It’s common knowledge that the healthier you live, the healthier your body is. But is it possible to mitigate an early-to-moderate prostate cancer diagnosis just through diet and lifestyle changes? Dave Phillips was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, but radical lifestyle changes have helped him become healthier. In this episode, Levels’ Head of Growth Ben Grynol spoke with Dave about his experience battling cancer, how Levels changed his approach to health, and why your health is the most important thing you can improve.
13:28 – Dave’s diagnosis
Dave shared his experience of finding out he had cancer and why genetic testing is such an important factor for at-risk men.
In 2018, I got news that I had a low grade what’s called Gleason 6 prostate cancer, which was something called Gleason 3+3. And went to a couple different doctors. I think I was scared at first, but then I was told to do something called active surveillance, where you don’t do anything for it. You just watch it. So I paid attention, got the right blood tests, did the PSA stuff. It wasn’t until after midway through the pandemic, in I want to say 2021, that I ended up doing a biopsy. Everything’s Gleason 6, it’s fine. And then I happened to, in 2021 in April, we did another biopsy and a PSA test. And all of a sudden, my PSA shot up to 18, which is bad. And my Gleason went to a Gleason 4+3, which is called Gleason 7, which is bad. And then I was told to do a genetic testing, which I can’t encourage men more to do, which is why I put it in my article and why. We’re at a time right now where science can show us so much, and knowledge is power.
16:42 – The shortcomings of Western medicine
Western medicine only gets you so far. Once you’ve reached the limits of Western medicine, it’s time to do your own research and explore other things on your own.
One of the things, Ben, that’s really important is after you exhaust Western medical science and what the doctors say who are all rushed and don’t have that much time to talk to you, you’ve really got to start looking into Eastern medicine and healing. And you have to go to patient sites, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I learned from going to the patient sites and from just watching documentaries on my own. It’s almost like you have to do your own research. Because what I started to see, just from researching was, number one, that food matters, that what you put into your system matters.
22:06 – The power of a positive attitude
Instead of simply giving up, Dave decided to fight back. He made health the number one priority in his life.
I think it was in May or June of the same year, 2021, where I called the surgeon and I said, “Look, do I have time to put the surgery off for three months?” He said, “Yeah.” He said, “It’s pretty slow-growing. What do you want to do?” I said, “I just want to get my body into the best possible shape to heal, and so I believe I can lose 30 pounds before then.” And he said, “Go for it. I’ve never really had anybody do it. I love your attitude. Go for it.” And with that, I was on my vision quest. I started intermittent fasting. This is before I knew about Levels. And I started only being a vegan. I only ate a couple times a day. I worked out three times a week. I learned how to do HIT and Tabata. And I just literally changed my whole life and made health the number one thing in my life. And I was determined, I guess, to not go lightly into the world of giving up, or just letting cancer get the best of me.
27:07 – Learning Levels
For the first few months of using Levels, Dave was highly disciplined. Now he’s at a point where he knows his boundaries and has a little more freedom to eat what he wants.
I think I was a freak about it, and my scores were off the charts. When you have cancer and you’re being told, “This is going to limit you and it’s not great news.” You’ve got to inspire yourself. So my first three months on Levels, I was just the picture perfect student. And now I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where I can understand the brackets of Levels. So, I was able to go away with my daughter, I think I said this in the article, for six days and I ate chicken again and ate some sugar and pasta. And I gained some weight, but the minute I came back, I knew how to take it off in three weeks just by using the Levels program to the hilt. And by measuring my scores, if I cheated, I could know how to get my graph in the normal range.
35:34 – The complexity of cancer
While women are often told to remove their breasts or ovaries due to tumors, men aren’t told the same about their prostates because there is so much more to cancer than tumors and diagnoses.
It’s not the same equality between women and men. Women are prophylactically taking out their breasts or taking out their ovaries when they get told of BRCA or tumors to preemptively increase their odds. But of all the things I’ve said, there’s no doctors now, and I’ve watched a bunch of videos and talks on cancer, and no one’s basically saying, “Hey, you should just, all men should run out and take out the prostate.” Because they’re learning that there is so much more to cancer than just the tumors and the diagnosis.
39:52 – The importance of a glucose monitor
Glucose monitors can help you live a healthier lifestyle and make it easier to stay on track with fasting or other dietary disciplines.
I use the glucose monitor as a way to help me keep everything in check and keep me on a steady line. If I decide to work on sleep, which I’ve done in the last couple of months, I’ve spent more time working on sleep. And I fully believe in this intermittent fasting, because now I’ve put it in my head that I’m not going to eat anything until 12:30, and I’m only going to eat between 12:30 and 6:30. And I know factually that if you can go at night, the hardest part is to go between 6:30 and 9:30, 10:00, before you go to sleep, because that’s when people are lying in bed or watching TV, and that’s when they want to snack, especially on carbs. So the hardest restraint for me is, if you can fill up with enough stuff at 6:30 and you can get to bed without food in your stomach, you sleep better. And your body does its best work during autophagy, which is the 13 to 15 hours or 17 hours until you eat your first meal at 12:30.
42:39 – How to work better
With the constant monitoring Levels offers, it’s easier to stay on track. It’s like having a coach all day long who shows you ways to make your life better.
It’s like having a coach with you all day long. I feel like you can accomplish anything, because if you can master your eating and your working out and you can master your lifestyle in a healthy way, you feel better, and you’re bound to overcome other things. I think it’ll make people work better.
48:23 – Be your own best friend
Whatever health struggles you’re enduring, it’s important to remember that the first step toward getting better starts with a personal choice to take care of yourself.
At any time in life, you have the opportunity to make yourself better. And so for me, why wouldn’t you start with your health first? Regardless of anything else, everything starts with your health. So if I can be an inspirational coach for people that get cancer at my age, to basically, after you grieve with it and after you find your own support group to help you with it, you have to be your own best friend. And so for me, I figure since I’ve decided I have to stay healthy for the rest of my life, because I want to be fully functional, then I’ve decided, I got into the movie business to touch and teach. And now I feel like I want to get into the health business to touch and teach, and actually be even more impactful.
01:02:08 – Importance of Levels monitor
Dave shares that since having Levels monitor, he was able to see in real time the results of what he was doing for himself.
When I got the Levels monitor and I got into learning and seeing stuff that empirically made sense and then I got to see its results in me on a weekly basis and look at some of the trends, it blew my mind and it encouraged me further. And so, I can confidently say that I got my sex drive back. I’m healthy for now. And the only way I can stay healthy is to stay off the sugar and hopefully continue the intermittent fasting and continue the workout machine.
Dave Phillips: (01:02)
teach and actually be even more impactful.
Ben Grynol: (01:11)
I’m Ben Grynol, part of the early startup team here at Levels. We’re building tech that helps people to understand their metabolic health, and this is your front row seat to everything we do. This is A Whole New Level.
Ben Grynol: (01:37)
Dave Phillips spent the majority of his career in Hollywood. Originally from Boston, Dave moved out to Los Angeles in the 80s. And so Dave was what was called a signer. He very much sold scripts, and he helped to connect people in the film industry. He did deals. Throughout this time, he spent a lot of time being physically active.
