JJ Virgin – A Miracle Mindset with Daily Gratitude
The most amazing, inspirational people are those who went through hard times and came out stronger. They become more resilient, self-aware, and capable of serving others. JJ Virgin is one of these people and shares her story in this moving interview.
Celebrity Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerances and crush their sugar cravings. She is author of 4 New York Times Bestsellers. In “A Miracle Mindset,” author and fitness expert JJ. Virgin shares with readers her unique view on a personal family health crisis. It is filled with the insight and honesty that OMTimes readers have come to expect from JJ Virgin.
Interview with JJ Virgin
DIRK TERPSTRA: To be honest J.J., I googled you. I found out about the Virgin Diet, The Sugar Impact Diet, the quality protein shakes, meal replacement bars. I thought, ‘Hmm, that is interesting.’ I live a very healthy lifestyle, but I am not very focused on specific protein bars and all that. And then a very different book landed on my desk by J.J. Virgin, but with a very different message.
The title of your latest book is “A Miracle Mindset.” You are basically writing about a very touching, but also a very beautiful story about a mother, her son, and life’s hardest lessons. It was very beautiful to see the rawness of life, to experience that and to feel that. So, I am very grateful that I could read it. Maybe you want to explain also to the people who are reading this, what inspired you to write “Miracle Mindset”?
JJ VIRGIN: So, it seems like a sideways turn in the road, but the reality is that when you really think about you are healthy it is not just what you eat, it is not how you exercise. The biggest part of your health is your mindset, and I never really thought about it. I had been studying nutrition and fitness and functional medicine for decades and working on it for 30 years.
But I had also been a student of personal development since I was 25. It just was a part of me that I never thought about. I used it in my work because, so often, when people are trying to get to the next level in their health, the thing that will hold them back is not strategy it is their self-worth. And you can never outgrow that, but it was interesting as I had a major crisis with my 16-year-old son.
He was the victim of a hit and run, and was left for dead on the street, and we got to the hospital – he was air-lifted to our local hospital – and when we got there, the doctor told us that he had a torn aorta, which kills 90 percent of the people on the scene. He was hanging on by an onion skin, and he said, ‘It is going to rupture within the next 24 hours unless it is repaired. But we cannot repair it here, as it needs a very specialized surgery, and if we did it here we would have to use a blood thinner,’ and he had multiple brain bleeds.
He was in a deep coma, and his brain would have bled out, so we would have had to airlift him to another hospital. The doctor said he is never going to survive an airlift and, even if he were to survive an airlift, he is not going to survive the surgery. Even if he survived both of those, the chance he would be normal is so slim, he is so brain-damaged that he would probably never have a normal life.
My other son, who was 15 at the time, was with us and we were literally with my son and his bones were sticking through his skin. He was covered with road rash. You know, tubes coming out of his brain, central lines, and Bryce looks at that doctor and says: “So maybe a 25 percent chance he would make it?” And the doctor said, “That is about right son,” and Bryce said: “Well, we will take those odds.”
Right there, we got him airlifted, and he survived that airlift. And the next morning, after he survived that first surgery, the neurosurgeons came in and told me that he would never wake up. I stood in that hospital, and I said: “You know, he is going to be 110 percent. He will be better than he was before.” There was no sign to show this. I was scared to death. I am the financial support for my family, and I had a book coming out, “The Virgin Diet.” I had invested everything in this book and borrowed money. So, I literally launched a New York Times best-seller bedside in the ICU, next to my son in a coma.
The reason all of this was able to happen was because of our Collective Miracle Mindset; my son saying yes, we will take those odds; and me saying yes, he is going to be 110 percent; and us just making that decision. We were going to be open to possibility and be courageous and resilient.
DIRK TERPSTRA: So, you made such strong, clear choices – you saying it is a Miracle Mindset or Collective Miracle Mindset. But where are–that confidence and that courage–where are they exactly coming from?
JJ VIRGIN: There is this whole thing out there about how we should be fearless. I do not believe that we should be fearless. I think that is normal. We are going to feel fear every day. But, what we need to do, though, is step into that fear not run away from it. So, when you look at it, so often we look at the bad things in life, and we are like: “Oh, poor me.” In reality, I cannot think of one time in my life when something amazingly fantastic happened, and I left that situation and went, “Wow, I grew today,” right? I am that person now. I learned so much.
You know, when things are good it is easy. But when things are challenging, that is when we step up, and we are never better than that. So, the real takeaway is I have gone through a bunch of challenges in my life. And I stepped into them and expanded my comfort zone, became more courageous, stepped into the next one, and that builds resilience. What I really realized from all of this is that your mindset is a muscle. So, that is good and bad, because like a muscle if you train it, it will expand and grow.
So, there are seven different attributes that I identified. As part of this Miracle Mindset, I did an assessment so that you could figure out where you are. But, the real key is that we can make simple habits every day–things that take minutes that will expand our mindset. The reality is that whether it is your health, or your relationships, or your business, or your finances, it is your mindset that is really going to dictate where you are, how happy you are, how successful you are. There is great science out now showing that people who are resilient, who have gone through trials, who have stepped into it and been stronger, have gotten through it and are happier. They are more successful.
DIRK TERPSTRA: You mentioned the word resilience, which I love, but you use it also in the book. Because, as you know, I am a heart math trainer, and we often talk about resilience. The training I often teach is the resilience advantage training. So, how would you describe resilience in your life?
JJ VIRGIN: So, I like everything. I look at all the metaphors of exercise and diet, right, that is my life that I have come through. But, when you look at it, resilience to me is like endurance training, right? You always say that life is not a sprint it is a marathon, but every time you go through a little sprint, you get a little stronger.
So, the way I think of resilience is that when you have got a scary situation coming up, you have a choice. You can either run away from that situation, or you can get your courage together, and you can step into it. Every time you do that, that comfort zone expands. You have a lot more confidence, so that the next time the scary situation shows up you step into it. And every time you do that, you are just building that resilience and it just keeps expanding.
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