Sarah Myers joined the group with fire in the summer of 2019 and would go on to break the group record for time-to-100-pounds lost. She broke Maria’s record of 7.5 months (who broke my record of 8 months).
Sometime in the fall of 2019, she declared that she would not be a “half my size” case because she planned to keep her curves. I recently met her in person and learned that sometimes we get it all: Sarah hit the “half my size” mark just days before AND she was curvy!
Sarah’s Weight-Loss Motivation
I truly woke up one day, sick and tired of being sick and tired, and was in a place mentally where I was ready to try something different. I had been watching a couple of different sets of friends “do keto” and had been reading generic information about what a ketogenic diet was. I had saved all sorts of memes and charts, grocery lists, and simple how to’s.
I was ready to give it a go one morning, and I went to the store and bought all sorts of the stereotypical “keto things.” I left the grains, starches, pastas, potatoes, and refined sugars behind and loaded up on the stevia, black iced tea, lettuces, bacon, different oils, cheeses, etc…basic keto stuff.
I was heavy. And hurting. And tired. I didn’t have any pressing other medical issues yet, but I felt pretty hopeless and sad.
Diets of the Past
In the past, I tried everything: shakes, meal plans, group weigh-ins, etc. I lost weight just to gain it back – plus some. All the things I tried before allowed for weight-loss but no sustainable life change that made any sense.
I felt defeated. And deprived. And angry that nothing could work long term. I felt like I was sold all the lies with promises of hope, only to watch it all slip away and grow deeper in despair.
The Power of Community
A friend saw me begin my keto journey on Facebook. She was in the Eat Like a Bear community already and invited me to join. As soon as I was added, a whole new world of possibilities jumped into my life!!!
I learned new information and ideas. And a group of loving, dedicated, incredible people – desperate, like me, for something different – wrapped their collective arms around me and brought me into the cool kids’ club. I’m forever grateful for that reception. It literally helped me save my life.
I came to the group with an open mind and a serious desire to nerd out on all the science that was immediately introduced to me. The how and the why of the framework drew me in and held me there. I read EVERYTHING!!! Literally, I read every post and comment, watched every video linked or posted, and went down the rabbit hole of all the videos that followed after.
Eating Like a Bear
I worked for a few weeks to shorten my fasting window, and about four weeks after joining the community and learning what was needed to start, I broke down and intermittent fasted with a one-hour window, eating a beautiful, ginormous salad. It was official. I was eating like a Bear!!!
I had latched onto some names in the group and felt incredibly inspired by Maria. So I tried to model my journey – this new, amazing, hopeful thing – after what she was doing to have success. I added one extended fast a week to my rotation of 23:1 intermittent fasts and ate the ridiculously big salad on the days that I ate. I believe the magic lies in the “getting full” idea behind the ridiculously big salad, so I have eaten that on feeding days 99.9% of the time.
The Eat Like a Bear Approach was Different
Eat Like a Bear has changed my life – plain and simple. My list of life changes and non-scale is so long there isn’t space to include it all. But nothing I have tried in the past has helped me change my anxiety. I used to be wrought with a strong current of electricity, that surged through my body at any given moment of every single day. Like, if you clench your fists at the same time, flex/clench all of the muscles in your body, and tighten your jaw super-duper tight…and then hold that tense feeling FOREVER, you may get an idea of what it felt like to be me, at any given moment of every single day.
About two months into eating like a Bear (three months total into keto), I was talking with a friend about some things that had changed for me so far in my journey, and I realized that current was gone. Never before in my life have I NOT felt that. That alone was worth the continued journey. NOTHING has ever done that for me before. Nothing. I had never, up until that moment when I realized it, not felt that…never! Aside from the ease of the framework and the success I was seeing, nothing in my life, diet wise or otherwise, had ever touched that before, let alone gotten rid of it.
I knew the Eat Like a Bear approach was working within a few days. Everything started to change for me immediately: my mood, my physical flexibility, the space I took up, my sleep, the tingling in my hands, the swelling of my face/body, the ease at which I sailed through my day! I don’t remember it ever not working.
Sarah’s New Life
Now that I’ve lost weight, I can do everything. Wear a swimsuit in public, paddleboard, walk for miles without stopping, work without getting winded, sleep on my stomach. I wear clothes that are half my original size and walk in heels for hours at a time. I can sit anywhere, in any chair, and not worry if it will break. I can sit at any booth and not worry if I will fit. I can do everything.
I can’t even think of all the things I can do now that I couldn’t do before!!! I’m so far removed from the old, embarrassing life, the sad shell of a human I used to be, that I can’t even think of everything I can do now. But these are some of my favorite things.
Tips for Newcomers
The top tip I could give has multiple points:
- Learn exactly what is happening to your body during this new approach. Learn the science. Learn the why and how it works. You will save yourself some frustration and worry if you do.
- Give yourself some grace. This is not like anything you’ve done before. It works, you just have to give yourself some grace as you figure it all out AND let your body do what it does. (That goes back to learning the process and the science behind what happens here.) This is nothing like anything you’ve done before, and it’s 14 steps farther into most things you know about keto. Learn the things and give yourself some grace.
- Take a deep breath, remember you can only go one step at a time, and always make the next best choice. This mantra was born out of the moments where I felt unsure or worried, when I stumbled, or when I straight up fell. This doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t always do the “right” thing. This is a part of the journey. You battle yourself more than anything or anyone else.