Client Perspective: 2018 Fall Nutrition Challenge

Shannon Miller

December 27, 2018

Emily, a 2018 Fall Nutrition Challenge winner, documents her journey and incredible results from six weeks of hard work in fitness and nutrition. She gained 6.7 pounds of muscle and lost 3.9% body fat – and transformed her mindset around health.

When a friend of mine, who is very dedicated to her fitness and health and has gotten many DEXA scans, suggested I give it a try, I was immediately intrigued. She showed me the results of her scans and as someone who loves numbers and data, I appreciated how concrete her results were. I was mentally ready to start making healthier choices about food and begin to consistently workout, and the DEXA scan seemed like the perfect tool measure my growth. So, I joined the challenge, got my first scan, and set some pretty ambitious goals.

I hadn’t been to a gym in years–my only workouts where my yoga practice and running. DC is filled with all different types of exercise studios, and I found a gym that was fun and supportive and just started showing up everyday.

As an elementary school teacher and total dork, I love planning, tracking progress, and organized color-coded spreadsheets. So, I created a master calendar for my workouts. I did 5-8 HITT workouts a week and yoga 3 times a week. I truly prioritized working out and made it a point to never skip a class and meet my weekly goals. I also meal prepped every week, but I honestly wasn’t as vigilant about daily meal tracking. It was important for me not to get too obsessed with my food intake, as I didn’t want focusing on that to detract from living and enjoying my life. I didn’t cut anything completely out of my diet, but I did make important changes, such as having a protein shake every morning after my workout and cutting back significantly on sugar and alcohol.

At the beginning of the challenge I weighed myself everyday, and was a little discouraged because the numbers weren’t changing. I knew muscle weighed more than fat and trusted that what I was doing was healthy, so I stopped weighing myself completely. Throughout the challenge, I knew I was gaining muscle because I could see and feel it, but I didn’t know for certain if I was losing as much body fat as I had wanted.

Five weeks later, I went in for my second scan. I gained 6.7 pounds of muscle and lost 3.9% body fat, which I am very happy with. It was nice to have the DEXA scan as a way to validate and prove that what I was doing was working. Moving forward, my fitness and health goals are focused on loosing more body fat and maintaining the muscle I have gained.

Something I’m always in awe of is how our bodies and our minds are much more malleable than we think. They can both change, and they can do so pretty quickly. Participating in this challenge reminded me of that. I am proud of the numbers listed above, and I am excited to continue focusing on my fitness using the DEXA scan as a tool to monitor my progress, but what I am most proud of is the habits that I have built over the last month, in and out of the gym, and on and off the yoga mat. My inner dialogue is filled with positivity. I have reframed my mind to embrace (and even find joy!) in challenge. I have seen hard work and goal setting pay off. I remind myself everyday that change is just a part of being human.

Interested in seeing results? Sign up for our 2019 Screw the Scale New Year’s Challenge before January 6th, 2019!

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