How This Mom Lost 25 Pounds Effortlessly With Beachbody LIIFT4
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I started my journey purely for vanity reasons. It was 3 ½ years after having our second child and we were taking our first family trip to Disney World. A trip like this has many photos and I wanted to feel more confident about myself looking back over our memories.
I knew some small changes could add up to making larger ones so I started with something simple, such as using smaller plates to keep my portion sizes in check. It worked because the smaller portion sizes appeared larger and creating this illusion helped trick my mind. After about a week or two of this practice, I started adding in other habits such as brushing my teeth when our kids did so I wouldn’t be tempted by late-night cravings.
I dropped a couple of pounds before our March trip and felt successful and proud for following through on a goal because up until that point, I felt I gave up too easily.
After returning from our amazing trip I wanted to see how committed I could be to improving my health and test how far I can go with making smarter, more health-minded decisions. I started meal replacement shakes, 15-day challenges, 30-day challenges, meal plans, etc. These were all stepping stones to where I am today, which is a more positive, confident, growth-minded person who knows our worth is not in our appearance but instead in our actions and how we treat others.
Motivation is a funny thing because it often changes or becomes something you hadn’t known about yourself before. My original motivation was a family trip. My “why” then changed to being my kids/family and wanting to be in their lives as long as possible in a state of “yes”. Currently, I have two things that keep me going: a) being here for the long haul for my family with a healthy quality of life and b) commitment to myself. Showing up for myself every day could mean many things: workouts, healthy eating habits, leaning in to rest days, developing new hobbies, etc… This crosses over to influencing my family with healthier eating options, more active play, more “yes, I can!” responses, etc…
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
Before our trip, I didn’t work out. I took more of a food intake approach. After our trip, I found IdealShape, a multi-tiered online company that sold protein for meal replacement shakes and had a variety of multi-day fitness challenges. These challenges were mostly 15 and 30 days and some came with suggested recipes. I found these recipes extremely helpful to edit the way I was taught how to cook.
I am half Italian and there are quite a lot of heavy ingredients used in traditional Italian cooking. These new recipes opened my eyes to other ways of cooking that were lighter while also being equally as flavorful. It’s no secret that I love food and if I was going to continue on this journey, I needed to thoroughly enjoy what I was nourishing my body with.
The meal replacement shakes taught me about calories and how many to allot to a meal and a snack, however, I knew they were not long-term. I switched from IdealShape to their sister brand IdealLean and their YouTube workout videos using weights. They were quick 20 min videos, perfect for my busy morning mom life at the time. The weight continued to come off and I was feeling more and more confident in myself and loving the feeling of being strong!
I also very much loved that I was working out at home in front of my kids and they were learning healthy habits just by watching what their mommy was doing. After some time with these brands, a neighbor and I tried another challenge together with Betty Rocker because challenges were easy to commit to; 30 days and you’re done. At the time, that’s what we both needed.
Workouts were strength training with bursts of HIIT. I tried running a mile a week, which I kept up for a couple of warm weather months, however, I disliked it and soon stopped. I now know, you need to enjoy your workouts to follow through with doing them. I slowly began increasing my dumbbell collection and pushing myself further and further.
I began the LIIFT4 program with BeachBody and learned so much about form and purpose for specific exercises and grouping specific muscle groups, etc… This program was 4 days of lifting (Mon/Tues/Wed/Fri with rest days Wed/Sat/Sun). Again, this was a schedule I could keep up with the kids even though the workouts increased to about 45 mins. Mon=chest/tri’s, Tues=back/bi’s, Th=shoulders, Fri=Legs. The kids were getting older and more independent, therefore I had more time to focus on myself in the mornings.
I’ve transitioned to Madeline Moves through her Tighter Together Challenge. There’s that word again, can you tell I like challenges?! I will be taking what I have learned during this challenge and subscribing to her Weekly Moves app. I am craving different workouts than the repetitive programming of LIIFT4 and I also like having someone else developing a workout plan because it frees up my mental headspace to direct my attention to other things. Her workouts are 5 days a week, between 30-60 mins and I use DB’s, mini bands, and loops. I wake up looking forward to her style of workouts and that is one of the many things I have learned during my journey: find what you love! Find what you love in fitness, find what you love in food, find what you love in hobbies, etc…
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
Currently, I track macros and love the freedom they offer. Anything “fits” and the macro Tetris game feeds into my challenge personality. There are no food labels of “good” or “bad” and you are in control. I shy away from supplements and prefer the natural method.
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I’ve fallen in love with cottage cheese! Something I never had growing up and now it is a must-have in our fridge. I’ve learned I prefer multi-plate meals and volume eating. My typical breakfasts are either carrot cake oats or egg white veggie omelets paired with oatmeal. Lunches are either crunch wraps with a side salad, green salad with Tuna, or my French Onion chicken salad on a thick cracker.
