Whether you’re dealing with the stress of a loved one who’s ill OR you have your own personal physical or mental health challenges, this guest’s story holds some impactful truths for how we can develop positive habits for transformational living. Special guest Melissa Jones
#transformation #habits #reframing #simplicity
Melissa shared many golden nuggets, here are but a few:
28:10 Whether or not you have a coach, you have to put in the work
28:21 Stuck or frustrated? Take 1 small step forward
34:51 It's always about putting the work in consistently
35:53 Simplicity leads to success in dieting and life.
-You prioritize different parts of your life at different times
- Ever feel like this? When am I going to be balanced?
You can connect with Melissa on her websites, and on social media:
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Positive Habits For Transformational Living
people, girls, eat, dad, habits, thought, snacks, feel, life, affirmation, moment, week, weight, obstacles, zone, mindset, helped, reframing, consistency, simplicity,
Dr Brian G Brown, Melissa Jones
Dr Brian G Brown 00:59
The mission is simple to help high achievers naturally eliminate emotional and physical obstacles so they can optimize their life for higher achievement. Welcome, you just entered the Genesis zone. Good day and welcome to the Genesis own show. This is Dr. Brian Brown. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to be here. You could be anywhere else in the world. You've chosen to be with us here today and you're not going to regret it,
I can assure you that. We have an amazing guest today in our ongoing wellness warrior’s series. Today we're joined by Melissa Jones aka MJ, she's an inspiring girl’s empowerment coach and 22-year veteran teacher with over 22,000 hours of experience and helping girls. Melissa is the founder of girls’ positivity Club, which is an empowering environment where girls are motivated to learn daily positive habits so they can feel confident in who they are, develop healthy connections with other girls and have the tools they need to live their best life. MJ has shared her knowledge of empowerment and positive habits for personal growth and media outlets such as Fox, CBS, NBC, CW Forbes, Mench authority magazine and thrive global. In this overcomer segment, MJ will be sharing her experiences in the area of developing positive habits for transformational living. Welcome MJ.
Q: How are you doing today?
Melissa Jones 02:35
Thank you. I'm doing well. I'm so happy to be here.
Dr Brian G Brown 02:39
Awesome. Awesome. We're so we're so glad to have you. Um, before we get started, I think our audience would love to know you just a little bit more.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit of your childhood backstory, just where you came from? Where you grew up? What growing up for you is like, and let's kind of go from there.
Melissa Jones 02:59
Sounds great. Yeah, so I am from so Indiana is where I live. And Indianapolis is really where I grew up. And most people identify with the city since it's larger. And I would say that growing up, I grew up on a street called Mertz drive. And I still remember it until I was eight. And everything really changed from there. So Mertz drive was like, in my mind, I perfect. I had best friends, I had a girl across the street that we played her tree house and I had, my dad had built me a play house and I had a swing set and a sandbox and you know, a pool, and just all the things that a kid would love. And I just remember feeling so carefree, living there, and just nothing but happiness. And my parents started noticing that the neighborhood started changing.
So there I'm pretty sure there's a sex offender that moved in down the road. And now looking back, you know, my parents sheltered me from that, but the neighborhood just started changing in their eyes. And so they thought it'd be better to move to a suburb. And so we moved to this summer that I was eight, turning nine to a suburban end on the south side. And that is really where everything changed for me in my previous school. So, remember, it was called Abraham Lincoln. I was very just I had friends I again, I just had this this inner peace and it just felt very good about who I was up until I was eight. And something weird happened when I moved.
So, the neighborhood had very few girls. It had one girl who lived near and she was a tomboy. And I wasn't super uncoordinated as a kid like I did things outside and played sports, always and just did different things but I wasn't really the star, you know, athlete or anything like that. And so I select To play Barbies, and I still like to do kind of, in some kids eyes, I guess, baby ish type of things. And I loved it. And so the girl that I met, she was nice, but she hung out with all the boys. And they mostly did athletic things. And so I felt kind of out of place there. And then I start kind of hiding the things that I like to do, because it didn't really fit in with the norm of my neighborhood. And then as I went to school, being the new kid, I just did not feel welcomed. And I did make friends, but I just did not, for some reason, feel that inner confidence that I had at my previous school. And I cried a lot. You know, I remember just crying. And then people thought I was a crybaby. And so then I got kind of teased for that. And I got teased for the way that I walked.
And because I walked on my tippy toes for a while and you know, my Achilles wasn't properly formed because of a walker that my mom put me on when I was a young child. And anyway, that they don't even sell anymore. But, you know, says great things were like growing up in the 70s and 80s. And, yeah, so throughout school, I just struggled, you know, just with just that move changed me. And I just created this doubt. And I think really looking back, that is where I started feeling. Not good enough. And not like I was like everyone else. And I've done a lot of just soul searching about that. And and that's where I've pinpointed that it started for me. And I really, although I had very loving parents, very supportive, divorce family, but healthy divorce family, like my biological dad would knock on the door, and then just walk right in and be like, Hey, you know, this is very friendly. And my stepdad raised me from the time I was a baby. So he was my dad. So I was grew up with, you know, two dads and but I just Yeah, for some reason, that move just really shook me.
