I’ve been an athlete for most of my life. Since I’ve been able to walk, I’ve been sliding my way through the dirt and muck of softball fields, busting my knees (and face) on volleyball courts, running across the finish lines of distance races, and getting my feet and hands into whatever activity kept me moving. As you might have guessed, I don’t sit still very well.
Considering all the experience I have, you’d think I would know how to eat and train like an athlete should. However, you would be wrong.
Though I’ve been on the move for much of my life, I’ve also struggled with my weight and health during most of that time. I’ve done it all: count calories, count carbs, Weight Watchers, the South Beach Diet, the “try to get cozy with someone who has a stomach bug” diet. And, while all of these have “worked” (though that term is highly subjective) in the immediate sense, the weight always came back, plus a few more pounds for good measure.
I’ve had severe allergies that have made me miserable with every season change and sent me running to Walgreens to stock up on Zyrtec (which ain’t cheap). Sinus infections? I got ‘em. Itchy and red eyes that prevent me from wearing contacts? Yeah, those too. Constant congestion, G.I. misery (I’ll spare you the details), acne - the list is endless.
And, I was ALWAYS hungry. Raging hungry. Like, “Grab a Snickers; please don’t murder and consume the flesh of everyone in this room” hungry.
In Pursuit of Skinny
I also got sucked into the abyss of the common fitness industry misnomer that “more is better.” I assumed that if I wanted to look like those chicks on the cover of Shape or Cosmo, I had to spend hours a day as a gym rat to get those results. Because if you want to be “skinny,” you have to want it more than you have time to give, and if that means exhausting the funds of your sanity and well-being, then hop to it, sister!
I lived on the treadmill, road, elliptical, or stairmaster, spending countless hours I will never get back doing as much cardio as I could, for as long as I could. The only time I ever hit the weight room was to (poorly) try to meander through the machines I thought would make me “skinny” (see, there’s that buzz word again; does it feel like you’re in an episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, where you’ll all of a sudden be surrounded by loud screams every time the word “skinny” is mentioned?). And my God, was it BORING. So, I never did any kind of resistance training, because that’s lame, and you’ll just bulk up like Lou Ferrigno anyways, and all you need is cardio, right?
But, I’ll tell you one thing: none of these approaches ever worked. It’s Einstein’s Theory of Insanity:
Doing the same thing over and over will not produce different results.
I never lost any fat, I never toned up, I never felt better. I obsessed over the number on the scale and would use my perceived “failure” as a reason to further indulge in those foods and behaviors that were harmful. This was my life. But if you’re always in a state of despair and grappling, do you know any different?
Becoming a New Mom
Fast forward to 2014 when I had my son and joined a local gym, by chance, because it was one of few around me that offered legit childcare. I was trying to get out of the house, so I scoured the gym’s group fitness schedule so that I find something that fit my schedule.
I also suffered from terrible postpartum depression, so the social aspect of working out was something I desperately needed. That’s where I discovered, again, by chance, the wonder of BODYPUMPⓇ. I came to love it so much that I wanted to lead others to do it! That was the decision that started my fat loss journey.
Becoming an Instructor
Leslie Ann Quillen ("LAQ") was my trainer for my initial BODYPUMPⓇ cert, and witnessing her strength (both inner and outer), her wisdom, her confidence, but also her REAL and uplifting approach to health and fitness, made me want to dig more and figure out,”What sauce is that chick drinkin’?”
She clearly lived her truth, so I checked out her blog on the Fat Loss Foodies site, and she phone-counseled me to help me find a system that would actually work, where all others had failed. Introduce: The Metabolic Effect and female fat loss.
Becoming a Fat Loss Foodie
I ordered my copy of The Metabolic Effect by Drs. Jade and Keoni Teta, and began closely following the Fat Loss Foodie blog for workouts and recipes, and I haven’t looked back!
I’ve spent these last several months approaching my healthy lifestyle just so: like a LIFESTYLE, not a diet. I’ve played metabolism detective, figuring out what my triggers are for fat gain and negative/stagnant results. I’ve learned about my own unique body and all of its cogs and wheels, and I’m learning what makes my machine run best.
