Earlier this week I met up with a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in a while. It was great to catch-up on what is going on in both of our lives, she mentioned a few times how lucky I am and how very few people are as “sorted” as I am. I greatly appreciate the sentiment, and yes I am most definitely in a really good place right now but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my challenges. It got me thinking about what people see and assume from their daily interactions with you (and everyone else around them). Social media amplifies this sense of people living their best life, where in reality people are documenting their highs and often pushing their low and vulnerable moments into the shadows.
I realise that this may be the first time you’ve come across my journal, and I’m all about giving an honest and open experience of my world. So with that in mind, over the next few weeks I thought I would share with you the challenges I am facing right now.
What I find challenging right now…
First in this series of three journal entries is a healthy lifestyle. Being someone who works in the health and wellbeing industry, walking my talk is of upmost importance. I hadn’t always had a strong desire to be a mother and it was definitely something that came up for me later in life, I think I just felt like I had a lot of other things I wanted to do first. However, when it did come I didn’t give much thought to how it could and has impacted my lifestyle in terms of health. I imagined that pregnancy would be this beautiful process, where I’d nurture my body and unborn child with green smoothies , balanced wholesome meals, yoga and rest. This could not have been further from the truth.
At 5 weeks pregnant, the nausea set in and at first it was a bit of a novelty and a lovely reminder that I was starting to grow a human being. By week 6 I spent the afternoons with my head down the loo, still not too bad as we were on holiday in Tenerife and I could retire to our hotel room to puke in private and rest. Still, I thought to myself, this is all totally normal. By week 7 I was back at home, commuting to work on the tube and vomiting around 5 – 10 times a day. I couldn’t hold down much food and worse still water was a no go zone. I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (my good friend Leonie does a much better job at explaining), so at least I knew that what I was experiencing wasn’t normal morning sickness. Apparently 12 – 16 weeks it normally improved and so I hung on as the weeks passed, and so they did and the vomiting continued.
There wasn’t a green smoothie in sight, just a pale green tinge to my skin (if you ask my work colleagues) I thought I was hiding my sickness well but alas it was obvious to most. I had to eat whatever I could, and took each day as it came. My beautiful shiny pregnancy was fuelled by thick white bread, fish fingers, coke and giant jam doughnuts from the Italian café in town. I lost 25kgs throughout my pregnancy, was in and out of hospital for additional growth scans to check on Elijah and IV fluids on occasion… oh yes and lets not forgot that half a tooth, just before an important presentation. Those 9 months kicked my health’s butt and once my son was born, I stacked on all the weight I’d lost and more.
Here I am, almost 18 months later and I’m trying to take back my health and it is so hard.
I’m working with a nutritionist and a naturopath to rebuild my vitamin and mineral stores and immune system. An osteopath to support my physical recovery and don’t event talk to me about trying to fit in exercise. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve laid in bed wanting to go to the gym, but desperately weighing up whether sleep or exercise is the more important commodity. 6am is the most available time I have to exercise, but after a sleepless night with a bub… it’s not that appealing!
Apparently, having a child over 35, sleep deprivation and hereditary genetics can leave you predisposed to type II diabetes. So here I am, on the low end of insulin resistance and trying wholeheartedly to claw back my health and let me say again it is tough.
If you read my last journal ‘How I keep organised and plan my week’ you’ll know I’m pretty obsessed with my schedule. It’s the only way I can create some remnants of balance between my family, my work and what I need to do for myself. I know I’m not alone (women especially) struggle to put themselves first and take care of everyone else first. It’s so important for us to take care of our physical and emotional health in order to take care of others in our families and excel in our chosen path.
It’s not all doom and gloom, I’m really grabbing this opportunity with both hands and for the first time am asking for and getting the support I need. Not only is it important to me to regain my health for my business but even more importantly my family, what more incentive do I need.
Self-care on social media seems to be all hair and nails, massages and bubble baths and in reality that really isn’t the case. Self-care in my reality looks more like nutritionist appointments, physiotherapy, therapy, an hour alone in silence and walking in nature when I can.
Are you struggling with your health at the moment? Or have some health goals you’d like to achieve? Leave a note in the comments below.