Lots of people ask me how I have energy to get it all done. To get up early, have my prayer time, workout and get organized and just get the day done as a working Wife & Mama of three. It wasn't always like this.
I used to be completely consumed. With everything. A combination of unhealthy habits (no exercise, bad food and drink habits), undiagnosed prenatal/postpartum anxiety, hormonal stress, sleepless nights with newborns, "finding a way, making a way" to pay bills, fitting in time for date nights which didn't happen for years, the list goes on.
We had our first two babies 22 months apart. That took a toll on my body, soul and mind that I did not anticipate. For the first many months of being a Mama Bear to two under two, I didn't have a name for it. But at about seven months post partum, I rounded up all my courage despite the very negative social stigma surrounding the topic, and said these words out loud to my primary care physician: "post partum depression." And do you know what he did? He left the room and returned with a pamphlet on PMS. I was so embarrassed. And ashamed. I never spoke of this topic again and I fought to keep the darkness of my anxiety and hormonal imbalance buried deep down. (This was not the right choice, I know this, but it's what I did to survive.) After all, I thought I was crazy and what did I know. This doctors office visit is one that has burned into my memory.
I'm going to spare you the details of the following months and years of working through this dark time. I will say that I never received formal help for my postpartum anxiety (until I was postpartum for baby #3), and then suffered prenatal anxiety with baby #3, four years later. But this time around I had healthier habits. I ate right and was always "on the go", living an active life because we had a six year old and four year old.
But I was terrified that what had happened with postpartum the first two times would happen again. At this time my relationship with God was growing and I had to trust that something bigger than me was in control. It took a lot of prayer-filled nights and mornings, but somehow, someway, I averted the same major postpartum anxiety that I had suffered with my first two.
I'm not saying my anxiety was eliminated completely, because it absolutely was not. BUT, as a result of my healthy habits, prayer-life and focus, it wasn't as intense.
When baby #3 was 7 months old, I knew it was time to get serious about healthy habits on a regular basis so I could be the best me for my family. I began practicing yoga, which I loved. It was the first time in my mom-life (almost 7 years!) that I wasn't consumed with planning, worry, schedules, "to do"s.
I knew I needed to commit to a more healthy lifestyle if I was going to get around the major anxiety and blues I had experienced as a new Mama, the STRUGGLE that so many Mamas face. I began a regular routine of physical fitness and revamped my nutrition. I've done the "sugar free" thing before it was a fad, keto, paleo, clean eating, you name it. Since 2010, my eating has been pretty much on point. No matter how I ate though, I still lacked nutrients, still had anxiety and struggled through the day with caffeine as my crutch, always trying to "get it all done". Don't we do that--try to cram SO MUCH in, often forgetting to take care of ourselves?
About two years ago, I wanted to take a serious look at my nutrition, balance and just feeling better for myself and family. Let me say that no one would have ever looked at me after a baby and said "she needs to lose weight", however, skinny does not = healthy! I was so depleted of energy, nutrients and had no muscle. The last two years of adding simple supplements to my daily routine of healthy eating has been amazing. I have never felt better. Initially I lost and have kept off ten pounds. In their place I have added lean muscle mass. I'm 40 and have more energy than most 20-somethings. I work out almost daily and have sustained energy for my family and friends. Change your habits, design your life!
Today I'm finally sharing that I have been partnered with an amazing health and wellness company for two years. After leaving my successful network marketing business 13 years ago, I swore I would never begin another one, but my "Whole Self Project" has enabled me to build something meaningful, complete a book (publishing mid 2018), build a profitable side-business (I'm a teacher by day) and revamp my health. What we put IN our body is more important than the exercises we do or the ways we try to starve ourselves to lose weight.
Sometimes the transformation is physical + mental. So why am I telling you this? Because if I can do it, then so can you! 💕