TCO 291 | Weight Loss Surgery

291. Peloton Settles With CPSC Over Tread Plus And Our Interview With Sarah Clark

TCO 291 | Weight Loss Surgery


  • Peloton settles with the CPSC for $19 million.
  • Tampa Showroom sells the guide for an unauthorized discount.
  • Peloton makes changes to the privacy policy.
  • CNET has Peloton vs. Gym Membership Math
  • has a list of the best treadmills.
  • DR. JENN – Improving your relationship with food.
  • Jess King has some tips for people curious about who their baby’s “real mom” is.
  • Ben Alldis was on ITV1’s This Morning.
  • Erik Jager had a Plank-Off with an 83-year-old.
  • Christine D’Ercole was on the Sports Will Save Us All podcast.
  • The Today Show talks to five different instructors about the best workout songs.
  • If you participated in Robin Arzon’s 3for31 challenge, the deadline to enter the Swagger Society contest is almost here.
  • 9Honey (out of Australia) talks to Kirra Michel about what she wanted to leave behind in 2022.
  • Cliff Dwenger has a meet & greet coming up.
  • Even more German meet & greets!
  • Angelo has tips for quick and healthy lunches.
  • New artist series from Daft Punk and Charli XCX.
  • Jess King talks about how she and Brittany Allen started partnering.
  • Jenn’s Menn launches a non-profit.
  • The year’s first apparel drop is nigh!
  • Erik Jager has a Discover Yourself Challenge
  • New Lanebreak levels.
  • Birthdays – Adrian Williams (1/9), Hannah Frankson (1/11)

All this plus our interview with Sarah Clark.

Watch the episode here


Listen to the podcast here


Peloton Settles With CPSC Over Tread Plus And Our Interview With Sarah Clark

We are gearing up for our big trip to the bustling metropolis of Norwalk, Connecticut. I can feel the electricity crackle.

Some people may have been like, “Why the hell are you coming to Norwalk?”

Why do you question that? Norwalk haters.

Because it’s Norwalk and we have never expressed any interest in Norwalk before. I think it’s a fair question.

My son is visiting colleges because he goes next year, theoretically. He’s visiting one in Norwalk, so we are going up there for the weekend. The reason we say all that is if you live in or around the Norwalk area and would like to hang out with us, we would like to hang out with you. We will be at a bar/restaurant called O’Neill’s on Saturday, starting at 6:30 Eastern. If you hear this on Friday or Saturday prior to 6:30 and you want to join us, that’s where we’ll be. If you live in the Norwalk area and you hate our guts, don’t go to O’Neill’s on Saturday, January 7th.

Chances are we don’t want to see you either.

Right back at you. Anyway, we would love to see you.

It’s going to be a small fun group. I’m super excited about it. I love seeing the Peloton people. Do we want to talk about this episode’s interview?

Sarah Clark is our interviewee for this episode. I know her from the world of Monkees. Don’t worry. There is very little Monkees talk in this.

None, actually. We just acknowledge the fact that that’s where she came from.

Don’t let that scare you. If you want to have Monkees talk, hit me up.

He can talk about The Monkees, and so can Sarah for that matter.

She’s got a podcast about it. She’s on the Zilch Podcast, which is the preeminent Monkees podcast. There are others that came along after, but theirs is far superior. We know the feeling. She also got a Peloton maybe 6 or 8 months ago at this point. She also did weight loss surgery. She talks about that and what that process was like, and then the thing she is doing.

She has health complications too, not from the surgery but from things that existed before that. We talk about all of that too. It’s a very interesting story.

Besides that, what pray tell do you have in store for people?

We are going to talk about the Tampa showroom. There are some shenanigans occurring in the Tampa showroom. We are going to talk about those, even though I heard they don’t want to talk about them. We’re also going to talk about the changes made to the Peloton privacy policy and some interesting articles that occurred. We have a visit from Dr. Jenn and she talks about improving your relationship with food. It’s very timely as we hit the New Year, resetting all of the expectations.

We talked about where all the instructors are. We also have a visit from Angelo. He gives some ideas for quick and healthy lunches. That’s very prescriptive. You can have actionable takeaways from this. There are some past guest updates we got to do. When I say we got to, I mean it’s important, so we need to hit it. There are a couple of those past guest updates. There are some interesting things that are coming up in the In Case You Missed It and birthdays.

Before we get to all that, shameless plugs. Don’t forget, we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart, TuneIn. Wherever you find the podcast, you can find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. Maybe leave us a review. You can also find us on Facebook, While you’re there, like the page, join the group. Also, don’t forget we have a Patreon where for as little as $5 a month, you can get ad-free episodes. Get them early when they’re available early. When we have them early, you have them early. For a little bit extra, you can also get bonus content.

We have a YouTube channel,, where you can watch these episodes. Finally, don’t forget, we have a newsletter if you want to have the links and things like that emailed directly to you, or a way for us to contact you directly if we have some big exciting announcement, and we can’t wait to share it with you. That’s a good way to do that as well. You can sign up for that at our website at As soon as you log in, a little pop-up will show up. You type in your email address and you’re done. There’s all that, let’s dig in. Shall we?

We shall.

We have some late breaking news. Peloton has settled wit the CPSC.

This is interesting because it is a $19 million civil penalty. I find that nomenclature fascinating because it’s a civil penalty. It doesn’t say it’s truly a settlement but it is because the next word is the settlement resolves the CPSC’s charges that Peloton knowingly failed to immediately report to CPSC as required by law that the Tread+ treadmill contained a defect that could create a substantial product hazard. On a personal note, I wouldn’t call that a defect. It’s more like it’s not being used properly because these Woodways had been on the market for a long time. They seem to act the same way. I don’t know that I can call that a defect.

There must be something about it that’s different than the Woodway or they would have gone after Woodway.

Woodway is certainly not in the news as Peloton was at that time.

That’s fair.

What you’re saying is fair too. Regardless, CPSC’s issue is that Peloton did not report this incidents immediately. Apparently, they started in December 2018. They had gotten report of incidents where people have been pulled under and trapped underneath the treadmill, and there were reports of injuries. I guess the way the law works is Peloton should have immediately reported that. Peloton did file a report but by that time, 150 reports had come in of people and pets, and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the Tread+ treadmill, including a death of a child and 13 injuries. Also broken bones, lacerations, operations and friction burns.

Jointly, they issued a recall as everybody remembers on May 5th of 2021. In addition to the $19 million civil penalty, the settlement agreement requires Peloton to maintain an enhanced compliance program of system internal controls and procedures designed to ensure compliance with the CPSC. For five years, they have to file annual reports regarding the compliance program.

They are on probation.

One of the big things that I’ve seen is like, “This means they can start selling them again.” No, it does not. It means that they have settled the issue of whether Peloton did a wrong doing. There was a lawsuit for it and now they have settled that issue. Peloton continues to work jointly with the CPSC to come up with a fix that will augment the safety repairs that they’ve already done like the number pad that you have to put your PIN code every time you use your tread. That is one of the things. Also, this rear guard will be added and it will be a complete redesign, and then it will go to production, and then they can start selling it again. That is where we are.

This is a major step in getting to that process. I would imagine the CPSC doesn’t give two squirts piss about fixing it until they get past this first step.

It seems like that’s why not a lot has happened in two years. It’s been two because this third year was the year that they added on. I think this was a huge step. I agree.

It’s also interesting that apparently they had delivered some Tread+ after this was already brought to the attention of CPSC and they were told not to.

It says that staff charge that after the public announcement of the recall, Peloton knowingly distributed in commerce 38 Tread+ recalled treadmills using Peloton personnel and third party delivery firms. Our first thought was that’s probably an XPO.

They just couldn’t get back on time, but apparently not.

Even so that probably happened the day of. It is possible that the same day the recall occurred, those 38were delivered because it’s not that many tread across the country when you think about it.

It’s hard to gauge without knowing how many treads they were selling at the time.

That’s also true. Anyway, it happens so it doesn’t matter. That’s part of the lawsuit. Another question I’ve seen a lot of and I don’t know the answer to, but I think is a good question. Where do these fines go?

My guess is to the government. This isn’t a class action lawsuit. People were like, “It should go to the family,” and I get where their heads are at, but that’s what civil lawsuits are for.

It’s weird that this is called a civil penalty.

I’m not a lawyer but just spit-balling. My guess is that’s to differentiate between they had a criminal infraction versus a civil infraction. Legally, that’s a big difference. That’s my interpretation of why they’ve been stressing civil, but I’m sure we have attorneys listening that are maybe shaking their fists.

Feel free to message us. Let us know.

I think this money goes to the government like any fine. If you get a traffic ticket, it doesn’t go to the people you drove past. I know that’s a different level of victimhood to be sure, but the government keeps that.

