Like most parents, Lisanne Thomas tried to give her all — and then some — to her three growing children. But when it came to herself, she never felt she deserved it.
Then Precision Nutrition Coaching showed her that getting fit and healthy could make her a better mother as well as a happier person. (It didn’t hurt that she also won $5,000 along the way).
Lost 38 lbs and 14% body fat!
- Age: 39 years
- Weight Lost: 38 lbs (from 160 lbs to 122 lbs)
- % Body Fat Lost: 14% (from 36% to 22%)
- Total Inches Lost: 41 inches (from 229 inches to 188 inches)
I’m not deserving
Lisanne Thomas was a fit, healthy kid who enjoyed sports.
Then puberty hit.
She put on some weight. And kept it on. Not a lot, but enough that some people might have called her “heavier set.” And she called herself fat.
Naturally pretty, she’d been brought up not to call too much attention to herself. “I think I kept that weight on as security,” she says now. “If I was heavy, nobody would be looking at me.”
Just because she was attractive didn’t mean Lisanne was comfortable in her own skin. In fact, being attractive probably added to her problems.
And over the years, her weight crept higher — especially with the birth of each of her three children.
A dedicated parent, Lisanne was so passionate about giving babies good beginnings that she quit her job as a marketing manager at a bank and trained as a doula and childbirth educator. The work was meaningful and brought her deep satisfaction.
But it could be tough to maintain focus. With each new addition to her own family, it took more of her time and energy just to ensure that everybody’s basic needs were met.
And she had less time and energy for herself.
Gaining weight, struggling to get through each day, losing her sense of agency and power — “I was becoming that stereotypical suburban mom,” she says. “Something in me — something deep seated — just didn’t believe that I deserved to be a good-looking person.”
It went even deeper than that. Something in her didn’t believe she deserved to succeed.
She didn’t believe she was good enough.
And on some level, she didn’t really believe that she was worth the effort and energy it would take to change.
Luckily, her family taught her otherwise.
While watching her eldest daughter playing one day, Lisanne was struck by the sense that she was holding back a little bit, not letting herself get fully into her dance or song.
Overwhelmed with love, she thought: I never want her to feel she shouldn’t shine.
Then, on the heels of that thought came another. If it was okay — more than okay — for her little girl to shine, why couldn’t she believe that about herself?
As a reflective parent and educator, Lisanne knew all too well that kids don’t do as we say. They do as we do. The conclusion was obvious.
If I want my kids to be healthy and happy and proud of the way they’re living their lives, it’s not enough for me to pay lip service to that idea, she thought.
I have to be an example.
A little help from her husband.
Meanwhile, Lisanne’s husband, Bryce, was coming to some important realizations of his own.
Like Lisanne, he’d packed on some extra pounds over the years, and he wasn’t too happy about it.
Back in 2008, a chiropractor had introduced Lisanne and Bryce to the Precision Nutrition System.
They looked into it and decided it made good sense. In fact, they were so interested they bought a copy and decided to give it a go.
But with demanding jobs and their third child on the way, the two of them found it increasingly difficult to manage all the lifestyle changes on their own. Some nights, it was all they could do to get supper on the table. So the idea of making substantial changes to their diet was more than they could handle.
“The kitchen clean out!” Lisanne laughs. “That’s where I mentally stalled out.”
“We were the King and Queen of Pasta!” No wonder the shopping list was daunting.
It wasn’t till two years later that they had the mental ability to refocus on getting more fit and healthy. Convinced that with support, they’d do better, Bryce signed them both up for the presale list for Precision Nutrition Coaching.
Lisanne, however, still had reservations. Two memberships would represent a considerable chunk of the family budget. And there was a lot going on in their lives at the time.
Their children were 6, 5, and five months old. Lisanne was breastfeeding the baby. Not only that, but she was training to become a yoga teacher, while completing two additional doula certification courses, plus fulfilling her role as a partner in a successful birth services business.
“I was not prepared to give up nursing my baby and put my needs ahead of hers,” Lisanne says now. “Breastfeeding is so important for giving babies a healthy start.”
“So at first I wondered if this was a crazy time to start. But then I thought — why not?”
Because by now, Lisanne was technically obese.
And, she adds, “What better time, when you think about it?”
Once the program began, she was glad to be doing something. Glad to be making an effort. Glad to be committing herself, at last, to her own health and well-being.
But that didn’t mean she always liked it.
Sometimes, it was tough to get to the gym. “I’d have to wait and go when everyone was in bed,” she says. She’d show up in the weight room already exhausted and worn out from a full day of caring for others.
To make matters worse, she didn’t exactly feel at home there. “I’d sort of sneak in, wearing my big, bulky clothes, keeping my eyes on the ground ahead of me,” she says now. She didn’t want to be noticed. “I felt so embarrassed of my body, awkward, and out of place.”
That’s why, when it came to the exercise component of the program, she did what she was told and nothing more.
“I couldn’t fathom doing more, the way some people were. It was all I could manage just to do what was asked!”
