After months of hard work, my book is written, my Health Certification Exam is over, and my business is reshaped...well, it's nearly there. I've created speaker sheets, restructured my website to promote my speaker business, and received the support of numerous well-known keynote and workshop speakers to further hone my craft. And I'm getting there...one talk at a time.
My life is amazing. I run a for-profit business, Reshaping YOU, promoting well-being, and a non-profit organization, LGBTea Dances, supporting the Chester County lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. As a Speaker, I motivate change, help people achieve goals, and encourage individuals, corporate clients, and community groups to overcome barriers. As a non-profit Founder & President, I work with a team of volunteers to foster a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQA community members. In both worlds, I embrace diversity, save lives, and promote authenticity.
So, why do I struggle with my own authenticity, especially when it comes to my weight and ego? The truth is that I nearly lost control of my weight last year and I refused to open up about it. I feared being judged, or ridiculed for failing at my own career!
In December, while enjoying the holiday festivities, I realized that I was out of control. In just under three years, I had regained nearly forty pounds of a 125-pound weight loss! I almost threw in the towel. I was days away from giving up on myself, my career, and my health.
Over the past two years I'd ignored my increasing weight, keeping it well hidden under larger jeans and looser shirts. I enjoyed my social life, dining out with colleagues, and networking with potential clients over cheese and wine. I stopped tracking my food intake, I found little time for the gym, and I got involved with too many activities. When the clothes in my closet stopped fitting and I had flashbacks to 2009, when my weight loss journey began, I realized I needed more than just bigger clothes. I needed help. I needed accountability. I needed to go back to what worked.
So, six weeks ago I swallowed my pride, let go of my ego, and walked back into my favorite weight loss center. It was time to take care of me again. I stood in line to get weighed in as tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears of anger, tears of defeat, and tears of embarrassment. I was angry at myself for letting go. I felt defeated, because I wanted to be successful on my own as the "weight-loss expert". And I was embarrassed to see familiar faces who cheered me on years ago. But I also shed tears of relief. I was relieved knowing that I was exactly where I needed to be to get the help I deserved.
At first I thought of myself as weak for needing help. Afterall, I had accomplished the impossible by losing nearly 125-pounds. I opened a weight loss business shortly thereafter and helped others achieve their goals. I kept off over 100-pounds for nearly 5 years. I was the "expert", or so it seemed. The truth? I was far from an expert on weight loss and maintenance. I suppose by technical standards, I'm an expert. So are all of the weight loss gurus in the country. But none of us are true experts! The "experts" who have never experienced a substantial weight loss will never be experts at losing weight as an obese person. And those of us who have lived the obese life? Well, we all struggle from time to time. Maintenance is never-ending and lapses happen. And sometimes we need to ask for help ourselves. You see, while I was helping others overcome barriers, manage change and lose weight, nobody was helping me.
I've said this before and I'll say it again until we all realize the power of these words: "weight gains aren't failures – they're learning curves." I had a "learning curve". And I learned a lot. Mostly, I learned that I, too, needed a health coach.
Well, it's been 6 weeks and I'm down 8 pounds. I feel more energized, more organized, and happier. In fact, I've had the most productive 6 weeks of my life!
My advice for anyone reading this...don't be afraid to ask for help. Go on, you deserve it! Be authentic, be healthy, be YOU!
"I have taken several of Rachel's workshops! All of them have been educational, challenging and enjoyable. The most recent "Reshaping You" workshop has helped me with my mental, emotional and physical aspects of becoming healthier! Rachel is a great motivator! Thanks!" - C.K.
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