When I first spoke of the weight I lost, it was on the Dynamic Women Podcast and I had lost 20 lbs. That felt very vulnerable.
My weight is not normally something that I would broadcast in a public forum like this. However, there have been so many learnings. I feel like the vulnerability that it takes to talk about my weight, as well as these insights, can help you. Whether you have weight to lose or you don't, there are still some really great learnings that can be had here.
Why I was unhealthy
I have had a crazy few years. I know everyone has with COVID, but if you've been listening to the Dynamic Women podcast, reading my blogs, or watching my YouTube videos, then you would have heard some of the stuff that happened.
When COVID happened, I had to cancel a whole week of work out in Ontario. It was going to be a multiple six-figure week. My kids were at home because of COVID and I had to completely pivot my business to be mainly online or only online rather than live events. Then my father went into palliative care, and passed away seven days later. I stayed in Ontario to support my mom, do the funeral arrangements and clear out my dad's stuff. Then my Facebook account was disabled. This is all while the pandemic was going on.
I then had to redo so many things in my business because of my Facebook account being shut down. It was a stressful time and I gained weight. I went and saw my naturopath, and we determined that even though I didn’t want to be unhealthy, focusing on changing my eating habits at that point wasn't the smartest idea. There was already too much stress happening in my life that having one more thing to control, one more thing to focus on, another thing to be constricted by wasn't the right timing.
Just to be honest, I didn't have the emotional bandwidth to deal with it. Those words, “emotional bandwidth” and “emotional stamina”, one of them came from the grief share program I did through my church. Side note: The program is amazing, and it's only $20 for the book. I took it twice, and it was really, really helpful.
I didn't have the ability to deal with it. One more thing to manage wasn't possible in my life. I was overwhelmed. If you're wondering, “Oh, what do you do when I'm overwhelmed?” I just wrote a blog post about that.
That's part of “why” I was unhealthy. There are also stressors and all that, but there were so many layers of stress that I just couldn't get around it, and the idea of having to restrict my eating felt overwhelming. It felt like too much.
I was the heaviest I've ever been in my entire life, even heavier than when I was pregnant. This blog post is not meant to shame anyone who has gained weight, anyone who is at their heaviest, or anyone who's struggling with weight. This is just the story of my experience and what I went through. I didn't like how I looked. I didn't like how I felt. On the soccer field, it was really hard to play well. I felt self-conscious of myself, pulling my shirt down as I ran. I had many injuries at soccer. That was another reason why I wasn't at my healthiest because it's really hard to be fit when you have multiple injuries, one after another.
I knew I wasn't able to drop weight like I did in the past by doing keto. It was really helpful, but it was also super restrictive. Previously, I had really great motivation and support, but it had disappeared with everything that was happening.
What changed it for me
Well, I eventually really hurt my knee playing soccer, back on May 3rd to be exact. It's a lateral-torn meniscus, and they're not going to do any surgery. There's no real way to heal it and fix it. The only thing I can do is be kinder to my body by reducing inflammation, strengthening and also by dropping some weight. I said to the doctor, “Oh, I know, one pound of extra weight is five pounds of extra pressure on the joint.” He said, “It's actually six”. I knew that I needed to drop weight at that point, and so he said, “You know, if that's something you can do, then do it.”
I reached out to a nutrition coach who I know from my hometown. She's been a client of mine, and been in the collaborative books. She’s great at what she does. I've seen her results from when she worked with a couple of my rugby friends over the years (and yes, rugby friends. I used to play rugby, pretty high level as well.) I knew that she got them results, one for fitness competitions and one for just health and feeling better. I paid the money and signed up.
I knew I needed the accountability. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I know how to eat. I know how to eat well. I know how to exercise. I know how to do all these things. But the truth is I wasn't doing it.
Again, as I said, this doesn't have to be a blog post about weight loss. It can be about…
I knew, I needed someone with a no BS approach to be able to hold me accountable. I have coaches in my life: mentors, advisors, people that I go to. I call them my team who support me, guide me, keep me accountable, and help me be committed.
