With so many women struggling with their weight and body image issues, with a focus swirling around aesthetics, we need to swiftly change our approach, change the conversation back to a health-based discussion.
Engaging in the questions of weight loss, especially with women, opens up so many possible pitfalls. Here’s a little perspective for you:
The number one killer of women is heart disease, which is undeniably a nutritionally based disease. The number two killer is cancer. When one of us has cancer and needs to get to our chemo appointment, or eat a particular thing, or avoid a certain thing, by God we make sure it happens. We even shave our heads in support of one another when cancer is staring one of our sisters in the eye. That’s what happens with the number two ranking life-ender. Now let’s circle back to heart disease. Número uno! Think about what happens when the topic of a new health commitment is broached.
Do any of these sound familiar?
Just have one bite.
Why don’t you just start next week?
My friend tried that, it worked at first, but then she gained it all back.
Oh I don’t know if I could do that.
Oh man, that sounds awful! Why don’t you just try . . .
It’s exhausting! And risky.
It’s not an intentional derailing, but the fact is anything less than a high five, followed by an immediate topic change is a slippery slope that must be avoided while you’re in the throes of breaking addictions and retraining your mind. When a meth addict is coming off of the drug, they certainly don’t run the risk of conversing with people who are still addicted and think they know better. When they are truly ready for change, they put their nose to the grindstone, tackle the problem and talk about it later.
If you’re thin and always have been that way, you may not be able to relate. Here’s a fun little experiment for you. Next time you’re meeting girlfriends for lunch, show up and when it’s time to order, simply say “no thank you” and decline the opportunity to order. Pay attention to the responses of your friends. You will experience anything from gentle curiosity, to all out social panic. If you are lucky, the discomfort will only last a few minutes. Though it’s more likely that it will continue through the entire meeting. Someone will circle back to you at least once and ask that you just admit what’s going on with you.
Here is another funny tidbit:
We’re pretty sure we’ve been on every diet on the market, at least twice.
Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutri System, Cabbage Soup, Phen-fen, Master cleanse, Isagenix, HCG, and…. weigh this, count that, document everything. Every time we started a new plan, we would tell the people in our life what we were up to. At about 10 pounds of loss they would tell us how great we were looking. This was all in an effort to be supportive and to keep us on track. For anyone who has struggled with obesity, you know just the opposite occurs. Suddenly you tell yourself that you’ve done so well you can take your foot off the gas for one meal, one day, just one bite. Until the whole diet is in the rearview mirror. Here’s the nutty part: When we didn’t tell anyone what we were up to, Billie was 54 pounds down and Stephanie was 30 pounds down before the first person noticed a difference.
Each of us had become life and death serious about our health. And we felt fierce about not to allowing a single ounce of (unintentional) sabotage anywhere near us as we focused on getting from A to B.
If you start a new health journey, do yourself a favor and keep your circle of insiders tight.
We suggest you share with your significant other, your doctor, and of course your coach if you should choose one. But, that’s it. Don’t tell your friends or your colleagues or your family.
We’ll continue to share what we’ve learned and the ways we live our lives now. We would love to be helpful to anyone who needs the support. Though, here’s what we can confidently say was the most important contribution to our success: our health coaches could have handed us a book with every single answer in it, and it would not have helped us lose (and keep off) a combined 190 pounds (whoa, that’s another big human!). We needed daily handholding by someone who knew what they were doing. Seventy-five percent of our success came from doing exactly what our coaches told us to do. We are thrilled to be taking on clients of our own and have successfully coached them through their own journeys to health and 100 Year Bodies. It brings tears to our eyes to witness their transformations and to know their lives are forever changed.