Tag Archives: healthy living

Restarting My Health Journey for the Millionth Time

I hate writing these posts. I hate putting it out there. I’ve done it too many times. I’ve started and stopped my health and fitness journey more times than I can count. I lose the weight, then I gain it back and then some. It’s discouraging. It’s scary. And I hate it.

And yet, instead of changing things all those others times I stopped and started, here I am starting again. I’m not going to say it’s the last time, because that sets me up for failure. But this time, I have to work as hard as possible. I can’t let myself feel defeat. I have to push. If I don’t see results right away, I need to be patient and work harder.

I need to know that it was a long process to put this weight on, and it’s going to be a long process to take it off. It’s not going to happen overnight. But I can do this.

Why this post on a Monday morning? Because I’m starting my health journey for the millionth time this morning. I’m refocusing myself. I’m reminding myself that I have to do this. I can’t keep living at the weight I’m at. It’s not healthy. It’s not about appearance anymore. It’s about my health. And that needs to change.

In less than a year, I will be getting married. Yes, we will finally set a date. In two months, I start trying on wedding dresses. While I know, in two months, I won’t be anywhere close to my goal, I hope to be down at least 10 pounds. I know dresses can be taken in, and that’s my plan.

I know a year is plenty of time to lost the amount of weight I need to lose (around 65 lbs). But I’m just going to focus on doing the best I can do.

So here we go. Starting over again. But this time, I feel like the switch finally turned on and I’m ready to do this.

#MicroblogMonday #3 – Regaining My Health

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


Here we are. The first week of January, 2015. Which marks the busiest month of the entire year at the gym. Most of those new faces are ones of those who have made resolutions to finally get healthy. Many will start to watch their resolutions go by the wayside by February.

I’m did not make a resolution to get healthy this year. I never stick to my resolutions. Ever.

This year, it’s my goal. And this time, it’s not all about vanity. It’s about my health.

microblogmondayhealth

At 28 years old, I weigh more than I have in my entire life. I’ve never been over the 200 lb mark. I am now. And I hate to even admit that out loud. But I need to make sure I stick to my goal.

YOU WEIGH OVER 200 POUNDS. YOU DON’T HAVE A SMALL AMOUNT OF WEIGHT TO LOSE.

(Sorry, needed to put that out there. Just as a friendly reminder.)

What started as a goal to lose 30 pounds over 6 years ago (just to lose that college weight), is now a 60 pound journey. Yes, I’m horrified. Yes, I’m scared. And yes, I’m ashamed for getting to this point.

But this isn’t all about looks. Yes, of course I want to lose weight for Vegas in the spring, and our wedding in 2016, not too mention dress shopping this summer, but this is about regaining my health. Hypothyroidism, diabetes, heart disease, just to name a few, run in my family. All diseases that can be helped by exercise. Even my anxiety dissipates when I eat better and exercise more.

So yes, I’ll be back at the gym. I’ll be eating better. I’ll be focusing on getting my health back. But this is not a new year’s resolution. This is the long-term goal.

We only have one body and one life. I’m ready to regain mine and become the best version of me that I can.

New Signature

 

Homemade Buffalo Chicken Chowder

IMG_0278

Let me start by saying, I love buffalo-flavored anything. Ever since I was introduced to it in college, I haven’t been able to get enough. When a cafe around the corner from my work began offering a buffalo chicken chowder every now and then, I was stoked. Buffalo Chicken…in a soup? Two of my favorite things combined into one? Yes please! I was then on a quest for the perfect recipe.

Now, I’m not creative in the kitchen. I will never be that person who creates a recipe from scratch to give to all of you. I wish I was, but I’m just not. I always second guess my own cooking, even following a recipe exactly.

I decided last night that I wanted to attempt a buffalo chicken chowder, instead of making my normal turkey chili. Something a bit different, but something that would be delicious and hearty, especially as the cold weather starts to set it (not today…70s!). I settled on this recipe from Food.com. I liked that it used real ingredients and it looked like it would be a pretty simple recipe to throw together on a Tuesday evening.

I doubled, well kind of doubled the recipe, to make more than we needed (as always). Here is the recipe and what I did (in bold).

