Body Image, Misc, Motivation

Judge, Favorably

“THE JEWS”…and WHAT’S Really GOING ON WITH ANOTHER PERSON.

This week was super-duper busy. November, (pre-pandemic) used to be one of my busiest months. This week even exceeded my busiest pre-pandmic months. It amazes and pleases me that people are back to valuing themselves, experiences, and their health. I’m grateful to all of you who took a class or booked a session for keeping my schedule full and keeping me growing professionally and able to be of service.

Being a trainer means the people I meet often confide in me about their health. Meeting many people means many more stories come out. This past week, one such story came full circle. I lost an acquaintance who never became my client but did become a friend and it taught me an important lesson about judging others favorably.

Nazi, my neighbor, was 52; just two years older than me, so it hit me harder than expected to learn of her sudden passing. She was Persian, and a Mom of 3. She’s probably still on this email list. To be honest,  I really didn’t like Nazi all that much when I first met her. She parked in my driveway, and sometimes also parked her car in the middle of the whole darned street. (We had a chat about that and fortunately she did change and find a proper parking spot). I didn’t understand how someone could be so rude and inconsiderate. She also talked to me about wanting to start training etc. but never actually booked a session.

One day, she recognized me in the locker room at Equinox. She told me she meant to start training with me, but in the meantime at Equinox signed up with one of my colleagues- and didn’t know I worked there too [I left in Aug]. Her trainer (a tall Black man who resembled a super-hero) I assured her, was a fabulous professional and she was in good hands. I wasn’t hurt and I was happy for her that if she found he was a good match to stick it out and she would get good results. We talked about other things- her love for her children etc and I started to feel compassion and warmth for her. 

Many weeks later she confided that she was battling lung Cancer and her weight had gone up and down and she was feeling hopeless. I tried to assure her that I knew many people who had beaten different forms of Cancer and that we know exercise has an affect on the body even if we don’t always see a result on the scale and that there are many studies which show exercise during treatment -if done at a proper intensity even if its a low intensity can be beneficial both for mood and metabolically. In fact, an ultrasound technician explained to me once that when you exercise, your body makes extra capillaries in the legs and these extra pathways for blood can help sustain a person in the event of a cardiac event because it offers alternative pathways.. so she should be assured that good changes are happening even if the clothes fit the same. I offered to pray for her.

Moments later, one of my own clients approached me and made disparaging comments about how Nazi’s weight fluctuated. Meanwhile, this client wasn’t consistent in her own workout routine. Though her own weight may have been consistent, it wasn’t clear if that was due to healthy or unhealthy eating choices or whether her response to stress (which she also had her fair share of) was loss of appetite. I tried to explain that you don’t always know from the outside what’s going on with someone on the inside. There can be many reasons someone gains or loses weight aside from a lack of discipline.

What I didn’t know was that Nazi was battling cancer for 4 years already and the doctors had given her 1 year. This past week, Nazi passed away. I called her trainer to let him know the sad news and encourage him to attend the shiva or memorial. He was heartbroken and as incredulous as I that she was here one moment and she’s not here anymore and it just doesn’t seem real. He asked me, “Kayla, since you are Jewish, what do I wear or what should I expect at the memorial service”. Um, I explained that even though I’m an Orthodox Jew, I have actually never been to a Persian memorial service. In fact, this isn’t an Ashkenazi custom and although we’re both Jewish, this is a custom with which I’m unfamiliar but I would ask a few friends. 

So during the week where sports stars and comedians were all saying things about what you are and aren’t allowed to say about “The Jews” (as if we’re all the same), I found out about a Jewish custom for the first time after living my whole life as a Jew. I learned that sometimes following a Persian memorial they serve a lavish dinner, whereas communal eating wasn’t allowed during the week I sat shiva for my Father…THAT different. Attending her memorial helped me find closure and gave me perspective about my own perceptions of right practice in Judaism.  [I think her trainer and I were simultaneously the lightest and darkest skinned folks in the room too and despite my own insecurity about that, nobody seemed particularly bothered by it.] 

