Kim: Welcome to episode 85 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On this episode, I give you my number one strategy to get the most out of calorie tracking. So if you are calorie tracking and thinking, "I am not losing weight," this episode is for you. Let's go.
[00:00:26] Now that we're heading into the end of the third week of January, a lot of people who started working on weight loss on January 1st are starting to feel frustrated because they're not seeing results yet. If that's you, I want to one, share a bit of perspective and two, give you my number one strategy to get the most out of calorie tracking.
[00:00:48] First, the perspective. Let me share a little story with you. Yesterday I was speaking with a one-on-one online client. I left her a message after she had left me a message. Now this client has been with me a year and a half. She looks like an entirely different person. She has absolutely crushed weight loss. She still has a little bit more she would like to lose.
[00:01:10] Over the last few weeks, like a lot of people, she's been trying to dial things back in after the holidays. She left me a message telling me how frustrated she was with what the scale was saying. And I'm going to quote this next part, she said, "it's hard to be motivated to stay with a calorie deficit when it appears to not be working. I've been pretty consistent, not 100%, but a lot of days I've even been under."
[00:01:34] Okay, that's the end of the quote. Now, it was time for a monthly progress review and when I ran the numbers, it turns out she had been over her top-end calories 50% of the last four weeks. 50% of the days, over half the days, she was over her top-end of her calories.
[00:01:53] Now, lovely listener, I know Christmas feels like it was far away, right? That feels like a lifetime ago. We have been through all a lot recently. That feels like a really long time ago. It was only four weeks ago. Not even, it was not even four weeks ago. New Year's Eve, that was only 21 days ago. 21 days. The scale right now is still reflecting what you did then. It is.
[00:02:17] This is not a reason to feel guilty or regretful. Hopefully you enjoyed every second of your holiday season. But this is a wake-up call that you do not have a legitimate cause for feeling frustrated yet. The time has just not passed. You are still in the thick of this work. Do not get demotivated when you're just having a little amnesia here about what you did three weeks ago, right? 21 days ago.
[00:02:45] I know you're working hard now. Staying in a deficit for even a few days can be challenging. A few weeks feels like a really long time. Give yourself more time with your consistency. Give yourself the time you need to make the changes you want. You're not necessarily doing anything wrong just because the scale isn't moving yet, or it's not moving fast enough.
[00:03:07] Stay the course and you will see results.
[00:03:12] Okay, on to my number one strategy for calorie tracking success. If you're sleeping on this tip, you are leaving results on the table. Are you ready?
[00:03:24] Pre-log your food in your calorie tracker the night before.
[00:03:28] Get it out, open myfitnesspal or Lose It or whatever you use and pre-log it.
[00:03:35] This is so dang effective. Winging it can never be as effective consistently as pre-logging your food is.
[00:03:46] So, have you ever built Ikea furniture? Imagine looking at the picture of the end result, okay? You know you have all the pieces, you look around and you're like, "yep, I checked out my pieces. I have all the pieces," You glance at the step-by-step directions once. So you're like, "Oh, here's some steps." And then you don't refer to them again. So, you have no direct plan to get to your finished product.
[00:04:16] So you know what the finished product is going to be. Just like with your nutrition, you know that the product, at the end of the day, is "I have hit my calories. I've hit my protein. I have stayed in my calorie deficit," right? That's the finished product. And you have all the pieces there.
[00:04:31] Now, you might think in your mind, "I'm building this Ikea furniture. I have built so many Billy bookcases and Ektorp sofas. I can figure this out. I got this." How smoothly is that going to go? Even though you look at the picture and you're like, "Oh, I've never built this particular piece," or, maybe you even have maybe like, you know what, this is your second Billy bookcase or your third Billy bookcase and you're like, "I've built this before. I know how to do this. This is what it's supposed to look like. Here's all the pieces. I'm just going to start putting stuff together."
[00:05:01] How smoothly is that going to go? It's the same thing with your calorie tracking. You have that end result, you want to hit your calorie target, you want to hit your protein target, you have all the pieces. You grocery shopped, maybe you even did a little meal prep of protein and chopped some veggies, but then you just wing it, right? You wake up and you start putting things into your log and you kind of see where it takes you.
[00:05:23] That's like taking your nuts and bolts and sofa parts and that little Allen wrench and putting all the pieces where you think they're going to go. And maybe in the end, you're left with some extra pieces or you don't have enough screws.
[00:05:35] Maybe you'll hit your calories, but you'll be under your protein. Maybe you'll be over in your calories. Maybe by dinner you realize you only have 200 calories left for the day, and now you have to decide, "stay in my target and be hungry the rest of the night or go over?"
[00:05:48] And all of that is preventable. That is all preventable.
[00:05:52] So I'm going to give you the template that I give my one-on-one clients to log their food. I want you to write this down, okay?
[00:05:59] Open up your notes on your phone or get out, if your pen and paper kind of gal, get your pen and paper out. Write this down. You don't have to write down all the commentary I give, but I want you to write these steps down. I think there's five steps.
[00:06:10] All right, first, you're going to log your protein. That is the first thing you're going to do.
[00:06:15] And remember, this is the night before. At the very latest, you could do it right when you wake up in the morning before you eat anything. You can do that. That would feel too rushed for me. I got a lot going on when I get out of bed. I prefer the night before, minimum, before you eat anything the morning of, okay?
[00:06:32] So let's say it's the night before, the first thing you're going to do is log your protein. You're going to divide your total protein target. Let me take just a minute here -- if you are not 100% clear on how many calories and how much protein you should be eating to lose weight, I walk you through all of that in my free five day fat loss crash course. It's totally free, you sign up for it on my website.
[00:06:55] So go to kimschlagfitness.com. If you don't know how to spell Schlag, it's S-C-H-L-A-G. Kimschlagfitness.com. Look for "free five day fat loss crash course," pop your name and email in there, you'll start getting a series of emails from me, and over the course of five days, I will walk you through your calories and your protein and how exactly to set your nutrition up.
[00:07:13] Once you have that information, you're going to sit down the night before, you're going to know what total protein should be each day. You're going to take that total number of grams of protein and you're going to divide it by the number of meals and/or snacks you prefer to eat.
[00:07:30] So, let's say your target is 120 grams of protein and you're going to eat three meals and one snack. Okay, that's 120. You're going to divide it by 4. That's 30 grams. That's how much protein you would need at each of those four meals or snacks.
[00:07:44] Now, remember, I'm just giving you an example here. The numbers I'm giving here are not for you. This is just for us to kind of talk through it.
[00:07:50] All right, so what you're going to do with that number, so now you know it's 30 grams at each meal or snack, you decide, "what am I going to eat to get 30 grams of protein at each meal?" And you log it in.
[00:08:02] So here, I'm going to do this along with you.
[00:08:04] So, let's say I need to get 30 grams of protein. I have my log open, at breakfast I'm gonna have half a cup of egg whites and I'm going to have three eggs. That gets me the 30 grams protein.
[00:08:14] Okay, at lunch I'm going to have 4.5 ounces of chicken breast and I'm going to have some feta cheese. Now I've got my 30 grams of protein in my lunch.
[00:08:25] Dinner, I got this amazing pork loin, I'm going to make my pork loin. Okay, how much pork loin do I need to get 30 grams of protein? I can look here in myfitnesspal, pork loin, I need 5.5 ounces to get the 30 grams. Boom.
[00:08:38] So, my snack, I'm going to do one of my pre-made protein shakes. It's 30 grams of protein. There. Boom.
