280 episodes

Pro Mountain Biker, Plant-Based Athlete, and World Endurance Champion, Sonya Looney interviews inspiring leaders about vegan & plant-based nutrition, cycling and endurance training, mountain bike tips, sports psychology, adventure travel, mindset, personal development, and entrepreneurship to help you unlock the best and healthiest version of yourself. Find out more at: www.sonyalooney.com

The Sonya Looney Show Sonya Looney: : Mindset, Plant-Based Nutrition, Performance, Mountain Bikin

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 67 Ratings

Pro Mountain Biker, Plant-Based Athlete, and World Endurance Champion, Sonya Looney interviews inspiring leaders about vegan & plant-based nutrition, cycling and endurance training, mountain bike tips, sports psychology, adventure travel, mindset, personal development, and entrepreneurship to help you unlock the best and healthiest version of yourself. Find out more at: www.sonyalooney.com

    How To Create Lasting Change with Behavioral Scientist Katy Milkman

    How To Create Lasting Change with Behavioral Scientist Katy Milkman

    In this week’s podcast, Sonya sat down with Katy Milkman, a professor at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, to discuss behavior sciences, behavior change, setting goals, and much more. Katy conducts research that looks at insights from economics and psychology and how they can be harnessed to change consequential behaviors for good. She co-founded, and co-directs, the Behavior Change for Good Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Last year, Katy published How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, which the New York Times named one of the eight best books for healthy living in 2021. She was also named one of the world’s top 50 management thinkers and the world’s top strategy thinker by Thinkers50.

    Katy’s extensive resume includes work with many organizations on behavior change, including The White House, Google, the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Red Cross, and more. She also hosts a podcast called Choiceology,  an original podcast from Charles Schwab, that explores the lessons of behavioral economics, exposing the psychological traps that lead to expensive mistakes.


    Key Takeaways
    How Katy got into behavioral sciences Leading reason to make change What the hell effect How to set an appropriate goal Commitment devices Temptation Bundle Advice

    • 58 min
    How to Overcome Excuses and Have More Follow Through

    How to Overcome Excuses and Have More Follow Through

    Excuses can show up in several forms, especially when it comes to following through with goals and commitments. The biggest excuse often comes in the form of procrastination. We say we will do something later and then we never do it.

    Other forms of excuses show up as a reason to let yourself off the hook. Maybe you feel like you're too tired, too lazy, too unmotivated, or you just hate doing something.

    First, I am going to talk about big picture excuses- excuses that we make to avoid bigger life changes. Next, I'll talk about how to decide if the commitment we made is true commitment or just an interest, and how to make stronger commitments.

    FIGURE OUT WHAT’S REALLY HOLDING YOU BACK
    Here are some common excuses I hear or that I’ve caught myself saying. Try to notice your own narrative around excuses and the broader meaning behind those excuses. Here are a few examples.

    I’m too old to start (I hear this a lot with mountain biking… NOT true! My dad started in his 60s. My father-in-law is in his 70s and mountain bikes!). If you listened to my podcast with Ian Marshall, he started ultra-running in his mid-40s and is running and traveling the world full-time as someone in his 50s. You’re really saying “I’m afraid I’ll get hurt” or you have a fixed mindset about improvement and aging thinking "I don't believe that I can improve as I age." Hire a coach, take babysteps, realize that you are looking at worst-case scenarios and it’s probably not true. I don’t know how to do it. You’re really saying: I don’t know how to do it right now. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to figure it out. I’m afraid I’ll waste my time trying to learn if it doesn’t work out. I don’t want to spend the time. Meet the internet. You can learn how to do pretty much everything if you’re willing to put in the time. If you're not willing to put in the work to figure something out or seek help from someone, you may not be as interested in the goal as you originally thought. It's okay to not know how to do something, but the only way to make forward progress is to start. We also worry about imperfect progress and wasting time as we try to figure out how to do something. The time spent is part of the investment. It’s too cold, hot, I’m too sleepy, I have too much to do… excuses not to exercise, do housework, or a project. What are you really worried about? Are you tired, stressed, burnt out, or injured? Those are times you might need a break. You probably are really saying that you don’t want to be uncomfortable. Change your momentum to find out. There are so many times you don't feel like doing something and wait for motivation to strike. You've probably heard me say this many times but motivation follows action, not the other way around. Get started and then decide if you're too cold, too sleepy, or too overwhelmed instead of letting those excuses stop you from starting in the first place. I have already spent years in school or in my career dedicated to this path. I can’t change now. You’re really saying that it is hard to start over and you’re afraid of the sunk cost of time and money, but you can always change. You also might be avoiding discomfort, temporary loss of identity, fear of not knowing what to do next, but you can almost always change. Change is hard and it takes work, but it’s worth it. I don’t have time You’re really saying you won’t make time. You might have to cut something else out, but if it’s important you always have time. Sometimes you have to be brutally honest with yourself.
    Some of the excuses I just mentioned are for bigger picture things. But what about smaller things too? I am the worst about procrastinating with writing: blog posts, articles, books. I also have been known to procrastinate getting out on my bike, meditating, going to the gym, cleaning the garage, listing stuff on craigslist.

