My story- in REvision.

I started this blog with great, grandiose ideas in my head.  Since then, everytime I sit down to write a post out- those pesky little thoughts come creeping in my head.  I stop, decide it won’t be good enough, and leave the computer.  Are you kidding me?! Why do I do this to myself?  So I decided today that I will take action- because progress is much better than perfection.  Who can really attain perfection anyway?  Who’s definition is it?  It’s mine. My perception- and that is not why I want to do this anyway.  So here is what I decided.  I’m gonna put myself out there on a limb and hope that the right people will read this and we go from there. Here is my story all written out for the world to see and hopefully you will leave feeling inspired as I go mop up my tears. 😉

I want to tell you a little story- in 2009, I was a mama of 2 beautiful babies.  Connor was turning 5, and Caity was almost 3.  I was working full time as a Registered Nurse- and I was tired. all. the. time.  Moms and Dads out there- is this you?  I’d come home after a day at the hospital- 8 hour shifts oh how I miss you.  I work 12 hours now, which really ends up being 13, and is just crazy.. but back to my story.  I would come home exhausted and the thought of playing with my babies was also exhausting- and painful because I knew they needed their mama & I didn’t have the energy.  I was tired, overweight, and it seemed like I always had headaches for some reason or another.  I have a super supportive husband who has always loved me for who I am, but when I looked in the mirror- I did not like who I was.  After 4 years of nursing school, 2 babies, and now working my dream (stressful) job- my body was sick, and I had packed on the pounds.

I like to call it baby weight- but when the baby weight turns 5, you realize it’s a lot more than that. It’s losing your breath when you walk up the stairs. It’s feeling like you can’t fit into any of the cute clothes you used to wear.  It’s not wanting to wear shorts when it’s 1000 degrees outside, and definitely not wanting to put on a swimsuit. The migraines…. This turns into pain, heartache, and missing out on life.  It’s fear, and sadness, and anger, and resentment, and pain all rolled together and wrapped around your waistline. I could no longer blame the pregnancies.  Life had taken it’s toll and I needed to do something about it.  Enter my friend Amy- she was also struggling and I noticed she was doing something about it.  She was hooked up with a Health Coach who was helping her lose weight and change her life!  She was shrinking before my very eyes and I wanted in on the secret.  Chemae became my coach and I went on to lose 40 pounds in 3 months.  (I’m supposed to tell you that results aren’t typical and will vary… blah blah blah).  I had flushed that weight!  I did the program perfectly (red flag.. no spoilers though, wait for it) and had flushed that weight!!!  I loved this program so much, all the support that was woven into it, and all the great tips about health and maintenance and lifestyle changes.  This program is the full meal deal. It works. It will give you a predictable transformation.  It will change your life. It changed mine and I went on to become a Health Coach with the program. I loved on people and shared my passion for health.  I wanted to pass along this gift to everyone who was struggling.

before and after

I maintained my weight for a solid 18 months.  I reduced my hours working at the hospital.  I decided to homeschool Connor and Caity. Life was good.

In 2011, I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd baby! Surprise!!  I had an amazing healthy pregnancy with Chloe and we were so very blessed to have her join our family in September of 2011.  I often joke that she is the sprinkles to the cupcake that is our family. I can’t imagine life without her. My spunky little Chloe Grace.

I lost a chunk of that pregnancy weight with our Nursing Mother’s program- and then added more structure with the Diabetic version of our program (I’m not diabetic, but this supported my milk supply that Chloe needed at that time..so many options- so many people who can do this).. Then, kinda fizzled out when I decided it was good enough. I was close to that pre-Chloe weight, but not all the way where I was physically and mentally the first time I lost the weight in 2009. This time- I felt a little like I knew what I was doing and didn’t ask for help. Hmmm. I think this is where we get into danger- when we don’t ask for help and think we can do things on our own. This might make a good blog post later…. We will put this aside.

Chloe arrived early. She was almost a full month early. She caught us by surprise (again). We weren’t exactly financially prepared at that point for me to not be working and take maternity leave from the hospital quite yet, but this is what happened.  I didn’t work for 3 months. We fell behind on the mortgage, and long story short- just after Chloe’s first birthday, we put the house up for a short sale and moved into a rental. The house went pending in 3 days and we thought we were in the clear. The bank decided we were not in the clear and the short sale process was a lot more complicated than we thought.

Stress, Stress, and More Stress.  Guess what- I found out I’m a stress eater… anyone else??

I continued to homeschool Connor and Caity while mothering a new toddler. I saw this on pinterest and it about sums it up:

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A bouncer is always a little more relaxed when she can eat some brownies and nachos and…. let’s put on a few more pounds here. All while this is happening, I am continuing to coach others on program and helping them become successful.

Time continues to pass and David is doing amazing and discovered his love for fitness again. He had lost weight with the program before Chloe was born and was now running races, the Portland Marathon, and he had joined an amazing Crossfit community.  He was thriving, reaching goals, doing amazing. I was so very proud of him, but I was not doing ok. I was sad, lost, feeling left out. I was getting angry with myself, realizing I was struggling again, and quite frankly- not really wanting to do anything about it.  I would go on program for a couple weeks, then when I messed up, I would give up.  This yo-yo cycle went on and on. Eventually, I decided I wasn’t good enough to help others anymore, so I stopped taking on new clients. Why would they want me for a Health Coach when I couldn’t even get it together myself? This was the beginning of the negative self talk that took over my brain.  All of a sudden, I was not good enough to help others do this program.  I was not good enough to homeschool the kids anymore.  I was not a good enough wife, mom, health coach, teacher, nurse.  I lost who I was. I stopped taking care of myself and I stopped asking for help. I was in a dark place.  I think I spent much of 2014 here.

