The back story....
A few years ago I had an emotional/psychological messy moment and essentially a breakthrough. My heart and soul were in a living hell. I didn’t know how to escape it. I believed that my body was holding the real me as a tormented hostage… and that my life was being ruined by my own existence—but I didn’t know how to change it... I knew something had to give, something had to change.
I realized I'd been living half-assed and half-heartedly—unconsciously blaming everything and everyone for what was wrong in my life. Well, sure I loved my family, my friends-- and the world I had been building. On the outside I was very busy and had wonderful moments but I wasn’t living authentically from my soul.
I was itchy inside.
I wasn’t going after my heart’s desires.
I had given up on them.
Then one day during this time period of deep sadness and reflection--I allowed myself to to begin to dream again. I instantly heard a voice in my head rattle off: In order for you to do the things you want to do you have to be at least somewhat excellent at them—I mean you are in your 30’s…and… If you did those things you wanted to do everybody would laugh and criticize you because you suck. You are not worthy to even think you have any kind of talent or authority or knowledge…I mean why even try? It will be humiliating. HUMILIATING. And furthermore, have you forgotten that you are fat?
That did it. My soul shrieked back a loud and clear…”Oh, Hell no!”
The ‘aha’ moment came. I realized it was all up to me. If I’d stopped ‘living’ because I thought I wasn’t good enough based on what I saw in the mirror, how I measured up to media images, and the well-meaning advice of others— assuring me that, “If you just lost the weight… you could do whatever your heart desires.”- that was my fault. That was NOT on them. It was ON ME. I had to stop buying into it.
This time I didn't buy it. The belief was no longer acceptable. It just wasn’t fair. It was costing me too much.
Sound familiar? The unending cycle of looking at self in mirror and wanting to vomit, to ‘Ok! I’ve got this! I am going to finally do (X) to/for my body and then I will be able to do or feel (Y and Z) in my life’, to feeling like a failure because you didn’t loose the weight (or gain the weight, get the chiseled arms and abs, or… or…). Let’s just pretend that X never happens…and in fact many years later…you learn that to accomplish Y and Z, X –never really mattered that much anyway. What you found out was that you’re 10 years older, and tired of being ‘left out’ of your own life. And you are sick of it. Now what?
Maybe it’s not about X.
I’ve since come to learn that a good and healthy life is about doing what you want to do: AS IS. Right now- wherever you are at.
Please don’t misunderstand me… I am not suggesting giving up the pursuit of excellence or reaching for goals. I am not advocating a life of debauchery (well, only sometimes…and in good company). But what I am encouraging is a shift of focus and importance.
If X is going to be there or not should not be the #1 priority— but Living should be.
I realized that I had spent most of my life being bullied by my own negative thought patterns and a restrictive, isolating, belief system that prioritized self-loathing over self-love, and cruelty over compassion. It was time for a new doctrine.
So, I took a deep breath and allowed myself to step out into the world of the living. I took up dancing, worked out in public...and in time I begin to hear a different voice in my head: You know..wouldn't it be something to help others get all motivated and feeling dandy about themselves so they, too, can go out and play with the others...wouldn't it be cool to become a Health Coach?
I am reminded of the scripture that reads: "When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."- Mark 2:17
I realize people will look at me and snicker, and wonder WHY? But, I am reminded of WHY I chose this path, WHY I went down this uncommon road for someone of my size: I know what it feels like to be sick, to be unhealthy, to be shamed and shunned. It sucks. I also know what it feels like to become healthy from the inside out and still be ostracized by others, by society. I know what it feels like to feel alone in the world while your trying to fit in and no one looks like you.
I vow to represent.
As a Health Coach, as a movement artist, and as a conscious dance facilitator- I plan to help others who like me, have struggled silently for far too long. Not only do I want to help them get back on the elliptical trainer, on the dance floor, and try out different recipes...more importantly I endeavor to help them know..I MEAN REALLY KNOW...the kind of KNOWING that a snicker, a stare, a sly comment, and a rejection can not taint....that they are WORTH the GOOD DECISIONS..and that they are capable of them.
Weight stigma and body image issues are rampant and deadly today. My scope of work is lacking in the health and fitness industry. I say this with courage, as I know I am going against the grain. It all comes down to this one core idea (my new doctrine):
I believe that how we see our bodies and feel in our bodies is directly related to how healthy we choose to live our lives. Let me say that differently. If I love and accept my body—as is—I am no longer at war with it or inhibited by it. And so, I do what I want to do no matter who is looking. I make better choices for my health and life because I am not depriving or harming myself. I begin to live my life fueled by innate passion, nourished by healthy choices.
This is my formula for health. This is my mantra, my creed, my new and improved internal belief system.
Humans are diverse in appearance, shape, and size- among so many other differences. One person’s best health does not necessarily look like another person’s. Nor will it look the same each year or each day for an individual. Health is fluid and holistic in nature.
I've wrestled my own demons about weight loss issues- and I've come through on the other side knowing that the way to my best health is loving my body one day at a time, one more good choice at a time, and knowing that my health does not depend on a certain number on the scale or percentage of body fat.
I work with people to transform negative body image thoughts into loving and compassionate ones on their personal path to healthy and happy: Body+Mind+Soul.
As a culture shifter, I advocate for a broader lens to define strong and healthy, beautiful, and good enough. This is crucial work for our daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, and for our selves.
With all my glorious imperfections I represent the women of today dreaming a new life into being- while living and loving every last drop of it-regardless of what the haters spew.
Won't you join me?
Won't you join me?