I remember this girl. I remember being completely unaware of my body, except when I noticed its size, and then hate it. I had no idea how hard it was working to keep me alive. I did not pay attention to its needs. I did not appreciate it. I did not honor it in any way, at all. I simply dwelled in the large shell of a body that I wished was different.

I abused that body with food and alcohol and cigarettes. I stayed up late. I was extremely sedentary. I expected it to allow me to live the life I wanted but I ignored what it needed in order to do that. I despised it for not being able to give me a baby. 

I wanted so much from that body but never gave it what it deserved.

10 years ago I was trapped in body that made me feel hopeless and helpless wishing things could be different, wishing I could be different, believing that I had to be “perfect” in order to lose weight and live that elusive healthy lifestyle everyone talked about. I was clueless about food, fitness, self-awareness, and what true success looked like. 

Today, I know that me and my body are capable of amazing things. I love my body– rolls, cellulite, stretch marks, and all the big and small, loose, wobbly bits too. I don’t like the way they look, but I love that my body is alive! And because of that I get to live an active life full of adventure, surrounded by the people I love, with peace and joy in my heart.

Over the last 8+ years I have completely transformed my relationship with myself, my body, food, fitness, and life!

It all started with a mindset shift.

There wasn’t a specific ah-ha moment when I suddenly realized I had been doing it wrong, but I can remember a few experiences that certainly had an impact.

Corn Pudding

The experience that sort of set thing mindset shift in motion (although it would be a couple of years before I fully grasped it) was when a friend of mine brought the most amazing corn pudding to our 2010 “Friendsgiving” feast. This corn pudding was so rich and sweet and FULL OF CARBS!  “Delicious” doesn’t describe how utterly delicious it actually was. I can still remember how it tasted and have yet to find a corn pudding that comes anywhere close. Seriously, so good! In fact, it was life changing, but not the way you’re thinking.

What made that dish life-changing was who brought it…a personal trainer. That’s right, the friend who brought the corn pudding was a PERSONAL TRAINER! Say what?!? She brought this dish? The health nut? The girl who snacks on walnuts and eats hard boiled eggs with an apple for lunch?! I couldn’t believe it. I was mind-blown. I thought personal trainers only ate hard boiled eggs and apples– so wait, she’s not perfect?


Yes people, that’s how delusional I was about perfection. I truly believed that healthy people, especially personal trainers, never ate things like corn pudding!

This was my first clue that perfection wasn’t necessary, but it took about two more years for it to really sink in.

Weight Loss Surgery that Went Weird

In December of 2011 I had gastric bypass surgery. It was my last resort. I had been stuck in the never ending cycle of diet-fail-repeat, finding myself heavier and heavier with each perceived failure, getting trapped deeper and deeper under the physical, mental, and emotional weight of my body.

What was weird about it is that most people who have gastric bypass find that they don’t have an appetite for at least six months. Some never really have one at all after surgery! That’s not me. I had my surgery on a Monday and on Friday I was licking cream cheese out of ham rolls at a Christmas party because I was starving. I am always hungry.

Despite that weirdness, what weight loss surgery offered me was hope. It was the first time in my life that I truly believed I was going to be able to lose the weight and finally live the full and active life I had been dreaming of for…ever. And because I had a-typical results: real hunger, slow weight loss, (it took me two years to get to my goal weight), and the ability to eat whatever I want without dumping syndrome (a common, and somewhat coveted side-effect that makes post-ops sick when they eat sugar and high fat foods). I was able to eat everything. I still am. But I remembered that personal-trainer friend of mine and her corn pudding and realized that “moderation” is really a thing! No perfection necessary. Duh!


Next came the real game-changer for me. Fitness. I joined a CrossFit box because, well, I had know idea what I was getting into. But it ended up being the best decision I ever made. That’s where I really learned about myself, my body, and what a truly happy, healthy lifestyle looks like. For the first time in my life I was surrounded by people who had similar goals, who loved and supported me. I saw how my coaches lived their lives– with balance.

This is when I realized that the all or nothing approach was a bunch of BS. That perfection wasn’t necessary. That I was capable of balance. And I also learned that my body was fucking amazing!

I watched myself go from barely being able to get up off the floor, to being able to do 100 burpees as part of a workout. I saw myself get faster, stronger, and better in all areas of my life. Challenging myself physically, mentally, and emotionally, transformed my life from the inside out.


I Continue to EVOLve

The mindset shift that happened in me over the course of those three years, from corn pudding to my first CrossFit competition, changed my life forever and has allowed me to evolve (EVOLve).

I don’t eat much corn pudding, but I do enjoy the shit out of my food. All of it. The greens, the grilled chicken, and the cheesecake.

I forget that I ever had weight loss surgery, like seriously forget. The surgery is just not a part of my identity anymore, but the belief in myself, my body, and the ability to EVOLve most certainly is.

I no longer do CrossFit, but I am a certified personal trainer (and a former CrossFit coach).

I’m also a mom to two equally cute and totally rotten little boys. Yes that body that I abused gave me babies!

Today, I know that me and my body are capable of amazing things. 

I love my body– rolls, cellulite, stretch marks, and all the big and small loose, and wobbly bits too. I don’t like the way they look, but I love that my body is alive! And because of that I get to live an active life full of adventure, surrounded by the people I love, with peace and joy in my heart. And I’m on a mission to help other women do the same.

Through my monthly membership program, EVOLve, I help women create their own mindset shift so that, they too, can live a truly happy, healthy lifestyle!  It starts with a mindset shift, that helps us establish sustainable habits, which create the results we want to see.

If you feel stuck in your body. If you go to bed at night, hating yourself for “failing” again. If you beat yourself up for not being “perfect”– you’re not alone. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like. I can help.

I’m Andrea Matthes, healthy lifestyle expert and international leader in positive body image. I can help you love yourself, care for your body, and live your ideal, happy, healthy I’mperfect Life. 

Get the quick start guide that will give you four ways to love your body right now and consider joining me, and other women just like you, who are working to create their ideal happy, healthy lifestyle by becoming a member of  I’mperfect Life: EVOLve. <3 I hope to see you there!