What It's Like To...

What It's Like to Lose 60+ Pounds--and Keep It Off

October 12, 2022 Season 4 Episode 3
What It's Like To...
What It's Like to Lose 60+ Pounds--and Keep It Off
Show Notes Transcript

Christine Meyer spent a lot of her life either trying diets that didn’t work, or feeling guilt and shame about her weight.  The pandemic made everything worse, with increased focus on comfort foods and wine any time, because… why not?  But then everything changed.  In the summer of 2020, Christine reached out to a health coach and began a program that transformed her life.  She lost a lot of weight (more than 60 pounds)--and has kept it off; but more crucial than that, she has changed her intentions, her mindset, and her approach to each day.

In this episode, Christine shares her very personal story of living with, and then losing the weight–and how she has gained so much in the process.  She gives practical tips that work for her, encouragement, and even a few surprises (yes, she eats ice cream–with intention!).

Christine got so much out of her journey with Optavia that she decided to become a certified health coach herself, so she could help change other peoples’ lives.

In this episode:

  • How Christine felt prior to and during the pandemic (02:00)
  • Programs she'd tried earlier in her life (07:14)
  • What was different about this program? (09:41)
  • Addressing the emotional component of the journey (15:42)
  • When she realized the power of caramel sauce--food's emotional power (19:27)
  • The Drama Triangle (24:09)
  • Why she doesn't diet--and the healthy habits she layers into her day (26:54)
  • Creating a new morning routine (29:27)
  • Does this lifestyle require extra time and extra money? (35:34)

Want to know more about Christine?

  • Reach out to her on Instagram: @joyful.health.journey
  • Follow her on Facebook: Christine McDaniel Meyer, facebook.com/christinejmeyer

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[Guest] CHRISTINE MEYER  0:07  

I really was, to be honest with you, pretty disgusted with myself. I was beginning to wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror first thing after I stepped out of the shower, and it just wasn't liking who I was seeing back looking back at me, and I wasn't recognizing myself anymore.

[Host Intro]


In the summer of 2020, Christine Meyer was at her all-time highest weight. And that includes the three times she was pregnant. She'd spent years living in guilt and shame and frustration. So how did she turn all that around? I'm Elizabeth Pearson Garr. And in this episode, we find out what it's like to lose more than 60 pounds and keep it off. My good friend Christine shares her very personal journey to good health. And it had such a profound effect on her, that she's now helping to coach others. Oh, and she's the first guest that I've ever made cry on this podcast. Sorry about that, Christine. 

[End Intro]

Hello, Christine, thank you so much for joining me on my podcast. I'm really grateful that you've made the time to be here.


Elizabeth, thanks for having me here.


So I think people are really interested in [and] inspired by people that have made big changes in their lives, but they're sometimes a little intimidated by it because they think, well, that's great that someone could do that. But I don't think I could ever do it. So I'm interested in kind of your whole journey of your weight loss, your health transformation. But can we start at the start? Where did you begin? What was your general health situation for the majority of your life?


Um…I will just do my best to be very vulnerable. I think that's important to just really lead from my heart. So forgive me if I get a little too personal even at times. So maybe starting where I was at a little over two years ago. 




Maybe that would be a good starting point. And I'm happy to also tell you about how I felt about my body and my weight and how that affected me kind of throughout my life. But as a starting point, two years ago—a little over two years ago—it was July of 2020. Actually, maybe a little bit earlier than that. But we were right, just…what—


The pandemic— 


COVID Yeah, the pandemic. You know, we locked down in March. And like a lot of people, I was just kind of in one of those—I like control and certainty and structure. And there was so much going on in my life that just felt so uncertain including the fact that, you know, like everybody else, we were all living under the same roof at home. And…I just remember feeling and kind of that panic feeling of like, how long is this going to go on for. And days just ran into days. And it was very easy for me to just do what a lot of people did, which was to start baking bread. And ignoring what time of the day it was, having a glass of wine at noon, why not? Because why not? [laughs]


We were just all trying to pass the time.


