Matthew LaBosco

Habits & Health episode 90 - Matthew LaBosco - Choose Vitality Over "Health". Choose Thriving Over Surviving

Habits & Health episode 90 with Matthew LaBosco, who has devoted his practice to empower individuals, across all areas of life, to partner, align, and leverage stress to live the most meaningful and purposeful lives possible. He has studied, trained, and apprenticed in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, physical rehabilitation, nutritional science, meditation, and spirituality. 

Matthew has been working with thousands of individuals in his coaching practice for over two decades, Matthew has discovered the danger of trying to avoid and manage stress.

Some of the topics discussed in this episode include:

  • What role do emotions play when we are stressed
  • Why is trying to avoid stress not ideal
  • What is the best way to approach stress
  • Matthew’s tips on habits
  • Discussion on Matthew’s forthcoming book: “Healthy to Vitality”

Matthew has kindly offered a free copy of his book to the first 25 listeners who request one.

Matthew's book:

Favourite Quotes

Man in the Arena: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Bargained with Life for a Penny: "I bargained with Life for a penny, and Life would pay no more. However I begged at the evening when I counted my scanty store. For Life is a just employer, he gives you what you ask. But once you have set the wages, why, you must bear the task. I worked for a menial's hire, only to learn, dismayed, that any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid."

Related episode:

90 – Matthew LaBosco

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[00:00:00] Tony Winyard: Habits & Health episode 90

Welcome back to Habits & health, today my guest is Matthew LaBosco. Who has been working with thousands of individuals in his coaching practice for over two decades. And he discovered the danger of trying to avoid and manage stress. And he’s devoted his practice to empower individuals across many areas of life to partner, align and leverage stress to live the most meaningful and purposeful lives possible. As he studied, trained and apprenticed in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, physical rehab rehabilitation, nutritional science, meditation, and spirituality. So we’re going to find out a lot more about what does Matthew mean when he talks about rather than trying to manage stress, instead actually leveraging stress. So we’re going to find out more from Matthew in today’s episode, and if you know anyone to get some value from this please do share the episode with them.

[00:01:13] Tony Winyard: Habits & Health. My guest today, Matthew LaBosco. How are you, Matthew?

[00:01:18] Matthew LaBosco: I’m doing fantastic. Tony, how are you?

[00:01:20] Tony Winyard: I’m doing well. and we’re back in Florida again.

[00:01:24] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah, second time this week, Huh?

[00:01:26] Tony Winyard: Yeah,

[00:01:26] Matthew LaBosco: where it’s

when this is released, it will be, Yeah. There won’t, it won’t be the second time of the week as far as the release is concerned, but yeah.

[00:01:33] Matthew LaBosco: point. Yes.

but you are clearly not a Floridean by that accent?

[00:01:38] Matthew LaBosco: Nope. You nailed it, my friend. I am, from the northeast. Jersey, New York, tri-state area, as they say. Yes.

obviously the weather is very similar, isn’t it?

I’ll tell you the summers aren’t that different in New York City than Florida. From a humidity standpoint, at least the last couple years we were in New York City. I would. similar and there’s no water in Manhattan that you really want to jump into. being on the coast of Florida, I would choose that any day of the week.

so when did you, have you, did you stop at other places before making it to Florida, how did you get down there?

[00:02:11] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah. I, my wife and I, believe it or not, have moved about 17 times since we’ve been married. and it was all part of being on this mission,to. I have a new way to, to relate to health and vitality, which I’m sure we’re gonna get into today. But, so I lived in California for about 13 years, Southern Cal, Florida, Different than Manhattan, different places in New Jersey, so Boston, Massachusetts.

So we’ve been around the block for sure.

[00:02:38] Tony Winyard: So when, where was the first place you moved to when you first left? New Jersey.

so it was our first, Manhattan, if you count, if you don’t count the moves in between New Jersey and New York. the first big move was to Florida. and we did a small stint here in Florida. We were actually in Manhattan when 9-11 happened. which, was quite an experience as you could imagine.

and then I think we stuck around for maybe another year. and just were done with the winters and the summers Really, and my sister had moved down to Southern Florida, so we’re like, Hey, why don’t we get outta here and check out Southern Florida? And so we moved to Florida first. We were only there for about six to seven months, and then we moved to Southern California to study with my first most influential mentor.

[00:03:23] Matthew LaBosco: And we were out there for about 13 years. And then we moved back to Florida about six or seven years ago.

[00:03:31] Tony Winyard: Moving from New York to Florida, that’s quite a big move. How easy or difficult was that?

I would say, I wouldn’t say it was difficult. like I said, my wife and I got used to packing stuff up and relocating. not to say that it’s not a lot of work and doesn’t, throw a wrench in the flow of things. but, I know for me, for sure, and my wife Eve was right there with me.

[00:03:57] Matthew LaBosco: We were just on a mission to, to get some answers to questions that we just didn’t feel like were very accessible. Yes, it was challenging to move a lot, but it was well worth it. and,we just weren’t willing to settle really. so someone would look at that and say, You guys are insane.

And I totally get that. but what I would say is it was totally worth it based on what we’ve been able to create from those experiences.

[00:04:21] Tony Winyard: So let’s get into that then. so what have you been able to create? and maybe take a step back. where did this all begin?

