Overcoming an Eating Disorder: A Journey to Health, Healing, and Happiness

Overcoming an Eating Disorder

While it’s hard to open up and talk about moments in my life I am not proud of, the effect this post had on social media—over 3 million reached and almost 900 comments at last count!—and the lives it seemed to touch, was incredibly worth it. I can’t help but post it here on my blog as well, in hopes of it reaching and helping even more in need, especially since one of our dear friends and contestants on Extreme Weight Loss season 5—Pearls—also suffered for years from an eating disorder.

Moment of truth: In the depths of my own severe eating disorder, I never thought in a millions years that I would be happy with my body. “Weight, scales, body image, exercise, food, dieting, restricting, binging, purging, fear” were just a handful of awful words that would literally plague my mind daily for nearly a decade as I battled with the strongest opponent ever: MYSELF. I fought my own demons each and every day. Each day attempting to release myself from the hell I was living. Each day striving for a healthier life. Day after day, month after month, and year after year, I failed. Each failed attempt was proof to me that I’d always suffer, and that I would never live a “normal” life. There were times I felt my body wouldn’t be able to handle the stress I was putting it through, and I worried I wouldn’t make it to the next day.

The picture on the left is me at 17 in the place I mentioned above. This wasn’t even the worst of it…fast forward 6 years—I was married with a baby on the way and still didn’t have my crap together. Luckily, that was about when things changed and healing began. Becoming a mother and learning to be selfless was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and it truly helped set me on a better path.

Two kids, one divorce, a new husband, and two more kids later, I am healthier than ever before. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. While it truly has been a slow journey, the fact that I am eating upwards of 2600 calories a day to build muscle will never be anything short of a miracle to me, because the thought of increasing size was always something that absolutely terrified me. At 33 years old and 20 lbs. heavier than I’ve been the majority of my adult life, I feel sexier, stronger, more beautiful and confident than ever before. Yeah, I might have a little more cellulite and wear a couple of sizes larger, but I can lift heavy weights and carry someone on my back without feeling like I’m gonna’ break. 😉 I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I saw this pic Chris snapped of me the other during my workout and couldn’t help but cry a few happy tears for how far I’ve come. I thank GOD every single day that I’m not suffering now like I did for so many years.

For ANYONE out there struggling with feeling like you will never get out of the vicious eating disorder cycle, use me as PROOF that it is possible! GET HELP! Seeking help may seem like a sign of weakness, but it is truly a sign of strength. Weak people do not reach out for help. Only strong and courageous people do!

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, here are some amazing organizations that can help:

Shades of Hope
National Eating Disorders Association

And please check out this blog post for some additional information about eating disorders and some tools that have helped me work through my own eating disorder.

Xoxo,

Heidi

Related reading:

Fighting Through My Struggle with Body Dysmorphia and an Eating Disorder
Eating Disorders: The Ugly Truth of the Skinny Fixation


61 Comments

  1. Christine Banks - October 15, 2017

    This is my favorite post despite the fact that there have been many great ones since. I found it online when I was in a very low place in my personal health journey and found it very inspirational. To see that someone else had gone through a struggle much like myself and come out successful and moved on to help others is such an inspiration. I refer back to this post often and use it as a personal pep talk. Thank you for being you!

  2. Suz - January 18, 2017

    Hi ive been struggling with my weight for years now, im am nearly 20 and in recovery with bulimia and body dysmorphia. I have not made myself sick now for 9 months roughly and dont eat chocolate, sweets, cakes, pastries etc. I am size 6 (uk) and eat varied amounts of food each day, some days ill eat 1 meal and others i will overeat mainly on carbs. The days i undereat i am lightheaded and the days i overeat i have chest pains. I cant eat anything during the day until evening otherwise j will overeat, so i go all day eating nothing and then will have 1 meal or eat alot of carbs overeating. I dont know what to do, its partly to do with medication i am on, but i have to be on it, and nobody in the uk is helping me. Whats the first step to having 3 set healthy meals and not feeling like i am putting on weight? I eat healthy foods but just crave more once i have eaten.

