0:00:03.3 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 96 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm gonna talk all about programming your workouts. I get asked a lot, "How do you put together a workout? Can I put together my own workouts? If I do, how do I do that? What do I need to consider?" So we're gonna chat through all of that today. Let's go.
0:00:25.9 Kim Schlag: Hello, how are you? Coming to you today, it's a Thursday. I've worked out, I've gone for a walk in the beautiful spring air, I've played with my new puppy. I don't know if you've seen her yet. If you haven't, you have to check out my Instagram and you'll see my cute new Lily May. She is a mini goldendoodle. She has been with us for a week and two days now. Wow, do I feel like a newbie? I do not know what I'm doing. We do not know what we are doing with this dog. We are sure trying our best. She's 11 weeks old, super duper cute, really smart.
0:01:05.4 Kim Schlag: She gets out of every kind of baby gate situation we've tried arranging, so either she has to be in her crate, or our eyes have to be fixed on her every second because she just... [chuckle] If she gets left in the living room and somebody walks next door to the kitchen, she's just gonna run. My husband had her in this cute little pen we have in the living room and ran upstairs... I don't know, he went to get something, his phone, I think he forgot his phone... And he came down the steps and there she was in our front hallway, which is nowhere near our living room. So she's smart, and we're gonna try and learn to be smarter. Going to a trainer today. First lesson with Lily May. So that's what's new with me. Hope things are well in your neck of the woods.
0:01:49.3 Kim Schlag: So today, let's talk about programming your workouts. Should you even be writing your own training programs? It's a really good question, and the answer is, it depends, just like with many things. If you love learning about programming, and you want to read about programming, and study about programming, and practice and try different things to learn more about programming, sure. It's a great way to learn. Program for yourself, read other people's programs, and try things, and see what questions come up. It's a fantastic way to learn how to program.
0:02:20.2 Kim Schlag: If you just want some results, you wanna get stronger, you wanna build muscle, you wanna improve your overall fitness level, you wanna lose fat, then no. Writing your own workouts is not the best way to go. It's like fixing your own car. Could you do it? Sure. I'm sure I could fix my own car. I have zero idea how to do that, kind of like with my new puppy. I have zero idea what I'm doing. I'm sure I can be an expert at training this puppy soon. I'm sure if I wanted to, I could become an expert on fixing my minivan. Should I do that? Probably not. It's not super interesting to me. I wanna have a great minivan to drive... Well, I don't really want a minivan, but it's what I have... But to do it right, you're gonna need to spend a lot of time learning. Just like if you wanna put a new engine in your car, you're gonna have to study a lot. You're gonna be reading books, and talking to mechanics, and watching YouTube, and trying and failing and messing up. Is that what you wanna do? Do you wanna spend your time doing that, or do you just wanna pay a good mechanic, so they fix your engine and you just get to drive the minivan?
0:03:24.0 Kim Schlag: That's what I would say. Same thing here. I would say most of you should be following a training program, not designing your own, but it can help a lot to understand more about what goes into designing a training program. So whichever camp you fall into, whether you really should be a person who's following another training program, or whether you want to give a go at writing your own, I think today's podcast episode will be interesting to you. And if you do wanna follow a training plan written by someone else, you don't have to spend a lot of money. You can. You could hire a coach. I'm accepting applicants. I have a really long wait list, but you could certainly get on the list and I will program for you, but it doesn't have to be expensive.
0:04:04.9 Kim Schlag: There are free programs out there that are good. There are low-cost programs out there, monthly memberships, but following a dedicated training program is going to get you really good results versus just trying a little of this and a little of that, and making up stuff. So whichever way you go, you want to have a training program that involves progression, that involves you doing the same thing week after week, minimum four weeks. You should be doing the same workouts, four to six to eight, you could go longer, but probably somewhere four, six, eight weeks, doing the same training programs. Each Monday, you do the same program, or each first day of your training week, you do the first... You do that same training program for a minimum of four weeks. So that's really important, don't just go grabbing a swipe workout you find on Instagram and then getting another one for the next week. It's not gonna give your body the stimulus it needs to change.
0:05:00.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, so let's hop into this. Step one. What do you need to do if you're gonna write your own training program? Step one is to get clear on your goal, because the goal determines the training. Do you wanna run your first 5K? Do you wanna have defined arms? Do you wanna do a pull up? Do you wanna lose weight? Do you wanna get super strong? Now, look, I don't program for running at all. I do support runners with strength training programming. My discussion today is going to be around specifically strength training, getting strength, gaining muscle, general fitness and fat loss. One super important point about that last one, about fat loss, fat loss is going to be mostly nutrition, mostly nutrition. So whatever your training, you need to be dialing in your nutrition, and I have a ton of podcasts about nutrition. We talk nutrition here a lot. Alright, so you're gonna figure out your goal.
0:05:52.0 Kim Schlag: Step two. So as I said, we're not having as a goal with the rest of the discussion here, we're not having as a goal like, "I wanna run a 5K," or "I want to learn to climb a mountain like we're talking specifically, strength, muscle building, general fitness, fat loss here today. So next we're gonna figure out your training frequency, most of my clients train either three or four days, I do have a few who train two, you could also train five or six days. You have to have rest days, minimum one rest day. Training every single day isn't gonna get you better results, it's actually gonna get you worse results, and more days in a week training is not better than fewer days. What is best is to choose a training frequency that is going to work in your life. So if you know that you can commit to three, but in your mind, it would be better to commit to four, and so you program for four, but really you only do it three times, you're not getting as effective a workout in across that week as if you had just programmed for three workouts, right? So if you program all the work to take place on three days, you're gonna get all the work done, whereas if you program for all the work to take place over four days and you routinely skip one of those four days, you're not getting all the work out. So more is not better.
0:07:15.1 Kim Schlag: Next step, we're gonna have you decide your workout split. So if you've decided you're gonna train two days per week, it's obvious what your training split is going to be, and that is you're going to do two full body days. Okay? Two full body days. Give me just a second. I hope I just didn't have a feeling that... No, for a second, I was worried I wasn't recording, but I am. Okay, so that's two days full body. If you choose to train three days per week, there are a couple of good options, I'm gonna give you two here. My favorite is the upper body, lower body, full body split, so it's just what it sounds like. One day you'll train, I usually start with lower body, so first training day of the week, we have you do lower body, second training day of the week we have you do upper body, and then the third day the week we have you do full body. Another really good option is to have three days across the week that are all full body, also a really, really good option. I tend to go for the upper, lower, full just so there's more recovery time between the lower and the full, so I put lower first then upper then full, so that people who...
0:08:22.5 Kim Schlag: They get pretty sore doing lunges and squats and things have some more time before they get back to doing something like that again on their full body day versus having maybe just one day in between training those same movements, but there's nothing wrong with that. Full, full, full is a great training split. If you've chosen four days a week to be your training frequency, some options for you, my favorite option would be the upper, lower, upper, lower split. It's a really great split, so you train upper body twice, you train lower body twice. If you wanted to train five or six days, which again, I'm just gonna keep saying this, 'cause everybody seems to think more days is better, it's not necessarily better, but if you are gonna train five or six days, a couple of options, you could have that same basic four-day split I just told you, upper, lower, upper, lower, and then have a fifth day, which is a specialization day, so it could be whatever you wanna work on. So if you wanna work on building your glutes, you wanna work on building your shoulders, you wanna work on your triceps, or your biceps, whatever it is, you could have one day that's a specialization day.
0:09:26.2 Kim Schlag: I've had a client with this training split, they did upper, lower, upper, lower, and they had a chin-up specialization day to get more practice in undoing their chin ups. You could also, with five or six days do a push, pull, leg day, and you rotate through those, so push day, pull day, legs day, push day, pull day, leg day. If you are a beginner, if you're like, "I have not even been training very long," or if you've just been training very sporadically, don't go for five or six days. You don't need that. Go for three or four days if you are a relative beginner or even an early intermediate go for three or four days. Alright, our next step is going to be for to have you consider the total volume. Volume is the amount of work being done, okay. So it is a key factor in the effectiveness of your workouts, if you have too little volume, you're not gonna have the stimulus you need for change, change being building muscle. If you have too much volume, you will not be able to recover appropriately, and that is going to inhibit your results. It can even be dangerous when we take it to an extreme.
0:10:43.5 Kim Schlag: So extreme training volume is not your friend and not getting enough volume is not your friend. So how much volume should you be doing? A good rule of thumb, a nice sweet spot is 10 to 21 effective sets, so we don't want just mean, when I say effective sets, what I mean is to bring enough intensity, so if the set is supposed to have 10 reps, rep 10 should feel like I can't do more than one or two, if you just hit rep 10 and stop even though you could do 14, that's not an effective set, so we want 10 to 21 effective sets per muscle per week. Okay. Do you want me to say that again? 10 to 21 effective sets per muscle per week. If you are a beginner, you can skew towards the low end of that, and if you are a more intermediate you can go higher. When you're a beginner, any stimulus is going to be enough to cause adaptation, and so if you're doing 10 sets per muscle per week great, great. So there you go with the volume, next step, you're gonna think about what exercises to do. I wonder if you were like, "Wait a minute. We have not even... We are on step five and we haven't even talked about names of exercises yet?"
0:11:56.5 Kim Schlag: It's 'cause there's a lot that goes into this and we're just barely touching... I'm just barely scratching the surface of each of these topics, we could go on and on and do a full episode on each of these topics. I'm just giving you a broad overview here. So first time we're even talking about which specific exercises should you do, we're already at step five. So which specific exercises should you do? You should across your training week each week have some variation of a squat, so we're talking... It could be a goblet squat, it could be a barbell back squat, it could be a front squat, it could be a Bulgarian split squat.
0:12:29.5 Kim Schlag: Some variation of a lunge, and that's a squat pattern, so we'll put that with the squat patterns, so it could be a static lunge, a reverse lunge, a forward lunge, a walking lunge, any kind of lunge. Okay, so you wanna get those varieties in there. You wanna get a some variety of a hip hinge, so those would be your deadlifting movements and your pull through movement. So Romanian deadlift, kettlebell deadlift, conventional barbell deadlift, sumo barbell deadlift. Also, hip hinging would be, like I said, like a cable pull through. You wanna have an upper body vertical push, so an upper body push that's going vertical, all of a sudden I forgot what vertical meant.
0:13:11.5 Kim Schlag: I was like, "Wait. Which is vertical?" So we're talking things like overhead presses, military presses with a barbell, any kind of pressing movement, so vertical push, and then you wanna have an upper body horizontal push, so we're talking bench press, dumbbell chest press. You wanna have those in there, you wanna have an upper body vertical pull, so that could be a pull up, it could be a chin up, it could be a lat pulldown, and then you wanna have an upper body horizontal pull, so that could be a dumbbell row, a bent over barbell row, a batwing row. So you wanna have those variations in there, did I get them all?
0:14:00.7 Kim Schlag: Core, you wanna have some core in there. Now, a lot of these exercises I've just named, you're gonna use some core, but that doesn't mean you don't have to actually program some core as well, it doesn't need to be a ton. It should follow the same guidelines. So doing 10 sets of core is plenty. You do not need an entire workout day dedicated to your abs, you don't... Alright, that literally is as far as exercises, do you want to take into consideration of where you're at in your ability, you don't need to have a barbell back squat on your training plan, you can just as well do a goblet squat and get a good training effect.
0:14:39.5 Kim Schlag: It doesn't have to be the most advanced exercise to get you a really good training effect. Alright, step six, how do we organize those exercises we just discussed, there's not one way to do this, but there are general guidelines. So let's talk through those. You want to start, if you're going to program power exercises, those would come first. I do not give most of my clients power exercises on most of their training programs, I do train, I do program them, but not for everybody all the time. So power exercises, these are ones that are involving not just strength, but strength and speed, okay, so there's going to be explosiveness here, so we're talking about things like cleans and snatches, speed deadlifts, box jumps. The reps with these should be low, so you should not be doing a ton of reps, you could do a ton of sets, but the rep should be low, they can even be as low as one... I've had one reps a lot on training plans, 10 sets of one of various kinds of jumping that I do, so the rep should be low, one, two, three, four, and the sets can be...
0:15:48.5 Kim Schlag: They could be anywhere. They could be three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, like I said, even 10. You want to get full recovery between these sets. You want to be able to generate that explosive power, these are our power exercises, so you wanna have enough rest, so we're talking two, three, four minutes of rest between your sets. Those are gonna come first in your training plan if you put them in, you do not have to put them in. The power will come first. Next step after that is going to be your strength exercises, and these are going to be done in the one to five rep range, okay? The intensity is going to be hot, that means it's going to be heavy, you're going to be lifting heavy weight for this low rep range, one to five reps. These are things like barbell squats, barbell deadlift, both conventional and sumo bench press variations, hip thrust variations. So we're talking heavy weight, low rep, again, you want to have enough rest time to fully recover, so two to three minutes of rest, time your rest periods, so you give yourself that full time, so those would come next in the training plan.
0:17:00.3 Kim Schlag: One or two, you don't need to do... Don't... You shouldn't be doing more than two of these strength exercises. One is fine, two is good as well. After that, we move into our... It's so funny, whenever I see this word written, I wanna say it wrong, I'm thinking, "I know how to pronounce the word." Hypertrophy. This means muscle building. The muscle building range, now, research shows us you can build muscle in all of the rep ranges. You can build muscle in that one to five rep range, you can. You can also build it in the 12 upper rep range. The issue why this rep range, this eight to 12 rep range is called the muscle building rep range, the hypertrophy rep range... Well, first of all, it was once believed that's really, that was the only place you could really build muscle, you just built strength at the lower rep ranges, and you just built endurance at the high rep ranges. What research has shown us is that is not true. You can build muscle in all of the rep ranges, this is a really optimal range because it is just so efficient at doing that, to get in the amount of volume you're gonna need to build muscle in those low rep ranges is not going to be easy if you're doing sets of three, you're gonna need a lot of volume there, so get that in for your strength and of course it's still building muscle, and then the same thing with the other end of the spectrum, because the deal is you can't...
0:18:15.7 Kim Schlag: You still have to be lifting close to failure, so if you want to use a light weight, okay, think about doing a body weight squat to get to failure or close to failure, you're gonna have to do a lot of squats... Imagine doing a body weight squat, how many could you do before you really couldn't do another one, or were very close not being able to do another one. That'd be a lot of squats. Okay so it would be more efficient if you just held a heavy dumbbell and did fewer and then you could do work in that six to 10 rep range. I feel like I've changed the numbers here on you... The rep range, we're talking about this muscle building rep range is anywhere that six, seven, eight, nine, 10 rep range, even up 11 and close to 12, pretty much above 12, that's your muscle endurance rep range. But in this rep range, we're talking about the six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 rep range, you're going to be doing both compound and you can do some isolation exercises in here. The first set, the strength exercises, those are your compound movements, this part is going to be mostly compound, there could be some isolation in here.
0:19:30.1 Kim Schlag: What did I miss telling you about here? Usually I have three to five exercises in this rep range, in this six to 12 rep range, three to five exercises, 60 to 90 second rest. So your rest period can come down a little bit. So these would be... All kinds of exercises can fit in here, so you could be doing Romanian deadlifts, you could be doing dumbbell Romanian deadlifts, you could be doing lat pull-downs, you could be doing dumbbell rows, barbell rows, you could be doing single arm pull-downs, you could be doing seated cable rows. Lots of exercises that can work in this rep range. The idea is, with all of these rep ranges, you want to go close to failure, if not right at failure, depending on the exercise. I don't want you failing at the barbell back squats. That can be dangerous.
0:20:27.5 Kim Schlag: Okay, where am I at now? So the 12 and up rep range, that's the muscular endurance rep range. There's been a lot of myths out there saying, "This is the toning zone. If you wanna tone your body, if you wanna burn fat, and look lean and toned, this is what you should be doing. High rep, low weight." And that's actually not at all true. It's not at all true. That is... I don't care what Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer tells you. It is not the case. You do not build lean, long muscle at high rep ranges. That doesn't make any sense. There's no such thing as long, lean muscle. Your muscles have attachments and insertions. They are where they are. If you build muscle, you build muscle, and that's gonna make you look toned. If you have fat on top of that muscle, you might look bulkier, and so that's a matter of losing fat. Does that make sense? Think about that for a minute. Your muscles can't get longer. Not doing pilates, not doing high rep, like Gwyneth Paltrow... What is her trainer's name? It's all of a sudden escaping me. You know who I mean. She's always talking about her.
0:21:36.1 Kim Schlag: But that's not to say that this higher rep range is useless. It's not at all. It's great for doing isolation moves, so things... So we're talking reps of 12, 15, even 20 and more, so things that are isolation exercises. So things like biceps and triceps, tricep extensions, bicep curls, lateral raises, rear delt raises, face pulls, all of those kinds of things working these isolated movements. So when I'm talking about... We're not talking about multi-joint movements. We're talking about single-joint movements... These are fantastic for that, these isolation exercises in these higher rep ranges, and I do include these in most if not all of my training plans for my clients. A couple, one, two, three exercises in this rep range, at the end of the training plan. So the order that I have given these to you in is the order that I put them in in a training plan.
0:22:32.1 Kim Schlag: I know this is a lot to digest, and I'm sure it sparks many questions in your mind. You can hit me up on Instagram DMs, you can send me an email, email@example.com, and we can talk more on another episode about the questions that this has brought to mind 'cause I'm sure it has brought many. One I know I am going to get for sure 'cause I get it all the time is, "How can I learn about this? How did you learn about this, Kim?" I did learn some of this in my personal training certification, but not nearly as much as you might think. You might be surprised. I certainly learned a few important training principles, the principle of specificity, progressive overload. I learned about what the muscles are in the body and what they do... That was a big piece of it... But a lot of this other stuff, I learned by self study, studying other coaches, studying articles, and studying their training plans. So I started many years ago reading articles by Tony Gentilcore and Molly Galbraith and Eric Cressey, Nia Shanks, Sohee Lee...
0:23:32.3 Kim Schlag: Of course, my coach, Jordan Syatt. I have poured over his training plans for hours and hours at a time, and then peppered him with questions, and to this day, I do this. I love learning about this stuff. I literally right now in my phone notes have some questions about training for him... We have a call tomorrow... And I'll be asking him some training questions tomorrow. So it's a really good way to learn is to study other coach's programs and ask them questions. One of the best ways to do it is to hire a coach, do their programming, and then ask them questions about it. It's a fantastic way to learn. I'll ask Jordan all the time, "Why did you program this this way this time? And it's very different from how you usually do it. Here's my thoughts. I think you're trying to do X. Is that right?" And often I'm right, but sometimes I'm not. Sometimes, he's like, "That's not at all what I was doing."
0:24:19.2 Kim Schlag: A couple of book recommendations for you. Starting Strength and Practical Programming for Strength Training are useful. Nia Shanks's book, Lift Like a Girl, and Sohee Lee's Eat, Lift, Thrive, also incredibly useful. Mike Matthews's Thinner, Leaner, Stronger is a book that I used years ago that I learned a lot from as well. Alright, I hope that this has helped you. I hope that it has given you food for thought and helped you consider what you might do in your training to get the results that you are looking for. Alright, I'll talk to you next week.
0:25:02.0 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you find it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational. [chuckle] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.3 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 95 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm talking with Midwestern mom, Gina. Now, Gina is getting ready to turn 47, she has had success with weight loss. Actually in the not too distant past, she has had some success, but this time around she is really struggling. And she is wondering if it is because her body is not responding because of perimenopause. So we're gonna break that down for you today. If you listen and you're like, "Ooh, this sounds like me," I want you to check out the brand new course that I have just released. As I'm speaking to you, it is Thursday, April the 1st, the course has been live for just a few days, we've got a good bunch of women who've already hopped on this exciting offering and you have a few more days to do the same. Monday April 5th at 10:00 PM this offer closes, and I won't be opening the course back up again until the fall. So if you are ready to lose weight in perimenopause, get on it now. Kimschlagfitness.com is where you can go to find out all the info on that. Alright, let's hit it.
0:01:09.8 Kim Schlag: Well I am so glad we could make this call happen. A little bit of technical difficulty but we powered through.
0:01:17.8 Gina: [chuckle] Yeah, thank you.
0:01:17.9 Kim Schlag: Remind me where you're from. Actually, I don't even know if you told me where you're from. Where do you live?
0:01:22.2 Gina: I don't think I did. I live in Kansas City, Missouri.
0:01:26.6 Kim Schlag: Oh, okay, got it. I lived on the other side of the state for several years. My husband went to Wash U for graduate school so we lived in St. Louis for a couple of years. I love Missouri.
0:01:36.1 Gina: Yeah, we just actually moved back from St. Louis, we were there for a year and a half because of my husband's job now we're back so, yeah.
0:01:42.7 Kim Schlag: Oh okay. Did you live downtown? Or were you out in the suburbs? Where were you?
0:01:47.8 Gina: No, we lived in Imperial, just south.
0:01:48.0 Kim Schlag: Okay, got it. Good, nice. Yeah, that's a great city. Really family friendly.
0:01:54.0 Gina: Yeah.
0:01:55.7 Kim Schlag: And are you originally from Missouri?
0:01:57.8 Gina: No, Western Kansas. Lived out by Dodge City. Went to high school in a little Podunk town, Kingsley, so...
0:02:05.3 Kim Schlag: Alright. And tell me some more about you. There's you, your husband. I know you at least have a daughter, you mentioned your daughter in one of your emails to me.
0:02:15.0 Gina: Yeah, she is graduating college this May and we have a son who's 24, he's been out on his own for a couple of years. He's managing one of our big movie theaters over here, so...
0:02:26.6 Kim Schlag: Oh okay, got it. And...
0:02:29.8 Gina: We both work for B&B theaters, so it's a small family-owned theater chain. We have about 50 theatres in nine states and so he's managing the one in Liberty, so...
0:02:43.3 Kim Schlag: And how is that's going for you guys now during COVID? Are theaters open where you guys are?
0:02:49.2 Gina: It's not great but we're going. [chuckle] I was furloughed for probably six or eight months, and then got back on. He did the same. They're probably... You can only do 50% capacity right now, so it's kind of hard to have run that business, but we're making it.
0:03:11.8 Kim Schlag: Good.
0:03:12.5 Gina: We're making it, yeah.
0:03:14.4 Kim Schlag: I'm glad to hear that.
0:03:16.7 Gina: Yeah, yeah.
0:03:16.8 Kim Schlag: So tell me more about the question you emailed me about. So I have kind of an idea of what we wanna chat about today, but kinda start from beginning. Where you're at with things, what you want some help with. Let's hear it all.
0:03:26.6 Gina: So, I think my major frustration has come from... Well, the last couple of years I've kind of... I'm at the age where I'll be 47 in a couple of months. So I'm at the age where I'm like wisdom really does come with age. [chuckle] And so I know that I need to be more patient, take things slowly. I kinda know... I'm kinda knowing all the things, I knew all the things but now I'm kind of like, "Okay, this is what you have to do to make the progress that you want." So last year was the first time I started macros counting, ever. And I had great success for my first cut, and then I did a reverse into what I thought was my maintenance and trying to find out it was an unintentional bulk of about 5% without wanting to be bulking. [chuckle] So I added that fat and not really... Probably not the muscle during that time. And so when I look back at pictures which are a big trigger for me and I don't like doing them, but I did take some back when I started and I took some recently, and you can't see a change in my body.
0:04:39.7 Gina: So I think what I need to figure out is... I think I kinda have, for the most part know the nutrition part, what needs to be done, I think. I'm still trying to figure that out with my own body, you know how everybody's different, you gotta tweak little things here and there. But then the workouts, I don't know if I'm... I thought I was doing some decent progressive overload and I did see the newbie games. I think with just the muscle I had in my body already, I think you just had that... I can't remember if it was you that had the podcast, there was somebody who was all science-y talking about the actual muscle that you have when you first start doing it. It's just kind of... The nutrients and stuff are going into it making it look larger, you're not really actually building muscle yet. So I think that's all I was doing 'cause I could tell mostly my biceps and my shoulders up in this area. But I don't know if I'm doing something wrong, 'cause I feel like in a year, I feel like I gave myself a lot of time. I feel like I was very patient, and so I just... I guess I just get frustrated because I'm like, "Okay, either I'm doing something wrong or my body is not responding because of whether it be perimenopausal or whatever, metabolism, whatever." So that's where I'm at. I'm just kind of in a spot where I don't know what the heck's going on. [chuckle]
0:06:05.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, great. Well, we can totally get to work on getting to the bottom of this. Let's talk me through this, we'll talk about both pieces separately, we'll talk about the work out piece, we'll talk about the nutrition piece. Let's talk nutrition first, because it is the driver of fat loss. No matter what a person is doing with their workouts, let's say they're not even working out, they could still get to their goal weight, it might not look like what they thought it was gonna look like 'cause they haven't done that muscle building piece, but they should still be able... They will still be able to get there if the nutrition piece is dialed in. It sounds like you have a lot going on in your mind as far as you feel pretty clear on what you should be doing if that... Here's the piece of with nutrition. You have to have a really good plan, you have to know what you're doing, and then the execution of it is actually harder than most people give it credit for, so we're gonna talk through here and see what was the plan you followed and see, was it a good plan, was it too restrictive, too many calories, not enough calories, so then you were binging, whatever it was.
0:06:58.3 Gina: Yeah.
0:06:58.7 Kim Schlag: And then we can talk about the execution of that plan and the answer to why you're not making progress is gonna be found either in the plan itself, your execution of the plan or your expectations were off. And I don't think it's that one 'cause you gave yourself a whole year. Some people are like, what's wrong? And it's been 42 point 3 days. [chuckle] I don't think it's the last one for you. The answer is gonna be found in one of those first two. Either the plan or somewhere in the execution of it. Talk me through, what was the plan as far as your macros?
0:07:27.4 Gina: Well, last year when I started, I wasn't ready to do the whole what I call restrictive and just eat chicken and broccoli and that type of thing. I thought, "Okay," when I heard about the macros like that, "Okay, this sounds like something I can do, not super restrictive, I can fit whatever I want in there, just as long as it fits in there." I thought that would be better for me, and then I figured later I could kind of piece some other things in, which is what I did. I feel like it did work for me, and then now that I've gotten... I tried again in October to do a little cut, my body wasn't responding. Now I'm starting to put in some veggies and some fruits and trying to be a little more smart with my choices for my body.
0:08:19.1 Kim Schlag: Before recently, you weren't really doing too much with vegetables and fruit?
0:08:26.1 Gina: I don't like veggies. [chuckle]
0:08:28.1 Kim Schlag: I can so relate! I did not either.
0:08:28.3 Gina: I know.
0:08:31.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, you heard that on my podcast before.
0:08:32.8 Gina: Yeah.
0:08:33.6 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I totally was not a vegetable eater. You weren't eating vegetables, fruit before then. In the fall, what were your macros? What did you set for your macros when you were struggling not losing weight?
0:08:44.6 Gina: And that's what I think... I figured out that there's... Now that I know there's a range, there's a range for maintenance. It's not just... Yeah, yes. That way I could go off of it. I feel like maybe I was at the top of that range and I was trying to cut from the top of my range, and it wasn't enough for my body to respond because...
0:09:06.8 Kim Schlag: What was the top end of your range?
0:09:11.8 Gina: Well, I think my maintenance was 2000.
0:09:16.2 Kim Schlag: Okay. And how tall are you?
0:09:17.5 Gina: I'm only 5'3.
0:09:19.7 Kim Schlag: What do you mean only? I'm 5'3 as well.
0:09:22.1 Gina: I'm only 5'3. [chuckle]
0:09:23.0 Kim Schlag: Actually, I'm 5'3.5 [laughter]
0:09:27.3 Gina: I used to say that! [laughter]
0:09:27.5 Kim Schlag: It's super important for us short girls we need to get our halves in there. You're 5'3. And how much do you weigh?
0:09:35.0 Gina: This morning, I weighed 174.
0:09:38.5 Kim Schlag: 174, got it. And I'm gonna do some calculating while we chat here.
0:09:42.7 Gina: Okay.
0:09:44.3 Kim Schlag: You were at 2000 and 2000 for your maintenance calories, is what you're saying.
0:09:47.7 Gina: Yeah.
0:09:49.1 Kim Schlag: And...
0:09:49.5 Gina: Well I only cut to 1750. And then I tried to do 1650. And I wasn't going to add any more exercising 'cause I was already super hungry, and I know those are the two levers basically that you have to pull.
0:10:06.2 Kim Schlag: Okay. I will tell you, 1750 should be solidly deficit calories for you, it should be. At 174 pounds, 1750 should be solidly in your deficit, which then... That's the first piece. We're gonna look at, what is the plan. It's not like you're trying to tell me, "I'm trying to lose weight on 2300 calories. What's the problem?" I'd say the problem is, you're trying to eat too many calories. That brings us to the next piece, which is the execution of hitting that. I don't know if you have your log handy, but the next piece I would have somebody look at is, okay, out of every 30 days, how many days did you hit that amount of calories exactly? That would be the next question because the place that some people... Let me start again. It is really easy to almost hit your calories, not quite hit them, it feels like just as much work as though you were hitting them.
0:11:03.7 Gina: Oh.
0:11:04.6 Kim Schlag: And then you're spinning your wheels like, "I'm doing all the things, but it's not working. My body is not responding." And the issue is actually you're probably at 70% compliance with your nutrition, and to see really good results, it's gonna take 80 at minimum. And so that's my gut instinct here is that you were getting close to 1750 and maybe you were hitting 1750 or even 1650 many days in a month, but not enough days to get the progress you want. Does that resonate with you? Or do you say, "No, 100% I was hitting those calories without question."
0:11:37.7 Gina: In October, I probably wasn't even though I... When I was tracking, I feel like I'm pretty right on when I track. Just because I know this... I know I can't cut without tracking. I know I can maintain.
0:11:56.5 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:11:57.8 Gina: I figured that one out.
0:12:00.1 Kim Schlag: You successfully maintain.
0:12:02.2 Gina: I did that for the last six months and I haven't tracked much at all. So that was good. [chuckle]
0:12:10.1 Kim Schlag: Great! That's huge. That's fantastic, Gina. That's really fantastic. Okay, tell me this. Do you use a food scale?
0:12:15.7 Gina: Yes.
0:12:17.4 Kim Schlag: You use a food scale. What types of things do you weigh during... On a normal day?
0:12:24.5 Gina: Well, anything that I don't normally eat that I don't know, that's actually what it should be. I've already done this, so I know this breakfast is right on because I've weighed it once before and I just know it. Does that make sense?
0:12:37.0 Kim Schlag: Give me an example.
0:12:38.8 Gina: For breakfast, I'll have protein oatmeal. I already know that my half a cup of oatmeal is however much. I know that's legit in my system. I know when I put it in MyFitnessPal, that is right on.
0:12:57.1 Kim Schlag: Got it.
0:12:57.1 Gina: But if I have...
0:13:00.2 Kim Schlag: But when you made it, you wouldn't be like weighing the oats, you'd be measure-cupping them.
0:13:02.8 Gina: Yeah.
0:13:03.9 Kim Schlag: Got it. And what about things like oils and... Yeah, what about oil. Would you weigh the oil, teaspoon the oil?
0:13:13.2 Gina: I actually don't really use oil.
0:13:17.9 Kim Schlag: No? Okay, interesting. Those are some of the big things that I look for. If people are eyeballing it a lot, your calories can add up just enough to kick you out of your deficit. Even though you know like, okay, half a cup of oatmeal, if it's X number of calories. Interestingly, and you should try this, anybody who's listening should try this, go get a half cup measuring cup and measure out what you think a half cup of oatmeal is.
0:13:42.9 Gina: Okay.
0:13:44.3 Kim Schlag: And then look at the serving size on your oatmeal and weigh it, and you're gonna be surprised. It doesn't come flat to the top and it certainly isn't a little bit rounded. [chuckle]
0:13:51.9 Gina: Yeah.
0:13:52.0 Kim Schlag: It's under a little bit. That might sound like pretty small potatoes, but little things like that...
0:14:00.5 Gina: Adding up.
0:14:00.6 Kim Schlag: Adding up over the course of the day can really add up. Now, here's the thing. If a person is doing that and making progress at a great rate, totally fine. If somebody's like, "I'm losing weight at a rate that feels really good to me, and I'm measuring cupping things," great! Go for it. If a person is struggling, these are the places I look to dial in.
0:14:20.5 Gina: Okay.
0:14:21.2 Kim Schlag: I would suggest you use a scale to weigh pretty anything that is not...
0:14:26.6 Gina: Okay.
0:14:27.5 Kim Schlag: You don't need to weigh your egg. [chuckle] If you're having one egg, you're having one egg. And if it has a bar scan. If you're eating a protein bar that has a scan code just weigh it. Your greens, you don't need to be weighing your lettuce, that would be a little bit woohoo. We're getting [laughter] how much lettuce. You can eat the whole bag of spinach, it doesn't matter. But really anything else, even your banana...
0:14:49.2 Gina: Okay.
0:14:49.4 Kim Schlag: Your apple, weigh those things. I put a banana in my shake every day, and it's interesting to me, I try and guess how many grams it's gonna be.
0:15:00.7 Gina: Yeah.
0:15:00.8 Kim Schlag: And I'm getting better 'cause I've been doing it every day for weeks now, but I still don't get it quite on looking at a size of banana. Even though we might only be like 40 calories off on the banana and 30 calories off on the oats, but if you do that everyday...
0:15:10.7 Gina: Yeah. Okay.
0:15:13.3 Kim Schlag: Across time, that can really make a difference. That's the one thing I would say. Then talk to me about things like weekends. How are you doing with weekend eating, like going out with friends or parties or holidays and those kinds of things?
0:15:27.8 Gina: My weekends are actually pretty good. We try to go out to eat maybe once a week on Sundays after church or something, so I don't have to cook again. And I will try to do my best to choose something that's... Usually it's a salad with grilled chicken, but I'll keep the cheese on it and maybe a couple of croutons or whatever, but I won't have the dressing. I try to keep that at a minimum and then just go ahead and cook the rest of my meals. I don't think my weekends are a big deal. I do like me some popcorn, obviously in the movie theater business so I'll have [chuckle].. There's a certain popcorn that I get that doesn't have much calorie fat stuff in it, so I will have that on a Friday night or a Saturday night when we watch a movie at home or something, but... I'm trying to be right on.
0:16:22.9 Kim Schlag: And is that kind of thing... When you're at work, are you eating popcorn at work?
0:16:28.4 Gina: No, I work from home now, so that's a good thing.
0:16:31.5 Kim Schlag: Okay. [chuckle]
0:16:32.0 Gina: I'm in the accounting office. When we were attached to a theater though, that was a problem. [chuckle]
0:16:38.2 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:16:38.5 Gina: But not anymore!
0:16:40.8 Kim Schlag: 'Cause that's the other kind of thing that can really trip people up. It's food amnesia. We think in our log it says we ate 1750. But we're not counting the handful of popcorn as we walk down the hall [chuckle] to go to the bathroom at the movie theater. We don't count that. We forget it. It's not like we're lying. We just... It's gone. And we do the same thing, if we pick a couple of nuts out of off, our kids eating something, we pick a couple of those. And then we're making dinner, and we eat three spoonful of the dinner as we're prepping it for our family. And those little things really add up. And we don't remember them. And then there's this... I'm literally doing it all just right! And so my challenge to you, Gina, if you will accept it, is going to be to go for the next 30 days, anything you eat, it has to be logged before you even taste it. Before you even put it in your mouth, even if you're about ready to take a handful of nuts...
0:17:36.3 Gina: Yeah.
0:17:39.7 Kim Schlag: Weight it, put it in your log, and then it's there. Do you accept my challenge?
0:17:43.0 Gina: Yes, I do. I've caught myself because I've listened to you talk about that, and I've caught myself if something gets on my finger or something, I would go in to just lick it off your finger, and I was like, "Nope, can't do that, go rinse it down the sink! [laughter]
0:17:56.8 Kim Schlag: Yeah! And some people are gonna be listening being like, "Wow, guys, how obsessive are we getting?" It's the little things that matter. Just like if you were trying to save enough money for your first down payment on your house. These little bits of things you used to spend money on when you didn't have that goal, it didn't matter then. It matters now that you're trying to scrape every nickel and dime. And when you're really trying to lose weight, these things matter. It is not my goal for people to have this level of tightness with their calories forever. It's gonna be for this period of time that you're gonna be working on weight loss. And I suggest that people chunk a short period of time, like "I'm gonna do this for 12 weeks, and then I'm going to have maintenance, which is going to mean a lot more calories." Though I still want people to... At that point, I still don't want you going back to old habits of like lick my pinky everyday, but you're just gonna have more calories to play with. And having two handfuls of popcorn every day, you're gonna be able to fit that in easy.
0:18:51.4 Gina: Alright. [chuckle]
0:18:56.0 Kim Schlag: So tell me about... Before we move on to exercise tell me about this transition you're making to eating more fruits and vegetables. How is that going? How did you make the choice to do that? Like why? Tell me.
