This week’s episode is not about goal setting, and it’s not about the Core Language Upgrade system which you can learn about way back in episode NINE. This episode is an entertaining story about how getting fat saved Mark England’s mind.

The story starts at a time when Mark nearly lost his mind. His identity was in a state of shambles, and he was in a state he describes as SEETHING after blowing out his knee while training Thai Boxing in Thailand.

This show is brought to you by us, Beyond Macros, a nutrition coaching company that helps you make a sustainable transformation through realistic habit changes rather than restrictive dieting.

Make sure you are subscribed to the show on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts, if you enjoy the show, please leave a rating on iTunes, and if you want to get leaner, stronger, and perform better by learning how to count macros go to

In This Episode:

[04:18] A state he describes as SEETHING.
[06:24] Feeling trapped in Thailand.
[07:08] How you can have your stuffing and eat it too.
[07:27] Where his mind was at the time.
[10:08] How he was feeling at the time.
[12:12] Where the story starts to get really interesting.
[14:32] Mark’s internal dialogue around a crucial decision.
[17:15] What allowed him finally release some of his deep-rooted identity issues.
[19:12] Another opportunity to test his metal.
[21:09] How he reacted to the situation at the moment.

Read Full Transcript:

Read Full Transcript

Script- Audio is Mark & Matt from Virginia Shows folder

Welcome back to the Beyond Macros podcast. We are the sustainable transformation nutrition coaches, and we help you make your transformation that lasts with episodes about nutrition and the all important art of inner work.

This week we have some big announcements about new ways we will be helping you continue your journey to your sustainable transformation.

You’ve heard me talk about our free calorie and macro calculator, and next week we will open the doors to a free community where you can get more support and accountability, share recipes & snack ideas, join monthly challenges, and have conversations about the topics you care about- nutrition and inner work. Invitations will be going out for our free community to all 12,000 of you who have downloaded our calorie & macro worksheet over the past year.

We will kick off the group with a community challenge beginning december 1st where we will be completing today’s guest, Mark England’s Procabulary Core Language upgrade course. This course has not only been influential to me as a coach, but as soon as I went through the first iteration of it over 3-years ago I started living into my vision and dealt with far less stress because I was able to fully take responsibility for my life and realize I have the personal power to make it through any situation.

If you are ready to do the deep inner work we talk about weekly on this show, you can get $100 off the Core Language Upgrade course at using code BeyondMacros, all one word. For $299 you’ll be able to do the one online course I can honestly say changed my life, which is why I will be going back through it with the community over a 21-day period in December. The goal is to get everybody through the course in time to reflect on 2018 and project our goals into 2019.

Just forward the receipt from your Core Language Upgrade purchase to [email protected] -Whether you buy it now or want to revisit it again with the group and I will send you an invite to join the party. Make sure to get it done before December 1st, which is next Saturday.

And stay tuned because at the end of this episode, Mark gives us some deep insights about how to set goals in a way that makes you farrr more likely to achieve them than the tired advice floating around at this time of year!

But this episode is not about goal setting, and it’s not about the Core Language Upgrade system which you can learn about wayyyy back in episode NINE. This episode is an entertaining story about how getting fat saved Mark England’s mind.

The story starts at a time when Mark nearly lost his mind. His identity was in a state of shambles, and he was in a state he describes as SEETHING after blowing out his knee while training Thai Boxing in Thailand.

1 - Mark on Seething, Knee Surgery Thailand 1:47-3:45 for me seething is a step past bitterness bitterness it's it's like what somebody sucks on a lemon yeah their faces pocket seating is gnashing teeth
And I seethed for
let's just call it a year because I look at that time frame of when I had my knee second knee surgery in Thailand and
the my fight career stopped was over and
I didn't laugh I didn't laugh for a year
and I noticed it I started paying attention about three months in so it's it's weird to do it's even weirder when you know you're doing it and and it was because I was so
wrapped about the fact that my first love my first true love and I mean that
martial arts MMA fighting competing was was the story I told myself as it was taken away from me and I didn't know who took it away from me. I just knew it was taken away from me as with the words and he'll Hello victim mentality.
And yeah, I did that. I did that strong for
a while. The worst part? The worst period was that year. See, that was 2003.
Bangkok, Thailand, man. And you know what made a worse dude,
they're Thai boxing gyms all over Thailand. Yeah, and Thai boxing tourism is a real thing. So there were all these I would walk down the street trying to try and to get it out of my mind and there's a heavy bag hanging out in someone's yard or you just go around the corner and there's a gym that just pops up out of nowhere

Even though Mark was having salt poured in his wounds at every turn, he felt trapped.

