Following your heart?
I just want to give a quick update on how things are coming along in my journey with postpartum OCD. Ugh, I hate even typing that out because I feel like it brings judgement. But I do want to share because I am learning so much and if my experience can help someone else then I know I need to speak up. I have been seeing a therapist to help me sort my thoughts and make sense of everything and it’s really been helping! I felt so much better even after my first couple of visits because it was such a relief to know that this is actually pretty common and all of the things that I have been experiencing are just symptoms of the condition. From my understanding, OCD is something that you have always have (genetic) and then it “flairs up” when you experience trauma, sudden change in your life, or hormonal changes (like pregnancy). It’s due to a malfunction in the amygdala. This doesn’t mean that you are crazy. Very intelligent and high functioning people have OCD. It’s actually an anxiety disorder. The person without OCD and the person with OCD both have “creative thoughts” pop into their head. Like if you are waiting on a train, it is very normal for someone to think “what if I jumped in front of that train?” But where the person without OCD just dismisses it as a passing thought, the person with OCD is unable to let go of the thought and starts to believe that they will in fact jump in front of the train at some point. To protect themselves from jumping in from of the train, they may avoid trains at all costs and have extreme fear and anxiety every time they hear a train. There becomes this obsession over the train and how to avoid it.
I know it sounds crazy, but I was so relieved to talk about these things. Just understanding how the brain works and that these thoughts have no relevance was such a weight off my chest. I realized I have had thoughts and obsessions like this throughout my whole life and the eating disorders were ways of coping. This is all fascinating to me. I am glad that I made the decision to get help and I hope that if you are struggling with your thoughts postpartum (or anytime) that you decide to get help as well!
Here are the steps I am taking right now to manage my postpartum OCD. I am not currently on medication. I told my therapist that I wanted to wait to see what I could do without medication and then if I felt I needed it in the future I will try it then. For now, here is what I am doing.
Taking Every Thought Captive-
As a Christian it is important for me to pray for discernment and take every thought captive anyway.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
But when I am constantly dealing with intrusive thoughts due to a faulty amygdala, it’s REALLY important for me to know how God speaks to me because if I was to just ‘go with my gut” or “listen to my heart” I could end up someplace I’m not supposed to be!
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9
Feelings lie all the time. Even though it has been such a terrifying and exhausting experience dealing with OCD, I am thankful for it because it has brought me closer to the Lord and deep into His word. When the storm is raging in my mind, I know that I can stand firm on God’s word. God speaks to us through His word. That’s why it’s so important to know it! Do you know it?
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:1-2
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
God speaks to us through His word. Whether you deal with OCD or not, this is paramount to know so that you are not just believing your own thoughts and feelings all the time.
Staying Off the Internet
There is a lot of good on the internet but it’s also like shopping at Ross, you have to sort through the crap. A person with OCD can Google themselves into oblivion looking for answers to the endless questions in their mind. It’s a black hole. For me, I have decided to refrain from any searching for help online. It just adds to the confusion and overwhelm.
Keeping a Healthy Diet and Exercising
Keeping my blood sugar stable and getting some mood boosting exercise in each day is crucial right now. These are two things that are good for me anyway that when kept in check help the management of postpartum OCD all the more. I am also supplementing with vitamin B12 and D.
I’m sure if you have dealt with any sort of postpartum depression, anxiety, or OCD, you know the drastic difference in the way you think when you have had enough sleep and when you haven’t. I am thankful that Anna is sleeping through the night now and am taking full advantage. It’s one thing to push yourself, but you have to be wise. I make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
Cutting Myself Some Slack
I am feeling SO MUCH better. But there are still good days and bad days. It takes a physical toll. Sometimes I feel like my heart is going to jump out of my chest and other times I feel like my heart is about to stop because I am just so fatigued. I have to cut myself some slack and know that this won’t be forever and I am taking the steps that need to be taken. But all in all, I am thankful for this time, I’m fascinated at how our minds work, and I am learning so much! I will keep you updated on my progress.
