Monday, April 30, 2012

Does This Sound Familiar???

I received a touching response from one of my readers.  She was brave enough to allow me to share her story. We both felt that it might touch and inspire some of you.  Thank you so much for sharing!!!! Here are her words:

OMG! Your story is so similar to my story. We did some traveling cause of my husband’s job. We moved from SA to Louisiana, Georgia, Houston, Indianapolis, Mississippi, now back home (SA). Every move was harder and harder. Houston was the worst for me. My husband travels from time to time still, but Houston was the worst. He would be gone 3-6 weeks at a time. I worked full time with 2 kids still in daycare. Talk about some emotional stress and stress packs on the pounds along with mess with your mind! Every move I started with thinking okay it’s a new place things are going to be better. New place new challenges, but like you I did nothing to meet new people or get out and do something for myself. Just keep the kid’s active is sports at soon as they turn 4 so I could meet new people. Sad I know, yes I meet new people, but I never meet new friends. I still felt so alone. Finally something snapped I started working out when we lived in Indy. Loved the YMCA and they had an awesome program and facility. One of my favorite facilities to this day! I finally started dieting and working out and the pounds came off quick, WOW…eating right and working out does really work! I felt great, I was enjoying my body and loving my family and making new friends. After being off work for a year I decided I wanted to go back to work. The stress of finances started to hit us harder and I was not finding time to work out was getting harder. Really, I was going back to work to socialize cause I was lonely being a stay at home mom, but I didn’t think out my income (vs) money going out? Taking a $10.00 an hour job with driving 65+ miles a day was killing us, plus my daughter just started Kinder (1/2 day), no daycare in the area would drive her to afternoon Kinder ? Now I was paying for extra gas to drive back to take my daughter to afternoon Kinder during my lunch breaks along for paying for 2 kids to be in daycare? Ouch! This was not the smartest move on my part. So here comes the depression again, I was Mean/Mad at my husband and poor kids could not do anything right, but I would not let any family members or friends from back home know my pain. Finally kids were in sports, making new friends in school and we were starting to make new friends and hang out with other families. Then here comes another blow! We have to move again. Didn’t work out I was still working full time with some traveling. I had found a job in Indy after my $10 job forced me to leave due to the low pay. I never was diagnosed or took any meds for depression at this time. Every move I found something negative and blame the new place why I was so unhappy. Then we started having trouble with my daughter behavior and anxiety issues. I thought it was all the moves affecting her or I was just a horrible mother. This was another stressor for me. When my daughter was in 2nd grade we had to put her in a 2 week outpatient hospital to help her deal with her anger issues. She was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. The doctor put her on meds. This trial was so hard the little things in life we take for granted about our kids. I cried and cried. I didn’t want to her to take meds. I wanted my child to be normal. We really didn’t have much choice. Her behavior was better and her grades were better. My daughter and I both began to see a therapist and at this time she wanted me to start taking meds for depression. I refused and told her I would start working out since this worked for me before in Indy. I would give it try again I knew I could lose weight . My problem was I did not have that drive or want to work out or diet at home by myself. I just could not find the perfect work out place like the YMCA in Indy. I was still working full time at home and traveling some with 2 kids now in school (kinder and 2nd). I was still struggling even with a break when the kids were in school during the day. I had trouble just getting the house clean. All I wanted to do is sleep! I always thought that my mood swings and depression were my lack of family and friends from back home (SA). One day out of the blue my husband receives a phone call for a job interview in SA. I was so excited! This was my chance to be happy again, to be around family & friends. I pushed him to go see what the job was all about and what kind of money they would offer. My husband had been with his company 5 years thru 3/4 moves and great quarterly bonuses. “Why would we want to move he would tell me”? Tired of my nagging he called this new company up they flew him into SA for an interview. He liked what he saw and a week later he had an offer on the table relocating us back home, my home (SA). The pay was more without the big quarterly bonuses. I didn’t care I just wanted to move back home. So, we made the move back to SA. Nothing changed other than I saw my family and a few friends very seldom. It was not the same or what I thought. I kind a thought my life would pick up where I left off. Everyone had moved on with life without Angie and I still felt alone and isolated and still working full time from work. About 6 months after being back in SA. I decided to quit my job to spend more time with the kids and to be a true soccer mom. By this time my kids were heavy active into sports and had something going on almost every night. I also finally made a doctor appointment to get established and it was time I started taking care of me! When the doctor walked into the room I was a big mess and just started balling. Right away said, “I need you to take some meds to help with my hormones”. I started taking them and went back 2 weeks later for a follow up. I was feeling better. I asked her “How long did I have to take these meds”. She said, “The rest of your life”. She explained about how during my cycles the hormones period/ time cause my anxiety and with anxiety comes depression. I was scared and didn’t want to gain weight with meds. I had heard these types of meds would make me gain weight. This was the reason I refused the 1st time they were recommended to me. I’m now better today cause of these meds. I recommend to anyone who think they need a little help from meds may do not be afraid or embarrassed to take them. Believe me! Your family will thank you. I’m a nicer person, mother, wife and friend. I still have self-issues about my weight and my family and I are going thru a huge trial in life right now, but I’m able to handle it better cause I have help (meds) and of course I found God about 1 ½ ago and what a difference God had made in my life. The peace of his love is so real. I also started a boot camp in Bulverde in December which has so much helped! Then starts our life trial and another move, but this time it’s not to another state. Just to the other side of SA. We are now in Floresville, TX moved From Bulverde, TX. I’m struggling with getting involved at the kid’s school meeting new people. I was so involved at our last school. I feel lost and the BIGGEST struggle for me right now is the motivation to work out on my own and looking for another boot camp family like the one I just left and location around south of SA. I drive from time to time to Bulverde to still get a good work out in and to see my friends I made and miss so much!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grocery List

