Thoughts of the person on the left [me from mid-2013]:
“What am I even doing? I am terrified of change. What if I fail? I have failed so many times before… why would this time be any different?
I don’t know how to eat healthy. What do I eat? Just lettuce and broccoli? Ugh, I can’t do that, that’s gross.
And what about working out? I don’t know how to do that, either. Do I just do a ton of cardio? I don’t really want to do that.
Do I diet? Do I count calories? I don’t know how to not be the “fat one” in the room.
Is there a program I should go on? Oh, never mind, I don’t want to commit to a program. Too much to learn, too much money, and I’ll probably just gain the weight back anyway.
Maybe I’ll just “watch my portions.” I can’t give up donuts or chips or alcohol… but I could maybe cut down? OMG, I seriously don’t know if I can do this.”
I was having all of those thoughts–no, they were excuses–daily. I needed to remove the word “can’t” from my vocabulary, mind, thoughts, and actions. I needed to stop with the pushbacks I was allowing myself. You’re just scared of the unknown, I told myself. And that’s ok.
Even though I was scared, I knew these things as well:
- I was tired of hiding my body behind layers of clothes.
- I was tired of being a slave to junk food.
- I was tired of weighing over 230 pounds on the scale [250 at my heaviest].
- I was tired of feeling sad all the time.
- I was tired of getting winded from climbing into and out of my car.
- I was tired of bingeing, hiding my food, emotional eating, and overeating.
- I was tired of allowing other people to bring me down or make me feel like shit about myself by their words and actions.
- I was tired of ordering and eating an entire pizza to myself and hiding the box in the garage.
- I was tired of seeing others eat healthy and work out and think that I could never do that.
- I was tired of getting whispered about and pointed at by strangers.
- I was tired of feeling unhealthy and weighed down.
- I was tired of always tugging at my clothes.
- I was tired of pretending I didn’t just eat the whole gallon of ice cream.
- I was tired of untagging myself in pictures.
- I was tired of only being able to shop in the plus size section.
- I was tired of looking in the mirror and being embarrassed of myself every day.
- I was tired of feeling like an obese girl who didn’t know who she really was.
- I was tired of masking all these feelings by washing down donuts with wine.
- I was tired of not feeling confident in front of my husband.
- I was tired of not feeling happy alone by myself — because I didn’t like who I was.
Holy bananas… and that’s just the short list!
“The consequence for putting off your health and wellness is the loss of confidence and the loss of true happiness.” -Mrs. Love Chard
That word: Tired. Tired. Tired. My mind was tired, my body was tired, my life was tired, and my health was tired. I could only remain tired for so long.
That list shows a lot of my WHYs… and suddenly, they were much bigger than my excuses. Was I scared to make healthy changes? Of course I was, but I was more scared of remaining the same.
It really came down to what I wanted more:
- Did I want to eat more fruits and vegetables… or did I want to be in physical and emotional pain after eating a quarter pounder with fries plus a vanilla caramel milkshake?
- Did I want to go on walks and move my body more…. or did I want to sleep for 12+ hours a day and still have trouble getting out of bed?
- Did I want to feel more confident with myself… or did I want to continue to hate being in my own body?
And so I put all of those initial fears aside. They were negative thoughts and I was filled with bursts of self-doubt at first… but that wasn’t going to stop me. I was on a mission and dang it I was motivated, determined, and persistent!
I said no to the junk food and alcohol, I bought health books, I hired a trainer, I signed up for classes at the gym, I ordered health magazines, I subscribed to wellness newsletters, I hung out in the produce department, I researched nutrition, I walked and jogged around the block, I made new dishes and tried new things, and I got on Pinterest and pinned pinned pinned all day long.
I found the money to spend on education and learning. I was worth it.
I made the time to spend in the kitchen to learn and make new things. This was a priority — I was a priority.
I was unstoppable.
I was changing.
I was growing stronger as a woman and shrinking in size at the same time.
I was so proud of myself.
What was different this time around was that I wasn’t just trying, I was actually doing.
You have to step outside your box of normal and do something different and be consistent. Don’t stay stuck where you are. Where you are hasn’t been working. You have to make changes in order to see changes. That is worth repeating:
You have to make changes in order to see changes.
Did I fall? Oh, yes. Did I stay down and sulk about it, complain, or throw in the towel? Nope. I got back up and I kept fighting for the health and the life that I deserved and so badly wanted. You don’t have to “start over”… you just have to keep going.
My journey has not been perfect, and it’s still not over! And no, I don’t have the most toned vacation body in the world, but that’s ok. I am healthful and happy, I dropped 80+ pounds, and I feel AHH-mazing.
Every day I continue to live the lifestyle that allowed me to gain my life back. I am happy and I am free. I am finally free to be me.
Alright, Bethany so what did you eat?
Food. I ate real food, guys… simple as that. I got serious with myself with what I was eating — I cut the toxic crap out [meat, dairy, refined sugars, refined grains, oils, fast food, alcohol]. These “food-like” products were toxic to my body, my health, my mind, and my life — so they had to go. They had to go so I could better myself. It was like a bad relationship with an even worse breakup… but it needed to happen. I am so glad it did.
I eat fresh, whole, plant foods every day. My meals are made up of these nutrient powerhouse food groups: vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, seeds, nuts, spices, and herbs.
I do not count calories, I don’t consume protein shakes or bars, have never taken weight loss pills — I simply eat real food and fill up to satisfaction at every meal. I enjoy whole food, plant-based versions of tacos, pizza, spaghetti, garlic bread, chili, fries, pad thai, gourmet salads with creamy dressings, chocolate “ice cream”, pancakes… talk about abundance!
Not only are my meals abundant, but my entire life is now abundant. The girl on the right in the transformation picture, Mrs. Love Chard, she knows exactly who she is now. I have more life, love, energy, confidence, joy, happiness, comfort, and passion than I have ever had. I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything. I never want to relive those feelings from those bullet points near the top of this post.
I am free and happy… Like love-drunk on vegetables, and it’s seriously amazing.
You have the ability to change your life.
Are you all-in and ready to transform into who you always knew you could be? Let’s shed the weight, get stronger in so many ways, and do this together.
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Mrs. Love Chard