On today’s episode, Fed & Fit Listener Kimberly joins me to talk about her struggles with weight loss. We brainstorm how to approach weight loss from all sides in addition to some discussion about life without her large intestine.


We’re back with our 105th episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 105 Sponsors

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Episode 105 Transcription

Today’s show is brought to you by Aaptiv! Aaptiv is a fabulous app and robust online community that allows you access to top notch, motivating personal trainers who guide you through an audio-based workout that is timed to your choosing with fun, perfectly synchronized music. Like Netflix for fitness; Aaptiv gives members unlimited access to their entire bank of high-end, trainer-led workout classes. So if you’re looking for fresh, high quality, on the go, motivating workouts that adapt to your lifestyle, I highly recommend Aaptiv.

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Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. Today I am very excited to welcome a very special guest. Her name is Kimberly, and she’s actually a member of the Fed and Fit Project online. Kimberly lives in East Texas; specifically Athens, Texas. She is a hobby bee keeper, and loves to garden on her, just a few, 230 acres that she and her husband has there. She loves to spend her time outside when she’s not traveling for work. I’m so excited to have her on the call today. She’s a wonderful person. Welcome to the show, Kim!

Kimberly: Thanks. Thanks for having me. I’m looking forward to it.

Cassy Joy: Absolutely; likewise. I would love it; I guess I should briefly talk about, for new listeners, what a reverse interview is. So Kimberly wrote in with a really wonderful question via email. Though I really love to answer those, most questions via email, hers was so great that I thought it would be perfect for her and I to have a conversation on Skype, record it, and then possibly publish it to the podcast in case other listeners out there can identify with where Kim is at. And then could possibly benefit from the conversation. So these reverse interviews are where I invite Fed and Fit podcast listeners and readers to come on the show and give them essentially the mic, and the baton to run the show and ask whatever questions she’s got of me. So that’s kind of the background.

But thanks so much for coming on, Kim. Do you want to introduce yourself a little bit more? Tell us a little bit more about yourself, and what some of your questions are.

Kimberly: Well you summed it up pretty well. Thanks again for having me, first of all. I do live on 230 acres in the middle of nowhere, and I do travel during the week and at home on the weekends. It’s just enjoying the outdoors with my husband, and working to just keep everything running at our home. So that’s just a little extra about me. I had sent in some questions specifically regarding weight loss. My first question to you was weight loss on the Project. I think you did a podcast a while back on that. But that wasn’t the primary goal of the Project; and please correct me where I’m wrong.

Cassy Joy: No, you’re great.

Kimberly: So I just kind of wanted to know, off the Project, what your thoughts are about that, and to just get some information from you about weight loss. I do struggle with that. I do try to eat primarily a paleo-ish lifestyle. I do fall off of that from time to time. So that was my first question for you.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. So, just really how to pursue weight loss in a healthy manner, whether you’re on or off the Project?

Kimberly: Yes.

Cassy Joy: Got it. Ok. So feel free to fine tune and ask more questions as I start to ramble on the topic. {laughs}

Kimberly: Ok.

Cassy Joy: So this is a really wonderful question. And I know that a lot of people are going to be curious, and their ears are perking up. So when it comes to weight loss, there are a couple of important things to consider. And I probably did talk specifically to what I’m about to say on a previous show, but it’s definitely worth mentioning again. When we look at just, bird’s eye level view. And Kim, I know that you know this. I’m just repeating this for folks who maybe this is the first time they’ve heard it. But when we look at the body as a whole, there’s a whole lot that goes into what shows up on the number on the scale. We’ve got bones, we’ve got skin, we’ve got organs. We have our entire water weight; the vascular system in general. And then we have muscle, and we have body fat.

So when it’s possible to lose weight and have the number on the scale go down while losing not body fat. You know? So let’s say if you’ve ever broke your leg or your arm, and you had to wear a cast for a long period of time. I was one of those. {laughs} I grew up; oh my goodness. And it was one of those things where, for whatever reason, the universe had it where I would go visit the emergency room growing up. It was the same week every single year. And I was just one of those accident-prone children. My mom always joked that when that week rolled around, she’s going to wrap me in bubble wrap and make me sit in a chair. {laughs}

Kimberly: Oh gosh.

