Like you just can’t take any more of the stress, busy-ness and challenges that life throws at you? Often resulting in emotional eating, right?! That stress can be debilitating and it’s still a feeling I can remember so clearly. My nervous system was in chaos, I would often have a racing heart and I would always use the excuse that “I don’t have enough time!” to do the things that were what my body and soul needed.
This was me playing ‘victim’ to my life and to the world.
…And it got me nowhere! I was taking days off work because I was so tired and sick and eventually ended up with adrenal fatigue, which took over 2 years to fully recover from. (Not fun…not fun at all!).
As we know, when we feel super stressed, tired and irritable, it’s super easy to then look to food as comfort, especially if we have a long standing habit of emotional eating. And for me, this was exactly what happened. Food helped me to feel better, to escape the stress of the day (my go-to was snacking, ALL DAY!), plus a second and third coffee seemed at the time like a fabulous energy boost. Then the rollercoaster continued as the weight started to pile on, I drank alcohol every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night as a way of escaping the week, ate crap food as a result of feeling yuck from the booze…and then came Monday and I repeated it all again!
I really did feel like I wanted to run and hide from the world, especially Monday to Friday and then come Friday, it was like I got my life back again! Except I didn’t because what sort of living is it when you drink your sorrows and have fried and fatty food cravings as a result?! It’s one way to feed the vicious cycle of self-sabotage, weight gain and and unfulfilled life!
One of my biggest downfalls at this time of my life was that I didn’t have many coping strategies to deal with stress. I blamed my situation and my work environment for the stress, I blamed my boss for my workload and also for offering me too many coffees. I blamed my friends for being influencers on the weekend and I blamed my lack of willpower to make any changes. I certainly played the blame game because it was easier than taking self-responsibility for how I felt and for my actions.
Very rarely did I actually look at myself and think “I have the power to make whatever changes I choose to, to improve how I feel, how I think, how I act and what I eat. I have the power to lose weight instead of gain weight. I have the power to start being kind to myself and make changes right now!”
Very rarely did I actually see all of my situation as my own creation, instead I played the blame game and fell victim to this way of thinking.
What I love to coach my clients on is that they absolutely have the power to create whatever change they desire, not just in terms of how their body looks or feels but also how they experience they entire life. If they desire to have more confidence, build stronger relationships with their children, to have more intimate times with their partner, learn more about who they are, learn to love cooking and have a nourishing relationship with food – THEY CAN! And it’s up to them! And so can you!
When we stay stuck in the victim mentality, that is exactly where we remain. It was when I one day (finally) took a real look at my life and I realised that I felt stressed, was gaining weight, had ‘no time’, drank too much coffee and takeaway, along with all the alcohol, because I chose to live this way! I had friends who were stressed out of their head at work yet they managed to eat well, maintain a healthy body, relax on the weekends and spend time in nature. But not me! I chose to live a different lifestyle, one that was no serving me at all.
And it was this realisation that made a huge impact on my coming months and years. It was the realisation that I needed that brought me to a crossroad of decisions – to either stay in the stressed, self-sabotaging and chaotic cycle that I was in, that was detrimental to my body, my mind and my soul or to take ownership of my life, get in the drivers seat and start creating change.
This is the incredible crossroad decision that all my beautiful clients take when they join my programs and I am filled with so much joy every time they make this life-changing and life-giving decision - when they say yes to themselves!
Choosing ‘me’ and taking ownership of my life was the best decision I have ever made - it has helped shape both physically and spiritually the person I am today.
I let go of the victim mentality and started seeing the situations in my life as opportunities rather than obstacles. I had conversations with my boss, with my work colleagues and with myself that should have taken place a long time ago. These conversations where about making changes that I needed so I could thrive each day instead of be driven into the ground. However small the changes, they all added up to help me live more peaceful, enjoyable, healthy days.
I realised that I had so much support around me but this whole time, it was actually me that was creating the drama in the first place, by not speaking my voice and letting others know how I was feeling. For some reason I felt that I had needed to just get on with my days and cope with the stress and lack of joy in my life, to not whinge and moan and just ‘be strong!’ Well how I was wrong!
In fact it took great strength for me to stand up for myself, to admit that I was not coping and that my weight gain and lack of love for myself was causing a lot of emotional pain. Instead of walking around pretending I was happy with my body and how I looked, I admitted to myself and to others that I was deeply disappointed that I had let me body go. I admitted that I had been super stressed and this was not a way I wanted to live my life. I admitted that I wanted to feel super healthy and sexy yet I felt the complete opposite. I admitted that I needed help to make changes in my life but I would take full responsibility to bring those changes to life.
I also new that even if I could have all the support in the world from my boss, from a personal trainer, meal plans, coaches, and so on, I didn’t also support myself then nothing would actually change. It was up to me to support myself just as I was wanting support from others to help improve aspects of my life. This is where I had gone wrong in the past. I hadn’t been supporting my body or my emotional health. I had been blaming others and my environment. It was time to take back my power and fully support myself and the life, body and health I so desperately desired!
