I am joined in this episode by MetPro coaches Shannon Pierson, Eric Wilson, and Director of Coaching, Megan Omli. We are discussing the most memorable clients. Thank you guys so much for joining me.
I’m happy to be here.
I am so excited to talk about this because I love hearing stories that get you thinking about different ways to approach weight loss or big competition events that you have going on. I'm very curious to hear about all of your different clients that are most memorable. Who wants to start?
I’ll kick this off. I was trying to think of people who are a little bit unique. Somebody reading this and is saying, “I can't do MetPro. My schedule is super weird.” I had a client who is a night nurse. He was up all night and then would sleep all day or kind of. If you're a night nurse, you probably get less sleep because you can't sleep all day. You get home and you got things to do. The rest of the world operates during the day.
He would sleep for a period of time once he got home and he’d get up. He had a longer day typically. He was always like, “I'm going to have breakfast at 3:00 PM on days that I work and then at 8:00 AM on days that I don't work. How's that going to work with this carb-cycle lane and the different kinds of levers that you guys use?”
He is just the nicest guy. We were able to figure it out and it worked out well. If he got up and did his exercise first thing in the morning and then we started his breakfast. He's like, “At 4:00 in the afternoon, I want to eat a steak, Megan.” I'm like, “No problem.” Don't forget you can get into your meal creator. It doesn't have to be breakfast food or maybe you decided to eat breakfast for dinner one night. I'm good with that. Just throw those macro specific to that meal and off you go. At 6:00 AM, he'd be like, “Right before I go to bed, that's technically my last meal and it's supposed to be dinner, but I don't want to eat steak at that time.”
You can flip them but use the corresponding macros. Here's a really fun client. He ended up losing over 50 pounds with me. He did phenomenally and he got an amazing shape. Now to this day, he still exercises almost every day. I texted him and he was like, “I'm riding my bike down by the coast.” I'm like, “He would have never. He would have sat home and drink instead of doing that kind of thing.” That's such a fun one.
Why do you think that he is stuck in your brain so much?
He would be the first to say it, but he was a total Igor when he got started. “I can't do this. This stinks. It's not going to work for me. My hormones are messed up because of my sleep schedule,” and we turned him around. He sticks in my mind because he doubted so hard that it was going to work for him and he was like, “No. I'm doing this for a couple of months and then I'm out.” He was my client for two and a half years. That's one of the reasons why he sticks in my mind. I liked him. I enjoy calling him every week like, “How's it going,” and just connecting. That's a good guy.
Eric, how about you? Who pops into your head?
Someone that I think of often is a client that came to me years ago and then came back to me a little bit later. She has now been with me for several years. She came to me because her husband had passed away and she had spent several of the last few years caring for him. She was not taking good care of herself in putting all her effort into making sure that he got the care he needed. As it turns out, he was quite an athlete, an avid exerciser and runner, and always doing exercise things. He would bring her to do the things she would do with him or could do with him but he was always in better shape than her so she couldn't do all these things.
He lived an extra year longer than he was supposed to because of his health. One of the doctors made no mistake about telling him and his wife that that was the case. They said, “You should have been gone, but because of your extreme health, you're still here but note that you're going to go.” He made her promise that when he was no longer around, she was going to take her health seriously and that she would become an exerciser. She would watch what she ate and she would do the things that she could do to take care of her because she saw the benefit it gave him.
She promised him, “Yes, I'll do that.”
Where I came in was she called me and told me that story. Obviously immediately, when you hear it, you're a little bit heartbroken, but you're also inspired to say, “Let’s do this. This sounds like something that would benefit you and that I would love to help you do. Let's take this journey.” I got her for about a year and in that year, I introduced her to running. When I say I introduced her to running, she did a marathon.
She had never run in her life, right?
The husband is going out for a run, “I'll see if I can jog around the block and I'll meet you back here when you're done with your three miles,” but no. She began exercising and running. She began eating the MetPro way and immediately felt the Kool-Aid starting to work. She said, “I feel amazing. I'm sleeping better. My thoughts are clear.”
The part I haven't told you about her yet is when I got her, she was 69 years old.
She had never run and she started training for a marathon at 69 years old. That's inspiring.