Ben Grynol: (01:58)
Well, fast forward to 2018. He was diagnosed with early to moderate prostate cancer. And he had started reading a lot about different treatments, different options, and some of the side effects of them. And so rather than treat the cancer immediately, Dave decided to ask his doctor if he could try to mitigate it himself. The doctor suggested active surveillance to monitor its growth. In April 2021, tests had shown that the cancer had grown, mostly due to inherited genetics.
Ben Grynol: (02:31)
And so before going straight to surgery, Dave asked his doctor if he could have a few months to get in the best shape of his life. He changed his diet. He changed his lifestyle habits, that being exercise, that being sleep, that being even the way he thought about things like fasting.
Ben Grynol: (02:47)
Around this time, he ended up coming across Levels. He put a CGM on, and he started monitoring his glucose levels. And so what he realized is that glucose stability was integral for helping him to feel great. He ended up losing over 25 pounds from all these lifestyle changes that he was making.
Ben Grynol: (03:05)
And so now Dave is compelled to share his story with others, especially men over the age of 40, who he believes should be monitoring things like prostate closely. And so this is one member’s remarkable story.
Ben Grynol: (03:18)
By no means does this mean that CGM can lead to positive health outcomes for all. Research is still early and we’re still exploring things, as are many people in the academic community. But what worked for Dave Phillips might work for others. Here’s a conversation with Dave.
Ben Grynol: (03:40)
Really, really excited to do this with you and to jam with you. You’ve got such an incredible story, in the way that you used the CGM and integrated it into your life and how your behavior changed around it. But thought it’d be good to go all the way back, back to your background. So from a career perspective, you’re based in LA, and you’ve from what it sounds like, a career in Hollywood. Let’s start there, what exactly you did and how you made to Hollywood begin with.
Dave Phillips: (04:11)
Sure. I grew up in Boston and I went to Duke University first. Was at Duke at a time when there were no film majors. All they had was theater programs back there. Most of the universities didn’t have a film degree or anything related to that.
Dave Phillips: (04:28)
So after I graduated from Duke, I went and I pursued my dad’s dream of going to the Macy’s training program in New York. I moved to Manhattan. Realized I was miserable at that. And a buddy of mine, a fraternity brother of mine at Duke, we heard about this entertainment business management program at UCLA through their business school, which at the time wasn’t called Anderson. It was just UCLA’s business school.
Dave Phillips: (04:57)
We applied. We wrote ballsy essays. We both got in. And we packed up his Cerato, I didn’t even have a car, and we moved 3000 miles to Westwood, where I had never seen so many movie theaters in a small area at the same time. And then I got a job, I think at ICM Talent Agency, right after the first year of business school. I got hired for the summer.
Ben Grynol: (05:23)
Doing A&R work?
Dave Phillips: (05:25)
No, doing basically mail room stuff. Back then it was all about the mail room. That’s how you got into the business.
Ben Grynol: (05:35)
Ah. And so when you started working in film, what was it that you started working on and how did you get exposed to that?
Dave Phillips: (05:41)
Well, so when I was at business school, one of the classes I went to in the regular school was a film class taught by Peter Guber, who was a Hollywood producer at the time. And I used to literally follow him to his car after class and bug him. And he wrote a letter to ICM and another man by the name of Strauss Zelnick, also was a mentor of mine.
Dave Phillips: (06:06)
So when I graduated from UCLA, I was called into the Dean’s office because I had decided to start in the mail room training program at ICM. And he was like, “Look, you can’t do that. You’re bringing down our earnings curve.”
Dave Phillips: (06:18)
And the funny thing is, most MBAs were coming out at much higher salaries, and I took a job for $200 a week. And that was because in Hollywood, you learn the most from the information that comes into an agency. It’s like going to work for ICM first. You rushed up the mail, you tried to have elevator conversations with people, you read everything you can get your hands on, and you hustle.
Ben Grynol: (06:44)
And so this is the late 80s, and you hustled, hustled, hustled for over a decade, it sounds like.
Dave Phillips: (06:51)
Well, first I started for three years at ICM. And then I was hired by William Morris when they had a merger between William Morris and Triad. And I became one of the youngest motion picture agents hired in a new regime of William Morris.
Dave Phillips: (07:07)
And in my first year, I went gangbusters. I had used my knowledge for ICM and all the relationships. And then I signed a bunch of people. I think I sold 14 spec scripts in my first year. That included While You Were Sleeping. I signed the guys who created Hoop Dreams, that both went on to become documentarians and filmmakers. And the Hollywood Reporter selected me as one of 30 top executives, I think, in the industry. It’s called The Next Generation issue, profiled there. And it was the first year they ever had it come out. I think it was 1993.
Ben Grynol: (07:39)
Very, very cool. So you did this. I mean, the West Coast scene, the film scene is fast paced to begin with.
Dave Phillips: (07:47)
Ben Grynol: (07:48)
Things go. They go, they go, they go. But during this time, it sounds like you remained pretty physically active and carved out time for-
Dave Phillips: (08:01)
Oh yeah, no. I was always working out. I was always trying to be healthy, you know? And so the beginning of my career, yeah, I was always working out. I was always in great shape
Ben Grynol: (08:06)
And I think it’s probably, I don’t want to say easier, but you are surrounded, when you are on, especially on the West Coast, in Los Angeles, you’re surrounded by a lot of people who care about their health. Everyone does generally care about their health, but from a food perspective, the choices are a lot different than let’s say, if somebody is in the Midwest. It might be a little bit harder to find these options because the exposure to these things is much different. And so you’re surrounded by, I’m assuming, people who all carry these same values when it comes to exercise and diet and food and lifestyle.
Dave Phillips: (08:41)
Well, yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, obviously presentation is a lot of it. You have to look a certain way, dress a certain way. You’re trying to climb up a greasy pole, which is Hollywood, and you’re trying to make good impressions.
Dave Phillips: (08:54)
In my case, I was a signer. I was a guy who they sent in to meet with clients from other agencies and tried to bring them in the door and tried to sign them. And I was really good at that. I think you have to be aggressive. You have to be in shape, you have to be healthy. You have to be able to bond with people. And so, what’s interesting is I think I had a good notion of working out, but I didn’t really have the whole eating thing mastered. That wasn’t until really years later.
Ben Grynol: (09:24)
And so fast-forward to mid 2000s, it sounds like you started to experience some health issues.
Dave Phillips: (09:32)
Yeah. So I had been an agent for years and a producer with 20th Century Fox. I sold a bunch of movies that I think we’ve discussed before. Good Luck Chuck, Like Mike. And I was in it. I represented many writers and directors. I represented a few actors like Daniel J. Travanti from Hill Street Blues and Brooke Burke who went on … I think she was a star of Wild On, and then she has become a model and she won Dancing with the Stars. And so she’s done a lot, too.