Reflecting back, I had assumed years ago that Nazi was rude and self-centered by parking in my driveway or in the middle of the street. Now I wonder if she was just exhausted from Cancer or its treatment, and needed to park there but didn’t want to tell me all about her woes. I hope my client understands Nazi maybe wasn’t lacking self-discipline in her weight loss. Maybe she was also battling stresses and fears like of dying, or years of a slower metabolism from yoyo dieting? What if the client who was being so disparaging of Nazi really was projecting outside to someone else, her own self-criticism and insecurities? 

This was sort of the theme of the week… assumptions and learning to be kind. One of my new clients trains in her own home. She apologized to me for what she saw as her messy home. She assumed my home was neater. In fact, I had two sink loads of dishes piled way higher than hers when I left to go train her. Another client complained about how difficult it was for her to follow left hand from right hand. Yet another looked pregnant and was not, and another did not look pregnant and was. One woman talked of how her sister recently divorced and as close as they were, she never knew the problems she was having. Another friend told of how she could live with a certain thing and someone else said they could not. One woman appeared to have it all- kids, wealth etc.. and she confided that her husband may not be as religiously committed as it appears.

Bottom line is – be kind. People are more than they appear. Many times they are doing inner battles we know nothing about. We all have insecurities. The creator didn’t make any of us perfect. If we saw the things truly someone else is dealing with, with the skills and flaws they have with which to cope with those things, we might not be able to do it any better. Do the things..the best things you know how, in the best way you can. Even if it seems like it may not be making a big difference on the outside, you may be still making micro changes inside which will ultimately be worthwhile. Its normal to judge- ourselves and others. ..and I’m trying to take this weeks’ experiences as a reminder to try and judge favorably.

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Exercise, Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Let’s Get Moving: 5 Tips for Getting Back into Fitness

Help, I’ve Fallen off the Exercise Wagon

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How to Ease Back Into Fitness

If you just spent the last month like I did: (a) With a piece of honey cake in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, (b) Doing an exercise routine exclusively made up of balancing hot dishes on one arm while walking laps in and out of the house, (c) where regeneration activity included multiple hours seated in meaningful contemplation or reading, or… (d) All of the above, plus sullen concerns about your lack of energy and expanding waistline…Then you will want to read on about how to bounce back into working out.

First: Let’s get real about expectations. You will want to pick up where you left off. This generally means you will want to return to the couch (Remember a body at rest tends to stay at rest from physics class in High School?!?) or, You will want to become the quintessential weekend warrior and jump headlong into intense cardio and double sessions in the gym. I want to take this moment to help you pause and do neither of those instinctive but completely unproductive impulses.

Instead, follow my

5 tips for getting back into exercise and fitness in a sustainable way:

1. Prepare for success. Lay your workout clothes and sneakers out before you go to bed. Schedule the workout in your planner and block out interruptions. Do that workout before you have time to think about it…because thinking during the next two weeks (your break back in period) will only get in your way. We want this on auto-pilot because deciding to work out and actually getting there is the hardest part. Short-circuiting the decision part is key. So stack that workout habit on top of some other firmly established habit (like waking up in the morning) and do it in a way that keeps it front of mind- i.e. having the sneakers in your visual space or the phone appointment alarm.

2. Begin the way you mean to go on. Plan on ONE thing you can stick with consistently FOREVER. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk three times a week. Maybe that’s a 10 minute walk plus 20 situps and 10 modified pushups and a stretch. Pick that one thing you could reasonably, easily stick with for the rest of your life… and do it consistently for the next two weeks.

Resist the urge to give 110% these first two weeks. You want to work out to a point where you notice there was something happening but not so sore you can’t move (and sometimes you can’t tell because soreness doesn’t kick in until 24-48 hours after, so it’s ok to do a little less than you think you can that first time.) This is NOT the time to push your limits. You do not want to miss a workout these first two weeks. Consistency IS success. Soreness is not the indicator of success. I’m fairly certain you didn’t plan to go on needing to hold onto the walls easing yourself onto the toilet because …leg day.

3.Figure out your WHY and write that down. Why do you want to get fit? Want to not die so soon? Write it down. Want to look awesome for your niece’s wedding. Write it down. Need to get up the stairs without passing out? Whatever that “WHY” is, figure it out now, and write it down. Read what you wrote down often. Put it in your phone. Make a collage about it. When you have a meaningful reason, you can withstand the discomfort of making space in your life to commit to it.

