On today’s Friday bonus episode, I’m interviewing one of my awesome clients, Leah Edgley. We chat about how Leah has added more calories while seeing more results, and how she mentally manages weight fluctuations. If you’ve ever been stuck in the cycle of doing more exercise while eating less and less, this episode is for you!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/159
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- Is really the secret to success is to have more? (8:26)
- The importance of tracking your data (12:07)
- How the coaching help Leah see her blind spots and able to guide her through her journey (9:38, 18:54)
- The women who are unsuccessful are those women who don't recognize the progress that they're having (15:05)
- Community in Macros 101 (16:23)
- Mental shifts (19:06, 24:42)
- Food freedom (20:33)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 159.
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 0:45
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio, I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, and I'm back with another Friday episode with an awesome client Leah Edgley is who I'm interviewing today. And Leah's story is like so many that I've heard before, and maybe as you listen, you will resonate with her story because she was caught in the classic: in order to get results, I have to do more, I have to do more cardio, I have to eat less calories, I have to try harder, I have to stick to it better. And she got into this cycle where she kept adding more and more and more and more and she started getting less and less results and instead started like actually kind of retreating the other way and started gaining weight. And that's where I see a lot of women stuck in this cycle that they've been told for all of their life, that the secret to success is to do more exercise and eat less calories, and they get stuck without anywhere to go. And if that's you, and that's something that you resonate with, you are going to really enjoy this conversation with Leah. Because as she came into Macros 101, and as she started to get coaching, she started to realize that more isn't always better. And we talked about this concept that I share in the episode about how these tools that we use, like cardio, and like calories are all very dose dependent. Just like with medicine, some medicine is good. But it doesn't mean that more is better. Right? Take some ibuprofen, it's going to help your headache. But if you take too much ibuprofen, it actually is detrimental to your health. And I want you to start to think of exercise and calories and things like that as the kind of the same thing is like, yes, these are tools that we can use in your journey. And they are dose dependent. More is not always better. And so we talk in this episode about how Leah has been able to add more calories, see more results and specifically, one of the last questions that I asked her that I think is going to be really valuable for people listening is to answer the question, how did you mentally manage your weight going up. Because you're hearing in her interview, she saw quite a bit of weight gain, because she started out at a very unhealthy weight. Because she was having some struggles internally and mentally prior to joining Macros 101 that made it so she didn't eat for a while. And so she got to this place where she had lost a lot of weight. She was really unhealthy and so part of her getting healthy was her having to gain some weight. And that meant the scale going up. And so I asked her at the very end of the interview how she was able to mentally handle that and I think her answer is one that's going to be really beneficial for a lot of you guys listening. So without further ado, let's jump into the episode with Leah.
Amber B 3:42
I am so excited to welcome to the podcast, Leah. Leah, how are you doing?
I'm good. Thanks, how are you?
Amber B 3:48
I'm very good. And I'm excited for you to get to share a little bit about your story. I really wanted you to come on because I think it's so valuable to be able to hear other people's experiences and maybe roadblocks that you hit and how you made them through. So just to kind of introduce yourself to everyone who's listening we just kind of tell us a little bit about maybe you and your fitness journey especially where you were prior to coming into Macros 101.
Sure. I am a teacher and I have two little ones and so life is pretty busy. I kind of where I was at with before coming into Macros 101 is I had been on a journey since having children trying to get stronger and to focus on just getting healthier and really I also wanted to kind of get the body that I was always looking to have even before kids that you know I was doing group classes and I was thin but I wasn't really didn't see the muscle definition and so I was. By the time I decided to do Macros 101, I had gone through some pretty intense stuff in life where I had stopped eating because of some of the emotional stuff that was going on, and I had lost a lot of weight. And for someone who I was only 125, and so to lose 25 pounds was pretty significant. And so I used it kind of as when I was trying to start getting healthier, and really focusing on my eating, I was trying to also utilize that jumping off point as a place to really build muscle and get to the shape that I had always kind of wanted and just didn't know how to get there.
