In 2014 I got a job selling gym memberships. I was new to Boston and desperately seeking employment after taking five months off due to a severe relapse.

At 25 years old and still using a cane on and off, I applied to the gym as a joke. I’d never even considered doing sales and even though I’d lost 80 lbs, I still weighed over 275. Who in their right mind would buy a gym membership from the obese girl using a cane?

When I went into my interview, I focused on the positive changes I’d made for myself. MS had knocked me down and obesity ran over just to kick me in the gut, but here I was grateful for each and every day I could get out of bed in the morning, and the hiring manager felt that energy.

He called to offer me the job and I cried for three days. I felt trapped. After weighing the pros and cons of doing sales, I realized that my con list was full of insecurities and my bank account simply didn’t have the patience for that. I decided to take the offer, go through the month of training, and if I hated it by the end, I would look for something else.

"The most fun I've ever had"

For the next month, that hiring manager (also my training manager) inspired me every single day with his pitch. He’d been studying and practicing sales for over a decade and his positivity spoke to me.

I bought every book he recommended, watched lectures, studied sales, and within a few months I became one of the top five salespeople in a company with over 160 locations across New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington DC. Working in sales was the most fun I’ve ever had at a job and I held that top five ranking numerous times for years until I finally decided to leave the company.

These days, my family still makes fun of me for crying for those three days after I was offered the job, and I can’t blame them. But change is hard, any kind of change, and improving your health feels particularly tricky.

That being said, I use this story often to describe the power that comes with developing confidence to hit my goals and it is the same formula that I used to lose over 145 lbs and officially put my cane in storage. If you’re feeling nervous about starting the Overcoming MS program, you are not alone. It’s scary to change the way we eat - it's such an integral part of who we are - but I broke down my process into three easy steps to help you get started without turning your life upside down.

Step 1: Do your research

If you want to be successful at anything - work, relationships, or your health - you MUST know what you’re doing (and why!). Imagine talking to a mechanic who didn’t know how to explain what was wrong with your car.

Would you leave it with them? ABSOLUTELY NOT. In order to trust in yourself, you have to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Luckily, with OMS, the work has been done for you - you just have to sit down and focus on it.

Step 2: Create a plan with slow steps

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but we do have a special advantage with the OMS program in that the architecture has already been designed and tested.

Now, it’s all about adding it into your life in small steps. If adopting the entire diet feels too daunting, you’re not alone and you don’t have to fear. You can start small, perhaps with just a green smoothie (or any sort of smoothie!) each morning for breakfast.

Once that becomes a routine, you can start to work on lunches and then dinners. Overwhelming leads to burnout, so start small with realistic actionable positive steps. EVERY SMALL CHANGE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

Step 3: Watch yourself talk

When I was crying for those three days, I wasn’t saying or thinking very nice thoughts about myself. But, when I started in training, my manager changed that. He sold me on selling, on my ability to sell and, once I left training, I sold myself on myself. Would you let someone talk to you the way you talk to yourself?

Become aware of how you speak both internally and externally. Whether or not you believe it to be true, take a moment to stop, apologize, and change direction.

You can absolutely have success in your health but it has to come from your heart first. There are no repercussions in being nice to yourself and the benefits are enormous. Stay positive and take it slow. I believe in all of you because I know that if I can feel this good (after feeling that bad), absolutely anyone else can do it too. Peace, love, & light,

Carolyn Kaufman