On today’s “I Did It” episode, I chatted with Sarah Clark about her journey from being a macro dieter and how she moved into becoming a macro scientist. She shares how MACROS101 and the Coaching Academy helped change her perspective, and thus changed her results and helped bring balance in her life. So without further ado, let’s jump in with Sarah Clark!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/199
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- MACROS 101 (3:41, 29:47)
- Macro dieter vs. macro scientist (14:37, 20:26, 21:10, 27:48)
- Macros can work for you if you want it to work for you (15:12, 22:53, 27:05)
- Coaching Academy (17:55, 19:28)
- Mental work comes first (20:26)
- Learn to love yourself in any phase that you are in (24:25, 25:41)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 199.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:48
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And this is another Friday episode of the “I Did It” Series. Now, if you are listening to this episode in real-time, we just wrapped up today our free Five-Day Challenge. And we ran the Challenge a couple times. It is one of my favorite things that I get to do because I spend five days with a group of women and really walk them from A to Z in this concept about making your fitness journey your own, about creating a customized plan. And instead of trying to fit yourself into somebody else's plan, recognize that you have the autonomy and the ability to be able to structure this in a way that's going to work for you. So, if you miss that Challenge, no sweat, all of the content is still available, at least for the next week. And it's a great thing to be able to binge over the weekend. So, we have linked those podcast episodes. We've been releasing them here on the podcast. And then we also have a replay page where you can watch all of them. You can binge all of the five lives that I have done this last week. And that's at bicepsafterbabies.com/allaccess, A-L-L-A-C-C-E-S-S. So, if you're somebody who has felt a little burned by your fitness journey lately, you've been struggling, or you're just someone who wants to know a little bit more about how to stop following a cookie-cutter plan instead create something that actually works for you. And not only right now at this moment, but works for you in the long run because a lot of programs will promise weight loss. But what they don't really mention is what happens after that weight loss. And the last thing that I want for anybody who is working with me to do is to lose weight. And then to just rebound and get it all back and the process that you need to go through in order to lose the weight and keep it off. So that, yeah, you fit into that swimsuit this summer but then you also fit into it next summer and the summer after that is a different process. And so that's the process that I highlighted in this last week's Challenge. And so if that speaks to you, and that you'd like some help in getting yourself on board and really doing it the right way this time around, then you can go and listen to those podcasts that came before this. Or you can go to that all-access page. If you're listening to this after the fact and it's been months, just know that those links won't be active anymore, the podcasts won't be there, the website won't be there. That's only for the next week. But if you are listening to this in real-time, we'd love to have you join the Challenge even if it is at the end of the Challenge. It's never too late to start moving towards your goals and to get a little bit of help and a little bit of education to make that happen.
Amber B 3:41
In addition to the Challenge, we will be opening doors to MACROS 101 on Monday. So, Monday, March 28, doors will open to MACROS 101 and they will close Thursday, March 31. We only open doors to MACROS 101 two times a year. So, it's kind of a big deal. And if it's been something that's been on your mind, I highly suggest hopping on board and joining you'll hear in the podcast episode with Sarah we talk through the fact that she heard about MACROS 101 several times told herself it wasn't for her and then when she got inside realize what she had been missing all of that time. So MACROS 101 sounds like it's a beginner's program. And yes, we have plenty of people who are brand new to macro counting in there. But for my friends who have been counting for 2, 3, 4, 5 years, we have had many, many women who come in and tell me, “I've learned more inside of MACROS 101 than I learned the whole five years that I was counting macros before.” And so it definitely meets you where you are at and helps take you to the next level in reaching whatever fitness goals you have set. So, if that's something that you are interested in joining in, I highly recommend getting on the waitlist at bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist. The waitlist peeps are always the first people who get to know when we open doors and they get the first dibs on the slots. So, if you're really interested in joining us inside of MACROS 101, go to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist.
