On Asking for Help

I hired a cleaning lady yesterday. I can’t believe I paid someone to clean my house. But only because it adds to the judgments I feel on mothers … on me.

I should be able to do this myself. 

During my post partum depression, I did not know how to clean. I didn’t have the energy or mental ability to think about emptying the dishwasher. It was too daunting. I couldn’t fathom what it would take to pick up the dirty laundry and put it in the wash…it was all utterly overwhelming and the tasks consumed me every day; taunting me. Mocking me. 

I didn’t even know how to put my son down and have a shower. I can’t tell you how many times I wound up sobbing on the bathroom floor, naked and wet, holding my son while the hot shower filled the room with a heavy blanket of steam and depression. 

My house was not just messy, it was dirty, and I was completely ashamed. I hated when people visited. 

I was overwrought with the thought, “I should be able to do this.” 

My mom, my amazing mom, would come over and clean my entire house from top to bottom. She would scrub walls, toilets and bathtubs…and I would sit and talk. Incapable of knowing how to even begin helping. Feeling guilty as ashamed to not be helping … and she just cleaned. Never asking for anything in return, she just wanted to help. Words will never be enough to thank her for her help. She knew. She just knew. She gave me a space to feel relaxed in. A few days peace before it was all headed for ruin again. And she didn’t ask. She just did. I pray I will be that same kind of mother, of person, for my kids, that she is to us. 

But since joining a challenge group, becoming an online personal health and fitness coach, taking my fitness and ultimately my life back, I’ve been able to tidy. I’ve been able to start building habits that lead to a cleaner, healthier home environment. 

But I can’t catch up. 

I didn’t ask my mom for as much help as I should have, because truth be told I was ashamed in front of her as well. She raised me. And I failed at an area she excelled in. She kept a clean home. Raised two kids. And I couldn’t. So I didn’t ask for help from someone who would always give it without judgment. 

Because of this, there’s still layers of grime around my home that need attention. A home deserves to be taken care of. Not perfect, but it’s my home. And I now can take pride in caring for the place we raise our kids. Not in perfection, but not in filth. 

So I hired help. And it was weird. 

I still passed judgment on myself … should this be where I spend this money? Is it worth sacrificing other things? Am I that person now? 

And just who is that person that I had such a hard time becoming? The mom who’s home so much and still doesn’t get her house clean. What does she do all day anyways? The mom who can go get her nails done but can’t seem to get the walls and windows washed? Must be nice to afford such a luxury

And then I realize, who am I to judge others, but most importantly, who am I to judge myself? I think mommy wars are waged inside…not just out. 

I think they start with us. 

I think they start with a lack of honesty. 

Well, here’s me being honest.

I can’t do it all. I haven’t figured it out yet. I was depressed, and I needed help. I asked for help. 

I prefer to cook all our meals, and buy very little pre-made food. I’ve even begun experimenting with granola bars. Hello, my name is Michelle and I am a crunchy mom.

I prefer to workout before I scrub the toilets. I put eating well and fitness above other things. Hello, my name is Michelle and I am a fit mom. 

I like to spend time outside with my son, I like to have coffee and read books while he naps instead of folding laundry, I like to catch up with friends and arrange play dates and set up fitness groups for pregnant moms because my passion is to help.

Hello. My name is Michelle, and I am a real person. I am a real mom.

And sometimes, I need help.

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No Quick Fixes

I had an email response recently that caught me off guard, and it caused an emotional response in me, but I’m genuinely glad for it.It wasn’t rude, it wasn’t mean, it was genuine, and yet it really struck me. It caused me to grow and really take a look at myself and what I believe, which you have to know if you’re going to do anything in life.

And this is what I believe. 

I don’t do quick fixes. It actually took me a good amount of time researching and studying Beachbody and shakeology, before I could really stand behind the business. I loved the workouts, but could I get behind it all? 

My ethics in fitness boil down to hard work. Blood sweat and tears baby. If you want results, you have to put in the time and you have to learn how to eat and take the supplements our bodies need to function properly, and you have to show up every day. 

I had so many fears signing up; is this the job for me? And I still carry them with me. Does this fit my values? I believed they did, and then I got that email describing the workouts as just what I feared and didn’t want … quick fixes. 30 days to ripped ads … and to be honest, the videos turn me off too. It made me think … do I believe in this? Really? Is this what I send people?

But what got me really interested in this business is seeing someone I know, my coach, talk about community, and making real consistent changes in her and her challengers lives. Things that speak to my heart. 

And it occurred to me suddenly what the big difference is here. 

