For most of my life, my eating habits have not been the best. I love food! I love salty snacks, I love carbs, I love vegetables, I love seafood, I love Mexican, I love Thai, I love cooked sushi, I love white sauce pizza, I love steak, I love Chick Fil A. I love food, but my body did not love my eating habits.
I am a binge eater.
Not necessarily on purpose but if I’m not hungry, I don’t eat. It would not be rare for me to run on coffee and water for a day or two. And then I gorge. It is not uncommon for people to make comments about how small or large my portions are. Sometimes it’s hard to eat the small portions, sometimes I make myself so full from being a bottomless pit. It’s a never ending cycle.
In March of 2017, I did my first whole30 (highly recommend). I wasn’t overweight but I wasn’t healthy. I completely changed my lifestyle! I was eating great, I was doing barre two days a week, I started running 3-4 miles almost everyday. I lost almost 40lbs and I felt amazing! My body was happy and healthy. But then things started to change the night I celebrated my 33rd birthday. This night (or really the morning after) kicked off about a 7-8 month slump of depression. May 2019, which was seven months later, one of my best friends died suddenly. I haven’t gone for a run since. Fast forward about a year and stupid Covid consumed the world. I became stagnant. Snacking became the way of life. All the healthy habits I adopted were now on vacation.
When we entered 2021, I tried to get back on the wagon. I started walking around my neighborhood a little, I attended the occasional exercise class or visited the gym, I started incorporating healthier foods. My brother was getting married at the end of the year, so I had to get back in shape … NOT!!! I was consistent enough I didn’t gain more weight, but by this point I had gained back every pound I lost. The muscle strength I built up was gone. Binge eating was once again the way…
Until 8 weeks ago.
It was a typical Friday. I honestly can’t remember everything I did that day but I remember it was a busy day. The kind of day where you legitimately forget to eat because you are in mom-mode from the moment you wake up. I even worked from home this day so it wasn’t like I forgot or didn’t have time to pack a lunch…I just forgot to eat. I gave up eating breakfast during the week probably in 4th grade, so nothing new missing this meal. That evening we went to a Lenten fish fry for dinner. My 10yo son was with me and THANK GOD my parents were there too. My son and I stood in line for about 30 minutes (my knees were locked), the weather was drunk so I was dressed in warmer clothes preparing for the 25 degree temperature drop and the place we were was humid inside (I was overheated), I was exhausted from the week, and I was also starving. We were about 5-6 people away from getting our dinner. And like magic, there was a chair! My mom had joined us in line by this point and when I sat down, she asked if I was feeling ok. I looked a little pale. Of course I said I felt fine because I did feel fine. I was just hot and tired and hungry and my legs hurt from standing for so long. It was time to move up in line, so I stood up. And within seconds I saw those “invisible” floating spots…
And down she goes!
I woke up on the floor about 10 seconds later. Fortunately I didn’t hit my head too hard, but my right side hurt like a mother. After the trauma nurse (what better place to faint than a church line) confirmed I knew my full name, my mom immediately asked me if I was ok. And I just remember saying my side hurts really bad. I drank my coke, consumed my entire meal, and scarfed down 3 or 4 desserts. Throughout the rest of the night my mom would ask me how I was feeling, and I just kept repeating I really think I’m ok but my side really really hurts. I did not go to the emergency room. I am not one to seek medical attention unless I think it’s absolutely necessary. So I went home.
My village rallied and helped me with my son who had his first baseball tournament of the season the next day in Baton Rouge. This was the first game I’ve ever missed. I drove to the tournament on Sunday though. I was pretty miserable for a week but I bossed through because that’s what moms do. It’s been two months and I’m still healing. But I’m doing so much better! I’m consistently eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I started a vitamin regimen (thanks mom!). And I’m about to complete 5 weeks of physical therapy. My fall revealed I have something called Scapular Dyskinesia. It was not caused by the fall, but the fall made it a whole lot worse. My right wing is my stress spot, so it was not unusual to me that I would be feeling some tension. But after a couple of days, I knew this was different. Instead of feeling like a stress knot needing to be rubbed out, it felt like a pinched nerve. I was incredibly uncomfortable and very irritable. So I told myself “you need to take care of yourself Ashley” and I scheduled an appointment with the physical therapist. During my consult, he let me know it was highly unlikely I didn’t hairline fracture or break a couple ribs. There’s absolutely nothing a doctor can do for this injury, hence I didn’t go to the ER. I could change my clothes and didn’t have trouble breathing. I had pain medication, ice packs, and my heating pad travelled with me everywhere. That first sneeze though, whew Lord I hope I NEVER experience that again. I held my sneezes in for weeks. In fact, I sneezed “normally” for the first time this week! It didn’t feel great to laugh or cough either.
Because I wasn’t taking care of myself, my 10yo really thought he witnessed his mother (and only parent) drop dead of a heart attack, I probably broke a couple ribs, and I had to do physical therapy for 5 weeks. I’m so thankful my mom was there to comfort my despondent son and take care of her oldest baby. I’m thankful for my baseball mamas for getting us through the tournament and reassuring my boy his mama was ok. I’m thankful for my bestie neighbor mama for checking in on me every single day the first week. I’m thankful for my bestie sister mama for always keeping it real and texting me almost daily making sure I was eating. I’m thankful for my bestie wifey who lives 700 miles away for always showing up, always listening when it’s hard for me to ask for help, and for reinforcing healthy habits to channel my anxiety and emotions. I know how blessed I am to be supported by a village of queens. Girls run this world mamas! Please make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
And for the love of everything, please PLEASE make sure you remember to eat!