Oh my… there were so many struggles before I started the program. I have six kids, and I work full time. My husband works nights which leaves me virtually a single mom quite a bit. There was never enough time. EVER! Like all good moms and women, I forgot to take care of me because I was too busy taking care of everyone else. I didn’t realize how much it affected me – putting me last – until I was at an OB/GYN appointment and the doctor casually said to me, “Hey, how are you?” and I burst into tears and couldn’t stop. I didn’t even know how to answer her question. How was I? Hanging on. Surviving. Swimming under water with no more air in my lungs. But I didn’t even realize I was drowning. My poor doctor, she thought she was going to check my ovaries, and she ended up checking my emotions. Thank goodness!! She said to me what no one else had ever said, “You need help.” Yes!! How did I not see that sooner? I needed more help around the house, I needed more sleep, I needed more time for me. I had gained 20 lbs, I was weak, I was tired, I was sad. Indeed, I needed a change. It was like that expression, how do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time. The thought of transforming my body and my mind was so overwhelming, that I just couldn’t do it by myself. But with Dayna, it is one bite at a time, one day at a time.
I realized I had to make the tough decision that I am important. Important enough to say “no” to others once in a while without feeling guilty, to go work out even if it means something or someone else gets put on hold for a while. It seems obvious to me now that I am important, but I felt selfish when I first started making time for me because so many others were needy of my time (at home and at work). My friend told me about Dayna’s program, and signing up was one of the first steps I took that was all about me.
After committing to making time for me and realizing it’s NOT selfish but necessary, my struggle today is accepting my victories. I struggled with an eating disorder (still do), and it’s so hard for me to take a compliment. It’s hard for me to see what I really look like. I’ve worked so hard – with my diet and exercise – and I know that my body has changed. Since I joined Dayna’s program, I’ve lost 37 lbs. and several inches. Although, in some places, I’ve gained inches – like my biceps and my quads. because they are popping some muscles now J. Dayna is helping me to SEE ME – the real me. To stop being so mean to myself and to love myself and accept and celebrate my victories. Instead of pointing out a fault of mine when someone compliments me, I now say Thank You! I was never enough before, but now I am learning and trying to live like I AM ENOUGH!
The best and most difficult piece of advice Dayna gave me was to take a hammer to my scale. I couldn’t do it. I was addicted to that scale. My reaction to destroying my scale made me really look at my relationship with that beast and evaluate my goals. Today, I want to be HEALTHY and STRONG – not skinny and frail. A scale is deceiving and has way too much power over how I felt about myself. No more.
Dayna’s program is not only teaching me to be healthy with diet/exercise, but also and most importantly to be kind to myself, to see myself as ENOUGH. That is not easy for a girl with an eating disorder who has spent a good deal of her life hiding in big clothes, putting herself last, and berating her image in the mirror when the scale doesn’t agree with unrealistic goals. Dayna is so positive and doles out small bits of advice and do-able strategies to help me see myself as ENOUGH.
My best tips for success? Make yourself important enough to take time to do what you love, to exercise, to eat right, to breathe, to think, to reflect. Even if you don’t think you are worth it, act like you are until you believe it. You certainly can’t take care of others very well if you are not taking care of yourself.
The best thing that’s come from my journey with Dayna is that I am transforming – body and mind, and so is my family. As a mom, I set the tone in my house. I buy the groceries. I set the example. I didn’t make any changes for anyone but me at first, but as they have been watching me, my family is asking to do what I do. I drink a gallon of water a day, and suddenly my kids are bragging to me about their water intake each day. I make time to work out 5-6 days a week – no matter what- and guess what? My kids are begging to work out with me, and saying things like, “I want to be strong like mommy.” Even my husband has returned to the gym and is eating healthy again. He’s lost 15 lbs. and gained a lot of muscle. Dayna’s program has had a ripple effect for my family; it’s been good for all of us!