Here at SU, one of our favorite things to see is when couples go through the program together. We talk all the time about how having a support system can be a gamechanger throughout this process, and that support goes so far beyond having someone to share meal prep duties with. The extra accountability, encouragement, and feeling like you’re in this journey together make for an unbeatable combination.
But don’t just take our word for it. The beautiful thing about this community is we’ve seen Stronger U members make this work for them in a myriad of different ways. Some people do the program alone. Some do it with friends, family, or coworkers. And others do it with the ones that they love the most. To celebrate this Valentine’s Day we wanted to hear from some of the couples on Stronger U to hear how they supported one another and how they found ways to fit Stronger U into their own individual lives, but also the lives they share with their partners. What follows is an example of all the different ways that a couple can team up together and work at Stronger U.
“I love that my husband joined SU! I had enrolled first, he was dieting on his own. He saw how easy it was for me and my consistent results and, on his own, decided to sign up! We’ve been doing this for about 2 years now! It definitely helps be on the same page! No one is hangry because we’re being overly restrictive and merely getting minimal results! We drink less and are way healthier, overall!”
– Monica J Alvarado Hagen
“Having him join has been a huge encouragement and motivator for me, and it’s helped tremendously with planning. We love cooking, and so now we’ve learned to love weekly menu planning and always fit in a new Mason recipe or find new ways to prep an old favorite. We’re signing on for a year more (once those tax refunds hit), and I’m excited to see what we’ll achieve. It’s affected so much more than just our weight. It’s helped us create a healthier routine, and allowed us to focus on other aspects of our relationship and family life.”
– Stephanie Wheat-Johnson
“Billy Phipps and I signed up together. It was fantastic in beginning to help each other figuring out tracking, what to eat, spreadsheet etc. we eat so different that we really don’t eat the same meals. That’s part of the I don’t eat veggies and he does. Ha! It’s our lifestyle now so great we did together and made the change all in together. We won’t plan Valentine’s candy. We have Mexico end of the month so we won’t track and will enjoy that vacation together so it’s worth skipping the candy now.”
– Vanessa Phipps
“We plan, pack, cook and eat completely individually- we just try to eat dinner at the same time but our macros are SO different that we do not bother trying to eat the same food. We support each other’s goals even though they are opposite ends of the spectrum. Doing SU with a partner is SO FUN and really cool to be on the same page with weighing, measuring, and needing those few minutes of quiet time at night to MFP enter and pack! I loved that Josh joined a year after I did so he could learn about what I was doing and figure out the best way to be effective with his nutrition to help his fitness journey. I love that my partner is part of this community. It helps to be on the same page and have similar mindsets around food and goals and finding alternatives to entertainment that don’t revolve around food.”
– Amanda Joy McLaughlin
“He followed me 3 weeks after I started. Still going strong(erU) almost 4 years later. He’s my biggest supporter and I’m his number 1 fan. We are both leaner and stronger now than when we met just about 23 years ago. We feel better in our 40s than we did in our 20s.”
– Jenn Becker
“We joined together to give us a plan to get in wedding shape. It worked wonderfully. So now, what happens when you see your partner making decisions you know don’t benefit their goals? It’s a delicate balance between encouraging good decisions vs. being too controlling. I’ve been guilty of the latter and have to remind myself that we are capable of owning up to our own mistakes and decisions. It is also extremely tempting to have “screw it nights” go out for dinner and have too many cocktails or stay in and smash a large pizza together, eat that whole box of cookies, kill a bottle of wine. Easy when your support is agreeable in this realm, it takes discipline from one or the other to encourage positive movement. In the end, there will be mistakes made by each individual and together but the mutual support, forgiveness, and encouragement is what will yield greater long term results. It’s SO much easier with a supportive partner. At the end of the day, I signed up to help Marlies. Turns out she helped me just as much.”
– Ty Caughell
“I joined 10 months before my husband. Just as I was cruising into maintenance he started fat loss. It’s Infinitely better now that he’s doing it as well. He understands why I never want to drink so that Sat night glass of wine is off the table and he appreciates me preparing only a protein for dinner so that we can both add on to it however we want to meet our targets. Our dates, when we are lucky enough to have them, aren’t focused around meals or drinking. We’ll eat at home and then go see a movie and share a popcorn and diet soda. Sounds silly as I am writing it but it’s 100% awesome.”
