Every week we highlight a Rise member whose story inspires us. Megan lost 15 lbs in 12 weeks by tuning up her eating habits to make healthier choices without sacrificing on flavor or satisfaction. Her coach Carrie Gabriel has guided her in making gradual changes to get healthier and reduce the sugar highs and crashes as she used to experience.

Megan describes healthy eating as a matter of “editing,” not dieting. She still eats pizza (because she loves pizza!) and feels better than ever.

What’s your average day like?

I work for Medtronic, a medical device company. My day is 7:30am-4:30pm in a chair. It’s not super sedentary, but also not super active.

How did you start using Rise?

Last January I felt really unmotivated and wasn’t very happy with myself. I felt like I was eating super healthy but wasn’t making progress.

A friend of mine mentioned Rise on her blog. I was really unsure about spending $48/month, but decided to try it. I started in March, and by the end of May I lost 15 pounds. Now I eat so much better and I enjoy my food so much more.

What kind of changes helped you get healthy?

Every little nugget of information my coach gave me was super applicable to how I eat. For example, instead of eating Chobani flavored yogurt, based on her advice I switched to eating plain greek yogurt with a nectarine. It turns out it’s healthier (and much more satisfying!) to have a real piece of fruit with my yogurt. I had been thinking I was eating healthy, by eating greek yogurt, but I was really unaware of how much sugar the fruit-flavored version contained.

Piece by piece, my coach Carrie helped eliminate so much sugar from my food. Now when I eat an occasional piece of candy or Coke or a bagel it tastes so sweet to me—almost overwhelmingly so.

For me, what works with eating is the accountability piece. Once I reach my goals, my next step will be going on the Rise maintenance plan to make sure I stay on track.

What are some of the changes you’ve made?

I didn’t workout much. All my results were dietary changes. I’m only 5’ 6″,  so it’s amazing what a big difference 15 pounds makes on my frame. I’ve increased my protein intake. I wasn’t good about drinking water, but I’ve been eliminating drinking pop and cut down my sugar intake in general.

My coach Carrie is super patient with me. I tend to want to eat the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I don’t have a lot of time to prepare different food for myself so I just stick with something that works. She allows me to maintain a momentum that works for me.

What are your favorite things about Carrie?
She gives me really applicable advice. She’s not asking me to go find this Jamaican bat tooth that I have to grind up and throw in my coffee! If she has something she wants me to try that’s a little different, she tells me exactly where I can find it. She links me to websites for resources and makes it easy.

What has your weight loss journey been like, pre-Rise?

I know Weight Watchers works for some people and calorie counting works for others. I had tried using the point system and counting calories. But for me it’s the accountability factor that works. Carrie’s feedback is the #1 piece of the puzzle for me.

What would you tell someone who was just starting Rise?

Just be super honest. Don’t try to make any huge changes when you start. Just eat like you have been eating and let your coach help edit your habits from square one. You shouldn’t pretend you’ve been eating healthy all along—they are there to help you make sustainable tweaks to your routine, so just be super honest.

The only thing I don’t document is coffee because I drink it all day, and I’d have to enter it so many times! But my coach knows that, and I’ve cut out the coffee creamer.

Now I check sugar content and don’t buy things with high sugar content like granolas or flavored yogurts that might look healthy but actually contain lots of sugar.

What have your biggest challenges been on this journey?
I took a break at one point because I had made progress and thought I could keep it up on my own. But then I noticed I wasn’t eating as well without my coach’s feedback. So I’ve been getting back into the swing of things.

Are there other ways your life has changed?

With this I just feel better, not as many sugar highs and crashes. I don’t have to buy more clothes.

I’m not willing to do crazy lengths to change my body. I don’t complain about my body. I’m not willing to make really drastic changes. I’m healthy and happy. When I notice that I’m starting to complain, that’s when I know I have to make a change. I feel more confident and my clothes fit better. I love pizza and so sometimes I eat pizza.

What words of inspiration would you share, based on your experience?

Take baby steps. I got into a habit having a breakfast shake (with almond milk, almond butter and oatmeal). The first couple mornings it was really hard to do it. It felt like such a chore at first, but now I can’t not have it.

I didn’t try to start 10 things new things all at once—just one change a week at a time. That made it really doable, not a struggle or sacrifice.

You could be our next member of the week! Work with Carrie Gabriel, Megan’s awesome coach. When you signup with her, you’ll get $10 off your first payment.