Kim: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode 74 of the Fitness Simplified podcast. I'm your host, Kim Schlag. On today's episode of the podcast I am joined by podcast listener, Catherine. Now, Catherine wrote to me with the question, "I am so frustrated. I exercise every day, but I'm just not seeing results. Why not?" And so Catherine comes on and we dig into this question today.
[00:00:27] If that sounds like something that resonates with you, this episode is for you. And by the way, if you have a question that you would like to get answered, shoot me a message to email@example.com with "Podcast" in the subject line and tell me about your question. I would love to have you come on the podcast and I will coach you through and get you some answers and some results.
[00:00:51] Okay. Let's take it away and listen to Catherine.
[00:00:57] Hi Catherine! Hi there.
[00:01:04] Welcome! So glad we could make this call happen.
[00:01:07] Catherine: [00:01:07] Yeah! How are you?
[00:01:09] Kim: [00:01:09] Good! Now, where are you calling from?
[00:01:11] Catherine: [00:01:11] I'm from Florida.
[00:01:13] Kim: [00:01:13] From Florida. Okay, what part?
[00:01:15] Catherine: [00:01:15] Jacksonville area, in Northeast Florida.
[00:01:20] Kim: [00:01:20] Yeah. Been there a time or two on my way down to Disney World.
[00:01:30] Okay. So tell me more about you because we don't really know each other, just the little bit that we chatted back and forth on Instagram.
[00:01:47] Catherine: [00:01:47] I know! I've followed you for a long time.
[00:01:49] So I'm a mom, I'm a wife, and my son just turned 11 on Tuesday and I have a step son who just turned 21. I work full time, it's busy around here, and yeah.
[00:02:06] Kim: [00:02:06] What do you do for work?
[00:02:09] Catherine: [00:02:09] I am a coach myself, actually. I coach at the collegiate level.
[00:02:15] Kim: [00:02:15] Oh, really? What do you coach?
[00:02:17] Catherine: [00:02:17] I coach golf.
[00:02:19] Kim: [00:02:19] You coach golf. Okay, fantastic. How long have you been playing golf?
[00:02:23] Catherine: [00:02:23] My entire life. I played all growing up and probably since I was about 10, really, competing and then I played collegiately and then I played professionally and now I'm a coach.
[00:02:39] Kim: [00:02:39] Okay. Got it. Well, that's exciting.
[00:02:42] Catherine: [00:02:42] Yeah. So I've been active all my life.
[00:02:49] Kim: [00:02:49] Yeah. Okay. And does your family like to golf with you?
[00:02:53] Catherine: [00:02:53] Yeah, we're a huge golfing-- really just athletic family. Mostly golf, but yeah, my brother and my dad played collegiate football, but everyone's kind of turned to golf now, so we're just a sporty kind of family.
[00:03:12] Kim: [00:03:12] Got it. Okay. Well, Florida sounds like the place to live then if you're golfing all the time, right?
[00:03:18] Catherine: [00:03:18] Other than complaining about it being too hot, it's pretty good.
[00:03:23] Kim: [00:03:23] So, okay. You reached out the other day with a question and I said, this sounds like a great question for us to talk about on the podcast because I get this question quite a bit.
[00:03:31] So tell everyone what your question is.
[00:03:35] Catherine: [00:03:35] I think my original question was... actually I can't remember. 'Cause I think I've asked you, like, a million questions.
[00:03:41] Kim: [00:03:41] I'll remind you, it was about overtraining.
[00:03:43] Catherine: [00:03:43] Yes! I work out all the time.
[00:03:46] Kim: [00:03:46] Yes.
[00:03:46] Catherine: [00:03:46] Like, sometimes two hours a day and that's not just cardio, you know? I lift, I do some body weight stuff, I do obviously walk a lot. I'm on my feet a lot. Yesterday, I think I had 19,000 steps. I just do all the things and I have an Apple watch, so I try to close my rings. That's the big thing on that. And I never see any results and I'm fairly-- like, I carry muscle kind of naturally.
[00:04:21] I come from athleticall- built people, so I do build muscle really quickly and I do kind of fall into that fear of lifting too much because I'll get bulky because that has happened. But I would really like to lean out a little bit more. And I'm 44, just to put that out there.
[00:04:43] I'm okay with that. I'm okay with being 44. I think age is a blessing. And everyone's like, "Oh, well you're just in your forties and this is just how it goes. And you can't lose weight..." and I'm just frustrated because I love to work out. I mean, I do it as a stress reliever. I would do it, you know, whatever weight I was at.
[00:05:09] It's great. I love it and I think it's good for my mental health and probably my husband's mental health.
[00:05:18] Kim: [00:05:18] So you work out a ton, but you're not seeing the results you want. And so you're, you're like, what is the problem here?
[00:05:25] Catherine: [00:05:25] Right. And sometimes I feel like-- I think when I messaged you, I hadn't taken a day off in a really long time, like three weeks.
[00:05:33] And I think I was kinda like, "I'm just tired." Like, I felt whipped, kind of fatigued, and so I kind of took the weekend off and just didn't do much. I think I walked. That was about it. And that's okay. And I'm okay with that. I mean, I do get most of it, I think. I think I'm like 90% there in terms of nutrition and fitness and stuff, but I'm just not seeing results.
[00:06:04] Kim: [00:06:04] So let me ask you this, get really clear for me. What results do you want? What are you looking for?
[00:06:11] Catherine: [00:06:11] Well, I'm currently at a weight that I'm not thrilled about and I have lost about seven-- the scale was a little bit up this morning. I was like, "I don't need to weigh myself before I get on the phone with her..."
[00:06:26] But I've lost about 7 to 10 pounds since April.
[00:06:33] Kim: [00:06:33] Okay. Since April. All right. So six months, 7 to 10 pounds. So how many pounds is that a month? That is more than a pound a month, a little less than two pounds, like pound and a half a month, right?
[00:06:59] Catherine: [00:06:59] Yeah, I would say so. Yeah.
[00:07:03]Kim: [00:07:03] And can I ask how tall you are and how much you weigh?
