October 2017. I remember this month so well because it was the beginning of the journey back to me and it was a tough month for sure. I had just lost my mother in July and instead of taking a few moments to relax and feel something….I moved right back into business as usual. I joined a new gym, worked, pushed myself in the development of my business and tried to keep smiling while I was doing it. I knew I wasn’t okay, my family knew I wasn’t okay, I just suppressed the feelings because I was scared. Scared to feel something seemingly unbearable, scared to face myself, scared to stop for even a moment to process the last year of my life. It all came crashing down on me in October. Why? It was a big birthday month for me and my family. My late mom, late grandmother, my dad, and myself…all within a little over a week of one another. I shut down. I broke.
It was a hot mess. I barely wanted to get off the couch. I didn’t want to do anything but just exist. I was as present as possible, but there were more blows coming and I knew it. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day…all times to share and love on your family and friends. My mom was my rock and I lost her. The impact was felt in those times the most. I began to neglect movement because the gym I joined wasn’t the right fit for where I was in my life so I dumped it. I ate out of my norm because I wanted to find comfort in food. I pushed people away because I didn’t care to hear any advice, condolences, or well wishes because I wasn’t well and didn’t want to be coddled. I had to deal with it.
It wasn’t long before I decided to get back in the gym (after some not so nice comments from a close family member of mine.) There was a scale. What did I do? Stepped on that scale and it was depressing! I was the biggest I had been in YEARS. Years of hard work and dieting and hating myself to fit thrown down the drain. My first response? Hate myself right back to that place. I was ready to launch a full on diet and overhaul on exercise all over again. The vicious cycle I had unintentionally broken in my months of solitude, grief, dealing, and growing to love myself more in the process…gone…by one step on the scale.
Isn’t that something we all do? Bad habits are hard to break. Even when you think you’ve escaped that habit and found a happy place, life comes along to really show you where you are. I was tired of it. I had to do this for me. I had to get well again from the inside out. How? Through balance.
There are many components to finding balance but the biggest of them all is the why. The why has to be for you. It has to be the growth and evolution of your mindset, soul and body. When I got on that scale, it was a disappointment, yes. The most hurtful part of it was that I thought I had let everyone else down. Here I am, a Holistic Health Coach in training and I can’t get my stuff together. I was embarrassed and hurt. But that’s not a good why. I know that. We all know that in theory, but putting it into actionable steps can become a tough process to bear. It requires a level of transparency with yourself that is above other people. You have to love you enough to want more, and to find the place that is happy, confident and healthy for YOU.
It took some time, but I took some steps that were very different and uncomfortable.
First, I stopped dieting. Yes, I eat well. I eat for me. I eat whole foods a majority of the time, drink water, and eat at home where I can control what goes in my food.
I also took that time to set boundaries with people. Family, friends, colleagues, I had to know when it was too much and just say NO. I had some really bad hormonal imbalances due to stress and in order to check them, I had to create a space for myself that was safe. It was also a good time to check in with God. That is the single most important relationship in my life.
I had to engage in self care that worked for me. Watching a little trashy reality TV, going out to my favorite places, epsom salt baths, not working 24/7 on this baby of mine (you’re reading it right now.) I began to read more again as well, which is my favorite.
I also embraced the idea that it was okay to want to lose weight while loving myself where I was. I unlearned the idea that if I want to change my body, I hate myself and vice versa. I also honored where I was at the time and continue to do that, as I am still on this journey.
I joined a new gym where I felt right at home (where I also coach now, shoutout to The Southern Squeeze for being the dopest gym in Nashville.) I fell in love with movement all over again. It feels less like a chore and more like an act of self love.
That being said, the true balance comes when you understand what you want. Tapping out is okay. Not feeling up to it is also okay. Never allow yourself to operate on burnout. Once you do that, the right things begin to fall into place. For me, my business has been booming because I stopped chasing and kept my head down and worked. I’m stronger than I’ve been in a long time, possibly ever. I am in healthy, happy relationships with my husbae, my son, my family and friends. I am happy and feel whole.
I challenge you to check your balance. If you feel out of sorts, overwhelmed, tired, and just plain burnt out, it’s time to put a plan in place that works for you. If you don’t know where to start, send me an email at email@example.com and we can do a complimentary session!