Making Health Fun and Sustainable with Special Guest: Coach Mack from Running With Bacon EP#65

Making Health Fun and Sustainable with Special Guest: Coach Mack from Running With Bacon EP#65

Welcome to the Habits and Humor podcast. My name is Suzi B, and today I'm joined by an amazing guest, Mackenzie Holznecht, thanks for being here,

Mackenzie. Thanks for having me. I'm really excited for this chat today. It's gonna be super fun.

So, I'm just gonna drop it right in here right now. You guys, the reason Mackenzie is here is because her business is called Running with Bacon.

McKenzie. I just really am dying to know the backstory on this. I love the concept of it. We'll get into the humor side of all of this, but. Where did you come up with this name and what are we talking about here? Running with Bacon.

So, yes. So it is actually the name of my health coaching business. When you know, customers get invoices, it says running with bacon on it, and it's always a conversation starter.

Everybody remembers it, which is great. I would love to say that was the genius of it from the beginning. It wasn't, but it just so happens that, yeah, it's super memorable and I love my business name, but so as I was thinking about it, you know, a few years ago when I was starting my own company, what do I want it to be called?

I didn't first, as you know, my name is really hard. It's hard to pronounce. It's hard to discuss. Yeah, it's hard to remember. So I was like, I can't make it my name. It's too hard. And so it's like I need something else that people can find me a little bit easier. So I was trying to come up with Nas and I knew it had to be something really fun because I was like, if it's health related and it's not fun, it's just gonna suck.

Nobody's gonna wanna do it. I didn't want another generic go you fitness. I was like, everybody, I wanted something different. And so I love cooking. I'm a fat girl at heart. I love eating just as much as I love cooking. And I was like, it has to do I need food, I need workouts, what can I do?

And I had just gotten into running and I used to hate. Hate, hate running, and, but I had just gotten into it and I was like, okay, running. I was like running like with something. I was like, something cool. I was like, maybe running with knives. And so I googled that and I was like, whoa. It was like mental health something or other.

I was like, no, not qualified. I don't wanna do that. And so I just kept iterating through these names and one day it just kind of popped into my head that I was like running with bacon. I was like, who doesn't love bacon? I was like, and everything's better with bacon. I was like, Of course, like everything healthy, everything

hotter, was bacon, even running

Yeah, even running, even getting healthy, like all of it.

It's just, so that's why I was running with Bacon, was born and, and it stayed in my head for a few days. You wanted to kind of like mull those things over. It's kind of a big decision, what you're gonna call your business. And yeah, even a few days later I was like, yeah, that's it. We're going with it.

And so, Here we are years later, and that's still the name of my

business. I love it. I love that you wanted to make it fun so that people would want to do it. Yes. This is one message that I preach up and down till I'm blue in the face. If you love what you're doing, you will keep doing it. Yes. That's not to say that exercise should be easy.

It's not to say that it all should be a breeze, and then you just, oh, I love every single moment of everything I do to move my body. That's totally not true, not realistic, and definitely not gonna help you, but. If every single day is a grind, you'll give up. You'll quit. You're more I won't say that. It's not a guarantee, but you're more likely to give up or quit down the road.

So how do we shift that from something that we have to do to something that we want to do?

I think honestly, as cliche as it sounds, making it fun, making it something you enjoy is the very first thing. And like you said, if it's a gruel, if it's a grind, it sucks. And so start somewhere that it doesn't suck.

And I know I always get the one person who's like with Coach Mack, I hate exercising. I have tried so many different things, I just hate it. I hate sweating, I hate all this stuff. And I'm like, There is something, some type of movement out there for everyone, and I think we've gotten so brainwashed into thinking a workout has to look a certain way.

I. There are so many ways to move your body. I, I've heard you say this before, that you know, not all movement is fitness, and that's okay. Find some type of movement that you enjoy, whether like maybe you're riding bikes with your kids, maybe you're dancing around in the kitchen, like whatever it is.

There's something and just keep doing that and do that enough to where you get to the point where you're like, okay, maybe I can do like a little bit extra, and then you, it progresses from there. But if we all think we have to go from wherever we are right now to, you know, CrossFit champion is so unrealistic and that process is just not gonna be fun.

So I think that is step number one is just find something that you enjoy doing and do that.

Start where you enjoy it. I love this. And like you said, jumping from nothing to CrossFit Champion my injury prevention ears perked up immediately. Holy smokes. You guys, if you're gonna go from zero to 6,000, you're going to hurt yourself, and that is going to force you to quit.

