Episode 8 | April 12, 2016

Embracing Your Unique Self Through Fitness and Nutrition with Buttercup Lawson Mayer


A Personal Note from Orion

One evening, a friend of mine woke up in the middle of the night and decided to fulfill her dream to become a bodybuilder.  Just 3 months later, she participated in her first competition, and within ONE YEAR of that faithful night, she won two world championship titles and 7 PRO cards, which is unheard of even for women half her age. 

What I love about her is that she does things her way, and never lets words like ‘reasonable’, ‘proper’, or ‘predictable’ define her.  I often feel as if she is vibrating on a different level than the rest of us, almost like she took the blue pill and can manifest things like Neo from the Matrix… 

Meet Buttercup Lawson Mayer, a good friend of mine, mega-successful entrepreneur, and a heartfelt leader. 

 

 

About Today’s Show

‏‏Hi, and welcome to Stellar Life podcast. Our guest today is a dear friend of mine, Buttercup Lawson Mayer. She’s an English barrister, a banker, a property developer, and an investor. She’s also a high-altitude marathon runner and taught advanced yoga all over India and the globe. Buttercup got into the sport of bodybuilding for the first time as a figure competitor just nine months ago. Since then, she won multiple first place and Pro Cards as a feared competitor. This lady is on fire living her mission, teaching everybody how to find joy and passion by being fully alive in their bodies and in every which way. She’s an ever-expanding student of life who holds a limitless mindset. Hello, Buttercup, and welcome to the show!

‏‏Hi, Orion! Thank you so much for having me today. It’s really a pleasure and an honor to be here.

‏‏Yeah, I’m so excited to speak with you. You are one of the most extraordinary people I know. Everything you do is “go-big-or-go-home.” Now, my introduction is just scratching the surface so why don’t you just tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?

‏‏I don’t really know where my drive originally came from but I do know that since the age of about 11 years old, I’ve been very clear that I just don’t feel alive or awake unless I’m really alive in my body. I think it started at about the age of 11, I was running the streets of London and doing weird precursors of aerobics in church holds before there were gyms. I was a member of the first proper American-style gym in London and I remember them talking about canceling my membership because I spent too many hours there. I would make it my office at the gym. I feel that when my body is moving, my mind is still and I have clarity. I don’t do the sitting still very well. When I’m with my body is still, my mind is very jumbled so that’s just the way I’ve known to operate, I think. I find the voice of my spirit when my body is moving and it’s common in various forms of my life. You know, I woke up in the middle of the night one day and said, “Oh my goodness! I have to practice yoga!” I really unrolled the mat and it came very easily to me and I know I’ve done yoga in past lives but then that morphed into bodybuilding, which I’ve just recently become incredibly passionate about and which I believe to be the ultimate discipline. I think I’m a student of discipline really. I love discipline in that I see discipline as a mirror and I’m able to perceive myself in that mirror of discipline because I watch my resistance and then I’m able to question why am I resisting. Is this really hard? Nothing is really hard if you set your mind to it. Nothing is hard. I try to approach life with a mindset of not really I try and do approach life with a mindset of—well, it’s not really “I try,”—I do approach life with a mindset of, “I can do, be, or have whatever I set my mind to.” Sometimes, the setting of the mind is the challenge but the actual doing is never hard.

Nothing is really hard if you set your mind to it. Nothing is hard. Click To Tweet

‏‏And what did you do to set your mind? Because a lot of people, including me, say “I can do, be, and have whatever I want,” but there is this voice inside that says, ”Uh, maybe not!” I feel in your case it’s a very strong, deep-rooted belief. How did you get there?

‏‏I think I need to give a little credit to my mother actually here. She was very, very abusive. I suffered a lot as a child. I suffered a lot growing up. I don’t remember any of my childhood and I’m now learning some of the sufferings that I received. That was one side of it but I do remember her saying to me, “You can do whatever you set your mind to,” so maybe that was one of the more empowering stories but, really, to answer your question, I think people use words: “I’m going to do this,” but they don’t actually set their mind in that and that’s the two-millimeter distinction. I feel it in myself, when I set my mind, there is nothing and there is nobody that can stop me as long as I’m flowing along the path that I’m guided by my divine, if you will, and as long as it’s the appropriate path for me. I observed that most people say, “I’m going to do this,” but they don’t actually set their mind to it. Does that make sense?

‏‏It makes sense! How would you recommend setting your minds for it?

