Hi there, it’s Coach KishaLynn.
I know it’s been quite a while. I am writing to share something that I haven’t shared anywhere, or with anyone else yet.
If you’ve been following me for the past few years, you may know that on my 30th birthday in 2010, I weighed 331 lbs. Horrified that my weight was more than 10 times my age, and wanting more for and from myself, I embarked on a journey for a healthy body. Over the next four years, through regular food tracking, fitness training and nutrition coaching, I lost 120 pounds. My lowest weight got to 212, but on average I was hanging out between 220 and 225 during 2014. During that time, I also started a personal development business, published a book, and got a full-time coaching job working at a school for homeless youth.
2015 came. On many fronts it was a strong year for me. I traveled across the country for business and pleasure. I vacationed in Mexico in January and Italy in September. I developed a new business model around all-inclusive self-love retreats for women. And, my wife and partner of 10 years is now four months pregnant with our first child. All of that is seen and celebrated by my loved ones, my clients, and by me.
What isn’t known (though may be evident to those paying close attention), is that I gained 40 pounds back last year.
Life took its toll in 2015.
Codi, my amazing nutrition coach and personal trainer, moved away in January. I did not replace him with another accountability system. I became “too busy/tired” to work out. I became “unmotivated/undisciplined” about tracking my food. I gained five pounds right away.
We were hit with a major IRS audit in March that impacts our financial outlook to this day. I ate my money fears. Gained another five pounds.
The process of getting my wife pregnant this summer was emotionally difficult and expensive. I ate the anxiety. Then I went on an iCation to Italy in September and ate EVERYTHING. Ten more pounds gained.
Then in November, my father died. I ate the grief and gained 20 pounds in the last two months of the year.
My clothes stopped fitting. Having long purged my closet of sizes 20 and up, I took advantage of Black Friday deals to restock my closet with enough clothes to get through the short San Diego winter. My collarbones have retreated and my old friend the double chin is back in town. Worst of all, I have food allergies that are moderate (corn, dairy, soy) to severe (gluten–wheat, barley and rye). Yet, I continually ate foods that made me sick, knowingly and willingly. I tried to mitigate the discomfort with enzymes and supplements. However, I still suffered from skin rashes, headaches, constipation, stomach upset, and fatigue in addition to weight gain.
Three days ago I weighed in at 260 pounds on New Years Day 2016.
But here’s the thing. I don’t hate myself for it.
I am big on self-love, confidence and acceptance. I measure my value by far more than the number on a scale. My worth is not determined by the size of my clothes. Additionally, I have a great network of inspiring motivators that advocate against all forms of body shaming. (Shout out to my coach Molly Morrissey and my friend Lauren Marie Fleming and for constantly speaking encouraging truths to and about me.) So I am not beating myself up about the weight I’ve gained. I am in an emotionally good place with myself. Like Mary J. Blige sang in “Just Fine”, I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking past the mirror. Double chin and all.
I also realize that my weight gain is a manifestation of deeper issues that I need to address. I am off track of my goal to achieve my healthiest body. For me, a healthy body isn’t so much measured by numbers, but by how I feel in my body and what I am capable of doing physically. I know that if I don’t do something, then all the weight that it took me three years to lose and maintain, will come back in half the time.
It’s the first week of the new year, so of course people everywhere I look “recommitting” to weight loss, nutrition and fitness goals. Most of them will be long abandoned and forgotten by Valentine’s Day. Rather than climb aboard this broken bandwagon, this week I have been checking in with myself to see what I really want to do, and “weighing” my options:
- I could do the Master Cleanse again. (I used to do it every January and June.)
- I could try a newfangled detox. (Apple Cider Vinegar is getting a lot of hype these days.)
- I could join WeightWatchers again. (I started my journey there and lost 75 of the 120 pounds on the program.)
- I could start working out again. (My wife and I got gymberships in October. We haven’t been back to the gym since the night we signed up.)
- I could try to barter with a personal trainer and/or nutrition coach again. (Hiring one is strictly out of the budget for foreseeable future).
- I could go back on an intense eating plan, i.e. the Elimination and FODMAP-restricted diet. (I did this last fall NOT to lose weight, but to narrow down which foods were making me sick.)
- I could do some or all of these in combination. (And most likely fail by over-trying.)
I can’t say I have made a decision on the best immediate path(s) to take. As I was reflecting though, it occurred to me the one thing I should DEFINITELY do: TALK ABOUT IT.
Being a life coach doesn’t make me inhuman, or impervious to the chaos of life, or incapable of making mistakes. Actually, I like to believe that being a coach makes me damn good at all of the above.
What can be gained, by myself or by others, if I hide and pretend that things like this aren’t happening to me? I would much rather openly share my challenge as I work through it. After all, someone could be reading this, right now, and feel better about themselves and their journey because I shared this truth. Or someone could read this and reach out to me with the motivation and encouragement I’ve been needing to get back on track.
So here I am, Coach KishaLynn, 260 pounds (again) and size 20 (again), saying: “Yeah, me too.”
I still love myself. I AM manifesting my healthiest body, day by day, goal by goal, step by step. But I refuse to do it by acting like the journey is linear. It isn’t, it wasn’t, and it ain’t ever gonna be, for me, and for most people who have enough integrity and self-confidence to tell the truth.
There you have it. I leave you with the great lyrics of Kina’s “Me”:
I’m just me
I’m in love
I’ve been weak
I’ve been low
Now I’m strong
Now I know
I’m just me
I wish everybody could just
Feel this kind of love.
Always Believing In You…xoxoKL