Before you think this is just another fitness update post and click away to another site, I ask you to hang tight.
I’ve lost 10 lbs. But they aren’t like the other 10 lbs I’ve lost in years past.
See, I’ve waited nearly 18 months to lose those 10 lbs.
It’s been a long and painful journey to where I am today — a year and a half, a second child, a battle with depression, severe anxiety and a complete breakdown 2500 miles from home and just now I’m turning the corner and I can confidently say that I am on the mend. These 10 lbs aren’t just about fitting into my jeans (which by the way I’m thrilled) but a testament to my dedication and promise to myself to truly get better — only now, at my 35 years of age do I fully understand that having a healthy state of mind means having a healthy body.
“If you are f-ed up in the head, how the hell are you supposed to take care of the rest of you?!” to quote myself a few months ago when I confessed my issues with depression on video.
Only since my depression and anxiety landed me in the hospital did I realize that I needed help — that I wouldn’t be able to do it myself.
I whispered to him as I lay in the ambulance stretcher on the way to St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco,
“Ayúdame. Estoy lista. Levántame y muéstrame el camino. Ya no más.”
Since hitting rock bottom — it’s that moment of clarity when you realize “this shit if for real!” I started a series of actions to keep on the road to a healthy me. I knew I couldn’t do it all at once, so I broke it down so that I would actually succeed.
First came sleeping. Yes, Zzzz. I never slept. And when I did, it wasn’t a good sleep. Even when I was resting my mind was racing. Staying up until 2 or 3:00am was the normal for me so I had to practice and get used to going to be before midnight. I called it quits at 11:00 pm every night and after a few weeks, early bed time became easier, making me better rested and a much *nicer* person!
Prayer. And not like “OH MY GAWDDDD, help meeeee!” No. With actual faith. Conversing with my God and my beloved Virgencita, Virgin Mary. I am a religious person, I believe in prayer, but oddly enough when the shit hits the fan it’s the last thing I do because I just can’t handle it — the rejection and the feeling that no one cares about me. However, the habit of praying is never too far and I sit and talk, to them — I close my eyes and converse as if they were sitting in front of me handing over my pain and hurt. Hot tears stream down my face, mixed with snot, but it’s part of the process. They know that. We even have a laugh. I am left with a clearer mind and an overwhelming feeling of calmness and clarity.
Therapy. I asked my doctor to get me a nurse practitioner assigned to me to help me. She put me in contact with therapists that accepted my insurance and I was able to find one fairly quickly. Within 2 weeks I was sitting on a sofa across from a man who knew nothing about me and who I’m pretty sure has heard it all. “I had my second child about a year and a half ago…” I started saying.
Exercise — yep. Just literally sweating out the nasties. I partnered with Fitness on the Run and starting working with a personal trainer. I didn’t lose weight at all the first two months, but my body began to feel better, to crave physical fitness and thrived on this new awakening by getting stronger.
Eating better and drinking water. So simple, yet it was something I had denied myself all that time. No more replacing all three meals with Coke Zero or coffee and I’m working with a nutritionist to train myself back into the healthy habit. Just like social media and blog work, it requires planning in order to succeed. My pee-pee no longer smelled of caffeine and my body, not having been properly hydrated in months instantly came alive AND I got my period back after 4 months of nada.
Lastly, organization in my life. I need more structure. I am always on the go, running late, running off, completely forgetting details, or remembering things that were due yesterday and never having rest or peace of mind. I’m still working on this part of me. And I’m talking about everything here — from organizing and scheduling my work, to leaving things in the same place, structuring my meals, planning the day’s activities and getting up at the appropriate times in order to make the most of my days.
In the past I would have jumped on these all at once, got frustrated and gone back to the old ways. However, I’m taking the time to carefully work on each change one at a time and practice, practice, practice — allowing myself to see the fruits of my labor, before moving on to the next and incorporating them into my life. Permanently.
So you see, these 10 lbs come on the back of major changes. These 10 lbs lost represent a saner state of mind, a woman who sleeps AND menstruates! A happier and agile mama who plays with her niños and is kind a loving to her husband. One who knows when to call it quits and when to push through.
The work isn’t over — dark clouds still loom, but the rays of sunlight shine through to get me up and going!
Believe when they say healthy mind, healthy body.