“It was her idea,” Jared Schaab tells me. “Dani’s the one who suggested we join Precision Nutrition Coaching together.”
Which is funny, when you think of it, because while Dani, his wife, had played varsity soccer and softball, she tended to view workouts as a “necessary evil.”
When she went to the gym, she stuck to the cardio and weight machines. The free weights area, with its complement of gawking “meatheads,” just felt too intimidating.
Jared, meanwhile, had been a fan of John Berardi’s for years, going back as far as the T-Nation days. Not only that, but as a successful graduate of one of the very first cohorts of Precision Nutrition Coaching, he was no stranger to the program.
A lifelong athlete, Jared especially enjoyed weightlifting and hockey. But when he wasn’t focused on training, his weight tended to fluctuate.
Jared & Dani’s Transformation
For years, Jared had been a yo-yo dieter.
His first experience of PN coaching helped him address that unhealthy pattern. At the time, Precision Nutrition Coaching was a four-month commitment. Jared lost 20 pounds and 10% body fat, and he felt terrific.
But in those days, Jared’s social life — like a lot of single guys’ social lives — revolved pretty much exclusively around going out for beers and food with his friends. And while he’d learned some healthier habits in his time as a Precision Nutrition Coaching client, in a mere four months, he hadn’t really had time to consolidate them — to make them part of his identity.
So what happened in the year or two afterwards was understandable.
“I was young,” he says, a little sheepishly. “I fell off the wagon.”
The result was predictable — the return of excess weight. And worse — a creeping sense of himself as a failure. As someone who wasn’t being true to his own values.
It was during those years that he met and started to date Dani. And while his love life got a whole lot better, his workouts got even worse.
Have you ever noticed that in the best relationships, each person truly wants what is good for the other?
Talking to Jared and Dani, you sense they are that kind of couple.
Love, to couples like them, is a verb. A call to action, not just a set of pretty words. Each wants to do whatever will help the other person grow.
That’s how Dani wound up on the Precision Nutrition web site.
While she felt comfortable with how her body looked and didn’t think she needed to change anything, she knew that Jared wasn’t feeling the same about himself. She also knew he’d been a successful Precision Nutrition Coaching client. He’d spoken highly of the program. He respected it.
Meanwhile, even after the pair got married, he was struggling to make time for workouts. True, he had a wrist injury, which complicated things. But more than that, it was a question of scheduling.
“Fitness just seemed hard to fit in,” Jared says. “If I went to the gym in my free time, I lost the time I might have spent with Dani.”
“I could tell he was conflicted,” Dani adds. “He didn’t like to be so out of shape. I knew he wasn’t happy.”
So — like the good student she was at the time — Dani studied the PN website. Then she did some thinking. And finally, she approached Jared with a plan.
She wanted Jared to feel good about himself. She wanted him to live in accordance with his values. So even if it meant she’d have to push herself and do something that felt risky to her, she was willing to do that, to help him.
“Let’s do Precision Nutrition Coaching together,” she said.
Dani and Jared didn’t know it then but that simple — and loving — suggestion would cement their relationship and give them the foundation for a healthier future.
Which doesn’t mean that their progress through Precision Nutrition Coaching was always easy. In fact, in some ways, the program seemed to highlight some of their differences. And that, in turn, became a source of friction.
Jared is diplomatic. “Before the program,” he says, “Dani’s eating habits were… different.”
Dani’s childhood menu had been quite limited, consisting mainly of comfort food and sweets. As an adult, she struggled to appreciate the taste and texture of vegetables. Processed food and anything chicken were her norm — most of it eaten out rather than at home.
“I knew what we should do,” he goes on. “I knew what was right. But I couldn’t always articulate it.”
“He knew what was right for him,” Dani says. “But it might not have been right for me, as a woman.”
Jared was an enthusiastic and eager cook. In fact, at one point he’d even considered going to culinary school.
But it was one thing to cook for himself; it was much harder to cook things that would please Dani. Inevitably, their differing ideas led to a few battles.
Yet as the program went on, they found themselves learning how to cook and eat together in a healthier way.
“The program explained it,” Jared says. New nutritional habits were were gradually introduced. And the daily lessons gave the rationale for the habits that he knew would lead to better health.
That took the pressure off him, to be the “expert.” It also erased the possibility that Dani might start to resent him for being a know-it-all.
Instead, she could learn at her own pace, with a focus on the information she needed. They could then apply their shared knowledge at the grocery store and in the kitchen and in the gym.
Taking the program together equalized a potentially problematic power dynamic. And the small conflicts they had now helped them to avoid much bigger ones down the line.
“It helped us learn to work together as a couple,” they say.
In some ways, you might even say, the program helped them grow up.
In fact, for Dani and Jared, that’s the big-picture take away.
Together, they learned to take responsibility for their choices. “It’s not that we have to do this or that. We want to do it. It’s a choice,” they say.