Cassy Joy: Anyways. If you’ve ever worn a cast for an extended period of time, you know that you have that muscular atrophy where the muscles on your leg or your arm start to kind of go away when the cast comes off, and you look at your legs side by side. One that was not in the cast, and one that was in the cast. Or your arm versus arm. And you can see the limb that had the cast around it is significantly smaller. And that’s because we lost some muscle mass while we were being treated. So that’s kind of an example of, you’re losing weight, in the sense that I was losing muscle mass. So I just kind of want to give some perspective for folks who have never thought about it that way.

So there’s a lot that goes into the number on the scale. Now, when folks talk about losing weight, we’re usually talking about losing body fat. Right? We’ve got excess body fat that we’re carrying around and we want to lose that. So that’s when it gets a little tricky. Because if we could just plain old starve ourselves and lose weight, and it’s going to be indiscriminately. We’re going to lose body fat, and we’re going to lose muscle mass.

So how do we lose just body fat? And that’s where things get really interesting. And it’s really where we need to start looking at that concept of bioindividuality. Because what it’s going to take for you, maybe to lose body fat is going to be a little bit different than maybe your cousin or even just a coworker. Because your constitution; how you were made, could require that you need more carbs, and less fat. Or vice versa; more fat, and less carbs.

So, I think. {laughs} Oh gosh. I told Kim before we started recording that this show is live action! {laughing} You never know when Gus is napping. Most of the time he naps right now. But I don’t like to edit it out, because I think it’s more fun for listeners to hear the hot mess that is real life.

So it depends on your constitution, right? There are some people who do really well on a low-carbohydrate diet. You see those folks that have kind of miracle turnarounds. They lose body fat when they pursue low-carb, or what could be considered a ketogenic diet. Right? Where they put their body into ketosis, because they’ve restricted carbohydrate intake essentially to an extreme, and they’re then consuming only fat and protein. And it tells their body to start burning body fat to produce the glucose; the blood glucose that we need to survive. So that’s one school of thought.

Another school of thought is that if you’re extremely carb tolerant; meaning that you do well with more carbohydrates, then there’s a good chance you also do well with less fat; dietary fat intake. So those folks, and I tend to fall into this category. I’m more carb tolerant. So a ketogenic diet does not work for me. If I want to lose body fat, I don’t need to consume excessive amounts of dietary fat. I need to eat more carbs, more leafy vegetables, starchy vegetables, and then kind of keep an eye on my fat intake. I’m not the kind of person that can sit down and metabolize an entire avocado. Where some folks can.

Again, that’s another caveat. Bioindividuality; it’s all going to be different. But, essentially what happens if we’ve done that away; how do you determine which one you are? Whether you’re carb tolerant or more fat tolerant? Really that’s kind of trial and error. And that’s really where the Project comes into play. Those first 28 days, or 3 months, depending on which path you chose. For new listeners, the 28-day path A program is the rip the Band-Aid off; we’re going to get to where we’re feeling really good. We’re going to follow a really strict paleo protocol. A kind of limited one so that we don’t have the slippery slope of really sugary fruits to fall onto and things like that. So in 28 days, you feel great. Or we spend 3 months working up to that feel-good reset state.

And then at that point is where the real work begins. That’s really where we start testing ourselves and seeing; now that we’re feeling great, how do we then optimize and figure out what foods actually work best for our body? And that counts for fats, that counts for carbohydrates, and that counts for just general foods. Some people in this have learned that they don’t do well with 2 cups of coffee. Those kinds of experiments. Gus is knocking to come in this door. This dog has 2 doors to the backyard, and one of them is open. {laughs}

Kimberly: {laughs} He needs your attention.

Cassy Joy: He needs my attention. We’re just going to leave them all open for him. Hi buddy. Whoo, he’s demanding today. Ok, so that’s kind of the overview of how to choose which one is right for you.

