Brenda Jay Kelly, 45, Southern California
My Idea of A Snack Was A Full Meal
Although I am a nurse, it took me 31 years to learn how to eat well. I only knew how I ate growing up, and there were no bowls of fruit on the kitchen counters of my childhood. We lived on heavy, fat-rich foods like bacon, eggs, and waffles and I faithfully maintained this diet from childhood through college.
While others considered an apple or two cookies a fine mid-day snack, my family’s idea of a snack was a full meal we would make before dinner. I can’t say that I binged, but I ate a lot. Strangely, I never saw myself as needing to overcome overeating because it never occurred to me that I was eating poorly. I did not realize there was a better way to care for myself.
An Eye-Opening Experience Abroad
My eyes opened when I traveled to Italy to visit with a friend and found myself struggling to carry my own body weight around the country. Walking and running from one train to another left me breathless and I found myself thinking “I can’t believe I’m having this experience.” I was suddenly fully aware of my poor physical condition and I decided then that I wanted something different for myself. I needed to learn normal eating and exercising habits.
“Green Mountain taught me how to make healthy eating choices without giving up my favorite foods or starving myself…The ‘a-ha’ moments and the passion of the staff are what keep me coming back.”
Personal Attention and Thoughtful Advice Set the Stage for Healthier Living
I first got in touch with Green Mountain 16 years ago. I had tried calling other places, but they did not have a whole lot of time to spend with me on the phone. I am attracted to people who love what they do and I was immediately impressed by the owner, Alan Wayler, and fitness specialist, LynnAnn Covell, who took time to explain what I could expect at Green Mountain. It was very clear to me that they really care about their work.
As soon as I arrived at Green Mountain, I knew I was in the right place. During one of the initial classes, Alan explained that if you overeat on Thanksgiving, that’s okay. If you overeat on Christmas, that is considered normal eating too. But, if you eat your way from Thanksgiving to Christmas and from Christmas to New Year’s, you will gain weight. Alan’s words have remained with me ever since and have informed my eating decisions year round.
Green Mountain taught me how to make healthy eating choices without giving up my favorite foods or starving myself to manage my weight. What a relief that has been. I learned how to make choices that will help me maintain a healthy weight and I am comfortable knowing that I will occasionally overeat or indulge in bacon, eggs, and waffles. That is okay with me because I have the skills to eat healthy the rest of the time.
Returning to Green Mountain Provides Continued Nourishment for the Soul
After leaving Green Mountain with a new understanding about eating, the “a-ha” moments kept coming. I was at work three days later and I was hit with a huge hunger pain. I couldn’t understand why the hunger pains had returned because I did not feel any hunger at Green Mountain, even after a full day of working out. Then it finally became clear: At work and home, my anxiety was disguised as hunger and had been all along. This was a huge awakening for me and helped me better manage the pains by dealing with my anxiety rather than feeding it.
The “a-ha” moments and the passion of the staff at Green Mountain are what keep me coming back to Green Mountain. Although I’ve reached a healthy weight, I’ve been back ten times. Green Mountain is a very sacred, very safe place for me. I come here to empty and to refill with the positive energy of the Green Mountain atmosphere.