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In this podcast, I interview Laurie, who did three months of Legion’s VIP one-on-one coaching program to get strong while improving her body composition. 

In fact, Laurie went from lifting just the bar on her squat and deadlift (and less than the bar on the bench press) to lifting more than double that on each lift with ease. And she did that all while losing 6 pounds and dropping nearly two pant sizes.

Laurie had started to read Thinner Leaner Stronger, but was overwhelmed by nutrition and meal planning and didn’t really know what to do in the gym. She was following random workouts from influences and didn’t have a set program to follow, which led to a lot of gym intimidation. Ultimately, she decided to get a coach to handle her training programming and macros and help overcome her fear. 

In this interview, Laurie and I chat about her story, and the obstacles she navigated along the way, including how she started meal planning and prepping and learned to eat without weighing everything, how she increased her protein intake, how she overcame gym intimidation, how much her body changed despite only losing 6 pounds, why it’s ok to work on your body and aim for self-improvement, what her long term plans are, and more.

So if you’re looking for a jolt of inspiration and like motivational stories, definitely listen to this episode.


0:00 – Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching:

5:37 – Where were you at before you found my training program?

10:48 – What did your numbers look like before and after my program?

16:32 – When you started training, were you concerned about getting bulky?

17:20 – How did you get used to the amount of protein? 

21:05 – How do you make your shakes tasty? 

22:29 – Were you practicing portion control while training or were you weighing and measuring your food?

25:38 – Are you still cutting?  

29:59 – How did you feel about gym intimidation when you first started and how do you feel about it now?

34:41 – Once you got into the routine, was it different from what you expected? 

37:42 – What are your long term goals and short term goals? 

39:02 – What are your thoughts on people who think you have an unhealthy relationship with working out? 

46:32 – After our coaching program, did you feel confident in moving forward on your own? 

Mentioned on the show: 

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching

Thinner Leaner Stronger

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today to hear an interview I did with Lori who did three months of my v i p one-on-one coaching program, which you can learn more [email protected] slash vip, b y p. And in those three months she gained a lot of strength.

She improved her body composition dramatically. She also learned how to do this fitness thing, which is a big selling point of my coaching service, is we really teach you what to do. We want you to be independent. We don’t want you to have to be a client forever. Now, some people do stick with us for a long time because.

They like the accountability. They like being able to go to their coach and get meal plan updates and training plan updates and so forth. But there are many clients who after just three months feel confident to carry on. By themselves for sometimes it’s six months and then they come back and maybe they want to go from maintaining to lean bulking, or sometimes they just carry on on their own indefinitely.

And in the case of Lori, she went from lifting just the bar on her squat and deadlift. That’s where she started. And less than the bar. On her bench press to lifting more than double that on each of those with ease. And she did that while losing six pounds and gaining. Muscle because she only, only quote unquote lost six pounds, but she has gone down nearly two pant sizes.

And that of course, is the body recomposition effect where you are losing fat, but you are replacing some of that weight with muscle. And so what you see on the scale doesn’t. Quite make sense, at least for for many people who experienced that for the first time. They’re surprised to see quote unquote, only six pounds of weight loss, but such a dramatic change in the mirror.

And so in this interview, Lori and I talk about her story. And where she was at before finding me and my work, how she found me and my work. She talks about some of the obstacles she had to navigate along the way over the course of the three months of coaching, including meal planning, meal prepping, learning to eat right without having to weigh everything.

How to increase her protein intake, which is something that many women struggle with because many women who have come to me over the years, they might be eating 30 or 50 grams of protein per day, and now they’re supposed to eat a hundred, 120, 140 grams of protein per day. That can be tough. Uh, Lori talks about overcoming Jim intimidation and more.

Before we get started, I’ve worked with tens of thousands of people over the years, and the biggest thing I see with the people I have helped the most is they’re often missing just one crucial piece of the puzzle. And if you are having trouble reaching your fitness goals as quickly as you’d like, I’m gonna guess it is the same thing with you.

You are probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing right, and that is what is giving you most of the grief. Maybe it’s your calories, maybe it’s your macros. Maybe it’s your exercise selection. Maybe it’s food choices. Maybe you are not progressively overloading your muscles and whatever it is.

Here’s what’s important. Once you identify. That one thing. Once you figure it out, that’s when everything finally clicks. That’s when you start making serious progress. It’s kind of like typing in your password to log into your computer. You can have all the letters, numbers, and symbols, right, except just one.

And what happens? You can’t log in, right? But as soon as you get that last remaining character, Right. Voila. You’re in business and I bet the same can be said about the body you really want. You are probably just one major shift, one important insight, one powerful new behavior away from Easy Street, and that’s why I offer v I P.

One-on-one coaching where my team and I can help you do exactly that. This is high level coaching where we look at everything you’re doing and we help you figure out that one thing that is missing for you. And it can be a couple of things too. That’s fine. There’s no extra charge for that, but once we figure it out, That’s when you start making real progress, that’s when you start looking better and feeling better.

So if you are ready to make more progress in the next three months, then maybe the last three years, yes, that has happened with many of our clients. Head over to buy, B u i and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call. It’s just a friendly chat where we get to learn about you and your goals and your lifestyle, and then determine whether our program is right for you, because sometimes we do speak with people who just aren’t a good fit.

But we almost always have other experts and other resources to refer those people to. So if you are still listening and you are even slightly interested, go schedule your free call [email protected] slash v i p. Hey Lori. All right. How’s it going? Good. How are you doing? Good, good. Thanks. Thank you for, uh, taking time to do this.

