Just finished a Weight Management Specialist Program for my ACE certification. It was quite the eye opener. In the past we always thought telling someone we thought looked overweight about exercise or nutrition was the way to go. And although the intention was good, in essence, its a type of body shaming. There is a difference between body types and obesity. There are also numerous reasons for excessive weight gain. It could be a love of food and a slower metabolism. It also could be depression, meds, injuries that make exercising hard. It could also be less activity. Athletes will burn far more calories than non-athletes. Once athletes are done competing they need to eat less calories.
I like the idea of body types: ectomorph (smaller bones, slim hard time putting on muscle weight), mesomorph (medium bones, puts on some muscle), and endomorph (big boned, puts on muscle easier). Small boned people shouldn’t try to look like someone who is big boned or medium boned and vice versa. That’s genetics and if you need someone to emulate find someone with a similar genetic makeup.
If you grew up in the fast food/ junk food era, it can be hard to keep the weight at a healthy level. “I’m going to watch a movie so I need popcorn (with lots of butter), or chips, or pop–or all of them.” Its a mindset and the best way to counter it is either make sure those foods aren’t around, or substitute something healthier. Cereal without added sugar, Greek Yogurt, water….
Injuries or health problems can make losing excessive weight difficult. Suggesting someone work out more when they have bad knees, spinal problems, or shoulder pain doesn’t usually go well. People with type 2 diabetes need to be careful about when they eat based on their activity level. Someone on anti-depressant pills may put on weight do to the meds while someone on cholesterol pills may lack energy. *We are not doctors and can’t tell someone they shouldn’t take meds. They might want to talk to their doctors about the amount of meds they are taking but that’s between the client and their doctor.
I trained a girl with type 2 diabetes. I was very careful the first time we met, we did not go hard and heavy, yet she still ended up with numerous firefighters followed by paramedics to take her to the hospital. Later I found out she hadn’t eaten for hours prior to working out and was dehydrated. If you’re the client always have something before working out.
Fitness (cardio, resistance training, stretching) is not just about losing excessive weight (you need a certain amount of body fat to be healthy). Its about keeping or increasing your strength, your endurance, your bone mass, your flexibility, and your bone mass.
Psychologically speaking, its your body! Exercising is no longer a fad, its a healthy lifestyle because so many jobs are sit down and more mentally active than physical. Will people comment about you, maybe. Don’t seek out negativity, seek out positivity and inspiration. When someone with a large amount of extra body weight starts to work out people see that and many say, “Way to go!” or to someone else will say, “Look how hard and determined they are.” If your job or life, or both are stressful use exercise to de-stress. And listen to your body! If you can’t lift the same amount weight or do cardio for as long on some days, don’t. Just get in, and start exercising. Its also about getting the blood flowing. Get the nutrients to where they need to go and the waste moving to where it should go. Some movement is better than no movement.
If we’re really lucky, we’ll have a guest blogger on Weight Management in the near future.