How A Busy Working Mother Lost 100 Pounds and Became a Competitive Powerlifter
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
If you’re like a lot of people, you want to find a sustainable way to lose fat and keep it off forever. You’re tired of losing the same 10, 20, 50, or 100 pounds on the latest fad diet; only to put it all back on again once the diet ends, or life becomes too hectic.
Short-term plans provide short term results. If you want to lose fat forever, and never diet again; while increasing your confidence, getting stronger, and loving what you see in the mirror every morning, then it’s time to stop jumping on trends, and start focusing on the basic principles designed to help you achieve long-term success.
This is Cindi Jaeger’s story. She’s a wife, mother, and professional from Wausau, Wisconsin; who’s so far lost over 100 pounds, while going from being afraid of walking into the gym, to now, competing in powerlifting for the first time – with over a 700 pound total, at age 47.
Cindi’s journey started a bit differently than most people’s. Having to help care for both her parents who were battling cancer, Cindi realized the importance of being healthy and strong – not just for her herself, but so she could help care for others as well.
Cindi: “I had really started thinking about it when my parents began fighting their battles with cancer. I watched how the treatments would land my Mom in the hospital and make her so weak. I was determined when she got better, I would get stronger so if I had to face an illness I could come through it better.”
Sadly, Cindi’s mother lost her battle with cancer. And in her passing, Cindi found the drive to make that change.
Cindi: “I was weighing over 300 lbs and needed to do something. I had lost 100 lbs before but gained it all back, plus some, once I took the focus off me and placed it on my ailing parents. I needed to learn how to do it all because I was miserable, both physically and mentally. I needed to learn how to take control of my life, allow time to focus on me so that I could, in turn, be there to focus on everyone else that counted on me.”
Like so many of us feel when we’re first trying to make a change, Cindi didn’t know where to start. She had lost all the weight the first time by simply getting up off the couch and moving more. But having gained all that weight back and then some, she knew simply going to the gym wasn’t enough. She knew she couldn’t out-exercise her bad food habits, and if she wanted to lose the weight and keep it off for good, she knew she needed to make changes in other areas of her life as well – specifically her diet.
Cindi had worked with a trainer previously, but she knew this time around she needed something more.
Cindi: “He helped me go to the gym and lift weights, but that was all. He had no clue about what I needed nutritionally and I didn’t know I needed that either.”
At that time, I was still working with clients in-person, while trying to make the transition to coaching fully online, and was offering a hybrid coaching program (online & in person). Cindi had seen one of my Facebook posts through a mutual friend and filled out the application.
Unfortunately – or as luck would have it, looking back now – Cindi didn’t belong to the gym I worked out of at the time, and the hybrid program was more than she had budgeted for. So as an alternative, I offered her online coaching.
Jorden: What did you think about working with me at first?
Cindi: “Terrified. It took you an entire weekend of convincing me (20 emails!) that you could help me and it could all be done remotely. I read your story about your journey, listened to what you were telling me in our email conversations over that weekend, and realized you understood. Most people don’t understand this is a journey, and not a smooth one either. But you helped me understand you would be there guiding me over every bump, hill, milestone, and were only a message away.
Cindi’s fear is actually pretty common. A lot of potential clients I speak with don’t think online coaching will ‘work’ for them, because likely they’ve never heard of, or experienced it firsthand. Their only experience has been going to classes at the gym or meeting one-on-one with a trainer.
But as you’ll find out below, it worked for Cindi, and it works for anyone else who commits to it as well.
Aside from the fact online coaching tends to be cheaper than in-person training – allowing people to work with a coach for a longer period of time and thus giving them more time to see results – there’s also a more important reason.
A great online coaching program teaches clients how to be self-motivated. Because you can’t rely on having someone there with you every time you’re in the gym, you learn how to take control of your program for yourself. But at the same time, you still have someone to check in with to make sure not only you’re doing what you’re supposed to be, but who can also help you make adjustments, guide you, and provide a little kick in the butt along the way.
Jorden: What was your number one struggle when it came to fitness?
Cindi: “I love food! Still do. So how do you lose weight when all you want to do is eat because you believe you’re hungry 24/7? But it wasn’t just how do you lose it… it was also how do you keep it off? It really came down to accountability. Learning to have a healthy relationship with food and not use it as an excuse for emotions, stress, or any other thing you can think of that would cause you to overeat.”
Jorden: And that’s really the thing isn’t it? You lost 100 pounds before, so like we talked about in our initial conversation: It’s not so much losing the weight – you’ve done that! It’s learning to do it in a way that’s healthy and sustainable – that helps you build habits and a lifestyle that allows you to keep it off forever.
So how did us working together help you succeed, and how did your fitness improve as a result?
Cindi: “In the beginning it was learning a lot about protein, carbs, and fat; how they are important, and in what quantities they should be consumed. From there it went into the importance of things other than just food, like sleep, stress management, hydration, etc. Once we had a handle on that we talked about extra supplements that could help with recovery…That was another area you helped me realize was needed. My body was breaking down because I was not giving it the time to recover from the added stress of working out. Learning the importance of sleep, active recovery, and that it was okay to give myself permission to take a day off.
The biggest area of change for me though was probably the gym. I used to go to the gym, hide in the corner, rush through a workout, and leave. I’m now doing things I NEVER thought I would be doing…and looking forward to it!
When I started I couldn’t even do a sit up. I remember being in the gym and doing RDL’s and I couldn’t hold more than 100# on the bar without using straps. Anything that was bodyweight movements were tough because I had A LOT of body weight to move. Your programming helped me with CrossFit and movements as they both built strength in complementary ways. It allowed me to realize my own strength and taught me I was in control of how effective I wanted the program to be.
