We’re so proud of Tanya!  Tanya is 45 and lives in Denver, Colorado. She’s a full-time music teacher, mom and wife. Even with a busy lifestyle, Tanya has lost 20 lbs in less than 3 months with Rise. How did she do it? Let’s hear from Tanya:

On a typical day the four of us need to be at school by 7:15 a.m. (My husband and I are teachers at the school our children attend.) Since we don’t live where we teach, I’m up at 5:30 a.m. getting everyone else ready and in the car – that’s where we usually eat our breakfast. After the workday and school day is over, we usually have some extra-curriculars like piano lessons, and we’re back home between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. with dinner on the table around 6-6:30 p.m. and everyone in bed by 9 p.m.

It was time.
Last winter, my husband and I were teaching our kids how to ski – skiing is something I’ve been doing my whole life. I noticed while I was skiing that I was feeling really weighed down by all of my extra weight. I Just don’t like lugging all of these extra pounds around while I’m trying to be active. I want to enjoy skiing with my family. I knew it was time to make a change.

Counting points
I knew it was time to lose weight. Although I’ve successfully done Weight Watchers before, I noticed that with Weight Watchers it was really easy for me to lose weight and still get away with eating processed foods and sugars. While I liked the accountability, I just felt like I needed to learn more about good, solid nutrition.

Enter Rise
I liked the idea of Rise because I thought having a coach look over my food choices would potentially help me put an end to eating processed foods – especially those that included sugar. The more I learn about the effects of sugar on our family’s health, the more I knew it was time to make a change. I want my family, especially my children, to eat more nutritiously; I don’t want them to inherit our bad habits.

My coach
Since I have an upholder personality, I knew I was willing to follow the advice my coach gave me. Having the accountability – someone to look over my shoulder by looking at my food pictures – was really appealing to me. When I signed up for Rise, I was asked what kind of coach I wanted. I wanted a motivator; someone who wasn’t critical. I love Lauren. She’s very encouraging, enthusiastic, very nurturing and I really like her upbeat personality. She’s been so helpful with suggestions and advice – I appreciate her type of support. She really is a cheerleader – and that’s exactly what I wanted!

Small changes
Lauren suggested that I start by making small changes. For example, I really love my lattes. So, Lauren has encouraged me to have plain lattes during the week and to save my one-pump vanilla latte for the weekend. Sure, I’m tempted during the week to add that extra sugar, but now I save it for the weekend because I promised myself that when I signed up with Rise I’d be completely honest; and I don’t want to disappoint Lauren, or myself.

Before Rise & Now
Before Rise I’d eat when I was stressed or tired. Eating was my consolation prize after a stressful day in the classroom. I’d think nothing of grabbing a handful of M&Ms to make me feel better. Now, I find other ways to deal with that emotional response – like stop, breathe and drink some water.

Tastes Change
Lauren helped us drastically cut down our sugar intake and upon doing so, I think it’s changed my tastebuds so that foods that were bland before, I actually prefer now. For instance, we went on an annual vacation recently and we usually bring along candies and cookies and baked goods on the train. Since we’re teachers, parents flood us with us baked goods during the holidays. I ate some – more than I have eaten since I’ve been on Rise – and it actually made me ill. What I once was able to consume now makes me sick. It’s not natural for me to eat badly anymore! This is a good thing!

What I eat
From the beginning, Lauren has encouraged me to have 1, or even 2 cups of veggies at both lunch and dinner. It’s really filling and I get my veggies in. My kids are actually starting to be excited about vegetables, too. The other day in the grocery store my daughter was really excited about buying some leeks.

My go to breakfast used to be half a bagel with cream cheese. Now, I whip up overnight oats, put them in the fridge and enjoy! We’re even at the point where we don’t add sweeteners. We used to enjoy flavored yogurts, but now I eat plain Greek yogurt with pumpkin puree and cinnamon and a splash of vanilla For a snack I like half a banana with half a TBSP of natural peanut butter.

Lunch is an argula and spinach salad with sliced up chicken breast and garbanzo beans. For dinner, I also like to make a lot of roasted vegetables – carrots, leeks, sweet potatoes – with rosemary and olive oil and garlic cloves.

Weight Loss
I signed up for Rise right before Halloween in 2015 and since then I’ve lost 20 lbs! I’ve never lost weight this fast before! I’m eating whole and well – and the processed foods are gone. I’m moving toward my goal weight, in fact, I’m halfway there and I am confident that Lauren can help me get all the way there. I’ve learned how to gauge my hunger on a scale from 1 to 10 and I’ve noticed that I feel more alert if I’m not walking around completely full. It feels good.

Snack Tip
Lauren has taught me to always include protein and fiber in my day so that I don’t starve. I keep almonds with me, or an RX Protein Bar. At home, I’ll grab some deli turkey or some sprouted wheat bread and Greek Yogurt in the fridge at school.

Before Rise I used to think that cheese was a great snack – but now I try just to eat it on the weekends. For me, it’s just not worth calories.

Advice for new Risers
You can do it, too. Stick with it. Keep going. You will see results. Anything worth doing requires investment. There’s no quick fix – so just get started and keep going.