[00:04:27] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah. So it really began with my own experience with my health. I grew up in the medical model. My, my dad’s a doctor. My mom’s a nurse practitioner, which obviously has a ton of perks, growing up, being that connected to the medical model. but that being said, by the age of 22 I had five orthopedic surgeries, just from various sports,problems.

basketball, soccer, and baseball were my three sports, and I. just got to the point where I really started just to ask the question, Man, there’s gotta, there’s gotta be another way. There’s gotta be a different way to do this. and, had some pretty powerful experiences of my own, trying to navigate what was happening with my body and which led me to really ask why.

[00:05:16] Matthew LaBosco: Things were being recommended the way they were in the health model. so I just started to really ask, why are we doing this? Wait, why are we strengthening this muscle? And like, why are we doing this? Like, why are we, why do I need to strengthen my core? can you gimme more to that? wait, why am I eating salad?

why is that the healthy thing to do? And a lot of times the answer was, it’s just what we do. It’s just the way it’s been. And what I found was that when I dove into the why, The principles behind these recommendations, they were not very strong , they were not very stable, and they were based on things that I would say are very outdated.

and so it led on this 20 year journey. number one, managing my own physical body at first and then navigating lots of different systemic. illnesses and things that my wife and I were managing. just different inflammatory processes, all kinds of hormonal things that my wife was managing.

and again, like we had direct access to the medical model, right? and there’s so many things just didn’t make sense and. I couldn’t really get good answers as to why we were doing what we were doing, besides, that’s what should we do? And I’m like, Okay, why? and just this just started to see there was such, so many holes in why things were being recommended.

[00:06:30] Matthew LaBosco: And then the last 10 years I took a deep dive into the, we’ll call it the mindset, personal development, psychology space, and found the same theme. It’s wait, why are we telling people to do this? Why are we telling people to avoid stress and of, try to avoid it and mitigate it and turn off the stressors.

Like, why are we doing this? and I just again found that there weren’t a lot of good answers to these things. And the other thing I also found across the board in those three spaces, the movement, the systemic and the, we call personal development space. And again, you can call this unintended consequences, but it is the world we live in that most of these systems.

Created dependency on the system, it just kept people in it. and It was not something, I really, I didn’t wanna be dependent upon some system. I don’t wanna be dependent on some pill, medication, supplement, I don’t know, whatever was being thrown at us. I wanted to learn how to be empowered.

and that was when I started to break down the difference between health and vitality, and I realized that the health paradigm was extremely limited. And when you look at health and how health is defined, it’s the absence of illness or disease. It’s can we do better than that, please? I just don’t think I incarnated to.

[00:07:44] Matthew LaBosco: The absence of illness, like I, there’s gotta be more to that. So this idea of vitality, like when you look up the definition of vitality, it’s exuberant physical health, mental vigor. it’s living meaning and purpose. it’s living life to the fullest extent. Like getting every drop of life outta life.

It’s I want that . I don’t want this absence of illness and disease. And so I, my wife and I, we really sought out information that was more rooted in creating that experience of life. and that’s been the 20 year journey and why we move so much and why I would get up at a drop of a dime and if somebody was creating results in a way that produced this incredible result and vitality for somebody. I would drop everything and move, Like that was just, and God bless my wife, she was right there with me. And, and that’s been the 20 year journey. And it’s been, I’m not gonna say it’s been easy. it’s, as you said, getting up and moving a lot.

Tony’s yeah, it’s tough , but I would do it again in a heartbeat. it was well worth it.

[00:08:46] Tony Winyard: There’s a few things that I’m gonna explore in what you just said, but one of the things that came to mind as you were saying that was, so you grew up in this background where your dad’s a doctor. I think you said your mum was involved at some point,

Nurse, nurse practitioner. it made me think so when you were talking about how you were questioning things, I think it was at 22, and how things weren’t making sense to you. So was there, I wonder, when you were growing up, was there frustration from your dad about the medical system? Was, is that where that came from, that questioning why?

I wouldn’t say there was, I would say that,my dad was, a phenomenal, physician. he was an ob gyn and, a lot of the people that I would meet in town or Hey, you’re. Father delivered my son or my daughter,I got out of speeding tickets cuz of my dad.

[00:09:30] Matthew LaBosco: Thanks Dad. I don’t know if he knows that, but,so he was very well known and very well respected and you could bump into people and say, Oh my God, your dad, And so I, I didn’t get that from them. I would say both of them were, and are still pretty committed to that paradigm, although I’ve definitely influenced it to some degree over the 20 years.

But no, I didn’t see him, struggling with it. In the beginning, a couple things I would say that I saw started to become an issue, and I’ll never forget this. One thing he said to me that had a big impact on me was when I, cuz this is when I was really questioning things and I asked him, I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I was asking him why certain tests were done and why have we named that the marker for X, Y, and Z.

And just getting into it with him. And I’m very gracious cuz he would entertain me on all of these conversations,

[00:10:22] Tony Winyard: What age were you talking about?

it was probably my, like in my, mid twenties to thirties, really when I was really getting after it in a pretty intense way. I’m a pretty, I have a tendency to go all in, for better or for worse, and he said to me once, he goes, Matt, I have eight minutes to figure out why someone has a headache. I was, Wow, that put things in perspective a little bit. And I don’t know if it was always that way, but it was the first time I sensed he was like, Ugh, like I got eight minutes with people.

[00:10:53] Matthew LaBosco: Like I gotta run him through this thing. And so he’s I just gotta go with probability. okay, if this person has a headache, it’s probably X. And if I give them y they’ll probably won’t have a headache anymore. And if it’s not 70%, then it’s 30 and then the rest of it’s usually this other thing.

