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. Kristen and Anthony, a dynamo SU couple, have successfully supported each other during their individual SU journeys. While they both had their own goals, macros, and coach, this couple tackled the challenge together, and collectively they have lost over 100 pounds! Don’t take our words for it, Kristen and Anthony graciously offered their expertise and experience to help other hopeful couples who are just getting started!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves
Kristen is 43, full-time HR Director for a national veterinary practice, wife to Anthony, and mom to an active 10-year-old son and three crazy dogs! Anthony is 46, a senior logistics manager for a national retailer, married to Kristen for 11 years, and dad to the crazy bunch above.
What did your life look like before Stronger U?
We were both overweight for much of our lives, always in some stage of dieting…crash diets, low carb, WW, Jenny Craig – we tried it all. We both found a love of exercise a few years ago (hot yoga for Anthony, OTF for Kristen!), but the adage of “you can’t outrun your fork” was certainly true! We are constantly on the move shuttling our son to activities and practices, work travel, and supporting aging parent, so food on the run was a regular occurrence. Every Friday was dinner out – burgers and beer, Saturday morning breakfasts out – pancakes and bacon! While we cooked frequently, portion size and preparation were not a focus – we ate what was fast and easy! By 8 pm, we were exhausted and tuned out.
What does your life look like now?
Things are completely different!! While we both exercise frequently for our physical and mental well-being, we don’t do it for weight loss. 90% of our meals are at home – we always have the building blocks for balanced meals on hand (thanks to Anthony the master grocery shopper!). We still eat out occasionally, but we are planful about it…and it SO much better for our bank account!! We make decisions as a team that prioritizes our goals: who needs to be where, what food do we need to prepare, who needs gym time, who needs to relax and be quiet…it’s a team effort. There are no good/bad foods in our house – our son knows that food fuels him and is about energy balance. It’s been such a great journey together and makes each of us more successful to have a partner that is supportive.
Where did you hear about Stronger U?
OTF Reddit Board
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
The balance of macros was logical – my process-driven brain loved it! But more importantly, maintenance time taught us how to live at a new weight and keep it. It changed our mindset – to keep the weight loss, we couldn’t go back to old habits and expect there to be no consequences. We had to change behaviors after a weight loss phase.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
Peanut butter toast… every day!!
If you exercise or train for a sport, did Stronger U have any impact on your training?
Workouts are for fun now! Kristen is hitting PRs at OTF and trained and ran a solo half marathon over quarantine. No more constant physical therapy. Anthony is a regular fixture at hot yoga…rocking sculpt classes with ease!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
50 pounds each!
How many inches did you lose off your waist?
8 for Kristen; 10 for Anthony
Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?
1) As people who love sports, love music, and traveling, comfortably fitting into seats is amazing!
2) Confidently walking into a room not being overly focused on your weight, how your clothes fit or what people are thinking. It’s mentally freeing to remove the burden of those internal thoughts.
3) The day OTF asked me about my journey and invited Berit and Miranda to speak at our studio. I got teary sharing how the combo of SU and OTF changed my life.
4) Being known as a healthy family. Hearing someone say “ask the Lopez’s…they’re super fit and eat right”. And having the confidence to always bring our own food to little league games and unapologetically eat a salad in the stands!
Has Stronger U improved your overall quality of life?
While we were generally happy before, our marriage is stronger. We have common goals and work together to achieve them. Modeling this behavior to our son is so important to both of us. And now that we have the energy to do things, we have more fun together!
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
Do it! But be ready to put in the work. Just because you pay the money doesn’t mean the changes just happen to you. You have to be willing to learn and do things differently to see results.
Would you like to give a shout-out to your coach, SU staff member, or community member?
Matt Dustin…our constant cheerleader and macro whisperer.