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Amy’s Stronger U Story

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Kenzie Faris

Community and Content Specialist

Tell us about yourself! 

Hi! I’m Amy- I am a wife, mother to two semi feral humans, canine rehab therapist and gym rat. 🤪

What did you life look like before Stronger U?

It wasn’t great. I didn’t really recognize that at the time, but I had so many bad habits. My 20s and 30s were pretty much just a blur of too much drinking and living a very sedentary life. Before I knew it I had gained a lot of weight, and was generally very unhappy. I figured “if I could just lose weight, I’d be happy” So, I fell for and tried every single fad diet out there- I would lose 15 pounds and go on the vacation and then put 30 back on. I drank every day, and ate like a rabid raccoon, rummaging through the cabinets and fridge night after night. I worked out regularly by 2019 but was plagued by injuries and while I saw some improvements, I pretty much just assumed that my body was just destined to be doughy. I didn’t realize I was basically just existing in a constant state of inflammation. I didn’t have many hobbies, I would take my kids to their sporting events but for a very long time, I didn’t have anything to call my own and definitely assumed that at this point in my life I was “just mom” and that was it. I basically just kind of gave in to the “mommy wine” culture, but was never really happy. I knew something needed to change

What does your life look like now?

For the first time in my life I am truly happy in my own skin. I never thought I would be able to say that. I am constantly shocking myself with the things my body can do at 41 years old when I thought there was no way I would ever be able to call myself an “athlete” again. I run Spartan races about once a month, and am currently planning to run a full trifecta in one weekend in August (that’s a half marathon, 10k and 5k all with 20-30 obstacles and technical terrain in the same weekend). I am shattering personal records with times I NEVER thought possible. The injuries that plagued me are gone, my hips no longer scream in pain after a run. I thought “losing the weight” would make me happy, but the second I shifted my thinking to being excited about getting stronger and celebrating all of the amazing things my body can do- THAT is what brought me joy. Running races with my family- THAT brings me joy. Seeing my kids and husband yelling “GO MOMMY!” At mile 13 of a Beast race- THAT makes everything worth it. Without Stronger U, I don’t think I would have ever found this person inside of me. This program, and this community has done so much more than just helping me “lose weight”. Learning to fuel my body with what it needs has had profound impacts on my ability as an athlete.

Where did you hear about Stronger U?

Wendy Kerner!!! We met years ago through our first dogs that we had before kids. I watched her journey with SU and was beyond inspired by her transformation. Seeing her as another wife and working mother just getting after it and smashing her own records had me so interested in how she did it. I finally reached out and asked and I’m forever grateful to her for suggesting I try this too

Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?

Because it’s not a diet? It works because it’s a lifestyle change. I can eat whatever I want, I just have to make conscious decisions as to what else I will eat- like if I want fries with dinner, I should probably skip the beer. After months of practice, I can do this now without even thinking about it. It took a lot of practice of course, but this works because after a while it’s just how you eat, not something you have to restrict forever. Don’t trust any diets that don’t let you eat tacos 😂

What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?

Like all the things. I guess people always seem shocked when I tell them my coach told me to eat gummy bears before CrossFit 😂 she wasn’t wrong either- perfect quick carb boost! I even bring them on my longer races now. And tacos. Always tacos

If you exercise or train for a sport, did Stronger U have any impact on your training? Or did Stronger U have an impact on your decision to start exercising or training for a sport?

Oh hell yea. I just took 33 seconds off my mile benchmark, my last Spartan race I came in an HOUR faster than the previous time I ran that distance before SU. Without the confidence I gained from SU coaching, I don’t think I would have signed up for the trifecta weekend either.

 

 

How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?

25

How many inches did you lose off your waist?

6

Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?

I made it across the monkey bars and that was the goal I told Jenna I wanted to hit! Now I need to master the rope climb next

Has Stronger U positively impacted you professionally?

Absolutely! As a canine rehab therapist I need to be on my feet all day, squatting, sitting in the floor and lifting dogs. I used to be beyond tired at the end of the day and zapped of all energy. I also felt like I had to snack the whole way home on my commute. I’m able to move all day with comfort and have plenty of energy at the end of the day to workout, play with the kids, make dinner and even garden if it’s light enough still.

If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?

I have recommended this to everyone who asks me “what’s your secret?” Its not a secret- it’s a lifestyle change and while it can feel really tough at first to break down the habits that don’t serve us anymore, there are amazing things waiting for all of us on the other side of uncomfortable. Commit to yourself and trust the process

Would you like to give a shoutout to your coach, SU staff member, or community member?

Jenna Martin- they did so well matching us up. Both a little insane, but even when I submit a check in with a “dang, I didn’t do great this week” she somehow knows exactly what to say to energize me into the next week to get back at it. There were definitely moments where I doubted myself, or where I was worried I was slipping back into bad habits and she somehow always knew exactly what to say to reassure me that I was doing great, and it’s ok to be human after all. Thank you Jenna!!

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