It is 2020. The last time I made myself a priority, it was 2016. I didn’t lose myself overnight. It was a slow progression. It started when I became a mother to my beautiful daughter, Kalie (pronounced Cali – like California). I felt that I had to devote my entire being to her out of fear that I would not be a great mommy if I did anything else. I didn’t want her to NOT feel loved.
Fast forward to 2018 — I found out I was pregnant with baby number 2. A boy – Kyler. How exciting! I was filled with joy but I really felt like my personal life was definitely over in that moment because I was going to have TWO babies under the age of 2 that needed me.
We welcomed our sweet Kyler Reece into the world on May 23, 2019. I thought to myself, it would be years before I would EVER do anything that I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it because these babies depend on me. And so there I was in the thick of motherhood doing nothing but mommin’ all day, every day.
I remember sitting down one day and thinking to myself, what are your hobbies? I literally could not think of just one hobby and that is when I realized that I had completely lost myself in motherhood. I was tired. I was depressed. I was bored. I was anxious. I was eating junk. I didn’t work out. I hated my body. This went on for months. Meanwhile, my husband constantly tried to encourage me to do the things that used to make me happy. He knew that I needed me time in order to find myself again but I just couldn’t do it. The guilt and anxiety when I tried was just not worth the hour to myself at that point.
Then came March 2020. I purchased the book, Find your Path by Carrie Underwood. It changed my life. The book had every everything that I needed to change up my lifestyle and live a happy and healthy life. I finished the book in about 2 days because I just couldn’t put it down. Every word. Every sentence. It spoke to me. Over the next few weeks, I started taking time for myself, doing things that I used to love — reading, crafting, taking long bubble baths, cooking and actually enjoying it, connecting with people and so on. I was starting to reconnect with myself. I was finding myself again.
The book inspired me but I knew that I had to put in the time to get myself back. Not only did I just want myself back, I really wanted to find the true Erika and all that made her happy. I wanted to find my truest self.
The first big change I made was incorporating fitness into my daily routine. I started working out 5 days a week with Carrie Underwood’s Fit52 app because the principle behind it resonated with me so much.
“I want to be healthy and fit 52 weeks of the year. That doesn’t mean I have to be perfect every day. This philosophy is a year-round commonsense approach to health and fitness that involves doing your best most of the time — and by that I don’t mean being naughty for three days and good for four. I mean doing your absolute best most of the time during every week, 52 weeks of the year”-Find Your Path by Carrie Underwood
To add to my fitness plan, I took Carrie Underwood’s realistic approach to healthy eating (I refuse to call it a diet) and applied it to my life. I started swapping out the not-so-healthy things I was eating with mySWAPS which were just healthier options of things I already love. It only took a few weeks before I started feeling really good. The best part was that I was having so much fun on this new path that I had created for myself.
As time went on, I wanted to share my path with others. I wanted to connect with women who were on a similar journey with me. That is when I created an Instagram handle, @mypath.fit52.
I was amazed at how quickly I connected with others on Instagram who were doing Fit52 as well. I started meeting so many wonderful ladies who were all in different stages of life but all have one thing in common — to motivate the hell out of each other to #staythepath.
From there, I met ladies from Tone It Up, Beach Body and some other fitness/wellness programs. Some of the most inspiring ladies reached out to me to see if I was a coach. I would respond and say, nope just doing me and loving this community of women building each other up. It was so exciting to me. Then they started asking if I wanted to join their program whether it was Beach Body, Tone It Up, an Active wear line, etc. I was so honored. It was super uplifting. I wanted to join them so bad because they are truly AMAZING women. I would convince myself that I should and then I would talk myself out of it because I was truly happy and loving the path I was on with Fit52.
As the days went on, I was so impressed with the community I was building for myself and I realized, I want to build this up! I want to create something where women support women on their path — whatever that looks like, sounds like, tastes like, or feels like to each individual woman. I realized that I didn’t have to join a prescribed program because the path I was on, was MINE and it was working. That is when #mypathsMINE [MOTIVATE, INSPIRE, NURTURE, EMPOWER] emerged.
As the weeks went on and my motivation, inspiration, nourishment and empowerment was thriving, I continued to connect with people. Like Carrie Underwood’s book and her fitness app, I became obsessed with her active wear line, Calia, which led me to Morgan Raphael, an official partner of the Calia clothing line. Through connecting with Morgan, I soon learned about her passion projects— @bunundone and @selfcaresociety_.
At this point, I was killing the fitness and the healthy eating path I was on but I needed something for my mind and my soul. Coincidently, or maybe not, Morgan launched her Self-Care Society 5 week journal on April 6, 2020. I purchased the journal with the intention that I needed to build my confidence and establish a strong self-love for myself. I was excited to add a deeper element of self-care to my path but when I joined Self-Care Society, I had no idea I would grow as much as I did!
I am a better version of me after completing the 5 week journal with @selfcaresociety_ and the wonderful community of women I met throughout the process. This blog is here because I transformed my idea that I want to do this to I WILL DO THIS AND I WILL BE SUCCESSFUL because #mypathsMINE. And that is how @ownyourpath_ came to be.
I am SO excited that you are here and I hope that you are just as excited to follow along with this blog –whether that excitement is to find, enhance or continue on your path. Please remember — your path is yours. My path’s MINE. OWN YOUR PATH!
Stay Motivated, Inspired, Nurtured & Empowered friends.