Food, Walking and Mindset. The Jowett Method – Geoff Jowett
Tell me about why you started The Jowett Method?
I wanted to come at weight loss from a different angle.
TJM was built around connection and treating the root cause of weight loss. Treating the cause of people’s weight issues, and their food issues and their relationship with food and changing how they look at food. It’s mindset training for food not physical training for weight loss. You change your thinking, you change your body. For me 20 years of doing it has created different ways to approach it. It was born from my own pain – if I wasn’t an addict or alcoholic, or if I hadn’t gone to AA or rehab there wouldn’t be The Jowett Method.
When I started the Jowett method I wanted to educate people about beating addiction. I learnt the power of connection through my own struggles of addiction. So, I wanted to build an online tribe, with daily live coaching which would connect likeminded people with the same goals.
Is the method different today from when you first launched it?
TJM is evolving all the time. We have walk and talk clubs all over Australia – this was in the original vision.
I’m building more sophisticated programs online for people, so the member journey is easier to navigate, and use each day. I create live feeds on Facebook morning and night. By the end of the day, some people are a bit rattled so the ‘live feed’ in the evening is to support those people. Sometimes a psychologist or a dietician will join me during the live feed. Or we may hear a successful weight loss story live.
I just keep launching what I believe would help benefit the members.
Why are you so keen to build a community for people with weight loss issues?
I loved being part of a community because it saved my life. Many years ago, I had two businesses that went under. My relationship at the time fell apart and I went broke. The high life I was living was no longer. The drugs, the drinking and everything I had known in my life, went down very quickly and all at the same time. I used to blame others about what happened to me because my ego couldn’t see the truth, until I started going to AA – that’s where I learnt to face my own my mistakes, step out of ego and be grateful for everything I had in my life.
If I didn’t go to AA, I don’t think I would’ve survived to tell my story. I felt very isolated and even when I was very successful, I was very isolated and alone. I didn’t have connection. The only thing I did have a connection with, was the bottle and drugs.
I have experienced first-hand what connection does. You need like-minded people with common goals to overcome your challenges. Weight loss is no different – it’s probably the hardest of all because we must eat. We need to bring people together to help each other.
We have a buddy system in place where you get a buddy to talk to, you go to a walking club in your community anywhere in Australia. From that people seem to be stronger because they are not alone.
What impact do you think social media has had on people with image issues?
Horrendous. I say, ‘comparison is the thief of joy’ and social media is the worst culprit for it. We must use it sparingly. We must be more aware and understand that what you see on social media is not reality base. People can be having a miserable time, but they could post the complete opposite. Don’t look at other people’s lives otherwise you’ll end up depressed on what may not be reality.
If you are going to use social media, focus on what is going to brighten your day, be aware, know what your triggers are, don’t compare your life to those you see on social media. It’s good that it can connect us but use it so that it serves you.
When someone has achieved their fitness goal, what are some key things they need to do so they don’t fall off the wagon ‘so to speak’?
They need to continue working on themselves every day.
The moment you stop being part of a community, a tribe of people, you can go backwards. If you have a weight loss goal, you can’t stop learning and growing, otherwise you may lose sight of your goal and go back to where you started. It comes down to routine – create a routine that is sustainable for you, something that is realistically achievable to you.
What do your members need to do once they’ve reached their weight loss goal?
I would recommend they join a gym because TJM is firstly about weight loss – food, walking and mindset. Once they’ve achieved their first goal, they need to create another goal around building strength and getting fit. Once they’ve achieved that, they should continue creating more goals, so they have something to focus on; the focus should be 10% on the goal and 90% on the process.
I would also advise to live in the process, so you stay in the moment. Don’t obsess over your goal so you don’t lose focus on your day to day routine.
Where you are right now is perfect – where you are now is where you are meant to be. Stop comparing yourself, happiness is now, not when. What will be, will be. Work the process, have goals and don’t be attached to the outcome.
If people associate eating with emotional experiences, how does the TJM prepare someone to detach from that feeling next time they go through an emotional challenge in their life?
The number one mantra I teach at TJM is ‘food for fuel, not comfort’. Food is not the comfort source. I would say that 50 times a week in my coaching. Repetition as we know is the mother of skill.
Most people medicate with food so whenever you medicate with food, you will never be trim. I teach people grounding techniques – to come back to the present moment. We all get in our head. I have a technique called stop, lock, affirm.
When someone gets in their head I advise them to do say the following; ‘Stop, back to now, back to now’. Say it out loud.
Then ‘lock’ in your surroundings by saying out loud what you see – tree, car, coffee cup, flowers. If you can focus on calling out 10 things around you, it brings you back to the moment.
Affirm ‘I am the voice, I am the force for good’. Or whatever affirmation works for you.
Everything is about coming back to the present moment, so I focus on continuously teaching that. I also teach ‘above the line, present time thinking’ which means staying in solution mind not victim mode – stay above the line thinking, is solution thinking
It’s about living in the moment.
What advice can you give to those who don’t know how to start eating healthy?
I would keep it simple and tell them to eat small regular meals and start with the big four – protein, water, green vegetables and salad.
What advice would you give to someone who has never been to a gym?
For people who are new to the gym, I suggest they invest in getting a personal trainer to help them get started. Start weight training twice a week, doing the basics to get the muscles moving, and then build from there.
What frustrates you as a fitness professional?
We need to work with organisations such as Obese Australia to educate people that there is a difference between weight loss and fitness.
If you get obese people doing high intensity training, they are going to eat a shit load of food and not address the root cause of their problem – which is mindset.
We must be a part of the solution and the solution is education.
Weight loss is food, walking, mindset.
Fitness is running, swimming, walking, going to the gym – types of physicality that get you fit.
Have there been times when you’ve relapsed?
Yes, but it comes down to daily routine. If I’ve had a bad day, I try remembering what I teach. I don’t focus on motivation, I focus on what I just do. I have a minimal standard of what I do and when I have a bad day, I shift my focus and take myself back to my routine and go through the checklist mentally.
Who’ve been your mentors, or who do you aspire to?
There have been many as I’ve created my own avatar. I’ve cherry picked the best bits of information that work for me from various people. Mark Bouris is someone for me. John McGrath is another person. People who have high standards for themselves. Then I listen to people like Tony Robbins, Dr Wayne Dyer. Or someone like Warren Buffet. And then I aim at that avatar.
What do you do outside of fitness?
I ride horses. I ride at least twice a week when I’m in Sydney. I have an amazing connection with them. Two of my favourite horses are Jarrah and Buddha.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a book which will hopefully be published in 2019. I also don’t stop working on TJM especially when I learn something new about myself; if I feel it will benefit others then I introduce it as part of the method.
Connect with Geoff here http://thejowettmethod.com/0