How to Help Manage Fibromyalgia, Menopause, Sleep Problems & More

Are you a busy professional concerned about the effects of stress who wants to maintain vibrant health during midlife and beyond? Then you’ll want to tune into this episode of Beginnings and Breakthroughs, where JJ talks with Deborah Genovesi.

Deborah was a stressed-out TV producer who became a holistic health coach and a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) practitioner after working through her health challenges. She lost 70 pounds on The Virgin Diet and took control of her health, one step at a time.

Here, JJ and Deborah talk about menopause, fibromyalgia, aging powerfully, stress and weight gain, and much more. You’ll learn about Deborah’s struggle with sleep apnea, how poor sleep sabotages weight loss and so much more, and the connection between sleep and menopause.

Plus, JJ shares a simple hack to manage trigger foods, the worst ingredients in “healthy” foods, the secret for weight loss that doesn’t involve counting calories (or anything), what people get wrong about intuitive eating, and how to determine “good hurt” and “bad hurt” when it comes to exercise.

“Don't try to peel the entire onion at once,” JJ tells Deborah. “Peel the onion little by little, because you have the most success when you focus on one thing.” You can take that same singular-minded focus to reach your goals with JJ’s pearls of wisdom throughout this fun, informative episode.

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 468_Deborah Genovesi
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Welcome to beginnings and breakthroughs. This is where I celebrate and coach people just like you, who are on a mission to heal their metabolisms, feel better, fast, and live their best lives. We will be walking through. What's worked for them and what they've discovered on their journeys, and then I'll coach them on their next best steps.
And if you're interested in being a guest, stay tuned and I'll be sharing how you can join me. All right. I will be right back with our awesome guest.
All right. Welcome to beginnings and breakthroughs. And I am going to be unpacking Deborah's story today. This is mainly me sharing her story and then walking her through what she is going to do. This is a story of someone who was a type, a TV producer. We actually met that way. She was recording me for something.[00:01:00]
And then she had her own health challenges and decided to become a holistic health coach and an FDN practitioner, and has been working in the field for gosh now over a decade while unpacking our own health issues and helping others. And we're gonna be really focusing on a couple things today what you really need to do as you age to age, your best.
She's 56. How to address menopause the scale. And fibromyalgia what to do if you feel like you're always hurting yourself when you're working out yet, you know, you need to, so all of those things and more are covered in this episode. And I will be right back with Deborah.
Deborah Genovesi: Well, I'm, I'm a little
JJ Virgin: you know,
Deborah Genovesi: It just feels a little funny because here I'm the coach, but even coaches need [00:02:00] coaching. You know, it's like an endless
JJ Virgin: journey. Really. I'm glad we captured that for the recording because first of all, coaches need coaches. I have coaches, like we all need coaches. And I find that the most successful people in life are the people who pray, who always keep learning and they approach it with the beginner's mind and don't think they know everything.
So I think that was a very astute statement. And this is Deborah. I met you. In 2012, it was, I was trying to figure out was that before my son grant got hit or after it was before, and at the time you were a stressed out TV exec . Yeah. And you made a big change in your life and became a. Health and life coach and, you know, went through and it really worked on your health.
I think in the, with the Virgin diet, you dropped 70 pounds. And so a lot you've, you've made a lot of good changes and probably what you're discovering is that you, you don't ever really actually get done. [00:03:00] Have you discovered that? Yes. Yeah. You know, , I have things I'm working on myself right now. Like in my health.
There's always, I try and, and here's an important lesson I think for everybody is, is don't try to peel the entire onion at once for your eyes will like cry too much, peel a layer and then walk away, you know? So we peel the onion little by little, and I find that I have the most success when I focus on one thing.
At a time. And so we're gonna unpack the stuff you have going on, and then we're gonna focus on like, what's one thing that you can do. And then once you're done with that, what's the next thing. But it's a really important lesson cuz you know, you look at all of us and we all like think we're gonna do like, you know, we have these huge plans for what we're gonna do in the next week.
And the reality is we could totally accomplish those in a. but the fact we're trying to do 'em in a week is, is a joke. And of course we set ourselves up for, to fail and it almost then becomes a, so I don't have to see, I tried it and I failed again, blah blah. So we're, we're gonna [00:04:00] stop that talk track.
So the issues you have now, and we've unpacked this offline, you have had issues with your sleep and you just discovered you have sleep apnea. And now you're. C P a P. And I'd love just to share, because I think this is something so important for people. I'm a big proponent of tracking your sleep, using an Oura ring, O U a or a Fitbit or a garmin or an apple watch and really paying attention to sleep.
