Lose Weight and Build Muscle with In-Home Personal Training in Omaha, NE

4 Good Reasons to Lose Weight

Overall most popular incentives — scary disease statistics and fitness industry vanity trips — aren’t very effective, useful, or scientifically valid ways to promote weight loss.

There are much better reasons to lose weight. More pressing, more evidence-based, more quality-of-life focused reasons.  Sadly, they’re not often talked about in the TV news or publications.

Reason #4: Your JOINTS will thank you.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, in which we lose cartilage and gradually destroy the bones of our joints.

Imagine two rocks grinding together and you get the idea of how fun that is.

In my experience, healthy people don’t think much about osteoarthritis because it’s common. Aging makes it more likely. Everyone’s grandma has a twinge of arthritis.

So we think it’s normal.  This hides the degree to which it can be very unpleasant and debilitating.  Like most chronic illnesses, osteoarthritis is a vicious cycle.

  • Your joints hurt, so you move less.
  • Moving less means your joints don’t get loaded.
  • Less joint loading means muscle weakness.
  • Muscle weakness means force doesn’t get cushioned correctly.
  • Less cushion means the condition worsens.
  • More osteoarthritis means more pain.
  • And, onwards, we circle the drain. 

The point? Obesity makes it much more likely that you’ll get osteoarthritis.

In one study comparing the heaviest patients to the lightest, the chance of being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee was more than 6 times in the heavy group.

The reason this happens is complicated.  It isn’t just that heavier people put more weight on their joints, and those joints then degrade over time. It’s also that there seems to be a relationship between the presence of excess fat tissue and inflammation.  So, Osteoarthritis probably comes from a combination of excess joint loading plus the inflammatory chemical and hormonal environment that having too much body fat creates.

Bottom line: One important reason to lose weight is to reduce joint pain and improve your movement. These are things you can benefit from almost immediately.

Reason #3: You’ll SLEEP better.

Think of what happens when a rockslide blocks a tunnel.

That’s sleep apnea: The upper airway collapses while you sleep, cutting off that oxygen tunnel.  Just so you know, sleep apnea is more than a little snoring.

Sleep apnea means you stop breathing. Over and over and over. As you sleep.

Which is bad.  More body fat means more potential for sleep apnea. This comes from a few combined factors:

  1. Fat in your airway narrows the space available. This makes your airway more prone to collapsing.
  2. Fat in your upper body puts weight on your lungs and reduces the space available to them. You need more oxygen but you can’t get it as well.
  3. Fat — a hormone-producing organ — changes your hormonal signals. This rewires your respiratory systems.  While around 25 percent of adults have sleep apnea, 50 percent of obese adults have it. 

Even more scary: If you have mild sleep apnea, and you put on weight, the chances of you graduating to moderate or severe sleep apnea are:

  • 5 percent weight gain = 250 percent increase of severe sleep apnea
  • 10 percent weight gain = 650 percent increase of severe sleep apnea
  • 20 percent weight gain = 3,700 percent increase of severe sleep apnea

(And it’s scariest for children: 46 percent of obese children have sleep apnea, while the typical incidence in children is approximately 3 percent).

So, why is sleep apnea bad?  Sleep is a major regulator of our metabolism. If our sleep is bad, so is our metabolic health.  This means things like elevated inflammation, rapid cell aging and oxidation, and hormonal disruption (and, yes, higher risk for all kinds of nasty chronic diseases in the long term).

Bottom line: Another important reason to lose weight is so that you can sleep better. Not only does this help regulate metabolism, hormone systems, and more. It helps you feel, think and live better right away.

Reason #2: Your immune system will work properly again.

We tend to think of body fat like an ATM: a place where we deposit or withdraw energy. It isn’t.  Instead, fat is an active endocrine organ. That means it secretes hormones and cytokines (cell signaling molecules).  Hormones and cytokines have effects throughout the body. They “talk” to one another chemically.

Like all things, balance is important. If we have a healthy amount of fat, our hormones and cell signals work properly. If we have too much, things go wrong.

For example, with too much body fat our immune systems get off kilter.

There’s a huge, scary pile of evidence here so let’s keep it simple.  Increased BMI and more body fat is associated with greater risk for several kinds of infections including:

  • gum infections,
  • nose and sinus infections,
  • stomach infections, and
  • herpes (thankfully, the mouth kind).

