In just 6 months I will be celebrating 5 years of maintaining 100+ pound weight loss. During that time, I have spent a good amount of time reflecting and recounting the process :  a slow and steady progression of small lifestyle changes that led to a profound transformation in both mind, body, and spirit.

There is no doubt the life I lead is starkly different in comparison to where I was at the beginning of my health journey. I have slowly and purposefully built my path and presence in a way to encourage a paradigm shift for anyone who will listen. Along the way I have often heard “change talk” from others with a touch of ambivalence; phrases like:

“I wish I could do that” 

“I want that for myself BUT…

So many people I have heard from do not believe they are capable of that level of change. You know what? I didn’t either… and that is what this post is about.

{Sidenote: This is something I become devastatingly frustrated about- I want to SCREAM from the rooftops to ANYONE who will listen: You are not only capable of change… you are WORTHY of change. Okay, sorry to get preachy… let’s get back to the point.}

I was talking with someone recently, recounting a “day in the life” before my steps to change: before I had ever set foot in a gym or tried kale; back when a home-cooked meal was a bag of Knorr’s Pasta Sides with a sprinkle of frozen mixed veggies. It occurred to me that I had never truly shared, with anyone, just how cold the ground felt at my personal rock bottom.

So, I want to introduce you to someone who believed in herself even less than you do now and walk you through a very typical day in her shoes:


  • After snoozing the alarm seventeen times,  wake up and sort through the pile of clean (and dirty) clothes that covered the bedroom floor to find an acceptable work outfit.
  • Sneak by the bathroom, quick glance in the mirror; not for a makeup or hair routine (that was far too much effort) but to confirm whether teeth needed brushing
  • Open freezer to warm up breakfast burrito or Jimmy Dean’s breakfast sandwich


  • Go to Tim Horton’s drive thru for a routine breakfast order: sausage, egg, & cheese on a buttery biscuit, a boston cream donut (or blueberry muffin, for a “healthier” option) and a large coffee with 3 creams and 2 sugars.


  • During lunch hour, drive to the McDonald’s two blocks from the office and order a $4 meal from the dollar menu: two McDoubles (no pickle, add Mac sauce) a spicy McChicken sandwich, and a large sweet tea.
  • Choose parking space in McDonald’s lot by the exit, park, and eat while scrolling through social media.
  • Pack 2 cans of pop to have during the day at the office, flavor of choice: Wild Cherry Pepsi or Vanilla Coke.
  • A large back of peanut M&M’s, a box of Cheez-Its, and/or some peanut butter crackers stashed in the desk drawer to much on when mid-afternoon cravings would hit.


  • After leaving work, drive to the Wendy’s a few blocks from the apartment. Typical drive-thru order: double bacon cheeseburger meal (large) with fries, substituting a drink for a chocolate frosty (to dip the fries in, duh.)
  • Use elevator to reach fourth floor apartment, place food on coffee table. Turn on television show/netflix/movie, and chow down in the safety of the judgement-free zone.

Dessert (yes, dessert)

  • Oreos
  • A bowl (and an hour later, usually a second bowl) of whatever Ice cream was on sale that week.

So what did a not-so-typical day look like? More binging,  more liquid calories, and even more self-destructive behavior.

One night, while chatting on the phone with a relative, I got opened a package of Oreos to snack on. I slid the container out for a handful, then closing it up after each helping. After 90 minutes, I opened the container one last time to realize I had eaten the entire package in one sitting. So ashamed of this, I rushed to a corner store to replace the package before my partner would have recognized what I had done. I was so good at hiding who I was, sometimes I even fooled myself.

The last five years have been spent learning, growing, evolving… there truly isn’t much that hasn’t been touched by change (yes, friend, I’ve even nailed down a solid dental hygiene routine… I know you were probably concerned about that one).

Now you can better understand why I believe, so vehemently, that ANYONE is capable of this kind of change. Because even ME, the girl with every excuse in the book, zero self worth, and perpetual self-destructive behavior found a way to use her own rock bottom as the perfect foundation to rebuild her life.

What does all of this mean for you? Well, after joining in on the recounting of a typical day in my life circa 2011-2013, you may have experienced alarm, empathy, or perhaps you gained a new perspective for where you are in your own journey. Wherever you fall on that spectrum, If you are reading this, you are already on a better path than I was then. Why? Because you care enough to listen to someone else’s story of shame and struggle in a way that can help you grow.