If you’ve read my fitness story already then this post will make more sense. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, I encourage you to head over to the My Story page and read about my health and wellness journey.
Six weeks postpartum from AJ’s birth, I was continuing to drop weight. I was beginning to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans again! But then we got the news of Mary Harper’s diagnosis.
When I am stressed out, I tend to eat, A LOT. I normally do not have a sweet tooth, nor do I tend to snack when I’m bored. But when I’m stressed out and my anxiety is high, I eat and eat and eat and eat.
Immediately I began to gain weight. After her surgery we spent almost 2 weeks in the hospital as she recovered. I had to stop breastfeeding and pumping, and we were eating like crap. We ate when we could and it was mostly junk food we had brought to snack on, over-priced hospital food, or take-out.
Within weeks I had gained 20lbs. My maternity jeans came back out and I bought pants without buttons or zippers. I felt awful. I was embarrassed about my appearance. I’ve had trouble. I’ve been eating a no meat, limited dairy diet. I’ve been practicing yoga (mainly so I don’t totally lose my mind). And I’ve been running again.
But for the most part I have been maintaining my weight. I’ve set achievable goals for each month since January. Since the beginning of the year I’ve lost about 7 pounds.
I guess maintaining is good but I don’t want to stay the same! I want to make a change! I’ve been doing all the things I did before when I lost 30lbs in 3 months, but I’m not seeing much change.
Then I had a revelation. Since Mary Harper has been sick, I have done a lot of reading on health and wellness, cancer, treating illness with diet, etc. Although I’m doing all the same things to lose weight, the one thing that is majorly different this time is that we are experiencing a life-changing event.
In other words, my body is in survival mode. That means it is holding on to the weight that I have because it thinks I am in constant need of it. My body feels threatened. My anxiety is high, I don’t sleep all that great, my muscles are constantly sore. Those are signs that my body is over-stressed. I’ve been continuing to run and practice yoga/meditation. These help to clear my mind as much as possible. But going through something like this changes your mind and body.
Even after her treatment is over, I don’t think I will go back to “normal”. If anything I will remain constantly anxious and worried for the health of my children. Every fever, stomach ache, muscle pains, headache will be checked out and monitored.
Knowing that we could have possibly caught her tumor earlier than we did will always be a huge regret. Knowing that if I had eaten healthier and removed meat and dairy from my diet sooner in hopes to prevent this from ever happening to her will be another one of my biggest regrets. Knowing that my personal choices could have led to where we are now…that’s something that I do not think I will ever be able to forgive myself for.
Every day is a struggle for all of us. And every day I am in constant awe of how strong, positive, and resilient Mary Harper is as she goes through all of this. I guess that’s the beauty of a child’s spirit. 🙂
I write this post to remind everyone that this journey isn’t easy. Getting healthy isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.