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I Can’t Believe I Did That To Lose Weight

00:04 Kim Schlag: Welcome to Episode 75 of the Fitness Simplified Podcast. I’m your host, Kim Schlag. Now, this week’s episode is a little bit different because I am actually not the host. I’m turning over hosting duties to my friend and my mentor, Jordan Syatt. Now, when you listen to the podcast each week, you hear snippets, bits and pieces of my story, but mostly I’m focused on my guest, their story, the things that they have learned. This week, you’re gonna hear my story. You’ll hear a lot of it. Jordan talks and asks me questions about when I was obese, how did I become obese, was I always obese, how did I get out of that position, what was the trigger for me? Lots about the dumb, dumb things I tried to do to lose weight; some of them embarrassing, but worthy of sharing. I think you might see a little bit of yourself in some of my own experiences. Let’s go. Hello.

01:04 Jordan Syatt: There she is. How are you?

01:06 Kim Schlag: Hi. Good. How are you doing?

01:09 Jordan Syatt: I’m well. Are we recording?

01:10 Kim Schlag: We are recording.

01:11 Jordan Syatt: Alright, so we’re just jumping right into it, huh?

01:14 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. I’m sitting in my closet. [chuckle]

01:18 Jordan Syatt: You’re in your closet. Why?

01:19 Kim Schlag: I’m in my closet because we have a painter here. He’s been painting a bunch of rooms, including my office. And so I tried to record a podcast in my basement the other day and my family has no sense of boundaries and people were wandering in and out, and it does not make for great audio. And so, I’ve locked myself in my bedroom, in my closet. No one’s coming here.

01:39 Jordan Syatt: Wait, what are those… Oh, those are boots. Those are Uggs on the right.

01:43 Kim Schlag: Those are my sparkly Uggs.

01:45 Jordan Syatt: Got it. I thought that for… You know those clear containers that they could hold snacks or whatever, it looked like there was like a clear container of pecans. I was like, “You’ve got pecans in your closet? Man, it’s better than my closet.”

01:58 Kim Schlag: That’s the secret to my success. I keep pecans in my closet.

02:01 Jordan Syatt: I’ve done a bunch of podcasts in Mike Vicanche’s closet.

02:05 Kim Schlag: I’ve seen them.

02:06 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, so who knows, maybe closets are the best place to do them.

02:10 Kim Schlag: Good audio, apparently.

02:11 Jordan Syatt: Do you want to explain to your audience what exactly what we’re doing right now?

02:16 Kim Schlag: Absolutely, so I was… I love podcasts. I listen to a lot of them. And I was listening to a business podcast, and this woman had her mentor come on and interview her on her own podcast. And I thought it was super fun, and so I reached out to Jordan, who has been my coach and mentor for, I think, almost five years now to see if he would be game and of course, he was. And so here we are, so Jordan is gonna interview me on my podcast.

02:38 Jordan Syatt: Alright. So just for whatever it’s worth. I have no idea where this is gonna go. I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve, but how about this? How about just to start, how about Kim, you just tell me about yourself, who you are? Tell me about where you started, how you got to where you are today. I just wanna know more about you, Kim.

02:56 Kim Schlag: Okay. So more about me. So I’m 49. I’m gonna be 50 in less than a month. Super, super soon.

03:05 Jordan Syatt: Great. When’s your birthday?

03:07 Kim Schlag: October 7th.

03:08 Jordan Syatt: October 7th. Let’s go.

03:10 Kim Schlag: 7th. 50 years old.

03:11 Jordan Syatt: Do you have plans? Do you have plans for your birthday?

03:13 Kim Schlag: Well, you know what? I was supposed to be in Alaska right now, celebrating my birthday. I was supposed to go on this big trip…

03:19 Jordan Syatt: Shut up.

03:20 Kim Schlag: To Alaska. I was gonna go on to cruise with all my best friends, and it’s been on my bucket list forever. And so that… I was supposed to have left on Thursday, and we were gonna tour Seattle, ’cause I’ve never been to Seattle and that’s where I should be right now. And then we were gonna celebrate my birthday, two of us are turning 50, so we were gonna be up on a glacier right before my birthday, that was the plan.

03:39 Jordan Syatt: Man, I’ve heard those Alaska cruises are amazing.

03:42 Kim Schlag: I know! Someday, I’ve always, always wanted to go there, but instead, my family and I have rented this cute little cabin in Northern Pennsylvania and we’re gonna go hiking for a couple of days.

03:53 Jordan Syatt: That will be cool.

03:55 Kim Schlag: Yeah, so you know, I had to make the best of it. So I, since I was like 19, have been trying to lose weight, and it was ridiculous. So I was super into fashion as a kid, that was my thing. I always wanted to be a fashion designer or one of these kinds of things. So I would read these magazines, and I would look at these women, and I was like, “I don’t look like them.” I was not overweight as a kid. I was not, but I just didn’t look like… It was very slim at the time, was what was in. I was like, “I don’t look like that.” And so I always had this thing in my mind that I was gonna lose five pounds. “I just need to lose a little weight. I need to lose a little weight.” Always, since as long as I can remember, and what ended up happening is it was elusive. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I ate like a complete moron in my 20s as I was trying to lose weight. And then I eventually… When I started having babies, gained 50 pounds with each of my three kids, never fully losing all of that weight. And so…

04:47 Jordan Syatt: You gained a 50 total pounds with each kid?

04:49 Kim Schlag: Each kid. Every kid, I gained 50 pounds. I fully believed the advice you’re eating for two, and I know that for everything it’s worth. And 50 pounds, lost some. Next kid, 50 pounds, lost some. 50 pounds, third. So by the end of being pregnant and then the stress of having toddlers, I was obese and very unhappy, and then spent a lot of time chasing every nook and cranny of what could be the secret to weight loss. All the dumb stuff, I did it, and just kept getting heavier and heavier and yo-yo-ing back and forth. And it wasn’t until I was in my early 40s that I really wrapped my brain around the idea that it was about how much food I was eating. It was about the calories.

05:33 Jordan Syatt: How did you figure that out?

05:35 Kim Schlag: So I had a friend… Actually, I didn’t even know him, I couldn’t say at the time he was my friend, it was my… So where I go to church, my husband was leading our congregation at the time. We have a lay congregation, and my husband was the head of the congregation. So we knew everybody’s problems and what people needed. And he came home one day, and he’s like, “There’s this family. You don’t even know them. Their kid really needs somewhere else to live that’s not their house. He’s 19.” He’s like, “Are you okay if he moves in with us?” And I was like, “I guess. If you think he’s safe and this is a good spot for him, let’s do it.” So he moved in with us.

06:05 Jordan Syatt: A random 19-year-old kid moved into your house?

06:08 Kim Schlag: Yes, and here’s the thing. My kids were all in school and my husband was at work. And so it was my job to keep this kid busy and out of trouble because that was the problem. He didn’t get along with his parents. He was in a lot of trouble.

06:20 Jordan Syatt: Oh, that must have felt good, just home alone with some… [chuckle]

06:23 Kim Schlag: That was my one question to my husband. I’m like, “I trust you. If you think this is safe, bring him here. Bring him here.” And he’s like, “He’s safe.” So I got to know him, and I was like, “What am I gonna do with this kid? What are we doing together?” And so what I found out is he liked bodybuilding, and I was like, “We’re going to the gym. That’s what we’re doing.” And so we got him a gym membership, and I was like, “Here we go.”

06:45 Jordan Syatt: You paid for his gym membership?

06:46 Kim Schlag: I got him a scholarship to the gym. Like we call it… So, we got him a discount, and we got him into the gym that I would go to. And so, we went together to the gym a few days after he moved in, and our third day there together, he came up to me when we… ‘Cause we’d go and then he would do his thing, I would do mine; he came up to me, and he’s like, “What are you trying to do anyway?” [chuckle] I know he… The way he said it, I was kind of annoyed. I’m like, “I’m really trying hard to not be fat. Thank you.” And he says to me, “You’re doing it all the wrong way. You’re doing it all the wrong way.” And I… He’s 19 and I’m like… But I felt so hopeless that I was like, “You seem to understand something. You look like you know what you’re doing.” And he said, “What… “

07:25 Jordan Syatt: Was he in shape? Like did look good?

