In today's episode, “I Did It” guest Anita Peters shares her personal experiences and breaks down stereotypes such as a history of weight loss surgery, hyperthyroidism, and menopause. Anita also shares how she hasn't let any of those factors stop her from moving forward and reaching her dreams. So if you want to witness how you can be successful at any age, dive into today's episode!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/196
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- Anita’s experience with lap band surgery and the lessons she learned during that journey(6:15, 7:16, 9:03,10:27)
- How we can make macro counting as a tool customizable to us(12:01,13:09)
- Nothing happens overnight, we just have to slow down, collect the data, let things work (16:20)
- Idea of becoming a macro scientist (18:03)
- There are still lessons to learn (19:20)
- The permission to eat food (20:22, 22:21)
- Recognize progress that is hard to see (22:59)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 196.
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. This is another Friday edition of the “I Did It” Series where we share experiences and stories from women who have done it with the hopes that you can believe it about yourself and that you can learn tips and tricks and lessons from women who ever gone before you.
Amber B 1:08
So today on the podcast, I have Anita Peters, and boy are you in for a treat? Anita is articulate, she's knowledgeable, she is a wealth of help in sharing the lessons that she has learned. And I love Anita because she's gonna break down some of the stereotypes that maybe you have about what it means to be 60 years old, what it means to have grandkids, what it means to have had a history of weight loss surgery, what it means to have gained and lost a lot of weight in the past, what it means to have hypothyroidism, go through menopause. Like all of these things, one of the things that we talked about with Anita is how she has not let any of those factors stop her from moving forward and going and reaching her dreams. And she really wanted to share that with people so that they too can start to think hey, yeah, you know what, I might be 60 as well and that doesn't mean that I have to stop reaching for my goals or that I'm never gonna be able to be successful that at any age, at any stage, you can move forward and set goals and reach them and change and grow and evolve. And that's just this beautiful part about being alive.
Amber B 2:25
So with Anita, the thing that really stuck out to me, and you'll hear it on the podcast episode today, she talks about her experience with lap band surgery. And I really wanted to have a need because there are a lot of women out there who have had a similar experience or have had weight loss surgery, maybe gastric bypass or lap band or, or something to that effect. And you know, there's a lot of repercussions mentally and physically from that. And I thought what a great opportunity to be able to share somebody's story who's gone through that experience, and the lessons that she has learned and what that's done for her like she has such a beautiful perspective on that experience, which you'll hear was not great but she's learned a lot from that experience. And then the other thing that we touch on is how we can make macro counting customizable to us, she has a really good analogy that that we share at the end about how you can really make macros into that tool that's gonna fit you and whatever unique combination of individual characteristics and traits that you have that macro counting is a customizable tool that can really fit you and be customized to you. So without further ado, let's jump into the episode with Anita Peters.
Amber B 3:40
I would like to welcome Anita Peters to the podcast. Anita, welcome.
Hey, Amber, thank you for inviting me.
Amber B 3:48
Yes, this is gonna be a good topic. We've already had some discussion a little bit before we hit record and there's gonna be some good things flushed out. So let's start with just a little bit about you. Okay, tell me a little bit about you and maybe a little bit about the weight that you have lost in the past.
Okay. I am 59, almost 60. I'm a mother of four, a grandmother of three, and a retired social worker. I'm a Midwest girl and was born in New York State but have grown up completely in the Midwest and have lived in five Midwest state capitals, which I think is a unique preference.
Amber B 4:28
That is. Yeah, it's really unique.
I'm not of my own, well of my own choosing, but following my husband from job to job is what sort of made that happen. But anyway, I currently live in Madison, Wisconsin. It's a lovely city, and we've been here for 10 years. We probably will retire here. But I have kids all over. I have a daughter in Brooklyn, New York. I have a daughter in Chicago. I have a son in Kentucky and I'm gonna live here in Madison. So my life is very much chasing my kids and keeping up with my grandkids and keeping with the rest of our family.
Amber B 5:01
I love that.
Amber B 5:04
Talk to me a little bit about your history.