[00:08:45] You now know you will hit your protein target. There's no ambiguity. You're not going to get to the end of the day and be like, "Oh wait, I was 20 grams short." No, because you've already exactly figured it out. Not just like, "Oh, I'm going to have pork at dinner," "How much pork do I need to have to hit my 30 grams?"
[00:08:59] Not just chicken with my lunch, "how many ounces of chicken do I need to hit 30 grams? I'm gonna need 4.5 ounces if I pair it with a little bit, maybe 20 grams, of feta cheese."
[00:09:08] Now I've got it. You do all that here. You don't have to figure that out while you're rushing at your lunchtime, trying to put your salad together so you can eat and get back to work.
[00:09:17] So that's step one: log your protein. Do it exactly like I just showed you.
[00:09:21] All right, step two: log some vegetables. At least at two meals.
[00:09:26] You don't have to eat vegetables at breakfast, but you could. Get some veggies in there somewhere. Now, if you don't like vegetables -- believe me, I get it. I don't either.
[00:09:37] At age 44, I decided, "you know what? I'm a frigging grownup and I know this is good for me. And I'm just going to learn to like them. I'm going to do it. I'm going to learn to like them." And I did.
[00:09:47] I really should do a whole episode on that sometime, about exactly how I taught myself to eat vegetables, what process I went through. It was not easy. It's not like I just woke up. I'm like, "now I like 'em!" I had to really work to learn to like vegetables. And now I do like them.
[00:09:59] Okay, look, I have a handful of vegetables I won't eat. I do not eat peas, I do not eat green beans, I do not eat Lima beans. I don't like that stuff. I won't eat it, but that's okay because there's so many other vegetables that I have learned to like, and so I give myself permission to not have to eat any particular vegetable, but I have to eat some vegetables. You can do that too.
[00:10:20] And, like I said, I'll record another episode exactly how I did that.
[00:10:23] For now, just remind yourself, "I'm a grownup, so I eat the dang vegetables." Log them. Log some vegetables. Figure out which vegetables you like the most and put them in, at least at two meals, okay?
[00:10:33] So, on my imaginary log here, I'm going to put in, I'm going to have a salad at lunch. So, I'm going to put in some spring mix and I'm going to put it in some radish and then I can put in some cucumber. And at dinner with my pork loin, I'm going to have some brussel sprouts. Boom. Done. I have some vegetables in here.
[00:10:51] Next, step three -- you're writing this down, right? Step three: you're going to pre-log some fruit.
[00:10:56] At one or two meals or snacks, just get some fruit in there. Whatever you prefer. I dig oranges. I can't eat oranges anymore because with all of my health issues, I now have some special things and I can't eat it. But back in the day, you know, a week ago when I was allowed to eat citrus, oranges with dinner were my favorite. Orange slices at dinner, putting that in there, and I'm going to have an apple with my salad at lunch. Okay, we got some fruit in there.
[00:11:19] So you're going to put some fruit in there, whatever kind you like. One or two meals or snacks, get some fruit in there. It's good for you, it helps you stay full for very few calories, helps you get some fiber. So get some fruit in there.
[00:11:31] Step four. This is the final step. I think I thought it was five steps at the beginning... sorry, it's only four steps.
[00:11:37] Okay, step four is the final step: you can look over your pre-logged day now, right? You can see that it's high in protein. You can see it's high in minimally processed, nutrient dense food. You have your fruit, you have your veg, so with whatever calories you have left over, you can use them however you want.
[00:11:56] You're going to use nutritional compromises to decide how you want to use those calories. And it will likely be different day to day. Maybe today there's something in your mind you want and next week you're like, "I'm not so into that thing."
[00:12:08] So on my sample log, I'm going to look at my day and think, "okay, what do I want to add in? I have this chunk of calories leftover. You know what, I really like to have rice with this recipe, with the pork loin, it tastes really good, so I'm going to put in a half a cup of rice."
[00:12:20] Maybe I also told my kids I'd get them donuts tomorrow. And you know what? I want a donut. I can fit a donut in, so I'm gonna fit it in now. I'm going to know I'm going to have my donut.
[00:12:28] Okay, now I still have some calories left over, so I'm looking, I'm thinking, "you know what? I'm going to add some avocado to my salad. A little fat always helps me stay full longer and I just like avocado."
[00:12:39] "All right. A little bit more calories left over, so you know what? I think I want some toast with my eggs in the morning." Okay. Boom.
[00:12:46] I now have a complete meal plan ready to go.
[00:12:50] I know it will keep me in my calorie deficit, I know I will get in the protein I need to preserve my muscle and keep me satiated, I can see that I have plenty of micronutrients, I've used nutritional compromises to put in stuff I'm in the mood for, right? I'm thinking like, "what do I want?"
[00:13:05] And now when I wake up tomorrow, I don't have to think about food at all. I just work my plan. No stress, no end of the day, macro-Tetris, and I have the flexibility to work within the framework I set to make any changes as needed. So if I realize like, "Oh wait, the avocado is not ripe," I can swap it out and say like, "Oh, you know what? I'm going to add some chia seeds," and I know exactly how many calories I have left over that I'm going to swap out from the avocado. "Okay, so I've got like, 80 calories here from the avocado. I'm going to put in some chia seeds." Now I know how much I can afford in this calorie budget.
[00:13:39] Or maybe the kids want ice cream instead of donuts. I can make that swap knowing exactly how many calories I have to work with.
[00:13:47] Your consistency with your deficit will skyrocket by doing this. It will skyrocket. And consistency is what brings you results.
[00:13:58] I hope this has been helpful. Hit me up with questions anytime. You can DM me over on IG or you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to help.
[00:14:08] Now, if you have a question you want answered, if you're struggling with your nutrition or training and you want to get some free coaching by me, I do that here on the podcast. Actually, these are some of the episodes I get the most feedback on, people are like, "I love that, can you do more?" "I learned so much listening to you talk to that person."
[00:14:25] Look, we all have the same types of struggles, your struggles with losing weight, with getting leaner, with getting started, they're not unique. Your particular set of circumstances are, but the general struggle? It's everybody's struggle. Somebody out there wants to know the exact answer that you want to know.
[00:14:41] And so the way it works is we get together on a call, I record the call -- it's just a Zoom call -- I record the call as I coach you, and then I publish it here as a podcast episode. And that way you get the solutions you need and everyone listening gets to learn, as well.
[00:14:57] So, if you're interested, send me an email: email@example.com, put "free coaching" in the subject line, and then let me know what your question is and we can make it happen.
[00:15:10] 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.
[00:15:21] 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.
[00:15:36] Thanks so much.
Kim: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 84 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. In this episode, I tackle a question I get a lot: how can I do what you do for a living, Kim?
I speak with a woman named Yvette who's looking to make a move into the fitness industry and we chat through how I did it -- how did I move into the health and fitness space? And we talk through best next steps for her -- and maybe you -- if that's where your mind and heart want to go. Let's do it!
Hi, how are you?
Yvette: [00:00:53] I am good. It's 6:00 AM over here, I'm ready to roll, sister.
Kim: [00:00:58] It's most impressive that you're so wide awake and chipper at 6:00 AM.
Yvette: [00:01:03] Oh, I've already done a little breathing exercise. I've done my Wim Hoff and finished with a cold shower, so I'm ready to roll.
Kim: [00:01:11] Seriously. I'm seriously impressed. You live in California, correct?
Yvette: [00:01:17] Yes. Wild Southern California.
Kim: [00:01:21] Well, tell us a little bit more about you and then we're going to jump into the question that you emailed me.
Yvette: [00:01:30] Okay. So I am 55 and I have been probably just obsessed with health and fitness, probably in my early twenties, I started. My best friend and I used to, she got me into bodybuilding competitions, where we would just go and be attendees there. But it was just so intriguing. And I started following bodybuilders and getting into some weight training.