Dr Brian G Brown 07:01
So up until age eight, this surreal, like, ideal dream childhood, both at school and in your neighborhood, right? That's just very supportive. And then once you moved the suburb, things changed, the neighborhood wasn't the same. You were kind of isolated, because you were one of the few girly girls and so to speak.
Q: And did you not? Did you not make any connections at school? Either? What was that like?
Melissa Jones 07:37
I did? Yeah, I did it was it was mainly just with girls who would reach out to me, but they were typically not the popular girls or not the girls that had the most friends or anything like that. And not that I mean, I know now as an adult looking back, like, that doesn't even matter. But in a kid's eyes when the cool kids don't like you, or they think you're weird, or they see you as an outsider or different, you kind of overcompensate and do things that maybe to get their acceptance that aren't really you and then it seems inauthentic to them. And so then it doesn't match up. And so I think I was trying to just do things like I don't know, join in their activities that they liked, not necessarily like in mind or worry about what they were doing at recess, where I wanted to, I wanted to jump rope, but I was scared I was gonna fall in front of them. They make fun of me or something like that. I mean, yeah, so just specific things like that.
Dr Brian G Brown 08:38
Yeah, totally, totally get it. So, um, let's move through into the high school years, early college years.
Q: How did things transpire over those coming? formative years? As you're growing up?
Melissa Jones 08:55
Yeah. So I would say high school, I met a small group of friends. I mean, there were friends that I had developed, obviously, throughout school, who likes me for me and who were fun. And they were a small group. So I was kind of the kid that I had friends who were in the popular group. And then I had kids who were my friends who were kind of nerdy, and theater kids, and I pretty much liked all kinds of people. And looking back, I see that as a strength, you know, rather than being scared to branch out, but then, at the same time, I was so consumed with whether or not the cool kids liked me.
And like looking back again, I'm sure that started from when I was young. And so,I a lot of times would just paralyze myself and fear of what I wore or what I said or who I sat with at lunch, or who I hung out with at the dance or whatever it is. But I did form really good deep friendships with a core group of girls who I'm still friends with today. There, we still meet for Mexican food and margaritas and they're great girls and just those true people who just, and I think we all kind of identified with each other and we all kind of felt that wanting to belong to the mass group, but then wanting our own identities to so kind of that in between struggle and then.
So I had, you know, that group of friends. And then as I graduated, I had a school counselor, actually, who told me not to apply for college. Although I was on the honor roll. He just think I was cut out for it, and told me like, flat out not to go. And I had a geometry teacher who told me that I'd be better off working at McDonald's and then go into college. And I just feel like I just would, you know, as a teacher, never say that. I would never say that to a kid. I do the opposite and that most teachers do today, but and those were other things that just kind of shook me and
Dr Brian G Brown 11:02
That this was that they were telling you,
Melissa Jones 11:04
yeah, and early 90s. So, yeah, like, don't apply. And then my dad had, my biological dad tried to convince me, I remember sitting in his car, he tried to convince me to wait a year, and to get a job and to do other things and just see how things go. And I remember again, like at that moment, I just had this drive in me where I was like, No, I need to go. And so I went to, I went to school, I like thought for myself to go to school. And so I went and took my core classes. Thank you. And I didn't even know I wanted to be a teacher. Honestly, I had no idea what I wanted to be
Dr Brian G Brown 11:49
Q: And you didn't have a declared major going into college?
Melissa Jones 11:52
No, that was my dad's I think his biggest hang up with me going to school, he wanted me to have major. And he was a sociology major. So I think he just wanted me to declare it. And I just didn't know what I wanted to do. So on the way even I had adults who were kind of even though I had it, like I said supportive family and great parents, I had these moments that people were doubting me, and I think we all have those, and you just have to fight for yourself to prove that you can do it.
Dr Brian G Brown 12:23
Right. Right. That's a crazy story. You were told by three very influential people that you don't need to further your education. And we think about that. This was the late 80s, early 90s. You think that that didn't happen,and that happened in the 50s and 60s. But I think for young women, I think it did happen a lot. Looking back. And it's such a shame that has happened in the past, and it probably to some degree still goes on today.
Melissa Jones 13:06
Yes. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Sorry. I, I just was thinking, you know, I think it's I think it's more the opposite of people encouraging girls, but maybe it's maybe I'm biased, because that's really my main passion. Right? Yeah, like, I don't know, of people who have discouraged girls, but at the same time, are they being more encouraged? I don't know beyond my reach what's really happening? It could still be happening, but most, I know, a lot of teachers and I really have never met a teacher who would be discouraging to a kid. So, I think teaching has improved so much in, in that positive building and relationships and all that.
