This week our Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining down on Bela Gesztesi, who has worked with Coach Josh Citron. Congrats, Bela!
What’s your name? (First and last names, pretty please)
Who was your Coach?
If there was one thing you could say to your Coach, what would it be?
Thank you so much. Thank you for being there for me and for guiding me. Thank you for being relentlessly trusting, respectful, and understanding during this entire time. I owe this entire transformation to you.
Tell us a little about you. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I am a Physical Therapist in Orange County, New York. Happily married for 20 years to Rosanne, with three fantastic children, Juliana 17, Alexandra 15, and Dominick 12. I enjoy exercising, coaching my children’s sports, and family time.
What was the moment that made you decide to join Stronger U?
I saw the success a friend had with SU and that was enough for me. I had known I wanted to make a change, and that was the tipping point. I wanted to take action before I turned 50, and it was the push that I needed.
Is there anyone from the SU community you would like to shout out?
Barbara Grieco, thank you so much for telling me about SU, it has reinvigorated me!
What dieting experience did you have previous to Stronger U?
Body for Life, 32 days to 32-inch waist
What were your eating habits like before joining Stronger U? Did you prep your meals? Did you eat out regularly? Did you think you were already eating healthy and in moderation?
Before Stronger U I thought that I was eating healthy on a regular basis. I ate what I thought were lean meats, I thought I ate plenty of vegetables, but I learned I wasn’t doing near enough of that. And I learned early on that the old me would snack at night in excess.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
It let me create my meals and I just had to hit my numbers. There was so much freedom that came with just having to play inside of those numbers. The frequent visual feedback from MyFitnessPal and the SU spreadsheet kept me accountable because I saw how my actual day of eating stacked up compared to my numbers. Then through both the help of a coach and being able to see that visual feedback itself, it was easy for me to find areas where I need to improve and make changes.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you first started with Stronger U?
The length of time for the program to get me to my goal. I never wanted to commit to any diet program that was more than 4-6 weeks in length, so committing to something for 12 weeks or beyond was a big challenge for me. But it’s because of that commitment that I know I’ll maintain these results for life.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
The higher proportion of carbs over the other macros! People can’t even begin to believe how many carbs I can eat on a daily basis and maintain my results.
What does your typical week of eating look like? How many days a week do you meal prep? Do you have certain meals you make most often?
I prep my meals every week and have my meals planned every day, Monday-Friday, and then on weekends, I stay within my numbers without the planning aspect. That makes it challenging to hit my numbers on a spontaneous basis, and early on I wasn’t as good at that. But with time and practice, I’ve learned to handle my weekends relatively well. Prepping during the week is what really makes the wheel turn, though.
If you exercise or train for a sport, did Stronger U have any impact on your training? Or did Stronger U have an impact on your decision to start exercising or training for a sport?
I have exercised regularly for 30 years, but my fitness level has now returned to what it was when I was 21. My strength and endurance are at an all-time high!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
My waist is down 3 inches
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
- My strength has returned to that of my youth
- I can eat, maintain my results, and still enjoy the foods that I love
- Improved focus and mental sharpness. I can work on things that require my concentration for hours now!
Outside of the scale, inches, and previously mentioned NSV’s, how has your life improved thanks to your time with Stronger U?
My health is now the best it’s ever been. I have reduced my cholesterol by 68 points! My wife and I have both been on the SU program together since day 1, and we could not be happier, as we supported each other the whole way, it was a great experience that we are happy to continue, and have taught it to our children.
What are 3 tips, based on your experience, that you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them see success early on?
Be patient, the process works 100%. This plan will change your life, but you have to be open to letting it. What you’re doing is new and so different, so it’s okay to feel overwhelmed in the beginning. Don’t be down about that. Just keep showing up every single day and the changes will come. I wish I would have known about SU a long time ago!
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
The beginning of the journey is unclear and it can feel confusing. Remember, that’s normal. It’s like learning an entirely new approach to food and it can take time to understand how all the numbers make sense. But give it time, practice all that comes along with it, and once you get going, you WILL NOT want to stop!!