How To Reverse Diabetes and Obesity – Episode 41

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Today, we’re talking about Jon McMahon’s docuseries and his journey to conquer obesity and reverse diabetes. Imagine being over 357 pounds with triglycerides topping out at 2170 and making the decision to turn it all around. That is exactly what Jon did. We couldn’t wait to share his personal story and applaud his bravery in sharing his journey with the world in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.

Empowering you Organically – Season 6 – Episode 41
Title: How To Reverse Diabetes and Obesity
Hosts: Jonathan Hunsaker
Guest: Jon McMahon
Description: Today, we’re talking about Jon McMahon’s docuseries and his journey to conquer obesity and reverse diabetes. Imagine being over 357 pounds with triglycerides topping out at 2170 and making the decision to turn it all around. That is exactly what Jon did. We couldn’t wait to share his personal story and applaud his bravery in sharing his journey with the world in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.

* * *

About Jon
At 312 pounds with advanced type 2 diabetes and all of its complications, Jon’s future looked bleak and he knew it. The question that remained for him was this: “Do I want to live?” His answer was yes. And in 2017, Jon embarked out on a quest to get to the heart of the problem underlying the epidemic of diabetes and how people are successfully reversing it without medication.

The result was a nine-part documentary series, iThrive: Rising from The Depths of Diabetes and Obesity. The series has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to transform their lives and has given Jon his life’s mission of helping others rise from the death, from the depths, and reclaim their health.

* * *

How Bad is the Diabetes Problem?

  • In a paper written by Dr. David Matthews, in 2010, he says, “What is coming is the black plague.”
  • Neil Barnard, from the Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine, says, “It’s going to be worse than the black plague. Millions and millions and millions of people are going to suffer long, and then they’re going to die in a lot of pain.”
  • Google search results
    • “Diabetes in Mexico” – “Diabetes in Mexico, an epidemic and the number-one killer.”
    • “Diabetes in China,” China’s the most populous country with the most diabetics in the world, 109 million, and that’s not even pre-diabetes.
    • “Diabetes in India,” oh, India and China are in competition for the “Diabetes capital of the world.”
    • “Diabetes in America,” over 100 million people in America with diabetes.  
  • Pre-diabetes – 86 million in the United States with pre-diabetes. 90 percent of them, says the Centers for Disease Control, don’t even know it.
    • Dr. Wes Youngberg said even the standards for measuring pre-diabetes are too lax.
  • Just between three countries, 300-400 million people. And that’s not counting all the ones with pre-diabetes, another 200-300 million people
  •  

Myths Around Type-2 Diabetes

  • You have to be fat.
    • Obesity is highly correlated with it.
    • Dr. Wes Youngberg says, “If you think you’re skinny and you’re off the hook, think again.
    • 20 or 30 percent of those with diabetes are in their healthy BMI range.
  • You have to be old, in your 40s or 50s to get diabetes.
    • Young people are getting diabetes now in college, in their teens, now in high school.
    • Epigenetics – gene expression can be turned on by your environment and what you do.
      • If you take one parent that is obese, one parent out of two that’s obese, their child is four times more likely to be obese.
      • If both parents are obese, this obesity risk factor increases the child’s risk factor for diabetes, not by 1 ½ times, or 1 ¾ or 2 times, by 30 times. If both parents are obese during the conception, the birth, and the raising of the child, the child is 15 times the likelihood to be obese.

Jon’s Mission

  • Wake people up.
  • When they’re awake, inspire them.
  • If people ever wanted to change the world, it would be by changing ourselves from the inside out.

We Are All Individuals

We have individualized needs, and our genes are different. In large ways, we’re similar, but in small ways, we have a lot of variance.

