Hi again Friend!
I've been reflecting a lot about myself lately. While I don't think it's good to think about yourself all the time I also don't think it's good to never think about yourself either. I'm sure that there are quite a few of you fellow twin mom's who are going to be able to relate to what I'm about to say.
Maybe it's because I married young (and who knows much about oneself then) and I always longed to be a mom (but it didn't happen for a long time) that I didn't develop a strong sense of self. I was busy focusing all my energy on getting pregnant. I learned a lot about myself during that journey but didn't put much into practice. Then we went through the process of IVF (see my fertility journey here) and we had our precious twins. Well, between sleep deprivation and all that comes with being new parents...I can definitely say I've put myself waaay on the backburner. We also lived in Hong Kong for 7 years (the first 4 of the girls lives) and I was always walking somewhere pushing a stroller or trying to wrangle two toddlers and I was sweaty or it was raining...
Then we got pregnant (surprise surprise) and then we lost the baby at 12 weeks and then a few months later my mom passed away unexpectedly and then a few months later we made the big transition back to the US. We began the process of re-acclimating ourselves and then began building a house. Such a whirlwind and I believe I have been in survival mode the last 8 years of my life.
Not to say that it hasn't been amazing and I've had some great times but as for me, expressing myself and being who I believe God made me to be, well that's been dormant. We are finally settled in the US and in our home and the girls are in school. Next year full-time. I think it's maybe harder for us twin mamas because we've been so overwhelmed from the start. But I'm starting to emerge from the cocoon...
A little back story - in the summer of 2016 my husband and I decided to go on a low-carb, high-fat diet. We already walked everywhere in Hong Kong (pushing a stroller or carrying a heavy backpack or both!) and we felt generally in good shape and we ate fairly healthy (not having access to all the fast food and restaurant options we have in the US) but we still had some pounds to shed. I had 20 lbs of weight from my pregnancy that I just wanted to get rid of. So we started and cut out all sugar. We lost weight fairly quickly and felt great. I was on point to reach my goal. It clearly was working well for me. Then, about 3 months in, I got the stomach bug that was going around. But I seemed to get it worse than everyone else. It was over the weekend and that Monday I was still feeling under the weather but I had to take the girls to school. I realized I hadn't gotten my period or hadn't tracked it in my app and so I was confused. I thought maybe I had a UTI. I decided that I would take a pregnancy test just to rule that out before going to the Doctor. I - in no way - thought I could actually BE pregnant. I had 3 year-old twins from IVF and after 11 years of trying that would have been a miracle.
But guess what? It came out positive. I almost fell on the floor. How in the world? Only one thing had changed - we took out all processed carbs and all sugar. Wow. That's pretty powerful right there. I went to the doctor to confirm and indeed I was pregnant complete with heartbeat. I was pretty nauseous from that point on and so I started eating lots of scones from Starbucks. It was the only thing that sounded good in the mornings. And so I gained weight back. At our 9.5 week scan everything was okay. I was still trying to wrap my head around this whole thing. That meant we had a baby due like a week before we were due to get on a plane and move back to the US. Oh boy!
Then, at what was supposed to be our 12 week ultrasound, the doctor gasped when the image came on the screen. Our little baby hadn't progressed past 10 weeks and there was no heartbeat. It was an awful and sad time. Because I was almost 40 we decided not to try again and to be very careful from then on. But had I known we might have had a chance to fight this by just taking out sugar and processed carbs and adding in healthy fat back when I was in my 20's, well I wonder if that would have painted a different picture? But then I think about how everything would have been different. No Hong Kong, no E and L....so then I'm comforted by that.
That was in the beginning of December 2016. In March, 2017 - only a few months later - my mom passed away at work from a massive heart event. Apparently her arteries were 60, 70 and 80 percent clogged or something like that. We didn't know. She'd had some swelling in her foot and she had high blood pressure. But I never saw her again. After a quick trip to the states and then back to Hong Kong to finish packing and getting our life there squared away I was barely thinking about myself.
We came back to the US and went, perhaps, a little hog-wild on all the yummy food choices available to us once again. We tried and failed several times to do the low-carb diet again. While there are so many more options to be successful here we were still lured by the treats the US held for us.
But now, in January (because I want to eat Christmas cookies), it's time. I have a vision for myself. I know who I am and what I love and how I want to be. It's time to put it into action. I know that sugar and processed food kills. I know that it's not the presence of good fat in your diet that will kill you but what happens when sugar and fat are present together. I understand how my body works. I know how to heal it. I know how I feel when I'm healthy. In many ways I aspire to be like my mom. She was an amazing person. But I want to be different in my health. I have the knowledge and the tools. I'm tired of not being able to look how I want to because of this extra weight I'm carrying. And it's only going to get worse unless I take action.
I'm at an age now where I don't care about what is trendy. I just want what I like. I'm so excited for all the plans and ideas I have. I pray daily to stay in God's will and I definitely know that God has put it on my heart over and over again to take care of myself and be healthy. I feel like He's shown me the way over and over again. I've been talking to the girls a lot about obeying lately. Guess maybe I better obey too! I want God's fullest for my life. I want my girls to have a happy and healthy mama. It's time to reclaim me!
What about you? How do you feel about yourself? What's one step you can take for yourself today?
Hi! I'm a mom of 5 year-old fraternal twin girls. While I'm by no means an expert - I do have stories to tell and ideas to share.