Dave Phillips: (10:03)
And so I was around people who, pretty much into getting in shape. And so what happened is, I got … Let’s see. I think this was right before I sold a script, which became the sequel to Bruce Almighty called Evan Almighty, with Steve Carell. Right before I sold that, my girlfriend at the time was pregnant, and I started getting back pain on my right side.
Dave Phillips: (10:28)
And it ended up being something called foot drop. It was excruciating back pain on the right side. And I decided to get surgery right before my daughter was born, because I wanted to be in the best shape for her. And so I had my first back surgery for something called foot drop. Quite honestly, I think it was I used to stretch so much and do some clicking. I don’t know if you know, when you go side to side and you can click your hips a little?
Ben Grynol: (10:56)
Dave Phillips: (10:56)
Well, I honestly think that’s what caused my first situation, from over clicking. It’s almost like when you see kids that are cracking their nails too much. Years later, they may get arthritis. Right? So I honestly thought that was the cause of some of my initial back stuff.
Dave Phillips: (11:14)
And I ended up raising a child mostly on my own, carrying a briefcase in one hand and a baby bag in another, while I was still representing clients. And I was doing it. It led to, I think after the early 2000s, I think I was good for my back a couple years.
Dave Phillips: (11:33)
And it wasn’t until 2015 that I had more back issues. And it led to me getting an artificial disc put in my back, which is very rare in America. I think it was then. Maybe there are more done now. But I wanted the flexibility to still be able to do yoga. I did the original Bikram’s yoga with Brooke, which is the hot yoga classes. So I was really into that. But the reason I got the artificial disc put in was because I heard there was more mobility, so you wouldn’t lose the flexibility.
Ben Grynol: (12:07)
And so you had this, and shortly after it sounds like, you were given a diagnosis that led you to think about lifestyle changes and how you could start to take health into your own hands.
Dave Phillips: (12:21)
Yeah. It’s crazy. You can know a lot about working out and general information. For me, what happened is, I was up on health. I went through rehab and some Pilates and some stabilization stuff, every time after back surgery. I ended up having a neck surgery for a pinched nerve, and then I had three back surgeries. The last of which being the artificial disc put in, I think in 2016.
Dave Phillips: (12:50)
You know, I’m a student of the game. So I tried to study everything I could about healing and getting in great shape after the surgeries. And so, I did that. And then in 2018 … It’s funny. When I looked back on some of the things I did in 2016 to recover from surgeries, it was pretty much up on conditioning. I hadn’t really thought much about food. I didn’t have diabetes. I didn’t know anything about the technology of wearing a glucose monitor or anything.
Dave Phillips: (13:27)
And so in 2018, I got news that I had a low grade what’s called Gleason six prostate cancer, which was something called Gleason three plus three. And went to a couple different doctors. I think I was scared at first, but then I was told to do something called active surveillance, where you don’t do anything for it. You kind of just watch it. Right?
Dave Phillips: (13:51)
So I paid attention, got the right blood tests, did the kind of PSA stuff. It wasn’t until after midway through the pandemic, in I want to say 2021, that I ended up doing a biopsy. Everything’s Gleason six, it’s fine. And then I happened to, 2021, in April, we did another biopsy and a PSA test.
Dave Phillips: (14:19)
And all of a sudden, my PSA shot up to 18, which is bad. And my Gleason went to a Gleason four plus three, which is called Gleason seven, which is bad. And then I was told to do a genetic testing, which I can’t encourage men more to do, which is why I put it in my article and why … We’re at a time right now where science can show us so much, and knowledge is power.
Dave Phillips: (14:44)
So one doctor said, “Why don’t you do this test called a color test, where you spit on saliva and they send you back, let you know if you have one of 200 types of cancers in your genes?” And it came back and said I had something called a mutation in the BRCA2 variants.
Dave Phillips: (15:03)
And what that ends up being, just in case your listeners don’t know, it’s crazy. It’s known in women as the breast cancer mutation, where if women have the BRCA2 thing, I think they have like a 70% chance of getting breast cancer before they’re 80. And in men, it means you have a 35% chance of getting prostate cancer, and then I believe a 10% chance of getting pancreatic cancer, 5% breast cancer, 1% melanoma.
Dave Phillips: (15:33)
But the critical thing here is that this BRCA mutation mostly is hereditary in Ashkenazi Jews from Europe, which is a weird thing. So one out of every 400 people in the world has this BRCA mutation, but only one out of every 40 of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have it.
Dave Phillips: (15:56)
And so what that did is, the minute my PSA went up and the minute I went back to the urologist, everybody was like, “Uh-oh, now we have to act. There’s no more active surveillance. We have to do something.” And the minute the guys at UCLA found out about the BRCA, they said, “Your options are limited because of BRCA, which we don’t know much about, but we know it tends to lead to more aggressive cancer.”
Dave Phillips: (16:25)
And it tends to, I think in my case, they had also detected something called cribriform in the couple tumors that were there. So I was immediately told I had two choices: either to get my prostate removed or to get radiation.
Dave Phillips: (16:42)
And one of the things, Ben, that’s really important is, after you exhaust Western medical science and what the doctors say, who are all rushed and don’t have that much time to talk to you, you really got to start looking into Eastern medicine and healing. And you have to go to patient sites.
Dave Phillips: (17:03)
And I can’t begin to tell you how much I learned from going to the patient sites and from just watching documentaries on my own. It’s almost like you have to do your own research. Because what I started to see, just from researching, was number one, that food matters, that what you put into your system matters.
Dave Phillips: (17:24)
I had several friends who were vegan over the years, a couple actors, Dan Travanti, who was always vegan, getting me to be vegan. My friend, my actress friend, Gianna Simone who was in Mother’s Day, was vegan. But to me, the documentaries on veganism were all too preachy. They were too earthy. I love chicken and fish. I wasn’t that much of a meat eater, but I didn’t really see the connection.
Dave Phillips: (17:50)
So, two epiphanies kind of happened to me, I want to say in the spring of 2021. At first, you have this realization that, “Okay, wow, I have cancer and it’s crazy and nothing I expected, but it’s a fact. And now the question is what you’re going to do about it.”
Dave Phillips: (18:07)
From a layman’s side, as I started reading the patient advocacy sites, I saw that the quality of life standards after you had either radiation or had a radical prostatectomy, which is taking your prostate out, what so many of the patients said they never said is, they never told them that 20% of the time they would have incontinence or leakage. And then 50% of the time, they would have sexual side effects and they might never be able to have sex again.
Dave Phillips: (18:42)
And to me, I had raised a daughter on my own for 15 years. I was a single dad, and I was definitely active. And the first thing out of my mind is, I was going to learn to see what other procedures are out there as opposed to just getting my prostate taken out.
Dave Phillips: (19:02)
So I’d say the first thing I did was, “Okay, let me study on other alternative surgeries, or ways to get rid of the cancer.” And then the second thing is, I watched this one documentary that my actor friend Dan Travanti literally called me every day for a week until I watched it. It’s a documentary called Game Changers. It’s on Netflix. Changed my life.
Dave Phillips: (19:24)
To me, it was the best documentary I’d ever seen, because without being preachy or talking about all the earthy things about being a vegan, Game Changers, in one hour’s time, spoke to me in a way no other vegan documentary did.
