I'm coming at you with another Friday bonus episode, where Mandy Boland talks about being diagnosed with breast cancer, experiencing weight gain, and ultimately, her propulsion into MACROS 101. I’m really excited to share this episode and Mandy’s transformation with you this week!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/149
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- What’s in store in Macros 101 (1:32, 12:09)
- How important tracking and balance is (9:48, 18:00)
- Progress can still happen even if we age (14:36, 20:46)
- Being plant based while doing macro counting (11:20, 13:03)
- Lifting with macro counting (13:32)
- Mental shifts while going through Macros 101 (15:41)
- You can get your best self back even if you encounter huge medical changes (20:04)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 149.
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 I'm coming at you with another Friday bonus episode. Every Friday I come on and share quick stories or rather we bring clients on to share their quick stories of transformation inside of Macros 101. And my intention with this really is for us to showcase a wide variety of women, their experience and what has made a difference for them in their journeys. Because to be honest, it's not the same for everybody. And everybody can go through the experience of coming through Macros 101 and you're gonna take away different things, you're gonna take away the things that you needed to take away from the experience. And Mandy Boland, who was on our podcast today is no different.
Amber B 1:32
Now, before we dive into the interview with Mandy and her sharing her amazing story, Today is July 30th, as you're listening to this, if you're listening to it on the date releases, which means there is only one month left until we open doors for Macros 101 for the last time in 2021. Macros 101 is my signature program. It is how I coach clients through creating a customizable, enjoyable and effective, right and not enjoyable or effective, but an enjoyable and effective plan that works for them. And we use the tool, I teach the tool macro counting. I teach clients how to become a macro scientist to get away from this dieter mentality. But you speak to that a little bit in the episode, this idea of there's a right way to do it, there's a wrong way to do it has to look this way. That's the dieter mentality that comes out. And instead I help clients shift to this empowering place of becoming the macro scientist in their own journey. And if that's something that interests you, if you would like help in reaching your health and fitness goals, then Macros 101 is the place to do that. And we open doors for the last time in 2021 on August 30th. So if you are not on the waitlist, it's the best way to make sure that you don't miss it when we open doors, as we all know, indoors for a couple of days. And the last thing I want is for you to miss it. So go to bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist to get on the waitlist for Macros 101.
Amber B 2:54
Now, a little bit about Mandy, this is an amazing episode. And one of the reasons that I wanted to have Mandy on was because she hadn't experienced that maybe not it's not a common experience. I hope it's not super common with the people who are listening. But it is an experience in the last and even if you haven't had the same cancer experience that Mandy has had. There are people listening who have had other cancers or maybe even have had breast cancer or are just struggling with some medical issues and Mandy shares her experience with being diagnosed with breast cancer going through that experience having weight gain associated with that, and having that, you know, be her propulsion into Macros 101 into the things that she learned and the transformation she was able to create. And so I'm really excited for you to jump into this interview that I had with Mandy Boland.
Amber B 3:48
I am so excited to have Mandy on the podcast today. Mandy, how are you doing?
I'm great. Thanks for having me.
Amber B 3:56
I'm really excited to be able to have you share a little bit about your story and where you're at now in your journey, and kind of walk through that for people who are listening. And so will you just give us a little bit of a snapshot. You know, where were you before you joined Macros 101? What were some of the things that you were thinking or struggling or maybe for years had been struggling with?
Well, for years, I've been struggling with just being happy with my body. I was really good at working out but as far as nutrition, I would be really good during the week. And then on the weekend, I would drink too much which would lead to overeating. And in my mind, I was thinking that my calorie consumption was perfect. But once I started tracking, I realized I was probably way over and it was just hurting my overall goals. And so working out really well. In 2000, the early 2000 right when the pandemic hit, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had mastectomies and then had to go through chemo. And I was doing really well at that point, I felt super healthy, I felt fit. I wasn't doing macros, I was aware of it, but they told me, unfortunately, when you go through chemotherapy, most women gain weight. And I was like, Oh my God really like double whammy?