2 - Mark on not being able to go back 4:06-4:51 and there was no going back I knew that I'm what am I gonna do go back to Richmond and and not be that person that I was that scared me as much as anything so can't go home fucked in in Thailand.
I don't know if you've ever seriously and sincerely ask yourself a question. You probably seen it on movies. What have I done? What have I done? What have I done to myself and I didn't answer the question I just left there
traumatic Detroit very traumatic question unanswered Yeah. Locked up city man just just tense and pissed at everything

It really went beyond just feeling pissed. Mark hit the point of apathy, and the only thing that pulled him out of apathy is FEAR. Mark told me a story to highlight where his mind was.

3- On girlfriend he was with/ Salsa part I 7:25-7:44 she wants to take salsa lessons Okay I'm not taking salsa lessons because I can barely walk without a limp
she would she would practice I think was Tuesday Thursday just two days a week and then we go to the salsa club Cuban salsa club on Fridays
3.2 - On girlfriend he was with/Salsa part II 8:00-9:28 they would take her out and and dance with her and spin her around and as a beautiful salsa dancing is amazing
especially when you're doing it it's less amazing when you're watching your girlfriend do it from the bar Neyland beers and one particular evening I'm probably seven 800 against deep
to watch and watch and they were in the community they knew we were together I'm watching these
dudes computers run at how am I going to get this girl out out the door from under this guy's nose no big deal there I understand guys okay but really fucked me up was as when I saw that and then I then I tuned in on myself I didn't care I just didn't care I was cold to the whole thing about this this very special person in my life
and and it was a one of a series of Wake Up Calls another one was me on my motorcycle hauling ass down peppery road which is a one of the main highways and Bangkok no helmet late drunk did care whatever happens I don't care i'm not going to make anything happen but you know whatever happens I don't care
I scared myself Matt

My palms were sweating as Mark was telling me about the recklessness on a motorcycle. Mark is both a man that I have the utmost respect for, and a man who I know I can always call for a great conversation. Hearing about this time in his life where he had no regard for his well-being was scary. As I was listening and envisioning his story, my mind was screaming ‘no Mark, no! Live! Dig your way out of this hole!!

As we continued Mark further described what he was experiencing by alluding to the scene in the movie, Ray, where Ray Charles is coming off Heroin.

4- Mark on the Ray Charles scene and the similar beast inside him 5:26-6:39 And there was a the last scene in that movie. I think it was last he was close to the end where he Ray was coming off of heroin. And he was doing it cold turkey and he was
riding around in bed shake, like jolting sweating I did that I did that for a week coming off of I couldn't work out I was addicted to that addicted to my identity addicted to all the things that came with that which was you know it was cool to be that tough guy and it was also
people gave respect some people feared me I like that that's that's how insecure I was behind the scenes
and all that change man yeah all that changed I think God changed yeah because that was that's a that's a horrible piece to feed and when I was when I was unable to feed it with you know
with what it was used to turn it on me I got to deal with that thing

Mark did dig his way out of the hole he dug for himself, and you can learn about that part of his journey in episode 9. I am telling you this part of his story because of how sharply it contrasts with where Mark is today. Without that suffering of his own making, he would not be a black belt in language practice. But that identity as a fighter that he had to detox from to end his suffering was a fix he found himself continuing to go back to. Mark identified as someone who is fit and has a 6-pack until he turned 40. And this, my friends, is where the story starts to get really interesting!

5 - Mark on the message to get fat 24:24-26:30 So I hit puberty and started wrestling at 13 at the same time. And from there on out, I was ripped
and I stayed that way till I was 40.
when I started to get into, you know, the personal expansion work and personal development work,
so I started paying more attention to me the conversation I was having with myself, and you know, my habits and things like that. And
eventually I dialed in to
this knot in my stomach
right there, right, right. In my solar plexus. It was just hard, dude. And I could relax it
to a degree if I focused exclusively on it. And then when I took my attention somewhere else go to pick up a coffee, but it would lock right back up.
And that weirded me out. I'm like, What is that? And then I drew connected the dots between that not
and tight, hunched shoulders,
and then I connected the dots between that not and tight, hunched shoulders, and clenched job,
like there's something going on here. There's a, there's a, there's a, this is a pattern. it's to do with my identity.
working out harder is not going to remediate that.
Oh, shit. What do I do?
Am I gonna do
I'm gonna do
I just kept asking that question. And then a very peculiar answer. showed up.
Get fat.

