• Focusing More on What My Body Can Do: Athena’s Journey

    Athena - BeforeHow long have you been on this journey?

    I discovered EM2WL in May 2012. It’s been a long journey with both ups and downs, but there is no turning back for me. It took me a while to trust the process and I’m so happy that I stuck in there. Luckily for me, I have a lot of patience, which is key with this lifestyle. Yes, lifestyle. It is not a quick fix or a diet. It’s a way of life. If you like food, like most people do, then you will like EM2WL.

    When did you first learn that you needed to eat more to reach your goals?

    Well my story is a bit of a lengthy one, but I think it’s one that most people can relate to. I did Weight Watchers to lose weight after both of my pregnancies. After my first pregnancy it worked great. I had lost all the weight and then some. I was also doing a lot of cardio. I was running 5 days a week and doing some light weight lifting.

    After my second pregnancy, however, the weight did not come off nearly as fast with Weight Watchers. I also was not able to do my usual 5 days of running because I was diagnosed with pelvic girdle pain. It is something that I deal with to this day. I came within 8 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight but my clothes just didn't fit the same. I was fatter! My body composition was completely different. All of that cardio and low calorie eating came back to bite me.

    A few months later I stumbled across MyfitnessPal and the EM2WL group. I watched Kiki’s and Lucia’s videos about TDEE. I was intrigued to say the least and I decided to jump right in by doing a 3 month reset. I figured if the low calorie/cardio way wasn't working, then eating more certainly couldn't hurt.

    What was your original response?

    My initial response to EM2WL was disbelief. I was shocked. How could I not have known about this? How could someone eat so much food and lose fat? I just could not wrap my head around it.

    Athena Before AfterHow did others around you react about your decision to discard the usual low calorie methods for weight loss?

    I think there was some hesitation from family members, except my brother. He is a personal trainer and knew exactly what I was doing. Most people didn’t understand, but I knew it was the right thing for me and that’s what matters.

    How did your body react to the initial increase in cals?

    Well, I gained! I ended up doing 2 resets and gained 25 pounds in a period of about one year. Yes, I know it sounds scary but I came to the realization that I had to gain before I could lose. Most people think they lose weight because they are eating LESS, but we need to realize that you’re losing weight because at one point you ate MORE. I now tell people that I actually gained weight on purpose.

    I also noticed that my nails were stronger, my hair wouldn't fall out as much, and I wasn't cold all the time. I also saw that even though the number on the scale was either staying the same or going up, that my inches were going down.

    Did your family notice or comment on any changes once you upped your calories for a period of time? 

    I think it sparked some curiosity in my family members. I am definitely more muscular now than I have ever been my entire life. My husband felt my arms earlier today and was impressed with my progress.

    Athena AfterCan you describe your typical workout schedule prior to EM2WL and today?

    Prior to EM2WL I was doing an insane amount of cardio. I would run 5 days a week and do light weight lifting. By that I mean lifting no more than 5-10 pound dumbbells. And to be honest, I don’t think I could lift more than that anyway because I wasn’t eating enough.

    Today I do cardio maybe once a week. Again, I suffer from pelvic girdle pain and cardio tends to aggravate that, which is actually a good thing because that means that strength training is my primary form of exercise.  It helps with my pelvis. So it’s a win-win!

    I lift weights 3 days a week and lift heavy. I’m midway through The New Rules of Lifting for Women and have experienced great results thus far. I am also a huge Cathe fan. I’ve done 1.5 rounds of STS before spraining my wrist this summer.

    I really look forward to my workouts because I love seeing my progress. I’m at the point now where I enjoy focusing more on what my body can do versus how much weight I have lost. That stupid number on the scale doesn’t mean anything to me anymore.

    In conclusion…

    In conclusion, I’d like to thank Kiki, Lucia and the entire EM2WL family for the constant support. I’m so thankful that I have adopted this lifestyle. Not only for myself, but for my daughters too. They know when they see me exercising that I’m doing it so I can be strong, not so I can be skinny.

    Trish Adams (43 Posts)

    Mom, wife, technologist, certified fitness trainer and nutritional coach. Encouraging women to put their health first. Change starts with self love and acceptance. Once mastered, there's no limit as to where you can go. Treat your body well with sound nutrition combined with an effective training plan to achieve a healthy body composition. We all want to look good in our jeans, but not at the sacrifice of our health. Precision Nutrition Certified Coach