She had a personal trainer on her end that would work with her regularly. I didn't do a whole lot of the exercise with her at first, but I balanced her nutrition with what the trainer was doing. We would communicate back and forth. This is what we’re going to do this week. These are the foods I'm going to ask you to eat then and we worked in conjunction. COVID hit and she lost that trainer because that trainer no longer had a place to work from. Ultimately, she came to me and said, “I think I need to come back, but I don't know what to do about my training.” That's when I reminded her, “I can help you with that too.”
We do all the things that MetPro.
Where we had previously worked together, I then took over the duties of her eating, which had slipped a little bit during COVID and we got that right back on track. Also, her exercise. Since she's been back with me, not only can she still run anywhere and everywhere she wants, but now she might do something like schedule a hiking trip to the top of Mount Shasta and back.
It’s a significant hike where people are a quarter her age and are struggling to do it. She just mows on right by him and goes, “I just passed someone.” What she can do these days is quite amazing. Since she was with me, she's now in her middle to upper 70s. She set a personal deadlift record when she had her trainer. The trainer was making her deadlift. I think it was 145 pounds.
I want to be this lady when I grow up. This is amazing.
She runs like crazy. She hikes everywhere. That's the story of someone that highly inspires me. I forgot to mention, that we got her down twenty pounds also to her ideal weight where she has confirmed with me that she doesn't need to lose another inkling, but her clothing size has required her to replace her entire wardrobe.
Does she feel like she has risen to the challenge of the promise that she made to her husband? Does she feel like she's checked that box?
I believe she feels like she has exceeded that box because she'll say to me, like, “I didn't think I would ever be able to,” and then describe something to me. She was on a hike with a young grandchild not long ago and had to maneuver around some rocky situations. She said, “I'm confident that I could not have done that before working with you. I'm strong from head to toe and I couldn't find a weak spot.” She said, “I could navigate it with the kids that were around her that were a tenth of her age.”
I love that story. Every time I hear it, I'm like, “Oh.”
I feel like I need to go start training for a marathon now.
It shows you that when you put your mind to things, you dial your nutrition in and you get out everything in order, you can accomplish a lot of things you might have thought you couldn't.
That’s a very good point. Shannon, how about you? Who comes to mind for you?
I love how we all have so many amazing stories and it seems like that would be so hard to follow. I still feel really excited to share who I have in mind. I've got a couple, but I'll start with one of the clients that were towards the beginning of when I started working for MetPro and solidified that the work we do is so amazing, important, and rewarding for not just the client, but also for us as coaches. I think of her often of why I do what I do every day.
She came to us with a long dieting history and a lot of restrictions. She felt like food was the enemy basically that she had to eat to survive, but it was every morsel was something that she was afraid was going to make her fatter. She felt uncomfortable and unhealthy. That was a big fear of hers. When she got here and we were asking her to eat real food, including carbohydrates, she had a legit panic attack.
She called me and she was like, “I cannot do this and this is why.” I had to help talk her down off the ledge basically and asked her to trust me and explained. It’s a lot of education about why we're doing what we're doing. Let me tell you, the day that I got the call back from her, where she was like, “Shannon, I'm eating berries and oatmeal for breakfast and it's the most amazing thing in the world. I'm not afraid of it and I feel good. I feel better and I'm not losing. I'm not gaining weight. How is this happening?”
I get her to where she's eating significantly more carbs, probably more calories than she had in her life. She was one of the ones that lost weight when we weren't expecting her to lose weight. We were focusing on revving her metabolism and she was still dropping pounds. She told me multiple times how MetPro changed her entire relationship with food. Food was now something that she enjoyed and looked forward to. She could go to social events and not be distracted and fearful. She could participate, make healthy choices, and feel great in her body. The brain fog went away. She felt clear-headed, energetic, strong, and comfortable with her relationship with food. I think of her often. It’s very inspiring.
I bet you do think of her often and I feel like what a testament to you also and the training that you get at MetPro and you had before that because to be able to have that conversation with somebody when you first started. You were new. Were you at all a little worried like, “Do I have the right words? Am I going to be able to convey this properly?” Were you like, “I got this.” I'm curious.
I wasn't brand new. I was also very grateful for I had a lot of training. I'm a registered dietician and part of my Master's degree training was in Nutrition Counseling. It’s not just education, but also how to navigate some of these more challenging aspects. The gray area can be a little uncomfortable for both the coach, the counselor, and the client. I felt not like I could not get it right every time. It's always going to be a give and take and figuring out, who is this person and what's important to them. That training helped navigate that.
