Today’s podcast features the one and only Elyse Ellis! Elyse shares her entire journey with me in this episode, including how she found macros, her experience with the macro phases (cutting, reversing, maintaining, and bulking), and what she’s learned along the way. She drops so much awesome knowledge and insight, and I think many of you will find it valuable. I’m really excited for you to listen to this one, so let’s get started!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/197
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- Free 5-days to a Fitter you Challenge (0:47, 2:09, 44:41)
- Quit worrying about the number on the scale and focus on getting stronger (17:44, 18:49)
- Start at maintenance first (22:39, 23:35, 25:00)
- Macros: a lifestyle about balance(26:29, 27:09, 28:21)
- The secret to success is not perfection (29:38, 41:23)
- Love yourself (42:06)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 197.
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 before we start talking about today's episode, and the amazing individual who I interviewed for today's episode, I do want to remind you about our upcoming 5-Day Challenge. If you are tired of your only tool for transformation being restriction and deprivation and you want to be able to look in the mirror and see results. But you're not willing to choose between ice cream and seeing progress then my upcoming free 5-day Challenge is for you. In this Five-Day Challenge, you're going to learn how easy and fun it can be to crush your goals. And to do it without cutting out sugar, without doing hours and hours and hours of cardio or starting another restrictive diet. In the five days, you'll have the formula for results without having to overhaul your lifestyle, which means that you're going to get to eat what you like and be able to see the changes in the mirror. Because the truth is, and you know this on some level, misery does not get you better results. And when you cut out your favorite foods, well, that just usually backfires. This is why in the 5-Days to a Fitter You Challenge I'm going to be all about making reaching your goals as enjoyable and as effective as possible.
Amber B 2:09
So here are the things I'm not going to ask you to do. I'm not going to ask you to go through your cabinets, and throw out anything with sugar and ingredients. I am not going to force you to eat dry chicken breast and broccoli five days a week, there are going to be no rules about what time of day you have to eat or how you have to space out your meals. Instead, you'll get access to tried and tested mini challenges every single day that will make your fitness journey easy and dare I say even a little fun. I'm going to take you through many of the same exercises and education during these five days that I give my paying MACROS 101 clients, including a unique goal-setting exercise on day two, which is typically one of the highlights of the week. And then we'll also address the elephant in the room. The fact that maybe you've let yourself down in the past on day three. In fact, if you've been curious at all about what it's like to work with me inside of MACROS 101 and what makes MACROS 101 so different from every other coaching program out there, think about this Five-Day Challenge as a free sneak peak week. If you're someone who wants to crush your fitness goals, and you want to do it without deprivation, without restriction without cookie-cutter dieting, then this Challenge is for you! Go to bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge to register for the Free 5-Days to a Fitter You Challenge starting March 21. If you like the podcast, you're going to love our 5-Day Challenge. So head to bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge and see how fun it can be to hit your goals.
Amber B 2:11
So today on the podcast, I have none other than Elyse Ellis. And I had to chase Elyse down to get her to come and do this podcast episode. She even talked about it when we started the episode, when we started the interview. I asked her multiple times to come on the podcast. And I just was insistent and kept asking and kept asking and she finally said yes. And you will see today why I was so insistent and why I followed up with her over and over because I knew she would be an amazing guest and that she would share some amazing insight into macro counting, into the process of cutting and reversing and maintaining and bulking because she is someone who has gone through all of those phases. And I often say this, but so many times when people hear about macro counting, it is in the context of weight loss. And that's fine. That's great. Why most people come to me is when they are seeking weight loss. And I'm happy to help you achieve that and I have programs to help you be able to do that. And one of the things that I love the most is what happens on the other side of weight loss. The other phases that we can start to go into eating more, reversing, maintaining and intentionally eating, eating more and maintaining your weight, going into bulking and prioritizing muscle gains like these other phases that don't get as much love as cutting gets, I want you to understand that these other phases are amazing and can be amazing. Elyse has been through them all and she's gonna share her journey of her experience through each of those phases and what it's taught her and what she's learned through the process. So I'm really excited for you to listen to this podcast episode with the one, the only Elyse Ellis.
Amber B 5:32
All right, I couldn't be more excited to welcome Elyse to the podcast. Elyse, I'm so excited to have you on.
I turned her down. I don't know what to tell you. But I have been so scared to do it because I've never done a podcast, but I thought there's someone I'm going to do a podcast for. It's you.
