Barb’s Fitness Journey – A Point of Desperation – Part 2

by ADC - Barb

When a person finally gets to the point of desperation in life, there are only two choices.  You can give in to the situation and let it swallow you up until it completely suffocates your life OR you can admit that the only way you’re going to survive is with help.

I was at a point of desperation a couple of years ago.  One of the long-term side effects from chemo therapy is partial numbness in my feet.  When walking on a hard surface, I feel as though I’m walking on sand and my feet are slipping beneath me.  Unless there is a handrail to hold onto, walking up and down stairs is very frightening for me.

I became so fearful of walking, that I kept it at a minimal.  I would look for the closest parking space, only run one or two errands at a time, and check out new places in advance to see if stairs were involved.

With the extreme limitation with walking, my weight continued to pile on.  For about a decade, I easily put on 10-15 pounds per year.  With the extra weight, came extra pain and exhaustion.  I would go to work and afterwards I just wanted to come home and rest.  Even everyday things, such as grocery shopping, loading the dishwasher, etc. became a struggle for me.

Then…it all changed.

I received a phone call from Joe, a health care coach.  He told me that because of my health insurance and based on a recommendation from my doctor, I qualified for free health care coaching via the phone.

My initial reaction was embarrassment and almost resentment.  Who did he think he was to tell me what I needed to do?  He didn’t know my circumstances!!!

Yet, something inside of me told me to trust Joe and give it a try.

For the next several months, Joe and I talked once a month or so.  He would provide suggestions on how to start losing weight by focusing on my eating habits and not stressing about my limited mobility.

Whenever I reported a loss to him, he was my biggest cheerleader!  He was genuinely happy with my successes.

There were times when the phone would ring and I would cringe.  If I had had a bad month, I really didn’t want to fess up about it.  But Joe would help me figure out why I slipped and told me that I needed to get right back on track.  It was the first time that I felt I could be totally honest about my weight problem and instead of being told that I just had to do it, I was being listening to and guided.

Over the course of our conversations, Joe helped me explore the roots of my eating problem.

I came to two realizations that have strongly impacted my life:

  1. As a child, I watched my mother struggle with her weight problem.  Some of her dieting was to the extreme and she was very unhappy with her size.
  2. Food was used to comfort me as a child and teen.  Thus, as an adult, I constantly turned to food for comfort.

Once I realized these two things, it has really changed my mindset regarding food.  I’m learning that losing weight is more than just a diet, it’s making lifelong healthy changes.

I’m discovering that healthful food doesn’t have to taste horrible or be skimpy, but rather if you’re eating right, you’re rarely hungry!  I’m also not giving into food when I’m upset about something.

In my next article, I’ll be sharing with you how I overcame my fear of walking and lost nearly 100 pounds!

We each have a story.  I really encourage you to share your store (testimony) with us on this site.  We can all learn from each other and need to encourage each other.  Let this be your season of change!


Part 1                        Part 3

Jasmine October 7, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Thanks for the update on your journey Barb. Can’t wait to read the next segment!

MaryEllen October 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I can sooooooooo relate! Thanks!

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