Meet my friend Shannon, who loves pizza.


Shannon is my age and we have been best friends since day one of college cheer try-outs at Miami of Ohio. She was a spindly little girl when I met her, kind of lanky, but stunningly gorgeous.

In college, I would drink my kale shakes in her car while she drove to get McDonalds after a late Friday night. She loves me for me, and I love her for her. We may have different nutritional preferences but we will be friends forever.

Like I said, Shannon loves pizza. She prefers Papa John’s most days, but Jet’s Pizza makes her very happy too.

At McDonalds, biscuits or plain cheeseburgers are her go-to, —but bacon is the real key to her heart.

If she cooks, its going to be steak and mash potatoes…. did I mention she’s a country girl from Kentucky?

Nevertheless, Shannon, like many of us, had let her fitness regime fall by the wayside recently. In college she didn’t have a super regular workout schedule, but did moderate cardio or “toning” classes when she could.

However just last week she decided to begin a four month challenge at Enrgi Fitness in Chi-town. She decided she wants to be more active; she wants to move.

Check out Enrgi Fitness. I myself have not yet been, but hear great things. In fact, my good friend and former Shred415 instructor, Liu Gross is the General Manger at this fantastic place. I can’t wait to check it out sometime!

Shannon will be doing group fitness classes here that focus on metabolic training, strength training and cardio exercises depending on the day. They offer over 30 types of classes—some focus on certain body parts, some focus on using certain cardio apparatuses and some include boxing, and over all, five different types of HIIT classes are there as well as stretching and yoga classes. Shannon will not get bored here.

In my opinion, four months is the perfect amount of time to see a transformation. She is committing herself to training four days a week, and I offered to help her on the nutrition side.

I am no expert, but I have experimented with nutrition and my own diet for years, and I think this can not only be a learning process for her, but for me and all of us following her on her journey.

I will say, the weight I initially felt on my shoulders when I told her I’d help was like if you told your friend you’d help them move, and they said, “okay, can you help me lift my house?”

Knowing that she despises healthy foods (so she thinks) and has not a good knowledge base of her macronutrients or any clue what whole foods are and at the same time loves processed foods, not only will teaching be tough, but finding things she likes and can stay consistent with should prove to be challenging.

So here is the general plan we decided on together:

Month 1:

Her phase I diet changes will be more about adding than subtracting.

In week one of month one, no nutritional changes were made.

In the three remaining weeks I am challenging Shannon to add certain foods into her diet. She has to make sure she eats three things each day, and that way, I know her body will slowly get used to more fruits and veggies etc

Foods she has to incorporate (3 per day)

-hard boiled egg





-almond milk

-sweet potato




-hemp seeds

-chia seeds

Month 2

I am going to encourage her to eat more healthy fats and protein and make her start focusing on eating certain types of complex carbs to take the place of her pizza carbs. She will however be allowed to eat Mista’s pizza 2-3 times in this month. (There will give another blog on this)

Month 3

She will have a macro nutrient guide to follow that will be specific and planned and will incorporate carb cycling.

Month 4

Shannon will watch the number of calories she intakes (It will not be restrictive measure, but rather teach her to monitor the calories)  and see how her body transforms with the training combined.

Shannon’s end goal:

“I want to feel toned and firm again. I was very strong in cheerleading. I want to feel that way. I want to eat better and feel better. If I lose weight, awesome. I want my clothes to fit better, it is not about the number for me.”

If anyone else can relate to Shannon, I challenge you to follow along, and reach out with any questions. We are going to do it #fortheloveofpizza #daretomove. Shannon will be working out more and moving more and ultimately feeling like she used to before job got in the way.




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