Yes, yes. And then just the kitchen was like, right there in my face. And you know, I think I also was getting creative and making a lot of meals for my family because what else did I have to do? And so food became a real comfort for me, and a sense of security for me during those months. But I would be lying to you if I told you that it was the pandemic itself that caused me to really get to the highest weight I've ever been in my life. And I'm talking about, I've had three pregnancies, I've had some pretty big babies and my weight was beyond what I'd ever experienced when I was pregnant. So before the pandemic, I felt like my weight just kept creeping up, creeping up, creeping up. And I was thrown into early menopause at about 44 and I’m 50 now—almost 50. I think menopause significantly contributed to my weight gain as well. So leading into the pandemic, I was already starting to gain weight and then menopause and then the pandemic and you know, baking bread and it just—it just was like the perfect storm. That’s how I would maybe describe it. And I just really was, to be honest with you, pretty disgusted with myself. I was beginning to wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror, first thing after I stepped out of the shower, and I just wasn't liking who I was seeing back—looking back at me. And I wasn't recognizing myself anymore. And I began to actually think this was the other thing that was so interesting is that because it was the pandemic, we were pretty much closed up inside. But when I would run into somebody, and have a mask on, but the thought that was going through my head was, are they not recognizing me? Because I'm so overweight? Or are they not recognizing maybe because I'm behind a mask? So that was the story that I would tell myself that I just was becoming unrecognizable, not only to myself but to others. And that was just not a great feeling.


And then were you helping to kind of comfort yourself through the discomfort with more food, it was a never-ending cycle, a downward cycle.


Yes, and the thing is, and this is where I think a lot of people might relate, is that I would go to bed telling myself that things were going to be different the next day. And I would make a very committed plan to make healthy choices, actually not healthy choices, I'd say I'm going to be good tomorrow. And then it all kind of would fall apart. So the layers of like, I was just disappointing myself over and over— 


Guilt and, shame— 


And shame. A lot of guilt and shame about why I could have so many of the other aspects of my life put together—pulled together, but this was the one thing that for whatever reason, I just could not get control of. And I mentioned earlier, I like control.


So then you found something…?


So then—then things changed. I mean, I really was at that point where I would have eaten rocks, probably, if you had said eat rocks, you will lose weight. 


But you had tried several programs in your life, right?


Yeah. So that takes me back to the earlier part of my life, which is starting from a pretty young age, I was sensitive in one way or another to my body image and my weight or, you know, whatever you want to call it. And I was creating challenges for myself as a young child even which is so sad and pathetic to say, ways to try and like I don't know what I was trying to be then. But I do specifically remember as I was moving through high school, especially doing a lot of workout videos, Stairmaster. And then as I moved into my 20s, and my 30s, I think any sort of program you can think of I probably tried it. Whether it was going to Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers, those are like the typical ones, I think. But you know, I've tried All 30 diet. I think there was a South Beach diet. There's been juice cleanses. There are—




Keto. Yeah, it was just like, what, what else haven't I tried? There are a few things that—I never did diet pills. I do not like to do supplements or anything like that. So I was really grateful that when I came across what it is that helped me to lose weight, it felt very sensible. And so that's where my journey sort of began in July of 2020. I had seen somebody that I knew…she used to be my boss, and I really trusted her. And what I didn't know was that she also really significantly struggled with her weight. She lost a lot of weight, she ended up becoming my health coach in July of 2020. And basically, the program that I used, it's called Octavia, and it is a program that really focuses on just living your best life through real sensible choices, and focusing on healthy weight management, healthy eating and hydration, healthy motion, and healthy sleep, healthy mind, and healthy surroundings. And so when you add in all of those elements, it becomes so much less about feeling like you're having to restrict yourself from the sort of things that you're eating or drinking. I mean, of course, as you are wanting to lose weight and that was my objective. I had to follow a program. But it was really this time around less about restriction, and more about mindfulness, intention, accountability, community, and honestly it was the first time in a long time, I felt like this is something very different than anything I've ever done before. And I had a real flurry of hope that this was something that would get me to where I wanted to be. And that would help me keep my weight off—that I wouldn’t  yo yo, like I had before, that I could sustain it. And that not only would I be able to maintain it, but that I begin to also just really optimize my health. And so I like this very well rounded approach to health versus diet. I don't think you will really ever hear me use the word diet, because diets in my opinion, don’t work.