Why? Too much adipose (fat) tissue can release large amounts of immune chemicals. Over time, this chronic high exposure can interfere with the body’s ability to spot and stop actual outside infections.

Bottom line: Losing body fat can mean a healthier, more responsive, more robust immune system. And that means less colds, fewer infections, and a healthier daily life.

Reason #1: You’ll survive surgery and childbirth.

People with a lot of body fat:

·       are harder to intubate,
·       have a higher risk of incisional hernia post-laprascopy (i.e. popping open again),
·       have a longer operation time,
·       have a higher risk of catheter site infection, and
·       have a higher rate of serious postoperative complications.

Surgery is a risky business for people who are obese.

This is a double whammy because people who struggle with obesity also struggle with more health issues that may require surgery.  So obese people may need surgery… but not be able to get it, or not recover as well when they do.  Pregnancy is a good example of this.

·       Among women who are significantly obese, about 50 percent of them must undergo Caesarean sections, compared to only about 20 percent of the general population.

·       Even if they give birth vaginally, obese women may have to have a lot more instruments and medical procedures involved.

·       After surgery, mothers with obesity may end up with more surgical site infections.

This is aside from other pregnancy complications, which also go up significantly as body fat increases.

Bottom line: Every surgery patient wants a safe and speedy recovery. And every mother wants a safe birth and a thriving, bouncing baby. Having a healthy range of body fat makes those happy outcomes much more likely.

Keeping the holidays REAL

I just want you to know that I’m not here to tell you what to do, think, or feel.

(And as your personal trainer I’m not here to make you feel guilty, ashamed, anxious, or deprived).  Instead, I’m here to help you think through the questions. To help you choose more consciously, with awareness and intention.

And to help you keep it real.  Because holiday foods taste great when made with love and shared with friends and family. They just do.

So here is an idea…

Enjoy some real cookies this holiday season. Or some other thing you enjoy but think is “off limits”.

Just do it consciously. Mindfully. Joyfully. And — as I teach in my programs — SLOWLY.

Instead of scarfing it down and waiting for the guilt, savor it. Taste the layers of flavor and try to enjoy every last one of them.  Stay present and checked in. Choose with purpose. Then move on.

Because, with the right approach:

You can enjoy food, connect with others, and be healthy and fit.

Along with: choosing with purpose; slowing down and taking a moment to really savor and enjoy; looking for moments of true joy rather than getting distracted by guilt, anxiety, or regret.

But it’s not always easy.  Even if you’re not ready to embrace this mindset because restricting is your only way to feel in control.  Even if you can’t believe that enjoying certain foods guilt-free is possible.  Even if you feel stuck in the middle of a nasty cycle of restrict, collapse, shame, repeat.

Even if you’re poking your belly angrily as you read this right now, thinking about the crappy cholesterol test results you just got and muttering,

“Yeah right, that’s easy for you to say, because you’re a Fitness Guy, and I can’t even get to the gym twice a week with my crazy schedule / shoulder injury / kids.”

It’s okay.

Because, I’m 100 percent sure that connection, love, and enjoyment can exist while working toward better health.  And maybe, somewhere along the way, I can help you discover the same thing.

What to do next

1. Think about what brings you joy over the holidays.

What really fills your tank?  What rejuvenates and renews you?  See if you can do more of that.  It doesn’t have to revolve around food or eating.  But it could.

2. Think about the choices you make, and how you make them.

Remember, it’s not about making the “right” choice like a Good Fitness Person.  It’s about making a choice that’s right for you, right now, and being aware of how you got to that decision.

3. Savor the moments.

Whatever you choose to eat, drink, or do during the holidays: Take the time to “check in”, pay attention, and be present with those things.  

4. Reach out.

Strong relationships are an important part of good health.  Connect with friends, family, and whoever else you consider your “group”.  If you’d like to add more supporters to your team, consider the professionals out there.  Like myself (selfless plug I know)

5. Give back.

It’s stressful when your gaze is constantly fixed on yourself, your body, and your food decisions.  So look outward.  Consider how you might be able to share good health and well-being with others during this important time of the year.

In the end, whatever you celebrate, however you celebrate…

I hope you and your loved ones enjoy all that the season has to offer.

You get frustrated and quit!

Understand that progress isn’t usually a straight line, if you’re gauging success based on how much you weigh each morning, you’re bound to give up before you can establish healthy habits or see real change. Almost as a rule the path looks like a crazy, twisted line of progress, failures then more progress, and tons of lessons learned.  A year later, many pounds lost for good. Its definetly worth the ride!

