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bmiSMART Real Women, Real Results contestant finds calm in chaos

Written by Amber Bignell

Published on Sep 14th, 2016

Hi, I'm Amy, one of 11 contestants in bmiSMART's Real Women, Real Results 12-week weight loss contest. 

Guest blogger, Amy Johnson

For as long as I can remember, my life has been crazy busy. I’m talking full-blown adult ADD chaotic. Like there’s no “off switch” in my brain. As a teacher, mom of three (including twins), and as someone who can’t seem to say no, train-wreck status was my normal.   

My GO-GO-GO mode left me no time to prepare healthy meals (or unhealthy ones for that matter), or get regular exercise. A typical day went pretty much:  

  • Stay at work until just a few minutes before the daycare closed.
  • Run to get groceries for dinner that night (and make up the meal plan as I looked at my phone just seconds before I got out of the car).
  • Come home completely frazzled by the stress of taking three kids to the store.
  • Go home, wait for husband to come home and entertain the kids.
  • Make a late meal.
  • Put kids in bed.
  • Leave dishes because “I can do it tomorrow.”
  • Waste time on my phone because “I deserve a break.”
  • Fall asleep way too late for a 5 am (chaotic) morning.
  • Repeat.

That was until I saw an ad for a weight loss contest for bmiSMART on Facebook. I joined 10 other women for a 12-week challenge that included eating right, exercising and taking time for myself. The first few weeks were pure fun! New recipes, the excitement of my goals, working with my personal trainer. I could see and feel results so quickly—I was LOVING IT!! Not to mention, I had 10 besties! I had energy again. I felt full of life, joy and excitement.

The real challenge kicked in the end of week 3 when I went back to work. I’m a high school teacher, which means early mornings for the whole family. I will honestly admit that it has always been really hard for me to have any food plan at all—let alone pack a day’s worth of food and snacks. The old me was so used to buying fast food that “preparing” food was, well…non-existent. I tumbled backwards into comfortable bad habits.

What happened?! By week 4, I was a mess! I felt like I was still making good food choices almost all of the time, but I wasn’t feeling happy. My bmiSMART nutritionist, Stephanie Nelson Cunningham, warned me that this was when the “honeymoon phase” typically wears off and new eating habits start to get real. I noticed my food balance was off. The old me lived on way too much diet soda. The new me survives on vegetables. I needed more. Ok, I could fix that!

Here’s the surprise.

The old me would have just gone back to what was comfortable, but the new me wouldn’t accept that. I was at a turning point on my journey. I was no longer at the bottom of the weight-loss mountain. I had already more lbs than I ever expected—not to mention two inches off my waist. Going back to my old way of eating was NOT an option. 

I now look at my “crazy life” years as my “before bmiSMART” life. I’m finding my happy. I’ve begun to learn how to take care of myself, and love celebrating my victories. I am no longer willing to accept chaos as “normal.” I now know I have the power to change. bmiSMART and the most amazing group of women I know and love, including our personal trainer Hill and our nutritionist Stephanie, have helped me reach inside and discover a core of strength and sense of calm I never knew was there.

I’m still a work in progress. Aren’t we all? Can’t wait to see what happens in the next 4 weeks!