I am so stoked about today’s episode – it’s aaall about macros and macro counting, and is full of golden nuggets for everyone: from the new counter to the seasoned tracker, and everyone in between. So, if you’re curious about macros, looking to learn more, or wanting to get a better idea of how the BAB framework and coaching style is different from others, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get into it.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/181
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- Macros (9:05, 11:32)
- How focusing on fat loss rather than weight loss is so important (15:33)
- If you just want to lose weight, counting calories is great (19:08)
- Fat loss is part science and also a big part psychology (20:33)
- Understanding why diets kind of work (21:20)
- Diets aren't customized, they’re very generalized 23:51
- Diets feels very restrictive (25:22)
- Some of the psychological reasons that macro counting can be so beneficial (28:10, 30:47, 32:25)
- What macro counting is (33:43, 42:22)
- Transformational coaching (35:36, 40:52)
- How to become a Macro scientist (39:42)
- Steps to get started with macro counting (44:16, 48:19, 50:35, 55:28, 56:41, 58:47)
- Macros 101 program (1:00:11)
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You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 181.
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.
Done is better than recording it perfectly 0:48
Hey, hey, hey. Welcome back to another episode of Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And this podcast episode has been, if I'm being honest, kind of put off. It's been one that I've wanted to record for a while. I have outlined it, I have gone over the outline, I have reworked the outline. And I just had been kind of resistant to sitting down and recording this episode. And I started to wonder, “Why is that?” Where's that resistance coming from for me? And I realized that I want this podcast episode to be amazing. I want this to be the podcast episode when your friend or your sister or your mother says, “Hey, you've been counting macros. What is that like? What is that about? Why do you do that? What does it mean to count macros?” Where you say, “Oh, oh my gosh. I have the perfect podcast episode for you.” Listen to Episode 181 of Biceps after Babies Radio. That's what I want this podcast episode to be. I want it to be this is the first thing that comes to your mind when somebody wants to know the basics about macro counting. And because I want it to be this amazing episode that you find really valuable and that you're able to share with your friends, I think part of me has built it up in my mind that this has to be really good. And it has to be perfect and the flow has to be really great. And I've just put it in my mind that I have to do something really awesome at this podcast episode. And that's where that resistance is coming from. And so I got to the point where I just said, “Forget it. Done is better than perfect.” Just like I tell my clients, “We have to take messy action. We have to just get started. And trust that what happens, is what's supposed to happen.” So that's what we're doing on the podcast today.
My goals for this podcast episode 2:35
My goal with this podcast episode is for somebody who is brand new to this term. Maybe you just heard this term macro counting just recently for the first time. Or maybe you've kind of heard it floating around the nether webs. But now you're really curious and you want to know a little bit more about it. I want you to leave this podcast episode saying, “Okay, I understand what this is. When someone says the word macro counting, I get what that means. I get why they may be doing that.” And because this is a really important part of what I want you to get by the end of this episode. And I want it really clear what the difference is between the way that me and my team approach macro counting and the way that we teach macro counting to our clients versus many of the other macro coaches that you'll come across. I'm not saying that other macro coaches are bad. I'm saying that there's a difference. And I will highlight that difference that's really important to me. And it is really important to you and the results that you want to see in your journey because it kills me when people say, “Oh, macro counting. Oh, yeah, I did that. And it didn't really work.” And I want to say, “Yeah, but did you play around with it? Did you mess with it? Did you tweak it? Did you try adjustments? Saying that you did macro counting and made it. We're gonna get into this. Where I'm getting ahead of myself is starting my rant before I should start my rant.
Get to know me 4:01
So let's back up. And let's start at the very beginning. First things first, who the heck is talking to me? And why should I listen to her? And if you're like me, maybe the first question that comes to your mind is, “Why is this girl who's talking to me? Why is she somebody who I should actually listen to?” So if this is our first time meeting, my name is Amber Brueseke. I am the founder and owner of Biceps after Babies and the podcast hosts of the Biceps after Babies Radio podcast. I started Biceps after Babies in 2016 when I decided that I wanted to get a six-pack for the first time of my life. And I realized at the time I was a fitness instructor, I thought, I don't know, five-six classes a week, I realized that the gap between the body that I had in the body that I wanted and the six-pack that I wanted was not because I was not working out hard enough. I was doing plenty of workouts. That wasn't what was keeping me from my goal. I knew that nutrition was the key piece. And that was about the time that I found macro counting. I found it on Pinterest. I was scrolling and I found a pin and I read all about it. And something else you need to know about me is that I have a background as a nurse. I have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. And as I was reading this, my nurse-brain was going off. All the science, physiology, and anatomy, and stuff that I had learned. And I was like, “Huh, this actually makes scientific sense. From a scientific level, this makes sense. I'm gonna try this out,” so I did.
How Biceps after Babies was born 5:38
I started counting macros back before really back when everybody called counting macros, “IIFYM,” If It Fits Your Macros. And it worked. Shocker, it worked. And over the next eight weeks, I was able to lose 10 pounds, I had abs for the first time, I had visible abs for the first time. And I was like blown away. And when something is awesome and exciting, you just want to share it with other people. And so I started my Instagram account Biceps after Babies as a way to just share what I was learning and doing and this amazing thing that I had found. And people started wanting me to coach them. And I was like, “That sounds fun. I could totally coach you.” And that's how Biceps after Babies was born in 2016. And since that time, we've helped thousands of women be able to set, hit, reach their goals by teaching the tool of macro counting. And in fact, in my signature program macros 101, which we started about two years ago. We've been able to teach over 4000 women how to wield the tool of macro counting to fit them and their unique body. So that's a little bit about Biceps after Babies where it started. Like I said, I started as a nurse, I worked in critical care for several years, I was in neurosurgery, post-surgical care, and I loved it. But as I was working, I started having children and got to the point where it just didn't work with my schedule, with my husband's schedule, and with the fact that I had these two babies at home that I wanted to take care of. And so I started getting into my second love, which is the realm of fitness. And so I taught fitness classes for eight years. And that was great. When my kids were really little, I was gonna go to the gym anyway, I might as well go to the gym and get paid to teach and have somebody watch my kids while I did it. So it was fabulous. And I really, really loved it. And 2016 rolled around the story that I just told happened. And I taught fitness classes for a while and I hung up my group fitness teacher, instructor hat in 2018, to really focus on Biceps after Babies and building this business because I saw what it could do and how it could help other women. So that's a little bit about me, and a little bit about the fact that I know what I'm talking about. And really the thing that I want you to pull away from there. Oh, I mean, we can talk about each other. Yeah, I have my Bachelor's. I was a TA for anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology. I have my personal training certificate. These credentials and stuff that we kind of are, “Oh, that means something,” but what I really think is important is that the takeaway is that what really matters isn't the book knowledge that somebody has, but rather the results that they're able to produce. And the fact that we've been able to have 4000 women that go through Macros 101. We have testimonial after testimonial experiences of women who have loved and gotten the results that they wanted through that program. And let me tell you, as a business owner, you don't get 4000 people through something if it sucks. It just doesn't happen. People talk. People tell their friends. So hey, that's enough about me. But that's why I'm an expert on this. That's why you should listen to me. And that's why the things that I'm going to tell you are going to be really beneficial and helpful to you in your journey.
