What Do You Need Today?

Some days I just need to slow down. I know you know that feeling. When your body is literally telling you to stop and take a breath because you’ve been going a mile a minute with no end in sight. I mean I get it, life is crazy and there’s always something that needs to get done or something that needs to be taken care of for someone.

I’m not saying that taking a break means that you neglect your responsibilities. Far from it. I’m saying that taking a break needs to be an opportunity for you to rejuvenate.

With self-care being the hotness, I feel like people everywhere are toting this verbiage of doing what’s the best for you. To me, that’s not what self-care means.

Back in the day, I couldn’t give myself a break even if I tried. When I was really active in CrossFit, and then again post baby when I was trying my hardest to lose weight and feel good again, the thought of taking time off was non-existent. It was one of those ‘well that’ll be a nice thing to have in the future when I’ve reached my goals’ kind of thought.

I let my ego get in the way, along with my pride. I felt like taking a break meant I was weak or that I didn’t take the goals I set for myself as seriously as other people took their goals. Like one day off would circumvent any progress I had made. 

I realize that sounds a little ridiculous but that’s where my head was at. Like I didn’t deserve to take a second to myself, I had to do everything by myself AND I still had to workout like a fiend so I could hit my fitness goals. I was lucky because I didn’t hit burn out. Most people do. That kind of pace isn’t sustainable nor is it realistic for the majority of the population.

But you know what happened? I didn’t have some major epiphany or some major meltdown (thank GOD), but I started regressing. Not giving my body the rest it needed, meant that my body couldn’t perform in the manner I wanted it to because I was too exhausted. The feedback I received from my body was to stop if I wanted to get stronger. Take a break if I wanted to see change.

I could spout off all this stuff about how I had to let go of my ego and my pride, I had to do the work to realize that I was worth the break, my body deserved the rest and all that stuff. But I won’t. I won’t because that wasn’t how it happened. I had to give myself the rest because I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t performing to the degree I wanted to, and I had to let that rest show me that it wasn’t going to undo the progress I already made. After I saw that taking a break was not going to undo everything I had already done, that I actually felt better, then I started to do all that internal work (with the help of a coach).

This is why when I coach, I encourage my clients to listen to what their bodies are telling them. Know that there is always an option that will work the best for you and it doesn’t have to be what everyone else is doing. Learn the difference between doing what you want and doing what you need, and take ownership in doing what you need. There’s power in listening to what you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So when you want to go hard, go for it but when you need to slow down, go for that too.

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Snacks are My Favorite

Ok I want to break down this practical side of healthy living a little more than I did in my last post. Especially when it comes to food. Because I really do feel like that’s where most people struggle and that’s the part that truly makes the biggest difference. It’s that whole saying of “abs are made in the kitchen” ya know? As much as I am not a fan of that saying because it just sounds kind of dumb to me, it does hold merit. At the end of the day, nothing that you’re doing as far as your fitness will make any difference, you won’t see any gains in any way, if your nutrition isn’t on track.

I’m definitely not saying that you have to be SO rigid that you can’t enjoy life. I don’t feel like that’s a realistic way to live either. What I have seen is that when people cut out one thing or another as a means of “dieting” and not a nutritional necessity (like an allergy for instance), as soon as they can get access to the thing they cut out, they binge on it. Like hardcore binge. And then there’s hardcore guilt that follows and ultimately what happens in this cycle is a horrible relationship with food.

But then if the goal is a healthy lifestyle, where you’re eating in moderation for everything you consume, how do you actually make sure that you’re able to do that well? Like how do you avoid eating the sleeve of girl scout cookies because that’s all you see in your house when you’re super hangry? 

You know the answer. You have to have the healthy options available. But I would take that even a step further and say that you have to have the healthy options available and prepped. Here’s why: either you’re going to be so hangry that you don’t FEEL like prepping anything or the prospect of having to cook something sounds annoying AF, or you’re going to be running late out the door to get your kids to whatever activity they have and realize not only that you don’t have snacks prepped but you’ve run out of time to do anything about it.

