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This Fighter Embraces the Struggle

One day, Beth Van Kampen looked at herself in the mirror and no longer knew who was in the mirror looking back at her. She broke down and cried. It was then that she decided that it was now or never, that she wanted to take her life back, and that she was tired of being tired. 

“In that moment, in my bathroom, I knew that I was the only one who could make the change and that I was responsible for where I could go from there,” Beth, 38, who is a dental assistant and mom from Rapid City, SD, said. “I knew the journey would be hard, but it was harder looking at myself and no longer being able to love who I had become.

“I was tired of pretending to be happy; I was tired of trying to be someone I no longer knew how to be,” she continued. “I wanted to be me again. I wanted to be happy and love who I was. I wanted to be proud of myself. I wanted to pick up all the broken pieces of me and put them back together.”

And so Beth’s transformation journey began. In July of 2018, she bravely started her journey on her own by going to the gym regularly. After several months, she realized “just going to the gym” would not get her the results she wanted. She needed to do more. That’s when she found Nutrishop Rapid City, SD where owner Gunnar Swanson and his staff welcomed her, got to know her, and took time to educate her on proper nutrition and meal planning. They even set up a personalized plan that was very specific to her goals. 

“Walking into a nutrition store is terrifying when you do not know what you are getting yourself into,” Beth recalled. “From the moment I walked in, I was welcomed with open arms. From there, I felt like I was heard for the first time. I was never rushed or pushed into anything. I was treated like a human being.”

Knowledge is Power

While at Nutrishop, Beth stepped onto the InBody machine to discover what her body was really made of beyond just the number on the scale. She found out that standing at 5' 1/2", she weighed 179 pounds, 42.3% of which was body fat, and 57.4 pounds of which were lean muscle. This helped the Nutrishop team and Beth to understand what she needed to do to reach her goals. She needed to drop body fat and preserve and increase lean muscle. 

Beth took everything she learned from Nutrishop and put it to good use. She started intermittent fasting and eventually worked in the keto diet. Since her daughter has a gluten allergy, Beth said she found it easier to sustain this lifestyle change. Eventually, she started doing things she never thought she would, like hiking almost weekly, working out seven days a week, and starting goal-specific training programs.  She experimented with different supplements according to her goals but found that her staples are Hypercor, Nature's Fuel, and Omega-3.

“I am far from the end of my journey because I have found ways to constantly set new goals and challenge myself,” said Beth. “When I discover new challenges that I want to push myself to do, I can count on Nutrishop to cheer me on and help fuel me with what I need to obtain those goals.”

Today, Beth is experiencing somewhat of a setback as she is in the middle of a long road to recovering from a torn bicep and fractured collar bone. At her last weigh-in before her injury, she had dropped down to 147.7 pounds, but more importantly, her body fat was down to 25.8%! And, she’d gained 6.4 pounds of lean muscle! She’s still working out (modified, of course) and sticking to her meal plan, but it’s not exactly where she’d hoped to be. Regardless, she’s optimistic and hopeful for what is to come when she’s ready to get back to it 110%. 

“It may be a bump in the road, but I am ready for the challenge,” Beth said. “I’m so ready to get back to the struggle, the fight, and proving to myself that I can come back stronger!”

Beth's Five Transformation Lessons

Below are five lessons Beth said she’s learned so far along her transformation journey. Here they are in her words (because they were just too powerful on their own): 

1. For everything you lose, you gain so much more. This is a lifestyle change. A lot of people may not understand or support your journey. You may lose your nights out because you are too tired to go or have to get up too early. But for everything you lose, you have to realize that you are going to gain so much more along the way. Be strong and never give up because it is so worth it. Tou are worth it!

2. Stop trying to skip the f*%king struggle. I was told this by an amazing fitness coach and group of women. There is no magic diet, no magic pill, no magic workout. You CANNOT transform yourself overnight. It is going to take hard work, discipline, blood, sweat, tears, and so much more. In the struggle, you get to learn so much. You learn about yourself, how strong you are, and how to love yourself again. You are going to learn how to change the way you think and that is hard! You can’t skip the struggle.

3. Embrace the suck. Yep, that’s right. Embrace it! Embrace the fact that you passed on that pizza last night. Why, because it sucked, but you did it! Celebrate that damn victory. Are your muscles sore? Yes? Good. Embrace it! You worked those muscles hard, and they are reminding you that you did something for you!

4. Celebrate your failures just as you would your accomplishments. Believe it or not, this was the hardest one for me to learn. Some days will always be better than others. You will fail in keeping to your diet; you will fail your lifts; you will fail. And that is OK! When you fail, you learn. When you fail, you have taught yourself that you can still hold your head high and tell yourself that you gave your all and that in and of itself is the biggest accomplishment. Your failures will bring you one step closer to your goals, and with each failure, you have taken another giant step towards bettering yourself. When you fail it means you tried.

5. Be prepared to change the way you think. No nutrition plan will look the same for everyone. What works for me and has brought me success may be the worst thing for someone else. My workouts may be damaging to someone else because they were designed for me and my needs. Do not compare me to you because comparison is the thief of joy. Also, be prepared to change the way you view a scale. The InBody has changed my life. I no longer view my weight as a measurement of success. Did I want to lose weight? I thought I did. But in reality, I wanted to lose fat. When I began to lose fat, I felt amazing, but the scale didn’t seem to always reflect weight loss. The InBody would show I had lost fat, but was gaining muscle. When I finally wrapped my head around that, my life changed. It was no longer about losing weight, but losing fat and gaining muscle ... to not be skinny, but to be strong!

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