Alison and I have been working together for YEARS! The most fun part of working with Alison for me is watching her personal evolution over the last 6 years. Alison has gone from someone who felt like exercise was punishment to earn her food or work off what she ate, to someone who only wants to get STRONG AF. She has transformed from someone who wanted fat loss more than anything else to someone whose main goal is fueling her body well because it makes her feel good – which has translated to her being able to lose 24 pounds recently with minimal effort. She has done everything right and I am so so so proud of her. Read her transformation story below!
How long have you been working with Lauren? About 6 years! I look at it similar to how I look at therapy where I’ve needed different supports at different stages in my life. It also took a lot of time to realize how much I needed to prioritize mindset and overcome the need to see results pronto. Now I see this group as an essential support for my mental and physical health. It is basically being a part of a support group that in my mind supplements all the other things I do in my life to take care of my mental health. I remember used to wondering when I could stop needing to rely on such supports to function independently. There are a lot of self-care habits I do independently, but I know where I am in my life I also get so much more support from being a part of this group that I see it as an essential component of my self-care.
What did your fitness & nutrition habits look like before working with Lauren?
My habits have changed a lot since working with Lauren. I used to see exercise as something I had to force myself to do to burn as many calories as possible in order to make up for what I was eating. In the last few years I have made it a goal to become as strong as possible which completely changed my relationship with exercise. It is now something I do to manage my stress and help take care of my body as I deal with chronic health issues. It’s about challenging myself to see how many amazing and strong things my body can do and lift as heavy as I can. I do not need exercise to earn my food, I need it to feel strong, capable, and manage my health.
Nutrition was all over the place. I prioritize eating meals that are delicious, satisfying, and fill more up. And this has gotten me to a place I never imagined I would be. I love the meals I eat because I choose to add things like chips to my salads to make it filling and delicious. And I savor every bite without feeling like I am doing something wrong with my nutrition. Paying attention to my hunger cues has become second nature meaning I don’t really snack. I remember taking a lot of mental energy to focus on making choices that would reach my goals (and there are still plenty of time I do this), but most of the time I just stick to my habits and I do not even have to think about it. It’s just simple and easy.
What are some of the most impactful changes you’ve made since you started working with her? What are you most proud of?
I already covered some of this above. But I’m proud of how strong I am. My body has been through a lot with chronic health issues, but I worked really hard to prove to myself that my body can do incredibly hard things. I can lift heavier than I could ever do before, I feel strong and every time I lift heavier or with better form I prove to myself how much my body is capable of. I also trust myself more than I ever did before. I trust my body to know when it is hungry and needs food. I trust that I know how to fuel myself. And I know that whichever goals I have for my body I can do it. I keep proving that with every goal I’ve had whether build muscle and strength, work on my mindset, lose fat, or just maintain where I am despite incredible stress and huge challenges.
What would you say to someone who is hesitant to join WFCC or is intimidated by the time/financial commitment?
If you’re hesitant to join because you think you can do it on your own if you just try harder, that’s when you need this group. It’s not a matter of having more willpower or trying harder, it’s about working on your mindset and changing how you approach all of this and there’s really no better environment to do this in. Being in this group means you are part of an incredible supportive group that are not perfect (we talk about when times are challenging and help each other manage them) but we also celebrate each other, lift each other up, and just have so much fun together. When I’m struggling with other aspects of my life, I make sure to go to office hours because I know spending time with the group is going to help me manage everything else going on. Plus, like Lauren says, you are going to commit to your goals if you have a stake in it.
What are you excited to keep working on in your health journey?
Realizing that I can choose which goals are right for my life in that moment has been a game changer. Right now I’m just maintaining and taking care of my health, but I may choose to build strength again or to focus on fat loss. Either way, I know with the group and Lauren’s advice I can figure out what goal is best for me given what else is going on in life and have proven to myself I can do all of it.