I’m Not Brave…yet

I would do anything for my kids.  What parent wouldn’t?

My heart breaks for my boys when they struggle in life. When your kids are hurting you hurt. When they overcome something, you celebrate with them. When they’re in pain, you feel that pain even deeper than they do at times.

My youngest opened up to us a few weeks ago that he was sneaking extra food from his friends lunches. After eating what we packed him, he would take leftovers others didn’t want to eat. We knew something had been going on when his clothes had stopped fitting him and we were forced to move to sizes well beyond his height and age.

We had a heart breaking moment, when our baby sat in tears feeling ashamed and confused. He didn’t know what was driving him, but he felt he was doing something wrong. He was embarrassed and crushed. This was so tough for me to watch and hear.

I remember how I felt the day Jeremy (my hubby) walked into the bathroom and caught me mid-purge. I remember the shame that I felt. I remember the fear I had as I wondered what he was thinking. I remember how exposed I felt as the light switch was flipped on to something that had grown in the dark since I was 10 years old.  All of those memories resurfaced as I watched my boy sitting on the side of the bed in tears and unable to speak. I was gripped with fear. I know how God carried me into freedom. His perfect strength and the support of my family helped me but how do I now help my boy?

PAUSE . . .

Toward the end of every December, I ask God for a word for the coming year. It’s more than a theme.  It’s like a mission for the next 365 days of my life.  I take it serious. I focus on it. I push myself and trust God to lead me.

BE BRAVE

Funny thing about those two words is as I did my best to embrace them, I immediately became fearful. I prayed to God and said, “Ok God, Ill be brave. But what are you throwing my way this year that I need bravery for?”

Don’t get me wrong, bravery sounds awesome and it’s gonna look good on the t-shirt.  But we only need bravery to do scary things. So what scary things should I expect to face this year God?  My attitude was less than brave. “Sure Jesus, I’ll be brave as long as you don’t make me face anything too hard. And please don’t make me give up any of my things.”

But he reminded me of my biggest promise in 2015. I chose to live “palms up” recognizing I’m all his and nothing belongs to me.  I chose to give up control and stop possessing my own life.  My life is His. I’m anxious about 2016.  Bravery is scary!

 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.

Philippians 4:6

BACK TO MY BOY:

And right out of the gate we had our first Nicks Family “Be Brave” moment. How do we help our baby to put down guilt and shame? How do we help him live a healthy and happy life? How do do all this without him becoming obsessed with looking down at the scale before looking up to God?  I’m not really sure but God knows and we’re all in His care.

In that moment, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I went to my quiet place and pleaded and begged God for the health of my baby. “Please God, don’t allow him to suffer in shame. Protect his spirit. Tell me what to do. Don’t let our fears affect his growth through this circumstance.”

We’ve been doing our part and trusting God to do his.  There was a time fear would have won. I would have ignored the problem or ran and hid from it.  Instead we are taking little steps to help our little guy embrace who God made him and help channel is love for food in healthier ways. He helps with dinners, he gets to choose what we make for dinner, and we get to focus on WHOLE health and not on appearance. I’ll share more as we go but for today my encouragement to you is

Be brave by taking one step each day through the circumstances that would normally scare you.

This past week, we went back to our plan. The plan start everyone of my new clients with gives freedom to my son. He doesn’t feel like he’s dieting. He actually gets to tell us what he wants to eat and he’s in charge!  We work out OR get active EVERY DAY.  We haven’t discussed pounds. We’ve talked health. We’ve talked about handling life. We’ve talked about living in the light so the stuff that scares us has to fear us! So what’s happened?

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It started with screaming and ended with tears.  The screaming came from my boy after he got out of the shower.

“Guess what?!” he yelled at me.  “I lost 4 pounds this week.” There was such pride and confidence as we celebrated his win. In that moment he shared an area where he had struggled last week.  This was a win too? My boy isn’t scared to talk to me. That’s more important than 4 pounds! It was my moment to remind him it isn’t about being perfect, its about progress and effort.