Now from there; once we figure out nutritionally; yes, maybe you already have an inclination, Kim. “Yep, I do better with a little more carb, and a little less fat.” Whatever your gut is telling you at this point. Because you’ve probably self-reflected enough to have kind of an idea, and a lot of listeners have, as well.

So from here what we do is we honor that. And we try to pursue that, not to an extreme. I’m not saying, if you know that your carb tolerant, I’m not saying cut out all fats. I’m saying 1-2 tablespoons three times a day is a really good amount. So that would be, maybe a quarter of an avocado with lunch, and maybe a small handful of almonds with breakfast. Whatever it is, just kind of be aware of what fats are on your plate, and keep it to 1-2 tablespoons. Enjoy a serving of starch. And in addition to that, we need to supplement. When we’re looking to burn body fat, we have to supplement with a significant amount of water. So make sure our water intake is really high. Make sure that our sleep is really good. So you’re hitting your daily sleep number, if at all possible, and the quality is up there. So make sure that sleep and water intake are priorities.

And then of course, fitness. But I’m going to put that in at the end. Because truly, when it comes to it, sleep and water are going to have a larger impact on how you’re able to burn body fat than even nutrition and physical exercise. Because if we’re sleep deprived and we’re dehydrated, our body is kind of going to go into lockdown mode. You know? And we’re going to conserve nutrients as much as possible. So make sure that we’re getting enough water. And I’ve said this probably 2 dozen times, but it’s always worth repeating. If you don’t know how much water to consume, take your body weight in pounds, divide it by 2, and that’s a good number of ounces of water to consume in a day for a starting point.

Now, if you’re like Kim, and you’re outside all day, in East Texas especially during the summer and you’re gardening and you’re working on the land and you’re taking care of the bees, you probably need more water those times of days. But just listen to your body. But make sure you get that minimum. And that’s priority one.

Priority two is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. And I’m talking 7 to 8 hours. I’m sure there are people listening here that think they’re doing everything right. They’re following a food plan the way they know they should be following it, they’re drinking enough water, they’re working out. But they’re only sleeping 4 to 5 hours a night. And that’s the missing link. If we want to see progress; and they’re wondering why they’re not seeing progress. That’s where we need to devote our attention.

There are folks that I’ve worked with one on one where just that scenario. Felt like they were doing everything right. And because of work deadlines, or family circumstances, or whatever it is. Real life pops up, because it always will. They were not making sleep as high of a priority, and sometimes that’s just the way it is. And sometimes that’s just life. But as soon as they were able to get more sleep, and continued with the path they were on, the body fat started to come off again. Ok, so remember to keep those as top priorities.

And then when it comes to food, do our best. I think it’s always important to eat 3 meals a day. I’m of the school of thought that our stomachs really need a break between meals, so try not to snack. This is no new news for Kim. Because she’s been in this conversation for a while. But try to not snack in between meals, so that our metabolism can really take a break, and take a breather. It teaches our body then to tap into body fat between meals. It also teaches it that we’re going to feed it on a regular basis. So make sure that you’re eating meals at the same time every day, if possible.

And if that means meal prepping breakfast so it’s ready to go, or packing your lunch and setting an alarm to know when you’re going to eat lunch during the day. And then honoring a dinner time that’s a couple of hours before bedtime is a really good way to go. And then lastly would be fitness! And I’m sorry if this is more broad of an answer you were hoping for, Kim.

Kimberly: Oh no, this is great.

Cassy Joy: Ok good. So lastly is fitness. And it’s important to look at fitness from a very holistic perspective. Again, this is no new news to Kim. But I’m not of the mindset where you go out; you just go run it off. I’m not the kind of person that’s going to say, “Well you need to just go run 5 miles a day.” There are some folks that that really works for them. And if that works for them, that’s great. But I’m of the perspective that it takes a little bit more to have a healthy, happy body. Because if we’re in it for weight loss for the long run, we need to look at our physical fitness activities as also being in it for the long run.

