I set my phone timer for 15 minutes to write this. Not because it isn't important. Not because I don't take it seriously. But because when I face a massive change I need to make - I get really "busy" and avoid taking the step. Fear of failure takes over and it's easier to do anything else. This is my first blog post on my own website and it feels like a big step - so I have been very "busy."
But, it has dawned on me that this isn't intended to be about me anymore. This is for you.
This is a chance to be a voice I know I needed to hear. There may be a woman who needs to know she is not the only one stuck between frustration and fear. And she needs to know there is a way to build the health habits she wants. This is intended to be a chance for other women to connect to a story that may feel like part of their own.
I stood in front of the mirror getting ready for a party. I had already been through every piece of clothing that could possibly work and nothing fit. I had been experiencing migraines for months and woke up each day already exhausted. I only drank coffee and waited until it was appropriate to pour wine. The past year had seen an unexpected leave from my classroom and I was now home caring for my young toddler who needed me every moment as we juggled everyday life and speech therapy. I had also spent the year by my mother’s side for each twist and turn as she battled in beast-mode against breast cancer. She was fighting for her health and I felt less control over my own than ever.
I wanted to keep giving to everyone else and felt I had to preserve the drops of energy that remained. I had not looked within for months and felt like we were in survival mode just making it from one day to the next. It wasn’t until I got ready for that party that I realized I needed to find some breath within for myself. I had been ignoring my habits in hopes that would make them untrue. I had no knowledge of how to do better or had no past health success to build my present change I now knew was necessary.
. I was escaping pictures because I didn’t want to see me or acknowledge how I really felt. The dust was settling, but nothing would change for me if I didn’t change my habits or mind. I didn’t know where to start, but I knew THIS feeling had to go.
I signed up for an online accountability group full of strangers and promised myself to just be in the background - per usual. I started adding exercise to my day at home, so that I couldn’t use child care as an excuse. I started learning about how to change my plate and un-learning my habits and past misconceptions of what healthy must look like. I gave myself a month to test and see if I could really do this or if it would even work. The voices of the women in that group echoed in my mind. They shared their honest feelings of when they struggled and how good it felt when they succeeded. They faced challenges that I couldn’t even imagine. If they could try, so could I.
I was surprised the plan worked. I was even more shocked at what it did for my mind.
Those strangers actually gave me more inspiration than I had ever felt. I was finally gaining practical information that made sense for real life - and I wanted to keep learning more. My body immediately responded by feeling different. Better. It was like it was thanking me for finally paying attention to it instead of always concentrating on everyone else. I had feared that investing in health would cost me investing in others. The opposite happened. I was stronger and healthier to keep giving to them and living a life that felt good for me. It wasn’t about a number, it was about mindset.
It became my mission to change the life of the woman who feels the same way I did. I know she’s scared of investing in herself. I know she thinks of the past and assumes it will repeat. I know she thinks she’s too busy right now. I know she is waiting for a "better time" that she deep down knows isn't actually coming. I know she is afraid of how change may impact others around her. I know she is stuck between the frustration and comfort of her current habits.
But I also know she may be hearing the whisper that something needs to change - or nothing will.
I’m here to tell her that her life is ready for it. She is strong enough to do this and she doesn't need to find her way alone. I have continued to learn and grow to serve the women I coach, so that none of them have to stand in front of that mirror with that feeling anymore. I want to help her replace fear with excitement and frustration with power. I want to give to the givers. I want to hold the light for her while she does the work to gain more than she could ever lose.
To be honest, I went past the 15 minutes on my timer once I started writing. Sometimes, pushing ourselves to start is harder than the action itself. Set your timer. Take a deep breath. And start.