Helping Hand in Health
Submitted by Danielle (Rourke) O’Mara – Health Coach
So, I’m grateful that someone is reading this article/blog, it sure does reach enough people. My interest in health and wellness didn’t come overnight. I had to go through many emotional struggles before deciding to change my way of life. I wasn’t always so willing, even after I started to feel better. You would think that losing weight and feeling better is a great motivator to stay on that path, yet I struggled with temptations all the time. I couldn’t seem to go anywhere with having something trigger an old eating memory. There was something about my familiar, unhealthy eating habits that was comfortable, even though I didn’t want to be hurting.
I learned to stuff my feelings and used food as a way of keeping my insides safe. I would eat and eat and eat – not really understanding why. I thought it was because I couldn’t have it – not true! I thought it was because I liked it too much – not always true! The problem was I thought I could change my thinking about food at a time when I didn’t have the appropriate tools to cope with life. I developed a dysfunctional relationship with food because I was using it to hide and not for its true purpose. I used food to cope with stress and so many other things that I didn’t want to admit I didn’t understand. So my emotional growth was rather slow because I liked being irresponsible, compulsive and disconnected.
Recognizing my Truth
It’s funny how people react to people who have lost weight. I had a bunch of people ask “how did you do it?” My answer was sometimes long but most of the time short. I didn’t take any miracle drug or surgery. I just took the suggestions from the professionals who were there to help. I followed a food plan and stopped dieting. I stopped believing that if someone could make me happy, I would lose the weight. The truth is I needed to find a loving relationship with myself and want to be healthy on a daily basis. My goal was to live a long good life, not one filled with pain and hopelessness.
Coming to Terms
There was one more strange phenomenon about losing weight and getting healthy. It took a while for me to come to terms with my new body and outlook on life. At first, I would go shopping and still go to the “plus size” section of the store. I wasn’t sure if the weight would stay off, so I didn’t let go of my “big” clothes for a long time afterwards. Any time I lost weight before, I always gained it back and more. This time had to be different! I knew that if I returned to my out of control eating, all the health issues would return and continue to deteriorate my body and spirit. The only true path was to stay committed to this healthy lifestyle that was developing. In the meantime, I was learning to accept my newfound energy, physical ability and body size. I found myself very apprehensive about moving forward but I would talk it over with friends and find the support needed. Today, I know I am worth the effort, but there are days when reverting back to my old ways becomes tempting. The consequences are too serious to give up on myself, so instead, I try not to place myself around situations that will make healthy decisions more difficult.
When I first started my journey into a healthy lifestyle, I had a terrible time following directions. I have this self-will that made it challenging to listen without using my broken, twisted thinking. I would say I wasn’t going to do something, but by the end of the day I cheated. This kind of behavior was very self-defeating, but like most things it was common and comfortable. Eventually, when I had no more options, I conformed and decided to stop fighting everyone and everything especially myself. Once I finally got and understood what to do with a food plan, I stuck to it. I planned what I ate and ate what I planned, no more meals left to chance. I keep my food near by me at all times. It may seem crazy but my life is depending on it. I believe my food is my medicine...it just so happens it’s the healthy food choices that is helping me reverse type 2 diabetes. So the bottom line, follow directions and life will get much better...I guarantee it!