Mindfulness — Your brain has a capacity to continually grow and adapt by creating new neurons and networks. You can tap into your brain capacity to adapt by simply incorporating training your mind in your fitness workout. What I am talking about is not thinking positively, but being fully present.
So many of us have tried dieting. All too often though, many of us lose 10–20 pounds, but we end up gaining it back. Not only is yo-yo dieting unhealthy, it is also demoralizing and makes us feel like giving up. What exactly do we have to do to achieve a healthy body weight and to stick with it forever?
In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Do To Achieve A Healthy Body Weight And Keep It Permanently” we are interviewing health and wellness professionals who can share lessons from their research and experience about how to do this.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dianne Wiseman.
Dianne Wiseman is an anti-aging expert, holistic fitness coach, meditation teacher and former high performance track and field athlete. Over the past 15 years, she has helped hundreds of clients achieve anti-aging with a personalized, holistic fitness approach that provides a deeper and more permanent solution.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up as a middle child with two brothers in Toronto, Canada. I had the privilege of spending my childhood summers full of unstructured time exploring the woods and jumping in the lake at our family cottage on the Canadian shield. This was the perfect environment for me because I am kinesthetic in my learning style, so moving and doing has always been the only way I learn. I have always loved to move, so I think It was inevitable I would end up in the fitness industry.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
I have always been a late bloomer. As a child, I was a talented runner but never had the focus to commit to training. When I graduated from high school, I took 3 years off before attending university. During my second year of university, I decided I was ready to commit to training and pursuing competitive running. Within two years of training, I won double gold at the Canadian university championships and athlete of the year at my university. But, the results were not my gift, it was the transformation within me. Fitness training provided me with the playground to stretch me beyond my limiting beliefs and gain confidence. The understanding that it is essential to my well-being has inspired me to pursue a career in the fitness industry.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
What has most inspired me most in life is being a mom of a fierce and brilliant daughter. I have always strived to parent authentically, to embody the two most important things that I taught her. The first is to always reach and stretch towards her dreams. The second is to become the best version of herself, not someone’s else’s version.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
I came from the world of athletics where training is very structured and focused. So, when I started my first job at a busy downtown gym I was so excited to learn about all the different equipment and types of exercises. The sessions with my first clients were focused on trying all the new equipment and exercises inspired by the new environment. There was no direction to the training, it was simply getting a sweat on for an hour. What resulted was my clients not getting the permanent results they desired. Once I shifted back to a more holistic focus for training my clients got the permanent results they desired.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” — Carl Jung
I believe when you are younger, life is about discovering yourself, your dream of the future. But, when you are older it’s about understanding yourself. This understanding can only come from going inward and examining the limiting beliefs you have picked up along the way. It’s about reclaiming and redefining yourself.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
I am really excited about an online program I have created that focuses on anti-aging your workout so you keep seeing results. Let’s face it, it’s one thing to be in shape in your twenties, thirties, or even forties. It’s a whole other game to get results in your fifties and onward. I have perfected this program over 15 years working with hundreds of clients. Also, I can personally attest that I am in the best shape of my life because of it!
The program launches in September and you can access it on my website: diannewiseman.com
Another exciting project I am working on with my brilliant co-host Helen Tansey is The Feminine Warrior Podcast. We speak with inspiring women who have faced adversity in a multitude of ways, dug in deep, and redefined themselves. Stay tuned for the first episode airing in September.
For the benefit of our readers, can you briefly let us know why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field?
I have been in the fitness industry for over 15 years. I have had the privilege of working with athletes, busy professionals, moms in high-risk neighborhoods, and seniors. Through all the variety of people over the years, my unique holistic training approach has always brought results.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about achieving a healthy body weight. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. How do you define a “Healthy Body Weight”?
I believe a healthy body weight goes hand in hand with a healthy body image. Which can be difficult to cultivate in a world that promotes unrealistic body images that most people will never achieve. The focus should be on having a healthy relationship with your own body. Ultimately, healthy body weight is one you can sustain without always being on a diet.
How can an individual learn what is a healthy body weight for them? How can we discern what is “too overweight” or what is “too underweight”?
I believe the simplest way to determine your individual healthy weight is to always be within 10 pounds of your weight at 21yrs.
This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons why being over your healthy body weight, or under your healthy body weight, can be harmful to your health?
When we think about our body weight it is usually through the lens of how we ‘look’. The skinnier, the better. How many times has your day been dictated by your weight? You feel great because you can rock that new pair of jeans. Or you feel bad because you gained a few and cannot fit into those jeans.
