M.J.’s Stronger U Story

Kenzie Faris
Community and Content Specialist

Member Spotlight

Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

I’m a journalist who lives in New England with my husband, two kids (ages 10 and 6), and two rescue dogs.

What did your life look like before Stronger U?

I have always loved being active. I played varsity lacrosse and tennis in high school and club sports in college, and I am an avid hiker — I dream of someday hiking the whole Appalachian Trail with my kids. I immediately fell in love with Peloton workouts while in lockdown in 2020.

But… my diet needed a lot of work. I have historically used food for comfort, and the stress of the pandemic took its toll on me. Something big needed to change in my life. I ended up finding exactly what I was looking for in Stronger U.

What does your life look like now? 

I feel like I’ve been reborn! I am now easily able to keep up with my active family. I’m looking forward to skiing with my kids this winter, and hiking in Iceland in March when we go to celebrate my 40th birthday. These days, I feel pretty unstoppable.

Where did you hear about Stronger U? 

It was recommended in several of my Peloton Facebook groups.

Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?

My coach, Jordan Hill, is a registered dietitian, which really made me trust her advice and expertise. I knew she was not going to rely on gimmicks to help me lose weight. She even takes the time to explain the science of exercise and nutrition to me.

What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?

I control portions instead of being overly restrictive, and I build treats into my day. I particularly enjoyed eating the gingerbread cookies my kids made for me at Christmas!

How much weight did you lose with Stronger U? 

Almost 60 lbs.

How many inches did you lose off your waist? 

14 inches

Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?

Beyond the physical changes, I use my weekly check-ins to do a lot of internal work examining my emotional attachment to eating. For example, at Christmas, I felt uncomfortably stuffed following our holiday meal, and discovered I REALLY don’t like that feeling. It’s shocking to think how regularly I was stuffing myself in the past without giving much thought to the physical discomfort it caused (instead focusing exclusively on my emotional discomfort and shame).

Now that I don’t attach shame to what I’ve eaten, I’m better able to identify that overeating causes heartburn and sluggishness and an upset stomach, but it will pass as soon as I get back on track.

Has Stronger U improved your overall quality of life?  

I used to settle for “fit but fat” and now I realize that by doing so, I was pushing through a lot of physical pain on a daily basis. For several years, I suffered from back pain and plantar fasciitis, and they’ve completely resolved. Now I wake up feeling refreshed and strong every morning.

If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?

Pretend you’re a freshman at Stronger University, and you’ve just arrived on campus. Attend a new member Zoom orientation, read all the PDFs, write down questions to ask your professor (er, coach) and maybe even schedule a phone call with them. Lean into it and get all your money’s worth right out of the gate.

Then with all this newfound knowledge, plan out a solid 3-4 days of meals and hit the grocery store to buy some single macro foods — these will be your best friends. I’m in my third session and I still eat deli turkey to help me reach my protein goal some days!

Would you like to give a shoutout to your coach, SU staff member, or community member?

100% Jordan Hill. I am the captain of my ship but she is my navigator, and I wouldn’t have gotten here without her.

Anything else? 

There is no secret sauce to success, other than knowing what your goal is and showing up for it every day. Aim for consistency (not perfection) and you’ll be golden. Learn when to say no and when to say yes. And make your promises to yourself your top priority. I know I’m glad I did.

 

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