  3. Barbara Farley - November 1, 2016

    I admire your family and testimonies so much. I started overeating at an early age. I experienced Pica, bulemia, and BED. As a result I am over 200 lbs overweight. I am a 49.year old mom of 8 little ones from 12-2. I have three two year olds currently as a foster mom. My hips and back hurt horribly when walking but tonight when i felt overwhelmed, i took two five minute walks instead of eating to try to feel better. That just makes me feel worse. I am looking for things that will assist me in walking since I hurt ao immensely when I do. I hope.keeping at it.will make it easier. Thank you for all you do.

    • Team Powell - November 1, 2016

      Hi Barbara: It sounds like you’re on the right track to achieve your goals! You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and follow all the links within the post too. We also recommend that you discuss this program with your healthcare team first and then follow any modifications they might recommend. You can do this! 🙂

  4. Jillian - June 29, 2016

    I think I have suffered from an eating disorder since I was 12 (I turned 19 last month), maybe even earlier, but I remember starting the purging thing in my second year of high school (I was an early student). I am still in these circles I can’t get out. It starts with eating ‘normal’ – ‘starve’ – ‘binge/purge’ – ‘normal’ – ‘binge/overeat’ without purging.

    It’s literally driving me nuts and I went vegan on March 1st 2015. I lost around 15kg, due to eating plantbased, but I don’t see any change. I don’t recognize anything and I’m still overweight for my height.

    I gained some weight, due to binging on fatty foods like crisps, fries and vegan cookies I bake myself.
    I do try to make healthy breakfast muffins now etc. but the mindset is so hard to change and I tried to talk about this, with my mom. But she says I don’t need a psychologist or a doctor. She says I should just stop exaggerating and focus on losing weight and eat healthy.

    But it’s hard to suddenly ‘step out’ of an ED. I can’t just stop. It always pulls me back whenever I try 🙁
    I basically don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t feel like getting better fits in my future.

  5. elizabeth - May 30, 2016

    Hi heidi does you have any tips to beat the scale. I find myself taking out the scale and always weighting myself. I find i cant control it and it happens alot any tips xxxx thnxs a mil

    • Team Powell - May 30, 2016

      Hi Elizabeth: Chris and Heidi recommend weighing yourself only once a week. We know it can be tempting to want to weigh more often, but your weight naturally fluctuates from day to day, and it can be discouraging to see it go up. Make a promise to yourself to only weigh once a week – learn more about promises (Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation tool) here: http://heidipowell.net/8679. 🙂

  6. Stacie - March 3, 2016

    Hi! Your blog and books are so great! I still do have a question as to whether you ever advise altering the cycles in any way, specifically with regards to caloric intake. I know that a normal amount of exercise would be fine while on a 1200-1500 calorie daily intake but I weight lift 5 days a week heavy weights and a lot of volume. I want to lose fat but I don’t want to lose my hard earned muscle….just want it to be more visible! 🙂 I currently weigh in at 149 and I’m 5’6″. Would recommend higher calories daily? And which cycle do you think will get me the fastest results without compromising too much muscle tissue. I track my macros and calories in addition to my HC LC days. Any advice at all would be so helpful! P.S. Right now I am doing the Turbo cycle but I’m just worried it could be too aggressive….

    • Team Powell - March 3, 2016

      Hi Stacie: You might want to try the new Extreme Cycle (http://heidipowell.net/10503/carb-cycling-the-extreme-cycle/). It recommends 1500 calories a day on both low- and high-carb days, and has 4 high-carb days in a row. And if you ever feel like you need to add in more calories to achieve your goals, go for it! Hope that helps!

    • Stacie - March 4, 2016

      Thank you so much for your response! Once last question…If I add calories back in should I do that slowly? If so how much would you recommend per day or per week? I guess I’m asking if I should reverse diet to more calories while still carb cycling? Do you have any posts or information in reverse dieting? Thank you again! I am loving my results and how I feel on your diet!

    • Team Powell - March 4, 2016

      Hi Stacie: When you get to the point you want to start adding healthy weight, here’s a post that can help with this: http://heidipowell.net/10540/ask-the-powells-gaining-healthy-weight/. We wish you the best!

  7. Nicole - February 25, 2016

    I just wanted to say that you are amazing. I am a big time follower, youtube, FB and instagram. Your family gives me home. You are simply so strong! I admire how you keep speaking for the befitting of others. The fact that you respond to others, at all, is pretty amazing. Thank you for being such great role models.

