Arghhhh! The wobbles are surfacing. And I don’t just mean the ones on my thighs!!
I have a problem. My old friend self doubt has been knocking at the door again. I’m finding it really difficult when someone asks what I’m doing at the moment. Initially I get really excited and enthusiastic to tell them about my course but then I get The Fear. The Fear and The Shame. Because here’s the thing, I don’t look like a health coach. Now I know that in the first instance that may sound a bit daft, a bit like saying that I don’t look like a teacher. Or that the fella who delivers our milk doesn’t look like a milkman. But honestly, as soon as you utter the words Health Coach, they undoubtedly conjure up very specific visions. Here we go, give it a try. Close your eyes and think “Health Coach”. Who or what do you see? Here’s what I see when I do it……. Some gorgeous 20-something with long lithe legs, a light tan, clear skin, no make up (ie natural beauty), a flat tummy with slight hint of a six pack. Looks ace in yoga gear, long unprocessed hair that does not need to be dried, straightened or in any other way wrestled into shape. The type of person who can go camping and step out of their tent in PJs first thing in the morning radiating gloriousness and health before they’ve even cleaned their teeth………… Can you see her? Can you picture my health coach vision? And does she look like yours????
Well, the crux of my current self confidence issue is that I am NONE of the above. Like, not even close. If I had spent some time being asked to describe someone who looked the complete opposite to me, then I would probably have come up with the same list. For starters, I’m a size 16 make-up-aholic, with short bleached hair and ruddy welsh skin!! Hmmmm, not quite the scandi-esque vision I conjured earlier eh?! Put bluntly, I’m really worried that people (future clients?) wont take me seriously. They won’t believe that I have the correct (visible) credentials to allow me to tout myself as a “Health Coach”.
So how am I going to deal with it? Well, I’m giving it a LOT of thought at the minute and its going a little like this………
I’m fat. I know I’m fat. I don’t know how much I weigh as I stopped weighing myself a long time ago when I realised that my fruitless obsession with weighing numerous times a day was doing me no favours whatsoever. However, as I mentioned earlier, I do know that I currently wear a size 16. Now I know that for many people that is a hideous thought which would send them hurtling headlong towards the nearest weight watchers meeting, but as someone who has also been a size 22, a size 16 doesn’t feel too horrendous. I know it’s too big for my 5.5” frame. I know that my GP would be eager to advise me on how to get myself out of the obese (or maybe even morbidly obese) category on the BMI chart and as I mentioned in this post I would happily accept a problem free miracle which would suddenly shrink me to a size 10/12! But I have to be realistic about a few things.
First and foremost is the fact that my poor old body has been stuck in a perpetual cycle of binge/starve for 30 of its nearly 40 years. This has undoubtedly had some impact on my metabolism and the way in which my body responds to the food which I put in it. I am learning to deal with this day by day. I am researching and educating myself on how to heal myself from this cycle of all or nothing. I am easing my body out of a damaging cycle and into a healthier sense of stability. But guess what? its taken 30 years to get to this state so it’s safe to assume that it’s not something my body is suddenly going to snap out of as soon as I throw a couple of green smoothies down my neck! It’s going to take time, reflection and continued work and perseverance. The complete opposite, in fact to what I’d conditioned myself to search for in a weight loss regime. Once I dedicated myself to a new plan, I wanted the weight gone, like yesterday! Well I’ve come to accept that that’s not how this stuff works anymore; and as a result, I feel that I’m putting myself in a good position from which to help others who have struggled with the same long battle against themselves. Who better to coach you through a problem than someone who has actually been there themselves?!
Secondly, with all of this experience of dieting behind me, I am now finally learning to take both positives and negatives from my past history. In effect, I am finally appreciating the fact that my fat (and struggles) with it, might well have taught me a few things. It has taught me that my focus has got to be health rather than skinny-ness. To be perfectly honest with you, this is a relatively new concept for me. When I used to diet, it was all about improving the way I looked. I wanted to lose weight because I wanted to look hot in my jeans! Well here’s the thing…..Maybe because both my mum and my husband have developed heart problems this year, I’m now improving my diet because I want to be healthy. I want to look after my heart. I want to be able to keep up with my kids for a long time yet. I don’t want to be put on long term daily medication just in order to counteract issues that could have been avoided with a better diet and more rigorous self care. I want to live for as long as I possibly can. I love my life. I want lots more of it! And I want to help others to do the same thing. I am finally moving beyond the superficial. Maybe that’s why all of my previous attempts have ultimately ended in failure (massive weight re-gain!) I wasn’t doing it for the RIGHT REASON……and now I feel that I am. Will my body respond to this shift positively? I really hope and believe that it will.
I am a work in progress. I am walking the walk. I can fully relate to others who have struggled with long term weight issues. I truly do understand all of the mental, emotional and physical struggles. And I hope that given a lot of work and the right training I will be equipped to help others effect such a huge, fundamental shift in their lives too. Who better to coach you through a problem than someone who has actually been there themselves?!
Too fat to be a health coach? Not on your nelly!!