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I Am Not My Weight

January 4, 2016 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott

I'm Not Where I Want To Be, But I'm Not Where I Was

I’m Not Where I Want To Be, But I’m Not Where I Was

Hi there, it’s Coach KishaLynn.

I know it’s been quite a while. I am writing to share something that I haven’t shared anywhere, or with anyone else yet.

If you’ve been following me for the past few years, you may know that on my 30th birthday in 2010, I weighed 331 lbs. Horrified that my weight was more than 10 times my age, and wanting more for and from myself, I embarked on a journey for a healthy body. Over the next four years, through regular food tracking, fitness training and nutrition coaching, I lost 120 pounds. My lowest weight got to 212, but on average I was hanging out between 220 and 225 during 2014. During that time, I also started a personal development business, published a book, and got a full-time coaching job working at a school for homeless youth.

2015 came. On many fronts it was a strong year for me. I traveled across the country for business and pleasure. I vacationed in Mexico in January and Italy in September. I developed a new business model around all-inclusive self-love retreats for women. And, my wife and partner of 10 years is now four months pregnant with our first child. All of that is seen and celebrated by my loved ones, my clients, and by me.

What isn’t known (though may be evident to those paying close attention), is that I gained 40 pounds back last year.

Life took its toll in 2015.

Codi, my amazing nutrition coach and personal trainer, moved away in January. I did not replace him with another accountability system. I became “too busy/tired” to work out. I became “unmotivated/undisciplined” about tracking my food. I gained five pounds right away.

We were hit with a major IRS audit in March that impacts our financial outlook to this day. I ate my money fears. Gained another five pounds.

The process of getting my wife pregnant this summer was emotionally difficult and expensive. I ate the anxiety. Then I went on an iCation to Italy in September and ate EVERYTHING. Ten more pounds gained.

Then in November, my father died. I ate the grief and gained 20 pounds in the last two months of the year.

My clothes stopped fitting. Having long purged my closet of sizes 20 and up, I took advantage of Black Friday deals to restock my closet with enough clothes to get through the short San Diego winter. My collarbones have retreated and my old friend the double chin is back in town. Worst of all, I have food allergies that are moderate (corn, dairy, soy) to severe (gluten–wheat, barley and rye). Yet, I continually ate foods that made me sick, knowingly and willingly. I tried to mitigate the discomfort with enzymes and supplements. However, I still suffered from skin rashes, headaches, constipation, stomach upset, and fatigue in addition to weight gain.

Three days ago I weighed in at 260 pounds on New Years Day 2016.

I'm not fat, my wife is pregnant. ;)

I’m not fat, my wife is pregnant. ;)

But here’s the thing. I don’t hate myself for it.

I am big on self-love, confidence and acceptance. I measure my value by far more than the number on a scale. My worth is not determined by the size of my clothes. Additionally, I have a great network of inspiring motivators that advocate against all forms of body shaming. (Shout out to my coach Molly Morrissey and my friend Lauren Marie Fleming and for constantly speaking encouraging truths to and about me.) So I am not beating myself up about the weight I’ve gained. I am in an emotionally good place with myself. Like Mary J. Blige sang, “I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking past the mirror.” Double chin and all.

I also realize that my weight gain is a manifestation of deeper issues that I need to address. I am off track of my goal to achieve my healthiest body. For me, a healthy body isn’t so much measured by numbers, but by how I feel in my body and what I am capable of doing physically. I know that if I don’t do something, then all the weight that it took me three years to lose and maintain, will come back in half the time.

It’s the first week of the new year, so of course people everywhere I look “recommitting” to weight loss, nutrition and fitness goals. Most of them will be long abandoned and forgotten by Valentine’s Day. Rather than climb aboard this broken bandwagon, this week I have been checking in with myself to see what I really want to do, and “weighing” my options:

  • I could do the Master Cleanse again. (I used to do it every January and June.)
  • I could try a newfangled detox. (Apple Cider Vinegar is getting a lot of hype these days.)
  • I could join WeightWatchers again. (I started my journey there and lost 75 of the 120 pounds on the program.)
  • I could start working out again. (My wife and I got gymberships in October. We haven’t been back to the gym since the night we signed up.)
  • I could try to barter with a personal trainer and/or nutrition coach again. (Hiring one is strictly out of the budget for foreseeable future).
  • I could go back on an intense eating plan, i.e. the Elimination and FODMAP-restricted diet. (I did this last fall NOT to lose weight, but to narrow down which foods were making me sick.)
  • I could do some or all of these in combination. (And most likely fail by over-trying.)

