In 2001, Jon Gabriel’s health was at a crisis point. Even with strict dieting, he wasn’t losing weight! Instead, he was continually gaining it. He realized that there must be more to it than the food. So he gave up dieting for good and focused instead on simplifying his life. Jon lost 220 pounds and has kept it off. From this experience came The Gabriel Method which successfully utilizes meditation, visualization, probiotics, and whole person wellness. In his business as in his life, Jon is a “whole-brain thinker” who’s had great success as an author, coach, and healthcare authority.
- Tell us about your business – what’s your mission; your soul’s purpose and why you created your wellness business or service?
My purpose and my mission in life is to explain to people that weight issues are a legitimate health concern. They’re not caused by weakness, laziness, overindulgence, and they need to be treated by healing the body at every level, healing the mind, healing the emotions, healing the physical body. Sometimes healing an emotional trauma, for example, or reducing stress could be more important than reducing calories. The way that weight is looked at in the world, the way that overweight people are looked at, is that they’re just weak and they’re lazy and they’re over-indulgent and that is not the case at all.
- Tell us about your journey and your story….what got you to this point today?
I went through a period of about 11 years where I just kept gaining weight uncontrollably and there was nothing i could do to stop it including working face-to-face with the late Dr. Atkins. This was back in the 1990s and I was working on Wall Street and I used to meet with him once a week at 7:00 a.m. Monday mornings. I just kept gaining even though we were working together for this period of time. Finally, he yelled at me for being so fat. I went to the Pritikin Institute. I spent weeks there. I worked with every doctor and naturopath I could find and no matter what I did, I just kept gaining and gaining.
The situation became critical when I was over 400 pounds by 2001. I had kind of an epiphany that for whatever reason, there’s some sort of switch that’s gone off in my body and my body just wants to hold onto to weight. Until I figure out what that is, there’s no way I can stop it. So I stopped dieting. I stopped looking for this diet and that diet. I started healing my life. I was living in a very high stress life in a job that I didn’t like. I left all of that and moved into a very simple beautiful life in Western Australia and started growing my own food. I started meditating and visualizing and the weight literally melted off of me without dieting.
When I say without dieting, what I really mean is without restrictive dieting. I didn’t stop myself from eating anything. I was thinking in terms of just healing myself and my life so I added lots of salads. I added smoothies. I added super greens. I added probiotics and digestive enzymes. I did a lot of things for stress reduction like meditation and visualization. I did a lot of prayer and asking for guidance and help. Really at that point I was just trying to heal my life because I was in kind of a dire strait. The weight was melting off of me. I still was eating pizza. I was still eating chocolate, ice cream, all the bad things that you’re not supposed to eat but I was still nonetheless losing weight. Eventually I stopped craving all those things. I stopped craving pizza and junk food and now I have a very healthy diet.
This was 14 years ago. I lost 220 pounds over a 2-year period and got into the best shape of my life without any restrictive dieting. Now 14 years later, I’m in pretty much the same shape without doing any restrictive dieting at all. I have a very healthy diet, it’s true, but the foods that I eat, I crave. It comes from years and years of adding – and the focus is always on adding – really, really healthy foods.
- How are you changing the face of healthcare and/or the wellness industry? How do you create, innovate or break the rules in healthcare?
The biggest thing I do is I say lose weight without dieting. That kind of falls in the face of everyone that’s out there in the weight loss industry and what I mean by that again is without restrictive dieting. I say focus on the real issues in your life. There are certain things that can cause your body to hold onto weight. The whole reason why for example we talk about Paleo or Keto is to keep your insulin levels lower, just for an example.
Well, if you have chronic stress or if you have emotional trauma or if you have digestive dysbiosis, this can cause your insulin levels to raise because stress causes insulin resistance. Trauma can cause insulin resistance. Unfriendly bacteria can cause insulin resistance. All of these things can cause your insulin levels to raise. The very thing you’re trying to prevent when you’re doing for example a ketogenic diet but by just focusing on the ketogenic diet and not focusing on all the other hormonal signals that are causing the same problem, you’re driving with the emergency brake on.