0:19:07.0 Gina: I have been trying to fill my life full of podcasts and people who kind of think the way that I want to be. And so I heard a couple that was talking about just making a veggie and fruit tray and just having it at eye level in your refrigerator at all times, and then just pulling it out at every meal. Whether or not I eat it at every meal, I'm not. It's normally at dinner, but I eat more than just a fistful of like say, cauliflower, or broccoli, or whatever.
0:19:38.2 Kim Schlag: Good.
0:19:40.8 Gina: So I'm getting it in, not every meal, but I'm getting it in like at one meal 'cause I...
0:19:46.2 Kim Schlag: Hey, that's huge progress for somebody who wasn't eating vegetables at all before. And are you finding that you're enjoying it or are you still at the tolerating phase?
0:19:55.3 Gina: I'm tolerating, 'cause I have to do like a tablespoon of whatever little dip, hummus or light ranch or something, just to... Just a little bit of something to... [chuckle]
0:20:06.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah. I really admire that Gina. It's not an easy transition to make, and other people listening to us who grew up maybe just loving vegetables might be like, "What the heck are these ladies talking about?" But I'm telling you, it was a real concerted effort for me, just like it is for you right now, to you say like, "I am going to be a person who eats vegetables." And if that means putting the dip on it... For me, dip never did it, I had to find... I started putting garlic powder on everything, and garlic paste was my big go-to. Garlic paste, and then roasting it in the oven, or putting it on the grill, and I could eat anything cooked like that, I realized. And now, I have to tell you, it's seven years later and I genuinely like vegetables. I do. So...
0:20:45.2 Gina: Oh, there's hope.
0:20:47.3 Kim Schlag: There's hope for you. We're gonna talk in a few years and you're gonna be like, "I eat vegetables all the time. I do." I tell you, when I was in my 30s, I pretended to eat vegetables 'cause it felt so ridiculous, I'd be out with my girlfriends and everybody's getting these big salads, and I'd be like, "That's what we're cooking, salads?" And so I would put some salad on my plate or whatever, and pretend to eat it, and I'd be eating the croutons and the cheese, and then eat all the other stuff 'cause I'm like, "Who the freak eats lettuce? What is wrong with you?"
0:21:09.6 Gina: Yeah, right.
0:21:12.9 Kim Schlag: So, yeah. So I totally feel you there. I'm telling you, this is gonna be a habit that pays huge dividends. Your health is gonna benefit, your weight loss is gonna benefit because once you start really liking vegetables and can pump your meals full of that, it's a really good thing. So I'm very happy for you that you're making this effort.
0:21:29.9 Gina: Thanks.
0:21:30.4 Kim Schlag: Have you found fruit you like now? That's usually easier.
0:21:33.4 Gina: I actually eat a banana every day, but I'm more like green grapes and cantaloupe, watermelon type of stuff. I don't really like apples. I don't know if it's the skin. I can always take it off, but I hear there's benefits to that, so I try to make myself eat one every once in a while. But I'm trying, I'm just not very good at trying stuff or knowing how to eat them like vegetables or whatever. I wanna eat vegetables, but not know that I'm eating vegetables. [chuckle]
0:22:07.6 Kim Schlag: I totally hear you. Yeah, and that's a good place to begin. I've really gotten into putting spinach and okra into my smoothie, and it's worked very well. I could eat a big bowl of spinach and a salad now, but still, I've been very sick in recent months, and I did not want a salad. The last thing I could even tolerate the idea of eating that much salad, and that's why I started putting it in these smoothies, and I get a crap ton of spinach in there. And somebody told me to try frozen okra. Weirdly enough, it has zero flavor in a shake. You can get frozen okra and throw it in there, zero...
0:22:43.0 Gina: That's odd. That's so odd.
0:22:43.1 Kim Schlag: I'm telling you, you should try... For somebody who wants to sneak vegetables through...
0:22:44.4 Gina: Okay, okay. [chuckle]
0:22:46.0 Kim Schlag: You have to make a shake that tastes really good. Look for my recipes on Instagram, it's on my feed. But you put some of that in there and then you're gonna get a lot of the nutrients from that. I would never in a million... I don't even know how to prepare okra to actually eat as okra, but I couldn't... I had no idea it was in my smoothie, so there's an idea for all you veggie folks out there. [chuckle]
0:23:04.5 Gina: Yeah. Summer time will be great for that because I find in the winter time, I don't like my shakes, smoothies as much 'cause they're cold. So I like to eat my stuff, so I'll have to figure that out and see...
0:23:16.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah. I wouldn't 'til it gets warmer out there. Alright, so let's talk about exercise then. Tell me what you've been doing and tell me your... I think you had a specific question about exercise, did you?
0:23:28.8 Gina: I don't know. But what I am doing is I like to lift weights. I'm just at home, I just have up to 30s. I have a bench, adjustable bench. So I've been trying to progressive overload it. I've been putting in the Strong app so I could keep track of how much I'm lifting and when I'm lifting and all that stuff, so I can see if I'm making progress or not. But basically, I used to do my legs, my lower body twice a week and upper body twice a week, I think. And then I heard somebody say something about... 'Cause I have... I'm larger on the bottom. I have muscular... I am muscular, but I'm larger on the bottom, and they're like, "If you want to change the shape of your body, focus on your upper body, so you get your upper body bigger, basically, in the process while also doing lower, and that way your shape will be different." I don't know if that's true or not, but...
0:24:33.0 Kim Schlag: Well, that's partly true, but it depends on how they're telling you to do. That is true. If you want to have a smaller looking waist, you can build yourself broader shoulders and back, and that can definitely give that appearance. Did they tell you to cut out one of your lower body days? That was what I'm wondering. Are you...
0:24:47.3 Gina: Well, I did that myself.
0:24:50.0 Kim Schlag: Got it. I wouldn't cut out a lower body day for that, you could just add in some more upper body, and that's really gonna be a lot of patience. Like that, "Oh, that." And this is the difference between losing weight and building muscle, losing weight in the grand scheme of things is a much shorter term proposition than building muscle. To change the shape of your body, as in like you want broader shoulders narrowing down, that's a several years project. That's not gonna be like you look in four, or five, or six months and be like, "Where is my shape?" It's gonna be over years. I will tell you, my legs were always in my mind, my problem area. I'm a short girl with short legs, and I always felt like my legs looked bigger and my hips looked bigger. It took me years of a combination of going to fat loss phases and building muscle in my legs to get that lean tone, my legs didn't look too big to me definition. That was not a short-term proposition. So the chances that you're doing something wrong aren't as high as you just haven't done it long enough yet to see the results you're really looking for.
0:25:52.5 Gina: No, and that's fine, I understand it's a huge, long process and I'm not quitting anytime soon, so I'm not quitting ever, actually. I just think I need to figure out what my body responds better to and do that, because on the other days, I'll do a push and a pull, and then on my fourth day, I actually have been, just because I don't know what I'm doing, alternating my push or my pull. One week I'll have two pushes and one pull, and the next week I'll have two pulls and one push. I don't know, with what I have here, obviously, I can go a little further with the upper body than the lower body, and I don't know what I'm gonna do going forward. I would like to build my gym out, but I don't know what I'm doing. [chuckle]
0:26:42.1 Kim Schlag: And actually, what to get to build the gym out? Is that what you mean?
0:26:47.4 Gina: Yeah, I think I have an idea of what to get, but I've never lifted a barbell in my life.
0:26:52.9 Kim Schlag: Oh God, so you're talking about, once you have it, you don't know what to do.
0:26:55.8 Gina: Yeah, right.
0:26:56.3 Kim Schlag: Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. I hear what you're saying. Okay, so as far as... Push-pull legs is definitely a valid split. There's nothing wrong with doing push-pull legs. I do think you might wanna get some more volume on your lower body, so you could also do two lower, two upper, 'cause then you're still working your upper body plenty. That's one possibility to go back to your upper-lower split, you could keep doing your push-pull legs. Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that split. And then, as far as learning what to do with the barbell, really getting some good coaching, if you have the ability to get an in-person coach, that would be fantastic. If not... I never had an in-person coach to learn how to use a barbell. Ever. I learned that... I got my online coach. My very first online coach, I actually hired a woman... She was teaching women in a group format how to do power lifting, and I'm like, "I wanna do that." I just... "I wanna do that." And so, I did this with this group, and I learned online.
0:28:01.4 Kim Schlag: So, there's plenty... I have a ton of videos on my YouTube channel, literally talking you through every barbell lift, like, "Here's how to sumo deadlift." Literally, from ground one, like, "Here's what to do with the barbell, here's where to start." Benchpress is the same squat. I have in-depth tutorials about all of that. If you're gonna go that route, the way I always tell people to learn a new move is, "Sit down and watch the video, watch the whole thing multiple times, and then try it with little to no weight, very little weight." Now, it's gonna be hard to deadlift from the... You can't deadlift from the floor, 'cause you have to put some bumper plates for that, by 10-pound bumper plates, which gets your barbell up to right height to pull from, but you're only lifting 65 pounds. That's very different than trying to lift the 45-pound plates. With a barbell bench press, if you're talking about using upper body, you can just lift the bar. With a squat, you can just lift the bar.
0:28:56.6 Kim Schlag: I'm really excited that you're thinking about getting into doing the barbell lifts. I think it can really be empowering for women to try that. When you start doing it, people typically really take to it, and you do seem to be a person who's really taken to strength training, so I bet you're gonna love it. Don't be intimidated by it. You can absolutely... If you've learned how to do these... And the reality is, if you know how to squat and deadlift with dumbbells, the transition to doing it with barbells is not going to be a huge leap, it's not, as long as you have lift from doing those. And then, as far as seeing these changes in your body, just remind yourself this is gonna be a really long-term project. It's gonna be a combination of both fat loss and muscle gaining, so you're changing the shape of your legs is likely still more fat loss on your lower part of your body, which just takes longer. It just does, and you will likely go through cycles of deficit and maintenance over the years, until you're finally at a point...
0:29:51.2 Kim Schlag: And I really do think at some point we just need to say, like, "I'm really happy with this and this is my body," but that might still take... Like I said, I've been at this for seven years and I haven't, every minute of those seven years, constantly been like, "Well, what else can I fix on my body?" But this is where the weight training can come in. I have very much been like, "What can I do next? Now can I finally get my first pull-up? Can I get two times by body weight demo? Can I... " All these different goals that you can set for yourself, and you like the focus, and as you do that, your body gets to be more fit and more strong and more toned and all of those things. What were you laughing about?
0:30:28.7 Gina: Pull-up.
0:30:29.2 Kim Schlag: Pull-up. Are those...
0:30:31.5 Gina: Yeah, see, last year, I worked on my push-ups, and I'm still working on them, because I am trying to figure out the best way to do it. For a while, I was just doing the down motion for however many counts, and then I was only doing the up motion. That got me stronger, but still, when I was trying to do a push-up, I felt like my lower body was sagging at the bottom and I couldn't stay. I could go all the way down, I can go all the way up, no problem, but I couldn't...
0:30:56.2 Kim Schlag: Wait, did you... Now I'm confused. Are we talking push-ups or pull-ups?
0:30:58.1 Gina: Push-ups. I'm... Yeah, I was starting with push-ups, 'cause I started that last year. 'Cause those two, to me, are tough things to do. So now, I'm doing the stair thing, like you... I think it was you that mentioned the stair thing. So, I started at a fourth step and now I'm on a third step, so I'm getting there. But then, I want, I want, I want to do pull-ups. So, for Christmas, I asked for one of those power towers so I could have something just to work on. And the first time I tried, which wasn't too long ago, just hanging is awful. My grip is awful.
0:31:37.9 Kim Schlag: You'll get better. I promise you'll get better.
0:31:41.7 Gina: I'm just gonna be content with trying to work on hanging for a bit, just because I have so much extra body weight that I'm like, "I'm never gonna get this up here." So, it'll take me a long time, I know it will, but I'm committed to getting that at some point in my lifetime.
0:31:57.3 Kim Schlag: You hit on a good point. One of the things that does make pull-ups easier is losing weight. As you lose weight, you're pulling less. That does help. And hanging is a great first step. Did you buy the really long bands that you can do, chin-up assistant bands?
0:32:14.3 Gina: Not yet, but I heard you say that the other day and I need to get some. So I will do that.
0:32:19.2 Kim Schlag: Those will be a game changer. I'm gonna tell you, you can use those for your push-ups too. You can hook those over your pull-up bar, do what's called band-assisted push-ups, and this is for people who are down low like you are, like third step. You could start using these. If you're just starting guys, if you're way up, really up high like a counter top height, you don't need to do the band assistants yet, but as you get closer to the floor, what you do is you tie this heavy band up to the pull-up bar, get into the band around your hips, get on the floor to do your push-ups, and it's giving you that little bit of assistance, practicing on the floor. What it will do over time is you'll use a thinner and thinner band, so it's not giving you that much assistance. And it's another really great way to get stronger at your push-ups. So those bands can help with that, and with your pull-ups. They're great for pull-up training.
0:33:05.9 Gina: Awesome, that sounds great. [chuckle]
0:33:08.2 Kim Schlag: And focusing on those kinds of things in the gym can really be the difference between a person obsessing about their weight and just doing to do with their nutrition and really being excited, like I'm excited to get back in the gym and see, "Can I use just the purple band today?" And I really, it's one of the reasons I really promote strength training in women, besides the fact that it does change the shape of your body, it changes your focus to something that: One, you have more control over, and two, that it's just way more empowering than, "What size are my thighs today?" [chuckle]
0:33:39.3 Gina: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and I think I'll be fine. I just, I'm so frustrated 'cause I have so much to lose and it's been sitting there for a while and I've been trying. And I just, I think even just losing 10 pounds of fat would be a huge thing for me, and then I could do that three chunks at a time or whatever, however long it takes, but I think that's just where I am, but I know that I need to be really strict during my cuts, so I'm going to do what you said on the grams because it didn't even cross my mind about the half cup oatmeal. Didn't even cross my mind. So stuff like that could be, and I just started weighing my bananas, 'cause you know they're all different sizes. [chuckle]
0:34:19.3 Kim Schlag: They are. They are, and again guys, I know it seems little, but it's the addition of these things throughout a day that can add up, 'cause ideally when you're in a calorie deficit, you're only in 250 to 500 calories lower than your maintenance, which you know how fast it is to eat up 250 calories through things like 30 calories extra on a banana and 20 calories extra on the oatmeal, and then I put extra milk into this. All these little things, they add up. There's not a single food you can't include when you're going to lose weight, but making sure that you account for what you've eaten is the key to figuring out, "Am I actually in the deficit that on paper I think I'm in?"
0:35:01.0 Gina: Yeah, and I definitely don't wanna do that forever. I'm saying that yeah, just like you, for my cut, this has to be this way for me. I have to figure out exactly what I'm doing or I'm not gonna have what I think is success. And then after that, like I said, I got my maintenance thing. I figured that out, but, so that'll be nice once I can cut and then I can maintain easily, and it's just this cut thing is confusing me. It's just harder this time than it was last time, and I guess I was trying to figure out what exactly had changed or what I had done differently, which I feel like I'm not doing things differently.
0:35:44.8 Kim Schlag: Were your calories at 1750 when you lost a year ago? What were they at then?
0:35:50.5 Gina: Yeah, I think I actually started at 1650 and I ended up at 1750 during my cut just because I had... I was, yeah, for some reason. I can't remember if I was super hungry and just wanted to see if 100 calories would be enough to keep me going. But yeah, I was at 1750. So I think when I tried in October, I think I was just irritated that I couldn't cut at the same amount, and so I don't think I was as meticulous as I am right now. So I've just started another cut one week ago, so I'm seeing a little bit, but I'm gonna now.
0:36:32.0 Kim Schlag: Fantastic.
0:36:33.2 Gina: Do the grams with the oatmeal. [chuckle]
0:36:34.3 Kim Schlag: Message me back in, so 30 days and my biggest piece of advice I give to people who are tracking calories is to pre-log your food the night before. So decide exactly what you're gonna eat. So I'm gonna have 120 grams banana. I'm gonna have whatever it is, put that all in. Get it set exactly how you want it to be, including things like, "I'm having popcorn Friday night," so you know I'm having X amount of popcorn, put that all in. The next day when you're ready to do it, if you're gonna change anything, change it before you eat it, so you don't remember and then really weigh everything out. It does not take that long. It really does not take that long to do all of that, and what it does is save you time of years of being frustrated with why am I not losing, right? So 30 days of doing that, hit those calories and keep a calendar that says, 'Yes, I did it today," or I was a little bit over, so you can really look and see did I hit at least 80% to 90% consistency with these calories and then let's touch base again.
0:37:35.6 Gina: Yeah. And do you think the calories... 'Cause I'm doing the whole macros, you know the protein, the carbs, and the fat. Is it more important to hit all the macros and be maybe 50 calories under or is it better to do calories?
0:37:51.9 Kim Schlag: Your macro should add up to your calories. Right, so I typically do not macro count. I actually am right now in the cut I'm in because the coach I hired, that's how he does it, and I really wanted to see, he's one of my business mentors and I wanted to work with him, so I'm counting macros right now. Your macros will equal up to your calories. They will. In the end of the day, if you just, if your total calories is 1750 and you hit 1750 and you get in, what's your protein grams you're shooting for?
0:38:17.3 Gina: 148.
0:38:18.0 Kim Schlag: Okay, so if you get your protein 148, you hit total calories 1750, that is enough. What research shows us is those two things are enough to cause fat loss. If your fats and carbs are different day-to-day, it doesn't necessarily matter. For a lot of people, they prefer counting macros and it keeps them on track more to know I need, I need X number of grams of fat and I'm gonna hit that. If you add those up and you get, it makes your total calories. I would not hyper-focus on carbs versus fats. I would hyper-focus on total calories and protein.
0:38:47.5 Gina: Okay. And do you touch on that with your new course coming out for menopause, 'cause you know that.
0:38:53.4 Kim Schlag: Which piece of it?
0:38:56.5 Gina: Like how your body responds as you age, with the carbs and stuff.
0:39:01.2 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. Absolutely, I'm gonna hit that hard, 'cause so many women are told they need to eat low carb. So I'm gonna kind of myth bust there. And again, when I tell you guys fats and carbs don't, with the ratio in doesn't matter to fat loss, I'm not saying they don't matter to you as an individual, and this is something I cover in the course to figure out, "What do I need?" Because, here's the thing, if you are somebody who does a ton of running or high intensity training, you might feel like crap with lower carbs. You might need to eat... Even moderate carbs might not even be enough for you, you might need higher carb. If you're somebody who, in over a period of time, notices you're really struggling with hunger and you're low fat, one of the things we can do to help you besides getting your protein up is giving you more dietary fat. So those things are very important to an individual's success. They're not the key to fat loss, but they could be the key for an individual sticking with their calorie targets.
0:39:54.1 Kim Schlag: And that's something I'm gonna be covering in the Menopause and Weight loss course is those specifics. It will be in the course itself, so guys who are listening too, the way the course is gonna work, I'm pre-recording videos. You're gonna get a new module each week. It will be dripped each week, you'll get a new module, you'll watch it. It's not just gonna be a watch and learn, it's gonna be a watch, learn, and do. There's gonna be action steps for you to take. And then every week, I'll be coming live to talk to all of you and talk in depth through whatever issues, questions, struggles, you're having. There's gonna be a Facebook group, we'll do that in there, and then we can all chat in the Facebook group as often as people would like to tackle specifics. And if a person is telling me like, "This is my calories and this is my protein, but I'm super tired," 'cause guys, in menopause, we're so super, super tired. And again, I'm gonna question, "Are you going low-carb? Maybe you need to bring your carbs up." So that's where we play around with carbs and fats to help us reach our physique goals, but also, "I just wanna feel good" goals.
0:40:58.3 Gina: So if I go through this next 30 days, I'm meticulous and whatever, and I'm still not seeing too much of a change, do you feel like that could be something partly perimenopausal stuff going on, hormonal? Or do you...
0:41:13.5 Kim Schlag: Here's the real deal of weight loss in menopause. It does nothing about perimenopause, nothing about the change in hormones, stops your ability to lose weight. The role that it can play, as our hormones drop... A couple of roles that it plays. One, it shifts the pattern of where we hold our weight. We tend to hold our fat more in our belly, super fun, but it's your excess fat. It's not saying, "You will now have excess fat on your belly," you can still lose that fat, and you're not gonna necessarily gain fat... You won't gain fat just because you're in peri-menopause. If you gain fat, it will likely show up in your belly. So the distribution is different. Okay, you'll still lose it. So that's one way it can wreak havoc on us. The other that is really important is, we typically just don't feel so well. We're tired, we're not moving as much, so we're burning fewer calories over the course of a day, 'cause we're not moving as much. Maybe we're stress eating. We're over-tired, if you're not sleeping well, because you have hot flashes, or because you just have that insomnia that can come with menopause. If any of those things are happening, it can mess with your hunger and cravings.
0:42:19.9 Kim Schlag: So when I talk about hormones, it can mess with those hormones that help you either feel full, your satiety, or crave things and feel really hungry. What do we do if we're craving and feel really hungry? We eat more. [chuckle] So if we're eating more, it's about the calories, but in the end, we have to come back and tackle, what do we do about our sleep? What do we do if we're trying to manage our sleep, but it's not working? I have a whole module about those guys, we wanna attack both angles. How do we help you get better sleep? But in the end, it just might not happen to them. It did not happen for me. And so how do we help you lose weight even when you are sleepless, because you can, but we have to tackle very specific things to figure that out. So that's where menopause comes in. It messes with your sleep, it messes with where you store fat, it can mess with your hunger or your satiety, "Am I stress eating?" And so we tackle all of those hurdles, but at the end of the day, it is still about getting in a calorie deficit. And so if we can get a person in a calorie deficit, they will lose weight whether they're perimenopausal or not. So no, nothing about perimenopause will specifically be keeping you from losing weight.
0:43:29.3 Gina: Okay, good to know. I just need to...
0:43:31.2 Kim Schlag: Empowering to know, because... And here's the thing it's gotta click for you ladies, if you think you can't lose weight because your age or perimenopause, you will not lose weight, because weight loss is incredibly hard. It is more hard to do than people give it credit for, and so what often happens is they think, "It is hard, it's going really slow, so something is wrong with me," when reality is, that's literally what it feels like. It is just that hard. And the things we talked here today about being more precise are overlooked, because what they're hearing is, "hormones, hormones, hormones." Do you see what I'm saying?
0:44:06.3 Gina: Yeah, I do. Yeah. Awesome.
0:44:08.9 Kim Schlag: Alright, let's stay in touch. It was great talking to you, Gina. Thanks for being brave and coming on here with me. I know I gave you a little bit of anxiety. I really admire that.
0:44:18.4 Gina: You make it easy.
0:44:20.1 Kim Schlag: I'm so glad. We'll talk soon.
0:44:21.8 Gina: Alright, thank you.
0:44:22.5 Kim Schlag: Okay, bye-bye.
0:44:25.3 Gina: Bye.
0:44:26.2 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today, I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.8 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 94 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm gonna be answering your questions that you post to me on Instagram, full-blown Q&A, talking about PMS cravings, talking about not being able to maintain weight after you've lost a lot of weight, talking about what do you do when you don't have a ton of weights at home and you still wanna be able to workout, talking about what to do if you're constantly yo-yo dieting? Lots of questions and answers coming your way. First, a real quick reminder, if you are a woman over 40, two things coming up for you this Monday, March 29th. I'm offering my free webinar on the menopause fat loss formula. It's gonna be 45 minutes. I'm gonna walk you through step-by-step the six things you need to do to be able to lose weight in menopause. Watch out for that, sign up for it. You can go to my website, firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to get on there. If you show up live, you're gonna get a free copy of my End Emotional Eating workbook. You'll also be able to get the replay.
0:01:06.9 Kim Schlag: Same day I am launching my menopause weight loss course. This is going to be an incredible opportunity for you to get some coaching time with me. Working together for nine weeks in a group setting, it's gonna be nine modules. You'll get a new module in your course each week and it's going to be the key components. So the webinar is gonna tell you like, "Here's what to do," the course is going to actually help you put it into practice. We're gonna work together to get you real results, losing weight in your 40s. If you're tired, if you're struggling with belly fat, if you're just like, "Why is weight loss not working for me anymore?" This course is for you. Again, look at my website, email@example.com, cart goes live, Monday, March 29th. It will be open for one week, registration then closes, and I won't be offering it again 'til the fall, at which point, price is gonna go up. Alright, let's hit it.
0:02:02.4 Kim Schlag: Hello. Hello. Answering your questions today on this episode, questions I've gotten on my feed, and questions I've gotten in my stories, and questions I've gotten on my DMs that I wanted to spend a little bit more time talking you through. Of course, if you ever want to have me coach you through a question, I love doing that. It's much more of a give and take versus me kind of assuming what I think you might answer to a question. We can have a really in-depth discussion that I then find not only helps you, but helps other people as well. If you would like to do that, you wanna hop on a call, message me, firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "question for your podcast" or something like that in the subject line, and then tell me what your question is, and we will set it up. Nothing to be worried about. It's not anything fancy. It's not like I'd be interviewing you. It's literally a call just between the two of us that I happen to be recording for the podcast.
0:03:00.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, on to my first question today. This is a question that came through on a feed post that I did the other day. It wasn't related specifically to the post, and I find it very relevant to many people, so I'm gonna read her questions here. So I read your post and my question is, is 800 to 900 calories too little? I'm gonna wager to guess if she's read very many of my posts, she knows my answer to that is, yes it is. I am STARVING at that number, yet it's the only time I lose weight when I'm that low. Dieted, exercised and have counted calories for 20 plus years. Is this sounding familiar to you, ladies? I always yo-yo. Right now, I've been fighting my weight for two years, and only gaining. I begin to lose when I cut down... I want you to really listen carefully to the next few lines. "I begin to lose when I cut down to 800 to 900 calories. I don't think I can happily live like that. I can do that for... " And this is the important part. "Maybe two days and I'm a bear, then I tend to binge to 1500 to 1600 calories because I'm HUNGRY. Is that the secret to lose? Is it to be hungry?"
0:04:05.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, listen to this again, 800 to 900 calories. How long did she do that for? Two days, and then she binges, and she's guessing she's eating 1500 to 1600 calories. I can assure you, if she's binging, it is way more than that. And then here's the real deal. She's not at a deficit eating 800-900 calories. When you average it over the week, she's eating more than her maintenance calories. I'm going to wager that she's in the thousands of calories per day. You know, I don't know how big this person is, so I have no idea what her maintenance calories would be, but I have a really strong suspicion that 1500-1600 calories is actually deficit calories for her, not maintenance, which then leads us to believe these binges are actually in the thousands. Look, it is so easy to clear 3000 calories if you're eating cookies, donuts, cakes, pizza. If you have a meal out and then dessert, you're snacking all day, 3000 calories in a day, super-duper easy. Like, I wouldn't even have to think about it. If you told me, like, "Hey, Kim, eat 3000 calories without thinking about it," I am so there. And you are too. You don't know it, but you are.
0:05:12.3 Kim Schlag: So here's the answer to your question. Stop trying to eat 800-900 calories. That's what's doing you in. Eat in a moderate deficit, and I can certainly help you figure that out. A couple of options for you. You can go through my free five-day fat loss crash course. I can help you set your calories there. I have many posts on this in my feed. You can go to my guides. I don't know if you guys are aware of that feature. If you go to my... What is that called? My bio page, and you look right below the highlights tabs, there's these little icons. One of the icons is a book. This is only like half a year old that they have these, and you can click on the little books, and I have made guides on various topics, and there's definitely a guide there on setting your calories. You can look there for some guidance. If you're feeling like you need more intense guidance, it's gonna be a long shot to get in on my one-on-one coaching right now. I have a very extensive wait list, you can absolutely get on there. You can email me, email@example.com.
0:06:12.8 Kim Schlag: The best way to work with me in 2021, if you are a woman over 40, you can hop into my menopause weight loss course which is launching on Monday, March 29th, that's in like three days, three and a half days from now. Super excited about that. Would love to have you in there. In there, not only will I help you set your calories, I'm gonna walk you through nine weeks of me helping you to reach those calories, so give that a look. In the end, the answer to your question is this, no, the secret to losing weight is not to be super hungry, some hunger comes along with weight loss, it is inevitable. It is part of the process. If you are struggling with that, you need to remind yourself what a calorie deficit is, you're literally eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight, of course you will be hungry. There is so much you can do to mitigate that hunger, does not need to be extreme hunger. In fact, I would say it should not be extreme hunger that is uncomfortable and likely to lead to you not following through with your plan.
0:07:11.9 Kim Schlag: So you can do things like, eat in volume. So to do that, focus on lots of leafy greens, focus on melon, strawberries, egg whites, shrimp. Those are all foods you can eat in big quantities for very low calories, that's one suggestion. Eat enough protein, protein is the most satiating of all the macro nutrients, so it's more satisfying than carbs or fats, it's gonna keep you fuller longer, so eat plenty of protein, do not skimp on your protein. Get plenty of fiber that also has that filling effect, so look for high fiber foods, so you can... There's so many high fiber foods. Avocado is a high-end fiber, all of a sudden I drew a blank on high fiber foods. Raspberries, avocado. Gosh, seriously, [chuckle] I blanked on high fiber foods. Obviously there's high fiber whole grain, so I like to do Ezekiel bread for a high fiber whole grains, peas, beans, apples, all the pears, artichokes, lots of foods that are high in fiber put high fiber, shooting for 30 grams of fiber, 20 to 30 grams of fiber daily can really help with that hunger piece.
0:08:24.6 Kim Schlag: And then of course, getting some dietary fat, you wanna be careful to measure out with a scale, your dietary fats, because they are higher in calories than your carbs, your proteins, so you don't wanna mess up and overdo those, but having those in your diet is really gonna help with the staying power of your meal. So doing some combination of all of those things while at a moderate deficit is gonna help you actually stick with your deficit rather than slashing down to 800-900 calories for two days, and there goes the yo-yo. I so hope this has helped you. Please reach out again. I hope you're listening to this. I didn't know what your username is, it's a dash and then Krees and then another dash. So Krees, I really hope you're listening and that this has helped you some. Alright, next question, this is a question that came through in my DMs.
0:09:11.0 Kim Schlag: My heaviest weight is 30 pounds. How do I add more weight without buying heavier ones? Okay, so a couple of things I would say here. One, what is your hesitation around buying heavier weights. Is it a cost issue? Is it a space issue? Over the long term, you're going to need access to heavier weights to progress. You will, okay? So a couple of options you have there, one, get a gym membership, it can be a cheap gym membership, if your gyms are open, I realize some people now have gym access, some people do not. Here in 2021, who knows? [chuckle] Who knows if you do or you don't. If you do and you're comfortable going, look, even a place like Planet Fitness, that place gets poo-pooed on a lot, there's a lot of weird stuff about it, right? Like, I don't love the one to one thing, I certainly don't like that they're serving pizza and donuts, but as far as the equipment, it's great. I've had plenty of clients, I currently do have plenty of clients who train at Planet Fitness, it is not a ton of money. If you can swing that in your budget, go for something like that. You'll have the heaviest weights you need there, you'll be good to go.
0:10:12.6 Kim Schlag: If you're like, "No, not joining a gym." Then what I would suggest for over the long term, this is not short-term, we'll talk about short-term in a minute, is that you start really looking at yard sales, second-hand places, online like Facebook marketplace. Equipment is there to be had. Absolutely, you can find it. I would look at buying things... Most of my gym I bought second hand. Not all of it, but a good bit of it, for a pretty good price. If space is the issue, look into getting adjustable dumbbells, they go up fairly heavy, you can certainly get more than 30 pounds, so look into getting adjustable dumbbells and over the door chin up bar, a TRX, they have benches, incline benches that fold, and you can put them in your closet and look into getting something like that. So if space is an issue, look into that. If you're just like, "I don't have the money, I don't have the space, none of that," for right now, look into the future and think, "What will I do?" 'Cause eventually you're gonna need access to this equipment.
0:11:04.9 Kim Schlag: Am I gonna join a gym? Am I gonna start building up my home gym? In the meantime, there are ways to progress without adding heavier weight, okay? So things you can do and you can do this even when you do have access to equipment, these are things I do to change up client's programming without constantly just being like lift heavier weight. Okay? So you can add a pause to a movement, you can do these with almost any movement that you can think of, I'm just gonna give you the example of a squat. Let's say you're doing a squat, you can add a pause, so you come down to the bottom, distinct pause. I use two seconds a lot, that's not a rule, you can use any kinda second you want, but it should be a very distinct pause, don't blink and come back up, really count like, one Mississippi, two Mississippi. And then, squatting with that 30-pound dumbbell is going to feel heavier, 'cause you have more time under a tension, you were holding that load longer. So pauses, a slow eccentric.
0:12:00.0 Kim Schlag: The eccentric is the muscle lengthening part of an exercise, depending on... For many exercises that is the down portion, the lowering portion, it's not for all. For a squat, it is the lowering, for a lunge, it is the lowering, for a deadlift, it is the lowering, for a row, it is lowering, and for like a lat pull-down, it's actually gonna be the raising part, so the part where your arms are getting straight, but the eccentric is the muscle lengthening piece, so you can emphasize that piece. So again, let's go back to our goblet squat. On the way down, as you're just coming down, you can come down for a very slow count, you could do a count of three or a count of five really slowly, and then back up with power and speed. That, again, is gonna make that 30-pound dumb bell you said you have a lot heavier, that literally doesn't get heavier, but it's going to feel heavier, it's going to tax your muscles more.
0:12:49.9 Kim Schlag: Another option, adding an extra half rep. You can do this again with many movements. For the squat, what that would look like is coming all the way down to the bottom of your squat, coming up halfway, going back down to the bottom, and then standing all the way up, and all of that is rep one, okay? All the way down, half way up, all the way down, all the way up, adding an extra half rep. Love doing those. And then the last technique I would suggest to you is, doing something called constant tension reps. In a squat example, what this would look like, you would come all the way down to the bottom, so you are gonna get full range of motion, at the bottom, then you're gonna come back up, but before you lock out at the top, when you think about the top of a squat where you lock out, you stand straight up, you're not over-arching your back, but you're standing straight up, and you give your glutes that nice little squeeze, your hips are fully extended, okay, not over-extended, but fully extended, you're not gonna get to that position, you're gonna stop short of that.
0:13:42.3 Kim Schlag: So you go all the way down, you come back up but you stop short of that lock out, and you come back down, and you just keep, kind of like a piston, up and down, up and down, staying away from that top end motion where you lock out. That's called constant tension. So that's another technique you can use to make that 30 pound weight feel heavier. You can also use more unilateral movements, so doing one legged-things. So doing a single leg RDL. That's gonna make better use of that 30 pounds than doing with two legs. Doing Bulgarian split squats instead of a goblet squat. Again, that's going to be... You could hold a 30 pound weight in each hand, if you can even do that, right? And that will be harder than holding it and doing a squat, holding the weight with two legs. Obviously you hold the weight with two legs. You know what I mean. [chuckle] Squatting with two legs. So, using unilateral movements more is a really good way to make use of lighter weights.
0:14:45.8 Kim Schlag: Obviously, you can increase your reps. That works to a point. You still wanna take your reps close to failure, and you don't wanna be doing so many reps that it's going to make your workout be super long, or that it's just ridiculously light. But you can certainly increase your reps, you just wanna make sure you're working close to that failure point. Alright, that is my best advice for you. The other thing you can do is scrounge around and look for heavier items. A lot of people did this during lockdowns. One of the smartest things I heard my coach suggest that people do this, and I started suggesting a really great idea, go to a store like Home Depot or Lowes and buy sandbags. You can buy them in varying increments, bring them home, and put them in duffel bags, so you could get several sandbags and stack them together and make them heavier, okay? So, looking for heavier items around the house. That's my best advice for you. Over the long term, still gonna need to find yourself a way to get access to a heavier weight, but you can use these techniques in the meantime while you're doing that.
0:15:46.6 Kim Schlag: Alright, moving on to our next question. This question: "I've lost 97 pounds, but I struggle to keep it off. I am feeling defeated. Any advice?" First of all, can we just take a second to realize how difficult the thing is that you achieved. Losing 97 pounds is a struggle. Holy cow! That is a lot of hard work, that's a lot of hard work. Really, that does not come easily. That was not a fluke. You can absolutely figure out a way to maintain this weight. Let's talk about it a bit. It's important to note, it is easier for a person to maintain a certain weight, never having dieted down to that weight, as opposed to a person who was much heavier and then dieted down to that weight, it is harder for that person to maintain, so keep that in mind. That should not be disempowering. It's not like, "Oh great, now I can never maintain this." You can. One thing I would say that you should really do is evaluate whether it is an appropriate weight for you to maintain at?
