#051 Leigh Peele

Posted on 2017 / 05 / 17
personal trainers
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Leigh Peele



Nardia:      Hey everybody, welcome back to the WOW Collective podcast. It is a gloomy day here in Sydney. However, what is going to lighten up the day for me is that I am talking to Leigh Peele. Hello, Leigh.


Leigh:        Hello. Hello. Luckily I didn’t go into some sort of like, London Eliza [inaudible 00:04:37] accent. Like, hello. I don’t know why it was in there, but I didn’t do it. Thank God.


Nardia:      I love it; I love it. As you guys can probably tell, this is going to be a really fascinating conversation. I feel like we’re going to go on lots of different tangents and journeys. But before we take off, Leigh, would you mind just introducing yourself to the audience. And in particular, give them a little bit about how you are having an amazing impact on the world.


Leigh:        Oh, the bio portion of the interview.


Nardia:      Yes.


Leigh:        Well, where should I start today? I will start today with saying that one of the reasons I got into the field is, I continually found a lot gaps and holes in the field that I was surprised at finding. Simple gaps about critical thinking, and applying a basic logic to achieving body composition. But, especially to women. And a lot of that was to women, based upon how much caloric burn or total daily energy expenditure they would have in a day. And how to kind of find a way to blend science and the things that we know in research with anecdote and free living.

To bring that together to help answer a lot of questions that women have with not being able to achieve their physical goals, their body goals that they want to have, in an easy manner. In short, one of the reasons I became what I became in the industry is because I was willing to talk to women and try to answer some of their problems, and why they didn’t achieve what they wanted to achieve as easily as men did at times.

That was often a big focus. How come I’m seeing all these amazing before and after transformations and changes in the industry, and I’m not seeing that myself? What’s wrong with me? Do I have an illness? Do I have a disease? What, what, what? Why, why, why? And a big part of how I became what I became is because I didn’t have a problem trying to dive in to the whys. Even if it meant some tough love, or if it meant some deep science. Whatever that was going to be, was kind of how I became what I am in the industry.


Nardia:      I love it; I love it. Now, your reputation precedes you. Whenever someone mentions Leigh Peele, they’re like, oh my god, she’s amazing. And in fact, you’ve been one of the most highly requested guests to come on to my podcast.


Leigh:        No, no, that’s not possible.


Nardia:      Yes, it is possible. It’s quite evident as to why you are so well-loved. And I particularly love the way you just talked about combining tough love with deep science, which are two of my favourite things to jam on, especially the science part. I want to come back to that, and I think we’ll spend a fair amount of time zoning in on that. But before we do, I’d love to know what “W” is going to resonate with you the most. So, just as a reminder, the WOW Collective stands for Women of Wealth, and Wonder, and Wisdom, Weird, Wicked, whatever else. Does any of it really resonate with you?


Leigh:        The synonyms of weird and wicked? Do they resonate with me? Are you kidding? Do we have enough time to go on that? I am definitely, you know, I don’t know how to put this. I am definitely not of the traditional. I did not; I was not raised in a very traditional atmosphere. My education did not come from a very traditional atmosphere. Meaning that in the America, in the United States, it’s kind of, you finish high school, you go to college.

You finish college; you start a job. My path was not of that general direction. It was kind of, pre-eighteen years old, I had one very much kind of a life, which was a very, I’ll put it in a Lifetime Special, or a very difficult, or troubled, or, some would even say traumatic or difficult, but what have you. It’s a very interesting life. It would make very much for a book or novel. But the other part of my life, the eighteen and after, I’d been trying to kind of figure out my schooling and my calling.

And one of the reasons I got into the fitness industry, and I’ll be kind of blunt about it, is that you do not, in the United States, have to have a technical large amount of official college work for this industry. You can get into it in many different aspects and fields. You can be a personal trainer. You can be a physical therapist. You can be a registered dietician. There’s a lot of different avenues you can go about helping people. And I ended up kind of helping people in an avenue of being obsessed with research, and kind of “Good Will Hunting” my way, if you will, with a library card. No, you know? With a library card and a lot of ambition, and a lot of desire and will to understand things. I Good Will Hunted my way to being able to understand something and see a hole in a range of things.


And I would say that if we’re going to talk about Wicked or WOW, for a woman, I bypassed a lot of glass ceilings in a lot of traditional formats to simply say, yeah, I don’t necessarily have to go about this in the traditional manner. But I have ideas. I have questions. I have how’s, whys, and who’s. And I decided that I wanted to take the free resources that are given to me by our internet, by our research media, and to kind of ask these questions and answers these questions.


And from that, I will say that I developed a love for a certain kind of formatted academia. And I did go that direction eventually in some sort of later aspect. But my initial enthusiasm, from it, came from a completely layman, athletic, enthusiastic woman who just wanted to answer some questions and understand things from a different avenue that I did not see myself, or a lot of other women, or individuals in my position be in spoke to. So I saw a hole. And I tried to fill that hole with, I guess, in some degree, my own agenda and my own passions.


Nardia:      I love it. And then so going back to the weird part.


Leigh:        I’m definitely weird.


Nardia:      I recall reading, I think, something you did in the Huffington Post. And there was a; I think it was the Huffington Post, excuse me if that’s not correct. But there was a line talking about the way you looked. And how you.


Leigh:        You’re talking about The Guardian.


Nardia:      Yes, The Guardian. Sorry. Apologies, yes.


Leigh:        No, no, no. It’s okay. It’s okay. I wrote an article for The Guardian, or more so, The Guardian took from something I out about me, “The Unpretty.”


Nardia:      “The Unpretty,” yes. And it just struck me how you say that just I’m not a conventionally pretty person.


Leigh:        I’m not. I’m not. Well, technically, I am, it’s funny because I actually got a lot of flak for that.


Nardia:      Oh, really?


Leigh:        Yeah. That article got viewed by over two hundred thousand something, which, just that number, and sheer, just, uh. Like, just the idea of that number is kind of amazing to me. But that article got viewed by over two hundred thousand people. And a lot of them thought that I was fishing, to be perfectly frank with you. They thought that I was describing something and fishing, because they Googled me online and they saw some sort of blonde girl that they had determined was just needing some affirmation about how they looked.

And you have to understand that I came from, and I’ll keep it short, because I don’t want to try to give some sort of, like, biography special, but I came from a very, I came from a very poor. Well, I was homeless. And I don’t mean homeless like Joel [inaudible 00:12:24] slept in my car for a couple of days. I mean, from the age of twelve to about eighteen, I did not have a definitive place to live. Sometimes, I would live in the environment that I was, technically, raised with by my parents.

And most of the time, I would find where I could find to sleep. And I lived in institutions. I lived in places in America. There’s places called Youth Focus, basically, where they take kids in that have problems, and they let them stay there for a while. But I in no way grew up rich. I in no way grew up taken care of. And I in no way grew up pretty, as what technically symmetrical features are defined by. And, I definitely felt the brunt of what it’s like to be made fun of, or to be cast aside about my appearance.

