Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Ep 51: Mental Resilience and Commitment to Training Despite Adversity (Earthquakes!) with Heather Clinger

March 10, 2023 Heather Clinger Episode 51
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Ep 51: Mental Resilience and Commitment to Training Despite Adversity (Earthquakes!) with Heather Clinger
Wits & Weights Podcast
Support the show 🙏 and keep it ad-free!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript

Today I’m joined by my client Heather Clinger, a wife and mother of 5 currently homeschooling her children in Turkey. She is passionate about teaching and creating music and is enjoying learning how to lift heavy things.
 
I met Heather 4 months ago when she reached out for one-on-one nutrition coaching to improve her body composition, get stronger, and build muscle. Most importantly, she wanted to FEEL her best and set an example for her kids of achieving results through hard work and committing to a sustainable process. Despite constant upheaval for her and her family during the recent earthquakes in Turkey, Heather found the mental resilience, commitment, and strength to continue her training and maintain her fitness routine to cope.

Through us working together, Heather has been mastering strength training, nutrition, and mindset, both through a muscle-building phase and now a fat loss phase. But the change in her strength and body composition are just a small part of what she’s learned and the practices she’s developed that give her a resilient, positive, and sustainable outlook on life.
 
We talk about her experience during the earthquakes, our nutrition coaching journey together, and specific lessons and strategies YOU can use to stay focused on getting results.

You'll learn all about:

  • What she struggled with before working with a coach
  • Why she reached out for one-on-one coaching
  • What surprised her when she started working with a coach
  • Her strength training routine and what she learned from training
  • What happened on February 6, 2023
  • How the earthquake affected her training routine
  • Why Heather didn't take a break from training despite everything going on
  • How working with a coach was beneficial during this crazy time
  • Living the best version of you; aspiration and hard work
  • How Heather's habits and mindset around food have changed
  • Unexpected benefits or changes in other areas of her life
  • Advice for someone who is hesitant about hiring a nutrition coach

Episode resources:

📝 Win a prize by taking our Listener Survey! 🎁

Support the show


🚀 Apply for 1-on-1 coaching!

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE results breakthrough call with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for accountability, live training/Q&As, & free challenges

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies, bonus content, and exclusive articles!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Philip Pape:

Welcome to the Wits& Weights podcast, where we discuss getting strong and healthy with strength training and sustainable nutrition. I'm your host, Philip pape, and in each episode, we examine strategies to help you achieve physical self mastery through a healthy skepticism of the fitness industry, and a commitment to consistent nutrition and training for sustainable results. Welcome to another episode of Wits & Weights. We are streaming this live in our free Facebook community. So if you want early access to these types of episodes, and you haven't joined yet, just go to the link in the show notes. Alright, today I'm joined by my client Heather clinger, a wife and mother of five, currently homeschooling her children in Turkey. She's passionate about teaching and creating music, and is enjoying learning how to lift heavy things of that. I met Heather four months ago, and she reached out for one on one nutrition coaching to improve her body composition get stronger and build muscle. Most importantly, she wanted to feel her best and set an example for her kids of achieving results through hard work and committing to a sustainable process. Despite constant upheaval for her and her family during the recent earthquakes in Turkey, Heather found the mental resilience, commitment and strength to continue her training and maintain our fitness routine as one way of coping with such a stressful situation. Through us working together. Heather has been mastering strength training, nutrition and mindset for several months, both through a muscle building phase and now a fat loss phase. But the change in her strength and body composition are just a small part of what she's learned, and the practices she's developed that give her a resilient, positive and sustainable outlook on life. So today, we're talking about her experience during the earthquakes, our nutrition coaching, journey together, and specific lessons and strategies you can use to stay focused on getting results. So Heather, after that long introduction. I've been looking forward to this. And thank you for your courage and coming on to share your story.

Heather Clinger:

Hi, Philip. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for inviting me here today. I hope that the things I share can be helpful to others.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, they definitely will. I'm really excited for the conversation. And I want to start with your story. Like who is Heather cleaner? And then specifically, what were you struggling with? And what had you tried before we met? And before we started working together?

Heather Clinger:

Okay, so I think when I when I look back at like, where did my struggle start? And what were my struggles, I have this memory in my head that I'm pretty sure I was 12 Right. And I walked into this dressing room, and I put on this skirt, knowing that it was gonna look so cute, just like the model on the, you know, the picture. And, and I looked down and the skirt didn't go straight down like it did, you know, on the advertisement that I saw it and I kept, you know, pushing on my thighs wheeling that skirt to look the way that it did on that model. And I think that was just the beginning of a very long, you know, when I wasn't a happy kid, even right, it was just me deciding what my body should look like, and then deciding that it didn't look like that. And just very subjectively, right. And just starting on this long road of trying to you know, beat my body into submission through really rigorous exercise regimens or really strict dieting, and then falling into depression when it didn't and eating my way back into oblivion.

Philip Pape:

So, yeah, that that I mean, and you're definitely not alone in that kind of, of history and background that you struggled. It sounds like it wasn't just physical, right? A lot of it was mental. It was beating yourself up and thinking that this was the standard that you had to strive for. And of course, then it leads to this psychosis of constantly, quote unquote, failing to do that, right.