Game-plan the grocery store

Many people trying to “eat clean” get derailed by the mere sight of processed food. I do my best to help my clients learn how to navigate the grocery store to avoid temptation. The secret: Stay on the perimeter. Calorie-packed chips, cookies, pasta, sauces, and dressings are in the middle. The good stuff like vegetables, meats, eggs, and fruits are stocked on the outside, away from the aisles..

Ask for help!

Most people are so hesitant to ask, but when you do find the courage and humility to speak up, you often get better results. It can be something small, like “please stop bringing cookies into the house.”

Must Use Customized Programs!

Often people trying to get fit become discouraged because exercise and nutrition programs seem to have been written for someone else. You know why? BECAUSE THEY WERE! To really lose weight in a lasting way, your plan has to be customized to YOU.

Take the good days with the bad

Some days will be better than others, and it’s crucial not to let your inevitable disappointments spoil successes. Time after time, you learn about yourself. Keep the pace steady, choose the broccoli more times than you choose the fries. Realizing you dont have to be perfect all the time will help you drop the pounds!

Don’t let one cookie derail you

Realize you can have a clean slate everytime you mess up.  Because it is about a healthy lifestyle not just a DIET!“  Its important to learn habits that change the way you view your body and the food you put in it. It’s a life plan, and it’s something you know you can manage forever.

Don’t expect unbroken enthusiasm

Be real with yourself its going to be a drag sometimes and that’s true for everyone. You need to learn that sometimes you have to drag yourelf to the gym, even if you don’t feel like going, and it will be a huge burden lifted off yourself.


A whole lot of my clients know a whole lot about health and nutrition

Think of yourself as a beginner It’s about realizing that no matter how smart you are and how much you know about exercise, if you are not living it, you don’t really know it.  To your family and friends, you might be the go-to person for questions of health and fitness. But if you can find a way to wipe that slate clean and make way for new insights and advice — or even just for hearing them with fresh ears — then you’re much more likely to succeed.

Find accountability, A whole lot of my clients know a whole lot about health and nutrition coming into my program. They think, with all this know-how —why’s the weight still sticking to them? Their lightbulb moment: Relinquishing control to coaches, who offer the practical lifestyle advice, daily habits, and — this is key — accountability that’s needed to create real change.

 The secret to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is consistency!  Get someone to breathe down your neck, and you’ll make healthy choices your habit.

De-emphasize the “work” in “working out”

Something that helps my clients maintain an optimal exercise schedule is coming to see movement as play, as fun, as release. Find the activities you love, and moving your body will become something you seek out, not hate.

Know that everyone I mean everyone  has to work at it! Fit/healthy people who look like they’ve got it all figured out have to put effort into eating right, too.

Forget envy and intimidation. No more saying “That could never be me” Start thinking of others’ success stories as inspiration.  Discover the value of trying.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try,”

Pay attention to your environment

Recognizing how your surroundings that might have caused unhealthy habits to develop — like work in fast food restaurants — this allows clients to discover the why of who they are and start zeroing in on the power of how to change it.

Don’t fall to pack mentality - It turns out that a lot of people have health and weight issues.  And often they don’t want to eat poorly; they just do it because everyone else is, like friends, family, the people around them are doing it.

Dive below the surface, we can skim the top of our diet issues and see some small changes on the scale, or we can really dig into our relationship with food, what motivates it, and how to make it better. Some questions to ask yourself…“How have trying times brought me to where I am now, and how have I coped?” “What do I really care about? What gives me joy? How can I get more of that?”.
Say goodbye to the old you, this isn’t some meaningless cliche. I’ve found that many people hold an invisible fear of losing themselves if they lose a bunch of weight. Consciously mourn your old self as you greet the healthier you.

Stay connected to what you love about yourself, just remember, you deserve all of the amazing insights, strength gains, friendships, learning — whatever you take from this journey as you find and discover a new and best version of yourself!

What I Like About Essential Oils

1. Affect emotional health, which affect their physical health

People basically hire me to “feel” better.  Whether that is dropping a couple pounds or recovering from a heart attack most of my clients want to have a better emotional outlook about themselves.

