Lemzem is committed to improving its users’ lives through health and fitness. Recently my friend Taylor became the ultimate inspiration for me and, I imagine, Lemzem’s users. Taylor dedicated herself to improving her fitness and changing her body and committed to competing in a fitness competition in Las Vegas, Nevada in fall 2013. Taylor altered her diet, her exercise regime, and committed 110% to the competition and the results show it. Her story is proof that anybody can make a change today that will have huge effects on your tomorrow. Check out her before (left) and after (right) picture below and an interview where she shares tips and advice about kickstarting your fitness regimen.
My name is Taylor Stonack. I’m a 31 year old Virgo who has a passion for people and learning to live the best life possible. I have a silly obsession with self help books and and a weakness for Sour Patch kids. I’ve struggled with my weight and body issues for most of my life and finally reached a point where I realized that the only thing holding me back from success was me!
Q. You have been very candid about your journey to the amazing shape that you’re in today via Facebook, Instagram, etc… what led you to make the decision to embrace a healthier lifestyle, and what was the single biggest step that you think enabled you to get to where you are today?
A. I come from a very mixed family of fitness and obesity. As I’ve gotten older and struggled with weight and body issues, I wanted to change. I want to be a role model and someday be able to share a life of fitness and balance with my future children. I also wanted to be able to look in the mirror and say, “Damn! Taylor you look great! You feel great!” It’s not about being superficial or vain. When you look good, you feel good. It’s that simple.
Q. Do you have any specific dietary guidelines/nutritional goals you stick to (e.g., vegan, gluten-free, paleo, macros)?
A. I’ve been all over the place with my diet. What worked for me was a macro-nutrient breakdown while I was training hard core. I also used the MyFitnessPal app as a food journal. For me, tracking my calories in was essential to my success. Without it, I was completely unaware and almost careless about what I was putting into my body. The competition diet thing is crazy. And it’s not manageable for a day to day lifestyle. Post competition, I would say that I eat somewhat Paleo and Gluten free. It’s easier for my body to digest and I feel better when I eat clean. I still use the MyFitnessPal app. It’s a lifesaver.
Q. Lemzem enables users to search for healthy foods that fit into their nutritional lifestyles and goals. Can you rate your top three health food products (links to your ratings are below)
A. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Quest bars. They are great, high protein and essentially no carbs. I’m always on the go and they are a go to for me when I’m in a crunch.
If you’re trying to eat Paleo, Pete’s Paleo is a great delivery option for fresh food. I’ve used them several times when I know I’ll have a busy week an d won’t be able to prep food for the week.
I recently discovered Perfect Fit Protein. It’s a brown rice protein that is raw, vegan and gluten free. It’s not as sweet or flavorful as some of the other BIG brands out there, but paired with almond milk or used as an add in for recipes it’s great! They also just released a chocolate flavor that I’m excited to try!
Q. Can you give an example of a daily workout?
A. Living in San Diego, I like taking advantage of the weather by running outdoors. I recently discovered CrossFit and am OBSESSED. I love the benefits of lifting and am a huge advocate for what it does for the female body. I was always terrified that lifting weights would make me HUGE like a bodybuilder. But strength training and lifting have made me the leanest I have ever been and I feel so strong. I love what it does for me emotionally too. I feel stronger, inside and out.
Q. Do you have cheat days/cheat meals? Why or why not?
A. Anyone who says they never have cheat meals is either in their final weeks of contest prep, or a liar. Of course I indulge sometimes. But it’s all about balance. I have learned my limits though. Sometimes I go too far and get the worst stomach aches. You just have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Q. Do you meal plan? What would a sample weekday set of meals look like for you?
A. I try to plan my meals best I can. I usually start my day with oats and some sort of protein. From there I eat greens and proteins of all sorts and snack on nuts and fruit through the day. I pack protein bars in my purse and always have protein powder in a shaker ready if I’m in a pinch. I LOVE sweet potatoes too. I eat lighter in the evenings. I eat a lot of fish.
Q. Do you have a quick and easy favorite recipe (meal, appetizer, or dessert!) you’d like to share with other Lemzemmers?
A. Lately I’m obsessed with these protein muffins I found on Eatyourselfskinny.com
Q. How has your newly developed fitness affected your life?
A. I’m a better person. Fitness has allowed me to become clear about what I want from life. Happiness is a lot less complicated then I always made it out to be.
I set a goal, and I finished it. Nobody did the work but me. You get to be your own best friend and when it gets hard, you get to push through and prove to yourself that you can do it. Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re worth it.
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