Now, I ran marathons before. There was one year I did 6 half-marathons and one full marathon. I was a running maniac. And my body paid the toll. I was in my early 20s, and I still damaged my joints. And that’s just me. My constitution doesn’t do well with that amount of impact in cardio on a regular basis. So know thyself. There are folks out there who were born runners, and that works for them. But I talk about running a lot, because I think a lot of people think that they have to run to lose weight, and that’s not the case.

It could also be that a little weight lifting activity is in there. And you’ve got 230 acres, so you probably would call it farm fit.

Kimberly: Yeah!

Cassy Joy: My friend, Liz Wolfe, talks about when she’s moving big old heavy; whatever it is. Bales of hay or feed bags, that’s definitely a workout. That’s a weight bearing activity. And that counts. So mixing in a little cardio with a little strength activity, weight bearing activity. Especially for us ladies. It is more important than I could even possibly stress on this short little podcast how important it is for women. We’re not going to bulk up. It’s actually going to teach our bones and our joints and our muscles to be more resilient; to have strength. And we’re going to be able to endure more.

And in addition to cardio and strength, let’s also mix in some mobility exercises. I have some mobility ideas in the Fed and Fit book, where it’s just general stretching. But you could also just drop into a yoga class. And the three of those things combined. Now there’s more to it. I talk about the savvy seven. So there are seven components. Rest is being one of them; fun being one of them. But those three are the ones I think most folks can very easily wrap our minds around when you combine strength, endurance; so cardio, and some sort of a mobility, stretching activity. Your body is going to become strong. It’s going to be able to endure more exercises, keep our heart rates up at a nice medium pace for a long period of time. And it’s going to be limber. And when you combine all of those things, you become so much more unstoppable.

And essentially what we’re doing is we’re making our bodies more efficient; not only at exercise, but at burning body fat. And when we do that consistently, with eating meals that work for our body at consistent times of the day, of consistent portions, of consistent food quality. Combined with consistent sleep schedules. Combined with consistent water intake. It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of time. And if you find that you’re doing all of those things and the body fat is still not moving, then we look back at nutrition, and we look to tweak that. But 9 times out of 10, if we tackle all of those at the same time, our bodies are going to respond, and we’re going to start to lose excess body fat.

I know that when my body composition starts to change, it’s usually because of sleep, water, or fitness. It’s not always because of nutrition. Because I have no problem eating. {laughs} I have no problem eating well. So kind of look at that. So if you are doing everything right, then we would go back to look at the food on the plate. That’s where we can start tweaking some of the macros from a high level perspective. Maybe either going low-carb, higher protein, high fat. Or, vice-versa. Kind of playing with those things.

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Cassy Joy: Was that helpful?

Kimberly: Yes, very much. Thank you.

Cassy Joy: Oh good. You’re welcome.

Kimberly: Yeah, thank you. And I will say that as I age, it’s harder and harder. So 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, it was easy for me to get rid of 5 pounds. But today, it’s like, it is hanging on for dear life and it does not want to go away. It’s found its home and it wants to stay there. So that is so frustrating.

Cassy Joy: It is frustrating. And you know, what, Kim? Let’s say of the 5; two of them may never come off. Because that’s just our bodies as we age. We need body fat reserves for different reasons, right? As we age, our bodies, because we’re not quite a young anymore. Our bodies tend to think that we probably should hold on to some extra reserves. Some of that is just natural. It’s just biology, and just the way we were made. But that doesn’t mean that it will never come off. But it definitely takes more patience and more time the older that we get.

And also, as we age, the quicker our bodies do reflect and our body compositions do change if we kind of go off of it. So the good news is that our bodies are definitely resilient. We want to heal. So I would keep up with everything that you’re doing, and journal food-wise what you’re eating and what you think is working for your body. And then just try to keep chasing those things that you feel are work.

Kimberly: OK. Great. Thank you, that is very helpful. I appreciate that.

Cassy Joy: Of course. Yeah. Did it perk up any other questions?

Kimberly: The next question I had was from a different podcast. I listened to, I think it was podcast 90 with Kristen, and I don’t know how to pronounce.

