The Rich Roll Podcast Episode: How Charlie Jabaley Lost 120lbs & Overcame a Brain Tumor To Become An Athlete

How Charlie Jabaley Lost 120lbs & Overcame a Brain Tumor To Become An Athlete

By: Unleash Your Best Self | Rich Roll | Bestselling Author, Ultra-Endurance Athlete & Wellness Evangelist

Published:

01/08/2018

Duration:

1:57:52

Advisory Rating:

Description:

“I knew I had to change everything in my life if I wanted to live.” Charlie Jabaley He dreamed of being a professional athlete. But Charlie Jabaley was always the fat kid, picked last for kickball. No matter what, he just couldn’t stop gaining weight. Resigned to this fate, he abandoned his athletic dream early. Throwing himself into business instead, it wasn’t long before CEO Charlie was born — an alter ego he created at age 13 that would soon become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By his mid-twenties, Charlie had overcome tremendous odds to achieve extraordinary success in the music business, collecting Grammys and counting Benjamins managing a stable of major hip-hop recording artists like 2 Chainz. The very model of the modern millennial entrepreneur, Charlie’s path provided the high gloss lifestyle of his wildest imagination — a world apart from his humble beginnings. What it didn’t provide? Health, happiness, or an authentic sense of wholeness. On the outside, Charlie was crushing it. On the inside, he was dying. A life-long junk food addict, he had swelled to over 300 pounds by the age of 29. But he wasn’t just morbidly obese. And he wasn’t just chronically depressed. Charlie Jabaley was lost. His health in rapid decline, he tried countless diets, but always gained the weight right back — plus a little extra. He tried running. He even ran three marathons. Ironically, Charlie nonetheless continued to pack the pounds on, rewarding his training sessions with shame-inducing binges. Out of control, Charlie’s waistline only expanded in lockstep with each successive 26.2 effort. Deep down, Charlie knew he would forever remain a prisoner to his seemingly hopeless food addiction until he could summon the courage to face the emotional dysfunction, mental imbalance and spiritual malaise that had been driving his unhealthy lifestyle choices for as long as he could remember. The inside job terrified Charlie. But it’s always darkest before the dawn. At the nadir of his hopelessness, Charlie awoke one day to find his bedroom spinning before suddenly collapsing to the floor. A visit to the doctor only brought more bad news. Charlie Jabaley has a brain tumor. But rather than treat his diagnosis as tragic, Charlie decided to embrace it as a gift — the push he needed to once and for all to face himself honestly, take willing inventory of his life, and finally undertake the measures necessary to save himself from himself. Charlie Jabaley only had to change one thing — everything. One year ago, he walked away from the company he started, leaving millions of dollars on the table to decamp Atlanta for Los Angeles. Completely restructuring his relationship with food, he’s lost over 120 pounds and kept it off. Without medication, his tumor has shrunk to almost nothing. And Charlie has finally achieved his lifelong dream, transforming himself from executive (CEO Charlie) to athlete (Charlie Rocket), training for his first Ironman in New Zealand this March. For the first time in his life, he’s both healthy and happy. But mostly, Charlie Jabaley is free. What he did, how he did it and why is the subject of today’s conversation. It’s a powerful exchange with an everyman hero who wants you to know that you do not struggle alone.  That it’s never too late to change. And no matter how far you have drifted from the person you aspire to be, there is both hope and help. Welcome to 2018 people. This is the new normal. Peace + Plants, P.S. The video version of the podcast is also available on YouTube.

