I’m going to share Amy’s story. You’ll hear how Amy went from being addicted to sugar, sluggish, and overweight, to living her abundant life with plenty of physical work on her farm, an enriching Bible reading habit, and wearing clothes that had previously been “locked away” in her closet.
You’ll hear how Amy followed my step-by-baby step process of listening to her body, learning the whys and what fors, making small changes that became habits, and seeing true improvements that have permanently and wonderfully altered her life.
I explain why we don’t try for overnight changes but instead build new habits with small baby steps.
In this episode, you’ll be encouraged and inspired to commit to your own restoration project and begin your healthy, free life journey.
Listen to podcast here (or read down below)
In this episode, you’ll learn…
00:40 Amy was once addicted to sugar but made a decision that something had to change. And she started on the path to a healthy, free life.
01:54 A little about Amy’s life.
02:47 Amy’s main struggles and what she had tried in the past.
05:02 About habits and how unless we have changed our baseline why, or we’ve changed our habits, we’re likely to go back to who we were and what we used to do because we didn’t really change our habits in the process.
05:50 What small habits Amy changed in order to see huge differences.
07:22 Stages of the Healthy Free Life Way.
09:33 How Healthy Free Life was different than anything Amy had ever tried before.
12:25 We have spent decades of our life abusing our temples and not really caring for them the way that we should have. And so this is not a quick fix to change.
12:54 About the time frame for Amy’s healing journey.
17:02 How Amy’s doing now.
“I would always say, I want to unlock my closet because I didn’t want to go buy any new clothes. So that’s always part of it. I didn’t like the way I looked, but I didn’t look in the mirror a whole lot either. So… but I wanted to be able to go outside and climb up and down our hills and do my work and feel like I could do it. And I just couldn’t. And I just got to that point where I said, “This is crazy. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to do this.” – Amy
Links mentioned in this episode:
Get your FREE guide to discover the first five baby steps to take on your health journey here: Healthy Free Life Starter Kit
Amy decided something had to change.
The result of her journey is that she overcame cravings.
- She lost 35 pounds, which also means she reached her goal weight.
- Now she’s the size that she was in high school.
- She feels so much better, has more energy.
- She’s the healthiest she has ever been.
- And my personal favorite is that she’s walking with God daily.
Katrina: Amy, welcome. I am so delighted that you are here and that you have joined us for this special time together. We’re going to be sharing all about your journey to a healthy, free life. It has been a joy to watch you over these last couple of years just really transform everything. And so would you just take a moment and share with us a little bit about you- just so listeners and viewers can get to know a little bit about who you are?
Amy: Sure. I am a wife and a mom of two grown kids. One just graduated from college and is getting married and another lives and is going to school in Boone. And I’m a farmer. I have goats and sheep and lots and lots of chickens and just love living out here in Crabtree, North Carolina, enjoying God’s beauty all around me and being involved in our church. And yeah, that pretty much sums me up.
Amy, what was your biggest struggle?
Amy: I had just gotten to a place where I was addicted to sugar and that made me just feel terrible. I was just lethargic and I didn’t feel like doing anything. I had lots of headaches and I just felt gross and I knew that I needed to do something to feel better. And so… I reached out to my friend.
Amy’s turning point
Amy: I think it really was just feeling bad. Nobody likes to not be able to wear the clothes in their closet. I would always say, “I want to unlock my closet” because I didn’t want to go buy any new clothes. So that’s always part of it. I didn’t like the way I looked, but I didn’t look in the mirror a whole lot either. So… but I wanted to be able to go outside and climb up and down our hills and do my work and feel like I could do it. And I just couldn’t. And I just got to that point where I said, “This is crazy. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to do this.” So I think that was just it, just the inability to function the way I knew my body could.
What Amy had tried before
Amy: I had tried just cold turkey no sodas, no sweet tea, that kind of thing. Many years ago, I did do the Atkins diet. And with that I had success. I lost weight. I lost a lot of weight, but it came back. So I would do these things, but then I would lose my resolve and just get back into the pattern of the addiction or whatever. You know, the taste of it would come back and/or desire for it would come back, and I would just start all over and then the weight would just come back on.
Katrina: Yeah. It all goes back to habits, right. We can have this desire to go cold turkey. We can have the desire and all the willpower in the initial stages- to do the diet. But then unless we have changed our baseline why, or we’ve changed our habits, we’re likely to go back to who we were and what we used to do because we didn’t really change our habits in the process. So now share with us. You’ve been on this journey now for about 18 months of your Healthy Free Life journey.
