Today I have the pleasure of bringing Carissa Morton onto the podcast. Carissa was the Transformation Content Winner of the last round of MACROS101, and as you listen to this episode, you’ll hear why she had such an amazing transformation. She’s lost 40 pounds since the beginning of her journey, and if that’s something that intrigues you, I invite you to listen very carefully to Carissa’s experience, because her takeaways might not be what you expect. So, let’s jump into the episode!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/225
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- How MACROS 101 helped Carissa’s fitness journey (7:39)
- Take things slow (8:20, 9:28, 9:50)
- Internal shifts that triggers for external transformation (11:32, 17:03, 20:02, 26:58)
- Digging deeper with your why’s (14:53, 15:40)
- Maintenance (21:59, 22:58, 24:46)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 225.
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 edition of Biceps After Babies Radio, I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And as is every Friday, this is a fabulous interview with one of our clients. And she's here to share her story and her wisdom with you in hopes that when you leave listening to this episode, when you finish this episode, that you will have some aha moment or an idea or a tip or a next thing to try in your journey because we can always learn from each other. And I think that the beautiful part about being in a community is the ability that we have to learn from each other and not have to go through all the experiences yourself. So today, I had the pleasure of bringing Carissa Morton on to the podcast. Carissa was actually our transformation winner of the last round of MACROS 101. And as you listen to this episode, you'll hear why she had an amazing transformation. She's lost 40 pounds since the beginning of her journey. And for those of you here that are like, that's what I want, that's what I want. I want you to listen very carefully to the things that Carissa talks about. And I make this point at the end of the episode, but I'm gonna lead into the episode with it, I want you to listen very carefully to what Carissa talks about as making the difference in her journey because it may not be what you think. So with that, let's jump into the episode with Carissa Morton.
Amber B 2:16
Welcome to Carissa. Hey, Carissa, I'm so glad to have you on the podcast today.
Yeah, I'm happy to be here.
Amber B 2:23
It's gonna be fun. Okay, so I want you to start out just telling us a little bit about you, and specifically, where you're at on your journey before you came into MACROS 101. Like, tell us some of your struggles, tell us some of the things that were feeling hard that made you make the decision to come in and join us.
Yeah, so first, I'm a wife and mother to my daughter and I live here in Austin. The struggle for me pre-baby and through pregnancy, I always worked out but I felt stuck. Like no matter how hard I worked out, nothing changed. I don't know if other women can relate but it seemed like pre-baby, I hit a weight on the scale that I was maintaining. And I always had this false belief ever since I was in high school, I kept telling myself that when you hit a plateau, that's your new number. Yeah, in which through MACROS 101, I broke that self-belief by hitting a number on the scale that I hadn't seen since high school and I weighed less than I did pre-baby.
Amber B 3:25
So tell me about that belief that was formed, teach me again. So your thought was like when I hit this plateau? That's it. It's like-
Yeah, it was like a new number like-
Amber B 3:37
Like, the new reality.
Yeah, like, Okay, I'm gonna be at this number now forever.
Amber B 3:43
For the rest of my life. Yeah, yeah. It's so interesting. But you were able to break through that and break through that plateau with some of the stuff that we're going to talk about. So that's awesome because I think, you know, some of the things that I talk about a lot about beliefs in MACROS 101 is how beliefs often don't show up for us. Like, we can sit here and laugh about it. Oh, that's silly, like to have that belief. But like it wasn't silly. That was like what that's was the context in which you were performing. And just hearing other people's realizations about the things that they realized were holding them back and help people who are listening to be like, check in with themselves. Oh, is there a part of me that maybe believes that as well? And you're not the only one who has that. And so it's one of the reasons that I love having these conversations because you can be that example for somebody of, hey, I thought this way I used to think that like, once you hit a plateau is like that's over that's like now your new reality. And, hey, I was able to get past that. And that means that you can as well.
