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Changing Your Physique: Episode 6 of the Fit Father Project Podcast

By: Dr. Anthony Balduzzi, NMD - Men's Health Doctor & Founder, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project,

podcast ep 6

 

Episode 6 of the Fit Father Project Podcast is all about changing your physique and how Andre Aubry led his family into a healthier life!

In Episode 6 of the Fit Father Project Podcast, Dr. A talks with Andre about life, health, and fitness.

If you have seen Andre’s pictures, I’m sure you’ll agree, he has made an amazing leap forward with his body transformation, dropping 21 lbs and making an incredible improvement to his physique.

As well as the physical change though, Andre, a 42-year-old father of three has made a mental and spiritual change too. This has helped him become a great role model to his children and lead his entire family into a much healthier lifestyle.

Listen to this conversation to learn how the Fit Father Project programs set Andre on the path to success, what his current nutrition plan is, and exactly what obstacles his new lifestyle helped him overcome.

Click here to listen to Episode 6 and subscribe to the
Fit Father Project Podcast!

changing your physique

Changing Your Physique: Full Episode 6 Transcript

I had to leave my ego at the door. The only challenge is I'm challenging myself. So my 10-pound weight was my success story. The day that I could take that and I could do renegade rows with a 10-pound weight. Because when I first started, I couldn't go up and down these circuits. Is a success story in itself. To me, it was just like bit by bit …

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: All right, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Fit Father Project Podcast. My name is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi. I'm the founder and host of the Fit Father Project Podcast. And I'm truly honored to be joined by Andre, one of our incredible program members who has one hell of a story.

There's a little joke that kind of goes around the company. Because one thing that we get the privilege of doing at the Fit Father Project is seeing just thousands of transformations, photos, and stories. And I remember when Andre came through our team chat and we got to see some of his progress and this guy, you can't see him as you're listening, but he's 42 and he's got some ripped six-pack. But that's not the best of his transformation. It's the fact that we want to have Andre on because he didn't just become probably in the best shape that he's ever been in his life. But he really reversed health conditions; went through a whole mental, physical, and spiritual reboot.

And I think that's what's so amazing and powerful about Andre's story. So Andre, welcome to the show. My friend, I'd love to kick it off with your name, where you're from, and a little bit about your family and then we'll take it from there. 

Andre Aubry: Sounds good. It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me. And this is really a privilege for me as well.

The team has been phenomenal in regards to this journey. We'll talk about that, I'm sure, a little bit more later. I'm 42 years old, currently live in Ottawa, Canada, and I have an incredible little family of a 12-month-old, a six-year-old, and a nine-year-old. So we're a very young family and I have an amazing wife who has been my cheerleader and my supporter all throughout this, even at times when she had doubts.

And we'll probably jump into that as well. Because that's a part of the journey. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Andre, take us back. You're now in phenomenal shape, but it wasn't always that way. And you have a very particular kind of career that contributed to this. So I'd love for you to share a little bit about what was the low point of your health.

When was it when you decided I need to do something differently, I need to really start focusing on my fitness? Can you tell us about the beginning of your journey into taking your health very seriously?

Andre Aubry: It's cumulative. I would like to think that I was in pretty good shape in my early 20s and mid-20s.

You work out like crazy. You eat pretty much anything you want. And I thought I was in good shape. And then I got married, had kids, and started essentially my career. You start to progress up the levels and the intensity; the demands of the career were absolutely just taking over.

And on top of that, when you're married and you have kids, you have to prioritize every one of those things. And then, I'm in the military. So being deployed when we're overseas, and all of those demands on top of it mentally started to hit me. So, I went to what I thought was a good physical conditioning.

I thought it was taking care of myself. I thought I was eating well. I was a fit dad, I thought. And then all of a sudden, it's you start to realize, OK, wait a minute. I'm not. This was about the 2014 range. And I had a significant incident as well. That also contributed to that. That essentially brought me to a place where I didn't know where left and right were, and mentally I couldn't control anything. And so I stopped doing a lot of the physical conditioning that I was doing. I was eating a lot less due to the PTSD I had developed. I was not able to essentially respond to my family the way that I wanted to.

So mentally, spiritually, physically, all those demands were hitting, and it's impacting my relationships and my friendships. So fast forward, all of that, all of a sudden, my feet are hurting. Why do you have a right shoulder issue? Whenever I was sleeping, it would fall asleep on me. I was constantly hurting. I could barely lift anything overhead. And I was seeing doctors about this as well.

And they're trying to figure it out. I actually was seeing doctors for quite a few years, and specialists. Multiple different areas of individuals and then with my nutrition and all the rest of it, you don't even that's the thing.

I'm still sort of doing a little bit of physical conditioning once in a while. I'm hitting the gym or I'm still walking and hiking with my kids here and there. And my nutrition. I'm like, well, we eat OK. And pretty good for our family. So it was all those what-ifs that were involved in that and it just came to that point.

As the injuries were accumulating, every time I try to work out, I'm always hurt. I'm always getting injured, everything from my lower back constantly to, without fail three, four times a year, my back would completely spasm and go out. And my shoulder. I developed a throat disease, which turns out I have specific allergies that nobody knew of.

They thought it was a gastrointestinal issue, which was impacting me. It was actually a throat disease. Took him six years to figure it out. They still actually haven't figured it out, but that's OK. We rectified that in a different way and that's a part of the FFP. So all of a sudden, fast forward, a little bit, there's quite a journey and it's just art.

