I really thought I had tried it all.
Diets? Tried ‘em. Paleo, keto, atkins, WW, grapefruit… you name it.
Workouts? I flopped through couch to 5k, got dragged to P90X…I tried everything.
Nothing seemed to stick.
I just couldn’t figure out how to commit to a fitness routine. One that would make me feel healthier and stronger.
You know what I mean?
I’m Kaycie. Life had been going pretty good for me, right up until 2020 (yeah, me and everyone else, right?).
Here’s what happened: covid hit, and my boyfriend and I moved in to quarantine together. 2 months later, we break up.
1 month after that, I turned 30.
Here I was: 30 and single and unable to date (thanks Covid). This is not where I wanted my life to be. I had envisioned myself turning 30 in style – tropical vacation, sippin’ pina coladas with the love of my life.
Instead, I was stuck inside a tiny apartment in Manhattan, ordering Seamless for every meal.
But I decided that I wanted to turn things around. What do you do after a breakup? You bounce back. For me, my bounce back meant getting into shape. Let’s face it, being in a relationship can make you get a little lazy. I had a little work to do.
And then, once I was back in shape and lockdowns were lifted, I was going to Miami Beach. I’d give myself the 30th birthday party I deserved.
But first, as I said, I had to put in the work to get in shape.
Let me tell you, I tried everything.
First thing I tried was pretty simple: walking every day and going on a diet. But there was something I didn’t factor into my plan: boredom.
Do you remember how boring being stuck inside was? I’d do my walk and then go inside for my keto lunch (yay chicken breast), and then…that was it?
It was only 12:30! What else was I supposed to do.
Look, when you’re working in an office, or you’re traveling to clients, your mind is stimulated. It’s easier to forget the rumbling in your stomach or the craving for peanut butter ice cream.
Not so much when you’re stuck in your apartment. I failed that diet pretty quickly.
And the next one. And the next one.
And as the summer turned into fall, my daily walks started becoming less frequent. I was backsliding. Sure I had lost a pound or two, but I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and I was becoming really frustrated.
I needed a change – a way to stick with my plans so I could finally hit my fitness goal.
I needed an accountability buddy. Someone who could keep me on track, even on the days when all I wanted to do was flop on the bed and munch through a bag of doritos.
The gym was out of the question. Literally. It was closed.
I thought about a personal trainer, but again, I thought it was too risky during the pandemic. I needed a trainer that could work with me in more of a virtual way.
So I looked into virtual trainers.
And that’s when I found CoPilot.
I found out that CoPilot is a remote training program. I wasn’t sure at first what that meant, but I did some reading, and I discovered that it basically was a virtual trainer that I could use whenever I wanted.
Ok, let me break it down for you.
With a regular trainer, you go to the gym (or you meet online) at certain times, right? You have your session, you go through your moves, and then you’re done.
CoPilot is a little different in that you’re not stuck to a schedule. Instead, your trainer creates workouts for you that you can do at any time throughout the week.
CoPilot tracks your workout through their app on your smartphone or smartwatch. And it’s not just tracking your heartrate. It’s tracking your range of motion, your gait, all sorts of things. If you’re performing your exercises incorrectly, it automatically triggers a response from your trainer – as if your trainer had been there the whole time!
Plus, you get unlimited messaging and weekly video calls with your trainer so that you can discuss your progress and plan your future workouts.
I thought that this sounded perfect for me, so I decided to sign up and see if CoPilot could get me beach birthday ready.
The first thing you do when you get CoPilot is you take a short quiz. I’m a Buzzfeed girl, so I’m all about that quiz life. The quiz is pretty simple – it asks you about your fitness goals and things like that. After I finished, I was matched with 3 different trainers. I decided to go with Dylan. He seemed like a good fit.
The next step was where Dylan and I collaborated to come up with a fitness routine that would help me achieve my fitness goals. I let him know I wanted to slim down a little so that I could have a 30th birthday do-over, and go into my 30s with confidence.
He listened to my wants and came up with a training plan for the next several months. It was 3 workouts a week with walks on off days – to help with my boredom. But, it wasn’t just a training plan: we also came up with a nutrition plan. My goal was to create a nutrition plan that wouldn’t leave me bored or snacky. Well, not too snacky.
Dylan took all of my requests in, and came up with a nutrition plan that didn’t cut anything out (nice), but focused on pre-planning my major meals so that I wouldn’t have temptation to cheat. But, Saturdays were left open for me to eat what I wanted (within reason).
It sounded good. It sounded positive. I was ready to hit week 1 with an upbeat attitude, ready to finally breakthrough that fitness wall that had been holding me back.