Life for all of us runs at 120 MPH most of the time, so we have to put conscious thought into what we’re putting in our bodies. It can’t be a second guessed choice, or a last minute decision. That’s when you spend a ton of cash getting something when you’re out that’s “healthy” or you’re shoveling whatever you can find in your mouth. Either option isn’t the best option for you.  

I know I said this in the last post about being intentional with meal prepping but it comes to snack prepping as well. But it’s not just making sure that you have the snacks in the house. Pre-portion it out so you don’t have to think about what you’re grabbing when you running out of the door. Make sure that you have the accompanying dip or whatever pre-portioned out as well. It sounds so small but it ends up being so big.  

So have the baby carrots, the apple slices (pro tip: a little squeeze of lemon spread out in the baggie helps to keep them from turning brown), cucumber slices, cheese slices, or whatever else it is that you like in baggies and ready to go. But also make sure that you have nut butter, tzatziki, hummus, shoot even Ranch dressing also ready to go in little Tupperware containers. Take the guess work out of it. Take the thought out of it and you won’t have to worry about falling into temptation or spending your whole paycheck on something you didn’t really want in the first place.

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The Practical Side of Healthy Living

Ok let’s get off of this mindset stuff for a hot second. I definitely realize the importance of it. Don’t get me wrong, when people talk about achieving healthy living as a lifestyle choice, mindset is the majority of the battle. It seems insignificant but really it’s huge. Because if your mind isn’t right, you’re not going to feel ok with making the decision to have self-care, you won’t feel right exercising, and it’ll be way easier to fall into the excuses trap then it will be to do the work.

I’m sure we’ll get back to that topic soon. I’m already thinking of stuff while I write this post in fact.

But I wanted this post to be more about the practicality of healthy living. I think a lot of people think that having a healthy lifestyle is super hard, it’s expensive or really time consuming. They’re comparing their journey unfairly to the famous person or influencer in social media who has a personal trainer coming to their house on the daily, and has a private chef. For the majority of the population, this isn’t how healthy living gets achieved. I mean girl if your goal is to have a private chef, I’m SO here for that. In fact, just plan on inviting me over for dinner ok?

I’m all about how it will work from a logistical standpoint, but I’m like that with most of my life. When you get hurt and you’re wheel chair bound, you begin to look at life like the game of Tetris. Like how are all these things going to fit together? How will I move through this activity to the next, what will I need, that sort of thing. 

That line of thinking for me was only reinforced when I had a baby and had to think about all the things that could happen once we left the house. It’s like contingency plans on contingency plans, constantly trying to mitigate any risk or pain in the ass complicated situation you can come up with.

Obviously I’m a planner as a result and that extends to healthy living. I can’t second guess this stuff. Partly because I don’t have the time and partly because I know if I don’t have a plan, that’s when the bad decisions are made. So I plan. Not crazy but I definitely do plan.

Part of that means planning out what my family will have for dinner during the week. So ya that does mean taking an hour of my time, usually while I watch Grey’s Anatomy (you’re welcome), and coming up with recipes, or taking note of recipes I want to cook that week and making the corresponding grocery list from there. I’ve taken it a step further recently to include what snacks we will be having as well, and including those ingredients on my list. It just takes the thought out of it. I know what options I have for dinner, sometimes I pre-plan to the day if I know I’ll be out at night, and I know I have everything I need already in my house. 

The other thing I plan are my workouts. This is a little more challenging because some of my workouts are planning for classes I teach or people I train privately, and some workouts are for my head more than my body (like yoga), and some workouts are just to sweat. But even then I know what is going to happen each day for that workout and I have it in my calendar. I have the time blocked out and I also have a back up workout just in case my original plan doesn’t work out. Working out because it happens more often than me going grocery shopping needs more options, more flexibility and more patience on my part. Because life is going to happen and things will change, but ultimately if I can get my workout handled at some point during the day, then all is good.