07:26 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

07:26 Jordan Syatt: Okay.

07:26 Kim Schlag: He was in shape. He was in shape. And so, he said, “Why don’t you start lifting with me?” He’s like, “Come on, you can do it with me.” And I’m like, “Alright.” So the next day, we came back to the gym, and I went into the area that always scared me, we called it the man cave, right, and that’s where all the big weights were, and I started lifting with him. He taught me all about lifting, how to lift, what to do.

07:47 Jordan Syatt: Were you worried about lifting weights?

07:49 Kim Schlag: I was so nervous. I was so nervous, really just about looking stupid, like not knowing what I was doing, and so I just… I would just look at him, and he wasn’t a great teacher in that he was super kind and patient, he was just like… He would look at me sometimes and be like, “Go get a heavier weight.” And I’m like, “This one’s fine.” And he’s like, “Go get a heavier weight.” And then I would get it and I was like, “Oh, I can totally lift that.” So he wasn’t nice necessarily, but we got along really well, and I would just look at him and he’s like, “Do this. You’re doing it wrong.” [chuckle] And
so it was not an easy entry, but it was good because he literally, step-by-step, just told me what to do.


08:25 Jordan Syatt: Do you remember the first workout he had you do?

08:29 Kim Schlag: Yes, I do.

08:30 Jordan Syatt: What was… Let’s go… What was the first workout?

08:32 Kim Schlag: It was upper body, because we always did upper body, ’cause he was a guy, and we always worked chest and biceps. I swear, I’ve never… A woman has never been introduced to lifting probably like this. We did chest and biceps like three days a week, and every so often I’d be like, “Can we do something with the lower part of our body?” And he’s like, “Fine. We’ll do legs.” He hated squatting. He didn’t teach me how to back squat and deadlift, I learned that after he left. But. So we did… We were always, dumbbell chest presses, chest flies, bicep curls. Like a million varieties of bicep…

09:03 Jordan Syatt: Do you remember what weight you used for the dumbbell chest presses that first time?

09:07 Kim Schlag: I have no idea. But it was light. I picked up lightweight. It was always the little dumbbells, because I just… That’s what I felt comfortable with. I thought that… I thought 15 pounds was heavy.

09:20 Jordan Syatt: How sore were you after the first workout… Or the first couple workouts?

09:25 Kim Schlag: That I don’t remember.

09:26 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Alright.

09:27 Kim Schlag: I will tell you this, Jordan, I fell in love with it like that. We’re like talking week one…

09:32 Jordan Syatt: Interesting.

09:32 Kim Schlag: I was like… Because he kept telling me to go get a heavier weight and I kept doing it, and I’m like, “I think maybe I’m strong.”

09:39 Jordan Syatt: I love that.

09:40 Kim Schlag: And we all are, but we just don’t realize it, right? If we’re not pushed to do that. And so it was like instant, I fell in love with it, and I wasn’t as much thinking about losing weight anymore, as like, “Let’s go.” We lifted five days a week. I’m like, “Are we going? Let’s go. Let’s go.” I was excited about it.

09:55 Jordan Syatt: What time of day would you guys go to the gym?

09:57 Kim Schlag: Morning.

09:58 Jordan Syatt: Okay. Early morning.

10:00 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

10:00 Jordan Syatt: And did he do anything with your nutrition or was it just the workouts?

10:01 Kim Schlag: So he did, but again, like I said, he wasn’t super nice, because he lived with us, and he was there as I was cooking, and my big nutrition plan was to try and eat as little as possible. And so, I would try not to eat a lot, but I was hungry, and I had terrible nutrition habits. I didn’t eat vegetables. And so…

10:19 Jordan Syatt: Really?

10:20 Kim Schlag: I didn’t. I did not start…

10:20 Jordan Syatt: You didn’t eat vegetables?

10:22 Kim Schlag: Zero. I hated vegetables my whole… I trained myself to like vegetables when I was in my early 40s.

10:27 Jordan Syatt: Wow.

10:28 Kim Schlag: I liked one…

10:28 Jordan Syatt: You hated vegetables?

10:29 Kim Schlag: I hated them. The only vegetable I like as kind of random, I liked creamed spinach. It’s not super healthy for you. It’s not. It’s not a great… It’s just not great. And I would eat corn on the cob, if it was really good corn on the cob. But that was it. I didn’t eat… I would pretend. I’d put salad on my plate, and then eat the croutons out. That was my vegetable. So he said to me very soon after we started, he’s like, “I see you. I see what you’re doing.” And he’s like…

10:53 Jordan Syatt: That’s what he said? “I see you”?

10:55 Kim Schlag: Yeah. He’s like, “You don’t eat anything all day long. He’s like, “You eat these little tiny portions.” He’s like, “You put this little bit of food on your plate, he’s like, “And you’re in the damn pantry every night.” He’s like, “You’re in there snacking all night long.” He’s like…

11:06 Jordan Syatt: Wow. He’s really calling you on it.

11:08 Kim Schlag: Yeah. And he’s like, “Get out of the pantry and start eating real food”, and I’m like…

11:12 Jordan Syatt: I like him. I like him a lot. [chuckle]


11:13 Kim Schlag: Yeah. And I was like, “Well, like what? What should I be eating?” He’s like, “You need to eat meat, and you need to eat vegetables.” And so I tried to tell him, “I don’t like vegetables.” He’s like, “I don’t care.” He’s like, “You need to eat them.” And I was like, “You’re an idiot, but fine.” And so I started… And I liked meat. And so I’m like, “Fine. I’ll stop making so much pasta… ” I’m Italian. I was always cooking noodles of some kind. And not that you can’t eat that, but I like… My diet was very heavily that.

11:34 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. And then also in the pantry, what were you…

11:37 Kim Schlag: Pretzels.

11:37 Jordan Syatt: Getting in the pantry? Pretzels?

11:39 Kim Schlag: Pretzels, Pop-Tarts, granola bars. That was my diet. [chuckle] And see… And for me, the pretzels was the diet food, because it’s not the Pop-Tarts, and it’s not the granola bars… And even the granola bars felt healthy-ish to me.

11:52 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. The packaging makes it seem healthy.

11:55 Kim Schlag: Yes, exactly. And I fell into all of that. And I grew up in the low-fat craze, right, and so pretzels were low fat, and so, therefore, I could eat a ton of them. So at night, it felt like that was my permission to do that.

12:05 Jordan Syatt: That’s the worst is when you find out how many pretzels… How many calories are in pretzels? It’s like you can’t have that many before it really adds up.

12:13 Kim Schlag: You can’t have that many. Yeah. And they don’t fill you up, and they’re completely like, you can’t eat just one kind of thing, right.

12:18 Jordan Syatt: Of course. Yeah.

12:19 Kim Schlag: You just wanna keep going and wanna keep going. So. Yeah, so that’s what I did with my nutrition. I was like, “Fine. I’m gonna do this.” And so I stopped… I started looking at meat as more the main part of my dish, and the pasta as the side dish, which was total… Which I should have anyway, but that was news to me. To me, it was like, the pasta with a little bit of meat. And I started…

12:38 Jordan Syatt: It sounds like there is more structure to your meals.

12:40 Kim Schlag: Yes.

12:41 Jordan Syatt: Like there was an actual thought behind it is really what it sounds like, yeah.

12:45 Kim Schlag: Absolutely, and he also… He was very much of that body-building mentality of cheat days, he’s like, we don’t eat junk food during the week, which that’s not how I live now. That’s not how I coach, but at the time, I’m like, Okay, we don’t eat junk food during the week,” he’s like, “at all.” He’s like, “Zero.” He’s like, “Weekends, we do that,” and so it would become the weekend, I’m like, “So I can eat whatever junk food I want now?” Now again, he’s a 19-year-old boy, and so he had the ability to eat a lot more than I did, but I really did start having just treats on the weekend, so I would have like… He could go all day and eat crap, but I would eat one thing a day during the weekend, Friday night through Sunday, like maybe I’d have a Reese’s Cup or something.”

13:18 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, like a cheat meal-ish or cheat snack.

13:20 Kim Schlag: Exactly.