So don't go all the way out either. Let's find, a starting point and just go from zero to one, one to two, two to three, and then you'll be able to, get a variety of different things in your life that you enjoy and. One thing that I like to encourage people to do is to try things that they are not used to or to try something new and just see give it a few minutes, give it a little bit.

Like you said, you got into running. I know you have a funny story, an embarrassing story. It's funny for me, probably wasn't for you, embarrassing story that kind of illustrates this point of how you can, try something that you're not used to or try something that maybe is a little bit outside of your normal realm.

Tell us your story about that. Yeah,

so it seems like a previous lifetime now, but I was a division one strength and conditioning coach, so I helped athletes be and stay in their tip top shape and get fraction of an inch higher on their vertical jumps and all this stuff. And I, as soon as I was done coaching, I.

Moved to New York and we have, our neighborhood has, it's like a mile and a quarter loop. And I was like, that just seems like I should be able to go run that. Right? I know all the science behind it. I was helping athletes and I, I'm a freaking strength and conditioning coach, like, duh. So I take off running and I get a half mile down the road and I am huffing.

And puffing, like I am talking, I'm, and in my head I am like berating myself because I'm like, what is, like, who is this person? I can't even run a stinking mile and it's for me so embarrassing because I have all the qualifications, but it's so easy to know the things to do but not be doing them and then have this unrealistic expectation when you get, like, I was an athlete in high school, so I was like a mile.

No big deal. Talk about humbling. I know this is the Habits and Humor podcast, but it was humbling too that I was like, how is this possible? So then to add insult to injury, I was halfway, like I was on the other half of the circle, so I had to get back. Then I was, like walking jog, doing the fat man walk, like the walk slash jog through the neighborhood.

And I'm like, oh, this is so embarrassing for me. Like, So, yeah, that's my embarrassing story, but it's so, I feel like it's so relatable cuz in my head I had this expectation of Yeah, just go run a mile. It's easy. It is not easy if you not in shape to run a mile. So, yeah. So true. It was kinda, yeah, it was just like a, whoa, what is, what is going on


Moment? Who? Who here Raise your hand. I can't see your faces at the moment, but raise your hand if you have had this experience where you are like, oh, I can do that. And then you go out and it's like a whole different experience than you were ready for. Totally. All of us have. So this couldn't be applicable to anything in health or in any other field in the world.

Like we're talking like vegetables. We all know we're supposed to eat our vegetables. So you sit down and you think, all right, I'm gonna meal prep these veggies and I'm gonna, eat a vegetable every single meal. And then your next meal comes up and you're like, wait a minute. I don't even have veggies at my house, or I don't know how to cook these things, or I don't even know what to eat these with or whatever.

You have this idea that, oh, I'm gonna just, I'm just gonna kill this thing. And then you get to the reality check. So we've all been checked by that reality. What's the next step? How do we still keep going? You wanted to obviously still run. We want to obviously still eat the veggies. How do we get past that point of.

I just hit the brick wall of reality and now I'm shocked that, oh, I should have been better at this than I was, and now I'm instantly frustrated. Or like you were saying, berating yourself. Yes. How do we get past that?

Yeah. Is break it down, make it smaller. I know that this sounds like you're taking steps backward, but lower the bar.

So I don't know about you, but like I said, I was talking like, yeah, I was a, I was an athlete in high school. I could do this. My expectation of what I should be able to do versus what I can currently do, there's a huge gap. And so what I want, what we need to do is lessen the gap and bring those two things closer together.

So whether that's making, bringing our expectation out, maybe. I just go run for one minute and then walk the rest of the loop. Or maybe I just go out and see, okay, how far can I run and let that be enough. Like just bridging that gap. So if it's eating vegetables, maybe it's you eat one vegetable.

Per day, or maybe it's even, you just put vegetables on the grocery list and you know you have the best of intentions. Like what's the first step to getting to your goal? Because the first step we've heard, what's the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. So we're not gonna be able to just go out and run a 5K on a whim because we're like, oh, that seems like something I should be able to do.

It's no, it's, you have to train a little bit. You need some running shoes. It's probably a good idea, to get comfortable in the clothes, like all that kind of stuff. So yeah, it's. Break it down and make it, what's the smallest step that I can take that will get me success and get me confidence and get the ball rolling toward my goal?

