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I want to share a story with you guys– this is a personal story about the changes I decided to make in my life twenty eight days ago. First, I need to give you guys a little bit of background, this way you can fully understand where I was coming from and what led me to where I am at today.
For the last two years I have been through a rollercoaster of events. I gave birth to my son in June of 2017 and experienced a lot of postpartum anxiety and depression. With my pregnancy I managed to gain 50+ pounds and was not able to lose any of the baby weight soon after giving birth. Breastfeeding did absolutely nothing for me in regards to weight-loss (I was extremely disappointed as so many other moms I knew had shared stories on how breastfeeding helped them lose the weight). Even when there were weeks that I was barely able to get in a full meal due to my screaming, colicky infant, or when I spent hours each day pacing back and forth or bouncing on a yoga ball trying to get my son to fall asleep… the number on the scale still wouldn’t go down. The first 3 months of motherhood were miserable, difficult and extremely lonely. As time went on it began to get a little bit easier, I was getting better at this whole “mom thing”, but my emotions and mental health began to decline.
Fast forward two years and I am just now beginning to find myself again. Looking back at how I was treating my body had me at a complete catch 22. I was depressed, so I wasn’t motivated which resulted in me not moving my body, I just sat around and wallowed in self pity. I was anxious, so I ate to comfort myself. I relied on eating crap food and drinking alcohol which put me deeper into the hole I was already in. I wasn’t doing anything that was making me happy. What I was going through affected every corner of my life. I wasn’t the wife I wanted to be, I wasn’t the mother I wanted to be, I wasn’t the friend I wanted to be… and so on.
At the end of July I reached my breaking point– after weeks of feeling like complete shit, I decided to step back on the scale to “see where I was at”. I looked down and saw the number I was so afraid of. This number was a number I told myself I would “never ever, in a million years, reach”– but there it was. Staring at me in the face– I didn’t cry and I didn’t get angry. I believe the words that came out of my mouth were “are you fucking kidding me?”. I stepped off the scale and made a decision right then and there. I decided I was going to change once in for all or else this was going to get much worse. So there I was, 70 pounds overweight and feeling extremely disappointed in myself but with new found strength that was ready to finally come out.
That day I downloaded a workout app and started the free month trial it was offering. Then, I made myself a workout schedule for the following 28 days, printed it out and taped it on my bedroom mirror. What made a big difference for me this time around was the fact that I was making a mindful choice. It wasn’t just about losing weight or chasing that summer bod… I was actually afraid for my health and I was beginning to feel the effects of my poor lifestyle choices.
That first week was intense to say the least. I was doing my workouts every day. I was cooking ALL of my meals again which meant I was eating healthy everyday of the week. I cut back on wine and allowed myself to enjoy a few glasses on the weekends. I started going to bed early which was HUGE, and also started to watch less tv. When that first week ended I felt an immediate change in myself. It was amazing, I hadn’t felt good in I don’t even know how long. Like genuinely happy. Everyday I reminded myself about my WHY; why was I making these changes, why was I pushing myself, why was I taking the extra effort to make every meal I ate homemade… the answer to my Why became Me. I was doing all of this for me, for my physical health and my mental health.
My will power and motivation grew stronger each day and I am happy to say that it did get easier. Easier in the sense that I no longer felt like it was “impossible”. I started taking care of myself again. Not only was I working out consistently and eating healthy 80% of the time rather than 20% of the time… I also began building a solid morning routine with supplements that would support my health. I began taking CBD oil (for my mental health), I began taking a pre/probiotic (for my gut health) and began taking collagen (for my skin and joint health). All these little changes were mindful and I continued to tell myself why I was doing all of this. This exercise has helped me stay on track, even when I don’t feel like working out or cooking… I recite my why and it motivates me to keep going.
It’s been 28 days since the dreadful day I decided to step back on the scale and saw my “scary number”. Looking back at it now, I am so glad I did because who knows where I’d be today.
So here are 10 things that have happened since the first day of my 28 days of mindful changes.
1. lost almost 10 pounds
2. gone shopping and bought myself 4 dresses (let me just note that I lived in the same leggings and same 2-3 tops for the last year or so)
3. bought myself a bathing suit… a fucking bathing suit! and I have even gone to the pool & enjoyed myself!
4. accomplished my workout challenge (originally I had planned for 28 days of working out every single day… that was crazy. I am proud to say I took seven days of rest throughout that period of time)
5. gotten back in the kitchen with a lot of love and have learned a lot about what foods were not serving my health.
6. been pursuing my blog again and have successfully been able to maintain it and have gotten the chance to work with some amazing brands.
7. bettered my relationship with my family and friends.
8. become a better mother to my son
9. found the strength and inspiration to write this blog post
10. learned to love myself and my life again.
In the end, it not about waiting to reach rock bottom (even though I sort of felt I did), it’s not about trying to achieve “the impossible”, it’s not about trying to make yourself do something that truly doesn’t feel genuine. It’s about being mindful of what you want in life and to have the willingness to make the changes necessary to find health and happiness. I am going to continue on this journey to become a better version of who I was 28 days ago. I want the ability to inspire anyone who might be going through what I have been through… because I want them to know that there is a way and it is possible.