Now, personally, for myself, I do identify as homosexual. I’m gay. And so I didn’t really have to worry about a lot of that, because I wasn’t trying to appease so much of a physical world as I was a mental one. And as much as people like to debate about this, a lot of women in the homosexual, or gay, or bisexual community, you do find people that kind of look at you for more of your intellectual or personality attributes versus just the physical. I do find that the heteronormative world, at least in the United States, it can be a little bit more physically driven. So I never competed with women. I never felt that I could really compete with women. And I never tried to do so.

And the short of it is that I found a home in myself and an understanding of kind of what I had and what I did not have in a physical way. And I was expressing that in that article. In expressing that, funny enough, I had a lot of backlash about, “Oh, you’re just this pretty blonde girl. She thinks that she’s ugly. She looks average enough to me. I don’t know what her problem is, or what she’s complaining about.” And they just completely missed the message which was, essentially, I found a way to embrace who I am that had nothing to do with my appearance, that had to do with my intelligence, my belief and logical thinking, my critical thinking, my embracing of women and their power, and in people and their abilities. It didn’t have anything to do with what I looked like. And I embraced that. And that was somewhat the, quote-unquote, “unpretty.”


And I’m going, to be honest with you, I don’t think that that was kind of received very much by the Guardian audience, or by kind of the general audience. And that’s the weird. You know, I’m an artist. I play music; I make music. I’m kind of a bit in the avant-garde community. I don’t think they got what I was trying to say. I think they just saw it as some sort of, like, fishing moment. “Oh no, please tell me I’m attractive.” And I’m like, no, we can, pretty is what we make it. Beautiful is what we make it. We define it by our characteristics, by our opinions, by our passions.

This has nothing to do with some guy or girl that tells us, we don’t amount to nothing, and some sort of symmetrical form. And that was kind of my point. And whether it be my writing, or whether it be the perception or just whatever, it wasn’t entirely taken. It was a very controversial article, and it received a lot of looks. But my overall point, if anyone’s listening, is throughout all this, I truly believe that even though that I may not fall into the technical pretty category of symmetrical perfect features, I found my own identity in that. And you don’t have to be pretty by any one certain definition to be happy, and to have self-esteem, and to have confidence, and, so kind of float in that world. That was the point. I’m not exactly sure if it was picked up.


Nardia:      I got it. I got the point.


Leigh:        And the people that did seem to, which is what, but there was a lot of, I don’t know if it was defensiveness, I don’t know if it was thinking that my agenda was untoward. But it was a controversial thing nonetheless. But I certainly appreciated the feedback I got. It gave me a lot to analyse and look over, that’s for sure. But that’s the internet for you.


Nardia:      Yes. That is definitely the interwebs. And I guess, you know, when you are courageous enough to speak your truth, and to put it out there, not everyone’s going to get it.


Leigh:        No, no, I’ve been online for, oh, God, over ten, eleven, twelve years now. I can’t tell you exactly. But between internet forums, being picked apart, it’s interesting, because we’re in no way celebrities, people like, you know. I don’t think I’m a celebrity. But I will say that it is interesting when you find your name somewhere, and you find yourself being picked apart by people you do not know. You have no idea who these people are, and they’re passing judgments on your character, and your intention. And it does, it’s a humbling experience, and it’s been an education in and of its own right, and I take it for the importance that it has.

But I also have learned that you have to stand on your own side of it, and you have to be a strong person. Which is why I feel, like, to some degree, this industry, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed from your time in it, but it is a quick industry for some. And if you survive it for more than five or six years, no, it is. If you survive it for more than five or six years, you become a veteran really quick. And I’ve now been dubbed; some people have dubbed me a veteran. And I’m like, well, I guess I earned my stripes.


Nardia:      Totally. I was just talking to my flatmate, Lisa. She’s also in the industry. She’s been in it ten years, no, longer than ten years. I’m coming up to eighteen, and.


Leigh:        You’ve earned your stripes.


Nardia:      It was funny. We were just talking about how, you know, people talk about coming to the industry, and they’re going to make these big waves, and they make all these big changes, and they’ve got these great ideas. Then all of a sudden, they‘ve been a PT, so that’s what we call personal trainers here, PTs. They’ve been PTs for six months, and all of a sudden they’re now coaching other people on how to be a PT. And it’s kind of like; you know what, I’ll take you seriously when you’ve been in the game for four years.


Leigh:        Yeah, yeah. A little bit.


Nardia:      And, you know. And you’ve gone through it, and you’ve learned. And you realize that your little bit of knowledge is actually really dangerous. Then we’ll talk. But you’re right.


Leigh:        I was such a cocky little thing.


Nardia:      Oh, so was I.


Leigh:        My birthday is two days from now, my birthday is. And I technically started with my personal training certificate in; I want to say, 2005 or 2006. I can’t be exact, but what is that? I don’t even know what that is. It’s over ten years.


Nardia:      Yes, twelve, twelve years ago.


Leigh:        I was such a cocky little thing. Oh god, did I know everything. I lived in absolute I would have hated me now. I would have hated me now.


Nardia:      Oh my god. I’m so with you.


Leigh:        Well, you know, that’s the way it is, you know. That’s the way it is. I certainly have a, you know, people, technically, they don’t understand the definition of humbled. “Oh, I’m so humbled to have this.” No, no, no. Humbled is being broken. And I have been broken, let me tell you. I have been broken, and I have seen the errors of my ways. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I really wouldn’t. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


And if it wasn’t for that, I would not be as prepared, or as smart, or as researched on the information I have. And I feel a little bit that, like, it is surviving a bit of a hazing, if you will. And if you can get through this and be on the other side of it, it’s something special. I actually do believe that.


Nardia:      I agree. I mean, I look back, and I’m like, man, I was an asshole. It was kind of, like. And in New Zealand, when I was first coming through the ranks, you couldn’t sue. So I was like, phew, dodged a few bullets there. Okay, so let’s come to modern day, where you’re at now. I love the fact that you said, when you started, you came into this industry from the lens of somebody who was a complete newbie and had no idea. And therefore, you had genuine questions that you needed the answers for. And I love that approach because for someone like me who’s been, in it since I was eighteen, I’d forgotten what it’s like to be a new person. And I find that really difficult sometimes. And so I have to be very mindful of unpacking how I think and what I say to people. So, for you, this has obviously been how you started your business and you found about all this information about fat loss, yeah?


Leigh:        Yeah. Yes.


Nardia:      So, talk to me a little about, let’s go with Starve Mode, your book. Because that’s such a great book, and it covers a lot of stuff. So, would you mind explaining the cracks of the book?


Leigh:        No, I won’t, and if I may lead off from what you said, one of the things, I kid you not, that I feel makes me so good at what I do, and I don’t mean that cockily, is because I never forget, or at least I try to remind myself, that, not to expect everybody to know everything right away. And what you said about, you know, trying to go back to when you’re eighteen, or when you’re a newbie, or when you’re a beginner. I try to remind myself with that all the time, because a lot of the time, people in the industry, they get tired of answering the simple questions. Or trying to find the answer for the simple questions. And one of the things with Starve Mode, and plugging book or not plugging books, you know, screw it. Whatever. Who cares, right?

