Interview with an 86 Year Old Cancer Survivor

How It Began

Mike is an 86-year-old client who, 15 years ago, was instructed by his Cardiologist to begin exercising to improve his overall health. He was on several preventable medications, 12 to be exact.  Not sure where to begin, Mike contacted me for help.

Goal Setting at Our First Meeting

The initial fitness assessment revealed his health goals, physical limitations, and nutritional habits.  We developed a fitness plan that was realistic and sustainable for him.  We agreed on an initial goal to get his body fat percentage under 30%, which is out of the clinically-obese range, while still maintaining and even gaining muscle mass.

Success

In just a few months, Mike’s doctors saw a tremendous change in his appearance, attitude and blood lab test. He wasn’t moving like an old man anymore! His doctors started to eliminate and/or reduce some of his medications. Currently, he’s down to two prescriptions for his heart condition.

Where He Is Now

Over all the years of training with me, Mike still owns and operates three companies. He says he feels energetic, strong, has more stamina and endurance, and has a better ability to focus and concentrate.  Mike is also a cancer, pneumonia and broken hip survivor.  Doctors, to this day, marvel over his conditioning for his age, and credit his exercise and lifestyle change with me “a life saver.”  Mike is a phenomenal success story that keeps on ticking!  Age is just a number, just ask Mike!

Watch this Incredible Interview!

Are You Next?

If you or a loved one would like a free fitness assessment, please visit https://raybessette.com/contact-us/

For more information on hormones, please visit https://raybessette.com/hormonal-balance-health-facts/

Fat Loss

Fat Loss IS Possible During the Holidays

We are extremely proud of The FIRM U client, Kyle Kettler. He has a TOTAL FAT LOSS TO DATE OF 35.3 LBS. While many people gain weight during the holidays, under trainer Ray Bessette’s direction, Kyle managed to lose 2.8 lbs. of fat while maintaining his muscle mass.

Kyle has put into practice the lessons he’s been learning from Ray about sustaining his fat loss during a season of indulgence. Kyle is the perfect example of digging deep and doing the work. He knows this is a marathon, not a sprint. Kyle is learning lessons for life and is a role model for his three young girls and everyone following his story. Keep watching for more updates. Kyle’s next goal is to get under 400 lbs. We’re sure he’ll be there soon!  Stay tuned for further progress updates.

Read more and watch videos about Kyle’s journey here.

Are you ready to start on a fat loss goal or general fitness goal for yourself? Contact us today to discuss how The FIRM U can help you get started.

personal training houston

Gleannloch Farms Resident, Jeff Udelson, uses strength training to heal elbows and avoid surgeries

In 2016, Jeff Udelson had spent over two years suffering with pain in both elbows. He was diagnosed with Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow) on his right arm and Lateral epicondylitis (Tennis elbow) on the other. Jeff has been an avid golfer for many years and the pain he was experiencing made enjoying the game he loves difficult if not impossible. Jeff went to an orthopedic surgeon who started him out on conservative, non-invasive treatment which included several rounds of cortisone injections in both elbows; two months of physical therapy; Airrosti treatments; acupuncture; and cryotherapy.  With no relief from these treatments, Jeff did what most people do…went to another orthopedic specialist  On July 19, 2016, Jeff had a visit with the specialists at The Fondren Orthopedic Group who had him get an MRI. Given the MRI results and everything else Jeff had tried with no success, the doctor said the best option for him would be surgery, which he scheduled for December 2, 2016.

On August 23, 2016, Jeff came to The FIRM U and met with Owner and Co-Founder, Ray Bessette. After this meeting, everything changed for Jeff. Ray assessed Jeff’s elbow condition and developed a plan for Jeff. Ray’s initial goal was to create circulation in Jeff’s elbow to speed up the healing process in the area and slowly build strength and flexibility in the forearm area. Improving grip strength by building the muscles of the forearm can improve Jeff’s ability to perform day-to-day activities and get him back to playing tennis and golf. Once hearing this plan, Jeff committed to working out with Ray three days a week. Jeff had other fitness goals in addition to eliminating his elbow pain which were to lose belly fat, increase range of motion and correct bad posture.

Ray began with using light cable and dumbbell weights with bands to stretch and create strength around Jeff’s forearms and wrists. Ray had Jeff apply ice to his forearms after workouts to the reduce inflammation. Ray also had Jeff work out his legs, explaining that the best way to lose belly fat, gain better posture, burn more calories even at rest, and to not overtrain his upper body was to achieve a better body balance by working the larger muscles…his legs. This helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories — even when you’re at rest — than body fat. After a couple of weeks, Jeff started slowly adapting to lifting heavier weight.

