Comparing yourself to a former version of yourself can be just as detrimental as comparing yourself to somebody else. Today on the podcast I had Joy Jones join me. She shares her story of some fantastic results after going through MACROS 101, but she also talks about some difficulties she had through her reverse, maintenance, and then a medical issue that came up. I think many of you will find value in the episode and realize that sometimes, the things that can make the biggest change in your journey are not crazy and loud and overt, but really small and simple. So let's jump into this week’s “I Did It” Series episode with Joy Jones.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/211
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- Relationship with food (6:12, 7:49, 8:54)
- Impact of making small changes over time (10:53, 26:16, 26:21)
- How mental transformation takes into place (12:03)
- Listen to what your body really needs (16:19, 17:55, 20:33)
- Find happiness in all of your life (18:57)
- Don’t let the number define you (24:57, 25:30)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 211.
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 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke. And today on the podcast, I have Joy Jones, who did MACROS 101 and had some fantastic results, and then had life handed to her in the form of some medical issues that she ran into. And so she joined the podcast to you know, not just talk about her success, which it's funny, as she starts to talk about the results that she saw during MACROS 101, she just kind of like, casually drops that she lost 30 pounds, and then continues to move on. So I kind of tease her a little bit about that. Because I think it's important like to celebrate that success. But that's not why I brought her on the podcast, I brought on the podcast because of what happened after she lost the 30 pounds. And she'll tell the story of her reverse and you know, going into maintenance and then having this medical issue that came up where she'll tell you the name of the condition, but basically her face, part of her face was paralyzed. And as you can imagine, that created a whole host of other things that she needed to be focusing on. And during that time, you know, fitness and physical results started slipping by the wayside. And she didn't have the energy to go to the gym. And so success at that moment had to be redefined.
Amber B 2:12
And I had joined the podcast, not because I think people can relate to, you know, having your face paralyzed, because I think most of us are not going to have that experience. But what I think is very relatable about Joy's experience is that, you know, sometimes comparing yourself to a former you or former version of you can be just as detrimental as comparing yourself to somebody else. You know, oftentimes will fitness will say, Well, just you versus you. But sometimes even you versus you is a way that you can beat yourself up, especially if where you're at in life is maybe different now than it was previously. And so that's what I think is really important to pull out of this conversation with Joy is, and it's very relatable is that we're all in different stages, and different things are happening. And success in one period or life may look very different than success in a different period of our life. And Joy is a really great example of that of sharing what that can look like. And I want you to listen to the takeaways that she has and the advice that she gives at the very end of the episode. Because it may seem simple and it is but it's very, very profound. And sometimes the things that can make the biggest change in your journey are not crazy and loud and overt, but really small and simple. So let's jump into the episode with Joy.
Amber B 3:39
Welcome, everybody. I'm so excited to introduce Joy to you. Joy, how are you doing?
Amber B 3:45
I am so excited for people to be able to hear your story. And like I said, before we hit record, I'm really excited for people to hear your wisdom. I think you know, I share a lot of wisdom on the podcast, but it is not all of the wisdom in the world. And I really think having women come on here who have their own experiences and their own breakthroughs and being able to share them and be willing to share them is it's such a beautiful thing and adds so much to our listeners. So thank you so much for being here.
Thank you for having me, Amber. I'm really excited to do this.
Amber B 4:15
Awesome. Okay, so let's start with you. And we just share a little bit about yourself and give us like just a quick overview of your journey.
Well, I just turned 50 this year, and I actually just found the Biceps After Babies podcast myself just by doing a search. I'm a single mom. I have full custody of two teenage kids. I'm a nurse practitioner and I just kept thinking there had to be someone out there that resonated with where I was in my life. And I just tripped across your podcast, believe it or not, and started listening. And then in the fall of 2020 I signed up for the MACROS 101 program.
Amber B 5:03
And did that. Yeah, it was great. I did it for 12 weeks, you know, it started in the fall, and then I did it pretty much till the Christmas holiday, you know, the holiday season. And then I went into a reverse.
Amber B 5:19
Awesome. Okay, yeah. And we're gonna dive a little deeper into that experience and what you learned during that time period. So for selfish reasons, I'm just curious, what were you searching for that led you to the podcast? Do you remember?
