Last month I celebrated the one year anniversary of signing up with my health coach, Jacynta Harb. I joined as her client in February 2019 because I was tired of how I felt about myself physically. While I’d always thought of myself as “strong,” I didn’t feel like I looked it; the image I had in my head of myself was not the one I saw reflected in the mirror. I carried a lot of body fat in my arms and legs and I just felt “soft.” I’ve worked out regularly since I was a teenager, doing aerobics classes back in the 80’s, and running since high school, but my weight had always been an issue for me, a puzzle I was constantly trying to solve. I was good at losing weight, but I was masterful at gaining it back. I felt like I was constantly negotiating with food; looked to it for comfort, as the answer to procrastination, and a method for practicing joy. But then I feelt guilty for overeating, then trying to figure out ways to make up for indulging by exercising more or restricting meals later. It felt like I constantly thought about food and I deemed myself “good” or “bad” by how well I stayed “on the wagon” of whatever plan I decided was healthy eating. It was a mentally taxing way to live.
So I took myself and my thirty years of misguided eating habits to Jacynta’s office with the simple confession that I just wanted “to feel good in my head.” I had come to see my relationship with food was not healthy and I was finally tired of the conflict I felt about the way I used food to console and comfort myself.
I’d known Jacynta from over a decade before when she worked at Weight Watchers and I’d had been a member there in 2005. I didn’t always get to go to them, but hers were the classes that were packed on busy Saturdays and even sleepy Tuesday mornings. Jacynta brought energy and encouragement and made the everyone in the crowded room believe we really could do this thing. We found her words inspiring and her dynamism contagious. I spent quite a bit of time working the WW program, but fizzled out before I finally reached my WW goal weight. On the flip side, Jacynta pursued her own venture in the health and wellness space, founding Sparkle Wellness a number of years ago. Through it, she’s crafted her own curriculum to educate her clients about nutrition, habits, and mindset while creating a community of encouragement and positivity among her patrons. There is no set diet plan to follow, no supplements to buy, no boxes to purchase. Instead, it’s basic food principles and good ol’ self accountability. Best news? When you commit to it, it works.
Since joining Sparkle, I’ve lost nearly thirty pounds, five inches around my hips, and three pant sizes. More important than the physical changes, however, is how I’ve changed mentally and emotionally in these twelve plus months. Looking back, there are a few things I wish I’d done differently. Mostly, I wish I’d been better at keeping a journal to document my thoughts along with my weight loss so I could retrospectively see the mental changes occur. But as I reflect upon the past year, I realize now there were some important lessons I had to learn to get where I am today. My plan is to share what I learned here, but in an effort to keep this post brief, I plan to review five (maybe more if others occur to me!) of these lessons in my next month or so of blog posts. (See how I’m making a commitment here?)
I hope you’ll return to read as I delve a little deeper into each of these in the very near future; but in case you’d like a preview of what I feel like I’ve discovered, here you go. These are my Top 5 Lessons learned in 2019:
- If you already had the answers to this problem, you wouldn’t be looking for a change. Get over yourself. Go Head First.
- Sometimes you have to ask “Is this serving you?” Take an inventory of your behaviors and activities.
- Honesty, Acceptance, and Grace are the 3 Ingredients to Peace on the Journey
- Get uncomfortable. You won’t die.
- You can do this by yourself, but why? It’s so much better with a group. Find Friends.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back shortly to explain what I mean.