Featured Fitale Cherie Steffen


FFFC:  Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).

CS:  Cherie Steffen, NASM-CPT. I’m a Leasing Consultant by day but my passion and what I would love to make my full time job would be fitness/motivational coaching & personal training. I am already certified personal trainer and working on making it all happen.

FFFC:  What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?

CS:  An embarrassingly hurtful comment from my teacher was the catalyst. I had returned back to school in January 2010 to obtain a second degree. Standing in a hallway, surrounded by my peers, my teacher called me Precious {as in the fat black girl from the movie of the same name}. That killed me inside but I decided to use it as my fuel to start this journey. I also promised my mother, while she was on her deathbed in June 2009, that I would lose weight. But the teacher’s comment sparked me into action immediately.

FFFC:   What were your beginning and current weight or measurements?

CS:  Beginning weight was 230 lbs. I’m currently around 148 lbs, but still want to trim more fat and put on a solid amount of muscle.

FFFC:  How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?

CS:  I began in January 2010 and I’m still going! Slow works best for me as I had time to acclimate to this way of life.

FFFC:  What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?

CS:  I started out by walking at first. I’d say during most of 2010 all I did was walk on my treadmill. In 2011 I started running and continued that throughout almost all of 2012. Only in December 2012 did I start weight training.

Fitness Magazine I Did It April 2013 Cherie Steffen CherieRunsThis
FFFC:  How did your eating habits change?

CS:  I cut my portions at first more than anything else. I had to learn to stop eyeballing my food and actually measure it out. This helped immensely! The food scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons were my friends! I also kept a food journal. Somewhere in the middle of this journey I learned about clean eating and have predominately ate that way ever since. Unprocessed, clean food just tastes better to me and I know it’s doing my body good!

FFFC:  What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

CS:  A typical breakfast is eggs and steel cut oats or a serving of protein waffles that I make from scratch, washed down with a protein shake and coffee. Lunch is usually grilled chicken or a white fish, brown rice and a green vegetable and dinner is similar to lunch. I also will have three mini meals/snacks worked in between those meals, such as tuna fish, plain Greek yogurt, protein bar, apple, banana, or whey protein shakes. I also always have a casein protein shake before bed. I’m constantly eating now!

FFFC:  What is your favorite fitness activity? It used to be running.

CS:  I was a self-described Cardio Queen right up until I joined the gym in December 2012 and fell in love with weight lifting. So I’d say weights with running or the Arc Trainer second. Hot yoga is amazing, too!

FFFC:   What do you do now to maintain your physique?

CS:  Now I’m trying to shape it into the body that I thought I’d get by solely running. The problem was that I had been maintaining for all of 2012 and that was it. My body didn’t start to change/push past this maintenance level until I started weight lifting. So weight lifting, cardio and eat clean is what I do. I work out 6 days a week and take Fridays as my rest day.

FFFC:  How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?

CS:  It was a mental battle. I had to overcome my “can’ts” and my naysayers and use them as my fuel. That gave me the willpower to keep going. Now most of my willpower simply comes from never wanting to look like my “before” picture ever again. I kept that picture in my wallet and take a look when I need inspiration/motivation.

FFFC:  What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?

CS:  You have to make the decision that getting healthy, losing the weight and making this a life change is MORE IMPORTANT to you than being unhealthy, continuing to be overweight and staying the same.  I wish I could do it for you, but I can’t. No one could do it for me either. Until there was something that sparked within me that said, “Okay, I’m ready now–let’s do this. I’m all in,” nothing was going to change. You’ll know when you’re ready because nothing will get in your way. Not chocolate cake, a buffet, laziness, sleepiness, a holiday, chores–nothing.
If it helps you to make a vision board of quotes, mantras, pictures of clothes you want to wear, the body you want to have, go for it. Do it. I personally had to keep staring at the “Before” picture of myself and look at it often–it helped! But along with this vision board, set clear, specific goals on there and work toward them. Don’t just say, I want to wear a size 10 again someday. Make it attainable, but set a time/date to work toward. And just START TODAY.

FFFC:  What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?

CS:  That there is a way to cheat. There is no cheating, not trick, no easy way to get it done. It is serious business, serious work, but it will result in the best pay off you could ever ask for—if you do it—if you’re consistent and dedicated.

FFFC:  Do you have any fitness idols? Who are they?

CS:  I don’t have any famous idols. I of course love the Jillians, the Erin Sterns of the world. But the people I look up to most are the regular Joes and Janes that have gone through this same journey. They’ve done it without trainers, without a guidebook, with families and kids and responsibilities, and sometimes without knowing exactly what the next step was. But they persevered and did it anyway. That’s who I look up to.

FFFC:  Do you have any fitness certifications and/or teach fitness classes?

CS:  I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and currently studying to obtain my NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist and NASM Senior Fitness Specialist credentials.

FFFC:  How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?

CS:  I’m everywhere! You can find me on:

Blog: http://www.cherierunsthis.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/cherierunsthisblog
Twitter: @cherielianne
Instagram: @cherierunsthis
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cherielianne/
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ztagrrl

before after green shirt

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