Weight Loss Success Story: real [FIT] life Makeover Challenge Winner, Tanya


 Anyone who has successfully achieved a weight loss goal knows that consistency in sticking with your diet plan is paramount to reaching that goal. Anyone who has attempted to lose weight also knows that is the HARDEST part of losing weight. Sticking with it long enough to actually see the results. Any results.


This past March real [FIT] life launched our 15 Week “Get Ready for Summer” Makeover Challenge with 12 participants. For 15 weeks our Challenge Participants attended weekly meetings, had weekly weigh ins and measurements, and followed an exercise program designed specifically for them, consisting of two strength workouts and 3 short HIIT workouts, weekly.

 Everyone received weight loss coaching and recommendations for calorie intake and macro nutrient balance based on their personal needs.They received guidance along the way as they learned how to accurately log and track their food to guarantee results.


real [FIT] life did NOT tell people WHAT to eat. No foods were off limits. During this challenge our participants learned how to create diets that centered around their personal food preferences, while hitting their macro nutrient and calorie targets. 


This Challenge was not easy, but for the people who planned and stuck with it, they accomplished remarkable results, losing a 1/2 pound to a pound (or more) per week, in addition to a LOT of inches. 


We’ll be highlighting more of our Challenge Participants in the weeks to come, but today I’d like to highlight Tanya. Tanya has been training with real [FIT] life for almost two years now. Prior to starting with us, she had successfully lost quite a bit of weight on her own. When this challenge started, Tanya had a lot of experience with our training program. Her attendance has always been consistent and she’s a great student in that she pays attention to feedback and constantly strives to learn new things.


This Challenge took Tanya to a whole other level. Her level of dedication was beyond impressive and I’m not at all surprised that she took First Prize at the end of the 10 Week Phase. By the end of the 15 Weeks, Tanya had lost just over 17 pounds and 19 inches! 


Today I’d like to share some of Tanya’s own thoughts on her experience from the Challenge, with a little narrative from me when needed.


On a scale of 1-10, how hard was it to stick to your diet plan and why? 


The first 10 weeks I would give an 8.  In the beginning I struggled hitting the protein target; this became easier after finding more foods that contained higher amounts of protein for less calories.  By the end of the 10 weeks, it was really not a struggle, although planning was key.

The last 5 weeks I would give a 6.  At this time we adjusted calories to correlate to rest days and work out days; the lower calorie days were tough because I simply wanted more food; the higher calorie days were tough since I was now overshooting my protein targets!

(Tanya refers to her lower calorie days several times through this interview. During the final 5 week phase, participants were given the option to cycle their calories. On workout days, they consumed significantly higher calories and on rest days they consumed significantly lower calories.

Although their weekly total intake equaled exactly the same calorie amount as when they weren’t cycling calories (eating exactly the same number of calories on workout and rest days), the lower calorie days can be tough because your body has been used to getting a certain amount of calories daily.

It’s great on the days when you get to eat a couple more hundred calories, but on the days when you’re eating a couple hundred LESS, it can be tough going.

This option was offered to participants to try and bump weight loss, after being at a caloric deficit for ten weeks already. Ideally, a weight loss phase should be conducted for a maximum of 12 weeks, with a temporary break before trying to lose more. Weight loss is a serious stressor for the body.)


What was the most frustrating part of your weight loss experience?


Can you believe not everyone understands your journey?? My biggest frustration was not always feeling I had control over the preparation of my meals.  Even in your own home, when you share the cooking, it is hard to make others understand you want to measure, weigh, not use butter, etc.


What were your 3 biggest “a-ha” moments during the challenge?


You MUST give your body (and mind) rest. You simply cannot be at your best if you are dragging your butt or over-whelmed mentally; sometimes, less is truly more.


I CAN and WILL take this life style on the road with me; I vacationed twice in the 15 weeks and although I did not deny or restrict myself with food choices (my journal proves that!), I maintained my weight/inch loss.  Pack that cooler and use it!  And keep that body moving.