Yeah, I had a huge fear that I wouldn't be able to take off the baby weight and that that would be my new number. But my biggest struggles really were deeper than that. It was how I spoke to myself and not having a plan with nutrition and macro counting, it was definitely my biggest missing link. I was always stuck in the dieter mindset. And I would be restricting and saying my diet would start Monday and then totally binge eating on the weekends. I dabbled in macro counting, but never really got the hang of weighing out my food. And I've always been very self-disciplined at working out, I didn't struggle there. But I struggled with fueling my body to do so. I thought that I thought that I was eating healthy by restricting calories. And I would work out hard, but I was deficient in protein and carbs, thinking that carbs were bad for me. And protein should only be the amount in the palm of your hand. And I was controlled by portion control instead of feeling my body.
Amber B 5:50
So you mentioned that one of the things you struggled with ahead of time before was not having a plan. Can you elaborate a little bit more on that? Like, what did that look like for you?
Yeah, so after I had Amelia, you know, I get to stay home with her and I'm blessed that I have the opportunity to do so. And before it's like, when I was working, and you know, being a wife, and in trying to do all the things like I didn't make time to make a plan for myself.
Amber B 6:24
Yeah, I see that a lot where people think that they make a plan but the only plan that they have is like crossing their fingers kind of plan. Yeah, it's like going into the weekend and being like, “This weekend, I'm going to be so good. And I'm gonna stay on track. And that's it.” Like, that's the plan, the plan is the outcome that they want to create. And I kind of joke and say it's like you're crossing your fingers. You’re going to the weekend just like crossing your fingers and just hoping and wishing, which is not a plan. That's not a plan for success. But a lot of times, we tell ourselves, “Oh, yeah, I had a plan, I was gonna eat better, I was gonna eat healthy this weekend.” And then it didn't happen. And then we scratch our heads wondering, Well, why didn't happen? And it sounds like you started to realize, well, one of the reasons is because I didn't have a plan.
Amber B 7:10
And you think that that was because… I mean… I think one of the things that happens to us, is we become a mother. So there are a lot of requirements that are put on you. And now you have this little person to take care of and you know, it's not just you taking care of you're taking care of them. And so time also becomes time and energy becomes a limited resource it feels like so do you feel like that was one of the reasons that you struggled with a plan? Or was it just not even like the realization that, Hey, maybe I need one.
So I definitely meal planned and I tried to prepare, I feel like just with MACROS 101, it gave me the missing tools. And I for the first time was willing to take things slow, versus just wanting that fast results. And I think that's what really changed is I was willing to dig deep to get to like the root cause of why am I self-sabotaging and like, what's really going on, and that ultimately just helped me like shift that mindset.
Amber B 8:13
Yeah. What do you think helped you be willing to take it slow?
Well, I created a routine around it. So during like my nursing sessions with Amelia, I would listen to a module, or I would be pre-logging my meals. And I think what helped me take it slow is I had the weight to lose. You know, it wasn't like I was just trying to lose that 5-10 pounds anymore, you know, it was that 20-30 pounds. And I think that helped me kind of take it more in those bite-sized.
Amber B 8:54
See, that's funny that you say that because I find this like the more weight women have to lose, sometimes the more anxious they are about getting it off. It's like I don't like where I am right now. I want to get out of here as fast as possible. That's some of the energy. So it's interesting hearing that from you. It was like, Well, I have 30 pounds to lose, it's gonna take a while to get there. Do you know where that like not feeling that anxious about getting to where you wanted to go? Like, do you know where that came from? Or how you're able to calm yourself down about that?
Yeah, I feel like, during postpartum, I just had like a new appreciation for my body. Because I grew a baby and I gave birth and I just had so much more respect for the body God had given me at that point. And I started my journey by giving myself grace and I knew it wasn't going to happen overnight. And I knew it would be day by day.
Amber B 9:50
Yeah, yeah, I know as you were saying that I was thinking, you know if we can relate this process to pregnancy none of us are going through pregnancy. So being like, I'm gonna get this done as fast as possible, and I'm gonna grow my baby in three months, like, it's not gonna take me nine months, it's gonna take me three months. And we laugh at that because that's silly to think, oh, that you're just gonna like speed up this process that takes nine months to do. And yet a lot of times we do that with weight loss where we have this unrealistic expectation of how fast it's going to be, without recognizing, like, there's a lot of steps that you have to go through. And it is going to take the time that it takes and it may be slower than you would like, I would like to grow a baby in three months that I would like, but it does not mean that that's how it's going to happen. And coming at peace with that can be a really powerful place. And it sounds like that's kind of what you got to is like just coming to peace with like, it's going to take time. And I can be at peace with that.