It's one of the most important things that we can do. How did you discover that you would sleep apnea? well, it's so funny. I,
Deborah Genovesi: Only discovered it on I wasn't snoring, but I just discovered it because I felt really tired and I had done a bunch of other things. Of course, sleep hygiene, all of the things that we do, you know, being in the dark room.
Mm-hmm, no noise, all of the things. And yet I still was tired. One of my doctors said, I think that you should check for apnea. And I said, I didn't have apnea when I was 70 pounds overweight. How, how am I gonna have it now? That's just for
JJ Virgin: [00:05:00] overweight people wrong. I, I, that is I had, I had a very famous movie star who was like, you know, a big, big superhero who had sleep apnea.
Deborah Genovesi: it happens. So, you know, I, and I will be perfectly transparent. I resisted this idea. I did not wanna do the C P a P. I had real difficulty with the first machine they had me on, but the good news is they put me on a separate, a different machine. And I took to it like duck to water. And I definitely feel I don't have that groggy feeling when I wake up now.
You know, I, it
JJ Virgin: has definitely moved the needle for me. Nice. Yeah. It's I have, I do have more if you are not sleeping well, it's it impacts everything. How well you're able to lose weight, your control, your appetite, manage stress, build, like there's nothing, it doesn't touch. So I'm super glad you did that.
Oh, I should also add, I
Deborah Genovesi: should also add, I would've never known I had this because every single doctor said.
JJ Virgin: Well, you're in your fifties, it's just [00:06:00] menopause. Okay. So we also know that we walk away from those doctors and because quite often your sleep gets impacted by menopause. No question. However that's where wearing these different things can be helpful and also just.
Checking it out and doing a sleep study, not gonna hurt anything, because if this is the case, holy smokes. So, you know,
there's a whole lot of ways to deal with it. If it is menopause that won't work, if it's sleep apnea. So that's the other big sign and, and you'd said you were doing things and it wasn't working.
So that was clear. Next thing is you. Did go through menopause and you can't be on bio identicals. You've got a big family history of breast cancer. So I think that's just an important one for people to be aware of their history and to also in those situations, make sure that you're doing the things that help detoxify those estrogens.
And you already mentioned those, like yay. A plus students, sulforaphane and dim. So and then the other big one are broccoli sprout. [00:07:00] So I have my son growing them for, for me now, because I'm just a baby about doing that kind of stuff. So that's another key critical thing. And we're gonna talk now more about that because the fact that you are, you know, in your fifties and the next thing that we're gonna, we are gonna bring up is the, is the one that makes me most concerned, because what we're really looking at now is how do you live like a light bulb for as long as.
And you're looking at me, quizzically going, what on earth is she talking about? And, and I still remember being in a lecture, a longevity lecture, and they said, you wanna go out like a light bulb? And I'm like a light bulb. And I thought, and light bulbs, don't dim. They just, they just, you know how they go spark and they're out.
And, you know, my grandmother went out like that. She was like, go and go and go and going like late into her nineties. And then spoot she was like, then she was gone. And like, you wanna. What is it slide into home? , you know, like that's it really late in life. And so that's what [00:08:00] we're gonna focus on now is, you know, we can't do the bio identical, so, so we've gotta make sure that you're really focused on bone density and muscle mass.
And maintaining those and good cardiovascular health, because estrogen's really important for bones, for brain, right. And for body. And so we gotta make sure that that's, that's happening, bones, brains, cardiovascular, and you have an issue that could be interrupting that, and that is fibromyalgia. and here's the challenge with fibromyalgia that, that I see as I always wanna go, is it fibromyalgia?
And if it is what could be causing it, and I always wanna dig in and look at both, you know, a, a toxic response or something impairing your gut. And so I'm always looking at, is there any toxic type of exposure going on? Is it mold or do we have glyphosates or any, any of the things that if we're human nowadays we're exposed to.
If we're not a great detoxifier and we aren't doing things like sauna on a regular basis you know. I do that. I have one in the basement. I just [00:09:00] did it today. I did too. I had sauna and cold plunge. I've become absolutely like that has been one of my I'm going to be good at this. So I I've been meditating in my sauna and then going in cold punching, which is I have to talk myself into it every day.
You're a better woman than me. let me tell you it's but you feel fabulous. So, so for you, one of the things you mentioned was you mentioned two things that make me wanna look deeper into this, first of all, that you fibromyalgia, but that when you pull out, you did the Virgin diet drop 70 pounds. Now you've got about 15 that you put on over.
And that was been over the course of 10 years. So I, I call that a massive win by the way, especially going through menopause. But, but now we're gonna look at this again, but you say when you stay off of gluten, dairy and sugar, You don't really have much in the way of fibromyalgia symptoms. So then I go, well, is it a food intolerance or is it fibromyalgia.
