There’s more to living your best life than the number on your scale. While weight is one indicator of health, it’s not the only factor. World Obesity Day on March 4 brings attention to the lifestyle and medical factors contributing to high obesity rates. This day helps us focus on what we can do to end the stigma associated with weight struggles. On that note, two women get vulnerable about how they’ve put in the work to develop healthy relationships with their bodies, food, and exercise.
Stacy, a member of the MYX team, can tell you what it’s like to carry the emotional burden associated with obesity. Having a food addiction that makes sugar and flour impossible to resist, she ended up carrying over 200 pounds on her 5’4” frame.
Tired of yo-yo dieting, obsessing over numbers on her scale, and the emotional ups and downs associated with it, Stacy sought professional help in many forms: doctors, nutritionists, raw foods, and retreats. It wasn’t until she discovered the organization Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous that she found the key. She realized she was a food addict and needed to find a different kind of help — a spiritual solution.
“With the help of that free program, which is like Alcoholics Anonymous but for food, I was able to understand that, when I didn't put sugar and flour in my body, my life became manageable,” she says. “And whatever was happening in my life — relationships, work, whatever — was more easily addressed with the support I was given. It took me about a year to reach a healthy weight, and I’ve maintained an 80-pound weight loss for 15 years. But it’s the shame I shed that’s the real game changer. There was a profound relief in understanding that I’m not a bad person. I am an addict. And now I’m in a daily solution.”
Stacy says she feels lighter because she’s not embarrassed by her body or ashamed about her years of overeating. She learned that her self-worth isn’t about the number on the scale. “I realized shedding the pounds improved not only my physical health but my mental health as well,” she says.
For Coach Dyan, choosing to address her tendency to overeat gave her the same freedom. Losing 80 pounds — and keeping it off — did more for her than she could have imagined. “As I was making healthier life choices, I started going to the gym and taking classes. I fell in love with fitness classes, including one about positive affirmations. I started learning about self-help and realized I could do this.”
That renewed sense of self-esteem set her on her current path. She went on to train as a fitness instructor, enjoying the rewarding nature of the job. She says working with clients over the years has had a positive effect on her, because she’s inspired to reach for more. For example, she’s competed in four fitness competitions in the last decade.
“That’s my goal...to keep getting better, stronger, and more knowledgeable,” she says. “I want to be a better coach for other people.”
We admire these women who are examples of what it means to live the mantra of “healthy bodies and happy minds.”