ONE Simple Success Secret Your Weight Management Program is Probably Missing
If you’ve been here before or look around this site, you pretty much know me as a wellness coach who has health & self-care at the top of her priorities list and a love for everything ‘family nutrition.’ But it hasn’t always been this way.
As I was unpacking more moving boxes this morning, I came across this picture of me.
When I first opened up the booklet and saw that face looking at me, I gasped. How did I EVER look like THAT!? I stared at this picture for a few minutes, trying to remember how long ago it was taken.
I realized it was right before my husband was transferred to CA in 2009. I had insisted on getting passports for me & our son, because my husband was leaving us behind in WA, and then he would be going on to Cuba for 7 months before going back to CA without us. I was determined to be able to travel out of the US with our son if the need (or opportunity) ever arose.
As I reflect on that time in my life, I am aware that my outward appearance was a direct reflection of what was going on INSIDE of me.
I was so frustrated about everything in my life at that time. I had ZERO control over what was happening. And I hadn’t had any control – over circumstances OR my reactions to them – for a long time. The separation was due to a military transfer – based on a decision that had never been agreed upon between my husband and I.
I did not want to be a single mom, living in the middle of the woods in WA state where I knew a VERY small handful of acquaintances, without my husband. I felt very strongly about this and had not held my feelings back on the matter at all. We had argued for months before the final word came back that he would, in fact, be leaving us for a total of 3 years.
During those months leading up to him leaving, I think I tried to take control in any way I could possibly find… but I was flustering aimlessly – I had no idea how. Our son was 3 years old at this point, and over the first couple of years of his life, I had been learning to eat healthier for him & for our family, cutting out junk food, trying to add in more variety of veggies, and minimizing fast food – but I was very new to it and still had a LOT to learn.
I was extremely unhappy with my body and had never lost all the weight from having my son. I was overweight when I became pregnant with him, and weighed in at 196 lbs. just before giving birth.
In the months before my husband left, I was going to the YMCA 2-3 times a week. I would walk on the treadmill for ½ hour, sometimes 45 minutes but that was a LONG workout. I remember I tried the elliptical machines once but I was so winded I had to stop after the first 5 minutes. I was too afraid and embarrassed to try any weight machines or any other equipment because I had no idea how to use them.
Honestly, I felt like I didn’t BELONG there to begin with. I signed up for the free 12-week program for people who are ‘new to fitness’ and was paired with a trainer who would teach me how to use the weight machines, take my weight & measurements, and track my exercise and progress. I was supposed to use the machines 3-4 times a week, but I wasn’t able to get to the gym that often, so they gave me exercises that I could do at home instead. I was supposed to track my exercise every day. Sometimes – ok, a LOT of times – I would skip the workouts if I did any type of yard work or activity that I felt like ‘counted’ as exercise.
I found free weight-loss diets online and followed them. I lost 10 lbs on a 30-day soup diet (my only diet success EVER in my history of fad diets, which started when I was 15 years old)… but gained it all back within weeks. (I ‘kind of’ knew what foods I should be eating, but I had no idea that I was eating too much and in the wrong combinations! I learned this later with the help of a COMPLETE nutrition plan.)
When my husband finally left for California, I hadn’t made any progress physically and I was a MESS emotionally. Not just because I was upset about him leaving, but also because I felt like such a FAILURE.
I had no control over myself or my life. I couldn’t go to the YMCA anymore because I didn’t trust leaving my boy in the daycare there, and I didn’t know anyone enough to trust them to babysit (or ask them to do it 3 times a week!).
I started to print out free workouts from the fitness websites I’d find online. I had a hard time following the pictures, because I had never seen most of the exercises done ‘in action.’ I would do the bare minimum, believing it SHOULD be working, because “it’s not like I’m just sitting on the couch watching TV all the time! I’m exercising. I’m trying!”
But I don’t think I ever even broke a sweat doing those exercises. I don’t remember ever feeling like my muscles were sore, and I put in maybe 20 minutes each time, 2-3 times a week max… but I was determined that I was DOING something.
This was the beginning of my health & fitness journey. It was a mess. It was inconsistent and half-assed. And it was SO FRUSTRATING!
As I look at this picture, I see more than just a woman with a fat face and neck. I see the woman I was then, who was so insecure and afraid of dealing with life alone. I see her lack of confidence. I see her pain. I see her hurting, even when no one else seemed to see it.
I see a woman who needed someone to reach out their hand and REALLY help her. Someone to see her as more than just a fat face (fat EVERYTHING). Someone to show her what steps to take to REALLY make a change, and show her how to stop fumbling around on her own with stuff she knew nothing about, and CARE about whether she succeeded even when she quit caring.
I cry for her, today. My tears are flowing for the fear and frustration she endured then… and PRIDE for how far she has come. I am NOT the woman in this photo anymore! That woman has grown and developed and blossomed into the person I am now – more confident, secure, content, accomplished, determined, unbreakable, strong, resilient, healthy, and empowered than ever before… and still working to IMPROVE every day, knowing I CAN and I WILL for ME and for my family.
THIS is the thing most of us do not get. Someone who can look at us and understand that pain, and CARE about more than numbers on a tracking sheet. Someone who has endured that same suffering in order to be able to HELP OTHERS move beyond it too. Someone who offers that hand to reach out and guide other women out of frustration and into their most confident & content selves.
If you have read this far, please know that I appreciate you. You are not alone. I would love to talk with you and hear your story. I would love to be that missing link of SUPPORT to help guide you to success in your unique wellness goals. Please comment below or message me privately at email@example.com .