I’m turning 50 in two days! I am very excited that not only am I hitting a milestone age, I am in better shape today than I have EVER been in my entire life! Growing up I was the only overweight daughter of three. I used to describe myself as being the fat one so others could tell me from the other two. Mom passed on her challenging eyesight, knocked knees, large feet and voluptuous shape all to me, the last girl! I told her she didn’t HAVE to love me so much, she could have shared some of that love with her other daughters. I would have gladly given up the weight challenges and kept ALL the others had I been given the choice. It would have been easier to live with the others. Weight challenges are very private, but very public at the same time. What you eat in private is easily seen in public, even without a witness to the fact. If mom realized I was overweight, she never mentioned it. In fact, I don’t think I even realized it until high school. I’m 70 pounds down, which I have kept off for 9 years thanks to Weight Watcher’s, and frankly it’s due to my hard work and commitment to getting healthy. It took several attempts before I realized I could really do it, if I just STOPPED making excuses (easier said than done!). I made excuses so much that I even got tired of hearing myself make them. One day I DECIDED I was going to change. I had to get sick and tired of being sick and tired before I was ready. I was 39 before I was finally ready to get serious!
Even as a young child I LOVED to eat, and had a love affair with any carb that came my way! A lot of my childhood photos (even as young as two) included food, usually biscuits! All of my favorite childhood memories are centered around food. The memory that stands out the most is the BOGO Mc Donald Big Mac coupons that came in the Friday evening throw paper. I remember going yard to yard rushing to get to the neighbors’ papers before they came home from work, just to have more coupons. I don’t remember my mother ever saying I was eating too much while growing up. If I asked for seconds, she gave them to me. She rarely asked if I were still hungry. I wasn’t but if the food was really good I wanted more, hungry or not. Even back then, I was a volume eater. I carried this label, volume eater, into my adulthood.
Even though I usually overate growing up, I moved more which is the only thing that stopped me from reaching childhood obesity. I loved to play softball, tether ball, kickball and was pretty good at navigating the rings on the playground. In the summertime my stepdad took the neighborhood kids to the park to play softball. I rode my bike for miles simply because that was the only way I was getting anywhere when my mom was working. It was also the way to get places I was supposed to be going, lol…Back then watching television was something you only did on weekend mornings or rainy days, and ONLY because there was literally nothing better to do! There was none of this sitting around playing video games and watching the tube all day like there is now (the childhood obesity rate is frightening and I think technology is a huge factor!). My friends and I were outdoors from morning until dark. Back then I actually moved more than I ate. A concept that took too many years to re-learn. I wasn’t great or even good at sports, just active. Kind of like now, lol. I’m nowhere near the fastest or the best at anything. I just move more (and surprising grew to love it )because I realized this had to become a lifestyle change, not a diet. Diets never worked for me. I had proven this many times because I had always been a binge dieter. I tried almost every diet on the planet, except the ones in which you basically starved yourself to lose weight. Passed on those because I loved to eat too much, lol…
It wasn’t until high school that I started noticing that I was heavier than my friends. I can’t even pinpoint an AHA moment! I was never teased in school and my mother never mentioned my weight as a negative. In fact, the only major annoyance related to my weight in school is how the boys would walk by and slap me on the butt. Apparently it was a pretty big target! As I gained weight mom just started purchasing my clothing from Lane Bryant. If you’re familiar with LB, you know a teenage girl shopping there is an indicator of a weight challenge. I could also wear my mothers’ clothing a lot sooner than I should have been able too. It wasn’t until started liking boys, that I started caring about my appearance. I have always been a tomboy so it probably took longer than average, lol…Only then did I notice I couldn’t wear the cute, trendy clothing my friends were wearing. Looking back now, I actually thought it was because my family didn’t have the money. I’m positive now that I couldn’t have fit those clothes, even if my mother had the money to purchase them. I remember being embarrassed more about the clothing I wore, than my actual size. Another reason my weight did not bother me was because my waist was always smaller than the rest of my body (a woman’s saving grace!). My pants never fit without the big gap in the back due to my waist size, and my mom often had to purchase new pants only because my thighs rubbed a hole in the thigh area! Even in those days, my mother only referred to me as “hippy”, or “big-boned”. I didn’t have to make up my own excuse for being overweight, mom did it for me. In fact, she ALWAYS referred to me as big-boned to others. She told me that so many times that even I started believing that lie and used it well into my adulthood when the topic of my weight came up. I didn’t even realize I was obese until I had a health screening at work, in my 30’s! Someone finally had the courage to tell me I was obese! That shocked me. I knew I had a few extra pounds, but I didn’t think it was nearly enough to be considered obese. That was a very emotional day for me.
I wish I could say it was the obesity diagnosis that took me to Weight Watcher’s for the last and final time at 39. It wasn’t. I was up for my annual evaluation and as I read through the requirements for a 5% increase, one area I had not worked on was group participation in my department. There was an At Work Weight Watcher’s program and several co-workers attended. They had invited me to join them at least three times. Each time the session renewed, my Supervisor asked if I wanted to join them. Each time I said no, simply because I knew Weight Watcher’s didn’t work! After all, I had proven it the last three times I had joined. I didn’t last long enough to lose more than 10 pounds. I’m definitely motivated by money (and not at all ashamed to say it!), so the last time my Supervisor asked me to join, I agreed. Simply because I thought it would look good if I were on the borderline between the 4 and 5% rating. This was one of the few times in my life that I joined something for the wrong reason, and it turned out to be the right thing to do! It just took a while before I realized it. It took two and a half years and a lot of discipline to reach my goal weight. A lot of life happened to me during that time, and it was crucial to learn other ways to handle life’s’ challenges. Eating for comfort could no longer be a solution.
Being fit at 50,and in the best shape of my life is so surreal! I’ve been overweight for more than half of my lifetime, and am entering the second phase of life with not only a positive shift in mindset, but a healthier body ! One of the most important lessons I learned on this journey was that I needed accountability. I could have reached my goal faster with someone in my life that would have seen my excuses for what they were, and called me out on them. I also needed someone who not only believed I could lose 70 pounds (until I believed it myself), but that could help me figure out what limiting beliefs I was allowing to hold me back. Figuring out WHY I overate was key to being able to lose the weight and keep it off. I couldn’t do that alone.
As a graduate from Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts, and a self-proclaimed food addict, I’m very excited to be able to offer my services (and personal experiences) as a FREEDOM COACH to those of you that require personal accountability to help elevate your goals to the next level. My issue wasn’t that I didn’t know what to do, my issue was simply doing it. I needed someone to not only help me figure out what was stopping me from being successful, but to also help me finally take ACTION and move beyond the revolving pattern of self sabotage.
If you are ready to put in the work to shift beyond fear (Future Events Appearing Real), and into transformation, I would be honored to hold space for you during the transition ! I invite you to step up to the plate, and allow me to help you find The Courage To Shift!
Please contact me via email at Juante.email@example.com.