Heather Clinger:

Yeah, it really is. I mean, because there's nothing that that told me how my body should look. Right? It was, I mean, you can get messages from society or, you know, TV and advertisements and things like that. But there really are, you know, so many beautiful, unacceptable bodies out there. And I just decided on my own that mine wasn't one of them.

Philip Pape:

And then what so let's tie that into the last year. So before just before we met and started working together, what was the moment where you said to yourself, I really need to do something different, or I need to reach out to a coach. Yeah,

Heather Clinger:

I had been sort of, on my own, trying different things. The last country that we lived in, my husband is in the State Department and so we get to live a lot of different places. And the last time we moved and in moving is always just this Crazy mental struggle for me, you know, I, I like to teach, but I lose my students when we move. I love music, but I lose my instruments, you know, for periods of time when we move. And in the last country that that we had been in, I, you know, went off the rails getting all sorts of weight, and I decided that I was food addict and joined food addicts. Okay, I sort of separated myself from that, after a while and decided that while it was super helpful for many people to you know, accept that in themselves, I found it to be sort of a limiting belief that I didn't want, you know, I felt like it made me more scared of food and I wanted to be, you know, free of those feelings. And so, anyway, I had been trying all these things on my own, and really felt like, you know, maybe I'd start going back to CrossFit get into some, like, regimen that would help me be strong. I loved, you know, lifting weights at CrossFit. I always felt sort of, wrung out at the end of it. Oh, yeah.

Philip Pape:

Then they're

Heather Clinger:

really hard. But I felt, you know, awesome, at the same time. And so just trying to decide, like, what, what is next? What is it that I'm missing? Right, I'm okay with my weight ish. But, but I'd like to be strong, you know, and right around that time trying to figure out what it was that I wanted. Next, my cousin entered a bodybuilding contest, and, you know, cousins, similar genes, sort of, you know, and, and I saw her pictures, and I was just blown away, like, are you serious? That's my, I mean, she's always been beautiful, but her body definitely looked strong. Right. And she did really well in her contest. And I was just so impressed. And I sort of reached out to her to get some clues. And I started listening to weightlifting podcasts, and realizing that, you know, there was something else out there. And you asked, When I reached out to you for coaching, right? That was

Philip Pape:

all of this stuff is colors, the picture really nice. I like I like, there's questions that I have for you out of this, we keep going. Sure.

Heather Clinger:

Okay, so, so then I, after listening to all these podcasts, I was like, you know, what, it's, I would love to have a coach, I need a coach and my husband was on board with it. But the thing was, is I knew that in the next couple of months, we were planning to move again. And I was like, Well, that would be a terrible idea, right? I'm not going to pay all this money to get into a program that I know I'm gonna have to put on hold. But I do want to keep weightlifting. And I promised myself that as soon as we got to Turkey, which is where we were moving, that I was going to get a coach, and why. Yeah, so we got to Turkey and some of the podcasts, I was listening to had coaching programs that weren't available, but they were, you know, going to come up and I was sort of waiting for a space to open in one of those. And meanwhile, I was getting all these questions. And I really had three questions. And I should go back in my email and find out what those questions were. Because I can't remember right now.

Philip Pape:

I remember that conversation. Yeah. I remember the questions. All right. Yeah, we have to revisit that.

Heather Clinger:

Well, one of them was about my training split, right? Because I was doing an arm day, a leg day rest an arm day and a leg day, I think is what sort of my training split was.

Philip Pape:

I don't want any one of our protein to or were they all just were they all about lifting or? Yeah,

Heather Clinger:

remember. But anyway, I had these three questions that I had written down in an email that was helping me to keep track of my like fitness stats. And I found a new podcast that morning. And you were the guest on that podcast. And you answered all three of my questions in the podcast, and then at the end, advertised that you were coaching. And I was like, he's coaching. And so I emailed you and the

Philip Pape:

rest is history. Isn't that amazing how life works? Right? And I remember having that conversation and thinking that was that was just so wonderful. Because the podcasting world I mean, there's tons of shows, and there's a lot you can learn, but sometimes certain things resonate with you. And the more you listen, the more you you have a chance of that happening. Going back rewinding a little bit to your story. So first, on the food side you mentioned food addicts and how you kind of this controlled structured system actually felt restrictive to you, right?

Heather Clinger:

Yeah. Yeah, and in the food addicts I did. I did. I just felt like there was so much fear surrounding food. I found another group. They were the bright line eaters who I felt like their their way through it was a lot more positive. But I just felt like there had to be something More, right? Yes. Yeah, it wasn't me so controlled by food all the time. And actually, like, I think if you'd asked me like, What what did you know? My husband would tell you like, what is Heather's like, biggest goal? And he'd probably say, well, she wants to eat whatever she wants, and look, what's right. doesn't want that. But it was interesting, because I started listening to these, you know, mommy muscle building podcasts. And, and they would say things like, and I would eat the things that I want. Right, right. And yeah, and I get the body that I wanted. And so I was definitely intrigued.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, and you talked about the bodybuilding as well, which we talked about occasionally on this show, you know, the pursuit of something like bodybuilding, it's a very, it's an extreme performance or aesthetic goal, right, that most people don't want, or if they think they want when they realize what it takes, it's, they kind of turn the other way say, No, I'd rather be lifestyle lean by actually being a bodybuilder and getting to that extreme leanness, but a lot of the techniques they use to control their physique and their nutrition do have a lot of carryover with just what the everyday person can use to do the same. Is that Is that what you found from that?

