Busy Executive’s Weight Loss Success Story

This busy executive contacted me saying that she was an active person who skied, hiked and ran but had struggled with her weight for most of her life. And although she is a vegan, she admitted to eating too many calories and wanted to get help with her nutrition as well as the strength training and accountability.

Did I mention she is busy? And I mean BUSY! She is a top executive with a major company and works 12 to 14 hour days at her highly demanding job.

Despite the lack of free time, she did her best over the first 6 to 8 months of us working together to discover what nutrition strategies and regular workout schedule worked best for her. At about that point, that’s when she started making major progress with her weight and body fat reduction. She was able to find habits and strategies that worked for her.

Its been impressive to watch her attention and dedication to her nutrition plan. I can recall large family parties, vacations, company dinners and lavish restaurant dinners where she said no to the luscious, high-calorie foods available to her and stuck with her eating plan. She was ultra motivated and nothing was going to take her off course.

She has been just as dedicated to her workouts. She runs several times a week, hikes or skiis on weekends, lifts weights with me twice a week, attends a boot camp one evening and a Pilates yet another. Some nights she doesn’t get home until 9 pm from her workouts.

She tells me she would like to lose another 15 pounds and I know she will. I also am confident that she will then be able to maintain her weight loss because of the healthy lifestyle habits she has incorporated. And if you are struggling with your weight, let her be an inspiration to you.

Date 5-6-14 5-3-16 Progress  
Height 5’3
Weight 197.6 143.6 -54
Neck 13.25 12 -1.25
Arm 14.75 11.75 -3
Forearm 10 8.75 -1.25
Wrist 7 5.75 -1.25
Waist 39.25 29.5 -9.75
Abdomen 37.5 31.25 -6.25
Hips 47.75 39.25 -8.5
Thigh 28 23.5 -4.5
Calf 16.5 14.75 -1.75
Body Fat 42.2% 32.3% -9.9%
Pushups 15 30 +15
54 pounds             
37.5 inches             
9.9% body fat            
Doubled upper body strength
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Client Success Story: Stella

Stella’s Fitness Progress Report
Stella’s results illustrate the importance of incorporating a well designed strength training program. Notice that Stella “only” lost 3.4 pounds but her efforts resulted in an astounding loss of 9 inches and 1.7% body fat in ten weeks. Her lean muscle mass increased as well as evidenced by her ability to do 14 more pushups than when she started her program.

Had Stella not been working with someone who was tracking her progress she might have felt disappointed with the results she saw on the scale. 3.4 pounds doesn’t seem like much weight to lose for all her dieting and exercise effort. It is important to understand that muscle weighs more than fat and strength training increases valuable muscle.  If you have been working out with weights and watching what you eat, the number on the scale may stay the same or even go up. So the scale may not be a good indicator of success with a program. Body fat loss, inches lost and strength increases are better indicators of success than the scale. Frequent retesting can help maintain motivation.

Update: As of the date I am posting this blog 11-12-11 I am happy to report that Stella has lost an additional 4 pounds and is wearing jeans that she hasn’t worn in over 7 years!

Results in 2.5 months:

Decreased body fat: 1.7%

Decreased weight: 3.4#

Decreased inches:  9 inches

Increased pushup strength 200%

Date 6-16-11 9-6-11 Change 2.5 months
Height 5′ 5”
Weight 234 230.6 -3.4#
Age 47 yrs 47 yrs n/a
Neck 16 16 0
Arm 16.5 16 -.5
Forearm 11 11 0
Wrist 6.5 6.5 0
Waist 44.25 42 -2.25
Abdomen 47.75 45 -2.75
Hips 53.25 51 -2.25
Thigh 27.75 27 -.75
Calf 17.75 17.25 -.5
Total Inches Lost:   -9 inches
Body Fat 45.8% 44.2% -1.7%
Pushups 7 21 14 more!


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Body Composition: Defining Success

In an effort to lose weight and excess fat, Americans spent billions of dollars for diet books, services and products. Yet, efforts such as these to achieve thinness are often based on misunderstandings about body weight and body composition.

Body composition refers to the proportion of fat and fat-free mass in the body. Those with a higher proportion of lean mass to a lower proportion of body fat have a healthy body composition. Lean mass is muscle, tissue, bone, water.

Being thin does not necessarily reduce one’s health risk. Thinness simply refers to weighing less than the recommended values in age-height-weight tables. What is most important to reduce health risk is having an ideal body fat percentage. Someone who is thin yet carrying additional fat (as determined by a test) are considered “skinny fat”.

Leanness, on the other hand, refers to the % of muscle and bone composition of your body weight. Muscular people with relatively low body fat may be overweight according to weight charts and Body Mass Index. But because they are lean (meaning ideal body fat percentage) , this decreases their risk for health problems associated with being over fat.

Success of your weight loss and exercise program is defined as achieving and maintaining a healthy BODY COMPOSITION not WEIGHT LOSS.

This is a better indicator of your overall level of health and success than number on the scale. How much of a person’s weight is actually body fat is one of the most significant factors in evaluating health. Your ideal weight is really a range of weights that is considered healthy, as long as your body fat is in the “healthy range. A body fat test will tell you what your body fat is. That is something I do with all new clients. Then armed with this information I can calculate what an estimated healthier weight is based on your current body fat percentage and a healthier percentage.

As we age our body fat tends to increase, and there is a loss of muscle mass. If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body.

Muscle weighs more than fat and strength training increases muscle. So the scale may not be a good indicator of your success with your program. If you have been working out with weights and watching what you eat, the number on the scale may stay the same or even go up. But there is no need to worry about this. Here is a real life example. And here is another one. Notice how many inches and body fat they lost and how much strength (pushups) the gained.

The goal is to lose fat and maintain muscle and even build muscle. A more muscular body burns more calories per day, helping you manage your weight.

So body composition is a better indicator of your body’s health and fitness.

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