Hope joined us in the spring of 2019, and her photos always amaze me. She has lost 100 pounds and at least a decade or maybe three. Her youthful energy was always there, but it just jumps out of her photos now, to such a degree I probably would not recognize her had I not been following her for over a year. Hope shares her weight loss success story with us here.
Hope’s Weight Loss Motivation
I needed to heal myself in every way imaginable! Mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. I had done Atkins and lost 60 pounds, kept it off for 5 years and then put it all back on plus some more.
I was in a very painful period of my life, losing my new husband to diabetes suddenly and unexpectedly. I felt compelled to learn everything and anything. I was also having trouble with my Achilles tendon and was in a walking boot for almost 6 months.
Something had to change. I could not live like this for the rest of my life – I have a son who needs me and deserves to have a healthy mom.
Diets of the Past
In the past, I have tried everything imaginable! Counting calories, diet shakes, diet pills shipped over from Europe, purchasing exercise programs, joining pay-to-participate groups. You name it, and I have probably tried it!
I stumbled across Amanda’s video, and it just spoke to me. She was not selling me anything except information. It just seemed to make sense to me when nothing else did. If I could control the times that I eat and keep to at least 75% healthy veggies, then I had a chance at the success others were talking about. I had nothing to lose – except weight and a very unhealthy self-image.
The Eat Like a Bear Approach was Different
I am a scientist, a behavior analyst, so the science of behavior. Eat Like a Bear just spoke directly to my heart. At first, I was too scared to just jump right in, so I started by reducing my carb intake as much as possible. I also eliminated corn and all corn products, which was amazing to me how much corn by-products I was consuming each and every day.
After one week of zero-carb breakfasts, I started pushing back the time I ate breakfast. By the end of week two, breakfast was much too close to lunch, so I just eliminated breakfast. Then I started doing the same thing by pushing back my lunchtime until it was so close to supper that, by the end of week four, I was down to one meal a day. Next up was to eliminate my morning coffee. I TRIED to like black coffee, but the reality is that I don’t like coffee. I LOVE sweet-flavored creamers!
By the end of my second month, I felt empowered! I had energy, I was excited to get up and move, I loved researching new salads and keto-friendly meals, and best of all were all the “friends” and encouragement I received from this Facebook community. I could check in dozens of times a day and read about people just like me!! I wasn’t alone in this struggle.
Hope’s New Life
Eat Like a Bear has transformed my life! Gone are all the physical pains of walking upstairs, carrying anything heavy, standing for long lengths of time and any physical chore. I now move pain-free and enthusiastically! I want to get up and move now.
I also have started healing emotionally. I am much more self-confident, taking on a few challenges I would never have been brave enough to do, such as going after my dream job and getting it!!! I’m no longer fearful to take my son on vacation because I wasn’t sure I could physically manage.
Oh, and no more boot for my Achilles tendon, that is completely healed – the inflammation is 100% gone.
I never imagined I would be brave enough to share my story, let alone post pictures, but this Eat Like a Bear Facebook community is one of support, respect and empathy. I love that I can now be a cheerleader for others just starting out. Yes, I still have struggles and want to lose just 20 more pounds. But gosh, this way of eating has improved my life 10,000%.
Within the first two weeks, I noticed less inflammation in my entire body. My doctor noticed it too by week three – my foot doctor commented on the healing of my Achilles tendon.
Honestly, at the end of the first month, even my shoes were too big. I knew in my heart that I had finally found a solution to a lifetime of being the “overweight big girl” everywhere I went.
Doing New Things
I can walk for several miles without stopping or getting winded. I can push my son’s wheelchair and take him on my walks with me. I can trim my own toenails and still breathe at the same time. I can finally work in my garden and bend down to plant or weed. I can sit in an airplane with no extension seatbelt. I am riding horses again after 40 years of being too heavy.
Another great outcome of Eat Like a Bear is just the amount of time I have gained by not being obsessed with my next meal!!!
Tips for Newcomers
Just START! You won’t know what you don’t know, so read everything. If you start and fall, try again. It’s still better than never starting. Lean on this group and lean heavily. They are an amazing group of strong, gracious, generous and supportive individuals!