Jay Moir On Overcoming Cerebral Palsy: Feedback Is My Fuel

The fitness blogger turned gym instructor refuses to allow his wheel chair to slow him down.

Jay Moir is a gym instructor, fitness blogger, and online coach from Aberdeen, Scotland. He acquired those professional accolades despite being a wheelchair-user with cerebral palsy.
 
However, he was not always in the fitness space. He ventured into it when looking for ways to overcome his struggles with mental health and obesity. His introduction to fitness actually came from watching the fitness and nutrition based YouTube channels MattDoesFitnessNatacha Océane, and NaturallyStefanie.
 
We had the opportunity to do a written interview with Moir about his fitness journey thus far, his progress both mentally and physically, and where he plans to further his future in terms of training, nutrition, and content creation.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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What was your first experience in the gym like?

The initial experience was much better than I had envisaged. Everyone was very welcoming and I actually received praise from other users from the get-go.

The support of the community at his gym played a major factor in keeping Moir consistent with his gym routine. His results since speak for themselves. He has lost 66lb and manages a schedule that spans training six days a week — five strength days with mild cardio and one day of adaptive CrossFit.

Could you share specifics about your battles with mental health?

The combination of Moir’s condition and weight issues led to a struggle with anxiety and depression. He was unable to “come to terms” with “being different”.

Once be began going to the gym and receiving positive support, the mental hurdles were surprisingly not the biggest ones he faced.

For me, the biggest challenge was educating myself on nutrition.

Moir knew what his capacity was in the gym. He is able to get out of his wheelchair on his own which allows him to use resistance machines and free weights. The only movements that are out of bounds are squats and similar full body movements and the use of treadmills and the like. It was self-education from watching YouTube that filled in the gaps of understanding macronutrients vs. micronutrients, calorie intake, etc.

To find out the best calorie intake for your needs, check out BarBend’s calorie calculator for managing your weight.

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Is there a particular kind of diet that you follow? Any foods you actively avoid?

Moir’s diet reflects what he’s learned and doesn’t stray too far from what one might expect for any athlete looking to drop weight or maintain a certain physique. It consists primarily of lean meats, rice, yogurt, fruit, and protein shakes when needed. In addition to that, he doesn’t shy away from foods he enjoys, citing bacon as something he eats routinely.

 I do try to eat as cleanly as I can, but it’s very important to maintain a positive relationship with food.

Was there a noticeable change in your life outside the gym after you began training?

Once Moir was a regular at the gym, he shared his experience through his content as a fitness blogger. His journey has been inspiring to those around him.

The guys in the gym are very supportive and tell me that when they lack motivation, they think of me. If I can go, then they can.

One of the largest changes to his normal day-to-day outside the gym was an increased popularity on his social media channels. In particular, on Instagram, people from all over the world from Los Angeles to New Zealand have reached out to him. The inspiration that Moir seems to give others is likewise reciprocated.

[Their messages] encourage me to get stronger and to keep adding fuel to the fire.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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[Related: 5 ways social media can improve your training]

What made you decide to become a gym instructor?

Being a continuing means of motivation for people led to Moir becoming a certified gym instructor and committing himself to documenting his life in fitness and his workouts. His recently started a YouTube channel and aims to build his following further by allowing others to see the obstacles that he has and continues to contend with. Nowadays, his motivation is partly tied to being motivation to others. Their feedback is his fuel.

If people come across my content and then find the desire and/or motivation to go to the gym, disability or able-bodied, then great!

Becoming a gym instructor was the way for Moir to become a means to help others in the gym the same way.

This allows me to give others, both able-bodied and disabled, the tools and guidance to change their life for the better.

What are your future goals?

Beyond expanding his clientele at the gym, Moir is currently focused on improving upon the successes he has had thus far with his training and diet. As long as there are people out there that he can inspire in the gym, expect him to do so regardless of his cerebral palsy.

I want to get fitter and stronger — not letting a wheelchair limit me.

Feature image from Jay Moir’s Instagram page: @jaymoir_

Phil Blechman

Phil Blechman

Phil is a native New Yorker passionate about storytelling, bodybuilding, and game design. He holds a BFA from Syracuse University.

Before becoming a Staff Writer at BarBend, Phil worked on the creative team at World Wrestling Entertainment, as a narrator for Audible.com with over a dozen titles, and as a producer, director, and playwright Off-Broadway in New York City where he worked for The Araca Group and co-founded IJB Theatrical Productions. He can be heard as a co-host of both the Here’s What’s Up podcast and Eternal Durdles podcast.

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