Skip to Main Content

Michael: I Wasn’t Ready, and Then I Was

In our ongoing series, Transformation Stories, Michael talks about his struggles and decision to get healthy.

Q: What transformation, if any, have you experienced?

A: As of today, I am in a recovery program, I have lost close to 30 pounds, and, most importantly, I have not had a drink in four months. I don’t think any of this would have happened if it had not been for the opportunity to talk to a health coach. She provided a space for me to prepare for a big change and support my efforts when I was ready.

Q: What inspired you to seek out health coaching?

A: A few years ago, I was struck with the news that my wife”s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. It was devastating. The lifestyle I had enjoyed was turned upside down. My emotions became those of bitterness, anger, depression, and complete hopelessness.

I accepted my fate. However, I had developed some extremely bad (and dangerous) habits. I was taking care of my wife, but not myself. Up until her diagnosis, I had been very active and involved in sports and outdoor recreation. The activity I took up instead was drinking. I was still able to adequately function—take care of my wife, hold onto my job—but the physical and mental toll it was taking was enormous.

I was so embarrassed by my weight gain (50 pounds) and what I had become, I hated to look at myself in the mirror. So when my employer offered one-on-one health coaching, I signed up for an appointment.

Q: What were your expectations? What surprised you about the process?

A: My initial health goal was to lose weight. I admitted that I knew that I drank too much, but at that time, since I was putting nobody but myself at risk, I wasn’t about to give it up. We discussed ways I could reduce calories, incorporate stress management and more activity. MaryAnn continued to build trust and relationship, and while alcoholism is beyond the scope of practice of a health coach, she helped build my awareness and accountability. The real problem was continued to become obvious.

Progress toward my weight loss stalled. I knew what was really holding me back. At this point I admitted I was an alcoholic, and until I was able to get that problem under control, we were not going to get too far with the weight loss.

I am grateful that MaryAnn acknowledged and affirmed my bravery in making such an admission. She supported my choices and offered a referral resource. Upon request, she informed me of my Employee Assistance Program (EAP). And so I reached out. I told the person at EAP what I was looking for, and she was able to provide information on local outpatient recovery centers that could possibly help me.

Q: What have you found most valuable about your health coaching sessions?

A: We continue to talk on a regular basis, which gives me the chance to share my progress and keep me accountable. Her support is something I will always welcome.

start here
This entry was posted in Blog, Transformation Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.