Friday, October 23, 2009

Thank you, Heather Wellness

Friday is always the day I set aside to reflect on the past week — and usually to talk about my progress.

It's been slow. I am down 9 pounds — and looking forward to hitting 10 — but for the first time in my life, I am in no rush. And the reason for my new attitude is Heather Pierce, who I love to call Heather Wellness, a nutrition and lifestyle coach and one of the sweetest women I have ever met. Just being in her company forces me to take some deep breaths and calm down.

I started meeting with Heather in August because I realized I needed help losing weight. At my free consultation, she told me how she approaches change, and how she will get me to stop dwelling on calories, carbs, fat, proteins, restrictions, and lists of good foods and bad. Her goal will be to enable me to create a happy, healthy life. And in the process, I will start dropping pounds.

Sounded good to me, so I signed up. And although she told me she would not be giving me a diet to follow, after my first session, I admit I was a bit discouraged. I wanted Heather to tell me what I could or couldn't eat. Instead, she suggested I try adding greens to my diet for two weeks — the greens that most people ignore at the market, but the ones I actually love. We're talking spinach, kale, bok choy, chard. And she gave me recipes and a baby bok choy to get me started.

As I was driving home that night, I had an aha moment, as I began to understand what Heather was saying. She was going to add good foods to my diet, and eventually they would crowd out the bad.

I've grown to love our hourlong chats, when she asks me not only about my diet, but about my sleeping patterns, my stress, my kids, my husband — which subconsciously I know contribute to the way I eat, but didn't realize the extent. As Heather writes on her Web site, "Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity and a spiritual practice are essential forms of nourishment. When these 'primary foods' are nourished, what you eat becomes secondary." OK: I still am having trouble with food becoming secondary, so I am definitely a work in progress.

But Heather is not giving up. She is always there to offer possible solutions to all my concerns, many of which I have never considered bringing into my life. (For example: A hot water bottle, my mom's favorite remedy for any ache and pain, can ease arthritic hands, keep cold feet warm at night, or soothe a tired, stressed body into sleep.) And if I need a nudge between visits, Heather is as close as e-mail, the phone, or her blog,

Heather Wellness, you are making me see the light.

My goals for next week:
1. I never had trouble drinking 64 ounces of water. Now I am. I've got to improve.
2. Try meditating three times this week, five minutes each time.

Past goals that I am working on:
1. Exercise 4 times this week, 20 minutes each time. I exercised 6 times, twice for 30 minutes. Maybe I'm on to something: 20 minutes goes by in a flash and I still make it to work on time.
2. Eat something different at breakfast, instead of my usual cottage cheese and nonfat yogurt, mixed with an apple and cinnamon. I added steel cut oatmeal, and changed the toppings throughout the week. I like this better than the cottage cheese and nonfat yogurt. So does my tummy.
3. Chew each bite 20 times: Still getting better. But sometimes I forget.

Consider these done:
1. Weigh myself each day.
2. Except for days I eat lunch out, beans and walnuts are substituted for chicken in my daily salad.

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