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  • Writer's pictureStacey Marino

Michelle V. Down by 40 Pounds Up in Confidence!

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

Michelle is my sister, and when she came to me for help, I was so excited to work with her. Not to just transform her body and help her accomplish her goals, but to have her learn the daily habits and disciplines that I live and breathe myself.

Coming from an eating disorder background myself, the last thing I wanted to do was create a fear of food for her. Or to have her start looking at her body in an unhealthy way. She’s always loved how she looks and feels, but realized that something had to change so she can stay healthy for life. I knew exactly how to handle this.

We’ve only done 2 “cuts” lasting about 3 months each over the course of the last year. The rest of the time she spent in maintenance (eating enough calories for her body – not in a deficit). The cuts themselves were not restrictive and allowed her to eat the foods she loves. She learned ways to cook and prepare foods that are delicious and nutritious at the same time. She even have 1 day a week where she could enjoy everything and anything she wanted, I mean she IS a college student :)

The weight loss is not surprising. That’s just what happens when you eat the right foods for your body in a slight deficit. What I am extremely proud of is how she adopted this healthy lifestyle! She enjoys it!

THIS is what it’s all about. Adapting a way of eating that you can stick with for life, not just the duration of the diet. Otherwise, there is no doubt your diet will fail. This is where I come in, and help each client, one on one, figure out how to get to that point. Food freedom

What are you doing differently with your nutrition?

I am eating more protein than I ever thought I needed. It was definitely a weird adjustment but I’ve figured out my hacks of getting in 150g of protein without just eating loads of chicken. I rely on my Kitu super coffee, Fage 0% plain greek yogurt, premier protein shakes, lite Mexican cheese from Trader Joe’s and Morningstar sausage patties to fill the gaps that eggs, meat & fish can’t. I am also eating more fruits & veggies overall. 

What physical changes surprised you the most? (weight loss, muscle gain, visible changes etc)

Well obviously my weight loss. I’ve lost 40 pounds in a year. I’ve done 2 cuts with Stacey- (June- August 2019) (April-June 2020), and both have resulted in a happier, healthier, and more confident me.

My first cut I went on an occasional hike, but the weight I lost was mainly based on counting macros. This time around I started working out every day, which also helped me relieve anxiety during quarantine. My arms have gotten smaller & I have side abs for the first time in my life. Also, my waist has shrunk a lot. Im a rising senior in college and I am fitting into some of my middle school clothes again/ some are loose. 

What positive lifestyle changes did you make your new habits?

Drinking more water, taking supplements (vitamins), being able to guesstimate portions when I don’t have my scale, being more active, and overall prioritizing myself and my health. 

How do you stay on track and committed? 

I honestly find counting macros fun, it is like a game. I love cooking & always make sure my meals are diverse, full of flavor, colorful, & have a pretty presentation (my food account on ig is @readyset_eatt). This makes me excited to eat and plan my meals.

I always feel so good when I stick to my macros vs. when I drink or eat whatever I want on a splurge day… and of course those are necessary to relax and let go every now and then. This is called balance, and it’s one of my biggest takeaways.

I have not cut anything out of my diet, I make things fit my macro goals and enjoy them in small amounts, and on splurge days I don’t feel guilty anymore about not tracking because I get right back on track the next day. Lastly, my Apple Watch really pushes me to stay active on top of everything else. If I ever feel discouraged I look back on old photos to see how far I’ve come and thank my body for all that it does for me.

Any advice for someone who wants to start out?

Trust the process. I was once over 200 pounds in my second week of my cut barely seeing results thinking- how am I eating this much and how am I supposed to lose weight from this?

Then 6 weeks later I retook my before/after pictures and looked like a completely different person. That really pushed me to keep going and to do another cut.

A big part is realizing that this takes time and its a commitment beyond just counting macros. It truly is a lifestyle change and I cannot thank my sister enough for turning my life around & making me the most confident I’ve been in years.

Another piece of advice is to pay more attention to how you look and feel rather than the number on the scale. I am the same weight I was 5 years ago but i look completely different. I’m no body builder but I have definitely gained a lot of muscle and look way more toned (so you have to remember muscle weighs more than fat).

For a while during my most recent cut, I hit a plateau and got so frustrated but eventually the weight started coming off and I started seeing my body reshaping itself. Even right now during reverse dieting after my cut I am eating more and still losing weight. Its crazy how it works, but please trust the process and give yourself some credit for working so hard. The results will show.

I 100% recommend this nutrition program and not just because Stacey is my sister, the proof is in the pictures.


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