Sometimes it feels like the closer I get, the slower and more challenging everything about my fitness & nutrition coaching programme feels. And I forget how far I have come! And I have a lot to be grateful for. I got into my first pair of size 12 jeans in almost ten years this last weekend, my weight is in the healthy range, I am in pretty much the best shape of my adult life, and I am feeling great about the relationship with myself, and starting to really make headway on developing a healthy, nurturing relationship with food. And when I put it down here it all sounds blissful and easy, but then there’s the more challenging reality of the last 12 months.
I have learned about flexible dieting, and learning to eat in a sustainable way that works for me! And that has been great, but there have been days when my dinner feels like a science calculation made up of numbers, calories & macros, and I have had to work hard sometimes to enjoy my food. But although it feels pervasive at the time, it is never permanent, and I go back to enjoying the incredible food I have been eating…and have still lost 25kgs!
There’s been hunger…deep, emotionally-upsetting hunger, that makes me want to run screaming to the nearest shop and stock up on my trigger foods, particularly party packs of Doritos & tubs of ice cream! I’ve had to develop new coping techniques and not jump into a food binge! Because when I go there, I come out the other side remorseful, guilty and ashamed. And I am learning through honesty, authenticity, openness, humility and courage that I am not the only person in the world who deals with my emotions through the misuse of food. Working with Alex has helped me to improve that reactionary action, and tap into my healthy responses and resources when faced with stressful life events! So, the hunger, like the eat-by-numbers, doesn’t stick around forever, but is just a passing feeling that needs to be confronted and understood, rather than trying to hide from it (in a BIIIIIG bag of spicy snacks).
So even in the fear and frustration, there has been immense learning. Lessons that will stick with me long after the hunger and the irritation have faded. I am learning to love and understand my body and appreciate what it can accomplish. That’s never more satisfying then after an amazing workout at the gym. Where I am focused, and feel strong and motivated. When the sets simply peel off one after the other with seemingly little effort, and I am proud of the changing shape I see in the mirrors (which I have actually learned not to hide from). And then there are those days when I want to stick my finer in my coach’s eye and tell him that it’s too difficult, and I am too weak and that he doesn’t understand what it’s like to be me.
But those days too pass, and are neither pervasive or permanent, and the feedback I am getting from Alex is not personal. One of my biggest challenges through all of this has been learning to listen to feedback, rather than seeing it as criticism and becoming defensive. It’s become evident that this has not only been something I needed to work on in the gym and as with other elements of my journey of the last 12 months’ have taught me so many things about myself and how I show up in my life.
I have had to really dig deep, adapt the way I see and feel about myself, the way I perceive my life and my mindset, thought patterns, my emotions and environment. I am able to look in a mirror and admire the consistency, practice and effort I have put in. And the challenges I have faced have taught me an enormous amount about myself and how I see the world. And with a coach like Alex in my corner, I have pushed forward rather than simply giving up when things got difficult.