Behind The Scenes Outlander North Carolina

A Peaker’s Story ~ How Outlander, Sam Heughan and MPC Changed My Life

July 24, 2018
Post by Contributing Author, Tara Heller

After I had my second child, I knew something needed to change. I was ready to get my body back-  the toned and fit me. Before I met my husband, I was always running, working out and trying to eat well. However, I did it on my own. This time around, I needed a swift kick in the butt. I needed motivation. Enter, Outlander. One day I was  looking around, minding my own business and reading behind the scenes information, when I happened upon an article about how Sam Heughan stays in shape. I quickly learned that he founded this program, a movement really, named ‘My Peak Challenge’. I did as I normally do, I researched the heck out of this thing. I wanted to know as much information as I could before I joined.

If you don’t know this already, Sam loves to be outside and stay in shape. Incidentally, that is how he maintains his ‘Jamie Fraser’ physique, well that and doing some in depth training at the gym. He loves to hike, go for a run through the mountains and basically be adventurous. Through this love of being active and staying healthy, he decided to create a positive exercise and nutrition program to encourage people to be healthy and get moving. That is when My Peak Challenge was born.

Details, Details, Details

I found out the membership for 2018 would cost $119 + tax and half  of the price goes to cancer research program called Bloodwise and Marie Curie- these are two of the charities that Sam supports. I knew this was an incredible deal because it was for a year. You could easily spend close to $99+ in three months for a gym membership!

What it includes:

  • Complete meal plan (suggestion)- this helps you balance your daily macros (proteins, fats and carbs) and helps you take the guess work out of  ‘What’s for dinner?’.
  • Exercise plan- these get sent out every month through your login on the website. You can tailor the exercises to your physical ability as there are many variations for each. They are developed by Sam’s trainer, John Valbonesi.
  • Access to the private Facebook page- this has been a tremendous support, encouragement and helps with motivation.
  • My Peak Challenge t-shirt and wristband

The Challenges

There are physical and non physical challenges. As far as physical challenges, there are many challenges (in addition to the daily training) that other Peakers propose and you can sign up. For instance, a lunge, squat or sit up month long challenge.  I sign up for at least one a month! I guess I like to torture  push myself!

I have also become a runner! I look forward to my biweekly runs. They refresh me and make me feel like I accomplished so much! In addition, I participated in the Lighthouse 5K in Corolla Light Village on the Outer Banks while we were on vacation! I want to challenge myself to sign up for many 5Ks and virtual 5Ks this year, yes virtual! Virtual 5Ks allow you to run them when your schedule allows (there are deadlines) and have the medal and/or t-shirt sent to you! It is on my bucket list to participate in a RunDisney event! There are even virtual runs through Scotland!

Non-physical challenges can be getting that knitting project done that you have been putting off, discovering your true passions, getting back into painting, working through a loss, and in my case, focus on your writing. I promised myself to focus on my blog in 2018 and so far I have been doing that and enjoying it! I also added, read at least ten books (can include audiobooks) in 2018.  So far I’m at 4!

The Facebook page has been an incredible motivation and support. Also, I found fellow Peakers on Instagram and have formed ‘online friendships’ with them. We support each other daily and it’s just been so wonderful to have these communities available.

If this whole fitness/work out/healthy eating idea makes you a bit intimidated, you DO NOT have to be afraid of failure. “Each day is a new start”, is the mantra in the group. Everyone is at a different level and a different point in the process. All the exercises and training can be tailored to your ability and fitness level! However, through the exercises you are definitely pushed to new limits and I love that! Hey, it isn’t called, My Peak Challenge for nothing- it is going to challenge you, but in a life changing- ‘mind, body and soul’ kind of way!

My Results

In about 3 months (February-July) I have lost 10 lbs, and almost 10 total inches over my body. I have gone down two pant sizes and one shirt/dress size. I have to say, I am now officially a shorts girl for the first time in over 10 years! There is no hiding these hard earned legs! For the first time ever, I was not scared to go swimsuit shopping! I wasn’t even sure what size I was going to be! It has given me incredible confidence and courage. I feel so much stronger and happier! I just want to keep going!

If it were not for Outlander…

I am so thankful for My Peak Challenge and how it has changed me, inside and out! If it weren’t for discovering Outlander, I’m not sure where I would be. Probably still searching for the right fitness and nutrition plan for me, I’m sure!

So thank you Sam Heughan, Coach John, My Peak Challenge and Outlander for helping me discover a program I love and have been able to stick with!

Are you a Peaker? If so, please share your story below. I’d love to hear from you!