[00:07:06] Catherine: [00:07:06] Yeah, I'm 5'7" and this morning I weighed 148. I started at about 155, which is really kind of too much for me. It's just the clothes really don't fit.
[00:07:23] Kim: [00:07:23] Got it. And so is that part of the problem? You don't like the way your clothes fit?
[00:07:27] Catherine: [00:07:27] Yes. 100%.
[00:07:29] Kim: [00:07:29] Got it. And so do you fit in all your clothes and they're just kind of snug, or you're not even fitting in them at all?,
[00:07:38] Catherine: [00:07:38] I'm fitting in them, they feel snug.
[00:07:42] Kim: [00:07:42] Got it. So you're a pretty lean person. At 5'7", 148, you're a pretty lean person. You've lost one and a half pounds a month over the course of not that many months.
[00:07:56] So the first thing I like to look for when somebody says, "I'm not making any progress," I like to see, like, what progress is there? And what are they actually shooting for? So the two things I noticed here from you is that you're looking to get lean. And what does that look like? Tell me, like, what is the end goal look like to you?
[00:08:14] Catherine: [00:08:14] When I felt the best in my clothes, I weighed about 140.
[00:08:18] Kim: [00:08:18] Got it. Outside of the number on the scale, let's just say scales, for this moment in time, they don't exist. If the scale didn't exist, tell me what the end goal would be.
[00:08:29] Catherine: [00:08:29] For me to fit comfortably in my clothes. And I tend to be like a lot of women, I gain weight in my stomach, my mid-section and in my thighs. And so I'm really self conscious about that right now. And I don't see any change or progress there. I guess inches, you know, maybe seeing some physique inches lost.
[00:08:56] Kim: [00:08:56] Okay. And have you been measuring inches as you've been going along?
[00:09:05] Catherine: [00:09:05] I haven't, I haven't. And I was thinking about that this morning that I wished I had, but I put on a pair of shorts the other day and I was like, "Oh, well, they're definitely more loose than they were like a year ago," and, you know, it's hot all the time here, so you have to wear shorts and you have to wear tank tops otherwise you'll die because it's so hot.
[00:09:30] Kim: [00:09:30] And do you not feel comfortable in them right now? Is that what you're saying?
[00:09:35] Catherine: [00:09:35] I don't. Yeah, I don't. I don't feel great.
[00:09:37] Kim: [00:09:37] And that's a part of the end goal. You want to be able to put your clothes on and feel comfortable in them.
[00:09:42] Catherine: [00:09:42] Yes.
[00:09:42] Kim: [00:09:42] Got it. The reason I was asking, specifically, is because when I'm talking to a person who is lean looking to get leaner, one of the things we can really work on getting away from is just that number on the scale. Because I gotta be honest, like you could at this moment still lose body fat and the scale might not move that much. You know, if you've been putting on muscle, you might like the way you look at 147, 146, 143, and so one of the things I would encourage you to do is to-- there's no problem if you continue to weigh yourself, but not really fixate on what that number is saying, focusing more on what are your inches.
[00:10:21] So I would say today, go get a soft measuring tape and measure your chest right across nipple length, measure your waist at the smallest part, measure your waist at your belly button, measure your glutes, like across the widest part of your glutes at your hips, and then one of your thighs and one of your biceps. Unflexed, biggest part of your biceps, legs straight, biggest part of your thigh.
[00:10:45] Write that down and remeasure at least once a month. Every two weeks or once a month. Notice your inches. Work on the fit of your clothes. Pick out a pair of these pants or shorts that you really want to fit into, put them on, and then as you go -- and we'll talk about what we're going to do to help you actually lose this fat -- but as you go, put those back on and see how they're feeling.
[00:11:06] And then the other thing is pictures. Like, really getting good progress-- look at your face! I wish you could see her face. I'm gonna put this as a YouTube. The look on her face when I just said pictures...
[00:11:19] Catherine: [00:11:19] I just hate pictures.
[00:11:21] Kim: [00:11:21] I know.
[00:11:21] And a lot of people do, but especially for somebody who is lean looking to get leaner, it's likely the spot you're going to see the most progress is in visually how different are you? You don't have to show these pictures to anybody, right?
[00:11:34] You have to put them online. I'm not saying that you need an Instagram post about this. I'm saying, take the picture, put on a bathing suit, two-piece, or sports bra and shorts. Front, both sides, back. Do it every month, put them side by side, and look for differences. That's one piece of this is going to be seeing where the progress comes from.
[00:11:52] I think if you focus just on the scale, you're going to remain discouraged.
[00:11:56] Yeah, I don't
[00:11:57] Catherine: [00:11:57] weigh myself that often because of that reason. And I'm always like, you know, let's say, a prayer, let's light a candle, whatever it takes.
[00:12:16] Kim: [00:12:16] But realistically speaking, if you felt really good in your clothes and you could put on your shorts and you were like, "I feel great," and you looked in the mirror and you're like, "I like the way this looks", you wouldn't really care about what the scale said, right?
[00:12:29] Catherine: [00:12:29] 100%. Yeah. You know, I'm not a small person in the sense that I just naturally carry muscle and I have muscular legs and I mean, I know that muscle weighs more, but I think it's frustrating when you work out as much as I'm sure people like me or I'm sure you've talked to people all day long who are just, you know, active people.
[00:13:01] Kim: [00:13:01] Let's talk about that. So there's two things I want to talk about moving forward here. I want to talk about your nutrition and I wanna talk about your exercising.
[00:13:08] Let's talk about this exercising. The volume that you're telling me you exercise is a lot, so how much of that is stuff for work and how much of that is just because you do it?
[00:13:20] Catherine: [00:13:20] So, work is mostly just walking. Like, walking golf courses, or--
[00:13:23] Kim: [00:13:23] And that's why you're getting like 19,000 steps a day.
[00:13:26] Catherine: [00:13:26] Right, right, right.
