A story I feel compelled to reiterate in more detail is my fitness journey. My story still goes back to 2015 but it goes back a little bit further than where I originally started in my previous post.
2015 was the year I returned from my full-time missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latte- Day Saints. I had been gone from home for 18 months, and I had quite a few plans in mind of some things I wanted to experience and accomplish upon returning home. I got home March 3rd, and from the get go… Things were already spiraling in like 30 different directions and the adjustment period I had expected upon returning home was nothing like what I experienced (but that’s a story for another day). 14 days after I returned home, I went on a date with the man I would marry, which was REALLY not what I had in mind. I had no idea when we were making plans for this date, which was supposed to be just a trail ride and not even a date (but after we rode for 3 hours, we just couldn’t stop talking and he let me tell him all about my mission, and we just connected on so many things in so many ways it was unreal! Like seriously it is the stuff of rom-coms and romance novels I tell you…) I joke that if my husband hadn’t looked so good on my horse, we never would have had a second date, but that’s really not true. Ours is one of those relationships that is just very much meant to be and therefore it is.
Fast forward through our courtship where everything just felt right, and we just couldn’t wait to be together after a summer of me working in Texas and he in Wyoming, and we are trying to live in the moment but also plan for the future… and all those plans and dreams I had for myself when I got home were now the furthest thing from my present reality or even near future…. The things I wanted to do when I got home weren’t even that grandiose or uncommon, but they weren’t that simple either.
- I wanted to go back to school at Utah State to become a physical therapist or a chiropractor.
- I wanted to start training horses semi-professionally.
- I wanted to go on a back-packing trip through Europe, and study abroad if I could.
Those were the main few things I wanted to get into, or experience before moving onto my ultimate dream of wife life and then motherhood… But again, everything with my spouse just felt right and good, and like this was where God was leading me and I never once doubted this was the right course for me.
It wasn’t until after we were married for like… 2 months or less that I finally recognized how much of myself I had been giving up to put our relationship, his needs, my family’s expectations, etc. first and I was pent up with anger and resentment….
I was so upset that I had let my need to please people and try to make everyone around me happy that I had made their wants and needs so much more important than pleasing myself, or making the things I cared about a priority in my own life. That resentment then turned into a food addiction, and super unhealthy emotional eating habits that led me to sabotage my health, gain 45 extra lbs, and completely lose touch with myself for like… 2 years. It SUCKED!!! For 2 years I did not like myself, my marriage, or like 90% of my life situation….
I’m not saying that I didn’t have any happiness at all. I had some really good moments in those years for sure! I had a fantastic job with amazing co-workers. I made good friends with people I met through my husbands job…. It was not always a total shit storm of angst and sadness. I wasn’t severely depressed or anything medically major like that, but it certainly wasn’t the fulfilling and satisfying life I had imagined for myself and I was truly sad about it ALL THE TIME, but never said so out loud.
- I wasn’t going to school or pursuing my education. I had put that on the back burner as a sacrifice to not have to live apart from my husband for the first little bit of our marriage.
- I wasn’t training horses, or even riding my own horse except maybe 1 time every other month, because he was 3 hours away from where I was living, and that stayed the same for a good long while for this horse loving girl who’d already been away from horses for over 18 months at this point.
- I also wasn’t anywhere near going to Europe, or any sort of vacation, except back to visit my mission (which I’m not complaining about because it was awesome to see everyone that I got to visit and stuff) but….
You can only give up so much of the things that light your soul on fire before you just want to physically burn everything around you and run away! Far, far away! To run to that place where you think you left yourself. Or just run out and find something that makes you feel passionate, fulfilled, excited, valued and appreciated.
As it turns out… I didn’t have to run anywhere for to find that “thing” I was looking for. Although I did go through a phase where I was running like every day, and doing 5k races which was fun but it’s besides the point… Turns out that place I was “running” to was motherhood.
I can honestly say the absolute number 1 thing I have ALWAYS wanted to be and have in my life (even more than horses…) is to be a mother. I hear so many… SO MANY women talk about how they felt so lost when they had a baby, or they didn’t even recognize themselves anymore after they had a kid. For me, having my son had the opposite effect.