Dr Brian G Brown 13:56
Yeah, no, I have multiple people in my family that are in an education all the way up to administration education. And, I don't see that side from what they tell me. Yes. In fact, it seems like girls these days, are at the top of the class. They're salutatory, valedictorians, their top athletes, and top in academics, and they're just excelling. And I think it's due to the environment that, we've created since that era that happened to you. So thanks to passion of people, like yours, for making sure that that that doesn't happen to somebody else. Yeah.
Right. Exactly. And I think parents are more attention on now about things to especially with girls, trying to be at least.
Dr Brian G Brown 14:54
So, obviously, in our overcomer segments, for those that are listening, we focus on exceptional people who've overcome big obstacles, some seemingly insurmountable obstacles. and I'd have to say this would be one of those seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I mean, I'm a child of the 80s. And in even though I was not a female, is very similar story, it wasn't told that I couldn't go to college, I was just told that if you want to go to college, you're gonna have to make your own way, you're gonna have to figure it out, because we don't have the money to do it. You know, you might want to work for a year and then try to figure it out.
And I was like, You I was dead determined, it was like, No, no, no, no, we're not gonna settle for that. And, that determination. I think it comes partly from our environment, um, even though some of our environments not that supportive, but I think it does come from our environment, both internal and external. And, and then we push ourselves. So love, love your story.
Q: So fast forwarding into adulthood? You're in college? How long did it take you to figure out that education was, that's what I wanted to do?
Melissa Jones 16:17
My first year. So I took it's so funny, they had a test that you could take on the computer. And I remember we had to go to a computer lab, this is back, you know, in the, like, ‘94. So then go to the computer lab. And there was a test that showed you what your proficiency was in a certain area, and what you were most likely, matched for in a degree. Because I really, after my first year, I panicked a little, because my dad was so adamant about me choosing a major that I didn't, I didn't know any more than I did when I had started. And so I took the test, and it came up, like 98% teacher. And then dietitian, I think was the second thing.
And then who knows what the third was, but I had a moment that day where I thought, I think I do want to be a teacher. And so I remember calling my mom or going home, maybe I didn't even have a cell phone at that time, probably not. And I told her and she said, Melissa, I've always known that you would be a teacher. And I said, why didn’t you tell me? or How did you know? And she said, Well, I wanted you to figure it out for yourself. And I didn't want to make the decision for you.
And also, you used to line up your stuffed animals. And you had I remember this corner desk I had. And so I would do like makeshift lessons and my coloring books, my old Playhouse, I used to write kids names on the outside of them and make my dog go in there with me. So there were signs along the way. And I was always kind of drawn to the outsider. In school, I remember this girl one time, she had had an accident in her pants, I still remember it. And it was in first or second grade, and she was so embarrassed. And she was hiding in the coat closet. And the other kids were kind of staring at her. And I don't maybe there's a little chuckling and so I went over and reached out, and just had a moment with her where I was helping her and ensuring that she was going to be okay. And so I've always had that compassion of going to the kid who needs help, and all kids, but obviously just noticing when someone is needing a little extra. And I think it started way back.
Dr Brian G Brown 18:29
Q: Well, right. So um, when you when you graduated college, what did your dad say? Just curious.
Melissa Jones 18:39
Not much. He just said he was proud of me. And that was about it. He was very straightforward about it. And I have a more formal relationship with my biological dad. My stepdad is the one who passed up cancer who raised me. And although I had a good relationship with my biological dad, we have a very formal relationship, even though we joke around. So, it sounds strange, but we joke but it's also very formal. So it's a little bit of a little bit of a barrier there. So I don't know. So he just told me, he was proud of me. And I said, Thank you. And that was kind of it. So it was pretty. There wasn't really a moment where he's like, I'm glad that you didn't listen to me. You know, maybe that would have been really empowering for me to hear him say that. But I was always like, Oh my gosh, like dance on a table. He was so proud of me.
Dr Brian G Brown 19:36
You guys are super close.
Melissa Jones 19:38
Yes, very close. He, I would talk to him. We'd shoot baskets in the driveway and I would talk to him about things, and he was he would play with me, you know, growing up play blocks or make my stuffed animals talk to me to make me laugh and he would go on any roller coaster with me. He was I had all the moments with him. And like I said, I was just a very different relationship. And so, when he passed, it was a very, it was a very big trauma for me.
Dr Brian G Brown 20:12
How, how long ago was it that he passed?
Melissa Jones 20:20
3 years Yeah, yeah. So yeah. And it was a shock for us. We had no idea that he had glioblastoma like no clue at all. And, yeah, he was just looking back, he was acting out of character, he thought he had a sinus infection. And his sisters lived in Florida. And so he just always he loved Florida. And he loved to drive. He was actually a truck driver. And he decided that he just needed a break from the Indiana weather. It was in February right before the Superbowl. And he just decided to drive down to Florida. And we had no idea that he had an orange size tumor in his brain. Until that weekend, and then that was when everything changed. Well,
Dr Brian G Brown 21:08
Q: How long did he live after diagnosis?