[00:13:27] And just being on my feet all day long. And I'm just not a sitter, so even with this time where we've been working from home sometimes or whatever, I'll get up in between meetings and do a lap around my neighborhood or around the block or whatever, up and down my driveway.
[00:13:46] And then I used to run a lot. I used to run, run, run, run, run, run, and recently, since the coronavirus, got into where I do a Zoom workout, virtual workout with my friends from all over the country and we work out every morning together. It's great. And some days it's more cardio and some days it's more body weight, cardio type stuff, like burpees, sit-ups, pushups, and today it was arms and core.
[00:14:15] So, lifting weights and then a core exercise. And it's about 45 minutes. And then usually after that, I'll go for a walk or a run and then I'm off kind of off to the races with work and walking golf courses or whatever.
[00:14:32] So I'd say, I do about 45 minutes of that workout and then I always just make sure I get my steps in every day at a minimum.
[00:14:45] And then I am a little fearful of lifting, like heavy, heavy.
[00:14:52] Kim: [00:14:52] Okay. Well, tell me about that. What is it like when you do lift?
[00:14:57] Catherine: [00:14:57] I get bigger. Like, my arms get bigger.
[00:15:02] Kim: [00:15:02] Okay. Tell me, when was the last time you did that kind of lifting and what was it you were doing?
[00:15:10] Catherine: [00:15:10] It was about two or three years ago. You know, just lifting heavy weights at a gym. I have always loved more of the cardio-style workouts, just because it's more of a stress reliever. But I already have broad shoulders and I don't know, I just feel like I get bigger. Like, I don't get smaller.
[00:15:37] Despite what everyone says that, "you'll get leaner if you lift heavy," it just doesn't.
[00:15:43] Kim: [00:15:43] And you're particularly like, "okay, I don't want broader shoulders."
[00:15:47] Catherine: [00:15:47] Right. Like, I have people stop me and they're like, "are you a swimmer?"
[00:15:52] Kim: [00:15:52] Okay. I gotta tell you, I'm looking at your shoulders and you have really nice looking shoulders. I will say that.
[00:15:59] Okay. So, you're working out like 45 minutes a day, every day?
[00:16:05] Catherine: [00:16:05] I mean, I probably won't go back to a gym. I mean, I've turned my garage into a little bit of a gym and so I just use free weights. The heaviest I have is 15 pounds. I have 15s 10s and 7s. And that's pretty much the heaviest that I lift.
[00:16:30] Kim: [00:16:30] Okay. So, your main question you had originally asked me, "could this be stalling my progress that I work out so much?" When you first started talking here at the beginning, it sounded like you were working out hours a day, but it sounds like you're working out 45 minutes a day every day of the week? Seven days?
[00:16:45] Catherine: [00:16:45] Yeah.
[00:16:47] Kim: [00:16:47] You know, I really do believe in rest days. They do help. I don't think it's overtraining. If you were really working out several hours a day, I was thinking like, "Oh, this might actually be a person who is actually overtraining, because you know, what overtraining is, is the idea that your body can not recover from the stress you're putting on it. It doesn't sound like that's where you're at.
[00:17:04] But that said, I will say, I do think it's interesting that you work out every single day, you're not happy with your results, and it seems like you might think that the answer is more working out.
[00:17:14] Catherine: [00:17:14] Yeah. That's just easier for me to think. I'll just go for a run or I'll go for another walk or I'll walk the dog or whatever.
[00:17:27] Kim: [00:17:27] Yeah, yeah. And so, when we spoke the other day, you said you hadn't had a rest day in three weeks.
[00:17:35] Catherine: [00:17:35] Yeah. Yeah, it is. So, for the weekend, I didn't do much. I just kind of walked. Like, made sure I got my steps in and that was it.
[00:17:49] Kim: [00:17:49] So it might surprise you to hear this or you might be like, "yeah, I was expecting you to say that," but my clients all train three or four days a week and take three or four days off a week.
[00:17:59] Catherine: [00:17:59] Oh man, I would go crazy.
[00:18:01] Kim: [00:18:01] Yeah? What would make you go crazy about that?
[00:18:07] Catherine: [00:18:07] I don't know. I look forward to it every day. I guess it's like the one hour or so that I have to myself and now it's a social thing, so I get to see my friends from around the country and I look forward to it. It's a big stress reliever.
[00:18:25] Kim: [00:18:25] Yeah. So look, if a person likes to get movement in and you're really enjoying it, I think that's great. If there's any part of this that might be like fear of what would happen if you didn't do it-- do you feel like any fear of, "if I do not do this, I'm really not going to get results?"
[00:18:43] Catherine: [00:18:43] I don't think so. I mean, I think I used to kind of be in that space, especially when I was heavy into the running. Like, I felt like, "if I don't run today, then I can't eat" or "I can't do this," but I'm kind of moved past that, I think. I do believe that you have to listen to your body and it needs rest. I certainly preach that to my student athletes. I mean, you just sometimes need to do nothing. I mean, it's just a function of being a human being, so I get it. So, no, I just really enjoy it. It's just really good for my brain if I stay active.
[00:19:26] Kim: [00:19:26] Okay. Let's put a pin in this for a minute, we're going to come back to it. Let's talk about your nutrition and then we're going to come back to this.
[00:19:32] Because the real root thing here is you want to figure out like, "why am I not getting results and how can I start getting them?"
[00:19:38] So let's talk about nutrition. Tell me about your nutrition.
[00:19:41] Catherine: [00:19:41] I think it's pretty good. I'm sure everybody tells you that. I'm kind of tired of it, but I do track my calories on in app on my phone and I do the desired bodyweight x12 as my calories. I will say that I'm pretty good with sticking with that.
[00:20:04] I don't really have problems with like overeating, but what I will say is that if I am hungry, you know, if I'm in the pantry and I'm overly hungry, it could be bad with some Cheez-Its and Goldfish and all that, but I'm pretty good. I based most of my meals around protein. Like, I just had eggs and a slice of Canadian bacon for breakfast and I feel like I'm pretty good.
