athletic body

Running in Silence: Breaking Common Misconceptions of Eating Disorders and the Athletic Body with Rachael Steil (AoL 148)

Your body image can be a heck of a limiting belief. If you’re a creative who wants to be on stage, you might believe if you’re out of shape that you should be in shape before getting up there. Or, if you’re slim, you might think you need to get some muscles and size to you so you appear more confident.

When it comes to sports, there can be a bit of obsession about the athletic body too.

Maybe even more so.

A lot of athletes believe that if they’re going to stay at peak performance, that they need to control not only practice what they’re doing with their bodies, but what goes into them.

That’s fine. However, just like so many things, it can become a problem if taken too far.

In this interview, Veronica and I talk with former All-American athlete turned author Rachael Steil about her journey.

We find out what caused her to reach out for help and why she’s taking what she’s learned out to others.

If you find yourself obsessing about food and nutrition to an unhealthy extent, then this talk is for you.


  • When it came to Rachael’s eating disorder, when did she realize it was time to get help for herself? 9:16
  • What initially made her start her blog about her athletic body image journey? 14:33
  • What kind of writing process did Rachael have when writing her book? 18:08
  • Does Rachael have any advice for people who want to become known for their art or writing? 23:00
  • Are there any pointers she has in regards to someone finding their identity? 30:02
  • Is she looking forward to in the not too distant future? 31:55
  • What’s one song, one book, and one film that she’d add to the national curriculum? 34:22
  • What message out there is a disservice to our youth? 38:27
  • Has there been a new habit or behavior that she’s been practicing that has helped improve her life? 40:52
  • If she woke up tomorrow as her 10 year old self and all her memories were still intact, what would she do? 42:40
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 44:02


Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.


Rachael on Binge Eating and Hunger

Eating a Diet of Only Fruits and Vegetables

Handling a Eating Disorder When You Can’t Exercise

Rachael presents her Athletic Body Image Journey at the Failure Lab Event in West Michigan

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


positive and negative effects of technology

Veronica Kirin – Chronicling the Stories of Elders: Exploring the Positive and Negative Effects of Technology Through the Years (AoL 132)

The phrase “I’d walk in 5 ft snow and blowing winds BOTH WAYS to school!” or something similar is a pre-internet meme that many of us think of when we think of stories from our grandparents. This generation, dubbed the “Greatest Generation” saw tons of changes in their lives – from civil rights to electricity and TV in every house. Over the years, technology changed the way they lived, worked, and even played.

Unfortunately, with each passing year, there are fewer members of this generation around to share their wisdom.

Today’s guest, and regular cohost of the show, Veronica Kirin made it her goal to get perspectives from this generation about something we all take for granted today: technology.

By chronicling more than 8,000 years of life lived, driving 11,000 miles across more than 40 states, she accomplished this goal.

In today’s conversation, we’ll be talking to her about how it all went down and some of the things she learned from the experience of publishing her first book.



  • What attracted Veronica to becoming a thought leader? 7:26
  • How did the rebranding of her company go? 10:24
  • What platform has she struggled with getting into as she’s building her brand? 12:21
  • Why did she opt to write a book when many people’s preferred format is video or audio these days? 14:36
  • Is there anything she would have changed in making the book as she’s finished the project? 18:04
  • What actually triggered Veronica to pursue writing the book? 19:36
  • How did she come up with the list of individuals she wanted to visit? 23:19
  • Was her Kickstarter campaign a success? 25:00
  • How did the knowledge of all the stories she heard changed her perspective on how we’ve changed as a culture? 27:59
  • How can we be more intentional in our use of technology? 31:30
  • What’s on the horizon for Veronica in the near future? 45:08
  • Which books are her favorite books to give or tell others about? 48:32
  • Something she’s been learning about and wanting to implement more? 52:37
  • If she could, is there any business she would want to magically have? 53:43
  • What’s something that would horrify a person from 100 years ago? 54:31
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 55:39

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.




Your Grandmother Uses Technology Better Than You

Why This Work is Important

Self Care Through Scaling

You Don’t Work for Henry Ford

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


forever alone

Forever Alone? Here’s My Solution!

I’ve been recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts again for the first time in at least a year or so. It’s called The Art of Charm. There’s a good chance you’ve heard of it!

If not, you might want to check it out. It’s a great show. Jordan Harbinger, who’s actually around my age, is the host and in it he talks with a top performers from various industries in how they’ve been so successful.

It’s actually where I got a bit of some of the things in my show.

One thing I haven’t touched on a great while are romantic relationships. While Maria and I are in a great place in our own relationship, I can’t say that telling others how they should meet people should be anything like how we met.