I (for the first time in 2 years) felt fulfillment, even among all that super fun postpartum hormonal crap, anxiety attacks, lack of sleep, my emergency appendectomy 18 days after a c-section (super fun story you can read about here)…. But I loved it!!! I felt so proud of my body for the first time in a long time! I was proud that I had been able to create this beautiful baby boy within my own body, and that we’d made it through our crazy labor experience and that we got to be mother and son… I felt so much confidence in being a mother that I had not felt in aaaaggggggeeeessss!!!! And it was liberating! It was empowering! And I wanted to feel more of that in my life, in every way possible.
I knew I needed to keep this momentum of confidence, self esteem, and personal pride going, and I knew that would happen by getting my health in order.
My solution to that goal came from my husbands aunt, Carrie, who had been rocking her own health and fitness journey for about 3 or more years. Now back in 2015 I had actually worked with her before, enjoyed it, and even tried my hand at coaching myself and doing what she was doing (to lead and mentor others to start their health journeys), but…
- A) I was super unhappy with my life during that time, even with the extra exercise and improved nutrition.
- B) I was working full time, and even though I was seeing results and finding a titch of fulfillment in being in her groups and learning to do what she does… I found a “valid” (aka totally lame) excuse to quit and then went on my un-merry way to where I was when I saw her Facebook post about on New Years Eve of 2017 about a “New Year, New You” boot camp.
I didn’t even hesitate to message her and say, “I want to do this with you.” I got the green light from my husband to spend the money to get re-started, and boom! The rest really is history…
It’s now November of 2018, and I’m happy to say I’m still going strong on this journey. It has had its ups and downs, just like everything we experience, but I’ve now lost over 30 lbs, I still feel those feelings of pride and accomplishment, and I’ve been able to help some of my closet friends and family get started too, and also some people who are fast becoming some of my dearest friends because we are in this together!
To be able to help others change their lives and health for the better, and take more ownership of their health journey has brought a lot of the fulfillment and sense of purpose I was missing by putting all my big things on the back burner to support and please others before myself.
Because of this coaching opportunity, I know one day soon I’ll be able to afford that trip to Europe, to dedicate more time to riding and training horses, and to finishing my education. I know this is the gateway for me to accomplish all my big dreams, and I am so grateful I was brave enough to say “Yes!” again! It’s work to be a coach, and to build a business, but I firmly believe in this process, and this is an amazing way to achieve success and growth in all aspects of your life!
I’d just like to say that what I really want everyone who reads this post to understand is:
You are in fact your own WORST ENEMY. You CANNOT please everyone, but you can please yourself and you should! You deserve to be happy. That’s really what we all want anyway, is to be truly happy. You will not be happy by sacrificing everything that you are interested in, or love, or care about because you think it’ll make someone else happy or grateful. The people around you probably won’t even realize what you’re doing anyways, and they’ll just be annoyed that you’re in a mood all the time because you’re so flippin’ dissatisfied with your life…. Because of the choices that YOU made! They never asked you to do so in the first place, so you’re causing your own problems… So just don’t.
Please… Do yourself and all those that you care for a favor and PUT YOURSELF FIRST in the right ways. Do NOT give up the things that light your soul on fire. Don’t put your dreams on the back burner if you don’t really need to. There’s a quote that says something like, “Be relentless in pursuit of your dreams” and I say “100% amen, and hallelujah!” to that because it will bring you more joy and satisfaction than sitting on your ass, trying to do the impossible (aka please everyone but yourself) ever will.
We are all here on this earth to have joy, y’all.
So my friends…. If you are in a place like I was a year ago, or even 3 years ago… I hope you do the work to achieve what you want, regardless of your current situation. You really can do it! And I can’t wait to watch it happen for you!
I hope this story has helped you in some way, and I hope to hear from some of you who read this, about how you’re making your big awesome dreams happen, and how you’re living your best lives!!!
Until next time,