Amber B 5:53
So that's awesome. Yeah, I've been up in her DMs and her emails a couple of times like Elyse, the people want it because every time I put up a question box that's like, Who do you want to hear on the podcast? I always get a ton of requests for Elyse. And so I'm like, they want you, the people want you, they want to hear from you.
Oh, nice. It's making me sweat.
Amber B 6:14
So I'm excited. It's gonna be good. So if somebody is living in a rock, and they don't know who you are, and what you do, we just kind of give a little background. Who are you like, what is your jam? What's even your story like?
Honestly, I'm kind of new to the whole, I don't know if I would say health and fitness, but just macros in general. For about two years I've been posting, I started posting recipes to my Instagram, that would help people counting macros, because I feel like when I started out, I was making the weirdest stuff or repeating the same meal over and over like this is miserable, I'm not going to be able to do this forever. So I felt like there's kind of a need for someone to make recipes that are easy, and not expensive. And you can feed your whole family and still count macros if that's your thing. And so I just started posting recipes to an Instagram account, I had had experience as a food blogger for the past 10 years. So I kind of knew how the space worked and thought I'm gonna make a subscription, it kind of fell into place by accident. Like I'll try it for a month and see how it goes. And we ended up just giving it out for free just to test the waters. And yeah, I'm going on, I think around two years, at least a year and a half doing that. So I just do a monthly meal plan subscription of macro-friendly food that's already logged to help people count macros.
Amber B 7:36
Yeah. And I was just telling Elyse that I just purchased it with my own money recently, and I was just like, so super impressed. I think exactly what you set out to create, which what I heard you say is like something that makes it easier to log, something that is simple, because I think we can you know, some people like to do a lot of ingredients and a lot of like things that they have to go purchase out at the store that are like specialty items and sometimes that's people's jam. But what I see you catering to is like the mom who's like it's five o'clock, I gotta get something on the dinner that my kids will eat that I have the ingredients for and that I can count my macros, and that's I feel like what you deliver in your subscription.
That's the goal.
Amber B 8:14
Awesome. Okay, cool. So how did you find macro counting especially coming from the food blogging world for you know, for you said like 10 years beforehand, but weren't really into macros? Like how did macro counting kind of creep into that or play a role in your journey?
Well, I was always a calorie counter. I have four kids. My first pregnancy I just threw it out the window. And the crazy thing is my job at the time was to test treadmills like I literally was exercising, I put on 75 pounds. I was at Wendy's. I'd walk on those treadmills. I'd stop at Wendy's for frosted nuggets on the way home and it all caught up to me. So I gained 75 pounds. Like okay, it's time to lose the baby weight. So I would turn to counting calories. I put my numbers in MyFitnessPal that would say to lose two pounds a week, eat this many calories and like okay, I can do that was 1400 calories. I was miserable. But I was determined. So I would do that and lose weight and then I would get pregnant again. And then I would do that and lose weight four times. And so finally, I had my fourth baby. Like I said I was a food blogger for 10 years it was not healthy food whatsoever. My husband had put on probably 60 pounds. I was still like 50 pounds overweight after having my last baby and started doing the calories again but well I know this works. I'll go back to it. Nothing happened. I weighed the same exact amount. The day I came home from the hospital. I'm like okay, this will be my starting point for probably five or six months. And it's because I would get caught in this cycle of like, okay, if my calories are this low, I can't have an Oreo, Oreos are too high in calories. Well then I would go all day restricting and then I finally allow myself an Oreo and it would turn to eight Oreos. And then I'd throw the whole day out and just continue in the cycle. And finally, I was like, this is not working. This is miserable. It's not a good relationship with food.
And I can't remember how exactly I found it. But I was on Instagram and I saw this 30-day macro challenge. I'm like, I don't even know what macros are. But I am that desperate. I will try it. And I got like a burnout about it. And I thought I'll just do it, and I lost like 10 pounds over, I don't know, it was probably an eight-week period, which was huge, because I'd been waiting, trying so long to lose weight. And that was great. The problem was that I kept those same macros, I didn't know how to change them. I didn't know enough about macro counting to adjust them myself. And so I stayed at these extremely low numbers for months. I ended up losing the way that I wanted to and got to a point that I wanted to, and I would kind of try to get out of it, those low numbers. For a long time, I would be like, Okay, I'm not going to track and then as soon as my weight would go up, I bet I better cut back. And I repeat that over and over. And so I felt like I had a good base, I understood macros. And then I ended up finding you on Instagram. And I saw something about the cycle of cutting, reversing, maintaining, bulking. And I was like, learn more about this. So I somehow found a PDF of yours that showed how to adjust your macros. And I thought, I'm just gonna do this myself. I saw a picture of me, sitting in front of my birthday cake. It was like two years into my macro journey. And I was like hunched over. And I looked so small and almost like I was shrinking myself down. And I just thought, that's not me, why do I look like this, I don't want to feel like I'm shrinking into a space, I want to feel strong, I want to feel empowered. And so I started adjusting my macros myself, my husband started counting macros and lost probably 50 pounds. And from there, I just decided, Okay, I'm going to do this, I'm going to start eating more, I'm going to educate myself and kind of get me to a point that I was ready to not be in that cycle of constantly feeling like I needed to be in a deficit and cut. So that's kind of where we got started.