13:20 Jordan Syatt: Got it, okay, alright. So was there calorie counting at all there or not?

13:26 Kim Schlag: Not then, not then that came for me like a year later. So he was with me for three months, and in those three months, I completely transformed. It was crazy.

13:35 Jordan Syatt: What happened? You lost weight, like you…

13:38 Kim Schlag: I lost weight, I built muscle. I look like a complete… Physically, I looked like a different person, I went from a size 14, like heading, pushing a 16 to a size 2.

13:46 Jordan Syatt: Holy… In three months?

13:48 Kim Schlag: In three months. It was crazy.

13:50 Jordan Syatt: And were you hungry, were you like… Did you feel obsessed with food? What was going on?

13:54 Kim Schlag: I think I had just hit my breaking point. I was so tired of trying to lose weight, and this felt like my moment. This is like somebody is here telling me what to do every day of my life, which… That’s weird. It doesn’t happen, right? People are always like, ‘You need to move in with me.” I’m like, “It kinda actually works.”

14:12 Jordan Syatt: Crazy, yeah.

14:13 Kim Schlag: It kind of actually works having somebody there with you all the time, and so yeah, I looked totally different, and like I said, during that time, I completely fell in love with the gym, and so for me, my focus really was on, when do I get to go again? How much am I lifting? And I really started th
inking about my body and what I needed to do to get to the gym and lift something heavier.


14:34 Jordan Syatt: Okay.

14:34 Kim Schlag: So, yeah. I looked different, it’s not like I built so much muscle that like, “Wow, I had muscle,” but I had more muscle than I’d ever had in my life, and so I was finally starting to get that toned look everyone, I’d been chasing it my whole life, back when I was thin as a teenager and what I wanted to look like, I was like, “This is it, this is how I’m gonna get there.” I think, I can’t believe it, it’s taken me all these years and it wasn’t that secretive, I really thought it was gonna be like some kind of pill or some kind of secret formula, and it was lift some weights like who knew?

15:06 Jordan Syatt: So what happened then, so he was with you for three months and then how did you figure out about calories?

15:11 Kim Schlag: So he moved away then, he moved to California, and I was like…

15:15 Jordan Syatt: Are you still in contact with him?

15:16 Kim Schlag: Yeah. We haven’t talked in a while, but yeah. He’s come back to visit me, we had a good lift together a couple of years after, once I became a coach and I was powerlifting, he came back, he was like, “What in the world?” [chuckle]

15:26 Jordan Syatt: That’s awesome.

15:27 Kim Schlag: Yeah, so he was super proud that I had done all of this. Yeah, we’re still in contact. So he left and I was like, “I love this. So now I need to figure out what to do,” and he had written me a program, but I’m like, “I can’t just do this permanently,” so after he was gone a month, I’m like, “I need to figure something out,” and I wanna… I really fell into following the bodybuilding crowd, these are the people, I was following Nicole Wilkins and Erin Stern, these are the people I’m following, they’re bodybuilders, so I’m like, I need to eat like a bodybuilder, and so I started following bodybuilding type plans.

15:58 Kim Schlag: I downloaded Lose It, that app and started tracking my calories and I was doing full-blown macro counting at the time, I was counting my macros, which was really good for me, it was a great education, ’cause I didn’t understand that kind of stuff yet, and so that’s when I started counting calories and that’s when I really started understanding programming and getting excited about it.

16:17 Jordan Syatt: Did you get a food scale?

16:20 Kim Schlag: Yes. Mm-hmm.

16:21 Jordan Syatt: What was that like for you? Do you remember the first couple of foods that you weighed and do you remember like… No?

16:27 Kim Schlag: Not necessarily weighing them, but I do remember experiences, when I started figuring out how many calories were in things, like the day I realized how many calories were in peanut butter, I was like, “That’s not right. That can’t be right.” So absolutely, and I remember getting really upset when I realized… Cereal is my favorite thing ever, and I got really upset when I realized how many calories is in cereal, like the amount of cereal I want to eat.

16:51 Jordan Syatt: Which cereal is your favorite?

16:53 Kim Schlag: Lucky Charms.

16:54 Jordan Syatt: So when you saw how many calories were in your portion size of Lucky Charms, you were upset?

17:00 Kim Schlag: Just like any cereal lover, my portion size is not their portion size.

17:03 Jordan Syatt: Correct.

17:04 Kim Schlag: It’s absurd. if I just ate their serving, that’s no problem, that’s easy to fit into your day, but the amount of cereal I want to eat, you can’t really fit that in.

17:14 Jordan Syatt: It’s so funny because when you look at their calories on the label, it says like, I don’t know 120, 130 calories, it’s like, “Oh, this is amazing,” but then when you measure out the portion, you’re like, this is literally like one-eighth of the bowl.

17:28 Kim Schlag: It’s just enough to make me angry.

17:30 Jordan Syatt: Yeah. That’s exactly right. Okay, so then, so you start counting your macros, counting your calories, were you starting to train like a bodybuilder too?

17:39 Kim Schlag: Absolutely, yep. I had a full… And that’s the way we had tended anyway, ’cause that’s what he liked, that’s where he… That’s where he tended. But yeah, I started following these female bodybuilders, I did an online group coaching with Erin Stern, who was a Ms. Olympia… A two-time Ms. Olympia, and so I followed her training splits, and I loved it, I thought it was fantastic, and I actually got to the point, by about… Once it had been a whole year since I had been lifting, I was lean enough and excited about it enough, and following this bodybuilding plan, I was like, I think I wanna compete in bodybuilding, like this is what I’m…

18:10 Jordan Syatt: Oh really?

18:11 Kim Schlag: Yeah, this is what I’m gonna do. This is about three quarters of a year before I reached out to you to coach me, and I was like, “This is what I’m gonna do. This is what we do.” It just felt like this is the next ste
p. And so I was like, I should hire a bodybuilding coach. That’s the next step. I feel like I’m lean enough, I could be 12 weeks out from a show. So I started investigating that, but the more I did, the more uncomfortable I got because…


18:36 Jordan Syatt: Why?

18:36 Kim Schlag: Because I felt like I had worked so hard, and we’re talking about decades of my life trying to lose weight, and I finally did it. So my dad died suddenly of a heart attack a few years before all of this happened, and so I was very conscious of the idea of health. And the main reason I wanted to lose weight is finally, I was just tired of being fat, I didn’t like the way I looked, but in my mind, there was always this… And I also don’t wanna die young, I don’t wanna die of a heart attack, so health was a big part of it for me.

19:03 Kim Schlag: And the closer I got to figuring out who I wanted to hire for a bodybuilding coach, and reading it and really getting into that world, the more I felt like, I feel like I’ve flipped directions and I’ve gone from getting healthier and healthier to doing something that is probably gonna lead me to an unhealthy spot.

19:20 Jordan Syatt: How did that thought come to your mind? ‘Cause most people don’t think that way, most people just think, “Well, I’m bodybuilding, and this is healthy.” It’s like, how did that come to mind?

19:29 Kim Schlag: Because I had become so aware of calories and nutrients, and I’m thinking, “It’s gonna be really a little amount of food, that’s gonna be such a small amount of food.” And it felt extreme in a way that it started making me uncomfortable, but I was still gonna do it, I was gonna do it, I’m like, “Yeah, it’ll be short, I’m gonna do it.” And I will tell you, it’s kind of funny, the thing that really flipped the switch for me, is just my own sense of… My personal sense of morality and modesty. I’ve grown up in this religious community, it’s very modest, and I feel like I push the envelope on what I wear in my regular day life in this community, and I’m like, “How am I getting up on a stage and turn around showing my bare butt?” Right?

20:07 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah.

20:08 Kim Schlag: And I started to get really uncomfortable with that, and that was kind of the final tipping point of like, “Maybe not.”

20:13 Jordan Syatt: That’s interesting.

20:14 Kim Schlag: Right?

20:14 Jordan Syatt: So that was really the tipping point.

