Mirror, Wellness

I pick myself first

A baby with night terrors, binge eating and returning health issues — these are a few issues I faced during my second IsaBody Challenge.

I knew I was a stress eater, but I’d never understood what binge eating was until I was three days deep in an eating disorder. As the founder of a non-profit to promote positive body image in preteen and teen girls, I was stunned by my behavior and shocked that I didn’t recognize the symptoms right away. My binge eating came as my husband and two older children were in a play and gone virtually every night for three weeks. I was alone with our 6-month-old baby every day and then every night, too. Overwhelmed with my daily responsibilities and stressed with the bouts of night terrors our baby was experiencing, I turned to food (albeit healthy) to placate my emotions. It happened so fast but grieved my soul for all the girls I’ve counseled in the same predicament. There was no doubt that my behavior was out of control and while my food was healthy, the serving sizes were grotesquely over-the-top. I quickly corrected using a Carol Elizabeth 10-day reset (great timing!), propelling myself back into the habits I had established back when I began Isagenix in July 2014.

Meanwhile, the chronic discomfort I was experiencing when I began nutritional cleansing had been slowly returning during this challenge. I am breastfeeding, so I can not do a cleanse, which I believe will “reset” a lot of the issues. The pain is uncomfortable, but I am often reminded of how far I’ve come. It’s not unbearable. And if I have to (in extreme situations only), I take one ibuprofen. One. I used to swallow four at a time, eight or more times a day just to get through my suffering.

I’m looking forward to my first cleanse, but I’m committed to prioritizing my baby’s needs and development in this short season. Yes, I do realize that to be a good mom I may have to make decisions like early weaning. I’ve also stumbled enough to know that I HAVE to put myself first, and I am certainly taking care of myself in the best ways I can body, mind and spirit. My entire family has recently joined a local gym. For the first time in my life, I’m lifting weights. My first goal was 10 standard pushups and a tight wall stand, which I accomplished. My next goal is 10 unassisted pull-ups by the end of the year. I set these goals not to be vain or because I’m a competitor. When I was in fourth grade, I could not do even one pull up on the Presidential Fitness test. My teacher wrote down one just so I didn’t feel like a loser. But I already did. I was picked last on teams at recess and P.E. I hated fitness because of how it made me feel about myself. I avoided exercise so I could escape those negative feelings. As a result, I did more harm than good, and it took me 30+ years to realize that.

handstand  lifting blisters

I want my children to know that it’s not about competing with others but about your own goals and growth, as well as strength and long-term health. I want them to learn to cheer on others, as they push themselves to new heights. As a 42-year-old with a new (unexpected) baby, I picture her face when I work out. Truth be told, all of my children motivate me. I MUST be around for them, and not just existing but thriving. I want them all to know that you don’t have to be limited by your past, by labels and assumptions but that you can reach any goal you set. I might have been picked last by my peers in an era gone by; however, today I can pick myself first.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    CJE
    January 5, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Beautifully written. This is my motto for this year.. “today, I pick myself first.” There have been times in my life when I have been the priority but lately.. I have put my health and well being on the back burner. Thank you for sharing.

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