In that approach, prior to Macros 101, I had hired different nutritionists, I had actually hired three different people and I didn't really get results. So the first one, I feel like I knew the situation of what I was coming off of, but still started me on a cut from what my maintenance calories should have been. And I hadn't even really been at maintenance for a very long time. And so I was in a cut and then I was also not given an end date to the cut. So I had then stopped seeing results, I started eating less, I was eating a cut from the cut. And then I was working out more and just kind of kept going down that spiral of not really seeing any results, but really working hard, feeling deprived. I was, you know, working out six, seven days a week. I was walking about an hour a day most days plus doing strength training, doing HITS, running, like I was over the top, just trying to find that magical key. And, you know, I just always felt defeated, because I felt like I was actually gaining weight. And my body was starting to shut down. So as a teacher, the month of June for us is always really stressful. And then I was putting even more stress on my body, and by under-eating and overworking it. And I was just emotionally deprived or feeling just depleted. And just everything in my body was kind of just saying stop. But I didn't really know how to stop and how to get to where I wanted to go.
And so a friend of mine had been following you and I had thought about going through a reverse. And ultimately, I started the reverse last summer and was at the point in September, where when you opened up macros one on one I thought I should join but I was also starting a new job. And there were so many new things that I didn't think I could take on the whole learning curve. So I just went to maintenance and I stayed there. And then I did Confidence In Your Numbers in January and really felt like okay, this, I feel really motivated to get into Macros 101. And so started the class signed up for the class in February. And yeah, that's kind of where I was leading into it.
Amber B 8:26
That's awesome. You know, one of the things that I really want to highlight from your story, because it's a story that I hear so frequently, is coming from this place of thinking that the secret to success is like more, right? Like, let's layer on more cardio, let's lower calories even more. And so and you even said to yourself that you like you know, started at 125, you lost all this weight because you had some stuff going on and you weren't eating. But even when you lost that weight, were you at the point where you were like, yes, this is my dream body? No, not at all. And so sometimes I think women get into their heads that like, what's keeping them, you know, from the body that they want is just losing fat, right? It's just like losing more, adding more cardio, lowering your calories. And that's the magic road to success. And I love that you highlighted it, you know as talking about your story that it was like, you're layering on all this stress onto your body in terms of cardio, in terms of lowering calories, in terms of other stuff that's going on your life, right jobs and relationships and all of those other things. And your body started almost fighting back in terms of feeling like you were gaining more weight. And what came to mind was you were saying that as you know, as a nurse, we dispense medication and medication is very dose dependent. So yes, like ibuprofen is really good. But if you take too much ibuprofen, now it's actually detrimental to your health. And that was kind of what was running through my mind, as you were saying, like all of these things that we do, all these tools we use are dose dependent, meaning Yes, they're helpful and yes, they can be moving in the right direction but too much is just as detrimental as as not enough. And so I love that you're able to share that from you knowing the other side. Because there are people who listen who just think that if I just cut a little deeper, if I just add a little bit more cardio, if I just try a little harder, it will make things change. So what was the turning point for you where you realized, hey, what I'm doing isn't actually working and I'm ready to try something else.
Yeah, I was finding, we had actually gone on a vacation. And I was like, Well, I'm just going to eat what I want on this vacation. And that wasn't like, I was still probably within reason. But it was more than I had been. I mean, I was eating between 900 and maybe like, 1300 calories. So it was, you know, restaurant food for a week. And then I was like, Well, when I get back, I'll just go back to eating. But I know, normal for what was my normal, but I didn't lose weight, I gained weight. And then I just kept getting and I was like, I'm not, I'm just always deprived, I always feel like I can't do something, I'm second guessing whether I want to go out to a friend's house because I don't know what they're going to be serving or go out for drinks or even like, you know, just anything, I always felt like I overthought food, and it was getting in the way of enjoying life. And so that was like I had something that had to change. And it was really scary. Because the idea of a reverse was like everything that I had, like my entire thought system had to be challenged, because everything I knew, which you know, I will put an “everything I thought I knew” was not working. So how could I eat more? And that just felt so counterintuitive.