I appreciate it. Thank you for having me. Yeah, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve done one of these, um, success story interviews. So, uh, I’m looking forward to it. It’s always nice to, to hear and, and to see the people who I’ve done something to help it. It’s funny because so much of my work is just sitting in this room thinking of things and writing things on a, in, uh, in my, my, my, a lot of my interactions, even the people are just over email, so I don’t, I, I don’t.

Get too many opportunities to have like a personal just one-on-one discussion. So, uh, thanks for for taking the time. Yeah. Thank you. So what I like to do with these interviews is start with, why don’t we start with just a kind of a quick snapshot of kind of let’s say before and after. So before you found me and my work and where you were at.

And for some people that is very body composition related. For some people it’s more about health or, um, Uh, just maybe function or ability or some combination of those factors. Um, so whatever, whatever it is for you. And then where you’re at now, just for the quick contrast and then we will rewind and I, and I would like to hear what you were doing previously and what was working, what wasn’t working, what you were struggling with.


Laurie: Um, so right before I found you in your work, I, and the thing is, is like I had your book Thinner Lingerer, thinner lingerers, I can’t even say the word. Thinner, leaner, stronger in my Amazon cart. Yes. It’s, um, in my cart for over a year. It was kind of like, you know, one of those things I was like, I’m gonna buy it, I’m gonna buy it, buy it.

But I just. Didn’t. And um, I got to a point where I was trying to do a lot of things on my own and, um, I got to kind of a breaking point. I have a lot of things kind of going on in my life and, um, I decided to do the one-on-one coaching. I’d never used a fitness coach of any kind. I’d used like a personal trainer, like in the, like in a gym.

Like at the time it was like bally. So that’s how old this is. Like, it’s a while ago, but I didn’t have a really great experience, so I just. Didn’t think it was for me, but once I did start going down the track of, okay, let me go into the coaching, I found myself, um, I guess starting to see a lot of things and patterns that weren’t working before.

And then I’ll also being able to now look at, okay, this is what I wanna be doing. So the before part, I mean, I did. Every diet under the sun. Um, to have a little bit of background, I, uh, I used to be very large. I used to be over 300 pounds and, um, I had had weight loss surgery, uh, ruxin y gastric bypass in 2006, so it’s.

I’ve had many years of having lost the weight, but never really doing anything with it. So it was just like, okay, kind of, I, I think you’ve called it what, skinny fat, where you just like, you kind of lean out, but you’re just like, look. And um, I was over looking like blah. And the messaging that I always heard was cardio, some string training, but it was always a really lightweights, like a five or a seven pound dumbbell, like that kind of stuff.

And, um, so kind of transitioning into, you know, doing my own thing, not really being very active except for walking, cardio, some stuff like that. Um, I decided the coaching because I was super uncomfortable with going into the gym and not really knowing what to do. I’d watched videos, um, I had tried doing stuff that I had seen like influencers doing, and it just like, and none of it made sense to me.

Like there was no program. And that’s the part that I really appreciated was that it was laid out very clean and it was something I could walk in there and feel confident, like, okay, know what I’m going to be doing, what I’m aiming for. And that part I just absolutely loved. So, um, going from like, Jumbling everything up from like all these different sources to then going and having something that is laid out helped support me a lot.

And I did a three month program with one of your coaches, and that allowed me to start like kind of integrating myself. So getting out of the intimidation part. Cause even signing back up to go to the gym was like a whole thing. It was like anxiety produced, like, oh my God, I don’t know. I, I don’t know if I really wanna do this.

And yet, um, I got a lot of encouragement and just kinda this push of like, you know what? Just go for it. Just try it. What’s gonna happen if, you know, if you do do it and if you don’t do it, like just go and try. And so that part helped support me a lot. Um, so getting past the gym intimidation, then going into the things like actually doing a deadlift.

I’d never done one before and like making sure I was doing it appropriately. And yeah. So anyways, I feel like I’m b blabbering on, but that’s, no, it’s good. An idea of like where I was a little bit before and then kind of what I started doing during the program was, Actually following what was being given.

And it was again, very like clean, laid out. Um, the app that you guys have available, I absolutely love. I love, love, love that. Um, so that helped me kinda stay on track, see where I had come from, like starting like what was like the weights that I was actually starting with and like where I’m at right now and seeing the difference.

It’s like really cool. It’s like see, okay, wow. I can actually get very strong and, you know, kind of take on the world. 

Mike: What does that difference look like? Uh, in, in actual numbers, because we’re talking about three months, a lot of people are surprised. The reason gonna ask that is a lot of people are surprised to see just how much progress they can make in three months when they’re doing the most important things, mostly right.

Most of the time I like to say it that way because we don’t have to be perfect, and we’re all gonna e either slip up here and there, or just life is gonna get in the way. Mm-hmm. But you just have to be good enough and you have to be good enough in the right places. That’s the key. 

Laurie: Yeah. So I started like something like, okay, the squat, I did a 40 pound um, bar.

And doing that alone was extremely, it was hard and it hurt, like, and my legs were just so sore cause I hadn’t trained them like that before. Now I’m upwards of 110 doing about eight to 10 reps, and I feel pretty good with that. Like, I feel that’s strong, you know, it’s, it feels good and I, I wanna keep going.

