How much can a person change in that amount of time?
I'm here to tell you that a person can completely flip their entire world upside down.
I'm living proof.
I've written about Caleb's first trip to the beach here before. I've thought about those moments so many times over the past two years. They drive me.
Feelings I lived with day in and day out for years.
All wrapped up in those moments.
Our beach trip was over 7 hours away from home. Ryan and I wanted to drive through the night so that the kids could sleep. We didn't stop much because we didn't want to wake Caleb. Sitting for that amount of time really causes a person well over 200 pounds to have swollen legs, ankles, and feet.
We drove until the early morning hours before we decided to find a place to stay for the night. Our GPS had gotten all kinds of crazy and directed us down back roads. We were literally in the middle of nowhere when we finally found a tiny place to stay.
We unloaded the kids and they went right to sleep. Ryan and I crashed. I woke up an hour later with excruciating heartburn. It was my normal....I had it every day almost constantly. I didn't want to wake Ryan to find somewhere that we could get some Tums. He had driven all night and needed some sleep.
So I laid there for a while. I could almost taste the acid in my stomach. I kept hoping it would just go away or at least I'd sleep through it. I just didn't want to wake anyone.
All of a sudden, I ran to the tiny bathroom and got sick. It was stomach acid and blood. Any time my legs swelled and my heartburn kicked up, I would throw up. It had happened some before but there was never blood.
It terrified me.
I laid on the cold tile floor praying that I wasn't dying. I cried alone in that bathroom floor. I was killing myself. I was so afraid to wake anyone up. I didn't want to scare Caleb. Eventually, I felt better and climbed back into the bed.
I cry every time I write that here.
To know deep down that I was well on my way to killing myself. There's nothing like the realization when something like that hits you. Understanding what I was doing to myself.
The week before I heard of someone passing away due to untreated acid reflux causing their esophagus to collapse. Now there's reality slapping you right in the face. That story was all that ran through my mind while I was looking at all of the blood.
It's so very difficult to face what I was doing to my body. It's hard to admit that I allowed myself to get that bad. I have anxiety thinking about the road I was on.
The next morning I was able to tell my husband what happened. I broke down and ugly cried. I told him I was so afraid of dying. How could Caleb live without his mama? Ryan and I decided that something had to change.
We made it to the beach and I couldn't wait to have my baby's first pictures at the beach. In my mind I envisioned these beautiful pictures to mark the occasion. I was thrilled to finally have them. In reality those pictures didn't turn out anything like I expected....
Those pictures constantly remind me of a difficult time in my life. They have driven me. Pushed me like nothing else. Lit a fire within me that just won't quit.
I've had a lot of time to think on that time in my life. Our upcoming beach trip has left me with reflections on the past two years.
Everything has changed. I've tried to explain how my journey hasn't been just about weight loss. You can't simply lose weight without other things changing. It's not possible. I am not that person anymore. I'm not the same kind of mother. I am not the same wife I was then.
Seven hour road trip? You won't find me with swollen legs and heartburn anymore. You won't find me hiding behind a camera. You won't find me laid up on the couch wishing I could play with my child. You won't find me sitting.
You won't find me there.
This upcoming trip symbolizes so much. I want to share it all with you here. I want you to know there is hope. You can change. You can take control of your life. If you are desperate to change your own life, I want you to know that it is truly possible.
P.S. Friends, I know this is difficult to read. Stick with me. I'm taking you to a happier place. This story needs to be told. There are so many of you reading that still feel exactly how I did. I need to lay it all on the line so I can show you that it can be done. You need to understand exactly where I was and how I felt to understand the joy now.