I’m not the type to stress buying this thing or that, or for a person to do this kind of exercise or that, but I do believe that we all deserve to feel our best. If taking an hour out of your day once a week and doing those things means I’ll feel better in the long run then for me, it’s an hour well spent.

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I'm Gonna Go There

Ok I’m going to go there. Some of you might not like this one, so fair warning with it, but I feel like with all I talk in regards to healthy living and balance, it’s worth addressing. Obviously I’m a huge proponent in having a coach to help support you and guide you when it comes to meeting the goals you’ve set for yourself in regards to healthy living. Maybe it is a balance issue, maybe you’re wanting to lose weight, whatever your end game is, a coach is for sure beneficial. A coach is 1000% (yes there’s an extra zero there) that person who can look at your life and tell you where to make changes so you can get the results you’re craving. A coach is that outside person who can call you on your bullshit as well. Because we all have excuses that hold us back. Coaches are invaluable, shoot I have a coach and will always have a coach. I need my person to tell me when I’m full of it, but also cheer me on when I do something well.

Here’s the thing though: even with a coach, at the end of the day girl it’s all on you. It’s still ultimately your choice as far as what you are going to do to get better. I’ve had this tremendous opportunity in my life to be a coach to all kinds of people. I’ve had the opportunity to work with all kinds of injuries, all different stages of life, all different goals and many different priorities. It’s been the best experience of my life to play a role in strengthening the individuals around me.

But ultimately it’s not even me doing anything. I mean obviously I have tools in my tool box that you don’t have, that’s just the nature of the beast. I’ll share everything I have, every tool, every piece of knowledge I’ve gained over all these years of experience. I’m more than happy to pay all of this forward. I mean after all, I’m doing nothing if I’m sitting on all of this knowledge and not sharing it with the people around me.  

Even then, it’s still all on you. Because if you’re not willing to show up for yourself, if you’re not willing to commit to yourself, then nothing will change. You won’t see anything improve or have any kind of transformation because you haven’t taken any action. It’s not some like magical thing that will just happen through osmosis. You still have to do the work.

A lot of the time doing the work is more than just doing the exercises and eating well. Doing the work is understanding what’s holding you back from taking action in the first place. It’s scary to learn about that aspect of yourself. To learn what your excuses are and why you have them in the first place, and then work through them. I mean dang girl, it can for sure take you to some unexplored areas of your mind but in the end it’s worth it.

In the end, it makes doing the work a whole hell of a lot easier. It makes taking action towards achieving your goals that much simpler. The work won’t seem as daunting, your coach won’t seem as annoying, and you’ll be able to find motivation you didn’t know you had.

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Sophrosyne

I talked about this on a live last month, and I’ve posted about in on IG (oh the Gram), but I felt like it was worthwhile to expand upon in here too. Only because so many people have contacted me about this whole concept of sophrosyne.

I know. Fancy. I’m not one for fancy words but I’m totally one to geek out on concepts that are so applicable to all people all of the time. And the Greeks are super smart with ideas that were applicable back then and now as well.

Basically the idea of sophrosyne is the idea of moderation. It’s knowing what you need verses what you want, and how you create a healthy lifestyle around that difference. It’s that idea that once you know why you over indulge on something, you’ll be able to make a different decision because you’ll understand why you’re making that decision in the first place.

I think when most of us are presented with this idea, we think about either what we’re eating or our fitness. It makes sense to me that our minds would go to those two things because those are two things that are directly correlated with healthy living that can be quickly screwed up when it comes to healthy living. 

But doing that deep dive to understand why you’re reaching for the second piece of cake when you don’t really NEED it, or why you’re working out 4 hours a day when really 1 hour would suffice is hard. It means looking at aspects of yourself that maybe aren’t the most flattering or working through things that have happened in your life that maybe aren’t the prettiest.