I don't know what else to say. It's just excruciating for me and my family. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: What made you change? Because I think there are so many guys that are … this whole, your body hurts. You don't feel like you have the motivation. Your schedule is so taxed and it's like this vicious cycle of keeping you stagnated and you want to do better, but you don't even feel like you have the energy and motivation to do so.

So many guys are trapped there. You got out of that gravitational pull. But it started with some kind of a moment. What was it that got you going? And you're like, I got to do something.

Andre Aubry: Fall of 2019. I had bit by bit started to do some external counseling. And in 2019, my wife calls me. I was actually traveling.

I was away for three weeks. She gives me a call as if we really need to talk. And I'm like, OK, what's going on? She says, I'm pregnant. I'm like, we weren't excited. I think because we had a miscarriage unfortunately, a few years before that. And we thought that was it. All of a sudden I'm getting into my 40s.

We thought that was it. And we were taking precautions as well and all of that. And all of a sudden she says, I'm pregnant. I'm like, OK. And here I am on a leadership course. My wife tells me that she's pregnant and I go back into this leadership course, which I have to do with effective leadership in every capacity.

And a part of that has to do with, you need to be in good physical condition and you have to be in good mental condition and prioritize and manage and so on and so forth. The art and science of leadership is complex in itself. But all of a sudden here I am in a situation where my wife just tells me I'm pregnant.

The next day I sit down in classrooms and in seminars about leadership. My head is just whirling. I'm in my 40s. I'm about to be a dad again. And I'm like, my arm hurts. My foot hurts. I feel like sometimes I go up the stairs, I'm out of breath. I don't look like I'm a big person, but I was because of my ectomorphic body.

It doesn't seem like I've had too much weight for somebody my size, without a question. I want to lift my kids up. I want to, I'm going to be a grandpa potentially in my 60s and 70. I want to be, I don't want to be in a wheelchair. I want to be an example to my kid and it just that's where it happened.

And it was essentially in September 2019. So, while this is happening, I ended up back home and I'm actually traveling back and forth. And we have quite a nice gym in my house that I accumulated through the years in my old days of working out that I kept, sort of collecting dust. A month later, she goes, we have all these weights and I've said it to you before, but if you don't start using them, you need to sell them.

Why do you have them? They're taking up space. So my mind was already considering, OK, she mentioned that to me before, but my head space wasn't there or I would try and get injured again. No, I'll do one. It's like you saved these things in life that you want to do. One day, it just really started to hit me.

So I'm like, I'm just going to do it. So I downloaded this hilarious app online and I'm like, I just got to do something. And this little lab says, do this, take a break 30 seconds. Do this, take a break 30 seconds. So I'm doing this, take a break 30 seconds. And that was in the December time. I'm like, I just got to get started with something, just go for it.

And at the same time, I said, I'm looking for something, but I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. I'm just, I'm looking for something, but I'm a kind of a all in or all-out kind of person. So I want the full package. I'm not interested in just the simplistic little programs I'm not interested in.

Well, you're going to focus in this one area. I want it all, but I didn't know what that looked like. I didn't even know if it was out there so bit by bit as the algorithms on Google and the internet started to figure out that I'm looking for fitness things. I was constantly getting all these various ads, old links, click this.

Well, let's check this out. Let's check this out. And I'm amazed at honestly how much garbage is out there. And at the same time, there were so many wonderful things, but they're not complete. They're just bits and pieces. I'm like, well, I don't want a bit here. Then I got jumped over here. Then I got jumped over here and let's not forget I'm in the military.

I have access to full gyms, have access to military professionals, but even in the military, they all do one thing at a time. Come to the gym to do your one aerobic class. Now, go see somebody else, go through this. Now, go see somebody else. And then COVID especially right now, it's very different, wonderful professionals, but for somebody who just, I need a full reset and I need to know what that looks like.

And then I stumbled upon the Fit Father and right off the bat. OK. Hello. My wife's pregnant about to have another child. I see Fit Father. Catches it all. I'm like, OK, I haven't seen this one yet. And that was in March of 2020. So I'm like, OK, free meal plan. Why not? I've done it for everyone else.

Let's do it for this one. You know? And then I started looking into it and I'm a big researcher, a part of my background, and a lot of different things I can do in my career. So I started researching, is this credible? Does this make sense? Is this factual? Is this accredited? You know, accreditations to me on top of the ability to actually present, is quite important, but then it's like, OK, well, what about the results?

So now I start looking, well, what are the various results in here? And what does this encompass? So the more I started to delve in it, you know, all of a sudden I'm printing out the meal plans. All of a sudden I signed up for the 30 day. I didn't start it yet, but then what happened is they unlocked it. They said we'll allow you to look at everything.

And that's like a big mistake to give to Andre because that's like a buffet for me. So I'm going to every part of every facet that I was able to, I'm printing everything. I'm copying anything. I got giant binders now, full of stuff. I'm like, wait a minute. This is covering everything. And there's a progression.

Point to it where, OK, so you're actually trying to mentally set a person up for success. I needed that. You're trying to physically set me up for success starting later. And you have various exercises that are able to, essentially I can alter at this point, I could not do that first Apex.

