That’s how long it’s been since I lost 40 pounds. I’ve mentioned it on air a few times, usually during fitness and nutrition shows. I mention it because I know the struggle, and I want those who see me on tv talking about it know: that I’m not just talking about health because it’s the topic on my schedule that day, but because it has a place close to my heart and history. We’ve begun an initiative here at QVC and on air called “Living for Me,” with a focus on fitness, fun, and health. So there’s no better time for me to open up and share.
Why would it take so long to write about it? Well for me, and I know for so many others, issues with weight go a lot deeper than the surface. I’m an emotional eater. And I have been for as long as I can remember. I was brutally bullied in grade school, and struggled with anxiety in high school. So I took to food to be comforted. And after the birth of my daughter, I took to food to handle the pressures of being a single parent. Of course I tried whatever the fad was at the time for losing weight, and consistently failed and reverted back to unhealthy habits. And with a full time job and a daughter, exercise was often left on the backburner.
It wasn’t until I had a bit of a revelation, an epiphany, an “a-ha” moment, that things began to change. I remember exactly where I was. At home, having just dropped Gabby off and getting ready for work. I was mentally “beating myself up” for how I looked, how I felt. And it was as if my guardian angel were right next to me all of a sudden, saying to me:
“It’s time for you.”
I heard it loud and clear. I even repeated it out loud.
“It’s time for me.”
I realized that I needed to make changes because I wanted to, for me. Not because the media told me I should look a certain way, not because my grade-school bullies called me fat, not because it might help me find a perfect partner. I’d been motivated by all the wrong reasons. And I’d been motivated by sadness to eat. It was time to declare myself happy and let the healthy habits follow.
I changed my habits. I met with a doctor to make sure I was on the right track with my nutrition and exercise. I began reading books about happiness, joy, and positivity. I meditated. And I let everyone in my family know, my then-six-year-old daughter included, that I was excited about the journey I was taking. And also that I’d need their help and encouragement. And that encouragement poured in. Forty pounds later, I realize the weight loss isn’t the biggest change that happened to me. The bigger change happened in my emotions and life perspective. I found out things about myself as I journeyed through this challenge, including what I really wanted to do with my life. Hint: I’m doing it now! And I learned forgiveness. Forgiving anyone who had cast hurtful words my way growing up, and forgiving myself for seeing Jennifer as anyone but the best she can be everyday.
I’m not sharing this to get pats on the back; thousands of people have succeeded in far better feats of physical and emotional changes than I have. But I am sharing it for two important reasons:
1) I hope that my story may help some people who read this. I’ve been there and technically, I still am. It’s a lifelong process making changes and sticking to them. Please know it is never too late to declare that you are doing it “for you.”
2) My other reason is for me…I feel like the one missing element in this journey was my being ready to share photos of where I was before this journey began. And I’m ready! Because if there is one thing all my meditating and education has taught me, it’s that fearing the judgment of others is about the most pointless fear there is.
I’m living for me now. I hope you are too. And if I can share in your journey in any way, I’m grateful to do so! Please join me at www.facebook.com/jennifercoffeyqvc and let’s do this together!
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