Name: Beth McClain
Age: 27 years
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Occupation: Substitute teacher for Hamilton City School District and Member Services Consultant at Planet Fitness
Tell me a little bit about your background. Were you always a fit kid? Overweight? How did your state as a kid affect your present health?
As a kid, I was pretty fit, mostly because I was always very active. My mom took me to swim classes even as a baby and by the time I was big enough to swim on my own, you couldn’t get me out of the water. I swam competitively from the age 7-14 for a summer league through our country club. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, but my mom cooked all of our meals. The one big treat was always pizza on Fridays, a tradition that remains true in my house to this day. 🙂
Did you grow up with a healthy family?
My dad was always an athlete and my mother is a nurse, so we were always given a pretty balanced diet growing up. Of course we were allowed to eat snacks, but as kids we always had to ask first and I remember my dad would always say how many of something we were allowed to have. I think giving us that rule really helped for us to be conciencious of what we were eating.
I’ve known you for a few years now, and your body has changed a lot. I know you’ve been on a journey of weight loss and health. What inspired this change?
I moved to New York City right out of college. The whole first year I lived alone in a tiny studio in Brooklyn, and barely knew anyone. I was depressed because I was so far away from everyone I loved and so I worked, and I auditioned, and I ate. Before I knew it, in one year I had gained 30 pounds. (on top of the 15 I gained senior year of college) I then started a new job at a restaurant and began dating one of the guys who worked there. After 8 months of dating I found out he was seeing someone else behind my back the entire time. Needless to say, that ended badly. After that, I knew I needed to do something for me and only me, something I could control. A few girls at the restaurant were going to start Weight Watchers as it was the beginning of spring, and they wanted to be bathing suit ready. My friend Jessica urged me to come with them. So I went. IN the first week on the plan, I lost 4 pounds. In 2 months I had lost almost 20. I felt so much better about myself and was proud I had done this just for me. I then joined a gym – Planet Fitness in Harlem. I started working out regularly 3-4 times a week as well as following my Weight Watchers points and 20 more came off. I can wear the size I wore in high school again and that is an amazing feeling.
Are you where you want to be yet?
I want to lose 20 more by my birthday, which is in August, I’m about half way there.
What is your exercise regimen? How often do you work out?
I’m lucky, because I work for a gym, so my membership is free and I get discounted personal training. So, three days a week I do a 40 minute cardio routine which includes a treadmill, elliptical and arc trainer, followed by about 15 minutes of intense abdominal work. Then the other two days of the week I do about 20 minutes of light cardio and then work out with our trainer for a half hour. We do mostly strength training. Then, on Saturday mornings I have a standing workout date with my best friend who has a similar journey to mine, and we take turns leading our workout. Sundays are my day off.
What is your favorite type of exercise? Least favorite?
I love doing cardio with really great music. Changing up my music is key. It helps the cardio not get boring. I have also recently gotten really into boxing. My least favorite things are probably shuttle runs and lunges. Both of which I am made to do regularly with my trainer.
How do you cope with cravings? Or days of bad eating?
As far as cravings go, I let myself have something if I’m craving it but I make sure to keep the portion under control. Or, I make healhty substitutions that taste basically the same. I try not to label a day as a “bad day of eating.” I allow myself to have what I call Sunday Funday every other Sunday where I get to eat whatever I want. I don’t feel guilty about it, and it doesn’t effect my weightloss really at all. I don’t believe in wiping things out of your diet, it only makes you want them more, and then you end up binging.
When have you noticed that your cravings and bad eating happen?
Right before my period. The chocolate and salt cravings are OFF.THE.CHARTS.
What are some of your favorite healthy meals? Do you cook?
I love to cook. Some of my favorite things to make are, my world famous turkey chili (210 calories per serving) my caliente turkey burgers with greens, grilled steak and veggies, and greek chicken and veggie pita pockets.
What is one thing you tell yourself over and over when you’re working out, or trying to eat right, or just plain frustrated?
I am a warrior. And I can do anything.
Who is your fitness/wellness/diet inspiration?
My best friend Gaby. She’s the best inspiration because we have been on similar weight loss paths and she knows me better than anyone, therefore knows exactly what to say and do to inspire me every day.
What is your favorite part of your body? Why?
My legs, because they’re strong and look great in heels. 🙂
Editor’s Note: Beth would always walk around NYC in heels. I don’t know how! She does indeed have great legs.
What is one tip that you would give all Lean Girls?
Do not judge yourself. Love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, every single bit of yourself, you cannot make strides to change.
Anything else you think we should know?
Having faith in God helps me tremendously to have faith in myself.