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  • Stephanie Lee

Have You Declared Your Independence?

Updated: Jul 24


In the United States we recently celebrated the 4th of July which represents the honoring of our country’s Declaration of Independence. This made me think about my life and whether or not I have declared my own personal independence especially as it relates to food. I also wonder the same for you.

When everything first shut down due to the Corona Virus I found myself falling hard and not able to get back up. All of my sources of income disappeared in an instant, and all the professional titles I had come to identify myself as disappeared too. My feet had come completely out from under me. Suddenly I was no longer a fitness instructor and massage therapist.


I alternated between the couch and the bed watching movie after movie until I started to run out of things I was interested in seeing. Food, sugar in particular, became my friend once again. We have had a sordid past.


I swear I could hear my sugar addiction saying how happy it was for the quarantine. That finally we could be together again without distraction. Besides what else was there to do than go to the grocery store, come home and sit on the internet. “It’s my time now. Oh come on you know you want to...indulge. These are tough times. You deserve it. You’ll feel so much better.” Terrible lies, but I fell for it all the way.


After about 2 weeks of this, one of my former students texted me and asked if there was some way we could work out together. That seemingly innocent request was just what I needed to put me into action. I had purpose again. I could feel my feet finding their way back under me and my live Zoom Pilates classes were born.


In the meantime, however, the sugar addiction had reared its predictable and ugly head and had taken over. Before all this I thought I had a good handle on my food addiction. What I learned is that it had simply been masked by an excessively busy schedule and denial. I wasn’t paying attention to it lying dormant.


It’s been several months now and today I choose to take a stand for my physical, mental and emotional health (because I believe food affects all those areas) and declare my independence.

We have to first decide to change then we can take that first step to move in that direction, and it really only takes one step initially. So what one step can I take today to move me toward the healthy life I envision for myself?


I can do one squat. I can drink one more glass of water today than I did yesterday. I can strap on my walking shoes. There are many possibilities for that one step.


What I choose as my first step is to be kind to myself. I choose to treat myself like I treat my good friends. I’m patient with them. I respect them and I accept them exactly the way they are. When they’re ready to make a life change, I support them. I can certainly do all those things for myself. Tomorrow I’ll decide my second step.


Tell me about your quarantine experience with food. I’m curious to know how you have, or are, navigating these waters. If you’re willing to share, what snack foods do you eat most often? Are you feeling stuck in unhealthy eating habits like I’ve been? Have you been able to find a silver lining in all this virus experience? Are you ready to declare your independence?

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