For every concern we have about our weight or digestion,
someone has a solution.
Foods to avoid, supplements to take, exercises to do, behaviors to stop...
While the suggestions change constantly and often contradict one another,
many come wrapped in the same packaging, sharing one clear message.
It is a message we hear so often in our culture that we may barely notice it,
making it all the more effective, and potentially destructive.
When it comes to losing weight and improving our health, we are told:
"The solution is out there, and you can find it!
(as long as you keep trying, as hard as possible, and never give up.)"
For much of my life, that messaging drove my attempts to get rid of
chronic digestive problems, frequent headaches, and unwanted weight.
As an adolescent, doctors said my digestive problems were caused by
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but could offer little help.
So I tried everything I could, desperate to feel better and lose weight.
But nothing worked.
Over the years, a growing sense of powerlessness, frustration and overwhelm
began to accompany my physical symptoms.
I came to learn that the other side of this messaging can be dark and dangerous.
For if I had tried everything, as hard as possible, and never gave up -
yet I still couldn't lose weight or feel better - there was only one explanation.
There was something wrong with me.
I lacked willpower, inner strength, or worse - something I couldn't even name.
Such negative thinking led me down a spiral of emotional eating and shame -
only making my physical symptoms worse.
Thankfully, my health did turn around dramatically.
But it wasn’t hard work or perseverance that did it.
It was an unintended side effect of leaving my home in the U.S.
After college, I left for Mexico, then lived in Spain, and five years later, ended up in Argentina.
While away, I started to watch my health problems disappear, one by one.
In Mexico, my digestion improved. In Spain, I began to lose weight,
though I had stopped exercising.
The changes began without willpower or struggle.
I simply started eating and living more like my Mexican and Spanish roommates.
Over the next eight years, through dietary and lifestyle changes,
my digestion became completely normal. I lost fifteen percent of my body weight.
Gone, too, were my headaches, anemia, sweet cravings, fatigue, and anxiety.
My ideas about sacrifice, pleasure and dieting were turned upside-down
by the discovery that I could lose weight while enjoying delicious food.
Today, as a result of my personal experience, education, and work as a health coach,
a very different message guides my thinking.
Like on any good journey, the road to greater health and weight loss
must be made up of pleasurable and empowering experiences.
Enjoying the ride makes it more likely we will arrive,
and ensures that we have the mindset, tools and knowledge
to stay at our destination as long as we choose.
No, the journey is not simple or mindless.
But it does not require the kind of dogged perseverance
or strong work ethic that it can take to excel at work, school, or sports.
All that’s required is an attempt to be honest, open and patient;
along with the desire, willingness, and readiness to change.
If you’re there, I would love to speak with you.
Right now I am offering a FREE HEALTH COACHING SESSION.
That's the best way to get a sense of what health coaching is all about,
and to see what working with me would be like.
If have any questions, or are ready to sign up for your free session,
simply leave your name and email HERE.
Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Salud! To your health!