[guest post] happiness outside the numbers
To entice you even more to become one of Nicole’s regular readers, I’ve sprinkled in some of her photos from her recipes. Are you hungry yet?
Take it away, Nicole!
Hello, dear readers of Back to Her Roots!
I’m Nicole! When Cassie asked me to guest post, I was stoked. I’m fairly new to Cassie’s blog, but from the very first visit I knew we had tons in common—weight struggles, weight loss, international long-distance relationships, amazing marriages, blogging, from the midwest…lots!
Also similar to Cassie, I would very much so consider myself a very, very happy person. I mulled over what I wanted to share on Cassie’s blog and it came to me during a recent conversation I had with a health coach. Why would a dietitian be talking with a health coach? Well, let’s discuss.
My health insurance is through my husband’s company and in order to receive the lowest premium costs, we have to fill out Health Risk Assessments each year. When my BMI registered as “overweight,” I then received a call from a health and wellness company wanting to offer me phone consults with a “health coach”. I agreed. I’m never one to turn down an engaging conversation and I truly feel that anyone can learn a lot if they leave the doors open.
After my wedding in 2009, I gained 20 lbs very rapidly. Unlike many marriages, however, nothing changed in my life after my wedding—the timing almost seemed like a bad joke. After a lot of unsuccessful months attempting to lose weight, I finally went to the doctor. Lab work and an ultrasound later, I was diagnosed with PCOS. The doctor told me that I was insulin resistant and would likely struggle with my weight…forever. To say that I was devastated and felt completely helpless is probably an understatement. I was also, for the first time, considering the possibility of struggling someday to have the family I’ve always dreamed about.
As a Registered Dietitian and someone who not only knows, but practices nutrition, I hated not having the “why’s” of my body. I was suddenly having to check my blood glucose every morning and began following a carb-controlled diet (note: carb-controlled, NOT low-carb). Since that day in March of 2009 when I was diagnosed with PCOS, not much has changed, including my weight, despite efforts to lose.
So when my health coach, Chad, called for our first chat, I was intrigued. When he asked what I did for a living I gave him a very vague, “I work in the medical field,” response. Fifteen minutes later, I had shared with Chad the number of days I workout in an average week (4-5) and what activities I participate in (ice-hockey, running, elliptical, some resistance training), how many fruits and vegetables I eat in an average day (5+), what percentage of my grain intake was from whole grains (75% or more), and the fact that I don’t smoke or drink in excess.
“It sounds like you’re doing great, Nicole!” he said. He then asked, “What’s one thing you’d like to change about your health status?”
I quickly responded, “I’m not sure.” I expanded by explaining that while I would like to lose weight, I feel I do a lot of things…most things…”right”. Chad agreed. He then said something that resonated very deeply — “You sound so happy, Nicole.”
It was at that point that I finally forgot WHY I was talking Chad (my “overweight” BMI). What I got from Chad was a confirmation of what I am: happy. I won’t lie to anyone and say I would’ve love to lose those 20 lbs I gained a few years ago…or heck, even 30 lbs! But, my weight is perfectly maintainable. And to me, it’s acceptable. It’s a weight I can wear the clothes I want to wear, run the distances I want to run, and give me a healthy set of lab work that is helping me to prevent chronic disease.
I know that the diet and lifestyle choices I make on a daily basis are good, and healthy. They’re also realistic and maintainable. And most importantly, I am so, so happy.
I have Chad to thank. Chad, the man behind the phone that I know nothing about. He listened to me while I spend my life listening to and helping others. It was refreshing to recognize the good I do and appreciate the positive efforts I make in my life.
Happiness is not a number…and it never, ever will be.