How Amy overcame challenges
Amy: Well, it was one step, one habit at a time. It was the journey of education and learning why I was addicted to sugar, or even that I was, and putting on better practices, like choosing which meals were really good and healthy for me or what sustained me throughout the day. So once that happened, it was a lot easier. I mean, it was tweaking. I was figuring out that my body needed more protein to hold up the amount of exercise that I do, like when I’m outside farming. And then in the winter months, adding more exercise to kind of balance out the fact that I wasn’t outside as much as I had been during the summer months.
So just figuring out that, I don’t know, the ebb and flow and the balance of daily life has been really good for me. And I’ve been just able to carry that on into each new month and sort of trial and error, but it’s, I don’t know, it’s not so much trial because it’s the education that you guys have given me to learn and grow and see what works for a lifestyle and for a lifestyle change.
Stages of the Healthy Free Life Way
The first stage is the education stage.
It’s the rewiring of your brain for what’s truly healthy. It’s helping you to establish your why and the reason why we even want to try, like, what is the purpose to all of this? We have to go deeper than just a diet, right?
And then the second stage is really developing those healthy habits and establishing habits in the key areas of our health, such as:
Stage three of our Healthy Free Life Way is to really uniquely discover the diet and lifestyle that will help you to achieve your ultimate goals.
Katrina: There are more stages, but you’re pretty much at the end of the Healthy Free Life journey, just about. And what I love is that you were faithful step by step to go through the journey process. And so I just want to talk about that for a moment, because so often, just like you did with the Atkins diet, we all jump to diets, or we all try to do different things like I’m just going to go cold turkey.
But unless we have the education as to why or we add in the glorious foods that are there to nourish us and support us and help us with our craving so we’re not white knuckle trying to do it on our own, if we haven’t invited God into the process and understand that he is the one that’s going to strengthen us for the journey, without that foundational work, there will not be the success like you had.
So often what we do is we cycle through going from diet to completely off-diet, to not-even-on-the-path diet, to not even on the path. And so you chose step-by-step to walk through that process.
Amy’s journey length
Katrina: Can you share with us the length of time that it took for you and just how that might’ve been different from anything that you had tried before?
Amy: Really the holistic approach has been wonderful for me, especially the spiritual aspect. I mean, I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, but the encouragement that we are mind, body, soul, we’re all, you know, it’s the whole thing we are, God put us all together and you can’t really take it apart or any part of us apart was just really encouraging.
It was great to have support and supplements for Bible reading every day and somebody just say,
“Just take it a little bit at a time.”
And now I’m really enjoying reading through the whole Bible. I have done that before, but not in a long time. And now I’m eating it up. I feel like, in this hard year that we’ve been through, God’s word has been really infusing and encouraging me. And it gives me the strength to do the things I need to do. And part of that is to continue to eat and exercise and do those things.
So yes, that holistic approach is so key, I think, to living well. And then as far as just sticking to it, I’m not going to lie, there, there have been weeks when I’ve gone on a sugar binge and I’ve not been able to drive past a Burger King or a gas station and not grab a Coke. And, I get to the end of that week though, and if I have indulged, I realized that it wasn’t healthy for me and it wasn’t a healthy choice and it didn’t feel good. I don’t feel good.
And I think I’ve told you, my taste buds have changed in that cheap dark chocolate is NOT expensive dark chocolate, and my smoothies have ramped up to healthier smoothies. And so it’s a process and I didn’t start at one place. It was gradual. So I think when we look at it like that, and we look at it as a process and a holistic thing, it isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle change.
Katrina: Absolutely. So you started your journey when you made the decision that I need to do something about this. And it was back in November, 2019. And so as of the time of this interview, you are more than 18 months into that journey.
Not a quick fix.
Katrina: We have spent decades of our life abusing our temples and not really caring for them the way that we should have. This is not a quick fix to change. And honestly, quick fixes don’t last for us. You were faithful step-by-step to do the process.
Just how long?
Amy: When we started, I just looked at the beginning and looked at what meals do I eat? And I just started with that. And so, gosh, I did that for the first couple of months. I didn’t even get into probably what was my greatest issue, which was the sugar addiction until probably month five. But I think that was providential though because if I had tried to just cut out sugar the first month, I would have been like, “Yeah, you’re crazy. I can’t do that.” So it came in increments in the right time. So probably about then I was able to go, “25 grams a day of sugar. What is that? What does that look like?” And “What is that in our foods?” and all that kind of stuff.
