The AMAZING Fitness Journey of Two BESTIES!
Losing weight is not easy, no matter what diet or workout plan you’re following. But there is one thing that can make it easier: doing it with your best friend. We talked with Carly and Emma, two girls who lost weight together and showed their weight-loss journey on instagram. Get inspired and then call your bestie and get started!
NAME: Emmanuelle Joli-Coeur
RESIDENCE: I’m from Canada, living in Montreal
WEIGHT: Around 135 pounds, it goes up and down!
PROFESSION: I recently came back from working abroad for about 2 years in an international resort company, where I met Carly. I will start my studies in September 2016 to become a Human Resources director at the University of Montreal.
NAME: Carly-Ann Miller
RESIDENCE: Lake Stevens, WA about 40 minutes north of Seattle
WEIGHT: 120 but I try to focus more on how my clothes fit
HEIGHT: 5’ 2”
PROFESSION: As Emma said, we just moved back from working for Club Med. I was working for Club Med for 3 years and am now in the process of opening a company with my boyfriend so I am a Business Owner! It is all very exciting!
Hey Girls, thanks for the interview! Can you tell us about yourself, your relationship and how you got to know each other?
Emma: Yes of course! We met about 3 years ago in the Turks and Caicos Islands (quite the dream right!). We were both working for an international resort company, Club Med. We really got close when we were sent to Japan for work, it was difficult for us to adjust to a new country as well as such a different culture, I can only say I was so lucky to have her there for me all the time.
Carly: I can definitely say that I did not think Emma liked me when we first met. She seemed to avoid conversations with me and just seemed to keep her distance. Little did I know that she actually had absolutely no idea what I was saying! Typically, with other girls that is not what comes to mind first when you are being avoided! But like Emma said, we soon learned that we had SO much in common and the friendship just grew from there.
What is your fitness/weight loss story and what made you decide to make a change to your health?
Emma: When we finished our first contract in Japan, we went on a trip with a few friends to Thailand, saw amazing things and lived quite the dream for a few weeks over there. We indulged on so much great food and had maybe a little too much to drink! Weeks went by and Carly went back to America, for myself, I stayed in Thailand a little longer and went back to Japan where I was basically eating, drinking and laying on the beach all day. When we met about a month later, back in Japan and ready for our next contract, we both realized that these few months of holidays made us gain more than a few pounds! We were close to 10 kilos over our “normal’’ weight. That is when we decided we had to do something. We started a program, 28 days booty challenge, NO REST, 28 days to get us back in the game, we would commit to about 45 minutes in the gym EVERYDAY plus an hour walk every morning, no matter how tired we were from our long days of work, we NEEDED to make a change. We started changing our eating habits and focusing on our workouts a lot. We had a goal and it was to get into the best shape of our lives!
Is it easier to lose weight when having a partner in crime?
Emma: I would say it took a bit of time before we could actually see results, we tried a lot of things and we HAD to eat at a buffet 3 times a day which made things a bit difficult. But we eventually made it, with trying different programs, different supplements. We can 100% say it is easier to lose the extra weight when you are doing this journey with someone that is actually going through the same challenges as yourself. Carly and I spent a few months doing different programs and we are now doing the same program together, while still being apart but we can say that it is a lot easier to go through the workouts when you know that on the other side your best friend is struggling with the same!
Carly: I completely agree with Emma. There were so many times when the ups and downs got to me and having someone going through the same journey with me was HUGE. It was incredible to start the journey together but even more valuable to know and learn how different our bodies are from one another. Emma is well aware of my personal struggles both mentally and psychically and having someone to confide in about all of that is so so vital! Regardless of time zones or language barriers, a partner in crime makes the journey so much better!
Have you had to deal with any injuries or setbacks along the way?
