Taking Care of Me

Photo © How About Now

Photo © How About Now

Transformation of body begins on the inside... with the mind.

I'm going to go a little deeper on you for just a moment because this is important to me. I feel that someone somewhere might need to hear some encouragement and I know I recently seriously struggled with this myself; It's a constant daily battle in my mind. The feelings of insecurity and fear about your body can do one of two things – push you into a deeper, negative funk, leaving you cloudy, sad, irritable or prone to self destruction, or be the catalyst for changing your thinking while making small steps towards a goal of better health for YOURSELF. 

Thinking of yourself is not selfish.

As a mommy to five, I have to take care of myself first. My babies depend on me; my husband depends on me (and I, him). It wasn't too long ago that I was in a serious funk over not just how I looked, but how I FELT on the inside. Besides not fitting into my clothes, I was FEELING heavier, becoming more irritable with my family, went on long periods of not eating or overeating, and was depressed. My husband is a gym ninja but I just haven't had the likes for the gym for whatever reason, and always enjoyed running. However, my negative thoughts and fear overtook my running passion and eventually I stopped running, too.

The average person could not tell the struggle that was within my mind. Even now just writing that out is somewhat freeing. You wouldn't think that I have such negative thoughts about myself, but it's because I can hide it well. I laugh a lot, I love magic and making people happy. I am really optimistic. I wish it were always that way in my mind, but it's a constant struggle. Talking about it is helpful and some days are better than others. I'm extremely grateful for the support system that I have in my family and dear friends.

Put on your oxygen mask.

After a seriously emotional talk with Jeff one night, all of my fears and insecurities were poured out at once. Sure, I'd make comments here and there, but this was pretty heavy. He held me as I cried and very lovingly looked at me and held my face and told me something like this: "I love you and I love your body how you are now, or if you gain more weight or lose more weight. I want you to be healthy. I want you to be confident in yourself. If you're happy with how you look and feel and you're healthy, that's what I want. But I can tell that you're not happy and you don't feel healthy. You need to take care of yourself before you can attempt take care of any of us. Liken it to an oxygen mask on an airplane. If it drops down do you put it on the kids or yourself first? (As I'm bawling I'm mumbling "me.") Exactly. You can't help the kids if you pass out. They need you. I need you. Most importantly, you need it." 

And for whatever reason, that clicked. 

I joined a 6 week class that would jumpstart my new lifestyle (going on week 3!) and am so grateful for my little sister Joy's encouragement and our trainer Ryan! I'm really hoping to continue even after the six weeks is up, it's been so amazing. They are partnering with me as I begin a new and better journey for myself and my family. I am really enjoying taking charge of my health even more, and bettering myself and my thoughts. It's been an amazing journey so far and I am already seeing the progress; being able to have energy throughout the day for myself and my family and yes, being able to fit more of my clothes is amazing.

Image © Nike Women

Image © Nike Women

I'm learning to accept myself for who I am more and more each day while seeing the importance of changing my lifestyle through eating cleaner and building muscle. I don't like the "overweight" me because my body is not strong. I hated that I couldn't breathe after the single flight of stairs to my bedroom. My 11 year old insists that she still sit on my lap and my legs give out. Granted, she is almost taller than me, but she's still my baby girl! I want to be able to hold her when she needs it. I'm learning to accept that my thighs and booty will always be bigger, they held the weight of five children. But, I want them to be big and strong. I want them to carry me out to chase my future grandchildren around not have them pushing me around in my old age. While I am proud of my baby scars from by body being stretched pregnancy after pregnancy, I want to be proud of the strength that my body continues to handle on a daily basis. I want to be happy but I want to live healthy.

So what's my driving motivation?

Family 2015 Sparks of Magic.jpg

MY LIFE. It's for all of us. For me and my mental and physical health, but also for them. I want to wake up knowing that I can take on the day without fear or insecurity of how I look, but knowing that I'll be around and active to take part in my kids' everyday lives. I want to be able to focus and push myself in my work which writing this at 6 am is proof that I am getting better at early rising! I want to be able to enjoy the world with my husband, he's super adventurous and we want to grow old together. I've got to keep up with him! 

As I scrolled through Facebook this morning I was inspired to share this from a coffee blocks video ad that popped up on my newsfeed. It's a sweet video narrated by a child that is watching his or her mom workout or exercise. I felt it fitting to share here because our kids watch us. They mimic us. We teach them through words, but actions always speak louder. As my kiddos grow older, I hope they adapt the healthier choices that I've made. I can't be there every second of the day, but them seeing my dedication to be better on the inside is what I hope resonates with them as they grow up.

I know everyone is different and everyone's lifestyle is different. I can't help but feel like at some point we need to make a choice for ourselves first. I want to be around for A LOT of things, I have a lot of graduations, weddings and celebrations in life with my family. And let's be honest, since I'm missing #Disneyland60 this weekend, I need to be around for #Disneyland100. :)

I'm grateful for each of you that take the time to follow my journey, when I write or when I don't. I'm blessed and I look forward to sharing more thoughts on life in the near future. xx