It’s also interesting that it’s such a huge number. The reason that I find that interesting is that people do associate this with a class action lawsuit. Let’s be clear yet again, it is not a class action lawsuit. Those of you that are expecting checks, that’s not going to happen. That’s not a thing. That has nothing to do with this. I actually saw people posting that, that’s why I’m saying. It’s interesting though, with such a large number, what does that do to Peloton’s financial now? They had said there were going to be some kind of fines they thought, and it was going to affect the rest of the year. Did they figure this large of a number?

Is this that large of a number in the grand scheme of things, $19 million? We’d probably have to skip a vacation or two, but for a company like Peloton with their revenue, nobody ever wants to cut a check of $19 million that goes to nothing. In the grand scheme of things, if this is the first step in getting this off their list of things to worry about and getting Tread+ back into production, and move past, is $19 million that much money? How much they spent in marketing every year?

I guess I just never felt like they did anything wrong to begin with. They did handled it poorly, $19 million dollars poorly. It was like a week that they didn’t respond.

They’re pretty arrogant for that week. All I can think is as the kids say, “They F around and found out.” It’s the Federal government. At the end of the day, getting snarky with the Federal government is probably not in your best interest. I don’t know what fines are typically for these organizations. I don’t know if that’s a lot or a little, but I just want to hear the the money that gets thrown around at Peloton, and I know that we’re past the halcyon days of the pandemic.

People who lost their jobs this year would probably feel like it’s a lot of money because they could be employed.

I can’t imagine they thought they were getting out of this without writing a check to the Federal government. There are still the civil suits to come. My guess is that a lot of those civil suits were probably in a holding pattern until this is resolved because how this is resolved could have a material impact on what that civil suit is going to look like.

We’re not done.

I don’t think we’re done at all but I think this is the first step in getting it wrapped up. If you’re an attorney, you’re waiting to see how this plays out because if if they get really dinged by the CPSC and maybe this is, that means you’re probably going to get more money or certainly have more leverage in your lawsuit against Peloton. I certainly don’t think we’re done. I think this is the first step in getting done and a major one. Ultimately, it’s a good thing. This was coming one way or the other.

They did talk about that on their financial. We know that.

To be able to begin to move past it. I think it is ultimately a good thing even though nobody likes hearing it.

They have been wiping off lawsuits left and right. I do think it’s a good thing. I think this is another one. We all just want to get to the part where they’re selling the Tread+ again. I think that will be really good for Peloton. I’m glad to see that this major step has occurred. It sucks that it’s that much money. I do think it’s that much money. It sucks that it’s happening, but it is what it is, so let’s all move on.

We should also say that it sucks that a kid died.

We’ve talked about that at length. That has never changed. Absolutely, it’s totally tragic what happened. Nobody knows how that all went down. What we do know is that a treadmill is a dangerous machine. It has a motor on it and it is self propulsion.

It’s the same as the conveyor belt. A conveyor belt is going to convey.

Peloton hits the spot. The teaching is great and the instructors are awesome. It is very inspiring. Share on X

Put all that aside, our hearts go out to the family. I hope they’re doing okay.

As much as can reasonably expected.

I don’t think there’s ever going to be a day that that’s going to be resolved for them.

If you bought a piece of equipment like this and you’re a fitness buff, how do you ever workout again without thinking about that? Even the sound of the tread, I don’t know how you could. It’s nice that maybe this is the beginning of the end. They can make them safer and get them back into the marketplace in a way that is safer for all parties involved. There’s all that. We will now return you to your regular scheduled Clip Out program. Thank you.

The Tampa showroom has gone rogue. They’ve gone unrogue now.

It happened last week. Apparently, there were about three days when this occurred. There was a discount in the system that worked for Peloton equipment. If you bought a bundle, you could get $200 off. They put it on the Guide by itself. When that occurred, you could then get the Guide for $45.

That’s not the intent of the bundle.

Not at all. There were about 70 people that were able to obtain the Guide for $45. It is unknown at this time if Peloton intends to honor those prices.

My guess is they do.

I think so too. It is three days after we learned the details of all of this, and nobody is screaming bloody Mary. Not only that but I did some checking. Those orders are all still processing. There has been no stop put to those orders.

I don’t think there should be. I think that’s the right call. That’s a problem Peloton has internally. I don’t think those people did anything wrong except see the deal and take it.

I agree with that. It’s unfortunate because it feels like it’s a no-win situation. On the one hand, this is crappy of the showroom to do to Peloton. On the flip side, from everything I understand, this particular showroom is on the chopping block and not going to be around much longer.

Also, I would like to remind people that they recently reconfigured the commission structure at the stores going into the holidays. I’m sure there are some employees that weren’t too cool with that occurring. They weren’t exactly incentivized to not exploit glitches. That doesn’t make it okay.

That doesn’t make it okay. Let me be clear. We did not say this at the beginning. Every time a Peloton person sells a piece of equipment, they get a commission on it. Selling it that cheap, in theory, they got the full commission. At least, that’s what they would be thinking. Whether that happens or not, that’s what they thought. They got full commission on an item that they sold way under cost.

What’s unfair about that is somebody posted in a Peloton fan group about this deal. People all over the country started calling the Tampa showroom to buy them. Typically, a showroom sells on average about one Guide a day. To have 50 to 70 sold in one day, they knew there was a problem. The real issue with that is it took away sales from other showrooms. It’s very hurtful to other people who are also working on commission. It’s friendly competition when everybody is on the same page.

You need a level playing field.

When you have these kinds of tactics, it creates a lot of hurt feelings in between the showrooms and rightly so. If I were a person working at a different showroom, I would be upset about it. I would be like, “If I had known we could do that without any repercussions, seemingly, we could do that too.” I will also say something that we all need to think about. Even if those people are being let go, the incentive they have to do the right thing, if nothing else, is their severance package could now be affected. Their severance package would be worth far more than those sales of the Guides. That’s something to consider that maybe this wasn’t a well thought out plan.

When they start getting calls from California ordering, and they’re Tampa, you can’t pretend you don’t know what’s going on. People don’t randomly call stores in other states to order the Guide. That’s not a thing, but it’s interesting.

I heard that somebody went in there and brought this up. The employee was none too happy. They didn’t want to discuss it. Dirty looks were exchanged. It was awkward. I think they’re feeling a little chagrined.

My guess is they got a butt chewing, not in a sexy way. Everybody’s got their own thing. Peloton has made a change to its privacy policy.

Very minor change. We just want to point it out since they bothered to email it out to everybody.

Your leaderboard name is now your Social Security number. Next story. You’re probably not old enough to remember this. People my age and older used to write a check.

I remember that. I worked at a grocery store when that was the thing.

You would write your Social Security number on your checks.

People had them printed sometimes.

My first batch of checks, I pre-printed it because I don’t want to write that all the time. Everybody wanted your Social Security number because they would plug it into some sort of system to see if you wrote bad checks. You kids under 40, first off, google checks and figure out what those are. Once you get past that mind-blowing thing from the past, people used to actually print their Social Security numbers on the checks and hand them out.

That was a thing. It has nothing to do with this story. Just to be clear, Peloton is not asking for or requiring our Social Security number in any way, shape or form. They did change some things. There are going to be changes to the policy that will take effect on January 17th. For US residents, Peloton will be honoring state-specific regulations as of January 1st. For other states, that is going into effect on January 17th. That’s when those effects will take place. Very minor change out of necessity. We just want to make sure you know.

It’s out there. CNET had a story. I feel like we get one of these about every six months. Is it cheaper to have a Peloton or join a gym? They do the math so you don’t have to.

Except that it’s the Peloton community, so they did anyway because it’s the Peloton community.

There’s a lot of type-A in the Peloton.

Everybody had an issue with this article. Even if you liked that they came out at the end, it’s pretty much dead on. It wasn’t good enough, and people had fair points. Let me be clear, I understand the problems they had. This article did not compare it with boutique fitness which Peloton was designed to be pitted against. I will also say, a decade later, maybe that needs to be updated because boutique fitness is headed out. It’s not as big of a thing as it used to be.

If you’re going to compare a Peloton to the average person, you do need to compare it to the gym. Even when they did that, they basically were like, “The first year, it’s about even but then after that, you start to make money off of it.” That’s not taking into consideration the gas that you have to use to go to the gym. That’s not including your time to go to the gym and sit, and then you have to sign up for a class and wait for the class.

Also, hope the class fits your schedule. There are a lot of intangibles.

Also, hope you like the instructor.

If you’re just comparing a Peloton bike to the gym, the gym is going to have a lot more equipment options for you to choose from. Peloton is just a bike for most people.

It gives you access to so much more. Even if you only ride or even if you only “own” a bike, you could still use it for strength training, yoga, Pilates, and all the things, except for rowing. Either way, even though this article was trying to put more emphasis on the gym, to me, it said, “Peloton is a better deal.” That’s because I have put a lot of emphasis on being able to workout from home. That is a huge benefit to me and even if I had to spend more to go to the gym, I wouldn’t. You know what I mean.

