Choices

I’m Human

I’ve been sharing a lot on Facebook lately about how I’ve been struggling with making the right choices.  Many might wonder,

“Why are you telling us this?”

“You’re the Coach!  You’re supposed to be perfect!”

Heck no!!  I’m HUMAN!  Everyone makes poor choices and falls off the healthy lifestyle wagon from time to time.  That’s called LIFE!

Not in it for the short term

not short term lifestyle change choices

If I was in this to just focus on losing weight this month or just doing this 30, 60, whatever day program then yeah I could probably be perfect for that time period.  But is that livable?  NO!  I’m in this for LIFE so I need to make it livable.  Things will come up in life where for whatever reason we can’t or just don’t want to, make the right choices.  And that’s OK!

 

Example

For example, yesterday we celebrated L’s birthday with her friends. There was pizza and cake. The stress and anxiety the party caused me led me to make very poor choices. Boy did my body feel it last night!! I’m not beating myself up for it, it’s life, I’m human. But I am moving on and today is a new day and back on track!

The important part of a healthy lifestyle is to make the right choices MOST of the time!  And to get right back on track after making some poor choices.  I love this saying

eat like crap smash phone choices

 

Just because you make one poor choice doesn’t mean you need to continue to make them.  The longer you take to get back on track they harder it will be.

Make the choice TODAY to be healthy!!

I’d love it if you took a moment to comment below with a healthy choice you made today!

What’s your why?

What’s your why?

Have you been asked that?  “What’s your why?”  Why are you trying to get/stay healthy and fit? What’s your motivation?

Before

I was always trying to get skinny.  I wanted to have that body society says we should have. Yes I needed to lose weight to be healthier but that wasn’t why I was doing it.  And more often than not, I wasn’t enjoying the process or getting good results.

Now

When I started using the Beachbody programs and products they talked about finding your why.  So I dug down deep and I found it.  I’m doing this because I need to be strong and to set a good example for my girls.

My Whys

I don’t want my girls to grow up with the weight problems I had.  I want them to be healthy. I don’t want them to get picked on or to stay strongmiss out on things because of their weight.  I remember many times missing out on something because of my weight or my knee problems (or using them as an excuse).  It’s not about them being skinny, it’s about them being healthy and happy.

I want, no need, to be strong both physically and mentally. With my own battles with mental illnesses and my daughter’s I need to be at my best to fight our demons.  In October 2016, I drove across several states with just my daughter to take her to an Intensive Anxiety/OCD Treatment program at Mayo Clinic (you can read about that here).  If I’d have had to do that in the past I couldn’t have.  I wasn’t strong enough.  I was worried about how we’d both handle it but we did better than I thought we could.  I know if I wasn’t feeling at my best things would have been a whole lot harder on us.

I’ve got a strong why now and now I enjoy the process of being healthy (most of the time!) and I get results!

What’s your WHY? Comment below and tell me! I’d love to hear from you!

Why people need to stop saying “I’m so OCD”

You are not “so OCD”

Have you taken one of those “OCD quizzes” you see on Facebook?  Have you said “Oh I like my clothes sorted by color, I’m so OCD” or “I like things really organized. I’m so OCD” Guess what?  You aren’t.  You can’t be OCD.  You can’t be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Just like you can’t be the flu.  You can’t be an illness.

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD is a chronic, or long-term, illness that can take over your life, hurt your relationships, and limit your ability to work or go to school. It’s not quirky, fun or something a person can “just stop”

Brain of OCD
The brain of a person with OCD must process WAY more information than the average person

It is not just wanting to have things clean, neat, and orderly or being super-organized. No one is “so OCD about…” It’s not an adjective and it needs to stop being used as one.

Things we see all over the internet tend to minimize the real struggle of those with OCD.  It is a real, significant mental illness.  People need to understand the difference between being a neat freak, or really organized or even anal.  It matters.  When you say “I’m so OCD” you are diminishing the meaning of the sentence “I have OCD.”

A day in the life

My daughter wants to go for a bike ride.  She goes to put on her shoes but first has to spit on her finger and rub it on the bottom of her sock so they are clean and she can put her shoes on.  Then she has to clean the bottom of her shoes before she can step from the carpet to the tile, and again before she can step outside.  She has to repeat this ritual with her jacket and helmet.  All she wants to do is go for a bike ride because she finds it relaxing, but she has to jump through OCD’s hoops first.   She’s started to just wear her jacket and helmet all days so she doesn’t have to do the ritual.

Last night we just spent a good 30 minutes with a crying, screaming child trying to get her to use a towel after her shower. The OCD has her convinced that the towel is dirty and will get germs on her so something bad will happen.  She kept saying she was cold and tired and just wanted to go to bed but we couldn’t let her.  It’s heartbreaking, but we have to make her face the challenge or else OCD wins again.  We have to fight him or he just gets worse and worse.

