In the past, I’ve struggled to be open and vulnerable about my personal life. This stems from the fact that I’m naturally an introvert and it was also ingrained in me during my social work education. As social workers/therapists we are taught not to divulge too much information about ourselves to clients unless it is relevant or helpful to the situation. This, in part, is to keep healthy boundaries. On one hand I see the benefit, but on the other hand I think it can be counterproductive. As a client, I’d much rather share my struggles with someone when I know they can say “me too”.
I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of my “deep dark secrets” and help you get to know me a little bit better as a potential Wellness Coach.
Secret 1: I’m a therapist that’s gone to therapy.
Maybe this is no secret anymore but, I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was a wee child. I can remember sitting in elementary school wondering if my mom was going to be alive when I got home. Maybe she’d get in a horrible accident while I was at school. Or maybe someone would attack her at work or at home. Morbid, I know. I often complained of having a “lump” in my throat all day. I’ve bitten my nails since I was about 4–a habit that’s continued into adulthood. You’ll never see me getting a manicure and I’ll never forget the look of shock on the manicurist’s face when she caught a glimpse of my hands. I also specifically asked my wedding photographer not to take any close up pics of my hand with my wedding ring on. The struggle is real.
Any who…fast forward to my older years. Anxiety, my little partner in crime, has joined me through employment, marriage, pregnancy and motherhood. It’s always there to put a little “What if?” in the back of my mind or flash an image of a worst case scenario here and there.
It got so bad during my pregnancy that I decided to see a therapist. I felt like a real dud because I was a therapist–why on earth would I go to one?! The voice in my head said, “What will people think?” and “I’m a therapist and I can’t even control my own anxiety–how dumb.” The more I thought about it, the more silly that sounded. Do people think it’s dumb when doctors have to go to the doctor or when a teacher takes a class taught by someone else? Absolutely not. I think going to therapy made me a better therapist. I had more empathy for clients when I knew what it was like to be on the other side of things. I also experienced firsthand how helpful it can be.
Secret 2: I’m a Wellness Coach that engages in outside nutrition coaching.
Yep, it happened again. I became a certified health coach and then I found myself seeking my own health coaching. I receive mine from a functional medicine doctor so it’s a different scope of practice, but we talk about many of the same things! I have to log my food journals, do homework and be held accountable–just like my wellness coaching clients. Just because I know what I SHOULD be doing most of the time doesn’t mean I don’t need a good swift kick in the butt to get going. Once again, I feel like seeking this type of coaching has only made me better at what I do. I’ve gained more food knowledge, insight into how client’s feel and added more ideas to my bag of tricks. Oh, and I’m healing my gut and working through anxiety in natural ways.
Secret 3: I like eating food that’s not good for me.
The first thing some people say when they see me is, “I bet you never eat unhealthy food.” or “Don’t judge me for eating this.” Look–I really love Diet Coke, Chex Mix, Munchies (ultimate cheddar kind), Potato Chips, pasta and bread…oh and that Bickel’s party mix from Martin’s. I seriously crave those things and have a hard time escaping the grocery store without them sometimes. I was a die hard Mountain Dew fan in college and for years after. Taco Bell nachos supreme used to be my jam and so did Jimmy John’s delivery. Did I mention that I’m working on healing my gut?
I absolutely know those things are horrible for me and that I shouldn’t be eating them. Guess what? Sometimes I eat them anyway. I understand cravings and how difficult it can be to overcome them.
Secret 4: My kid likes eating food that’s not good for her
and one time I gave her Nutella for breakfast.
My 2 year old is addicted to sugar. She wants ice cream, M&M’s and cookies CONSTANTLY. I gave her Nutella for breakfast one morning (don’t ask) and she’s wanted “chocolate sticks” everyday now for a few weeks. I absolutely know I shouldn’t bribe her with M&M’s but I still have my moments of weakness. Just because I like to help parents feed their kids in healthy ways doesn’t mean I don’t have my own struggles! It’s HARD.
Secret 5: I think being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I’ve done some things that have taken a lot of dedication and mental effort but being a mom is BY FAR the hardest of them all. Just because I say it’s “hard” doesn’t mean it’s not worth it or that I don’t enjoy it–it just means that it’s hard. I thought of myself as a patient and level headed person but having a 2 year old is making me think otherwise. I also experienced antenatal and post-partum anxiety/depression and that adds another piece to the puzzle. Any and all moms everywhere have my utmost respect. Mommin’ ain’t easy, at least not for me, but most things that are truly rewarding aren’t!
Bottom line: Just because I am a Wellness Coach doesn’t mean I have it all together! I am a work in progress and always will be :). I love helping people get their life on track mentally, physically and spiritually because I know the benefits that it can bring. I’ve seen and experienced firsthand how being held accountable, having my beliefs challenged and taking baby steps can bring about huge change.
If you are currently struggling and think you can benefit from Wellness Coaching–send me a message because I’d love to help!