‏‏Well, it’s developing a whatever-it-takes attitude. If most of us can look at an area of our lives where we have developed this attitude and it might simply be something like, you have very organized drawers in your closet but if there’s something that you’ve done in a way that you feel you’ve achieved, you’ve really achieved it to the ultimate degree. It’s very easy to transpose that discipline, if you will, because to me, everything is just a discipline. Everything is just a discipline and you’ve spoken a few moments ago about, you know, we all have times when we’re off and when we’re down, I am much more cognizant of the times when I’m more challenged. The metaphor I like to use is that—it’s the days when we don’t want to go to the gym, it’s the days when we feel we have a fever, or we don’t want to do something—that’s your best workout. That’s the workout that actually counts. We can all thrive when we’re in the flow but how do we respond when life knocks us down? How do we respond when we wake up in the morning and we don’t really feel like it? And the metaphor I like to use is, “The best workout is the one that we don’t want to do or when we feel weak”. That’s when we actually make changes and it’s never so much in the body, it’s the change in the mind. It’s the change in the mind. It’s the change in the will. It’s the enlivening of the spirit.

For me, a key pivot, which I discovered later in life but I’m extremely attached to now is to do what I call ME time first thing in the morning and so, a perfect day for me—well, it’s had many formats but, currently, a perfect day for me—is any day, it’s actually every day in which I do this: I’m up at half-past four. I’m banging the gym door down by five. I train at the gym. I listen to usually motivational speakers while I’m at the gym and so I’m feeding my mind while I’m working my body and then I jump in the sauna and do my meditation and there, I’m nourishing my spirit. By the time I leave the gym, I’m primed and prepped, if you will, prepped for the day and I feel completely conditioned. I love the feeling of power that I get from knowing that I’ve prepared myself before the rest of the world gets up. On the rare occasions when I don’t do that or looking back, historically, when I didn’t use to do that, I found that the day came at me and when I do this, I’m just at peace and I have a very clear sense of my priorities and I am able to distinguish what’s important from what’s urgent. I think it’s Jim Rohn who said something like, “Don’t stop the day until you finish it.” I may be a little off with those words but the notion was, don’t start living your day until you’ve really planned it. I think what he’s really saying is, “Don’t let the world come at you,” and how perceptive that was of him because as we progress, if we can call it progression, my personal perception is that I choose very carefully what I put both into my body and into my mind. I don’t own a television and I won’t live in a house with a television. I consider it to be the greatest evil of the modern world. I think the internet is a magnificent thing if we use it as a tool but I also see how damaging it can be.

‏‏Right. Yeah, we just canceled Netflix.

‏‏Oh, good for you!

‏‏It was a hard decision but, man, it gives me so much free time and just gives us so much time to actually connect, and do the things that we need to do without that obsession of just sitting in front of that big box, and it is an obsession for sure. Let’s touch a little bit about your extraordinary journey with bodybuilding. I mean, from our last conversation, what I remember is that, you had a trainer for bodybuilding and he told you that it will take you about two years to get ready and then, maybe, you’ll be able to do a bikini competition, and you just fired him after three months and got your first trophy not in a bikini, which is the lower level, but as a figure competitor just a few months later. Is that true?

‏‏Absolutely. You know, that’s really just the flavor of who I am. Some people like to learn things step by step, I like to dive into a swimming pool and then learn how to swim. It was really a fun experience. I was not prepared, I was not trained, and I didn’t know anything about bodybuilding. I’d never been to a show at all. I was actually presenting at Harvard last April and one of our friends, Orion, a friend of yours and mine, was competing in a bodybuilding competition about two weeks later. I was on my way to Australia for a Tony Robbins event right after the Harvard presentation and my boyfriend, Richard, said to me, “Our friend, Paul, is competing in two weeks. He was so kind to come and support you, I believe we should go out and support him,” and I said to him, “I’m not going to watch anybody. If I were going to the show, I’m going to compete,” and I just saw it as a bit of fun. I bought a suit on eBay and I didn’t know what shoes to wear, and I found a posing coach, and I appeared at her door the day before the show and I said, “Teach me how to pose!” and she said, “You’re ridiculous! This takes six years. You may not get on stage,” and I said, “Watch me!” I really didn’t know what I was doing. I think I know I was guided there because I found myself at Foxwoods Casino, my eyes were full of tears and I started shaking. I was just so excited. The energy was just extraordinary and then, about eleven o’clock that night, I found myself in the back corridor behind a kitchen in a camping tent with a 400-pound biker, whose name I didn’t know. I was stark naked and he was spray-tanning me and then I knew that I’d arrived home. It’s just so absurd, so fantastic, so ridiculous, and extraordinary. I love the intensity of it so I think that’s what draws me. You take your eye off the gold for half a second—half a second—and you’re history.

‏‏Wow!