Ray also worked on Jeff’s nutritional intake and suggested a hormonal blood panel* to check for his A1C (sugar levels), CRP (Inflammation levels), Testosterone and Cortisol levels to name a few. A deficiency in any panel mentioned could influence Jeff’s elbow condition as well as his overall health.

The prescription for exercise, diet and supplements worked perfectly. After two months, Jeff was moving and doing daily activities with little to no pain, he canceled his December 2nd surgery and even got off his pain and inflammation medications.

Jeff continues to train with Ray and he continues to show improvement, not only in his elbows, but in other areas. Jeff has loss 16 lbs. of fat weight; his cholesterol & triglycerides levels have come back to the normal range; his posture, range of motion, strength, energy, muscle tone and flexibility have all dramatically improved; and he claims he hits the golf ball further than he ever has!

“I can now say that after more than 12 months of working out with Ray, I am now pain free and no longer need surgery…and I look and feel better than I have in years! THANKS, RAY!!”

This is one example of results achieved with personal training and corrective exercise techniques.  It starts with the foundational fitness assessment and use my vast knowledge and education with corrective exercise techniques and thorough understanding of the body’s structural system (bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, etc.), we can help you strengthen your weaknesses and get you back to doing what you  love, whether is golf, dancing, swimming, tennis, playing with your children/grandchildren or walking the dog.

Contact me today to schedule your free fitness assessment, email ray@thefirmu.com or  call 832-755-1949.

Kerrie Bikram, Fit N Firm Foods Chef

I want to introduce you to a remarkable young woman. Her story is a testimony to the power and ability to heal medical conditions and transform your mind and body through proper nutrition; effective, regular physical activity; a steadfast spirit; and a phenomenal support system. The FIRM U is not only extraordinarily proud of her, but we are equally as pleased we have entered into a partnership with her to provide our clients and the community with a premium service we are launching on Monday at The FIRMU called Fit N Firm Foods, home-cooked, nutritionally balanced meals sold onsite at The FIRM U.

Kerrie Bikram

“Hi! I’m Kerrie Bikram, 39 yrs. old, born and raised in the Caribbean island of Trinidad n Tobago. Moved to the US when I was 11 yrs. old with my parents and 2 elder sisters. I am a business owner and recently opened my own catering company.

I was never a skinny girl growing up nor was I extremely overweight, I was always somewhere in the middle. Even when I was in my 20s my mom would say it’s just baby fat, (moms, go figure). When I hit my 30s I started gaining weight and no matter how much I exercised or starved myself, the scale kept going up and up and my clothes got bigger and tighter…so tight I ended up being a whopping size 24. At that weight, I was extremely depressed, I suffered from anxiety of being in public meeting new people, and had very low self-esteem. I couldn’t walk for very far distances or even climb stairs because I would be so winded.

It was back in December of 2015 after the holidays had passed, I was suffering from plantar fasciitis and it had gotten so bad that I ended up on crutches. With having plantar fasciitis and having to use crutches to get around, I found it very difficult because I was extremely overweight. It was one day I had just come out of the shower and was looking at myself in the mirror and was very unhappy with what I was seeing. I knew I had a huge problem on my hands, but self-denial can be a very strong thing and I couldn’t believe I had allowed myself to get like this. My skin had become discolored and velvety (the scientific name is Acanthosis Nigricans) especially under my breasts, between my thighs wherever there was a skinfold, it had become discolored (4 shades darker than my normal skin color). I had also noticed my cheeks had become discolored, I remembered thinking “Oh, it might just be age spots,” but that was just me being in denial that something was wrong. I even started bleaching my skin thinking it would go away. WRONG! At that point, I literally felt like my body was decomposing from the inside out.

I started doing some research about Acanthosis Nigricans and after countless hours of reading articles I was faced with the reality that I might be pre-diabetic. I went to the doctor and after doing blood work, guess what? The doctor had his prescription pad out even before I asked what the results were. I was prescribed with medication for high blood pressure and medication to help me in my pre-diabetic state. I refused to take those types of medication, because I knew once I took it I was going to give up and live that way…probably forever or until I died.