My shoulder was absolutely destroyed. So I'm like, OK, well, let's do a variety of exercises and still able to get the result. Now I pump the Apex with 40-pound weights. I couldn't do it with 10 pounds. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: And for those who don't know, the Apex 10 is the core workout in the Fit Father Phase One program. It's like a workout that involves core foundational motions, like swing squats, overhead presses, rows, and push-ups, and you do them in a circuit fashion.

And to do this thing with 40 pounds, now is a truly, I'd say close to an elite level of fitness. I mean, that is no joke. But you went from this point where you were looking for a total solution, and you found that in the Fit Father Project, and then you also were looking for, you had to find a way to start and for you, what suited your personality was printing things out, getting organized and seeing the full picture and the game plan.

That seems like that was a big thing for you now in the early days. You know, before you started to see phenomenal progress, what kept you going? Like, how did you get through those first 30 days when you're like, man, I feel like I can't fully do these workouts because of my shoulder, or is this really worth it or any of the mental baggage that might come up for so many of us when we're trying to make a change?

What was that? What was the mentality of that early period in your journey?

Andre Aubry: So in April, I started the program wholeheartedly. My wife gave birth. So my wife was wow, every day I would see her and I would be like, there's my motivation. That little guy that's inside of her is my motivation. I had to find something to stick to because working at home during your COVID environment, on top of the pregnant wife, remote learning, which is essentially teaching homeschooling and also doing actual school curriculums, is not easy and it was not easy whatsoever.

So I was working. There was probably about a 10 hour timeframe where I would figure out just a way I'd get it in there. I would get it in. And I just had to, and my wife knew it then, and this was a huge discussion that we had to make as a family to be able to have that full support from her, knowing that the timings may not be ideal, but I got to get it.

I need to do, I need to set myself up to me. There's always been a three-month magic mark. If you're able to do things consistently for three months it becomes a habit. And it's really true because even as a, I was thinking about this interview, I kept saying, and then I started to go back through my old documents from that first month, my mission statements, what were my goals?

What do I want to do? I'm like, oh, right. I did want to do that while I did it. And then some. The first month was, it was just, I love it. Absolutely loved it yet it was difficult because of the family setting and our situation. And it was more than difficult. It was horrendous to try to get going and set up a clean routine, but not just the workout, trying to eat without disrupting our family, trying to include my family without forcing things on them.

So they don't think, oh, dad's just obsessed. Oh, this is just a fact. I'm not interested in a fad. I'm not interested in just jumping on something then jumping off. That's why to me, even the word diet, I love it. That was one of those things. I loved reading your meal plan. This is not a diet. It's better, not because diet diets don't work and I'm like, well, there you go.

You just set it. And a meal plan. It doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. You're not changing your lifestyle. You're not including something you can do for the rest of your life. I really was motivated to make and transform this. And every time I'd watch my wife walking by hobbling around, seven and eight months pregnant. My motivation was there every time I'd watch my kids, you know, and what they were doing. And over there, looking at daddy, the way they're looking at daddy sweating, dripping, daddy, what do you have so much water coming off of you? It's like you're drenched. You're absolutely exhausted.

You know? And I was hurting and I started using foam rollers and then I had green tea every day. I do morning body flows every day and I've altered a lot. And what I love about this is none of this is set. You provide the guidelines and the recommendations, and it really is up to you on how you implement them.

You know, and to me, I'm just like, I love that because of the more and more I was going through it. I was adjusting a few things without taking away from the program. And, and it was just like, wow, this is so much fun. And I just lost 21 pounds. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: OK, so I want to ask two things and I want to ask about the 21 pounds, but also just to point out that the joy comes from building your own health system, this self experimentation with our program, the way we created it as you're kind of alluding to it's structure, but it's kind of like you build your own adventure. Your health plan is yours. Like you've taken full ownership of that. You have the right eating plan that works for you.

You have the workouts that work for you, and that's why this thing's not a diet or a fad. It's your own unique system. And that's amazing. Now I want to know too. I'm thinking back to what you're like, you see your wife walking. You have this fire of motivation, you're doing these workouts and you're like, holy crap, this is a lot more harder than I thought.

When is the tipping point in your journey? Will you start to be like, oh yeah, this is fun. When it goes from hard to fun, is it that first 21 pound lost at the 30-day mark? Was it hitting your mission statement? Like what was the change? Because oftentimes we start these things. We have external motivation that we kind of, we tap into, but then it becomes its own reward in itself.

There's this intrinsic motivation that starts. Where was the tipping point where you really had momentum behind your back? And it didn't feel like as much like a grind. 

Andre Aubry: I would say that at the end of Phase Two was when things were, so they became normal. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: So that's 90 days for everyone listening. By 90 days, you felt like you had this groove.

Andre Aubry: Yeah. But the first three months, there's a lot of information that's thrown at you to just develop the foundations, which is needed. So you got really, really digest, literally digest these foundations and you need to be able to implement them. Every one of them, if you're missing one, it disrupts the other, everything from mental, physical, spiritual, all of the dynamics of how I live my circadian rhythm.

You know? And so to me that three month mark is where I didn't need to always look at the notes. I didn't even need to look at my shake board. I got little printouts of my shakes. What shake am I doing today? I don't need to count my macros and my all my various types of proteins and fats and carbs.

It's it just became almost second nature. And the joy of this is that as it became second nature when I would read further on the literature. Because it was second nature. I was able to process it quicker. And I was able to apply it quicker, just as much as the techniques and the routines. I trained with some national bodybuilders years and years ago and some amateurs.