Yeah, I remember people saying like, it takes nine months to grow baby, it's going to take nine months to feel yourself again. And so that was kind of something that I had in the back of my mind during workouts and tracking my nutrition. And I didn't find MACROS 101 till four months postpartum. So yeah.
Amber B 11:07
That's awesome. So what some people listening might not know is that you won our MACROS 101 transformation contest, the last one that we held. And when you did your video, I loved what you talked about with the comparison trap. And will you kind of relate what you said there about the way that you talk to yourself versus your daughter?
Yeah, so this is pre-baby during my fitness journey. I was working out all the time. And when summer came, I just didn't feel confident in my bathing suit. I always felt like the bigger girl. And I would be so hard on myself and my self-talk like really was self-sabotaging. And I really think my aha was when my husband talked about how would you talk to your daughter if she didn't like the way that she looked. And it just so happened that the Kacey Musgraves' Rainbow song was playing. I don't know if you've heard that. But one of the lyrics is if you could see what I see, you'd be blinded by the colors. And you refer to the song by saying you need to listen to these words of the song. And imagine if your daughter said that she didn't like the way she looked. And it really hit me because it was an overwhelming feeling of just this desire to have that self-love and confidence. Knowing that I'm a child created by God, and you know, I just felt like, this heaviness of like, Oh, God, like, why don't I feel that way about myself. And I thought to myself two things one you saw me differently than I saw myself. And that I would never want my daughter to feel this way about herself. And I wanted to break that chain of the comparison trap, and have her grow up with self-confidence. And being an example for her really pushed me to work on my talk.
Amber B 13:06
Yeah, so we share a little bit about a contrast maybe? What did your self-talk sound like before and what does it sound like now?
Yeah, so it would be like, if only you could lose this much weight, you would feel happy. It was like, the grass is greener on the other side kind of self-talk or it would be like, if you didn't have love handles like you would look like the other girls, or if your arms were smaller than you would feel more confident in pictures. So it was those things. Gosh, I'm getting emotional. Because, you know, we tell ourselves these things that are not true.
Amber B 13:58
And I even think that sometimes there's such power in saying those things out loud. Because we can start to look at them a little bit more objectively, right? You can that out loud and shake your head and be like, I would never say that to my daughter. I wouldn't ever say that to my friend. I would never say that to anybody else. Like that's not actually true. But a lot of times, it's just running on repeat in our head. And it isn't until we like take it out of our head and kind of look at it and be like, is that actually true that we can start to question it and move past it. But the challenge is that a lot of us don't ever do that. And that sounds like that's what you did is like you took that stuff that was has been on repeat and you looked at it objectively and said, Would I say this to my daughter and that created this big aha moment for you and this shift in your thinking of like, No, I wouldn't, so why the heck am I saying that to myself?
Amber B 14:50
So what does that sound like now?
So now when I like get on the scale, you know, I'm not obsessive about it. And I look at my workout as I'm getting stronger, not that I need to work out to lose weight. And I feel like the biggest shift was, that I was doing this for myself and I found a “why” for me, not for anyone else. And I'm finding a “why” for myself and not anyone else. I think that was a super powerful point in my journey. And it really gave me freedom. You know, I wasn't doing this to impress anyone I wasn't. As much as I say, like, I wanted to teach Amelia her self-love, I wanted self-love for myself. And that was my “why”, and that was what was driving me.