So the weight loss journey really came about, I think, how it happens for a lot of women with pregnancy. You gain a certain amount of weight, maybe too much and then you find that it's harder to lose. And I think, you know, there can be some things that contribute to that. But whatever that contribution is, I did have a thyroid disease that was diagnosed with my first pregnancy that is sort of content most of my adult life, but I do think that pregnancy loss weight is just a thing. So anyway, I had gained a significant amount of weight with each of my pregnancies, but with the first two, I lost it fairly easily. I could diet, I could exercise, and maybe youth was on my side, I was in my 20s. But with my third pregnancy, I was 30 and I just couldn't. I tried everything, I did Atkins, and Medifast, and Weight Watchers a gazillion times, and it just wouldn't, it wouldn't budge, I might lose 20-30 pounds at a time. But it would always come back and I could never maintain the low calories that I needed to eat in order to lose that if I couldn't maintain it , so it was just a vicious cycle.
I knew a few people at the time who had gone through weight loss surgery, and I was feeling pretty defeated. My son, my baby was getting ready to turn 16 and I still, after all of those yo-yo years of up and down, up and down. I still weighed exactly what I weighed the day I had him and it was pretty depressing. And I think just because he turned 16 I am still carrying this baby weight. I just felt compelled like I have to do something I had so much success in every other part of my life but I could not do this one thing and like what is wrong with me, what is wrong with my body like so I started out I gastric bypass I had done some investigation on and that sort of freaked me out the idea of like actually changing my body parts. So when the lap band came out, I just thought wow, this is perfect. It's removable, it's just a band around my stomach. Like what harm could happen?
Amber B 7:10
Oh, what could go wrong? Of course it does. Right.
But well, it worked. It worked amazingly. I lost 100 pounds in nine months. And I used to say when it failed, I had it for five years before it failed. When it failed. I used to say well, it worked until it didn't work. But it really didn't work. But it worked. If I wanted to say did you lose weight? Yes, I lost an extreme amount of weight very, very quickly. Yeah, but I was eating 800 calories a day. I was living on liquid protein. I learned how to throw up in my car. Because I grew up every single day. I was medicated for acid reflux and heartburn everyday and I never had that before. It was not any kind of living. It was just all for the sake of keeping this weight off. That 50 years something changed and I started gaining weight and I had been maintaining it for five years. And they kept adding fluid to my band. I don't know if people are familiar with the lap band. They put a band around your stomach basically creating two pouches, the smaller pouches are on top. So when you eat the food that goes in there, it sits in there longer because it has to get through that little bitty hole that was created by the band, the band is loosened or tightened by sailing that they put in through a port. I mean, it sounds draconian when you think when you're describing it. But anyway, at the time, it was my normal and they kept adding fluid to my band. It was getting tighter and tighter. But one huge change was that my appetite came back. Whatever it is about the nerves in your stomach and how it connects to your brain now, I literally had no appetite like I had to make myself drink my protein drinks to get by with a basic amount of calories and because I was never hungry, what my appetite came back like full force. I was starving all the time. I was trying to keep this calorie count low. I was steadily gaining weight. And then that last year, as the band failed, I gained 40 pounds of my initial weight loss back.
Anyway, through lots of different tests and barium swallows, an endoscopy showed that my band had actually eroded into my stomach. So they were tightening my band, but it was actually inside my stomach. So it wasn't tightening anything. And so within a couple of months I had it scheduled to have it removed. Thankfully, with no lifelong complications. It was 2013, so it's been enough years I feel comfortable in saying that I knew women that had and continue to suffer horrible complications from having had a lap band fail. I had a hole in my stomach. I was looking to flip some stomach fluids. I had to stay in the hospital a few extra days with IV antibiotics, but basically when I left other than some scar tissue that's noticeable to me from where my port was. I've had no lingering effects from it. And the only success I can take out of that is that 60 pounds that I lost still stayed off. But that 40 pounds has just been, I felt, I think I felt for a long time that it was like that was my burden to bear because I did the stupid thing by having this surgery and what a dumb you know, I'm so lucky that I wasn't more damaged than I was. But I came into MACROS 101 carrying that same 40 pounds from that surgery back in 13. So seven years later, and here I was.