Jon’s Journey

  • A friend said to Jon, “Jon, I’m not going to bug you anymore. I’m not going to ask you what you ate. I’m not going to ask you how you’re doing, what your weight is, how you’re—if you’re following—you’re reaching your goals, or whatever. Because I care more about you than you care about yourself. Jon, you’ve got to decide whether you want to live.”
  • Jon was intentional about his decision. “I want to live.”
  • Educated himself on type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  • Interviewed people on nutrition and the psychology of food addiction.
    • Dr. Susan Pierce-Thompson, and Dr. Doug Lyle and Allen Goldhamer
    • Our drives
      • Wanting the richest food and seeking out the richest food in the environment.
  • Foods are manufactured to stimulate the dopamine pathway exactly like cocaine, heroin or nicotine.
  • Law of the conservation of energy – whatever’s more convenient for us, that’s what we’re going to do.
  • Manage our environment, and make it work for us
  • He took time to learn about his personality traits about how he can navigate through to his goal.
  • Movement matters – walking an hour a day, or half hour a day, or some simple exercises.
    • Once the body gets a little free of some of the toxins, free of some of the weight, it wants to move.
  • Ask for help. Connection and community are key.

Outcome

  • Jon lost 100 pounds
  • Jon reversed, reversed his diabetes and obesity.
  • He is not obese, and he is not diabetic.
  • Jon’s A1C, I the words of his doctor, is better than most kids in college that come through his office. It’s 4.6.

One Last Bit of Advice from Jon

“You are not alone, you are not broken, and you are not bad and wrong. You are okay. You can actually do it. If I can do it, anybody can do it.”

Deeper Dive Resources

iThrive! Rising from The Depths of Diabetes and Obesity
https://go.ithriveseries.com/report?ref=202839&a_bid=9ee07978&chan=Report20190722A

Dr. David Matthews Paper on Diabetes
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21166840

Dr. Barnard and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
https://www.pcrm.org/health-topics/diabetes

Comparisons of Diabetes and Black Death
https://southcoastherald.co.za/290964/turning-tide-lifestyle-diseases-diabetes-modern-plague-part-1/

Google search results
https://lmgtfy.com/?q=diabetes+in+Mexico
https://lmgtfy.com/?q=diabetes+in+China
https://lmgtfy.com/?q=diabetes+in+America

CDC report on pre-diabetes
https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html

Dr. Wes Youngberg
http://dryoungberg.com/

Epigenetics
https://www.whatisepigenetics.com/what-is-epigenetics/

Empowering You Organically podcasts with Dr. Susan Pierce-Thompson
https://empoweringyouorganically.com/podcast/episode-10-effective-goal-setting-in-the-new-year/
https://empoweringyouorganically.com/podcast/episode-9-coping-with-the-holiday-hangover/
https://empoweringyouorganically.com/podcast/episode-12-sugar-addiction-its-a-real-thing/

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Jonathan Hunsaker: Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Empowering You Organically. I’m your host, Jonathan Hunsaker, and I am joined by my good friend. Mr. Jon McMahon.

Jon McMahon: Hey, how’s it going, Jon? You caught me here, I’m just typing in a couple of Google searches that I wanted to share with everybody, because this is going to be an exciting podcast, and I’m kind of curious myself, too.

Jonathan Hunsaker: Absolutely. Why don’t you type in those things? I’m going to read your bio really quick so people know why we have you on here.

So, Jon, at 312 pounds with advanced type 2 diabetes and all of its complications, Jon’s future looked bleak and he knew it. The question that remained for him was this: “Do I want to live?” His answer was yes. And in 2017, Jon embarked out on a quest to get to the heart of the problem underlying the epidemic of diabetes and how people are successfully reversing it without medication.

The result was a nine-part documentary series, iThrive: Rising from The Depths of Diabetes and Obesity. The series has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to transform their lives and has given Jon his life’s mission of helping others rise from the death, from the depths, and reclaim their health.

So, in full transparency, Jon, I want to let everybody know, I mean anybody listening to this podcast knows that I built The Truth About Cancer, started the whole docuseries model, and your business partner is my older brother, Michael Sky, and I remember when I met you for the first time, and you were that 312-pound guy.

And we sat down and talked about it, we talked about doing a docuseries, and you asked me if I would give you some pointers and things like that, and thank goodness that I did, because you’ve crushed it, man. Like not only did you launch your first docuseries and inspire thousands of people. But you launched it and then lost your weight, and lost 100 pounds, in what? Nine months, was it?

