It all started 15 years ago when I went to my six week appointment after my son was born. feelI complained to my OB/GYN that I was feeling out of sorts. She readily prepared a prescription for Zoloft.
That was my wake up call. “Did I really need anti-depressants to cope with life?” I knew that I had some remaining grief from losing my parents in consecutive years just four years previous. I had also back to back miscarriages. Maybe that is why I gained so much weight during my pregnancy. Then it gripped me…
“I am 30 years old and will be fat forever!!!”
Oh the dread that overcame me. Then all at once, I remembered that I am the “I Can Do It Kid!” I can get through this. I need to find a way. I started to research how to deal with depression naturally and found studies in France where they present a new diet before prescribing medication. I did further research for stress reduction and found exercise. Now I grew up with a dad who was an avid walker so I was not a gym rat. My idea of a good workout was a 5 mile walk. In my search, I found Pilates which I loved. So between the core strengthening exercises and diet change to support my mood, the hormonal changes in my body of having a boy and nursing, I was able to release all 63 pounds and overcome depression before her walking walking. My son was an early walker at about 9 or 10 months. People were impressed with my results and ask my advice. Some took it, some laughed at it, some said it is too much write a book. In all cases, that was the beginning of my journey and I did not do any of those things until about nine years later when I was expecting my fifth child.
I started a blog to help me cope and give me a real mental reset to prepare for having five children after having established a great system of self-nurturing having four. What I was developing at that point was a journal and record of a duplicatable path…and ultimately the beginnings of my first and second books.
Even then I did not realize that this could be a viable coaching business for me until I had my sixth child and achieved the same results. When she was almost one, I decided to start coaching other moms, complete writing and publish my first book. In 2016, I started promoting my book by creating workshops and seeking speaking opportunities and finally live streaming. I continued to coach women also and refine my one on one coaching, developed group coaching and online courses, beta tested them. At the beginning of this year, I started two Facebook groups. Chaos to Calm with the Stress Less Mom, formerly the Stress Free Sisterhood, is now a paid membership and Chaos to calm 4 Super Moms is still free.
Today, I am a preparing for a speaking engagement at the Birth Expo in my area and to be a panelist at a women’s conference in New York and have been a speaker in three virtual summits this year. I am also preparing to launch my third book about pregnancy. Who knew that the pain of my postpartum depression would give me so much inspiration and life?
My coping mechanism became Workout Around My Day and my new happy gave me the title the Stress Less Mom. Now, I am a Holistic Life Coach helping women, get from the chaos of wanting to be healthy to the calm of actually doing by building a system of self-nurturing.
Don’t let your depression swallow you whole. Live in each moment and look for the light. One day you could inspire someone too.
Cordelia Gaffar is a mother of six, a speaker, author and founder of Workout Around My Day. She knows what it’s like to feel like you have little or no time to take care of your health. Her mission is to help women, especially moms to build a system of self-nurturing so that they can get from the Chaos of wanting to be healthy to the Calm of actually doing it!