KATIE LOST 0VER 70LBS AND HAS LEARNED TO LOVE HERSELF.
The bodhi community has been built by strong-willed people who have not only transformed their body but their life. We are a community of people inspiring people to transform their bodies and create their best quality of life. By sharing success stories like Chris’s we hope to inspire you to take the next step toward a healthier, happier, more fulfilled life. Below, are a few questions we asked Chris about his weight loss journey at bodhi.
When was the exact moment you decided to transform?
For me, it was more of a series of moments that led to the next and then the next. In 2016, I started really struggling with adhd, depression, and anxiety. By April 2017, I realized I needed actual help with my mental health if I was going to survive, and reached out to my school’s health center. In May, I went through intensive psychiatric treatment at a hospital and then spent the summer in an outpatient program that following summer (June to August). The psychiatrist prescribed me a medication notorious for weight changes, so he weighed me to get a benchmark before I took it. That day, I weighed 175lbs, which was my heaviest at that time. I remember going into the group room feeling absolutely crushed that day. I was on said medication until March 2018. Around that time, I had an epiphany that despite being “healthy” in terms of being safe and staying physically alive, I was not actually healthy, nor was I doing anything to seriously take care of myself. I was not doing what I needed to get better and have the life I wanted. If I wanted to prove to myself that I wanted to get better, I had to actually take care of myself. I started taking the typical baby steps: walking more often, eating slightly healthier, etc. It wasn’t until my graduation that I realized I couldn’t do it alone. I felt slightly healthier, but as a college senior, a lot of pictures were taken of me and other seniors. Those pictures showed the reality, that if anything, I may have been getting even bigger. On top of that, my favorite pants at the time stopped fitting (3-6 months after I got them), I had to order size 16 pants, and most of my clothes were donated or thrown out since I never wore them anymore. It was at that moment I realized that I needed help with both my physical health like I did with my mental health. I had tried to commit to the change, but if I was going to make said change, I needed to find someone who knew their stuff and needed to follow their
What did you see when you looked in the mirror before you started your journey and what do you see now?
Before I started, I didn’t really see anybody. I saw a figure. I saw a being. I saw a person with decent fashion sense. I saw someone who thought they looked healthy. I saw a person with false confidence, whose self-esteem was far too influenced by other people providing insignificant validation. I saw a waste of air, a waste of space. I saw someone who didn’t want to try, who wanted the easy way out. I saw someone who made excuses under the guise of “self-care”. I saw a liar, an imposter, who worried about what others thought. I saw someone who hated herself, despite trying to convince herself otherwise.
Now, I see a person with some sense of actual confidence. I see someone who knows they look healthy. I see someone with strength, power, determination, and resilience. I see someone who could make a difference in the world, even at the smallest of levels. I see someone who is in their own corner (and sometimes with a bit of narcissism but only because I sometimes marvel at my figure). I see someone who has lived her best and wants to fight for more. I see someone who knows how to take care of herself. I saw someone who lived with integrity and who embraced her identity. I see a human being worthy of life and love.
How much weight have you lost?
As of writing this, I am more than 70lbs. The most I have lost is 74.75lbs.
What was your biggest challenge or obstacle?
I don’t think I can name just one as different ones played roles at different parts of my journey, but I think keeping myself honest, consistent, and accountable is one of the top ones. Facing the truth is hard and scary, and those are words that activate my fight/flight response, so needing to be brutally honest and accountable when I wanted to do anything but was/sometimes still is immensely difficult for me.
Also, pullups and pushups were/are hard. I can do half a pullup without a band/mod and 10 standard pushups in a row.
What do you consider is your biggest accomplishment?
Pushing myself beyond my limits and actually utilizing what I have learned at bodhi in other settings. In the past, I would just do the workouts, not really paying attention to my posture, my form, how fast/slow I should be going, how much weight I should actually be using. I now feel comfortable trying workouts on my own and hitting PRs on my own. I can put the same amount of drive and ethic into my work outside the gym and outside of bodhi that I do at bodhi. As someone who gets nervous when having to do something new on their own, being able to do this regularly became one of the biggest steps for me. That and now being more flexible than I was in the height of my musical theater/dance days. And being faster than I was in my rugby days. And being very good at sprinting.
What’s the one word that comes to mind when you want to describe yourself now?
Alive. I know it may be the last word most would choose but it’s the one that always comes up for me. On the best days, it means I am thriving, I am going above and beyond, I am owning my strength and power. It means I made a name for myself that day. On the worst days, it means I’m still surviving, I am still fighting, I am doing something. It means that even though it sucked and I could have done better, I didn’t let it stop me from trying.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of taking what I learned through my fitness/health transformation and using it to change the other portions of my life for the better. While I learned how to properly do a deadlift and learned what should be the driving force on a clean (fun fact: it’s not all arms), I also learned how to get out of my comfort zone, how to keep pushing and going until the last moment regardless of how tired I am. I learned how to be honest with myself, knowing when to say, “You know you can do better” and when to say, “Not today/not there yet, but good job trying”. I learned how to be consistent and how to not let a minor slip-up derail my entire journey. These were lessons that I struggled to fully take in and implement, and this lack of consistency, lack of willpower, and abundance of dishonesty led me to the worst of my anxiety and depression symptoms and kept me there at my lowest moments. Learning how to make a commitment, how to work hard and go for what I want no matter how scary, how to approach something that seems impossible, has
changed my life more than anything else. It has led to relationships I might not have had, jobs I might have not applied to, films I may have not worked on, photos I may have never taken, stories that would be unwritten. It is something I am proud of being able to learn and apply to my entire life because it is the difference between the life I lived with the darkest of thoughts/fears, and the life I live now with confidence/strength.
What would you say to someone who is contemplating making a healthy lifestyle change?
If you’re already thinking about it, then you already know that it’s the best thing for you. If you want to do it but feel you don’t know where to start, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask a friend/family member/coworker who works out regularly. Go to a gym with trained/practiced coaches with amazing dedication and work ethic who will keep you accountable. Surround yourself with motivated people who are working for the best in life. If you feel alone at the start, know that you’re not and through your journey, you will meet people on their journeys to help support you and inspire you. If you are afraid because you feel like a novice or are inexperienced, go for it. Everyone started from somewhere. No one is born with the skills they have today. You can make that change if you put in the time and effort. If you think there isn’t enough time, make it a priority. Make the time for it. And be patient and trust the process. It will happen over different periods of time for different people. But it will happen.
One word of advice for someone who has just begun their transformation journey?
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable, be honest with yourself, and trust the process. It will be long, it will be hard, and you’ll want to find the easy way out. However, at the end of the day, this is for you and you alone, and you will know if you did the best you could. The only person who will know if you truly half-assed it is you, and the person who will feel the consequences of whatever you do is (spoiler alert) ALSO YOU. Be willing to fail and push yourself to your limits, but be honest with what is failure and how far your limits are. Listen to your body and learn what it needs, even if what it needs isn’t what it wants. It will take time and effort, but soon, it will get easier and easier to the point you will question why it seemed so hard to start with. You will not only achieve your goals but be looking eagerly for the next ones to come your way. And the journey is much more important and fulfilling than the goal.