Tell us a little bit about yourself!:
I am a Spanish teacher turned School Counselor in a small town in southeast Nebraska. Along with school counseling, I coach high school and club volleyball, as well as junior high girl’s basketball. My 3 kids say we live in the gym! When I am not at the school, you will find me spending time with my husband (a fellow educator) and 3 children (12, 10, and 6).
What did your life look like before Stronger U?:
Before Stronger U, I was very much on the rollercoaster of eating plans. I’ve counted points, tracked containers, drank expensive shake powders, been on very restrictive plans (so restrictive that walking was the only recommended exercise), and even lived on a diet of baked potatoes and air-popped popcorn. When I wasn’t trying to monitor what I ate with one of these diets, I was a junk food junkie. Stress eating was a habit of mine, and I loved all things chips and chocolate…. all.of.the.time. My relationship with food was one that needed A LOT of mending!
I have always been an active person as sports are a huge part of my past and present. I love workouts that are high-intensity and very challenging (both physically and mentally). I am someone who works out every day, so that part of my health journey was not the issue. The problem was that I ran on the theory that I could work out to cancel out the food choices I made. The connection to fueling my body properly wasn’t there. If I ate an unhealthy meal, I would just add another workout that day or push myself extra hard the next day. I never took days off to rest because I had to exercise to burn off my food.
With my transition into school counseling happening in the fall of 2020, the stress of a new job during a COVID year had my nutrition habits hitting an all-time low. I spent two school years absolutely exhausted with a migraine every single day. I was struggling to keep up with the day-to-day of my job, coaching, parenting, and being a wife. I was defeated. I knew that this was not a normal feeling, and that is why I decided to look into something different to help me get out of this cycle.
What does your life look like now?:
Now that I have been working with Jenna and Stronger U, my relationship with food is completely different!! I now have the understanding and mindset to see food as fuel and not something that I just have to work off later. I am now making choices that set me up for success not only to reach my goals, but to feel great.
All of my other successes aside, the way I feel is a major win for me. I started working with Stronger U this summer, and I can say that my energy during the workday has increased, and I have not left work with a headache at all this year! (No matter what crisis situations the day brought.). Even if I did not lose one pound or inch, this change makes it all worth it to me.
I still find time to move my body every day, I just no longer do so to punish my body for what I chose to put in it. Jenna has helped me see the light on the power of strength training! I used to think that the only good workout was one that was cardio-intense or had you drip sweating by the end. Now, I know that a good lifting session can help you hit those goals while making you feel like one tough woman! I am now not just exercising to look good, or feel good in the moment, but also for longevity. With coaching and having 3 kids I want to be able to be active for as long as I can!
In short, Stronger U has given me both inner and physical strength. I have gotten my confidence back, and am no longer hiding in my clothes. I am feeling AMAZING! My mindset is also in a much healthier space.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?:
For me, the main reason is the coaching connection. I played sports with Jenna my senior year in high school and have spent the last couple of years admiring her on Instagram. This made me feel confident in this program because she is someone who is passionate about all areas of physical health, not just weight loss. She is absolutely AMAZING!!!
I also love that the scale is just part of it. I know that other programs say that, but in the end they still promote that number on the scale. Jenna has been by my side cheering me on and pointing out all of the ways I have improved that go so far beyond that number! Before, I did not have that which made me feel alone and like I was failing.
It also helps that my husband decided to join Stronger U with me. Having someone else in the house going through the same process really adds to the support.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?:
Chips and queso. Taco bowls have become a huge staple in our house and adding a few tortilla chips and queso help fill that chip craving!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?:
How many inches did you lose off your waist?:
Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?:
My clothes fit differently! I have been able to wear pants that I have been saving for over 7 years because I just couldn’t part with them.
Also, how I feel at the end of every day, it is amazing to have energy when I get home!
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?:
Trust the process! This is a marathon, not a sprint. I did not lose a major amount of weight, but through the process my body composition changed drastically. There is so much more than the number on the scale.
Don’t be afraid of strength training!
Is there anything else you would like to add about your journey?:
I really want to thank Jenna. She took the time last summer to talk with my husband and I on the phone when we were on the fence about joining, and has been in our corner ever since. Her support has been life-changing.