Now you also talked about having some what I call sensory integration issues. And, and that would be like bright lights sounds, et cetera. And so I look then, and I think. You know, do we [00:10:00] have anything going on toxicity wise? And then you shared with me that you had some you're working with a doctor now, cuz I said, okay, like you might be good to really look at detoxification, not a cleanse.
A cleanse is a great way to reset and get, you know, get yourself back on track. A detox is really where they're gonna look at levels of things like glyphosate. Different chemicals, mercury, and then start to really work with you on potentially chelation. You're doing the sauna stuff to get it out, but you have to work with a functional medicine practitioner to do it because you gotta make sure that it actually leaves doesn't just get freed up, right?
Yeah. And we know that if you have some of these toxins first of all, they can mess with your gut. They can make it more leaky. They can make you more susceptible to food intolerances. and they can mess with your mitochondria. So that can really impact things like fibromyalgia. They can mess with your weight because they lower your body temperature.
They can impair your thyroid. They can make you more insulin resistant. They can make you more rest genic. So all the way [00:11:00] around. I do have slow thyroid, you know yeah, this is definitely one that, that I know you're working on resolving with the functional medicine doctors, so I'm thrilled about that. And one of the best things you can do is doing a sauna.
And it, and I remember when I first started hearing about saunas, I was like, well, who can afford a sauna? Like a, like, and I don't know why I had it in, you know, the hotels with the big side and we have a sauna, we got it from sunlighten. And it's absolutely fantastic. You can do all sorts of different programs, detox and pain relief and weight loss and cardiovascular and anti-aging.
And. It was not expensive. Like you look at what's expensive, expensive is having to go pay for one, leave your house, go somewhere. When you really need to do this, like five times a week, like that's expensive. That would be like cost prohibitive, but you can basically pay for it in three months in the same way.
Like, you know, these saunas, depending on the type you get can be couple thousand dollars up to $10,000 and you can finance them. [00:12:00] So this is one. That I think it's one of the reasons you see in Europe, especially places like Iceland and Germany, where they just spa it's part of their, I was just in Italy and.
We went to a spa for the day. Now, I, I thought we were going to a spa, but we were not going to a spa. We were going to a spa. And you're like, what, what are you talking about? A spa in Italy is, are these things that everyone, everyone has time off and, and a spa allotment. So you go there to do the hot and cold plunges and the saunas and steams.
And it's just part of life there. Just like it is in Germany, just like in Iceland. And it's because these things really do things. They. Big difference. So
Deborah Genovesi: yes, I have cousins in Italy and hope to go see them in, in may. But exactly what you're saying. That's just
JJ Virgin: a routine part of their life. Yeah, it was, I was like, that's so crazy.
And I was like, well, what spa? Like, cause I thought we were going to, like, I was used to a, you know, spa, like a hotel spa I'm like, this is not that, what is [00:13:00] this? Where am I? you know, it was was, but it was super cool. We spent like, we did a, like, we basically did a little mastermind in the hot, you know, silica bass I was like, this is fabulous.
Nice. So it's, it's just something to think about. And if you've never really looked at it, cuz you thought this might be expensive you know, they're not free, they're not inexpensive, but they actually are more affordable than one would really think, especially when you amortize it and you look at how you could get a payment plan on these types of things.
So I'm really glad you're doing that. Yeah. So then. We get down to the things that we can really work on, which would be food and exercise. And you said a couple things offline. You said, you know, I get off track. I get inconsistent with my food and I have emotional eating things that go on. So for emotional eating, I'm gonna, I, I have so many great experts in my, in my world and for emotional eating the person I love the best is Trisha Nelson.
I know Trisha. Yeah. I figured you [00:14:00] did. I have done her program. Yeah. Tricia, like, you know, it's very good. That's why I just say, Hey, you know, lean into it. See if you can like work as a coach in it because what you, what you work in and do you'll get better at yourself. Like whenever I remember early on, I wanted to be a Broadway tap dancer.
And so my tap dance teacher made me teach, tap, dancing to five year olds. You know but you get really good. Like if you have to teach a beginner, something, if you have to support them, your identity's gonna shift as well. Right. So that's the first thing I would say is I'd go Trisha. Hey, can I like work as a coach mentor, like, you know, volunteer because it's gonna be better for you as.
great idea. And then the next thing, and, and it will help hold you accountable and be consistent because now you're a role model, you know, and people often ask me, well, how do I make sure that I, I stick with where I'm at? I said, there's a couple of ways. One, you can find fitter friends. If you hang out [00:15:00] with them, , they'll tend to lift you up and take you with them.
