I had such an awesome experience yesterday! I met up with a high school classmate name Brian Duval who had posted on Facebook two DRAMATIC before and after pictures of himself. The guy looked like he was wearing a fat suit in one and then like a professional triathlete in the other. People were posting all sorts of complimentary remarks as did I. But, being in the business of health and fitness, I also asked him to share his story. That led to some private messages back and forth and an agreed upon date and time to meet up. Let me tell you what made that meet up so awesome.
Have you ever known someone who was afflicted with sleep apnea? If you have, you know how much it impacts their quality of life. If you haven’t, let me tell you why. Sleep apnea is a condition that impacts an estimated 22 million Americans with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed. It is a disorder that causes someone to stop breathing momentarily either because of obstruction to their airway or a condition called central sleep apnea where the brain fails to signal the muscles needed to breathe. Either way, the person ends up accumulating a serious oxygen debt as they go in and out of breathing. Additionally, the constant disruptions to their sleep cycle make getting restorative sleep impossible. This second part is worth expanding upon a bit more before we get back to my friend and why our meet up was so awesome.
Sleep is essential to our health and overall well-being. When we close our eyes, a hormone called human growth hormone is released to restore our body and muscles from the stresses of the day. Additionally, our immune system also goes through a process to restore itself. These events only occur when we complete what are called sleep stages. Sleep stages, of which there are five, consist of increasingly deeper and more restorative levels of sleep. Combined these different sleep stages make up what is called a sleep cycle. One sleep cycle is around 90 minutes to 2 hours. This is important to note because to complete a sleep cycle we must remain asleep without interruption for that window of time. Also, we must experience 4 – 5 individual sleep cycles each night to truly get the restorative benefits we are meant to achieve when we close our eyes.
Now we’re ready to get back to my friend Brian. He started out by sharing with me that he had been dealing with a severe case of obstructive sleep apnea for over 10 years. His disordered sleeping was so horrible that he could not be still for any period without feeling like he needed to close his eyes. It didn’t matter whether he was home, at work, or driving. He was lethargic ALL the time. He was depressed, ate way too much and did not have any quality of life.
One day at a regularly scheduled dental appointment, braces were suggested by his hygienist because she was concerned that he might have gum issues if he didn’t do something to address his crowded teeth. He did not go into the appointment with this consideration but left willing to meet with an orthodontist just to check out his options. When he met with the orthodontist referred to him, one of the first things the doctor asked Brian after examining him was whether he suffered from sleep apnea. This question proved to be a significant one for him because it promoted another referral, this time to a dental surgeon who broke his jaw on purpose after it was determined that the airway through which he had been breathing once his jaw settled each night was resulting in an airway the size of a pencil eraser. Can you imagine?!
Here’s the fun part though. About a week after Brian had his jaw reset, despite still having massive swelling and incredible pain, my friend had a profound experience. He slept for 5 uninterrupted hours! We take for granted waking up feeling refreshed because most of us have that experience every morning. Imagine if you were my friend though. This was a guy who a pulmonologist discovered through a sleep study prior to his surgery would stop breathing over 100 times per hour! His pulmonologist had never seen anything like Brian’s results EVER! For over 10 years his average span of sleep was around 60 minutes. Imagine how amazing he must have felt going from that to sleeping straight through until the glow of a fresh new morning woke him up.
His life, in his mind, started again after his surgery. His sleep continued to consistently get better and his body showed the signs of this immediately. In a span of 5 weeks, through both the combination of a liquid only diet as his jaw healed and the restorative sleep he was now getting, he lost over 50 pounds! Fast forward to now and he’s lost a total of 170 pounds! He calls July 20th his “rebirthday”. That was the day he had his surgery.
What I loved as we continued to talk about life after surgery, when he was still obese but now sleeping soundly, was how he determined to make the most of his new lease on life. He shared how he started with walking by his house. First it was a couple of miles a few times a week. Then is was a two to three miles most days of the week. From there he just continued to progress in intensity and frequency. He now LOVES a place called Revolve Cycle and goes to classes most days of the week. He also has a developing love for weight lifting now as well.
He approached his nutritional changes with a similar subtle yet steady mindset. Being the nutrition coach that I am, I LOVED hearing him talk about slow change, nothing drastic. He just gradually included more of the things that were healthy and removed the things that did not support his new goal to feel as healthy as he could be.
Over the course of about 30 months, my friend changed his life forever. He is such a testimony to what we can choose to do with this gift of a human body that we have. He could have chosen to have the surgery, experienced the change in his energy but not changed the lifestyle he was living. He didn’t do that. He did what I hope and pray any of you inspired by this will do. He decided to LIVE.
Brian and I recently after finishing Tumamoc Hill together. SO Fit!
