“The picture on the left was me 10 years ago. I was 37 and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.” said the single mother, Claire Magenheimer.
She described herself at that time as “overweight, unhappy, stuck in survival mode, and doing what she needed to make things work for her and her daughter”. But being selfless is in every mother’s nature, her daughter was the only thing that mattered, so Claire thought that she had to get healthy for her little one.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Claire was left by her birth family at Star of the Sea Orphanage when she was a baby. At 18 months old, she was adopted by an American family and grew up in Wellesley, MA, where she had an older brother and a younger sister who were also a KAD (Korean Adoptee).
As one of very few Asians in her school, church, and sports teams, she struggled with her identity as a Korean American. She thought that she was ugly, unwanted, unlovable, and unworthy of happiness. “Growing up in a predominantly white, upper-class community was difficult for me and I never felt like I fit in, or belonged anywhere.” she adds, “I faced racism, abuse, and bullying pretty much as long as I can remember. I was never taught how to process my feelings so I guess I just internalized most of it, which wasn’t a healthy way to deal with my emotions.”
As an adoptee who has suffered trauma and loss, she has suffered from anxiety, depression, abandonment issues, and low self-esteem. This led her to be rebellious as a teenager and soon developed unhealthy addictions to food, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, sex, and toxic relationships, “But the worst relationship was with myself,” Claire said, “My fixed mindset was making me feel stuck in life with no way to dig my way out. My old self allowed my fears and limiting beliefs about myself hold me back from taking any action towards my dream life.”
She considered herself a type of person who started things but never finished. Although she always had a plan and knew what she needed to do in order to start moving in the right direction, she was lacking consistency – she would fall off the wagon again and again.
People are more capable than they think. A huge mindset change is something anyone can do but in order for that to happen, Claire knew that she needed to love herself first to completely change her lifestyle habits and put in the work.
Claire quit smoking and heavy drinking. She lost 30lbs and the most amazing thing is that she even reversed her diabetes. “Today, I am the healthiest and the happiest I’ve ever been.”
She learned how to take action even when she didn’t feel motivated. She learned how to launch herself out of bed in the morning and just start doing something small, and would celebrate with a high-5 in the bathroom mirror and keep doing it over and over again. Most of all, she learned how to give herself the validation she was always looking for.
“The joy and satisfaction I got from just doing my everyday habits pushed me forward and gave me the confidence to keep crushing my goals!” She adds “NO, it’s not sexy or cool…but it worked! And guess what, it’s still working for me!”
In 2022, Claire launched Badass Mindset Academy, a place where people can learn how to step into their new mindset, take control of their health and fitness, and learn how to gain tons of momentum in life. She is currently living in South Africa and she is coaching other people through their own transformations.
Be badass like Claire, and sign up for free webinars and upcoming podcast episodes. Also, learn how to work 1:1 with Claire, either remotely or in-person here.
LinkedIn: Claire Magenheimer
Facebook: Fit Foods with Claire