  8. Brandy - February 25, 2016

    Hi Heidi, what are your thoughts on juice fasting? I’ve heard allot of fantastic things, also some negative as well.
    Thank you, for your time.
    Brandy

    • Team Powell - February 25, 2016

      Hi Brandy: Chris and Heidi don’t incorporate any type of fasting in their carb cycling program. You can learn more about the nutrition part of their program here: http://heidipowell.net/2713. Hope that helps!

  9. Carmen - February 25, 2016

    Hi Heidi & team… I need help. I am 25 years old, extremely overweight, unhappy, and unhealthy. I deal with binge eating then hating myself for it later. I was wondering if extreme weightloss is casting? If I could apply. I want to do better, I want to deal with my demons, I want to learn to live healthier.. not just for me but also my husband and our future children.

    • Team Powell - February 25, 2016

      Hi Carmen: Casting for EWL is currently closed, but you can begin your transformation journey today with the tools Chris and Heidi have provided for all of us to use to achieve our transformation goals. You can learn about the basics of their carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and follow all the links within the post too. Make that first promise to yourself, choose a cycle, and go! You can do this!

  10. Fanny E - February 25, 2016

    Hello Heidi
    I have a question for you. You’ve been pregnant 4x and am just wondering if you ever struggled with depression. Am 8 months pregnant with my 2nd child. First pregnancy was a blast and no problems in any way. I got diagnosed with ITP (Blood disease) and Thyroid disease after I had him. This time around I have made a lot better choices regarding my diet and exercise but have suffered severely with depression. Since am on thyroid meds (which is difficult for me as am very much anti meds) I don’t want my doc to put me on anti depressants too so I haven’t told any doctor about it. Its just been difficult and I tried reaching out to my churches moms group but don’t feel any support whatsoever. I don’t feel comfortable sharing with too many people and therefore not many others know. Did you ever suffer with depression while pregnant? I’m hoping and praying God heals me and it will be over in a month when we expect our little girl. Thanks for reading.

    • Team Powell - February 25, 2016

      Hi Fanny: Congratulations on that new little one who will be here very soon! I’m so sorry, but I don’t know the answer to your question. It’s obvious that you’re struggling with this, and since depression can be very difficult, it would probably be best for you to chat with your healthcare team. Hopefully they can help you figure out how to deal with this without additional meds since that’s what you’re aiming for. All of us at Team Powell wish you the best! ?

    • Lacey - February 25, 2016

      I would say talk to a healthcare provider, and let him or her know that you don’t want to take drugs. Medication can be helpful, but it’s your body and you can treat your depression any way you want. Your doctor might suggest meds but just keeping trying until you find someone who will offer suggestions and work within your boundaries. That said, most of the things that will improve your depression (diet, exercise, regular sleep cycles, pursuing relaxing hobbies) may be very difficult to do while depressed. That’s where medication helps – to get you to a place where you can function well enough to care or yourself. There’s no shame in taking antidepressants, it doesn’t make you weak. Just do what you need to do to feel a sense of wellbeing and enjoy your life.

    • Rebecca Fox - February 25, 2016

      Hang in there mama. Pray pray pray! My husband and I have 4 kids 4 and under. Four pregnancies. It has been tough at times. But so worth it. God game is our kids for a reason. I had some depression as well when pregnant and the best advice I can give is to talk about it get help emotionally from friends or people at church and pray everyday about it. I am anti medicine also even when I’m sick I don’t swallow pills of any form at all. But the best medicine is love of people and the power of prayer. Hang in there mama. Your little girl will be here soon. Xoxo

    • Monica - February 25, 2016

      I’m sorry your dealing with this, but you really should talk to someone about what you’re feeling. Have you checked your thyroid levels? My thyroid levels were all over the place, especially after my second child was born. Pregnancy can change levels, which can also make you feel depressed.
      Also know that you’re not alone.

  11. Nicole - February 25, 2016

    This was truly inspirining. I have seen a few members of my family go through this and it’s been a very rough ride. This helped me see some light when there is little to see now a days. Thanks

  12. Irene - February 9, 2016

    Hi Heidi
    Thank you so much for your words…this post looks like “tue Linus blanket!”
    Maybe one day I can feel well with my self and make my body a a better place for my soul!
    I follow u on Instagram!
    Kisses from Italy
    Irene

  13. Simona - December 16, 2015

    Thank you very much, Heidi. You can’t figure out how your words really help me and support me as I make my was through this. It’s been hard to admit to myself I’m bulimic. My family still refuses to accept it and still denies. However, being conscious myself means so much. I’m more self-indulgent; I’m human, so I can let go a bit sometimes. I’m strong, so I’ll get through it. It’s hard and there’s still along way to go. But I know I’ll succeed to do this one day, step by step, as every step ahead is precious, I’ll never give up. Love from Italy.

