Betsy Talbot, 42, and her husband Warren, 41, are healthy, happily married, world travelers these days, but that hasn’t always been the case. The couple who used to be overweight, unhappy and tied to office jobs now travels the world “full-time,” living out their dreams.
At their heaviest, Betsy and Warren weighed 210 and 178 pounds, respectively. But today, Betsy is a trim 160 pounds (just 10 pounds shy of her goal weight) and Warren has already reached his goal weight of 145 pounds. We had the pleasure of speaking with this adventurous pair recently about their weight loss journey as a couple. Here’s what they had to say.
Tell me when your weight struggles began.
Our weight struggles really began in adulthood when we began sitting for our jobs and our entertainment instead of being active. And we “over-busied” ourselves into thinking we had to eat fast and cram meals in instead of planning and enjoying them. This is a deadly combination for weight gain that most people can relate to.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight?
When we stopped investigating the world around us and let it come to us prepackaged (via TV, internet and convenience foods), we gradually became more passive. We didn’t seek out new things, try new foods, or explore things in person. We just sat back and let it come to us, and we paid the price with a big weight gain.
What caused you to realize you needed to change?
My brother had a heart attack at age 35, and then a good friend had a brain aneurysm in her 30s, and it woke us up to the idea that life is too short not to chase your dreams. We had always been interested in world travel, and it was after these two events that we decided to make it happen.
How did you lose the weight?
We began traveling in 2010 and our first stop was Ecuador. Instead of our usual candy, popcorn and Twizzlers as all-day snacks, we started eating fresh fruits and vegetables from the market and preparing our own meals with fresh ingredients. We stopped snacking all day long because we spent more time outside away from our laptops. We stopped watching TV. Hiking and nature walks became a weekly occurrence, and we walked to do our daily shopping and errands. “We didn’t count calories or go to a gym; we simply started paying attention to what was going into our bodies and making sure we walked outside every single day.”
What diet and exercise methods did you employ?
We eat foods prepared from their natural state – no boxed or prepackaged foods. We shop at farmers markets and buy our eggs from the woman who owns the chickens. Our meals are simple but delicious.
We also walk every single day for at least one hour, if not more. Generally this means 1-2 nature hikes per week and walking to do our shopping and errands every day.
Advice you’d give to other people struggling to lose weight?
Pay attention. Simply paying attention to what you put in your body and how it makes you feel will go a long way in self-education about what works best for you.
Authors Warren and Betsy Talbot help people turn their life dreams into reality. After 20 years of playing by the rules, they charted their own path to achieve their dream of traveling the world. Their books include “Dream Save Do: An Action Plan for Dreamers” and “The Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Rid of It: Eliminate the Clutter in Your Life.” Follow their travels and doings at Marriedwithluggage.com.