NutritionPersonal HealthWeight Loss

Why Am I or Other People Fat?

Over the past couple of years, I have had many discussions around being fat – or – weight, health, nutrition, diets, and exercise. The conversations have been with people in or not in relationships, people with or without children, doctors, lawyers, tech workers, baristas, real estate agents, mortgage advisors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and estheticians ranging in age from early twenties to mid sixties.

The Fat Amongst Us

In every conversation with people that are obese, they know they are obese. They know they have to do something to change. Conversations with people who are not visually obese tend to end up becoming conversations about people who are visually obese. If the conversation is about another person, the healthy person doesn’t understand why the fat person is obese.

My Thoughts on Weight Loss Programs

I am very skeptical of weight loss programs because I know way too many people – myself included – that “complete” them successfully only to eventually undo all the weight loss. I also believe that weight gain is more than eating better.

Recently, I have watched various episodes of My 600-lb Life. I watch to understand what is going on with the people in the episodes. I want to know how and why they became who they are and subsequently what they do to change. Dr. Nowzaradan is awesome. He provides clients with tools to lose weight and recognizes the importance of mental health when people indicate stressors/contributors to bad eating habits. Most importantly – he calls out clients and family members who contribute to the slow or failed progress of a client.

Take Aways

Weight loss programs, while not for me, might be good for you. If you choose to invest in something to help you lose weight – follow it and learn from it.

Don’t just…

  • count points
  • cut carbs
  • eat less

Do…

  • become educated on nutrition
  • be proactive in your food choices
  • take time for you

Perhaps your food choices aren’t really all that bad. Maybe you have work or personal stress. Perhaps the person buying and cooking the food is continually making poor choices. Maybe there’s something else going on. There are lots of health and wellness professionals such as chiropractors, massage therapists, psychologists, nutritionists, or fitness trainers, that can help you figure it out. Pick one and start.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

Read more
Personal HealthTraining

Bracing and Breathing to Avoid Squirting

Watching many people lifting around the gym, I wonder how much time they spend thinking about and practicing the core elements – bracing and breathing – of any exercise. I watch faces go deep red/purple because people do not breathe through an entire rep and I see hips and shoulders shift when leg exercises go from downward to upward motions.

Without proper bracing and breathing, you can hurt yourself at the gym – especially as you increase weights. For example, you could:

Poor Bracing and Breathing

As I’ve been building strength in deadlifts and back squats and, as the weights increased, my body would shift and I would lift my hips first instead of having a full body upward movement. This resulted in two problems – lower back ache and collar bone discomfort. When the shifting was identified, I paid more attention to what my body was doing when it occurred. Typically my breathing was off – I would exhale at the wrong time – which would affect my bracing, making me shift.

How I’ve Been Fixing It

Instead of simply pushing through the discomfort, I have taken the past few months – yes months – to work on improving things. I started with basic adjustments – reducing weights or shifting to body weight equivalents for example. Something else I decided to do was increase my core exercises, do more total body workouts, and increase my cardio. I workout 5-6 days a week and 4-5 of those days have included several core-focused exercises. For the cardio aspect, I have stuck with the treadmill and the Fitbit Coach app. 5 days a week, I do 1 or 2 treadmill workouts that have me varying speed and incline. What I love about the Fitbit Coach, is that there is music in the background (based on my settings) and a person coaching me as I walk. This coach has me checking my form and breathing in every workout. This has helped increase my cardiovascular health, while tightening my core and making me aware of how my body moves.

The Results

My isolated weight exercises, while seated or standing, with dumbbells or the barbell have increased. I can either do more reps comfortably at a faster pace (should I chose endurance) or I can lift heavier weights with proper form. I am more quickly aware of when my form is off, so I can pause and reset my core and breath before attempting the next rep.

The best result? I am more comfortable with the weights and I am getting leaner at a nice, steady pace.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

Read more
NewsNutritionTraining

Certified Personal Trainers Do More Than Lift

At least the good ones do…

At a weekly meeting last week, I was asked to share with the group something about what I do that people might not know.

Certifications

I stated how I am CPR AED certified; that I can stretch body parts and break knots; that I know what a calorie is and the importance of macros in a diet; and that I can work with anyone – from children to the elderly in pretty much any physical condition.

This surprised everyone in the room. They viewed me as someone that simply shows a person how to work with weights and move around a gym. I would like to say that I am surprised, but I am not. There are many perceptions about personal trainers because of how they behave in the gym setting – from spending more time on their cell phones that focusing on their clients, to how they execute a personal work out.

Lots to Learn

Studying to become a personal trainer didn’t occur overnight. This was a career change for me. This is something that I wanted to pursue and execute well. I studied for over 2 months and became certified through the National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF). It is now up to me to maintain my certification. How do I maintain/recertify? For starters, I have to retake the CPR AED course every two years. I also have to earn educational credits. This is where I get to have fun – but it isn’t cheap. There are so many options out there and it is up to me to determine my own path.

