I don’t know about you, but I was so sure I could be successful at adopting new habits. How hard could it be? If you are familiar with my story, you know I have the guts to make life-changing decisions. Some took my life down the wrong path, and some were totally beneficial to my life. However… and I don’t understand why, or maybe I do and I don’t want to admit to myself, I struggle with simple sleep, diet, and exercise, knowing they are all important.
Weight is my struggle! Starving for the first half of my life has had severe consequences. I don’t have to be stressed, I could be happy or sad, celebrating or bored… I crave, salty, crunchy and sweet! It feels good, because here and now I can have and can afford anything I want, and I don’t have to fight for it or share. Sometimes I eat my favourite treats until I feel sick. And then I feel guilty for overindulgence. I don’t like how I look. I don’t like how I feel. I don’t have a healthy relationship with food. I have avoided facing it, but I am admitting now food is my coping mechanism and default mode for every occasion.
What happened to me? I was thin and beautiful when I was younger. Even fifteen years ago I was single and working on getting my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was exercising five days a week. I was competing and earning trophies and medals. I could recover fast from injuries, had huge support from my master and my team, and there was no stopping me.
Now I don’t want pain. I have no time for it, but I also don’t have time for me. I deliberately choose not to be important. The active, assertive Lena slowly faded away into the shadows of the past. The determined, ‘I can do it all,’ Lena gets easily discouraged and defeated after a few failed attempts. It just became easier to hide than to take action. I gave up completely.
But pain, that unwanted pain, woke me up. Past injuries are emerging and demanding my attention. My food roller-coaster is back with new life after a long time being dormant. Inaction is self-destruction. Ignorance is not bliss; it’s a lie. The result now is I am sick, tired and grumpy, with low energy. I spend so much time taking care of everything and everybody convinced they can’t survive without me. The hard truth is if I fall apart everything else simply will not!
I tried phone apps, and I shamelessly cheated. I tried doctors and groups where I presented myself as a victim and convinced them to have pity on me. I argued with my husband who is absolutely convinced that calorie reduction is the answer. For me ‘calorie reduction’ means food deprivation. Food deprivation means anxiety and anxiety means eating! So, this method wasn’t a fit for me. I kept praying to God for a solution.
At my local networking group, a health coach with a focus on helping people with obesity and diabetes introduced himself to me. I felt God clearly saying, “It’s you.” My fear of failing responded first. I avoided him for several meetings, observing his behavior and listening to his expertise from afar. Finally, I admitted to myself that I just can’t do it alone and, more important, that it’s okay to need help. I’m investing time and money in myself. I want to be the best self that God created me to be. And I am working in community. Also the way God desires that we live. I hired a health coach.