We're back to showcase another long-term client of the Audacious Athlete team! Danielle has been a part of Coach Jacky's roster for X weeks now.
Danielle joined the team with a lot of performance and aesthetic goals. She had never tracked before, so her journey began with education and habit tracking. This allowed her to understand what macros were, how to properly track and simply create the habits that set her up for when she were ready to track. She began with simple habits like water, protein in every meal, more fiber, and daily steps. She slowly increased portion sizes using hand/plate portions and then transitioned to tracking without goals. Once she felt confident in her tracking skills, she moved to fully tracking and having goals per meal.
She spent over a year in a maintenance homing in her skills and improving her training as well. Then, implemented a 16-week deficit and is currently increasing her calories to continue to improve her body composition and focus on performance based goals.
First off, how’d you find the Audacious Athletes team and your coach?
I found Morgan Tyler on Instagram probably 10 years ago and followed her for yoga content. Three years ago or so I think she did one of Chanel’s lifting programs and posted about it. I had always been interested in strength training but had never done a program specific to lifting, nor had I had any experience with lifting coaches. I followed Chanel and the Audacious Athletes account, and ended up buying one of the At-Home Programs Chanel created to work out during the pandemic. After a time, I decided I was ready to invest in a coach to really make progress towards my goals, so I inquired about a coaching program. I spoke with Chanel about what I was looking for, and after looking through the coaches' bios and speaking with Chanel, we thought Jacky would be the best fit for me.
What prompted you to seek out coaching initially?
My lifestyle changed a lot during the pandemic, and my body changed along with it. I changed jobs and went from being extremely active to very sedentary. I was drinking a lot, not eating well, and didn’t have a fitness routine. I felt overwhelmed and unsure of how to give my body what it needed, and I realized I didn’t have a healthy relationship with fitness, alcohol, or nutrition to begin with. I had a history of over restricting food, binging, then using exercise as a way to “burn off” the extra food I had eaten. Additionally, I got married in 2019. I didn’t have time, nor did I want to, spend 10+ hours a week working out, and having a loving partner point out that I deserved to eat dinner even if I didn’t get my two hour workout in that day solidified my realization that what used to work for me didn’t work anymore. I was in a different place in life, and I needed help figuring out a new lifestyle that was flexible enough for me to enjoy a date night out or traveling, while providing structure that would get me closer to my goals. I had gained about 40 pounds since I’d gotten married and wanted to lose some weight, get stronger, and feel better about myself without overdoing it.
Since being a client, what goals have you been able to accomplish?
So many accomplishments! Jacky has helped me figure out an entirely new lifestyle that fits my schedule and needs. Quantifiably, I’ve lost ~25 pounds, gained a lot of strength, mobility, and cardio abilities, and lost ~24 inches. What’s more impressive and important to me though is how much my mindset has changed. I feel totally confident in my everyday routine; I’ve been consistently getting 6-8k steps per day, lifting 4x a week, and getting 1-2 cardio sessions in per week. Additionally, I’ve been tracking my macros successfully for over a year now. Jacky gradually taught me about tracking macros so I wasn’t overwhelmed with it all at once. After getting comfortable with tracking, Jacky took me through several different intake phases, including a 16-week deficit. I like tracking my macros more than I thought I would because it provides me great data about my body. I notice my recovery isn’t as good from lifting if I don’t get at least 140 grams of protein, at least 25 grams of fiber makes me feel the best, and I can 100% add syrup to my pancakes or have a piece of chocolate and still feel satisfied that I am “on track,” accomplish my goals, and feel great. I’ve also been able to include untracked meals and even intuitive eating on vacations throughout the whole journey, which has been HUGE. Even through my deficit I was able to enjoy eating out, cooking with family without weighing my food every time, and traveling without tracking every time. Jacky instilled the knowledge and confidence to determine when I wanted to track, say “no” to cocktails or less nutrient dense foods, or have a little more freedom with my routine depending on the circumstances and/or how my body feels. I can now go on a weekend trip and come back home weighing the same and feeling like I didn’t sacrifice a thing -I’ve never felt so at ease and confident in my abilities to nourish my body. At the same time, if I decide to have more fun meals or drink alcohol and my weight increases, it doesn’t make me feel bad about myself. I know in 3 days or so, I will be back to normal once I am back to my usual meals and activity levels. I feel like Jacky has helped me accomplish true freedom from the diet mentality that I grew up being a part of and separate myself from the “all or nothing” mindset.
What do you enjoy most about your relationship with your coach?
Jacky empowers me to live my best life. She took the time to get to know me, understand my lifestyle, my priorities, where I struggle, and what my strengths are. Then, she helped me integrate small behavioral changes (e.g. prioritize protein and fiber, drink plenty of water, get at least 6k steps per day, prioritize sleep and sleep hygiene) to get me to the point where I am today. I know that Jacky understands where I’m coming from, gives me the tools to try to change my behavior and lifestyle, and genuinely believes in me. She creates a safe space for me to discuss what I’m struggling with and always responds with compassion and actionable items to use when I’m navigating a challenging circumstance. Also, at this point, Jacky notices things about me and my lifestyle that I don’t even notice. For example, I have been doing high/low days, where I eat more on days that I lift then eat less when I don’t lift. I really like the high/low days, although recently I’ve been extremely busy with work, travel, and other commitments. In my last checkin, she suggested we move away from the high/low days because it is more challenging to hit my macro goals with so much else going on. It wasn’t until she pointed it out that I realized how much more effort the high/low days were taking to meal plan and factor in untracked meals. I so appreciated her insight and willingness to adjust my intake to suit my current lifestyle, and not expecting the other way around.
If someone was on the fence about becoming an Audacious Athlete client, what advice or guidance would you give them?
I thought coaching would be a tough love scenario where I adhered to the program or else. And truthfully, I thought that was the kind of accountability I needed. I though discipline was learned through being hard on yourself, and having a coach that I would have to answer to would help me fail with adhering to the program they came up with. However, my experience with Jacky has been quite the opposite. The times I have really felt like I failed and I was dreading telling her that I didn’t hit all my goals that week, she met me with compassion and talked me through what went wrong so I could improve next time, while giving me permission to go easy on myself. The times I was mindlessly falling back into my old routines, she encouraged me to think ahead and strategize where and when I wanted to treat myself so I didn’t look back with regret. And the times that something in the program just wasn’t working for me, she changed it up without making me feel like I was the problem. Where I needed accountability, she provided that structure without imposing unrealistic expectations, but most importantly, she saw where I needed compassion and tools to work through old habits and beliefs about myself. Working with Jacky has given me a foundation of science-based knowledge, confidence, and a healthy relationship to fitness and nutrition that I don’t think I would’ve gotten by myself. It has also been extremely fun to get out with someone about my wins in the gym and the kitchen, from improving my squat form to finding a new strategy with meal prepping that makes my life easier and helps me accomplishing my goals. She celebrates my wins and helps me figure out how I can do better when I didn’t accomplish my goals.
Together we have not only mastered her tracking skills but also her ability to balance her social life and her goals. A huge part of her journey has been just that, understanding how to guesstimate, how to enjoy special occasions while still holding herself accountable. We have taken a very realistic and sustainable approach to her entire journey and I could not be more proud of not only the physical changes she has made but the lifestyle and mindset changes that have made her truly create HER version of a healthy lifestyle.
If you aren't already, be sure to follow us over on Instagram where we often share what our clients are up to! If becoming a client on our roster is something you're interested in, fill out this form here to set up a consult call with Head Coach Chanel or a specific coach you're interested in working with!