I cross my legs at my desk. I shop in any store and pull a pair of jeans or shirt of the shelf and it’s an easy fit. I walk with confidence as I enter an unfamiliar room. It wasn’t always this way.
I used to hide behind big sweaters and leggings trying to convince myself I looked ‘cute’. I would put my feet on the floor first thing in the morning wincing as the ache from the swelling traveled through my ankles. I was the one with the pretty face who would be beautiful if she only lost the weight. I would make excuses as to why I couldn’t go out with friends or family because I was obese, 100 lbs. overweight and uncomfortable from the inside out.
Today, I have lost 107 lbs. And I am keeping it off. But the raw truth is that I have lost 100+ lbs., three different times in my adult life. And I have lost 20-30 lbs. countless times over the years. But this is me today. 107 lbs. lighter and very healthy. I feel comfortable in my own skin and I want to share.
The first time I lost the weight was after a cross-country move with my husband and two kids (1 and 3 years old at the time). I was a relatively new mom, stressed about relocation without any family or friends in a new area and managing the best I could. I joined a weight loss program and I had quick success. The program was simple if I stuck to the plan. The weight came off quickly, even without formal exercise beyond chasing toddlers and I hit my goal within 8 months. I had weekly weigh-ins but no real support beyond that. It was my ‘willpower’ and determination to lose the weight that brought me quick success. After reaching my goal, I was congratulated and sent out into the world. The only problem, I was ill-equipped to maintain my new weight. Slowly but surely, as I hadn’t consciously made any real changes in my habits nor my mindset for my individual body’s needs, I put back all the weight!
Round two happened about 4 years later, when we moved back cross country. New location, new schools for the kids, a fresh start. Looking for a different type of weight loss program, I drove 40 minutes weekly to a meeting with other folks who needed to lose a significate amount of weight and began a program which provided meals. We discussed strategies for weight loss, exercising, balancing “good” and “bad” foods. Again, I followed the program precisely and the weight seemed to melt off quickly. Again – 100 lbs., gone.
Friends and family remarked at how great I looked and what a terrific accomplishment. But there was still something that I was missing. I didn’t know what it was. I am not sure I was even aware I was missing the most important piece to my lifelong weight struggle. What happened? The weight started to creep back on until I was again up 100 lbs.
Those who do not struggle with weight, may think, how on earth could you not see that you were putting the weight back on, why didn’t you just stop eating “bad” foods or eat smaller quantities? You see, it was never about the food. It was about what was going on inside of me that compelled me to mindless eating, binging and then abstaining, grazing all day without noticing or having awareness as to what I was consuming.
It was not until I looked deep within myself to figure out what was driving my need for comfort and selfsoothing that I began to understand why I overate and why I kept going up and down.
Losing weight can be simple, follow the program, listen to the experts. But it’s the inner work that is hard. Reaching back to your childhood memories to uncover trauma and hurt is hard. Taking a good look at your patterns and teasing out why you repeat them is painful. But making those connections, forgiving yourself and others for past wounds is what has healed my addiction to food and the jumbo cycles of weight loss and weight gain.
I would never have been successful at maintaining a weight loss by treating the symptoms, I had to get down to the root causes and deal with them.
As I continued this internal healing work, I also began my journey to understand nutrition. January 24, 2020, I opened an app on my cellphone and started tracking everything I ate. I learned about macros and started playing with the percentages until I found the blend that not only worked for my weight loss, but for the kinds of foods that I truly enjoyed. The weight started to come off. I thought, this is cool, but I had been here before. What was going to make this time different?
I started making small changes to my daily routine. First week, no more hitting the snooze button multiple times. Just get out of bed. Second week, up my H2O intake to a gallon of water a day. Third week, sit still first thing in the morning and take deep breaths and then write in a journal, for just 5 minutes, about how I am feeling and 1 simple goal for the day. Fourth week, add some outdoor time – walk in the field for 20 minutes or sit in a chair and listen to the birds and watch the clouds. You get the idea – I developed a morning practice that is sustainable and that gave me time to look inward and check in with myself. I continued to track my macros and calories and my weight continued to drop. By April I had lost 40 lbs.
But in early April, I had a real health scare. I was awakened in the middle of the night with severe abdominal pain. It was appendicitis, leading to an emergency appendectomy, complete with post-surgical complications. This led to an additional surgery to remove a blood clot and the need for an arterial stent. Recovery included rebuilding my gut biome that had been damaged by a prescribed overdose of antibiotics. I was exhausted, miserable, off my routine, and trying to recuperate. While researching how to heal my gut, I discovered the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Tons of amazing information and experts to tap into. I explored 100’s of nutritional theories, examined health practices of massage, Reiki, mindfulness, sleep, Ayurveda, play and hypnosis. I dove into their Holistic Health Coaching Certification program as a vehicle to heal myself.
The IIN community became my collective personal Health Coach. It got me back on track, not only with continuing to dig deeper into my self-awareness, eating patterns and a path to health, but with my career. I solidified what I had discovered; it’s not about what you eat, it is about all the pieces of your life, how they are intertwined and how that feeds your soul and then in turn, what you eat.
Losing weight can be simple, and hitting your goal is awesome, but that is where the journey of living begins and sustaining a healthy weight over time becomes the goal. Surrounding yourself with the tools and the Coaches to support your path is key.
Being a Certified Holistic Health Coach is my life’s calling – I just didn’t know it.
I love that I can share my story and experiences with others. Through my career experiences as a Human Resources Director and a Teacher, I have always focused on supporting others. It is humbling to have the opportunity to blend my expertise with my passion for coaching to authentically serve others in their quest for weight management and healthy life balance.
Begin. Begin for you. And if you must, begin again. Do the work to get through the weeds to the root of your why and gain the inner knowing. Develop the tools and get the coaching support. That is when the weight becomes manageable, and you can live your healthiest. Healthy from the inside out.
Not sure where to start?
Come into EMP180 to begin your weight loss journey. In addition to planning meals and snacks, we can help you explore the reasons behind over-eating and teach you how to manage difficult social occasions. Let’s work on establishing healthy habits that work for you and your lifestyle!
At EMP 180° we offer a personalized approach to nutrition and weight loss. We support you throughout your weight loss journey, giving you the tools to lose the weight and EMPowering you to keep it off—forever.