July 2015---My journey and PPDD
This is a long one, but the most vulnerable I will get here folks…
Oh boy, now this one is a tough one to share but I think of it like this...If I can help just one person with this post, then I have done my job! So here goes...
After having Ella Grace, I had never been happier in all of my life! I had a wonderful husband and now two beautiful and healthy kids! I got home from the hospital and was just an emotional mess, it was to be expected and they call it the "baby blues" so I just blamed it on that. I hated that I didn't feel like I had time with Cole and honestly at a point felt I had lost a little bit of my identity. I just remember crying for no reason at times. I kept pushing hard to breastfeed because that was what everyone expected of me and best for the baby (at least I thought this way). I was miserable trying to keep up with breastfeeding and feeling overly anxious about that and the fact I had ZERO time for Cole...this lead to a certain amount of guilt and selfishness---why do I feel this way, I should be grateful and just suck it up, it is what is best…. it is what is best, I told myself over and over. Jason noticed my emotional bouts and just something being a little off. I was always worried about the wellbeing of both kids and again, I thought this to be normal...blame those hormones and baby blues right? I didn't really want visitors in the hospital or when I got home and kept telling people I was trying to adjust and making excuses for why they shouldn't visit at this time. Eventually I had the moment where I said, you know what maybe this isn't the best thing for my baby and my little boy/my family....There comes a point when you have to make a decision even if you don't want to, but because it is for the best. After all, my family deserved the best version of me, right? So I did it, I stopped bfing and thought things would automatically get better right away....not exactly...it was just as tough emotionally “giving up” as it was actually doing it.
I was cleared 6 weeks later to begin my normal workouts and thought this was JUST what I needed, after having baby #2, failing (or so I thought at the time) at bfing, now I can work on getting my body back and feeling more like myself. I started a post-natal boot camp and the pounds started to come off, I was def feeling better and I believe in the saying, “you are one workout away from a better mood". I would walk my sweet kiddos, Cole and Ella, in the neighborhood as well. But I still had some of these emotions and couldn't figure out why, like what I was so worried about, life was great!!!! Ugh talk about frustrating!
I did the next thing and talked to my doctor and determined that I was going through Post Partum Depression Disorder <---- "Waiiiiit a min doc, I am NOT depressed" was all I could think....No way, I control my emotions and there is no way I am "depressed", why is this happening to me? I am in control of how I feel, or so I thought. I don't want to harm my children and I am not one of those crazed women that you see with PPDD, she must be wrong...Denial....
After I stopped denying and sought help, things started to look up… It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders just by talking about it with someone other than my husband or my mom. I slowly started to feel more like myself again and was more and more pleasant to be around. I wasn’t perfect by any means, but hey who is? I was ready to start my next challenge, INSANITY!!! Go time!
Worrying about bills and now affording 2 kids, I knew there was a referral opportunity with beachbody and I knew I had seen a guy on facebook posting about it, so I thought heck if I am going to do this anyway, why not inspire a couple of people and make a little extra money! I reached out to him and before I knew it I was signed up as a coach!! Now what do I do??? Wait, all I do is work out (be a product of the product), talk about it, work on my own personal development, invite others to join in or try a program they would like, and tell them all about this “expensive” shake? How am I going to get folks to buy into this, if I have not tried shakeology myself? But I had results before with Insanity and didn’t drink Shakeology, so why now? I talked to Justin about it and before I knew it, I drew a line in the sand and said, I am going to give it an honest try and see what happens…after all what was the worst that could happen, I spent money on yet another gimmick or heyyyyy it may actually work…
What happened next was exactly what I was promised would happen. I went hard and did my 60 days of insanity (starting at about in the 180s or so), drank my daily dose of dense superfood nutrition, and BOOM by day 60 I had shed easily 30 or so pounds, which put me from 194 (in hospital with Ella) to about the 150s! I didn’t stop there, and have continued to challenge myself…I won’t bore you with all of the programs I have done since then, you can see for yourself on www.beingfitislegit.com
My point here is that this shake, working out, coaching and inspiring others, and everything that came with the leap of faith I took helped me in more ways than just physically! It helped me way more emotionally than I could ever imagine! I felt like SAVANNAH again!!! I had identified myself with a new hobby and this involved helping others do the same and feel better on the inside and out! I have never felt better!! Want to know something even cooler? With consistency over time with my shakeology and physical activity, I was able to go off any medication. YES!!!
****Now, it is not to say that anyone who is on medication for any kind of depression is any less of a person, because I believe that it is there for a reason and you need to do what you need to do to be the BEST VERSION OF YOU! ****
During this time so much happened in my life that could have gotten me down, including finding out on Cole’s birthday that my job would be relocated…. but I always picked myself up and kept pushing forward! I have goals and that is to be the best mother, wife, friend, daughter, employee, what have you, to everyone I care about!!! God has blessed me more than I deserve in this life, and created a window of opportunity, when I felt lost both personally and professionally! In the thick of things, this condition did not hurt me, it helped me in the long run. I am stronger today than I was yesterday! Always growing and working from the inside out. Thankful to be doing the things I love professionally and for the time I have with the people I love personally! <3
Can I just be completely raw with you all right now?
