When Gabriel joined the Take Control program, he was a regular at the gym, but wasn't seeing the results he wanted. Even with consistent workouts, his weight was not decreasing. With a BMI of 38.3, his weight put him at increased risk for developing chronic health conditions. In addition, his health screening showed very high triglycerides, putting him at risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. At age 40 and a father of young children, he was ready to admit his attempts at weight loss were not working, and he needed to try something new. After his first few appointments with coach Kat he said, "It dawned on me that everything I had done before was not successful. It became clear very quickly that she knew what she was talking about. Because you can't BS a BS'er."
A Positive Attitude
One of the first things coach Kat noticed about Gabriel was his positive attitude, passion and drive for success. He had a strong work ethic and gave 150% to his work and family. He applied that attitude to most everything in his life except his health. Kat recognized this quality would be his biggest asset when it came to making lifestyle changes. She said, "I knew he was a positive person when we met, but there seemed to be a gap missing when it came to his health. I wanted to find out if he could put the same vigor that he brought to his family and others into himself." When presented with that challenge, Gabriel realized that he did, in fact, need to invest in himself.
Gabriel's positive outlook on life benefited him in two ways. First, it gave him a willingness to try new things; and second, it gave him tenacity to stay with the program over time. Those two qualities are at the heart of making lifestyle changes. Success = small changes over time. Gabriel's willingness to adapt and change his exercise and nutrition choices were key to his success. He said, "Everything can have a negative or positive impact on your health. Once I approached nutrition and exercise with a good attitude, it tied everything together."
From "Meathead" to Yogi
A regular at the gym, Gabriel's routine was weight lifting and pushing the limits of how much he could bench press. Coach Kat challenged him to add variety to his exercise, to balance his usual workouts with functional exercise and a total-body approach. He hesitated, worried his reputation at the gym might falter if he lost ground on the amount he could bench press. Kat pointed out the unlikely practicality of that goal, she asked, "When is a car going to fall on you and you have to bench press it?" It was a lightbulb moment for Gabriel and he realized the way he had always done things wasn't working. He opened his mind to new ideas and tried new workouts like the Jacob's Ladder fitness machine, Tabata, and yoga. He began to approach exercise with intention and for its functional aspects, rather than as he called it, "the meathead stuff." His body responded to the new workouts, and he finally began to lose weight. Surprisingly, he developed a love for yoga, and now never misses a class.
Turning the Ship Around with Nutrition
The biggest impact on his health came from Gabriel's willingness to try new things with nutrition. He said, "Before, as a dude, I didn't care. I didn't understand the intricacies of how different foods can affect your bloodwork, and paying attention to what you're putting in your body." He began to pay attention to what he was eating by writing it down. He really likes an app called "Lose It!" He learned he was consuming way more calories than his body needed. He also began using the hunger-fullness scale to determine if he was really hungry or just wanted to eat. He became mindful about eating. Changing food intake turned out to be the key to slowly turning his health around. Eating less was hard, and it's still difficult, but it drove his weight loss success. He credits coach Kat for his willingness to try new things. He said "Everything Kat told me to do worked, so I had no reason not to try it. I wanted to take advantage of Kat’s wealth of knowledge."
A Mindset Shift
Gabriel's success ultimately came from a drastic shift in mindset. He went from doing things how he's always done them, to making a conscious choice to try something different. He learned to take a whole-body approach to his health. Although initially hesitant to work with a health coach, the meetings with coach Kat quickly became one of his favorite parts of the program. He enjoyed the calls and reporting his progress and success. He is also happy to now be a healthy role model for his kids, he said, "It's cool to demonstrate what time management and priorities can look like taking care of your health, and yourself."
• Weight loss of 25 pounds
• Reduced triglycerides by 173 points
• Became mindful of nutrition and made changes that triggered significant results
• Improved fitness by incorporating functional workouts
• Brought the positive attitude and strong work ethic that he gives to others to his own health and self-care