Bigger cuz it’s just like, whoa, like this is incredible. To go from like there to there. And then same thing with the deadlift. Never had done one, so I was just doing the bar and now that’s, uh, 1 25 and that also feels good. It doesn’t hurt. It just, it’s very manageable. And like the, um, the muscle soreness that I was experiencing at the beginning, I don’t feel that anymore.

Like, I can still do the stuff that I need to do in the, the rep range that’s recommended. And I don’t come out like, you know, Shaking, like my legs are like freaking out or you know, like it’s not to like failure, not like to where like I’m like, you know, dead. So I appreciate that. So there is some really big leaps in terms of like what I’m lifting or how I’m lifting it.

And um, and then weight wise, which was, this is something that I always had in mind. Like the number on the scale makes a big difference as to like what I’m supposed to look like. And I really didn’t change that much. I dropped I think six pounds, but composition wise, I mean, my waist got thinner, my hips got thinner, and even my thighs, like everything just started kind of like, you know, kind of cutting a little bit.

But, um, so I guess that density part of like, you know, building the muscle and losing the fat, and yet I was expecting like, okay, I’m gonna lose, like maybe like. Big chunks of weight during this time period because of like the meal plan and everything. And you know what? I was, um, in a different sized pant, I’m almost into a second size down.

So that goes to show you like, it doesn’t have to be the number on the scale. It’s more of like, how is everything fitting? And that part has made, um, a big difference for me in terms of how I see. Fitness and now my goals, my goals are very different. Like originally in my mind I was like, okay, I wanna be a certain weight and I wanna, you know, fitness or a certain size pant.

And no, like I, it’s completely changed. I don’t have the same goals at all anymore. For me, it’s more about the, uh, progressive overload, getting actually kind of bigger, um, because I have, uh, the loose skin from being so big from before. I find that like now that my arms and like certain areas are filling out, it looks better versus like how it used to like kind of just feel drabby, like look, so that’s, that’s been cool.

Mike: Yeah, those are, those are two, um, two points that, that I’ve heard many women just, uh, share is this point of weight and whether they’re going through coaching or some other, maybe they’re just doing thinly or stronger or they’ve listened to podcasts and they’re just, they’re just gonna be applying.

Something that I’ve spoken about or maybe written about is they’ll go into it being very weight. Centric, even though I talk about it in the book and I explain to women that you’re gonna, you’re gonna experience this when you, when you start your transformation, you’re probably gonna have an ideal weight in mind.

Maybe it’s when you were in college, when you were younger, there was a time you remembered where you really liked how you look, and that’s associated with a certain body weight. But, uh, for this, because of this point of body composition, I’ll bet you a dollar that. When you have the body you want now, you’re gonna weigh more than you think going into it.

And that’s only because, as you said, uh, muscle is, is dead. It’s a pound of muscle. It just doesn’t take up nearly as much space as a pound of fat. So it’s pretty easy to add 10 to 15 pounds of muscle to the right places on your body and, and lose some fat. And then now just look fitter, look even thinner, look fitter, clothes fit better, uh, but maybe your weight.

And in some cases, women will, they’ll reach out to me and they’ll show me before and after pictures and their weight has changed by, Five pounds, sometimes zero pounds. Mm-hmm. But it looks almost like a different person. Um, and in, because they didn’t go from very overweight, they went from like what you’re saying, where they just had normal-ish body fat levels, maybe a little bit high, but, but very little muscle, so.

Mm-hmm. Uh, That’s cool. And then this, then this, um, this loose skin point is also something that, that is a very effective way to deal with loose skin is to improve your body composition. Much more so than trying supplements and diet hacks. And, um, I mean, ultimately some people who have a lot, they, they, uh, want, they get, they, they consider getting surgery at some point.

But, um, if, if it’s not extreme, then just improving body composition makes a big difference. 

Laurie: Yeah, and I, and unfortunate in that sense where the, I don’t need to go to the surgery route, but what I do need is to, you know, kind of make certain areas, you know, appear a certain type of way. And that way the skin doesn’t look the way that, you know, just Dr.

I don’t also explain that like, yeah. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. It, it tightens, everything kind of tightens up when you, when you improve your body composition. When, when you were starting the, the training, the, the coaching, um, were you concerned about getting bulky or were you just not concerned about it? 

Laurie: No, because honestly, like there’s something that I find, um, attractive on women, especially if they are kind of top heavy and like bottom heavy.

So the bulkiness actually, I’m like, I wanna get a little bulky, like, I’m cool with that. I don’t wanna be like, you know, super thin to where it’s just like, kind of like a, like a string bean. No, I wanna see that definition. I wanna be able to say like, wow, like I can see, um, you know, my, my shoulders sticking out.

Or even just like a small bump here. Like that to me is, Good. So I wasn’t concerned about bulking up, but I will say the amount of protein, I was like, whoa, that it seemed like a lot. And I remember reading it in the book, but like actually putting it into practice, it’s really not as hard as it like as I was making.

Yeah. How did 

Mike: you get used to that? That’s also something that many women will reach out to me and ask for some tips because they go from eating, in some cases 30, 40, maybe 50 grams of protein per day, and now I’m asking them to eat a hundred, 120 grams, or even maybe a little bit more. Yeah, 

Laurie: it’s, um, initially it was just kind of figuring out the stuff that is protein based, because I, I knew Greek yogurt, but like, I never really like put it into practice, something like that.