Meanwhile, in addition to exercise, Precision Nutrition Coaching also involves a nutritional component. And in that department, Lisanne was struggling to master some pretty intense cravings.
“Bryce and I used to do a lot of late-night snacking,” she says. “Once the kids were asleep, that was our time. We’d watch TV and eat.”
It was a habit — nothing more and nothing less — but habits can take time to change. Time — and concerted effort.
Still, when it came right down to it, exercising more and eating differently weren’t really Lisanne’s biggest challenges.
Her biggest challenge was making herself a priority.
“I used to feel it wasn’t okay for me to be selfish,” she says.
It’s a familiar story. As women, we’re taught that we should always put other people’s needs first. And unless we’ve anticipated and pre-emptively scratched every itch on our loved ones’ backs, we may feel guilty about taking time for ourselves. After all, who do we think we are?
“But now I see it differently,” Lisanne says. “It’s not selfish to take time to go to the gym. It’s not selfish to care about my own health. It’s self-love.”
And, as she was learning through Precision Nutrition Coaching, self-love can reap unexpected benefits.
Sure, she was starting to lose the weight she wanted to lose. She was starting to look better, and feel better. But more surprisingly, to her, she was also becoming a better mom.
“The program made me more accessible to my kids — emotionally, physically, in every way,” she says. “I feel better about myself and I’m more present to them.”
These days, Lisanne’s kids light up in smiles when she heads to the gym; they’re proud of her dedication and proud of what she’s accomplished. Not only that, but they’re getting more activity themselves. “If they want to kick a ball,” she says, “Bryce and I are far more likely to join them.”
Lisanne has even overheard some of their friends say they wish their parents would do that.
All that, just from the simple practice of going to the gym more consistently and making concerted efforts to eat whole foods.
“It sounds so simple,” she says now. “But at the same time, it’s huge. I do deserve to be healthy. I do deserve to take time for myself.”
“I have to treat myself as if I were my own daughter.”
She got that insight from Precision Nutrition Coaching.
Given her tendency to underestimate her own abilities, it’s not surprising that Lisanne’s initial goals were fairly modest.
“My wedding dress,” she says. “I wanted to fit back into it.”
Not that she really believed that was possible. After all, don’t our bodies change too much with pregnancy ever to change back?
Six months into the year-long program, she pulled that dress from the closet.
The zipper slid up easily. The fabric lay smooth over her stomach and hips.
“My heart was thumping, I had a goofy smile on my face, I had butterflies in my tummy, I had tears in my eyes, I was so freakin’ excited!! I couldn’t wait to show Bryce and the kids!”
“I’d worn that dress a few times on Halloween after the wedding,” she adds. As a costume, in other words. “But I always had to have a coat on, as the zipper would never do up — it was over 4 inches away from closing.”
Not any more.
“It fits!” she yelled. “Oh my goodness, it fits!”
It was a triumphant moment, and one she wasn’t expecting — or wasn’t expecting so soon. Having reached this original goal so much earlier than she’d believed possible, she had to rethink everything.
Maybe she was deserving
The changes she was undergoing, she recognized, were more than skin deep.
It dawned on her, for example, that she didn’t miss pasta.
“I’m half-Italian! So that’s shocking!”
Nor did she miss being the hide-my-body mom she used to be.
By now, she and Bryce were starting to attract attention from their friends. “What are you guys doing? How come you look so great?”
But to Lisanne’s amazement, she didn’t mind the compliments.
What was going on?
Maybe she did deserve to be that good-looking woman, after all?
“The support from my team and my coach was so important through this process,” she says. “It’s hard to explain, but they helped me let go of whatever might have gone wrong and just keep at it. They helped me believe in myself.”
More than good enough.
The day Lisanne walked into her gym and one of the trainers recognized her as a Precision Nutrition Coaching finalist was a super high-five validation moment. Certainly it was a far cry from the days when she’d try to slink and out of the place hoping she wouldn’t be noticed.
Even so, she never expected to find herself a winner. So to see her coach, Cynthia Berg, walk towards her with a giant cheque, came as a complete surprise.
“It was so important to meet her in person,” Lisanne says now, her voice cracking with emotion. “I don’t know if I can express this… but she was there. She was there for me. There to witness. To offer proof that I was good enough.”
“Lisanne was one of the quiet, skeptical ones in the beginning,” Coach Cynthia says.
“The quiet ones are the most dangerous (prone to success), probably because they are silently testing and challenging everything, daring it all to work for them.”
“By mid-term, things started to come alive and she began to discover the power and influence within. Once she believed, there was no stopping her.”
Today, Lisanne is a Precision Nutrition Coach, as well a professionally certified yoga instructor, aiming to inspire healthy lives.
Moving forward, she hopes to use her training — and her success — as a vehicle to motivate her students. So that they, like her, can learn that it’s okay for them to take time for themselves. Okay for them to do their best. Okay for them to shine.
Because they’re more than good enough. They too are so worth it!
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.
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 10th, 2018.
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].