Finding Purpose in Your Struggle: Wendi’s Weight Loss Story*
*Results may vary by individual
Written by: Caroline Cosgrove
If you are reading this, it’s likely because everything else you have done to try and live a healthier lifestyle has failed. You’ve crash dieted, only to gain the weight (plus some) back. You’ve joined gyms, only to stop going three weeks in and giving up. You’ve made promises to yourself that you would quit smoking, quit drinking, quit binge eating… but you keep finding yourself back in the same miserable place. I know. Because I have been there. But this story isn’t mine. This belongs to a woman named Wendi, whom I met because, for different reasons, we were following the same spiritual and physical journey.
What I learned through Wendi’s transformation, as well as my own, is that most times, the battle to change your life goes deeper than what you put on your plate. And sometimes admitting this is the hardest part.
Quit saying what you want, instead understand why you want and deserve it!
Like so many people I have met through my own journey and in my coaching business, Wendi didn’t just wake up one day overweight and unhappy, the same way she didn’t just wake up thin and in control of her life, with a newfound burning passion to help others. Instead, her struggles were a series of missteps, a lifetime of negative feelings surfacing as negative behavior. What led her to where she is today, which is 87 pounds thinner, now a health coach and personal trainer, a loving wife, a mother and positive role model to her 5 children was her WHY. Because if she didn’t change, she would die.
Wendi admits to having a long history of depression. Learning that she would have to be on medication for the rest of her life, she attempted to take her own life to avoid being dependent on prescription drugs. Not just once, but three times! At just 16 years old, she was a high school dropout and a single mother of 2 young children. Adding to her history of self-destruction, she developed an addiction to alcohol, which left her either missing, or forgetting, much of her children’s earlier years.
When you are at your lowest point, fear leaves and change sets in.
After years of denying herself happiness, Wendi literally woke up, committed to changing her life. There was no reason that sticks out, no ah-ha moment to speak of. She had just had enough. She stopped taking her medication and after 12 years of relying on drugs, she learned to rely on herself.
Smoking nearly two packs of cigarettes a day, Wendi could only manage 10 minutes at a time on the treadmill before she would be short of breath. But she kept going. She started educating herself on proper nutrition and portion sizes. As her nutrition improved, so did her fitness level. With her new found confidence, she took to yoga and pilates classes. Shortly after, she began P90X, a home based fitness program. And her world as she knew it, changed.
In under a years time, Wendi lost 87 pounds. As remarkable as that is, it was what she gained that made me love her story so much. Wendi gained the life that she desired and deserved. She married her now-husband, who not only supported her through her transformation, but got on board with her and now together, they inspire their children to make healthy decisions. She realized, while she was undergoing her transformation, how many other people were where she was; sick and tired and on the verge of giving up. So she decided to do something about it.
On the other side of fear is your purpose.
Wendi became a health coach, helping people find and stick to fitness and nutrition programs. A recent graduate of the Institute For Integrative Nutrition, Wendi believes she has found her calling in helping others overcome their weight loss struggles. She is currently studying to become a personal trainer and looks forward to training her own clients very soon.
I follow Wendi through her online support page. She is supportive, motivational, uplifting, beautiful… she is all of these things and so much more. But the best part? She is real. She uses her story now – one that she used to be embarrassed of, a life that she tried to hide from, a life that she even tried to escape from – to help people break free from their chains and live a more meaningful life.
Wendi is proof that change is possible. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way and if not, you’ll find an excuse. Keep chasing your dreams, FitLifers. And know that you too, can have all that you want in life. It starts with the decision to try.
Caroline Cosgrove is the founder of New Beginnings Health and Fitness Coaching, focusing on raising awareness of the health effects caused by the Standard American Diet. A Certified Holistic Health Coach and Online Fitness Coach, she educates her clients on the importance of creating a healthy, happy and balanced life, focused on exercise and nutrition. Her programs consist of both group and individual education, as well as children’s nutrition education.
Caroline is the mother of a healthy and happy 5-year-old girl, Sienna. Together, they are currently working to bring an organic vegetable garden to the school and to create a healthier school lunch program.
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