More likely than not, if you’re reading this, you’re a friend, or someone who has seen my transformation and wants to know how I got to where I am. I usually give a generic answer: I was feeling terrible; I gained so much weight; I want my kids to have a healthy role model, etc. All of that is true, but my true reason, my deep down, makes-me-cry-and-motivates-me “why,” is so much more.
I have three amazing children that I love more than they will ever know. They are my light in my sometimes stormy world. Except for my family, and a few close friends, no one knew that I had anxiety and depression. Sure, it wasn’t all of the time. I dealt with it with medication, talk therapy, and just by being around uplifting people. It was under control. Then I found out, surprise! I’m pregnant with my first child. It was a really rough pregnancy. I felt terrible all day, couldn’t keep a single thing down, morning sickness that lasted well into my second trimester. That, paired with the worry of “can I do this?” that every parent goes through with their first pregnancy, made my anxiety go up. But again, I dealt with it and pushed it aside because surely, as every movie and tv show portrays, when I hold my baby, I will fall in love and gush over her, and it will come naturally. Boy was I in for a shock! My delivery did not go as planned, and I ended up in a terrible c-section, of which gruesome details I will not go into. I didn’t see my baby for hours. I was not the first to hold her. I was drugged up, loopy, confused, and scared. When they finally brought K to me, she was beautiful.
But where was that feeling? Nothing went as planned. Breast feeding was hard, and she wouldn’t latch. She wasn’t sleeping well; she screamed; her tummy hurt… On top of it all, I had this guilt looming over me. Why did I not feel that connection? Sure, she came from me, and I will love her, but why do I have to work at feeling that? It broke my heart, and it put me in a bad mental space. And then the anxiety came on full force. Everything made me worry more than it should have. I didn’t eat well. I felt worthless.
Finally, with my husband’s help, I spoke to a doctor. I got on medication and started seeing a therapist. It all became a little better, and I started to feel a little more like myself. That chubby little baby and I grew to understand each other, and that connection grew stronger. I learned that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and that many women have postpartum depression and anxiety, yet it’s such a taboo subject.
Fast forward to my second pregnancy in 2012. I LOVED my 2nd pregnancy! It was easy; I was radiant, and little K was excited to meet her sister! Delivery still didn’t go as planned, but I had more control over what happened, so I came to terms with it.
Life with two is hectic. I was shuffling back and forth between playdates, gymnastics, ballet class, swim lessons, potty training… you know, the usual stuff. My life was ALL about them. Rarely did I do anything for myself. Coffee was my first and second meal of the day. My once nutritious meals slowly evolved into more processed crap because I was out of time and energy. We ate out a LOT. I started to gain weight, and my clothes were a bit snug, which of course led to insecurity. I did not like the way I felt. I hated shopping. I had these one pair of pants in my closet that I had when I was at my biggest, and when I put them on and they fit perfectly, that slashed my confidence. I hated it. I disliked me.
Then my husband and I decided to add another baby to our family.
A little over 7 months ago, I had the delivery I had always wanted, a vba2c without epidural! It was amazing, and I was on a birth-high for days! My girls were in love with their new baby sister. C was quiet, cuddly, nursed well, and never cried. It was perfect!
Yet again, as it was with K, I felt that anxiety creep up. I brushed it off. No way. This was my 3rd kid. I CAN’T go through it again because everything is as it should be! Hormones have a way of taking over, and that’s especially hard for someone like me who is a control freak. I was unhappy with myself. The baby weight took forever to come off. I had absolutely no energy due to the crappy way I had been eating. I was downing at least a pot of coffee a day, and I was irritable and exhausted. Again, I had to get on anti-anxiety medicine.
Then one day, my oldest asked me: “Mommy, are you happy today?” Damn. I had not realized that I looked so unhappy that my 4-year-old could tell. I was usually so good at masking it. I cried. I still do when I think of that moment. I told her I was ok and that mommy was going to make changes. To be honest, I felt so ashamed about that. I’m not even sure I told my husband what had happened…until right now as he proofs this for me (English majors are good to have around). I just told him that night that I needed to do something. Medication was not enough, and that night we ordered what would change my life in so many ways.
I ordered PiYo and my superfood smoothie, which I was totally skeptical about, but I was at that point where I said “screw it. If it helps, good. If not, oh well. I won’t buy it again.” My husband was so supportive, and together we did the exercises every night. I prepped our foods, started making healthier choices, and all of us could see the changes in our bodies and our moods. I needed some more help with portion control, so I took the plunge and invested in the 21 Day Fix. It really brought to light how much we were eating, and it made eating the right way so simple! I was getting in 5 small meals a day; I cut down my coffee, and my energy was through the roof! Since starting, I lost over 40 pounds, went down 3 pant sizes, and am getting definition all over. But beyond that, I have a confidence about myself that I have never had. Part of living a healthy lifestyle means you have a positive outlook, and my coaches were amazing at offering personal development. I surrounded myself with uplifting people that inspire me to do more. To top it all off, all of that exercise and eating healthy allowed me to get off my medication!
I felt so awesome that I decided to take on a big scary goal of mine: to do something for myself. I want for everyone to feel as awesome as I am feeling! So I took a big step and became a health and fitness coach because I want to be able to help a mom that was just like me and motivate her to be a better version of herself. I found my passion, and it has been an amazing journey! And just the other day, K said to me: “I want to be healthy and strong like Mommy!” Talk about motivation!
So if you’re reading this and this resonates with you, send me a message. I’ve been there, and sometimes all we need is someone to talk to that understands that pain you’re going through. Let me help you get out of that funk so that you can start living your life as you intend to.
Thanks for reading!