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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Harris

Weighed Down No More

I'm not sure I'm ready to be this vulnerable. But here we go. Since this time last year I have gained 25+lbs. Turns out that not even intermittent fasting, intense exercise and taking care of my gut health could counteract the weight gain caused by Lexapro (*you may respond differently, don't let this scare you). Despite doing all the right things (sleeping, hydrating, eating well, exercise, rest, talking through trauma, ALLLL the things...) I began struggling with some pretty intense anxiety in December of 2018. However, I thought it was a heart issue as my doctor heard my heart throwing in extra beats. That's right. I'm a therapist and after spending thousands of dollars on heart tests (recommended by my doctor) I was hit smack in the face with the realization that I was experiencing anxiety. Talk about humbling. Though I will say I am a better therapist now that I have experienced anxiety first hand.

The traumas of 2016 caught up to me. I've learned I'm really strong in times of crisis, but it all hits me later. Trauma can do that. It can come back and get ya after a few months or years. Know that is normal and get support. Life was calm, I had found a rhythm as a wife, mom, friend, daughter and therapist. My body did not know how to turn off "Code Red" and was constantly on alert for the next shoe to drop.

I know what you are thinking..."Michelle, you are a therapist. You know all the mindset tricks and tips. You educate on the importance of gut health." I know. But sometimes you need another tool in your tool belt. I was doing well with eating, exercising, sleeping, supplements to support my body, social support, hydrating. But I needed another tool to help turn off "Code Red". I did everything I could before taking medicine. I believe in treating the WHOLE person. Sometimes, that involves medicine, crunchy or not. And you know what? It worked. As my body calmed, I was a happier wife and mom. My body switched off "Code Red". Thank goodness. I kept taking my supplements, kept exercising, kept hydrating, eating organic, getting enough sleep and kept working on my mindset. You can treat the body, but if you are not treating the mind and the heart as well, your healing and growth will be hindered.

So why do I share this? Because I think it's important to care for your overall health. But when I look around in society or on social media it isn't about health. It is all about weight. And weight loss. Yes, we need to aim for a healthy weight on the scale. But if we are not caring for heart, mind and soul, we are missing the mark. We are sending our daughters the wrong message. We are sending our sons the wrong message. Sometimes I wonder if God gave me a slow metabolism so that EVERY DAY I turn to Him to remind myself my identity is IN HIM. Not the scale. Not my weight. Not my outward appearance, but my heart. If so, it's worth it though some days it can really get me down.

So yes, I gained 25lbs but I am a happier wife and mom. My doctor did decide it was not the medicine for me so I switched and now that it has been a year, I am ready to consider weaning off of it. I will do so with my doctor's guidance.

But here are my points:

You need tools in your tool-box! There is no quick-fix or magic pill. Health is a journey and health begins in your gut. There is no shame in needing medicine. Don't use medicine as a band-aid. Make the necessary mental and lifestyle changes your body needs. Take care of your mind, body, soul AND spirit. If you've struggled, you are not alone. Oh, and if someone struggles with weight, don't assume they are not working their 🍑 off. (I work much harder than most of my smaller friends. Not all, but I can give you a run for your money. Don't believe me? Challenge me to an iWatch competition.)

If you are curious about therapy, please message me. I'd love to point you in the direction of wonderful therapists.

If you are curious about plant-based supplements, I'd love to share what has helped my energy, inflammation, skin and mood. My pink drink and my Active are my daily treats!!!

Need a nutrition reset? I'll point you to an anti-diet book that will help you assess what type of eating works best for you and explains why phasing your way of eating is important.

If you need a doctor or nurse practitioner who practices functional medicine, I have two people I'd love to point you towards.

If you struggle with your weight, I feel you. I'm here for you. Let's talk about how we can encourage you in healthy habits that benefit your body, mind, soul and spirit.

You are an integrated being. And you are beautiful. #staythepath

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