Mandy has been working with us for almost two years. In that time, she’s lost 10 LBS and 7% body fat. She can trap bar deadlift 160lbs, and she can climb a rope for the first time in her life. Mandy has also successfully developed some solid nutrition habits. Here she shares her fitness journey with us:
Hi Mandy! Please tell us about yourself.
I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. (Nope, I’m not a Mormon, but my family sure is.) I scored a seasonal job in Denali National Park in 2006 and Alaska has been my sweet spot ever since. For several years, I spent my summers in Denali and my winters traveling.
In 2010, I got a full time job with Era Helicopters and have been living in Anchorage ever since. I now work as the commercial manager for Era Helicopters. I spend more than half of my summer traveling to Era’s different bases throughout the state. I love my job. It is also very exhausting this time of year.
I live in Spenard with my dog Goose. It’s no secret that he is my favorite adventure buddy. He hikes, bikes and cuddles with me. He also doesn’t mind watching The Bachelor. What more could you want in a canine companion? I don’t have any family in Alaska, but they come to visit a few times a year.
I love hiking, lounging, cooking, aviation, champagne, laughing, being in the outdoors and spending quality time with the people I love. I’m an introvert and feed off quality connections with a just a few people at a time. I’m usually the one ducking out of parties early without saying goodbye. I love people, I just prefer them one or two at a time.
How long have you been working with FF, and what motivated you to seek us out?
I emailed Steph back in 2013 for two reasons. First, I had seen my friend Holly’s transformation online. I was super inspired by the changes she was making, her outlook on life and how her body had evolved. I had put on a few pounds and I wasn’t feeling very confident. I wanted to look & feel better.
The second reason was because I was lacking a strong social community in Anchorage. I wanted to meet interesting, driven, funny, healthy people in Anchorage. And it was clear to me that the people who spent their time at BC were the type of people I wanted to be around. I went in secretly hoping make some friends in the process of getting healthier. And I knew that building a healthy social network would help keep me accountable.
What are a few of the most important diet and exercise related habits you’ve developed over the last year and a half?
Making workouts a priority, portion control & the art of delayed gratification. In my past, I worked out when it was convenient and when I felt up to to it. Now, I go to boot camp even if my flight just landed or if I have a headache. I go, I do my best and I always feel better for doing it. I am definitely not a perfect eater, but I am much more conscious of my diet than I used to be.
The knowledge and mindfulness that I bring to every meal helps me make better decisions of what to eat & how much to eat. It’s also been helpful for me to remember that this isn’t the only pizza in the world. This isn’t my last chance to eat nachos. There will be more artichoke dip in the future. I don’t have to eat ALL the mac and cheese right this second. If I wait, the craving might just go away and I will feel better for working toward my goal. Somehow, this mantra is helpful for me.
You attend both Boot Camp and Small group PT. What are a few of your favorite things about both of these programs?
I love boot camp for the energy and variety of the workouts. I love that it really gets my heart pounding. I like the surprises and I love the ‘whoop whoops’ high fives. I love the pace of small group. I love the individual attention. I like that I can go slow, really think about my form and measure very quantitative results with each exercise. I never had any interest in lifting weights before I joined Figarelle’s, and now I really love it. It is empowering. And shout out to my Wednesday night ladies. They are such an amazing group of women and I am lucky to hang with them. They are STRONG!
What are your favorite muscle groups to train? How about a few of your favorite exercises?
I know it sounds crazy, but I love training legs. I like deadlifts, box jumps, squats, lunges, sprints and med ball slams. I also love climbing the rope. It is one of those things I never even considered possible before. and now I get excited when it is on the workout. I think I would still be avoiding the rope if Steph & Lela didn’t outright challenge me to do it. That’s what great about these trainers. They see you can do things before you even consider it.
You have had a busy work schedule this summer, but you’ve managed to stay on track with your diet and maintain your body weight. Can you share a few tips for success?
With my travel schedule this summer, nutrition has definitely been the biggest challenge. What helps keep me on track is having good, healthy snacks available at all times. Once I start hunting for food, poor decisions usually follow. I also try to go into every meal with a plan, especially if I am eating out. Not every meal plays out like a nutrition commercial, but I win more than I lose and that is a new behavior for me.
While I may not be transforming my body amidst the traveling this summer, I am maintaining a lower weight than I have had in 6 years. And that feels like a huge success! When my work season starts tapering off, progress will be the new success. But it’s like Steph says, ‘Do what you can honestly do right now’. My best looks different in the winter than it does in the summer. And I don’t need to beat myself up about it.
When you first started training with us, what were a few of your goals? Have you accomplished these?
When I first started training I had goals but they were a lot more vague than the goals I set now. I wanted to get under 150 lbs. I wanted to feel more confident. And I wanted to create a consistent workout routine for myself. Those are now accomplished. Now, the further I get down the road, the more specific my goals are becoming.
What are a few of your goals for the remainder of 2015? How about 2016?
Since I have been in maintenance mode for the summer, I am really looking forward to the next challenge. I am looking forward to dropping 5% more body fat & at least 5 more pounds. In 2016 I see an unassisted pull-up, the big box jump, zero credit card debt & more time with my family in Salt Lake City.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to lose weight and get in shape, but may not know where to start?
Start now. Do something today to make you feel better. Get your friends and your family on board with your health and fitness goals. Be vocal about what you want. Make it fun. Educate yourself. Make small sustainable changes in the beginning. It’s not a diet. It’s not a race. Do what you can honestly do right now 😉