4. Have Fun. The more fun you have while doing the workout the more you will stick with it. Maybe you fell off the wagon because you were bored. Then try something new- a new class, a new sport, something which used to make you smile but you gave up years ago like dancing in your bedroom like Madonna to show tunes.

5. Get support. Need a sports bra, get it. New sneakers? Need to dial a friend, a counselor, a coach, a trainer? You can’t do this alone. You need support so plan that out. Register for a class or take that walk Wednesday with a friend. Call a trainer or a sports med doc or a physical therapist if needed, so you can move better.

Periods of time off can break a plateau and even help reinvigorate your excitement and desire to exercise. Observing the Jewish holidays practically enforces a degree of moderation, and even regeneration (a key component of fitness), so don’t sweat it. It’s an overall sedentary lifestyle that becomes detrimental for our wellbeing but following these tips will allow you to ease back into sustainable exercise.

—–

Another version of this article appeared in LA Jewish Home October 20, 2022 (a newspaper serving the Greater Los Angeles Jewish Community)

Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

End of Summer thoughts

The end of summer/beginning of the school year brings such mixed emotions. 

This time happens to be the Jewish month of Ellul/the pre-High Holiday preparation time. We start to reflect on all of the things we have done and all we wish to accomplish in the coming year. We sometimes create grand goals like this year I will be able to fit into my (spectacularly smaller) outfit. This year I will become more fit (amorphous goal). Or this year I’ll eat healthy (whatever that’s supposed to mean..and often its overly restrictive and not sustainable long-term and will later boomerang back on your body and diminish your self-worth).

There’s a reason we’re not already there in that best bod ever right now. There are habits and skills that need to be established that maybe never have been or the pandemic blew to pieces as we simply coped. I am writing to caution you that as tempting as it is to do an accounting and draft big expectations with the thought maybe you will fall short of those huge goals but still progress will be achieved, you’re likely to be more successful with a different approach.

Let me challenge you to think first about which habits and skills need to be up to snuff in order to accomplish those grand goals and instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the process- on becoming that version of you who does and thinks and eats like the person who has the outcome you desire.

Consider what baby step could be taken this week that is so small that its barely noticeable but takes you in the direction you want to go. Can you do that just for this month to show the universe this is who you are so the universe (insert your higher power here) can then assist? Would incorporating one vegetable into lunch or drinking a glass of water or simply slowing down to notice the taste of your food (but not all 3) be that thing? Would walking for 5 minutes be that thing? What 1 thing could you do right now and stick with forever? Think small and start..now! Need help? Go to the tab above that says contact me and we’ll make a workable plan.

Diet, General Health

Which DIET is BEST?

While I’m reasonably certain of what will work best to keep me mentally sharp, performing well in the gym and emotionally even in terms of my nutrition, I’m an agnositc when it comes to my belief about whether that method is the right one or the best one for YOU.

First, let’s be sure we are on the same page. When I say DIET, most people hear the word restriction. When I say the word diet, I just mean the habitual pattern of what you eat on a day to day basis.

I know there are people who are devoutly Vegan or Low-Carb or Paleo or eat within a specific time window or High Fat or High Carb, Gluten-Free, Keto, Kosher, Hallal, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, or any variety of nutritional lifestyle and many of them think their way is the BEST way.  However, I know from working with real clients over many years that different things work for different people. I actually think any of these could probably work depending on one’s situation.

If you like to cook, or don’t like to cook, have food allergies, have a big or small food budget, have a lot or a little nutrition knowledge, have GENES or diseases that predispose you to gain or lose weight on certain diets or require certain foods be added or omitted from your diet all coalesce into what your perfect diet is for YOU.

You may be wondering how it is that someone like myself who has studied nutrition and fitness could endorse such wildly different and sometimes conflicting diets depending on the person, and how I could even coach nutrition under such circumstances. The answer is that most nutrition programs accomplish certain cornerstone habits which are necessary in a healthy lifestyle.

In other words, when I coach clients in nutrition I don’t prescribe a diet or a particular menu though I may make some suggestions in the way that fits their lifestyle.. taking into consideration things like:

~ Cooking Experience and Knowledge

~ Stage of life (big family, small family, living alone)

~ Time

~ Budget

~ Allergies

~ Genetic variables (For clients interested in high fat or high protein diets I often suggest a DNA test to see if they are good candidates for such a diet in the long-term since some plans can require intense commitments. If a diet could feel overly restrictive given their social and entertaining calendars or those of other family members or their genetics indicate it would yield poor results at the outset they will have the information to make a more well informed decision as a result of the DNA test.)