It means you have to get uncomfortable. I mean right? Addressing these issues makes us have some icky feelings below the neck. Maybe our chest feels tight, maybe our breathing changes or we get clamy hands or all of those things happen at once. It’s uncomfortable, it’s hard, it makes us cry, it pisses us off but it’s so freaking necessary.

Not just for your growth and development as a human so you can be a better member of the community around you, but also for your own self worth and self love. It’s so you know when you go out to dinner and opt for the decadent mac n cheese instead of the salad that you won’t be beating yourself up about it later. It’s also knowing that you don’t need to finish the dish when you feel full. For me, it was giving myself rest days when I was actively trying to lose weight so my body could recover and embracing those rest days. Like going into true and full sloth mode and loving it because before I would berate myself for not working hard enough. I thought it would set me back and I would never lose the weight.

Healthy living really is about not just the choices you are making for yourself but also how you feel about those choices. Every choice. Down to your midnight snack choice. It’s knowing what serves you and what is a disservice to you and it’s being ok with those things. Because having a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you cut out all those things that you’ve loved before (like your lazy days), but it’s having the reassurance in yourself that those are not things you need to survive. That you can have some of all the things and be happy.

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The Power of Starting Your Day Off Right

My husband started doing this thing awhile ago that literally had me thinking he was crazy. He started setting an alarm and waking up before everyone else in the house. His reasoning? He wanted to have time to ease into his day, he wanted to have time to himself to drink a hot cup of coffee and read, pretty much he wanted time to himself before the craziness of the day kicked in.

I could appreciate that. Because the days are crazy and there’s nothing worse than getting slammed out of bed, having to hit the ground running first thing in the morning. But when he started doing this, I was still in such a point of pain and my sleep at night was suffering SO much that the thought of setting an alarm to go off even earlier was like sheer torture to me. Any extra sleep I could get was a luxury, and mind you Grace was sleeping through the night at this point. But I wasn’t. My back was in so much pain, it was so inflamed that I would wake up on a good night at least once in pain to the point I couldn’t move, and it would take me at least an hour to go back to sleep. I went to bed exhausted and I was waking up exhausted.

Here I was thinking post foot injury that it would be my foot that would cause me the most amount of grief, when in reality, post partum, my back was worse than a hot mess. A hot mess express perhaps? I was listening to my doctor who was telling me to focus on core exercises to help support my low back help, which of course made intuitive sense to me as a Pilates instructor. But the pain was going nowhere fast and as anyone with chronic pain can attest, when you have chronic pain, it literally impacts every single aspect of your life. Not just your body and how it functions but EVERYTHING. 

So no way in HELL was I going to be setting an alarm. I was looking to sleep in, I was looking to wake up feeling refreshed. I kept at it with the core exercises, I was already eating clean AF so I wasn’t too concerned about eating foods that were anti-inflammatory (because I already was) and I just waited for things to change. It killed me, this waiting around. 

Finally after a few months of doing Isagenix, with my digestion back to normal and the toxins leaving my body at a rapid pace, I slept through the night for the first time since I had Grace. It was over two years and I remember waking up thinking “Whoa, WTF just happened?”. I felt like a freaking human again and it was the BEST FEELING EVER. I finally felt like myself. I finally looked like myself because while I didn’t lose a lot of weight (I lost my baby weight ironically super fast, but the inflammation that stayed around made me look like I hadn’t lost anything), I had lost my muscle tone and I had ENERGY. Chronic pain is this sneaky thing because it takes so much energy for your body to be in a constant state of pain that you’re left feeling depleted constantly. Combo that with the sleep deprivation of having a newborn child and it’s a recipe for disaster. I’m not kidding when I say I was so tired and run down, that I would drive to places, park my car and then wonder how I got there because I couldn’t remember the drive.

