Project Healthy Amanda
I have been overweight since my teens and mostly obese for my adult life. I have been a career dieter, trying everything from WW, meal replacements, shakes, and even had the lap band (which worked at first but I even managed to make that fail and it has since been removed). As a result, my weight has yo-yo’d up and down most of my life. In 2017, I had ballooned up over 300 pounds again. Yes, again! I felt awful. I hated myself and was living a life indoors, eating on the couch, watching TV, and playing games on my iPad. I also had a terrible limp and was having trouble walking due to arthritis in my hip. The pain was so bad that I could barely walk into work every day without starting to sweat. In January 2018 I decided to try a Whole30 reset to lose some weight, and was doing really well – but as the end of the month approached, I started stressing out about would happen when I was on my own. Could I continue down the path toward health by myself? I started looking for a Whole30 coach thinking it would help to have someone to be accountable to. Through that search I found Jennifer who also happened to be a health coach. After reading through the Project Healthy Body website, and many blog posts, there were so many stories from herself, her other coaches, and clients that I identified with. They had been career dieters like me, but they were losing weight, keeping it off, and all looked genuinely happy and healthy. Suddenly, I had hope. I sensed that PHB was different and something I needed to try, so I took the plunge and reached out.
To say that my life has changed would be an understatement. I am living again! I’m going outdoors and loving it! In 2018, I started eating better by following the PHB formula, slowly adding in steps, and making myself a priority. The biggest change was the fact that I finally went back to the Dr. for my hip, because although I was moving more and losing weight, the pain was not getting better. I had been avoiding the Dr. because I assumed that they were just going to tell me (again) to lose weight and it would get better. By July, I’d had enough. I went ready to advocate for myself and prepared to fight for some help, because I had been losing weight and moving more and it just wasn’t getting better. It turned out that in the three years since my last X-ray, my hip had degenerated so much that I needed a hip replacement at age 42! Personally, I believe the major cause of this was due to my unhealthy sedentary lifestyle. I ended up having a hip replacement in October and now have my full mobility back! I was back at a 10k per day step goal by November and it has been a game changer for me. All of my pain is gone, and now I am averaging around 15k steps per day. I am also able to go hiking, and to the gym, and really be able push myself and make myself sweat!! Which is a great feeling after being forced to use a stationary bike to get my steps prior to surgery. I am a healthy work in progress and can’t wait to experience more positive changes on my journey toward greater health.
What makes this program so successful? First, PHB is NOT a diet. It is about making small changes over time, in the way you eat, your movement, hydration, and mostly, learning how to treat yourself better and live in the present moment. Everyone’s journey will be different, and we learn pretty quickly that we need to stay in our own lane and not compare ourselves to anyone else. There’s also an amazing group of supportive women who are there for each other in a private network where it’s safe for you to be your most vulnerable and open. We call it our tribe and we are stronger & healthier together.
When I think about what makes a healthy person, I think of someone who is living in the present moment, experiencing life outdoors in nature, and someone who puts themselves first (which is not being selfish because you can’t put the oxygen mask on your neighbor if you’ve stopped breathing first). She doesn’t wait until she is skinny to start living her life, because the only moment that she is guaranteed is this one. She knows that and loves herself as she is RIGHT NOW, because she is enough – just as she is. When she hits a bump in the road and gets knocked off of her bike, she gives herself the permission to pick up, dust off, and move on. She is me, and I am a healthy person. I am worth it.