You see on the outside, I've always looked like a healthy person. I've always worked out and somewhat tried to eat healthy. But working out came much easier to me so eating healthy came in spurts. I would try to eat healthy, high-energy foods but then end up caving. I would use my exercise and "good genes" as an excuse to cheat on my efforts. It became a nasty cycle of stress eating, feeling guilty about overeating, then exercising a ton, then being hungry from all the miles I ran. Then more stress eating and feeling guilty, to more exercise. I never felt happy about how things were. I was exhausted from all the working out and all the processed foods and high sugar snacks I was eating. Food gave me short-lived comfort when I was stressed and so did exercise. But my body was worn out from it all.
So to make a long story a little shorter;) a couple of years ago I started experiencing what I now know were panic attacks and bouts with anxiety. My symptoms began at the same time my dad was very sick from melanoma. But I believe what really started things in a downward spiral emotionally was finding out our son had Down syndrome when I was 17 weeks pregnant. The first few years of his life were extremely stressful. Then my dad became very sick. I also decided that it would be a good idea to start my own custom children's clothing line and with all that going on, I literally was falling apart inside. But I was pretty good at not letting anyone know I was falling apart. Only a few close friends knew about the strange heart palpitations, chest pains and sleepless nights, the list goes on of the strange symptoms I had. This all ended up with me going on anxiety medication along with something to help me sleep. I continued on these meds for a few years.
The panic attacks slowly went away once I realized that's all they were and I wasn't actually dying from a heart attack;) But I still felt tired all of the time. I would go about my days feeling I had no real purpose. I was a stressed out mom trying to look like I had it all together. I relied on my coffee in the morning to help me get my kids to the bus stop and my son off to numerous therapies. Then sometimes more coffee during the day to help me get things done around the house. I would sometimes turn to wine at night to keep myself calm when the kids were running around. I was so tired and moody. This became a constant cycle as well. Coffee in the morning, a glass of wine at night. I just felt like crap all of the time. I still managed to work out because it relieved stress, but I was struggling with what to actually put in my body to make it feel better.
Finally, this past March I decided it was time for some real change. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired! I decided to dive into a nutritional cleansing program that a friend had mentioned to me a year earlier. I only wish I didn't ignore her Facebook message for a whole year! It would have saved me another year of feeling tired and stressed all of time.
So Mike and I started on of this year and within a week not only were we down 6-7 pounds, but we felt better than we had in years. Not only did I not need my morning cup of coffee but my sugar cravings were gone. For once I was getting up before my oldest daughter, and getting things done in the morning before the kids were even dressed. I began making some time for myself before the day really started. The morning rush was less stressful. My workouts became more enjoyable. They weren't about burning the calories I had eaten the night before because I knew I had eaten a good healthy meal. That wine glass that often called my name wasn't needed anymore. And I didn't even miss it!
By the end of the 30 days Mike was down 22 pounds and 23 inches and to my surprise I had lost 14 pounds and 19 inches. We seriously couldn't believe how easy it was to follow and we weren't miserable! I had only planned on losing 8-10 pounds or so but the weight loss wasn't even the best part of it for me, it was more about the energy I had, the calmness I felt throughout the day and the feeling that I could tackle anything and still have energy for my kids when they came home from school.
I have a thin frame to begin with so results on me are not as noticeable but my clothes finally fit like they should, I definitely leaned out and lost inches, even my skin looks better but again for me it's more about the energy and strength I now have. And my husband, well he looks about 15 years younger! He had an amazing transformation!
Today we continue on these products because we love the way they make us feel. It's now more about fueling our bodies for energy. And it's not like we don't eat "bad" food ever or don't have wine, we still do, just not nearly as much because certain foods and things aren't as appealing. When we do indulge, we don't feel guilty, we just continue on a maintenance plan of these products and know we're giving our bodies the best nutrition we can.
In addition, I now have made it a mission to help my children eat better and encourage them to make healthy choices to help fuel their bodies. I always tell my girls it's not about being large or small, skinny or fat, it's about being healthy. I have more energy to focus on giving them healthier snacks when they come home from school and actually want to take the time to come up with healthy meals to start their school day off right. It's not always easy, but for the first time, it's really important to me and I already see the difference in their attitude and behaviors.
People have asked me why?
"Why did you need to start a cleanse and nutrition program?"
"You were already so healthy and thin."
At the age of 36 with 3 young children, I can definitely say I am healthier both physically and mentally than I was as a Division 1 college athlete. I finally feel like I have a purpose. I'm not just getting through the day so I can just make it to bed that night. Now I'm having fun helping others feel the same way. We have one life to live here on earth, one body to live in. Why not treat our bodies the best we can? It really all starts with nutrition.