I bet and that's a really good reminder that the coaches at MetPro have a variety of different backgrounds and specialties. That's one of the things that go into when we bring people in being able to have that discussion like, “Who's a really good fit here?” You were clearly the perfect person to be able to work with her, have that background, have that special, and work with her. That's amazing. It's like you were meant to be there.
It was a great reminder because you get in your habit of like, “Here's your meal plan. Off you go.” Thankfully, she told me how she was feeling, but there are plenty of people who have those feelings and don't express them. It was good for me as a coach too and I think of that aspect often as well to check in instead of just assuming that everything is out in the open.
That is a very good reminder. Those were good stories. I feel like we've just scratched the surface though. Megan, I see that grin. Do you have another thought?
I have so many other ones in my head. I keep going back to my clients that were difficult with scheduling though. Often, we hear from clients like, “This is hard. I can't fit in all this food or these meals. I can't pack them,” or what have you. I keep thinking of people with scheduling conflicts. Diving deep, I had a neurosurgeon or a brain surgeon whose cases were long and complicated. He lived in a small town and he was the only guy within hundreds of miles. If something goes wrong, it's all him. He was on call all the time. Anybody that needed anything like that, it was him doing those procedures.
He ended up in the OR all the time, scheduled or unscheduled, you name it. The thing that was amazing about this client as I was always like, “You are not getting in all your snacks.” I was always probing like, “You have all these green lines for me. You're always checking off for your meals.” There's no freaking way is what I'm thinking. It would be like, “I was on the case for twelve hours yesterday.” I was like, “What? How could you eat?”
He was so strategic. At the office, he was able to keep all of his shelf-stable items and his nurses were able to either get those for him or he was able to be like, “My caseload now is going to be heavy. I need to get to the hospital cafeteria and get some smoothie made.” He's sipping on that versus just water during the surgeries. Think about the mental clarity for this guy. I would always be asking him, I'm like, “Do you have any issues with low blood sugar?” When I have you on intake, the last thing you need to do is be shaky when you’re doing something like that.
He was like, “No. I know it's been two and a half hours. It’s time to get a snack.” I'm like, “How do you do that?” He would be like, “I'll just keep nuts or an applesauce packet in my pocket and step back for a minute or scrub out scrubbed back in to have a meal.” He was amazing. Ever since I ma with that client, somebody will be like, “My schedule just doesn't allow for it.” I'm like, “Your schedule allows for it. Let me tell you about it.” He popped into my mind. It was a hardcore dedication. He had a harder time metabolically so he knew he had to be on point. I think he wished he had lost about 40 pounds. We got about 20 pounds off of him. He had a pretty hard plateau, but then we got some really good physique changes out of him through that next shifting of exercise and whatnot. He was a happy camper with how things ended up looking for him.
That is so cool and so inspiring in a different way. All of you guys have brought up these amazing people, all these inspirational stories, and they are own inspiring in different ways. There are no obstacles that you can't knock down if you have a strategy.
That's the key right there plus you've got your coach in your corner. We want this so bad for you so it makes a big old difference.
It sure does and it shows the dedication that each of you guys has. Eric, is there a client that is popping through your head now that you want to share about as well?
You made me think of one. What’s inspiring to me is when someone does it for a special reason. Here's another one of those that came to me. A man comes to me and tells me that he goes to do his annual physical with his doctor and he had missed the year before. It had been two years and he missed it the year before because he knew he wasn't in the best of health.
He went through and I believe his job told him, “You're going.” He went and his doc said to him, “You need to lose weight yesterday or you're probably going to die.” He was on a CPAP, a breathing apparatus at night. He couldn't sleep laying down. He had to be a little bit tilted upward, just because all the extra weight was probably pushing on him and making him obstruct his breathing a little bit, but that's for a physician.
He comes to me and says, “I need to lose this weight because I want to see my kids grow up.” I said, “What do you mean?” He tells me, “My doctor says I'm going to die if I don't lose this weight. My blood pressure is through the roof. I can't sleep at night. I need a machine to help me breathe. I can't tie my own shoes.” He tells me, "We live by the water. I bought a boat to take my kids out fishing. I'm too big to get in the boat. I have to tell him I can't go.”