Serves 6 (Even though I doubled this, we probably get 6 servings out of it because that’s just how we roll)

  • 2 tablespoons of butter (I stuck with the 2 tablespoons. 4 tablespoons looked like a lot. I also used Kerrygold.)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I forgot the onion… whoops. I’m okay with it because I don’t like onions.)
  • 4 celery ribs (8 ribs)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I used minced garlic out of the jar… we have a Sam’s Club container of it)
  • 1/4 cup flour (1/2 cup of whole wheat flour)
  • 3 cups skim milk (5 1/2 cups 1% milk)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce, instead of wing sauce. And I used 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (2 cans of corn)
  • 2 cups of diced cooked chicken (I used Purdue Fit&Easy Tenderloins. Already small and no need for all the trimming. I probably ended up with 3 cups once I was done chopping)
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (I used around 12… reduced fat)
  • crumbled blue cheese (for topping!)

Directions

  1. Sauté onions and celery in butter in a large pot until tender. Since I didn’t have the onions it was just celery sauteing in the butter. I like my celery to stay crunchy, so I only sauteed for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Reduce heat and stir in flour, cook for 1-2 minutes. Do not brown. This was confusing… the flour didn’t really seem to absorb and instead stuck to the bottom. I’m thinking it was because I didn’t have enough butter. But it turned out find in the end.
  4. Add milk, wing sauce, corn, chicken and cream cheese and bring to a simmer. Cook until cheese is melted and soup has thickened. It will look like a giant mash of nothing. The cream cheese will just be a giant brick. I turned the heat up to med-high (probably higher than it needed to be), to get it melting more. It says to let it simmer, but I ended up stirring quite a bit to make sure the cream cheese stirred in and the flour wasn’t chunky. Needless to say, I was pretty much questioning if this would even be edible in the end.IMG_0277
    5. Serve topped with bleu cheese crumbles.

Verdict: I was pretty darn proud of myself once it was done. The chowder ended up pretty thick, just like it should be, and it really resembled a chowder. It had the perfect about of buffalo-taste to it, and the chicken ended up softening even more in the soup and almost started to shred. I was skeptical about using cream cheese, but maybe that’s the norm in chowders?, but it definitely gave it that yummy creamy flavor and helped to thicken it.

One word of advice. Make sure to have the chicken cooked before you decide to start cooking the chowder. That chowder only took about 20 minutes, but the chicken took 20 minutes by itself. If you have the chicken pre-cooked in the fridge, it will save you a HUGE step.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to devour more of this for lunch today. Such a hearty soup!

IMG_0278The finished product!

New Signature

Crutches Be Gone!

I do promise that soon enough, the blog will become more regular. To be quite honest, as I said in my last post, it’s taken a back seat to the busy-ness that has become my life. I also won’t lie – I just haven’t had the inspiration to blog. Or to write in general. And I don’t like to post on the blog, just to post. That’s not fun for you, or for me. It’s not content I can be proud of, nor is it interesting for you to read.

As soon as I get some motivation, the blog will become more active. Pinky swear.

But for now, the good news of the week?

I’M OFFICIALLY OFF CRUTCHES! Oh, and I get to start transitioning out of the boot.

I know a lot of people chronicle their injuries on their blogs. Part of me wishes I had because I probably would have been able to get a lot of pent up things out. But, again, I didn’t want to post over and over how much it sucks being injured and how sick I am of crutches. So I didn’t. Consider yourself lucky, because my family got to listen to it instead 😉

But that’s all over because I’m off of the crutches and I can officially start getting back to my normal life. Within 2 weeks, he wants my fully out of the boot. So it means I get to start wearing two shoes (sneakers!) again. If I’m going to a lot of strenuous walking, the boot has to stay on for another week or two, but short jaunts means two shoes!

I also got the all clear to start exercising. Boot on at the gym for the next week, but I can do the bike and upper body. And I start personal training with a friend (they are considering it my physical therapy). I go back in 6 weeks for another appointment which is where I should get the all-clear to start doing more cardio. As my foot feels better though, I can do the bike at the gym (with a sneaker within 2 weeks) and start walking again.

I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU HOW RELIEVED I AM. I needed to hear all of this yesterday. I’ve been so down about this prolonged injury that hearing that I’m on the mend was amazing.

Now, it’s time to stop comfort eating (and drinking) and start getting back on track. Since the injury re-occured, I’ve gained probably another 10 lbs (NOT GOOD!) so now I’m facing a 60 lb weight loss.

But I know it’s not going to be instant, so I’m focusing on small steps. I know I’ll get there. It may take me a year, but by this time next year, I’ll be at my goal weight, and healthy as can be!

I’m a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador!

Happy hump day my friends!

