This week our Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining on Kelly Stone, who has worked with Coaches Josh Citron and Jeb Stuart Johnston. Along with this Member Spotlight interview, Kelly sat down for an interview on Stronger U Radio, which you can listen to here. Congrats, Kelly!
What’s your name? (First and last names, pretty please)
Who was your Coach?
Josh for my first 6 months and then Jeb who I’ve been with for 10ish months now.
If there was one thing you could say to your Coach, what would it be?
Well to both of you, THANK YOU for being a part of this life-saving process!! You have played a major role in helping me become someone that I’ve always dreamed of being.
Tell us a little about you. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I am from Rockaway Beach, NY, not currently married and no kids (YET!!). For fun, I love spending time at the beach, singing obnoxiously loud and dancing to music. I also love riding bikes, running (who knew!?) and being with friends and family.
What was the moment that made you decide to join Stronger U?
I spied on SU pages for months before I took the plunge. Finally, I figured what the hell – I’ve tried it all anyway, why not this? My deep-down reason was knowing that I wanted to be a mom and I wasn’t doing myself or future baby any favors by living like I was. I wanted to be a healthy incubator for a potential future family.
Is there anyone from the SU community you would like to shout out?
Debra Messina, my friend and soul sister, who I credit for bringing this program into my life. My sister, Kacie Stone who is my roomie, grocery store and meal prep buddy, who rode the SU wave with me for an entire year and who’s still crushing it on her own now. Danielle Ecock, my BFF and gym partner who I’ve had to ditch (sorry, boo) and my other BFF Frannie Bouj who is KILLING IT at 90lbs down and still counting! Such a beautiful experience to share with my greatest friends and family. Also, the entire SU community for being the welcoming, least judgemental and most supportive beautiful people I have never met!
What dieting experience did you have previous to Stronger U?
Every single diet you could ever imagine, I tried. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Medifast, juicing, lemonade diet, starvation? You get the idea. If there’s a diet out there, I’ve tried it in the past.
What were your eating habits like before joining Stronger U? Did you prep your meals? Did you eat out regularly? Did you think you were already eating healthy and in moderation?
Prior to SU, I was loosely following an online menu program, Fit Girls, which introduced me to meal prepping. I’d been doing that for probably two years (with little success) but never measured or weighed any of the meals, so I was confused at the notion of overeating healthy foods before starting SU. Oh yeah, and I ate out and drank alcohol EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND. Yikes.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
I think SU worked for me because it forced me to learn about what foods were actually made of. Nuts? I was eating handfuls thinking I was making a good choice. Until I realized my handfuls were 50% of my fats for the entire day! I had to learn what all these foods were made of and then I had to learn how much of it I could have! No hand-holding. I was forced to make a decision on what I SHOULD do or WANTED to do and learn the consequences. It was eye-opening, to say the least.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you first started with Stronger U?
It was a huge challenge for me, in the beginning, to still have a “social life” and maneuver sober nights out with friends. At the time I was still single, so spending nights home alone was something new for me. It was TOUGH. Throughout this journey, my relationship with alcohol has changed, and I guess both fortunately and unfortunately, some of my relationships with friends and family have too.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
Throughout my diet phase and still now through maintenance, I manage to fit one full tablespoon (weighed of course) of REAL peanut butter (none of that powder stuff!) and 10 grams of Nestle chocolate chips into my yogurt breakfast every morning. When I tell people I eat chocolate and peanut butter every day, they’re pretty dumbfounded that I’ve managed to still have success.
What does your typical week of eating look like? How many days a week do you meal prep? Do you have certain meals you make most often?
My typical week of eating is pretty simple and I only meal prep one day which is either Sunday or Monday. I eat the same breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday and switch between a few tried and true meals for dinner. If I know I’m eating out I change around portion sizes to breakfast/lunch to save more carbs and fats. Lately, weekends have been a little unsteady because of summer, but mostly for breakfast, I’m having some form of egg white, low-fat cheese and veggie omelet, and a salad, sandwich or wrap for lunch. Which leaves me a lot of flexibility for dinner.
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?
My exercise is pretty much all over the board and inconsistent right now, but I’ve worked out at a CrossFit gym, started running and completed 5ks, joined SU Fitness and try to get in whatever I can (walks on lunch, bike rides on the weekends, etc) with my schedule.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
- Completing my first 5k!
- Doing a box jump.
- Wearing a crop top!
Outside of the scale, inches, and previously mentioned NSV’s, how has your life improved thanks to your time with Stronger U?
Pshhh. In literally every way possible. I started therapy, which is something I never thought I would do. I’ve quit jobs I’ve hated. I’ve found love — both for myself and now with my boyfriend. I’ve learned how to be honest, even though I’m scared of hurting people’s feelings. I’ve become NICER, which I think just means I smile more and am not so defensive and shy as I once was. My closet is slowly moving from all black to adding in colors, and sometimes when I’m feeling really crazy, I pick a fun bright nail polish when getting a manicure.
What are 3 tips, based on your experience, that you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them see success early on?
- TAKE THE DARN PICTURES.
- Don’t blindly trust MFP entries — always double-check them against the label!
- Be careful of using too many EXCUSES. At the end of the day, we all have to accept that this is our responsibility, not anyone else’s.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
This isn’t a diet, so if you’re not ready to really put in the effort that it requires and make certain sacrifices, don’t bother. It’ll sour your experience and you’ll find a way to think your broken and that it won’t work for you. Also, be prepared to see and hear some of your biggest fears, worries, and insecurities blasted right out there on the Internet, because believe it or not, we all face similar issues and demons whether were a size 2 or a size 20. It can be a scary and strange thing to start, but if you buy in and really give yourself a chance, you’ll be blown away at what you accomplish.