One way or another I have had a conversation about an emotional situation which is causing them stress/sadness.  The emotional effect of essential oils isn’t just from the scent.  Processed (fake) fragrances can smell nice too. The constituents in a specific essential oil are believed to act on the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain.  As a Health Fitness Specialist, I believe the potential for essential oils to positively affect one’s emotional state makes them a valuable tool in an overall health and fitness program.  Notice I say “potentially” none of these therapeutic oils are intended to treat or cure disease/diagnosed conditions.

2. Essential oils act quickly and can influence behavior
Essential oils, applied topically, penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream quickly. When inhaled, they can also be absorbed through the nasal cavity and cross the blood-brain barrier. As a result, they can have an almost-immediate effect.  This is one of the main reasons for myself to use oils!  I’ve heard from numerous people about how quickly they “feel” a difference in mood, energy, stress or calmness of mind.  When they feel different, they often behave differently.  With more energy, they may move more. With a better mood or less perceived stress, they may avoid emotional eating. Feeling calmer at night, they may get to sleep earlier.

3. Therapeutic Essential Oils, are about as natural as you can get for “natural products”

Essential oils come from various parts of the plant, depending on the essential oil – the leaves, stems, seeds, woody parts. For an essential oil to be maximally therapeutic, the plant matter must be steam distilled at very specific temperatures, for a very specific period of time. These variables change with each type of essential oil.  Many essential oil brands use solvents for extracting oils, and fillers or synthetic chemicals to “extend” the oil, making it cheaper, and likely less therapeutic if therapeutic at all.  With proper distillation techniques, the finished oil should match the Association Francaise de Normalisation (ANFOR) standards for essential oils. The ANFOR standards dictate the ratio of various constituents necessary to be considered a true essential oil.  Essential oil companies do not have to test their oils against these standards to sell them as essential oils, although Young Living Essential Oils always does.  The company I recommend.  I bring this up because there are a lot of essential oil products on the market, and there will continue to be more as essential oils gain in popularity and mainstream appeal.  And trust me when I say not all are created equally!  It’s just like with supplements. Just because two products are both labeled as “multivitamins,” it doesn’t mean they both offer much in the way of health benefits. There is a huge range in quality and efficacy. It’s the same thing with essential oils.  Perfume or food-grade essential oils may smell like essential oils, but they don’t contain the same constituents to match the ANFOR standards. When they contain synthetic chemicals or even “organic” solvents, they shouldn’t be applied topically and certainly not ingested. The labels on many essential oil products won’t always tell the full story, either.

4. Essential oils can help the body do a better job of what it should already be doing

When I talk to people about the difference between supplements and essential oils, I often describe it this way.

Most supplements provide nutrients your body needs to build, repair and create energy. These could be vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and more.

Essential oils help the body do a better job of what it should already be doing.

Sesquiterpenes, found in a number of essential oils, can influence the pineal gland to secrete melatonin. That’s something the pineal gland should already be doing, but lifestyle choices can disrupt the process. Supplementing with melatonin is a way to supply the body with the melatonin it’s lacking in the short-term, but eventually, you want to body to do it on its own.

That’s where essential oils can be beneficial.

Essential oils can act on a number of other of the body’s processes as well, helping to bring it into balance. They have been studied for their effects on hormones, blood pressure, digestion, sleep, memory, pain, antioxidant status and more.

I really see supplements and essential oils as complementary, both supporting overall health. Of course, both are most effective when someone eats and exercises appropriately, and has control over his or her lifestyle.

There’s much more to discuss about essential oils, but I’ll save that for another time!

Summing it up

No one needs to be an expert in essential oils to benefit from them. Getting immersed in the science is an interesting journey (at least for nerds like me), but it isn’t necessary to get started with using and experiencing the benefits of essential oils.


 food is fuel. The only other reasons we eat is for socializing and for emotional reasons. This probably ruffles feathers, but I am basically saying that all eating is emotional, especially overeating and unhealthy eating.

It is also nearly impossible to separate the emotional aspect from eating and make it simply a re-fueling process. If it was, we’d all eat nutritionally perfect foods and be perfectly happy with it. Getting to a healthy level of body comp and staying there requires wrapping your head around the FACT that the reason you reach for the bag of Doritos, or the cheesecake, or the Hershey’s bar is emotional eating.

I don’t think we ever completely get past the emotional aspects of eating. But the people who are most successful at attaining a healthy body comp are the ones who get past it, and learn to look at food purely as fuel.

Decadent foods like pizza or ice cream become special occasions, kind of like the rest of the world might treat an expensive bottle of champagne. They are things to be savored and enjoyed rarely, not as a staple.
Think about this: a person who indulges in booze every day is called an alcoholic. Someone who indulges in junk food every day is called… your average North American. OUCH!


