So... you want to know my story, huh?
Have you ever been addicted to buying $29.00 reflections planners to journey your goals? Oh no...? it's only me? Honestly, I have spent over $500.00 buying journals, notebooks, etc, in an effort to hold myself accountable for my various health journeys. Each time I throw one of those abandoned babies in the trash, I feel like a complete failure, not because I didn't reach my goals. but because of my habit of starting and stopping. I started this blog because this is where I am truly meant to be. I love the ability to come in, write, let it all out, and have a beautifully designed space to go back and reflect upon.
In January 2019, I began to take my weight loss efforts a litter more seriously after an embarrassing trip to Germany to see my in-laws. I was fat, tired, cranky (well, I was weaning baby off the boob, so, excuses...) and I just noticed for the first time that I had let my whole person go. No, not just the physical, but the emotional as well. You see, I have this issue where I. CANNOT. CHILL. I am always always always working on the next big thing. This explains why in my 36 years (at this moment I am writing this, 2021) I have done so much. I served 6 years in the military, co-owned a restaurant franchise at 24, earned 4 science degrees all while pregnant, breastfeeding or raising my babies, and launched a CBD wellness brand in the middle of a damn pandemic. While all of these things are amazing, one thing that I never worked on as much, was myself. See, all these things were for extrinsic rewards for the most part. Sure I was feeling like I was all that because of my accomplishments, and I proved to myself that I am pretty badass or whatever, but not to brag, those things came so easy for me! What I eventually grew to realize was that I had to eventually face my childhood trauma that was riddled with physical and emotional abuse, and come to the realization that all these "successes" were stemming from my coping mechanism I had adopted around 12 years old. See, I grew up in some pretty crappy places. I was surrounded by failure, and I realized that failure traps you. I became obsessed with academics, career planning, and money. It was my way out. But while I was burring the midnight oil, I was also snacking, and stuffing myself with BS food. Although I was not the typical huge-plate over eater, I was a constant eater. I had 5 snacks a day, plus my regular meals. My days were often filled with a pop tart for breakfast, yogurt for a snack, sugar laden Gatorades, a honey bun, a bag of those twisted honey bbq fritos, a sprite, dinner, then dessert. Carbs, carbs, carbs. Barely any protein, nut instead, all sugar. During my senior year, and standing at only 5'2, I graduated at 182 lbs.
At 19, I joined the Navy to start my plan to "get away" and chip away at my career goals. I had to lose 40 lbs in order to be qualified, so I did some digging and discovered the low carb lifestyle. I cut out the sugars, started running and doing Billy Blank's Tae Bo in the mornings, and dropped the weight in 4 months. I was shocked. I eventually went to boot camp, and became a United States Sailor, and stuck to a lower-carb lifestyle for the first 3 years. When I left the military, I weighed 162 lbs due to my lack of discipline, and care, actually.
In late 2009, I gave birth to my first baby! I was so honored to be a mommy, to be his mommy, and I strived to breastfeed him as long as I could. Never did I predict the hunger, the hormones, the cravings that would come during breastfeeding. I constantly craved sugar and refined, quick-acting carbs to give me the "energy boosts" that all the mommy blogs were raving about because I was tired as all hell, but although I'd feel good for about 2 hours, I oddly felt tired, sluggish and irritated shortly after that. So what did I do? I kept eating more of it. This happened to me for 3 pregnancies, and I did not understand how some moms lost all the baby weight while breastfeeding, and I gained.
Those bad habits caused a full blown sugar ADDICTION. I'm talking about sneaking snickers in the car. Eating one cupcake but then having a literal internal dialogue about why I'm justified to have another. Treating myself with sugary celebrations every time I did something right (dishes, laundry, guessed a bunch of right answers on Jeopardy). It was ridiculous. After having my second child in 2011, I ballooned up tp 249lbs. My god. I had so much stress, and I used sugar to deal with it. In July 2015, I was on the brinks of a nervous breakdown after working for the most toxic, racist, and poorly managed hospital for nearly 3 years. I HAD to leave, or else, something was going to break.