I think just women and fitness, I think are moms and fitness. I don't even remember what the keywords were at the time that I put them in. But I had listened for about three or four months before I ended up doing MACROS 101.
Amber B 5:50
Awesome. Okay, so I'm always just curious how like people stumble upon the podcast. If you're listening, and you want to let me know how you stumbled upon the podcast, shoot me a DM because I'm always super curious of how people find it. Okay, so during MACROS 101, during the time that you were in the program, and you were coaching, what were some of the results that you were able to experience during that time?
I actually had really good results, I lost 30 pounds, a number of sizes in my clothes. But probably the biggest transformation for me was my relationship with food. It changed some of the different exercises that you had us to go through, really made a difference for me. The two that stand out the most for me one is the, I'll call it the Likert scale, where you would ask where are you at now on a 0 to 10, 10 being your most ideal. And how you would talk about not trying to go from a three to a seven, but you try to go from a three to a three and a half to a four, and how could you each week maybe (or over a succession of weeks) try to make small improvements. So that one really stood out for me, because I was always trying to go to three to seven or 10 and never getting there. The other one that really made a difference in my relationship with how I ate and looking at food was when you talked about and had us do the journaling about what were the stories that you've been told about yourself. And to go through those exercises and to really do that journaling about what other people had said to me and what my limitations were because I believe those stories.
Amber B 7:28
Yeah, so because I want women to be able to see themselves in your story. And there's a lot of women who struggle with their relationship with food. So will you just kind of give us a little bit of a background of when you say, you know, I struggled with my relationship with food prior to that experience, What did that actually look like for you? How did that manifest in your life?
I was very much a restrictor, restrictor, restrictor. I'm of the age that we did a lot of the high carb bit free stuff when I was in my 20s. And just a lot of restricting and a lot of overworking out. So excessive cardio, and just trying to restrict and restrict and restrict as much as possible. Not eating certain types of foods not feeling like I had permission to eat certain foods. And I think that was the other thing that going through the MACROS 101 journey was I really learned that I could eat whatever I wanted and fit it in to my profile of macros for the day and that changed a lot. I think also having being able to set my own nonnegotiables like having a glass of wine with my mom and my aunt, going out to dinner with my boyfriend and just feeling like I could plan ahead and plan for that and not have it be stressful.
Amber B 8:47
Awesome. So what would you say is your relationship with food now? How would you describe that now?
Well, I had a really big aha type of moment. I just went on vacation recently. And I was riding motorcycles with my boyfriend through Florida. And there was like a, I don't know, it was like a touristy kind of food place. It was like a pie place or something like that. When I just thought to myself, why would somebody go there on vacation? And it was the first time that I realized that I wasn't focusing my life on food, I wasn't constantly obsessing about it anymore. And I was just able to enjoy more aspects of my life and not be focusing on food for a change.
Amber B 9:30
That's so awesome. I find it, you know, we talk a lot about the physical transformation in MACROS 101 and also a lot about the mental transformation. I think the hard part with that inner work that we do in that mental transformation that occurs is that oftentimes it's hard to see it in ourselves. You know, there's not a scale that we can step on to see that personal growth and I think those moments like one that the one that you just described where we have that aha where we're like, oh, in the past, I would have been really full food focused on this and it doesn't have the control over me that it used to have is such an important moment to have, because it's easy to convince ourselves that nothing's changing, when in actuality, there's a lot of work that's gone on inside your head and inside of you to be able to get to that point.
Amber B 10:15
Yes, so good. Okay. So what would you say, you know, people are listening to this, maybe like, whoa, whoa, whoa Joy, you just like, kind of skirted on past that, like I lost 30 pounds, you know thing, and just kind of like, just skirted on past it. And let's spend a little bit of time there because, you know, there's people who are listening to this, that that would, there would be their dream, they would love to be able to do that. And I think, sharing the experiences that you've had, and the wisdom that you've gained of like how you did that is really valuable. So, you know, what would you say made the biggest difference for you, and being able to see that change physically on your body?
I use the planner, and I set goals, and I use the low high, you know, that you talk about, and I, I stuck to my macros, and I stuck to my workouts, and I didn't make big changes, I did the little tweaks. I would analyze the data, you know, being the macro scientists, but you talk about being and would just tweak here or there. And it just happened over time, you know, over that three-month period.