‏‏It’s really, of course, like everything else. It’s not about bodybuilding, it’s about who am I becoming in this process and I love who I’m becoming in this process. For me, it’s pure fun. I don’t take it terribly seriously. Most bodybuilders live as if they’re in a factory. They do the same thing every single day in the same way. They’re so consumed by the sport that they don’t really work or they certainly don’t have a social life and that’s no part of what I want. I live my life and if there happens to be a competition nearby, I jump into it. I believe it’s really that attitude and my stage presence that is making me win. I wouldn’t be beating girls who are in much better shape than I am otherwise. It’s just because I’ve got a lot of sass but I’m nearly 56 years old, I’m getting on stage in a Diamante thong and stripper heels, and I often have 300 men in the audience I don’t know cheering for me—which part of that is not fun? I don’t get it. I just don’t understand how this is pretty much the most fun thing you could do as a woman. It’s just one form. It’s one flavor. It’s all ice cream, if you will, and this is just one flavor. It’s really no different to feeling viscerally alive in your body when you’re dancing or pole-dancing or enjoying a magnificent yoga practice. It’s all the same. I think I’ve just added the element of, “I’m alive on stage,” and of course, winning is really fun but actually losing is the best learning tool.

It’s really no different to feeling viscerally alive in your body when you’re dancing or pole-dancing or enjoying a magnificent yoga practice. It’s all the same.

‏‏Hmm. Tell me more about that.

‏‏Well, I had my first show last May and I didn’t win but I didn’t know anything. That was that first show that I just referred to and then the next show, I won first place and two second trophies. I think I got a flavor for winning them. After that, I pretty much-cleaned house. I won everything I competed in. I started with a new coach about October of last year and he said, “Okay, your big show is in November. It’s a Masters Nationals. You’re going to win that and it’s really going to take you to a different level.” I trained ridiculously hard and I came in what they call overdieted. It’s quite a fine art bodybuilding. It’s like bringing a flower to bloom. The day before the show, I was 107 pounds, which is perfect for me, and then I woke up the morning of the show, a few hours later, and I was 102 pounds. I looked like a balloon that deflated. I looked like a little rat. I was skinny with no muscles and this happens sometimes. I came in fourth and I was angry. I was really angry. I was angry with myself. I was angry and just very disappointed but it was that anger that fueled me. I think that was November the 21st and three weeks later, I went on to win two World Championship titles, which, again, I was at a Tony Robbins event and I just flew out late one night, jumped on stage, and went back to the event. My whole life doesn’t lie down and stop for this and I think, it’s that attitude, which enables me to jump from one thing to the next. It’s really a spirit. You’re asking me what’s the trick—it’s a spirit thing, really. It’s the same spirit, which took me to the depths of India to teach extreme advanced yoga, which takes me on to the stage, or which is fueling my passion now to heal the world from what I call the war with food and that ties in, of course, very closely with the body and I think, specifically, for women. So few people address the absolutely visceral relationship between a woman and her deepest desire and the connection between that and her body, and food, and her sexuality. To me, it’s one and the same thing actually.

‏‏Right, and just for our listeners, going to a Tony Robbins event, the one she’s referring to, means getting to the event at 9:00 am and finish at 1:00 am for a few days and then going and doing a World Champion show.

‏‏It is intense. You know, my youngest daughter said to me a few weeks ago, “Mommy, one of the things I love about you is that when you do things, you do them to an outstanding level,” and I do believe that I choose not to dabble. I don’t do a million things. I like to do a few things and do them very well. I’m a very passionate human being. I believe that should be my greatest strength so whatever I throw myself into, I’m ridiculously—actually, absurdly—passionate about it. I laugh at myself because I’m quite absurd but I also see it as my greatest strength because I’m able to find an, apparently, unlimited amount of passion for something that I didn’t know about yesterday and if it’s not fun, I’m not going to do it.

‏‏Right. What comes when I think about you is, you dare to be different.

‏‏Thank you.

‏‏Unlike other people who try to fit in the box, you do everything differently. You are your own person. You do things your way. You just don’t really care if somebody likes you or doesn’t like you. You stand strong for who you are and the proof is in the pudding—in all your achievements in your life.

‏‏Well, thank you! It’s really interesting you say this. I’ve been like this since I was a very young child and for many decades, I felt very maligned. I was the black sheep of my family. Everywhere I went, I felt there was something wrong with me. There was something different about me but I now understand that I was being divinely guided to something and I was being taken somewhere. I was able to resist other people trying to fit me into a mold but I suffered a lot because I wouldn’t fit into a mold but somehow, there was the voice of my spirit telling me, “You’re not like other people.” I could never quite understand the desire that I see in so many people to be the same because we’re all unique and beautiful. I believe each one of us shares a common mission. I know that each one of us is on this planet to overcome obstacles that are given to us by with and through unconditional love—that’s our dharma, it’s our mission. Our divine is love and we are a reflection of our divine, that’s my personal belief. Then I add to that, I know that each one of us has a personal mission, something special and unique, and nobody is quite like me and nobody is quite like you and therein lies our beauty. It’s not so much in the sameness, it’s in the connectedness between us. It’s the differences because each one of us has something utterly unique and exquisite and when we allow ourselves to blossom in that way, when we allow our light to shine, that’s when we show our true radiance—our true beauty.

‏‏Yes, absolutely! So, we met at a Tony Robbins event, and then we met again in India, and in a few other occasions since then. Can you expand a bit about your spiritual journey and your self-development journey?