But, we don’t take into account the health issues that are associated with not maintaining healthy body weight. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. Equally detrimental to your health is being underweight. It increases the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, hormone imbalances, and decreased immune function.
In contrast, can you help articulate a few examples of how a person who achieves and maintains a healthy body weight will feel better and perform better in many areas of life?
I believe maintaining healthy body weight is the single most important thing you can do for yourself. The benefits of increased energy, better sleep, and better mood all impact your quality of life.
Ok, fantastic. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Do To Achieve a Healthy Body Weight And Keep It Permanently?”. If you can, please share a story or an example for each.
My focus as a fitness coach has always been to offset the aging process in the body. When you are proactive in targeting the aspects of the body that diminish as you age, you can keep moving and achieving results.
1: Eccentric Contraction — Strength training, especially training that emphasizes the eccentric part of a muscle contraction is a great way to increase flexibility, strength, and stability.
Lifting weights can be broken down into a two-step process. The first step is the concentric contraction or the part that seems like the most effort. The second part is the eccentric contraction or the part that seems easy because you’re simply moving the weights back to the starting position.
Tip: the pace or tempo when lifting weights is 2 seconds for the first step and 6 seconds for the second step. This will ensure that your weightlifting gains are always maximized.
2: Fast Twitch Fibres — Our metabolism slows as we age because we lose fast-twitch muscle fibers. But, You can slow this process with targeted interval training twice per week.
Targeted interval training is cardiovascular training at 80–90 percent of your max heart rate.
One: Calculate your max heart rate: 220 — your age.
Two: calculate 80% and 90% of that number.
Tip: 30 minutes targeted interval session: 10 minutes warm-up, 1 minute at 80% — 90% heart rate, then 1-minute active rest, repeat 10 times, 10 minutes cool down.
3: Full body Movements — Our neuropathways diminish as we age. It is important to always incorporate full-body exercises into your program to keep your muscles working together as a team.
Tip: combining exercises that you would usually do separately, for example, a squat and a shoulder press.
4: Joint Stability — Our tendons lose strength and flexibility due to collagen loss as we age. Therefore strength training becomes more important to help prevent injuries.
Tip: Performing your strength training exercises with lower weight and higher reps ensure the stability muscles are being targeted. Rep range 15–20
5: Mindfulness — Your brain has a capacity to continually grow and adapt by creating new neurons and networks. You can tap into your brain capacity to adapt by simply incorporating training your mind in your fitness workout. What I am talking about is not thinking positively, but being fully present.
Tip: Important to connect to the workout by focusing your mind on the muscle you’re training during an exercise.
The emphasis of this series is how to maintain an ideal weight for the long term, and how to avoid yo-yo dieting. Specifically, how does a person who loses weight maintain that permanently and sustainably?
The most important shift to staying on the path to maintaining your ideal weight is understanding it is a lifelong pursuit, not a short-term goal. The most common mistake people make is being too extreme with dieting and exercise. They have unrealistic goals which cause burnout or injury. They need to understand that consistency is more important than intensity.
What are a few of the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they try to lose weight? What errors cause people to just snap back to their old unhealthy selves? What can they do to avoid those mistakes?
I believe the most common mistake is where people place their choice. The choice when it comes to working out is not about showing up for a workout, the choice is about how much you push yourself during the workout. Again, consistency is way more critical to long-term success than intensity.
How do we take all this information and integrate it into our actual lives? The truth is that we all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
It can be very overwhelming thinking about where you are and where you want to go. All the things you need to change in order for you to achieve your health goals. Most people don’t even get started.
What I suggested is focusing on the small changes you can make daily. It’s the little victories that add up and give you the confidence to make the larger changes.
On the flip side, how can we prevent these ideas from just being trapped in a rarified, theoretical ideal that never gets put into practice? What specific habits can we develop to take these intellectual ideas and integrate them into our normal routine?
I believe all training should be functional and translatable into everyday life. For example, your fitness should be exercises that mimic real-life movements. Or your mediation practice should be brought into your fitness training because it provides a space to practice mindfulness in real-life stressful situations. When we experience the benefits in our daily life, we will be more likely to keep doing it.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
A movement that pushes back against society’s aging trajector myth. We can learn new things or redefine ourselves at any age. I must say my fifties is my best decade ever!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂 How can our readers further follow your work online?
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.