John Kelly's blog

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Lasting Impressions: I will never get another dog

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Lasting Impressions, number two in a series.

In all my years working at various health clubs, several thousand people have walked through the doors. Some become members, some not. Some become casual acquaintances, while others become life-long friends. A few make a brief appearance and are gone. One such person, I think about to this day.

He came into our health club to look around; he was in his mid-fifties. He gave my dog Stella a rueful look, and after a long pause, he said he would never get another dog. I asked him why. He told me he had had a wonderful dog that died for no explainable reason when the dog was five years old. He said it was such a painful experience that he could not bear to go through it again.

Stella was two at the time. The guy’s words haunted me. I thought about what he said with the passing of each of Stella’s birthdays, especially on her fifth birthday. Stella turns 12 in a couple of days.

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A Quarter Million Leg Lifts in a Year, the Results

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

In 1985 I was working at a health club, and aerobics classes were very popular. Leg lifts were a staple of the classes. Leg lifts can be done laterally, kicking backward, or forward. They can be done standing, on all fours, while doing a plank, leaning on an exercise ball, or lying on your side. There are other ways as well. In the course of a class they are performed in high numbers.

I did the math. I figured 60 to 70 leg lifts were performed a minute. There were 8 to 10 minutes of leg lifts per class. If you went to several classes in a week and showed up 50 weeks a year you would be doing close to a quarter million leg lifts. One woman did. At the end of the year she still had substantial fat deposits on her outer thighs. In fact that was the only place she had noticeable fat on her body.

Around this same time I occasionally worked out a man who liked to drink beer, and he occasionally exercised. His body fat was about 30%, much of it around his abdomen and much less around his lower body. When he did the leg extension exercise you could clearly see the four muscles of each of his quadriceps, and he had very little fat on his hips.

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Eggs can quell your appetite

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

According to the Harvard School of Health:

“A solid body of research shows that for most people, cholesterol in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful LDL cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet. Recent research has shown that moderate egg consumption—up to one a day—does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals.”

The key words there are "most people" and “healthy individuals” – no diabetes or history of heart disease.

When eating eggs I feel full longer.  I thought it was just me, but studies confirm that eggs will help to quell your appetite. The article, Is it OK to eat eggs every day?, addresses the myths regarding cholesterol and eggs and mentions two studies on eggs and satiation.

One study: “They also ate less at lunch and dinner after having the egg breakfast as opposed to the other breakfasts.”

The other study: “Eggs for lunch could increase satiety more than a carbohydrate meal and might even help reduce between-meal calorie intake.”

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“If you don’t dry off you’ll smell like a billy goat”

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

Forty years ago I worked along with 5000 others in a huge steel mill back when they still had steel mills. It was incredibly dirty work. So dirty in fact that some workers claimed they wore the same clothes for the week, tossed them, and got a new set from the Salvation Army for the next week.

At the end of a shift we would all hustle off to the showers, change clothes, and make for the exit with some going on to the Mill Gate Inn just beyond, you guessed it, the mill gate entrance. I was anxious to get out of there. I would shower and dress without drying. I liked the cool wetness of not drying off.

An old man saw me and told me I needed to dry off. I asked him why. He told me, “If you don’t dry off you’ll smell like a billy goat”. I took his advice to heart. I often think of that advice after showering or whenever I visit a petting zoo. If funny how things stay in your mind after so many years.

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Can one lose weight by becoming less cluttered?

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

'Give me a one-handed economist! All my economics say, ''On the one hand, on the other.''' Harry S. Truman

A new book, Lose The Clutter Lose The Weight, as the title suggests operates from an interesting premise. On one hand in regard to clutter and weight-loss, correlation does not mean causation. There are those who have been both fat and tidy, and other times, very fit and sloppy.

On the other hand if you can de-clutter the drama in your life and the clutter in your house and workplace you will not feel so overwhelmed. When I am overwhelmed I look for comfort food.

For a few years after Hurricane Katrina I was about as de-cluttered as one can get. I had a pair shoes, a few changes of clothes, a computer, a dog, and a box full of financial records. I could easily fit all that I owned into my car, and I did actually when I moved to Austin. During that time I experienced tremendous upheaval both financially and personally. I gained weight.

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Study finds BMI to be deeply flawed measure of health

personal trainers at work personal training New Orleans

The government has proposed rules that would allow employers to penalize employees for up to 30% of their health insurance costs if they don’t meet 24 health criteria one of which is the BMI, Body Mass Index.   It turns out that the BMI is a very unreliable indicator of health.    

From this LA times article, BMI mislabels 54 million Americans as 'overweight' or 'obese,' study says:

“A team of UCLA researchers analyzed data from 40,420 individuals who participated in the 2005-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and they found that nearly half (47.4%) of overweight people and 29% of obese people were, from a metabolic standpoint, quite healthy. On the flip side, more than 30% of individuals with “normal” weights were metabolically unhealthy.

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