Q: Why did you decide to join Team WAG?
John: I actually joined WAG twice. The first time I wasn't committed. The second time I was. Both times I joined because I reached a point in my training that I wasn't seeing the fat loss I was hoping to. At that time I had already built the habit of weight training 4 days a week but six months later I was definitely stronger but not much leaner. With my stubborn fat, you could argue that I kind of looked bigger. I realized then that the only way I could get where I wanted to be was to get super serious about my diet. One of my best friends Pat Mendes, who’s a former Olympic lifter, recommended I use WAG. Within my first few weeks at WAG I started to see my goals trending in the right direction and knew that I had made the right decision.
Katie: I joined WAG about 2 months after my husband did. We had been working out together for about 4 months and I was seeing him make tons of strides after joining. At first I was hesitant; I was working out because I wanted to eat anything I wanted! But where were my abs? Then I had a body analysis done and discovered I wasn't eating properly. While the number on the scale was where I wanted it, my body fat percentage was surprisingly high and my muscle mass was very low. In fact, with the way I was eating I was likely just hurting myself at the gym rather than helping build muscle. With some push from John and some motivation for my health, I signed up.
Q: Was there anything about the program that surprised you?
John: The thing that surprised me most about the program is that WAG is a lifestyle not just a diet. I am being coached to make great food choices wherever I am. I also am being trained that I don't have to say no entirely to some of my favorite foods. Instead, I have to make trade offs. If I eat that donut, that means I’ll have to eat foods with hardly any fat in them the rest of the day. Understanding the trade offs, it’s easier to understand your own impulses and say no. For me, I've realized that the quantity of sweets I used to eat was greater than I actually desire. Now, sometimes all I need is a bite of my favorite treat to satisfy my craving.
Katie: I was surprised that I could do it! I had tried other things and given up quickly. I have a ton of access to all the variety I enjoy with food, but now I typically just add a lot more protein. In fact the first few weeks I had a hard time eating so much! I've never felt hungry on WAG.
Q: As parents, your schedule can be hectic and varied. How have you managed to stay on track while balancing all of your commitments?
John: Sometimes you don’t. We have succeeded and failed so many times. The difference now is when we fail we don't throw in the towel and say all is lost and go on a big binge. Instead now because we track macros, when we fail we fail smaller. Having each other helps. We both know each other's goals so we help each other. The other day there was some candy on the counter for our son and I picked it up and started eating it. My wife came up and took it from my hands and threw it away. She said, "You really don't want to eat that." I smiled. She was right. Also, as a couple, one of the things that has helped us out with our crazy schedules is doing this together. Every week we try a new restaurant together and find our go to meal that fits our macros. 25+ weeks later, WAG doesn't feel restrictive because we now have tons of go to options to eat out that fit perfectly within our macros.
Katie: To be honest, sometimes we don't! I've had great weeks and weeks where it's really hard. I think what's great about WAG and tracking macros is that it adds structure to your schedule. I'm more organized in general when I am sticking to good nutrition and more motivated to keep on top of things I need to get done. You can bet on weeks where I'm struggling with WAG, I'm struggling with everything! So it's a balance we work for. Having John on the program with me also keeps me super accountable, especially in the sense that we are encouraging each other to keep on it rather than one of us tempting the other with bad habits.
Q: How has your performance in the gym been affected by tracking, if at all?
John: My performance in the Gym has increased. This is probably also due to my desire to go to the gym increasing because I look better than I used to. This tends to spiral in a good way as I make progress.
Katie: I've noticed big strength changes in the gym; I work with a personal trainer who comments that I have consistently been able to do harder things with more ease. I don't have a ton of "big" muscles, but I'm stronger for sure; I've seen my body fat percentage drop drastically while watching my muscle mass increase. It's exciting to see!
Q: What has been the biggest change you've made in your lifestyle since joining?
John: The biggest change in my lifestyle I've made since joining is probably knowing myself better and knowing why I make decisions. I think a lot of us go through our day out of habit and don't really know why we make decisions. I feel like I know myself better now than I did before.
Katie: I think the biggest lifestyle change for me is that overall I'm more organized; I keep a schedule and plan out what I'm eating for the day. In general I have more energy and that's big for a stay at home mom with a busy two year old!
Q: What advice do you have for other people considering hiring a nutrition coach?
John: Whether you want to get better at fitness, basketball, your marriage, or your diet hire a coach. A lot of people doubt the money spent because we grow up in the Information Age when we can KNOW just about anything for free. It's true. You can read about Lebron's basketball technique, you can read the same books as a marriage counselor, and yes Macro Counting has been around for years, but there is something about having a coach that changes the game. They've been there and done that. Checking in with them forces you to be accountable. And their wealth of experience will speed your progress and make it more sustainable than any other resource. In my opinion, if I do WAG for over a year and develop the good habits instilled by my coach I'll be able to sustain those habits and enjoy the benefits therefrom for the rest of my life. If you're not where you want to be, or you keep making progress and then retrogressing, hire a coach. Quit lying to yourself. You need something more or you just don’t want the progress as much as you say you do.
Katie: Just go for it; don't worry about it "not being for you." The great thing about having a personal coach is that it is all personal for you. Alexa has been great and super supportive when I slack, and cheers me on when I succeed. I promise you'll be so surprised at what you're capable of!
One of the best ways of knowing how mentally tough you are is assessing how you react to difficult situations. It takes some serious mental toughness to be able to handle pain, suffering and discomfort in a logical and rational way.
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