– Meghan Gatens Wilson
“Doing Stronger U together has been amazing. I joined and was a year in when he finally was ready to join. I wanted him to from early on as I saw so much success. But I knew it would only work for him if HE wanted it, not me just pushing him to join. Doing it together has made everything easier and more fun. We truly enjoy experiences now and don’t revolve everything around food anymore. I’m down over 75lbs with SU and he’s down 40lbs. We have talked about how much more successful we will be in the long term maintenance of our loss because we did it together and both know what is required to stay successful.”
– Laura McMahon
“We didn’t start together but we did. I started initially and Lora Feliciano Brown followed what Derek Stanley gave me and then did her own session. It has been absolutely a huge part of my personal success, as we both cook. However, Lora is just phenomenal at making anything and everything macro-friendly. She truly is amazing in the kitchen. She is also inspirational and helps to keep me on track! I think this journey has brought us closer together! 150 lost between both of us… and in 10 days we continue our adventure as we get married!!”
– Tracy Williams
“My husband, Michael Bartels, did a session right before I had our daughter and then we both joined after our son was born this spring. I never would have had the guts to attempt this without him. The support he gives me every day is huge. Also- giving him encouragement and support strengthens my journey too! Win-win situation! Meal prepping is a total team effort which makes it easier and more fun!
Joining StrongerU has changed me in so many ways and I have my hubby to thank for inspiring me to take the leap of faith!”
– Michelle Bartels
“Mark St John and I joined together. We supported each other through the entire process. We each focused on our own process and progress. With that said, we still encouraged and supported each other throughout the whole process. So, I believe we could have done this individually but it sure as heck was easier and more enjoyable together. We’ve really grown (and shrunk!) through this process. Glen Schleehauf was able to understand us and coach us as individuals and as a couple.”
– Jennifer Hayes St John
“Did you feel like you got more support? Yes! Staying on track and not eating out was much easier. We both prefer to eat at home.
Did you find that meal prepping was easier or harder? Same – we both eat very different things.
Did you join SU together? No. Or did one follow the other? Mike started about 6 months after he saw what I was accomplishing!
Do you feel like you could’ve done SU without your partner? Yes, but its better together!
Are you both planning Valentine’s candy into your day? No! We’ll likely CrossFit together! We’ve lost a total of 230# and about half of that was with SU and Therese Luna!”
– Jennifer Kendall Pendleton
“My hubby Jason Sheadel is in his 11th week with SU (I’m in maintenance) He is doing amazing!! I feel like it’s easier having him in it with me! I can send him to Costco now and he reads labels! We travel a lot for our daughter’s softball and now he understands why it’s important to plan ahead so we can find places where we can track our food correctly. We rarely eat out – but when we do it’s planned and it’s fun to figure it out together! (or find new snacks or treats that work) We are getting thru his first 12 weeks with just dietary changes – but when he starts his next 12 weeks – he hits the gym with me!!! I’m excited for him and love watching his progress!”
– Maralee Hulsey Sheadel
“We signed up together; I forced him. He complained the first two weeks then became uber committed and it became his lifestyle. We’ve been counting macros for 2 years and have been able to maintain our weight. We had the same coach (Clark Hibb!) and doing together absolutely led to our success! Supporting each other (and doing together) is key!”
– Trish Mueller
“So, I started first and had much different goals than she did. She was up towards 300g carbs, and I was down towards 100g. But, you still make the same things, you just eat different amounts. We both supported each other’s goals. We connected more about what we ate, talked about it with our kids, and possibly connected more as a family. We learned a ton about nutrition, our bodies, and what we could accomplish. I made it through an injury, she PR’d a marathon, and qualified for Boston. Yes, we ALWAYS find a way to celebrate with a treat because that’s how you sustain a diet, a relationship, and a family!”
– Cail Morrison
“I had been a lifelong dieter and hubs had spent decades bodybuilding. So VERY different “dieting” backgrounds. I came to SU in Sept 2016 and lost 50lbs and he followed mid-year in 2017. To firm up the “dad bod. “ Could I do it without him? I’d like to think so. But I have THE most supportive man on earth cheering for me. Our goals have changed over time and having a partner who can commiserate and have constructive input has been amazing. It’s def made us closer. Meal prep – he likes to make lots of protein and is an excellent chopper lol. We don’t make too much ahead of time and consult each other re: macros so we plan our dinner together and handle the rest individually mostly because he is in a bulk and has over 400 carbs and nearly 100f right now. We’re not planning candy for Vday but we are taking a cooking class at Sur La Table that day and plan to eat the meal we learn to make. I encourage anyone wavering – do it together. I should add we have two daughters here who have followed our example and we are pretty proud of that.”
– Patty Blancaflor