The Stronger U Member Spotlight: Cheryl Swingle

family at dinner table with woman laughing

This week the Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining down on Cheryl Swingle, who is down over 100lbs with the help of Coach Terri Luna!

We also recorded a podcast with Cheryl and Terri to talk more about Cheryl’s journey and all that she’s accomplished. You can listen to it here.

What’s your name? (First and last names, pretty please)

Cheryl Swingle

Who was your Coach? 

Terri Luna

If there was one thing you could say to your Coach, what would it be?

Thank you for supporting me over the last two years.  You’ve had my back and encouraged me and believed in me and I’m where I am today because of that.

Tell us a little about you. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I live in Ohio and am a mother of 1 son, Adam, who is a new attorney in Chicago.  I love to read and take hikes with my friends. I also love anything with music — I play piano, guitar, clarinet, and organ.  I sang professionally for the first time when I was 15.

What was the moment that made you decide to join Stronger U?

I saw a post that April Yohanek posted on her timeline about her transformation.  Our stories were similar and when she posted her own story, I thought if she could be successful so could I.

Is there anyone from the SU community you would like to shout out?

April Yohanek — I wouldn’t be here without having seen her post on Facebook. April, you are partly responsible for this transformation that I’ve had.

What dieting experience did you have previous to Stronger U? 

Weight Watchers, Physicians Weight Loss, Jenny Craig, year-long program with a local gym (nutrition classes and working out)

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?

Right before I joined my eating of fast food was at an all-time high.  When I did eat at home and prep I did eat fairly well but that wasn’t happening around the time I joined SU. My life was in a chaotic state and my food habits were not good.

Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?

I LOVED that nothing was off-limits.  Taking away “restrictions” gave me the freedom to make choices.  Turns out when I’m not restricted, I actually don’t “want” the junk food, etc.  If I want something, I make it work into my numbers and that has been life-changing.

What was the biggest challenge or change when you first started with Stronger U?

Figuring out how to hit my numbers. I actually took on the mindset of hitting my numbers was a game and I kept playing the game until I got my numbers where they needed to be. Planning my day before I took one bite of food was crucial. Early on, I also started cooking all of my major protein sources once a week (chicken in the Instapot w/Aldis teriyaki sauce and turkey taco meat). I do this every week and then adapt my meals around them. 

What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?

I love peanut butter and on past diets it was always eliminated. I’ve figured out how to make it work with SU and now I can happily eat peanut butter whenever I want!

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 eat basically the same handful of meals regularly.  I have a couple go-to breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. I rotate among them every week. When I get a combination that hits my numbers, I tend to do a rinse and repeat because I love seeing 0-0-0 in MyFitnessPal.

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?

The only exercise I’ve done is walking and I didn’t even start that until 50 lbs were gone from my body. I know that exercise is great and I’ve exercised plenty in the past. I probably will again here at some point in the future. But so far, my entire transformation has happened thanks to the fact that I’m paying attention to my food.

How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?

As of today, I’ve released 108 lbs. I’m taking a short break right now until the end of August and then I’ll do another cut and hope to release another 10-15 pounds.

How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U? 

17 inches are gone 🙂

What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?

  1. I have gone from a size 22/24 to size 8.
  2. No longer “ruled” by the number on the scale.
  3. I’m much more confident and know that I can do anything I put my mind to.

Outside of the scale, inches, and previously mentioned NSV’s, how has your life improved thanks to your time with Stronger U?

I love my new life and who I’ve become.  I am more confident in every area of my life and I’ve learned that no matter what life throws at me I don’t have to burn the house down with my food choices.  I’ve lived through my father dying, having Vertigo for 6 weeks, starting a new position with a start-up company and have not returned to my prior habits of eating under stress.

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?

  1. Ignore the scale — it doesn’t tell the whole picture. 
  2. Take pictures regularly — you’ll see the changes in pics even when the scale doesn’t move. 
  3. Surround yourself with positive people who support you  (If the people who surround you aren’t positive and don’t support you, they probably don’t need to get a front seat in your life).

If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?

Really look inside and ask if you are ready to do the work to make the changes happen.  This program works, but you will have to work and make some sacrifices for the ability to get to your goal. It is ALL worth it though.


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