Amy Hardesty on the Common Sense Weight Loss Approach of Hope 80/20


On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am- the team spoke to long time friend Mark West about his new business called Hope 80/20 which focuses on health and weight loss, and Amy Hardesty, who has a personal weight loss story and is a coach of the new Hope 80/20 program.

Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend Mark West and Amy Hardesty. And they’re with a new company called Hope 80/20. Not actually a new company but they’re doing something of interest to me. It’s a weight loss company and Mark, you and I have known each other for a dozen  years and became very involved in the Tea Party back then. And we had you on the air here when you, after ten years as a leader of the Chattanooga Tea Party, you resigned to go on back to you’re business roots and you’ve been very successful in business. And I just got curious about your new business, Hope 80/20. On the web at Hope 80/ Mark welcome!

West: Hi thanks Michael and Steve great to talk to you guys today.

Leahy: And we also have Amy Hardesty. She serves as the health lifestyle coach at Hope 80/20. She’ll be with us in just a minute. She’s on the line listening and will be on. You know we’ve worked very closely on a number of issues over a decade here, you and I .

We’ve hosted many events in Chattanooga and it was time to move on and you wanted to do some new business. I didn’t know what the new business was. And then I found out and it was something kind of interesting to me. Hope 80/ What exactly is that about Mark?

West: Well yeah it’s great to talk to you about this and it’s great to be back on the show Michael. Well you know I’ve been in the healthcare business for thirty five years. But several years ago we launched a new company because I found out that one out of three Americans struggle has pre-diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

Of course most of those are weight issues and weight struggles as well. So we launched this company. It’s a virtual online teaching and instruction company where we provide online videos to help people with these struggles. But we also provide live interactive coaching. And that’s where Amy Hardesty comes into play. (emphasis added)

Leahy: Well and that’s to encourage people. Now let me tell you my personal interest in this. I’m going to tell you a little secret. Well you know this already. But our listening audience doesn’t. (West chuckles) Steve Gill in studio here knows it as well. But Steve was a high level Division One athlete. Played for the University of Tennessee basketball with Bernard Kings, and so he was a high level athlete.

I on the other hand was a would be wanna be player in high school like a lot of people. And always thought I was in great shape and suddenly I wake up one day and I’m starting to gain weight.

“Oh, what’s that about?” I didn’t like that. But what really did it, I don’t tell a lot of people this. My whole pattern of behavior changed. Instead of getting up at six o’clock every morning, I now get up at four o’clock every morning. (Laughs)

And when you get up at four o’clock every morning you end up being a little bit sleep deprived. Now Steve is the smart one here. He doesn’t get up at four o’clock. I do the five to seven typically and Fridays seven to eight. But Steve gets every last minute of sleep and gets up a little after five I think. So not quite as dramatic for him. But what I found out personally is. When you’re a little bit sleep deprived you just want to eat everything. (Laughs) And as result I’ve put on one or two pounds.

Gill: And there aren’t really good quality options in the machine here at the radio station. Eating the packaging would actually be more healthy. (Leahy chuckles)

Leahy: Anyway, when I found out about Hope 80/20. I signed up because I’m in the category, and we’ll bring Amy Hardesty in here. I’m at a point now I don’t like going to the gym to work out. Ok? I don’t know why. It’s just not fun anymore. And so Amy Hardesty, welcome to the Tennessee Star Report.

Hardesty: Hi Michael. Thanks for having me.

Leahy: So tell us a little bit about this. I think you’re going to help me a little bit right? In terms of learning how to sort of manage this. I guess these are things we all should know but we just don’t do them. Tell us your story.

Hardesty: Yes definitely. For the better part of my adult life I was in the obese category. I was sixty five pounds overweight. I was miserable. I was uncomfortable with what I saw and how I felt on the inside. And I knew it was time for a change but it was hard change. I really didn’t know what to do. And I had tried every program under the sun.

Leahy: You sound like me. I’m trying to do something. I’m trying to go to the gym. I just don’t want to do it.


Hardesty: I have a love hate relationship with the gym. Mine’s in my garage. But you know when you’ve tried everything and nothing works you feel defeated. Once I realized I could eat real whole foods that I enjoyed and move with purpose my body rewarded me with weight loss. And I sought out to really help other people see you can do this without having to buy prepacked food for the rest of their lives.