We say this all the time, not just about Peloton. When we’re weighing options, we always say, “What’s your time worth?” Sometimes when the HVAC guy was here to look at the furnace for this half-yearly checkup or whatever he does, he’s like, “This got these hoses. You can replace them yourself at the hardware store for $20. It is going to be $60 for me to do it.” “Just do it.”

It’s like, “You’re already here. You have the stuff. Do you know what a mess I’m going to make when I do that?”

I don’t have that skillset and I’ll never get around to it. I know some people do have that skillset and they enjoy that or they don’t have the option, and they need to save the $40.

They would make a different choice and that is okay. That’s the point though. There are all these different ways to look at it. There’s no way to write an article like this that can take all of those factors into consideration because we all have different lives.

I am sure, the people who love the gym read this article and go, “But you miss out on the camaraderie,” or they enjoy the experience of going to the gym. In their mind, they’re more apt to workout because they’re carving out this time and place. Once they get to the gym, the only thing that they can do was the gym. They’ll be sure to do the thing. I get that logic.

I was talking to my dental hygienist. Abby was her name and she was saying that she goes to Orange Theory and she loves it, but she’s getting a little burnt out. We started talking about how she was going to go to a different gym and she had this whole plan. I was like, “Why don’t you just workout at home and get a Peloton.” She was like, “Not go to the gym?” She was horrified. Some people feel that way. I feel the same way about working out in a gym. There’s no way I want anything to do with that. Everyone has different things that drive us and that’s okay. The cool thing is you can take the Peloton to either of those places, at home or in the gym. Also, Abby said you better watch your mouth next time, Tom.

My apologies, Abby. has an article reviewing the ten best treadmills, and Peloton is one of them. Best for streaming classes. It’s funny they have all these categories.

I know. It’s like they went out of their way to have a best for everybody.

I think this is an article to justify affiliate link click-through.

That’s exactly what it is.

Whatever one you end up buying, they’re hoping that they’ll get credit when you buy it. It’s like, “Best foldable, best for distance runners, best for incline, best affordable,” which would be most affordable.

How is the best for beginners different from the most affordable? I don’t even understand what you see there that could be best for a beginner.

It means it’s easier to use.

I don’t see how it can get any easier than Peloton. You just hit a button.

Best manual treadmill. I believe the best manual treadmill is called the road. Was there a crank?

No, but since it’s curved, you use your own. It’s like free mode that used to be in the tread, but nobody uses it anymore.

The curve is like the peroneus of treadmills. Best for serious runners. If you’d like to run without smiling, you want to go with the Life Fitness T5. That’s out there if you were so inclined. Coming up after this, Dr. Jenn is going to talk to you about how to improve your relationship with food.

Joining us once again is Dr. Jenn Mann, licensed marriage, family and child therapist, and Sports Psychology consultant. You may know her from VH1’s Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn or VH1’s Family Therapy with Dr. Jenn or her long-running radio show, The Dr. Jenn Show. She’s written four bestselling books including The Relationship Fix: Dr. Jenn’s 6-Step Guide to Improving Communication, Connection and Intimacy. It’s Dr. Jenn.


You can't just do weight loss surgery, change nothing else about your life and expect it to work. It has to be that plus the lifestyle changes. Share on X

We have a question for you from Susan Dutton Burton. It’s long, so bear with me. She says that she puts in at least an hour of solid exercise six days a week. It’s not a struggle. She loves to do it. What she does struggle with this time of year is food. To her, it’s part of the joy. The holiday parties, hosting family, lunches out with friends, holiday snacks and coffees while out shopping, etc. She wants to do it all.

For her, that’s part of enjoying the holidays, but she also knows she cannot out workout the choices that she has made. Between Thanksgiving and New Year, a lot of damage is done which reflects on the scales. By January, she’s so mad at herself because as we all know, it’s way harder and takes way longer to get it off than it did to put it on. Thoughts.

My first thought right away is why are you not letting yourself enjoy wonderful foodies around? You are being so restrictive for the other eleven months of the year that it’s hard for you to handle regulating yourself with food. By the way, all of these studies show that the more we restrict food, the more we tend to get out of control with the foods that we love the most. To me, that’s the first thing.

Look at having more of an intuitive eating model. I know that I can have my favorite foods all year round. December doesn’t mean anything different to me than July or June. It’s all the same. It’s about your relationship with food and how withholding you’re being all throughout the year. I also think that if there are things that you love that are seasonal, then provide them for yourself during the year. If it’s something that you can’t get, then freeze it. Give yourself a sense of abundance.

When people go through the intuitive eating process, they do what I call legalizing food, which is where you start to reintroduce foods into your life that you were scared of before, you lost control of before, and that you can’t handle. Tom, I know you will appreciate this. I remember there was an article that came out. They said that what intuitive eating does for food is what sex does for marriage.

You know you can have it all the time, so you don’t necessarily need it quite as much and it’s not as taboo. That’s the way our relationship with food tends to be. The more we withhold something, the more we lose control. I think that Susan needs to re-evaluate her relationship with food year-round.

The other thing is she needs to give herself some room. This has been her pattern for how many years that she knows. In the winter, she tends to put on a little more weight. If she’s going to continue to have the same relationship with food and not change that, then she needs to build it into the system and say, “I accept that this is the time of year that this is going to happen. I always end up taking it off,” and make peace with it. Maybe you can learn to love little extra curves and a little extra you. There’s nothing wrong with that.

That’s a good point. You have to look at it from a different perspective. Maybe what you’re trying to work toward isn’t even what you really want.

I recommend that she check out my No More Diets app. It’s about how to have a healthier relationship with food where you don’t have to be so restrictive and where you can tune in. The thing is when you eat food and you eat until you’re stuffed and you’re full, you feel like crap. You don’t even enjoy the food. We enjoy food more when we’re hungry and when we have an appetite than when we’re just stuffing our faces like, “I’m not going to see this cake again so I got to eat as much of it as I can.” That’s not enjoyable. I’m a big believer that food should be a passionate, fun and exciting experience. When you eat something you love, you should eat with gusto and joy and passion.

I definitely agree with that.

I feel like Crystal and I both struggle with this. We’re getting there.

It’s interesting because Tom and I talk about this a lot. We totally agree with your thought process about intuitive eating. It makes perfect sense but that intuition is not easy. It’s not like a switch you can flip. It takes a lot of work. I feel like doing MetPro has helped us with that because we eat more often throughout the day. That’s the thing that’s been helpful for us. We never go into a meal where we’re starving. In the past, that’s been a big trigger for me. If I’m starving, I will eat with abandon, not in a good way.

Everyone is like that. It’s built-in because there’s a primal sense of scarcity. Your body goes, “We’re starving. We may be on a desert island. We may be in some place where food is scarce. We got to hurry up and eat and get as much into ourselves as we can. That food hysteria makes us overeat. It’s hard to check in and regulate when we let ourselves get too hungry.

Thank you so much for all that. Until next time, where can people find you?

On all social media @DrJennMann. Also, InStyle Magazine. Every week, I have a column called Hump Day With Dr. Jenn that comes out on Wednesdays.

Thank you.

Jess King had a post for everyone wanting to know who the “real” moms of their babies might be.

Don’t forget the baby’s daddy. I have so many thoughts about this reel. I have been thinking a lot about this in the last few days. Ever since I saw it, I’ve been thinking about how the community has grown over time. There are a lot of people that surprised me with the things that they have the audacity to ask me. I can’t imagine what they ask these instructors. According to this reel, people have actually been reaching out to her and asking her straight up, “Who is the real mom?” Also, “Who is the baby’s daddy?” She did a great post that showed humor at a time when I sense there wasn’t a lot of humor around in her head.

We might get that, and I don’t blame her. My guess is for her to make a post like this, you don’t go to this much work for 1 or 2 stray messages. She must be getting inundated. Part of the internet is that people forget that these are real people. I’m guilty of it too sometimes. It is not your concern. It’s human nature to be curious.

You could be curious but you don’t have to type everything you think. You don’t have to reach out to her or anybody else on the internet with every single thought that occurs to you. Some things can be left unsaid. You can reach out to your best friend and be like, “I was thinking about this,” but you don’t need to post it. You don’t need to put it out there publicly.

Even beyond all that, I don’t know the hubris that these women aren’t making this publicly known, but you sent them a DM on Instagram. They’re going to share this information with you, a stranger that they’ve never met in real life.

A small part comes from the fact that Jess King is pretty transparent about a lot of aspects. This whole reel opens up with her sitting there pumping on TV. There was another time she danced around in her post-surgical diaper. She tries to insert humor into those moments. Because she’s transparent about certain things, people expect transparency about everything.

I see it from another angle. She is very transparent about things and is willing to show or say or do things that other people might not feel comfortable showing, saying or doing. When there is a line that she’s clearly not crossing, the keyword in that sentence is clearly. She’s clearly not crossing it. She didn’t forget to tell you.

