Meet Michelle

My journey into fitness began a long time ago … 2009 to be exact (photo above = 2009 vs 2012)

If you had asked me what my story was then, you’d have gotten something like:

“I just love to run and exercise and eat good food! And this is my body when I do it! I get a huge endorphin rush and I look and feel awesome all the time, everyone should do it and there’s no excuses for why you can’t.”

Fast forward to 2014, the birth of my beautiful baby boy, Asher.

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July 30, 2014

I was going to be the mom who did it all natural. No drugs. Beautiful vaginal birth with no tearing and who just accepted the pain and breathed through it because I knew I was strong and capable.

He was born July 30th 2014 via C-Section; I never even went into labour.

I felt like my body gave up on me. I felt like a failure from the start. My body didn’t do what I felt it was designed to do, and I felt robbed.

This was the start of my depression.

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I didn’t give up on my fitness though. My next “mom goal” was to be a fit mom. The hot mom. The mom who had abs immediately after birth. *hint … I didn’t*

So I walked. I used babywearing as an exercise, having my boy born in the summer was amazing because I could just be outside, and since he was colicky and could only be soothed by nursing or babywearing (most times both) I would do that. I would walk. I would walk for hours.

My body began to take form quickly, but my mind deteriorated at a similar rate.

No sleep took it’s toll on my family; I mentioned my son was colicky … well it was 17 long sleepless months before we got any real sleep, and we still struggle for a full nights rest. (more on that here)

Fitness took a back seat and survival became the name of the game, but because of my eating habits, I kept thin, but not fit. Which was hard for me. I’m used to being toned and tight, and it was hard to feel gooey and loose in places I could hide to everyone but me.

Finally, in the middle of winter, my post partum depression hit me hard. I cried all the time, I didn’t know how to clean, or take care of myself … and I finally brought it up to my doctor. But I was scared. I didn’t want anti depressants … I wanted to feel good again but drugs scare me and I couldn’t get myself to take a prescription, so I told my doctor I was going to Mexico for a week and that sun and outdoors always helps me, and if I did that and took B12’s I’d be ok. She agreed to give me 3 weeks.

I got better for that week. I walked every day, mostly because I had to to help my son sleep and the other part was to do something for me. Soak in the sun. Feel alive in the warmth. Toes in the sand. I’m a nature baby. I’m a barefooted walkin through the fields kinda gal. It’s where I’m home. It’s where I’m happy.

After a week, this is what I looked like. I felt like me again. 6 months post partum and I had my body back … but why wasn’t I happy?

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Los Cabos; 2015

Another summer came and went, and I survived on sun and stroller naps. I cried through the nights, I felt less and less every day, I lost more of who I was every month … but I survived on sun and adventure.

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Hiking 10k in Bragg Creek; 2015

 

Then came winter of 2015.

I collapsed within myself. No more walks. No more sun. No idea how to be a mother because I felt like all he did was cry. Sure I remember joy, I look back on pictures and you’d think “wow, they’re such a happy family” but I remember not being able to feel it. 

I remember not being able to talk to anyone, to open up to anyone. I knew all I had to say was negative things … the struggles. How sad I was. I tried so hard to be positive because I just thought I was an unhappy mom who didn’t like it as much as she thought she would. I didn’t know this was depression. I knew it the winter before, but this time, I was lost. Really, truly and deeply lost.

Sleep deprivation and depression are close cousins, and the two were bonded in holy matrimony for me. I couldn’t escape either and I needed a way out.

My body was fit, while my mind crumbled.

In December 2015 I reached out to my acquaintance from church who I saw was becoming an online health and fitness coach. My passion for fitness was stirred and God set a light in my heart that I couldn’t shake.

I was scared to step out and try this, but I knew fitness was the way back to me. I knew I could find the girl I once was if I just started working out again. I needed accountability. I needed a community. And I have always wanted to be paid to workout. So, mortified at the thought of joining up with a company … I prayed, and was told to do it.

It is now March 20th, 2016, and I can tell you I did not find myself.

I found a mother.

I found a new woman that I didn’t even know existed. One with joy, strength, patience and purpose.

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Working out with toddlers

I found a wife.

I found someone who could build a home.

I found life, and life abundantly.

It’s now my heart and passion to spread this freedom around. To give mothers a safe place to share their pain and their joy, and to encourage healthy fitness and nutrition by putting ourselves first.

The world says if you are a good mom, you focus on your kids.

I call bull.

I say if you can’t take care of yourself, you’re no good to anyone.

I now take 30 minutes a day, just for me. I workout, I drink my superfood shakes and I find balance in my life through these two things, and I help other women do the same.

This is my journey into a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Rise and Grind

Michelle

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