While there are lots of people out there bragging about losing weight or breaking other habits that aren’t serving them, there aren’t many people sharing their success with quitting pornography. This fosters a belief that quitting porn is impossible, or that you have to be stuck with this habit forever, and this is just not true.
This is why I love sharing success stories from my clients. Chaz is one of them, and he’s got so many great insights to share with us about his journey in this week's episode. There are specific challenges around quitting porn, especially if you’ve been raised in a conservative religion, and as a member of the LDS Church, Chaz did the work to challenge some of those narratives while continuing to keep his faith.
Join us this week as Chaz shares his experience of struggling with pornography and learning the skills of overcoming this habit, all while making it work within his faith beliefs. He’s sharing the trajectory of his porn use, why he felt stuck, and the concepts that made the biggest difference in helping him get out of this cyclical loop.
You are listening to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast episode 101, What’s Possible with Chaz.
Welcome to the Overcome Pornography for Good podcast, the show that will teach you how to stop viewing pornography and never go back to it. If you want to learn how to train your brain out of a pornography habit, completely shame-free, then this is the show for you. I’m your host Sara Brewer, a certified life and faith-based coach.
Hey everyone, welcome to the podcast episode this week. It is the middle of December when you're listening to this. And I am still doing a handful of classes, Five Easy and Proven Methods To Guarantee That You Quit Porn in 2023. If you weren't able to attend the other ones, go and check out that link, it's sarabrewer.com/fiveeasymethods to see if we have another class coming up. There should be at least one, maybe two more classes this month by the time you hear this podcast episode.
What I'm going to be sharing with you today is a great interview that I recorded quite a while ago. It was maybe near the beginning of the year, with an individual who is in my program, who I've worked with. He has some really great insights that I wanted to share with you. And it's really important to share people who are having success stories because it helps build this belief that we can be successful too.
Like I've said before, you know, everyone wants to brag about the weight they've lost, or the money they've made, or, you know, their big goals they've had. But no one is really bragging about quitting porn out there. And so because of that, because we don't hear about it, it can foster this belief, you know, oh, people don't quit porn. Like once you have it, you're stuck with it forever. And that's just not true. It's just not true.
So that's the purpose of these interviews is to help you see what's possible for you. To listen to these stories and be like, hey, if they can do this, maybe I can too. And this interview is specifically going to be really great for those of you who are religious or come from religious backgrounds. This individual shares his experience with working through porn, learning these skills and making it work within his religion.
I do want to mention though, because whenever I do share stories like these and they're like religion specific, the program and my approach is very inclusive. That is one of my values. One of my big values is that we are inclusive of people with all types of beliefs and backgrounds. We are inclusive of whether you want to quit porn cold turkey, or you just want to cut back on your porn use. We don't put our morality onto other people, and we don't have other people do that in the program or in coaching calls.
You'll find that we're pretty nuanced in our views. And our goal is to be inclusive, inclusive, inclusive. Not just inclusive of religions, inclusive of sexual orientation, inclusive all the ways that we can be. And I actually am doing some new trainings starting in March that will help me build a more inclusive based business.
So I do just want to throw that in there for those of you who are listening who maybe are not religious, or don't identify with this specific type of religion. It applies to everyone, and it works for everyone.
And there are specific challenges of quitting porn that come with being raised in conservative religion, like you've heard me talk about over and over and over again in the podcast. And we can start to challenge some of those narratives and those paradigms that are harmful and making it difficult for us while continuing to keep our faith if we want to do that.
Okay, so enjoy this interview.
One last thing I want to say, this is really important, so listen up. The price of Overcome Pornography For Good, which is my lifetime access coaching program, is going up at the end of the year. And so January 1st, the price is going up. This should be released December 19th and so I want to give you plenty of time.
If you're on my email list, or if you follow me on social media, you'll see that I've been posting about this. But I do want to give those of you who want to get in at the current price, I want to give you a lot of time in advance to be aware that the price is going up.
And so remember, this is lifetime access. Once you're in, you're in for life, we work with you until you quit. If you sign up for a payment plan, that payment plan will stay the same. And so the payment plan won't go up at the beginning of the year. Or if you pay in full, just pay that one time in full and then you have access to it forever, even after the price increase.
You also will get access to all the things we're going to be adding next year. So next year, we're going to be adding more marriage call and relationship help. We're going to be adding some extra specific coaching calls around the milestones, more workshops, lots of good stuff. So you get access to all of that and any updates that happened in the future once you join.
For those of you that have had it on your mind, I want to make sure that you know ahead of time that the price is going to be going up January 1st. So it's a great time to get in before the end of the year if you're planning on it.