Because that day in and day out, and I know you're a big fan, obviously, of habits, name of those podcasts, but it's those habits day in and day out that get us there. It's not the huge gestures, the huge commitments that we make. It's the small things every day. So break it down and what's just the very first baby

step you can do.

Excellent. I absolutely love everything you're saying, and I totally agree that so many times it's not the, it's not the big shiny thing. It's not the thing that people are running advertisements about. It's not the thing that you're reading on the internet. Nobody's talking about how you just drink one more glass of water a day.

Nobody's talking about how you just start with, I like how you said, see how far you can go, and then let that be enough today. And then tomorrow just go a little bit further and then the next day go just a little bit further. But that first step is. It's really difficult. And so when, when you just, you need to take that first step, what can you do to encourage yourself to take that first step or to, even if you've gotten that first step and you're still hesitant about, or you're frustrated with what that first step looked like, maybe you aren't where you wish you were, where you want to be, how can you encourage yourself to keep going?

I think having as, again, humbling as it is, having that beginner's mentality because I, I, a lot of my clients, they're, they're women with children, and so I relate a lot of my coaching to things with children and it's like, you know when, when your kids are in school and they're learning something, You don't automatically expect them to get it right away.

They, it takes some process, it takes some learning. It takes maybe even a few days for it to sink in and then, then the dots are connected, things like that. So adopt a learner's mentality when it comes to, whether it's your workouts or your nutrition, even your mental health and things that you do to foster that.

Sleep habits, like whatever aspect of health we're talking about. Adopt a beginner's. Mindset of, okay, where am I at and how, where can I go from here? Like what, what's my end goal? And how, you know, again, how can I bridge the gap? How can I bring them closer in just one little baby step? Because I, I think that we get, get so caught up in these shoulds, like, I should be able to do this.

I should be doing this. I should be here, I should be further along. But it's just not, that doesn't get us anywhere. So instead know that it's part of the process, like you are doing the plan. And I think that knowing upfront that the process is going to take longer and it's probably not going to be as fantastical as we've been led to believe if we know that upfront.

We don't necessarily need all the sparkles and you know, like the daily motivation video that plays in our mind to get us all going. I think it's just, okay, this is what I do. I'm, I'm the type of person that I go do this. I walk every day. I eat a vegetable every meal. But, but you, it doesn't need an applause every time you do it.

It's just who you are now.

Excellent. Yes, absolutely. So that first at the beginning there, it takes a lot of effort. It takes a lot of initial Guts. Basically, you, you kind of need to, I don't know, force is the word, but encourage yourself to make a change. And once that change has started in your body, in your mind, in your life, then you have this momentum that you're building from within.

And I often use the phrase that you motivate yourself from within when you recognize that you're making progress. And so then once you start to see that progress and you're consistent with it over two months, you guys know how much I love the two month timeframe. It becomes a habit, and then you're able to realize, okay, I'm doing this thing automatically.

What can, what else can I do? And you're able to layer that, habit stacking or habit layering, or whatever you wanna call it, but you're able to think less and achieve more by not over overwhelming yourself

all at once. Yeah, a hundred percent. That's, yeah, and I'm a also a big fan, two months rule, like there's so many of us.

Again, we want like the shiny stuff and we go from one thing to the next to the next, hoping that something sticks. It's like, why can't you just stick to the plan and let give it a chance to work? You know? That's all the motivation that that you need is if you think that the plan is gonna work. Let it work.

But you have to actually let it , you have, you have to actually put in the time. But that's obviously what all of us don't wanna put in, is the time we wanna I

like that, that you have the plan and you think it's gonna work. Let it work. Yes. Oh, I love that so much. That's so brilliant. So tell us a little bit about you as a person, Mackenzie.

Who is Mackenzie, and then we'll, we'll kind of see where we go from

there. So, I mean, I mentioned earlier, I used to be a strength coach, got into business for myself and it has been amazing. And I'll say mostly because then I can keep up with my hobbies that I love, which lucky for me they're active hobbies.

But I got a puppy, so that's been amazing. She keeps me so active that. Even now, I'm like, I mean, I took her on a few walks. Do I really need to work out today? Like even, I still have those conversations, but and the answer is if I want to, I can. But yeah, and I, gardening, cooking, like all that stuff it's just like hobbies that I have really come to enjoy.

I think, we've, we've kind of been. I think I've used this word already, but brainwashed into, fitting health into a certain section of our life. Oh, I'm dedicating this one hour of my life to my health, and in my opinion,, well, why does it have to fit into that hour block?