So, I know I posted something like this before, but this morning 2 friends asked if I could post a list of my groceries. No problem! might be helpful for you to just print it out and take along with you. They also asked if I could post examples of my 2 week(ish) menu. I'll do that soon too. This does not represent my entire list as it changes weekly to accommodate for spices and kid foods for school, but for the most part this is what I have in my cart each time I go to the store:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Try Kombucha

Soooooo...Kombucha. I have hear a lot about the health benefits of Kombucha, so about a year ago I tried it.....hated it.  I keep reading about this trendy health drink, so I decided I want to try it again.  The claimed health benefits are increased energy,  improved digestion, stronger immune system, and healthier skin and hair.  I like to try new things and sometimes I even like to revisit things I disliked before just in case I like them now.  So here I am trying kombucha again.

Afterthought: So, it is now about 10 minutes since I have tried the Kombucha and I am feeling I drank a really strong coffee....and also a little electrified. Is that weird?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Boot Camp

Hey ladies! I need help from ladies in the San Antonio area who have a blog.  If you don't have a local blog, maybe you know someone who does. It does not have to be a fitness can be any blog.  I was invited to a free boot camp session with BlueStar Bootcamp and they are looking for more bloggers to join in the fun. I can't wait to go! I am going to the May 19 session if you want to join me. Here are the details:

Who: Mommy Bloggers
What: A BlueStar BootCamp session with Fitness Porvida
When: May 19th, 9:30 am
Where: Hardberger Park
Why:  We'd love to get your thoughts on our BlueStar BootCamp, and then
would appreciate a write-up in your blog to commemorate your experience.
Also, feel free to bring one friend to attend with you.  You will both
receive a free water bottle, just for showing up!  Also, after the boot
camp Fitness Porvida will be hosting a Tweet Up using the hashtag
#fitsamoms to chat and discuss! 
I would LOVE for you to come with me! Let me know if you are interested so I can give them 
aa heads up! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Piss and Vinegar

You may have noticed that this blog has been pretty empty the last few weeks...can you hear the echo? I have been struggling to write a post, and then, as soon as I get brave enough to post it, I chicken out and delete the whole thing.  I feel like I can't move on and be completely honest with you in other posts until I post my story of how/why I decided to create a healthy lifestyle.  It's not just my story, but the story of many women. It's so personal and not  many people know all the details, so it's really difficult to know where or how to even start. It is not my intention to make people feel sorry for me in this post. I'm not sorry.  I'm stronger and happier now because of the events life has handed me. I know there are others of you who can relate and may find comfort that you are not the only one. Please bear with me. This is a long story.