Dave Phillips: (19:42)
It was a guy who was at the UFC. He assembled the best doctors that he could. He went through an accident, I think with his knee or his leg. And he assembled with these doctors, he assembled something like the 20 best athletes he could find, guys from every sort of sport. And not just everyday people. He assembled the world’s strongest man, the best distance runner.
Dave Phillips: (20:07)
And all he did with doctors was a simple test. He had them eat meat for a couple days and then checked their blood, and checked their erections at night, and checked all these different statistics. And then had them eat plants for the same time period. And he showed them afterwards, the difference in the results.
Dave Phillips: (20:29)
And it was extraordinary, Ben, because hands down you had these massive athletes who said they had all learned to be on a whole plant diet, because the fallacy of meat making you stronger was just that, it was fallacy. Gladiators found out the whole plant diet was much healthier for you, better for your blood, better for your oxygen.
Dave Phillips: (20:55)
And the minute I watched that, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to interview different kinds of surgeons and urologists. And I’m also going to get myself in the best shape possible, prior to any surgical decision I made.” And I wasn’t tremendously out of shape, but I think over the pandemic, I had gotten up to something that was high for me, which was kind of like 176 pounds.
Dave Phillips: (21:25)
One of the surgeons I met, who I thought was brilliant, who offered me this focal treatment that a very close friend of mine had actually underwent and done, after interviewing doctors all over the world. He told me about it. It was this procedure called FLA, where they just ablate the portion of your prostate that has the cancer.
Dave Phillips: (21:44)
And to me, I became such a voracious student of the game or studier of all knowledge that it dawned on me that there was scientific facts going on about being vegan. And Game Changers lit the fire. Then I spoke to a couple of my vegan friends. I completely changed.
Dave Phillips: (22:03)
The minute I made the decision to get surgery in August, I think it was in May or June of the same year, 2021, where I called the surgeon and I said, “Look, do I have time to put the surgery off for three months?” He said, “Yeah.” He said, “It’s pretty slow-growing. What do you want to do?” I said, “I just want to get my body into the best possible shape to heal, and so I believe I can lose 30 pounds before then.” And he said, “Go for it. I’ve never really had anybody do it. I love your attitude. Go for it.”
Dave Phillips: (22:33)
And with that, I was on my vision quest. I started intermittent fasting. This is before I knew about Levels. And I started only being a vegan. I only ate a couple times a day. I worked out three times a week. I learned how to do HIT and Tabata. And I just literally changed my whole life and made health the number one thing in my life. And I was determined, I guess, to not go lightly into the world of giving up, or just letting cancer get the best of me.
Dave Phillips: (23:08)
So I joined a few support groups, I listened to other people, and I tried to just scientifically determined my destiny. And so I was able to lose 30 pounds before my surgery. And what’s funny is, after my surgery, I noticed in the first month, when you’re not working out and you’re wearing a catheter, I noticed I gained 10 pounds so quickly. And it kind of pissed me off, because part of it’s being inactive. Part of it may have been not eating as strictly as before.
Dave Phillips: (23:43)
And then I somehow saw a blurb or got an email. As I was researching stuff, I saw something about Levels. And it said there was this beta app available, and I joined up. And when I got, it was like another moment of Game Changers for me.
Dave Phillips: (24:03)
My brother’s a doctor. I’ve always believed in science. My oldest brother is a family practitioner in New England. And Levels just broke everything down to me in such a concrete way, like nothing else did. I put on this glucose monitor. I start reading these tips. And I realized that, “Okay, the second half of my getting into the best shape …” It’s like I looked at pre-surgery as the first half of the football game, and all of a sudden I looked at the second half of the football game as the next six months after surgery.
Dave Phillips: (24:42)
And the reason for that is, I was determined to be able to live the life that I did prior to knowing about the cancer, and I wanted to have a full life. So what that meant was that after surgery, I wanted to get my weight down to the lowest possible I could. I think I got down to 145 prior to surgery. It was like 31 pounds. Put on 10. So I was at 155, a month after surgery.
Dave Phillips: (25:12)
And I just decided, “Okay.” Using this CGM, I learned about sugar, I learned about eating almonds at every meal, I learned about intermittent fasting. I mean, the Levels stuff, the tips of information were so unbelievable to somebody like me.
Dave Phillips: (25:30)
And I started sharing it with my cancer group. I started sharing it with everyone I knew, because it worked. The next thing I knew what was important for me I think post-cancer was, what was my six month test going to show? What was my PSA going to show? What was my cancer going to show?
Dave Phillips: (25:48)
And lo and behold, by the time it was February of this year, I had lost 20 pounds off the 155 and got myself down to 135. My PSA went from 18 to 0.07, which was ridiculous. And my cancer was gone. There was no sign of any cancer on my MRIs.
Dave Phillips: (26:13)
And so then I think some of my doctors were perplexed, saying, “This can’t be true.” Just like they were perplexed when my PSA went down a lot just by being vegan before surgery. I think my PSA went down to a three from 18. So then I tested a month later to make sure that wasn’t a fluke, and my PSA stayed low. And I’ve been able to be successful and cancer free for, I think we’re in what, May? So for the last couple months. No sign of cancer. Still use my Levels every day.
Dave Phillips: (26:48)
In addition, I got an Oura Ring. In addition, I got an Apollo thing on my wrist. And I feel like I have Tom Brady’s team of 20 people biohacking, helping guide me every day. And the beauty of I think how I use Levels now is, I’m not … I think I was a freak about it, and my scores were off the charts. When you have cancer and you’re being told, “This is going to limit you and it’s not great news.” You’ve got to inspire yourself.
Dave Phillips: (27:19)
So my first three months on Levels, I was just the picture perfect student. And now I feel like I’ve gotten to a place where I can understand the brackets of Levels. So, I was able to go away with my daughter, I think I said this in the article, for six days and I ate chicken again and ate some sugar and pasta. And I gained some weight, but the minute I came back, I knew how to take it off in three weeks just by using the Levels program to the hilt. And by measuring my scores, if I cheated, I could know how to get my graph in the normal range.
Dave Phillips: (27:59)
I started sharing it with everybody I know, and I think probably 10 to 20 people. I was convinced that this was incredible because, remember, I had this genetic mutation that they don’t know much about, and they still don’t know much about, which means my cancer can always come back. And that’s what having the BRCA mutation means. It can always come back, and it can always be more aggressive.
Dave Phillips: (28:21)
To me, Levels is just one of the tools I have in my toolbox, but it’s invaluable to me because it gives me a constant monitoring all day long, and I know how to use it. And I guess in the last couple months, I’ve also done this with sleep, and I’ve also done it with meditation, to balance myself all around.
Ben Grynol: (28:44)
Thanks for sharing all that. It’s such an incredible journey that you’ve been on. One of the things that would be interesting to hear is, I’d imagine when faced with medical advice, it’s easy enough to take it at face value, right? So you take it for what it is and you’re [inaudible 00:29:02] information.
