This is the first time ever publicly telling my story; but Jill has helped me see the beautiful person I always dreamed of being. 48 years old, and for the first time in my life – I am happy with my body. I am happy with who I see in the mirror; but that wasn’t always the case – frankly, before I worked with Jill, I hated myself so much that I honestly wished I wasn’t alive. It pains me to write this and I actually deleted it 10x. But I wanted to tell the truth, because this might help someone who is reading this right now.
I didn’t know what value I had or why I was sticking around on this earth for. I was overweight – yet starving myself in the day – and binging at night. I would wake up with guilt every morning, shower as quick as I could because I hated touching my body with the wash cloth or catching a slight glimpse of my rolls in the mirror. I would put my make-up on in 2 minutes because I detested looking at myself. I would wear baggy clothes so that nothing would touch my body. I hated every minute I was awake. I kept thinking to myself, was this what life was all about?
I tried diet after diet, and nothing worked. I was a serial coach “hopper”, looking for the quick fix. I would be on a “diet” for 7 days, go on a “cheat” because it was allowed – then struggle all week to get back on track. I would be embarrassed so would just stop contacting my coaches, and would try to diet on my own. I would always resort to starving myself, thinking that was the answer. I felt like a complete failure – and I couldn’t do another diet and fail. I was afraid of what I would do next.
Back in January, I had a coffee with my friend (way before COVID) and she said that I should reach out to Jill. I hesitated and had every excuse – but my friend said, if you have one last shot – I would bet on Jill. (No pressure haha). I thought, what have I got to lose. I gave Jill a call, and we had a great talk. I had a gut feeling that she was the right coach – and I put my trust in her.
Throughout our 20+ weeks together, I completely changed the way I have ever thought about myself. Did I mess up? HECK.. More than once! But that was the best part – I made mistakes and had the right coach to help me through it. I sabotaged myself, felt like quitting, but I stuck with Jill. The weekly calls were my savour. There were times that I didn’t want to book in – but I did anyway. Jill has taught me that food and training is more than just a “plan.” She helped me look at my old beliefs and what as keeping me stuck in my “rut.” Some of the things we implemented were:
- Scheduled in “worry time”
- No Choice – workouts / meals to adhere to during the week. (I had a minimum I had to hit each week – which helped, since I always felt that if I didn’t follow the plan I failed).
- Structured social media time – I actually even went on my social media during a call – and we navigated how to use it to motivate me then compare! (This was a really insightful lesson).
- Experimented with Negative + Positive Reinforcement – to see what worked better for me.
- CBT worksheets / homework
- Workouts – a variety of options depending on how I was feeling
- Response cards – I started to write sentences down that were not “affirmations” (never believed them!) I wrote down realistic responses to my negative thoughts. Call these the “Mood Changers”
- Read my Advantages list EVERY Morning! I had to – it was on my mirror – so it taught me to start spending more time in front of the mirror and not bash myself!
So I guess you are wondering how much weight I lost? How many inches were dropped? Sorry, but that is between Jill and I. This transformation was more than weight and inches – it saved my life. And I don’t want that to be taken away by a number on the scale. If you are struggling – then reach out to Jill and start working with her. But be warned – if you are NOT going to show up, and miss calls, then you are wasting your time. She is ALWAYS there, but expects you to do your part. I love this – because it put responsibility on me to do my part!
Thank You Jen for Sharing your experience, and being so open and honest. I have no doubt that your story will encourage others to try CBT methods for health and fitness transformations/ overall wellbeing. – Jill Bunny
If you are still reading – here is a little more information on CBT:
Research shows that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is effective for losing weight long-term, stopping binge eating episodes and recovering from eating disorders. CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach to treat eating disorders and involves different techniques. The different techniques allow you to comprehend the interaction between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and plan strategies to change negative thoughts and behaviors to improve your mood and health.
Structure of CBT For Fitness
The Cognitive model acknowledges the importance of thoughts (cognitive) and actions (behavior) and how they have an important role in maintaining fitness self-sabotage.
1. Cognitive Factors
Consists of negative:
- body image
- beliefs about self worth
- overthinking your weight and body shape.
2. Behavioral Factors
Consists of behaviours to control weight such as:
- binge eating
- body avoidance
- body checking
The Different CBT Techniques I Use:
1. Cognitive Restructuring
You are encouraged to challenge your thinking processes of your self and your body and identify unhealthy behaviors and thoughts that are interfering with your fitness goals. Instead of unhealthy thoughts you will develop new healthy thoughts that will help you to change your perspective of yourself and your body.
2. Coping Strategies
Coping strategies are developed to manage negative emotions such as distractions and urges, but also to prevent negative thoughts in order to cope with overwhelming triggers and feelings.
3. Nutritional / Training Counselling
It is necessary with education to understand your:
- nutritional needs
- meal planning
- monitoring of food choices
- developing a workout plan that is sustainable
Focuses on the skills you will learn through 1-to-1 coaching sessions, so we can develop a long-term maintenance plan. This also includes improvement of self-confidence as you will become more comfortable with the skills you will learn and able to identify triggers to help prevent self-sabotage in the future.
5. Homework Assignments
It is common that CBT is time limited and goal oriented, and also includes tasks you have to complete outside of coaching sessions. CBT requires collaboration between the both of us (yes, I could be your coach!), and an active participation from you as my client.
Are You Ready to Try CBT-Fit Coaching?
I have received specialized training, and can work disordered eating, body image issues as well as other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and trauma as it relates to your fitness goals.