Terra’s Life Story

May 14, 2021

My story isn’t new or uncommon. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. I can still hear the bullies who teased me about my weight, the mean words they said, the sound of their voices as they said them. My own family would comment about my size. And though I know now they simply worried about my health, it made me feel ugly, unloved, and unworthy. As part of the latch key generation, I spent a lot of my time on my own. Not understanding my emotions, I turned to food for the love, attention, and acceptance I was desperate for. This behavior only got worse as I got older. Instead of dealing with typical teenage angst in a healthy way, I allowed my emotions to take control of my eating habits. I remember being jealous of a girl fighting for her life from anorexia because all I could see is the control she had not to eat. Then, feeling the guilt of being jealous I would binge-eat my feelings away.

In my 20’s I ballooned up to somewhere around 200lb. I can’t say for sure, because there was no way I would havestepped on a scale. For several years I fell into a deep bout of depression, and the only escape I could find was with food and alcohol. In 2006, we moved to Tennessee, and I stepped on the scale for what may have been the first time in my adult life. I had never been so disappointed in myself than I was in that moment. It took another couple of years, but I finally decided I’d had enough and started my weight loss journey. Unfortunately, years of self-hatred, and a destructive behavior with food put me on a wild roller coaster ride. Stuck on repeat, I would restrict and lose and then binge and gain. Eventually, I took up running and for a while I thought I was making real progress, but then some “catastrophic” event would happen, depression would set in and once again, I would find myself turning to food for comfort. By my mid to late 30’s I was able gain a little control and maintain some weight loss. The scale hovered between 160-165. But, because my relationship with food was still so damaged, I found myself stuck in a restrict-binge cycle.

As I entered my 40’s, my metabolism was wrecked, so I had to restrict my calories even more. After taking up weightlifting, I was able to get my weight down to the 135-140 range. But I was starving myself to do so and my performance in the gym suffered. I couldn’t accomplish any of the goals I had been working so hard for. I finally threw up my hands and admitted I needed professional help.

So, in the crazy year of 2020, I was introduced to Betsy who helps with nutrition and is an athlete. At our first meeting, all I could think was “She is EXACTLY what I need”! Betsy showed me I could increase my calorie intake (I was only eating 1000- 1100 calories a day), workout less (I was in the gym AT LEAST 6 sessions per week), and STILL drop weight! Needless to say, my mind has been blown over the last 10 months. Physically, I’ve lost 10 pounds and 6 inches off my body. But my biggest transformation has been the emotional and mental transformation. 2020 was a hard year for everyone. My year was plagued with what my past self would have viewed as “catastrophic” events; the death of a loved one, family illness, my own illness(es), and the hardships that come with a grown child finding their own path. Before working with Betsy, I would have turned to food and alcohol to ease my pain. But she’s taught me that no matter what happens in life, what I put in my body is one of the few things I DO have control over. With Betsy’s guidance, I now understand how to fuel my body to handle whatever life throws at me.

I’ve accomplished so much more than I ever expected! I did my first (and many more) unassisted pull up, head and
handstands, and broke a couple of PRs in the gym. The scale went down, and my confidence went up. I cried the first time I looked at myself and didn’t see the sad, lonely, and overweight girl anymore. I’m no longer the person I was 30 years ago, 10 years ago, or even 1 year ago. Betsy supported me while I found the new me – the true me – the me I actually love!

It’s #testimonialtuesday and I am so excited to spotlight Terra’s amazing story! From working out to developing a healthy diet, I am so proud to watch Terra choose a healthy lifestyle and accomplish more each day!
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