Hey all. It’s a sunny day here in Northern New York and I just got back from the gym and I’m sipping on some refreshing green tea. I hope you’re all having a wonderful day and everytving is going smoothly.
When you get around to reading this and decide listening to me go on is worth your time I hope you take value in what I’m about to say. I’m not an expert in this by any means but as someone who’s been on both sides I can give my personal experience and perspective.
Life is busy. Life is stressful, overwhelming and it’s easy to get caught up in it and throw yourself to the wayside. I went buckwild in college with eating and drinking what I wanted. This didn’t stop when I was pregnant and after. I use food as comfort and it worked. Brody was 2 1/2 weeks late and I got up to 190 lbs, he ended up baking all the way to 9 lbs 8 oz! A large majority of Brodys life I have parented alone and let me tell you, it’s exhausting. Working in retail and the crazy hours didn’t help my schedule, I was always on the go and shoving any food that was quick, easy and delicious in my mouth. This quickly led me down a road of being overweight, Hugh body fat percentage, low self esteem and times of depression.
Last summer I hit my breaking point, I literally cried one day when my previous Summer’s outfits didn’t fit. I was at the point where I was going to need to buy a size 12 or 14 pants which was my all time biggest. I realized that I had no energy, I wasn’t taking care of myself or prioritizing my health and instead diving in to anything else to avoid the main problem. I started running last summer, I have never been a natural runner and I almost think I did it to punish myself. I was (and still am) slow and hate every single minute of cardio. I felt energized after running and didn’t feel the need as much to consume as much soda as I was (about three large cups a day!) and soon weaned myself off it. I started eating more vegetables, cut out pasta and bread for the most part and reevaluated my diet. Between my change in diet and running I lost a quick 10 lbs. and was feeling a lot better.
Around this same time the process of Brody getting a diagnosis, a surgery to get adenoids out and tubes in and a change in schools was going on. My routine was exhausting, parenting alone, working full time and working out was draining me. While it was exhausting, the lifestyle change was worth it. I felt clear minded and found myself with more energy that I could put into being a better parent. Brody started finding interest in my workouts, he would jump on my back when I did squats or would jump up and down when I was doing burpees. We would do sprints in the driveway or jumps on the brick wall outside, seeing him alongside me was added motivation.
Ten months later and I’m down 30 lbs and feel like a new person. I learned that it’s near impossible to be the parent I knew I could be while suffocating myself with insecurities and drowning in low self esteem. It clicked at one point that it didn’t make sense for me to try to be a role model for Brody in some aspects and not in others. Health and fitness trickle into so many areas of life and I had been neglecting that in my life, not what I wanted to show Brody. I want to tell you, parent or not, that you’re worth the time and effort. I’ve seen the impact and changes in others who are fighting the same fight as I am, trying to overhaul an unhealthy lifestyle. How can you have a healthy relationship with your child, your partner, family, friends etc when you are secretly self loathing. Everyone’s life is different, you’re entitled to your own opinions and perspectives. I just see too many amazing people, silently suffering and going through the motions, people with so much potential who I wish would take a step back and see what I see.
It’s an everyday challenge that you have to be fully committed to. You’re worth it. It’s worth it. Be “selfish” because in the end, it’s not. You have to take care of yourself to properly take care of others. Wouldn’t it feel great to be the role model you’ve always wanted to be? Take the step. Oh, and drink some coffee… You’ll need it!