ELIZABETH  10:46  

Yeah, so I'd like to dig into that, you pretty immediately felt like, wow, maybe this is giving me hope. This is the thing that might work. Was that partly because you had this coach, this person supporting you along the way, and you kind of felt like I'm not in this alone? And I have someone to not only help me but keep me accountable and give me structure to this? Or what do you think was actually different? You mentioned that it was sort of this more holistic approach?

CHRISTINE  11:20  

And that's such an interesting question because I don't know if I ever really connected what I told you before about how I appreciate structure. But I do really like the structure of this program. So having a coach that was there to keep me accountable—this wasn't like just some random coach that's been assigned to me from some program. This was somebody that really genuinely cared about me. And she still does. My coach is amazing so— 


You're still with her two years later? 


Oh, yes, definitely. So we say this is a lifelong journey. This is not about me getting on a scale and weighing in with her, like, every week or reporting back to her, you know, XY and Z. But I'm very much still connected with her. You know, I'm so human, I contend for my health every single day. So she's the person that if I'm feeling like I'm beginning to fall off the rails in any way, shape, or form, we can have a really honest conversation about that. And I love that. So she's great. The other part of this program where there's real structure that really appealed to me was the community aspect of it. So I've been able to really connect with other like minded people who share a lot of the same struggles. And it was very refreshing to hear other people talk authentically, to say the things that you just don't say, we say that, and that feels really refreshing. So the community piece of it is huge. 

ELIZABETH  13:06  

I think that is huge. 


Yes, right. 

ELIZABETH  13:10  

None of us really is alone in any of our struggles or journeys, but we can feel very alone. And so when you find people who are sharing a similar struggle, it's just nourishing to feel like you have a soulmate out there or several.

CHRISTINE  13:21  

Nourishing is the right word, actually, because that's what I think I have felt, I feel like my soul has been nourished. I take responsibility for not opening up maybe to some of the people who were closest to me, and saying, this is a real struggle of mine, and sharing the shame and guilt that I felt. I think that's key. Maybe I would say to a friend, like, I gotta put on my yoga pants today because my jeans are feeling a little tight or something like that. But I don't think I ever wouldn't necessarily take it a layer below that and say, how I really felt about the fact I was meaning to put on yoga pants instead of buttoning up my jeans. And guilt and shame runs deep. And we tend to really hold that close to ourselves. We don't share that even with some of the people that are the closest to us, including our—our spouses. When I started sharing my health journey. I know my husband was a little surprised by some of the things I was saying. He said, gosh, is this true? I feel badly, I didn't know. Again, it wasn't his fault. It was my fault for not opening up. I love having this community because I felt really safe to be able to do that. So the community piece is really important. But the thing that is also, just as equally important is if I didn't learn anything about myself in this process, if I got to, let's say a healthy space. I never focused on a particular number on the scale, okay, but a healthy BMI (body mass index), I'm in a healthy space…and I get there but I haven't learned anything along the way, there's a high likelihood, I'll just gain back all my weight. And that's how this is different. This is why this is working for me. It's because everything else that I tried before, never helped me get to the root of why I was using food as a source of comfort, as a source of numbing out, as a source of just—

ELIZABETH  15:40  

The emotional component.

CHRISTINE  15:42  

Absolutely the emotional component. And so that's what this program has done for me. This program has helped me really dig into not only why I gained the weight, but why it's really important to me, why it really matters to me, to keep it off. And it's not about vanity. Sure, it feels good to walk into my closet, and to be able to grab something off a hanger and put it on. I am guessing that some of your listeners will relate to this, this feeling of going into your closet, especially before a trip, before the event, and trying to figure out what they're going to wear, what they're going to pack and the frustration of trying to put things together, feeling like things aren't working. And it's just an extremely discouraging process as the clothes pile up on the floor. So the self journey piece of this is what I was really getting out—what was really important to me—

ELIZABETH  16:48  

It's almost like therapy.

CHRISTINE  16:51  

It is. It actually really does feel this way. And we're not therapists. This is not a community of therapists. But this is a community of people who really understand each other's struggles, and challenges, and really are there to encourage and support. The other part of it that is really important, obviously, is as I just mentioned, the emotional aspect of figuring out why I gained the weight, why I want to keep it off, but also need to implement other really healthy habits into my daily lifestyle, so that I can begin to just automatically trust myself, that I'll be successful. So that is also a huge piece for me, just beginning to layer habits—healthy habits—into my day.