Amber B 15:40
I think that's really common. And I love that you dug a little bit deeper into that “why” because I think a lot of women that I talked to who have kids that that does start to become part of their “why”, right, I don't want to pass this on to my, to my children, I don't want them to have the same experience that I had, I don't want them to like hate their body the way that I do or whatever it is, I want to be there for them when they're older, right? I don't want to die prematurely. So sometimes “why”'s consider around our children. And I think that is powerful but I think what I heard you say is that, that there? That is powerful to want to do something for someone else. But it becomes even more powerful, when in addition to that you want to do it for yourself and there becomes like this deeper, no, I deserve this as well, yes, I want to give this to my children. But I also deserve all the benefits that come from it as well. And that becomes a really powerful place to create a new future because it is. It's impacting the people around you, but it's also impacting yourself. And that's, that's awesome. That's amazing. Was there any specific time during a coaching call or a module or, you know, getting coached or whatever that happened in MACROS where there was like a light bulb moment where there was a shift in perspective, or shift and understanding, and how did that influence you moving forward?
Yeah, so I mean, hearing all the women be so transparent about their journeys and so powerful. But one lady shared about her body dysmorphia. And you had talked about how adjusting the actual root cause and about how addressing what is happening on the inside, and defining a truth versus the belief, and to stop that self-sabotage. And I really related to that and started to recognize, like, what was a truth and what was a belief, and really work that into, you know, my daily life, and really had a daily reminder to look into Emilio's eyes, knowing that I didn't want to pass this comparison of body image and obsession down to her. And I kind of just let that drive me.
Amber B 17:50
It's awesome. How do you think, because, again, I'm coming from that perspective of, I want to do this for me, and I want to do this for my family, and my kids, how have you seen your journey impact your family?
Yeah, so Amelia is still really small. She's only 13 months but I want to be an example for her, you know, I don't want to have to see her have to see me being a deficit all the time. And I don't want her to have this false belief that women have to weigh less and eat as little as possible. I really want to her to grow up knowing how to feel her body and watching me do that. And I want her to work out if she wants to to gain strength. You know, I want to be I want to have her be educated on nutrition and health. And I think it's very overlooked, like to teach someone at a young age. And you know, if I would have had these tools that not been a 90s kid growing up on like, the worst macronutrients ever. You know, I just feel like you would be more set up for life and for that self-love.
Amber B 19:10
Yeah, yeah, no, it's so good. Shout out to all the 90s kids out there rigorously raising themselves. So amazing. So one thing I want to point out because what I think is so awesome as we go through having conversations like these, and what I hope people are hearing is how much of what Carissa has shared has been on that like internal transformation. And you know what, we haven't hit on very much and there's a reason for this, but we haven't hit on very much is the physical transformation that you had you kind of alluded to at the beginning of, you know, hitting a weight that you hadn't hit since high school. How much weight did you lose to get there?
I think I lost 40 pounds.
Amber B 20:02
Okay, so losing 40 pounds. And what I think, the reason I'm calling this out is because for those of you who are sitting here listening and you have 30, 40, 50, 60 pounds to lose, a lot of the focus tends to be on losing the weight. It's like what do I need to do to lose the weight. But if you listen back to this episode, and everything that we talked about with Carissa, everything that she was bringing up and sharing and talking about was not the technique to lose the weight. It wasn't all the like nitty gritty of, oh, here's the percentage that I had my macros at. And here's like the exact workouts that I did. Everything that she shared was all of that internal transformation that created that external change. And so I call that out. For those of you who do have a lot of weight to lose, and hopefully hearing Carissa's story, the lessons that you're pulling from it are, how do you talk to yourself? What is a belief versus what is actually true? You know, how do you improve that self-talk, when you get on the scale? You know, how can we get Okay, and make peace with taking it slow? How can you work on your “why”, and really get clear on what is important about this for you? Because those are the things that made the difference for Karissa. So you want to lose 40 pounds, I know you want to focus on how much protein you're eating. But what Carissa is sharing are like the things that actually start to move the needle and move the needle long term. So I think it's so important, because sometimes we focus on the wrong things, or not the wrong things. But like, the thing that doesn't move the needle the most. And I think what you're talking about with self-talk is something that you correct me if I'm wrong, but like, you're changing your self-talk, created this ripple effect that allowed you to get to where you are today.
It really has.
Amber B 21:53
Yeah. So what are some of the things that you're currently working on? What are some of your current health and fitness goals?
