You know how there are pivotal moments in life? Ones you will never forget. One of mine happened in 2009, in the bathroom of the Chaska Community Center. It was THE moment when I got very serious about my health and vowed to end my revolving door of diets. It took another two years to find the solution, but it was the day I was DONE.
My daughter was about three years old. She was taking a little gymnastics class with my niece and was all decked out in a pink leotard. She had to go to the bathroom. Then to wash her hands I lifted her up on the sink so she could reach. And she started to cry. I asked her what was wrong, and the answer I got as I'm writing this still bring tears to my eyes. She said, "I don't like to look at myself in the mirror. I don't love myself." I'm not paraphrasing here. That was verbatim.
Standing there in front of that sink, I looked up in the mirror at myself and thought, "what have I done?" I thought I had hid it. The last thing I wanted was to raise my daughter with my body image/self image issues. Yet I very well knew in that moment, that you don't make that astute of a comment at three years old without picking it up somewhere. The craziest part was - I never said "I don't love myself." It was what she perceived, when I'm sure she overheard me with a mirror in my closet beating myself up - apparently out loud. That was the moment I knew I was DONE. I just wasn't sure how.
Fast forward a few months to a yoga retreat near Marine On St. Croix, in Minnesota. I was still very much struggling, taking some time to care for myself. I met a woman there who was very active, physically fit, positive, lots of energy - everything I wanted to be. We got talking and somehow ended up on the subject of eating and weight - and she shared how she used to struggle too. And given the details she gave, I very much knew she had. I don't even know her name, but did I ever hold onto that conversation. It was like a beacon of light in a storm, not to be too dramatic... I now had something powerful. Hope. If she could do it, so could I.
And so that is and has always been my goal doing what I do now. To be that person for someone else. The person who knows how it feels to really, truly struggle. For decades. And come out on the other side.
It was a whole two years and second child later before I finally found my way. And even then, after I have lost and kept off nearly 50 pounds for almost five years, left behind a commute and job that didn't excite me, tripped into the coolest - work but not really work - way to make a life, and a living... there are still more layers to peel. Which brings us to today. And why I am now DONE playing small, and bringing all of you with me.
I was still being that old self-conscious person when it came to my clients, friends and people I meet. I have been afraid of being judged as trying to "sign people up" if I really tried to help people create health. So I have continued to shrink from my potential, as I had so many times before. And so tell me - how I am supposed to be that person for someone else, that person who provides hope, if I hold back? So I hired a "confidence coach." Seriously. Well, a success coach really, but I call her a confidence coach. And she is not letting me get away with it. And so the other night, laying in bed - I realized I was still playing small. And once again, I was DONE.
So... like it or not - here I am! ALL IN. Please, follow my new blog, Like It, send it to your friends - and COME TO MY OPTAVIA OPEN HOUSE. It is from 5:30-8:30pm on Monday, September 12. And if you think it is too far of a drive or you don't have time - ask yourself this - how far would you go for the "magic pill" that was guaranteed to work and required no effort? You would drive very far. Trust me. So just put it on your calendar right now and make it happen. :) Because I am building a well-being optimal life community and would love for you to be a part of it. Thank you. And God bless.
And if you want to read the "playing small" inspiration - here is the poem, "Our Deepest Fear" - one of my favorites - by Marianne Williamson.