0:16:47.9 Kim Schlag: Look, I could diet myself down to 115, 112 pounds. I can tell you for a fact, I've been... The lowest I got was 119 when I was very... I was fit. Like, I've been lower than that and super not fit when I was much, much younger, like a teenager, but as a grown woman who worked hard, built muscle, the lowest I got down to a few years ago was 119. I did not like the lifestyle that I needed to maintain that weight. It was not maintainable for me. It meant not indulging hardly at all, ever, in the foods I liked. It was incredibly difficult for me to maintain that weight. So that for me is a no-go. I don't want the lifestyle that goes with that weight. So that's a question to ask yourself. Do you want the lifestyle that goes with the weight you're trying to maintain? I have no idea where you started and what your weight is now, and what your activity level is, and how tall you are, and how old you are, and all these factors, I have no idea. But give that some consideration.
0:17:46.8 Kim Schlag: Do I want the lifestyle that comes along with maintaining this weight? And maybe maintaining it five pounds higher or 10 pounds higher, you're still gonna like that look, but you're gonna feel more comfortable in your life. Is that a good trade-off for you? The next thing I would say is to consider the habits that you have. Are they supporting you in keeping your weight off? I again have no information from you on how you lost this weight. You could have done a crazy crash diet, and you could have done Optavia. I can never say if I'm telling... Know if I'm saying that word right. You know, where you're just... You're living off their little packages, and it's 800, 900 calories a day, and you're not exercising, maybe that's what you did. And now you have not built a whole host of habits that actually lend to keeping weight off. You haven't done that. And so, now is the time to do that. And you can absolutely do that.
0:18:34.0 Kim Schlag: So what kind of habits am I talking about? Things like strength training. Are you doing it? Do you have a consistent strength training program, minimum two times a week, ideally, at least three times, three or four times a week, strength training with progression, are you doing that? What is your daily movement like? Are you a sedentary person who just switched up their diet, or did you add movement into your life? If you did not, now is the time, or if you just didn't add very much, now is the time. Getting up to minimal, like 6500, that's a really good place to be. And you can even go higher. You can go 7000, 7500, you can go up 10,000, 12,000. There's no reason to go higher than that.
0:19:13.5 Kim Schlag: So adding some daily movement maybe. Are you eating vegetables at most meals, are you eating protein at every meal, are you are having non-food fun? All of your entertainment? All your down time all of the things you look forward to, are they all associated with foods? Are all of your hobbies associated with foods? If so, this is part of a lifestyle change that needs to be made. If everything that you look forward to doing with your loved ones revolves around food, that is an issue for weight maintenance. I'm not saying you can't enjoy good food with your loved ones, you absolutely can and should. You don't need my permission to do that, but if you wanna keep this weight off, finding things you can do with them that don't involve food, and it could be a million different things, you could play yard games. I love playing KanJam with my family. So it can be like, a yard game, it could be going for a walk, it could be like, "Hey, we like to go to museums." it could be, "We like to go for bike rides."
0:20:08.8 Kim Schlag: It could be swimming, it could be doing puzzles, it could be all kinds of different things, but it shouldn't revolve around food. Okay, so that's something to really think about and to tackle. And doesn't have to be family, like if you could be single and be like, "Hey, my friend group, like everything we do revolves around drinking and food," I've had clients with that issue and they have literally had to change their friend group. They have that or had to... Some of them changed their friend group, some of them said to their friends like, "Hey, can we start doing some hiking instead of just going to the bar?" And sometimes your friends will be open to that and sometimes they won't, and that's a clue as to who best fits into your life. Not all friends are meant for all stages of our lives. And I know that can be hard to hear, but if you value being active and not drinking every weekend and your friends just wanna drink every weekend, that's not a great fit, and that's something that you need to address. Again, it's not always about the food, these are big, important, fundamental lifestyle changes. And then another big one is emotional eating, is that something that you have tackled yet or did you kind of brush that under the rug and, again, do some kind of not sustainable diet or just to diet, even if you are calorie counting, but you just didn't address any of these issues? It's something to be addressed.
0:21:24.4 Kim Schlag: Look at your emotional eating, how do you handle it? What ways do you have to cope with stress that don't involve food? I have a great video on stress eating and overcoming that on, my YouTube channel Kim Schlag Fitness, you can look there. And of course if you're listening to this before March 29, you can get in on my free webinar, I'm doing a free webinar Monday, March 29th, two sessions, and if you come live, if you actually show up live to the webinar, not just get the replay, you can get for free, a copy of the workbook I made for my clients called end emotional eating and it works you through step by step what to do to overcome emotional eating, it's not a quick process, this is not like, "Oh, do these three things and you have fixed it," but I will give you the tools that over time, you will be able to switch from being a person who was an emotional eater to being a person who has other ways of managing their stress or their loneliness or their boredom.
0:22:20.2 Kim Schlag: Okay. So I hope that that has helped. I know it's a really big struggle, and again, congratulations on losing that weight, you can absolutely conquer the second hurdle, which is how the heck do I keep it off? Alright, next question. Help for PMS cravings, they are ruining my deficit. Okay, a couple of things you can do here. The number one thing I would say that you can do is to try to anticipate this happening, okay, if you struggle with PMS cravings, it's likely not a surprise to you, right? You know that it's gonna happen, you're just not thinking about doesn't... This is funny, ladies, how many years we've been living with this, and how many of us are like, we're acting crazy, we're saying stupid things, we're so touchy? It's not until our period comes and we're like, "Oh right. That's why I thought everybody hates me and the world was ending yesterday. Oh yes, there it is." Why do we do that? Why do you do that? Now, if you are in perimenopause, you might have the struggle of, I don't know when the freak I'm gonna get my period. I never know. I have a tracker, I would suggest you get an app, I use an app, and for me, it is still you just don't know, I'll go six or seven months without having a period, and I will tell you sometimes during those periods, even though I don't get a period, I still have the PMS.
0:23:34.8 Kim Schlag: And it's really hard to pick out, and usually it's when I get a whole conglomeration of symptoms like everybody's bugging me. The world is ending. I'm super tired, I start getting really bad headaches, I'm craving things, and after a few days like that, I'm like, "Ah, yes, this is clearly hormonal, and then I still look at my period." So if you are in that situation, I feel for you, I know it's hard, still keep trying to keep track of that, what is your conglomeration of symptoms so that you can be like, "Ah, that's what this is." If you are somebody who has a regular cycle, amazing, that is a really good knowledge for you, keep that on your calendar, I have some clients who keep that on our shared Google doc where we track their calories so they can anticipate, "Oh, this is the week I'm definitely gonna struggle with my calories, this is definitely the week I'm gonna be struggling with cravings, so I'll tell you some more things you can do about that in a second.
0:24:20.4 Kim Schlag: So that is number one. Anticipate it, the app I use is called My Period Tracker, but there are tons of them. You don't have to get that one. I like that one. So knowing it is coming is really powerful stuff that is helpful to anticipate like, "Okay, I'm going to be craving more," and then you can prepare, "What am I gonna do?" One of the things I do, I just freaking go to bed. I go to bed earlier. If I'm craving food and I'm exhausted and it's PMS week and you know what? Just go to bed. There's just no... If you skip the television shows, you can tell your kids, guys, I'm going to bed early tonight goodnight, if you have little ones, that might be harder, but if they're old enough to be like, "Fine," better if your husband can take over or your partner can take over. Great, that's a big one, I would say, is just go to bed. Keeping sweets out of your immediate environment during that time is so crucial, even if typically you can keep a bag with many Snickers in your cupboard and you're like, "I can just dole out one a day," and when your period comes, if that's not the case, if you're like, I'm eating them by the handful, then that's not necessarily a good strategy for you, so let's get those out of there, don't keep them at home.
0:25:25.8 Kim Schlag: It doesn't mean you can't still eat Snickers, you'll just go out and get them, so if you decide like, "You know what? I'm craving the Snickers, go out, go to the 7-Eleven, buy yourself a single Snickers bar, it can be a full size one, they're like, what? 250, 275 calories, eat it and be happy. You'll come home and eat it, don't eat it at the store and then buy another one, so that portion control is really, really useful.
0:25:47.4 Kim Schlag: Something you might not have thought of that might feel really counter-intuitive and you might be like, "Ooh, I don't know if I wanna do that," I will tell you this works really well. I have done it with a handful of clients. Not everybody wants to do it or needs to do it, but it can work very well, and that is purposely upping your calories during the week that you have PMS. It works especially well if you are on a very regular cycle. You know, "Okay, I'm going to up my calories to maintenance this week." What it helps you to do is actually be at maintenance rather than in a surplus, because if you try and be in a deficit and you're white knuckling it and you're just not being successful at it, and you're having a lot of cravings, and then you're going well over your maintenance calories, isn't it better to stay at your maintenance calories? You're not gonna lose any progress. You're gonna stay right where you are. You still have the other three weeks of the month to be in a deficit. So that is something I would consider giving a go.
0:26:34.7 Kim Schlag: And then the last thing I would suggest is adding some more dietary fat. I have read some things and I wish... I don't have anything to quote for you, I wish I did, I don't know where I put it... That upping your dietary fat when you were having these PMS cravings can actually help. This isn't the weird kind of stuff. You know I totally hate those posts. There's one I have that I saved, it's really dumb, "If you're craving chocolate, you should eat... " and it gives you some weird combination of foods, and the one I have saved somewhere, it's like, "If you're craving chocolate, you should eat rabbit." First of all, where the heck am I getting a rabbit? [chuckle] I don't want rabbit, I want some chocolate. So I'm not saying that, but absolutely if you're a person who is typically a little bit lower on fat, bump up your fat, you bump up your calories through fat and see if that helps with the cravings in that way. So a whole host of things you can do. I know it can be a really... It can feel really out of control at that time, so going into it with a strategy, going into it with a plan, going into it knowing, like, "Ah, here it comes," is much more empowering than feeling at the will of your hormones.
0:27:36.7 Kim Schlag: Alright, I believe this next one is my last question here... Yes. Alright, this one says, "I don't know where to start with exercise. I am really out of shape." I actually made a post about this yesterday. I think I got started writing that post because I'd written this question down to answer here on the podcast today. Such a good question and I want you to know, no matter how out of shape you are, fitness is for you, exercise is for you, and it should meet you literally where you are. You don't have to achieve some level of fitness to feel worthy to step into a gym. You can just start where you're at, and any coach worth their salt is gonna be able to help do that. There's just no question about it. If they can't meet you where you are, that isn't the problem, the problem is with them, not with you. Let's say you're like, "I'm not getting a coach yet. Okay, what can I do?"
0:28:27.9 Kim Schlag: The number one thing I would say to do is start moving more. Start walking. And maybe for you what that means is you literally make a goal to walk for five minutes after every meal every day, and that's it. Then do that for a week. Maybe two weeks. Once you're like, "Okay... "And you don't have to go fast. This doesn't have to be a fast thing, a sweaty thing, a get my heart rate up thing. It can just be moving. You don't have to put on special clothes to do it, just put on some comfortable shoes and go for a slow walk. Five minutes, five minutes, then maybe you could up it to 10 minutes. Increase that over time. Eventually, you can create a step goal for yourself and say like, "You know what, I'm gonna get a thousand steps a day." And then sometime when that feels really comfy, "I'm gonna get 1500 steps a day. I'm gonna get 2000 steps a day." And before you know it, you're a person who moves, and that's gonna feel really, really good.
0:29:16.3 Kim Schlag: Then as far as getting into strength training, if you're very apprehensive about this, my number one piece of advice is to get an in-person coach, or at least a friend who knows what they're doing, and have them walk you through it. And if you're like, "Ooh, that's more money that I can handle regularly," just get somebody for a session or two, or like I said, get a friend who knows more than you do. A person only needs to be a few steps ahead of you to get you started. If you're like still, "No, don't know anybody. I don't have the money," watch my YouTube videos. Go to my YouTube, look at my tutorials, look for ones on the squat, look for ones on push-ups. Don't worry, there's a push-up variety for you, I promise. Look for my hip hinging drills, look for my glute bridge tutorial. Watch those and give them a try.
0:30:00.9 Kim Schlag: You can do them in your own home. Watch the video, try the movement, try the variety that I say like, "Hey, if you're just starting, do this," and do it, and just practice that. You can just go through the motions for a few times and then you can set yourself up a little program and do three sets of 10 of each of those exercises. So do body weight squats, hand elevated push-ups, do the hip hinging drills until you nail those, and then turn those into a Romanian deadlift, and do a glute bridge.
0:30:28.9 Kim Schlag: Do those things, and if you feel like you can add one more, add on a row. You might not have any weights at home, so if you do or just grab something heavy and do a row. That is what I would suggest for you to get started and again, you can do this. Everyone is capable of doing those things. Look, if you sit down into a chair and get up every day, guess what you just did? You did a squat. You do. When you sit down on your chair, and you stand back up, you did a squat, so you can do it. There's no reason you can't. I know it feels intimidating. It feels like people are just ahead of you and like, "Who am I to be doing this?" You know who you are? You're a person with a body who deserves to be healthy, and you can do it. You can absolutely do it. All right, and reach out to me any time for help with those things, I hope these question-answers have helped for you today. Hit me up if there's any other questions I can help you with. Always happy to get you on here to chat, and thank you for listening and spending your time with me. I do not take lightly that you spend your time here with me each week. Thanks so much. Catch you next time.
0:31:38.8 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me, if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.6 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 93 of the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. Before we jump into today's episode, just a quick reminder, my free webinar on The Menopause Fat Loss Formula is currently open for registration. You can head over to my website, kimschlagfitness.com to sign up. Now, the webinar is going to cover four ways that weight loss is different in menopause and it's going to also cover the six parts of the menopause fat loss formula. You'll get a really good idea of what the menopause weight loss course will entail as well. Thinking of those two things, you'd be like, "Wait a minute, what's the difference between this webinar and the course?" The free webinar is going to be like a shopping list. By the time you're finished with the webinar, you will know exactly what is on the list and you're gonna know what's not on the list, so you can stop wasting your time. You will know, "These are the six things I have to have in order to lose weight." That is incredibly valuable information and you will know that all by the end of that free webinar.
0:01:06.9 Kim Schlag: Now, the menopause weight loss course, which goes on sale the day of the webinar, it's gonna be on sale for one week only, is not just giving somebody the shopping list like the webinar, but it's like giving them the list, providing the exact recipe and then walking you step by step through the recipe. That's the difference. So at the end of the course, you will have made significant progress. Not just to have an idea of like, "Here are the things I need to get in order," but "How do I get them in order step by step?" That's the difference between the two. Come to the webinar, you'll learn those specific six things you need to have in order and you'll get more information about the course as well. So I hope to see you at the webinar. Okay, let's hop into today's episode. We're gonna be chatting all about how to lose weight while still eating with your family. Let's go. On today's solo episode, we're gonna chat about a common struggle that I see so many women having, and candidly, it is one that I struggled with. You find yourself prepping two dinners every day so that you can feed your family and eat your "diet food" or whatever form that might be.
0:02:20.7 Kim Schlag: I can, for sure, share my own experience here. One of those experiences was when I did Nutrisystem back in my late 30s. I had my little box of food, my little red box, and that was my dinner. Then I cooked dinner for my family. At least this one was an easy one because my food literally just went in the microwave. That's all I did, microwave them in. So that was a pretty easy one. Not necessarily enjoyable to cook them some nice meal and I had this little microwave meal but at least it wasn't cumbersome. Believe me, Nutrisystem had plenty of other problems besides that though. Now, when I went through my phase where I thought I want to be a body builder, I went many, many months on an incredibly strict meal plan. It was super limited as far as the variety of food that I was allowed to have and of course, the total calories were very limited. On occasion, I would cook the same food for my family that was on my meal plan. They did not like a lot of what was on my meal plan. Mashed cauliflower, I actually thought it was really good. My daughter kinda liked it. My husband and my sons, big fat no to the mashed cauli. The flank steak with a dry rub was a big hit with everyone and I actually still cook that for my family to this day. We just have it like two weeks ago.
0:03:36.0 Kim Schlag: One of the recipes on the meal plan literally made my daughter cry. Actual tears, upset, sobbing at the dinner table and then even got more upset because people thought it was funny that she was crying because of the food, and it was a big mess. You know how that goes at dinner table. Things just go downhill fast. She must have been eight at that time and I made something called meatzza. It's what it sounds like. It's a kind of pizza but it's made with meat. I thought it sounded like a good idea. I actually did like meatzza. Everyone else hated it. My daughter had this terrible reaction to it. Now, here's what it was. Imagine it looks like the shape of a pizza but the crust, I'm putting that in big air quotes, was ground meat, and the kind of ground meat they suggested was bison. I had never cooked with bison before. We had never had ground bison. I don't mind ground bison, it's quite lean, but it smells funny, and the smell is what did my daughter when she looked at it and smelled it, and just burst into the tears. Had I done ground beef, I think it wouldn't have been so traumatic. I don't think the smell would... The smell definitely wouldn't have been here and I think they might have maybe liked it but as it was, no one would do meatzza with me again.
0:04:46.0 Kim Schlag: So basically, the crust was meat and I think it may have had an egg in it. I haven't made it in years. You'd shape that to be the bottom of the pizza, you'd put sauce on top of that and then any kind of toppings you wanted. I obviously had to be super sparing with the cheese because of the restrictions but a little bit of cheese, tons of veggies and then the tomato sauce, and I put more cheese on my kids. So yeah, [chuckle] that was probably one of my worst experiences with trying to cook from this meal plan for my family. Now, if you're currently doing double duty with dinners, let's talk this through. You don't have to do that. There is a simpler way so you can still incorporate your family favorites and lose weight. So the first suggestion I'm going to give you with regards to everything I'm gonna say today is, don't make a big deal about these changes and you decide, "Do you know what? I'm gonna give this a go. I'm gonna try what Kim is suggesting. I'm gonna try this template." Don't make a big deal and then be like, "We're changing thing around here, family. We're doing dinner differently."
0:05:40.2 Kim Schlag: Just start serving meals this way like no fan fare, no sit-down meeting, no discussion about taking away family favorites because we're not. We're not taking away anyone's favorite foods here. They might have those family favorites at a smaller frequency than they're used to, but they're gonna get all the foods they love and they're gonna get used to this new pattern. So here is the dinner time template I followed for years now. This works very well for fat loss, as well as for weight maintenance, and it would absolutely work in a muscle building phase where you eat in surplus because it is so adaptable. You can adapt this to any amount of calories you need to be eating. And if you would like to see all of this in print form, I made a post and posted this yesterday in preparation for this podcast on my Instagram feed. So this is all in written infographic format, there on my Instagram if you want to see it that way. So this is what the template looks like. Each dinner we'll have a protein, a fruit, a vegetable or two, and a non-fruit or vegetable carb. This is what you will serve most nights. So the protein, so many options here and everything... I'm gonna list a bunch here, but there's so many more out there, you don't have to just stick with these.
0:06:52.7 Kim Schlag: But just if you're wondering, "What do you mean by a protein?" Chicken breast, chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken, salmon, shrimp, scallops, tilapia, turkey, ground turkey, pork loin, pork chops, flank steak, sirloin, pot roast, ground beef, eggs, tofu, tempeh, seitan. You can take any and all these proteins, you can bake them, you can crackpot them, you can instapot them, you can grow them, you can air fry them, so all different kinds of ways to serve the protein. But you're gonna have a protein. Okay? So that's number one, you wanna anchor your meal with a protein. To that, you're gonna add a fruit, any fruit you can think of. Some of the common ones that we use in my house, we do apple slices, orange segments, melons of all different varieties. Those all figure very heavy in a rotation. In the summer, we do peaches and nectarines, of course, berries are always a good choice. We do kiwi, literally any fruit you can think of. So that's the next piece. So you have your protein, you have a fruit. Next step, vegetable or two. I like doing two, because not everyone likes the same veggies. I'm very picky about my veggies. I typically do a salad and then something else; peas, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, lima beans. You can prep these however you like. You can microwave, you can boil, you can bake, you can grill 'em.
0:08:13.5 Kim Schlag: We are really simple. Most nights, we'll find us doing some kind of bag salad and a frozen vegetable. So that's your vegetable piece. Okay, so now we're at, we've done protein, we've done fruit, a vegetable or two, and then you add a non-fruit or vegetable carb. So a potato, rice, bean, rolls, noodles. I will tell you, I don't serve this every single night, though you could. Here's why I don't in my family. My family is not lacking in carbs, believe me. In fact, I'd say that the rest of their days are really carb heavy, so I purposely only do a starchy carb a couple of nights per week. So most nights of the week, I stick with just the protein, fruit, two vegetables, that's our dinner. Multiple times a week, we will add... For us, it's typically rice or potatoes, sometimes noodles. The reason this template works so well is that you don't have to cook two meals, but you can adjust what you personally put on your plate to meet your calorie needs for that day. So maybe some days you're serving the family rice. The rest of the family eats the rice, but you've already had a higher calorie early part of your day, so what you do instead, you should put the protein on your plate and the vegetables, maybe the fruit or maybe not, depending again, on your total calories.
0:09:27.7 Kim Schlag: Other days you're like, "Yeah, I'm having the rice or the noodles, or the potatoes. Maybe some days you need extra protein, you could double up on that, you see it is just so flexible. You use these one ingredient foods and then you can pair them up as needed on your plate to make a full meal. And I didn't specifically mention dietary fat, absolutely use it. You will likely find that a lot of your proteins have enough fat in it. Then, if you cook with some oil, or if you do things like add avocado to your salad or some nuts to your salad, you're gonna get those dietary fat in there. I'm not saying to skip the fat, there are just easy ways to get them in there, and they don't need a whole section of your plate, is my point. So there are loads of sample ideas I can give you and you will see some of my Instagram posts that I made. I'm gonna give you some more now. If you're like, "I can't picture in my mind, Kim. What does a whole meal look like using this template?" I'm gonna give you a handful of ideas now. So you could have air fried chicken thighs, plus peaches, all sliced up, plus lima beans plus baked potatoes. There's one sample.
0:10:32.1 Kim Schlag: Here's another sample meal. You're gonna have salmon, mixed berries, asparagus and rice. And again, you see how each component is separate, so you can easily track it, you can easily take on or add, take off anything you want for your particular plate without cooking a separate meal. Here's another suggestion. Grilled shrimp, pineapple, and a salad. There's an example where you didn't put a starchy carb. Or you could pop any starchy carb you wanted on there. So grilled shrimp, pineapple, salad. Another example. Lean ground beef or turkey meat balls, either is good, you could do a mix of them, plus apple slices, plus tomato sauce, plus a salad, plus pasta. Let's put those meatballs and sauce on. An important mindset switch with this type of pasta dish, and this was a big "aha" for me. As an American Italian, I grew up with super heavy pasta dishes. We were really into pasta in my house. I think that's definitely an American Italian thing, not an Italian thing, the way I've heard it. The change that I made was thinking of the pasta as the side dish, seriously a small side dish, not the main. The main is the meatballs and the vegetables. That's the main. The Pasta's just the side dish. That hits different, right? That turned my pasta dishes on their head.
0:11:56.7 Kim Schlag: Now, that what I've just described is the template for most of your meals most of the time. Then a few times per month, make your more traditional family comfort foods, whatever those are. I'm gonna give you some that I typically use. So chicken and dumplings, casseroles. If you're a casserole fan, you know how delicious they can be, you also know how high calorie they can be, and if done wrong, what I think is wrong, they can be terribly unhealthy. Or you can make them with more... And when I say healthy versus unhealthy, I'm not talking about replacing your noodles and your tuna noodle casserole with zucchini noodles. I'm not talking about that. I'm just saying sometimes casseroles just have crazy ingredients that are like super highly processed canned soups, and I do that, sometimes with casseroles, but not all the time. There's so many easy recipes that just have you using more nutritious forms of the foods to make delicious casseroles. I love a good casserole. So I love tuna noodle casserole, I have a wagon wheel casserole. I love a good casserole. So things like chicken dumplings, casseroles, lasagne, chicken fried rice, chicken pot pie, all of these kind of recipes that are more nutrition dense, mac and cheese, but they're family favorites. So you serve them a couple of times a month.
0:13:10.5 Kim Schlag: Now, how do you fit this into your plan? If you are on a calorie deficit, you might not have enough calories to have such a high calorie meal fit into your day without doing a bit of back-end work. What you would do is, first, we limit the number of times you have to even do this work by serving them only a few times a month. Then, eat them with a half a plate of vegetables. So half a plate of vegetables, and then keep your portions in line with your total calories available that day. Use nutritional compromises to free up more calories for this dinner. So maybe what that might look like for you is maybe in the morning you typically have a big bowl of oatmeal with some shredded almonds on it, and then you have your eggs mixed into that. So maybe on this day, you're gonna take some of those calories from that meal and you're just gonna have an egg white scramble with veggies, and then you free up the calories from those shredded almonds and the oatmeal to have later in the day for your casserole. Does that make sense? So look to change things to free up more calories, I'm not saying skip meals. You just lighten up the total calories, be more protein and vegetable heavy earlier in the day to save up extra calories for your dinner that night.
0:14:25.6 Kim Schlag: Then top your salad with extra protein as needed because if you don't have a lot of protein in your casserole or your lasagne, and you're like, "Oh, how am I gonna get all this protein in?" You might be okay just switching for earlier in the day, but if you still need some more protein, add some protein onto your side salad that you're having on the side of whatever your family favorite is you're cooking that night. So I cook frozen. I don't cook it. I keep frozen rotisserie chicken that's already shredded in my freezer to pull out for occasions like this. You just pull it out, defrost it, and then you just throw it right on your salad. So again, you're not making a second meal. And remember, you don't have to lighten up every dang recipe. Do not feel the need to take your lasagne and turn it into healthified lasagne. Again, I'm putting that in air quotes here, 'cause it's not necessarily healthier, by using some special wholewheat noodles or something. You can just use your regular recipe. Now, this might be an incredibly different way to eat for your family. If you're hearing this and you're just like, "My family's not gonna buy this," maybe what you need to do is ease things in a bit more, and that's totally cool.
0:15:34.0 Kim Schlag: Maybe serve more of those traditional high calorie foods, maybe do that more than just a few times a month to start, and over time, start to flip the balance of the one ingredient, nutritionally dense food to comfort food ratio, until you are doing those one ingredient nutritionally dense foods more often. And so just over time. So maybe at first or you're doing the old way for your family five nights a week, and you start adding two nights, separated by time, with this new pattern of eating, this new template, and over time you switch it to three days and then four days, and then over time, you get to this place where most of your meals follow this template. I promise you, you can get there. Kids will adapt, they will. Spouses might be a bigger hurdle. That can often be worked through with a conversation about your goals and why this is important to you. I hope that this has helped. It has been a system that's worked really well for me. It works really well for my clients.
0:16:33.3 Kim Schlag: Thank you so much for joining me here today. Let me know. You can drop me a note on Instagram Stories. Let me know what your thoughts are about this episode. You can always email me firstname.lastname@example.org. And yes, that's it. [chuckle] Having a brain fog moment there. I'm thinking "Is that what it is?" Yes, it is. Also remember that the link for the free webinar is at my website, kimschlagfitness.com. Alright, thanks so much for being here today. Catch you next time.
0:17:13.3 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.1 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 92 of the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I am joined by my friend and colleague, Jordan Lips, before I tell you what Jordan and I are gonna be chatting about, I wanna give you a heads up, next Monday, Monday, March 15th, a link will be live for a free webinar that I am hosting on the subject of the menopause fat loss formula. Can't lose weight after 40? Really struggling with that? This is for you, look for that link to go live, sign up for the webinar, the webinar will be happening on Monday, March 29th, there will be multiple different time slots that you can sign up to attend the live, you're gonna want to attend the live, 'cause there's gonna be a chance for a Q&A. I will put the replay of the live event available for you if you can't make it live however, look for sign-ups, registrations open on Monday, March 15th. Okay, let's talk about this episode. Today, Jordan and I are talking about where the sweet spot is for change when you are trying to lose weight, change too much, you're living that biggest loser lifestyle, we all know how that ends, right? Too much change, you can't sustain it. On the other end of the spectrum... You know how the saying goes, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." So where is the sweet spot? How much do you want to change? Let's go.
0:01:30.5 Kim Schlag: Jordan Lips, welcome to the program.
0:01:33.2 Jordan Lips: How's it going? Great to be here, thanks for having me on.
0:01:35.4 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. So, Jordan, tell us a little bit about yourself, give us like five bullet points about you so people know who on Earth I am talking to today.
0:01:43.4 Jordan Lips: Oh man, okay. I am, my name's Jordan Lips, I am an MNU certified nutritionist and certified personal trainer, and had been doing that for about a decade before going fully online, which I absolutely love. Things obviously have been very good to online coaches during the pandemic, but it's just been a great thing overall quality of life, it's been nice to help more people and help them in a way that I'm feeling a little bit more fulfilled. And so, yeah, I started as a personal trainer, I did that for about a decade, then I owned my own gym over the last two years of that decade, and...
0:02:16.3 Kim Schlag: You owned your own gym?
0:02:17.8 Jordan Lips: Yeah, a friend of mine...
0:02:18.5 Kim Schlag: I didn't know that.
0:02:19.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah, we worked under somebody for a long time and we tried to become partners of our original gym, and he wasn't having any of that, and so we decided, "Okay, screw it, we'll do our own thing," and we did, and it turns out... I feel like a lot of personal trainers think that owning a gym is the next step in their... It's like, "Get really busy," I was very busy, I had subcontractors, I was giving business away and things were really good, it's like, "Alright, You should... Next thing is own a gym." It turns out that's not a forward step, it's a lateral step, it's a different job. It wasn't really like I stopped coaching as much, I wasn't doing a lot of nutrition coaching at all, I was doing a lot of payroll, a lot of more clerical work and hiring and interviewing, and it just... It didn't feel like I was moving forward, it felt like I had changed careers, and so I quickly learned that that was not for me, and I was like, "What I really want to do is coach people," and so that was important for me 'cause I had to take that step, which turned out to not be a good step, but I had to take that to really realize, "Okay, this is what I... My purpose and my passion is like I wanna actually be working directly with people."
0:03:19.0 Kim Schlag: I find that happens a lot in life, we think what we want is one thing and we end up going somewhere else, but we needed that step to help us realize what it actually is that we should be doing that's best for us, that kind of stuff, so not wasting time, it's still a really important lesson for you there.
0:03:34.3 Jordan Lips: Totally, it was clarity, I wouldn't feel like... It was closure, it was like, "I know this now, I have no... " Like thinking about that, that was something I thought about for a long time, and I'm trustful like, thankfully not looking at it anymore.
0:03:45.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah, yeah. And when you're not talking nutrition and fitness, what are you most likely talking about?
0:03:51.6 Jordan Lips: Oh my god.
0:03:52.0 Kim Schlag: What's your passion outside of it?
0:03:56.8 Jordan Lips: That's funny. I like dogs and I...
0:03:58.8 Kim Schlag: Are you gonna tell me nothing?
0:04:00.5 Jordan Lips: I like dogs and I like soccer. And those are two things that I'm passionate about, my family come from the Netherlands, and so we're big soccer fans, and it's definitely something I enjoy with my family, and Jenna and I both played in college, so she's much better than I was.
0:04:12.2 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:04:12.7 Jordan Lips: And so, yeah, we have a lot of fun with that, but outside of nutrition and fitness, soccer, dogs, we're pretty low-key.
0:04:18.4 Kim Schlag: And do you have a dog?
0:04:19.6 Jordan Lips: We do, her name is Carly, she's a sweetheart, I'd never had pets growing up, and so we got her about a year ago, and I don't know, it's super cliche, but entirely life-changing, just an amazing experience, so we have a blast.
0:04:31.9 Kim Schlag: So what kind of dog is she?
0:04:33.4 Jordan Lips: She's a Havanese and the Shih Tzu mix.
0:04:35.5 Kim Schlag: Okay, I have to tell you, Jordan, I'm getting my first dog, we're picking...
0:04:38.7 Jordan Lips: Oh my god, yeah?
0:04:39.3 Kim Schlag: We're picking our puppy next week, so we've been on this list to get a puppy, our puppy, we've been watching the puppies now, our breeder luckily posts on Instagram every day, so we get to watch all the dogs and next week is puppy pick week...
0:04:50.5 Jordan Lips: Wow.
0:04:52.3 Kim Schlag: And then April 5th, my dog comes home, this is gonna be our first puppy.
0:04:55.2 Jordan Lips: What kind?
0:04:56.9 Kim Schlag: It's a mini goldendoodle.
0:04:57.3 Jordan Lips: That was... That one... Jenna's gonna be pissed when she hears this, that was our number one.
0:05:00.7 Kim Schlag: Oh, was it?
0:05:01.8 Jordan Lips: We still have... I'm sure we still have deposits down on mini goldendoodles.
0:05:04.6 Kim Schlag: They are hard to get.
0:05:05.7 Jordan Lips: They're tough to get, they're a high commodity, they're like... And they're beautiful, and they're... People... Some people say hypoallergenic is not a thing, but they're less allergenic, and so I'm hypo so... I mean I'm allergic, and so that would have been a great choice as well, so that's super exciting, oh my God.
0:05:21.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I had no idea, so see we're so naive about dogs, we're just like, "We decided to get a dog, we're getting a dog." That's what I thought like I'll pick one and then I get it, when people were like, "There's a two-year waiting list," I'm like, "What do you mean?" [chuckle]
0:05:33.1 Jordan Lips: Oh my God.
0:05:33.6 Kim Schlag: "How is that a thing?"
0:05:35.9 Jordan Lips: Totally.
0:05:35.9 Kim Schlag: We luckily found somebody who was sooner than that, but, wow, I'm super excited, so. Well, that's...
0:05:41.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, one of my best friends... One of my really good friends is an amazing dog trainer and so the day we brought, her name is Carly, brought her home, he was over and he was like, "This is what you're doing, this is what you're not doing, this is how like... " And so she's been... She very well-trained and well-behaved, and she has been on like... She's a tiny dog, and so she's like 17 pounds, but she's been on five, six, seven mile hikes with us in Sedona, and she's like... She's a complete adventure dog, and so it's been super fun, yeah.
0:06:07.4 Kim Schlag: Oh, I love that, that's fantastic. Alright, so I invited Jordan to come on specific... I've been meaning to have you on anyway, but I reached out specifically after I read a post of yours, 'cause I was just like, "That was good." It was so well put. So I wanna read the first, I think it was the first line of the post that you had done, this is what Jordan said, "If you're trying to eat 1700 calories while clinging to your 2400-calorie lifestyle, it's gonna be tough." That's a good... That's a really solid message, so Jordan talk to us a little bit more about that.
0:06:36.8 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and it goes kind of well with another post, and I wrote... I didn't even write that one down, I wrote a different one down about not everything about your fat loss regimen needs to be sustainable forever, and so it's interesting because the things that you do optimally to adhere to your deficit don't need to exactly mirror what your life is at maintenance, and...
0:06:56.7 Jordan Lips: We can boil down to the two things that we just said to, you're allowed to change some stuff even if it's not forever, and that goes against a message that permeates through social media of, "If you're gonna change something, if you can't see yourself doing it forever, don't do it." And when you had said that we were gonna maybe talk about this, I thought very in-depth about it, and I think that there are some issues with it, but I still wholeheartedly agree that your... Fat loss is not a lifestyle, and so... Your fat loss calories are not a lifestyle. Somebody who is living a fat loss lifestyle is dead. Just [chuckle] calorie deficit is not forever, and so the things that you do to adhere to your lower calories, it makes sense that if you're eating, let's say you have a 2400-calorie maintenance, we're gonna use some, just throw around numbers, and you're using 1700 as your deficit, like, man, things are gonna have to change, if you cut your pay, if your company cuts your pay by 20%, you're gonna change your spending habits, and that seems totally reasonable to me.
0:07:54.2 Jordan Lips: And it just goes against this idea of if you change something, it has to be forever and I think that that can be... Every time, there are a couple of things like that that are in the industry that kind of, not rub me the wrong way, but they're... That's not a comprehensive statement, it's kind of a lazy opinion because I know where people are coming from, and it comes from a good sentiment of, "Well, Jordan won't transition to maintenance be harder if I change a whole bunch of things?" Yes, that is true, but that doesn't mean you can't change anything and it... I think that there are a lot of good coaches out there who are saying, "Hey, let's look at really foundational habits that you can sustain over the long-term, and let's build those." And I totally agree with that. But I also feel like it builds up this resentment towards changing anything at all, and I think that there's... Listen, calorie deficit, you could... The home of the conversation of should people be losing weight, whatever, but if you're trying to lose weight and you wanna be in a calorie deficit, it's inherently, there's gonna be some form of restraint, some form of a restriction.
