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How Katie Completed the Rim-to-Rim Challenge with Coach Candace

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Kenzie Faris

Community and Content Specialist

Having been naturally slender throughout her life, Stronger U member Katie didn’t always have a dialed-down focus on her diet. Once she hit her early 30s, however, she noticed she started to put on weight, despite regularly exercising and doing Orangetheory workouts. She began having to buy larger clothing progressively, and it got to the point where Katie said she felt uncomfortable with her body. She felt confused and helpless about why she was working out and yet not seeing results.  


“The more I was googling, ‘I’m working out, but I’m still gaining weight – what should I do?’ there was just a lot of information about having to eat better and eat healthy, and people talking about calories, but then it’s like I don’t even know where to start to figure out what kind of calories I’m supposed to be eating.” Still uncertain about how many calories she should be consuming, Katie tried to heed the advice she found online and started tracking food. She quickly realized that calories added up fast, and even though she thought she was making healthy food choices, she continued to gain weight. That’s when another search in an Orangetheory Reddit group led her to Stronger U.  


In October 2019, Katie became a Stronger U member. “I had a lot of success that first session and got down to a weight I was pretty happy with,” shared Katie. That success gave her the confidence to try and maintain the weight loss on her own; however, soon after leaving the program, she found it more challenging to maintain the weight loss without a coach than losing it. One year after she first became a member, she decided to rejoin Stronger U. During that time, she again lost weight and found herself struggling to maintain when she went out on her own.  


Fast forward to today, Katie is working with Coach Candace and says it’s been a significant focus on how she’s feeling and what she wants her body to do. “We focus not so much on the macros but on fueling and having physical goals. It’s not just about the weight; it’s about what your body is doing and fueling your body to meet the goals that you’ve got,” Katie emphasizes.  


 “I think a lot of people do the 12-week or 6-month session, but I really think that it takes time, and I’ve really liked working with a coach and taking the time to work through the process.”   


She mentions how working with a coach has also helped to rewire her brain.   


“I never considered myself to be an athlete; I don’t feel like I’m particularly athletic. I played volleyball in school, but that’s about it. I’ve always liked to be active and be outside. I joined the club water polo team in college because a bunch of my roommates were doing it.” 


Although she says she’s always been active, played tennis, and ran a couple of half marathons, she’s never really felt like an athlete. However, working with Coach Candace has helped her change her mindset regarding how she eats and views herself.  


 “With Coach Candace, the overarching message is ‘you are an athlete’ – she tells me that all the time.” Katie explains that her coach continuously cheers her on with this reminder and has taught her that the athlete mentality focuses on fueling your body for your physical expectations.  

“[Coach Candace] giving me those cues, I think, has really helped me be a lot more conscious and aware to push myself to be more mindful of what I’m eating.” 


 Since working with Coach Candace, her approach has included keeping things simple and giving herself grace when life gets busy or things don’t go as planned. She credits all three of the Stronger U coaches she’s worked with for supporting her through struggles and helping her stay on track when things get tough.  


 Despite her feelings of not being an athlete, Katie has proven quite the opposite. In fact, with Coach Candace’s positivity, nutritional guidance, and consistent encouragement, she’s effectively trained for numerous strenuous hikes in places such as the Grand Tetons and Adirondacks. Recently, Katie achieved her physically demanding goal of hiking 27 miles from the north rim to the Grand Canyon’s south rim. Most notably, she felt good throughout the hike and following it, which speaks volumes of how well-prepared her body was to take on such a challenging physical endeavor, that she admitted just months ago may have felt crazy or out of reach.  


 Way to go, Katie – we’re so proud of you!  


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Kenzie FarisCommunity and Content Specialist

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