Success Beyond the Scale: Sam's Sory

Success Beyond The Scale: Sam’s Story

I’ve always wanted to lose weight, but I’ve never hated my body. I have always been very confident in my skin, and I love being curvy. Losing weight for me is about my health more than anything. Being slimmer or “skinny” is something I could live without. I have always been annoyed by weight loss programs because I feel like I can’t relate to them. They show crappy before photos of women who look ashamed then show these beautiful after photos of sexy women beaming in their tiny new bodies. I feel like that narrative is SO damaging. It has always seemed like they were saying, “You can only be fat and ashamed, and ONLY once you get skinny can you be happy and sexual.” I feel happy and sexy in my body as it is now, so that narrative doesn’t resonate with me.

Meet Sam

Samantha and GooseHi friends! My name is Sam Rutherford, I am 24 years old, and I live in Muskegon with my husband, Austin, and my dog/son, Goose! (Yes, from Top Gun!) I love him so much, I would totally die for him. Dog moms understand. I am a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Middle East Studies.

Traveling and experiencing different cultures are some of my favorite things to do. I spent six weeks in Israel, and my favorite part was visiting the West Bank and practicing Arabic with the kind people there. I am very passionate about advocacy and fighting for the rights of everyone.

My relationship with food

I work full-time and have a busy schedule, often working past the regular 9-5 hours. I also have been studying for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and hope to go to law school next fall. Because of my busy schedule, my relationship with food is mostly based on convenience. I also have the tendency to turn to food for emotional support. If I had a crappy day, I am like “Oooh. Tacos and margaritas with the girls will make me feel better.”

After graduating college, I had a sort of identity crisis as I tried to figure out who I was as a person outside of being a student, a daughter, or a wife. I think this is a common issue women face in all phases of life. There is this sort of dilemma of identity where we ask ourselves “Who am I outside of the roles I am in?” I have spent the past two years in therapy focusing on my mental health and battling depression. Now that I have put the work in on my mental health, I feel like I am ready to address my physical health.

Samantha in IrelandDon’t get me wrong, I still get incredibly self-conscious – who doesn’t? But I just don’t feel like I need to make myself smaller or fit certain societal standards of beauty. I am proud of my body and all the things that it can do with the space it takes up. Where some people might see gross stretch marks on my stomach and legs, I see proof of a wonderful life I have lived. It is proof that I ate the best fried chicken tenders in a dirty pub on my honeymoon in Ireland or enjoyed a heavenly ice cream cone in the hot Israeli desert. This body has taken me many places and we aren’t slowing down anytime soon. The reason I want to lose weight is to ensure that I am healthy enough to be here for a long time so I can continue to get the most out of this life I have been given.

Why I decided on true. Weight Journey

I first was introduced to the true. team when I became a patient in the Empower program, a one-time appointment for women under 25. The all-female office is so kind and welcoming. I did not feel one ounce of guilt or shame during the entire visit. It helps that the office isn’t 50 degrees, and the exam rooms have actual windows. (Wow!) I didn’t feel my usual anxiety even during that dreaded moment of stepping on the scale. Why do we get so worked up about that number on the scale even though we are about to strip naked and have our lady bits out for display? The mysteries of being a woman, right?

true.’s scale is even more in-depth because it tells you more than one number; it tells your body fat percentage, BMI, and helps calculate the age that your body equates to. To put this in perspective – I am 24 and my body is the age of a 50-year-old woman.

Hello, wake-up call!

I remember my cheeks heating up at that number and the shame set in. How could I let it get that bad where my body is older than my own mother?

Dr. Bitner held my hand and let me know that shame has no place at true. We sat there and she asked how I wanted to feel, and we mapped out my Picture of Self together. I didn’t have a specific weight loss number in mind, but I knew I wanted to be more active and lose weight for my health. My Picture of Self consisted of me taking pictures with my husband more and not only looking at my love handles. It was something simple like going on a beach vacation and not feeling like I hate the way my body looks in a bikini. I left the office feeling hopeful and I knew I couldn’t continue doing what I was doing.

Samantha & MomWhen I watched Let’s Chat with Dr. Bitner and Dr. Egan, it felt like the pieces were falling into place. I felt like everything they said resonated with me, and it felt like they were talking to me. I kept feeling myself nodding my head every two seconds. I texted my mom during the live and said, “I totally want to do the Ultimate Program.” She immediately responded, “YES.” That was all I needed. Everything from talking about that dang “hunger ping” to the fact that weight loss is more than just willpower.

I’ve tried almost everything to lose weight

In the past, I’ve tried cutting calories and tracking, Weight Watchers, Keto, intermittent fasting, and nothing lasts. I always felt like I would lose weight, but eventually, I would hit a point and plateau completely and couldn’t lose anymore even though I needed to. I also found that with certain diets, I could feel myself developing some disordered eating. It became mental torture of guilt if I went over my calories one day, or I would starve myself all day and gorge in the evening. I became mentally and emotionally drained from the game and all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and have a damn brownie.

The fact that Dr. Egan kept saying, “Your weight is actually what I care about the least.” I felt like throwing my hands in the air and screaming “Yes, you get it! Finally, a doctor that gets me!”

My other health issues besides weight + family history

Like I said, losing weight to me is more about getting healthy. Being at a higher weight carries a lot of health risks. I already have an elevated risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer without factoring in my weight. My maternal grandmother passed away at 46 after a long fight with breast cancer, and my mother had ovarian cancer when she was 29. I decided that since my mom had ovarian cancer so young, I wanted to get tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations when I was 18. Thankfully, I was negative for both. However, I am still at high risk for both due to my family history and my higher weight.

I also have a few small nodules on my thyroid, along with hypothyroidism, which can affect my metabolism and ability to lose weight. I got diagnosed with nodules and hypothyroidism in 2019 and have struggled to get it under control and get some clear guidance on how to manage it. My previous doctor met with me for only 10 minutes to tell me I had it, prescribed me some medicine, then they cut our appointment short because they had another patient. I tried to make a follow-up appointment, but they were scheduling 6 months out. How crazy?! Since then, I haven’t gotten much guidance on how to manage it or how it can be affected on certain diets, so I am looking forward to Dr. Egan’s knowledge and guidance.

I mention this all to give context and help you understand I am walking into this program with high hopes and eyes wide open. I would be lying if I said I was not a bit nervous. I am scared that I am going to be starving and “hangry”! No one likes me when I am hangry! 🙂

It helps for me to know that there are other women out there who maybe feel like I do and value the sisterhood that I feel like true. has cultivated. If there is one thing I know to be true, it is that there is power in sharing our truth. I will be posting updates weekly as I go through the true. Weight Journey Ultimate program with Dr. Egan. I look forward to taking you with me on my journey to success beyond the scale.

– Sam