0:08:48.0 Jordan Lips: It is literally, by definition, giving your body less food than it needs. Something's gotta give. And I do believe in discussing non-negotiables with clients, if there are things like, "Hey, that you really need, that you really want, that you wanna keep, that you're not willing to give up, let's have a talk about it." But everything can't be non-negotiable, something has to give. You're gonna have to change something to better adhere, and so I just... The message, I hope, that gets across today is like, "It's okay to change some things to adhere better, even if you know in your gut that it's not something you would be doing at maintenance."
0:09:20.6 Kim Schlag: Yeah. So, I think, as usual, everything exists on a spectrum and people kinda tend towards one end of the spectrum or the other, so either everything has to change and you should be eating boxed meals that you've not given any thought to, and it's super low-calorie and it's like biggest loser lifestyle, or the reverse of that, which is you shouldn't have to change anything and all of your habits should be exactly the same. And those are kind of the two ends, and really, what's gonna work for most people, what makes the most sense is gonna be somewhere in between. I will tell you, I certainly say things more along the lines of, "Guys, your habits now should be your habits after." But when I saw this, I'm like, "It's totally right. Some things have to change." And where I'm coming from with this as a person who, I have lost a lot of weight in my life and regained it, and the times when I regained it, I'll give you one example, because it's the biggest one in my mind, is when I did Nutrisystem.
0:10:17.0 Kim Schlag: I don't know if you're familiar with what exactly what...
0:10:18.8 Jordan Lips: Sure.
0:10:18.9 Kim Schlag: Nutrisystem is, the little red boxes, at least they used to be red. And so what I... And I lost 40 pounds, a little over 40 pounds. All I had to do was every day I'd wake up and I'd pick for each meal which red box. I changed, nothing, that's a big change, then I'm like, "If I go out to dinner, I'm bringing my own red box." But those weren't in any way teaching me how to live next. So when I woke up one day and I was like, "I cannot eat another one of these boxes." Like I was... The food was tasty, but it got to a point it was like, "I cannot do it another minute." And in my mind, I was like, "I'll just keep losing weight on my own." I'll just like... I don't think I thought like I'll take what I've learned, but I was just like, "I'll just keep doing this without this." And what I quickly realized is I had not learned a darn thing. I had no habits in place, no systems, no structure, no knowledge, and I regained over half of that weight in just a matter of months because I hadn't learned anything. And so that's, I think, where I'd come from, where I'm like, "You know you guys, you gotta get your habits in line, but they're not going to be exactly the same." So, let's talk more specifically, what do you think are some specific examples of, "We're not gonna try and live our 2400-calorie lifestyle on a 1700-calorie diet." What are some examples of things that might need to change?
0:11:27.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and I think you make a good point, and I think that it's conflating two ideas that I think you would agree with 100%. I think you need a good base foundation of habits that will be sustainable long-term, and maybe a basic understanding of basic nutrition. But some things are going to change, and so I think that it's... Again, it gets lost in the fact that what we are talking about here has a bit of nuance and that's difficult to communicate sometimes in social media and maybe offline, you're having these talks with clients and coaches are that, are a bit more nuanced, but it doesn't really get across in social media where it's like, "Yes, you can change some things, but if you change everything and you don't have a foundational habit, then you are, unfortunately, most or many people who are like, "Oh, I just go keto and then I don't know what to do afterwards." And it's like keto's issue is not to do with keto, it's that it usually creates such a drastic change that is done by people who don't have a good foundation beforehand and an exit plan for after.
0:12:24.8 Kim Schlag: Yes.
0:12:26.3 Jordan Lips: And that combination of things where, "I don't have a foundation, then I change a lot, and I don't know how to change back to because I don't have anything, a foundation to begin with," that's a recipe for disaster, I totally agree with that.
0:12:36.1 Kim Schlag: That is a recipe for I just need to keep doing this over and over, right? [chuckle]
0:12:39.6 Jordan Lips: Yeah, totally. And you asked some specific examples of sometimes things can change, and I hate using myself as an example, but it was helpful 'cause I have... This is the first deficit I've done in quite some time, I was doing a gain for a very long time, and I was trying to expose myself to intentional weight gain and a bit of discomfort and work through some of my own shit on that, because I think that that's something that's not always easy to do, even for fitness professionals or whatever. So now, I'm in a place where I'd like to do a deficit, 'cause I also do wanna expose myself to that side of things, but I caught myself, I dropped a 1000 calories from my surplus calories to my deficit calories. And I was like, "There are just things that are going to have to change about the way I eat." And so for me, and I suppose clients as well, this isn't necessarily just a me thing, but adjusting my feeding window has been helpful. I used to... When I was trying to eat at maintenance or at surplus, I would eat first thing in the morning and it would be fine, that worked really well for me, it's something I do like doing.
0:13:34.5 Jordan Lips: And when I dropped my calories and I started to continue doing that, I just kept... I did that, I dropped my calories, I was like, "Okay, I'm just gonna keep everything the same, change a little bit about my meal structure to adhere a little bit better. No big deal." I found myself very hungry later and I found myself more adherent and more enjoyable when I very gently pushed my first meal back, not super rigid, Kenny to one, but didn't try to eat first thing in the morning. And I think that that is something I know in my gut I'm not going to do if I have 500 or more calories. I'm just not gonna do that. I'm gonna eat first in the morning, it's something I like to do. But right now, it's super helpful. And so intermittent fasting, we can call it that or we can just call it moving your first meal back a little bit. [chuckle] That has been helpful. I know I'm not gonna do it long-term, it's not something I love doing. But it's helpful for me right now. I can have a cup of coffee, I can push my first meal back. I have not eaten yet today, it's 9:43. I'm not overly stressed about the time, but yeah, I know that that for me will be a helpful strategy even though I'm not gonna do it long-term.
0:14:27.0 Kim Schlag: So, adjusting people's meal times, so people like looking at... Your meal timing and your meal frequency might be something that needs to change to support you living in a deficit.
0:14:36.4 Jordan Lips: Yeah.
0:14:36.6 Kim Schlag: That's a good one, that's a really good one.
0:14:38.6 Jordan Lips: I have a bunch of ones here, but I think one that I just... I'm excited to talk about is like counting calories. Counting calories might be... I get goosebumps. Counting calories might be something that you do during a deficit because it is something that allows you to be more accurate, more directly get yourself into a calorie deficit, but it might be something you know in your gut you don't wanna do long-term. Like that...
0:15:03.2 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.
0:15:04.6 Jordan Lips: Is the quintessential example, people are like, "Should I track my calories at maintenance?" It's like, "Maybe, maybe not." But should you track them in deficit? I think you can lean that maybe, maybe not a little bit towards maybe, yes, because a deficit is a little bit less intuitive and likely helpful if you're a bit more intentional with it. And so, tracking calories is not something I'm going to do forever. I know in the deficit that that habit for me is helpful, and so I think that that's a huge one.
0:15:30.7 Kim Schlag: Yeah, and going along with that one, weighing your food more than just eye-balling it, that is not something I wish for any of my clients who permanently do. But while they're in a deficit, and especially when they're just beginning, or if they're pretty lean, trying to get leaner, that weighing is gonna be so key till you have weighed enough that you're really good at eye-balling. And even then, look, I feel like I'm pretty experienced at this and I'm in a deficit now, I'm weighing every bit of my food because I wanna get into this deficit and I wanna get back out, and I realized that the fastest way to do that is gonna be to be adherent. And so the easiest way to do that is to weigh in grams literally everything I eat. Do I want to do that like two years from now? I don't even wanna be doing that six months from now. [chuckle]
0:16:15.1 Jordan Lips: Well, you said something, and I think that this is an underlying... When people talk about your experience dieting or how skilled you are at dieting, I think one of those skills or that inherent understanding for people who have maybe done this a couple of times, it's like this is not... This is voluntary and this is not forever. And when you understand those two things, you're better able to compartmentalize these changes where you're like, "I'm gonna weigh everything." And it might not give you the kind of anxiety it might give somebody else 'cause you know that you're doing this for a goal in the short-term, short-ish term in relative sense to your life, and you know that you're feeling confident about undoing that habit and moving back to your higher calories where it might not require that level of meticulous tracking. And so for a lot of people doing that habit can feel daunting. Weighing... Somebody's out there weighing your spinach leaves, it can feel like, [chuckle] "Oh my God, I can't believe I'm gonna have to do this forever."
0:17:05.6 Jordan Lips: But if you are somebody who's maybe a little bit more experienced or you're working with a coach who can communicate this, like, "This is not forever. It serves a purpose. Here's our exit plan. Here are your base foundational habits. Here's what your life's gonna look like at maintenance. Here's how we're gonna practice it throughout our deficits so that you know your reverse diet back to maintenance isn't the first time you've ever done that. We should practice it in small chunks before we get there." And so you can do those things 'cause you know in your gut, "Hey, this isn't forever, I'm gonna transition back to my normal life at some point. And so no worries, I can do this for the short period of time."
0:17:36.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah, that's a really key point. Alright, hit us with some more, more specific examples of things that might need to change.
0:17:42.7 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and this something you and I talked about on my podcast, is the idea of how to handle temptation in the house. Now, I know my food shop looked very... I cracked up. So, Jenna, my girlfriend and I, are both in a deficit together, that's one of the reasons I was doing it. It's 'cause it would be pretty miserable, me in a surplus, her in a deficit, not fine. [chuckle] And so we did our food shop together, and when we were in a surplus, the food shop looked very different. And when we were in deficit, it looked very different. And you had said something that stuck with me, it's like you're not morally a better person by being able to have those certain temptation foods in your house and not eat them. And again, I think it isn't personal context, individuality exists, but I know that I'm just not going to buy certain foods I know aren't helpful.
0:18:27.1 Jordan Lips: Now, that doesn't mean I'm gonna only be eating chicken, and broccoli, and brown rice, and berries. Of course, I have some foods that are more snack foods, more hedonic enjoyable foods, or whatever, but I also know that the way I'm gonna set up my environment is a little bit more around abstinence, a little bit more about not having that stuff around. Again, because I know it's short-term and because I have an exit strategy. And so I think those are... I have a foundational basic good habits, I know it's not forever, and I have an exit strategy. So, I think those three things are important if you're gonna change stuff, if you're gonna... The more you change, the more you're gonna have to change back, and the more you change, the more it's important to have that foundation and practice it and have an exit strategy. But for me, I know that for the next eight to 12 weeks, it's just probably a good idea for me to not buy Cape Cod chips and Ben & Jerry's. This is probably not a good idea, not helpful, and I can do that without feeling overly restrictive to a point where it maybe has some counter negative effects, because I know it's not forever and I know that my life...
0:19:30.0 Jordan Lips: Your deficit calories aren't forever, and so if you're eating 1700, but you know when it's all over, maybe your maintenance comes down a little bit, you're like, "Okay, I eat 22, 23." When this is all over, you can have those things. And so if you're compartmentalizing, if you're recognizing that this isn't forever, you can probably rationalize better making some of those changes.
0:19:46.2 Kim Schlag: Absolutely, and I think so many, particularly women, maybe men too, but particularly women, I think they live with a dieting mentality like semi-permanently. And so hearing this skills really hard, 'cause they see no end to the diet. They just don't see it has an end, and that's a real problem. So you should have an end date, not an end date by like, "I will stop this when I've lost X number of pounds." But an end date as in, "I'm doing this for 12 weeks. I'm doing this for four months, however long it's gonna be, at which point I'm going to take a nice maintenance break." That is a very different feeling, than, to be like not bringing the Ben & Jerry's home versus whenever I lose 50 pounds, I get to bring Ben & Jerry's home.
0:20:27.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah, for sure. I think that...
0:20:28.0 Kim Schlag: That's a significant difference.
0:20:29.6 Jordan Lips: Yeah, absolutely. And again, it's how you're framing what you're doing. If you think every change that you're making is gonna be forever, well then you're gonna view not buying Ben & Jerry's in a very different light and you're gonna say, "I'm never gonna have this again?" And that whole "I'm never gonna have this again" usually leads to this is some last supper mentality where any time you do get your hands on it, you're gonna have it like crazy because you're like, "Oh, I'm never gonna have this again." But you know you will. It's tricky, though, because there are gonna be other people who having a little bit of Ben & Jerry's creates the optimal deficit environment for them because they can have that sort of indulgence. I just don't think you have to be that way. And I think it's okay if you can compartmentalize the deficit into like, "Hey, this is a short-term thing I'm doing to lose fat, and when I have more calories afterwards, I'll be able to do X, Y and Z. I'll be able to undo X, Y and Z habit. I'll be able to start having breakfast and getting the chips and... " You can do all of that all the time. It's not a can or can't, it's a decision that you're making that you know is gonna help you be most successful at the task currently at hand, which you're recognizing isn't forever.
0:21:32.0 Kim Schlag: Yeah, absolutely. I think another good example of things that might need to change, another good one is less eating out.
0:21:38.3 Jordan Lips: Oh, for sure.
0:21:39.4 Kim Schlag: For me, that has been... Not to say you can't lose weight eating out. You have to probably change how you're eating out, where you're eating out, what you're getting when you're eating out, but for many people, the easiest thing to do is just less eating out.
0:21:51.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah, I totally agree. I think that's a huge one. I think it's not something that people wanna hear because people want to go out and they wanna have their cake and eat it too. I was trying to do my best to play devil's advocate going into this conversation, 'cause I figured we'd have lot that we would agree on, but the question that people are asking while they listen to us is, "Well, won't I just gain it all back when I do transition out of this?" And it's the question on everyone's minds, a question that I have every time a client has a little bit of success in fat loss because of making some of these changes, they start to associate success and feeling good with this change they've made. And they start to counter-associate, "Well, what if I don't have that, then I'll probably have this counter-feeling of gaining weight." And I understand that fear. Frankly, I totally get that. It's solely natural.
0:22:35.5 Jordan Lips: It's like, "Okay, I'm intermittent fasting and I started losing weight. So when I stopped intermittent fasting, will I just gain the weight?" It's a legitimate fear, I get that. But you do need to understand... And that's why having a foundation, practicing it during your deficit and talking with your coach about an exit strategy are imperative to making any changes. If you don't do those three things, first of all I don't think you're ready to be in deficit anyway, but that's something we could talk about another time, but I get it. If you're making changes and those changes lead to success and you're worried that undoing those changes will make you gain all of the weight back, I think it's all the more important to be practicing maintenance during your deficit, having diet breaks, having longer maintenance phases where you do undo those habits and you practice not gaining all the weight back.
0:23:18.6 Kim Schlag: I think the other reason people have that fear is because they've had so little experience with intentional maintenance. They really have bounced from I'm losing weight to I'm gaining weight, I'm losing weight to I'm gaining weight. So if I'm not actively losing weight, what's the other option? The only other thing is I'm gaining my weight back. And they don't understand that there is this entire space between those two, which is weight maintenance, which does not require the level of strictness with calories as a deficit does. And so really working with people to help them, women specifically that I work with, to understand you're not just gonna gain all this weight back, what we're gonna do is put you at maintenance, which is not the lifestyle you were previously leading. What you were living before was a surplus, an unintentional one, but it was a surplus.
0:24:00.7 Jordan Lips: Yeah, intentional maintenance freaks people out. It feels like intentionally standing still, but it is actually the thing that... I think something I believe wholeheartedly, if I looked across my clients, one of the more indirect proxies of success or traits of successful clients or whatever, is your ability to be at maintenance without viewing it, without doing it reluctantly. By doing it and enjoying it and knowing that it is crucial. It's not a break, it is an intentional... Something that you're doing intentionally to set yourself up for later success. And I think that there's... And I posted this yesterday, and I'm believing it more and more, like wanting to lose fat and being ready to lose fat are just totally different things. And I think being ready to lose fat, there has to be some basis of intentional maintenance before that. I don't know if I can stomach taking on clients who have never, ever, ever done intentional maintenance, just putting them directly into a deficit, because while practicing maintenance during your deficit is super helpful. Just that whole process of going from your deficit calories back to maintenance and seeing that the scale maybe goes up a tiny bit, and going through that and having that expectation built where you're not assuming you're gonna just maintain your lowest weight and never gain anything back in that transition to maintenance. That's super important. But it's also tough to do if you've never done it.
0:25:19.5 Jordan Lips: It's tough to go transition to maintenance if you... I just don't know if I want to be creating those foundational habits on the fly, and even if it's two weeks at intentional maintenance or a month or something, there has to be some form of buy-in to... I think that it's less about getting more people to do deficits, it's more about the percent success rate. And I think that that percent success rate will go up if people practice intentional maintenance first. I'm not saying forever. You don't have to put your fat loss on hold. But you do need to recognize that there's some sort of buy-in. This is not something your body wants to do, and part of that buy-in is proving to yourself that you can be in intentional maintenance without doing it reluctantly and feeling guilty about it and feeling like you're supposed to be doing something else, even if you're not at your goal weight. Especially if you're not at your quote "goal weight" yet.
0:26:05.5 Jordan Lips: Being able to maintain there, out feeling guilty, not doing it reluctantly, really like... I do believe that taking a break, whether it's a deload, or a diet break, or a rest day, if you're not doing it permissively, if you're not giving yourself permission to take the rest, if you're doing it reluctantly and you're doing it the whole time feeling guilty like, "I should be training. What is this deload? I should be... I should be in a deficit. What is this diet break?" You don't actually get the benefit of taking that break. It's psychologically, it's not relaxing for you. It's supposed to be a break. And so I think that there's a lot of the things there that are very intertwined.
0:26:38.8 Kim Schlag: So to your point of someone wanting to lose weight, but not necessarily being ready to lose weight, somebody listening to this right now who wants to lose weight, what are some things that would be... That you would say would be signs that they're not ready? So I want to, but I'm not... But am I ready?
0:26:55.2 Jordan Lips: Yeah, I think at face value, taking a look at... Having ever done some period of intentional maintenance, having... If you... If... When is the last time you did months, not weeks, of not trying to lose weight? And if the answer is, "I've been trying to lose weight for the last of decade, more or less," with the switch flipped on cruise control, well, then I do think that that's something where it's like, "Yes, wanting is necessary, but it's not sufficient." And so, you want to lose weight, but it's not enough. I think spending some time intentionally on maintenance is psychologically important, because it gets you into a place where you're okay eating without seeing the scale go down. And then, it's practically important because it's practicing the thing you're gonna have to do afterwards and during.
0:27:38.8 Jordan Lips: It's also physiologically important getting your hunger hormones, your satiety hormones... It's like all of those things that are going on in your endocrine system to a place where you'd actually be able to withstand multiple consecutive weeks in a deficit. And so, it's important for a lot of reasons. I also think, the all important assessing your relationship with food, I think if you're having inch restrict episodes, or you're still feeling like you're fighting this good-bad food dichotomy, if you're still looking at foods as, "I can and can't have." And so I think that... I think a lot of those things actually... Ironically are fixed by doing or improved by doing some intentional maintenance. I think that that's... The constant pursuit of lower calories inevitably leads to periods of higher calories, you can't always be trying to eat less, and so, if you've never tried to eat at maintenance, a lot of good things happen there, for sure.
0:28:31.1 Kim Schlag: I think another one is, look at what's going on with the rest of your life. If you're in a period of intense stress, you're not sleeping, for whatever reason things are crazy at work and with the kids. If there's multiple layers of big life changes happening, this might not be the time, and I think some people jump in 'cause they feel like, "I need to look better right now for X, Y, and Z reason of these big changes that are happening," it might not be the best time to add the additional stress of, "Now I'm eating at a deficit." That is stressful for your body, and if you've already got all these other things going on, it might just be a better time for you to be in maintenance, you might be more successful than trying to add the stress of a deficit on.
0:29:11.4 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and I... I think that somebody's counterpoint might be, "Well, it's never gonna be the perfect time," and that's also another sentiment.
0:29:17.4 Kim Schlag: That is absolutely true.
0:29:18.5 Jordan Lips: Totally. It's never going to be the perfect time. But I'll tell you what, there are better times than others... [chuckle] and...
0:29:24.3 Kim Schlag: That is so true.
0:29:25.5 Jordan Lips: It is. I have some clients... I have a client who specifically comes to mind who was studying for the LSAT and really wanted to do a 'deficit phase', and, we just had a conversation about like, "Hey, right now? That's gonna affect your cognition to some degree, it's gonna affect your food focus, it's gonna affect your fatigue, it' gonna affect your training for however those things kind of interact." And, it just... Isn't... Okay, it's not the best time. It's not gonna be the perfect time, but this is a worst time than afterwards. And so, like you said, just being honest about the other stuff that's going on in your life. No, you don't need eight weeks of being on an island with nothing happening in your life for you to go into a deficit but, there are going to be better times than others, and pairing maintenance with better times in your life. I know that... I'm sure you do this where if you have a client who's in a deficit and they have a period, three activities, let's say, or they're going away for a super long weekend, or they're going on a vacation, like pairing maintenance with that time, well, guess what? That's because that's a good time to do maintenance, it's a better time to give this person more calories, just like there's probably a better time for you to be able to withstand giving yourself less calories. Totally.
0:30:30.9 Kim Schlag: It's a really good point that there will never be a perfect time to lose weight, and so many people think there is, they're all waiting for this perfect time. My very first online client, I was still a really pretty inexperienced coach, but she stayed with me for an entire year. In the entire year we were working together, she just was never quite getting it on the ball, we just couldn't quite get all the things happening at once, and she kept saying things like, "Well, it's the spring, things are really busy with all the school activities," which they are. "It'll be better when summer comes and I don't have so many responsibilities." Well, then summer came, and it was like, "Well, now we're traveling a lot, and things will be better when the fall comes and the kids are back in school and I have a routine." Well, then the fall routine was, "Oh, now my kids are in competitive band stuff, so I'm chaperoning.
0:31:11.4 Kim Schlag: It'll be better when band season's over." Guess what hit next? Then it was the holiday season, "Oh, it's gonna be better when the holiday season's over," [chuckle] and then, it was January, and I'm like, "What's she gonna say now?" And she's like, "You know what? I have seasonal affective disorder, so it's gonna be better in the spring." I'm like, "That's when we started." [laughter] And then... And I didn't say that, but I was thinking, and when we got there, she's like, "Oh my gosh, I just realized, there is never gonna be the best time. It's literally not coming, is it?" And I was like, "It's not." But your point is totally valid, just 'cause there's not gonna be a perfect time, does not mean that some times are not the best time, right? Like... If your parent has passed away, let's not go on a deficit that week, like, let's wait... Let's wait a bit. A really really good point there Jordan. Alright, give us a couple more examples of things that might need to change in a deficit.
0:31:57.4 Jordan Lips: I'm gonna... I'm gonna come... I wanna get to that in one sec but something that came to mind about your client there is like, "It's better to be at maintenance on purpose than at maintenance by accident."
0:32:06.3 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.
0:32:06.3 Jordan Lips: And so, if you have a client who's like, "We're... Right, we're gung-ho, we're ready... " Maybe you even assess them before hand mentally, and they feel like they're ready to be in a deficit, they have their relationship with food in check, and you start the deficit, and we're like four, five, six weeks in, they haven't lost any weight, having trouble adhering. It's like this whole time, six, seven, eight weeks, whatever it was, the whole time you were trying to lose weight, and that's fatiguing, it's probably a little bit stressful on the body. We could have intentionally been at maintenance and been getting physiologically and psychologically taking steps forward, practically taking steps forward. And so, to your point, it's like, at some point, let's just stop trying to lose fat for a while, and let's do it on purpose, it feels a whole lot better when you do something on purpose than when you're doing it... When you're failing at something and you're ending up at a certain place. If you're... If you're trying to do something and it's not working, then it's probably better to just intentionally do the thing that you're ending up doing anyway. It'll feel a whole lot better.
0:32:57.7 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. 'Cause maintenance can feel like a real victory if that's what you're trying to do. If your successfully maintaining your weight, and this is a great period, or it can feel like a real big fat failure, if what you're supposed to be doing in your mind, is trying to lose weight and you end up at maintenance. So, same exact results with very different feelings and attached to them.
0:33:15.3 Jordan Lips: And if you're lifting weights, and I don't mean to make this about aesthetics. It's not. But if you just... If people are out there so worried about aesthetics. Oh my God, if I'm at maintenance, I'm not moving towards the body I want. If you're lifting weights, there is no such thing as non-productive time. There's no amount of calories that will make this not productive. Even if you slipped into a surplus. Well, guess what? That's the most productive eight weeks of training you've ever had in your entire life. So I just tell people, if you're lifting weights, a lot of this stuff is you're always moving aesthetically forward, health wise forward as well.
0:33:48.4 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.
0:33:48.9 Jordan Lips: That's why lifting weights is so unique because it provides a long-term benefit outside of the calories you're burning in that moment. And so if you have a client who's like, wants to be toned, and part of that is losing the fat, and part of that is building the muscle and you're hammering away at the fat loss side of things, it's just not panning out, like, "Hey, let's go to maintenance." Most of the people you and I work with can still benefit from appreciable amounts of recomposition at maintenance.
0:34:13.1 Kim Schlag: Oh, for sure.
0:34:13.4 Jordan Lips: And build muscle and lose fat at maintenance, eating high protein, putting together... You know, whether you've... People always ask me about that. It's a Q&A I get every single time, and even if you've been lifting for a while or dieting for a while, people are like, "I got over my new big gains. I can't really recomp anymore." It's like, "Man, if you've never put together high protein and an intelligently designed training program with enough effort, and you've never done that for multiple years consecutively, you still have a ton of opportunity to recomp." If you're listening to this, you're struggling with deficit, you're in and out, you're fighting it, and you want to be toned, and you know that part of that equation is the muscle building side, just take some time. That side of the equation takes way longer anyway, and so you're gonna have to spend more time on that equation, side of the equation anyway. So don't think that the fat loss side of things needs to happen first. They both need to happen, or if...
0:35:05.1 Kim Schlag: That effort piece is a really important part of the equation, 'cause so many people even if they have been strength training, they have not been strength training for years at an appropriate intensity.
0:35:14.0 Jordan Lips: Yeah, tracking their work outs. My god. Totally.
0:35:17.0 Kim Schlag: So I'd say most people listening could benefit from more intensity in their work outs.
0:35:22.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and we can circle back to original question of things that need to change. I think amount of cardio is something that is tricky, amount of steps, step count. Some of those things that feel... And Martin McDonald talks a lot about this as sustainable during fat loss. Fat loss doesn't need to be sustainable. You need habits, you need foundations, totally. You need to practice maintenance, absolutely. But if you're getting 12000 steps during your fat loss phase, 'cause you know that's gonna be super helpful, but you're like, man, long term or when it gets to the winter time and it's really cold, I'm gonna be stuck in the 6 to 8000 range, and that's the realistic nature of your life. It's okay for you to temporarily...
0:35:56.9 Jordan Lips: And that's where a lot of people are afraid, they're like, "Well, I'm gonna go to 12000, I'm gonna lose the weight. I'm gonna go back to 8000, I'm gonna gain the weight." It should not be how it goes, it should not be... It does come down on some level to some math. And if you go to 12000 steps per day and you lose weight and then you drop back down to six and you increase your calories too much, sure, you might create an environment where you gain some of the weight back, but that is not the fault of you going up to 12000. That is the fault of this lack of the balance of when you've transitioned out of your deficit, understanding that maybe you don't change all the variables at once. So that's part of the nuance of the exit strategy, but I think number of... Even just counting your steps in the same way counting your calories, you might not want to count your steps or even have a goal at all. But yeah, and that's me, by the way. This is my first time counting my steps in about two years.
0:36:44.7 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:36:45.7 Jordan Lips: I thought for sure I'd be like 7, 8. I was like, here, get at least 7000 a day. It's a little cold, but you walk the dog a ton, you'll probably get there. I was at 3800 the first day, I was like, "Oh crap, I'm done."
0:36:55.5 Kim Schlag: Well, it's because of what you do for work. That was stunning for me when I transitioned from being a person who trained people in person to doing online training, I was stunned when I put a step tracker on and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I am a sedentary person." It takes a concerted effort. And now it's like second, it's easy for me, but that took time. I had to really... I had to work at that for like six months after I made that transition to make it feel seamless in my life to just get 7500 steps coming from sitting at my computer all day.
0:37:29.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, and so I think that that just the active counting your steps might not be something you wanna do long-term, but you might recognize it as a habit that in your deficit helps you achieve a deficit and achieve that goal, and you long-term, I'd rather just focus on getting to walk today, and I don't need to wear the Fitbit and that's fine. That might be what maintenance looks like for you. Totally reasonable. But it might mean, at the end of the day, deficit is more intentional than maintenance. Maintenance, I'm not saying maintenance should be easy. Maintenance should also be intentional, and it should be intentional for a long time before it becomes second nature. But it's probably more intentional to have to be in a deficit. It's less intuitive to give yourself less calories and move more and create a calorie deficit. So counting steps, and then also the number of steps you're doing is certainly something that I think is allowed to change.
0:38:10.0 Kim Schlag: Yeah, for sure. Another one that I would add to the list is the amount of alcohol will likely lead to change.
0:38:17.0 Jordan Lips: I have that one too, yeah.
0:38:17.8 Kim Schlag: Yeah, talk to us about that one.
0:38:19.8 Jordan Lips: Yeah, I think just in general, something that needs to change or something that should probably changed is how you're ranking the qualities of food, and I think that there are so many qualities of food from how satiating it is, to the macro nutrient profile, to how delicious it is to all of these things. And I think if you go into a deficit, not to speak on that whole hierarchy, but you probably bump up satiety to higher up the list. Does it need to be you only eat high satiety foods all the time? No, okay, you don't. But you should certainly bring satiety as a value higher when you're looking at food. Does it need to be the number one thing? Who knows? But you should start to go to the supermarket and just be thinking, "Okay, less food. Hunger's probably my number one enemy. Satiety per calorie needs to be something I'm at least thinking about a little bit more.
0:39:07.8 Jordan Lips: So alcohol is just not satiating per calorie. It's just not helpful for muscle gain. It's... I'm not... Listen, alcohol is fine. You could drink, you could lose fat. Totally fine. It's enjoyable here and there, it's... And I'm not, again, not overly negative about alcohol, but it is empty calories, doesn't fill you up and probably leads to an environment with lower inhibition and potentially more drunk eating, and it's just not helpful in any way. And so you need to be honest. I have a client. I don't know if she'll listen to this. I love her to death. Melissa, I love you. She has... When we first started, she had a non-negotiable of bourbon at night...
0:39:45.8 Jordan Lips: And in the beginning, she was writing her in her tracker when we're looking at the calories, and I was baffled that she wasn't losing weight. And I was looking at her in my fitness file diaries and we were just trying to talking through why it wasn't working, she wasn't even tracking it, she hadn't even thought to herself that this is something, and so that's another non-issue, but that is something that we have had to talk about, it's like as calories get lower, as you're getting further into fat loss, it's like, "Is this a good use of my calories? Am I getting any satiety, any protein, any nutrients, and am I maybe creating an environment where I'm a little tipsy and I just don't care as much?"
0:40:17.4 Kim Schlag: It's a big one. That's a big one. So what it comes down to it, this whole discussion, if you compare the calories to budget, guys you just can't try and live a Gucci lifestyle on a gym teacher salary.
0:40:30.6 Jordan Lips: I love it, that's awesome, so true, yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:40:32.4 Kim Schlag: And that's where we're going with this, so let's take it from the other direction then, what habits and systems do you think are most important for people to be practicing in a deficit to successfully maintain their lifestyle? Even though we should... We just talked... We hit a whole bunch of things that are going to change, what are some things people should be practicing while they're in a deficit to be successful at maintenance?
0:40:51.5 Jordan Lips: That is a good question, I think on the spot, one that immediately came to mind and maybe more will come as we talk about this more, is I think the most important thing that I wish I could convey to maybe everybody on planet Earth in terms of meal composition is starting each meal around a protein and a plant, and if you just do that, I think so many... You'll have so many knock-on benefits, it's like what protein... And when you're thinking about what you're gonna eat for X meal, you're like, "What protein am I having, and what plant?" A plant being a fruit, or a vegetable, and if you just keep that as a staple, and I... And first of all, nutritionally, it's a good idea, high protein, good for muscle gain, good for a lot of other things, and the plants, high in nutrients, high in fiber, good things, physiologically, really good. But also, really, really, you're building a satiating meal right off the bat. And that's not something that comes intuitively to a lot of people and I think it also has to do with how you were brought up, and were you a family that had a protein-centric lifestyle at dinner, like did you eat family dinners together, with this every meat... Every plate had a protein? I feel like that's sometimes, if that's not the case, then sometimes you struggle to not realize that a bowl of pasta is not a meal. And so I think that would...
0:42:00.7 Kim Schlag: That was such a hard one for me to realize.
0:42:01.7 Jordan Lips: Is mac and cheese not a meal.
0:42:01.9 Kim Schlag: As an Italian girl you grew up like eating pasta and I'm like, "Wait, what the heck? This should not be the meal." Like that should be like a small side dish, what?
0:42:10.6 Jordan Lips: Yeah, yeah. So I think basic meal composition habits, and in that vein, starting each meal with a protein and a plant, you just are... That's going to indirectly reduce the amount of calories you're eating just right off the bat. It's also, I found, actually a good way to... I would say to a client, "You could start each meal with a protein and a plant, and I just don't care what else you do with the rest of the plate, totally fine." It just usually will lend people to a more overall nutritious choice for whatever else goes on that plate, it's very unlikely that someone's like, "Okay, protein, plant, bucket of ice cream on the plate." And I'm not trying to push people away from high calorie, high palatable foods, there's a place for all of that stuff but you had said like, "What's a foundational habit?" I'm walking somebody through a maintenance block for four to eight weeks before we start a deficit, we're getting a protein and a plant on every meal.
0:42:57.2 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:42:57.4 Jordan Lips: That is for sure something we're doing.
0:43:00.3 Kim Schlag: And I love it, because that really should be permanent in people's lifestyles. Whatever, wherever you are on trying to lose weight, gain weight, maintain weight, protein and a plant at, I would say all, if not most meals like...
0:43:11.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah. Don't... Yeah, you miss one it's not the end of the world, or something.
0:43:13.5 Kim Schlag: Yeah, like, "Let's do it." I think that's a huge one, all right, I'll name one and then we'll have you name one.
0:43:17.3 Jordan Lips: Yeah.
0:43:18.3 Kim Schlag: The huge one for me is not eating when you're not hungry, most of the time. So if you're in Paris and you're not that hungry, but you get to finally have the best crepe in the world, fine, go ahead and eat it, but not eating when you're not hungry most of the time and stopping when you're satisfied, most of the time. I think if you can really nail that, you're gonna be so good at maintaining your weight.
0:43:40.2 Jordan Lips: Yeah. You and I would both agree that that's something that takes time to recognize, it takes time to recognize your satiety signals, and I think also in that same note is starting to pay attention to which foods do make you feel that way and which foods don't, and it's easy for us to say, "Okay, the chips don't make me feel... The chips are low satiety, high calorie foods." But until you really pay attention and you experience that, I'm in a deficit right now, and I know that for me that there are... My protein shake meal with 200 grams of frozen berries and 50 grams of frozen avocado, is a low calorie meal but I am full for hours and starting to recognize which of those foods... It's nice to talk about but most people don't really understand until you are doing it and if you're like, "Well, I just had this burrito at lunch, and I'm starving afterwards, I'm starting to kind of just piece together which foods do make me feel a little bit fuller and which foods don't."
0:44:27.2 Kim Schlag: Yeah, that's a good one. All right, give us another one.
0:44:30.8 Jordan Lips: I'm biased here, but I would say some form of strength training. And it isn't even in a fat loss... This has nothing to do necessarily with fat loss, you're not strength training to burn calories, you're not strength training to lose extra fat, I just think that it is a habit that is... It's a style of training that I believe is just unique and yes, movement is super important, I think that another one would be some form of a movement habit, but I do think that strength training is unique and it's something that I would push on anybody, or at least try and convince everybody to do. Not even from a fat loss perspective, but just from a... It gives you something else to worry about other than your weight, and the fat loss, and calories burned, and it gives you a part of an equation that actually can kind of throw people for a loop sometimes, 'cause they're like, "I'm not losing weight. But I'm looking better, and feeling better." And all of a sudden it can kind of devalue or bring down the importance of, or take off the pedestal, the scale, and your exact number that you weigh and so I think strength training adds a component that is different from calories in, calories out.
0:45:27.1 Jordan Lips: Most people, what you want is not just to be a smaller version of yourself, you... Most, I'm not... Not everybody's after aesthetics, but for those of you that are, the word aesthetic means some component of lifting weights at some point, most of the time. And so I think that that would be a habit that I would love for people to do even if it's outside of fat loss, I think it's helpful to give you something else to worry about other than calories burned, like, "How much are you lifting? How strong do you feel? What's your... " Whatever, aesthetically, it's certainly a big part of the equation, so I think that that would definitely be one.
