My Story – The Long Version
I am a comically worried mom, wife, self-taught organic plant-based cook, a certified holistic health coach, and just like you, seeking balance while juggling it all. But I wasn’t always this way…
I always worked hard. I started working at age 13. I’ve had my struggles growing up in my childhood. It wasn’t always terrible but it wasn’t always creamsicles either. I’ve dealt with challenges like the rest of us and I have a somewhat dysfunctional family, but who doesn’t. Parents divorced when I was 6 and yada yada yada…
I’ve dealt with personal issues in my life like getting dumped at the emergency room while having a miscarriage by a long-term ex boyfriend, watching my grandmother die from brain cancer, watching close friends die from breast cancer, almost getting evicted from my apartment, to being sexually assaulted twice, once by a stranger and once by someone I knew. All this didn’t happen at the same time, these are just some struggles I’ve been through in my life.
I choose to not be defined by my struggles as I see them as learning experiences. I define myself by who I am as a person: loving, kind, supportive, loyal, and trustworthy. No matter what I’ve been through I never used my past as a crutch or an excuse not to move forward with my life. I had some pretty amazing experiences and I’ve had some pretty shitty times too. It’s the ebb and flow of life. I wouldn’t change any of it because it brought me to where I am today. (ok maybe just a few things lol).
Being a mom wasn’t something I always wanted. Growing up and even in my twenties, I just didn’t want to have kids. I worked hard and played harder. I liked my life and what I created for myself and didn’t want to give that up to have kids. I didn’t grow up wanting the typical gal “dream”. I was all about fast paced, being independent, and doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. And I did just that. I would work 16 hour shift as a hair stylist and assistant in NYC, smoke cigarettes, drink with my friends on the weekend, and used sweet n’ low like it was going out of style.
My lifestyle was the furthest from healthy and I was definitely no tree hugger. If you asked me at 25 about living holistically I would have lit a cigarette and laughed in your face. I didn’t know what holistic was, I didn’t know what vegan or plant based was, and I thought living or eating healthy was eating grilled chicken and green beans 5 times a day every 3 hours, and I was not having that.
I’ve always been neurotic in a sense. I experienced my first panic attack in 10th grade and thought I was going to die. It was terrifying. I’m also afraid of everything: the dark, planes, porcelain dolls etc. I didn’t grasp how hard anxiety was to deal with it until I became pregnant, and then became a mother, and it hit and hit me hard. And that’s when everything changed…
When I started dating my husband I knew I was meant to have a kid with him…or kids. I was initially pregnant with twins. I’m a twin myself, and the thought of the possibility of having twins was not on my mind at all, I thought it skipped a generation. When I found out that I was pregnant with twins I was shocked and afraid. Thinking of something coming out of my woman parts made me a tad nervous (enter sarcasm), let alone two! Sadly at 4 months I miscarried one of my babies. It was so hard on me and that put me into immediate constant worry mode.
My worried mind was multiplied by the fact that I gained almost 80 pounds during my pregnancy and went from a size 8-10 to a size 16. I’ve felt terrible about myself before but after gaining all that weight I hated the way I looked. I hated the way I felt, I essentially hated myself. After the birth of my son I literally gave up all hope. I wanted to be back “to my old self” and wear my “normal” clothes. I’ve always been really stylish and fashion forward and I felt I couldn’t be my true self because of my weight. I was letting my weight and insecurities take control of me.
When I realized the nurses don’t come home with you after giving birth I was in overbearing, protection mode. My anxiety was through the roof and spiraled into depression. I found myself at doctor visits 3-4 times a week, certain I had cancer or some other rare disease. Lucky for me the Ebola scare came years later because I would have been positively sure that I had that too. Every doctor I visited told me nothing was wrong – I needed to lose weight and see a psychiatrist. So I did go to a psychiatrist and each one wanted to put me on a slew of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. I refused all of them. I didn’t want to fall victim to the merry go round of pills as I knew the effect they can have on people. I wanted to live, not mask my problems. I felt in my gut there had to be a better way.
I also didn’t want my son seeing me like this and I knew I had to make changes and take matters into my own hands. The only thing stopping me was me. I’ve heard of yoga, mediation, and things along that line, but it wasn’t until I watched Genetic Roulette on YouTube that got me going. That video opened up so many doors for me. I started to read on living a plant based diet, what processed foods were doing not only to me but to my son and it led me down this path I never would have imagined myself on. From then on out I made it my mission to cope with my anxiety and insecurities with my body image the right way; I knew I needed to shed weight not only physically but mentally too.
I knew that change had to come from within, from me in order to be able to take care of my son the best way I could and to be able to be the best mom I could be. I started reading books, listening in on webinars and podcasts. The universe was giving me the tools I needed to deal with my issues and it all just started to click. Little by little, I made the switch to organic foods. I learned what almond meal and hemp seeds were, I realized I could make ice cream out of bananas. I recognized that I didn’t have to take antibiotics for a cold and I educated myself about essentials oils, herbs, teas and a wide variety of prevention methods other than standard western medicinal ways. I couldn’t believe so much I didn’t know throughout my whole life. I couldn’t believe there was such thing as prevention, and I was actually able to help myself help myself.
I went to school and became a certified holistic health coach and from there I went to college and am earning my BS in Health Sciences. I wanted to helped women in ways that I wasn’t helped but should have been. I realized that the more I learn, the better I feel. I finally understood what my body was going through postpartum. I was exhausted emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually and this was my light.
Everything I was learning was guiding me to positivity. I now have a positive outlet for my once negative energy. Now I know how to handle my days and how to act instead of react to certain situations. I am better equipped in how to deal with my anxiety and depression. Stress is the number one killer in this world and that can be kept under control through holistic preventative measures.
When I started NeuroticMommy on Instagram my sole purpose was to share my struggles, successes and transition from my everyday / anxiety driven life to a holistic organic plant based lifestyle. I posted to hold myself accountable for what I was going through: the ups and downs of going from a wild and crazy lifestyle to a holistic and modern-day-tree-hugging-hippie lifestyle. And then something magical happened: I realized that I can actually help people; that if I’m going through this other moms out there must being going through or have gone through this too. I knew I couldn’t be the only one losing my mind and trying to find her way. I got such a huge response on Instagram that I knew that I finally found my purpose – to share my story and create a safe space for moms to recognize that they are not alone, that they don’t have to lose themselves amidst motherhood and to empower each other to create a healthy lifestyle for our families in the midst of the day to day madness of life no matter how many children you have.
NeuroticMommy has now turned into a destination for moms to learn, be inspired and empowered to lead a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families.
I’ve been in your shoes, I’ve lived it, I’m living it. Each day poses new challenges and each day we handle things differently. It’s not all roses and sunshine but it’s not all thunderstorms and tornadoes either. It’s about finding Balance. You are the light that shines bright upon your family. And the most important person that you get to take care of today, here, at NM.com is you. I’m here for you.