Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a Mom of two little ones (3 and 6 year old girls,) that works full time. We moved to South Florida 3 years ago when my wife was promoted.
What did your life look like before Stronger U?
I’ve spent my entire life overweight. I started dieting at the tender age of 14 and have tried every diet in the book: WW, keto, paleo, low-carb, high-carb, vegan, low fat, south beach….to name a few. I was somewhat active for the most part with periods of all-out laziness. I graduated college in 2005 at my heaviest: 220 pounds.
While I only stayed that heavy for a brief time, I remained overweight and have spent my adult life yo-yo-ing around between 170 and 190. I have never felt confident and have never been able to achieve a “healthy” weight.
Before Stronger U, I was so incredibly confused about food/nutrition due to all the misinformation out there and I literally thought I would never lose weight. I remember saying to my wife that – I consider myself to be pretty intelligent and of all the complex issues and problems I have to solve at work, why in the world can’t I figure out how to eat?
What does your life look like now?
I am super active. I can keep up with my kids and we do fun things all the time! They ride their bikes, I run beside them. We don’t drive to the park, we walk/run/bike! We have a blast every weekend. I ENJOY working out and have fallen in love with the process…and with weight training! I’ve really gained an appreciation for life that I didn’t think possible – as cliche as that sounds, it’s true.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
Because it makes sense. I’ve learned a ton and nutrition is no longer something that is overwhelming and confusing. I’ve learned that if it sounds too good to be true – it is. There are no shortcuts. The program is not restrictive – I can eat whatever I want but I can’t eat as much as I want! I’ve learned how to eat for the rest of my life.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
I eat whatever I want! On occasion, I’ll have a donut (just one!) and I do it mostly so that I no longer think of it as “off limits” which just makes me want it more. Now I can buy donuts and only eat one. When you’ve felt powerless around food your entire life, those kinds of decisions and that self-control is very empowering.
Did Stronger U change your relationship with exercise?
I’ve shifted from a cardio queen to falling in LOVE with weight training. I’m also currently working on my own Personal Training/Nutrition Coaching certification!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
22 pounds (so far!)
How many inches did you lose off your waist?
Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?
I love not recognizing myself in photos!
Has Stronger U improved your overall quality of life? If so, how?
After I had been on the program for 10 weeks and lost around 12 pounds (just enough to move from “obese” to “overweight,”) I got very sick and was hospitalized with COVID-19/bi-lateral pneumonia. I have an autoimmune disorder already so carrying around extra weight certainly didn’t help to lower my risk of becoming seriously ill. At one point, my oxygen saturation dropped significantly and I was told that if it stayed that low, I would need to be put on a ventilator. Fortunately, I was able to (narrowly) avoid the ventilator and while I was sick for several more weeks, I am so incredibly grateful that I got to go home after only one week in the hospital and see my babies! I am 100% positive that, had I not made lifestyle changes with SU 3 months prior, I would have been put on that ventilator and my COVID story would have had a very different ending.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
Stop thinking about it and just do it.
Would you like to give a shoutout to your coach, SU staff member, or community member?
Jodi is just awesome and inspired me to begin weight training. And to my first coach Chuck, who coached me through the unchartered waters of COVID and hospital cheeseburgers!