The Reason I Found Life Coaching
I wanted desperately to be DONE with dieting, weight loss and hating my body. After 30 years, I was sick and tired of the scale going up and down, having clothing tantrums like a two year old if anything made me “look fat” and searching for a magic pill to make it all go away.
My kids were around 8 and 10. This was no longer baby weight, it was pounds of shame brought on by emotional eating.
It had become my coping skill of choice when I felt anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, lonely, bored, frustrated, or exhausted.
I had been practicing it for years, but when I had kids, I turned up the dial.
When I was mentally and physically exhausted from wanting to be a “good mom”, I would eat junk food for a boost - for energy to keep going and for the immediate gratification of “feel good” food.
Then the shame storm would come.
Why did I eat that? Why do my kids stress me out so much? Why can’t I control myself? What’s wrong with me that I can’t figure this out? Why am I still dealing with this?
These questions did not have productive answers.
They gave me the evidence I needed to beat myself up.
Add societal pressure to “lose the baby weight in 4 weeks”, “look effortless”, “be in shape”, and you can bet I was in a tailspin headed for a crash landing every time.
Only to use food as a crutch and start the cycle all over again.
Dismantling this behavior was where I started my coaching journey with The Life Coach School.
But it had NOTHING to do with weight loss and EVERYTHING to do with learning how to manage my emotional life light years better than I was.
I had to learn what my thinking was creating for me.
I had to learn to feel my feelings and not eat them to avoid them.
I had to learn that the human brain likes comfort and familiarity (even when it’s not helpful.)
I had to learn not to be so mean to myself for not having the tools to cope.
There is no magic pill in place of this work.
There is you, your thoughts and feelings, and coaching to help you through it.
It is an unlearning of habits with kindness and compassion. It is allowing yourself to be more curious, than critical.
It is improving your habits one step at a time, so you gain an understanding of how your mind and body work together when it comes to food.
I have this picture in my mind where I am carrying around a huge backpack full of expectations, judgement, criticism and shame.
With each negative thought I addressed, my backpack got lighter. Some days I don’t even notice it’s there. Some days the thoughts creep back in and that’s ok. They are along for the ride, but I know I don’t have to listen to them.
And that’s good enough for me.
I do my best to take care of my body by eating foods that fuel me and I enjoy.
I exercise because I like being active for the sake of moving my body and feeling strong.
I allow myself to rest when my energy gets low.
I remind myself I’m human and humans like easy and comfortable and that’s ok.
It’s been almost a year since I wrote this down.
“What would happen if I decided to like my body?”
The idea percolated, but a month later I was still looking to drop weight. I hadn’t embraced liking my body, YET.
But after one last attempt to drop weight, I decided I didn’t need to and let that go.
I could just like my body. Accept it. Maybe even learn to love it.
So that’s what I’ve been practicing.
Being someone who likes their body exactly as it is.
My weight hasn’t moved since last fall.
It appears I’ve learned how to “maintain” which, for me, means my weight hasn't gone up and down depending on my emotions.
The only thing maintenance asks is that I practice awareness and kindness.
Awareness of my choices and what they do for me.
Kindness is so I treat myself the way I would treat someone I care about.
And if I ever decide I want to change my body, I will change it from a place of love.
Because you can’t hate your way to a body you love.
This is the first installment of “Around the Wheel” (aka The Wheel of Life) where I share how my life has changed through coaching and thought work.
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