I can’t say I have made a decision on the best immediate path(s) to take. As I was reflecting though, it occurred to me the one thing I should DEFINITELY do: TALK ABOUT IT.

Being a life coach doesn’t make me inhuman, or impervious to the chaos of life, or incapable of making mistakes. Actually, I like to believe that being a coach makes me damn good at all of the above.

What can be gained, by myself or by others, if I hide and pretend that things like this aren’t happening to me? I would much rather openly share my challenge as I work through it. After all, someone could be reading this, right now, and feel better about themselves and their journey because I shared this truth. Or someone could read this and reach out to me with the motivation and encouragement I’ve been needing to get back on track.

So here I am, Coach KishaLynn, 260 pounds (again) and size 20 (again), saying: “Yeah, me too.”

I still love myself. I AM manifesting my healthiest body, day by day, goal by goal, step by step. But I refuse to do it by acting like the journey is linear. It isn’t, it wasn’t, and it ain’t ever gonna be, for me, and for most people who have enough integrity and self-confidence to tell the truth.

There you have it. I leave you with the great lyrics of Kina’s “Me”:
I’m just me
I’m enough
With myself
I’m in love
I’ve been weak
I’ve been low
Now I’m strong
Now I know
I’m just me
I’m enough
Nothing less
Nothing more
I wish everybody could just
Feel this kind of love.

Always Believing In You…xoxoKL

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

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Update on Coach KishaLynn’s Lent Fast 2014

March 13, 2014 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
 
A quick #‎Lent2014‬ update. I am proud of myself that I’ve been successfully eating a clean, healthy
Phytochemical Berry Smoothie--It's What's For Breakfast!

Phytochemical Berry Smoothie–It’s What’s For Breakfast!


diet of whole, unprocessed foods since Lent, and have continued my pre-Lent, post-allergic reaction eating plan, which includes abstaining from ALL sugar (except fruit), most meats (except seafood), most grains (except rice), starches such as beans and potatoes and NO COFFEE. Also, I’m chuggin’ water everyday like I just hiked the Sahara! (Shout out to Christopher Robin from Integro Health).

As I said last week, the proof is in the kale! My body is healing itself, I feel nourished (not sick) after eating, my skin is almost back to its pre-allergic reaction state, and yes, the number on the scale is smaller (215 if that matters to ya!). It’s been a long time since I felt this good. Perhaps even forever. 

Since it’s ‪#‎ThankYouThursday‬, and since I’m incredibly grateful every day of the week, I’ve gotta thank my wife, Chef Shelli, who has managed to make seafood and veggies a culinary luxury this past week! I’m so blessed to have you boo!! 

Chef Shelli whips up fish and veggies for dinner

Chef Shelli whips up fish and veggies for dinner

The biggest challenge so far has been eating food that is alive/raw. I’m eating more cooked whole foods than I intended. Produce pretty much sucks right now in terms of quality and flavor, and my stomach doesn’t digest raw veggies very well. So, I think I bit off a little more than I can (not) chew by fasting from dead foods. That’s ok–I’m still sacrificing/abstaining from plenty and learning a great deal from it. And, I’m sticking to everything else in the program, including drinking water and fresh homemade smoothies only and not chewing gum. *sniff* 

Luckily, I haven’t been craving anything (except gum), nor do I really miss or dining out or any processed foods I used to eat. I’ve been able to plan ahead, and bring my own snacks and meals to restaurant meetings and outings.

Again, I’m very proud of myself. If you’re doing anything to contribute to your own state of health and well-being, via Lent or otherwise, then I’M PROUD OF YOU TOO. Cuz this shit ain’t easy…and it’s rarely fun. *back pats all around*

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Coach KishaLynn’s Lent Fast 2014

March 2, 2014 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott

Lent

It’s the season of Lent (March 5-April 17, 2014). I will be continuing my annual tradition of participating in Lent as a non-religious personal development practice.

