This week I have a special guest blog by Meshaelle Pate from mpate.com. She helps busy moms who have lost their identity and health while taking care of their family. Enjoy!
Why did you become a nutrition coach? I get asked this often. There is no easy straightforward answer honestly. I didn’t have a health crisis I needed to solve. Thankfully!
My journey was not an epiphany that I was going to teach others how to heal. My journey was a slow progression and the building of a passion. The journey started about ten years ago. My kids were still young and I wanted to learn about what I fed them. Seeing something in a store would spark a question in me. Seeing milk labeled “no rBst” would make me ask: “What is an rBst?” I would go home and research it, learn all I could about it and then make a decision. I was buying no-rBst milk before many of my friends knew what it was and I would tell them about it. Seeing “non-bromated flour” sparked more research. Soon I was really interested in our food supply. I would do my best to provide the best stuff for my family with my limited knowledge. That included processed foods, conventional meat, and less than ideal foods. Ugh! The more I learned the better the food choices got though. I remember about a year into this journey of discovery telling my husband that I would love to stand at the grocery store or anywhere and tell people about their food choices. I had learned it slowly and thought it would have been so much easier if someone could have just laid it out for me. I didn’t know how to get more knowledge or a certification at the time so I just let that go. It was always in the back of my mind; but with no path.
While I was learning how to feed my family, I was getting fat. Yep, it’s sad to say, but its true. I was a stay-at-home mom with a strong desire to work but a pull to be available for my kids. The result was I ate out of boredom and out of stress. I wanted the house to be perfect. I wish I could say that means perfectly clean, but it wasn’t that. I wanted the house to be extremely peaceful and everyone to have all the opportunities in the world. Well, as the kids got older, I’m sorry to say things were not always peaceful. My out? – I ate. Yes, I went to the gym and yes, I ate better stuff, but I ate and I stressed. I had no major health issues, but a lot of little stuff. My tummy burned a lot. I had digestive issues – constipation to diarrhea nothing that sent me running to the doctors except once. My tummy got to the point I hurt everyday. The doctor put me on a daily antacid pill and it worked to make me feel better, but I didn’t really want to take a pill everyday.
I had been on a diet and had come off it before my stomach started to hurt. I thought back to how I had been eating and realized I had greatly reduced gluten in my diet. So I decided to try that again. I reduced gluten and started feeling better. I no longer needed an antacid pill. I started sleeping better also. I was still putting an artificial sweetener in my daily coffee. That was next to go. That change made me feel better also! I think you see how this went. I started making dietary changes and could feel the difference. Now my exercise was still iffy because if any issue came up in the house or with the dogs, I would sacrifice my gym time. I remember joining a gym and having the free assessment completed and he asked me what was holding me back from my weight loss and fitness goals.
My answer shocked even me in the brutal honesty of the moment. My answer was I was holding myself back. After all, how could I put myself above my chaotic household, my daughter, my son, or my husband? Of course I started crying because I realized I did not even matter to myself. I wish I could say I turned it around and lost all the weight then, but that would be a lie. I still had to work on that part of me. My self-esteem was gone; my weight was only a reflection of that reality. Eventually I started making healthier choices for me and putting myself on my calendar. As moms we forget to do that. We put our kids’ school projects, our dog’s next appointment, our husband’s work travel or a million other things on the calendar and then look at it and say, “well I guess there is no time for me”. If you don’t schedule you time your time will be gone!
This journey to getting my health back, making time for myself, learning to value myself again led me back to the dream of helping others to possibly quicken their journey. The dream of being a health coach just would not go away. My daughter moved out, my son is soon to graduate high school. It was time to pursue the dream I had ten years ago. I looked at different programs and came across the Institute for Transformational Nutrition. My soul resonated with it because it addressed the psychology of eating. I lost weight and gained it until I dug into my “WHY” of eating. The why for me was lack of self-esteem. I didn’t value myself so what did it really, in my heart matter what I looked like? But then you look in the mirror and remember that small, sexy body you used to have that you didn’t mind wearing a bikini in and realized that was not reflected in the mirror and that would drive me to “you can’t even look good” thoughts. What a vicious circle! My self-esteem would dive looking in the mirror so I would stress and then eat. You get the vicious circle, I’m sure.
I completed my training at ITN and found I can’t wait to help other moms who have given all to their families but now find themselves not at their healthiest. I think my journey would have been quicker with a coach or mentor to help. We can all learn what to eat and what not to eat, but there is also a psychology of why we eat and our spirituality that bring all the pieces together. Without it, we have knowledge without actions. I want to be that coach and guide for others.
I hope you enjoyed this guest post by Meshaelle, and if you are a mom that is feeling as if she’s lost her true self, check out her site at mpate.com.