The Exercise Coach


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The quest for fat loss has challenged people for years on end.  We have proven solution, The Metabolic Comeback™.  The Metabolic Comeback™ is designed to improve your health resulting in the loss of fat.

Experience The Metabolic Comeback™ at The Exercise Coach

The Metabolic Comeback™ refers to the combination of The Exercise Coach workout (20 minutes, twice a week) with the Whole-Food Nutrition approach described in our Nutrition Playbook which is available in-studio only.  When you perform Right-Intensity Training™, while simultaneously giving your body the fuel it needs to build muscle and provide sustained energy in conjunction with eliminating foods that lead to inflammation and weight gain, your body will transform before your eyes.  We interviewed JoAnn about how she personally experienced her own Metabolic Comeback™.


Q: Tell us about what your nutrition and exercise habits were prior to coming to The Exercise Coach®.

Until three years ago, I was the poster child for the food pyramid and chronic cardio. Conventional wisdom told me to eat my oatmeal, but fear fat and to take it easy on meat, so I did.  I didn’t eat much fast food or drink pop regularly. It was water, coffee or milk, skim of course. Junk food, chips and such, was really only for snacks.  A turkey sandwich on whole wheat, an apple and small bag of chips was a regular lunch. Dinner was protein, starch and a vegetable, something like boneless chicken breast, white rice and green beans with a little butter. Those side dishes frequently came out of a box, some kind of noodle with powdered sauce. Friday was pizza night, no exceptions, and this Wisconsin girl ate cheese regularly. I was never a huge drinker, but certainly had a glass of wine when the mood struck.

I also had many weight loss attempts. There were “natural” supplements with all sorts of claims about high quality vitamins and detoxing. I drank liquid protein, a truly nasty and stomach turning substance. I tried plans where the food was sent to you, some real and some dehydrated looking junk. My husband watched me pour boiling water over a dry gray disk and asked what it was. “A hamburger,” I said. He shook his head and said “No it’s not. I know what a hamburger looks like and that’s not it.” Believe it or not, it was actually one of their better selections. Of course, I tried plans where you prepared your own food. None of it worked to take off much weight. Worse, I always gained it back and then some.

For years, I belonged to the health club in our office building. It was cheap, it was convenient and it was rarely crowded. When I signed up, someone gave me an orientation fitness assessment which included calipers to measure my fat. What a great way to spend your first meeting with someone. She came up with some workouts. Pool walking was her suggestion. Only a tiny 20-year old would think that getting into a bathing suit at 150 pounds overweight at a place where I was likely to meet a co-worker was an awesome way to get started. The slippery pool bottom was also where I tweaked my knee, an injury that still acts up. At my most motivated, I’d go 5 days a week, using the treadmill and occasionally other equipment although I wasn’t that confident about using it.

When you’re significantly overweight, there isn’t a whole lot that’s open to you in exercise, but conventional wisdom says you can always walk. Even if you can only get to the end of the block, walk and then tomorrow go a little farther. So mostly I walked. In my neighborhood. In the park. At the gym. On the treadmill in my basement. I walked alone and I walked with friends. I walked until there was pain (darn shin splints!) and I walked until I was soaked with sweat and exhausted. Here’s the thing—I’m not sure I ever got better at it. There wasn’t any real progress. The beauty of a treadmill is you know your speed. I’d max out at about 2.8 mph. Oh I could crank it up over 3 mph for a minute or two, but certainly never the whole workout, not even a good chunk of one.

Maybe I was kidding myself on my effort. That is certainly possible, but please believe me when I say I felt challenged and sore. I don’t think I lacked for motivation and I don’t shy away from hard work. I never asked how the program was working out. I think I convinced myself that I was the problem.

At the time, I would have described my energy levels as fine, normal. It’s only in comparison to my current energy that I see a major difference. Let me share my own version of “A Tale of Two Cities.”

In 2009, my husband and I took the trip of a lifetime to Paris. It was all I expected—charming, romantic and beautiful. What I also remember is being, exhausted, hot and cranky, with an aching back and legs to match, both hurting more with each passing day. We walked everywhere for long stretches of time and my body was just not up to it. I don’t think I was the best travel companion.

Fast forward to October 2014 and a trip to New Orleans. We walked everywhere since parking is such a challenge in the city. Other than mealtime we were on our feet and walking from about 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., some days logging 10+ miles just sightseeing. We’d listen to music then walk the mile or so back to our hotel. We did that for seven days and I never felt tired or sore. Quite a difference.

It’s only by comparing then to now that I realize how many accommodations I made and needed. I moved slower and moved less. I rested because I needed it, not for relaxation. Minor exertion made me hot and uncomfortable.  In a lot of ways, I was going through the motions.  Now, I feel up for a bit of adventure and welcome challenges. The one-word answer that comes to mind is “zest.” I have regained my zest for life.