Heather Clinger:

Oh, definitely. Yeah, I'm not sure that I ever entered this with the idea that I needed to be in a bodybuilding competition. I think I've wanted to do pull ups for a long time. And I wanted a better back squat. I, I'm afraid that my you know, the times that I had to bail, a CrossFit, you know, really low weights are sort of seared into my head. blasting through those, you know, low PRS is definitely, you know, change that in my head. Oh, yeah.

Philip Pape:

Oh, yeah. I love that. And that's, that's part of what we're going to talk about here today is the whole mindset of performance and building and gaining as opposed to, you know, this restricting and trying to necessarily lose weight, even though that could be a pleasant side effect of the nutrition side. So going back to going back to when we started working together, because I want to walk people through the process until some of the recent excitement you've had is what surprised you or did anything surprise you at the time?

Heather Clinger:

Oh, gosh. So when I think back to when we first started, I, I almost feel a little bit silly, because I think that the thing that surprised me the most was that you asked me to do things differently. Right? And he would think well, yeah, like, Isn't that why you got to coach? And it makes me wonder, you know, what did I want? It's like, I wanted you to look at all the hard things that I'd been doing, right? I'd been tracking my macros, and I'd been working out and I wanted you to look at me and say, oh, yeah, it's just not working for you, you must be broken, or, you know, it mean, it's not what I wanted. And I think that it's really eye opening to me to look back to that experience. And be really grateful that you didn't say those things. And instead, yeah, you asked me to track differently. You asked me to work out differently. I was so annoyed when you asked me to get a different tracking app. I know, you know that. Yeah. And, and using the different tracking app has changed me and my habits and my thought processes so dramatically. And yeah, I'm just I'm so grateful.

Philip Pape:

I love that. So I mean, yeah, like, like you said, it's not it's not that you are are the issue that we have to fix you, we have to do it differently, right, we have to take a different approach. And sometimes a coach or another person, period, whatever it is, it could be. It could be a friend, somebody you respect, it could be a podcast host, it could be somebody who wrote a book, it doesn't matter, gives you that fresh perspective. And the question is, are you going to do it? You know, are you going to take that action? And is it even the right thing to do? Right? Because a lot of people struggle with, could should do I believe this person is are they telling me the right thing? Right, like CrossFit was the answer one time, right. And, and so you kind of had to, you had to trust me as part of this process. And then I, but you are great. I mean, as a client, you just you do things and you execute, which is like the number one thing that gets you to make progress and get results. So that's really cool. All right. So talking about strength training. What is your routine look like right now? Just so the listener gets an idea, like, what does it look like? How are you progressing? What are you learning from it?

Heather Clinger:

Right? I think that what I've really learned from strength training, and shrink training with you is is really what progress looks like and what it takes to progress. Because in a lot of ways what I've had to learn And is patience. Right? I think I think my, well, no. Okay, so with, yeah, sometimes it can seem like, you know, we've been working together since October. And that can seem like a really long time. I had this nutritionist that I was working with back at CrossFit when I used to do CrossFit, and she is absolutely amazing. And she had just had a baby. And now it's been four years since that point. And she posted a picture the other day saying, I finally you know, gotten back the body that I want. And, and I was thinking about this woman who is just incredible. But being patient for four years, right. But at the same time, like, if I thought I would look anything like her and be able, and, you know, not even look like her, but be able to do what she does with her body. In four years, it would totally kill it, you know, like, three times a week, like I'm doing counting my macros, like I'm doing, you know, for four years. But at the same, so, but at the same time, I think that, you know, I was not new to exercise, right. And I wasn't used to a lot of the things that we were doing. But so I thought that I sort of had a grasp on my own physical limits. But I was really pleasantly surprised at how quickly my back squat and deadlift, like progressed, right. I remember the first time I couldn't deadlift 200 pounds, right. And, and it was, it was like, one of the first what was the first fail, I got to my deadlifts like they had just gone up and up and up. And I was like, Wow, that's amazing. And then one day, I couldn't do 200. And I was like, Well, I guess that's it,

Philip Pape:

you reached the end.

Heather Clinger:

reached the end. And now like 200 is just one of my steps on my warmup. Right? And

Philip Pape:

exactly, that's awesome. Oh, just just sit with that. I mean, people need to hear this, right. Because you're saying that you you've done, you've done CrossFit, you've lifted barbells you are fitness oriented, maybe an athletic person. And yet there was this whole new level of strength that you hadn't experienced before. Just because you tweaked the weight the process? Yeah, totally. Yeah, no, that's great. So what have you learned from the fact that your body can do these things?

Heather Clinger:

Let's see. I think that Well, I think that it totally crosses over into other areas of my life. Right? That just that things do take hard work, right. And practice and patience, but that they're totally possible.

Philip Pape:

Yeah. Yeah, they are. Yeah. And, you know, hard work is part of it. For sure. Patience is part of it. But most importantly, you did the work. You did the work. So that's going really well. Now, a month ago, on February 6 2023, something happened on that date. Tell us what that is.