And it's so funny. I'm going to say this one. Because I shared it with my wife and she says it made a difference. My squat, just you saying you got to sit down like you're going on the toilet. I'm like, what does he mean by that? And I'm watching you doing this squat. And I thought I had the squats down.

Twenty-five years ago, not even close when I really started to get that right angle and sit down and really compress myself; I'm going to the toilet. Wow. Like the effects. So I was really tweaking and working on those techs, the swing. Just the way that I would contract my abs on the way down, roll myself in, and pull them up when I'm going up.

It was just like, yeah, like, ah, feel this and this is awesome. It feels great. The planks, I did planks all the time, but then just a slight shoulder up, roll the back, just a touch. And as you're rolling, contract your abs and how about do a body on top of that or do an RKC, which are variations essentially.

I've never felt these things the way that I am now and technique is huge. And I'm a huge person with technique. Then I realize how sloppy and how bad my technique was, including those people that were training me in the past. And it's nothing against them. So now it's just fun because I had to leave my ego at the door.

The only challenge is I'm challenging myself. So by 10-pound weight, that was my success story. The day that I could take that and I could do a renegade row with a 10-pound weight. Because when I first started, I couldn't and to go up and down these circuits is a success story in itself. To me, it was just like bit by bit and all of a sudden … my shoulder now, earlier today, I was doing basically curl to press.

And so I'm doing 40-pound curl to press circuits. And when I do my OSM, I do an OSM modified phase six. So I just grabbed weights while we're going to do on the incline today. Well, let me grab my 95 pounds and I'm doing 95 pounds. 

A year ago, I couldn't do 25 proper pushups every morning. I do 30 to 60 in my morning body flow. And then we do our various routines. And what I love is I can run with my kids. I'm never out of breath. I did a 16-kilometer bike ride last Sunday. The guys laugh at me because I keep my bike on high gear.

Just because it's just, I love it. I'm just constantly challenging my body and moving my body, but I'm doing it. And I started, I'm more active. My kids see it and they want to join and so much so that now my wife is now a part of the Fit Mother Project. And she thought I was obsessed at first, she thought I was going overboard and I never thought I'd hear that.

And it's this thing of, I know the goal, I know where I'm going with this. And, and eventually she was like, we sat down and we looked at the transformation, pictures and little things like that. You're ashamed to take a picture of yourself. I was, my first picture is a horrible picture of me. Because I didn't care.

I was like, ah, whatever, just take the picture just because, and now I regret it. I'm like, I wish I would've taken a better picture so you can see the difference. But in my body and in my shape, as I've been progressing, which is from day one, today, 180 days, is astronomical. The 21 pounds, that's a number, but when you look at the difference, it's like, whoa.

And then how I feel, how I move, how I'm mentally more present and all these things that are just normal for me, that I do every day, like I've been having little balls of green tea in here every single day for over a year. I love it. I love it. I did not like green tea before. You know, it's I never made smoothies before and never made shakes.

And now within five and 10 minutes, these things are done. Like, why did I never do that before? It's like the quickest, easiest thing can do and you get everything one shot instead of making 30 minutes, 40 minutes, one hour, my wife's all over it. My kids are all over it. Daddy, can you make one for us? Daddy, make one for us.

So the family sees what I'm doing and he's sated. It's a part of who I am. And to me, like, wow. Yeah. Wow. Like, funny story, I was at an apple orchard last fall and we're walking around and they didn't have ladders to pick apples. So I just grabbed my wife, put her on my shoulders and then grab my kids, put them into trees while she's on my shoulders.

And kids beside me in their late teens and early 20s could even lift each other up. Wow. But I didn't think about it. Just do it. I just picked her up. Like she's a feather and put her on top of me. And I'm like, it's just the norm now that daddy's a fit dad and the kids see it.

Even at my workplace, people are starting to see me and say, Andre, you've been working out and I share my story. And COVID, unfortunately, you're not able to see as many people. However, when I do it's an interesting dynamic because you want to encourage people. You don't want to make them feel bad. And around the communities that I'm at, I'm surrounded by some people that are extremely unhealthy and your heart just goes out to them, but you can't tell them what to do.

And I don't want to either. I just want to be who I am, live my life, being an example. And love them and have a great relationship with these individuals. This is more than just you. It's a reflection of who you are to all of those that surround you and being in the military, how I look, what I do on a day-to-day basis, means that I have integrity in what I talk about.

It means I walk the walk. You feel horrible when you're telling these individuals do this, do that. Oh, by the way, I'm in pretty bad shape right now, that doesn't lie. It doesn't line up. And that was extremely hard. And that's a part of my journey is I take an individual pride on being consistent and having integrity in what I do and what I say, how I walk, and through the years that weighed on me huge, because I knew I wasn't walking the walk and then that would try and then I'd fail and then I'd hurt my back.

No more foot injuries. Every week I run a 5k perfectly fine. We altered all of our gym equipment so that we have what we need. I don't need to do all the old power lifting stuff. It's I have what I need and my gastrointestinal and all that. I haven't been sick in over a year. The specialist goes, what did you do?

So I shared with him, I take vitamin supplements. I do this or do that. Here's my nutrition and here's my health and here's what I drink. You're like the poster child, like just last week I went for a medical you're like, you're the poster child and it's not a boasting thing. It's like, wow, really?