And man, you’re just—you’re inspiring people the world over, and it’s phenomenal, and I’m just—I’m very pleased to call you my friend, and I’m very glad to have seen that journey that you’ve been on. It’s very inspiring.

Jon McMahon: Thanks, man. I, Jonathan, I’m really inspired to have been able to follow through and done what you’ve laid out. You weren’t just giving advice or a friend, you were truly a mentor, and I have to thank you for that. And I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for your mentorship and encouragement. I wouldn’t be here today without the support and brotherhood and partnership of your other brother, Michael. So, certainly, your family has basically helped me rise from the depths of diabetes and obesity.

And in the meantime, I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands of people have been touched by the story, and then creating their own stories, which is touching other people, that’s rippling out. And that’s all now that I could ever hope for and want. And that’s my whole life’s purpose and mission now, is to do that, is to inspire.

Jonathan Hunsaker: That’s also—I mean let’s tell people. I mean how bad is it really? How bad is the diabetes problem?

Jon McMahon: Yeah, well…

Jonathan Hunsaker: Either in America or in the world.

Jon McMahon: I’ll tell you what. This is how I started this journey. I wanted to know how bad it was, you know? Because I thought, “Before I can go out there and do anything out in the world, I need to take care of my own business.” And that’s my own health and my own wellbeing. And that was the first seeds of thinking about, “Well, I should—what about just documenting my transformation?”

And I remember starting to do some research about diabetes and how bad it was. And the number one metaphor that comes across, and it’s in the trailer, too, is that I came across a paper, a paper written by Dr. David Matthews, who’s not just any doctor. This guy is one of the pioneers in diabetes, from Oxford, okay? And he gave a paper on the epidemic, the pandemic coming in 2010, back in 2010, and he laid out the scientific frame of how to look at what’s coming with diabetes through the lens of the black plague. And he said what is coming is the black plague.

And Neil Barnard from the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine, he built on what David Matthews was saying. He said “It’s going to be worse than the black plague. Millions and millions and millions of people are going to suffer long, and then they’re going to die in a lot of pain.”

And if you don’t believe me, I just, just while we were logging on here, I thought “Oh, let’s see what the latest is,” because it changes from month to month, on how bad it’s getting. So, if you just Google, first of all, Google “diabetes and the black death,” or “diabetes and the plague,” you’ll see Dr. Matthews’ paper, okay?

And he was one of the first—he was the first person that I interviewed at the American Diabetes Association 77th Annual Scientific Conference. He was over here, I called him up, I told him the project I wanted to do, I told him I wanted him to be the first one, I wanted him to talk about the paper and compare this, this black death, and to know what we’re really up against.

And I just Googled “diabetes in Mexico.” Here’s the top hit. “Diabetes in Mexico, an epidemic and the number-one killer.” It is the number one cause of death in Mexico. “Diabetes in China,” China’s the most populous country with the most diabetics in the world, 109 million, and that’s not even pre-diabetes. “Diabetes in India,” oh, India and China are in competition for the “Diabetes capitol of the world.” “Diabetes in America,” over 100 million people in America with diabetes.

Diabetes—pre—we only talked about pre-diabetes. Another 86 million in this country with pre-diabetes. 90 percent of it, says the Centers for Disease Control, don’t even know it. And if you talk to some of the doctors on the cutting edge, like Dr. Wes Youngberg, who’s in my documentary as well, he said even the standards for measuring pre-diabetes are too lax. It’s worse than that. They dial it way back. It’s hitting us way early.

So, how bad is it? It’s worse than the Spanish Flu, it’s worse than the black death. Hundreds of millions. You just heard me rattle off, just between three countries, 300-400 million people. And that’s not counting all the ones with pre-diabetes, another 200-300 million people. It’s staggering what it is, and it’s all preventable.

Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, I mean it’s mind-blowing to hear those numbers. I had no idea. I mean and being in the cancer space, I thought our numbers were high, and it’s like yours are, not like there’s a competition here, but the numbers of diabetes is even higher than cancer. And they’re both rising at such ridiculous rates.