Q: What changes did you notice after starting to work out at The Exercise Coach®?  How long did it take for you to see some of these changes?

It wasn’t long after I started at The Exercise Coach (about 6 weeks) but long before any noticeable weight loss that I realized my back didn’t hurt. I had gotten so used to it hurting, that it was almost an identifying characteristic. Saying “I have a bad back” was similar to “I have blue eyes.” It was a given. Turns out it wasn’t.  I can do things like rake leaves or move furniture without any ill effect. I’d be hard pressed to say when I last suffered from a sore back.

The same could be said for my knees. I used to avoid all sorts of things and my knees bothered me regularly regardless of what I was doing, sometimes even sitting. It was another given. That was another thing that basically vanished after about 6 weeks at The Exercise Coach.  My knees definitely have some damage, both from injury and years of obesity. I can’t say they never hurt, but it isn’t all the time or every day. Also my perpetually tweaked knees now manage to get me up a flight of stairs and I’m not huffing when I get to the top.

Another thing I noticed was a change in my sleep. Unlike my pre-EC days, I now fall asleep quickly, I sleep well and generally stay asleep. If I do wake up to use the bathroom, I fall right back to sleep. I don’t have days on end with some kind of insomnia. It’s a relief to be able to fall asleep when I feel tired, rather than tossing and turning.

I don’t know exactly when I saw improvements in strength, stamina and endurance, only that I did and I continue to see improvements. It comes out in unexpected places. I can wear heels again—losing weight obviously relieved a lot of pressure from my feet, but my legs are stronger and so is my back. Seeing a pair of high heels I was wearing to a wedding, my husband wanted to know if I was bringing along some flats, expecting that my feet would hurt as they always had in the past. Instead I danced for hours in those shoes. Better yet, I wasn’t tired or sore the next day.

The place I really see evidence of strength and stamina is in my thinking. I no longer consider “how long” or “how far” as in how long will I be on my feet or how far will I have to walk. I no longer consider what I can’t do because I’ve found that there is very little I can’tdo, particularly if I’m willing to put in the time and effort to learn. That goes for doing a proper push-up or learning a bit of boxing, both of which I’ve taken on in last year, neither of which would I remotely have tried four years ago. I don’t have to limit myself and I don’t have to be afraid to try.

Q: Tell us about how your implemented a “Whole Food Nutrition” approach to your diet.   How have your health habits have permanently changed since then?

From the beginning, my coach knew that my goal was weight loss, although he immediately redirected me and said my real goal was health.

I jumped in with both feet, eliminating breads, rice and other processed starches. Soon after I eliminated sugar and other sweeteners. The hardest part wasn’t the food itself, it was learning how to put together a meal. Sometimes, it’s subtraction, like holding the toast when I eat a vegetable omelet for breakfast. Other times it’s substitution, instead of a chicken sandwich, it’s chicken on salad with a homemade vinaigrette. I plenty of lean protein, a variety of vegetables and fruit, and fats like olive oil, basically a diet of whole, unprocessed foods.

Before I tried eating this way, I would have said that I had a real sweet tooth and loved bread. What I found was that not only did not miss these foods when I eliminated them, but I stopped craving them. When I indulge now, I notice the cravings come back with a vengeance. Consistently eating whole foods essentially eliminated my cravings for processed junk.

None of that would matter however, if it wasn’t getting me to my goal. When I started, I wanted to lose a whole person. In fact, I estimated I’d have to lose about 150 pounds to be a normal size. Bottom line, was eating this way getting me where I wanted to go?

The answer is yes, plain and simple. I lost consistently, week after week. Admittedly, it was never fast enough for me, considering I had that whole person to lose. Thankfully, my coach provided much needed perspective on my progress.

Eating whole foods has benefits beyond weight loss. I was always pretty healthy, but in four years I’ve been sick exactly twice. I no longer suffer through an annual cold or bout of strep. I’ve been told I look younger, a reflection of the improved skin and increased energy that come from eating nutrient-dense foods.  I like knowing that I’m giving my body good fuel.

I’ve made a conscious decision to pursue health and I do that by eating nutrient-rich foods. I refuse to adopt a mindset of being deprived. I’m not being punished by limiting certain foods. I have embraced change-it is simply the way I live now.

See more of JoAnn’s story here and here.

Experience The Metabolic Comeback™ for Yourself

We invite you to take The Metabolic Comeback Challenge for yourself.  30 days of eating according to our Nutrition Playbook (think lots of proteins, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats) combined with two, 20-minute workouts with us per week.  See for yourself how your energy levels, strength, and overall appearance can change for the better within just those 30 days.  You shouldn’t be spending hours in the gym in an attempt to “sweat off the pounds”, nor should you feel hungry all the time.  The Metabolic Comeback™ allows you to find out how it feels to function at your best. Find the Exercise Coach studio near you or talk to your coach today about getting started!


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