Heather Clinger:

Watch, I can't even believe that. It's part of me is like, wow, that was only a month ago. And, and part of me is like, wow, it's a month ago. So on February 6, about 417. In the morning, my husband and I woke up to our building, just being violently slammed. Like I, we've lived in California, we've lived in South America and are familiar enough with earthquakes. And this was just violent. And I kept telling myself, I'm gathering my children and telling myself to breathe, and it's almost over. And this one just felt like it didn't end. We just kept going and going. And it did finally end, you know, but I, I remember getting my shoes on. But other than that, and I sort of remember my kids walking around, and I think my six year old laying back down on his bed, and I sort of looked at him like, I don't know if that's what we should be doing. But my brain wouldn't work. Like I'm pretty sure now that I was in shock. Until all of a sudden my daughter my 13 year old comes in and says Mom, did you see the cracks in the walls, and I look up and there are cracks in our apartment building. And all of a sudden my brain turns back on and I say get your shoes, get the dog get out, get out, get out, get out. And we had all gotten to the stairwell with our things. My kids even had their little like emergency packs that my husband so wonderfully helped them put together. When we first moved here, and right as we got to the stairwell, the building started to shake again. And I think at that moment, I had this you know, I'm looking at the already our building has cracks in it. And I'm just thinking we've lost our chance and it's because of my inability to to function there. During an emergency, and we're going to, you know, my kids are going to die. And the building started eating again, it stopped shaking, and we got out, my husband needed to go check in at the consulate. And so we went. And we just sat at the consulate, you know, some of my kids were able to sleep and I just couldn't. It was, we were getting all sorts of texts from people all over the place. That, you know, we're looking for family members, we were hearing about downed buildings. Even in our city, we found out that the epicenter was, you know, 100 or more miles away. And knowing you know, how violently we had been shaken, just worrying about those people at the epicenter of the earthquake. And the Marines sort of made some space for us at the consulate, and we were just in this room that was on the ground floor. It was a tent, they call it, the tent, I think, and it had a, like a TV and a heater and a frigerator, and a couch, and we sort of just sat there feeling numb. And there was even another aftershock later in the afternoon, and I just knew that I couldn't sit there anymore. I, I was just so you know, concerned about what was we didn't feel in danger at that moment. Right? We knew that there were so many people outside of that little tent that were in danger. And it was just really hard to just sit there not knowing you know, what was going on and what to do and how to help. And all of a sudden, I you know, I was trying to figure out what could my kids do besides just sit here like, glued to these movies. And I realized that the consulate was where I had been working out. When we first moved to Turkey. We found a gym right next to our apartment, actually, a few months later, but for a few months, when I first started working with you, I would drive every day, go to the consulate get in my workout in their fantastic little gym, and remembering Okay, so the gym is here. And I and it's Monday, I go to the gym on Mondays, and so I went to the gym. So, I mean,

Philip Pape:

so there's so much the process there and what it's incredible, because first it sounds like you felt like you could die, right when it happened when you're in the building.

Heather Clinger:

Right? And that seems sort of dramatic now. But I didn't write seeing the cracks in the building. And yeah,

Philip Pape:

I tell you how I mean that I can't imagine. So and then you got to the the embassy, right? And now you felt safe. But you're still worried about all the other people and we know how horrible those earthquakes were seeing that in the news. And then you're like, Well, what do I do next? I mean, at the same time, we have to we have to live and we have to do something and move forward with the acknowledgement that these things are still happening. And you know, you made a comment that it's you said Monday, right? When you go to gym, you said it's Monday on Mondays I go to the gym, almost said it was just part of your part of your routine. It's not even something you question.

Heather Clinger:

Were four months and now five months in, I go to the gym on Mondays.

Philip Pape:

What if someone were to say, Well, how could you How could you think about going to the gym when all this was happening? What would be your answer?

Heather Clinger:

fright? I mean, I think that I was still sort of in shock mode. So everything I did was just sort of, I don't know why I did it. I just did because most of the time I wasn't doing anything. We were just sitting on the couch. We were waiting for my husband to get done with work and I felt, you know, when we first decided, okay, we're just gonna sit here. We only brought one car, my husband's working when he's done, we'll go home. And then the aftershock hit and I was like, Oh, actually, we're not. We're not going home. I even imagined being back up in that building when the earth is still shaking. And

Philip Pape:

it sounds like the earthquake which was a huge disruption to so many things. In parallel with that you wanted to at least maintain the things that were a part of your routine. It's kind of the way my interpretation right is you've got this thing that's part of your life and who you are and maybe even helps you cope. And so you just did it it's as opposed to an escape. It's a thing that you do, right.

Heather Clinger:

Right. I when when I was under the you know, I did my I went went and did my my workout. Right and it was usually takes me a pretty good time to get through our current program like an hour and an hour and a half. And after that hour, and however many minutes I really I see that for the first time that day, I hadn't been scared of, you know, earthquakes, right. I hadn't been thinking about, is the ground still moving? Or is that just in my head? Right? And it was so nice, right? It wasn't and stressful, right? Because working out can be stressful, right. But it was a different kind of stress. And my body and my mind needed something different just for a few minutes. And I think that that was a really powerful moment for me to realize, oh, so this is what working out can be right now. Right?

