For almost every year of my adult life, it began with, “this is the year.”
“This is the year,” I would hope and pray to the universe. Time to get well. Lose weight. Lower the blood pressure. Lessen my pre-diabetes state. Feel better – body, mind and spirit. Gosh I hoped hard. It was all I had.
Every year for 20-years, it was a hit and a miss. Over and over.
Being that intentional about doing something good for myself and failing every single time is exhausting, devastating, and made me feel flawed, broken and hopeless.
Yet, every year, an ounce of hope remained. I mean, I was smart, had a degree and successful career. I read every diet book. “I can surely figure this out,” I would say. The alternative was not pretty – sickness and unwellness. I had a doctor tell me I would be diabetic by 50 if I continued on my path. So, I would find the gumption to recommit. I’d say my prayer to the universe with no plan, no idea how things were going to be different. I had already tried everything. I was tired and all I had was a teeny tiny little bit of hope. Nothing else.
As 2014 began, I was running low on hope-fumes. So little, I felt done. I was feeling like I could not try and fail one more time. If I did, I was going to remain hopeless for the rest of my life. That year I reached my heaviest weight of 265 pounds.
That was the year my Jen X Journey began. I had no idea at the time, but I was finally at my real beginning. Except, it wasn’t my real beginning. My whole adult-life struggle up to now is the real journey leading up to this moment you’re reading about right now.
Two key things as I write this today.
First thing. It feels strange to no longer start my years wondering if “this is the year.” Just last year was the first time weight loss was not central to my goals. Who was I if not the girl wondering how I free myself from the overeating chains? I’ve realized that the wondering is just a part of who I am and the longing will remain if for no other reason that I lived with it for so long. For the first time in my life I have made peace with food, we still fight, but we have come to an understanding.
All I ever wanted was to hear someone tell me they understood how I felt and that they could help me. You see 100+ pound weight loss stories all the time, but no one was talks about overeating and how to stop! I longed for practical, logical, strategic solutions about how they figured things out. I was tired of the bombardment of fads and preachy skinny people or fit athletes barking “just stop eating” at me. Here, enjoy this piece of lettuce. No, I want to know how I stop eating Oreo’s one sleeve or package at a time.
Second thing. So even though I still fight the good fight of my disordered eating habits every day, my continued longing set me on the path to discover how I equip myself to be able to help others. I am fed up with fads and diet roller coasters. Bad advice. Bad diets. I was someone that ate too much and didn’t know how to stop. No one is talking about this.
So how do I help people who want to start their own journey?
You launch a nutrition coaching business. That’s how.
Yes, it’s true. I’m so excited to announce 51 Bridges Nutrition!
I’m excited to launch my vision for helping others via a one on one virtual coaching approach. My goal is to help people cut through the crap (my big technical term) and build their solutions for life. I’m ready to help end the whiplash of diet fads and start taking the whole person, their situation and environment in to account.
I mean I hear Reese’s tell me every day that they are “not sorry.” So instead of waiting for Reese’s to tell us they are sorry, we need to learn to navigate trouble areas together and build plans around that! The world isn’t going to change for those of us that overeat the wrong things.
Enter – food strategy!
I’ve taken the best of what I’ve learned from my journey and education, and cut out the bull shit nutrition noise. My clients choose what they eat within a reasonable framework that helps them meet their goals. No one is handed a plan. We build a food strategy together.
And let’s be honest when food has been your vice for umpteen years, we have to replace it with something. We have to strategize those moments. Bring all the components of what’s going on in our brains, our stomachs, our lives (stress) and figure out what we really need to navigate health and eating forever, which also means enjoyment. I mean, what if we could enjoy foods we love, but in healthier ways? What if we had a bigger visions for what our lives could be vs. being all consumed with a number on the scale?
(OK, sorry for the commercial I’m getting carried away now. You can see this gets me going and I’m very excited about this. I personally think I have something special happening here – ha ha ha).
Now, there is a coach who understands. And its ME!
It also seems appropriate to launch 51 Bridges Nutrition in the space between Independence Day and my birthday. I feel like in many ways it’s a declaration of my own independence and a rebirth and renewal for a new chapter in my journey.
For those of you that know me, I’m still doing my nonprofit consulting work and JenX Journey is not going to turn in to a sales platform. I still have my own personal goals and fitness shenanigans I hope to achieve. Food principles to preach (yeah, I know I made fun of preachy people earlier) and stuff inside my head to share.
Thanks for giving me this moment for 51 Bridges via JXJ because this launch is a HUGE part of this journey.
In no part of the JenX Journey thus far have I been alone. Here are all the people who have made what I’ve done possible. Many continue to be a strong influence in my personal path.
First is LiveLight Clinic and Dr. Christy – ground zero for JenX Journey. Dr. Christy broke me through my initial barriers both physical and mental, and helped me see that 1) I wasn’t crazy and 2) how my own limiting beliefs were some of my biggest obstacles. I was in my own way in many respects.
Second is my CrossFit family. Elavus CrossFit, CrossFit 180 and my CrossFit friends across the country! Dr. Christy first put CrossFit into my head when I asked her what I training regimen I should do to help with my loose skin. Four years later, I’m more fit than I’ve ever been in my life and a CF-L1 Trainer and USA Weightlifting L-1 Coach.
In CrossFit circles I learned about Stronger U Nutrition, which led me to this ridiculous transformation that if you told me was possible a handful of years ago I would have laughed in your face. I think its more likely I was abducted by aliens and transplanted back in this body. I just never believed my genes had the capacity to do what they’ve done. The SU team includes some of the most badass women in their 50’s and 60’s that completely changed my whole perspective on what aging looks like. I am forever grateful to these women, my coach and the founder.
From Stronger U I learned about Precision Nutrition which is where I received my coaching certification.
And best for last, right Mike Pendleton? This dude has believed in me and supported me from day one. Then he joined me on the journey and lost 115 pounds himself. He has helped me build the vision for 51 Bridges and is running my back office. I am one seriously lucky girl to be able to do this with you by my side.
I had a client say to me last week, “YOU are who I have been waiting for.” I teared up because the words could have been mine. Talk about a full circle moment. And I’m having more of those lately.
This is the year.
This is the year I begin to help others. Little ‘ole running-on-fumes-of-hope me.
Check it out. 51 Bridges Nutrition. Build your journey.
(end of commercial, ha ha “not sorry” – normal blog will return next month)