Being brave is scary.  But I want to grow. I want to be more who I was meant to be. Isn’t that the goal?

Growth demands the temporary release of security.

Gail Sheehy

 

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I’m Back In More Ways Than One [UPDATE]

I cried! If you know me, that isn’t uncommon, but today it was a good cry!

It has been a long while since I updated and I promise to get better about letting you all know what’s been going on. I have met some incredible people along this tummy tuck journey of mine and I know you have been waiting. Or at least I like to pretend you are on pins and needles waiting for me to post! haha

Last month, I had a follow up appointment with my doctor. If you’re wondering, it was my 5 week checkup. From the look on my doctor’s face, I knew she was thinking what I was thinking. “Woah, this girl is swollen.”

She told me I needed to wait an additional 6-8 weeks before I was cleared to workout again and to a health+fitness coach that screamed  THERE GOES MY BUSINESS! I was terrified to have to wait another 2 months before I could post a sweaty selfie or get in the trenches with my clients and work out. I left feeling a tad but defeated and learned that my body is going to take its precious time recovering. I was reminded the healing takes place internally and there were 4 levels of stitches that needed to heal before I started to see any changes externally. Honestly, her words were going in one ear and out the other and all I could focus on were those three words:  NO WORKING OUT.

In other news: I got a new garment. Its tight and I LOVE IT. My swelling has decreased so much over the past month, I contacted my doctor again with fingers crossed and begged for modified cardio. Please with cherries on top? I was shocked to get the response that I did…

Hi Lindsey,
So yes, you can step it up. However, ease yourself into Cardio. Maybe some low impact? See how you react to that and we can take it from there. I would hold off on heavy weight lifting, until you are comfortable stepping up your routine. Let us know how its going. Talk to you soon!
MUSIC to my ears! I pressed the play button on one of my favorite cardio workouts today. Thankfully there are modifications for every move in my current program. The best part of being back at it that the time off reminded me of the importance of nutrition first.  I got back to basics and guess what? I lost 10 pounds and I don’t just look skinny.  According to my hubby, I’m looking as fit as ever. After 14 years, he’s learned the right words at the right times.
Next week, my clients and I are starting our new adventure. It takes courage to make a change. When I thought about working out again, I was terrified! This year, I won’t let excuses get the best of me.  We CAN stand up to the things we fear. I learned a lot in 2015.  One of the most important things I learned about me is fear has played a major role in my life.  But not any more. This year will be about bravery.  My goal is to use the tools God’s given me along with a lot of experiences and help other women  BE BRAVE.
Are you ready to get brave? Do you need a little more courage do something you dream of?  Stick with me during this year and let’s do it together. In the words of one of the bravest men of the 90’s:
Who’s coming with me?
– Jerry Maguire
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YOU ASKED FOR IT 3 WEEK UPDATE [VIDEO]

I feel like I can accomplish anything now that I have conquered being split in two. For anyone considering abdominoplasty, this is not a weight loss solution. This is war on your stomach!

Recovery is a road of ups and downs and curves that keep you from seeing what’s in store. You lose your independence more ways than you ever expected. I never thought I’d be so proud to wipe my own rear. I know my husband is grateful for this as well.

I MISS working out. It’s my therapy and what keeps me on track with my nutrition. I am still about 3-6 weeks from being cleared to get sweaty so the hubs and I decided we are going to do a 21 day cleanse. Don’t worry…with this cleanse…we get to eat like a king and queen. I’ve been asked for more video updates so I will be posting more on my youtube page, but also sharing some of our recipes along the way.

Here’s my 3-week post-op update video, and please ask your questions below in the comment section. I’ll be sure to answer them there or in my one month update next week. One month already? wow…

For now, I leave you with my 21 day recovery video update!

