- Name: Nathan W.
- Age: 31
- Weight Lost: 50 lbs
- Hobbies: Triathlon training, marathon running
- Coach: Billy Phipps
At 31, Nathan embarked on a remarkable journey towards a healthier, happier life. His inspiration came from a deep desire for change, a longing to break free from a cycle of self-doubt and discontent. He confided, “I spent a long time generally not liking myself. I felt that despite my best efforts and intention, I just continued down a path which left me feeling discontent and despondent.” It was a pivotal moment in his life when he decided to take a leap of faith and join Stronger U, a decision that would change his life forever.
Nathan’s story might sound familiar to many who have struggled with their weight. He described nights when he left his late-night shift at the Emergency Department feeling emotionally drained and physically exhausted. On those nights, he found solace in food, consuming something like an entire bag of tater tots for dinner. The following days, he would feel poorly rested and filled with self-loathing.
But then, a glimmer of hope appeared on the horizon. Nathan’s wife, a physical therapist deeply connected to the triathlon community, introduced him to coach Billy Phipps, a Stronger U coach and fellow triathlete. Nathan felt a renewed sense of hope and a spark of possibility upon speaking with Billy.
The journey was far from smooth sailing. Nathan faced one of the biggest challenges that many can relate to—an unpredictable schedule. Working late nights and some overnights could easily disrupt any diet and fitness plan, but Nathan was determined. He embraced macro counting, a method that offered structure in an otherwise chaotic schedule. “Counting macros makes planning simple, although not easy,” Nathan admitted. “So although there were growing pains, I developed some routines with my meal planning that made it simpler.”
What made Nathan’s journey even more unique was his simultaneous pursuit of triathlon training. Billy, his Stronger U coach, adjusted his nutrition plan to accommodate his athletic endeavors while still ensuring he remained on the path to weight loss. It was a revelation for Nathan, learning how to fuel his body appropriately and maintain a calorie deficit.
As the pounds melted away, Nathan experienced numerous non-scale victories (NSVs). Completing his first IronMan 70.3 was a monumental achievement, one he couldn’t have imagined when he first started his journey. His half-marathon time improved significantly, and the most profound victory of all was the transformation of his self-confidence and newly found self-belief. “Just looking at myself in the mirror and not hating what I see is a huge shift for me,” Nathan shared, reflecting on the emotional changes that accompanied his physical transformation.
The impact of Nathan’s transformation extended far beyond the number on the scale. It rippled into his relationships and overall well-being. “If you believe in yourself and you have confidence in what you’ve achieved, many interpersonal relationships improve,” Nathan explained. “It is hard to be loving and empathetic to others if you don’t also love yourself. Finally achieving such a big goal for me has given me more energy and more emotional bandwidth to give back to my patients, but, most importantly, to love my wife better.”
The Stronger U community also played a significant role in Nathan’s transformation. He found inspiration from fellow community members and in the Stronger U podcast. He also connected with others in his triathlon club who had worked with a Stronger U coach. However, the most impactful aspect of the program was the unwavering support and encouragement from his coach, Billy Phipps. “The biggest aspect of the community has been Billy’s accountability and encouragement,” Nathan revealed. “Even on weeks where I’ve felt down, he’s lifted me up and helped me refocus.”
Joining Stronger U shifted Nathan’s mindset and perspective on health and fitness. He learned that crash dieting was not sustainable and that a gradual, consistent approach yielded the best results. Nathan also gained a newfound appreciation for the importance of protein and an awareness of the fat content in the average American diet. Perhaps the most profound change for Nathan was his evolving relationship with food and nutrition. “I don’t find myself reaching for food as an emotional crutch anymore,” he declared. “I see food as fuel, not an escape from life.”
In closing, Nathan had some advice for those considering their own journey with Stronger U: “Trust in the process, and you will find yourself enjoying the journey and every little milestone along the way. You’ll constantly need to readjust your goals because you will find that you can achieve more than you even dreamed possible.”
Note from Coach Billy:
Nathan was an absolute joy to coach! He is a very busy person professionally being a physician’s assistant, but knew he had to make a change health-wise! He attacked it from the beginning and lost an astonishing 50lbs, completed his first half Ironman, and has continued to keep it off! He now has his sights on an upcoming half marathon and a full Ironman next year in Texas! Its members like Nathan that make my job my passion! Thank you, Nathan, for allowing me to be a part of your incredible journey!