And I, um, you know, mixing things into it, I, I’m not that exciting with food. Like, I can eat fairly sim, like I can eat chicken almost every day. Not really get tired of it, but I also know how to season things quite well. And so it’s like, as long as it tastes good, I don’t, it’s not a big deal. So I could, I mean, I do, I eat chicken.

Every day, if not multiple times a day, and totally okay with it. Um, but the amount I always thought I was eating too much. And then to have it almost be permissible, like, oh, cool, like you can actually have a pretty solid size piece of meat or chicken or even, you know, when it comes to yogurt or, um, just any, any like pro uh, uh, protein powders, those kinds of things.

I just didn’t, I thought I was overdoing it and. I found out I wasn’t, if anything I needed more. And so that, you know, was pretty cool. And I will say that, um, protein powder, it’s, it’s been nice to have that and like it be good. And it, in my mind I’m like, oh, it’s kinda like having like a frappuccino if I mix it with ice and all this stuff and it’s more of a treat versus like just this gritty like, Thing that you might drink or have and just it’s not something to look forward to.

I actually look forward to it cause I make it into something that I enjoy and it fits the macros that I have. So yeah, so protein, it was actually getting to a place where I could actually see the amount on a plate, be able to determine, okay, this is an appropriate amount. I did measure things out until a point now where like, I, I kind of guesstimate, you know, for the most part, like, you know, size of your palm, those kinds of things.

But it’s not, it’s not as overwhelming as it might seem when I first look at the numbers. It’s just substituting different things to be able to accommodate having more protein, and there’s a lot of really good choices. I just didn’t, I wasn’t really aware of like what they really were. I always assumed it was kind of like that chicken broccoli rice that’s, That’s like, that’s your kind of set meal and no, like having, being able to have steak on my meal plan or like shrimp and just different varieties of things.

It made it easy, like really 

Mike: easy actually. I mean, that’s, that’s, uh, dieting in general, and I just mean that as a, not, not in the sense of losing weight, but just as a way of eating diet. A diet is a big part of it is making it work for you. Making sure that you should enjoy every meal, and if there’s ever a point where you’re not enjoying a meal, where you’re kind of just forcing yourself to eat something, you might as well make a change.

You might as well. Put in something that you’re going to enjoy because it just makes compliance easier, and it also, it keeps you in the right mindset, which is lifestyle, not mm-hmm. A short term thing. Not a a a 30 day, 60 90 day challenge, but something that, like a 30 year plan, you know? Mm-hmm. 

Laurie: Yeah. And I will say to the, in the evenings, because that’s part of where I would over-indulge or binge, whether it was like on food or drinks or whatnot.

Um, having a protein shake before bed was, it, it just, it made it easy to not worry about binging, but then it’s also something sweet. It just tastes good. It’s, it was something else to like kind of counteract the other things that I would typically be doing and still support. What I’m up to, like what my, my meal plan says.

Mike: So how do you like to, to do your shakes? It sounds like it’s not just powder and water. It sounds like you like to add other stuff to make it. Tasting 

Laurie: almond milk, usually almond milk, um, sometimes soy milk. Um, I get fairlife skim milk at times, like I mix it up. So the, the liquid base is usually some type of like milk, milk or plant milk.

And then, um, the protein powder. And then I’ll usually add like a little bit of like mini chocolate chips. Into the blender with like ice or, um, I buy this sugar free, uh, whipped cream that I’ll put on top and then put some sprinkles and it just, it like just is a little bit better than just like, you know, something you just shook up and drink.

It’s, I think the ice, that part is what really kind of makes it more of a treat or like, uh, just like 

Mike: a dessert makes it more filling too, cuz it fills your stomach up more. That 

Laurie: makes sense. It makes total sense. So I. That’s, that’s pretty much it. It’s not like I’m doing all kinds of things where I’m adding fruits or different things.

No, it’s usually like some type of milk and then some type of something sweet or crunchy to put in there to give it some type of texture. So, 

Mike: If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.

You, you mentioned that you are not, uh, you’re just eyeballing uh, you’re, you’re eating, you’re, it, it sounds like more portion control. Mm-hmm. And were you doing that throughout the, uh, coaching period or did you start with weighing or tracking and then move to portion control? 

Laurie: So I was weighing first cuz I wanted to make sure, cuz I honestly, I’d never weighed things raw.

Um, I always assume like, oh, I just like measure out like three ounces of cooked chicken and like call it a day. And I came to realize that, you know, the raw state. Versus the cook state, like especially with chicken, you use, you lose a lot of of weight. And so I was either overeating at times, undereating at times, just it wasn’t do, I wasn’t doing it very well.

So what I did was I measured everything out. Um, cause I would do like a meal prep, measure it out beforehand, understand what it is afterwards, measure it, see what the difference was. And then from there, over time, because it was the same things, like I said, I, I, I ate like the same stuff. Pretty frequently, I just change up the spices or the sauce.

So because I was measuring the raw state and the cook state, and understanding the difference between them, now I feel like confident enough to be able to measure eyeball. Um, there’s certain spoons that I used like knowing like if I, this was one scoop, it was about half a cup of something. So I, it just, that’s where I go now.

I use my. Certain utensils, but weighing it, not so much. Unless it’s something that’s highly caloric, then I, you know, just wanna moderate that. But for the most part, it’s, it’s become easier because I have all those tools in place from before. And having practiced it, it now is where it’s pretty easy. It’s not something that I have to overthink or over plan, or do you know, a whole, whole bunch of stuff.