Melissa Jones 21:12
He did really well, two years, he went through treatment. So yeah, so we went through, he was doing a can't remember what it's called. But he had these, it was like a, an array that he wore, like, on his, on his head and the new treatment, it was doing really well in Europe. And he was responding really well to it along with radiation and chemo. And, then he had this weird growth on his leg. And they did it, they took it out. And like he went downhill after that it was a very strange, just reaction to a very simple procedure after going through all of that.
Dr Brian G Brown 21:49
So, you know, always say that out of our greatest struggles or obstacles come our greatest growth and, and often our greatest passions.
Q: What did you learn from these, these, these obstacles that, you know, as the title of the show is today positive habits, transformational living, what did you learn that transform your life?
Because in the pre interview, you mentioned that it was from these things that, you know, it really taught you how to live positively and really transformed who you are. Let's talk a little bit about that.
Melissa Jones 22:28
Yes, it did completely. So I would say that my dad's brain cancer was really when everything came to a head for me. And when he because it was such a shock to our family, and literally within him driving down to Florida, within two days, we were flying to Tampa for him to have his surgery. But it was, I just really stopped taking care of myself and I gained a bunch of weight. And I was drinking a lot. And just, I guess I just I never thought that I would handle it like that. But I had those negative habits that I was doing and like that negative self-talk.
And then I remember one day, I was shopping with my mom at Target and we went in the dressing room. And the three-way mirrors that are so brutal. I was trying on something. And I just like finally saw myself and what I was doing, and that was another just turning point for me. And I decided I want to do something about it.
So, I found a group online that was Dinnette May is a nutritionist and she's really about mindful workouts and mindful eating. And she combines affirmations, with the eating and with the movement, and with meditation as well. And so I didn't realize but by me signing up for this and making a huge change in my nutrition and handling like making that a priority instead of doing the opposite, which wasn't helping the situation with my dad at all. She really taught me about personal growth. And then I started from there, building these incredible habits. I was meal prepping and her big thing was it doesn't you don't have to work out for an hour and a half a day like her workouts were very intentional. always had an affirmation with it. And 15 minutes, literally I changed my entire body 15 minutes a day. And I changed my thinking I put sticky notes on my mirrors about you know that I could do hard things and to focus on the good and to just really rewire my whole thinking. And I think because I was finding so much success with the way that my body changed because I lost 50 pounds, and I still can't believe I was 50 pounds heavier like it's still blows me away looking at pictures cuz you don't realize it until you see the pictures, or the three-way mirror.
But looking back, you know, I just, I think I was so desperate for something good. And I was. So just craving what I had never really had, which was that self-belief. And just in learning those little mind hack, so of, you know, what are three things I'm grateful for right now, or stopping a spiral as a negative spiral, if I start doing the self-doubt, she taught us like, just have a signal, you know, stop flipped. So it stopped the thought, and I would flip it to something, I was grateful for something that was going well, or even when I was losing weight, I would look in the mirror, and I would try and find something about myself, that still wasn't good enough.
And then I slowly rewired myself to be like, No, you do have great arms right now or you are having progress and, and all that. And so, it's so funny, because by doing that work, while my dad was going through all of his treatments, it actually helped me handle it better when he passed. And I was in such a routine for a meal prepping and knowing just how to take care of myself. And because I had been working all that time for two years, on my mindset and on my just daily habits of having a good morning routine and drinking, you know, lemon and vinegar water in the morning. And taking my dogs for a walk and just like doing those things.
And even when my dad was in the hospital and hospice, instead of just sitting there, I would take breaks, and I would walk the stairs or I would bring my bring my food there and share it with him or whatever. And I just, it really helped me just handle it so much better, even though it was still the hardest thing that I've ever gone through. But it's almost like I was healing myself along the way. And so I actually handle the grief. And everybody, as we know, handles grief differently. I handled it in a more positive mindset than I would have two years before.
Dr Brian G Brown 27:04
That's, that's crazy. So when you said something that I lacked that confidence in myself, and you'd overcome so much just by defeating those thoughts from people around you that you don't need to go to college. And so you would think that your confidence would have been stellar, because by this time if this if he passed with cancer three years ago, you've been teaching for a long time. So you had that proof. So there was something there in that that grieving process that triggered that for you, where you just kind of slid downhill.
So that that's interesting how you on your own. Well, I mean, it sounds like you had a coach that kind of worked on the mindset and the eating, and but you did a lot of that work on your own. A lot of people don't realize I don't think that even if you hire a coach you have to implement the hardest work to do is implementation.
Q: Did she give you the exact affirmations to say or did you come up with those on your own? Just curious?
Melissa Jones 28:23
Yeah, so every workout that you would do would have an affirmation and so that that would go with it. So there was an I'm abundant, I am peace, you know that I am peace. One was always like a Pilates or something like that. But I think the habit of just seeing them, and knowing just how the big impact it was having just on me telling myself the one that she gave me. It started a habit of me of making up my own and making visuals for myself, and just almost chanting those in my head. And anytime. And I still do this today, anytime a negative thought. And that doesn't mean that I think everything's perfect or you know, no one, everybody has obstacles and things that you work through.