Thank you so much for being so kind and supportive sweet friends. I hope you are well, but if you aren’t, reach out! You will be so glad you did.
Here’s my latest viking to vegan update!
Kickin it old school TKP today blogging about random fitness stuff. How is everyone? How is your fitness journey going? I would love to hear an update so please let me know in the comments!
So believe it or not I am STILL rocking the vegan-ish life! I honestly can’t believe it because just last year the thought of life without dairy made me sad. But I just love the way I feel so much eating mostly vegan that I don’t even miss dairy at all! I will do another Viking to Vegan update soon and give the complete rundown but long story short, I keep a completely vegan diet six days a week and then usually have one day a week where I will have whatever. But not sugar. I am still sugarless. I quit sugar on October 31st and went 9 months without having any. Then several weeks ago I decided to have a little bit just to see how I felt and reassess. Maybe it was time to add it back it moderation. I quit sugar in October because I couldn’t stop once I started. When I had it again a while back (ice cream), I didn’t feel the need to eat the whole container but I just felt awful. Not having sugar for so long has made me SO sensitive to sugar! I don’t know how to explain how I felt really but it wasn’t a good feeling. So I decided to go back to the sugarless life. I feel much better, real food tastes so good, and the sugarless/vegan-ish life makes staying at a healthy weight so easy! More to come in the Viking to Vegan rundown but that’s the jist of my diet currently.
Oh and I tried Amazon Fresh! LOVE IT. I’ve used it three times now!
If you didn’t catch my post from last week, I am no longer actively Beachbody coaching. But I still love the workouts. I use Beachbody On Demand and it’s awesome because you can choose from tons of different kinds of programs every time you workout. So I never get bored and it’s so convenient! I don’t have to drive anywhere and Anna just hangs out while I jump around the living room. It’s awesome! Right now I am just doing random workouts from random programs everyday. Last week I did workouts from Insanity Max 30, 21 Day Fix Extreme, and T25.
It’s weird because before getting pregnant in 2016, I used to workout so hard in the gym and pay so much more attention to what I was eating and was 20 pounds heavier than I am now! Before getting pregnant with Anna, I would hang out around 170 lbs and now I hover around 150 (I’m 5’8″). I LOVE lifting really heavy but it would make me SO HUNGRY all the time. Now that I am working out with lighter weights and even just my own body weight, I am retaining the muscle I have but I’m not so hungry all the time! This is good because the thing about being hungry all the time is that you end up eating all the time! Haha! It feels good to not have this ravenous approach to food all the time.
So I started this blog because I had a passion for health and fitness which I still do. But fitness is no longer my main passion in life. As you know, I have had the worst time with postpartum anxiety. But it has brought me so close to the Lord and even deeper into His word! I have such a passion for His word now! It’s seriously all I think about. I love learning about healthy foods and our bodies and exercise, those things are definitely still important to me especially in managing the anxiety. But fitness is no longer the majority of my brain space as it once was. This is a good place to be. A fit lifestyle shouldn’t be one’s life. It’s just taking care of yourself so that you can care for others. So who knows what my future blog posts will hold. I am a Christian, not a Christian blogger. I am a healthy living blogger. Guess I will just go where the keyboard takes me! I do know I will be making some changes in my blogging due to some serious convictions about my image and the way I dress. I am so desensitized to the sexualization of the fitness world because it’s been that way forever now! What is considered modest is definitely far from it these days. I know my progress pictures are a far cry from the “progress pics” on social media these days but I feel the need to stand up to this so I will definitely be making the effort to display modesty on here. I hate that I am just now doing this but I am thankful for the conviction and working to make the change.
PS- Put your pants on Instagram!
