For me, every day I would come home from work and count the minutes until my kids went to sleep because I was exhausted. It was time to start fresh, dig deep and revive my identity.
One day in December of 2014 I found myself sitting in my cubicle feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, uncomfortable and unhappy. After struggling with post-partum depression following the birth of my fourth child, I found myself at the heaviest weight I had ever been, including all four of my pregnancies. I felt like I needed to reboot my entire life.
How in the world did I end up here?
In the two years following the birth of my son, Owen, I gained over 30 lbs. That was on top of the weight I had gained and never lost with all of my other pregnancies. Every day I would come home from work and count the minutes until my kids went to sleep because I was exhausted. I struggled to get out of bed on weekends and I had no energy, even after doing NOTHING.
I was tired of being so tired.
There are so many of us that get stuck. I got stuck. Hard.
I was uncomfortable in my own skin and because of that I didn’t really want to go anywhere. When I did go out, all I could think about was how much of my stomach was hanging over my pants and who would notice if my shirt moved the wrong way while I was chasing my kids. Who wants to spend their life trapped in a body that they hate?
A friend of mine encouraged me to try something new, something different, but I was so skeptical. For weeks I went back and forth on taking the leap. Could I make a change? What if I couldn’t? Would I be stuck feeling like crap forever? What did I have to lose? I decided to take a chance on her and a chance on myself.
My first step was to commit publicly on social media, and I did just that in 2015. This would be my year of change and taking a leap of faith. My journey began on January 2nd. The results of this commitment and the changes in my lifestyle in the last few months are nothing short of amazing. I’ve lost nearly 40 lbs. and two pant sizes, (which is awesome) but even more important, I have become a part of something priceless… my life.
By making changes to my diet I’ve regained my energy, my confidence and my purpose. I cleaned up my diet and I cleaned up my attitude. In the last week I’ve shaved my legs twice (yes! in one week mamas!) and I’ve worn two dresses. I bought my first pair of high heeled shoes in over 5 years. I then climbed four sets of stairs in those heels and DAMN did that feel good. I’m not at my goal weight yet, but I’m not giving up. Sometimes I slip and sometimes I just need a day to not care about my food. In the past I would’ve said “Well, screw it sister. You already effed up the diet so have a bacon cheeseburger.” but no more. I get up the next day and start fresh.
Making changes in your lifestyle is not always easy. I’ve needed a lot of support and encouragement along the way. My husband, bless him, is always by my side through thick and thin. To cheer me on and pick me up when I fall. He reminds me of the big picture when I start focusing too much on the number on my scale. Without him, I wouldn’t be standing so tall in these adorable heels!
Since starting this journey I have become a part of a group of people who all have similar stories. We encourage, support and inspire each other every day. I’ve found that I am not alone and that I can support others through their own journey, like they’ve supported me in mine.
Surround yourself with incredible people, then link arms with them and carry each other. Play your favorite song loud and sing along at the top of your lungs. When you are in a bad mood do something silly, change your state of mind. Make the decision to find a positive; you may just be surprised by what you can achieve with an open mind.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I think I’ve finally accepted that no matter how hard I try, I can’t be perfect. The nice thing about knowing you can’t be perfect is that you don’t kill yourself trying. I’m still working on accepting that I can’t control everything… that’s a hard one to get over!
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
Wow. Well, what don’t I appreciate? I appreciate that I have an amazing family and support system, including my four beautiful children and my husband. I appreciate that I allowed myself an opportunity to start over. I’m still working on appreciating the time I’m gifted with. Sometimes you get so overwhelmed with day to day that you can forget to count your blessings- I need to do that way more often.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
With a lot of hard work and support I made it through school in my mid-twenties and became a registered nurse. I know I have a lot I could list here but this achievement allowed me a career. A real job! The opportunities in this field are amazing and I can continue to grow and change. Being kind of a nerd I hope to continue to study and find the perfect use of my skills/knowledge.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
Well, I make up my own words and I’m pretty sure I own more pajamas than actual clothes to list just a few. I’m terribly goofy and love to dance like no one is watching!
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my dedication. One thing is for sure, once I make up my mind I will make it happen. My poor husband will back me up on that one! Sometimes I trip, sometimes I fall flat on my face and sometimes I get stuck. The trick is remembering the reason I got motivated to start in the first place. Once I remind myself of that, the rest is history!