But it's like, when you have those things in place, it changes everything. And it really is about the consistency of doing it. Because whether like you said whether or not you have a coach, you have to put in the work. And I think the hardest thing for people is, is just doing it every day, especially when you don't feel like it. But that's when you have to do at the most like today I did not feel like going to my workout. But all I told myself was put your feet on the floor. And that's all I had to do. I put my feet on the floor and then I just said in my head stand up. You can do this. And I know that sounds so cheesy and simple but literally telling myself to put my feet on the floor and stand up and walk to the bathroom and get my butt to my workout.
Dr Brian G Brown 29:54
Get your workout clothes on. Just do one step at a time. Yeah,
Melissa Jones 29:58
Tie your shoes and just break it down. One last baby step at a time, because I sure felt like going back to bed today.
Dr Brian G Brown 30:04
I hope people in the listening audience are hearing what you're saying, because what you're saying is gold. Um, I don't know how long it took you to put the weight on, I don't know how long it took you to take it off, I can guarantee you it took you longer to get it off than it did to put it on. But what MJ is saying here is that sometimes you literally have to break it down into the simplest steps. In other words, get your feet on the floor. Okay, walk to the bathroom, brush your teeth. All right, go get dressed in your workout clothes. All right. Now go grab your keys and a bottle of water. And let's go get in the car. And literally take it one step at a time. And you're right, people hear that on the surface, and they think that's so stupid. But that's not stupid at all. It's um, it's what we need. When we don't have that coach standing there barking over our shoulder, we have to be our own coach. And that's what a coach does is they break it down step by step. That's brilliant, I think.
And I hope people in the listening audience really hear that. Because it for any obstacle in life, but for weight especially. And that is a difficult one to overcome. You're constantly looking in the mirror, there are mirrors everywhere, you're constantly reminded by the clothes that you're putting on. You're constantly reminded by people and not that you need to feed off of other people's comments that, hey, you look like you're losing weight. But it helps. And you may go for weeks or months. Some people don't say a thing about that. And you have to be self-motivated enough to take one step at a time. So yes,
Melissa Jones 31:58
DrBrian G Brown 32:00
one snack at a time, one meal at a time talking about that, because, you know, we've talked about the actual motion, getting up moving, getting motivated to get out the door. Talk about how you apply that same principle to eating and snacking.
Melissa Jones 32:15
Yes, so I became a big meal prepper. Because for me, it was more about the decisions I was making and having to it was like I was having this fight within myself about whether I want the chips or whether I wanted the nuts and fruit or whatever. And so, what I did was every Sunday for two hours. And I know people think two hours is too long, and I got faster at it over time. But I literally wouldn't meal prep, everything I was going to eat for the week. And what that did is it cut down on the decision making, because I have three snacks to choose from. And some people might think that's pretty rigid, but that's what I needed.
At that time. I think when you're in the process of losing weight, you need a structure and you need to not have to make all these decisions when you're hungry. Because it is sure easy to grab those that you know that bag of chips or the crackers and the cheese or whatever. When not that that's bad, you know, because everyone's human, but it sure takes away from that temptation. For me, I didn't mind the repetition. So, what I would do is I would make small, just little trail mixes.
And in the beginning, I did measure things because it helped me with portion control. And it helped me help me get a visual for what the portion looked like. Because even back in my childhood, my mom always struggled with her weight, she always went up and down with your weight. And portions were always a struggle for her. And although I didn't grow up really fighting my weight that much Actually, I had the opposite problem. I always thought I was too big and I was really small. And I had almost like a warped sense of my body when I was even tiny and have this fear of being big. That probably rooted itself somewhere. And then I would just go kind of up and down throughout college especially I did the classic freshman 15. But um, but fast forward to my big transformation.
And you would mention it probably took me a long time. You know, that's weird is seven months. And I think I mean, that seems too fast. I think it's because the affirmation work and the mindset work I was doing with it. It was like between seven and nine months, less than a year. And I was just dropping it and one thing that I would recommend the people and I really one regret I do have is in the very beginning. And then I always said take pictures every month. I was so ashamed of my body. That first month. I didn't want to see my face in the picture. And so I cropped out the top of my head and I just had my body I had the hardest time looking at those pictures. And then every month I had this fear that came up like, what if I don't look any different? And lo and behold, I took those pictures, and I couldn't believe how much different I was in the tone. And it wasn't even, like he said, it's the clothes, you're always comparing, like, Oh, can I get in these jeans and whatever. And really, it's not about that.
It's really just about how you feel about yourself. And we don't all have to look the same. I mean, I know that's very basic, too. But I think we get so hung up you, you mentioned earlier comparison, it's like, especially social media, you can easily scroll through someone's feed, and wish that your body looked like theirs, or whatever it may be, or talking wellness, or like posting their shape, and you know, doing all this stuff, and you're like, makes it look so easy. And really, it's just putting in the work consistently, just day by day.