But the other one is to be a teacher and coach and support and focus on those areas. I mean, Trisha Nelson was an emotional. and so I guess, is it Trisha grieves now? I think it's Trisha grieves. Anyway, whichever one it is She was an emotional eater. And so like she went through this to conquer her emotional eating issue.
So like, you know, lean into that. So that's the first part because you know what to do, you know, when you keep these foods out, you know, how they impact you. And I would also say, as we're looking at things that could really cause inflammation, of course, we need to look at anything ultra process. So, you know, when I look at gluten and dairy and I look at a lot of the reasons that the Virgin diet works, I think, especially with gluten and corn and soy.
It's the glyphosates that we're getting in those as well. And you can't pull it apart. Like, is it the gluten? Is it the glyphosates? Yes. You can't pull any of that apart. So gluten, soy, corn, heavily sprayed crops, even if they're organic, I don't believe that we really can get [00:16:00] clean anymore in the United States cuz of all the seed blowing and water flowing.
And dairy, as we know can be very inflammatory too. And then of course sugar is just, you, you really have to be mindful of sugar and you know, nowaday's hey, 20 years ago, hard. Now we've got Monkfruit, stevia, allulose so if you really need something. You can use that, but ideally you're really focusing on eating by the plate, protein, fat fiber trifecta with good blood sugar balance.
So you're not having the cravings and then finding those replacements for when you have that trigger. First of all, I, I think anything that's a trigger food. I don't care how healthy it is too much healthy. Food's unhealthy. Like even though I, you know, calories count where they come from counts the most, but too many.
Too many nuts, too many nuts, and it's easy to have too many nuts. Right? Like I do not have, yes. I don't have macadamia nuts in the house. I would never do that. That would be stupid. I would eat all the macadamia nuts. So know which things you cannot behave yourself with. Don't bring them into the house.
Right. [00:17:00] Like keep 'em out. Yeah. That's, that's true. So, you know, and again, just remember that too much healthy foods unhealthy, but along that too, we gotta watch. Oils, because for inflammation, like we have to be so careful, and this is why it's just so much easier not to processed food because when you really start to look and you can go to the health food stores and go, all right, I'm at the health food store and I'm, everything should be healthy at the health food store.
Shouldn't it? It's the health, food store. And yet, you know, I think of two of the worst things you should never touch that are at the health food store. And they. Seed oils like canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and then. High fructose types of things like agave, apple juice, concentrate, and crystalline fructose.
And yet those things, you see so many things there with canola oil, and then the only way to make it worse is put the canola with the agave, like double double hit it. So I want you to be a stealth about that because the higher [00:18:00] fructose foods are gonna make your gut more permeable. And those. Those oils are going to drive inflammation.
And that is just a bad situation. And for you detoxifying, you gotta have good gut integrity. Yeah. So that's the big picture there, but the biggest picture I think, is really now looking at your body composition. Now. I don't remember. I don't wanna, I know I was like a heavy sigh of. That, that frighten, that frightens me.
Okay. You know that, you know that thing and it's on the Lulu lemon bag, so I'm sure you've seen it says do one thing a day that scares you. Wasn't an Eleanor Roosevelt quote. Yes. Yeah. So that's good. Here's the thing. And I think I was going, I was reading though yours going, were you the one that says I don't get on scales?
I, I blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If not, you it's, every woman says this and here's what we need to look at. We need to think of using a scale in a different way. And for you, it is. [00:19:00] Mission critical because we have to make sure, especially with fibromyalgia, how much you've not been doing any kind of resistance training.
You've got a, a window right now where we have to put muscle mass on and we have to manage that muscle mass. And the only way to do that is with a bio impedance body composition scale. It can't be guessed. There's no way to do it that way. And so what you have to realize is that a scale is not. A mean friend, it's not there to shame you.
It's it's only there to say, all right, let's look at how much of your body is fat free mass versus fat mass. And, and you would never, in a million years, if you were wearing a blood, a blood sugar monitor, go, you know, okay, I'm not gonna wear that because I'm ashamed. Because my blood sugar went up when I ate that, whatever, no that's information and the scale's the same, whether it's it's it's information [00:20:00] like a blood pressure cuff, like continuous glucose monitor, like a, an aura ring it's information.
And I don't know how to fix it without that information. Like you have to be monitoring this, what you monitor and measure you can improve. So you gotta, you gotta check it out. And you're gonna manage that little voice that goes, oh my gosh. And I'll give you a case in point, I have been messing around, I'm working on my next book.
And so how I work on books is I start, I, I do loads of research, which is what I've been doing for the last year. Accumulating research testing. I test with me, then I start testing with the beta group. And so right now I'm doing some stuff and I get to test on me first. And so I've been testing you. A shift of resistance training.