She wasn’t like, “Drum roll. The father of our child is.” By the way, she makes it clear that it’s not considered to be the father. It is the donor, and rightly so. I’m using the word she used at the beginning, but I understand that there’s a difference. I’m not trying to be disrespectful in that way. It’s funny that she’s like, “If you’re trying to find out who the donor is, then ask that question but still, it’s none of your business.”

That’s the polite way to have me still not answer your question. Ben Alldis was on ITV’s This Morning, which is a channel in the UK. For our American listeners that are like, “What the hell is that?” It’s a big deal over there and not here. That’s why you haven’t heard of it.

I guess it’s like Good Morning America. I love Ben Alldis. This is not in any way a knock on him. I love how they called him the King of Peloton. Really? Who designated him that? I guess you did.

They are British. They got kings over there. Over here we have the Senator of Peloton or Governor of Peloton, although they got governors over there too.

It’s funny. All the things I’ve heard people say, I’ve never heard somebody refer to any of the male instructors as king in a serious way. You hear people talk about how Robin is the queen, but they say the queen of Peloton. They just say the queen. I thought it was funny. Anyway, he has a great workout and that’s the point. He has a great workout to help you kick off 2023 and start the new year off right.

You can only watch it on this website if you’re in the UK. That’s why I haven’t clicked play.

You can read about it in this article. If you get our newsletter, you can read about the workout there.

If you use the VPN client that we have, then you can watch it. Erik Jäger had a plank-off with an 83-year-old woman named Erika Rischko.

She is a fitness icon in Germany. I don’t remember exactly her specifics. It’s been a couple of weeks because we had the week off there. We didn’t do an article. At 83, this woman did an 8.5-minute plank. She beat Erik, by the way.

He’s sweating and shaking by the end. He seemed to start to shake. She’s like, “Let’s go to one arm.”

She’s like, “Let’s go.” He then collapsed, which I would have collapsed too in the first minute.

I collapsed watching this video.

It’s cool. What a great way to highlight the fact that age, gender, and all of those things have nothing to do with strength. You don’t have to look a certain way to be strong and fit. I love that this video shows that so well.

Also, the advantages that a lifetime of exercise can lead to. Another good example of that is Dick Van Dyke. He’s 97 years old or something like that.

Did he do a plank-off too?

No, but he still goes to the gym every day. Have you ever seen videos of Dick Van Dyke. He’s still up and moving great. He goes to the gym. Maybe not every day, but a lot. He swears by it. He started off as a dancer. People tend to forget because they remember the Dick Van Dyke Show. People remember Mary Poppins, but they don’t necessarily think of Dick Van Dyke as a dancer first. He began as a dancer and because of that, he’s always been very fit. That’s been a big part of his life. He’s 97 or something like that, but close to 100.

I firmly believe that keeping moving no matter what your age is important. If you’re not moving, and you’re getting older, please move. I don’t care what you do but do something.

Christine D’Ercole was on the podcast Sports Will Save Us All. First off, they won’t.

Not you.

Sports are the bane of my existence and I’m lucky to be alive.

Sports will save some people, not this guy. New title. She was on this podcast. She talks about all of the cool things. She does so many things. She’s the master’s world champion. She’s a Peloton instructor. That’s why we’re here. I did not know she had a degree in acting from Carnegie Mellon. I knew that she started as an actress. I just didn’t realize it was a degree. Many people go into acting without a degree and I didn’t realize that. She also does her workshop programs. It’s neat that they talked to her. If you haven’t got a chance to listen to it, make sure you check it out.

The Today Show had an article about the best workout songs for motivation according to fitness instructors. I found this fascinating. They talked to six fitness instructors or maybe seven. It’s Stephanie Mansour, and then all the rest of them are Peloton instructors.

I thought that was cool. I was like, “Why was the sixth one not a Peloton?” Maybe they started by trying to capture it from a lot of different sources, and then they talked to somebody at Peloton and they ended up getting them off of it.

It says that she’s a Today fitness contributor. I guess she’s already on staff. That could be part of it. There’s Rebecca Kennedy and Denis Morton. I know Ash Pryor is on here somewhere, Jess Sims and Rad Lopez. That’s also nice to see some instructors popping up that you don’t always see a bunch of.

I definitely agree with that. Rebecca Kennedy had Rufus du Sol. That was funny because that came up in another conversation about Rufus du Sol. That’s great.

Nobody’s got Kanye on here. I wonder why that is. Just a heads up, if you participated in Robin Arzón’s 3 for 31 Challenge, you get a chance to sign up to be one of the first participants of Swagger Society.

It’s super confusing because I thought I already was but apparently not. I am so confused.

Your opportunity is coming to a close so you have to do that.

Pretty much the 8th is the last day. You got to do that, and then you get a chance.

9Honey, which is out of Australia, had an article about instead of asking people what their resolution is for 2023, they asked them what they were glad they were leaving behind in 2022, and they spoke to Kirra Michel.

Did you see what she wrote here?

Yeah. It’s not about what she’s leaving.

It isn’t. It made me wonder if they sent these different instructors or influencers that they’ve talked to a general prompt, and then tried to reframe it.

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I was thinking the same thing because the next one talks about what she’s leaving behind. Hers doesn’t even address it from that POV in any way, shape or form. I was wondering the same thing if they were aggregating all these different quotes and then trying to come up with a different hook for their article, even though not all the quotes fit the hook.

I just want to be clear that I’m not teasing Kirra Michel. I don’t want people to think we’re picking on an instructor. We will never hear the end of it. I do think that sometimes when people are writing these articles, they get a little carried away because it comes together later. She talked about reframing her mindset and coming into 2023 with a pause, mindfulness, dedication, self-compassion, kindness and re-parenting. It’s not that what she said was bad. It didn’t fit the prompt.

It’s like when you try to ask me questions while I’m watching TV.

It is exactly like that.

There were some meet and greets in Germany that occurred. We took a week off so we didn’t get a chance to talk about it.

I’m chuckling because of the behind-the-scenes.

We were struggling to translate German.

What you need to know is that Charlotte, Cliff, and Tobias were all going to be at different stores. It’s Hamburg and Munich for sure, and possibly, Stuttgart. There were going to be three meet and greets, and three instructors. If you got to go to one, we’d love to hear from you.

Coming up after this, Angelo has tips for quick and healthy lunches.

Joining us once again from MetPro, it’s Angelo here to answer all of your nutrition questions. How’s it going?

It’s great to see you, guys.

It’s great to see you too. Last time, I put you on the spot for some recipe ideas and I’m doing that again. This time we have Wendy and Julia both asking for quick healthy lunch meals in the middle of a busy day that is a make or break for Julia. Thoughts on that?

There are individual ideas for things that are quick and easy that you can grab on the go. I’m going to give you the concept that’s not going to be a one-off but it’s going to solve the problem ongoing. Bulk macros are the way to go. I’ve seen people try and pull out a different recipe, and every 2 or 3 days change it up. That can work but it’s still going to leave you in the kitchen cooking lots of hours each week. You want something that’s quick.

There’s a strategy that all your pros end up circling back to. That’s people who food prep either for their sport or their daily routine or cooking for a large family. What they find is going to work best is to cook in bulk macro. You’re simply portioning out food when it comes time to eat, and then it’s not a matter of this is a meal that takes a long time or a little time to prepare. The bulk macro prep wipes that off the table on a meal-by-meal basis.

What do I mean by bulk macro? I recommend specifically two proteins, two carbs, non-prepared vegetables, and simple fats. Here’s what that looks like if you were to open up my refrigerator. My wife and I have a routine. I am I’m a finicky eater. I love everything but I can only eat it so many days in a row without some variety.

We’ll make up two different protein sources. I’ll usually have one option. That’s red meat that maybe will last me a little longer because I don’t eat it as often. One option is going to be a lean protein like chicken, turkey or fish. I’ll have it cooked up in bulk. I’m big on grilling. My wife does some baking, but we’ll make sure that we have two different protein options in the fridge at all times. It’s the same thing for your carbohydrate options.

What are your good carbohydrate options? Good carbs, being clean carbs, are going to be slow digesting that are going to be high satiety but do not necessarily carry a massive carb load or calorie count. That’s going to be your sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, or Jasmine rice. It’s options like that. It’s going to be your beans, legumes, oatmeal, grains similar to oatmeal, and porridge-type meals for breakfast. Any of those options is going to fall into that best category.

There are a few other options like tortillas and things like that, and some healthy bread on a case-by-case basis but if you can go with one of those more natural options. Let’s add squash like a summer squash to that list. That would be great. If you pick 1 or 2 of those, cook them in bulk and always have them available. It’s simply a matter of grabbing one of the proteins and one of the carbohydrates, and you have the foundation of your lunch diet.

For your vegetables, you can’t cook those in advance because they will spoil. You want to make those fresh, whether it’s throwing together a quick salad, popping a can of green beans or other veggies that are easy, portable, accessible and quick. For your fats, I recommend using a tablespoon of your favorite healthy oil like olive oil or extra virgin olive oil. If you like avocado, you could do a quarter or a half avocado to get a healthy fat serving.