‏‏I was practicing yoga. I went to India and for my 50th birthday, I took myself off on a silent meditation retreat, and made myself sit in lotus and half lotus for up to sixteen hours a day, and just really felt that, somehow, the excruciating pain would enable me to see God and I came emerged from it saying, “It was clearly the most painful and challenging experience I’ve ever had in my life,” and then about a week later, I was given this revelation that it was time to start dating, which was quite funny, really, because I went to see God and I came out and ended up on Match.com. Looking back, I see that the ultimate spiritual journey is really true intimacy with another human being so I really do understand now how those two things come together and I’m digressing a little bit. I just continued on my quest and in recent months, it’s hard to pinpoint when this started to happen. I’ve always been a very intuitive person. I’ve always felt things with my gut and I go with my gut. I don’t do well when I think things through too carefully, especially big decisions in my life I’m just drawn to. These days, I wake up often in the middle of the night and, literally, sit bolt upright and I just get downwards which is magnificent.

‏‏Wow.

‏‏So, that’s where I’m at spiritually now. I am waiting to be told what to do and I’m being told what to do a lot and I’ve been on quite a journey of faith in the last three months. The deepest journey I’ve ever been on, where I’ve really leaped into the void and I’m being taken somewhere and I don’t know exactly where I’m going but I have, for the first time in my life, profound faith. I know that I’m being taken where I meant to go and it’s a beautiful experience actually.

‏‏That’s amazing. Would you call it enlightenment?

‏‏That’s a very big word. It’s a very big word and I’m inclined to use big words so I’d love to think of that as I’m a simple human being. I’m not that spiritually connected. I think, perhaps, my strength is that I’ve got one foot in both worlds, if you will, but I’m very down-to-earth. I’m very, very down-to-earth and very absurd.

‏‏And you’re very kind too. You’re very generous—you’re a very generous person.

‏‏Thank you.

‏‏Let’s talk about your struggle with food. A lot of women struggle with body image. They’re struggling with food disorders or yoyo diets and I know that you have experienced some of that pain yourself throughout your life.

‏‏Yes, it’s the greatest war I’ve ever fought. Food is, clearly, my drug of choice. I was bulimic for a long time and the bulimia was bad enough but the shame I carry, this was my deepest, darkest secret. I felt like I had a whole other life that people didn’t know about. During that time, I always had a sense that if only, somehow, I could emerge from this war that I felt was consuming me, life would be beautiful. I would step into this incredible garden but it really was a shadow of my life for so very long that was, very clearly, handed to me from my mother who also had an eating disorder. I connected very deeply with my intimate relationships with men and my sexuality so I always knew that I was very sensual and very sexual but my mother always told me, “No man will ever love you. You’ll always be alone,” and so, I perpetuated that story—I lived that story.

‏‏Wow.

‏‏I didn’t go on dates. No man was ever attracted to me and I couldn’t quite understand why. I’m coming to understand why now. It’s what I was emitting. I was emitting my story. I’ve digressed a little bit but I had so much shame about my eating disorder but also about my body. If I was up two pounds, I wouldn’t go to a party—it was an obsession of mine. I see so much struggle—I emerged from that thankfully and God knows, I’ve worked hard to emerge from that. Now, I’m in a beautiful place where I don’t want to be skinny anymore. I love curves. I love the muscles that I’m developing. I love the sensuality of my body and I understand that it’s always just a work in progress but I do see the struggle for so many people and I’m finally at a point where I’m really grateful for the suffering I’ve had with bulimia because I now know what my mission is. I’ve stepped into it and the joy I’m having now in knowing that my life has meaning because I’m now able to take that pain away from other people. I don’t want to lie on my deathbed and say I suffered a lot. I will now lie on my deathbed and say, “I understand why this was given to me. It’s because I’m a powerful leader and I am able—through my knowledge, through my exposure, through all my experiences, through my studies, and my seeking— to hold hand and guide those other people who are suffering out of that war and I couldn’t be pumped up or turned on.

I’m just I’m so excited and I don’t want to go to bed at night because all I want to do is heal more people. I’m absolutely thrilled about that and there’s a different way out of that war for everybody. I feel so intimately connected with women and with men, but little more so with women, who are drowning in that war if you were suffocating and I see the shame, I see the hidden secrets, I see the pain, and I see how each and every person I meet feels that, somehow, they’re alone in this war and what I want to tell everybody is, you’re not alone. We all suffer to some degree. I believe that, certainly in the western world, probably 80% of people and, probably, 90% of women have some level of war with food. It’s sad. It’s sad and it’s particularly challenging for a woman and here’s why I see it in this way: I believe that women’s most visceral need is to be desired physically—to be, literally, lusted after—so of course, if she’s not happy in her body, she’s not emitting a message, which makes her desirable so it’s a huge problem. I believe men’s most fundamental need is to feel successful so if a man gains five pounds, I mean, it’s not that men don’t have struggles with food but to a lesser degree. If a man gains five pounds, he feels, “Oh, it’s a fact. I gained five pounds!” He doesn’t feel as emotionally torn up about it. When I used to talk to my boyfriend, he would tell me, for example, that he had lost a deal—to me, that’s just a fact just like when a man gains five pounds, he thinks it’s a fact. To me, money is just a fact. It’s not something I get emotional about. It’s just something to do something. It’s just, “Okay, it’s a problem. I fix it.” When a man says to me, “I lost a deal,” in my mind, the only way I can empathize is to ask myself how I would feel if I just gained 25 pounds and then I can relate completely. Because then my self-worth is drawn into it.