[00:20:36] I do have some liquid calories in the evening. I have fallen into some of these, you know, "don't eat carbs after 3 and never eat pizza and you have to give up alcohol and you have to drink a gallon of water a day," and so I follow all these people on Instagram like you and I do think it would be nice to have a nice balance where you can still eat what you want, kind of. And like, if you want to have a cookie, you can have a cookie. If you want a slice of pizza.
[00:21:13] So, I guess, I think the evenings are the hardest for me. I don't really overeat, but I tend to come home because I'm usually at practice all afternoon. I do pack like a snack ,so I usually try to eat something around three or four o'clock. So that I'm not like a beast when I come home.
[00:21:33] And I cook most of my meals, pack my lunch, and I just feel like I do all the things and I still don't see results.
[00:21:41] Kim: [00:21:41] And that's super frustrating, right? You're really mentally in this, trying it, and you're not seeing the results you want.
[00:21:49] Catherine: [00:21:49] I'm kind of tired of trying. Like, I'm kind of tired of trying and tracking and measuring out Veggie Straws and Cheez-Its, or whatever, if I want to eat those things.
[00:21:59] Kim: [00:21:59] Yeah. So let me ask you this, before April, when you started, you've lost 7 to 10 pounds since April. Which, by the way, that's not terrible progress.
[00:22:08] It's a little slower than what I would shoot for. So, when I'm working with clients, I'm looking for at least two pounds per month on average or a big loss in inches and pictures. And so we might -- like I said, I don't have inches and pictures on you -- 7 to 10 pounds plus who knows what you've lost, it could be really good progress. It's certainly not terrible progress.
[00:22:27] So that's the one thing I would say is that in your head, you might be saying, "I'm not seeing progress" when you are. Because like I said, that's not super slow time on the scale. In your mind, what would have been a good amount of weight to lose in that time?
[00:22:42] What would be a good amount of weight to lose in six months?
[00:22:47]Catherine: [00:22:47] You know, I would have liked to have been at my goal weight by now, but I really didn't set out-- I think because of the virus and all that, and there were some other things happening that were kind of difficult at the time that I didn't really say like, "Oh, I want to lose X amount of weight in this amount of time," but I just kind of said, "I'm going to clean some things up and try to stick to this calorie range and see how it goes."
[00:23:13] And so there were obviously good days and bad days in there. There were days where I probably went way over calories, but it kind of works, so that's encouraging. And I think because when you see progress that makes you want to keep going, right?
[00:23:35] Kim: [00:23:35] Absolutely. And so 7 to 10 pounds and it sounds like, with the numbers you just gave me, it's looking like if you wanted to hit your goal weight, you were looking for more like 15 to 20 pounds in that time period, which is definitely on it's on the high side. It's a little unrealistic. Like, 12 pounds in that time would have been totally realistic.
[00:23:57] So a piece of this is getting realistic expectation. 20 pounds in six months is a lot. It's a lot. And so having realistic expectations is one piece of this and knowing that, "okay, I have lost 7 pounds, I've lost 10 pounds. That's a lot of weight. Something I'm doing is working."
[00:24:14] So something you're doing is working.
[00:24:17] The things that stick out to me that are places for you to look at to dial this in, and here's the other question I would ask you, I'm hearing a couple of things from you -- one, I'm hearing, like, "I really want to get to this goal weight," two, I'm hearing, "I'm friggin' tired of counting out my Veggie Straws. I don't really want to do that anymore." Right?
[00:24:36] Catherine: [00:24:36] Well, honestly, I feel like I've been one of those people that's been on a diet or something most of my life, you know? Which is painful to admit.
[00:24:47] Kim: [00:24:47] Hey, a lot of us have been there. I was there for a really long time. That's probably more people than it's not.
[00:24:56] So, we're talking 8 pounds right now, right? So, let me ask you this: quality of life-wise, is it important enough for you to do things like clean up the number of drinks you have at night and not keep counting Veggie Straws for the next good couple of months and continuing to count calories?
[00:25:17] Is that something that you're like, "that's what I want to do for 8 pounds?" Or are you kind of like, "that sounds terrible. I don't want to do that?"
[00:25:26] And there's no right answer here.
[00:25:27] Catherine: [00:25:27] Yeah. I mean, I would actually just like it to all magically just fall off. I'd love to just wake up one morning and be like, "oh look at that!".
[00:25:35] Kim: [00:25:35] I did not give that choice, see.
[00:25:40] Catherine: [00:25:40] You know, I can do it. I can make some commitments and clean up things, for sure.
[00:25:48] Kim: [00:25:48] But that's not the question. Not "can you do it," I 100% believe you can do it.
[00:25:53] Catherine: [00:25:53] No, I do. I want to.
[00:25:54] Kim: [00:25:54] The question is is it worth it to you. And there's not a right answer because frankly, when it comes to the last 5 to 10 pounds, it can be a really big difference in our quality of life for not that much difference.
[00:26:06] So let me ask, let's say you do it. Let's say you do it. And some number of months from now, you have hit 140 pounds. How is your life different?
[00:26:15] Catherine: [00:26:15] Well, honestly, I would really like to be, be able to put on my clothes and it not feel like a battle. That's what I feel like right now.
[00:26:23] And frankly, it makes me anxious. And there's not a lot of opportunity right now, but I mean like social occasions, going out on a Friday night, going out to dinner, doing whatever with friends, and then I'm like, "I don't have anything to wear. I'm going to wear, you know, running shorts 'cause that's what fits and yoga pants."
[00:26:45] And then I look back and I'm in that kind of spiral, I'm like, "well, I just work out so much. Why don't my jeans fit? So yes, it is worth it to me.
[00:27:00] Kim: [00:27:00] So I'm going to answer that question first, and then I want to come back to this discussion of what do you want to do?
[00:27:04] It's your nutrition. It's not your workouts.
[00:27:10] That's what this is. And we can find the clues to that in things like, hey, you have been losing weight. It's a little bit of a slower progress, but it's not bad progress. But then you're like, "you know, I am eating the Cheez-Its and I do have the drinks," and that's all it is. It's those things, and cleaning those things up, it's going to get you the progress.