Dave Phillips: (29:03)
Right. What I started seeing on all the cancer groups that I was a part of, very few people talked about healthy changes, like becoming vegan, or whole plants, or working out this much.
Dave Phillips: (29:19)
And Levels basically gives you all the structure. You don’t even have to … You could just look at the articles and look at the tips and look at the challenges. And I started seeing that I was feeling better. I almost knew that if the surgery worked or did what it could, I could always do … I knew the cancer could come back. I could always do radiation, or I could always get my prostate removed. But I was determined to take this into my own hands.
Dave Phillips: (29:48)
And I think the first thing that happens when you do that is you realize it’s not just doctors. You start watching documentaries like Heal and you start watching documentaries where people say they had this terrible thing happen, or this kind of cancer, or diabetes, or something tragic. And they found a way to overcome and study Eastern medicine or other ways to be great to your body.
Dave Phillips: (30:16)
Another thing, what I did was hyperbaric chamber, where you bathe yourself in oxygen. I thought it was incredible, because you’d come out of it feeling so great. And so I believe all these things put together really helped, but nothing contained me in a daily routine like Levels did.
Dave Phillips: (30:36)
Again, I thought I was in pretty good shape, but I never knew that eating late at night was bad. I never knew that you shouldn’t have carbs alone. I was always into eating cereal at night before bed. These are things that most people don’t know. And the beauty of Levels is, as I started reading, I realized these are really smart people. They’re not selling anything other than how to perform at your best shape.
Dave Phillips: (31:03)
And when, I guess in February, I realized that I was kind of like the poster boy for this. I mean, I’m 58 and a half years old. I’d been through serious back surgeries. I went through getting my cancer to go to Gleason seven with a genetic mutation that’s really bad, or it’s stuff they don’t know much about, and just by going on the program that I put myself on and studying, anything that Levels told me that I thought made sense, I tried. And then I maintained it.
Dave Phillips: (31:38)
And quite honestly, Ben, I just thought I should share it. I really felt that, on behalf of anybody that has genetic stuff or wants to know, everybody, in my opinion, over 40 should get a genetic test done, whether it be a saliva test or a blood test. Why wouldn’t you get that information?
Dave Phillips: (31:59)
There are probably things that I would’ve done. If I knew that I had the BRCA gene before my back surgeries or before one of them, I probably would’ve done things differently. There are things you could do with information earlier.
Dave Phillips: (32:14)
So the first thing I did is, I started talking to the people in my cancer group saying, “Hey, listen, I don’t know about you guys, but I just lost 30 pounds pre-surgery and then another 20 after surgery. And I feel better being a vegan. My workouts are better. My sleep is better. And now my cancer’s gone and my PSA is at a healthy level.”
Dave Phillips: (32:44)
And it has to be, sure, maybe some of it’s the surgery that was done, where they just went after the tumor. But I really believe that 60 to 70% of it is me. As you read about blogs and you read about the science, the vegan section at grocery stores is getting bigger. There are stores like Whole Foods and Erewhon that are incredible. And it might not taste as great, but if you eat healthy, it really helps your body. It helps change your microbiome.
Dave Phillips: (33:15)
And I’m a film guy. I spend most of my days thinking about getting graduates opportunities in the film business, which was very good to me. And I think about being creative. But I guess the thing that meant the most to me is the fact that, wow, I felt like I’d found the fountain of youth through Levels. And I maximized it through the sleep aspect of the Oura Ring and the meditation aspect of the Apollo.
Dave Phillips: (33:42)
And I felt like the more this tech can be available for the average person, the better well I’ll be. Because it allows you to … You’re not competing against anybody but yourself. The only one who sees your Levels scores are you., It’s not about peer pressure or doing it for anybody else. It’s about trying to get your health in the best possible position to win.
Ben Grynol: (34:06)
Yeah. And understanding all the upstream implications of what you’re doing is what led you down the path that it did.
Dave Phillips: (34:14)
Yeah. I mean, with regards to this, at the time, my decision to have what’s called focal surgery was very risky. Nobody who had BRCA, they didn’t know much about BRCA, these genetic tests were only like a year or two old. Went Levels asked me to do this article, when I did the first Q&A, it was really important to me to include the advice about getting genetic testing, because it does matter, and it mattered to me.
Dave Phillips: (34:43)
And at the time, when I was given the results of my genetic test, doctors were scared of doing anything but taking out the whole prostate or radiating. And so, I was I think one of the first people that decided to get focal surgery with the BRCA2 mutation. And part of that was, you’re on road that nobody has traveled.
Dave Phillips: (35:08)
And what’s interesting is that, when you compare the stuff, women now, like Angelina Jolie, a lot of them are having their breasts removed or getting procedures done when they become BRCA positive, whether it be BRCA1 or BRCA2. But when you do the correlation between women and men, there aren’t too many guys running to take out their prostate, with the risk of them never having sex again.
Dave Phillips: (35:34)
It’s not the same equality between women and men. Women are prophylactically taking out their breasts or taking out their ovaries when they get told of BRCA or tumors, to preemptively increase their odds. But of all the things I’ve said, there’s no doctors now, and I’ve watched a bunch of videos and talks on cancer, and no one’s basically saying, “Hey, you should just, all men, should run out and take out the prostate.” Because they’re learning that there is so much more to cancer than just the tumors and the diagnosis.
Dave Phillips: (36:14)
And I know this because I lowered my own PSA from 18 to three, just in three months of being vegan, working out, and eating great, sleeping great. I did that on my own. Then post-surgery, I lowered it even further by using Levels.
Dave Phillips: (36:34)
And, again, I can’t thank the people at Levels enough for inventing it. The information goes straight to me. I don’t have to compete with anybody. And Levels to me has been invaluable. So, I wanted to share that information, especially with people who have cancer.
Dave Phillips: (36:52)
And it dawned on me, quite honestly, that at 58 and having the year and a half that I’ve now had since doing this and conquering it, I just want to share the knowledge. I want to share the knowledge to anybody who gets cancer or anybody who’s overweight, that if you try out Levels, there’s no taskmaster that’s going to be whipping you and a trainer telling you to work out or eat better and this. It’s you versus you. So if you wake up in the morning and you had a bad night’s sleep and your glucose level is at 120, 130, you can know that it’s because you had a late night snack or ate before bed and you didn’t get that much sleep.
Dave Phillips: (37:37)
To me, waking up in the morning, the first thing I do is check my glucose monitor, and I know if I’ve played it right. And if I have a couple bad days or I have certain supplements or certain things can throw off your Levels, your blood sugar at different times, or fruits can, I know that I know how to control it and get that line straight again.
Dave Phillips: (37:56)
And I just completely believe that I helped my own cancer and my own genetic mutation by just being my own coach, based on using some of these biohacking opportunities, of which Levels to me is the far best. I mean, it just works. It’s just like having the best coach ever.
Dave Phillips: (38:21)
And if you decide you want to eat badly for two days, great. Then you at least will see it on your Levels scores, and you alone will make the decision. “Darn. I want that good boy sticker.” When I can look at my Levels monitor every six hours and know that I’m getting between the seventies and the nineties, not the fifties and the seventies, it just becomes something that’s important to you. Especially when you have an illness or you have genetic issues.