When you have those things ready to go, Wendy and Julia, lunch will take moments to prepare. The beauty is it doesn’t stop at lunch. You can use this same routine for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. It’s so easy to get into a routine of healthy structured eating when you have food prepped in advance. It’s when you’re opening the fridge or going into the store going, “Where am I going to start now and start preparing a healthy lunch,” that now it becomes a little bit trickier. Hopefully, something in there helps a little bit with what you’re asking, girls.

If people would like more of this information only for them so they can hoard it, where can they find you?

We have two artist collaborations because we were out one week so we’re playing catch up. The first is Charli XCX. Apparently, XCX was the name she started using on Microsoft chat or something when she was twelve, and that has carried over. It was weird when they asked what it stood for, she said that it stood for Charlie Kiss Charlie. I was like, “Shouldn’t that be CXC, not XCX because that would be Kiss Charlie Kiss?” I’m in no position to correct her. I watched a couple of her videos to hear what the sound was like. It actually wasn’t bad.

She’s good. She did a collaboration with Lizzo a long time ago.

She’s been writing songs forever. She’s written songs for Iggy Azalea, Shawn Mendes and Blondie, which I thought was interesting. What I liked about it too is so many songs now are hip-hop. It’s all beats and rap over it. There’s no melody. These were actually songs. There’s a verse, a chorus and a bridge. It still sounded very modern and fit in with hip-hop stuff. It certainly had those influences but they were actually songs. I was like, “Look at that. They do the singing that used to be so popular.”

Out of all the people that went “Who?” my favorite was Tom Labelle who tried to make those roman numerals. That was my favorite trying to figure out what the heck was happening. That amused me. This one is for you, Tom LaBelle.

Also, there’s an artist series featuring Daft Punk.

These people have been around forever like ‘96 or ‘96.

When I worked at The Point, we played the hell out of Daft Punk. We would do a thing every night at midnight. It’s on Sundays at the late after-hour club. It’s called the Oz and the show was called the Sunday Night Ritual. They will play the hell out of Daft Punk on that show. That’s what I always think of when I think of Daft Punk.

I did the Adrian Williams Daft Punk row and I enjoyed myself. You got to listen to it while you do your Tonal.

I heard a little bit of it bleeding through as I listened to my podcast. I saw that 45 Peloton users were injured on a Jess King ride when she said, “Increase your resistance,” every time they said around the world.

I think you’re being Jess Sims.

I don’t know. I’m making things up. Jess is somebody.

Around the world. You said that when I was rowing. I was in a challenging effort already and you were like, “Keep increasing.”

They said it 130 times. I think it’s the only thing they say in the song. It is a computerized voice going, “Around the world.” I get it, but cool.

It was it was fun. I haven’t taken the other classes yet that included this, but I could see that I might enjoy the row the most simply because you do so much getting in the zone when you’re doing a row. You’re in that rhythm. Because these are electronic songs and it was the same rhythm for several minutes. It was very easy to be rhythmic. It was a lot of fun though. I enjoyed it.

Our past guest Brittany Allen posted a clip of one of Jess King’s rides, talking about how they first started working together.

This has been quite a question that people have asked Brittany Allen a million times. Jess King talked about how she heard from Brittany Allen, and how this has been several years ago now. She got this DM from Brittany Allen. She was like, “I had a stroke. I was sitting on a plane. My entire left side went numb. I had so many health problems after that. My husband, or might have been a partner, put me on the bike. I was rehabbed through you and DJ John Michael. Thank you for that. You got me through.”

Brittany rides all the time. She does all kinds of workouts now. She is healed. She credits that to Jess King and DJ John Michael. Also, she credited Jess King for encouraging her to go on Project Runway. She then offered to make something for Jess King and now Brittany Allen makes outfits for pretty much all of the instructors. That’s a pretty cool story. When she asked Jess King that, Jess King said, “I got a bigger idea.”

Why make one outfit when you can make all the outfits? I filed this under past guest update because it’s about JennsMenn and we’ve interviewed almost all of them.

The real ones, not the fake ones who try to hashtag their way in.

Not the posers. They have launched their own nonprofit.

I love this. The JennsMenn Foundation, a tribute to a decent human. That is in tribute to the great and late Howie Godnick. You can go to and you can place a donation. Do you want to go to the “What do we do,” so we can give people a little detail about where this money is going or what they should do with it. The purpose of the foundation is to support enhanced fundraising efforts by offering matching donations for charitable events organized and sponsored by members of the JSS tribe Peloton community. How wonderful is that?

People are always doing different fundraising rides. It’s a great way to not necessarily create your own or maybe competing ones, but piggyback things that are already happening and amplify them.

I love these guys and gals. They are wonderful people, as is the 99.9% of the entire Jenn Sherman tribe. Everybody there is so fun and funny. I love the way they support each other. It’s still one of my favorite groups on the internet. After all these years, they still keep it positive. I love this. Sponsoring a fundraising ride or run, contact your favorite Jenns Menn member or email

Knowing how these guys are, why do I feel like this is an elaborate ploy to figure out who’s the favorite?

That’s what I think too.

This has nothing to do with charity. Everything is a subterfuge. You will run a charity and we’ll give money to important things, whatever. That’s fine. The real goal here is who’s the most popular.

The first apparel drop of the year is almost upon us or has already happened.

It has happened. The whole reason that I posted this is because it hints cheetah. Do you remember months ago when Robin wore a cheetah outfit? Robin had worn a cheetah outfit. She said that it was for a behind-the-scenes photo shoot or it was from behind the scenes and it was a photo shoot. I kept thinking they were going to re-release the outfit that came out a long time ago and still sells for $750. It was used and sweated on for four years, and people still pay for that. I was excited but then the next day, it posted and it was a black and blue cheetah outfit. It’s cute.

It is sad to see an abused cheetah like that.

#BruisedCheetah. It’s pretty but it’s subtle. If you’re looking for the original cheetah print, this is not it.

I’ll even go out on a limb and say people who are looking for cheetah prints aren’t looking for subtlety.

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That’s fair. I love blue. It was just so dark that it wasn’t my thing. I didn’t even want the cheetah print. I just wanted to see that it got released and all that. I will say this though. They had a beautiful teal dream blend heavyweight hoodie that I had to get that matches the blue and the black. I felt like I needed it for my outdoor running. You’re welcome, Tom. I only got that. I didn’t get the rest of the outfit.

Is that what I’m welcome to? That’s good to know. Erik Jäger has a Discover Yourself Challenge for the month of January.

For four weeks, you get three trainings per week. He says, “Twelve opportunities to discover your ‘new me.'” It starts off with 30-minute strength, 45-minute Power Zone endurance, and 20-minute body-weight strength. That’s week 1. Week 2 is a 30-minute Power Zone, 30-minute body-weight, 60-minute Power Zone, and a 20-minute full body.

Week 3, another 30-minute Power Zone, 40-minute body-weight, 75-minute Power Zone endurance, and a 20-minute upper-body. The last week will be another 30-minute Power Zone Max, 20-minute body-weight, and 90- minute Power Zone endurance, plus a 20-minute core strength. I like how he adds on each week to get more time. It’s a good way to repurpose your own rides and classes, and make sure that people see them too.

There is no wait five because you’re “new you” will be dead.

Or you go to February, whichever, Tom

It’s one or the other. We have new Lanebreak levels. I’m surprised you’re here to record this, and not leaving me by my lonesome while you’re off doing Lanebreak.

I’ve been running a lot again. We have the top 50 Music Remix. There’s a 20-minute level featuring remixes of highlights from the top 50 Music Countdown classes. Also, a 30-minute Daft Punk hits class. If you want all music and none of the chatter, this is the best way to do that.

I like that Daft Punk would lend itself to Lanebreak.

Especially with the lights because they’ve added some new background imagery. They’ve changed up the colors and the subtleties. Some things have changed. I like it. Daft Punk and Lanebreak are very good. Also, Discovery Dash, a 20-minute level featuring a bunch of people I don’t know.

We got two birthdays. On January 9th, we have Adrian Williams.

Happy birthday, Adrian.

On January 11th, we have Hannah Frankson.

Happy birthday, Hannah.

Coming up after this, we’re going to talk to Sarah Clark, who is also a Monkees aficionado. She’s going to talk about her love of Peloton and her weight loss journey after her weight loss surgery. Stick around.

Joining us is Sarah Clark. Sarah, how is it going?

I am so thrilled to be here on the show. This is one of my favorite shows.

I should probably start by saying that my interaction with you is not Peloton-based.

It’s a weird meeting of all the different things that Tom does.

Six degrees of pop culture.

Brace yourselves, people. It’s because we both love The Monkees.

Sarah already promised me that she would keep The Monkees references to a minimum because I live with you.

I said minimum, not zero, not zilch.

I see what you did there. How did you guys come into knowing each other? What exactly did that look like?

