This week our Stronger U Member Spotlight is featuring Becky Ryan, who has worked with Coach Rachel Hibbs in the process of losing over 100lbs!
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 am really not that interesting. I am from a small town in Arkansas. I am currently a 4th-grade teacher that spends the majority of my life making sure that my students are successful and have what they need.
What led you to join Stronger U?
I have several coworkers that are on Stronger U. I had mentioned several times how I wanted to lose weight, but I didn’t know a healthy way to go about it. My close friend, Cathy, bothered me daily to join Stronger U. We sat down and had many candid conversations about the program. The day I weighed myself and the scale said 299 pounds, I knew it was time and I joined Stronger U.
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 had tried a lot of different diets before Stronger U. I would often stop because I didn’t like the food I was forcing myself to eat to lose weight. After several diet fails, I started to starve myself for a week and then binge eat. I would drop 5-10 pounds in a week and then gain it all back, plus some. That obviously wasn’t working, so I stopped that quickly.
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?
Stronger U helped me change my perspective of food. I no longer look at food as a coping mechanism. When I have a rough day, I don’t lean on food to help me feel better. I don’t reward myself with a cupcake because I ran a mile. I realize now that there are other ways to handle stressful situations that don’t include hitting up the closest fast food joint and eating 5 cupcakes.
The other reason I think Stronger U has worked for me is the community that it is built around. I know that there are thousands of other people going through this same program that I can lean on for support. I have a fantastic coach that is there for me anytime I need her.
Can you give some insight on your eating habits BEFORE joining Stronger U?
My eating habits were terrible! You could look at my before pictures and see that! I used food as a way to cope with everything that went wrong in my life. I have a stressful job that can throw large curveballs at you daily. I would lean on food the get me through that. I had a rough day at work, well I guess I need to stop by a fast food restaurant to get a snack and then go home and eat dinner. I thought that I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
Now that you’ve joined Stronger U, how have your eating habits changed?
I realize now how important the food I put into my body is. I realize that food is not the answer to everything.
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?
Before Stronger U, I had not worked out for 3 years. This was a new thing for me because growing up I played sports and was always in the gym working out. I did not work out until about week 24 of Stronger U. At that point, I was not consistently working out. I would go for a run 3 days a week, just to check it off the list of things I thought I should be doing. About week 30 is when I started working out more consistently. I ran every day for the month of August(thank you for that challenge), ran bleachers everyday for the month of September, and now I’m starting to try out CrossFit. This change in exercise is 100% due to Stronger U. I now have the energy and drive to workout. Hell, I ran my first 5k this weekend and I would have never even attempted that before Stronger U. Stronger U had given me the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things. It has forced me to push myself and my body to new limits and find myself again. I could never thank my coach and the entire Stronger U staff enough for this lifestyle change.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
The day I signed up I weighed 299 pounds. During my trial week, I dropped 10 pounds just by hitting my numbers every day. So I guess it depends on when you look at it. I say that I’ve lost 110 pounds and counting, however, my spreadsheet says I’m just now at 100 pounds and counting.
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
I’ve lost 18 inches around my waist.
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
I just ran my first 5k, I’ve learned to love myself again, I have changed my relationship with food.
Has your change in body weight or composition improved other areas of your life? If so, explain what areas and how.
Yes! Just the self-confidence I have gained through losing weight and body comp changes had improved all areas of my life. I no longer use my weight as an excuse to get out of things. I have learned to love myself again and that has spilled over into all areas of my life. I work with children at crucial stages in their development of self-love and self-confidence. It’s hard to tell a child to love themselves when you don’t. I can now confidently say that I love myself and my body when a student asks me. That to me has been the best thing I’ve gained through this entire experience.
Are there any tips or advice you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them succeed early on?
Lean on fellow members of Stronger U. We have all been there and are willing to help you out.
Don’t give up on yourself to quick. The scale is a bitch and doesn’t move at the pace we want it to sometimes. I promise the hard work will pay off in the end. I never thought I would be back below 200 pounds in my life, but here I am!
Embrace this process and all the things that come with it. I will not sit here and tell you it is easy because it isn’t. You have to be ready and willing to push through the uncomfortable to see the results you want.
Hard work and dedication pay off in the end. Be willing to put in the time and effort.
Finally, quit making excuses for the crappy food you put in your body! Excuses are not going to change the current situation you are in, but changing your habits will.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what would you tell them?
DO NOT WAIT! This was the best investment I have ever made in myself.