In a way. I'm like, why am I the poster child? I'm just trying to better myself because I want to live. I don't want to die. And if there's any way in my life I can prevent this, I'm going to take action in my life to do that. Cause I wanted it to be sustaining for life, man. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: I'm emotional listening to this. I think something you wrote and shared with me at the end when you were coming on the podcast is you said I used to not like looking forward to getting old, but now I do, because you've just recreated this whole new path for yourself and for your face. And you're doing it for yourself, but you're the shining example for so many people in your community.

And it was 180 days. You did this in under a year. Now talk about time investment and energy investment that's going to pay. There's not a better investment than this in you and your family. And that's incredible, Andre. It's truly incredible. I want to know for the guys listening this, some guys are probably thinking, OK, this is amazing.

And I wish I could do something like this. What were some of the big ahas or tactics that you deployed? So things like shakes may seem like small things, but you regimented that first meal. And you got good nutrition, things like these different types of workouts that are not the powerlifting workouts, they're workouts that are designed to boost your metabolism, et cetera.

And also these check-ins in the structure that you may have not have found in other places that were like piecemeal diets or piecemeal workouts. Like what were some of the actual nitty-gritty details that you think are foundational to your plan? Like, if I could say Andre, what are the three to five things that you think are non-negotiables for you?

That you discovered through this Fit Father experience in your own health journey, what are those things for you? 

Andre Aubry: Sleep is a big one, which I'm still working on. However, I am much better than before, which is crazy. And especially with a child and a brand new child to force myself to go to bed earlier, shut down the phone, shut down the computer.

Like we never did that. And you sort of know that you have to do that, and you don't realize how much it's impacting your deep sleep in your REM, or you don't want to admit it to yourself. And so to me, when I really started to hit hard-on, I don't care if it's six and a half hours versus six, I'm going to start hitting that 30 minutes.

I don't care if I'm going to get whatever I could do. If it was just an incremental change to start, I'm going to hit it. Sleep was one where it's incremental and it's worked out huge. Because then I would get up earlier versus dragging myself out of bed or hit the snooze button over and over again. And I'm like, I will get up.

I'm going to start a boring body. Get my body moving. I do that every morning. It's a non-negotiable every month you're doing your pushups. You're doing some stretches, some yoga postures, different things to wake up your body, foundational things like, look guys listening, I mean, the quality of your life ultimately ends up being the quality of your mobility is a huge thing as you age.

And you're doing a little bit of movement. You're not even calling it exercise. You call it a body flow. Because I know you do formal workouts, but this is different. You wake up and you move. That body flow is massive. And on workout days, it's about a 15-20 minute body flow.

On non-workout days. I add a few little extra things. Because it's also a recovery day, which is about 20, 25. And I love it. It sets the stage. And while I'm doing that, I'm meditating, I'm praying, I'm thinking. And for me, that's extremely important. I'm trying to set myself up for success for the date and that's stuff that I used to do in the past.

But in consistently, and as I've developed it as a norm, it sets my day up for success. And I'm prepared to tackle that the day, which is every area, the kids are waking up, start making lunch, start doing this, my wife, she needs to be taken care of in this sense. Or I need to jump and go to work. I need to transition from one thing to the next.

And I need that because my day afterwards, I have no clue how it's going to turn out. I have no clue. So setting it up sets the stage for the rest of the day, that's a big one for me. And I sort of mentioned it a little bit before it's leaving my ego at the door. It's not going to be perfect.

I'm not going to have a perfect routine due to the nature of my work-family life. I don't want to put pressure on myself and worry about anything that's not needed. It's not needed. So if I work out at 10, great, our work cut out. That's perfectly fine, but I set them up there on the calendar. Our calendar, our family sees daddy has a workout on this day.

So no matter what happens, that's a, non-negotiable, I'm having that workout. I'm having that workout. I don't know when, because things change all the time, but I'm having that workout. And I do a minimum of one to two MRTS a week. I do a minimum of one to two HIITs. I do a minimum of two traditional strength training exercises per week.

And then I also have active days, the free days as you call them where we very deliberately do very high intensity sports activities, hiking, backpacking, and they're, non-negotiables, those little things in the calendar and the calendar never looks the same. But they're always in there and the kids in the family know that daddy's going to do something.

What I love about it is that as I went through all the different phases, now that I'm in the next phase between phase four, which I use also aspects of it minute, oh, I can't do an MRT today. I'm going to do an earth element today instead. Why not 20 to 30 minutes done versus the one hour I can alternate.

And because I know the different areas that I can. Exercises that I'm looking to do throughout the week. I don't put that extra pressure on no, I missed out on my Wednesday hardcore routine. That's OK. I've got a good base. I got a good foundation. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: I want to highlight a couple of things. There is, there's so much wisdom in that.

I think there's this dance when it comes to your health structure between consistency and the ebbs and flows of life. So you need to have a plan, but the plan has to be flexible. And that's what I love. And I've actually discovered the same thing for myself, Andre, where I know my workout days and I actually typically know the time, but oftentimes it flexes, like I was supposed to work out at three yesterday.

I worked at six. But I knew it was on the schedule. It was on the day and the family sees that. And I think that's very important, especially early on to get your structure and also I want guys listening to know that like Andre's exercise routine, you do this amount of exercise because you love it. You don't need that much exercise from day one.

You get a couple workouts in, and you change. That's it like it doesn't require as much, but it becomes something you look forward to when your body is full of energy. When your hormones are better, when your joints don't hurt, it's going to be something you want to schedule an undo. And that's amazing.