    What should you do to be stronger than y

    • 24 min
    The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

    The Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

    We all have ideas of what we want our life to look like. It could be something like weight loss, improving speed on the bike or running, or even cooking more at home.  When you set those goals, how do you go about doing it? Have you set goals and ultimately lost motivation or simply got out of the habit?

    With the impending New Year, many of us like to think about what we want to accomplish. In fact, fresh starts are a great time for habit change. (link). I'm here to help you set goals for the new year or any time that will actually keep you on track.

    In this guide, you'll learn:

    The mistakes people make with setting goals how to set a process or behavior focused goals (instead of outcome goals) how big of a goal is too big strategies to avoid the self-sabotage of all-or-none thinking SMART Goals: the actual elements of setting an achievable goal some ways to track your goals how to stay motivated with your goals ove rtime define what success looks like
    The Mistakes People Make with Setting Goals
    It's normal to look at what we want to achieve with a goal.

    I want to lose 10 lbs. I want to finish top 10 in my race. I want to run a certain 10k or marathon time. I want to make a certain amount of money. These are all outcome-based goals.

    Outcome goals are focused on the product of your work. The problem with outcome-based goals? A lot of the time, they are out of our control You cannot control a race result. In some ways, you cannot control an exact dollar amount you want to make. And even if they are within our control, outcome-based goals can be demotivating. You hear of people who train to run a marathon, do the race, and never run again.

    Ultimately, we are trying to grow as a person or slightly change our identity. The goal of someone who wants to run a marathon is really that they want to become a runner, but if they miss this bit point, they may just run the marathon and quit running.

    I'm sure you have heard about process-oriented goals. In coaching, we call this behavior-oriented goals. What behaviors can you consistently commit to that will move you toward the outcome you want? The behaviors, the process, the work- that is what gets you to your goal and that is what is within your control.

    It's okay to have an outcome in mind, but set that goalpost and then forget about it.

    Ultimately, we set goals because we want to feel proud. At the end of the day, it's the consistent work we put in that makes us feel proud, even if the outcome isn't exactly what we wanted. I've felt really proud of race results that didn't even land me of the podium because I know what I did to get to that point and I was proud of my performance.

    As Atomic Habits author and podcast guest James Clear says, "Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become." Focus on your daily actions, vote to be the thing you want to achieve. The goal isn't to run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner. The goal isn't to write a book, the goal is to become a writer. The goal isn't to lose weight, the goal is to be someone who eats healthy. What are the actions of someone who already has that identity and how can you replicate them and feel proud of them?

    Another problem people have is they set goals that are too big.

    How Big of a Goal is Too Big?
    The problem with unrealistic expectations or a goal too big is that it can undermine your confidence or even make you give up early in your attempt to meet your challenge.

    What is the optimal amount of difficulty for challenges? 

    When it comes to flow and performance, scientists found that just 4% past your current ability is the right amount.  Just 4%!  That's barely moving the needle and I think many of us try to dial it up by much higher numbers.

    I have tried taking on too much at once many times and it usually would mean I got worse. Trying to do ride a trail that is too technical or coming back after an injury exp

    • 33 min
    The Tao of Sport with Olympic Gold Medalist Duff Gibson

    The Tao of Sport with Olympic Gold Medalist Duff Gibson

    Imagine rocketing head and face-first down a frozen track around 80 miles per hour with the rapidly moving ground just inches from your face. Well, that sport is called Skeleton and Duff Gibson won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics for being the best. Not only that, but he is the oldest gold medalist in history in the Winter Olympics, winning gold at age 39 after decades finding his niche in sport. Duff didn't start in Skeleton and spent a lot of time finding high degrees of success in winter sports, but it wasn't enough to help him realize his Olympic dream he had since childhood. Duff knew when to walk away and try new sports to help him achieve his ultimate goal- Olympic Gold.