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YOU ASKED FOR IT – MY TUMMY TUCK UPDATE [PART 2]

I am so thankful for all of the encouraging messages, texts and emails I’ve been getting here and throughout all of social media.  Thank you so much.  As you know, I love touchy feely things.  So today I thought I’d do 2 things:

First some FAQs.  I want to answer all your questions so let’s start there:

1 THE PAIN – There is definitely pain.  I wouldn’t describe it as child birth pain but it hurts.  It’s more of an internal ache or burn.  The doctor did a great job of numbing the rest of me.  And of course it’s a chore to make it to the bathroom or get back into bed. I can’t stand up straight for about two weeks and I have to sleep in a “v” position.

2 RECOVERY TIME – The complete recovery will take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months.  I’ll get my drainage tubes pulled next Wednesday and can start standing up straight a week later.  I should get to lay this bed down straight within the month!

3 MY DOCTOR – So many of you have asked who I went to see.  Dr. Edween is amazing!  I felt safe, secure, and cared for.  She’s been featured on E entertainment in a number of shows.  She’s one of the best in the biz!  I was so grateful my good friend recommended her to me.  If you’re considering this for you, you need to check her out.

4 WHAT AM I GOING TO DO DURING RECOVERY? – You all know me so well.  So many of you have asked “How will you make it without your workouts?”  I’m actually really excited about this next several weeks.  The holidays are coming and they are historically difficult for people.  So I’m going to use my time to focus on helping other people.

As you know, I only did this after getting my nutrition on track.  I was so excited when Dr. Edween told me no liposuction would be needed because she could tell I was in great physical shape!  I want that for women EVERYWHERE!

So here’s my plan:

I’m going to spend my next 6-8 weeks helping other women with the most important things that led to this perk. The first was my self-confidence.  The second was my health and nutrition.  I need a little time to get back on my feet but I’m launching a special holiday nutrition group for small group of women looking to commit to getting healthier and feeling more confident BEFORE the year’s end.

If that type of group speaks to you, I would love to chat and see if what I’m planning is a fit for you!

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THE PHOTOS: Okay here you go.

The photos below are from the last couple of days. You’ll notice to drainage tubes, gauze stuffed into the belly.  Most of these were taken on day two post op.  In the near future, you’ll get some of my tubeless updates.  Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything!

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YOU ASKED FOR IT – MY TUMMY TUCK UPDATE [PART 1]

I did it! Well technically the doctor did it.  But I laid there so that’s something right!?

I had a few moments just before they injected the final dose of “lights out” meds when I asked myself, “What if I just didn’t go through with it? Is that an option?” Fear does crazy things to your mind. But fear wasn’t about to stop my belly from its well deserved fresh start.

What kept me from backing out and running out of the operating room? I have trained myself to go toe to toe with fear. It’s like a bully. When you stand up to a bully, most of the time the bully backs down.  My natural instinct, when faced with fear is to choose flight over fight.  But I’ve learned that when it comes to that bully, fighting is the better option.

That’s exactly what I did. I fought off fear. The past few years, I worked my butt off to lose weight. I owned my health and fitness and was in the best shape of my life. I became a #Girlboss. I earned the title of Elite Coach in my organization and finished 2014 as # 50 out of 300,000 peers.  John Acuff said something in his book Start:Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters that really spoke to me:

You will work harder at something you love than at something you like. You will work harder than you have ever worked when you start chasing a dream. You will hustle and grind and sweat and push and pull. You will get up earlier and go to bed later. But that’s okay.”

I am proud of the work I put in. I discovered a new love for me, a healthy confidence and I am insanely driven to continue to pursue my passion for people and health. The hustle was worth it.  Because of God’s blessing and the hard work, I was able to swipe my debit card at a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills without a feeling of guilt or worry. I earned this. I was worthy of this change. Regardless of what others may think or say, fear of judgement was knocked out by the truth of who I am know. And with that, and some really good anesthetic, I dozed off to la la land and the surgery began.

