Most people: “How did you lose your weight?”

Me: “I cut out all dairy”

Most people: “Oh, I can’t do that”

I was at my grandmother’s funeral last week and there were people there that I haven’t seen in well over a decade. And unfortunately, this is how most conversations went when talking someone about my weight-loss. Here’s the deal, though. There’s nothing special about me. People that knew me when I was heavy, know that my diet consisted of pizza, cheeseburgers, cheese fries, and loaded baked potatoes. And rarely did my diet ever veer from that. I didn’t eat vegetables until I was in my 20s. Even then, they’d have to be drenched in butter or some sauce. So, I have been in the spot where I thought that there would be something that I could not give up. I believed that there were things that I would never be able to do.

In 2012 I realized I was lactose intolerant. I realized how much dairy was affecting my body in a negative way. Fast forward a few years, I found that most of the human population is actually lactose intolerant. Our  bodies have just found ways to cope with ingesting milk products. When I was ready to make that change, I knew it would have an impact, I just didn’t know how it would affect me.

When I hear people say, “Oh, I can’t do that.” I hear someone selling themself short. When we say something like that, it gives us the justification to not even try. I’ve learned that we’re capable of much more. Once we have the right mindset, anything can be achievable. It doesn’t mean that we won’t struggle. It doesn’t mean that we won’t fail. We have to take that failure and make part of our success.

I can’t make anyone love running. I can’t make anyone drop dairy. I can’t make anyone go plant-based. What I want everyone to know is that you are capable. When we say “I can’t,” we’re not even giving ourselves a chance to even try. If we make small but permanent changes, they will add up to great achievements over time.