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You're More than What You Eat

Healthy Jumpstart

We’ve all heard the phrase “You are what you eat.” There’s a lot of truth in that—when we eat well, we feel well. But, what happens when we have an unhealthy relationship with food?

The term “food addiction” is somewhat controversial and it is not yet considered a diagnosable disorder. But, before Healthy Jumpstart, that’s exactly how Anne saw her relationship with food—it was her addiction.

She explains, “Before this challenge, food controlled me. I was addicted to sugary drinks and fast food and I ate it every single day. I was always thinking about the next meal and what I could eat. I ate for pretty much every emotion I was going through.”

Anne’s nutrition coach, Julie Cleaves, stated: “Her relationship with food was complicated. It was unhealthy. She was addicted to the one thing that made her feel bad about herself.” Together, Anne and Julie were determined to change that. But, it wasn’t going to be easy. One of the biggest adjustments Anne had to make wasn’t physical, it was mental.

Right from the beginning of the challenge, Anne was enthusiastic and determined to lose weight. She knew that adjusting her diet would be the key to success. But, she didn’t immediately understand that switching foods would be more important than simply limiting foods.

Julie says, “Limiting calories isn’t the answer for building healthy lifestyle habits. We needed to switch her focus. All calories are not created equal. Your body will feel and perform better if given 100 calories from fruit instead of 100 calories from French fries.”


Anne and Julie meet every week to review Anne’s food journals and discuss nutrition. 

Anne admits making the change was incredibly tough. “Giving up regular soda cold turkey was the most challenging adjustment so far. I used to drink three to five Cokes every day. But, now, the taste of it is so sweet, that I can’t imagine how I ever drank so much.”

Another important part of changing her mindset was coming up with a strategy to deal with cravings. “Temptations are lurking around every corner. I try to avoid them a few different ways. First, I try to eat every few hours so I don’t allow myself to get too hungry. And, before I go grocery shopping, I try to eat a healthy snack and drink a glass of water so I’m not hungry when I shop. Finally, if there are sweet temptations at work, like donuts or cupcakes, I’ll opt for a healthy snack or piece of fruit I brought from home. This helps me satisfy sweet cravings.”

Anne is currently in the fifth month of the year-long weight loss challenge and she is doing great. She’s lost over 65 pounds, has more energy and lowered her blood pressure. But, one of the most powerful changes is her new mindset.


Anne and Julie take a quick break from the work day for walk and nutrition counseling session.

Julie is proud of Anne’s progress and her new perspective. She says “Anne is starting to look at food in a new light—a positive one. We still have some work to do, but the transformation so far has been remarkable.”

Anne is making healthy choices and no longer feels ashamed of her relationship with food. She says, “Now, I feel like I am in control. I no longer drink soda or crave fast food every day. I eat healthy food to fuel my body and give me energy throughout the day. I feel that my food choices now compared to three to four months ago are due to the healthy habits that I have learned as part of my journey. Making healthy choices has become an everyday part of life now. It truly has been a lifestyle change for me.”

Leave a comment below to help us congratulate Anne or give her some tips for support on her amazing journey.



  1.  Miranda says:

    This is truly inspirational Anne. There are many of us out there have the same issues, and to see you overcome these obstacles are encouraging. You are doing a fantastic job. Keep up the awesome momentum!

    •  Anne Rappert says:

      Thanks for the kind words Miranda. It truly has been an amazing journey so far. If I can do it, anyone can.

  2.  Jessica says:

    We are all very proud of you, Anne. Thank you for the inspiration.

  3.  Amy Pingel says:

    “Food as Fuel.” Great job Anne!

  4.  Jennifer Hewitt says:

    Great job Anne. Please share any tips to get over the emotional eating. That has always been my hurdle too. Watching your transformation is really inspiring.

    •  Anne Rappert says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and support. Emotional eating has been something I’ve needed to overcome. I used to eat even when I wasn’t hungry. One thing that is important is figuring out what emotions are causing you to eat. I would suggest you keep a food journal and write down everything you eat. You could also jot down how you are feeling when you eat to help you realize what your triggers are. If for example you are stress eating, find a hobby or activity that will keep you busy while the craving passes. If you are eating out of boredom, once again, find an activity that will help you get through it such as taking a walk, watching a movie, or reading a book. Another thing I do is make sure the foods in my house are healthy options. I avoid buying any comfort food so I’m not tempted if my emotions get the best of me. I hope this helps. If you ever want to talk, just let me know.

  5.  Mary Timmers says:

    Anne I’m so very proud of you; you are doing it, losing weight is so very hard to do.. especially with 2 growing boys to cook for. I’m so happy for you. Keep up the good work. I’m watching your progress.

  6.  Linda Rickert says:

    Congratulations Anne..I too have struggled as you know, I also gave up soda ,next step is sugar, it’s a challenge..every day a new day…keep on going, and we can support each other.

    •  Anne Rappert says:

      Hi Linda,
      We can definitely support each other. If you ever want to talk, just let me know. I hope you are enjoying retirement 🙂

  7.  Hannah Zillmer says:

    Anne, this is amazing. The amount of weight you’ve lost is huge, but even more inspiring is how willing you are to share your journey with the rest of us. Thank you!

  8.  Mary Tingley says:

    Way to go Anne! You are doing an amazing job!!

Comments are closed.

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