Like all of the strange random ways, it was through The Monkees. I have been a fan since I was a kid. I fell out of it after the ‘80s reunion. I got back into them in 2012 when they were having their big reunion after Davy Jones died. Long boring story short, I heard about this new podcast that was being started about The Monkees. I was into listening to podcasts, but I had never been on one. I was a little miffed because the first episode was Episode Zilch, because this show is called Zilch A Monkees Podcast! It was five guys talking about The Monkees. We are talking about what I consider America’s first boy band.

There are a lot of female fans of The Monkees.

The demographic is about 70% female.

When I would go to a Monkees show, I was typically outnumbered gender-wise.

You were like, “Hey.”

I poke this Ken Mills guy on Facebook Messenger and say, “You’ve got an opportunity here.” He was like, “Do you want to get on the phone and talk for a minute?” We wind up talking for an hour. Things turn fuzzy and hazy. All of a sudden, I’m a co-host of the podcast. I’ve been doing it for the last seven years. It is a wonderful great hobby. I’ve met some of the best people you can imagine through it.

2016 was the 50th anniversary of The Monkees. There was a big album and a big concert tour. As everybody who tunes in to the show regularly knows, Tom runs The Family Arena in St. Louis. There was a big concert. He got The Monkees there. At that time, we all lived conveniently in the St. Louis area. We had a big Zilch podcast fan party and he helped coordinate it. He got us backstage. As much as I mock him, it’s like, “You helped me take the ten-year-old Sarah’s thing off the bucket list,” so we’re cool. We developed a friendship. I appeared on Reel Spoilers once and I’ve stayed in touch.

I’ve been in spin classes for many years since I lived in Oklahoma. I moved to Philly in 2018, so I lost my spin teacher. I didn’t like any of the places in Philly. There was this global pandemic. It screwed up my workout plans. I was gaining weight because I had a stressful job during the pandemic. I was like, “I got to get this under control.” I heard about Peloton the way most people do. It’s ambiently through pop culture.

I thought you meant from Crystal.

Also, from Crystal. She was on my Facebook feed. You were on my Facebook feed. I was hearing bits and pieces, the creepy ad in 2019, and all of that. Mid-2021 rolled around and I was like, “I am tired of the weight situation.” I had some other health problems that we’ll get into. I was like, “Doesn’t Tom and his wife do some Peloton thing?” I checked out your show and I started learning more about it. I downloaded the app and I took a few classes. I joined the Kool-Aid, so here I am now.

Did you buy one of the pieces of equipment or are you app-only?

I started out app-only because I’m a cheapskate. That’s why I waited so long to do it.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

I thought about that during the pandemic, but I kept hearing these things about six-month waits and stuff like that. I was like, “Nah.” Mid-2021 was when I decided that I needed to make a change health-wise, so I got the app. I was pedaling along with it on the crappy exercise bike in the gym to make sure I liked it, and I did. It was the thing I had liked most since the spin class I took.

I’m particular about what exercise I like because I was born with a congenital heart defect, which we’ll get into in a minute. I’m persnickety about the things that work for me because I’m also a very competitive person. Peloton hit that spot. The teaching was great. The instructors were awesome. It was very inspiring. In February 2022, I pulled the trigger and bought the bike.

It’s funny how Peloton works for people on so many different levels. We’ve had people that are like, “I’m super competitive and I love that.” We’ve also had people who are like, “I’m not competitive at all.” There’s also a version of Peloton that checks that box. It’s fascinating the way people can come to it wanting different things or polar opposites and still ending up loving it.

I’m a very competitive soul though when it comes to physical stuff. The best person I can be competing with is myself. I have a corrected congenital heart defect. I was born with something called transposition of the great arteries. That’s quite the mouthful but what it means is that the two big arteries that go into the top of my heart are supposed to be flipped, but they’re not flipped. It means that the oxygenated blood that was coming from my lungs was being sent back to my lungs and the non-oxygenated, which was supposed to go to the lungs, instead was being sent back out to the rest of the body. That’s not a good thing.

First off, how did they figure that out?

I was born and I came out an interesting shade of blue.

It was instantaneous.

They knew right away.

They knew pretty quickly. Fortunately, I was born in Northern Oklahoma. I was about 15 miles away from one of the best children’s hospitals in the country at the time, the Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma. Even now, they have a great pediatric cardiology department. They did a placeholder surgery when I was about two days old to widen an existing hole in my heart so the blood could oxygenate and mix. As a side note, that existing hole between my top two chambers is the same birth defect that Bradley Rose has.

At a year-and-a-half, I had my big surgery. They didn’t have the technologies yet to flip the arteries to where they were supposed to be, so they stuck a baffle in between my two atria, the two top chambers of the heart. The TLDR is for most people, your blood pumps from your left ventricle out to the rest of your body. That’s your workhorse ventricle. For me, it’s the right ventricle because my arteries are flipped. What that means in terms of Peloton and fitness is that my fifth gear is most people’s third gear. I can work plenty hard, but there’s a natural limit there. I can still do everything I need to do and about everything I want to do, but I’m never going to be running four-hour marathons or things like that.

Is that something you have to consciously do like, “I can feel myself getting to this point. I need to back off,” or it’s not an option and you cannot do it?

I physically can’t do it. One time, I remember I was in my 30s. I was taking Tai Chi classes and we all went to China. We climbed the Great Wall of China. I thought maybe I could get up to the third tower. I was like, “I’m going to do it.” I paced myself. I was done by the first tower. I could not physically go any further.

Instead of doing the Great Wall of China, you had to do the pretty good Wall of China.

I did the pretty average Wall of China. For somebody with a systemic right ventricle, it was pretty great. By nature, I am competitive and achievement-oriented, but I’m never going to be up there with those people who are pushing 1,000 watts on a ride even if their bike isn’t doctored.

I was like, “Neither are they.”

I get to compete with myself. That’s why I love Power Zone. That’s my bread and butter. I’m in the Power Zone pack. I do the challenges. For me, that is so wonderful because I’m competing against myself. How aerobically fit and how strong can I become? Can I do this ride a little bit better than the last one? That’s what keeps me going.

If you’re following along with their contests or whatever they do, they usually have a mixture each week of endurance, and then you’ve got your Power Zone Max. You’ve got a little bit of a mixture that’s trying to give you hard days versus easy days to build your base and your power at the same time. Are you able to do all types of rides or do you have to modify them a little bit?

So far, there hasn’t been any ride I haven’t been able to do. That’s the joy of the Power Zone. You go in and you take your FTP test. Like anybody else taking their FTP test, I ride my butt off for twenty minutes until I want to puke. It’s my puke point. Maybe it’s a little bit lower watts than other people’s puke points, but I am working at my level seven during those max sprints, just the same as theirs, even if it looks a little different. That’s what Power Zone gets you. It meets you where you are.

Peloton allows you to become the strongest and fittest person you can be while still balancing that with the rest of your life. Share on X

People think of that in terms of, “You’ve got to be this super athlete or this super intense person for Power Zone to make sense for you.” It’s quite the opposite. I was struggling early on in some of the non-Power Zone rides because their callouts might be talking to an average person’s moderate effort, but especially early on before I built up an aerobic break, I was huffing and puffing with Cody calling out these fair to midland call outs. I was hanging on for dear life.

I then go do Power Zone. Not only do I have the zone set for the Power Zone ride, but in between challenges, they are like, “This live ride looks cool. I want to take it.” I know that when they say 80 cadence, 50 resistance or whatever, it’s like, “I’m going to do a level four today.” I do whatever my zone four is and I bop along, and I do my thing. One of the beautiful things about Peloton and spin class is nobody knows where your resistance knob is turned.

That’s true. You love Peloton. Now that you’re here, what was it like before you found Peloton? I understand there was a weight loss journey in there somewhere too. Maybe tell us about that.

There’s a lot here. I’ve always been a little on the chunky side. It’s not bad, but a little bit. The last couple of years or so since I moved to Philly, it was getting a little bit more than I wanted it to be. I lost about 40 pounds back in 2011 and 2012 time frame. I had kept it off for a while, but I needed to lose 80 at that point. Between moving to Philadelphia, I was taking on a stressful job and a new situation. I moved halfway across the country and there was this pandemic in the middle of it.

They issue you cheese steaks when you enter the state.

I’m right down the hill from one of the famous places in town. Over those first couple of years that I was in Philadelphia, I gained back those 40 pounds. Plus, a few friends came along too. At this point, I was like, “I need to do something.” It’s Einstein’s old definition of insanity with doing the same thing and expecting different results. I’d always been able to lose weight, but never quite as much as I wanted to. I couldn’t keep it off. Eventually, life would get stressful or something would get crazy. The car would drive itself to Wendy’s and that would be the end of that.