Yeah, so some of my current goals are to stay at maintenance as long as possible. That's needed to me since I've always kind of lived in a deficit, and then going crazy on the weekends. And continue to use like, continue to utilize Build Your Workouts. I've been doing a progressive overload to build strength and work on my body composition and, and really knowing like what my body can do, it's really crazy like to see like what weights I picked up at the beginning versus like, what I'm picking up now. And really looking at working out as practice versus just the calories burned. And then, honestly, fitness and nutrition are something that I'm passionate about and I know they'll always remain in my life. I'm not sure what that journey looks like, whether it'll be a business down the road, or what.
Amber B 22:58
That's awesome. That's super exciting. I always love it. When I always say transformed people, transform people. And you know whether or not you get into this as a career or a business like it, you transforming yourself Carissa transforms other people, whether that's your daughter, or your spouse, or the people in the community or your friends, but transform people transform people and it's just so exciting to see, you start to take root. The other thing that I really want to point out for those of you who think like, oh, once I lose the 40 pounds, like, I won't ever have to think about any of this ever again. And life will just be like super easy. I want you to hear that there is a next step. Like there's a next phase and what Carissa is saying about maintenance and spending time at maintenance and building muscle and working on strength and focusing on widening the aperture of your health and fitness goals. So it's not always about the scale going down, becomes a really important next step of the journey. And so make sure that if you are someone who has more weight to lose that you are creating that expectation that down the road, like you're not done once you lose the 40 pounds. There's just a next new step that is exciting that you get to walk into and discover and create from and that's the phase that it sounds like you're in right now.
Yeah, and that's honestly what I love most about MACROS 101 is it like gave you all the steps. You know, because you always hear about cutting your weight, losing weight, but you never hear about the bulk. You never hear about maintenance. You never hear about reverse like, it's kind of like hush-hush and just focused on being in a deficit all the time.
Amber B 24:46
Because it's unsexy. It's not the sexy part. Nobody wants to hear about maintenance, that's not sexy. Until you experience maintenance and then you're like this is the most amazing thing in the world. Why are you not talking about it, right? My goal is to like, make the unsexy, sexy. Let's make maintenance super sexy. Let's make reversing super sexy. Let's make eating more food super sexy. I'm all for that. Okay, last question for you. If there's somebody who's listening, who maybe is in the same position you were a couple of years ago. And you could go and like, sit down with her and be like, listen up friend, like, let me just like, kind of share this piece of wisdom that I've kind of gained over the last couple of years. What would you go back and tell that friend or yourself a couple of years ago?
Yeah, so I think I would kind of explain to her the truth versus a belief and really, like, have her look in and say, like, what is it that you want for you, and knowing that she can get there, and it's gonna take step by step, you know, and you can love yourself through it. You don't have to wait until you hit that number on the scale, to have that self-love. If you don't love yourself, now, you won't love yourself then. And just having her really dig deep, and knowing that there are other women who have the same self-talk, the same struggles and it's a battle but that you can get through it.
Amber B 26:21
It's a battle that you can win. Absolutely. And that's exactly why you're here, right? Like you're here now so that somebody else can be listening and can be like Carissa won that battle and that means that I can too.
Yeah, that's why it was important for me to share my story because I want to be transparent. And if even one lady listens to this, and is like, I can still resonate with that. Like, that makes me so happy.
Amber B 26:46
It's worth it. Exactly. Yes. So good. Well, Carissa, this has been awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your story, your wisdom. And I'm really excited for people to hear this.
Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 26:58
So were you surprised? Were you surprised by the things that Carissa has focused on as she relayed her story, as she talked about the things that made the difference that moved the needle in her journey? And how much of your time and effort have you been focusing on self-talk? The small things about, you know what beliefs versus truths that you're telling yourself, those inner work, that sometimes we feel like we'll do after we get to our goals, Oh, I'll focus on that after I get to my goals. What if you focus on those inner talk, that inner work, that inner dialogue that thought that shift is what's going to create the external transformation because that's for sure what Carissa saw and it's what I see with a lot of my clients as they go through MACROS 101 is that internal shift is the trigger for the external transformation that they can create. I love what Carissa had to say about herself talk and I hope that you reflected a little bit about the way that you speak to yourself, and how that could get a facelift moving forward. 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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