A Note from Larah, Co-founder of Lift and Live Fitness

“I wound up in this industry as I was looking for solutions to health problems I was experiencing in 2004.  The medical community, though they saved my life, had no answers to improve my digestive function from mediocre – at best – to optimal.  I found that answer in the health and fitness industry.  Across my fitness career, I’ve come into contact with more and more people who have had similar experiences; people who have experienced a health condition, but have not found a complete solution within the medical community.  I find it to be one of THE MOST FULFILLING aspects of my life to help people who come to me feeling as it there is no hope, to overcome health challenges to thrive.”  

I want to emphasize that I and our entire team at Lift and Live Fitness has great respect for the medical community.  Without doctors and medicine we humans would each be living much more shorter, sicker, more uncomfortable lives.  However, as personal trainers, it is our training that the body functions as a whole.  And is it our experience that as a personal improves overall health through improving physical fitness and nutrition, medical conditions often right themselves as well.

A Few Case Studies Showing Improvements in Metabolic, Cardiovascular, and Reproductive Health

My Own Experience with Health Digestive Health, Disordered Relationship with Food, and Overcoming Diabetes

A person once told me, “The thing you are least willing to share with others is the very thing you were most MEANT to share with others.”  Since then I have been very open about my experiences:

  • having emergency stomach surgery at 18, followed by digestive and eating disorder, all of which are nothing but a memory now thanks to fitness and nutrition
  • having two wonderfully healthy pregnancies (during each I continued to lift weights and exercise cardiovascularly – with doctor recommendation, and within safe and reasonable limits) – a 9 lb 12 oz boy and 8 lb 8 oz boy – credited to the miracle of life supported by fitness and nutrition
  • nursing each exclusively for 6 months, then with food until 11 months and over a year while eating to fuel the milk, my activity, and lose weight at a health rate
  • managing PCOS (diagnosed at age 23) such that it did not affect my firtility and hormone levels are within normal range each year tested
  • being diagnosed with pre-diabetes at age 32, with fasted glucose reading ranging from 103-126, and rehabbing my body to normal levels within a 4 month period – without any medication

Read more about my story in my bio and in various blog posts.

~Larah Kornfeind, M.Ed, CPT, mom of 2

A Client’s Experience with Hashimotos Thyroid Disease

I am a 52 year old mother of four beautiful daughters ranging in ages from 23 to 12.  Six months after my eldest was born I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  My doctors were able to manage my compromised immune system and low thyroid function with medication successfully until about 2012.  At that time I started really struggling with hair loss, lack of energy, weight gain, and just a general ‘blah’ feeling.  I tried many ‘diets’ and would be somewhat successful for a short period of time until it seemed my body caught on to me and stopped responding the way I had wanted it to.  In spring of 2015 I met with a nutritionist who suggested I alter my diet to be ‘gluten free’.  I gave it my best shot for six months and ended up gaining 15 pounds and never really felt any better.  At this point I started to basically give up.  I knew I was headed into those dreaded menopausal years and still struggled with managing my thyroid.  I figured I was just destined to be overweight, irritable, devoid of energy and having no real desire or motivation to do much of anything for the rest of my life.  After chatting with a friend on a few occasions she suggested I reach out to Larah.  I added that to my ‘to do’ list.  One afternoon, while wasting time on the computer, a FB friend request popped up from none other than Larah Kornfeind.  I quickly accepted the request and knew this was a sign that our paths were meant to cross and I quickly messaged her and shared my interest in meeting with her.  Perhaps there was hope for me after all. 