Cuz once you get to a certain point, you can't really build muscle without gaining weight. And then so you build muscle, then you lose fat. Then you build muscle. Then you lose fat. If someone's not in not conditioned, they haven't been doing weight training. They can actually put on some muscle, they it's called re [00:21:00] comping where they put on muscle lose fat at the same time.
But generally once you're past a certain point, you'll do one than the other one then the other. So I've been working on building muscle and of course my weight went up five pounds and I'm watching this. And I, and I, what I really watched was this voice going, oh my gosh. And then I went, this was what was supposed like, holy smokes.
You just did exactly what you were supposed to do. Stop voice, stop voice you know, and now I'm in the next phase. So I'm just watching it. But it's interesting. And, and men don't do that by the. like, you know, I've, I've got one living here with me. Well, have big conditions. Like we get on scale every day today because every day, because I that's, one of the things I'm like, if it is very clear from the research, people who maintain their weight weigh in daily, and what I'm really trying to get people to understand is you're not trying to maintain your weight.
You're trying to maintain or build muscle mass. And for most of us, we need to build that muscle mass. It is the key to everything.[00:22:00]
Deborah Genovesi: Now, what would you say? I, that brings up question. What would you say? Because I've been seeing a lot of
JJ Virgin: this trend and it
Deborah Genovesi: sets my teeth on edge,
JJ Virgin: just eat intuitively and you don't have to weigh yourself. So right now we, we have don't agree with that. We have 5%. It's a, that's a hot. Button for sure.
And I definitely have an opinion about it for while I was, I was scared to voice the opinion. I went, hold on. Like I there's, we now, before the pandemic, 12% of the population was metabolically healthy. Now it's 5%. We have a massive crisis. Here's the issue. If you. We're looking to maintain your weight and you're in your twenties and thirties, we have a pretty good way of, of calibrating.
And if the only food you had access to was clean protein, grass fed and finish pastured wild, you know as close to nature, slow, low carbs legumes, wild rice, quinoa, nuts, and seeds, lots and lots of [00:23:00] non-starchy vegetables, little bit of, of fruit. And that was all you had to choose from. I'm not worried, but if you are saying you can intuitively eat using processed foods, you are kidding yourself because the processed foods are created for you to no longer be able to have that satiety signal going.
See when you eat the other way, you've got protein, fat fiber trifecta. That's increasing satiety, but. eat processed foods. They have been created manufactured to make you hungry. They've got obesogens in them to make you more insulin resistant. They will never allow you to intuitive eat. They will make you intuitively overeat.
That's how they've been designed. And so it's a big fat lie and it's damaging people. Because, yes, we intuitively should be able to do that, but not with the foods that we're reaching for. So you have to do a total detox of that stuff, reset your body so you can hear correctly. And then [00:24:00] if you're looking at maintaining weight, which is different than trying to build muscle or lose weight, yes.
Your body, you can do that. If you haven't gotten yourself all off kilter by doing artificial sweeteners or things that, that impact your body's ability to correlate. But that's not anybody I know, unfortunately like, you know, and if you're not under stress, thank you for that. If you're metabolically healthy.
So you'd have to be totally not under stress, only eating whole foods, metabolically healthy. Right. And not looking to change your body composition. So if you are in and in your twenties and thirties, Well, that's not, me's pretty much not anybody. You know, right. So, so then there's us. And so what do we need to do?
We need to look at number one, someone's muscle mass. So, so how do you figure out where you should be? And this is one I've been trying to mess with. How do I create a chart? boy is this complicated because what I want is for you to be able to go. This is my height. This is my weight range. [00:25:00] And you can look at the height and weight table, so you can do a height and weight table and you can do a weight range and kind of know, okay.
With my height and weight, I should be somewhere between like 110, 120. And basically someone who's, who's got smaller bone frame, which is very few people. Like if you test most people's bone frames, they're medium. But if it's small, They go on the lower end. And if it's large, they go on the higher end. If someone tends to be, you know?
Yeah. So, so that's where you can figure it low to high on the range, then you pick, okay. Let's say that my ideal weight, 120 as a woman. Now I will tell you back in the days when I was going to grad school and doctoral school, I did this project in doctoral school for body composition and the norms they told us for body fat percentage, then.
Are not the same as now. They've gone up. That is BS. It's not all of a sudden healthier to have higher body fat. So I'm gonna give you where I think we should be. And it's [00:26:00] probably not correlating with what they're saying, but I think they're trying to make higher body fat. Okay. And it's not okay. It's not healthy.
Too much body fat. We know it's not inert right. And especially visceral fat. Well, we've seen that. We've
Deborah Genovesi: seen that trend also with cholesterol
JJ Virgin: and with thyroid, which is a whole other thing, you know, thyroid, blood sugar. Yeah. Everything. My parents, my parents,
Deborah Genovesi: doctors are constantly telling them they're
JJ Virgin: fine.