Amber B 12:27
Was there fear there? Because I find with so many women, it is such a natural experience that the goal is always to lose weight and to get smaller, that it is a very hard shift for them to make into that's not my goal anymore. My goal is maybe even to get bigger, to add muscle, to eat more food. And that can be such a scary leap for people. So was there any fear when you made that kind of pivot? Or was it like, no, like, I saw myself, I don't want to be that. And so I'm going to make these changes.
It was a little bit of both. But there was fear. I'd always been someone I don't know where this came from, but always in my mind. I never worried about my weight in high school. I was, I played sports, I was always active. It wasn't until I got married and started having kids that my weight started fluctuating. And I felt like in my mind, I need to weigh 130 pounds. I don't know why in my head…
Amber B 13:26
Like, where'd that number come from?
Yeah, where'd that come from? I've got a different frame like that. My bones are just not made to be like a really slender frame. And so as soon as I started increasing my macros, obviously the scale started going up. And it was like, Okay, I know going into this, I'm going to put on weight, and it's going to be fine. But it also was kind of a time in my life where I was shifting from my past job and I had started going to therapy. And I realized as I was growing up, I always felt like I needed to be perfect. I had all my sisters and my mom. And we just kind of were held to the standard of perfection. And I finally I left one day and it was kind of when I was transitioning from like, I've got to be small, I got to do so much cardio to burn off what I ate, that I walked into the parking lot, and I like threw my hands in the air like I am done, I am done living for other people or fitting into this mold that other people have set for me or that I've set for myself. And so I had gotten to a point enough that I had kind of snapped that I was done caring about that. But there still is that fear. I think just being a woman and with media that you need to be the smallest version of yourself to look your best or a smaller number on the scale equals that you're more attractive or whatever that is and so it was scary at first but it also happened around the same time that my battery in my scale broke like it’s so ironic. So I thought, I’m not even replacing that because I don't even have to step back and focus more on increasing strength and what my body can do rather than the number on the scale.
Amber B 15:13
Yeah. And so when did you decide to intentionally go into a bulk? Where you're like, now, I'm really serious about this, I'm going to eat in a surplus. I'm going to lift weights like, what was that decision like for you?
So I had been trying for a couple of months to adjust my macros. I went from, like, 1500 calories a day when I started, was comfortable around 1900, and had started trying to do some progressive overload myself. And finally, I was like, Okay, I'm not built, putting on the muscle I'd hoped for so I have a friend that owns a gym I go to and she's a trainer and macro coach, and I went to her and was like, okay, mold me, like, I'm ready. I'm in a good mind space that I can put on muscle. I'm okay with putting on weight. I know fats gonna come with it. How do I get started with this? So she was like, Okay, we've got you bumpy up, she bumped me up to like, 2100 calories. I was like, this is gonna seem like a ton of food from what you're used to. It's okay. And she had me lifting heavier and eating more. And I had when I came to her, I was like, the girl in the gym that was like, I'm just gonna do a glute bridge with like a 25-pound dumbbell. I finally was like, Alright, I want to thrust 300 pounds this year. How am I gonna do that? I've got one year, I'm willing to put in the work, I'm willing to eat the food. And so she's like, Hey, let's do it. And so I really did put so much of my focus into that goal of I'm going to press 300 pounds, and she's going to help me with the training to get to that point and I just am going to eat to fuel that muscle growth.