But now I felt like I had my life back. I can’t even begin to explain to you the relief I felt. It was like the clouds parted and freaking angels were singing from the heavens. It was only then that I felt like ok maybe I COULD set an alarm and get up before the rest of my house so I could ease into my day like I did pre-baby.

I started doing it and I learned that I actually really loved it. At first, my morning routine was nothing fancy, sometimes I would just lay in bed and give my brain a moment to wake up, sometimes I would get up and get coffee, sometimes I would snuggle one of my puppies.

Now my morning routine is intentional. Now I understand that how I start my day, including my first thoughts of the day, set the trajectory for my whole day. If you read my last blog, my initial thoughts in the morning are the same. I still wake up thanking God for the day ahead of me, being grateful for the life I had, and being grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to share my story and experiences with others as a means to empower the people around me. Don’t get me wrong, some days still go nuts and the morning routine doesn’t happen, but the majority of the mornings, I’m doing it. Even if it’s done in pieces or with Grace meditating with me, it still happens.

Now I set my alarm at night looking forward to the time I’ll have in the morning to pray, read my devotional, journal about the things I’m grateful for and most importantly, snuggle a puppy.

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What's Your First Thought In the Morning?

I want you to know that as I’m writing this, a swarm of bees is surrounding my house because it’s springtime and they want to know where to put their queen. Of course right? Just when you think things are going your way or when you have a certain plan for your day, the universe literally sends you bees. Is that a sign of the apocalypse? I can’t remember.

That’s the thing about life though, it’s unpredictable at best. Same with parenting. As soon as you think you have some of it or all of it figured out, the universe (or your kids) throw you a total curveball.

What’s your first thought when you wake up in the morning? I know it seems unrelated but go with me on this one. Do you wake up thinking about how tired you are? How you’re SOOOO not looking forward to your work day? Do you wake up on a Wednesday wishing it was a Saturday?

The first business coach I ever had asked me that question as one of her interview questions for new coaching clients. My answer? I wake up every morning looking at the amazing view in the house I own with my husband and I think “Good fuck this is a good day. Thank God for this day.” Everyday. Rain or shine. Crappy sleep or 10 hours of sleeping like a rock. It doesn’t matter. That’s always my first thought. 

It wasn’t always that way thought, especially when I first got hurt or even right after I had Grace. When I first got hurt, there was no way I could have approached anything from a place of gratitude, even though I should have because that situation could’ve been way worse on a multitude of levels (trust me, I’ve ran through them all in my mind). I was too angry and quite frankly too scared about what I would do with my future to be looking at anything in my life from a place of gratitude. I was too busy thinking about what went wrong, how I could’ve prevented it, and what my future held.

After I had Grace, while I wasn’t depressed, I was so focused on the pain my body was in especially in my back as well as how tired I was that I couldn’t be grateful for everything around me. When you have chronic pain, pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night, pain that leaves you unable to stand for longer than 2 minutes, pain that makes it miserable to sit for longer than 2 minutes, there’s not a whole lot else that consumes your thoughts.

At least in both instances, that’s how things were for awhile. But then when I started to come out of the other side of the pain, when I let go of how much worse things could have gone (in both cases), I started realizing how good I had things. Granted this wasn’t something that happened overnight. In both instances, there was a TON that happened that I needed to process. I needed to think about the worse case scenarios, I needed to think about the bad shit, I needed to perseverate on all of it for a little bit. But then I needed to stop. Because focusing on how bad things were, focusing on how much worse things could’ve been, wasn’t serving anyone.

I did what I needed to do to find the silver lining on the cloud. It was necessary for my survival. Now that I’m on the other side, I get to wake up every day excited for the day, grateful for the day, and thankful for whatever it holds for me.

Now I understand that having that mindset serves me on a greater level because it allows me not only to deal with things like bees in my yard with some levity. It also allows me to not give up when things get hard, because they will get hard. It allows me to continue to push through to my fitness goals, even with things that could be viewed as obstacles like chronic pain and previous injury. It gives me the perspective on a good workout to know I’m getting stronger and pushing past my limits, and it gives me the perspective on bad workouts to know that I’m still getting stronger and I’m learning about myself.

