This week our Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining brightly on Jessica Head, who was coached by Coach Bonnie.
What’s your name? (First and last names, pretty please)
Tell us a little about you in 5 sentences or less. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What are your hobbies? Anything unique about your life that you want to share?
I’m a wife, mother, runner and full-time working engineer in Austin, TX. I have a 3-year-old daughter and two teenage bonus daughters. While I work in the city during the week, my husband is a cattle rancher so we spend our weekends at the ranch.
What led you to join Stronger U?
My friend Anne Jenkins Chang had great results and I was looking to supplement my marathon training with proper nutrition.
What dieting experience have you had previous to Stronger U? Was there a reason you were or were not successful? Why did you stop?
I have tried it all and always struggled with body image. I have done Atkins, calorie counting, whole foods, Paleo and even some mail-order nutrition options. I think I struggled to find balance in any of those plans that allowed me to live a normal life, enjoy food and understand proper quantity. I stopped because I wasn’t enjoying them and the sacrifice wasn’t worth any short-term gains.
It’s clear Stronger U worked for you. Why do you think Stronger U worked so well when other programs or diets may have not?
I LOVE counting macros. I know that sounds crazy but each day is like a puzzle to me to figure out how to best spend my macro budget. Each coming week was a challenge to adjust macros and still fit in my favorite foods (like a post-long run cinnamon roll!)
Can you give some insight on your eating habits BEFORE joining Stronger U?
I would swing from completely obsessed with every morsel I put into my mouth to using my activity level to justify eating whatever I wanted. I wasn’t consistent in my habits and my body would show the results of that.
Now that you’ve joined Stronger U, how have your eating habits changed?
I am more aware of my choices and the impact they will have on my aesthetics and how I feel overall. I eat more fruits and vegetables (by choice…hello volume) but I still enjoy chips and salsa and sweet treats and make them fit.
If you exercise or train for a sport, what does a typical week look like? Did Stronger U have any impact in your decision to start exercising or training for a sport?
I already had an aggressive training cycle before joining Stronger U. I run between 80-100 miles per week training for marathons and I’m constantly putting on the pressure to decrease my times. Maintaining muscle with that much cardio is a challenge, especially knowing that there are only so many hours in a day and I don’t always have time to lift weights. During my 12 weeks with Stronger U, I PR’d my half marathon by 5 min and my marathon by 10 minutes (which re-qualified me for Boston!)
Has your change in body weight or composition improved other areas of your life? If so, explain what areas and how.
I just feel more confident and happy in my skin. I love that I feel lighter and faster on runs. I also feel in control of my body composition like I’ve finally “cracked the code” to lasting success.
Are there any tips or advice you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them succeed early on?
Track everything and be honest with your coach. Express your concerns and communicate when you’re unsure about how to achieve your goals.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what would you tell them?
DO IT! “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”– Dr. Seuss