They're not fine. They're not fine. Yeah. Oh my, my mom's doctor told her she was better off being 10 to 20 pounds overweight. Well, here's the thing. I think she was saying that for, for frailty, but it's like if it's 20 pounds of fat, that's very different than 20 pounds of muscle. And so you don't wanna be frail, but you can't combat frailty with body fat.
You have to combat it with muscle mass. And so that's such a good point, right? And so I was looking at going, how could she be saying that? Because the clerk restriction models and longevity models say the opposite, the single most important muscle for longevity is gonna be muscle. And if you are not actively measuring and building it, you are losing.
Right. And if you are [00:27:00] not feeding it with protein and basically our protein requirements are way low. So you have to figure out what's my ideal body weight. And then I need to be getting at least three, four a gram to a gram per pound of that ideal body weight in order to support me, building, putting on muscle.
Because I've gotta have enough amino acids in excess of what my body needs for everything else, to be able to put them in there for muscle protein, synthesis and turnover, which is really costly. And so if I don't have enough, my body, isn't gonna go, you know what? I think I'm not gonna make bones today.
I'll just go build some biceps. No, it'll say sorry on the biceps. Sorry. so, you know, we gotta make sure. And as we age, we get what's called anabolically resistant. We aren't as able to do that muscle protein synthesis. Plus our, our, our betaine, our, our hydrochloric acids low. So we need to be taking things like betaine you know, protein enzymes to help us digest that well, because we aren't doing it well.
So that's another big one. So, so as we age. What you wanna look at is you figure out your [00:28:00] ideal weight. And so let's just pick someone who's 120. Now. I think that the highest body fat a woman should have is 25%. and that, that would be someone who's just curvier naturally just a curvier woman. And they might go as low as 15%.
I will tell you I'm a 15% body fat person have been forever. I'm a very athletic person, but most women, if we were somewhere in the 18 to 22%, so I'm gonna say 20%, if that's what we're striving for, then you know, that would be amazing. Here's the thing that may take. Gosh, you know, like let's say someone's at 120 pounds of body fat, and I'm trying to do math quickly in my, in my head.
I love math, but not, not necessarily live online. And let's say that person right now is 30% body fat or 35. If you're 30% body fat, you've just massively Increased your risk of metabolic syndrome. If you don't have it already you know, it should really be one of the biggest markers that we have for metabolic health is your [00:29:00] body composition.
Like that's what we should be really looking at. That means at 30% you only have 84 pounds of muscle there. The rest is body fat, right? I mean, that's a lot of body fat. Now, if you wanted to have. let's see, 20% body fat, you would need to have 96 pounds of muscle. So that is 12 pounds of muscle. And that by the way, is a lot of muscle that may take a woman.
You know, I mean, it's gonna take at least a year probably to put on. Right. And so this is, and I've, I've worked with enough people where it's funny. I've, I've had so many, I had the 120 pound woman come in and I remember her well, this was years ago cuz I always did body composition on everyone. And I had a $5,000 body composition scale that I would look at everything visceral fat.
I mean everything and people thought I was crazy. Cuz this was literally [00:30:00] like 15, 20 years. Oh, that's white, you know, and I remember this woman came in and she wanted to lose weight. She was 120. She was five, four, maybe she was five, five, and I go, you don't need to lose any weight, but she was a fluff ball.
She was like, like 30% body fat. So she really, I go, you really actually don't need to lose any fat at all. You've got to put on some. And this completely freaked her out. Right. And I said, well, what do you want, do you want, why do you wanna lose weight? And she goes, well, I wanna fit into these clothes. I, so, so if we could maintain or build or increase your weight and you could fit into those clothes and look better naked, would that be it?
Or do you wanna look. Do you wanna be thinner? Do you wanna be lighter on the scale, but what if you didn't change at all in your clothing size and you looked worse naked, which do you pick now, right? That's amazing one, right? It's an easy one logically, but I gotta tell you emotionally, it's still a challenge on the scale.
Bottom line was we had her put [00:31:00] on muscle lose fat. She went down two clothing sizes. She ended up a little, a few pounds heavier. It took like six months total different. Total different body, but here's, what's also important. If you wanna just lose weight, you know what you should do, you should sit on the couch.
You should fast as much as possible. Don't move much. So you lose as much muscle as possible, cuz that's heavy and the minute you lose weight, let's say you lose 10 pounds that way. Cuz you'll lose mainly muscle. You just massively lowered your metabolic rate, trying to maintain that weight is gonna be eating really low calorie.
