INCREDIBLE Client Spotlight- Dr. Tina Carpenter

This week at TransFit in while we are gearing up for the Holiday Extravaganza  we are challenging everyone to do a food journal for 5 days! If you complete your food journal Monday- Friday and email it to me on Saturday you will be entered in to win an awesome prize!! You can hand write a food journal OR take a screenshot of your MyFitnessPal (app)!!

Amazing client spotlight Tina Carpenter has been so diligent and has been food journaling for 80 days straight and has had huge success! Tina is such an inspiration for all women! I am so proud of Tina for her commitment to living transformed- body, mind, and spirit!  I can't wait for you to read her life-changing story and be encouraged to reach your health and wellness goals! 

"My latest adventure started almost three months ago when I asked to meet Caroline for a one on one session. I was finally ready to be intentional about my health, and I wanted her help to be my best self and to learn how to create and achieve my health goals. I had spent the last year maintaining what doctors would call a healthy weight, but it was a roller coaster each week of eating healthy and exercising during the week, and then spending my weekends eating what I wanted with my family and not necessarily exercising. 

When I was a PhD student, I did a 90 day health and fitness challenge and I lost 30 lbs. I truly understood what athletes mean when they say they are in the "zone". I was strong, lean, and fit, and I felt amazing! I am so thankful that I did this prior to interviewing for professor positions. I was glowing, and I am sure that much of my success in getting an offer at UGA was because of this glow. UGA was my first choice then, and it is my first choice still today. I am so thankful to have made tenure here at UGA. I have had a wonderful time in Athens with my awesome husband Don, and I have loved being a mom to our amazing children, Daly (8) and Court (5). As a mom, I began to listen to those who said, "Oh Tina, you have had two children now, and you are 12 years older- don't worry about your weight, you look great!" While it was wonderful to know that people loved me the way I was, I realized that if I was going to find that glow again, it had to come from within me!

TransFit is AMAZING, and gave me just the right guidance, support, and inspiration that I needed to make a change. I got a fancy new Polar heart rate watch, some great new shoes, and the Fitness Pal app, and I was on my way. I tracked everything, every day, and I learned a tremendous amount about calories, how many to take in, and how many each exercise burned. It was a lot of hard work to track that first week, but I did, and I was feeling great…until I stepped on the scale, and my weight was up one pound. I felt deflated and frustrated, but I only took one minute to feel that way. I immediately texted Caroline and another supportive friend and they both replied almost instantly with don't give up, don’t worry, and don't change anything…stay the course, and focus on the process- you are making positive changes to the way you live, and it will pay off! That was just what I needed to make it through that day. The next week, I was down two pounds, and while I was wishing the weight loss was bigger and faster, I was encouraged. I was bringing vegetables to tailgate parties with hummus, I was eating one small brownie, one glass of wine and I was feeling fully satisfied. I remember even eating a hot dog at the stadium, all under my calories for the day. I was solving this fun puzzle each day and I was staying motivated. I had very little fluctuation after weekends, and my weight was decreasing by a pound or 1/2 pound each week. Now for special occasions, I order the small Mellow Mushroom pizza (490 calories), I fill up on the delicious greek salad, and I order the Gigi's mini cupcake for 195 calories (and I am absolutely fully satisfied). Please know that I am a huge Mellow Mushroom and Gigi cupcake fan and I am in no way telling you to not have pizza or cupcakes (especially for a special occasion). Just live, learn and laugh along the way…and enjoy your life as you strive each day to be your best. If you are misguided, or if you make mistakes …shake it off, and get back on your path to being the best you can be! None of us are perfect ( I certainly am not), in fact I cried twice last week so overwhelmed with trying to balance all of the balls in my life. Rather than strive for perfection, strive to be the best you can be each day (and that may be different each day). This is a long term journey, things can make you stumble in the short run, but if you take each stumble as a learning block and you are kind to your heart and soul- loving yourself for the awesome person you are, you will get closer and closer to your goals of being your best!

Now…80 days later, and my Fitness Pal is giving me badges for tracking (I.e., journaling my food and exercise for 80 days straight). I am down 10 lbs., and last Caroline checked I had lost 12% body fat. Most importantly, I am feeling stronger, healthier and more vibrant. I have learned a lot along the way. I now understand the importance of cardio and weight training, and I am still trying to work yoga in too, but perhaps most importantly to me is my food journaling. I have learned that healthy eating is critical to long term success.

I was also recently touched by Caroline's blog to live a "full" life rather than a "busy" life…and I LOVE that! As a full-time accounting professor at UGA striving to be the best mom, wife, friend, daughter and professor I can be, I constantly feel crazy busy (sometimes even frantic). I have learned to breathe into this awesome life that I have been given. To raise my hands on this roller coaster of life and enjoy the ride! My children have taught me the importance of fun and laughter! It is truly contagious and the benefits to your life are amazing. I have learned from my girlfriends that we all have something that can get us down if we let it, so don't let it. My husband has taught me the importance of love in your life. Love until your heart overflows!

Inspired by so many in my TransFit workout class, I recently went for a walk/run in Central Park in New York City while there on a business trip. After staying up late and getting up early to get ready for my research grant proposal presentation, I decided to get up early again and get my exercise in. I sent the picture of me in Central Park that morning to Caroline to thank her and my TransFit Transformers class for the inspiration to get up and go.  She replied "you are glowing!" Little did she know how much those words meant to me…my glow is coming back!…and we even won the grant…a reminder to me that with hard work and balance you can have it all! I will continue to strive to be the best I can be, and to learn something new everyday, and I will always keep laughter on my to do list of life!

My favorite exercise would have to be walking Daly and Court to school and then my run/walk home…but I always LOVE my Transformer class at TransFit and a yoga class when I can get it in. 

I love having family come visit (anytime), but especially during the holidays. I love this egg casserole, and you can make it the night before so you are just cooking it in the morning. With the holidays approaching, this is especially good for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning- great protein and delicious, and if you make the night before, you can just enjoy your family while it bakes that morning!

Hummingbird Breakfast Casserole

  • 1-2 pounds ground (lean) turkey sausage (depending on your preference)
  • 1 cup grits (cook according to directions)
  • 2 cups light sharp cheddar cheese 
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook turkey sausage and crumble in the bottom of the dish, cook grits, add cheese (stir to smooth- let cool), beat eggs, milk and salt and pepper together- add to grits mixture. Pour over sausage in casserole dish- bake at 350 for 1 hour (you can refrigerate the night before (or even freeze and put in the refrigerator the night before)

Congratulations Tina! Continue to strive for progress each day- living a life transformed!