Join me as we sit down with Laini Gray, Functional Health Practitioner specializing in women’s hormones and gut health. She helps busy, health-minded women take control of their hormone health so they can feel better, have more energy and enjoy life to the fullest and teaches them how to take control of their health through healthy living strategies. Her mission is to educate and empower women to take control of their health, hormones and mindset to live confidently in their body and live their life with purpose and joy!
Hello and welcome to Reboot Radio. I'm your host, Sheila Keilty, the UN-Diet Coach.
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On today's episode, we are talking to the wonderful, the amazing Miss Laini Gray. Hello Laini.
Hello, Sheila. How are you today?
I'm doing really well. So glad you could join us. Laini is so busy and she's set aside some time for us today to let us know her origin story, how she became a functional health practitioner and hormone and gut health expert, and she's one of our guests on the upcoming Thrive and revived the Vitality Summit that's on April 25th. We'll be telling you about that a little bit later. But Laini, tell us, how did you become. This wonderful thing you do to help people?
Well, there's a lot of pieces to that story, but the different thing about me is that a lot of people will have their story where they had a big health journey or a big struggle, or they struggled with weight and they lost that.
And so for a long time I felt like I was kind of a fraud because I really felt quite healthy. I was raised on a farm. I grew up on pretty whole organic foods. That's just, you know, I never broke a bone. I wasn't really sick. All of those things. And then as I got into my career, I became a personal trainer. I was helping women get strong and healthy in the gym and I was doing all this and I loved it. It was really cool. But there was this subset of women, typically about the 35 and older that started to struggle with weight. Right? And they were doing everything that I was said. Because you know, I was in my twenties and they were doing everything I said.
They were doing all the exercising, they were following the meal plan and they just were struggling. So that was really frustrating for me. I was like, why can't these women figure it out? Right? And so that one, this is one piece, you know, I was like, okay, this is crazy. So I was like, I need to learn more. And so at that point I got into the mental component.
You know, what's really driving? What's the mindset piece? Is it, is it because they don't really know what their why is? Because that's a big component to our success. We have to know why we're chasing these goals. And I became a health coach and learned more about that. Then I decided I need to know more about nutrition.
And so I went back to school and got a master's in holistic nutrition. And about this time I was in my mid thirties and was struggling with some weight gain. Oh. All of sudden I became this very client that I didn't know how to deal with. Because I was doing all the right things or I soap, so I thought. And so as I went through more study, I got this master's degree in holistic nutrition.
I worked with a couple of phenomenal holistic health coaches. I got certified as a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner and really came to understand that stress is a huge component and a big roadblock to our success when we think about diet, exercise. And so that was the first part.
I was like, Ooh, wow, you mean my lifestyle and some of the things that I'm choosing to eat and not sleeping enough and all of this caffeine and doing all this cardio, all of this stress is affecting my ability to maintain my. And so that was really fascinating. So I learned I really had to manage my stress.
And then as I was getting into this, my dear mother, and excuse me, if I get a little emotional, um, my mother was going through breast cancer. So, you know, and so she was struggling for her health and at, you know, at the time I only knew about being a personal trainer. So part of my exploration into nutrition and hormones and all of that was to really understand what my mom was going through and how could we help her survive and thrive, right?
Mm-hmm. Through the rest of her life. And so then I started becoming really passionate about, you know, what's the difference between my mom getting cancer and me. Mm-hmm. And how can we, what are the things that are different there? And so with my studies of hormones and hormone metabolism and how lifestyle affects that, and how genetics affect that, that became a passion project of mine to really be very aware and take ownership and responsibility for my own health and my own hormones and my own physiology, and then help women to do the same, you know? And so really understanding more about how our hormones work, how they impact our life and health. But then coming back to the key piece that guess what, we have a lot of control.
With our daily lifestyle to our choice, yes, we do. so yeah. So that's kind of what set me on that path was my first, I was like, oh, I can't lose weight anymore. And then as we get into our forties, things kind of change and our values even change, like what's really important.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. It's health. Mm-hmm. It's energy. It's feeling good. Mm-hmm. It's, it's being able to go up the stairs without being winded or having a sore. It's
Yes. You know, and so that has shifted and, and so that's kind of how I got to where I am. And there's lots of other pieces in there, but yeah.
Those pieces. Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that.
What we learned through life and through looking at what our moms went through, the lack of power, the lack of agency they had in their own health, they turned their power over to the authority male doctor environment that they grew up in, mostly male.
