Roasted Butternut Squash

I am human. It may seem obvious to most of you, but I just wanted to put that out there. I recently received an evaluation from someone who attended a nutrition session that I presented at a fitness conference.

The attendee said that it would be nice if I looked like I knew what I was talking about. This person meant that because I am overweight, I must not know anything about nutrition.

He/she doesn’t know about the almost 3 years of constant pain, the thousands of dollars spent to rectify my physical ailments or the challenge it is to match my energy intake with my lowered energy output. This person did not know that I was recently celebrating a weight loss of 10 lb after a long, frustrating time of gradual weight gain.

The first thing I thought to myself upon reading this was, “How nice for this person to be so perfect. To never have any issues or failings. To not understand how their words and actions can hurt other people.” If this evaluation had been to my face rather than anonymous, I doubt he/she would have said this.

My next thought was, “I hope this person shows their participants/clients more compassion than he/she showed me.”

Which led me to this thought: “I DO know a little something about nutrition (I teach it at a university level). Why don’t I help other people with their goals? I am human. And so are they.”

So, my goal for this month is to help you with your goals. I have put together a series of blog posts that will hopefully give you the no b.s. information you need to help you make the right choices.

And yes, nutrition is a big part of weight loss. So is physical activity. The key is to find the right balance of both and that is what people who have exercise barriers struggle with. We’ll work on that together. Let me know what is working for you and what isn’t because ultimately,

…we are human.


Leah Esplen, MSc (Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology) enjoys moving and eating well but is aware of the challenges that people (including her) face to do so. Her mission is to take the b.s. out of nutrition and fitness information to make it more ‘palatable.’ She believes anyone can make changes to improve their health, as long as they know the right changes to make. When not teaching in the BPK department at SFU, Leah can usually be found presenting at fitness conferences, teaching fitness instructors or teaching MommyMoves® PreNatal and Mom & Baby fitness classes. Amazingly, Leah is not perfect. She wrestles with chronic injury and finding the right combination of nutrition and physical activity to maintain her own health.

Leah Esplen - Head Instructor

Leah Esplen – Head Instructor

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