Eating Disorders

Let me begin by saying that I’m not a psychologist or a medical professional. I gathered the information in this article by researching the DSM-5 as well as peer reviewed articles on the subjects of eating disorders. I strongly advise you to seek professional help if you or a loved one displays symptoms of the psychological disorders listed below. 

Not long ago I created a post about controlling eating habits and it turned into a hot issue. This led me to believe that I should provide more information, higher quality information, about this explosive subject. I mean, let’s face it, there are numerous eating disorders representing a very wide spectrum. But no matter what, proper nutrition and regular exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle. PROPER nutrition and regular exercise is important to a healthy lifestyle. It would be wrong to eat everything or to starve yourself. Finding the balance may take consultation with one or more professionals. Finding the proper balance of nutrition and exercise is critical. These disorders are very serious and can be life threatening. Seeking proper psychological and medical attention is instrumental in succeeding on your long-term fitness quest. The causes of these disorders are not fully understood, but professionals know a few things. For instance, the greatest risk factors appear in adolescents or during very young adulthood. Professionals are also conducting research to investigate the genetic components of these disorders (Ciccarelli & White 2015).

Consider the most commonly known eating disorder, Anorexia or Anorexia Nervosa. This condition is most often, but not always, found in young females where the person reduces eating to a point where the body weight becomes dangerously low (Weinberg & Gould 2015). 

Common characteristics are:

  • Refusing to eat to maintain a minimal body weight for age and height.
  • Extreme fear of gaining weight or becoming fat despite being under weight
  • Disturbance in how one sees their own body, i.e., saying they are fat when obviously underweight.
  • In females, missing at least 3 consecutive expected menstrual cycles.

We will cover more signs of disorders later. Anorexia can be potentially fatal, leading to starvation, heart disease, loss of muscle tissue, low blood pressure and diarrhea (Ciccarelli & White 2015). Anorexia is a disorder with multiple dimensions, psychological, cognitive, perpetual, and biological (Weinberg & Gould 2015). If you or a family member exhibit these symptoms then speaking with a medical professional is vital.

Another commonly discussed disorder is Bulimia or Bulimia Nervosa. This condition is recognizable for its cycle of binging and purging. A bulimic person may eat large amounts of food in one sitting (binge) then deliberately vomit (purge), use laxatives, or incorporate other methods to avoid weight gain. These purging methods can also include fasting for a day or two after eating or even excessive exercise. Similar to Anorexia, this is most commonly found in young females obsessed with appearance (Ciccarelli & White 2015).  

Common characteristics are:

  • Recurring episodes of binging.
  • Feeling no control overeating behaviors while binging
  • Regularly engaging in self-induced vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, strict dieting or fasting, or vigorous exercise to prevent weight gain.
  • Persistent over-concern with body shape and size.

The binge process can be prompted by anxiety or depression, social stress or feelings about body image, or possibly extreme hunger due to diet attempts (Ciccarelli & White 2015). This disorder can be just as damaging to the person’s health as anorexia. It can lead to extreme tooth decay and erosion of the esophagus due to vomiting, enlarged salivary glands, damage to the intestinal track due to overuse of laxatives, heart problems, fatigue and seizures (Ciccarelli & White 2015). These signs are a strong indication that a person should speak with a medical caregiver like a doctor or nurse, or a professional counselor who is highly qualified.

Here are other signs that you or a loved one should contact a physician.

Physical and Psychological Signs of Eating Disorders (Journal of Applied Sports Science Research).

Physical Signs:

  • Weight is too low
  • Considerable Weight loss
  • Extreme fluctuations in weight
  • Bloating
  • Swollen Salivary Glands
  • Amenorrhea
  • Sores or calluses on knuckles or back of the hands from self-induced vomiting
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach complaints
  • Headaches, dizziness or weakness

Psychological Signs:

  • Excessive dieting
  • Excessive eating without weight gain
  • Excessive exercise that’s not part of a regular training program
  • Guilt about eating
  • Claims of being fat at normal weight despite reassurance from others
  • Preoccupation with food
  • Avoidance of eating in public or denial of hunger
  • Hoarding food
  • Disappearing after meals
  • Frequent weighing
  • Binge eating
  • Use of drugs such as diet pills, laxatives or diuretics

What a few people don’t realize is there is an opposite side of the eating disorder spectrum, and that is Binge Eating Disorder. This disorder is similar to Bulimia’s binge eating, but no purging after (Ciccarelli & White 2015). This disorder was added to the DSM-5 in 2013, making it an official disorder. Characteristics of Binge Eating Disorder are recurring episodes of eating large quantities of food (to the point discomfort), feeling of loss of control during the binge, and expressing shame, guilt or distress after (National Eating Disorder Association 2018). 