And I was just like, Oh my God, man. something’s seriously wrong with the system here, So that was the first time I sensed like he was a little handcuffed a little bit, and I feel like.

[00:11:18] Tony Winyard: but did he realize?

he never articulated it to me in that way. My dad wasn’t somebody that would, say those things out loud.

but I sensed it for sure, Tony. and I think, he practiced a long time. And, one thing that also really, influenced me with my dad and he, once he retired, he finally retired. No one thought my dad was ever gonna retire, right? And I said, God, Why did you retire?

[00:11:39] Matthew LaBosco: Why’d you hang it up? And he’s Matt, I realized for the first time in my career I just did the bare minimum in my educational requirements. And I said, That’s. something’s changed. And I said, Wow, man, that’s so cool, man. I think I understand why I get this urge to learn and passion from.

Like, when he said that, I was like, Wow, that’s so awesome man. I totally respect that. And good for you. so I think. as you know,Tony like systems evolve and the way medicine was practiced 20 years ago doesn’t look like it does today. And probably 10 years ago, 10 years from now, it’ll look different than it does today.

And so I think there was definitely some frustration that he sensed. I know if my mom definitely articulated it more.

and I would say, again, I don’t know this, but I know into my journey of challenging and just asking questions to things like she. She would really be like, Yeah, that’s a good question and start to explore it a little bit more.

[00:12:37] Matthew LaBosco: At least I saw her do that more. I don’t, can’t speak to if my dad did it behind the scenes, but she definitely, we would get into some fun conversations together. but, I could sense her frustration with the system was definitely more outwardly expressed. Let’s say that.

[00:12:54] Tony Winyard: And so you mentioned about how much help your wife gave you in many different areas. so what capacity is she involved in, in, in health and so on.

[00:13:03] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah. there’s three spaces that, that we’ve, taken deep dives in. I’ll just call it the movement, physical rehabilitation, fitness space. So just everything that has to do with muscles and things like that, and fitness and rehab. We’ve also taken deep dives into, I think of it as the systemic realm, which obviously nutrition’s a monster.

There. And then this last space, personal development space, mindset, psychology, et cetera. Those would be the three spaces. We have both done deep dives in. My wife has done the deepest dive in nutrition and and especially working with women with hormonal, different hormone problems and things, she had to navigate her own situation, and. When I say she’s been supportive, she’s been supportive in that journey of just, allowing, creating a space to be supported to pursue this in the intense way that I’ve been pursuing it. I’m definitely not the easy, this 20 year journey. It wasn’t an easy to, be part, be a partner of mine, but, I know she’s just as passionate and determined to get answers, not only for herself or other, but for people and to share it with others.

So in that space, she was extremely supportive, but also just one of the, one of the biggest things I would say that my wife has done for me is just believed in what I was doing. and I’ll never forget a moment where I made some decision. And it put us in a really bad space. It was just, it wasn’t good.

It wasn’t looking good. And I remember sitting with her at the kitchen table and I remember looking at her and I’m just like, Oh my God. Like you can say it like I totally screwed us. Like we are like, You can say it. I made a mistake. I should have never done this. And she goes, Nope. No, I like, I think, I think you’re gonna learn from this.

I think it’s all gonna make sense. I think it’s all gonna work out and I believe in what you’re doing and I believe in what we’re doing and I can’t tell you Tony, how like that was a huge moment for me because I was at a place where I was like, Man, I think I might need to jump off this ride that I’m on trying to hit this destination that I’m starting to question exists or that I have the ability to reach it. And in that moment, she gave me permission to not settle and keep going man. And, it’s those little moments that, that I like. She’s been that little angel on my shoulder, just giving me a little nudge, here and there.

Not to say we haven’t had our our other moments too, right?

you’re human, so it would be

[00:15:27] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah. Those happen too, but they’re not as fun to talk about those things. but yes.

so where you are now, How is it that you are helping people? What is it you are doing right now?

I would say 2 spaces. for the last two decades I’ve been working very intimately with people one on one. I feel like, I feel like that’s where. That’s where I can measure two things. One, I’m all about results. theory and concepts are great, but I wanna know result, right?

so to me to really navigate and know results is you gotta be in the trenches with people. you gotta be in the foxhole. you gotta be with them. You gotta, That’s how you measure, that’s how you tweak and that’s what what works and what doesn’t work. And I work, I still work with people one on one, in that space.

and so what do I work with? it’s really, across the board, like at this point in time, I still work with people that have orthopedic injury, that have told they need this surgery or that. And so I’m known as one of the last resorts, Hey, you’ll see if this guy can pull a rabbit out of his hat for you.

the other space I work with people in is, I’ll just call it the you. supporting people in relationships or their careers, like more the mental mindset space. So that’s where I’ll take a deep dive with people, one on one, but I also offer, master classes and online,type, interaction.

[00:16:42] Matthew LaBosco: And I have a book that my, the book is coming out in December, which is really. All the 20 years and all these concepts and ideas,that people can leverage, in that way too. so primarily one on one and in small groups.

[00:16:55] Tony Winyard: And so if I’m hearing you right from some of the things that you said, so you are, you’re looking, you’re helping people with the, with the body, maybe the biomechanics and whatever, and then is your wife helping people around the nutrition side of what issue they’ve got?