0:45:56.7 Kim Schlag: For sure. And look, even if we're talking non-aesthetics, if we're just talking about being healthy, this is something I talk about with my people all the time because, look, I'm a 50-year-old woman, this is really weighing on my mind, I don't wanna be 75 and somebody has to come help me get up off the toilet, like I wouldn't be able to do that on my own power, I don't want to break bones, I did not know until not that long ago, that one out of two women over the age of 50 break a bone due to osteoporosis. That's crazy. And that it's somewhat in our control to prevent that by strengthening our bones, and strength training is a massive part of that, that weighs heavy on my mind. So even if aesthetics aren't your thing, if you wanna be a healthy functioning senior, let's go, strength train.
0:46:40.0 Jordan Lips: Yeah, that's something that unfortunately doesn't become real until you see somebody in your life, it happens to them. And I'm not saying it's too late by that point, but I do wish that that was something that people resonate more and I have had some... I love to hike, and so one of the things that my friends and I do quite often is to go on a big hiking trip and the last hiking trip my knee was really bothering me, and it just hit me, I was like, "You aren't in the gym to... " For me, personally, I was like, I need to really internalize that feeling of like, "I wanna be doing this when I'm 80, or 70, or whatever, or as long as I possibly can." And I'm in there when I'm squatting, yeah, I care around about how much I'm lifting, I guess, a little, and I care about, okay, aesthetically, I'm growing my legs, whatever, but I want my technique to be good, I wanna be focused on just general health benefits of this, physical autonomy is something that, like you said, "I want to be living my physical life on my own terms." And I think that those are unfortunately things that don't get internalized until, not that it's too late, but until you see it happening, people are, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." And then your parent falls and breaks their hip and you're like, "Oh yeah, I don't want to do that again."
0:47:39.2 Kim Schlag: I don't want to be that person, yeah.
0:47:40.7 Jordan Lips: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
0:47:41.3 Kim Schlag: Jordan, this has been a fantastic conversation, thank you so much for coming on, where can people find you, if they are looking for you?
0:47:47.4 Jordan Lips: Absolutely. First of all, thanks for having me on, it's been a blast, I really, really appreciate it. And you guys can find me on Instagram at jordanlipsfitness, and I have my own podcast that Kim was on, we had a wonderful episode, I still get people raving about it, and the podcast is called Where Optimal Meets Practical, and yeah, you guys can search for that and look for them at other places.
0:48:03.9 Kim Schlag: I get tagged for being in that podcast episode more than any other episode, I've been on quite a a few podcasts. I feel like if that was six month ago, and I still like, I don't know, maybe once a week or so, I get tagged about that episode. [chuckle]
0:48:14.9 Jordan Lips: Yeah.
0:48:15.0 Kim Schlag: That was a good episode. I was so stinking sick when we talked, Jordan.
0:48:16.9 Jordan Lips: Totally. Amazed.
0:48:17.9 Kim Schlag: I was so sick.
0:48:18.3 Jordan Lips: You were in the Covid.
0:48:21.2 Kim Schlag: I didn't realize how sick I was. At the time, I was just like, "Oh, I'm gonna get better. I'm better in a few days." And I'm like... [chuckle] I had no idea what I was facing then.
0:48:29.1 Jordan Lips: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
0:48:30.8 Kim Schlag: Well, thanks so much for being here, this was fantastic.
0:48:33.4 Jordan Lips: I appreciate it. Thanks a lot.
0:48:40.1 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on, it really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.6 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 91 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm taking your questions about workouts and exercise, so I'm not hitting nutrition at all today, gonna talk all things workout. These are questions that you sent to me via DM on Instagram, or when I throw one of the question boxes up in my stories. I'll do this again periodically, maybe we'll do nutrition next time, so whenever you have a question, be sure to hit me up over there, you might hear the answer here on the podcast. Let's go.
0:00:39.3 Kim Schlag: So before I jump into your questions about workouts, really quick announcement, super excited about this. The menopause weight loss course that I've been talking about for some time now is going live this month, March 29th. Monday, March 29th, mark your calendars. If you are a woman over 40, struggling with belly fat, lack of energy and diet fatigue from years of trying and failing to lose weight, this course is for you. I'm so excited to bring it to you, it's gonna have nine modules, you'll get one module each week dripped to you so you're not overwhelmed with the content, and the important thing about this course is it's not just gonna give you knowledge, it's not just gonna be like, "Oh, I learned some things about how to lose weight in menopause. I learned some things about how to lose weight over 40."
0:01:26.3 Kim Schlag: It's going to be doing the do. So you're gonna have weekly action steps to take with each module so that you actually lose weight over the 60 days. In fact, it's going to be a 60-day challenge, we're gonna have cash prizes at the end, we're gonna have a very active Facebook group, I will be in there doing live Q&As just for the group every single week, cheering you on, giving you support as you make all of the changes that I suggest in the modules. So be looking for that you can... Best way to make sure you do not miss that announcement is to be on my email list, you can get on that list at my website, kimschlagfitness.com, there is one title called email list, click on that, you will definitely not miss it there. Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram for the announcement. Card opens Monday, March 29th.
0:02:20.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, let's jump into these questions. I have a handful here. Question number one, do I really have to take rest days? I like to work out. Common question. Here's the thing: What is your goal, is always an important question. And number two, are you sure that you want to not have rest days because you like to work out? Or is it possible that you are worried if you don't work out, you're not gonna get results? I think that's a really common occurrence. In your mind, look, it's not that you don't like exercise, if you're working out every day and you say you enjoy it, I believe you do. Do you really love it so much that you just don't wanna use that time for anything else, you really wanna work out seven days a week, or is it more, "I feel like I need to do this to get my results, to maintain my results, if I don't do this, I'm gonna not lose weight or I'm gonna even gain weight."
0:03:17.2 Kim Schlag: I think that is a big factor in people feeling this drive to work out every single day. So that's piece one. Piece two, the results you're looking for are likely gonna be found in your rest days. Rest day is when the magic happens. So we go in the gym, we strength train with intensity, that doesn't mean jumping around, that means we tax our bodies, we use a weight appropriate to be hard enough for us, and then while we're resting is when our muscles are repairing. That's when that new tissue is being built, so if you wanna look glean, toned, defined, yes, you gotta take your rest days. So minimum one rest day a week, one full rest day per week. I personally prefer people to have at least two.
0:04:06.1 Kim Schlag: I work out four days per week and take three rest days. My clients all train either two, three or four days, more of them train three and four versus two. Two is really for people who are like, "Look, I just am busy and I can't commit to more." Frankly, I'd rather have somebody solidly hit two workouts every week, than not quite get the three, so I will program for two. Ideally, I'd like to see them training three times a week. Four times a week is amazing, really you don't need to be in the gym more than four times a week, you just don't. You could be there five days a week. If you really love it, you could have a fifth day that's just a little accessory day, maybe you're working on a little extra glute work or a little extra shoulder work, totally fine. You should have those days off though.
0:04:52.3 Kim Schlag: And when I say days off, what you should be doing on your rest days is resting, that means don't take days off from your strength training and do a HIIT class, don't take days off and do a power yoga class. You can do some stretching, you can absolutely walk, every day is a good day for walking, you can certainly do recreational activity, so I'm not saying you have to literally sit on your butt all day, so if you like to go paddle boarding, go for it, but don't count your rest day if you're going for an eight-mile run. You see what I'm saying? Don't trick yourself into thinking like, "Oh, that's my rest day." Actually take some days for your body to recover. You're gonna see better results. If the results you are looking for have anything to do with optimizing your body composition, you wanna build some muscle, you wanna look toned, defined, glean, fit, you need your rest days, and also if you want to be healthy, our body needs that time to recover, your joints need that time to recover, you're gonna just feel better if you're taking appropriate rest. Question number two, what are the best workout shoes?
0:06:04.5 Kim Schlag: So it depends, what kind of workout you're doing. If you're doing some kind of running workout, obviously, you should be wearing running shoes, if you are not... If you're in the gym lifting, you should not be wearing running shoes, and here's why, they're cushioned. If you think about that cushion in a running shoe, that nice squishy part to absorb all of that shock, to absorb that force you're putting into the ground, that's actually the exact opposite of what you want if you're trying to lift. So if you're doing dead lifts, if you're doing squats, you are trying to put as much force as possible into the ground, you don't wanna do that standing on a pillow. Imagine... Think about how cushioned your running shoes are, think about a cushion on your couch. Imagine taking your couch cushions off and standing on them and trying to do your squat or your deadlift or your lunge, that would be really hard. It's hard to transfer that force, it's hard to maintain your balance, that's essentially what you're doing if you're lifting in those squishy running shoes. So take those squishy shoes off and you can lift barefoot if your gym allows or if you're training at home, so many people training at home, I do train at home, and I train in my socks, that's what I usually wear. Otherwise, you can wear a hard-soled shoe. So a couple...
0:07:16.7 Kim Schlag: One of the most popular you'll see most people wearing are Converse All-Stars, so the Chuck Taylors, just a hard flat-soled shoe. Perfect. My favorite is the Nike Metcons. Again, a nice hard-soled shoe, If I'm not barefoot, I'm wearing those. You might have seen people wearing Lifters, so if they're doing squats, they have a heel lift on the shoe that also are a hard-soled shoe, a little bit of a lift can help to get deeper in the squat. If you have some mobility issues, this can be one way around that, so those are good. The big key is not wearing big squishy runny shoes to... Runny? I don't know why I said runny, running shoes to do your lifting in. Alright, I do HIIT four times per week. Is that good? So my question back to you would be, is that good for what? What is your goal? We always have to think in terms of what is the goal I'm trying to achieve, to see if our methods are going to get us that goal. So if your goal is... I just... I wanna be a person who moves, great, go for it, you can do whatever you want, that's gonna get you moving. Frankly, we're a very sedentary society, so if what you enjoy, you like moving around a lot, you like jumping around, go for it. You wanna do one of these classes that are really high-energy, go for it. If your goal lies in body composition, so you want to look defined, you want to look like a fit person, that entails building some muscle.
0:08:57.9 Kim Schlag: So that fit look is two things, it is fat loss if you have extra fat to lose, so it's losing body fat, and it is building muscle. HIIT is not actually the way I would go for either of those two goals. So fat loss, the main driver of that is going to be your nutrition. No matter what you do in the gym, no matter what you do with your workouts, gotta nail your nutrition. The other piece of that is we want to make sure that the weight you are losing is indeed fat and not muscle. So we do that in two ways, the nutrition piece of sparing your muscle in a calorie deficit is going to be eating enough protein. Okay. So you eat enough protein, you also don't go stupidly low with your calories. We're not gonna slash your calories down to 1000 or 1200 or 900, something ridiculous, so you eat in the moderate deposit and you keep your protein high. That's the nutrition piece of making sure you're actually burning fat and not muscle, but there's also a workout piece to make sure that you are burning fat, not muscle, and that workout piece is using your muscles so that your body knows it needs to keep it. We do that through what's called progressive overload. It just means doing more work over time. Easiest way to think about that is lifting heavier weights over time, getting stronger over time. It's not the only way to progressively overload, but it's a good way to think about it.
0:10:22.3 Kim Schlag: So when you go into the gym, you pick up a weight, you do your set of squats. Next week you come in, and you can do those same squats with a heavier weight, that is progressive overload, and you need to do that in order to keep your muscle. HIIT is not set up to do that. Okay. Those classes where you're just jumping all around, it is not meant to do that. So keep that in mind, what is my goal and is the exercise modality I have chosen actually designed to get me the goal I want? So if you enjoy doing that high-intensity stuff, do it one, maybe two times per week and stick with the lifting for those body composition goals. Next question, I'm new to lifting, what are some good beginner exercises? So here's the interesting thing, good exercises are good exercises, whether it's day one of lifting for you or day 3097. You're gonna be doing the same types of exercises, so you're gonna wanna do squats, deadlifts, lunges, bridges, upper body pushes, both vertical and horizontal, so overhead pressing and chest pressing. You're gonna wanna do upper body pulls, so again, both vertical pulling and horizontal pulling, so we want you to do variations of rows, we want you to do pull-ups, pull-downs, and we want you to do some core.
0:11:54.2 Kim Schlag: Again, whether it's day one, you're gonna do varieties of those exercises, or whether it's day one million, you're gonna want to do varieties of those exercises. There are certainly a few advanced exercises that I'd be like, "You're not starting... I'm not gonna have you start with speed deadlifts versus bands, I'm not gonna have you start with the barbell snatch," but beginner exercises kind of makes it seem like... Well this exercise is gonna be for beginners and eventually I'm not gonna do that exercise. That's not actually how it works. So I have been doing one-arm rows since I started training seven years ago, still do them today, still got a great training effect from them. I am doing them with way heavier weight now, and that's the big difference. That said, there are certainly some varieties of those exercises that might be really good for you as you're beginning. So when we think about squats, I'm not gonna wanna start you with a barbell back squat, I'm gonna wanna start you with a body weight squat, my favorite variety of body weight squat to start a total beginner off with is a squat to a box with a reach. So get a step stool...
0:13:05.6 Kim Schlag: A bench, and you're gonna squat down, put it right up behind you and think about just sitting in a chair, you can actually use your chair, think about sitting down between your legs to that chair, at the same time get something very light, even like something like a water bottle, and as you sit down, press that weight out straight in front of your chest, that counterbalances you to help you to keep your chest up, so that's a variety I use a lot with a lot of beginners. Alternatively, you could just do a bodyweight squat start. When it comes to deadlifting, the first thing I would have somebody to do is make sure they know actually how to move their hips in a deadlift, you're going to want to hip hinge, a deadlift is not a squat, it's not so much up and down as it is back and forth, and so I have people practice hip hinging drills, so that's why I'd start there and then move into a Romanian deadlift. Push-ups, the best way to learn how to do push-ups is to do a hand elevated push-up, so you could start at your kitchen countertop, you could start even on a wall and do the push-up motion, make sure you're getting a full range of motion, so all the way down, all the way back up, when you come to the bottom, whatever you are hand-elevating on, so if it's a countertop, your nipples should be touching the edge of that countertop, I was training my daughter recently and she [chuckle] was laughing, she was like, "You use the word nipples a lot, giving me directions."
0:14:25.5 Kim Schlag: And it is really true, "You say the word nipples a lot when you're training someone." So make sure your nipples hit the edge of the countertop. So those are a couple of exercises to start with, doing a single arm row, a perfect place to start, when we're talking rows, if you are at a gym doing a lat pull-down is a good exercise to start with, user, really user-friendly to begin with, if you're at home, you can rig up a lat pull-down with a band over a pull-up bar, I always tell all of my trainees who are starting with me, my clients, grab a pull-up bar, put it over the door, and if you're like, "I don't have any possibility of doing a pull-up anytime soon." It's totally fine, you can use that chin-up bar with those long loop bands to do lap pull-down variations in your home, so definitely get one of those and eventually we can work you up to doing a chin-up or a pull-up. There's not a single reason why you can't do those over time, I know they feel really advanced but you can for sure get there.
0:15:27.0 Kim Schlag: So remember, no beginner exercises, just certain variations that might be better for a beginner, but you're always gonna squat, deadlift, hinge, upper body push-up, upper body pull, lunge, literally forever, your training programs, should be stocked with those exercises forever. Alright, next question, I struggle with single leg RDLs, my balance sucks. Oh, this is such a common, [chuckle] this is such a common problem, look, my balance, quite frankly, is terrible, it's not... It is not something I'm super skilled with, so there are things you can do. The number one thing I would say is, unless balance is your main goal, so you want to improve your balance, which is not a bad goal, if that's not the main goal, if your main goal is strength or muscle building, let's not turn this into a tightrope act. So the easiest thing to do in that case is to brace, and what I mean by that is you're gonna do a single leg Romanian deadlift, holding a weight in the hand of the free leg.
0:16:28.5 Kim Schlag: So the leg that's gonna go back, you'll hold your weight in that hand with the stance leg, you're gonna take the hand on that side and you're going to lightly touch the wall or a piece of equipment, whatever you're standing next to, lightly touch it, so don't get a death grip on it, but just put your fingers on it, and then as you come up and down, that little tiny bit of touching is gonna stabilize you enough so that you can actually concentrate on overloading this move with weight so you can actually concentrate on performing the move rather than balancing in space.
0:16:58.9 Kim Schlag: So that's my number one tip with that, along with that, some things you can do, you can look at a spot on the ground out a distance away, so maybe like 10 feet away and just stare at that same spot, you want it to be down low, so that you keep your body in alignment, you don't wanna stare up at the ceiling. So that's one thing you can do. Another thing you can do if you're not going to touch the wall, the second best thing I could tell you to do is to take that free arm, hold it straight out to the side, make a fist and squeeze it as tight as you possibly can, I'm doing it right now, and that is going to transfer into helping your whole body feel rigid, which is gonna help with your balance, I really do prefer the bracing, if at all possible, but I think that's a better way to do it, but if you can't for whatever reason, if you're in the middle of the gym floor, there's nothing to hold on to try that, arm straight out to the side, free arm, hold the weight in the hand, if the leg is going back and then pretend you got a steel rod going through your arm, so ram the rod straight and you make a fist and you just squeeze really, really hard.
0:18:04.0 Kim Schlag: Another one, and this one sounds so bizarre, and I have zero idea why it works, my coach told me about it one time, and I've done it for years, and it really does help, you take your tongue and you press it, press it. [chuckle] You press it up against the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth, so I'm gonna do it right now, so something like this, and you press it hard and for whatever reason that helps with your balance, I literally don't know why it works, but I can tell you from experience it does, it works so you can use that in combination with the bracing. Alternatively, you can, if it's just still, if you're just like, "I do all of that and I feel like I'm still just wobbling around," you don't have to do a one-leg RDL to still get the benefits of unilateral training, so working one-leg, you can do some other things. One variety that's really good for that is a one-leg wall press RDL, so you stand in front of a wall, you take your foot that would be the free leg, and you push it into the wall, so you bend your knee, put it up against the wall, and then you perform your deadlift, it feels more stable with your foot in that way, but you're still...
0:19:13.0 Kim Schlag: Favoring that one leg, that working leg that's on the ground, so similar training effect there, and then the other variety is B stance RDL, this has some... So to do a B stance, you stand in the position that you'd do a Romanian deadlift, you take one leg and you use it as a kickstand, so you'd come up on your toes of that foot, and you'd put it in line with the heel of your stance leg, your heel is up off the ground on the kickstand leg, and then you do your reps that way, and then you'd switch legs and do it the other way, so you're favoring the stance leg, not the kickstand leg. That's a really, really good variety that's similar to a single leg RDL without so much of that balance component that people can really, really struggle with. Alright, next question, is this my last one? No, I got two more. Three more. So how long should my workouts be? I get asked this a lot, it's an interesting question, and I will tell you that the length of your workout is not the determining factor in how effective your workout is. It's not like a 50-minute workout is superior to a 40-minute workout.
0:20:27.0 Kim Schlag: That's not how it works, what is really important is the quality of work you put in while you are doing your workout, okay? So... And when I say quality, I'm talking about the intensity of the work you're doing, if you've heard me talk about intensity when it comes to lifting before, you will know I am not talking about intense as in, "I got my heart rate up, I'm sweating, I'm out of breath, I feel like I've wiped the floor with myself," that's not what I mean by intense. I mean that you are lifting heavy enough so that at the end of each individual set you feel like you could do one, maybe two more reps of that exercise, okay? So if you're doing a dumbbell row and you're supposed to do eight reps, when I say, "You should be working intensely," when you get to reps seven and eight, it should be freaking hard, and on rep eight, you should know like, "I could do one really clean more rep," like, "It's not gonna be a trashy rep, I could do this one more time. I don't know if I could do it more than that." If you're getting to the end of your sets and you're stopping just 'cause you've counted to eight but it... That has no bearing on how you actually feel like you're just like, "I'm fine, like I can keep going."
0:21:33.8 Kim Schlag: You're not working intensely enough. Pick up a heavier weight, okay, so doing that for each and every set of each and every exercise you have, is the important part, not how long the workouts last. That said, most of my clients train between 35 and 55 minutes, and this involves also taking dedicated rest periods, so it's not a giant circuit, it's not like, "I do exercise A, right to B, right to C, right to D, keeping my heart rate up, moving, moving, moving," it is, "I do the first exercise, I take a 60-second rest, I do this... Then I do that exercise again, I take a 60-second rest," okay, and then you're moving on from there. I do employ what's called supersets for some of the exercises, it can really help if you're really busy and you just don't wanna spend a ton of time in the gym, using supersets can help for you to get more work in, in less time. And what a superset looks like is this, you take two exercises that are not competing with each other, there's lots of ways you could do, if... For the purposes here that I'm explaining to you, take two workout... Two exercises that aren't competing, so they're not using the same muscle, so if you're doing an upper body day, you could do a pressing variety, matched with a pulling variety.
0:22:57.2 Kim Schlag: So let's say you do a dumbbell chest press. And you do one set of those, you do all your reps for the one set, and then you immediately go into doing a set of your rows, so let's say you do eight chest presses, then you do eight rows, then you take your minute break, okay. Then you do that again, chest press, rows, then you take your minute break and you do it again, chest press, rows, take your break, move on to your next set or superset. The reason this helps is you didn't have to take a minute break between every set of chest press, then every set of rows, okay, you took a minute break after doing them together so that saves you some time. It's something that I... It's a strategy you can use to have your workouts be shorter. The goal when you're doing your workout is not to blast through and try and get in and out of the gym, I'd rather have you do fewer exercises, concentrating on them, and like I said, really working intensely, than shove a whole lot into your 30 or 40 minutes. You can get a really good workout with six exercises done with proper intensity and proper rest times, and I'd rather have you do that.
0:24:10.8 Kim Schlag: Alright, next question, what is better for fat loss, cardio or weights? Popular question this one. So remember, the best thing for fat loss is nutrition, it is to be in a calorie deficit, nail that... Nailing that is the most important thing. Over and above that, when we talk about workouts, and I kinda touched on this earlier, the number one thing we wanna think about with our workouts is supporting keeping our muscle while we're in that deficit. Remember, when you're eating in a calorie deficit, you are literally forcing your body to use the tissue that it already has for energy. And we want it to choose the fat not the muscle. And the workout component of doing that is using your muscles. You have to use your muscles to keep them, and that's why we do progressive strength training, so that's why I say weights are more important for fat loss. Cardio is way overused for fat loss, actually people prioritize it even over nutrition. We see these people are like, "Oh, and it's the New Year, I need to lose weight, I'm getting on the treadmill," and really they would do far better to be like, "Oh, it's time to lose weight, let me write a good grocery list and figure out what I'm gonna eat," that'd be more important.
0:25:29.5 Kim Schlag: So I do feel like cardio is way overrated for fat loss, it is not pointless, it is not bad, I'm not saying you shouldn't do cardio, I'm saying it is not your number one tool for weight loss, it is way low on the list, following a calorie deficit, enough protein, proper strength training with progression, getting enough rest, as in sleep, managing your stress and getting your need up. So that's just general walking throughout the day, moving more, all of those come in the list before I say, "Add in a cardio session." Cardio is great for your heart, I'm not telling you not to do it, I'm just saying it is not your best tool when it comes to fat loss. Alright, last question here today. I am super sore after my workouts, what can help with that? So first of all, it's normal to be sore sometimes after your workouts. Totally normal, you don't have to try to avoid that, there's no way to avoid some soreness, you also don't need to be chasing that. I know a lot of women are like... They're concerned if they're not sore enough. They see that soreness as the sign that they got a good enough workout, which is actually not a good gauge. The level of how sore you are is not proportional to the gains you just received from your last workout.
0:26:54.2 Kim Schlag: It doesn't work that way. So don't chase soreness, don't fear soreness. I will say you can... If you're sore all the time, that's a clue that something's not right, you should not be super sore all the time. You're either doing too much volume, which is probably it. You need to look at your training plan or have someone else look at your training plan. If you are always, always sore, we gotta look at what's going on with that training plan because you frankly should not always be sore, but it's totally normal to be sore sometimes. When you'll notice that you are the most sore is when you just start lifting, so push past that guys, you're not always gonna remain that sore. I know it feels like, "Oh my gosh, I'm broken," when you just start and I as a coach, I really work hard to make my clients be as little sore as possible when they first start, 'cause I frankly want them to show up again. But just know this, when you first start and you're really sore, you're not always gonna be that sore. The other times you're gonna feel really sore are when you introduce a new exercise, so let's say you've never done a Bulgarian split squat before, and then you do them, you're gonna feel sore, you're gonna really feel sore.
0:28:00.0 Kim Schlag: Also, when you stretch a muscle at long length. So when you're doing something like a Bulgarian split squat, a lunge, those can tend to really make you sore. When you are emphasizing the eccentric, that's the muscle lengthening portion that we were just talking about of an exercise. So if you do a slow eccentric squat, you're gonna be more sore, any time you're emphasizing that eccentric piece, you're gonna be more sore, so expect some soreness. As far as what you can do for the soreness, really it's about waiting it out, it really is. It goes away on its own. So it's called delayed onset muscle soreness. You'll hear the term DOMS, that's what that stands for. And so as you are lifting your muscles get little tiny tears in them... And that's not tears in like, "Wow, I just cut my finger, or I just ripped my finger apart, that's bad," this is normal, this is how your muscles rebuild themselves, and that makes you very sore, there's inflammation there as they are repairing themselves. So what you do about it is, one, you just wait it out. You don't have to... There's nothing you can do that's going to make it get better faster than just time.
0:29:08.2 Kim Schlag: Okay, so day two, after you work out, you probably gonna be really, really sore, by day three, it's gonna start feeling better, by day four... It's gonna feel better and better over time, so that's the number one thing I'd say. Don't stress too much about it. One thing you can do is to keep moving, don't just sit still, when you're that sore, [chuckle] you're gonna feel better if you're up and moving, getting the blood flowing, so nice slight walking is what I would suggest there. Otherwise, just wait it out and really keep in mind, if you're always sore, that's a red flag. Well, I hope that this Q&A has been helpful. Hit me up on Instagram, in the DMs, if you have more questions, you can always pop a question box in my stories. I can't always answer all the ones I get, I answer what I can and then I take screenshots and use them for things like this. I'm always here to answer your questions, happy to help, any questions you have about nutrition, about fat loss, about strength training, I'm here for it. Alright, talk soon.
0:30:09.5 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on, it really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:03.7 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 90 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, we're gonna chat about slow weight loss. Why is it moving so slowly for you? What even is slow? Proper expectations here are super important, and of course we're gonna talk about what to do to speed it up if that's the appropriate course of action. Ready? Let's go.
0:00:31.1 Kim Schlag: Hello, Hello. You may or may not know but I have spent over three months incredibly ill, battling pneumonia and some serious complications from that pneumonia. I was, for all intents and purposes, bedridden. The simplest of tasks would leave me out of breath and utterly exhausted, and I gained over 20 pounds during my illness. Three and a half weeks ago, I started a cut, so a calorie deficit and I've lost six pounds, 10 inches and a jean size in that time. As I have shared about this on Instagram and on TikTok, I've gotten a lot of, "Why isn't it that fast for me? Why is my weight loss so slow? How can I speed it up to that speed?" So, that's what we're gonna talk about today. I want you to know that I am on the top end of the range of reasonable expectations for sustainable weight loss. I'm averaging about two pounds per week, which is the top end of the range. Down at the other end of sustainable weight loss, reasonable expectations is a half a pound per week. Anywhere from half a pound to two pounds per week is incredible progress. Which means, if I was only down one and a half pounds right now, that would still be fantastic progress. And more of my clients than not are averaging around that one pound or half pound mark.
0:02:03.7 Kim Schlag: It is not uncommon, it is incredibly common, and if you stick with it you can make incredible progress. I have clients who do that for three, four, five, six plus months, and they look like completely different people. So remember, half a pound to two pounds per week is incredible progress, do not discount that half-pound point. So, the first question I want you to answer, if you think that your weight loss is slow, is, "Are my expectations reasonable?" If you're on that scale of an average of a half a pound to two pounds per week, you are making good progress. The next question to ask is, "Are you using more than one measure of progress?" Note that I told you how many inches I lost as well as the clothing fit change, I lost a jean size. Relying on the scale alone can be demoralizing. Let's look at the total picture. Are you losing inches? Do you see visible changes in the mirror? Do you see changes in pictures as you put them side by side? Are your clothes looser? Okay. Look at those other factors, don't just use the scale. Especially if you're a person who is lean looking to get leaner, if you're looking to lose your last five, six pounds, the scale might not actually move very much and you might see changes more in the realm of inches, fit of clothes and how you actually look as you are losing fat and building muscle. The scale is not everything.
0:03:35.2 Kim Schlag: Alright, I also want you to remember that slow is relative. I want you to get really clear on this. Your weight loss feels slow compared to what? The headlines of the magazine at the grocery store? You know like, "Karen lost 50 pounds in a month just eating potatoes." No. What about ads, right? Or do you feel slow compared to these ads that say, "Lose 20 pounds in the next month," you know these crash diets. Is it slow compared to all of those Biggest Loser episodes stored in your brain? Those weekly wins where they would be down 12, 13, 15 pounds? I know all of that sounds very appealing. Some of it frankly is smoke and mirrors. Those magazine headlines, they're not even real. They're not real. And the Biggest Loser, so much of that was manipulating water weight. Yes, they were losing some fat, but for real a lot of it was water weight. I have watched my own son do this, I actually did it as a powerlifter a time or two, which was dumb. The level I was competing at, I did not need to be cutting water, but I did it. And I watched my son do it for years, he was a high school wrestler, and in weight class sports, it is part of the game.
0:04:48.5 Kim Schlag: As a senior, he was wrestling in the 106 weight class, but he actually sat at around 115 to 119 pounds. And twice a week, twice a week, he would manipulate his weight to make weight at 106 pounds. Okay, take that in. You are not a wrestler, at least I don't think you are. You are way more interested in how you look and how you feel, than in just what number you can make the scale say, right? You're not interested in manipulating the scale. As much as you want to see that scale go down, if the choice was you can make that say a number that's way lower but you look the same and you fit the same in your clothes, is that what you want? It's not what any of us want. Now, speaking of how you look. Extreme weight loss at a very fast pace can leave you looking quite different than you might picture in your mind. When weight is lost at too steep of a deficit, especially without optimal protein and strength training, you'll be losing a significant amount of muscle. This will result in a look that is not toned, it is not defined, it is not fit, and you're smaller, but you're also a softer version of yourself. That's what weight loss when it's rapid can really look like.
0:06:07.2 Kim Schlag: Muscle loss is also a contributing factor to weight... It would be great if I can say this. Weight regain. You'll have to maintain on lower calories than you might expect to stay the same weight. All of this to say is, extremely faster isn't always better. Faster isn't always better. At some point it actually is worse. So, given all of this, where do you stand now with the idea that your weight loss is too slow? You might be realizing that you're actually in a good spot. With some adjusted expectations, you're good to go. Amazing, great. If that's not you and you're either not losing at least that half a pound per week, or you're just on the slower side of that and you would like to see either inches or pounds or clothing fitting better, sooner, let's tackle that now. Here's the real deal, faster results require a higher level of consistency with your nutrition, that's the secret. It is a higher degree of consistency with your nutrition plan. You do not need to slash your calories lower, in fact that might backfire by making you less consistent. You just need to be more consistent with the calories you have set.
0:07:23.5 Kim Schlag: Now, this all assumes that you have set your deficit reasonably in the first place. If you're not sure about that, if you're really not sure that the calories you're working towards are reasonable for you, is it too steep of a deficit? Is it not steep enough? If you're not sure, sign up for my free five day fat loss crash course, and I'll take you through setting up your nutrition step by step. You can find the sign up for that in both my IG bio, so look at my Instagram bio, the link is there and on my website. If you go to kimschlagfitness.com, there is a tab that says, "Free five day fat loss crash course," you can sign up there. Okay. So, once you're sure of your calories, you need to be more consistent and more accurate with them if you are not losing at a rate that is acceptable to you. Remember, we're not looking for more than two pounds a week, if you're looking for more than that's... You're overshooting. But if you're looking for that half a pound to two pounds per week, you're gonna need to be more consistent and more accurate. How can you do that? Just saying that doesn't make it, right? If you're like, "Oh, I just need to be more consistent." Let's actually give you some practical steps to take to make that happen. Number one, pre-plan and pre-log your meals the day before. Now, I beat this drum a lot. If you hear me say this a lot and you're like, "You're always saying that." I'm saying it 'cause it freaking works. It works.
0:08:48.0 Kim Schlag: The night before, log your entire day of food for the next day, down to the gram in MyFitnessPal or Lose It! It will not take long. It will take you five minutes max. Now, to get in the habit of doing that I want you to try something called Habit Stacking. What you do is you're going to choose a habit that you do some time in the evening, that you do every evening, and you're going to attach pre-logging your food to that habit. In that way you will be able to sustain this. You will be able to remember it, it will become a new habit for you. So, here are some examples. Every night after dinner you put your dishes into the dishwasher, you start the dishwasher, you pull out your app and you pre-log your food then. So, it's load dishwasher, shut it, turn it on, track. That's one possibility. Another possibility is, maybe every evening you take an after dinner walk. You go out, you take your walk, you come back in, immediately upon coming back in, phone comes out, you track. You pre-log your food for the next day.
0:09:58.3 Kim Schlag: Brushing your teeth is another really great option. You brush your teeth, you rinse your mouth, you put your toothbrush away, and literally right there in the bathroom, don't like wander out into the hall or something, you might get distracted. Toothbrush goes into the toothbrush holder, phone comes out, you pre-log your food for the next day. Look for a habit that you do every night. To make Habit Stacking work, you need to choose a habit you already have in place at the frequency with which you would like to do the new habit. So, choose something you literally do everyday and attach pre-logging your food to that. That will be the cue, that will be the trigger for this new habit of pre-logging your food. Okay, the reason it works so well is you had it all figured out right then. You wanna fit in some steak, you'll fit it in then, you wanna fit in a piece of cake, you'll fit it in then. You make those choices at a time where the food is not in front of you and you're not in a rush. You have the moments right then to make your nutrition work, to hit your calories and hit your protein. That is my number one piece of advice on how to be more consistent.
0:11:00.3 Kim Schlag: Secondly, use a food scale. It will only add a few minutes to your day and pay massive dividends. If weight loss is too slow, a food scale is your best tool for speeding it up. It is your best tool. Stop eyeballing your food. Weigh everything you eat that isn't a leafy green or isn't an... If it's an individual pre-portioned thing, like if it's a protein bar with a scannable label, go ahead and just scan that, it's gonna be the same. But if it's not that and it's not a leafy green, weigh it. So yes, I'm saying, like you should weigh your apple, you should weigh your peas. This is not a lifelong decision, this is for this brief period of your deficit, which we're gonna make sure has an end point, okay? This is going to ensure that you are incredibly accurate with the calories you are eating.
0:11:53.3 Kim Schlag: Next, stop the LBTs, those licks, bites and tastes are eating up your deficit. Your deficit should only be 250-500 calories less than your maintenance, and you know how easy it is to eat just up, a couple of hundred calories up, right? Can you think about that? So, this is like, okay, in the morning, half an egg or waffle here, then a few sips of ice tea there, a couple of bites at dinner as you're cooking it, right? Who does that? A couple of bites at dinner, a handful of nuts as you're in the pantry or a handful of chocolate chips. Boom, you're there. You're at 250, you're even at 500. Give yourself a bright line to stop those licks, bites and tastes. Here's the bright line I want you to consider giving yourself. I eat all of my food seated and plated. Seated and plated. There goes licks, bites and taste. 'Cause if you're gonna make a decision that you really do want Johnny's half of leftover waffle, what that means is you're gonna pick it up off the counter where he left it, you're gonna put it on a plate and you're gonna sit down and eat it.
0:12:57.2 Kim Schlag: Now, how many of us are gonna actually choose to eat that half a cold waffle, if that's what we're doing? It becomes very conscious, right? Same thing with those chocolate chips in the pantry. You're in the pantry and you went in there to get a dinner ingredient and all of sudden you're opening up the bag of chocolate chips. If you have to make the decision to come and get your plate and you know we're gonna be using a food scale, weigh them out. Boom, sit down. How many of us are gonna do that? You're way less likely to do it. And that's what really helps, it's that awareness factor. So, I'm not saying you can't have chocolate chips and you can't have the half a waffle, be very conscious of the choices that you're making.
0:13:32.3 Kim Schlag: Next tip I'm gonna give you is to rein in your night-time snacking. Staying in a deficit all day but over indulging at night is killing your progress. Several strategies can work here depending on you as an individual, one will would might work better than the other, you can try them all out and see what works best for you. One option is planning in a night-time snack. That works really well for a lot of people. I have one client who for a really long stretch of time planned in Halo Top every night, and it kept her on track. She knew she was getting her Halo Top and she enjoyed it, and she didn't overindulge with other foods at night. Portion control is important here, right? We don't want to bring out the whole bag of chips. If you have a single size portion or you weigh out your portion, put it in a bowl, put the bag away and then go sit down. So, planning in an evening snack is one alternative. Other people, that just doesn't work, at all. They overeat at night if they do that. So, another alternative is giving yourself a bright line, no eating after dinner. I am choosing to not eat after dinner.
