Self-Awareness, Venting Our Feelings

FROM 181 lbs to 137 lbs

Life is a journey they say, for me it was a journey from being born ‘FAT’ to staying ‘FAT’ no matter how hard I tried. Whatever I had lost, I had gained it back and even more within a few months or years. My family was super happy to have a chubby 9 lbs baby with white cheeks dangling around as ‘fun’ toy for everyone. L-O-L but did I know then that the weight would become the ‘horror’ of my life, my self-esteem and existence!

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RIMA

Being ‘fat’ in the Indian culture (India, Asia) is totally unacceptable. When we meet family, friends – current, old or new, the first greeting starts with a ‘weight tag’. If you have lost weight you get all the ‘wah-wahs’ (thumbs up), if you have maintained it, you get happily surprised faces gleaming half with praise and burning half with jealousy. But if you are anything like me, all you get is JUDGMENT! Major JUDGMENT, COMMENTS about your hips, thighs, stomach and lots of FREE, UNASKED for A-D-V-I-C-E!  If you think this judgement came only from other women, you are so wrong. It would start with my Father, be extended to uncles, aunts, friends, siblings, everyone. Growing up I began avoiding family and people in my mind just because I was scared of the comment they had to make about my ‘body’, even my TEACHERS!!!!

Honestly, growing up without a mother was anything but fun. I had nobody to guide me to be honest. My aunts would come home, eat food and leave. Some of them were very kind, but no one was there to guide me toward HEALTHY eating, exercising, let alone help me with my DEPRESSION and GAD – Anxiety! While I was praised for my skin color, my sister was praised for her thin body. I was developing an inferiority complex that was only growing with age. My friends and cousins were thin but I could not seem to get over my ‘sugar cravings’. I DID NOT KNOW I was depressed, we could not afford money for FRUITS, I had no idea was an ACTUAL SALAD was. I was busy figuring out how to ‘survive’ amidst major financial situations, emotional starvation, pressure of school grades, lack of friends, major loneliness and a body that felt HORRIBLE. By 5th grade (10 years) I was already 57kgs!!! I had bouts of being slimmer (not slim just slimmer) and being outright ‘fat’ over the years.

I can go on with that story but at some point in 2005 I discovered how much I enjoyed exercising. I was always in to sports and was a tom boy but never had I been to the gym. I had a huge home to show the world but we did not have money anything close to spending on a basic monthly gym membership, buying any exclusive fruits, shoes or gym clothes! I started nevertheless, with some SHAME, some CURIOSITY. I was so lucky to have found an amazing instructor – Imran Sir who showed me how to use weights to tone my body and I became confidence like never before. I dropped from 61 kgs to 56 kgs, looked ravishing and soon got engaged. Life seemed just fine! …

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RIMA 2006

… fast forward couple months. Married in a traditional family in East Africa, I was expected to do all house chores morning to evening and keep exercising or gyming the ‘last’ priority which wasn’t allowed to be checked marked most of the days. Eating sweets was a daily routine and choosing to eat anything beyond what was cooked was almost not an option. That is how most traditional Indian families are or were after all. I began gaining weight quickly. Fast forward… I slowly began to take charge of my life after the unexpected demise of my mother in law. I joined the gym, found another great instructor – JENNI. She was my angel in disguise. I shaped back to 59 kgs. Alas, that was temporary too!

I got pregnant and within a year, post my delivery I was 84 kgs!!! I was back to receiving comments, feeling ashamed, wanting to avoid social situations, unable to stop my sugar cravings no matter how much I tried. Being the person my dad and I have been, we eat more and binge more when depressed. I surely had it in my genes, all my parental aunts and my dad were heavy in their body and turned to sugar for busting stress but I wondered how did so many other Indian girls remain thin even after a baby and I didn’t!

5 years passed and I continued to range from 178 lbs to 181 lbs. I had moved from Africa to USA by then. Then one day, I had a wake-up call, I would say my Twin soul activated that within me. I was done being fat, feeling ashamed, socially awkward, rejected and outcast. For once, I started a weight shedding journey which was ‘SHEDDING’ not ‘LOSS’.

When we seek to ‘lose’ weight, we will ‘find’ it again at some point. When we seek to get done with it, shed it off, it’s gone forever. But what we need to know about that shedding is that more than the physical weight, what needs to go with it is the SHAME, FEELING OF REJECTION, GUILT OF EATING, VOICES OF OTHER PEOPLE, CULTURAL CONDITIONING and all the EMOTIONAL NON-SENSE that was built up and stored in our cells, bone marrow, aura, spirit and more. That was hence, the turning point in my body-weight journey.

