I’d like to introduce you to my friend Sara! I started following her when I began my own weight loss/healthy living journey. She has been such an inspiration to me! I am so honored to have her guest posting and sharing her story today! Please check out her facebook page. She is a wellness coach and she hosts monthly fitness challenges as well as a monthly virtual 5k that has over 1000 participants! Today she shares her story with us!!
My name is Sara Bown and I live in New Brunswick Canada. I have been married to a man I adore who is my best friend for 14 years this June and together, we are blessed with two sons who are 7 & 11.
Like a vivid dream etched on my heart forever, about 3 years ago, I was living a life that I desperately wanted to change. I had reached a place where emotional eating had me in the 280 lbs range and seeing this on the scale was devastating but the real sad story here is how those pounds held me back from the world. Filled with many talents to share that I once loved to share like singing and acting, I now found myself hiding not wanting to be anywhere where a judging eye could see me.
At the time, I pushed myself for my family and loved outdoor activities. I would go on family hikes honestly feeling like I would pass out from heat about 10 minutes in. I would go to the beach dressed fully not to show any skin and at the time it felt like I was doing great. I was pushing myself for the ones I loved and I do give myself credit that I was doing my best and really putting myself out there, but what we do not realize in the moment is that when we are so busy hiding, we aren’t able to live fully, freely and just be in the moment. The ones we love, our children who will mold themselves after us, deserve to see us free and happy with no self inflicted boundaries.
Getting on the scale and seeing 284 / 286, I wasn’t on long enough to confirm, it hit me that if I didn’t make the needed changes, I may die. And what made me sad beyond words was thinking I could die feeling like there were years where I didn’t fully live. Now, don’t get me wrong, as mentioned, I am blessed with an amazing family, a wonderful husband the best children a mother could ask for and family who all just simply rock but it wasn’t ok with me to die without the people I loved knowing who I truly was…
Inside I loved adventure. I used to get up and sing in front of 100’s of people in singing competitions, school, places around the city even weddings. I used to love going to amusement parks ( well, I only went once but I loved it ) I loved feeling free and silly and spontaneous and I knew that in recent years, no one had seen that side of me. When restrained in the confines of our fears and insecurities, everything is painfully worked out detail for detail in advance so you can control outcomes and avoid embarrassment, like possibly arriving at an event with a chair that might break…you just don’t go. I would say it was 4 – 5 years where I was my heaviest and really noticed how it was holding me back and something I was not prepared to live with, was wasted years.
I am all to aware of how time flies so fast and before we know it, a year has gone by.. and I was not willing to live in regret any longer. It’s one thing to feel this but when you have been in a certain place for years, this change does not come easy, it’s hard, scary and can be uncomfortable but I also knew, that I had so much more inside to share, with not only my family but with the world. I felt I had a purpose and it was time to find out what is was and to find / live my authentic life.
I cried the day I got off the scale in the shower, I cried to God… ” PLEASE let me wake up 20 lbs lighter, if you can just take 20 lbs off, I’ll feel hope and I’ll know I can do it ” and in that moment it hit me, I needed to stop praying about a solution and to just do it. I already had everything I needed to succeed.
I moved forward, worked hard, lost pounds but more importantly, I gained self love & self belief. I had started to change my life in November 2010 with some emotional work, really getting to the bottom of why I was where I was and what my issues really were like emotional eating and at the very end of July ( the last week of July 2011) I decided I was going to run a 5k…I have since run a half marathon with my husband and continue to break down walls continuously. I started out in the 280’s, went down to 201 lbs and in February 2013 began on a new journey and dream and I am currently 15 weeks pregnant. You know, I have often shared a before / after pictures and all the time the reaction and support I get back is so amazing, however I always feel a little sad inside because the pictures I share are to provide hope, the hope that no matter where you are in life, no matter how long you have been fighting the battle to get healthy, no matter your age or anything else…if you have a heart beat, you can make the needed changes…one step at a time. What I can’t share in a picture is how things have changed on the inside and THAT is the transformation to see, if I could show that, everyone would at least try because the change is so beautiful and life saving in itself there are barely words to even describe.
Life is funny and our paths have a way of always taking us to new places. Now the scale will go up with me expecting child #3 but the great thing is, I am ok with this. I love myself, I even love myself with a little extra chin and that is something I could not say in 2011. I wasn’t able to see in me the qualities to love all because of weight and I now realize that the lack of self love and acceptance was the biggest problem and the biggest road block keeping me away from health goals.
It’s great to want to be a certain size and physique and I certainly, think it’s important and even essential to live healthy, to live balanced and well but something often missed on the road to change is learning how to love ourselves the way we are today, to see our unique talents and the value we add to the world just by being alive…those are the things that touch the hearts of others, that build memories that will last a lifetime, that will allow us to let the people we love know who we truly are.
From being on my own wellness journey for life and now working as a certified life wellness coach I can say with confidence that EVERYONE is capable of living their best most healthy authentic life and it will always come down to choice. Do we live trapped in fear or do we push forward, falling down often along the way perhaps but staying the course knowing the end result will be the best feeling we have ever experienced.
What will you decide ?
Sara E Bown
Life, Health, Wellness Coach
Founder and CEO of Sara Bown Step By Step Wellness Coaching
Page Founder of Sara Use it 2 lose it