Similar to my workouts, I love variety. I want to help a variety of people so that I don’t feel like I am doing the same thing day in and day out. Because I love sports, I am currently studying to become a strength coach. I have completed TRX and Bulgarian Bag courses and am certified with Axius Core which has provided me with a good mix of mediums to train with. Next month, I am completing the Pre/Postnatal Specialty Certificate to become a Pronatal Certified Trainer.

If you are looking for help getting moving, feeling stronger, losing weight, or becoming more flexible, I am here for you whenever you are ready.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

Read more
FoodNutritionPersonal HealthWeight Loss

Eating Healthy on a Budget

People have told me they cannot eat healthy on a budget. These same people think nothing of spending $13-20 for one fast food meal and get take out 2-4 times a week. This post takes portions of my grocery bill and splits it across the cost per meal.

Before the Store

This past week, we decided our meat-based proteins for the week would be chicken, turkey, and pork. Because we are two people wanting a variety in food instead of mass cooking the exact same thing for every meal, we go to the local grocery store. We also don’t have a deep freeze, so only purchase enough for the active week. If you are extremely budget concerned, look for deals in store and online. I would also recommend going to stores that sell in bulk, such as Costco if you are feeding four or more people.

For two people, we spent $28.70 to get: 2 small pork tenderloins (on sale for $6.55 total); 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts ($10.17); and 2 pounds of 99% lean ground turkey ($11.98). From a produce perspective, we bought one large can of diced tomatoes ($2.99), one package of mushrooms ($2.99), one large box of spinach ($3.99), a large bunch of asparagus ($5.79), and 2 broccoli crowns ($0.98). Other items we keep in the pantry include white rice ($3.99) and cans of veggies which we buy for as little as $0.69 per can.

Healthy Meal Planning

Sound familiar? It should. If you do not plan for meals, you are planning to fail yourself.

The three common meals I make are: chicken breast with a vegetable; ground turkey with veggies mixed in; and a breakfast base of scrambled egg whites. Here is a snapshot of my breakfast and lunch today:

Breakfast

Food Item Cost Purchase Quantity Meal Portion Meal Macronutrients and Calories Cost per Portion
Egg whites $4.99 32 ounces 6 ounces 19g protein
1g carbs
0g fat
88 calories
$0.63 (1 cup uncooked is ~6 ounces cooked)
Asparagus $5.79 1.5 pounds 1 ounce 1g protein
1g carbs
0g fat
6 calories
$0.24
Mushrooms $2.99 8 ounces 2 ounces 2g protein
2g carbs
0g fat
12 calories
$0.75
Ezekiel bread $4.49 20 slices 1 slice 4g protein
14g carbs
1g fat
80 calories
$0.23
Total calories: 186 Total cost: $1.85

Lunch

Food Item Cost Purchase Quantity Meal Portion Meal Macronutrients and Calories Cost per Portion
Boneless skinless chicken breasts $10.17 3 pounds 3 ounces 26g protein
0g carbs
3g fat
140 calories1 ounce is 47 calories
$0.63
Broccoli $0.98 1 pound 2.5 ounces 2g protein
5g carbs
0g fat
25 calories
$0.25
Long grain white rice $3.99 2 pounds 1/2 cup 2g protein
22g carbs
0g fat
103 calories
$0.28 (2.5 dry cups created 8 cooked half cup portions)
Total calories: 268 Total cost: $1.16

For dinner, I had the ground turkey mixed with diced tomatoes, spinach, half an avocado, and half a cup of black beans. This came to 308 calories (31g protein, 31g carbs, 8g fat) and $2.70.

My total meal spend today was $5.71 and 762 calories. While this is slightly on the low side, I have protein shakes around my workouts and this leaves me room for snacks, such as carrots or a banana. I also do meal prep for my husband who consumes almost double my portions. For him it is ~1500 calories and an $11.50 day. Total cost to feed the 2 of us is a little over $17 per day. Rounding up to $22 a day for coffee and the odd other item, this is a $110 work week for 2 adults. One person could spend this much on fast food in 5 days across 4-15 meals and consume 1310 calories in one meal alone.

Reasons or Excuses

  • Is it because you don’t plan when you go shopping? – write a list
  • Is it because you don’t measure portions when serving food? – buy measuring utensils and a scale
  • Is it because work keeps you busy? – make time…put time into your calendar if necessary
  • Is it because you have kids, who keep you busy? – make food time bonding time and pull the kids into the food prep and educate them on healthy eating choices

If you have kids, be the adult and shape the diet for the house. Don’t tell me that your kids will not eat (by choice not allergy) certain foods. If you need help with different flavors, find options such as Flavor God to mix things up.

Keli Hay is a certified personal trainer using her weight loss success to help others.

Read more