Feb. 28, 2023

Unlocking Long-Term Success: The Key Mindset Shifts for Health and Fitness with Leah Coutts

Unlocking Long-Term Success: The Key Mindset Shifts for Health and Fitness with Leah Coutts

To be successful in your health and fitness goals, you need to have a good attitude. Being positive and determined will help you stay focused. Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated. You might be afraid of failing or saying negative things to yourself....

To be successful in your health and fitness goals, you need to have a good attitude. Being positive and determined will help you stay focused. Sometimes it's hard to stay motivated. You might be afraid of failing or saying negative things to yourself. But, it's important to get rid of those thoughts and focus on getting better. Progress is more important than being perfect.
In this episode, we're partnering with Leah Coutts. She has a program called Soulful Vegan Fitness. She helps people with their health and fitness by focusing on their thoughts and feelings. This way, her clients can make healthy choices that match what they want. It's not only about exercising and eating right, it's also about feeling good inside. Remember to be positive, motivated, and committed to your goals.
5 Key Takeaways from Today's Episode:
  • Success in health and fitness starts with mindset. Remove negative thoughts, and beliefs, and focus on self-growth.

  • Aim for progress rather than perfection. Setting achievable goals and tracking progress is crucial for staying motivated.
  • Address limiting beliefs and challenges, such as self-sabotage and perfectionism, to achieve success.
  • Make emotional and spiritual wellness a priority for sustainable lifestyle changes.
  • Stay positive, motivated, and committed to your goals. Remember that transformation is not only physical but also mental and emotional.

***EXCLUSIVE BONUS CONTENT***  Learn more about building a better mindset in this week's newsletter!


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American Ninja Warrior Jessie Graff Shares How You Can Face Your Fears And Become Your Own Superhero 



Jeremy: [00:00:00] Well, here it is, the end of February. You had those New Year's resolutions and you probably gave up on 'em a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it wasn't your fault. Maybe you got sick. Maybe something held you back from making progress on that thing you intended to do.

Zach: And if you're anything like me, you set your goals too high and you utterly failed, and now you're beating yourself up for having failed those goals. Today we'll talk about why this is a good moment to practice self-compassion and forgive yourself and set those smaller goals that are actually achievable.

Jeremy: If I've done my job at all with this episode, you have not heard any of the coughs that are about to be happening behind the scenes as I recover from Covid for the first time. [00:01:00] I'd never had it up until Valentine's Day caught it this year. And

Zach: Happy Valentine's

Jeremy: So it was very, very

Zach: I'm so happy for.

Jeremy: Very romantic. In my own bedroom by myself with a mask on watching Disney plus.

Zach: What an intimate thing for Valentine's Day.

Jeremy: yes. The gift that keeps on giving as it turns out.

But since then, , I'm now two weeks out from having caught this thing and still for the most part, feel like crap all the time.

Tired, run down, coughing a lot. and testing negative. So, you know, don't worry, uh, go ahead and come close. Give me hugs, do all the things, but

Zach: Nope. Nope.

Jeremy: feeling, uh, feeling terrible. And then as a result, trying to listen to my body. Trying to decide when to push, when not to push. You know, do I go for a walk? Do I go for a hike?

Do I go to the gym? Because mentally, I'm reverting, , the depression kicks in. The negative thoughts that you're not good enough, you'll never get anywhere. All that stuff comes [00:02:00] up. And so I start wrestling with, , am I letting myself off the hook? Am I being too easy on myself?

Cuz I was sick. Poor baby. You're sick. You should just rest and just sit on the couch and, , eat good foods and stuff. But the other part of me is like, get off your ass. Come on. Just go get it. . And so this, the interview we have today is perfectly timed cuz it's all about motivation, but also about listening to your body.

, I'm right on the cusp of both right now.

Zach: Yeah, and I'm gonna be the one to tell you, and I'm sure anyone who's listening right now is you're not lazy, you're listening to your body, and it's better to take the time to get better than it is to try and really push your body and take, , three, four weeks of being sick at a mild level. I'm just back from Disney, so, you know, you know, the number of things that are probably floating through my body that my immune system is, is fighting off right now is, is incredible. But one of them happened to, uh, nail me with a sinus infection. So I'm currently struggling a little bit right now, [00:03:00] and I got home last night and was like, okay, I'm gonna go to bed.

