Warning: If you squirm when someone is crying, get uncomfortable when someone bares their soul, or get annoyed when someone “tells all”, then stop reading now.
As I mentioned before, I am not someone who typically cries, bares my soul or “tells all”…until this year, until now. Why in the world am I willing to then “tell all” to spread around the internet? Because I made a promise to you and to myself. I was going to “get naked” and strip down to the honest truth, not holding back. Why would I make such a promise? Because I have a feeling there are a lot of girls out there who may have dealt with very similar things or are maybe dealing with them now and think they are alone. I changed the name of my Facebook page to be “In-Courage Faith and Fitness”. It takes courage to have faith. It takes courage to change habits for our health. And I want to encourage you in both.
Here it is in the shortened condensed form.
In March of 2013, I was well on my way to fulfilling a dream of mine that I’ve had for 10 years. I was training to become something I had been working towards, waiting for and fighting for a majority of my adult life. I had just completed a step in the training and was given a “pass with flying colors” and had received accolades to boot. Then…I found out I was pregnant with my 4th baby. I want to be careful in how I say this because I know there are some of you who would LOVE to be pregnant and maybe can’t be. I certainly don’t want to hurt you and can’t imagine the pain you’ve felt. I also want you to understand that I LOVE my children and can’t imagine my life without them. So bare with me when I say that I broke down crying when I found out. Why? I thought I was about to fulfill a dream. It was a dream that can’t be fulfilled when pregnant, nursing or raising tiny ones. We all ready had 3 and weren’t really in a financial place to take on a fourth. Plus, I wasn’t ready to go through the stress and strains of pregnancy or taking care of a newborn. The idea of having a 4th completely overwhelmed me…and I felt so guilty about that. *Tears of fear, tears of frustration, tears for the death of a dream, tears of guilt*
I was so sick in the first part of my pregnancy. On top of all day morning sickness, I had pregnancy induced vertigo….where the world spins and you can fall flat on your face with dizziness. If that wasn’t enough to frustrate a “mover”, I was also struggling with back issues, neck pain and headaches from my car accident earlier in the year and pregnancy compounded it. Needless to say, all of these things lead me to have to back off from blogging, from Facebooking, from my website, from my day job, from teaching fitness and lead me straight to my bed…all while taking care of my 3 boys ages 3-11. *Tears of stress, tears of pain, tears of exhaustion*
I want to sidetrack for a second and let you in on who I am a bit. I LOVE my kids and I LOVE my family, but I also LOVE what I do. I am passionate about family and I am passionate about what I do in the fitness industry. It was so hard for me to have to give up my dream and then give up my day job on many levels. I struggled this summer with all kinds of things from guilt about being sad about being pregnant to being angry that my body wasn’t allowing me to do what I wanted to do. *Tears…tears and more tears*
At the end of the summer, my 3 year old who has unexplained epilepsy (seizures) started struggling with uncontrolled seizures. He has been on medication since he was 6 weeks old and we’ve had good periods and bad periods. August began a really bad period of many seizures. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a seizure, but there is nothing worse than watching your baby struggle with something that is so out of your control. Even the doctors struggle to understand it and control it. In October, the pediatric neurologist gave us the kind of news you don’t really want to hear. He said, “we are running out of options.” Seizures can’t go uncontrolled because they progress to be dangerous and brain damaging. Not only that, but seizures are unexpected in their timing and it can be very dangerous if having a seizures while swimming, climbing on a play structure at the park or driving a car. The goal is control if they can’t fix the problem. So, the stress kept building. *Tears of deep sadness, tears from a mama’s heart*
In November, my OB called me and told me that my insurance company, who had said their were covering my maternity, was NOT going to cover my maternity care. The plan change that they had quoted didn’t take affect until 2014. I was due to have him at the end of 2013. That meant that we now had a $12,000 deductible to meet to pay the hospital and doctors. Ugh. *Tears compounded*
Last week, I was told that I was being laid off as of January 1st. Yes, 2 weeks after delivering my 4th child, 2 weeks before Christmas and at the end of a year of tears…I lost my job. Remember, not only is it a job, it’s my passion. It’s what I’m made for. It’s not ALL I’m made for, but it’s a big part. *Tears of brokenness, tears of grieving, tears of giving up hope*
I have had some intense emotions since last Friday. I know many of you can relate…maybe in different ways. Maybe your tears are for different reasons. Whatever the reason for your tears, they are real nonetheless. It makes it hard to think about your health. It makes it easy to eat too many Christmas cookies. It makes it hard to choose joy, choose hope…what doesn’t come naturally in times like these.
I made an exercise plan (before finding out about this). My 3 year old came down with a high fever and cough and my newborn had his circumcision. So, plan “A”, didn’t work. That happens, life happens right? My reason for getting back was to just enjoy moving and sweating a bit. It was a chance for me to do something healthy mentally and physically. By the time Thursday came, I had missed a planned workout and just didn’t “feel like it”. I didn’t “feel like” doing ANYTHING actually. My husband was the one who said “Just go. You know it will feel good.” He was right. I plugged into my music, focused on my workout and it was GREAT. I didn’t push it. No reason to. I am only 18 days out from having babe so it’s not time to push. But I needed it mentally. Everyone needs someone like my husband to say “just go.”
Yes, I came home and ate an Oreo truffle, but I’ll deal with my stress eating later. I’ve got to take one day at a time right now. I didn’t realize that much of my motivation to get back in shape was so that I could go back to my day job and to teach. When I lost that, I lost motivation. I have to refocus on why I want to be healthy and what is healthy for me right now. What’s healthy for me is to not exercise to lose baby weight. It’s healthy for me to invest in my sanity, to have stress relief. I figure I’d better exchange some drops of sweat for drops of tears.
Maybe that’s you right now. Just like you would give me grace for my circumstances, give yourself some too. At the same time, I can’t let my sadness and my circumstances overcome me. I don’t know what you believe. You may not believe the same as me and that is totally fine. But, I want to tell you that the only way I don’t crumble under my circumstances is knowing God’s plan is greater than my dreams. His timing is perfect, He is never too late. He can give me strength when I feel most weak. He can take my sadness and use it for my good. He can take a cracked and broken heart and fill it with a light to shine through to others. I have to choose to not let my sadness lead me to cookies, but to the one who can give me a lasting joy…one that outlasts a sugar high. Trust me. There were a few times this week when making that choice seemed impossible. In fact, I even said that I was out of energy to make any positive choices and felt hopeless. But look, one small choice to take the encouragement of my husband and I DID complete a workout.
One choice at a time. One step at a time. One day at a time. It’s a journey.