ELIZABETH  17:39  

You know, it's such a complex issue, because when you talk to people that have struggles with food or with weight, it's not like something else that somebody might struggle with. I don't know, let's say smoking, we can say, well, with a program, you can just cut smoking out of your life, you can't cut eating out of your life. Eating is a necessary thing in our lives. And it is used for celebrations and for comfort. And it is something that we do use to reward ourselves. We have memories of childhood and it's very complex and multi-layered in our histories and our remembrance is. So what you were saying about making healthy habits, it's a very layered issue to have to rework probably into your life and change your habits around.

CHRISTINE  18:34  

Agree totally. We have in our brains, what I like to think of as very well worn paths that are so comfortable to walk down. And it's so easy to walk down those paths and head straight towards something that we know is going to pretty much bring us instant gratification. 




Whether it is popcorn, potato chips, chocolate. My downfall was raw chocolate chip cookie dough. caramel sauce[laughs] caramel sauce is a real problem for me.

ELIZABETH  19:17  

Could you—can you tell that story? I think that is just the most fascinating thing that you have discovered in retrospect, why you love caramel so much.

CHRISTINE  19:27  

Yes. I will tell this story, but if my mom is listening, I don't want her to feel bad about it. If anything, I hope she'll feel good about it. So I love caramel sauce. There's something about—as soon as that caramel hits my mouth—I love it and just thinking about it kind of makes me want it. So I always say you buy your willpower at the grocery store, do not bring anything home that's going to derail you. So unfortunately for my children, we cannot have caramel sauce in the house. So the story is that I was thinking about my love for caramel. I'm like, where did this come from? And I have distinct memories of going to McDonald's with my mom. And I think she would take me for a bad day or good day, you know, just for any occasion, maybe, but it was the caramel sundaes. Do you remember the little plastic sundae cups, and they had the little grooves around the side. And I just remember they give you the nut to put the nuts on. And it was just taking that spoon and like, wiping it up the sides of that plastic cup to get out every little bit of the caramel. Caramel definitely is one of those things that it just evokes such, it makes me feel…safe.

ELIZABETH  20:48  

It makes you feel like you're with your mom as a little girl. And happy.

CHRISTINE  20:55  

Oh my gosh, you're gonna make me cry. Yeah, maybe so.

ELIZABETH  20:58  

But I just think it's—that's why food is complicated. It's the McDonald's caramel sundae.

CHRISTINE  21:04  

It is.

ELIZABETH  21:05  

And that's how it's all wrapped up. And so that's why you have to unwrap it very consciously, very thoughtfully. And that's why it's been a road. That's why it's been this process. And I think something else you've touched on you mentioned earlier is you have to be very mindful about it. You can't just say, I can't eat this. And I can't have that. It's not just about the yeses and the nos it's—I'm sorry, I made you cry.

CHRISTINE  21:39  

But it's all good. It's good. It's happy tears.

ELIZABETH  21:45  

Sweet memories with mom.

CHRISTINE  21:46  

Yeah. Can I tell the story of when you were over at my house with the ice cream truck? 




So I want people to know that I'm superhuman and real, right? 


And fun. 


And fun. And this isn't about restriction. But it is about mindfulness. As you mentioned, an intention. And the other day when you were over. You know, it was a warm day. And we heard the jingle of that magical sound from the ice cream truck coming into the neighborhood. And I said—

[Both laughing]

ELIZABETH  22:25  

Is that an ice cream truck? Is that an ice cream truck?

[Both laughing]

CHRISTINE  22:30  

What did I do? Do you remember? I ran in the house and I grabbed my kids—


Yeah. Kids! Kids!


I got so excited.

ELIZABETH  22:33  

And they were like, I’m okay, I don't need ice cream. And you said it's an ice cream truck. We all need ice cream. 

CHRISTINE  22:43  

Yes, I got so excited about it. And it wasn't just any old ice cream truck. That was the thing that was great. If it was just like the kind that did those like, bars out the window? I wouldn't have gotten excited. But it was a real ice cream truck—


Mr. Softee.


