11 years ago today, I was checking in Crawford Long hospital in Atlanta to give birth to my first son.
Being a new mom, this day was full of unknowns. I was just out of college, married less than a year, and about to have a baby in a new city and in a country I only planned to live in as a 'student'.
My husband and my mother were with me, I was over 165 lbs and about to have an induced labor because I was weeks passed my due date. The induced labor was a vain procedure. After spending all night in painful expectancy, my son had to be delivered via C-section the next day in the early afternoon. I gave birth to a beautiful boy who weighted 9lbs 6 oz.
Forward this 11 years later...I am no longer over 165 lbs, the little boy is now taller than me, it doesn't take much...I didn't mentioned that I am 4'11" did I? 11 years later I am now a mother of 4, had my 4th C-Section over a year ago, started my 'health fitness journey' in July 2012 and truth be told, I feel like I just scratched the surface because somedays, I think that I have barely began.
I am not being hard on myself, I am just being real, I say this because there is just so much that I want to do and this stage feels like 'preparation'. It's okay though, because being prepared is very important .
Talking of preparation, the past 11 years have been such a rollercoaster and technically speaking,I hate rollercoasters but I have grown to appreciate and value the necessities of lows and highs.
Lows I have had many. After my first son, it was just me and my husband, no support system and no help to raise our first child. Due to the fact that I gave birth to my son way passed my due date, my mom who had spent a month with me had to return back home, and my husband's family was miles away.
Yes, new life, new town, new responsibilities, tons of unknowns, some fear, BUT the only constant was my prayer life that would help me through all the challenges I was facing then and beyond.
Facing the unknown
Being a new mom wasn't just the hard part. The hardest part of all was the conflicts in identity I was dealing with. I was no longer a college student, I was no longer just a little sister to my brothers, a daughter to my parents, I was now a wife to an American ( I am African by the way) and a mother to a boy that I will not get the chance to raise on my birth continent like my cousins and sister raised their kids. So many things were now to be different forever and if this wasn't enough, 'being a fat girl' added a whole lot to my inner drama.
I had no clue that weight gain could affect someone the way it affected me! Mind you I was the lean, or skinny girl, the social butterfly and pretty confident friend that you could always count on and suddenly...I became fat, insecure, shy, and started secluding myself. I would turn down invitations to go out, stopped being active and just started hiding....it took me a while to realize that the lack of activity was just adding fuel to the fire ....anyway...
I gradually made some changes, spent lots of time reading and researching about health and fitness, organic living, worked out at home doing Taebo, walking outdoors and walking/running on the treadmill. With each pregnancy I managed to gain less weight that I did during my first one.
I have been doing relatively good until my 4th C-section. A day I thought was my last and the hardest time of my life as a mother. That day was everything but normal. I had gotten so used to having C-sections that, by the 4th one I knew what to expect! Well, so I thought! That day that was just 10 days away from my 35th birthday had some unpleasant surprises!
There is something weird that happens to you when death try to send you a message that you are not untouchable.
...Life's slap in the face
The months to follow were the hardest of my life and I thought I was going to lose my mind. So much seemed to fall apart at a time when I thought I was finally starting to get things together.
But something happened...one day my husband insisted that I go on a run with him. For years I had refused because I didn't want to be the 'fat girl running'...that day, I was so tired of making excuses that I went for it....this is when my mind and my body started changing. That day, all the reading and the researching I did about healthy living...all of it finally clicked....it's like running was the dimensional element that would bring all of it together for me...not long after, I started a Facebook page and started sharing my experiences and encouraging others, but since I love to learn and inform, the page is also educational and all my posts are guided by my desire to educate and inspire and not so much to entertain.
I have always liked to make people feel better but I also love to read and share. Creating that first Facebook page has been a positive outlet for me. It's my prayer that people be blessed and inspired beyond what I can imagine. I am not driven by numbers there because sadly, I have remained shy and somewhat comfortable with a 'small circle' around me! I don't share too much of myself all the time because I am a private person who prefer one on one interactions. Staying true to myself, I pray that whatever I choose to share will make a difference for someone.
It took me years to gain back the confidence I lost when I first became overweight 11 years ago. To be honest, I haven't gained all of it back! I am certainly doing better than I used to. I am shedding the pounds, staying active, rewriting the scripts of my life, learning that I don't have to be 'stuck' in a habit, a mentality or a dress size.
Sculpting a new mind and a new life
After realizing just how much the extra weight had affected my mind & emotions and not just my body, I have made it my lifelong mission to sculpt my mind first. I feed my mind positivity, carefully select what I watch or listen to. I monitor my emotions and my attitude and I continue to pray daily.
I find myself praying a lot for young ladies, for new brides, new moms who don't know what they don't know and who will be caught off guard. I pray also for the ones who have been moms for a long time who struggle with their weight or feel stuck in a given area of their luves.
Well, got to stop here, baby number 4 is crying....join us on the FB page, I will add more pictures to this post so come back and check the updates!
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Until next time have a better and healthier life...