That’s right everybody, Mark’s solution was to get fat. And if you liked my fight with a pumpkin pie last week, you’re going to love Mark’s internal dialogue around this decision.

6 - Mark’s inner conversation around getting fat and the result 26:31-28:54 Yeah, yeah, get that. What do you what do you talk about it? Just go do Just do it. Trust us. Get that glad we didn't get like fat. how fat? Just a little bit fat. You know, put on put on a little. A little cushion.
Really? Yeah. Really? I'm like, but. But my six pack
of beer.
That's it. Okay.
2016. So if if I'm a black belt at the language game. Then I'm a fresh black belt.
I stopped working out
I start eating an extra meal
a drink a six pack of beer every night any one to two pints of macadamia nut Haagen das ice cream
CUT OUT My Part 27:29-27:31 there was the other one from Elwood
Oh yeah. This was in Thailand. I did it for three months three months in Thailand and after three months I put on 20 pounds bro
I it was I'd lay in bed I had no idea that it would have it was going to be such a pleasant experience because what it did is it helped put some different kind of pressure on this not it helped like like like massage it out in a strange way and I got myself fat and put myself in a position where
you know I it's it's noticeable that I've put on weight and now I get to deal with people's comments and not only my fat but I'm also less strong and weak or Fashion Week EU you don't talk about pushing some buttons bro and doing it on purpose is this madness crazy madness I busted at it to pair of shorts and a pair of pants when I was laying in bed dude It was like I had somebody to spoon but there was no one else they're just had it I had a fucking gut for the first time my ass got fat
and I go home and Barbell Shrugged is coming up. Who gets fat for barbell shrug my dumb ass.

This is the point in the game where Mark meets the final boss. He’s won every level, and now it’s just HIM and the big test. Did getting fat allow Mark to finally release some deeply rooted identity issues that were not only holding him back from fully enjoying life, but were also causing him physical discomfort? We shall see…

7 - Mark on 28:54-30:45 My dad takes me to the airport, Richmond, Virginia airport.
Cut out 29-29:09 People. If you're listening to this and you want to get yourself a good drink, go get some wild tonic. This is delicious. It really is.
We're driving it's two hours from the farm to the airport
on January 18 barbell shrugs on January 20,
we pull up
and my dad goes
he I used to get called pudgy when I was a kid you think I like to that
hell no. hated it low that seed maybe not see it. I just I was. I was Walkman kids are good kids and
especially kids don't call pudgy kid pudgy.
My dad goes as soon as we pull up was the last thing out of his mouth
Can I give you some fatherly advice
and I knew what was coming
and I looked over at him and I go sure and he goes you've gotten pudgy you need to lose a little weight
one eye and one year on him and one I in one year on me.
Not one fuck was given no flinching at all not a hair on my arm moved and I was like cool book yeah
yes it was a score that is a score it was a weird
weird score didn't see it common you know wouldn't have wouldn't have bet that made that bet a year ago a year before

He did it! Mark won!! The test was a success. But little did Mark know that after he threw Bowser off the castle it wasn’t smooth sailing back to princess peachy town. As Mark was ready to get fit again, he was given another opportunity to test his mettle.

8 - Mark on the context around his elbow break 9:55-11:23 Bledsoe and I went to 10th planet and Phoenix
cool gym cool guys and you know my jujitsu is antiquated I stopped training mid 2002 you fast forward 1516 years especially in 10th planet they're very progressive and
I don't know the moves anymore man I'd like to think I do
anyway we took a couple classes and this was right after combo is right after three days of combo The day after
I want to roll which means live grappling
Mike's over on the wall talking to the owner of the gym
and do puts me in a more from half guard which is it's a it's a it's a shoulder lock
I can figure for in wrestling except for the arm and I didn't think you had it and a stretch straighten my arm out and in and he was cool about the whole thing man he wasn't trying to do anything was it was a freak accident one that I'm glad that happened even though I have a $13,000 credit card bill
to for for fixed arm.
Yeah, man, thanks to it didn't just snap it snapped and crunched and ripped like three different sounds, textures of sensation. all at the same time.