As I mentioned before, I've always had a full-time job. I started in food service over 30 years ago and I've done very well in my career, so I've kind of stayed there and then responsibilities come. I have two amazing boys and so I always stayed there, but I always just had this passion of fitness in the back of my mind.
So, I would weight train. At one of my companies, we had a full gym and at lunchtime I would actually teach people -- like, at lunchtime we would do a weight training class. So anywhere I could fit it in, I would do it.
And I found I needed some cardio. And I found a coupon for a kickboxing class and I started kickboxing. The first day I told the sensei, I was at a dojo, I'm like, "I want to teach this." And from then on, I started my whole side career in cardio kickboxing. And that went on for probably 10 plus years. And that was amazing.
Still huge in my heart. I love kickboxing and have a huge passion for weight training, health and fitness, always looking for healthy ways, natural ways, you know, to incorporate in my life.
Kim: [00:03:37] Got it. But you never considered actually competing in bodybuilding?
Yvette: [00:03:42] No. I was real intrigued and my girlfriend and I, we would go to the gym and and she would train amazingly and we would both really get into it. And I, actually, at one time in my life, I started training pretty heavy and it was so awesome. Just like the muscle, the definition, everything you get and like you see a lot on-- I've listened to all of your podcasts. I love everyone you've had on, and it's the confidence that comes with it. Just looking at what you've created. It's truly amazing.
And I'm just amazed with what our bodies can do overall .When you have that mind-body connection, you're like, "pshhh" you can make anything happen. So, yeah, it's cool, I just don't know if I could really cut down all my calories and really be that disciplined.
Kim: [00:04:44] Yes. From a nutrition standpoint, it's incredibly restrictive.
So tell everyone the question that you asked me over email. Kind of give us the gist of that and we'll just kind of take the conversation from there.
Yvette: [00:04:57] Okay. So, like I said, my passion has always run wild. And there's something inside of me that is not complete.
And I know I love helping people, I love when people come to me and say, "Oh my gosh, Yvette, I worked out today. I feel good." Or, you know, "I ate this," they'll send me pictures of food that they've prepared or things that they've done or, "I started this training and I'm just so excited." And I'm like, "yes!" Like, "do it!" You know? "You need me to support you, I'm here."
So I know there's something in me that just thrives on that part. And I've just always wanted to maybe start like a side business or maybe own my own gym or, you know, I'm not really sure. And I have my NASM book, I have my ACE group fitness training book, and I start to study and then I get distracted.
I'm like a squirrel. I don't know what direction I want right now. And with COVID hitting, I am such a one-on-one, like, in my group classes, I loved that whole energy and environment and it's really like, I stopped social media when COVID started because I just couldn't handle everything that was going on and I kind of needed a break and it was my time just to kind of study, meditate, get myself, my mind right.
So I'll start to study and then I get distracted and I don't complete it. So, now I'm just like, do I want to go back into group? What's going to happen in our future? Do I want to start virtual? Do I want to maybe do one-on-one and get more into nutrition? You know, my passions run wild and I can't narrow them down.
That's my biggest problem.
Kim: [00:07:08] Got it. Got it. And the reason I said like, "Hey, let's hop on a podcast and talk about this" is because I get emails and DMs about this all the time. People saying like, "Hey, I want to do something like what you do." Like, "I want to help people with nutrition and fitness..." and then they'll ask whatever their questions are, like, basically saying like, "what are my next steps? What should I do?"
And so I was thinking, when you asked me this question, I was like, "you know what? I'm just going to take this one and we're going to talk about this on the podcast so I can lead people to this every time we have a DM question about this."
It sounds like for you, the biggest piece though, is figuring out what you actually want. You know, you like the idea of helping people, you like the idea of helping people with their fitness, with their nutrition, but it sounds like you're not clear on what way you want to actually do that.
Yvette: [00:07:52] Right. Exactly.
Kim: [00:07:55] There is this interesting piece that you just brought up of right now with COVID, you know, group fitness doesn't seem like, necessarily, a very timely option, right? I mean, what's happening in California right now with group fitness? Nothing. And not that it's not going to come back -- I would assume that at some point it is -- it might not be the way to go right now. How far along are you in finishing your certification for that? Like, are you close to finishing?
Yvette: [00:08:26] Well, so what I did is, in the ACE group fitness, like, it's not grasping my attention enough. And what I do love, and I have the NASM -- I can't remember which edition it is. It's back from a couple of years ago -- and ever since you and I started emailing each other, I was like, "man, I'm going to dive into my NASM book" because it's so comprehensive. It's probably one of the best certified books -- I have a few of them -- that I have really come across where it just really keeps my attention and it breaks down everything so easily.
And so, I started that and I'm just reviewing my chapters right now. I'm very knowledgeable in a lot of it, but, I'll tell you one thing, Kim, that's why I love your podcast, your YouTube, everything -- how you break things down it makes so much sense. I hate taking those tests. I have taken the group fitness test before a few years back and I missed it by a couple points only because I get confused on the way they ask the questions and the multiple choices. They're so close and it's like, you know what, anybody can get a certification. Anybody can pass a test. But it's really the common sense and really finding out what that client wants, what their needs are and really understanding the body and the mindset that makes you a great certified instructor and that something that I just truly believe in my heart.
Kim: [00:10:10] Yeah, you're getting at a good point there, which is certifications are not the be all and end all. I am a huge believer in education for any kind of coach. If you're going to do nutrition coaching, if you're going to do fitness coaching, you need to be educated. Whether that comes from a certification or not is not necessarily important. There's lots of ways to go about getting your education.
Certifications are kind of like the baseline. So I got my certification through NASM a good handful of years ago, so I don't know what the course is like now. I will say if I was going to enter the fitness industry now -- like, you've already paid for it, so I would just do it. You've got it. It costs a lot of money, so just do it.
It's not the one I would necessarily pick, mostly because, what I realized is, I used very little, almost immediately, of the things that I had learned as a coach. A lot of the NASM curriculum, at least how it used to be when I was certified a handful of years ago, was very centered on their model called the OPT model.
That is not a structure I've ever used as a coach. I don't know anybody who uses that as a coach, frankly. And so I had to spend a whole lot of time studying something that-- and a big part of their exam is on that model. It's not a model I've literally used. I used it, I don't know, a few weeks maybe and then I realized like, "this doesn't make sense. This isn't how the people that I admire in industry, this is not how I see their programs structured." And so I didn't use it anymore.
What I did learn from NASM, and you can learn in most certifications, I would assume, you know, there was a big emphasis on all of the muscles, what they are, where they are, what they do. That stuff's important. Like, you gotta know that.
When I was studying for the NASM CPT, I got a coloring book that was an anatomy coloring book, and I would color each of the muscles and then write what each one did, what the functions were. And that stuff, that's super important because you have to know what the body is made up of so that you can figure out how to train it. And so that piece is really important. So the anatomy piece is really important.
Of course I learned basic training principles -- the principle of specificity, the principle of progressive overload, these kinds of things. They're very important. But so much of that NASM curriculum is about their particular model. And that's what most certifications are like. You know, it's a money-making opportunity, those certifying bodies are making their money. But I do think getting some education is important. I don't think people should just go willy nilly and say like -- 'cause you can, you could literally, right today, you could get on Instagram and say like, "I'm a nutrition coach." like, there's nothing legally you have to do to do that.
I do think education is super duper important.
In your specific situation, you have already paid for that curriculum. I would say, you know, study it, pass the test, and then use what you have learned -- and like I said, really focusing on that anatomy piece is going to help you whether you're group fitness training or whether you're one-on-one, in person or one-on-one online, it's going to help you.
