When these clients came to Precision Nutrition Coaching in January 2020 to improve their health and life, the plan was straightforward: follow the program and trust the process.
The COVID-19 pandemic struck two months later. Nothing in life was easy.
Many faced food shortages, financial instability and overwhelming insecurity overnight.
It would have been understandable for these five people to take a break from their health and fitness endeavors.
But they didn't.
Instead, they listened to the little voice in their heads that said, "Go ahead."
Every person highlighted in this article has faced challenges over the past year: medical problems, forced business closure, increased anxiety, loss of a loved one … the list goes on.
Despite these obstacles, they kept popping up for themselves, leaving their goals behind a little at a time.
Over the course of 12 months, they achieved incredible physical transformations.
Even more impressive? The unexpected ways these five people changed their lives and the powerful lessons they learned from their experiences.
Victor: In the midst of grief, he lost 25 pounds and found new meaning in life.
Victor always shied away from asking salespeople to help him find his size. Now he can find clothes that fit right out of the rack.
Victor Salgado, now 47, developed diabetes in his early forties. He managed this with three to four insulin injections a day. He was also taking eight other drugs to treat additional health problems, including high blood pressure.
That was Victor's life for nearly five years.
In 2018, desperate for change, he signed up for coaching with a PN-certified coach. He lost nearly 50 pounds that year and, on the advice of his doctors, stopped taking insulin injections and blood pressure medication.
"In the past two years, I haven't taken a single prescription drug – not a shot," he says proudly.
Victor's experience working with a coach made it clear to him that he wanted to help others too. He became a personal trainer and received his Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. (And in the fall of 2020, he completed the Precision Nutrition Level 2 program!)
It wasn't all smooth from there, however. In late 2019, Victor fought again.
"I'm a veteran with PTSD. For a while I haven't done enough to keep myself occupied. And when that happens, your mind goes elsewhere."
Victor knew he needed something to focus on, a place to direct his energy. He thought back to his experience with a coach and signed up for Precision Nutrition Coaching.
Just before he got there, the newly wed Victor moved from South Carolina to California to be with his extended family. "Adjusting to a new family life in a new place has been very challenging."
In addition to adapting to a new, well, everything, Victor soon faced another challenge: the pandemic.
The gym, where Victor had just started finding comfort and community, was closed.
He tried to adapt his workouts in the gym to work out at home, but affordable equipment was hard to come by. So he started running.
Even when temperatures got to unbearable levels (think 130C), Victor found a way to get it working. “I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to be outside by 4 in the morning. Even then it would be 97 ℉. "
At one point his neighbors asked if he was tired of running every day. His answer?
“I was fed up with taking insulin three to four times a day and pricking my finger three to four times a day. That made me tired. But run? No."
Eventually, he built some exercise equipment out of metal bars and concrete. (He calls it his "Fred Flinstone" gym.) Every now and then, his 11-year-old daughter will ask to work out with him, which will make him smile.
Towards the end of the year, Victor and his wife signed COVID-19. “My heart rate got very high. My doctor suggested that I reverse my exercise, so I relaxed. But I didn't stop. Eventually my heart rate returned to normal. "
Victor's mother-in-law, who lived with him, also contracted the virus. She died shortly afterwards in December 2020.
"That was one of the most challenging things I've had to endure in a while. I'm pretty sure I'd be paralyzed if I hadn't developed an attitude towards resilience with the help of PN."
After Victor got through one of the toughest periods of his life, he decided to do something to pay it forward.
"I've been working on building a coaching business. I started training my first online client yesterday."
Silvia: A scary diagnosis made her believe she would never run again. But she regained her strength and defied the odds.
Silvia says she now looks at her body with kindness, curiosity and love.
In her early thirties, Silvia Pontuschka was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips.
"It felt like I was being handed a life sentence of misery," she recalls.
In her mid-thirties, the pain had become so severe that she had difficulty walking. She would wake up stiff and excruciating in the middle of the night.
"I was afraid of my future," she recalls. “Was that something I just had to live with forever? Should I have a hip replacement in my forties? I felt so limited about what I could do. The pain felt like a reminder that life would never be "normal". "
Silvia knew she couldn't just wait to see what would happen. She had to act.
Silvia had previously signed up for Precision Nutrition Coaching, but couldn't make it through the whole year due to the stress of an international move.
This time she felt ready to be fully involved, but she knew she would need as much support as possible. After Silvia talked to her sister about her plans, her sister volunteered for a weekly check-in for additional moral support.
“That sealed the deal for me. It was the impetus I needed to sign up, ”she says.
Silvia quickly found her groove. This time she was in much closer contact with her PN trainer. She also exercised in her gym three times a week and over the course of a few short months she felt her body grow stronger.
But soon, COVID-19 meant her gym had to close.