  14. marci - November 23, 2015

    Question. I have the book Choose More, Lose More and I understand keeping each portion size of protein, carbs and fats at 100 calories on their specific days. The part Im a little confused on was the beverages. How do we add those in? For instance, having my protein shake with almond milk instead of water. Where does the almond milk fit in? Thanks for your help!

    • Team Powell - November 23, 2015

      Hi Marci: Beverages don’t really fit into a macro category – just keep track of those calories in your daily calorie count. 🙂

  15. Secily - November 8, 2015

    I love that Heidi shared this! I struggle so much with my weight and how I view my body. But it’s not quite in the same way as so many with an eating disorder. I know Heidi is so busy but I would give anything to get tips on how to eat to bulk and put weight on. I am 26 and have always been underweight – weighting 88 lbs pre-pregnancy, my daughter is 4 and now maintaining 93-95 lbs post pregnancy and I am 5’2. When I was pregnant I loved my “curvy body” but I just cannot keep that weight on. And I get so frustrated. I do not purposely withhold food from myself but I do struggle with my appetite staying up, it’s easy to skip meals and not realize it. I do eat fairly healthy and a yummy lunch might consist of veggies and dip – as healthy as they maybe I know the calorie content just isn’t enough to help me gain that 10-15 lbs my body (and mind) really needs me to gain!

    Where do I start?
    I need this mentally and to be healthier physically!

    • Team Powell - November 8, 2015

      Hi Secily: Many of the same tools Chris and Heidi use apply to both adding muscle mass and losing weight. You can utilize some of their weight loss tools to help you develop a healthier lifestyle, and here’s a post about the nutrition basics of their program: http://heidipowell.net/2713. Here’s one helpful hint: When adding muscle mass, you’ll want to consume more healthy lean protein. Get a list of approved foods on their plan – lean proteins, smart carbs, veggies, and healthy fats – in their book (“Choose More, Lose More for Life”), as well as lots of healthy and quick recipes! And here’s another post that might help too: http://heidipowell.net/5366/all-about-calories/. If you are serious about building muscle mass, your best option would be to find a certified personal trainer who can work with you on a one-on-one basis and better assist you in achieving your goals. You can do this!

    • carla - February 26, 2016

      How do I start I have always struggled with it I make myself throw up every time I eat

    • Team Powell - February 26, 2016

      Hi Carla: The first place to start is to recognize that you have an eating disorder, which you’ve done. This is huge! The next step is to seek out those professionals who can help you, and there are some links in this post that might give you some guidance. Have you talked with your healthcare team about this? They would be a great resource too. We truly wish you the best!

  16. Jennifer Lynn - October 5, 2015

    Anorexia Nervosa has spoiled and taken many lives across the planet. The patients with eating disorders can also switch between periods of overeating and fasting. Social pressure and stress are the underlying factors that may trigger such illnesses. Find a therapist to treat your eating disorders and start living a normal life. You can try http://www.therapytribe.com, which is a great resource for finding qualified therapists.

  17. Sara Martinez - September 9, 2015

    Hi Heidi/Team Powell,

    I am sure Heidi doesn’t have time to read many of these due to how busy she is. But I am wondering if someone from the website can ask her is she would be willing to blog further about how she protects/educates her children about eating disorders?

    As a mom who struggles with Anorexia and EDNOS I worry about unconsciously passing along bad and dangerous habits to my baby. This was all too real when my son’s pediatrician told me to start him on a regular solid-food eating schedule at 9 months. She simply said “Just have him eat when you eat. Have him eat what you eat.” I don’t even know what this means. We are making things work (he is almost 13 months)…but I became terrified that I would inadvertently harm him.

    I know that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any disorder, and because I have struggled with symptom use since I was 10 years old (I am now almost 33) I feel like I will have it forever. This is by no means what I want for my life and in my darkest times I truly understand why people decide to end their lives when symptom use is at its strongest. But I have to protect my son, and if I am ever lucky enough to have any other children I want to protect them too. I’ve done nearly every type of treatment program there is and nothing has seemed to really stick. I want recovery, but I don’t know how to achieve it.