Amber B 17:44
So you wrote an amazing caption in a story that I like, so amazing that I like screenshot it. And it was in response to a question that somebody had asked you about how you got past the point where you were worried about the weight that you were putting on, and you talked about how much you hate, how much emphasis is put on someone's weight. And so I would love to read if you're willing to like, let me read your words, I'd love to read what you posted in response, and then just kind of like, allow you to kind of elaborate on this topic. Because I think it's such an important one. So you said, I hate how much of an emphasis is put on weight. My friends and family don't love me anymore or less depending on what my weight is. I don't care what other people weigh, or what their bodies look like. So why do we worry about it so much? There's so much more to your health than your weight. I knew I would put on some body fat when I was putting on muscle. But I guess my answer is I quit worrying about the number on the scale and focus on getting stronger. So we just kind of speak a little bit more to that because I just want to stand up and cheer and like do all the amens and like all the praise hands and everything because I think I was just like, Yes, this is such a great answer to that question. So, you know, what are your thoughts about that?
Well, I have friends on all ranges of the fitness spectrum. And I had a friend I would go to the gym with every morning we'd meet up and she finally one day is like, I don't want to come here anymore. It doesn't make me feel good about myself. I've put on some weight because I've had some stressful stuff going on in my life. And I looked at her and thought I couldn't tell you anything different about yourself, you look great. And it just was something that was eating her up inside and was like, I don't care if you're 10 pounds more honestly, I probably wouldn't even notice. And then I've got friends on the other end who are very into fitness that it's to the extreme point of they're unable to even go out and enjoy a meal with their family because they can't track the exact nutrition for it. And I'm just watching both ends feeling like they need to always be this perfect shape. Hard six-pack all the time to someone who doesn't even want to go to the gym because they put on a few pounds. And I just thought who cares? My husband is very good about expressing that to me, he's seen me, ups and downs all over the place and has always made me feel loved. And I just thought I wish more people felt that way, and that they didn't feel like so many people were judging them for their looks and their size and their shape. Because if you're unable to live a good quality of life, because of what you're eating, or the concerns of what you're eating, or how you look or your way that your mental health is suffering, and if that's out the window, then you're really not the healthy person that you want to be.
Amber B 20:36
Yes, it's like, we say, Oh, I'm doing this to be healthier. But what I'm hearing you say is like, in the effort to get healthier, you're doing unhealthy behaviors and habits and putting your mental space in, like an unhealthy place. So it's like, are you really getting healthier or are you actually making yourself more unhealthy?
I saw this post on Instagram, I was just in like, my search or whatever. And it was this girl, who was obviously like a fitness influencer to the extreme, like, I could see every muscle on that body. That was incredible. I know so much work has gone into that but I like that she was honest and posted, look, you're saying this picture, this is how I look. But here's what's gone into it, hours of exercise every day, always eating in this deficit, like her life was actually it sounded miserable in order to look that way. And I just thought, That's not helped me. That's not what I want to focus on. But I appreciated that she was honest about it. Because I feel like so many, especially my followers, I know a lot of them are new to macros and even just getting their protein in. So we go from zero to 100. This girl is like, how am I ever going to get to that point? Just know, maybe this isn't the best route? Maybe this isn't realistic. There's a lot going on behind the scenes that you don't know about.
Amber B 22:01
Yeah, yeah, it's so good. What do you wish, you know, as you've gone through this journey, and it's been really fun to watch your journey, because you have gone into unintentional bulk. And now you're going into, you know, a little bit of a deficit. And the awesome thing is that you're cutting it like 2200 to 2100 calories, right? I want people to hear that. Because, you know, if you take the time to get your metabolism up to build muscle, you don't have to cut 1500 calories or 1200 calories. And I think it's really awesome for women to hear that. But you know, what do you wish that more women understood about that process of specifically about building muscle?
And almost something else I would want to say is I wish I would have gone into it at maintenance. I know so many people get into it, to immediately start losing weight, I wish I would have gone, but find out what my maintenance is and then go from there. Because then I probably could have started cutting way higher calories than I initially did and still seeing results. But it was good to take, I almost took a whole year off. Well, not a year off, I was still tracking to make sure I was eating enough so much of the difficult part of bulking for me because I was around 2600 for my bulk, which I probably could go a little bit higher. It was a leaner bolt because she's like, it's your first one. Like we'll just ease into it. And maybe next time you'll be up a little higher as it's still like, there were nights I wasn't hungry and I was pounding pancakes like… it's hard.
Amber B 23:32
It's harder than people think it is. Yes, yeah.