0:14:36.8 Kim Schlag: If you're gonna do that, set your environment up for success. Don't hang out in the kitchen. And then swap out routines that have historically tied to snacking for you, for a time. It doesn't have to be forever but till you break that habit loop of, I sit on the sofa, I turn on the TV, I eat the popcorn. 'Cause sitting on the sofa and turning on the TV without the popcorn, is gonna be more difficult for you, you're still gonna want that popcorn. If you could try a new routine for a while after dinner, I talk to my family and then I go up to my bedroom and I read my book for... That's one possibility of a new routine. You can have lots of different new routines. The kids and I hang out in the play room now, we don't hang out with the TV. Lots of new routines. And again, I'm not saying you have to give up your sofa and TV forever, switch it up a little bit and then once that habit loop is broken, you can go back to the sofa and TV if that's what you want to do. So, set your night-time up for success. Don't just be like, "Okay, no more night-time snacking for me." Come up with new routines that are gonna work to keep that in place.
0:15:40.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, the next place to look to be more consistent is managing your weekends. Lots that can be said here, I'm gonna give you a couple of things. The first thing I want you to do is to really kind of take in and understand the impact weekend overeating has on slowing your weight loss. You need 80% consistency to get a really good rate of progress. To get the rate of progress I'm working on right now that I told you about, I've been at 90% or above consistency. 80% is a really good goal to shoot for and you can get good steady progress. 80% consistency on a weekend means this. Listen to this picture. Out of every four weeks, 28 days, you need to hit your target at least 23 of those days, okay? So, that's only five days out of every four weeks that you can be over at all. How many weekend days are there in a month? In a weekend, if we're only talking Saturdays and Sundays, that's eight. That's eight days. So, there's more weekend days than days you could possibly be over to hit 80%. Add in Friday nights, there's 12. There's 12 weekend days. So, if you went over every Friday and either Saturday or Sunday, you are over or under I should say. You are under the 80% consistency you need to see a good rate of progress.
0:17:04.4 Kim Schlag: So, do you see the importance of staying on plan over the weekend? And as I said, for the rate that I've been getting at this two pounds, I have been over 90% consistency. 90% consistency means out of every month, every four weeks, every 28 days, you are not over your top end calories more than three days in a month. More than three days. So, that's not even once every weekend. I want you to really let that percolate, okay? Once a person really understands the impact their weekend overeating is having on slowing their weight loss, it can do a lot to fuel that. "Okay, well, now what do I do? How do I get my weekends in order?" Here's a couple of things you can do. The main thing you can do is planning ahead. I was just chatting with a client this week, I was coaching her through her weekend struggles. When I asked her, "Okay, what is different about the weekends?" Because she was frankly killing it on the weekdays. She thought about it and said, "It's planning. I plan my weekdays, I plan what I'm gonna eat, how I'm gonna eat it, and then I try to wing it on the weekends."
0:18:05.1 Kim Schlag: It's a form of relaxing for her. It was really relaxing, that pressure that ladies, we all know it. [chuckle] What's for dinner? What's for dinner? Everybody always wants to know what's for dinner. And that would ease that strictness to kinda just go with the flow, but it was keeping her stuck. Planning ahead here is actually freedom. You can make ordering a pizza in, work within your calories. You can make stuffing for a burger work within your calories. You need to plan ahead for that for the weekend, to make it fit, you will need to do that. And we'll talk about ways to make things fit here in just a second. You, going along with that, you should always include food that you enjoy, whether it's the weekend or whether it's a weekday, you should be enjoying your food. Don't eat stuff that you just tolerate.
0:18:51.5 Kim Schlag: Look, we all have to eat vegetables whether you like them or not, I will say, just tolerating your vegetables is A-okay in my book. You don't have to love them. You should make them in as pleasant a form as possible, but if you're just not a person who's, "Yay, I love vegetables," that's okay. But otherwise, you should make your meals really tasty. They should be more than tolerable. They should include foods you love and they should include fun foods. To do that you will use nutritional compromises. In the last three weeks, I have worked in... As I've lost all this weight, I have worked in sweet tarts, I have worked in sugar cookies, and I've worked in French toast. Regular French toast, not anything like high-protein French toast, I'm talking like a white bread French toast.
0:19:32.3 Kim Schlag: I'm actually right now, I'm really in the mood, I told my kids last night, "I'm really in the mood for a big bowl of Lucky Charms." So, I'm gonna make that happen in the next day or two. When I say nutritional compromises, here's what I mean. You can have any food you want in a calorie deficit, you just can't have them all at the same time. You make compromises. Take the sugar cookie I had the other day. It was one of those Target sugar cookies. Have you had those? They're kind of puffy, they have frosting on them. I have to say I'm not a person... I don't even like sugar cookies usually. I do not like sugar cookies, I've never been interested in sugar cookies. My kids, they were just crazy about those... They love those cookies and so a couple of years ago I tried one and I was like, "Oh wait. Oh wait, these are really good. So, I really like these. Wow, they're good." To make that fit the other day, what I did was cut the avocado out from my salad, and I made this plan the night before. We had bought the cookies for Valentine's Day, and there were still a bunch left and so I decided I want one of those. So, what I had done is I decided to take out the avocados, so no avocado on my salad. Salad is still gonna be good, just no avocado. I reduced the amount of bananas and berries in my lunch shake and I cut out the rice cake that I was gonna have with my snack. It wasn't so hard. It was not so hard.
0:20:46.7 Kim Schlag: I will say I originally wanted to have two cookies, but what I would have had to cut out would have made the rest of the day less satisfying than I was willing to do. I didn't want to swap out my oatmeal bake that I love for breakfast. I could have swapped that out and had an Almond, but I didn't wanna do that. And I didn't... And I wasn't about to... I can't cut out the protein from all of my meals. I need the protein in there, right? 'Cause I wanna sustain my muscle. So, I wasn't going to make some more drastic changes that I would have needed to, to have two cookies. So, I decided to be satisfied with one. And that's what I mean by nutritional compromises. And the good thing is you call all the shots, no one dictates for you what to eat and what not to eat.
0:21:31.5 Kim Schlag: You might have different things that are important to you on different days. You know on another day, I might make a completely different choice. I might think, "You know what, I want three cookies. I want three." So you know what, I'm not gonna have my shake that I love. I'm not gonna have that and no milk. What I'm gonna do is have a veggie omelette and I have a salad for dinner, but now I'm also gonna have a salad for lunch instead of the shake, I'm gonna have the salad with a tuna, I'm gonna have the veggie omelette. Boom! I now have enough calories freed up for three cookies. That might be a choice I make another day. You always get to make these choices and that is very empowering. You get to make what compromises you want. Always keep in mind that 80/20 rule. We want 80% of your food to be healthy nourishing food, and 20% of the food can be the more fun, less nutrient-dense type foods, and also always keep in mind your total calories. I'm not talking about going over my calories with cookies, I'm talking about... These were still days I was in my calories, and I'm also not talking about slashing protein. Whatever your protein goal is, you wanna still hit that. You can make things work in those parameters.
0:22:35.3 Kim Schlag: Even though we were chatting right now about weekends, this concept that I just explained to you applies for every single day across the week, every day. Tuesday, Saturday, whenever you can make these nutritional compromises work. And the more you can make eating on a Saturday look like eating on a Tuesday, the more successful you're gonna be. And that means on Tuesday, you can have ice cream, just like you could on a Saturday. Okay, last tip for managing weekend eating. Purposely plan non-food, fun and relaxation. If the weekend fun and relaxation is all about food, your choices quickly become abstain from fun or overindulge on food, right? Or there's temptation to overindulge, it's just gonna be ever present. I choose choice C, which is planning non-food fun. Have things to look forward to that aren't food-based. Lots of ideas here, a hike, a bike ride, shopping at the mall, a cool project you've been trying to complete around the house, a book you've been wanting to curl up with, sledding with the family, a game night, volleyball in the backyard, a museum or historical site you've never visited, kayaking, the possibilities are endless. Really plan in non-food fun.
0:23:55.4 Kim Schlag: We want you to look forward to the weekend, we want it to feel different, right? You want that. You want that, "Ah, it's Friday, I have something fun to look forward to," you feel like... You don't want it to be like this dull two days you're getting through, and if everything or on the other hand, a very stressful event of like, "Oh my gosh, I had to wait not go through all the food events of the weekend." So, let's have you plan one, two, several non-food fun events into your weekend. Okay, the last piece of advice I want to give you about speeding up weight loss, of course, within the reasonable range that I gave you, is having an end date to your current deficit phase. Not one tied to an amount of weight loss, okay? As in, "I'll take a maintenance break when I've lost 10 pounds," so not like that. Or whatever number you wanna insert there.
0:24:44.1 Kim Schlag: I don't want you to say, "I will take a break when I have lost X pounds or fit in X jeans or X number of inches, No. I want you to tie it to a date. As in, "I will take a maintenance break in X number of months or weeks." Do you see the difference there? I personally have committed to a cut for four months. If at the end of four months I'm where I want to be, amazing, and I might be. If I'm not, I will take a few weeks or months, I will decide at the time how long I want to take, for a dedicated maintenance period so that I am mentally ready to laser-focus again. I am laser-focused on this weight loss right now, and I know that in... Now it's three months time, almost three months, I'm three and a half weeks in, I'm gonna be having this maintenance break. That helps me to keep that focus. If it makes you nervous to think about maintenance, 'cause you're worried about weight regain, I want you to remember, maintenance is not a surplus.
0:25:46.9 Kim Schlag: I think a lot of women have two gears. Either I'm losing weight or I'm gaining weight. I'm losing weight or I'm gaining weight. We need to find that middle space. That middle space is maintenance. The scale will always bounce around. Whether you're in a deficit or in maintenance or in a surplus, the scale will always bounce around. It is just like that. Our bodies are made up so much of water and so many things can influence the amount of water in our bodies at any one time and that's why the scale bounces around so much. So, even in maintenance, the scale will bounce around. It will be in the same two to five pounds range. So don't expect the scale, once that you're in the maintenance, it says 135, 135, 135, 135, and something's wrong if it goes up to 137. That's not how it looks. What you're looking for is you want it to trend around those same pounds. So, if this person is 135, we want the trend to stay around 135. Maybe some days it's 134. Maybe some days it's 136, 137, 138, 132, but we want it to trend, the overall trend should be straight across. It won't be trending upwards.
0:26:52.3 Kim Schlag: If it is trending upwards, you're not in maintenance. You're in a surplus. There's no need to fear maintenance. The key to making sure you're in maintenance and not a surplus is to still keep up your good habits. It's not a free for all. You're not just eating all the things. That's not maintenance. That's back to that toggle switch of, "I'm losing weight or I'm not." So, keep up your good habits. Food seated and plated, protein in every meal, veggies at every meal, 80/20 rule, keep tracking your calories, so that you know how much you're eating. This planned break helps you to focus. You know that in X weeks or in X months, fitting in meals out more frequently will be possible, getting in more drinks will be possible, or some cake will be easier. You'll be able to do all these things more frequently, because you'll have more calories to work with, and that helps you maintain that laser focus. Alright, ladies, I hope that this has helped. If you have any questions about this or anything else, you can always email me. You can shoot me an email at email@example.com. Hit me up with any questions about this. If you're wondering, "Isn't my weight loss really slow, is this normal?" Always hit me up and we'll talk you through it. Thanks so much for being here today.
0:28:17.6 Kim Schlag: Thank you so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
0:00:04.6 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 89 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode I am joined by physical therapist, Marci Silverberg, who specializes in women's health and pelvic physical therapy. We chat all about diastasis recti, what you need to know about it, even if, listen to this ladies, even if it's been years and years since your last pregnancy. Let's go. Hi there Marci.
0:00:32.5 Marci Silverberg: Hi Kim.
0:00:32.6 Kim Schlag: Welcome to the podcast.
0:00:34.2 Marci Silverberg: Thank you so much.
0:00:35.5 Kim Schlag: I'm so glad you could join me here today. We are gonna be talking about pelvic floor physical therapy, but before we do, I would love to learn a little bit about you. So tell me who you are and where you're from, tell me about you, what you like to do for fun?
0:00:52.4 Marci Silverberg: Sure, sure. Well, I'm located in California. I'm from New York originally, and I have two young kids, and we're in the middle of a pandemic, so I'm pretty busy schooling them [laughter]
0:01:06.2 Kim Schlag: So your hobbies are schooling your kids and taking care of your kids.
0:01:10.2 Marci Silverberg: Well, yeah, I'm getting outside, and we have been blessed to have really good weather. So getting out, going on walks, and then when I have the time, I mean, I'm a huge outdoor enthusiast, we've been going camping a lot actually, since the pandemic. I would say, my hobby is...
0:01:24.2 Kim Schlag: Really?
0:01:26.3 Marci Silverberg: Yeah. Right before the pandemic my husband convinced me to get this little camper van. It's the best decision we ever made, and so we've been doing a lot of camping during the pandemic, and that's been awesome. It's been like saving us.
0:01:39.3 Kim Schlag: So it's a van, but it's a camper?
0:01:42.9 Marci Silverberg: Yeah, it's a little camper, it's called a Scamp, and we tow it, and it's got little beds inside, and the kitchen. Yeah.
0:01:53.3 Kim Schlag: That sounds fantastic.
0:01:55.7 Marci Silverberg: Yeah, it's been really cool.
0:01:56.8 Kim Schlag: And do you guys like to hike while you're camping?
0:02:00.7 Marci Silverberg: Oh yeah, absolutely.
0:02:01.0 Kim Schlag: Nice.
0:02:02.5 Marci Silverberg: Yeah. Hiking, exploring as much as we can.
0:02:06.1 Kim Schlag: And the kids enjoy it?
0:02:07.0 Marci Silverberg: They absolutely love it. And because we're in northern California, there's a lot of places to check out, so it's been fun. Yeah.
0:02:14.5 Kim Schlag: I bet. I bet. Okay, so for those of us who aren't familiar with Northern California, if we come to Northern California and wanna do some kind of outdoorsy, camping, hiking thing, what's the spot we should be sure to hit?
0:02:25.4 Marci Silverberg: We love going to Santa Cruz. That's where we love going, 'cause it's right on the beach and there's camping, but anywhere... All along the coast there's tons of things to do, and then there's the national parks, there's Yosemite, which we've been to. There's tons of places to go.
0:02:41.6 Kim Schlag: Amazing. I've never been to Northern California, ever.
0:02:46.6 Marci Silverberg: Oh my gosh, I highly recommend it.
0:02:48.9 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:02:49.9 Marci Silverberg: You should come out.
0:02:50.0 Kim Schlag: One of these days, when we're allowed to travel again someday.
0:02:52.3 Marci Silverberg: Yeah.
0:02:52.4 Kim Schlag: I'll make sure I get there. So Marci, tell me a little bit about exactly what you do as a pelvic health physical therapist?
0:03:00.4 Marci Silverberg: Sure. Well, my background before I became a pelvic health physical therapist, I basically treated the entire body, but just not the area of the pelvis and the pelvic floor, and so now I have this special training where I can also treat this area. So what that means is, you've got your pelvis, and then there's this really important group of muscles at the very base of the pelvis called the pelvic floor muscles, and these muscles, they have a lot of roles for sex and continence, and they're actually part of your core, and they can get affected through the course of a woman, or a man's life, especially around pregnancy and childbirth, and so when there's problems with these muscles that could present as leaking or pain with intercourse, there's a problem called pelvic organ prolapse and just the core is not functioning well. And so I just have specialized training in order to work with these muscles and understand their connections to the rest of the body, and I also treat issues with the uterus and the bladder and the rectum, and all the organs that live inside the pelvis. So I feel it's just maybe better actually treating the entire body, because now instead of treating the whole body and just not this area, I treat that area too, so that's how I see it.
0:04:18.8 Kim Schlag: And how did you decide to get into this particular specialty of physical therapy?
0:04:24.0 Marci Silverberg: Through my own issues, which is how a lot of women tend to get into it. When I was pregnant with my son, so this was now nine years ago, I found myself looking for a physical therapist that specialized in this. Because I had these weird issues where I would wake up in the morning and I couldn't walk, I couldn't put weight on one of my legs, and then it would get better as the day went on.
0:04:48.1 Kim Schlag: Wait, what would happen? If you physically couldn't hold yourself up, or what would happen?
0:04:53.3 Marci Silverberg: Yeah. Intense pain. Like intense pain on one side of my pelvis where this joint is, called the sacroiliac joint. I couldn't understand it, but then I would walk it off, it would kinda go away, which is kind of funny 'cause sometimes pregnancy pains present that way, they kinda come and go. And then it happened again after I had my son, and then I developed this condition called diastasis recti, it's an abdominal separation that can happen sometimes during pregnancy.
0:05:25.6 Kim Schlag: Got it.
0:05:27.4 Marci Silverberg: And so, as a physical therapist I wasn't specialized in how to work with this, but I was very curious about it. And I had all these questions about it like, "What exactly is going on with me and how do I fix it? And why did it happen? And if I have another baby", because I was planning to, "Is it gonna happen to me again?" And so I just started researching and taking classes, and figuring out how to put myself back together again and rehabilitate myself. And then in the process of that I just discovered this specialty field and all the other issues that women have. And I found there's a lot of women like me that are looking for answers and have these issues and don't quite know what to do about it. And I found out that a few of these issues that I treat in addition to diastasis, leaking and everything else, they're actually really common issues that women don't talk about because they feel ashamed about, but then it really affects their quality of life. And so as I learned what to do about it, I just felt more and more impassioned about learning more and directing my practice towards working with women with these issues, which is exactly what I do now.
0:06:39.5 Kim Schlag: So tell us some more about... I always say this word wrong, is it diastasis or... It's diastasis, right?
0:06:47.5 Marci Silverberg: It's either. I've heard it diastasis, or diastasis.
0:06:52.5 Kim Schlag: Diastasis, diastasis. How do you say it?
0:06:54.4 Marci Silverberg: I say diastasis.
0:06:56.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, we're gonna go with diastasis. I can never remember. Diastasis. Okay, diastasis recti. Tell us more about that. What is it? How did you first realize... What were your first symptoms of it? Just tell us, kind of give us a brief overview of it.
0:07:09.7 Marci Silverberg: Yeah, so it's an abdominal separation. And the way I figured out that I had it, is very classic. So what happened was, I was cleared six weeks to start exercising, and I knew I needed to work on my core, 'cause I had these issues before with pain. And so I started just doing some exercises, to say I'm doing a harder exercise, like a plank, and I look down at my belly and I'm like, "What is that? Looks like an alien". It just looked like there was a baguette laying on my stomach, from the top to the bottom, where the skin was kind of pooching out, and I didn't have that before. And you look at it and you're like, "What is that? I did not have that before. What can I do to make that go away?" And then also when I'm getting in and out of bed, you see it. And then so I start doing exercises to try to make it better, and the exercises I was doing at the time weren't helping, but to answer your question, what it is, is the abdominals, they separate a little bit.
0:08:13.1 Marci Silverberg: So a lot of people know that the rectus abdominis, that six-pack muscle. Well, there's this band of tissue in the front of the belly, it goes from right below the ribcage, and then it goes all the way down and connects on the pubic bone, and it's called the linea alba, and it's fascia. And it's meant to stretch during pregnancy, but what happens is, it just gets overly stretched. And then so what that band was that I was looking at or that pooching, was that when I was doing exercises, my body wasn't developing tension. Because that area was thinned and separated abnormally and my body wasn't developing tension there, and so it was kind of like poking out. And so what it looks like is, you feel like you look like you're still pregnant. So what happened to me was I lost my pregnancy weight, but I still had this belly where I look like I was four months pregnant or so.
0:09:05.6 Kim Schlag: Interesting. Now, is it painful?
0:09:08.9 Marci Silverberg: No.
0:09:10.5 Kim Schlag: Not painful. So it's just how it looks. Can you feel it with your hand?
0:09:16.8 Marci Silverberg: Yes, you can feel it with your hand, depending on what you're doing. So when you're doing something challenging to the muscles, that's when it will poke out and you could kinda feel it with your fingers, and that's how you can test to even see if you have it. If you do a little sit up and you see it, or you might even not see it, but you kind of put your fingers in that area and press, then you could feel the edges of the muscle. What you should feel, if you do a little sit up and you press on your tummy, you should feel tension or firmness, like a trampoline. That means that your body is... Not only are your muscles contracting, but along that tissue sheath, your body is developing some appropriate tension there. So when your body doesn't do that, you might see the doming and then you feel the edges of the muscle and like a sinking in, and softness instead of that firmness.
0:10:08.7 Kim Schlag: And is it preventable in any way?
0:10:13.7 Marci Silverberg: That's such a good question. It's normal to a degree. What I discovered is it's actually physiologic and normal process. Research shows that at 35 weeks pregnant literally 100% of women have a diastasis at that point. 'Cause it's normal, when you get pregnant and your muscles stretch, that this sheath does get stretched out. Now by around six weeks postpartum for many women it just will close up on its own, they don't need to do anything specifically to make that happen, just they're the lucky ones. And then there's about 40% of women or so, I've read different numbers, 30%, 40% of women where it just doesn't close up on its own, and then those women would need to do rehab or something else to work on it.
0:11:01.3 Kim Schlag: That's a really high percentage.
0:11:03.0 Marci Silverberg: It is. It is a high percentage.
0:11:05.1 Kim Schlag: I did not know it was that common. Interesting.
0:11:08.9 Marci Silverberg: That's the thing about a lot of these things that I treat. They're surprisingly common.
0:11:14.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:11:15.2 Marci Silverberg: Yeah.
0:11:16.7 Kim Schlag: And can it be fully healed? Does it get to a point where you had a diastasis and now you do not have it present?
0:11:24.9 Marci Silverberg: It takes a little explanation. You should know that it is normal to have a diastasis to a degree. So it's considered normal to have, like I explained how you could put your fingers in there and you can feel the gap, so up to two and a half finger widths is actually considered normal. And that's a really important point, because I think when women hear about this they can get a little bit obsessive like... And I understand, and I was this way too, wanting it perfect, wanting everything back together. But there is a certain degree of gap that's considered normal, and some women have a gap even before they're pregnant. But most women wouldn't know, 'cause they don't think to test themselves before they're pregnant, to see if there's a gap even in the first place. And so for some women, when you do rehab, it does come back together to a degree, and it varies for different women, how much it comes back together. And I'll also say that the distance of the fingers is actually not even as important as that tension that I mentioned. So, yeah, there's a lot of interesting things about it, as it starts to heal and we focus on developing tension. Research has showed that as the muscles get stronger, there might be more tension, improved tension, yet more gap. So if we focus on healing the gap and getting the muscles to approximate, that's actually not even a good measure of...
0:12:52.0 Kim Schlag: Interesting. So it's the tension that's the main point?
0:12:56.6 Marci Silverberg: Absolutely. Yeah. It's the tension that's the main point. 'Cause that means that the muscles are responding appropriately and you're getting good forced closure in the front of the abdomen. So it's the tension that matters.
0:13:09.5 Kim Schlag: Besides the aesthetic piece of it, like maybe a person just doesn't like how this looks, what are the other problems that come with having one that is too big?
0:13:21.8 Marci Silverberg: So that's another interesting question, because the research about diastasis is actually just coming out, it's not super strong. So the diastasis has been associated with back pain and with pelvic floor dysfunction. And I say associated with it because pelvic PTs, we often talk about that it's important to fix a diastasis because it could be causing back pain, or pelvic floor dysfunction, or other issues, but the research, the evidence, doesn't actually show that, but I definitely see that in practice. So if someone has a diastasis and they're looking to improve it, right? Which we definitely wanna do, you look at the pelvic floor, and a lot of times the pelvic floor is weak too. And so in rehabbing the whole system, we're preventing other issues, or someone with a diastasis might have other issues relating to the pelvic floor dysfunction, like leaking or something else. I definitely see it associated with other issues. If your core is not strong that can have a lot of downwind effects, so someone could have... I've seen people with a weak knee, like a knee pain let's say, or a weak hip, and then ultimately their core is weak, they have a diastasis.
0:14:33.3 Marci Silverberg: So if your core is weak, that's the center of your body, you can have other problems up and down the kinetic chain that are related to a weak core. So it's definitely important to rehab it, although the clinical evidence doesn't prove that. What I see clinically is that it's definitely important to rehab it, and have a strong and functional core for life and for whatever activities we're doing.
0:14:58.9 Kim Schlag: Is there a certain window of time that a woman has to work on healing this after she has a baby? Or is it something that let's say... One of my listeners is listening and she's like, "Oh, I'm 45 and I had my last baby 10 years ago, and I have this." Is it too late at any point to work on healing this?
0:15:21.5 Marci Silverberg: Absolutely not, it is never too late to work on it, and I see that a lot. I see women that never really did rehab after they had their baby, and then they're coming in for rehab and now they're 50 and they have, you name it, a hip problem, they have leaking, and then we find that the core is weak and it never was really rehabbed. It's never too late and go back and rehab it then. The body remembers and just kind of holds on to it until we get to it.
0:15:49.6 Kim Schlag: I have to say I had never even heard of this when I was having children. So my kids are all older, now I'm 50, my youngest is 15 and a half. I had never heard of this term until several years ago. And so, is this something that is just becoming more like that women are becoming more aware of it? Or is it just happens that you think it may be just in... I just didn't happen to know anybody with it, or do you think that a lot of women are just now becoming aware that this is a thing?
0:16:17.4 Marci Silverberg: Women are just becoming aware of it, absolutely. The whole field of pelvic floor physical therapy is really growing now. So there are definitely pelvic floor PTs that were treating this problem in the '80s let's say, but not a lot, and now there's more and more pelvic PTs, and we're talking about these things. So women are starting to learn that if they're leaking after having a baby, that that's not normal, and that they should get treated for that. And that if they have this issue called diastasis, that there's people like me who are trained to help them with it. And so PTs is like, we're getting out there, like we're doing podcasts, and we're doing vlogging and we're on social media so that we can talk to women. That these things do happen and that there is treatment for it, so they don't have to just deal with it. So people are probably just hearing about it a lot more lately, and that's a really good thing.
0:17:09.5 Kim Schlag: And so, if someone who is listening right now and they're like, "Oh, this sounds like me". Whether they recently had a baby, or it's been 10 years, or somewhere in between, what should they do? If they're like, "Okay, yes, this is me".
0:17:20.5 Marci Silverberg: Yeah, so I think the best thing to do would be to work with someone like me who's a physical therapist and is trained in working with this, and there's also personal trainers that are trained in working with women postpartum. So finding someone who has the training and the knowledge in this area, and there's some websites that I can point you to to find somebody, or just finding a good local women's health PT. Even if you just go to your local PT clinic and ask how do they treat this condition, or who do they refer to that has training in this. Or you can look at this, there's some websites, I could point people to find someone with the training in order to work with them.
0:18:00.7 Kim Schlag: And so if someone was gonna come to you for this, give me a general idea of like, what are we talking about? Are we talking about exercises, or what is the gist of the treatment?
0:18:11.9 Marci Silverberg: So I look at everything. So when I work with someone and they're coming to me with this problem, I wanna know everything about what's going on. So the way I start with people is, I do an evaluation and I have them fill out some paperwork. So I wanna know what else is going on, if they're noticing they have a diastasis, are they having back pain, are they having any pelvic floor dysfunction? So specifically, are they leaking? And this could be like bowel or bladder. Are they leaking, are they having pain with intercourse, are they having a feeling of dragging in the vagina, what other orthopedic conditions do they have? We mentioned if you have this, there might be other issues up and down the chain, knee issues, hip issues, anything else going on. And then I'm gonna evaluate them and I'm gonna see... Treating this is not just about exercise, it's really a whole body approach, so I'm gonna start and I'm gonna look at, how does this person stand, right?
0:19:05.0 Marci Silverberg: If I have a mom who just had a baby and she has a diastasis and she's still standing like she's pregnant, which a lot of women might do, she's putting pressure on the front of her belly and causing... Kinda leading to more of that like split, more of that feeling of pressure in the front of the abdomen. So I have to work on the alignment piece first, and then I look with every single client, how are they breathing? 'Cause I can get into this, but how you breathe is very connected to how your core works. So I need to look at these foundational things first, and then I'm gonna evaluate the diastasis, and then I'm gonna see what this person needs first. So the treatment is always gonna be alignment and looking at breathing patterns, and then it's probably gonna be looking at how they sit at the computer, and how they pick up their kids, and different things about how they use all the muscles of their body. And then there might be some corrective exercises to help with the diastasis and generating tension.
0:20:02.7 Marci Silverberg: But there might be other things going on. Some women will have weak pelvic floors and that needs to be treated in order to close the diastasis, 'cause the pelvic floor and the muscles in the front of the abdomen are very intimately connected. So that might need to happen. Some women are really tight in other muscles that connect to, and in effect, that linea alba. So I have women who, when they go to use their core, they grip with their external oblique, these muscles on the sides, and they need to learn to not do that, and we need to do some release work. So there might be manual work that I need to do to release different muscles of the body. Sometimes the ribcage is flared from pregnancy and I need to do manual work on the thoracic spine, so I'm looking at everything above and below. I'm doing usually a full plan of care, so it's education, it's exercise, it could be stretches, it could be, this is how to stand at your computer, you know, it's very holistic how I treat it.
0:21:02.5 Kim Schlag: Got it. And what does a typical course of treatment take, so from the time somebody's like comes to see you until this is very well healed. How long are we talking?
0:21:13.7 Marci Silverberg: Yeah, I usually evaluate a person and get to know them in order to understand what their goals are. It's very much goal driven. So if I have someone who says they wanna be able to just return to exercise and know what exercises to do, and beyond the course of healing this, because it could take a long time to heal it. I might give them maybe six sessions, if I have someone else that say they have a diastasis and they're leaking and their goal is to run 10 miles, they have goals that require me to train them for a specific activity that's more difficult and more loading, so I might be working with them longer. So it depends on the individual, it depends what their goals are and how they progress through treatment, but I would say on average, I probably see people around six to 10 visits, but it's variable.
0:22:02.3 Kim Schlag: Okay, got it.
0:22:03.9 Marci Silverberg: Yeah.
0:22:04.0 Kim Schlag: Got it. Now besides diastasis, what do you think are the other top two pelvic health issues that women come to you for?
0:22:14.6 Marci Silverberg: Yeah, so top two, definitely leaking is one. So leaking urine. And I would just say that it's very common that women's leak, I think like 40% to 50% of women postpartum are leaking to some degree and that's definitely the number one thing. And it could be presenting like, "I'm leaking when I cough or sneeze," that's one type of leaking called stress incontinence, or it could be, "When I get the urge to go, I just have to go to bathroom immediately," and that's called urge incontinence. And they're treated differently. And when it comes to that, I would say any leaking is not normal and should be treated. 'Cause sometimes women will say, "Well, I only leak a little bit..."
0:23:00.9 Kim Schlag: We all think it's normal.
0:23:01.3 Marci Silverberg: Yeah.
0:23:01.3 Kim Schlag: I have to say, so you're my second public health physical therapist I've had on the podcast. I think it was about almost two years ago, I had a woman by the name of Hannah Ross, and we talked in depth about that. I will link that episode here. And I remember saying [chuckle] like, "I just thought it was normal that I leaked." You know that like, "Oh, of course I pee a little bit when I sneeze or when I jump 'cause every... All of my friends do too," and it's one of those things you don't realize like, "Oh, this isn't actually supposed to be happening, and it is fixable."
0:23:30.3 Marci Silverberg: It's fixable. Yes, absolutely, and the earlier you treat it, the better. If it's been going on for a really long time, it might be a little bit harder to treat and reconnect to those muscles, so it's important to get it treated. And the thing I love sharing with people, I'm very passionate about treating women for leaking, it's factually, it's the number one reason why older people end up having to go into higher levels of care like nursing homes and assisted living.
0:23:56.9 Kim Schlag: Really?
0:23:57.4 Marci Silverberg: It's just because of the leaking and the incontinence, yeah.
0:24:00.1 Kim Schlag: That is so interesting.
0:24:02.3 Marci Silverberg: Yeah. And so it's so important for your lifestyle to just...
0:24:06.1 Kim Schlag: Alright, you may have just inspired me to finally make a dang appointment with a pelvic health physical therapist. 'Cause I always saw it like, "I should just get this, I should go see somebody, I should go see somebody," and I just never put it on my top of my priority list to do. That makes it feel really important to me.
0:24:23.0 Marci Silverberg: Good, I'm so glad. Yeah.
0:24:25.2 Kim Schlag: The fact that I pee my pants when I cough and I've been sick for three months, you think it would have been important already, [chuckle] but this kind of nudges it even higher.
0:24:33.5 Marci Silverberg: Absolutely, and it has such an effect on quality of life. Women, we're so good at transferring that, "Oh, we'll deal with that later," because there's all these other more important things that seem on the list. But the thing is, it affects your quality of life, right? If you're afraid you're gonna... I feel like, I don't have those issues, but if I was afraid I was gonna pee, then I start avoiding things. And I see it all the time. The first client I had, I took these courses, I learned how to do internal work, I get my first client who's leaking, and her story is classic, she's been leaking for three years, her doctor said, unfortunately, that there's nothing she could do about it other than get surgery, which is a shame 'cause it's fixable most times with conservative care. So she's leaking, so she doesn't exercise because she feels embarrassed 'cause she leaks when she exercises. And because she's not exercising, she feels more stressed, so she eats more and then she gains more weight and then it affects her body image and now she's not having good relationship with her husband. So it has this huge spiral effect, and I think that that can happen in lots of different ways. So it's not just leaking, if you think about the impact it has on your life.
0:25:39.8 Kim Schlag: It can have a long reaching impact, absolutely. So tell us one more. What's another top issue women come to you for?
0:25:47.4 Marci Silverberg: I treat a lot of women with pelvic organ prolapse.
0:25:51.6 Kim Schlag: Okay. And how does that happen?
0:25:54.1 Marci Silverberg: Yeah. So what it is, is you have these three organs in your pelvic cavity, you've got your bladder, your uterus and your rectum, and they have their place that they live, and they're connected by fascia ligaments, they stay in their place, and they can shift a little bit. They could shift downwards a little bit, and what that could look like or feel like for a woman is, she'll say she has a feeling of dragging vaginally or it feels like something's coming out of her vagina, is what it feels like. It's a very uncomfortable feeling, and that's another one that is treatable most times with conservative care, so that's one that it's graded. It's graded from levels one to four, and when it's a four, that means it's like completely outside of the vaginal entrance, and then at that point it needs surgical repair to come back, but it's another one of those things that are progressive, and this is actually one of the things that made me feel really passionate about working with women.
0:26:52.7 Marci Silverberg: So I learned that after a woman has a baby, the incident of pelvic organ prolapse, the incidence is very high, it's like 30% or 40% of women have this. But a lot of them don't even know that they have it, because they might have this really mild form, like a grade one, and you don't really start feeling it until you're about a grade two. So now in my practice, typical situation is a woman calls me and she's in, say her 50s or her 60s, and she says, "Oh my God, all of a sudden I feel like something's falling out of my vagina, and I go to the OB and I get diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse," and she's in a panic, "Can you help me? I don't wanna have surgery." And absolutely, I work with her and as long as it's not severe, oftentimes, I can help her with the symptoms and we could reduce the prolapse, not completely, but by a little bit, but the thing is, it's like it's the straw that broke the camel's back. This process was in play for a long, long time, and one day it just got to the point that she felt it. Okay, so she probably was never checked. So I check every client to see if they have any kind of pelvic organ prolapse and even if it's mild, I want them to know so they can start treating it and they don't end up that woman that's 50 calling me in panic.
0:28:13.0 Kim Schlag: It feels like as women, we're really disconnected from our pelvic health and what should be happening and what shouldn't be happening, and what's just normal, and what even though it is common, is still not normal.
0:28:25.2 Marci Silverberg: Absolutely, absolutely. I talk about this all the time, I give classes about it, I just don't think that we as women are really educated about our bodies and our pelvic health, and part of it is that a lot of women really are uncomfortable talking about pee, poop and sex.
0:28:42.6 Kim Schlag: Yeah. [chuckle]
0:28:43.2 Marci Silverberg: I call myself, I'm a physical therapist that talks really openly about pee, poop and sex, and so let's talk about what's normal and what's not normal, so that women can know if something's happening to them that it's not normal. Certain things are not normal. They may be common, but that doesn't mean that they're normal or that there's nothing they could do about it. And so those things would be leaking, and that could be urine or it could be stool. Feeling like something is dragging out of your vagina, seem like that gap, that diastasis when you're doing exercises. And the other one that we haven't talked much about, but is having pain with intercourse, those are the main ones that women suffer with, and they just think that there's nothing they could do about it. Now those are the main things.
