Finding Strength in “Healthy Mind, Healthy Body”

By: Life is Good

There’s truth in the phrase “healthy mind, healthy body.” And though staying positive can be difficult during mental or physical struggles, choosing an optimistic lifestyle can help.

As a member of our Good Vibe Tribe, we asked Colette Giaramita to join our #SomethingGood movement by sharing her inspiring perspective on her incredible weight-loss journey, recently featured in Women’s Health.

What's #SomethingGood happening in your life right now?

CG: My #SomethingGood is utilizing my lifestyle transformation to help others overcome their obstacles and live out healthier, happier lives.

What do you look forward to every day?

CG: Every morning, I walk with my dog, Lunabear. It's a great way to get a little activity every day, and it makes her happy, too.

At Life is Good, we have 10 Superpowers that help us spread the power of optimism. Which one's your Superpower and why?

CG: All of these are important when keeping a positive mindset, but Compassion is my Superpower. Even though I'm only 20 years old, I've been through a lot. And certain circumstances can make you feel like life isn't going to get better. I've endured a lot of abuse, I deal with various mental health issues and I've been hospitalized for two suicide attempts. I also still have chronic back conditions as well as a screw in my hip. But when I started focusing more on my mindset and being more positive, I realized I wanted to make a difference in other peoples' lives. After I realized I was able to overcome these issues, I wanted to show people they could do the same.

When did you know you needed to make a change? What was the final straw?

CG: I would get anxious about my size and how much physical space I was taking up on the train. I wouldn't sit down because I was afraid of spilling into another seat. I was missing out on a lot of experiences because of my anxiety. When I was little, I'd never play on monkey bars, or even run around. And I always struggled with finding the right clothes to fit in. Those were toxic, irrational feelings, but they were stopping me from living a life I enjoyed. So, I set a date and started changing my daily lifestyle. 

My weight-loss journey has helped me live my happiest, healthiest life, and inspires other people to do the same. 

What has been the biggest struggle on your journey?

CG: Emotional binge eating is, by far, always my greatest obstacle.

How did you overcome those obstacles?

CG: Using mindfulness and meditation to deal with anxiety and negative thought helps me stay present and refrain from it. I was hospitalized in 2015, and I had a very kind doctor in group therapy sessions that would give us mindful exercises. At first, I thought it was too simple and that I was fooling myself. But eventually, I gave it a shot, and it's such a powerful thing to help us live in the moment.

Tell us about a time where you felt like quitting or giving up.

CG: Sometimes, I would work so hard, and my weight would plateau. It made me feel like I was doing something wrong and wasting my time and energy.

For anyone out there grappling with similar issues, what have you've learned that might be helpful?

CG: Focus on your overall well-being. Stay positive, treat your body with kindness, and provide it with the care it needs. Stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and eat nutritious foods. Numbers aren't significant compared to how you feel.

How have friends and family helped along the way?

CG: I'm so grateful that I have a lot of beautiful people in my life who support me. Two of my best friends, Dennis and Aoife saved my life when I attempted suicide and made it possible for me even to pursue this journey and see how beautiful life can be. Nicole grounds me day to day with her kind heart. I have all of my friends at the gym that I see in the mornings, and we're basically like a family. We always uplift and help each other through our workouts.

Eating healthy is all about breaking bad habits and creating positive ones. What's been the hardest habit to break?

CG: Eating processed foods is a tough habit to break. Calorie-dense, nutritionally-poor foods are always being advertised to us on top of the foods themselves having ingredients with addictive qualities, so it takes a lot of will power to avoid those foods.

What's your favorite exercise? What's your least favorite?

CG: I love to dance on the elliptical! I use hand weights and dance and sing to my music. I love exercising, so that's a difficult question. There's a lot of exercises that are so difficult and frustrating to do but get you a great workout. I love to do curtsy squats, but they're painfully tricky, so it takes a lot for me to stay motivated. 

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