And we have to do something about it. We have to address this. This is a conversation we have to have. People that are listening to this, I know we’re a more health-based podcast, and you may not be diabetic or pre-diabetic, but I promise you, you have a friend or family member that is. Share this podcast with them.

These are the conversations we don’t want to have. I don’t want to have a conversation with Uncle Jimmy because he’s fat. No, you need to have a conversation with Uncle Jimmy because this is—this is affecting all of us at ridiculous rates.

So Jon, I mean give us some myths around type 2 diabetes. I mean really help educate what’s going on.

Jon McMahon: Yeah, I mean real easy one is the myth that you have to be fat. Now, obesity is highly correlated with it, but you’ve got a big percentage. Dr. Wes Youngberg says, “If you think you’re skinny and you’re off the hook, think again.” It was something like 20, I couldn’t remember exactly, it was 20 or 30 percent of those with diabetes are in their healthy BMI range, and they don’t—they’re even worse off because it’s building up and they don’t even know it. So, that’s one of the biggest myths is that we’re all susceptible to it.

Jonathan Hunsaker: Well heck, I didn’t even know that. That’s why I just called Uncle Jimmy fat, right? Like he was the guy with diabetes. But that’s not the—yes, there’s correlation there, but that’s not an exact—

Jon McMahon: And it’s not—the second big myth is about that you have to be old, in your 40s or 50s to get diabetes. I just had somebody text me, this was just recently, and they said their 28-year-old daughter died of type 2 diabetes. 28. These kids are getting diabetes now in college, in their teens, now in high school.

It’s—there’s something called epigenetics, you know? Where gene expression can be turned on by your environment and what you do.

Well, the environment of the mother can drive what even goes into the infant. If you take one parent that is obese, one parent out of two that’s obese, their child is four times more likely to be obese. If both parents are obese, and this increase, this obesity risk factor increases their risk factor for diabetes, not by 1 ½ times, or 1 ¾ or 2 times, by 30 times. If both parents are obese during the conception and the birth and the raising of the child, the child has 15 times, 15 times more likelihood to be obese. The child doesn’t have a chance.

Jonathan Hunsaker: Wow.

Jon McMahon: It’s a moral responsibility to really pay attention to our own health. I think one of the messages that I love with Truth About Cancer brought out, and it instilled in me, too, is to be your own investigator, take your health into your own hands. Don’t just listen and be told and be on the receiving end passively, and by some expert in a coat and a name badge with MD after it, and say “Oh, that’s what they say.” They don’t know. A third of the underlying causes for cancer are diabetes. Diabetes is happy to sit by there, not take the credit. “Please, cancer, go ahead. It’s all yours.”

Jonathan Hunsaker: Yeah, it’s just an overall disease-ridden society that we have now because of our—I hate to say this and people aren’t going to hear, but because of our choices. We choose to not eat healthy; we choose to not exercise. We think we can sit around on our iPhones all day, on our iPads all day, watch TV all day. We think we can feed our kids Doritos and other crap food and it’s not going to affect them, right?

I remember seeing something, I don’t remember, I was searching around online six months ago. And it showed—like even this whole conversation around organic, right? And so, back in the 70s, the potato chips ingredients was like potatoes and some oil and some salt. And nowadays, our potato chips have like 20 ingredients. But our organic ones have potatoes and oil and salt.

Just because it says organic potato chips doesn’t mean you need to be feeding that to your kid. It’s no healthier than the one that was in the 70s. We see organic and we think that that’s healthy, when we’re still feeding our kids crap. We’re still—I mean yes, it’s better than the alternative, but we’ve really got to wake up and—wake up in this world and make some changes if we’re going to start reversing how we’re doing things.

Jon McMahon: Well that’s—waking up. My mission now, just kind of to lay it out into three points, is to, first of all, the first thing I want to do is wake people up. That was the first segment of when I would go to question these experts, I’d go to get testimonials, I’d go to look at the statistics. The first part of the documentary is to wake people up.

