Disable Your Disability Interview with Tony Jacobsen

In Books, Entertainment by Nathasha Alvarez1 Comment

Disable your disability author's face smiling at the camera

Tony Jacobsen

There’s a guy named Tony Jacobsen who has my same condition, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, we met via social media because he is the guy behind Disable Your Disability.  Now many of you who know me know that cutesy names regarding people with disabilities just don’t make me go woo hoo with enthusiasm!  But I bonded with Tony. I invited him into my exclusive AudacityMagazine secret Facebook group.

Meet Tony Jacobsen

Turns out Tony wrote a book about his healthy lifestyle change called Disable Your Disability.

Now I’m thinking, um yeah ok Tony, you have my disability but you walk. In my mind, people who walk don’t always know what we wheelie people know. You know? Supposedly, he had written it for people with physical disabilities. Now I’m even more skeptical because you know, he walks.

I read Disable Your Disability and I interviewed him via web cam. In order to maintain my integrity, I’m going to give you my honest, brutally honest opinion about the book! It is really good! But before I get into the Disabled Your Disability let me tell you about my first web cam conversation with Tony.

Tony has Type 1 in the spectrum of Osteogenesis Imperfecta. I don’t know what I really have and honestly I don’t really care. But for the sake of those people who like labels, I think I’m between a 2 and 3. I’m super short and I’ve broken my bones over 100 times. Probably twice that many times but really who the heck counts more after 100? Show offs! 

So I’m really honest with Tony about my skepticism regarding his book on weight loss.  He’s very cool about it.  It turns out that he’s not really going to give us a HOW TO lose weight because we all know there is way too much information about what to eat, which exercises to do, how much water to drink. It’s at our fingertips with the Internet.

Tony Jacobsen is about changing the mindset. Turns out he and I have that in common. Change your mindset and you change your life.  Before I even read the book, Tony told me that as a community of people with physical disabilities we could do more to help ourselves be healthier. He said it’s really about what we are willing to do. 

The more I spoke to him, the more I realized that he wasn’t like many other health coaches and motivational speakers (yes, he’s also that) who act as if they are the greatest messiah. He was down to earth. Speaking with him was like reconnecting with an old friend.  He spoke with a BEEN THERE, DONE THAT and TOTALLY GET YOU tone that made you feel comfortable enough to discuss topics that many people with physical disabilities don’t always want to talk about until it’s too late.

Impact After Talking to Tony Jacobsen 

For me, dying is a big deal. I don’t mean dying of old. I mean dying because of something related to my physical disability. But I don’t want to die because of something related with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. In our conversation, I confessed that to him. He totally understood. He explained that part of his unhealthy lifestyle was because of his thoughts regarding his physical disability. There’s this constant need to always be safe for people with Osteogenesis Imperfecta as well as other types of physical disabilities. But when you can crack a rib from a sneeze, trust me, being safe is much more of a challenge than you think.

I was very impressed with Tony’s message. At least to me, it came across that he wanted to be a part of my healthy lifestyle. We didn’t discuss my health in specifics. To be honest, most of the conversation had little to do with the book or losing weight. It was about our mindset. But I knew after speaking with him that I had to buy the book. So I did!

But not right away. Oh no. My conversation with Tony lingered in my head for weeks. I had already started an exercise routine in February. My goal was to exercise every day for 100 days straight. But then I got a really bad cold. To me, a cold means 911. So I stopped working out consecutively. Then on March 1st I started again. By the time I spoke to Tony, I was some time into my 100 day challenge. His words helped me to continue the challenge even after long hours at work as a teacher. His insight, compassion, passion, and articulate personality was in my mind during my 10 minute work outs which gradually increased to 20 minutes.

NOW, remember! I hadn’t read Disable Your Disability yet. So imagine this. If he had this affect on me over my health after ONE webcam conversation, what could his book do for me?