[00:17:08] Matthew LaBosco: Yes, thank you. That’s where her focus is more. she’s definitely continued on that path, supporting people, in the systemic space. Taking the deeper dives of people, especially, I would say she’s, she specializes in women and different hormonal type things, cuz that’s one of the things she’s navigated at such a deep level for herself.

[00:17:28] Tony Winyard: So between the two of you, you are truly looking at people in a holistic way,

[00:17:33] Matthew LaBosco: That’s been the goal. Tony is to not be biased by my tool, but be biased on what the client needs. as Warren Buffet says, Never ask your barber if you need a haircut. It’s one of my favorite lines, right? It’s whatever I have, you need. And so I try my best to stay as objective about things and I call it trying to find the big rock.

someone can come in with shoulder pain. But that doesn’t mean they, their biomechanics is what’s causing the pain, and I learned that very early on in my practice. And it’s not to mention I could find something biomechanically wrong with anybody and then justify that’s what they need.

[00:18:06] Matthew LaBosco: And I just, that never felt right to me. I just. Didn’t feel like I was really helping anybody. I was just, helping my bank account there cuz you could create a narrative. People don’t know the difference, right? and so that’s why we took these deep dives into these other spaces and I really wanted to understand the, I call it the trilogy of vitality, but how all these things are influencing.

and when I assess somebody really looking for, again, I call it the big rock,if it’s. Because people come to me back pain and this pain and that pain, and I’m like, man. You don’t need mechanical improvement, you don’t need body work. You don’t need, that’s not what you need. Like you, you don’t eat or I don’t know, like whatever it is.

[00:18:46] Matthew LaBosco: Or you’re stressed outta your mind or,so looking at it in that three dimensional kind of space or holistic space, and really trying to give somebody what they actually need. not just giving them what I had.

[00:18:58] Tony Winyard: And I’m guessing that approach must really surprise some people because they think it’s X when it turns out it’s something completely different ?

[00:19:05] Matthew LaBosco: You got it, Tony. And it’s one of those conversations that I’ve learned to have with people, right? and the way that sounds is if someone comes in and says, Hey, my back hurts. I need you to massage it. or do what you do mechanically. And I’ll say, Listen, and I’ll walk them through a whole process and really assess those three spaces and get them to a place where it’s like, Wow.

So it sounds like stress, this space is the biggest contributor to your pain. Would you agree with that? They were like, Yeah, for sure. I said, Okay, if you wanna pay me a couple hundred dollars an hour to address the thing, that’s not the problem. That’s up to you. but we’ve identified that.

The muscle system may be 15% of the issue. So if you wanna spend that kind of money and have me address 15% of what we perceive to be the bigger problem, like I’m fine if that helps with the symptom, but understand that there’s gonna be a limitation to what we can accomplish here. and some people.

Were like, Yeah, I think we should probably talk about the other thing. Or some people are like, Yeah, let’s just do that for now. and I honestly, at this stage in my career. I don’t even really have that conversation anymore because I’m interested in people that really want to address what’s going on.

There’s plenty of people and you can pay a lot less money to have someone rub your back to feel better. you don’t need to pay me a couple hundred dollars an hour to do that. so I’ll just. Say to them, Listen man, here’s how I can help you. If that doesn’t, if that’s not what you’re looking for, then that’s okay.

Like I’ll, here’s somebody that does good body work or massage and if that’s all you’re looking for,then you don’t need to spend all that extra money with me.

[00:20:40] Tony Winyard: I forget the figures, but there. Something like an enormous amount of disease, illness is attributed to stress, so I’m guessing you’re gonna know those figures better than anyone maybe.

I don’t know the exact, cuz you know, it depends on where you look, right? Because everyone’s got a different statistic. But I don’t think actually my, my, my good friend and doctor actually, showed me, some statistics from the pandemic. And I can’t, I’m not, I don’t know the numbers, but he said, Matt, you gotta look at this.

[00:21:11] Matthew LaBosco: He’s one of the top two, or three. things that they identified causing death wasn’t covid, it was the fear. It was the stress, It was the, that’s the problem. That was the

[00:21:21] Tony Winyard: to you induce stress about covid

[00:21:23] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah, exactly. It’s let’s terrify everybody and make it all worse. Yeah. it’s a real issue right now and when you pop on, talk shows and podcasts, it’s what everybody’s talking about.

And that’s not, not a coincidence.

[00:21:36] Tony Winyard: So you, earlier on you talked about you, you seem to have a different approach to stress, and do you wanna expand on that?

[00:21:42] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah, I would say, and I, my public apology to anyone I’ve worked with over the last, 10, 15 years. I steered you the wrong way. I’m sorry. and this idea of trying to avoid or mitigate stress, . and again, trust me, I didn’t figure this out. I’m not that smart. but,when you look at the latest research, especially specifically Alia Crum, Kelly McDougal, Alia Crumms, a part of the Stanford, neuroscience community over there,I think she, she refers as a stress mindset theory. And what they’re finding is the stress response. produces two results with people. It can decrease performance, inhibit health, and decrease wellbeing, or it can increase performance, increase your health, and increase wellbeing. That’s weird. What’s going on, right? Like how does that work? And what they found, which I thought was just right, just mind blowing and changed the game for me, and also just made fundamental sense based on other principles that I’ve learned inside of vitality, was the reason why stress would have a negative effect is the variable that made it have a negative effect versus a positive effect was how people,how they viewed stress. So if people looked at stress as something that was bad, something they had to avoid, and they were inside of strategies to eliminate it. That’s what created the negative effects to the point where they measured the arterial walls and saw that when people would orient to stress as a negative thing.