So let's start from the very basic first question that you may be asking at this point. And that is, “What the heck is macro counting?” and to answer this question, we got to back up a little a little bit and ask the question, “What are macros?” so macros are actually a shortened word for the word macronutrient. And a macronutrient is a nutrient that our body needs. That it needs in large amounts, hence the word macro, which would be different from a micronutrient, which is nutrients that our bodies need in smaller amounts. So that's what a macronutrient is. Something your body needs in large amounts, and the macronutrients that we pay most attention to are our carbs or fat, and our protein.The reason that we pay attention to those macronutrients is because they are the parts of our food that contain calories. So when I say the word calorie, I feel most people have a concept of the calories that are in food. We know when we look at a food label, we can say, “Oh, an apple has 80 calories in it. And this pasta has 532 calories. And that just means that our body when we eat that pasta, it derives 582 calories from that pasta. It's where our body gets energy from. So most people understand calories. And it's important to understand that those calories come from three different places. They come from carbs, they come from fat, and they come from protein. Thus, those are the three macronutrients that we care about because that is what gives your food calories. Now, just like a side note, there actually is a fourth macronutrient. Alcohol is actually a separate macronutrient. However, unlike the other three macronutrients, you can go your whole life not drinking alcohol. I'm raising my hand over here and I'm fine. So it is not an essential macronutrient. You don't have to have it. And you're never going to see somebody when they're starting to talk about macros and hitting certain macros to have an allotment of like, “Hey, you're supposed to hit this amount of alcohol per day.” But just a little side note, there's actually four macronutrients, but typically, when you hear someone say the word macros, they're referring to carbs, fat, and protein.
How each three macronutrients does something very different for and in our bodies 11:32
But why the heck do we care? Why don't we just focus on calories? Why do we need to care that some of those calories come from fats, and some come from carbs and some come from proteins? And that's a great question. If that's what you're asking yourself right now, it's a great question to be asking. The reason is because they each do something different in your body. And I think about it like a car where there are lots of different fluids that your car needs. You need to have windshield wiper fluid, you need to have gas, you need to have radiator fluid, you need to have brake fluid. There's lots of different fluids. We could say, “Yeah, there's just car fluids,” that's a very general term. But we really want to get specific. Brake fluid does not do the same thing as gas. And gas is not the same thing as windshield wiper fluid. They each do something different for the car. And they're each necessary to keep the car running. And it's the same way with our macronutrients. Each of those three macronutrients does something very different for and in our bodies. Carbohydrates are our body's ideal energy source. Our body is really made to run on glucose. And that's how we get energy. And so carbohydrates are really important for that energy that our body needs on a day-to-day basis. Protein is really important for building and repairing tissue. We often think about protein in terms of muscle tissue, but you have lots of different types of tissue in your body. And protein helps to repair and build it back those tissues as well including things like cell membrane. So on a cellular level, as well as a macro level. And then fat. Fat is really important for absorbing vitamins. It's really important for hormone production. And so when we understand this concept that, “Yes, all of those provide calories, but they each do completely different things in our body,” it starts to make sense why we can't just blink it to say all calories because all calories they're different. They do different things in our body.
Caloric deficit 13:43
And when we understand that, we can start to wield it. Which gets me into the next topic, which is okay, that's what macros are but what is macro counting and why the heck would someone go to all the trouble of counting macros? So, in order to answer this question, we've got to do a little backing up again, and understand what creates physical body transformation. What creates weight loss? Which is what a lot of people want. What creates that? The answer and this is so important that you understand this that you can answer this, what creates weight loss is a caloric deficit. And you've probably heard it said before. Weight loss has calories in versus calories out. And while that's true, a lot. That's the law of thermodynamics. Calories in versus calories out. While that's true, it really is a very much a simplification of the process. But the base thing to understand is that a caloric deficit, meaning if you burn more calories per day then you eat, you will see weight loss, and if you burn less calories per day, then you eat, your weight will go up. That expenditure of calories that you are consuming each day is not only just your workout, but your body actually consumes a lot of calories just to keep you alive, to keep your heart beating, to keep your respiration continuing to walk from the side of the room to the other side of the room. So you're burning calories all day long. And if you eat more calories than you are burning, that is going to cause weight gain.
Focus more on fat loss rather than weight loss 15:33
Okay, now, we gotta be really clear and use accurate terms. Weight loss is not the same as fat loss. Oftentimes, you will hear people using those terms interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. And that is because weight loss or weight gain simply means the scale is going up, or the scale is going down. That is weight loss or weight gain. And that can happen if you pee, that can happen if you eat more food, that can happen if you gain or lose muscle mass, that can happen if you gain or lose water weight. So a weight change doesn't tell us very much about what is going on. So weight loss is a very generic term. And what most people want when they say, “I want weight loss,” is that they actually want to lose fat. They want to see the scale go down, but they want what is leaving their body to be fat. Most people are not like, “You know what I really would like to do today? I would like to lose some water weight, or I would like to lose some muscle mass today, please and thank you.” no, what they really want is they want to lose fat. And why I make such a big deal of using the term fat loss instead of weight loss is because when you understand that weight loss is not fat loss and fat loss is not weight loss, we can get more specific. And we can make sure that the weight you are losing is fat. And that's where macro counting comes into play. Because yes, at the end of the day, calories do reign supreme. Calories in versus calories out is going to determine whether you lose or gained weight. But the macronutrients that you consume that make up those calories will determine what you lose. So if you have a good amount of each of the macronutrients, and you're fueling your body well, and providing that caloric deficit, we can make sure that when that scale goes down, when you see weight loss, it's actually fat that you're losing. You're not losing water, you're not losing muscle, you're actually losing fat. And when you actually lose fat, your body shape changes. And you see visually in the mirror the change that you want to see.
