It's the most wonderful time of the year to reflect. I took a trip down memory lane today, and had a major “aha”. So much so that I decided to scratch what I had planned for today’s blog and write about this instead. I love that I get to make the rules! Anyway….. I’ve talked about my weight loss journey, and my cancer journey a lot over the last year. Today I realized the amazing connection these two paths share. In late November of 2013 I hit a major milestone and lost 100lbs. This accomplishment was 5 years in the making, and it was a big deal. I started this particular journey after my son was born in 2009. It took me a long time, and when I reached that milestone I still wasn’t happy with my body. I didn’t like the way it looked. I didn’t like the size I was wearing. I didn’t talk nice to my body. I didn’t say or think nice things about myself or my body. I didn’t appreciate my body, or the journey, or anything I was learning along the way. I just wanted to lose more weight! I would think “20 or 30 more pounds, then I’ll be happy. Then I’ll be good.” The Universe clearly had other plans. Two weeks after hitting my major milestone, on December 2, 2013, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. BOOM! My world turned upside down. In the first month of my diagnosis I gained 30lbs. All of my hard work went out the window, and suddenly I could no longer button my jeans. But, there were bigger fish to fry. I had to fight breast cancer. For the last (almost) 4 years I have been trying to lose the same 30 (now 40) pounds. I’ve also spent a lot of time, energy, and money working on myself. In that time, I have learned how to stop eating emotionally. I have learned that I don’t need cookies to cope. I have learned how to reconnect with my body, and trust the skin I'm in. I have learned how to talk to my body, and how to talk about my body in a much kinder way. I have changed the conversation. I have learned how to look at my body (naked and clothed) with kind eyes and a loving heart. I have learned how to shop for clothing without caring about the size of my jeans, or that some of my favorite stores are “plus size” (hello, Lane Bryant!!). I have learned that I can step on the scale every single day without drama – without worry – and without the little voice in my head that says I should do better. I have learned that it doesn’t matter what anyone says or thinks about MY body, because I’m not here for them. I am here for me. I have also learned that their negative thoughts and words speak volumes about their own personal demons inside. I have learned how to show up for me, just as I am today. Today, I have learned that I am free. The breaks came on in December 2013 because they needed to. There was more I needed to learn, but more importantly, I needed to recognize the lessons. I’m continuing on my weight loss journey with all of the beautiful awareness and lessons with me. This is the way it's supposed to be. We must learn how to accept ourselves, and our bodies first, before any permanent changes can be made. Learning how to accept yourself is the first step. Today I am reaching my hand out to you. If you struggle with your weight, and if you struggle with food, please know that you are not alone. I would be honored to walk with you on your path, but only if you are ready. I won’t tell you that it has been easy, but I can tell you that it is absolutely amazing on the other side. You can get started with a free transformation session. We'll talk, get to know each other, and see if my coaching program is right for you. I'll help you make the right decision for you, with no hard feelings either way. What do you have to lose? Click here to schedule your complimentary session.