You Can Accomplish Anything!

I have been overweight for most of my life. I began gaining weight at around 8 years old and I reached 200+ lbs by the time I was 14 (if not sooner). I never took my health seriously. As I grew into a teenager, the food I was putting into my body became more and more poor, as did my quality of life. Life as a teenager and young adult meant whatever was easier, whatever was cheapest and whatever was the most delicious. I never paid attention to what I was consuming, and even if I did, I had no idea weather it was good or bad (nor did I care).

There were periods in my teen years when, like many others, I yo-yo dieted many times, and as soon as the results weren’t satisfactory or the weight stopped coming off, I always waited for the “next Monday” that never came again. It was a dangerous and self-destructive cycle that I was stuck in.

In 2014, everything spiraled out of control. I was weighing in at around 280 lbs. I developed a great pain and discomfort in my abdomen, and upon visiting my doctor, she informed me that I was suffering from fatty liver disease and needed to make a desperate change. When I left the office, instead of crying tears of fear, I cried tears of frustration that I would have to give up all the foods that gave me so much joy. My mindset was 100% pleasure focused, and food was my addiction that brought me pleasure. I ignored my doctor – but my parents didn’t.

It was at this point in 2014 that my father signed me up for my initial consultation and first sessions with Marsha. I remember not wanting to go, I remember not wanting to be open about my food and beverage choices and I remember not wanting to be open about my sedentary lifestyle. I was embarrassed, which confirmed to me that I knew exactly what I was doing wrong, I just didn’t know how to change it.

My initial sessions with Marsha taught me so much. She was patient, non-judgmental, open and answered all my questions. She taught me about the right ways to fuel my body, what I should be eating, and what I should be looking for on labels. The resources she handed out to me were plentiful, and she did her part in holding me accountable.

And yet, after all that, I still found excuses to give up on myself. Even though Marsha was doing her part, and my family was standing behind me encouraging me – I did not do my part and continued not to care.

After my initial sessions with Marsha, and my failed commitment to myself, I spiraled deeper into my food addiction. My diet consisted of fast food, fried food, cheap food, pop, chips, eating out – if it was bad – I can assure you I was eating it. My sugar intake was out of control, and I’ m sure everything else was as well.

During this time, I refused to weight myself. I became someone I did not recognize. My zeal for life was gone. I just wanted to stay inside, be alone, lay, eat crap and watch TV. This went on for 2 more years.

In January of 2016, I remember someone taking a photo of me and me commenting, “Wow, I really like this photo, if only my knees weren’t so fat!” I took a step back and realized – my knees are fat? That is not a common area people complain about. It was in this moment that I was somehow awakened.

I decided to weigh myself the next day, and what I saw brought me to tears. I weighed in at about 304 lbs. I never thought I would see a 3 in front of my weight. I knew diabetes ran in my family, I knew high blood pressure ran in my family, I knew I had a fatty liver – and in

that moment – I finally KNEW I was far too young to give my life away to disease. A fire sparked in me.

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“I knew that I had to be in this forever.”

The first thing I did was pull out the guidelines Marsha had given me 2 years prior. I knew that if anything, I could follow these, because she had laid it out so easily, and that is exactly what I did. Step by step, following what we discussed before, I changed my eating habits around and started working out 5 days a week cold turkey!

I started an Instagram account to hold myself accountable. I knew that if people were looking to my posts for daily inspiration, I would have to keep going.

I didn’t count calories or weight my food – something I learned from Marsha – because I knew that I had to be in this forever, and I knew it was unrealistic to think that I would count calories for the rest of my life. I just tried to be conscious of what I was putting into my body and I made the best decisions I could every day.

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“RECOMMIT to yourself and your goals each and every morning.”

One year later, by following Marsha’s guidelines and by weight training/cardio, I currently weight 185 lb – which means that I have lost about 120 lbs in the past year! I haven’t seen a “1” in front of my weight since I was 12 or 13 – and the feeling is incredible.

I feel energetic, excited for life, strong, unstoppable, and so much happier than I ever was before. My fatty liver is cured, and I am on the path to lifelong health and avoiding unnecessary disease.

I decided now would be the perfect time to see Marsha again, because I knew she could help me tweak my diet to fit my new body and to fit my new circumstances. And that is exactly what we are doing right now! It is a pleasure working with her again to continue my lifestyle journey to health and happiness and to finally take it seriously this time and enjoy the ride. I cannot wait to see what the future brings.

If I had just one piece of advice for anyone embarking on his or her own journey, it would be to promise to recommit to yourself every morning. This journey is full of bumps, struggles and challenges and you have to learn to put yourself first no matter what. If you fall of track, skip a work out, or binge on terrible food – just put that day behind you and RECOMMIT to yourself and your goals each and every morning, regardless of the day before. You have so much to gain, and you will see success.