Is She Getting Fat?

Yes, she is…

So you spend all this money on a health coach to guide you through your health and/or maybe weight loss challenges and mid-stream you notice she’s gaining weight…  

Isn’t she supposed to be a pro at this? If she can’t control her own body weight, how can she help me take charge of mine? 

So Do You Break Up With Your Health Coach?

I’m sure you expect me to say no. But the choice is ultimately yours… Whether you do break up with them or not, you need to make sure it’s for the right reasons.  Just don’t use this as an easy out for not doing the work. 

Fluctuations in weight are normal. Life throws us curve balls all the time. We respond in various ways and our bodies follow suit. It’s normal for the scale to change day to day a few pounds. What we eat, activities such as exercise, medicines we take, salt and water consumption, et140c. can contribute to these changes. 

I’ll be honest. Truth #1. My ideal weight is between 122 and 126 pounds. Notice there’s about a 5 pound fluctuation there. Truth #2… I haven’t been that weight in almost a year. My weight has slowly been climbing up and today I weighed in at 140 lbs! I know for some, 140 pounds is your target weight, and that may be an excellent weight goal for you, but for me it’s almost 20 pounds over mine. 

It’s Not About Being Size 0

Some people will always offer their opinion and no matter what you do, you’re always shy of being perfect… “You’re too skinny! You look better with some mean on your bones!” But then when you do have meat on your bones… “Oh honey, maybe you should start walking during lunch.” Or like my ex-Grandmother-In-Law would say… “What happened to you? You’re so fat!”

You need to see what weight works for you.  It’s not about what society thinks is visually appealing, but, instead, focus on finding where your body feels the best! My goal was never to be so thin… my goal was to feel better and get healthy. By living mindfully, I found that my body felt the best at that weight so my mind felt great as well. Then I noticed that all of the “too skinny” comments didn’t bother me anymore. My body was telling me I was on target so those other opinions didn’t matter.

Why I Gained Weight…

There are many factors that can contribute to weight gain… Here are a few factors that affected me…

Stress… 

Aside from going through a divorce last year, I also had to pack and clean an entire house alone for sale… Speedy and I moved 3 times within 3 months… Helping my son transition with the changes because he wanted to go home was a big challenge. My “benefits” job hours changed so my happy place/dream work took a back burner for a year… And of course, money was an issue. So, yeah… lots of stress!

Water Intake…

I stopped paying attention to my water intake. I used to drink 80 oz of water, more than half of my weight in fluid ounces throughout the day. I continued to carry my thermos, but when I got home at night, I noticed I was only averaging about 20 to 30 ounces a day. 

Cheating on My Cooking…

I admit it… I started taking short cuts. Trying to juggle my benefits job and my dream job plus all the extra curricular activities Speedy is enrolled in… I didn’t schedule cooking time well. A large percentage of our stuff is still in storage and I started frying foods, adding salt instead of letting foods marinate, and eating too many muffins and baked good because they were already made… 

Skipping Meals…

As I mentioned before, my hours changed at my benefits job and I found myself skipping meals. Since I can’t call the diner to order an allergen free, sugar free, whole foods meal delivered, I would wait until I got home to eat… after a long day… after Speedy’s afternoon events… after last minute errands… and after Speedy’s homework… that’s when I would finally eat something. 

No Exercise… 

I never really exercised after I had my son… Even when I lost all of my weight, it was strictly from dietary changes (without starving tactics, of course!). But when we had our house, we walked around our neighborhood a lot.  Speedy had karate up the block 3 times a week and he had weekly dance class 4 or 5 blocks away so we definitely walked around at least 4 days a week. Since we literally lived across the street from the second largest public park in New York City, we would often go to the park on nice days. Plus, it wasn’t uncommon for us to walk to the post office, the supermarket, the subway and the library at least once a week.

Once we sold the house, nothing was walking distance to where we were staying. We had to drive everywhere! (This reminds me of the scene from the movie L.A. Story where Steve Martin gets into his car to drive 30 feet down the road to his next door neighbor’s house!) I think I was just overwhelmed with everything going on and making sure I walked around was a casualty. Plus, I was eating too late to do any other form of at-home exercise immediately afterwards. 

My Spiritual Connection was Lost…

When we sold our home, I lost touch with our church which was 1 block away from the house. Although God is an active conversation throughout the day, the ritual of going to church and carving out time for it suffered. It wasn’t as consistent, we tried several local churches, we even participated in religious meetings of other denominations but nothing had felt right. The comfort of that routine was temporarily lost. 

No Active Social Life…

Although I absolutely love being a single mom, sometimes moms need a night out. I’m not even talking about a date here, just a night with the girls… I was committing all of my time into dealing with all of the changes going on and setting out the daily “fires” that consume your energy. The last thing I was thinking about was having a social life…

I Changed My Medicines…

For the last 5 years I have been on various doses of Prednisone, an intense immunosuppressive. The last 3 years, Cellcept was added to my immunosuppressive cocktail. 

I was diagnosed with NeuroSarcoidosis 5 years ago and was told it was a chronic, life threatening condition and I would have to be on medicines for the rest of my life. But since I believe in the power of the body to heal when give the required support, I started reducing my doses until I was able to completely stop it. Although this process was very slow and took an entire year, it was not without consequence. My hormones and immune system were in shambles. 

Lying about My Stress… 

I didn’t want people to think I couldn’t handle it so I denied how much I really had on my plate. That meant I wasn’t asking for help because I never complained. No one offered because no one knew I needed any… I would only vent to the one or two people that knew what was going on when I needed to let off steam.

Why Do I Share This?

As health coach professionals, we do not criticize other people’s weight loss and healthy eating efforts, we praise them. We are well aware of the struggle to break years of eating habits, whether you believed them to be good or bad… but we also encounter challenges in our own lives and often times can relate to those very same obstacles because we are facing/have faced them as well. 

For me, it is my goal to take this journey with you… and sometimes I may miss a step myself. That just makes me human, and hopefully relatable. I can’t just direct from the bleachers and bark orders out. Being a health coach means nothing if we’re not willing to use our knowledge daily to improve our own lives as well as yours. The process can sometimes be slow, but continual growth and healing is the goal, not speed. 

So have the conversation with your health coach and feel free to ask questions. If they can’t be honest about their pitfalls then maybe you should consider what that means to you. Just remember there’s a difference between discussing challenges and sharing every last detail of their personal life. The latter should be respected and never demanded. However, you should always feel comfortable with your coach. And always remember to focus on the big picture! Find a coach that will be in your corner and support your needs for the long haul, then take it from there….

Good luck on your journey to health and healing.