I was never someone who worried about her weight. I’m generally a happy and confident person with so much to be thankful for in my life that I never made my physical health a priority. It’s not a problem until it’s a problem, right? Well, life has definitely thrown me some emotional curveballs in the last several years.
Mostly notably, my best friend since I was 3 years old was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in the summer of 2017. At 34, she had already lost use of her arms and legs and is now confined to a wheelchair. Watching her go through such an impossible journey has been painful. Knowing we won’t grow old together as we had planned is heavy on my heart every day.
I think I was so focused on being there for her and just getting through each day while trying to continue on with my life, I wasn’t paying attention to all the warning signs that I was sinking slowly. I drank more, I slept more, I ate more — anything I could do to ignore it. By the summer of 2019, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I broke down in the doctor’s office during a routine physical when they started asking me all these questions about my health and my life. I walked out of the office with a piece of paper stating my diagnosis in black and white — obesity, acid reflux, depression.
I just knew that I had to figure it out. I was tired of feeling bad all the time. I was tired of the headaches. I was tired of wondering why my right leg kept going numb. I was tired of not fitting in my clothes. I was tired of getting winded trying to walk. I was just tired of being tired.
I remembered my friend telling me about the Noom app back in January, so I downloaded it on my phone. It seemed sensible — counting calories, learning more about nutrition and the reasons why we overeat and how to have a better relationship with food. They give you a support group and a goal coach to work with weekly so I signed up and got to work.
I didn’t change everything at once. I started walking a little bit every day and got back into yoga on occasion. I counted my calories and tried to stay below my 1,200 limit for the day — I didn’t always succeed, but I just kept working on it. Within a month I lost 15 pounds. It might not seem like much, but I think just knowing I could actually do it gave me motivation to keep going.
Along the way, I found Corinne Crabtree, a loud, foul-mouthed, woman from Nashville who created what she calls the “No BS” weight loss program for women. I found her podcast “Losing 100 Lbs with Corinne” and I was hooked. I liked her No BS and straight-forward, kick you in the ass approach to coaching her clients. You’ve probably never heard of her, but she has over 9,000 members around the world and has helped thousands of women lose weight — physically and mentally.
Listening to Corinne helped me take the thought work basics I learned in Noom to a whole other level. She teaches four basics — drink enough water, get enough sleep, eat only when you’re hungry and stop before you are full. It seems easy enough, but for many women it’s all of our bullshit thinking that keeps us from losing the weight. You can pay to join her membership, but first, I would recommend listening to her podcast and also taking her free course at www.phit-n-phat.com.
She helped pull me through the last year to lose 70 pounds, but more importantly, she introduced me to the power of thought work and the benefits of life coaching. Now I have an arsenal of tools I can turn to for motivation and support.
A year ago I set out to lose weight, but during the process I’ve changed my entire life. I’m not who I was a year ago, and that’s OK. I was scared to change and to let go of my old coping mechanisms, but it was the best decision I continue to make every day. I feel like for the first time I’m really enjoying my life. I don’t feel deprived and I’m just enjoying the journey on good days and bad days.
I still eat Mexican for lunch every Friday, I still have beers on the porch at Frog Level Brewing, and I still overeat from time to time. But I also meditate and do yoga every morning, I walk the dogs 2 miles a day at least 5 days a week, I hike at least once a week and I make better food choices all week long.
If you find yourself in a similar position and want to get healthier, my best advice is to not think too much about where you want to be at the end of your journey. Just get started and be patient with yourself. Focus on the small change you can commit to today and go from there. Those small changes will snowball overtime.