So what’s your first thought in the morning? Is it time to change it?

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Selfcare is the Best Care, right?

I know more often than not I’m sharing my funny parenting stories as a means to bring you levity in your day. I feel like the reality is that we’re all working so hard, the level of everyone’s adulting around me has exponentially increased over the past few years and life as a result has become this super serious affair. But really, we all need to laugh and not get so caught up in the day to day grind.

 I get it, it’s hard. I’m right there with you girl and I know that when we, especially we as moms, get caught up in that grind, the first thing we sacrifice is ourselves. Any level of selfcare goes out the door in order to take care of the tribe we have around us. That to me isn’t human nature, it isn’t even mom nature, it’s the nature of the female. We’re the consummate nurturers and protectors of ALL the things.

It’s not a bad thing, but what I see that ends up happening is by the time Thursday hits, you realize you haven’t washed your hair in 5 days and you also haven’t worked out in like 2 weeks. I say that because that was me. Or maybe I had worked out but those workouts were interrupted, they ended up not getting finished or maybe I had to lose my chicken on my tribe to tell them to eat their breakfast in order FOR me to finish the workout.

I know I’ve said before I learned to have my plan for my ideal workout and how long I would like it to take, but I’ve also learned I needed to have a back up plan as well. I still adhere to that even today. It works for my life MOST of the time. The rest of the time? I’m exercising the art of patience and flexibility which is a continual struggle for me.

I’ve learned that being selfish with my time happens more effectively when I have the support to BE selfish. It means delegating and distributing tasks, it also means giving up some control and realizing that I don’t have to do everything myself. Holy moly was that a hard thing. Especially when I first had Grace and felt like dang I have to be superwoman with all the things in my life, I have to do everything and no one can help me because if they do, then I’m not being my best for my family.

Now my selfcare is a non-negotiable part of every day. Granted it looks different every single day and is at a different time every single day, but it’s there. I know it’s going to be there because I schedule it in. Like a doctor’s appointment that has a late cancel fee, I take it that seriously and I don’t cancel on myself. I plan it every week and write it down into my calendar so I know it’s there. I let the knowledge that my selfcare is scheduled give me security that I will get that second to myself. Be it a workout or meditation, even just time to stare blankly at the TV, it gives me solace to know that I’ll be able to give to me for a little awhile.

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Your World Totally Changed, Now What?

Before I became a Mom, I always tried to be that friend who was super understanding to the people around me with kids. I obviously knew on some level that kids took over every single aspect of your life, that more often than not their needs surpassed your own, and I tried really hard to be cognizant of that, but I felt like this whole idea of a “Mom Club” was stupid.

Why should there be any difference between them and me? Just because they had kids already and I didn’t have a family yet. I was obviously understanding to their needs as well as to what their kids needed. I knew my life would change when I had kids, I would talk about the need to be flexible all the time, the unknown of what my life would become all the time.

Holy shit girl was I totally off. Like beyond completely and totally just freaking wrong on every single level.

I didn’t understand my wrongness until I had Grace and all of a sudden it was like ya no wonder no one told me anything because there is literally NO way anyone could understand this level of change unless they went through it themselves. I think that’s why moms with screaming kids at Target give the silent nod of solidarity. Because we get it and we don’t truly have the words to describe it to anyone else.

And girl I would get SO frustrated in the beginning. I would want my day to go a certain way and then it wouldn’t happen for whatever reason, and it would drive me crazy. All that flexibility I talked about before that I knew I needed to have was non-existent. It always seemed to happen in relation to my workouts, that I would want to do a certain workout and for whatever reason, it would never happen. And the reasons my friend, were plentiful, most of which I don’t remember now.