0:29:30.0 Kim Schlag: And so what would you say to women out there listening, what's the one thing you would say, "Here's what I want you to know about your pelvic health, if you know nothing else about it, you start here."
0:29:45.2 Marci Silverberg: I guess all those things that I mentioned. Do you know I start where I like to tell women about their pelvic health is? I just like to start with a model and just show like, this is where your vagina is located, this is where your pelvic floor is located, and just know that... And I said it before, but which it's not normal to leak, it's not normal to have urgency around going to the bathroom, it's not normal to have pain conditions either with intercourse or just around the pelvis and around the back, and it's not normal to feel like things are falling out. Physical therapists also treat women who have really painful periods, that's another problem I really deal with.
0:30:25.0 Kim Schlag: Oh, really.
0:30:26.3 Marci Silverberg: Yeah, we help women who are very constipated, that can be a pelvic floor issue.
0:30:30.7 Kim Schlag: Interesting.
0:30:31.6 Marci Silverberg: So we can help with dietary recommendations to help some things flow through, but that can be related to bowel health, and there's things that we do for that, and abdominal massage and there's lots of different things that we treat. But basically, if you're having discomforts, you can talk to a pelvic PT and see if there's things we could do, 'cause a lot of times there's things that we could do for discomforts that people think are normal and definitely pregnancy-related discomforts, I treat all the time that women might say, "Oh well, I'm pregnant, so of course I have back pain." 90% of women when they are pregnant have back pain, but I treat women who are pregnant with back pain all the time and get them feeling more comfortable, like why suffer with it. You know?
0:31:12.2 Kim Schlag: Yeah. We don't need to suffer. So you said something interesting back at the very beginning when we first started talking, and I didn't bring it up then, 'cause it wasn't kind of the whole point of the podcast, 'cause my audience is women, but I was so interested in it. I'm sure a lot of these women have men in their lives, they love. You mentioned women and men with pelvic health issues, so what kind of pelvic health issues do men have? I never, ever thought about men having pelvic health issues, but obviously you have a pelvis. So what kind of issues do they have?
0:31:41.2 Marci Silverberg: They can have pain conditions around their pelvis or around their private parts. They have prostate cancer sometimes, so then they get rehabilitation after surgeries. They can have the constipation issues, they have sexual dysfunctions as well, they could have things like pain with orgasm. Yeah, difficulties with sex, difficulties with maintaining or getting an erection, that could have to do with the muscles and how the muscles are working down there.
0:32:16.7 Kim Schlag: Do you work with many men?
0:32:19.1 Marci Silverberg: I don't. I'm mostly working with women right now.
0:32:21.6 Kim Schlag: Got it.
0:32:22.6 Marci Silverberg: Yeah. I think maybe later on in my career, I plan to start seeing more men, but right now I'm just seeing women.
0:32:28.2 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:32:29.2 Marci Silverberg: Yeah.
0:32:29.6 Kim Schlag: Well, this has been an enlightening conversation, I'm sure people listening have definitely learned something that they did not know before, and hopefully a lot of people will take the next step to get themselves some help, because we don't need to be having... We don't need to be peeing on ourselves and having discomfort and just living with it and accepting it.
0:32:48.2 Marci Silverberg: Absolutely, I agree. Yeah. That's great.
0:32:50.7 Kim Schlag: Thank you so much for coming on, Marci. Where can people find you if they want to talk to you more about these things?
0:32:57.3 Marci Silverberg: Sure, you could find me on the Internet, and my website is www.marcipt.com.
0:33:06.0 Kim Schlag: Amazing. Well, thanks so much. We sure appreciate your time and your expertise in this area.
0:33:11.8 Marci Silverberg: Thanks so much for having me, Kim.
0:33:13.4 Kim Schlag: Thank you, bye-bye.
0:33:19.7 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified Podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational. If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
Episode #88: Fit At Any Age with Susan Niebergall
0:00:03.3 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 88 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm joined by my friend and colleague, Susan Niebergall. Now, Susan is 60 years old and is in the best shape of her life. She got into that incredible shape starting in her 50s. She just wrote a book all about her journey, Fit At Any Age: It Is Never Too Late. And today, we're gonna talk about that book, we're gonna talk about Susan's journey, we're gonna talk about how you can do it too, and you're even gonna have a chance to win a free copy of her book. Let's go.
0:00:43.3 Kim Schlag: Hello, Susan.
0:00:44.6 Susan Niebergall: Hello.
0:00:45.9 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for joining me.
0:00:47.7 Susan Niebergall: Of course, of course, of course.
0:00:50.0 Kim Schlag: So before we get started, anybody who's listened to my podcast for a bit, or follows me on social media has probably had some introduction to you, but why don't you give us a brief introduction for those who are new to you.
0:01:00.3 Susan Niebergall: Sure, sure. I'm Susan Niebergall of Susan Niebergall Fitness, and co-coach in Syatt Fitness Inner Circle, and I am a 60-year-old strength coach who basically yo-yo dieted for three decades or more. [chuckle] Guess it sounds like a lot of time, but when you think about it, it was a lot of time. I was never that obese person, but I was always that person that had to lose some weight. I was always heavy. And I think back then, that's what people said, you were heavy. [chuckle] Not fat, you were heavy, right? Yeah, and I literally just wrote a book about all of the issues that I went through, all the struggles that I had, and how I turned it all around in my mid 50s just to kinda lead the way with the message that you have as well that it's never too late to change, right? Because you've...
0:01:55.6 Kim Schlag: I'm holding that book right here in my hand right now, everybody. Here it is.
0:01:58.4 Susan Niebergall: There you go.
0:02:00.2 Kim Schlag: Susan showing her guns on the cover of this book, Fit At Any Age: It's Never Too Late. That is no small accomplishment, Susan, to write a book.
0:02:07.7 Susan Niebergall: No, it was not a small accomplishment, and I almost quit many times along the way. [chuckle] Yeah.
0:02:13.1 Kim Schlag: Why did you decide to write the book? What was the driving force? What was your point?
0:02:17.6 Susan Niebergall: The point was to show people, man, you're not alone. Like, I made all those mistakes. Every single one of them, and there's a bunch of them in there. And some of them are bigger than others, you know what I mean? But just little things that we thought growing up were true and that you followed along certain paths and they ended up not being good, not accurate, but just the whole point of, yeah, I screwed up too, I made all these mistakes too, and I still changed it around, you know? Like, it doesn't matter, I guess the point is. The point is it doesn't matter how many times you make a mistake, how long this takes, whatever, you keep after it, you surround yourself with the right people, you get the right information, and you start applying it consistently, you can change anything at any age. That was just kind of the bottom line. And just to make people feel like you're not alone. Like, guys, people in our generation, we all did weird stuff, [chuckle] I mean, we all did.
0:03:16.8 Kim Schlag: Our attempts at weight loss are many and varied and whacky.
0:03:21.1 Susan Niebergall: So it's interesting, because the feedback that I've gotten from the book has been phenomenal, and the most common thing I hear is, "I was nodding my head the whole way through," like, "Oh my God, yes. Oh my God, I remember that. I did that too." It was a lot of that, and then hope at the end, which was the entire point of why I did it.
0:03:38.6 Kim Schlag: And people might be surprised by how much they nod along if they don't know you, if they just look at you and maybe see you briefly, right? I bet people are making a whole lot of assumptions based on how you appear. What assumptions do people make about you, Susan?
0:03:53.2 Susan Niebergall: The biggest one is that I must work out for hours and hours and hours, right?
0:03:57.2 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:03:58.9 Susan Niebergall: Like, I must. And that my nutrition must be so dialed in to the minute littlest detail that life can't be fun. I've had... I posted about this a while ago... I'm gonna repost it again, a nutritionist who literally made those kind of assumptions about me in a post on Instagram, and somebody brought it to my attention, and it was kinda like, wow, just from my picture, she assumed all of these things. I must be eating basically nothing, and I was having to dial it in, and my workouts must be hours and hours on end, and I must spend every day in the gym. And it's like, it's nothing like that, as you know. I mean, it's nothing like that. And then, the steroid thing gets thrown around every now and again.
0:04:39.5 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I've heard that...
0:04:39.8 Susan Niebergall: I haven't heard that in a while, but I'm sure that'll pop up eventually again.
0:04:43.7 Kim Schlag: You know, I bet people look at you and think, "There's a woman who's always been fit."
0:04:46.9 Susan Niebergall: Oh, right.
0:04:47.4 Kim Schlag: "There's a woman who's never struggled with her weight. She's genetically gifted."
0:04:52.7 Susan Niebergall: Oh, yeah.
0:04:53.8 Kim Schlag: "Fitness comes easy to you. You've never been intimidated by the gym," right? Don't you think people look at you and think all of those things?
0:05:00.4 Susan Niebergall: Every single one of them, and what's the irony here is I have obesity on one side of my family, heart disease in my family. So genetically, I don't have those gifts. [chuckle] I was not a sports girl, so I didn't play sports growing up. I was a musician...
0:05:16.8 Kim Schlag: You love sports, but you don't play sports.
0:05:17.9 Susan Niebergall: I love sports, and people assumed I played sports because of that. Because I could talk to guys about football and plays, and I was knowledgeable, so people assumed. I mean, I did play flag football, I take that back. In my 20s, I was on a co-ed flag football team, and I crushed on that, just because my knowledge of football was pretty great, but that wasn't like a sport. I didn't do any sports. I was a musician and that was what I did, so yeah, people assume that I've just been lucky enough to have the ability to do this. And I'm a klutz. [chuckle] I mean... So yeah, I don't have any of that. I am just an average person who was averagely overweight a lot of her life. I was called tank as a kid, chubby. I was heavy. What was the other word? Husky. Was that a word when we were younger?
0:06:06.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah. Yeah.
0:06:06.7 Susan Niebergall: That was close, right?
0:06:08.0 Kim Schlag: That was a word that was literally on clothing.
0:06:10.4 Susan Niebergall: Right. [chuckle] Yeah.
0:06:12.8 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:06:13.3 Susan Niebergall: All that, that was all me. Yeah. So I was never the, I needed to lose 150 pounds. That was never me.
0:06:19.6 Kim Schlag: Okay, so tell... and this is in the book, guys, so you're gonna get a full run down in the book, but kinda hit on some of the highlights, Susan. How did you get from there, not obese, but kind of overweight, not particularly athletic, more a musician to somebody who's now a trainer, super in shape, very strong, very fit, how did you go from there to here? Give us the Cliff notes version for it.
0:06:42.0 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, the Cliff Notes. I joined a gym and started doing classes. That's where all of it started, and actually even rewinding before that, I did a stint of jazzercise, which I wrote about in the book, which I couldn't write a lot about 'cause I don't remember a lot about it, for probably a good reason. [chuckle] I wasn't...
0:06:58.2 Kim Schlag: You blocked that out.
0:07:00.0 Susan Niebergall: It wasn't my cup of tea, but really, the love started with these classes I went to at this gym. They were aerobics-based classes, step-ish kinda things with some little weight stuff at the end. The community piece is what kept me going back. It's like how CrossFit does it, Orangetheory does it, they all do that really well. So did this gym and these classes, as it does for a lot of people, actually, and that's what gets people in the door, and that's what got me in the door, kept coming back. And where the classes were, I could see the free weights section, and I just started paying attention over there, and started getting very curious and tried to go over there myself a couple of times, made a bunch of stupid mistakes there, and almost didn't go back because of an incident that happened in there.
0:07:43.4 Susan Niebergall: And it's kind of everyone's worst nightmare of gym intimidation. You find the one asshole that will actually come up and say something to you, when most of the people in there are like, "You go, girl." Overcame that and got a trainer, and that's where the working out piece propelled. I started working with a trainer there, and after that for years, I would work with different trainers all along the way. And the interesting part about that was that none of them put the whole package with nutrition together, none of them. And so, while I was gaining strength and I was loving being in the gym and learning how to lift and things like that, I never really could see progress from any of that, just because the nutrition piece wasn't there, and it's a classic case of you can't out-train any kind of diet, whether you wanna say bad, good, whatever, it doesn't matter. That has to be priority for you.
0:08:34.9 Susan Niebergall: And it wasn't for me, so I didn't know, right? I thought eating clean was cool, I thought that was it. [chuckle] You know? The whole eating clean thing, and I did that for a long time. But it all kinda just did this, I would lose a little bit, gain some more back. I just bounced back and forth and never had it down for so long until probably six years ago when I started working with Jordan, and I didn't go to him for nutrition, 'cause you know, he does that and I was not interested at the time, 'cause I thought...
0:09:04.3 Kim Schlag: What age is this, 54?
0:09:06.1 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, I think it was. He and I talk about that. I'm not... We think so, [chuckle] we think so. I think right before that, I had gone to my doctor, thinking, "Oh, it's my metabolism." I went through that whole route, and I talk about that a lot in the book, about how I blamed that, and my doctor set me straight, very nicely, she set me straight, but she did, and that was a big life-changing moment for me. I had to sit with that, I had to accept it, that I wasn't doing things right. And when I started doing that, I did implement small changes, just more awareness...
0:09:38.5 Kim Schlag: What kind of things did you start doing?
0:09:40.2 Susan Niebergall: Just awareness, not eating as much, just portions were smaller. I mean, it wasn't anything drastic. I didn't track, I didn't do anything yet, and I started seeing some change. It's crazy what you can do when you become aware of what's happening. It's textbook right? And then that's when I signed on with Jordan, and that's why I didn't sign on with nutrition, 'cause I thought, "Oh, I know what I'm doing now," [chuckle] and I really didn't. But as you do too, I was reading everything he wrote, and I watched everything he recorded, and I started applying stuff from him, and then he and I would start talking about it, and then it got to be more like, he was coaching me through everything, and that's kinda where it changed. When you finally get information that you can grasp that you can actually apply, and apply it. You have to actually apply it, and you have to actually be consistent about it, and I know that's your message too. That's my message. That's his message. We all message that consistency with anything. If you're not consistent with something, you're not gonna have success, and we all think we're being way more consistent than we're being.
0:10:46.7 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:10:48.3 Susan Niebergall: So it was a little... It's honesty, right?
0:10:51.4 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. So Susan, you mentioned clean eating. You and I have a heck of a lot in common, down to the fact that our sons share a birthday...
0:10:57.6 Susan Niebergall: Oh my God. Oh my God, yeah. That's great, right? Yeah.
0:11:00.3 Kim Schlag: Which has been so crazy, Susan. We constantly realize weird things we have in common. One way that we differ is that you come solidly from this clean eating kinda club, and I was from the "My diet is just craptastic," all the way through my [chuckle] 20s and 30s, right? So for all the women listening who are die hard clean eaters, talk about how you left the Clean Eater Club, and what effect that that has had on you physically and emotionally?
0:11:21.7 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, clean eating. We thought, "Well, what's wrong with that?" And there's nothing wrong with it. I mean, obviously clean, whatever that means to people, is great. Nutrient-dense foods, obviously a really, really good thing to eat most of, but the problem was I was paying zero attention to portion sizes. So, I talk about this one particular place that our family would dine, a local little restaurant where I would order this thing that sounded really healthy. It was grilled chicken pasta with some pesto, whatever. I'm thinking, "Cool, there's no like Alfredo sauce, there's none of that stuff. I'm getting this really healthy meal." I would eat the whole thing. It was huge, you know? And I wasn't thinking that, "Oh my gosh, this is... I shouldn't be eating all of this. I don't need all of this." I didn't know. I didn't know how much protein I was eating. I wasn't even thinking in that way, right? I just knew it was healthy, and so because of that, it had to be good.
0:12:17.2 Susan Niebergall: And that, and almonds were a big thing for me back, especially when I worked in the school. Almonds, you walk by here, grab a handful, whatever, and then later on you're walking by, you're gonna grab another handful because you're hungry, 'cause I was not... I had no concept of balancing out my meals. I was doing... I did a phase of Slim Fast for a while, and I was hungry, of course, I would be hungry if I'm doing that. So, clean eating was one of those things that... It's not a bad thing, but when you do it in lieu of paying attention to other things, I think that it's gonna end up making you spin your wheels just like it did me. Clean food has calories, and those count just as much as calories from a doughnut counts, right? I mean, as we all know. And so, I think...
0:13:03.8 Susan Niebergall: When I started getting my act together, when I started working with Jordan, all that started making sense to me now. Oh, I can have that cupcake that I turned down for so many years at these birthday gatherings at school, and it's not gonna kill my progress. Those calories, I can keep track of those the same way I keep track of that big meal that I had that was clean, full of nutrients, whatever at that restaurant. That was probably 1,200 calories in that meal and that was dinner. So think of what I'd eaten all up to that point. So, you just learn that you don't have to, first of all, be in this bubble, because that's what it was for me. I was in a food bubble. It was prison. I really thought clean eating...
0:13:43.5 Kim Schlag: You had your list of foods you could eat and the ones you couldn't eat.
0:13:46.8 Susan Niebergall: Yeah and that stemmed from... And I truly believe this is true for a lot of us. Growing up, I really feel like our generation, we were brought up with a couple of things that were black and white. One was good food and bad food. There was food that was good for us, and food that wasn't good for us. And you could say good for not only from a nutrient perspective, but even from, "Ooh, you shouldn't eat that, 'cause that's gonna make you a little fat." I think our generation was brought up that way. The same thing with the scale, I feel like we were brought up with, "If the scale goes up, that's bad, if it goes down, it's good." There was no talk about what's actually happening and why it actually fluctuates three pounds to five pounds in a day. It was just either it's up, "Oh my God, it's bad," or it goes down...
0:14:30.8 Kim Schlag: Those are strongly rooted beliefs in the women I coach. We both coach a lot of middle aged women, and those beliefs are really just deeply entrenched in their brains. So the scale goes up a little bit, and it takes quite a while for some of them to understand, no matter what they do, no matter how perfect they're being with their diet, the scale is still going to have these spikes. It's really hard for them to comprehend that. Just like it's really, really tricky for them to get a hold of the fact that they can have the cupcake and still lose weight. It takes a lot of practice and actually watching, okay, what happens when I eat the cupcake? I'm gonna stay at my calories, and wow I'm still losing weight. It takes a bunch of times of that before they start to really believe it.
0:15:12.1 Susan Niebergall: It does, it does. And I will put myself into that group too. And I've been talking a lot recently about how, because those beliefs are so ingrained in us, I don't know if they'll ever go away, but I think it's how... I think what happens now, like when I see... I've had the scale spike that's recently, that went up and I'm like, I don't like it either. I don't like it. I still get that familiar kick in the gut, but the difference... And it's okay to feel that, and I think we need to put that out there. It's okay to not like that. I mean, I don't know many people that do like it, but it's not okay when you let the emotions then drive that car. And that's where people get into trouble. It's now I can feel it. I'm like, "Yeah, okay, it went up. I don't like this, whatever. I know it's gonna sort itself out at some point." It just took longer this time, you know?
0:16:02.0 Susan Niebergall: It took maybe four days to sort itself out instead of the usual two or whatever, but the point is, it did sort itself out. I didn't do anything to drastically change because, oh my God, the scale spiked. I just rode it out. And when you do that and you see what happens, okay, you saw it, great. You saw that whole pattern. Do it again. You'll still get the kick in the gut maybe, and it's gonna get easier, right? I don't think it's ever gonna go away though. I just truly think for that many decades with stuff implanted in you, it's kinda hard to...
0:16:35.4 Kim Schlag: You can get to the point where you're not emotional about it and more like, you're talking about Susan, you can be logical about it. And you can be like, "Oh, I wasn't expecting that, but there it is. I am now going to do what I was gonna do anyway. I'm still gonna eat the foods I had planned for today. I'm not gonna do extra cardio. I'm not gonna cancel my dinner plans because the scale is up." Or the other extreme, which people go to, which is, "Screw it, this isn't working. I'm just gonna eat all the things," right? Instead of...
0:17:00.5 Susan Niebergall: Oh yeah, for sure. Yeah, I was the punisher, I was the...
0:17:02.7 Kim Schlag: Right? That was kind of the piece of... And so you can get to the point where stepping on the scale doesn't lead to that.
0:17:07.2 Susan Niebergall: Yeah. I was that... I wasn't the... I'm not a stress eater. I'm not one of those. When I get stressed, my stomach gets into a knot and I don't eat. But when I do overeat, I would have been that person that would be the punisher. I would be going downstairs doing 100 crunches thinking," Oh yeah, that's gonna do something." [chuckle] I mean, logically, if you think about it, it's like, what... But I would be that person. I would do that if I felt full, which I was when I overate, I would try to work it off, and I would do more cardio, I would do the crunches, whatever it was.
0:17:42.5 Kim Schlag: And I think a lot of people are gonna hear that and be like, "Yeah, me too." I'm sure there's plenty of people listening who are like, "That's me. That's what I do." Susan, what does a workout week look like for you these days?
0:17:54.6 Susan Niebergall: Four days a week. And it's so funny you ask that today, because today is the first day that day one has landed on a Monday for me in I can't even tell you how long, just because of traveling and scheduling and stuff. And I like that. I'm a creature of habit. So, usually this week, it'll be Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday or Sunday. I'm not sure which one it will be. It's one of the two. That's the one variable. But yeah, now that we have a bike here, I ride every day, and when I ride, I don't necessarily go hard and do a spin class or anything, I'll just get on and pedal for a while just to move. But once or twice a week, I will do a spin class, and I really actually enjoyed that. I've enjoyed...
0:18:37.0 Kim Schlag: That's new for you.
0:18:37.7 Susan Niebergall: It's real new for me. I did them in the gym years ago, but I like having the app and pulling up. There's classes that are 15 minutes long to over an hour. You can choose. You can choose what kind of class it is. And it's been really interesting because between that and bike sprints that have been on my program recently, my cardiovascular endurance has improved unbelievably in a short amount of time, which is fascinating to see, 'cause I'm not a cardio girl. I don't love it. I like the class thing. That makes it more bearable. The sprints, I don't know if I'll ever love them. I weirdly like them now, but I don't know if I'll ever love them. But it's really interesting to see that, that your heart, how dramatically you can change that quickly, very quickly, that turns around.
0:19:29.8 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. Last fall, right before I got sick, I started a running program...
0:19:33.1 Susan Niebergall: I remember.
0:19:33.3 Kim Schlag: And it was shocking to me, and I'm gonna tackle that again, once I'm feeling well enough to do that. I'm gonna do that later this year. And I was really pleasantly surprised with how quickly my cardio endurance improved. And now, having sat on my butt for three months and did nothing, I was stunned with how in the tank my cardio... How my abilities were, but even just a month, I've been back, this is week four of my training plan, I've been walking 30 minutes a day, and training three times a week. Today's workout was just worlds better than week one.
0:20:07.3 Susan Niebergall: I love it.
0:20:08.4 Kim Schlag: My heart is not pounding out of my chest doing a plank now. Isn't that crazy? Literally four weeks ago, I was worried, I was like, "Should I call the doctor? What's wrong with me?" And when I did talk to the doctor, he's like, "You're just really out of shape now." And I haven't been really out of shape since I started getting in shape, seven years ago, so that... It surprised me. But that can improve really quickly.
0:20:27.1 Susan Niebergall: That must have felt weird for you.
0:20:29.0 Kim Schlag: It was scary. I was like, "Is something wrong? I've done four exercises," I literally did one set, this was the fourth thing I had done that day, and it was a 20-second plank, and seriously, I thought it was gonna pound out of my head, my heart was racing, I couldn't breathe, and now today, the plank is still a little hard for me at 20 seconds, but the heart rate is normal elevated, like, "Okay, I've just finished," and now I'm doing three sets of everything, so it's three sets of four exercises, and when I got to the end of that third set of planks, I felt normal. So that was encouraging.
0:21:04.4 Susan Niebergall: That's really encouraging.
0:21:05.7 Kim Schlag: Yeah, now, Susan, on your four workout days, you got your bike days, then you got your lifting days, four lifting days. What are they set up like?
0:21:14.9 Susan Niebergall: So lower body, upper body, lower body, upper body. Interestingly, my program, we've made a lot of adjustments of late, and so I don't have many exercises. I think, today, I had four, four leg exercises on leg day and one core exercise, and then the bike sprints, that's a typical length workout. They don't take me nearly as long as they used to. My volume is... Interestingly, my volume is about the same, just because of sets and reps, but not a lot of riding. I think people think you gotta have eight to 10 things to do or more is better, that whole thing, and it's just not. I think, boring basic stuff, as you know and as we like to program for our people, it's just that works and it's just bringing intensity to that and getting better with those and that's kind of what I was doing. And I actually posted today, today was leg day, so I... Dead-lifts haven't felt good with me for... Gosh, I don't even know how long, it's been so long.
0:22:23.3 Susan Niebergall: So I made a big conscious decision months ago, "I'm just gonna rebuild, I'm gonna pretend almost like I don't know what I'm doing, and I'm starting almost from the ground floor." I didn't go back to the ground floor, but pretty close, and I have had so much more fun doing them. I feel like I'm getting stronger now, because I've done that, because I'm so focused on my technique now, I feel like I've made incredible strides and everything's feeling easier, where I am now. So that's been fun. So I guess, as your training plans... Before you got sick, were probably very similar to mine, from the perspective of how they're laid out, because Jordan writes both of ours. But it's a major lift at the beginning and then some supersets and then boom, you're done. That's it. And I think that's super effective, it's not the three hours in the gym. Sometimes, it'll take me longer... I'm the worst person in the world to ask, "How long does it take?" because I talk to the people and I was thinking about this...
0:23:26.2 Kim Schlag: And you film.
0:23:26.6 Susan Niebergall: And I film, and people, especially right now, people say stuff to me about how long are my workouts. So I'm like, "You know what? They take way longer than they should." Because the gym is the only place right now, where I see people. I was thinking about that when I left, and it's been like this for a long time. Our gym's, luckily, has been open since probably end of May, beginning of June, and I don't really see a lot of people outside of there, so when I'm there in my midday time with the people that I usually know, my gym friends, whatever, I like to chat with them, we have our little distance and we do our little thing, whatever we're supposed to do with all the rules, but I like seeing human beings. So yeah, I take a little longer than I should. Long-winded way of saying that. It's still...
0:24:15.0 Kim Schlag: Don't you think it's interesting, people are very interested in how long does your workout take, 'cause they wanna know how long should their workout take, and people are very invested in how long should it be, but not nearly as much paying attention to the two things they should be, which is, "What's my total volume?" and even more importantly, "How intensely am I working?"
0:24:30.3 Susan Niebergall: Yeah. When I hear somebody, whether it's in the inner circle or one of my clients say, "That workout only took me whatever minutes," and I'm like, "Well, if that workout only took you that many minutes, you're not working hard enough."
0:24:45.1 Kim Schlag: You're not working hard enough.
0:24:46.6 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, 100%. And the other thing is, you can half ass any workout, any workout you can half ass, and you can also make any workout super challenging, it's up to you. It's about the person and what you bring to the workout, not necessarily what's written on that piece of paper, or app or whatever. Still a piece of paper. [chuckle]
0:25:13.9 Kim Schlag: Absolutely, it's really true. I was making a comment about that on my stories the other day, when I was showing people my workout, which again, it's four exercises, and I was at one point, doing one set and I was like, "Whoever you are, you can do this workout with me and make it work for you, no matter how advanced you are, because you will just use heavier weights, you can do some more sets, 'cause once set's probably not gonna be enough for you. But you guys can add some more sets on and make the weight appropriate and it can be just as hard for somebody who was in better shape than I was at that moment." So that's the thing about a good workout. A good workout is gonna be a good workout, if you bring to that workout, the intensity that you need to.
0:25:50.9 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, and to clarify also, 'cause I get asked this too, I don't mean you have to do jump squats or jumping jacks in between sets or anything, it's not that kind of intensity 'cause so many people think of HIIT or something like that. It's, how focused are you on what you're doing, how much weight are you actually moving in a proper range of motion, with proper technique, it's that kind of focus and intensity that you bring to it, and I think that is gonna be the game changer. You doing your 10 reps and by number 10, you're like, "Okay, good, I did it." Or is it number eight, nine and 10 a struggle to finish? There's a big difference.
0:26:27.2 Kim Schlag: That's what we mean by intensity, guys. We're not talking about, "My heart rate is up and I'm sweating, and I feel like the floor was wiped with me," we're talking, "I'm having to really focus to get this weight up, the number of reps I'm supposed to, and keep good form and move it through a full range of motion." That's what we're talking about, about intensity. It is so key, way more important than how long was your workout.
0:26:47.4 Susan Niebergall: Oh, way, way, way, way more. And I think people get hung up with that a lot, they... They think, "Well, I didn't sweat that much. This must not have been a hard enough workout." I don't sweat when I strength train. I'm not a sweater. I've started sweating now when I do these bike things, I'll sweat at the bike sprints, I will, and I'll sweat at sprint class, but if I'm training in the gym, I don't sweat like that, so for me to judge my workout based on that would not be a good way to judge it because that doesn't matter. You don't chase whether you are sweating or whether your tongue is on the ground when you're trying to leave the gym... In fact, it probably shouldn't be, if you're strength training. If you're doing HIIT workouts or CrossFit, it probably is gonna be. They're just different.
0:27:35.2 Kim Schlag: Susan, what have been your biggest hurdles? You're in the best shape of your life at 60. What have been your biggest hurdles in getting to that level of fitness?
0:27:46.3 Susan Niebergall: I think... What we touched on earlier is the whole mindset piece of 40, 50 years of thinking a certain way and trying to reshape how you view things. The scale's been a big hurdle. I didn't even own a scale a few years ago. That was significant for me. Two years ago, that's not that long ago. I never owned...
0:28:05.5 Kim Schlag: I remember when you bought that scale, I remember that.
0:28:07.8 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, so it's a constant learning experience. We're all still learning. I think the mindset stuff has been the hardest for me, and to learn to back off and decompress more, just even from a workout perspective and from a business perspective, because I understand working out... I was that person that loved to work out every day, and that's what I did for years and years and years. I did like it. I was also afraid that if I didn't do it, I was gonna get fat, lose progress, all of that stuff. That was really the main reason, but I did kind of like it. I worked out this morning, and my legs are tired, but part of me is like, "Yeah, I could hop on the bike and do a class... " No, no, I'm not gonna do that. First of all, it sounds good sitting here with my legs not moving, but as soon as I get on that bike and my legs have to pedal... That's been... The more is better thing has been something that I have had to really come to terms with. When Jordan scaled me back from six days a week to four, I thought I was gonna lose my mind, and that still... I have to be careful with that.
0:29:20.6 Kim Schlag: Yeah, and you cover the details of that story in the book, about how hard that was for you, being a person who was working out every day or multiple times a day, to being told, "Here are your four workouts." And like, "What am I supposed to do the rest of the time?"
0:29:33.6 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, yeah, I just feel like the whole mindset shift has been the toughest, for everything. From the scale, from working out so much, all those kinds of things, just... And looking back and accepting the fact, and all those things that I did and I thought were the right things to do, and I guess that's the thing to hammer home here. I genuinely thought this is what I was supposed to be doing, and gosh, so many people have written to me and said, "I did too. I really... I'm doing this right now." So many of them are saying that. So yeah, it's this, the mind. It's shifting...
0:30:15.1 Kim Schlag: It's the mindset.
0:30:16.2 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, just shifting from former beliefs to now, what's happening, and what works, and then how I can help other people with that.
0:30:25.5 Kim Schlag: I love that. So to the women out there listening to you and they're like, "This 60-year-old woman got in the best shape of her life in her 50s, maybe I can do that." Like she's starting to believe, maybe it's not too late for her, but she's like, "I have so far to go." Either maybe she has a lot of weight to lose, or maybe she's like you were where she was just really over-exercising or being a super clean eater. Somebody with one of those situations and they're like, "I kind of believe I could do this." What would be your two action steps, two to three action steps? "I kind of believe I can do this now, and I wanna do it. I believe it's not too late."
0:30:57.7 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, I think the first action step regarding nutrition is literally... And I say a piece of paper, and I definitely mean a piece of paper on this one... To write down everything you put in your mouth in the course of a day, whether it's a sip, a taste, a bite, whatever. You don't have to weigh it, measure it, don't do any of that. Just write it down, and have that pad of paper in your kitchen with the pen right there so you can write it as you have whatever it is in your hand, every sip of water, everything that you put in your mouth during the course of a day, because so many people just aren't aware of what they're consuming and until you get slapped in the face with that, it's hard to reconcile that you're overeating. It's like people that tell me, "My calorie deficit number comes out to 2000. That sounds like a lot." And I'm like, "You know, if you're not losing weight right now you're eating more than that". It's not a lot. It's not as a lot as you think it is. It's their perspective that's all wrong. They think that 2000 calories is a lot, but when you sit down and you plan that sucker out, it's not as in a lot, as you think, and you're going through this cut right now, so you know as well as anybody, you can use up calories really quickly.
0:32:14.9 Susan Niebergall: So I think becoming aware of what you eat is super important because you're gonna start making changes based on that. That's exactly what I did, way back, and that's exactly how Mike lost his weight is just becoming aware of what...
0:32:26.9 Kim Schlag: Mike's Susan's son.
0:32:28.1 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, he's my son. He's lost, I don't know, probably 70 pounds, something like that, and really never weighed it, never did the whole calorie tracking. He might have loosely tracked a little bit, but it was pretty much just becoming aware of what he was consuming, so that would be one thing. I think the second thing from a training perspective is if you're new to it, just start walking. I think that's where everyone needs to start, and I think people wanna fast forward through that and not go through that, but I think if you can make walking a non-negotiable every single day, schedule it in your day, whether it's five minutes, 10 minutes, 15, 20, increase your time as you go, whatever it is, do it, because you're developing that habit of that something, that active something, and that's where that's gotta begin too. And then after that, you could certainly... If you don't have access to a gym right now, you could certainly do squats and push-ups in your house. By the end of the day, you wanna do 50 squats, you wanna do 50 push-ups from the wall, the counter, whatever, you can start adding that way, but I think it's gotta start for most people with building a habit of, "This is what I'm doing," and that could be walking.
0:33:42.5 Kim Schlag: That's great advice.
0:33:44.4 Susan Niebergall: Just go out there with a podcast or something and put on the headphones and go.
0:33:49.8 Kim Schlag: Yeah, if you're listening to this podcast while you're sitting down, get up.
0:33:54.1 Susan Niebergall: She's not gonna like that. I'm not gonna like that either, but that's her message. So get up.
0:33:58.1 Kim Schlag: Get up.
0:33:58.6 Susan Niebergall: And start listening to this podcast than sitting down.
0:34:02.0 Kim Schlag: I have had the craziest experience in the past month, Susan, as I was starting to introduce walking back into my life. I walk in the really cold weather, I do. When it's cold, I just put on warmer clothes and walk, but having developed this asthma with my lung condition, I was having asthma attacks outside and my doctor's like, "No more walking outside till it gets warmer," and he's like, "You can walk in... " And so I'm thinking I can't go every day to Target and walk around. First of all, I was spending too much money. [chuckle]
0:34:28.3 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, there's that.
0:34:30.1 Kim Schlag: And also with Coronavirus, do I really wanna be in public that long every day? And so I have had to start walking in my home, and it is the craziest thing to spend 30 minutes at a time wandering around your own house, like it's...
0:34:44.3 Susan Niebergall: Wow! My hat's off to you for that.
0:34:46.1 Kim Schlag: It's not fun. I really enjoy my walks outside, I love them, I look forward to them. I do not look forward to this, and I break it up into little bits for part of my day. I'll schedule into my time, "Okay, now I get up for five minutes and walk around the house and talk to clients." But I do have one chunk every day. I walk for 30 minutes and I'm like, "Oh gosh, shoot me now." But it's working. It's the same effect as if I was walking outside. I've had to find a television show to watch, so I get on Netflix and watch my show to make it more palatable, but no matter where you are, how cold it is, how dark it is, you can make it happen.
0:35:18.0 Susan Niebergall: Oh, absolutely. You just gotta be creative, I'm not a walk outside girl at all. That's one reason I got the bike because I knew I wouldn't be that person, and then I was gonna get a treadmill, but then no one else in the house would use it, but the bike, all three of us are getting use out of it, and so that's been... Yeah, it's been a much better choice for us anyway.
0:35:40.0 Kim Schlag: Writing this book, did you find parallels between writing a book, taking on that kind of project, and getting into shape?
0:35:48.6 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, 'cause I never... I'm not a writer. The book is written very simply, so I'm not a wordsmith kind of person. Yeah, I did, because I wanted to quit more times than I could count. I'd feel like, "This is going nowhere." Blah, blah, blah, blah. That's complete parallel to people losing weight, you feel like it's not working for you. You're doing all the work, and yet you just don't feel good about it, and you don't see the results and blah, blah, blah. And writing this book was kind of a very similar path, just there are chunks of time where I just put it off to the one side and I said, "I don't even wanna do this," and so I kind of left it. My maintenance period perhaps, where I got tired of it, and I just left it and focused on other things, then would go back to it. That would parallel taking a diet break and going into maintenance, and then going back. So yeah, I think that's a great question and it's a great point. It parallels weight loss in every way, shape or form. I wanted to quit, but I didn't. And there are times like right now, there are just so many technological things that go on with this writing a book that I had no idea, and I'm still putting out some fires. I don't know what I'm doing.