And for those of you who want to know more about the program, I will be talking about it in depth and answering any questions at the end of my free class on Thursday. So that's one of the best places to go to learn about the program in depth and to have your questions answered about it, is going to be this live class on Thursday. You can sign up for that for free sarabrewer.com/fiveeasymethods.
The first half of the class is going to be me teaching and sharing great things. And then the last half of the class is for those of you who are interested in working with me a little bit more, I'll be talking about those opportunities. Okay, that's it. Quite a few announcements, but there you go. Enjoy this interview.
Sara: Okay, you guys, I want to introduce you to Chaz. Chaz, you want to say hi?
Chaz: Hi, everyone.
Sara: Awesome. He's so great. He's so great, I love him so much. So glad you're here. So grateful you're here. Do you want to introduce you and tell us a little bit about you and your story?
Chaz: Sure, yeah. My name is Chaz, I am a 26 year old marketer based in Utah. I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm recently married, I married the love of my life, her name is Karen. We got married last November and we're living in a basement apartment in Pleasant Grove, Utah. And we're just getting started on our feet.
And yeah, I love to play the piano. I'm very much a creative. So I'm a musician, I am a content creator, I have my own podcast about motivation, self-help, and determination that I do on my own.
Sara: I didn’t know that.
Chaz: I do. Yeah, it's called Chats with Chaz.
Sara: Chats with Chaz.
Chaz: Very fun.
Sara: Everyone go look it up.
Chaz: Yeah. And I just, I am a big fan of self-improvement, of creating the life that you've always wanted to have. And I've struggled with pornography since age 12. And I know that this is part of my journey to progress and to become the person I want to be.
Sara: Cool. Very cool. So you struggled with pornography since you were 12. Tell us a little bit about that journey.
Chaz: I remember I was cleaning out the duplex of my parents’ house that we used for like extra income and the previous tenant had left behind a whole bunch of garbage. And so the whole family got together to trash the place and clean it up. And I found a magazine and I thought, “This is a bad magazine.”
It was my first interaction, so I knew what to do with it, I'd go throw it away. But curiosity got the best of me and I'm like, “I know what I'll do. I will throw it away one page at a time. So I would rip it out and I’d throw it away, I'd rip it out and I’d throw it away.
Sara: That’s awesome.
Chaz: Kids are creative, you know? It’s like we're curious, we want to know. So I threw it away one page at a time. And that started a trend of curiosity.
Looking back, I now recognize that I have a bit of this kind of behavior in my genetics. My dad also had a habit with pornography. And then my dad also was addicted to, or my grandpa was addicted to alcohol, and he died being an alcoholic and smoking a lot. So I have that a lot in my family on my father's side.
So age 12, I knew it was bad. I looked at it anyway. And I got to the point where I was looking at it hours and hours at a time, almost on a daily basis. And it got so bad that I would close my eyes and I would still see the images. And I hated myself. It was a dark time, you know, I'm only 12, 14, 15. I know it's not good. I was always a member of the church. I strongly believe in God, and I know looking at that stuff isn't good for you.
Sara: Yeah, that's so hard and sad because at the same time you're 12 and going through puberty.
Chaz: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and of course my hormones are going off the charts. I like what I'm looking at and I couldn't face them. No, I shouldn't because it's bad. And I could feel that it was dissonance to my inner moral beliefs. It didn't feel right to what I believed, but it felt right to how my body felt.
Chaz: So I went through a long period of talking with bishops. I always confessed to my mom. I could never keep a secret from my mom, we were always really, really close. Especially after my parents divorced, I always took care of my mom, and she took care of me. So I didn't keep secrets from my mom. I kept secrets from the rest of the world. And I always carried that with me thinking, if anyone knew my dark little secret they would know that I am worthless, that I don't matter because I look at porn, right?
And that was my little secret that I carried all up until my mission. I worked with bishops, some of them good, some of them bad. Some bishops really introduced the concept of shame to me, right? If you love God, then you will forsake these sins. And if you're not forsaking it, it must mean you don't love God, right? That concept got introduced to me and it hurt. And it was really, really hard. And I didn't like talking to the bishop.
But the one thing I love about myself is I didn't care about how I felt, I cared about obeying God. So I kept talking to those bishops. And I got sober, you know, sober enough for three or four months to determine, yes, you should go on a mission.
So I served a mission in Mexico. For two years I went without looking at porn. I worked on a daily basis in the service of others. I preached faith, and humility, and patience, and love for other people. Sorry, I'm getting really emotional. That was a very, very emotional experience for me to be in the service of others for two years, it was wonderful.