So instead of wanting to run and hide from the world, I began to embrace life. I began to see my challenges as opportunities and I chose a daily lifestyle that supported me dreams….so I could really enjoy life again. I identified ways to manage the daily stress, to completely remove stressors when I could, to remind myself that there is always time to cook healthy meals, buy the groceries in advance and exercise daily with no excuses. If I was tired, I would go for a slow walk. If I was energised I would go to bootcamp or the gym. I reminded myself to let go of the excuses that had been holding me back for so long and that I can choose to do and be whatever I desire, in any moment.
I felt empowered, exhilarated and excited for life!
That’s not to say I didn’t’ feel stressed or eat my emotions at times but with a daily practice of being in the drivers seat of my life, everything started to shift for the better and I couldn’t believe it had taken me THAT long to realise that it was all on me.
The scary thing can be exactly that, that it’s all on us to create the body that we deeply want, the life that we truly desire, the relationships that we deserve and the ideal job. It’s very easy to fall into the victim mentality like I did and blame other people, the weather, our job or our genetics for the way that we feel.
One of the biggest learnings and experiences that I provide to my clients is that we always have the power to feel how we want to feel. It takes daily practice to let go of the old habit of blaming others and situations because we essentially have done this our whole lives. “I ate the WHOLE packet of chips AND another, BECAUSE my husband just wouldn’t listen to me!” Or…”She made me so stressed and anxious because of what she said to me!” OR…”I just needed a bottle of champagne because it was such a stressful week!”
We hear this type of talking from such a young age. Chances are this was the language that was used in your home as you were growing up, as your parents experienced the same language from their parents and so on. You would have experienced this way of speaking at school as well. “He hurt me”, “She upset me”, “I don’t like her because she leaves me out of the group”. We felt sad, angered, frustrated, upset and annoyed BECAUSE of what people say and do to us or to those around us. We would then get caught up in the emotion of it all and if it feels uncomfortable, we yell, scream, hit, argue, lose our shit, look for the chocolate cake, take another packet of chips from the pantry, or for some - in teenage years - start the habit of looking for the cigarettes or bottle of vodka to just cope with the feelings that they are trying to run from!
How often were you, as a child or teenager, encouraged to just feel your feelings and allow them to be there, instead of trying to run and hide from them? How often did you feel safe and comfortable to just feel the anger and sadness? I know too well how easy it was to just keep eating, eat some more and then drink some more to avoid reality and suppress the feelings that didn’t feel good to me.
Eating food and tasting it’s deliciousness, while numbing the pain with alcohol felt a hell of a lot better than having to sit there and FEEL anger and sadness. But why is this the case? Why are we so afraid to feel our feelings? I hear this time and time again where my clients will say that they don’t allow themselves to feel how they really feel. Thankfully within a couple of weeks of working together this all changes, but it changes for them in a supportive, loving way, where the fear of ‘feeling’ is removed and the empowerment of ‘feeling’ ignites within them.
When we allow ourselves to feel our feelings, we begin to access all parts of ourselves. We begin to stop hiding from the world and our life, as we deepen the connection we have with ourselves, learn more about who we are and realise that all feelings are neither good nor bad, they are all part of the human experience. When we allow all feelings, we get to experience life in so many more beautiful ways. We feel empowered knowing that we can cope with adversity instead of using food or alcohol as the only way to cope. We prove that we are more powerful than we realise by breaking old habits and ignoring parts of ourselves, to feeling proud of ourselves for handling challenges with grace and ease.
And all it takes is just firstly giving yourself permission to feel all your feelings and secondly, to have the tools and strategies to cope with them when they arise. Yes there will be times when it feels uncomfortable but the joy you experience when you are able to cope with stress easier, when you feel more at peace each day, have a clearer mind, a more rested body and you easily choose healthy delicious food – it is priceless and it is well worth every second of your time to make the change.
Have a think about this for just a moment:
What would your life be like if you allowed yourself to take full responsibility for how you feel? To allow yourself to feel anger, frustration, lonely, boredom, sadness and stress, instead of blaming others or running away from the feelings by keeping super busy or eating food to numb the pain?
When was the last time you used food as comfort? What emotions and feelings may you have been ignoring at the time?
Imagine taking ownership and full responsibility of your life, knowing you can manage your time however you choose, you can create the body you desire. Knowing you can love and respect yourself more than you ever have before, let go of excuses, have a peaceful mind AND live a life you love…!
What excuses and blocks come up for you as you read that? Perhaps your mind told you “But I have no motivation” or “I don’t have the money” or “I’ve tried before” or “It’s all too hard”?
These are the words and the ‘blocks’ that you need to be aware of because it is this exact mindset that you have the power to shift and change, if you choose. You have the power to evolve into the best version of yourself, if you choose. You have the power to release your emotional and weight baggage, if you choose. You have the power to love your life, nourish your body, wake up with excitement and energy each day and to be a positive role model to your children, if you choose.
Yes you need support from others along the way! It may be from your neighbour, husband, friends, kids or work colleague. Support is a crucial aspect of any transformation, so seek it from those that you feel called to. And ultimately, give that support to yourself!
You are more powerful than you realise Beauty, so instead of playing victim to your life (as we have so often been conditioned to do), step into the drivers seat today and know your healthy and bright beautiful body is just around the corner, along with your greatest life.
Sending you so much love,
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