Real Life Changes – Emily’s Story: “Every choice matters.”
This is a recent testimonial from one of my clients, Emily, who lives in San Francisco.
In the middle of my 29th year, obviously anticipating the big 3-0, I found myself fat, unhappy, depressed and battling chronic ‘stomach issues’ (to put it tactfully). I looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I had become. The scale was tipping 181 pounds (I am 5’7”), I wasn’t fitting in any of my clothes and my energy level was plummeting more and more with each passing day. I looked in the mirror and wondered what happened to the confident, athletic, and beautiful girl I once was? I was at a loss – what the hell was the problem? Was it my new desk job? Was it because I wasn’t getting enough cardio or strength training in each week?
Obviously my love for sweating it out at the gym wasn’t compensating my love for food. Juicy, cheesy, sweet, salty, glorious food! After spending my mid to late twenties caught in a battle between my mind and food (you know, things like: I swear I’ll start fresh on Monday OR Oops! I over ate at breakfast so my whole day is shot so I guess I’ll get McDonalds for lunch OR I’ll eat only fruits and vegetables and then by dinner I am so famished I eat a whole frozen pizza OR I hate myself because I am fat so I’ll eat more mentality) I vowed that I wanted to do it right. To me, doing it right meant learning how to choose foods for nourishment and fuel and changing old, negative behavior patterns around eating. Growing up in the Midwest on casseroles, fish sticks and fries did not give me the best nutritional foundation for making my own decisions as an adult and my thickening body and unhappy mind was proof that I just did not have the knowledge to go at it alone anymore.
I had my slogan – 30 before 30 – now I just needed to find someone with the answers. After researching nutritionists online I was referred to Diane by a person in the fitness industry that I trusted. I was immediately drawn to Diane’s candor, her intense passion and her straight shooting attitude when it came to debunking health food myths.
Diane was very thorough – I tracked my food for a week prior to our first meeting, filled out questionnaires, and answered questions about my family medical history and even about my daily bowel movements. She viewed me in a comprehensive and holistic way. She sought to understand my body and its needs as well as my mental processes and behavior patterns around eating. Only then did she begin to educate me on nutrition and together we created a plan of action that included meal plans, and short and long term goals.
I was most surprised by Diane’s strong (to put it lightly) suggestion that I eliminate gluten from my diet. I always attributed my stomach issues to diary but almost immediately after giving up gluten my ‘issues’ (extreme bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea, and even some skin rashes – to not put it tactfully) disappeared. I am not exaggerating. After two years of a general uncomfortably and irritability my symptoms were gone. Granted, in the beginning, the thought of eliminating gluten from my diet was seemed impossible (WTH? no pizza, pasta, sandwiches!) but Diane gave me alternatives and I was so amazed and so happy with the immediate feelings of relief that I was motivated to stick with it. (Note: Emily told me in our first consult that she had a family history of women with Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune thyroid condition with known food triggers in gluten, which was why I told her that she needed to stop eating gluten as I had put it “yesterday.”)
Not only did Diane provide me with easy to understand nutritional resources, but she also gave me information on positive lifestyle changes like tips on stress management, sleep and exercise. Diane was VERY accessible during our program and continues to stay in touch with me. She is very passionate about her chosen career path and that passion is reflected in my progress.
I started my own journey at 181lbs and am now down to 158lbs. I still have around 7-10lbs to lose before October 9th (the big 3-0!) but I am confident that I will get there. I am happier, healthier, and more positive and more energetic than ever! This journey has been about changing my lifestyle not just losing weight. One thing that Diane said that stuck with me is that every day, every choice we make matters. I think about that every day and it helps me to stay on track. I ended up at 181lbs because I convinced myself that one cookie, one missed workout, one second helping, one extra slice pizza didn’t matter. The truth is that they all matter and honestly I was putting immediate gratification and food above myself and my health. Now I just take one decision at a time. I stay aware and present and remember that being healthy is a choice.