That’s when they saw arterial wall constriction. which obviously there’s plenty of research that stress creates heart attacks and it’s bad for your heart. what’s fascinating is when people did not orient to stress as a bad thing, they embraced it as a resource or leveraged it to perform at a higher level.

The crazy thing was that arterial walls, they didn’t constrict, like the negative impact of the stress response was no longer there. And I was like, God, that just makes sense to me from the standpoint of, and this is what I have found across those other two spaces, which is the movement and the nutrition space, that the system is more often on your side.

Doing what it’s doing because it’s there to support you, not because it’s trying to ruin your day. And so what they found with the stress response, and this really blew me away, Tony, I just love this. I’m gonna share it with you guys in the audience because I don’t think it’s out there enough. So we all know that part of the stress response, adrenaline and cortisol are secreted, and you know how evil, quote unquote they are, they’re really not.

If you didn’t have cortisol and adrenaline, you wouldn’t be alive. But, there’s another hormone that’s released called oxytocin, and in some circles, it’s referred to as the cuddle hormone. Uh,it’s cute, right? but oxytocin is a hormone that actually,nudges people or wants, It creates the need to connect with other people, like to be social.

so isn’t it fascinating that the body, our biology, Because when is the system stressed? It’s oh, when there’s something we need to address, oh, there’s something that we have to address. So the system increases the resources to address whatever situation needs to be addressed. And it secretes this hormone oxytocin that encourages us to reach out and connect with others, to support other people, to connect with other people.

[00:25:11] Matthew LaBosco: And that’s all built into the stress response. It’s Okay, maybe this response is here to help us, and maybe we should start to align with it as opposed to using all these techniques. Just turn it off, shut it down, breathe through it, it’ll go away like you’re anxious, breathe, stop, da. Oh, it’s a negative belief.

Or, It’s like, how do I shut it down as opposed to listening to it. And some of the classic examples of this is Oh, I have this new project at work and I like the, I’m not enough thing. Oh, I don’t think I’m good enough to do that. Yeah. maybe you’re right. Maybe you should listen to that.

Maybe you should take the resources of, Hey, we’re about to do something we never done before. Take those resources and build a skillset with it. as opposed to, and this is where I feel like it could be really damaging, and I see people charge into a direction and they’re not prepared.

Because they just, Oh, that’s the fear like, Forget the fear. Like just do the thing, like you can do it. maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t know. Like maybe it’s okay to assess, do I have the skills, do I have the capacity to engage in this thing I’ve never engaged with, It’s Huh, Now don’t get me wrong.

there’s, it’s a continuum. It’s not just. This or that. it, there’s an infinite amount of ways to navigate this thing, but what I have found to be incredibly empowering for myself and clients is to stop looking at stress as something we have to eliminate and really learn how to work with it and leverage it.

[00:26:34] Matthew LaBosco: And I would say some of my most incredible accomplishments were when I leveraged that thing because I had access to things that I don’t usually have access to.

[00:26:43] Tony Winyard: So of all the patients that you’re helping, patients, clients, and what percentage would you say the main issue is? Something to do with stress?

[00:26:52] Matthew LaBosco: Right now probably like number one on top of the chart. Now stress could be, stressed, which is just a catch all phrase.

But I think now it’s more sophisticated. It’s overwhelm, it’s anxiety, it’s insecurity, like all those emotions, are also things that I feel have been villainized. and when you really get down to why emotions exist to begin with, is they’re communication systems. Like they tell you an incredible amount of information. Boom. Just like this, right? And it’s a system that is communicating to you when you are aligned with what’s most meaningful and important to you and when you’re not. And so when those systems go off, instead of saying, Oh God, I’m anxious, how do I turn it off? Or I’m so overwhelmed, I’m so overwhelmed. Like, how do I turn off my overwhelm? instead, you should really ask yourself like, what is this communicating? Because I can tell you what overwhelms communicating to people. So everybody who’s overwhelmed, this is nine times outta 10. with the, with what’s being communicated to you.

You’re trying to do too many things. That’s it. So it’s time to prioritize and name what’s most important. that’s it.

[00:28:05] Tony Winyard: and if you look at the definition of what does overwhelm mean,

[00:28:08] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. You got it. And so that’s the paradigm shift, right? And as I say, the health paradigm is coaching people to turn it off. Vitality paradigm. Let’s learn how to work with it and let’s learn how to integrate these emotional communications because let’s just assume that they’re there on your behalf.

Now, there are some exceptions to that, and I won’t go down that rabbit hole, but emotions from past traumas that never got integrated and assimilated, that’s handled a little differently. But I’m just talking about kind of the everyday experience that people have, if that makes sense. Too many things to do, not enough time that kind of stuff.

[00:28:49] Tony Winyard: So you mentioned about your book, so when did you first start thinking about writing a book and why?

[00:28:55] Matthew LaBosco: Oh, wow. it’s funny, I went through a major transition, last October, where I was, heavily involved in a person development organization and really became really clear that they were not headed in the direction that I was comfortable. And I’ve really gotten a side. some of these concepts that I talk about in the book about the health paradigm of personal development.

Man, it, when you really go all in on some of this stuff, you really create dependency on people and disempower people. And even worse than that, I saw people. Through some of these practices becoming very disconnected from themselves, not trusting themselves and trusting in people outside of them that they put into this category of they know everything.

