the ''real before''

                                     may 2017                                                                                      february 2018

so i found a "real before" picture. 
i was sick a few days last week & was scrolling through my camera roll when i found it. 

after i put a current picture of me next to it, my eyes filled with tears & i immediately texted cass the following (along with the picture):

"the first picture is of me last may - struggling with all kinds of "me" things & figuring out who i am, trying to gain back my confidence & sense of self. and then during that journey of finding myself i came across your classes & you. and cass, you changed my life!! seriously. thank you for providing me with the best example of motivation & zero excuses! this hasn't only effected my physical & mental health, but my job & my whole outlook on life."

i remember taking that first picture like it was yesterday. 
i remember the constant battles i had within myself of not feeling like enough; 
enough of a mom, enough of a wife, enough of a nurse, enough of a friend 

i was sad, a lot & i had a hard time keeping up with life's demands. 
i ate my feelings a lot, like a lot & i coped with stress through food. 
i also ate very poor quality foods because of convenience. i felt like i was drowning & couldn't fit in time to cook healthy meals for myself often & so i settled for the late-night fried food that my work offered or going out to panda express or getting pizza or something. 

it was bad & it was kind of, honestly spiraling out of control. 

i'm going to back up a few years here to give you the full picture ..

when gavin was born, i was in the smack dab middle of nursing school. those of you who are in any type of program know how rigorous it can be & how much time is spent away from home. 
enter in fast-food & eating way late at night. 
the habit started then. 

fast forward a few years .. 
i never really lost the baby weight from having gavin AND i was packing on more weight because of our infertility struggles. the drugs i was on made me crazy & hormonal & again, i turned to food for comfort. 

i also started working the night shift & started eating even worse because of the hours of the night i was eating & what was available to me. 

fast forward again .. 

i had capri & lost all of the baby weight plus some. i was the smallest i had been in almost 4 years! 
i figured that i could "maintain" it by eating the way i was eating (cause i was attempting to eat more healthy foods). 

but once i went back to work & stopped breastfeeding it alllll went downhill & quickly. 

not only was i putting on weight again, but i was starting to feel awful about everything. my self-esteem & emotional health was not good, not good at all. 
it's something i've struggled with for a long time .. & i still do! i'll openly admit it i get anxious & depressed at times .. 

but then i rediscovered my love of working out & being active. i grew up so active, always in dance classes or cheerleading. i missed being surrounded by people with the music blaring as loud as we can stand it & sweating it out! i missed the positive atmosphere of "YOU CAN" & "FINISH"

working out has given me a second shot at things. it has helped me become a happier person, a more confident person. it has helped me feel like i can keep up with my kiddos & participate in fun activities with them! 
it's introduced me to new friends & has given me people who hold me accountable - who truly care about me & what i'm doing to keep improving. 
it's helped me realize that hard things are possible .. & with time + consistency absolutely anything is possible. 

i know this blog has kind of turned into a workout/fitness journal lately & i'm sorry if it hasn't been your favorite .. 
but it's just something that's really become important to me & it's something i am really passionate about. 

i am not sharing this to promote "weight loss" or to body shame myself for being overweight or whatever other way someone might interpret this. 

i'm sharing this because i had goals .. goals to better myself in a lot of different ways. 
& while it was seriously freaking hard work & sometimes down right frustrating - i did it! 
i overcame a huge obstacle .. & i'm continuing to overcome obstacles daily, weekly & monthly. 

exercising has changed my life in so many ways i just want to promote that - 
there are so many benefits to taking care of yourself .. it's just mind-blowing you guys!! 

i hope by me sharing this, someone somewhere will feel like they CAN. 
because you guys .. YOU CAN do whatever you want to do!! it's hard & can take lots of time .. but you absolutely can do whatever you want to do. 

you just have to start & stick with it!! 

xx

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