Amber B 11:38
How could that work? How can that work? Yeah, so good. So how did you get there? Right? How did you do it because that's a very common occurrence? You start to bring this awareness. Oh, this thing called reverse dieting, this, you know, this talking about eating more? How the heck could that actually work? That's so counterintuitive to everything I've been taught my whole life. So how did you get yourself on board to go from what the heck is that? How could that even work to actually take those steps to implement it into your journey?
I guess really, it was I was listening to your podcast, and looking through your resources. And I was like, Okay, well, it seems like there's a lot of people who this is working for, and it sounded like I have nothing to lose so I may as well try it. And I was really motivated. And I will say that getting started doing it, I had to go back to that podcast over and over again, and almost listened to the two episodes you have on reversing, like, on a weekly basis to convince myself that it was going okay, and everything was in flight, because what I wanted to when I looked in the mirror, I was telling myself a story that it wasn't working. And like, everything that I thought before was accurate. And so you know, how, why would you think that this would work. And then it was truly It wasn't until I did and that reverse went, Okay. But it wasn't until I did the reverse the cut and the reverse in macros that I started to use the data that you recommend, like making sure you're doing your measurements before I wouldn't step on the scale, because I just didn't the thought of that number was like so psychologically, just so I didn't have a good starting point, because I didn't have the data access to the information to be able to note to see the progress. And so, but I won't say that it was completely a write off, it was still good, because it got me to the place where I could do a subsequent cut, and then do a reverse and do that reverse in Macros 101 where I was supported by coaches and even more information, I felt like I just had a wealth of information to be able to do it and feel like, let go of more of that kind of self talk that wasn't working for me. So yeah, I mean, it's still psychological you know, mind. I want to use a swear word here.
Amber B 14:15
It was still a psychological mind bending. But I felt like the road or the blind spot I had, I was able to have pointed out to me, in a way by the coaches, like when I would put up a question like, I'm not seeing any progress, or, you know, this is what's going on help, but and it would be like referring back to the data will go back to your data, and I look at the data. Oh, okay. Well, like it's actually I am seeing progress. And yeah, just being able to have someone who could, like I would be convinced that I've done everything I followed all the rules I've done, you know, but without those coaches kind of going, wait a second, have you looked at this or have you looked and asking the questions that really helped me to really be able to make sure that I was on track with it.
Amber B 15:05
Yeah, it's so good. Because one of the points that I make in it, you know, as you're studying in Macros 101 is that the women who are successful or not, or rather, the women who are unsuccessful are not the women who don't see progress. They're the women who don't recognize the progress that they're having. And so I think what you're saying that speaks to that so much, it's not that you weren't having progress is that you weren't recognizing, and once you started to recognize it, then we create the snowball effect of being able to continue going and continue actually being able to see that progress over the long term, but so many women quit, because they don't recognize the progress that is actually happening. And so I'm so glad that you were able to stick with it. And I can only assume that, you know, having listened to the two reverse episodes, which are 9 and 42. You talked about listening to those over and over and over again, to kind of convince yourself of like, this is going to be okay, and we're gonna work through this. And then having module five, which is all about reverse dieting. And I can only imagine that that was even more like how it gave you even more understanding and the why behind this process so that you could really start to trust that it was going to work.
Yeah, I also really feel like the support of the other members of the group and like listening to reading their stories online and seeing their coaching as well helped make me feel like I wasn't alone. And, you know, there are so many people who are like, I really thought about this whole thing when I was gaining weight and doing all this over working out. And under-eating, I thought that there was something wrong with me. I'm different from everybody else. And, and so I always felt like I needed to find somebody who could help me with my answers. And I didn't know where to even begin looking. Because I felt like my story, you know, was just there's something wrong with me. I had blood work done by a doctor, he actually came back and said, Oh, actually your metabolism is really, really fast. So it's nothing, there were no answers. And that was the end of it will check you in a couple months. But yeah, everything looks good. And so I really felt like I was at a loss because I'm the one going through something that no one else goes through. My story doesn't have people who can relate to what I have. And so being part of this group made me realize like, Oh, actually, there are a lot of people, and especially right now, and it seems like this kind of momentum is picking up where the stories are being shared. And so it's easy to find people, especially in this group, where I'm not alone, and that for some reason, that just really is also a motivator to know like, Okay, there are ways out of this cycle.
