2019 was a huge year for me mentally and physically. I overhauled my lifestyle, adopted new habits that served me, and transformed into a person who I was finally proud of. I felt confident, mentally/physically strong, and balanced. I was so happy, and I felt unstoppable.
2020 was also a big year for me as I found my true passion and calling in life, which was to be a health coach. For me, this meant taking all the tools and tips I learned that helped me and help other people find their best selves. Fortunately, I have been able to do this through Western as a Wellness Coach, and there isn't a place I’d rather be than Western!
Then in September 2021, everything changed.
After almost a year of trying, my husband and I finally became pregnant! How exciting, crazy, and scary! But, I had almost a year to prepare for this! My nutrition was on point, my exercise routine was solid, and I knew all the things that would keep me and my baby healthy. I was determined to have a smooth first trimester. I was not going to go off the deep end with food (I knew what to eat and I loved good healthy foods!), I was not going to neglect my exercises, and everything was going to be FINE.
Wrong. Oh boy was I wrong.
Fatigue. I was in bed as early as 5:00pm some nights and I would sleep until I the last moment that I hadto get up the next day. I slept on average 10 or 11 hours a day. And it still felt like it wasn’t enough.
I couldn’t think about eating veggies or most meat. I couldn’t even eat my favorite breakfast smoothies or protein oats that I had been eating for years. The thought or the taste would make me instantly nauseous or give me acid reflux.
And my exercise? That suffered the most. I went from doing multiple high intensity classes a week (sometimes multiple each day!) to NONE in a matter of weeks. Although my body could handle it, I just didn’t have the energy to do it. I went through Shockwave training (an amazing rowing and stations class on the group fitness schedule!) around 7 weeks of being pregnant, and I was down and out for a day and a half.
I ended up having a breakdown around 11 weeks of pregnancy to my husband and some of my closest friends. “I don’t like this new version of me! I feel like no matter what I do I can’t feel better!” I said. Sometimes, a Wellness Coach needs to be coached herself.
The amazing people I have in my life reminded me that when you go through a big change in your life, you must give yourself grace. Your routine can be completely thrown off, and although you know the right things to do to make you feel good, there is only so much willpower one can have. And even that isn’t on will call. The best thing you can do for your body in times of change (job change, loss of a family member, pregnancy, sickness, etc.) is listen to your body and release the guilt of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Taking each day at a time and doing small things that make you feel good and building on that foundation when you can. And if you can’t, give yourself credit for what you have done and can do. If that means eating one apple amongst the Spaghetti-Os, Kwik Trip doughnuts, and Taco Bell nachos and cheese, then you celebrate that win. If that means walking 3,000 steps one day when you couldn’t get out of bed the day before, you celebrate that win.
This is my message to you that has helped me get through this time of change. It’s always a work in progress. May it resonate with you that we all struggle even if we feel we have the answers. Everything is temporary, and if there is one thing you can count on, it’s change. Things may get harder before they get better. Remember what you are capable of, what you’ve been through, and believe that this too you will get through. And don’t forget to surround yourself with people who love and support you and remind you of how amazing you are. It’s okay to ask for help!