Mary Lou was going through a tough time caring for her sick mother who was stricken with cancer.
Life was consumed with looking after her mother’s needs, so her own wellbeing fell by the wayside.
When Covid-19 pandemic hit her home state of Massachusetts, this stress and heartache was compounded further, and she found herself increasingly turning to food and alcohol as a crutch.
Three months into the coronavirus lockdown and 39-year-old restaurant consultant Mary Lou found herself in the worst shape of her life.
But seeing some of the incredible stories of Ultimate Performance clients convinced her to start her own transformation journey on the LiveUP online programme.
What started with the modest goal of losing a little weight, has become something much bigger.
While she has lost three dress sizes, her progress hasn’t been tied to a number on a scale; her success is measured in what she has gained – strength, confidence, empowerment and lifelong and sustainable healthy habits.
“I couldn’t have asked for better results from a program than the ones I’ve achieved with LiveUP.
“My entire life has changed – particularly at a time when it felt like the whole world lost control, I took control of my life and changed it forever.
“I know I have had help along the way, but ultimately, I put in the work, I made the daily changes and prioritized my health to get these results.
“I am so proud of myself and it makes me feel like I can take on anything. The sense of accomplishment I feel has boosted my confidence tremendously.”
Thinking back to before she started her body transformation program, Mary Lou says her health began to slide several years back when her mother first got ill.
“Prior to starting LiveUP, I had an extremely tough couple of years. I made the decision to move and help take care of my mom who had been diagnosed with cancer.
“My day-to-day was so consumed with taking care of her and all that entailed, work and adjusting to picking up my life so quickly that I didn’t give a thought or any time to my health, mental or physical.”
Like so many people, Mary Lou fell back on comfort eating and drinking to make herself feel better.
While it gave her a boost in the moment, long-term it was putting her in a negative spiral of feeling worse.
“I had always been an emotional eater and I was definitely drowning my sorrows in food and alcohol.
“The stress was building up and I just washed it down with wine and fries. And then Covid hit.
“The hopelessness and depression only got worse and I relied on food and alcohol even more. Three months into lockdown, I was in the worst shape mentally and physically I had ever been in my entire life.
“I hated the way I felt and could barely look at myself in the mirror. I knew I needed to make a change in my life, but I felt powerless to do so, especially during lockdown.”
Mary Lou found herself in a place she didn’t want to be. She knew she needed to take action and make drastic changes to her lifestyle.
“I knew the downward spiral I was in would only get worse if I didn’t take control and make some changes. I didn’t recognize myself anymore.
“I was so angry and disappointed that I had let things get so out of control. I was ashamed of how far I had let myself go and how unhealthy I felt. I genuinely felt that if I didn’t make some changes in my life that I would never be able to climb out of the hole I was in.”
Researching online, Mary Lou came across Ultimate Performance CEO Nick Mitchell and the thousands of incredible transformations U.P. had helped people achieve worldwide.
Seeing the ‘before and after’ results and reading the hundreds of inspiring client stories stirred something in her.
She had nothing to lose, and everything to gain, so she signed up for the LiveUP online program.
“Looking at all the before and after pictures and reading people’s testimonials, I thought that I would try another ‘program’.
“Little did I know that LiveUP is so much more than a program and it’s changed my life in so many positive ways.”
When she started out – her goal was to lose some weight and feel better about herself.
But seeing the impact that the diet, the training and the community support had, this very quickly snowballed into something altogether more transformative.
“When I signed up for LiveUP, I honestly just wanted to lose weight, which I knew would make me feel better about myself.
“I wanted to feel healthier and get my confidence back. I had other goals and habits that I wanted to change but I didn’t necessarily think those would come with LiveUP.
“In the beginning, the number on the scale was what mattered most to me. I went into LiveUP the same way that I had gone into every other diet or program I had tried – be really strict for three months, lose as much weight as possible, and then try to maintain that weight loss.
“That all changed just a few weeks in – I wanted it all! I wanted fat loss, strength, confidence, energy, health, and a new lifestyle. I never really thought it would change my body and life in the ways that it has.”
For years, Mary Lou had always been active, worked hard, played sports and done outdoor activities, such as surfing, swimming or hiking, but she hadn’t done a legitimate training routine for around 15 years.
Any workouts she did do were mostly HIIT-style cardio or workout DVDs – but losing weight was always her focus.
“My results and progress were always tied to the number on the scale and not how I felt or looked. I would lose weight but never pushed or challenged myself to go further.
“I would ultimately end up back to my old ways once I reached a certain number on the scale, or sometimes before. I never felt as though the entire composition of my body was changing like I found with LiveUP.”
But LiveUP helped her refocus away from fixating on the scales, to the way she looks and feels.
It is an approach that Mary Lou feels is much healthier and more sustainable.
“With LiveUP, I’ve learned not to tie progress to how much I weigh. Focusing on weekly check-in pictures and changes in how my body feels is such a liberating mentality.
“It’s also been years since I’ve developed this kind of strength and that is so empowering.
“Only a few weeks into LiveUP, I realized how different this program really is. The fact that it is about body recomposition, and not just weight loss, really resonated with me.
“I felt like I was really changing my body and health, it was no longer about the weight. Even the terminology with LiveUP is different – fat loss vs weight loss; lean vs skinny.”
Now her training isn’t focussed on killing herself in the gym, it’s about training hard but training smart and resting well.
“LiveUP was also different from everything I knew because of how much it stresses the importance of rest and recovery.
“In the past, I’ve always thought that working out six or seven days a week, two times a day, and restricting calories was the only way to get results.
“I quickly learned through LiveUP how unproductive and damaging that really is. Now I train hard three to four times a week, nourish my body with healthy, nutrient-dense food, not starve it, and make sure I’m sleeping well, stretching and foam rolling so I can recover well.”
The results of this approach speak for themselves.
Mary Lou is happier, healthier and more confident than ever – and she has the tools to maintain this feeling for life.
“The fat that I have lost is so immense that it sometimes doesn’t feel like my body. I consistently hovered between a size 10-12 and recently I purchased a size 4!
“I still have no idea how much I weigh, and I genuinely don’t care. I’m thrilled about dropping sizes but those numbers have become somewhat arbitrary to me too. I now focus on how my body feels and how strong I am getting.
“This is officially the longest I have ever maintained any weight loss, and this time it’s real.
“Eating healthy, nourishing my body, weight training and adequate rest are all part of my lifestyle now. I showed up every day, made the changes and worked my butt off!”
What Mary Lou says has been so transformative about her journey on LiveUP is the change in mindset.
The care and support of the LiveUP team and the community of fellow clients has helped her achieve what she never thought possible.
“This journey has always been about consistency for me. Every day I choose to say yes to what matters and no to what doesn’t.
“The shift in my mindset and habits affects every aspect of my life. I’ve abandoned the all-or-nothing mentality and I no longer underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis.
“I joined LiveUP eight months ago and I have no intentions of stopping. I still want to get a bit leaner but I’m just as focused on muscle development and getting stronger.
“I want to be shredded! I want to see how far I can go and what I will achieve in another 8 months!”
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!