My name is Heather, I live with anxiety and I am recovering from 20+ years of disordered eating. “Disordered eating" is used to describe a range of irregular eating behaviors that may or may not warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder.” I have a fear of eating food, not in a way of body image but in a way of “this is going to make me feel sick, I don’t want to be sick - so I can’t eat it”
There were times in my life that this was easier to handle more than others. Anxiety can sometimes be in waves and depending on what is happening in your life, sometimes you can think it has just gone away and you are better! But then it comes back. Motherhood brought on a lot of emotions, hormones, stress and so many other things. Having a second child - took me down a dark path with my anxiety. I felt emotionally out of control and I was having panic attacks. I didn’t realize how bad I was feeling and how unhealthy I really was. In the Spring of 2019, we had a list of events that spiraled me out of control. The panic was so bad I could now see how I was hurting my children because I was unable to do small things, like take them to the butterfly exhibit.
My search for help was not easy and took me a little bit to figure out what was going to work for me. That is when I found a Health Coach.
A Health Coach: it can be a vague term, so taking time to research what I want out of a health coach and then finding someone who understood ME and what I was dealing with.
I felt alone. Everything out there is geared towards - eating healthy to lose weight. This is not what I needed and it being marketed like that made me feel silly for even reaching out. “how could she need help? She is so tiny” - “I wish I just couldn’t eat then I would be small like you” - all of the statements (I have heard) were running through my head.
Then I found the perfect one for me, and she was local, she understood me, I could easily get along with her personality, made me feel safe to be me, and like she was going to help me. Working with my Health Coach was life-changing for me. Now let me be clear that I didn’t see a Health Coach. I also had a counselor who helps me with the deeper issues. It was like a team of people working for me. My support team also included my husband, sisters, and close friends - whom I could rely on as trusted, non-judgment support.
My food relationship is deeper than what I eat. Everything is connected (Mind-Body Connection). Focusing on good quality food and the benefits to my body; instead of the fears. It helped me develop a positive relationship with food, my mind, and my body. I spent years hiding my food struggles and creating unhealthy coping mechanisms for my anxiety. I have now learned to listen and respect what my mind and body are telling me.
I don’t think Anxiety ever goes away, and it is just a matter of learning how to deal with it healthily. I am not perfect, but my goal for myself every day is to have a positive relationship with food, not fear what that food could do to me, but embrace what nourishment with the right foods can give me the best version.
In my healing process, I discovered what I am truly passionate about, and that is health! I spend years in a retail sales environment coaching my team on how to sell more products. I was never really passionate about selling, and I loved working with my team and helping them become better. When I was introduced to Health Coaching, I realized she was basically coaching me. Using the same techniques and skills I used in my career, this was about my health and my personal goals! It was an eye-opener to see an opportunity to take my skills and personal experience to help others! To hopefully help others who feel alone, like there is someone who can help them!