I’m not sick sick, but I feel icky and blah, and lethargic and hopeless. What I’m feeling feels both physical and psychological. And they seem to be tied together. It’s like when my psychological side (re: mindset) starts to improve then my physical side fails me.
Note: This blog was written back in 2018 before anyone knew that a pandemic was a thing we’d ever have imagined being a part of… the words here were exactly how I was feeling at that time. Reading them now is surreal in a way because they remind me that health is a journey, not a destination, I have to “just keep swimming” in order to stay on the right path. I don’t feel like there is an ‘end game’ in regards to my health other than to die young as late as possible!
I share this now because I want to let anyone out there who is struggling with their health, to know that they’re not alone! I want people to know that even someone who knows about ‘health stuff’ can still struggle!
Warning ... soul-bearing vulnerability ahead!
I have not been very happy lately… because I don’t feel good.
I’m not sick sick, but I feel icky and blah, and lethargic and hopeless. What I’m feeling feels both physical and psychological. And they seem to be tied together. It’s like when my psychological side (re: mindset) starts to improve then my physical side fails me. Example: I finally made up my mind that I’d start working out again, and then I throw my back out which derails all workouts for at least 2-3 weeks. And then once I’m better, I don’t feel like working out again. It’s a vicious cycle.
But, I REALLY need to do something about my increasing waistline. I’m not just talking a couple of extra pounds, I’m talking about being about to only fit into 3 pairs of pants out of 7-8 that I own… and those 3 pairs have lots of stretch in them.
I’m stuck and have been for quite some time. I haven’t been consistent with any sort of eating plan, and I couldn’t even tell you the last time I exercised (other than last week when I threw my back out). And I’m really frustrated about it. Like to the point of sadness…crying sadness, not feeling like doing anything kind of sadness.
I’d rather watch TV than make decisions,
which makes me feel even more sad that I don’t feel like doing anything—it’s the holidays for crying out loud! All I want to do is sit around, watch Outlander (which I’ve seen several times), or distract myself with errands and chores that I convince myself need to be done. ‘Need’ being a stretch sometimes. Really they’re just excuses. I could still get it all done (the errands and taking care of myself), but I just don’t. I’m choosing Claire and Jamie over doing something about my pants not fitting!
I’m a freaking health coach!! I’m supposed to be healthy and know how to get there, right?
But. I. Just. Can’t.
Or, more accurately, I haven’t…. yet.
I’ve been reluctant to start anything because of the holidays (re: excuse #164). And even if I did start something now what would it be? I’ve done Whole30 several times, with success. I’ve done the Faster Way to Fat Loss, with success. I did Weight Watchers, years ago, and had success! And guess what? Pretty much any program I stick to, I’m sure I’ll have success with it.
But every time I look into something or start thinking about actually doing it, I go catatonic. I get overwhelmed with the idea of it, and I give up… and go watch TV instead. Then a day or two later, I sit at my computer and have to unbutton the top button on my pants because I can’t breathe, and start the search again.
Am I alone in this?
To make matters worse, I feel like the only diet/plan I can actually do right now is the SeeFood diet… See food and eat it! All of it.
Along with the guilt I feel over not taking care of myself and gaining weight each week, I have the additional feeling that I’m a fraud, and imposter… I wonder if I should rename my business "The Bad Health Coach" 🤔 How can I pretend to coach anyone to their health when I can’t even coach myself?
Then I answer my own question when I realized coaching oneself is REALLY hard!
Most people know they can’t coach themselves effectively. When we’re struggling with something or trying to solve a problem, what do we typically do? We talk it out with someone!
Oftentimes we need someone outside of our own head to help us see and realize things that we may not see for ourselves. Sometimes the actual talking out loud and hearing our own voice express our thoughts is really powerful.
Some people have a trusted friend, family member, partner or spouse they can talk with to help them get motivated, maybe even have them be an accountability partner. Some have better luck with self-guided internet programs or group meetings. Others read books or listen to podcasts from their favorite influences to find their ‘advice.’ And then there is the health coach!
A health coach is specifically trained to listen without judgment and help you navigate your health journey. Their job is to be your guide, to help you process what’s important and where to start. They’ll even help you brainstorm and narrow down your options when it comes to what is best for your path.
I, at one point, have done all of the above, several times - including having my own health coach! And guess what… they’re all great methods! It’s all about finding the method of ‘coaching’ that is best for you!
When I think about it - since I’m sitting here writing this blog - I’ve been internalizing my struggle, keeping it quiet, and feeling shame about it. Not sharing, not talking to a trusted friend or my husband, not doing what I would advise any good friend or client to do! So no wonder I’ve been feeling sad and low! I’ve taken the shame to heart and let it fester there, which 9 1/2 times out of 10, make it worse!
Not too long ago, I read “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown and one of the things she pointed out in that book that has stuck with me is the idea that the less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives. And I don’t want shame to have control.
And you know what… just writing this today has made a huge difference in my mindset! Knowing that someone else, even if it’s just my mom, is going to read this, is shifting how I’m thinking and how I want to go about my health journey. So even if you don’t find a trusted source to talk to (pssst… a health coach is specifically trained for this), journaling and pretending someone else will read it, might be a great place to start!
You know what: I did make a change after I wrote that! I looked back at my old 2018 planner… and that very week I researched a new gym, signed up, and started actually GOING to that gym.
For the most part, minus the 2 months at the start of Pandemic Times, I have stuck to my health path because I remember feeling bad. I remember feeling sad, I remember my pants physically hurting my stomach, and I don’t want that feeling to return. I really do want to die young as late as I possibly can! I have LOTS of things I still wanna do in this life with this body I have been given.
I also have a network of friends and colleagues with whom I share my thoughts now, both professionally and personally. The other thing that I have learned is to outsource work whenever I can! Guess what… I don’t HAVE to go to the grocery store, I can save time and energy by having them delivered. I don’t HAVE to come up with a workout plan if I’m busy with work, I can take a class that has elements of the workout I need or want. Finding these has helped me almost create the time I need to fit it all in!
I still make excuses when I don’t want to ‘work’ on my health, but they're not nearly as plentiful as they once were… because feeling good feels great, and in the words of L’Oreal “I’m worth it!”
I am worth it! And so are you.
Jeralyn is an integrative health coach, trained and certified at the Duke Integrative School of Medicine. It’s her passion to show you that you can still choose health despite your busy life. Read more about Jeralyn or visit her website to schedule a coaching session!
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