It’s me.

It’s why coaches exist. To get you INTO the 30 days, and then PAST the 30 days. To put you into a community of like minded people who will give you that extra shove to just get up and get it done. Because without community, without accountability, it’s literally just sales. “Here buy this stuff, enjoy, good luck! K bye!”

But that’s NOT what this is about. When you join me in a challenge, you get put in private groups with me, my coaches, and everyone else struggling and succeeding every day, ready to encourage you and motivate you. People open up and share really deep and personal things there, it’s a place people feel safe and like they belong, and I’m yours for life if you want me. I don’t ditch you once your money is spent, or once the 30 days is done. Not at all.

So, you don’t have to buy into Beachbody. 

You have to buy into me. 

You have to trust me. 

And it’s on me to be open, honest and truthful, and maybe I need to take a look at myself and my content and make sure I’m staying true to me, because I am a fitness coach. I’m not a Beachbody coach. I use Beachbody products, I get paid by Beachbody, but I AM my business; I decide what to say, I decide how I want to advertise me and what I do. It’s my business. It’s me. I can change any time to do something else in the same field, but this fits my values. I believe in it. 

And I think that’s what truly got my heart turned around, once I got into the community, and past the Salesy ads (because even to me they are Salesy and promoted in a way I choose not to promote my own business), I got into the core beliefs of the company. The beliefs that fill my heart and cause a burning desire in me:

Work hard. Be dedicated to your health. Make daily changes and turn your life around. Not your month. Not your summer. Your life. 

I’m truly glad for the honest and kind review I was sent about those videos. It’ll change how I do things. Even though it scared me a bit; “dear Lord no, not quick fixes, is that what this looks like? Is that what I do?” It caused me to grow; I’m failing my way forward. And it made me realize just HOW important my role is, and WHAT it is, and how I can go about posting in the future.

Firstly, I don’t think anything would sell these days, if it said, “introducing the new 365 day fitness plan!” It would be so overwhelming for people to commit to a FULL year. We start change one day, one pound at a time. 30 days is a manageable time frame in our minds, and it gets us going.

Also, in our society, we want fast. We want results. And these programs are designed to deliver just that. Results. And you CAN shed tons of weight and get ripped quick, but it’s really on you (and me) to get the results you want. If that’s not what you want, you won’t push that hard in your workouts, you’ll press play, you’ll sweat a bit, and you’ll have fun. That’s still success in my books, and all I want is to give you the tools for success. 

But most importantly, my job is to discover your goals and make them my own. Down 5lbs or 50lbs, 2″ or 20″, I don’t have a box to fit you in for an ideal of what fit looks like. You tell me what it looks like, and you get you there, with my encouragement.

The majority of my challengers share with me that firstly, “I want to love myself”.  Which tells me I’m doing something right, because that’s the community I want around me. That’s the community I’m trying to build. Self love baby. Stretch marks, size 14, extra skin, tiny, super ripped, whatever it looks like to you, love yourself.

I’m SO grateful for the reminder that THAT is my focus. I need to be grounded in that reality, and not get caught up in everything on the outside; I need to remember where I started. Where I come from.

I have used these really wonderful programs and the supplemental shakes to get me to the healthiest I’ve been in a long time. It pulled me out of depression, it got me eating balanced meals filled with protein and healthy fats; it gave me energy for my day and workouts through REAL supplements, nothing fake or added, and the chance to enjoy motherhood for the first time. It got me meal planning, getting my whole family healthier. It’s the push I needed. 

But it’s ok if it’s not for you! The market is diverse and full of wonderful people and things to get you healthy! This is what I’m doing, and I love it, but I’m also ok if you don’t. Truly, no hard feelings.

Fitness is a part of my life. It’s embedded into my lifestyle, and I’ll be doing this job forever. Through Beachbody forever? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m going to be growing, learning and hopefully one day adding some certifications I’m passionate about to my resume, but right now, I’m Michelle. Encourager. Here to put you on the path to success, however that looks to you, and however it looks to me. 

Growth is hard, looking inward is scary, but we have to dig deep, and find the core of what we believe, and make sure it’s right for us. Otherwise we become habitual quitters. Constantly looking for the next best thing. So I challenge you to challenge me, because I want to grow, and be the best coach I can be. 

**Email me any time at michrgross@gmail.com to chat, ask questions, or simply find out how to make me your free coach so we can talk goals and get you involved**

***Photo taken at 20 weeks pregnant with baby#2 after my first round of CIZE; c-section scar and all<3***