I’m really, really excited to announce today that I have been accepted as a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador.

girlsgonesporty-crew-badge

As I continue to work towards a healthy lifestyle, being accepted to another wonderful women’s fitness community is a total honor. I love learning from everyone involved in the various communities, and they truly motivate and inspire me to get moving! I can’t wait to represent yet another wonderful group!

One thing that really drew me to this particular community was the idea that you didn’t have to be in tip-top form. Instead they want people who are active, but looking at their lives as a whole with a positive outlook. I just love everything this group stands for. So let’s just say, I really am honored to be a part of it.

Read on below for more information about the group, as well as the Ambassador program, and how you to, could apply to be an Ambassador!

About Girls Gone Sporty (from the website)

Girls Gone Sporty is an online editorial magazine and a social community for women dedicated to living and leading sporty lives. In addition to providing cutting-edge content, we’re committed to creating a support system for women who are striving to be their best selves.

About the Ambassador Program

Girls Gone Sporty is a movement and GGS Ambassadors are the driving force required to help spread the spirit of fun and adventure that Girls Gone Sporty stands for. We’re looking for Ambassadors who embrace our tagline, “Live the sporty life!” Women who work hard, play hard, compete and eat, all with the intention of being their best, most positive selves. (Source)

The Ambassadors are a network of women who focus on positive health, not just achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, but encouraging women to embrace whole health and an positive outlook, where they are right at this moment.

The Ambassador program is designed to represent the entire female population, not just a segment. They look for women who enjoy a variety of activities, from walking to lacrosse players to snowboarders to surfers, they want women who are involved in some form of sport or activity that gets you moving! Whether you are brand new to fitness, or have been at it for years, they are looking for you to be a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador.

Interested in applying? Visit here!

Untitled design(8)

Weekly Workouts and Weigh In {8/18/14 – 8/24/14}

Last week was not a good week in terms of exercise or food. I had great intentions, but a combination of exhaustion from not sleeping well and a sore knee/foot, really kept me from accomplishing what I had hoped. But this week is a new week. Onward.

Monday 8/18/14: 2.8 mile lunchtime walk

Tuesday 8/19/14: Rest Day (Photo shoot in the evening)

Wednesday 8/20/14: 2.85 mile lunchtime walk

Thursday 8/21/14: Knee was bothering me so I took the day off.

Friday 8/22/14: Knee was still bothering me.

Saturday 8/23/14: Stalls at the barn followed by a 20 minute ride.

Sunday 8/24/14: Nothing. But I did manage to finish one book (Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead), read a second complete one (Hysteria by Megan Miranda), and started a third (Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf)

I didn’t weigh in last week either. I knew my weight was either going to be up or the same, just based on how I felt. I also knew because of my lack of exercise, and eating out, it wasn’t going to be any different.

This week though, we are back on track.

 

Weekly Workouts and Weigh-In! {8/11/14 – 8/17/14}

Here is the first Weekly Workouts and Weigh-In post. Not the best week, but it’s okay. This coming week will be better!

Monday, 8/11/14 – 40 minutes Elliptical workout – 3.37 miles: This was the first day back at the gym in quite some time, and my first day working out in over a month. I didn’t want to overdo it on my foot on my first day back, so I kept the resistance low and focused more on time. I was happy to see that I could still go for 40 minutes at a pretty good clip and not want to die. So, the cardio that I built up running hasn’t disappeared entirely!

 Tuesday, 8/12/14: 35 minute Elliptical Workout – 2.88 miles: I definitely was not feeling the gym. The second day is always the hardest for me, and this day was no exception. But I forced myself out of bed and to the gym. Not a super intense workout, but I felt good because at least it was something for the day. I had every intention of starting to incorporate weights this day, but by the time I was done with elliptical, I just wanted coffee.

 Wednesday, 8/13/14: Planned rest day.

Thursday, 8/14/14: 2.5 mile lunchtime walk – I had every intention to get up and go to the gym, but I was exhausted. For no reason. But I walked 2.5 miles at lunch to make up for it!

Friday, 8/15/14: I had my gym clothes ready to go, but after a night of not much sleep again, I decided to stay and bed and sleep. I have photo shoots all weekend long, so I knew I’d be getting some exercise with those with the amount of walking, squatting, etc. I would be doing.

Saturday, 8/16/14: Photo shoots in the evening

Sunday. 8/17/14: Absolutely nothing

Overall, I didn’t exercise nearly as much as I had originally planned. But, I was happy with the few days I did. This coming week will definitely be more exercise overall. I’m making it happen!