I'm gonna get up tomorrow. I'm gonna drink coffee. I'm not gonna go to the gym, As anyone who listens to the show knows I go to a CrossFit gym and the CrossFit Open, which is basically a worldwide competition where everyone who does CrossFit does the same workout, and then you punch in your score. So you see where you stand in the world. So like I know I'm like 200 million thousand out of 200 million thousand in one people.

Jeremy: Right.

Zach: And today was the very last day that I could, , go and get the workout in so that it would count.

So of course, I'm like sitting here like hemming and haw and I even like reached out to, to my coach Kayla, and was like, can you judge me please? , cuz somebody has to judge you and watch you and validate the score. I was like, can you judge me? She's like, yeah, of course. Just come in for the noon class.

I'm like walking around the house like, I am sick. This is a bad thing. I need to rest. I need to recover. , but it was the [00:04:00] last day and I needed my scored account, so I went in and did it

Jeremy: Oh my God. You gave into the ego,

Zach: I didn't give into the ego as much as I gave into. This was a goal of mine to do the open and I want to complete the goal. So it's about the journey

Jeremy: Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.

Zach: and I am, I'm accomplishing the goal by going along the journey. Now I'm gonna pay for it for the next couple of days, cuz I really do feel like I wanna curl up and die.


Jeremy: Yeah. You and me both.

Zach: so I'm happy that you listened to your body.

Jeremy: Mm-hmm.

Zach: Because I didn't, and thank God there is a snowstorm tonight in upstate New York, and I just got the message that all the CrossFit classes are canceled tomorrow. So I was like contemplating going in the morning, and then I got the email like saying everything was canceled.

I was like, ah, yeah, I could sleep in tomorrow. I don't have to let my ego drive

Jeremy: 24 extra minutes of sleep tomorrow, cuz you'll still get up at 4 58 in the morning or whatever.

Zach: more than like,

All right. Well, I'm, when [00:05:00] I'm not sick though, anyone who listens, knows that, like, I have high cholesterol for the most part, and when I say hi, it's like double normal. Like, my doctor was like, yeah, you're gonna die in like 10 years.

Jeremy: don't, you don't do anything halfway. You're all in.

Zach: No, I know. It was like, I was like, yeah, no, that, that seems right.

, And my doctor wanted to manage it immediately with the statin. I was like, hold, please hold, let me change my diet first. So I basically eat vegan nine 80 to 90% of the time. Not because like I have any moral dilemmas with, you know, eating animal products. Literally, if I eat vegan, my cholesterol is managed, so like my life will extend longer.

By eating vegan. , last week though, I was at Disney World. I did not eat vegan. I eat a lot of ice cream. There was a big Turkey leg in my hand at one point, like it was fabulous. If I did my cholesterol level right now, they'd probably be like, dude, you're gonna die.

Jeremy: Six, eight months. That's all you get after a trip to Disney.[00:06:00]

Zach: Yeah, so I am, I am all in on, , eating vegan again to manage my health, to make sure that I don't have to take statin. So it is really interesting having this conversation around. Physically working out because as I'm eating vegan, like I have to find appropriate protein sources cuz I can't get them for meat. And, and having this conversation about veganism and the right diet for each individual, right? Like I eat this way because it is the best diet for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle and live as long as possible.

It's not the right diet for everyone, right? You gotta eat what's right for you. But Jeremy, you're a vegetarian, so you're, you're not quite vegan, but how do you get along with vegetarianism?

Jeremy: I, I, I won't pretend it's easy, right? I mean, uh, I, I know that I, uh, come up short on my protein goals pretty much every day, and I know that I only get close because I supplement like crazy with protein shakes and, and bars and things like that. Outside of that, you know, you have to learn, you have to learn to live off of beans and nuts and, and lots and lots of eggs.

And man, [00:07:00] nobody gets sick of eggs faster than this guy. I don't care how many ways you think you can prepare them. When you're eating eggs two, three times a day, the last thing you wanna do is put another goddamn egg in your face. So it's not easy,

Zach: I, I wish I had that problem.

Jeremy: It's, it's so not

Zach: eat those.

Jeremy: And that's, uh, that's, you know, our guest is gonna talk about this, the fact that, , veganism, vegetarianism have gotten a lot easier for the general population in the last 20 years or so.