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“True behavior change is really identity change.” James Clear What stands in the way of becoming the person you aspire to be? Maybe it’s circumstances. Access or opportunity. For many its bad habits, exacerbated by the unsuccessful war waged to replace them with good habits — a rinse and repeat process that generally leads to failure and discouragement. Why is it so hard to overcome negative patterns? Today’s guest contends the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Evolving from stuck and unsatisfied into the person you wish to become is equal parts art and science. Science helps explain the root causes of our behaviors and how to modify them. But the application of said principles into practice is very much an art. Today we explore the often misunderstood terrain of behavior change with author James Clear, a man who has spent the better part of his career attempting to understand and master the art and science of human habit formation and decision-making, A regular speaker at Fortune 500 companies, James’ work is used by teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. He has been featured in the New York Times, Entrepreneur, Time, and on CBS This Morning. His website jamesclear.com receives millions of visitors each month. Hundreds of thousands subscribe to his popular e-mail newsletter. And over 10,000 leaders, managers, coaches, and teachers have built better habits in life and work via his Habits Academy online program. James recently penned Atomic Habits, a New York Times bestselling deep dive into evidence-based self-improvement. A comprehensive primer on what actually works when it comes to behavior change, it zeroes in on the transformative power of making small changes. Packed with implementable takeaways (including many strategies I have myself employed with great success), it’s a must read for anyone looking to take their life to the next level. This is a highly practical conversation that explores the psychology and neuroscience behind behavior change. Specific topics include the problem with goals. We discuss the relationship between overly ambitious goals and failure — why most people make the mistake of optimizing for the finish line when we should instead focus on getting to the starting line. James explains why establishing systems are critical; and why focus should be placed on practice over performance. We also cover why it’s important to move beyond temporal, emotional drivers like motivation into practical action. Why you’re more likely to act yourself into feeling rather than feel yourself into action. Or, as I like to say, mood follows action. My biggest takeaway from this exchange is James’ compelling dissertation on why we are best served by concentrating on identity. In other words, long-term results are best derived not from achieving the goals we set for ourselves, but instead by slowly adopting and inhabiting the daily practices and characteristics of the person we aspire to become. Powerful and potentially game-changing, this conversation will reframe how you contemplate and act upon your ambitions. So break out the pen and paper and please enjoy Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  a title="iTunes RRP" href="http://bit.

“If we don’t allow ourselves to be imperfect we will never get good.” Guru Singh Welcome to another edition Guru Corner — a spiritual version of my popular Coach’s Corner series featuring my favorite teacher on all things mystic and metaphysical, Guru Singh. Fusing Eastern mysticism with Western pragmatism, Guru Singh is a celebrated third-generation Sikh yogi and master spiritual teacher who has been studying and teaching Kundalini Yoga for more than 40 years. He is the author of several books, a powerful lecturer and behind-the-scenes guide to many a luminary, including Fortune 500 CEOs, athletes, and artists. A peer of rock legends like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, Guru Singh is also a supremely talented musician who began his recording career on Warner Bros’ Reprise label in the 1960s. When he isn’t recording tracks with people like Seal, he’s bringing down the house on the daily at Yoga West, his Los Angeles home base. Over the last couple years, I have grown quite close with Guru Singh, a beautiful and highly relatable consciousness I’m proud to call friend, family and mentor. It’s a privilege to share more of his powerful wisdom with you today. A companion piece to my recent podcast with author and parenting expert KJ Dell’Antonia (RRP #396), today’s conversation is an intimate exploration into the art of parenting through the lens of child rearing as spiritual practice. We discuss the challenges of raising a generation required to face problems created preceding generations. We pit the perils of social media against the importance of digital fluency. We explore the importance of cultivating a healthy sense of self amidst the chaos of family life; how to reframe failure as opportunity; and the importance of balancing discipline while encouraging daydreaming. Communication is paramount, so we dissect strategies for keeping it open and honest. None of us parent perfectly. But the way forward is to better master ourselves, our actions and reactions. My hope is that this exchange will empower you with some tools to do just that. Like my conversation with KJ, there is plenty of wisdom here for everyone, irrespective of your child rearing status. So even if you don’t have children and never plan to, I encourage you to listen or watch with an open mind. Note: If you missed our initial conversations, start with episode 267 and then enjoy episodes 332, 368 and 393. Final Note: The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube HERE (just make sure to subscribe!) Let the master class resume. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

