Budget Your Food, Change Your Life

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The More Than Macros Retreat was a big gamble for us.  We were already stretched very thin.  Krista and I were drowning in client check-ins.  Balancing work life with family life was becoming more and more difficult.  I had to quit my CrossFit coaching job.  We knew we’d have to step out of our comfort zone like never before, expand our staff, and hope and pray that people actually came.  I wish I could tell you my faith never wavered, but ticket sales were slow going.  Our itinerary changed about 37 times, and then when our venue fell through, I questioned whether or not this retreat was what God had called me to do. 

“This is why I work online, God!  It’s my safe space behind the screen,”  I shouted. 

Stay Fit Mom compares macro counting to Ramsey's financial plan.

But even as I protested, I knew in my heart that His will for me hadn’t changed.  I wish I could describe it with more detail, but I just knew, as surely as I knew my own name, that this was EXACTLY what God wanted me to do.  

Before, I had my life sectioned off.  My nutrition business, my finances, my marriage, my faith were all so efficiently compartmentalized.  But after seeing our clients in person, after hugging them and looking at each of their beautiful faces, I could hear God saying, “This is what I’ve gifted you.  Don’t sell these women short.  Share the whole story.”

ONE WEEK AFTER the retreat I opened my instagram to this message,

“I feel like I need to share this with you.  A few weeks before I bought my ticket to the retreat I had mentioned to my husband that I felt like the retreat would do me some good. I was suffering from some baby blues, trying to get into the mindset of macros again, arguing a lot with my husband about our finances, and just feeling like something was missing in my life. Attending the retreat was a sign from God. I needed to hear you speak about money and budgeting. After coming home and reflecting on what I took away from the retreat, my husband and I decided to read the money makeover book you gifted us, together. We’re almost done with it and have decided to change our lives using the plan laid out by Dave Ramsey. What you said to us girls resonated so much in me that not only are we going to tackle our financial situation but we’re going to start attending church. I just can’t get your words and passion out of my head and I think that’s exactly what I needed to hear.  After deciding that we need to start going to church, we were driving and a big bumper sticker in front of us said ‘Jesus is the way to salvation.’ It was another clear sign. I just feel like the retreat was exactly what I needed to find the ‘missing’ aspect in my life and bring to light my financial situation. Thank you for bringing that realization to the forefront for me and forcing me to look at my budget.”

I have no words.  Only tears.  It feels so good to have answered His call with a yes and then sit back and watch Him orchestrate miracle after miracle.  

Stay Fit Mom compares macro counting to Ramsey's financial plan.

People keep asking when the next retreat will be, and as a content producer believe me when I say I’m constantly thinking about what’s next.  We have plans spinning, but before we nail anything down, I wanted to take some time to sit and rest in gratitude.

“Budget Your Food, Change Your Life,” -More Than Macros Retreat Workshop

Stay Fit Mom compares macro counting to Ramsey's financial plan.

I wanted to quit macro counting after the first week.  It was too much work, I was still 50 pounds over weight after baby number three, and I didn’t even lose a single pound. I remember feeling so defeated.  There I was with what felt like Mount Everest to climb before me, and the scale was telling me I hadn’t made any forward progress.  I remember calling my brother on the phone completely discouraged. But before I could finish my rant, he said, “If not this, then what?  You know it’s going to work.  It’s just going to take time.”

I knew he was right.  Things were happening.  They just weren’t happening on my own timeline. After that conversation I decided to fully commit one step at time.  But what I didn’t know then that I know with certainty now, is that my decision in that moment to see it through (no matter the timeline) changed my life.  

Nine months later I fit into my jeans and felt more confident in a bikini than I ever had before. But more than all of that, those months taught me how to appreciate all the blood, sweat, and tears it took to accomplish a goal.  I learned to trust the process, delay instant gratification for the greater good, believe in what I could accomplish when I set my rollercoaster of emotions aside, and most of all teach other women they could do the same.

But my story doesn’t end there with 50 lbs of weight loss, great before and after photos, and the ability to navigate protein, carbs, and fats.  And neither does yours.

Stay Fit Mom compares macro counting to Ramsey's financial plan.

In the fall of 2016, my husband and I attended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  At the time we had $107,000.00 in student loan debt.  We had no plans of paying off this loan early.  In fact, I distinctly remember saying, “Looks like we’ll just have two mortgage payments the rest of our lives.” 