Amber B 5:29
Yeah, I got cancer, and I'm gonna gain weight
and I'm gonna gain weight. Great. Well, just something to get through. And I really focused on eating healthy, which was, for me, I focus on cancer prevention, recurrence. I did a lot of research, my sister's a dietitian. So I decided to go plant based. And I, you know, really, they don't want you to drink alcohol but I really knew that I wanted it not to be really a part of my life anymore. And so I did really well, like, you know, they told me, I was doing amazing, there were days that I was running. When I was on chemo, it was like, mostly after I'd gotten steroids, because I had a good amount of energy. But I did end up gaining weight. And I felt pretty good. I was tired. But I look at my pictures now and oh, my gosh, I was fluffy. And so then, and also, the chemotherapy put me in menopause, which I felt kind of fat on my middle. And I felt like I was doomed at that point. Like, my metabolism is screwed and this is just how it's gonna be.
And I had been listening to your podcast, and just that found finding so much information from it. And in the past, I had thought that I really wasn't interested in paying that much attention to my food and in tracking. And I just thought that sounded like too much work that I didn't have time for it. But it got to the point after this, where I was just like, I'll do anything, I'll try it. So I did the the fat loss challenge. And it's not just well, and and I had downloaded your free guide and figured out my macros. But it wasn't just following the macros it was the whole mindset change of all, that's all that I think of you as a motivational speaker, the mindset that goes along with tracking your macros and learning all about that and in the interchanges. And so I and then I did the fat loss challenge, I tracked, figured out where I was at, set my cut, joined the Macros 101, and just totally went headfirst into it. And I loved it. And it was, you know, my primary focus for a while, because I was seeing such good results with my cut. And so my cut was successful, I got to where I wanted to be. I even went on vacation doing a cut, and I had just had great success got got to my goal. While I didn't really have a gold weight, I had more of like gold inches on my hips, because I've always been bigger on the bottom. And I just everything just worked out so well. And then I reversed and I'm in maintenance now. And I feel like my metabolism is good. I wasn't screwed up. I just didn't know what to do. And my whole life I had just been just trying to restrict, and then the binge restriction cycle. So yeah.
Amber B 8:50
Yeah. So you know, going back to what you were talking about, where you know, the classic, I'm good during the week, and then the weekend comes and I fall off track. Was that something that you were like, consciously aware of, of like, at the end of every Sunday being like, Okay, well, it's Monday, I'm gonna restart or is that something that you weren't even really aware of?
You know, I wasn't really aware of it. And I feel like some of the indulgences I felt like I deserved like, okay, I worked hard all week, I can have three glasses of wine and then snack on Friday and Saturday night. And then also, I think I just kind of eat along with my family. I over ate if everyone else was having seconds. I had seconds. I didn't realize how many carbohydrates I was consuming and my serving sizes. So it's just kind of more of an awareness of how much I was consuming, too.
Amber B 9:48
Yeah. Well, I'm so glad that you bring that up because the experience that you had of like, oh macro counting, that's like a lot of work. Right. It's a lot of time. It's a lot of effort. I'm not really sure that it's worth it. And I think what you bring up it's such an important thing is that, you know, one of the, and when we say tracking, I think people have a very specific idea of like, Okay, this is what tracking is. And that's much more fluid tracking doesn't have to be one thing and it can kind of fit you. But one of the things that we start to do is become more aware, right is it brings awareness that you didn't have before and with that new knowledge you can make, you can choose to make different choices or not, but it is that awareness that you just weren't, you didn't even know. And how can you change something if you don't even know how many carbohydrates you're consuming that it was that much more than, than you really understood? Right?
Amber B 10:36
And it was important to me to be vegetarian, but I knew it was gonna be I had to put a lot of thought into my protein goals. And the protein does really help. I think even when you're not in a cut, it helps when you're in when you're trying to get body composition changes, and so much more tone. My lower body looks way differently than it has my whole life.
Amber B 11:00
Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about being plant based while doing macro counting, because that's a question I get a lot too is that, you know, whether someone's vegan or vegetarian or considers themselves plant based, sometimes feeling like macro counting is not for them. So how did you find that those two things were able to work for you in your journey?