It can't be done. Yeah. And that's why you see all this stuff fail, right? Yeah. I've done it that way, which is why I yo-yo'd a lot. So we don't do that anymore because we're focused on feeding our muscles and we're focused on watching a scale, getting a scale. You know, now Tanita has a bio impedance scale
that's like 99 bucks and it can tell you visceral fat, I have a Tanita, perfect visceral fat body, fat, fat free mass. And now your job is I need to make sure I'm getting the [00:32:00] protein in to feed my fat free mass. And then because you're working through fibromyalgia. I would like to see, like, you need to work with someone who understands this because here's the challenge.
And you told me this offline that, you know, because you have fibromyalgia, you, the minute you try to do anything at all, you pull something. And I remember early on, I was doing my, all my grad work in biomechanics and spinal lifting biomechanics because I thought. Marketing. My parents were golfers.
Golfers have bad backs. You know, this is a good business. like, I'll never run out of people with sore backs. And the, the school of thought back then was if you have anything going on with your back, avoid your back and just do abs. And I go, but their back was weak and tight in the first place and their legs were weak in the first place.
What if I strengthen their glutes, strengthen their quads, strengthen their back and work their core. But I'm not avoiding the area. I'm gonna actually work the area. And that's what I would tell you. The worst thing you can do is not, is do less because you, then [00:33:00] everything you do, that's when you blow out your back, getting the groceries outta the car.
So. I listen to you. And I think I'd love to have you working with a trainer who understands this more like a physical therapist type, and maybe a DO any anyone that understands this type of exercise that can come in and start to really help you work through it, because, you know, Some Pilates movements incorporated with some like TRX, you know, we gotta get you moving through motion again and doing activities of daily living because in life we have to get out of the chair, go down the stairs.
And you know, if you look at people 65, plus the, the leading there there's. constant throughout life of how much people die from accidents. What changes is that when they get to, I think it's 70 actually, plus the accidents, what the accidents are changes dramatically in 70 plus it's falls and they die.
And this is just a tragedy, right? [00:34:00] So. You look at it and go, all right, what am I gonna need to do? I need to do things that require balance. I need to do things that require core. So that's where I love things where the TRX is involved. Cuz you can do a TRX assisted squat, a TRX assisted pull up a CR you know, so all this stuff that you're like, oh, there's no way I can do this.
You can do it with a TRX. And so that's where I look at Pilates machine TRX, working with someone who understands this stuff and knows how much to push. and then also understanding that you will be a little sore. Yeah,
Deborah Genovesi: my thing is because I'm not good at this. I oftentimes don't know the difference between good hurt
JJ Virgin: and bad hurt.
So, and that's what you so bad hurt is hurt at a joint site or hurt for, you know, It it, you know, if you're a little sore the next day, like I just massively upped on my weights. Like I talked about and I was like, oh man, I haven't been sore like this in a [00:35:00] while. And it was gone in a day. That's normal hurt at a joint site, hurt to touch you know, hurt that lasts three days.
That's too much. And what I like to do is go slow. Cause I can always, the first time I, when I was personal trainer, the first time I took someone to the gym, I took them to the gym for two and a half hours. And I took 'em through everything. I. and they went to bed for a week. Like their back was out.
They're all. Like, I was like, oh my gosh. oh, no, I like, you know what better to start easy and build. Right. Mm-hmm because we can always back off , you know, good plan and you're not gonna break anything likely. Right. So just, just work with someone who knows, understands the body and continue to build on if you get a little too sore back off, but try to build rather than back off.
Yeah. Okay. I like that. And then the other thing, I'm assuming that you're on Coq10. okay. Good. Yes. And just a shout out for anyone going what's Coq10, [00:36:00] Coq10. When I look at supplements, that would be really important for you. Number one, I would also recommend along with your Tanita to correlate your Tanita with going to get a DEXA body scan, cuz we need to see what your bone mineral density is now.
And that will really tell you your. Composition. That's like the gold standard for it. It's like a hundred bucks. Your doc should write you a script, but if not, it's like a hundred bucks to get a DEXA body scan. We wanna make sure check on your bone, real mineral density again, because if you're not, if you're, you know, now you've gone through menopause, no estrogen.
I would be using flax seeds though in my smoothies for some of the phytoestrogen right. I do. But you know, you, the things I look at are bone health, heart health, brain health, and so supplements. I really love. And I will do a shameless plug cuz we just made a packet of these cuz I was like, okay, what would be my ultimate menopause pack?
What am I doing? And AnnattoE-GG are. It's amazing because it helps with hot flashes and bone, bone, mineral density, and [00:37:00] then and brain health and, and breast cancer, risk reduction. And then Coq 10 of course, for cardiovascular health and for mitochondrial health and then dim to detoxify bad estrogens. Now, one other shout out.