Silvia tried to make the best of the situation. She decided to turn her living room into a makeshift gym and used the program's minimal workout routines.
This worked for Silvia in the beginning. But at one point she felt that something was missing when she was training on her own.
So she found another responsible partner – a training partner.
Soon, Silvia's daily training became the anchor of her day and helped her stick to a routine when everything else seemed upside down.
After weeks, then months, Silvia noticed that her body was getting stronger.
"Four modified push-ups before a rest was needed turned into seven, then ten, which then became sets of push-ups."
And the debilitating pain in her hips?
It was still a problem in the middle of the year, so she decided on a strategy from her PN coaching class: she kept things simple.
Silvia added an exercise to her routine that focused on the glutes. And as she felt able, she gradually added more targeted exercises to help her hip mobility.
Silvia does what she once thought was impossible: run!
“The steady and slow emergence of my strength, mobility, and length of my daily walks over the last six months of the program resulted in better flexibility, less pain, and the ability to do something I thought was no longer possible: Go run! "
Silvia was even looking for more ways to move her body. She took afternoon walks every day, using her apartment stairs instead of the elevator, and looking for hills on her bike rides.
“The more I moved, the more I realized that my body was designed for just that. Every move became a way to honor my body and admire how wonderful it is. "
Best of all, "All of this wasn't achieved by being perfect and making grand gestures, but by just showing up and doing what I could with the time, energy, and resources I had at the moment."
Bradley: After a decade of pain, he's regained control of his health – and lost 80 pounds.
Bradley wanted to lose weight for years. He achieved that and much more.
A decade ago, Bradley was in a car accident in which he broke his back in four places and was in persistent pain.
A few years later he developed sciatica-like pain from arthritis, which made exercise almost unbearable. Not long after that, he developed rashes, which his doctor treated with a steroid regimen.
And with this treatment came unwanted weight gain.
The extra weight made his previous back injury worse and further limited his ability to exercise.
“I was completely broken, both physically and mentally. I was hopeless. "
When Bradley hit rock bottom, he connected with someone who had recently completed Precision Nutrition Coaching. They told him the program could help, and Bradley wanted to try everything – so he signed up.
"When I started, I couldn't do any of the exercises without a lot of pain. I had to take it very easy," he recalls. Bradley focused on stretching daily, walking on his treadmill, and practicing the program's eating habits .
Within a few weeks he noticed a weight loss.
Then the pandemic hit. Another roadblock. Bradley couldn't believe it.
As a healthcare lab technician, Bradley got caught up in a busy schedule of COVID-19 testing. Like many other frontline workers, the demands of his job left him little energy for his own health.
Every day was another legitimate reason for Bradley to break the momentum he was building with diet and fitness. But he relied time and again on one big, undeniable reason to keep going:
“I had to improve. Not just for me, but for my family. "
So he did what he could, when he could, working to get "just a little better" every day. He continued to decrease.
The more Bradley lost, the better he felt. After almost a decade of feeling stuck, the ball rolled.
Bradley felt like he was finally getting better.
Bradley with his wife and daughters.
"Losing weight was almost easy after a while because I wasn't focusing on losing weight but on healing," says Bradley.
By the end of the year, Bradley had lost 80 pounds and 53 inches overall. And as the strain on his body decreased, his pain went from debilitating pain to mild, occasional pain.
Now he's finally back to his favorite hobby: bowling in leagues and tournaments.
His biggest takeout?
"By completing the program during the pandemic, I realized that no matter the circumstances, I could take time to care for my health."
Lindsey: When her business closed, she found solace in diet and fitness and lost 14 pounds in the process.
"Moving every day made everything else feel feasible," says Lindsey.
At 34, Lindsey Marvin's weight, insomnia and anxiety were at all-time highs.
Money was tight in the taproom and restaurant that Lindsey owns with her husband. Business is a love job for the couple, so she worked 14-hour days in a row to keep them afloat.
That means Lindsey's health and wellbeing were at the bottom of her to-do list. “The first thing I ate stress was to be able to go back to work. I felt completely out of control, ”she says.
One day Lindsey discovered that some of her favorite clothes no longer fit.
And the idea of putting on a bathing suit? No way.
That was a turning point. "Going to the beach is my absolute favorite thing, so I knew I had to make some changes."
Last year, Lindsey saw her husband lose 60 pounds with the help of Precision Nutrition coaching. "He was more confident and in control than I'd ever seen," she says. So she decided to sign up as well.
A curveball almost in the middle of the coaching year: Your restaurant had to close due to COVID-19.
"Watching the restaurant empty was very emotional for me," says Lindsey. “Starting a small business and growing is like having a baby. The thought of it failing is traumatic. "
But that empty space that initially felt so uncomfortable?
Lindsey got creative and turned the empty taproom into her own gym.
She used bags of sugar as weights. She filled barrels on different levels and used them too.
