Samantha Pitre was never particularly concerned about her weight – it was her family who was worried about her unhealthy lifestyle. She made her living as a leadership consultant, yet she was unable to take the initiative to quit smoking, ease up on junk food, or start an exercise regimen. After having her third son at age 36, she was at her heaviest weight, 185 pounds; soon after, she decided to make a change.
Running was Samantha’s first step toward a healthier lifestyle. She finished a 5K and went on to run a half marathon and two full marathons — all while she still smoked. Much of her excess weight came off, but she still wasn’t satisfied. “I didn’t feel strong, just skinny,” she remembers.
CHANGING OLD HABITS
Although Samantha had slimmed down to 135 pounds, her smoking habit and her diet hadn’t changed. She still took double cream and double sugar in her coffee, and she loved processed food of all kinds. “I certainly didn’t have the understanding I have now around food,” she recalls. At the time, Caesar salad smothered in dressing and cheese seemed like a wholesome option to her. But three years into her fitness journey, she realized that being active wasn’t enough to feel healthy and strong. She would have to revamp her diet and add strength training to her cardio workouts. She set goals to quit smoking, build more muscle, and say goodbye to sugary drinks.
SURROUNDED BY SUPPORT
When Samantha joined a gym, she got a boost of encouragement from her new community. Her head coach was especially inspiring, treating her like an athlete right from the start, which helped fuel her desire to get fit and healthy instead of just staying thin. Her husband, Daniel, was also a huge source of support. Soon enough she was training six days a week – her diet, however, was still far from ideal.
Samantha needed an eating plan that would give her body what it needed after an intense, muscle-building workout. She reached out to a nutrition coach, who helped her pay attention to macronutrients. That meant swapping out sugary, processed foods for healthy proteins, carbs, and fats. Samantha’s plan relied on making healthy, unprocessed foods the focus of her diet, weighing her portions, and knowing how to fuel up for a workout. She now likes to reach for tasty protein, such as fish, when she’s craving sugar, but she still indulges in the sweet stuff on special occasions.
THE TRAINEE BECOMES THE TRAINER
For Samantha, nutrition was the last piece of the puzzle. Once she began eating a more balanced diet, she found that her fitness training truly started to pay off. Now, at 43 years old, she is able to do exercises that she could only dream of before, such as handstand pushups and overhead squats. Perhaps the greatest sign of her success came when she was hired as a coach at her gym. She hopes to be a role model for others who wish to transform their lifestyle.
Even now, Samantha hasn’t stopped setting goals for herself. She competes in local CrossFit and charity events, and she’s working toward making it to regional competitions — if not further. If her past progress is anything to go by, we’ll be seeing Samantha shatter those goals soon enough.
SAMANTHA’S PLAN RELIED ON MAKING HEALTHY, UNPROCESSED FOODS THE FOCUS OF HER DIET, WEIGHING HER PORTIONS, AND KNOWING HOW TO FUEL UP FOR A WORKOUT.
SAMANTHA AT A GLANCE
TOP HEALTH FOOD PICKS
Pad Thai with zucchini noodles, quinoa salad, beet salad, and lettuce wraps.
WORDS SHE LIVES BY
“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
Front squat FAVE CARDIO Running, skipping, rowing, and taking care of her three sons.
PHOTOS BY: CHRIS LINTON @CHRISVLINTON