089 – Q&A – Overcoming Fitness Obsession, and Living in Alignment With Your Values

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The time has come for us to change the world but first, we have to change ourselves by getting outside, getting uncomfortable, and finding our greatness. This is one of the deeper Q&As we’ve had on the show because today Ashley and Ben talk real with each other about the things that matter most and how to get back in alignment with them. Before all that, they kick off their discussion with some updates about Ben’s camps with Milos and his new collaborations with some of the world’s greatest chefs to create simple, quick, supremely healthy dishes.

Ben then gets into some of his thoughts on a neurotransmitter-based approach to mindset, or the idea that the state of the brain is caused by the chemicals that run through it. These chemicals are affected by our diets, sleep patterns, exercise, meditation, and other factors too, so achieving a healthy mindset can’t be done through mere positive thought alone. We then hear a question from a distraught bodybuilder whose fitness obsession is ruining his life, and Ben gives one of the most moving pieces of advice about gratitude, the magic of our bodies, the gift of life we have heard on the show yet. Finally, we get into some great bits of advice for living in alignment with the values of the soul and how we should try to synch these as far as possible to achieve a state of peace and wellbeing, and live a life of the quality we deserve.


  • Healthy, simple, high-fat cooking how-to videos Ben is working with chefs to develop. [0:17]
  • How well the muscle camps are going and what a great trainer Milos is. [6:59]
  • Living in the present, practicing, and not letting your age dictate your identity. [8:58]
  • A view of mindset as being the result of neurotransmitters more than positive thought. [12:50]
  • Optimizing neurotransmitters through positive habits like a good diet and exercise. [13:52]
  • How we sometimes treat ourselves the worst out of everybody. [17:48]
  • Seeing the positive in negative things to hijack our dopamine systems. [18:40]
  • Keeping your kid’s brain positive by being in nature and avoiding computer games. [19:54]
  • Feedback loops where negative emotions cause negative neurotransmitters. [24:22]
  • How the brain is wired through evolution to get rewarded from movement. [25:13]
  • Using the ‘breathe, walk, meditate’ method to achieve healthy neurotransmitters. [25:40]
  • How to meditate by being, not doing. [27:40]
  • Advice for a bodybuilder whose life is falling apart because of a fitness obsession. [28:44]
  • A tip: to be grateful and set reward-based, not punishment-based intentions. [30:25]
  • Recognizing the magic of our own bodies as a way of staying grateful. [31:40]
  • Another cause for anxiety: living out of alignment with your soul’s values. [36:25]
  • How to honor people you miss while traveling: crush every moment. [40:16]
  • The possibility of fulfilling your soul’s values even if they contradict each other. [41:16]
  • Ben’s plans to get his kids involved in his travels as soon as possible. [41:28]
  • What makes Ben smile most: his family. [44:06]
  • Lessons Ben teaches about holistic approaches to wellbeing at Muscle Intelligence. [47:21]

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Ben Pakulski

Ben Pakulski

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About the Podcast

Formerly the Muscle Expert Podcast. The world’s top authority on intelligent muscle building and fat loss gives us a simple to understand deep dive into the complex world of building a body you love, and living your greatness. Weekly interviews with leading experts in a vast number of scientific fields focusing on health optimization (nutrition, sleep, hormones, mindfulness and mind set), strength, (both physical and mental), and muscle hypertrophy. Learn proven strategies for optimum life performance, whether it be in the gym, the board room or the bedroom; this is the blueprint for becoming the upgraded modern man. Ladies, this podcast is for you too. The topics, tips, and life hacks covered are essential for every individual who wants to upgrade themselves mentally and physically.

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