Uncategorized

It’s been a while…

So, it’s been a while since I’ve last posted. Since then, I’ve done quite a few things in regards to my health journey. I managed to complete the Ultimate Reset for a second time, completed a program I never thought I would ever want to do (hello Shift Shop), I did Shaun T Week, I finished CDF for a second time and I am almost done with 8 weeks of PiYo…and it’s been awesome. I’ve managed to keep the 14lbs I lost on the Ultimate Reset off instead of gaining it all back. I learned that, despite what my dermatologist and PCP told me, I DO have a sensitivity to dairy – I’ve kept dairy out of my food intake for the past two months and the rash I had on my hand has magically disappeared. It reappeared once during that time, and it was when I made zucchini cheese bread and ate a few pieces. I did four rounds of heavy antibiotics with two rounds of heavy steroids and that didn’t even scratch the surface of my rash. I’ve also remained a vegetarian for the most part. I’ve had salmon and a little chicken in the past two months. I don’t care for it much anymore and the vegetarian/vegan substitutes I’ve found I really enjoy – so do my kids – so it’s a win-win!

However, this post isn’t about my health journey – not so much. I’ve contemplated for a while posting this, because it is extremely, extremely personal and may be triggering to some of the people reading my post. So, I am going to put a TRIGGER WARNING right now. My post is going to talk about suicide and my personal story about it. So, if you would be triggered in any way, shape or form reading about suicide, please, do not continue.