Weekly Weight-In

Starting Weight {8/11/14} – 199.0/BF: 44.0%

Week 1 Weigh In {8/15/14} – 196.0/BF:44.2%

Change so far (even though I know it’s only 4 days… next week will be a full week!) – 3 lbs.

I know most of this is water weight, just from changing up my diet, but 3 lbs is still a loss and that makes me happy!

 

Top 10 Reasons to Try a Triathlon

Today on the blog is a guest post from one of my SweatPink sisters, Michelle at IronWoman Strong. And we’re talking Triathlons. Make sure to head over to her blog and show her some love :)

Triathlon.

SwimBikeRun

That is a sport for extreme athletes, right? Wrong. Very wrong.

I started training for triathlons a year ago after getting married. I went from couch to triathlon addict in two seconds flat! Since then I have grown both physically and mentally. There are so many amazing reasons to get into this sport but let’s just start with 10!

Here are the TOP 10 reasons you should try a triathlon.

1. Try something new

It’s always nice to get out of the mundane so if you have never raced in a triathlon it will be new and excited for you.

2. Sense of accomplishment

There is nothing more satisfying than training hard for a race and then crossing the finish line. It gives you such a sense of accomplishment. The great thing is that the accomplishment is yours forever. No one can take it away!

3. You don’t have to be great in just one sport

Triathlon consists of three disciplines – swim, bike and run. If you aren’t a great swimmer, then you can make up time in the bike or run. Or vice-versa in any of the three!

Triathlon

4. Good influence on others

This is especially true if you have children. They watch and learn from you. If you are out there trying something new and working hard, it will show them that they too can reach for hard things. You never know who you are influencing and motivation when you are working out.

5. Never get bored

You have three sports to choose from when you are training. This keeps you from getting bored with doing the same workout over and over again. Already ran 3 times this week…bike or swim. It will break up the monotony of workouts.

6. Community

The triathlon community is extremely close and very welcoming. Find a local tri club to train with and you will never be short of training partners, advice and friendship.

swim bike run st louisMy local tri club is Swim Bike Run of St. Louis!

7. It’s cool

Who doesn’t want to say, “Oh, hey…I did a triathlon this weekend.”? Major cool points for doing stepping outside the box and doing something new!

8. Get into shape

With three disciplines to train, you are likely to feel healthier and fit. It is hard to eat bad food when you just ran 4 or 5 miles. Triathlon tends to clean up your diet without you noticing.

9. Expand your fitness

If you are a gym rat, then getting outside and running will only improve your overall fitness. Triathlon is great for cross training and allowing your body to build endurance.

10. It’s Fun

Seriously…triathlon is fun. You get to swim around, then go for a little bike and then a run. What’s not to love?

This is an official warning

For those brave enough to attempt a triathlon and do something awesome – triathlons are addicting.

You have been warned!

If you would like to know more about me and my journey on becoming an Ironman triathlete, please follow me!

Website/blog: Ironwoman Strong

Instagram: @Ironwomanstrong

Twitter: @Ironwomanstrong

Pinterest: Trispiration

Michelle

Commit to You

Hi everyone! My name is Amalia, and I blog over at Live Travel Eat and Run. I’m so excited to be here today and to guest post for Eryn!

I want to discuss commitment with you. I have a commitment issue, but not in the traditional sense. I have no problem committing to others and following through when it comes to that.

I have commitment issues when it comes to taking care of myself. From yo-yo dieting, random exercise programs left unfinished, I’m the queen of excuses. I’m the queen of finding other things to do and to breaking plans with myself (unless they involve a nap or a night in with some movies and popcorn).

So here is how I am slowly overcoming that, and a strategy that I recommend for you.

Every day, when I wake up, I make three commitments to myself. They can be big or small but they should be reasonable. On a bad day those commitments can include having a nice hot shower or writing down three things I’m grateful for.

But no matter what happens, I get those three things done. Slowly but surely I am breaking my pattern of making excuses and not making time to ensure that I am choosing healthy living.

So far this strategy is working for me, and hopefully if you struggle with commitment to a healthy lifestyle, it will also help you.

So I challenge you to up your commitment – pick three things to do each day, and stick with it.