And for me during the meal prepping, and learning recipes that were delicious, but also good for you. And I stopped counting calories. And I think that was important because I used to be really hung up on calories. How many calories is it since doing the 100 calorie snacks and all this and what I learned was, no, you just need like, good fat, and you need the nuts and you need eat the avocado and those are the in the hummus. And those are the things that fill you up. You just need to figure out and not be afraid to try things and just be like, Alright, what is my thing? Okay, these are my favorite snacks. This week, I'm going to do hard boiled eggs and cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper. I know that sounds weird, but it's like a great snack and it fills up and I would just I would just mix it up and just make snacks that I liked. And then grab and go. And it was gold for me. Because even my dad was in the hospital. I'll grab that and just take it with me even.
Dr Brian G Brown 36:53
Yeah, I really appreciate that. The fact two things that you just said, the simplicity of your snacks because I think people try to make them way too complex. You don't really have to calorie count if you're eating quality food. And the second thing is what you just said you carried your snacks with you when your dad was in the hospital? Because that was going to be a question I was going to ask just for clarification because I know there are people out there listening to this and there was like, oh, there's no way I could do like MJ and have a relative in the hospital, I would just go down to the Cafeteria, I wouldn't have time to prep, I would just go down to the cafeteria and eat hospital cafeteria food.
For those of you guys who don't know and don't have never worked in a hospital, I've worked in a hospital before trained in a hospital. It is some of the most unhealthy food you can ever put in your body. So to hear MJ saying that she carried her prepped food with her into the hospital not only not only saved her life, but helped her rapidly lose that weight in seven months. So it does take that that level of discipline and focus, I think it's a focus issue. So kudos to you for making that happen. Because most people would have just eaten the cafeteria food from the hospital.
Yeah, and I think it was almost a comfort for me, because I was so in the routine of meal prepping, that it was something I could count on. It was something that I knew I was good at. And it was a certainty that I knew exactly how to make my food. And it's funny because all of that led up to even my dad being in hospice. And so I already have that down. And so it wasn't even an issue.
Dr Brian G Brown 38:37
Well, and I don't think that I don't think people in the listening audience realize what you just said it was a comfort to me. Because I think the excuse that we hear a lot of times when people struggle with weight was I'll eat the cafeteria food because it's comfort food. And like hamburgers and french fries and the unhealthy stuff.
And what you're saying is you literally in psychology, we call that reframing, you reframe that. And it was a comfort for you to eat something that you had control over and put something in your body that you had control over. Absolutely love that and people out there listening to this need to pay really close attention to this because the concept of reframing the MJ just gave you was exactly that. It's powerful. And it allowed her to maintain the power and control over a bad situation and still move through and keep her sanity and keep her health. So again, I love it. Love it. Love it.
Melissa Jones 39:47
Thank you. It was a lifesaver. And my dad even tried to eat my food. He would. He would sit on the side of his bed and I was eating a Lara bar. It was a cherry pie one and I only the ones that have three ingredients or less just because I know those are better for you. And it's just about making all choices like that even with bars. But I remember he was like, I like cherry pie, I'm like, Dad, it just tastes a little different than like regular cherry pie and, I'll just never forget him eating it on the side of this hospital bed like I mean, we have the cute little moments of that, too.
My dad was always doing push-ups, it was kind of like his thing, that in the morning and at bed, he always did 30 push-ups. And so, kind of a tribute to him, I started getting really into doing push-ups and you would always like flex our muscle like we'd always do this to each other. And so that's like our little kind of like a Carol Burnett moment where she tugged on her ear that was kind of mine with my dad. And that, again, is that connection with feeling strong. And he always modeled that for me. And he always ate great, ate flaxseed on his oatmeal and took just all the things and fish oil and just did all the supplements and everything.
So, it was kind of a sad moment, we were sitting on this side of the bed at different time in Tampa, actually. And he was just like pondering something. I'm like what are you thinking about? And he's like, I just don't know what I did wrong. It was at the toothpaste I used? He was like going through this list of things like almost blaming himself.
And so we did some mindset work there together. And I just assured him that. Obviously, it was out of his control and nothing that he had done. And so we kind of reframed that, and in that moment, and my dad was always such a positive person. And that's why it's such a tribute to him too, that my girls organization came from all of this because it's when, after all that happened that I had this big aha, of oh my gosh, I've been seeing this for years with girls that they need just extra help with building their confidence and with feeling like they're enough and feeling seen and having positive healthy friendships and even knowing how to eat and we start talking about nutrition even. Yeah, and just choices you would make it the lunch.
Dr Brian Brown 42:18
Kind of knowing how to give positive self-affirmation
Melissa Jones 42:21
yes, and how they talk to themselves. And so, I started testing it out at lunch and recess time and a couple days a week, and they loved it, and it took off. And so, it was a nice side effect of the pain that I was in. And not only was I going through my own healing, but I also had this toolkit of good habits that were so ingrained in me by that time that it felt very natural to start teaching that to the girls. And so that's how it all started.
