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I know how it feels to feel freaked out because you can’t seem to stop overeating.

I know the quiet panic of watching the scale climb to numbers you never thought you’d see.

I know how desperate it feels to know so much about food and diet and, yet, not feel able to figure out how to actually apply and benefit from what you know.

I know this because in January that’s exactly how I felt.

I now also know the pleasure of sharing that my weight loss total for this year just hit the 35-pound mark.

More than that, I am so pleased that, when I attended a party last Friday, I was comfortable in my skin, confident, and willing to be seen as my real self – not as a preconceived, manufactured version of myself that I thought people would like better than the real me.

Oh, and…there’s this.

I know the relief and comfort of not being preoccupied with worry over what people would think of how I looked. Miraculous!

In reviewing that Friday evening, I’m so grateful for how far I’ve come.

In the past, a party felt like signing up to be in a room full of judging eyes. Usually, I would cringe when I received a party invite, immediately working on some kind of excuse to not attend.

This time was different though.

I was enthusiastically looking forward to going.

I wanted to experience the joy of connecting with others, meeting new people, and also becoming better acquainted with some of the people I already knew. That’s quite a departure for me.

And so is this…I didn’t hide.

In fact, I was present, engaged, and willing to risk being seen as exactly the person I am. I didn’t feel the need to be vivacious, exciting, interesting or seem “better” than I actually am.

I was willing to be me. Ordinary. Human Being. Me.

As my lovely friend described a similar feeling recently, I experienced the “relief of being me.”

Now, this “party” experience would not have been possible just 10 months ago.

At the beginning of the year, I was tipping the scale at my Highest. Weight. Ever. 207 pounds.

I was freaked out. Desperate to lose weight. And alternating between judging and shaming myself inside my head. Not only was I feeling like a failure as a person because of my weight, but I was predicting a bleak professional future as a weight loss coach as well.

Me + Highest. Weight. Ever. + Being A Weight Loss Coach = FREAKED OUT & DESPERATE

What I know is that when I take action from a place of freak out and desperation, the results are not going to be pretty. The truth is they will just lead to more freak out and desperation.

For me, what is useful is finding a way to feel better right now in this red hot minute without having to lose a single pound. And doing it over and over again.

(That is no small feat. In fact, it’s a hard won skill. And that is exactly what I help my clients with – shifting their momentum in the face of all those extra pounds.)

When I’m freaked out and desperate, my inspiration, ideas and inclinations arise from fear.

However, when I find a way to feel better (even slightly better), I receive better inspiration, better ideas, better inclinations.

Slowing down the constant stream of negative voices in my head and even taking moments to breathe deeply allowed me to pause long enough to start applying the wealth of knowledge I had accumulated.

Practicing what I preach changed everything.

Moment by moment, choice by choice, I shifted from tidal waves of freak out, desperation, self-judgment and shameful recriminations to much calmer waters filled with ease, optimism, inspired action, and confidence in my ability to course correct.

This is a path you can walk. These are choices you can make, too.

I want you to know it’s possible – not just for me – but for you, too. Absolutely. Without a doubt.