Yeah, Mr. Softee.


With the swirls.



And that's very different. So I got so excited about that. And I made a very conscious choice to have that ice cream because that was something that I was being intentional about. And that's okay, that's totally okay. This is not about making yourself feel guilt and shame. And that's the thing that I no longer feel it's taking the guilt and shame away from the process of being in a healthy space. The hardest part, in my opinion, is sometimes getting to that healthy space. And it's not because we don't want it, but because we don't know where to start. Or we don't have the scaffolding to help us get there. And that's what I love about what I'm doing. I love that this is not just focused on food. This is focused on all of these other aspects in our life that are so important. Sometimes, it's really, really easy to get caught up in what we call the Drama Triangle, where we want to play either the hero or the victim, or we want to play the villain. And this is moving into a space of creating our own story, empowering ourselves rather than taking on the role of feeling like we have to save everybody around us or be the people pleaser. People pleasing is something that I used to get super caught up in and just becoming more open and curious to why we're wanting to make certain choices especially around the way we are using food and I'll say beverage in our life on a daily basis. When we move out of the Drama Triangle and start to look at things from the point of view of like, I'm creating a new story, and stop placing blame on yourself or others and becoming more open and curious to learning. That's where I feel like change really begins.

ELIZABETH  25:20  

So is a large part of it, do you think, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and just being open to change?

CHRISTINE  25:28  

Yeah, I mean, here's the question I would ask is how many people have started a quote unquote diet, and they keep it to themselves, they don't want anybody to know that it doesn't tend to work. And so I do think that when you can be vulnerable, and you can share with people really what's going on and how you're feeling, that takes courage to do that. But when you push through that fear, and you say that this isn't just about the fact that your jeans are feeling a little snug, but that this is really eating away at the way that you're feeling about yourself, you're much more likely to have people rally around you and support you.

ELIZABETH  26:21  

It is interesting, that kind of gets to the whole stigma we have about weight gain, body image, cultural norms about body size, health, you know, it's very complex, because obviously, we're not saying everyone needs to be a certain size, everyone needs to be tiny, anything like that. It is about health. It is about maintaining a proper size. I mean, some people can get way too thin. And so it's a hard line—

CHRISTINE  26:54  

It is a really hard line. I became a health coach, as you know, I would never call myself a diet coach. Being at a healthy weight is, in my opinion, important. Because when we're not at a healthy weight, we know that that can contribute to illness. And I know illness. So this is personal. You have to focus on what you're eating, and you have to focus on what you're drinking. And by that I mean, alcohol [laughs]. But also, I guess, you know, sugary drinks— 


soft drinks— 


Yes, exactly. But the other things that we can really focus on are what does our movement look like? I'm not talking about exercise. I'm talking about what does our day look like? How active are we? And how much sleep are we getting? Sleep is extremely important to our health. What are the things that we're telling ourselves—healthy mind. If we're waking up and beating ourselves up in the mirror like I used to, that is not healthy. And something that I think is really important to emphasize is that when I lost the physical weight, I was able to unburden myself from the mental weight I was carrying around. 


Oh, that's big. 


In a way, I think it's much more difficult to carry around the mental weight than it is the physical weight.

ELIZABETH  28:29  

But they're both—They're both heavy.

CHRISTINE  28:33  

They are. And the last thing I would ever want anybody to think is that I'm like, body shaming them. This is about self love. And it doesn't matter what size you are, you can love yourself. At the end of the day, this for me really is about healthy body, healthy mind, healthy spirit, which is going to just lead—I believe—to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

ELIZABETH  29:03  

You must have some days where there's some temptations, what is a technique you would use? If there's something maybe you're meeting a friend for coffee? And there's a bunch of croissants there and you used to love croissants? Or how do you go through and make better choices? Or do you have a phrase that you use in your mind to sort of switch from going down one lane instead of another?

