SISU Transformation: Emily Rodgers

About Emily

I have the amazing privilege to work as a social worker, and I come from a fierce Italian and German family. I enjoy cooking meals for friends and family, and my favorite thing is making others smile.

I flourish when I am outside running or spending time with my sweet husband and dog Huckleberry. I played several sports throughout high school and into college and was always passionate about fitness and challenging myself.

Needing a Change

Throughout college, I was somewhat active. However, during graduate school, my commitment to fitness changed. I became complacent with an inactive and overindulgent lifestyle that lead to less than ideal (aka larger) physical changes.

At this point, we had moved into our house and were the parents to a fiercely independent and adorably defiant Bernese Mountain dog. Even as a puppy, Huckleberry could overpower me without a problem. One particular day while on a walk, Huckleberry refused to walk, and I had to constantly pick up my 70lbs dog. Everyone was staring at me while I struggled. Not a good look! I was sweaty, uncomfortable and frustrated to say the least. After I made it to the car, I thought “I never want to feel helpless or weak ever again”.

Finding SISU

Around that time, I was able to connect with our neighbor Jess who was a SISU member. She convinced me to join her for one SISU-X class, and I was hooked! I met Coach Christina who challenged me to believe in myself and my abilities. It was exactly what I needed! As a woman who had never lifted a barbell in her life and didn’t have a clue what she was doing, it was an amazing experience to have the coaches walk me through each step of the movements.

During one of my first SISU classes, I could not complete a knee push up without a band for assistance. I kept at it and soon movements started to get easier or make more sense, and I could run farther and faster. I completed the SISU Summer Throwdown with Billy, my amazing WOD and life partner. It was awesome and super inspiring.

Dialing in Nutrition

After seeing some great progress, I hit a plateau with my fitness and was tired all the time. Coach Christina recommended carbs! My first reaction was “What?! I can eat those?” I started the nutrition program, and it has been absolutely amazing! My lifts nearly doubled, and I had my energy level back and felt unstoppable. I’m so proud of my body and all of the hard work I have done.

Advice to Others

Do not get discouraged!! Throughout the nutrition program, it was difficult for an Italian who loves to cook and love to EAT to practice portion control and develop healthier habits. I thought I would have to eat the same things every day, but I figured out that wasn’t true at all! I created some awesome meals and treats that were macro-friendly, and I learned that what I thought a healthy balanced diet looked like was completely wrong. It is possible to eat without feeling too restricted and really enjoy the food in your life.

I thought for the rest of my life I was going to be overweight and out of shape. However, after this process of both Crossfit classes and the nutrition program, I cannot even believe where I am now terms of my fitness and appearance. I have never been this strong in my life! I can do fifteen strict push-ups in a row! No band!! The confidence I have transcends into all aspects of my life. As women, I feel like we need to feel more powerful and have a strong voice in this world. SISU helped me find my voice.

Looking Ahead

I really appreciate that I am able to go through this journey with a really amazing partner. Billy continues to support me with my new habits. It’s easy when we are a team and committed to our new lifestyle. Working out and eating to fuel our bodies is our new normal. I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring for team Rodgers.

Along with that, the friends we’ve made and all of the support at SISU has been unbelievable. I cherish the friendships I have developed over the past year and half.