By then I had been diagnosed with hypothyroid, the condition where weight shedding is very hard. But I was determined. I gradually cut down on and eventually gave up DAIRY PRODUCTS, DAIRY (except chocolate cravings that I had then), starting JUICING in my regular blender with ANY veggie combinations, re-began exercise becoming my own instructor (I could not afford paying one in USA). I also gave up the need to look good when I enter the gym but more than anything I BEGAN SERIOUS, INTENSE EMOTIONAL WORK. I began taking Guided Meditations, Hypnotherapy, Life-Coaching sessions to work through my FEARS, my SELF-IMAGE, how I related to my body, how I felt about myself and cried out many tears of the PAST NEGATIVE MENTAL SCRIPTS that I had internalized from the voice of other people and cultural expectations.

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That internal, emotional work brought a huge transformation in the way I felt about myself, other women and about my life. I began relating better to my daughter, enjoyed my time with her, dropped my sugar cravings and found more ‘fun’ in life. All of this happened in 2015. Since then, even with major stress in my personal life with major life-changing very stressful events and having an even more complicated thyroid condition, I have managed to maintain that weight +/- 3 lbs.  From 2016, I have stalled in shedding more weight simply because I suddenly had the stress and need to urgently start earning and supporting myself financially but what’s amazing is that despite working very long hours daily, major life-demands I have maintained my weight. The reason I have been able to do so is because I changed my EMOTIONAL STORY. I changed how much I would want to please the world and how much I would want to allow my fears to define my body.

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RIMA DESAI 2017 JAN

I  no more want or wanted to shed weight to ‘FIT INTO’ the world, I wanted to shed what made me feel good about my body. I wanted to do it at my own terms, pace and for myself. It has changed everything for me. I am not burning inside now looking at other women lose weight quickly. I am not wanting to starve myself or tell myself horrible statements for eating a couple chocolate squares. I love myself like never before.

I do have lot more weight to shed off and there is scope for me to do more EMOTIONAL WORK and PHYSICAL WORK on my body and spirit, yet it is not coming from a place of SHAME, GUILT or SELF-HATRED like before. My body does not define my emotions, life or self-acceptance. I accept my body and am okay if I don’t ‘fit’ into the society as per their expectations.

  THIS IS ME 2 WEEKS AGO 🙂

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RIMA DESAI DEC 2017

Do you relate to this story? Does it move you or inspire you to DISCOVER YOURSELF, YOUR POWER and RECLAIM YOUR LIFE? Allow me to show you the GUIDED MEDITATIONS that you can do to shed that weight off your SUBCONSCIOUS MIND. You can never maintain your weight if you have a negative emotional story attached to yourself, your past or your body. BOOK YOUR FREE PHONE SESSION WITH ME HERE

PARENTING, Self-Awareness, Venting Our Feelings

THE HAPPINESS CLOUD SYNDROME

It is so hard to really ‘sip a moment of life’ in all the parenting hustle bustle. It takes us a parent to realize that when we were unmarried and even when we were married but did not have kids, our notion of being busy was so stupid. Become a parent and then we realize, “Dude what was I busy with when I did not have kids?!” All the guilt and what I could have done kicks in.. there was so much we could have done with our time when we weren’t parents. So well, the gift of parenting is not only cute smiles, crazy tantrums, frowned feelings and a love filled home but also a realization of what our parents have done for us and the value of T-I-M-E.

Time and parenting are surely competitors and somehow time always wins! No wonder we don’t realize that our kids are already 7, 10, even 20 before we realize it!  So the one little thing I want you to do right now, today, everyday for ONE MINUTE of your day is to STOP – PAUSE- BREATHE – SMELL THE ROSES – HUG YOURSELF – PAT YOUR SHOULDER FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS and always remember that YOUR HAPPINESS CLOUD is hiding in the little pocket of your wonderful heart. Pause and give it a shout out, let it rain happiness for one moment everyday or every hour!

I found this beautiful picture on google images when I typed the word happiness and as soon as I saw the picture, these words came to my mind:

There are TWO ways to have a great day and a great life: 1. Do something that makes you happy

2. Do something that makes someone else happy

It would be wonderful to make this a life-long project to do with our child. Teach them to DAILY do something that makes them happy and to do something that makes someone else happy. Simple lessons come in great packages, they don’t need expensive classes or elaborate thinking. Just a little pause and a little rain of a big smile.

