Ep 88 – From Hypocrite to Advocate: Dr. Rebecca Blonsky

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“And then in clinicals, I’m actually seeing people who are suffering from complications of obesity.  I remember seeing a patient whose BMI was I think 34 or 35, and they’re like she’s obese.  And all I can think is my BMI is 43, and I’m like…  I can’t do this.  And, as I’m going through and seeing patients in clinic as a medical student, “Well, you need to watch what you eat, and you try to exercise,” and the only thing I can think about is, “I sound like such a hypocrite.” All you have to do is look at me and obviously I don’t do any of these things.” – Dr. Rebecca Blonsky

As a young medical student, Rebecca Blonsky was morbidly obese, weighing over 320 pounds at her heaviest.  Growing up as an overweight child more interested in music and debate than athletics, Rebecca had long-struggled with her weight, but had never found the impetus to make a lasting change.

That all shifted when she started seeing patients as an upper level medical student.  Rebecca felt like a hypocrite when counseling her patients on making healthy lifestyle choices to manage their weight and medical conditions while she herself was on the road to diabetes and heart disease. By taking baby steps and making small, manageable changes to her diet and exercise routine, Rebecca has lost more than 150 pounds and now uses nutrition and exercise as a first-line approach when working with patients as a nephrologist.  Today she is an active CrossFit athlete preparing to take on her next challenge as an attending physician at Marshfield Clinic, the same place where her health journey began.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Julie and Rebecca met
  • Rebecca’s childhood and personal health journey
  • What attracted Rebecca to nephrology
  • Rebecca’s struggle to educate patients on obesity when she herself was morbidly obese
  • How she started her weight loss journey and how she uses her experience to encourage her patients
  • Rebecca’s realization that she lacked strength despite having improved her endurance
  • Her introduction to CrossFit
  • How she encourages her patients to find a form of exercise they love
  • The realization that the need to be “in shape to start” is false, and the advice she gives to people who are nervous
  • How Rebecca uses her weight loss journey to help her patients
  • What encouraged Rebecca to continue with her healthy lifestyle
  • How CrossFit and her healthy lifestyle has influenced Rebecca as a physician
  • The importance of educating patients on how they can control their own health before prescribing medication
  • Rebecca’s experience with talking about CrossFit among her medical peers
  • Using diet and exercise to slow the progression of kidney disease
  • How Rebecca realized she had the power to influence her own health markers and risk factors
  • Her advice on how you can help friends, coworkers, and loved ones start their journey to health
  • Three things Rebecca does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Rebecca

Links:

Related Episodes:

16 – Pete Katz and his physician on using CrossFit and Paleo to overcome chronic disease

Ep 31 – Robert Porter and his Coach, Patrick Flannery on Losing 90 Pounds with CrossFit and Finding the Right Community For You

Ep 33 – Bob Harper on CrossFit, The Biggest Loser, and Prioritizing Health

Ep 44 – 5 Trips for New Year Nutrition and The Healthy Self Reset with ‘BeingBrigid

Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence

Ep 69- From “Obese to Beast” with John Glaude

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 89 – No Slowing Down: Two-Time 60+ Fittest Man on Earth Dave Hippensteel

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“I’ve always had trouble with the whole… I always never wanted to age.  You know, I like Neverland, and, growing up, it’s like, I’m just a kid at heart still, and just super excited about life, and I just wanted to be that way.  And so, CrossFit has kind of given me a second wind, because it’s like wow, I can still do things at age 60 that keep me young and give me goals and competition, and so, it’s eased the pain of aging.” – Dave Hippensteel

Since starting CrossFit in 2012, Dave Hippensteel has dominated the CrossFit Masters scene, rising quickly from winning the 2013 Open in the 55-59 division to standing atop the podium as the Fittest Man on Earth in the 60+ age division at the 2016 and 2017 CrossFit Games. This year, Dave will make his sixth CrossFit Games appearance as he heads back to Madison to defend his title.

An athlete from a young age, Dave has pursued a variety of sports, from football to track & field, motocross and triathlons.  A proud father of 4, Dave’s love of fitness has rubbed off on his children- in fact, it was his daughter, Heather, who introduced him to CrossFit!  As a full-time dentist running two practices while training as world-class athlete, Dave brings a unique perspective to the table.

We recently sat down to chat about how his training as a Master’s athlete differs from that of his younger competitors, what Dave is doing to protect his health and longevity in the sport, and what advice he has for his peers seeking lifelong health.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Dave’s athletic background in the decades prior to CrossFit
  • His introduction to CrossFit, and when he realized he wanted to pursue it as a competitive sport
  • The process to opening his own affiliate and the challenge of balancing that with practicing dentistry and training for the Games
  • How Dave balances working full-time with Games training, and how CrossFit helps him manage his work stress in a healthy way
  • What it’s like to train with athletes half his age
  • How Dave’s CrossFit training has evolved over the years
  • How paying attention to his heart rate variability and sleep using WHOOP has improved Dave’s recovery
  • What steps Dave takes that might differ from a younger athlete to help prevent injuries and overtraining
  • How his nutrition has evolved as he moved from triathlons to CrossFit, and how he now uses Inside Tracker to dial his nutrition in even further
  • The supplements Dave uses
  • His advice to other aspiring Masters competitors
  • How he’s approaching being in an age division that has no cap
  • His advice to masters-aged individuals who are intimidated to start CrossFit
  • Dave’s daily routine
  • How Dave uses functional medicine to monitor his own health, how he relates it to dentistry
  • How fitness is a family affair for the Hippensteels
  • Three things Dave does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Dave

You can follow Dave on Instagram, and Facebook.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 07 – Dr. Mark Hyman on Functional Medicine, the future, and community
Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 54 – Neal Maddox: From Football to Forty
Ep 56 – Katrín Davíðsdóttir and Ben Bergeron on the Process of Creating a Champion
Ep 60 – Chris Spealler on training for longevity and becoming a Master
Ep 61 – Ron Ortiz on fighting fires and raising the bar with age
Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence
Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWODDo you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to recieve an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your order + a free order of bacon!

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.