Sugar Addict Transitions To Health Coach
Written by Lynn Gale
Your Why. It’s the reason you get out of bed each day. Some jump out of bed like a green light pulsing right from red, others linger, debate, meditate and pray for 9 more minutes on the snooze. Your Why tells you to “get your ass out of bed”, “call your mom”, and “learn to play in the sandbox as a grown adult”.
Get to know your Why. Truly, it is everything. It directs you by the minute, the hour, the day, the month, the year, your life. Does our Why contradict and battle us often? You bet it does. From the obvious, “Hey Lynn, we’re at the bar, come on down street.”, knowing you won’t because you are reading to your four-year-old child and investing time in and providing love to your child. Your children are a very big Why! Almost everything I’ve done in the last nineteen years have been for my two children. I want them to grow to know love, safety, hope, compassion and joy. They are why I work, so I can feed and education them, provide a home they will reminisce over and hopefully mimic when their time to build their family comes. My children are “my life’s work”.
Today, I am a walking contradiction. I was born a junk food junky and sugar addict. My childhood home was known worldwide (not really but seemed that way) as the house with the sugar cereals. Growing up in the 1970s we had them all. Top cereals on my list, Fruity Pebbles, Honeycomb, Captain Crunch, Coco Puffs and Lucky Charms. I started the day with a good ol’ sugar buzz, heading off to school all pumped up. It may also be contested that I honed my reading skills reading cereal boxes amidst shoveling the sugary goodness into my mouth like rapid fire over the bowl whose mission was to catch the ubiquitously falling milk.
As time marched on, my mom introduced us to McDonalds. An introduction which in no way resembles an act seen today. We were only allowed McDonalds on the last day of the school year. We lived for it, anticipated it like Christmas Day. We jumped into the station wagon, drove over, got out of the car and walked into the building. We all ordered normal potions and savored the food and the event for we new we wouldn’t be in this experience again until the following year. Twenty minutes of bliss.
As an emerging young adult in the 1980s, I didn’t know about eating in “better” restaurants, as my limited experience was held to the occasional visits to a pizzeria or family diner like restaurants. Enter into my life, the boyfriend. My boyfriend opened my eyes to eating up. Steak houses with salad bars were our main target. All the bread, butter, meat, potatoes and dessert one could want. All delicious.
The college years and the freshman fifteen are very real. However, the greatest impact on me was landing my first real office job out of college. At 21 a slow metamorphosis began and the disease I call “sitting” began its march. For 30 years I have mostly sat at a desk before my computer punching away at keys looking like a hunched over monkey playing with something too small for its hands. In those 30 years, I worked three different positions at three different companies. My last and longest employment (21 years) pulled from my childhood some very well-worn dietary habits. As a visualization, picture a rain-soaked dirt road, a carriage pulled by horse and two very deep ruts from the carriage’s wheels. These two deep ruts are my junk food junky rut and my sugar addiction rut. In my 21-year employment, I was a sales professional who required the good ol’ sugar buzz heading off to work (at all hours, by the way, racing to airports). I rewarded myself after meetings with some McDonalds for lunch and at night would often find myself with clients or teammates at those leveled-up restaurants, eating bread, butter, meat, potatoes and desserts. Also, we can’t forget our newest friends, wine, vodka, gin and bourbon.
“Wooo-Weee”, as they say. You know where this bad boy is going. One year ago, in July 2018, for not the first time in my life I am sad to say, I had to draw a line in the sand. Fictious sand of course, as I was working like a maniac and didn’t have time for the ever-sought-after tropical beach. I could go this way or that way. Both were hard routes in my dirt road, both would have disrupted my well-worn deep ruts of my bad habits. Since both were hard, it seemed dumb to go down the path that offered possible medical intervention due to a potential heart attack, stroke, diabetes and depression which didn’t seem all that improbable. I am 30 pounds overweight and exercise is simply, just not my thing (I do walk a lot and have dogs but treadmills, exercise class, not so much.)
In the past twelve months, I liken my transformation to that of my first year of life. Transformed form a helpless form to a hell raiser running after my older brother. On that day in July 2018, I began my journey. Firstly, I needed help as I couldn’t do this on my own. I had a health coach, whom I mostly ignored for years (she knows it wasn’t her, it was all me), and I called her. My health coach represents a great program and company. I knew it wouldn’t take long to get where I needed to go, I just needed my Why. Here is my Why. I want to live. Plain and simple. I define live as “being healthy, living the life I want, being present and joyful for my family and friends, not being dependent of others or the partially broken health system.)
By November 2018, I’d lost 30 pounds. This is what I lost. What I gained was energy, great sleep, the clothes in my closet, better finances, an improved relationship with my husband and children and most importantly I found my smile.
I maintained that weight loss over the holidays, which was a feat! In February 2019, I made a huge decision to leave my employment as a sales professional of 21 years and in doing so, as of April 1, 2019, I became a full-time health coach, like my health coach, working for a great product and a great company. I am very proud to be a representative of this mission. First and foremost, I am now very much accountable to myself and my Why and to others I coach, reinforcing their Why. I feel this is God’s work, my hands. What an honor.