Some signs of Binge Eating Disorder include:

Physical Signs:

  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight
  • Stomach cramps, or other gastrointestinal complaints
  • Difficulties concentrating

Psychological Signs:

  • Disappearance of large quantities of food in short periods
  • Discomfort eating around others
  • Constantly trying new fad diets
  • Fear of eating in public or with others
  • Hoards food
  • Frequent diets
  • Shows extreme concern for appearance
  • Has secret recurring episodes of binge eating
  • Feelings of disgust, depression or guilt after overeating
  • Low self-esteem

There are heath concerns related to Binge Eating Disorder other than obesity, although up to two-thirds of people with this disorder are labeled clinically obese. Other concerns are eating to the point of gastrointestinal pain, stomach ruptures, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea (National Eating Disorder Association 2018). This disorder should be taken seriously as the others since it too can be life threatening. 

Don’t forget, it’s ok to talk to a health professional if you feel you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder. It’s better to have reliable information from a health professional than to let a life threatening issue go.

Written by, Ray Shonk

Have questions? Contact us.

References: 

National Eating Disorder Association (2018). https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/health-consequences

Weinberg, R. & Gould, D. (2015). Foundations of Sports and Exercise Psychology

Ciccarelli, S. & White, J. (2015). Psychology. Pearson Publishing

 

Danny Kavadlo Calisthenics Workshop 2019

Quest Fitness is welcoming Danny Kavadlo back to Grand Rapids October, 5th 2019 for a one day seminar. The doors will open at 8 a.m. and the class will start at 8:30 and run until 4:30. Admission to this event is only $150! Register here.

Danny Kavadlo is one of the world’s leading authorities on calisthenics and personal training. Mr. Kavadlo has authored several best selling books, including #1 Amazon best-sellers GET STRONG and STRENGTH RULES, and has been translated into a dozen different languages. Kavadlo has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, Men’s Health and the Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor to bodybuilding.com and TRAIN magazine. When not training one-on-one in his hometown New York City, Danny travels the world as a Master Trainer for Dragon Door’s acclaimed Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC). He keeps the dream alive.

Here is a Workshop Description:
Confuscious has been credited as saying: “Tell me and I’ll forget, Show me and I may remember, Involve me and I’ll understand.”
The Danny Kavadlo Calisthenics Experience embodies this principle of “involvement” in a one day interactive exercise workshop. We will be covering all the bodyweight basics like squats, push-ups and pull-ups, as well as the “money” moves like the muscle-up, pistol squat and even human flag! Plus programming, strength training principles and much more! All fitness levels, from the beginner to the most advanced are welcome!
More info:
As for the workshop itself, I intend to keep it a similar flow to last year, but also explore some aspects we did not touch on (plyometrics for example)
Have questions? Contact us.

June Special!!

For the month of June, Quest fitness will be offering a special fitness package! The Adventure Season Package includes 3 one hour training sessions or 3 half hour massages, 1 fitnesses assignment and 1 group fitness class for only $90.

Chen Bing Seminar 2019

As any martial artist can tell you, one can only progress in their training if they are actually training!  However, seminars such as the Chen Taiji Seminar led by Master Chen Bing can be quite vital to one’s progression.  Master Zhichao Ling owner and head teacher of Master Ling’s Oriental Martial Arts (based in Noblesville, IN) hosts this event each year.  They are in their year of putting on these events, and as a student who has been to each of these events, I can honestly tell you that my appreciation of taiji (and Chen form in particular) has grown exponentially afterwards.  However, my understanding and martial arts growth only happens when I actually train in these lessons upon my return.

I write this to note that you only get out what you put into any seminar.  And in this seminar there is a wealth of knowledge.  Students who are interested in taiji for the martial arts applications, meditation, flexibility, strength, and form can get what they seek from the seminar.  This recent event (May 17 – 19) was three days of training.  Friday was training with swords.  Saturday was Chen form.  We learned the He Xie form.  The following day was martial arts application.  

