Exercise, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Client Spotlight!

Megan steps into WellMom’s client spotlight this week!  Since she started training at the end of last November, she’s increased her self-esteem, energy, and strength.  Oh and I did mention she also shed 25 pounds?

Congratulations on your wonderful accomplishments, Megan!  I look forward to seeing you continue to reach your goals in the months ahead!

Megan  

Mom to Ellie (7) and Jake (4)Megan Kerbs

What motivated you to work with WellMom?  What goals did you have?

I started working with WellMom because I wanted to get back to being the person I used to be. I wanted more energy and to be able to play with my kids without feeling winded or injuring myself.  Some recent medical issues scared me and made me think about my long term health.  I want to live a full and vibrant life but knew that I would need to feel more comfortable in my own skin in order to do this.

Two realizations marked a turning point and caused me to reach out to WellMom.

  1. I discovered just how bad my self image had gotten when my daughter asked if I knew how to swim. She had never seen me in the pool or ocean even though I actually love swimming.
  2. I realized that I avoid being photographed and that this might affect my kids someday. Would they wish they had more photos of me with them when they were young?

What are your accomplishments since working with WellMom?

Since working with WellMom, I have more energy, have lost weight and can run around with my kids more easily. My health has improved and I feel strong and proud of myself.

To what do you attribute those accomplishments?

I attribute my accomplishments to how hard I have worked and how committed I have been to training. Chris made me feel comfortable when I couldn’t do any of the exercises. She listens to me complain the entire workout but never gives up on me.  She has been my non-judgmental cheerleader and has gotten me to a place where I look forward to exercise.

What goals do you have moving forward?

Moving forward, I would like to get even stronger and master some of the more difficult moves Chris has introduced. I would like to lose more weight and would also like to be able to do more push-ups.

What health and wellness advice do you have for other moms based on your personal journey?

I understand just how hard it can be to set aside time for oneself and commit to self-care. I can always think of something else I need to do instead of exercising. I have had to actively ignore that nagging voice and remind myself that this inner chatter is moving me away from my goals. Once I started to see and feel the benefits, the voice has quieted down a bit and I find that I don’t dread exercise as much.

I have tried to set realistic and tangible goals related to something other than the numbers on the scale.  If I only focused on my weight, I would have stopped a long time ago. But seeing my strength increase from week to week has kept me going when the weight loss was uninspiring.

 

Exercise, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Client Spotlight!

These are my favorite posts to do.  🙂  WellMom’s newest client spotlight is Kara M.  We started working together at the end of June.  In less than 5 months, she dropped 25 pounds and drastically increased her energy levels, and she did it in one of the best ways possible: incremental improvements that over time built to sustained lifestyle change.  Her story is nothing less than inspiring.

Kara MMacek headshot

~Mom of Simon (4) and Alden (1)

What motivated you to work with WellMom?  What goals did you have?

I saw a photo of myself at a work event in May while waiting to board a plane home and couldn’t believe how heavy and unhealthy I looked.  I was also feeling really tired and sluggish, but the photo is what really prompted action.  I sent Chris an email from the airport to see if she was accepting new clients.

My original goals were to simply gain strength and energy and to be a better example for my sons.  I wasn’t necessarily looking for huge weight loss or diet changes.  I honestly didn’t realize how much nutrition and healthy eating choices played into Chris’s one-on-one services.  But I am so glad that they do!

What are your accomplishments since working with WellMom?

I have dropped about 25 pounds and gained strength, cardiovascular fitness, and energy.

To what do you attribute those accomplishments?

Macek side - 2017-11-19
…25 pounds less!
Macek side - 2017-07-15
Before…

I largely attribute my accomplishments to having someone to hold me accountable.  I also think that making some realistic, small dietary changes at the beginning and then gradually adding other changes was very helpful.

What goals do you have moving forward?

I would like to carve out time in my schedule to work out at least twice a week (once with Chris and once on my own). On the nutrition front, I want to have a plan for healthy weeknight dinners ahead of time every night to avoid scrambling for something quick (and likely less healthy) when crunched for time.

What health and wellness advice do you have for other moms based on your personal journey?

Take it one step at a time and don’t beat yourself up if you slip every so often.  Old habits diet hard, and it can take time to make lasting changes.  Be mindful about whatever you eat and notice your mental state when you eat it.  Stop and listen to what your body is telling you.  Are you actually hungry or just snacking because food is there?  It’s hard to be mindful when we are constantly juggling the competing demands of work and family life, but it really helps.