What happened is I went in for my yearly checkup with my cardiologist. I hopped on the scale. I was already thinking I need to do something different about this weight loss thing because I’m tired of the yo-yo. I saw a number I had never seen before in the scale, and not in a good way. That’s not a great thing to have to happen right in front of your cardiologist. She’s like, “We need to talk about that.” It’s like, “I’ve been thinking about weight loss surgery. What do you think?” She said, “If you want to try it, you’d be a good candidate. My only requirement is you’ve got to do it here so I can interface with your surgeon and make sure that we’re all on the same page.” I was going to do that anyway, so I reached out to their bariatric surgery folks. They worked me up from one side down and the other.

I had to go through some educational stuff. In December of 2021, I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which is one where they take out 80% of your stomach. Honestly, the surgery itself was not that big of a deal. I was pleasantly surprised. Living on a liquid diet for two weeks was a little exciting, but that was the hardest part of it. I am always honest about how I lose weight. At this point, I’ve lost about 95 pounds from my highest weight.

They will say, “How did you do it?” I’m always honest. I said, “The standard stuff like diet and exercise, and I had 80% of my stomach removed.” There’s this stigma around it. People think it’s the easy way out or you’re cheating. I had abdominal surgery and I was drinking protein shakes for the better part of the month. At the end of the day, I still have to choose not to eat the cheeseburger. I have to choose when it’s 5:15 AM and I don’t want to workout to still get on the bike and let Olivia torment me for 45 minutes.

I know people who have had weight loss surgery and have rebounded.

It happens.

It’s not a magic bullet.

I also know people who have kept it off very successfully. The thing is you can’t just do the surgery and change anything else about your life, and expect it to work. It has to be that, plus the lifestyle changes.

That’s where the long-term hard work comes in about making the choices. That’s the misnomer that people have where they think that it’s the easy fix. They think it’s that moment of surgery and you’re done, but it’s all the decisions you make. It’s the long-term that goes into it every day.

I do think it makes it easier in that you’ve got that backstop of you can only eat so much food and then you are done. At the same time, you still have to think, “If I can only eat X ounces of food in a meal, what are those ounces going to be? Are they going to be lean protein and veggies, or are they going to be a cookie and Cheesy Poofs?” I’m no saint. I have the occasional little taste of fast food every now and then, but it’s a taste because I also know I got to hit my numbers for the day.

What happens if you eat too much food? Do you get sick or get uncomfortably full?

I’m really uncomfortably full. It was painful earlier on. I’m about a year out, so it’s not as painful. The main thing you have to do is you have to eat a little slower because you can go from zero to stuffed. It’s like the switch flipped. It’s like, “I’m done.” I can have three bites of food left and I can’t even do those. On Thanksgiving, you can keep shoving that last little bit of mashed potato. That isn’t happening anymore.

A question I always have about gastric bypass of any kind is I’ve always wondered, does it feel easier from the vantage point that you start knowing that you’re going to get thin as long as you follow directions? What I mean by that is if you start a prescribed diet and someone says, “Follow these “rules”,” you don’t know that you’re going to get to your goal weight. You were talking earlier about how you wouldn’t always necessarily get where you wanted to get. You lost weight but not where you wanted to get.

In my mind anyway with gastric bypass, I’ve always thought if you did the surgery, you know that you’re going to get there because your stomach is smaller. You can’t eat fast and you can’t eat large portions. At least at some point, you’re going to hit your goal weight. Even if you’re not doing all the things before you head back up, you’re going to go down. Does that make sense what I’m saying?

That makes sense. How I would fail on diets in the past is I would do fine for a few weeks, sometimes even a few months, and then some stressful thing in my life would happen and I would turn to food. One slipped meal became a slipped day and then became a slipped week. We all have known and have lived that particular life experience. It is still possible to do that, especially the further out you get from surgery. What it is, especially that first year or two years, is you could probably emotionally eat about half a cup, and then you’re done. That’s not going to help you too much psychologically. You can only do so much. You have to learn some other tactics for dealing with the reasons why you were eating in the first place.

It forces you to have different coping mechanisms.

It forces you to learn about your coping mechanisms.

Hopefully, in the interim, you don’t repeat it.

That is one thing I would say to anyone who’s thinking about weight loss surgery. The emotional and mental side of it is the more challenging part than the physical side. Eventually, that stuff is not that hard to figure out. You figure out how much protein you eat, take your vitamins, and eat enough veggies, and you’re good to go. The emotional stuff is when you can no longer eat a triple dip sundae and drown out whatever emotion you were trying to drown out with the food. You have to figure out another way to deal with those emotions.

I got a therapist. I started therapy a few months before I started surgery. It was probably the smartest thing I did. I would suggest that to anybody whether or not you’re getting the surgery or if you’re going on a weight loss journey because you are doing this for some reason. Maybe it’s because you think food tastes good, which it does. That is the other reason I did this. I’m not one of those people who could say, “I’m going to give up an entire food group forever.” I can eat whatever I want. I just eat a heck of a lot less of it.

I’m not good at giving up food groups. I like the food too much.

I only like junk food. That’s my problem. I can’t eat healthy things. I gag.

You are a unique case, Tom. I’m curious if you had to take any special precautions with the congenital heart defect as you went through your surgery. Did you have to do anything differently?

They kept an eye on my oxygen levels, blood pressure, and stuff like that, but nothing terribly fancy. It was hilarious. The anesthesiologist came in for the procedure like they always do. I always check in with them to make sure they’ve read my chart. I said, “Hi,” and he said, “I’m Dr. blah blah blah, I’ll be doing your anesthesia.” I said, “That’s great. You do know I’m a little quirky.” He knew all about it. In fact, he had done some research projects in the past with my cardiologist. I was like, “I’m in good hands here.”

There were some slightly different things with the anesthesia. It normally would be an overnight procedure. You’d go home the next day. They kept me an extra day to be cautious. Other than that, it was pretty normal. I’m lucky in that. For my condition, I’m pretty healthy. There are a lot of us who are pretty healthy, but you can’t have complications with it. That’s a big part of why I wanted to do something that was going to fix the weight thing once and for all. I knew it was an easy fix I could do to help my system be healthy for as long as it can be.

It’s never healthy to be overweight, but if you have a heart issue, that’s doubly so.

I know you told us a little bit about how you use Peloton by using Power Zone. When we were talking offline, you also mentioned you have leadership lessons from Peloton. I’m curious how this all came to be. What exactly is this?

I have been doing for a couple of years a leadership coaching stuff on the side. Tom knows I need to have twelve projects going at any one point or I go a little funny in the head. I started a project back in 2019 called the Kind Leadership Guild where I coach librarian educational leaders who want to build a better world without burning out. Most of us want to make a change in the world. We certainly don’t go into this for the money.

I am an academic library dean by trade. It’s an interesting world in education and in libraries now, not just the perennial things of too much to do and not enough money. There is a lot of political stuff getting involved in it that we will not get bored with. If you’re running a school, a library, a university, or anything like that, you’ve got a lot of different balls in the air. It’s easy to let yourself get burnout. I was seeing a lot of good people leaving the profession. I lived those struggles. I’m like, “How can we help people grow humanely, manage effectively, work together, and create collaboratively as a team to make things better for ourselves, as well as for the communities that we serve?”

I did some group coaching and some webinars on Zoom where I teach various lessons about leadership. A few years ago, it dawned on me that I know a little something about this podcasting business, which is part of why I hadn’t done it because I know how much work goes into this. I found something that I could do without burning out, which seems good since that’s a big part of my mission around Kind Leadership.

I created the Kind Leadership Challenge. It comes up every Monday morning. It’s a ten-minute podcast. You’ve got time to listen to it on your commute. It’s where I tell some sort of story around a common leadership challenge, problem or issue, and the way you can solve it. I challenge the listener like, “This week, go do this thing to improve your leadership practice.” It’s simple and straightforward. I’ve been getting a good response. If anybody wants to check it out, it’s, or you can type it into whatever doodad you’re tuning on Kind Leadership Challenge.

Because I started the podcast around the same time I started doing Peloton, it wound itself into a few episodes that I did. The first one was episode 10, which was about a month after I bought the bike when I recorded it. I was enthusiastic. I was getting on the bike all the time. I loved it. I was like, “This Cody guy is so silly. Denis is so cute.”

I was trying them all and I promptly pulled my shoulder because my handlebar wasn’t correct. I was like, “No.” I thought it was all going to fall apart because I was also early on in my weight loss journey. It taught me an important lesson about leaders who want to control everything and think they can control everything, but there are things they cannot control like spraining their muscles two weeks after buying the Peloton. What do you do when things don’t turn out as you expect them? That’s one episode I did on it.

There was another one, which is episode 25. It was this random day I was riding. It was for a Power Zone pack challenge. I was riding Matt Wilpers’s ride on a random Tuesday morning. He was talking about how sometimes your FTP scores go down or you have a bad ride and how those breakdowns or those setbacks are what make you stronger as a rider. I was like, “That’s also true for leaders when you have some sort of setback at work, a project doesn’t work out as the way you think, or some drama has broken out with your team that you have to deal with.” Those things are hard. Those are setbacks. There are struggles at the moment.