The point and the principle is, the whole reason that book came out, Starve Mode, technically, in and of itself, the title of it is almost an ironic thing. Because it’s a quote around Starve Mode, in that a lot of people believe that they are in starvation mode, or that they have approached starvation mode, when I will say that the majority of people that download that book, and I say this on my page. I say this to people who send me emails asking questions, but nonetheless, it’s still bought. But the majority of people that download that book or try to access that book are the furthest thing away from what they think they’re buying that book for.

And the reason I say this is because a lot of people think that they have some sort of unique or special problem in their fat loss ventures, or in their weight loss ventures, in trying to manipulate their body composition. But a lot of what they’re really facing is having to deal with the unfair and just gut-wrenching reality that is the fact that they may not burn a lot of calories. They may not have a direct dial on to the amount of caloric intake that they have. And that equal result means that they are not achieving the body composition goals they want to achieve.


And for the majority of people that I talk with, the number one answer is they think they burn more than they burn, and they think they eat less than they eat, if they’re trying to achieve fat loss goals. And let’s be honest, one of the biggest reasons that we have a job, personal trainers, or coaches, or fitness trainers, is because a large portion of the population is trying to achieve fat loss, or body composition, or toning, or muscle definition, or whatever. But what that equates to is removing fat cells stored in the body.

And if you want to remove a physical piece of tissue that is filled with oil in your body, the only thing you can do from that is to heat it, have it burn and create a deficit, so that it depletes from your body, and then you lose the weight. That’s as simple as science gets. You know, the way that fat, adipose tissue, or the way that it is stored in the body, it is such a simple thing. It is oil droplets. It is fat tissue stored in oil, ready to be charged at any point in time. And the only way you’re going to activate it is if you’re not bringing it in and it needs to be pulled from some sort of source because you’re in a deficit. And nobody likes to do that. Nobody wants to do that.


It’s not fun. It’s against nature. It’s against selection. It’s against evolution. It’s against everything we want to do. We’re not made to do it. So, to think that there’s a problem, or to think that there’s a barrier in that that is unfair, is actually kind of the antithesis of what the goal is. Because it’s absolutely fair. It’s protection. It’s evolutionary protection; that we do not want to lose this. We do not want to get rid of it. We want shields of fat protecting us from the weight of the world. Because there are still these kind of evolutionary principles that say, hey, you could be dying, starving in a forest somewhere. Flight or fight symptoms, you know, this, that, and any other.

And we have to come in, and we have to say, hey, let’s burn. Let’s deficit this. Let’s do this just for sheer vanity. Because that’s ultimately what it’s about. It’s vanity. I do it for vanity, and I’m not saying you do, per se, but a lot of people do. And we do it for vanity, and we do it for the sake of how our physical appearance is. Nothing wrong with that, by the way. I totally support it. But, if we’re going to do that and if we’re going to understand that, we have to be aware of it.

And for women, if we’re remotely small, if we’re, and I’m not talking about necessarily an obese population, I’m talking about anyone who falls into a category of just, “Oh, I just want to lose ten or fifteen pounds,” or something like that. And then we can speak to obese, and that’s a different animal. But nothing about your body wants to do that. So, with Starve Mode, right, I try to approach an understanding, of telling people, “Your body doesn’t want to do this.” And if you want to try to get it to do this, it’s not going to be easy. But it’s not because of mythical metabolic adaptations per se, or, not that metabolic adaptations isn’t true, it is, but it’s not necessarily about, like, “Oh, you’re body’s going to go into starvation mode, and you’re not going to be able to burn calories.” And this, that, and any other, that’s not really what it is. Your body will adjust. It will regulate. It will say, oh, okay, I’m not going to burn as much energy when I go from the couch to the kitchen. I’m not going to have the energy to have more pep in my step when I go check the mail.

Or when I’m shopping around the grocery store, if I might have been kind of hemming and hawing a song in my head, I’m just going to be hum-drumming it. NEPA and low-grade subconscious activities, all of them will be suppressed. Hair follicle growth, nail growth, you name it. The body will do everything and anything it can to not try and pull from those stores. When it does that, and when it decides to do that, good luck trying to convince it just because you want it to on free will. It doesn’t care about that. It doesn’t care. So, the best thing to do when you’re playing its game is to literally play its game. To understand what it’s doing but not to think it some sort of mythical thing that it’s not.

So what I try to teach in the book is that, yes, you will have metabolic adaptations. Certain hormones drop. They have to when you lose fat. They have to. You can’t lose fat if they don’t drop. Thyroid levels, they’re going to change. Testosterone levels are going to change. Progesterone levels, estrogen levels, all of these things, they’re going to alter. Leptin is going to do this; ghrelin is going to do that. These things are going to play their games. Can you stay ahead of it? If you can, you’ll win the game. If you can’t, you’re going to be frustrated, and feel like that you’re fighting a never-ending battle.

All I try and do is help people have the shields and the weapons they need towards the battle they’re going to face, and I try not to lie to them about it. It’s not an easy game. It’s not always fun, and for women, guess what, it’s worse for you than men. It always is, and it always will be. Because we don’t have certain hormones and regulations that make it a little bit easier for us. Which is why you will always see, time after time again, some guy go from being extremely overweight to have an ab-popping before and after photo, and you do not see that in a cascade amount for women. And there’s a reason for that. It’s just not easier for them. And it physically is not easier for them. And if you don’t understand that, you’re just going to be behind the ball. So that’s what that book is about, is explaining that process, but it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. And a lot of people get that wrong. Do you get what I‘m saying?


Nardia:      Yes. Totally.


Leigh:        They think that I mean that there’s something wrong with them, and it’s not. It about the fact that, it’s about teaching them about it. Not saying, oh, your metabolism’s, quote unquote, “damaged”. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about having everything in your arsenal so you can go play that game and even better. That’s what it’s about.


Nardia:      So, then, let’s talk about some of the tools or, you know, the armour that you just described, that you use to help people understand their body, And then, the consequences of energy, whether it’s in the form of exercise, movement, food. Even the impact that sleep and stress may have on the hormone levels in the body.


Leigh:        So important. So important.


Nardia:      So, could you just kind of run me through, maybe, what you would consider to be the basic armour that people need to know.


Leigh:        Absolutely. No, absolutely. The first thing to understand is that every day that you live, you burn a certain amount of calories. Now, a lot of people are like, oh, you eat the exercise calories you burn, or you did this. I don’t look at it like that. Every day, you burn a certain amount of calories. Every night you go to sleep, you burn a certain amount of calories. You wake up, you burn calories. Whatever. That is, it’s called total daily energy expenditure. Every day, you expend a certain amount of energy. It changes. It’s never the same, ever.

By one point, or by five hundred calories, it doesn’t matter. It can, you know. One day, you can have a certain kind of lifestyle, a certain kind of training. And it’s one set term, the next, you can have no training, you can sit on your couch, Netflix, and chill all day, and you have a different. It never is the same. People like to look at things in very static manners. It’s not static. You have to understand that every day, it’s different. Every day, it changes. There is nothing that is set a clock on you. It is by what you need, and what you need only. And that is the most fundamental, important thing to understand. You go on vacation, and you’re walking around a lot, and you’re looking at shops, and you’re looking in stores, and you’re visiting things.

