This week we’re highlighting Stephanie Andreozzi, who worked with Coach Chris Zelno, on the Stronger U Member Spotlight. Congrats, Stephanie!
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 for your patience; your firm approach to keeping me on track without ever making me feel like I failed, and for giving me extra carbs when I started riding my bike long enough to need them!
Tell us a little about you. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I’m from Lebanon, PA – not too far from Hershey – the sweetest place on earth! My boyfriend works for the Hershey Company, so chocolate continues to be an important part of our world. I am the mom of a great teenager in his freshman year of college. I am a healthcare executive who oversees cardiovascular care, and I’m a physical therapist by background. I’m a total foodie who loves to plan a vacation around the best restaurants a city has to offer. And, I love my Peloton! #Foodie_Booty 🙂
What was the moment that made you decide to join Stronger U?
In June, my boyfriend and I took a vacation to Maui so that he could cycle up Mt. Haleakala. I didn’t take a single picture of myself in paradise because I was so embarrassed by my weight – the scale hit 200lbs. The hotel we were staying at had Pelotons in the fitness center, and by the 2nd day, I was hooked! I bought one waiting for my flight home. But after a month, reality hit – you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. I remember seeing people talking about Stronger U in one of the peloton Facebook groups and decided to give it a try. It has totally changed my life, and my relationship with food.
Is there anyone from the SU community you would like to shout out?
After joining, I learned that two of my friends, Kristen Sweeney and Tiffany Miller were both part of the community (as well as Peloton) and had amazing results. It was great to have them to talk to as I started out.
What dieting experience did you have previous to Stronger U?
I think the only diet I didn’t try was Keto! Isagenix, Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach. I had lost this weight several times but always put it back on, plus more.
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?
There was no meal prep in my world before Stronger U. As a busy healthcare exec, the quick slice of pizza in the cafeteria happened more often than it should (and it’s not that good!). I was eating out 3 nights each week. And my cyclist boyfriend was always asking for carbs to fuel his 50 mile weekend rides. I happily ate all the carbs with him, but my body didn’t need them. I had no idea how many calories I was eating in a day, and I justified more calories every time I exercised.
Why do you think Stronger U worked so well for you compared to other programs or diets?
The numbers made sense. I quickly realized I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet. I was taking in too many total calories in the form of carbs and fat. I learned the effect that alcohol was having on my weight, my waist circumference and my sleep. I suddenly felt so in control – if I hit my numbers, I lost weight. Consistently. It actually seemed too easy! I’ve learned how to adapt during vacations, business meals, and holidays. And the changes didn’t impact my boyfriend. I still cook amazing meals that we both can enjoy; I modify my portions for what my body needs. This is something I’ll carry with me forever!
What was the biggest challenge or change when you first started with Stronger U?
I gave up restaurants and alcohol for the first 8 weeks. For a girl that thrives on tasting menus and wine pairings, this was huge! I focused on meal prep and finding foods that kept me from feeling hungry. Love my BAS!
What was something you regularly ate while on Stronger U that people wouldn’t expect you to eat on a diet?
My salad became the joke of all my meetings. It’s ginormous! People would always ask me “Are you going to eat ALL THAT???” You’re darn right I am – I’ve lost 45lbs eating this salad every day at work!
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?
Sunday is meal prep day – I do 5 breakfasts (greek yogurt, blueberries, granola, honey) and 5 lunches (salads with grilled chicken). Dinner is a combination of Hello Fresh meals with extra veggies added, InstantPot recipes, and things I see on Food Network. It’s important to me to make real recipes for dinner – I put those in MyFitnessPal first, and then adjust the ingredients of breakfast and lunch to hit my macros.
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’ve had a gym membership for years, but never put a lot of effort into my workouts. Peloton has completely changed that. I’ve completed over 200 rides since June, and just did my first Pelofondo century this past weekend – 100 miles! I’ve been doing Power Zone training, and my “power to weight ratio” has gone from 2.33 in July to 3.19 now! My boyfriend bought me a beautiful bike for Christmas, and I’m looking forward to flying past him up the hills!
How much weight did you lose with Stronger U?
How did your waist measurements change with Stronger U?
I’ve lost 12 inches off my waist!
What were 3 major non-scale victories you experienced with Stronger U?
- Getting off my blood pressure medication
- Improving my fitness through cycling
- Feeling total confident in my skin – it’s made a huge improvement in my confidence and relationships.
Outside of the scale, inches, and previously mentioned NSV’s, how has your life improved thanks to your time with Stronger U?
I love having control over my body. I love the knowledge this community has given me. And I love being able to help other people realize how effective this way of eating can be.
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?
- Set aside time for meal prep – it’s much harder to be successful on the fly.
- Find foods you love that fit in your macros and eat them often. It’s ok to eat the same time day after day if that’s what your body needs.
- Engage your support system – spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, kids. They can be your biggest cheerleaders!
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what advice would you give them before beginning their journey?
Be willing to learn. You can’t keep eating the way you always have and expect different results. You’ve got to be ready to want to be coached.