I returned home from my mission very gung-ho, you know, very animated, very motivated to be this new man converted in Christ, right? But the thing is, when you’re released as a missionary you're not given a lot of guidance and you slip back into old habits. And it's not expected that you put on a tie and a shirt, and you preach about Christ anymore.
No, go watch movies, go listen to music, go get a degree, go out, get a girlfriend, right? It's a different lifestyle and I slipped back into pornography. Because you know what? Life was hard. I faced a lot of self-criticism, I was still afraid of my dirty little secret. And I started looking at pornography again. And that shame compounded.
Sara: That transition is so difficult, from being a missionary to coming home. In fact, I don't know if you know this, but that's how I started coaching, is I started coaching returned missionaries.
Chaz: Yes. I did know that, yeah.
Sara: And then that's when we got into specifically porn, because your story, I know, just will resonate with a lot of people. It’s something I heard a lot. So anyways.
Chaz: Yeah, I knew that your program, Tammy Hill had said that you give free workshops specifically for returned missionaries. And that's what got me to go and listen to you, because I knew that you'd get me. The shame that's incorporated with being a man of God for two years and telling people to obey God, when I myself felt like a hypocrite. I’m like I can't even do the basics of not lusting after my eyes, you know?
And I felt like I'm a liar, I’m a hypocrite. And I couldn't say that out loud. I couldn't let anybody know. I didn't feel like I felt so alone. No one knew who I really was. If they knew who I really was, no one would love me. And I couldn't face that, and I ran from that all the time.
So I buffered, you know? I ran away and I coped with that shame, with that self-loathing a lot. Video games, over eating, more porn, you know, take your pick. I would always jump from one to the other. I wasn't a total degenerate, I read my scriptures, I loved other people. I'm active in my church. I go to church every single week, I read my scriptures. And so my faith is strong, but there's that little thing that I was always ashamed of.
I knew I wasn't a horrible person, but I felt deep deep down that I was a liar. So I'd gone to ARP meetings, I’d gone to 12 step programs, right? I'm very grateful for the church and I'm grateful that they introduced the concept of grace, that Christ had helped me, you know, as an example. Jesus Christ saved me enough to send me on a mission.
He saved me enough to introduce me, to teach me about revelation, where I believe that the higher being gives me thoughts in my mind and feelings in my heart to do what is right. Which led me to these programs, which led me to self-help, which led me to this program, to your program now.
I do believe my savior, Jesus Christ, has directed me and hasn't given up on me. And I hadn’t given up on myself. Unfortunately, at the time, those 12 step programs weren’t cutting it for me. I still had the habit of porn and I told myself I'm an addict. I'm an addict because I keep looking at it. I want to quit, I won't quit, I must be addicted to it. And I carried that shame and that label with me.
I graduated from college, and I had been working in Texas. And for a whole year I lived by myself, no roommates, I just lived by myself. And that was probably the worst year of my life because although it looked like I was great, I had a full time job, I was actually living above the garage of my dad's garage. So I didn't have to pay rent, so that saved me a ton of money. But with that money I bought video games, I bought food, I was totally unsupervised, so my porn usage went up.
And I was lonely. I felt like a fake. I didn't relate to any people in my community. I went to a church, a congregation that is primarily young, single adults. So technically I was surrounded by people like me, and I just didn't feel like I belonged. I was very sad. And I ended up moving from Texas back to Utah because I wanted more dating prospects.
And I did, I ended up meeting my now wife, Karen. And I can't keep a secret from those that I love. I learned that from my mom. So when I started dating I told Karen I struggle with pornography. And she accepted me, she loved me, and she didn't shame me. And that's why I love her.
And at the time she introduced me to Tammy Hill. And she's fantastic, a marriage and family therapist at BYU. And she's a sex therapist, she gives shout outs all the time on her Instagram, and one of them was you, Sara. And you gave these free workshops on how to overcome pornography without shame. And I'm like, that's exactly what I'm looking for. Yes, I would love to work on porn after all these years.
26 years old, started at age 12, and knowing that I needed to get rid of all this. I wanted to be the man I want to be, you know? A man of God, a man of principle, honest, true. Where when you look at me and you see me the way I act, I am the way I act. There is no lie. There's no hypocrisy. I want people to know this is me and I'm worth something.
So I said yes, if it's a free workshop, I'm there. Let's do it. I hopped on very skeptical, obviously, because nothing's worked until now. And I'm like, it couldn't hurt to learn. So I learned. And you gave some really great concepts that were new to me, and it made sense. It was right. A couple of specifics were the pendulum theory.
