I don’t know exactly when I made the decision that enough was enough. It could’ve been when my kids thought it was their Aunty (instead of me) in my wedding pictures. Or when I had to buy another size up at the store. Maybe it was when my youngest asked if I was having another baby. I’ve known for a while that something needed to change. I also know that I don’t like the taste of “fake shakes” as I call them – I hate giving my food a point system but I knew my food choices had to change. I was in a constant state of mind-fog, super emotional, unhappy with everything and everyone – including myself. Knowing what needed to be done but not having the energy to do it felt overwhelming, being stuck in a self-destructive cycle of emotional eating and not being active was life-draining. I was done – done physically, done emotionally, just done.
I was lost – I didn’t know who I was or what my purpose was. Who was Jo? Before being married and having kids I would define myself as smart, an athlete, musician, outgoing, and confident. I didn’t feel like that anymore. I wasn’t sure what defined me now. Was I destined to be an overweight, over emotional person for the rest of my life? Ugh – how sad. I wanted to be a great mom/wife, active, supportive, confident and content. So I put my big girl (literally) panties on and I started to change. I made a list of what made me feel good (emotionally/physically/spiritually), and I would try to do one thing on that list daily. Music – being Outside – Walking/exercise – Family time – spending time with Friends. I found that even if I did just one thing on that list my mood improved. And it began to snowball.
I had a couple of friends who came alongside and in the fall of 2017 we started a little competition (YAY!!! I LOVE COMPETITIONS #legit). It was to keep each other accountable in our health journeys and whoever lost the most weight (percentage) got paid $25 by the other two. We are all busy moms and we all knew that we needed to carve out time for ourselves in order to be the best moms that we can be. It was the accountability I needed and the push I needed to become consistent in my fitness journey. My kids are getting older – the oldest two don’t always need me at their team practices so I got a gym membership. When I drop them off at practice I go to the gym. I get my hour or hour and a half cardio time in (and I get to listen to my customized playlists). I was carving out “Me” time. It did me good. It allowed me to think and be alone and process my day and what needed to be done – while getting a workout. And it didn’t take away from my Mom time with the kids or time with my husband.
So I was getting there – I had a fitness routine and it was going great. But I tell ya it’s the food that gets me! I was browsing Facebook and one of my friends from high-school had a post about her program Mama Recharged and was starting up her 7 day cleanse. Not gonna lie I was skeptical at first – the word cleanse was scary to me. But I read what she had on her page and this is what jumped out at me
“You won’t be eating many strange diet foods, chugging weird powders or following some kinds of gimmick diet program. The Mama Recharged cleanse consists of real whole foods that are delicious and support your body. Period. “
So I did it – I joined her group and the cleanse and I learned a lot about my body and how it reacts to food. The recipes were easy – I was eating real food – I wasn’t going hungry and I wasn’t craving sugar and caffeine like I used to. In the seven days that I followed the cleanse I found that the “mind fog” lifted, I slept better, I had more energy. I was amazed at how much of a change I felt in one week.
Has it been easy? No. Is it a quick fix? Also, No. December was basically a complete cheat month and write off with the move/Christmas. But I have the tools now to get back on track and not fall back into bad habits. I’ve found that when I am active and eating well – my emotions are not so cray-cray and I’m way more even-keeled. So there is a connection. I feel more confident, more energized and more stable. I feel like I can give more to my kids and husband. I feel like Jo again.