THE OPERATION

I don’t have a ton of pics of surgery day but we’ll start here:

I checked in for surgery at this well known medical facility and thought for sure I would see a celebrity or two. The room was quiet. Just me and my mom. The nurse took me back and left me to take one more pregnancy test and change into my surgery outfit.

Dr Edween office

She should have never left me alone, cause I took the moment for a few snapshots. As you can see, I was in the bathroom. If you know me, you know bathroom selfies are a favorite this girl.

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I tucked myself into my warm bed and the process began. Blood pressure, temp, and a chat with my anesthesiologist were all followed by the pre-op markup (sorry no pics allowed). Dr. Edween and I laughed a lot as she drew purple lines all over my stomach. I felt like the chalk board for a pre-school drawing project. When the doodle was complete it was nighty night time.

And what happened next?  Well that’s my next post.  For today let me encourage you to fight for your dream.  No, a tummy tuck wasn’t the goal.  But it was a perk for chasing the other dreams in my life.  What are you chasing?  Will you fight off fear or will you run from it and leave your dreams in the dust too.

 

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Tuck and Roll. It’s game time.

I have started and deleted paragraphs for the last hour. Am I sharing too much? Too little? Will they understand WHY I am opting to dive into surgery? I decided to stop fretting and start writing.

This is for me. This is a diary to share my emotions. This is my mommywonderand. A place to record my thoughts.  A place to reflect.  A place to look back and see where my mind was at during moments like these.

How do I even begin to describe this choice without going on and on and on? Why do I feel I need to justify what’s about to happen to me in one week?  In my heart I know I don’t.  My social media family, although often opinionated, has proven to me over the past four years that they support me.  And yet, today I want to make sure you really understand.

I’ll start with the “post-baby-body” I was left with after child #2. I was 26 when my last baby was born.  Oh how I remember that fine age.  My metabolism was working hard for me back then. Oh the good ol’ days when I could still eat cheeseburgers and fries, workout the next day and drop 5 pounds. And then I turned 27. Even though it didn’t happen that fast, I noticed my metabolism was slowing and my body didn’t recover from late night ice-cream runs like it once did.  I decided to put down the burgers, and pick up the spinach. It was time to make consistent healthy food choices.

I worked hard.  I made good choices.  I stayed focused and on point because “abs are built in the kitchen right?” The work brought results. I lost my baby weight, but NO WAY did my body look the way it did before kids. If you follow me on instagram you’ve seen my journey.  I’ve lost pounds, I’ve lost inches, and I’ve lost most of my “pooch.”  But what remained was my war-torn belly of mommy scars…stretch marks.bellypic

Don’t get me wrong. I love what each line represented.  I love my boys.  I’m proud to be a mom.  It was a dream come true for me and raising them is my greatest joy.  But that didn’t change how I felt in a bikini.  The pride I have in being a mommy was often masked by the shame I felt when my belly was exposed.  I battled in my mind for years over my insecurity.  Was this just vanity? Was I wrong for not embracing these “war scars” as blessings?

Inside I recognized my mind was just battling fear.  Fear of what friends would think.  Fear of what Facebook would think.  Fear of family.  Fear of what you would think.  I had to do what I learned from so many personal development books I’ve read have taught me to do.  I had to punch fear in the face!  I had to embrace the truth I know about me.

THE TRUTH:

I never stopped working on me. I’m committed to health because I love feeling healthy.Yes, I have moments of cheeseburger weaknesses, but I fight for health every single day.

This is not about you.  No offense but it doesn’t really matter what you think. It matters how I feel in the body God gave me.

I’m not doing this to like myself more.  I’m good with me.  Five years ago that was not the case.  Had you met me then you’d know me liking me has been a process.  But I do like me. Scratch that.  I love me.  I’m confident in me.  This won’t make me a better woman.  It won’t change who I am.  And thanks to God and a whole lot of small group time with the ladies at church, I’m really glad about that!

