My episode aired this past Tuesday night. I wasn’t sure what would happen first; would my heart burst with all the love and support, or would my iPhone explode from notification overload? Either way, I am definitely feeling the love this week. And what a blessing it is.
When I started this journey, it was a ME thing. I wanted to lose weight, and I spent the first 6 months or more totally focused on getting that done, not thinking beyond my next weigh in. But, as I began to find success with my weight loss, and began sharing my story with my friends, I realized that so many women and men were just like me. Although, they may not be as overweight as I was, the felt the same unsettled feeling inside.
That’s when my focus began to shift. It became a WE thing. Once I hit the nine-month mark, had surgery, and had a lot of down time to think and reflect on my year, I knew I couldn’t just let it end there. The response has been incredible already. I can’t begin to count how many FB posts, tweets, messages, emails, and texts I’ve gotten from people saying, “I can relate.” I hoped that people could look at me and think, “If she can do it, I can do it.” And I absolutely believe that.
Television cameras don’t make you lose weight. It boils down to eating healthy, and working out. I did the work. I ate right. And so can anyone else who is ready to make a change. I understand that most people cannot quit their jobs to focus on losing weight, but you can start somewhere. Take a walk, eat out less, cut the sodium, drink more water...there are so many small changes you can make that can all add up along the way to lead to a healthier you. Are you ready?
So, today as I reflect on my year, I am no longer overwhelmed with self-doubt and criticism, but overwhelmed with gratitude. I am so thankful for every person who said, “hang in there” or “you are inspiring me” throughout the year. I cannot express how much those words meant to me. There were very tough days this year. You don’t see the weeks on end of getting up at 5:15, or the surgery and recovery process. And having the encouragement during those times made the difference for me.
I have struggled with self-doubt for years. I was always afraid that I couldn’t live up to some standard that I put on myself. I am sure many of you have done the same. Why don’t we all just give ourselves a break? And give each other a break? I know there are so many moms who feel like they have to keep up. You can’t possibly be the mom that doesn’t bring cupcakes for your child’s birthday, or be the mom that doesn’t help decorate the locker room. What will the other moms think? You know that they’ll think? “I wish I had the courage to say no every now and then.” Don’t throw your hands in the air and give up, but come to the place where you realize that you can find balance, you can say no, you can take some time for yourself.
I spent years running on some hamster wheel of working, volunteering, and driving to and from volleyball practices, camps, matches, tournaments. I decorated countless locker rooms, put together goody bags for tournaments, organized food, made posters, you name it. All in the name of “SuperMom”. Was it fulfilling? Yes. Do I regret any time I spent on my kids? No. But, could they have survived if I had done a little less for them, and spent a little more time on me? Absolutely. I am sure another mom could have made signs, could have decorated the locker room. I certainly cannot think that I am the only capable Mom on the planet.
So, as I have moved from that phase in my life, I have found a new passion for fitness, for being healthy, for helping others find balance in their lives. It pains me to see women hurt. It burdens me when I read messages from women who are struggling. So, let’s band together. Let’s give a big virtual hug to the Moms out there today who were inspired for two hours last night, but today are knee deep in kiddos and are wondering when they could possibly focus on themselves.
My advice to those moms: Find 15 minutes. Surely your house will not fall down around you or burn down in 15 minutes. You can do it! Spend it on you. Whether it’s a brisk walk to the mailbox and back. Or maybe it’s just quiet time reflecting on what goals you have for yourself. Maybe you can call a friend and say, “let’s do this together.” You are too important to be on the back burner. Your family needs you. Not a crazed, run ragged you. But, a healthy, well you.
So, let’s turn the tables. I have received all the love and support for a year and now it’s my turn to tell you, “I’m here for you! You can do this! You are strong! You are good! You are WORTH IT!” Will YOU join me? I am setting the clock...your 15 minutes starts now!