It’s now just 

Mike: easy. Lot of, lot of great tips in this interview is for people who are newer to a lot of this. This is one of them is, is it’s a great exercise to spend a period. Weighing or tracking so you can learn just as you’ve learned what proper portions look like. And then you also get a sense for how much food is, let’s say you’re, let’s say you’re cutting, right?

So you get a sense for, let’s say for you that’s 1500 calories a day or whatever. You get a sense intuitively, even if you don’t even necessarily. Consciously think about it, you’ll get a sense for what that looks like in terms of mm-hmm. Your day-to-day eating, or if your maintenance calories are 1900 or 18 or a hundred or whatever.

You’ll also get a sense for that. And it, uh, consistently the people who do best with intuitive eating, you could call it that, or portion controller, just not. Not weighing or tracking anything. Maybe they have a plan of sorts, but they have always done a lot of weighing and tracking at some point or a fair amount of it.

And they tend to eat a lot of the same foods, the foods they are familiar with. And like you mentioned, when they start incorporating foods, they’re not familiar with. They might weigh or track just those to get a sense of how they fit in. Mm-hmm. And once, once you get into the groove, you can do that more or less indefinitely.

I don’t know if you’ve, if you’ve gotten to this point yet, but if there’s a point when are, are you still, uh, cutting right now? Or what are you doing with your 

Laurie: calories? So I am, I’m just now going to be starting cutting again. Okay. Um, I went to maintenance for a little bit and now I’m going back to cutting.

So I am, I’m restarting. 

Mike: And so what, what, um, what, what I, what I have done the last time I cut is like, you, I tend to eat the same foods every day. I change things here and there, but I like, I still like eating all the stuff I eat. I just, uh, food fatigue doesn’t seem to, doesn’t seem to strike me. Um, it takes a lot of eating the same thing before I finally wanna make a change.

And, and so then I’ll take something and either remove it. So let’s say, um, you know, there was a time when I was eating an English muffin every day with, uh, peanut butter and jelly on it. And so the cut was stop eating the English muffin cuz it was like five or 600 calories. That was it. It was, yeah. I stopped eating the English muffin and I added a little bit of cardio, and that was essentially, uh, that was most of the cut.

I had to make little changes toward the end. But, um, and then more recently it is, it, it was, uh, I, I like to eat oatmeal at night now, and so that’s usually a cup dry and then I cook it and, um, put some nuts in it and some fruit, like a banana. Mm-hmm. So st stop eating the oatmeal. That’s it. That that’s enough of a calorie deficit and sure.

If we were trying to compete, if we were trying to get on stage, super shredded. That works until it doesn’t work. There is a point when you really do have to go back to tracking everything because you don’t have the leeway of even a few hundred calories in the day-to-day, especially when you’re on a timeline like, I have to look like this by this date.

If I miss it by three weeks, I lose, you know what I mean? That’s not the case for us. Yeah. If, if for mo, in most cases, maybe there is sometimes a specific, a specific event, but usually it’s like, eh, you know, once it’s warmer around this time, I would like to look this way. And then if I, if I get there, Uh, two weeks early, two weeks late, whatever.

It doesn’t really matter. So when you cut, uh, it sounds like you’ll probably take a similar approach, trim something down, or just remove something that creates enough of a calorie deficit and just carry on. 

Laurie: Yeah. Yeah. And I like what you said was like taking something that you would typically eat and just like removing it makes a lot of sense.

Cause it wasn’t something I was considering. I was gonna kind of revamp a few things, but. I’ll do that approach and just kind of remove like one or two snacks that I’ve been having and see how that 

Mike: goes. Yeah. Or you can replace them with something a little bit lighter, so to speak. Mm-hmm. If, if you’re just, um, let’s say, Uh, if you, if you are used to eating at certain times in the day, uh, let’s say you’re used to having a snack at 3:00 PM if you just take it out, you might find that you get a bit hungry because your body is just used to being fed on the schedule that it’s on.

Um, some people don’t mind it, and your body will adjust if, if you give it, you know, a week or two weeks. Um, but some people they just prefer to. Take what was a 300 calorie snack and make it a hundred calorie snack, and then trim another couple hundred calories off of something else. Like instead of the, uh, the, the cup of oatmeal like, uh, dry and then cooked, it’s a half of a cup.

Mm-hmm. And so those two things combined create the calorie deficit. But you can be, you can be flexible. Uh, I, I’ve just found that. Taking that approach is, it makes it, it makes it easier than, like you were saying, okay, I need to, I need to kind of overhaul or, or revamp my, my meal plan. You can do it if you really want to, but it sounds like you’re in a, you’ve found a rhythm that works for you and so yes.

The more you can work wor with that, the better it, it will go. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Uh, I, I wanted to hear a little bit more about gym intimidation. This is, this is something that, um, many women experience, many guys as well. Usually it, it’s guys who are very new to this. Um, the guys who, um, started lifting weights at 15.

And now are like in pretty good shape and just wanna get super jacked. Not usually an issue, but, but for people who are new to this or people who have a lot of weight to lose. And so you, you briefly talked about how that, how that went for you, but, um, I was curious to hear maybe some more details in terms of how you felt in the beginning and then how you got through it and how you feel now.

Laurie: Yeah. Um, so initially just going into the gym was a big piece. Like that was like just getting there and walking in. I live in South Florida and so a lot of, um, the gym that I go to, there’s a lot of very attractive and very fit people. And so to walk in there as somebody who wasn’t and then didn’t know what I was doing, I just.