And whatever the doctor said, yes sir, I'm going to be doing, yeah, I'm, whatever he says to do, I'm just going to do it. And then there was also the, just gimme a. Just give me a pill, it'll be fixed for the pill. The better. Living through chemistry was like, you know, they really embraced that, our moms and our grandmom's auntie.
We're doing something different. What you and I are doing is taking a step back and saying, okay, what's the root cause? What can we do lifestyle, diet-wise? What are you putting in you, on you around you? What's your stress? Your sun, your fitness? Are you having chronic cardio? Do you need to pull back from that?
Do more functional work.
And wow. The biggest, you are so right about stress being mm-hmm. The thing like, yeah, we don't realize how much that derails us.
Yeah. Did you find that during covid, people stress went up? Like, I don't know why I'm not losing weights. Like you're a little bit stressed.
Yeah, completely. My mom passed two years ago and so the other piece of that story is that yes, so I, I learned how to manage my stress, which was hard and it did not happen in two months or three months or four months.
It took a good over a year for me to kind of get back in the swing of things and feeling really good. Perimenopause hit and then my hormones started shifting. And so then that threw me on a little thing. And so that took another five, six years to kind of balance things out. And then when I was finally feeling, okay, I've got this, I've dialed things in, then my mom passes away and then five months later, I'm rushed the emergency room for an emergency abdominal surgery and 12 inches my colon are removed.
Talk about stressors, and then within the next month we break ground on building a new home, three hours from where we were living. So, and then we moved within the next year, you know, and so once again, I found myself in this place where, what's going on? I'm like, okay, you are stressed. I mean, just, we don't, as women, we don't give ourselves credit for the amount of stress that we're under and how much recovery we, we, we really need for each of these stresses.
The loss of a parent or a loved one. It doesn't just go away in three months. Like that carries on and affects your other hormones and your weight and your mood and your sleep, and then a surgery or an accident or a, you know, a knee replacement or a shoulder surgery. Mm-hmm. These are major life stresses that we have to recover from.
Yeah. And we're told to buck up, suck it up. Yes. You're a caregiver, you've got kids, you've got clients, you've got all these things. I found out, for instance, from my cardiologist that when you are obese, which is a diagnosis, ladies listening.
Yes. It's a diagnosis. It is. Overweight is a state of being. The O word. The obesity is so hard to hear when your doctor comes in says, well, problem is you're obese. You go, that's rude. It's like, it's not rude. It's a diagnosis and there's some serious consequences, including 11 different types of cancer that are associated with obesity, and it's a lot lower than you think it is to be obese.
So he said, when you were that big, there were things that happened to your cardiovascular health that do not reverse when you lose weight. Because everybody thinks I'll exercise and diet my way out of it. There are some of those consequences, ladies that are permanent. So if you're putting off, stepping away from obesity, really doing something about it, you've been wondering when the right time is.
The right time was yesterday was last year. Mm-hmm. And there's no better time than the present and there's no easy time to make a change either. Would you agree that a lot of what we do is change, management?
Oh, yes, yes, 100%. I mean, think about that. Just even, you know, like, this is a weird example, but when you go to the grocery store and you have to use the restroom, I always pick either the handicap accessible one or the one closest to the door.
Never the one in the middle. That's my habit. If you ask me to take the one in the middle, that would be very hard for me. Do you know we all have habits that are very simple and just changing, like where you park or where you sit at church, if you sit somewhere, right. So those little teeny mundane tasks. Yeah. We of a hard time changing. Yes. Changing eating is hard. Mm-hmm. Changing our behaviors is a challenge. Can we do it? Yes, but change is hard. Mm-hmm.
You know, I found that, yes, the diet industry's built on short-term successes, minor amounts of hope, a little bit of, yeah. So they have repeat customers year after year after year.
You know, we're successful, Laini, if our clients don't need us when they're done. Yeah. If we've taught them and empowered them and they can go off and make these changes. And a big part of that's change management. So hats off to you for, for doing that for people and for yourself. Learning to do that for yourself. That's hard.
Thank you. Thank you. Yes, it is. It is hard. And that's, that comes to that next piece though. Yeah. When I was learning how to do this, I asked for help. I hired a coach. I invested in my ability to change. Right. Because when we do it alone, sometimes it's really, really hard or really easy to not finish up what we do.