I've, I've been a vegetarian for 25 ish years, and early on it was very difficult. But now the food industry has figured out that there's a market for this. So they make all kinds of processed, , garbage foods that are disguised as healthier because they're vegetarian, but they're still not really food.

They're still boxed up, processed garbage. So it is, it is challenging , to take this on unless you're someone who you know, Zach, you do, you go all in on something, right? You, you dive in. What's the best way, [00:08:00] what are the 47 books I can read to do this? Most people don't take that approach. Most people. try to just get by moment to moment, meal to meal, and it is not an easy lifestyle to, to sort of half ass.

Zach: No, and honestly, the thing that has saved me in eating this way is just frozen food, like literally frozen veggie.

Jeremy: Mm-hmm.

Zach: I get it. They're not as healthy as fresh vegetables, but you know what?

They're the next best thing. And for convenience factor, it works really well. And then, , as a last resort, like I have canned vegetables, like all over the place, like it's easy, just pop 'em open and eat 'em. But once a week, like I do have to go treat myself with like a beyond or an impossible burger and like give myself the sensation that I'm like eating something really, really good and I will put that processed garbage in my face because it does serve a purpose to like feed that need that you, that you've got, right, that desire for, for some real food.

But it keeps you eating within the boundaries of what diet, whatever diet you're trying to eat [00:09:00] in.

Jeremy: Exactly. Well, whether you're getting over covid or a sinus infection or something else, and you're struggling to get your mindset right or listen to your body appropriately, or maybe you're struggling with what to put on your plate if you're considering becoming a vegan or a vegetarian.

All of it comes down to mindset. And so we are joined this week by Leah Kutz,

who as it turns out, is a professional bodybuilder and creator and coach of soulful vegan fitness, and our conversation began with talking about how important mindset is in going after whatever you're trying to do.

Leah Coutts :

Yeah, I really think that life is an inner journey, like we experience life outwardly, we are in the world, but really the way that we operate in the world comes from how we operate inside, and I think a lot of our mindset, It's empowering in a way because we have a choice about how we create our mindset, but it can be really disempowering if you don't know that, because otherwise social conditioning, cultural conditioning, belief [00:10:00] systems passed from others, past traumas, all of that creates our operating system by default.

So it's empowering cause we have a choice, but if we don't know we have that choice or how. Manipulate, that's a terrible word, but , how to manipulate our own internal, um, you know, operating system. Then we're gonna be operating through default, which is never going to serve us.

Zach: So operating through default, that sounds like an obstacle.

in many, many ways. And you work with a lot of people who, try and shift their mindset , what are some of those default modes or those obstacles, the common obstacles that people face when they're trying to do something they want to do, but just can't bring themselves to do it or change their mindset?

Leah Coutts : Yeah. I. There's, there's so much in this. So the first thing that comes to mind is just our comfort zone is designed to keep us safe. Yes. So the things that we do when we're on autopilot can be really useful. How you brush your teeth, being able to have a chat while [00:11:00] you're driving your car, like being able to do things on autopilot is really useful, except when we are operating through our defaults because we feel insecure or unsafe.

If we're out of our comfort zone, that's when it becomes a challenge. So that might be. I really want to lose some body fat or get healthy or join the gym or get fit, but my operating system says I have an identity as an unhealthy person, or I can never lose weight, or I'm someone who struggles to lose weight.

So whatever our belief systems are that influence our behaviors, that's where kind of the places that we have space to play is what are the beliefs underneath the actions. and what are the hopes and dreams? Because if our goals, our desires, our dreams are at odds with what we believe about ourselves.

That's where self-sabotage comes in.

Jeremy: I was just gonna ask you about the, the things we believe about ourselves, the stories we tell ourselves, because I think a lot of. . [00:12:00] That's really what gets in the way, is this idea that, oh, I've always been this way, so I'll never be able to change. I'll never achieve bodybuilder status, for example. I'll never do this thing.

So rather than, punishing myself for the next year, five years, whatever, to attain this thing that I will never get to anyways, I'm gonna have a second Snickers bar. So I, I Is that kind of what holds us back is those stories and those limiting.

Leah Coutts : Yeah, I love the, I love the saying don't believe everything you think,

But I also love reframing it into, if you're gonna believe what you think, what are you thinking? Because then again, that's empowering. I love. empowerment is a word that's a little bit overused nowadays, I feel, and it's used in so many different ways.