Amber B 5:06
If this is your first time tuning into a Friday episode, these are smaller, shorter episodes where we just share the stories of other women and their experience and their successes and the lessons that they've learned along the way because that's really the key is that we all have experiences and the more that we can learn from other people's experiences, we realize we don't have to repeat those experiences ourselves. We can do a little bit of learning from other people's mistakes rather than having to do them all ourselves. And that's what this series is about.
Amber B 5:40
So, today on the podcast, I have Sarah Clark. And it's really fun to have her on. She will mention that she's in her very early 20s and does not have children. Just got married recently. And so for intents and purposes, she didn't really see herself as the client avatar of Biceps after Babies; that brand idea didn't really speak to her because that wasn't the phase of life that she was in. And so for a long time, she thought, “Hey, is this even anything that's going to be helpful or beneficial to me?” But you'll hear from her of how she was very wrong, and how she actually has gotten a ton from Macros 101. We talked about the Coaching Academy. And even though she may not be the ideal client client avatar for the programs, what a difference it's made in her life to go from somebody who really went very far to one side of the fitness journey into very restrictive, losing a ton of weight, almost orthorexic mentality around food and has been able to come to this place of balance of feeling in control, of feeling like she is in charge of being at maintenance, and that experience of really viewing macros as a diet or does or as I like to call it a macro dieter. Moving from that macro dieter mindset to that of the macro scientists and how that really has changed her perspective and the results that she's been able to get, and the balance that she's been able to get into our lives. So, if this is the first time you've ever heard that term of Macro dieter versus Macro scientist, we're going to explain a little bit in the episode. And I will talk more about this concept of a macro scientist next week because it's such an important distinction of what makes the way that I approach Macro accounting in the way that I teach macro accounting inside of Macros 101. What makes it so different?
Amber B 7:38
All right, without further ado, let's jump into that interview with Sarah Clark. All right, Sarah, welcome to the podcast.
Sarah C 7:45
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 7:47
Of course, this is going to be such a great conversation. I want to start out with just people getting to know you a little bit, so I want you to tell us a little bit about your experience growing up and specifically some of the things that happened that brought you where you are today in the realm of your fitness journey.
Sarah C 8:04
Okay. So, you just want me to start from the beginning of how I just got into everything?
Amber B 8:12
Yeah, yeah. What was that like?
Sarah C 8:13
Okay, cool. Well, I would say, just to jump right into, I started my fitness journey back in high school. My sister got home from her LDS service mission, and she wanted to do the Whole 30 with all the girls in my family and I was young and so I didn't want to be left out. I was like, “Okay, I'll just jump in right with them.” So, in order to do the Whole 30, I had to do a ton of research. I needed to see what I could eat, what I couldn't eat. And that's when it got really interesting to me. It was actually really fun for me to start learning about what's good for my body, what's not good for my body. And then I saw this post on Pinterest that said, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” That's kind of what sparked everything for me. I was like, “Okay if I want abs, I gotta eat really healthy.” And I took it to the extreme where I was restricting myself a ton, I wasn't eating enough, I was working out all the time, I wouldn't go out to eat with my friends because I didn't want to be tempted to eat what they're eating, and I didn't also want to say no to what they're eating. I didn't want to be in that situation, and it just got to a point whereas I was eating so healthy. I was doing all the healthy things that were unhealthy. I was telling you earlier, I was never diagnosed with orthorexia, but I had a lot of– after doing a lot of research, I definitely had a lot of the tendencies that people who have orthorexia have.
Sarah C 9:49
Anyways, then I got super skinny. I was definitely underweight, physically. Obviously, some girl issues I wasn't having. And I got to a point where a friend actually came to me and was like, “Hey Sarah, are you sick?” I was like, “What?” But in the back of my mind, I knew what she was asking. She's like, “We're all worried about you. Are you sick?” And I was like, “What are you talking about?”. And then my mom started coming up to me, and she's like, “Hey Sarah, why are people coming up to me and telling me that they're praying for you? And I'm like, “What?” This is so ridiculous. I've worked so hard on eating healthy and super healthy. Yeah, I'm doing all the right things and not eating the truth and being so disciplined. I'm doing everything right. And now, everybody's telling me that I look sick. Yeah, this is dumb. It was frustrating and I feel like I put all this hard work into something that actually was more unhealthy than it was actually healthy.