Philip Pape:

Yeah. Part of your emotional fitness, not just your physical fitness. Yeah. That that's a wonderful message for people because I think I think a lot of working out in people's minds is some intense, brutal, beating up of our body that we don't look forward to. And you know, you've made it part of your ritual part of your you know, there's a phrase that I hear used occasionally called voluntary hardship, the idea of doing this hard thing, because there's a bigger thing that comes out of it, that's positive, right? Like the actual getting the squat done can be extremely intimidating and nerve racking, right to where you almost want to back out, and you just do it, and that creates this resilience. I mean, I'm just telling you most of my opinion here, I'm not so much asking a question, but I'm, I'm getting that vibe from you. Is that right?

Heather Clinger:

Definitely. Yeah, definitely. Well, and, and it wasn't like, I even thought like, this is gonna make me a more resilient person, like, let's go to the gym and be awesome today. That is a good thing to think sometimes, but I think it was more, I was able to recognize in that moment, something helpful, right? Something sort of necessary for me in so many different ways. And, and I was grateful to be able to access it.

Philip Pape:

Hey, this is Philip Pape. And if you feel like you've put in effort to improve your health and fitness, but aren't getting results, I invite you to apply for a one on one coaching to make real progress and get the body you desire. We'll work together to figure out what's missing so you can look better, perform better and feel better. Just go to wits & weights.com/coaching, to learn about my program and apply today. Now back to the episode. Love it. Yeah, I love it. And just so people are clear on the type of training you're doing. Can you just quickly tell tell us what one workout looks like? Right? Okay. So

Heather Clinger:

usually, my workouts consist of, of back squats, and warming up to a three times five set. Rep so so 15 of whatever that goal weight is that I'm working on that day. The same thing with either bench presses or overhead barbell lifts. And then same thing with deadlifts. But up to a just a five. Rep. Excellent.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, so super simple, right? You're just doing big compound movements and, and have made a ton of progress. Yeah, exactly. Simple and effective. Not easy. But that's part of the joy. The benefit of it is that it's hard, at least in my opinion, and I think in yours as well. All right, so let's pivot a little bit. So as your nutrition coach, I have the pleasure each week of seeing your check in, right, you check in with a forum where you answer a bunch of questions. And you're very detailed in a very interesting perspective, is the way I put it in your form, you know, different clients have all different levels of detail they like to share. And you mentioned to me that just the act of writing down your wins, your lessons, your roadblocks, and so on are I think I think you've said their therapeutic. And that's just one example. So I mean, maybe tell me a little bit more about that. And also how working with a coach has just benefited you overall, through that process during this craziness.

Heather Clinger:

Right? So because I think that it would be really easy for me to have said, you know, Philip, I can't do this right now. Right? We haven't. We haven't really gone home as a family. We've tried it a couple of times being in back in our apartment, and then we again, and we've been traveling and we have actually moved apartments for a little while and it would be really easy for me to have just said I can do this right now. And nobody would have questioned that. I don't think that you would have questioned that. You would said you don't do what you need to do for you and your family. But I think I was lucky that I realized early on that this is what I needed to do. I think and and like you said one of the most important things that I have done for my my training but also for my Mental Health was, you know, the kind of check ins that you require me to do every week, not only, like, keep me accountable, you know, and I know I'm gonna have to report to Philip, you know what happened that day when you didn't get your protein or you know. But I started noticing very quickly that when I checked in the kinds of questions that you asked, you know, about my sleep, about my training, about my digestion, about my water about, you know, all these things, we're all you know, every time I filled in a new swear it was earthquake, earthquake, earthquake, earthquake, earth quake, and it wasn't hard to realize that, you know, the earthquake was affecting all of these areas of my life, and that I needed to process that and checking in with you and filling out those questions was just so therapeutic and really helped me to, to understand better what I was feeling. You know, I had been through something that was really scary. And that was hard for me to talk about with anybody else, because so many other people had been through things that were way scarier. Right. I've, besides knowing people who who have family members that didn't make it out, right, I heard a story last week about some people that were visiting in the hotel that they were in, they were afraid they couldn't, they couldn't get out their door. And in their building was like, you know, crumbling, and it was the aftershock that like shook the door free, and they were able to kick their door out and get out of the building. You know, I mean, and so I'm not the one that's been through the scariest thing. And so sometimes that can, you know, hold you back from really, you know, talking about the things that were scary for you, right, because you don't want to, you know, diminish anybody else's, you know, scary stories, or whatever, or be compared at all. And this was just for me, right to take some time and to write out my feelings, and to be able to process what I had gone through and how it was still impacting my life. And I'm just so grateful, I hope that I will always do something similar to this check in even if I, if I don't work with, you know, a coach or with you forever, I hope that I will always do something like that.

