This week our Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining down on Laureen Krueger. Congrats, Laureen!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a 37-year-old married and working full-time mother of 2 kids who are 3 and 6 years old. I was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to US in my teens. Since my youth, I’ve usually wanted to incorporate physical activity into my everyday life but never thought much about nutrition. I just trusted my intuition in moderate food choices as well as physical activity would take care of everything. Up until I got frustrated that after years beyond the birth of my second child where the weight couldn’t come off. As much as I dragged my feet before looking into nutrition, I finally thought to give it a shot. I heard about Stronger U through a Peloton Mom Facebook group. Stronger U is the first nutrition program I’ve ever tried and I am so happy to see results and gain the knowledge to keep the weight off!
What did your life look like before Stronger U? (Example: What were your eating habits like? Did you try other diets? What was your activity level like?)
Before Stronger U I thought of food as a necessary thing to have in order to have energy, instead of something I enjoy. Sure every now and then I would crave some foods that would trigger some wonderful memories of my heritage. However, for the most part, it felt more like a chore. What mattered was we ate as a family 3-4 times a day and nobody was starving.
Beyond that, I didn’t think much about the kind of food that I would eat. I just thought that if I ate just enough to the point that I didn’t feel hungry anymore, combined with physical activities via Peloton bike, strength, outdoor biking, and keeping up with my kids, my physical health should be fine.
After giving birth to my second child, I had wanted to shed the weight I gained during pregnancy. After a couple of years of trying, I found myself frustrated with hitting a plateau using the approaches that I’ve mentioned. For a while, I’ve resisted looking into diet programs because it required more mental energy that I didn’t feel I had. Finally, after hearing about Stronger U in a Peloton Mom Facebook group, I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t try other structured diet programs prior to Stronger U.
What does your life look like now?
After I reached my initial weight goal, I adjusted my goal to be at a point where it’s halfway through the recommended healthy weight for my height and age. After hitting that and shedding a bit more, I am finally in maintenance mode. I am able to appreciate foods that I used to have in a measured way. I find myself looking into recipes that have healthy substitutes. I find it exciting to discover delicious and healthy recipes. Moreover, my husband and kids are also enjoying the foods that I try to make. It makes it more satisfying to enjoy healthy food choices with my family.
Where did you hear about Stronger U?
I heard about Stronger U from members of the Official Peloton Mom Group on Facebook
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
Stronger U worked so well for me because it was metrics-based. The guard rails and directions are so clear and easy to follow. I knew that I just needed to know to be taught what to do. Since I didn’t have a lot of attachment to food, I felt like it was easier for me to follow the instructions and I just wait and see what it did to my body.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
Rice, pasta, chocolate, Filipino treats
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 didn’t exercise or train for a sport but I did notice I was reaching higher outputs on the Peloton bike and starting to lift heavier free weights.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
How many inches did you lose off your waist?
Did you have any favorite non-scale victories to share?
I am so excited that I’ve gone from medium-sized clothing to extra small. Also from size 6 pants to size 0! I was happy reaching small size clothes or pant size 2-4. Also happy to see how clothes fit better on me now compared to being so self-conscious in the past.
Has Stronger U improved your overall quality of life? If so, how?
Stronger U opened my eyes to healthier food choices that won’t leave me feeling deprived. There are so many options out there and experimenting is just as fun. We are now bringing in healthier food options into our home and more importantly, my small kids are growing up with the habits that we as a family are doing together.
Has Stronger U improved your overall health (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc)? If so, how?
Since I also watch my sugar and sodium intake, both of those are also managed better.
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
I would advocate for Stronger U as much as possible. The program will give them the tools and support that they need to reach their goals but it allows room to learn the habits so they can continue on their own after they finish the program. It is a program that doesn’t feel like they’re on a diet but rather teaches accountability, healthy substitutes, and moderation. Those make it so worthwhile and sustainable.
Would you like to give a shoutout to your coach, SU staff member, or community member?
DeeDee has been so supportive not just in my progress to get to my goals but also in living through the challenges that I personally encountered in this journey.
Right before the beginning of my first session in May 2020, I got so sick with strep. I was having high fevers and since it was during the early part of the COVID outbreak, I was also scared of the possibility of having COVID. DeeDee was very accommodating during my rocky start. Halfway through my first session, my parents and my brother contracted COVID. Ultimately, my mom and brother recovered but my dad died from this terrible disease.
Throughout that very challenging period, Stronger U allowed me to focus on something positive, something that I can do something about. While the fear, stress, and grief were persistent and unavoidable, focus on my personal health allowed me a positive outlet. Unexpectedly, DeeDee was there with me and have cried with me so many times as I went through that phase, even assisting me to give myself the permission to take a bit of break from the program if I felt like I needed it. In my journey to focus on myself in grief, I was very fortunate to have formed a friendship bond with DeeDee.
While I feel fortunate to have achieved what I set out to do and also have the knowledge to keep it, I feel even more fortunate to have crossed paths with DeeDee. I know that this friendship would be so special and one that I would surely keep for a long time.