All of these are with fruit and a small lunch treat such as a piece of chocolate. Snacks can be bars, yogurt cottage cheese bowls, turkey wraps, churro cheesecake, whatever I am feeling that day.
Dinners are where my creativity comes through. I enjoy developing macro-friendly recipes from my favorite meals growing up or comfort foods. Learning more nutritious swaps for macro dense ingredients is fun for me and I enjoy being in the kitchen!
As previously mentioned, I had done meal replacement shakes, protein shakes, meal plans, chicken/broccoli/rice boring meals…but none of these are built for longevity. They were the stepping stones that lead me to track macros. Learning what foods are made up of (proteins, fats, and carbs) and knowing how each supports our bodies in their own unique way has taught me how to properly nourish myself for my goals and to have the energy needed to keep up with my family.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
Slip-ups are part of the journey! We learn from mistakes or missteps. I don’t call them failures because that is a harsh word. They are just as much a part of your journey as your accomplishments! If we did not have our past missteps, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate our wins as deserved! Don’t let one slip up snowball into a mountain too hard to climb. Acknowledge it, give yourself grace, learn from it and move on.
Having an accountability partner sure makes a journey, challenge, or your fav cardio more fun! I also found it helpful to share my goals with my husband and family because saying it out loud somehow makes it more real and they will help you stay the course.
Sure it’s hard when the scale goes up or when you binge or break a commitment. I now know not to give the scale all the power (although I’m still working on this) and there are so many other ways to measure your success because it is not based on a number. I wish I could have told myself this way back in the beginning.
I’ve grown so much as a person, learned an incredible amount about fitness and nutrition and how they go hand in hand, I’ve learned what I can ask of myself and how to push myself, I’ve learned that kids learn more by seeing than by being told, I’ve learned to prepare nutritious meals my whole family benefits from… So when it gets tough, make sure your “why” is deep and one that will propel you forward on dark days because I can assure you, there are dark days.
When did you start to notice progress?
After completing a workout challenge that came with a meal plan that I was nearly perfect at following and getting all the workouts in, I hit my lowest scale weight and had muscles to show for my work. I felt incredible amounts of pride and accomplishment, a high that I did it and completed something I set out to do.
THEN, I thought, now what? That program isn’t sustainable. The restrictive lifestyle wasn’t one I wanted on a daily nor did I want the restriction to be a word when it comes to food with my family. I like to think my reaction after the celebration is my “Ah-ha” moment because I woke up and decided to find something more realistic for me that aligned with my family values. That is when I turned to macros.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
In the beginning, I was only using a scale to measure progress. Within a few months, I got a FitBit to keep my activity up and began drinking at least half my weight in ounces of water a day. A photo diary began a few months later then I downloaded MyFitnessPal and started using my kitchen scale for tracking.
When I was doing Beachbody, the LIIFT4 program came with a weight tracker sheet. Up until then, I wasn’t tracking my weights, therefore I was not progressively overloading my muscles. I was guessing at the DB’s to use instead of staying steady or increasing them.
I also meal plan each weekend for the week ahead. I jot down each meal and give an idea for snacks. It helps with both grocery shopping and again, freeing up the mental headspace for larger tasks when you put things down on paper and take the time to create a plan for the week.
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
I have fallen in love with Hope Fitness bands. They offer mini bands, loops, and other equipment.
I also enjoy having a set of adjustable weights. I take these with me when traveling and if it is leg day and I need heavier weights, I either switch up my programming that week so I am home with the heavier weights or add in a pulse or 3-5 sec hold at the top of the movement to make it more challenging.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I found I like multi-plate meals, walking for 20 mins first thing in the morning, morning workouts so they are done and off the mind, 3 meals 1 snack and 1 dessert is my jam, dessert is a non-negotiable, routine helps build the habit, say your goals out loud to yourself and others to keep you accountable, mistakes are part of the journey, eat what you love, love your movement of choice, if you don’t enjoy running – then don’t!
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
Biceps After Babies Radio: Podcast
@Katie Crokus on Instagram for high-volume protein meal recipes – her rainbow chili is the bomb!
The Rachel Hollis Podcast: growth mindset podcast
Make it Simple: Podcast
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
You have it in you! It may be overwhelming, scary, and daunting. However, find what works for you. An accountability partner or group is worth gold and if you cannot find one, I’m here waiting for you. I’ll hype you up and hold your hand along the way. Strive to thrive and start with one thing.
Baby steps of habits that build upon each other. I think what really helped me keep it from becoming overwhelming is I started with changing just one thing, my portions by eating on a smaller plate. Build and see what you discover!
Where can we find more about you?
My IG is @victoria_mcfit and I’d love to hear and connect with you! This has grown into something more than me. I have a desire to help block out the noise and provide valuable content with recipes, mindset, nutrition, and family life.
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