Amber B 11:27
Yeah. And I hope if you're listening, what you're getting from Joy is that there's no like one magic thing that she did. It was like an amalgamation of all the little decisions and all the little steps and all of the exercises and all of the like learning that she was doing in it, the application of that learning that made the difference. And sometimes we make it into this big thing like, well, what's the secret? Like Joy, “What's your secret?” And what I'm hearing from you is like, there isn't a secret. I just took the action that Amber told me to take and did a little bit every day.
I almost didn't think about it to be honest. I mean, I just did it all. I just dove in deep. And I'd have to say that probably the mental work, which sounds funny was the part that made more of the difference than anything.
Amber B 12:21
Yeah, a lot of times I see the physical change as a lagging indicator to the internal work that you're doing, like the mental change, that mental change happens. And then yes, that lagging indicator is that we see the physical changes, but a lot of it starts up in your head. And that's awesome. So talk to us a little bit, because your story doesn't just end, after losing the 30 pounds, you know, then we go on to the next phase, which is your reverse and going into maintenance. So can you walk us through a little bit of a bad experience and what that was like for you?
So the reverse was a little harder because of the adding and I was so you know, I know, you've talked about how many of us are good at restricting. I think I was good at restricting and some having a platform to restrict, and I was comfortable. So then I started to do the reverse. And I did really well I ended up going from like 1400 – 1300 calories up to like 2200 calories by the end of my reverse. But then I went on vacation. And on April 1 of 2021, I woke up and I couldn't move the whole left side of my face. And when I came back from that vacation, I was gonna start tracking in maintenance. But unfortunately, I couldn't use the whole left side of my face and I couldn't chew. I couldn't drink from a cup. So I was very derailed for about five months.
Amber B 13:53
Yeah. Are you willing to share a little bit more about that diagnosis? What it ended up being? How's that?
Yeah, I have something called Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which most people have probably heard of Bell's Palsy. Bell's Palsy only affects one nerve and Ramsay Hunt has the ability to affect multiple nerves. The case that I have that affects about five of my cranial nerves, so it affects my motor, my sensory, my vestibular, things with chewing and eating, I'm nauseated a lot of the time and things like that. So I actually, you know, went from being the most fit I had been in my life to being physically unable to do much of anything I couldn't even eat or drink normally. And because my brain was working so incredibly hard, just to like maintain my balance and to do things that other people's bodies normally do. I was extremely tired. So working out even I kept trying like every week I would try to work out and I just couldn't do anything that I used to do at all. So it was very disheartening and very challenging to dig myself out of that hole.
Amber B 15:09
Yeah, I can imagine, physically, it's challenging and then also mentally, it's challenging to go from feeling like, I have this, I have myself together, I'm on this path I'm doing so well. And then to have it swing so far, where like, a lot of your time and energy and effort is on getting better. And that's where your time needs to be spent. So, you know, what were some of the emotions that maybe you experienced during that time? Because, you know, a lot of people listening are never going to have that experience of like, specifically having, you know, Ramsay Hunt disease.
Yeah, it's very rare.
Amber B 15:44
It's very rare, right? So like, it's probably not gonna relate to a lot of people. But what will relate to a lot of people is having an experience of being achieving something at one point in your life, and then life happening, and maybe feeling like I went backwards, or that was all for naught, or I lost all the results that I have. And that experience is much more common and relatable. And I think a lot of people can learn from the experience that you had of that and apply it to that situation. So what were some of the emotions that you experienced and how did you work through that challenge of having this hardship placed in front of you?
It was really hard because I couldn't even look in the mirror and see myself that I'd known, you know, for my entire life. And I think the normal things that anybody when they get a chronic illness or something bad happens, the why is me, how did this happen. So I really had to start self-examining. The other thing that was hard is that I think you hear all the time, like when you work out, you only are competing against yourself of yesterday, I couldn't even come close to that. I couldn't even do that because I was so far down from where I was. I just kept trying, I just kept trying, and I finally after, now I can work out about three to four times a week. And I've learned how much time I can do. And I really have to listen to my body, which I think that's kind of one of the biggest messages is actually listen to what your body really needs. You know, whether you're depressed or whether you have something physical going on, or emotional stress, like sometimes it isn't about you know, that all or nothing workout, because I used to be an all or nothing. And that was another thing, I think I learned some of those tools I'd gotten from MACROS 101 really continued to show up. So you know, yeah, I can't work out four times a week for an hour and a half at a time now. I can't, I can do maybe a half hour and to break it up into different things, or 45 minutes. But doing something is better. You know, any workout is better than no workout.
