By Kourtney DeRosa-Radice
Not too long ago, I was 85 pounds heavier than I am today. I moved to Westchester, had two children back-to-back and pretty much put my needs and wants on the back burner. I prepared my children organic baby food, dressed them in the cutest little outfits, brought them to those fancy gym classes for little ones and LOVED them beyond words. However, my self-care was another story. I started eating frozen processed foods, traveled around in faded black sweatpants, canceled my gym membership, and pretty much stopped caring for myself. My days of being that women I once was were now gone; this was the new me, the new mom me. My priorities were different and that was okay, or so I told myself.
One day, after getting a glimpse of a picture of my kids with a “stranger,” aka mom, I decided to take action and started a journey down a road that would eventually lead me back to the women I once was, the women I loved and knew so well. Ironically this journey pretty much mirrored all that I had been doing for my children. My days started consisting of eating mostly clean, non-processed foods (similar to what my children had been eating), completing daily workouts (though not at fancy gyms like my kids) and dressing like I was leaving the house (even if I wasn’t).
The result of my efforts was a huge weight loss, which I am congratulated about daily. Each day I hear the words, “Wow, congratulations on your loss…” “Awesome job with your loss…” “You must be so proud of your loss…” Hearing the word loss day after day, used in such a positive manner feels odd. I had been programmed from a young age to think of loss as a negative. I’ve always connected loss to sadness. I’ve connected it to stress and aggravation. I’ve viewed it as loss–not gain.
Then, one day, after being at a Moms Night Out and talking about my loss yet again, I had that “ah hah” moment. You know, those moments when you realize you need to rethink our thinking! Wait, I thought. my weight loss isn’t the only loss in my life that has been positive. I quickly went through the moments in my life where I experienced sadness as a result of loss.
I thought about my husband losing his job on the trading floor when the markets went electronic. I thought about losing a beautiful home in Pleasantville in a bidding war. I thought about losing out on what I thought was my dream teaching position in Westchester. Then I thought about what I gained from each of these experiences. My husband losing his job led me to become a nutrition coach which has allowed me to support hundreds of people with their weight loss. Losing our dream home in Pleasantville encouraged us to expand our search and this led us to finding a home in Armonk. And that dream job–well, had I been offered it, I would have never decided to stay at home part time with my children. This idea that a loss could actually bring you to a happier place, a healthier place, an all around better place was now clear in my mind.
As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday and I continue to think about this whole idea of loss I can’t help but wonder if everyone already knows what it took me 36 years to figure out. Do people know that loss, though negative in some aspects, can also be positive as well? Do people know that sometimes a loss is actually just a gain in disguise?
This year things will be different at my Thanksgiving table for sure. For one, the food I typically prepare will be getting a facelift. There will be no marshmallows on my sweet potatoes and no cream in my corn. There will be no green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and no gravy on my turkey. There will, however, be a revised list of what I am thankful for. This year I am going to take a step back and reflect on all that I have lost. I plan to give thanks for all the loss in my life that has brought me to the place I am today. Sometimes it is hard to see the positives in loss, but, when you put on those special lenses, they begin to jump out at you.
With this I challenge you to go beyond only giving thanks for what you have gained this year and, instead, think about what YOU have lost. Have you experienced a loss this year, which has inadvertently led to a positive in your life? As you sit at your Thanksgiving table and you give thanks for all the gains you have attained, remember to include your losses too. After all they deserve to be thanked as well.
Kourtney DeRosa-Radice is an Armonk mom, public school teacher and Team Beachbody Health and Fitness Coach. When not enjoying her children or teaching her students she devotes her time to assisting clients in reaching their health and fitness goals. Kourtney can be reached at: Kradice@beachbodycoach.com