Sarah C 10:53
Anyways, so after that, I got some help. And with lots of time, I was able to gain the weight back to a healthy amount of weight. I then went and served an LDS mission. And on my mission, I developed some unhealthy eating. And I actually gained an additional 30 pounds on my mission. I came home from my mission, I was actually a little bit overweight, I was feeling very insecure, I felt like I had lost everything that I ever worked for, I felt like I wasn't this fit and healthy Sarah that I thought it was before my mission, and I just felt my identity was gone. So, I got back into– I actually learned what macro counting was before my mission. So, I got back into counting macros, and then I would restrict so much that to get to a point that I would binge on everything, and then I would count macros again, I would binge again and then I was like, “Hey, well, macros isn't working, so I tried intermittent fasting. I tried keto. Okay, well, that's not working. I'm just gonna try to intuitively eat and that also didn't work. Yeah, just like everything. I was just like, “This is so dumb.” I was just frustrated, and I actually took a really long break off of everything. However, then I got to this point where I still loved working out. That's just something I love to do, and I got to this point where I felt I was working so hard in the gym. Just like I really wanted to see results, and I knew that it was my diet that I needed to figure out, and I knew that macros worked. Macro, scientifically, it makes sense and I knew that I had seen it work for other people, and I know that I could still eat the food I loved, but I decided that if I'm going to count macros again, I need to come into it with a different mentality because in the past when I count macros, I did it to lose, lose, lose and change myself because I didn't like myself and to be something that I wasn't in to change my identity again, and I was like, “Hey if I ever get to that point counting macros again, I'm gonna stop.” So, I started counting macros, and I went into it with a mindset of, “Okay, well, I learned what a reverse diet was. I learned about maintenance, so my whole goal was to be able to eat as much as I can so that I could gain weight. The whole goal was to gain. Gain muscle, gain confidence. Gain a better relationship with food and be able to make macros work for me rather than work against me. So now, I would say I'm to that point I love macros. Macros do not have control over me. I feel okay when I don't count my Macros, and I go out to eat, and I count my macros. I just feel I get it now and it works and it's fun and exciting. Through all of the experiences I've been through, and then a much better place.
Amber B 14:00
Well, and I love that you reframed it because so many people do come in with this idea of losing and cutting out and you reframe that and said, “No, I'm in this to gain. To gain confidence, to gain trust.” All these things have gained and what I like shift in the perspective of coming in this to gain more things rather than to just make yourself smaller just to lose. I talked a lot about this identity of the macro dieter, and then that really resonated with you. I would love to hear your interpretation of what a macro dieter is.
Sarah C 14:37
So, when I first heard from you about the term macro dieter, I just felt like, “Oh my goodness, that's what I was. That's why it wasn't working because that was the macro dieter.” And a macro dieter to me, when I heard that meant restricting, not enjoying myself, not eating the food that I love, not going out to eat with my friends and family, and being so caught up in what I look like and who I am in a negative way. That, for me, was a macro dieter.
Amber B 15:12
Yeah, so good and I love that you brought the point earlier where you said, “I had made this decision that macro counting doesn't work for me, and then you came back around to that, and you're like, “Well, it's science.” So, it's kind of like saying gravity doesn't work for me. You gotta like, “It is working. You're not using it in the right way.” And so how can we use it differently? And this is something that I want to prevent more women from having that experience because a lot of women come into macro counting, and they do. They turn it into just another diet, kind of like you talked about, and then they do. They get to that point where they are like, “Well this doesn't work.” And you're like, “Yes, but if I could teach you how to use it a different way, it would give you such a different experience.” And I love that you were open to coming back, and trying something again that maybe you had already deemed didn't work at some point. So you told me that you heard about MACROS 101 several times. You invested. So, what held you back from joining and then, ultimately, what made you actually be like, “Okay, fine. This is it. I'm actually doing it this time”?