Follow Amalia at:

Blog: http://livetraveleatandrun.com

Twitter: @ama_liab

Instagram: @amaelibir

I Am Stronger Than My Anxiety

I’ve been wanting to write something about my own struggle with anxiety. I’ve seen many bloggers out there telling their stories (check out Lindsay Weighs In and Kaila at Healthy Helper for their stories) and I wanted to find a way to do the same. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a series of posts, a short post, or something a little more in-depth. So what you see below is what I decided on it. A one-time post about my 10-year journey. A journey that is not over, but has made me a much stronger person. While therapeutic, it was still very hard for me to write. It’s very personal, and I don’t get super personal on this blog. Be prepared; this is a long post, and potentially hard to read for some. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

It’s not the whole story, but rather the more important parts of the story. It’s my anxiety story and I finally feel strong enough to share it.


All it took was one look at the screenshot of a scam viral video and I was in a tailspin. There was no rhyme or reason to it; it just happened. And the worst part, it was an image that I had seen circulating on the web just days before. It wasn’t new to me. In fact, the first time I had seen it, I could have cared less about it.

But that’s the different between a high-anxiety day and a low-anxiety day. On a high-anxiety day, it doesn’t take much to send me swirling towards a panic attack.


The only way I can describe my own battle when I’m in the depths of anxiety is like falling into dark underground cave. As my anxiety starts to build, it’s like falling into the cave, but landing on a ledge so close to the top you can still see the world above. But you’re already starting to struggle to figure out how you’re going to get out.

As the anxiety builds, and the panic starts to set in, it’s like that little ledge letting go and you start to fall deeper in to the cave. Each time you struggle to climb to try to get out, you slip and fall a little deeper. It’s the same way with my anxiety. Just as I feel a little reprieve coming on, something sets me back, and I’m right back in it. Only worse.

Let’s back up to the beginning.

My anxiety didn’t rear its ugly head until I was a freshman in college. Looking back, I definitely started to suffer from some of the symptoms of anxiety as I was growing up and, more than likely, had already begun to suffer from chronic anxiety in my pre-teen years. Even though I wasn’t properly diagnosed until college. When I hit middle school, I was suddenly nervous all the time. Nervous to raise my hand in class, nervous that the teacher would call on me, nervous to get up and ask to use the restroom, nervous I would be late for class, and so on. Just plain old nervous.

In high school, I stuck to my daily routines and lived by the clock. If I had to be somewhere for 3 PM, I needed to be there by 2:45 PM for fear of being late. If someone told me they would be at my house by 6 PM, and hadn’t shown up by 5:59 PM, my nerves would go haywire. Cutting it close to any set time fed my nervousness.

I know, you’re probably thinking ‘You just don’t like to be late to anything.’ It’s true, however; I’ve been this way since I could tell time on a clock. Being late to anything is a trigger for my anxiety. It’s much better these days, but back then, it could send me spiraling.

Once I left for college, my mental issues quickly sprang to the surface. I was now in a world where I had to find an entirely new group of friends instead of living in my happy bubble of high school friends that I had known my entire life. I was completely out of my comfort zone and not quite sure what to do. I stayed in my dorm room, went to class, ate dinner and did homework. It was similar to my routine at home, minus the horses, so I stuck to it. Only it didn’t work.

Most students thrive when they go off to college. I did the complete opposite; I fell apart.

I was sobbing all the time. I was miserable. I hated being away from the comfort of my home. I hated being away from my family. I hated being away from my barn. I hated it all and began to think that going to college 2 hours away was a mistake.

But after about 2-2 ½ weeks, the homesickness began to subside. My parents came to visit. I went home for a weekend here and there. And realized I could do it. But once the homesickness went away, it was still clear to me that something more was going on.

Even after I met people and started to really have a life away at school, things still weren’t perfect. But I hid it under the surface. I smiled on the outside, but was unraveling on the inside. I didn’t tell a soul how I was really feeling, even though I appeared as happy as could be.

That was until I came back from Christmas break.

After being home for a month, and going back, I knew it would be a little easier this time. I had established myself in a group of friends. We had talked all break and couldn’t wait to get back to one another. I was ready to conquer my second semester of college.

Instead, I was met with debilitating depression and anxiety. I knew something was wrong.

I couldn’t snap out of it. All I wanted to do was sleep. I didn’t want to go to my classes. I found myself taking every opportunity I could get to drink with my friends. I wanted to escape how miserable I felt.

In the end, after a massive blowout with my roommate at the time, followed by a typical night of college fun (except it wasn’t so fun for me), my depression and anxiety finally showed that they were here to stay.