This will tick some of you off, but fat loss is actually pretty easy. It’s way, WAY easier than muscle gain. It’s not always pleasant and it’s pretty much always socially awkward, and it forces you to go against the choices of your friends, coworkers and family. But when we break it down to a pure physiological process, fat loss is easy.

It’s all the mental stuff tied up in eating that make it pretty much impossible for most of us. It’s the emotions around eating, the addiction to the taste and the feeling of food, the bonding that comes from sharing food with others, and the sense of belonging that comes from “going with the flow”. Most people fail not because they don’t have the right diet plan, not because they don’t have access to the right food, and not because they don’t know or understand exactly what they need to do. All the physiological elements are in place, and they work. Most people fail because they don’t consider the psychological aspect of the diet. 

Food, particularly sugar and refined carbohydrates, is addictive. The cravings can be emotionally devastating. Hunger is a feeling completely foreign to us and we can’t handle it; it breaks us down like we were physically beaten. 

“There is a profound sense of alienation that comes from doing something “different”. Once food and shelter are taken care of, our number one need as human beings is to feel like we belong. When a person starts a diet they isolate themselves form the norm. And the single most social thing we do, as a species, is share food and drink. 

Many people will abandon a diet because it feels like they’re excluded, and for a heavy person already feeling badly about their self-image and their sense of belonging, that’s just too high a price to pay. They’d rather be obese than alone.

I’m not trying to be all Mr. Personal Trainer BOY, let me be the first to admit I’m an emotional eater. I get a profound sense of happiness from sweets. It’s such a satisfying feeling eating a bowl of ice cream (Cookies and Cream to be honest). But now I can control the psychological aspects of eating, and for long periods I can treat food purely as fuel.

Going into the mental aspect of eating is almost mandatory when deciding to change your lifestyle. This is a daily battle that needs to be a One day at a time approach.Taking something from each day to build upon for the next…. Even though the quote is overused it is very fitting to leave on….

"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." -Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1941, Harrow School British politician (1874 - 1965).

What I REALLY think about calorie counting!

I really want to help clients get away from using handbooks, websites, databases, spreadsheets, and math when planning meals.

You see, while we know that total food (calorie) intake matters, I’m just not fan of counting calories.

To begin with, calorie counting does nothing to help us tune into our own powerful hunger and appetite cues.  By learning how to listen to our own bodies, we have better long-term success in healthy eating!

(Of course, not everyone knows how to do this from the start. It takes a little coaching and some practice.)

Nor does calorie counting help us balance our health goals with our natural human enjoyment of food. In the short term, anyone can turn eating into a numerical and robotic exercise.  But, in the long run, this strategy falls apart.

(Just ask anyone who “used to” count calories. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding them.)

There’s another problem with calorie counting: It’s just not all that accurate.
Because of incorrect labeling, laboratory errors, and differences in food quality and preparation, calorie counts recorded on food labels and websites – even those within the USDA’s nutrient databases – can be off by as much as 25%!!!

Bottom line: even if you’re the worlds best calorie counter (and you don’t mind the soul-sucking boredom that comes along with it) the math just doesn’t add up.

Try this different approach to calorie control, using your own hand as the ultimate, portable measurement tool.

For example, men might begin by eating:
 - 2 palms of protein dense foods at each meal;
 - 2 fists of vegetables at each meal;
 - 2 cupped handfuls of carb dense foods at most meals; and
 - 2 thumbs of fat dense foods at most meals.

And women might begin by eating:
 - 1 palm of protein dense foods at each meal;
 - 1 fist of vegetables at each meal;
 - 1 cupped handful of carb dense foods at most meals; and
 - 1 thumb of fat dense foods at most meals.

First, it helps to see what this looks like.  Like, in real life.  On a plate.

Then, adjust actual portion sizes up or down, depending on each person’s unique body and goals.

Of course, just like any other form of nutrition planning – including detailed calorie counting – this meal template is just a starting point.

You can’t know exactly how your body will respond in advance.  So stay flexible and “steer dynamically”.  

Adjust your portions based on your hunger, fullness, overall activity level, and progress towards your goals.

Start with the basic template and then adjust your portions at any time using outcome-based decision-making, aka: “How’s that working for you?”

Remember, if you have any questions or just want further explanation please don’t hesitate to call or email me!