82 Small Changes

Thursday, January 16, 2014 • Silver Spring, MD 20910

As promised a few months back, here is the big reveal of Lori's total body transformation and her success story to lose 82 lbs


82 Small Changes

Lori, 33 decided it was time to make a life long change to a healthy and fit body


Lori's Goggle search led to me and convenience was the key for her workout, as she works one hour away from home. Too much time is spent on commuting rather then exercising. The exercise studio was right in her office building and during her lunch time we set up our first appointment.

Lori was clear on her goals, lose weight and get in shape the right way. No gimmicks, no funky diets, and no short cuts. Never mind that Lori plays football and softball during the week and as an architect also renovates her own house – she does the actual manual labor of her renovation.


As a natural athlete, Lori has an incredible strong body and after leaving college she started putting on weight without noticing it, at first. Entering the workforce kept her busy and exercise fell by the wayside. Several attempts followed to lose weight but it always came back or she just gave up and returned to her old habits.


This time, Lori did everything possible to take away all of her excuses. “Sure, I had tried changing my diet in the past, but this time I looked back at what changed when I first started to gain weight... I had stopped moving. All along, I was making excuses- I had too much work to do; I need to meet friends for drinks; anything to convince myself I could stop…. I realized that I needed to change. There was no reason that I didn’t deserve to have the body and life that I wanted because it was 100% in my control”.


Game plan

After our initial meeting we had a game plan. Lori's goal: “I want to survive”. Lori knew it was going to be hard but thought: “She couldn’t let me die on the gym floor, could she? (I still remember driving home that night, hitting traffic, and being worried about whether I could still move my legs to hit the brakes!) By 7:00 pm the following night, when my friends started calling me T-rex because my arms were so sore I couldn’t straighten them, I was seriously wondering what I had just signed up for… but then I just kept reminding myself that this isn’t supposed to be easy.”


My goal for her: Lori needs to find her inner athlete again.


We set up appointments once per week with me and she committed to walking 4 days per week for 30 minutes on her own. Lori thought, “Ok, I can do that. It’s only a walk around the block. I would walk… and it was uncomfortable. My calves hurt, my thighs would rub. But I just kept moving my feet and not thinking. I just kept moving.”


Her workouts included everything from athletic workouts to Pilates. However, nagging bursitis made things challenging at first; but once she started losing weight the pain went away. Athletic workouts are an easy task for Lori, as she has the skills all she needed was endurance. During our time together we focused on Interval Training to keep workouts fresh, challenging and blast the fat. During recovery weeks we added Pilates into the mix, as initially Lori also suffered from back pain.


Lori started to keep a food log as well, which I could access, make recommendations and help her improve her eating habits. One habit at a time. The first week she lost 7 lb by just changing to more fruits and vegetables. In addition, we took monthly pictures and measurements to keep track of her progress, as well as a monthly weigh in.


Food, an athletes friend

Looking at Lori's food log, it became clear that she did not know how to fuel her body for performance and life but ate whenever she was hungry or had time or whatever was around to eat. This needed to change!


Lori had told me: ”I didn’t want this to be something I could quit. I don't want to go on a diet.

The changes were small… all about habits. Eat more often. No processed foods. It was about planning what I was going to eat so that I didn’t fall back into those old habits.”


This was a challenge at first, as I now wanted her to bring her lunch and snacks to work instead of going to the deli and eat whatever they had that day. Her anytime meal included: A variety of vegetables, some fruit, protein and healthy fats, for instance Avocados and Nuts, as well as at least 8 glasses of water during the day. Her post workout meals where higher in protein and we added starches to her mostly vegetable food choices.


The changes were small… all about habits. Eat more often. No processed foods. It was about planning what she was going to eat so that she didn’t fall back into those old habits. Lori learned what foods worked best for her.


Lori's small changes looked like this: “In the grocery store I noticed that I shopped on the perimeter- vegetables, dairy, and meats. The only time I headed to the middle was for my peanut butter. It made life much simpler."

"I also created a routine with my meals," she points out. Breakfast is still the same basic formula- protein, fruit, carb, and a fat. In my world this was cottage cheese or an egg, a banana or apple, a low fat multigrain English muffin with a little peanut butter. Lunch was always safe if I stuck to salads and dinners were a protein, a good fat, and two vegetables. I soon realized that I didn’t miss the “bad” foods. I actually started to feel so much better changing the quality of the food I was eating”.


Baby Steps

One foot in front of the other and for one year I created workouts, meal plans, running strategies, recovery strategies for Lori. I will never forget when Lori sent me a picture of her scale which showed 199lb. The first time since college that she had seen this number. Recovery weeks focused on easier workouts and letting the body repair itself. Pilates made a terrific complement to her new found passion, running, as it helped her with her running posture, alignment and core strength so important in staying injury free.


Lori reflects: “And now, a little more than a year later at 33 years and 82 pounds lighter, I look back and think that this has been a fantastic year. I never imagined that accomplishing something I thought was so large, could be done by so many little changes. Together, they all added up to one great accomplishment.”


Sure, there were times when it was hard and I started to believe that I couldn’t do something. But I was able to choose to push those thoughts aside because I knew that Heike never doubted that I could do it. All I had to do was listen and with her support I have not only lost the weight, but I have also run a 5k (with tears in my eyes at the start line because I couldn’t believe that I was actually out there running), a 5 mile race, a 7.5 mile race, three 10 mile races, and even a half marathon.”



Lori's biggest reward has been sharing this experience with her friends and family. She is excited: “We have started an office running group (I am the girl that said I would only run if someone was chasing me with a gun!) I run weekly with an old college friend and we have spent so much time side by side (we have logged over 300 miles!), sometimes talking, sometime just silently encouraging each other to keep going.


My goal for the future is to continue to be present in my life. I remember that this is my choice and I am choosing to be the healthiest and happiest version I can be… and just keep moving!”






Lori is an amazing client and I could not be more proud of her accomplishments, she now inspires others to lead healthy and fit lives just as she does.


Recently we just happened to be in the same race....the Jingle Bells 8K and as Lori said: "Just keep moving".










In health,

Heike Yates