Well, one of my non-negotiables, I thought, was being plant based. And I think part of it is a progression to when you do become vegan, and then you decide what do I like, as far as being vegan and then, I didn't like the non dairy yogurts. I like regular cheese. There are some things that I love. I love soy milk, I love tofu. So it ended up being where I just fit. I just figured out what I really liked was high protein. I love Tempe. And everyone's well, I decided, you know what, I'm not going to be strict. I'm going to have shrimp or fish, or occasionally buffalo chicken. Because before that was my favorite thing in the world.
Amber B 12:09
Yeah, so you know, and just like everything that we teach in Macros 101, it is all about figuring out what's gonna work for you. It's all about customizing it to you. And again, you know, I said this in terms of tracking of like, a lot of times people think tracking is one thing, and either you're doing tracking, right, or you're doing we're tracking wrong. And it's not that way at all. It's a tool that we can use in a lot of different ways. And I think it's the same thing. You know, here we're speaking about being plant based. It's not like there's this line, like you are plant based or you aren't plant based, it can be this continuum of figuring out Yeah, I eat mostly plant based, and every once a while I have some shrimp. And that's what has worked for me and what makes my body feel good. And what makes me feel my best. So I love hearing that you could get out of that rigidity, like, it's just like get out of the rigidity of like, it's one way. Let's figure out what works for you. What are the things that you've loved about being plant based?
I think the cancer prevention part of it, it just eases my worries that I know that I'm doing everything that I can for the cancer recurrence, and then I don't have to think about it. The rest of it is out of my control.
Amber B 13:18
Yeah, that's so good. So before we hit record, one of the things that you told me was that you're at a point where you're actually happy with your body for the first time in 40 plus years. Talk to me a little bit more about that.
Oh, gosh, you know, there's a lot of history in that there's almost like trauma from high school, just comments. And I was athletic, but it was just, you know, my genetics. One of the things though, with my genetics is I have a nice flat stomach. So part of it is just focusing on what you have that you know is good. And that's part of the program too. But also, the huge thing is lifting with macro counting is it really toned everything up. And you know, watching yourself in the mirror and seeing your muscles flex is a huge self confidence thing.
Amber B 14:18
Did you do much lifting before or is that something that was new that you added on?
I didn't do a lot of lifting until two years ago I started
Amber B 14:27
And how old were you two years ago?
How old was I two years ago?
Amber B 14:31
Right when I was turning 40 it was when I found a program that I loved.
Amber B 14:36
That's awesome. Yeah. And I asked you that because sometimes there's this feeling of like, Oh, it's too late. Like, you know, like, I'm like, not in my 20s anymore. Like I missed the boat and now it's just like, I can't get started. You know, my husband started when he was like 36, Mandy started when she was 40. There are plenty of people who start in their 70s. I've seen some of my favorite videos like the 70 year old women who are deadlifting for the first time, so I think it's important to recognize it's never too late. And that, you know, Mandy, some of the stuff that you've been able to see is because you've included that weight training, in addition to getting your nutrition aligned. And it is, it's amazing how your body responds when you speak its language, when you give it the things that it wants to be able to to create those results. I'm curious, you know, I love that you called me like a motivational speaker. That's really nice of you. What have been some of the biggest shifts in terms of the way that you think about the process or the way that you approach the process or the way that you talk to yourself, having gone through coaching on Macros 101?
I think, well, for when I was cutting, it was telling myself that this is temporary. And as far as leaning into the discomfortable, or discomfort of when you are falling into those patterns where you would want a snack. And it's like, you know what, I feel uncomfortable, because normally I would eat right now and I'm just gonna not eat and wait for a little while and think about this and this is working. So I'm gonna keep doing what I'm doing. And then I'm just looking at all those data points, and being patient with yourself and really being consistent with taking the photos and measuring and weighing yourself. It's totally worth it. It took me a long time, I would say to figure out in my reverse, like, because I've kind of gone back and forth. And now finally, I started seeing a little bit of fat on my progress photos, because I'm like, yep, I hit maintenance, and I'm gonna cut back 100. And then I know that I pushed it as much as I could because I love to eat. I wanted to eat as much as I could.
Amber B 17:01
Of course, I want you to eat as much as you can. I love that.
I want a high metabolism.
Amber B 17:06
Yeah, it's so good.
