kind of the shoulds came in where I was like, you know what? Like I'm sick of being on social media. It's driving me crazy. And like, I started seeing how everybody else was shoulding. This morning, I found a whiteboard I was writing my workout on it and I saw my freaking schedule from last year at this time and it was like And I could tell that I was trying to do some like, I scheduled rest know, but like, this summer, it's been like the summer of Mitch and just reconnecting with like, child Mitch and just doing whatever the hell I want to do. And a lot of that's been, some hard times and working through some stuff, beautiful, amazing things. But yeah, it's the simple stuff. It's kind of reconnecting with the body, learning to listen to it, uh, learning to respond instead of react, and just following the impulses of like, I don't want to, that's what I was saying, I don't want to be on social media. I don't want to work with these type of people. I don't want to tell anybody what to do anymore. You know, for a while I was like, give me an exercise program and how to eat. And now it's more like, how do you want to eat? You know, it's so much more really bringing the nervous system stuff in and like the mindset, I haven't had a conversation about nutrition in so long, that's just like the minor details. We have to work on what's going on between the ears or in the nervous system, to come down and regulate and build capacity before we can even make any kind of change or else we're doing it from that trauma. We're doing it, running away from that weight that's keeping us safe. That fatigue that's we're burning the, burn the candle at both ends and doing all the things. Having it all like Lisa, right. I was listening to her, that podcast with her. I was that guy, you know, and so I just had to say, like, what's important to me is getting healthy and getting better. And so I'm going to take this. I'm lucky as hell, man. I don't think everybody gets to do this, but you know, my wife's got a great job and I was able to take the time to do this work. And, I feel like I'm kind of like the last boss right now, like a video game where this year has been such a year of transformation. I didn't exercise for four years. I was really light, as far as I lost a lot of weight. As soon as I started doing this stuff, working out, all these things came back on. And as I come off of this testosterone, it kind of feels like the last boss. So even though I'm going, if I would have gone through this type of, it's tough coming off of the hormones. I know you understand that. Um, You know, I'm basically like a menopausal woman right now, like I'm hot flashing all night long and I have no testosterone and thank God for progesterone and DHEA, um, but, uh, but like, I'm okay with it. I know, like, I've had all the signs and all the symptoms, that let me know, the glimmers, if you will, that let me know, like, hey man, this is what you need to do. You don't need this anymore. And, things are getting better and because I had brought just a teeny bit more regulation in myself, I still got a hell of a long way to go and it's a lifestyle that I'll continue for the rest of my life. But I know it's, it's good. I'm good now. I feel so much more safe now and that's what was lacking for a long time. There just wasn't this sense of safety at a cellular level. You know, Irene talks about that a lot.
Stephanie: That's awesome.
Stephanie: All right. So my last question for you, because again, I knew we would talk all day long. You are 37 now and you've been through a lot in the last five years. And in the last year, you've done a lot of work. You've had a major transformation and you'll continue with that, but you haven't even hit 40 yet. So tell me how you feel when you think about turning 40. What does that mean to you?
