Updated: Mar 4, 2021
I want to take you on the wellness journey of a beloved client of mine. It's a heartwarming success story about how she found her new self, and how incorporating wellness into her life became her second nature. She graciously shared a journal entry she wrote about the coaching process and her experience (and gave me permission to share it with others), which gave me the opportunity to reflect and weave my thoughts in as the story progresses. So, without further ado... please meet Rebecca.
Full-of-life, generous, devoted wife and mother, event-planner extraordinaire, Rebecca.
This picture was taken toward the end of her journey, which is also where her journal entry began. I'll let her start the story, as she wrote it:
"We just got back from a fabulous trip to Clearwater Beach, Florida! As of today, I have lost 32 pounds! I am so excited! I have worked very hard and my eating habits have completely changed. I ate raspberries for breakfast and I’m going to have vegetables with taco meat for lunch. So, let’s go to the beginning.
I first met with Heather Jordan in late July of 2019. I purchased wellness sessions with her at our school auction in April, and it took me that long to reach out to her. I had been wanting to get healthy for a while, but I had not done anything. I researched gyms but never went. I even bought workout leggings but that didn’t motivate me."
Ummmmm... can anyone else relate?
"I started at 193.5 pounds back in early August. Heather and I started then. She realized that I was ready to do the work, so I really changed my eating habits then."
You were SO ready, Rebecca. I vividly remember seeing the determination for change in your eyes the second you walked through my door.
"When Heather and I first met, we set a 6 month goal. Mine was to lose enough weight where all of my size 12’s fit and some size 10’s fit and feel good about myself at the school auction in February. I thought about 30 pounds would do it."
I loved that you set a goal about how you wanted to feel. 30lbs is just a number, and numbers don't motivate like feelings do. I believe you knew deep down that how you felt was much more important than what the scale said.
"I gave up drinking Diet Cokes and began drinking a lot of water. I also started eating more non-processed food. In late August, I started keeping a food journal, and Heather and I went over it weekly. I cut out potatoes and most of the refined carbs (pasta, rice, bread, etc.)"
Potatoes were such a trigger for you! Southern girl!
"It really helped (and it still does) for me to cut up my vegetables as soon as I get home from the store. Then I am ready to cook them and I can prepare an easy meal. Also, the precooked chicken skewers from Costco have been a life saver! I mostly eat peppers, onions, okra, zucchini, and squash. I sauté all but the okra, and I like to oven roast the okra. I like ready made salad mixes that I add vegetables to (like cucumbers). I will sometimes make a “smoothie” with frozen strawberries, honey, and milk. It feels like a treat but it’s healthy."
You make it sound easy, because it's second nature to you now, but do you remember the process of discovering what foods worked for you and what didn't? Remember all the "food texture" talks we had? "Crunch factors" of different foods? It was a process to figure it all out, for sure. But you were patient and tried different things, and that's part of what lead to your new habits and success.
"I still need to find a consistent exercise routine. I sometimes walk or use the exercise bike. I tried yoga in January and I liked it a lot. Now it’s about finding a routine that works for me and our family."
You'll get there. Wellness is a journey, not a destination. Yoga was outside your box and, I dare say, I don't think is something you would have tried before. You surprised us both by doing it nearly every day for a month! I'd say that's a pretty enormous triumph.
"Well, I can happily say I met my goals.The school auction was on February 22, and I felt very confident. I didn’t do it for the compliments, but they were nice. I bought a new dress, and it was a fun night for me."
When you're a wonderful person on the inside, you want the outside to match. Here's what you looked like on your "goal night". Beautiful, radiant, happy, WELL. Inside and out.
Seeing you that night, Rebecca, was surreal. Wellness is radiant. I lost count of how many people talked to me about how they couldn't believe your transformation. About how you looked 20 years younger. About how happy you seemed. It was all true. You put in the work, you trusted the process, you took the journey.
"As of today, I weigh 160 pounds which means I have lost 33.5 pounds. We are in the middle of the Corona virus pandemic. We will probably be home until around April 24 (that is what the governor has requested), so that is another month of staying home."
Ah, the good ole days... back when we thought we only had a month left.
"That means no school and no getting out of the house except to get food. That is hard for me, and I’m trying to not eat snacks. Keeping a daily schedule and having a to do list helps keep me away from food. My goal is to gain 3 pounds or less during this time. I’m putting on jeans almost every day to keep me on track!"
You texted me several weeks after writing this that you hadn't gained a single pound back. That's what happens when you trade diets for life-long wellness.
"Heather has helped me work on balancing work and other things.
There's so much more to wellness than just weight loss. Without life-balance and setting some healthy boundaries, you would not have come as far as you have.
"Once the pandemic is over and we get back to normal (whenever that is), I’ll need to decide if I like the weight I’m at or if I want to try to lose more. I hope that 160 pounds will be my new normal!"
Well, if there's anything we've learned from the COVID crisis, it's that nothing will be "normal" again. I'm on the side that thinks that's a good thing. Before COVID, we couldn't have been a more unhealthy society if we tried.
Quite literally, the Great Irony of the Century.
We will find a new normal. And you've found yours, Rebecca. Enjoy living in wellness, my friend. It's the greatest gift you could have given yourself.
And thank you for bringing me along with you on your journey. It was truly a privilege.