Do you feel attached to the scale? In today’s “I Did It” Series episode, Eve talks about her relationship with the number on the scale and how she's stopped letting the number on the scale be the only indicator of her worth and progress. She also shares about her beginning stages of weight lifting and her journey to getting her first pull-up. Intrigued? Let’s dive into this episode with Eve Pedersen.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/227
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- Build Your Workouts (2:18)
- Beyond Macros 101 (8:38)
- Setting a goal (9:48)
- Show up for yourself and be successful in whatever you attempt, consistency is key (11:51, 24:46)
- Focus on the process goals (12:45, 13:33, 18:58)
- Progressive overload (15:26, 19:36)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 227.
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 Friday episode of Biceps After Babies Radio, I'm your host, Amber Brueske. And every Friday I bring you another story of a woman who is doing it in the middle of her fitness journey and has learned some things along the way and is coming on here to be able to share some of those things with you. And today's interview is with Eve Peterson and Eve has a really awesome story specifically relevant to those of you who are maybe thinking about or in the beginning stages of starting to lift, of starting that process and that journey. And during this episode Eve talks about her experience with Weight Watchers and her religiousness with weighing in on Thursdays because that was her like Weight Watchers weigh-in day. And that number on the scale and how much control it had over her for so much of her life, and how over the last little while she's been able to switch her focus from only looking at that number on the scale to giving her worth and meaning and see progress. And instead starting to switch it up and look at lifting and experiencing that world of putting weight on the bar and seeing those weights go up. And really having that shift in focus of weight on the scale to weight on the bar. And so she has such a fun story, she talks about getting her first pull-up, she talks about how much she squatting now and some of the numbers that she is chasing in the future.
Amber B 2:18
And one of the things that was instrumental in Eve's progression, and we talked a little bit about it in the episode, was Build Your Workouts, which is one of my programs where I teach you how to build a customized workout plan and I teach you about progressive overload and how to make sure that you are implementing that into your programming. Because a lot of people aren't, they think, Oh, if I'm lifting weights, then I must be gaining muscle because I have dumbbells in my workout. But if you aren't implementing progressive overload, it doesn't matter how many dumbbells you lift, it doesn't matter how often you do it, and your body's not going to respond by building muscle and adding strength. And so that's the process I teach in Build Your Workouts. I teach you how to create a customized workout program, know how much cardio to do, know how much weights to do, and know how to split those up into a split that's going to work for you. How to select your weight selection and your reps and your sets and how to progress that week to week and I teach you all that inside of Build Your Workouts. So if that is something that you're interested in looking into I highly recommend my free class you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/workshop and you'll be taken to be able to listen to an on-demand class on the five vital ingredients you must include in your workouts to build muscle and lose fat and just kind of hint if you listen to that free masterclass, there is a discount code for Build Your Workouts at the end. So go to bicepsafterbabies.com/workshop. And you can go get that free masterclass and dive into Build Your Workouts.
Amber B 3:47
All right. Without further ado, let's jump into the episode with Eve Pedersen.
Amber B 3:51
I am so excited to welcome Eve to the podcast. Eve, thanks for coming on the podcast today.
Thanks for having me.
Amber B 3:59
Yeah, we're gonna have a good conversation. So just to kind of do by way of introduction, give us a little bit of introduction into who Eve is, a little about your journey and your story.
Sure. So my name is Eve Pedersen. I live in North Carolina, born and raised here. I'm 41 years old, I am a wife and mother of two little girls. And I work full-time in health care administration at a local academic medical center.
Amber B 4:29
Yeah, and we have that in common that was something that kind of connected us. My time in North Carolina. So okay, cool. So tell us a little bit about your health and fitness journey. When do you feel like that “started”? What does that look like for you throughout your life?
So I have reflected on that a bit. I do feel like it probably started like over 20 years ago. I remember in college joining Weight Watchers. And my weight in days was on Thursday and so literally for almost 20 years, every single Thursday, I have weighed myself and kind of like weighed in and tracked my weight. And I feel like I've dieted off and on for years. My husband and I did IVF several times to have our children. And so there were periods where I wasn't weighing or wasn't as focused on that but I sort of was in the back of my mind, because I feel like all of those hormones sort of impacted things for me.
Amber B 5:25
Yeah, for sure.
It's been a long ride, for sure.