For the rest of you listening, if you haven't chosen the certification yet, I would choose whatever certification that is least expensive, which often is ACE. And know that this is literally the teeniest part of your education as a coach. Like, that was just the start of me getting educated as a coach. I did go on to get certified in nutrition and we can talk about that in a minute, but I study all the time.
Literally to this day, I sign up for courses and I take them. You know, things about I've done courses in coaching psychology. I've done courses with various trainers about hips and shoulders. I've done all kinds of courses about topics that I want to know more about. I read research articles.
The certification is not the end of your education, it is literally the start. And so approaching it from that framework is an important way to go.
It's a good way to learn a little bit and if you want to get hired by a gym, you're going to need it.
Okay, so next question for you: how do you feel about just finishing up your NASM certification?
Yvette: [00:14:30] Yeah, and that's fine. And honestly, Kim, I would purchase the, the ACE book as well. My NASM book is like centuries-- like, I don't even know how old it is, it's probably like four or five years old. And you hit something because that's what I do. I just go through the anatomy part and stuff like that because the OPT, the breakdown, it was funny cause I was reviewing it last night and I'm like, "Okay, but this isn't really making sense how they're starting some of these like students, 'cause I would never start them that way." And I kind of do it myself. Like, I run myself like I'm a student and then I'm like, "okay, what do I do here? How do I do this? And how does that make me feel?"
You know, how I increase my weight training, how I do my reps, my sets. I also had mentioned that I am certified in foundation training. And you talk about the anatomy and further education, that is all about the body. It's all about decompression breathing. It's all about anchoring. It's all about how we hinge from our hips. And that has really helped me in my weight training because, you know, we are all kind of falling into we're very tense right now. We have our heads tilted forward, our shoulders are forward. A lot of us are living in fear because we don't know what our future holds and it's showing in our bodies and our bodies are really stressed out right now. And foundation is a very empowering. I've learned so much from that. I am certified level one in that and I want to get into level two.
Kim: [00:16:19] Can you tell me what that is? I don't know. What is this "Foundations?" Is that a personal training certification? What is that?
Yvette: [00:16:27] It was created by Dr. Eric Goodman and he is a chiropractor and he had his own issues with his back as a chiropractor that were not getting better and his only option that he was given was to have surgery and that was not going to happen. And he started to believe in doing certain yoga and then created this whole movement, which is all bodyweight exercises.
It's not really yoga. It's more centered on breathing correctly and decompression breathing, anchoring, hinging from the hips, using our bodies in correct movement. And he has really helped people with back pain. When I went to my certification, there were so many people with some really bad injuries that had jumped on YouTube or grabbed the-- they offer like the whole baseline workout, I think it's like $15 a month, and you can go on there and they kind of set out all the body weight exercises to help you. And these people had just great results from it.
It's something you do on a daily basis that really just helps your body function properly, the way it is supposed to function. I would use it as a warmup and a cool-down for any training that I would give any students. There's a lot of YouTube info if you want to go check it out and it's great stuff.
But speaking, like how you talk about the other education, that is huge because it's all how our body functions. Anatomy Trains is another book that I love. And then I am very into the mindset connection of the body. So, I love Joe Dispenza. I have his book on the brain because it just goes together, man. You gotta right mindsight and you train your body to do what you need, you can become such a powerful being.
So, like you say, there's so many things that incorporate into just training a person or nutrition.
Kim: [00:18:58] So it sounds like you've done a lot of studying, lots of education on various pieces of health and wellness. And the question is how are you going to put all these parts together and what is your next steps to actually make a career out of this?
Yvette: [00:19:13] Yes, because I feel like I'm so passionate about the whole thing. Like, every morning I wake up, I'm excited, I'm like, "okay, I'm going to do my Wim Hof breathing, I'm going to do this, and what do I feel like reading today?"
So I do love to read. I love to learn. I love so many podcasts on health and wellness. And then it's just the point of getting my squirrel brain to just focus and complete one task. That's probably my biggest issue.
Kim: [00:19:44] Well, let me ask you this, are you sure want to make a career out of this? Is this something you're just like, "Hey, I just enjoy this. I enjoy reading about this." Is it like, "Hey, this is what I want to do," or you're not sure about that yet.
Yvette: [00:19:57] I know I want to help people because I get excited when I learn things. And when you learn things, you always want to share those things. It just makes you more excited about it.
I do love what I do with food service, and so I'm kind of thinking right now, like just doing maybe a part-time, like having just a couple students to start with. Because I wouldn't want to-- I mean, I still need my full-time job and I would need to move into this, but I don't want to lose my passion for fitness by all of a sudden it being my full-time job. I don't know how that would make me feel.
So, I mean, it looks like you're pretty happy with everything that you are doing and what you've accomplished, which is beyond amazing, oh my gosh.
Kim: [00:20:58] You know, I think it comes down to, it's going to be an individual by individual basis. If you get into wanting to coach other people just because it's something you enjoy, you might find that like, "Hey, you know what? I don't want to spend all day talking to people about this. I just want to do it for myself." Right? I mean, that could be somebody's reality. I personally love it. I love that I spend all day talking to people about how to get stronger, how to build muscle, how to lose weight, and I go in the gym and do it for myself. Like, I am cool with that. I like it.
Not everybody ends up being thrilled with that. So that's something you're going to need to pick apart. I think the only way you're going to know is if you get started and it sounds like you do a lot of approaching getting started, like a lot of studying and thinking, but you don't actually take any actions towards doing it.
So my best advice for you would be to complete some kind of certification that, if you want to enter the training field, complete a certification and then actually start training people and see where it takes you. That's the piece that's going to give you the information about like, "do I like this and where do I want to take it?"
Yvette: [00:22:03] Now, let me ask you a question about that because the whole Zoom training and all that, like I had mentioned, you know, I'm certified in the Foundation training and I've actually just FaceTimed a couple of my friends that are runners or we're having some issue with neck pain and stuff. And I would just do free training for them. And I really loved it. But like the whole, "okay, Venmo me money," setting up like this whole, like, "okay, let's do the Zoom thing and stuff," I think that's like my missing piece.
Like, during COVID I was like, "Oh my God, I can totally do that. I can reach out to people. I can post all this stuff on Instagram," which, I've put some stuff on Instagram, but I guess it's all the social media that I get stuck on as well, too.
Kim: [00:22:59] So once you're actually qualified to do it, you're like, "what do I do then?" Like, "how do I actually get people to pay me? And how do I promote myself on social media?"
Is that the question?
Yvette: [00:23:09] Yeah, I think I get stuck in that.
Kim: [00:23:15] So, two things I would say: I am not a person who does online coaching as in Zoom sessions. So, I do not get live on camera with people and run them through workouts. I have never done that. People do that. I don't do that.
I will say for anybody listening, and it's such a different time period right now -- in the world outside of COVID, before you would ever consider doing such a thing, you should, for sure, be coaching people in person. No questions asked. Like, you need to coach people in person.
Right now it's really hard to do that. It's very hard to be able to coach people in person. So, you know, this might be the only time that I would say-- still, like you really should be trying, even if it's your family, your friends, somebody that you could get, you need to be able to be in-person with them and learn, "how do I coach somebody through a squat? How do I help them move better?" It's really hard to do that online if you have not done that in person.
So if we were in the regular, not COVID world, I would say without a doubt coach in person for quite some time before you even consider going online as a coach. Not be online, helping people -- and I'll talk about that in a second -- I coached in person for quite some time before I took my first online client.