Our bodies are incredible machines that learn and make adjustments constantly; sometimes you need to change it up to continue to see positive results.  Although I struggled with the calorie allotment changes beginning in week 11, I believe it was this change that kept things moving forward for me.


Did you feel deprived during your weight loss journey?


Only on the days in the last 5 weeks when calories were low did I sometimes feel deprived.  So long as I did not have to give up all the foods/beverages I enjoyed I was fine; I learned to work wine and my yogurt pops into my program without negatively affecting my results!  If you start to resent the program, it won’t become a life style change.  Jeannine stressed she would not tell us what to eat; you know what you like, now figure out how to make it work for you.


 Name 3 moments during your transformation

that you felt really inspired and/or

proud of yourself.


 Both times I vacationed during the 15 weeks, although I indulged my sweet tooth, I was also sure to give my body the fuel it needed in terms of food and exercise.


At the gym I was inspired to see my program was starting to include lifts/exercises I had watched others do and did not believe I would be able to do myself.


I realized while gardening I didn’t need my husband to lift that large rock and move it to my shade garden; I could do it myself!


Did you enjoy training during your weight loss journey? 


Absolutely; I actually always enjoy training as I find it empowering. It is my “me” time; time to destress, and focus on just me.  Even when I am whining, I am still happy to be there and see the changes in me.  During the weight loss journey, I think I became more focused on going further and improving.  Seeing positive results is great incentive to keep moving forward.


If someone were to ask you for advice on how to successfully lose weight, based on your success, what would you tell them?


Have a cheering squad, a buddy and a coach that you can rely on. Having like minded people surrounding me makes me stay focused.  I was there to motivate my partner in crime and she was there when I needed her to push me.  Also, be forgiving to yourself; just remember to get right back in the game if you’ve lost focus.


I truly found planning to be an integral part of my success.  I work outside my home;  I bring 2 meals a day and snacks to the office with me.  Unless this is planned/prepped ahead of time, choices become slim pickings and most likely do not suit my needs.


(Kim and Tanya are best of friends. They joined this 15 Week Challenge together. As a new member at real [FIT] life, Kim did a tremendous job. You’ll be learning more about her and her weight loss success in the weeks to come!)


Pick 3 things that were the most helpful in getting you through this experience.


As I mentioned above, the buddy and coach were key to my success:


Having someone you can “be in the game” with just turns what begins as potential

drudgery into fun. You build each other up, share successes and failures and cheer each other on.


A coach that knows their “stuff”, as Jeannine does, is invaluable.  I am one that needs to understand why I am doing something a certain way to embrace it and be my best at it.  Jeannine takes the time to answer all my “why am I doing it this way?” questions without being condescending or critical.


And finally, remembering why you started this journey in the first place.  I have been on the journey with Jeannine to build strength longer than the 15 weeks.  I surprise myself on a regular basis doing things I thought were no longer going to be part of my life.  I am hiking places I wouldn’t have considered two years ago, down hill skiing again, paddle boarding, and there is definitely more to come!   55 isn’t so bad after all…


Now that the Challenge is over, whats it been like to continue your healthy journey on your own?


Well, I actually seem to crave healthier food choices! 

I believe 15 weeks is long enough to really establish habits. If I am not physically active, I find myself pacing and anxious, reminding me to get out there and move.  Focusing my energies on physical exertion is truly a stress reliever, the best I have found.  I am not even sure how many weeks it has been since maintenance began, but I am doing it and I am doing it for ME.


 I’d like to thank Tanya for taking the time to share her experience with all of us. I am so proud of her and all that she has accomplished. This Challenge offered great support and guidance but at the end of the day, each participant had to do the work themselves. That’s the hard part!


If you’d like help with your weight loss journey, be sure to register for our FREE 2 Hour Weight Loss Workshop on Saturday, September 23rd at 9am.


It’s our 1 Year Anniversary in our New Studio and to celebrate, we’re holding FREE WORKSHOPS all September!


Click on the dates on the calendar below OR Click on This Link for all of our Workshop info and to register for your FREE ticket!




Jeannine Trimboli, CEO, 


 real [FIT] life




real [FIT] life 

8 Corporate Circle

Albany, NY