I wish I could say that I found a solution overnight and everything was totally ok. That wasn’t the case for me. I spent a long time being frustrated, a lot of days not getting the workout in that I wanted, and a lot of days wondering when things would go back to “normal”.

So I embarked on this journey of trial and error. I needed to figure out what would work and I wanted to have a plan because that’s just in my nature. I tried to workout when Grace was awake (you can read previous blog posts to see how that went), I tried to go to gyms that had daycare, I tried to workout after Grace went to bed or when she was napping. The one thing I learned almost immediately was that every single day was going to be different.

After a ton of trial and error, I learned that my plans needed plans. Seriously though. Oh and I needed to HAVE a plan because trying to wing my workouts wasn’t working with the kind of sleep deprivation every new mom operates under.

Eventually I found that what worked for me was having a contingency plan. Like the plan of the workout I would ideally want to do and the time I would ideally like to do it, and then a back up plan. The Oh Shit plan as it were. This plan gave me alternate times for working out in case my original plan didn’t work, as well as alternate workouts. 

In all fairness, this takes some thought and duh obviously planning on my part which is something I usually do over the weekend when I’m looking at my week ahead. It takes me being intentional and realistic to my time constraints as well as being methodical for what workouts go on which days (as well as back up workouts) so I can continue to see gains from working out.

For me, this works most of the time. I’m still learning the art of being flexible and patient but I feel better knowing that I now have something to fall back on just in case.

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What? You Thought It Would Just Go Back to Normal?

I used to laugh, when I would read articles about things that contribute to someone not losing weight, like stress levels or lack of sleep as I was breastfeeding my baby at 1am or trying to get a fussy child to sleep in the middle of the night. Literally everything about becoming a parent is contraindicated to losing weight.

My delivery with Grace sucked. While it could’ve been tremendously worse, when I was sitting in an orthopedic surgeon’s office when Grace was 3 months old being told that delivery worsened a herniated disc I didn’t even know I had, and my pelvis was completely displaced, oh and there was nothing they could do for me because I was breastfeeding, it was a little hard to stay positive.

I remember feeling so discouraged that my body would be in this much pain for however long, I was so inflamed you couldn’t even tell I had already lost half of the baby weight, and I was exhausted. I would drive to places and not even remember how I had gotten there the fatigue was so extreme.

It wasn’t just the sleepless nights. Chronic pain is this amazingly awful thing that trickles into every single aspect of your life. Your body is working overtime to deal with nerves and stuff firing, to address the pain that’s putting you into a constant state of stress, top that with becoming a mama and not being able to rest (which was what I needed) and I was in a world of hurt. I also had massive digestive issues post partum that I never experienced before and were embarrassing to the point that my husband didn’t even know about it.

I have to say that even with all I went through with my foot, it was this time when I really felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I thought this was my new normal and I was just going to have to figure out a way to survive.

I was at a loss. I didn’t understand why I looked flabby even though I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight and back to doing two-a-days most days of the week. I wanted to believe it was temporary but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the whole thing. I had no energy for anything because my body hurt so badly. I couldn’t stand too long without my back hurting, I couldn’t sit without my back hurting, I was waking up in the middle of the night in pain.

It’s no way to live. This is not a solid existence to me. I was seeking out help and answers too but everyone around me was at a total loss. I had one doctor tell me that my digestive issues were my new normal that there was nothing I could do even though I was adhering to a very rigid way of eating.

It was so discouraging that I can’t even find the words to describe it. I eventually found my way past it all, it took time and the flexibility to be willing to change things to see what changes helped and which ones didn’t, but I got to the other side. I can sit here today and tell you that when I was in the thick of it, I didn’t think I would ever get to the other side and now, I’m proud of the work I’ve done.

It’s pushed me to share because I know that becoming a mom will change aspects of your life that you never anticipated changing. Becoming a mom changes you in ways you never anticipated you would change and it changes every single relationship you’ve ever had or currently have. There’s no way to know what that change will look like until it actually happens and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of that light.

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