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My Journey to Sustainability

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

Before I was the Head Trainer and Coach here at Fat Loss Lifestyle School, I was a client.

I started working with Leslie Ann back in 2015 when I needed to make a change to my nutrition because I had goals. Big ones.

I was in hot pursuit of a huge goal: Becoming a National Trainer and Presenter for Les Mills U.S.

At the time, achieving a certain level of assessment was required to be considered, as well as a private invitation to audition. So, I set out to achieve it:

I worked on my nutrition.

I filmed and submitted videos of myself teaching for 6 months.

I took feedback on my teaching.

When I wasn’t teaching, I practiced.

I attended advanced instructor trainings.

I pushed hard in the gym.

After all that hard work, I finally got it:

The email invitation for Les Mills Trainer Boot Camp - a chance to interview/audition for a spot on the National Trainer team.

After Boot Camp, I got the gig! I was a Les Mills National Trainer!

Suddenly, I was traveling, training hundreds of new instructors, and presenting at the highest levels on the “biggest stage” Les Mills had here in the United States.

I became a leader on the Instructor Assessment team, and took on roles developing new and current teammates.

I also made more changes to my diet that were pretty strict, rigid, and didn’t leave much room for error.

I had a fantastic coach who helped me fine-tune my nutrition and training to achieve my specific performance and body composition goals. (To this day, I have mad respect for him and would work with him again!)

But, I also had thoughts about looking “perfect”….

Performing “perfectly” on stage…

And I felt a lot of (internal) pressure to meet those demands.

My world was rocked when I got feedback from one of the leaders at Les Mills International, Kylie Gates, who I have tremendous respect for.

She told me,

“You have a very stern look about you.”

CUE: Downward spiral.

She saw the version of me I was putting out to the world.

I thought that to achieve my goals, I had to be more strict with my diet and be more aggressive with my training. I studied the people who had achieved what I wanted and tried to be just like them.

As a result, I was at odds with this “persona.”

Who I thought I had to be vs. my true self.

Somewhere along the way I lost touch of “me.” I was trying to be something else, and she could see it all over me: this cold, stern, and quiet person I’d become.

Nothing about it was healthy or sustainable in any way.


In the year that followed that conversation with Kylie, everything changed for me.

Instead of multiple two-a-day workouts each week, I started training once per day. I prioritized strength training and short, constantly-varied, metabolic workouts (CrossFit).

I stopped strictly tracking my food and allowed myself to eat more calories and treats. (Note: I still prioritized my FLLS Template meals and ate balanced, high-protein meals.)

After years of being so strict and focusing almost exclusively on fat loss, I took a break from being in a calorie deficit. I ate in a calorie surplus, and that - combined with how I trained - allowed me to gain a good bit of muscle mass.

I’ve also moved on to pursue other opportunities in my fitness and nutrition career, and am no longer a Presenter/Trainer/Assessor for Les Mills for a myriad of reasons.

This shift with food and training was exactly what I needed to heal my body and my mindset from so much rigidity and internal pressure.


After a year of more relaxed nutrition, I recently started “tightening down” on the treats and extra calories and started paying closer attention to my meals - just like we teach our clients in Fat Loss Lifestyle School.

I even hired a new coach to give me a little extra accountability and to help me achieve this. (Yes, coaches hire coaches too!)

On the other side of the pendulum swing, I can honestly say that re-engaging with a slightly stricter diet feels good. A little bit of discipline feels normal, and like a breath of fresh air as I enter in to this next phase - this time on my terms.

Now I know that what I’m doing now is something I can sustain indefinitely. I’m back to simple meals that taste great, and feeling really good with managing my body’s cues around hunger, energy and cravings — right back to where I’d started years ago.


Through this process, I’ve learned to validate myself instead of seeking approval from others. I’ve learned what it’s like to be very strict with my food, and then not strict at all, and discovered what the actual middle ground looks like for me.

I’m grateful for this whole journey because it has allowed me to experience what YOU experience: breaking the cycle of strict dieting and then swinging the other direction. Creating a way of eating, training and living that I can do forever.

This is the exact journey you’ll take when you work with us in Fat Loss Lifestyle School. If you’re ready to find YOUR middle ground - a sustainable, enjoyable way of eating and training that gets you the results you want - our next 4-week online program is starting soon. Click the link below to get details and work with us in Fat Loss Lifestyle School:

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