It takes all five minutes of sitting down with Savannah Sillyman, 28, and hearing her excitedly describe squatting 190 pounds the day before to recognize her passion for her fitness journey. Then, her face lights up as she describes the joy of accomplishing her goals and seeing her progress over the last two years, or 100 weeks, to be exact.

A registered nurse at Methodist Germantown, Savannah has always been pretty health-conscious and aware of the importance of caring for her body. She worked out regularly throughout nursing school and tried to eat healthily, but fitness and clean eating weren’t her main focus.

That all changed in October 2020. Savannah got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, and with her wedding around the corner, she decided she wanted to take her workout regimen and eating habits to the next level. She knew she wanted to be as healthy and toned as possible for her big day.

Anyone who knows Savannah knows that if she’s going to commit to something, she’s going to give it her all and strive to be the best she can be – so she read the book Thinner, Leaner, Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female Body by Michael Matthews. This, in her own words, completely changed her perspective on health and fitness.

As she delved into the book and educated herself on being the strongest, healthiest version of herself, Savannah became addicted to understanding the how’s and why’s behind exercise and clean eating. “I realized that I wasn’t seeing results in the gym before this because I wasn’t educated on what I was doing,” she explains.

“What I’ve learned through this fitness journey is the act of self-care.”

After devouring countless books, podcasts, and fitness-focused content on social media, it’s safe to say Savannah has gotten not only stronger but smarter over the last couple of years. She’s created her own workout routine, a specialized macros-focused diet, and has kept a consistent log of her journey.

Savannah’s current workout routine is focused mainly on strength training, although she incorporates cardio into her schedule as needed. She stresses the importance of compound movement, an exercise that uses multiple muscle groups simultaneously, in her workout routine. In addition, progressive overload is crucial to Savannah’s routine. This involves gradually increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your strength training routine, which puts just enough stress on the muscles to help them grow.

As far as her diet, Savannah focuses on counting her macros to ensure she’s eating enough protein. Tracking macros is all about consuming a certain amount of protein, carbs, and fats, instead of focusing on your caloric intake. “When I hit my daily macros, I know I’ve given my body what it needs to refuel,” Savannah explains. If you’re overwhelmed by calculating your macronutrients, Savannah recommends ensuring you get plenty of protein in your diet since that’s what refeeds your muscles.

Talking about weightlifting and macro-focused eating with Savannah is a refreshing change from how women are often taught to approach fitness. “We grew up thinking cardio and crash dieting was the only way to be fit, and that’s simply not true,” Savannah exclaims. “That’s why I’m so passionate about education around wellness and fitness.”

Investing her time and energy in her health education has changed Savannah’s life. She thought she would take a step back from her newfound lifestyle post-wedding, but after coming this far, she never wants to look back.

“What I’ve learned through this fitness journey is the act of self-care,” Savannah says with a smile. “Moving my body, fueling with wholesome, vitamin-rich food, getting enough sleep, and most importantly loving myself and the body I’m in.”

By Lucy Modzelewski
Photo by Tindall Stephens