Over the years I’ve fasted from all types of things I enjoy, such as alcohol (2009), candy, soda and gum (2010), Facebook (2011), sleeping in (2012), and my who could forget my iPhone/iPad Lent Fast of 2013. All were difficult and yet satisfying in their own ways.

This year my Lent fast will be from DEAD, PROCESSED FOODS! With that said, for the six weeks of Lent I will only consume foods that are:

WHOLE: Foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from preservatives, additives, and other artificial substances. Foods that are a product of nature/grow that way.

Basically, barcode-free food–no boxes, cans, bags, bottles, tubs, or packages.

Exceptions:

  • Plain rice–brown or wild. No white rice. No “seasoned mixes”. The only ingredient listed should be “Rice”.

  • Raw Kombucha

  • Seasonings–salt, herbs and spices. Read labels–no more than 3 ingredients should be listed on any labels, and they should all be whole foods.

  • Healthy fats–Extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil only

  • Other packaged whole foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, in limited amounts. Again, no more than 3 ingredients should be listed on any labels, and they should all be whole foods.

LIVING: Foods that are organic and mostly raw/still alive.

Exceptions:

  • Seafoods–FRESH (not canned) fish and shellfish permitted, prepared cleanly (baked, poached or sautéed in healthy fats).

  • Soups made with fresh, organic, whole food ingredients

HOMEMADE: Fresh foods prepared by hand in a kitchen.

Exception:

Because I know of at least two occasions where I’ll be traveling during Lent, I’m permitting the sole indulgence of limiting dining out to no more than 3 times during the Lent fast. Whole and living requirements still apply for dining out, so make it count!

DRINKS: Water (80 ounces or more per day), smoothies consisting of fresh, whole, living food ingredients, and unsweetened herbal teas only.

SOUNDS FUN, DON’T IT!?!?

LOOK AT ALL THE FOODS I CAN EAT!!

LOOK AT ALL THE FOODS I CAN EAT!!

Yeah…so, here’s Four Reasons Why This Will Suck

  1. crybaby

    Lent isn’t supposed to be easy–the spirit of Lent is to fast–deny oneself of certain pleasures for the purposes of personal purification and greater spiritual good. In some ways, it’s meant to suck.

  1. This is going to require me to use more focus and planning to make creative and strategic use of my time and money resources where I’m already struggling to manage both.

  1. Most people I know don’t fast or observe Lent. So on top of being surrounded by people that are eating all the stuff I can’t, I’ll constantly be explaining why I’m not and dealing with peer pressure!

  1. I can’t chew gum. :'(

But on the other hand, here’s Four Reasons Why This Will Be Awesome

  1. I won’t feel sick after eating!

  2. I will very likely lose weight, even though that’s not the overall goal.

  3. I’ll be more mindful about eating.

  4. I’ll learn to cook more.

BestLentEver

What I Intend To Take Away From This
Every other Lent fast has been a temporary experiment in discipline, restraint and self-exploration. This year, I am using Lent as springboard into a permanent new lifestyle of clean, healthy eating of REAL food. The idea is NOT to go back to eating and drinking shitty crap on April 18. Rather, my aim is to develop a new habit of preferring and choosing to eat foods that nourish my body and make me feel great.

I’m excited! I’ve already been eating a highly restricted diet due to a serious food allergy reaction I suffered from in February, which effectively served as an “ease-in” to Lent and a new nutrition lifestyle.

I’m gonna chew all the gum I can over the next few days, then it’s on!

I’m sharing this in case anyone out there wants to either join in with me, or be a supporter by checking in on me occasionally and cheering me on (or at least not tempting me to break the fast). Who’s in!? Please comment below, and feel free to share this and spread the word.

I don’t do very well blogging my reflections during Lent. If you want to keep up with how it’s going, then look to social media for regular updates, especially on Facebook. I’ll use the hashtag #Lent2014 in related posts. :)

Create a beautiful day!

Coach KishaLynn

 

LentasaDiet 

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