Sunday, January 20, 2019

The two things I did to permanently heal my obesity.

 Today, I'm going to share the two things I did to permanently heal my obesity.

1. I eliminated the foods that caused hunger from my eating plan.

2. I eliminated the exercises that caused pain from my training plan.

When I was eight years old, my pediatrician recommended weight loss. He told me to count calories, and he told my mother to put me on the swim team.

After that he food I was offered, was low fat, high carb, calorie controlled, and full of sugar. As a result, I felt hungry all the time.

I was a poor swimmer with very little tolerance for endurance exercise, so the swim coach ignored me. I didn't receive any instruction on how to improve. I was just put in the slow lane and left to keep up if I could.

This toxic combination of hunger and pain caused me to gain fat every year, until I finally turned to cigarettes and diet pills. They did help me to stay fairly slim as a young woman, but when I gave them up in order to get pregnant, I became obese and I stayed that way for years after I had my son.
Finally in 2008, I cut out sugar and lowered my carbs until my appetite was finally manageable. I replaced traditional cardio with resistance training, interval training, and Yoga. I was healed and I stayed healed.

I want the same for you and for anyone who reads sugar freedom. I want you to discover the foods that don't make you hungry and I want you to discover the kinds of movements that don't cause you pain. I don't think there is any reason that you should have to put up with the kind of literal torture I felt when I was on swim team when I was embarrassed, humiliated, by my inability to keep up.

What I have learned from my personal training clients is that they have a lot of grit, drive, and determination. What they lack is a program of exercises and training that will do more than make them tired, sore, and hungry. When they learn how to safely lift weight, do intervals, and practice flexiblity and balance they get leaner, stronger, and more fit. To put it another way, the right training for you will not cause, "compensation," which is the term we use for the increase in appetite and reduction in the motivation to move that can result from excessive endurance exercise.
I am aware that people who want to lose a significant amount of weight are getting a lot of mixed messages these days. We are still being told to eat less and move more, but I believe we need to hear more from individuals who have learned how to do that.
Like me, many of my readers and students have overcome obesity by eliminating the foods that raise insulin in the blood stream. The science that I've seen shows that chronically elevated insulin was driving my hunger and fatigue. I believe that foods that elevate insulin are pro hunger, pro-inflammatory, and pro fatigue. The foods that don't raise my insulin: animal proteins and fats, eggs, and vegetables that grow above the ground are the ones that make up my daily menus. These foods don't cause me hunger and fatigue, they give me energy. It's a wonderful feeling of peace and satisfaction that allows me to get on with my life.

I'm always cautious also about the advice of individuals who have never personally overcome obesity. They rarely understand the horrifying compulsion to overeat even in the face of the fact that overeating will wreck your health and your dreams.
 What I urge you to do is figure out a way to eat that doesn't cause hunger and a way to exercise that doesn't cause pain and fatigue. Your experience matters, and the willingness to eat for satisfaction and move for fun can make for a surprising level of improvement in your health and happiness.

Finally, ask yourself two questions to gain clarity about your next steps toward health:

1. What are the foods that energize and satisfy me without leaving me hungry?
2. What are the exercises and movements that help me enjoy life more without pain and fatigue?

Please feel free to e-mail me with questions:
I want to know about the specific struggles you are facing. if you have an exercise program that isn't working out for you, I am happy to consult with you, discuss what kind of training you're doing, and what you might replace it with that would be enjoyable, effective, and make you feel really, really good about yourself so that you can go out and enjoy your life.

Monday, January 14, 2019

For Better Answers, Ask Better Questions.

As we begin 2019, and I restart my fitness classes after the Christmas/New Year break, I find my self thinking about the growing number of people who are struggling with their weight. I ask myself these questions:Why do people choose to eat foods that don't make them feel well?
Why do fashion and the media continue to require skinniness and glossy perfection from models, actors, and influencers?
And personally: "Why do I consume media content and news reports that make me feel bad?"
As you can image, the previous four questions left me feeling frustrated, but then, during my quiet time this morning, I remembered a quote from Albert Einstein:
"If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask."
It became clear to me that I hadn't found the proper question.
This morning, I came up with a question that cleared away my frustration, and gave me a new sense of hope and enthusiasm. Here it is:
How can I create the most joy, while causing the least harm?
For example, dieting leads to hunger, which leads to overeating, which leads to the weight gain we were trying to overcome in the first place. Excessive exercise can lead to soreness and injuries which force us to stop exercising, leaving us weaker and less fit than we were in the first place. These paradoxes led me to ask what we should be doing instead, and I realized that we need a two part solution to the problem of fitness.
We must insure that our positive actions:eating and moving better, don't end up causing harm: hunger and injury.
I invite you to apply the question of joy to your wellness practice. 
What kinds of food can you prepare that will bring you the most joy while causing the least harm? 
How can you train, move, or play in a way that will bring you the most joy while causing the least harm?
Does it make sense to apply joy to eating and exercising? I think it does. I know that I need something beyond thinness and appearance to inspire my choices when I eat and train, and joy certainly fills the bill!
 I invite you to write down three or four things that you enjoy more than snacking. Then I want to challenge you to eat the foods, and choose the moves that would be most likely to enhance those activities.
In this way, you can go from a good question, to a better answer, and a happy outcome.
Happy New Year, everyone.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Drop Sugar, Lift Weight

Back in 2008, I completely transformed my fitness practice by replacing cardio with weight lifting and interval training. At the same time, I cut sugar, grains, and vegetable oils out of my eating plan.
Within days my food cravings were gone, and after some initial soreness from my new weight lifting and interval training routine had passed, I found a new level of energy and enthusiasm for fitness.
Between April and December of that year, many pounds of fat came off, and I achieved the healthy weight that I have maintained ever since. As long as I stayed true to the principles of limiting sugar and developing strength I stayed lean, healthy, and happy, but if I tried to add back too many treats and too much cardio, the fat would creep back on.
After I became an ACE Certified Personal Trainer in 2012, I tried to teach more popular group cardio classes, but the personal cost was too great as I would experience increased fatigue, hunger, and joint pain.
Thankfully, I have been able to continue to teach my unique blend of intervals and resistance training to a dedicated group of students at Sol-Y-Breath in Sonora, CA. On Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 at 8AM I will begin the Drop Sugar, Lift Weight Challenge, with additional classes at 8AM and 5:30PM on Thursdays. The studio is located at 14709 Mono Way in Sonora. Please fell free to send an e-mail to for more information.
If traditional cardio classes haven't worked for you, I invite you to try interval training with me, Catherine Best Gordon CPT.