Now, Andre, I want to talk about your family at the tail end of this conversation, because, and I don't want to embarrass you saying this, but I kind of want to embarrass you. And that is what your wife now calls you. Because you are just ripped and awesome. Like you've created this amazing physique, what's it like for you as a man now to have your wife say things to you like that being 42, because for most guys, that's something that you stop hearing when you're past your 20s and 30s, but you've reinvigorated this body. What's it done for your marriage? What's it done for your relationship? And maybe a little more about your kids too. I know we've touched on that, but I want to hear about that because I think that's an added benefit from the stuff that not enough people hear stories.

Andre Aubry: There are a few layers to that. And I hope later on we can talk about the nutrition sides to it. But to answer the current question, let's start with my kids. My kids are too young to really understand body dysmorphia and various basically what is obese and what's not to them.

It's just, that's daddy. That's mommy. So for my kids, they see daddy and they're like, well, those are muscles. Yeah. And before that there wasn't, it was like, oh daddy, you got a squishy tummy. I remember my little girl saying squishy tummy. And she used to bounce off my tummy. You have fun with it. And it's just who you are.

But now it's the opposite. Now she hits me and it's like that, or you're too hard. It's become the norm that they see that this is who daddy is. It's the norm of the kids is what I'm trying to say. So I'm taking away that dynamic of what daddy was like before when I ate chips all the time.

And it was four to six pieces of bread per day with peanut butter and jam or whatever, it's at all these various things that, that were just, when you really look at it, they're just not good habits. And they're watching my wife. When we talk about the dynamic of how she sees me, it's twofold. One side is she looks at me and she's amazed and she wants to touch me. That's a good thing. And I'm like, that is a good thing. I'm like, hello, who as a married man will not want their wife to touch them. And for me, that's a part of what we call my, my, one of my love languages is physical touch. So that physical touch is something that affirms me as a man.

So I didn't have that for years. And I knew it. You know, but now that it's happening and she's coming to me and gravitating to me and it's affirming me without even telling them. And it's, that's huge. And I know that she's attracted to me. She's not just saying, oh, it's OK that you have a few more extra pounds.

I'll always love you the way are. So what you're saying is, I'm not attractive now. It's like, you're hot. It's like, you're mine. I'm like, wow. Like those are more than just statements on the side. They're direct statements to me about who I am as her man. So she has taken ownership over it.

But there are two sides. The other side is sometimes jealousy and sometimes it was hard for her to see me getting these results she wanted. So now I'm like, oh no. Now I'm the man that she's always known me to be, but have to be careful because I don't want to leave her in the dust.

I want her to come along in this journey, because especially when you're married, everything is a mirror. And if I'm completely going in a direction and she's not on board, it's going to take our marriage apart. And I don't want that in any way. Didn't ever want that. So we had a lot of discussions. We've had a lot of one-on-one time and it's just absolutely critical for her to know I'm still supporting her.

I'm not judging her. I'm not forcing things on her. I'm just trying to be me. And you'd never know what your wife is going through, or even people around you, what they may think afterward. I've even had family members that are upset. Oh, he's going overboard. That's too much. And it's like, you know what?

I can understand based on things that I've done in the past or how certain people behave that obsessions are one thing. But when you just are yourself and you continue to not arrogantly, but with humility, you approach people and you're just who you are, eventually they realize, especially after it's been a year and a half, that this is a part of what he does.

This is who he is. And I'm watching people that doubted and were angry sometimes at me and, or were very worried about me that now they're like, they're starting to make changes in their life. Like we have family members, cousins who're on the program now they're starting the program. It said we have so, so there's a ripple effect.

If it's done with integrity, if it's done consistently. It's done with vulnerability and humility because I've always wanted my family to be like this. My wife's always wanted this, but then all of a sudden it's starting to happen. It's like, wait a minute. You're starting to leave me in the dust, but I've always wanted this.

So now we're fully aligned. This is a success story to me this morning. My wife was having a workout downstairs and I was playing with the kids. Some guys are like, what does that mean? My wife and I for over a decade can never work out together. There was always a competitive edge. That competitive edge has been removed.

And just in the last six months now we're doing things together. We've always wanted to do that. We couldn't because there was something within ourselves emotionally, or with our ego or with our competitiveness that was always getting in the way. So this is mending our hearts as in, in our marriage, which is incredible.

So I hope I answered that aspect of that question.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Yes, you did. And I didn't forget about your nutrition too. That's amazing. And your wife is now, as you said, following Fit Mother, and she has a community and a program and a path to follow. And truly, I'll say this, Andre, from everything you've shared, you really are leading with humility.

And by example, I think there's this book good to read by Jim Collins, a good business book. A lot of people are familiar with it. They talk about level five leaders and level five leaders are those that lead by example, that are the first person to come in and the last person to come out and they're doing it for, you know, because this is their essence of integrity.

That's absolutely what you've demonstrated here. And it's powerful to see the changes you've made without trying to drag people along like a tugboat. You're just shining and allowing that light to come through with other people. Nutrition though. Because I, I did almost cut you off earlier when you were talking about like the five things or so that were so impactful.

And I know you want to share, you've made big changes from having bread with jam and peanut butter and stuff to now doing different stuff in nutrition. So let's talk about what were some of those bad habits that got what they get replaced with in what now? Because this is probably when the biggest hangups for men is how do I eat healthy consistently?