    Anyway, as Heidi has 4 kids I am curious how she has dealt with this (especially when her job focuses a lot on weight loss)?

    Thanks.

    • Team Powell - September 9, 2015

      Hi Sara: I will definitely pass this idea on to Heidi. As for how she’s teaching her kids, one of the things she and Chris have taught them is that food is fuel for their bodies. Like fuel for a car, if you don’t have enough fuel or the right kind of fuel for your body, it won’t function properly, and you won’t be able to do the things you like to do. I hope that helps, and we truly wish you the best!

  18. Ashley - August 21, 2015

    I don’t do this. I don’t write to people or talk about this stuff. It’s because of shame. It’s because of guilt. And writing this knowing that Heidi probably won’t even see this makes me question myself and I wonder if this is even worth it. But I hate being silent. I hate having so much to say and not being able to say anything.

    Thank you for being so open and transparent about your struggles. You have obviously touched a lot of people’s lives, and that is seriously awesome. And I’m pretty insignificant, but you have had an extreme impact on me and my life. More than you will ever know, which I feel awkward saying considering that I have never met you. I’ve always admired you and what you and your husband do, but when you opened up about your past and your battles with food, I gained even more respect for you. No one ever talked to me about what I was going through. No one ever cared. Food was, and is, my best friend, as well as my worst enemy. My struggles are messy. And they are rooted in a past filled with unresolved traumatic events. No one knows the extent of any of this. And unfortunately, I don’t think anyone will. It’s easy to type into this little box to someone I don’t know. But being honest with the people closest to me scares me. I’m 27 years old, and my life is dictated by food. The emotional baggage behind that is what causes this. I know that. I’m fully cognizant about that. But I can’t let that baggage go. And that makes me hate myself. And that baggage is way too personal for this.

    This is why I tweeted you a couple of nights ago that I wish I had the chance to talk to you about the emotional part of it. It would be cool to have someone like you to tell things to. Someone who wouldn’t judge me, and who would maybe just accept me and love me for who I am. I never had an older sister. I never had a good role model to look up to.

    I know that there are links to programs, and I know that no new clients are being taken. I just wanted to say this stuff and throw it out there and wishfully think that Heidi would see it.

    • Team Powell - August 21, 2015

      Hi Ashley: Thank you so much for your post and for sharing your story. I know it was a difficult thing to do. Heidi is so grateful that her story has helped so many who are struggling with similar issues, and that is why she finally chose to do so. It was a very hard thing for her to do. And please know that I’m keeping her updated on how her story has helped so many. And please also know that she wishes she could talk personally to everyone who needs her help, she truly does. She and Chris are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place – they would love to help every person personally, but there are just too many people who need their help. I can tell you, they struggle with this every single day – how to help the most people in the best way. I hope you can understand, and that you can find the resources to help you in your own road to recovery. Like Heidi said in this post, reaching out for help is a sure sign of strength. We truly wish you the best!

  19. NIKKI MORRISON - August 20, 2015

    Love this show…I am 2 years “clean” from bulimia and have never been heavier… clean eating, no meds and being active has NOT paid off and i am freaking out..would love to hear your thoughts.

    • Team Powell - August 20, 2015

      Hi Nikki: Congratulations on your 2 “clean” years! That’s awesome! You might want to check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program (the same program they use on EWL), and see if it would work for you. You can learn about the carb cycling basics here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And please discuss this program with your healthcare team first, and then follow their recommendations. You can do this!

  20. Lora Patterson - August 11, 2015

    I have watched the episode of Pearl that night. I have posted a tweet to your wall about 3 days ago and I have seen is others trolling on my page just because I started to follow you and your husband Chris. I think it’s amazing how you change lives. I have had 2 trainers in the past that had given up on me, and lot of other people that have given up on me. I compulsively eat and I want to give up on me cause I don’t know how to stop. I tried to apply for the next season, and the cast call is gone. I’m starting to wonder if you read any of these post or tweets? I get you have many followers. So, if you do read this, I’m asking for help, please.
    -Lora-

    • Team Powell - August 12, 2015

      Hi Lora: Thank you so much for posting! I’m so sorry you’re having a difficult time, and I can’t imagine how hard this all is for you. Yes, casting for EWL is currently closed. However, you can begin your transformation journey today with the same program Chris and Heidi use on the show. Learn about the basics of their carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And here’s another post that goes into eating disorders and offers some resources, and hopefully it might help also: http://heidipowell.net/5771/eating-disorders-the-ugly-truth-of-the-skinny-fixation/. We wish you the best – you can do this!