0:37:02.6 Susan Niebergall: I mean, if you all know Kim, this is not our strong suit, and it's certainly not my strong suit. Dealing with Amazon technology and those people at 10:00, at 11:00 o'clock at night, and I still have a problem that I don't know how to fix, but... [chuckle] But it's great...
0:37:16.9 Kim Schlag: Susan, I'm coming off of four days of tech struggles here. It's gonna be the death of me yet. What do you think it is? You're a woman who in her 50s, and now in your 60s, you've written a book, and now you're struggling to manage the tech piece of doing it. In your 50s, you got into the best shape of your life, you started a business, you took that business online and grew it. That is really inspiring, and it's a bright light. So many women feel like once they hit a certain age, once they hit middle age, the best is behind them. How did you steer clear of that tired belief? What gave you the gumption to do these big, big things?
0:37:56.0 Susan Niebergall: I was a little naïve, I think, too.
0:38:02.7 Susan Niebergall: On the book piece, I was a little naïve with that, "Yeah, I'm gonna write a book." Oh my God! Okay.
0:38:10.4 Kim Schlag: I write articles, I write Instagram posts. I can write a book.
0:38:16.2 Susan Niebergall: Let me just write a book. That was eye-opening. The whole... With the physical part of it, I was kind of like, "Yeah, I love challenges. Bring it on." Especially in the gym. I don't know where I got the 45-pound way to chin up goal that I wanted to do, but as soon as I... And I think it was, I saw this guy in my gym do it, and he was this big, tall, lean dude, strapped on 45 pounds and was going up down like, "Jesus, I wanna do that." And then it was like laser. That's exactly what was on my mind, and it took a couple of years for me to get it, and I finally got it, and it's so funny, once you get something like that, now the goal is, I wanna get... I haven't done it since... I wanna get back there, and then I wanna try to get two or three reps of that. So it's kind of I get laser-focused with stuff like that in the gym. And nutrition too. If I wanna go back into a muscle-building phase, I will, and I will be laser-focused with that. With this book, yeah, that was...
0:39:20.7 Susan Niebergall: I thought, I really have a story to tell. I looked back on things, and when I started outlining the book, I started writing, just brain-dumping things that people would be able to relate to I bet and how that might be able to help them as I progress through all the changes and how I turn things around, and that was just the driving force. The whole driving force behind this book is, if this book can help somebody, great, that's the whole premise.
0:39:49.6 Kim Schlag: Well, we're gonna give everybody listening now a chance to win a copy of this book, we're gonna do a giveaway here, so here's what you're gonna have to do, you're gonna go to iTunes and you're gonna leave a review for the podcast. Look, obviously, I want a good review, but if you hate it, go ahead. [chuckle] Say what you wanna say [chuckle]
0:40:07.3 Susan Niebergall: Say what you wanna say.
0:40:09.1 Kim Schlag: But I don't know that I'll pick you, but... No I'm kidding. No, I'm gonna do it randomly. Seriously, whatever you put... Leave me a review, take a screenshot of it, DM it to me on Instagram. I'll enter everyone there, it will go into one of those number counters that you know you can do online, and I will draw one, it'll be random, and you can win a copy of Fit At Any Age.
0:40:31.4 Susan Niebergall: I love it, that sounds amazing.
0:40:32.4 Kim Schlag: I've held it up as though all of you can see it. Just Susan can see it [chuckle] So that's what we're gonna do. So if you're interested in hearing more specifics about Susan's story... And in the book, Susan, you actually have nutrition guidelines, there's some really good workouts in there as well, so it's an interesting story, it's a memoir of Susan's life, but it's also very practical guidance for you as you are trying to get in shape as well.
0:40:56.0 Susan Niebergall: Thanks. I appreciate that. I put the How to section at the end for a little bit of, Okay, here's what you can do to apply some things, and just... I think there's like five workouts in there, five short workouts in there to take for a test drive. So hopefully it gives you hope and lets you know that you can do it too.
0:41:17.7 Kim Schlag: I love it. Thanks so much for being here today, Susan. Okay, everyone listening, leave a review on iTunes, screenshot it, DM me, you'll be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of Susan's amazing book Fit At Any Age, it is never too late. Thanks so much for being here, Susan.
0:41:33.1 Susan Niebergall: Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me Kim.
0:41:34.0 Kim Schlag: Oh and tell everybody where they can find you, Susan.
0:41:37.6 Susan Niebergall: Mostly Instagram. Susan Niebergall Fitness. It's Susan Niebergall Fitness...
0:41:40.5 Kim Schlag: Spell your name.
0:41:41.9 Susan Niebergall: Yeah, yeah, I definitely have to do that. N-I-E-B-E-R-G-A-L-L Fitness and that's pretty much everywhere.
0:41:51.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah. All right, thanks again.
0:41:53.1 Susan Niebergall: All right, thanks for having me Kim.
0:42:00.1 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
Episode #87: Silence Your Inner Mean Girl
0:00:05.8 Kim Schlag: Welcome to episode 87 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I'm joined by Keri from Texas. Now, Keri has lost 97 pounds but she gives herself a really hard time because she did not lose 100 pounds, and that mean girl voice in her head really gets on her about those three pounds she didn't lose. She is struggling to continue to lose weight at this point and that mean girl in her head is really getting in her way. So we talk about how to silence your inner mean girl. Ready? Let's go.
0:00:47.2 Keri: Hey, how are you?
0:00:49.0 Kim Schlag: I am doing well. Now, Keri, tell me where you're calling from?
0:00:51.8 Keri: Burleson, Texas.
0:00:54.5 Kim Schlag: Oh, okay, great.
0:00:57.0 Keri: Yeah, yeah it's not too far outside of Fort Worth.
0:01:00.5 Kim Schlag: Okay, got it, got it. And tell me a little bit about you, because we've never really spoken before. We just chit-chatted a little bit in Instagram...
0:01:08.1 Keri: No, and I'm so excited to talk to you. I've been following you for a while now. You're one of my, I would say, top pages that I look forward to seeing posts on, so I'm pretty excited.
0:01:18.2 Kim Schlag: Oh, that makes me super happy. Okay, so you've been following me for a while, you live in Texas, tell me more about you. Tell me about your family and what you do.
0:01:27.9 Keri: So I'm 35 now. I have a 12-year-old daughter. I'm married. I currently work at an elementary school, in the kitchen, feeding all the little kiddos.
0:01:40.3 Kim Schlag: Okay, nice.
0:01:40.3 Keri: And I think that's it. I've got dogs that take up most of my time 'cause I am obsessed with them. And I have the one daughter. One's an Australian Shepherd mix and he's big and fat, and the other one was supposed to be an Australian Shepherd but she's a little Terrier. And she's half his size but she runs the show around here.
0:02:05.6 Kim Schlag: Well, wait, how did that happen that you thought you were getting a big dog and you got a little dog? What happened?
0:02:09.8 Keri: 'Cause they looked the same when I... I got the big dog as a puppy and he was about a year, so we found her and they looked exactly the same as puppies, and they told us, "Oh, it's an Australian Shepherd."
0:02:21.8 Kim Schlag: Oh my goodness.
0:02:23.1 Keri: And then we got her and she only grew half the size, but we love her.
0:02:27.3 Kim Schlag: Oh that's so funny.
0:02:28.8 Keri: She's my favorite. I would have more dogs if my husband would allow it, so eventually I'll win.
0:02:34.2 Kim Schlag: We're getting our very first dog.
0:02:38.0 Keri: Really? What kind are you getting?
0:02:40.0 Kim Schlag: We are getting a mini Goldendoodle, and it actually, it may have been born yesterday. We're number nine on a list for a breeder, and so they had two momma dogs. The one had her puppies yesterday and the next one is due to have her puppies in about two weeks, and then we get to choose from among these. And yesterday's dog had six puppies, so as long as the next momma dog has at least three, we'll get to choose one of these.
0:03:08.3 Keri: Oh, that's so exciting.
0:03:10.2 Kim Schlag: Yeah, this will be our first one. Now, Keri, remind me what your question was.
0:03:18.8 Keri: I think I said something to the effect of... I was having a really bad day, so that was part of it. I said something to the effect of I had lost quite a bit of weight but was feeling very discouraged and defeated trying to keep it off and continue the process. So just out of... It was a rough day, so I was... Usually, there's those question boxes nobody... Either they don't respond or they give you a quick, "Just keep going" kind of thing, so I did not think anything of it, and I was so surprised when you messaged me.
0:03:55.8 Kim Schlag: Well, okay, so tell me, how much weight have you lost over what period of time?
0:04:00.7 Keri: So I was my heaviest in 2017.
0:04:05.3 Kim Schlag: Okay.
0:04:06.8 Keri: I believe I was probably close to 315, if not more. That was the last time I weighed myself. I was buying clothes that were size, I don't know, 26. And so I slowly started getting healthier, losing weight. I had some family involved in AdvoCare, so they helped me learn about nutrition and food, and things like that. So I started in January of 2018, and I joined a gym, and my gym is amazing and wonderful, and I've lost 97 pounds since then.
0:04:48.8 Kim Schlag: Wow!
0:04:51.6 Keri: And I never got to the 100-pound mark, I don't know, it's so frustrating to be that close, but I was my lowest in... At the beginning of 2020, I was down to a size 12, and I felt amazing and I felt really good and really great, and then all the whole world went crazy. And I think this last year has just affected me more than I realized and I think I've gained probably 10-15 pounds back, and it's been challenging. I have a coach who is amazing. Her name is Jen, and I love her dearly, and she puts up with me a lot but I don't know why, I just struggled this year.
0:05:40.7 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I think...
0:05:44.6 Keri: I have a trainer as well who has totally changed my life and I love them both but...
0:05:49.4 Kim Schlag: That's fantastic. You have a good team.
0:05:52.1 Keri: Yeah, I do have a very great support system. I would not have made it this far without them and the people at my gym, and my family. This last year, I've just really, really struggled and I've gotten really good at not letting the number on the scale get to me because the number doesn't matter as long as I feel good and my pants fit. And I really found that I love lifting heavy but I think eventually, the numbers started to creep up and eventually, it gets to you a little bit.
0:06:26.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah, for sure. Well, first of all, losing 97 pounds is incredible. That is no small feat.
0:06:31.3 Keri: Thank you.
0:06:33.4 Kim Schlag: And you did it over the course of three years. That's like 32 pounds a year. You did incredibly, incredibly well. Clearly, you've got something right here, so that's exciting.
0:06:45.1 Keri: Thank you.
0:06:47.1 Kim Schlag: And a lot of people are in the same situation you are, Keri, that this past year has... Excuse me, I have to sneeze. That this past year, they've really taken a hit in their ability to be consistent. I mean, wow, our world was just really turned upside down, right? And so the question is, what do you do now, right? You've lost all this weight, you wanna pick up some momentum again, and you're just not being able to. When do you think was the last time you were able to be consistent with your diet? Was it right before quarantine started in March? Is that when the last time you were really consistent was?
0:07:26.2 Keri: Probably. I definitely used food as... Even when we did the whole lockdown and the gym closed, I have a few things here and I worked out everyday. I did not miss a workout. Even if I wasn't at the gym, I set up a little garage gym with two little dumbbells just to make something happen. But it's always been the food that I struggle with, or I overeat, thinking, "It's okay, I worked out today," or "I did extra cardio, I can eat this bag of chips or cookies," or whatever.
0:08:05.7 Kim Schlag: Yeah. So you feel like even right now, you feel like the fitness piece of it, you've got under control. You're so consistently working out. Like, that's not a problem.
0:08:14.7 Keri: That's not a problem. I love my gym, that's my stress release. Those are the people that make everything better, so...
0:08:22.1 Kim Schlag: Good, okay.
0:08:22.9 Keri: I never miss the gym, even in the pandemic. So I got Corona right after Christmas and I missed, I would say, about three weeks of working out. So going back to the gym was my favorite thing. I couldn't wait to get back.
0:08:38.2 Kim Schlag: Well, you've got that going in your favor, like that piece has really clicked for you, and it's not stress; you actually like it. So, you know, here's what I wanna us to think about. Success leaves clues. You've clearly been very successful at losing weight. So let's think back to last January, February time period when you were still doing really well. What were you doing with your nutrition that you think was working? When you think back and you're like, "Yeah, this I did, and it helped me."
0:09:08.9 Keri: Probably the one thing was seeing the scale go down, even if it was just a point two. If it went down, I instantly felt like what I was doing was right, and that would make me want to keep trying. And then I measured probably every single thing that I ate.
0:09:29.8 Kim Schlag: Okay. So do you think that...
0:09:30.2 Keri: You know, weighing everything. And that just... I think it became overwhelming. So I started eye-balling things or, "That looks like half a cup." You know what I mean?
0:09:39.7 Kim Schlag: Got it.
0:09:40.5 Keri: 'Cause it does get overwhelming, having to measure and plan, and I pack... You cook all the food on Sunday and you pack all the food for the week. It just got overwhelming, I think. And then lockdown happened, then I think I just said, "I'm at home, what do I need the meal plan for? 'Cause I'm at home."
0:10:00.9 Kim Schlag: Got it, got it. So two things you talked about there. The first one was that when you would see the scale go down, even if it was a little bit, that that was motivating to you and you wanted to keep going.
0:10:10.8 Keri: Right.
0:10:11.3 Kim Schlag: Right. Now, that you can't directly control, right? You can't directly say, like, "Scale will go down." We've gotta get you doing the actions that are gonna help the scale go down. But you make a good point in that motivation can often come from seeing results. And so what we need to do to help you get your groove back is to help you start seeing some results, and that will feed on itself. So let's figure out how we're gonna do that. The thing you just mentioned, I think, is so key. The idea that you were weighing your food and then you went to eye-balling it, then all kind of heck broke loose. And if it feels overwhelming to you, there would be two things I would suggest to you about that. One, it doesn't have to be a commitment for life. You're not gonna say, like, "I now have to weigh everything I eat for the rest of my life." You could just do it for 30 days, 60 days, and see how it goes, and see what kind of results you get. That's one thing I'd say. The other thing I would say is to consider the alternative. Is it more overwhelming to start weighing your food again, or is it more overwhelming to have this constant feeling of, like, "I am just not being successful at this thing I really want to be successful at."
0:11:28.5 Keri: Right. Well, I agree.
0:11:32.5 Kim Schlag: How do you feel...
0:11:33.2 Keri: And I think I used food to deal with stress. And, emotional eating, I would say I do that probably more than I need, more than I care to admit. And I think even if I do really good with my food, if you're having a bad day, a few bites of this won't hurt. But I think it does hurt. So I feel like I know what I do wrong, it's just, why has it been so hard for me to move past it, you know?
0:12:10.0 Kim Schlag: Well. Talk to me about this. When you were successful with losing weight, what were you doing to manage your stress, instead of eating? 'Cause you clearly weren't emotional eating that whole time, or you wouldn't have been losing so much weight, right?
0:12:26.5 Keri: Right.
0:12:27.0 Kim Schlag: What do you think changed, or what can you remember that you would do instead of eating, when you were stressed or emotional?
0:12:36.2 Keri: I don't know the answer to that. I've worked pretty much the same hours. I do think I'm off in the summer, so I'm home during the summer, so not having that schedule definitely set me back. Sleeping all day, being up late. I feel like I thrive better on routine. As much as I hate getting up at the crack of dawn, it's better for me.
0:13:02.8 Kim Schlag: Mm-hmm.
0:13:03.4 Keri: So I know the summer time throws me off, and... I don't know. Maybe it's because I was measuring everything and I was so dedicated to tracking, I didn't... I made sure to measure out my sweets at the end of the evening, and that's what I could have, and that's it.
0:13:22.4 Kim Schlag: Mm-hmm.
0:13:23.8 Keri: Maybe I made sure to factor that in, and then I stopped.
0:13:30.8 Kim Schlag: Right now, are you at a point in your life that you have a schedule? Is school in session regular, and you're going to work and all of the things?
0:13:39.2 Keri: Yes. And I got a new... The same basic job, just a different school. I just spoke to my nutrition coach about it, because it's been such a change. It's the same basic job but new school, new people, more responsibility, and it's been such a change and more hours, I don't know if my body is handling it well. I have a lot of back problems that I've had to deal with going to the doctor for, and I don't know if medication can slow weight gain or weight loss down. And I think I've been trying really hard the last few weeks to measure and to track and nothing's happening. The scale's not budging. I don't feel great. And I'm just, I think overwhelmed.
0:14:30.5 Kim Schlag: Have you still been in this period of time doing some of the emotional eating where you're not tracking all the things?
0:14:38.7 Keri: Maybe a little bit, if you want the truth. [chuckle]
0:14:41.1 Kim Schlag: Yeah, yeah. Okay, yeah. Well see that's the key then. So a couple of things I would say. Your question about the medicine. Medicine can absolutely affect us. It's not going to affect you in that it will directly cause you to gain weight or stop losing weight, but can affect you in ways such as... Maybe you have increased hunger or increased cravings, those kinds of things, specifically increased hunger. And you can rest assured you can lose weight, so that's important for you to know. You can still lose weight. Second thing I would say is, when you start tracking and you're still doing the thing where you're not tracking at all, it really cheats you because you have the feeling of... I'm trying so hard, I'm doing all the things and it's not working. And so you have this feel... 'Cause it's a lot of work to sort of track, to track most of the time, or to almost be consistent with weight loss with those habits, but if you're not all the way consistent with them, it's really frustrating 'cause you feel like there's something wrong with you or you're broken. And in reality, what it is, is it's all of these times where you're not tracking it. Do you track calories? That's the system you use with your coach?
0:15:51.1 Keri: We use, yeah, macros. He'll tell me how many carbs, proteins, fats... Yeah, and then I try to eat the best I can. And I just figure out the macros and eat what I'm supposed to eat.
0:16:06.9 Kim Schlag: Got it. So, getting a little bit of traction and getting you to see some success is gonna be key to you feeling motivated again. That's the weird thing about motivation. It doesn't just spring up on its own, you've gotta help it along. Sometimes it appears and you're like, "Oh yes, I'm ready to go." But oftentimes when we're in the thick of things, it's just not there, and we can create it by what we do. And seeing some progress is one of the best ways to get motivated. I really do think you're saying to yourself, "Alright, I'm going to track everything I eat and drink for the next 30 days, and I'm gonna see what happens." Is a really good solution. A piece of it, it's not gonna be the whole solution, 'cause we really do need to talk about the emotional eating piece. And we need to talk about how to actually set you up to stick with the tracking. Are you open to taking that challenge of tracking everything you eat and drink for the next 30 days?
0:17:01.4 Keri: Yeah. I mean, I got over the coronavirus. I was crazy sick, and then I told myself that once I got better, we were gonna get serious. And the last couple of weeks, I was just sick not long ago, so the last couple weeks, I feel like I've done really well, and getting back into the swing of things and back into work. I think this is only my second week back to work from being sick. I'm determined this time. I want to see results. I had my fun. Now it's time to get back on track.
0:17:37.0 Kim Schlag: Okay, amazing. And that's gonna be you tracking everything, whether it's a little bit, whether you like even if you emotionally eat, track it. If you decide like, "Oh my gosh, I'm really upset and I'm eating the ice cream." Track the ice cream so that you can have a really clear picture of what you ate, 'cause you wanna make sure that your expectations match your behavior, so you can know when you get to the end of the week, and you're thinking like, "Oh, I emotionally ate four times. It's probably not gonna be me in a deficit this week." You can still get it around your head of like, "Okay, next week I'm gonna try and emotionally eat fewer times." So even in those times, if you find yourself emotionally eating, let's have you track it. Does that sound good?
0:18:17.0 Keri: That sounds good.
0:18:18.3 Kim Schlag: Okay, and then let's talk about this emotional eating. What are the things that you most are triggered by? What do you emotionally eat about?
0:18:28.0 Keri: Well, let's see. Let's pull out my list. I think a lot of it. I don't see, I've lost a lot of weight, and I lost a lot of inches. I'm not at all what I used to look like, but when I look in the mirror, I still see the old me. Sometimes it's really hard to see... I can say, the pants I have on right now are a size 12. I used to wear a size 26. I'm half what I used to be, but when I look in the mirror, I don't always see that. And then that will get me discouraged because clearly I haven't come as far as I would like to have. And then that spirals, the whole thing.
0:19:17.3 Kim Schlag: Got it. So one of your triggers is literally your body. You look in the mirror and you're not happy with what you see yet or the size of your clothes, and that's one of the things that causes you to emotionally eat.
0:19:30.1 Keri: Yeah, 'cause I still see the girl that was 300 pounds. Not all the time, but there's days where you look in the mirror and you're just so disappointed and discouraged. And I try really hard not to compare myself to other people, but you can see other people making results, their progress, or look at their before and after, and theirs is in a shorter amount of time. And why am I struggling so much?
0:20:00.0 Kim Schlag: Yeah, it's hard. It's absolutely hard. Do you know anybody else who's lost 97 pounds?
0:20:08.5 Keri: Not personally. Online, you see people online, but I've never met anyone.
0:20:15.3 Kim Schlag: Okay. It really is an incredible amount of weight to lose, and I don't think you... I feel like maybe you don't appreciate how far you have come and how much work that took. That wasn't by accident. Nobody accidentally loses 97 pounds, right? That was a lot to lose.
0:20:33.4 Keri: I think it was a lot less. I only lost 97 pounds. Only.
0:20:36.9 Kim Schlag: Why do you say that? Oh, because it's not 100. That really gets you.
0:20:41.0 Keri: It's not 100. Yeah.
0:20:42.5 Kim Schlag: That really gets you. Interesting. Let me ask you this: So, your 12-year-old, is it a girl or a boy?
0:20:51.7 Keri: It's a girl.
0:20:53.4 Kim Schlag: Okay. So your 12-year-old daughter. Let's say she studies really hard at school. She really wants to do well on this big project, and she works all semester for it, and she comes home and she's super disappointed, really disappointed about how she did, and then you see her grade, and it was a 97, and not 100. What do you say to her?
0:21:18.1 Keri: I would tell her how amazing she did, and what a good job she did, and how smart she is, and praise her.
0:21:24.7 Kim Schlag: "But, Mom, I did not get a 100. I only got a 97."
0:21:27.9 Keri: But it's pretty darn close to 100. I mean, you're a hop, skip and a jump away. It's practically 100.
0:21:33.7 Kim Schlag: "Well, what did I do wrong? Why didn't I get the 100? What's wrong? What's wrong with me?"
0:21:39.3 Keri: Nothing. [chuckle]
0:21:41.5 Kim Schlag: It sounds crazy, right?
0:21:43.2 Keri: It does sound crazy.
0:21:45.3 Kim Schlag: Do you realize that that's what you're doing to yourself?
0:21:49.0 Keri: Well, now I do.
0:21:50.5 Kim Schlag: So, 97 pounds and 100 pounds are practically the exact same thing. Let's say when you were at your top weight loss of 97 pounds, do you really think that you, three pounds less would have looked, felt, moved, been that different?
0:22:10.7 Keri: No, probably not.
0:22:12.3 Kim Schlag: Right?
0:22:13.9 Keri: With the scale... The scale can jump three pounds just because you drank an extra glass of water, you know what I mean?
0:22:19.0 Kim Schlag: That is absolutely true. That is absolutely true.
0:22:23.1 Keri: Yeah.
0:22:23.7 Kim Schlag: Here's the thing. This feeling is not gonna go away just because you and I had this conversation. You're gonna have to talk this mean girl out of your head over and over and over until she's gone. When this comes back up, because it will, you need to be the person who says to yourself, "Keri, I'm not gonna talk to me that way. I'm not gonna allow it. I'm not gonna allow myself to convince myself that 97 pounds wasn't good enough. I'm not gonna allow myself to convince myself that I'm not good at weight loss or I can't do it, or I'm somehow a loser at this. I'm very good at this. Clearly, I've lost all this weight. You're gonna need to keep talking that mean girl out of your head.
0:23:02.8 Keri: Yeah, I understand.
0:23:05.8 Kim Schlag: Yeah, 'cause that really is the answer to it. It's not gonna go away on its own. It's gonna be something you're gonna have to practice and you're gonna have to practice over and over and over. And I would suggest, and some people think it's crazy, but I would suggest having these conversations with yourself out loud.
0:23:25.6 Keri: Right. I do it at the gym too, 'cause I found that I really like lifting heavy. And I set a goal to deadlift 300 pounds, and I think I did 295 and then I was like, "But it's not 300."
0:23:45.8 Keri: And then I did do 305 on that... What's that little... The trap bar?
0:23:52.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:23:52.7 Keri: Is that what it's called?
0:23:53.5 Kim Schlag: Yes.
0:23:53.7 Keri: I did 305 on that.
0:23:55.0 Kim Schlag: Amazing.
0:23:55.8 Keri: But, because it wasn't the regular bar, I don't think I'd count it as being that strong.
0:24:01.0 Kim Schlag: You didn't count it?
0:24:04.3 Keri: Yeah, because it's not a real deadlift.
0:24:04.7 Kim Schlag: You're really hard on yourself. You're really hard on yourself.
0:24:07.4 Keri: Yeah.
0:24:08.4 Kim Schlag: Yeah. Because 305 on a trap bar is amazing. That's a lot of weight, and just 'cause it's not the straight bar, you're like, "Ah, that doesn't really count."
0:24:16.0 Keri: It doesn't count.
0:24:17.0 Kim Schlag: That doesn't count.
0:24:18.1 Keri: Yeah.
0:24:18.4 Kim Schlag: And would you say that to one of your gym friends? Would you be like... Is that how you'd respond? You'd be like, "Well, that was good and all that, but that doesn't really count?"
0:24:26.8 Keri: "That's not a real bar, though." I would never...
0:24:29.0 Kim Schlag: Could you imagine saying that out loud to one of your friends there?
0:24:33.1 Keri: No. I would never say that.
0:24:34.3 Kim Schlag: And you wouldn't even think it.
0:24:35.7 Keri: Of course I would be like, "Oh, my God, that's amazing."
0:24:38.6 Kim Schlag: Yeah, you would be. And you need to be that person for yourself. You need to be able to pump yourself up and be like, "What I just did was amazing. It was amazing." And look, if you still wanna get a 300-pound deadlift with the straight bar, you can do it. You can keep working on it. But you don't have to discount what you've already done to keep working on that goal.
0:25:00.1 Keri: Right.
0:25:00.7 Kim Schlag: And all of this negative self-talk isn't serving you, Keri. It's not helping you lose more weight to beat yourself up about those three pounds you didn't lose. It is not helping you lose weight to look in the mirror and think, "I should be further along." That's not helping, right? You can see that, right?
0:25:16.7 Keri: I can see it, and everything you say makes sense.
0:25:22.6 Kim Schlag: So let's talk some about what you're gonna do then. So, one thing I would like you to do is really practice this self-talk over and over, okay? So that's one thing. The second thing we're gonna have you do, a 30-day commitment. Track everything you eat or drink, including weighing everything you eat that is not either pre-packaged with a barcode or your greens. You don't need to be weighing your lettuce; we don't need to be that silly.
0:25:46.7 Keri: Okay.
0:25:47.4 Kim Schlag: So that's another thing I would have you do. And then the third thing... Wait, I had another, third thing. Give me a minute. I'm having a brain freeze here.
0:26:00.0 Kim Schlag: Shoot. Oh, we need to talk about how you're actually going to make that happen. So you have your macros. We know you wanna track everything. How are we gonna help you with this emotional eating piece? When you want to emotionally eat, we need to help you think of other ways to manage those feelings. So we just talked about one, the situation with you, you look in the mirror, you don't like what you see. Your strategy there really can be this conversation with yourself out loud. Tell me another thing that you emotionally eat about?
0:26:38.0 Keri: My family I would say without getting too in detail there's always something going on, family drama, somebody is upset about something or somebody has got money problem, whatever it may be. I think I let that get to me, my husband and I are on offices schedule, so I never see him during the week. We're strangers during the week, we don't even see each other in passing and then it's only on the weekends that I see him which I think... If I'm being totally honest that's weighing on me quite a bit.
0:27:18.6 Kim Schlag: And so you're lonely?
0:27:21.1 Keri: I'm basically a single mom during the week.
0:27:25.0 Kim Schlag: Got it.
0:27:25.6 Keri: And also it's been like this since we've been married, he's always worked these hours, my job has changed and my schedule has changed here and there, like I said I'm off in the summer, I follow the same schedule that the kids do, so I'm thankful for that but sometimes it's just... My daughter is 12, an emotional preteen and it sometimes I think it weighs on me, and for some reason lately it's just been really, really hard and I don't think I give that enough credit, I don't think I acknowledge how hard it is on me that he's not here.
0:28:03.5 Kim Schlag: Yeah, yeah, that's a lot.
0:28:06.2 Keri: Yeah, and you don't wanna tell, him can't help it, he's working. And if he could change it he would, but it's just that's just the way it is, and most of the time I do fine, most of the time I'm busy, I go to the gym, I come home, bedtime is no big deal. But for some reason lately, I don't know if it's because we were just off for three weeks together 'cause we all had to stay home 'cause we were all sick, I don't know if being home with him for those three weeks and now it's back to him being gone, I don't know if that has something to do with it, I don't know if it's the new job, the more hours, I don't know maybe all of it combined.
0:28:44.9 Kim Schlag: So talk me through the last time you emotionally ate, what happened? Something happened like was it one of these nights you were home home without your husband, did your daughter do something to stress you out, were you feeling lonely, kinda talk me through what happened, what you were feeling and what you ate?
0:29:02.3 Keri: I would say the last time was probably about a week ago, I think I had a bad workout just because I've been off for three weeks so I don't take some minutes to get back in the groove, of course you're not gonna come back in best looking like you did two months ago after being sick, so I think my workout wasn't as great as I wanted it to be, my back hurt, I worked all day, he's not here, my daughter had some kind of melt down and everything I do annoys her these days, so I think all of it is hard for me.
0:29:35.8 Kim Schlag: I so relate. [chuckle]
0:29:37.4 Keri: I think all of it was just like, I am trying so hard and I'm not getting anywhere, so it's mindless eating and I don't have a lot of junk in the house to be honest with you, lots of yogurt and peanut butter and trying to keep it very clean in here. So a lot of it is just mindless handful of tote chips or I buy healthy popcorn, well, maybe I didn't weigh it and I ended up eating half the bag not even thinking, I feel like I do a lot of mindless munching when I'm not even realizing that I'm doing it.
0:30:19.0 Kim Schlag: Got it. Okay, so in a situation like that the thing I would suggest to you is, for the next couple of weeks really start paying attention to when you have this urge to emotionally eat and start noticing these patterns, it seems like during the week you're feeling lonely, you're feeling stressed because you have to deal with all the problems and the sassy teenager, start kind of noticing what it is that brings about the desire to just grab that food, note what it is, write it down on your phone, keep a running log of what are the things and what are the things that you typically eat, then using that information come up with an approach to manage it, because you're still gonna have those feelings, right? And so when this happens, the first goal would be to just notice when it's happening and notice, like oh, here it is again, I want to emotionally eat, and then give yourself time and space to make a different choice. And you do that by putting the food away in the cupboard, leaving the room, going somewhere away from the food, don't walk away with the tote chips in your hand and give yourself 20 minutes.
0:31:25.4 Kim Schlag: Tell yourself in 20 minutes, if I still want the tote chips I am going to go and have them, I'm gonna give myself permission to have them, and then in that 20 minute space you're gonna use that 20 minutes to self-soothe in a different way because that's what you're doing with the food, you're trying to self-soothe distress and upset and all of that with the food, and so to do that you need to have something planned. So the other thing I want you to do is brainstorm ahead of time two or three things that would help you feel better in a moment like that and the things that might work are different for everybody, for you maybe it would help to go outside and pet the dog, maybe it would help for you to walk around the block, maybe it would help for you to call your girlfriend, maybe it would help for you to go grab a kettlebell you like to lift, maybe it would help for you to go do some hard lifting for just... And it needs to be something you can do in the moment, it can't be something that you need to leave your 12-year-old at home alone and you can't do that, it has to be something very practical that you could do, that you can see that would help you feel better, maybe it would be writing in a journal, maybe it would be listening to music, maybe it'll be laying down, all kinds of things.
0:32:31.0 Kim Schlag: Brainstorm what you think would help you feel better in those moments instead of just food, and then make a running list of those. And then over time you practice these things, you practice the waiting, you practice leaving the room and then you practice using that 20 minutes to do whatever the things are that you came up with, and see which ones work and which don't work for you. And that is an approach that is actually going to help you do two things; and one, it's gonna help you stop getting all these extra calories from the food, from the emotional eating, you're not even hungry when you're eating that's the bad aid; and two, it's gonna help you deal with these emotions in a productive way because the food isn't helping anyway, right? Now, it's not like you're finished eating the popcorn and now your daughter is not still being sassy to you.
0:33:16.4 Keri: Right, all of a sudden I'm not driving her crazy.
0:33:19.8 Kim Schlag: Right, you're still being the annoying mom to her, and so it helps us come up with a way that's more productive to deal with, whatever the situation is. Sometimes the situation that needs to be dealt with is like there's a hard conversation that needs to be had, or there's like... It could be lots of things that need to help you. But it gives you the space to deal with that versus covering it up with food.
0:33:41.4 Keri: Right, I think that's a good plan.
0:33:44.7 Kim Schlag: Okay, great. Well, I know we've covered a lot of ground here today. You're gonna have to re-listen to this so you can hear about all the things we talked about [chuckle] and all the things you've agreed...
0:33:55.0 Keri: Some of it's common sense, and I just need to be told again.
0:34:00.4 Kim Schlag: Don't we all, right? That's a whole lot of this fat loss process, is just having it brought to our attention again. Like, Oh right, that's the thing I need to do. That's the thing that I was working before. Because the reality is, Keri, you have every reason to believe that you can be successful at losing the rest of the weight you want to. You have a lot of evidence to show that you can be successful at weight loss. You do.
0:34:21.5 Keri: Well, thank you. I need to remind myself of that.
0:34:26.3 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. How much more are you hoping to lose, Keri?
0:34:30.7 Keri: At this point, I don't have a number, I just want smaller pants.
0:34:36.3 Kim Schlag: Got it.
0:34:36.5 Keri: And I'd like to be able to see the muscle that I've spent so much time working on.
0:34:41.4 Kim Schlag: I love that.
0:34:42.9 Keri: It'd be nice to see it and not just know it's there. I'm always telling everybody, you can feel it, it's under the fluff.
0:34:51.6 Kim Schlag: [chuckle] It's there, it's there.
0:34:52.2 Keri: You just can't see it. I'd love to be able to fit into smaller... I don't have any desire to be rock hard abs or anything, but it would be nice to just be more confident and fine, be able to wear a dress and not feel like I look crazy, and have arms that resemble that I workout. I'd like for people to look at me and say, Oh man, she worked out.
0:35:19.7 Kim Schlag: So you wanna look as fit as you feel. You know you're a strong person, you know you have all this athletic ability, and you wanna look like that person.
0:35:27.5 Keri: I do. I'd like to look like I workout.
0:35:30.2 Kim Schlag: That's amazing. And there's every reason in the world for you to be confident that you can do that.
0:35:37.3 Keri: Well, thank you. I think I have such a problem with arrogance and people who are bragging and arrogant. I think I go the complete opposite, where I don't want to brag or be arrogant about things, so there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I'm usually confident in myself. I'm a confident, outgoing person.
0:35:58.3 Kim Schlag: Yeah.
0:36:03.2 Keri: It's my self-talk, that I think.
0:36:05.1 Kim Schlag: Yeah, that inner mean girl. You need to talk back to her more.
0:36:07.9 Keri: Yeah, we need to shut her up.
0:36:09.4 Kim Schlag: We need to make her hush, because you really do... You have every reason to believe you can be successful at this, you've been successful at it so far. So much, so much weight loss. You're so strong in the gym and there's just no reason you can't do this. So practice talking back to her and practice saying to yourself. Talk to yourself like you would your daughter. If she's down, you do not kick her when she's down, and you need to do that to yourself. You need to talk to yourself the way you would talk to her.
0:36:37.6 Keri: Got it.
0:36:39.1 Kim Schlag: All right, my dear. Thanks so much for coming on and we'll talk soon. Keep me posted on how this all goes.
0:36:45.0 Keri: All right, thank you so much.
0:36:46.1 Kim Schlag: Bye-bye.
0:36:51.9 Kim Schlag: Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people. Thanks so much.
I'm a NASM certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women transform their bodies through strength training and sustainable nutritional habit changes.