When I started following the Just Eat Real Food (JERF) motto my goal wasn’t to loose weight. Last November, 2017, I experienced a devastating pregnancy loss. Brittany has been a close friend of mine since we were teenagers and I’ve stood by her side as she’s experienced loss in the same way. Being so familiar with her story I knew that she attributed the health of her 6th pregnancy to nutrition.
After experiencing a loss of my own I knew that it was time to makeover my diet.
I am the 2nd child of 7. I come from a loving Christian homeschooling family. We were very active. I started playing basketball when I was 10 years old and played until I started college. Nutritional health however was not central to my families focus. Like a lot of large families our diet consisted of a lot of budget friendly meals; nachos, top ramen, Taco Bell, fried bologna sandwiches on white bread, and on payday my parents would always spulurge and grab us Whataburger.
As a teenager I saw those food choices reflected in my ability to function. I struggled with endurance and exhaustion, I was always tired. As an athlete I was definitely not fueling my body properly.
I met my husband when I was 19. We were a whirlwind romance, I loved him from the start. Three months after we met I found out I was pregnant. Even though it was unplanned and unexpected we were excited. It was always my hearts desire to be a mom and have a large family, we just started it a bit sooner than planned.
Because I was so young I did not expect to have a rough pregnancy but I battled severe morning sickness. Like most pregnant women I craved greasy fried foods and survived on a steady fast food diet. Which wasn’t much different than my normal diet. I ended up gaining over 40 pounds during my pregnancy.
When I was 36 weeks pregnant I started experiencing severe abdominal pain. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with H.E.L.L.P syndrome. I had to have an emergency C-section to save our sons life and my own.
God was with us and our son was delivered perfectly healthy on May 4th 2010. He was small but strong weighing just under 5 pounds at 4lb 15oz. We both made a full recovery.
In 2012 we found out we were expecting our second child. After what I experienced with our first pregnancy I knew I needed to make some changes or risk ending up with another unhealthy pregnancy. I sought out a new care provider who put me on a low carb diet and I decided to give up fast food.
The differences in my pregnancies were vast. I was able to rock an unmedicated v-bac (Vaginal birth after cesarean) and joyously welcomed our 2nd son at home on April 5th, 2013. He was a healthy, 7lb 5oz baby boy.
I felt amazing and the mere 25 pounds I gained during my pregnancy melted off soon after.
After our 2nd son was born, my husband and I endured a lot of struggle. We decided to separate from one another and I moved back in with my parents. During the stressful year of our separation I did not maintain my low carb diet and I went back to fast/comfort foods.
We were separated for almost an entire year before we started to work things out. After we reconciled we quickly got pregnant with baby #3. Life was hectic with two little guys and navigating morning sickness. I neglected to go back to eating healthy and I gained another 40 pounds.
It is really is a miracle our 3rd son is with us today. I went into labor at 37 weeks pregnant on August 26, 2014.
Like our 1st son he was tiny, only 6 pounds. My placenta was not functioning properly and my midwife said it was a good thing I went into labor when I did. He thrived on his own. He did better outside of my womb then in it.
After our third baby I didn’t think that we’d have anymore children. I really didn’t believe my body was built for or equipped to handle it.
But in June 2017 I I found out I was pregnant again.
I promised that I’d start taking better care of myself. I knew that Brittany had seen radical differences in her pregnancies when she started eating right and I was inspired to mimic her habits.
But, I was running a small in home business and homeschooling my three boys, most days it was a struggle just to keep my head above water without a major life change. I neglected to change my diet which landed me in bed most days. I ate whatever my cravings dictated which was never good. I felt awful and could barely make it out of the house.
On November 7th at 23 weeks pregnant I went in for a doctors visit where we discovered that our little one no longer had a heartbeat. After three boys, I longed for a little girl, it was devastating to loose someone we wanted so desperately.
She was perfect in every way. She just stopped growing and thriving we weren’t given any answers besides that.
Violets life changed me in many ways. I began to really dive into the Instant Loss life style. I started researching the MTHFR gene mutation and found many similarities between Brittany’s story and my own.
So I decide to cut the crap. I was going to start taking care of myself. And that started with what I put into my body. I was done with fast food and soda. I started following Brittany’s meal plan. I started treating my body like a temple, like I should have been treating it all along.
I saw immediate results. In just one short month I had energy, like I’ve never had before, not even as a teenager. I lost 10 pounds I didn’t know I had to lose. I weigh less now then I did in high school!
This is not even the biggest change, I am 14 weeks pregnant!
I have not been experiencing ANY morning sickness or feeling sluggish at all. We were blown away in February when we saw our little bean on the sonogram screen. I never thought it was possible to feel this good during pregnancy!
This pregnancy has been a complete 180 from all my previous pregnancies! I am still maintaining my healthy weight and feeling great.
I feel so blessed to have found a healthy lifestyle that I can maintain as a busy active mom. I truly feel like it has the ability to bring health and healing to my whole family. These meal plans have truly been a Godsend for my family!