Wendy met Tracie at a staff nutrition workshop at MSCR, where she works as a Program assistant. That was a little over eighteen months ago, and since then, Wendy has become a true believer, moving on through Tracie’s Nutrition 101 class, then her eight-week What’s on Your Plate seminar, and finally one-on-one sessions earlier this year. “Honestly, even in that first, very short version of her class at work, I had that light bulb going off when Tracie said, ‘If your grandmother didn’t eat it, why should you?’ That made such sense to me, and I couldn’t believe I’d never heard it before.”
During one of the classes, this point really hit home for Wendy. “Tracie did a ‘Do you know what you’re eating?’ demonstration, where she handed out a paper with a list of ingredients and asked us if we knew what something was. It was a list of ingredients, chemicals and weird words with lots and lots of syllables. Turns out it was Ranch dressing! I used to eat ranch dressing on everything. I haven’t eaten it since then. It really hit home how important it is to read labels, to know what you’re really putting in your body. I also took a grocery store tour with Tracie – that was really enlightening. The gluten-free class was an eye-opener – I looked at the list of gluten sensitivity symptoms she wrote on the board, and I thought, ‘I have at least 75% of those.’”
Even so, it wasn’t a quick, smooth transition for Wendy. “It took me a while to really get on board,” she says, “even though the message resonated with me. Somewhere at the beginning of the whole process, I remember Tracie saying that even if you’re only doing really well 80% of the time, you’re helping yourself, and you’re doing better than most people. Still, it took me a long time to get there. I kind of inched into it, but once I shifted into the program, it was amazing how much better I felt, even though it took a little while to see results. I spent years not sleeping well, and I had energy problems during the day. I felt like I wanted to put my head down on my desk and take a nap in the middle of the afternoon. Eating better food in a smarter way helped me have energy through the whole day, and I started sleeping better at night. It makes me wonder why it took me so long to get there, but I know it was part of my own path to getting better.”
Wendy, who’s lost thirty-plus pounds since May, finds grace in that journey. “Tracie is such a great coach and guide. Wherever you are, she supports you. She understands that not everyone is ready to jump in 100% – some are not even ready to jump in 50% – but wherever you are, she’s working with you, encouraging you, making you feel supported and that you’re making a difference for yourself, even if you’re not doing everything right all the time. That was such a gift.”
Some worsening health issues were the motivating factors Wendy needed to kick into high gear on the program, and once she did, it became easier and easier to move forward. “Like I said, it took me awhile, but once I did, things clicked into place, both in my body and my head. Up until then, I was in denial about how much I was actually following Tracie’s program and what it was doing to me. Maybe I needed a couple of health concerns to make it clear to me. But at some point, it occurred to me that if I wasn’t following the 80/20 percent rule for the diet I was sabotaging myself.
“My advice to people considering this? Do it. If you can do it better and faster than I did – good for you. Don’t give up, if you fall back to old habits – just go back to Tracie’s advice and move ahead. If you’re thinking about it – try it. Tracie will help you no matter where you are, and you’ll get there. Trust me – you won’t regret it.”
She also recommends the classes. “There’s always something new. Maybe something you didn’t get the first time that pops out at you, or something new Tracie has to share – new recipes, tips, a new perspective. Even when I’ve been to a class five times before, I always get something out of them.”
Overall, Wendy knows working with Tracie has changed her life. “I’m eating better, I feel better, and I know I’m taking good care of myself. You just can’t put a price on that.”