Your caloric burn is going to be different than if you were working in your normal life, and you’re playing with your kids, or your family, or your loved ones. And it’s all different, and it’s all set. You can do the same things every day, but it can be a little different every day, based upon ten calories or a hundred calories, it doesn’t matter. So the first thing to understand is that your caloric burn is never static, ever. It’s never the same thing. It’s always going to be different, and it’s always going to change.

The second thing is to understand, that you’re never going to know what that is, ever. It doesn’t matter if you buy a Fitbit, Jawbone, a pedometer on your iPhone, an Apple Watch. Metabolic heart rating, if you go into a lab and you breathe into a bubble, in a university facility, it does not matter. You cannot replicate. Do you understand? You can’t replicate. It’s not possible. It’s not possible. It is free-living society, and it is day after day, change after change, and there’s nothing you can do.

You can live in a bubble, and you can breathe in that bubble, and you can get the metabolic ratings for that bubble, but guess what that does not apply to? What your life is like when you’re going to the grocery store and exercising and training or whatever. You can’t do it. It’s always to some degree going to be anecdotal. So, get that in your head. Understand that there’s no amount of testing, you can go to the gym, and you can get something tested. You can go to your gynaecologist, or your endocrinologist, or anything, it does not matter. These things don’t mean anything. Body fat testing, it doesn’t mean anything. I’m not saying you can’t use them as tools. And I’m not saying you can’t try to apply it to something. But in a grand scheme, what you need to understand is what you eat, and how it affects you.


Nardia:      Yes.


Leigh:        No, right? That’s what you need to understand. So, you need to understand that there’s no measure that exists. And I’ve looked at all of them, all the gold standards. And I’m not saying I don’t read research. I do. And I read them based upon measures. And I looked at what happens in metabolic ward studies, when people are analysed like mice in a cage. And I see what happens. But that’s never going to be real life, ever. Ever. It’s never going to be your life. So, you have to find a dietary habit and principle that applies to your life. And when you find that, and when you can measure, oh, you know, when I eat this amount of food, I gain weight, when I eat this amount of food, I lose weight, that’s what you stick to.

Who cares about some blog that somebody writes or whatever popular thing is happening? Have you found some sort of system to lose body fat? Does it work for you? Can you apply it on a regular basis? Congratulations, you found the pot of gold. Why are you messing with it? You know, it’s not always as simple as someone’s written a program and measures out through this. What I do when I take on clients, is I try to find what works for them. Sometimes, we count calories. Sometimes, we don’t. Sometimes, I help them with getting their diet based upon Subway, or some sort of fast-food joint pick-up. Sometimes, they’re weighing it gram per gram. It’s just whatever applies to their life, whatever makes sense to their brain. And then you deduct, or you add. That is it. And you find what works or you don’t. That is it.


Nardia:      I love it.


Leigh:        Right? There’s not magic to this. And if you do it like that, and then, yeah, sure, you make sure that you have protein, and you take care of your macros, and you care about your body, you will get to your goal.


Now, I’m not saying we couldn’t wax poetic about how, oh, if you move more and eat more, you can get to these kind of caloric levels. Or if you’re sedentary, your caloric level is lower. If you’ve been undereating or overeating, we could play all day on different scenarios. But the overall general principle is that every day you burn a certain amount of calories, and every day you can eat a certain amount of calories, and that is it. It’s that simple, in the grand scheme of things. It’s not that simple in what can fit into your lifestyle, but people try to overcomplicate it so much. I hate that.


Nardia:      Oh my god, yes. Yes, yes, yes.


Leigh:        So, that’s what I want people to wrap their head around. That’s my point.


Nardia:      And because what I’m hearing, too, and I think a really big takeaway point from this is it relies on the person understanding their body. Like, you know, there has to be some personal responsibility around knowing what foods effect you. Knowing what you can eat, you know. What your sweet, but well call it the sweet spot, what’s your sweet spot between movement, food, the types of food, life in general. And I do think, and I don’t know what your thoughts are on this, I do think that there are so many people who are constantly looking for the big external fix. And they spend all this money on programs, on fat loss products, and so forth, when all they really need to do is stop, turn the mirror inwards, be really introspective, and start to know themselves.


Leigh:        You couldn’t have said it better. I mean, you couldn’t have said it better. Because ultimately, every diet works for somebody. Every diet works for somebody. Mediterranean, Paleo, Keto, low carb, high carb, vegetarian, vegan, raw. It works for somebody. And it works for somebody because there’s something about that somebody that fits into some sort of intuition kind of, so. You know, maybe someone understands something about themselves. They gravitate towards something, and it works. And the next thing you know, aha! Like, they found it.

And that infomercial late-night sell works, or that Facebook ad works for them, or what have you. It’s all good in theory. And sometimes, some people latch to it so well that they think that it is the Holy Grail. The problem is that sometimes, you achieve a goal, or you get to some sort of destination, and it was by luck, or it was by happenstance, and you didn’t really understand how you got there. And the next thing you know, you wake up confused because you’re back on the I-don’t-know-what-happened track.

And you’re back on that track because you didn’t know how you got there in the first place. All I’m saying is that every day, we burn a certain amount of calories, and every day, we need a certain amount of calories. I don’t care how you get there. I don’t care if you get there via a Paleo cookbook. I don’t care if you get, now, I personally have a problem with dogmatic or fearmongering or a certain kind of diet or things talking about stuff that like, logically, is not correct. But I’m not going to go off on that. I’m just going to simply say, I don’t care how you go about it.

If you achieve maintaining your weight by a certain kind of diet, and you’ve found a way to work that, and you’re not gaining weight anymore, that’s the diet you maintain your weight on. Keep that in mind. But that could also change based upon your lifestyle, work, training sessions, etcetera. If you find a diet and a program in which you lose body fat, I don’t care if it’s Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Paleo. I don’t care what it is. If you find something that clicks for you and makes sense in your lifestyle, good for you. Utilize that as a piece to get to the ultimate goal.

Now, I will say, there are certain diets that are better than others because they put a focus on macros, they put a focus on your health, your general health, and I do believe that general health achieves a better fat loss rate than low health, so someone, say, losing fat on a Twinkie diet, per se. Which you could lose fat on a Twinkie diet, and I do not deny that in any way, shape, or form. Or a potato diet, or whatever is the fad or the rage. I do say that while that can be achieved, I don’t deny that, yeah, you can lose weight drinking Cokes every day and nothing but Cokes every day. While that can be achieved, I’d rather see a fat loss diet achieved on something that’s more balanced because the individual is going to be more healthy and, chances are, that individual’s going to have a higher metabolic rate, they can eat more calories, etcetera.

But still, I’m never going to say that the person doesn’t lose weight or fat, per se, on the Twinkie diet. I’m never going to say that someone can’t lose weight on a Coke diet, or on a taco diet, or on a chipotle diet, or whatever, an Outback diet. Whatever it is you want to achieve it on, you can lose fat on it. It can be done. Vegetarian, vegan, raw, whatever. The goal should be trying to lose weight on a caloric deficit diet in which that makes most sense for your macros. Getting it done, because a deficit is not healthy, it is a deprivation of caloric nutrients, right? And it is something that you need to get done as soon as possible.