Emma: We have had quite a few setbacks throughout our journey. It wasn’t easy, for myself, I started to lose too much weight at some point and I was being a bit obsessive on my eating. It is difficult when you don’t quite understand the nutrition part of it, when you don’t know what nutrients your body needs and when it needs it. It is so nice to see your body change in a good way but sometimes, it will change in a way you don’t want it to change. Now, that I am in a GREAT place physically and emotionally, I can look back at the past and say that set backs are NORMAL and they will happen, it is just how life is. Sometimes we have to step back to be able to step FORWARD and be stronger afterwards!
Carly: Yes, so many setbacks. I think looking back on it now I would look at them more as learning points rather than setbacks, and I am still experiencing them! I am definitely still learning. I personally also suffer from a disease called Endometriosis, I guess you cannot consider this an injury, but there have been a number of times when the pain I am in is beyond excruciating and the last thing I want to do is go to the gym. I always listen to my body, but I have really learned that exercising and pushing my body physically forces me to focus on my breathing and overall has helped my symptoms and pain. It is not always fun to start that workout when I would rather be curled in a ball, but it is not long before I am so happy that I pushed through the ever occurring symptoms.
Can you describe your diet and workout plans? Are they completely similar?
We are following the same workout plan at the moment. It focuses on weight training and just a little bit of cardio. We are starting the fourth week of the program now and we are loving it so far. As for our diet, we are both different and have a different body composition, therefore our bodies have needs that are not the same. We follow a similar diet but not the exact same one. Also, I am a lot taller than Carly, so obviously my calorie intake will be higher than hers. We both use the Women’s Best whey protein to refuel our bodies after every workout and we love to use the slim body shake in our daily smoothies. We found that the flavors are the best and that they help us reach our fitness goals!
What is your least favorite healthy food to eat?
Emma: Every morning, I have a shot of Apple cider vinegar, it is really good for you but GOSH it tastes SO bad.
Carly: Emma said it exactly. Simple. Apple Cider Vinegar. Great health benefits but gosh, drinking that first thing in the morning is not the best morning wake up.
When it comes to eating well what are your top 3 recommendations?
Emma: I think it is important to eat things that you like and enjoy eating. Carly and I found a lot of healthy but tasty recipes and I think that it is why we are able to keep on track with healthy eating. Also, we both eat around 5 to 6 meals a day (this includes 3 snacks usually and 3 big meals) we think it is important to do so, then we keep our metabolism going all day.
One last thing would be to have variety in your diet, because really chicken and broccoli does get old. It is so easy to switch it up because there are so many options out there when it comes to healthy eating.
Carly: I would definitely agree! I would say:
1. Meal prep
2. Eating often
Meal prep has really helped us stay on track with a healthy lifestyle while not obsessing over every ounce that we put on. It helps us maintain our diets and give our bodies the proper nutrients it needs while also helping us cut back on the snacking. If our meals are prepped for the week then that “grazing” through the kitchen while finding what you actually want to eat is not an issue.
Snacks are useful so you don’t get too hungry which prevents you from overeating later.
Balance is something that we cannot stress enough. It has taken both of us a long time to figure out what balance meant in our life and we cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain balance throughout a fitness journey. You cannot restrict yourself too much or it only leads to binging. We cannot tell you how many times that Costco peanut butter tub mysteriously went empty overnight. It has taken us a lot of time but we now listen to our bodies and if we want a treat or an extra scoop of peanut butter, or yes, a cocktail, we allow ourselves to enjoy it! We want this to be a lifestyle so finding that balance has been a huge factor in our overall success.
Do you also have cheat days? If so, what’s your favorite cheat meal?
Emma: We prefer having a cheat meal rather than a cheat day, then we don’t go into binge eating later. We allow ourselves treats here and there because we believe in having a balance in our diet. My favorite cheat meal would probably be chocolate and cookie dough ice cream or cheese cake!