The nutrition part hangs up a lot of guys, but obviously, you've developed a system we've helped you develop a system through this program that works for you. So what does that look like? 

Andre Aubry: Our family really had to be on board, but this one, because on one side to have a bag of chips and on the other side to have some whey protein or a bag of spinach, you know it's, you're just tempting yourself.

So we make deliberate choices of what we will not buy. And we started, it's like, don't even buy that. I used to love jalapeno chips. Well, there's always the bag of jalapeno chips there. My fingers would get in there pretty quick. No doubt. So what we just said, no, I need to not have that there bit by bit.

I started to replace that with specific protein bars, high protein, low sugar, protein bars that I found that were nice and healthy. And I'm like, that's my snack. That's my snack. My little afternoon stack. I've got these organic Aussie Bites. That's my snack with my little protein bar instead of some chips.

So I removed the two. And vitamins and supplements. So I have my creatine every day. I've got my whey and my vegan, depending on what I'm doing or what I'm having, I'm pretty sure that the stocks in stores have gone down from buying all the spinach out of their stores, but I've never in my life had much spinach and I blend it and I mix it and I put it in everything and it's, it's just, it has become the norm on our grocery list.

It's this thing again about aligning ourselves as a family, not dictating it. So even if my wife was making certain meals, she saw that I was spreading my plate a certain way. It's like I was creating this perfect plate almost every time. So instead of an insane amount of carbs. I never realized how much carbs I was eating all the time.

I cut the carbs to a quarter and I'm like, there we go. Instead of having just the white potatoes, you know, we really focus on sweet potatoes, but that took a long time. It was little tweaks here and there, little tweaks in there and that's become a norm on our grocery list.

We have shelves where I've got one that's walnuts. I've got one that's my pumpkin seeds. And in the morning when I had my breakfast, I go click, open them up. I go click, put it in, done. So I've set up these little things where that's what I stare at in the morning. It's OK. There we go. And fruits, just fruits, vegetables, but it's that thing of plate concepts.

Like, you know what, through governmental agencies, they're always telling you should, but just the way that it was presented through the Fit Father, it just became the norm. So now I always just do it. It's like you almost, all we see my plate is almost shaped in a certain way, because it's loaded with proteins.

It's loaded with carbs in a certain way or certain healthy fats. And it's fun. I actually had fun doing it. And now my family does that too. So we portion ourselves. I changed the size of my plates. I'm a guy who used to love having everything in a gigantic bowl. I put that bowl away and I took a smaller bowl and even measured.

What kind of nutrition was going in there. So I'm like, wow. I only need about 2,000 calories. Then I was having 3,000-3,500 for somebody who wasn't too active, no wonder, you know, so everything just became an, or get rid of these specific things that were tempting us. Now it doesn't mean beer. So I am a self-proclaimed beer snob.

I love good quality beer. I have a cellar. It's part of the Europeans love their beers as well. Americans actually a lot too, just different types. So I stopped, I completely stopped drinking beer for almost nine months. I just, I had to just completely stop. And then once, and this is interesting, once I started back, I have one, maybe two beers a weekend.

And if I have more than that, I can't digest it. It feels horrible. Those jalapeno chips, I haven't had for a year and a half, one day somebody had one about three months ago. One, the taste is different. All these foods that I used to love and think it, honey, I was a honey bear every morning in my coffee.

I'd have one to two tablespoons of honey. I have not had honey. I think I might've had two tablespoons of honey in the last year and a half and I love honey, but now when I have it, I taste the difference, but I just made the known of, I have a black coffee with almond milk or unsweetened oat milk. That's my norm vitamins.

I've completely changed what we have as vitamins. So I calculated what I need for as a man, my age, body weight, based on recommendations through all the various programs you have. We have our little, perfectly Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, four little slots. Every Sunday, we put all our little vitamins in there and they're what we need every day to essentially just continue to fill our bodies with what we need.

I'm astonished at the amount of changes that we've made, but even those things in life that used to be the norm for me now, when I go back to them, I actually can't. I had a detox. You're literally detoxing yourself and I felt that detox in the first month. And first two months in several areas, it was hard.

Now it's the complete opposite. When I go back to those things that were the norm that are very rich, fatty, oily, I feel horrendous. Absolutely horrible. And that tells me I've made some good changes when you're used to the bad that's that's. That is not what you want. You want when something bad shows up in your face, you want to go, that's gross.

You don't want to go tasty, give me more. So I actually really appreciate that now my taste buds and the way that I've been developed now, the norm is for me when there are things are too rich, too high in oils, or too high in fat, your body tells you I don't feel good. It tells me I don't feel good. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: This is a very well-documented common phenomenon. Like when you're eating a bunch of crap, you can eat crap and you just generally just feel like you do, which is not good, but when you've cleaned up the system, when you re-introduce some of these things you used to have, the body can have a pretty substantial reaction.

You, like I, had a friend who was telling me very similar, like he had a piece of pizza when he used to eat like a whole box before and he's like, whoa, no longer. Great on my system, it just doesn't feel good. And it kind of reinforces you positively. Now, Andre, I got to say something here. There might be some guys listening, being like this guy eats his protein bars and spinach. Tell them straight up that you love your routine. You know, because I, because I know that you do and that it's enjoyable and that you actually have delicious foods. Men need to know that it's possible to eat healthy, to have a simple routine that you can follow while still, like you don't feel restricted in that you actually enjoy the food.

