Today the Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining on Alice Koehler, who worked with Coach Ariana Scalfo.
What’s your name? (First and last names, pretty please)
Tell us a little about you in 5 sentences or less. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What are your hobbies? Anything unique about your life that you want to share?
I’m a 45-year-old wife and mom of two kids from North Carolina. I grew up in Raleigh and now live in Chapel Hill. I love to cook and learn. My friends always say that I am their friend who is always in the know about new products. Professionally, I’m a marketer and innovator and am currently looking to start the next chapter in my life.
What led you to join Stronger U?
I was looking through Facebook one day late last year and I saw a post from my friend Kim Griffith. We had worked together at Kraft Foods several years ago and I had been noticing as the months had gone by that she looked fitter and fitter in all of her pictures that she posted online. Then one day she posted her before and after pics from Stronger U and I was blown away. I knew that I had to try it.
What dieting experience have you had previous to Stronger U? Was there a reason you were or were not successful? Why did you stop?
I have always hated my body and as a result have been on some sort of diet since about the 6th grade. The times when I was most successful were when I lost weight through exercising a ton (training for 1/2 Ironmans) and once on Weight Watchers. Other than that, I tried everything else. Paleo, Keto, Whole30 — you name it. I was never morbidly obese but after kids had landed in the world of the tight size 14. Inevitably, if I was exercising to lose weight, I would get injured and then gain back all of the weight I had lost. If it was a food diet, I would either half-ass the diet and then complain when it didn’t work, or I would quit because I missed dairy, or bread or whatever.
It’s clear Stronger U worked for you. Why do you think Stronger U worked so well when other programs or diets may have not?
1) I was ready. Something clicked in my head that made me ready for this.
2) My coach is a freaking rock star and has walked with me by my side the whole time.
3) The Facebook community is amazing. Like really, truly amazing.
Can you give some insight on your eating habits BEFORE joining Stronger U?
I drank about 5-6 bottles of wine a week. I ate foods that were considered “healthy” but I ate too much of them. I also ate a ton of food off my husband’s and kid’s plates because, you know, if you don’t order it, it doesn’t count.
Now that you’ve joined Stronger U, how have your eating habits changed?
I obviously eat a lot less, but I eat more frequently. I eat more bread. I rarely drink. I eat way more deliberately. Oh, and I eat a crap ton more Siggi’s yogurt.
If you exercise or train for a sport, what does a typical week look like? Did Stronger U have any impact in your decision to start exercising or training for a sport?
I find myself ALWAYS getting hurt. I think it’s because I grew up playing competitive sports with injuries so I am terrible at listening to my body. The first few months I was on Stronger U I tried to do CrossFit because it seemed like so many people who were on the program did it and loved it, but I just couldn’t do it without getting hurt. So now, I do hot yoga 3 times a week and I love it. I’m definitely curious about the new Stronger U Fitness program though.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
54 pounds so far probably like 20 more to go
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
From 43.1 to 32.2
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
The biggest thing for me is that I have completely removed all value judgments from food. There are no longer “good” or “bad” foods in my mind. It’s all just food and it either fits into my day, or it doesn’t. I remember the first time I ate pancakes on the program and I started to cry because it was the first time pretty much ever that I ate pancakes and truly enjoyed them without feeling guilty! Second, I am learning to be more patient with myself. I have always held myself to a high standard and was therefore constantly disappointing myself which led to lots of self-loathing — an extremely unproductive emotion! Third, I’ve learned to be more patient. Weight loss takes time and learning to slow down and let things go at their own pace has taught me a level of patience that has transcended through all aspects of my life.
Has your change in body weight or composition improved other areas of your life? If so, explain what areas and how.
Ha! Um, so many ways I can’t even name them, but I’ll try! My knees don’t hurt walking up the stairs anymore, so I no longer avoid them. I enjoy clothes shopping again and now only buy things that I love vs. stuff on sale that fits. I have more confidence and will now meet people and speak with them in social settings without feeling like a total moron. And I can use the towels in the gym and they now cover my whole body when I’m in the locker room which is a total bonus.
Are there any tips or advice you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them succeed early on?
The single biggest pieces of advice I can give are to be patient and trust the process. A good friend of mine just started the program a few weeks ago and I told her that when I started, I thought of Stronger U like a pregnancy. In the first 12 weeks, everything is different in your world but you don’t really look different. You may start to notice some changes, but others likely will not. By the second 12 weeks, there is definitely a difference, you are feeling better and getting into the swing of things and others are starting to comment (although many may still feel weird saying something because they don’t want to offend). By the third 12 weeks, the changes are absolutely undeniable. People who barely know you will comment in amazement. It freaking rocks. I’m in week 43 now and it’s to the point where some people don’t even recognize me.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what would you tell them?
Joining Stronger U is like getting a Masters Degree in your own personal nutrition. It takes work, time, and diligence, but it will give you the tools you need to know how to be successful and meet whatever body composition goals you set for yourself for the rest of your life. If you follow the program, you will never have to be “on a diet” again.