Speaking of genetic variables, 23 and me is offering 50% off their Health and ancestry kit One of the health kits they offer can help you know if you are predisposed to be successful on a high or low fat diet for your individual metabolism and more.

 please use my referral code   https://www.23andme.com/?utm_source=extole&utm_medium=referafriend&utm_campaign=extole&utm_content=23c_Refer_A_Friend&extole_share_channel=EXTOLE_EMAIL&extole_shareable_code=wiwif&extole_coupon_none=true&sub=ver2

If you would like a FREE tool to help assess if your current diet is actually working for you, click HERE for a questionnaire to help you decide

Diet, Uncategorized

Maintaining Goals During the Holidays

For the client who is panicked about the meal itself and how it will affect her goals:
I’d like to take a moment to remind you that the main foods of Thanksgiving: turkey, sweet potato, green beans… on any other day we would call this diet food or clean eating.. LOL. So usually its not the food itself which is so worrisome but it could be.


Are you worried you are going to over eat?
Are you worried that the food will be prepared differently or will be different than the foods you usually eat?
What do you want your food consumption to look like at this meal? 
How do you want to feel during the meal and afterward?
How could you feel good during this meal?
Can you visualize yourself the way you want to feel after the weekend or gathering?
What could you do to prepare in advance to make yourself have that desired result?


The answers to these questions will be different for each client but these questions are some tools for you to begin to eat mindfully. 


If you are going to be away and not in control of the food and how its prepared or served, what you do have control over is eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full and not eating when you aren’t hungry. Allowing yourself time (20 minutes or so) for your body to register fullness. Or finding something else to do when you want to eat for reasons other than physical hunger.


Worst case scenario: you over-eat..and then you will get back on track and not blow it all out because its not about what you do one day or a couple of days. It is about what you do the rest of the year that determines the outcome of your combined choices. Maybe set the goal or intention to make it through the holiday with joy rather than being sick about worries about the food and definitely come back to training regardless of the outcome.


Here are a few more tricks to help you be able to make stick to these goals:

  1. Bulk up on self-care before the event: get enough sleep, fill up on time with people who “get you, “ meditate or take yoga or pray, work out and get those endorphins flowing get your nails done- whatever it takes to help you feel balanced, good enough and pretty enough.
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Avoid the alcohol- it lowers inhibitions and can lead to poor decision-making and dehydration
  4. Be your own best friend. If you find that you are saying things to yourself which don’t make you feel good, ask yourself if your best friend would talk to you this way. (If she would, it might be time to get a different best friend). Change the internal dialogue into one of affirmation and support. 
[with permission of Trista Eason]
Fitness Goals, Motivation

the War of Art

Book Review

I read an amazing book which I’m certain will help you overcome inner resistance- when it comes not only to your health and physique goals, but in nearly any endeavor that comes from our higher nature.

Activities which commonly elicit resistance include:

1. Creative endeavors and callings in the fine arts, writing, music

2. A program of spiritual advancement

3. Education of every kind

4. An act of political moral or ethical courage

5. Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals, a diet or health regimen or a course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.

In other words, any act that involves the delay of gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity is likely to be met with resistance.

According to Steven Pressfield, author of the book the War of Art, resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. “It will purjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully cajole.” However, the rule of thumb is the more important a call of action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will face pursuing it. Resistance aims to kill our genius; our unique and priceless gift we were put on the earth to give and when we fight it, we’re in a war.

Sometimes resistance takes the form of drugs, shopping, sex, tv, gossip, alcohol, or all products containing fat, sugar, salt or chocolate.

Fear and the degree of fear we have about an endeavor equates to the strength of resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no fear and no resistance. Yet its the fear that tells us this is what we have to do. This is where our growth is and our potential. Resistance feeds on fear. That is the battle.

Part of overcoming resistance it seems is to acknowledge that its there and prepare for the battle by going pro.. Enlisting help, and also by keeping on the daily task.

