Parenthood is hard.
Adulthood and parenthood come with a lot of responsibility. We take on being responsible for ourselves, partners, kids, and loved ones along the way. It is hard to keep them all healthy! My name is Jami DeLuca and I am the host of the “Keep’em Healthy with Jamie” podcast. The show is my outlet to research and investigate different health topics in an attempt to learn how to keep my people healthy. This passion grew from my own personal and ongoing learning experiences as a mom of five children, wife, sister, daughter, friend, you name it! I want to educate and motivate people towards understanding themselves, their own and loved ones’ needs, and finding their way to a healthier lifestyle. Your body is so intelligent that we need to stop googling how to be healthy, but pay attention to what feels right and what doesn’t! I had to learn the hard way that my ailments and emotions are not things to be feared, but things to listen to and learn from. So, here is my story.
What brings me joy?
Sometimes life teaches you unexpected lessons. After my fifth child, spending seven years straight of sleepless nights, head on a swivel making sure my children weren’t constantly in danger, keeping up with multiple schedules for babies, toddlers, and school aged kids, I decided it was time for ME. Everyone always says, “don’t forget to take care of yourself and don’t forget about what brings you joy.” So, what do I love? Dancing! I had been taking Zumba classes as a stress reliever for the past five years and had been encouraged to become an instructor many times. I just kept getting pregnant and pushing it back. But ya know, now that I have 5 children under the age of 7, NOW is the time to add in a Zumba career. Crazy, right? Well at this point in my life, it wasn’t. Parenthood is hard. I was so focused to have something of my own that I was all in.
Zumba, sleepless nights and one tired mama.
Cut to 6 weeks later with countless hours of training, learning and memorizing choreography, I started teaching classes twice a week. Insert performance anxiety here! Standing up in front of a class of Zumba dancers, who are no joke, (shout out to my Zumba fam!) I felt a lot of pressure on something I was choosing to do for personal fun and fulfillment! Welp, in short, I started not sleeping and then consequently PANICKED- because Moms, sleep is a gift when you have small children and it’s one thing to have sleep being taken from me because of my children. It is another when I am the sleep sabotager! So like most moms, I thought something must be terribly wrong with me. Am I sick? My anxiety is through the roof, I can’t sleep, eat, and my emotions are bonkers.
My doctor at the time took my blood work- all perfect numbers. She offered some advice about having a grace period when inserting a new lifestyle change into your world. She said it takes about 6 weeks for your body and mind to sync up with the new demands and learning in your life. I left there thinking, “Okay! So, 6 weeks and I’ll be back! Sweet.” That lasted for a day. I was determined to “fix me” and to do it right now! Maybe I wasn’t sleeping because I had too much energy, so I added in more dance parties with the kids, walks, anything to burn that energy. I latched onto any advice or option out there to only fail and become extremely frustrated. Then a friend of mine said, “I think your body is trying to tell you to slow down, not speed up. You are over using your stress response and your rest response forgot how to work.” Lightbulb.
How to balance stress and rest.
Balancing the stress and rest response never crossed my mind. In order to rest, your body must have opportunities to practice this system. This mindset is what ultimately healed me. I was looking outward for my cure, when the answer was inward. Rest doesn’t only mean sleeping through the night. There are other means which I taught myself during this period. Deep belly breathing, meditation, stretching, yoga, and mindfulness. I learned how to acknowledge my body cues as teachers, not sabotagers. I had a new relationship with my body which, NEWS FLASH, was not broken. It was actually working beautifully and warning me that my lifestyle was not healthy for my mind, body, and spirit. I now appreciate my anxious cues and body ailments. They are my messengers to help me understand my needs as I continue to change and evolve as an adult, parent, wife, etc.
Self-care assessment and a podcast to pay it forward.
Even though that experience was 10/10 awful at that moment, I am forever grateful for what it taught me about myself. It has been a blessing in developing empathy for my family and friends who have similar experiences. As I learned more about my natural needs and self-care, the more I became in tune with my people’s needs and self-care. This began my journey as a coach for health and fitness. I began practicing it naturally in my day to day, so I pursued certifications in Holistic health coaching and group fitness. I now have the pleasure of learning and teaching holistic health, self-care, and family care through my podcast and my fitness classes: yoga, bootcamp, and Zumba. I have been loving my journey together with the people I interview and my listeners! I have so much to explore in the future as my family and I grow. Parenthood is hard! I look forward to sharing future health topics that are relevant and interesting with you.
Moms united! It takes a village.
I love how the Bumpdate app has created an easy and convenient way to stay in touch and learn from your “village.” I hope that my podcast can be an additional resource for you now or in the future. We aren’t meant to do this life alone. Without my village, I would have continued to be lost in my story. It was their support and advice that helped me to heal. Never underestimate the power of your village! As I always say: “You do you, stay well, and Keep’em Healthy!”