I just thought well, I lift weights, I'm getting beaten more. But it was a slow process. I wish someone would have just kind of sat me down like look, which my friend kind of did. But you will put fat on to your eating in a surplus. You're eating more than your body's burning, there will be some fat, there will be muscle growth as well. But I just don't know there was something kind of empowering about not caring what other people thought and now being able to cut at higher numbers. This is way more doable for me. Like I thought there's no way I could do an eight week or 12 week cut. It's because I couldn't at those numbers before but at 2100-2200 calories a day and still being able to lose fat and cut. That's doable. And I think something else I wish that I would have known going into it is you shouldn't spend so much of your time in a deficit like so many people are constantly in that cycle. I was in like, Oh, my weight went up a little bit I better cut rather than just thinking okay, I've got nine months I'm gonna spend it maintenance or in a surplus and just see what my body can do and give it a break so it's not under so much stress, and then take a shortcut for a few weeks or a few months but yeah, I just wish more people just started at maintenance. I wish I would have done that.
Amber B 25:00
I love that. I love that that is your suggestion because I wish the exact same thing. And it's really challenging as a coach, because if I could, I would start everybody at maintenance and you would spend time at maintenance before you would go into a cut. But so many people are really impatient. And they want the results from yesterday and, and so there is that desire to like no, I don't want to spend time maintaining, I hate where I'm at, I want to get out of where I'm at. But I appreciate you bringing this because I think there will be people who listen to this who maybe will listen, and maybe we'll spend that time on maintenance. Because once you do that you understand how much you're eating and you can actually intentionally maintain your weight, then you become so much, it's so much easier to start manipulating things like you say, if you want to add muscle, you know how many calories add, you want to lose some weight, you can like drop calories from there, but you have a really solid starting point. And from there, like the, you know, opportunities are limitless of what you can do from that starting point. So it's so good. And so in addition to you know, physical changes, obviously, you've gone through different cycles of cuts and maintenance and bulking and reversing and kind of going through all those cycles. And there's obviously been a physical change to your body, which is something that we can see as followers, so we can see those things. But something that we can't see as much is the mental changes that you've had along the way. So what are some of those mental changes that you feel like have made the biggest difference for you?
So besides the physical changes, the mental changes have maybe been even bigger for me. I was always someone that was very restrictive thinking I couldn't eat certain foods. But with macros, I learned, hey, I can eat this candy, I can eat this donut, I can fit this treat into my day and work my day around it. And also just knowing I can go out to eat and it's gonna be okay, one meal is not going to make me gain 10 pounds, just like eating healthy for one day is gonna make you lose 10 pounds, it's just been a real shift as far as learning to balance my life and eating in general
Amber B 27:09
One of the things that I love that you share so often is that you also share that you aren't super strict with hitting your numbers and zero out your numbers every single day. And I love when people ask you questions like, Well, what about how you track this? Or how did you like and you're like, I estimated it like, I went over a little bit like, you know, it's not the end of the world cuz I feel like when people come into macro accounting, they bring this like dieter mentality from the other diets where they've been on where it's like, you have to do it this way. And if you do it a different way, then now you're doing it wrong, and you're never gonna be successful. And I've seen you kind of coach people through that by releasing that perfectionism that so many people have about like, it has to be perfect with your macros or you won't see results. So can you kind of speak to that a little bit like, what your experience has been about being, you know, sticking to your macros and allowing for that looseness that also makes life enjoyable.
Yeah, I mean, I don't know if I'm the best example. I say this all the time, I'm not a bodybuilder, I'm a mom that wants to feel good, and still be able to eat food. So this is like a weird thing. And I know it is not a traditional macro counting thing. I typically don't weigh everything out to the gram.
Amber B 28:21
Good. Yay. You're welcome here. This is your audience. We're like we're all with you here, they are not bodybuilders.
I'm trying to just tell him like you know what you're getting into. I use measuring cups for my flour and stuff. I'm sorry, but just for me, macros is a lifestyle about balance. I don't want to when I'm making cookies with my kids be like, Oh, honey, how many grams of flour did you just put in? It's just not me. And so kind of along those same lines. That's how I feel when I go out to eat like I love going. I obviously cook a lot, but I love living for the weekend and going out to eat. And I don't only want to eat at the same three restaurants because they're logged in MyFitnessPal. That's where that food freedom has come from me. It's just like, You know what, I'm going to focus on the protein when I go out to eat. And then I'm just going to enjoy my night and I will get back to it tomorrow. And I try to stay a little more on track tomorrow. But I just feel like I've seen too many people become overly obsessed with counting every single tiny macro. I have never hit my macros 000 for the day, I've never had zero everything out, I have never.
