Hi! I'm Betty Jean Bell.
Eat better. Feel better. Live better.
I'm a habit change expert + safer beauty advocate.
I know that if we eat better, we will feel better. When we feel better, we can live fully and give our gifts to the world.
I am deeply passionate about helping people relax about food and have fun with eating -- no matter what.
I have made it my life's work to help you FEEL GOOD and HAVE FUN -- in your body, life, and work.
I never intended to be doing this work. I wanted to be an opera singer.
Instead, Universe sent me on a path of self-discovery, deep emotional work tied to identity and purpose, and required me to become a master of and greatest advocate for my own body.⠀
I am living proof that you can heal, love your body, and delight in your creativity and career.
The full story...
I haven't always been healthy, fit, or trim. In fact, my history with weight gain, depression, and chronic illness is a doozy.
Since age 4, I had been training my voice to become an opera singer, but life hit me hard when I turned 17. I developed severe acid reflux that took my voice and left me mute for 18 months. I was told by my doctor that I would NEVER SPEAK AGAIN, let alone sing.
At 18, I had my first major stomach surgery. After months of intense self-care and voice pathology rehabilitation, I could speak again. However, my career as an opera singer was no longer an option. Not being sure what to do with my life after that, I set to work learning business.
At the age of 25, work stress and inflammation in my body were so severe that I lost the vision in my left eye. The optic neurologist thought I had multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease where the immune system eats away at the protective covering of the nerves.
Fortunately, I didn’t have MS but I did have inflammation in my body from food and work life stress… enough to lose the vision in my eye, develop IBS, interstitial cystitis, and a whole host of other illnesses. Not to mention, I was 30 pounds (or more?) overweight even though I was going to a bootcamp every night after work.
In 2013, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, an “incurable” digestive disease where the stomach doesn't empty properly. When the gastroenterologist (gut doctor) diagnosed me, he searched Google, printed the first thing he found and told me, “This is how you eat and live now.”
I took the documents home and read through them. By the end I just had more questions. When I called his office back and started asking, he and his nurse practitioners had no further direction for me, nor could they elaborate on the very plan they handed me.
All I wanted was to feel strong, healthy, beautiful, and energetic!! I desired to feel good in my body and enjoy buying and wearing clothes!
At any point while I was trying to get well, I was carrying 20-35 pounds of excess weight when all I really wanted was a “bikini body.” (Yeah, I totally bought into the media hype.)
I was always my trainers best student. At one point, I went to 8 bootcamp classes a week. EIGHT. I followed the nutrition plan to the letter, eating 1200-1500 calories a day, no carbs, and taking thermogenic fat burners. But I was getting fatter!!! (AAAHHHHH!!!)
Eventually, my body got so hungry from all the intense hours at the gym and so few calories for my muscular 5’ 7.5” frame that I started bingeing on the weekends and feeling horrible guilt. It seemed like the harder I tried, the more I couldn't seem to "stay on my diet." I felt like a failure and my self-confidence tanked. Eventually, I got in great shape but developed a full blown eating disorder.... And I didn’t even know it.
It took me talking to a friend and laughing about one of my weekend binges (doesn’t everyone emotionally eat?) to find out that, no, that actually ISN’T normal. NOT everyone binges. NOT everyone emotionally eats. And when we are doing it, something deep down is unresolved.
Today, I am happy to report...
✔ I can see out of both eyes.
✔ I am well and feeling great.
✔ I am free of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
✔ I don't emotionally eat or binge at night or on the weekends.
✔ I am at my ideal healthy weight.
✔ And I don't diet, count calories, or beat my body into submission with millions of intense workouts each week.
I feel strong, healthy, and I feel good in the clothes I buy.
Best of all, it doesn’t matter if health issues arise because when they do, I have the tools to heal myself and get my body, mind, and life back on track.
To say the least, it hasn’t been an easy journey to navigate alone.
And that's why I do this work.
Because I have been where you are and I know what it's like to want to lose weight, feel better, and feel good in your clothes...
I also know what it's like to not get results... no matter how hard you try... and to not know where to turn to get answers.
Because I am a regular person, just like you, I am not married to any one method of eating, weight loss, or healing.
I don't teach diets.
I'm not a drill sergeant.
And I don't care what "hot method" or "7 day diet" the weight loss market is selling right now.
I only care about what works... not for some people some of the time... but FOR ALL PEOPLE, ALL OF THE TIME.
And if you're into it, you can follow me on Instagram @BeingBadass where I do a ton of recipe writing and micro-blogging on the daily.