The other day I was out with my youngest and we decided to go to a café with a playground, this gave her the chance to burn some energy and mummy could re-caffeinate. As I was watching her and waiting for my coffee I was casually chatting to another lady who was waiting as well. We talked about our kids and how quickly they grow up and then she asked me what I was going to do once they were all in school. I told her how I was a health coach and I help women who struggle with emotional eating.
She stopped and gave me a long look and then said “I don’t mean to be rude but how can you help people who are emotional eaters when you are not thin yourself” I am going to be completely honest here and say that I just wanted to hide. I waited for a hole to come and swallow me up and in that moment I felt judged by everything I was doing. The banana bread that I had ordered for my daughter, the coffee I was waiting on and my appearance all felt like it was under the microscope. I am not used to people who are so straight forward with their opinions on things especially when it could hurt someone’s feelings.
I went on to explain to her that I too was a former emotional eater and that even though my emotional connection to food had been broken I still had work to do on the extra weight that was a result of my emotional eating. She gave me a look and said “If it was me I would lose weight first but I guess you know best”
I wanted to tell her that I had already lost a lot of weight, that I was still losing weight, that I was able to help other women by sharing my story with them but I didn’t. I let this woman’s opinion of me shape the rest of my day.
It was after this conversation that I began thinking on how quick we are to judge someone on their appearance. How if someone doesn’t fit the so called standard or template then they clearly are not good at what they do. What this woman said to me wasn’t something I hadn’t heard before because this is the soundtrack that I played to myself many times last year.
When I first became a coach I struggled to put myself out there because I didn’t look like my impression of what a health coach should look like. I was struggling to lose weight and I had major doubts about my appearance and just like this woman had pointed out to me, my extra weight made me still look like an emotional eater.
It was through a coaching session with a coach I greatly admire that I realised I was not living my life. I was holding back because of fear. The fear of being rejected, the fear of not looking good enough, the fear of not setting a positive example… It was then that I knew that living out of fear was not living.
I was waiting for everything to be PERFECT. If I waited until I lost all the weight or got everything looking shiny and flawless, then what? Would something else become my fear focal point and distract me from what I wanted to do in life?
I am here to tell you that no one is perfect, in fact I use my extra weight as an example of the continually work that happens within your life once you have faced your emotional eating demons. I like to think of myself as relatable, a woman who knows this stuff because she has and is going through it.
Have you ever seen those obstacle courses that have the muddy puddles and you have to get down low to get under the net just to get through to the other side? That is what I do with my clients, we are there together in the mud getting to the other side where the transformation happens and it is amazing.
So all this made me think about not only how we judge others but how we judge ourselves. When you look in the mirror what is it you see? If you had to make 2 lists, one of positives and one of negatives which would be the longer one?
Why are we so mean to ourselves?
If someone said the things you say to yourself, would you be their friend?
I want you to make a promise to yourself today that you are going to love yourself. That you are going to see all the beautiful qualities that makes you amazing! I know that it is hard to see the positives but try it for a week and notice how much lighter you feel.