In order to be successful in weight loss, you’ve got to look at all the potential hormonal signals that are causing your body to hold onto weight and you have to address them. My message and how I’m changing the face of healthcare is to look at weight as a legitimate health condition, that in some way there’s a hormonal imbalance but not necessarily treat it with hormone supplements or hormone replacement, not to treat it necessarily with medicine but to treat it by addressing the real issues, the root causes that are causing your body to hold onto weight.
Sometimes you need to meditate more or have an emotional cellular release with a qualified therapist. Sometimes you need to have more of the right probiotics or you need to nourish your body more but when all these things happen, the hormonal signals reverse themselves. You’re not as hungry because you’re no longer leptin-resistant. You’re burning fat more efficiently because you’re not insulin-resistant and so you lose weight automatically.
I always say lose weight by getting your body to want to be thin. What I mean by that is by changing the hormonal signals that are causing your body to want to go into kind of a fat accumulation mode probably for survival reasons based on our survival programs from when we were living outdoors because if you were living outdoors and you didn’t have enough to eat, you would be in a chronic state of stress. It’s chronic low-grade stress. So we’re programmed to interpret chronic low-grade stress as a famine and all these hormonal changes happen. We become insulin-resistant and leptin-resistant.
What you’re trying to do is you’re trying to change your body’s hormonal signals so you’re no longer activating these survival programs that are tricking your body into thinking you need to hold onto weight for survival reasons. So in effect you’re actually getting your body to want to be thin. When you get your body to want to be thin, weight loss becomes automatic and effortless and you can do it without restriction because your body’s on board. You’re no longer fighting your body. You’re not at war with your body. Your body’s working in the same direction and that is a major paradigm shift to be able to get your body to want to be thin.
- In your opinion, what is the most significant factor in healing or overall wellness?
You’ve got to look at the entire being. You’ve got to look at a person from an emotional, mental, physical, energetic, and spiritual perspective. You have to look at healing at every single level. When you’re talking about nutrition, you have to look at healing in terms of food as medicine, food as communication to the cells. When you’re looking at the mind, you have to look at the belief patterns, the different traumas that have happened in the past. You’ve got to work with those things. You’ve got to rewire the brain so there’s more connections to the areas of your brain where you’re feeling safe and connected. You can do that with things like meditation and mind/body practices as opposed to constantly activating the limbic area of your brain that activates a feeling of stress, worry, and concern. You’ve got to really look at the body as a whole and you’ve got to treat the entire being for real wellness.
- What do you wish people realized when it comes to their health or about the wellness industry?
That their mind is so much more powerful than they could ever possibly imagine. Our mind has the ability to move life force energy which has the ability to move atoms and molecules. When your mind is strong enough and focused enough and concentrated enough, you can bring life force energy into your body. You can use that energy to recreate molecules and atoms to heal cells, to heal organs, to heal every level of your body. You’re not necessarily a victim to circumstance also and by making your mind stronger and stronger using practices like visualization and mind/body practices, you can use that to heal your body, to revitalize your body and to turn back the clock too, which is really cool.
- How long did it take you to reach important milestones in your wellness business? And what has really helped you move the needle in making your vision a reality?
After I lost my weight in 2004, I knew I had a message for the world so I started writing a book about it called The Gabriel Method and that took about 2 years. I wasn’t really a writer and I had a lot of help. It took about 2 years to write that and as soon as I wrote that book, then somebody told me about – this was back in 2007 – told me if I wrote a sales letter explaining it and did some Google advertising, you know, pay per click advertising, you could get your message out. That was a huge milestone for me because as soon as I did that, I went from selling maybe 10 books a week to selling 300 books a day. Then we became Google’s largest advertiser in Australia in 2009 in weight loss. That was a huge, huge milestone. So for me it was the combination of getting my message out in an organized way which was The Gabriel Method book and then understanding some basic marketing techniques that enable you to leverage your message in a productive way.