Sarah C 16:17
So, the reason why, I mean, yeah, I have been following you for a long time, but the reason why I didn't join Macros 101 is honestly the whole Biceps After Babies kind of threw me off a little bit–
Amber B 16:27
Yeah. Tell everybody how old you are.
Sarah C 16:32
Amber B 16:33
Yeah. Do you have any babies?
Sarah C 16:36
No, no, no babies. So honestly, it threw me off for a while and I had never, I mean, with all your posts and everything, I had never seen a testimonial with a young person, so I was always kind of like, “Oh man, I don't really know.” Yeah, it's not for me. I don't have a baby yet. At the time, too. I just got married last April so-
Amber B 16:56
“I'm not even married.”
Sarah C 16:59
-Totally. At that time, I was like, “I'm not even married yet.” But actually, it was when you came out with your Coaching Academy, and I've always had this drive to want to help others and to coach people and when you came out with your coaching Academy, I just had this big feeling that I needed to join, I prayed about it and everything, and I was like, “I'm gonna do it, and I don't care if there's everyone's older than me.” I think if anything, I'll go into it to be able to learn from the older generation, and as you can tell, when I joined the Coaching Academy, I was so nervous. I was like, “Amber, I'm so, so nervous.”
Amber B 17:37
“I'm out of place here.”
Sarah C 17:41
Yeah, totally out of place but everybody was so nice and welcoming and assuring that like, “No, this is awesome that you're here. It's okay that you don't have babies, it's okay that you're 23, it's okay that you're young.” Holy crap, we wish we would have done that.
Amber B 17:55
Yeah, I think that's what everybody says. They're like, “I wish I would have started this when I was 23.” Yeah, so awesome and it's been such a joy to be able to see you in a Coaching Academy and be able to develop and learn the ins and outs of being able to coach someone else. I think for many people, that becomes a natural progression when fitness is an important part of your life and you feel like you've been able to be successful and have and make a difference in your life. It's a natural next step to say, “How can I now help other people have the same experience as me and have that same result as me?” And so it's this natural progression so as you've gone through Coaching Academy and you were still in Coaching Academy right now but I'm curious what your biggest aha moment has been, or what has been something that has been pivotal that you maybe didn't expect to learn in Coaching Academy but have come away with?
Sarah C 18:47
Yeah. First, let me say that what's nice about a Coaching Academy is obviously the requirements that you have. I've had to go through MACROS 101 with Coaching Academy, and I'll say, “Holy moly, I totally wish I would have done MACROS 101 earlier because it's given me this whole new perspective on macros, and gee whiz, why didn't I know this earlier?”
Amber B 19:11
Yeah, we get that a lot. I always admit the name kind of sucks. It's like everyone thinks, “MACROS 101. It's like this really basic program, and if I already know how to count macros, why is it gonna help me?” And then we get people like you who come in the program. They're like, “Oh my gosh, I've been counting macros for five years, and I learned so much in the program.”
Sarah C 19:28
Yeah. Oh my goodness, for real. So, anyone listening to this, if you count macros already, your program is awesome. It's changed my perspective on so many things but anyways, in my aha moment in Coaching Academy has just been learning about our belief systems and learning about the subconscious mind and how we have so many beliefs about ourselves that are holding us back from achieving what we want to achieve, and if we can just get down to those roots, and those beliefs that are holding us back and changing that first and then implementing this stuff, then you can have long-lasting changes, and I feel like that's been an aha. Like, “Okay, the reason why I haven't been able to see these changes that I've been going and yo-yoing and going in and now is because I've had these beliefs about myself that I first need to resolve and do some mental work and then go.”