    As an athlete, Duff was a provincial champion speed skater, a national champion and national team member in bobsleigh, and then a world and Olympic gold medallist in the sport of skeleton. As a coach, he led six different athletes to podium finishes at a world level. Competing against, working with, and learning from numerous world-leading athletes and coaches has provided Duff a breadth and depth of experience few others have had.

    Duff is passionate about the mental side of sport. He wrote the book the Tao of Sport chronicling his story along with many other high-achieving athletes and Olympians with the mental side of sport interweaved into the narrative. He regularly works with younger multi-sport athletes and is based in Calgary.

    "Number 1 is doing it forth the love of it. The mindset is give me the chance, give the chance and I'll show you my best as opposed to I hope I don't screw this up. So that's a mindset thing."
    -Duff Gibson
     

    Key Takeaways
    How did he know when to switch sports Using positivity in sports What is skeleton? Managing fear in his sport How to deal with pressure How to use visualization in sport How to be confident if you don’t know the path
    ___


    Links
    Go to Tao of Sport My podcast episode mentioned: David Epstein and his book, Range My podcast episode mentioned: Youth Mental Training with Jennifer Etnier Check out my Substack about high-performance mindset Sign up for my weekly newsletter! 

    ___

    Try Inside Tracker Blood Test for Athletes
    For 25% off, get the Inside Tracker Discount code!  The Inside Tracker Discount Code is good for all purchases store-wide.

    How does the InsideTracker blood test work?
    They measure over 30 biomarkers like cortisol, hsCRP (inflammation), magnesium, vitamin D, ferritin and so much more. Each biomarker shows an optimized range and how you can add in healthy foods to get your blood biomarkers to perform better. Offers InnerAge testing Over 2,000 partnering labs in the USA + home testing in Canada Gives you a big picture view of your health and wellness.  It’s empowering to know what to do to enhance your performance and see tangible results.

    • 57 min
    Cass Warbeck: Plant-Based Muay Thai Champion to Medical Student

    Cass Warbeck: Plant-Based Muay Thai Champion to Medical Student

    Muay Thai is a martial art and combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques, and being plant-based has been a gamechanger for Cass Warbeck.

    Cass Warbeck started training martial arts at the age of 11 and is a black belt in Goju Ryu karate and black level in Kurama Yama kickboxing. After reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell in 2013, she went plant-based and never looked back.

    A plant-based diet fueled her throughout her amateur Muay Thai fighting career and in March 2019 she fought for and won the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) North American Bantamweight Muay Thai Title.

    Cass has always loved inspiring and educating others to achieve better personal health through physical movement and nutrition. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Health and Fitness Physiology from the University of Calgary and worked as a Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) certified personal trainer before applying to medical school. Currently Cass is a 3rd year medical student at the University of Alberta wants to improve the nutrition education provided to medical students in Canada. She looks forward to utilizing the power of lifestyle medicine and plant-based nutrition in her future medical practice.

    Cass has been featured in the book, Legends of Change, and the magazine Canadian Vegan. She is a long term volunteer for the organization Nutritionfacts.org and is the host of The Plant Fueled Podcast.

    "I read this book and it opened my eyes to how food and diet can actually affect long term health, and not just your immediate body composition or how you look or how toned you are. It can actually affect long-term health and your longevity and all these different things. I just couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t learned this before. I was taking a nutrition course. I just had never made the connection. What I eat today could influence whether I would get breast cancer in the future.  It was just kinda downhill from there. I just started reading all I could about nutrition and plant-based diets."
     
    - Cass Warbeck
     

    Listen Now
     

    Key Takeaways
    Muay Thai: what’s it like to fight someone Confidence as a female fighter Her plant-based diet change Food affecting long term health and longevity Cutting weight for fights There’s a lot more to health than exercise
    ___


    Links
    Microsoft Word - Cass Warbeck Podcast Bio.docx

    Instagram: @plant_fueled Podcast: The Plant Fueled Podcast Listen to Cass interviewing me on her podcast Listen to my interview with T Colin Campbell, author of The China Study Listen to my interview with Dr. Michael Greger fo Nutritionfacts.org
    Sign up for my weekly newsletter! 