Amber B 17:57
I'm curious, a lot of women because you're right, you're definitely not alone. There are a lot of women, you know, who are experiencing very similar things, and, which is why it's so awesome to have you come on the podcast, because there are going to be women who listen to this are like, Oh my gosh, I thought I was the only one. But she's gone through it as well. A lot of women in that situation, I hear from them. And they come in with this idea and this belief that their body is broken. Was that something that resonated with you? Is that something that you struggled with? Or was that not really a thought that you had?
I just kind of thought that it was something like internally so something I couldn't see. And I didn't know the tests to take and I didn't have a reference person who could help me find it. So I guess in a sense, like, I wasn't looking at my physical form and feeling broken, but I was feeling like something was something not right inside. But it wasn't functioning the way it was supposed to.
Amber B 18:50
Yeah. And as you went through experience and as you you know, sounds like you went into a cut and then went through a reverse what were some like aha moments that you had through that were kind of you know, game changers for you along that journey?
I'm really through the Macros 101 course. I really felt like most of the aha it was all mental. It was my outlook on how to get to where I wanted to go. Like, nothing is permanent. I think about that even with children, you know, like, Oh, this is going really well or this is going really badly when you've got a baby. It's like waiting two weeks, and they'll be sleeping or whatever the problem is, it's like it will change and same with fitness. It's like there's nothing permanent. Like,if you continue to not see your results, then change your path, whatever it is, you can always, there are always ways to kind of get around whatever it is that you're going through.And same thing with like, once you find that success, nothing is permanent. You have to keep working towards whatever your next goal is. You know there's Oh, it's always a work in progress. So that part, and like that was actually really freeing just knowing that, you know, if I went down the wrong path, I could correct it if this wasn't the right answer, that it's not going to be, you know, oh, you gain five more pounds, and you're just never going to be able to get back to that original starting place, which I think that was my fear with the reverse is like, Okay, well, I gained weight. And I lost a cut. So if I eat even more, I'm going to gain more weight, and I'm going to be further down that line not being able to get there.
But yeah, so nothing that was a big part of the aha and also just the food freedom of like, not, there aren't bad foods, you know, I would be like, okay, there's so many times that I go, I'm not going to eat carbs, or I'm not going to have like any treats. So the things that bring me joy and food for me, it is all about, you know, the joy of experiencing, I don't want to eat something unless it's enjoyable. And so in order to get to where I did that big aha moment and Macros 101 is that no, you can find enjoyment in that path in that journey. So long as it fits into the macros. And so that was really liberating, like your six pack eating ice cream, it was like, Well, if Amber can do it, then I'm going to, you know, make space in my day to have a little bit of ice cream and not feel guilty about it. So when I can think of it when I was pregnant, I can remember being like, Oh, this is the first time I didn't feel guilty about eating food, because I knew that it wasn't going to be able to show up on me in the way that I thought it would immediately. And I remember saying that one day to a colleague on our abusive Friday treats, and he and I remember saying to him being like, Oh, I feel so liberated I can buy what you could eat two of those cupcakes and he was like, I didn't understand it as a male. Like, you know, this has been I feel like I've been conditioned as a woman since the I can think back to the age of being 12 years old. And thinking that, you know, eating that treat, eating something that was on that, you know, bad food list was going to have an immediate reaction or in my body that was going to be negative. And yeah, so it was like, the only time I felt it as an adult have that freedom before the going through macros was like when I was pregnant, I was like, you know, what, doesn't matter immediately right now, whether it adds another pound onto my belly, I've already got a baby in there. So you know and realizing like, yeah, getting off of that leash has been huge for me.
Amber B 22:51
It's so big, so big. I'm curious, what are your goals now? What are you working on now?