Best ever. Even through postpartum anxiety brain. I feel like my heart is constantly exploding with love all the while breaking with sadness. I love watching them grown, but I hate watching them grow. The saying “Time flies when you’re having fun.” is an understatement when you are a mom. I feel like I am going to blink my eyes and one of them will be walking down the aisle! Ryan and I definitely share that mommy/son bond. But Anna and I have a special bond too. The love that God gives us for our kids blows my mind. When I was pregnant with Anna I was so afraid that I wouldn’t love her as much as I love Ryan. But I honestly love both of them exactly the same but in different ways. People would tell me this before I had two but I couldn’t understand it back then. Now I know. It is just so fun getting to know them and see their little personalities blossom into what they do. Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff. You moms know how it is.
Ok Peaches, how have you been?
How is your diet lately? Any food revelations?
How do you feel about the sexualization of the fitness world?
Moms, brag on your kids.
Oh and I have a question. How are you all taking such amazing selfies? And I can tell in your pictures that you are taking them out in public. I never see anyone taking selfies in public so I feel ridiculous doing it and then I have no clue how to get all these amazing angles that you all are. Here is last night’s date night selfies at At Home…….
My other issue is that Jason is just not into selfies. And yes, we do date night’s at home decor stores.
Have a great start to your week yall!
So I have not said this yet but I quit Beachbody coaching. Before I go into why I decided to no longer coach, I just want to make it clear that it has absolutely nothing to do with Beachbody as a company. I still love programs and the friendships that were made in my year as a coach were nothing but lovely. I chose to no longer coach after months of mental anguish and then a conversation with my mom that sealed the deal.
I have been very open about the whole reason that I became a coach last year. It was because I thought that it was set into my hands from the Lord as the answer to my Proverbs 31 prayer. Since I have a passion for the fit lifestyle and have recovered from 17 years of eating disorders, I figured this had to be for me! I became a coach in July 2016 but didn’t do anything with it until the beginning of April 2017. Shortly after beginning to really work the business, I was BOMBARDED with extreme anxiety. I can’t express the magnitude of this to you. It utterly debilitating. Despite the mental anguish, I tried to hang on and keep coaching. I got up early each morning, read my Bible and had my prayer time, got my workout in, and then did the best I could with coaching all the while fighting the mental battle I had going on inside mind. I was constantly trying to sort my thoughts, wondering why I couldn’t make sense of anything, my house was a wreck, Ryan was on his tablet most of the day, and when Jason would talk to me, my eyes would be looking at him but I wasn’t hearing anything he was saying. As crazy as it seems, I didn’t realize this was going on. I knew coaching had to be right so I wasn’t going to give up. There were even times where I thought maybe even though I thought my heart was in the right place with coaching, maybe it wasn’t! Maybe I was really just in it for myself? These little “revelations” would make me feel better for a short time but then the mental anguish would return shortly after. I couldn’t seem to get it together and I didn’t now what I was supposed to do. Coaching had to be right, so it had to be something else.
I was at my mom’s a few weeks ago and we were discussing everything that had been going on. She brought attention to 2 Corinthians 11:14,
And no wonder, for Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Ok so this is what I am NOT saying, I am NOT saying that Beachbody or Beachbody coaching is bad. But this household was not at all benefiting from me being a coach. And that was the whole reason that I became a coach in the first place! You all know that I love Proverbs 31 and I am so thankful to God for giving us the purpose that He has! We get to be such a blessing to our households!
She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11-12
She gets up while it is still night and provides food for her household and portions for her female servants. Proverbs 31:15
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Mom made me see that I was hanging onto this one thing because I thought I was supposed to, but literally everything else in my life was chaos! So FOR ME, it became apparent that Beachbody coaching was not something that I should be doing at this time.
So Peaches, it’s back to just random fitness blogging for me. I know for you readers, this blog has been very confusing this past year. I have to say thank you so much for your readership and for bearing with me. And oh my gosh, thank you to all of you who have followed this blog recently! I can’t believe that this blog has continued to grow even despite the craziness. I have learned so much this past year. One important lesson is that being “just a wife and mom” is the most important job that we have! It’s an enormous responsibility that requires a ton of attention. And thank God we get to do this. What a wonderful calling it is.
Thank you so much again for reading my sweet friends.
Blessings to you all,