Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I live in Corning, NY, with my husband, three sheltie pups (Sedona, Trevi, and Sydney), and my cat, Zebulon. I’m 32. I’m the PR Manager for The Corning Museum of Glass—which people might recognize from the Netflix glassblowing competition series Blown Away—one of the coolest projects I’ve ever worked on! I love to travel (in non-COVID times). I studied abroad in Florence, Italy, in 2010, and that instilled in me a love of new places and cultures. I’ve been to 31 countries on 5 continents. I can’t wait to get back to it! Over the last two years, I’ve become a huge Peloton fanatic, so that’s kept me busy, healthy, and sane during the pandemic.
What did your life look like before Stronger U?
I got my Peloton in January 2020—that was well-timed!—but prior to starting Stronger U in March 2021, I’d hit a plateau in my weight loss. I’d lost about 25 pounds, but still had at least 40 to go. I had an exercise routine down, but had a lot of work to do on my relationship with food. I’d had success years before with Weight Watchers, but it didn’t stick the first time, and wasn’t working again. I needed something that could become a “lifestyle” and I thought having a coach might make a difference. It certainly has!
What does your life look like now?
Wow, if I had to describe my Stronger U experience in one word, it would be: empowering! It’s given me accountability, tools to succeed, and encouragement along the way. My coach, Jeni, is incredible, sassy, and supportive—I adore her! I’ve lost 40 pounds since joining, and have done it by eating delicious food, and incorporating a TON of strength training into my Peloton routine. Unlike previous attempts at weight loss, I didn’t really set a goal for myself, and I don’t intend to be “done.” This is a continuous journey—something I know I’ll always need to keep up. For once, that’s not overwhelming… it’s exciting, because I’ve curated a lifestyle I enjoy enough to maintain.
Where did you hear about Stronger U?
Various Peloton groups. It took me a while to sign up, but I’m so glad I did!
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
In part, I think I was in the right place at the right time for Stronger U to work for me. I had a year of Peloton under my belt to show me that movement wasn’t scary, and you could make physical changes through exercise and hard work. I finally realized there was no “quick fix.” I was going to need to put in the effort. I needed help with the food I was consuming. I’d heard about counting macros, but I was scared and overwhelmed. Peloton members talked about Stronger U so fondly, so I decided to give it a try. My coach made it as easy as possible to learn how to count macros, and left a lot of room for grace along the way. She believed in me, and it made it easy for me to believe in myself. The check-ins every week are key for me. They’re small, incremental steps. You’re not really focused on losing 40 pounds by X date. You’re focused on staying within your macro numbers for the next 6 days until you fill in your check-in again. Amazingly, over time, your weight goes down, and your progress pictures show a crazy difference from where you started!
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
I discovered Built bars covered in chocolate! Delish! And every night, I have Halo Top ice cream with coconut whipped topping and sprinkles.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
40 pounds and counting.
How many inches did you lose off your waist?
Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?
My brother got married this summer, and I’d bought my bridesmaid dress in late 2019, long before COVID delayed the wedding a year+. It was a size 20 and I remember feeling completely defeated when I ordered it. By the time I had to wear the dress a year and a half later, it was an absolute tent, but the bridal salon had closed during the pandemic. I found an amazing tailor, and after 4 fittings, she’d managed to take it in nearly 10 sizes. It was still too big, but I wore it proudly!
Has Stronger U improved your overall quality of life?
Absolutely! I have the best relationship with food I’ve ever had. I know there are no “cheat” days, but I can give myself some grace occasionally, and get right back on track. I have the tools and resources to know that I can succeed. I have a level of self-confidence I wasn’t sure I’d ever find. I like to say that I’m the smallest physical size I’ve ever been in my adult life, but I take up the most space I ever have.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
For me initially, I was a little concerned about the price—would I stick with it enough to justify the cost? It’s been worth every single penny and more. You’ll spend a lot more money on bad food and health issues over time than you will improving your relationship with food through Stronger U. I only wish I’d started sooner! Today’s the first day of the rest of your life. No one ever made progress by staying where they are. You have to be ready to put in the work, but know that you’ll have resources and support every step of the way.
Would you like to give a shoutout to your coach, SU staff member, or community member?
My coach, Jeni, has been an absolute delight to work with. She’s made me feel like I could succeed from day one. I love receiving her videos each week. They’re full of encouragement, positivity, and a bit of sass! She’s helped me realize that the journey is about progress, not perfection. She’s made Stronger U fun and totally doable for me. I had always been curious how I’d do with a nutrition coach, and I completely lucked out with Jeni! She’s the absolute best, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about her, or adequately thank her for the difference she’s made in my life.
Any last thoughts?
Even though I technically just reached the weight goal I’ve had in my head for a decade, I don’t intend to be done. I’m absolutely shocked and delighted that I made it here, but there’s no finish line in my mind. There can’t be… I’ve “dieted” like that in the past, then went right back to my old ways. This is a lifestyle now, and something I choose to commit to every single day. I can’t wait to continue showing up for myself and maintaining the physical and emotional benefits I’ve gained through Stronger U.