When I talk about this concept, one of the things– one of the visuals I love to share, which is difficult, because here we are on a podcast, you can't see anything. But we will link this photo up in the show notes. One of the visuals that I love to share is a picture of me weighing 142 pounds. And on the picture on the left, you can see that I weigh 142 pounds. But my body composition is very different. I have a much higher body fat percentage and a much lower muscle mass percentage. And on the right, I weighed the same amount, but my body looks totally different. And that is because I have more muscle mass and less fat mass. And so I guess, we'll link that up in the show notes. So you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/181. That's where the show notes are for this podcast episode. And you can see that visual representation of, “Hey, Amber weighs the same in both of these photos, but has a vastly different body composition.” And that is why focusing on fat loss, rather than weight loss, is so important.
If you just want to lose weight, counting calories is great 19:08
If you just want to lose weight, go count calories. However, if you're like “No, I don't want to lose weight. I want to actually maximize fat loss. I want to maximize the amount of fat I'm losing and I want to minimize the amount of muscle I'm losing,” That's when we want to be counting macros because that's going to help that process be maximized. And one of the reasons that's the case is because by making sure you're eating enough of each macronutrient while also creating a caloric deficit, your body is going to be well fueled, you're going to be able to maintain muscle mass, and your body is going to feel it's going to be in a hate saying your body feels because my pathophysiology teacher taught me way back in college that your body doesn't think or feel anything it just responds to autonomic process. So thanks to Dr. Judd, I try to stay away from the idea that your body is thinking or feeling something. But when you are well-fueled, your body can prioritize fat loss. It can get rid of fat. And at the end of the day, that's what most people want. So if you just want to lose weight, counting calories is great. If you want to actually have an athletic body, you actually want to maximize fat loss. You want to make sure you're not losing muscle mass in the process. Counting macros is going to get you there.
Fat loss is part science and also a big part psychology 20:33
But that's really just the science part of things. And if there's anything that I've learned in the six-plus years that I've been coaching, it is that fat loss is part science. And it's also a big part of psychology. So the science checks out, right? That's what really drew me to macro counting, as somebody who really loves science, and has learned a lot about anatomy and physiology, and pathophysiology, and nutrition, and all of these scientific things, that's what drew me to macro counting. But what kept me in macro counting, and what allowed me to continue to teach my clients and see results in my clients, is a lot about psychology. Why macros work in terms of psychology.
Understanding why diets kind of work 21:20
And to elaborate more on this topic, we have to start first by understanding why diets kind of work. I say kind of because I really think it's important. I think a lot of times people think, “Oh, well, I did XYZ diet, and it worked. And then I regained it. I regained the weight.” I always want to say so then it didn't really work. Right? It didn't really work. if you lost weight and then regained it all back six months later, then it didn't really work in the first place. So that's why I say why diets kind of work. But in general, any diet that you've ever been on is to create a caloric deficit because we've already said, “Hey, that's what creates weight loss, a caloric deficit.” None of the diets you've ever heard of or been on are magic. They simply are a shortcut to creating a caloric deficit. And most eyes are just a shortcut that you hopefully have. You like thinking about it as little as possible because people don't want to think about what they're doing or what they're eating. They just want it to be easy. And so that's where things like keto come from. Awesome, we know we need to create a caloric deficit. How can we make it as easy as possible for people to create a caloric deficit? Well, we can just tell them, “Don't eat any carbs.” From a lot of people, that will naturally decrease the amount of calories you're eating. And so people see a lot of weight loss. A lot of that is water weight because carbs… Your body stores carbs with water. So when you see such an immediate weight loss, with something like keto, a lot of that is water weight. But in general, you see a loss because well, you're not eating as many calories. There's nothing special about keto other than if it creates a caloric deficit, you will see loss. Same thing with any other diet that you can think of something like intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting doesn't do anything magical other than for a byproduct for many people is that they won't eat as many calories if they have to eat it in a certain window. And so I want you to just realize that diets are really just a shortcut. It's a shortcut that someone came up with that was like, “If I want to get somebody less calories, what's a shortcut? What's an easy memorable rule that I could give them to follow that would have them consume less calories, and then if you consume less calories, you will lose weight.”
Diets aren't customized, they’re very generalized 23:51
The reason that we know that intermittent fasting in and of itself or any other diet in and of itself does not have anything magical to them is that if you do intermittent fasting, and you eat the same amount of calories, you won't see weight loss. If you do keto, and you eat the same amount of calories, you won't see weight loss. So it's not that the tool itself is magical. It is simply that it is allowing you or prompting you to create a caloric deficit without having to think about it as much as possible. So that seems like, “Well, that's a good thing, Amber, I want it to be easy. I just want it to be easy.” And I know, I know, you want it too easy. But here's the dark side of that. The dark side of it is number one. It is a generic cookie-cutter way to get there. Have you ever noticed that if you're following a diet, there's no customization to it? It's like, “Okay, here's the rules for intermittent fasting. You eat in an eight-hour window. That's it, everybody. Everybody in the world, this is the way to intermittent fast. It's the same for everybody. Here's the rules for the whole 30. This is what you eat. Here's the rules for keto. This is exactly how you follow keto,” it's very cookie-cutter, it's not customized at all to you. And we all know that we're different. It's so silly to think that a one size fits all plan would fit everybody. Everybody in the entire world. So the first problem with diets is that they aren't customized. They're very generalized.