‏‏You are trying different diets, right?

‏‏I’ve done everything. I challenge you to find something I have not done because I’ve done everything from fasting on water only for 40 days.

‏‏My God!

‏‏Years ago, I did something in England called The Bread and Butter diet. It sounds blissful to me now but it’s two pieces of bread and butter five times a day!

‏‏How did that work for you?

‏‏Right now, I’m thinking carbs and fat—what could be a better combination? But here is the problem, I now understand that through years of dieting—and I know we’ve all done a thousand diets—I’ve completely trashed the whole hormonal balance in my body. I’ve broken the connection between my guts and my brains so I don’t know the feeling of fullness anymore. I’m redeveloping it but I really see the damage that we do and for me, it affected my sleep, it affected my energy, and it affected everything. I do believe the world is going into two different directions. Of course, we’re all very aware of the increase in obesity but the other extreme I believe is actually led in one way by the world of bodybuilding because we do live in an age now where, for those of us with the right mindset—right is the wrong word—but for those of us with the appropriate mindset to get what we want, we know how to make money and it’s not complicated to make money in this day, world, and age. If you have some willingness, you can make money I believe we’re moving into an age where we want the things that money can’t buy and one of the things that money can’t buy is a six-pack. I believe that the world of bodybuilding is actually leading an extreme edge of people in one direction and then, the rest of the world is being drawn further into the abyss of obesity. The body is becoming—and maybe it’s my perspective but my perspective is—the body is becoming an absolute and increasingly enormous feature in our lives distinguishing the successful from the unsuccessful, if you will.

Body is becoming an absolute and increasingly enormous feature in our lives distinguishing the successful from the unsuccessful, if you will. Click To Tweet

‏‏That’s an incredible observation and to some degree, it’s really true.

‏‏I don’t watch movies. I really don’t because I don’t have the attention span, that’s the truth! I’ve never seen a movie in the last few years that I find interesting so I don’t bother going anymore but Hugh Jackman—this is where Hollywood is going and it’s just one trend. I do believe that we’re moving further and further in, of course, in spiritual pursuits but further and further, if we really set our mind to it, each one of us could go out and buy a Ferrari. We could!

‏‏What can we do to feel more alive in our bodies? To improve body image? Improve hormone balance? Improve the diet? Improve training?

‏‏Yes, okay. I do believe that the most effective nutrition, if you will, again comes from the bodybuilding world. I have a history of not eating all day and then eating one large meal at night—that’s what I’ve done for most of my life and I can come up with 15 different ways to justify that. I can call it intermittent fasting, which is what a lot of people do but the reality is, we mess with our hormonal balance when we do that and the really effective way, the healthy way, the healthy active lifestyle, again, is an emulation of the bodybuilding world and that’s to eat six mini-meals a day so we’re eating every two and three quarter or every three hours. A smallish amount so that we’re never too full and we’re never too hungry. In that way, we’re keeping the body completely balanced and at the end of the day, it’s partly a calorie game but it’s really a macros game. We need to find what’s the correct balance for my body of protein to fat to carbohydrates and, of course, for most people who are not cognizant of what they’re eating, which covers the vast tracts of the population, wouldn’t know what they’ve eaten in a day. They’re really just waking up in the morning and not having breakfast and that’s the big problem because they’re extending the period of fasting, blood sugar drops and then they’re reaching for carbohydrates. We wonder why Starbucks is so successful—the addiction to coffee. You know, it’s really an insulin game: blood sugar drops, people are reaching for the carbohydrates in a coffee, pancreas kicks in, insulin spikes, blood sugar drops again, and half an hour or an hour later, they need more carbohydrates. It may not come in the form of the donut. Maybe it comes in the form of a Coke. Maybe it’s a little more disguised. Maybe it comes in the form of a double espresso with some cream and two packets of brown sugar but it’s the same story. We’re all aware that we have this carbohydrate addiction and really the way to fix that is to get up in the morning and break the fast with a nutritious shake. It doesn’t have to be liquid only but it’s much easier in a shake to have a balance of nutrients and then, two and three-quarter hours later, do it again. We do live in an age where food is extremely portable. You know, we don’t need to go to a restaurant and sit and wait half an hour for food to be delivered hot on a plate. It’s not that hard to have a can of shake in the back of your car or a can of shake in your purse or whatever it is.

