I’d been the extremely fit high school and college athlete; at my fittest, I was 14 percent body fat. I took my fitness for granted. I ate what I wanted and although I took a college class Online Weight Loss Program on nutrition, nothing sunk in. Over the years I fought the slow mid-life creep. I convinced myself that my size 10P was a function of being a female with hips, and that as long as my stomach remained fairly flat I wasn’t someone with a weight or health problem. Even when I started with Shelby, my line to her was, “Even at my fittest, I was never less than an 8P.” In early 2014, my friend Barb started with Shelby–right about the same time that I was ending my marriage. I didn’t think much at first about Barb’s decision to work with Shelby…and the months ticked by while I fought to understand what I had neglected in myself. One day, Barb showed up to work in clothes that showed her progress and I was floored. In talking to her, I realized that her journey with food paralleled my own quest for deeper personal understanding and power. When I finally signed on with Shelby in July 2014, my goal was to learn how to eat better so I could manage my thyroid condition, lose a little weight, and drop my creeping cholesterol numbers. Little did I know.
From July 2014 to February 2015, I went from 142 pounds (at 5 feet 2 inches, that’s overweight) to 127 pounds. I dropped my body fat from about 25 percent to 19 percent. I went from a 10P to a 6P/4R, and I’m not sure that’s finished quite yet. I used Shelby’s (macro nutrient) guidance, rethought my fruit and vegetable intake, and started to add weight lifting to my previously cardio-heavy exercise routine. The combination of eating well, making mindful choices, and regular exercise opened up an unexpected body-mind emotional gap. I had no idea.
The process of losing weight and gaining muscle was for me a journey of mourning and transformation. It was the first time in my life I took a journey for myself to understand, validate, approve of and appreciate my strengths, my emotions and feelings. I had no idea that getting into mindful touch with my body’s needs, feeding and treating it properly, and paying attention to the messages it was sending could be so powerful. When my body realized that I was allowing and working with my feelings, it really opened up. Wow did that hurt! It was physically painful to accept these feelings–both positive and negative. During the process of accepting these feelings, however, I was able to work through the micro-issues…and macro-issues…that had built up over the years to numb my soul from tapping into the messages my body was trying to send about The Condition of Sarah. I am absolutely convinced that for me, it was focusing on caring for my body that was key to the unlocking of my potential.
The Shelby’s program, encouragement, and coaching was critical to me coming out on the other side of this journey so strong, so mindful, so centered, so healthy, and SO solid in knowing and feeling I’ve achieved a whole new level of being in the world. I now realize that my body is the bridge between my inner world and the outer world. I communicate my inner sense of self and worth to the world with the way I treat my body, the way I hold myself, and the actions and decisions I make in favor of it. No one else will care for me or my body better than I will, and I’m committed to treating myself with respect and honor, thanks to the lessons learned through Shelby. Thank you Shelby!