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Real Women. Real Stories - Part 10: How Fitness Transformed The Postpartum Journey For One Mom

Intro by Liz Kent: I am excited to share this month's inspiring story from Farin Doran! Farin used her motherhood journey to develop a fitness business, which supports other women in meeting their health and wellness goals. Check out her story about how fitness transformed the postpartum journey for her and brought her out of the depths of postpartum depression.

a mother with her two children outside
Discover how one mom's fitness journey transformed her postpartum experience. From battling depression to building a successful wellness business.

I couldn’t love the name of this series more…. Real Women. Real Stories. It is basically permission to let it all out, to tell the REAL story, to not hold back and to give other REAL women the truth of it all.

I think about where I am now and the type of woman I have become. I run a successful online fitness business, I have helped literally thousands of women find their way with loving their bodies, I have helped hundreds of women create businesses for themselves and gain the confidence to do so, I have become a fitness instructor, a podcast host, a blogger, I have taken women on retreats and I have spoken on stage……..

But I didn’t wake up one day and do all of those things. I was NOT the type of person to do ANY of those things. I sat in my shell, I hid behind the computer, and I would spend time with only my close girlfriends and little family. I was content or at least I thought I was.

So how did it start? How do you go from introvert to spreading your wings and taking a leap?

I had baby #2. She, this sweet little girl named Sawyer who was the one that was completing our little family tribe, did it to me.

And not in an “awwwwwww what a blessing” kind of way….

But she nearly BROKE me. (We are REAL mommin’ it here, right? - Safe space?)

Sawyer Christine introduced me to postpartum depression. I didn’t believe in it, I didn’t know what it was, I thought all moms were naturally happy, loving and that babies gave us all the sunshine, endorphins and laughing gas we needed to forever have a smile on our face. NOPE.

Not true.

In fact, I realized a couple weeks after having this little girl that I was not the same Farin. I was crying in closets, lying to my husband about not wanting to go anywhere and blaming it on the baby. I was eating too much and I started drinking. (Note: I was also breastfeeding so I had to time my wine consumption and baby feedings carefully - real proud mom moments over here). I specifically remember a time a family member was coming over and I went to the kitchen closet, opened up a bottle of sweet red wine and chugged it right out of the bottle. (ok, not all of it…. But I certainly didn’t measure or care how much went down the hatch).

I remember so many people saying that breastfeeding would help with weight loss. I would be lying if I said I was ONLY breastfeeding so my baby could get the nutrient dense milk of her momma. Sure, that was part of it. But there was another big part of me that hoped that weight loss for breastfeeding was God’s way of giving you a pat on the back for breastfeeding your child. Here is the thing…. If you are constantly eating stuffed crust pizzas, drinking wine and not exercising, it doesn't matter if you breastfed a whole village with your magical milk, you are NOT going to lose weight.

It wasn’t until I hit basically rock bottom. This version of rock bottom was me in a dark closet, wearing stretched out granny panties, stuck in a shirt that I SWORE was going to fit (since it was a “bigger” pre-baby shirt…. I was legit stuck in it. Think Tommy Boy - “Fat guy in a little coat” except without the laughing, without the song…. And instead a baby crying in the background.

This is also the part where I mention that my daughter cried ALL DAY EVERY DAY. This is no exaggeration, she LEGIT cried ALL DAY, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. People would say “aww is it colic?” UMMMM, I don’t freaking know…. But unless there is an ACTUAL cure that is going to make this stop, let’s not label it and just someone take her for FIVE FREAKING MINUTES so I can get my sanity back!

So if there is anything worse than postpartum depression feeling like you don’t love yourself. It is having postpartum depression and also a baby who is acting like she is having postpartum depression too. She is crying, I am crying, we all are crying……

This is when I finally told my husband that I was depressed. I was losing it. I was having a hard time. What he didn’t know is that I already called my doctor and told them I was having a hard time, only to hear back from my OB that this was “normal” and I would “get past it.” Looking back, I should have reached out for more help. My husband was my LAST hope. Telling him was admitting that I had a problem and that I needed help. So I let it all out. My husband listened and held me and it felt SO DARN GOOD. And then he said, “ok what do WE do?” I said, “I don’t know. I just don’t love myself right now.” He said, “Ok, what don’t you love?” Me, “Well, for starters, I don’t love my body.” My husband came up with a plan for getting us to workout together. This was something within his control. He dusted off some old workout DVD’s, posted on craigslist for TV’s, TV stands, DVD players, weights…. Went out, got it all, cleaned out the garage, set up the TV, printed out a workout calendar…. And BOOM - like a magic genie, he made the the first part of my wish come true.

Step 1: Get to loving my body. The baby would wake up at 4am every morning to feed, he would change her, bring her to me, I would feed her and then he would go lay her back down. While I got my workout clothes on, he would get the day’s workout ready so when I came into the garage all we had to do was press PLAY. He pushed me to get up every morning, helping me any way he could. As I started to lose some weight and focus on me, letting the endorphins loose, gaining some energy… I realized I was starting to smile more. I was starting to LOVE myself more. I was gaining confidence. Then I started to conquer food and learned to balance the wine and stuffed crust pizzas with more greens, protein and water. I stopped relying on food for comfort and instead relied on walks with my family and getting out of the house. I remember walking into my kitchen one night and telling my husband that I wanted to help other women. “What if there are other women like me who are struggling and I can help them?” “Let’s do it.” - he said. 3 years later…. Here I am today…. Doing all the things I would have never thought I could do and putting myself out there in a way I never thought I would. The thing is…. Sometimes you have to JUST DO IT. You can’t second guess, you can’t overanalyze or try to talk yourself out of it. You have to go for the things you want in your life. We aren’t given endless amount of time. You don’t get to redo a year. You don’t get to put white out on it and try again. This is all you have. So when you WANT something you do it. If you want to get out of a depressing mood….. If you want that job…. If you want to try that new hobby… If you want more for your life… Open up, say it out loud, don’t be afraid to ask for help…

And then DO IT. GO FOR IT. You owe it to yourself, lady :)

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