Carly: Yes! We definitely have cheat days! Like Emma said, we try and limit it to a cheat meal because we have learned how horrible we feel after a full day of binging. This is reflected in our last answer in regards to balance. Now that we are not as restrictive we don’t feel the need to binge as often so a cheat meal here and there is a great fix! For me I LOVE granola and cereals and could eat those ALL day long so often my cheat meals or treats include something of the sort. But for a full on meal, I would say ANYTHING Mexican. I LOVE Mexican food. Oh! And I am OBSESSED with my raw ball recipes! Heaven.
What is your favorite form of exercise to do and why?
Emma: I love weight training; to me it is the most enjoyable form of exercise. And my favorite muscle group to train is legs! I like to feel strong and the progress that I can see on my body from weight lifting.
Carly: I agree, any leg workout is amazing! Not only do I love working that muscle group but I am really wanting gains in that area which means even MORE food on those days! In regards to an exact exercise, I have a love/hate relationship with Bulgarian squats and LOVE dead lifts.
What advice would you offer to those just starting to exercise?
Emma: I would tell someone who is starting to exercise to TAKE YOUR TIME. Carly and I went straight into it and we went hard from the beginning. That being said, not everyone is willing to do that and it can be discouraging for someone if they can’t follow a plan that is so intense. Also, give yourself a chance and don’t think that you can achieve a transformation like those you see on the internet overnight. It takes time and hard work, but if we did it, anyone can do it!
Carly: Em mentioned this to me today and I could not agree more, but try not to mimic someone else’s journey. We are all so different and every fitness or health journey is so individual. We definitely agree that the programs out there today are AMAZING! But you have to enjoy the workouts in order for them to be effective and to hopefully create a lifestyle. If you do not like running, do not train for a marathon. If you do not like weight lifting, do not choose a body building program. You have to enjoy what you are doing if you want to stick with it and actually make it part of your everyday life. Also, nutrition is just as, if not more, important than the actual workout program itself and everyone is COMPLETELY different in what they should or should not be eating. Our followers often ask us to share what exactly we are eating and we try our best to share all our recipes and our meal plans but we also stress that it is so individual so what is working for us might not work for them. We are doing the EXACT same workouts right now but are on ENTIRELY different meal plans. And over the past 10 months we have changed our meal plans a number times because slowly we are learning more and more about our bodies and how important nutrition is overall. AND how AMAZING carbs are for us! This took a LONG time to understand and to not be afraid of in regards to weight gain.
What do you think about Women’s Best and what is your favorite product?
Emma: We really enjoy Women’s Best, not only because the products are tasty but also because of the health benefit that they bring as well. We are currently using the slim body shake (loving all their flavors!) in our daily smoothies, it makes us feel full for longer periods than previous supplements we’ve taken and it brings so many great nutrients and vitamins to our bodies, definitely a game changer in our journey! We also use the whey protein every day to refuel our bodies after a workout! It is so important to give your body the proper nutrients to be able to build muscles the right way and women’s best whey protein with 24 grams of protein per serving really helps us to reach our goals.
Carly: Over the past 10 months Emma and I have tried SO many proteins and we can honestly say that we LOVE Women’s Best! Currently I am obsessed with making my protein balls with the Vanilla Whey Protein. It just has the perfect flavor with the little bit of sweetness to fix my treat cravings. And my new found love is the Strawberry Slim Body Shake! Not only is it LOADED with essential vitamins but it is Vegan and completely free of any additives! I am not Vegan but knowing that it is Vegan lets me know that it is clean and easy for my body to use and digest. It makes the BEST protein waffles I have ever had in my life! Em shared the recipe with me and I am hooked. And that is a fact.
What are your goals for 2016?
Emma: My goals for 2016 are to gain some muscle mass, to keep as healthy as possible and I hope to help and motivate others to start their own fitness journey, their journey to the best version of them they can possibly be!
Carly: Yes, our overall goal is to hopefully motivate and inspire as many women as possible and to share our story. It is easy for our followers to only see the photos and not to see what’s actually behind them. We hope to be as real as possible and share our journey in any way that we can!