This week our Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining down on Holly Kramer, who worked with Coach Syndi Acampora!
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 am a single mom of four kids, 3 dogs, and a one-eyed cat who also has a lot of passion for her career in Finance. I live in New Paltz, NY If I am not on a travel softball or lacrosse field with my kids, you will find me volunteering with various organizations in my local communities.
What led you to join Stronger U?
I went to my doctor for my annual checkup. He called me obese. I cried the entire way to work that day. I was already doing weight watchers and wasn’t having a lot of luck (free fruits and veggies…need I say more). I was seeing a lot of posts from my friend and now coach Syndi on all her client’s successes. I honestly didn’t think SU would work but I also didn’t know where else to turn. That day I reached out to Syndi and joined. It was the most random thing I have ever done!
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 tried Atkins & Weight Watchers. Atkins, I was not successful on because of the lack of carbs! I would do good for a bit and then crash on binge eating. Weight Watchers, unlimited fruit! Honestly, I was eating so much fruit! I had no idea that was such a bad idea and it was ‘free points’. It was the first thing I texted my coach when I joined SU. “OMG, why does fruit have so much carbs!!!!”
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?
Okay, first….COACH! Syndi went side by side with me. She BELIEVED in me. She was my biggest cheerleader and she talked me down when I needed it. She understood what kind of support I needed. She understood ME. What works for ME. She was my teacher and I am the student. This is the TOP thing about SU. The coaches. Next the support system in the group. The love you get there and the friendships I have made is something I can’t put a price tag on.
Can you give some insight on your eating habits BEFORE joining Stronger U?
Little protein (well I thought it was a lot back then), LOTS of fruit, veggies, but a ton of carbs (both in my fruits and cereal, English muffins, bagels, pasta, etc). I also drank wine!
Now that you’ve joined Stronger U, how have your eating habits changed?
When I joined SU, I committed to give it my all. Listen to what my coach told me and the manual. I haven’t drank alcohol in two years! I don’t miss it. Fruits are now a dessert to me and not something I have every day. I eat a lot more protein and I make smart decisions around my fats and carbs because I UNDERSTAND FOOD! Yay! By smart decisions I mean getting as much bulk as possible so I am not hungry or feeling deprived. However, I still have milk and sugar in my coffee. It was something I told Syndi I wouldn’t give up and her response “so don’t, plan for it”.
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 lost all my weight with food choices. I walked but that was it. Ironically, I picked up running and weights after I lost all my weight. I think I felt confident to try it. I was able to move easier, less stress on my body, and I felt like if I could lose 12 inches I can run a mile, and then 2 miles, etc.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
I started with a 36-inch waist and I am not in maintenance with a 24-inch waist! I lost 12 INCHES!!!!!!
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
OMG, only 3… Okay:
1. I taught my kids that you can do anything you put your mind to. I didn’t make special meals for myself. They ate what I ate. They learned with me about food.
2. I learned about food. How it fuels me. Why I was eating just to eat. I learned to stop emotional eating.
3. I learned some food and yes even two years doing SU can’t be in my house or just aren’t worth the macros. I haven’t eaten pasta in two years. I can have it but I don’t want it using my macros up.
Has your change in body weight or composition improved other areas of your life? If so, explain what areas and how.
I don’t have many pictures of me with my kids before SU. I never went to the local swimming pool and went swimming with my kids, I would sit and watch. I wouldn’t go in the ocean because I didn’t want to be seen in my swimsuit. I would put myself down and call myself fat. I had no self-esteem. That was all pre-SU. Now, I am in ALL the pictures but most of all I am IN LIFE. I am here, present, alive, and healthier than I have ever been.
Are there any tips or advice you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them succeed early on?
1. Plan, plan, plan. Plan the day before, week before but make sure you plan.
2. Your plan will get changed and that’s okay. Stop and re-plan. Take the breath and don’t panic. You can always adjust the plan and still hit those numbers.
3. No excuses. Everyone here loves food, is busy, is going through something. The difference between success and none is they don’t make excuses. They keep planning and doing their job which is to hit their numbers.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what would you tell them?
Your coach will be instrumental but you have to be committed and do the work. No one can do that for you. It’s life changing, eye opening, and you will learn more about yourself during the journey then you ever thought possible. Enjoy the journey and take the before pics!!!
Food for thought……my changes have taught my kids about food, their friends about food, and my friends about food. I show up to tournaments with my own food and when I eat out I notice their friends watching how I order items. “When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best version of themselves”