As a former aerobics instructor, Laurie Pooch knew a lot about fitness. And at 56, with a history of serial dieting and thyroid problems, she thought she’d tried everything to lose her excess weight.
What she hadn’t tried was giving up some control and letting her coaches light the path. Precision Nutrition Coaching gave her that expert support — and left her 51 pounds thinner, $25,000 richer, and a whole lot happier.
Lost 51 lbs and 14.8% body fat!
- Age: 56 years
- Weight Lost: 51 lbs (from 174 lbs to 123 lbs)
- % Body Fat Lost: 14.8% (from 29.8% to 15%)
- Total Inches Lost: 36 inches (from 231 inches to 195 inches)
10 winning reasons
It may seem counter-intuitive, but when people struggle to lose weight, it’s sometimes because they fear what else they might lose in the process.
Not too long ago, Laurie Pooch would have laughed at that idea. Warm, practical, and down-to-earth — a true mid-Westerner — she describes herself as a “nuts-and-bolts” kind of person. New Age introspection leaves her cold.
But her year in Precision Nutrition Coaching taught Laurie something new: that mourning our old selves and feeling a little anxious about our new and slimmer bodies is a pretty common experience for those of us who lose a lot of weight.
Meanwhile, if we want to stay on track with our goals, it helps to remind ourselves of everything we stand to gain.
So, having shed 51 unwanted pounds against some pretty powerful odds — and walked away with the $25,000 grand prize — these days, Laurie’s counting the other reasons to love her new found shape.
Here are 10 of them.
1. “I love that my t-shirts now swing loosely about my hips instead of being all bunched up around my waist.”
There was a time when Laurie believed she’d never be able to say that. In fact, whenever she thought about her chances of long term, sustainable weight loss, she couldn’t help but feel a little skeptical.
After all, when you’re 56, menopausal, a serial yo-yo dieter, and have been exercising religiously for decades with little result, it’s easy to assume that your metabolism’s shot.
Besides, Laurie had an extra reason for doubt. For years she had suffered from an underactive thyroid and taken medication for that condition. And as if that weren’t enough, she’d also undergone surgery and radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer.
Everybody “knows” that it’s tougher for thyroid patients to lose weight. Even her doctor said that weight loss might be harder for her.
No wonder Laurie felt discouraged.
2. “I love being able to sit down without having to pull my shirt or waistband out from all the rolls of abdominal fat.”
It was her sister, Leann, who got her started with Precision Nutrition Coaching.
A bad case of plantar fasciitis had derailed Laurie’s regular exercise routines. Frustrated, bored, and disheartened, she’d begun to eat in compensation.
Things were going south fast. South to her increasingly padded stomach and hips. Laurie felt miserable.
The day the scale registered 174 pounds — her highest weight ever — she knew she had to act.
True, her chances of success might be low. But if she didn’t make a commitment to change pretty soon, her health would start to suffer. And having already battled cancer, she wasn’t eager to add heart disease or diabetes to the list.
So when Leann mentioned her own plan to join Precision Nutrition’s coaching program, Laurie decided to do a little research and join her.
The rest, she claims, was “easy.”
3. “I love eating right and not wanting to kick myself for having overeaten unhealthy food yet again.”
“I liked that the program was a year long,” she says. “I figured maybe then it would have a chance to sink in on me.”
That self-effacing humor is typical of Laurie. Never one to exaggerate her own accomplishments, she credits much of her success to the program’s structure and design.
“I thought I’d tried everything,” she says. “I thought I’d been so good at trying everything.”
What she hadn’t tried was giving up the reins to an expert coach, calling on support from a community, and building consistent habits.
Precision Nutrition Coaching gave her that coaching, community, and consistency — and the stubborn weight began to come off.
4. “I love having the feeling that I can do anything I want to — a half marathon, a kickboxing class, a yoga class — anything and everything!”
“It was hard to start slowly,” Laurie admits. “I had to make myself a beginner again.”
And as a former aerobics instructor who knew a thing or two about fitness, that took a bit of humility on her part. She had to give up on being the expert and do what she was told for a change. It was an unfamiliar position, and not a comfortable one at first.
But the payoff was worth it.
“I loved having the workouts printed out. I didn’t have to think. I didn’t have to count calories. I didn’t have to worry about next week. I just had to do each day’s task when it came up,” she says.
And, as things turned out, “each day’s task” was the most she could possibly manage.
5. “I love that I had a blast trying on swimsuits the other day! Even two-piecers!”
“I thought it was going to be a nice, quiet year,” Laurie muses, a bit wistfully. “I’d focus on my weight loss and that would be that.”
But the universe had other plans. The nice, quiet year that Laurie was hoping for turned out to be one of the rockiest of her life.
First, she and her husband, Doug, decided to put their house on the market.
It was their dream home, and they loved it, but now that their kids were gone it was too large, and it had become expensive to maintain. They decided they’d like to find something more compact and suited to their current needs.
When the place sold within ten days — much more quickly than they’d expected — they had to make some decisions fast.
Almost before they knew it, they’d moved in with their grown son, taking over the top floor of another house that he’d been renting from them.
Parents and adult kids living together: It’s pretty common these days. But nobody’s ever called it easy.
6. “I love that I’m buying size 6 instead of 14!”
Then add the pressures of downsizing. “We had quite a lot of stuff to sell or store,” Laurie says, with her usual understatement. And their son’s place was small. Very small.
Can you spell stress? “Change in residence” is, after all, an item on the Holmes and Rahe stressful life events scale for a reason.
Meanwhile, Laurie was still working as an administrative assistant at a high school — the kind of job that inevitably brings a daily dose of noise and chaos into a person’s life.
For some, these factors alone might have been enough to derail any weight loss efforts.