CHRISTINE  29:27  

It's like I said before, you have those well worn paths in your brain and you're having to pave a new path. It's funny that you bring up croissants because baked goods were like my thing, big time. So what does a typical day look like for me? Let me explain something that I needed to do in order to begin my day. My old self used to wake up first thing in the morning and drag myself out of bed, I was extremely lethargic. I did not get a good night's sleep. I would go downstairs, I would reach straight into my cabinet, pull out a coffee mug, and I would make a cup of coffee for myself, my eyes probably half shot still at this point in time. But my mind was already racing ahead to everything else that had to happen in my day. And I would drink that cup of coffee, and then I'd probably pour myself a second cup of coffee, I would run a carpool, let's say, and on my way home, stop at Starbucks, pick up another cup of coffee, actually, I probably would have at this point shifted over to a latte, and maybe have picked up something to eat, possibly. But I also was in the habit of just not eating breakfast. And so my old self would have waited until my blood sugar really started to dip, maybe around 11:00…11:30. And then I would have picked anything to eat. I might have just eaten a bunch of crackers, whatever I was grabbing, even if it was quote unquote, healthy, I was probably over eating. So my lunchtime was just blah. Or I would wait and I'd eat so much later, and then overeat again at dinner. So it just kind of was like this perpetual cycle of just putting stuff in my body that just wasn't intentional and not great for my body.

ELIZABETH  31:24  

And that's a good word, right there. Intentional.

CHRISTINE  31:27  

Yes, yes. And mindful. So now I'm mindful. So now what I do is I wake up in the morning, and I swear to you, I feel great. I get a great night's sleep. Now. I used to snore, I don't snore any longer. It's not that I'm always like, not tired, I just wake up without that weight on me anymore. Physical and mental. I get up, I go downstairs. And first thing I do is I grab a glass of water, big eight ounce glass of water. It took me a long time to get into the habit of being like, I'm gonna start with water. And so here was my truck, I actually needed a cue. So I took a water glass, and I stuck it right next to my coffee mug. So that when I reached for my coffee mug, the glass was there. So I kept that glass there— 


That’s a good little trick. 


Yes. So I would have my glass of water. And then within the next few minutes, I would fuel my body with breakfast. And that would then lead me to my next habit. I would plank for a minute, anywhere in my nightie. And then that led me to what I really was after, which was my cup of coffee, then I'd get my cup of coffee. But I could generally do all of that within the first 30 minutes of waking up.

ELIZABETH  32:56  

So it just became a new habit.

CHRISTINE  33:00  

A new habit. Yep, and one thing led to the next. So that's how I start my morning, every morning. Now, it feels really good to just have that pattern. And I was not a breakfast eater and now I am—it feels really, really good. Then the other thing I do, is I make sure that I always have my water bottle with me, I have a 32 ounce water bottle, I've put a lot of fun stickers all over it, I carry it around with me and I keep it full. And I aim to drink 64 to 100 ounces of water a day. That's been a huge difference in how I'm operating. So hydration has been extremely important to me. The other thing that I do is I make sure that I'm eating approximately every three hours. So I'm eating fairly regularly, but I'm eating low glycemic items. So I'm keeping my blood sugar really, really stable throughout the day. And the best thing that I'm doing now that I didn't do before is, I'm planning ahead and I'm preparing a healthy dinner for my family. And that's not to say that we don't do DoorDash, that we don't go out to dinner. I love to go out to dinner. But for the most part, I'm prepared and I plan something healthy for them. And what dinner looks like now is a combination of protein, really good healthy fat, and vegetables. So whether or not I'm grilling chicken on the barbecue, and we're having some asparagus with that in a salad, or if I am making salmon and have some avocado or I don't know I'm very focused now on making sure that what we're eating at dinnertime feels healthy, is healthy.


And the whole family goes for it? 


Most times they do now, which I'm really happy about. Here's the other thing and let me tell you what I do. This is a whole nother thing. I really limit my carbs. So I'm not eating nearly as many carbs as I used to. If I do eat carbs, they’re whole grain. But in general, what I've learned about myself is that carbs just don't feel real good in my body. And so like last night, I did these grilled chicken fajitas. And the kids had theirs in corn tortillas, and I just did mine in lettuce wraps and it tasted delicious.

ELIZABETH  35:24  

So people are probably wondering, does this take a lot of extra time? And does it take extra money to live like this?