  21. Tammy - August 11, 2015

    thank you for this post. I’ve struggled with my weight and an eating disorder for years. I am a food addict and I binge eat. I thought that I had it under control finally. I am in week 17 of a work out program and I felt I was finally strong and on my way to a healthy life. My goal is to be at 20% body fat and fit. Then I want to sculpt and lift more. Last Saturday was weigh in day. I had dropped another 2% body fat last week and am now at 24.4% body fat. I was proud and excited. I was the next day a new form of my eating disorder reared its ugly head. Instead of fighting the urge to binge, I have to fight to put food in my mouth. I am terrified that anything I eat will make my body fat go back up. It’s not logical I know. Even my best friend doesn’t know I have been fighting an eating disorder for years. Yet yesterday I passed out at the gym. My trainer kept asking if I felt well and I said yes and assured him and kept lifting. Then I passed out, and had to air my dirty little secret. I hadn’t eaten since the weigh in Saturday. Another head has grown on the dragon that is my eating disorder. Though my trainer has been supportive through the months of fighting binging, i feel very ashamed of this new turn. I know I need to fuel my body yet logic and my new fear of food are at war. I didn’t know where to begin to fight this. I ran across your blog, saw the links for help and I have hope again. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Stephanie - August 4, 2015

    Hi Chris, and Heidi!

    Thank you so much for being an inspiration to myself and so many others! I like many of your EWL participants suffer from binge eating disorder. It’s hard for me to recall exactly when it started, but being 24 and almost 400 pounds I know without a doubt it has been the majority of my life. I suffer from a chronic illness that has caused me to have 8 brain surgeries, and I have also had 3 major infections. I seem to fight through and be able to make it through the worst things I have been through, but can’t seem to kick the binge eating and loose weight! I’d love if I were able to get your help! There is so much more I could write here, but it seems like a long shot. I am ready for a change, and know I need this change if I do not want to be my parents. (Both are deceased) so again if you would be willing to help I’d appreciate it!

    • Team Powell - August 4, 2015

      Hi Stephanie: Thank you so much for your post. Heidi would love to help you personally, but she’s not taking on clients right now due to everything she’s got going on and her young family. I hope you understand. However, she and Chris have put all the tools they use on EWL in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” and here’s a post on this blog that outlines all the basics of carb cycling: http://heidipowell.net/9060. I’d also suggest you discuss this program with your healthcare team first, and then follow their recommendations. You can do this!

  23. RW - July 28, 2015

    Loved the “Cheese Puff Baby” idea! Though I’ve never been overweight, hovering around 100 lbs. since a teenager (I’m now 70) & physically fit (have been a runner for 40 years), I DO have an absolute obsession with potato chips and other salty snacks, which, due to my corn allergy, cause really nasty symptoms (severe headaches and worse). Doesn’t do any good to throw them out — I just jump in my car and buy more! So……I have now constructed my own personal “Potato Chip Baby” to carry around (it IS empty, though!). Am hopeful this stratagem will work.

  24. Toni - July 27, 2015

    I just started watching your show and I really identified with Pearls and you. I have been on every diet imaginable. I was anorexic in high school and suffered from bullemia, and was addicted to taking laxatives. I know how it torments your mind. I started taking tae kwon do and krav maga and that was the best shape I’d ever been in my whole life, the first time I could look in the mirror ever and actually LIKED the way my body looked. Well, 3 kids later, I have not have had the time that I had before. I just had my daughter 2 months ago and need to lose about 40 pounds. I saw your carb cycling for the first time today and I’m going to try it! What suggestions do you have for workout for someone who doesn’t have a lot of free time to work out. That has been my issue. I work 40 hours, plus coming home to a newborn and my husband works 2 jobs so finding time to myself to workout is really hard. Anything you suggest?

