Note from Doni: I am so very excited and honored to present our first expert Q&A feature, Fred “Fit Food Dude” Schafer. He’s one of more than a dozen north-state business professionals who’ve graciously agreed to answer some of your most-frequently asked questions about their respective fields each month.
For example, Fred will address his specialty, fitness and nutrition. Meanwhile, his upcoming fellow experts will cover a wide-range of interests, including medicine, finance, real estate, gardening, health insurance, law, interior design, dog behavior, sewing and alterations, architecture and optometry.
This expert Q&A section represents part of the “for” in “Food for Thought” on donigreenberg.com. (Last week we launched another part of the “for” segment with architect James Theimer, our first of many guest speakers to come. )
Submit questions for Fred’s future consideration at his Web site, below.
Fred Schafer is a walking, talking, working-out testimonial of a healthy lifestyle and philosophy that earned him the nickname, Fit Food Dude.
I’ve featured him twice in food stories, once about a healthy pizza program he helped develop for the Shasta Union High School District, the second was when he was the Record Searchlight’s Cook of the Week. Each time I felt in awe of his discipline and ability to motivate and inspire others to attain optimum health and fitness.
Fred, founder and director of Fit Food Dude Enterprises, began his quest to improve his physical condition and live a more victorious life after he spent much of his youth struggling with mediocre health, wellness and accomplishments.
Today, he is a certified personal trainer and founder of his consulting company, Fully Alive Fitness Systems. He’s produced fitness DVD’s, written a book and established fitfooddude.com, an online newsletter column. He’s a wellness consultant, professional fitness coach, entrepreneur, author, columnist and conference keynote speaker. He recently completed a master’s degree in wellness promotion and now speaks frequently throughout the United States about llifestyles of the fit and influential.
Q: I am 42 years old and have always had to work out to keep my weight down. For the last year I have been going through some hard times and have gained a lot of weight back and cannot seem to get it in control. I am in desperate need of assistance.
I am a member at Gold’s Gym. I work two jobs, so getting there is so hard. I thought maybe cardio should be my first step, and that I would do one hour, fast paced. I am so down on myself right now because I see myself in pictures, the way I feel everyday, and I know I’m not on the right road for being healthy. So, I am asking for your help PLEASE!! – Kim
A: Kim, it sounds like you may have given up exercise during the hard times you experienced. Unfortunately, this is what many people do. Health experts advise that during times of high stress you should actually increase physical exercise and physical activity. That is my first suggestion. Consistent exercise should no longer be a negotiable in your life, no matter what is going on in your life. It should be no different than getting dressed each day or brushing your teeth.
Suggestion No. 2 is to reduce your daily exercise time. I know this may sound like a contradiction to what I just said, but one hour is a big chunk of time. It would be better for you to do 30 minutes each day for the next 30 days, come heck or high water. Thirty minutes is a far more “digestible” habit to live with.
Suggestion No. 3 is to alternate days of full body strength training with days of aerobic exercise such as brisk walking or jogging. You absolutely need both and I would give strength training the priority of your time and effort in order to increase your metabolism and experience the fastest improvements in your body, which will keep you motivated and excited.
Suggestion No. 4 is to have an alternative “home gym” work out to use when you cannot make it to the gym. “Life happens” as they say, and we all have days that get thrown out of whack. I have not worked out in a gym for about eight years. I discovered that too many things got in the way of getting to the gym. So, I set up my own “gym”. You can do the same, and you can start with little or no equipment
A few final suggestions are to read good resources on functional full-body strength training and performance nutrition and get a training partner, if possible.
Regards, FredFred “The Fit Food Dude” Schafer (www.fitfooddude.com) is a Professional Fitness Coach, author and producer of two popular fitness DVD’s. He speaks frequently at conferences sharing his philosophy of passionate, “fully alive” living. He resides in Anderson, Calif., with his wife and three children.