Jessica Walter

Jess’s Story

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I thought I had been using accurate information to guide my fitness and nutrition choices, but I was way off.

I took a few health-related courses in college, and I’ve been using that information ever since. Target heart rate, calorie limits, muscle-building techniques – that sort of thing. But that was more than 20 years ago, and it was a scary moment when I recently realized the advice I was using was outdated.

That’s when I contacted ConnectCare3 and met Phil Thompson. He’s a certified health coach with degrees in exercise science and physiology, so I was confident that he was the right person to help me get the answers I needed.

Shortly after we met, Phil invited me to attend his webinar, The Truth about Weight Loss. I was blown away by the amount of “new” information I learned from him – especially about strength training. Until then, I was doing cardio about five days each week and incorporating light weights here and there.

The most surprising thing I learned from his webinar was that lifting heavier weights would help my body burn more calories, and it wouldn’t give me bulky muscles. He encouraged me to use heavier weights to help build/maintain muscle tissue.  

In October, my “heavy” weights were 10-lb. dumbbells. One month later, I was buying 15s. Two months later, I started using 20-lb. dumbbells, and I felt amazingly strong! Routine tasks like carrying a heavy laundry basket or lifting a case of water became so much easier. Plus, my clothes were fitting differently, and I could tell my body had changed a lot.

 

At this age (let’s call it “40-something”), I’m focused on staying slim. Still, I’m also concerned about age-related muscle loss and osteoporosis. Being this strong wasn’t necessarily my goal, but Phil helped me understand how building muscle would help with weight management and protect bone density and lean muscle tissue.

For staying slim, Phil taught me that increasing muscle mass would boost my resting metabolism so my body would be burning calories for more extended periods than doing cardio alone. Phil also encouraged me to increase my protein intake to help with muscle development. He taught me that protein not only helps you build and maintain metabolism-revving muscle tissue but it also temporarily increases your metabolism after you eat it.  

For the rest of my fitness routine, Phil helped me develop a program that incorporates a balance of strength training, cardio, and days of recovery. That combination helps my muscles recover and gives me enough variety to keep the workouts fun and worth looking forward to. I’ve been hooked on dance-related workouts for the cardio because I have to concentrate on learning the choreography. That keeps my brain busy, and the time flies by. My favorites are Hip-Hop Fit, Zumba, and salsa classes. On the recovery days, I’m usually using stretching or yoga videos on YouTube.

To keep me motivated to workout, I’ve been making it part of my morning routine. I’ve found that it’s easier to make it happen if I don’t give my brain a chance to find an excuse to skip it—coffee and then a workout – nothing in between. If I get sidetracked, it’s likely the workout won’t happen.

Phil and I often talk about how the pandemic has forced us to find new and different ways of working out. I’ve adapted by using my kitchen as my “gym.” It has plenty of space and gives me a beautiful view of the sunrise through the windows. I use YouTube videos for most of my workouts, so I can put my laptop right on the counter. My dumbbells are lined up along the far wall. Once the pandemic is over and we can start entertaining company again, I’ll find a new spot. Dumbbells in the kitchen aren’t really my decorating style, but it’s a great setup for now!

I’m so grateful for Phil’s guidance and encouragement. Without his help, I would still be using outdated information, and I would be struggling to see results. Thanks to him, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, and I feel wonderful!

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