So yeah, I know, it's funny, one of the lessons you teach is that if you don't get the results that you want, there's still lessons to be learned. I know I'm paraphrasing your very nice quote, very badly but I think learning that and thinking about that actually gave me some peace around a lot of the guilt I carried for having done that surgery and then feeling it so badly. Maybe I needed to see that even the most extreme thing I could do to my body, changing the shape of my stomach was not the answer, was not going to get me where I needed to go wherever that was, whether it was a weight loss number or just being at peace with where I was. So but anyway, but yeah, and that's what led me eventually to you. That's the path I was on. Just trying to lose the stupid 40 pounds.
Amber B 11:20
Yeah. So when you saw MACROS 101, like what made you think it was gonna be different?
Well, you know, honestly, that power of endorsement is pretty good. Katie Crokus has talked about it on your Instagram page. I know Katie through some mutual friends here in Madison. I think actually your paths may have crossed once or twice in years ago. But Katie talked about going through it and how much she learned. And I thought, you know, I don't know about macros. I know so much about dieting, because I've done everything. Literally, I feel like I've done it all. And, you know, to my credit when they offered me a revision to gastric bypass with my left band failed, I did say no.
Amber B 11:59
You just put a stop to it at that point.
Like this is crazy enough. I did that but I stopped myself from doing it. So anyway, Katie Crokus has talked about it on her page and what she had learned and I've been following her journey for a little while. And so I knew a little bit about it. So it certainly piqued my interest to go look at it. And to think about macros as a tool that maybe could help me because I certainly was thinking about low calorie. That's all my mindset. And dieting up to that point was, How low can I eat and not be starving every day and lose weight and then maintain that weight loss? Because I never figured out how to do that. So I think I thought of it as new information. Maybe helpful information, certainly a way of eating more healthy than maybe I had been eating before. So I just saw it as something new to learn, and maybe some hope too for getting the weight off.
Amber B 12:51
Yeah. Yeah. So you mentioned a little bit about your, you know, your individual circumstances, your age, going through menopause, hypothyroidism, though, you know, the the prior lap band surgery. So how did those individual circumstances come into play in your journey? And, you know, how have you not let those things stop you from moving forward and setting goals and continuing to, like, reach for the next level?
Well, I think the one thing that macro counting taught me and certainly going through MACROS 101 taught me is and I mean, the whole program, the coaching calls, the Facebook community, is that whatever people's individual circumstances are, this can be tailored to work for you. On the idea that we're collecting data every single day throughout the process, and they can use that data to make adjustments for ourselves. You know, it's funny, because I follow a lot because of my interest in this, I follow a lot of macro coaches, macro trainers, and they always get asked, like, what are your macros? Like, tell me what your macros are, sort of like say, you know, how tall are you and how much do you weigh, because somehow that's gonna reflect back on me. And many of them, like, I don't like to share my macros because they're my macros. They're not your macros, they tell you nothing. So, I really saw for myself that it was based on me and what I did and what I didn't do and how my thyroid disease or my menopause or hormones changing didn't really matter, does it make me that maybe my fats a little bit higher, my carbs a little bit lower than the person next to me? Could be, but who knows, you know, and I just know that it's adaptable to me. And that's really what appealed about it. Ever, you know, any program I've been a part of whether I was eating 1800 calories a day or 1200 calories a day. It was basically like everybody was on the same plan. Everybody's doing the same thing with the idea that our bodies all need the exact same thing every single day. Well, that's nuts.
Amber B 14:53
It's silly. It's like yeah, that way. But that is what we often think and that's what diets are. It's like, it's the same exact thing that you give to every single person and like, Why in the world would we think that that's a good idea?
Exactly. Oh, I can tell you years of going to Weight Watchers and weighing in infront of people. Yeah, getting the star not getting the star and having people know what you know, it's just like, comparison, that constant comparison to people around you. It's so killing. And it's, you know, like, we have enough of our inside stuff. We don't need anything outside of it. So yeah, I just felt like this was a community I could participate in. And my numbers did not matter. Everyone has something to offer within this. And we can talk from whatever our perspective is, and it's valuable. Every other person's perspectives are valuable to me, I've just learned so much from everyone else. I mean, it's just been great in that regard. The community has been such a big part of it.