As I think about vacation this time last year, I reflect on where I was physically and emotionally. Emotionally I was battling PPDD and ashamed that I had to be medicated, ashamed that this time I was not able to be in control of my own emotions and that FRUSTRATED me to no end. I also found out about a realignment at my job WHILE I WAS ON VACA, and felt completely uncertain about my future/career at that time. It rained every day we were there, Jason and I could only take a few days bc of work, Cole got sick on the last (overcast) day and we had to leave even earlier than anticipatedß-But I want to note I was still very thankful for the chance to get away and be with family. There is nothing in the world like it. I was a new beachbody coach and pretty much didn’t know near as much as I do now, about what that meant for me in my life! I was working on my health and fitness and trying my best to focus on all of the important blessings in my life, but I am not going to lie to you, it was hard at times esp with this “illness”, work, and just overall uncertainty of the future…that is enough to make anyone shakey or on edge….
Flash forward to TODAY. We leave for vacation tomorrow and you know what, it may rain every day we are there, things may come up bc that is life but let me tell you about my transformation….No I am not talking about physically, I am talking about mentally/emotionally. I am at a REALLY good place at this time…I firmly believe god is good ALL THE TIME…even in those times you don’t feel prayer is working, he has a plan for you.
From then to now I have found my passion in life besides being a wife and mother, but HELPING OTHERS. The lord gave me not one but MULTIPLE platforms to do just that. I turned a bad situation with a prior career into a blessing in disguise. You see it wasn’t the whole doom and gloom after all, this was what needed to happen and the push I needed to really figure out what I wanted in this life. I want to help as many people as I can and I believe in paying it forward at this point. I have been off medication for a couple of months now, I am at the point where I can openly talk about PPDD and my experience in hopes I can help other women, since starting Shakeology back in July I have (knock on wood) not been sick---like AT ALL, I am working on being in the best shape of my life, I have found 2 careers that I can hang my hat on at the end of every day and really love working to better people’s lives, found my way back into the church, and I feel that I am able to be present more and more in my kids/families livesß nothing better than that folks!
This post is not a boast about “how good I have it” bc like everyone else, I am not perfect by any stretch, but I am content with being imperfect! I still have struggles and areas of my life I would like to see get better, and that is always a work in progress. I am a human being with real life experiences and I chose to share them with folks in hopes of connecting with each of you to show you what is possible with faith, hope, love, and hard work. You know the saying, “There is always a rainbow at the end of every storm”? Well I believe in that. My point here is that no matter what you have going on in your life, use any adversity you are facing to motivate you to keep pushing forward bc you CAN! Turn your cant’s into can’s and your dreams into plans! Go after dreams with the “I can” mentality and shoot for the moon, for even if you miss you will land among the stars!
Thank you Beachbody and my new job, thank you family, friends, and loved ones who have supported me along the way. You are all beautiful and a blessing to my life!
Finding your passion and then owning it 10.9.2015
I have spent since 2008 trying to “find myself” as a woman in the workforce. I have done retail management thinking I would become a buyer, I have done personal lines underwriting within an insurance company as well as commercial lines underwriting—thinking I would get into the sales/marketing capacity. Both were “Dead ends” for me, not because of the people I worked with or the company I worked for because both were GREAT companies that I owe much of my success and skill development to…But I just didn’t have that “reach for the stars over the fence world series” kind of vibe, meaning I simply was there and did a great job but where was the passion? Where was Savannah and where in the world did I fit within these professions?
It wasn’t until September 24, 2014 when I learned my job would be eliminated, that I really dug deep to figure things out. I was new to the entrepreneur world and still figuring out a network marketing business that I had started in June of that year, mommy of two, wife, and having to apply for jobs once again. It seemed like a 3-4 year thing….after 3 or so years, time for a new job, etc. I have to admit at first I was really stressed out because I kept getting leads and then being told “No”, but I had to pursue every darn marketing firm in Richmond because I thought that was what I really was meant for. Little did I know, I was sitting on a gold mine with my business, which I don’t want to steer you astray, I still have not “made it” but it is certainly a close reality and I love doing this part time at this point in my life. The interesting thing is that I was already doing EXACTLY what I was “meant” to be doing and that was simply helping others achieve results and become the best version of themselves. I was really getting in the groove of the coaching gig and starting to figure it all out. I then came across an amazing opportunity to head a wonderful program at an agency that stood for so much in our senior community. The skills they associated me with most were surprising to me….despite my degree and professional experience, they say “Online motivational fitness coach” and coined me a “wellness coordinator”. I began this journey in May of 2015 and have never looked back! My position went a little further and I was able to obtain my AFAA Group Exercise certification, which is one of the most nationally known for fitness professionals. I now lead another program in conjunction with Chronic Disease Self-Management, where I help provide/coordinate group exercise in our senior centers or as we call “friendship cafes”. How cool right? I get to give presentations on physical activity and why it is so important, meet amazing people with wonderful stories, and coordinate two amazing programs that I believe in with all my heart! The fact that I get to call both of these things, my job, is INSANE and I have to seriously check myself all the time and say, “yes it is”. I hope to grow and learn as much as I possibly can and help as MANY people as I possibly can in this career path!
I took it a step further and recently recognized how much I enjoy group exercise, my full time job, and my business and said, why not become certified in the program that changed my life? I am signed up to go through that training and obtain the national certification for Insanity, in November. I hope to begin teaching at least once per week starting in December!
If you would have told me this would have been my path and that by age 30 I would have a fitness business and a job in health and wellness, I would have probably laughed! My point here is that don’t ever just “Settle”. Life is too short and precious to not love and OWN what you do! Figure out what you are most passionate about, and go after it! “If you want to BE something, then simply BE IT!”