My son says, “Dad, can we go out fishing next weekend?” He says, “I'm sorry. I can't get in the boat.” He says, “I'm slowly watching myself not be able to do anything with my kids who are growing up and I'm not doing anything about it. I want to lose 100 pounds. I think you've probably heard that before, but I'm highly motivated. I'm not motivated to do it for myself. I'm motivated to do it because I want to live to see my children grow up.” He's hooked me at this point.
You got two heart-wrenching ones.
Fortunately, you get to meet these people and it’s the truth but this guy's motivation is so strong. You can feel it. You know when someone is feeding you a line and he's not feeding me lines. This guy's serious. I said, “I'd love to work with you. We're going to do this.” It started with food because he couldn't exercise because his blood pressure would go through the roof and he'd feel horrible and he couldn't breathe. You can imagine how that all went. “I don't need you to exercise. We need to dial in your eating first.”
We spent a good couple of months dialing in his eating and slowly asking him to take a ten-minute walk. He started losing weight. He started being able to take that walk around the block. Pretty soon that walk around the block turned into two laps around the block. He says, “I went to the doc and my blood pressure has down a little bit.” “You lost twenty pounds. Your blood pressure ought to be down a little bit.” “This is neat. I didn't know that would happen so fast. Do you think I can lose more?” “You can lose more.” We keep going and pretty soon he says to me, “I feel like I can do a little bit more.”
I’m like, “What do you mean?” He is like, “I go for this walk and I'm not tired where I'm usually tired anymore so I've been going further. I feel like I can do something more.” I give him some different exercises and sure enough, he comes back and says, “I did them.” This is exciting because he sees himself not only losing weight, but he's moving again, not just plodding along. At this point in his life, he has an office job where he mostly sits and/or travels frequently. There are not a lot of opportunities for him to get food in exactly right all the time.
He's like, “What am I going to do?” Half of what I do is teach you travel foods, things that are easy to take with you, or can have delivered to the place when you get there. We'll work on those strategies. That I can do if you're willing to do it. We work out what he's going to eat and he says, “Done,” and he does it. Pretty soon, he loses 40 pounds and then 50 and then 60. When it gets to 75 pounds down, his doctor says to him, “I'm taking you off these blood pressure medications. You don't need them anymore. Are you still using that CPAP because I want to order a sleep study and see if you need that?”
They did the study and they say, “You don't need it anymore.” They take them off the CPAP. He takes his son and he says, “Do you want to go fishing this weekend?” His son says, “Where?” He says, “We're going to take the boat out.” His son says, “I thought we couldn't.” He says, “Now, we can.” He took his son out fishing for the first time. He came back and I could hear his smile through the phone.
He started taking his kids to do this, that, and the other because he can do all these things. He realizes, “I can jog,” and he starts jogging. He’s doing intervals, some walking, and jogging. He gets a Peloton bike and he starts riding. He realizes, “I'm getting strong.” I forgot to mention that he lost some more weight so now he's down to 90 pounds. He says, “I ran 5 miles the other day, I wasn't tired. I rode my bike for 10 miles, I wasn't tired. I went out swimming for a couple of miles and I wasn't tired. Can I do more?”
The long story short is we got them to do a triathlon and he completed it. He did very well. I can't remember what his place was and it wasn't like he was in the top ten, but if there were 1,000 people in it, he was number 100. He was in the top 10%. This isn't a man who I would tell you probably had too much weight on his body to ever do those things again had he not lost the weight. The end goal for him was to get to that 100 pounds and I can tell you, we did get to that 100 pounds and maintained that 100 pounds very well. He is still maintaining that 100 pounds quite well and travels frequently for a different job. He knows exactly how to eat, maintain at a restaurant, and how to look at a menu.
“What if they don't serve veggies?” “Eric, I've got these ones.” He's got it all worked out these days. I give him lots of exercises and I still cycle him through different programs based on, “Are we building a little or are we cutting a little?” If he goes on a long trip and he has to do a few things with the office buffet, he might get on a couple of pounds and then he comes back and I help him take that couple of pounds right back off. That would be the other inspiring one that pops in my head.
It was life-changing. Shannon, I can't believe you have to follow Eric twice.
I have one that's a little bit different that comes to mind on the performance side of things tagging off of triathlon but this is someone who loves to run marathons or at least loves the idea of running marathons. She came to us because she would always get injured. It became not fun. It became something that she loved the idea of at the beginning and then felt awful at the end and had to talk herself into doing it again.
She would get injured during the training, do you mean?