“Charity means love. It means to look after your neighbor in need and get nothing in return.” Scott Harrison From the outside looking in, he was living the dream. Killer SoHo loft. Private jets to exotic locales. Rolex, cover model girlfriend and cash. Lots of cash. But ten years living extravagantly as a decadent nightclub promoter in New York City took it’s toll. By 28, Scott Harrison had become the worst person he knew. Morally bankrupt and desperate to rediscover his sense of purpose, Scott decided it was time for a drastic change. So he sold all his belongings and decamped NYC for a year spent volunteering aboard a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa. Abroad, Harrison witnessed levels of poverty and illness he never knew existed. As one year turned into two, he came to understand that many of the diseases their group treated were waterborne, easily preventable with access to clean drinking water — a basic need sorely lacking across vast swaths of the undeveloped world. Upon returning to New York in 2006, Scott turned his full attention to the global water crisis and the (then) 1.1 billion people living without access to clean water. The manifestation of that commitment is charity: water — a revolutionary for-purpose endeavor that to date has raised over $3000 million to bring clean drinking water to more than 8.4 million people all across the world. Equally impressive is the extent to which Scott has quite literally reinvented and re-energized how we give and how we think about giving. He did it by creating an aspirational brand. He did it by restoring public trust in charity. And he did it by leveraging technology to deeply connect each and every giver with the gift’s specific result and impact. Simply put, Scott Harrison is one of the most impressive people I have ever met. His inspiring story from lost to found is legend — an astounding example of what can be achieved when a life pivots from self-serving to selfless service. Scott’s story can be found in his riveting new memoir, Thirst, which vividly recounts Scott’s redemptive tale of transformation and the twists and turns that built charity: water into one of the most trusted, disruptive, innovative and admired nonprofits in the world. Debuting at #7 on last week’s NY Times bestseller list, it’s a must read page-tuner, the profits of which funnel right back to (you guessed it) charity: water.** Picking up where left off in Scott’s first appearance on the podcast (episode 305 from July 2017), today we dive deeper into previously unexplored aspects of Scott’s personal evolution. We discuss progress made by his organization and the work that remains. We discuss the important role faith has played in his journey. He explains the true meaning of charity — and the sense of purpose and personal fulfillment that goes hand in hand with service. We end with a call to action. And a reminder that we all possess the power to make the world a better place. Because nobody should fear work that has no end. Here’s my call to action: in celebration of my 52nd birthday, help me raise $100,000 by December 31, 2018 — 100% of which will be deployed to bring clean water projects to over 3,300 people for the very first time. Projects that will save lives for generations to come. Specifically, I’m asking that you donate $1 for every year that I have been drinking clean water – a pledge of $52 ...

“You can have everything. But if how you see everything is wrong, you have nothing.” Sacha Gervasi Today I sit down with actor Jamie Dornan and filmmaker Sacha Gervasi, a man I love dearly and have known for over 20 years, to discuss their recent collaboration — My Dinner With Hervé, a brilliant new film premiering October 20 on HBO. Marking his 2nd appearance on the show (his first being episode 249 two years ago), Sacha’s credits include scripting The Terminal, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. In 2012, Sacha directed Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins and last year helmed November Criminals featuring Ansel Elgort and Chloë Grace Moretz. But Sacha is perhaps best known for Anvil! The Story of Anvil, his Emmy and Independent Spirit Award winning, real-life Spinal Tap rockumentary about an also-ran Canadian heavy metal band that many critics consider one of the greatest films ever made about rock and roll. Anvil explored what it means to never give up on a dream. Hervé picks up where Anvil leaves off, exploring the darker aspects of lofty dreams realized in a tragic comedy that lays bare the power of unchecked ego, addiction, and unhealed childhood trauma in fueling self-destruction. A look at the wild life of French actor Hervé Villechaize, who famously played Tattoo in the hit ’70s TV series Fantasy Island, the film is based upon one insane night Sacha spent with Hervé (played by Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) just one week before Hervé’s suicide, and the emergence of an unlikely friendship that permanently alters both of their lives. His very first script, it’s a movie Sacha began writing over 20 years ago. Both hilarious and sad, beautiful and surprisingly emotional, Hervé is hands down Sacha’s best work to date. Peter Dinklage is a tour de force. And Jamie Dornan — as Danny Tate, a journalist loosely based on Sacha — delivers in an elegantly nuanced, powerful performance that will leave you with a new appreciation for this actor’s depth and talent. Jamie is of course most recognized for his portrayal as Christian Grey from the 50 Shades of Grey movies. But if that’s all you know about this young man, you’re in for a delightful surprise. I first came across Jamie’s work several years ago by way of The Fall, a dark psychological thriller series co-starring Gillian Anderson, and was immediately struck by his keen ability to evoke pathos and empathy for a seemingly irredeemable character. But Hervé is a game changer for Jamie — a role I’m certain will leave unsuspecting audiences with a new and grand appreciation for this actor’s considerable talents. On the surface, Hervé is about how a chance encounter between two people in various states of desperation find solace in each other’s pain. One survives to embark on a new life. The other does not. Between the lines, the movie — and this conversation — is about not giving up on a dream. Hervé risked everything to become a star. And it took 20 years of persistence for Sacha to see this vision realized. But it’s how one navigates success and failure that ultimately determines that which we truly seek — fulfillment, purpose, and of course happiness. Today we explore these themes. We discuss our predisposition to judge people based solely on their outsides. We dive deep into the delusion of fame. What happens when we pervert the need to be seen. And the emptiness purchased when we seek validation outside ourselves to salve the pain of life. On a personal note I can’t express how proud I am of Sa...