Because it was always like, okay, all I have to do is eat less. I have to eat less, and it's not right, restrict as much as you can. It doesn't work and it doesn't fuel your workouts. No fuel at all.
Amber B 17:21
Yeah, yeah. And you know, you look and feel better now, eating more lifting and like fueling your body than you did when you were trying to just be on that roller coaster to nowhere of eating less and restricted more.
Well, I'm going to eat that and then I'm just going to do more cardio.
Amber B 17:37
Yeah, burn it off. And yeah, it doesn't work. For somebody who's listening who maybe has is struggling with weekend's kind of, like you talked about, which is, again, a very, very common thing that I you know, a lot of clients come in with, what would you say was helped you the most to be able to get to that place where weekend's weren't such a struggle for you anymore.
I think as far as tracking and then pre logging, if you know, you're going to have a dessert. But tracking has really helped me to not binge. When I know that I can decide, yes, I want to eat something and I'm going to have one serving of it. But that has totally changed me because I know that I'm not going 500 calories over, I'm staying in control and it feels so good. And I just don't have the desire anymore to do that to myself.
Amber B 18:37
So it's almost like allowing yourself some of it to get rid of that. Like I can't have it and so now I wanted a ton mentality.
Yeah, I can have big zucchini in the house and not eat the whole thing. Because I used to just think like, Oh, I just need to get rid of this. I just need to eat it all and be done with it. And now I'm like, No, I can make this last two weeks.
Amber B 18:59
Oh, that's one of my favorite things. That's one of my favorite things to hear. That's happened a couple times, specifically that I can remember where we've had clients who were like, I can't do that. I can't keep this food in the house. So it's like, I just have to get it out of the house. And I'm like, Okay, yeah, you feel that way. Now, I think we can get you if you want to, we can get you to the place where you can have it in the house and can feel in control and feel like it's not a poll. And they're like, No, no, it's not possible. And it is we who get them there. And then it's based on experience. Yeah. And I love and I think that's one of my favorite wins for women when they feel like that's impossible for them because it has been in the past and it gets to this place where like, yeah, it's weird. One of my clients, she's like, I like to have a bowl of candy. She's like my friend who always has a bowl of candy. And I was like, how do you not eat that? She's like, Yeah, I know, have a bowl of candy, like sitting on my thing. And it's not a big deal. And it's just really fun to be able to help clients get to that point. So good. Mandy, if there's one takeaway that you're hoping Somebody got from hearing this conversation that we had. What would that be?
Well, I think what's unique to my experience is that I did this when I was recovering from breast cancer, I was actually still getting immunotherapy I had a port in I was lifting weights, is that when you have a huge medical change in your life, that you are not doomed, you can still get your best self back.
Amber B 20:27
Yeah and maybe even then more than any, it's even more important to be feeling well as you're trying to recover. Awesome. That's so good. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast Mandy.
Yeah, thank you for having me.
Amber B 20:40
Thank you for your program, too. I love it.
Amber B 20:43
So good. Thank you so much.
Amber B 20:46
I hope that you had some great takeaways from that episode, some really, really good things that we pulled out in that episode about weightlifting, it's never too late to start about making it so that it's not, there's not a right and a wrong way to track or to be plant based but rather figuring out that balance that is going to work for you. And coming back to this place that you know, I love to showcase women who are older than me, because I think sometimes there's this idea that once you get over a certain age, it's impossible, like changing your body composition is impossible. And it's not, it is absolutely possible for you to be in the best shape of your life. And you know, that's gonna be unique for every single person of like, what that actually looks like. But I refuse to believe that progress cannot happen after a certain age, in anything. I think that's just, I can't fathom a world where I stopped believing that progress is able to be made just because I hit a certain number. And you know, you can choose to believe that or not, but I have seen it time and time again women who come to me and they're in their 40s and their 50s in their 60s even who are able to make progress and create a transformation and if you're listening and you're in those age brackets, it is possible for you as well.
Amber B 22:12
Also, if you have not yet signed up for the waitlist for macros 101 we open a month from today on August 30th. Get on the waitlist bicepsafterbabies.com/waitlist that wraps up this episode of biceps after babies radio I'm Amber no go how to be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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