Hello, It’s Me (5-min read)

Connie Pretula Best Menopause Coach
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Connie Pretula

Connie Pretula is an inspiring health coach and Menopause Navigator to mature women, using a holistic approach to nutrition and life.

April 21, 2023

You might be asking yourself, who is this person, did I sign up to receive emails from her?

You have either downloaded a document on menopause or a meal plan or contacted me at some point for information.

Next you may be saying, gosh, that was a while ago! You are right, so I decided to let you know what has been transpiring in my world.

One of the biggest impacts to my world was my mom passing away November 2019. She was 88 years old and would be the first to say she had a great life.

If you have heard or watched my guest appearances since 2019, you would have heard me talk about my mom’s decision to have an assisted death due to health reasons. She will always be my hero for being so brave and also for deciding to leave this world on her terms with grace and dignity.

When I decided to leave the corporate world in 2013 and venture down the path of entrepreneurship and return to school to receive my certification in holistic nutrition, I had no idea it would also be a time that my mom would require my help more as each year passed.

Reality is, being a part-time entrepreneur does not work, when I am not actively working in and on my business, it doesn’t exist or it is seen as a hobby.

I don’t regret the time I spent with my mom, we became very close the last 6 years of her life and I’m grateful for every moment I spent with her and not on my business.

So why am I telling you this? One thing I was not prepared for is how hard the grieving process would be. I tried to prepare myself, especially as each year went by after she turned 80, I knew one day she would pass away.

My heart hurt so bad, more than I could ever imagine, even more than when I was told that I was unable to have children.

At first, I was brave and strong and convinced myself that it would be best to focus on my business and get back on track. The reality was, what I was ignoring was still there, the hurt and missing my mom so badly. I started to withdraw from the world, even from my closest friends.

What was so hard is some of my friends couldn’t understand why I was withdrawn and I wasn’t there to hear about what was going on in their lives. All I could say was “I’ve got nothing to give right now”. I’m grateful for the friends that said, I’m here when you are ready, no matter how long that takes.

I also knew I had nothing to give to clients, every day was a struggle emotionally.

I needed time to figure out what life was going to look like now that I was the only person I needed to look after. My mom was a big focus of my life for just over 30 years, she was a big part of my identity.

When my mom had a major stroke in March 2019 my coping mechanism was soothing myself with confections. Mom and I loved to share sweets, so it was a way for me to connect to happy times.

It was on occasion initially, then it became very planned. When I would go for walks in my neighbourhood, I knew the best spots to stop and get a cupcake, a donut, delicious handmade chocolates, muffins, cookies. There were days that I would stop at two or three places on my walk. I would drive an hour for non-dairy ice cream, the more I hurt the more I searched for sweets to soothe me.

What was hardest, I felt like a fraud!! I spent two years studying holistic nutrition and during that time I healed my body from the constant pain I had been experiencing. Here I was, emotionally eating for the first time in my life and I could not stop. I knew what the health consequences would be, I didn’t care.

I was gaining weight which made me withdraw further. I worked out when I was able but with all of the restrictions during the pandemic, there were times all I could do is walk and then of course that became the vicious circle of stopping at all my favourite places, I had no willpower.

I finally admitted to my good friend Ingrid Barclay that I was struggling with emotional eating. I knew she would not judge me and she offered to help me get back on track. I’m so grateful for her and all of her support.

The one thing I knew deep in my soul, I love working with my clients and guiding them to get their health back on track, especially women who are struggling through the stages of menopause and frustrated with the advice they are receiving.

So what’s next…

Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing what I have been working on. I’m very excited about all of the projects I have been creating and new comprehensive testing options.

I hope you will look forward to my next post.

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