And ultimately, find the diet that you maintain your weight on that is successful for you. I don’t care if that’s one meal a day, five meal a days, two meal a days, high carb, low carb, low fat, high fat, whatever. Within a realm of a macro, there is nothing to sell here, except for just common sense and logic. That what I try and, like, get people to understand. And the problem is that doesn’t sell really well.


Nardia:      Well, it’s not sexy, is it?


Leigh:        It’s not. It’s not. It’s not sexy. But it is the truth. It is the truth, and it is something that I try to get people to understand, that it’s like, you don’t get it. And people will be like, well, you don’t understand, I did this, or I did that, and I lost weight. I’m not surprised you did. That’s not the point. I’m not arguing that something was achieved. I’m arguing that do you understand how this came about and the who, high, and whys, and what else to it. And you need to see it for the angle that it is.

And some people are like, well, you’re just trying to sell this. And it’s like, I’m trying to sell common sense. I’m trying to sell you a fishing rod, so you can catch the fish. I’m not trying to sell you the fish. Like, just calm down. I want you to learn. So, that’s what I try to do for people. I want them to learn. I want them to understand it. I don’t really have anything to sell other than just trying to get them to understand where their basic caloric allotment and need comes from. Everything else is just, kind of, up to you. That’s all it is.


Nardia:      I want to jump up and like, wave my hands in the air. Like, we’re getting all Pentecostal over here. Fat loss Pentecostal church.


I feel like we talk, and I’m noticing this a lot with what I would consider to be the coaches who are smart, intelligent, holistic, you know, not buying into quick fixes and fads. And we’re all speaking the same language, common sense. Keep it simple. Go back to basics. Know yourself. But the problem is, often times, common sense is not common practice, right?


Leigh:        No, it seems like a simple statement, that we just [inaudible 00:42:09].


Nardia:      Yeah. So, I just want to kind of go back to what you’ve said. And for the listeners, let’s just make this really clear. And I think what you’re trying to say is, make sure you know what you’re doing to your body, that you are almost recording it, in a way. Like, you are an advocate of people to record their feelings, their emotions around food, and to build that knowledge base.


Leigh:        Yeah, I, You know, the thing is that, sometimes, when people sign on to me, like, for example, there’s no secret, there’s no magic curtain here. I will tell people, okay. You know, they might come to me like, oh, I’ve been doing this or I’ve been doing that. I’m like, look, as much as you may not like what I’m about to say, I need you to record everything that you’ve eaten for the past week. And if they’re like, I can’t; I’m like, okay, then here’s what you’re going to do. For the next week, I want you to record everything that you eat, everything that you do, every movement that you make.

Do you have a Fitbit? Do you have an activity calculator? What do you have? I want to know what you move. I want to know what you eat. And they’ll be like, that’s obsessive. And I’m like, [inaudible 00:43:18] it’s not obsessive, okay. This is science. This is data. It’s data. And it is not about me trying to make you some sort of OC individual in which, for the rest of your life, you’re balancing, like, one speck of oatmeal on a weight scale. That’s not what I’m trying to do. But, I’m sorry to tell you, I need to work from some sort of baseline. I need to work from a baseline. Where are you at? What are you eating on a regular basis? How much are you moving on a regular basis? I’ve got to know. And if you don’t want to tell me that, and if you can’t tell me that, that in and of itself is probably the problem.


Nardia:      Yes.


Leigh:        Like, I can speak to your audience right now. They don’t need to hire me as a coach, because what I just said is what I usually end up getting paid to do. Like, straight up legit. It’s what I end up getting paid to do. I end up getting paid for someone to send me a message, and I say, hey, what are you doing, tell me in detail what’s what. They tell me, and I say, guess what, you don’t know what you’re doing. We need to know what you’re doing in a detailed manner. So you’re going to tell me, in a detailed manner, what you’re doing, and I’m going to help you manipulate it on your own. “But I just want something written for me.” No, I’m not going to do that for you. I don’t give diet plans.

I don’t give stuff like that. You’re going to do it yourself. You’re going to figure out how much you move, how much you don’t move, and you’re going to learn this. This is a school. I don’t have clients that I have for years upon years, upon years, upon years, that never get anywhere.


If I can’t teach you what you need to do in a couple of months, there’s something wrong with me. Outside of accountability, because accountability is a different thing, right? Accountability is just someone making sure that you do what you need to do, which even I need that, right?


Nardia:      Yeah, we all do.


Leigh:        I need that for stuff. I need that.


Nardia:      So do I.


Leigh:        Well, we all need that, right? But understanding what to do, if I can’t get you to understand what to do in a couple of months, I’m not doing my job. So, I get somebody to understand what to do, what’s wrong, what to take place, and then I send them on their way. So anybody listening to this right now, that’s what you need to do. I just saved you the money. Like, you just do it. And that’s the thing, like, I’m not selling anything special. There’s no special gram macro. I’m like, yeah, I have macros. I have research that shows you the equation of how much macronutrients, and protein, and fats, and carbohydrates you need. This is not something you can’t find with a quick Google search, alright. I’m not hiding anything magical behind the curtain. This is not something crazy. You just need to understand how much you’re moving, how much you need to eat, what’s going on in your life and how to apply that. And sometimes, regardless of me telling you that, right now, I’m telling your audience right now, they still need me to tell them that. They still need a 101 of me to tell them that. And that’s honestly why I have a fucking job. And I think that that.


Nardia:      Me too.


Leigh:        No, right? And it’s like, I, I’m just kind of. And I’m fine with that. I don’t begrudge that. And I know that it’s important, but that is what it is. And I feel like, when you get to this point in the industry, when you get to this point in helping people, when you say something other than that, that’s where the word charlatan comes into play. That’s when it starts to get, kind of, like, what are you doing. Because it really isn’t, and I’m not talking about tweaking, or, oh, you know, I’m training someone for this kind of event, or I’m accountability for this, but, you get what I mean.


Nardia:      Oh, totally.


Leigh:        You know, it’s like, what are you doing? What are you doing? Because that isn’t right. So that’s what I do. That was the big reveal.


Nardia:      And right there, folks, that was the beautiful intersection of tough love and science. It was amazing. And as you’re talking about that, though, I keep coming back to that concept of personal responsibility. I think a great coach is somebody who will empower somebody else to use the right tools themselves. And it’s similar to what you’re doing.