Dr Brian G Brown 42:53
Yeah, I mean, I can, I can see the just the natural path of your progression from childhood all the way through your adulthood and the obstacles that you overcame, and the organization that you formed out of that. That's a really, really good journey. Full of full of enlightenment full of nuggets along the way, that I think that are universal that anybody can take us. Just out of curiosity. I know we've been talking a lot about weight loss, but we've been talking about principles really. With these principles that you've learned. Have you been able to apply them in any other area of your life? We're going to bring you back and we're going to talk more about your organization.
Q: But I'm just curious if there are any other areas of your life where you've been able to apply these principles throughout my life?
Melissa Jones 43:57
I think yes, I think in starting a business I've had to apply the positive affirmations and dealing with comparison and teaching myself things that I didn't know and just knowing how to pivot and how to adjust and how to take those habits and apply it to other parts of my life and from my relationship with my husband to my relationship with my son. And you know, parenting a boy is unique in itself especially middle school boy and so I have to do a lot of mindset work with myself and having my relationship with Him.
We have chickens and my husband got really into homesteading and so even he got on board with the idea of what we put in our bodies and how important that is. During the pandemic. He got really interested in homesteading So it's funny because he used to tease me about how he, he just talked about how strict I was about in the beginning, because I had to be, I had to be strict or because I had “failed” all the other, you know, diets or whatever that I tried. And this is the first thing that ever stuck.
So then I was just really committed, because I saw it working. And I didn't give up at the point that I normally did, which is about 10 pounds in of losing. But fast forward, he got really into homesteading and the chickens that we have, we know what they eat, they eat organic food, they eat their free range, we know exactly where foods coming from. And so he got really interested in that. So it's almost like the principles transferred even to him. And being a police officer, it especially has been healing for him, because in our family, because he's dealt with a lot, especially over the last year of just his own mindset that he's had to work on. And so he wouldn't admit it. But I think that the principles applied to him as well. And my son, he drops a little bit on my mindset work and things and I know that he's internalizing that, then I think that's really, really key is that you just have to keep doing scary things. To me, it's every day, I have to push myself to do something that's uncomfortable. And whether it's with food, or it's, it's with doing a workout, or if it's writing a pitch for media, or learning about a marketing strategy, or being an achiever, I know your audience is full of high achieving people. It's almost like an addiction, because it's, it's like you do one thing, and then you go into the next and the next and the next.
And so what I've been working really hard on lately, is setting boundaries with myself. And that's a new principle that I'm having to really internalize. And it's probably my biggest struggle right now, because it's very blurry. And because I am still teaching full time and running my small business and maintaining my health and trying to keep everything in check. And I don't believe that true balance is ever achievable. I believe that you prioritize different parts of your life at different times. Because there are times when my son takes much more priority. And I have to tell myself not to feel guilty about my teaching or my business or whatever else taking a back seat for a second. And then it just kind of rotates. So that's what I found, because I knew myself up so much at you know, balance, work life balance, work life balance, and being an achiever, too. It's like a torture, if you try and have that mindset, what am I going to be balanced? And to me, you never will you're just always kind of shifting things around and right setting boundaries, for me is that is the best thing that I can do right now.
Dr Brian G Brown 47:50
Yeah, agree more. I couldn't agree more. Everybody views balance as this fixed and concrete concepts. And it's not as so fluid, I think, envision one of those, you know, those things that are 70s and 80s, those wave machines where it's just this wave of colored water moving through this thing, and, and that's what balance is because it's in perfect balance. But at some point, there may be more water on sand than there is on this thing. Yeah. But it's still in balance. It's in synchronicity. And, and I think that that rhythm that synchronicity that you're talking about, is critical for people to understand that what looks like balance today may not look like balance tomorrow, but it's still balance, and find finding that sweet spot where we can maintain our health and maintain our sanity and take care of those that we loved. That love is the critical hinge point, I think.
Melissa Jones 48:54
yeah, it is. And for me too, it's like forgiving yourself for a bad day. Because yesterday I ate some chips. I had some, you know, I had some girl scout cookies that were in my freezer. And so even the one maintaining my way and I'm so human and what I used to do in the past before my transformation, I would just have this extreme guilt
Dr Brian G Brown 49:20
and shame and guilt. Yeah.
Melissa Jones 49:23
Oh my gosh, I would torture myself for in those cookies. And last night. I mean, we keep the Thin mints in the freezer because that's the way to eat them because they're delicious that way. I like a this, you know this back like this. I'm like, Well, alright, that happened. I'm not gonna do that tomorrow. So it's like forgiving yourself. Okay, all right. I have some jalapeno chips with my tacos tonight. Okay, I'm just not going to do that tomorrow or I'm gonna set a different goal. I'm gonna try and eat more greens tomorrow, or, oh, I don't do that right on my water today. So I'm going to drink more tomorrow or for the next meal because I think sometimes people too. in different parts of life as well, but it's like, you make one mistake, and then you just throw it out the window and it's like, Oh, forget it. I didn't do this, or I set lunchtime as well eat the burger and fries, or I might as well just not work out for the rest of the week.
