JOURNEY TO WELLNESS

This is the story of one of my wellness coaching clients.  She was kind enough to share with me what she gained from our coaching experience and hopes her story will help others.  Enjoy!

 

January 2011 to May 2011 I met with Lisa English as a wellness coach.  She was my trainer as well in January and February.  I first met her in 2009 where she became my trainer to help me get into shape for my wedding.  I felt amazing working with her and I look awesome in my wedding dress as a result.  I called her to train in 2011 because I had gained weight since my wedding.  In the past I always associated true happiness with how I looked.  I would always say to myself “If I lose this much weight I will be happy.”  I never thought about other aspects of wellness until I met with her in January.  It was just a normal training session when all of a sudden during our initial meeting I poured everything out that made me unhappy.  It went way beyond how I looked, but I always just thought stress and unhappiness were due to times I had gained weight.  At the time she was working towards being a wellness coach and asked if I would be willing to try wellness coaching.  I was willing to try anything because I knew it was time for a change.  I needed to find a way to be more confident about myself both on the inside and on the outside. 

 
Wellness coaching truly has made such a big impact on my life.  It helped me discover on my own how good my life has been and the good things I have accomplished.  Lisa helped me discover all of this on my own.  Every session I would bring something up that made me doubt what a good person I am.  For example, in the past I compared myself to everyone whether it was in sports, school, or the way I looked.  I always felt other people were better than me in everything.  Once this was addressed I felt so much better about myself.  Through the coaching I was able to list all my accomplishments in sports, academics and professionally.  I was able to list everything that I value in life.  By making lists I was able to discover on my own what a special, accomplished person I really am.  I discovered that by writing down all the positives in my life and all of my accomplishments I was able to get through the negative thoughts that pop into my head.  I know that I am able to accomplish anything I put my mind to.  Through wellness coaching I also learned to say no.  I always said yes to helping people and I never put myself first.  This added alot of stress in my life.  Now I have much more balance in my life by picking and choosing what I say yes to. 
 
For the longest time I always just tried to fix the physical part of me, but I realized that I needed to improve other parts of my wellness first if I was ever going to be successful with weight loss.  I needed to work on my mental, social and professional wellness.  By improving these aspects of my life I am now ready to tackle the physcial wellness.  I still have challenges I face and negative thoughts that creep in day to day, but I am able to face them by thinking about all the positives in my life.  I set goals and I know I can achieve them because I have shown that I can do so in the past. 
 
Currently I am unemployed due to school budget cuts and I gained 10 pounds back from what I lost last year.  In the past I would be thinking I was a failure.  With the help of wellness coaching I am able to stay positive.  I still use the lists I created to remember everything I have accomplished and all the good memories I have and good family and friends.  This helps me stay positive so that I can make a plan as to how I am going to lose the weight and what I need to do to find a teaching job again.  I don’t let myself get discouraged anymore because I know a lot of good things go on in my life.  Whatever challenge comes my way I have been able to discover, through wellness coaching, that I can achieve and overcome these challenges. 
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QUICK FIXES THAT WORK!

The alarm goes off.  My rush hour begins!  I am NOT a morning person, so I am always looking for ways to save time.  I still have some work to do when it comes to starting my day off right (perhaps I should stop hitting the snooze button), but I have figured out how to eat healthy food no matter how rushed I am.  I’m not talking about boring, tasteless food.  I’m talking about the kind of food that makes people say, “What is that?  It looks SOOO GOOD!”  Seriously, my co-workers have food envy at lunch.

What’s my trick?  Cook a lot of food at one time… I mean a LOT!  Pick one day (mine is usually Sunday) and spend a few hours preparing food.  You can freeze most cooked meats (except for fish),  pasta, sauces, soups, fresh veggies and fruits, and on and on….

“QUICK FIX” TIPS:

  • Use a crock pot when possible (grilling, baking, broiling are all fine)
  • Cook pounds of meat at a time (think AT LEAST 4 packs of chicken breasts)
  • Keep a variety of frozen veggies on hand at all times (buy in bulk)
  • Cut up fresh veggies immediately and store in fridge in small containers
  • Chop salad greens immediately and store in airtight container in crisper
  • Make sauces and marinades in double batches and freeze leftovers
  • Pack meals and snacks for the day the night before

If you take just one day to prepare food, your life will be easier.  You don’t have to plan specific meals.  Just have a variety of healthy foods ready to go.  You can come home from work and quickly defrost a piece of cooked chicken and throw on a salad or microwave some frozen veggies.  You can also cook a sweet potato in the microwave in minutes or how about those 90 second brown rice packs?  You have a well-balanced meal for one or for a family within 10 minutes!  It can take longer than that to sit in a drive-thru for mystery meat and soggy fries!

What are your favorite time-saving strategies?  I’d love to hear from you!  Questions and comments are welcomed:)

ARE YOU READY FOR A CHANGE?

It’s the end of January and we’ve already experienced one of the most uncomfortable winters, with bone-chilling temperatures and piles of snow.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m ready for a change in the weather!  I’m ready for sunny skies, warm temperatures, and daylight until 9 pm; and I’m ready for it NOW!  That being said, I’m not really here to complain about the weather.  I want to focus on the idea of CHANGE.

Change is a theme that keeps popping up.  Our President ran on a platform of change.  Our legislators are struggling to decide what that change should look like, from health care reform to stimulating the economy.   A recent report stated that an astounding 84% of American’s would be seeking job changes this year.  And let’s not forget those New Year’s Resolutions 40-50% of us made just 4 weeks ago.  Despite all the talk of change, many are not seeing the desired results.  Healthcare reform has not been conquered; people are feeling stuck in un-fulfilling jobs; and unfortunately, less than half of those January 1 resolutions will come to fruition.

Why is that?  Why is change seemingly so difficult?  After all, change is constant so you’d think we’d have the hang of it by now!

In my own life, there are two main barriers that at different times have paralyzed my ability to make a change:  lack of desire and fear.  Sometimes I just simply wasn’t ready to make a necessary change.  When I would finally get around to it, I usually wondered what took me so long!  Now fear, that’s a whole different story.  My readiness to take action has been halted a number of times by fear. Even if I knew the change would be good for me, I was afraid of the unknown, failure, and being forced outside my comfort zone.

Readiness to change and a willingness to overcome fear are necessary for LASTING CHANGE to occur.  I’ve learned that it’s ok if I’m not ready to tackle my whole “Things I Need to Change” list right now.  I simply have to find one change that I am READY to make, and commit to the steps I need to take.  I’ve also learned that change is going to be uncomfortable sometimes. It can be really difficult and it might take longer than I’d like (did I mention that I’m a fan of instant gratification?).  Seriously though, change is a process.  I’ve discovered that when I can embrace the process and really dig in and get dirty I can accomplish great things!

Right now, as I prepare to share my very first blog and introduce Lisa English-Wellness Coach to the blogosphere, I am embracing the process of change and all the lessons that come with it.  I’m reaching out, taking a risk, and silencing my fears.  I’m finally doing what I’ve been dreaming about for years.  While this is just one step on my journey, it is a step!  I may have to wait for sunny skies and warm weather, but I can do one thing each day to move me closer to where I want to be in my life.

For those of you who are contemplating making a change, what are you waiting for?

“Our only security is our ability to change.”  ~John Lilly