Amber B 17:55
Yeah, what I hear is you're focusing on what you can do rather than what you can't exactly changed, right? That's different than it used to be.
Exactly. And I think the other thing was, is I just had people around me that were positive. And I tried to keep, you know, people around me that were positive and supportive. So my closest friends and family really helped me on a daily basis, to stay positive and to stay focused on what I did have rather than what I didn't have going on in my life.
Amber B 18:22
Yeah, that's good. I'm curious what, you know, we talk a lot in MACROS 101 about, you know, nothing's a failure, you either get the result that you want, or the lesson that you need. And I think, you know, life often hands us lessons in ways that we wouldn't choose. I'm pretty sure if you had a choice, this probably wouldn't be in the way that you would have chosen. But I also believe that there are lessons that we're able to learn from these experiences. And so I'm curious, as you've looked back over this experience, and, you know, in some ways are still in it, what are some of the lessons that you're pulling out?
I think one of the biggest things is where I've heard you talk about, if you're at that 10 that you're going to be at, or you're going to be happy at the 10. Like, you got to be happy at the three, you know, and so that's the one of the biggest things is finding happiness and in all of your life. And that I think I'd seen you even post something recently about like, is a friend gonna like you more because your way a certain amount or because you're more cut than you know, that kind of thing? No, that's I think what my values are, and what's really important in my life, is what's really shown up through this is focusing more on the things that are intangible about my relationships and who I want to be as a woman to the people I love in my life, and that's my why. I think that's my why for doing anything is so that I can be the best woman that I can be for all the people in my life.
Amber B 19:58
Awesome. I just got goosebumps listening to you that's, that's really, really neat. So, you know, as you move forward now with this experience that you've had, the lessons that you're taking away, I'm wondering, how are you setting goals differently or approaching your goals differently, especially from the context that you said, you know, a lot of times it's like, Oh, it's you versus you. And you're like, Yeah, but the “me” today is very different than the “me” a year ago. And so how are you approaching your goals in a different way based on your experience?
I've gone from focusing on the number of minutes that I work out. And I've really shifted a lot because I was doing a lot more cardio before too. And I just can't, it makes me too tired. So my goals right now are that I'm going to do upper body twice a week, and I'm going to do lower body twice a week. And if I feel like I can, I'm going to ride, I have a peloton, and then I'm going to ride the bike, if I feel like it. So it's just really listening to what I feel like I can do. But I'm finally at a point where, in January, I did a little bit of cutting. And because I had gained back just a little bit, and it came off really easily just following the macros again. And what was great is I was actually able to use a much higher number to cut out than I had previously.
Amber B 21:28
I love that.
Yeah, I was at previous I did like 1450 and I was able to use 1700.
Amber B 21:35
Yes! And that is the power of reversing and maintaining my friends is being able to cut often at a higher calorie. Yeah, that's awesome. So something that came up for me, and I wonder what like you'll be able to shed on this. Because I think this message of listening to your body can be such a challenging balance for a lot of women. Because it's like that gradient between, well, if I like how do I know that I'm listening to my body versus just being lazy? You know what I mean? Like, how's that? What's that balance between? Okay, so my body is telling me like, I probably like, maybe I should skip the gym but then I think people second guess themselves. And they're like, well, is that just because I want to skip the gym? Or because I'm being lazy? Or because I like and they have a hard time being like, am I listening to my body, or am I just giving up too soon? And I wonder from your experience of having to learn to listen to your body, maybe even a little bit more than a lot of people. What insight can you provide in how you distinguish between this is what my body is saying, versus maybe I'm just trying to get out of something?
Right. I think for me, it might be easier than other people because for me, if I go through this process, I have had days where I've done too much. And then I just can't do the normal kind of activities of daily life, I'm too tired, after I workout too much. And not listening to my body if I push too much. And then later in the day, I need to take a nap and I can't and I struggle to do the other things. So I feel like when I don't listen to my body, then I can't be my best self and the rest of my day, then I know I've done too much. And then I can tweak that to the next time. So it may not be in that moment that I can make the adjustment. But it may be like Oh, my body said I didn't I shouldn't work out. But I did and I pushed you hard and then the rest of my day kind of fell apart because of it. So that for me is it's very become very black and white.