Diets feels very restrictive 25:22
They also, for many people, feel very restrictive. And sometimes you can kind of fool yourself, especially at the beginning when you're feeling all amped up on motivation and hope and excitement that you're like, “Yeah, it's not too bad. I just don't eat the bread. I just eat all fat all day. It's really not that bad. And then it starts to set in a week, two weeks, three weeks in, where you're just like, “Oh, I just want bread. I just want to have some,” or, “Man, I want to eat breakfast. I don't want to go without breakfast,” or whatever it is that the rules forbid, that restriction starts to creep in on you. And it's not as fun anymore. You feel like, “I just want to eat sugar. Why can I just have a little bit of sugar?” And so it feels very restrictive. And what we know from a psychological perspective, is that anything that feels restrictive is never going to be sustainable. Our bodies and our brains do not like to be restricted. They're like teenagers. If you tell your teenager, “Son, you may not date that person,” what is the first thing your son is going to go out to do? He's gonna go date that person. Because as soon as you tell your teenager, “No,” they want to push back. And they want to push back against that restriction. And that's what happens with us. So that's why in the past, maybe you're like, “Yeah, I can do the whole 30. I can do it for 30 days. And then after 30 days, I'm like, ‘balls to the walls' and eat all the food and I lose all of my progress. Or I can go clean. I can eat clean for about a week and a half. And then it's just all the pizzas calling my name, and I just have a hard time refusing.” Most of the time people think that's a problem with them. They think, “Oh, man, I just need more motivation. I just need to stick to it. But I need to try harder. If I just worked harder and just stuck to this plan, stuck to this meal plan, stuck to this diet, stuck to the rules a little bit harder, I would be successful. The problem is with me. And I say, “Hogwash, the problem is not with you. The problem is that you are trying to be restrictive and think that that's going to be a long-term solution.” And because of that, this is why most diets fail. That's why people see results for a little while, and then they tend to gain back the weight. It means you didn't enjoy the process. It means it wasn't something that was actually enjoyable to you that you wanted to stick to. What would be different if instead of forcing yourself to stick to your plan, you actually wanted to stick to your plan because you enjoyed the process. You enjoyed what you're eating.
Some of the psychological reasons that macro counting can be so beneficial 28:02
And so this brings us into some of the psychological reasons that macro counting can be so beneficial.
When counting macros, nothing is off-limits 28:10
The biggest one is that when you're counting macros, nothing is off-limits. There are no rules about when you have to eat, what you have to eat, what you can and cannot eat, what's on the good list, what's on the bad list, there's none of those rules. And for so many women that can feel incredibly freeing is when we release that restriction of telling ourselves, “No,” our brain starts fighting us back. And when I talk about this, some of you may be saying to yourself, “Well, ever have I allowed myself to eat pasta or cookies, or brownies, I would never stop. So I have to say, ‘I have to just cut it out. I have to say no to myself, otherwise, I have no control over those foods.” And what I would offer to you is that the reason that you have no control around them is because they've been forbidden for so long. And that if and when you get to the point where you actually introduce those foods in and you develop a healthy relationship with your body and with your food, you may binge on them at the beginning. You may because you've been restricting for so long. But over time, you will be able to develop a moderation with those foods. I've seen it over and over and over again. So many clients who have come to me and said, “I am an abstainer. I have to tell myself, ‘No, I have to not have these foods in the house. I have to not eat them. Help me,” and they're able to get to a place, in fact, I have one client that comes to mind. She was very much that way. She's like, “Amber, I cannot have candy anywhere in my house. I will eat the whole thing. If I have any candy in my house, I just have to keep it out of my house.” And I worked with her and coached for a while and I remember the coaching call when she got on and we always do wins at the beginning of our coaching call. And she said, “You know what? Remember, I used to not think that I could keep any food in my house. Well, after all the work that we've done, I have a bowl of candy sitting on my counter. And I'm fine with it. And sometimes I eat some and sometimes, I don't, but I don't eat the whole thing.” She's like, “I never thought I could be that person. Like my friend. My friend always had a bowl on her counter, and I was like, ‘I can never be that person,” and here she is. So just recognize that restriction produces a result. And that result is you wanting it more. And when you allow yourself to have it, you end up binging on it. Binging or overeating is often a symptom of restrictiveness. It causes that behavior.
Develop this relationship with food 30:47
And so with macro counting, there aren't any arbitrary rules that you have to follow about what you can eat. What you can't eat. And that is incredibly freeing. And it really helps the women who utilize this tool to develop a better relationship with food. I was talking to someone recently, and they said that when they look at pasta, they gain five pounds. They're like, “I don't have to eat it. If I just look at it, I gained five pounds,” and I thought, “Ah, how sad is that? I want you to have a relationship with food where you don't fear any food. Where there isn't any food where you're scared of it or think that it's the worst or have this restrictive mentality around it. What would happen? How would your life be different if you didn't fear anything? You didn't fear any food. You had a very healthy relationship with food where you ate cookies sometimes, and you ate salad sometimes, and it wasn't that big of a deal. This is one of the biggest things that is beneficial about macro counting is that it helps you to develop this relationship with food. This understanding about food. This understanding about nutrition, which side note, is very sorely understood by the majority of the population. Has no concept about actual nutrition. They've just heard rules over their life, but they don't actually really understand portion sizes or nutrition or what fat does in your body, or why do you need to eat carbohydrates? That's sorely, sorely lacking. And macro counting can kind of break you out of that which is so fun to see that with clients.
The need to have a baseline understanding of nutrition 32:25
Another reason that macro counting is awesome and really is so helpful for so many people is that our bodies, too many of us, seem like a black box or the enemy. Where you're fighting against your body. Like, “Why won't my body do what I wanted to do?” or like, “It's like this black box of mystery. I don't know how it works. I don't know how to get the results that I want.” And look, I know that not everybody thinks about health and fitness or even wants to think about health and fitness, as much as maybe I do because it's my job and my business. But I will argue that you need to have a baseline understanding of nutrition. Just kind of like with your car. I mean, I don't know a lot about cars. But I do need to understand basic maintenance. I need to understand how to put gas in my car, how to fill the windshield wiper fluid, and know what the lights on the dashboard mean when they light up. And yeah, there's gonna be somebody who knows much more about cars, and I take my car to them. But as an owner of a car, I need to have a basic understanding of cars. As a person who lives in a body, you need to have a basic understanding of your body. And macro counting can give that to you.
