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Client Spotlight: Tara Transforms Her Body, Mind, AND Confidence

blog fat loss keto for women lifestyle Nov 13, 2020

Patience. Consistency. Trust. Commitment.

^These are the four key behaviors that I believe embody any successful transformation.

My client Tara is a perfect example of someone who committed to the long haul, trusted the process, and stayed extremely consistent and patient.

We began working together at the end of May 2020 and started implementing small behavior shifts to work towards Tara's goals.

In her initial intake form, Tara wrote:

"Overall health is my number one goal, but losing excess body fat is definitely a very close second as I know I have it to lose. I have two young kids (7 & 2), a husband, and a pretty demanding job.

In order to manage it all, I need to be healthy and have the energy to keep up! The Keto lifestyle is probably the longer "diet" plan I have ever actually made into a lifestyle. And starting back in November of 2019 I really got back into a very regular gym/exercise habit.

I love to feel strong! With nutrition specifically, I struggle with calories and macros to ensure they are in line to set myself up for success. I also know that stress and high emotions are often what derails me into poor eating habits."

Here's a quick overview of the process:

We began by focusing on Tara's nutrition for the first two weeks. She started tracking her food more consistently and accurately. We found that she tended to eat a bit more on the weekends compared to the weekdays (super common for a lot of us).

So, we rolled with it and decided to implement a 5/2 split as she began her fat loss phase. We set up Tara's calories so she was able to enjoy a bit more food over the weekend and a bit less during the week to ensure she was in a deficit to lose body fat.

This worked well and Tara was able to adhere to this 5/2 split very consistently. We adjusted her intake along the way and incorporated other calorie cycling methods as she got further along in her fat loss phase.

Tara started weighing herself every day so we could see her weekly weight trends, she took body tape measurements each week so we could gauge how her body composition was changing, and progress pictures every month.

She also started tracking several biofeedback metrics each day using a rating scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being great). This gave us a complete picture of how she was responding to everything, outside of just the physical changes.

These metrics included:

  • sleep quality 
  • hunger
  • cravings
  • performance
  • recovery
  • stress

Stress needed some attention so we started working on a daily routine that Tara could implement to help manage her stress levels. She began meditating, journaling, and reading and I held her accountable to this so we could ensure it became part of her daily habits. 

Movement & Exercise

We then worked on getting Tara's daily movement and exercise plan dialed in. She started tracking steps every day and over the course of the first few months, we worked her up to 11K steps per day.

For her workouts, Tara was previously following a circuit style program. We shifted her to a 3-day per week full-body resistance program with two conditioning sessions per week.

Tara followed this split for the first three months and then shifted to a 4-day per week upper/lower split. She absolutely CRUSHED IT and started setting new personal records for various lifts including deadlift, squat, and bench press!

We also implemented a few diet break weeks along the way as well as deload weeks from training to ensure Tara was recovering properly and not getting 'burnt out' from the diet.

As you can see, Tara absolutely CRUSHED her fat loss phase and completely transformed her body, mind, AND confidence over these last 6 months!

I'm excited to continue working with Tara and can't wait to see what the next 6-months bring! Stay tuned - she's not done yet!! :)

Check out what Tara had to say about her experience below!

Can you give a quick intro on who you are and your background?

Tara Modlin, I am a 38-year-old married mom of two.  Growing up I played soccer year-round for over a decade and never gave a second thought about the food I ate because to me it didn’t seem to make a difference. 

Like so many others growing up in the low-fat era, even when I thought I was making “healthy” choices, I clearly wasn’t!  Fast forward to my late 20’s and I have gained at least 30 pounds and can’t figure out what to do about my high cholesterol and why I can’t lose any weight.  Fast forward another 5 years, I have one child, and want another.  I was diagnosed with PCOS, gained even more weight, and struggled with infertility.

After many IVF rounds, I was successfully pregnant but was then diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  After the birth of my daughter, the elevated blood sugars wouldn’t return to normal and I was well on my way to be diagnosed as pre-diabetic.  This scared me so much and luckily, I was introduced to the ketogenic diet by my new physician. 

I had fantastic results (weight loss, improved bio-markers) for about 18 months and then got to a place where I wanted to continue the improvements but was spinning my wheels on my own.  This is when I made the commitment to myself and decided I needed help in achieving my goals.

What doubts did you have before signing up for one-on-one coaching?

Before I signed up for coaching, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was highly motivated but nervous.  I was scared I would fail like I had so many times before.  I was also nervous that if I “messed up” or life got in the way one day that it would totally derail me, I would fail and go back to feeling terrible about myself.  I was also nervous about what level of support I would get from a coach who was online and thousands of miles away.

What specific results have you experienced thus far working together?

Rachel helped me right out the gate to figure out what my goal was.  What was so great about defining my goals was that the goals I had in my mind of just being healthier and what I actually described to Rachel as “my goals” were totally different.

