The Healthy Executive

Ian P – Client Results

Client Health Success Testimonial

I’m a mid-level executive with kids, struggling with the demands of work and family life, but also not really satisfied overall with my decrease in fitness over the past several years. Probably my biggest struggle was that I just don’t have the ‘oomph’ I used to have when I’m surfing.

Age plus work plus family have all taken a toll – even diet seems to have been compromised to make meals more quick, easy, and importantly family-friendly. I used to run, surf, bike, and other fun outdoor activities. Those became fewer and farther between, but I still try to surf whenever I can.

ian popoffSurfing is a skilled activity that takes training and upkeep to stay ‘on my game’. As my fitness level depreciated, my strength in the water did as well. And with my lower strength, my confidence in my own performance took a beating as well.

“A 10% decrease in my strength resulted in an 80% decrease in my waves.”

I Took Action

After discussing with Jeff, I realized that I needed to take hold and make some changes. Change is hard. But my motivation was clear – I needed to not only get back in shape, but leap ahead to get even better at what I love doing – surfing! I decided to make some hard decisions on diet and getting back on the exercise horse. I also spoke with my cardiologist and he provided some very high goals for my exercise, to get me back on track and back to where I should have been all along.

13330907_10154218322604723_2975266846038823327_nIt was not fun getting started. I did not enjoy quitting ‘fun’ stuff and starting ‘hard’ stuff. (Who would?!). But I felt like I really had to stay with it if I wanted to get results. I did not expect immediate changes, but I was kind of hoping to see something to show for my efforts. It came – but not overnight. (I gave up daily weight tracking because it was more frustrating than rewarding).

“I did notice that after just a short couple weeks, I felt like my overall energy approach was back.”

Now it wasn’t such a struggle to get my running shoes on. I just made it part of my routine – short (20-30) min blocks whenever I could fit them in, doing whatever I could figure out to do. I happened to check back on the scales and saw I had dropped 10 pounds. Nice – not really the point, because I was more interested in overall fitness and strength, and energy, but nice to see some fat had burned away.

“The big ‘aha’ moment for me was in the water.”
After a couple months dedicating to the new routine, and starting to write the new chapter in my fitness diary, I went out again for a surf, in what turned out to be bigger conditions than I was expecting. My new-found strength gave me confidence to get in there, and give it my best try. I had taken out a shorter board (harder to surf) than I usually do, so the challenge was really double; bigger waves plus a shorter board. But I really felt the increased strength paying off, not to mention my lighter bodyweight.

I did GREAT! I caught some ‘bigger than usual’ waves, and really felt exhilarated at the thrill of getting ahead of my prior performance.

I felt awesome for days after as well.

“The reward was very tangible and very, very welcome..”


Seven months later Ian continues to improve his body composition and strength.

You can read his tips and  insights on how he sustains his health and fitness here.