So just to give a little bit of context, the way I see that word is if we have choice, then that allows us to. Move in a way that is in alignment with us. And I'm purposely avoiding the word control [00:13:00] because that has a lot to do with self sabotage, we want to control the outcome, and this comes right back to our reptilian brain, our primal brain that wants to keep us alive is if we can control things, then we are going to be safe.

We're not gonna be under threat. and it's such an illusion, but what is our perception of control? It's what we know. So again, we're back in our comfort zone because if it's what we know, I know I'm alive. My, my subconscious says if I put Netflix on, eat this bowl of ice cream and stay safe on the couch, no one is gonna kill me.

Right. That is such a, and we are fortunate in a very privileged world for that to be true most often. Yeah. So I just wanna acknowledge the privilege of what I just said then. . But you know, it's about if we perceive the comfort zone is I'm alive and I'm not under threat, let's stay there. Unfortunately, our subconscious brain isn't quite future oriented enough to say, but [00:14:00] that will lead to a slow death because of all of the lifestyle diseases it can lead to.

That'll lead to an unfulfilling life because you're not pursuing what actually is in your heart, and you're not living in alignment with your values, which is a very, it's kind of a death while you're alive, right? Like, mm-hmm. . You exist, but you don't live.

Jeremy: Mm-hmm.

Leah Coutts : But all our reptilian brain cares about is, are we living breath?

and we don't know that that's how we operate because it's so insidious. It's so subconscious and comfort. I mean, it's comfortable by by default. So I think when it comes to what we tell ourselves, it's often, it's not an excuse, it's a belief, but it's because we are hardwired for survival.

Zach: I wanna dig in just a little bit more on that because , the beliefs that we do have, whether they are something that's been hardwired or something that we're trying to put into the system, so we have a new belief I've always [00:15:00] struggled with, and I, I know a lot of other people do too, but like those belief.

How can I even figure out if they are true or false? And then how do you rewire it? How do you change a belief that, I've had for 43 years since the day I was born? you don't just change that overnight. So how, how do you help people with that? Or how do you do it yourself?

Leah Coutts : You know, you just said something that is so key that also speaks to how society operates. I know this is not how you meant it. We're not gonna change it overnight. Mm-hmm. . And I think so many times it can be, if we can't do it now, I'm not gonna do it at all. Or if it's not everything now, it's nothing now.

Which is also a form of self-sabotage as well. Yeah. If it's in the two hard basket or if it's gonna take five years, 10 years, then the comfort zone often wins. So the first thing I would say is, it is, it can be a long game. Sometimes it's [00:16:00] instant. It depends on an event. Sometimes an event happens and your, your identity's changed forever.

But sometimes it is a, it is a slower process. So when it comes to how do we know what to believe, I really like the idea of. . It's true because you believe it. It's such, it's such an old saying. I know if you can, or you can't, you're right. . Mm-hmm. . You know, if you believe you can or you can't, you're right.

But I think that if we question the stories, especially if they're future oriented, I won't be able to do this. , is that true? How do you know that's true? And what our brain does is it goes, where is all the evidence that supports what I'm believing? If, for example, I am an overweight person, and if I can take that to the extreme, I'm fat.

Yeah. That's a, that's a belief a lot of people hold, or a story they tell themselves over again, I'm fat. It becomes, if you say, I am something. You have just [00:17:00] said that is your identity, and that's a really difficult belief system to shift because your inherent self is attached to being that thing. I'm fat, I don't want to be fat, but I've just decided I am.

So first of all, it's untangling or removing the I am from the story. Yeah. I am someone who has some extra weight I would like to lose. That is a very different story time. So the first thing is how do we separate ourselves from the story a little bit in that way. So I'm a human being, having a certain experience.

I may want to change that certain experience, but all of a sudden it's on a little bit more shaky ground than I am is like that massive tree with like really strong roots unshakeable. So the next thing is , what is the evidence? And what I like about this is if I say, I struggle with losing weight and I use that just because it's a prevalent desire in society.

[00:18:00] I am someone who struggles to lose weight. The evidence, I've been overweight since I was a kid. I am size X in clothing. I've never been size X in clothing. I've had diets that haven't worked in the past. I've, there's all this evidence that supports that story. But what if you then go, that person was the same size as me, and she did.