So, that doesn't mean you can't help people online. The entire time you're studying for your certification, you could still be helping people online for free, via social media. And the way you do that is you share what you're learning. So you can go on Instagram, honestly, right now, the platform to be on, no matter how old you are is TikTok. I know some older people are like, "that's like young people dancing around," it is not. I mean, it is, there's plenty of that on there, but there are plenty of people of all ages on there and if you want to build a business right now, it is the number one platform I would say to get on. And it is very easy to use. When I learned to use it this past spring, I literally went on YouTube and searched, "how do I use TikTok?" I had no idea how to do it. And it talked me through it step-by-step, it's very simple -- and I am a terrible, terrible person when it comes to technology -- and once this person on YouTube explained to me how to use the technology on TikTok, I realized it was super user-friendly and you can easily make TikTok videos.
You could go on and, as you're getting certified, and you're learning about whatever, if you're learning about how to squat or how to program your workouts, whatever it is, you could go on and you just literally video yourself, little 15 to 60 second clips of you explaining what you're learning to people, and then people will start to learn from you, one. That's one of your main goals is to help people. And two, you will build a community of people who trust you, right? You show up every day teaching them so that when you are ready to actually charge for your services, you will have a following of people who are used to listening to you and getting good information from you. And it makes it a no brainer for them, then if they find out like, "Oh, wait, Yvette does coaching? Let me hire her." Does that make sense?
Yvette: [00:26:20] Yes, totally. Actually, my younger son, he always like wants me to get on TikTok and I just haven't done it yet. But yeah, I love it.
Kim: [00:26:32] And you can do the exact same thing on Instagram. It's hard to build a business on Instagram. I still think you should be there, I'm not saying don't be there. It's hard to build a big audience on Instagram right now. I mean, I was building a big audience on Instagram when it was still pretty possible to do so organically. And I'm not saying it's totally impossible right now, it's just a lot harder. It's way easier on TikTok. There's just more people watching than there are creators creating and so it's easier to get a bigger audience faster.
Yvette: [00:26:59] I like it. Yeah. I'll definitely look into that. Okay, that's awesome. That is great info right there and totally doable.
Kim: [00:27:07] Yeah, and you don't have to and look at yourself like -- I think why people get nervous is they feel like, "why am I the expert here?" Well, you're the expert because you're the one who's doing it. You're the expert because you're the one who just read about the best squat form and so now you're going to share what you just learned.
You don't have to know everything there is to know about everything in order to help other people. You just need to be a few steps ahead of them.
Yvette: [00:27:31] Right. And that was like one of the things when I was looking on Instagram and stuff like that, everyone, COVID started -- well, this happened prior but, everyone thinks they're an instructor right now.
And I really feel that people really need to be aware of who they're following and what they are being marketed towards, because it's always like this quick way to get like, "Oh, okay, you want to look like her, then just do this." And that's another thing that I wanted to mention to you is I love that you are working with younger, like teenage girls and stuff, because social media can be so like, "that's what I want to look like. If only I looked like that my whole world would be perfect and amazing." And it's just about taking care of this wonderful body that we've been given. And we all come in all different shapes and sizes and no two are alike. And it's just for people just to really have that awareness that I think is amazing.
And I would love to get on something like this and for people to really see it comes from my heart. Like, "I want you to succeed. I want you to understand how this works." I'm not on here to go, "Hey, look at me!" Because by no means is my body perfect. Especially at 55, man. It all changes. Thank you, menopause.
Kim: [00:29:09] And you can make content and share around all of those things. Like, the content I've made for teenage girls, both on Instagram and on TikTok. That was literally all it was, was me sharing like, "Hey girls, I want to tell you what I wish somebody had told me when I was a teenager,." Because I really struggled with body image as a teenager.
I always thought I needed to lose weight and looking back, it was crazy. I was not overweight. I really would have benefited from lifting some heavy weights, but I didn't know that. And that's one of the things I tell the girls. I was just like, "you should start lifting weights as soon as possible."
So I literally just go on and I talk about, "here are things I wish that somebody had told me," "here are things to watch out for," and so things like that, that you are passionate about, and you have something to say about, you can say them and people will resonate with them or they won't.
And, you know, there's a lot of things that you, as a 55 year old woman, have experienced that other people are going to be able to learn from.
And, like I said, there's a lot of time and effort. I have spent countless hours putting out free content on Instagram, on YouTube, on TikTok, and I mean, it's a lot of time I've spent over the past three years that I've been online.
And it's partially to help people. That's a big part of it. It's also, that's literally how I've built my business. I didn't create ads to say like, "Hey, look, I'm a coach." I literally just put out free content and then would talk about like, "Hey, I'm a coach. I take clients online." And then people would reach out to me. And that's how I've built my business and now I train people all over the world.
Yvette: [00:30:54] That's awesome. Now, so I know you are more doing like the one-on-one, so you do take some online right now? Like, are you using Venmo or PayPal?
Kim: [00:31:11] I strictly do one-on-one online. I don't have any in-person clients. Zero.
I haven't had any in-person clients in two years now. It was two years ago that I really started phasing out in-person clients. So for a while I just did in-person and then I started taking clients online. And I'll tell you what that looks like for me, because I think maybe you're confused about what do I do with these online clients since I said I don't do live sessions, I'll tell you in a second, what I do with them.
So I started taking online clients and eventually I got to the point where I had tons of online, tons of in-person, and I had to pick, because there was only so much of me to go around and I picked online and I don't do in-person anymore. At all. Zero.
And so what I do, when I say that I coach one-on-one online, I write my clients training plans. So I will write out, "here's your month's worth of workouts," and I send them that, and then I do nutrition coaching with them. It is all done online. So my clients and I communicate via a shared Google Doc via email and via a video texting app.
We are never live in-person talking to each other. At all. I never talked to my clients, like, I don't get on the phone with them, I don't video chat with them, I don't watch them do their workouts. They send me form videos all the time and I give them form feedback.
They check in with me every single day via our shared Google Doc about their nutrition. And so I can see, like, how many calories did they eat and how many steps did they take and how much protein did they eat? And they have their workouts on this shared Google sheet and I check in on that and see how are workouts looking. They send me form videos, I give them feedback. And then once a month I do a progress review for them. They send me pictures, I make side by sides. They send me measurements, I look at their scale weight, and that's how we assess their progress. Well, how I assess their progress.
So when I say that I coach online, that's how I do it. It's not like me and them running through a workout.
Yvette: [00:33:04] Okay. Got it.
Kim: [00:33:06] And, for payment, I use PayPal and the way I have it set up is I have automatic payments. So I'm never chasing people around, trying to collect money. When people join on to be my client, they set up automatic payments and then it's withdrawn from their account once a month and I don't have to think about it at all.
And there's a lot of you figure out business-wise when you're getting started and you need to trust -- and, not just you, but everybody listening here -- that you're going to figure that all out. If somebody had told me when I was 40, that I was going to have an online business and somehow figure out all the backend stuff like that, I would have been totally intimidated because I had zero idea how to do any of that.
But, you know, I learned how to do that bit by bit as I needed to do it. I literally, when it was time for me to set up recurring payments on PayPal, I sat with another coach in a Panera, my friend, Susan Niebergall, I don't know if you follow Susan, and she showed me like how to set up the automatic payments, how to make the link, she's the one who talked me through, "here's how you do that."
Yvette: [00:34:14] Cool. Okay.
Kim: [00:34:15] So, yeah. Trust that you're going to figure it out and you just start taking steps. You can sit and stew for ever about the perfect way to do things and not get anywhere. When you start taking action, you'll figure it out. You'll figure it out as you go. Like, there's been so many times where I've had to revamp my systems because, you know, I got to X number of clients and what I used to do, that didn't work anymore and it was too overwhelming, and so then I had to change things.