During training, most of the time. There were a few times that she would make it into the race, but maybe not be able to complete it or finish the race, but would reinjure as soon as she started training for the next one, regardless, by the time she crossed the line. I don't remember exactly what phrase she used, but it was something along the lines of feeling like death, basically.
“I made it but I feel broken.” It's what she would say or she wouldn't be broken. This is an international client so it's really fun to work with some of our international clients. She's in Australia. She was already very fit when she came to work with us. We hit it off well. It was like, “Your exercise is great. Maybe you can do a little strength training to support your running, but your nutrition is what we need to dial in.” She was used to eating very little. I’m like, “That's not going to support an endurance athlete. We had to get more food on your plate.”
Her composition started shifting immediately as soon as we started getting nutrition on her plate. This is someone who I would tell to eat 1/4 or 1/2 of an avocado. She asked me, “How many grams is that? I need to weigh my avocado.” I’m like, “Stop it. You do not.” There's a lot of work on that, but this is also one of my clients who loves eating the exact same thing every single day. She goes for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. It's the same combination of like chicken quinoa, avocado, berries, and whatever else.
We have a goal every week like, “What's one new food that you tried?” It’s fun. The thing that's super inspiring is I've worked with her through multiple marathon training cycles. During the first couple of, her performance improved. She felt better. She noticed that her hair was not as thin or falling out. Her hairdresser made a comment about two months in like, “What are you doing? Did you start a new supplement?” She's like, “I’m eating.” That was significant to happen. That was exciting.
I can't remember which but she has worked through multiple marathons. There were a couple of them where she still would have old injuries flare-up or an injury would occur. A few marathons that she had to postpone and then COVID happened. This is why she's on my mind. We had her not only cross the finish line of a race. This is a race she decided that she was just going to run because she'd had an old injury that had been flaring up and bothering her. She didn't want to hurt herself.
She's got goals later in the year of a race that she wants to run for time. She was just going to run this one to run it. She said she didn't make her watch. We dialed in her pre-nutrition, pre-fueling, during fueling, and recovery for all of her training leading up and for the race day. This was the Paris Marathon that she ran and she not only finished it. Not only said that she was passing people left and right, without even trying and wondering what they were doing. Am I running too fast?
She ran without her watch so it didn't get in her head. When she finished, it was four seconds faster than the last marathon that she completed and was giving her all. She wasn't even trying for this. It was really exciting. She shaved off 20 seconds of her fastest kilometer and again, not even trying and was just amazed. The call when she filled me in was so much fun to hear.
That’s phenomenal and really shows that the nutrition aspect of things can make a huge difference even if you're doing weightlifting and you're running. If you don't have proper nutrition, it can derail all of the progress that you want to make.
She feels it when things drop off. She still has a tendency to fix it. She's a picker as she describes. If picks it too many things for a little while and a couple of pounds come on, she'll start unintentionally cutting carbs out again. She tells me she feels it. Her training drops off immediately. Her recovery starts suffering and her performance time suffer. She's like, “I got to get back on the wagon here. I know this doesn't feel good.” It's amazing. She has been such a testament to very much what the nutrition will do for performance as well.
I think it's interesting that the more that you focus on things like that and with using MetPro, it makes you more in tune with your own body. You were saying she immediately recognizes, “I'm not getting enough carbs. I don't feel good.” It's interesting because when I started MetPro, I didn't realize that I didn't feel good until I started feeling better. I was like, “Was I feeling that crappy all the time?”
I hear that all the time from people. People don't realize it like, “It made a big difference.” People don't realize it until you're coming out of that fog.
Does anybody have anything else that you want to share? Any parting thoughts that you want to put out there for people that might be listening to all these wonderful, inspiring stories?
It's true that you can't out-exercise a bad diet.
You can do it. If you have doubts and you're like, “I eat up too much or I can't have this structure.” It's okay. We don't expect you to be perfect all the time but we got to know what's going on and we can help you work around that.
Thank you guys so much for your time and for sharing those amazing stories. It’s so inspiring. I don't know about you guys, but I feel rededicated to my fitness goals now. Readers, that is all for this week. You can find all of the MetPro Method episodes anywhere you get podcast or MetPro.co/Podcast. Please be sure to follow the show, rate, and review because that lets other people know what they can expect. You can learn more about MetPro at MetPro.co I will be back next week. Until then, remember, consistency is key.