Our team is proud to introduce you to another outstanding client at True Fitness and Nutrition, Greg Adams. Greg has always been an active guy, but he found us earlier this year when searching for better results and has since made remarkable strides - changes in physique, mindset, and a true education about what really works when it comes to exercise and food. Check out his interview below, including insight from his trainer Christos Monastiriotis and nutrition consultant Jenn Stofferahn, and get inspired for your own fitness evolution!
TrueFN: How long have you been working with your trainer, Christos, and your nutrition consultant, Jenn?
GA: I have been working with Christos on resistance training and with Jenn on nutrition counseling for the past three months, beginning at the end of June 2015.
TrueFN: Why did you start working together?
I've gained 10 pounds each decade since my 30's, despite being very active. I ride my bike everywhere, including back and forth to work for a total of 20-30 miles a day. I play tennis 2-3 times a week. With so much activity, I was surprised at my inability to lose weight. Being in my late 50's, I understood that my metabolism was slowing down considerably. So I thought I'd be able to lose weight simply by adding more exercise each day. That strategy wasn't working. All it did was leave me feeling exhausted at the end of the day and craving more food.
In the back of mind I knew that nutrition and resistance training were important components of being fit. But I didn't have experience or knowledge in either area. I began looking for a comprehensive fitness program in my community that incorporated both resistance training and nutrition components.
TrueFN: How has your physique, strength, and/or mindset changed since you started?
Since I started working with Christos and Jenn nearly three months ago I've gained strength, become more muscular, decreased my body fat levels, and most importantly I feel more energized and better in general. I have dropped two pants sizes and can now fit into pants that I haven't been able to wear for years.
The most dramatic change, though, has been in my mindset. I've come to realize that becoming truly fit and healthy required me to have a longer-term perspective and to adjust my expectations. While I have lost weight, I am more focused now on how I feel and how I perform. It is less about the calories consumed and more about how to feed my body what it needs in order to perform in the way that I expect it to perform. I want to live to exercise another day in order to remain active, as I get older.
TrueFN: How many days a week do you exercise?
I exercise 3-4 days a week, participating in biking, running, hiking, tennis and resistance training.
TrueFN: Life gets busy, how often would you say you miss a workout?
I rarely miss a workout, because my workouts are incorporated into my daily schedule. For example, during the work week I bike to my office, go to the gym in my office building for resistance training at lunch or after work, and then I bike home. On weekends I play tennis, go on a long run or bike ride and go to the gym. Having a resistance workout program from Christos gives my workouts purpose and structure. I'm more motivated to go to the gym knowing exactly which resistance exercises to focus on during the workout. It's also motivating to see the changes in my physique. Even better when friends and family have noticed a difference in my appearance.
TrueFN: On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your sessions with Christos?
It varies for each session. On average I would say a "7" except for the days he has me sprinting on the rowing machine. That workout really kicks my butt. Christos is good about gauging how much I can push myself on any given day. I'm pretty motivated so he pushes me to do more than I think is possible, leaving me feeling good about the workout. He makes the session interesting by adding new exercises to more familiar exercises. I never know what to expect each session, apart from knowing that I will be challenged and coming away with a feeling of accomplishment. Looking back after several months of working with Christos I have seen measurable improvements in my strength and flexibility.
TrueFN: How important is smart nutrition in your life?
If you asked me this question just four months ago I would have said that I could manage it with more exercise and still eat anything that I want. I now realize that that was not "smart" nutrition. It is now the single most important factor for me on my quest to be fit and healthy. Jenn helped me get smarter about nutrition, not by depriving me, but by educating me about what my body needs to perform. She introduced new behaviors like increasing water and protein intake, supplementing my diet with fish oil, prioritizing healthy carbs, and finally getting a handle on my love for sugar. Thanks to Jenn and my new behaviors I have not had a Slurpee or doughnut in the past 3 months. Not that I couldn't have one as a treat but I have come to realize that there is a negative consequence for consuming sugar. I started out tracking consumption of all my food. Now I can manage my consumption without tracking food intake.
TrueFN: Does your family prioritize fitness and nutrition too?
Not yet, but they are learning from seeing the change in my behaviors.
TrueFN: You're about to spend a year overseas for work - what's your plan for staying fit and nutritionally smart?
I plan to take advantage of having a fully stocked gym, tennis court and swimming pool to exercise on a regular basis. It will be my built-in "de-stressor" activity each day. The challenge for me will be the abundance of "free" food available in the cafeteria. I plan to stick with the plan to drink plenty of water, take fish oil supplements, eat plenty of protein to feed my muscles, and five helpings of healthy carbs (read veggies!) each day. I will avoid sugary foods, but allow myself a treat once in a while. I'm optimistic that I will be able to maintain the behavior changes that I have incorporated into my life over the past three months working with Jenn.
TrueFN: What's your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?
Carpe diem! Do it now. Don't put it off. Get a buddy to keep you accountable and honest. Don't diet. Change your behaviors by learning new healthy habits and enjoy the benefits of living a healthy and fit lifestyle.
Trainer Perspective - Christos Monastiriotis and Jenn Stofferahn
TrueFN: Christos, what is it like to work with Greg?
Greg is a hard working and dedicated individual. I love training Greg because of his positive can-do attitude. Greg knew what he had to do to get results and made sure he stuck with the program. For a trainer there is nothing more you could ask for from a client. He is proof that Hard Work + Consistency = Results.
TrueFN: Jenn, how does Greg set an example as a Nutrition client?
Greg sought out guidance from us because the things he was doing for years to keep fit weren't forging the kind of body he wanted. Greg wasn't messing around - he came in and put all of his cards on the table right away, telling me honestly that he needed to learn more about the science of nutrition and he needed help changing his habits, specifically addressing the role that sugar was playing in his daily life. My goal is to empower people to make smart choices, not to hand over a "diet plan". Greg's progress so far is because he's stayed honest with himself and with me, he's kept an open mind, and he's stayed positive as he adds new habits to his lifestyle. Three cheers for Greg!