My Aha Moment: Interview with Stacey V
Stacey O’Connell Vaagen
32, Stay at home Mom, Photographer
12 week weight loss – 20lbs
“I had been wanting to do the challenge for quite some time. Years. I was depressed, felt ugly, my jeans didn’t do up anymore, and I was stuck in a state of resentment and anger. I also have what’s known as Wolff Parkinson’s White Syndrome. It is an extra electrical passageway in the heart that can cause your heart rate to excel exceedingly fast and not come down on its own. I myself was clocked at over 254 beats per minute. I needed to get healthier for the sake of my heart. Of course I wanted to change my body but I was mostly looking for an overall change. I needed my mind to shift. I have never been a confident person and I was really hoping the challenge would change that – which it completely has.
After a series of events that no one deals with well. My brother in law took his life months before. Then my husband rolled his truck and the very next morning a client of mine was killed in a car incident. It was my time to take control and do it now while I’m still here.
The obstacle that I had a really hard time with was all emotional. I had emotional baggage that I didn’t know how to deal with. I didn’t want to either. Nadine helped me through it by asking me the really hard questions. She was stern when I needed it and understanding at all times. She could relate to where I was in my life because she’s been there. Typically I would have had a bottle of wine or eaten my issues away but in the challenge I couldn’t do that.”
What types of diets did you try in order to lose weight and why do you think they never worked?
After my 1st daughter was born I went on weight watchers for 9 months. It worked but I felt like crap all the time. I tried Pure Trim Shakes after my second was born and I was always starving and shaking. It wasn’t until I found Nadine that I truly understood nutrition and how to use it to get where I wanted to be.
I think its fair to say that most mothers carry ‘mom-guilt’ when they dedicate time to themselves. How did you get over this?
I had zero mom guilt! I completely expected to but my girls are so great that they would cheer me on. They learned almost as much as I did.
What were some of the positive things that you noticed once you took charge of your own health?
So many things. My family became more engaged in what I was up to. I was able to help friends and family see that they could take charge and do this for themselves. I had so many ‘aha’ moments that at a certain point it felt as if I was walking out of a dogs den. My mental health improved greatly. I have been on anti depressants for a year now and felt as if they were just barely helping. I feel like a different person now. It’s not just eating healthy and working out in the challenge that helps, you have Nadine to talk to. Physically, I was really shown how I let my strength go over the years. At first I could hardly do a push up, and now I can do 30!
What did others around you notice as a change in you during the challenge?
People I never would have expected to notice saw the physical change immediately. It was the second week and people were asking me what I was doing differently. Everyone saw how much happier and self assured I was. I’ve always been down on myself and that has 100% changed.
Did you struggle to stay on track in the challenge? What were some of your challenges and how did you get past them without returning to your old ways?
I did struggle to stay on track twice. My Mom had baked her yearly Halloween sugar cookies with the kids and sent them home with them. They are my all time fave!! I ate quite a few and eventually sent them all to school in one day with the girls. I had one really dark moment that lasted a week. I have been desperately wanting to go back to school and become a Counselor and Bodytalk Practitioner. It came after an aha moment. I was struggling with how I could make it happen and went into my old negative self talk and quit caring. My daughter asked me if I was ok one day and I snapped right out of it. My daughters really are my little pillars of strength and inspiration.
What motivates you to continue your healthy lifestyle now and not revert back to old habits?
How I feel. I feel physically better. But mainly the mental benefits of this lifestyle. I love myself again. That alone is enough. I have a thirst for doing things again. I am going to be horse back riding for the first time since I was 11, I want to take up snow shoeing(huge for me since I hate the cold). I want to take my camera out into the country side and see what I find, there are so many experiences I have in mind right. A year ago I would never have even entertained the thought of anything new.
What is the best words of encouragement you received during the challenge?
It was a quote I randomly stumbled across. “Be who you were created to be.” I have tried numbing who I really am down for the sake of making others happy for as long as I can remember. This right here? I was meant to be who I am right now, I am doing what I am meant to do right now. I have needed to let go of what other people want me to be for so long it felt like I was suffocating myself.
What was one of the highlights in your success to becoming healthy?
My girls. They are aware of what real food is now. They workout with me. I have shown and taught them what healthy really is.
What is one word of advice that you would tell other moms that are business owners that struggle with finding balance in their lives?
Dig deep. It all starts there. Are you really doing what your gut and heart are telling you? If not, acknowledging that is like taking the world off of your shoulders. This was one of my biggest aha moments. Figure out what you want for you. Not a client, not your family, YOU. Go from there. Take time every day to do something that gives you clarity.
For those that are “emotional eaters” what is one word of advice you could give them?
Keep junk food out of the house first of all. Secondly you need to feel your emotions instead of stuffing them down with food. It a downward spiral that is hard to break out of if you don’t. Food is fuel, not a therapist.
What do you think helped you get over your emotional eating?
Nadine. She made me see things differently and called me out on some pent up emotion I had been harboring for a while. I needed to let it go.
Would you say that you had an epiphany moment during the challenge?
Many!! I believe that I have had them coming for a long time. I pushed them back and ate a bag of chips or had a beer instead of letting it come to me. I didn’t know how to handle it. Nadine helped so much! I go to Bodytalk and my practitioner has been telling me it’s ‘my time’ for at least a year. Probably more. Nadine helped me to let it be. I was so scared I was dizzy. Now I know what I need and want in my life. I see who I am and who I am evolving into. It’s an amazing thing!
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