Macro Nutrition & Resistance Training Led to a New Career

How Discovering Macro Nutrition and Resistance Training Led Stephanie to a New Career and a New Hip.

By Stephanie Whittle

I’ve always enjoyed exercising – but I never really paid any attention to my diet. Looking back, I suppose I ate a fairly balanced diet, but I definitely enjoyed my sweet treats.  I began to notice that as I aged and as my body and hormones changed, some of the “extras” that I used to be able to eat suddenly starting to stick around – especially on my waist and hips!

I walked into Cōpare Tysons in 2018 because I was in desperate need of a tune up.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to eat, and my eating habits were poor – I was skipping breakfast, skimping on lunch, grabbing treats at Starbucks on the go, and not really paying attention to portion sizes.  During my consultation at Cōpare, I said I wanted to lose weight, but, more importantly, I wanted someone to teach me what I was supposed to eat and why.

I began the program and was fascinated by what I was learning from my health coach and how my body responded to the program.  Mostly, I couldn’t believe how much better I felt when I ate the right mix of foods at consistent intervals throughout the day. My energy was better, my moods were better, my thinking was clearer.  So, I dug in and learned all that I could about macro nutrition. I read books, listened to podcasts, and continued to ask my coach questions about eating healthy.   Eventually, I decided to get my nutrition certification, and in the fall of 2019 jumped at the chance to work at Cōpare Tysons as a health coach.

Interestingly, at around the same time I joined Cōpare as a health coach, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my right hip. I was told I’d likely need a hip replacement in a few years.  I knew keeping my weight in check would help as I navigated life with a bum hip.  I was equipped to do that, thanks to Cōpare.  I also knew that I needed to keep moving and find things that I could still do and enjoy. The doctor told me to “stay in shape” so that, when I did get my hip replaced, my recovery was as smooth as possible. With that in mind, I decided to find a trainer who specialized in weightlifting and set out to learn how to strengthen my body, with a focus on my hips and legs. Barbell squats, deadlifts, bench presses, farmer carries, rows, pull downs, and planks became part of my new workout routine. Getting stronger felt great and building an intentional resistance training habit has been another important part of the “tune-up” that began in 2018.

In June 2021, the “in a few years” hip replacement happened.   It’s been a couple of months since surgery and I can tell you that eating well, including eating sufficient protein, along with maintaining and improving the strength in my body, especially hips and legs, has allowed me to manage my surgery and recovery in the best way possible.  I’m certainly not perfect with my eating or with my exercise, but I know the core principles of eating lower carb, higher protein, with healthy fats, managing portion size, staying hydrated, and consistently moving my body (in the ways that I am able and that I enjoy) are absolutely on point.  I realize that joint replacement is something that many clients confront as well and am thrilled that I can incorporate some of what I’ve learned about the process into my health coaching.  I’m grateful to be a small part of helping clients get healthier so they can feel better, move more, and enjoy life.

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