Breaking Free From Survival Mode

At the end of October, my husband quit his job.

It was a long time coming and I was so excited about it. I was also terrified.

How we were going to pay for everything? We had just gotten to a point of having more than enough and it was wiped away with a single phone call.

The initial euphoria of the decision ended and I got really, really stressed out.

Naturally, my wonderful body did what it was made to do under such stressful situations. It went into survival mode, helping me to handle the stress of the transition.

Unfortunately for me, survival mode = weight gain. Immediately after Ian quit his job, there were days when I had no appetite. But my body had me covered, and stored little bits of each meal away to protect me from starvation.

A few months later I realized that my clothes no longer fit. The strength that I had built up was gone. My energy was nil. I couldn’t do a push up anymore. I felt terrible.

And then people started asking me if I was pregnant. Ugh. No. All of the hard work that went into getting fit and strong had gone out the window.

But if I got there before, I can get there again.

Time to thrive

A few weeks ago, I took measurements. And photos. I chose a fitness plan and started a journal. Then I hopped into the shower, looked at my body and told it thank you.

I thanked it for taking such good care of me, for protecting me against all of the stress. I said that I accept it as it is right now.

And then I told it that it didn’t have to do it anymore because survival mode is over.

It was so symbolic for me, because really, for the last several years I felt like I was always in survival mode. Frantically living from paycheck to paycheck, wondering how 1 + 1 was going to equal 24. Our math always indicated that financial disaster was just around the corner.

But it was always averted and I’ve learned that there must be faith to move forward. Faith in God. Faith in myself. Faith that I was created to thrive and make a difference.

Survival mode is a distraction, one that keeps us from focusing on what we can do to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, because we’re so busy concentrating on today’s disaster.

I could easily lay on my bed and cry about the giant spare tire around my waist or our (perceived) lack of money. Trust me, I have and all it did was make me feel worse.

I’ve got to do something to get out of this. I have to take a step in the right direction. Because, so often, my response is to do nothing at all and survival mode perpetuates.

I choose a life that’s better than that.

We can’t move forward until we accept where we are and take action.

 

{photo credit: breahn}

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Nina Nelson

Hi I'm Nina. Healer. Writer. Wellness advocate. Mama of four. Former bus dweller now focused on exploring simple hospitality. I love Jesus, simple natural living, coffee, and Shetland ponies.

Comments

  1. says

    I love your openness and honesty. I see so many parallels in our lives: wanting to live more intentionally, breaking free of survival mode, finances, weight gain/overall fitness declines from stress and not taking care of myself.

    I’ll be starting a more structured workout program, compliments of my physical therapy husband, in just a few weeks. I need structure and to work towards a goal (a race or mud run or something). I’d be happy to share my program with you if you need some clear direction. We could be online workout/accountability partners ;)

  2. says

    Nina, LOVE this! Thanks for honestly sharing how things actually *felt* as you were going through this.

    I can relate (minus having a family part) to your story…I’m working through this thriving vs. surviving business, too.

  3. Raelynn says

    Been there, done that, still there…. I have been saying to myself lately Gaundi’s little Quote…”Be the change you want to see in the world around you” and It has helped to make a change in my Attitudes toward want I really want be in my little part of the world.and then to make the changes that I want to see in me.

  4. says

    Yes Raelynn! That’s one of my favorite quotations ever. I’ve been saying it to myself lately. The only person you can change is yourself.

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