“You are what you eat.”- Anonymous
I recently hosted a friend who was visiting from out of town with her husband and kids. She opened up to me about her weight, because it was on her mind and she knew that I had lost a lot of it– 130 pounds, actually! She told me that she suspects she might have a gluten intolerance, and I shared with her that I don’t eat bread, rice or pasta. When you think certain foods make you feel bad, I told her, then by all means avoid them!
Earlier that morning, I had gone for my morning run; even though it was Sunday (my day off) I didn’t want to break my workout promise for the week. On my way back, I stopped for a coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts and bought some fruit at the grocery store. Back at my apartment, my guests were hungry for breakfast and told them where to find coffee and groceries. I was not a little surprised when they returned with big creamy lattes and a bag of donuts! My kitchen hasn’t seen that kind of food in a long time, and it brought me back to just how far I’d really come in my journey with my body. Let me explain:
I am no longer a 265 pound woman hiding from life. Seven years ago, I decided I was done being overweight and started working with a life coach. I turned my whole life around, and now I’m a size four, happy and enjoying my vibrant health! But before I lost the weight and took responsibility in my life, I spent many years tuned out to the personal choices I was making on a daily basis. I had instead accrued a long list of excuses for why I was overweight, and none of them included me. Some of them were:
- I was overweight because I had a hormone imbalance.
- I was overweight because I had a bad metabolism.
- I was overweight because it was hereditary.
- I was overweight because I had PCOS (I heard about it on 20/20).
On my first phone call with my coach, Lauren Zander, I learned that it wasn’t any of those things. She assessed my diet and attitude and found a new explanation: there was nothing wrong with me, except I was eating too much of the wrong foods, and I wasn’t exercising. I was using food as an escape, because I was unhappy in my marriage. I was running away from my past and using food to comfort me and make me happy, but really it was having the opposite effect, making me feel sad and guilty and lonely! As soon as I could control my food choices, Lauren predicted, I would find it much easier to deal with the deeper issues that were causing the problem.
So I made the choice to change my attitude about food. My dream was to be healthy, happy, fit and trim— and I aligned my food choices with that dream. It took a lot of faith and hard work, but I lost the weight and gained the life I have now. Am I on a strict diet I follow 100% of the time? Nooooo. I’m not on a diet, and I’m not starving myself. I’m NOT a freak about food. I just eat healthy: protein, fruits, veggies. And a few times a month, I have a “cheat day” where I splurge on something I might enjoy that’s not necessarily healthy (like pizza or cake or even a doughnut, if I please). It’s fun. I look forward to it, but I have to be at my goal weight in order to have my cheat day.
Most importantly, my food intake is chosen by me and planned for my life. I know what I’m going to eat, and what I’m not going to eat. It’s not a reaction to the things happening in my life. It’s not a voice talking to me in my head telling me that I NEED the cake and I’m deprived without it. It’s just me enjoying my life!
Now, when I saw those creme-filled donuts that my friends had brought to my apartment for breakfast…did I think about eating one? Sure, maybe for half of a second, but I immediately told my mind to shut up. Why? Because I changed my mind about which foods are meant for me, and donuts just don’t make the cut. For years I had heard experts and nutritionists warn about sugary, processed foods, and I finally listened when my life coach put the choice in my hands. Nowadays, I am in charge of what I put in my mouth. I don’t listen to the idiot voice in my head that tried to explain to me I had hereditary obesity and that’s why it would be ok to eat donuts every day for breakfast.
I’ve learned a lot on my journey and I’m still learning, but the most important lesson has been about the power my choices have on my life. Being healthy and thin is all about choices. Life is about choices. I know from personal experience that the day to day impact you can have on your own life is incredible. When I was obese, I chose the donut. Now I choose me.
May you also have the courage and clarity you need, to make the choices you know you want to make.
P.S.- Dream Body Telecourse will introduce you to the Handel Method and how to use it to achieve the body of your dreams.