20:15 Kim Schlag: That was it, ’cause I was like, “Maybe… ” And so I was right there, I was gonna do it, and then it was like fate. I stumbled upon this article about women in powerlifting, I’m like, “What’s powerlifting?” I only knew bodybuilding, I didn’t know anything else existed, I’m like, “What’s powerlifting?” And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I can keep my pants on…

[laughter]

20:36 Kim Schlag: And not have to… ” ‘Cause I wanted a goal, right? Like I wanted something to drive me and the show seemed…

20:41 Jordan Syatt: I can keep my pants on and do it.

[chuckle]

20:43 Kim Schlag: I don’t have to show anybody my bare butt and I can… And that’s when I joined this group coaching with JBB, who was my coach before you.

20:52 Jordan Syatt: Oh, wow, yeah, yeah, yeah.

20:53 Kim Schlag: Right? And so that’s when I joined her online powerlifting group. And so I was like…

20:58 Jordan Syatt: I haven’t spoken to her in years, I hope she’s good… I hope she’s doing well. Are you in contact with her at all?

21:01 Kim Schlag: You know what? I was. A few months ago, she was doing an online fundraiser for people during all the rioting, ’cause she lives in Minneapolis.

21:09 Jordan Syatt: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

21:10 Kim Schlag: And I reached out to her, I’m like, “Hey, I wanna donate, how are you doing?” So we chatted then.

21:14 Jordan Syatt: Got it, okay.

21:15 Kim Schlag: But otherwise, she’s not really like, I don’t really see her in the online space, putting out content and stuff. So…

21:20 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, me either.

21:21 Kim Schlag: I don’t know if she’s even doing that anymore, but I was like, this power… And so it was all women in her group, it was an all women’s online group coaching to learn how to powerlift from zero, like you don’t know how to do anything, you can only lift the bar, and I was like, “Oh, this is my jam. This is it.” And so, I spent that whole summer working, and at the end, we did a virtual powerlifting meet, and I was like, “I love this.” And so, I signed up for a powerlifting meet. And during that, in that group, when the group was ending, we were all talking about like, “What are you doing next?” Like, “What are you gonna do next?” And this woman, Susan Singer…

21:56 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, yeah.

21:56 Kim Schlag
:
Susan Singer says to me, “I’m doing this thing… ” What the heck? Okay, I feel bad. Power building, is that what your program is?


22:03 Jordan Syatt: Power building, yeah, yeah.

22:04 Kim Schlag: Yeah, she’s like, “I’m doing this thing called power building.” I’m like, “What’s that?” And so she kind of explains to me, she’s like, “You look good. You lift heavy.” I’m like, “Well, that’s what I wanna do.” Like, “Who’s doing that?” I’m like, “Who’s this guy?” So she sent me your name, and I started reading all your stuff, I was just reading and reading it, I’m like, “I gotta meet this guy,” I’m like, “That’s my… ” I knew, just like a few days into reading your stuff, I’m like, “This is my coach, this is him.” And that’s when I reached out to you.

22:30 Jordan Syatt: What year was that? Do you remember?

22:33 Kim Schlag: It was about five years ago. What is it now? 2020, it was like 2015, 2016, it was 2016.

22:39 Jordan Syatt: I think it was 2016.

22:40 Kim Schlag: It was before you were big on Instagram, Jordan.

22:43 Jordan Syatt: Correct. I think I had 3000 followers.

22:43 Kim Schlag: I think the fall… I think you had just started. I think it was the fall, after you started working with Gary, like you had started working with him in the spring, and that November is when we talked.

22:55 Jordan Syatt: Got it. That makes sense, because I started working with Susan right before I started working with Gary, when I was living in Israel, yeah.

23:03 Kim Schlag: Yeah, yeah.

23:03 Jordan Syatt: Got it. Okay, and do you know at this point in time how much weight you had lost from your heaviest?

23:09 Kim Schlag: So my heaviest, I was like 187.

23:12 Jordan Syatt: Okay.

23:13 Kim Schlag: And I was in my 120s when we started working together.

23:17 Jordan Syatt: That’s incredible.

23:18 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

23:19 Jordan Syatt: That’s incredible.

23:20 Kim Schlag: It was a lot of weight.

23:22 Jordan Syatt: So when you and I started working together, you were already obsessed with powerlifting, you loved it.

23:27 Kim Schlag: Yes.

23:28 Jordan Syatt: Do you remember what your goals were when we first started working together?

23:32 Kim Schlag: They’re gonna sound very familiar, ’cause they’re the same now, I wanted to have as big of a deadlift as I possibly could, like that was my goal.

23:38 Jordan Syatt: Yeah.

23:39 Kim Schlag: And then, as we were working together, I really started falling in love with bench pressing too, and look, my bench press is still my worst lift, but I freaking love it, I love it.

23:48 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, yeah. So now things… It’s interesting though, so now we’ve worked together for a number of years, now things are starting to change a little bit; obviously, you still want the biggest deadlift ever, but I think it’s been cool to watch your progression with you changing, not just powerlifting, now there’s other goals as well. Do you wanna talk about those?

24:05 Kim Schlag: Yeah, so last spring, and it was really just because of corona started, and I’m just like, “Everybody’s looking for other things to do,” I’m like, “You know what, I’ll model for people something they can do and they don’t need weights in their gym.” And I’m like, “What could it be?” And we talked, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, how about a pistol squat?” And so you started helping me get my first pistol squat, which was super fun, ’cause I’ve always seen people do that and I was like, “I can’t do that.” Like, “Why can’t I do that?” And every so often, I would try. And it’s just like anything, it’s like back when I tried to do pull-ups and I thought like, “I should be able to do that and I’m strong.” You can’t do a pull-up unless you’ve trained to do a pull-up…

24:36 Jordan Syatt: Correct.

24:36 Kim Schlag: And the same thing with push-ups, right? And so you always have this idea of like, “Even if I’m strong and I work out, I should be able to do this thing.” But you can’t, unless you actually trained for it. And so I think it took me six weeks to get… To be able to do solid pistol squats.

24:49 Jordan Syatt: This is an interesting discussion though, because I know, and I’m sure you do too, so many people, and especially with a chin-up or a push-up, or a pistol squat, so many women who will… They’ll go up to a chin-up bar, they’ll be hanging down, they’ll try and do one, and be like, “I will never be able to do
this.” Like they’ll try it, it doesn’t move, and then they just give up, they just never try it again. But this discussion around training and practicing it is something I don’t think is discussed very much. Do you wanna… Talk about that for a second. What did your practice look like?


25:21 Kim Schlag: And I did this with so many things, ’cause I felt the same way, when I tried to get my first push up, I just really thought that I would eventually be able to do it, and I would just test… Every so often I’d go into gym, be like, how is it looking. Like, nope, I can still only do it on my knees. Alright. I’ll just keep lifting weights and eventually, I’ll be able to do a push-up. I don’t know why that seemed a lot… It seemed logical to me.

25:40 Jordan Syatt: I’ll do bench press and then I’ll be able to do a push-up.

25:43 Kim Schlag: Yeah… As I get stronger, I’ll eventually be able to do a push-up. And by this time, when I started doing pistol squats, I can back squat over 200 pounds, like why can I not freaking lift my body up on one leg, right? I couldn’t do it. And so, but the key is actually dedicated practice on that skill, because this stuff is skill-based. And so you had me doing… You had me doing slow eccentric pistol squats. So, basically assisted. So I hold on to something and I go down very, very, very, very slow. ‘Cause I could go down, I just couldn’t lift myself back up, right? And that’s the way it is with so many things, we can do a part of the move, we just can’t do the harder part. And so you practice, really drive hard that eccentric, and I did it day after day. Day after day.

26:27 Kim Schlag: What did we do after that? We did the slow… We did them with pauses. I would get down to the bottom and I would just stay there in the bottom of that pistol squat, and it’s hard. This was hard training. It was the hardest thing I would do when I… And we always did it first in my training, when I was nice and fresh. It’s really important when you’re working on a skill, you do it when you’re nice and fresh, put all your energy into that. And then, those were the two big things and we just kept doing different variations and different rep schemes of those until I could eventually do one.

26:54 Jordan Syatt: And you have a video on that on YouTube, right?

26:56 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I have a whole video with the progression, teaching people how to do that.

27:00 Jordan Syatt: You gotta put that in the show notes for people just so they can…

27:03 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I will.