I had that, that complex, like people are looking at me or they’re gonna be judging me or, um, you know, looking to see that, like, I’m like, I couldn’t even bench press the bar. I had to lo I had to go lower. I found, um, there’s 

Mike: normal, that’s common by the way. That’s normal. Okay. Many, many, many women start with dumbbells.

Actually talk about that in the book that, you know, if you can’t, if you can’t do the bar yet, it’s normal. Just start with dumbbells. You’ll get there. 

Laurie: Yeah, and it, but to take up like a bench press and not use the bar, I felt like I was taking up space and that was also part of it. I’m like, I don’t want to go to the squat rack if I am only doing 40 pound, like.

I, I, what, what am I doing there? And so that, getting through that part, um, was one, getting the permission to, Hey, I get to take up space. Like whether or not I’m using the whole thing, how it needs to be or how it’s intended, I’m here. In this moment, anybody else can, you know, use a different machine or wait or whatnot?

Yeah. Yeah. 

Mike: You, you pay your membership dues like everybody else, and you’re there to train whether you’re using, uh, the bar or the bar and all of the plates. It, it doesn’t matter. Yeah. 

Laurie: So initially the intimidation just came around like. Whether people were looking at me judging my form, um, you know, the amount that I was doing cuz I felt like I was doing so little compared to the other people around me.

Cuz I would look and be, you know, just kind of eyeballing like, how is somebody using this machine? Or how is somebody using their dumbbells or their barbell? Like, what are the other things that I don’t know about? And just out of curiosity, And, um, seeing some very strong women, it was like, whoa, like that could be me.

So it was intimidating. And yet also like goals. Like, it was a motivation that, okay, if she can do it, why not me? Like why can’t I also be there? And, um, getting past all of that, a lot of it had to do with just keeping my headphones in, listening to music that I enjoyed, kind of like being in my own zone, um, and then just going forward and doing it.

Even if going into there, my throat was closing up and I’m like, oh God. Like I don’t, this is, you know, I don’t, I don’t know if I belong here. And then just going anyways and continuing to do it, the repetitiveness and the consistency, it just died off. Now I walk in and I, I don’t, I, I could care less if anyone’s looking at me or if they’re even looking at my form or whatever.

If they are, cool. I hope you enjoyed the show. I don’t, I don’t know, like what else to think about it, but it’s so lax in terms of how I approach it now. Versus how I was approaching it at the beginning. And it’s, the other thing is, um, not knowing how to use the equipment appropriately and it just looking dumb.

Like, you know, like, oh, this, like nobe who doesn’t know how to use whatever the thing is. And, um, I found that the videos that were a part of the coaching program helped a lot with certain things that even if they weren’t on my plan, but I was curious about what it was, I could like kind of look through the search, find a video and just like see what it is, what is it supposed to be targeting, um, because I’m just curious like that I just wanna know, even if I’m not gonna use it, it’s like, well, what are they doing?

Why are they doing it? And um, that helped a lot too in terms of like me feeling more comfortable because I started to understand like, Oh, like a person would be using this machine for these certain areas or to target these things. Um, so, and 

Mike: it’s nice to know when you’re doing it right, where you’re like, yes, people can look all they want, but I’m doing it right.

And maybe they don’t do it right. Yeah. But I’m doing it right. Yeah. 

Laurie: So, um, so the intimidation, I mean, I get it. Um, for me it’s, it’s just I’m a little bit more of like an introvert, a little bit more shy. So I just don’t, I don’t want to show up in a place and like, you know, Gyms are really, really open. You have to find a corner in order to hide and there’s not a lot of corners where there’s the dumbbells and the squat rack and the chest press machine.

It’s, it’s in the middle. So like I had to like be out in the open. And that part, you know, getting through that was also, Um, supportive for me in terms of my confidence and I’m just feeling like, okay, again, going back to the, I get to take up space in this place and like not feel like, you know, oh, I’m taking something from somebody else, but just, you know, there to work out and do the same thing everyone else is doing.

Mike: I. And was the experience, uh, once you got into, uh, the routine, was it, was it different than the expectation? And the reason I ask that is many women in particular have, have shared, have shared a similar experience, similar story, and, and then they learned that. Most of the people in the gym are way more interested in themselves than anyone else.

And, and then they, there usually are, are, um, instances where the, where somebody will actually compliment them. They’ll see that they’re working hard or doing something right that many people do wrong. And, and the point is that, that many people learn that. A lot of people in the gym are, uh, friendlier than, than you might have thought going into it.

Uh, or pay absolutely no attention to other people whatsoever. It’s usually one or one or the other. 

Laurie: Yeah. I’ve experienced both where you know, There’s people that they are literally in their zone, like they are, they, they’re looking at themselves in the mirror. They’re looking like they’re on their phone and doing their own thing while they’re waiting.

You know, in between stuff. They’re not looking around at other people and staring and being creepy or weird or not. None of that, like it’s people are actually doing their own thing. The other thing that I found, like you said, there’s actually some really nice people. I see the same people day in and day out.

Cause I go at the exact same time. So there’s usually like a wave or kind of like just. Something really quick, interactive. Not a lot of talking, but just kind of an understanding like, hey, like I saw you yesterday, I saw you again. Like, and it’s just a quick thing. Um, I’ve had women be very kind, especially when it comes to like, in the locker room and just, you know, there’s comradery there and I like that a lot.

