How I lost 12lbs in 6 Weeks Without Tracking Anything I Ate

I went from the picture on the left to the picture on the right in a little over 8 weeks without tracking a single piece of food that I ate. Yup. No food scale, no macro counting app, and no skimping on lunch to try and fit a Pop-tart in after dinner. I feel better, look better, and have a new approach to how I eat. I want to share a little bit about how I got these results without tracking my food or starving myself.
 
I have run the gamut of diets in my life. From keto, to gluten-free, to “If it fits your macros”, to intermittent fasting (aka skipping breakfast), I have tried all the diets marketed towards weight loss. You know what the funny thing is? They work! At least for a little while. The problem I always ran into was…life.
 
Like every other adult, my days and weeks can be unpredictable. The calendar starts out open on Monday morning, but that rarely lasts past Monday afternoon. The problem with your calendar is that it doesn’t give a shit about your low-carb intermittent fasting regimen. If you’re on the run from meeting to meeting and you’re separated from that packed salad in the fridge at work, what’s your plan? I’ll tell you mine. I stress out about screwing up my diet and get annoyed by the fact that my plan for a perfect diet day are now up in smoke. That stress leads to a gas station stop for a honey bun, a sugary “protein cookie”, and 200mg of caffeine to wash away the pain.
 
Sorry, that got a little dark, but it’s REAL!
 
Looking back on it, and knowing what I know now, it wasn’t a problem with me. I wasn’t broken, I was experiencing normal emotions. I had all the desire in the world and even had packed my food for the day! But those weren’t my problems. I had two main issues: a rigid set of diet rules and a limited capacity to understand my hunger.

Problem #1: Rigid Diet Rules

I didn’t have the ability to flex my meals to my present situation. I’m not always going to be able to have the perfect meal 3 times a day. Life is far too fluid to try and hold yourself to rules that don’t allow for some improvisation. Couple that with the mental anguish from “failing” on your diet for the day, and we’ve got problems. 

Problem #2: Understanding Hunger

Stress is an extremely powerful phenomenon. Without understanding what you’re feeling, stress can wreak havoc on even the best of intentions. I had no capacity to understand what I was feeling with regard to stress. I was reactive with my eating decisions when faced with stress and it lead me to my heaviest weight in my life.
 
The solution to those two problems was a perspective shift. Instead of viewing nutrition and diet as an all-or-nothing pursuit of perfection, I now look at my eating as a skill. Skills are something that experience periods of growth and periods of degradation. Skills don’t have to be practiced every day. Skills don’t have to be done perfectly EVERY SINGLE TIME. They are meant to be practiced and maintained, not instantly mastered.
 
Let’s pretend you’re interested in learning the guitar. How many days per week will you practice? How long will you practice for? If you miss a day, will you completely give up and smash your guitar? If you don’t place your fingers in the perfect spot on the first try, will you throw your hands up in disgust? Viewing my eating through this lens has been a major shift for me. And I’m supposed to be the freaking expert!
 
This has taken so much of the burden of perfection off of me. If you hadn’t noticed by my coaching style, I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Every time I started to slip on any of my rigid diet rules, I would get discouraged. I could typically handle one or two slips. Eventually my resolve would break and I would spiral into an ice cream-fueled breakdown.
 
I no longer chase having perfect diet days. I still have cravings and slip-ups, but I have the skills and mindset to handle them. I don’t have to sweat about the lunch meeting at a restaurant with fried food. I’m not chained to hard and fast rules about what I can eat. Instead, I use my new skills and guidelines to keep me between the guard rails while allowing me to enjoy food.
I have found confidence in my appearance that I once thought was long gone with my younger years. I feel comfortable taking my shirt off at the neighborhood pool. I feel like I look like someone who owns a gym. I feel so much more confident in my appearance, but you know what the real kicker is? I feel confident that I can STAY where I’m at. I’m not scared of ballooning back up to fluffy Trent. I can handle the emotional eating pangs and the delicious treats at social gatherings. Am I perfect? Of course not. Despite being imperfect, I am noticeably happier and less stressed about my appearance. I’m working on my skills and giving myself room to be less than perfect.
 

Time for the shameless sales pitch!

 
If you’re frustrated by your lack of progress in the gym…
 
If you’re avoiding the summer pool parties…
 
If you’re tired of getting defeated by diets…
 
If you’re constantly fearing the next blow up, here’s what you need to do:
 
1) Click right HERE.
 
2) Schedule a time to chat with Amy. This will be done over the phone!
 
3) Start learning the skills needed to see results that last a lifetime.
P.S: Did I mention you get 4 weeks of coaching for FREE as a FitLab Member??

Welcome to FitLab Personal Training!

We’re going on 7 and half years open this Summer.  ISN’T THAT CRAZY?!

This community has grown a tremendous amount over this period of time. A letter with black and white words can never communicate how deeply grateful I am to you for being a part of this journey. You have honored us with your patronage, and I want to honor you with total transparency about some of the changes we are making in order to provide a significant improvement to the level of service at this gym. We want to truly transform lives, not just say we are.