- Tell us about the start-up scares: Was there a moment where you ever seriously contemplated giving up?
No, I never contemplated giving up because I feel like if I have one person to talk to or 100,000 people to talk to, I have a message that I’m just going to tell to whoever wants to listen. I believe in the message and that’s what matters to me is to explain it to whoever’s receptive. So I never thought about giving up. I did have a time where it became very difficult to advertise in the weight loss space on Google and that had an enormous impact because 90+ percent of our revenue came from these Google ads. Then we went to a place where all of that was good for a period of time. But that’s when I went through sort of a growth period where I was able to start learning that I had this huge database of people now, over 150,000 people in my database that were all buyers that I was not even e-mailing to. So I e-mailed them that I decided to do a 3-day course. I e-mailed it out to my list and it sold out in about an hour or two and then I said, okay, I’m going to do another one next month and that one sold out in an hour too. Then I realized that my business now was creating more services around The Gabriel Method concept because the book explains a concept but what people really need is to apply it to them. So we created more coaching, a 5-week course, a monthly support group, a 1:1 coaching program, and a few live events. The business then rolled over into a business that was not doing any more advertising, just basically organic and affiliate traffic, but at the same time had a lot of services that people needed once they read the book and understood the concepts.
- Did you ever fail or make substantial a mistake in business or organization? Any serious challenges? How did you overcome and resolve it?
Yeah. I feel like all the time I make mistakes and I do try to learn from them. Sometimes my overhead is too high and there’s a balance that has to take place in this business where you want all the best people to help you but they cost a lot of money. They may not help you the way you thought they would or it may take a long time. In the meantime, you have to balance the revenue that’s coming in with the amount of people that are there to service you and help you grow your business. The desire to grow and spread my message – I’ve sometime overextended myself and found myself in a position where my expenses were up substantially and my revenue wasn’t; it didn’t move up concurrently. That was a serious challenge for me and always is. It’s always a dance and a balance. Recently, I found that my best course of action is to keep my expenses as low as possible, nurture and support the traffic that I have and the clients that I have, and look for the right opportunities to partner with people that really can move the needle in terms of getting your message out to the world. That’s sort of where I’m at right now.
- What action has the most impact that you’ve taken to reach your goal/s?
I really feel like the biggest impact is that I feel like I have a message for the world and I’m going to explode if I don’t – sometimes i feel this way – I’m going to explode if I don’t tell my message. That’s always the thing that has the biggest impact. I think more than anything it’s that inner passion. You have to really, really know beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you’re doing is right for you and that your message is for the world. Then you become a conduit for that message and that is where the impact comes from. If you try to do it just by clever marketing techniques or funnels and all this without having that, It’s going to be short-lived. It’s not going to be sustainable. You might have some good wins every once in awhile but if it’s not a real, legitimate message that you’re passionate about that you just would explode if you didn’t communicate to the world, it’s not going to move the needle. That, to me, is what has always had the biggest impact in my business is that feeling that this is a message that’s bigger than I am and that this is the message for the world that I have.
- What would you tell your younger/earlier self about following your dreams?
Well, it depends on how early you go because I learned the hard way that when you’re not following your dreams, you suffer. When I was working on Wall Street, I was not following my dreams. I was just doing what I was good at and what was easy but I suffered and my body let me know about it because the suffering caused me to keep gaining and gaining. I did have to come to a place where I realized that no matter what’s going on, follow your heart, follow your dreams, follow that inner voice inside you, that intuitive voice inside you, and you will always be in the right place. If I could go back to that period of time when I was a young man just out of school and going to Wall Street, I would’ve liked to communicate that message. At this point, that’s how I live my life. I always, always follow my dreams, my passion, what I believe in, that intuitive voice that’s inside me and I’ve seen so many times that when you do that, somehow the Universe conspires to keep you on the right path and to keep things going in the right direction.
- What’s the best piece of business or personal advice YOU’VE ever received?