27:03 Jordan Syatt: It’s one of the things I admire about you and I like that you’ve done, is you start from literally not being able to do something and you document the whole process. And then you show people what the process looks like. Listen, this didn’t happen in a day or a week. Like this happened over the course of this six-week thing. And I know right now we’re working on something new… Have you spoken about that yet publicly?

27:23 Kim Schlag: I have… I’ve spoken about it in my stories. I show people little, little glimpses of… Because I’m doing a YouTube video on this, too. I’m working to do a one-arm push-up, and… Wow. It’s humbling.

27:32 Jordan Syatt: It’s gonna explode when this happens.

27:33 Kim Schlag: Yeah. It’s really humbling. ‘Cause I can bang out push-ups. It took me a long time to be able to do push-ups and now I can… And they’re fine, and I can do lots of different varieties. But I’ve always thought it was cool. Like a lot of this stuff, I just see people doing it, I’m like, it looks cool. There’s no other reason I wanna do it. It just freaking looks cool.

27:49 Jordan Syatt: It’s a cool feat of strength to be able to do a push-up or a pistol squat, or a chin up. Absolutely.

27:54 Kim Schlag: Yeah. And so, that’s what I’m practicing now. Yesterday was my first time trying this new variation you have me doing, which is I hold at the top of a one-arm push-up. So that’s what I did last month. I would just do a hold. Which was really hard. My whole body was shaking…

28:07 Jordan Syatt: Let’s talk about that first before you’re gonna get… ‘Cause you texted me after you did that. And you were like, “That was way harder than I thought.”

28:14 Kim Schlag: Yeah. I was just… Yeah. At the top of the one-arm push-up, one arm is on the ground, and I had to stay there for 20 seconds. That was a really long 20 seconds. It’s a really long 20 seconds.

28:25 Jordan Syatt: You didn’t think you were gonna be able to do it at first.

28:27 Kim Schlag: I didn’t, I’m like, I’m gonna fall on my face. Although you did tell me, you’re like, “You need to put your legs out wide.” I thought I was just gonna do regular push-up position.

28:34 Jordan Syatt: Yep…

28:35 Kim Schlag: And that was…

28:35 Jordan Syatt: This is part of the skill. And this is part of learning, it’s like… The technique changes.

28:40 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

28:40 Jordan Syatt: And you can’t do a one-arm push-up with your feet in the same position as a regular push-up. That’s ridiculous, but a lot of people, I know many, many people who… They’re like, “I’ll never be able to do a one-arm push-up.” It’s like their whole base of support is
completely off. It’s like, you’ve gotta change it. If you watch people, who are the best in the world at one arm push-ups, they got this big wide base of support, their feet are out wide and they screw themselves down to the ground.


29:05 Kim Schlag: Yeah, and so that was the… When I did that, I’m like, okay, I think I can work my way up to this. And so the first day I did that, I did it for 19 seconds. I really thought I was just gonna fall on my face, I didn’t think I was gonna be able to stay up there when I let my arm go. So I got up to 19 seconds the first time and then 20. But every time I did it, I had to psyche myself up, “You can do this,” and I got really focused to be able to do it. So I did that. And then I did again the slow eccentrics. So I would put my one hand on the ground and hold it as lightly as possible. And then try and just use one arm to go all the way, all the way down. And I sent you a video, and you texted me like, “You need to go on your fingertips.” And I’m like, “How am I doing that? I don’t think so.” Isn’t it funny when somebody tells you to do something and you’re like, “I would have never… I don’t think I can do that.” And I did it, I’m like, “Oh, I can totally do that. I can do that.”

29:50 Jordan Syatt: “I am capable of that, I am strong enough to do that.”

29:53 Kim Schlag: I am strong enough to do that. So I was like, I can do this on my fingertips. And after two times I was doing it on three fingertips, I’d pick up two fingers. And so, I haven’t gotten past three yet, but I can do it on three fingertips really, really slow. Since I sent my… I sent you videos, I watch my own videos and I was like, I’m totally screwing this up at the bottom, I would get to the bottom and I would collapse. And those last two inches, when you’re doing any kind of eccentric, that’s where the gains are gonna be made.

30:20 Jordan Syatt: Correct.

30:20 Kim Schlag: And so I was like, I have to really slow down. And so I would watch my video after each set. And I’d be like, okay, that looks good or slow or still, and really slow at the bottom.

30:29 Jordan Syatt: That’s an interesting component of all major movements. We can look at push-ups, one arm push-ups, we could look at pistol squats, we can look at regular squats, we could look at chin-ups, we can look at bench press, it’s the last two inches before you get to the very bottom that matter the most when you’re controlling the weight. This is something that so many people overlook because they let it drop ’cause essentially in their mind, number one, it’s the most difficult place and number two is they can build up a little momentum. So if you’re doing a bench press, you sort of drop the bar really quick and then get it right back up, but the issue is that’s always gonna be your sticking point, because if that’s your weakest spot and you never build that one spot, and eventually you’ll never be able to lift more weight. Same thing with chin-up, you go all the way to the bottom, you drop that last one inch, two inches, that’s where you start the chin-up from. You’re literally not training the one part that you’re having the most trouble with.

31:24 Kim Schlag: Absolutely. And it’s like you’re cheating yourself, but you’ll keep adding weight to the bar. Right? With that… Right ’cause you can, and really, it would serve you so much better to take the weight off and really hammer those last two inches, and focus and go super slow. It’s humbling, you gotta do it though and you’ll get stronger faster.

31:41 Jordan Syatt: And you actually alluded to this earlier, you were saying how you have to psyche yourself up before those… Those sets. I’ve noticed, when you really control tempo, especially during the hardest part of the movement, mentally. It’s a mental battle…

31:56 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.

31:56 Jordan Syatt: To not allow yourself to cheat, where you have to consciously will yourself to keep going through the hardest parts of the range of motion.

32:06 Kim Schlag: Absolutely, and I have to tell you, that’s one of the things I love most about training like this, about lifting, because how many times in life do you need to consciously will yourself to do something? Like the amount of personal strength, fortitude, to do hard things in my life that I have gained from training like this in the gym, is incredible. It completely changed me.

32:27 Jordan Syatt: I love that. So now you’re starting the new variation. Talk about that.

32:32 Kim Schlag: So the new variation, I’m in the top of the one-arm push-up, and instead of just holding it, which was really freaking hard last month, I now have to do pulses. So basically, I have to do… You come down a few inches and you go back up, come down a few inches and go back up. I really like it. I knew my left arm was not as strong as my right arm, I did not know how different it was gonna be. I’m barely moving with my left arm. Like I’m trying to move and I’m like, “Move.”

[chuckle]

32:57 Kim Schlag: Just like, “Whoa, no.” And so my right arm feels pretty strong, I’m getting down pretty far in that pulse and coming up, and I’m doing like eight reps in 20 seconds.

33:06 Jordan Syatt: That’s amazing.

33:08 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I’m like that feels pretty good for day one. And the other one, I’m just gonna be excited if I can bend my elbow more.

33:13 Jordan Syatt: Well, that’s great and we all have that one side stronger than the other. I’m actually seeing this a lot now in jujitsu, where I have one side that I’m very good at. Like if I’m trying to pass to someone’s left side, I’m great, but if I try to pass to someone’s right side, my coordination is completely screwed up and it just takes so much longer.

33:34 Kim Schlag: Yeah, is that a question you’re getti
ng a lot? That’s a question I get a lot from people like, “Hey, what if my… My left leg is stronger than my right leg. What should I do?”


33:43 Jordan Syatt: Constantly.

33:43 Kim Schlag: What should I do… People… It really freaks people out.

33:45 Jordan Syatt: Oh yeah, it freaks people out and they’re always like, “Should I train that side more?” I’m like, “No.”

33:49 Kim Schlag: Yeah. It’s normal.

33:53 Jordan Syatt: It’s normal. That’s exactly right. We all usually have one foot that’s bigger than the other, one leg that’s longer than the other. It’s like sometimes, you have one eye that’s bigger… It’s normal. This idea of symmetry that a lot of the media perpetuates is not real.

