Becoming a Healthier Me

by Bethany Hill

Y'all…(I am a southern girl, so serious reflections start this way for me!)

Through my teens, twenties, and thirties, I was the one who had an insanely high metabolism, could eat whatever I wanted, and was still a size 4. I turned 40, had a senior in high school, and became a principal all in one year…and things began to change. Getting older, we know, makes it more difficult to keep weight off, and even a bigger challenge to lose it once we gain it. I had time naturally against me—which I couldn’t control. There were so many other things I allowed to control me. I stopped exercising that summer and replaced the time with additional work hours. I stopped eating properly or at all some days (unless no you count a scoop of peanut butter or a piece of chicken from the cafe). My sleeping hours were reduced and I found myself working anywhere from 60-75 hours a week…at home in the evenings and on weekends, and the first thing when I opened my eyes each morning. I often fell asleep with my laptop and phone in the bed with me. Coffee and Coke kept me going most days, with very little water intake. I did this for 5 years. During that time, my body changed a lot from the inside out. I was constantly tired no matter how much sleep I was getting. It all felt the same. More back pain, more headaches, and lots of pushing the size 4 clothes to the back of the closet to replace them with bigger ones. By the time my second kid was a senior, the picture to the right was my reality. I’m 5’10”, so my weight gain was subtle (and honestly before I was probably a little underweight). It truly happened without me noticing, although I know others had to. Even though I found myself buying various sizes of clothes, I ignored the fact that I wasn’t healthy. When COVID forced us all home, I lived in leggings and oversized shirts. I wasn’t walking up and down the halls of a school. I changed again physically. 

It is so hard to admit that I lost control of my physical self, but that’s what happened. I realized my mental well being was not at its best, either. Regaining that control has been empowering and has provided me with energy, motivation, and joy! I was happy and joyful before, but feeling physically better has enhanced my mental well-being. 

If you are like me and have an addictive personality where you sometimes just have to eat when you’re not hungry, finding something that is a great fit for you is VITAL. Being honest with myself about the need for structure, a very well outlined plan, and intensive support was the biggest step I have taken in my journey to a healthier me.  I became self aware enough to realize my needs must be structured, and most meals are already prepared with the option to have one healthy cooked meal each day. I’m on the road a lot, and I need to grab and go. Meal prepping never lasts with me…I have great intentions but never follow through. I finally found what works for me! The biggest encouragement of all is having a coach who guides me through the process. I couldn’t have continued without that support. Having that person in my corner was a big step in vulnerability, but it was what I needed to get myself prepared for success. 

So…here I go! I’m continuing this journey of becoming a healthier me! 39 pounds and 34 inches down! Losing weight was the initial goal, but what I realized was that my mental well being, energy level, and ability to focus with clarity were what was being  jeopardized the most. I feel motivated, encouraged, and empowered to live my best life.


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