Update! New Years Resolution 6 Months Later...
Back in January, I wrote to you with a confessional. I had recently made some HUGE changes in my life- I had moved my family to a new state, I had started full time building a business, and I was in a new town, away from all of the resources and routines I had relied on to stay healthy. It was overwhelming, to say the least. And I wrote to you then about how, in this time of intense transition, I was so busy taking care of everyone else, that I stopped taking care of myself. I let fear and overwhelm take over, and I stopped doing so many of the things I need to do to manage my health.
You see, living with an autoimmune disorder or any kind of chronic illness requires constant vigilance in order to feel good. And I learned this the hard way. I stopped exercising every day because I told myself I didn't have time, that I had more important things to do. I stopped focusing on eating healthy, and instead, I focused on what was easily available, even though I knew it didn't serve me. I stopped carving out time for important self-care techniques, like foam rolling, because it felt hard and like it was an unnecessary use of my time. Instead, I just wanted to plop on the couch and watch tv before bed. I told myself that I deserved to relax because life was so stressful.
But I was wrong. I didn't "deserve" to relax and loosen up the reins. Because what happened was that, without staying on top of my healthy lifestyle, my health quickly deteriorated. I started having more frequent flare-ups. My pain and fatigue was back. I felt sore and uncomfortable all the time. So- by giving myself the space to take my eye off the ball, I actually paid a very big price.
I have learned my lesson, and I have spent the last 6 months working hard to get my health back. As I committed to you in January, this was not just a new years resolution, this was a lifestyle resolution. Never again can I take my eye off the prize of health.
And let me tell you- it was hard work to get it back.
Making time in my daily life for self-care was hard, especially when I always felt there were so many other demands on my time.
Exercise is hard work, especially if you are starting from scratch like I was. It's uncomfortable and difficult, and really challenges you both mentally and physically.
Eating healthy is a struggle- having to say no to things I love (like chocolate chip cookies and ice cream) is hard, especially when everyone around me says yes.
Taking time to foam roll at night, to breathe deeply during the day, to go to bed early- none of this is for the faint of heart.
But it is oh so worth it. Every second of the hard work is paying off. It's not perfect, I still face daily challenges, but I have come so far.
I have lost weight, gained muscle, and I can feel my strength daily as I carry my groceries or throw my kids around in the pool.
I have gained confidence again- knowing that I can stick to a resolution and not give up halfway, even when it got really difficult.
I have gained true insight into myself and I have learned to say yes only to the things that are truly healthy for me.
I have more energy to get through my day, with a happy cheerful mood.
And most of all, I am proud of myself for finding my inner north star again.
These types of realizations don't happen quickly. They have come from 6 months of starting, failing, starting again, failing again... but not giving up. Sacrifices were made, tears were shed, but somehow, I made it through 6 months, and I am so much better for it.
In the next post, I will be talking to you about the 6 components of healthy living that I practice everyday (and hint hint- exercise is the first one!!!) So stay tuned!