CHRISTINE  35:34  

Oh, actually, no, I don't think so. People who—who are doing this program, that I coach, most people find that they actually are saving money, something that I have to share with you, which is kind of funny. Funny, not funny. When I decided that this was something I wanted to do, I realized, we live here in California and have access to the most amazing wineries. And so over the years, I had joined a lot of wine clubs, you know, I was a wine club member. So I have a lot of wine coming to my house. And so one of the first things I did is, I canceled a lot of those wine club memberships, because I just realized I didn't need all of those. So I'm saving money there, let's just put it that way. But a lot of people will save money when they go to the grocery store, because generally speaking, they're just not bringing home. The same kind of crud,

ELIZABETH  36:32  

Yeah, packaged foods.

CHRISTINE  36:34  

Yeah, they're not shopping down the center aisles quite as much. And because you're being more intentional about what you're preparing for dinner, there's a lot of times when I would go overboard, and you know, whether it was going to a farmers market or going to the grocery store and putting things in my refrigerator that just went bad. And so this is really about, again, being prepared and intentional and, and not needing to go overboard with all of that other stuff that seems to add up pretty fast. And in terms of time, or if we're talking about really busy schedules, or people who are like running really fast paced jobs, or moms who are on the go a lot, or whatever it might be. This is actually probably one of the simplest things I've ever done. And it doesn't take time, it actually saves time.

ELIZABETH  37:21  

To me, tell me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like a lot of it just comes down to intentionality… mindset. And just being really conscious of yourself and kind of where you are in life.

CHRISTINE  37:36  

It does. One thing that I do want to mention is that, because I loved this program so much, because I got started as a client and was thinking, this is so different than anything I've ever done before. I just couldn't keep it to myself. And I really wanted to start sharing this with the people that I love and care about. And so I became a certified independent health coach with Octavia and have now had the privilege of changing a lot of lives in the same way my life was changed. And that feels amazing. And I really did used to pray to God that there would be a solution to my weight issues. I was so tired of fighting against myself. And I also was at a point in my life where I was looking for more purpose. And I had no idea that the biggest obstacle in my life, which was my issues around my—my weight, were what would end up being my purpose right now for helping other people really change their lives and start to feel great. So at the end of the day, I really feel like this was meant to be.

ELIZABETH  39:04  

Well, thank you, Christine. I really appreciate you sharing your story and being so open and vulnerable, because that helps touch other people and will motivate other people to be able to make a change too, if they want to. So thank you.

CHRISTINE  39:19  

I really do hope that if anybody does feel like they just need a little help, that they know that there is help out there, and that they don't have to do this alone.

ELIZABETH  39:30  

Yeah, we're never really alone.

CHRISTINE  39:32  

Thank you. Thank you, ELIZABETH.


ELIZABETH  39:36  

I feel really fortunate to get to have these interesting conversations on this podcast with people who show up with their full authentic selves. People like Christine. I feel even more fortunate that she's my friend in real life. Isn't she just full of wisdom and amazing thoughts? Here are a few of my takeaways from our conversation. 

          Number one, be vulnerable. Share what's going on inside with other people, we can support each other, and when necessary hold each other accountable through our journeys.
2.  Make sensible choices. Good health requires not just healthy food, but also healthy sleep, healthy decisions, and healthy surroundings. 
3.  We all have well worn paths in our brains. Sometimes we need to work diligently to repave new ones. That takes effort, but it's possible. 
4.  We don't have to be the hero or the victim. We can write our own stories, and no one has just one story. 
5.  Be open and curious. About yourself, about your choices, about other people, about the world. 
And finally, number six. Positive change is possible. All of these things can help: mindfulness, intention, accountability, and community. 

Big hugs to the wonderful Christine Meyer for being so open with me about her journey.  As she mentioned, she’s now a certified health coach.  If you want to find out more about that please go to the show notes for this episode on our website–whatitsliketo.net.  You can also find all of our past episodes there.  If you’re interested in listening to interviews with other people who have gone through life-changing experiences, you may like episode 13 with Karen Petersen, on What It’s Like to be an Alcoholic… or episode 16 with Yousuf Azhar, What It’s Like to be in a Muslim Cult.  Please follow us on social media–special incentive this week: we’ve posted the photo that Christine and I took next to the Mr. Softee ice cream truck!  If you’re enjoying this podcast, please tell a few friends about it.  I’m Elizabeth Pearson Garr. Thanks for being curious about What It’s Like…!