I read it. I can tell you. It’s not what this book did for me that was important, it’s what this book will do for you. I strongly suggest that you not only buy the book but also connect with him via social media. He does online web talks, he replies to everyone. He is willing to be real. Not pushy. Not abrasive. Just real talk. Real advice.

So now you are thinking, ok, Nathasha, we get it. But tell us about Disable Your Disability. Ok! Ok!

First, if you have OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) you might not love everything he says. That’s ok. You might not have had his experiences but that doesn’t mean you should ignore his wisdom. He’s a certified personal trainer with OI. You know you are going to learn something.

The first part of the book is about his life. I really hate those parts of a book when it’s supposed to be a how to book. Don’t you? Except that Tony Jacobsen writes it smoothly. He doesn’t tell you every little detail about his life. He finds a way to make his story flow like an exercise circuit at the gym. You get into his mindset. You might not agree with him but it was his life, not yours. If it gets you edgy then skip over to part 2. However, I liked knowing what he went through in life. I enjoyed the I LOVE LUCY part as well.

But you can skip that and get to the juicy parts. It’s not always about what you put in your mouth. It’s mostly about what you put in your mind. According to Tony, “Changing the way we think will change the things we say, which will change the actions we take, which will change the life we live, which will change the way we think.”

It’s a great cycle to live by. Many of us have seen variations of this mindset. But why don’t more of us in the community of physical disabilities apply it to ourselves? Tony and I spoke about that. Sometimes, we are coddled by our parents to the extent that we do nothing for ourselves. There are many other reasons but Tony prefers to focus on what we can do for ourselves.

I love the part where he says, “One huge thought that’s going to have to change is the idea that you have to get somewhere before you start.” So many people do that. People with physical disabilities do it. People without physical disabilities do it. They are usually called excuses. I know someone who wants to lose weight but always pushes the starting line farther away. She’s never going to start. It’s hilarious.

Tony says, start now. You know how it goes, where ever you are, you are there. So begin already. (Side note: Love it!)

He gives the reader practical formulas to produce S.M.A.R.T.E.R Goals. (Oh you want to know about that? Buy the book or chill with Tony.)

If you are person with a physical disability wondering if Tony Jacobsen’s advice can help you, I’m letting you know that that’s a solid yes.

You have to read The 4 POINTS to PROPER FITNESS in his book. Point #1 is on point! Pun intended! Tony likes puns.  Point #1 is Access your Abilities. It’s not one of those kumbaya phrases. He’s basically saying that you should take inventory of what you can do and do that.  He has more details but here’s an example that popped into my mind when I read it.

Once at an OI Convention, we had a dance night. Not all of us have the same ability and flexibility in our bodies even if we have the same disability. One of us used a motorized wheelchair. Her name was Jenny. We played Dancing Queen. The only thing she could do was to move her fingers to control the joystick and spin round and round. I thought it was crazy. She told me, come on! So I made 360 circles with manual wheelchair as we both looked up at the ceiling. It was fun and crazy.  She did what she could. I did what I could. That mindset is POINT #1 in Tony’s book.

Go read Disable Your Disability! 

People with physical disabilities who want a healthier lifestyle should read his book.  People without physical disabilities who want a healthier lifestyle should read his book.  Disable Your Disability, I might not fully understand what Tony means by that so my interpretation of his motto is that I shouldn’t let my OI get the best of me.

Thank you, Tony Jacobsen for the encouraging, insightful, and controversial conversation. I know you will definitely help those who want to help themselves.

As for you my audacious readers, you have one mind, one body and one life. So you can get with this (healthy lifestyle) or you can get with that (unhealthy lifestyle) but I think you’ll get with this (healthy lifestyle) because this is where it’s at.   (A little flashback to Black Sheep! Keeping it real with Tony!)

To buy the book, check out Tony Jacobsen’s website!

PS.  Tony Jacobsen’s Youtube Channel 

       Tony Jacobsen’s Instagram 

After you buy the book, come back and read my thoughts on death.