I’ve flipped my entire approach to eating on its head and no longer view food as my mortal enemy, but as FUEL for my active and healthy lifestyle. I’ve discovered the importance of protein and lean muscle mass, and the roles of both in aiding fat loss and kick-starting one’s true “fat burning capabilities.” I’ve also discovered that not all carbs are bad; nor are they created equal, as the types, not just amounts, of foods we consume can often be a hindrance to our goals.
Lastly, I stopped taking the “all or nothing approach” that Fat Loss Foodies warn against. Instead, I made a series of small, subtle, yet impactful changes. I believe this has been the key to my success.
- Instead of reaching for a beer, I’ll drink a La Croix sparkling water (that apricot, tho’) to satisfy my craving for a carbonated beverage.
- I have an app on my phone that reminds me to drink water.
- I chipped away at the sources of sneaky and hidden sugar in my diet (like cereal, and breakfast bars) little by little, and now I rarely crave sweets. And, if I do, I just whip up one of the goodies the ladies at FLF have created to satisfy my sweet tooth while still remaining aligned with my goals.
And, as LAQ and Jenn (Jenn is one of the Fat Loss Foodie coaches) both stress, we ladies have to get our heads out of our a**es and realize that we are not like men in the way we burn fat and get fit: our hormones, our body composition, and our physiological needs make us unique, yet fierce, fat burning machines, ready to take on the world of heavy things and lifting them with ease.
Seeing Jen and Leslie Ann role model heavy weight lifting has been both inspirational and enlightening. No, we aren't going to look like SNL’s Hans and Franz if we pick up and put down steel, rubber, and iron, but we will tone up, shed mass, and feel like a million bucks.
After a few months of adopting an FLF lifestyle, I no longer obsess about the scale and that arbitrary blinking number. I can’t even tell you the last time I stepped on one, but I can tell you, for damn sure, I dropped two sizes, and my clothes fit better than ever.
I don’t get sinus infections anymore. Like, ever. I’ve stopped sneezing my face off and burning through viles of Visine. I poop like a champ (come on, you were wondering), and my tummy only gets upset when I eat something that I’ve uncovered as reactionary with my new metabolic CSI skills.
I sleep better than I have in my entire life, even with a toddler in the next room, showing up at my bedside at 2 a.m. like a creepy Chucky doll to show me his boogers.
And you want to know the kicker? This is the first holiday season in my 32 years on earth that I’ve not only NOT gained weight, but have LOST weight and fat, and have remained steadfast in my healthy goals.
My only secret? Utilizing the toolbox of resources I’ve gathered this last year.
My New Lifestyle
As a teacher and fitness instructor, I decided that I, too, must live my truth to motivate others. I’ve started following the Metabolic Effect workouts, as well as those that Jenn and LAQ post on the FLF blog. I get in the gym now for quick-nasty-dirty-intense workouts, because this is what matters more for fat loss than how long you exercise! I push myself so that I can push others. I don’t stay in the gym all damn day (‘cause ain’t nobody got time for that), and as long as I have purpose, I get sh*t done!
I cook at least one of the recipes on the Fat Loss Foodies blog per week, as the ladies take a very REAL approach to cooking and eating: uncomplicated, economically-sound, time-savvy, delicious, and hey, even kid-friendly!
I now make my decisions based on their holistic health benefits, not whether or not they’ll make me “lose or gain weight.”
These ladies are exactly that: ladies, who know how to approach female fat loss because they live it each day. The approach Jenn and Leslie Ann preach is simple and straight-forward. There are no bells or whistles. There’s no “get shredded quick” scheme, or “eat this, not that” mantra. It’s just bare-bones, basic human mechanics: eat to perform, eat to fuel, eat to feel good, and exercise in a way to which your body will actually respond. Make real and tangible goals, and build your fortress to achieve them!
-- Lindsay J., Age 32
Lindsay, the Fat Loss Foodies team is SO proud of you and we're thrilled to share your story here on the FLF blog! This is our favorite part of what we do as trainers and coaches: watching women unlock their hidden potential to change their own lives and the lives of others.
If you're reading Lindsay's story and want to learn more about working with Fat Loss Foodies, join our email list by clicking the button below, or send an email to LeslieAnn@FatLossFoodies.com. In addition to our signature 4-week program, Fat Loss Cooking School, we also take a limited number of one-on-one coaching clients.