In another blog post, I talked about how having a coach really helped me to get serious about soccer again. I also needed to be serious about my weight loss journey, so I dove in with a specific eating plan.
I’ve had great success, and it’s interesting how people feel cautious about asking me about it. People who know I’m on this journey will compliment me, and other people who don't know I'm on this journey feel awkward about saying something.
It's okay to say something to someone who has lost weight. They never said like, “Whoa, you lost weight!” They'll say, “Wow, you look great.” Then I share about the journey I've been on.
I dove in headfirst into the program. Having the support has really helped, and it was something I was craving.
I'm on a six-month journey, and I’m at almost the 5-month mark, and I knew that I'd be able to drop about 20 lbs in 3 months and in another three months, I'll be able to drop another 20 pounds. Then I know I’ll be at a point where I can manage it.
Why does this matter to me
It's funny when I told my team, we were having a potluck party and the socials, there's always alcohol. There are always yummy appetizers. I sent them a message I said, “Hey guys, I just committed to working with a health coach. I am not going to eat a lot of your delicious food at the potluck. I'm not going to be having any drinks and that includes straight-up alcohol or zero-calorie/ zero-sugar drinks.”
I'm having none. It's not about having a summer body for me. It's about having a soccer body - a body that is able to play soccer. I'm happy to say that in July and now into October, I have been able to do some soccer. Not at the level I want. I'm still not 100%, but I'm able to actually be on the field.
Did the doctor say I should do it? No, he said, I should stop soccer, but if it's a joy for me then do it, but just realize that I'm aging my knee, and so I'm taking that responsibility. Well, this is where I'm at.
If you have any questions, if you have any comments, go ahead. As I summarize, I just want to let you know that if you think you want to make a change, but you feel like it's too hard, that's okay. Spend some time just reflecting on “What would help me?”
Whether it’s in business like writing your book, launching your podcast, or having a new team member like a VA on your team, what's going to help you get there?
Or in your life if it’s to decorate your home like you want, to get over an addiction, to parent better, just ask yourself that question, “What is going to help?” If you have Dynamic You book, look in the pillar that has the five stages of change, and you can learn more about that.
The other thing I want you to know is if you see someone around you changing their behavior for the better, can we please applaud them? Similarly, if you have noticed a difference in me, applaud me and acknowledge it. I have had people at soccer acknowledge me because they know. People at my church, my neighbors, my friends and even acquaintances. It is encouraging, and it is motivating because I look at myself sometimes, and think, “I'm still not where I want to be”. Having that external acknowledgment and feedback is so encouraging.
You don't have to say, “Wow, you've lost weight”. You can just say,
Whatever it is, you can say those things, and it's okay. It doesn't have to be a secret, but encouraged.
On the flip side, I wish people wouldn’t push things. For example, I went to another event with food that I couldn't have, with alcohol I couldn't have and when I said “No, thanks”, people pushed it on me, “Would you like a piece of cake?” “No, thanks”. “Oh, come on. It's delicious.” “No, thanks. I'm not eating cake.” “Oh, just a little piece? “No, thank you. I am not eating the cake because I’m focusing on losing weight to make my knee better.” Don't make me have to say ”no” so many times.
I know some people will say, “No is an answer, you don't have to say more.” But when they're people that are pushing, pushing, pushing, the best thing to stop them is a reason.
I am unapologetically saying no to things. I showed up at the potluck with my own chicken thighs because I knew I would not get enough protein and my potluck item was a platter of vegetables, so that I knew I was covered.
Be unapologetically yourself. Please be supportive of others because I tell you, this is one of the hardest challenges that I've had to deal with. Even saying yes to it was extremely hard and emotional. Maybe some of this resonates with you regarding your weight, your health, and maybe some of this resonates with you in another area of your life. No matter where it is, I'd love to hear from you.
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