Amber B 5:28
So tell us a little bit about where you were in your journey before joining MACROS 101. What was kind of the trigger for making that leap?
Yep. So in the summer of 2020, I went on a family vacation. My family is Greek. And there are a lot of relatives whenever we get together, and I saw one of my cousins who had done CrossFit for years and always looked great. And she looked like even better, and what are you doing, and she had recently, she'd done CrossFit for forever, but had recently gotten introduced to the concept of macro counting. And she had been following like, Madison Moves, and Lillie Eats And Tells and had done Confidence In Your Numbers. And so she introduced me to the kind of Biceps After Babies brand. And I like immediately got on the waiting list for MACROS 101, and I joined that September 2020 group.
Amber B 6:23
Awesome, It was so fun. What were you hoping that would unlock for you? What was your goal going into that, like, I really hope that this program does X, Y, and Z for me?
So, you know, with Weight Watchers, there was a goal weight, and I hit it a couple of times throughout the years. And then after each of my pregnancies, I really gave myself like a full year to kind of get back into really trying to lose weight. And so you know, I would nurse each of my children to the year point and I'm like, Alright, it's time to go. And so after my younger one was born in like 2017-2018, I started doing Beachbody programs. And I was doing their workout routines at home, I was following their meal print plans. And I was actually doing that when I saw my cousin. And so over the years, I had gotten to my kind of goal weight a few times. But to kind of use a phrase that you often say, you know, some things are attainable and some things are maintainable. And so I was at a point where I had sort of thrown weight loss out the window, I'd kind of given up honestly. And I was really looking just for something that would get me back to the goal weight that I kind of had in my head. And that really was what my focus was.
Amber B 7:45
That's cool. Okay, so when people come into MACROS 101, there is often this experience of coming for one reason and having a completely different experience than you may have anticipated. Did you have that experience? And if so, what was that like for you?
So, definitely during MACROS 101, you know, for that eight weeks, my focus really was on the scale weight. I had zero interest in a reverse, I immediately jumped into a cut, but I set my end date. And on my end date, I started my reverse. And then I went immediately into Beyond. And I believe I was in Beyond for a year. And during that time is when I really embraced the reverse, the maintenance. And then I also did Build Your Workouts and like it helped me build my home gym and I really started shifting the focus from the weight on the scale to the weight on the bar.
Amber B 8:38
That's awesome. I think some of our clients who go through MACROS 101 come and join us in Beyond and I really, you know, that eight weeks in MACROS 101 flies by so fast, and it's kind of like a whirlwind. And I always say for those clients who come into Beyond, it's kind of like, it's like the, you just ran a sprint. And now we're kind of going to slow down for like the marathon pace because this is a journey that lasts a lifetime. And so it's a little bit more like let's slow down, let's continue through the other phases. Let's go through the reverse. Let's go through maintenance, let's maybe try bulking let's you know, go through all these other phases that most women tend to skip and a lot of that work is done, you know, inside of Beyond. I'm wondering if you feel like or you can recall a particular breakthrough moment for you, whether it was in MACROS 101 or in Beyond, that kind of gave you a shift in your perspective or kind of had that aha lightbulb moment for you.
I would say that that happened sort of at the beginning of the year. So I was one of the people that was obsessed with your goals podcasts.
Amber B 9:44
Me too! Like some of your podcast episodes.
And you know sort of to back it up a little bit. I literally like dived in and watched every available coaching call, started in the beginning and watch them all. And the same thing with the podcast. I went back to episode number one, and I listened to all of them. And I really tried to digest all of the information that I could. And when the beginning of the year happened, it must have been 2021, I set a goal to get up to get my first pull-up. And I started, like following your guide to a tee multiple times in order to get my first pull-up. But I got it. And by the end of the year, I had five. And so I really think that setting that goal of getting a pull-up is kind of what shifted my perspective off of the scale and on to working out.
Amber B 10:33
Yeah, you guys, Eve was so fun, like she was like, sending me like, videos of like the progression along the way as she was working on getting that first pull up. And I think that hopefully will be really inspiring for some people who are listening because I do see that as a tipping point for a lot of people meaning it can, the time it takes and the energy and the effort it takes to get one pull up for a lot of women is a lot. And then to hear you went from one to five pull-ups, you know, in a relatively shorter period of time. It is, it's like that first pope is kind of that tipping point. And then you get over that and it's like, Okay, now we can like start to string these together. And it's not quite as long I feel like we are just in the process to be able to start stringing them together.
