My “before” in 500 words…

I was either overweight, obese, or morbidly obese my entire life. I remember being in kindergarten and noticing my size. Why was I twice the size of all of my friends? I didn’t know.

In elementary school, my addiction to food began and this quickly turned into overeating and closet/secret eating. I would save all my money and buy junk food, and stash M&Ms in my pillow case and cheese puffs in my drawers. Why did I crush entire bags of donuts in a matter of minutes? I didn’t know.

By the time I was 13, I was over 200 pounds. I was so embarrassed of my fat rolls; I felt so ashamed. I wished I was thin and pretty like the “popular girls.” I knew I must start dieting: Weight Watchers, the “Military Diet”, Atkins, counting calories, restricting portions…. I yo-yo’d everywhere with my weight and nothing seemed to last. I was hungry all the time!  In high school I had many runs of binging and purging and always thought, “Why is this still not working?” I didn’t know.

My freshman year of college, alcohol and anxiety sank in and for lack of a better phrase… I was a hot mess. My “nutrition” consisted of cheese sticks, ice cream, Taco Bell, and cigarettes. Severe, shooting stomach pains began to happen to the point where I would shake and pass out. I was hospitalized for this [as well as alcohol poisoning] and attended specialists to get to the bottom of my physical pain. Pills and thousands of dollars in an unneeded surgery… what was the problem? Not one doctor knew. [Not once was nutrition mentioned!]

Now over 230 pounds, an extremely deep depression sank in. I was suicidal and hospitalized because of a talked about and planned attempt. Every day was one chronic headache and I just didn’t want to deal with life anymore. My body was a prison, and I hated myself. Who am I?I didn’t know.

In 2013 I made the decision to make a change. I was still huffing and puffing everywhere… but I was determined. Shortly after, I discovered the whole food, plant-based lifestyle. I was like, “Omg… this is it! YASSSSS!!!” I finally found what I had been searching for my entire life!

I dove in, filled up on vegetables, beans, fruit, whole grains… I was in heaven. I was losing weight AND I was filling up to satisfaction. I couldn’t believe it. Is this real life? YES!

As my weight continued to drop, my skin complexion cleared. I didn’t need an inhaler anymore. My anxiety and depression was healing. I was so full of energy and life. I was love-drunk on vegetables.

About 2.5 years in, I gave up animal products completely and now live a whole food, plant-based vegan lifestyle. I am maintaining my over 80 pound weight loss, guiding others on their journeys, and couldn’t be happier.

Whole, plant foods saved my life. And now… I know. I am finally me. I am finally FREE.

Have you struggled or are you currently struggling with ANY area from this blog post? Please shoot me a message or comment below so I can create more content centered around it.

Love you guys!!!
xoxo, @bethany



  1. Sherrie

    Thank you so much for sharing, @bethany. I’ve read your story before (and watched you share some of it on YouTube), but did not realize how bad it was at points. I shook my head in agreement through most of this. I’m still working on my why and am finally not beating myself up or trying another “diet.”

    Do I still eat my bread than I need (according to some)? Maybe. Do I not eat whole enough? Meh. My path is getting clearer every day and there is a rainbow of goodness along the way.

    Much love!

    1. Mrs. Love Chard Post author

      So happy to hear that you’re not beating yourself up anymore! I know the feeling both ways… being on this side of it is better. 🙂 Paths are getting clearer and you are creating YOUR idea life. So proud of you and your journey. RAINBOWS EVERYWHERE!