Happy May! This month we celebrate Women’s Health Month.
The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority.
Out of all the months of the year, May is the most grateful month for me.
Fourteen years ago (May 2009) at age 43, I made the decision to save a life; MY LIFE!
I was pre-diabetic, at high risk of heart disease, barely surviving, emotionally broken, and according to the “holy grail” dreadful BMI chart I was considered “morbidly obese” with literally an extra 130 pounds weighing my life down.
I had no energy, no self-esteem, a withering career, and an unhealthy marriage, all of which left me with no confidence and on the verge of depression. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I hit rock bottom. I had no life.
At an all-time low point in my life, it was evident I had to get off the roller coaster ride of emotional eating and using food as my crutch to escape, feed my emotions and not actually have to feel the pain in hopes that it would all go away.
I knew at that moment, something had to change.
I had to stop the vicious circle of looking for the next best quick fix, then feeling deprived, and then bingeing. This was a cycle I had been in most of my life – a cycle of chronic disordered eating.
I was an emotional eater, a binge eater, and a food addict.
On the outside, I was getting bigger and bigger with no self-awareness because I was masking what was really happening on the inside.
In the book “The Power of Intention” Dr. Wayne Dyer quotes:
“If we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”.
I had to change the way I was looking and thinking about food and where my life was headed — on the path to chronic disease.
I had to stop thinking that this was all about the food. I realized I had to get real with myself and dig deep. I had to learn to feel my emotions and work through what was eating at me. Otherwise, food would continue to control my life.
I had to stop thinking about the HOW. I needed to understand the WHY and WHAT I truly wanted.
I had my whole life ahead of me, I had a 13-year-old son who needed me. I wanted to watch him grow into the man he is today, to see him get married, to be here for my grandchildren.
I wanted to be able to walk without my knees aching. I wanted to have energy. I wanted to feel more confident and comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to be a positive role model for my son and my future grandchildren. I wanted vibrancy and health. I wanted a REAL life.
There was one thing standing in my way – A DECISION. I knew staying on the path of disease would be hard. I knew venturing into this uncharted territory called healthy living would be hard. That day I had to pick my hard.
I knew the HARD I had to pick.
I had to take the path of health and embrace an uncharted territory called “healthy living.” No more pressing the pause button. No more wishing “if only.” No more excuses. I had to stop treating my health like a sprint trying to get to the finish line as quickly as possible.
I had to start treating my health like a marathon. Slow and steady wins the race. I had to pace myself this time and not go all out to burn out. I had to JUST START. There would never be a perfect time because life will always be there!
It would be nice to say it went smoothly, it would be nice to say it was easy, it would be nice to say every single day was perfect.
The great law of nature is that it never stops. There is no end. Just when you think you’ve conquered one obstacle, another emerges.
And let me tell you life kept throwing them at me. The loss of my job presented financial obstacles, my marriage unexpectedly ending, presented obstacles in many areas of my life, the unexpected passing of my nephews 3 months apart, and not knowing Maria.
I had many obstacles during my journey; the more I embraced the tension that this journey was creating in my life, the more growth I was experiencing mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
My biggest obstacle out of them all was learning to feel my emotions and not turn to food to hide the pain or to feel good in the moment hoping it would all go away.
We can embrace obstacles along the way or we can allow them to stop what could have been.
In his book “The Obstacle is the Way” Ryan Holiday quotes:
“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
Food was the obstacle that was holding me back from living the life that I so craved. When I began to look at food as fuel to feed my body not to mask my feelings, my life began to change in ways I never thought possible. It was pure freedom.
We can’t avoid, fast forward, or push an easy button for our pain, our past, or our struggles. It’s in our awareness, our processing, and letting ourselves feel it all now that we can then move through and forward. Even something we think is simple, like weight loss and our health, requires this kind of introspection.
Whatever is going on in your mind, in your body, and in your soul, interrupt, investigate, and challenge it before you feed it. That day that I finally challenged myself to get on the path of healthy living, led me on a journey that I would have never imagined.
I would have never imagined 14 years ago that I would be impacting thousands of women to believe THEY ARE WORTH IT, THEY CAN DO IT, IT’S NOT ABOUT SKINNY, IT’S ABOUT HEALTHY!
Today, I am grateful for my dear old friend “Maria”. She keeps me humble and she reminds me every day that health is EVERYTHING because without it we have nothing!
Today, I am so grateful that I get to hear the words “Ga Ga” and be the grandmother that I dreamed to be 14 years ago and see my son grow into the father he is today. Most importantly, today I am grateful for my Dad. Every day when I’m having an “I can’t do this moment”, I feel his presence and I hear his voice saying to me, as he always did, “If anyone can do it, my baby can.” Thank you Dad for being my rock and my biggest fan. Miss you and love you.
As someone who has experienced a major life transformation, I encourage you to believe in yourself.
It’s never too late to make the decision to TAKE CARE YOU!