Or he managed to make this shift or they did these things and you start to place the evidence on other people. If other people who were like you or that you identify with in some way has done something that's evidence, so then your. Connection to what you want becomes more possible because you're seeing others do it.

But that's often a conscious choice. We need to look for evidence that goes against our current story. Mm-hmm. . But if we choose the current story because it's our comfort zone and it keeps us safe and it's not threatening, and I'll just sit on the couch and eat my [00:19:00] ice cream. You can see. Like there's, there's a disconnect there.

So I guess it comes back to we need to know that we have choice and that we can seek alternate actions. I'm not saying it's easy at all, and I know many of your guests and I'm gonna say the same thing, but there's a, there's a trend in many insights from the people on your podcast about question and.

question and reflect if you have this story question. Why do I think that's true? Yeah. Or does this have to be true? What happens if this is wrong? I love that question. What happens if this is wrong? Mm-hmm. . Yeah, because we often just, we agree with ourselves, you know, and we tr we trust that what we're saying is true even when we hold ourselves back.

What if that's wrong? That is the most exciting question to, to daydream about, right?

Jeremy: Absolutely.

Leah Coutts : Yeah. One of my favorite things to do, and one [00:20:00] thing I get I recommend strongly that my clients do is daydream, because the thought of if money were no object, if time was no object, if resources were, were not, and if, if we take away everything, who would you want to be?

What would you want to do and why? and if we can get rid of all that social conditioning, all the past traumas, all of the objections we put on ourselves, cuz we're just daydreaming what would be possible.

Jeremy: And that's fun because you start to look for the evidence of why it is possible and all of a sudden the steps present themselves on how to get there. I love, I love that you talked a lot about, uh, about the term. I am. So let's talk a little bit about who you are. You've, you've got a lot of, uh, background in this obviously.

Body building is a, a big part of your background, fitness coach, all of the things. Tell us about what got you into all of this and, uh, a little bit about your back.

Leah Coutts : Yeah, thank you. So I fell in [00:21:00] love with fitness when I was 16. I happened to have a boyfriend at the time who was rather overweight and so he wanted to make that change and I just fell in love with the gym. Um, I think that as a teenager we're always told how we should look. , and that's been a theme throughout my adult life.

Talk about like conditioning and stories, right? How you are allowed to look as a woman, especially like in my experience being woman. A woman. So I started to get muscles because I loved the gym, and then I had a lot of injuries. I had a lot of surgeries, and that identity was taken away from me. So, Identified with my six pack.

My self-worth was connected to my muscles in my early twenties. It wasn't a healthy place to be because I've had extremely complex history of injuries, and there were years when that was taken away from me. And as soon as your identity is attached to something that can be taken away from [00:22:00] you, that is not a healthy.

So I was told you will never pursue your fitness goals. You'll never be able to do a pull up again. You'll never be able to squat again. I was told by the time you're 40, you'll need two hip replacements. I'm 40 next year and my hips are functional

Jeremy: Very nice. Very nice.

Leah Coutts : there was something in me that. I just knew that I love movement, like it's in my heart and soul that I need to move.

And so I chose not to accept others' limitations, and this is where the stories come in, like who gets to decide what we do with our lives? And why should I take their, even though they're medical professionals, like why should I accept those limitations? So long story short, fast forward to this year. I stepped on the body building stage for the first time when I was told I would never be able to do it.

So I feel like I was living my, 23 year old dream. But really one of the main drivers was [00:23:00] nobody gets to decide what you do with your life except you and the choices you make to problem solve. It was a 16, 15, 16 year journey from when I first wanted to compete to actually hitting the stage.

I could have become a couch potato and kept myself safe like everybody wanted me to. But my mental health like tanked through that time. Mm-hmm. , like chronic pain, no answers. Nobody knowing how to fix me, being told I wouldn't be able to pursue the things I loved. It was a really rough time for so long, but what kept me going was I'm still alive.

Like, let's find some answers. I'm not giving up on this. The time is gonna pass. . Yeah. So I can be the same place I am in 10 years, or I can make tiny shifts and learn how to walk without pain. Learn how to sit without pain, learn how to just move myself in a healthy way and just start right from the basics.

You know? It's, it's so, that message [00:24:00] is like so close to my heart that. , the time is gonna pass anyway. What do we want to do and why not just pursue, I'm not saying go all in and do something crazy and then you're back to where you started. I, that was me for many years, but like incrementally work towards who you are becoming, how you are expressing and moving yourself in the world.