And then when you’re there awake, inspire them. And that means—I don’t just mean inspire them externally, but inspire them to take the word in spirit, to pull, to wake up and pull their spirit into their bodies to start driving this machine that they’re in, and take responsibility for it, to be inspired to move and act and transform their own lives.

And that’s—if people ever wanted to change the world, it would be by changing ourselves from the inside out. That radiates and shines like nothing else, because how we monkeys learn is through motor neurons. We learn by watching, and then we learned as kids, right?

And we know that kids, you “Blah-blah-blah,” whatever the parents say. They’re watching what you do and what happens around in their environment. That’s how they learn.

So, if you want to have a great effect on the world, you start it from the inside out. Get—wake up, get inspired, and transform your life. Because there’s almost nobody that needs this.

And as far as the junk that we’re surrounded by, I want to remove some of the guilt and the shame, because there’s, depending on your personality type, you know very well that we’re all individualized. We have individualized needs, and our genes are different, and in fundamental, small—in large ways, we’re similar, but in small ways, we have a lot of variance.

We have a lot of variance in like how strong my kidneys are, and my pancreas, and how many beta cells, and how many of the cells in the kidney, what are those? Oh, I can’t remember right now. But we spend those. They’re like coins, right? We choose how to spend them throughout our life, and we only have a limited amount. So, we need to take the management of those under our own hands. That’s our responsibility.

Jonathan Hunsaker: By the way, for those listening, I know Jon, you referenced your docuseries, and I want people to know that they can watch your docuseries for free. So, just a quick plug, if you’re listening, you can go to iThriveSeries.com. That’s iThriveSeries.com. This is not an affiliated link; this is not anything where we get compensated for this. Just go watch Jon’s docuseries. It is phenomenal and it will change your life.

And it’s one of the greatest ways that you can help influence a family member or friend without being “that guy,” right? Or “that girl” that had to go have that conversation, like “Hey, you’re unhealthy.” Just shoot them an email and say, “I thought you’d be interested in this.” And they can watch you, Jon, on your journey.

So, let’s talk about how did you reverse your diabetes, and where are you at in your journey right now?

Jon McMahon: Well, one of the things I had to do to overcome what we’re surrounded with in our environment, which is all of this, what I would call supernormal, stimulus food that’s not natural to our native environment. So, I had to decide whether I wanted to live or not. And I didn’t know this, but a friend of mine who cared for me a lot over the years, they always used to get after me about my health.

I mean he knew I was just one foot on a banana peel. And finally one day, he just—he just said, “Jon, I’m not going to bug you anymore. I’m not going to ask you what you ate. I’m not going to ask you how you’re doing, what your weight is, how you’re—if you’re following—you’re reaching your goals, or whatever. Because I care more about you than you care about yourself.”

This is what he said to me. I’m listening on the phone, and he’s talking. He’s really intense, intense guy. And he said, “Jon, you’ve got to decide whether you want to live.” And that, I mean there was this huge pause, because I didn’t respond. In my mind, my mind responded. “Oh, Jon, what’s the answer to that question?”

Oh, you automatically say “Yeah.” It would be stupid not to say “Yeah.” “Of course, I want to live.” And now, nothing came out. And I realized that I didn’t—I wasn’t sure about the answer to that question. “Have I been killing myself? Have I been withdrawing from life? Have I been extracting my spirit out of my body, just waiting to remove myself from the gene pool? What’s going on?”

I did not, could not verbalize an answer. And it took a while. And I actually had to think about it. And finally, decide and be really intentional about my decision. “I want to live.” And that was my first step. Because before, of course, I would have tried to lose a little bit of weight and go to the grocery store and buy all these vegetables and get a juicer and juice.

I’ve got my little plate of cottage cheese and the egg and some tomato and some cucumber. Whatever it was, just on again, off again for years. And not really sticking with it without going back to a values-based decision on what I wanted to be. And do I want to live? And then, why? And to build upon that. And I didn’t have all the answers, but I started to move forward from that frame.

And that’s how I started. And I just started a journey. I went “Well, what should I do?” I started with kind of what I knew, and what was—what I’d been grown up around, and what I’ve been told were the basics of health. And then, I went on a journey to find out and interview these experts and talk to these people and scientists and doctors and individuals.

