I remember the days of being back in high school, when I could literally eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I would come home from school & seriously polish off the worst foods. I’m talking boxes of mac n cheese, mashed potatoes & gravy (getting hungry yet??). I even remember thinking I had hit the jackpot because I just knew I had great genes & it would never catch up to me.
It didn’t. Until I had babies.
I also had seriously not done an ounce of exercise until after I had babies. Well, scratch that. When I was pregnant with the girls, I attempted exercise because it made me nervous seeing the scales creep up every time I would go in to the doctor. I wanted to be healthy and feel healthy again, so I figured I should do a little exercise. I would do a few videos here & there but nothing serious. And my eating habits never changed.
Fast forward to post-baby. I wasn’t happy with myself and how my body had bounced back after pregnancy (particularly baby #2!), but I was consumed with nursing, pumping, going back to work full-time, not to mention once Zoe came along all of my concerns, her therapy & doctors’ appointments–add all that up and by the end of the day I was literally exhausted.
No time for me. But I was okay with that. After all, I assumed good parenting meant self-sacrifice and I needed to put my babies first (which I still believe it does!). I wanted to put them first. I loved being a mom, I had just sort of forgot that I was still me also. I found my confidence not in who I was, in who I felt God had made me to be, but in being a Mom. I knew I was fairly good at it, it just came naturally.
Fast forward again, and I find myself going through a divorce. Not a turn I ever imagined my life taking. It was a whirlwind of a year, It was that year, 2013, after so much in life had changed from how I had assumed it would always be, that I began to realize my girls needed me to take care of me.
I was suddenly a single mom. I had two kids–practically babies. They were 3 & 2 at the time. I was trying to sell my home, move to Lexington, take on a new job to support my now-smaller family. And trying to figure out a way to take care of doctor & therapy appts for Zoe. I felt completely in over my head.
But I slowly started to learn, if I let myself go down that path of self-destruction–of poor eating habits, being sedentary all the time, running myself ragged, I was no good to anyone else. You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first after all, right?
Especially for my girls, the two most important people in my life.
This picture was taken the year of my divorce, right around the time I was realizing I had to make some changes. I could hide behind a smile, bags & puffy vests, but my girls needed me to be healthy–physically, mentally, emotionally, for them and myself.
So, I decided it was time to make myself a priority. I had no idea if I’d ever remarry. I knew Zoe was growing, and with her growth would come more lifting required on my part. I knew she’d need a wheelchair, and the only arms I had to help lift her were mine. My dad died at the age of 43 of a heart attack. I could not go down that path and leave my kiddos without a mom so young. I was a nurse practitioner; I knew my risk factors & I knew what I needed to do.
I just lacked the discipline.
Fast forward a bit, I picked back up on running. I started taking spinning classes at the gym. I cleaned up my diet. I had met an incredible man and we shared so much in common. Divorce. Heartbreak. New beginnings. And running.
Making time for working out was hard. My days were consumed with working, and after that with taking care of the kiddos–not a lot of time for running or the gym. Zoe got her wheelchair, giving my arms somewhat of a break. My relationship with Graham continued to move forward, with us both knowing where God was leading us.
We got married in the summer of 2014❤ Best day ever! I continued to learn that God truly can and does make all things new. He was healing my heart, and allowing me to learn so many truths about Himself in the process. And myself.
I literally felt like a new person from the inside out🙂
We both shared a love for fitness after both of us came from places of NOT being fit, and we ran a lot of races our first year of marriage.
Even shared some races with the brother🙂
I finally made it back to pre-baby weight. When I began that journey, I mistakenly thought confidence would come from getting where I wanted to go. Being at the perfect weight. Meeting my goal for a race time, or better yet, beating it. Expanding my wall of medals from races.
I have learned my confidence comes from the inside. Yes, I have found confidence in learning that I am capable of surviving heartbreak & loss, and meet goals I have set for myself. But I have also learned it is not in my own strength I have survived those seasons of life, or of my own abilities that I have met those goals. My confidence must, repeat must, be rooted in my relationship with Christ because anything outside of this & I will fail every.single.time.
It is only in His strength, His grace, & ultimately because He is just GOOD.
For 2016, I took a look at the past year, and decided I wanted God to stretch me outside my comfort zone for the new year. I was (& still am not!) sure what that looks like. I didn’t want to do what I’d always done, because it is easy, comfortable, and safe.
I wanted more and I think God calls us to more than just playing it safe through life.
After our 9 wk miscarriage in the fall (see my previous post), I began trying to get back in shape, clean up my diet again (lots of nausea = lots of carbs while pregnant!). I wanted to push myself to a little more fitness than what I was accustomed to as I had admittedly slacked off while pregnant. I started using Beachbody workouts and doing these at home.
Even Faith gets into it🙂
Graham & I have been doing them together even. The convenience of working out at home is so easy and we pretty much get our booty kicked every time😉. Faith pretty much just thinks she’s our coach.
A while back, a friend had approached me to see if I’d consider joining her Beachbody team as a coach. I laughed it off, and thought it was pretty much ridiculous. As time went on, and I did the workouts for myself, met some fantastic ladies in one of our challenge groups, cleaned up our diets (our kids actually ate an entire VEGGIE lasagna and didn’t realize they were eating VEGGIES!), I grew to really like the program. Keep in mind, I am NOT a fan of programs involving the need to take a million supplements and sell me things I don’t need.
But this was different. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this is what I do every day. Help people understand the importance of exercise and what it means to eat healthy. That there is no “quick fix.” You have to put in the work. And it’s hard, and sometimes you have to force yourself to do it, but the end is so worth it.
And, I am pretty sure I am probably not the only person, mom, woman, who has felt the way I once did. I am pretty sure (actually–I KNOW!) there are so many people out there who were like me–going through hard times, heartbreak, finding comfort in food & on couches and struggling in that downward spiral. Busy moms who have very little time for themselves, who have lost sight of who they are, who God has made them to be!
So I messaged her back, and agreed I would join her team and help teach others in groups just like I’d been a part of how to get healthy.
I have no idea what that will look like. Heck, I might even be crazy for thinking I could do it to start with, but if my goal for this year was to step outside my comfort zone, then this was a sure fire way to meet that one😉