Congrats to Deanna Swanson who is our August Member of the Month!

She was born and raised in Michigan, just outside of Detroit. She got fed up with people thinking she was pregnant due to her midsection;  she decided to change things. She invests in herself, her community, and her family. Keep reading to learn more about her interview.

Interview Questions

What do you do? I am an Infant Mental Health Therapist, I provide home-based therapy services to families with kids 0-7 including pregnant women.

What makes you come alive? My kids and my work. I am really passionate about keeping families together and love working with families involved with CPS/Foster Care. I am not a very emotional person but when my client is awarded her kids back by the court or a parents rights are not terminated I will cry in court.

What is your favorite pastime/hobby/color? I love listening to true crime podcasts, working out and hanging out with my kids and my family. My favorite color is blue.

1. Tell us 5 things you are grateful for. I am grateful for my kids, family, health, job and some of my co-workers that make work fun.

2. Share one thing no knows about you or would never guess. I feel like I missed my calling in life and should have been a homicide detective. I love morbid stuff like true crime and learning about serial killers.

3. How did you find out about IIFYM? How long have you been doing IIFYM? I checked out Skinnymeg on Facebook and started reading and learning about IIFYM. I then also found HappyHungryFit (Instagram) and became so impressed with both of their progress I thought I would research a little more. I really wanted to be able to eat what I wanted without the guilt. I think I have been following it for about 2 years.

4. What was your ultimate breaking point to change things? I gain weight in I mid-section and when people started asking me if I was pregnant I knew it was time to do something. I was also at a weight I had never been at unless I was pregnant.

5. What are your life goals?  Hmmm, to be happy and successful in my career. I want to stay in the Social Work Field but I am currently looking for a new opportunity.

6. Which coach of ours did you work with? Can you tell us how your coach helped you?  Paige originally calculated my macros and I was trying to do things on my own but lacking consistency. I finally joined Yese’s spring group coaching(You can learn more here) and started following my macros more consistently and working out more consistently. I learned to be consistent in order to see progress, I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long. I still battle with being consistent and but it is much better and I haven’t had a binge where I eat until I am sick in a while.

7. Would you recommend your coach and why? Yes!! She is very encouraging and understanding. I don’t feel like she chastises me when I “fall off the wagon.” She seems to understand that emotional/stress eating is a real struggle for so many of us.

8. What’s your current workout routine? I lift 4 days a week and I am trying to squeeze in at least 2 days of cardio. If I have to give something up it’s cardio, I love lifting weights.

9. What diets did you follow before IIFYM? Weight Watchers, starving myself by eating too little calories and many other stupid fad diets. Most recently before IIFYM I did the 21 day fix. That was the worst, I always felt hungry.

10. What physical accomplishment are you most proud of? What MENTAL accomplishment are you most proud of? My legs. I can’t believe how quickly they tone and build muscle. I also get a few compliments on my arms, especially from a co-worker. Mentally I am changing my relationship with food. I was craving a Nutty Bar because my kids were eating them so I made it fit. I didn’t “cheat” and just eat it but worked it out so I could have it and not feel the guilt.

11. How has IIFYM changed your life? I feel like I continue to change my relationship with food and I don’t think foods are bad any more. If I want something I can make it fit. I have pizza every Friday!

12. What 5 tips would you give an IIFYM newbie? Do your research and then practice. Get a scale and start weighing food. Don’t try to eat all the junk food possible but load up on good food and then work in a treat. Drink your water and don’t be afraid to lift weights.

13. What is the most ridiculous nutrition/fitness tip/comment you’ve ever heard? Carbs and sugar are bad.

14. What obstacles did/do you face during your fitness journey? How did you overcome them? I was afraid to lift weights but I was so interested that I knew I had to overcome the fear. I slowly started to buy some weights and then got a barbell, I am so excited that I can now squat 100 lbs. It might seem light to some but I remember when just the bar felt so heavy.

15. What do you think has been the single most important advice you’ve ever been given in your own journey? Not to fear food. It’s not bad or the enemy but necessary to fuel our bodies. I try to eat according to the 80/20 plan.

16. What do you like most about the IIFYM Women’s Facebook group? The support and encouragement. I love when someone posts and says they don’t see progress and the group points out all of the progress they see and encourages the poster to keep going. I also love that people will answer questions even if it has been asked before. There is so much positivity in this group!!!