We ended 2014 moving back into our house. AN AMAZING MIRACLE! We will save this story for another day, but the bank had decided to rewrite our mortgage and we were able to move back in. Bring on a ton of house projects to get the old, new house ready for habitation again. Another move, and more crazy stress- more eating crappy, and more weight regained.  However, it was at this point that I decided I needed help.  I started talking about the dark place I felt like I was in. I began to open up to David about it. I knew I wasn’t alone and I had friends and family who would help me through this. I never sought out medical help, but this is where I discovered Young Living and the world of essential oils.  My very first one was “Joy”.  I hated the smell at first, but I could feel a difference and noticed the difference when I forgot to use it. I use it all the time now- right over my heart. It makes me happy. I started taking vitamin D.  I started reading again. I started praying again. I had “Joy” on my heart- and it was also creeping it’s way back IN my heart. I spent much of 2015 focusing inward and evaluating who I was. It was a year of healing that mind and discovering who I really was. I think about the massive blackberry bush that had taken over much of our backyard and I think about the work it took to get rid of them. I think this was me.

Guys- I can tell you that a healthy mind is so very important for a healthy body.  This was something that I didn’t really feel like I needed to work on when I lost the weight in 2009.  I can also tell you that when you stop working on either of these- the healthy mind AND healthy body- it WON’T work.  When your body is sick, it affects your mind. When your mind is sick, it affects your body.  You can diet or exercise all you want, but unless you work on both the mind and the body, continually, much like the cutting back of the blackberry bush, you will not have lasting results. I needed to learn this lesson.

At the start of the new year, I restarted my journey on the nutrition component of our program. I have lost 12 pounds in the month of January (again results will vary, blah blah blah) I am here to tell you that I have not been perfect.  I have learned that perfectionism is woven into who I am, but it is not my friend. There have been days where I mess up and feel the urge to quit.  That tiny voice whispers- you won’t do it perfectly, so what is the point?  I’m getting better at quieting that voice, focusing forward, and beginning again.  This is new!  This is PROGRESS people!  Every little failure is a chance to pick myself back up- look forward again at what I am working toward, and moving forward. Every failure is a chance to show others that they can do this too- they can fail, pick up, and move forward. Every failure is a chance to REVISE the STORY!

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Although it is so hard to think about where I was before, how well I did before, and then the pain of the last few years to get me to where I am today- I can honestly say that I think I was supposed to walk down that dark road.  I’m beginning to dream again. I’m taking on new clients in my Health Coaching practice, and I’m excited about life! This was all part of God’s REvision of my story and part of the plan to help shape me and mold me into someone who can shine light and inspire hope for others. THIS is what it has always been about.

 

 

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Dreaming reDESIGNed

Do you remember when you were a child and when you were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Some of us could come up with quite a list, and if you remember, it would come to mind simply. A Nurse!  A fireman!  A doctor! A mommy!  A hair-lady! When Caity was 3, she told me she wanted to do people’s hair and makeup- I taught her how to say esthetician. It was so cute coming out of a 3year old in her newly developing voice and speaking styles. Do you remember putting together projects at school in your future career choice?  I don’t remember myself, but I helped Connor with a Kindergarten project where we put together a self portrait of a police officer, because that is what he wanted to be when he grew up.  It was simple back then.  We could be anything we wanted!  It was easy to dream about the future and the sky was the limit.  Fast forward 20-30 years and we struggle with remembering how to dream.  Life has taken it’s toll and now we have a life full of different responsibilites.  Maybe some of us are just tired. Maybe some of us are at a point in our lives where we wonder what is next. Maybe we followed a dream that didn’t quite turn out how we imagined. Maybe we had a dream once, but it has been forgotten in the corner to gather dust while we tend to the hamster wheel of life. Maybe we have been consumed with the can’ts and no’s and you’re not good enough’s.

For the past 3 to 4 years I have been struggling to dream.  Married to an amazing man, mama to 3 beautiful children, a career as an RN, and a business helping people discover health in their lives- I found myself wondering what my purpose was. That’s crazy you might think- but there was a spark I had let die. My sparkle was beginning to fade. With the pulls of responsibility and the continued energy spent pouring into others- I had somehow stopped filling back up.  I found myself in a dark place with tons of negative self talk happening. I was alone, not really, but I felt that way. I didn’t see myself as a good mom, wife, nurse, health coach, or friend. It was a dark place. I could feel the chains holding me there and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get back up.

Here is where the beauty lies.  When you are in a pitch black room, if you were to light a match- a single tiny match- the light would fill the room. Use that match to light a candle and it doesn’t feel as dark anymore. In this dark time of my life, I was able to still see this tiny light. Somedays I would choose to close my eyes to it, but it still remained. A single star in the night sky.  Even in those dark moments, God has been right there waiting for me to reach out and hold the candle. However, sometimes I am stubborn.. ok most times… and I think I sat down in the candle light for awhile. That’s ok- God is patient.

Recently- God has been quietly talking to me about my dreams. Not just my dreams, but His dreams for me. I have taken the candle and together God and I are breaking chains and lighting up candles around the metaphorical room. What he has been teaching me is enough to talk about over many posts- so I will work on those over time, but I want you to stop and think- have you found yourself in that place where your dreams have gathered dust? Do you have dreams that you might be ready to dust off and breathe new life into again?

What if we decided to put ourselves back in our child’s mind. If the sky was the limit again, what would we do, go, or be? What would our purpose be? What would we want to do? If you allowed yourself to dream again- what would that look like?  Do you remember how to dream? Want to learn how together? We just may light a fire.