Amber B 29:38
I love that you share that. And I hope as you're listening to this, that it gives you that permission to recognize and Elyse has been super successful too. And so the secret to her success is not perfection. And you know, maybe that loops back around to kind of those lessons that you talked about learning of how you realize that you kind of grew up in this idea of like everything had to be perfect and you've since been able to move away from about a little bit, and releasing that idea that you have to be perfect with your macros, I think is really, really important. I like to call what Elyse was talking about the macro dieter where it's like you feel like you have to zero everything out, it always has to be perfect. And if you got five grams of more flour than you thought, then like the world is over. And, you know, I just want to reinforce what Elyse's saying is like, no, like, this is supposed to fit you. It's supposed to be a lifestyle. It's supposed to be healthy. It's supposed to help you have a better relationship with food, not the opposite. So good. Okay, so let's talk about your meal plans. I would not do meal plans, what would you call them recipes, because they're not really like meal plans.
It's like teaching somebody to fish type. So as my husband and I, when we first started counting macros, the first week, oh my gosh, I remember whatever dessert I made. It was like a banana wrapped in foil with some weird sweetener on it. And like, this is going to be our dessert from now on. And I was like, I'm so sorry, I don't understand. I have more to learn. And we were miserable. And we were moving at the time. And we ended up doing one of those food delivery services. And had some success. Like he was still in the process of losing weight. And the macros were all calculated, like this is the bomb. And then I saw how much it cost. And I was like, so we're like spending hundreds of dollars on this food for ourselves that's pre-made, and the kids are eating corn dogs. Like, what are we teaching them? And so that was kind of the biggest thing for me, it was like, okay, also that food wasn't very good. I can never eat salmon and quinoa ever again. And I'm sick of feeding my kids, corn dogs, like we're all in this together. Like I want to get my eating protein. You should all be eating protein. And so it's just a collection of 20 recipes. It's literally a PDF. So people have been with me from the beginning that have been doing it and they've got like binders and all this stuff. But it's just like 12 main dish recipes, I try to do a balance of things like different proteins, chicken, pork, beef, whatever. And some side dishes and desserts. And so we've got an app coming out because it started kind of by accident. And I didn't plan on it being an actual business. So hopefully in the next month, we've got an app with all the recipes in there. And you can kind of pick and choose and make your own.
Amber B 32:31
I'm very excited about the app because I have my PDFs, but I am very excited about the app. So one of the things that just floors me is how the heck you come up with that many recipes and create that many recipes in such a short period of time. As a content creator, it kind of gives me heart palpitations to be like to think next month, I have to do it all over again and then all over again. So how do you do it? Like how do you come up with recipes? What is your process like developing and testing because I see you in your stories, you're like, it's not like you just put the recipe together and you're like, I think this will be good. It's like you test them and you try them and you tweak them and like, that's a process. So walk me through that, help me wrap my brain around how you do such amazing things.
This is where the love of food comes in. Like I will really be in bed and sit up and be like “pork tacos” and my son's like, “What are you talking about?” Like, if we did this last night, I put pork in it at like 10 pm. So I'm like, Okay, I want those tacos done. I just love food so much. And I just want people to know it can taste good. And you can still see results. So I do have a history of cooking. I made cookbooks in my past like cooking has always been a part of my life. I went into marriage not even knowing how to make mac and cheese clueless.
Amber B 33:49
No way! And then you became a food blogger? And now you have like,
You have to read the box of mac and cheese because I don't have a direction. So it's just all self-taught. But I've always loved food. I love going out to eat and tasting something and be like, Oh, if we just change this, this and this, this would change the macros it would totally work and so I don't know like I just–
Amber B 34:11
It's just your superpower. You own that superpower.
I think it sounds good. So I do like once a month my period rolls around. I'm like I'm gonna kill somebody if I wash one more pan so I have my moments. And obviously most people don't cook this much but I have a running list. I can show you the notes on my phone. I have like 40 recipes that I'm always like, Oh, I should do that. I should try that.
Amber B 34:39
So you're just good at it. We made the monster protein balls recently and my kids thought they were like the best thing in the world. So you just have a gift. You have a gift and thank you for sharing that gift with the world. What is your favorite part of that process of creating the recipe? Is it like the idea phase? Is it the testing phase? Is it like seeing people post that they're eating with their families? Like what part do you feel is the most fulfilling?