34:07 Kim Schlag: Yeah, and there’s no reason to focus on it and work on bringing up your weaker arm or leg… Actually, with my clients, I don’t even like to call it like your weaker side. I like to say you have a strong side and you have a stronger side.

[chuckle]

34:19 Kim Schlag: You’re strong on both sides, you know. Usually one side is stronger.

34:21 Jordan Syatt: I like that. I like that a lot. Okay, so now we’re doing the pulses and what else right now with your training are you excited about, are you focused on? What do you think about your training overall?

34:34 Kim Schlag: That’s a big one. Here’s the thing. It’s really great to have a goal that jazzes you up. I have to tell you, I’ve been having some hard times recently with insomnia and I was so tired yesterday. I hadn’t slept the night before, and the last thing I wanted to do was go train. I didn’t wanna do it, I was so tired. And the thing that really… I was like, “You’re gonna get to try that. You’re gonna get to go… You’re gonna get to try that push-up thing, if you go down there.” I’m like, “Just go down there and try that. Just go down there… ” [chuckle] I actually sat on my stories, talking to people, telling everybody how much I didn’t wanna be in the gym, and I was thinking like, “Nap or work out. Nap or work out.” [chuckle] And I finally chose… I’m like, “I’m gonna do the workout ’cause I really wanna try this.” And of course, once you get going… Once I got going, I had enough energy and I did the whole workout. So that’s really what’s got me going right now. I always love my deadlifting, getting stronger there, but that’s the big one. And then coming up here in a few weeks, I’m gonna start running.

35:21 Jordan Syatt: Oh, I forgot about that. That’s exciting.

35:24 Kim Schlag: Yep, I’m starting the week of my birthday. I thought it’d be fun to start on my birthday, start this little journey towards trying to be a runner. And we’ll see. Maybe I’ll hate it still. I’ve always hated running. So I’ve changed so many other things in my life. I hated vegetables and now I love them. So I’m like, “Maybe I’ll love running. Maybe I will.”

35:41 Jordan Syatt: You have your program yet for that?

35:42 Kim Schlag: I do, yeah. I have it all ready.

35:44 Jordan Syatt: So what’s your first run look like? What’s the distance?

35:47 Kim Schlag: So it’s super small. People are gonna be like, “That doesn’t even… Barely sound like running.” So it’s basically walk five minutes, run five minutes, walk five minutes, run five minutes. I think it’s three times. And that’s the first two weeks, I think.

35:58 Jordan Syatt: I love that.

36:00 Kim Schlag: Yeah. And that’s the thing this coach does, she’s like, “You can learn how to run, but go slower. You hate running ’cause you’ve always tried to run too fast.” Right? And so she talks about running… So my daughter’s gonna do it with me and we’re gonna run super duper slow and just really build up. Because, look, I’ve run a 5K before and the goal from this is to get me doing a 5K by December. I could go today and run a 5K, but I would hate every minute of it and I would feel terrible and never wanna do it again. [chuckle] So the goal is gonna be to actually enjoy it by going slow enough to have the adaptation, like to actually get good at it.

36:32 Jordan Syatt: Have you ever seen or stood at the end of a marathon or a half marathon, and seen the people, once it’s over, like how they can barely walk?

36:42 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

36:42 Jordan Syatt: They’re crippled afterwards. It’s so funny because I always look for the people who are just… They finish it and they’re good. They just walk away, like it’s no problem. And when you talk to those people versus you talk to the people who are walking away like they just got out of a war zone, the people who just got out of the war zone, they’re like, “Oh yeah, I just decided to do this. And I was like, ‘I just wanna do it.'” And they didn’t train for it.

37:06 Kim Schlag: Right.

37:07 Jordan Syatt: A lot of people really underestimate how important it is to train and build up your body’s ability to withstand that type of impact over and over again, which is why I really like this five on, five off thing for the first few weeks, ’cause those first couple of weeks, you’ll have a lot of adaptation and you’ll build up a lot of resistance, whereas if you just started running like 3-5K immediately, you’d get shin splints, you’d have some small stress fractures, like your hips would hurt. I really like this a lot.
37:33 Kim Schlag: Yeah. I’m excited about it. You know, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this before. Did I ever tell you that I walked a marathon? I actually signed up and did a marathon.

37:41 Jordan Syatt: You walked a whole marathon?

37:42 Kim Schlag: Yes. This was part of one… This was one of the crazy weight-loss attempts I had.

37:45 Jordan Syatt: Oh my god.

37:45 Kim Schlag: So this is back… I think I was 40 that year, maybe 41. This is like right before I lost all this weight. I called my friend… This is what I always do, I would look for… I read some article about losing weight by walking fast. [chuckle] And this guy, he’s like, “You should walk a marathon.” And he had a book, and so I bought the book and I called my…

38:04 Jordan Syatt: What was the book called? Walk a Marathon?

38:06 Kim Schlag: Something like that. Yeah. And the training plan is literally how to get you to walk a marathon. And so I’m like, “This is a great idea.” So I called my girlfriends and we met. Guess where we met? We met at an ice cream place.

[laughter]

38:20 Kim Schlag: We all got ice cream and I brought the book, and I presented this idea to them, and we were like, “Okay, let’s do it.” And it was a weight loss, this was our goal to lose weight. We’re like, “By the fall, we’re gonna spend six months doing this and we’re gonna have lost all this weight as we train to run a marathon.” I did not lose a single pound. I actually probably put some weight on, because you would walk normal amounts during the week, but just like training for a marathon, you would have a long… What would usually be your long run day, you would have a long walk day. And we would walk four hours, five hours. And then… And we would carb load.

38:49 Jordan Syatt: You’d carb load for the walk?

38:53 Kim Schlag: We were insane.

38:55 Jordan Syatt: Shut up.

38:56 Kim Schlag: We were being so stupid, Jordan. [chuckle] And then sometimes afterward, we’d be so tired, we used to, for a while, there were several weeks after our long walks, we would go to a diner and we would get stuffed French toast because we were just so hungry and I’m like, “Of course, I wasn’t losing weight. I’m eating stuffed French toast.” After every one.

39:13 Jordan Syatt: Oh my God.

39:13 Kim Schlag: And so we trained from the spring through the fall. Then we went to Baltimore. There were six of us, and it was a marathon and we walked it. And partway through, we were like, “We should just run.” So I did. I ran several miles of this marathon. And it was an insane experience, and it didn’t end well for me. I ended up…

39:34 Jordan Syatt: Why?

39:35 Kim Schlag: I ended up in the back of an ambulance after, ’cause I was…

39:37 Jordan Syatt: Shut up!

39:38 Kim Schlag: I was dehydrated.

39:38 Jordan Syatt: Why have I never heard this story?

39:39 Kim Schlag: I don’t know why I never told you this story. I was dehydrated, which was kind of crazy. I mean, everybody I guess just starts with a base level of hydration. And my one friend and I, there were were six of us, but two of us stayed together the whole time. Every time she drank, I drank. I drank at all the little stops. So when we got to the end and I was like, “I don’t feel good. I don’t feel good.” It took us seven hours, guys. We walked seven hours. So I get there…

40:01 Jordan Syatt: That’s actually a really good pace, to be honest with you.

40:03 Kim Schlag: Really?

40:04 Jordan Syatt: Seven hours to walk 26.2 miles.

40:07 Kim Schlag: We did. We walked fast. And then we ran… We ran probably three or four of the miles.

40:11 Jordan Syatt: And you were at, near your heaviest?

40:14 Kim Schlag: I was not… I wasn’t obese, but I was, yeah, I was not in shape. I was not… I was in the high 160s, 170.

40:22 Jordan Syatt: That’s a great pace.

40:24 Kim Schlag: Really?

40:25 Jordan Syatt: I think that’s a great pace. That’s impressive to me.

40:27 Kim Schlag: I was annoyed that… ‘Cause we were super close to having a six on the time. I was like, “Can we not just be six something? That feels so much more respectable than like it’s seven minutes and it’s seven hours and 10 minutes, or two minutes or something.”

[laughter]

40:39 Kim Schlag: And I was annoyed. But yeah, so we got to the end and I’m like, “Guys, I don’t feel good. I don’t feel good.” And they all wanna do is celebrate. I’m like, “I just need to sit.” And then somebody came over and got me. They were like, “You don’t look okay.” And so we… It was actually… They were kind of happy, the ambulance drove us home. It drove us back to our hotel.