[00:27:28] This isn't a mystery. That's your answer. It's your nutrition.
[00:27:32] And I know, and you're like rolling your eyes and I'm like, I roll my eyes too, it's frigging annoying. I don't want to eat less.
[00:27:39] Catherine: [00:27:39] I just want to know why it's like exercise means so little when it comes to weight loss.
[00:27:44] Kim: [00:27:44] Well, if you think about it, how many calories is in a pretty big serving of Cheez-Its? Do you know how many calories? Because I don't know.
[00:27:58] Catherine: [00:27:58] I mean, I keep that stuff around for my kids, but I mean, yes, I will say since following your feed, I, I have cut back on the mindless snacking a little bit, but I think it's like 27 Cheez-Its are 150 calories or something like that.
[00:28:17] Kim: [00:28:17] I just looked it up 24 Cheez-Its is 257 calories.
[00:28:22] I mean, I don't like Cheez-Its, but if it was something I like, you know how many 24 pieces I could eat in a short amount of time? We're talking a handful of Cheez-Its is 257 calories.
[00:28:37] You do two handfuls of Cheez-Its, like, we're at 500 calories, you know? And it's those little things, like, you might feel like you're on point all day long and then a couple of handfuls of Cheez-It's in and there's your calorie deficit or it's taking up enough of it. And that's really frustrating. It's really frustrating.
[00:28:55] Catherine: [00:28:55] Really frustrating.
[00:28:56] And that stuff is so easy to eat when you're hungry or like while I'm cooking dinner or whatever, it's just really easy to grab.
[00:29:07] Kim: [00:29:07] So, if you think about that, when your question was like, "well, why is exercise not the key, then?" When you think about that, how long would it take you to eat 24 Cheez-Its?
[00:29:18] Catherine: [00:29:18] Five seconds.
[00:29:20] Kim: [00:29:20] Right? You don't burn 257 calories in five seconds when you exercise, right? We can't really-- all the numbers, like Apple watches and stuff, they're way inflated, but I'm going to guess, like, even in an hour of your workout, you MIGHT have burned off enough for one of the handfuls of Cheez-Its. Maybe.
[00:29:39] Catherine: [00:29:39] Yeah. Probably no even, yeah.
[00:29:42] Kim: [00:29:42] Right? And there in lies the answer. We cannot control our calories in-calories, out through exercise. We can't. We have to focus on the nutrition piece, which is annoying.
[00:29:53] Catherine: [00:29:53] And I'm not even-- people always tell me, they're like, "gosh, you're so good. Like, you eat so well."
[00:30:04] Kim: [00:30:04] I know. I know. And that's why, again -- and we're going to go back to it -- like, is it really worth it to lose this weight? And I have a couple of options for you, okay? And we're gonna talk about this in a bit, but just really to drive home this point of like, "why can we not out exercise our diet?"
[00:30:17] Cheez-Its: 24 are 257 calories. That's why.
[00:30:21] Like, I decided I wanted some Oreos this morning. I ate Oreos this morning, by the way, and when I checked it out, it was a couple of hundred-- it was ridiculous, guys -- but I made a conscious decision to eat 5 Oreos before I ate breakfast. I think it was 350 calories.
[00:30:36] 350 calories.
[00:30:38] I enjoyed those Oreos. I enjoyed every last bite of those Oreos. But if I was not paying attention, if I wasn't a person who cared about it, like, that would have been out of my memory so fast, right? And I'm 350 calories into my day.
[00:30:51] Catherine: [00:30:51] Yeah. Crazy.
[00:30:52] Kim: [00:30:52] So that's why we can't focus on, "I am burning calories through exercise."
[00:30:57] Here's what exercise is good for: the strengths training piece is good to build muscle, which is going to change the shape of our body and it's just healthy for us to have on our body, right? As we age, we're gonna need that muscle. Our body starts losing muscle at age 30, so it's good for that.
[00:31:14] It's good for the cardiovascular benefits. It's good for the brain benefits. It's good for our mood. It's healthy for us to exercise. We do need to do it.
[00:31:25] It is not the key to losing fat.
[00:31:29] So to answer your question, that's why the exercise just doesn't matter when it comes to the weight loss nearly as much as the amount of calories we put into our body.
[00:31:41] So there's that. Then, let's go back to this discussion of, "do you really want to take this trip of, 'I want to lose eight pounds?'" Here's my question as far as the clothes for you and you might be like, "shut up, Kim, I'm not going to do that." And it's totally fine. Why not buy clothes that fit your body as it is now?
[00:31:58] Catherine: [00:31:58] Oh, I mean, I have those going on too. I do. I mean, I have a range in there. So yeah, I guess I just feel bigger at this weight and I would like to feel smaller.
[00:32:19] Kim: [00:32:19] Okay. And that's the thing, what it comes down to is-- I was just talking to a client about this the other day.
[00:32:26] She's lost a ton of weight in the past year, she looks fantastic, and she's at the point where she just wants to lose these last couple of pounds. And we talk about, is it worth it for her? And she's decided it is. And she's had a big upheaval in her life, moving and all of the stuff, and has kind of gotten back into some old habits and she's working to get back out of them.
[00:32:46] And I said to her, "here are your choices: 1) we adjust your goal, or 2) to we adjust your actions." Because she feels really crappy. I'm like, if you don't want to keep feeling really out of sync, one of those things has to be adjusted because when you keep your goal at X, but your actions say Y, there's this discord in your brain.
[00:33:09] Like, "I'm doing this, but I want this," and they don't match up. And so one of those things has to change. So either you change your goal and you say, "you know what? I'm going to be happy with how I am right now. And I'm going to eat to be healthy, and I'm going to eat to maintain this weight and that's going to give me more wiggle room. And then my actions are fine." Like, if you're maintaining your weight right now, those actions match up with that.
[00:33:30] Or, if you want to keep the goal of, "I want to lose more weight, I do want to lose a size or two. I want to fit back in these clothes," we have to help you change your actions. Otherwise you're going to remain in this frustrated state.