Mitch: Well, you know, it's kind of shifted here recently where like all of the stuff that I've been through, in the background, there's this little voice saying like, you need to get this shit taken care of because when you get older, like this stuff's going to suck. Like, I know what it feels like to be 70, uh, as a man right now, coming off test. So it was like, um, I was doing it out of fear. A lot of it was out of fear. And now it's like, man, like I get to live now. I get to do all the things that I have had to say no to. Um, I'm going to be saying no, but like, cause I know what my body, what I want to do and what I don't want to do. But like, I'm so excited to say yes. And I'm so excited to like, share this with people. Um, I think because I've scoured the earth for health and healing and and improving myself on so many levels like I can help and I have so many tools, and I'm just excited to see where this goes. I have no idea where this is going to go, feels like something really big is coming and I'm supposed to help in a way that it's just not out there. Like, it's the whole complete wellness. And I love hearing some of your guests, you know, talking about that. It seems like the ladies are always in tune with that a little bit more than the guys. And I think that's what I'm supposed to do is maybe bring that to the men a little bit more. And I work with women too, but,that just kind of feels like something fun right now. I know it'll change and I'll always be reinventing myself and finding new things to be excited about. But it's really shifted from a fear to like an excitement. Like I think age is just, a number and, sure there's challenges, but, challenges are opportunities to heal and grow and kind of going back to what I was going to say earlier is. You know, not having the testosterone in my system, everything hurts. Okay. So like he, he was like, uh, he's 10, 15 years older than me. And he's like, how old are you? And he's like, when you get this age, I'm like, bro, I know what it feels like. Like my teeth hurt right now. Like my feet hurt. You know, like I was at the PT, like working on my knee and stuff. And he's like, So how's it feeling? I'm like, bro, I don't know. Everything hurts right now. And so that motivates me even more to say, like, what else do I need to clean up? There's some stability and some strength stuff, different achy joints. I know how bad this would hurt if I was actually 70 years old right now. So it just motivates me to, instead of, like, beating my body into submission, like, loving my body to death and, like, doing everything I can to rest and,hydrate and eat a really nutrient dense foods that are appropriate for me. But also like, I still like to cut up and have a good time, you know? So it's like, instead of like being so restrictive with it, like, dude, do what feels good, follow your impulse, be you. This whole journey in the beginning, my therapist, bless her heart, man, she puts up with a lot, like she goes, what's our goal here? I'm like, I want to get rid of this freaking anxiety and insomnia. And she's like, that ain't gonna cut it. You know, the goal now is to be authentically me. You know, I'm going to be me, unapologetically for so long. I fit myself into so many boxes and so many labels. And I would say, uh, when I was in sales, I would say, you know, my superpower's I'm a chameleon. I can kind of shape shift for anybody. And I realized I was doing that to feel more comfortable in the situation. And so I'm going to be me. I'm going to show up, and if you don't like that, there's nothing wrong with that. That's cool. We don't have to like each other. You don't have to agree with me. I don't have to like you. And, but like the people that I do want to hang out with and be around, they're going to be attracted to that authenticity. And that's my goal now.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. You said something about you cleaning it up. And I think that's actually sort of the overarching theme of everything that we go through in this phase of life, this, thirties and forties is, cleaning up all of the things that we picked up along the way that don't serve us. So whether that's the trauma, whether that's the shoulds, whether that's the lifestyles that our parents suggested to us, or our mentors told us would make us successful, and cleaning up, our mental space and getting rid of a lot of the stuff doesn't serve us. It's great work. It's it's hard work, but it's so worth it on the other side.
Mitch: Oh, yeah, 100%. Yeah, totally agree with that.
Stephanie: Mitch, thank you so much for spending some time with me and for being so generous with your story. This is amazing. I've learned a lot from you. I think I've said this before. I do this podcast to share stories of this transition with people who are in that age period, 35 to 45, so that they know that they're not alone. So I want to help other people make it through their transition better and easier than, than I made it through myself. But sometimes I get to the end of a conversation and I go, eh, that one was for me.
Stephanie: I think my friend, this one was for me and, the universe puts you in front of me with so many similarities, so many that we could connect on that I could not, deny that, some of your messages were for me and I'll be, I'll be looking into some of this stuff myself.
Mitch: Yeah. Well, thank you so much. That that means a lot. I mean, this has been a fantastic conversation. I had no idea it was going to be like this. I knew when I was doing a little prep work and going through some podcasts, I was like, Oh my gosh. But thenwe get on the call and it's like so many things sync up. So this has been a huge pleasure. Thank you so much for the compliments. I'm so stoked that you took something away. If I can support you or help in any way, of course, you know, hit me up on social or message me or, you know, we're buddies now. So, again, thank you for having me on. This has been a great conversation.