Happy Anniversary!

image“A journey begins with a single step. 9,200 steps show on my Fitbit at dusk last night so I made progress! That’ll be one of the mottos I repeat to myself over the next 12 months: “progress not perfection” in my fitness quest. ”  

-Jessica, April 17, 2016 at fitnessquestmama.wordpress.com

How appropriate!  One year ago I set my motto for “progress not perfection!”  At the start, before Small Kitchen Big Love, I was blogging as “fitnessquestmama” and used it as an outlet, a place for reflections on my postpartum adventure to wellness.  Little did I know what kind of a treacherous journey it would turn out to be over the past 365 days.  The beginnings of writing had more to do with Beachbody workouts, planning ahead to be healthy on road trips and practicing gratitude in the “organized disaster” of motherhood.

Then life threw me a curve ball and I began to feel unwell even while exerting myself towards regular workouts and Sweat sessions with Coach Chalene on the Beachbody workout listings.  (PiYo was quickly becoming my all time favorite.). Something went wrong, however, as a wave of debilitating fatigue, body pains and swelling made workouts impossible to complete.  I was unwell, more so than ever before.  Later on in the summer after solid advocating for my own health, I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, which had been brewing in my system for over 5 years prior to my official diagnosis in July 2016.  Now the signs were screaming at me, and thank God in heaven that an answer was found!  Through that, my blogging transitioned toward the necessary targeted internal healing.  (That’s when Small Kitchen Big Love came to be.).

First Synthroid and finally Armour Thyroid medication began to support my healing.  I seriously played around with adopting the AutoImmune Protocol and nutrient dense foods to further aid my struggling system.  I was never capable of fully committing 100% to AIP, but I gave it a worthy shot in the midst of mothering 4 and managing the home.  The idea still intrigues me for another season of my life that is not so intensely demanding and exhausting.

Regardless, it’s not all or nothing!  I’ve learned so much from the research, trial & error and a few simple changes remain part of my diet daily!  Beyond prescriptions, lots of prayer and dietary tweaks, I’ve added in supplementation with Plexus products for 5 months and have found that has supported my gut health tremendously.  I see and feel the difference, day by day, and slowly my body is gaining strength and stamina back!  So much so that I am ready once again to finally add Beachbody workouts back into my life!

This is a time worth celebrating!  Woo Hoo!  Slow and steady wins the race when you have an autoimmune disease therefore low impact, gentle and fun exercise will be my starting place.  As healing continues, I anticipate being able to add in strenuous workouts  on a limited basis.

God has been my hiding place throughout the past year.

When I haven’t felt well.

When I have been unable to get my kids ready for school because of the fatigue.

When I was swollen so bad my wedding rings didn’t fit, my face was puffy and my middle was distended.

When I had to go to physical therapy for chronic pain in my feet and back.

When the doctors ran MRI’s and CT scans because they couldn’t explain why I have L’hermittes sign and pain.

When extended family didn’t understand my fatigue and began accusations when I was. simply. just.tired.

When I pushed myself through the day for the love of my husband and kids.

When I had brain fog so bad I couldn’t think straight, and repeatedly dropped things, and had dizzy spells.

When I was a nobody, felt like no one, had nothing to give.  God IS.  He is my hiding place.  He is faithful and never abandoned me, never left my side.  (And thankfully my husband stayed right there with me along the way, doing his best to understand and support me.)

I’m so happy to celebrate this full-circle return of beginning a fitness journey again beyond walking and housekeeping!  It means so much to me and I feel gratitude for regaining strength & stamina as the holistic approach to wellness supports healing.

I’m ready for Beachbody!  Who’s with me?

How are you supporting your healing process?

Thanks for reading,




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