Amber B 20:26
Yeah, and everybody wants to do that backwards. They're like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll do all of that mental work when I get the result, and you're like, “Oh, but friend, that's backwards. It's like the mental work comes first, and that's what helps you get to the result that you want, and that's a shift for a lot of people to have that perspective. So we talked about this idea of the macro dieter, and I love the explanation that you gave of how that resonated with you and what that means to you and then inside of MACROS 101, I use this concept of the macro scientist, right? For a lot of people, it's like moving from being this macro dieter to being in the macro scientists, so will you kind of share from your perspective what that also means to you and how bad identity is one that's much more powerful for you in your life.
Sarah C 21:10
Yeah, so in the past, whenever I counted macros, it's always to lose weight. Only thing I knew how to do was cut, and I honestly didn't really know it was cut, I didn't know about reverse dieting, I didn't know about maintenance, I didn't know about both, I didn't know that macros could help in all these phases, so I would say that becoming a macro scientist has helped me to understand the different phases that you can be in and really optimizing every phase that you're in. So when I started counting macros again, and this was only about eight months ago, I was like, “Okay, I'm learning about this reverse thing, so I got a macro coach, and I did a reverse diet, and now I've been sitting at maintenance for about six months and it's been amazing. It's been so amazing and I feel learning about these different phases, and knowing that, “Hey, I'm in maintenance right now. I'm not trying to lose weight, so I can't have these expectations of being small or being more toned or rich because right now, I'm just broke out.” That's not what it's about and I'm loving maintenance. I'm the strongest I've ever been, I'm feeling good, I'm eating the food that I want, and I feel being in maintenance is now going to help me to– it's going to set me up to have a better cut in the future. As well as just the whole macro scientist, I feel it has taught me how to plan better. If I'm going to start a cut in the future, instead of having a goal weight and stopping, once I'm at that weight, no, let's put a timeframe to it and it's okay if I'm not to that goal weight yet but let's look at it as long run rather than short-term if that makes sense.
Amber B 22:53
Yes, yes, so much and I think a lot of women find macro counting because they're looking for weight loss, and what I'm hearing you say is just your mind being open to this idea that for many people, macro counting is synonymous with weight loss. That doesn't has to be and it isn't how it should be really is that macro counting is really just a tool and you can use it in maintenance, you can use it in a surplus, you can use it in a cut, you can use it in reverse, and it's how you utilize that tool in those different phases that really makes that difference. And I think I always say you haven't really experienced the gym until you've gone to the gym in maintenance because if you're always cutting and going to the gym, and you feel like crap, I just can't even wait for you to feel what it feels to be eating at maintenance and then go to the gym. I have people all the time tell me, “I can't even believe how strong I feel, and how much more energy I have at the gym.” Because they've never experienced that feeling of eating at maintenance and working out simultaneously.
Sarah C 23:55
Yeah, and it's fun and it's so fun.
Amber B 23:58
Yeah, it's so good. So good. Okay, so if there's somebody listening here, and they are kind of– they're where you're at maybe back when you were some of those orthorexia inclinations or maybe you 30 pounds overweight and you could go back maybe, and talk to yourself from the perspective of that you have now, what would you go back and say to her?
Sarah C 24:25
This is hard. I would tell, honestly, I would just tell myself that you are amazing. You can do it, and you're going to figure it out. I think one of the most important things is learning how to love yourself in any phase that you are in, and if you don't love yourself first, you're not going to love yourself when you're 15 pounds lighter or heavier. If you don't love yourself right now, whatever phase you're on, whether you feel like you're overweight or whether you're skinny or are in the middle, it's gonna be really hard to love yourself in the future of what you desire yourself to be, so I would tell myself, “Hey, you're doing awesome. You got this, love yourself. You're in an amazing phase right now and start wishing to be somewhere where you're not because where you are is exactly where you need to be.” That's probably what I would tell myself, and obviously, with counting macros, I would also teach my– I wish I would have taught myself earlier about some of these things like start implementing them faster, but obviously, I also think the experience I've been through has helped me to become who I am today.