Thinking back to the beginning of the episode. Hearing how Mark reacted to the injury to his knee. How would you expect Mark to react to this situation in the moment? Do you think he started seething and had smoke blowing out his ears? Do you think he sunk straight into apathy? Do you think he spiritually bypassed the entire thing and skipped straight to enlightenment? Here’s the truth of it

9 - Mark on the immediate reaction to the break 11:29-14:18 So weird, real weird. You don't think your body doing those kinds of things until they do because it's, it's it's rare. Yeah.
after gym, there's only one thing that sounds like that in the gym. You know, snapping wet pencils,
half the gym looks over at the guy Let's go. He's like, Oh, dude. Dude, I looked down at my arm. I look at him look back down to my arm. I look back at him.
And I'm oddly enough I envisioned my calendar. There's my calendar out of all the things that I could focused on my calendar
and and and I'm adjusting my calendar in my mind
five seconds after this, my my, my elbow exploded
like, okay, not going to be taking that on a certification kettlebell course goes over in the trash can hope I can do paleo effects in six weeks. And I'm on the in the one on the insurance for the rental car. So I like driving with two arms. This thing might lock up we need to leave soon. That was the thought process which was it wasn't polar opposite. I didn't get excited about the injury. I didn't laugh or anything like that. Which would have been it was just straight in the middle. You know, it was it was it was neutral. It was probably practical reaction. Okay, this is now happened. What's my, what are my next steps instead of a knee jerk victim mentality, a reaction from hell, which is what I did in Thailand. And that's a byproduct of playing the language game for a little while. And making adjustments to my stories is when that thing when when when I got hurt in Thailand and had the the
second surgery it fit perfectly into my shitty opinion of myself.
And it was proof that there was something wrong with me. So this and the TED Talk somehow doomed to fail here's the proof okay.
And this was this was totally different and I was right my arm was was jacked, I had was known as a Tommy john surgery a couple months later, where they here's an interesting word context was they go in and they harvest some some tendons from my little from from my left leg, and then use it to lace my elbow back together again. Yeah, apps now. Yeah, it just it it was a bunch of rec stuff in there.

Even though Mark responded well in the moment, one could argue it’s just because he went into shock. As he was sitting in the car on the way to have has arm checked out, surely the gravity of the situation dawned on him, right? All of a sudden the pity story came flooding in? Mark described the incident like someone throwing a fake punch at him, stopping their fist just short of his nose to see if he would flinch.

10 - Mark on how he kept the story small 19:30-21:11 I didn't. I didn't flinch at all. It was just like, Okay, cool. I get it. Because I know to the degree that I do the there's what happened to my elbow. And then there's my story about what happened to my elbow the two different things and, and negation of knowledge. I never let it get started. I never let the mechanism of the story the victim mentality story get started. And, and it started
if I said, you know that dude, he broke my arm.
That sentence right there. It's a projection. If I say that and dig my teeth in. Now, what kind of mental imagery do I have? I have a victim and I have a villain in that picture. He did that to me. Okay. And if I let that sit there long enough, then it's gonna it's going to grow. Okay, right off the bat. I broke my arm because that was much more accurate. I have I have in a couple of conversations said we broke my arm, which is, you know, I can I can go there. It's cool. It's no charge. It's just is what it is. Because I took myself to class I'm the one that decided to sign that waiver and get on the mat.
I'm the one that that that
defended it the way that I did.
And when I keep that perspective, I win it there's there is a there's a real way to use language and words to increase
psychological and emotional immunity or decrease it.

This process Mark went through is all a product of his inner work journey. Because Mark’s medicine is words, he was able to avoid unnecessary suffering my keeping the story about the injury small.

11 - Mark on keeping the story small and where things are now 14:20-17:38 And I have
kept the story small map. I've kept it small, so much. Where some days I don't even think about it did when you called me
Not long after that happened. You didn't even bring it up until we had been talking for 30 minutes. That's how small it was for my perspective.
And thank God because there are better things to talk about in my problems. Yeah, and most of my problems are the ones that I created a thin air with conflict language, and guess who suffers? Definitely me hundred percent of the time. And then you know,
other people to the degree that they do, let's say someone else's having a, you know, a rough spell, and they just, they're all Finally, yeah, someone else who has some problems, tell me everything,
or someone ends up worrying about me, do I want that? Hell no, man. And so I know how to protect myself from parts of myself. And I know how to protect other people from those parts of myself. And a lot of it is, is with language
and I say that
no, I mean, I tried to, once I really dug into the what, you know, you could call it personal development, but it was way more than that. The expansion game, I tried everything to, I got a mean streak, man, there's part of me, that's just a low down dirty mean bastard. And I went after that part of myself, I put the cross hairs on it, and thought that I could fast it out or meditated out or below it, to submit the, with some heavy doses of some heavy plant medicines. And none of that work. And
I understand now
in a much more, you know, practical way that I am a mix of many things, many forces, most of which I don't understand, never will to in their totality. Some of them are positive, some of them are negative, and
I don't know how to keep them in check more now. And that's good. That's good for me. And that's good for the people in my life. Like, I got a great life now. Yeah, like, I got kick ass friends, and I deliver a valuable product.
It's what I do professionally. And I'm grateful
the, the opportunities that present that are presented to me
in my myself talk. I have a much better, healthier, accurate, Kinder conversation with myself about myself.
I breathe a lot better to men, like I'm breathing easier. Now enjoy myself more. And that that was not a there was none of that there was none of that before. And what held all that in place was
Oh, it's, it's okay. To be all those things because you can your fighter that's, that was the bandaid on top of my my, my my shadow when that got ripped off. Dude, I was unprepared. I was unprepared. I didn't know what hit me.