‏‏Right.

‏‏And then to go back to something you’ve touched on before, I do teach nutrition and one of the most frequent questions I get from people is, “What do I say when I go to a party? What do I say when I go to a restaurant?” If you want the body of your dreams, you must eat what you want to eat and not what other people want you to eat. At the end of the day, nobody whose house you go to and nobody who you go to the restaurant with, really cares what you put in your mouth. The only person who’s affected by what you put in your mouth is yourself when you wake up tomorrow morning and you can’t get in your skinny jeans. So, draw a line. Stop worrying about what other people think because it doesn’t matter—it’s just a story, it’s another excuse, and it’s like anything else in life. You plan—otherwise, you prepare yourself to fail—so plan and pack your food. I’ve done a video on this. I said, “Pack your food and screw the underwear!” Seriously, when you go on a vacation, we spend hours agonizing over how many pairs of thongs to pack, or whether we have enough bikinis, or whether we have the right shoes if we’re girls and at the end of the day, none of that matters. What really matters to me is my food. Have I packed the right food so that I can eat in the right way? Because there’s no gorgeous dress, or fantastic purse, or divine pair of shoes, is going to make me feel great if I’m feeling exhausted because I’ve eaten badly and I can’t zip up my jeans.

‏‏I love what you said about the restaurant. I’ve struggled with that as well. For example, our neighbors invited us to dinner and I’m like, “They’re Italians,” and then I’m like, “Well, I’m sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free right now,” and my neighbors’ response was, “Aaaahh!” in the text.

‏‏I would recommend a slightly different approach because when you speak it in that way, you are inviting conversation.

‏‏Right.

‏‏And what I counsel people to do is shut people down immediately. Just don’t get into the conversation. I’m at a point now where nobody offers me food. I’ve watched my youngest daughter do this. She went vegan for a while. She’s not vegan at the moment but she just announced everywhere, “I’m vegan,” and so the teachers at school would start bringing her in, she gets a special organic dark chocolate and everybody else gets the crappy candy. It’s really about establishing an identity. I can give you ten different lines. People, I’ve said, don’t offer me food anymore, but I’ve used all of these and you simply say to people, “I’m terribly sorry, I have awful allergies you wouldn’t want to deal with it. I’ll bring my own food and I know you won’t mind,” or you just say, “I’m so sorry I have a very upset stomach and I’m not hungry.” I believe that those—whatever you need to say to just shut people down—otherwise, especially when you’re new at this game, if you will, you’re going to get into a long conversation and someone’s going to start breaking down your barriers and you’re going to start taking on their stories. Walk into a party with a big smile—to be honest, most people don’t notice what you eat. And if you’re in a restaurant with a big group of people, you just say, “I’m not terribly hungry so I’m just going to share my boyfriend’s salad,” or order a side salad and push it around your plate. Don’t allow other people to dictate what you eat. I mean, here is where it comes to the most absurd, is when people let away to decide for them what to eat. “What do you like?” they say. Well, it’s not the waiter who has to get up tomorrow morning and get into that gorgeous dress. It’s ridiculous.

Don’t allow other people to dictate what you eat.

‏‏And what about the craving for flavors? I love flavors and I actually ask questions like, “What do you like?” and “What’s really good on the menu today?”

‏‏I think that maybe I’m lucky and maybe I’ve developed this. I have, what I call, a peasant’s palate. I don’t think I taste flavors as much as other people do. That’s one story. It’s a story that serves me and I use it. The reality is that, I’m at a point now where what things taste like is much less interesting to me than how I feel. You’ll hear that a lot amongst bodybuilders and nobody cares what it tastes like. We’re looking for results.

‏‏I guess the taste of winning is stronger.

‏‏Indeed!

‏‏It’s more flavorful!

‏‏Indeed! And behind the story of, “I just love this flavor. I can’t resist it,”—I believe is a deeper story because there isn’t a person on this planet, and especially not you Orion, who is, if you don’t mind me saying, so superficial that the flavor of the food is really going to dictate the fabric of how you feel—

‏‏Right.

‏‏If I can put it that way. So, I believe when people say, “I love this flavor. I just can’t live without that dessert,” there’s an underlying story and the underlying story typically might be something like some form of unworthiness, “Somehow, I don’t deserve the body of my dreams or I don’t believe I have the courage to resist.” Somehow, it’s a form of self-sabotage.

‏‏Wow! That’s very deep, actually. That’s very powerful.