So, but then that took me a month or so to get to the place where I could go, “Yeah, I can do that. That’s a normal thing for me to reduce my sugar intake to and keep it at that or live close to that.” And then from there, I didn’t even look at exercise or what that addition would be until, I don’t know, the winter sometime. That was probably seven months into our journey together. It was very much a process for me. But at that point, inches were coming off faster than weight was dropping. And then the exercise just ramped everything up at the end.
Amy became an exerciser.
Katrina: Amy, you became an exerciser, like you were doing the thing! So once you had gotten to that place in your journey to add in the exercise, you became an exerciser. In fact, you became one of our top students to log in to our program. You are the top login-er, if that’s even a word because you were coming in to do the exercises three days a week up to even five days a week.
And so you won that award and I’m just so proud of you for doing that and for becoming an exerciser at the right time so that it wasn’t overwhelming. I think what I hear you saying is that your brain could only accept so much change at a time. And for this to truly become a part of our life and our lifestyle, where it lasts beyond this year, it lasts well into the next decade or two, we have to work with our brain and accept the change. So that change needs to be slow enough that our brain doesn’t revolt, but it also needs to become part of us and allow it to just set in and become who we are. And I believe every step of the way you allowed that process to happen.
Amy lost weight as a by-product of health.
Katrina: The other thing I admire about you, as well, is while you had significant weight that you were trying to release, you determined in the beginning that yes, I have a goal to lose weight, but it’s not my focus. My focus is that I want to become healthy because I am not healthy. And that became your focus. And what I love is that because you focused on your health and the restoration of your temple, weight loss was a by-product of a healthy body. It happens as we restore our temple, the weight loss becomes a by-product. And so I love that you experienced the success in the weight loss area, but all these other wins as well. Can you share with us now? Where are you now on your health journey? What are some wins that you’ve experienced as a result of your journey?
Amy: I’m in a really good place. I feel good, I mean lighter, but not lighter like weight lighter. I feel good because my brain feels like it reacts and is better. Physically I can get out and I can run around literally chasing goats and I can do it. I’ve been chasing a pig lately, and so that physicality has come back and I’m not huffing and puffing and feel like my heart’s gonna fly to my chest. And so that’s been a great encouragement.
And then, I don’t know, it’s just, it’s kind of weird when you see people. Cause I really am one of those people that I don’t know, I have this mental picture of what I look like. I mean, I kind of look like I did in college. I don’t know. That’s just what I see of myself all the time, even though it’s not what I look like. But then you’ll see somebody on the street and they’ll go, “You’ve lost so much weight!” or “You look so different.” and I’ll be like, “Oh, that’s so weird,” you know?
It is encouraging to have people join you in excitement that you achieved something that you were working towards and being excited with you, and that’s not why you do it, but it’s been fun to share with them the freedoms that I’ve found and how much healthier that I do feel.
Amy reached her goal weight.
Katrina: That’s amazing. And to know you’ve reached your goal weight! Is that correct?
Amy: I have, I mean, I fluctuate maybe, I don’t know, three to five pounds here and there, but, um, I anticipate that this summer that that’ll drop. So, yeah.
Katrina: I think we all fluctuate three to five pounds. That is totally normal. Even I do as well. What I love is that you have the tools that you need in order to know what to do about that should it start to creep up.
Well, Amy, it has been a joy to be here with you. It has been even more of a joy to watch you go from where you were to where you are now, and to watch you just flourish in life and have that abundant life that we have been promised and so that you can go and do and be all that God’s called you to. And it’s just been a delight to watch you and to partner with you on this journey.
Amy’s story is incredible!
I am so thankful that Amy decided to share her testimony with us. I pray that it was an encouragement to you and you are inspired to start your own healthy, free life journey. I’d also love to let you know exactly how you could get started.
If you want to know the first steps that Amy took, well, she started with the starter kit.
The Healthy Free Life Way starter kit, where I outline the first five steps that you need to take to start your journey to a Healthy Free Life Way. It also includes a devotional and prayers, food lists, and more.
I can’t wait for you to get this in your hands so that you can start your journey today. All right. I’m going to leave you with these words from Jesus, out of Mark 10:27,
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man, it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.'”
Until next time. Bye for now.