Philip Pape:

Something something like a journal. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's amazing. The comment about not wanting to compare yourself to others. I think it's something all of us feel, honestly. And what's interesting is from an outsider's perspective, from someone who's safe over here in the US where I didn't have to deal with the earthquakes, I think, by comparison to me, I'm thinking this is incredible trauma you had to go through. And so we don't, you know, we try not to compare ourselves, but we do, it just happens naturally. And I'm glad that you had an outlet and somebody that could almost look through it in a in a somewhat cold calculated way. Because, you know, I don't, my personality isn't one to necessarily dwell on things. I think you've learned that by now. And, you know, even I've been trying to listen more and learn how to deal with different personalities. But I'm not a therapist either. So my mindset is, let's just take action and move forward through things. But at the same time, we have to acknowledge the things. So it's funny, you mentioned that if, if you had said in the checkout, hey, all this stuff is happening. So therefore, I'm not going to do any of this. You're right, that I would have said you need to focus on you. You need to focus on your family, if that's what, but at the same time, I probably still would have tried some way to motivate you to do some of this, right. So all right. Now, what, here's a couple things, I hope you don't get a little personal. This whole thing is personal, of course. But when we started, you said something to the effect of you're a young, healthy, beautiful mom, but somehow mirrors and pictures don't always believe you. Okay, and we can edit this out of you. But, but I love how you acknowledged the health and vibrancy and have that positive mindset while recognizing there's something that you wanted to change, right? And this whole process is about change. Life is about change. So how do you feel about that sentiment now?

Heather Clinger:

Who I think you know, that one is a day at a time. Or, or just try not to think too much about it. You know, I think bulking was definitely the most like humbling experience that I've had to go through. I but at the same time, what goes so it's sort of funny, right? Because for the first time in my life, I'm technically trying to gain weight, right? But at the same time, I'm scared of gaining weight, you know. So it sort of just by default need getting on the scale of much more neutral experience, right? Because I'm supposed to be gaining weight. But if I don't, it's all great. But if I do, it's okay. Right. Yeah. So I think that that became more neutral. I think seeing myself. I mean, I had like two things that fit for a while there. And they weren't the most attractive things. And I kept thinking, Okay, well, I need to buy more clothes, but I'll probably do it from Amazon. And that'll take me, you know, forever for it to get to me over here in Turkey. So what's the point? They'll be in a cut by then, you know, or? And so I just had forced me to say, but that's what you're supposed to look like right now. Right? You're building muscle under, you know, whatever else is there? And I don't know, I still don't think that I looked in the mirror and said, Wow, you're smoking, you know, or anything like that. But I did know that I was doing things that I was proud of. And I knew that my kids and my husband were proud of me. And you know, and if I'm honest, you know, I sort of knew going into coaching and doing a bulk that, well, I'm in Turkey, and I don't know anyone, you know, nobody's made. And, but you know, what, I had family visit. And I didn't, I didn't care, right? They knew I was the gym, they knew that I was happy. And we had a wonderful time. And yeah, and I felt healthy and, you know, strong.

Philip Pape:

So yeah, I love that you touched on so many things that we went through, because at the beginning, we had to have that conversation about what do we start with in terms of nutritional periodization. So let's come phrase we talk about a lot, which is you don't want to be in a diet forever, or even very long. But you also have to spend time the other direction building muscle, and that requires feeding yourself. And I do have clients where it's like a battle to get them to eat enough, which, you know, might seem crazy to certain people, but it's true. And you're gonna get there like you recognize it sounds from your language that the physical manifestation on any given day is kind of irrelevant. And it's really the overall progress and process you're going through, right. And I saw that in your check ins when you would start to focus a lot on your lifts, right? You focus on your lifts and said, My biggest win this week is my squat went up. And and then our discussion was, well, that means you're getting stronger and building muscle. And so when the fat loss phase comes, which you're being patient about and decided prioritize, in what I'll say the optimal or most effective way, which is to build muscle first, you're gonna benefit tremendously from that. And we just started that, right? We just started the fat loss phase. So people listening? No. And maybe we'll have to do a follow up after that. Yeah, so cool. Now, you also alluded to the fact that you are proud, and you made your family proud. And that was another comment you had early on, if I recall that you wanted your kids to see your hard work pay off. Right. So it sounds like you feel that's happening.

Heather Clinger:

Right? I'm a musician. And I feel like, I know the benefits of practicing. Right. But sometimes I feel like a lot of the crazy things that I've tried to do to get my body to change or to obey or have not resulted, you know, I felt like I was working hard. But they haven't left me with the long term results that that I felt like should have come from, you know, all of that work. And I wanted them to see me doing hard work that paid off. Right. And that work is worth what you put into it, you know? And yes,

Philip Pape:

so awesome. So, so a lot has changed then and your mindset has shifted in that regard. What about food? Right? Let's let's just talk food. we've alluded to a few times have your habits. Has your mindset around food changed? And how do you think it's impacted your progress and your goals?

Heather Clinger:

Definitely. I think before when I was doing my diets, it was like, well, once I get down to my goal weight, I'll be so excited to be there that it will give me the motivation to stay and I'll be really able to be strict. Right? It was like that's what I was looking forward to was this life of deprivation so that I could look a certain way. And now because we started with a bulk and because I was eating so many fantastic calories. Right? And you know, we just moved to a new country, right? I was not going to not try the foods, right? Yes. And have those experiences, you know, being here in a new country. And, you know, eating at my higher calories and building my muscles definitely gave me the flexibility to do that. And now I know that even though I'm not eating as many calories, and I am going to cut that I'm not looking forward to staying at these, you know, calories forever, I'm looking forward to going back to maintenance and even to another bulk. Right, that this short term, this is not for a very long time, it's going to give me some results that I want. And then I'm going to go back to doing other things for my body. And I think that that is, oh, it's just so new. For me.

