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Meet Shawn! Shawn is a Physician Assistant, mom, and wife. Professionally, Shawn specializes in treating pediatric patience with GI and liver disease (as well as supporting pediatric nutrition issues). After Shawn’s first Stronger U session, she realized that she had a lot to learn about fueling her body and working with a coach. When she joined for her second session, she had a strong foundation and was ready to commit to changing her life!

How did you hear about Stronger U? What convinced you to join the first time?:
I had seen some talk of Stronger U in the Peloton communities on social media. I saw a good friend of mine after years of not seeing her who also works in the medical field, and she was glowing. She radiated this new confidence and stood stronger and leaner than ever before. I immediately complimented her, and she told me all about this brilliant program. She is someone I look up to both personally and professionally and the fact that she believed in Stronger U was enough for me!

Describe your first time with Stronger U?:
My first time around with Stronger U was back when we used excel spreadsheets. I was overwhelmed with the amount of data entry and did not put in the effort that I should have. Looking back, I didn’t realize how everything I put in my mouth matters. I thought no way I have to weigh a handful of blueberries – boy was I wrong. This first time around was a good stepping stone for me and put me on the path to success when I was more ready to accept the information. I was resisting the idea that I had to be calculated with food. I have mentally struggled with food my entire life and always thought everyone else had this big secret to being thin. Then Mike wrote a brilliant post about how our environment is not set up for us to succeed in a healthy lifestyle. I needed to turn more inward, but this first session built that foundation.

What compelled you to rejoin Stronger U?:
After my initial twelve weeks, I remained an active member of the Stronger U Facebook community. This was the key to me soaking in the information and learning how to overcome some struggles by listening to others’ stories. I started to gravitate toward Coach Jodi – her posts and emphasis on science really resonated with me. I always felt that there was this massive secret that I just didn’t know, and everyone else seemed to have figured it out. The community seemed to be finding out all of the different parts of that missing piece for me, and I started to feel like I wanted to try again. I understood the science and started to understand the importance of having support. I saw this community growing together, which inspired me to reach out to Jodi. She gave me just the nudge and support I needed, and I signed up again!

What success have you seen with Stronger U? (Both Scale and Non-Scale):
The mental strength I have gained through education, coaching, and the community is by far my biggest accomplishment. The most meaningful shift I had was the ability to look at food as fuel and relate that to how it makes me feel. Growing up, my mother struggled with severe anorexia. Her battle continues, and even though everyone always admires her being so thin, I know what is really going on. I also know the toll that thinness has on the body. I thought that this is how I should eat – low-fat, low-calorie everything. I now have two kids, and I realized that I wanted to be strong for them. My mental energy shifted from wanting to be thin to wanting to be strong. I needed to learn not to eat with guilt and not use food as comfort. I had to step out of my comfort zone of restriction all day only to eat too much at night. I had been doing this my entire life, and it felt uncomfortable to feed my body during the day and then not overeat at night. I got uncomfortable, and this is where the growth happened. My coach was patient and incredibly insightful. She called me out on self-sabotaging behaviors and gave me the tools to make the changes I needed. I couldn’t have done it without Jodi’s support and encouragement. This was the key to my success – the accountability! I lost almost ten pounds in the process, and most importantly, I am showing my kids what healthy eating looks like.

What tips would you give to someone who is thinking about rejoining Stronger U?:
That they need to have confidence in this program – it is pure science, and it is not a question of IF it will work but rather when. It takes time to learn about the process and to unlearn what the media, businesses, and culture have taught us in the past. The community has the most educated, supportive, and fun people – take advantage. Ask your coach all the questions and learn from their experience. I would also say just like anything else, that is worth it in life – it can be hard at first, but it gets easier. Keep at it and recognize the non-scale victories, which are sometimes the most important.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?:
I did not expect the impact of the “non-scale victories,” but they are huge. I have more clarity, more confidence, and more energy. I feel like I am a better PA, wife, and mom. I now know that there is no magic, and there is something very comforting in that. I know I can always go back to the basics and see progress. I also understand now the why behind it when I am not seeing results. I used to get so frustrated and stressed. Stronger U takes all of that away.
I also made incredible friendships, and through these friendships, we are supporting each other with our macro goals. We share recipes and athletic goals. We are meeting each other for the first time in real life for a big race in June. All because of the strength both mentally and physically Stronger U has given us.

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