Lauren’s weighloss Journey
Chloé : Can you talk to us about your body before MOTION?
Lauren : I have to say, one year ago, I was really uncomfortable with who I was, inside my own body.
Before moving to Dubai, I was pretty fit and happy and I had gotten to a really great place. But this changed. I have been diagnosed with PCOS*, I was working in a really really really stressful job where I had zero work life balance and, with having PCOS, your body doesn’t work like normal people. Even though I was working out and eating right, it wasn’t until I got my hormones under control, which meant regulating my sleep and my emotions, that my body started to be happy again and actually be able to loose weight.
At a certain point I just couldn’t stand myself, because I know that I am not like this but a unhealthy life routine had brought me there. I was 75kg, for 1.62 meter; far from the 54kg average. I needed to change, I wanted to change.
Chloé : How has Motion helped you in this journey?
Lauren : Your body shape depends on so many factors beyond just eating right and working out; including your mental health, your cortisol level or the energy of your surroundings. I knew that, until I got all of that in line, my body was never going to change.
This is why I credit a lot of my body transformation to Motion because there, I was not only working out, I was healing myself.
I changed my job for a less stressful one and on the side I joined Motion. There, I was able to find a community of people that was raising my spirit and my energy. Being inside the studio and sharing all this passion with other people is what really brought my body back.
I really hope that I can help other women with PCOS, just being able to change other part of their life so that they can become happy within their body. Obviously, there was a lot of hard work and discipline with food and working out as well, but that’s only like a part of the equation.
Chloé : How did you feel when you started teaching at Motion? Did you feel that the people were judging you? Did you feel you had a handicap compare to other instructors?
Lauren : It’s funny that you ask that, because I really did, I felt different from the other instructors. And yes, there were some people in the beginning who judged me. I remember hearing someone saying that she was not coming to my class because my body wasn’t inspiring her. I took that to heart.
But it’s when you are hurt that you become the stronger version of yourself. I started to emotionally connect with the people at Motion, I felt extremely accepted and even more supported to continue my journey because I knew I had so many people supporting me.
Chloe : How did you find the motivation to change ?
Lauren: The motivation that I had to change my body has always been within me, it’s never been something that happened just because I was at Motion.
You can look back at the Chicago Tribune article from 10-12 years ago, I’ve always been the person who’s trying to figure out why my body isn’t changing the way everybody else’s does and how I can fix that.
So, while Motion was definitely a huge part, I always wanted to make sure I looked like a fitness instructor and I wanted to be able to also do it to show other women who were coming to Motion that it is possible, no matter PCOS or whatever handicap you have.
Chloe : When you started Motion, did you have any goal in mind about how much you wanted to lose, did you have a plan in your head; Like how many months, etc. ?
Lauren : When I started at Motion, I didn’t really have a set number in my head in terms of how much I wanted to lose. I just knew that I wanted to be in a place that I was mentally happy and physically happy at the same time, and just constantly be pushing my own limits in terms of strength and endurance and all of that.
It was never about the number on the scale. Obviously, that’s a huge factor being able to measure your success, but it was more than that.
Chloé : Did you see the changes straight away? It was a long journey between the time your started and how your look now. How much in total did you lose? Were you stuck sometimes with your weight?
Lauren : When I started at Motion, I was going between 70-75kg, and now I’m at about 57kg.
For me, weight loss has always, always, always been a struggle and it’s been a slow one. So, you know, especially having PCOS, my body just doesn’t react how normal people’s work and so, it’s about changing so much all at once: the mental, the physical, the emotional, the spiritual.
The changes for me have always been really really slow and steady, and I have gone through a lot of different stages trying to reevaluate what works for me.
First, I hired a trainer – Even if I am a certified fitness instructor and have all the certifications in the world; Nothing worth having somebody standing next to you, motivating you and making sure you show up to the classes.
The next stage of my journey was to find a coach who could help me adjust my eating patterns because calories in/calories out was never working for me. I had to focus on macronutrient, meal timings, on extremely reducing my carbs – even fruits I cut out – so that was the next stage.
