This week the Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining down on Peggie Larsen, who has worked with Coach Syndi Acampora. Congrats, Peggie!
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?
I appreciate 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 from South Dakota. I have a full-time government job and I co-own a personal training business on the side. Although with COVID I will be moving everything online. I work a lot! I also have a full-time job and my days average about 12-14 hours. I have four children, ages almost 34, 32, 29 and just about 21. I also have five grandchildren. I have many hobbies and am constantly learning new things. During the COVID quarantine, I took online guitar lessons and drawing lessons. Just fun things I would not normally do. In the little free time, I have I enjoy being outside and being active and hanging out with my husband.
What was the moment that made you decide to join Stronger U?
I had heard about Stronger U from the Peloton FB page. I felt the pressure as a trainer to look a certain way. I fooled myself into thinking I looked okay, but I just kept denying that I was gaining and gaining. I tried to blame it on hormones. I tried to blame it on my age. I tried to blame it on everything but myself. I finally took the responsibility and knew I needed to do something. Not just because of the weight gain, but because of my overall health.
Is there anyone from the SU community you would like to shout out?
The community as a whole is amazing. There is so much positive going on. It’s refreshing. Mike and all the coaches have done an amazing job.
What dieting experience did you have previous to Stronger U?
From the time I was young, I was always concerned about body image. I was a high school gymnast and at 116 pounds was told to lose 10 pounds. That started everything for me concerning body image and weight. I became bulimic and was all through high school. So yeah, I tried all kinds of ways to lose weight.
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 ate “clean.” I thought I was doing all the right things. I was a food snob. I was judge-y when it came to food. So, I thought I was eating healthy. I always prepped my food. What I did realize was that alcohol played a big part in my weight. I am happy to say I have not had a drop of alcohol for a long, long time. October will be two years alcohol-free. I felt like I was doing all the right things, but in reality, I was really overeating and it is a thing to overeat “clean” foods.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
I think Stronger U worked because of the accountability. It also worked because I was consistent with something. I just didn’t do it for a few weeks and then drop off. I had some skin in the game and wanted to see how far I could go.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you first started with Stronger U?
I have always been food aware, so I didn’t feel overwhelmed or challenged with the macros. It felt right. The biggest change was just tracking everything and tracking consistently.
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
Bread, donuts and pancakes, because people are so afraid of carbs.
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 a lot of the same foods because I know they are accurate and I really don’t need to have sexy meals. I eat a lot of greek yogurt, salads, and chicken. I have some non-negotiables that I enter right away – half and half for my coffee and apples for a snack at night. I find that if I am starting to feel super tired, it’s time to add some red meat. So I do that every couple of weeks. I keep my meals super simple.
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 all my life and have lifted weights since the age of 12. I was able to really push during my workouts. So, I would say I felt stronger and had more energy. I have noticed that my running and lung capacity has improved tremendously as well.
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
I have lost a total of 46 pounds. I did a bulk in there too, in which I gained 10 pounds, but am now back down more than the start of the bulk.
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
I believe I lost about 12 inches off my waist. I can see my ribs? Who knew. LOL
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
My skin changed a lot! I feel solid! Energy levels increase and my blood pressure went from a normal of about 125/70 to 95/55 most of the time.
Outside of the scale, inches, and previously mentioned NSV’s, how has your life improved thanks to your time with Stronger U?
My life is great. I don’t let anything stop me from going for things. I am 56 and I never use my age as an excuse for anything anymore. My outlook on life is very positive. I don’t deal well with the negativity that is all around. I choose to see the positive in everything.
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?
To get to your macros as soon as possible. To trust the process. To be “all in” and stay consistent and when you feel like you want to quit, that is when you don’t because that is when good things are about to happen!
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
Go for it. It’s a great program and if you do the work you get the results. It’s hard work, but it’s work that is well worth it. When you realize there is no magic pill or quick fix and that you have to get in and do the dirty work, which a lot of times is a mindset, then you find the magic. That magic is you. And…grandmas can have abs.