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.