Ditch The Diet! Eat Right. Move More. Move On!
70 pounds lighter, over 10 years later, and fueled with a fire to help people ditch the diet, start moving, and lose weight; I’ll give you 5 words why I think I’m a weight loss expert: It’s not about the food. Let me explain… Everyone knows carrots are better than cake, and taking a walk is better than taking a nap, but why don’t we do it? I’ve tried the shakes, taken “metabolism boosting” supplements and deprived myself while searching for the secret to losing and maintaining weight for good. Come to find out, I was looking in the wrong place! Turns out everything I know about losing weight and keeping it off, I learned from a flight attendant… say what!?
Hi! I’m April Schetler, MS, RD, a registered dietitian and Director of Nutrition at a hospital system in New Jersey. I have a Bachelor’s in Nutrition, a Master’s in Exercise Science, and on paper probably look like I’ve always been a nutrition and exercise nut. A little fast fact: 10 years ago I had never even heard of a dietitian.
Back then, I was 200 pounds and in a sedentary computer job… I ate junk, drank like a fish, and didn’t move more than necessary. In my mind, I was still a high school athlete and maybe had put on a few pounds in college, but I was hiding it well (or so I thought!). Wasn’t until I had a picture taken of me in a fitted, sleeveless shirt for the first time ever… Wow! Was that me? Who’s spare tire did I steal?
This picture threw me for a loop and sent me straight to my laptop for reassurance. I pulled up a BMI calculator (I really don’t recommend this!) so I could reassure myself I was still healthy-ish. I entered height (5’7″), weight (200lbs) and hit calculate… and there it was. A bright red flashing bar right across my screen with 5 bold, white, life changing letters: OBESE.
Other than my wedding day, that was the best day of my life… it saved me and sent me on this crazy journey I’ve been on ever since. Again on my laptop, I googled “quickest way to burn calories” and saw running at the top of the list. Although I hated it, out the door I went. I ran one block that first day, had to walk home. The next day I ran two blocks, walked home. And so I went. Around my neighborhood, one block at a time. I wasn’t moving far or fast, but I was moving. Although I hated running, and sometimes I still do, I found my sanity in the peace and solitude of it, and massive rewards in the challenge. I started reading about nutrition and slowly started swapping fresh foods for fast food, water for soda, and self esteem for self pity. I lost one pound per week for over a year and in the end, found my life’s purpose. I went back to school to learn everything I could about nutrition and exercise so I could help others lose weight, get healthy, and move on with their lives. The “old me” would have laughed at the reinvented version!
This former OBESE girl is now a 15 time marathon finisher, registered dietitian and sought after speaker on weight management and behavior change. I’m the one quietly cheering you on when I see you jogging on the sidewalk. I’m the one smiling as I drive by you, proud that you’re getting in a walk before work. I’m the one that wants to encourage you every step of the way. Stick with me, there are great days ahead!
Oh, and as for the secret I learned from a flight attendant? Check it out, click HERE!