Mm-hmm. We have a hard time keeping our commitment to ourselves, but we would never do that if we wanted to earn a degree from college. Yeah. Or if we wanted to get a driver's license, we would follow all the steps and hire someone and we would invest in making sure we were successful. So that's the other piece of that is we are worth the investment.
Our health is worth, the investment, our vitality, our all of these things. It's okay ladies, let's invest and get the help we need
Remember that old, you're going to pay me now or you're going to pay me later. I think it was Ampco, you know? Yeah. Health is that way. It is an investment. So if you're looking for a way to justify. It is an investment because if you think it's expensive to hire a health coach, try paying the copay on an M R I you may or may not need later on. Yeah. Or chemotherapy and what that does to you. Um, and then, uh, there's also the expense of just simply being obese that over their lifetime people who.
You have to invest in yourself, and if you've got little ones watching you, your kids or your grandkids, They're taking notes about how you take care of yourself.
Yeah, no. Yeah, it's true. I mean, because if there's not a green salad at the dinner plate, those children never learn how to make a green salad.
Children don't even know how to use a knife and fork in this country. Yes. Until they're almost 18 years old because all their food is finger food. Yes. Everything can be picked up so they don't eat salads. They put maybe a little lettuce and a hamburger, but That's right. Not a salad. I know, I know.
And to your point about, you know, planning and thinking ahead, and one of the examples I use is when you want to go on the most amazing vacation mm-hmm. How far ahead do you start?
Oh, like six, eight months ahead of time, at least.
Yeah. And, and how many different, you know, itineraries do you look at? And then how many, you know, you searched for the best deal on the flights and the hotels, and then you're looking for the excursions, and then you're like, okay, what am I going to wear?
And you spent all of this time making so that it's per, have you ever spent that much time with your meal preparation in a week? Right. It's a shift in our value system because when it's something that we really want, we put the time and energy into it, especially if it's going to be a, a big, you know, a trip to Hawaii for the family or whatever it is, you know? Mm-hmm. And how do we bring that value back to ourselves?
And when we work with women, women really do control what happens in a family. Generally it is the woman who determines what groceries get bought, what meals get made. When the kids get to the table, is their homework done? It's like, that's the woman no matter what you do. In our world, that's who does it. Yeah. But the other thing that you said this at the very beginning, but you need to know your why. That's one of the first things you said when your why is there, when your why is strong. The how appears. Yes, the how appears, the how, doesn't even matter.
So when I have people say, oh, I really, I'm so jealous of people that have the time to like chop vegetables. I just, I don't know. And I'm just like, you know, you can buy pre chopped vegetables. Yes you can. You could get frozen vegetables, you could get a meal plan delivered to you.
No, I mean, there, it's so, there's so many simple ways to take a proactive approach now. Yeah. Because we, we're not our, we're not our mothers and our grandmothers. We don't have to go collect the eggs outside. We don't have to pick our vegetables. We don't even have to grow them. Right. That's. We can go to a store and buy all of this. You don't. We don't have to can our food. We don't have to prepare. You know, we don't have to go. We have, it's, we are living a time where we can be as healthy as we want to be if we choose to.
Well, Laini is going to be joining us on our summit, the Thrive and Thrive Vitality Summit coming up. And I wanted to share a little bit about what she is going to be sharing with us that day.
She's going to be talking about understanding the role of hormones and weight management, health and longevity. So, um, is there any kind of teaser that you could give people about what you're going to be talking about?
Ooh. Well, everyone loves to hear about hormones and we are definitely going to talk about them. So from a female perspective, we're going to talk a little bit about estrogen and progesterone and the importance roles that those two hormones have Because we are our women, so they are big parts of our lives. But then we're going to go back and. Even estrogen and progesterone are very much influenced by those foundational hormones, cortisol and insulin.
So we still have to talk about our stress, our nutrition choices, our lifestyle, because those are what's critical. Yes, we need to talk about thyroid and progesterone and estrogen and understand that, but then also understand that it's our lifestyle and those foundation hormones that really matter.
Well, Laini, we look forward to hearing from you at the summit, and it's so wonderful to get to know you. I am going to put all of your links into the, uh, transcript so everybody can find you. Wherever you are on the planet, they will track you down, and it's been such a pleasure talking with you. Thank you so much for joining us today on Reboot Radio.
Thank you, Sheila. I look forward to being on the summit.
So take care. This is Coach Sheila Keilty. Have a great day. Bye now. See you next time on Reboot Radio.
You can find Laini Gray at Gray Star Health