What’s more, Precision Nutrition Coaching taught them how to communicate with each other.
Instead of striking them as big, scary, impossible threats, tensions became occasions to explore their differences. And instead of seeming like overwhelming obstacles, differences became opportunities for learning, growth, and mutual support.
For instance, Dani tends to under-eat in response to stress. Jared over-eats. Armed with that understanding, they could better watch out for one another.
Meanwhile, Dani needed a bit of help in the gym to learn some of the exercises. Jared took the time to offer guidance and instruction.
They worked out together frequently. It became their evening time together. “He helped me learn,” she says.
Together, they grew stronger in body, mind, and spirit.
Together, they also faced challenges from the outside world.
Dani, in particular, went through some rough periods during her year in Precision Nutrition Coaching.
At the start of the program, she started a new, and demanding, job. She was working ten hours a day, often without breaks or even time for lunch. Twice a week in the evenings she also took a math class. Meanwhile, she struggled with some health problems and family stresses.
It was a lot for anyone to carry.
“Jared was my rock throughout the whole thing,” she says now. For a while, he was doing all the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry — everything. And that was a huge help. But it wasn’t an easy time.
“She did a great job,” Jared jumps in to say. “She had every excuse not to go to the gym. Every excuse to quit. But she managed to keep going.” The pride in his voice is evident.
In fact, he adds, until midway through the program, he wasn’t even aware that Dani hadn’t really wanted to enrol. That’s how committed she appeared.
Looking back now, Dani laughs. “I didn’t want to do it for myself,” she says. “I signed up to support him.”
The irony, she now understands, is that Precision Nutrition Coaching may have helped her even more than it helped Jared.
The structure, the habits, the new information and knowledge she was gaining. It grounded her in a difficult time.
And even more — it helped her and Jared grow as a couple.
“I was so thankful,” she says.
Dani and Jared are equally thankful for their coaches.
When Dani was in the midst of her difficulties, she was scared to reach out to her Precision Nutrition Coaching teammates. Looking back, she’s not sure why, but she had so much going on at the time — it just seemed overwhelming. So Jared reached out to Coach Veronica Porterfield on her behalf.
“Veronica was a blessing to me,” Dani says. “She was amazing, supportive, kind. She made it easy to open up to her. I had so much emotional baggage. She helped me with all of it.”
Veronica was more than just a coach; she was a confidante.
“She was always like a breath of fresh air — such a calm and gentle soul.” Together, she and Jared kept Dani going.
“Without them, I wouldn’t have realized how much I actually deserved everything the program was giving me,” Dani acknowledges, in a telling phrase.
How often do women struggle with this belief — that they are somehow undeserving of care? The program’s structure and Coach Veronica‘s sensitivity helped Dani overcome that insidiously damaging attitude.
“Veronica took the time to answer every one of my emails, and she even Skyped with me — gestures that helped me move mountains!”
Coach Brian St. Pierre offered similar support to Jared. He constantly reached out to see how Jared was doing and make sure he was keeping up with his habits.
“He was always very supportive, always responded to my questions,” Jared says. “By the end of the program I considered him more of a friend than a coach.”
Even more surprising to Jared and Dani was the way their coaches worked together, modelling successful collaboration.
“The PN coaches are not just doing this because it’s their job. They have their hearts in it. They cared about us individually and as a couple.”
It was a bit like belonging to a large, happy, and unusually healthy family.
Now that family’s about to get even bigger. Because today, Dani and Jared are expecting a baby.
“I must admit that morning sickness can sometimes present nutritional challenges,” Dani laughs. “But I do my best.”
In fact, she says, the timing for a baby could not have been better.
“I’m applying all the Precision Nutrition Coaching habits throughout this pregnancy.”
She and Jared feel grateful to be able to share good nutrition with their son or daughter from the start.
“Imagine how healthy this baby is going to be,” they say.
Imagine how healthy this family is going to be. With the lessons, skills, and habits they learned together in Precision Nutrition Coaching, they’re unstoppable.
Want to read more great stories like Jared and Dani’s? Then come meet a few other men, women, and couples who lost weight, started eating better, and took control of their health.
Want help finally getting the healthy, energetic body you’re after?
Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management are important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.
That’s why we work closely with Precision Nutrition Coaching clients to help them lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health…no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.
It’s also why we work with health and fitness pros (through our Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs) to teach them how to coach their own clients through the same challenges.
Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the presale list; you’ll save up to 54% and secure a spot 24 hours early.
We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, July 19th, 2023.
If you’re interested in coaching and want to find out more, I’d encourage you to join our presale list below. Being on the list gives you two special advantages.
- You’ll pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we like to reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best clients. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price, which is the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
- You’re more likely to get a spot. To give clients the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open up the program twice a year. Last time we opened registration, we sold out within minutes. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.
If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from the world’s best coaches, this is your chance.
[Note: If your health and fitness are already sorted out, but you’re interested in helping others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program].