In this email, I want to make you aware of what is coming down the pipeline, and how excited I am to dive into the future with you as a faithful member!

So here is where FitLab will change the game for you:

A MASSIVE Improvement to the Level of Service

This is the one we are most excited about; it’s also the one I am petrified about announcing. We are changing your experience in the gym such that it truly mimics a personal training session with customized training plan every time you enter the gym. Your coach will be heavily involved in every detail of your workout for the full 60 minutes. From helping you pick your weights, to modifying your movements for the day, a coach will be personally making those changes for you.

Candidly, we never want to be a “get your sweat on” facility. We want to be a gym that prides itself on transformations (both internal and external). This means that your coaching staff will be held accountable to providing a high-touch service that meets your needs every day!

Nutrition Coaching

When it comes to changing your body, nutrition is key. Our new nutrition coaching program has yielded fantastic results for not only myself, but for several other of your fellow members who beta tested the program for us! The ahhhhhmazing Coach Amy is no longer coaching fitness and is focusing 100% on nutrition coaching! As a member of FitLab, Nutrition Coaching is INCLUDED in your membership! To get started, text Amy at 225-718-2234 or email her at amy@fitlabpersonaltraining.com!

Reduced Group Size

Part of our shift to Personal Training is going to be a more intimate group setting. We’re going to be limiting attendance to 8 trainees per session. This will allow the coach on the floor to truly customize the program for each attendee. We can guarantee significant one-on-one attention with a group this size and enhance the experience for you every time you train with us. 

New Member App

Another change that FitLab brings will be an upgrade in our software that we use on a daily basis. The first change was introducing TrainHeroic to you guys as your performance tracking software. We are stoked to see you guys logging your training and can’t wait to see the results! The second change will be our membership software. We will be transitioning from PushPress to MindBody. Be on the lookout for an email from them soon to get your information transferred over!

Facility Improvements

We are currently in talks to move the gym to a much nicer facility with (drum roll please) AIR CONDITIONING. This has been on our minds for the last 12 months as the summers have only gotten hotter. We know that this is becoming the standard in high-quality training facilities. You deserve the best possible space to train in, and we are taking great efforts to make sure the caliber of our facility matches the high caliber of our members. As the details unfold, we will keep you informed. 

Equipment Upgrades

We are also going to be heavily investing in a state-of-the-art equipment that will create an experience that is unlike any other. As it stands now, there is a lot of dead time in each session that is lost on grabbing equipment from different areas of the facility. Our final vision is to create what we are going to be calling “mini-gyms” in which you will have every single thing you would need for a training session in your own area. From dumbbells, to weight plates, to an adjustable bench, to bands, anything you can think of will be within your own “mini-gym.” This will increase our ability to train efficiently and get as much value out of your time in the gym as possible. This will require a large investment to outfit the facility to match our intended vision. 

 

Now all of these continued investments and upgrades in the level of service we provide you will require significant funds to become a reality. 

And to continue to stay aligned with our mission to provide a remarkable experience for our clients, we will be implementing a change in billing structure. Instead of a pricing structure that is centered around the month starting, we will be switching to a weekly pricing structure that is billed every 4 weeks. This will lead to an increase in your membership rate, no matter your level of membership. The full breakout can be seen in the table below. The effective date of these prices for CURRENT members will be October 1, 2022. 

Another important part of the changes will be to the daily session schedule. We will be shifting the schedule around to better serve you and meet the current demand that we are seeing. This is also a move to try and make coaching at FitLab Personal Training a more sustainable career and allow our coaches to come in with as much energy as possible. This will also help YOU to have a better training experience with us each and every time you come in. The revised schedule can be found below and will take effect starting June 1st, 2022.

If you’ve been with us for a minute, you’re aware that we just implemented a rate increase at the turn of the year. I know that this may seem like an ill-timed gesture, but I want to address that with you now. 

I have spent my entire adult life investing in myself to become a great coach. However, something I have not been great at is being a good business owner and understanding the financial realities of running a small business. 

That being said, like you, I am working daily to grow and improve. And just like we recommend to everyone at our facility, I have recently invested in coaches and top consultants to review the business, know our numbers, and improve the product we are putting out to you. 

Now that they have helped us unveil what the numbers truly say, it is impossible for us to grow and provide the level of service and facility you deserve without this change. 

As far as any concerns you may have with the rate increase, I would like to offer up our revised Refer-A-Friend program that will entitle you to a free month of training for each member you refer. Refer 12 members, and you can get a whole year on the house! This is our way of saying thank you and for helping us transform the lives of those you care about most- your family and friends.

Now let’s be super real. Human beings HATE change. But I also understand on some level that change is a part of growth. What I want to avoid at ALL COSTS is for a rumor mill to be started. I am absolutely more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have in person. Not via text or email, but with a one-on-one private meeting. That way there will be zero chance of miscommunication. If this is something you’d like to pursue, please respond to this email and let me know when you would like to sit down and meet. I will move mountains to make time for you to make sure your concerns are heard because you are an important part of the FitLab community. 