In 2015, we decided to go to the Dominican Republic for a get away and while I was there, I applied to my dream job, and got it. The sheer transition from that toxic abyss to my new organization allowed me to lose 15 lbs within 3 months. Without trying. People noticed, and I was motivated. I didn't lose anymore, but I gained something instead. A baby bump in late 2016! Less than a year after changing employers, I was expecting my third baby! This pregnancy was different. I didn't feel like eating sugar. I was very apathetic about highly palatable food, and I often skipped dinner. During my entire pregnancy, I actually lost 11 lbs. After giving birth in 2017, I weighed in at 225, my lowest weight in years! But... I breast fed again. It happened again!!!
By the time I weaned my little one off the boobie in 2018, I weighed 238lbs. I was PISSED!!! However, I still weighed less than I did after weaning my other babies, and I attributed the lower weight to my previous 9 months of skipping dinner while pregnant. I Googled it. "Can I skip meals to lose weight". Google told me yes, with Intermittent Fasting.
I began playing around with intermittent fasting right before my Germany trip, and lost 5 lbs within the first week. Hmmm. I told myself that when I go to Germany, I will try my best to eat within a 6 hour window, but it was so hard! I allowed myself to just eat vacation style, and enjoy. When I got back home, I regained that 5lbs. Oh well.
In January 2019, I began to take things more serious after an embarrassing 20 days in Germany. I was just moody, emotional, and frankly, miserable. I like to be in control of my being, and it just didn't happen that way out there. I knew it had nothing to do with my weight, directly, but over the last few years, I just became unhappy with myself. My marriage was not as strong as it should've been, I started graduate school, and I was chronically stressed. I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong, but I knew I had to focus on getting healthy. So began my keto and fasting journey. That year, I started at 235lbs, and dropped all the way down to 202 by April. I was so proud! It worked! And it was easy! However, like most people who don't focus on the deeper issues, I regained 25 lbs by Jan 2020 by falling back on old bad habits. I had so little discipline, but all the motivation. Then I think I got the Rona. Matter a fact myself and 3 of my co-workers all came down with a mysterious virus that caused us all to develop Pneumonia for the first time in our lives. We all work as bedside nurses. It scared me, to my core. I couldn't breathe, coughed so much I thought my lungs were going to collapse. Then we started to get Covid-19 patients in March. Something was odd. They were mostly obese. During my 10+ months as an exclusive Covid-19 nurse, I saw the devastation that came with obesity. Some people get away with a clean bill of health while being obese, which allows them a false sense of security. IT DOES MATTER. Many of the patients that were declining quickly, or eventually dying, were overweight or obese. Then the scientific arena confirmed it. And I was scared! I have 3 babies to live for. I needed to dig deep. If this wasn't a wakeup call, I don't know what is.
After a few months of planning, trying, and failing (due to focusing on the weight and not the root cause of my self-neglect), I decided to do that deep digging. I found some nasty, scary, and uncomfortable things while in there, but at least it helped me understand my habits, my thoughts, my beliefs about myself and the world. I finally acknowledged that I suffered from unresolved trauma. I did a lot of reading on it, and one of the things that clicked for me is that a lot of traumatized kids develop a subconscious element that won't realize that the abuse has stopped. They continue to use those hardwired coping mechanisms to protect the "possibility" of it happening again. Well, I am grown now. I let it go.
As soon as I let it go, a light went off. I deserved love. I deserved happiness. I deserved to live my best life and not have so many things dragging me down. Nothing is wrong with me. And so my journey began because I finally believed that I am worthy....
But what does that mean, "I am worthy", and why is believing in those 3 words always seem to be the catalyst for self-love and change? Well... click below to find out what worthiness is, and why the belief that you are worthy, matters.