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I’ve never talked about my suicide attempt online, or really in person; except for a few people. My husband, and that’s about it. And even he doesn’t really know all of the details. I feel it’s important to talk about this because many people that follow me and read about my life and my health journey with Beachbody see where I am, a year LATER (well, almost! September 6th). A lot of people assume I have this peachy life, a SAHM that has her shit together. I make my homemade meals and I keep my home organized; my kids get to school on time and get their homework done. They’re all bright, well-rounded kids that are sweet, respectful and amazing. I work out every day, I drink my Shakeology. I hold myself (and others) accountable for their health journey. I have an amazing husband that literally, is the most amazing man I’ve ever had the opportunity to know. And we get to live this life together, sharing our love, comforting each other, watching our three kids grow.
What y’all might not see, is where I was, in March of 2012. The end of March and beginning of April are always hard for me. My dad’s birthday is April 3rd and having to “celebrate” his birthday without him always hits close to home for me. Sometimes it’s worse than the actual anniversary of his death (8/8/08). I attribute this to never really dealing with my dad’s death. I was almost 9 months pregnant with my second child and had a 15 month old as well. I had spent years of my life in therapy, in and out of hospitals, residential treatment centers, to deal with my eating disorder. To deal with my drug use. To deal with self-harm. I surely didn’t want to go to therapy to talk about my father’s death. Talking about why I hate eating and why I cut myself was a lot easier than having to be emotional about my father’s death. Besides, I was just angry. I’m still angry.
In February of 2012, my ex-husband and I were fighting a lot more than usual. We weren’t getting along. We weren’t really talking. We were having a lot of financial problems. I was the only one working, two jobs. He couldn’t hold down a job – whether that be because he was too hungover the next day to go to work, or he just didn’t feel like going in, or his favorite excuse, he was going to “go back to school.” So, it was up to me, to take care of our 4 and 3 year old, make sure my 4 year old went to his therapies and had his therapists come to our home (my ex husband didn’t think there was anything wrong with our son, so, he didn’t feel like therapy was necessary), go to school full time and go to work full time between my two jobs. I felt overwhelmed. I felt sad. I was scared for my future. I didn’t want my children to see their mother so unhappy. I wanted them to have the kind of childhood I had; I don’t remember much of it, but I do know that my parents loved us and each other very much. Their relationship was such a rare sight. They genuinely really loved each other. I wanted my children to see that. I wanted my daughter to see how a man should love a woman. I wanted my son to see how a man should treat his wife. In my current situation, that wasn’t ever going to happen. My ex husband and I were not capable of doing that together.
I felt trapped. I couldn’t breathe. My anxiety and OCD was going through the roof. I felt like there was no end in sight and I would be stuck in this ridiculous, vicious cycle forever. All of the coping tools I had in my belt went out the window. I just didn’t give a shit anymore. I wasn’t important. Life wasn’t important. What hurts me the most (reflecting back), is that I didn’t even feel like I was worthy of my children. I was damaged goods, and that’s all I’d ever be. I felt hopeless. I felt dark. And at times, I felt absolutely nothing.  I went through the motions every day. I put that fake smile on my face. I took care of my children and my ex husband like a good wife and mother, even though silently and ever so slowly, I was dying inside. I felt like I had no one to talk to. My dad was dead, my ex husband couldn’t care less about me, and when I tried to call my mother, over and over and over, she just didn’t answer. The three people that were supposed to help me, were supposed to love me unconditionally, just weren’t there, and that made me go to a place that I never thought was imaginable for me. I’ve been depressed before, I’ve wanted to die before; I’d made plans before. I was always able to crawl out of that hole though. I was always able to muster up just a little more energy to not follow through.
