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Surviving the personal trainer

Got a visit from my personal trainer, my daughter, who took me on as a “project client” for a few weeks over the holiday season.

Warming up for a workout
James George

Client condition: Age 65, cardiology patient with hypertension, pre diabetic, moderate kidney dysfunction (one removed as it was cancerous); height 6’, weight 200 lbs. Exercises by walking 3.5 miles most days. Patient diet: excessive cheese consumption, no alcohol, excessive processed foods and wheat products. Symptom: wheat belly.

I have discussed my health and fitness with my general practitioner, cardiologist, and urologist many times. While they prescribed drugs to treat my symptoms and conditions, and while they recommend low salt and decaf drinks, they simply pay little attention to what I eat and to my nutrition.

As long my blood tests show “normal” and acceptable performance, they have no concerns.

Now, I am appreciative of my medical team, and credit them for having saved my life, but in consultation with my personal trainer we concluded the following:

  1. I am dependent upon too many drugs to remedy my health issues.
  2. I question the objectivity of the medical profession because they are heavily influenced by “Big Pharma.”
  3. More aggressive attention to diet and exercise may reduce drug dependency.

“A personal trainer is a fitness professional involved in exercise prescription and instruction. They motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client's strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments. .”

She arrived and immediately began an analysis of every single thing that I do. She went to the cupboard to remove all unhealthy and unapproved items for transport to a food donation center. (It may not be good for poor people, either, but we can’t just throw it away.) In that pile are all of the pasta’s and foods made with nonorganic ingredients.

She surveyed the refrigerator.

“Those apples are not organic. That orange juice contains no pulp, and is basically sugar. There is too much cheese here that is made from cow’s milk and is non organic.”

Good news is that there is some organic Kale and lettuce in there, as well as organic tomatoes and strawberries.

Then, she strapped a monitor to my chest and special wrist watch and we headed to the gym. (We are fortunate to have a well appointed gym where we live that is a room to which I have paid rare visits.)

Her first step was to assess by putting me on the elliptical machine for a warm up for 10 minutes. It was OK to use a low setting as she just wanted to get my heart going. (The doctor preapproved this.)

I got into the mid 60’s pulse range and that was effortless. Next she had me do 20 jumping jacks and some stretching. The jumping jacks got my heart going.

Next we did some weight lifting, and used a machine to stretch my legs and ab muscles. None of this was easy because I don’t exercise. She explained all of the machines and emphasized which muscles were getting the work.

Just as I was about to say thanks and head upstairs, she said, “Oh no, you are just getting warmed up.” Then, we hopped on the walk-run treadmill for another 20 minutes, walking at my normal fast pace. I was sweating when were finished with that. Next, we had a cool down with more twisting and light exercise movements.

She explained that this basic foundation is something that would be increased over time to burn more calories. Oh yes, she was counting calories through all of the exercises, and my watch instrument recording information that she would use to assess.

Back upstairs, she introduced me to an app called “My Fitness Pal.” It can be used on a cell phone or iPad. The purpose is to record breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner by entering everything that you eat. To make it easier, it has a bar code reader so that you can read from packages and it will calculate the calories by number of servings. The app allows you to reuse things that you have already entered. For instance, if you eat oatmeal for breakfast, you can recall that information. If you add specific fruits, it will help you calculate the calories.

See "My Fitness Pal":

You eventually calculate the calories you need for a person of your average age. It will help you set a weight goal, presumably for weight loss. You can adjust your diet, caloric intake, and exercise, calorie burn rate to produce calculated weight loss.

Having the personal trainer shadowing you all of the time, alarms go off. “Don’t eat that. Eat the carrots. Have some apple slices. No to all chips, crackers, and cheese. No to all bread, except organic all natural rye, etc.”

And there are reminders: “Time for a walk. Get out of that chair.”

You get the picture.

It used to be that people worked for a living, I mean hard labor. They gardened, they built things, and their activity was physical. Now, we don’t do enough physical work, so we must plan for that and add it into our lives.

We have been robbed of our good senses by the sugar and dairy industry, as well as consumer packaged goods industry. We have not been helped by government that frankly sold us a bill of goods about nutrition. Now, as a very obese nation, we are paying the price.

Part of the high healthcare costs in America start with poor diet and exercise.

What does that have to do with preppers and sustainable living? Just about everything, don’t you think?

My personal trainer went home. I lost 10 lbs and feel very fit. I look forward to my trips to the gym, and I am walking everywhere. There is nothing in the refrigerator or pantry that is not organic.

See the workout video:

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