Leahy: Yeah and there’s all sorts of ways you can buy stuff. And what I’ve found is. Maybe people in our listening audience don’t have this problem. Every year it seems to be harder to get the weight off. But maybe they know. But if they do they’ve probably tried these various things. You try it for a while and you lose weight and then you gain it back.

Of course my situation is a little different changing the time I get up from six am to four am. That’s been quite a challenge. You were talking a little bit Amy about, so you’re thinking about this to lose some weight. “Well what do I do to lose some weight?” There are like three or four things that people think about that are kind of fears about the weight loss. What are those? We’ve talked about them a little bit. These are common sense. But what do you find?

Hardesty: Sure. Well I have my top four fears surrounding weight loss. I want to go through this with you guys.

So, number four, it’s not going to taste good.

Number three, I’ll miss out on a social life.

And number two, I don’t know how to start. That’s a big one.

Leahy: Yeah.

Hardesty: But I think the biggest one, what if I fail again?

Leahy: You know, I fit into all those categories. It won’t taste good. Ok, so here’s what you’re supposed to do. And I go to my cardiologist and he says, “Well you should be all vegetarian and just the best thing to do is eat carrots.’ And so I eat carrots. Oh my goodness. Mark you’re laughing. You know what I’m talking about. How many carrots can you eat? And by the way the first carrot tastes ok but oh man that twentieth carrot. Ahhh. I want some suuuuggggarrr. I want a hamburger.

Hardesty: When we talk about the fear of it not tasting good. I think that’s a big thing. We live in a sugar laden world.

Leahy: And what’s wrong with that. I like sugar.

Hardesty: A lot actually.

Gill: I saw a story this morning that a Cadbury egg has like a bucket of sugar in it.

Hardesty: It’s awful.

Leahy: That’s right. Laughter. Easter’s coming up right?

And no carrots. And Steve was talking about Peeps. Peeps!

Hardesty: Oh my goodness.

Leahy: How much sugar? They’re coming up this weekend. Should I not eat Peeps I guess? And Peeps don’t really taste that good I think.

Hardesty: Not to me. (Laughs)

Gill: Peeps are kind of like the cake at Christmas that nobody eats. The fruitcake. Peeps and fruitcake are the travesty of holidays.

West: There’s one thing about our company you’ll find because none of us are perfect. We have a slogan that says, “You don’t have to be perfect to be healthy. You just have to be consistent.”

Leahy: That’s a good slogan.

West: And that’s where having a coach like Amy comes into play.

Leahy: I need a coach.

West: She can help you be consistent.

Leahy: Your company name 80/20 that means you don’t have to be one hundred percent all the time. Just like eighty percent there.

West: Exactly. That’s exactly right. The twenty percent is where, have some of that Peeps every blue moon or whatever it is. (Laughter) But you’ve got to be consistent eighty percent of the time.

Leahy: That makes a lot of sense I think.

West: It doesn’t require perfection.

Gill: So basically just bite the chocolate ears off the bunny. Don’t eat the rest of the bunny. Just eat the twenty percent. (Leahy and West laugh)

Hardesty: When you give your taste buds a chance to rest from all of that sugar a few weeks later after decreasing your sugar everything tastes so much better. And sugar will effect your system differently too.

Leahy: So can you like if I want to eat stuff that doesn’t taste like cardboard right or whatever you know.

Hardesty: Sure.

Leahy: As a coach then, you and I. I ‘m starting this thing. By the way I’ve signed up. Even before I talked in detail with Mark I said, “Well, I’ve got to try something to work here.” I’ve already signed up. I’m a paying customer for 80/20 so we’ll see. So you’re going to then help me on this diet thing so when I’m dying to get a hamburger you’ll stop it. (Laughs)

Hardesty: I’ll definitely give you guidance. I think that’s one of the fears that people face. Is that they don’t know how to start. And that’s a big one.

Leahy: Hey Amy we have about one minute left here. And I think there’s a link that our listeners can go to. What’s that link.

Hardesty: It’s And we’re offering the first twenty people that go to that a free one on one coaching session with me. And when you go to that and sign up, we’re going to talk about your struggles and your questions and these fears and misconceptions around weight loss so we can get you going with a permanent foundation.

Leahy: Just common sense but applied consistently.

Hardesty: Absolutely. And you know having someone who’s been there to walk with you…

Leahy: That’s sounds great. Amy Hardesty and Mark West from Hope 80/

Listen to the full hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Background Photo “Hope 80/20” by Hope 80/20.








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