And I educated myself on type 2 diabetes, on obesity, and I just sat and I listened, listened to these people talk. And at the end of it, this year of 2017, I had not been able to affect any change. I didn’t seem to be—to be able to get over my desire to be—eat unhealthfully. And fortunately, during my interview, I wasn’t just interviewing people on nutrition, it was on the psychology of it, around food addiction.

I knew nothing about food addiction, and I didn’t realize that that was even a real thing. I thought it was like a joke, like we used to talk about back pain. Back in the day, nobody took it seriously, right? And now, it’s a serios thing. It felt like that with food addiction. I was like “Food addiction? Please, whatever. Just get some self-control. What are you? You lazy slob.”

But I interviewed Dr. Susan Pierce-Thompson, and Dr. Doug Lyle and Allen Goldhamer, and they talked about our drives. And our drives for wanting the richest food and seeking out the richest food in the environment. And not just seeking out the richest food but cramming it in as much as possible. [0:20:04]

Okay, now this can vary depending on your personality, but it’s—there’s this cram circuit and the survival mechanism to automatically know and see the richest food. That’s the most calorically-dense per weight, right? And this supernormal stimulus food that has a lot of calories per gram, the most calories per gram, our whole systems were never designed to ever see that type of caloric density.

And we are manufacturing drugs in our food company right now, with teams of scientists and hundreds of focus groups that spend hours, days, their entire career to put together the fundamental tastes of our taste buds – salt and sugar and fat and umami – in just the right combination to hit you in just the right way, to stimulate that dopamine pathway exactly like cocaine or heroin or cigarettes or nicotine, anything.

And so, that’s what we’re up against. And so, learning about this, it was the next step, learning about this pleasure chapter. Realize, “Look, I’ve got a circuit going on here that’s looking for this food, that wants to cram in as much as possible because I don’t know when I’m going to be able to eat next.” Right?

So, when I come across a kill, or a bounty of food, or berries in the wild, right? I would have just eaten as much as I could and then just passed out, and going “Oh man, that was great.” Right? But we have access to that seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And now, we’ve got to realize that there’s another law of the conservation of energy, right?

So, whatever’s more convenient for us, that’s what we’re going to do. So, are we going to go drive to the farmer’s market? and take four or five bags with us. and buy all this food. and haul it back home. and find a place in the fridge for it? And the fridge isn’t big enough. And then chop up our salad? Or are we just going to be in our little car, reach out our window, grab 2,000 calories, bring it back in, and eat it?

This is what we’re up against, okay? So, waking up and becoming aware to that, and learning how to manage that, and manage our environment, and make it work for us, was some of the next steps after wanting to live, coming from a values-based, and “Hey, I’m sticking with this and I know why I’m doing it, and I know that food addiction is a real thing, I’m understanding more about myself, I’m learning,” like Pythagoras, “Know thyself,” right?

Learn about my personality trait, learn about how I work and how I can navigate through this. And that’s essentially the journey that I went on. And then I asked for help. And of course, movement played a role, and not crazy exercise like you—we might have seen on—what’s that weight loss show? The Biggest Loser, where you’ve got to go to the gym until you throw up.

Man, just walking an hour a day, or half hour a day, or some simple exercises. A little bit of yoga, movements, meditation. That’s enough, if you combine it with the nutrition, to create radical change in your body. And once the body gets a little free of some of the toxins, free of some of the weight, I will guarantee you, it wants to move.

It will move—it won’t want to sit down. It does not want to sit on the park bench. It does not want to stop. It wants to go and move and play and jump and be animated on its own. And the last thing that—one of the things that I forgot was to ask for help, and connection and community. I thought that before I could go out there and face and engage the world, I had this whole Horatio Alger, independent man.

I’ve got to do it all on my own. Don’t ask for help. You’ve got to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and don’t show any emotion, and don’t show weakness. To be weak is death, especially for a man. But I learned the hard lesson, because I had many stops and starts and failures along my way that was related to that, refusing that connection, refusing that help.

