What’s your name? (First and last names, pretty please)
Who was your Coach?
If there was one thing you could say to your Coach, what would it be?
Thank you for being my mentor and friend! Your energy is a great balance to mine and I look up to you SO MUCH! Keep changing lives, you are incredible!
Tell us a little about you. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I live in the Chicago suburbs, I’ve been married for 10 years and have three children. I work from home running an online business so making friends online is a big part of my life. I love to sing and perform, and I also love being outside and working on my yard. I travel often and I ride my Peloton and lift weights for fun these days. This summer I plan to spend as much free time as possible at the pool with my kids!
What was the moment that made you decide to join Stronger U?
In early 2018, I was learning about macros and was very against the idea of paying for a coach. So, I did my best to just go it alone. At the same time, my friend signed up for Stronger U. By the end of February, she had been consistently losing weight and… I had not! I was 8 weeks away from a huge trip to Hawaii and done messing around so I signed up! I was ready to go all in.
Is there anyone from the SU community you would like to shout out?
Way too many to count! I have been inspired and lifted up by so many members and also coaches. Thank you for being a part of this community!!
What dieting experience did you have previous to Stronger U?
Oh geez. Let’s see. Weight Watchers, Diet Bets, a few different shake programs, counting calories… I used to fall back on just heavily restricting my food and working out a LOT to lose weight quickly. Then I’d burn out and gain it all back. Classic yo-yo.
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?
Before Stronger U I was coming off of eight years of being pregnant and/or nursing babies/toddlers. I mostly ate off of my kids plates and when I ate my own meals, my portions were ENORMOUS. I like feeling full. I had it in my head that if it was “healthy” food, I could eat as much of it as I wanted. I also was 100% sure that I couldn’t lose weight while nursing so why bother? I did not prep or plan food in advance and I ate out several times a week.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
It is deceptively simple, it makes scientific sense and there’s an incredible support system within the community. When I signed up, my mission was to unf*** my relationship with food. My goal was to be able to walk into any restaurant, grocery store or dinner party and know HOW to feed myself. Stronger U gave me those tools!
I chose a 6-month session to start because I was looking for a true lifestyle change. Everything else I had done had an expiration date! Either the bag of shakes ran out, I’d get sick of trying to live on heavy restrictions or the big event I was trying to lose weight FOR passed and I would always just go back to old habits.
With SU, I created NEW habits and never set a hard end goal or finish line. There were MANY opportunities for me to stop but I always chose to continue because of how great I felt.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you first started with Stronger U?
Planning my food for the day BEFORE I ate anything. But figuring out how to do that was one of the most important things I learned!
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
Toast with Skippy peanut butter and chocolate chips. I ate it every night before bed and still do most nights! Also a ton of other things. chips, french fries, candy… I learned a lot about moderation and what foods I can weigh out and eat only that portion and what foods make me want to sneak back for more!
I did better when nothing was truly off limits. It is empowering to know that I CAN eat anything that I want to, I just CHOOSE not to eat certain things when they don’t help me meet my goals.
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?
When I was actively losing weight, I meal prepped on Sundays and Thursdays. Chicken and shrimp were my main proteins and I mixed up the pre-prepared sides based on what I was in the mood for! I used my air fryer a lot and I found amazing frozen meals at Trader Joe’s.
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?
Stronger U is the ENTIRE REASON I’m training now. I joined SU and lost my first 20lbs without exercising. I needed to focus on fixing my food before adding exercise. Fix Your Food First!
But eventually, I was ready for more. First, I got a Peloton. A few months later I started doing HIIT Training at my neighborhood gym. Then in early 2019, I started a weight lifting program at my gym and I love it way more than I ever could have imagined. I lift four times a week and I’ve seen huge body composition changes. If you had told me at the beginning where I’d end up there’s no way I would have believed you!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
I lost 8 inches in my waist alone!
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
I learned not to let the number on the scale make or break my mood for the day (which was a huge mental victory!), I learned how to get through stressful times without reaching for alcohol or food to self-medicate, and I dropped 5 pant sizes (and picked up barbells!)!
Outside of the scale, inches, and previously mentioned NSV’s, how has your life improved thanks to your time with Stronger U?
I know myself better than ever. I know exactly what I’m capable of and I’m able to hold myself to that standard now. Instead of letting myself off the hook all the time, I’m showing up for myself. That has changed my whole world. I’m playing by new rules. I feel powerful in a way I never had before. Not only am I physically strong but I’m living proof that I can accomplish anything I truly devote myself to! Now I get to help others find their inner strength too and that is the most amazing feeling.
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?
- Go all in. From the beginning. Make the most of your time with your coach.
- No alcohol for (at least) the first 12 weeks. You may realize you don’t even miss it after that.
- Coach your coach on how to coach YOU. Build that relationship from the beginning.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
Take a few weeks and learn about macros, start weighing and tracking your food. Do the intro work before you start the college level coursework with your coach. A lot of people spend the first few weeks just trying to find their feet. You can do that for free on your own, then when you start, you can dive right in.
Get clear on what you want to change in your life and why. Whether it’s changing your relationship with food, changing your size, your performance, etc., get clear on what you want and why. Then commit to doing what’s necessary to actually achieve that goal. There’s a huge difference between starting the program “to see what happens” and starting the program with something concrete to work towards.
Finally, be open to what you are about to learn. It will challenge long-standing beliefs and it can be mentally strenuous at times. But trust that you’re surrounded by people who’ve been where you are and are standing on the other side reaching out a hand to help you get there too. You’re in the right place.
Along with this written interview, Morgan was on the Stronger U podcast to tell us all about her journey, talk about some of the things she learned, share some words of wisdom for anyone that might be listening and working on their own journey. If you’d like to listen to our discussion with her, you can do so by clicking here.