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of the single best piece of business advice I’ve ever received. I would have to just keep coming back to the fact that – Richard Branson recently said that the companies that are going to survive in the future are the ones that have a purpose. I had already realized that for myself before he said this but that in and of itself is probably the best business advice is that you have to have a real legitimate purpose. It can’t just be about expanding the numbers or the market or whatever. As a business, you have to feel that and you can shadow that. You can ask for that. You can in a meditative state ask for guidance and surrender to that guidance and be a channel for that guidance. When you are, you have a real purpose and if you have a real purpose, your business will most likely grow in the right direction. Richard Branson said it and that’s kind of how I live my life but that’s probably the best type of business advice I could give to somebody else.
- What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give a new Wellness professional who really wants to make an impact in healthcare and people’s lives?
When you’re a healthcare professional and you want to really grow your message, you actually have to be a very whole-brained thinker. Especially in the alternative wellness space as a healthcare professional, you are a very creative person. So you’re using that creative mind. You’re using the analytical mind because you went through science and things like that. You have to take the same approach with your business because there are times when you’re going to have to be creative in terms of writing newsletters or messages and times when you have to be analytic in terms of studying the number of clicks that come to your business or some other aspect. You want to be a whole-brain thinker as much as possible. The way to develop that I think is through meditation and visualization practices because they make your brain very, very plastic and allow you to access intuitive parts of your brain as well as analytical parts of your brain and other creative aspects. The first thing that I would do is in a meditative state start to visualize what your goals and your dreams are. See yourself making that impact. See the message coming through you as like a light expanding to the world. See yourself up on stage or communicating your message or healing people and making a difference in the world or writing the paper or the book. See that and use that as the first step pretty much every day. Every morning, have a vision of what you’d like to accomplish. I’ve seen so many times – because I do this every morning – I’ve seen the things that I visualize happening consistently start to happen over and over again. That’s the first thing that I would say is start with a vision and see it every morning, then ask for guidance once you see that vision. Ask for guidance from the Universe and surrender that guidance. Look for the intuitive promptings. There’s been so many times in my own personal career where it’s just so random. The help that I got came out of nowhere and at just the right time. I really believe it’s because of the combination of me seeing myself spreading my message to the world, asking for guidance and help to spread that message, and surrendering to that guidance and listening to that guidance that enabled all of these coincidental things to come into play. If you’re asking for just one thing, start with that. Start with the vision, ask for guidance, surrender and listen to that guidance, and you’re going to be in the right place.
- What does a typical work day look like for you?
I start my day off every morning with a meditation. That’s a non-negotiable. That could be anywhere from half an hour to 3 or 4 hours actually. Sometimes when I’m in a really deep meditation, I don’t want to leave it and I know if I stay with that meditation, everything else in my life is going to work out better. So I allow enough time for that. That sometimes means I have to get up really early to do that but my body wakes me up sometimes in the middle of the night and I have a really deep meditation. So I start my day with a meditation and then a visualization. I visualize how I want to be in the world, the things I want to happen in my life, and then I surrender and ask for guidance. That’s how I start my day.
After that, I might go out for a bike ride or work out. Then get to the office at usually 9:00 or 10:00 in which case I’m working with my staff to help communicate my message, whatever programs we’re working on, etc. I usually come back in the early afternoon and spend time with my family and then the rest of the day we’re together, having dinner and playing and things like that. The key for me is starting the day off with that meditation.
- Stevie Wonder or The Beatles (this, I personally must know.)
Stevie Wonder. I love The Beatles but Stevie Wonder, Stevie Wonder.
“Visualization is the single most effective tool for personal transformation… it was essential in my 220lbs weight loss.” – Jon Gabriel
Jon is the author of The Gabriel Method, an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages, that’s helping people all over the world to lose weight without dieting. Jon’s newest book, Visualization for Weight Loss, released in January 2015 by Hay House, explores the powerful technique that helped Jon drop 220 pounds without dieting or deprivation because it didn’t depend on calorie counting or extreme exercise—rather it changed his biochemistry and neural pathways. In turn, this helped lower stress and its associated inflammatory chemicals in his body, allowing him to lose weight easily and naturally.