When they started Precision Nutrition Coaching in January 2010, John was juggling a full-time career as a patent attorney with night school, and Shannon was half-way through her PhD.
They were the epitome of a couple who “didn’t have time” to work out or eat healthy.
Yet after only six months of dedication — and with no major changes to their daily lives — John had lost 40 pounds while Shannon had lost 17.
Both John and Shannon had more energy throughout the day, slept better at night, and were able to maintain their busy, fulfilling lives while strengthening their relationship in the process.
John & Shannon’s Transformation
By the time you read this, John and Shannon will be exactly one month away from living in the same house, a dream they’ve had since they married in June 2011.
When they wake up next to each other that first morning, before they make breakfast or walk out the front door — him to a law office, her to UPenn for PhD research — the controlled chaos of their individual lives will converge and time will slow down.
They will enjoy their first real morning as husband and wife, living under the same roof.
But right now it’s hustle, hustle, hustle, just like it’s been for the last five years. For the next month, they’ll continue to drive the three hours across state lines every week to see each other.
And over dinner, they’ll talk about work, school, future plans, and maybe even about that time a year ago where they transformed their bodies in six short months and dropped nearly 60 collective pounds.
Mid-December, 2009. 1AM. Washington DC.
John can’t sleep.
His mind is racing a mile a minute, jumping from thought to thought, a symptom of high evening cortisol, although he doesn’t know that.
All John knows is that falling asleep has been difficult ever since he started law school three and half years ago. He gets roughly six hours every night, depending on how long it takes him to drift off. Sometimes, even thinking about sleep exhausts him.
But poor sleep isn’t the only consequence of long hours in the office and classroom. His body has taken a hit, too. When he entered law school in 2006, he had an athletic build with muscular arms that stretched his shirt sleeves. Now the only part of his shirt that stretches is near his stomach.
He’s put on a good 40 pounds.
Weight gain and sleep problems are typical for law students. If you don’t work your ass off the first few years, your chances of scoring a summer job at a prestigious law firm — and potentially a lucrative career with that same firm after school — are slim.
So you get sucked into the competitive culture of 80-hour work weeks and caffeine addiction, just like everyone else.
But the grind is nearly over for John. He’s in the final stretch with just one more semester left. Factor in his current job with a respected firm in DC, and he’s sitting pretty.
The icing on the cake? He just proposed to his girlfriend of three years. He arranged it so both their families would be there when he got down on one knee. Shannon almost fell down when everyone jumped up and yelled “Surprise!”. That night, they all had a nice dinner and John and Shannon posed for lots of photos.
And if he’s being completely honest, that’s really what’s keeping John from getting any sleep tonight: those photos. They’re proof that he’s neglected his health.
With the wedding fast approaching and his foot finally off the gas pedal, he knows it’s time to take care of himself and restore order. He just doesn’t know where to start.
He sighs, rolls over, and glances at the alarm clock. 1:14.
It’s gonna be a long night.
Mid-December, 2009. 1AM. Philadelphia, PA.
Shannon is asleep.
Ever since she was a kid she could just plop down on a couch and be out within minutes. It’s a gift that makes her fiance a little jealous.
She needs the rest, too. It’s her second year in the PhD program at UPenn and her days are packed with studying, meetings, writing, and research.
Lately, all her responsibilities have taken a toll on her. She hasn’t been her usual motivated self. Her research is getting done, but she’s been listless and maybe even a little depressed. A long-distance relationship — especially when you’re engaged — is tough. She misses John.
Because of it all, she’s eating a little more and moving a little less. Her clothes are fitting tighter. Her body doesn’t feel like it used to.
As an undergrad, she played Division 3 soccer and basketball, but the only baskets she shoots now are crumpled sheets of paper into the wastebasket. Not exactly the same thing.
But Shannon’s a problem solver. (You don’t go to school for 7+ years and not learn how to solve problems.)
Before she went to bed she wrote herself a reminder to tell John about Precision Nutrition Coaching — online nutrition coaching that was starting in January.
She’d made up her mind to sign up in the morning. And maybe, she thought before she crawled into bed, maybe John will want to do it too.
Friday afternoon is pure freedom as it kick-starts a weekend away from school, work, and stress. It’s a mini-vacation.
Precision Nutrition Coaching started a few months ago, and John and Shannon fall into an easy rhythm in each others’ presence, practicing their new workout and eating habits together.
Saturday is interval training. They wake up early, usually before the sun is up, and run treadmill sprints side by side in the empty gym. The rest of the day is glorious free time, full of conversation, nice restaurants, movies, and often just hours of cuddling on the couch.