Leigh:        I don’t want people feeling latched to me as if they can’t do something. I don’t want that. And women, especially. I know we’re speaking to women. Women, especially, don’t we have that fucking enough? Don’t we have that enough? Come on. Aren’t we latched to, like, someone, somebody who’s stronger? Somebody who can lead us into this, or lead us into that, and hold your hand and I’ll cross the street on this side for you. Come on, man. We don’t want that. And I don’t mean that in any sort of angry feminist kind of way. I’m just saying, the last thing I want to do is to make someone feel stupid and dependent upon my brain. No, I don’t want that. I want someone feeling empowered by what I taught them, and to take that with them and do something with it. That’s what I want. And I feel like that is the best gift that you can give to the industry and to women, and to make them feel stronger and more empowered, not weak to your will. I don’t want anybody feeling weak to my will, or dependent. I want them feeling empowered. That’s hot. That’s awesome. Like, that’s amazing. Feel empowered. Feel strong. Feel like you can do anything and you don’t need me. And you’re like, “you know what, thanks for help and the advice. Screw you. I don’t need you anymore. I’m going off on my own now.” Good.


Nardia:      Isn’t that cool?


Leigh:        I want that. Yeah, I want that, you know. And it doesn’t mean we don’t need help. It doesn’t mean we don’t need accountability. But they’re two different things; you know what I mean? They’re education, and they’re empowerment, and I want to give that.


Nardia:      And I think what you just said there so beautifully for the listeners who are constantly confused and overwhelmed, and perhaps you are somebody who’s jumping from program to program, to realize that that is the difference between what I would call and effective, heart-centred, badass coach, and somebody who’s done it for the quick fix to make a ton of money, who doesn’t give a fuck about you.


Leigh:        Yeah, I mean, let’s be honest. No, I mean, it is, isn’t it? I mean, oh, I have this program. Oh, you have to follow my protocol. All this is, like, a certain thing.


Nardia:      Yeah. And I’m not going to teach you how to do this for yourself. But you can, if you pay an extra couple of thousand dollars.



Leigh:        No, we’re not like that. I’m not saying we are all, look, we’re women. We’re valued for our services. We have things we can educate, and we teach. And it’s time, and time is valuable. But there’s a degree, in my opinion, in which that it’s like, look, I’ve taught you. You should know what you’re doing. You should know what’s what. Now if you still want accountability, and you still want to, you know, be held to a certain. I need that. You know, like, I need accountability. I need things like that. That’s fine. But that basic education, absolutely. That’s a gift that we should be giving to each other so we can move on to the next level. And I will always believe that. And if anyone is dangling the mystical, like, behind-the-curtain kind of answer, for you, if they’re doing that, run. Run. That person does not care about your well-being. They do not care about your well-being.

Or, they’re kind of dumb, and they don’t realize it. Because I don’t always believe in an evil intent. You know what I mean? Like, intent is, sometimes, people really, truly believe in the message that you’re flashing, even if it’s not a pure one. And I’ve seen that. I don’t mean to imply this, someone has, like, a bad intent when they don’t. But most of the time, I see a lot of bad intent. And especially in the health and fitness industry. Because it is a kind of diamond field, if you will, to just rip people up, if you want to look at it like that. I just don’t want to look at it like that.


Nardia:      Yup. Wholeheartedly agree with you, and I feel like we could be talking more about this over a couple of glasses, bottles of wine? I don’t know. Alrighty, let’s start to bring this home. What would be three simple things that the listeners can do right now to start moving towards understanding themselves?


Leigh:        Okay. First and foremost, no matter what your body composition goal is, right, whether it’s gain muscle, lose fat, whatever, you need to learn what your total daily energy expenditure is. What are you expending? Like, what are you expending in a day, and how much is that? How does it vary? I know that there’s a big backlash right now against fitness trackers and stuff like that, or step monitors and pedometers, or anything like that. But if you don’t look at them as accurate, accuracy is not the goal. If you just look at them as a measure of, like, kind of a baseline, general.

You know, we’re talking, if there was some sort of satellite, and it’s like, oh, like, this is in a general globe, or, this is in, like, a state, or a section of being, like, that’s what we’re looking for. If you look for it as a general base, I believe, personally, that fitness trackers, or pedometers, or whatnot, can give you a general idea of, kind of, what you’re burning in a day, or how you’re expending energy. They’re not perfect, not finite, or anything like that, but look at those, and you can kind of get an idea of what you’re burning in a day. So that’s one.


And two, get an idea of what you eat in a day. Your caloric intake, or what have you. Be it fat loss, or muscle gain, or maintenance, how much you eat to what you burn, is going to be relevant. Can that change and shift based upon what you do? Yes, it can. We can talk about that all day long. I can make you burn higher or lower, or whatever, but that’s a different subject. But, understand, at least, in the meantime, what you’re eating. A tablespoon, what you think it is, may not be what it is.

So, I do tell people to understand. If you’re having problems, and let me emphasize, if you’re having problems making adjustments in your weight, towards negative or positive, then and only then do you need to maybe go into a range of, like, maybe, weight scales or food scales, or anything like that. Just to understand where you’re at, so you get a base knowledge. You do have to use this for life. You do not have to become OC, obsessive or compulsive about things.

And then, three. Adjust your sleep, training program, and social lifestyle to fit the goals. And that might seem overly simplistic, but it’s actually really true. You know, it may be that during the course, and I’ll just give an example of, maybe, during the course of a fat loss phase, you are maybe not as social. There’s less variables and varieties. You sleep more. You eat less. You get in some extra walking. And you lose some weight. Like, maybe that’s just it. And if you’re gaining some muscle, you pump hard. You eat more protein. You make sure that you get an excessive amount of recovery. And you go towards that zone.

And it’s just about that simple. I don’t mean to simplify the great complications we can play with science, and how much we can get into, like, the kind of, if you want to, quote-unquote, “advanced” levels of things. But if you want to understand yourself, which is kind of what you said, I think that that is a really great place to start. I do.


Nardia:      Perfect. I think they are awesome places to start. And I mean, look, I still follow this. I follow this program, you know.


Leigh:        I still do. I do, too. You know, like, even sometimes if I get cocky and I think I know it, I’ll sometimes check myself, and I’ll go back to basics.


Nardia:      Yeah. Quick question, I often get people who say, “Oh, I tried to do this for a certain period of time, and nothing works, so I gave up.” So I’m always, okay, so tell me how long. “Oh, I tried it for three weeks.” So in your opinion, how long do you think people really need to give, commit to these kinds of things?


Leigh:        Such a great question. No, it’s such a great question. Okay, for one, I’ll try to caveat, and I’ll be real quick. For one, and let’s be honest, we’re speaking about women here, right? We’re speaking to women here. Women are a completely physiological animal than men are. I don’t care what anyone wants to say. I don’t care how they want to spin it. We are different.


Nardia:      I agree.


Leigh:        Right? We have times of months. We have hormone fluctuations. We have estrogen levels that rise and fall. Different age zones provide different hormonal structures. Meaning, for example, twenty to thirty is different from thirty to forty, and thirty to forty is different from forty to fifty, and so on and so forth. You have different fluctuations in hormones. You have different fluctuations in this, that, and any other. Unless, and this is the biggest, most important [inaudible 00:56:18]. Unless you are doing an extreme diet, in either surplus or deficit, trying to find a change in anything less than four weeks period of time is ridiculous.