[00:33:42] Catherine: [00:33:42] Yeah. It's like a washing machine. It's just the same thing every day.
[00:33:47] Kim: [00:33:47] Yeah. So one of those two things needs to change or you're going to remain frustrated. Either the goal changes or the actions change.
[00:33:54] Catherine: [00:33:54] I think the actions have to change.
[00:33:55] I mean, and I'm okay with that. Like, I am. I'm very committed and I just really want to feel good in my clothes. I think it's just important. It's a great feeling to be able to walk into your closet and put on anything and know that you look great and feel great in it.
[00:34:13] Kim: [00:34:13] So my advice to you then, is it seems like the calories you had set are working for you. It seems that your adherence to your calories is a little bit off, right?
[00:34:23] Catherine: [00:34:23] Yeah, I think I calculated like 1670 or something, or 1640. And I'm probably realistically eating about 1800, which keeps me in at maintenance every day.
[00:34:38] But the other thing is I am hungry at the 1640 or 1670, whatever it is. I seem to be hungry. And I've done things like the protein powder and basing all my meals around protein. I've done all of that. And I drink an astronomical amount of water because in Florida, you're just dehydrated 100% of the time.
[00:35:04] Kim: [00:35:04] I bet.
[00:35:05] All right, so you're 148ish right now, right? And you've been doing around 1640 calories. That seems like a pretty good number. I would even say 1640 to 1740. My guess is if you really hit that target well, andyou could even hit on that upper end, up to 1740, that you're going to see really good results.
[00:35:27] The key is: if you're going over with the alcohol and the snacking, and those kinds of things, you're going to struggle. And here's what I would suggest you do: let's have you go seven days hitting that target really precisely and see how you feel. Like, really precisely. Count every Cheez-It -- or don't eat them.
[00:35:49] If you're going to have alcohol, be really clear about how much it is and log it in there. We're not saying you need to cut these things out, but be very precise and measure and let's actually go two weeks and see what happens and then see if we need to adjust them.
[00:36:05] My bet is you could even eat a little bit more. I think you're just not hitting those calories. And so you're hungry, but it sounds like maybe you go long stretches in the day without eating, right?
[00:36:20] Catherine: [00:36:20] Yeah, I do. I don't get up and have breakfast right away because I work out usually right away, when I wake up. I get my son going and then I do my workout and then I eat breakfast usually mid-morning and then lunch. And then I usually plan a snack for like later afternoon and then I have dinner and I drink a lot of water in there.
[00:36:46] But like, is it true? Like, if I ate 1700 calories of Cheez-Its all day long, like, that's okay? I mean, not that that's okay. I'm just saying--
[00:36:56] Kim: [00:36:56] Could you lose fat, is what you're saying.
[00:36:58] Yes. In that sense, yes, it's okay. It's a terrible plan.
[00:37:03] Catherine: [00:37:03] I'm really not that committed to the Cheez-Its, I'm just using it as an example.
[00:37:07] Kim: [00:37:07] I know, I know. She's not really the woman who eats cheese it's all day long, guys.
[00:37:13] So yes, here's the thing: technically yes. I mean, there have been people who've done this. There's the professor who did the Twinkie Diet, and he ate Twinkies and other gas station-type food and lost, I think it was like 20 pounds in some short period of time.
[00:37:26] My coach Jordan Syatt did this last year, he did the Big Mac Challenge and he lost, I think it was like eight pounds and he ate a Big Mac every day. A Big Mac is 500 calories. He ate one every single day. So yes, you can have whatever you want, the trick is we have to make it so you actually hit those calories, including these items, which people struggle with, right?
[00:37:45] They think they can get these things in, but then they're hungry later, right? Because they don't know how to volume eat. And so we really want to make sure that you're eating enough food to do that. Really prioritizing the nutrient-dense foods, things like fruits and vegetables and lean protein is really going to help.
[00:38:01] So you get a lot of volume. And the other thing that can really help with that is eating plenty of protein. How much protein did you say you're getting?
[00:38:12] Catherine: [00:38:12] I don't think I'm hitting my body weight, but I'm pretty high. Yesterday I had 98 grams of protein.
[00:38:34] Kim: [00:38:34] Okay. Look, that's not shabby. It's a little on the low side. I would have you say like 120 should be like the minimum, right around 120. Between120 and 148 would be great. It really does help you keep full.
[00:38:49] The other things, so volume eating, that's things like lots of leafy greens, things like watermelon, strawberries, those kinds of things. Shrimp, popcorn, things you can eat in big quantities can really help with being full. Protein is the number one thing that can help you stay full.
[00:39:09] And then the other thing is having some fat in your diet. I know a lot of people shy away from that because it has a lot of kids calories, but it does help the sense of fullness to linger. And so if you have some avocado on your salad -- that is something I would weigh because wow, a whole avocado can be a lot of calories compared to a quarter of an avocado -- but things like avocado, some peanut butter, some olive oil, having some of those things in there can help that feeling of fullness to stay with you.
[00:39:37] So, you know, I used to be a big proponent of 0% fat yogurt and what I realized is when I eat 2% yogurt, I stay fuller way longer.
[00:39:46] Catherine: [00:39:46] Yeah, yeah. For sure.
[00:39:48] Kim: [00:39:48] So getting a little fat in your diet, including those calories, can also help you to not feel so dang hungry.
[00:39:54] Catherine: [00:39:54] Yeah.
[00:39:55] Kim: [00:39:55] Have we covered what you think is your biggest sticking point as far as the hunger and the snacking, or is there something else that you feel like is a big trip up for you?
[00:40:06] Is there anything else you're like, "here's where I struggle with actually being adherent to my plan?"
[00:40:15]Catherine: [00:40:15] Yeah, I think it's the liquid calories that would probably be the biggest thing.
[00:40:19] Kim: [00:40:19] Okay. Tell me about that.
[00:40:21] Catherine: [00:40:21] I just feel like, you know, it's sort of ceremonious in the evening to come home and have a glass of wine, or it's just nice.