‏‏Because I know you. Because I know you and you’re so incredibly strong that something as simple and superficial as a transient flavor is not going to put you off your course so there’s something much, and this is not directed at you and it’s not meant to be personal, I’m really speaking to everybody here. That’s why this sense of getting up in the morning and really setting the tone for who you are and what you want in your life. This notion of planning and preparing is what sets you up for success. Success in anything is not very complicated. You have to look around the world and see who’s doing it well and really follow them. If you look at anybody who’s successful in anything—they set their mind, they make a plan, they follow the plan, they measure, they track, and then they adjust. It’s a question of following a few simple steps every day. Does it make one less spontaneous? Well, perhaps, but what do we really want in life? To me, personally, I derive tremendous satisfaction from knowing that I’ve set my mind to something and I’ve stayed the course. To me, that’s much more valuable and nourishing to me as a human being than to say. “Oh, I tried a new flavor,” which is within the big picture and somewhat irrelevant. I’m a different flavor. I’m a different kind. My children introduce me and they say, “This is my mommy. She’s one of a kind,” although I see them growing into their own versions of me, very much their own versions, they’re very much their own people. It’s a question of how do you want to set the sails of your life because for many people and for most people, some sense of normalcy, some sense of “I have enough money, my body is not that bad, I’ve got reasonable health, I’ve got a reasonable job, I come home and I flop in front of the television, and I cuddle my children,” and if they have all that, that’s somehow okay. I question whether there is actually, on this planet, a level of contentment like that. I believe there is always underlying struggles, but I do know that I’m different in that I cannot go to bed at night knowing that I haven’t grown in some way. I need to expand my mind. I need to strengthen my body. I need to deepen the connection with my spirit. I need to enhance my intimacy in relationships with other being. It’s a need. It’s a visceral need just like we need water and air.

‏‏I’m studying Kabbalah right now, which is the Jewish Mysticism. It’s kind of like, how to make life work. One of the things that they say—that is very much aligned with what you’re doing—is between the want and the manifestation, there is the desire. If you want to receive more light, which the universe wants to give you as much light, as much prosperity, and as much joy as you want, you have to expand your vessel to receive. You are like a vessel to receive the light of the universe—that means, what’s in between that want and the manifestation is that desire. It’s about increasing our desire and when I look at you from an outside perspective, what I see about you is so much desire for life. So much desire for passion. So much desire for growth. I think this is the silver lining. This is what makes you achieve to the level that you do.

‏‏Absolutely! I’ve never found it hard to find desire. Absolutely! Wow, you’re making me want to study Kabbalah. I know I’ve been drawn to it a few times before. I don’t think it’s going to be long now, you’ve really set the seed with how many times you’ve lit up, wow!

‏‏It’s my job to spread the light!

‏‏Absolutely! I was just soaking up every word you said. My whole body was tingling. How extraordinary! So, let’s talk about that privately when you and I have time, I’d love to explore more. Life is about passion and so many people live half a life and where does that come from? I think it all boils down to a sense of unworthiness. You know, I was designed to shine and there’s that magnificent Marianne Williamson quote that I could never quite quote and it’s about time I learn it, but it’s not so much that we’re frightened of our weaknesses, I don’t think this is the word she uses and I know you know the quote I’m talking about. We’re frightened to shine, we’re frightened about magnificence, and who are we? We’re put on this planet to shine, we’re put on this planet to grow, we’re put on this planet to contribute, and we’re put on this planet to love.

‏‏Absolutely.

‏‏When we have all those three needs and when we’re really living those three things in our life then we’re fulfilled. That’s my personal perspective but I can’t speak for anybody else’s perspective. My choice might be an odd flavor but as I say, it’s all ice cream. It’s just different flavors. Not everybody wants to get on stage in a Diamante thong and stripper heels—that happens to be my flavor of fun at the moment. Find at least one thing that makes you not want to go to bed at night and makes you want to leap out of bed in the morning and then, so much of your life will fall into place. I feel really blessed to have this drive and this passion. It can be a lonely journey—absolutely! It can be a lonely journey without question but—

‏‏The air is thinner and the top, right?

‏‏Yes, you mentioned that I don’t seem to pay attention to the people who don’t love me, I’ve always known that there are some people who love and admire me deeply and there are plenty of people who do not and I’m really good with that. I’m fine with that. I’m not for everybody. I really experienced that very deeply when I was teaching yoga. I taught very, very advanced yoga and I really was an amazing yoga teacher because it really taught me profoundly physical practice but, ultimately, it was about connecting with the spirit and the joy that I found on the mat was absolutely extraordinary. But they used to call me “The Nazi yoga teacher,” which I took as a compliment. I wanted to take people to places they couldn’t go themselves. And that was what I was meant to do as a teacher.

‏‏There is this notion that we have to have everything handed to us and everything should be easy. The truth is that, our biggest growth happens when we struggle and when we are going through that extreme discipline. When we are over that place of difficulty and struggle and we look back and we see, “Wow, that was the catalyst for my change. This is why I changed!”

‏‏Yes!

‏‏We don’t change when everything is easy.