    • Team Powell - July 27, 2015

      Yes! Learn about the exercise part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program here: http://heidipowell.net/9059/all-about-exercise-2/. Their 9-Minute Missions (strength training) only take 9 minutes in the morning, and then they recommend up to an hour of Shredders (cardio) sometime during the day. Even if you can only get in a few minutes at a time, that works – it all adds up. You can do this! And congratulations on you new baby!

  25. Linda - July 25, 2015

    Today I watched the “Pearl” episode of your show. It made me question whether I have an eating disorder. I would never have thought so but now I wonder “do I”.
    My story is, I have been in the fitness field for over 35 years. I have also embrace healthy eating since my late 20’s. I slowly took baby steps to remove the unhealthy foods in my life. 10 years ago I went Vegan. It was then that I went from a size 6 to a size 2. Still as active as ever I realized how hungry I was all the time. So I tried the eating every 3 hours to keep myself satiated. I eventually found out that wheat was causing me digestive problems, so I removed that from my diet, which made it even more difficult to feel full. I finally gave in and decided to add fish and greek yogurt to my diet, becoming a pescatarian that doesn’t eat wheat. I was teaching 4 cardio classes a week and lifting weights and my weight was increasing bringing me to a size 4. I was ok with that.
    At the beginning of this year, is when my weight started to creep up on me. I have never counted calories but I was still eating clean and healthy and was gaining weight. I started an intense weight training program to build muscle mass to help with my metabolism. My weight is up as high as when I was pregnant weighing 150 lbs. I am 5 foot 5 inches, now wearing size 6 and some 8. I am lost as to how I get my weight down. I already feel deprived of food but don’t know how to eat better than I am. I am not interested in meat so my protein sources are eggs, beans, fish and yogurt. Can you recommend an eating program I can follow that helps build muscle tissue without eating meat? I feel like all I think about is food. Its almost depressing.

    what to do? Linda

    • Team Powell - July 25, 2015

      Hi Linda: Thank you for sharing your story with us. You might want to check into the nutrition part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” Learn about the basics here: http://heidipowell.net/2713. In their program, you could eat egg whites, fish, and Greek yogurt as your protein sources, as well as other options, and beans would fall into the carb category. Give it a try – you can do this!

  26. Amanda - July 25, 2015

    Heidi, thank you for your words! Much like Pearls, I had moment recently that made me honestly think about not eating. I tried on my dream wedding dress at a bridal boutique and realized that I had put on 30 pounds in less than a year. I knew I had gained weight and couldn’t fit into my clothes but I denied that thought by just wearing sweatpants and never dressing nice. But I didn’t stop eating! I made a conscious decision to lose the weight the healthy way. I have 9 months to do it. It’s going to be hard between working full time, going to school full time, and planning a wedding but I bought that dress anyways and I’m going to fit into it. Thank you, Heidi!

  27. karvachauth - July 24, 2015

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve had issues with eating, weighing myself obsessively, and not being happy with my body. I have been both too skinny and slightly chubby. I was able to work through these demons and turn to exercise. Then when my body rejected food (yes – it can happen) and I was unable to physically eat enough, it was truly depressing. I was underweight and did not exercise since I did not want to lose more weight. I honestly thought I looked disgusting being so skinny – my muscles were no longer toned. Not being able to exercise was really a downer. When my body recovered and I started putting on weight, it felt great to go back to the gym and tone my muscles. My main goal is being able to work out and have the best body – that means eating a sufficient amount (no skipping meals or starving and no overeating) and working out without overdoing it. This healthy attitude helped me through a pregnancy and hopefully will help me through a second pregnancy 🙂

    • Team Powell - July 24, 2015

      Hi Karvachauth: Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I’m sure others who have had these same issues will find inspiration from your story. We wish you the best!

  28. anna - July 23, 2015

    I am 25 yrs old and I have been struggling with an eating disorder for 6 yrs, I have been lost and consumed by the disease I am at my lowest weight and currently getting help. I strive to one day look like heidi, I don’t know how to get as fig as you but that is my dream! Thanks for your honesty and inspiration.

  29. karen - July 23, 2015

    Hey Heidi.