Cassy Joy: Boehmer.

Kimberly: Boehmer. She’s a colon cancer survivor, I believe. And I am actually a colon cancer survivor of 10 years. And during my diagnosis time and all of that, they also discovered that I have a genetic condition called Lynch syndrome. So during my process of chemotherapy and all of those things, I had surgery. And had to have my entire large intestine removed. So I don’t have any large intestine any longer. And they did a hysterectomy on me at the same time. I thought about nutrition, but as I listen to your podcast and others, and learn more, I don’t know that I fully understand the absorption of nutrition and how our body. I think I know a little bit. So I just kind of wanted to see if you could speak to that. Maybe not necessarily specifically to my condition, with not having a large intestine, or how that plays into it. Or maybe just a broad overview of exactly how our body works in absorption and nutrition and those things.

Cassy Joy: That is such a great question. So, I do remember. And that question in particular, in addition to your weight loss question, is one of the reasons I was really excited to have you on here. So the majority of our nutrients are absorbed through the small intestine. So that’s some good news. The large intestine will absorb a large amount of our water. And actually in the Fed and Fit book I break down; Kim, do you have a copy of the book? I want to just send it to you if you don’t.

Kimberly: Sadly, I don’t yet. It’s on my Mother’s Day list!

Cassy Joy: Oh, you sweet thing! Well I want to send you a copy. So in the book I actually talk about the three phases of digestion. And I kind of break it down. I like to joke that’s it’s kind of like Ms. Frizzle. Did you ever watch the Magic School Bus, or see that growing up, or maybe for young ones?

Kimberly: No, I didn’t.

Cassy Joy: Oh my gosh. It was just this silly cartoon and in science class, for whatever reason in grade school, they would put it on on certain days. And it was Ms. Frizzle, and she was this cartoon science teacher, and she had her class. And what she would do on certain days is she would load them up for a field trip, and they would go on this Magic School Bus; and what the Magic School Bus would do is it would shrink down, and she would be able to give them a field trip of the mouth, or the digestion process. So I joked in the book; we took a Ms. Frizzle kind of tour through the body. {laughs}

Kimberly: {laughs} That’s fun.

Cassy Joy: Yeah. So, the large intestine is house to a good amount of bacteria that really helps us metabolize certain fatty acids, certain vitamins. Vitamin K and some of the B vitamins, that are then absorbed into the blood. So some of those things; I would assume… did they put you on supplements for those?

Kimberly: They did not. You know, I just started taking those supplements, like a month ago.

Cassy Joy: That’s great, Kim. That’s great. I would definitely keep up with those. And off the top of my head; I’ll have to do a little more research. But off the top of my head, I would look into bioavailable forms of biotin, vitamin K. I mean, some of those nutrients are going to be available in chicken liver, for example. Gosh; everything is in chicken liver, and it is one of the most different ingredients to work with. {laughs} Are you a chicken liver fan?

Kimberly: No, I’ve never tried it.

Cassy Joy: Oh goodness. That would be a good one to write on there. I actually just finished; maybe by the time this podcast airs, the recipe will be live on the blog. But I just finished some chicken liver meatballs. And it’s mixed with ground beef. But they’re delicious. They’re really, really good.

Kimberly: I will try those.

Cassy Joy: Ok. And I’m not a chicken liver fan. But that would be a good form. Spinach has a good amount of some of these vitamins, as well, that could be bioavailable. So some of those fatty acids, B vitamins are going to be absorbed in the large intestine.

I think that it is important; I would say it’s especially important to look at water. Making sure you’re getting enough water. I wouldn’t drink so much at one period of time, but make sure you’re consistently drinking a large amount throughout the day to make sure that your hydration is up. Keep up with those supplements. I’m not going to talk specifically about how many supplements, because I haven’t seen your blood work, and I also don’t like to give that kind of advice on the podcast because it’s so individual for everybody listening. But I would definitely keep working; if you don’t have a naturopath that you’re working with already, I would find one and talk to them about how to tweak those supplements and taking those.

