Tuesday, April 7, 2015

World Health Day #HAWMC #highbloodpressure #postpartumdepression

Today is World Health Day and so the HAWMC writing prompt is all about health and nutrition and how that changed for me after a diagnosis.

When I began my weight loss journey back in 2008 and lost almost 90 lbs., I was inspired to do so after a high blood pressure diagnosis. My doctor scared me into making a lifestyle change when she told me that I could suffer a stroke if I didn’t change my lifestyle. I was only 23 years old.  Another doctor told me that she didn’t recommend I get pregnant because of my blood pressure. I remember feeling ashamed and discouraged after these doctor’s appointments and it took me some time to accept it and move forward, but I did.

Fast forward to 2014 when baby girl was born. Not long after she was born, I made a commitment to get healthy and lose weight again. However, no matter the program, I continued to struggle. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, irritable and exhausted. It was everything I could do to get a workout in. If I worked out, I could pretty much count on that being the only thing I did all day. It wasn’t that I didn’t try or that I didn’t want to get my life back in order—it was just that I simply could not find the energy to do so. And so instead of losing weight, I gained weight.

I spent 10 months living like this until finally realizing that the way I was feeling wasn’t normal. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with moderately severe postpartum depression. It took about 6 weeks until I had a day where I felt like myself again (just recently).

During that time, I allowed myself to stop stressing about weight loss and to spend the time resting. It wasn’t that I never went for a walk or didn’t eat healthy foods—it’s just that I didn’t stress over it. I know that the experts recommend a good diet and exercise for depression, but for me it just overwhelmed me. It was too much to think about.

But now that I have started to feel better, I have found my motivation again and I no longer feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I can workout and still have the energy to do other things to keep the house running. Last week, I started with trying to get 10,000 steps per day and this week I joined Weight Watchers. I still have days where I become exhausted and anxious again, and I accept that and allow myself to rest. When I feel better, I immediately get back to it again. I am confident that I am moving forward and that I made the right decisions in my journey.

Did you receive a diagnosis that inspired your journey to better health? Tell me about your experience.

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