I now do CrossFit about 2 to 3 times a week, but my main focus is on my strength programming as I’ve begun powerlifting competitively. My goal is to do a competition at age 50 with a goal of a 900 lb total.”
Fitness: The gateway drug to improving the rest of your life
Looking great naked is…well, great.
Fitting into clothes you haven’t worn since freshman year of college is great.
We start any program with the hopes of losing fat, building muscle, and falling in love with what we see in the mirror. But ask anyone who’s ever gone through their own transformation and they’ll tell you it’s about so much more than that.
Jorden: What did us working together do to help you improve your life outside of fitness?
Cindi: “Wow…where to even begin? Before I had gained all the weight and lost focus of me, I used to be really active. As you get “larger” you lose mobility, energy…yourself. Working with you brought back so much of that again. I was more mobile which led to more activity. I remember the day I got back up on water skis and sending you a message and the video. I had tears in my eyes because I thought that was something I would never do again. All the work around the house and properties my husband and I have had to take care of, I wouldn’t have been able to do…I wouldn’t have had the energy. I remember sending you a message the first time I carried a 100lb sandbag because it was so surreal that I used to carry that weight on my body.
Losing weight, leaning out…whatever you want to call it is almost more about the mental game. You helped me realize that in order for me to take care of everyone around me, I needed to allow time to focus on me. My confidence in who I am and knowing what I want from life. Knowing even after our time together as coach and client is done, that I’ll always have a friend, and I’m armed with the knowledge to never fall back to who I was.”
Jorden: That’s amazing! So would you say the confidence and discipline you gained in the gym and your diet has spilled over to other areas of your life as well?
Cindi: “Yes! You’ve helped me find myself again and gain the confidence that I can do anything I put my mind too. I now know I will be able to see my children continue to grow and watch them in their next journey in life, I will be able to enjoy my next chapters, whatever they are, with my head held high. No more avoiding eye contact with people. You helped give me my life back, and a life I want to live.”
Long-Term, Sustainable Results
Jorden: What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen since we started working together?
Cindi: “Well…we aren’t done yet! But since I’ve started with you I’ve lost over 100 lbs and have kept it off now almost 2 years. I know that body fat went down and muscle went up. I went from wearing a size 26/28 in pants down to a 14/16. My shirts went from a 4XL to a L, bra from a 48DDD to a 38DD or XL sport bra (I couldn’t even find a sports one that fit when I was heavier), and men’s 2XL sweats was all I could wear to the gym, but now I wear mostly capri leggings in a size L.”
Jorden: Those are incredible results, and a testament to your hard work and consistency over the past few years.
Most importantly, what do you feel is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned that’s going to help you sustain those results for the rest of your life?
Cindi: “To only choose one is hard because I have learned so much from working with you. The most valuable is that ‘Tomorrow is a new day’. No matter how bad I might screw up tracking, how bad a day of lifting may be, or when the scale is not being my friend…tomorrow is a new day to get back on track, kick ass in a workout, and realize the scale is only one form of measurement. Several times the day did not go as planned, sometimes it might have been a couple of days, but you always reminded me ‘Tomorrow was a new day’ and no matter what happened, I wasn’t going to lose the progress that I had gained.”
Jorden: You were obviously on the fence about working together when we first started…what would you say to someone else who may be on the fence about online coaching; who really wants to make a change, but has struggled to get results on their own?
Cindi: “It’s the best investment you can make for yourself. You invest in school to help you learn so you can have a career. While in your career you invest in seminars so you can advance. Why not take that same philosophy when it comes to your health? I would rather invest in a coach to help me learn how to get stronger, leaner, and fuel my body correctly, than I would in a doctor to help heal me after I get sick from not taking care of myself.”
Be like Cindi: Invest in yourself and make a life-changing transformation – forever.
An investment in the stock market can bring you a pretty good payday 10, 20, 30, or 40 years down the line.
Investing in a house may or may not pay off…some day.
But an investment in yourself and your health is an investment that pays you back every single day. But yet it’s an investment few of us make.
And in the case of trusting me with your program, when you make that investment, not only do you get the expertly crafted training and nutrition plans you need, but the motivation and accountability you need to stick with it and transform your body and life like Cindi did:
“Jorden’s knowledge about fitness and nutrition can help anyone from the person who’s just starting on this journey to lose weight, all the way to a person who wants to compete. His coaching is versatile enough that anyone will succeed as long as they put in the commitment to do it.”
What will your journey look like?
So after losing over 100 pounds, and falling in love with the gym, what’s next for Cindi?
“Through this journey, I’ve found a passion for powerlifting, CrossFit, and wanting to help others be better versions of themselves. I took the CrossFit level one training certificate program and passed, so I hope to be able to coach at my box. I will continue to lift competitively and become strong AF. But most importantly I hope to show people what can be done with the right village supporting you and the determination to make it happen. Our journey has not been smooth, but I’ve always had Jorden as a tour guide making sure that I stay on the right path to reach any goal I set.”
A simple, strategic, straightforward approach for transforming your body and your life – forever
As your coach, my goal is to deliver you the last transformation program you’ll ever need, by helping you build ruthless consistency and relentless execution of the basics like Cindi did, so you can:
Learn how to eat for your goals and lifestyle, so you never have to diet again.
Build lean muscle, strength, and confidence.
Lose fat and learn how to live life leaner and with more food freedom.
Fall in love with training and exercise.
Get results that last you a lifetime, not just a few months.
Sound like what you’re looking for? If so, head here, fill out an application, and see what your success looks like.
Personalized, Elite, One-On-One Physique Coaching with Jorden Pagel Fitness