What macro counting is 33:43
Okay, so I've been using this term macro counting, and I'm going to back up a little bit because I realized I described what a macro is. But I never described what macro counting is and what that actually means. And here's the way that I teach and the way that I present macro counting may be very different from others that you have heard explain this. And that is because a lot of times, I believe, I see that macro counting is turned into another diet. People are like, “Oh, it's food freedom. Oh, it's amazing. You can eat every food,” but side note, you have to stick to your macros. And if you go over your macros, then you're doing it wrong. And you have to eat 150 grams of protein. And all of these, if they preach fruit freedom of like, “Oh, it's so so awesome and so amazing,” but there's still restrictions and rules just like there isn't any other diet. I've thought a lot about this. And I think the reason that this is because we see the world in a paradigm and we bring that paradigm with us everywhere. And what I mean by that is that for most of our lives, we've been told by society, by our parents, maybe by your mom, by the media, by your friends, we've been taught to follow diets. We've been taught, “Oh, this week, I'm going to do Jenny Craig. Or this month, I'm going to do Weight Watchers, I'm going to try Optavia, or–” whatever, right? We've been taught that in order to lose weight, you go on a diet, you follow the rules. And if you're a good girl, and you follow those rules to the tee, then you'll be successful. And if you don't follow the rules to the tee, it will then be your fault. You got to do better. Gotta try harder.
Macro dieter mindset 35:36
And we get into this cycle. That's what we know. That's what so many of us know. We've been through that cycle over and over and over again. And so when we come into macro accounting, that's what you know, and you bring that same paradigm with you. And so maybe you feel some food freedom. On some level, you're like, “Oh, there's no restrictions,” but you bring some of those same ideas. So it's like, “Well, I can't go over my carbs.”, “Oh my gosh, what if I eat too much fat?” I have to make sure if I don't hit my macros spot on, then I'm never going to be successful. And so we bring those same ideas and they just look a little different. It's painted a little differently. And I really, really push back against that. I call that mindset the macro dieter. You have taken macro accounting, and you've taken the tool of macro counting, and you've just made it into another diet. But just because you can do that with macro counting does not mean that is what macro counting is.
How we coach and teach macro counting in Macros 101 35:36
And so one of the things that's really different about the way that I teach and coach clients with when it comes to macro accounting, is I really look at it and teach it like a tool. A tool in and of itself is not good or bad. If we think about a tool like a hammer, okay, a hammer is not good, and a hammer is not bad. However, that person who picks up that hammer can decide how to use the hammer. You can use the hammer, and you can build a beautiful house with it. And you can take the same hammer, and you can tear down a beautiful house with it. So the hammer in and of itself is not good or bad. It is the person who's picking it up and using that hammer and how they are choosing to use that hammer that makes the biggest difference.
Macro scientist 37:29
And so when we understand that, we can start to spot these ways that the dieter mentality kind of creeps in when we start talking about macro counting. And instead of allowing that diner mentality to creep in, we can start to fight against it. And what I like to help clients do is move from this dieter mentality towards using macros like a macro scientist. My goal is to not get more people counting macros. My goal is to get more people becoming macro scientists. So when a lot of people teach macro counting, they will teach it like, “You're going to get numbers. You're going to get a set amount of carbs, a set amount of fat, and a set amount of protein. And now, it's your job to go hit those and you can eat whatever foods you want. But at the end of the day, you have to hit your macros,” and so many coaches will do this. And they'll give you a macros and then if you come back and you're struggling to hit them, or maybe you had some days that were over, some of the not-great coaches will be like, “Oh, well. You've been over your macros every single day. What's going on? Let's fix that. Let's do better this week so that you're actually hitting your numbers,” and next week, if you have a day where you just eat all the things in the world and you, of course, don't track it because why would we track our macros if you're not going to hit them? This is like this cycle that goes on for so many people. They're like, “I track my macros if I'm going to hit them by the end of the day, but if I'm not going to hit them, then I just close the app and don't even track.” This is that dieter mentality creeping in and feeling like there's only one way to count macros. That if you don't hit those numbers, it's not valuable. If you don't zero out your carbs, fat, and protein by the end of the day, you aren't going to be successful. And that is what I pushed back against because that is that dieter mentality so sneaky. That dieter mentality. That macro dieter mentality is sneaking in and sabotaging, and making macro counting into something that it doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be that way where you feel super guilty if you don't hit your macros or if you aren't gonna hit your macros, you stop tracking for the rest of the day.
Learning how to become a Macro scientist 39:42
Instead, what if you took your calculated macros and you started looking at everything like an experiment. You realize that your goal is to take action and to gather the feedback from your body because your body's telling you something, and then look at that feedback and put your scientist hat on and analyze, “Hey, what's going on here? What's my body trying to tell me?” and then you made some conclusions from that, and you made adjustments to your plan. And then you did it again, and you took action. And you gather that feedback, you analyze it, you make some more conclusions, and you make some more tweaks to the plan. That's what I teach clients. They know how to follow rules. They don't know how to interpret data, and how to interpret their body's feedback. Or even more importantly, once they've gathered that feedback, how to analyze it and make decisions about what to do next. Because they've just been set in this, stuck in this like rule-following for so long. Learning how to become a macro scientist, it changes the game, it changes everything.
Transformational coaching 40:52
And then the second part of becoming a macro scientist that I haven't talked about is getting access and getting coaching from a deeper transformational level. So my clients who are in our signature coaching program, macros 101, will tell you that part of macros 101 is me teaching you, right? It's me teaching you how to become a scientist. Me teaching you what data points you need to collect. How do you analyze them? What adjustments do you need to make? How do you execute a reverse? How do you create a meal plan? How do you set your macros? All of those questions that's what we cover in the content. But that's only part of it. Because we know that the only thing that's keeping you from your goals is not just knowledge. There are plenty of people who know how to lose weight. The problem is not that they don't know, it's that they don't execute it. They don't do it. There's a gap between knowledge and action. And if there's a gap between knowledge and action, we cannot close it by just learning more. We have to close it by figuring out, “Why do I know something and I'm not doing it,” and that's where transformational coaching comes in because when we can get to the root of what's keeping you stuck, and remove that, I call them mental blocks. When we can remove those mental blocks, then the things that you learn actually stick. The things that you know, actually get put into action. And when you change your actions, you change the results that you're getting.
