My rock bottom. My anxiety and depression were the worst they had ever been. My patience was non existent, especially with the kids. I didn’t mind quarantine because it was an excuse to not leave the house. I was unhappy, unmotivated and unhealthy.
I decided to take a week off of Facebook and Instagram, hoping that would change something. I didn’t even know what I wanted to change, I just knew something needed to. That afternoon I deleted both apps on my phone, and then sat there thinking “now what?”
Then, I downloaded TikTok.
It honestly made no sense. In hindsight, I needed to put the phone down. But instead, like most other millennials, I spent hours scrolling and watching, wondering how watching TikToks could possibly help me in any way.
Then weight loss progress TikToks started popping up. My first thought was jealousy. I had definitely gained the quarantine 15, and I was the heaviest I had been in years. Honestly, I still hadn’t lost the baby weight I gained during my second pregnancy…in 2015. I kept thinking how I wish I was the person who was losing weight. I knew I could lose the weight, I had done it before, but it wasn’t something I could wish away. I couldn’t continue to tell myself I would start my weight loss journey again one day. So without social media consuming all of my energy, I had the time to take action. What was the worst that could happen?
(Okay, let’s be honest, social media wasn’t keeping me from eating well or working out. But not having social media scroll through all day definitely pushed me to find something else to do.)
I texted my sister and asked for her login info to the programs she used. I didn’t want to spend the money because I really thought I’d give it up after a few weeks. This way, I had nothing to lose.
That first workout almost made me quit.
I modified everything and didn’t pick up a single weight. I couldn’t breathe and I barely got through the workout. But at the same time I felt great. For the first time in what felt like forever, I wasn’t anxious. I felt so accomplished, a feeling I hadn’t felt in years.
A week went by and I re-downloaded my Facebook and Instagram, and started talking to two amazing friends I met on social media. They both had their own health journeys and motivated me on hard days.
Less than 3 weeks in the workout high started wearing off. I was bored. Instead of giving up like I had in the past, I decided to try something new.
This was my breakthrough.
I started a new program that I loved. I started seeing progress. Not just physically, but mentally. My anxiety was much more manageable. I wanted to take the kids to the zoo and strawberry picking and to play outside with them. I stopped hiding behind the camera and started getting in the pictures.
At this point I decided to invest in myself. I spent money to pay for my own access to workouts and really started dialing in on my eating and nutrition. Working out and eating well became my escape. It became my “me time.”
Most importantly, it made me a better mom.
Working out didn’t cure my anxiety and depression, but it allows me a healthy outlet for it. It makes me feel in control in times everything else seems to be falling apart.
It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worth it.
I’d be lying if I said this journey has been nothing but amazing. I have wanted to quit more than once. I have cried and even stopped a few workouts halfway through. When I look back to (almost) a year ago, I’m so proud of my growth. While I started working out to lose weight, it’s turned into so much more than that. I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone and push my limits. I’m healthier and happier. I have also found the greatest friends and cheerleaders this past year. While one week doesn’t sound like a huge deal, for me it was. One week completely changed my life in ways I never imagined.