Sure we fear failure..but sometimes even more, we fear success. What will we lose on the way to success? It will change our identity. Perhaps success will change our friends. We may become estranged from all we know. Will we end up alone, unmoored? What happens actually is that we do change and we find friends in places we never knew to look, and we become more than we could have imagined.

My takeaway is that this book is about finding and becoming your true authentic self ..and in a city most known for celebrating what’s fake, its something ironically we probably crave the most.

If you are looking for help overcoming resistance and finally achieving the body of your dreams, learning a new fitness skill, or simply enjoying movement, contact me to book a session today.

Body Image, Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Unlimited

Even if right now you are living with pain, obesity, gut disorders, sleep issues, low energy, or simply not feeling strong confident and energized much of the time, that doesn’t have to be how you feel forever. Everyone deserves to feel good in their body.

However, sometimes its FEAR that is holding us back. That F.E.A.R. serves a purpose …that is, until it no longer serves us. F.E.A.R. is an acronym which stands for false evidence appearing real. I’ve also seen it listed as F.A.T. False info Appearing True… What are some of these false beliefs?

  • Aches and pains are a normal part of aging.
  • I can’t afford the time or money to work out regularly
  • I’ve tried EVERYTHING when it comes to exercise but nothing works for me
  • I don’t have good genes for working out so I’ll never be good at it
  • I’m likely to get hurt if I work out and I don’t like feeling pain

Just look at some of these… are they real or have other DECISIONS been made which makes these appear like facts when in reality they are temporary.

For instance, can you really not afford the time or money it takes for an enjoyable workout? Or do you plan and save for other things and not prioritize your health? Could you reframe and exercise in 5-10 minute segments while baby is sleeping if you can’t get in a whole hour at once? Is midlife spread inevitable or a result of unwitting choices made from a lack of information about metabolism in midlife? Have you tried everything? Do you think that genes are destiny or that you can make choices which influence the expression of those genes-choices which can be mirrored by the next generation and become their inheritance?

In what way do beliefs such as these actually serve you? What are your F.E.A.R.S protecting you from? How do they constrain your potential? Do they do both?

I don’t think all limitations or limiting beliefs are necessarily detrimental! Sometimes they protect us from having to face deeper emotions we don’t necessarily want to feel or they allow for comfort. They serve us until they don’t serve us.

Consider unlocking your potential by trying this 7 day Unlimited Challenge. Its 7 days of access to unlimited on-demand classes.

https://me.onpodio.com/GetFitwithKayla/packages
Diet, Exercise, General Health, Motivation, Q&A

Q & A: Can people who exercise “get away” with poor food choices?

My short answer is Yes and No…

In a small study of  two groups of 7 participants, one group exercised for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity or higher at least 3 times a week. The other group worked out less often and less intense than the first group. 

All 14 participants were fed the same high fat 960 calorie breakfast meal. (2220 mg sodium, 48 g of fat, including 16 g saturated fat and 4.5 g trans fat..280mg. cholesterol)

After the high fat meal, they measured obstruction of blood flow in the brachial artery (-the one just above your elbow crease on your arm)..The less active group showed a greater obstruction of blood flow through the artery- it was narrowed,  while the more active exercisers had no change.

Both groups experienced an increase in triglycerides (triglycerides are an ester of glycerol and 3 fatty acid groups. High levels of triglycerides indicate an increased risk of stroke.) The more highly active group’s triglycerides rose by 47% but the less active group increased triglycerides by a whopping 184%

While exercise is protective against disease, and people who exercise may be more able to get away with poor food choices, but not on a regular basis. 

Johnson, B.D. et al. “Vascular consequences of a High-Fat Meal in physically active and Inactive adults.’  Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism, 36, no3. (2011) 368-375

Fitness Goals, General Health, Motivation

Decide, Commit, Succeed

If you just think about something, if you merely try, it doesn’t usually happen. However, when you decide and commit and have a plan of action, that’s when you succeed.

It is when you don’t leave room for doubt that you’re most likely to succeed. 


Once you DECIDE, cement it as a priority in your daily, weekly and long-term goals so you can visualize it and realistically achieve it. 

Work BACKWARDS

The Fantasy: If anything were possible, what would that look like?

The Long-Term: In 5 years what would that outcome look like?