OCD is a bully

If she wants to relax and watch TV, she squats because there is nowhere clean to sit.  She wants to eat lunch with her friends but struggles because there are napkins there and OCD has convinced her napkins, even clean ones, are bad.  She has trouble with people touching her or being touched.  I once went over 4 months without being able to touch my child.

OCD is always telling her things are dirty and she has to clean them or germs will get on her and something bad will happen.  The problem is OCD is a big, fat, liar.  The things OCD is making her clean are actually giving her more germs.  She understands that logically but the OCD bullies her into believing him

It’s a battle

daughter
Just after being diagnosed at age 5. Can you imagine trying to go through all the normal problems of adjusting to school and growing up? Now add OCD on top of it.

She is 8 and we’ve already been on this road for 3 years.  It’s a never ending, daily, hell hourly, battle.  OCD doesn’t go away; there is no cure.  Medicine and therapy help (you can learn more about some of the therapy we’ve done here) but it’s a fight to the death.

So the next time you think you are “so OCD” because you are a neat freak or super organized, think again.  OCD isn’t about cleanliness or order, it’s about doubt and fear. It’s dark and scary and real.

Have you said “I’m so OCD”?  What’s a different word you can use?

 

Mayo Clinic Saved My Family

The Backstory

My daughter (now 8, oops! 8-1/2 that 1/2 is important!) was diagnosed with OCD at age 5.  Looking back now we started noticing signs as early as 3 years old but we just put them off to being a toddler or just a little eccentric.  Just as she was starting kindergarten we realized there was something wrong and we needed help.  We found doctors (took some trial and error to find the right ones for her) and we started therapy and then added medication. We continued on this road trying different medications, increasing doses, changing doctors and therapists, for 3 years.  We’d have some small improvements here and there, but mostly it went downhill.

In August 2016, our therapy team at the University of Michigan decided she needed a more intensive program and recommended some of the ones I’d heard of (Rogers, McClean, etc.) My daughter wasn’t even 8 and we just couldn’t see going to a program, moving away from home, for weeks or months. Thankfully, someone in my support group told me about Mayo Clinic. They have a 5 day intensive outpatient program which sounded perfect for our needs, at least as a starting point. I called Mayo and started the application process. Within hours of receiving the information they required from our doctors, I received a call from Mayo Clinic to schedule our week.

The process was very easy and smooth and we didn’t have to wait long at all to get in. We were very lucky that our insurance covered it (and our insurance isn’t great) but I think they billed the insurance around $4,000 which was well worth it if we would have had to pay. Obviously this didn’t include travel, hotel and food.

The Program

Our week there was brutal but so rewarding. It was honestly one of the hardest and best experiences of my life. We drove (just the 2 of us) from Michigan to Minnesota. Our relationship, which had been very strained, improved so much during this trip; it was a very bonding time for us.  The first morning we met with one of the therapist in a “getting to know you” type of appointment. That afternoon we started group sessions. There were 3 other families there and the kids ranged from my daughter at 8 years old to a 19 year old. The families were wonderful and we all bonded very quickly.

Every day we had 2 group sessions. Basically you would plan an exposure, do the exposure and talk about how it went and then plan to do one on your own outside of group. At the next session you would discuss how the one on your own went, plan and do another and then plan another on your own. So we were doing 4 planned exposures every day. It was great to learn better techniques for her to cope and how to help her. They also helped us with a behavior/consequence plan for at home and school; essentially earning things for hard work. They assume that you are there because you don’t have access to a good therapist so they are teaching you to fight the OCD/Anxiety without one.

The Take Away

elephant
Pinky the Elephant in DeForest, WI

We left Mayo Clinic feeling so much stronger and ready to fight. I swear I couldn’t believe the amount of change in my daughter in just a week.  It was like I brought a different child home.  Even on the drive, things happened that on the way there would have caused a melt down and now it was barely a hiccup.    She even took time to be goofy with this giant pink elephant statue located at a random gas station in DeForest, WI.

I myself even learned so much on this trip.  I was worried about how I would deal with it alone, along with my own anxiety and depression.  I learned that I’m even stronger than I thought.  I learned how to deal with everything, both her issues and mine, so much better.  Best of all, I got my little girl back and our home life is so much better now.  She has set backs and by no means is the OCD gone or always controlled but now we have the tools and knowledge to fight back.

I can’t recommend Mayo Clinic enough. If OCD or anxiety are ruling your lives, please look into it. I’m happy to answer any questions I can.

For more information, please go to their website here.