Amber B 25:41
Sure, yeah. I always think it's interesting whenever I pose a question like that to somebody about, “If you could go back to that former self of yours and talk to yourself, what would you say?” And inevitably, it's always around some idea of giving themselves grace or around, “You're doing great. You're in an amazing spot right now. You don't realize it.” Or, “You're doing amazing, babe.” It's always something around there and I just think how amazing it would be if you could do that for yourself right now. Let's imagine 10 years from now. Coming back and talking to yourself right now, you probably would say those same things, so instead of leaving that for you to be like, “Oh, I wish I would have said that to myself 10 years ago, I wish I would have given myself grace, I wish I would have loved myself, or thought that I was doing better than I was doing.” What if we did that right now? Because in 10 years from now, I guarantee you will look back at this version of you sitting here right here today, and be like, “Dang, she was doing way better than I thought she was doing.” And it's such a unique perspective to be able to look at it on that timeline and that timeline continuum. That's awesome. Okay, if there's one last thing that you want to make sure someone who's listening comes away with, as they're listening to this podcast, what is kind of a– what is the overarching message? What do you want them to take away?
Sarah C 27:05
I would say, one, macros can work for you if you want it to work for you. You get to choose if it works for you, or you get to choose if it works against you, but that's an internal decision that you have to make, and I think that also comes from, “Hey, love yourself first.” And then let's include macros, and see what it can do for you. Make it a game. Make it into a science experiment because that's when it becomes fun. That's when it becomes interesting. Anyways, I'm going to start going off on a rant, but I think that's probably what I would say.
Amber B 27:48
That's awesome. Yeah, and that's bringing in that scientist perspective as well as it does become fun. When it stops being, “Oh, the scale goes up, and that means I'm a terrible person and I'm never going to be successful.” That's not fun. Nobody thinks that that is fun, but it becomes like, “Oh, I'm gonna test this out. Try this out. I'm just gonna see. I don't know how my body's gonna respond. I'm gonna try it, and we're gonna see what the data says.” It does. It becomes more of a game, and something that you can kind of practice and try and test and do different things and that's a much more healthy perspective to come from than this idea of the dieter, right? And that's this concept of moving from the macro dieter to the macro scientist. I think you summed it up well. Well, Sarah, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I'm so excited for some of our other 20-year-old listeners who don't have children to hear someone and be like, “Yes! There is someone else like me in this community. So thank you for sharing your wisdom.
Sarah C 28:45
Well, thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it.
Amber B 28:48
I hope that you enjoyed that interview with Sarah. I love her honesty. I love how she reframes the concept of fitness, and how we recognize that, sometimes, when we swing to extremes, it can assist us in finding that middle ground, and Sarah has been able to find that, and if you're listening to this and wondering, asking yourself the question, “Can I find the middle ground as well?” Because you feel like you live in those extremes, right? Either you're super healthy and eating super well or super unhealthy and not in eating all of the things. If you feel like you live in those two extremes, you may be wondering, “Can I find the middle?” And the answer is yes. Yes, you can find the middle. I've worked with so many clients who have felt that middle. That moderation that in between was impossible for them that their life was destined to be at those extremes and I promise you it is not the case. You can find the middle and becoming a macro scientist is a part of what is going to get you there.
Amber B 29:47
So if you're interested in joining MACROS 101 and getting coached through this process and changing your mindset around weight loss and be able to create a customized and unique plan that really fits you and your goals and your body and your lifestyle and your history and everything that makes you unique, then I highly recommend joining us inside of MACROS 101 when we open doors on Monday, March 28. Get on the waitlist, bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist and when you put your name and email in there, you'll be the first to know when doors are open, and when you can hit that “Purchase”, that “Enroll”, that “Join Now” button to be able to come and join us inside of MACROS 101 so that you can have the transformation physically, mentally, emotionally that you are looking for when it comes to food and health and your body and your fitness goals.
Amber B 30:38
Thanks for being here. I'm Amber, go out and be strong because remember, my friend, you can do anything.
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