Amber B 0:47
So if you're interested in that pull-up guide, since you've referenced it, you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/pull-up and download that, but I love hearing that, that that kind of sparked something in you, and kind of shifted a little bit of your focus. And you've really embraced lifting since then. Right? You said you joined Build Your Own Workouts. And it's a, you know, it's kind of open this like new love for you. So what do you feel like you have learned about yourself through this process, especially getting into the weights, over the last little while?
You know, I really feel like I've learned that if I show up for myself, I can be successful in whatever I attempt. That first pull-up, like starting from a dead hang and trying to get up was very humbling. It took quite a while to be able to like actually pull up. But you know, I feel like I showed myself that like every two or three days I was working at it and over time I got it. And that is what I have seen in the gym as well.
Amber B 12:21
Have you dealt with any frustration maybe of feeling like it because I think it's really common a feeling like I'm putting in the effort and this is taking longer than I want? You know, I see that a lot with pull-ups, I feel like a lot of people give up on pull-ups because they're like, I'm doing the thing I'm trying. And it's taking a lot longer than I want. And so then they kind of get frustrated. Have you had that experience at all?
A little bit. So I really try to do a good job of tracking my progress. And so really focusing on each time that I go to the gym doing a little bit more than I had done before. And so, you know, sometimes you some days are harder than others for sure. But I really just tried to focus on Okay, well, what did I do last time, or maybe last time I did this weight, it felt so much harder but this time, it feels a little bit easier. And so I really try to focus, like shift that mindset to focus on the progress that I'm seeing.
Amber B 13:22
So what you're saying is that you aren't daily focused on the outcome goal, but rather on the process goals to get you to set outcome goal.
Amber B 13:33
Thanks for being a perfect example of that. But it is, it's so true that so many of us are only focused on the one outcome that we want, right? Like, I want to get the pull-up, that becomes the outcome. And it can get really frustrating if we're not achieving said outcome. What I'm hearing you say is when you focus on the day-to-day process, and the day-to-day progress that you're making it like last time, I was only able to hang for 15 seconds. And today I was able to aim for 20 seconds, that is progress. And no, I haven't reached that outcome. But I'm on my way I'm taking steps to get there. And I think for those of you who struggle a lot with frustration in your journey, feeling like you're putting in a lot of effort and not getting a lot of results. My guess is that a lot of times you're focusing very heavily on the outcome and not necessarily on the process or the progress that you're making day to day. And so what do you think would happen in your journey if you started to look for that progress? Notice it, celebrate it, and encourage yourself that you were moving towards that goal? How much more likely do you think that you would be able to achieve it? And that's what I'm hearing from you because, like, that's something you learned and implemented.
For sure. I will say I was really frustrated with the scale and with not seeing the number on the scale that I wanted to see. And so that's where focusing more on lifting and working out and progressive overload is really what has kind of made that switch for me.
Amber B 14:52
Did you understand progressive overload before Build Your Workouts and was that your first experience with it?
Never a 100%. Anytime I'd ever gone to the gym before, you know, I would follow whatever the trainer had me doing, which was basically like, the same thing every single time I went to the gym or group fitness classes, you know, I loved me some Les Mills, Body Pump, or whatever. But it was always just doing the same thing. And so yes, that was my very first introduction to progressive overload and it is crazy. The progress that I have made.
Amber B 15:26
Yeah, talk to us a little bit about that progress, because that is something that I want people listening to understand. If you feel like you've been spinning your wheels, and like you, I mean, I share this experience of myself of doing the same thing. I taught body pump for eight years and I felt at some point, it was just like, it was just spinning my wheels. It was like, I went to the gym all the time, but nothing actually changed. And realized that that was because I wasn't really implementing progressive overload. At the moment that I started implementing the progressive overload. It was like, Whoa, I can't believe how much progress I'm having in such a short period of time. So what was that experience? Like for you having gone from never really trained? You know, there's a difference between working out and training. So you never had trained before started training effectively, what kind of changes did you see over that first little while?