Not on March 23, 2012. A lot of the events are fuzzy, because the medication I took was a sleep and anxiety aid, and I took a lot of it. My ex husband had woken me up from sleeping (the first time in probably 3 or 4 days), yelling at me about something, I don’t remember what exactly now. He was just so angry with me. The kids were still sleeping, it was about 6:30am. He went into the living room and I locked our bedroom door, then our bathroom door. Something in me snapped. I tried calling my mom; I needed someone to talk to. Someone to cry to. To ask if my life was always going to be like this. She had gotten a new boyfriend a few weeks prior to this incident, and I later found out she was with him, while I was trying to call. I know I shouldn’t feel resentment for that, but I do. I resent her a lot for that. She probably doesn’t deserve that, and I’d never tell her that, but I can’t help but feel how I feel. When she didn’t answer the phone, I found my medication. I didn’t care anymore. I wanted this to be over. I wanted to sleep forever and never wake up. I took the entire bottle of my medication and walked into the living room. I told my ex husband to please tell the kids I love them. I walked into the backyard and I just sat on the ground, looking at the sky. Following the clouds. It took my ex husband a few minutes to figure out what I had done, and I remember him telling me, “you need to go make yourself throw up now” while he was on the phone with the ambulance. I didn’t want to go to the hospital, and when the cops came with the ambulance, I found them off. I was put in restraints in the back of the ambulance. I wanted nothing to do with the EMS, or hospital staff. When I got to the hospital I had to drink charcoal to help with the medication I took. It was one of the most vile things I’ve ever had to drink. I was so angry I was in the hospital. And I got even more angry when I was put in the adult psych unit. I’d been in there many times as a teenager in the adolescent wing because of my eating disorder (back then, Asheville didn’t have a lot of the resources they thankfully do now in regards to those with eating disorders. If you weren’t “sick enough” for UNC-Chapel Hill, you were put into a psych ward to help get your levels managed.)
I tried to opt to just go home, I played it off like I just took a few extra sleeping pills because I hadn’t slept in days (which, was partially true – and definitely could have aided in my thought process on this day). I had to be in the psych unit for at least 72 hours, and then the psychiatrist would determine if I was well enough, or not a danger to myself or others. I was stuck in there for six days. While in there, I didn’t talk much. I didn’t get close to anyone. I just wanted to get home. I had a lot of time to reflect while I was in there. I had a lot of time to think and reevaluate my decisions. But, being in there was necessary. I didn’t think it was at the time, and I hated that it wasn’t my decision when I could leave, but it is what it is.
When I got home, my kids didn’t really understand what had happened. Thankfully, they were young enough not to remember any of it. When and if they ask about suicide, I plan to be honest and talk in age-appropriate language. I have a 5th grader and a 3rd grader and an almost 3 year old – my 3rd and 5th grader are right around the age that my eating disorder took a huge turn for the worse, as did my self-harm. I wouldn’t say I am ashamed of what I did – I am angry with myself for what I did. I am angry that I couldn’t just deal with my situation-it scares me sometimes that I could get to that low point in my life. My ex husband hardly said anything to me, and in September of that year, we separated, after eight years of being together. It was perhaps one of the best things to happen in my life.
So, why did I just write all of this? Why did I just tell y’all something so extremely personal? A few reasons. 1) this was mainly for me. Being able to talk about it and make it real, it’s the first time I’ve felt a little relief. I’m an emotional person, but I hardly show emotion – unless I feel really comfortable with you – and even then – it’s hard to talk. Writing is much easier for me. I can get my thoughts out and not be interrupted. I can re read what I’ve typed to make sure it’s conveying what I truly want to say. Speaking for me is too quick, and I often get off track. 2) just because you see someone that looks like they have a great life, don’t underestimate what they’ve gone through, or what they are currently going through. I push myself and continue to stay focused on my health journey because it’s a priority of mine. A top priority. I’ve seen what happens to me when I allow myself to take care of absolutely everyone else before I even scratch the surface on myself. It’s not fair, it’s not right, and I won’t allow it anymore. 3) I am proof that if you want something badly enough, you will make it happen. It won’t always be easy. It will almost always be hard. It will ALWAYS be worth it. I’m sharing this part of my story of my life, because maybe, it’ll inspire or help someone reading this. My past doesn’t hold me back anymore; it’s simply a reminder of how far I’ve honestly come. 4) there are still days that I struggle, and struggle hard with depression and mania. Sometimes I’ll have so much energy I need to stay up all night; my brain just won’t stop. Some days, I’m so sad I don’t want to get out of bed or be around people. The difference now, is that I have better coping skills. And I use those coping skills. I have healthier ways to cope. I have people that I can genuinely talk to, if I need to. I have people in my life that mean something to me, and I actually mean something to them. I am important. I am loved. And, I believe it.