But when we showed up to our first class, Mr. Ramsey told us differently, “Some people are just stuck in their ways and have been brainwashed into believing that credit cards and debt are an unavoidable part of life.”

That was me.  I couldn’t fathom a life without student loan debt, car payments and certainly not without a mortgage.  We started imagining what our lives would look like without being a slave to his student loan payment. We ran some numbers and did some quick math.  In 6 years of paying $800 monthly we had made an $8,000 dent in the student loan principal. Meaning in 6 years we paid the bank $58,000, yet still had $107,000 of the initial $115,000 debt to pay off.  

We wanted to vomit, but what was our alternative? We certainly didn’t have 110K laying around anywhere. 

Then Dave Ramsey said it, the quote that made me realize the gift macro counting had given me: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” 

I had felt this way before—hopeless, discouraged, and overwhelmed at the mountain of work I had before me, but I’d looked it in the face, admitted it was going to suck bad, and committed to see it through no matter the timeline. In fact, not only had I done this with my own weight loss journey, but I was making an income telling women they could do the same and to forget about their shame, find their focus and intensity, commit to their “budget” and quit looking back. I came home and told my family that the Dave Ramsey plan is to finance as macros is to nutrition. But did I believe it? Had I really solidified the habits our program claimed to develop to the tune of $107,000?!

Less than three years later, not only did we pay off that $107,000 (the entire student loan balance), but we kept that momentum and have since paid off $116,000 MORE dollars but this time off of our $185K mortgage!  That means in less than three years we have paid off a total of $223,000 in student loan and mortgage debt.

Please don’t confuse this for bragging or the showing off of flashy accomplishments. My biggest fear in sharing our financial journey publicly has always been that I’d come across as boastful, when my true intention is to PROVE that the qualities you possess as a vigilant macro counter are the SAME qualities it takes to gain MAJOR traction on your finances. Our clients are smart, patient, and goal-oriented. They delay instant gratification in exchange for forward progress. These women know that their hard work pays off and that there’s no taking the easy way out. They stick to their budgets and evaluate the opportunity cost every time they splurge to determine whether it’s worth the sacrifice of further forward progress.

God has blessed me with a unique community of women.  We work with clients that are the BEST of the BEST.  Women that not only care about their own successes, but shout joys of praise any time other women choose self-control over self-indulgence, the marathon over the quick fix, and honestly acknowledge their shortcomings over hiding behind excuses.  

Yes, following our macro plan gives you the ability to confidently rock a bikini, but don’t sell yourself short. You can use the skills you’ve acquired along the way to change the trajectory of your LIFE.

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At our More Than Macros Retreat, each woman received a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, a book that lays out the step by step the plan Chris and I used to pay off $223,000.00 in student loan and mortgage debt. 

The baby steps show a visible progression to financial success.

Stay Fit Mom compares macro counting to Ramsey's financial plan.

According to Dave Ramsey, the average person finishes Baby Step 2 in two years or less. This is where you’ve got to use that “gazelle” intensity.  

“The way you get out of debt is you run like you are a gazelle with a cheetah chasing you. You go crazy. I mean crazy. Intense! So gazelle intense it is as if you’re about to be eaten. You run!  When you do that and you have that kind of intensity in getting out of debt, you can break the gravitational pull of stupid and move yourself in a better direction. That’s what gazelle intensity is—running for your life. That is the formula for getting out of debt. It’s not as much math as it is just going bananas.” —Dave Ramsey

Clients like each of YOU know how to flip that switch. When you’re trying to move the needle on macros, you go 7/7 as many weeks as possible!  

Chris and I went through everything we were spending money on and put it into two categories: want and need. We couldn’t believe how many things we had classified as “needs” that were actually luxuries. Cable TV, landscaping services, haircuts, dining out, amusement parks, clothes, and the list goes on and on.

As we paid off more and more debt, we realized who we were becoming in the process. Now instead of living paycheck to paycheck, we communicate about our finances DAILY.  We teach our own kids how to save, spend, and give. We evaluate the opportunity cost of every purchase, and we look forward to our future like never before. It’s been an intense three years, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  

If you’re ready to use the skills you’ve grown in our coaching program for more than macros, find a Financial Peace University Class in your area now. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to accomplish. Whatever the size of the mountain before you, just remember, committing is the hardest part of the climb.  

Interacting with our community on social media fuels our passion to keep on creating!  We do our best to read and respond to every single comment.  It means the world to us to know that you’re out there listening and going through the trenches right alongside us! 

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