Really, the whole thing has been self-fulfilling to me because it kind of really was by accident that I got into this. I didn't plan on it being this. So, it makes me cry, I could cry right now. Sorry. It's so cool. I just had some crappy stuff to get to the point. But I'm seeing people make that food and like the messages I get, because I'm so burned out. So there's so many days that I get so burned out. And then I get these messages. It's like, I have never cooked for my family, we were eating out every night, I made your food and everybody ate it, or I've lost 15 pounds, and I don't feel miserable. And I could totally stick with this, or my husband's a farmer, he's meat and potatoes. And I can't believe he actually has the suit. Like, it's so surreal. Because sometimes I feel like I post stuff and forget that people actually see it. And so then it's like, oh, people are making this food. And it's helping people. And that's really kind of what keeps me going is just the feedback from people. And I do, I love sitting down at the end of the day. I've got four kids I love. We usually are in and out with sports or whatever. But just like, knowing there's going to be dinner every day. And I at least have that short window of time with my kids. Like we're going to eat good food. And we're going to talk and it's my favorite thing. So I love eating. The worst part, honestly, is the typing up of the recipes, I'd like them all in my head. And I know I gotta get them down. I've got a mess of notes in my phone, I could cook and eat all day. It's just that I hate sitting at a computer and worrying about that stuff.
Amber B 36:51
I love it. Well, I love, I mean, it just speaks to, I call myself an accidental entrepreneur as well, which I kind of think you resonate with is like, I just started putting out things into the world that I loved and people started asking for them and wanting to pay for them. And like, you know, it just became a business. But I think one of the reasons that you're so successful is because at the end of the day, it's that connection with people like, you just want people to be able to put food on the table a little bit easier, be able to hit their health and fitness goals at the same time. And when you have that connection with people, and they feel it, it makes a difference. And I think that's one of the reasons that you are so successful. It's like this is your superpower tapped in with your desire to help people and you put those together and they had a baby and now you have Elyse, it's so amazing. So what are some of your current health and fitness goals? What does that look like for you now, you know, because I feel like some people sometimes have a really hard time looking beyond the cut. So it's like, they know the cut, they want to lose weight. That's the goal and that's like the only goal that they've thought through. And I think it's so important to recognize that there's so many other phases that you can go through afterwards and so as many other goals you can reach for like your, your 300-pound hip thrusts, right. Like there's other other peaks to summit after that. So kind of what are you? What are you working on right now? What are those health and fitness goals? What's driving you?
So honestly going into from a cut, reversing maintenance into a surplus. In that picture, the screenshot you took from my stories, I started out at 130 pounds. At the end of my bulk, I was 147 pounds. So a 17-pound difference, which I think is scary. And the biggest question I'm asked is did I have to buy new pants? I really didn't like some things getting a little tight. But I at the time didn't have
Amber B 38:40
I didn't have to buy new pants for my bulk either. Yeah, I gained like 13 pounds, and I didn't have to buy new pants either. So that's an issue. That's a question you asked.
You're right, this muscle. Yeah. I saw those pictures today because I'm doing a cut right now, trying to bring my body fat down a little bit. I got up to like 20% body fat. So I've got like three more weeks of a cut. And I saw pictures today of the process, I think it helps to take pictures. And you know what, I liked the 147-pound body shape better than I did the 140. And so I'm like, I even text my friend Kim, that helps me and I was like I'm ready. I'm ready to finish this cut and really focus on upper body strength. I've never had a lot of upper body strength and that's taken a lot of work to even build some shoulders. So coming out of this cut and then going to focus on that one thing I could never do and I don't even know how much you would know because you do CrossFit. I've always wanted to climb a rope. I can't. I was the kid in PE that would like to do one and fall to the ground like I'm gonna climb a freakin’ rope if it's the last thing I do.
Amber B 39:51
Okay, so do you want to climb it with your legs, or do you want to do a legless rope climb?
Amber B 39:59
Because a rope climb is mostly legs. If you're doing like with like, if you're doing hands and legs, it's mostly legs. It's not actually a ton of upper body strength. Now, legless rope climbs are a whole different story. I've never even tried a legless rope climb. But that seems really hard. But my point is, you could totally do it. Like, you could probably do it today, you just need someone to teach you how to wrap the rope around your feet.
The other thing that got me was my kids told me I couldn't do the monkey bars. And they were right. I can't do monkey bars. So I'm like–
Amber B 40:29
Okay, well, we're gonna work on your, we're gonna work on your grip strength, and we're gonna work on that upper body holding, and then we're gonna get you doing a pull-up, because I can just see like,
Right, I would love to that was a goal of mine, like years ago, and I throw it out the window like, I will never be strong enough–
Amber B 40:43
– like, Body-wise to do it. So let's work on that.
