A month or so ago, I fell deep. My self-esteem plunged down into new lows. The the horrifying digits on the scale stung. It’s not like I didn’t feel it – but to see it was sobering.
I decided to take my blood pressure – I stared at the numbers in disbelief. It was strange to find myself back here again. I never wanted to be here. I cringed. Somehow, I managed to go back in time.
It wasn’t just aesthetics. It wasn’t just because I hated the numbers on my clothes or how I felt or looked in them. That was only a part of it.
More importantly, it was as if all my work, all of who I used to be, disappeared from existence.
In order to understand this, you’d have to see where I was before.
It was 2009. My father had recently passed. The last 7 years were a whirlwind. He had been ill for so long. I juggled many things – my father’s healthcare, college, working during college, taking care of the family needs, and trying to prepare for a career. I did what I could, but I couldn’t excel at them all. My divided attention gave me limited success. Sadly, I never once paid attention to my own well-being.
By the time my father had passed, that hectic lifestyle has caught up with me. I was overweight and unhealthy. I was at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. My lab results and the concerns from my physician lead me to seeing a cardiologist on a regular basis.
In the end, I lost 30 lbs in about a year. I ran 5k every single day. I ate very healthy. After a couple years of that, I went into boxing and Muay Thai. I maintained a healthy lifestyle due to the gym workouts, personal training and a decent amount of healthy eating.
I was happy with where I was. I thought that my life was always going to be that way. The old photos of pre-2009 were nothing but memories. I used to tell myself, “That person used to be me. Not anymore. I am someone different. I am better. I am happier. I am healthier.”
Then, it all changed again. In mid- 2015, I was injured. I couldn’t work out like I used to. As the injuries took longer to heal, I wasn’t allowed to work out with the same intensive workouts that I was used to. I found myself feeling overwhelmed at work. My eating habits were becoming worse. I felt myself slowing fading. I didn’t have an outlet for my frustrations.
When I could make it to the gym, the workouts felt harder. My clothes felt tighter. My spirit began to fade.
In early 2016, I became pregnant. At this point, I had gained weight. Because of some other health issues, I still could not work out as much. I only gained 22 pounds during the pregnancy. However, since I was already overweight, the added weight was difficult for my small frame and my troublesome health.
In the next two years, I continued to struggle. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, the difficulties in being a working mom, and concerns around my son continued to take my primary focus. I didn’t care about my health anymore. I was no longer motivated to do it.
A few weeks ago, I got a serious wake-up call. My blood pressure had gone up. My lab results weren’t good. Then, there were the more obvious signs: ill-fitting clothing, higher numbers on the scale, and the dreaded photos from every event I have been to in the last two years.
This is how I found myself struggling in front of a scale and a blood pressure machine.
There were so many things going on in my life. But, I couldn’t allow myself to take those things as an “excuse” out of self-care. I couldn’t see myself continuing on that path.
It’s time for a reset.
I can’t take care of everything if I’m not doing well. In the last two weeks, I have been eating really well. With the exception of today (it was a group event), I have eaten healthy meals. I have made commitments to work out four times a week at minimum.
I also reset my priorities. I’ve lessened the amount of time that I spend on my blog and online reselling to accommodate my health goals. I’ve made sure to work with my son everyday to ensure we still focus on his therapy. I’ve chosen to do things that bring me value and help support these self-care goals.
I report back to my doctor in two weeks. I’m supposed to have lost 5 lbs since I last saw her. I’m not sure if I’ll exactly meet her numbers. I don’t know what she’ll say.
What I do know is that this journey is not short term. A reset like this will take over a year. It will take dedication, determination and willpower. It will require a complete change in my mindset and routine.
A reset in life isn’t easy, but I can do it. I’ve overcome so many things. I’ve done it before and I can do it again.