I know nothing. and I was all in on it too. Tony, it’s not, I’m not saying I was the exception, I. I got into that same space and really started to not trust myself anymore and disconnect from myself and forget why I was on my path that I was on. And so my wife and I made a very difficult decision, from the standpoint of we almost lost our house.

We lost 90% of our income by leaving, being associated with this organization. so it was difficult in that standpoint. It was also an easy decision because it was like, Yeah, like I can’t, I can. Put my head on the pillow at night and feel good about myself. And my wife is in the same boat. Thank God again, she’s just been incredibly been incredible partnering with her.

we were willing to let all that go, for that. and What’s interesting Tony is as the end of the year came and we’re just trying to like, navigate the damage of losing, I got two kids and I just, it was just, it was, stressful time. but we leveraged the stress and we directed it.

and I started writing. I would say at the beginning of this year, and I wrote, I was writing to just try to get back in touch with myself, to be completely honest, like I wasn’t even thinking about writing a book

[00:30:44] Tony Winyard: And whenwhen you say writing, are you just took about journaling or something?

[00:30:47] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah, exactly. Like I just said to myself, You know what? I’m gonna get up every morning and just write for at least 30 minutes.

Like I just need to journal. Yeah, sure. Journaling, writing, just processing. a lot of people know that can be very therapeutic just to get things outta your head, see it on a piece of paper. And as I was writing about my experience and how I was feeling, I would say around March, April, I really started to reconnect to the path I was on before I got involved with this particular organization, and I remembered, Oh my God, man, like you were on this bigger journey.

I felt like I got reconnected to myself. I felt like I got reconnected to my mission, my purpose, and in about April I was like, Man, I’ve completed this part of this last piece of the puzzle, which was the mindset and psychology piece. And I said, I think I’m, I think I’m gonna start writing my book.

and honestly, that was in April. And, I still can’t believe that I have a book that’s gonna be published in, in, a month or two here. I started writing it in April,

[00:31:47] Tony Winyard: So who, what is the book about and who is it aimed at?

it’s aimed for anybody who is frustrated with the health model,is seeking more than being absent of illness and injury. who wants more than that from their life experience? or has been told by the health model. There’s nothing more that can be done for whatever they’re managing. It’s for people that, might be in I’ll call it the Groundhogs Day of needing a certain modality, medication, whatever, to, just become dependent on the system.

and so if they’re looking for another way to look at this, another option, that’s what this book presents. and it basically dives into, again,this health paradigm in three spaces. The movement, physical movement, systemic nutrition, and then third mindset psychology. And I break down, Hey, this is how the health model addresses these three things and here’s the holes that I have found and things to be mindful of and be careful of. And then I present, hey, this is what I have found to create vitality when addressing the physical body, the nutrition, systemic and mindset. And there’s a, just an enormous amount of case studies in America, cuz I’ve worked with and I’ve been working with people for two decades now. and it’s giving people the tools, right? To me, it’s about giving people the tools, teaching ’em how to use them so they can create the life they want to create. as one of my first mentors said, which I loved and why he was one of my most influential mentors, he said, Matt, is when I had my clinic in LA and we were helping people with physical reputation.

[00:33:23] Matthew LaBosco: He said, Our goal is not to put people on our 401k plan. I go, Amen, brother. let’s empower these people. let’s get ’em out there living their life. Like we do not want them having to have a session with us once a week for the rest of their life. I’m, that’s not what I’m interested in. so that’s why the book was written and that’s really been the mission.

I feel like I’ve been on my whole life.

[00:33:42] Tony Winyard: So when you explain that, and you talked about the three areas, the nutrition, the body, and the mindset

[00:33:48] Matthew LaBosco: Yes.

[00:33:49] Tony Winyard: So this could go on forever, but. If you were to say in each of those three areas, what do you perceive? What do you think is the biggest mistake that most people are making in each of those three areas?

[00:34:01] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah, so I’ll keep it short because I, You’re right, . But number one in the movement space is we had a saying in our wall in our clinic. It’s was, exercise is optional, movement is mandatory. And the fundamental flaw with the exercise paradigm I call it, is everything is rooted in cadaver anatomy.

And so what that means is we studied a cadaver, which is basically a dead person. We looked at the muscles where they originated, inserted, and then we made conclusions about what they do, oh, the, just use the bicep here, or the hamstring. Based on where it originates and inserts, it flexes the knee.

yeah. On a dead person. not a baseball player who’s throwing a baseball like the hamstring’s, not flexing the knee. And so to put somebody on a leg curl machine or do stuff, what stretches the hamstring in that way? Like our whole base for building all of these things we’ve built in the fitness and physical therapy world is, in my opinion, completely off base because that’s not what the hamstring does.

And so really then the next question is, what does it do? it’s infinitely more complex than it flexes the knee. the analogy I always use is if someone was like,What do moms do? What? What’s the job of moms? It would me saying the hamstring flexes the knee is what the hamstrings do, would be like me saying, mom’s jobs are to change diapers.

[00:35:19] Matthew LaBosco: That’s what they do. If you wanna get cracked across the head, say that to a mom, right? it’s an insult. Like sure they do that, but there’s about 4,000 other things that they do, on a daily basis. So it’s much more infinitely complex. And so looking and so the quick and dirty is, I would, the majority of a workout program.

Should not be isolating muscles and squeezing them. And that can look a lot of different ways. the traditional body building stuff, obviously, but even stuff like says, hold this, squeeze this, pull this back. And then, I think of the body like an orchestra. You want all the instruments playing at the right moment, at the right time.