Her extensive experience helped me to realize that body recomposition and improved mindset was really what I was after!  Losing fat and building muscle was the main goal, but working on stress reduction and mindset work were also on my list of things to improve.

During my time working with Rachel, I have made great progress on my body recomposition goals, and have implemented practices in my daily life to help reduce the stress that has been beyond beneficial, especially with everything 2020 has thrown at us.

What do you feel like you’ve benefited from the most in our time working together?

I think the biggest takeaway I have from my time working with Rachel thus far has been the change in confidence in myself.  Previously I was filled with so much self-doubt, fear of failure, and negative self-talk that I probably sabotaged myself in my previous attempts at changing my lifestyle.  I gave up quickly and easily.

Learning from Rachel that one day of not hitting my macros perfectly isn’t going to deem me a failure and that I just need to be consistent and have a well thought out plan (and patience!) to reach my goals.

What advice would you give to someone who might be in a similar place you were before coaching?

Do it!  I know I would not be where I am today without the guidance and support of Rachel.  Hiring a coach holds you accountable.  And having that accountable person who is not your family or friend I think is also key. Having someone who isn’t also emotionally tied to you, like a family member is, can be very beneficial because it allows them to ask honest and sometimes hard questions.

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience thus far?

I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything!  I have learned so much more about nutrition, training, and how to make mindset modifications to my life to help me continue on the journey to becoming unapologetically the best version of myself.

I am so thankful for the unwavering support I have received from Rachel over the past several months.  Helping me to see progress when I had blinders on, helping me find and implement the tools that worked for me to support my mental health as I navigated a very uncertain time at work, and overall, just helping me to stay the course and trust the process.

Below is an email Tara sent me reflecting on how far she has come over the last 3 years.

9/23/20

"Hey Rachel,

Random email, but I wanted to share this with you because I am so thankful I found you and for all of the support.  

The below picture is from this date three years ago.  Full disclaimer, I was almost three months pregnant with twins (I lost one right around this time) and had been through multiple rounds of IVF.  But besides what all the fertility treatments did to me on top of my already poor lifestyle, looking back now I can’t believe not ONE SINGLE provider pointed me in the direction of a better lifestyle & diet!  It was always “well just eat baked chips, and here have a side of medication for your cholesterol” 🤦🏻‍♀️ 

I just wanted to share this with you because I have come a long way over the past several months with you, but even farther over the past several years.  So again, I’m just super grateful for your support and helping me be as healthy as I can. One of your podcast guests recently said they want to age slow and die fast.  I loved that!!

Tara"

A few quotes from Tara’s check-ins over the course of the last 6 months:

6/14/20 “This week I was excited to incorporate the training.  Overall it went well.  I love the feeling of being strong and seeing little muscles peeking out!  Another thing I kept reminding myself this week was to just be patient and consistent.  Sometimes when you feel like you are making these major shifts in your lifestyle, you should be seeing major results right away.  Keeping the mindset of patience and consistency can be hard.”

6/21/20 “I am definitely falling into more of a rhythm with everything from tracking the biomarkers, logging food and being used to the app, and know what to expect with my training sessions.  I was excited about them this week!  There is no better feeling than feeling strong.  And knowing my nutrition is on point makes it all the much better so that I know I will eventually get to my goals."

7/26/20 “The idea of metabolic flexibility has really changed my outlook since starting this program.  Thinking back to when I started the keto lifestyle I thought I would never be able to eat certain foods again. I now know that is not true and if I have a plan, move my body and eat consistently well 99% of the time, those times when I want to splurge on something higher carb, or has real sugar, I know it is OK, it won't kill me, and I will go right back to my normal eating.”

7/26/20 “No other questions right now, but I am just so thankful for your support and so happy that I have made this commitment to invest in myself.”

8/2/20 “Nothing else to add, except I am really happy with the progress I have made so far and it has affected me in many ways, especially helping me to reduce the negative body image talk to myself as I now am seeing what I can do!  I am so grateful I found you and your program!”

9/20/20 “Overall it's been a pretty great week!  I love that we planned out opportunities for me to celebrate my birthday this week and I am still making progress.  Looking forward, I think what this has all taught me is that one meal, or one day, or even a few days (like a vacation) doesn't have to ruin all of the progress I have made and my future goals.  Just keep swimming!”

10/12/20 “Thank you so much for the words of encouragement!  I really needed to hear them today.  And you are absolutely right and these are things I know, but obviously, we all need reminders.  There are some things that are out of my control right now, but I am also doing what I can to control the controllable (i.e, my nutrition, my steps, my training, AND my reactions)  That last one is the huge one, and the thing I keep reminding myself about as well. Thanks again and I will keep you posted on how the week goes.”

11/1/20 “Thank you so much, Rachel!  Your support has been phenomenal and exactly what I needed to help me get to my goals!”

--

I know there are a lot of moms out there who can relate to Tara's story and I hope her transformation inspires you to keep fighting for yourself and realize that it is never too late to become the most badass, confident version of yourself!

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