Meet Erin*, who embarked on a 90-day complete diet overhaul. Her goal was simple – improve her health in order to avoid becoming diabetic. Learn about Erin's story below and then read her unedited, unfiltered 90-day journey with Splendid Spoon here.

*We changed Erin's name at her request in order to allow her to be totally honest without any fear of embarrassment from her community. We've kept every other detail about her life exactly as she shared it. We hope you understand.

I was in the 5th grade when I came home one day and asked my mom if I could be a cheerleader. She sagely advised, “Don’t be the one cheering other people, be the one other people cheer!” It was then that my love of playing sports and working out was born. I would ultimately play basketball, volleyball and fake run track (I was not about that off-season basketball life) from elementary school all the way through high school. Even though I didn’t compete in college, I stayed fairly active by running, lifting, and playing intramural sports. During my master’s program, I worked out consistently, and during my first year of my doctoral program, I was in the best shape of my life. Towards the end of my second year of coursework, we lost my grandmother. Her passing completely took the wind out of my sails and I found myself really struggling to focus on anything. After what I now refer to as my “enrolled sabbatical”, I snapped out of my funk and got back to work and back in the gym. I began teaching some intro courses right around the time I passed my final comprehensive exam. I found teaching to be extremely stressful. During those two years, I gained a lot of weight. Like, A LOT. I was working out sporadically, but eating out consistently. I knew a lot about how food works in the body, but never really put that knowledge into practice.

After I moved back to my home state in 2015, I joined a gym in my neighborhood. I am a huge Zumba fan and luckily for me, two of the best instructors I would ever have taught at my new gym. I was having so much fun that it was easy to stay consistent. Shortly, I began to branch out to Les Mills’ Body Pump and doing weights on my own. I started to see some real changes but not even a year later, my favorite instructors left my gym. I tried to continue on, but it just wasn’t the same. So, I cancelled my membership and worked out at home or in the gym in my complex. Later that year, I moved across town to be closer to work. Just as I was getting into my fitness groove, my father was diagnosed with cancer. For the better part of a year, my sweet daddy was in and out of the hospital. In February of 2017, he passed away.

I had been emotionally eating for the entirety of my dad’s fight, but after he passed, I went off the rails. In the fall of that same year, Hurricane Harvey hit and while I wasn’t personally affected, I was forced to work from a different location for about a month. My stress levels were through the roof and I just wasn’t coping well at all. A point came where I knew needed to make a change, so I went to the doctor to get a baseline of all my numbers, just to be sure nothing else was at play. Due to slightly elevated glucose levels, he wanted to put me on Metformin, a drug that treats diabetes. I asked him if he would first allow me to at least attempt to make behavioral changes, and he said no. Knowing in my heart that I am not nor will ever be a diabetic, I tossed the prescription and instead went the Keto way. In a matter of weeks, my blood sugar dropped, I lost weight...and I changed doctors! Who opts for medicine over behavioral change? In the end, however, Keto is simply not a sustainable way of life for me, and I was soon back to my old habits.

I firmly believe that JOY is a choice, and after a gut-wrenching loss and two insanely difficult years, I was ready to choose joy again. On New Year’s Day, I told my friends and family that I was choosing joy. Every year, I would tell myself that “this was the year” I would get back in shape. I would step up my workout game and really work hard, but ultimately, I would sabotage any gains with terrible food choices. One thing I know for sure: you cannot outwork a bad diet. Every trainer or nutritionist worth their salt will say that effective, lasting weight loss is 80% nutrition. I know in my heart that I will never be truly successful until I get my eating habits under control. It is this desire to finally, finally get it right that has brought me to Splendid Spoon.

Read her unedited, unfiltered 90-day journey here.