Honestly, our relationship skipped a couple of steps – including anyone proposing. We moved from hanging out at coffee shops, to her mom inviting me to holidays, and before you know it we were talking about possible wedding dates.

We still don’t remember how that all worked – at least I don’t.

This post, originally from July 5th, 2012, is from that time period. If my memory serves correctly, we might have been engaged at this point since we got married in July of 2013. (Wow, it HAS been five years already!)

Anyway, since Valentine’s Day is just a month away and I’d rather it not be Single’s Awareness Day for those of you who want to find someone, here’s a bit of advice – you don’t have to be Forever Alone. Just like most crappy situations, it usually comes from a negative mindset. Let’s explore a bit in how we can get out of it!

In a previous post, I had talked about Good Guys (aka Nice Guys) and their determination to make themselves bend over
backwards so that they appear nice to everyone.

In the past year+, I’ve learned that while that bending over backward for everyone might be useful for being a politician, it isn’t as so for most people. Also, it isn’t true when you want to appear confident. And better yet, it isn’t so useful when you’re actually trying to attract people in your life. Take it from someone that just happened to “stumble” into a relationship/marriage after being “Forever Alone” his entire life.

Confidence is key in everything in life.


What I’ve Learned about being “Forever Alone”

There are a group of people out there who believe that they are doomed to be “Forever Alone”. What this basically means is that they believe that no matter what they do, they’re really never going to have any good friends. They’ll  potentially lack the great bonds with family members and even worse to most, they’ll never have a significant other in their life. They’ve basically convinced themselves that they have no qualifying values for anyone AND that they have never attracted anyone to them in their life.

Funny thing is that these same people are probably well educated (if not overly educated) folk who have studied over and over why they’re alone – or seemingly that way. And even more ironic is that they typically come up with the same answer: “It’s them, not me.”

The truth is that what makes you smart isn’t necessarily your best friend in many situations. See, the problem here, is that Forever Aloners think that the stereotypical geek/nerd/dork who has had social issues – will always continue to have them. And they get “proven” data to back them up from all of the nonsense that society puts out there.

Most recently, I saw the recent movie 21 Jump Street where one of the main characters (Schmidt) gets turned down supposedly by an attractive girl because he was a nerd. This proves the Forever Aloners perspective. However, while this might have been the case for this one girl, it’s not the case for all!

Read on for the solution…


So What’s the Solution to being “Forever Alone”?

Here’s the deal. If Schmidt hadn’t changed who he was and stopped looking in the wrong places, he probably was going to always be Forever Alone! However, through the movie he actually gains confidence by hanging around an old enemy/new friend Jenko. While Schmidt brings the brains to the friendship, Jenko brings the confidence.

A couple of things that I don’t think Forever Alone people think about are:

1.) If they don’t meet people, they won’t have friends.

Instead, what I believe is that they look at it the opposite way… that even if they were to go meet people, no one would like them… for whatever reason.

2.) Popular people get all the attention.

 Again, this is backwards. You need to get attention to be popular. And to get attention, you need to have influence. And to get influence, you need to have confidence. To get confidence, you really need to be ok with who you are now OR the ideal version of you that you want to be. The more you see the current you becoming that future you, the more confident you become.

3.) Unless they give each other value, some personalities have harder times getting along with other personalities. 

It’s true. Amiables  and Drivers tend to suck the energy out of each other if they don’t understand where each other is coming from. Same can be said about Expressives and Analyticals. However, what’s even more interesting is that those same personalities also attract each other like magnets in the end. Just like Schmidt and Jenko did.


Forgive and Gain a New Perspective

If you don’t want to be Forever Alone, the simplest method of fixing it is by dropping your insecurities. And the easiest way to do that is to forgive others.

Just like Schmidt forgave Jenko.

Forgiveness is the key to insecurity. And that’s exactly what being Forever Alone is… an insecurity.

It’s these insecurities that is the root of a ton of issues in our world today – including being Forever Alone.

Once you start forgiving (others, and even yourself), your next step is to find out that personal mission of yours. Learn to embrace that. Of course, there will be some people who don’t like you because of it. However, there will be others who love you because of it.

Once you find your true self, go find people who are interested in the same things. If it is an SO you’re looking for, make sure one of your networks could potentially involve your new mate.

Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with making everyone friends first and then moving on from there.

It worked for me – it can work for you.

Just as a side note: The “Friend Zone” does not exist after the age of 25 or so. If you think a person is friend zoning you, you probably shouldn’t be wasting your time pursuing them as an SO.