And it’s wickedly, intricate complex. You don’t want to take the tuba, put it in a room and get it to play really loud and then put it in the orchestra. It’s not gonna be music, gonna be noise, and that’s injury. So that’s without going too far down that rabbit hole. That’s what the movement piece, from a systemic piece.

And anytime I talk about nutrition, I always say, Listen. we might as well start talking about religion and politics right now because it is a wickedly, emotionally charged space. So that’s my disclaimer.

[00:36:26] Tony Winyard: is where the complaints start coming in.

[00:36:28] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So turn this podcast off if you’re sensitive to nutrition. and so the things that I challenged.

In that space was this idea that low calorie, no sugar, no salt, no fat foods are good. and the whole diet and exercise model of restricting calories and burning more, the, these were things were designed because everybody was overweight and, But somehow it all turned into healthy and In my book, I say Sugar needs a better PR firm working for it because I think sugar has been blamed for everything and I think there is a wicked over correction.

In that, personally I think sugar’s not bad. Sugar is essential. if you don’t get glucose to the cell, you’re dead. so I think we’ve overcorrected there for sure. I think, some of the fundamental things that we talk about with, essential fatty acids and all these things that we are just accepted, that’s what I really dove into and asked, wait.

How did we survive as humans for all these years and not have fish oils,

it’s amazing, right? so challenge some of those things and really, again, without going too far down that rabbit hole, just kept it really simple. and really the, to me, what I, what should I be eating?

[00:37:41] Matthew LaBosco: Should be based on what optimizes cellular energy production and optimizes recovery. And that’s the only conversation we should have. We shouldn’t be talking about what do I need to eat to lose weight? What do I need to eat to lower my cholesterol? What do I need to eat to lower my a1c?

Like we’re hitting the bullseye on the wrong target in my opinion, like that stuff’s irrelevant. but it’s. It’s not good business , it’s just a whole nother conversation. And so just teaching people like the purpose of food and that Yeah. Like it, what really drives me nuts, Tony is when people are like, Yeah, I don’t eat fruit because I got sugar in it.

Oh my God, man. Like we, we’ve really gotten overboard here. this is insane. so again, major rabbit hole there. and then just to talk about the third space. The big, the thing that I really found to be probably the most destructive out of everything I’ve talked about so far today is.

This idea that we’re the pursuit of joy and peace and freedom like that as the destination that I would, I have like firsthand experience through myself and work and seeing this with hundreds of not thousands of people following this idea has created the most destruction. because we have made the motions, the destination.

Emotions are not the destination. Emotions are a communication system, and so they’re there to tell you if you’re aligned with what’s meaningful and purposeful to you. So to me, pursue meaning and purpose. Use emotional communication to live purpose, live meaning, and that goes hand in hand with this whole stress thing, right?

and so I think so many people when joy and peace are the goal, and if I’m doing it right, I’m joyful and peaceful. And if I’m doing it wrong, I’m overwhelmed and anxious. And so I just need to stop thinking bigoted things. And I just need to be peaceful and I just need to be joyful. And then I’m doing it right.

and what I have found when that’s taken to the extreme. is disconnection. You become disconnected from yourself, right? Because your emotional communication system is there to communicate something to you. So the more we say bad, negative emotions, and I just need to feel joy all day, right? there’s a new term out there, which is so true, toxic positivity.

people are like, Oh yeah, I’m great. I’m always great. I’m always, It’s that’s not. that doesn’t exist, right? that’s an artificially art, I believe, something that’s created artificially by disconnecting to normal emotions and communications. We’re just not taught how to integrate them.

[00:40:11] Matthew LaBosco: We’re not taught how to leverage them. So that was the fastest way I could do that.

would be the big ones.

[00:40:19] Tony Winyard: So many more things I’d like to explore, but we’re kinda moving on time. But I’m gonna ask you about, the main theme of this podcast is behavior and Habits and so on. So what do you think about when it comes to helping your clients, your patients around behavior and Habits, what would you say to them?

I would say the number one habit to engage with is to start focusing on meaning and purpose as the destination, not what makes you happy. Like it’s another thing that’s out there that I feel like is, can be helpful in the short term, but destructive in the long term. do things that make you happy.

[00:40:54] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah. But as we all know, the thing that makes us happy today doesn’t make us happy tomorrow. and it doesn’t give us a context to leverage conflict and things that aren’t comfortable. But if we focus on what’s meaningful and purposeful to us, it’s, it gives us the, it definitely is gonna have us feeling more fulfilled and joyful on the journey.

But it also gives us the motivation to overcome the obstacles that we’re going to face. Like it’s going to happen. But if it’s meaningful, it’s not a matter. The question we should be asking is not, is this gonna be hard? The question we should be asking is it, will it be worth it? Is it worth it? So getting in the habit of really getting clear on, what is it that I’m actually trying to accomplish?

Besides the question that, the way most people answer that is, I just know to not be stressed. That’s the health model.

So we talked about your book just. so on the subject to books, a question I ask everyone is, can you think of a book that has really moved you for any reason?

[00:41:53] Matthew LaBosco: Yeah, I, there’s lots of them, but though I will, the one that I would say recently that I just ripped through, it’s a great book and it’s a quick one for anybody that you know, cuz I know most of people that listen to this podcast, they probably have a stack of books right. Just like me that I haven’t read yet.

but this ones are quickie. and it’s by Steven Pressfield, the book, the first book he wrote that I think got a lot of publicity was the War of Art, which is phenomenal. So if you haven’t read that, it’s really good. But his new book is called Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants It to Be. I loved that and I think it speaks to, Like I said, do the thing that’s most meaningful to you.

