06/11/21

Jamie’s Stronger U Story

How It Started

My Stronger U story started in 2018.  I joined after a particularly uncomfortable night spent feeling awful because I ate too much pizza.  I wish I could say this didn’t happen often, but it totally did.  Over the course of a few years, I’d put on 50 extra pounds, and I blamed all the normal things, primarily stress and being busy.  It finally got to a point where I couldn’t do basic things like take a hike without feeling awful and wanting to cry.  I worried about whether or not I could physically do things with my family and I spent a lot of nights awake because I’d overeaten.  No joke, like overeaten…..a lot.  Did I mention that I hid food from my husband?  Well, I did.  I frequented drive thru joints because I was “too busy” to cook or because “I deserved it” after a long day.  

 

My friend Jennifer told me about Stronger U more than once and I just wasn’t convinced that I could do it; I put her off and told her I was committed to trying other things first.  I’d tried a LOT of diets and never managed to see them through.  I was really worried about starting something AGAIN only to fail.  I started Crossfitting before I was willing to change how I ate.  I can’t tell you the number of times I worked out and felt like I was going to die while I did it.  I just couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight working out so hard.  

 

I finally gave in and signed up with coach Jodi Burchill in July of 2018.  Remember the part where I said I was afraid of failing?  I was so scared about it that I didn’t even tell my husband I joined.  He’s not stupid though, so he was suspicious that something was going on when a food scale suddenly showed up.  He is amazing, so he went with it and didn’t ask a lot of questions.  

 

Am I crying right now writing about this?  Dangit, I guess I am.  Those feelings from way back then just don’t seem to go away, so I get all the feels when I talk about where I started and just how lucky I am to have this guy with me while I do it all.    

 

During my time with Jodi, I had to get real, like really real, with myself about WHY I overate.  I tried to be super engaged in the process and really pay attention to what was going on in my mind in those moments that I was compelled to eat.  I’ve spent a lot of time talking to myself over the last few years, sometimes out loud, about what I want and whether or not the food in front of me aligns with those goals.  That doesn’t mean I don’t indulge! The difference now is that I’ve learned how to do it in a controlled way and I’m forever grateful to Stronger U and Jodi for that lesson.  

 

How It’s Going

During my time with Stronger U, there were holidays, summers, vacations, and I finished up a Master’s Degree; all the while, I lost weight.  It honestly blew my mind.  In the time I worked with her, I learned more than I ever expected not just about weight loss, but about my entire relationship with food.  Food used to be a reward, a comfort, and everything in between.  I learned to live my life and enjoy food rather than feeling like the food controlled my life and my decisions.  Have I mentioned that I’m grateful for that?  I’ll say it over and over again.  I’m grateful for the whole dang thing.  

 

Now, I can hike with my husband and never give it a second thought.  The clothes in my closet just fit!  I can’t tell you how many hours I spent putting clothes on only to take them off over and over again over the years; it blows my mind that I can just order things in a consistent size now and they fit.  Craziness!  The biggest moment for me after the weight loss was the last big vacation we took pre-COVID.  My husband is a pilot and we fly in small planes because that is what he loves to do.  I used to dread the idea of squeezing into a plane.  Two years ago we flew to Utah to hike in Zion National Park.  What???  I fit comfortably in the plane and took an ACTIVE vacation on purpose!  We went to a concert, and it might honestly have been the very first concert I ever attended without a drink.  I can’t even begin to explain how much more I enjoyed that music than any time before.  It was one of the best trips we’ve ever taken and I can’t wait to do it again!

           

Since I started with SU as a member, people have mentioned my weight loss, for sure, but more than that, I hear from people how much happier I look.  I couldn’t agree with that more.  I am!  I learned a lot about myself during my weight loss.  I realized along the way that I was in control, not just of the food, but of the way I live my life.  That may seem big, like, aren’t we just talking about weight loss?  Nope.  I realized that I want to feel good, physically and mentally.  I learned that I’m in control of how I feel, how I use my time, and where I want to go from here.  So, that leads me to the rest of the story.

 

So, What’s Next?

Since 2005, I’ve worked as a nurse in the operating room, and more recently as a nursing director, and I’ve always enjoyed what I do.  After my experience with Stronger U, I started to wish that I could help people feel as great about themselves as I do now.  I was so thankful for my coach and all of the people in the Facebook Group who shared their stories, their before and after photos, and their encouragement to keep going.  I really wanted to give that hope back to other people because I knew how much it helped me.  I decided to work on my own nutrition certification to learn more so I could help people who want to feel better. 

 

After earning my certification, I reached out to a friend who I thought might be interested in getting some coaching while also letting me practice my new skills.  Over time, I found myself working with more people and I realized just how much I love helping other people meet their own health and weight loss goals!  I always thought working with Stronger U would be the ultimate in awesome since I learned so much during my time as a member!  Earlier this year I got the opportunity to do just that and I couldn’t be happier!  

 

So, here I am!  Now I get to use my nursing knowledge and all I’ve learned about nutrition and weight loss to help my members!  I can’t even begin to express how much I enjoy helping other people find their way with food and meet their personal goals.  I’ve got some of the best members and I love using my experience with weight loss to help them keep going.  

 

I want people to realize that we all have struggles.  Some struggle differently than others, but I hope that my experience helps my members feel empowered to take control of their relationships with food.  I hope that my experience reassures them that it can be done.  I love getting messages about how great they feel and all of the really awesome NSV’s (non-scale victories) that come in time with Stronger U.  The weight loss is awesome, sure, but it’s so much bigger than that.  THAT is what I want for my members.  I want them to be the people they want to be, and I’m here to help along the way.  

 

Stronger U isn’t just about the food and the weight loss.  Our emotions, our thoughts, our lives……it’s all tied into that relationship with food.  Stronger U is about learning, progressing, and being better than we were yesterday.  That never ends.  We get to use the skills we learn here for a lifetime. 

 

Jamie Tuttle
Stronger U Coach