Since last summers health scare I’ve been completely obsessed with my health, thus the reason for a lot of my anxiety problems. Part of my counseling has been to accept the fact that I will die some day (duh I knew that and I know I’m going to Heaven) my fear was that I’m not ready yet LOL. But coming to terms with that has been a long process. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, I can’t control my life and frankly I don’t want to, God is in full control, but I’m a control freak, it’s true, I fully admit it. However, I’ve realized that even though I cannot control when my life will end, there are some things that I can control and that is taking control of my health and my families health while we are here. Thus the journey to a healthier life began. I just wanted to share how we got here and what we’ve done these past few months to change our lifestyle!
I’ve never been the kind of person whose obsessed with their health, body, looks etc… I’ve always been comfortable with myself physically and mentally for the most part, of course there are always things we wish we could change and make “better.” However I realized after my mini breakdown last summer that even though I was happy with myself I wasn’t “taking care” of myself and that’s what lead to my freak out about my health and my anxiety sky rocketed.
Here is a brief overview of what my daily routine consisted of… I work outside the home (even though my heart wants to be at home). I would wake up at 6:30AM, get ready for work, take the kids to daycare, go to work until 5PM, pick the kids up, go home, make dinner, clean my house from top to bottom (seriously my WHOLE house, every day), as well as trying to spend time with my kids and husband. I wouldn’t go to bed until 11PM and only slept about 6 hours a night (not consecutively). On top of that I didn’t eat great, I was a coffee addict (which I’m ok with), I have a Photography business on the side which takes up a lot of time in the evenings and on the weekends, I also (used to) help run the Nursery at Church, I teach Awana on Sunday nights, both our kids are involved in sports and other activities and we are also involved in school activities etc… Not to mention just spending time with family and friends on a weekly basis. Needless to say we were on the GO 24/7. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE to be busy. Sitting around on the couch and having nothing to do is not my cup of tea. I get restless easily and when I’m not doing anything I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything or working towards anything. I guess you could say I have a hard time being content.
When I started having health problems and after I found out I didn’t have MS or a Brain Tumor, I was physically and mentally exhausted. I had been on this roller coaster for years and it finally hit me and I just burnt out. Something had to change I knew that but giving up all these things that I enjoy doing, that I want to do, scared me. I didn’t want to end up being a bad person or a bad friend, wife or mother but I realized that it is okay to say NO. We can’t function properly or do things to our best ability when we are overwhelmed. It’s been a hard lesson for me because I’m a natural people pleaser and I enjoy making other people feel good and taken care of, but I wasn’t taking care of myself. So the change started.
1 Corinthians 3:16
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (NIV)
First thing I had to do was cut back on Activities. Ugh, this was not something I wanted to do. Quitting is not in my nature and to me it felt like I was letting people down, but it needed to be done. I assessed everything we did on a regular basis and made the decision to cut back in certain areas and let go of a few activities. It was hard but I’m thankful that I did it. I also decided that I can’t work outside the home full time as well as be a full time stay at home mom which was what I was trying to do. So instead of cleaning the entire house every night I know pick one chore and that’s what gets done. My amazing family has been pitching in much more lately, but it’s still been a learning process for me. I’m a neat freak but I’m learning to live with the dirty dishes, the unfolded laundry and the other little things that sit around during the week. However, choosing one thing to focus on has given me more quality time with my kids and more time for my husband and other activities that are more important. This has probably been the biggest relief to me. Not trying to be both a working mom and a stay at home mom.
Second thing I did was start going to bed earlier. I used to be able to function on little sleep but because we are so busy my lack of sleep was really draining me emotionally. Sleep is such a huge part of keeping your body and mind healthy and I wasn’t fulfilling that need in my life. So now I try to be in bed by 10PM every night during the week, whether I fall asleep right away or not. This has been a huge blessing. Weekends I sometimes stay up later but even then I’m usually wiped by then anyway and even if I don’t go to sleep I lounge in bed or on the couch.
Part of my health problems started because I wasn’t eating right and it was catching up to me. This was the next thing I changed. I’m a carb eater, I admit it and I love junk food. I eat healthy too but more often than not I wasn’t eating a well rounded diet. I’m also hypoglycemic and so my doctor put me on a high protein, low carb diet as well as eating more frequently. This has been the hardest thing for me because I LOVE food. ALL food too, I’m not a picky eater. I have noticed that cutting out my caffeine has done wonders for my anxiety and I have more energy all throughout the day instead of wanting to crash by 3PM every day. I still drink coffee every day but mostly decaf and I don’t each much sugar or refined carbs anymore. I’ve also started drinking Shakeology, not all the time but a lot of the time and I love it! It’s so filling and healthy for you and it gives me so much energy and has changed my body for the better!
I’ve also started a routine exercise program! I was really excited for this. My doctor told me, as well as countless other people I know who also suffer from anxiety that exercising regularly will be one of the most therapeutic things you can do. It’s actually been proven to be as effective if not more than a lot of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications. I was an athlete all growing up, I LOVE sports, however I hate working out. I like exercise but exercising for the sake of exercising holds no motivation for me. Especially if I’m left to do it on my own. Thankfully my sister jumped on board the 21 day fix BeachBody wagon and I LOVE it. I love the 21 day fix workouts. They are only 30 minutes long, they are fun, intense and different every day. I’ve started doing them with my sister on my lunch break and now my husband has started doing it with me in the evenings, so sometimes I get two workouts in a day. Sounds like a lot but remember they are only 30 minutes. We all LOVE it! I fell so much better after working out and it gets all my nervous energy out of my system. One of the workouts on the 21 say fix is a yoga workout. I’ve never done yoga and frankly trying to meditate and calm myself sounded stressful but I’m now a HUGE fan of it! I sometimes do yoga after each of my workouts and it’s so calming and relaxing, still a workout though. I use it as a good prayer time too and really connect with God. The workouts are designed for 7 days a week, and we try to get in a workout all 7 days but it’s generally 5 or 6 which is good enough for me!
One of the other things I’ve been doing is I jump on board the DoTerra Oils train! I’ve always been skeptical of these kinds of things. I’m not against natural medicine at all but I’ve just never done a lot of research and It’s just kind of been something I’ve been hesitant about committing too. A few months ago a friend of mine started selling it and really got into them so I decided to give it a try. I did a lot of research on the oils and their uses/effects etc… I started using them and really getting into and I know I’m a huge believer. I seriously love these oils and how pure they are and how well they work. We use them daily in our household and I honestly can’t tell you how much healthier and happier we feel on a daily basis. DoTerra has an oil for everything and I’m constantly amazed at the things they can do. I recently watched a video on an experiment a high school student who uses these oils for his disease. He tested DoTerra Oregano Essential oil on E-coli bacteria and one drop of the oil killed ALL the E-coli whereas the amoxicillin (antibiotics) only killed some of the E-coli. If you would like to check out DoTerra oils let me know and I can hook you up and get you in contact with my friend to learn more. The best part about these oils is that they are 100% completely natural from the natural gifts God planted on this earth!
These changes have made me a happier healthier person. I feel like myself again most days and I feel like I’m doing something to take charge of my life while letting God handle the big things! It’s made me a better person, a better mom, a better wife, a better friend and has brought me closer in my relationship with Jesus. It’s still a process and probably will be for a long time but I know it’s something I can overcome and work with, deal with and live with. Life is such a beautiful gift and our bodies and minds are meant to be taken care of because Christ dwells within us!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you
may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”