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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}