I was looking through my Facebook “On This Day” memories, and stumbled across these two statuses from 7 and 8 years ago today.
Seeing them together like that, I just HAD to put a graphic with a before/current picture and this blog post together.
It’s crazy to look back and see the way I used to feel, think, live… I was in such a dark place. Fast forward to now, right this minute, I’m working on my laptop at Whole Foods, sipping on some ginger turmeric tea. So much has changed.
Take it back now.
Here’s the short version.
From age 16 to 23, the name of my game was a cluster-fuck of the following [in no particular order]:
- Alcohol, partying, and alcohol poisoning
- Pounds of processed junk food A DAY
- Then not eating cause I felt like a huge cow
- Passing out in ditches and corn fields [living in rural Nebraska]
- More makeup caked over yesterday’s makeup
- Anxiety + depression medication
- Chronic bronchitis, headaches, migraines, and horrid acne
- Hiding food in my pillow case and sock drawer
- Skipping ALL THE CLASSES at college
- Untagging myself in pictures cause I hated how I looked
- Chain smoking packs of cigarettes a day
- Weekly inhaler use for asthma
- Jealous of other girls and eating my feelings
- Drama, judging others, gossiping, complaining
- Hiding behind layers of cardigans and happy hours
- A week in the hospital from talks of suicide
- Spastic colon meds — which didn’t work
- Thousands of dollars spent on a gallbladder surgery for daily stomach pains — which didn’t work
I mean, to be honest… nothing worked because [at the time] I didn’t really want anything to work. I tried all the fad diets and pills and shakes and powders and wraps… but I was still escaping, down a deep rabbit hole, and that was all I knew.
Some of these things I shared publicly, and some were closet-kept secrets.
One of my Nutribabe Nation members recently asked me:
Did you ever feel like if you had the vodka, it wouldn’t help anyway? Did you ever discover why you thought downing the vodka was the answer?
My answer to this is a hard yes AND a hard no. You know how there are times when you know the answer, or at least know that its the WRONG answer, but you talk yourself into it being ok because of X, Y, and Z? It was kind of like that.
Did I know alcohol wasn’t THE solution? Absolutely. But did I also think that it would “allow” me to temporarily escape from the pain I felt? Also absolutely.
Back then, alcohol, cigarettes, ice cream, cheese sticks, and donuts were the only outlets that I turned to for comfort.
Dude, I didn’t even know what a vegetable was.
Year after year, things kept building. I was just so comfortable being uncomfortable with what I thought was shitty-dealt deck of cards.
In those years, I spent my time wondering if it would just be easier to just not be here anymore. I didn’t clearly see an out. And even if I caught a glimpse, it felt like I could NEVER achieve true health and happiness.
Thankfully, two of my good friends called the authorities who knocked on my door AS I WAS LEAVING to get in my car to drive off the road at the highest drop-off in Lancaster County. [Holla Beth + Eric — Love you both so much!]
After a week-long stay at Bryan LGH Mental Facility in Lincoln, NE, I improved a bit mentally and emotionally. I decided to stay here and let this play out, and just added more partying and unhealthy food to my MO.
Pushing over 230 pounds at the age of 22ish, everything still just seemed so out of reach. So far away. So… HARD.
Even still… through all this, a little something in me under all the layers knew that some way, somehow, there had to be a way out. Like, there HAD to be… right?
And now seems like a perfect time to shift forward in time.
On May 19th, 2013, I made the decision to change my life. I decided that I was in control, and I needed to take action.
Was I scared shitless? Oh yea, 100%. Like, I knew my life was about to get FLIPPED upside down my ME. But I was also SO excited. I finally saw that I could paint an open canvas into something that I truly loved and thought was beautiful. ME. BEAUTIFUL. WHAT?!?!?!
I just had to start…. so I did. And I still haven’t quit!
Today, I feel alive. So great, awake, FREE. While that’s all great and I openly share this now, I am not better or stronger than anyone else. I am not some special-powered human.
So, what are my lifestyle keys to a life of freedom? A few of my main ones…
- Whole food, plant based nutrition — literally, ALL THE PLANTS
- Vegan lifestyle
- Perspective shifts + mindset
- Meditations + yoga
- Surround yourself with influencers, coaches, and solid people that helped build you up
- Don’t “start over”… just keep going.
Everyone has their own journey. Get inspired, take action, and lets crush this thing called life in the best way possible.
And I can tell you this…
There are so many “shining lights” and reasons why I am STILL here.
One of those reasons is every single one of my 1:1 clients, Nutribabe Nation members, anyone who is on my email list, follows Love Chard on Facebook or @mrslovechard on Instagram, or watches any of my live show videos.
I don’t do this for me, I do this for YOU.
I went through what I did so that I could help others get out of those dark places… and feel and live and breathe like I do now.
- Free of emotional eating
- Free of food addiction
- Free of escaping life with alcohol
- Free of self-loathing
- Free of an unhealthy body image
- Free. JUST FREE.
And the cool thing is, you’re in charge of it all. If you’re not happy with the story you’re currently writing… CHANGE IT.
Intrigued? Ready? Wanna know more? Want to hang out with me and get crazy lifestyle results? I feel you on sooooo many levels, and I’m ready for ya!