In August of 2016, at what I now think was one of the lowest points in my life, I ventured to Lift and Live Fitness.  I had no self esteem, no motivation to do anything other than lie on my couch and watch tv and couldn’t get through the afternoon without a nap and a large Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.  I will never forget Larah’s kind and honest approach at this first meeting.  I walked away thinking I had nothing to lose pursuing this training with her although I did have a bit of doubt as to whether my body would cooperate because I ‘failed’, at least in my mind, at everything else I had tried.  I knew it would be a process and changes would take time.  The goal was to make one change in my daily food intake and to stick with it until it was part of my routine and we would then move on to the next thing.  I continued working with Larah once a week and in October started working with her and a close friend in her semi-private training.  Little by little we tweaked my meal plan/daily intake.  I also attended her nutrition workshop which helped to reinforce and bring together all she and I had talked about throughout my time working with her.  I started realizing that I had been able to get through the day without my afternoon nap and my DD card didn’t need to be reloaded as frequently as I no longer craved my afternoon iced coffee.  My clothes started feeling a little looser and I even broke down and bought some exercise leggings instead of my wide leg yoga pants I had been wearing. While my thyroid levels still were not optimal they had changed enough for the doctor to reduce my thyroid medication.  After 7 months I had lost 17 pounds and about 12 inches overall.  But most importantly I had found ‘me’ again and was feeling more confident and had the desire to get up off my couch to exercise or spend time with my family and friends.  I have gained some strength, improved my stamina (I still don’t enjoy running the stairs but feel as though I am in control of them now, they no longer conquer me!) I want to be the best mom and role model I can be for my daughters.  Taking time for me each week has proven to be important for my entire family.  It helps me on my journey and will also set an example for my girls as they grow to become wives and mothers that it is okay and important to take time for yourself.  I have left a lot of guilt in Larah’s parking lot these past few months! I am looking forward to continuing on this path and watching my health, both physically and mentally, improve as I continue to exercise and control what I am eating.  The one thing Larah said to me at the end of my first session as I was trying to control my tears and frustration with who I had become was this, “this will not be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it”.  Truer words have never been spoken.  I give thanks for her daily for pushing me to dig deeper and push past that phase of my life – I am never going back!

~40+ year old Mom of 4

Best Blood Work in Years.

~50+ year old granddad of 2

After doctors told her she may never conceive, she started our nutrition and exercise training.  9 months later – She’s PREGNANT!?!?  Coincidence?  Or did improved health increase natural fertility?  

~32 year old mom of twins

Our Approach

We have worked with many clients who struggle with health conditions.  We work in coordination with clients’ doctors and many have emphasized how much our mutual client’s health improved since beginning working with us.

Our philosophy is based on the principle that disease is a manifestation of internal stress.  Our approach to working with clients to improve health conditions is geared towards reducing hormonal, metabolic, and general stress in two primary ways:

  1. Implement Research Based Nutrition – There are myriad research studies exploring the ideal diet for avoiding and treating specific health conditions.  We work with you to shift your diet towards to optimum diet for your specific condition(s).Guess what – it’s not ALWAYS what you think it is.  For example, clients with diabetes often cut carbohydrates, increase protein, and even go as extreme as going on a ketogenic (high protein, high fat, very low carbohydrate) diet.  According to very large (20,000+ participants), international studies, this is NOT the most effective diet at rehabbing diabetes.
  2. Train for Improved Hormone Function – Cardiovascular training improves function of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, and fat metabolism (when fasted).  Resistance training improves metabolic hormone function and sex hormone balance.  We work with you to integrate the proper frequency and intensity of resistance training into your routine (as well as the proper amount of recovery time).

    It is very common to exercise without sufficient intensity to trigger a response from that body that will have a positive impact on hormones.  With exercise, proper intensity is everything to get the results that can improve your health safely.

A Final Note

Many insurance companies and employers reimburse for memberships to fitness facilities.  In certain circumstances, you can even get a prescription from your doctor for resistance training (or strength training), and attend personal training for a co-pay.  Please call your HR department and your insurance company to discuss which benefits are available to you for achieving optimal health.

In our experience, the average person will be reimbursed $150-$600 per year for fitness memberships.

If you would like your insurance company to cover fitness and nutrition services at a higher rate, please submit that feedback to them.  You can encourage friends and family to do the same.  Your voice is your vote.