My Journey

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This is the picture that broke me. It literally broke me. We celebrated my daughters 1st birthday and I was so unhappy with the way that I looked that I did not post, print, frame any photo from that day that included me. I examined every bump, dimple, roll and imperfection with tears running down my face.

Disclaimer: I didn’t consider myself “fat”, I was extremely unhealthy, mentally and physically.

In these photos, I weighed 170 lbs which is a lot less than the 200 lbs I weighed the day I left the hospital after having Remmie but more then what made me comfortable, confident and most importantly, happy.

I suffer from terrible, I mean debilitating anxiety that can leave me lifeless in my bed. It’s just something that I face every day and can be easily triggered. My weight just added an additional level of anxiousness that increased my anxiety. Because of my weight, I was anxious to get dressed in the morning, shop for larger clothes, change in front of my husband, take photos, wear a swimsuit, anything that involved my body.

I’m not a stranger to medication for controlling anxiety. I relied heavily on it after my miscarriage (you can read more about that here) and continued that medication throughout my pregnancy with Remmie until October of 2018 when I decided that I needed to put myself first because my mental health was putting tension on the relationship with my family.

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I joined WeightWatchers which changed my life. After attempting every diet in the world, WW was a realistic program that gave me the ability to still enjoy the foods and drinks I love but in moderation and in a more healthy way. It’s unrealistic to completely eliminate the foods that I love - I would only be setting myself up for failure. Instead, I learned healthier alternatives to the meals I love. I chose the program that allows me to go in weekly and weigh in. It kept me accountable for my weight loss. I no longer am apart of Weight Watchers because I feel like it gave me the tools to be in control of my journey going forward. I’ve learned how to control my craving and find alternatives to the foods I love!

If you need a program to keep you accountable, I highly recommend Weight Watchers but if that is not an option financially, I created a blog that will help guide you on your next grocery trip. See the blog here.

I also learned to love working out without realizing I’m actually working out. I won’t run unless I’m being chased. I’m not interested in doing classes. I don’t care for yoga or pilates. I enjoy pushing my daughter in a stroller listening to Rachel Hollis’ “Girl, Stop Apologizing” or “Girl, Wash Your Face” or Stassi Schroeder’s “Next Level Basic” (all Audiobook versions). I literally can only walk listening to those three books (until I find something I enjoy equally as much). I always wear my sweat belt when walking so it adds that additional level of satisfaction - by the end of my walk, I’m drenched in sweat around my midsection and it feels so amazing. Weird enough, I do not like walking without pushing the stroller. I enjoy having my water or coffee accessible and a place to keep my phone. She sits so nice watching Paw Patrol on the iPad and we walk. Often times, I also do a 15 minute workout in my bedroom while indulging in Vanderpump Rules or Keeping Up With The Kardashians. My workout consist of squats, crunches, push ups - the basic exercises. I also purchased some resistant bands that I like to use, as well but I’m not a professional and can’t even tell you if what I’m doing is accurate!

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I don’t really consider my daily walks a work out - I don’t walk to work out. I walk because it helps my mental health extremely! I have found that walking has helped calm my anxiety and gives me an outlet! I am WAY happier after a walk then I am after eating a bag of chips!

Working out looks so differently to everyone. I want to enjoy working out or I’m going to set myself up for failure. I discovered a way I can work out and enjoy it and that’s walking with my daughter and listening to the same three books over and over again. Your working out may be running 5 miles a day or attending a pilates class, either way being active benefits the body and mind so get out there and move!

Lastly, self care made an impact on my mental health. I am the most high-maintenance person you may ever meet. No, I don’t wear designer clothing or have to always have the best of the best but I do love a good face mask, self tanner and all the skin care gadgets you can buy. I’m all about quality, yet affordable, skin care products that will make me feel freaking amazing. I love make up - I’m not very good at it but I’m always trying out whatever can make my skin look flawless. So many women are afraid to admit their obsession with looking great. Girl, it surely doesn’t come natural to me so I always call in the troops! I get my nails done twice a month because having my nails done makes me feel good. I do what makes me feel good.

It’s healthy to be obsessed with how your skin looks or how tan you are - I am! A good tan makes me feel great so I am going to make sure I put self tanner one 2-3 times a week. The way my skin looks gives me confidence so yes, I am going to invest in new products and gadgets. So girl, be high-maintenance.

I wrote a whole blog post about all the things I do that contribute to my self care routine which makes me feel so confident and truly good about myself. You can read that here.

My journey hasn’t been easy but I’ve adjusted all parts to make it enjoyable for me and feasible for me. I look forward to my Tuesday evening self care routine, I look forward to my daily walks listening to my favorite books, I enjoy making suppers that I like and actually crave and most importantly I love the way I look and the way I feel.

My journey has improved my relationship with my children, my colleagues, my friends, my family members and most importantly, my husband.

Love yourself, girlfriend! <3

bethann gondeck