So when I was first working out at home, I had adjustable dumbbells. And so like, I'm just going to pick like squat. So I would squat, I would switch the dumbbell up to whatever, 35 pounds in each hand, and I would get them up on my shoulders. And that was about the most that I could like, physically get onto my shoulders. And that's when I realized, like, I need a bar, I need a rack. I want to like be able to progress this. And so then once I started squatting with the rack, you know, I started squatting with the bar, so like 45 pounds. And I realized, okay, well I was using essentially seven, do you want to have the dumbbells? So, you know, I think I started maybe a year ago. I'm like, today was like a leg day for me. Today, I did four sets of five at 180 pounds.
Amber B 17:04
Hallelujah! Okay, so are you guys hearing that like from 45-pound empty barbell squats to sets of five at 180? Yeah, I mean, come on. That's cool. That's so cool. And how does that feel?
Like amazing, like really impressive. I shocked myself, you know, I do have a rack at home, but I prefer to work out at the gym. So I go to my local YMCA where the average age it's like 55. Yes, I like that. I prefer that than like, sort of like a meathead-type gym.
Amber B 17:47
Have you ever gone to O2 fitness?
Amber B 17:49
Did you know that that's where I used to teach?
Amber B 17:51
When I right out of college, I worked out at that at fitness in Chapel Hill, which I think is actually the one maybe that you taught in.
Amber B 17:59
I taught in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Falconbridge. I taught all over. Yeah, that's so funny. Okay, keep going.
Where was I?
Amber B 18:07
You were talking about how amazing it is that you're freaking boss at lifting?
Oh, right. Yeah, yeah, like, now, it's so funny now because like, you know, there's mirrors around and I want to look at myself and I also want to have like myself in the right position. But it's kind of crazy to see the guys that are in the gym looking at me like, Wait, what is she doing? Is she gonna get this? But yeah, I love it.
Amber B 18:28
That's so fun. So what are some pieces of advice? Have you been somebody who relatively recently picks this up? For someone who's maybe listening who is like, I'm kind of never picked up a barbell before, a little bit terrified of going to the gym, a little bit terrified of building muscle or lifting heavy weights, give some pieces of advice or something that maybe you wish you would have known going into the process.
So, I think, you know, as cliche as it sounds, slow and steady wins the race. I have been at this for almost two years now, between like, the macros and the lifting, and I'm still seeing changes. I don't know that I still get like “newbie gains” but I'll take them. But like, I feel like it's also I would tell myself, like, learn the lessons along the way, like, you're not going to succeed at everything that you try. But if you use that to learn and adjust and make progress so that you can continue moving forward.
Amber B 19:36
Yeah, that's so good. I think it is that perspective, and it kind of goes back to what you're talking about before of just like that little progress. It's like that every day, little progress adds up over time to go from 45 pounds to a 180-pound squat, but you didn't jump there in a day. You know, it was like slow and steady and working on form and you're so active in the Build Your Workout's page, as well as like, you know, posting form videos and asking for feedback and say, How am I doing and it is a process, it is a layering process to understand. And so for anybody who is brand new to lifting or is just starting that journey, I really would just encourage you to kind of listen to what Eve was saying, and just recognize that it is a layering process, and that she didn't learn everything in one sitting. It was like, Okay, I'm gonna miss squat with the empty bar for the first time, and I'm probably gonna have to tweak some form, and I'm gonna have to get better at it, I'm gonna have to, you know, you said the first time you put it on your back, it's like, that's a heavy thing on my back, you know, and now you like unrack 180. Like, it's no big deal. And so just recognizing that it is a process and progress, day to day and that when you just take those days at a time and like you said, learn lessons that you end up making big results over time. So good. What are you working on currently? Like, what are some of your current health and fitness goals? Do you have any numbers that you're chasing on the bar?
Yes, I am chasing 225 for reps for my squats. I actually posted a video in the group today. And you know, I love having that group, that community. I feel like it's for like accountability for myself to post a video but also to encourage other people that are just starting. But yeah, 225 for reps. And now I have started at the end, you know, when I finished my last working set to just like unrack 225 and just hold it for a second. Now I have started today I attempted it and failed. But that's okay, I got down to the bottom and I started pushing up and I was like into that.
Amber B 21:40
Yeah, I'll get there.
