Taking risk and making change.
For a long time, I wanted to change, but I didn’t do it.
Every night I went to bed miserable over what my brain had put me through that day. The constant negative self-talk, the calorie counting, the bloating from over eating vegetables and the lack of satisfaction from under eating everything else- it controlled me.
Sometimes I went to bed and I thought about how I’d missed out on a social event in order to exercise or restrict my food that day, or how I’d quickly hidden my measuring spoons when my partner walked into the kitchen. (I hadn’t wanted him to know I was still measuring at all, and I thought I was smooth. Now he says “Remember when you used to measure everything!?” Of course he saw.)
I remember thinking about how I was lying to him when I hid the spoons and how I was treating myself poorly. I would promise myself I’d try again the next day. Sometimes, I woke up and did better. Sometimes, I woke up and did worse.
I think I was afraid to have a positive body image. I was afraid that if I just loved myself, right there as I was, everything else would fall out of balance. If I ate what I wanted, I’d never stop eating. If I had self-esteem my personality would become too big, I would become conceited, I wouldn’t have any incentive to try anymore.
I held myself back again and again, and I was smart enough to realize that it didn’t make any sense to do so. Unfortunately, knowing doesn’t do a damn thing. The change lies in doing.
At some point, I realized that love and hate were both action words. If I was nice to myself, took time to breathe when I felt stressed, ate foods I loved in quantities that made me feel good, worked out regularly but also let a workout go to see a friend that I was missing- I was loving myself. If I was scheduling every spare second of my time with work, eating all-vegetable meals as fast as I could, saying mean things about my body that I wouldn’t dream of saying to someone else, etc.- well, then I was hating myself. With these negative behaviors I was treating myself in a way I wouldn’t even treat an enemy, and to me that was unacceptable.
I was no longer going to try to be better, because trying wasn’t doing anything for me. I was ready to just do it. It was as simple as deciding that I deserved my own respect.
Old habits die hard. It took years to get my heart and my actions on the same page- the battle was terribly painful in a lot of ways and I needed a lot of help- but last night I was laying in bed and I had a realization. I had just prepared a blog post about what I had eaten that day, and I was so excited to share it. I had gone to work, I had smiled at my students and when I heard them say negative things about their bodies I had called it out. (“You don’t deserve to have someone talk to you like that.” Next time you hear someone put themselves down I suggest you try this sentence. ) I was feeling a little under the weather, so I had gone to bed early. I had looked in the mirror after my shower and thought about how I loved the ever-living shit out of my body. I am much heavier than I was when I restricted my food and I think I look incredible. I literally never thought I would think such a thing, and I smiled in the dark at the accomplishment of simply living my life.
I now make my food decisions based on what makes me feel best, not a set of rules. I have self-esteem and my world is not crumbling. If anything, I am more motivated than ever.
I started Super Strength Health because I want to help everyone to have this feeling about their bodies. I want people to have confidence with their food choices, learn to cultivate healthy balanced exercise routines, eat more plants, and have high self-esteem. I want to walk clients through the fires of habit change, not just in terms of eating disorder recovery, but for any sort of tweak with food and self-esteem that they may need. I want to be their advocate and their cheerleader, to look them deep in the eye and say “YOU’VE GOT THIS.” If I can change my relationship to food and body, I know other people can too.
It is WORK, and I want guide people through it. Up until this point, I have been teaching full time, and thus have not advertised that I am open to new clients. Some folks have come to me anyway- (I am impressed by the dedication and self-advocacy of these incredible humans!)- And already their journeys have been beautiful and inspiring to me. There has never been a job that I have felt was so fully right. Health coaching is the best thing I have ever done.
SO. This is my official call for new clients. I want to aid you in feeling awesome about yourself. I want to listen to your life story and your struggles, and I want to align your intentions with your actions. I believe that you can do this work. I want to help you on the path.
As I officially open my practice, I am honored to offer a 99$ a month rate to my first ten new clients. This price includes two monthly sessions, assignments, constant email support, and personalized advocacy for six months. Those that are local to the bay area have the option of in-home sessions, pantry clean-outs, and meal prep help (yes, I will come to your kitchen and help you get prepared for a healthy successful week). I also work via Skype and the telephone.
I am really excited about this
If you’re ready, I’m totally ready too. Let’s make it happen.
Contact me at email@example.com.
Illustration by the wonderful Joanna S. Quigley