If you want to know how to lose weight, sure, I can tell you. However, I do not consider myself a weight loss coach. “Weight loss” has gotten to be such an ugly phrase; one that we use to punish ourselves, pump ourselves up, degrade others, separate ourselves and, in my case, end up in the ER, battle eating disorders and cringe every time I am asked, “But do I HAVE to exercise?”
The answer is no. No, you don’t. And when you ask me do I work with people on weight loss, my answer is no. No, I don’t. I work with people on WELLNESS. Because focusing solely on weight loss isn’t going to get you where you want to go.
It seems like the answer to MOST of your problems, doesn’t it? If I lose weight, I won’t be depressed. I’ll start getting dates. I won’t be lonely. I’ll have more friends. I’ll be happier. At least that’s what I thought, initially. I was fresh out of a divorce, in the prime of my life (mid 20’s), a single parent and working a job I hated. The only thing I had was the dance classes I sacrificed to pay for in which I was one of three adults and the only one who was 200 pounds. I still had the emotion, I still had some of the flexibility and I had all of the heart but I felt like the ugly duckling in a room full of beautiful swans. I had to lose weight. Quick. I joined a gym. Dancing on the weekends wasn’t enough. And then it occurred to me. I could just not eat. It was cheaper and a quicker solution.
Now, many people don’t look at me and see anorexia. Society believes that anorexia is a white teenage girl issue. You’re wrong.
That wasn’t the only time I battled anorexia. My second episode (late 20s) landed me in an emergency room. I was losing weight, exercising and doing well and then a series of unfortunate events happened in my life and everything around me came crashing down. I have been told that I should have just felt “blessed” because I had a husband, a house and two healthy kids. Well, I didn’t. I wanted to lose weight and be smaller again and, just like now, when I commit to something, I COMMIT. I still vividly remember my little summer peach colored summer dress lying on the chair in the hospital room. I had to drive myself to the hospital because I was an hour away from home and my husband was at home with my children. I remember almost passing out before I got there. I never told them I was anorexic. I just said I didn’t feel well. I had some vitamin deficiencies and was dehydrated. They hooked me up and sent me home. I went to counseling shortly after, only to come to Huntsville, get in the fitness industry, go through the “ugly duckling” feeling again and start binge eating.
Yeah. I don’t coach people on weight loss. It damn near cost me my life.
I believe in wellness. Overall wellness. Holistic health. I believe that when I balance what I eat (and I don’t eat a big bag of Ruffles and call it “balance.” I mean knowing the cost of eating whatever and deciding if I want to pay the consequences, whatever those may be for me) and exercise because it’s good for my HEART and my EMOTIONAL HEALTH, regardless of what it does to my hair (so, no you don’t have to do it but feeling good is ALWAYS a plus in my book. And, did you know heart disease is the number one killer of women?) then my body finds its natural weight and I don’t have to do anything extreme to make it “behave.”
People think I work out all of the time and do extreme things and the truth is I don’t. I’m not as young (or as crazy) as I used to be and I know what works for my body. I actually get more compliments now about how it looks like I am LOSING weight and the shape of my body than I did when I was teaching 18 classes a week and killing myself with workouts in between. I don’t take diet pills (never have), don’t take supplements (except for something for inflammation, a multi-vitamin and something to keep my mood in check in the mornings), never had any type of surgery, don’t count calories, don’t log in my exercise and I don’t run after every new thing someone publishes about weight loss. But I used to to count calories, do Slim-Fast and all of that kind of stuff. Know what changed?
My commitment to myself. When I became committed to myself, it became about wanting to live longer and to have that life be as fulfilling and healthy as possible. I want to be around my grandchildren. I want to dance until the day I die. I want to be active with my children and be able to do for myself.
My family couldn’t enjoy me, no matter how small I had gotten, if anorexia had killed me. I had to want to live differently.
And that’s what I do. I coach people to live differently.