 

****IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW ARE HAVING SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE: THE NATIONAL SUICIDE HOTLINE IS: 1-888-273-8255****

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Ultimate Reset from Beach Body, Uncategorized

The Ultimate Reset is D.O.N.E!!!! . . .

So, you guys, I DID IT! I DID IT! I completed the Ultimate Reset with absolutely NO cheats. No coffee, no wine, I followed the plan to a T. And GUESS WHAT?! It worked! Was it hard? HELL YES. Was it worth it? I can’t even begin to describe how worth it was!

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My first coffee in almost a month! It was DELICIOUS and I feel like I can fly to the moon!!!!

As most of you know, I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for a very, very long time. My entire life has always revolved around food – in a negative light. As a way to deal with my feelings, emotions and my life. When something was hard, I turned to food – but not consuming it – I would starve myself and punish myself for things going wrong in my life. I have never learned how to deal with life without using food as a crutch. As young as five, I was comparing myself to others, wondering why they were happy and I wasn’t. Obviously at five, it wasn’t about weight loss, but it was about control. And at five, my parents were none the wiser because it was “typical” for a kid to be “picky” with their food. So, it became a habit of mine to refuse food as a way of comfort and control over something in my life.

Being in and out of treatment centers and hospitals during my childhood, teen years and young adult life really took away so many years of my life. I have so many regrets. A main regret in my life is not getting my act together before my father died. I look back and think about all of the months and years I was away from my dad because of my eating disorder. I’ll never get those years or months back. I left AMA from my last treatment center because my dad was diagnosed with cancer. We didn’t know what was wrong with him for over a year, and a week after I got home from Avalon Hills, he got his diagnosis. Two days after that, a very, very dear friend of mine passed away at 17. It was a very, very hard home-coming. I resorted back to my eating disorder to deal with the pain, anxiety and overwhelming emotions that came with all of this news so suddenly. My daddy, the strongest man I had ever known, had cancer. A rare type of cancer. He fought for so long and never gave up. He was my rock. I’m not a very emotional person, and I don’t open up to people hardly ever, but this man was someone I could talk to and not feel judged. I felt nothing but love and acceptance, and in the blink of an eye, he was gone. He never got to meet my first daughter, Ryleigh, because he passed away exactly a month before she was born. He got to spend 15 months with my first born, Daniel, and made so many wonderful memories. He never got to meet my last daughter, Khloe. My kids will never have their kick-ass, metal music loving, head-banging grandpa. My husband will never get to meet the man that taught me how true love should feel. I keep him in my daily life by talking about him, by bringing him up when an Iron Maiden song comes on, by teaching my youngest how to head-bang (just like my daddy did when I was a little girl – he never wanted me to cut my hair, so I could head-bang for him, because he never could grow out his 80’s hair metal long hair like he always wanted t0). It’s been a little over eight years since my dad died. You’re not supposed to bury your parent when you’re 20 years old. I had so much left to show him. I had so many things to tell him. I had grandbabies for him to love on and see how good of a mom I am. I’m not religious or spiritual at all, but I know he’s around. Little things like looking at a clock and seeing ‘8:08’ (he passed on 8/8/08 – I was born on 2/28/88 at 8:58; 8 is kind of my number), or thinking of him and when I turn the car on, “Run To the Hills” is already playing, I always say, “hey dad, love you too.”
I’m explaining this, because during the Ultimate Reset, it taught me a lot. It taught me that I spent so many years of my life trying to “make up” for everything I did in my past. That may sound crazy to some, but it makes sense to me. During the UR, it’s not just a detox from harmful toxins and chemicals that are in our drinking water, in our food choices, etc. It’s also a detox from hurtful emotions, learning about how your body really works, choosing to make good eating decisions, and not giving up on yourself. There were times where I just wanted a damn cup of coffee. Or a yummy piece of Double Bubble bubblegum. OR A PIECE OF STEAK. But I refrained, because I wanted to let myself know that I am strong enough. I have the will-power to choose not to put unhealthy things in my body. But it’s a DIFFERENT will-power than before with anorexia. THAT’S the biggest change. I have will-power, but it’s not being used NEGATIVELY. I’m not depriving myself of healthy food. I’m not looking at an apple the same way as a candy bar. And that. is. HUGE. for me. I made a promise to my dad when he was in the hospital for the last time, when they told us she had maybe 3 months to live (he made it 6 weeks). I went to visit him and we talked for hours. I was pregnant with Ryleigh at the time, and he told me, “Kris, I wish you could see how beautiful you really are. You’re the most beautiful woman I know. I wish you saw the value in yourself.” I have never seen my father cry. He told me once, when I was at my first residential treatment center  (Renfrew), that after he and my mom dropped me off there, he went in the shower, sat down and cried because he felt so powerless. He couldn’t help his little girl. I promised him right then and there, that I would try my hardest to learn to love myself and be proud of myself. I promised him I’d find a way to love myself and take care of myself. Having that alone time with him, that one on one time, despite being in the hospital, was something that needed to happen in my life. It was like my good-bye to him. He passed away 4 days after my parents 24th wedding anniversary, after re-proposing to my mom (to a sweet Judas Priest song – just like my dad to bring include a kick-ass band) at the beach for our last family vacation ever. He passed away 8 hours away from me. I remember my mom calling me and telling me he was gone. I was sitting on my couch, holding my son, pregnant with my daughter, and my mom calls me and tells me he passed away. The feeling I felt right then, it never goes away. People say time heals things, that’s a load of crap. No amount of positive thinking will fix how I feel about my dad’s death. My dad was one of the best men on this Earth. He’d give you the shirt off his back regardless of knowing you or not. He was an amazing family man, that cooked and cleaned and took care of my brother and me. He worked 12-14 hours a day, never complaining. Hell, his job had to tell him to STAY HOME when he was going through chemo because he wanted to work, because he was worried about medical bills. He didn’t want my mom, brother and I to suffer. I feel like he held on so long for us. The type of cancer he had, wiped out his RBC, WBC, platelets, everything. He was running on virtually nothing, yet, he was still getting up, welcoming the day and getting things done. That’s just who he was. Always on the go. And I’m proud to say that I have that amazing quality of his; always on the go, getting shit done.

The Ultimate Reset has been an amazing, amazing journey. A lot of people kept telling me how much self-control I had to stay away from certain foods, to follow a strict diet, meal plan and prep, etc. I’ve been following a pretty strict regemin since September, so it was easy for me to just look at it that way. And, it was only for 3 weeks. I made it through going to friends houses for parties, going out to eat, etc. I believed in myself that I could do this program, and it worked. IT WORKED.

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My LAST day (yesterday) of the Ultimate Reset! 

I didn’t start this program to lose weight – because losing a massive amount of weight in a short amount of time isn’t effective. It just isn’t. Losing weight is part of the process though, because you are detoxing from so many different things. You slowly take out meat, dairy and grains from your diet – three of the most irritating ingredients for your GI tract. Then, over 3 weeks, you slowly re-introduce those food items to your diet, and figure out (if) which foods you should avoid or consume less of. I wanted to do this program so I could get out of a plauteu and jump-start the next program I am going to do – 21 Day Fix EXTREME! I had finished CDF about a week before doing the Ultimate Reset, and that program took A LOT out of me. It was a TOUGH, although very rewarding, program. I knew my body needed a break and with the Ultimate Reset, doing strenuous exercising isn’t ‘allowed’, so I have been doing the 3 week yoga retreat. It was the perfect time to do this.