The way you get to this point where Mark is today is practice. Which is why I am giving you the opportunity to practice your language and change your stories with me and community of others starting December 1st by doing the Core Language Upgrade course. This episode is not over yet, but I do want to remind you that you can use the discount code BeyondMacros at to get $100 off your core language upgrade registration AND when you forward the receipt to [email protected] we will add you to the group. If you already purchased the course and want to re-frame your mindset as you reflect on 2018 and project your goals for 2019 you can also join in on the fun. This will be my 3rd time going through the course and I will be facilitating the experience which will culminate in a goal setting exercise so you will live the life you envision in 2019.

Before we close the episode, Mark wanted to leave you with some goal setting gold.

12 - Mark on goal setting 44:31-47:12 Let me let me let me approach the conversation this way, that there is a very
tangible difference between a dream and a goal
big time. And that difference is that a dream is in someone's head, and a goal is written down on paper. So step one, you want to take your dreams and manifest them man, I use that word very rarely, in in
in 3d reality. Write it down, write it down and write it down conversationally.
Let's say you do that. And let's say you think about what you want to do in 2019, and you get 10 things that you would love to do. Some of them seem very easy to realize that someone seem very challenging. There's a couple in between, who cares make sure their stated in the affirmative. So you know, I don't want to be insecure with my girlfriend. Yeah. Well, that's what you don't want. What do you want, I want to I want to feel more secure with my girlfriend when we're out at parties. So you make it specific and Affirmative. Cool. And,
and like I said, conversational. So you're saying it,
adding some numbers, numbers can get freaky go dollars and dates, get out that calendar when you're going to have things done by
give yourself a hard stop for it, put them in. And then let's say you got those 10, and then put space in between each one of those 10 statements and write the word breathe in there. So you'll make the statement talk about down regulation, this is the it's it's the most reliable way to take a concept to heart literally, concept to heart and embody a concept that I've, I've seen, it's very simple, make the statement and then you pause and you breathe in,
breathe out,
relax, make your next statement. Say the goal out loud. Yeah, it could be freaky, to say these things, it brings up all kinds of stuff, a solid legit goal setting practice, it will poke the bear
for all the right reasons. And, and you keep going and you socialize the these ideas with yourself to the point where with with the way that they're structured in the breathing structures, the structures, the masculine, the breath is the feminine, that's the flow structure and flow, a nice combination of that once yourself in the direction you want to go. And, you know, you got Happy Days, man,

If you write down goals for the year, you’re ahead of the game as Mark explains. He enlightened me to the fact that only 3% of the population has written goals. Even writing something down will help you get more focused on it and see the opportunities to accomplish it. The thing about goals, though, is that I find clients think setting a goal for one year from now is a long term. One year goals are short term. And I find clients are scared to write 10 year goals. Mark has a 50-year goal!

13 - More of Mark on Goal Setting 48:18-49 I got a 50 year goal. And it only took me 10 years to be able to articulate a 50 year goal. So I'm giving my last presentation on language and story in March 2057.
Oh, that will be so my goal was to be in the game for 50 years.
I will sit everything I need to say 17 ways.
1700 ways.
And then I'm out. I'm just gone. Yeah, I just stopped out the door. Everybody else can handle it.
Seat will be planted.

I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did. As always we love to hear what you thought about the show, and what stood out. And Our new free Beyond Macros community will have an area to discuss this and other podcasts with other people who are interested in nutrition and doing the self work. You have two options right now to get an invitation to the group. First is to download the calorie & macro calculator worksheet and have an active email subscription with us. The second is to forward your receipt for the Procabulary Core Language upgrade course to [email protected] If you’re registering for the first time, save $100 with the code Beyond Macros, all one word.

The language upgrade challenge begins December 1st. Will you be joining us?

As always, thanks for listening and I look forward to seeing you again next week! Much love Beyond Macronians.

Author tag: Mark England of Procabulary and Matt Walrath of Beyond Macros
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The power of language and how it can improve your life and your performance with Mark England

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