And I always just figure it out and evolve and things get better. And now I'm a much better coach and I'm a much better business person because I've been at it for awhile. But you'll figure it out as you go. The main thing is to get some education, know what you're doing, and start doing it.
My other key piece of advice, if I could give you one more piece of advice, is to find a mentor or somebody that you can intern with to learn from. That has been huge for me. Huge.
So, my mentor is Jordan Syatt. He was my coach and he has mentored me in becoming a coach and becoming a successful business person and that has been key. Like, he's my go-to person. I ask him all the questions. And having somebody who can help you through all that is really key.
And it's not as hard as you might think to find somebody to mentor you. I personally, right now, I have an intern. She reached out to me a handful of months back now. Sometime in the fall she emailed me and she said, "I've been following you for a while and I am a mom of four kids. I've had a career in audiology, I have gotten certified in nutrition coaching through Precision Nutrition, and I would like to do what you do. How would you feel about taking me on as an intern and I can help you with whatever you need?"
And that's the key. Like, you have to offer them something. And so we got on a call and we talked about what she wanted from me as her mentor and then what she thought she could offer me as assistance and it has been an amazing setup. She handles all my backend stuff for me now. She keeps me organized, she completes all kinds of projects that I come up with in my mind that I've wanted to do, but I just didn't have the time to do, and I mentor her. She's taking on clients now. She asked me questions about best practices and how to set things up and when she's confused about things,and it's a great situation for both of us.
So, I cannot recommend that highly enough.
Yvette: [00:36:50] Wow. That's awesome. I was going to ask you if you did mentoring, actually.
Kim: [00:36:58] This is the first time I've done it and I will continue to do it because it has been such a good situation for the both of us. I'm not taking on any more mentees at this moment, but I'm assuming at some point.
So, my intern, her name is Emily Hansen. You should all follow her on Instagram and TikTok. Emily is E-M-I-L-I-E Hansen. @emilyhansenfitness, I believe is her handle.
And so she's out there, she's creating content, she's taking one-on-one clients online, she has a good handful of clients that's building all the time. So eventually she's going to phase out from being my intern because she's just gonna have too much of her own business. So yeah, eventually I'll take on more.
Yvette: [00:37:47] Great. Oh my God. That's good. Man, she stepped in right at the right time. Good for Emily!
Kim: [00:37:53] She did! And that's the thing, putting yourself out there, like, finding somebody who like, "Hey, this person, I really resonate with how they coach. What could I do to help them?" Like, "how could I help them" and just saying like, "hey, can I help you with X and learn some things from you?"
And, you know, not everybody's going to say "yes," actually fun story, my coach, who is my mentor now, Jordan, he was my powerlifting coach online and I wanted to hire him as my business coach to be my mentor. I'd already chosen this man as my mentor. I'm like, I want to coach just like Jordan.
And when I approached him the first time about taking me on he's like, "I'm sorry, I just can't. I can't take on any more business clients." And I asked him multiple times and he's like, "I just can't. I can't." And then about after six months I sent him this really long email and I was like, "Hey look. When you first started trying to coach--" I'd read the story that he had talked about, how he said, you know, "I'll mop the floors, I'll do whatever you want. I just want to be here in the gym and learn from you." I'm like, "that is what I'm telling you. I will do whatever you want. What do you need me to do? I'll go through your emails for you, whatever you need me to do, just take me on."
And he called me and he's like, "okay, fine." He's like, "how can I say 'no' to that?"
So like, you know, you have to be persistent with this stuff and you have to show somebody that you care about what they're saying and that you want to add value to them. And that's how Jordan ended up taking me on as a business coaching client.
Yvette: [00:39:19] That's great. Yeah. You've talked about Jordan a lot and that's really cool because it sounds like you have definitely learned so much from him and he has been an amazing mentor. I think some of the other trainers talk about him, too. Like, when you do your group with, I think there's like three other trainers and I believe Susan, is it Susan?
Kim: [00:39:43] Are you talking about my other podcast?
Yvette: [00:39:47] It's on the Fitness Simplified, and sometimes there's three thers that jump on and they're all different ages. And I love it because I think one of the gals is in her twenties and, oh man, you guys bring just some great material.
Kim: [00:40:04] Oh, thanks.! Yes, it's Sam Altieri, Sarah Duff, and Marci Nevin. That's the current iteration. We started this podcast a couple of years back and on the very first episode, maybe two episodes, Susan was on there with us and she had too much going on at the time and couldn't stay on and we had another coach, her name was Nicole, who was on with us for a time and then she left and we brought on the other two.
And so we've been doing that podcast for a bit.
Yvette: [00:40:30] Oh yeah. Great interaction right there. It's all great stuff.
So, the nutrition part and like that whole mentor thing. I totally have been looking for a mentor, Kim, and I'm not finding the person that I need to find.
And I think maybe because I am not in the whole "fitness" deal as much as I need to be, the fitness community, let's say. So that's where I need to figure that piece out, for sure. Like, you know, I'm like a Tony Robbins kind of girl. I did the UPW, the first virtual UPW. And that was pretty awesome, but I'm not going to ask Tony Robbins to mentor me.
I think he's probably a little busy right now, but I don't know, maybe if I bug him and say I'll mop his floors...
Kim: [00:41:44] And I think that worked with Jordan because we had a relationship together. You know, he had been coaching me for some time and I think that's the key: relationship building from a genuine place. Not looking for like, "what can I get from this person?" But you know, whoever it is, you follow on social media, if you're back on there, it sounds like maybe you are, you know, looking for, "how can I support this person's work? What can I learn from them just from the content they put out?"
You know, maybe there are people that you'd want to hire to coach you. That's a good way to learn. That's actually a really good way, before I'd ever even hired Jordan to help me to be a coach, he was my coach and I had learned so much about coaching from being coached by him.
So, you know, hire a coach you admire and learn from that person as they're coaching you. You know, that's another way to approach finding a mentor.
Okay, so the nutrition piece, you specifically wanted to know about nutrition certifications? Was that the question you had?
Yvette: [00:42:40] Yes.
Kim: [00:42:42] So, two good options: one is Precision Nutrition. That's who I am certified through. They open up their coaching a couple of times a year. I learned a ton from Precision Nutrition. Again, it's just like with PT certifications: it's not like you're going to learn everything you need to know about nutrition. Specifically, if you're interested in helping people learn to get lean or whatever things, it's not like you're gonna learn everything you need to know from that certification, but it's a good place to go to get started.
I don't agree with every single thing PN ever talks about, but I certainly learned a lot from them.
That's one good option. Another option, which I would totally jump on if I had the time to do another nutrition certification is Mac-nutrition. They're out of London. I can never remember Martin's last name, the guy who heads it, his name is Martin. He has a fabulous podcast now, too. Why can I never think of that man's last name?
Anyway, Mac-nutrition University. I think that's the cream of the crop these days for nutrition certifications. I do believe I heard that they now require some baseline knowledge. It's not like you can just sign up without any nutrition. Like, I think if you take PN, then you can take Mac University, or you might be able to get in through some other way.
If you already have -- I don't know if you have to have a bachelor's degree in something, but there is some kind of baseline to get into that one. That's an incredible, like, I love the content they put out, I've read about their certification, they're very big on educating you about how to read the science so that it's not just learning about nutrition, but learning about how to continue learning about it so that you can continue to read research and understand the research.
I would highly recommend looking into that one, as well.
Yvette: [00:44:32] Perfect. Awesome. I'm going to look for Martin on the podcast.
Kim: [00:44:40] Type in "Mac Nutrition University," and you'll find his name and all the stuff that goes along with him.
