I can count on my left hand those that know that in 2019, before Steve’s mom died, that I was training for an Ironman triathlon. My goal was to swim almost 4 kilometres (2.5 miles), bike 180 kilometres (112 miles) and finish it all off with a Run/walk a marathon (42 kms and 26 miles.). I gave up on that dream when she died and we spent every few weekends in Vancouver for a few months.
I can count on no hands nor fingers those that know the depth of my physical and mental health struggles the last three years. Here’s the honest truth on what the big picture looked like for me:
🔆 Two summers of not wanting to get out of bed even when the sun streamed in my window.
💪🏻 Two plus years of sheer willpower and “push” to get off my butt to exercise, which has been a first for me in my entire life.
🧥700 days of hiding under extra-large clothing, even in 30 degree Celsius weather.
🙈 700 days of hiding, to be honest. Not wanting to see people, run into people I know or even reach out to friends.
🙏🏻Tried two different counsellors, neither were a good fit. (or is it “neither was”? hahha)
😩Reached out to no one nor shared with anyone the depth of the pit I felt that I had dug for myself.
👀The heaviest weight I have ever been in my life, even more than my three pregnancies or after my mom died. (This sure doesn’t feel good!)
And why I am writing about this now and what changed for me?
Did I lose weight? Finally found a professional counsellor I could trust? Started seeing other human beings, outside my work, on a regular basis? None of these things happened for me!
Four things did changed for me and they all involved random conversations with other people when I stepped outside my four walls. The message I am going to share with my stories is simple: If you relate to any of the six points I wrote down above, don’t wait 700 days to reach outside of your four walls. Right now, listen to a podcast, text someone, go for a walk, ask your neighbour for an egg or simply reach out to another human being in any way that feels good for you.
The four things that finally helped me make some really HUGE personal shifts took place over a six month period of time.
First, I have always been someone who listens to podcasts when they do laundry or when I drive or go for a long solo walks. In October, I was introduced to a podcast that began THE shift. Mel Robbins, your twice weekly podcasts have been something that have given me so many tips, moved me to take some small steps and gave me the shovel that started my dig out of my mental and physical hole. Your life journey is powerful and I am grateful that you share with us all. I gave your ideas a try.
Second, in October, I was at my lowest point of this two plus year journey. I was in Vancouver and a friend knew I was in town. We went for a walk and she shared about an App that helped her with her eating habits and overall health. I gave it a try.
Third, in April, Steve and I were out for our evening walk and we ran into some neighbours. They shared that they were doing a “Couch to 5km” walk/run program that was simple and tailored to what you want to do. (This was humbling to consider as four years ago, I would run 20 kilometres for fun on a weekend!) I humbled myself and gave it a try.
Lastly, at the end of April, I was at a teacher’s conference and three of my colleagues were sitting around a table. Suddenly, one of them shrieked about a job that was available at our school and said, “You would be amazing at that!”. They immediately called over my boss and she wholeheartedly agreed. I decided to apply.
In all of these instances, I was showing up in the world as my unhealthiest, unhappiest, down in the lowest point in the second most challenging spot in my life. (My mom’s death was and is still number one!)
But, I just showed up and walked.
I showed up and walked some more.
And I simply did my job to the best of my ability!
Now, things are shifting in radical and profound ways (more on that in a later post!).
Exactly where you are.
Show up, how and when you can.
Reach outside those four walls around yours.
And watch things unfold.
Let my life be a testimony that there is always hope.
The best is truly YET to come for me, Sexy Neck and our boys.
And the best is YET to come for you too!
Strap yourself in folks for what is to come and love what you do!