40:51 Jordan Syatt: Oh my God.

40:54 Kim Schlag: So they hooked me up to an IV, got me hydrated, and drove all six of us back to our hotel.

41:00 Jordan Syatt: Wow. Have you ever written or spoken about this story before?

41:04 Kim Schlag: I have. I think it’s on my website, maybe. I don’t know. I don’t know if I have.

41:08 Jordan Syatt: What a great story. I love that. I love that because of how far you’ve come.

41:14 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

41:14 Jordan Syatt: You’ve just come so unbelievably far, and not only for yourself but helping so many other people. Are there any other crazy things that you did in your quest for weight loss? Any crazy diets or crazy workouts?

41:29 Kim Schlag: I did the normal crazy stuff, like, “I’m gonna give up sugar.” This was my mom’s obsession. I get a lot of my bad habits that I grew up through the years from my mom. She was always trying to lose weight in some weird way she found in the back of a woman’s magazine. And that totally rubbed off on me. And one day she’s like, “We should stop eating sugar. I have this book.”

41:49 Jordan Syatt: She said that when you were a kid?

41:50 Kim Schlag: No. I was like 19 or 20.

41:52 Jordan Syatt: You were young. Yeah.

41:54 Kim Schlag: Yeah. I was young and I was like, “Okay, let’s stop eating sugar. We’ll try that.” I hated every last second of it. I only did it for… We were gonna do it I think for a month. I did it for a week and I was like, “No. Not doing that.” So that was one of the ones. I did Nutrisystem, I did Weight Watchers. I did… I really was super bummed about Garcinia Cambogia. At the time I was on some kind of medicine for my heart, ’cause I had high blood pressure and all this stuff. And my medication was contraindicated for Garcinia Cambogia, and I was just devastated ’cause I was sure that was the answer. And Dr. Oz told me it was, and I was missing out ’cause I wasn’t allowed to take it.

42:30 Jordan Syatt: Dr. Oz. He definitely popularized that one.

42:34 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

42:36 Jordan Syatt: Do you have a good relationship with your mom?

42:38 Kim Schlag: Yeah. My mom and I are really close. She’s still really weird about… I don’t think she listens to my podcasts. If she does, hi Mom. I love you. You have a terrible, terrible relationship with food. She, to this day, still talks about weird diet things.

42:50 Jordan Syatt: And she doesn’t believe you when you tell her stuff?

42:52 Kim Schlag: Uh-uh. She does not believe about calories. She does not believe calories are the determining factor in weight loss to this day.

43:00 Jordan Syatt: Really?

43:01 Kim Schlag: Yeah. To this day.

43:01 Jordan Syatt: Do you get into debates with her about it?

43:04 Kim Schlag: Not debates, but she’ll just say little things here. She’s always… Last year, she was really into keto.

43:11 Jordan Syatt: Really?

43:12 Kim Schlag: And so she would come to my house. She would drive to my house, they live in Tennessee, and they would come to my house and they would bring all their keto stuff. And we would order pizza for my kid’s birthday, and she would scrape the cheese off and just eat the cheese.

43:25 Jordan Syatt: No way.

43:26 Kim Schlag: I’m being dead serious. She would bring special cake to the birthday party ’cause she couldn’t eat the cake.

43:31 Jordan Syatt: Special cakes. Keto cake?

43:34 Kim Schlag: Some kind of keto cake. Yeah.

43:34 Jordan Syatt: No way.

43:35 Kim Schlag: I’m not kidding you.

43:36 Jordan Syatt: And you didn’t say anything? You just let her do it.

43:38 Kim Schlag: I have to let her do it. I can’t… I’ve tried to say things too much, and just, it creates more friction than it’s worth. I really believe, with family and friends, you can’t… With anybody, you can’t force them. No matter how much I do, I look at her and I’m like, “I seriously know what I’m doing. I do this for a living. Maybe you could listen to me.” But she doesn’t. Yeah. She’s into food pairing You have to have certain things together, and you can’t have certain things together. Lots of wild ideas about nutrition.

44:09 Jordan Syatt: Did she ever make comments to you about your weight when you were a kid?

44:12 Kim Schlag: No, because I wasn’t ever overweight, remember? I wasn’t overweight. I just wanted to look fit and I didn’t. I was very normal-sized I just wanted to look fit and I didn’t. But my sister has always struggled with her weight. Now my sister has special needs, she has Down Syndrome. And so she’s always with my mom and my sister really has always struggled with her weight. And because she’s in my mom’s care, they always do these weird diet things together. So they’re always doing some crazy diet together. And so that was… It would just always come up. So weight management has been a topic in my house since I was a kid.

44:43 Jordan Syatt: Got it.

44:44 Kim Schlag: And she’s always, always talking about weight and how to lose weight, and what not to do, and carbs. She really fears carbs.

44:52 Jordan Syatt: How did you decide to get in the fitness industry?

44:57 Kim Schlag: It really… I just fell into it, just because my transformation was so dramatic and so fast, and I was working out at a gym at the time, I wasn’t training in my home, that enough people watched it in real-time that they would come up to me and be like, “What did you do? And can you help me with this?” And so I just started helping people with it and with their lifting and talking about what I did. And after several months of a lot of people saying, “You should do this for a job,” I was like, “Hey, you know what, I should do this for job.” I didn’t have a job. I was a stay-at-home mom and I was so passionate about it. I’m like, “I’m gonna do that.” And that was really scary for me. And honestly, Jordan, I would not have done that before I learned how to lift weights ’cause I just didn’t have the confidence in myself to pursue something like that. This was my first big, “I can do something.” And so I signed up to get certified to be a trainer, and then I signed up to learn to do Precision Nutrition.

45:50 Kim Schlag: And I don’t even know where I got the idea. I don’t know where I got the idea, but I talked to some of my friends, I’m like, “Does anybody wanna be my guinea pig? And as I’m learning stuff, I’ll try it on you? That sounds really terrible, but I promise I won’t hurt you.” And so one of them… A couple of people said yes, and one of them stuck with it. And so as I was learning, I was just like, I would coach her for free, she would come to my house, I’d give her workouts, I talked to her about nutrition, and it was a really good introduction for me to like, “Here’s how to coach somebody,” ’cause I was doing it in real-time. And then once I was certified, I was like… I just put up on my neighborhood Facebook group, I have a gym in my home, and the first day, I’m like, “We’ll see how this goes.” this was another big thing I did, like I learned how to create a website on my own. I can’t… I’m terrible at tech and I made my own website. I’m like, “Look at that.” And so then I put the link to it on my neighborhood Facebook group. I’m like, “Anybody wanna train and lose weight?” And six people reached out that week. There I started my business.

46:48 Jordan Syatt: And they would come to your house, so you’d work out there?

46:50 Kim Schlag: Yep, they’d come to my house and I’d give them their nutrition plan, I would train them in person. And most of my clients came from my neighborhood and my church group, and I did that for a good while, just training here in my basement, one-on-one.

47:04 Jordan Syatt: And what did you do before the fitness industry?

47:08 Kim Schlag: Nothing. I stayed home with my kids. When I graduated… So by the time my son was born… I messed around in my 20s a lot, like I’d go to school, and I got an associate’s degree in fashion, and then I would serve as a missionary for…

47:20 Jordan Syatt: I didn’t know that.

47:21 Kim Schlag: Yeah, I told you. Yeah, so I studied fashion. I really thought I wanted to do wedding planning. I thought I was gonna open a business doing wedding planning, and then I decided to be a missionary for my church. I moved to Europe, I learned how to speak Czech. I was a missionary in the Czech Republic. I came back and I was like, I really am good at teaching, I should be a teacher. So I went back to school. When I was studying to be a teacher, met my husband, moved across the country for him to go to graduate school, and while he was… I was waiting to get in-state tuition, I worked in an inner-city school as an aide in a special needs classroom. I was like, this line of work is not for me. It was crazy, there was a girl trying to jump over a three-foot stairwell.

47:58 Jordan Syatt: Oh, it was intensive special needs.