So, January 7th 2016 came around…I still remember the date because it was the day I changed my life forever. I began with cutting out all soda, juices, carbs, that “butter” where you so called can’t tell the difference from the real stuff, you know what am talking about. I had done enough research to know that I was going to give the Ketogenic Diet a try. Who doesn’t want to do a diet where you don’t need to exercise to lose weight right. My first 6 months was rough, but I did manage to lose weight. In July 2016, I went on vacation for 1 month which also meant a vacation from my diet. The next day after I returned from vacation, I went hard into Keto and by then I still wasn’t exercising…maybe once a week if I felt like it, but the weight kept coming off. My diet consisted of grass-fed meats; organic, free-range poultry; wild-caught seafood; organic, low carb veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, etc.); lots of green leafy veggies and tons of grass-fed butter; coconut oil and olive oil.

After 6 months passed, guess what? My skin cleared up by 2 shades and the so-called age spots on my face started to disappear. I had begun to like where this was going, so I decided to include exercise. I already had the food part taken care of, now I needed the extra push and help.  In December of 2016, I joined The FIRM U. I had no idea what type of gym this was when I joined. All I remembered seeing was that it was a clinical gym and I thought, “shoot, they can help me lose weight,” plus I knew that I didn’t want to be working out at a mega gym and must deal with all that gym intimidation. So, after driving past The FIRM U for more than 100 times, I mustered up the guts to go in. I met with Ray Bessette, the owner of The FIRM U. We spoke about my health and he told me about what services The FIRM U provides there. After seeing the environment, I knew I wanted to give it a try…plus I was sold the minute I saw the picture of Ray with Mr. Olympia himself…Arnold Schwarzenegger! Who doesn’t love Arnold? I also knew I couldn’t do it on my own, I needed a trainer to help push me. Ray introduced me to Deborah Noel, one of the trainers at The FIRM U, and when I shook her hand for the first time and I’ll never forget it, I thought to myself holy s**t she has a hell of a grip; I am in trouble, but that didn’t stop me from joining anyways. I signed up for 3 months and expected to come out of there with abs of steel, killer legs and a slender new body. Boy, was I so very wrong, instead I got way more.

Fast forward it’s September 2017 and I am still at The FIRM U. I absolutely love it there and I still have my wonderful trainer, Deborah, I went from a size 24 to a size 14. I feel great I am much stronger physically and mentally than I have ever been in my life because of my Keto diet, my weight training and the support of my trainer and everyone at The FIRM U. I no longer suffer with my plantar fasciitis, I can run, walk, climb stairs and not get winded like before. My anxiety is gone and I no longer am depressed, or have low self-esteem, but I still must work on my self-image cause face it no matter how much weight we lose we still have that tendency to feel fat, and yes, I still find myself walking towards the plus size section of the department store. I like that am gradually losing the weight and am more than happy with the pace that I am going.

I recently had my blood work redone and I can happily say I am no longer a pre-diabetic or suffer from high blood pressure, except now I was diagnosed with PCOS, which explained why my weight is slowly coming off and am more than okay with that.

I have learned that things don’t just happen overnight it takes time whether you are building muscle, losing weight, maintaining a healthy lifestyle or just changing your bad habits. I have moments where I slip and eat something bad, but its ok. I no longer beat myself up about it because and it’s just part of being human and no one is perfect, and yes, my body and mind is still a work in process.

I’m thrilled to partner with The FIRM U to provide Fit N Firm Foods. These are FIRM U-approved meals created specifically for and sold on location at The FIRM U. I will use my personal experience with nutrition research to eliminate certain health conditions and to lose weight to create culinary creations. All meals are prepared with the highest quality ingredients, lean proteins, healthy fats and are low in carbs. I use no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors and all meals are made from scratch every day. They are perfect for those with a busy lifestyle.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story. I hope it will inspire you if you’ve been considering starting your own journey to improve your health. If you don’t know where to begin, any of the professionals at The FIRM U can help you get started.”

For More Information

Please call (833) FIRMU-Up for more information on Fit N Firm Foods. Kerrie is available to cater your next special event. She would love the opportunity to provide you with healthy, delicious meals that will satisfy your soul and your hunger.

Photos provided by Kerrie illustrate her transformation progress and a few representations of mouthwatering meals she has created, from top to bottom:

Lemon muffins (Low carb / keto)
Sous Vide Lamb Chops
Grilled chicken and avocado
Red Thai Chicken Curry over Cauli Rice (Low carb / keto)
Pan Seared Snapper, Grilled Shrimp w/Brown Butter Sliced Almonds and Roasted Butternut Squash