And so, that last piece, nourishment, movement, and then finally, connection, and realizing how much connection and community, being vulnerable, and just being able to, when someone’s a couple steps ahead of you, they can help lift you up. And then also, being there for somebody else, an inspiration. You can inspire somebody that you’re just one step ahead of, you know?

That’s it. And you’re the expert. So, that was my journey. And all of a sudden, nine months later, it was—it seemed like an impossible mountain. I had lost 100 pounds; I had climbed up Rainer and Half Dome in Yosemite. I was just—and produced this docuseries. Just I mean my head is still spinning.

Jonathan Hunsaker: Hey, Jon, I don’t even know where to jump in from all of that. There are so many things that you said that I want to talk more about, and we don’t have the time on this podcast. But I want to revisit some of the things. And listen, I resonate so much with your journey. At my heaviest, when I started The Truth About Cancer, I was 255-260 pounds.

It was about the time that I found out that my girlfriend at the time was pregnant with our oldest daughter. And you had to find that reason to live. Is that reason to live for you? Maybe that reason to live is for your daughter. For me, I wasn’t going to be a fat dad that smoked. And I can—I can relate on so many different levels of what you’re talking about, whether it’s addiction to cigarettes, whether it’s addiction to food and all these things.

But that first one is so important, to having to get clear on “What are you living for?” Right? And making that decision, right, that you’re living for yourself, or you’re living for your family, or your wife, or your kids, or—who cares? Find that reason, right? It doesn’t matter what it is. There’s no great reason, no bad reason, you just need a reason to live.

I think the second thing that you really talked about was the food addiction and all of that. We had Dr. Susan Pierce-Thompson; she was here I think at the Season 2 on our podcast. We had her on for a couple episodes. She’s awesome. And there is so much out there that is being programmed for us, programmed in the flavors of the food that we eat, to crave more.

And that caloric density, I don’t think people really realize how much that’s manufactured to play into that lizard brain of ours, right, and that primal instinct. When we were hunter/gatherers, that you had—when the food was available, you ate, and you packed it in because you didn’t know when you were going to eat again.

I just did a podcast recently, talking about fasting and how it’s so good to fast, and it puts us back. If you’re doing intermittent fasting, or different fasts, that puts us back to that primal state where our body is used to that kind of a rhythm. And that’s healthy, getting into the apophagy. And so, like everything that you’re talking about is—it’s so real.

One of the things that’s challenging for me is watching somebody who’s been healthy all their life, and skinny all their life, tell me how to lose weight, or tell me how to be skinny. You know what I mean? Or somebody who was born into money tell me how to make money with my own—with starting a business. Like “Get the F out of here,” right? “You’re not real.”

And that’s what I love about you, Jon. That’s why I can relate so much. I mean you were 312 pounds and you were at the depths of darkness, that for those that are overweight listening to this, for those that have been through that struggle, they know that darkness that you can get into. And you’ve got to know, yes, some of it can feel like your fault, but a lot of it is not.

There’s a lot of things that were done to feed into that lizard brain and to feed into you, and you’re just going, you’re just doing what we’ve been programmed to do for thousands and thousands of years. It’s—I so just want to touch on so many things that you talked about, and I want to take over this podcast. I just, as you spoke, it resonated so much with me.

And the last part, where you just talked about asking for help, we—I have learned lately, because most of my life, I don’t ask for help. I think that I’m stronger and better by doing it myself, and I’m going to be all tough. And I’ve really gotten clear in the last couple months that it takes a stronger man to ask for help. And it takes a stronger man to allow somebody in to help them than it does to sit there and try to fight and do it all yourself.

And so, man, this is what you give us on a 30-minute podcast? And nine-episode docuseries? I can imagine the kind of gold and gems that you’re going to deliver there, and that all of the doctors and experts that you’ve had, that you’ve interviewed, are going to deliver.

And I cannot encourage people enough, that are listening to this podcast, or know somebody who is unhealthy in any way, go watch Jon’s docuseries, iThriveSeries.com. Jon, any last words, man? I mean let me put you on the spot and just say, before we wrap this up, if you had one bit of advice or one last thing that you could say to the world, what would that be?

