Meet Stronger U couple, Dave and Melanie Strum from Columbia, SC. Their story proves that team work really does make the dream work.
A couple of years ago, Dave, a now 41-year-old Cloud and Datacenter Engineer, felt tired, sluggish, and inactive. Having been a runner since 2004, he would occasionally try to go on runs but felt like he failed every time he did. “I basically ate whatever was in sight, not caring at all about its nutritional value – if it made me feel good at the moment, I was probably eating it. I work from home, so if I were bored on a call, I would walk to the kitchen and find something to snack on,” he admitted.
After various attempts to track macros on his own (with the help of Melanie), Dave finally joined Stronger U in May of 2021. To say he’s made amazing strides (no pun intended) since then, would be an understatement. Tracking and eating a more structured diet have made a big difference in improving his quality of life. “I am much more conscious of what I am eating all the time. Stronger U not only changed how I think about food, but how I feel about myself – I am much more confident in all situations,” he shared. He’s getting 8500 or more steps daily and is back to running every other day, putting in 20+ miles weekly. He’s overall much more active with everything.
“I feel great, I am doing what I want again and super happy.”
Seeing the positive changes in his own life, Dave encouraged his wife Melanie, a 39-year-old stay-at-home mom, to join Stronger U in October 2022. Melanie had some experience tracking and enjoyed working out but struggled to return to being active after an illness. For her, the goal was to feel her best and have more energy to take better care of her family. “Before I signed up for Stronger U, I was struggling with finding my motivation to get moving and eating better after getting Covid,” she said. “My activity level was lower than normal, and I wanted to get a jumpstart. I had counted macros before and liked the accountability in staying motivated. Dave was working with Billy at the time and told me I should give it a try.”
Since beginning their Stronger U journeys and working with coach Billy, Dave has lost 45 pounds and Melanie has lost 15 pounds. Doing this together has made their progress into a team effort and Dave credits his success to his wife also being focused on healthy eating.
Melanie has also noticed a positive shift working with Billy and having extra accountability from someone outside the home. He helped her find the right macro amounts to feel her best, which she said felt overwhelming to do on her own. “I am back to being more intentional with my workouts and getting my steps daily. I feel much better to have made it a little closer to my end goal, which is to continue to lose body fat and build more muscle. I feel great now that I am on maintenance and fueling my body correctly.”
Perhaps the most impactful part of their experience is the example they set as individuals and as a couple for their 8-year-old daughter. Being mindful of what they eat and how they eat has become a lifestyle for their family, and they often include their daughter in their conversations around meals, focusing on teaching her that food is fuel. As an active family, they want to double down on the importance of nourishing the body to be stronger and faster for activities. The main message Melanie wants her daughter to take with her is: “We’re not dieting, we’re not trying to lose weight, we’re trying to find muscle.”
Their advice for other couples looking to embark on a health journey is to do it together. From their experience, there was less animosity and so much more support. They also found that in their situation, it was nice having the same coach.
Looking for the right level of accountability to accomplish your goals? Chat with a Member Concierge Specialist about how a Stronger U membership can support you, or if you’re ready to get started now, join here.