Today I just got really motivated to share my story with you. I want you to know that I’m not perfect, I don’t have everything figured out, and I take things one step and one day at a time, just like you probably do. Warning: this is a long and somewhat rambly post, but if you really want to hear my fully story, read on! (I think it’s a good story.) 😉
Where I’ve Been: How I’ve Almost Always Functioned When It Comes To Food and Exercise
The first thing you need to know about me is that I love food. Always have, and I’ve always loved junk food and eaten copious amounts of it. I just, for some reason, have been blessed by the DNA gods to not really have it affect my weight all that much.
And I NEVER exercised. Well, I shouldn’t say never. I was on the volleyball team (for one month), the golf team (for one year), the cheerleading squad (for a whopping two weeks), the swim team (for one summer), and I took a modern dance class when I was 10. Other than that, nothing. I wasn’t a sporty or athletic person.
In college I lived off of the food out of the vending machines (there was even an ice cream one that I visited on the daily, if not multiple times daily) and the Subway that was near my dorms and the Taco Bell on campus.
I took a buttload of dance classes in college but that was because I was trying to get into the Music Dance Theatre major, I sucked at dancing, and I was trying to make up for lost time.
As I said before, I’ve never been athletic or had any desire to be until recently. I never had any “reason” to eat healthy or exercise, because I never worried about my weight.
I want to pause here and say that I think our culture’s obsession with looking a certain way is a poison that infects WAY too many people. I was insanely lucky (and still am) that I never grew up stressed about my body or about what food I put into it, and I fully recognize the pain that skewed body image brings to many (if not most) women. (I did struggle with body image in a way, though: I never thought my face or my hair were pretty enough.)
The Part Where I Get Married and Have Babies
After getting married at (gasp!) 20, and then getting pregnant (gasp!) at 21, I definitely started to see changes in my body, but I didn’t really stress over it.
After my pregnancies, I would bounce back fairly well. Never to where I had been originally, but it was acceptable and fine to me. I felt the difference, don’t get me wrong. My hips and stomach got bigger, and many times I struggled in my sex life with my husband because I felt gross, but most of that was due to having two young kids hanging off and touching me all day.
At this point in my life, my people pleasing hit an all time high. My husband is a big dreamer, and I would just kind of go along with whatever his ideas were, even if I didn’t really agree with them (I’ve learned a lot from him over the years, but it took awhile for me to see the value of dreaming. I do now.)
Anyway, I didn’t want to rock the boat–EVER. So I just settled into a pattern of doing whatever the person with the strongest personality in the room was doing and threw myself into raising my kids, browsing social media, and eating.
The Part Where I Got Interested In Getting Healthy (Physically and Mentally)
Right before I got pregnant with my third child, I started going to a Zumba class and got really interested in health and fitness.
Around this same time, my husband and I went through marriage counseling after I FINALLY flipped out about feeling subjugated for a long time by him. It was the best thing we ever did, and that’s also what started my interest in mental health and psychology.
Then a friend of mine invited me to a couple of Beachbody challenge groups, and I gravitated towards the positivity and accountability those groups provided. So, after having my third child, I became a Beachbody coach. (Read: I am no longer a coach for various reasons, but I have no hard feelings against the company and it’s an integral part of my journey, so that’s why I’m sharing about it here.)
I went through one of their most popular programs, 21 Day Fix, and I felt freaking unstoppable. I was exercising, eating right, and consuming a lot of content from personal development books and podcasts. I had never FELT so good in my whole life, and I was addicted to that feeling. I felt a HUGE desire to share this feeling with anyone who would listen, but I still struggled with people pleasing, and in a business where you get turned down and looked down upon constantly (because it’s an MLM) by potential customers, I started flailing emotionally.
The Part Where I Broke Down
Then I got pregnant with our fourth child, and everything just kind of imploded. I stopped eating healthy and exercising about half way through the pregnancy, and all the words of naysayers I had come into contact with started to sink in.
I began to feel extremely self conscious about what I was doing, and basically stopped believing in myself at all. I quit coaching about 6 months after my baby was born, because I couldn’t take the failure anymore.
I felt there was something wrong with me; I had collected so much “evidence” that I was incapable of sticking with things and being consistent (and had people tell me the same thing) that I started to believe it.