On Sunday they take turns pushing a grocery cart and fill their basket with fresh vegetables, lean meats, and natural peanut butter. (They love peanut butter.) Back home, they chop, cook, eat peanut butter off a spoon, and distribute the food into individual Tupperware containers. The meals will last each of them three days, life-savers when there’s just no time to cook during the week.
And on Sunday afternoon, before Shannon makes the drive back to school, they grab a camera and measuring tape and record how many inches and pounds they’ve lost.
“Look at your stomach,” John will say, pointing to the still-life photo of Shannon on the digital camera. “You’ve got awesome abs!”
And Shannon will blush and grab John’s muscular arms and then take his photos and be amazed at how good he looks.
Then it’ll be another a couple hours, a peck on the lips, a long hug goodbye, and then back to the grind.
The school gym is packed with college kids even though it’s only 8AM. Shannon winds through the crowd, past the other girls on the ellipticals, and into the weight room.
Before she started Precision Nutrition Coaching, Shannon thought weight lifting was strictly for guys. She didn’t want to get bulky, so she stuck to running and other forms of cardio.
But over the last six months of working out with weights, she’s done the opposite of bulk. Her svelte figure is 17 pounds lighter, with defined muscle and sexy curves.
In the gym, she walks past the pull-up bar, then doubles back to it. She eyes the bar with a “what’s this?” look on her face. What’s this? A challenge, of course.
She jumps up to the bar and grabs it with her palms facing her. For a few seconds she simply hangs there, gently swinging.
And then she squeezes the bar tight and pulls her body to the top, effortlessly. She just did her very…first…chin-up.
She drops to the floor and looks around. Then she jogs back to the locker room, grabs her phone and texts John.
“Guess what I just did…” she types, a smile on her face.
It’s 10:15 PM and the gym is empty. John likes when the gym is empty.
He’s had a busy day. He got to work at nine, got off at five, and then went immediately to night school which finished fifteen minutes ago.
Now is his time.
As soon as he walked through the gym doors, he turned off his Blackberry. No phone, no meetings, no stress.
He loads a barbell and grabs a pair of dumbbells. The nice thing about training at night is you don’t have to compete with anyone for space or equipment. John cranks through his workout, his muscles tensed, his forehead moist with sweat. He’s 40 pounds lighter than when he started Precision Nutrition Coaching six months ago.
Right now, at this very moment, John’s got more energy than three men combined. He’s missed this feeling. And he’s certainly missed this body. 30 minutes later, he puts the weights away, tosses a sweaty towel into the bin, and walks out through the gym doors into the cool night. He’s gonna sleep good tonight.
He flips his Blackberry open, where a text message from Shannon waits.
“How was your workout?” it says.
He hits “call” and puts the phone to his ear.
He wants to hear her voice.
Even nearly two years after their initial Precision Nutrition Coaching start, Shannon and John still believe in their healthy lifestyle.
They believe in the power of accountability. They believe in each other.
“I don’t think we would have had the same kind of success if we didn’t do Precision Nutrition Coaching together,” says Shannon. “Who knows what we would have accomplished if we had lived in the same house at the time.”
Yet although they were in separate states, they were always in the same state-of-mind. No matter what happened, no matter how busy their lives got, they made time to take care of themselves.
It may be one more month till they’re under the same roof for good, but John and Shannon both know they’ll have many more years of health, fitness, and love.
Want help becoming the healthiest, fittest, strongest version of you?
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.
Over the past 17 years, we’ve used the Precision Nutrition Coaching method to help over 100,000 clients lose fat, get stronger, and improve their physical and mental health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.
It’s also why we work with health, fitness, and wellness professionals (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 now. You'll get a free gift today, save up to 54%, and have the chance to secure a spot 24 hours early.
We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, January 17th, 2024.
If you're interested in coaching and want to find out more, join the presale list below. Being on the list gives you three special advantages.
- You’ll pay less than everyone else. Join the presale list and you’ll save up to 54% off the general public price.
- 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. By joining the presale list you’ll get the opportunity to register 24 hours before everyone else, increasing your chances of getting in.
- You’ll get a free gift—plus an inside look at the program. When you join the presale list today, we’ll send you a free 35-page ebook: Your Best Nutrition Starts Here—a complete guide to building a health plan for your body, goals, and lifestyle (no calorie-counting or restrictive dieting required). Plus, you'll get our new Enrollment Packet, giving you an inside look at the PN Coaching program, complete with stories from past clients who’ve overcome huge obstacles and achieved the transformation of their dreams, and more.
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].