The Ongoing Battle
I know you’re frustrated. Because you’ve tried a variety of diets and might’ve done extensive research on how to achieve weight loss. Some of these diets and workout routines might have worked for a few weeks. But the weight is back again. Or the muscle is gone. You keep asking yourself: ‘why is it so hard to have the body I want?’
Sounds familiar? It does to me.
My Health Journey
I adopted exercise for the same reason that most young people do: to feel confident. But until the age of 18, I struggled to change my body. I wasn’t skinny or chubby (I played soccer at a high level), but I didn’t have the lean, muscular physique I wanted. Neither did I have a fast metabolism or natural strength. My diet consisted of roughly 50% whole foods and 50% processed or highly processed foods. Prior to my formal education in human physiology, nutrition, and fitness assessment, I did not understand food or how my body produced energy.
I started lifting weights as soon as I ended my athletic career. I overate a lot. My goal was to put on muscle. The result: fat gain. Then, I restricted calories, intermittently fasted, and did a lot of cardio and circuit training. My goal was to get leaner. The result: muscle loss. I developed muscle imbalances and suffered from training injuries that kept me out of the gym. This yo-yoing in weight hampered my body composition and added unnecessary stress on my body.
After completing my undergrad in Kinesiology and Health Science in 2009, I started exercising very hard to build strength. The trend was still “go hard or go home, all the time”. I thought hammering my body would get the greatest and fastest results. I made gains, but hit a plateau.
Prior to physio school, I had time to enjoy fitness and train clients. My weekly routine was 6 days of weight lifting and 3-5 days of running (5-10km). It was great, until I started my masters degree. With longer study periods and more stress, I struggled to maintain my workout routine. My nutrition was an afterthought and sleep wasn’t actually scheduled. I eventually realized that what I was doing was not sustainable.
My Focus on Longevity
5 years into my physiotherapy career, I had much less muscle and a very inconsistent training regiment. I was career driven, and less fitness oriented. Insert two toddlers, very little sleep, and running a business. When the pandemic hit, I had a reality check that I needed to start caring for the vehicle in which I experience life through: my body. I reflected on my craft, how I can contribute to the health of our society, and my commitment to family time. I knew there was a better way to live in balance by managing time and using effective, efficient and economical strategies. After spending countless hours reading about scientific theories that shape our views on fitness, performance, and longevity, it became clear to me that changing our behaviours through habit-building is the only way to maintain good health.
I began to understand the muscle-centric approach to health and longevity, and my practice as a physiotherapist in musculoskeletal orthopaedics evolved. Many of my clients have a common problem: a lack of strength and mobility in one or more areas of their body. We in the rehab world know that pain is best treated by improving one’s overall health and wellness. That’s why I provide comprehensive programs which include resistance training, activity modifications, sleep hygiene, hydration, and nutrition considerations. As a result, my patients have enhanced their quality of life and lowered their risk of injury recurrence.
Evolving into a Health Coach
In an attempt to understand how to optimize exercise, nutrition, and recovery in a time-efficient and sustainable way, I have used myself as a guinea pig. I’ve experimented with training protocols, nutrient timing and supplementation, and I’ve looked at empirical studies—those responsible for paradigm shifts in fitness and nutrition. I’ve learned that the most extreme forms of eating are unnatural and vastly unsustainable for the average person. There is so much variability in our population. What works for one person does not often work for another, and a tailored approach with continuous adjustment is the only way to elicit change.
My goal is to help you understand how your body works, develop real sustainable habits that can transform your body and maintain good health and fitness, all while looking great.