I just did a podcast with Dr. Richard Johnson, who I'm obsessed with. I, I studied him when I wrote sugar impact diet, and he told me how fructose basically kills mitochondria . I was like, you know, like there is another reason. So like the worst thing, and I'm not saying don't have. One or two pieces of fruit, I'm saying don't do fruit juice.
Don't do crystalline fructose. Don't do agave. Don't do apple juice, concentrate, all that stuff. That's high fructose. Everyone worries about high fructose corn syrup. And yes, that's bad, but you know, apple juice has more fructose than a Coke. So watch all that, cuz that can damage that mitochondria. All right.
There you go. But what's the first thing that you're gonna focus on. Cause again, I don't wanna make you nuts. So, because I just downloaded a [00:38:00] bunch with the biggest emphasis, I think really is body composition for you, right?
Deborah Genovesi: Yes. And the absolute first thing that I have to do is stop being afraid of the scale because whenever I don't weigh is when, by the time I do weigh it, blips up.
Daily weigh ins, same time every day. We're just doing it on the Tanita. And I'm going to focus on muscle
JJ Virgin: and think about the muscle you're watching for trends too. Cause if I see my weight, jump up a bunch for no reason, I'm gonna look back and go. Did gluten sneak in, did dairy sneak in? Like I just had if I train really hard, my weight will jump up temporarily.
Mm-hmm right. So, you know, just, you just go, okay, what's going. cause there's always something you can tie, but you're really looking for the trend line. And that's why you do it every day. And then you look for the trend of the week. right. You know, people go, I dropped three pounds. I go, you probably dehydrated yourself.
you know, so
Deborah Genovesi: yeah. Speaking of that, I, I noticed when I last did weigh [00:39:00] that my water cuz it measures water too was way low and it's because I haven't been as
JJ Virgin: careful. Yes and no. Now water, the biggest, the biggest marker for total body water is your muscle. and your muscle. Yeah, because really your muscle required is about 70% water and glycogen carbohydrates, bind with water and are stored in your muscle.
So if you're water's down, it's, it's, it's how we figure out. It's how we extrapolate muscle mass, because how much water you have is a direct correlation of how much muscle you have. mm-hmm well, yeah, good to know. Watch that. You'll see it improve as you, as you build muscle and then you just give yourself grace cuz muscle builds over time, right?
Deborah Genovesi: So that's my first thing is weighing. And then my other thing is I just absolutely have to find somebody who. I can train with yeah. Who knows what they're doing, isn't gonna hurt me and [00:40:00] no more of this excuse of, well, it hurts.
JJ Virgin: So I'm just not gonna do it. It'll just become, everything will start to using it's hurting now.
right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I have
Deborah Genovesi: had the experience, like you said, of just doing the odd little thing, like trying to lift some groceries and it's like, oh no, I just pulled something. I
JJ Virgin: don't want that experience as I get older. So it's, this is now the time when you really need to do it, you know, you don't want to try it 70 to go.
Now I need to build muscle because it just gets more challenging as you age and shout out to this. If you're 70 listening that. Get you off the hook, right? I'm just saying if you're 30 or 40, really like the, whenever you can start, start it's never too late. Yeah. But the earlier you start the better. I'm skeptical that I can never get my body
Deborah Genovesi: fat to the levels that you're saying only because even when I've been, you know, at my best weight, the, the best I've ever done has been about 29%.
I am a curvy girl short girl,
JJ Virgin: so probably 25. [00:41:00] Percent's gonna be the one you, you aim for. And the reason I know that you can do this is you've never actually focused on that before, where it was the right side of it, which is building the muscle. See if you're just focusing on losing the, the weight. And you're losing muscle and fat together muscle.
Then you lower your metabolic rate. It's impossible to maintain. So this is different. You'll be able to do this.
Deborah Genovesi: thank you so much, JJ, as always
JJ Virgin: your, your brilliance is a family. This this was my fun. You're my favorite type to work with and it's great being reconnected. Wonderful. Yay. All right. Let me know how it goes.
Okay. I will. Thanks so much.
All right. If you would love me to unpack your story, that's what I'll call it and give you some advice. One of the things we're moving to now is getting all of your information and then I will share the [00:42:00] highlight reel and then give you the suggestions through beginnings and breakthroughs. So you don't even have to be here.
Cause I know. A big thing for people, they were shy, but if you have some things you would love addressed, remember I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on podcasts, but I can give you nutrition and lifestyle advice and ideas to help you become more metabolically healthy. All right. If you want to do that, just go to
And one other thing to do is to be sure to if you haven't yet. So you don't miss one juicy episode. See you next time.


Hide Transcript