Do you view food as medicine? I 100% believe that food is medicine, for both our bodies and our minds. I haven’t really shared this part of my life before. To be honest, it has always been a source of shame and embarrassment for me. But the truth is, is that I know that I can’t be the only one who struggled with this. If I can help just one person to see that they aren’t alone, then sharing this part of my life will be worth it.
I had a pretty tough pregnancy. I was sick for a really long time, exhaustion pretty much took over my life, I had really bad back pain, and to top it all off, we were told that Cole had cysts on his brain about half way through the pregnancy. It was stressful and caused a lot of anxiety while we waited to see if they would disappear on their own (which they did).
The birth wasn’t any better. I didn’t have access to any pain medication (Oneida hospital doesn’t believe in epidurals on the weekends, apparently), and it was a long, painful labor. I eventually had to have a c-section, and I felt really angry about that. I was angry that I wasn’t the first person to hold my son. I was angry that I could barely stay awake because of the pain medication, and I was missing out on his very first hours of life. I was angry about having stitches and barely being able to move.
Breastfeeding was a nightmare. I had constant, excruciating pain. I forced myself to stick with it for three months, even though I would sit there and sob every time he had to eat. I felt useless, worthless, and ashamed. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t make it work like so many other women. Everybody always told me it would be so natural and if it hurt, I was doing it wrong. But I wasn’t doing it wrong! I consulted with lactation specialists and nobody could figure out what the issue was. I felt like a failure for giving him formula so early in life.
Cole was a very fussy baby. It was difficult to keep him happy. There was a lot of crying (from both of us) and what felt like a million sleepless nights. I wasn’t able to set him down somewhere for longer than 10-15 minutes. He constantly needed to be held, and although I wanted to snuggle my baby, I was frustrated and angry. I was losing myself and forgetting who I really was.
Transitioning from working full time as a teacher to being home by myself every single day was really hard on me. I felt extremely lonely and jealous of Matt as he went off to work each day. I remember getting mad at him for going out to lunch with his friends- mostly because I no longer had any friends. I was tired, extremely overweight, and to be honest, kind of MAD at my little baby. I’m hesitant to even say that, but it was my truth at that time. When I did go back to work, people would ask me how he was doing and without even thinking, I would say “good, but extremely unhappy,” or “he’s great, but really hard to deal with.” And every time I would say that, I would cringe. I was obviously very unhappy and negative at that time in my life, and even though I recognized it, I couldn’t seem to change it.
I wasn’t the mom that I always dreamed of being. I thought for sure that I was the only one feeling this way, that I was the only one struggling. Something must be wrong with me. Why does everybody else say that they love every second of being a mom?
As Cole continued to grow, things became a little bit easier, but what really changed everything was when I started to change my eating. I was tired of crying in front of my closet and I was tired of feeling sick all of the time. I started Weight Watchers and lost 17 pounds in 4 months. Losing that weight was fantastic, but the most important thing I gained during that time was my happiness. Fueling my body with proper nutrition completely changed my world. I found that I had more patience, I was more loving, and I didn’t get upset over every little thing. I started to enjoy spending time with my son, and although there were plenty of overwhelming times, I no longer felt like I was drowning every day.
Since making that initial step towards better health, I’ve had many ups and downs. Overall, I’ve lost 39 pounds and I could not be happier. It amazes me how much I’ve changed and how far I’ve come in a few short years. Clean eating continues to make me a better, happier person, and if I get off track I can definitely tell a difference in my mood.
Now it’s time for me to pay it forward and help other women who are in the same spot that I was a few years ago. I’ve done a lot of trial and error throughout the years and I’ve learned so much. I am a teacher at heart and my passion lies with helping mamas just like me change their lives forever. It starts with the belief that you can, and once you truly believe that, anything is possible. My wonderful friend Lindsay and I have put together a group called MOMS ON A MISSION. We are offering it up as a free group for anybody who thinks it would be a good fit for them.
We are looking for moms who:
- Have pre-school aged children
- Are struggling to lose the baby weight
- Want to feel happy and confident again
- Feel tired and sluggish throughout the day
- Want to learn how to transform their family’s eating habits one step at a time
We’re going to share quick, easy, healthy meals and snacks for your picky toddler. We’re going to share healthy recipes that your husband will love, and we’re going to teach you how to plan and prep your meals to save you time during the week. We’re going to get you moving that body (if you aren’t already) and help you say goodbye to that baby weight for good!
If that sounds like something you need, go ahead and get this quick application filled out. We just want to know a little bit about you and what your goals are to make sure this is the perfect group for you! Please invite friends and family to do this with you! Support = Success. Let’s do this.