From a whirlwind year filled with personal loss, replanned wedding, and a surprise pregnancy to becoming a new mom, Lindsay Tigar found herself 40 pounds over her pre-pregnancy weight. But she knew she wanted to lose weight the right way – no crash diets, no BS – and be kind to herself throughout the process. That’s when she joined Stronger U, a program that gave her the freedom and choice to eat what she wanted while staying accountable. Now, she’s back to working out 5-6 days a week, eating a mostly-balanced diet, and feeling more like herself. Check out her full story and learn how she’s inspiring her daughter to love her body and savor all foods.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!:
I’m an Asheville-NC based entrepreneur and freelance journalist. I own Tigar, an editorial-first content marketing agency for lifestyle brands, and I write for a variety of publications including Real Simple, CNN, Martha Stewart, People, and others. I’m also a new mom to my beautiful daughter, Josefine, who will be one in March. My husband is originally from Denmark, and together, we like to travel, visit coffee shops and experience fine dining and wine. I’m always up for an adventure, value my friendships deeply, and enjoy trying new activities or hobbies. While most days are fairly routine with a baby, we love exploring and introducing our girl to the world. She’s already been on 10+ flights and spent two weeks in Europe!
What did your life look like before Stronger U?:
2021 was a whirlwind of a year for me. My father passed away in January after a long health battle. My husband and I then had to completely replan our wedding in 13 days (!) due to border closings in the COVID-19 pandemic. We had a beautiful, intimate ceremony on June 5… and a month later, on July 8, four hours before we boarded our flight for our honeymoon, I found out I was pregnant. We returned stateside in August, and then drove everything we owned from Boston to Asheville, NC to move closer to family. A few months later, we bought—and moved into!–our house.
All of these rapid-fire changes and the nausea of my first trimester of pregnancy sent me into survival mode. Before getting pregnant, I was incredibly active (5-6 days of exercise per week) and I ate a balanced diet. However, with exhaustion, change and stress, I only exercised a handful of times. And with lots of food aversions to the foods I usually ate before, I could only stomach specific things: bagels, plain pasta and lots of fruit.
Fast forward to the arrival of our healthy daughter in March 2022, and I was ready to get back on track. I tried to exercise around the six-week mark, but I could feel my body wasn’t ready. I really dug in 11 weeks postpartum, and that’s when I joined Stronger U. A friend (and fellow mom) was a previous user, and she said it was helpful to stay accountable.
So, I stepped on the scale… and I was 40 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I still have no idea what I gained in total.
I sort of crumbled. I felt defeated. I didn’t feel like myself—no energy, confidence, or hope. But, I knew I not only wanted (and needed) to lose weight to be healthy, but I wanted to do it the right way.
No crash diets. Not Keto. No shakes. No BS. I knew I could clean up my diet, start moving again, and see significant improvements. I had done it before, so I could do it again.
This time though, I gave myself the hardest challenge of all: Be kind to myself throughout the process.
And that’s where the emotional turmoil really pushed me so far out of my comfort zone; I’m still finding my way back. I didn’t do it for me, really. I did it for my daughter. Even though she’s not even one yet, I didn’t want her to *ever* hear her mom talk negatively about her body. I didn’t want to call myself ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ or ‘ugh, I look terrible.’ I didn’t want her to hear ‘Mommy can’t have carbs’ when I wanted her to savor all foods instead of labeling them bad or good.
I wanted her to hear me be proud of myself. To love the body that created her. That was her first home.
What does your life look like now?:
I feel much more like the person I was before I was pregnant. I have a healthy relationship with food, eat a mostly-balanced diet, and I’m back up to working out 5-6 days a week. I love strength training, running and boxing, but I try to squeeze in long stretches and rest days, too.
I had dark days. Many moments of angrily texting my friends (and my coach) that, randomly, I gained three pounds in a day. And then lost five a week later. But I kept at it. I continued to eat what I wanted to eat, including my beloved Oreos, and I did Peloton workouts that I liked. I took rest days and breaks. I gave myself pep talks and took many photos like these.
It’s still a work in progress. And I keep at it every day. I’m not exactly at my ‘goal weight,’—but I’m happy.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?:
I don’t believe in any sort of fad diet—especially if you want to have sustainable weight loss. To me, cutting out entire food groups because they are ‘bad’ really, really impacts my ability to enjoy what I’m eating. Food should be enjoyable and it should fuel the life you want to have—and sometimes, that means having the croissant you want when you’re in Europe. Or enjoying a big Italian pasta dinner when your friends from out of town are visiting you.
I really enjoyed the freedom and choice I had with Stronger U to eat the types of foods that I like and still work toward my weight loss goals. Though it was sometimes difficult to watch the scale randomly go up and down, I learned a lot about how my body fluctuates with certain foods or certain hormonal cycles throughout the month. At first, I didn’t want to weigh myself at all, then I only wanted to weigh once a week, and then eventually, I weighed everyday. It took some of the power away from the scale to know my body’s changes in real time.
However, in November, with the holidays, it all became too much. I had one night of drinking with friends and I gained three pounds. I knew the holidays were going to be a period where my macros would be a little unpredictable, so I decided to try my best and not weight myself regularly.
By the time January arrived, my jeans were fitting better, I felt stronger, my body composition was changing significantly, and I felt great. I started to feel like I didn’t need to track my macros anymore. And maybe more so: I didn’t want to. My pre-pregnancy jeans fit, but I am more comfortable in one size up that fits my postpartum body better. I have a great exercise routine; I drink enough water, and achieving my step goal is easy. I gave myself a few weeks to decide, but I knew it was time.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?:
Before having a baby, my husband and I lived in the South End of Boston. We would often go out to dinner, grab oysters or drinks nearby or otherwise, let the night guide us. But, since moving to the ‘burbs and having a baby, our life is a little more predictable. I make dinner while he does bedtime routine, and then we ‘retire’ to our living room to watch something, puzzle or craft. (We are lucky we have a baby that sleeps through the night!)
We somehow ended up with Oreos in the house, and one day, I decided to try and make it fit into my macros. When I realized it was easy to do, I tried to add in coconut whipped cream. It became my favorite snack! I have four Oreos with 50 grams of coconut whipped cream each night… and I still lost weight. Amazing.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?:
Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?:
-I’m back up to chest pressing 40 pounds
-I’m back up to squatting 60 pounds
-I can sprint at 10 MPH with ease
-I can run for a long period at 6 MPH
-I sleep better
-I fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans (though, I bought a size up and they feel more comfortable in my postpartum body, so I wear them.)
-I can easily get up and down from the floor to play with my daughter.
-I can easily lift her over my head to fly airplane around our home
-I’m not afraid of the scale anymore
-I feel more like ME
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?:
It’s a commitment to track what you’re eating, your steps, your water intake, everything. It will require time and dedication, but it will also teach you a lot about your health and your habits. It’s okay to take breaks from tracking if it becomes too much. And it’s okay to have rest days. Your body needs them.