Health and Wellness Coach-Personal Trainer Alan Freishtat will be in the Baltimore-Washington area January 24th-26th.

To schedule a personal consultation or a group seminar during this time, please contact us: call 516-568-5027 or email

What we see on the outside is not necessarily the whole picture.  Both as a personal trainer and a coach, I know this well.  The picture very rarely tells the whole story.  Here are two people who lead successful and happy lives—at least when you see them from the outside.  But they are also suffering some of the consequences of carrying around a lot of weight.  They are relatively young people so it is really a shame that in what are otherwise great lives, this is impeding the quality of those lives. 

Paula has a hectic life.  She runs a successful business, she is a mother and she also is very popular socially which means she gets invited to a lot of Simchas.  In her line of work, she is on her feet for much of the day. But Paula is obese.  Her BMI is over 40 and that means that all of that standing takes a large toll on her lower body and wears her out by the end of each day.  Paula is fairly fit and she does work out with her trainer twice a week with some other aerobic exercise during the week.  But walking around all day with that much weight impacts her ability to enjoy life. 

Mollie is retired from her profession but she is still a busy lady.  She is a mother, helps with several Tzadaka projects, helps her husband in his business and also travels a lot.  She not only works out in our place, but she also does water aerobics and palates independently.  However, she isn’t a very active person other than her formal exercise programs and she too carries way to much weight.  Her BMI is in the 40’s and as we all know, a BMI above 30 is already dangerous. One common denominator of these two ladies, other than noticing they carry a lot of weight when you look at them, is that they seem to have wonderful and successful lives.

A body mass index of above 30, and certainly 40 usually indicates that at some point a person will suffer some negative consequence to their health.  Those consequences can be heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, cancer, fatty liver disease, digestive problems and a shortened life span.  But right now, we are concentrating on how being overweight or obese can have a negative influence on our quality of life.

Paula was telling me how many Simchas she was invited to over the last two weeks.  She was talking about one day and evening in particular where after a long, long day at her business, she arrived at the wedding hall.  There was a Kabalat Panim, a cocktail hour and people were standing around, helping themselves to food and socializing.  But Paula was only concentrating on one thing—why aren’t there more chairs for people to sit down?  You see, after standing much of the day in the store and carrying so much weight, she was too uncomfortable to stand and speak to friends and partake in the delights being offered.  Because she carries so much weight, a very normal activity became very difficult.  So outside of the physical discomfort in this situation, she lost her ability to converse with her friends and what should have, and could have been a wonderful evening, turned into only hoping the Chupah would take place soon so she could get into the main hall and be seated at her table.

Mollie is the ultimate host.  Hashnosas Orchim is her mitzvah.  Every Shabbos many, many guests come to her home.  She invites people and people even feel comfortable to invite themselves.  But as a result, she can be on her feet cooking from Wednesday.  By the time she finishes cleaning up after Shabbos, she is wiped.  Why?  Because she is working very hard but also because at the same time she is carrying a lot of extra weight. 

Both Mollie and Paula exercise and try to eat healthy foods, but they don’t focus on portions and do eat junk food a little too often.  They also are not conscious of portions.  Another issue is their lack of non-exercise activity.  They don’t walk that much from place to place and are not active otherwise.  At this point, B”H they don’t have any of the adult diseases that can come together with being obese, but they also are rapidly losing function. 

Due to the aging population, the burden of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions as causes of pain and disability continues to increase. In Australia, these conditions are the third largest contributor to direct health expenditure (behind cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders).  Arthritis and related disorders were the most common cause of disability in Australia in a recent population survey.

There is a significant direct association between musculoskeletal disorders and one’s level of obesity. The Centre for Disease Control recently reported that in the United States, more than 31% of obese adults with a diagnosis of arthritis were obese as compared to only 16% of non-obese people.  It has become clear that the extent of the problem of obesity in relation to muscular-skeletal disease and discomfort is not very well recognized. In addition, the chronic pain and disability associated with musculoskeletal conditions not only significantly affect an individual's quality of life but often result in taking on a sedentary lifestyle which can lead to other diseases like heart disease and diabetes.  Obesity has also been implicated in the development or progression of a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Obesity is also associated with increased risks in the surgical management of some of these conditions.

When I go through my introduction to weight loss for my clients who need to lose weight, we review the list of diseases and conditions that can occur as a result of being overweight or obese.  I always say that even if Hashem gave you great genes to combat all the adult illnesses an obese person can get, eventually it’s the osteoarthritis and general discomfort that will surface. 

Paula and Mollie are doing themselves a lot of good by exercising, but if they don’t start taking their weight loss seriously, their quality of life will continue to be a challenge.  Being tired, uncomfortable and having pain, sometimes chronic, don’t enhance our enjoyment of life.  I have seen many people turn it around and lose a lot of weight.  But you can just ask anyone who has gone through the process.  Every kilo counts and every time you lose 4 or 5 kilo, you will notice a significant difference in how much better you feel.

Every kilo of weight is 4 kilograms of pressure on the lower body.  This impacts your feet, knees, hips and back.  So when you lose one kilo, you just took 4 kilo of pressure off you lower extremities.

It’s tough stuff to lose weight.  It has to be done correctly, methodically, and without doing something radical.   Diets won’t do it.  Eating healthy food in normal size portions in conjunction with exercise can go a long way.  Losing weight will bring you enjoyment and a better quality of life and will “add hours to your day, days to your year, and years to your life.” 

Health and Wellness Coach-Personal Trainer Alan Freishtat will be in the Baltimore-Washington area January 24th-26th.

To schedule a personal consultation or a group seminar during this time, please contact us: call 516-568-5027 or email

Alan Freishtat is an A.C.E. CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER and a CERTIFIED WELLNESS COACH with over 19 years of professional experience. Alan is the creator and director of the “10 Weeks to Health” program for weight loss.  He is available for private coaching sessions, consultations, assessments and personalized workout programs. Alan also lectures and gives seminars and workshops. He can be reached at 02-651-8502 or 050-555-7175, or by email at   Check out the his web site –    US Line: 516-568-5027