    I figured of all people I’d reach out to you . I have always struggled with being tiny . I’ve never weighed over 10lbs in my life except when I was pregnant and gained 90lbs. Lost it all in 10 weeks just eating clean and light excercise. I did get diagnosed in 2009 with fibromyglia vertigo and depression due to stress and military life. I was put on all kinds of meds from 09-10. In between 2011-2012 time frame on no meds I gained 28 lbs . Literally in 3 months . In 2012 I started working out and lost it all and gained tons of muscle I kept going and working out . In fact I was so fit for almost the last 3 years but recently over the last 3 months I’m losing tons if muscle and tons of weight . I work out daily and I even started lifting and drinking a protein shake 2xs a day on top of a 2100 call intake and I’m still losing . I haven’t been called skinny in 3 years and now people are worried about me . I haven’t changed anything except not doing cardio. I would love for you to take me in and teach me how to get my muscle back . I know yall help people lose weight but what about a show you help people get there muscle back on. I’m going to see the doctor for blood work bc it is extremely odd it’s just not coming back on like it normally does very quickly .HELP ME GET STRONGER GET MY MUSCLE BACK AND TRAIN ME THE CORRECT WAY PLEASE.

    • Team Powell - July 23, 2015

      Hi Karen: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Chris and Heidi would love to help you personally, but unfortunately, they’re not taking on new clients right now. It sounds like you’re definitely on the right track, and I’m glad you’ve made an appointment with your doctor to see what’s going on. I truly hope you can find the answers you’re seeking, and we wish you the best!

  30. Sara - July 23, 2015

    Heidi,

    I have been suffering from an eating disorder (combination of anorexia, bulimia, and overeating) for 9 years now. I have been living in shame and fear for so long, too ashamed to admit I had a serious problem. It is women like you being unafraid to share your story that inspire women like me to seek help. Knowing you have gone through the same thing and sought help makes me realize I can do this, too. I thought for a long time I was weak if I asked for help, but you are so right that only strong people do. It takes incredible strength to ask for help. Thank you for sharing your story. I started counseling on Monday and I am incredibly hopeful that I will recover.

    Both you and Chris are incredible people. Keep doing what you’re doing. You really are making a difference.

    • Team Powell - July 23, 2015

      Hi Sara: Thank you so much for posting your story. And congratulations on taking that very important step to ask for help – you are on your way to recovery! We wish you the best!

  31. Audrey - July 23, 2015

    Heidi,

    I’m not sure if you get a chance to read all these comments but
    I have been wanting to write to your for around a year to thank you. I’m 22 and I’ve been dealing with my own eating disorder for many years now. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve been able to be at a healthy weight and it is sincerely because of your show.

    At the darkest times of my eating disorder, I was eating 300 or less calories a day and sleeping the majority of the day. In my active moments I would often watch tv. In full fairness, my obsession with food brought me to your and Chris’s show but the impact has been all but positive.

    You inspired me to eat more, work out more, and just be happy with myself, this post is so brave and thank you for being such a huge inspiration for me on my recovery.

    Thank you for changing my life.

    Audrey

    • Team Powell - July 23, 2015

      Hi Audrey: Thank you so much for posting and sharing your story with us. Thank you, also, for your kind words and support for Chris and Heidi and their mission to transform lives – I know they truly appreciate it! Congratulations on all the positive steps you’re taking in your recovery – you can totally do this!

  32. Darla - July 23, 2015

    Are you guys taking clients that aren’t on EWL? I am in AZ and really need help! I have eating disorder issues and now looking at going to MX for weight loss surgery. I need help; your help.

    • Team Powell - July 23, 2015

      I’m so sorry, but Chris and Heidi aren’t taking on clients right now. Because of this, they’ve put all the tools they use on EWL in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” for all of us to use to achieve our transformation goals. You can learn more about their program here: http://heidipowell.net/9060. you can do this!

  33. Mario Rossi - July 23, 2015

    First off, let me start off by saying, I’m happy Chris and/or the network included you on the show. Not only, are the both of you extremely positive and have a great outlook on life, but also are humble. Most of the time you see trainers, certified or not, being cocky and treating their clients as such. As if they are better than them, or talk about themselves and not the client. I have spread the word here locally, to have people tune in and share the experience that I have as I watch the show. I feel like I already know you both. Please continue doing what you’re doing and never change!! You two are like my own Superheroes!! Thank you and bless you and your family.

    • Happycat4800 - July 23, 2015

      I completely agree!!! Heidi definitely adds more dimension to the show!!! The show gets better and better!!! I can really appreciate the openness of the Powell’s sharing about emotional eating, food addictions, eating disorders, etc… it is a show that documents the full transformation-inside and out!!!

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