In between that, I did Keto on my own to try and see if that helped. That got me to a point but again, it didn’t work 100% for me so that just meant I needed to go back to the drawing board. So, every stage you hit a plateau, you need to recess, reevaluate and refresh.
Each and every stage deserves more tweaks, it’s never one equation for the rest of your life, you always need to be going back to the drawing board.
Chloé : What do you do, or advice to people if they don’t see results straight away? Or if they are stuck after a while?
Lauren: My advice to people who are stuck is to switch it up. I am a walking living proof of this because I’ve had to try things and test things until they work.
And, I would just say never ever ever give up, there’s always something to tweak, there’s always something to add or do differently and you know if they want to talk to me.
We are all different so you can’t go on Instagram and see “oh this person did Keto, they lost 30 pounds I should be able to do it too”. That’s not the case. You need to find out what works for you.
Chloé : What are the main struggle you had in this journey? How did you deal with it? What helped you to go through it?
Lauren : I think the main struggle for me was just dealing with the temptation of living the Dubai life and realizing that I needed to also maintain a really strict diet. I measure everything, I weight everything, I always have to make sure I get my workouts in and sometimes there’s people that you hang out with that are not accepting that, or you’re at work and people order cake for birthdays, and everybody wants to go to brunch… but you have to realize that your health is more important and don’t get me wrong, I still indulge but it’s just in smaller doses. I am not at brunch every weekend, or don’t go out partying as much as I want to.
I think the best advice I have is to just surround yourself by the people who are accepting your journey and pushing you. I definitely go to clubs on a Friday and I’m fasting, and I’m partying until Saturday morning fasting. You also just need to find that balance that works for you and enjoy it.
Chloé : About the food, you have so many different diet on the market, what did you eat, and what do you advice the people to do in terms of food if they want to lose weight?
Lauren : About the food, again what works for me may or may not work for everybody. But for me, it was about going into the Keto diet and from there I focused mainly on fiber vegetables and proteins. I really cut carbs out of my diet, even fruits – some people might think that that’s scary or horrible or impossible, sometimes it can be but once your body get used to it, you realize that you have so much more energy, so much more strength. Really, cutting out carbs is huge for me, it really worked.
So I eat 4 meals a day: 100g of proteins with some fiber veggies and a little bit of healthy fat (usually avocado or some olive oil). That’s my go to diet. I adjust the carbs based on how much I train, but that’s what worked for me and I know it will work for many women who are also struggling with insulin sensitivity or PCOS and I recommend it.
Chloé : Do you think it’s possible for someone to do this on their own? If yes, what would you advice to those people? Particularly the people who come to Motion regularly? How can they make the best of the workout for example?
Lauren : Absolutely! I was fortunate enough to have coaches and trainers to kind of help me through this journey. I am never alone, I even have a Reiki healer and a therapist, and obviously Motion played a huge part in my emotional and support system. I think it’s just important that you surround yourself by like-minded people, people who are going to support you no matter what, even if it’s going to brunch and you’re the one who’s being healthier at brunch, that’s just who you need to focus on bringing into your life and that energy around you.
It’s better to work with somebody who can motivate you and be your cheerleader and hire somebody who can help you but, there are so many great resources that can also help you and I’m always there to help people too. I am certified in nutrition and fitness so if anybody needs help, they are more than welcome to come to me.
Chloé : If you had one thing to say to all those people who want to lose weight, but are struggling, what would it be?
Lauren : YOU CANNOT GIVE UP. The weight loss journey is not linear, it’s always going to be testing your limits and your boundaries and you’re always going to have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what’s working/what’s not.
Again, when I first moved here I had a crazy job, I was working 15-20 hours a day, not having the mental capacity to focus on my mental and emotional health and you really need to focus on that and make sure that you are in the right headspace to be able to take on this journey. And, Motion is the best way to do that because you’re surrounded by so many people that love you, so many people that support you. You go on to that room and you’re letting go of so much and each intention is building you in a different way.
So, just don’t give up, whatever you do, don’t give up. Understand that it is a process, it’s not going to happen in a month or two months. My journey started in 2017 and here we are in 2020, so look at me!
*Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormone imbalance causes them to skip menstrual periods and makes it harder for them to get pregnant.