Ben Grynol: (38:50)
Yeah. You’ve taken your health into your own hands, and it’s what you do with it. It’s what decisions you make every day. And so, now that you’ve had this insight, you’ve seen the way that things like, all the inputs, food, sleep, exercise, stress, all of the things that make a difference in metabolic health and metabolic response have made such a difference in your life. But moving forward, what are other routines that you’ve established and kept with?
Dave Phillips: (39:21)
The coolest thing about just if you evaluate what I was able to do over the course of the last year, it’s miraculous, but I believe that anybody can do it. My metabolic health went from 58 and a half to now, 55. So I took three years off of my metabolic health. My PSA went down 18 points, and my body fat went down the lowest it’s ever been. Right?
Dave Phillips: (39:51)
So I use the glucose monitor as a way to help me keep everything in check and keep me on a steady line. If I decide to work on sleep, which I’ve done in the last couple of months, I’ve spent more time working on sleep.
Dave Phillips: (40:10)
And I fully believe in this intermittent fasting, because now I’ve put it in my head that I’m not going to eat anything until 12:30, and I’m only going to eat between 12:30 and 6:30. And I know factually that if you can go at night, the hardest part is to go between 6:30 and 9:30, 10:00, before you go to sleep, because that’s when people are lying in bed or watching TV, and that’s when they want a snack. Especially on carbs.
Dave Phillips: (40:42)
So the hardest restraint for me is, if you can fill up with enough stuff at 6:30 and you can get to bed without food in your stomach, you sleep better. And your body does its best work during autophagy, which is the 13 to 15 hours or 17 hours until you eat your first meal at 12:30.
Dave Phillips: (41:04)
And so, there are staples that I’ve learned from Levels that I always do. For instance, I always have a few nuts before I eat anything. Next, then I eat fats first. The only thing I’ll have in the morning is MCT oil with black coffee, because it allows me to … If I can work out before my first meal, you’re burning your body fat and not your glucose.
Dave Phillips: (41:30)
And then studies I’ve read at Columbia show that with fruit flies, this autophagy thing really works too, because if your body does its best work and restorative work when you’re sleeping or not eating, if you can work out in the morning and wait until 12:30 to eat.
Dave Phillips: (41:47)
And then I only eat three times a day. So I’ll eat 12:30, 3:30, and 6:30. And I always have a few nuts and always some fat before I eat anything. Then next I eat the protein. All the stuff I learned from Levels. And then after that I’ll eat the carbs, and I will keep the carbs down to as minimum as possible and try and have steamed vegetables as often as I can.
Dave Phillips: (42:12)
And I’d say, to answer your question about what it does for you, outside of anything, it really teaches you structure. It teaches you to make your health part of your daily structure. And I get upset if my glucose monitor goes up too high, or if I get five hours sleep instead of seven and a half hours sleep. You can see that, too.
Dave Phillips: (42:39)
It’s like having a coach with you all day long. I feel like you can accomplish anything because if you can master your eating and your working out and you can master your lifestyle in a healthy way, you feel better, and you’re bound to overcome other things. I think it’ll make people work better.
Dave Phillips: (42:58)
And in my case, I have a cousin who is very overweight, and I couldn’t get them to buy the Levels and actually have the monitor. So instead, I sat him down and I wrote him out all the stuff that I’ve learned from Levels, which I keep on my desk as reminders, like cheat sheets. And now he’s already lost 10 pounds. And he needs to, because his doctor said he may have a heart attack in a couple of years, if he doesn’t.
Dave Phillips: (43:23)
So in that case, he doesn’t want to get the bad news by having the glucose monitor on all day long, but he’s still been able to incorporate the principles that others have shared on the Levels app.
Ben Grynol: (43:39)
That’s such an incredible way of giving back to those around you and friends, family, people that are complete strangers, because sharing the knowledge is the first step. Having the education to know that eating cereal, full stop, is not great, but eating cereal at night, that is doing nobody any favors. And the challenge can be, sometimes certain foods are masked. We’ll call it that, masked. By marketing, right?
Dave Phillips: (44:07)
Ben Grynol: (44:07)
And so we think we’re making these choices. Let’s assume somebody doesn’t know that eating at 9:00 PM isn’t the best choice, period. But somebody says, “Well, I’m eating whole grain organic granola. It’s some cereal. And I’ve topped it with almond milk.” And maybe it’s vanilla, because we think vanilla is great.
Ben Grynol: (44:27)
We don’t realize it’s like, “Well, that’s filled with sugar.” That alone. The cereal is carbs. It’s probably filled with sugar, as well. And there’s all these hidden sugars and things. And so that choice, eating a head of broccoli at 9:00 PM is going to be a lot different, as far as a metabolic response, than eating something like cereal.
Ben Grynol: (44:49)
And so providing people with the foundation to just say, “Hey, you are in control of these choices. Here are things that you can do differently.” It’s setting that as the foundation and then enabling people to start making these different choices so that they don’t feel, “Hey, I need to wear a CGM in order to get benefit.” No, start with the foundation, make the different choices and help to spread that knowledge far and wide. That is the mission that we’re on.
Dave Phillips: (45:14)
Yeah. To me, you evaluate your life in different stages, right? Obviously when you get a health scare, it puts you in the mindset of, “Okay boy, you can be sad for a while, but ultimately, unless you try or do something about it, then the news is still going to be bleak.”
Dave Phillips: (45:34)
So the minute you decide to make changes … I think the real interesting thing is that we’ve just gone through this pandemic all over the world, right? And no matter how you feel or not, the facts are that most of the people that were out of shape or overweight were the ones that the disease took first. Right?
Dave Phillips: (45:56)
You learn and you see, why are there all these fast food restaurants that are out there, and why aren’t there fast food vegan places that just give you a head of broccoli, right? How is it that the average person hasn’t put that together?
Dave Phillips: (46:15)
And the main reason is because, when they’re driving around with their kids or just themselves, they think about cravings. And they think about the fact that we’re all wired, because of processed food and all the years of cereal and all the stuff people put in snacks and candy, our brains get addicted to processed foods and sugar and the high that it gives us. Everybody thinks about the craving for the quarter pounder or Big Mac and fries, but nobody thinks, “Wow, that’s going to make me feel horrible after it or hurt my body.”
Dave Phillips: (46:52)
I’m a guy who was pretty healthy, was in pretty good shape, but I never made the correlation, until the last year, that what I put into my body would change the way I feel. I always knew that if my weight fluctuated between 150 and 175, I knew that the extra 10 or 15 pounds would hurt my back a little more because you could feel it, the pressure, and these are things that I discovered.
Dave Phillips: (47:23)
But I was never going to give up chicken. I was never going to give up the occasional burger. I just didn’t even … There are things that Levels showed me and having cancer showed me that, “Okay, we’re now playing for the marathon, not the sprint. And if I don’t do this, nobody will.”
