And then one day the storm hit. On a seemingly normal weekend, I had gotten up early with the baby, cleaned my house, put a load of laundry in and started cooking. For months, aside from the bliss of having the family that I' always dreamed of for my daughter and I I had also been winding myself up so tight. On that seemingly normal Sunday I had the worst panic and anxiety attack of my life. Actually, I don't think I'd ever had one before. But I do know that I felt like I couldn't breathe. In my life I had never known such a feeling. The strings that had been winding me up and binding me so tight had finally burst. Miss Perfect fell from grace. To someone like me, there is no more helpless feeling than how you feel when you need help. When you can't breathe.
I think about how many times I've said in this very blog how important it is to take care of yourself and your well-being. In my case it took a panic attack as a wake-up call.
After what I call my fall from grace, I started to really evaluate the things that I could have done better and what I needed to focus on changing. I said it. Focus. That's right, because so often we know what needs to happen but we lack the focus and commitment to do it.
I started with my health. I had not gained any weight while pregnant, but I gained 20 pounds while on Maternity Leave for 3 months! I know that all of my life I struggle with a sugar-dependency. My intellectual mind knows that the human body was not designed to consume the amount of sugars or refined starches that we do. My intellectual mind knows what happens inside my body when these are consumed. Then there's the little girl inside me who perpetually craves M&Ms. She's little but she's powerful. She takes over. Time and time again.
See, when I was a girl, we really didn't know about nutrition. We thought we would get good nutrients from eating canned veggies once in a while. I was also an only child for many years. I think my uncles and family felt bad seeing me lonely. Guess how the void was filled? You guessed it. M&Ms. In a given day, if someone went to the store, they'd come back with a pack of chocolates for me. Then, someone else would go. Not knowing I had gotten some already, they would bring me M&Ms. In a given day, I could end up with 4 bags of candies. I was a cute little chunky redhead, always described as chunky or plump. I'm surprised that as much candy as I was eating that I wasn't much bigger. I think the reason why was that in or inner city neighborhood we had to walk everywhere so excercise was plentiful. Thank goodness.
At 41 with a hectic lifestyle, caffeine, sugar and refined startches were a terrible combination for me. I had done the Atkins diet twice in the past. Both times I lost 38 pounds in 3 months. I'm living proof that it works. I wasn't too enthused to give up my comforts, but after how I had been feeling lately it was necessary to make some sacrifices and get to work. My absolute best motivation is knowing that I have my radiant daughter to continue raising and to enjoy my sweet little prince. I wanted to do that and feel good about myself too.
So what now? Time to get to work! You with me?