Also, it wouldn’t hurt to understand personalities so that you know which personalities click. It’s much easier to find potential friends/mate if you know why different personalities attract and repel each other.

Action Steps

So what do you think about being “Forever Alone”?

Can it be cured? If so, how? What are you personal thoughts on the matter? Am I full of it above?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!


self image

Eleven Quick Tips to Improve Your Self Image: A Big Part of Fulfilling Your Personal Mission

As I’m approaching the release of my newest resource on finding a Personal Mission, I thought a good lead into the launch should involve some related content. Last week’s post was an example. Here’s another one.

This piece, originally posted on October 26th, 2010, is probably one of my favorite early posts.

I used to struggle with my self image a lot. A good part of it was because I didn’t have my own mission yet. I was a fish trying to compare myself to monkeys when it came to climbing trees. Perhaps just like you, I was told that climbing trees was the best career out there. Except it wasn’t really trees – it was “finding a job”.

It just wasn’t for me – and I eventually figured that out.

Even if you haven’t realized your own mission yet, you can start building your self image. While having your own mission does help with making these tips more practical, sometimes it helps to make the transition one small piece at a time. When you do have a high self image, you’ll have the required confidence to live the life you want. Without the confidence, there’s a good chance you won’t commit!

Getting out of Your Rut

In today’s world, society has forced many of us to be what we’re not. Making us feel like we’re somehow inadequate. For most people, this is considered the norm.

But the result is that it might leave us feeling stuck in a rut.

If you find yourself in this rut and not feeling like you actually appreciate yourself as much as you think you should, then there’s a good chance you have a low self image. As you’ve probably heard, having a good self image can help give someone more confidence. So, increasing your self image can help you with your personal life but it can even help with your professional life.

In the past, as I have worked with others in their self development path, one of the biggest problems I see most frequently are those that deal with self acceptance and self image. As I have personally struggled with my identity and these problems myself, I had plenty of time to figure out what worked and what didn’t… and several times over for others.

1. Clothes Do Make the Man (and Woman)

Yes, it’s an old cliche’, but that doesn’t make it any less true. A few years back, I remember a time when I didn’t really have any more than one oversized suit. Now I have several. Why? Because when we dress confidently, we feel confident. Try this experiment: for one week, dress like the person you want to be, NOT the person you think you are. This one is a simple change and can have the potential to dramatically improve your self image.

2. Keep Your Environment Tidy.

Keeping your house and car clean helps raise your self image. Most people like being in clean areas more than cluttered ones. Those same people tend to get depressed when they’re in a cluttered environment. So instead of submitting yourself to a environment that could prove to be depressing, put some effort into keeping your environment like that of a person you believe to have a higher self image would have. That doesn’t have to be spotless — maybe just organized and practical.

3. Stop Trying so Damn Hard.

Improving your self image should not be about struggling. Give up trying to be a perfectionist, and give yourself permission to be a human being who will naturally make mistakes sometimes. As I mentioned in my last post, detailitis is a disease of success. If you’re constantly searching for perfection, you’re constantly failing to achieve just that. So instead, just strive for excellence. A sure-fire way to feel inferior is to set the bar too high in every area of your life. Cut yourself some slack — you deserve it.

4. Focus Your Attention Outward.

One of my favorite quotes that I quote Zig Ziglar for saying is this: “Those who help enough other people get what they want, automatically get what they want in return.” Lack of confidence often causes people to focus an inordinate amount of attention inward, on the “self.” Make it a point to focus more attention on others than you do on yourself. Remember, confident people focus outward — insecure people focus inward.

5. Avoid Energy Drainers.

All of us know someone who seems to “suck the energy” out of a room just by entering. These negative people are all around us. They might even be your parents.  Give yourself permission to minimize contact with these people. Don’t hate them or judge them in any way. Just recognize that they do not improve the quality of your life, and minimize your connection with them.

6. Take a Chance.

Try something new and different that you may have been apprehensive about in the past. Enroll in an adult education class, or join a book club, gym, bowling league or other social pastime. Anything that will get you out of your shell.  The change will do you good, and your self image will improve!

7. Be a Giver.

The Golden Rule states: “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.” With that in mind, start giving what you want to receive in life. If you want people to treat you that you’re a confident and human person, Make other people feel as confident and human as you can. When you build up others, you are sure to get back the same thing. Call it karma or what ever you like – it always works!

8. Practice Forgiving Others.

Many people are very hard on themselves because, deep down, there’s something in their past that they would rather forget. If you’re clinging to some failure or transgression from the past, you should realize that you are doing so. Then forgive yourself completely for what it was. Likewise, if someone else did something that you’ve been holding a grudge against. Forgive them and don’t hold that grudge. It’s belittling of people to hold grudges.