[00:40:28] I like to do that while I cook. We eat at home 95% of the time, so I just look forward to it. I don't have to have it, but you know, you have one and then you have two and then you're on your third...
[00:40:50] Kim: [00:40:50] And is that typically what happens?
[00:40:54] Catherine: [00:40:54] Yeah.
[00:40:55] Kim: [00:40:55] So what options do you see there? So we want you to stay in this calorie target, what are a couple of options?
[00:41:00] Catherine: [00:41:00] I think that just cutting it, maybe starting to cut it in half, or just being settled on the one and then maybe going to like a sparkling water or whatever. I've done that before. I did that at the beginning of this kind of whole journey back in April.
[00:41:24] So, you know, it's just a habit. It's just a habit. Like, I start to cook and I'm like, "Oh, let's, you know..."
[00:41:33] Kim: [00:41:33] So, I like what you just said, I think that's a really great plan, is to cut it back, to reduce it and have a cap of one and then everything else is sparkling water. I think that's a really smart plan.
[00:41:45] I think we do need to talk here a little bit about the psychological piece, because one of the things you said is, "I look forward to it." So what does it offer you? Like, what is that feeling you're after?
[00:42:01] Catherine: [00:42:01] Relaxation. Like, unwinding. You know, "we made it through the day."
[00:42:08] Kim: [00:42:08] It's like a ritual for you to help you unwind. It's like this thing of like, "here I am, I'm home. I made it."
[00:42:17] Catherine: [00:42:17] Yeah. I'm with my family. We're all together. I mean, it's not like a heavy drinking-type thing or anything like that. It's not a problem, but then I've also had other trainers and nutritionists be like, "you have to give it up completely."
[00:42:40] And that sort of is like, "Whoa," you know? I don't know that I want to do that. I mean, 'cause I want to live my life too, but I think just, you know, having the one and done needs to be the change.
[00:42:58] Kim: [00:42:58] I think that's a great plan. I would also say I would encourage you to have a little project going on here to see if you can come up with something else in addition to that alcoholic beverage that helps give you the same feeling. Because when we do these kind of like -- this is like emotional drinking, emotional eating, I talked to a lot of people about this, right? What we're actually looking for, we're looking to create some different feeling inside ourself, right?
[00:43:23] We're home from work and we want the sense of like, "I'm relaxing into my day," right? And for you right now, the thing that helps you with that is this glass of wine. And while you're cooking it's this kind of like, "this is what I do."
[00:43:34] And so looking for other things -- and it could be a million things -- it could be like, I go out on the back porch and I put my legs up and I listen to music. There's so many rituals you could put into your life that can eventually kind of replace that role of the alcohol -- if it's something, if you're like, "you know what? I struggle to just stay with one."
[00:43:54] Like, we're going to go with this plan of, "it's just going to be one," but at the same time as you're doing that start exploring, like brainstorming, what are some other options of rituals I could have? You know, some people it's coming home and they take a walk with the dog. Some people it's coming home and they lay on the sofa and talk to their kids.
[00:44:11] It could be all kinds of different things, but start brainstorming what else could you do that would give you this like self-soothing moment of, "I am home. This signals, the night is starting," that's not the alcohol.
[00:44:21] How does that feel? Can you do that?
[00:44:24] Catherine: [00:44:24] I can do that. I mean, actually, back in April, I used to drink cheap white wine and I gave that up. I gave it up completely. Like, shut it down. And then I just moved on to having one of those little spiked seltzers or whatever. So that's pretty much what I have. So I mean, that's a significant change, I think.
[00:44:51] And so I'm really not even on the having wine anymore, it's just like one of those little seltzers or whatever. They're really easy to have a couple of those, too. So yeah, I mean, I think just doing one and one, like one spiked, one not, and then just kind of moving on with the evening, getting in the shower, you know, starting to read my book or whatever.
[00:45:16] Kim: [00:45:16] Yeah.
[00:45:17] Catherine: [00:45:17] So yeah, I mean, we're all a function of our own habits and how we move through the day. I totally get that. And it's just, I think it's like a 10% shift for me right now, really.
[00:45:31] Kim: [00:45:31] I think that's a pretty big shift you've made. And I think your plan to just cut it at one is a fabulous plan.
[00:45:38] Because what we really need to do is we need to get your calories to be, in reality, what they are on paper. Because what they are on paper is a good number for you to lose weight on and it seems really a sustainable number. So we just need to get you there. And if this is where the spot you feel like one led to two, two led to three, that's a couple hundred calories right there, there's your deficit, right?That's the other couple of pounds you could have lost.
[00:46:01] Catherine: [00:46:01] So the working out just really has so little bearing on that?
[00:46:16] Kim: [00:46:16] Look, there's a lot you can do with workouts to optimize them.
[00:46:19] Working out can change the shape of a person's body. It's a little trickier. Right now I do think the big dial-mover for you is going to be the nutrition. Like, getting that in order. We can have another conversation about how effective your workouts are. Rest days make our workouts more effective.
[00:46:34] Our body actually, when it does its magic of, you know, I'm gonna use the air quotes, "toning" our muscles, right? That look, you're looking for that lean, toned, defined look, that's actually going to happen when you're resting. It doesn't happen when you're hammering your body into the ground.
[00:46:50] Then there's the other hurdle for you, which is you really struggle to lift with intensity because you're worried about getting bulky. These are all things that helping you to lift in a way that's going to be more effective can help change the shape of your body. It doesn't mean your shoulders need to get broader. And look, you could still have a day-of workout that's like a workout, but maybe it's an active recovery workout, right?
[00:47:20] Sso we're doing a stretching workout with your friends, that kind of thing. So you're still moving your body, but it's not lifting, it's not high-intensity interval training, it's a recovery day. That kind of a thing.
[00:47:32] Walking every day is good, but you should have at least one rest day a week. I would prefer two, but at least one to really optimize your workouts. Doing things like squats and deadlifts -- doesn't have to be with a barbell -- but with heavy enough weights that when you're doing them and you get to the end of the rep range, you've pushed yourself.