I came to tai chi roughly 9 years ago from an external background.  I had trained in Karate, Ninpo Taijutsu, and Judo.  I took tai chi to gain more experience in an internal martial art, plus I knew it was a good way to calm the mind (which I really needed at that point in my life).  With my sifu, Ray Shonk, I was able to learn more about moving from within to explodingoutward.  I was able to strengthen my balance and, probably best of all, I was able to manage my vertigo issues that I have been battling for years.  So, after nine years, I wasn’t a novice to tai chi, but no matter whether one is a novice or a veteran of tai chi, there was something for everyone to study and practice.    

Most of Saturday was spent training in the He Xie form.  Roughly six hours of standing on one’s feet and moving, only to restart all over again allowed for us to focus on how our body was moving.  Concept such as “being heavy” and “keeping the joints open” were focused on and we learned how our bodies felt while we were in an “open” state or a “closed” state.  After being on one’s feet for that long, and holding postures for minutes on end while Master Chen Bing corrected how we stood, really took a toll on our feet, but this was (in my opinion) one of the most rewarding parts of the seminar.  

Sunday was martial application day!  This day was probably one of the most fun simply because the group that I went with (Quest Fitness, of course) is all about application.  Learning how to use the He Xie form to defend against punches, how to parry, and ward off were all interesting since our training is a little different from this.  

All in all, direct transmission from a descendant of the famed Chen family was an honor.  With this being my third time attending these seminars I knew that the energy from these events come from the practitioners who are learning.  Every time I go to Master Ling’s Oriental Martial Arts, I feel like I am coming to a second home.  The people there are so welcoming and the conversations are enriching.  These are the times where I learn that tai chi means different things to different people.  This is something that Master Chen Bing knows all too well, and it is evident in the structure of the seminar.  

So to anyone interested, I would wholeheartedly recommend this event.  For as long as Dr. Ling and Master Chen Bing put these seminars on, you will see me there.  I hope to see you there, as well.

By Gerald Browning

Quest Fitness Anniversary Celebration

In September of 2017, Quest Fitness underwent a huge change. We moved from a small garage to a big new 1600 square foot location. This was a big leap, but very worth it! In the last year, we have continued to grow, first by adding a new Yoga class with Dani, then bringing in our own massage therapist, Meg, and finally bringing in 3 great trainers, Erica, Kenny, and Tani.

Quest has also managed to put on some amazing events, as well! My favorites so far have been World Tai Chi Day and the seminar led by celebrity trainer Danny Kavadlo. But now it is time for the next big event: the anniversary of the opening of Quest Fitness! To say thank to everyone out there, we are opening our doors not just to our many loyal clients, but also to the entire public. Stop in and meet the entire Quest Crew, meet with a trainer for free, try out a class at no charge and even get a massage from Meg! The event will be September 15th starting at 8am until 6pm. No appointments are necessary, just swing in and see us. Snacks and beverages will be provided and we will be holding a raffle for more great prizes! I look forward to seeing you there!

Have questions? Contact us.

Calisthenics Quest Foreward

A good friend and mentor of mine, Danny Kavadlo, help me out with my book “The Calisthenics Quest“. Here is what he wrote…

In my years as a health professional, I’ve been a personal trainer, a PT manager, an author, a blogger, a fitness model and even an international presenter. Suffice it to say, I’ve worn a lot of hats in this industry and I’ve met a lot of trainers!

Some of these trainers are more memorable than others. Some have impressed me while others have not. But every now and again a trainer comes along who just “gets it.”

I’m not just talking about understanding the science of training like sets, reps, and human anatomy—I’m a strong believer that anyone can learn that. No, I’m referring to something larger. Love, passion, spirit and more.

What I’m speaking of is the ability to connect to people, to resonate and to change lives. Hell, maybe even change the world.

Ray Shonk is such a trainer.

Ray and I first connected over social media several years ago. Since then, Ray has been my student at Dragon Door’s acclaimed Progressive Calisthenics Certification, my comrade as a lifelong advocate of bodyweight strength training, and ultimately, I’m proud to say, my friend.

Ray has the rare gift of being able to motivate and inspire, while never coming across as overbearing. He leaves the work to his students, while providing exactly what they need from him in terms of instruction. Nothing more, nothing less. He is a true expert of his craft.