9. Learn how to talk to Yourself.

In fact, this is the topic of one of my favorite books. “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” Some people repeat affirmations such as “I have a great self image,” which is fine, but you can improve your affirmation results by using leading questions such as, “why am I so confident?” When you ask yourself a question like this, your subconscious mind operates in a very simple manner.  It will immediately go to work looking for the answer, and it will report back to you all of the ways you already are confident. This, in turn, will boost your self image.

10. “Model” Other Confident People.

One way to improve your self image is to model the behavior of people whom you consider to be supremely confident. If you can befriend a very confident person, that’s great. But if not, just find an actor or other celebrity who is confidence personified, and study their behavior. Do this several times a week, and some of their confident mannerisms are bound to rub off on you.

11. Practice Being Thankful.

This one might seem a little weird and/or tedious. However, a grateful mind is a peaceful mind, and a peaceful mind radiates confidence. While you’re building your self image, practice making a daily gratitude list. Particularly focus on different aspects of yourself that you appreciate. Maybe you are a great swimmer, or good at math, or really strong, or a good dancer, or have an unusual sense of humor, or are good at design, or a great singer, or a really good friend, or any number of other positive attributes. Look for what is great about you, and then be grateful you have those qualities. Appreciating your good qualities will improve self-confidence, and help you develop the kind of positive self image that is crucial to success in life.

Action Steps

So, again, if you haven’t figured out what your mission is, that’s not a problem. It can be hard to go after your own thing if you don’t have the confidence in yourself to do so yet.

That said, even if you have your mission figured out but you’re not quite sure how to pursue it yet – don’t hesitate to start working these habits into your life. There’s a good chance you’ve already worked on a few of them, but utilizing all of them might possibly help boost your results.

good habits

Forming Good Habits through Chance: How Success Dice Can Help you Build Your Decision Making Skills with Andrew Kaplan (AoL 108)

Procrastination is a reality for everyone in some form. Many people struggle day in and day out with getting things done that they know should be done.

Most of the time, those folks are struggling simply because they are playing a reactive role in life vs one that is proactive.

They let their circumstances control what they’re doing.

On the other hand, successful people choose what they’re going to do and then act accordingly.

But how do you know what’s right to act on? We can spend a ton of time and energy figuring out just that part.

But – what if you could have something that would help you decide what to work on or do next?

Today’s guest, Andrew Kaplan, has invented just that: Success Dice.

Like many of us, Andrew struggled with a lot of things in his life. In fact, at one point, he hit an all time low.

However, after creating the prototype of the success dice, he found himself achieving more than he ever had in years prior.

In this session, Andrew shares with us how Success Dice came to be, how they help him battle procrastination, and why we could all use them.



  • How has his career helped lead him to where he’s at? 9:13
  • How did being a part of the Foundation help Andrew? 15:57
  • How can someone deal with procrastination in their lives? 23:41
  • What’s people’s main mistake when they’re trying to actually get things done? 29:43
  • How did the idea of the Success Dice begin? 31:41
  • Since there is an element of chance when using dice, how is using Success Dice beneficial in the long run? 35:41
  • Who are Andrew’s top 3 influencers? 43:26
  • What’s a fact from today that would blow the mind of someone from 10 years ago? 46:02
  • Smallest decision he’s made that has had the largest impact on his life? 48:34
  • What’s a service that doesn’t exist that he’d gladly pay for? 49:30
  • … and MUCH more!

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.




Introduction to Success Dice:

Tony Robbins on not letting the Opinions of Others Affect You:

Even Pagan on The New Wealth (pt1):

Kamal Ravikant talks Love and Entrepreneurship:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


true self

Circling Back to the Beginning: How a Sweat Lodge Realization Opened a Door to True Self and New Opportunities with Eric Finnigan (AoL 103)

To view this content, you must be a member of JC Preston's Patreon at or higher tier
good rapport

5 Strategies to Build Good Rapport (Originally posted 10.5.2010)

In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be digging through the blog’s archive and doing some cleanup. Some posts I’ll be taking out all together while other ones I’ll be making more SEO friendly.

There comes a point where this kind of work needs to be done. Some call it taking inventory, others call it clipping the branches. Todd Tresidder calls it “Content Auditing”.

The point being is that there’s nearly 300 posts in the blog at this point and some it is relevant while there’s plenty that isn’t. I need to yank out what isn’t relevant anymore and re-release the good stuff!

So let’s get started! – JC

Being Technically Gifted

Many of us technical types (especially those of us who studied STEM majors in college) tend to have some sort of social anxiety. This is especially noticeable in the Big Bang Theory. All of the men have some sort of social issue.