Amber B 40:46
Amber B 40:49
You're on your way. I love that. That's a super exciting goal to be working on. Awesome. So if you're sitting down with somebody, and they're at the, let's say, at the beginning of their macro counting journey. So maybe it's one of your followers, you're sitting down, and you're just like having a chat, and you're like, Hey, listen up, I've been through it all. You know, I'm like, I've been through all the phases, I've been through everything. I want to give you this one piece of advice to help you be the most successful in your macro counting journey. What would that piece of advice from you look like?
Quit worrying about being perfect. You're never going to hit your macros perfectly. It's more about being consistent, and having more good days and bad days. Focus on getting your protein in and focus on what your body can do, rather than what it weighs.
Amber B 41:40
It's beautiful. That was great. And we will because I know people are gonna ask, they're gonna see the picture and the screenshot I took of the story. So we will post that in the show notes as well so you guys can see what Elyse was talking about. Okay, last question. If you could go back 10 years ago, to the Elyse 10 years ago and give yourself a message. What would you say to her?
I would tell her this was the Elyse that was walking on treadmills still putting on 75 pounds. I would tell her no number on the scale or how your body looks is going to make you love yourself anymore. Love yourself, wherever you're at whatever your weight is, whatever your shape is. Love yourself now. Because if you don't love yourself, now, you're not going to love yourself when you have a six-pack. I've been there. I've done that, I've been every weight. I've been every shape and size. I've been too skinny, too fat. The internet's told me. But the whole thing all along is that I've loved myself. And that's the most important thing.
Amber B 42:47
So good. Awesome. Well, people want to connect with you. Where can they find you?
My website is macrofriendlyfood.com. And you can find the meal plans there. Hopefully, the app that's being tested right now is out. And then yeah, just on Instagram, @elyseellis.
Amber B 43:05
And we will link all that up in the show notes, and will link to the Macro Friendly Food so if you want to check it out. I highly, highly recommend it. If you're someone who wants easy, macro-friendly things that your kids will eat. It's such a great resource to combine with, you know, not having to go out and look for recipes and find them. So we'll definitely link it up in the show notes so that you guys can go over and check it out.
Amber B 43:30
Was Elyse so fun? She did a great job. And now you know why I was so insistent on her coming onto the podcast, I just knew that she would be a great person to bring on and give such a unique and wonderful perspective. And I know I said it, but I'll say it again, I do highly recommend her content. You hear me talk a lot about people's superpowers. Because I think as women, especially owning our superpower is really important. It's like I think the more that we can stand up and say, Hey, I'm good at this thing. I'm amazed at this thing you hear me say coaching is my superpower. I'm a really, really great coach. Elyse, like she is in her superpower in doing what she does. And you heard her talk about her recipes and how she loves doing that. And she thinks about it all the time. And it's just amazing. I highly recommend her stuff and her recipes. And you can check out all of her stuff in the show notes, bicepsafterbabies.com/197. All the resources will be linked there. Her Instagram, her website, and the story, the screenshot of the story that I took that we kind of talked about in the episode. So I'm so grateful for Elyse for coming on.
Amber B 44:41
Don't forget, in a week's time we will be in the middle of my Free Five-Day Challenge. We only run the Challenge two times a year. It's not something we run every month like some coaches do. This is a big deal. We spend a lot of time preparing for it, a lot of time getting content together making it fun, adding price and you won't want to miss it. It's like a party. It's like a week-long party, where you get to have like, Aha moment after Aha moment. And the people who come out of the five-day challenge, what they really feel like they have is a concrete foundation from which to go forth to hit their goals, and to do so in a way that they feel very confident moving forward, that you know what, like, this is going to be different, this time is going to be different. And it's because they've done the work during the Five-Day Challenge to make it different. So if you aren't signed up for the Five Day Challenge, make sure to go, get registered bicepsafterbabies.com/challenge. And we'll see you there when we start next Monday. And I'm just excited to be able to coach you and teach you and train you and get you to where you want to go in your fitness journey because that's what I am all about.
Amber B 45:50
If you enjoyed this episode, will you do me a favor? Will you take a moment and share this with a friend on your social media with your mom with a sister, like share it with somebody who you think would enjoy this podcast episode. And if you want extra bonus points, please leave a rating and review on iTunes. The best thing that you can do for content creators with the free content that we put out, the way you can say thank you is to leave a rating and review on iTunes. It really does make all the difference in the world. 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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