You know, why can't you do a little bit here and a little bit there? Why can't you make just a small choice here that helps, and a small choice there? That helps. So it's, yeah, it's kind of. I don't, I've luckily gotten really into hobbies that help me do that. Whether it's, eating good food or just moving and like gardening is hard.

I don't, I dunno if you've ever spent an hour pulling weeds, but it's really just did that

yesterday in fact. Yes, yes. But it's worth it. Everything that is hard will give you something out of it. Like if it's a struggle. I like to ask my clients like, why is this hard? Is it hard? Because it's new? Or is it hard because it's really not right for you?

Mm-hmm. And then you can sort of make those shifts and adjustments and things like that. So where you said you got into running, you didn't start out as a person who enjoyed running, but it became something that you enjoyed. Most of us don't just love whatever the change is. We have a hard, we have a hard time, you know, we resist change.

So how do we get into it and learn to love something that might be new for us? That's a challenge that

maybe we don't love at first. I would recommend coming at it from a different perspective. And by that I mean, so I wanted to get into running. I knowing that I hated running, I wanted to get into it because when I run, I can eat more.

And so

benefits outweigh the barriers.

It was, but for real. That's why I wanted to be able to run is that's just how my body works. And that took some time to learn, obviously. But when I run fairly consistently, two, three times a week, I find I can eat more and not notice any difference.

You know, I still have the tone. I want the frame, I want all that. And so I was like, okay, I hate running right now, but I know when I can, when I'm into it that it's a net benefit. I really like it. So you know, how do I get there? And so I started looking at it more from, I. Yes. The running part itself to me sucked for a long time, like just my feet hitting the pavement and being outta breath.

I hated that part, but I loved being out in nature. I'm a huge outdoor person, so I love that part of it. I found places to go run where I could feel like it was more scenic, more conducive to that feeling for me. And then I also paid attention to what it did from a mental health perspective and. I'm by no means qualified as a mental health expert, but just in terms of what I noticed in my own mind, it was such a stress reliever.

I was, I mean, I think I am really nice anyways, but my patients grew even more, with the small things. I think that I was more even tempered, I was less likely to let one small thing blow up into this huge thing because I had already gone for a really hard run that day. So, comparatively, This wasn't that bad cuz my run, it was hard.

I did not like it. So, just kind of little stuff like that where again, the running itself still sucked. I did not like running. I do now, but we're eight years down the road. I do now, but I did not. And so, but what, what did I like about it? So even when you don't. Necessarily enjoy the act of doing something.

Look at it from a different angle and say, is there something about it that I do enjoy? Do I like the feeling after it? Do I like the confidence I got from it? Do I like the scenery of it? Do I like the people I get to do it with? Those kind of kind of things, I think can help change your perspective on set of focusing on the stuff that you don't like.

What do you like about it, and can that be enough to get you over the hump of building enough endurance or getting strong enough or whatever it is to keep doing the thing?

I love this. This is an excellent concept that all of us can use in any aspect of our lives. You guys find something that you do enjoy about whatever the thing is, and if there's nothing there to enjoy, you know?

Put something in. Yeah. So let's say that you don't love to run, listen to your favorite playlist. I seriously hate washing dishes, but I have a dish washing playlist. I have, I only listen to it when I'm washing dishes. It is the dishes playlist specifically because I hate that chore, but I love those songs and I'm like, Ooh, you know what?

I'm gonna go listen to that song right now. Another thing is I'm not particularly. Good at motivating myself to exercise when I'm at home. But I love exercising when I'm on vacation because I get to explore a new gym or I get to run around a new city, or I get to, you know, like when we went to Disneyland bef, you walk a million miles every day when you're at Disneyland.

But before I would go to the park, I would go for a run around the city just because I wanted to see what was out there. And so find something that is enjoyable for you that you can infuse into the thing that you want. How about with like food? So I love, let's say that I love sugar. I'm a sugar addict and I want to eat less sugar.

How do I infuse some of that kind of goodness into the foods that I'm eating?

Yeah, I think in terms of food stuff and because again, I am a huge foodie, I love eating food. I think. It's not necessarily, I don't think you have to deprive yourself of anything. Like for me, if I want to eat a piece of cheesecake, I'm going to eat it, but it's gonna be a really good piece of cheesecake.

And I think in our convenience centered world, even indulgences have kind of become mediocre and Oreos. Cool. I mean, they're, they're good, I guess, but I've had at least 500 better cookies than Oreos, and I'm like, so why would I settle for an Oreo? And I actually just talked about this with my group, that be a be an indulgent snob.