Tara Heller is the mother of two boys, who lives in South Central Pennsylvania. However her heart is the South. Although she is fairly new to Outlander, she has truly immersed herself in it. She also loves history, especially the 18th century, genealogy, visiting the coast, spending time with family and blogging at

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  • Reply Susan Jackson July 24, 2018 at 8:37 am

    What a great story, Tara, thank you! MPC sounds like a great way to get people to not only get moving, but change their lives. Sam is so inspiring in so many ways–Outlander and Outlander fans wouldn’t be the same without him!

  • Reply Susan Jackson July 25, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Isn’t it awesome how, because of Outlander, Sam has affected so many lives, and not just from the swooning! lol Your journey is inspiring, Tara, so keep it up! Sam would be proud! 🙂

  • Reply Tara Heller July 25, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    It is awesome and amazing! Thanks Susan?

  • Reply Suzanne February 7, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Hi Tara,
    I loved reading your story. Sounded just like mine. 35 and out of shape after 2 kiddos. Living in the Northeast as well. (Pittsburgh area if you’re near). A coworker told me about the show Outlander and so I binged it all in a few weekends and then as you, did the research on things like I always do and came across My Peak Challenge. I wasn’t sure at first but for me, it was about joining something bigger than just a fitness program. I’m not big on posting a lot but I love to read the other Facebook posts and give support when needed. I have found that I’m not in that bad of shape though the last few days have worked me good. I am finding that this is holding me accountable for myself and that I actually like getting up and working out because of being a part of a bigger picture, though I don’t always necessarily like it when in the middle of a workout 🙂 I subscribed to your blog as well as it interested me quite a bit. Great work! I love reading your stuff already! As for a fellow Peaker! WE GOT THIS!!!!

    • Reply Tara Heller February 7, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks for your comment Suzanne and thanks for subscribing! I found a great Peaker community on Instagram too and have a Instagram presence for my blog if you want to check me out over there! It’s ladyoutnumbered321

  • Reply Heather Fields July 13, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    Can you please tell me a little about the workout videos? Do you get to workout with Sam and John? I honestly can’t think of anything more motivating than working out with Sam Heughan! It sounds like an amazing program and a worthy cause. He is such an inspiration. Thank you for your blog and any answers you can provide.

    • Reply Tara Heller July 13, 2019 at 8:09 pm

      Heather, the videos are more informational for each exercise and variations. Sam and John make light funny conversation so it’s fun to see them in that aspect. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for commenting!

  • Reply Helen August 2, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Tara!
    I was thinking the other day how much I owe Diana Gabaldon. If I ever meet her in person I will thank her heartily.
    If it weren’t for Diana, there would be no Outlander. And if it weren’t for Outlander – no Jamie Fraser. And then no Sam Heughan playing Jamie Fraser. And then no MPC..
    I have tried , succeeded, and then relapsed on SO. MANY. DIETS.
    MPC is so much more. A global family. And it’s going to make a difference in my life!
    So thanks for sharing your journey! Here’s to all us Peakers!

    • Reply Tara Heller October 9, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      Exactly! Great to hear from a Peaker sister! Thanks for commenting!

  • Reply Tara Heller August 3, 2019 at 8:01 am

    That’s awesome! Welcome to the world of MPC. Be sure to use the community on Facebook and Instagram. That’s been a wonderful resource and encouragement to me.

  • Reply Helen August 3, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Yep! Already there. It IS amazing.

  • Reply Pamela October 8, 2019 at 5:02 am

    Well reading your stories helped me understand so much more of what MPC is and how it works. I’ve just joined! Many thanks to all of you.

    • Reply Tara Heller October 9, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      Awww that’s awesome! This is exactly why I wrote this post! Let me know if I can be of more help to you. There’s a ton of regional and state specific peaker Facebook groups and a great instagram community as well!

  • Reply Pamela Jordan October 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    How would I connect with the Sydney Peakers in Australia ?

  • Reply Pamela October 11, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    Since we last ‘spoke’ I have joined the Oficial MPC Facebook group and Instagram’s Aussie Peakers. Gather I will come across Sydney Peakers as I go along. I have just joined so will receive what I need to get started soon.
    Many thanks Tara

  • Reply Lady Net December 14, 2020 at 5:27 am


    I was just inquiring about your program. I heard about Outlander from a friend.

    • Reply Beth E Pittman December 14, 2020 at 4:31 pm

      Hey Lady!! Are you inquiring about MPC or Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming? Let us know and we’ll tell you all you need to know about either … or both!

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