This week our Stronger U Member Spotlight is highlighting Corey Anderson, who worked with Coach Kate Mazzoni.
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?
Hello! I live in the suburbs of Los Angeles, raising two wild and wonderful little boys–Leo (age 8) and Dane (age 5) with my husband Josh. I work in experiential marketing, producing events and marketing programs for large consumer brands, which can be exciting, but also stressful. When I’m not working or hanging out with my family, I love playing tennis, lifting weights, and running in races. In 2017, I tore my ACL and had surgery that sidelined me from tennis and other activities I love for nearly a year. I vowed to come back stronger and fitter than ever, and Stronger U has been the key to making that promise a reality in 2018.
What led you to join Stronger U?
At my annual physical in May of 2018, I stepped on the scale and was surprised (and not in a good way!) by what I weighed. My unhealthy eating and drinking habits had taken their toll on my body. I knew I needed to take action to change the trajectory of my health as I approached turning 40. I signed up for Stronger U the next day.
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 ALL of the dieting experience, and never lost weight successfully before Stronger U. As an overweight kid that grew into an overweight adult, I’ve been dieting since I was 10 years old, and always felt that losing weight was an area of life where I continuously fell short, despite trying everything. Name a popular diet, and I’ve done it. I think I wasn’t successful because previous diets I’ve tried were too restrictive. This often backfired, causing me to frequently overeat…and then feel guilty and miserable about it.
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?
It’s gotta be the bagels I get to eat without guilt!! I kid, but being able to plan for any food, and not feel restricted from whole food groups, is a huge shift for me mentally from other diets I’ve tried. Because I’m not forcing myself to avoid foods that I enjoy, and can eat anything in moderation, SU has become a lifestyle for me vs. a diet. Since I don’t feel restricted (mentally or physically), it’s also much easier for me to get back on plan when I stray from my target numbers.
Most importantly…it’s gotta be the accountability! Having Coach Kate (Mazzoni) in my corner–always there to answer my questions and to help guide me–is the true differentiator in my mind. Knowing I will be turning in a worksheet every week that Kate will review makes me be more thoughtful about my decisions, and over time, has made better habits automatic.
Can you give some insight on your eating habits BEFORE joining Stronger U?
Always dieting. My whole life, I was always in in a cycle of eating very, very little for several meals (or trying to cut out carbs), and then getting hangry, which then led me to inevitably overeat in the evenings, or on weekends. That cycle of deprivation/overeating made me feel like I was failing…again and again. I used to feel a lot of guilt and shame around how I couldn’t get this aspect of my life under control.
Now that you’ve joined Stronger U, how have your eating habits changed?
I eat a much more balanced diet–I plan very basic but delicious lunches and dinners (usually some sort of combo of protein + veggie + a sauce or small bit of cheese or other fat). Those simple meals then allow me to enjoy things like my morning P28 bagel with a little bit of peanut butter, or an ice cream bar for dessert. Knowing that I can plan things like bagels and ice cream into my day makes them foods I really enjoy in the moment, without guilt. And, I now eat a wider variety of vegetables and other nutritious foods because they help me meet my daily macro goals.
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?
Ahhhhh! Yes! I’m SO excited about how SU has affected this aspect of my life. Seeing everyone’s athletic efforts and accomplishments on the FB group is endlessly inspiring to me. As a result, I hired Derek Stanley as my online strength coach nearly four months ago, which has been incredible! Stronger U combined with Derek’s strength programming has changed my body composition in truly amazing ways. I do strength training four times per week, and have gotten SO much stronger in a short period of time. I also run a few times per week, and will be running/walking the Disney World marathon in January. Running is SO much more pleasant than it used to be…I actually (sort of) enjoy it now! 🙂 Lastly, my weight loss and strength gains have improved my tennis game too!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
Down 7 inches off my waist (and SO many more inches everywhere else…)
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
I call the many, many NSVs the “happy side effects” of joining SU. First NSV: I don’t identify myself as a drinker any longer. I used to have a glass (or two) of wine to relax after a stressful day, as a given component of socializing with friends, or as a nightcap. Now, I save having a drink for very special occasions, which is one of the best things I’ve done for my physical and mental health in a long time. 2) I’ve awoken my inner badass athlete! I’ve always been athletic, but being down 30+ lbs makes things like running and attempting pull-ups SO much easier…and way more fun. 3) Confidence! Enough said.
Has your change in body weight or composition improved other areas of your life? If so, explain what areas and how.
I have more confidence in myself and my capability to do hard things. I never in my wildest dreams thought I could do a single pull-up, and now I’m stringing together four of them…on my way to five! I also never thought I’d be able to get a true handle on my eating and drinking habits, but feel so much more mindful and in control now. That feeling of accomplishing things I once thought to be impossible is a huge source of pride and happiness.
Are there any tips or advice you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them succeed early on?
1) If you slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes a long time to establish new habits, but I promise it does get easier over time. It took me more than one session to really get the hang of things, honestly, but it was worth it to push through the times that I thought I was falling short.
2) Don’t get too wrapped up in the scale day-to-day. This is HARD. I know. My weight trend is a squiggly line of mini ups and downs, but over many months, it’s trended downward. Sometimes it will take months to see results that seem to come quicker for others, which is okay. Everyone’s timelines are different. You have to try to make peace with that.
3) Practically–keep meal planning simple, at least at first. I don’t use recipes very often, but instead choose to always have cooked chicken in the fridge, which I can quickly mix with veggies, throw into a tortilla, or over rice…often, no recipes are needed to get a healthy meal made in less than five minutes.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what would you tell them?
Weighing and tracking food is not as big of a hassle as many imagine it to be, and it quickly becomes automatic. That extra effort will lead to SO many other positive changes in your life, if you’re willing to be open-minded and listen to the knowledge and wisdom shared by your coach and the SU community.
Joining SU has improved nearly every aspect of my life, and is not just about the scale (although those changes are AWESOME). I agree it’s a happiness company–2018 has turned out to be my most productive and fulfilling year, and I credit much of that success to what I’ve learned through SU.
So, when you are ready, go for it. It’s the best investment I’ve ever made! I’m here to answer questions too…I love nothing more than talking to people that are curious about the program!