So there it is.  Next Tuesday, November 3, I’m doing it.  I’m going under the knife. I will share each moment with you. Even the post-op pics.  You’ve learned by now, my life is an open book. I hope you’ll keep reading.

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My Child is a Beast

Would I be assuming a lot if I said,  “Most parents have a running list of things they hope their child won’t ever have to face and fight to overcome?”

Two years ago, we began noticing a few behaviors in our youngest boy that raised the warning flags in our home. His asthma was getting worse and his mood began to swing from sensitive boy to emotional meltdown in 0.0 seconds flat. His clothes no longer fit him and he was struggling to button any of his shorts. He was tired morning, noon, and night.  He had little to no desire to be active. Riding bikes and scooters was out of the question and the suggestion to participate in such activities would bring him to tears.

I started to feel heartbroken for my boy. I projected my past onto his future. My son was fighting the beast that I worked the past 25 years to overcome. Food had a hold on me for much too long. I battled an eating disorder for 20+ years.  I was insecure about my weight and it affected every part of me. Was my worst nightmare was coming true in my youngest baby. Would he spend his whole life struggling to be healthy and have a healthy self image?  Would he develop destructive habits to cope with life like I did? We decided it was time for us to fight for our lil mister because he was too young to realize he needed to be on the battlefield.

Trust me when I say WE WERE WILLING TO TRY IT ALL!!!! In the back of my mind, I could hear the nutritionist that I had at the ripe ol age of eight telling my mom, “No birthday cake at parties, no sugared drinks of any kind. We need her body fat percentage to be 9%, not 11%.” A bunch of “no-no’s” is all I had as a kid and it didn’t help me one bit.  But was this the road we were supposed to travel? Talk about fear gripping me by the throat. I felt stuck. I questioned my motives. Was this about him or me?

I have been a health coach for three years now.  I have helped hundreds, if not thousands of people take steps towards a healthy lifestyle. Why did I feel like helping my son was going to be the toughest battle I’ve faced?

BECAUSE IT IS. It’s personal. He’s my baby. After doctors visits (not much help there), we decided to stop messing around and call it what it was. ROUND 1. It was fight time.

We focused on health as a family.  This has never been about “looking good.”  It’s been about feeling good on the inside.  I don’t teach dieting.  To this day, I hate the word, “NO” which is how most diets feel.  So instead, we gave Conner a say in what he ate.  We showed him all the foods that were good choices and helped him understand all he could eat throughout the day.  He lit up when he realized he could still have cheese and crackers. And it wasn’t just about food.

We bought him a Fitbit to track his activities.  We turned it into a competition with mom and dad. He had friends at school helping him run laps at lunch so he could get more steps in during his day than we did. We got more consistent with our at “home workouts,” gym classes, and we recently turned our garage into a gym. It’s about options people!

It is a family affair. We eat clean together and we get sweaty together. We are not perfect, but hey, who’s is? I don’t fight for his image, I fight for his health. Childhood obesity is on the rise, and I REFUSE to allow my son to be another statistic. Our boy knows we are in his corner. He understands we love him the way he is and want him to live a long and healthy life.  He is freakishly strong (he’s proud of that by the way) and totally has me beat on tricep pushups. He is going to make a great football player one day.  And after this short time I am hopeful his future will be a lot less painful than my past.

It brought me great joy yesterday when he begged to go to the park and run with our pup Milo. He also tackled his brother a few times, but that’s another post for another day. He is up and awake early and the last to want to go to bed. These are the best kind of victories; NSV(Non Scale Victories). He hasn’t used his inhaler for almost a year now and the mood swings are less and less frequent. The other day at my in-laws our boys and their cousins put on a show for us.  Conner was upfront most of the time which is a shift from his normal quiet approach to family show time.  My mother-in-law noticed it saying, “Conner has just come to life!”  That’s what it’s about right?  Enjoying the life God’s gifted us.

Am I proud? HECK TO THE YES! My boy is a BEAST and I will continue to fight for my health so he will always continue to fight for his. That’s love!

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