Why macro counting can be so powerful and game changer for many people 42:22
And this content combined with transformational coaching is why my clients get long-term results. And it's why we keep getting people who go through macros 101, and then refer their friends to macros 101 because it's life-changing. And it's looking at your body and your food and your mental space, unlike any other way that anybody else is teaching. And that is why macro accounting can be so powerful and such a game-changer for so many people.
Figure out where you currently are 42:54
So if at this point, you're like, “Okay, I get it. This sounds interesting,” maybe you're a little tentative, but like, “I'm hesitant, but I'd like to try this out. I'd like to take the next step. What should I do? What's next?” is a great question. And I always tell clients who are wanting to get started with macro counting or wanting to be able to start to use this tool of macro counting that in order to figure out where you're going to go and how to get there, we have to figure out where you are. It's like let's pretend you were plucked out of your bed in the middle of the night and taken to a far-off place. And you woke up in the morning. And you realized very quickly that you were not in your own bed. You were in another bed. And you're like, “I want to go home. I want to get home,” How are you going to get home? Well, it really depends on where you're at. And so the first step is to figure out am I in Paris? Am I in Australia? Am I on a boat in the middle of the ocean? Where the heck am I now? And once we figure that out, and we know where you want to go, and we know where you are, it's like, “Okay, I'm in Paris. I got to book a flight. I gotta hop on the airplane. I got to drive across the country,” whatever it is, you can figure out the way to get from where you are to where you want to go. But you have to know where you are.
Step 1. Start tracking your normal intake 44:16
And so the first thing you want to do is figure out where you currently are. And that is why the first step that I always give every client is to start with tracking your normal intake. Download a tracking app. I like MyFitness pal. There are lots of other apps out there. I use the free version of MyFitness Pal. You don't pay for it. There's lots of other apps out there. So if you have another favorite app, knock yourself out. Download an app and just start tracking. Don't change anything. Don't adjust your portion sizes. If you sometimes eat 10 cookies in a setting, log those 10 cookies because what we're getting right now is data. And notice if and when judgment starts to come up. Because typically, if you have a not super-healthy relationship with food, there will be a judgment that comes up like, “Oh my gosh, I just ate 10 cookies. I couldn't help myself. It's so bad. I can't even believe that I did that. Oh, I'm the worst,” and maybe you have resistance to tracking it.
Shift from judgment to curiosity 45:29
Notice when that judgment starts to come up. And here's my first piece of coaching for you as I want you to notice the judgment. And I want you to shift whenever that happens automatically, to shift from judgment to curiosity, to remind yourself that what you're doing, isn't putting yourself on trial. You're literally just gathering data. So eating 10 cookies, you're gonna log that. You're gonna track it because it's data. That's what you did. It's what happened. Eating an entire pizza by yourself, you log it. You track it. That's what happened. It's data. It's not good that you eat the pizza, it's not bad that you eat the pizza, it's that you ate the pizza. That's it. End of story. You track it, and you get curious. And you say, “Cool. Now I know what I just consumed. I was unaware of before and now I know.” So if you're like most people, a normal default for you, there will be some judgment when you start to track. And I really want to challenge you when that judgment comes up, shift it to curiosity. Remember, you're being a scientist. You're gathering data. Just like a scientist in the lab, my brother is actually a biochemist, super smart, and got his Ph.D. When he's gathering data from his cells and his experiments, there is not this emotional attachment to it. There's not like, “Oh, I'm the worst scientist in the world because this experiment failed. It's like, ‘Well, crap, that was annoying.' I spent a lot of time on that experiment. But it doesn't mean that I'm bad, or that I feel guilty about anything. It's just that the experiment didn't work. So I'm going to move on to the next thing, or the data isn't going the way that I want to go. That's frustrating. It's annoying but it's not shameful. It's not doesn't produce any guilt.” And that's where you want to be about the data.Separating yourself from the data that you are collecting. Okay, so that's number one. There's actually six steps. I'm going to walk you through. So that's number one. And I encourage you to do that for at least a week. And definitely over a weekend because so many of us eat very differently over the weekend than over the week. And it's just good to start to notice that especially if maybe you feel really good tracking during the week. And then it gets to the weekend. And you're like, “Oh, I don't want to track that. I don't want to track all these dinners out that I'm having,” just start to notice that. Okay, so that's number one. Start tracking your normal intake for at least a week. You're not trying to hit anything here. PS, if you go and download My Fitness Pal, it's going to try and tell you what to do, ignore it. Don't listen to it, okay? Just ignore it. The goal is not to change how you're eating, it's not to try and hit numbers, it's just to get a sense of where you're at because before you can go where you want to go, you have to know where you're at.
Step 2. Gather your starting data points 48:19
Step number two is to gather your starting data points. If you're going to be a scientist, a scientist makes decisions based on data. And in order to make those decisions, you have to have your starting data points. Everybody knows that they step on a scale. Okay. However, that is a mistake that people make if that is the only data point that you are utilizing. Think back to the beginning of this podcast where I made a big stink about the fact that weight loss and fat loss are not the same things. And what is the scale measure? Scale measures weight. It does not measure fat. If you're wanting to maximize fat loss, you're wanting to make sure the weight that you lose is fat, we cannot just go off weight alone because it is an inaccurate data point for fat loss. Or I wouldn't say inaccurate. I say an incomplete is an incomplete data point for fat loss. And that's why we take multiple data points. I want you to take measurements. I want you to measure your waist, your hips, your chest, your arms, your legs, having all those data points, in addition to having your scale weight, in addition to having progress pictures, in addition to the non-scale victories that you may or may not be having, when we put all of those data points together, now we can paint a really rich picture of what's going on. It’s like you are tuning in, I love True Crime. Big True Crime junkie over here. You would never go into a murder trial and say, “Here's one piece of evidence. This person did it,” the opposing counsel would tear you to shreds, and have all these reasons why that one piece of data didn't work. But what happens and what lawyers do is they say, “Here's one piece of data and here's another, and here's another, and here's another, here's another, another, another,” and they all support this one conclusion that this person did it. And it's the same thing with your journey. Multiple data points is going to give you a much richer picture and a much richer understanding of what's going on inside of your body so that you can make decisions from a really intelligent place.