“Being vegan doesn’t hold you back from anything and in fact, it might make you better at what you want to do.” Keegan Kuhn Today’s episode features a conversation conducted before a live audience at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in Los Angles with acclaimed British ultra-runner Fiona Oakes and friend, multiple podcast guest and filmmaker Keegan Kuhn — one-half of the team behind both Cowspiracy & What The Health. Vegan since she was 6 years old, Fiona is an extraordinary athlete and exemplary human hailing from the UK who holds four world records for marathon running. Perhaps best known as the world’s fastest woman to run a marathon on all seven continents and the North Pole, in 2013 Fiona won both the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon. But what makes her accomplishments all the more amazing is that at age 14 she was told she would never walk properly, let alone run, due to an illness that required more than 17 radical knee surgeries that culminated in the removal of her entire right knee cap. This week marks the release of this dynamic duo’s latest creative collaboration, a new documentary entitled Running For Good. Visually arresting, the film follows Fiona as she attempts to set a new world record and complete Marathon des Sables – a 250km race through the Sahara routinely dubbed the toughest footrace on Earth. Fiona runs not for podiums or glory, but instead to promote a compassionate way of living and break the stereotype that veganism holds you back from anything — all while tending to her true passion, operating Tower Hill Stables, where she cares for more than 450 rescued animals everyday. A departure from Keegan’s recent provocative fare, Running For Good is a more contained yet cinematically stunning portrait of an undeniably unique, compelling, funny, self-deprecating, inspiring and essentially anonymous figure deserving of far more notice, attention and acclaim than she has historically received. Executive produced by actor James Cromwell, I had the honor of providing some voice over to the film, as well as co-hosting the recent LA premiere of the film several weeks ago, where we recorded this conversation — which includes clips from the movie itself — post-screening before a live audience. Fiona is someone I respect and admire deeply and have wanted to get on the show for a very long time. My admiration for Keegan and his work is well documented by his many appearances on this show. So I’m delighted to bring them together for you today. In addition, we are setting a new audio production high water mark in this episode. Jason Camiolo (who composed the film’s beautiful score) did a masterful job weaving segments of the film into today’s exchange to elevate the dynamic quality of your listening experience. Big Announcement: Running For Good premieres globally on Vimeo October 11, 2018. For the first four (4) days of release (October 11-14), Keegan is generously making the film available to stream for FREE to the public. All you have to do is visit RunningForGoodFilm.com and type in the code FREE at checkout. To support Fiona’s life work at Tower Hill Stables, click here. For the visually inclined you’re not going to want to miss the video version of the podcast, which includes clips from the movie itself. Watch it here: a href="http://bit.