Life is too short to let it just pass by. Always have the #HappinessCloud

PARENTING, Self-Awareness, Venting Our Feelings

The Screaming Story of a Silent Death ~ true story of my cousin and what follows thereafter

I am rushed with disappointment and anger right now and this leads me to write this article. My anger is not only to this shocking incident questioning my cousin’s life but also to the woman who wrote a more dramatic version of my cousin’s death, on her Fb page. This incident occured in 2011, I shared a post a week ago and today one of my Fb friend has an ‘inspirational’ looking post but with so much of what sounds  ‘nonsensically dramatic’. Are we women done beating each other down?

Before I share this incident, I want to ask you all, if I share that she did not want to marry her husband who was her childhood friend but finally married him because she felt persuaded, does it make you question her integrity? Is that what we women can ‘gift’ other women?!

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I was in Tanzania, Africa. As usual we were out of electricity. My in laws were dining and I was in the kitchen, finishing up the dishes before it was time to retire for the day. The phone rings, my sister on the phone tells m e – “______ committed suicide_______” details follow… I am frozen with shock! Can’t believe it. Is it this same cousin who was so close to me several years ago.. the same girl who was always so affectionate, so full of live and so beautiful? 5 years ago as I got engaged and married, I left country and lost touch with her. I was surprised when one day I got the news that she finally married him after even breaking her engagement with him. I had passing thought why she did it but not the faintest idea that she was stepping into what news say was a ‘hellish’ place.What a misery that it seems like my cousin lost her life because she did not or wasn’t able to step up to the insensitive and greedy behaviour of her in-laws. But notice how I write “it seems”. There is no conclusive evidence so far and I was in a totally different country for several years to know any of that. Her name or the link to her news is not important. What is important to know is that as far as the news went, she was earning very well, was in her later 20s and hence capable of being independent. I know that the person she got married to was her childhood friend and she was doubtful about accepting his offer of converting the friendship to companionship. Alas, it hit her hard when she finally did!

While all the talk about her dowry, in laws coercing her for money, her great job position and the fact that her father refused to support her after her constant requests goes on, I wonder if there are any answers to some mysteries. Our family still questions if it was murder or suicide? I don’t know what truly happened but this incident and news raises some key issues in our Indian society. I ask all women to rise above ‘society pressures’. If your parents are unwilling to accept you, are too bothered about ‘log kya kahenge’ then do hell with them. Tell them that society will say that you were not a fit parent!!

Women, you no more need permission of your parents to leave abusive relationships, nor do you need to feel guilty or doubtful of stepping out of households where you are treated as a ‘commodity’ or with a ‘give and take contract’. I know today of a friend who lives with a highly abusive husband who curses her with the worst comments, hits her, drinks, abuses her in front of her family members, does not allow her to own and yet she wants to stay in the marriage because her parents want her to continue living with him, just because of “log kya kahenge!!!” Today we have multiple women empowerment centers, homes, places to turn to in times of need. I know that nothing can stop a woman once she makes up her mind. The immense strength we show in caring for others, we must show in caring for ourselves too! It cannot be harder to walk out of a monsterous home than to hear judgement from others for a few months. People talk, forget and accept. The ‘spicy talk’ lasts for a few days and burns out. This society needs more women leaders that step up to injustice and LET-IT-SHOW.

Will the society come to wipe your tears, to free your soul, heal your bruises? Such parents must be shameful of themselves for these are not what we call parents. Culture and tradition is good within limits but when it moves into orthodox rigidity where women are forced to bow down to injustice, gender bias, severe prejudice and abuse, we must reconsider our cultural ways. Is this want you want your daughters to grow up and hear from the news? Is it so important that if our kids do a love marriage, they must be held responsible if the marriage does not work out and furthermore if the in laws lash out torture and coercion? I do not know what happened to my cousin and my facebook post was a scream of pain to ask for help for someone who may be able to help me know the intricate details around her death.

Unfortunately, someone who I called my friend says that it makes her question the girl’s integrity and that I share information that is confidential. Really! Is it so hard for today’s modern world to accept that women have as much of a right to be loved as men? That women have a right to choose partners and deny if needed and that boys can be ‘just friends’ too. How sad that we can’t just get over pointing fingers at one another and then ask men to show us respect. Wake up women, if you want freedom, justice and respect, ask yourself if you watched an item song along with your boyfriend, ask if you thought of another woman as a ‘slut’ in your mind and if you play cheap tricks on other women, shaming them and even worse, exercise negative power against other women…Charity begins at home and so be it!

Self-Awareness, Venting Our Feelings

What Is Life-Coaching, Counseling Or Psychotherapy? Who Needs It, Who Deserves It, Why Or Why Not?