So as you might imagine, when a copy of The Calisthenics Quest appeared across my desk, I couldn’t wait to tear into it. I found Ray Shonk’s writing to be informative yet friendly. It’s comprehensive, yet casual. He explores serious concepts with simplicity and humor. For example, when discussing the notion of challenging yourself, Shonk simply states: “It is called a workout, not an easy out. None of this will happen overnight.”

So honest, simple and true—but definitely not easy!

Whether Ray is exploring the roots of bodyweight training, sharing his own anecdotes, or explaining the details of step-by-step exercise progression, he delivers the goods on bodyweight training—and then some!

One of my favorite passages appears toward the end of the work, when Mr. Shonk discusses the character building virtues of working out. In his signature style, he explains the importance of focusing on form and quality of movement, rather than only shooting for high reps and letting the ego take over. This type of process-mindedness is at the very core of Ray’s philosophy as a trainer, a martial artist and a man. No rush here.

As Ray himself says, “This is your journey, so enjoy it.”

-Danny Kavadlo

2017

Have questions? Contact us!

World Tai Chi Day 2018

April 28, 2018, is World Tai Chi Day, and to celebrate we are opening Quest Fitness to the public for a one-day free tai chi demo and seminar starting at 8AM. You will get to see some of our instructors and students performing different styles of tai chi, the martial applications of tai chi as well as the meditative properties of tai chi. Snacks and beverages will be provided. I really, really hope that you make time to experience the ancient art of tai chi with us at Quest Fitness.

Have questions? Contact us.

Reaching For Your Health And Wellness

Change the Behavior: When you start to consider behaviors that aid in your wellness, such as being physically active and choosing a healthy diet, you may start comparing that with your current behaviors. Like many people, the odds are you are likely have some habits that are healthy and some habits that may place your health at risk. An example would be living a fit and active lifestyle but skipping meals throughout the day. It could even be focusing on your diet but not wearing your seat belt when you’re in the car. To improve your overall wellness, you will need to cultivate your healthy habits and work on overcoming your unhealthy habits. I’m sure many of you already know that changing and unhealthy habit can be much harder than it seems. When you make the decision to take on a lifestyle change, it may seem too hard, at first. When you make progress, your confidence will grow in your ability to make these healthy life changes. As these healthy changes occur, you will notice that you will have more energy, greater vitality and a much greater quality of life than before. You may even seen a curiosity of how far you can go (I know that happened to me). Before you get serious about making your healthy change, you have to know what behaviors are problematic first. To make these positive health changes you also need information about the relevant topics and issues, including what resources are available for you to help you make your change. Take a moment for yourself and ask questions such as “how are my current lifestyle choices affecting my health today” and “how will it be affected in the future?” Think about your current habits and which ones enhance your life and which ones do not. When you’re ready to begin your quest towards your wellness, start with the self-assessment, talk with your friends and family members about what they noticed in your lifestyle. Challenge any unrealistic optimistic ideas you may hold such as, “I don’t need to worry about quitting smoking until I’m over 40” or even “Being overweight won’t put me at risk for diabetes.” Health risks are out there and are significant at all ages, and building is healthy habits are important throughout your entire life. I tell many people I work with that when you start your fitness journey it’s best to start small, by choosing one behavior to change at a time and working on it until you succeed. Your chances of being successful will be far greater with a simple gold to start and this can be as simple as resisting the urge to snack all day or even adding in a little extra exercise. As you move along in your healthy changes you can start making your next goal a little bit more significant and build off of your prior success.

Gathering Your Material: it’s important when you’re looking for health and fitness sources that you do a little bit of research. First off, make sure your source is credible, find out where they gather their information and have a few other professionals are agreeing with the findings. If you’re reading up on studies look to see if there was a large number of people study and who was doing the study. Don’t just look at a single person’s findings because what works for one person may not work for another. When you’re looking through different websites for information check in see how frequently they post as well as the current date of the information. Information in the health and fitness world change rapidly so it is important that that information is up-to-date. Many things you find out there on the Internet or TV or short-term solutions to long-term problems. So when you’re gathering your own information make sure it is up-to-date and fits your needs and goals. It’s OK to be skeptical, because odds are if something seems too good to be true there’s a chance that it is.