    ___

    Try Inside Tracker Blood Test for Athletes
    For 25% off, get the Inside Tracker Discount code!  The Inside Tracker Discount Code is good for all purchases store-wide.

    How does the InsideTracker blood test work?
    They measure over 30 biomarkers like cortisol, hsCRP (inflammation), magnesium, vitamin D, ferritin and so much more. Each biomarker shows an optimized range and how you can add in healthy foods to get your blood biomarkers to perform better. Offers InnerAge testing Over 2,000 partnering labs in the USA + home testing in Canada Gives you a big picture view of your health and wellness.  It’s empowering to know what to do to enhance your performance and see tangible results.

    • 1 hr
    It's Never Too Late to Start with 51-Year-Old Ultrarunner Ian Morgan

    It's Never Too Late to Start with 51-Year-Old Ultrarunner Ian Morgan

    "It's too late for me. I'm too old to start." Have you ever used these excuses are barriers? Meet Ian Morgan, an ultrarunner who is crushing it in his 50s. And guess what? He didn't even start on this journey until he was in his mid-40s.

    Ian was primarily focused on his engineering career and property investment company in his 20s and 30s. Realizing that a primary focus on money, materialistic possessions, and career achievements wasn't making him happy, he took a 180 turn in his life. Ian said, " I was overweight, stressed, and unhappy with myself, so I started to run. This is where I discovered a passion for ultra running. Eventually, I sold everything I owned (Houses, cars, bikes, and all my furniture) and started living a more nomadic minimalist lifestyle, traveling the world and running 50 to 250 km plus ultra races in some of the world's wildest places."

    How did this happen?

    Starting as a proverbial couch potato to present day super-fit ultra runner (seriously, he ran a 2:50 marathon and as you just heard, he gets in some serious distance), Ian knows what it takes to claim responsibility for your life and make lasting changes. And to top it all off, he says you're never too old to get started. How many of us would think we could start our running career in our late 40s and early 50s? His current job is to run and he works with sponsors as a competitive lifestyle athlete and inspires thousands with his Instagram account.

    "Mental laziness is something that you can use as an excuse, but at the end of the day, I had to face myself and say "is that the person I really want to be?" I remember when I was a kid, I wasn’t that way. I used to challenge myself, I used to push myself so I guess I went back to those childhood experiences, examined it and thought  “what can I do now as an adult to bring that to the forefront, to push myself again?" Once I realized I had this propensity for mental laziness, I then know when it comes up, I know when I start telling myself those excuses, I can check myself and use that discipline, use consistency and start putting in the work."
     
    -Ian Morgan
     

    Listen Now
     

    Key Takeaways
    Who is Ian Morgan? Why we lose connection to ourselves as athletes Overcoming mental laziness The problem with taking on too much too quickly Ian Morgan's inspiring transformation You're never to old to start Defining Success
    ___


    Links
    Follow Ian Morgan on Instagram My podcast episode I mentioned: Picking Yourself Check out my Substack about high-performance mindset Sign up for my weekly newsletter! 

    ___

    Try Inside Tracker Blood Test for Athletes
    For 25% off, get the Inside Tracker Discount code!  The Inside Tracker Discount Code is good for all purchases store-wide.

    How does the InsideTracker blood test work?
    They measure over 30 biomarkers like cortisol, hsCRP (inflammation), magnesium, vitamin D, ferritin and so much more. Each biomarker shows an optimized range and how you can add in healthy foods to get your blood biomarkers to perform better. Offers InnerAge testing Over 2,000 partnering labs in the USA + home testing in Canada Gives you a big picture view of your health and wellness.  It’s empowering to know what to do to enhance your performance and see tangible results.

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

Vancouver Can. Fan ,

Well-researched and worth listening to!

I am a Physiotherapist and I recommend Sonya to my clients because her approach is well-researched, relatable, and very effective. This podcast is a valuable resource!

Frank B-I ,

Simple and straightforward.

Anne Guzman’s interview with Sonya Looney about mindset was not only very interesting and to the point, it was easy to understand with many examples to support Sonya’s statements.

Anne Guzman ,

Great conversations here and quality information.

Sonya runs a great podcast. She’s articulate and energetic with an incredibly positive yet authentic outlook on life. She brings on interesting guests and really lets them get deep while leading them with well thought out questions. Topics range from fitness to mindset to nutrition and it’s a nice variety. Highly recommend.

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