The other thing I would say about learning about nutrition, it's not a certification, but it is a way to really keep current about what's happening, is to subscribe to Alan Aragon's Research Review. It's like $10 a month and when you sign up for it, you have all the back issues there. And he covers like the most recent nutrition research and talks you through it.
Yvette: [00:45:15] Oh, wow. Okay. Perfect.
Well, I think that's all I had. This has been so amazing, Kim. Thank you so much. And thank you for having me on your podcast. I hope that we've answered and helped a lot of people that are kind of in the same boat as me. I'm excited. I'm going to start TikToking tomorrow, sister. I'm ready to go.
Kim: [00:45:48] All right, I love it!
Yvette: [00:45:50] I'm going to take action and I hope everybody else does, as well.
Kim: [00:45:53] So, when you get on TikTok, message me there so I can know what your handle is and I'll follow you.
Yvette: [00:45:58] Oh, perfect.
Kim: [00:45:59] And then I can help you with anything you need.
Alright, thanks so much for coming on!
Yvette: [00:46:05] Hey, thank you. Have a great day!
Kim: [00:46:12] 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.
Kim: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 83 of the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode, I share with you the story of how I have been battling illness for the last three months and have been unable to train at all or keep up with my usual nutrition habits. I share what effect this has had on my fitness and what I intend to do about it.
I share with you why I am not panicking, even though I have not been in the gym in three months and help you to see why you don't need to panic if you find yourself in a situation where you're out of the gym, whether that's for vacation or holidays.
Ready? Let's go.
I have been extremely ill now for three months. Almost three months. In five days it will be three months since I first got sick. Yes, I know the exact day. It was Tuesday, October 27th. And I know this because of COVID.
So, I was put in charge of our church's, socially-distant Halloween party. I had a committee and we planned to this amazing event that was going to be like -- and it was, it was fantastic -- it was like, you know, at Christmas time you can go to these light shows where you stay in your car and then you drive through and you see all these cool things? We did that, but for Halloween. We had really cool, like, spooky displays, lights, and it was really, it was amazing.
I put myself in charge of running the traffic since I was in charge of the whole event. I was the person greeting every car as they came and then letting them go at specified times. Well, these were all people I knew, and so they would roll their windows down and we would talk while they were waiting for their turn to actually go into the event.
And, you know, socially distanced, six feet, wearing a mask; but as the night wore on, I noticed I started coughing. Okay, you know what it's like to cough these days -- you cough too much, it's really like, "Oh gosh..." like you feel very self-conscious.
I started coughing and then I started coughing a lot. And by the end of the night, I was really coughing and I kept telling people, I'm like, "Oh, I'm not sick. I'm not sick," because I hadn't had a single sign of being sick before that moment. Well, two days after that I was just flat on my back. I was down for the count.
Now, I've had pneumonia twice before, but it always comes on slower. It starts like, you know, I get a cold, it feels like I have a little bit of a runny nose, a little bit stuffiness. Eventually, like I get sicker and sicker, and over the course of weeks, I ended up feeling very sick.
This was over the course of days. I felt terrible. I immediately got a COVID test, it was negative. Based on my symptoms and my previous health history, my doc diagnosed me with pneumonia and I started just a bucketload of medication.
Now, for the first bit, I really tried against all reason to continue running my business as per usual. You know, when you work for yourself, what are you going to do? Like, there's no one else to pick up the slack. You can actually catch two podcast episodes, both recorded on the same day about four days after I really became sick. I was still in the, like, "gotta go on with the show" kind of mode.
One of them is an episode of Decades of Strength, that's my other podcast I do with three other coaches, and in the middle of recording that, I fell asleep. I fell dead asleep. And we started talking about it later on in the episode, I was like, "I was sleeping guys." And right after that, I recorded an episode with Jordan Lips. Incredible episode, if I do say so myself.
We talked a lot about emotional eating and we talked about women in strength training. And you can hear that I don't sound great. I was so tired. It was really-- it was dumb that I did these.
Anyway, you should check them out for the content, but also, if you want to hear what it sounds like when a person is sick and is pretending not to be sick you can listen in to that.
A few weeks into November, I finally cried uncle. I realized I was being completely ridiculous. I was not getting better. In fact, I was getting worse and I needed to cut back on my work. This was really hard for me. I have poured my heart and soul into this business over the past, gosh, good bunch of years at this point.
I've been online three years now. Coaching longer than that, but my business online has been over three years. And it was hard for me to do, but I had to cancel all of the calls I had upcoming and put people on a list basically saying, "sometime when I'm better, we can talk about coaching."
I continued to get worse. I mostly spent time in bed in those months or on my sofa in those months. And I will tell you, I am still not better.
Let me put it this way: I'm better, but I'm not well. And you can hear that in my voice. I'm not well.
I have to severely limit my activity or I end up exhausted. My symptoms kind of go and come back. You can hear now I sound like I have a head cold, this is new in the past 24 hours. I have to limit my speech.By that. I mean I have to limit how much I talk in a day or I lose the ability to speak and breathe at the same time. It ends up just sounding like breathy whispers.
I think you may have heard it just a bit ago: if I laugh, I start just sounding breathy. If I cough, I sound breathy. So no laughing, no coughing, and limited amounts of speech. The reason I sound as good as I do now is I have stayed silent for the past several hours with the knowledge that I was going to record this podcast. So I have to manage the amount I speak and then I can sound almost normal.
I do have upcoming appointments with a pulmonologist and an ear, nose, and throat doctor that will hopefully figure out what is wrong with me and get me treated so I can return to full health.
Now, I'm going to tell you, I have lost muscle the past three months. I have lost strength. My general level of fitness has declined and I am not happy about any of that.
I haven't worked out in three months. I've only returned to walking 5 to 10 minutes a day in the last week. Three months ago, I was only 20 pounds away from my goal of dead lifting 300 pounds. I had been consistently training one-arm push-ups for two months. That is a serious investment of time and energy.
Same thing with running. Although it was a shorter timeframe, I was on week 3 of a 12 week running program. I was seeing incredible improvement in my endurance and I was psyched about that. And all of this has been a setback. It's all been set back from this enforced break that I've had to take.
I've also gained fat. I was not at my leanest right before I fell ill. In fact, I did a photo shoot about a month before and I considered holding off on that shoot until after a planned cut I was going to do, but I decided against that mainly because, one, I needed photos for my step challenge and to update the podcast cover art, but also because I don't -- I don't want this to sound conceited here when I say this -- but even with a few extra pounds, I still looked amazing. You know, I look strong, I look healthy, I look like a regular person who really cares about her fitness. And that is something, frankly, I want to put out there because the sea of super lean, uber ripped women on social media isn't necessarily representative of what many women are aiming for. And I want to be a representation of, "Hey, you don't have to get that ripped. You don't have to get that lean to still look really healthy."
I'm way off on a tangent here. My point is I was planning a fat loss phase because I was at the top end of my comfort zone as far as my body composition. I wanted to be a bit leaner.
I actually had not weighed in forever, so I had no idea how much I weighed three months ago. And I still haven't weighed because, frankly, I've had bigger fish to fry more recently than how much do I weigh. From the fit of my clothes -- as in, they do not fit very well -- I have gained quite a bit of weight. Also, from the way I look. I can see it. I can see it in my face, I can see it just looking in a mirror. I can see it. I'm going to guess that I've gained around 12 pounds, maybe more. Somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds in the last three months. And I'm not happy about that.
But it is what it is and one important thing I want to highlight about this weight gain; this is a really important take home point: I became completely sedentary. Completely. All of November, I was in bed or on the sofa almost exclusively. I began adding time at my desk back in in December, though the bed and the sofa were still a large part of my life.