Unless you are doing an extreme diet, and what do I mean by extreme? Okay. The average female who is at moderate or slightly overweight, let’s say 5’6”, a hundred and forty pounds, a hundred and forty-five pounds, something in that vein, right. That woman, right, she, at best, on her slumber, I’m going to read a book, Netflix, and chill, maybe do a little bit of shopping, etcetera. On that day, she’s lucky, with no training or even some light training, or walking, or even a small high-intensity interval training session, she’s lucky to get fifteen hundred calories.

Do you understand how small fifteen hundred calories to burn is? It’s nothing. You can eat that in a meal. You know, you really can. And if you have any sort of emotional outburst, or anything like that, you can eat that in half a meal. I mean, it’s nothing, okay? This is why guys lose weight faster than women do, bar none, right here. So, if you can understand that, unless you are going to be a woman that eats nothing but carrot sticks and some protein. You are not going to see, in any sort of range, any sort of little, like, large fluctuation in scale, or clothes, or anything, for four to six weeks. It’s not happening. It’s not happening. Okay, it’s just not happening. So, just don’t check. I’m sorry.


Like, the first thing I tell any of my clients, “goodbye, scale.” Not because scale weight doesn’t matter, not because scale weight can’t go down or up, not because scale weight can’t be important. Unless I’m training a fighter, which is really rare, or a weightlifting competitor, it’s not happening. Scale goes bye-bye. It’s about clothes; it’s about fit. And guess what, you’re not testing your results? An easy four to six weeks. Because the only thing that’s going to happen is you getting frustrated, you breaking down into tears, because your perceived exertion of energy and effort is much higher than reality.

I’m sorry, it is. And that’s, I’m not being mean, I’m speaking to myself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been like, man, I am fucking pumping it. I am training. I am walking. I’m doing this; I’m doing that. I’m in a gym. Uh. This, that, and any other. And so fine, maybe I ate a little bit of here, or maybe a little bit. I should be, and I’m not. And I’ve had my own moments where I’m like, God, mother, shit, you know, like, I’m mad, you know. I’m mad. Because I just don’t burn that much. I just don’t. I’m little. I’m little. You know, like I’m little. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, I’m not morbidly obese, and that’s not to judge morbidly obese.

And even morbidly obese, by the way, and I will give the caveat, you don’t burn as much as science tells you that you burn. It’s really a complicated issue for women, it really is. We just don’t burn that much. We just don’t. So you’ve got to get it to your head. The entitlement of what we think we burn, is not what it is, and we just have to deal with it. And I have played with supercharging metabolisms and fat burners and drugs, and you name it. I don’t care what we do. Unless you’re using performance enhancement drugs, you do not burn a lot of calories. Unless you’re using super-doped thyroid medication, you do not burn a lot of calories. I’m sorry. Get used to it. Deal. Accept it. And I say that as myself, having to accept it.


So, because of that, get used to a lower caloric burn, and wait four to six weeks for something to happen, unless you’re doing something extreme. And guess what we don’t respond to as women. Guess what we don’t respond to as women, extreme diet. We don’t respond to them. We don’t. We hate them. We are made to, physiologically speaking, breed children and protect ourselves. And we have lots of; we have extra [inaudible 01:00:25], we have lower leptin responses, we have all kinds of problems that come into play.

And your body does not want to lose fat, and you’re never going to have those transformations like guys do. Just get used to it, and start to play the game in a different way. We cannot play their game. And I mean that so positively, and so honestly, and coming at it from a way that, in my opinion, we give ourselves an extra card to play if we understand that. But that’s often not what’s [inaudible 01:00:52]. It’s lift like a man. It’s diet like a man. You know what I mean? And it’s like, it doesn’t play that way. It doesn’t mean that we’re weaker, or that we, you know what I mean? Like, it doesn’t have to be a negative, and it doesn’t mean we can’t be strong or empower ourselves. But it is not about comparing ourselves to them, because we don’t compare to them. We are our own thing, and we need to do it our own way. And that’s okay. That doesn’t mean we’re not empowered. It just means we take in different scientific facts. And I don’t ever see that spoken to, to be perfectly honest.


Nardia:      Yeah, I mean, look. This is of my big messages that I’m constantly talking about. We’re not just smaller men with breasts. Right?


Leigh:        No, we’re not. Oh, god, what a perfect way to say it. But we’re not. We’re not.


Nardia:      We’re not. So, therefore, as an industry as a whole, we need to better responsibility for tweaking our training parameters to suit physiology of a woman. So, and I think it’s really interesting what you just said there about that, hey, we are burning lower calories by default, to be really mindful of the fact. So when we see all these sports models, and we see these women who are pretty goddamn lean, it’s also to understand that apart from it, they may be working really hard, or taking whatever, most certainly they are. But also to remember that they’re also outliers, you know. You know, we often, we.


Leigh:        I’m not trying to insinuate that every lean woman is taking performance enhancing drugs, but what I am saying is that the majority of exaggerated trans. And I’m going to be careful here, because when you enter into the fitness industry, you start to get a skewed perception of what you see as lean, right?


Nardia:      Yes. Oh my god, yes.


Leigh:        Okay. So you know what I’m talking about, right?


Nardia:      Totally.


Leigh:        No, there’s a difference between, what even Oxygen magazine sees as lean, what maybe you and me see as lean, right? So you get exactly what I’m saying.


Nardia:      Yes.


Leigh:        But when you’re trying to go to next-level competition level lean, and a competition level of deficit. I’m not saying you can’t get there without performance enhancing drugs, because I’ve helped girls get there, to that, without performance enhancing drugs. It can be done. But what I am saying is that generally speaking, a lot of these dramatic transformations that you see of women thrown up, is because they have the aid of testosterone and fat burners in their system.

And whether it be a natural increase in testosterone, because, funnily enough, they have something like PCOS, which, for example, I have PCOS, and I have tons of fun things happening on my ovary. I had a teratoma grow on my ovary, which is, I don’t know if you know what that is, but, it’s like a crazy thing that has teeth and hair. No, it was the size of a softball. I had to get it taken out of my body. It was crazy. But let me tell you something, I had some testosterone because of it. I also had male-like pubescent acne because of it, too. I mean, like, it attacked me. But are certain natural, quote unquote, “natural” levels of higher testosterone that can happen in women, and then there’s performance enhancer levels.

All of these things will play a part and a role in the transformation. But the general, layman, typical, non-performance-drug-enhancing woman that’s just trying to get some sort of celebrity-type body that she wants, it’s not going to happen in some sort of quick or dramatic way, unless you understand the factors that come into play in that situation. And if you do understand that, it makes, your body makes a move, you make a move. Your body makes a move; you make a move. It understands something; you get something. And you play that game; you will win every single time.

Or at least, be less frustrating than wanting to rip your hair out. But, if you don’t understand that, then you’re going to be going to doctors, trying to get diagnosed with adrenal fatigue syndrome, or estrogen this, or some sort of, five hundred dollars in supplements of that.


And I’m not saying that people don’t mean well, and I’m not saying that they don’t have the best intentions, but I am saying that at times, it is a distraction to the fact that we’re simply small. We don’t have a lot of testosterone. We don’t burn that many calories, and our bodies were not made to lift heavy weights and be lean. They were kind of made to bear children and be fat. And I’m saying this as a non-misogynistic lesbian. No, do you know what I mean? Like, I’m not saying this as someone that promotes the idea of alpha. Like, right? Do you get what I mean?