I hope that I have your support in allowing us to continue to serve you in the best way we know how. 

Respectfully yours, 

Trent

How to Stay Healthy on the Road

When you eat well and exercise most of the time, it’s okay to take a break every now and then. Rest, relaxation, and removing stress from your life are very important.

However, this doesn’t mean you should spend your time away from home eating potato chips, drinking soda, and becoming one with the couch. You can find a healthy balance between maintaining your fitness and taking a break from routine.

So go ahead – have a cocktail or dessert but balance it out with a morning jog or a quick hotel room workout. If you’d like to take your healthy act on the road, here are some ways to maintain your momentum:

1. Go for a jog or take a long walk
Exploring a new city on foot is a great way to take in your new surroundings. This is also an excellent way to recover from jet lag, especially if you find yourself awake before most businesses open. Put on your running shoes and get out there!

2. Use what you’ve got!
We know it’s not as great as our gym, but you can get a good workout in a hotel gym. If you’re not at a hotel, but you’ve got some outdoor space and a little can-do-attitude you can get a great workout in. Here are some of our favorite travel workouts, complete with instructional videos! Check it out here.

3. Indulge intelligently
You can enjoy drinks, desserts, and extravagant meals on vacation, but make sure every day has some balance. Start the day with a healthy breakfast and eat a light lunch if you know you’ll be eating a decadent dinner. You can give some thought to your nutrition while away from home without completely denying yourself. Remember, vacation doesn’t have to be unhealthy to be fun! Follow these tips and you’ll come home fit, well-rested, and happy.

Apple Cider Chicken

Apple Cider Chicken

Fresh apples and apple cider add fall flavor to this quick chicken sauté.

Active: 30 mins

Total: 30 mins

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and thickly sliced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  • Step 1: Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, flipping once, until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  • Step 2: Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, apples, shallot and thyme to the pan. Cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add apple cider and broth; bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  • Step 3: Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Stir sour cream, parsley and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper into the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 3 oz. chicken & 1/2 cup sauce Per Serving: 251 calories; protein 24g; carbohydrates 16g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 12g; fat 10g

Thanksgiving Recipes: Mashed Celeriac & Potato Casserole

Mashed Celeriac & Potato Casserole

Celeriac adds a bright celery-like flavor and lightens the texture in this healthy mashed potato casserole. The fried shallots are reminiscent of the crispy onions that top a green bean casserole.

Active: 50 mins

Total: 2 hrs 15 mins

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds celeriac (celery root), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sour cream or whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced shallots
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  • Step 1: Place celeriac in a large pot and add 3 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes, cover and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Step 2: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Step 3: Drain the vegetables and return to the pot. Mash with a potato masher to a coarse consistency. Add sour cream (or yogurt), butter, mustard, salt and pepper; mash until mostly smooth. Add chives and stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top. Tightly cover the pan with foil.
  • Step 4 :Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the top is browned, about 30 minutes more.
  • Step 5 :Meanwhile, prepare fried shallots: Separate shallot slices into rings. Heat oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. (To test if it’s hot enough, add a shallot ring: if it starts sizzling on contact, the oil is ready.) Add half the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate. Cook the remaining shallots and transfer to the plate. They will get crispier as they cool. (Discard remaining oil.)
  • Step 6: Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes. Serve topped with the fried shallots and more chives, if desired.

Tips

To make ahead: Refrigerate unbaked casserole (Steps 1 & 3) for up to 2 days; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 3/4 cup Per Serving: 234 calories; protein 3.8g; carbohydrates 31.6g; dietary fiber 3.8g; sugars 4.1g; fat 10.9g

Thanksgiving Recipe: No-Sugar-Added Mini Apple Pies

These delectable single-serving tarts are gluten-free and sweetened with dates instead of refined added sugars. Top with a little unsweetened whipped cream to take this special–yet healthy–dessert to the next level.

Active: 1 hr

Total: 1 hr 30 mins

Servings: 12

Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and finely ground
  • 1 ½ cups oat flour (see Tip)
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 medium apples, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Step 2: Place dates in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 20 minutes. Drain the dates, reserving 1/4 cup soaking liquid. Place half the dates in a food processor (reserve the rest for the filling). Add pecans, oat flour, butter, salt and the reserved soaking liquid; pulse until combined. Firmly press 2 generous tablespoons of the mixture into the bottoms and up the sides of each muffin cup. Bake until set, but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Meanwhile, place cider and the reserved dates in a blender or food processor; blend until mostly smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan; add apples and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the apples are mostly tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and cornstarch.
  • Step 4: Using about 2 tablespoons filling for each tart, divide the filling among the crusts. Bake until the crust is browned on the edges and the filling is hot, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the tarts in the pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges and remove the tarts from the pan.

Tips

To make ahead: Store tarts in a covered container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 tart Per Serving: 228 calories; protein 3g; carbohydrates 23.4g; dietary fiber 3.3g; sugars 12g; fat 15.1g