Jon McMahon: I would have to say that you are not alone, you are not broken, and you are not bad and wrong. You are okay. You know, at my height, I was actually up to 357 pounds. I had triglycerides go as high as 2,170. I had every complication of diabetes that’s basically a long list of all the chronic diseases you die for.

And I was wearing clothes that were 5XL. That’s the number 5 with an XL after it. And I looked up from that hole like a deep, dark well, and the slippery sides. If you can imagine those stone wells, and you’d see the stones in a circle around you, and it’s all dark and black, with black moss and slippery. And you’re standing there in the water, you’re looking up and you see a little dot.

And you think, “That’s where I have to be to get out of this well that I dug myself.” And the guilt and the shame can be almost unbearable. And the self-doubt. So, I would say, my last words would be, this one thing I can tell you is that you’re okay, that you can actually do it. If I can do it, anybody can do it.

Jonathan Hunsaker: You’re going to make everybody cry, Jon. And they should, because that is—that is heartfelt and that is real. And I don’t care if it’s somebody that’s battling with weight, or depression, or loss, or financial stuff, or whatever. Man, we’ve all been there, you know? And we all survived, most of us survived, we can make it out, you know?

So, Jon, I appreciate you, man. I appreciate for who you’re standing for being in the world, I appreciate you for putting yourself on the line. Your docuseries, you hadn’t even lost the weight yet, and you went out there and people will see you in a wheelchair with casts on both your feet because you sat too close to the fire and couldn’t feel your feet, and they burned.

And you continued on your journey. And in the face of all the judgement and “How is this fat guy going to tell me how to beat diabetes?” You know what I mean? All this shit that people are going to talk. Pardon my language. But man, you stood there, and you stood in the face of all of that, and it’s inspiring. And you’re here now on the other side of it, saying, “Look, I did do it, and I’m showing you exactly how I did it.”

And that’s what matters, man. That’s what we need more of in this life. We need less judging, we need less finger-pointing, we need less all the other crap, and the bullying and stuff that goes on. We need more men like you that are stooping down and reaching a hand out to pull the next one up the mountain and help them change their lives.

So yeah, man, I just greatly appreciate you. And for those of you listening, Jon’s got a big heart, and it’s why he does this. And I feel dirty plugging your docuseries again, but I can’t tell—I just cannot express how powerful it is, man. Like it’s just iThriveSeries.com, like if you—I don’t care if you have diabetes, I don’t care where you are in your life, go watch that.

We need to be watching more of that and less of whatever the Kardashians are doing, because it’s that inspiration that changes the world and changes people. So, thank you, Jon. Thank you from all the people listening, thank you for all the people that have watched your docuseries, and all the lives you’re changing, man. Thank you.

Jon McMahon: Well, thank you, man, and thank you for having me here. I love talking to you, Jon, and I just want to, just so everybody is clear, I have reversed, reversed my diabetes and obesity. I am not obese, and I am not diabetic. Do not let anybody talk to you about managing your diabetes, your type 2 diabetes, okay? That is nonsense. And my A1C, in the words of my doctor, was better than most kids in college that come through his office. It’s 4.6. so, it is gone, and that’s why I want everybody to begin the life of thriving and shining their light. Let’s get rid of this disease.

Jonathan Hunsaker: You’re the man, Jon. For those of you listening, all of the links to research, things that we’ve talked about, transcripts, show notes, you can find it all at EmpoweringYouOrganically.com. you can see video there. We’ll probably have some before and after pictures of Jon, absolutely links to his docuseries. Again, you can watch his docuseries absolutely free. You have no excuses. Go watch it, go check it out. It will change your life. And Jon, you’ve upped the ante for my future guests, my friend. And they’d better bring it if they’re going to be on to deliver the information and the heart, and yeah, man, the inspiration that you did. So, thanks again for being on the show.

Jon McMahon: Thank you, Jon. I love you, man.

Jonathan Hunsaker: I love you too, brother.