Chase Chewning is a coach turned podcaster who interviewed over 500 world class experts on every subject imaginable regarding health. A Virginia native and Army veteran, Chase is a Virginia Commonwealth University alum, graduating from their Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science undergraduate program in 2013. Having completed his MS in Health Promotion from American University in Washington, DC he also holds the following credentials: ACE Certified Health Coach and TRX Certified Suspension Trainer.
Do you still feel effects from your injuries?
Over the years, the more and more I have rehabilitated physically, I’ve come to realize that the body keeps score in a lot of different ways. The more and more I recover physically the more I come to face and surrender to rehabilitation and healing in my wellness journey. With significant physical trauma and significant injury and just life in general, there is a mental and emotional imprint that is also left that I definitely did not address equally like I did with my physical training and treatment.
I think physically, my recovery and rehabilitation has gotten to a point where I’m very happy. I’ve had a lot of trauma, mental, emotional recovery from these injuries and past experiences that definitely attribute to this route origin.
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Ways to Achieve Your Goals this Year
It’s important to remember that we are very unique individuals.
I think for weight loss, a good place to start are at these universal principles.
Step 1 to anything, especially when it comes to weight loss is awareness. You need to be aware of what you have coming in and what you have going out. In terms of weight loss, it’s really important to be aware of what is coming in like how much food being consumed, what kind of food, calories, macros, etc. – beyond trying to manage your energy dispenser; how many calories you’re burning. Bring awareness to what you have coming in and you will most likely be radically surprised with how much you’re eating or radically surprised with how little you’re eating. Under consuming calories is just important as over consuming. If we’re not giving it what it needs on a regular basis, its going to look out for us because we’re maybe not looking out for ourself.
I’m also a big believer in quantitive data at least as a starting point –particularly, bio-markers. Get your fasting labs done because there might be something going on beyond your awareness that can be a very easy start to contribute to not only your weight loss goal but also your longevity. You might have elevated cortisol, low vitamin D levels, etc.
It’s important to look at why you want weight loss and why you want it now. Are you attaching yourself to a goal that you think that you want or because everyone else around you is doing it? These goals probably won’t hurt you in the long run when done smart, though, in the long are you going to keep it up? You need to have an established why and a very clear vision for YOUR version of success and your journey, so that you’re starting for yourself. When you do that, that’s when you can look back in 4 months, 4 years and know that you’re on the path because you chose it. There’s no possibility for adherence when you’re doing something for somebody else’s version of success versus your own.
I think people overanalyze what exercise really needs to be for them. I think for most people out there who have a weight loss goal, just increasing your general physical activity is going to be way more sustainable and realistic. By that I mean, can you park in the furthest spot in the parking lot before you go into work vs the front? Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Can you set an alarm on your phone to walk around for 5 minutes every hour?
I would recommend more general movement before jumping all in and going to the gym 7 days a week. Walking is one of the most slept on things you can do for weight loss. When we analyze what walking really is, it is low intensity steady state exercise. This type of exercise works very well for weight loss. The effect of walking is very calming on the body, over time lowing cortisol levels (stress) and having an amazing affect on your overall energy.
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There are many studies out there on the importance of getting pure, non-processed organic produce and foods and focusing the majority of your diet on that.
Usually when we look at this, we look at what we think we’re supposed to be doing and we’re looking for the right diet for a specific goal, seeing things as right or wrong. The quicker we can get to the realization that, no matter what we’re doing, it’s okay because that right there is going to give up grace and reduce shame and stress, which are very important to be mindful of.
Whatever you do and whatever side of the spectrum you lie on is usually backed up with a reasoning, as to why you chose that way of eating. Peel back the layers and really ask yourself, “Why you are obsessive over your diet or why you don’t care about your diet?”
When you address the mental and emotional aspects, you’ll be doing yourself a great service.
A great starting point in your weight loss journey can be identifying true hunger cues because many times dehydration can seem like a hunger cue.
Another great guideline is sleep. If you think you’re getting enough sleep, I challenge you to measure it. Are you consistently going to bed at the same time and are you consistently waking up at the same time? If you can bring those two to be more consistent, you will see benefits from that.
For nutrition, increase your vegetable intake and lastly, ramp up or even begin your exercise routine.
You Are Where You Are Supposed to Be
You are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now in your fitness journey, your nutrition journey, your weight loss, your gain, your mental health, your relationship, your job.
Just bring awareness to where you are right here. Bring joy into that because you’ve made it this far and allow yourself grace –allow yourself to reduce any shame associated with where you think you should be.