I wanted to update you all, as so many things in my life have changed since the last time you heard from me. I lost 100 pounds, we all remember that, right?
In April 2016, I turned 26 years old, and was struggling for the previous few months to find the balance of nutrition, the gym, and life as a mother while my husband was deployed. I had bought a home right before my husband left, and he never got the chance to see it before leaving. Buying a house with Power of Attorney is a LOT of signing! Nevertheless, I was swamped, and had to move a household of stuff on my own without my husband, switch my children's schools, adjust to a home which I was remodeling without him, and somehow still go to the gym to maintain my health.
I have anxiety and depression, and I wish I could tell you that it isn't that bad, however it affects me everyday. When I am busy, I manage it pretty well and I am able to to keep it all at bay, but when I get those quiet nights to sit in bed and overthink things, my world can feel turned upside down very quickly. Most of the time, I am not on anti-depressants, because I can usually tell when my feelings are "anxiety caused" or caused by real logic. Knowing the difference doesn't make the feelings go away though unfortunately, and sometimes it's torture.
I began getting overwhelmed with life and had so many things on my plate in 2016, that I fell off track nutritionally, and took a "break" from the gym. I ate terribly because I felt terrible, and I felt terrible because I ate terrible. I know better than most that binge eating doesn't solve my problems, and that I will only feel worse in the end, but that didn't seem to be enough to knock reality back into my head. I hated myself. I avoided the gym even more because I was gaining weight. How could someone who was certified as a personal trainer and fitness nutritionist fall off track? How could someone with so many followers let them down? I was drowning while trying to be everyone else's anchor. These were the moments when anxiety and depression took over and left me isolated at home, questioning my worth.
Time passed, and I had gained 30 pounds total. That may not seem like much to some, but it was a large backslide for me. I stopped posting on Facebook because I needed to get my mind back in the right place, and more than that, I didn't want anyone to see me that way. I was so ashamed of myself. Once again, my body image was making me feel like less of a person, and my weight was the deciding factor in my own happiness.
It took some time, but when my husband returned home he was a tremendous help which allowed my stress to lower significantly. I was still struggling with my body image, and decided that it was time I just faced it all and fixed my slip up. I prayed. I needed clarity as badly as I needed to breathe, and it was time I asked for it. It felt better to just unload my thoughts, fears, and shortcomings out loud. I am not one to push beliefs on anyone, or even preach my own for that matter because they are so personal to me, however I have to admit, it was a blessing I needed. I started to notice more clarity, and the ability to put my anxieties aside while waiting for their "episode" to be over.
I began going back to the gym, and eating ketogenic soon after. I knew that my anxieties were always worse when they were fueled by sugar. So many previous binge eating episodes had proven that for me. I understand that it seems backwards to not eat more than 20g of carbs per day to the average person, but believe me when I say I have ALWAYS put an enormous amount of studying and research behind my choices in life. My ketogenic lifestyle is exactly that, mine. It keeps my insulin levels steady and low, and I can think without being riddled with anxiety and depression. More importantly, people like to put down people who choose to live low carb simply because they read something on the internet, or they think they know, or they know someone, who knows someone, who said its bad for you. The short moral here, is that unless you buy my food, you don't get to decide how I choose to nourish my body. (I'll give you more info on my keto lifestyle in another post.) I lost 100 pounds once, I can lose a whopping 30 again.
Life can certainly take over, and its hard to get back up sometimes when you feel like you have fallen down and life has chained you to the ground. The thing you have to remember, is that you can get back up. It is most certainly scary, and its so hard to face it when you feel like the world expects you to be perfect. I am not perfect. I fell down, and I backslid because I was overwhelmed with life. It is ok to fall down, you just cant unpack and live there, and most importantly, you shouldn't feel like you are going to be shamed for making mistakes.
I hope you all can take something away from my blogs. On social media its easy to think someone who you admire is "perfect" but I am just a normal human being, who set out to accomplish something amazing, and succeeded. I am also a human being who has normal life stress and struggles and occasionally has to be told how to adult when I fall down. I hope 2017 brings you all many victories, I know there are a few surprises we have up our sleeves for this year! <3
With Love, Sarie Bronish