Dave Phillips: (47:41)
So now, having hopefully come out on the other end, and I say that, quite honestly, my cancer could always come back and I may have to get more radical surgeries. But the way I look at it is, two important things. One, this is a lifestyle that I have to maintain now. I know that it will be better for my body.
Dave Phillips: (48:05)
And two, if you share it, you are helping so many more people that kind of get stuck in a “woe is me” phase like, “Yeah, I’m heavy. Or yeah, I have cancer. Or yeah, things aren’t great.” And they get stuck in the pattern.
Dave Phillips: (48:22)
And at any time in life, you have the opportunity to make yourself better. And so for me, why wouldn’t you start with your health first? Regardless of anything else, everything starts with your health. So if I can be an inspirational coach for people that get cancer at my age, to basically, after you grieve with it and after you find your own support group to help you with it, you have to be your own best friend.
Dave Phillips: (48:56)
And so for me, I figure since I’ve decided I have to stay healthy for the rest of my life, because I want to be fully functional, then I’ve decided, I got into the movie business to touch and teach. And now I feel like I want to get into the health business to touch and teach, and actually be even more impactful.
Dave Phillips: (49:17)
I honestly believe that, on a daily basis, if I can speak to five to 10 to 20 people, who in my first interaction with them, I can give a couple pieces of advice to people who are willing to take them. Or they look at me and they say, “Wow, this guy looks amazing. He looks 45 for 58.” No one knows that I had cancer. No one knows I have a genetic mutation.
Dave Phillips: (49:45)
And again, I don’t get paid by Levels. I’m not business-wise a part of any company that would profit off of me saying this. I’m just your average slub that got cancer, that got to a certain level at 58, and he was told he had a genetic mutation. And all these doctors conservatively said, “This is what you need to do.” And I was determined to have a part in my answer.
Dave Phillips: (50:17)
And so, the best thing you can give to anybody, and yourself, is to share some of the stuff you’ve learned, to hopefully pass it on. And so at the very least when I’m on a Zoom call or I’m on a cancer group call, which I still do these with the BRCA community and the [inaudible 00:50:36] community, it’s really obvious that when I’m in a short-sleeve shirt and everybody sees my Levels patch on my arm, or my Oura Ring, or my Apollo.
Dave Phillips: (50:46)
I point them out within the first five or 10 minutes, because it’s like saying, “I don’t have all the money in the world to have 20 coaches like Tom Brady does. But I use these tools which are now available, like having helpful coaches. If you want it and you want to try to improve, this gives you the structure to do so.”
Dave Phillips: (51:09)
I consider it a great day when, even if my Levels scores aren’t perfect, if I can get to bed at 9:00 and my last meal is at 6:30 and I don’t eat any carbs after that 6:30 meal, I consider that day amazing. Because I know I’m going to wake up with a Levels score of 83 or 90, between 83 and 95 on my glucose monitor. And that starts my day off with a great feeling, knowing my body was helping itself at night.
Ben Grynol: (51:43)
Your body’s giving a nod to you. It’s your cue, your visual cue, to say, “Hey, you’re on track.”
Dave Phillips: (51:50)
Yeah. And the irony is that I don’t believe I could have recovered from surgery as well, if I hadn’t … I’m grateful that I had the balls to ask my surgeon if I had three months to just get in the best shape I could, to help him is the way I put it. And he was like, “Absolutely. Go for it. You have three months.”
Dave Phillips: (52:08)
And then he said to me, after the surgery, “Are you going to continue to do this? Because your second half is, when it shows the cancer is either there or not and the PFA is either high again or it’s not, and you’re going to forever have to get your blood tested every seven weeks.”
Dave Phillips: (52:25)
But I was determined not to have to get a biopsy every two months. Those stink. Those take a piece out of you. Not just literally, but every time you get a biopsy, you lose a piece of your, I almost feel like your chi and stuff.
Dave Phillips: (52:39)
And so when I met with the surgeon in February and he basically said, “These scores are incredible. I want you to pass this on to other people, because never before have I seen somebody work as hard to get in shape before surgery and work as hard to get in shape after surgery.” And he said, “My friend, you don’t need to get a biopsy for at least another six to eight months, based on these scores.” And that was the greatest news I could ever hear.
Dave Phillips: (53:09)
It just told me that, regardless of anything else that’s going on in life, the health … When there’s so much in the world right now you can’t control, the one thing you can control is what you put into your body and what you do with your body.
Dave Phillips: (53:28)
So if you can wake up every day knowing, “Hey, for a baseline, I’m going to try to control my intake, I’m going to try to work out on this schedule, and I’m going to try to go to sleep so I get seven and a half hours sleep.” Ironically, and these are things we take for granted, I didn’t know all this stuff until I got cancer.
Dave Phillips: (53:51)
And I thought I was a pretty well-educated guy. I wish I had known this 30 years ago, because I bet you a lot of other things in my body would be feeling better. And I bet that if I can challenge anybody to try this program for two, three weeks, I bet you we can document things that they’ve done better. Whether it be sleep, or intestinal, or the way things move through them, I guarantee you it will help anybody feel better.
Dave Phillips: (54:20)
So I’m extremely grateful to Levels. I want to share the word. And I feel like the best thing I could do with this knowledge, regardless of when my cancer comes back or not and if it kills me or not, the best thing I could do with this knowledge is share it. Because I know it’ll only keep my awareness on it and keep me healthy at the same time.
Dave Phillips: (54:44)
So now I don’t go into a normal grocery store. I only go into a Whole Foods or an Erewhon. I can look at the box of Rice Krispies and I can look at the healthy cereal, and I can now distinguish the difference between the healthy cereal and the Rice Krispies.
Dave Phillips: (55:06)
But what’s even more is, I can distinguish between, gosh, even like you said, the healthy cereal isn’t that healthy. Because the goal is actually, don’t have a bowl of cereal at night. If you get up or you have a craving, have a banana with peanut butter. Don’t reach for the cereal. Don’t reach for the bread as much. Definitely don’t reach for the candy or popcorn.
Ben Grynol: (55:34)
There isn’t any upside in having Count Chocula, that’s for sure. Or even the healthy-
Dave Phillips: (55:40)
Right. The upside is the 10 minutes that it feels good when you’re eating it, and then that’s it. And so, if you’re going to cheat, you can work up to a place where you feel like it’s okay to cheat. And you can say, “Hey, I know my scores are going to be off for a bit.”
Dave Phillips: (55:55)
But the beauty is that you get to see your trends with Levels and the information. It’s like a baseline. Even when I got to 135, I reasoned that it might not be the best maintenance weight because people said I started looking too skinny. Even though I’m in great physical shape and I work out a lot.
Dave Phillips: (56:15)
And so I figured, “Okay, now I know, if I want to have a maintenance weight between 135 and 140, I can do it.” And it’s not like just waking up and looking at the scale. Levels is so much more important. If you can master the sugar intake and master the information about it, it’s so much more vital than stepping on a scale.
Ben Grynol: (56:39)
It gives you that information and that feedback in real time.