Amber B 15:51
That's so amazing. So one of the things that you said to me before we hit record is that you see a lot as people come into the process and come into MACROS 101 that a lot of like, the initial thoughts are around like, well, this isn't going to work for me because XYZ, right? Because of my age or my circumstance, or my history, or whatever. And it's this idea that like, well, is macros going to work for me and you gave an analogy. Do you remember your analogy that you shared?
I think I'm wearing blue, I guess. But yeah, the idea that I like to lose my color. So they're like, different there. No colors work for me. And it's like, but there's lots of colors out there. Yeah. So yeah, the idea of like, it's adaptable, like, it's worth the time to figure it out. You know, the other part of it is, you know, having lost 100 pounds in nine months, that's like, talking about instant gratification, like total weight loss, right. So I saw that scale move every single week. And the reality is that when we want to whether we're losing fat, or just body, we can become positioning or whatever, nothing happens overnight, and the best changes, you don't want them to happen overnight, because they're not sustainable. And so the idea is that, we just have to slow down, collect the data, let things work.
One of your coaches, Melissa, I think made a comment, like the time passes, whether we do anything or not. So you know, I started this in September of 20. I'm still involved, because I'm not done yet. And I think I know when I am, but I'm not yet. And, you know, the time would have passed whether I had signed up for MACROS 101 or not when I look back at how much I've learned and how much I've gained from the experience of doing it. And not just in terms of what fat I've lost, but just what I've learned about myself and my thinking and my attitude toward my body and body image and all of that, like that's I'm going to pass whether I'd done this or not but my guess would have value it's given me in the meantime. And I feel like I've been able to share that with others. And so that's always a gift.
Amber B 17:48
That's amazing. So what would you say, you know, over the last year and a half what, what have been some of those like, Aha moments that you look back? And you're like, oh, that like this clicked like this really clearly made a difference? What were some of those for you?
Yeah, well, you asked me prior to this to give us some thoughts. So I actually made myself some notes, because I didn't want to say like everything, everything has been great. But there have been a few. I certainly as I just mentioned, you know, the idea of becoming a macro scientist taking the emotion out of it. I mean, weight loss and weight for so many women is such an emotional experience, whether it goes back to our families of origin, or just a set society or the people around us. It's such an emotional kind of thing. And we based so much of our own self value on our image on how we think we look, and how much we weigh and what size we wear. And so the idea that like taking the emotion out of it, let's just treat it like it's a science experiment. Let's see what we put in, let's see what comes out and then let's make adjustments. And let's look at this from a scientific mindset, not an emotional one, which, you know, when we make decisions out of fear, they don't usually turn out well. My decision to get weight loss surgery was totally a decision out of fear, out of desperation, out of fear of what I would do in 10-20-30 years. And the idea of like, let's just look at today, let's look at tomorrow. Let's plan this out. Yeah, the macro scientists piece was a big piece of it.
A second piece. I've already mentioned this, so I'll just mention this quickly. But just the idea that there's still lessons to be learned if we're not done yet. And so I know that I still have lessons to be learned. I've learned so much about my relationship with the scale and using that as one method of collecting data, but it's not the only method of collecting data. And so just looking for those lessons, looking for those opportunities, like where does this lead me? One of the exercises we do within MACROS 101 is the miracle scale. I've done, I think, three or four of them by now because my miracle scale keeps changing. It adjusts as my mindset has adjusted. I looked back at the One I think maybe we did one in the 5-Day Challenge. So I made that before I joined in September. And it seems so superficial when I look at it, no, because I didn't know what I didn't know, right. And so and so now it's like it's so much deeper and so much richer than just a number on a scale. And that has been phenomenal. That has really, really been phenomenal.