In A Year: What would the achievement look like a year from now?

Weekly: What is a realistic goal for this week

Daily: What can I do right now to get me toward my weekly goal.

Once you make that commitment, whatever it is; to create a happier life, to work out more, to take the weight off, to invest in clothes that are more flattering, to surround myself with emotionally healthy people…Put It In Writing.

So often, potential clients have their priorities out of whack. They are waiting for motivation to work out yet they want results NOW. I tell them, perspiration before inspiration.

Nothing is more motivating than success!

Think about this.. the Psychiatrist who sends her client to the gym before prescribing antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication doesn’t wait until her patient feels Motivated to work out. She sends them to me, a trainer, or to the gym FIRST.  The prescription to work out comes FIRST and then the motivation will follow.  (There are many studies that show exercise is sometimes more effective than medication….and still sometimes medication is necessary so speak with your own doc).

Think about it, in starting a new habbit, we understand intellectually what changes we want to make and why but if we wait until we’re inspired every single time we will likely never change. It is taking that step that causes the next one to be easier and more rewarding.

Another thing a lot of clients miss is to focus simply on the outcome on that fantasy goal and forget the daily and weekly goal that will get them there.. and a lot of the time, the focus is on an unrealistic outcome. Sometimes this is influenced by influencers on social media who are using filters on their photos and really painting an unrealistic picture that they themselves aren’t even living up to. 

Once you have mede a intellectual decision, a mental commitment, you will need to protect that sacred space by drawing a fence and a gate and a protective wall around it so you can nurture it to fruition. Want to know my BIGGEST tip last week to my 1:1 clients who are starting to see some doubts creep in?


To Get out of your own way. 
Cleanse and purge
 …your social media!!!

Surround yourself with supportive people and if you don’t have people in your life to support you, nurture yourself with podcasts, books, classes, and images which do support you – things that make you feel valued, energized, happy, supported…and be very wary of the FB and instagram algorithm. If you have not yet heard, the social media giant is purposely manipulating what you see in ways that are sabotaging your mental and physical health and that of your daughters. An inside whistleblower showed that if you’re already feeling crappy about yourself and look there for inspiration you’re likely to be fed more that makes you feel worse.. (see this article among others if you need proof) so guard your health and your heart please and stay the course -focus on the small daily goals and prune your social media accordingly.  

If you would like to be on my email list to receive all the latest updates on classes, training and fitness news, you can signup or change your preferences HERE

Diet, General Health

Probiotics to Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in women. One in eight women who live to age 85 years will develop breast Cancer over the course of their lifetime.2 

The reality is that Breast Cancer Awareness strategies have done little if nothing to decrease the incidence of diagnosis. The mammogram can be a useful tool for detecting a breast tumor, however, the cancer cells may have have already spread. Wouldn’t it be great if we could prevent and/or reverse unhealthy breast tissue before it becomes cancerous? 

Um, Yeah! That’s why I’m on the lookout for the latest and greatest in research to arm us with just that sort of tool. While researching information on foods and health and weightloss, I stumbled across this mind-blowing info:

A 2019 review of the studies from Oncology Review indicates some promising research about the efficacy of probiotics to alter the but bacteria to prevent the growth and development of breast cancer by modulating the gi bacteria and systemic immune system. 

Probiotics (bacteria or yeasts) are live microorganisms which when given in the right amounts in food or as a supplement provide health benefits. The most commonly used bacterial strains for probiotic purposes are the lactic acid bacteria, which are mainly consumed as fermented dairy like Kefir and yogurt. There are others as well including Kimchi, fermented saurkraut, Kombocha, and there are also tablets. Each type of probiotic is somewhat different and it may take some research and experimentation to find out which one(s) are right for you. Gastrointestinal bacteria is affected by diet, alcohol, and cholesterol metabolism, and vice versa… and these all have an effect of the amount of estrogens in the body. In short, several small-scale studies reported lowered cholesterol on using probiotics, which may support their benefit in blocking the hypercholesterolemiaestrogen cancer mechanism.44,45In summary, in addition to regular exercise, stress reduction such as including mindfulness meditation, adding fruits and veggies to your diet (specifically the cruciferous ones like broccoli and cabbage) it seems probiotics can be another tool to improve your odds preventing and beating disease including Breast Cancer (-specifically, estrogen positive cancers).
I’m trying to incorporate probiotics like this fermented cabbage into my daily diet. Its ok to start with a small amount even a tablespoon to see how you tolerate different kinds. Do your research and consult with your doc to see which might be right for you.

