Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"You Have Hypothyroidism"…the Words That Shook My World

Have you ever gotten news that stopped you in your tracks and made you feel like a failure? News that made you ashamed and scared to share your story?

"You have hypothyroidism."

Those were the words that shook my world a couple of months ago. And I have wrestled with whether to share publicly, and if so, how to do so since that day.


In a 6 month span, I had gained around 10-12 pounds. I was frustrated, defeated, and a little angry. The things that usually worked for me weren't working, and I was TIRED!

How could I have hypothyroidism? I eat clean, I work out diligently, I drink over 70 super foods daily that are proven to nourish and heal the thyroid and promote hormonal health! And how can I share my truth with the people who watch what I do, the people who come to me for help with THEIR health?

I'm so thankful that one of my most beloved friends listened to me speak my fears, my shame, and my doubt, and responded with this…

"Brandy, if you HADN'T been doing what you are doing, then that 10 pound weight gain probably would have been 30. Your story is YOUR story, and you should NEVER be ashamed of it!" Her words gave me hope. They gave me courage. 

You see, my thyroid issues come from a condition known as Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to turn on your own healthy tissue. And of course, this isn't the first time my body has malfunctioned and attacked itself. That's what happened to my pancreas in 1984 when my immune system decided to shut down my insulin producing beta cells and throw me into a lifelong battle with Type 1 Diabetes at the tender age of 2. 

What I had to realize is that this was not my fault. And that sometimes, no matter how healthy you eat, or how much you work out, you still need extra help. That was the hardest thing to accept, because I tend to blame myself for everything.


So…here I am. Sharing. Being brave. Punching fear in the face. And doing a seemingly backwards ‪#‎TransformationTuesday‬ post. But you know what? The truth is that my being willing to post these pictures, to share my setbacks, and just be REAL, is the most meaningful transformation of all. 
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2 or 3 years ago I would have NEVER done this! I didn't let people see me struggle. I never admitted to failure. I wouldn't let myself be seen as weak. I thought I was being strong, but I really wasn't. I was keeping people out…holding them at arms length so they wouldn't see the "real" me…the flawed one…the one that needs help…the one that doesn't have it all together. Because I didn't love that girl…and I didn't believe anyone else would either.

I was drowning. Lonely. Anxious. Fearful. And lost. 

But I'm not anymore. Some days I may still feel like I am, but I'm finding myself. And I'm learning to like, even love, what I find. 


So, please, if you comment, be kind. It took a lot of courage for me to share this "lack of progress" picture with you. smile emoticon The picture on the left is me right after I finished my first round of Insanity Max30 last February. The one on the right is today. My abs are gone, my shorts are tight, and my muscles lack definition. Not exactly the "before and after" I was going for. wink emoticon

I'm not anywhere close to where I want to be. But I'm going to keep working, keep pushing, keep moving forward. Even if the progress is slower than I'd like or than I'm used to. 

That's all any of us can do, isn't it? 

Begin. And continue. Never stop. And NEVER give up. 

I encourage you to join me, whether you need to begin, keep going, or finish the race. 

Just. Keep. Going.  Pin It Now!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I'm BACK! 2015 Update, and What's Coming!

Hey there!

I know, I know…it's been a little while…ok, a long while, since I have written.

But one of my goals for 2015 is to be more consistent in sharing what I'm learning about myself, and about health and fitness here with you, so I figured, today was a good day to start. :)  I want to just give you an update on where I am and what's been going on, and then I will start sharing more about nutrition and health again!

A lot has been going on in my world since the last time I checked in with you guys!

2015 BeachBody Coach Summit
My BeachBody Coaching business has grown SO much this year, and has been keeping me super busy (in a really good way!), helping others get healthy and fit! It's such a blessing to LOVE my job so much!   I am now a 3 Star Diamond Coach, and sometimes still have to pinch myself to make sure this is all really happening! ;-)  Hubs and I even got to go to Cancun in April for FREE with BeachBody! How cool is that?!

Success Club Trip 2015, Cancun
We moved.  Again.  Still in GA, but we moved closer to the city and closer to my husband's office, which has been SUCH a blessing!  His commute used to be 1.5 hours each way, and now is just 5 minutes!! Major shift in quality of life! Oh, and he is finishing up his MBA with Cornell and Queens!  I will soon be able to say that I'm married to an Ivy League MBA! :)  I am soooooo proud of my husband!