And then, and I think, last but not least, is the permission to eat more food. You know, when you basically have lived a restricted life, everything you learn has been based on a restrictive mindset of good foods and bad foods and quantities. And, you know, it's like the idea of learning how to reverse. I literally could have gone and shouting it from the rooftops when you taught that lesson. Because I didn't know how to do that I had lost, I mean, I've lost hundreds of pounds in my lifetime. And I've gained hundreds of pounds back because no one ever took me through the process of this is what this looks like. And it's going to be emotional, it's going to be rocky, but you can get through it. And it's worth giving it the time it needs to get there and learning to reverse, learning how to eat more food. I mean, the idea that I've been in, I've done two cuts since I started with the program, done two cuts, I've done two reverses and two maintenance. I mean, my second maintenance is right now. I've been in maintenance this time since July, I did a really bad second cut. I gave it about 8 weeks and saw results. And so I just did a really drastic cut, put myself in a bad spot, emotionally with my sleep, with my mood and just popped myself back out of it. But I'm not going to do another cut until I'm really ready to do this the right way, which is to give it whatever time it needs. And so and I'm eating, you know, 2000 calories a day, I spot check, but about once a week or so just make sure
Amber B 21:52
And how old are you?
I am 59. Almost 60
Amber B 21:57
Did y'all hear that? I cringe every time that I hear women who are like, Oh, because I'm older. Because I'm in my 60's I can't eat as much. And I'm like, No, it doesn't have to be the way that it is, you know you're eating 2000 calories and you're almost six years old. I just think it's such an amazing thing for women your age to hear. Because yeah, yeah, not not where most people think that they can be at that age.
Yeah, and I'm not gaining weight. I mean, I could be eating 2000 calories a day and gaining weight. But I'm not, I'm tracking my protein, I know where I'm at, I'm moving my body almost every single day, because I think at my age, I do need to be moving my body every single day. And so the idea that I could not only have permission to eat that food, but it's not going to mean my numbers on the scale are going to go up. It's huge, so big, it's huge. So that probably just that in itself, learning that I can trust my body to respond appropriately when I do the appropriate things. It's been pretty incredible.
Amber B 22:59
That's awesome. And one of the things that I love that you said is because so often our brain does not like to see the growth that we've had. And so when you were able to go back and compare those miracle scales, it's like a very visual representation of being able to see that growth that sometimes can hide from us. We're like, Well, I'm not right, I'm not making progress. I'm not like growing, I'm not, you know, doing the things I want to do. And when you really start to look back on it. Oftentimes it is that like progress that is hard to see. But when you go back and compare, you're like, Oh, dang, I didn't realize that I grew so much from this experience that I've been so successful. And so I love that you have those to be able to kind of reflect back on.
Amber B 23:41
Well, this has been amazing, Anita. You are a rock star.
Oh, thank you.
Amber B 23:45
Yeah, it's been so fun to watch you evolve. And one of the things that I love, if you don't know, after MACROS 101 is over, we give people the option to continue with continued coaching, we call it Beyond Macros 101, it's just for our alumni. And so I've been able to, the cool thing about that is I get to continue to follow those clients and be able to see their journey and be able to get on coaching calls with them. And, you know, you and I have had conversations on coaching calls and I get to know a little bit of your story. And I'm just so excited to be able to share that here with everybody else. So they get to learn from you, because there's a lot of lessons to be learned from these things.
Well, thank you. I appreciate that. And I you know, this is I'm happy to share because this has been such a great experience for me. I certainly, you know, would want anybody who's interested to just know that it's possible. I mean, the growth is possible and, you know, I have, you know, two adult daughters. I have three granddaughters and they are very small. I mean, these, I, carry the lessons that I learned, which were not always helpful to me, but I feel like I know so much more now as I look at this next generation, the generation behind that. I know I can have an impact on that, and I'm really excited about that, because I don't think, you know, girls have to grow up, they see themselves value their bodies. And I think that the next generation is just so much wiser than maybe my generation was but at the same time I'm grateful because I'm always looking for the opportunity to learn something new. But I'm, I've really been grateful for this. It's really been a huge value added to my life for sure.
Amber B 25:25
Your daughters and your granddaughters are lucky to have you. Thanks for coming on the podcast. Thanks for sharing your story. You're amazing.
Amber B 25:34
Since you just love Anita, she's wonderful. She really is a rockstar and it's been such an honor to be able to coach her and see her progress and her growth over the last year and a half and I'm just so freakin’ proud of her.
Amber B 25:34
If you love the episode, please share it with that person. Maybe you thought of somebody while you were listening to it. Go ahead and reach out to them and share that with them. If you think that someone will appreciate what was taught here in the episode. 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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