My entire life I have struggled with extreme dieting, restrictive eating, and exercise as punishment. I wanted my life to be different this year. I had struggled to lose the baby weight after my second child despite the fact that I was eating “all the right things,” and working out religiously. I had attempted to talk to other professionals about it, but time after time I was told “You’re overweight because you eat bad.” I knew that maybe this was a small part of it, but something was off. I needed help outside of myself because no matter how good I ate or how hard I worked out, nothing helped. So, on I pressed to get to the answers…
After a good amount of research, the program I decided to go with was called Reform Wellness. I started with a free 15 minute consultation, and decided to move forward with a package that was recommended to me.
This program has been a crash course on nutrition, a therapy session (they aren't actually therapists), a breath of fresh air, a road to healing, and as a byproduct, a journey to weight loss as well.
Notice, I put the weight loss last because although it's happening (finally), this is the first time I haven't even had to think about it...yet the pounds are coming off. For once I am focused on improving the right things.
You see, when I started this program, we didn't start on the weight loss...we really haven't even focused on it at all. But we started on the areas that were keeping me from healing, and that healing allowed me to make necessary changes in many areas of my life, and let go of a lot of emotional weight I was carrying.
What I think the most extraordinary thing that I've realized on this journey is that sometimes, you can do all the right things...
You can work out multiple times a day, you can eat right, you can go to bed hungry and drink all of the water, you can fast, exercise some more, and none of it...none of it will work because you've started in the wrong place.
You see I spent all of this time focusing on my physical self, and by obsessing and stressing, and self-hating, and restricting, I was taking steps backwards and destroying myself and as a result, destroying any chance of losing weight or more importantly, healing.
I'm so happy to say that I have had so much success on this journey to holistic healing, and its changed me both mentally and physically.
The process has been long and it's been painful, but as a result, I am better.
What did that process look like? Nothing I'd have ever expected to encounter on a normal "Journey to health and fitness." But here's a little glimpse.
When I began the program I met with an absolutely amazing nutritionist. After our first hour meeting, I finally felt heard. I told her I was doing all the right things and not getting the results, and she believed me. She didn't stop there, but continued to help me dig deeper. Each week we worked through different things, and I was sent off with homework to work on for the next couple weeks. Through this journey I realized that I had it all wrong.
My body was damaged.
It was holding onto weight.
I was gaining weight at even the slightest taste of something "unhealthy."
And it wasn't because I had no self-control, it was because my body was broken.
The following weeks were a lot of work, and I'm still on the journey, but the things I worked on were the exact opposite of what I had been doing.
I was told to rest and not work out.
I was told to avoid foods that some would consider "healthy."
I had some tough conversations to have.
I realized I needed to allow myself to grieve rather than acting like I was okay.
I had to put my phone down, and pick up my bible.
Not your typical weight loss regimen, right?!
And none of the things that were working for me fit into the box of, "Work harder, sleep less, eat cleaner."
But guess what?
I started to feel better and the better I felt, the more I wanted to do. The more relationships I wanted to heal.
As a result, I am better, and not just physically.
My marriage is better.
My relationships are better.
My outlook is better.
My energy is better.
But also, I am physically better too.
Life is messy, but it doesn't have to be heavy.
What are you holding onto? What's stopping you from healing? Are there apologies that need made, or hard conversations that need had? Don't ignore what’s quietly eating away at you, because I promise it's not just eating away at your emotional well-being. It's eating away at your physical well-being too.
Diet and exercise only go so far.
This journey is hard and it's uncomfortable, but I promise you it's so worth it.
Sometimes you have to heal your emotional self before anything else physically will improve.
Don't wait another day.
And don't give up on yourself. Don't let people tell you that "You're fat because you eat bad." When you know dang well that's not the truth. Be your own advocate until you cross paths with someone who is willing to advocate with you.
If you want to have the life you dream of, you have to do the hard things that you might have never even had on your radar.
Like talking about the frustration instead of burying it.
Or listening to the song that's too painful to hear so that you can let your emotions process and heal the wounds.
Maybe it's visiting the grave site and pouring your heart out until you're completely exhausted but walking away with a little more clarity.
Setting the boundaries.
Drinking the water.
Swallowing your pride and accepting that you cannot possibly hold it together for even a second longer without recruiting help.
It might be wiping the fake smile off of your face and confessing you are far from ok.
Or asking someone to be brutally honest with you so that your blind spots become more visible.
It could be seeking forgiveness from God or a person or both.
Or letting go of a door that slammed in your face long before you were ready.
It might be grabbing someone’s hand and walking through a new and very scary door.
I feel like I'm now understanding why they call it "holistic health."
Because it will take you places doctors never will, and get you places medicine never can.
Peace is on the other side of discomfort. And much to my surprise, my peace had nothing to do with weight loss, however, it's been a wonderful byproduct.
What's holing you back from truly healing? What’s chaining you down from truly living?
Be your own advocate, and take the next steps.