This is part 1 of 3 part series. In these 3 parts I will share with you will get to know what is Life-Coaching, Counseling, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry. When, why and how to use it. Why to use it is the most important part. I will go over many details about each of these and in the end of the series also give you some sample real-life case studies from my client sessions. You can always email me: theguidingstar28@gmail.com and ask me more. All and any questions on this topic are welcome! ~ also read this article here: http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/parenting-booth/article/what-is-life-coaching-counseling-or-psychotherapy-who-needs-it-who-deserves-it-why-or-why-not

What is Life-Coaching, Counseling or Psychotherapy. Why get help or why not?

When I inform others that I am a Certified Life-Coach, some pronounce a “Wow” and some give me a blank face. Most of them will ask – “What is a Life-Coach?” I must say that I love questions and curious minds. That is a great question: Who is a Life-Coach and what does a L.C. do? So this post will answer that. Here I also inform you about the difference between a Life-Coach and a Counselor and the difference between the two.

RELATED EDUCATION:

In 2004, I passed first class as an official Counseling Psychologist (Masters), Mumbai University. I knew this was exactly what I wished to do in my career. While I pursued that in sort of different ways than others. I did many group workshops and aimed at increasing community awareness about emotional problems in children. However, with my marriage in 2007 my career picture flipped as I moved to a super small town in Tanzania, Africa and thereafter to USA where I could not use my Indian Masters Degree. Hence, I pursued certification in Transformational Life-Coaching from USA.

THE PRIMARY ROLE OF A LIFE-COACH OR A COUNSELOR / PSYCHOTHERAPIST:

People in these roles are called Practitioners or Mental Health Professionals. Aim in each of this role is the EXACT SAME: Unconditionally supporting the ‘client’ to reach a healthier, happier life in any manner. By this we mean both – physically healthy + mentally or in other words, emotionally healthy. So, one client may be depressed and requires a lot of emotional support to emerge out of depression. Another client is suffering from severe knee pain and needs many health tips. Yet another is confused about which career path to choose or having trouble saving money and someone else is having major struggles with their teen son or daughter. It really does not matter whether the problem seems big or small to the client, the coach can help nevertheless.

 

WHY SHOULD ONE GET SUCH HELP?

I would say why not? Why do you have a helper at home even when you have a healthy body? Just because you hire a servant does it mean that you are unhealthy or lazy? Why do hire an accountant to manage your taxes? Does it mean you know nothing about math and accounts? Why do you see a doctor when ill? Is it something shameful to do? Do you not hire a ‘Coach’ for Sports training? What would you miss if you did not hire one?
The idea that getting emotional help is a mark of one’s failure is FALSE PERCEPTION. In fact, it is the mark of a brave and an open-minded person. Few have the courage to discuss their problems with others and be willing to find other solutions. I never want a client who thinks “I do not need help”. That is a closed, orthodox, limited functioning person. I want a client who thinks – “I am curious to explore this too”.

How can you know that Life-Coaching is not for you, when you have not even experienced it or known about it in detail?Just like you tell your child: “How can you tell me you don’t like bhindi till you have eaten it?” Correct?

You deserve to live a life where you feel content and excited about each moment to come and you deserve to be supported in that. A smart person finds out and uses the best discounts or coupons. This is that coupon to life which cuts hard work and pain short and gives you that extra advantage over others. Like polishing a piece of furniture or garnishing a dish, Life-Coaching, Counseling or Psychotherapy helps us ‘sparkle’ our personalities. Why miss out on that?!

 

WHY LIFE-COACH or COUNSELOR. WHY NOT A FRIEND or a FAMILY MEMBER?

  1.  Because you cannot share all your SECRETS with someone you know. They may judge you, speak ill about you, break your trust and spill out your secrets.
  1.   The Coach or Counselor is this objective, unbiased person whose job is to SUPPORT you like a mad fan would support Shah Rukh Khan. The coach cares less about whether you were right or wrong but rather whether your thoughts and actions are helping you or creating blocks. After finding the blocks, the coach does not make you work hard on it like digging earth on a sunny way. You may work hard, but never alone! You get tons of special help and lots to celebrate.
  1.   There is a limit to the amount of time your friends and family member will give you. Plus there is a huge risk of getting unwanted advice, advice which hurts more and helps less. They may not be wrong in giving advice only that they may not understand your situation from your view!
  1.    The coach never gives advice, never tells you what to do or not do and never judges you as right or wrong. Hence, it is a SAFE place to open up.
  1.    All of these help us remove our pent up emotions which we may not show our family or friends with fear of judgement or hurting them.
  1.  Mental health professionals are experts in the field of guiding you live healthier lives. There are specific ways in which we can increase our self-confidence, will power, improve relationships. We have the repair, revise and prevention techniques which will cut years of hard work and tears!

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COACHING-COUNSELING-PSYCHOTHERAPY… to be continued in Part 2.