And then I would look at getting some of those nutrients from food as often as you can. And I mean, probably once a week or every other week, try to have some sort of chicken liver in your diet, and some sort of fresh spinach or other kind of leafy green. Probably more often, that’s an easier one. Is that helpful?

Kimberly: Yeah, that is. It’s very helpful. And I did not realize about the large intestine and how that absorbs those supplements; those vitamins. So that’s new to me, so thank you.

Cassy Joy: Yeah, definitely. And it’s more so that the large intestine is home to the bacteria that helps us make those vitamins bioavailable.

Kimberly: Ok.

Cassy Joy: So it’s not to say that you couldn’t absorb them because you don’t have a large intestine; it’s just saying that we need to make sure you’re consuming forms that are already bioavailable.

Kimberly: So, that’ brings up another question about a probiotic.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Kimberly: Do I need to have an extra; more probiotic?

Cassy Joy: That is a really good question. I don’t have an answer for you, Kim. I haven’t ever looked into it. But let me follow up with you via email, and whatever you and I come up with, I will add to the show notes for this podcast episode so folks can read it if they’re curious. I’m going to reach out to a naturopath that I know and see what they say.

Kimberly: Ok. Cool. Those were my two biggest questions, the things that I was most curious about. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.

Cassy Joy: This is great! Those are great questions. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. And I hope you found it helpful. I’m sure other folks listening benefitted from your questions, as well.

Kimberly: I did. Thank you very much. I really appropriate it.

Cassy Joy: Of course, Kim. Well don’t be a stranger; stay in touch. And shoot me another email. {laughs} I guess you and I could talk about this after the show. But shoot me an email to remind me to look up that information about the probiotic for the small intestine.

Kimberly: OK. I’ll do it.

Cassy Joy: Wonderful. Well thanks again.

Kimberly: Thanks Cassy.

Cassy Joy: Thank you so much. And for everybody listening, remember that you can find the show notes with a recap of what we talked about today, including a complete transcript on the blog at www.FedandFit.com. If you like the show, I encourage you to head over to iTunes, leave a review. Those mean a lot. And they actually help the show to get in front of more folks, and into more hands. So if you like it, and you find it helpful, head on over there and leave it a review. Thanks everybody for listening. We’ll be back again next week.

About the Author

Cassy Joy Garcia, NC

Cassy Joy Garcia, a New York Times best-selling author, of Cook Once Dinner Fix, Cook Once Eat All Week, and Fed and Fit as well as the creative force behind the popular food blog Fed & Fit.

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  1. Cassy! just discovered your podcasts. follow you on IG and FB but now going to be an avid podcast listener. I chose this as the first podcast to listen to…struggling with weight loss. and I guess i didn’t fully read the synopsis because I was hit with a surprise towards the end that your guest didn’t have a large intestine. I too don’t have one. I’ve been living without one for 23 years so a bit used to it but I have always wondered how that could affect my weight loss efforts. I’ve never really struggled with my weight and it’s only been recently, in the past 5 years, that I’ve started to gain significant weight (about 35 lbs). Not fun. I feel like I’ve “tried everything” as I’m sure you hear all the time. It was also interesting to hear about how high fat doesn’t always work for people. I just kept feeling like I have been doing something wrong…but I guess I should FULLY read your book and not just the recipes 🙂
    One question, I did this DNA thing – DNAFIT – and it says it tells you what kind of “diet” you should be on. Like, if you are good at metabolizing carbs or not. It told me I was and that I wasn’t good at fat. So then I was like, no wonder I’ve been gaining weight while doing “high fat” but just wanted to know your thoughts on that kind of analysis. Should I not put as much faith in it? or do you think it has some validity?

    Thanks again! sorry for the long comment. and I hope this was the appropriate place to ask questions 🙂

    1. Hi Valare! I think that the best things to put faith in are your own personal experiences. If you (in your experience) find that you are less fat-tolerant, then experiment with alternate plates of food. Trust yourself and follow your intuition! I hope that helps, some 🙂