Give really picky about the foods that you choose to indulge in, because make 'em, make 'em almost worth it. If I'm gonna have some ice cream, it's gonna be some really good ice cream. It's not gonna be like just some generic I don't know. So I am really steadfast in this, that if you are the type of person no, I'm not gonna settle for some chips of hoy cookies.

They're not that good. And if you think so, we can debate that. But it's just get really picky, some chips, you know what you're gonna get with Doritos every single time you eat 'em. Are they really that good though? Like, Hmm. Debatable. But if, so if I'm going to eat something that, that I know is This is a truly an indulgence.

It's gonna be a really good one because the rest of the time I want to eat food. That actually makes me feel really good. And I think that we've, we, again, we've lost that because all of the indulgent foods are everywhere, but they're not actually that good anymore. They're just kind of mediocre sugar, stuffed fat, stuffed salt stuffed stuff.

And I don't know, I, I, I think it's kind of funny, but. Yeah, I'm like a dessert snob now because of it.

I love this. Become a snob on the things that you need less of in your life so that you really get the benefits of it when you do it. Yeah. I love this and I agree with you that. And the more occasional you can make it.

If you're doing this every single day, then it's just like every other day. But if it's very occasional where, okay, I'm, I'm on vacation. One example is I only drink soda if I'm out on a date with my husband. And so that has to be, you know, those two things. I, I link those up together. But yeah, like you're saying, you wanna really enjoy those indulgences, whatever they may be, and don't let 'em be something that's just so constant.

So instead of those constant things that are in our lives, we could just make some better choices, some better options to have those be the frequent things that are in our homes. That's the stuff you bring home. You know, instead of chips, buy pistachios instead of, I don't know, sugar bring home, like dates or something like that.

That's the sh real fruit. Real food. If you can substitute those things out most of the time. When you do go out and you have that special thing, that one indulgence when you're being a a dessert snob, it's way better for you. And it's way better for

you. Yes. No, it really is. I think because we don't realize how bad some food makes us feel because we're constantly ingesting it.

We're constantly eating it, and it's really tough then to attribute it to the food that we're eating, cuz we're like, Well, no, I always eat that and I feel this way. It's like, but maybe that's why you always feel this way, you know? So it's tough. And I'm not an advocate for elimination diet.

It's telling everybody to go try one. But it's just really interesting. I was working with a client a while back and she knew she was lactose intolerant, but she didn't want to give up dairy. And I was like, okay. But know that you have a ceiling on how good you can feel. While you eat dairy, if you refuse to give up dairy and your body's telling you, I don't want dairy.

She's, Midwest girl. True to my heart. So I was like, I get it. I love cheese. I, but there, if you want to feel your best, as good as you can feel, You might have to give up some dairy if your body's saying yeah, I don't handle that well, and if it's an occasional indulgence and you are willing to weigh that risk for how you're gonna feel the next day, go for it.

But just, it's like with an understanding, there's trade offs in all of it. Like how good you feel versus how good you feel in the 30 seconds that it takes you to eat something. So it's, it's like a pick your battles kind of

situation. I like the visual that you provided, that it's a great visual of, there's a ceiling on how good you can feel when you continue to eat this way.

Yeah, sure. You can keep going with this, but if you don't give yourself a break from this stuff, this is the bar of how the the best, this is the best that it can get. Yeah. Versus if you sub out some of this stuff, it can get much better. Yeah. Excellent. Great, great advice and good, good input here. So I'm really excited to open the room for q and a.

If you guys have questions, you can start typing 'em in the chat. If you're watching this or listening to this on a replay, feel free to join us live every Tuesday at 1:00 PM Mountain Time, so you can get some access to these guests. Those of you that are here, go ahead and stay here. Those of you that are catching this on a replay, you're missing out on the q and a, but we hope to see you here in the future.

And before we go, Mackenzie, where can people find you If they want more information and they, and they should, they want more from you. So where can we find

you? Yeah, just, running with Bacon, it's everywhere. I'm on social medias, YouTube, but that's my website is running with and I do have a free Facebook group and a free workout program if you're interested.

So I made it not hard to find

me. Excellent running with bacon. So good. I love it so much. Okay, you guys, we will see you next time on Habits and Humor. I'm Suzi B, thank you for being here. And thank you to Mackenzie Holts next. Thank you.