Two months ago I started a clean eating program with Live Young Bootcamp. And thus, the journey of me began. The journey of me, because this was something I was doing for me. Initially my goal was to lose the last few pounds of baby weight but there was more to it than that really. I already knew that I was not in a happy place with myself. I knew that there were things I wanted to change. I knew that I needed some support with it all.
My diet has changed quite a lot since I started. I’d already cut out the dairy (it’s been nine months now!) and was already part of the way there mentally. In that I knew what things I should be eating, and I was eating them- but alongside the things I knew I shouldn’t be eating too. And because I couldn’t have things like cheese (I think I will always miss cheese) and chocolate, I was compensating with crisps and Haribo. My goodness, I think I started eating Haribo every single day. But telling myself that it was ok, because I couldn’t have dairy. It was my treat because I couldn’t have chocolate (which I never really ate that much of anyway!) but it was getting out of hand. And I was noticing it- in my skin and my hair- and feeling it too.
So physically, I was ready for a change. Emotionally, I guess I was more than ready too. But I never realised that was I was putting into my body was effecting my emotions so much.
I had a hard pregnancy. Fourth pregnancy, the third in four years- it hit me hard. I will never go through it again. And I do feel as though this last pregnancy was endured rather than enjoyed. The sickness- so bad that I needed medication to function. The headaches. The exhaustion. And then the complications. I’ve been assured that Elsie’s IUGR was nothing to do with anything that I did, and that there was nothing I could’ve done to help… but I can’t help the guilt. And that guilt took it’s toll.
By the time Elsie was born, I was struggling with the same anxious, gnawing self doubt that had plagued me after Luka’s birth too. Something missing. Something not right. Something out of place. There was so much I wanted for my last pregnancy, so much I got wrong and so much that I wished had been different. I didn’t want my body sliced open again. I didn’t want to feel that crushingly low, dark and desperate blackness that descended after each appointment and stripped away my hopes for this, my last pregnancy. I didn’t want to sit on her due date and weep the moment my eyes opened. For all that my last pregnancy should have been. I didn’t want to feel robbed any more.
When Elsie was two months old, I was out in the car and I got lost, about ten miles from home. And I panicked. I wasn’t really lost. I had taken a wrong turning. But I lost it. And I started to dread driving my car. I started to dread, once more, being in places away from home with people I didn’t know. Just as the HG had made me a prisoner during pregnancy, now I was doing that to myself. Something had to change.
I didn’t know I was looking for change until I found it.
This summer, I drove from Peterborough to Brighton with the children. And then I drove back to Peterborough, then on to home. Me. I did it. No panicking, no anxious snapping at the kids and no cold ball of fear in the pit of my stomach. Those who know me (my poor husband!) know that this is huge.
What changed? I did.
Two months ago I started to care about what went into my body. I stopped filling it with crap. And I won’t go back.
The help and support I’ve had from Ross has been amazing. Essential. Appreciated. I have learned more about myself in the last two months than ever before. I can do amazing things. I can make changes. I can be the person I deserve to be.
The time since this blog started has been turbulent at times. There has been lots of changes for us as a family, and I haven’t always handled them well. I’m an emotional person; self critical and self doubting. I tend to think the worst of myself and I have struggled with acceptance of who I am for many years. But now, I think, I am finally starting to see something. I am worth it, after all. And if I am worth it, my life is worth living properly too.
Elsie is still breastfeeding. But even when she is done, I know I won’t go back to dairy. I know also that I won’t go back to Haribo! Eating clean has opened my eyes to how life can feel without the mess of processed foods. It feels good.
So, the next chapter. I’m about to start virtual personal training with Ross. This time is for me, and I intend to make the most of it.