Step 3. Determine the phase that you’re going to start in 50:35
Number three, you will need to determine what phase you should be in. There are four main phases. And you were always in one of these phases, whether or not you are aware of it. You are either in a caloric deficit, so you are eating less calories than you burn. In the macro counting world, you'll hear that called a cut. So a cut is you're intentionally creating a caloric deficit. You are that maintenance. Maintenance means you're maintaining. You are eating the same number of calories as you are burning. That's called maintenance. Bulking is on the other side. Bulking means you're eating more calories than you are burning. Now, why the heck would anybody do that on purpose? Well, the key with bulking is that you are combining that caloric surplus with weightlifting and specifically intelligent programming that is created to help you build muscle. And so we consume those extra calories if your goal really is to maximize muscle growth. And that's what's called in the macro cutting world a bulk. And then the fourth phase that I haven't mentioned yet is called a reverse or a reverse diet. And that is the area between a cut and maintenance. So I have lots of podcasts about reversing. I'm not going to really go into it in this podcast episode, but we'll link them up in the show notes if you're curious about reverse dieting episode 9, 10, 42, 114, and 170 are our reverse dieting episodes. And if I said that way too fast for you, again, we'll link it up in the show notes. So the reverse is, once you finish your cut, and you've lost weight, or you've gotten to the end of your cut date, you will want to slowly increase your calories to bring you from a deficit up to a maintenance level. So the reverse is in between that cut, and that maintenance level. And again, there's a whole lot more that goes into it. Listen to these other podcast episodes. This is not the reverse dieting podcast episode. But I want you to be really clear that there are four phases, and that you will need to pick which phase you're going to start in. Most people make the assumption that they should start in a cut, “I want to lose weight. I should start in a cut,” and that's not always the case. Depending on your dieting history, depending on your goals, depending on the aesthetic that you're going through, you may need to start in maintenance, you may need to start in reverse, you may need to start in a surplus, and actually gain some muscle mass. It's really hard for me to give generalized recommendations to figure out which phase you should be in because there's a lot of nuances that go on with that. I have a whole section in macros 101 that helps you to figure out which phase you should be starting in. Let me give you some just general basics. If you've been dieting a long time, you've been trying to be in a caloric deficit, whether or not it's been working or not, if you've been in a long time, you likely should be starting in a reverse, not a cut. Okay, the people who should be starting in a cut, typically are people who have not been dieting much, have been in more of a maintenance level, even if they haven't been tracking but you've been maintaining your weight for a while, you haven't been in a diet, you'll probably respond very well to a cut off the bat. But if you're someone who has a history of dieting in the past, you've been trying to create a deficit. Again, whether or not it's been working in the past, that's going to be a red flag that you may need to start to reverse. And I actually really like to start a lot of clients at maintenance. Especially if this is brand friggin new to you. If all of this concept is brand new, your tracking is brand new to you, weighing your food is brand new to you, all of this is brand new. A really great place to start is at that maintenance level, and getting really confident eating at a maintenance level before you go into a cut face. And then for my friends, who have an aesthetic that they're wanting to reach an athletic aesthetic, oftentimes, you cannot get that by cutting alone. You will need to actually add muscle mass, and that will require a bulk at some point likely. Now there is an amount of muscle that you can gain if you are new to lifting, and you are eating at a maintenance level, you can gain some muscle there. But beyond a certain point, beyond a certain amount of time that you've been lifting, you will need to go into a surplus to continue to gain more muscle mass.So I hope I just gave you an overview of those four phases. It helps you to understand a little bit more, again, whether you are paying attention to it or not, you are in one of those phases. So what phase do we want to start you in order to be able to get towards the goals that you want?
Step 4. Set your macros using the information that you've collected 55:28
Okay, so once you've determined the phase that you are starting in, you're going to, number four, set your macros using the information that you've collected. Now, the mistake that I see a lot of women making is that they set their macros in somewhat of a vacuum. They plug their numbers into this calculator and just poof here's these numbers. And without taking into account, what you've been doing in the past. What you've been doing in the past is what has gotten you to this point. So why would we ignore that? We want to use that information of what you've been doing in the past, and that's one of the reasons I really encourage people to track their normal intake. That information is so valuable and can be used when setting your starting macros. I do have a free guide to help you walk through setting those starting macros. So if you go to bicepsafterbabies.com/setmymacros, of course, we'll link it up in the show notes. But that's a free download that will help you to set your macros to get you started with, “What should my fat be? What should my protein be? What should my calories be? What should my carbohydrates be?” it will help you with setting those initial numbers.
Step 5. Walk before you run 56:41
Number five, walk before you run. A lot of times, people want to dive right into hitting all three macros and zero in on them out. And that becomes very overwhelming. So I really love clients starting with hitting your protein and your calories. That's it. Don't worry about your fat. Don't worry about your carbs. Have them kind of fall where they may. Just start tracking and aiming to hit your calories and your protein. And once you're able to do that, now we can start to layer in hitting the other two macros as well. And that's going to make it a lot easier to ease on into this to be able to figure it out. Tracking is a thing. There's a learning curve with it. Give yourself about two weeks of tracking, and it's going to start to feel a lot easier. And it takes a lot less headspace and a lot less time. But there is a learning curve when it comes to tracking your food. Okay, that's number five.
Tip: Pre-log your food the day ahead ahead of time 57:42
Number six, actually, before I move to number six, a little like a side tip, as you are working on learning how to track one of my biggest tips for success is to pre-log your food the day ahead of time. And to make the first thing that you log something that you're really excited about eating. So whether that's a treat, or a special dinner, or just a food you really like that you're looking forward to. Something that you enjoy. Plug that in first, and then build the rest of the day around it. And when you do that, you're going to have something that you're looking forward to every day. It's going to be enjoyable. You're going to like it. For me, when I went through my very first cut, it was ice cream for me. So every single night, I plugged in ice cream into my plan for the day. And I built the rest of the day around it. So I knew at the end of every night, I would put the kids to bed, and I would sit and I would have my ice cream. And it was exciting, I looked forward to it, it was enjoyable, and it just made the process a whole lot more fun. So that's my biggest tip.