Nardia:      I’m with you.


Leigh:        I’m saying this as just, we’re talking about physiological speaking, there’s just not a lot of caloric burn, and our bodies like to hold on to fat, we have different leptin ghrelin ratios, and it’s just the way that it is. If you can play that game, you can manipulate it wonderfully. And you don’t have to do so in any sort of way that’s disrespectful to heteronormative or homosexualative society. I’m just saying, like, you can do so in which that you’ve actually, or just, like, achieving a goal. I have no stake in it. I’m just trying to say it so that people can understand what they can achieve. That’s my point.


Nardia:      I love it. Leigh, I’m going to have to get you back on for a second episode, because there’s way too many rabbit holes we’re going down here with you.


Leigh:        Sure.


Nardia:      Thank you so much. Let me just start to bring this to a close. Sorry I’m just mindful of time, that it’s super late where you are as well. So, very quickly, is there a woman that you know that you think I should also interview for the show?


Leigh:        Oh, good question. Good question. I have a lot of; I know you talked to Meghan Callaway, because that was our.


Nardia:      Our connect, yup.


Leigh:        It was our connect, I’m speaking at the Women’s Summit. Elsbeth? Oh god, I’m terrible with names. Yes, thank you. Vaino, or whatnot? I just recently talked about her. Nia Shanks is a friend of mine. She’s incredibly strong and brilliant. Maryanne [inaudible 01:07:07] is a friend of mine that I love very much, that has a lot to say on chronic pain and issues of things like that. I know I’m missing so many people. And I know, see, I saw Molly, you know. I saw some people earlier on that I will say. I was trying to think of some women that I have not seen on, per se. I don’t know if I’ve seen anything from your podcast of them yet.


Nardia:      Those three, greatly appreciated because they are actually on my hit list as well.


Leigh:        There we go.


Nardia:      I shouldn’t say hit list. I’ve got to stop saying that.


Okay. You’re not quite off the hook. Very, very, quick, quick fire around, okay? So, if you are to do some form of movement or exercise, do you prefer to do it on your own or with others?


Leigh:        Oh. Others.


Nardia:      Excellent. Okay, cool.


Leigh:        Others. Always with others. I love, I just love the company of people. I can’t even.


Nardia:      Love it. What are you reading or watching or listening to that’s really inspiring you?


Leigh:        Oh, why’d you ask that question right at the end? Oh. What am I reading right now?


Nardia:      Or watching, or listening to.


Leigh:        Or watching? I just finished watching The People versus O.J. Simpson. I did, I did, on Netflix. If that doesn’t make you. I won’t even put a; I won’t even put a fish in to something. I’ll just simply say that if you want to see an amazing way of how narratives create a point of view into a story, and create a dialogue. And in America, but especially in race, it’s an incredible thing to watch, no matter what your opinion on it is. I also watch Sneaky Pete, which is an Amazon Prime series. So those are two of the things that I watch.


Music-wise, I’m getting ready to see; I might be butchering the way that this is pronounced, it’s SOHN. S-O-H-N. I’m getting ready to see him in concert. He is an electronic artist. I believe he’s somewhere based in Europe, maybe Icelandic, maybe London. I don’t know where he’s based out of. But it’s kind of electronic, melodic. His voice is just absolutely soothing. And it’s beautiful, so. I love him. I’m listening to him. I’m getting ready to go see him. And, so, yeah, I’ll leave it at that.


Nardia:      Cool. Okay.


Leigh:        I’m reading two, but I’m reading eighteen thousand books. I’m reading some grammar books. I’m reading some fiction books. I’m reading some stuff I’ve never read before, some plays. I’m reading all kinds of things. So, that would be a whole different thing.


Nardia:      Thank you. We’ll take the recommendation from a musician about the musician. That’s very good. Last but not least, what is your most favourite self-love or self-care practice?


Leigh:        Oh. Wow. For me, I know that it’s kind of self, but I know this sounds kind of like self plus other people, but hugs.


Nardia:      Aww, I love it. Yeah.


Leigh:        No, I’m huge on physical affection, and I surround myself with people that are very loyal, and very kind and warm, and remind me that there’s a lot of good in the world. And I need that a lot because I can get kind of jaded, and I can get, kind of like, down on myself at times. And I get a lot of negative feedback because, you know, we are online, and we put ourselves in the public light, and it’s hard. And so my biggest self-thing is a cuddle.


Nardia:      Love it.


Leigh:        It really is. It’s a big hug. It doesn’t have to be sexual, or romantic, or anything like that. But just really, a really big hug can totally save my day. So, yeah, hugs is my biggest self-thing. I’m not afraid to ask for it, and I’m not afraid to get it from somebody, and I don’t think it means I’m.


Nardia:      Oh, I don’t think so. So, as we bring this to a close, I am giving you a big virtual hug from Sydney all the way across to the States.


Leigh:        I felt that. I love that little ghost hug from across the land. I did. I felt that. Thank you.


Nardia:      Leigh, thank you so much for all your words of wisdom today. I mean, that was such a delightful and insightful conversation of which I feel that we’ve only scratched the surface, but thank you.


Leigh:        I know, I know. I feel like we could talk forever. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.


Nardia:      Thank you. Leigh, thank you so much.


Leigh:        You’re very welcome. Thank you so much for having me. I really.




Leigh Peele is a super nerd who has a beautiful knack of converging tough love with science.  She helps people on multifaceted levels achieve their goals and dreams and become their best selves.


She has been one of the most requested guests so far on the show and once you listen you will understand why.  A self described layman researcher, trainer and author, Leigh has become a sought after industry expert in the field of fat loss and body transformation.


With 2 books under her belt – Starve Mode and The Fat Loss Troubleshoot and a comprehensive coaching program Leigh is on a mission to help people understand how their body works and become their best selves.  I love how she approaches problems and answers questions through the lens of a new person.


[spp-tweet tweet=”There are certain diets that are better than others because they put a focus on macros, they put a focus on your health, your general health, and I do believe that general health achieves a better fat loss rate than low health”]


This is where she has a knack of making information easily digestible for those who aren’t ‘in the know’ and combining the science with a ton of tough love that allows people to achieve their goals.  No BS, fluff or false promises – just straight up real world commonsense approaches.


In this episode we jam on:


  • Her journey from being a homeless teenager, to artist to fat loss specialist
  • The realities of fat loss for women
  • Why it is harder for women to lose fat (25.oo min mark)
  • The secrets to a body transformation (and what you can do to become more successful) (30.00 min mark)
  • Why some diets are better than others (38.00 min)


Contact Deets:

Website:  www.leighpeele.com

Get the book:

Science starve mode


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Nardia’s Story

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She is the Filex Presenter of the Year 2018/19, Fitness Network Personal Trainer of the Year 2014, named as an Australian Institute of Fitness Legend, course creator, international presenter and part time comedian (in her lounge room).

She loves helping Female Fitness Professionals claim their fitness legitness.

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