My two oldest boys just started Kindergarten and 4th grade at a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) school that is right across the street from our home.  They have a sustainable garden that is part of the curriculum, and use a very hands on learning approach, encouraging students to get messy, make mistakes, and "fail forward".  I was nervous about it at first, but they are absolutely loving it, and are learning so much!  Little William is home with me, and just turned 2! :)

I have been learning a lot about MYSELF.  It's a treacherous journey sometimes, the journey of self discovery, but after my battle with postpartum depression, it didn't seem that I had much of a choice.  I felt like I completely lost myself during that awful experience, and so much of what I thought I knew was shaken.  Digging deep, uncovering things that I had tried so hard to ignore, and being open and vulnerable about my struggle, has brought so much healing to my heart. 


You may notice a different tone in the way I write, the way I talk, and that is simply because I'm not trying to be "perfect" anymore.  I'm not trying to pretend that I have it all together, that I have all the answers, or that I ever will.  I am a work in progress, if there ever was one.  So bear with me and I walk that out. ;-)

I'm excited to re-connect with those of you who are still around, and looking forward to making new friends here as well! If you haven't yet, please make sure to like my page, Living Water Health and Wellness, on Facebook, for the most current updates and posts!  And you can also follow me on Twitter @livingwaterhw.

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

A New Year. A New Start.

Well, hello! Can you believe it? It's 2015!! That seems so strange.

When we begin a new year, there are always thoughts of goal setting, making this year better than last, and focusing on what matters most.  I shared with you before the new year that one of my goals was to post here at least once a week.  As you can tell, I have already fallen WAY behind. :)

But one of my other goals is to free myself of feeling guilty when I can't get it all done, to cut myself some slack, and realize that it's ok not to be "perfect".  This is something I have struggled with most of my life. But I am determined to make 2015 the year I put it under my feet.

I would love to hear from YOU, the readers who are still here, who have responded with such love and empathy as I have shared the struggles I've gone through the past couple of years.  Your words of encouragement, and just the fact that you are still "here", blesses me more than you can know.

Photo Credit Here
So, what topics would you like to see from me this year? Facts about real food?  Whole food recipes?  Posts on treating common illnesses with natural methods?  Biblical wisdom on healthy living?  How to overcome fear and shame? What else?

One of my plans is to share, in video form, more about my journey with postpartum depression. It has been something that I have not been ready to talk about in much depth, at least not past the written word.  But, I believe that by sharing my story, I may be able to provide a safe place for others to fall who are dealing with the despair and helplessness associated with such a disorder.  It is a very often misunderstood issue, and one that isn't spoken about in public terribly often.  Bear with me.  I am still trying to muster up the courage to be completely open and vulnerable.

I hope that all of you are having a wonderful start to 2015, and that this year will be full of countless blessings.  I pray that you will join me in the quest to stop the shame and guilt cycle we place on ourselves.  And I am excited to move forward here at Living Water Health and Wellness! Pin It Now!

Monday, December 22, 2014

To The One Who Feels the Need to Be "Perfect" - You Are Enough.

Hello again. :)  As we prepare to say goodbye to 2014, we cannot help but look forward to the coming year.  We set new goals, make resolutions, and re-commit to do the things we know we should.  One of those goals for me is to blog again.  The last year and a half has undoubtedly been the hardest of my life.  But, I have learned and continue to learn more about myself, my faith, my life, and the power of love and grace.  After a long season of silence, I want to continue sharing with you from an open, honest heart.

I have spent so much of my life trying to be "perfect", even though the very statement is completely impossible.  I have put so much pressure on myself to measure up, to be the example, to appear as though I don't struggle.  This tendency, I believe, was part of what lead to my deep struggle.  It has been hard for me to admit to the world (even though I know it could already tell) that I am far from perfect, that I struggle, that I mess up, that I need help sometimes, and that sometimes, even my greatest effort to do things "right" is not enough.


So...next year, in 2015, my goal is to STOP trying to be someone I'm not, and simply be me, unapologetically, and joyfully, knowing that the One who made me loves me and is ok with the fact that I'm a work in progress.  He has promised to finish the work He began in me.

Self-hatred, self doubt, and unrealistic expectations can leave you crippled and feeling like a failure.  If you are one who has struggled with these things as well, I invite you to join me in committing to love yourself better, to see the beauty in the journey, and cut yourself a little slack.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, the Good Shepherd, the very manifestation of Love in the flesh, let us accept WHO He is and what He has done for us.  He FINISHED the work on the cross, He bore our sorrows, our pain, our sin.  And His work is perfect, even in our imperfections.  He is Faithful, even when we are not.  And You. Are. Enough.

Merry Christmas to all of you who are still here, who are still reading my words. I am so very grateful for you.  I pray for you a wonderfully Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a deeper realization of the immeasurable ways in which you are loved and cherished.

In His Love,

Brandy

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