Or, like, I've gotten in a funk last week, and I hadn't I worked out like one day. And that to me, I was like, all right, Melissa, like, I had to do the whole thing in my head, like, Alright, you've got to get back, you've got it. It's one week, your whole body's not gonna change in one week, you're fine. You know. And so I went through this whole dialogue in my mind, not only just about working on food, but do that all the time. Like, alright, that pitch didn't get accepted.
Okay, it's not the right time, or whatever it is like, all right, move on, you know, and it's like, I heard a podcast today, Laurie harder mentioned, just failing fast. And I know Pixar. That's a philosophy, like fail fast. Because I think we're so afraid of failing in some aspect of our life, that it paralyzes us. And so then we're afraid to take those chances, or we mess up. It's like, Oh, see, I knew I couldn't do it, oh, I'm just not meant to do this. And it's like, No, you got to stop that cycle. And to me, that's a principle that just bleeds throughout your entire life.
Dr Brian G Brown 51:12
And that's where the affirmations come in. It's just being able to possibly talk yourself through that. And then the baby steps one step at a time. often say that, whether it's weight loss, or alcohol and drugs, or it's business and you've always say people fall off the cart, but some people fall off the cart and crawl into the Grand Canyon, the principles are still the same. If you're in the Grand Canyon, you got a little bit further to go to get back up on the cart. But the principles are the same one step at a time. Don't beat yourself up. Don't shame yourself to death. Let's just get back on the cart. And proceed on down the road. But yeah, no, yeah, you're spot on spot on there.
Melissa Jones 52:00
I'll drive myself crazy.
Dr Brian G Brown 52:01
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Um, so always love ending the show with a fun question.
Q: What are some interesting or weird traditions that your family has that you'd be willing to share?
Melissa Jones 52:24
Okay, one came to mind right away. And so every time this is just a quick one, every time we cross a state line, if we're traveling, we have to jump over the line. So we all lift our feet up off the air, and we go, we're in whatever and then so we're like, we're in Ohio, we're in whatever it is. And like, we jumped over the state line. That's kind of a weird thing. And my family has always called each other on the birthday and do like a full Happy Birthday song. And like, with all the extras, like all the… and many more…. on channel 4, all the childhood things that everybody says like, my family has always done that. That's been a tradition. Yeah, I have all kinds of weird things.
Dr Brian G Brown 53:18
I think I hear a rooster in the background.
Melissa Jones 53:21
said that in the interview. Like literally, we have three roosters, so
Dr Brian G Brown 53:27
I love them. I love them. Yeah, they're there. Listen, let it turn into story of overcoming some big hurdles and turning those into something that, you know, can radically change lives. And like said, we're gonna bring you back in a future segment, we're going to talk more about that, that radical changing life portion. But as far as transformational living, I mean, you gave us some amazing wisdom and nuggets for whether it's health, transformation in your health, or transformation in your business, or just life in general. Thank you so much. It was an honor and pleasure to have you on the show here today.
Melissa Jones 54:10
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And it just feels good to share those things with others. And I just hope it helps someone.
Dr Brian G Brown 54:18
Definitely. There's so much power in stories and thank you for being willing to share yours today. My pleasure. Absolutely.
So as we wrap up, I'd like to make the listeners aware of something. We're starting, I'm starting a new boot camp, and the boot camp is gonna be called the Gene Hack Boot Camp in that boot camp. It's a free five day boot camp. I'm going to be teaching you my five-zone theory of human reaction to our environments, both internal and external. In the five-zone theory, you're going to know exactly which areas need to be focused on first, in order to reach those higher levels of achievement.
But I've also paired and this comes through years of working with this, have also been able to pair nutrigenomics with that model, and with each of those zones, and you'll be able to prioritize those zones. And you're going to be able to know exactly which genes need to be tested within those zones in order to help you maintain peak performance and stay at a higher level of achievement. If you're not at a higher level of achievement already, and you're feeling a little bit draggy, which can sometimes happen over 40. You know, it's going to help you get back there tremendously.
I can tell you case study after case study where we've actually done this, where we start with genetics first. And within two to four weeks, people are seeing tremendous difference, as much as 65 to 75% improvement. And within the next coming four weeks after that they're seeing as much as 100% resolution and things like brain fog and low energy, mood issues and things, anxiety issues and things like that. So you're not gonna want to miss this boot camp. If you want more information about it.
You can register on https://drbriangbrown.com/genehackbootcamp.
Or you can message me on Instagram or Facebook @Dr. Brian G Brown
And other than that, we'd love to ask and answer any questions that you have. You can go to
https://DrBrianGBrown.com/question click the button right in the middle of the page and submit your question. I'll answer any question about the upcoming boot camp. So that wraps it up for today. Tune in tomorrow at noon Eastern Standard Time. For my in the zone segment, where I'll be recapping today's interview with MJ, I'll be sharing how the nuggets that MJ shared with us in this interview fit into the Genesis zone advantage. I'll be answering any questions and exploring other relevant current event topics related to you know peak performance.
Most informed, most trusted and most gracious. You spent this time with us today. Until next time, stay in the zone. I'm Dr. Brian Brown.