1. What was the reason you decided to go to a trainer?
Initially it was because I was in constant pain following a second back surgery and spoke to someone in a similar situation who had found relief from going to a gym. That was back in 1995. Now the pain is more or less under control, I’m exercising to maintain my independence as I get older.
2. Did you consider or participate in any other form of treatment for your reason before seeking a trainer? Examples: physical therapist, acupuncturist, medication
Medication, TENS machine, physical therapy, home exercise program- nothing worked.
3. How did you hear about BodyBasics?
From Edrice Ivory – a knitting acquaintance!
4. Did you evaluate other gyms or trainers before deciding on coming to us? If yes, what were other places missing that BodyBasics was able to provide?
I am a member of Anytime Fitness through the Silver Sneakers Program. It’s very close to my house and I use it for cardio. I had a free training session there but it just seemed to offer the “cookie cutter” exercises that can lead to injury for me. (I also have hyper-mobility in a lot of my joints, so need careful supervision). I was very impressed with the intake procedure at Body Basics, the careful measurements and assessment, together with the in depth questionnaire. I had never experienced that before at any of the gyms I’ve attended.
5. Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?
I was confident that I could work out safely, under expert supervision and avoid further injury.
6. What goals did you have when you started at BodyBasics?
I wanted to improve my strength and balance as I age.
7. How long have you been training at BodyBasics and what specifically have you achieved over that interval?
I’ve been training for just over 5 years (with a short gap). My balance has really improved. I have had set-backs with my back, mainly due to my lack of self awareness but Chris has managed to get me through them. It hasn’t been a straight trajectory of improvement but the direction has been upward, which is very encouraging. ( I recently went to my doctor who told me I was doing better than 90 % of his patients with the same back problems!)
8. What current goals are you pursuing with your trainers at BodyBasics?
I’m working on adding to the exercises in my “can do” list, trying new ones and listening to my body to see if they work for me. I’m constantly working on my balance and strengthening my core.
Welcome New and Returning Clients
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!
Denise Roepke ~ Welcome Back!
Shannon Houser ~ Welcome Back!
Paula Kulahjian ~ Welcome Back!
Donna Leaman ~ Welcome Back!
Steve Russo ~ Welcome Back!
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Dawn Cleary ~ For always striving to improve and experiencing the fruits of her efforts recently when, in the same day, both her chiropractor and her primary care physician shared positive changes with her that correlated directly with her ongoing nutrition and fitness focuses!
Jane Spitzer ~ For taking the “quinoa challenge” and having one of her best workouts because of it! Also, huge shout out to her consistency on her own with her exercise program resulting in measurable change for the better in her bone density after a recent scan was done. This is the first time in 4 years that her bone density test has come back with improvement despite taking bone building meds all this time. Power of resistance training!
Laura Haines ~ For eclipsing the 100 pound mark on her barbell hip thrusts in August! Huge milestone to be proud of!
Bob Plymyer ~ For his steadiness and consistency in both his workouts and his PN program! Wonderful example of how both of these intentions can produce amazing results! Keep on keeping on sir!
Tina Scheer ~ For demonstrating superb form this month on her racked Romanian Dead Lifts as she seamlessly integrated all of her Foundation cues to do so!
Recipe – Yellow Tomato Chipotle Salsa
I am always looking for new types of salsa to try. This salsa recipe was part of a recipe for lobster tacos and I loved it so much I wanted to share with you all. This is perfect on tacos, nachos, or just with chips.
2 limes juice
1 Tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 yellow tomatoes diced (I used yellow cherry tomatoes halved)
1/2 small red onion diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let sit one hour to allow flavors to mix.
Exercise Video of the Month – 4 Point Plank and Then Some!
Community Events – Monthly Learn with Litten!
Starting in September, yours truly, Chris Litten, will be starting another way of supporting our community. I’m calling it Learn with Litten! I will be providing an opportunity to dive deeper on various items such as our exercises at BodyBasics, nutrition and any other health and fitness topics you may have interest in learning more about. I intend for these times to be interactive to a degree as well as I firmly believe that when we are hands on and provided visual examples, we learn way better. Here are the dates planned for the rest of this year and topics I plan to teach. Sign up by putting your name down at the front desk or calling in to reserve your spot.
September 29th 1-2 p.m. – Topic: Diving Deeper Into the Why and How of our Mobility Circuit
October 27th 1-2 p.m. – Topic: Breathing: How to Use It As a Tool to Protect You When You Exercise
November 17th 1-2 p.m. – Topic: Keep Back Pain at Bay! 3 Exercises Everyone Should Be Doing
December 15th 1-2 p.m. – Topic: The Hip Thrust Exercise: What It Is and Why You Should Be Doing It
Chris, Kris, Kristian, Lance, Amanda, Dustin and Xavier