I know from my own practice as a leader that when you work through those problems and face them, so many times, you come back stronger for it. You’re better going on down the road for the next challenges that leadership’s going to throw your way. The third episode I did was episode 40. It was my 200th Peloton ride. I was able to take it live in the studio with Matt. That was my first live ride and hopefully, it will not be my last.

That taught me a bit of a lesson because I got on there. I don’t know if my legs were just tired because there had been a stressful week at work. I’d taken the train up to New York City from Philly or if there was something wrong with the calibration on the bike. I got on it and I was in no resistance at all. It was like pedaling through chocolate pudding. We had a whole day of sightseeing in Manhattan after this, and this was going to be a 60-minute ride. It was one of Matt’s long Saturday morning rides.

That’s why you’re like, “I need another bike.”

I was like, “What am I going to do?” That is where I tied that into the importance of knowing your goal for whatever it is you are doing as a leader and how sometimes, you have to adjust things on the fly. My goal for that day was not to knock out the best 60-minute ride in PR and all of that. My goal was to have a great weekend with my husband in New York City because we both had a stressful couple of months at work. That PZ ride very quickly became a Power Zone Endurance Ride. I had a lovely time. I pedaled along. Remember, nobody knows where your knob is turned at. Matt is as sweet as pie. I didn’t realize he was that short though.

He’s super short.

We had a great time. We got a great picture. I’ll send you that photo from our meet and greet. It was a wonderful experience because I didn’t push myself like, “I’ve got to do this crazy ride.” He was calling out a whole minute in zone six and craps like that. I was like, “That’s not happening today.” I am going to take that ride again sometime at home the next time I’m peeking for a Power Zone challenge. I will do it.

That was an important lesson for me in my personal journey, and also for a lot of leaders who want to always do their best. They want to always work hard and triumph over obstacles. You have to figure out, “What’s the most important goal? What’s the most important thing?” For that weekend, I was hanging out with my husband. For Peloton, for me, it is becoming the strongest and most fit person I can be while still balancing that with the rest of my life. Peloton allows me to do that very well.

Sometimes, it’s hard to know the difference between having realistic expectations and letting yourself off the hook. That can be a delicate line to walk. I see it with the concerts I do all the time. I want the concerts to make money but sometimes, you get a show where you’re like, “As long as I don’t lose as much money as I was on pace to lose, that’s a win.” If you make the losers lose less and the winners win a little more, then you’ll come out okay in the end. At that moment, you feel like a loser and you got to get out of that mindset. It’s not always easy.

That’s something where Peloton has helped me. You have a community but you’re also ultimately competing against yourself. As long as I am doing better than I was doing the last time I got on the bike, and it doesn’t even necessarily have to be that I got a better output, it’s that maybe my form was a little better, maybe I was a little more focused, or whatever it is. As long as I am becoming healthier than I was the previous day, then that’s a win. That’s something Peloton has brought into my life.

What is your leaderboard name?

My leaderboard name is OKLibrarian. It’s been my online handle for a long time. It used to mean that I was a librarian from Oklahoma, but since I’ve moved to Philly, I was like, “Do I change everything?” I quickly realized that since I had crossed over to the dark side and I’m a Sith Lord administrator type as the dean of the library, on my best days, I’m a mediocre OK librarian. If a student wanders up to me looking lost and says, “Can you help me find an article on such and such?” I could probably muddle through.

What about instructors? Do you have a favorite?

My sentimental favorite is Bradley. He’s so cute, cuddly, British, silly, and goofy. He’s a joy to ride. He’s easily my favorite non-Power Zone instructor because he’s fun. I love him for a great low-impact recovery ride. He has a corrected heart defect himself. I love seeing that kind of representation on Peloton as well. That’s awesome.

You’ve had some great people talking about all of the representation for different physical abilities that Peloton has been doing. I hope they do more on that front, both the visible disabilities, like things they’ve been doing with Logan, and also invisible disabilities, like what I’ve got going on. There are a lot of us out there. If you’re not disabled yet, you will be at some point in time, earlier or permanently. We’re all going down the same road.

It’s such a crazy thought because I had never considered that. We had Mindy on and she said that. We all are one thing away from being disabled.

If you last long enough, you’ll probably get there.

If I want a solid coaching section, that’s Matt or Denis because they’re both such great teachers. Denis maybe has better music, but they’re both good in their ways. If I need somebody to kick my ass, that’s Olivia. I enjoy Christine for mental health stuff. If I need a soothing, reassuring voice in my ear, I got it. She’s only a few years older than me because she plays a lot of ‘90s Gen X-type stuff. I know I’m going to get some Alanis Morissette when I ride with her. That’s always good.

I have been doing a lot more strength in the last few months. I’ve been doing a little but I amped it up. Thank you, Angelo, from MetPro for answering my question a few months back and giving Tom the perfect opportunity for the Texas Prairie Chicken joke. I’ve been trying out the split strength program, which is awesome. I don’t have to pick between 300 arm classes to decide what I’m going to do. It’s like, “For the next six weeks, I’m going to do Jermaine’s split. That’s the one I’m doing now. I’m enjoying him.

Compare yourself to yourself if you have to compare yourself to somebody. Don't get too focused on accomplishments. Just figure out how to be better than you were yesterday. Share on X

I like a lot of the London instructors. It’s their vibe. Nothing gets the New York crowd. I’ve got a lot of favorites there too, but he’s got this chill and mellow vibe. He’s another one that kicks your butt without you realizing it. I am enjoying his strength classes. I’m looking forward to trying more of the strength instructors. I’ll go around and learn more about that.

That’s wonderful.

Do you have any advice for people entering the world of Peloton?

I know this is said to everybody. I did this because I heard somebody say this on the show. One of the smartest things I did at the beginning was I took a beginner ride with every single instructor first because I wanted to know what the beginner rides were. I wanted to make sure their notion of a beginner was going to gel with what I could do as a beginner. It turned out it could. It was fine. I took a ride with every instructor because I’m a dork. I even jotted down afterward what I liked about them, what I disliked about him, and how I vibe. Some of those things shifted around.

I didn’t like Leanne much at first, but as I took more rides with her, I liked her a lot more. There were other people. It helped me hone in on what I liked as an instructor. I discovered that on different days, in different moods, and in different kinds of workouts. I enjoyed different things. That’s why I listed off half a dozen people when you said, “Who’s your favorite?”

The other thing is something I’ve already said here a few times, which was the magic of Peloton for me. It’s something I learned about long before my fitness journey led me to Peloton. It’s not to compare yourself to other people. That way lies madness. I don’t care what your physical situation is because that’s the people I see get into trouble. I go online into a Facebook group and I see somebody talking about having done three hours’ worth of spin classes a day. Sometimes, I see things and think, “That’s not a very different mindset from when I was eating too many chili cheeseburgers.” It’s unhealthy in its way too.

People get into this thing of they have to be the best. They have to be the strongest. They have to get up the leaderboard. Don’t compare yourself. Compare yourself to yourself if you have to compare yourself to somebody. That is one of the things that allows me to get so much joy from Peloton even though I will probably never get above the bottom quarter of the leaderboard. I’m still happily high-fiving whoever I see over there. That’s all that’s useful. Don’t compare yourself. Don’t get too focused on accomplishments. Figure out how to be better than you were yesterday.

There are lots of us fun people down there at the bottom.

All the coolest people are down there.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. Before we let you go, remind everybody where they can find you and your stuff.

I’ve got several bits of stuff. I’ve got two different podcasts that may intrigue you depending on what kind of nerd you are. If you’re a Tom kind of a nerd, you will want to check out Zilch A Monkees Podcast!, which you can find on the player that you are using. You can also type Zilch into Google. We have a very active Facebook group. You can find us there. We talk about any and everything Monkees, so enjoy it. Check it out soon. If you like what you hear from Tom on the show and want to hear more Monkees chit-chat, then you can find it there.

If you are a leader type, somebody who is an educational leader, library leader, or any kind of leader who is focused on building a better world with what you do in your organization but you don’t want to burn out or go broke in the process, check out my podcast. It’s at You can sign up for all the things. I have a Facebook group as well, Kind Leadership Challenge. I’m active on LinkedIn as well. You can find that under my regular name, Sarah Clark. Type in Sarah Clark Kind Leadership and you should be able to find me on LinkedIn as well. Those are the main places folks will find me on socials.

Thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Thanks for having me. I enjoyed this show. You do a great thing for the community. It’s been a pleasure.

Thank you.

I guess that brings this episode to a close. Until next time, where can people find you?

In Norwalk, apparently. Also, you can find me on Facebook at They can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and the Peloton leaderboard @ClipOutCrystal.

You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at You can find the show online on While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Of course, don’t forget our YouTube channel,, where you can watch all of these episodes. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running and rowing.


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About Sarah Clark

TCO 291 | Weight Loss SurgeryDr. Sarah Clark empowers educational leaders to heal workplace drama, defensiveness, and burnout–in ten minutes or less!






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