And this will relate to a lot of people, you have two options. You can either willpower, most people call it white knuckling it and you don't look at porn, don't look at porn, but I really want to, until you're exhausted. And you're like, you know what? Just give in, fine. And then you binge, and you look at and you feel awful, right? And you're like, I shouldn't do it. All right, I’m back on the grind, I'm not going to do it. And you swing the other way, and you go for a long time. And I just felt trapped.
And you introduced me to this idea, there's a third option, let the pendulum swing to a standstill. And then you taught me about Pavlov's dogs, right? Where we trained them to salivate at the sound of the bell. But what most people don't know is that he also deconditioned them. Ring the bell and don't give the treat. Allow that natural neurological response to swing to a standstill. And you can then decondition your mind.
I related to that, especially when you said that missionaries who go on missions, that's not deconditioning, that's simply not ringing a bell. We just hid that bell in the closet for two years, right? That's not recovery. And that resonated with me. And I said yes, absolutely.
And then I discovered you had a podcast, a free podcast. I’m like, what? Let's learn more. And I just started listening and listening. And you taught me these concepts that were revolutionary. And that's when I decided to sign up for your classes, Sara.
So today, I went from looking at porn on a weekly basis to a monthly basis or even more than that. I changed in so many ways. Primarily, I changed my mindset. So a lot of the things that I didn't realize was the negativity that abounded in my own mind.
I had a lot of my own issues that contributed to my porn use. One of them being I was always thinking super negatively. And what I mean by that is I would always visualize all these different scenarios of how I might fail at something. And if I thought, if I can plan for how I would fail, or visualize every negative scenario, then it wouldn't hurt as bad because it wouldn't come as a surprise, right?
But all that negativity just made me afraid, made me buffer, made me want to cope with it. So I turned to porn. And what you taught me is, it's okay to visualize success and you're okay. And you challenged my beliefs. This is something that I believe you've taught in a free podcast, but I would highly encourage people to learn directly from you and your course, is the model, right?
You introduced the concept that we have thoughts in our minds, which makes us feel things. And our feelings make us act. And our actions create outcomes. And for the longest time my outcome was stuck in a cyclical loop of, I feel bad, I hate myself, I look at porn. I know I shouldn't do that, I hate myself, I feel bad, I look porn. And I kept getting stuck.
But the model freed me from that because I was feeling bad. And you said, “Okay, wait, stop. You're feeling bad, but what thoughts are contributing to those feelings?” And I would tell you my legitimate thoughts and you said, “Okay, but can we challenge those? Is there evidence to the contrary?
Is there evidence that you can be free of this? Is there evidence that you've had days without looking at porn? Is there evidence that you have demonstrated grit, determination? Is there evidence that you showed commitment?” And I said yes. Yes, yes, yes to all of that.
How does that make you feel? It makes me feel self-confident. What does that make you want to do? It makes me want to keep going. It makes me want to sit with my urges and not act on them, right?
For any young man that is listening and they're asking themselves, “What's the secret formula for getting out of this loop?” It's this program. There's nothing wrong with your desires. You don't love porn. I know you want to quit porn, you just never have been taught how.
Chaz: And Sara, you teach that. You teach how. You teach the tools necessary in our minds to get out of the cyclic loop. And that’s all people need.
Sara: Yes. And you are such a great example of someone who does the work, and a really, truly great example of what's possible, where you can be. And I just so appreciate your story and you sharing your story because that's a real place a lot of people are in, which is very hopeless.
Sara: And fearful, and scared, and thinking that there's something wrong with them. That they're addicted and they're never going to be able to change.
Sara: But is that true?
Chaz: No. No, it's not true. I'm telling you, there's some good programs out there. A lot of them will help you recover from pornography. In my opinion, Sara is the best.
Sara: Well thank you.
Chaz: Your program and what you teach is the best.
Sara: Oh my gosh, beautiful. Beautiful, Chaz. Thank you so, so much. I really appreciate having you on today.
I want to invite you to come and listen to my free class, How To Overcome Pornography For Good Without Using Willpower. We talk about how to stop giving into urges without pure willpower or relying on phone filters so that you can actually stop wanting pornography.
We talk about how to stop giving up after a few weeks or months. And spoiler alert, the answer isn't have more willpower. And then lastly, we talk about how to make a life without porn easily sustainable and permanent.
If you're trying to quit porn, this class is a game changer. So you can go and sign up at Sarabrewer.com/masterclass and it is totally free.