Unexpected Journey

I am a self-defined caregiver. I love to care for my family and support my friends. I have always put others’ needs and desires above my own. Like most moms, I want the best for my kids. I want to support my husband and family. I take pride in being a good employee. I have spent over 25 years giving to everyone and everything except me. Yes, there were short periods where I would lose 20 pounds, take a trip with just my girlfriends, or solo, but not without guilt. I always felt like I was letting down my family or my job. Self-care was always attached to guilt or sacrificing my family.

Left in 2015: Right 2020

About five years ago, I began seeing the toll that caring for others, at the expense of my health, was having on both my mental and physical well-being. I was in constant overwhelm. I spent the day putting out fires. I was a victim in my life and just reacted to whatever obstacles or things came my way. I could see the damage I was creating, but I could not see a way out. I would end each day exhausted and desired an escape from my day. I would be tired and also want “me time” so I stayed up late indulging in things that added to the problem. I would binge on TV shows or snack and drink wine to “unwind and relax”. This only added to the exhaustion and overwhelm I thought I was escaping.

That is me in the front row.

2019 started, I was over 50, and carrying 50 extra pounds. I set out on a journey to lose some weight. I began the typical diet of restriction, but was not willing to figure out why I put the weight on in the first place. By April of that year, I was down almost 20 pounds, but nothing in my life had really changed except the number on the scale. I was still tired, deflated, depressed, and overwhelmed. A friend of a friend suggested I listen to a podcast about this lady that lost 100 pounds, and has kept it off for over 13 years. I had never listened to a podcast. You heard that right: I had NEVER listened to a podcast. I gave it a listen, and what the lady said made sense. Her “tribe” was opening for 5 days only so if you wanted to join, I better get after it. I am not someone who makes decisions easily. I need time to weigh out everything. The pros. The cons. The financial investment. You name it. It usually takes me months to make a decision. The host and life coach, Corinne Crabtree said something that has stuck with me to this day. Corinne said, “give yourself the gift of decision”. How the heck does she know I was still deciding? I went to her website: https://www.phit-n-phat.com/ to get more information. I broke out my credit card, and said I would figure out the money part later. I had no idea what kind of cult I had just joined, but it was something new and resonated with me.

This is a photo from June 2019 as I was a few months into my journey

I learned a new way to think about weight loss. I was learning a new way to think period. I was being hit with some pretty heavy circumstances in my life, and for the first time, I felt I had the tools to face them, while still taking care of my needs. Caring for others and myself could happen at the same time. I was learning as I began to listen to my body and my thoughts, that I was becoming better. I was a better employee, wife, mom, and friend. I had energy again. I began to feel good in my skin.

The journey to weight loss led me on a journey of self-discovery. In putting all my time and energy into caring for others, I had lost the ability to identify with myself. I did not know who I was or what I wanted. I am still figuring it out. I am sure the journey will be lifelong, but I am confident that I have the tools to create the joy and life I want. I also want to help others find what I have found. It is possible to care for others and yourself at the same time.

Published by bshort1968

I am a self-described caregiver. I love to help and care for others. I have learned the value of caring for myself as well. Now I want to live my life helping others learn to care for others and take care of themselves as well.

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