[00:47:55] So if you were supposed to do eight reps of a goblet squat, you get to rep eight, you couldn't do rep 10, right? And doing that, you're going to see changes in your body that you will like. And not going to necessarily be like you go from where you are now to your're the incredible Hulk.
[00:48:10] You will see changes slowly. And if you're really worried about your shoulders, don't spend a whole lot of time doing overhead pressing and lateral raises and those things. But that doesn't mean you can't do rows. It doesn't mean you can't do some squats and lunges and deadlifts and glute bridges and work on those muscles.
[00:48:29] That can have a really big impact and yeah, there's definitely room to optimize your workouts. For sure.
[00:48:35] And I would say a good place to start might be giving yourself a rest day a week. Even if it's an active recovery day,
[00:48:42] Catherine: [00:48:42] I can do that.
[00:48:43] Kim: [00:48:43] But, you know, really switching out of the mindset that the workout is the key to getting the results is a big deal here.
[00:48:50] Catherine: [00:48:50] Yeah, it totally is. 100%,
[00:48:54] I saw something -- I don't know if you posted it or someone else posted -- but like, a person that is bedridden can lose weight if they're in a calorie deficit.
[00:49:01] Kim: [00:49:01] That wasn't me, but that's totally true.
[00:49:09] Okay. So here's the plan, then. You're going to work on taking one active recovery day. You're going to work on hitting your calorie target of 1640 to 1740, keeping that protein up at a minimum of 120. One alcoholic beverage in the evening, everything thereafter is some form of beverage that has zero calorie. And you're going to start brainstorming other rituals you can have to relax yourself, signal that it's the start of family time.
[00:49:43] That's a big, long list there.
[00:49:45] Catherine: [00:49:45] I can definitely do it.
[00:49:48] Kim: [00:49:48] And then let's check back in in a month and see how you're doing.
[00:49:53] Catherine: [00:49:53] Approved. I like it.
[00:49:54] Kim: [00:49:54] All right! It was so good talking to you. Gosh, we've been chatting in DMs for a long time now, back and forth, back and forth.
[00:50:01]Catherine: [00:50:01] I know. I could talk all day about this kind of stuff.
[00:50:04] I mean, it's amazing that you get to do it as your job.
[00:50:06] Kim: [00:50:06] I do. I talk about this literally all day. I've been up since six and I've either been writing about this stuff or I've been talking about it.
[00:50:13] Catherine: [00:50:13] Yeah, you're probably like, "it's calorie deficit! It's calorie deficit!"
[00:50:17] Kim: [00:50:17] Here's the interesting thing about that: though it's true, like when I'm talking fat loss, that is what it is, there's all of these things that lead to that, right? For some people it's the emotional eating and for some people it's the, like, "why can't it be my exercise?"
[00:50:30] Catherine: [00:50:30] I had someone suggest to me recently, they're like, "maybe you workout too much and it's causing stress on your body, which means you're, you're holding on to cortisol or your metabolism has slowed down," and I was like, "what??"
[00:50:45] Kim: [00:50:45] So, the holding on to cortisol thing -- exercise is a stress, it absolutely is. It is a stress on our body, even though it can be the good kind of stress, if we do too much of it, sure, it can have a spike in cortisol and cortisol can cause us to hold onto water. That's going to be in the short-term. You're not going to literally be stopped from losing weight permanently because of the amount of exercise.
[00:51:05] The other thing is, as you described your exercise, you're not in the gym lifting, you're not doing two-a-days for two hours and lifting heavy, like that intensity. And when you first started talking, I'm like, "maybe that's what she's about to tell me she does."
[00:51:18] Catherine: [00:51:18] I think I'm highly active. I guess I'm sort of misrepresented that. I think I'm very active, meaning I don't sit behind a desk all day.
[00:51:27]Kim: [00:51:27] Right, and you are. Which is a good thing. It's a good thing when it comes to weight loss. That can be really useful. And we might find that you can even eat more calories than this because of your activity level.
[00:51:41] You might be able to lose weight on 1800 calories or 1900 calories. Frankly, I think you probably could, and that would help with the hunger.
[00:51:49] Catherine: [00:51:49] I'm not very nice when I'm hungry, but I'll try it,
[00:51:58] Kim: [00:51:58] You are a very active person. So, you know, I would say even staying close to that upper end, that 1740, would be a good thing. And being really consistent with it.
[00:52:10] Catherine: [00:52:10] Yeah. That's been, the struggle. The consistency. So, I mean, I'm good for like three or four days, maybe five days and then, I mean, I don't ever go off the rails, but I think I need to be consistent for, you know, two to three weeks, for sure.
[00:52:26] Kim: [00:52:26] Yeah. And let's take some progress pictures, do some measurements, try some pants on, because the scale is not going to be the, be all end all here. I'm going to message you later tonight and ask you if you took pictures.
[00:52:42] Catherine: [00:52:42] I'll do it tomorrow morning,
[00:52:44] Kim: [00:52:44] Tomorrow morning. Okay. And then DM me and tell me you took them.
[00:52:47] You don't have to send me the pictures, just tell me you took them.
[00:52:49] Catherine: [00:52:49] Okay, I will. For sure.
[00:52:52] Kim: [00:52:52] Realistically speaking, it's going to take a good month for you to see some results here, so let's stick with this for a month, okay?
[00:52:58] Catherine: [00:52:58] I like it. It's the 1st of October. Let's do it.
[00:53:01] Kim: [00:53:01] 1st of November. Okay.
[00:53:03]Catherine: [00:53:03] Yeah!
[00:53:04] Kim: [00:53:04] All right, it was good talking to you!
[00:53:13] Thanks so much for being here and listening in to the Fitness Simplified podcast today. I hope you found it educational, motivational, inspirational, all the kinds of -ational.
[00:53:24] If you enjoyed it, if you found value in it, it would mean so much to me if you would go ahead and leave a rating and review on whatever platform you are listening to this on. It really does help to get this podcast to other people.
[00:53:39] 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.