Exercise, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Client Spotlight!

Today’s client spotlight lost 47 pounds.  That’s the weight of your average first or second grader.

Rashawn is actually my “client” spotlight because she’s not a client at all – she’s my nanny.  Beyond modeling healthy behavior and allowing her to pick my brain from time to time, I played no role in her success.  She did it all on her own.

Client or not, Rashawn deserves some time in the spotlight.  Over the past 16 months, I’ve witnessed her completely transform herself through dedication, determination, and patience.  She succeeded above all because she recognized that a diet is a way of life – not something we go “on” and “off.”  I am so proud of Rashawn and grateful for the opportunity to share her story with you.


 Rashawn B

~Nanny Extraordinaire

What motivated you to make an improvement to your lifestyle? What goals did you have?

My motivation came from one day stepping on the scale and seeing it read 225 pounds.  I was 28 at the time and told myself, “you have carried this weight around since high school; getting weight off after 30 is much harder.”  With those thoughts, I made a goal to lose 30 lbs (minimum) and fit into a size 10 before my 30th birthday (Aug 28, 2017).

What are your accomplishments since pursuing those goals?

Since May 2016, I have lost 47 pounds (from 225 pounds to 178 pounds) and achieved better control of my exercise and eating habits.

To what do you attribute those accomplishments?

In the beginning, I did not enjoy the thought of exercise, and I lacked the motivation to get it done.  I decided, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it on my terms.  I love to dance, so I purchased dance DVDs and made a goal to exercise 3-4 times per week. I also made a goal to eliminate 1 bad habit a month.  The first habit I eliminated was drinking juice and soda.  I swapped these beverages for flat and sparkling flavored water (without aspartame). Then I eliminated red meats and fast foods and tried new low carb recipes (thanks to Chris and Pinterest).   After a month of the dance tapes, I found that I lost 10 pounds and had energy that was once lost.  Following the DVDs, I purchased a Fitbit watch, began walking a lot more, and joined a gym.  I focused on cardio and core workouts and using elliptical and ab machines. As I continued to familiarize myself in the routine of working out, I also began to make monthly challenges, such as no artificial sugars and no caffeine.  Months later, I began juicing and adding them into my regular diet. Each challenge started out hard, but as I continued the process, I began to feel mentally stronger, physically happy in my results, and more and more confident in myself as I gladly swapped my size 16 for a size 10!

What goals do you have moving forward? 

Going forward, I will continue to build my strength by working out and making more challenges for myself.  I have committed to a lifestyle change of healthy eating and exercise.  Overall, I desire to be confident, happy and live a long fulfilling life.

What health and wellness advice do you have for other women based on your personal journey?

It’s never too late and anything is possible.   Diving into lifestyle changes takes time.  Start slow, eliminate one bad habit at a time and replace it with a healthy one.  If exercise seems intimidating, start with your diet.  Good food choices will provide so much more energy – you’re going to want to get up and move!  Next, find time to get outdoors.  A nice walk and fresh air does wonders!! Lastly, do something you love and challenge yourself. You’re capable of more than you think. There will be bad days, but that is never a reason to quit.  Tomorrow is always a perfect day to start over.  Just make sure you start!

Rashawn before and after.jpg
Rashawn lost 9 inches from her waist, 5 inches from her hips, and dropped 6 dress sizes!

 

Exercise, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Client Spotlight!

I am so excited to announce WellMom’s new Client Spotlight!  Brittany Y became a WellMom client in December 2015, soon after the birth of her third child.  Over the past year and a half, Brittany has made AMAZING strides on both physical and emotional levels.  Physically she improved the shape of her body and gained strength and energy.  Emotionally she experienced boosts to her self confidence and improved her body image.  Brittany’s story offers great insight for others, so read on!  And make sure you read all the way to the end – it has the best part!

Brittany Y

Brittany
December 2015: 38 second plank and 15 push-ups
May 2017: 3 minute plank and 27 pushups!

~ Mom of Isabelle (5), Sophie (4), and Ernest (19 months)

What motivated you to start working with WellMom?  What goals did you have?