Philip Pape:

I love it. So the idea that in the past, when you thought you were done with the diet, you would then stay at this let baseline level of moderate restriction forever, versus

Heather Clinger:

admitted that to myself, ever admit, well, then you're just sentencing yourself to this craziness for forever, but we don't want to admit that because we exactly know I'm going to reach my goal. If you have to. Right. Yeah, this desperate that you use up being honest with yourself, really, I think

Philip Pape:

it's true. And people should ask themselves that question of, is what I'm doing today, when I'm done with it sustainable? Or what am I going to do when I'm done with it, because you know, 95% of people getting all their weight back and you're you're going, you're going to be in the top 5% You are, you are already from that you know what to do now to be in that top 5%, where you have that control. And you're right, after we're done through a fat loss phase, your calories are gonna come way up. And you can do that without gaining weight, or you can intentionally gain weight, for the right reasons, right to build muscle. So it's great. Yeah. Any, were there any other unexpected benefits or changes in, in anything in any areas of your life from this process?

Heather Clinger:

Let's see. I think, you know, going back to food for just a second, you know, when we were when we were there in the earthquake, or on that day, right, so we were in this little room, and I told you, there was a fridge. And you know, everybody had been so nice and told my kids like, you know, feel free to eat the snacks. And I was watching them, just sort of like eat snacks and watch TV. And, again, I found myself in that position of nobody's gonna blame you, if you eat one of the frozen pizzas, right? Like, just take a break, eat it maintenance today, you know, give yourself a break, right? And I was feeling really emotional about it. And, but what something that, that I wasn't going to take a break on was tracking, right, because I didn't want my app to go crazy. And you know, cut my calories because I had gained all this weight without telling it that I eat and everything. And it's sort of interesting, because this app doesn't punish you for what you eat. It punishes Well, punishes, you know, quote, unquote, punishes you for not tracking, right. And so I become very good at being meticulously honest about what I ate. And so I went to go put in something before I ate it. And it was just that act of inputting data into my app that moved me from this emotionally charged place to just this like logic place, right? We're just doing math, we're just adding numbers were and all of a sudden, I was like, Oh, well, in this logical place. Like, I don't really feel like I care that much about that pizza, I brought a protein bar. And it sort of sounds good right now. I really like chambers, actually. So um, and I feel like that has happened. So many times that because I have these few habits. They don't control me. Right, I can choose the time to do something different. But I think that they informed my these habits inform my decisions. And, and yeah, bring me back to that place of logic. Yes. Yeah. I love that. We're in a different place now. And and yeah, it's just super helpful. And and then I get to make better informed choices.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, everything. I mean, how are you putting this all so well, for for the listener, in the idea that you can measure you can manage what you can measure, right? That's the classic phrase, you can manage what you can measure. And if you think of like finances, right, you if you if you want to save money for retirement, for your kids education, and to go on vacations, you have to have a budget, and you have to track your money. And we don't say that's weird, or that's restrictive, or oh my god that's going to prevent you from doing what you want to do. We say the opposite. Wow, that allows you to have all this freedom. Put the money in different buckets, to save more or less to decide to invest it. Same thing with your food as you are creating the level of awareness you've never had before. And if six months a year from now, you say you know what I'm counting I'm tired of the process of tracking, you at least have that ingrained skill of knowing what's in food and how much is in the food and so on. But it's funny because like, I've been tracking now for several years, and I still love to do it, because it's a habit. And it gives me information, you know, and you're right. You just saw what it takes five minutes out of your day. And now you can make choices and be flexible.

Heather Clinger:

Yeah, yeah, I sort of I sort of like it. I feel like I mean, before when I was using different apps, I felt like, oh, but it's just sort of like this puzzle, you know, this thing, then where does it fit? Right? Yes, yes. Yes, so much food freedom, not scared of food. I, I think I'm surprised by the quantities that I am able to eat. And that if I just eat that quantity, and sit with it for a second that usually I'm able to feel satisfied. Whereas before, and again, like I'll eat the thing, right, and put it into my macros. And I think that was my rule for a while, eat whatever you want, but track it, right? Make sure that it's that it's in there so that you can see, right? Oh, I'm not reaching my goal. Why not? Oh, right. Because I was 500 calories.

Philip Pape:

So exactly. That's why we do it. And it's not an it's not just so people are listening, you know, it's not just calories and macros. It's all the other things that you like to measure and get feedback on, right? It's your lifts. It's how you feel it's your hunger, you know, even our hunger, like we're in a fat loss phase, if you told me three weeks in a row, that the hunger was just so ravenous, and you've done everything possible to manage that with vegetables and fiber and water. That's good information to tell us who maybe we need a break. Right? It's good. All right. So I have one or two final questions. And the first one is what advice would you give to someone who is considering hiring a coach, but maybe hesitant, because we know that's there's often a lot of roadblocks in our mind to doing that.

