Having given birth to my second child in February life had been, well busy. It became so out of control that I lost sight of taking care of myself and as a result being happy.
Sure I have made choices that created this crazy busy life but in August it came to a head when day after day I was asked by others why I was not happy. I am aware of the challenges depression presents having suffered just over 10 years ago so I was quick to recall similar feelings and knew I didn't want to head down that road. I vowed then to be happy and healthy emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. Well at the time I only focused on physical and mental but the last four months has shown me it is much more than that.
This journey started with registering for Fit By Design's Warrior Women's Challenge. I needed to kick my wellness into high gear and new from past experience that Sabrina could help. This challenge was hard! I mean it is what I was looking for physically but not what I expected emotionally or mentally. I went three days a week and loved being outside. The physical assessment created a baseline and in six weeks I celebrated a significant decrease in my run time and increases in the number of reps for exercises. The next session I decided to take on kickboxing. Excited and nervous I was immediately supported by those who had been going for a while. I love it! I also decided to take Sabrina up on her offer to create a vision board. I was skeptical at first that it would be the right tool to keep me on track but it really is. I have it on my bedroom door so I see it multiple times every day and it helps remind me to stay focused.
I didn't start focusing on nutrition until the third week of the challenge in part because I was feeling confident I could go without recording my food but the truth is I can't. I have been tracking every day for the past 4 months consistently and it has made me accountable and helped with portion control. I have also been meal planning. I have been doing this for a long time as I find that, at least, for dinners that I am organized and creating meals the whole family enjoys. Water is another huge contributor for me. I have always drank a lot of water. In fact, it is my primary beverage and sometimes the only thing I drink in a day. I use a three cup measuring cup and just keep refilling through the day. Most days I drink 3-4 litres of water. When I don't I feel the impact of fatigue and light headedness.
Sabrina has taught us a lot about fitness and nutrition and as someone who has been heavy most of my life I felt like I knew lots as well and just didn't practice it as I should. I decided to increase my veggie and fruit intake, reduced my sugar, and adjusted the grains to more whole grains (not completely as I still love homemade white bread). The biggest difference I noticed is during my menstrual cycle. I used to get wicked bloating, back pain, and fatigue. Now I go into the cycle feeling very little symptoms. Still fatigue due to low iron so a new goal will be to increase my iron. I practice an 80/20 rule whole heartedly because I still like wine, dark chocolate, and coffee.
Emotionally and spiritually I was broken. My emotions were out of control because of how much I let other things guide my feelings.
I have learned so much about how my body responds to my emotions. I am getting better and understanding the physical responses I have to emotions that are attributed to guilt, fear, sadness, joy, and anger. Best of all I have someone to help me through those emotions and provides me with real tools that work. I can finally say that I am happy and that is significant from where I was four months ago. This positive happy energy has not gone unnoticed. Fellow classmates have been complimentary and most of all my husband is impressed by my transformation and that has improved our relationship and communication. My kids have more fun with me and my daughter is always saying she loves me and that I make her happy. And they are happy too.
While I am incredibly proud of how I have embraced this change for myself it is not without continual work on my part. I have undertaken journaling only the positives of my day, saying positive affirmations and practicing meditation. I still need to work on having more patience with my kids and communicating my needs with my husband.
So this journey is not over, in fact it has just begun. While I celebrate physical successes of having lost 18 lbs and 12 inches the mental, emotional and spiritual successes mean much more to me.
What does 2015 hold? I return to work at the end of February just after the January Warrior Women's Challenge, my third semester of school starts and I want to keep this momentum. Time for me to redo the vision board and set some goals. I look forward to meeting you at class.