I met Chris at Clarendon Day.  I remember she had Lily (her youngest daughter) with her and she was engaging people as they walked by her booth. I was not looking for a personal trainer at the time, but after talking with her I felt she had some interesting ideas of how to help me meet my fitness goals. Her website was comprehensive and it was clear she was knowledgeable and passionate about health and wellness, plus her flexibly to do in-home training convinced me to try WellMom. Originally my goals were to strengthen my back, help improve running endurance, close my stomach muscle split after my third baby, lose 10 pounds, and increase muscle tone.

What are your accomplishments since working with WellMom?

I am so much stronger! It has been empowering seeing myself meeting and exceeding specific weight training and strength training targets. My back is so much stronger; I don’t ache as much as I did picking up my kids. My endurance and energy levels are higher. The muscle split in my stomach is gone. While losing 10 pounds was originally part of the goal, and while I did lose some weight, as I saw my body shape change for the better and my clothes fit more comfortably for the first time ever I didn’t really care about the scale numbers. I think if you have ever struggled with body image being able to embrace strength and health regardless of your ideal weight can sometimes be a difficult and uphill mental battle. I felt like Chris helped me so much with this piece of my overall health and wellness.

To what do you attribute those accomplishments?

Regular training, defining specific goals, having someone who knows how to coach you to meet those goals.

What goals do you have moving forward?

Maintaining my current strength level and finding other areas of my life that could be made healthier, nothing radical just improvements like reducing (not eliminating) my daily sugar intake. Perhaps aiming for a 4-minute plank, just kidding, well kind of :).

What insights have you gained on this journey that might help other moms?

If you find time to take care of yourself physically and emotionally you will value yourself and your time more and that will make you a stronger, happier individual and Mom.  Sometimes this requires asking a spouse, friend, or family member for help or may mean hiring a babysitter or a trainer like Chris. If your kids see you taking a little time each week to take care of your health they will value their own health more and it helps to give you individuality in their eyes beyond being Mom.

Exercise, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Client Spotlight!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year with the announcement of another Client Spotlight!  Alissa G became a WellMom client in late October 2016 with the goal of dropping 11 pounds, and today she is just one pound shy of that goal!  Read on and learn more about Alissa and her accomplishments.   Awesome job, Alissa!  Looking forward to working with you to knock off that last pound!

Alissa G

~ Mom of two, ages 6 and 4

alissa-with-head-2
Alissa wanted to remain anonymous. I say she’s a convincing Giselle. 🙂 #excusemypoorphotoeditingskills

What motivated you to start working with WellMom?  What goals did you have?

I was motivated to start working with WellMom because I couldn’t seem to lose that last 10 pounds after having my youngest. I also noticed that with age it was getting more difficult to lose the weight. My goal was to feel better about my body and increase my energy level.

What are your accomplishments since working with WellMom?

I am close to my weight loss goal while doing so during Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was proud that I could refrain from indulging in my favorite holiday goodies. I have also noticed I have more tone to my muscles and problem areas.

To what do you attribute those accomplishments?

I have become more conscious of what I am eating based on the meal plan and tracking program that Chris and I developed for my journey.  I have also increased my workouts per week.

What goals do you have moving forward?

My future goals are to continue building strength, muscle and positive energy.

What insights have you gained on this journey that might help other moms?

My personal experience through this journey has made me realize how much I missed working out, which not only keeps my body fit but my mind fit as well. I am happier overall because I carved out an hour of time to myself 3-4 times a week to exercise.

Exercise, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Client Spotlight!

I’m proud to put the spotlight on WellMom client, Kristen D!  Kristen started working with me in July and lost 10 pounds in just 8 weeks!  Her weight continues to fall, and she’s developing the body shape she desires as she simultaneously gains strength. Keep reading to learn more about Kristen and her accomplishments.  She also has some great advice for other moms there.  Way to go, Kristen!  

Kristen D

~ Mom to Dominic, 3 years, and Damien, 10 months

kristen-degischer
“My best advice is to make time for yourself…[and] to be kind to yourself.”
What motivated you to start working with WellMom? What goals did you have?

I became motivated to start working out with WellMom when my second son turned 8 months old.  I was done breastfeeding, back to work, and dissatisfied with my weight and fitness level.  I wanted to lose 10 pounds, fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, and change my eating habits.

What are your accomplishments since working with WellMom?

Since working with WellMom, I achieved my 10 pound weight loss goal and am back in those pre-pregnancy clothes!  Importantly, I have gained core strength and overall stamina.  I have also made meal-planning and prep part of my lifestyle so that I am not scrambling to come up with dinner ideas and resorting to take-out or frozen foods.  I feel more satisfied eating whole foods and saving splurges for something truly worthwhile.  Chris really guided me through this process.  She was always accessible via text, which made it so easy.

