Written by Faraja B. Ricketts
‘You are a ticking time bomb! If you don’t get your health under control you will have either a heart attack or a stroke within a year…….’
Those words resonated with me as I sat in arthritic pain, and now my emotions were all over the place… How did this happen to me? When did things spiral out of control? How did I get to this place? Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, pre-diabetic, hypertension, high cholesterol, and functionally depressed.
‘WAIT!! I’m a good person, how does this happen to good people?
I win awards yearly for my work products. I’m always on time…
I help so many others succeed in their endeavors, I’m everyone’s cheerleader in life whether they want me to be or not?!
I’m a loving mother and the model daughter…I am a wife and caregiver. I take care of others; I make life easier for others...WHEN did I lose my me?’- said in my small, little girl voice… I spoke to numerous physicians, constantly asking ‘what can I do’? Desperate for a quick fix and (to let me get back to the business of taking care of others), I gladly took the medications for hypertension, cholesterol, arthritis and depression/anxiety… I took medications to get up, and medications to go to sleep… Every physician visit led to more medications, and soon my weight ballooned to nearly three hundred pounds.
I was in physical and emotional pain….
…Disclaimer-This is my personal experience, if you need medication take the medication, there is no shame in it…..
My life was a manifestation of old wounds not healed… After careful meditation, I realized that my illnesses all stemmed from a poor diet, a sedentary life, and not making SELF-care a priority….
I pleaded with the physicians. What can I do!?
‘You can prepare yourself for weight loss surgery…’
…Okay… ‘where do I sign’?…. I started the research, decided on a surgeon/clinic, and started taking the first series of classes…..
I started with Nutrition 101.
I had to learn to read labels, count calories, and to choose whole and fresh foods.
Week one I lost 8 pounds!! (Okay that had to be a fluke…)
Week two, I lost 7 additional pounds….
By week three, I’d lost nearly 20 pounds and I noticed that I was able to walk from my car to the clinic without needing to use my cane!
By my fourth class, it was apparent to myself and the intake staff that I no longer met the ‘100 pounds or more’ requirement for surgery, and I left there smiling. Because, for the first time in a long time, I was taking care of ME….
I started asking myself exploratory questions that led me to my past….
…I remember never feeling worthy or good enough, so I went about the business of ‘people pleasing’ to prove to the world that I had value, see me….
….In doing so, I lost perspective of who I am at my core….What is my value system and, by the way, do I even like me?
….I realized I cannot truly help anyone else authentically until I took care of my first client—ME. I had all the tools I just needed to apply them to myself….
I had a measure of success and then, just as I begin to plateau, I met like-minded women on the journey of self-care, and got the support I needed to keep moving forward in meeting my health goals…
My journey hasn’t been overnight, and it certainly continues with ups, downs, twists and turns, but always steadily forward moving.
Today I’m no longer sick or tired. I am no longer depressed. I no longer take medications…well that’s not necessarily true I do MEDS – Meal Preparation, Exercises, Drink water and Sleep well.
-Coach Faraja is a Professional Certified Life Coach and Mentor. Find out more about Coach Faraja here….