You may recall, a few months back I was searching for a worthy family who would win a health scholarship, giving a very unique opportunity for me to work closely with a family in need of a 'health overhaul'. With so many worthy applicants, this task was a lot tougher than I first anticipated. However, I had to make a decision, and that I did.
Our journey has been wonderful, and we are developing a beautiful trusting relationship. I want to share with you an insight of their journey so far, as written by them. This is one story that will inspire you.
It all began 5 weeks ago, when the inspiring Maddie paid us our first visit of many and began, what seemed to us, like the enormous task of reeducating our family of 3 about health and wellbeing. We are a family who love food, wine and consider our health secondary to our enjoyment of eating what we like and what we believe makes us happy. As a family we celebrate with food, commiserate with food, gather friends around food and plan our days around food. However, as older parents (45 & 51) to a 7 year old, we were conscious of our unhealthy relationship with food being modelled to our daughter and more importantly, with my husband's recent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and all its associated health issues including high blood pressure, weight gain, low energy levels, etc and my love affair with wine, cheese and potato chips, we needed help as a family.
So our first homework task set by Maddie was to start the day with 2 glasses of water, drink 2 litres of water throughout each day, keep a food diary and watch the Life changing movie "Overfed and undernourished". I began this journey with gusto but my husband was a little less enthusiastic but absolutely committed to Maddie's plan.
By day 3 we were drinking 2-3 litres of water a day and I stopped 'needing' my second cup of coffee at 10 and my 3rd around 4pm. In just 3 days I had gone from being a 3 coffee a day person down to just 1 and really not missing them. The other interesting thing to occur in that first week, is that our daughter started having a glass of water in the morning just because she had seen us do it. The power of positive role modelling was undeniable. The only down side was the constant toilet trips, however by the end of the week both of us had clear, unpungent urine.
By week 2, I had become aware of all the 'numbers' and chemicals in our regular shopping trolley. What we thought were healthy choices actually had been well processed. As Maddie made herself always accessible, I was able to email her questions and get advice about wiser or alternate supermarket products. That alone, already started a more mindful approach to cooking and shopping.
At our second visit, Maddie helped us read the labels of our new found products and shared her incredibly easy home-made recipes for some of our packaged food. Who knew you could make your own crackers and that making delicious hummus was so easy! Our new challenge was to incorporate 3 green smoothies a week to our diet, to help detox our bodies. Well after smoothie number 1, I was hooked and our whole family was having a green smoothie every morning with breakfast. Taking Maddie's advice, I would make one smoothie and with the ingredients already out, I bagged up 2 other portions, so that by the end of day 5, my family already had 10 smoothies waiting for them in the freezer, they just had to add coconut water and chia seeds or spirullina, etc and blend.
By week 4, my husband's oily skin was no longer oily and he was sleeping soundly and uninterruptedly through the night for the first time in 25 years. Not only that, we had both lost weight and had people commenting on our seemingly changing 'look'. Our pantry had also started changing with chia seeds, Macca powder, coconut water and spelt flour new staples that we could now not live without.
In the coming week we introduced meat free Monday, using Maddie's or Jamie Oliver's delicious recipes including veggie burgers and zucchini chips. We had also decided to ensure we ate fish or seafood every Friday as a family.
I started noticing that healthy eating, feeling better within my body and making mindful food choices for my family, was influencing other areas of my life. I started wanting to not only look after my body but nurture other areas of my life. I began consciously making time with friends, you know those ones you adore, but life just gets too busy and you kind of take each other for granted. I was becoming mindful of the precious time we have and how it is important to be truly present in each moment.
All the while, my husbands clothes were getting looser, his skin was clear and dare I say, glowing and his work colleagues wanted to know what his secret was. He began having conversations about whole foods and the dangers of everyday processed foods we consume unconsciously and sometimes unknowingly. Even our conversations were literally becoming healthier.
Not only that, but our weekly fruit and veggie bill had gone up by $12-18 and our meat bill had gone down by $25-30. Which is not only a cost saving but it meant that our family was consuming nearly $20 worth of fruit and vegetables that it wasn't previously. And if know how much fruit and veg you can get for $20, you'd know why our skin was glowing and our bathroom visits were regular.
On our 3rd Maddie visit, she generously ended up staying for 2 hours instead of 1 as we went through further whole food choices and recipes but then she asked my husband and I to fill in a wellbeing web. Rating all parts of our lives; from nutrition and exercise to finance and relationships. This opened a raw, emotional and honest response from us and lead to a healthy conversation of the areas of our lives that need work and how those areas effect all the others. It was an open and extremely emotional session with tears, hugs and the truth flowing. It helped facilitate a much needed conversation between my husband and I about the future direction of our family and the current issues that influence it. We feel such gratitude to Maddie for opening up this very real and necessary conversation for us, and having the integrity to be honest and talk issues through with us when we were feeling so raw, emotional and vulnerable. I really felt the true beginnings of a healthy future in all ways after this session.
She left us with a book about our wheat laden society, which we are currently reading, and the much talked about 'That Sugar Movie'. That will be our Sunday night viewing as we look forward to another mindful, healthy week.
This story is a wonderful re-count of the positive impact a health coach has on an individuals life. Health coaching creates sustainable life changing habits in all aspects of life. My program incorporates many pillars that all have either a positive or negative impact to your health and wellness.
Should this story resonate with you, and would love your family to be healthier and happier - please contact me today for a FREE 50 minute consultation.