I have always considered myself a resilient and self reliant person. I was always able to suck it up, not complain and bounce back. Life wasn't always easy, but I always pushed through and looked on the bright side.  Then the years of 2003-2006 hit our family like a freight train. In 2003 my husband was sent on an 18 month tour to Iraq.  Things were not good there, but again, we both sucked it up and knew we would get through it. He finally came home and we were struggling to adjust to him being home again. Just a few weeks after his arrival home our 3 year old son was diagnosed with cancer. Once again, although life knocked us down , we got back up and took care of our family. We were devastated, but did not dwell on it. We had 2 kids to take care of. We concentrated on our son's care and on keeping life as normal as possible for our 5 year old daughter.  I was so worried about taking care of my family, I never even thought to take care of what was going on inside of me. I had only one goal: get my family thorough this!

Soon things were looking up. Our son finished chemo and was finally done with treatment. We were so excited to just be normal. After an 18 month deployment and treatment for our son, it had been a long time since we did things like dinner at the same table or movie night on the couch. It was such a good feeling to have those simple things back again. That didn't last long.  More change was in store for our family. Although they were good changes, they were big changes that came fast.

Within months of our son finishing treatment, I became pregnant with our 3rd child and my husband got an offer for his dream job on the other side of the country from family and friends. We were once again busy dealing with the move, selling a house, buying a house, getting ready for a new baby, and dealing with the mixed feelings of moving from my family and friends while being thrilled that my husband landed his dream job that would put us back on track financially.  Cancer is not cheap. With all of this going on, I still had not dealt with my own feelings.I kept that big, brave smile on my face and would tell everyone "I'm good" when they asked.  I really thought I was good.

So here we were : new baby,  new state, new house, new life.  We were finally settled in...which gave me time to settle down and think. I was finally processing what we had all been through. My husband had to travel a lot, so I was alone with a newborn and 2 kids a lot and missing my family and friends back in Maryland. I had no family or friends nearby to talk to and I did not want to trouble my husband while he was starting a new job (although he would not have been troubled, that was just my perception).

I was never officially diagnosed, but looking back, I'm sure I had some form of depression. I don't know if it was post-partum, situational from missing my family and friends, or the feelings from deployment and cancer finally catching up to me. I was angry all the time. The only people I was nice to were my kids. I was numb and just going through the motions each day. I argued with my husband every chance I got. If people tried to befriend me, I was pleasant, but I pushed them away. I wouldn't answer the phone or the door and I wouldn't respond to invitations to get together with these awesome women who were trying to welcome me into their circle. I went to play dates so my kids could play, but I avoided getting too close to the other women. I thought that if they got to know me, then they would surely see what a mess my head was and run away why bother.  I'm sure they thought I was a negative grump! I cried all of the time.  I didn't want my kids to see me cry, so I would hide in my closet and cry almost daily.

There were some specific moments that made me realize that something was not right with me and that I needed to do something.  Moments where I had thoughts and feelings that a woman who had the amazing life that I currently had should not think or feel. I'm still too ashamed to talk about them publicly, but maybe someday I will.

One of my closest friends, Annie,  had been asking me to start running with her. I had turned her down several times because , well, running HATED me. The feeling was mutual.  

I realized I needed to do something, so I took Annie up on her offer. Although I didn't always feel great while running, I always felt so much better after. I eventually started to add other forms of exercise, dance, yoga, and strength training. I slowly changed the way we ate and I think that has made a huge difference for all of us. Running and exercise gave me a goal. It gave me something that was ALL MINE.I had something I could take control of.  It made me feel like me again. I was HAPPY again! I was stronger and more fit. I was me again instead of the empty shell that used to be me. My family noticed a difference too. They had me back again.  It didn't happen overnight. It took time, but today I am happier than I have ever been.

Please don't think I am saying that exercise will cure depression.Like I said, I was never officially diagnosed, but I had gotten to the point where I hated who I was and couldn't stop crying. I'm simply saying that exercise helped me and it's still helping me today. I still struggle with anxiety and mood swings, but I noticed they mostly happen if I have not worked out in a few days. If I'm starting to feel down, irritable, or anxious I get in a hardcore workout and I feel better...and nicer. Lol.  For years now my husband and I have said that my workouts "knock the piss and vinegar" out of me. It's true.

Wow...that sure was wordy. I have been wanting to share since I started this blog, but was afraid. I couldn't find the right words. If you actually read the whole thing, thank you. I hope that in sharing this, I can help someone. If you would like to share your story, I would love to read it. You could leave it here in comments or you could leave a private message on my FB page .  I answer every comment and message.

Soooo, I'm still afraid to hit "publish" and share this...but here goes....