Um, So, you know, not that I’m like making friends or anything, but it’s, there’s just the ability to appreciate another person and say like, Hey, like I see you, you see me and you just wave or you know, do something that’s, that’s kind. And it’s not the intimidating thing that I was expecting. I mean, there are people who can like throw the weight really, really hard and it kind of makes me jump cause I’m not expecting it.

But that’s not, It’s not rude. Like it’s not like it before. I was like, are they like making all these noises for a reason? Like what’s happening and why are you breathing so heavy? And like making like some really crazy noises come from people, and yet I’m like, you know what? Like do your thing. Like, it’s fine because I just wasn’t 

Mike: used to that.

So you can’t take it personally that, that that’s, that’s just part of the ritual to 

Laurie: them. Yeah. Yeah. And maybe I feel like I should be doing it too, so maybe I’ll come up with my own sound, but, um, but yeah, no, it’s, it’s actually, it’s a good environment. It’s not the intimidating place that I thought it was, where superfit people are just checking out the people that are the nudes that don’t know what they’re doing and like being critical if anythings snickering.

Mike: And yes, it’s not how 

Laurie: it goes. Nothing. Nothing. No, this is not high school. It’s, you can tell there’s mature people hanging out, like just doing their thing and yeah. So it’s not as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. 

Mike: Now you, you mentioned you want to do another round of cutting. Mm-hmm. And why, why is that?

What are you going for, um, in the short term and then in the long term? Cause you mentioned also you want to see, um, you, you wanna get stronger and you want to add some more muscle to certain places. Mm-hmm. 

Laurie: So I’ve had this goal when I turned 30, I’m 36. When I turned 30 I was like by 40. I think maybe I’ll try to do a competition.

Dunno why. Just thought it was a cool idea. Now I, I mean, that’s not where I’m going for, but the idea that I could actually have a figure of some kind that I could appreciate and like, um, is real now. Like before it was like an idea, but now it’s in practice. And so what I wanna do is continue to lean out a little bit and then, you know, like you said, put muscle into certain areas.

That is gonna look good. But I do want to get to a point where it is kind of a lean bulk. Cut, lean, bolt cut until I get to that place of like a real maintenance. Yeah. So that’s, for me now, it’s more like, just long term, but um, yeah, it’s just part of like what I’m up to right now. It’s been a while. Um, I’ve been about a month now in maintenance and I’m ready to go back and do a cut and see what, what can show up.

Mike: What are your thoughts, and this is just your own personal take on this. It doesn’t, doesn’t have to apply to other people. They all have their own opinions, but what are your thoughts on, or what would be your, your reply to, to people who, when they hear that, they think, why, why, why don’t you just be happy with where you’re at?

Why, why do you want to, uh, oh, you look great, or, or, you look so much better than, than most people. And some people would see it as, Um, maybe, maybe even an unhealthy, uh, way of, of viewing yourself and that that self-acceptance and self-love is much more important than, than self-improvement in the way that you are looking at it.


Laurie: it’s very, I, I’m, I’m glad you actually asked me this because. My, my previous position and job, I used to work at a disorder treatment center, and that was the message, which was health at any size. Like, don’t worry too much about your, looks like it’s, you know, and you know, for a long time I took on that message as well, but why not be able to.

Also clean up your body and your health and do something because you enjoy it and you like it. Like why not? It shouldn’t be something where someone is put down or kind of looked as like, oh, but like this might become an unhealthy obsession. Or like, why are you being vain? Or like, what’s, what’s your intention?

What’s your goal behind that? Yeah. 

Mike: Like what hole are you trying to fill? You know? 

Laurie: Yeah. And no, there’s no hole. I. I was the majority of my life, or at least my younger years, I was very, very big. I didn’t get to enjoy having a thin body or looking a certain type of way. And when I got to that place of like, okay, cool, I’m gonna accept myself where I’m at, um, you know, it’s, it’s just, I’m not, I’m not going to just be okay.

With kind of like in my mind, mediocre. I feel like I can really challenge and push myself, and that’s a lot of what I’ve learned through this coaching part was it’s not so much about what I’m going to look like aesthetically, but how much am I going to be able to do? I really do take the strength part very seriously, like I like the ability that I can.

I have a two-year-old, he’s 30 pounds. I used to struggle holding him. I don’t anymore with one arm. He’s just boom, like he’s up here and like, no problem. And so there’s a lot of functionality that I’m getting out of it, but I also want to be able to appreciate like what I’ve done too. So I don’t know. I think that it’s okay for a person to.

You know, yes, love yourself where you’re at, but if you wanna challenge yourself, and it has to do with looks, that doesn’t mean that you don’t love yourself. And it doesn’t mean that, you know, you also get to stay in a certain place in order to kind of meet the norm of like not going in too much or doing too much.

Um, I think that me choosing to kind of go back and forth where it’s like, I’m gonna cut and then if, you know, when I get to that place of actually milking, I’m not, I’m nowhere close yet. Cause I feel like there’s a lot more that I could do. Um, I’m excited about it. I’m not scared at all. If anything, I’m like, cool.

That means that like I’m gonna be putting on more muscle and there’s gonna be more definition, the ability to look a certain type of way and feel good in, you know, certain types of clothes or feel like it looks appropriate on me. Um, that’s exciting. So to each his own. But I, I don’t think that it’s a bad thing if you wanna work on yourself, especially if it’s, you know, for looks or if it’s not for looks, if it’s for health.