Visualize and Self Talk: when you want to boost your confidence and self efficiency one of the best things you can do is visualizing yourself successfully engaging in a new and healthier behavior. Take a moment and imagine yourself hitting that morning work out or that lunchtime run or even giving up smoking. Now, take a moment and picture yourself enjoying all the lifestyle benefits you will gain from this change now take a moment and picture yourself enjoying all the lifestyle benefits you will gain from this change. As crazy as it may sound you can also use self talk that little internal dialogue to increase your confidence in your ability to change. This could counter any self-defeating patterns of thoughts with more positive and realistic thoughts.

Support and Role Models: getting good social support can make a major difference in keeping you motivated and also in your chances of success. It’s possible that you may know a few people that have reached similar goals that you’re striving for. Asking them for help and advice is never a bad way to go. They could potential he have information you may be missing an offer of support that you need to push through. Another great idea to help you reach is healthier goals is to find a fitness partner who wants to make changes similar to yours.  You can then take an active role in each others‘ goals and create a support system. It’s always great to have someone around that can help keep you accountable and motivated to further pursue your goals. You may even want to consider looking at exercise classes, I find these classes to be motivational with all the people around pushing each other to better themselves.

Skills of Change: The moment you decide you are committed to making a positive change it’s time to create a personal plan. Your success could be put together with a well-thought-out plan that sets goals for success and plans for potential problems and even includes possible rewards.

1) Start a journal and monitor your behavior and gather data and keep records of your target behavior. Record this information for a few weeks. Take time to write down each occurrence of your behavior noting the following: what your activities were, as well as when and where it happened and what you were doing.

2) Take time and look over the information and I didn’t fight any possible patterns after you have all the data on the behavior, while looking through it see if you can find any patterns. This could be things like when are you most likely to over eat or even skip a meal? What events trigger this appetite? Perhaps you even over eat when you go to a particular restaurant. Just make sure you note any connections between your feelings and any external cues including time of day situation or even the location.

3) Be “SMART” about setting your goals. If your goals are too challenging you will most likely have trouble making steady progress and will possibly even give up altogether. Remember all of this can take time. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time.

Tips for your healthy future: The person most in charge of your health is you. Every day we make decisions that will have an impact on the quality of our life both now and in the future. By making these positive changes, large and small, you can ensure a lifetime of wellness. Take 15 minutes and go for a walk or have a fresh piece fruit instead of that candy bar. Take a few moments and think about it healthy behavior you would like to add into your life. And then once you have it go after it. Your healthy life will be the best investment you can make.

Are you ready to make your healthy change? Start here.

Have questions? Contact us.

What is the right way to get fit and healthy?

I have gotten into the debate multiple times with multiple personal trainers over what is the best way to get fit. Some say that you have to do a lot of cardio, some say you have to push a lot of weight, but I say there is no one perfect way to get fit. I have even gotten into argument with professional trainers who state that you can’t put on muscle mass unless you lift weight. Let’s take a moment and look at the science behind gaining muscle. In order to gain muscle, you must put the muscle under stress and break it down so when the healing of the muscle occurs, you gain extra muscle fibers. In other words, you have to challenge the muscles and this can be done in various ways including push-ups and pull-ups with  bodyweight exercises (also known as “calisthenics“). So anytime someone tells you that you have to lift wait to put on muscle they’re not telling you the entire truth, that you need to challenge your muscles. Now, as far as losing weight and getting fit there is no one way to do it, because if there was only one way to do it there would not be the 50 million exercise DVDs and diet guides out on the market today. Let’s face it, everybody’s body type is different; therefore, how your body reacts to nutrition and fitness is going to be different. A good trainer will be able to help you down this path and, yes, there will be trial and error. But don’t get discouraged with this, because once we find the right combination that works for you, the health and fitness goals will start to flow together. Another thing to consider is not everyone likes lifting weight, or doing cardio all the time, or doing push-ups and pull-ups. So find a workout that you enjoy makes your fitness journey fun. It doesn’t need to be a chore. Health and fitness is your way of investing in your own well-being. After all, your body is your best investment.

Have questions? Contact us.

Ready to schedule an appointment? Schedule here.

Great Things Happening at Quest Fitness

There have been a lot of changes going on here at Quest Fitness, with our new trainer, Erica, adding massage therapy with Margaret, and evening yoga class with Danni. The newest feature we are adding in is the ability to schedule online through Schedulicity. With this feature you’re able to schedule or reschedule appointments online or through the free app at your convenience. You are still welcome to contact us with any of your questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to continuing to offer our professional personal training, massage therapy and group classes.