I have had the privilege and honour of watching my friend undertake a metamorphosis over the last 6-12 months. I have always admired Morgan as a brilliant mother and wife, never did I realise what she was battling within herself.
This is her story of how she discovered herself and became a fitter and healthier mother along the way.
Wellbeing…. what is it and why do we need it?
I guess before I tackle that old chestnut I should explain a bit about me, where I have come from and where I am heading.
I was always the bigger girl in school.
My weight has yo-yoed all my life and I have struggled with depression at different times.
In my first year out of high school (I am 28 now), I was the lightest I had ever been – but also the unhealthiest.
I always thought happiness would flow when I became thin.
What I did not know then, that I do now, is happiness comes from a different place.
If you change your mind, you will change the world.
My husband and I are about to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary but more importantly our tenth year together. He has seen many of my highs and lows and has supported me the best he could through all of them. Sometimes, however, the voices in our own head gets too loud.
You know the voice….. the self-doubt.
I hit rock bottom soon after our amazingly, beautiful little girl was born. I have always prided myself on looking after my family through cleaning, gardening, cooking. But in the final stages of pregnancy, when I could not do the cleaning and could not do the gardening, I relied solely on my baking to support my family.
I spiralled out of control.
This was no more evident than when my forty-eight hour labour resulted in an emergency c-section and we quickly moved our daughter on to formula following a number of problems breastfeeding. I see now that my lack of energy and stamina largely led to these life changing events for me and my baby.
Once again I turned to baking – how else was I going to care for my family? Unsurprisingly, I became more and more uncomfortable with my body.
I hid at home.
I found reasons not to visit friends.
I found reasons not to leave the house.
Clothes didn’t fit. My skin was terrible. I looked unhappy all of the time and most importantly, I didn’t ask for help.
Then a life changing event occurred.
A very close friend introduced me to a nutritional cleansing program. I initially thought her Facebook account had been hacked so I didn’t take her seriously at all.
Such an idiot – I kick myself every day for this. She is an amazingly supportive friend and I would trust her with my life, so why did I not trust her with something as important as my health?
I continued hating my body and parts of myself for another couple of months before I was reintroduced to the program by a family member.
I was scared.
But my husband and I were ready to change our lifestyle and we thought this might kick us into gear.
We asked ourselves – “if not now, when?”
That’s one lesson I have learnt throughout this whole process – use your fear to wake you up! Feel the fear and understand why it is there then do it anyway. My most rewarding experiences in life have come from situations which have fear at their core.
We were not looking for another fad, we had already tried all of those. We really wanted to embed healthy habits into our lifestyle to start our little girl on a healthy path and stop the vicious and negative body image cycle early.
WOW! We ended up with so much more than we had ever bargained for!
Now, I realise most of you will know this… but “wellbeing” is so much more than just measuring yourself up against the beautiful, thin looking woman at the coffee shop or the muscly guy at the gym.
Wellbeing builds from the inside out, I really needed to delve into my mind and combat my demons. From the inside out.
The program gave me a vision and goals for our family’s future.
We were combating the bulge together, building strong minds and our core values in the process.
This was really highlighted when our little girl spent two weeks in hospital and had three surgeries just after her first birthday. We continued to stick to the program word-for-word and supported each other each day. We had our breaking points but an amazing thing happens when you fuel your body with the right fuel – you are mentally stronger too.
We were not putting diesel in an unleaded car anymore. We had started putting vortex unleaded into an unleaded car and we were reaping the benefits from it. Yes the weight loss has been incredible (26kgs for me and 44kgs for my husband) and it is the main reason I am asked about the program so much, however, I have clearer skin, toned muscles, greater clarity of mind, better sleeping habits and a drive for success that I did not have before.
I have spent all my time up until this point “coasting through life” doing what I thought I was “supposed” to do. Be a good wife. Be a good mother. Be a good worker. I did not see the benefit in really caring for myself and making sure that at the end of the day I was truly happy with the decisions I had made and how I was living my life.
I started challenging life.
I started challenging the mainstream.
Do not get me wrong, I love almost everything about my life, my husband, my daughter, the life we have built together. But it was my perception of self-worth and self-image that I fought with daily. At any given moment, you have the power to say, “this is not how the story is going to end!”
Six months on and I have changed my weight loss goals three times as each time I thought the goal I had set was sooo unachievable. How much I still underestimate myself!
I am told regularly that I have a glow, and no, I am not pregnant! In fact, I am 18 kg’s below the weight I was when I fell pregnant! But that’s only a secondary thing to what’s most important.
What’s most important is that I motivate many friends and family members to improve their life too. I support them everyday to continue on their new found path. I am told so many times that I sound like a life coach so much so that I am now starting to believe it myself – I am completing a qualification in life coaching!
I have apologised to my husband (previously a body builder) for baking for him all the time and contributing to his unhealthy weight and unhappiness. I still cook for my family, but our choices are different now.
My sleep has improved tenfold. It was rarely our daughter keeping me up at night, instead it was always the negative thoughts running a million miles an hour around in my mind.
I have realised that I can bust the walls that confine me right down to the ground. After all, I was the one that put them there in the first place!
Individual wellbeing is about being of healthy mind and body, and maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family. It is also about trying to reach our full potential in all aspects of our lives.
Today I am on track to achieve a strong and healthy sense of wellbeing not only for myself, but for my entire family – they are right here beside me. Once upon a time I felt guilty for putting myself first. But when my baby came along, I had to stop and think about what it would mean if I didn’t start. Our lives would be so different if they continued the way they were.
Remember, the best project you will ever work on is you! So what’s holding you back?
Be happy, be bright, be you.
Does any part of this story resonate with you? The self-doubt? The unhappiness you feel about your self-worth and self-image? Well, do something about it!!!
Morgan is holding an event where she will talk in depth about her journey of self-discovery. If you think you won’t attend and change your life…. then ask yourself one question, “If not now…. when?”
For more information or to join Morgan on her journey of health and wellness, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Canberra Mummy did not receive any sponsorship for this article.
Canberra Mummy is not affiliated with this wellbeing program, rather Canberra Mummy promotes people’s courage and dedicating to changing their lives for the better.