Return to site

Holding On To Your Health

When Life Throws You Curveballs (Because, Oh, It Will!)

Jumping back into work after maternity leave, I figured now's as good a time as any to chat about the rollercoaster of keeping your health in check. Anyone who's navigated the newborn phase knows too well how your own well-being often gets shoved to the back burner, barely getting a nod. But hey, you don't need a mini-you to face battles that make zeroing in on your health feel like scaling Everest in flip-flops.

I want to share my personal journey with you, illustrating the obstacles I encountered and how I remained dedicated to my health despite significant difficulties. This includes a time when my habits were drastically altered and my life, along with my daughter's, was in jeopardy.

In my late 30s, I faced fertility issues, a common problem for about 25% of people. After one year of trying to conceive naturally without success, my husband and I sought medical help. We underwent all the recommended tests and only to be branded with the infuriating label of "unexplained infertility," with a, not so subtle, hint around my age causing a steady decline in my egg quality.  We were unsuccessful the first round, but after the second round I became pregnant and heartbreakingly miscarried at 13 weeks. In the third round we hit the jackpot with Raia Serena, who made her grand entrance on January 7th, 2023, after a labor saga worthy of its own epic.

Early in the pregnancy, I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, basically morning sickness on steroids.  This led to hospitalization for dehydration and a severe struggle to ingest sufficient calories. I was unable to work, hardly able to walk, unable to sleep, and unable to eat anything that I would consider remotely healthy.  I remember one low moment while grocery shopping as I added soda crackers and cream of wheat cereal to my basket: my food for the week. I felt embarrassment kick in and I remember thinking “please don’t let any of my clients see me now!!” I was stressed, but also really trying not to be stressed because of course we all know stress is bad for the baby, and retention of the pregnancy.  Meanwhile, I had never looked worse and had friends and family suggesting I should just start eating burgers.  Thanks guys! If I could only manage to keep a bite of it down, I would have happily taken down a burger.  

Months of this broke me down, not only physically but mentally.  However, I knew I had to “walk my talk” and that “don’t take your eyes off the prize”, where that prize is you!  Look, on a good week my normal health plan would look like: freshly prepared, organic foods, daily movement and exercise 5 times a week, 8 hours of sleep a night, time for fun like seeing live music or spending quality time with family or friends, and meaningful work. Nowadays that all sounds dreamy!   Of course, this was not happening, nor was this the time for it.  However, I had to remember my own words and decide how I was going to make it through this.  Trust me, there were days where I didn’t know if I wanted to continue the pregnancy, to continue living even, but I moved through those feelings and kept my eye on the prize.  I altered my health plan. Some days that looked like simply walking to the end of the street and back, and I often focused on breathing, daily baths, and eating what little I could. I reminded myself that every day is a new one, and even if that next day felt the same or even worse, I would tell myself the same thing.  Slowly, way slower than I wanted it to be, slower than I thought I could handle, I started to get better, and as I started to feel better, I ate a little better, and then I walked a bit more and then I might have danced to a new track in my living room, I started to write some content when I felt like I could, even if it was for 15 minutes and then somehow I made it through the other side.  The next thing I knew I was hiking mountains all by myself!  My diet and routine may not have fully reverted to their former glory, but perfection took a backseat to progress. I’m also happy to report that I did take down a burger eventually soon after my daughter was born!  

I would like to say that my struggle ended with pregnancy but it didn’t.  I had a 34 hour traumatic labour that involved my daughter needing resuscitation and myself needing acute medical care that had both me and my daughter fighting to recover. It was, hands down, the toughest battle I've faced. Yet, sticking to my guns and focusing on healing at our own pace paid off, leading us to a happier chapter.

I'd love to think that this will be the end of the struggle, but life's not that straightforward. Adjusting to new normals, especially with a bambino in the mix, meant my health playbook needed some serious editing and will likely continue to. But here's the kicker: our journey through health is never really over. It's the backbone of everything that matters – family, work, relationships. Being in tip-top shape means you can bring your A-game to the people and passions that fill your life.

For those of us mingling work with home life, like yours truly currently typing away with noise-canceling headphones on, staying adaptable is key. Life's curveballs might mean tweaking your health routine, whether it's a family expansion, a move, or a noisy neighbor. It's about making sure your health strategy jives with your current scenario, even if it feels like a juggling act.

Yes, keeping your health on track amidst life's twists and turns is a tall order. You might be thinking this a lot of work, and I’m not a very good liar so I will be honest and tell you it is.  If it was easy, we wouldn’t be in the current health care crisis, while so many struggle to attain their health. Wellness is my job and it is hard for me to stay committed and keep changing my plan as my life changes.  This is partly why I became a Health Coach so I could provide support and guidance to make being heathy easier and more successful for people.  I think this is why so many of my clients finally reach their health goals, because they are getting support in real time, when they are in one of life’s curveballs.  So, I say get support, don’t make it such a struggle, and put some ease and success into your health. Because, at the end of the day, investing in your health is the best thing you can do for yourself and everyone else in your orbit. Here's to not just surviving, but thriving, no matter what life tosses your way!