The next morning, I called my parents, sobbing. I was hungover, but told them I was sick. Like so sick that they needed to come take me home. I just wanted them to come get me; help me escape how awful I was feeling.

I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t stop crying. They drove the two hours out to see me; to take me out for lunch thinking I just needed to get out (seriously, best parents ever. Love you!) I was just homesick again.

I stopped crying long enough to get in the car and get to the restaurant. Instead of eating, I broke down sobbing in my mother’s lap in the middle of the restaurant. I was nearly 19-years-old and losing it in a busy local restaurant on a Saturday afternoon.

I wasn’t just sick. I wasn’t just hungover. I was having a nervous breakdown. I needed help. And I needed it immediately. We all knew it.

We paid the bill, and back to campus we went, where I packed up whatever clothes I needed, any school supplies so I could keep up with my schoolwork and anything else I needed. (These were the days before iPads and laptops… think desktop and iPod mini).

I said my goodbyes to friends, explained what was going on, and off we drove back to the eastern part of the state.

While driving home, phone calls were made and appointments were set up for therapy and medication. I was on my way to getting better.

I spent a week at home. I like to call it my ‘healing week’. My professors were incredibly supportive and understanding. If I didn’t keep up with the schoolwork, they promised to let me make it up when I came back. I just focused on feeling better, and feeling more like me.

I read. I went to the barn. I wrote in my journal. I saw the few friends that were still lingering in my hometown. I spent time with my family.

I just tried to remember that I was on my way to better.

And when I went back to school, things DID get better. My roommate apologized, and became incredibly supportive when she discovered what was going on. My friends rallied around me, both at home and at school. And I began to see that I could get through this. And I did.

Fast forward through the years:

I’ve been on and off medication three different times. The first time I went off was while I was still in college, around sophomore year. That only lasted about a year.

I ended up back on a new medication during my junior year of college. I ended up spending another week at home to get myself ‘better’ again. Thankfully, I hadn’t suffered a breakdown like the first time. I just knew something was not right, and wanted to fix it before it got worse.

The second time I came off it was in 2009. I did it cold turkey. I just stopped taking it. I was in a great relationship (with my now fiancé), I finally started to find my way, career wise, and I was just happy. I felt like I would be fine without it.

In 2010, I realized that my anxiety was getting worse again. Nothing had changed in my life, but I found myself falling back into that hole. I tried natural remedies (turns out I’m allergic to St. John’s Wort). I tried therapy, which didn’t help. It turned out I needed to be on medication. So back on it I went, for another 3 years, until this past May.

After learning the medication I had been on, on and off for since my junior year of college, had a side effect of weight gain and knowing that I had been having a really hard time taking the weight off, I thought back to the various times I had gone on it and saw a possible correlation between gaining weight and being on the medication. I made the decision, with the help of my doctor, to switch to a new medication. Unfortunately, this one didn’t help (in fact, I felt worse), so I decided it was time to go without again. I wanted to see how I would do.

I mean, I’m happy. I’m in love. I have a great job and a great life. I have the best support system there possibly could be. I would be totally fine without it.

6 weeks later, I’m back on it.

Turns out, I’m not totally fine without it.

But what have I learned? I am STRONGER than my anxiety. Yes I need to be on medication, but I will not let anxiety control my life. I won’t let it. It certainly tried during my six-week hiatus without medication, but I refused to let it win.

If I’m not on a low dose, my anxiety essentially takes over. And it doesn’t feel like I have control over my own thoughts. Unless you suffer from anxiety, or something similar, it’s pretty hard to explain or describe. Even with the medication, I still have to fight it. It’s just enough to quiet it. It’s still there, waiting to come out (and believe me it does), but it’s not constant like when I’m not on medication. And when I say constant, I mean from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep at night.

If you know me, you know that I’m really good at hiding when I’m suffering with a horrible bout of anxiety, or dealing with it at all … unless I say something. Only those closest to me know when I’m having a hard time. I’m much better about talking about it now-a-days compared to 10 years ago.

If you don’t know me, you would never even know that I suffer from it (you do now!). It’s not visible on the outside. It’s an internal battle.

But it’s a battle that I fight day in and day out. And I am the strong one in the fight. No matter how hard it works to bring me down and break me, I am always able to stand up and fight back.

I am STRONGER than my anxiety.

 

Have you struggled with mental illness? How have you overcome it? I’d love to hear from you!