The Good Life

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I just completed the first module of my first week as a student in the Health Coach Training Program through Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I have to confess the whole thing is quite intimidating. There are people from all over the world, many of whom already have their own businesses up and running with perfect blogs and Instagram accounts, and clever names, and videos of them cooking perfect food in their perfect kitchen. Quite honestly, our 1974 Harvest Gold electric stove top has one working burner (yes, getting a new stove is on a really long list of things we need to do). Frequently heard in the kitchen, “Are you going to be using the burner, or can I?” Makes for some fun collaborative dinners.

This week’s assignments included working on a mind map for our big goal and an intention statement. The good thing is that I know that this program will help me refine my intention paragraph to be a bit more concise and focused, but I already know my niche – to work with other bariatric surgery patients to help support them on their journeys by sharing my experiences and knowledge. I hope to one day be able to articulately talk about so many of the concepts we’re learning.  It’s week one. I am cutting myself some slack.

One of the exercises was to find a creative outlet to document the school journey and to help process the new information we’re learning.  Hence, blog. I also have my journal, planner, and a variety of notebooks for my lists and notes and random finds.

I’ve found one person who is also interested in working with bariatric patients, and one who had a gastric bypass as well, so it’s great to be among people who know and understand and don’t judge.

Side note: I am ruminating on the power of intention this week and the law of attraction.

  1. Create daily affirmations for what you desire.
  2. Feel the emotion of having already received it.
  3. Let go and trust the universe will deliver.

There it is. Right there. I’m digging in and the universe will deliver its abundance.

I know that I am starting to say things like this and people are looking at me like I am some kind of hippy freak. But really, positivity attracts positivity. It’s true. My life has improved so dramatically with the changes I am making.

Another exercise was to think of words and feelings associated with my intentions.

The last one was to great a Good Life Jar. This entails making a list of the things that I think make a good life. So far my list includes loving, learning, relaxing, connecting, moving, and listening. Each week I will create an activity associated with each of these words so I can actively experience each one. I think this will be a fun thing to do on a weekly basis, just to stay connected to how good this life really is.

The goal is to coach myself this year. Make myself the best Marilyn, no matter how unraveled I become. The more I put into it, the more rewarding it will be.

Setting intentions

Visualization is one of those concepts that seems very hokey to me. Visualizing yourself in a certain job, at a certain size or fitness level, or achieving other goals is widely recommended in the self-help world. I remember in a training class for work having to create a vision board using cut out clips from magazines I wouldn’t be caught dead reading in the bathroom. I’ve always kept my cynicism alive when it comes to things like that.

Until now.

I have written here about all of the steps I have made towards making permanent lifestyle changes over the past year or so. And I have discovered that keeping my eye on the prize — thinking positively and setting a series of goals — has gotten me closer to where I want to be than ever before.

I sat down a few weeks back to look at all of the things I have changed in my life as part of this journey.

  • Took a pay cut to move to a much less stressful, non-management job 
  • Have achieved my goal of getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep a night
  • Have focused on a number of stress reduction techniques, including daily gratitude journaling, declaration of a daily affirmation, and focused breathing moments interspersed throughout the day
  • Crowding out negativity, or as I call it, crowding out the crazy. This includes people, and at times, family.
  • Focusing on the positive
  • Journaling to help process the emotional side of things
  • Being authentic. Telling my story in hopes it may help inspire someone else to make changes.
  • Reading and researching everything and anything I can about bariatric surgery and strategies to achieve long term success
  • Tracking everything and anything from food journaling and fitness. Embracing my Apple Watch as a tool for success.
  • Consistency with exercise and food
  • Focusing on whole, unprocessed foods and how they make me feel
  • Finding other ways to measure success besides the scale, meaning setting non-weight goals
  • Identifying non-food rewards for achieving goals
  • Learning that self care is not selfish
  • Finding that the more I practice Yoga, the more I like it. Really, I love it when it’s over. Such an amazing and powerful feeling of both strength and relaxation.
  • Moving every day, no matter what

That’s a lot of things to change in such a short period of time. But it’s real change. The biggest thing I noticed is that by focusing on the positive, more good things happen around me.  Is that the law of attraction? Something like that.

    Anyhow, recently, I’ve been feeling like I have a lot to share and would love to move in a direction where I could help other people going through the bariatric surgery journey too. It’s amazing how many people don’t have the resources through their programs, or get the support they need. I have been lucky to have an amazing surgeon and program, but I also did a lot of work myself. Not everyone will take that kind of initiative.

    So I have made the decision to become a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Starting May 15, I officially begin my program through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. How I came to this decision is through a series of events where everything just lined up and suddenly it all made sense.  So I am setting my intentions. My goal is to work with other people to help support their own journey and goals as they go through the process of life after weight loss surgery.  So there it is. I’m setting my intentions and throwing all right out there to the universe.

    Now…I wrote this post a few weeks ago and when I went to publish, I lost it.  And I felt like it was the absolutely perfect post. It was impossible to recreate something where the words just flowed out. So let me know what you think. For my other WLS followers, I’m curious to know if you think this would be something of value.