Coach and Author Tina C. Hines isn’t new to inspiring others. She helps women everyday push closer to identifying whatever in their life may be a hindrance to their best self. As one of the contributors to the book, Organized Obstacles : A Collection of Weight Loss Stories from Those that Laughed in Impossible’s Face, she details her own journey to wellness and self-improvement and shares in this interview some ways you can do the same.
This book showcases the journey several women have taken to tackle their weight issues. Tell us what made you want to participate in this series, why it was important to you and how sharing your story has further improved your decision to get healthier and take care of you.
When I was approached about the opportunity to be a co-contributor to Organized Obstacles, I felt like it was impeccable timing to share my journey. I had been working on improving my physical health for a few months and I wanted to share the experience with others on a deeper level. My journey was not only about weight loss but the story behind the weight gain and an understanding of the many facets behind the physical transformation of our bodies. Sharing my story allowed me to put a face with clinical depression, which was important to me, because it is a silent a mental health issue that so many people sweep under the rug with hopes of it simply disappearing. My transparency was an invitation for readers to give themselves permission to remove the armor they hide behind in order to begin healing.
What person, place or thing was the biggest catalyst to your weight gain? How do you recommend other women identify their “obstacle” and then begin to get around it?
To be honest, initially I did not pay too much attention to my weight. My eating habits had not changed. My exercise regime (or lack thereof) had not changed. However, there was one area of my life that changed and it was my emotional well-being. I was suffering from clinical depression and needed to balance my emotions by using medication. It was not until a third follow-up doctors visit that I observed that the numbers on the scale had each time I visited. My weight increased from 163 lbs to 193 lbs, which was probably the heaviest I have been in my 48 years of life. Once I discovered the culprit of my weight gain, working with my doctors I was able to identify a solution to the problem.
For other women who experience weight gain and are unsure when or how it happened, I would recommend that you pay attention to your body and listen to it as well. Your body speaks and sends messages when it is healthy as well as unhealthy. If you are unable to hear the message, you certain can feel it when you put on your favorite pair of jeans that used to be easy to slide into and now you are struggling to close that top button. We all have habits and if your habits shift in regards to your weight, identify exactly what that shift is and what adjustments can be made for you to turn your health around. One of the most important things that I did was ask for help as well as support. Once I was able to work through the emotional pain of my clinical depression, I was able to work through the physical pain of my weight. The two go hand-in-hand.
Did you find it hard to share your story and be transparent?
The journey of weight gain and weight loss is something that many people around the world struggle with and perhaps try to hide. But let’s be honest. You can probably camouflage your emotional weight, but camouflaging the physical weight is not as easy. There is proof in every picture that I would take. Therefore, sharing my story was not hard. As a life transformation specialist, my integrity is important to me. If I can’t be transparent with my clients and others, how can I expect them to feel comfortable enough to pour out their most intimate secrets in order to heal their emotional wounds? I know there is a message in my journey that will help someone and perhaps inspire them to make a transformation in their life.
As someone who works with women often and seeing how all the contributors were women, do you think women in general struggle with this topic more or are we just more open to share?
I honestly cannot say that women struggle more than men with their weight. Women are more willing to discuss the challenges they face with their weight, especially when you are in a room with others who are having the same experience. There is a level of comfort that comes with embracing the commonality because you realize that you are not alone.
Shame. Depression. Trauma. Stress. These are all common weight gain catalysts. Were there any common similarities with the other contributors that stuck out like a sore thumb?
The common similarity many of us experienced was the emotional pain that contributed to our weight. For a period of time it kept us locked in a dark closet. However, as each of us observed the light that illuminated at the bottom of the door jam, we discovered a healthier space that we wanted for ourselves. We may have struggled during the journey. Yet we all worked our way through it with an increased sense of purpose.
What would you say to encourage another woman currently on a weight loss journey or still stuck in conquering their obstacle?
For any woman that is on their own personal weight loss journey, I would encourage you not to give up on yourself. Your weight gain did not occur overnight. Therefore, your weight loss will take time and a certain level of commitment to someone very important . . . YOU! Set realistic goals for yourself and work towards them in small increments. Create activities that you enjoy versus the ones where you need to be nudged in order to not give up. At the end of the day, every inch or pound that you release into the universe brings you closer to your goal. Most important, celebrate your milestones . . . the small ones as well as the big ones. You earned it.
Some women may find themselves with an even harder battle by ignoring or dodging their AHA moment before it’s too late. What is one way women can recognize the red flags before hitting rock bottom?
When you are a woman who is active and engaging, and all of a sudden you lack the desire to be around people, that is a red flag indicating there is a shift taking place in your life. This behavior should not be confused with being an introvert. As I mentioned earlier, your body speaks and all you have to do is be willing to listen to the messages.
Tell our readers where they can find out more information and/or purchase the book.
To find out more information about me and purchase your copy of Organized Obstacles, visit www.tinachines.com/books.
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