Dave Phillips: (56:44)
Ben Grynol: (56:44)
Which is something that is yours. It is your biometric data.
Dave Phillips: (56:48)
Yep. And I think, I don’t know, to me there should be a TV show that we make called Biohackers, which is like Mission Impossible, but with people all getting information. It was interesting. The other day, I think I saw an episode of Billions, where they had one tracker. But I think this will become the norm.
Dave Phillips: (57:11)
If you can learn that if you can follow these principles or even just know about them enough to follow them when you really decide to, you can prophylactically control your destiny more. You can have a say in how many …
Dave Phillips: (57:26)
I mean, the miraculous thing is, look, I started to study this more and more in other areas. I mean, I have friends that are in the music for health business. And studies now show that if you listen to meditation music, as much as you listen to it during the day, at work, or at home, that leads to less insurance bills or less trips to the doctor.
Dave Phillips: (57:47)
If someone’s not feeling great, it would be terrific if their first recourse, instead of blaming somebody else, they can say, “Hmm. Well, let’s figure out, over the last week, have I eaten right? Have I worked out right? Have I gotten good sleep?” Those are the first three places to go now.
Dave Phillips: (58:07)
And that’s kind of stuff that, even when I was working out, or a busy executive, or juggling 200 calls a day and in meetings all day long, these things I didn’t think about. Now, I very rarely go out to eat for meals because I, quite honestly, I don’t want to have the bread served to me first. Right?
Ben Grynol: (58:29)
Dave Phillips: (58:30)
There are things that they do at restaurants or fast food places, or take the way our society is set up, they work against you, not for you. And I don’t blame anybody. There have been very profitable, capitalistic businesses that they don’t analyze the fact that, “Hey, I’m in the In-N-Out business, and I’m hurting people.” They don’t look at life that way. They figure, it’s a big machine. They’re trying to produce or they all do better, right?
Dave Phillips: (59:00)
And the first question I normally think is, why don’t we just have top executives from Levels and these companies, why don’t we just walk into these giant dairy plants or these giant meat plants and say, “Hey, how do we make the stuff you serve healthier so we’re saving people’s lives?”
Dave Phillips: (59:18)
And ironically, that’s the big question we’re all going to face with humanity, going forward. After having this pandemic, are we going to try to help people or hurt people? And do we care about our fellow man or ourselves? And I think the goal for the first 10 years of this needs to be getting people to care about themselves.
Dave Phillips: (59:39)
And what Levels does is it allows them to have the information on a constant basis so you have a chance to care better about yourself. And I’m just the extreme case of being a poster boy single dad, got a genetic mutation and got his cancer rise to a level where it was urgent to do something about it.
Dave Phillips: (01:00:06)
And I guess something clicked in me that said, “I’ve never really cared about living to be 90, but I care about living to be 75 with all my tools in the toolbox.” And so for me, most of my motivation over the last year became, “Okay, I might not be able to control the cancer, but I can control what I do with my body. And I’m going to make that the number one priority over everything.”
Dave Phillips: (01:00:37)
I mean, I think I’m still a pretty good dad, but my daughter in the meantime lost 20 pounds in the last year, too, just based on how I changed the house and only stocked good stuff. And she now just won the national cheerleading finals with her team.
Dave Phillips: (01:00:53)
She was a dancer when she was young, and I encouraged her to get back into cheerleading this year. And I couldn’t get her to dance for the last five years. She got back into cheerleading, and there’s no question that she helped her team win this title. And she lost 20 pounds and she feels great about herself. And she’s sitting there making steamed vegetables with me. And I’d say that’s almost more fun than any trip to any drive-through that I’ve ever made with her.
Ben Grynol: (01:01:22)
If we can be a small part of these ongoing and meaningful changes, that means the world to our entire team.
Dave Phillips: (01:01:30)
It’s funny because when I thought about it, I tried to think about different areas and things you can go. And I’m a firm believer in sharing some things don’t work. You can share that. Things that do work, I want to share it.
Dave Phillips: (01:01:45)
I was very depressed a year ago, when you get bad news and you’re told you have something that not many people either do and that it’s going to change … For me, I wasn’t prepared to … I’m still looking forward to finding a life partner. And I was forced in a situation to be a single dad and raise my daughter alone for most of the time.
Dave Phillips: (01:02:08)
When I got the Levels monitor and I got into learning and seeing stuff that empirically made sense and then I got to see its results in me on a weekly basis and look at some of the trends, it blew my mind and it encouraged me further. And so, I can confidently say that I got my sex drive back. I’m healthy for now. And the only way I can stay healthy is to stay off the sugar and hopefully continue the intermittent fasting and continue the workout machine.
Ben Grynol: (01:02:47)
Yeah. It makes a big difference as far as the way that you feel day in, day out.
Dave Phillips: (01:02:51)
Ben Grynol: (01:02:52)
And the way that you navigate the world.
Dave Phillips: (01:02:55)
I mean, here’s the incredible thing, too. My workouts have completely changed. Pre-surgery, to lose 30 pounds, I was running three times a week for 60 minutes at a time, sprinting on my elliptical, and I was working out two of the other days. So I was working out five to six times a week, pre-surgery, to lose the 30 pounds.
Dave Phillips: (01:03:18)
Now that I wear Levels and I’ve got my body down, my workouts are so much less. It’s incredible, but I only work out three days a week and I only do HIT, on Monday I do it for 45 minutes. On Wednesday, I do strength training for an hour. And then on Friday, I do 40 minutes of Tabata. And that’s it.
Dave Phillips: (01:03:41)
So I am working out a third or a quarter of the time that I was before I lost the 30 pounds, which tells me that the Levels way has allowed me to watch the sugar, have a schedule, see where I am, and do it working out a quarter of the time that I did, because I know how to control my body more.
Ben Grynol: (01:04:08)
Yeah. It’s so cool to see how all of these habits have formed and just taking deeper insight, taking a deeper look into what other things can change because of what the full program started and what it did for you.
Dave Phillips: (01:04:21)
I can’t think of anything more important right now than … I think the reason I canceled my day and wanted to do this from home was, even the Levels nutritionist I had was fantastic and helped me. And anybody that helped me in the course of the last year, I want to give whatever I’ve learned back to any friend or stranger that is curious.
Dave Phillips: (01:04:52)
Because I think it’s the best gift you can give anyone. The best gift you can give anyone I could think of, that may be out of shape or not performing at their best, would be giving them one month of that little Levels box and paying for their first month or something. Right? Because at the very least, you’re giving them information. You’re showing them how it is and what could be better. And it’s on their own terms.
Ben Grynol: (01:05:22)
Exactly. And it’s not anecdotal, at that point. It becomes real and it becomes visceral, when they experience it for themselves.
Dave Phillips: (01:05:30)
Yep. And it’s you against you. You don’t have to go on a group and peer pressure share this with everybody else. I could talk about this for hours, and I’m willing to talk to anybody on your program or related to it, anybody that I can even give five minutes of, “Hey, I feel lucky. I feel grateful. This is what worked for me. I can’t say whether or not it’s going to work for you, but I know it’s not going to hurt.”