Heather Clinger:

Right, because this is a time commitment and a financial commitment. And so of course, we're going to hesitate, right. And it's good to do our research and to find somebody that is going to be a good fit. But My only regret is that I didn't start sooner. Right. So I told you that I decided to wait until after I got to Turkey. But I wish that you know the I am going to call it trauma, right? I feel like I sort of get many moving trauma, right when I have to leave my students, when I leave the things that make me feel like me, it's traumatic, and I gain weight, and I eat all the things and I get stressed out. And that's what would have happened this time during the earthquake. If I hadn't had a coach, if I hadn't been in this program, and writing out my feelings and tracking the things that were going to help me be the me that I wanted to be. And I wish that I had done it when we were moving. I wish that I had gone through all of that with a coach and with the information that I have now. And I didn't and I gained, I don't know, 1015 pounds, just in the process, and sure are moving processes are long, because we have to move this stuff here. And then we move this stuff to storage and then we you know, sell the things and we you know, I mean, moving to another country is is a process. But yeah, it did not look beautiful at the end. And I I've learned some tricks to be kind to myself. And you know, we we had a good time getting to Turkey. But I think I would have come out better on the other side if I'd had to coach.

Philip Pape:

Now imagine if you hadn't ever gotten a coach. That's what I want you to think about. Right? So because the past is the past, but you're right. If people are listening, and they're wondering, when's the best time, there's never a best time. So now's the best time to go do it, if that's something you need. Alright, so I do ask this final question of all guests. And it maybe is a tricky one, maybe not. And that is what one question. Did you wish I had to ask? And what is your answer?

Heather Clinger:

All right. So I think when I listen to podcasts, I'm always looking for the takeaways. So I guess I would like to, you know, talk about the things that I would hope that people would be able to take away from this podcast. So I think that that yeah, the first one is that I need people to make sure that they understand that I wasn't, you know, persevering through the earthquake to be some sort of, you know, baddie, right. I'm not I was doing it to prove anything necessarily. There are legitimate times when we need to take breaks in our life, right, where we need to focus more on different different things and the But the thing was, Is that Yeah, after making my my pros and cons list, oh, I have to tell you about the pros and cons list. Okay, so one day I came in, this was before the earthquake I came in, and I told my kids, I just don't I wasn't even telling them I was just, you know, telling the universe, oh, I do not want to go to the gym. And my 10 year old, brilliant, 10 year old that she is. She looks at me. And she says, Well, mom make a pros and cons list, right? The only con is that you don't want to do it. And everything else is a pro. True. And of course, I was gonna go to the gym that day. And I did go to the gym that day. But that's what I had to do after the earthquake, right? I had to make a pros and cons list, right? Did I need to go to the gym that day? Or did I need to stay home and do something else to decompress. And when I realized that, it was all pros for going to the gym, I went to the gym. And when I had to decide if I was going to track that day, did a pros and cons list. And when it was all pros, then I tracked that day. And so yeah, this isn't about how during an earthquake, you have to, you know, be one way or the other. It's about make your pros and cons list, right? If this is something, sitting your life, then do something good for yourself and keep going with, you know, the goals that are benefiting your life.

Philip Pape:

And there's a common theme there that I can take away from that. And that is that you are in control. And you are thinking ahead. Right. And that's kind of a common theme with everything we do is planning ahead. So even in the worst of times, you at least took a few minutes to think about it and determine what serve you and your family most even if the end decision was something different from your normal routine. Yeah,

Heather Clinger:

well, and like I said, I think before, you know, I was sort of on autopilot that day, right? I feel blessed that I had a habit of tracking, right. What I didn't have that day was I was not in a habit of a cut, right, we had just barely gone into my cat. And I mean, it was like day five, or something of my gut. I was not, you know, used to these lower calories yet. But what I was used to was tracking. And so when I went and put it into my, my macros, I was able to see oh, I can do something right now that benefits me. That's a pro, right? I went to the gym. And it was after I went to the gym that I was able to say, I actually felt really good to think about something else besides whether or not the earth is shaky under my feet. And so So I was glad that I had those moments of information that helped me, you know, inform my pros and cons list. But yeah, moving forward, I was able to make a pros and cons list. And some days, you know, we were traveling to Greece. And we got into, you know, Istanbul, which is at the top of Turkey. We live at the bottom of Turkey where the earthquakes happen. And we were at the top of Turkey getting ready to cross the border the next day, it was late and it would have been absolutely ludicrous for me to look for a gym at that point. Exactly. Suit, the pros and cons list. It was a con that day I didn't do it. But what I did do was reach out to my coach and he gave me some bodyweight exercises and reminded me that missing one day of exercise was not going to you know, disappear all my muscles and

Philip Pape:

exactly so it's this is the balance and sustainability we're talking about. All right. These are great. I think we I mean there were a ton of takeaways I'm sure people are gonna get from this. And for those listening or watching Heather is in our community in the Wits & Weights Facebook community, so if you want to reach out to her there she I'm sure she'd be happy to answer questions or say hello. And if you're not in the community, it's free. Just look it up and join. And Heather. Most of all, I'm very grateful that you decided to do this and come on the show.

Heather Clinger:

Thank you, Philip. Yeah, it was a pleasure.

Philip Pape:

Thanks for listening to the show. Before you go, I have a quick favorite ask. If you enjoy the podcast, let me know by leaving a five star review in Apple podcasts and telling others about the show. Thanks again for joining me Philip Pape in this episode of Wits & Weights. I'll see you next time and stay strong.

Podcasts we love