Amber B 21:42
Yeah, those unrackings are really important because you start to train your central nervous system to not freak the heck out when it has something like super heavy on its back. You can even start going over 225. Like getting comfortable and not like you're not jumping there but like getting comfortable holding 250 just literally unracking the bar standing there and reracking the bar with like 250 then will eventually make 225 feel like super light. So if and that's again, train your central nervous system, because there's muscular contraction, there's muscular strength, and then there's also a central nervous system that has to happen because you think that's how muscle contraction works is there's a signal sent from your brain, it creates the muscle contraction. And so the central nervous system is a big part of lifting. And our central nervous system can kind of flip out a little bit when it like, when you put a big heavy load on your back. And so even just training that central nervous system with unloading and racking those heavy weights, when you get to 220, you're gonna be like, oh, yeah, this is no big deal. Like I've racked way heavier than this weight bar.
Get that synapses firing.
Amber B 22:47
Yeah, the synapses firing. We love some synapses. What else? Any other like numbers you're chasing?
So, I was chasing 100 for reps for bench. And I just got it. So I need to set a new bench. That one I feel like is my hardest. I just kind of have like a mental block there. That's really it. And then as far as health is concerned, you know, I feel like, in one of your podcasts, I was introduced to the concept of like functional medicine. And so I recently saw a functional medicine practitioner. And I found out that I have like, no fecal elastase like I'm not making digestive enzymes. And so now I'm sort of on this whole new path to figure out my gut help.
Amber B 23:37
Cool. How long are you on that journey? Or are you like still pretty early on?
Over like two weeks then
Amber B 23:42
Okay. So we're just kind of navigating into those waters. Well, that's really cool. Like, I love that. One of the things I love about you, Eve is and I've seen it in you is just your willingness to dive in and learn. And you know, you are always super active on the Build Your Workouts page just super active in Beyond and like you said, listen to every podcast, listen to every module in MACROS 101, like your hunger and insatiability of learning is going to continue to serve you very well as you continue throughout your journey.
What is the phrase that you say about like when the student is ready the teacher will appear? Like you're my teacher and I appear to be like you and take it all in.
Amber B 24:22
Yeah, and it's so good. And it's I think it's the same thing. It's like, when you were ready for like the gut health stuff like that, that appeared and that like presented itself. I truly believe that when the student is ready, the teacher appears so good for you for hopping on those boards. Okay, last question. If you could send a message to yourself, your younger self, what would you say?
I would say like consistency is key. Don't get frustrated when you don't see the number that you want on the scale. There's more to life beyond the number on the scale. You're worth is not determined by the number on the scale, like hang it up. I'd have been so much further along in this journey if I would have hung that up earlier. And that is a really tough pill to swallow. And sure, would I still want to see that number on the scale? Absolutely. But you know what, now that I get my gut health in check, I might actually get that number.
Amber B 25:24
Okay, so it was last question. But I'll ask you one more question. How did you hang up that number?
It is an everyday work in progress. It seems so silly because it's so close to where I am right now. But I think really seeing the physique changes like I think I look better now than I did whenever I was at that weight. And that is what I've really tried to focus on.
Amber B 25:56
Awesome, so good. Well, Eve, you're a joy, you're amazing. Thanks so much for coming on the podcast and sharing your story with everyone.
Thanks for having me.
Amber B 26:05
I'm sure you loved Eve as much as I do. She's amazing. And it was just really fun to have her experience and her story. And if you feel like you're somebody who's like her that maybe has that attachment to the scale, I think a great way to release that attachment is to place the focus elsewhere. And you know, our brain doesn't do well to tell our brain not to do something like don't think about that. Our brain doesn't do very well with that. Our brain does very well if you can replace it with something else. So instead of saying, Oh, I got a release attachment to the scale, I can't have that be my focus, don't be my focus, don't get me to focus. When you say okay, instead of that'd be my focus. Now this is going to be my focus and you replace it and you start focusing on weightlifting, you start focusing on the bar and the numbers on the bar going up and tracking your workouts and making sure you're implementing progressive overload. It kind of fills that void, it fills that space and becomes a productive place to start to work on your fitness goals from.
Amber B 0:47
So if you are interested in the pull-up guide that you've talked about, you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/pull-up, that's a free six-week program that I put together that will teach you how to go through the exercises to be able to get that first pull up. And then again I talked about the beginning of the episode about bicepsafterbabies.com/workshop if you want to sign up for a free on-demand workshop about putting together effective workout plans and the five vital ingredients that those need to have so that you aren't spinning your wheels in the gym.
Amber B 0:47
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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