[00:42:31] Matthew LaBosco: Don’t let yourself talk. don’t talk yourself out of it and show up for it. And it really talks to this idea of it’ll be worth it. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it. So that’s what, that book really reignited that in me and so I loved it.

[00:42:45] Tony Winyard: So if people wanna find out more about you and the book, Cause the book’s coming out in December, isn’t it?

[00:42:51] Matthew LaBosco: Correct. Yep. December 4th.

[00:42:52] Tony Winyard: So this is gonna be published on November 1st. So yeah,

[00:42:56] Matthew LaBosco: Oh, fantastic.

[00:42:57] Tony Winyard: in a book, four or five weeks, whatever. Yeah. So people wanna find out more about you, your social media and so on.

where would they go?

the easiest place it would be just my website, which is just Matthewlabosco.com. I have a blog there. and we’ll be using that as the platform for all the other things. I have a Facebook. An Instagram account was just Matthew LaBosco. I’m not super active on there. I have a YouTube channel as well, but the best place to of stay up to date with what I’m up to would be my website.

[00:43:22] Tony Winyard: Okay. And finally, Matthew, do you have a quote that really resonates with you?

I got two of them right behind me. they’re in my office. and one is the man in the arena, quote by Teddy Roosevelt and the other is the Jessie Rittenhouse quote. And I’ll talk about this one, The Jessie Rittenhouse. Cause I think most people are probably familiar with the man in the arena, but the man in the arena again, is just, to me, the embodiment of living meaning and purpose and going for it and not sitting in the stands and, judging people that.

[00:43:50] Matthew LaBosco: Getting beat up in the arena. living there, living their truth. But the Jessie Rittenhouse quote is,bargained with life for a penny. And it’s a, I’ll read it really quick and live and life would pay no more. However, I begged that evening when I counted my scanty store for life is just an employer.

He gives you what you ask, but once you have set the wages, while you must bear the task, I worked for a menials hire hire

only to learn dismayed that any wage I had asked of life would’ve willingly paid. And to me, what I think of when I read that quote is I have a blank check and I get to write what my life’s gonna be.

And so don’t settle. Go for it and, live the life you came here to live. I don’t, like I said at the beginning, we, I don’t believe we incarnated to live a stress-free life. . It just sounds terrible to me. I think we came here to live a full life and one that’s meaningful. And so that quote reminds me to go for it and not to to settle.

[00:44:51] Tony Winyard: So those two quotes are on your wall behind you, cuz obviously this is an audio only podcast so

[00:44:55] Matthew LaBosco: Oh

[00:44:56] Tony Winyard: people can’t see…

[00:44:56] Matthew LaBosco: Oh, gotcha.

[00:44:57] Tony Winyard: So how long have you had those on your wall?

[00:45:00] Matthew LaBosco: Oh man. I would say probably 10 to 15 years.

[00:45:04] Tony Winyard: Wow. Okay. And that, how often do you look at that? Or even both

[00:45:08] Matthew LaBosco: There isn’t a day. There isn’t a day that, that I don’t see them. they’re literally placed in my office so that I see them every day for that reason.

[00:45:16] Tony Winyard: So that makes me wonder one, So I, I think one of my favorite quotes is, the why I think of it now is very different to when I first came across it, five, six years ago. It is, Do have your thoughts changed on what those quotes mean over the years?

for sure they’ve evolved. I would say the one that’s evolved the most for sure is the man in the arena, quote. I’ve always liked that quote. but as I explored some of the things we’ve talked about, it’s Ooh, man. Like that really means a whole nother level, to me. And I would say that Jesse Rittenhouse as well,they’ve evolved.

the understanding and the application, I would say has evolved for sure. That’s a great point. Tony.

Matthew, from what you’ve described about your book, it sounds like a, and I’m not saying this to butter you up, it really sounds like people really should explore this book. This, it seems it’s really lacking in this kind of area, in the health area. People write a book about biomechanics or about nutrition, or, it’s also separatist, it’s also, what’s the word?

I can’t remember the word. it’s not holistic. What’s,there’s a word I’m looking for in his com.

[00:46:23] Matthew LaBosco: isolated. compartmentalized.

[00:46:26] Tony Winyard: Yeah. But

[00:46:26] Matthew LaBosco: I know what you mean, but I can’t find the word either.

[00:46:29] Tony Winyard: Yeah, so this, it sounds like this is what’s really needed and could be really useful for a lot of people, so yeah. Good. Good luck with the book.

[00:46:37] Matthew LaBosco: Thank you. I appreciate it, Tony. And thanks for, taking the time to spend some time with me. It really been fun.

[00:46:43] Tony Winyard: Lovely. Thank you.

Next week on Habits & health episode 92 is with Kathleen Trotter. She’s a fitness expert, media personality, personal trainer, writer and author of finding your fit. Which is a compassionate trainer’s guide to making fitness a lifelong habit And your fittest future self, making choices today for a happier, healthier fitter future.

So Kathleen has been a personal trainer and fitness expert for almost 20 years. And we dig into. A lot more about fitness, about behavior. About health and many areas around those., subjects as well. So that’s next week with Kathleen Trotter. If you know anyone who would get some value from the episode in today’s show shared by Matthew LaBosco. please do share this episode with them and hope you have an amazing week.

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