There's, I'm just so excited about living intentionally. I think

Jeremy: Yes, for sure. For sure.

Zach: yeah, I, I, living intentionally is definitely. Something took me a long time to fi like figure out, but now that it's here, it it is, it is really wonderful. , I know you mentioned injuries, and I know for myself, whenever I injure myself, I, I don't change my eating style and. The weight adds up and like eating, is it, it's not just about moving your body, right? There's, there's an eating component and you advocate for, or you eat a vegan diet, right? Mm-hmm.

Yeah. But there's no one right diet for everyone. So I'm just curious if you could talk about, why you eat vegan and like what [00:25:00] your, there's no right diet, but what, what do you recommend for people? From the, yeah, from the eating

Leah Coutts : perspective. So from the vegan side, in my experience earlier I mentioned sometimes there's just an event and your identity changes forever.

So some people, if they're moving into a plant-based diet, they're learning about it, they're trialing things. It's a very slow transition as they're learning right to, to eat more healthly or differently. For me, I'm vegan for animal rights and ethics reasons. And so just overnight it was. animals are not food and animal byproducts are not food.

And so it was just an instant, not food, so I'm not eating it. So what on earth do I do? ? And I came from a paleo background and then a keto background. I was terrified of carbs. And so when I first became vegan, I was. , I dunno how to eat and everything. I'm [00:26:00] learning about carbs not being the enemy, goes against everything that I learned and at that time believed.

And it was, it was terrifying, but I was like, there's no other option for me because my iden, it was just such a sudden shift. So I would say if somebody is looking to transition, It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It can be, can I add a vegan meal once a day and then can I switch out a snack to this type of snack?

Or can I, instead of having a burger with animal products, have a plant-based burger instead and make it a slow transition. And that's something that I help clients with who are not yet vegan, but who are wanting to operate in that space. It's something. Support. The one thing that annoys me is society does not set us up to eat well.

Jeremy: Mm.

Leah Coutts : And the, and I'm talking Western society, um mm-hmm. , and it's easy to [00:27:00] make poor choices. And this now is including veganism. So veganism used to be a healthier option by default, because there weren't any processed products in that space, which made it a lot harder to do, but now, Like the , the food industry's just taken over veganism, so like ice cream, biscuits, chocolate, processed sausages and burgers and all these things.

It's wonderful for animals, but it's not nec. I'm really concerned that in 10, 20 years time, all these studies are gonna come out that connect veganism with lifestyle illnesses just as we have with a standard Western diet. But it doesn't have to be that way. , it's just so regardless of the diet you choose, I think it's important to know that by default it is not, I keep using that word, sorry, , but it's not necessarily going to be a healthy choice.

Mm-hmm. . So you have to have some sort of [00:28:00] education around what we're fueling our bodies with when it comes to being injured and recovery. The one thing many people who have been on a fat loss journey do is they. Reduce their calories even more because they're not active, which is one of the worst things you can do.

Cause that doesn't aid recovery. You just put your body in a more stressful place. Whereas if you're not active and you find yourself eating or making less healthy choices, which is, and often the other side of things, it's difficult cause you're not moving. You're not moving. Therefore you reach for the comfort food.

I would just say that there's so many ways to choose a healthier version. So instead of, for example, ice cream, whether that's. Dairy or plant-based, why not make some ice cream and blend up some frozen fruit, maybe a splash of soy milk, whatever flavors you want there. And it's just like ice cream, but it's literally just fruit and it's so delicious.

Mm-hmm. .

Jeremy: That's

Leah Coutts : So it's a, yeah, finding your [00:29:00] comfort food, foods, and then finding ways to, um, make it yourself with whole ingredients. I.

Jeremy: I imagine this has a lot to do with what you teach in your program. So can you tell us about soulful vegan fitness?

Leah Coutts : Yes, thank you. So soulful vegan fitness is really aimed at the whole person. So of course I work with vegans people who are plant-based or wanting to transition in that space because it aligns with my values and I feel like I'm very value led and so I need to have that congruency, um, and integrity within myself.