I wish I had actually worn my step tracker so I could have seen how few steps I was getting in in a day. I'm going to guess it was under a thousand and it was actually only that high because my kitchen was under construction, which means to get from my bed to the basement family room. I had to go down two floors and then back up two floors and sometimes during the middle of the day I had to come up a floor to talk to the people working in my kitchen.
So to explain to you how sedentary I was, I would wait for someone to come into the room to fetch something for me that was out of my reach. I'm being dead serious about that. If I could see my thermos of tea across a room, I still did not get up to go get it. It was taking all of my energy to be able to breathe. I felt so terrible.
Even now I have to conserve my energy to make it through the day, so I do not walk willy-nilly around my house. I'm certainly not trying to get added steps in. I really try to stay put as much as possible because I am so low on energy.
Now, my point in explaining this is I had a daily minimum -- previous to being sick -- of 7,500 steps. It was usually over 10K, but my daily minimum was 7,500. Especially on the days I ran, I was well over 10K. I also lifted for 60 to 90 minutes, four days a week.
And that's a huge factor in the weight gain that I have experienced was reduction in my movement. It surely played a massive role. So if you are not taking your daily movement seriously, you are hindering both your health -- you know, research points to 7,500 steps daily -- that number seriously reduces all-cause mortality. You know, yay for not dying.
Also, you are really effecting your fat loss results. NEAT -- non-exercise activity thermogenesis -- all that movement outside of structured activity is the most variable piece of your metabolism. Specifically, your TDEE or total daily energy expenditure. Take advantage of that and move. You don't have to track steps, but tracking steps is the best way I have found to get a hold on how much someone is moving and systematically work to increase that movement.
Right now for me, I'm working inside of this energy envelope. I have a certain amount of energy and, you know, I'm a person who is sustaining an incredible illness, right? And so I have very little energy. It is a top priority for me to move as much as possible while not negatively impacting my ability to breathe or totally tanking my energy.
If I do too much, I end up having to rest for 24 to 48 hours. And I have pushed that too hard twice now and been out of commission for a few days each time. For you, if you're healthy, you can push way harder than I can.
What you want to consider is how hard to push -- when you're thinking like, "okay, how hard should I push?" Here's the question I want you to consider: "what can I sustainably do over time?"
Not, "what can I do once and burnout." So look, if I sent you to Disney World today, I'm like, "here, go to Disney, here's a free pass." You could walk easily over 20K steps today. But just because you can do that in a very specific setting doesn't mean you should try to do that in your daily life -- go from, "I'm not moving at all" to, like, "I do Disney steps."
You want to build in the habit of moving. You don't want to overextend, burnout, stop, then at some future point, you know, repeat that cycle. It is way more effective to steadily increase steps as you carve time in your schedule and you really think like, "where can I put in some extra movement? How can I do that? Can I get up from my desk every hour? Can I use the furthest bathroom in the office? Can I walk around Target two times every time I go? Do I need to put in a walk in the morning and in the evening? Do I need to walk after every meal?"
And all of these strategies, likely some combination of these strategies, is going to work for you and you want to spend time tinkering with that. So take a week, monitor your daily step count without changing your routine, average those out, and take that number as your baseline. Then add on 500 to 1000 steps as your first goal. So if your daily average from your test week was 3,500, use 4,000 to 4,500 as your first step goal. Keep that goal until it feels pretty easy to do.
Okay, so you figured out times and systems to make that happen. Then what you do is you increase by 500 to 1000 again. So you go for a couple of weeks and then when it feels easy and you figured out how to get steps in, you adjust, and you want to keep doing that until you hit at least 7,500 -- remember, that's a really good baseline for overall health -- and then at that point, you can either maintain that number or you can keep increasing until you reach 10,000 steps.
I will say: don't do more steps at the expense of paying attention to your nutrition. Always pay attention to your nutrition first and then if you're really doing well with, you know, planning your food and logging your food, keep adding steps until you get up to 10K.
Okay, moving back from NEAT to how I'm feeling about the impact of this illness on my fitness and my physique. I'm not thrilled, but I am not panicking.
Why am I not panicking?
I know how to build muscle. I know how to improve my endurance. I know how to lose fat. I know how to increase my strength. I know how to build my skill in the skill-specific goals that I have set.
And with this air of mystery and confusion gone, there's just no need for panic. It's going to be a ton of work. It's going to be a crap-ton of work, but I'm not worried that I can't do it, and I'm not doing what I had to do for years, decades, even where I was searching desperately for answers. You know, following celebrity diets and buying into hype about foods to eliminate and workouts I had to do to blast fat, and I always just felt so, so confused.
So now I'm at a point where I know exactly what I need to do to get back to the level of fitness and the physique that I had, and even surpass both of those. I just have to put in the work.
So, if you have been out of the gym for an illness or on a vacation, just relax.
If that comes up here soon, if you're like, "okay, I'm going on this trip and I'm not going to be able to work out" or "work's extra busy and have to seriously reduce how much time I'm working out," relax. Remember, you just go back to what was working. You haven't ruined anything. You just go back and you put in the work.
If you're completely out of your routine because you got back into old habits, that is also not a reason to panic. You start from where you are and you build those habits back, one step and then the next.
Now, if you're not clear on what works to lose weight, that's big difference, right? If you're like, "I don't have any idea." So maybe you're new here to my podcast. If you are hello, welcome. And if you're like, "I don't even know what it takes to lose weight. I haven't been successful yet," here's a good place to start: head to my website, kimschlagfitness.com. Okay? Schlag, S-C-H-L-A-G. kimschlagfitness.com, click on the tab labeled "Fat Loss Crash Course," sign up for that free course and I will walk you through, step-by-step, how to set up your nutrition and your training.
No panicking. We're going to get you situated.
So this is a short episode. Thank you so much for listening to me today. I'll be sharing a lot more about my comeback in the months to come. I'm not even well yet, so getting healthy is my top priority. I'll be sharing more of what I'm doing with my nutrition for general health and then once I'm good to go, I will be busting my butt in the gym, and with my nutrition.
Now, I will tell you, I am not doing this alone. I am here huge believer in coaches. Even coaches need coaches and I have two of the best in the business. My buddies, Jordan Syatt and Mike Vacanti will be coaching me.
Jordan has been my coach for going on five years now. He helped me to get literally in the best shape of my life, the leanest, the strongest I've ever been. He also helped me to build my online business from the ground up. He's going to be handling my training for this comeback. And Mike has been a mentor of mine in the past two years. I was a student in the inaugural year of the Online Fitness Business Mentorship that Mike and Jordan run together and then last year they brought me on as an assistant coach in that Mentorship.
And Mike is going to be handling my nutrition. He's going to be writing my macros and holding me accountable. I'm planning for this comeback to be epic. I would be lying if I said like, "Oh, I'm so thrilled that I've had this massive setback in my health and fitness," I have cried a ton. I have been very discouraged. I have been very frustrated. I have felt like, frankly, my life has been ripped out from under me many days, but I have learned to rest, I have been forced to learn to do that. That's not a bad thing. It's not a bad thing. And I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity -- a forced opportunity -- but you know, I could look at this as just a bad thing and woe is me, but I'm choosing to look at this as an opportunity to show you that no matter where you start, you can achieve whatever fitness goals you set.
I literally started with walking five minutes a day last week. And I plan to get in the best shape of my life at 50. So do not tell me that you're too old or too out of shape. You got this.
Remember, head to my website -- Free 5-Day Fat Loss Crash Course, see ya inside. Catch ya next episode!
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.