(Post 2 of 3, read the first one here)
What was happening?
We moved to the beach, life was ideal! We traveled, partied HARD, people visited all the time, and we rebuilt our lives. And yet, something was still off. After a year in California neither of us could deny that we both felt that deep longing for something… something more.
I enrolled in nutrition school after discovering my culinary credits didn’t transfer (grrr so frustrating, BUT it ended up being a huge blessing). My education was fantastic. I graduated as a “Certified Health Coach” from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! That time introduced me to a lot of new AWESOME ideas AND reinforced some of my old (not so awesome) beliefs around food, body size, and health. I became a legit “green juice and gluten free” health coach. I really knew my stuff and was excited to help others get healthy and inspired!
Toby and I did the Whole30 (always the health nut I did it for an extra 15 days, 45 days total) and the one good thing that came from it was the decision to quit drinking all together. We felt more aligned and better than ever! You probably saw A LOT of posts from me during this time. I genuinely was excited, and bursting with new-found knowledge. I am a passionate person in general and I used my platform to share food, cooking, and health tips with the world.
What was really happening?
I loved the freedom of not working full time and FINALLY spending more quiet time with my husband.
The decision to cut out alcohol seemed to come outta nowhere to our friends, but truthfully we had been talking about it for years. We were both SO bored with that “scene” and we knew it made us feel like crap. We also wanted to reel in our finances. We had gone down to one income and lived at the beach in California... so something had to give. I felt some internal pressure to start earning money (and having a meaningful purpose to my days) so I took on clients as soon as I could.
Here’s the thing I can admit when looking back…
I was highly educated and not yet wise.
I didn’t really have much to offer people that they hadn’t heard before. The same old advice: eat more vegetables, avoid processed food, buy organic, diets don’t work, move your body, reduce stress, yada yada yada.
The topic of weight loss came up again and again and again. I KNEW I didn’t want to sell weight loss or diet plans, I was clear enough in my own misery and KNEW that there wasn't a magic answer, but what if that’s what most people want??!
After my first few clients I felt a pit in my gut… What was I really doing? Was I doing this for the money? To help the world? To feed my ego? What do people actually need? What does 'health' mean anyway? Are weight loss and health even related? How does mental and emotional health affect the physical body??
I did some INTENSE soul searching and thankfully found a mentor to help guide me through this “crisis”. She introduced me to Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, and the non-diet approach to coaching. She also taught me how to TRULY understand the current research and science and gave me endless resources to continue my education. (Her name is Isabel Foxen Duke and she’s fabulous.)
Through our work together I finally had to face my own fears around food and my shame around my body. Until then I had never really identified as a “dieter” or as someone struggling with “disordered eating”. I knew I couldn’t TRULY help others until I did the intuitive eating and recovery work myself. It was HARD but SO WORTH IT.
Meanwhile about my weight:
After the medication/drugs had gotten out of my system, AND because I was finally eating normally, I was gaining weight (which is to be expected). And while I was working on being ok with it, I was also painfully aware of how this could be perceived as a “failure” in the world of health and coaching. After all, if I was so healthy wouldn’t I be able to maintain my lower weight?? Nope, doesn’t work like that. For years I was knee-deep in disordered eating habits and nobody, including myself, seemed to notice or think it was a problem. In fact, it was widely normalized and even applauded! Gaining weight was part of my recovery process and it is often part of my client’s process as well.
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