But the word soulful is really important because fitness can always, can be. You'll be better when you have a six pack. You will have more self-worth when you lose all this weight. Like there's this inherent messaging that you will be better when, whereas soulful vegan fitness is really about who are you?

and how do you move with integrity? How do you look after your physical health while you are also [00:30:00] strengthening your mental health? Like what are the habits and who are you becoming in your day-today and how does that align with your values? So it's really whole person focused, which is where the mindset and the dreaming and all of those wonderful things, uh, come in.

Zach: Our thanks to Leah Coots. . She's the creator of Soulful Vegan Fitness. You can find links to her and her work in the show notes for this episode@thefitmask.com. Jeremy, I just, I feel like a broken record. I really do.

Jeremy: We do talk about this.

Zach: Every single person that we interview, every time we talk about being better mentally, physically, emotionally, It all comes down to mindset, like what you tell yourself and what you believe about yourself is so critical, and I, I, I just can't emphasize enough how, you wanna make any meaningful change in your life, you've gotta take a look at your current mindset and start [00:31:00] to adjust it.

Jeremy: I loved too when the conversation steered toward what you believe and why you believe it and how to know if it's true. And I love how she said maybe it's enough to believe it. And you know, when we talk about questioning our beliefs all the time, but if we're gonna believe that, you know, if I'm gonna believe that I'm a piece of crap and I'm being lazy, and it's not covid that's keeping me from the gym, it's just falling into my old habits.

It's true because I. , but it can also be true that I'm sick and I need to recover,

Zach: Mm-hmm.

Jeremy: can be just as true it. So whatever you believe can be real, but just spend some time with it and decide, am I doing this because it's playing to my comfort zone? Am I doing it because it plays to the old habits and the old stories that I want to tell myself or do I believe it because I'm willing to try something?

Zach: I take back everything I said earlier. You're just being lazy.

Jeremy: dick.[00:32:00]

Zach: as he as, as a laugh, send you into a coughing fit. You are in great shape, my friend. You should go. You should go work out

Jeremy: go for a run.

Zach: keep plugging away as hard as you always do, like you're fine, you're good. You

Jeremy: All, all good. All good.

Zach: Another thing I really liked was, you know, all the doctors who told her not to do something and she went ahead and did it anyway. And is wildly successful and got on stage like she wanted to. Like I just think that's really cool and there's so many times where, People will, you know, give you bad advice cuz they wanna hold you back. Or we ourselves have like a victim mindset or mentality that holds us back from doing something cuz we don't think we're good enough, we can't do it or anything like that. So I, I, I love that part on like, hey, you just decide what to do with your life and go fucking do it.

Jeremy: and like, again, like we say over and over again, it doesn't have to be this major transformation overnight. It's just the little [00:33:00] things you do every day. that are a little better than yesterday, that lead to a better tomorrow. Those, those tiny steps lead to huge changes over time. And in her case it went from, , just being in love with the gym to literally being on stage as a bodybuilder.

, and it took her many, many years. She didn't decide I'm gonna do this, and then a week later go, well, fuck this. This is too hard. I quit. She devoted years to this. So I, I just hope that that. Drive that message home even more. That it is just the little things that you can try to do a little better every day that ultimately lead to those big changes over time.

Zach: All right, so I'm gonna assume that your editing job was spectacular and nobody ever heard a

Jeremy: not a


Zach: though, even though this episode has taken us twice as long to record as any other episode because we've had to pause for coughing breaks.

Jeremy: Thank you. Covid and Zionist infections. Uh, alright, well there's a lot more to say about all of this and we will do that in the next edition of our newsletter. I hope you'll sign up for it. You can do that at our website, the fit [00:34:00] mess.com. . That is also where we will be back next week with a brand new episode.

Thank you so much for listen.

Zach: See everyone.


Leah CouttsProfile Photo

Leah Coutts

Health & Fitness Coach

Leah is an Australian and International professional natural figure champion (bodybuilding) and online health and fitness coach with a doctorate in mindset transformation. Leah overcame over 15 years of complex body issues and injuries, misdiagnoses, incorrect surgeries and chronic pain to show what's possible when we don't accept others' limitations for us and pursue our passions. After years of exploration into understanding self-sabotage, belief systems, and perfectionism, Leah is committed to supporting others to live in alignment with their dreams and to create sustainable healthy lifestyles that make them happen. She is a certified nutritionist and fitness coach who specialises in those who choose to live a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, and is the creator and coach of Soulful Vegan Fitness.