A friend of mine recently congratulated me on my Master Certified Coach credential. He’s a coach and knows the ICF (International Coach Federation) credential represents a high bar in the coaching profession. Less than 700 coaches have achieved the credential worldwide.
I responded by telling him “it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life” and he challenged me to write about the Ten Hardest Things I’ve Done in Life.
I love challenge. So, in no particular order, here they are:
1. I Gave Birth – Not much explanation needed here, if you are a woman. My experience giving birth to my son was traumatic, to say the least. If you are a man, compare this to war. Complications, emergency surgery with you awake, scapels, your life’s blood spewing out, rapidly, like a geyser. Then you begin a series of seizures, black out and see your husband’s face fade, thinking you are dead.
2. I Lost Weight Permanently – In order to do this , I had to say NO to our entire culture that promotes, supports and reinforces diet/regain to make money. I had to go against the grain, to say the least – I had to say “no” to my doctors, family, friends, the medical profession, therapists, and the diet industry.
3. I Buried My Little Sister – I have buried my parents, even my best friend. But my little sister was always in my life. I was the only person alive who knew her every day of her life. Sisterhood is a different sort of bond than any other. She was 37, the only thin person in our family. How was she thin in a family of addicted eaters? She drank diet coke and smoked cigarettes all day, avoiding eating. This ripped me apart, worse than those scapels in childbirth.
4. I Sent a Husband to War – Activated into the air force on 9.11, my husband was part of the Enduring Freedom campaign. Suddenly, any illusion of control in life was rendered. No one knows what will happen, and you’ve got every single task at home to handle, plus a small child who’s terrified.
5. I’ve Said Goodbye to Friends Who Didn’t Support Me – When I lived in a diminished place in life, I accumulated friends who liked me diminished. When I grew beyond that, they became judgmental and negative about my accomplishments. It was truly surprising to me, but they were not going where I was going in life. It was time to part ways. I thought I would have regrets; I have not. My friends today are a thousand times more supportive and these relationships are based on real connection.
6. I Left “Safety” for My True Work – I’ve had a lot of safe jobs in my life, but none of them fed me. When I decided to start my own business and help others lose weight permanently and fulfill their potential, it took a huge leap of faith and trust. It was scary, exhilarating, and ultimately very fulfilling to chart my own destiny. But, I’m a cowgirl from Texas and nobody’s the boss of me.
7. I Raised Myself to Adulthood – I could also call this “I raised myself out of addiction.” I didn’t have parents who were mature enough to raise me. One of them was an alcoholic, the other an addictive eater. I finally realized I had to raise myself to maturity; there was no one else to do it. Now, I think, who better for that task?
8. I Achieved my Master Certified Coach Credential – The ICF credential is coveted, because it is very hard to achieve. The bar is high, the testing process grueling. The passing rate is miniscule. Other coaches told me “It’s impassable. Don’t bother.” But I had amazing experiences with other Master Certified Coaches in my life and I knew the power of their excellence. I wanted to be that good for my clients.
9. I Found My Home – My body was always a revolving door. I rotated in and out of it, at will. Accepting it and supporting it, despite its many challenges, helped me understand love in a whole new way. Now, I see it is the only home I will ever have and I accept complete responsibility for it.
10. I Designed the enLIGHTen Your Life! Permanent Weight Loss Course – In order to do this, I had to take all the lessons I had learned and translate them into lessons, augmenting them with research and scientific data. I had to design them in a way that served class participants and “grew them” along the process of leaving diet mentality behind and truly taking charge of their lives and weight. It’s a work of art. People all over the world have taken the course and I’m very proud of it.
Has my life had challenges? Yes, I would say so. But, a friend of mine once remarked to me, “You’ve had such a tragic life.”
I was completely shocked. I don’t see it that way at all.
I have had a blessed and amazing life. I love my life and all life. I don’t judge the pain differently than the joy. We need both.
Every challenge gave me an amazing experience, a great lesson, a chance to show life who I am. I know there’s a lot in life I can’t control, and I don’t even try.
What interests me now is showing up, fully, every day.
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