Week one is always the hardest whenever you try something new. It’s not a routine yet, so it doesn’t feel normal.
Dylan knew that, so he came up with a fun set of nutritional guidelines that focused on variety and yummy flavors. Fresh smoothies, salads, lean proteins. It all sounded pretty great.
On Monday, I had a smoothie for breakfast – but made sure that it wasn’t a gigantic one. I learned through my chats with Dylan that, while smoothies can be healthy, they can also disguise a lot of extra calories, so the key is to watch what you’re putting in there, and keep your portions under control.
Sure enough, I was pleasantly full all the way through lunch.
After work, I decided to tackle my workout. My building does have a gym, but it can get popular, and I wasn’t comfortable going to a crowded gym during a pandemic. Not to worry, Dylan came up with a workout for both the gym and for just my apartment. I peeked at the gym, saw it was crowded, and did my workout at home.
It focused on squats, lunges, pushups – all sorts of exercises that engaged my muscles without having to lift a weight or use expensive equipment. By the end of that workout, I was worn out!
The rest of week one wasn’t too bad! I was able to do my workout at the gym (half weights, half cardio), and stumbled my way through the nutritional guidelines.
By Friday, I was already a pound down.
Saturday, being cheat day, bounced me back up to my previous weight. I was frustrated by this, but Dylan explained that weight fluctuations from day to day are due to water weight and a lot of other factors. I hadn’t actually gained a pound in a day – just some water. His encouragement helped me feel a bit more confident as I went into week 2.
It had been a month, and I was 4 pounds down. Dylan let me know that this was a healthy pace. I really wanted to drop faster, as the holidays were coming up, and I wanted to make sure I had room for extra pumpkin pie, but Dylan assured me that staying the course was best.
I think that was always part of my problem. I wanted to fix the problem right away. I wanted to lose 20 pounds yesterday. So, I used to do extreme diets. When they didn’t work, I’d give up.
But with CoPilot, Dylan helped me break through some of those mental barriers and stay the course. Thanks to his idea of keeping a food journal, along with my frequent workouts (at the gym and at my home), I was making good progress.
I was also impressed with my progress at the gym. From just a few short weeks of exercising, I had gotten significantly stronger, and was able to handle some heavier weights. I hadn’t done much weightlifting before, so it was really empowering to see my progress.
The weightlifting, I learned, also helped rev up my metabolism, meaning that I was burning more calories at rest. Cardio helped burn the calories in my workout, and weightlifting helped burn them during the rest of the day. Combining those two with a healthy diet really made a difference.
The holidays finally were over. I stepped on the scale and…didn’t like the number I saw. It wasn’t as high as it was before I started, but it had seriously crept back up. I felt like I was slipping again – that I was falling back into my old bad habits.
I talked about this with Dylan in our weekly video chat. He explained that this happens during the holidays, and that the important thing is that I not get discouraged, and get back into my fitness program. He reminded me of my goal for my 30th do-over, and so I got back to work.
I had been keeping up with my workouts over the holidays, so that wasn’t too hard. The hardest part was the transition back to healthy eating. The veggies and fruits weren’t as fresh in the dead of winter, so my smoothies didn’t quite pop like they used to.
Still, by the end of the week, I had dropped 2 pounds (likely water weight), which gave me the confidence to keep going.
Three months later (with no major holiday interruptions), my 31st birthday was just around the corner. And, thanks to Dylan and CoPilot, I was confident and ready for my Miami Beach bash. I had successfully dropped 15 pounds, and put on some muscle. I thought (and still think) that I looked fabulous, and was ready to treat myself to my birthday in style.
Dylan encouraged me to not focus too much on dieting while on vacation, but also to remember that fitness is a lifestyle, not a goal. With that in mind, I set off for my vacation.
I’ll spare you the deets of my trip – except to say that it was the exact reset I needed – but I will say that I returned to Manhattan tanned (ok, maybe a little burned), but full of confidence. When I stood on the scale, the number was a slight bit elevated, but I wasn’t discouraged. I had put in the hard work, and I treated myself to an indulgent weekend.
The next day, I jumped right back into my CoPilot routine, nailing those workouts and keeping an eye on what I’m eating. I’m a bit more relaxed these days, as I’ve pretty much gotten down to my ideal weight, but eating healthy has given me better energy and skin complexion – so I’m not throwing out my new good habits!
Instead, I’m still working with CoPilot to keep my life balanced. I’m shifting now from dieting to a lifestyle of health. It’s a new beginning, and I’m here for it.
Based on the story of CoPilot member Kaycie T.