Does your food taste good, Andre? 

Andre Aubry: Oh, my food tastes better than it ever has. And, I absolutely love it. We have pasta chickpeas, pasta gluten-free, pasta without sugars and all of that. And you find what works for you, but you gotta, you gotta hunt for it. So to me, it was a process in the beginning of finding those things that are still tasty that are.

And the kids got to eat it too. That's one of my little tasters where our kids are a part of this journey as well because now my wife and I are together on this and we can't cater the meals. Oh, well, you're going to eat this. I'm going to eat this. So this is how we eat as a family. So we have fun with what we eat.

For example, desserts. Our dessert is Balkan yogurt with cocoa powder and fruits. Awesome. It is so tasty, you know, simple. Wonderful. Very healthy versus I'm not even going to get into the different types of desserts. Insane that if I went to a birthday party, which happened before COVID times, you can't even remember a few months ago.

Instead of me having a piece of cake that looked like it was a quarter of the cake, I had a small slice of a cake, a very small slice, and I was more than happy with that. I'm actually, I'm not depriving myself whatsoever. I'm actually quite content to just have a small piece or just say, no, I know my limitations.

I bet my, my will has actually become stronger in saying no to certain things. I had to develop it and it took time, but now it just is, and I just don't need all these things that I used to so easily just grab like it was instinctive. I'd see it, grab it, eat it. I don't need to, and I have fun and I know what I like, and I know what I want.

And I don't tell myself in a bad way. And honestly, even now temptation doesn't even work anymore because I've overcome those temptations. 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: [Wow. This is the mentality shift that happens too. They call it willpower. It's because you get this reservoir when you have deep meaning and you have a healthy body and healthy mind, you're not tempted by the same things.

It's a complete transformation that can happen. And I also love for a lot of guys out there who think that they can't eat carbohydrates and they have to go super low carb to lose weight. It's definitely a very popular idea right now. Look, it's a really good idea to lower your carbohydrates, especially the crap carbs, like the, you know, eating six pieces of white bread a day is not going to move you forward in life.

Andre, you're still eating pasta. You're still having yams and sweet potatoes. You still have fruits, right? These are carb-containing foods, but it's a balanced plan that has just simple, mostly non-processed healthy foods that your entire family loves. And the idea of the perfect plate again is just you pick the main protein for you.

You fill half the plate with veggies and kind of whatever fills in through there, whether there's carbs on the side or healthy fats, it can be flexible. You can build so many different kinds of these. And I think there's something you want to highlight. What's so powerful is you went through this journey of these 180 days, plus, and you figured out what works for you and your family.

And those are your go-to foods. You guys probably have your dinners, your healthy dinners and recipes. You obviously have your healthy go-to dessert that you love. And you know what you're getting in the morning with your nuts, like guys, listen to what Andre is saying about this stuff. You looked at what your snacks were before chips.

You made a substitute, and now you have a plan where the bar or fruit or nuts that you enjoy. You made conscious substitutions and you have a system that works for you. And I know without a shadow of a doubt, Andre. This is a system that's gonna work for you for life because it's built on foundational principles and those principles are yours.

I'm really just so incredibly proud of you. Anything else you'd like to share with guys, a man who is listening to this? Who's listening up to this point, who is thinking about starting would love to experience what you've experienced, Andre. What would you say to that man, or even to yourself before you joined?

What little ending bit of advice would you give?

Andre Aubry: Trust the process. Leave your ego at the door. Think about who you are, what you look like and the legacy that you're going to leave later in your years if you can really picture it. What does it look like? 

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi: Man, Andre, thank you so much for all of this for being the type of guy that you are for following this path and for continuing forward with all of this, I'm going to ask you to come back on in a year.

Because I want to hear about all the things you've continued to progress when you're out to the 105 pounds on the incline press and in riding all your bikes, you know, it's just, you're the man. And I think what's amazing about you is you're the promise of what's possible. When you commit, when you trust the process, you discover your why, and you get to work and you get your family on board.

Andre, thank you for being a Fit Father. Everyone who has listened to this podcast, we will have Andre back. All right, everyone. We'll catch you on the next episode. Thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Fit Father Project Podcast. If you love what you heard, please rate and review our podcast on Apple Podcasts. It really helps spread the show to more men who need this valuable info. To watch full video episodes of this podcast and other motivational videos to inspire your training and more, visit our Fit Father Project YouTube Channel. It's free and everything's made for busy guys over 40 like you. Visit youtube.com/fitfatherproject to get access to our entire video library. And finally, if you or someone in your life is interested in becoming a Fit Father or needs help losing weight, building muscle, or living healthier after age 40, visit fitfatherproject.com, where you can see our proven programs, something in line for guys 40 plus, and free meal plan and workouts to get you started. This is Dr. Anthony Balduzzi signing off. I'll see you in the next episode.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi NMD - Men's Health Doctor & Founder, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Dr. Anthony holds dual degrees in Nutrition & Neuroscience from the University Of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, and is also a national champion bodybuilder.

After watching his own Dad lose his health and pass away at the young age of 42, Dr. Anthony founded The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project to help busy Moms and Dads get and stay permanently healthy for their families.

Brotherhood Nickname: Mr. Results
Bragging Rights: Has helped over 10,000 families lose over 100,000 lbs of fat and rebuild lean muscle

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on changing your physique.

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