Step 6. Start to gather feedback from your body 58:47
Okay, and then number six is to start to gather feedback from your body. So what feedback are you getting? What are your measurements saying? What is your scale weight scene? What are your progress pictures saying? Analyze that. And then we make adjustments. The macros that you start with are typically not the macros that you end with. And that's because your starting macro somewhat is a little bit of a shot in the dark. Yeah, we have some information, and we're going to use that to get you kind of close to a good starting place. But what's gonna be able to refine down to what actually is going to be worked for your body and your goals and your lifestyle is that feedback and that data cycle from your body. Feedback from your body, make adjustments, do it again. Feedback for your body adjustments, do it again. And that process is what I teach in macros 101. How do we become a scientist? How do we look at this from a scientific perspective? What is my body telling me? How do I figure out what adjustments to make based on that?
Recap on the six steps to getting started 59:42
Okay, so those were six steps to getting started. Number one, start tracking your normal intake. Number two, take your starting data points. Number three, determine the phase that you're going to start in. Number four, set your macros using that information. Number five, walk before you run. Start, which is hitting your protein and your calories. And then step number six is to gather feedback from your body and make adjustments based on that feedback.
Macros 101 program 1:00:11
Now, of course, there is way more to macro counting, right? We're just scratching the surface of just the basics and the understanding. And you've heard me talk about macros 101 a couple times throughout this episode. And in macros 101, we cover some of the other stuff that you'll need to know along the way. Things like how to make sure you're starting in the right phase? How to build a meal plan that you actually want to stick to? And it hits your macros. How to accurately analyze your body's feedback? How to make adjustments to your macros? How to identify and remove those mental blocks that I was talking about? How do we do a reverse diet? This is the phase that should be included in everybody's plan at some point. And we want to know how to execute the reverse diet so that we can maintain the results that we've gotten without having to eat low calorie for the rest of our lives. How to handle unexpected events, or spontaneous parties or vacations, or things like that? And really, this program is about how you can become a macro scientist. How can you become your own coach? We ran from the philosophy that we want to empower you to be able to make these decisions for your body. So yes, as coaches, we're going to teach you, we're going to guide you, we're going to hold your handle on the journey. But at the end of the day, when you leave macros 101, I want you to have all the tools and the knowledge and the understanding to be able to be that scientist on your own to be able to continue to coach yourself and make adjustments and make tweaks on your own. That's the whole point of you going through macros 101. Macros 101 is not open all the time. We only open it a couple of times a year. So if you want to get on the waitlist, we just build an interest list in between our openings so that people don't miss the next one. You can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist. Put your name and your email there and just make sure you're opening up your emails. And when we open that program, we will let you know. We do have an opening coming this March. So March 28, will be the next time that you can join macros 101. And if you're listening to this after March 28, 2022, just know you can get yourself on the waitlist and we will keep you up to date on when the next round of macros 101 is opening up. If you are someone who wants to find food freedom, who wants to learn how to use macro counting effectively and apply it to your unique journey, who doesn't want to be on a dieter or a macro dieter, or and you really want to get to this place of removing emotion and judgment from yourself with food and with your body, and you have goals, physical goals that you want to reach, you want to change your body composition, you want to lose fat, you want to gain muscle, Macros 101 is the place for you to be able to do that. You can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist to put yourself on the interest list.
Share this podcast episode 1:03:31
Okay, How did we do? I hope that this has been valuable. I hope that you are listening to this and thinking, “Yes, I want to share this with somebody. My Great Aunt Bertha has been asking me about macro counting and I tried to explain it to her,” but I want to make it easier for you to be able to just send this podcast episode to people who are curious and interested about this topic that really has made such an impact in my life. Finding macro counting has been able to help me to get away from that dieter mentality. Get away from this idea that I always have to be eating less and less calories to realize that no foods are really off-limits. There aren't any bad foods. There's just food. It's not a moral decision. When I decide what to eat. It's a logical decision that I'm making. It's been such a game-changer for me. And it's been a game-changer for my clients who have been able to see the fat loss that they want, who have built a better relationship with food, who have increased their ability to be able to think logically about their body and their journey and way less emotionally. Drop the shame, drop the judgment, drop the guilt, and be able to actually enjoy the journey.
Take action if you want a new result 1:04:20
If you made it to this point, high five. Virtual High five. And I would ask you, “Are you subscribed to the podcast?” I mean, because if you made it to this point of the episode, you're obviously in. If you obviously there's something here that you enjoyed or that you liked or that you learned from, go ahead and hit that subscribe button on whatever platform you are listening on. And that will make sure that every week, when I download or when I upload a new episode, that you will be able to have your hands on it quickly and be able to consume that content and apply it to your journey because we all know it's the application of what you learn. Not just the learning. Learning's great, but if you don't apply what you're learning, nothing changes. So I hope, I hope, I hope that you're taking something away from this podcast episode that you are going to put into action because the action is what is going to start making the difference. So don't be that person that just listened to this episode is like, “Oh, that's really great. I learned a lot.” If, if you want a new result, if you want something to change, you have to take a new action. So take something from this podcast episode and actually put it into action. And then let me know how it goes.
Thanks for your continuous support of the podcast 1:05:29
Thank you for being here. Thank you for learning with me and allowing me to be your teacher in your earbuds. Thanks for sharing the podcast with your family and your friends and your audiences. It really does mean the world to me. And I really do hope that this podcast episode helps you or helps somebody that you know because that was the whole goal.
Podcast roadmap 1:05:52
And very, very last, if you have enjoyed this podcast episode, and you're like, “Hmm, I want to go back now and start listening to other podcast episodes. What's the next podcast episode I should listen to, Amber?” It's a great question. And we put together a free download of a roadmap that walks you through the podcast and tells you what to listen to first, and then what to listen to next. There's a lot of episodes so that you have kind of a pathway forward of saying, “Hey, here's some really great podcast episodes to listen to right off the bat. So you're not necessarily having to go all the way back to episode one and two and start from the very beginning,” so if you want that, you can either go to our show notes, or you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/roadmap. R-O-A-D-M-A-P, and you can download that free podcast roadmap that's gonna get you started in the next podcast episodes to start to binge and listen to.
Let’s connect and share your takeaways 1:06:46
Thanks for being here. If this was helpful to you, you can shoot me a DM on Instagram. I would love to know what your takeaway was. Or even just screenshot your phone right now you are listening to it and post it to your stories and tell me what was your tag away. Tag me at Biceps after Babies. I love to hear from our podcast listeners of what really hit home for you. That wraps up this episode of Biceps after Babies Radio, I'm Amber. Now go out and be strong because remember, my friend, you can do anything.
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