So I'm still trying to get the six pack. So I'm in the middle of another cut, we'll do a reverse. Just trying to get to build muscle and actually in this last year, I feel like I've really built my muscle seeing some victories there. Like my strength has improved. And I recently bought the Build Your Own Workouts program. So this week, I just got notified that my adjustable dumbbells will be arriving. So yeah, I'll be able to kind of switch things up. Because I've always felt like, you know, same with the starting macros. It's like the more information I have, the more knowledge I have, the more power I have there. So following other workout plans has been convenient. But I am excited that I have the resources to be able to kind of plan my own body. Yeah,
Amber B 24:04
Yeah, that's so good. One last question for you. Because this just came to mind as you were talking, I have to assume you talked about, you know, losing a bunch of weight because you weren't eating. So I have to assume that you weigh more now than going up. So to speak a little bit to that. Because I know there's a lot of mental work that comes even if you know that you're unhealthy. But seeing that lower number and then seeing that number continue to go up and up and up and up on the scale. And now you're at the place where you're like, yeah, I feel like I have a lot more muscle but it's more weight. And I'm just curious how you've been able to navigate the mental aspect of adding more weight on the scale.
Yeah, 'cause at first like when I was starting to do, like, evaluating, like when I wanted to reverse it was because I had, I was like, consistently around 120 and then I went on that vacation and I gained about five pounds. And so I was about 125 and I was like, really like that number just as it crept up, it made me feel bad about myself. And I think now it's like, that's actually less than I weigh now. And so how did I get there? Well, it took a while to even like what I was saying, when I did the initial reverse. That was before I went into Macros 101, I didn't weigh myself, because I just, like, got to a place where I didn't even want to see the scale. It just made me feel anxious. Like, what's this going to tell me about myself? And so but with, you know, I wanted to do my second reverse, I wanted to in the winter in Macros 101 I wanted to do that with all of the data, so that I could know. And so I knew I had to, and as soon as I stepped on that scale, and it became kind of part of my routine, I just, it doesn't affect me as much because I feel like I'm in control of my goals in a way like that I wasn't before. So and and now that number is a number. And it's just, you know, I understand that the value of myself is so much more than just what that number says on the scale. And yet, when I look back at it, I kind of think about, you know, you have that image on an older Instagram post where it's like, this is me, you know, one weight and then like, there's the other one of you, which is like, I think you're either the same or your way the same in both but one you're just totally different strength. And, yeah, that and so that's kind of been more like just referring to some of those bits where I'm like, yeah, it's okay. I know that I have weigh more muscle that my clothes fit differently because of the muscle that I've built. So it's okay. Yeah, I mean, like now I think this went before even when I was just doing group fitness classes, like, I was probably about the same weight as I am now. But I did not have this level of definition and muscles, so I can see the mirror. So yeah.
Amber B 27:06
So good. Oh, that's amazing. Leah, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Thanks for sharing your story with everybody. It's been an honor to have you be able to come on and share.
Well, thank you for everything that you have put out there. I feel like you know, I was piecemealing together bits from everywhere, and I was getting nowhere and even, you know, going to the people who were supposed to be the experts. And it wasn't until I committed to Macros 101 that I really found the comprehensive information that I was looking for. And with that the confidence to be able to make the changes that I needed to thank you.
Amber B 27:44
That's awesome. Thanks so much.
Amber B 28:43
I hope that you found a lot of value in listening to Leah's story, I hope you're able to connect with it on some level. Like Leah said, so many women believe that they are the only one who is having a certain experience. And I will tell you right now that you are not alone. You are not the only one who is having whatever your experience it is and when you can find a community that can remind you of that and coaches that can show you your blind spots and you're able to link up with a program that gives you a comprehensive pathway forward it is so incredibly valuable and you know that's what we do inside of Macros 101. As you're listening to this Macros 101 just closed yesterday. So if you missed it and you're listening to this, you know in the future after Macros101 is closed because you came back and listened to some previous episodes. You can get on the waitlist for the next time that we open Macros 101 so you go to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist and you can get on that waitlist for the next time that we open up the program. It's just like Leah said is a comprehensive program that takes you from A to Z with coaching and guidance and community to assist you in that journey. That wraps 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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