“Our kids don’t need the burden of our happiness on top of theirs.” KJ Dell’Antonia As every parent will attest, it’s so easy to sublimate one’s self care for the interest of a child’s needs – it’s basically programmed into our DNA. Intellectually we understand you can’t truly take care of another unless you attend to your own well-being first. But this idea runs counter to every parental instinct, making it very difficult to practice this important principle. It feels selfish. But our selfless intentions, albeit good, can lead us astray. Not only do they undermine our well-being, they’re not in our kids’ interest either — because an unhappy parent does not a happy child make. This is a solid solid life lesson, whether you have children or not. So let’s talk about it. While the vast majority of parenting advice focuses on raising happy children, today’s conversation flips the lens to concentrate on the radical, almost verboten subject of how to be a happier parent. To walk us through this hornet’s nest is KJ Dell’Antonia, a former New York Times reporter who wrote and edited the Motherlode blog from 2011-2016 and was a contributing editor to the Well Family section from 2016-2017. In addition, KJ co-hosts the #AmWriting podcast with parenting expert Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure (and former amazing podcast guest) and recently authored the new, aptly titled book How To Be A Happier Parent, a delightfully instructive, solution-packed, and research-backed primer aimed at helping parents find more happiness and joy in their day to day lives. This is a very fun conversation loaded with practical advice and easy-to-implement take-aways for the parents among us. But even if you don’t have children, there is plenty of wisdom here to mine. The principles discussed are applicable to all, irrespective of your child-rearing status. Because more than anything, this is a discourse on a crucial aspect of happiness we all share: self-care. Specific topics covered include how we can all do more by doing less (something I really need to work on). We discuss the problem spots that cause parents the most grief, with very small and doable steps to create a family life that serves as a pleasurable refuge rather than another stress point. We talk about the importance of promoting self-sovereignty in ourselves and our children so they mature into happy, independent self-regulators. And it’s a conversation about what family is really all about: not just churning out great kids on a success trajectory, but joy. It was a joy spending time with KJ. My hope is that you feel the same and leave this conversation with ample fuel to better the quality of your life and family. For the visually inclined you can watch it all go down here: bit.ly/richandkj Peace + Plants, Portraits by Reece Robinson Listen, Watch & Subscribe                    Apple Podcasts | YouTube | a title="Soundcl...

“The truth is the teacher. If I just tell the truth, it will have a message.” Jedidiah Jenkins The late Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” I think this quote beautifully captures the ethos of today’s conversation. Travel as an agitator of self-understanding. A template to deeply explore the deep intertwined relationship that lives and breathes in that beautiful space between adventure and identity. Our cipher for this transcendent voyage — how exterior horizons influence scrutiny of our interior landscape — is many things: author, global adventurer, social entrepreneur, human rights activist, lawyer, filmmaker, and magazine publisher. But labels fail to capture what makes Jedidiah Jenkins special. Let’s just call him beautiful human. I can’t quite recall how today’s guest first came across my radar. What I do remember is happening upon his rather stunning Instagram feed as he neared the end of a spectacular bicycle-powered journey that took him from Oregon to Patagonia. Each photograph more arresting than the one prior, every image conveyed it’s own story that perfectly informed an engaging larger narrative. But it’s Jedidiah’s accompanying entries — beautifully composed, contemplative and quite poetic — that set his feed apart. Writings themed less by place than interior geography, it’s Instagram as dynamic journal — an experiment in blogging that camps out hundreds of miles beyond any travelogue, blog or vlog you’ve ever before seen. I was hypnotized. Who is this guy? A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Pepperdine University School of Law, Jedidiah began his professional career as one of the founding leaders of Invisible Children, the small non-profit that overnight became world renown courtesy of a little social justice campaign you might have heard of called #Kony2012– a campaign that redefined internet virality. The progeny of adventurer journalist parents who quite famously graced the cover of National Geographic walking across America in the 1970’s, I think it’s fair to say that despite his desk-bound legal career, Jedidiah and the outdoors had a little destiny to sort out. And so, to celebrate his 30th birthday, Jedidiah quit the job he loved to unconsciously follow in his parents’ footsteps, scare himself, embrace the unknown and, like a character out of a Mark Twain novel, light out on the territory. Three years ago, I invited him on the podcast to share the story of his sixteen-month, 10,000 mile journey. To date it’s one of my favorite conversations in the history of this podcast. That day I made him promise to return upon completion of the book chronicling that experience. Today is that day. This week marks the release of To Shake The Sleeping Self. It’s everything I hoped it would be. On the surface it captures his epic bicycle expedition in vivid detail. But beyond the literal, it’s an elegant polemic about the search for identity, the cultivation of community, the struggle to find one’s place in the world, and ultimately embrace what it means to be human. An extraordinary storyteller, Jedidiah has an elegant gift for exploring the interior landscape.