48:00 Kim Schlag: It was intense. I was in their special needs classroom, with kids who were very needy, and it was crazy. The woman I worked there with, their law was that me, as the aide, I could teach the class for 40 days of the school year. Now, really who’s gonna do that? She used every dang day. She took sick days. She was an older woman, and I was like, I would teach this class, they would send me an aide, and I would be the teacher of the special needs, high needs, intense class, for like five or six days at a time. I was the teacher, and I was in college to be… I was a student and I was like, “This is not right.” I should not be in charge of these children. I should not. And by the end of that year, I was burnt out on teaching, and so I ended up finishing my degree in Psychology and Sociology. I created my own degree and studied sociology, psychology. I loved it. And then I was pre
gnant, I was pregnant. And at this point, like I’m 29 and I’m pregnant, and I finally am getting my degree, and my advisor was like, “You are really good at this. You should do research. Do you wanna stay on and do a Master’s program, maybe a PhD? And I’m like, “I’m having a baby. I don’t think so.” I was like, “I’m pretty sure I’m not doing that.” And then I was a stay-at-home mom.


49:15 Jordan Syatt: And you think, you very strongly believe that strength training is what gave you the confidence to then years later, to start your own business?

49:24 Kim Schlag: Oh, absolutely.

49:26 Jordan Syatt: Create a website… Even though you’re not good with tech, you still made a website. You put yourself out there publicly on social media. Do you think strength training made you more confident as a person?

49:39 Kim Schlag: Oh, 100% sure. I’m 100% positive of it, I felt it happening. I felt it happening. I would go to the gym and I was like, I was having this discovery of like I am a strong person. And I’d never felt that way before. I’d never felt like I could do stuff, that I was… I guess I don’t know if low self-esteem is the right word, I just kind of felt like I wasn’t as good as other people, that I was kind of just getting by; somebody was gonna eventually be like, “She’s kind of a loser.” I just didn’t feel that great about myself, and as I was in the gym and I was like, “My gosh, I’m really good at this.” And there’s nothing special about me, like anybody can do this. But I was watching myself get better at something, and I was like, “I’m really good, like I’m strong, I’m a strong person.” And I could…

50:23 Kim Schlag: So, one of the things that I did, one of the first things I actually did was I love singing, am not particularly talented at singing, but I hired a voice coach, and this is at the same time as I was lifting, and she kept trying to get me to sing in public. And I’m like, “I’m not doing that. Not doing that.” And after I was really lifting for a while, I was like, “All right, I’ll do it. I’ll do it.”

50:42 Jordan Syatt: Wow!

50:43 Kim Schlag: And I did it. So I sang an Italian opera at… I don’t know why I picked that. She’s like, “That’s pretty ambitious.” I’m like, “That’s what I wanna do.” It was mostly little kids and me. It was a recital, think of like a ballet… It was a recital. And so there was like, I don’t know, maybe 40 people in the room, and I got up and I sang my Italian aria.

51:01 Jordan Syatt: Wow.

51:02 Kim Schlag: And it really was…

51:03 Jordan Syatt: You sang an Italian opera?

51:04 Kim Schlag: Yeah.

51:05 Jordan Syatt: That’s extraordinary.

51:07 Kim Schlag: Yeah, and it wasn’t great, but I did it. And because I was just… I would see myself doing hard things, like facing hard things in the gym, like, “Can I lift this up?” And I would do it. And I’d be like, “There’s stuff I can do that I don’t think I can do.” Right? And that really builds a sense of confidence, like hard stuff can happen and I can be better than the hard stuff.

51:28 Jordan Syatt: There’s something to be said for not believing you can do something, trying anyway, and succeeding with it. Or maybe even not succeeding with it, and seeing what’s the worst that happens, right?

51:41 Kim Schlag: Absolutely.

51:41 Jordan Syatt: And knowing that just trying yields so much more benefit than not at all.

51:47 Kim Schlag: That is so true, because there would be some times I would pick up a weight and I’d be like, “Okay, I’m gonna do it.” And I wouldn’t be able to do it, but it wasn’t discouraging, ’cause I’d watched how far I’d come, and so I’d be like, “I’ll get there.” And then I would. And so, it was really cool to look back and be like, “Remember, I couldn’t do that. I tried to do that.” And push-ups are a great example of this. I kept trying to get good push-ups, and when I eventually did it, I was like, “That was a hard-fought win.” And it didn’t come easy. It didn’t come easy.

52:11 Jordan Syatt: How long did it take you to get good at push-ups?

52:13 Kim Schlag: Oh gosh, seven months. It was many months.

52:18 Jordan Syatt: Many months of consistent training?

52:20 Kim Schlag: Yeah, and look, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was looking up random stuff online, and so I don’t know that I had the most effective training plan, but I will tell you, my clients today, there’s a pretty big variety, but it does not happen fast. It’s not like I get a woman who’s never been able to do push-ups, give her a great training program, and I know she’s doing it well and she’s doing it consistently, and she can do push-ups three weeks later. It’ll be a couple of months. And some women who are very hesitant… One of my clients, I frickin’ love her, she’s amazing, she’s lost like 100 pounds. Not just with me, she had started before me. She’s in her 50s, and she is just so excited to get strong. And it took her from last October until this May to finally do them. And I was telling her in February, I’m like, “Joanne, send me a video of you doing a push-up.” And I knew she could do it, I was watching… She would send me videos of her training and her slow eccentrics, and I’m like, “I know you can do at least one.” And she’s like, “I really wanna do it well when I finally do it.” She was really nervous. And so, she sent me this push-up video in April or May. It was the prettiest push-up I’ve ever seen. It was her first one and it was so picture-perfect, ’cause
she was so nervous to try.


53:19 Jordan Syatt: I love that. That’s amazing. So before we get off, I have one question I’d like to ask. It’s a deeper question, but what is one thing that you are deeply proud of in your life? That truly you are deeply, deeply proud of in your life?

53:38 Kim Schlag: Oh, gosh. All right, everybody’s gonna say their kids, so obviously, my kids. So we’re gonna take that one off the table. Take that one off the table. Although, I will say part of it is with my kids.

[laughter]

53:54 Kim Schlag: I’m gonna take it off the table but they’re watching, too. I’m just really proud of the fact that I can be in public in this very big way. I’m out there on the internet, there are thousands of people watching me, there are people reaching out to me, and I can be completely and authentically myself and share my story, and other people can believe that they can do stuff because of me. Women look at me and they message me all the time, and they’re like, “I’m 50 and I just didn’t think I could do this.” And they’re like, “And I look at you, and I see me.” Look, I was never an athlete, guys. I don’t know what to do with a ball. I was not an athlete, I didn’t know what I was doing, I’m not somebody who’s always loved fitness, and here I am. And not only did I get it and understand it, but now I teach other people to do it, and they see themselves in me, and they believe they can do it. And that just means so much to me and I’m super proud of that. And my kids see that in me. My kids believe they can do stuff because they see me doing that.

54:53 Jordan Syatt: I love that, that’s amazing. Well, Kim, thank you for letting me interview you on your podcast.

[laughter]

54:58 Kim Schlag: Well, thank you for agreeing to do it, it was kind of strange. You’re always game for stuff, I’m like, “He’ll say yes.”

55:03 Jordan Syatt: Of course. This has been wonderful and I got to learn more about you, and I think that you’re wonderful as always. And this has been incredible. So thank you.

55:10 Kim Schlag: Yeah, by the way, I didn’t even introduce you. Most people who follow me, they’re gonna have heard your name ’cause I talk about you all the time, ’cause I’m always like, “My coach, my coach.” Guys, this is my coach. This is Jordan Syatt, and if you’re not following him, what is wrong with you? Make sure you’re following Jordan. Where is the best place for people to follow you these days, Jordan, you wanna go to your YouTube, your podcast?

55:27 Jordan Syatt: Yeah, my own podcast, Jordan Syatt Mini-Podcast, Instagram, if you Google my name, you’ll find a lot.

55:32 Kim Schlag: You’ll find him everywhere. In all the places. All right, this has been great, thank you so much.

55:37 Jordan Syatt: Of course. This has been awesome. Thank you, Kim.

55:40 Kim Schlag: Bye.

[music]

55:45 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.