Meet Mary. She’s a healthcare worker in her mid-fifties, who originally attended one of my 2-hour seminars, at a singles group.
After a couple years of reading my articles, she was finally ready to do something about her health and fitness.
So she decided to start working with my team, to help her:
- Stop and reduce the spread in her stomach area
- Tone her mid-section
- Prevent bone loss
She ended up working with us for 8 weeks, and in that time, she experienced a dramatic transformation.
We found that she:
- Lost 9 cm off her waist (nearly 4 inches)
- Got significantly stronger
- Improved her tennis performance
In this article, we’ll talk about:
- What we learned about Mary during her initial assessment
- The exercise program that we put her on
- Nutritional recommendations made
- How it affected her life
The Initial Assessment
As you know from my articles, especially, the one on the importance of measurements, we measure all of our clients. And Mary is no different.
Here were our findings during the initial assessment:
- She had hypothyroidism, for which she was taking Eltroxin to address
- She had impaired glucose tolerance
- No real current injuries, other than a snapped tendon in 1998, which no longer affected her in any way
- She was a regular tennis player, usually playing twice per week
- Her love handles (supra-iliac) measured at 27.5 mm
- Her belly fat (umbilicus) was 32.5 mm
- Her waist was 84 cm (33 inches)
- She weighed 108.5, at a height of 5’2.
Symptomatically, Mary’s biggest symptoms were related to:
- Blood sugar dysregulation (she scored 13/39 in that section of the symptom questionnaire. An ideal score is 0)
- Female hormones (she scored 8/30)
- Poor vitamin absorption (she scored 16/75)
So not in really bad shape, but certainly not where she wanted to be.
After the initial assessment, she started working with one of my trainers who covers the North York area, Katrina.
Mary’s Exercise Program
Katrina had Mary doing strength training twice per week. Given that one of Mary’s goals was to strengthen her bones, the only way to strengthen is with strength training (logical, isn’t it?). But at the same time, fat loss was a higher priority. Of course, if Mary had osteopenia, or full-blown osteoporosis, the priorities would have been different. But her goal was prevention, rather than treatment, so we gave her a strength training program, aimed at toning, and fat loss.
Initially, the exercises that Katrina included were things like:
- Lat pulldowns
- Seated rows
… and others. Most of them were done for 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions. Basically, very much in line with the program that I outline in my article on exercise for weight loss.
Initially, most exercises were done using straight sets (where you do one set, then rest. Then you do the same exercise, and rest again, etc.), to learn the exercise itself, and get proper technique. Once that was accomplished, after about 3 weeks, Katrina added in a few more exercises using the TRX, and did everything in a circuit format (where you move from one exercise, to a different exercise, to another different exercise, before coming back to the first exercise).
But I’ll bet you’re thinking “If one of Mary’s goals was to tone her midsection, did you do any abdominal exercises?” The answer is yes, but pretty much just planks. No crunches, no situps, no conventional abdominal exercises. The reasons for this are outlined in my article on core strength myths. And despite the absence of conventional abdominal exercises, she still managed to lose nearly 4 inches off her waist.
Unlike most people who have poor nutrition, Mary’s nutrition was actually pretty good to begin with. She ate more or less the proper amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and had fruits and vegetables every day. And despite that, she wasn’t in the kind of shape, nor had the kind of energy levels that she wanted to have.
So Katrina made a few recommendations:
- Eat low glycemic carbohydrates. These are sources of carbohydrates that don’t raise the blood sugar as quickly. Examples would be quinoa, buckwheat, millett, and brown rice. This was especially important given Mary’s impaired glucose tolerance.
- Additionally, to re-sensitize Mary to insulin, Katrina recommended the supplement “MetaGlycemX”, by Metagenics (we have no financial interest in the product).
And well… the results speak for themselves.
How it Affected Her Life
As a result of all the changes made, Mary’s weight was more or less stable. On October 2, when I did her initial assessment, her weight was 108.5 lbs. On November 30, when I did her final measurements, her weight was 108 lbs. So looking at the scale alone, the results would be considered disappointing. But when we dig deeper into the numbers, we see that:
- She dropped nearly 4 inches around her waist
- She lost about 4 mm off her love handles
- She lost about 5 mm of belly fat
So with all that fat loss, why would she weigh virtually the same? MUSCLE! Precious muscle. She got more toned.
- Has more energy
- Is a stronger tennis player
- Fits into her clothes better
- Has firmer legs, with more tone