I am Mary, your guide and creator of Your Balanced Journey, LLC. WELCOME to the start of your journey!
Since we are going to be working together on your health and happiness journey, I want to share a little about myself and my on-going health and happiness journey!
My health and happiness journey began my Freshman year of high school when I kept looking in the mirror not liking what I saw. During this time, I grew tired of disliking what I saw in the mirror, hated always feeing like the biggest girl in the room, cringed when I saw stretch marks on my hips and thighs and wanted a new body. I decided it was time to take action and change my eating. I thought, that maybe, just maybe, if I were thinner and had smaller hips, I would become popular, go to parties, be asked out on dates (maybe even the prom), make the cheer team, etc, etc.
I joined Weight Watchers with my mom, because she had found success, and I knew I needed to find healthier eating habits. Not sure if you realize but, egg rolls and French Fries with a diet coke does not make for a healthy lunch. Nor does all you can eat fried shrimp and an M&M Blizzard for dessert make for a healthy dinner! 8)
After a few months of eating healthy and counting my servings, I started to see results in my body! I felt less fluffy and more attractive. I realized that I truly enjoyed vegetables and water! I still drank my diet soda and ate more than vegetables, but I had found a healthier and more balanced way of eating. I still didn’t like my hips and thighs, but I started to feel better about myself, and I started to exercise!!! I didn’t go out on dates, and I didn’t become instantly popular, but I could feel my self-esteem grow a little. And so, this way of eating became a part of my life.
For most of my life, I have tried to watch portions and think about my food choices for the day in order to maintain a “balanced” diet throughout the day.
Don’t get me wrong though, I AM NOT PERFECT. My journey has experienced many highs and lows, many successes and set-backs. I gained the “Freshman 15” my first semester in college, and for a period of time while commuting with my husband, we would choose Chili’s for dinner and beer, over an hour at the gym and healthy dinner. Go figure, not working out and making unhealthy choices around food let me to once again feel unhappy with myself, my image in the mirror and the way I looked in clothes.
Thankfully, in 2012, a friend introduced me to a workout routine I adored and would ignite my passion for health and fitness. This barre routing had me getting up at the crack of dawn, so I could exercise before going to work. In no time, I started to see results in my body, slimmer hips and thighs, not quite the poofy belly, tone arms and strength I never knew I had. HECK, I could hold a plank and do long-legged push-ups! Loving these results, I knew a healthier diet would only enhance these results. So, I started to work on eating healthier again! Wouldn’t you know it…more results!
Like most people, I hit a plateau…stopped counting calories and measuring my food…started taking “only a bite” of my daughter’s grilled cheese sandwich, or “only one” of her French Fries or goldfish. Again, I started to feel fluffy and unhappy with myself. This time, I found a different eating program that helped me get back on track…until it didn’t because I stopped measuring my portions.
Keep in mind, every successful weight loss I experienced came as a result of me following the eating program prescribed for a mass of people. I ate the foods I was told to eat and the amounts I was told to eat. Yes, I lost weight, but if I veered from this prescribed eating plan, I stopped seeing results, and when I stopped eating the portions outlined for everyone, I would see the numbers on the scale increase, and I’d feel my self-esteem and self-image start to drop. With all of these eating plans, never once did my digestion improve, and I was still gassy and bloated and constipated. YUCK!
One day, I threw caution to the wind and participated in a three-week eating program that would force me to open my eyes and listen to the ways in which my body responded to various foods and beverages, and it would help me learn about my body’s relationship with food and how best to eat for me. HOLY COW! My body loved this way of eating. For most of these three-weeks, I did not experience gas or bloating or constipation. I felt less fluffy, I liked what I saw in the mirror, I liked what I was eating, and I had reduced my cravings for sugary, processed, salty foods. I was learning what MY BODY needed to eat and how much MY BODY needed to eat to feel healthier and happier! I wasn’t counting calories or servings, and I didn’t feel deprived, but I was seeing results!! It had only taken me 40 years to realize this! I had to share this with other!
I started talking about this with a friend at work who was also a health coach. She told me all about her experience with health coaching, and she encouraged me to look into becoming one, as she knew I could help others find a happier and healthier life.
And so…here I am, getting ready to graduate as a health coach. I could not be more excited with the possibility of guiding YOU on YOUR health and happiness journey, as I know the ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and setbacks are real…and they will follow you throughout your life.
Still today, I continue to have days when I feel fluffy and like the biggest girl in the room. I have days where I don’t listen to my body or eat for MY body. And honestly, for the rest of my life I think I will struggle with body image. However, I have the tools to get myself on track without starving myself or beating myself up for what some may consider “cheating.” I don’t “diet”…I am on a journey to find my happier and healthier self. And, I want to support and guide YOU on your journey.
I can’t wait to partner with you!
We are about to have the time of our lives!