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I weigh myself more than I probably should, and that is something that I continue to work on.

One of the toughest things for me during the UR was not being able to taste food I’ve cooked or baked for my family and other people. I hate not knowing what my food tastes like before I serve it to people. So, I had to constantly remind myself not to lick the spoon (or my fingers, lol) while making food. Another big thing was gum. I LOVE GUM (I think I’ve mentioned this a few times, hah) and I have two huge tubs, plus two big bags, next to my bed. Those sat there the ENTIRE three weeks and I didn’t even have ONE. Hell, yesterday Khloe fell asleep in the Tula while I walked to get the kiddos from school, and she never naps, so I decided to take the kids to Dunkin’ to get a donut so she could nap a little more. The guy at the counter asked if I wanted my regular coffee, and I say, “no, not today” and he looks at me like I have 4 heads. It was so easy to just say no, instead of giving in. Some people on the UR cheat and have coffee, or have a cheat meal and I just couldn’t do it. I spent a lot of money on a program that I intended to finish and not cave and give into things that I KNOW will be there AFTER the program. But, I did have a small coffee today! I rewarded myself for not caving.

I plan on following the meal plan I have been on for the next 3 weeks, with a few added things like lean meats and some grains. I think I will leave dairy out for quite a bit longer. I plan on finishing the 3 week yoga retreat (I have 6 days left of that) and then diving into the 21 DFX.

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The top three across are on January 11th, when I started. The second three across are from January 18th and the third row across are from today, on day 22. 

So, now, here are my results. I lost a total of 12.2 pounds and 22.5″ all over (10″ of that was just in my hips, waist and chest alone). And I GAINED self-confidence. I’m at a place now where I don’t feel like I need to lose weight. I need to tone up and embrace the shape that I have now. I’m not focused on the number anymore, and I plan (okay, I hope, because this is hard and always has been for me) on having the scale be put away from today until March 1st. I want to focus on how I FEEL and how my clothes FIT. Not so much the number on the scale. I’m at a healthy BMI for my height and weight. I need to focus on those aspects and not the number. I AM HEALTHY. And I did it the RIGHT WAY.

If you’re thinking about doing the Ultimate Reset, or really, any Beachbody program, whether that be the 21 Day Fix, PiYo, yoga, Core De Force, or you just want to be healthier, you want to commit to something bigger than yourself – DO IT. No one says “damn, I wish I never had worked out” after completing a work out. You should be proud of yourself that you want to commit to something – and do something for yourself. You should be proud for putting yourself first. So many of us put everyone before ourselves, and we tend to get lost in life picking up after everyone. YOU deserve happiness. YOU deserve to feel good about yourself. And YOU most DEFINITELY deserve to LOVE yourself. Dude, if I can do this, YOU CAN, TOO. It’s not easy, but nothing in life is easy that is worth it. As cliche as that sounds – it’s completely true.

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The top three across are from September 6, 2016, when I started my journey with Beachbody and Shakeology. The bottom three across are from today, February 1st. Almost 5 months to the day. This is from doing 3 rounds of the 21 Day Fix, 1 round of Core De Force, and the Ultimate Reset.

It’s hard to post these photos. I still have a ways to go to get more toned and more muscle, but I am putting these photos out here because they are REAL. They are ME. REAL results from REAL people doing things the HEALTHY way. I’m PROUD of how far I have come in such a short amount of time. I’ve been inspiring people to take charge of their health and learn to love themselves. THAT is why I became a coach. My whole life, I’ve been the one friend anyone could come to and talk to, and not feel judged. I’ve done way too much in my life to judge anyone. If I can help people to get motivated and STAY motivated, that’s a win for me. If I can help people love themselves and be PROUD of themselves, that’s a win.

My mind-set has changed ten-fold since starting the Ultimate Reset. People said that there would be raw emotions that just pop up out of no where and you kinda just have to embrace them. Well, today’s one of those days. And it feels damn good to be able to share with people my struggles, my successes, my failures and my progress.

I’m wearing jeans today I haven’t worn in over 6 years AND I feel comfortable in them! It’s an amazing feeling. I look in the mirror and see some definition. I look in the mirror, and most importantly, I’m learning to love what I see, every single day. That’s my motivation. That’s my self-control. There’s nothing magical about it – I’m striving to keep that promise to my daddy – to learn to love myself, do things in moderation, and never lose my sense of self-worth.

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