‏‏No. When everything is easy, I don’t want to say there’s little value because I think, if I have a weakness, it’s that, sometimes, I’m so driven to get somewhere I don’t stop and smell the roses. I don’t enjoy. I don’t relish the journey, if you will. I always go back to the metaphor of the physical body. For me, it’s the easiest one to access so for me, the days, I had a yesterday morning in the gym when I was just on fire, I was doing legs day and I was with two big strong strapping guys, training with them, and two other bodybuilders, and we were competing and powering it out, my mindset was great, and my quads were just quivering, and I just felt like I could fly and nothing could go wrong. But how much did I really grow from that? I think, for me, sometimes I need to stop and just say, “Wow, I’m having so much fun!”

‏‏You gotta celebrate, girl!

‏‏Exactly! I do need to bring more of that into my life because sometimes, I’m running so fast to get somewhere, I don’t stop to enjoy the process.

‏‏I enjoyed this interview tremendously. I love how genuine and wise you are and authentic and before we wrap up this episode, what are three tips that you will give somebody who’s listening so they will have a better, stellar life?‏‏

The One Thing by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Go deep into your heart and decide. And when I say your heart, I mean, if you have a spiritual connection, connect with your divine and just decide in this moment what’s really important to you. Choose, maybe, three things. There’s a book called The One Thing, which advocates doing one thing only. I love the concept but for me, I’m a two-thing girl. I have to have a contrast and a point. I have to have something which balances something else so for me, I work very hard and then when I don’t want to work anymore, I can’t work anymore. I go to the gym and I do my physical body and that relieves—it’s a contrast, if you will, so for me, I have to do two things very well. Find what’s really important to you and then give it everything you’ve got and every time, you have a sense, even a thought or a pre-thought—the trick is, perhaps, to find the pre-thought. We all know that shortening of the breath, or that moment of irritation, or maybe the dropping of a cup or whatever it is that indicates, it’s our little personal sign that we’re slightly off-balance and if we allow ourselves to indulge, we all know the less empowering state that we get into. Everybody’s got a different version of it. As soon as you even catch a pre-thought of going to that stage, kill it dead, and find what your thing is. For me it’s always been easy: Move my physical body viscerally—and it doesn’t need to be going to the gym. I just drop to the floor and do 30 push-ups wherever I am. Do a handstand in a bathroom. For me, it’s very easy. But just kill it dead. Have a mantra. Have some way when you pull yourself up by your socks immediately and to do that you need a “why” so find out what’s really important to you and then ask yourself why is it really important to you. Set yourself up a system and stick to it. Don’t let your emotions sway you away from it. You asked for three things—that was one. Number two, plan and prepare because the world will come at you. When you plan and prepare, be extremely vigilant of what you take on board so I’m exquisitely protective of my brain. I don’t want a radio on in the car. I don’t want noise. I find that I can get very overstimulated. I don’t want to hear what the world wants to give me and that’s one of the reasons why I don’t watch television. I relish being able to choose what I put into my brain in the same way as I relish being able to choose what I put into my body. We create who we are and the more you put junk into your brain and the more you put junk into your body, the less good you’re going to feel, and the less you’re going to do what your divine has put you on this planet to do. Be wary of taking the path of least resistance—it rarely leads somewhere good.

We create who we are and the more you put junk into your brain and the more you put junk into your body, the less good you’re going to feel and the less you’re going to do what your divine has put you on this planet to do. Click To Tweet

‏‏Wow, so where can they find you? Where can our listeners find you and hear more of those amazing tips and more of your advice?

‏‏Thank you. I’m in transitional at the moment. I’ve got lots of new things coming up so I think, the easiest place to find me is actually on my personal Facebook page. I’ve got a new fan page coming out and lots of exciting things coming up but everything can be found at the moment on my personal Facebook page: Buttercup Lawson Mayer and I think next week we’re going live with Buttercup Nutrition Coach. If everybody could give me a “like,” I’d be very grateful and, perhaps, interact with me. Please feel free to message me, personally, through my Facebook page to comment, to ask any questions, I’d love to help anybody in any way that I can and my particular passion, as I said, is to help people who are struggling in any way with body, or with body image, or with food, or with how just to feel great, and how to feel flipping fabulous at [4:30] in the morning. Wow! Perhaps, I should run a program called, How to Feel Flipping Fabulous at [4:30] in the Morning. I like that!

‏‏Yeah, I’ll sign up!

‏‏It’s an incredible feeling but it does require eating really well, drinking plenty of water, and following healthful habits.

‏‏Oh, thank you so much, Buttercup, for all your wisdom and inspiration, and thank you, listeners, for listening to our conversation. Live your life out of a box and remember, you are limitless and you can do whatever you want. Set your mind for success and live a stellar life! I’ll see you next time!

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About Buttercup Lawson Mayer

Buttercup Lawson Mayer is an English barrister, banker, property developer, and investor. She is a high-altitude marathon runner and has taught advanced yoga around the world. She recently began her journey in bodybuilding, and is now a respected figure competitor, having won multiple first places and Pro Cards.

 

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