Until I was diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue, I thought I was invisible. I am not Wonder Woman, and this is okay because we can’t do it all.
Day 83: Build on Your Successes
Look at what has worked well for you in the past, and do more of that. Identify and leverage your strengths. Be willing to learn from your ‘failures,” too — but refuse to wallow in them. Revolutionary Act #83, powered by Experience Life
My friend: “I have been slacking with all 3 kids sick. Then, the week before I wasn’t feeling great.”
Me: “Don’t worry….you’ll be just as good when you go next. As soon as we get our next child(ren) I’ll be in your same boat. I’ve just learned to embrace it rather than stress over it.”
This was a recent conversation I had with a friend. It brought me back to seasons of life and how I’ve learned that fitness and working out now cycles with the family season I’m in.
Let’s back up.
Working out and fitness was (sadly) almost my whole life just prior to Samarah. Ryan and I rarely missed a day in the gym and typically spent no less than 60-90 minutes while there. Admittedly, I even had multiple 2-a-day workouts.
Samarah came so suddenly that it never really occurred to me that that part of my life would have to change. Because I resisted it, I desperately tried to not embrace the change.
Each day I was (literally) sleeping no more than 6 hours, tending to our angel preemie Samarah around the clock, working and still going to the gym pushing limits every chance I got. By now, you all know that this ended in the diagnosis of severe adrenal fatigue (almost a year ago to the day this happened), but what you don’t know is that a few months prior to the diagnosis, I had a complete meltdown with my trainer at the gym.
I was exhausted. Working out was no longer fun, and the truth is that I never wanted to be in the gym anymore. Not only was I not making any fitness progress, but due to the state of my health, I had severely regressed in ways I was embarrassed by.
I basically “quit” for a very long time. I went to Bikram off and on. I stretched at home. I did some winter (while healing) workouts. I went for walks. Beyond that, nothing really. I planned no races. I had no goals.
What did I learn? This was okay. And – gasp – I was not a better or worse person because of it. Fitness and working out didn’t make or break the person I was.
Time went by, I got stronger and in the process my gut began to heal and the SIBO cleared. The baby was now about 1.5 years old, sleeping (thus I was sleeping – 8+ hours a night), growing and thriving.
Shortly before Samarah’s 2nd birthday, I had the urge to dive back in. I was strong enough to train – physically and mentally. I told you about this for the first time in my first Spartan race.
I trained hard, and then I conquered my first Spartan race.
What I didn’t tell you in either of those Spartan posts is that I knew that shortly after the race was over, we could be nearing the time when our new child(ren) will arrive. Couple that with the decision to stay home full-time with them, and I knew deep down that a new season is about to begin, leaving this one behind.
This time around, I’m wiser and stronger. I no longer feel so defined by my physical capabilities in the gym, on the course or on the track. Instead, I feel peace in knowing that it’s okay to not do it all and to embrace a resting and nesting period my body and family will crave.
My sister-in-law (very timely) posted this on her Facebook last night,
So far I have worked from 6:25 am to 7:00 pm (and still working)…. How do you mom’s fit “me” time “workout time” in?
In the beginning, that used to eat at me like nothing else. And so I’d do what everyone else said to do, “get up earlier” or “stay up later.” If not? I felt guilt because society continues to tell us that, as moms, we need to do it all and look good while doing it all.
Peace and Real Health
These days I am left with nothing but peace and (likely) much more health than ever before.
Being healthy and achieving lofty fitness goals are two very different things. We can and we should pursue real health 100% of the time, but this is a stand alone and not a conditional based on how thin or how fit we are.
As women, as moms, we need to embrace the current life season while trusting and knowing that we just can’t possibly do it all, all at the same time.
I promise that if you can learn from my mistakes, you will not just survive, but you will thrive.
p.s. Don’t take this post to mean that when life gets crazy I don’t do any sort of activity because that could not be further from the truth. Instead, I work with the season vs. against it, and this is how I am able to dive into any sort of vigorous training program so easily once I’m ready, willing and able. I will be sharing many ideas and ways to do this during the 21-Day New Year, Wellness You Program. Spaces are filling fast! Sign up HERE today!
p.s.s. In the meantime, if you want ideas for simple and easy things to do at home for the month of December, check this out –> Join Greatist and Fitbit’s 30-Day Just-Do-Something Challenge. I am!
To get involved in the #MyRevAct campaign, follow @ExperienceLifeMag on Instagram and post your own revolutionary ways to be healthy using #myrevact. In the meantime, read the best in healthy living at ExperienceLife.com.
You will heal. I will help.