Once a month we get the privilege of highlighting women in our community that are doing outstanding things and this month is no different! We are thrilled to share Noelle’s story with you and hope you’ll glean some wisdom from her tips and be inspired by her commitment!
Noelle: There is so much I can say, but ultimately, counting macros has been life changing. It takes practice and consistency. Stay Fit Mom makes it so easy with all the recipes that are available. I have talked to so many people in my life about Stay Fit Mom, because it really has been the only thing that has fit well into my life. My mom and my older sister have started following and I hope one day they take the leap as well.
If you have any follow up questions to this interview I hope they feel comfortable reaching out to me. This was so fun to reflect on everything that has happened over the past few years. If there is a way that I can support other members on their journey I am always available!
Tell us a little bit about your story. Work? family? What’s a typical day in your life look like?
Noelle: Hi! I’m Noelle. I am currently a registered nurse. I am a mom, a wife, and an Army veteran.
My typical day starts with me waking up at 5am to head the gym. I get to the gym and spend 30 minutes doing cardio followed by about an hour of strength training. I am fortunate to have a wonderful spouse that gets the kids ready for school, so when I get home, they are all ready to go and I have about 20 minutes before I start working. I work remotely, so most of my day is uneventful. Most days I will walk one or two times while working for about an hour each on my walking pad to get my body moving and increase my step count for the day. The boys get home from school and our evenings are spent either at after school activities or at home. Then its dinner and I am in bed by 8 or 9.
As far as my meals go, I don’t have set times I eat, but I usually meal prep 3 meals per week for lunches and dinners. When I get home from the gym, I enter my lunch and dinner into MFP. I always make my breakfast each morning, so that will be pieced together to fit my macros. I am the queen of macro-Tetris; it works for me since I am home most days. On days where we are going to be out, I do plan my whole day to reduce impulse snacks and eating out.
How did you find Stay Fit Mom and what made you decide to take the leap?
Noelle: I found SFM early 2021. I started following Krista in January of 2021 and followed Tracy a month later. At this point, I had been committed to working out consistently for about a year and half doing mostly bootcamp style workouts. I knew I needed to get my nutrition figured out but didn’t know where to start. In the past I had tried everything to lose weight fast and easy. Sometimes those methods worked, but in those instances, I gained it all right back shortly after. I didn’t really know much about macros before I found SFM. I started by just educating myself with all the free resources I had available to me. This was mostly by watching reels and stories from Krista and Tracy to get an idea of what macro counting was. I wanted to believe in myself before I invested in the SFM coaching program. Macro counting is hard when you first start out. The first thing I did was buy one of Krista’s recipe books. I had a macro prescription that I was attempting to follow, but I was more focused on getting used to weighing out food, entering my own recipes, and figuring out what foods fit where, so I didn’t dive right in and go for the coaching. I needed the tools and the confidence to be successful. Over the next year, I practiced and joined some challenges for extra motivation until I finally felt confident enough to invest in myself and in April 2022, I joined the one-on-one coaching. I was surprised with the amount of time it took me to take the leap as I was going through all my emails to figure out the exact dates but looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. The knowledge and skills I gained over that practice year gave me the confidence to trust in myself and trust the process of macro counting.
You embody steady wins the race! How have you been able to stick with this and keep hammering away? Specifically, what are some of the systems and processes you’ve implemented that have helped you stay consistent?
Noelle: A lot of people tell you, “Find your Why?”; “Find the reason that you want to be healthy, workout, etc. and always go back to that.” That’s great if that works for you. Starting out, it was just hard for me to identify a “why” of my own that I really connected with, felt authentic, and gave me that boost of motivation. For me, I was just tired of starting over. I had a lot of things throughout this journey that could have derailed me; a pandemic, moving across the country away from family and friends that were our family’s support system, battling depression, and having my gym shutdown and searching for a new one (not once, but twice within a year).
Ultimately, I needed to stop letting myself down. I couldn’t rely on anyone but myself to keep me going. Now, it’s become a habit. I enjoy the way I feel physically and mentally and that is what fuels the fire, that has become my “why”.
Celebrate where you are at in your journey and what your body can do at that moment. Take the pictures, no matter what. Sometimes I take my pictures for check-in, and I do not like them at all, but then when I do the side-by-side, I am reminded of how far I have come and that changes are happening.
Things that have helped me are:
- I surround myself with like-minded people, the people that encourage me and are happy to see my success, and those are the relationships that I pour into.
- I have accountability at the gym and with my nutrition. I want to show up and not let those people down even on my bad days.
- I meal prep as much as possible. I’m not perfect with this, when I forget or didn’t have time to grocery shop, its usually chicken and rice, which I make sure I always have just in case. So have some staples around the house that will always work in a crunch.
- I’m super competitive. If I find myself lacking motivation and there isn’t a challenge going on with Stay Fit Mom, I will enter a competition at a local nutrition shop to help incentivize what I am doing and get my back on track.
- I don’t deprive myself from things I really want. I make it work to it fit into my macros if it is worth it to me.
- I find ways to be social that do not involve going out to eat or for drinks. Things like going for a hike, doing a fitness class, going for a walk and talk, seeing a movie, ect.
A big thing to remember and remind yourself is that a missed or “red” day with macros doesn’t ruin your whole week. You get to start over the next day and try again. You can’t go back in time, so just focus on what lies ahead.
What’s your most used, favorite SFM recipe?
Noelle: There are so many good ones! I am going to choose two – Burrito Bowls and Greek Pita Bowls. They both are so satiating. I tend to eat them both at least once a month.
How has your macro counting journey impacted other areas of your life besides getting a new wardrobe? Share some of your favorite Non-Scale Victories.
Noelle: Over the past 4 years, I have essentially reprogrammed my mindset when it comes to the number on the scale, size of my jeans, my relationship with food, and what I think about my body. It took so much time to get to where I am today but cutting the ties with the numbers that society once placed on a woman’s worth and beauty has been freeing and empowering.
The biggest non-scale victory that I’m most proud of is the impact my lifestyle choices have had on my children thus far. My 8-year-old comes with me to work out on the weekend, my 4-year-old cannot wait until he can come to the gym with me, and they are learning about nutrition. I also love when I can PR a lift or encourage my gym people to grab a heavier weight. I remember the first time I did a power roll and stood up without having to use a dumbbell as counterweight, that was awesome.
Tell us about your experience working with Coach Heather specifically.
Noelle: Working with Coach Heather has been wonderful. She is always so positive and encouraging. Even when I tell her I am tired of doing check-ins and searching for a non-scale victory, she reiterates the importance of finding the silver lining and consistency. I really like that she takes my personal goals into consideration when planning out my macros each week and supports me through any crazy changes that I want to make (like going into a deficit over the holidays).
What Coach Heather has to say about working with Noelle:
I absolutely LOVE working with Noelle! She has a great attitude and works really hard. Noelle has had amazing success on her health journey and is a great example of how consistency over time shows progress. It hasn’t always been super easy, but no matter what, Noelle persists and works hard to hit her numbers and get her workouts in. She came to SFM in April 2022 eating an average of 1284 calories and we worked her up to around 1900 calories. She recently just finished a cut and is ready for more food again! She has lost almost 20 lbs and is looking so lean and strong! Excited to see where her journey takes her from here!