The first blog is the hardest! I have been told by many of my clients that I should blog, because both women and men need to hear what I have to say about health and fitness. Over the years, I have taken all that I have learned through my experience and education and implemented it with my clients with great success. Now, it is time to share this information with others who will not have the opportunity to come to my studio.
Writing is totally not my cup of tea, so bear with me.
First, some background about me. I have been a certified personal trainer for the past 20 years. I own Positively Fit in Maumee, OH, and operate it with the help of 2 other fantastic trainers. We have been at the same location for the past 14 years. During this time, I have had the pleasure and the honor of changing hundreds of people’s lives for the better…. women, men and youth.
Recently, I have changed my title (along with other trainers) to “fitness professional.” Those of us who have spent hours and $$ on continuing education on a daily basis do consider ourselves professionals. Maybe this is also done to distance ourselves from the group of “personal trainers” who only get a certification and do only the absolutely minimum of continuing education just to renew their certification. Professionals, on the other hand, have a passion for what we do, and we love continuing to learn more about the best research in health, fitness and wellness.
Education is the key to hiring a trainer!
Now that you know a little more about who I am and what I do, let me start sharing with you my struggles with weight gain, weight loss, and adrenal fatigue.
I am, thankfully, a menopausal woman—thankfully, because perimenopause was an awful experience. For those who are unfamiliar with that term, perimenopause is the stage when a woman’s body begins transitioning from fertility into menopause. This stage can start anywhere from a woman’s thirties into her forties, and can last for several years as her body’s hormone levels fluctuate.
For me, age 45 is when the rollercoaster ride of hormones started. Much later, I learned this was mainly my own fault since I allowed my doctor to administer the Deprovera shot for birth control….Bad mistake. In future blogs, I’ll be telling you more about what I have since learned about synthetic hormones and their effects on our bodies.
Here, I have to back up and tell you my husband is Jack Grogan, who is one of the smartest men I know. He actually has a genius IQ. Guess what his profession is? He is a certified nutritionist and an alternative health practioner. We actually make a great team! He also is the love of my life and a fantastic step dad to my two adult children.
I will blog a lot about what Jack has taught me and also will give you some great and very useful nutritional information from Jack.
Now, back to my story….
I am 5’10” and have always weighed between 125 and 140. When I started lifting weights in my 20s I put on pure muscle weight, hence the 140 lbs.
My body fat was 17%, at times 15 %, and I was athletic.
In fact, the main reason I got into exercise training is because I loved it so much and wanted to learn and share with others. This is probably the #1 reason why most fitness professionals decided to get into this profession.
Yet despite my training, athleticism, and overall personal health (so I thought), during perimenopause, my body fat increased to 33% and I weighed 198 lbs. I even went up to a size 16 pant size. I usually wore size 8. Oh, the horror!!!
The scale doesn’t really matter… intellectually I know this …but sometimes I get caught up in the numbers, just like my clients do!
At the studio, we have the discussion about scale weight with our clients all the time. We do not want them on the scale for at least 6 months. Here’s why.
Question: How many times have you stepped on the scale and seen a drop in weight, so you rewarded yourself with food? Or, you stepped on the scale and saw you went up a pound, so you tried to cheer yourself up with food? The scale is actually designed to weigh flour, not human beings! It cannot differentiate between lean mass and fat mass. So if you lost a pound, what did you lose? Water? Muscle? There’s no way to tell, even with the “smart scales.”
At the time I was going through perimenopause, though, my heart sank with every pound I gained. My diet never changed—remember, I live with my nutritionist—but my sleeping habits and the way I trained did change. Here’s what I have discovered since then.
Yes, my whole life I was active and participated in sports. Yet in my mid- 30’s, I started to exercise to the excess… Excessive exercise=excessive stress
I thought back then that you exercised to release stress, but I know now that if you have stresses in your life like I did…horrible sleeping habits, the death of parents, divorce, job changes, moving to new home, etc., that this over-exercising will hurt you in the long run.
When we experience stress, the last thing we should do is add more stress by over- exercising.
Over-exercising was the” last straw in the camels back” thus causing my excessive weight gain because I did not protect my adrenals. If you are a woman reading this and haven’t hit perimenopause yet, the best advice I can give you is try not to over-exercise. You must have your adrenals strong because they are the back up system to perimenopause and menopause.
In the next few blogs, I will be sharing more about my perimenopause experience, especially for those of you who have, will, or are going through the same thing! I’ll also talk more about the adrenal system and how we can protect this essential function of our bodies, something I want everyone reading this blog to know. My goal is to inspire and motivate the women and men who are in the same situation that I was!
In the meantime, think about this:
Are you exercising for the short term, or the long haul? Are you exercising in harmony with your physiology?
I wasn’t, but I am now!
This is why my husband, my trainer Kim and I designed Pulsercise.
Pulsercise is a training system which teaches you how exercise to your own unique physiology.
Want to know more? Watch for future blogs!