"After I started training in my makeshift training room, I regained a sense of control over the situation," she recalls.
Despite all the uncertainties, this was a place where she could let go of everything and focus on doing something for herself.
“When I moved my body and planned my meals every day, everything else felt doable. I learned to control what I could and no longer care about the things I couldn't. "
Lindsey made not only physical but also mental progress.
Working with her doctor, Lindsey slowly weaned the drugs she had been taking for anxiety and insomnia. At the same time, she picked up some new coping strategies.
“I started knitting before bed instead of watching TV or scrolling through my phone. It was just enough mental stimulation to keep me from boredom, and it kept my hands busy so I wouldn't want to eat late at night. "
Lindsey was scared of going to a gym. Now she goes a couple of times a week.
When the gyms opened their doors again, Lindsey took one of the lessons in Precision Nutrition Coaching to heart: She stepped out of her comfort zone and tried something new.
She went to a (real) gym and hired a personal trainer.
“I was concerned about having a coach. But when I was supported by Coach Gillian, I felt more open to giving it a try. I love being trained now. "
By the end of 2020, Lindsey had lost a total of 16 inches and received a new approach to taking care of her health:
“When I started PN, I was obsessed with the number on a scale. I thought I would have to spend hours weighing food and always being perfect. Now I know that it's a collection of little things that lead to something bigger. I don't have to do anything. I just have to think about myself what I want and get a little better every day. "
Philip: At 61, he got his health and fitness back on track with small, simple shifts in the right direction.
Philip's commitment to improving a little each day paid off.
When Philip Davis began Precision Nutrition Coaching, he was on a "gentle, yet obvious, downward trend."
While he had always walked quite a bit, Philip's friends pointed out that he would take the least hilly route on their walks. He also noticed that he was climbing the steep hill to his house.
Philip knew that his physical fitness was deteriorating.
And the health traits he was tracking – blood pressure, cholesterol, body fat percentage, and weight – all rose.
“I was starting to dislike the way I looked in the mirror. My clothes didn't fit either. And once a buddy even commented on my "Dad Bod"! "
Philip knew he didn't want physical decline to become his new normal.
But he wondered what to do next: stay on the same course? Or move more and eat differently?
Philip knew his up and down the hill was related to what he calls bad eating habits: too much wine at dinner and a tendency to frequent neighborhood bakeries.
When he joined the program, he was eager to improve his diet. But knew it was going to be a process and that his efforts could backfire if he felt deprived.
He understood that he couldn't completely change his habits overnight. What he discovered, however, was that he didn't have to. (Check out the PMs Body transformation research to find out why.)
Philip told himself that if he "kept coming back" he could adopt new habits – healthier habits – that would last.
The way Philip sees it developing new habits is like sailing a boat. If you change the direction of a boat a few degrees, that slight adjustment can dramatically change the ultimate destination.
Throughout the year Philip experienced "mistakes" on occasion. Instead of being discouraged by these setbacks, he focused on how to improve a little each day.
And the steep hill to his house? Philip hardly notices it now.
He enjoys his daily walks on the steep hills of his neighborhood.
In fact, Philip and his wife are now looking for hills on their daily walks:
"There is one particular walk we take in the morning that is 500 feet in elevation in half a mile. Then I feel how all those squats from the PN exercise program are doing!"
Twelve months later, Philip is 15 pounds leaner and a lot stronger.
"I have a more proactive attitude towards my health and fitness that will serve me well today, tomorrow and for the rest of my life."
Do you want help in becoming the healthiest, fittest, and strongest version of yourself?
Most people know that regular exercise, good food, sleep, and managing stress are all important in looking and feeling better. However, they need help applying this knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful, life.
For the past 15 years, we've used the Precision Nutrition Coaching methodology to serve over 100,000 customers lose weight, Get stronger, and improve their health… in the long term … regardless of the challenges you are dealing with.
For this reason, we also work with health, fitness and wellness professionals (as part of our Level 1 and Level 2 certification programs) to teach them how to do this coach their own clients through the same challenges.
Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the pre-sale list. You save up to 54% and secure a place 24 hours earlier.
We will be opening places in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021.
If you are interested in coaching and want to learn more, I recommend joining our pre-sale list below. Being on the list gives you two distinct advantages.
- You pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition, we want to reward the most interested and motivated people because they are always the best customers. By joining the pre-sale list you can save up to 54% off the general public price. This is the lowest price we've ever offered.
- You are more likely to get a seat. In order to give customers the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open the program twice a year. The last time we opened the registration, we were sold out within a few minutes. By joining the pre-sale list, you have the option to register 24 hours before anyone else, which increases your chances of getting started.
If you are ready to change your body and life with the help of the best coaches in the world, this is your chance.
(Note: If your health and fitness are already established but you want to help others, see our Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Program).