But I, I’m. I am a proponent of like, go for it. Whatever it is that feels good to you and how you want to do 

Mike: it. And at least 50% of the reason that every single person you see in the gym every day or every day that you’re there, at least 50% of the reason they’re there is because they wanna look a certain way.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good. And looking good means different things to different people. You, uh, had mentioned to many women when they get into weightlifting, uh, or, or resistance training, they’re concerned about. Bulky. That’s, that’s a thing for many women that was not a thing for you.

Mm-hmm. And so your look of how you want to look to other women, they might think, oh, that’s a little bit bulky for me. And so the point is, you know, how you want to look And, uh, there that’s not, that’s not, it’s not narcissistic to want to look good. And it’s okay to have your own idea of what looking good is, even if it is how most other people.

Want to look like. Mm-hmm. My idea for, for men of what looks good is pretty normal. Like, I, I don’t, I don’t personally want to be a big jack bodybuilder, and I don’t also necessarily want to be a swimmer. I want to be something very in between those, uh, maybe more toward the swimmer than the big Jack bodybuilder.

But yeah, that’s pretty normal. There’s nothing really special about how I want to look, but that’s okay. Mm-hmm. Because it appeals to me and, and I think it’s just important for people to, to. To be able to distinguish between, um, what is healthy and what is unhealthy, like, yes, exercise, quote unquote addiction.

I say that because it’s not quite addiction in the same sense of drug addiction, but yes, that’s a thing. And body dysmorphia, that’s a thing, but that is not common in. Everyday gym goers. It, it’s more common, you’re gonna see it more in maybe, uh, competitors. People who, whether it’s body building or physique or people who, um, athletes as well.

In some cases there is a point, yes, we can take this stuff too far, but the vast majority of people like you, like me. We don’t check any of the boxes for, uh, exercise addiction or, or body dysmorphia. Mm-hmm. And so, you know, I think it’s, it’s, um, it’s kind of ironic in that if, if you were to comment on somebody who is very large, maybe they would say, oh, you’re fat shaming.

But if you were to criticize somebody, Like for what you’re doing where you’re saying, Hey, I like being strong. I like getting fitter. I like fitting in my clothes better. I like where my bo where my body composition is going. If somebody cri as sizes you as well. Is that not, is that fitness shaming then?

Uh, yeah. If we’re gonna apply the same standards, you know, that’s what it sounds like. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But, um, but anyways, that’s, um, that, that’s great. I really enjoyed hearing. Your story. Something that we try to do with, with coaching is we really want people to be able to continue on their own if they want to.

Like, we really want people to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and not just keep it, um, where there’s kind of a black box that mm-hmm. That they just, you don’t know. Where these recommendations come from. You don’t know how they work Exactly. Because that of course then would make you more reliant on us to continue.

And from the beginning, I always wanted to do the opposite. I wanted to give people as much education as they wanted, but, but really ideally, and this is part of the sales pitch, is after three months, I want you. To fire us. You don’t have to. If you want to keep going, yeah. But I want you to be able to fire us and we’ll be here later if you want to come back.

And many people do come back. They’ll go off for six months and then they’ll come back just to get kind of a tune up. Uh, how, how was that in particular for you? It, 

Laurie: the tools helped me be able to kind of continue on. I mean, I feel like there’s a lot of education that I got during the coaching. That allowed me to start being able to discern like, okay, what’s like, where, where am I going from here?

Like, like I said, I reassessed my goals. My goals are no longer the same as what I had originally started with, and now I can make more appropriate ones about like the amount that I want to be lifting or the composition, like the, the measurement that I want to see, like those kinds of things. Are are different.

But yeah, there’s a lot that I learned that I’m taking forward now that I feel like really confident in, okay, I think I’m doing the right thing, and if not, those little tweaks that I might need to make were also things that were discussed with my coach. Like, okay, well if this were to happen or if, you know, this is where we’re gonna be tweaking things.

I remember how we did that. And so I feel confident in being able to move forward and do another cut without having to, you know, Kind of be like black box, like, oh, I can’t cut without somebody here. I need someone to hold my hand. Or I need like the new, like the new rules. Maybe there’s other rules for this cut and no, 

Mike: it’s pretty.

Or where, wheres or calories change every week and you don’t know why. And, and then no, you’re led to believe that that is, that’s at a, that’s a really important part of the process. If you Yeah, if you get even one of those numbers wrong, that’s it. Your, your body comp is, is done. 

Laurie: It’s over. Yeah. No, not at all.

Like, it’s, it’s very straightforward and like I said, there was a lot of education that I got during the time too that allowed me to continue to progress and ask the appropriate questions to get the answers so that moving forward now, I, I feel good, for example, like a lean book. I haven’t done that with somebody and I, I think having a coach for that would be supportive, but knowing that the tools that I got already for the cut that I did, The lean bulk information I’m gonna get is gonna be able to propel me forward and be able to move.

So yeah, it’s, I feel like I’ve got kind of all the information that I need to be able to continue down my, my path of my journey to, you know, fitter body to a little bit of weight loss, but getting stronger, be like above all of it. 

Mike: Awesome. Well, you have to keep me posted on how it goes. Sounds like it’s gonna, it’s gonna go great.

Uh, I’m confident and you’ve, you’ve, you’ve, you’ve sold me for sure. Um, but, but yeah, thanks again for, for taking the time to do this and keep up the good work. 

Laurie: Thank you so much. I appreciate you.

Mike: Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes.

And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you. And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have. Ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share.

Shoot me an email, mike muscle for, muscle f o r and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future. I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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