I think that’s why it’s been one of my favorite shows over the years. I can relate directly with the characters – especially Sheldon and Leonard.

Many times I find myself being as ignorant about social situations as Sheldon. But other times, like Leonard, I make efforts to get out of my comfort bubble. To me, it’s very interesting to notice the differences between the two of them. Because other than Leonard’s people skills and his development of them, he and Sheldon are definitely 2 peas in the same pod.

One of the main differences that I see between the two of them is that Leonard can and does attempt to build rapport with people. A great example of this is when he went out of his way to welcome Penny in when she first came to their apartment complex. He could have done this or done the comfortable thing and simply hung out with the guys. Many technically inclined guys would have opted to stick with what they knew instead of greeting the pretty girl. In the geek world, we’re all scared of talking to the opposite sex.

Through the life of the show, he definitely seems to be the glue amongst among the girls and guys and this is a great quality to have. And really, to me, that’s what having good rapport is all about!


Matching and Mirroring to Build Rapport

So how do you build rapport? Well, the answer, sadly, isn’t just “be yourself”.

If that was the answer, you probably wouldn’t be asking the question in the first place, right? If being yourself has made you feel more alienated every time you do it, then there has to be some sort of unspoken rules.

Well, here are some tips on what to focus on the next time you’re attempting to get to know and build connections with some people. And for me, they all have to do with matching what those you’re talking to are doing.


1. Match Posture / Physiology

This is pretty simple. And you’ve probably heard about this one before. But this is a big part of that “body language” that you hear so much about. Imitate and match body posture and movements when you can with people you’re talking with.

If they’re moving their arms about to be more visual in describing something. Match that. If they’re being stoic – match that. If they’re smiling while talking – you guessed it, MATCH THAT! They’ll find you less likely as someone who’s a potential threat because they’ll believe that you’re in the moment with them. Treat them like a good friend and they might end up as one.


2. Match Rhythmic Movements

Yet another part of body language. Rhythmic movements are a finer aspect of moving. This is what dance is all about. It’s also why music is often a topic when people are getting to know each other. Saying that you enjoy several types of music suggests that you are open to different beats and different kind of people.

That said, people with ADD/ADHD might have problems with this. So if you feel anxiety at a dance and/or when other people are displaying and enjoying rhythmic movements and you wonder what it’s all about, you might want to look into Rhythmic Movement Training.

Reasons for lacking this ability could be as simple as having an ear infection when you were exploring it when you were growing up. Like anything else, it’s never too late to learn this new life skill.

3. Match Tone, Tempo & Volume of Voice

Ah yeah, the problem that Raj has around attractive women. As you should probably know, language is not just about body movements – it’s also about verbal communication. And just because most of your language is done nonverbally, it doesn’t mean you should disregard training of the voice when engaging with people. Matching your voice tone (pitch – high or low), tempo (speed – fast or slow), and volume with those that you are talking with is just as important as learning how to use the same movements.

4. Match Breathing

Possibly not the most obvious thing to think about when you’re learning how to build rapport with people. But it’s definitely another thing to consider. Become aware of the other person’s rate of breathing. If they are breathing slowly, then slow your breathing down to the same rate. People who are in rapport with each other tend to breath in the same rhythm. This can be very beneficial to you if you’re trying to calm someone down or crank them up. For an experiment of sorts, you can try this one with babies or children. If the baby or child is upset, their rate of breathing will be fast. First match your breathing rate to theirs. Do this for thirty seconds or so. Then start to slow your breathing down. The child’s breathing will also slow down, enabling them to calm down. If their breathing doesn’t slow down, just match theirs again for longer and then repeat the exercise.

5. Match Process (VAK) Words

This one I’ve never really considered until recently. But process words or words that help paint pictures visually, audibly, or kinetically are key in conversations – just as much as correct body language is. If someone is describing something visually, don’t speak in audible terms. Join them in visual description and understanding. If they’re describing something kinetically and suggesting that they “felt” something was right, join them by saying “Yeah, I felt the same way!” not “Yeah, I hear what you’re saying there.” When you’re using the same process words, there is definitely a different type of tone that you’re matching.

Action Steps:

The next time you’re attempting to be friendly with someone and want to set them at ease from the beginning, try and match their behavior.

Go to their level.

If you would like to know more about matching others and why and how this all works, one subject you might want to look into is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). However it’s power goes well beyond building rapport.

Here’s a video illustrating more about it and how it can enrich your own professional and personal life:

Again, I’d love to hear from you about your experiences in building rapport. What has worked for you and what hasn’t?