But Laurie’s regular check-ins on the Precision Nutrition Coaching home page kept her focused on her goals. Whatever else happened, she was determined to earn her check mark for following her daily habit and her workout.
The structure and the community helped her to stay on track.
7. “I love that I can sit comfortably in an airplane seat without my thighs touching the person next to me!”
Luckily, the move went pretty smoothly.
With Laurie and Doug occupying one floor and their son another, they were able to spend time together when they wanted to, yet maintain their privacy when they needed it.
Sure, Laurie missed her old home, but it was fun planning for their new one, and she enjoyed seeing more of their granddaughter.
The one thing she hadn’t considered was what it would be like to share the cooking facilities.
“I guess I could have cooked more often,” she says, a hint of doubt clouding her voice.
“I could have forced myself. But our son’s kitchen is awful compared to what I was used to. And somehow …”
Her voice trails off and then she laughs. “We ended up eating out a lot.”
Large portions, heavy sauces, fancy drinks, and greasy temptations: Most of us understand why restaurant meals can get in the way of losing weight.
Fortunately, Precision Nutrition Coaching gave Laurie the tools she needed to cope with these conditions.
When she reached her former set-weight of 150 pounds, she wondered if she’d find herself stuck there again. But despite her less-than-perfect circumstances, the pounds continued to melt away.
“It was amazing,” she says.
Not only that, but for the first time ever, her overall shape changed.
“Whenever I lost weight in the past, I still ended up with the same body shape – a pear with heavy hips and thighs. But with Precision Nutrition Coaching, I lost the stomach fat and my hips and legs are slender,” she says.
8. “I love running into people I haven’t seen in awhile and getting, ‘Wow! You look great and you look so much younger!’ (That never gets old!)”
There’s no denying it. Looking great is a pretty powerful reward. And by the halfway point in the program, Laurie had already started to see the results of all her hard work.
So if a move and a long series of restaurant meals had been the worst that she’d had to contend with, she probably would have considered herself extremely lucky.
Instead, midway through Precision Nutrition Coaching, she was struck by one of the most painful blows that any of us can experience. Her beloved younger sister, Marj, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
The shock took a toll on the entire family. Inevitably, it also reminded Laurie of her own brush with cancer five years earlier.
Health is so precious and so fragile. Life is so precious.
In August, Marj underwent surgery, with Laurie traveling to Arizona to be closer to her and her mother.
Then, in October, Marj died from complications of her treatment. And Laurie found herself traveling yet again — this time on an even sadder errand.
“Being a mom, I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose my daughter — it’s just beyond me,” she says.
Many of us would struggle to maintain our positive habits in the face of this kind of tragedy.
Yet even in the midst of her grief, Precision Nutrition Coaching helped keep Laurie grounded. Instead of making her life harder, the routines actually helped her.
Working out in the rec center of her mother’s residential complex might not have been ideal, but moving her body reminded Laurie of all she had to be grateful for — and kept her going through an incredibly difficult time.
9. “I love that I now look as athletic as I feel!”
Throughout Precision Nutrition Coaching, Laurie reached out to her coach, Kate Kline, whenever she had questions.
“She was the perfect client,” Kate says, “because she totally embraced the program. Even when she thought it was a little crazy.”
Not only that, but she also reached out to her teammates, as well as to her husband, Doug.
“We really couldn’t afford the program when I started,” Laurie explains. “Well … I thought we couldn’t afford it. But Doug looked into it and thought it sounded great and said we’d make a way for me to do it. He was right there for me the whole way.”
Doug even supported her at the final photo shoot — an aspect of the program that Laurie was really dreading.
For the photo shoot, participants are encouraged to hire a professional to help them best represent their weight loss journey. For many, this is a strange and unexpected assignment.
Laurie, being the modest type, wasn’t so keen on posing for a stranger. But Doug helped her push through the embarrassment. Though at the time, she hated the experience, today she’s glad to have those photos.
And no wonder.
They show a woman who is vibrant, strong, healthy, and capable. A woman whose smile is so bright and so beautiful that it could light up the darkest room. A woman who really does look far younger than her chronological age. A woman who feels better than she’s felt in decades.
The woman that 56 year-old Laurie Pooch has become, with the help of Precision Nutrition Coaching.
10. “I love that I can tell people about Precision Nutrition Coaching, which made it possible for me to get to where I’m at!”
The hardest part of the program, for Laurie, was what she calls the “woo-woo thinking” — the kinds of lessons that asked her to look into herself and reflect.
What is this mind-body stuff, she remembers thinking.
“And yet it helped to make myself do those assignments,” she adds. “It really helped.”
Combined with her practical, can-do attitude, working through those difficult lessons forced her to break some long-entrenched patterns, ensuring she’d make a permanent change.
I ask her what advice she’d give to somebody else who might be considering the program.
“Put aside your preconceived knowledge. Don’t be in a rush to get ahead. Just do the day’s tasks. Don’t worry about anything else.”
She pauses for a moment, maybe thinking about all the obstacles she faced — her age, the thyroid condition, the cancer, the move, the restaurant meals, the traveling, the loss of her sibling.
“Really, there’s no reason not to succeed at this,” she finally says. “It’s so well thought out and so well designed.”
“If I can do it,” she adds, “anybody can.”
Want help finally getting the healthy, energetic body you’re after?
For many people, improved eating and lifestyle habits can seem impossible to sustain, especially when progress feels non-existent. What the experts know: Progress is always happening, you have to know what to look for.
That’s why we work closely with Precision Nutrition Coaching clients to help them stay energized and motivated, and get in the best shape of their lives… no matter what other 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 help their own clients recognize progress and stay motivated 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, January 17th, 2024.
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].