To what do you attribute those accomplishments?

I could not have reached these goals without Chris’s support!  Every week I knew that we would meet and discuss my weight loss.  This accountability helped me reach for healthy food choices and get in my workouts.  I also really appreciate that she tailored workouts to my needs.  I can do the circuits that she designs for me at home or at the gym, so I really have no excuse not to work out.  The exercises are also both challenging and fun!

What goals do you have moving forward?

I have set a new weight loss goal, with a continued emphasis on core strength, glute shaping (!), and overall fat loss.  I also hope to continue building on the good eating habits I’ve established.

kristen-after
After losing 8 lbs (and she kept losing)!
kristen-before
Before

What health and wellness advice do you have for other moms based on your personal journey?

My best advice is to make time for yourself.  I am a much better mom, wife, and friend when I feel good about myself.  Part of that is physical fitness and a healthy weight.  I am so glad that I sought out personal training to jump start a new health journey as the mom of two young kids.  I would also say to be kind to yourself.  Perfection is not the goal!  Rather, feeling strong and energetic are the best rewards.  Well, that, and fitting into your old jeans 🙂

 

Lifestyle, Nutrition

Does Eating Well Make You Feel Deprived? Consider a New Perspective

I recently had a check-in call with a nutrition coaching client.  Like many people, she has a sweet tooth that she struggles to keep in check.  In the course of the conversation, she expressed a frustration I often hear from those who are trying to improve their diet and lose fat.  She said something like this:

“When I avoid ‘bad’ foods, I feel like I’m missing out or being deprived of something.”

Let me begin by saying I totally get this.  Let’s pretend you’ve got a five-pound fat loss goal, so you’re trying to watch what you eat.  Like my client, you struggle most when it comes to curbing your intake of sweets.  You have a special weakness for cheesecake.  It’s Fridaycheesecake night, and you find yourself out to dinner with some friends.  Your waiter clears the main course and offers you each a dessert menu.  The house specialty is – you guessed it – New York style cheesecake.  Each of your friends unapologetically orders a slice, and now it’s your turn.

How do you feel?  Um, frustrated, perhaps?  Or in the words of my clients, a little deprived?

Of course you do!  Why do they get to eat the cheesecake when you don’t?!

(Oh, and did I mention that each of your cheesecake-devouring friends is 5’10 and weighs 125 pounds?)

But now let me tell you two things that I told my client that will hopefully change your perspective and your relationship with food.

First, if you really want the cheesecake, order it.  Yes, that’s right.  Your nutrition coach said order the stinkin’ cheesecake.

But there’s a catch:  limit yourself to just a few bites, and send the rest home with one of your friends.  Or offer to share a slice with a friend and again just eat a few bites.

If there is something that you truly love, you are entitled to enjoy it.  You will have a much healthier relationship with food and be more successful at establishing sustainable eating habits.  When most people think of diets, they think of something you go “on” and “off”: I’m on a diet.  But a diet should be a way of life.  If you truly love cheesecake and always deny yourself it, you are all but destined to fail.

So that’s the first point.  Nothing is completely off limits, though certain things should be consumed in small amounts.  How small depends on you and your specific goals.  

The second point requires us to first figure out your PURPOSE for losing the five pounds.  And your purpose is NOT something like, “so I can fit into the jeans I wore in college.”  Your purpose is the REASON you want to fit into those jeans.  It runs deeper.  It’s emotional.

Your purpose might be anything.  For my client it’s about being happier and feeling more confident with her body.

That’s the second point.  When you start feeling deprived, flip your perspective: you are not depriving yourself of cheesecake.  Overindulging in the cheesecake is depriving YOU of achieving your purpose, whether that be confidence, happiness, or something else.  

From experience I can tell you how true this is.  I also used to have quite a sweet tooth, but now I’m rarely tempted by desserts.  When I find myself at parties and can freely pass on the brownies or easily limit myself to just a single cookie, I feel nothing short of liberated.  My heart goes out to friends when I see them struggle to exercise restraint and then, should they succumb to the temptation, be mentally preoccupied with guilt and regret.  Did I arrive at this place overnight?  Of course not.  It took several years of making incremental changes to my diet.  But it did happen.  And it can happen to you too.  To take your first step in getting there, ask yourself, “What’s my purpose?”