We regularly get the question if Stronger U is a good plan for a couple to tackle together, which is why we couldn’t wait for this week’s member (or should we say “members”) feature. Katie and Jerrett Keels, a dynamo SU couple, have successfully supported each other during their individual SU journeys. While they both had their own goals, macros, and coaches, this couple tackled the challenge together and collectively they have lost over 50 pounds! Don’t take our words for it, Katie and Jarrett graciously offered their expertise and experience to help other hopeful couples who are just getting started!
Angi Williams & Dean Guedo
Tell us a little bit about yourselves
We live in Charlotte, NC and have two kids ages 10 and 7 (and a sweet black lab named Gus!). Katie is a Peloton fan and in their free time, the family enjoys trips to the mountains and beach (and all the breweries along the way!).
What did your life look like before Stronger U?
Before Stronger U, we always thought we were “healthy eaters.” The quality of our food was pretty decent – we were just eating way too much of it and not the right balance of nutrients. Or we would eat “healthy-ish” Monday-Friday and blow it out on the weekends with treats and alcohol.
Katie tried ALL.THE.DIETS over the years – Keto, WW, Paleo – but always found a way to cheat the system, so it was a constant cycle of losing and gaining the same few pounds. Nothing really stuck despite all the hours on the Peloton.
Jarrett found that his love of craft beer was contributing to a steady creep of weight gain. Charlotte has such an awesome food and brewery scene it was hard to have a weekend with friends that wasn’t focused around drinking!
What does your life look like now?
Now we work together to strategize! We have a Google doc where we plan all of our dinners for the week (#nerds). One of our favorite hobbies is finding new macro-friendly recipes and working them into our day. Since we are both on the plan, we can really support each other with our nutrition and exercise goals. We also are a lot more thoughtful about eating out and alcohol consumption is reserved for special occasions. We used to reward ourselves after stressful work weeks with sweets or junk food take out and now that just doesn’t fit our lifestyle. We don’t turn to food as a social activity like we used to. We love that this has just become part of us and we are becoming healthier and stronger and better examples for our kids!
Where did you hear about Stronger U?
Katie joined in June 2020 after seeing a friend’s progress and taking note of some of Mike’s thoughtful posts in a Peloton forum. Jarrett followed suit and joined in February 2021.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
We are both data nerds, so we love the measuring and tracking piece of Stronger U. Jarrett found it to be incredibly eye opening to measure his portions – he had no idea how much he was underestimating his fat and carb intake! Katie also found appreciation for the “slow and steady” pace of SU. It was so unlike the crash diets she was used to – it made it easier to stick with knowing we were in it for the long haul.
But the biggest key was the personalized coaching.Our coaches have always been there to offer words of encouragement, lift us up, cheer us on, and guide us to incredible results. Unlike other diets or online plans, an actual human is there tweaking and modifying your personal map to success!
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
Carbs! We always are able to work in toast, rice, pretzels…and a nightly Yasso bar!
If you exercise or train for a sport, did Stronger U have any impact on your training?
Katie had been working hard with Peloton rides, but not seeing the weight loss she desired. SU helped her understand how much of her success was nutrition based. She also turned her focus to more strength classes (bootcamps, intervals & arms, barre) and fewer straight cardio rides!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
Katie: 23 lbs (in maintenance now!) Jarrett: 23 lbs (still going!)
How many inches did you lose off your waist?
Katie: 8 inches Jarrett: 5.5 (still going!)
Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?
Neither one of us are able to wear any shorts from last summer! They are all too big! 🙂
Has Stronger U improved your overall quality of life?
We both just feel so much healthier! Our digestion issues have cleared up and our energy to get outside with the kids is greater. When you feel good about yourself, it’s easier to continue making those right choices. It’s much easier to handle everyday stress when your body is functioning better too! We are always looking for ways to walk or hike together and we are enjoying our time as a family.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
Don’t let the stress of starting a new diet overwhelm you, because this isn’t a diet. This is a food lifestyle. Nothing is restricted if you have room for it! Listen to your coach! Be willing to try new ways of doing things (this is why you signed up in the first place, right?!) Plan ahead and get ready for great results!
Would you like to give a shout out to your coach, SU staff member, or community member?
Angi & Dean – thank you for motivating us and always being on our team! We could not have done it without you! Y’all are rockstars!
Is there anything else you would like to add about your journey?
It has been really rewarding to be on this journey together. We motivate each other and cheer each other on with each milestone… (or give a side eye when someone eats an untracked bit of ice cream!)