Amber B 23:37
Okay, so that is so good. And I for those of you listening, I want you to hear what Joy said. She said something so wise, you said something like, I can't always figure it out at the moment but then afterward, I'm able to look back and say, oh, yeah, that was too much and make adjustments for the future. And I think the same thing applies to anybody who's listening, it may not be as drastic as Joy's describing of where like, when you do too much, then you can't get off the couch or you really feel like I can't even finish my day. It may not be that drastic. But I guarantee you that if you pay attention, you will notice those little cues of, hey, that was a little bit too much. You'll notice your body telling you those things. And then you can make an adjustment for the future. And I think just like Joy saying it's like over time, the more you start to listen to those cues and respond to them, the more you'll be able to fine tune, Oh, I can deduce when I really do need a rest or take a break or when you know I'm okay to keep pushing a little bit harder. That's really good, really good. So one of the things that I think is something that you can kind of speak on a little bit is the difference between weight and body composition. Because I know that as you know as things have happened medically with you, those have changed and there's been some changes in your body. So will you kind of talk about a little bit about that and your experience?
Because like right now I'm as low as I was, like, for my lowest from doing the cut, but like my body composition right now isn't what it was then I was, you know, more lean and had more muscle tone than I do now. And I think really through this Ramsay Hunt thing I've been able to really recognize what you talk about with the power of don't let the number define you. A lot on the scale net is just a piece of data because there's more to that whole story than that.
Amber B 25:30
Yeah, that number is it's a piece of data. It's one piece of data and it doesn't color the whole picture. And the more that we can enhance that picture with all the other data points, we get a much better understanding of what is actually going on. And so yeah, it's like, I weighed the same as I weighed before, but my body doesn't necessarily look the same. And that is because weight isn't the sole indicator of that. And I think that's such an important thing for women to be able to hear.
Amber B 26:00
So good. Okay, Joy, if you're sitting down having a chat with somebody, and you know, they're getting started on their journey, or maybe where you were back in, you know, before you joined MACROS 101, what's the biggest piece of advice that you would give them?
To do make small changes over time.
Amber B 26:20
I love it.
I think the not going from 3 to 10 is the biggest thing, and that it's a journey, and it takes a lot longer. You know, I think seeing this is where I know there's you know, sometimes people say social media isn't good. But for me, like following your journey, are some of the partners that you partner with and where they show this was made two years ago, and this is how long it's taken me to make these changes help someone like me to say, you know, I'm not going to get these results. I mean, sure, can I lose, you know, seven pounds or 10 pounds for an event? Of course you can. But I think that message of that I want this for a lifetime, and I want to be healthy for a lifetime is really the bigger goal. And I think just asking them, are you trying to get fit for an event or are you trying to do this for a lifetime? And for me, it's a lifetime. So small tweaks over time continue to set me in the right direction.
Amber B 27:13
That's awesome. I love that piece of advice. I definitely will say an amen to that piece of advice. Well, Joy, thank you so much for coming and sharing your story, sharing your wisdom. And, you know, just sharing you on the podcast, I really appreciate you being here.
Amber B 27:30
I hope listening to that interview with Joy was fruitful for you, and that you were able to take some things away and apply them to your own journey. I think, as I said in the introduction, sometimes we're looking for flashy or nifty or hacks for being able to see success. And I loved that Joy closed with just coming back to small and simple steps. It's not about overhauling everything. It's about doing a little bit more today than you did yesterday, and then continuing and repeating that every single day. And sometimes that means redefining success. Sometimes success in one stage of our life is not the same as success in another stage of our lives. And that's okay, that's part of being a human and living a dynamic life.
Amber B 28:13
So I hope that this episode was helpful for you. And if it was, will you please take the one to three minutes that it takes to leave a rating and review on iTunes. It may seem like a really small thing. And like I said, it will only take you one to three minutes but it actually really does make a difference in telling Apple that people like this podcast that it's good content and that they should recommend it to more people. So from the bottom of my heart thank you to those of you who have taken that time to leave a rating and review That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go on and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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