I was getting much better at expressing myself and stating my opinion in my marriage, but I was still desperately trying to please everyone else in my life. My weight got to my highest point in my life, and I’ve hovered around there for the past 6 months or so.
Then Came the Life Coaches
But about a year ago, I came across a podcast that completely changed my life. It’s called Bold New Mom by Jody Moore. I also started listening to her coach’s podcast, The Life Coach School Podcast by Brooke Castillo.
Jody and Brooke have taught me everything that I share here on the blog, and more. The truth about how all our feelings are caused by our thoughts. That we have control over those thoughts. That people don’t have the power to hurt our feelings, we hurt our OWN feelings by the thoughts we think about what they say or do to us. That negative emotions are totally okay and resisting them is what’s been causing me so much pain in my life. That if I want a certain result in my life, I just have to clean up my thinking around it.
It’s been a year of ups and downs, but it’s like this knowledge caused something to click in my brain. Years of consuming personal development books and podcasts that teach pretty much the same things, finally all came to light in one moment and I knew it was all true (because of the way that Jody explains it).
I’ve heard before that when you learn a new language, it takes a certain amount of hours of exposure to/practice in the language and then all of a sudden it just clicks in your brain and you can speak it and understand it. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s how this felt to me.
The Part Where I Decided To Start My Own Business As A Personal Trainer/Weight Coach
I started looking at health and weight loss and the whole thing in a completely different light. I started to see that all my past attempts at getting healthy were like practice runs. Just like a baby when she’s learning to walk, I had to fall down several times (and take time to focus on having my babies) before things clicked.
I also knew that I had NEVER examined my thoughts and emotions surrounding food and healthy living (not deeply, anyway). I knew that that was the missing piece, and I wanted to share that missing piece with others like me who struggled to stay consistent.
And so I got my personal training certification and started this blog. Eventually I’ll train with Brooke and get certified at her Life Coach School, too.
Where I’m At Now
This is a journey. People who are successful at adopting healthy lifestyles still struggle. It’s not like you finally reach this point where everything is easy, but when you really focus on keeping your mind clean, things get much easiER. There’s not so much drama in your mind about things. You understand that the individual facets of eating healthy foods and exercising and taking time for self care are all just math. You can just plug in the different elements easily. What’s hard is the EMOTIONS that you go through while you’re doing it. But when you get training on how to work through, process, and change your emotions, you know that feeling an emotion is totally doable. You’re not so afraid anymore. This paragraph perfectly explains where I’m at right now.
I know that people are insanely busy, so the fact that you have gotten this far is incredible. I’ve told a really long story about myself already, and I’ve left out a lot of things, but what you need to know is this: I believe in me now.
I don’t have any delusions of grandeur that life will be easy from here on out–I know it won’t. In fact, I’m inviting more negative emotion into my life by the day, but it’s negative emotion that I’m choosing, so I’m okay with that.
I’d rather experience the negative emotions of stress and overwhelm from trying to eat healthy, than experience the negative emotions of stress and overwhelm from looking at my life and seeing inaction, buffering, and a lack of energy.
Heart disease runs in my family on both sides, even though we don’t struggle with obesity. So I’d much rather feel my emotions now than try to cover them up with food in the moment and then suffer from lack of energy and heart disease later.
Even then, I might still have health issues. Some of that is out of my control, but what is in my control I’m going to KEEP control of, dammit (sorry for the swear, Mom).
The point is, my desire to change and my awareness of my ability to change my thought loops has become stronger than my desire to stay the same and hold on to ways of thinking that no longer serve me.
And I’m stoked about it, I feel like it’s the best thing ever, and I’m going to share it with as many other people as humanly possible.
The Part Where I Make You An Offer
If you want to work with me, I CAN HELP YOU. Well, really, I help you help yourself. Once you take back the responsibility for your emotions and thoughts, you will finally be able to reach your health goals (and any other goals, for that matter). I promise.
When I coach you one on one, you can bring your specific hang-ups and struggles and we work through them. I offer you ideas of new thoughts, and also help you plan your path to a healthy lifestyle (especially if you have no idea where to start or have bounced from program to program in the past).
So sign up for a free mini session here. Or just get really ballsy and go for my full package (customized eating plan, workout schedule, and one on one coaching with me–just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Or just keep reading (because I’m totally going to keep writing).
Totally up to you. 😉