Read the latest research that got my attention: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6775487/
Body Image, Diet, Exercise, General Health

Is Obesity a CHOICE?

Trigger Warning: 

This post involves discussions of Weight. If such topics are distressing or triggering to you please consider employing self-care tools and strategies which may include not reading this.

A February 2021 survey by the American Psychological Association reveals how the pandemic has led to unwanted weight gain.42% of US adults gained unwanted weight during the pandemic.52% of Gen Z adults report undesired weight gain, with an average gain of 28 pounds.48% of millennials report undesired weight gain, with an average gain of 41 pounds.Yet despite these statistics, for better health and a longer life span, exercise is more important than weight loss.

 An interesting new scientific review of the relationships between fitness, weight, heart health and longevity found that obese people typically lower their risks of heart disease and premature death far more by gaining fitness than by dropping weight or dieting.

The review adds to mounting evidence that most of us can be healthy at any weight, if we are also active enough.

Glenn Gaesser, a professor of exercise physiology at Arizona State University in Phoenix (My alma matter, BTW), found overweight and obese people with significant health problems, including high blood pressure, poor cholesterol profiles or insulin resistance, a marker for Type 2 diabetes, showed considerable improvements in those conditions after they started exercising, whether they dropped any weight or not. The studies show that even if no weight is lost, obese and formerly sedentary individuals can  lower their risk of premature death by as much as 30 percent or more.

And now, because the science needs to also explain that water is wet:

“Some past research shows that people who start to exercise rarely lose much, if any, weight, unless they also cut back substantially on food intake because the exercise they are doing burns too few calories and because they compensate for some caloric burn during exercise by eating more calories afterwards.”

This information begs the question: Is Obesity a Choice?

This short answer is..not usually. Sure genetics and bone structure, genes and upbringing play a part. However, some of us eat more and/or move less when stressed or anxious or depressed.. and for others its just the opposite! Some of us find sweet foods satisfying in some situations and salty in others (hint: there are actual biological reasons for craving salty in some situations and sweet in others–and its part of the glorious way or bodies are pre-programmed for survival).

Sometimes people are making choices, but they are only semi-conscious of them-for instance out of self-harm as a trauma response. Other times we don’t even know we are making choices because we are simply unaware of alternatives or we have never been educated about the way that stimuli such as emotions and specific foods trigger different responses within the body that set us up for a cascade of effects that are displayed visually or on our bloodwork results…

Information like how to combine which foods to achieve stable blood sugar and lower insulin response. A sensitive balanced insulin response can increase your sensitivity to feelings of hunger and fullness. That is necessary for true agency in one’s health outcomes (and visual outcomes). Listening to one’s body only works well when the body is working to give us those signals otherwise the whole system is rigged against us succeeding from the start (if our goal is to “listen to the body”).

There is a whole science behind options including which foods to combine or eat and when if you want to decrease cravings overall. Or which foods can make you feel fuller longer or think more clearly or have more energy.  Which type of exercises performed which way for how long will make you hungrier and which will enable you to feel more full after the workout. If you would like to know more about those things, so you are more empowered to make changes smarter not harder,  it is something I coach my 1:1 Private clients on.

Some people say, I can’t train with you Kayla, you’ve never been overweight like me. I have never been you, but there have been times I was overweight (5’5″ 172lb not pregnant, and 175 when pregnant) and I have also been mocked for appearing underweight (young teen), Fortunately I have mostly been in the normal range. I have discovered ways to hack the system both from reading and studying and talking to pros about it to be more stable over time and some of it has to do with hearing relatives who do have a good relationship with their bodies and food while growing up-which helps me reflect back to my clients when something seems off track.  I’ve survived illnesses, injuries, and other setbacks. I’ve had a few pregnancies too…and struggled sometimes there too.  Its important to select a trainer and coach (sometimes a counselor and/or RD) who does get you and who you are comfortable with and have the conversations so it can become more of a choice that your body is rigged to help you with instead of fighting with your body.